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General · 14th December 2009
Jim Abram
Renewal

The snow flakes are falling outside my office window and building on the railing. I guess I will be out plowing snow tomorrow morning before dawn. It is so beautiful, yet causes such a worry for so many who need to be somewhere other than where they are. It is too bad we can't all just stay home and build snowmen/women and throw snowballs! I am reminded of these simple pleasures even more now that I have two wonderful little grand daughters to play with. The latest arrival was on Sept 20th at 3:54 a.m., weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces, named Cleo Isabella Winter, born to my daughter Melissa and her husband Dan. She joins her sister Kira in making my work as your representative even more meaningful. I am performing my duties for you and for the future. And the future is in the hands of our youth.

Stop!

How many of you have noticed the new stop sign at the bottom of the hill leading to the ferry? There has been a stop line there with painted words on the ground that have not been very effective. Now there is a stop sign. You will be hearing from the RCMP in a couple of informational pieces in the next two issues, explaining the rationale and the expectation regarding this stop sign. It is a REAL stop sign, meaning if you cruise through it, you may be ticketed!. I know it is an adjustment for me and I am sure it will be for you also, but it was done out of a need to control traffic from five competing directions all at the same time, especially at ferry loading and unloading times. So this is just a "heads up".. read what the RCMP have to tell you officially.

A real village!

Well, we have hired our consultant for the Quathiaski Cove Village project, which will begin in earnest in the new year. Preliminary meetings with staff and myself are to take place this week and a steering committee will be set up in the next few weeks. The end product will be a village that we can all make use of, possibly live in at some stage, and be very proud to show off to the rest of the province. I am not going to pre-empt the actual details of the project but will say that it will provide various housing types for all ages and levels of income, will make use of some of the most innovative ideas out there regarding sustainable living and will make use of whatever "green" technology can be worked into the project. It will create a very walkable community with the emphasis on green space and clustering of development. I think this will be a very exciting community exercise and will go through until the beginning of June 2010. We have one of the best consultants and his team working for us and they are primarily local residents! We will finally have what you have all been asking for: local professionals that understand the island lifestyle!

Scallops!

I am told by the planners that the application by the Cape Mudge Band for an 85 hectare scallop farm off of the east side of Quadra Island at the southern boundary of Rebecca Spit, will be coming before the Electoral Area Services Committee at its early January meeting (probably Jan. 6th at 9:30 a.m. at the SRD offices). We will receive a staff report at that time and see where it goes from there.

Ferry tours of Quadra Island!

That is what one might term part of the proposal by the BC Ferry Services for the closure of the ferry terminal in Quathiaski Cove in the spring around spring break time. I say this partly in jest. The ferry service will need to close the terminal for up to 5 days to replace the ramp and approach way from the small waiting booth to the end. They figured this was the best way to finally fix that god-awful pot hole that plagues us annually near the end of the approach on the south side! (ok.. i exaggerate...). The new structures are being fabricated and refurbished in Victoria and will be brought here in modular form to install during those five days. Water taxi service will be provided for foot passengers on a shuttle basis. Now, back to the island tours... the other part of their plan includes taking the Powell River Queen to the Heriot Bay dock for two round trips per day for vehicle traffic! This will probably be for mostly commercial traffic to get goods on and off the island. But first they need to get Transport Canada certification to go around Cape Mudge. I wish them luck on having that in order by April! The trip will take about one and one half hours ONE WAY. So, my advice to you is to try to plan that week with as little to do with the ferry system as possible. I have suggested that they allow the use of their secure parking area in CR for those people that may need to leave a car in CR and take the water taxi. They have not committed to that at this time. More on this to follow. There will be public announcements by BCFS and possibly a public meeting. Stay tuned!

Road warriors

I would like to make special mention of the guys at Emcon for their fantastic level of service during the last 24 hours of heavy snowfall. I was on the road late at night and extremely early in the morning and they were out there plowing snow and keeping up with the downfall of snow. My sincere thanks to David, Hugh and Doug for all of their hard work and long hours. Keep up the good work!

And then there were the holidays...

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all of their support and for all of their hard work as community volunteers over the past year. I would also like to wish each and every one of you the absolute best of the season and a very productive, healthy and safe new year. Be good to yourselves and to others!

Okay... that is about all the energy that I have at this time. It feels great to be back to work, and I should be up to full steam by the new year. Feel free to call me between the hours of 8:30 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday (not on weekends, folks!) at 285-3355, or you can fax me at 285-3533 or you can email me anytime at abramfamoberon.ark.com , or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0... Lots of choices.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Abram
Director, Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets (Area C), SRD