Letters to the Editor – July 22

Site C dam; Thanks to first responders; bats; city finances; deer

Site C dam costly to environment

Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. government is going to build the Site C dam even if it is wrong.

The Liberals are going to lose the next election so they just want to leave something with their name on it.

Only 10 percent of B.C. is farmable land. The government wants to take thousands of hectares and tell the farmers – some whose families have been there for 100 years – to goa away.

We need this land to produce food. We cannot afford to do away with farm and ranch land.

We will also lose 100 kilometres of river. Where will the fish go? With habitat gone, what will this do to the salmon industry?

What is wrong with geothermal energy? Lots of countries use it and it’s cheaper than spending $1 billion on the Site C dam. This province is already billions of dollars in debt.

With the Site C dam, we may be on the road of no return.

There are many questions surrounding global warming on this project. Scientists around the world say we are producing too much CO2. The more the population grows, the more water and farmland will be needed.

Gordon Stewart, Sooke

 

First responders earn high praise

Sincere gratitude and well wishes from both my wife and I are extended to the civilian first responders, paramedics, police and rescue team, who attended at their own risk, the accident on the afternoon of July 6 near Cooper’s Cove.

Because of their heroism and profesionalism, they kept a bad situation from becoming much worse. We also extend thanks to the other driver for being honest and honourable.

David and Sonya Isacson, Sooke

 

Bats crucial link to our habitat

Re: In search of the elusive bats (News, July 15)

I was pleasantly surprised to see bat research getting front page treatment in the News Mirror.

I can certainly stress the importance of such research for the one important tidbit mentioned – the dreaded white-nose syndrome, which is moving west.

I spent the summer of 2014 driving around Digby and Annapolis counties in Nova Scotia posting hundreds of Have You Seen Any Bats posters. The research project was conducted in western Nova Scotia by the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute in Kejimkujik National Park, with naturalist Bradley Toms. I stumbled into being a volunteer by accident.

The fungus which spreads white spores on the noses of hibernating bats has killed them by the millions in Eastern Canada and the U.S. It wakes up bats prematurely while winter is still raging and they starve to death.

The sad part is this fungus is not native to North America. It was first detected more than a decade ago in an upstate New York cave popular with spelunkers.

Now researchers on a desperate search to find an antidote to the fungus.

After living in Nova Scotia for six years, I can tell you the summertime bug infestation is bad, bad, bad. Unless you have a strong breeze blowing, you are not going to be sitting outdoors. The reason? Those little brown bats, who eat up their own body weight in bugs each night, are nowhere to be seen.

Andy Neimers, Sooke

 

Trail project money should go to park

District of Sooke council has applied for a $75,000 grant, which will be matched by taxpayers to build a trail off the Galloping Goose coming into to town on a transportation route that already exists.

This was never discussed in public as a need but council decided to jump after the grant. No thought of cost, location, maintenance, etc. were taken into account.

I can’t even imagine the amount of district staff time spent on this project. This is a non-revenue recreation trail off a recreation trail. The Galloping Goose is managed by the Capital Regional District, which also doesn’t have enough money to maintain the park trail.

In the district’s five-year financial plan, it was decided to cut back on maintaining some of the parks as it was too costly. Why add another?

We have a lovely park, John Philips Memorial, in the heart of Sooke, which is already being maintained in the district contract. It is begging for more signage, washrooms, water lines, electricity, benches and, perhaps, a gazebo. This park, because of its size and location, lends itself to revenue from events like picnics, weddings and markets.

Let’s just use the monies for park improvements on this park for a start and do it well. There is a lovely trail already in this park , now open it up for more options.

We don’t have to do a whole lot of things, just do one thing well and build our community for the community, one step at a time.

Ellen Lewers, Sooke

 

Drivers need to slow down

On July 14, a dog was struck on Maple Ave North in Stone Ridge Estates in front of families, children and its owner.

The dog was dragged 16 metres before the truck came to a stop. Her injuries were so severe she was euthanized a couple hours later.

All too often families on this street yell at drivers to slow down. This street has a blind spot on the top of the hill that meets Stone Creek Place and families are asking drivers to be cautious driving this road in the daytime as there are many children and pets that live on this street or families that walk in this neighbourhood to the local park.

This terrible accident could have involved one of our chikdren – severely injured or killed.

Drivers must be aware and drive safely, as these are the summer months where children, pets and families are out enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

All too often balls roll into the streets and children and pets bolt out to get them. We all need to realize that pet’s are part of the family too and losing them can be just as devastating as losing a loved one.

Let’s make this summer, a safe summer for all people and pets.

Michelle Barney, Sooke

 

Volunteers put our best foot forward

Re: Forget the best, try making Canada better (Letters, July 8)

Perhaps, as Damaris Garzon writes, Canada is not and should not be considered the best country in the world. There is always room for improvement.

However, those of us lucky enough to be born or have emigrated here are certainly privileged to call Canada home.

We invite Mr. Garzon and others to join the many individuals and organizations that selflessly volunteer their time and efforts to do just that within the Sooke region. We can justifiably call ourselves a Volunteer Capital in Canada.

The Sooke Region Volunteer Centre and the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative are but two of the more than 180 organizations focusing on enriching our communities.

If you want to contribute to making our region an even better place to live, the Volunteer Centre will match your skills, experience and passion to an organization where you can make a difference.

The Community Health Initiative is a partnership joining community members and health and social service providers advocating for and supporting healthy communities from Beecher Bay to Port Renfrew. Both organizations welcome your questions and involvement.

If you want to make a difference and these opportunities interest you, please phone 250-642-6364 Ext. 235 or email sookeregionvolunteers@gmail.com.

Marlene Barry, Chair, Sooke Region Volunteer Centre

Rick Robinson, Chair,

Sooke Region Community

Health Initiative

 

 

Officials must be alerted to sick deer

Re: Starving deer need to be fed (Letters, July 1)

Perhaps you should run a series on geography, so that your letter-writer can learn about all the habitat for deer around Sooke.

Drive toward Port Renfrew for example and she’d see a burgeoning replanted forest, which was good deer habitat when younger and is probably surrounded by interface areas with many shrubs.

Or just illuminate more complaints from people whose gardens and trees are being consumed by urban deer.

If she sees a deer around Sooke that looks like it is starving compared to other deer nearby, she should call wildlife authorities as that is likely a sick deer. It happens, due disease or abnormality including mental confusion – just as with humans.

Keith Sketchley, Saanich