A late May, 2017 update …
1. Our working group Zero Waste Sooke is hosting its first Repair Cafe this Saturday, May 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. downstairs at the Sooke Community Hall. Bring your malfunctioning items to volunteer fixers at the wood, small appliance, small engine and fabric/clothing work stations. Also on the day’s agenda: A bike repair clinic, 3D printer demo, kombucha-making session and, for the kids, safe and easy bat-house building workshops. Bring a plain t-shirt and have it silk-screened with co-organizer Bernie Klassen’s “DIY Or Die” logo. Full details on the ZWS website and Facebook event pages. Free or by small donation. (This event is operating under license with the Repair Cafe Foundation. Thanks to the District of Sooke for funding support.
Transition Sooke is honoured to present a first-time visit to Sooke by Starhawk, the renowned author, activist and permaculture designer who was again recently cited as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People by Watkins Mind Body Spirit – Magazine.
We’ll welcome her to the Sooke Community Hall on Monday, May 8 for a talk that will start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets at $15 each are available through Eventbrite. (Note: We’ve relocated the evening from the Sooke Harbour House to ensure that all who wish to attend can do so.)
The night’s theme as Starhawk describes it: “In challenging times, people seek structure and belonging. How do we build a movement that offers both while also leading toward a world of justice, balance and liberation?” She will address this critical question by showing how we can respond to the urgent challenges of our day in sane, sustainable, compassionate fashion.
Starhawk brings social justice, care of the earth and spirituality to a vision of how our societies can function for the benefit of all. She is the author of thirteen books on such topics as Goddess religion, earth-based spirituality, group dynamics and social permaculture, among them The Spiral Dance, The Earth Path, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, and the novels The Fifth Sacred Thing and its follow-up City of Refuge.
Through her organization Earth Activist Training (EAT), Starhawk directs courses in permaculture and regenerative design grounded in earth-based spirituality and with a focus on organizing and activism. She’s making time for a Sooke getaway in the midst of an O.U.R. Ecovillage permaculture design certificate course she is leading over the next fortnight at Shawnigan Lake.
We’ve joined with the Sooke Chamber of Commerce, the Sooke Region Tourism Association and the Sooke Region Museum to present a series of pre-election events in Sooke ahead of the provincial general election on May 9.
Following a Government 101 info session last week, the series continues this Thursday morning (7 to 9 a.m.) downstairs at the Community Hall as an Elections BC representative discusses the hows, whys and wheres of making your vote count. A complimentary breakfast will be served by Sooke Women in Business.
The Langford-Juan de Fuca riding‘s one Sooke all-candidates debate is set for 7 p.m. on Tues., April 25 at the Prestige Hotel. Advance questions in writing can be submitted online here. Rotarian (and former owner of Otter Point’s Malahat Farm) David Stocks will again be in town to reprise his role as the debate MC. Questions are also welcome from the floor over the course of the two-hour debate.
Our working group Zero Waste Sooke is organizing a community spring clean of roadsides, ditches, green spaces and playgrounds on the morning and early afternoon of Earth Day 2017 — Saturday, April 22. Please email email@example.com if you’d like to volunteer for an hour or more as part a neighbourhood litter-busting team. Gloves and bags will be supplied.
This is a family friendly event and kids can get busy with special litter scavenger hunts created in the spirit of this year’s Earth Day theme, namely “Earth Play,” a call for everyone to unplug and enjoy outdoor activities. A fantastic way to show that, as individuals and as a community, we care about our home and native environment. H/T to the District of Sooke and the CRD for funding support.
Learn more at the ZWS Facebook page.
* Volunteers and neighbourhood captains in the Sooke region are wanted for a Zero Waste Sooke street clean-up on Earth Day ~ Saturday, April 22. Gloves and bags will be supplied, and local pick-up spots will be arranged. Please let us know via email if you can help! PS Our thanks to Mayor Tait and councillors Berger, Logins and Reay for approving a ZWS community grant request last week that will partially cover our costs for the clean-up as well as two Sooke Repair Cafes this year and a summer workshop by the Victoria Compost Education Centre.
* After 13 years in print, the Rural Observer has gone digital in style starting with this month’s edition. Editor Terri Alcock invites her Sooke region readers to subscribe online and receive interactive e-book versions. Annual ($20) or lifetime ($100) memberships with the Juan de Fuca Rural Publication Society will help keep the new issues flowing. An essential read and service for all who care about this region’s rural character and natural beauty.
* Juan de Fuca Forest Watch meets again on Tuesday (March 28), 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ed Macgregor Park bandshell. “Lots to discuss, including timely reports of local forestry operations, proposed campaigns and more,” notes Darren Alexander. “Please consider bringing a guest or two. Pitch in $5 and we’ll order pizza.”
* Awareness Film Night and Sooke Region Food CHI present the 7th annual Farm and Film Gala on Wednesday, April 12th. Doors at EMCS open at 6:30 for “stocking up, browsing and noshing in the theatre foyer,” says AFN’s Jo Phillips. The feature presentation Seed:The Untold Story will start at 7:45 and the evening will conclude with gift basket draws at 9:20.
* All are welcome to local food potlucks every Sunday evening hosted by Everything Edible Landscaping‘s Jonathan Francoeur and friends at 6411 Sooke Road. “Bring some food or come ready to learn what you can make for next time,” says Jonathan. “Dine and dash, or stay and socialize.”
* Site C campaigners Janet and Steve Gray from Kairos Canada invite participants to one or more of their ‘No Site C Banner Waves’ in the Greater Victoria region. “We only go out in nice weather. Hope to see you soon!” Learn more here.
