Letters to the Editor – March 2

Letter-writers take on burning, firefighters, the economy and pesticide use

Burning surveillance a waste of tax dollars

Each year I wait for the Environment Canada venting index to be the proper rating of “fair” or “good” which allows me to burn my accumulated yard waste.

And sadly each year I am descended on by Sooke Fire Rescue Services personnel taking photos over hedges, or municipal personnel hiding in their cars taking video and making notes.

This is while I am burning, on the allowed day, with the right fire dimensions and safety apparatus in place.

I understand prevention, but surely multiple agencies’ response to an allowed occurrence seems a waste of tax dollars.

Justin Ward, Sooke

 

Sooke firefighters take quick action

Kudos to the Sooke Fire Rescue Service for its quick response on Feb. 21.

Firefighters quickly arrived on scene when a blaze broke out just north of Arranwood Drive in the Woodland Creek area, where a collection of derelict buildings is located.

For the most part, only foundations, decayed outbuildings, and assorted wood debris are located there, but they’re clustered in a stand of wood and scrub brush near École Poirier Elementary School.

Even in wet conditions it seemed to me that there was good potential for the black, ugly fire to spread toward the school or even in the nearby neighborhood, some of which is still in the development stage. Can there be any doubt the fire was set by human hands?

John Campbell, Sooke

 

Door open to Sooke with economic group

Re: District and economic group won’t form new partnership (News, Feb. 17)

Sooke council recently announced the district’s withdrawal of support for the newly formed South Vancouver Island Economic Development Association.

We respect council’s decision, but question how the decision was made in the absence of any opportunity to discuss concerns.

We wish to present the facts.

SVIEDA is a regional forum for business collaboration. It remains committed to bringing together private and public sectors to help enhance and grow the regional economy and create more well-paying jobs that sustain families.

Contrary to claim “that 50 per cent of the board would have municipal representation,” there are no municipal representatives on the board.

As promised, the nine directors represent the business community. We are an experienced, industry-led board offering proven business expertise, and our specializations reflect divergent interests from across the South Island region.

The article also suggests that the City of Colwood may be reconsidering its participation. This is also untrue.

The vision for SVIEDA is to have the investment support of all 13 municipalities and the business community.  As we move forward today, we are proud to be working with 10 willing municipal partners, one First Nation community, one not-for-profit organization, all three regional post -secondary institutions, and 11 private sector enterprises and business associations.

The door will always be open for the District of Sooke, the City of Langford and the District of Metchosin to join us.

South Vancouver Island Economic Development Association Board of Directors

 

Pesticides a toxic mess in your garden

A letter on the perils of gardening with chemicals.

Pesticides have been around for 70 years, yet weeds, pests and diseases that attack plants have, if anything, become worse because they have become resistant to all these chemicals, much like the bacterial “super bugs” have become resistant to antibiotics (do we see a pattern here?).

This means you have to spray more often using more toxic chemicals every year. Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are responsible for adding extra estrogen-like chemicals to our bodies. Many cause gene mutations or are neuro (brain) toxins.

2,4-D, a weed killer found in many herbicides and lawn fertilizers, was a major component in Agent Orange, used to defoliate Vietnam 50 years ago and is still, three generations later, producing horrific birth defects.

Studies show this chemical is linked to increases in cancer, birth defects, reproductive difficulties, aggressive behaviour and nervous system damage.

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, once touted as safe because it kills bacteria, not humans, has been shown to be anything but.  As a killer of bacteria, it is deadly to the bacteria in the soil and in our gut.

Soil bacteria keep the soil free of pathogens such as e-coli and are necessary for the uptake of minerals into crops.

The bacteria that live in our gut keep us free of pathogens and facilitate uptake of our nutrients.

When you put these chemicals on your lawn, everyone, including pets, neighbors gathered for a barbecue and little children running around are exposing themselves to serious toxins. All it takes are minute amounts to disrupt the delicate balance of the body.

There are many non-toxic alternatives to pesticides and herbicides available and myriads of websites, books and farmers in the community that can teach us about them.

Not using household pesticides is a personal decision that can make a big difference in the increasingly heavy toxin burden faced by us all.

Jo Phillips, Otter Point

 

Bad karma coming to elk poachers

Canning was invented in 1810 making subsistence hunting a choice rather than a necessity, and a boon to agrarian societies who eventually evolved into information and technological societies.

Be warned poachers – trail cameras are now installed around Sandcut and Jacobs creek watersheds.

Enjoy the bad karma coming to you.

Brad Harris, Jordan River

 

Roundabout rules ignored

Drivers need to use their signals in the new Sooke roundabout.

Many times already I’ve had a  close call because people don’t understand the rules or don’t care.

An example? I’m going westbound straight though and another vehicle is going eastbound in the circle. My thought is that their going straight though as well (towards Victoria) because their not using a left signal.

Although they have the right of way in the roundabout I have no idea their intention is going into the village.

Basically, I shouldn’t have to stop if they don’t signal.

Rod Johnston, Sooke

 

Attacks on social media

Re: Reay lashes out at social media conduct (News, Feb. 24)

Congratulations are in order for acting mayor Kerrie Reay regarding the stand she took at the last council meeting concerning the vicious and unprovoked attacks directed at council in general and the acting mayor specifically through social media.

We are to assume that there was something sinister about the chief administrative officer appointing a former associate of hers to the new position director of corporate services, according to social media critics.

The critics should understand that good business practice dictates that you hire the best people available irrespective of whom they may or may not know.

But why would anyone assume that these shadowy critics know anything about business practices?

Sooke taxpayers were poorly served in the past as we all remember from the first few weeks of former mayor Wendal Milne’s term in office. Does anyone remember finance reports that did not add up or the missing cellphones?

It took close to three months with several meetings a week to straighten up Sooke’s finances.

Mayor Milne, to his credit, started the process of accountability and openness, however, he opted out of a second term in office and left it to Mayor Maja Tait’s administration to complete the process.

D.R. Matland, Sooke