* Lights on: Instant BC Hydro rebates at Sooke Home Hardware and elsewhere for select LED bulbs, lighting fixtures and controls until April 13.
* Save the Date: Creatively United for the Planet Festival, April 22 at the Royal BC Museum
* Bookmark these pages for ongoing coverage of the BC Election on May 9 (just 47 days from now)
Other essential links:
Finally, some highlights from our Facebook page, offered for those immune to the debatable charms of social media …
– Staying sane in (confirmation bias) insane times
– More evidence of why former federal Environment Minister David Anderson told a Sooke audience last week that global warming is the defining issue of our day
– Good neighbours: Companion planting guide (shared from the Sooke Food CHI FB page)
– The art of public engagement: A set of storyboards from the recent Local BC Government Leadership Academy
News and upcoming events (in lieu of our newsletter, see final item below)
* We elected the TS 2017 Board of Directors at our sixth AGM on Feb. 17: Paivi Abernathy, Jeff Bateman, Martin Bissig, Stephen Hindrichs, Andrew Moore, Wendy O’Connor, Jo Phillips and Michael Tacon. Sincere thanks to all for either joining the board for the first time (Paivi, Jo and Wendy) or carrying on for another year (everyone else). Jeff will continue as President and Michael has been succeeded as treasurer by Martin. Also, appreciation to our departing board members: Sofie Hagens (stepping down after five years), Kara Middleton and Tony St-Pierre (who’s taking a hiatus to focus on the hard work of homesteading at Cast Iron Farm). They join a TS board alumnus that also includes Darren Alexander, Blake Barton, John Boquist, Yves Boudreau, Yvonne Court, Margaret Critchlow and Mark Ziegler.
* Presenting the top five finishers in the Dotmocracy vote that AGM attendees and all on our email list had the opportunity to vote on. It has helped us determine priorities for the year ahead: 1. Our second Sooke Ecohome Tour (scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 14); 2. A community building workshop series (i.e. Non-Violent Communications, conflict resolution, consensus training, etc.); 3. Speakers’ series; 4. Reskilling workshops; 5. A think-tank/strategy session/Pro D day with other Sooke community groups. We’ll also be promoting Streetbank Sooke more intensively, have plans for a fourth annual TS summer potluck picnic in August, and will be looking at co-hosting a family cycling event in the early fall, perhaps in association with the international CycleHack weekend in September.
* Thanks to the 22 individuals from all walks of spiritual (large and small ‘s’) life locally who attended a March 4 exploratory meeting about a possible new TS multi-belief working group. It has arisen from a suggestion made by Don Brown (Baha’i Community of Sooke) at the Sooke Region Health Summit last spring. TS shapes up as a good potential host given its society status and the fact that the “inner transition” (which posits that real change begins within) is a central part of Transition Network founder Rob Hopkins’ guiding philosophy for the movement. The T’Sou-ke Nation‘s Shirley Alponse and Sooke Mayor Maja Tait gave opening addresses, then the group got busy brainstorming about shared values and potential collaborative actions. Stay tuned for more.
* How safe are our school zones for young pedestrians and cyclists? HASTe (Hub for Active School Travel) has organized two local exploratory walkabouts this month — the first was on Tuesday morning at Journey Middle School; and the second on Thursday, March 16 ((8:15 sharp to 9:45) at the neighbouring Ecole Poirier Elementary. “Anyone invested in active & safe transportation is welcome to join us,” says Ebony Logins, HASTe’s School Travel Planning Facilitator. “Please bring a co-worker or friend.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
* Our Zero Waste Sooke working group is planning a few events in the months ahead: A roadside clean-up of various neighbourhoods around town to coincide with Earth Day on Saturday, April 22; and our town’s first Repair Cafe on a TBA weekend in May at the EMCS Society‘s new Makerspace. Details to come when firmed up and finalized.
* Tonight’s Awareness Film Night (March 8) presentation is Toad People with all proceeds going to the Wilderness Committee. The film documents grassroots efforts in BC to save the western toad … essential citizen actions given the lack of endangered species legislation in British Columbia. (MLA Andrew Weaver introduced long-overdue draft legislation in Victoria last week.) As Jo Phillips notes: “This is a film suitable for children, as long as they don’t mind the occasional shot of a toad killed by a vehicle. But there are lots of children in the film busily saving species at risk.” EMCS, 7 p.m. By donation.
* The Sooke team of Dogwood BC presents “Tankers, Pipelines & Dogwood: What Now? What Next,” an info night on Wednesday, March 15th, 7 p.m. at the St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. Featured speakers will be Dogwood’s founding director Will Horter and former federal Environment Minister David Anderson. Dogwood communications coordinator Charles Campbell will outline next steps, notably a canvassing drive for a 90-day HST-style citizen’s action to stop the Kinder Morgan TMX pipeline expansion under BC’s Recall and Initative Act. Learn more at the Facebook event page, and RSVP here if you’re planning to attend.
* Work has begun on the community food garden at the Sooke Baptist Church on the West Coast Road across from Woodside Farm. All food grown there is earmarked for the Sooke Food Bank and needy families in the region. Foundational work crews are meeting for the next two Saturdays, and help is needed on a variety of fronts. Contact Bernie via email to learn more. Among other things, donations are welcomed for the $600 worth of soil needed for the garden.
* One of Sofie Hagens’ many contributions to TS was our colourful, informative newsletter. In her absence, we are seeking a volunteer designer who can take on the task of translating supplied material into an attractive, reader-friendly newsletter. If you’ve got time, interest and some comfort around designing e-newsletters (we’ve used a MailChimp template to date), please send us an email and we’ll be in touch.