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Transition Sooke July 2015 Newsletter
Newsletter July 2013
For a calendar of events visit the Sooke Region Resources website

* July 29, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: The future of library services in Sooke, a presentation by the Vancouver Island Regional Library at the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre, 6672 Wadams Way

* July 31st, 7 p.m.: Film night screening the documentary "Being Caribou", Metchosin Community House (4430 Happy Vally Road)
 
August 1st: Juan de Fuca Marine Trail hike from Parkinson’s Cove To Botanical Beach

* 'Til August 3rd: Sooke Fine Arts Show at SEAPARC

* August 8th, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Zero Waste Sooke's Ted Mehler is joined by a representative from the Victoria Compost Education Centre at the Sooke Country Market


August 8th: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Parks and Recreation hike to Mt Manual Quimper

* August 8th, 1 p.m. - 8 p.m.: Inspired Living Festival, fundraiser for the Sooke Therapeutic Yoga Society at Ed McGregor Park

August 9th, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Transitions Sooke's Reskilling Share Fair and Community Picnic at Inishoge Farm. It promises to be a GREAT day! 

* August 23rd, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Sooke Potholes hike with a CRD guide

* September 12th and 13th: Sooke Fall Fair

Ongoing: 

* Play in the Park, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (drop-in): active games, sports and crafts, free for ages 8 - 12
Mondays and Wednesdays: SEAPARC
Tuesday and Thursdays: Broomhill Park

* Tuesdays July  - September, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Coffee, tea and dainties along with a good chat at St Paul de Vincent Society, Sooke Hope Centre, 3rd floor (Social Concern Office), free

First Wednesday of the month, 6:30 to 8 p.m.: Sooke Writers' Collective meets at the library.

* Wednesdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.: gardening at the community plot at Sunriver Gardens. 

* Thursdays, 5 - 8 p.m.: Country Market at the Visitor Centre

Fridays 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.: Sacred Chant [Voluntary Donation] with Phil (Tâm) at Sooke Yoga and Wellness (Hope Centre)

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Sooke Country Market. Otter Point Road at Eustace Road

* Second Saturday: Guided hikes with the JDF Community Trails Society

* Fourth Saturday, 2pm: gathering for Permaculture Sooke at Cast Iron Farm​. Contact Tony with any questions, at (250) 642-5445.

* Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Shirley Country Market at Pioneer Park

Sundays 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.: Mindfulness & Meditation with Phil (Tâm) at Sooke Yoga and Wellness (Hope Centre)
All Candidates Debate September 16th at EMCS
All systems are go for the federal candidates debate on climate change and related issues that we're presenting with the Dogwood Initiative and the BC Sustainable Energy Association on Sept. 16 at EMCS. Randall Garrison, Frances Litman and David Merner have confirmed, and we await word from Shari Lukens. Mayor Maja Tait will moderate (and hearty congratulations to Maja and her husband Alex on that happy news that their first child is due in December). 
Clean and Glean Blitz, October 3rd
Volunteer Victoria and the University of Victoria's Project Serve have given us the thumbs up for our idea of a "Clean and Glean" blitz in Sooke on Saturday, Oct. 3. Ten UVic students will bus out to Sooke to join us for a roadside clean-up and fruit-tree gleaning activities. Zero Waste Sooke and Sooke Region Food CHI are joining us in this initiative.

Free Online Course

Introduction to Sustainable Development presented by Jeffrey Sachs, senior UN advisor and professor at Columbia University.
 Reskilling Share Fair & Community Picnic @ Inishoge Farm, Sunday, Aug. 9 

Eager to develop some useful news skills -- tool sharpening, fruit-tree pruning, small-machine maintenance, alternative health care and meditation techniques included? Care to share your own practical know-how with others? Ready to enjoy a potluck picnic with family, friends and new acquaintances in the idyllic setting of Sooke's Inishoge Farm? 
  
 Everyone's welcome to Transition Sooke's Reskilling Share Fair & Community Potluck Picnic, Sunday, Aug. 9th at Steve Unger and Mary Coll's lovely Helgeson Road property. The family friendly day will feature a series of mini reskilling workshops (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) followed by a potluck lunch in the farm's apple orchard starting at 1:15 p.m.  We'll fold up the picnic blankets and head home by 4 p.m. 

    If they choose, picnic attendees are invited to share their own essential tips and tricks on any subject they like in the afternoon, be it seed saving, water conservation, vegetable fermentation, cloth repair, laughaloud jokes, wood carving, sock darning, storytelling ... you name it.  Please pack in whatever's needed for demonstration purposes and expect to learn some new skills of your own. 

    As the day winds down, Transition's Andrew Moore will distribute his array of percussion instruments and noisemakers before leading a drum and dance circle - a highlight of last year's first Transition Sooke summer picnic at Inishoge. 

    Admission is free or by small donation to help cover our costs. Bring a dish to share, your own cups, plates and utensils, and whatever you need to enjoy quality time in the meadow. This is both a Zero Waste (i.e., take home whatever you bring) and alcohol-free family event. Parking is limited on site. We're suggesting everyone walk, ride a bike or park along Otter Point Road near Helgeson. 

    For more information on our scheduled mini-workshops and picnic protocols, please watch for details at www.transitionsooke.org. 
 
Climate Change Doubleheader

Transition Sooke's presentation at the St. Rose of Lima Church on July 22 was a textbook example of think global/act local. Some 80 people attended, including Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison and Green Party candidate Frances Litman. 

    Parvez Kumar, the retired aerospace engineer who's recognized as one of the pioneers of the Canadian space program, provided the big-picture perspective. Using up-to-the-minute satellite photos from sites like this and this, Dr. Kumar documented one example after the next of drought, deforestation, melting icepacks, extreme weather and soaring temperatures. He argued that recent promises by Prime Minister Harper and the G7 are "pure rhetoric." Urgent action is needed now, he said, but he fears greed is blinding government, the private sector and society-at-large to the reality of a planet in crisis. 

    The evening's "act local" second half featured the Sooke Farmland Trust's Mary Coll and Transition board member Mark Ziegler, a former federal government economist with Agriculture Canada and the National Climate Change Secretariat. Mary and Mark are both involved in the newly created Sooke Region Food Security Steering Committee, a multi-stakeholder initiative of TS with the Farmland Trust that also includes individuals affiliated with Sooke Region Food CHI and the Sooke Chamber of Commerce. 

    Inishoge Farm's Mary began by making an eloquent case for creating a "vibrant, intact, managed, protected and coordinated" regional foodshed that makes us less vulnerable to shortages and price hikes in our imported food supplies (75 percent of which arrive from drought-stricken California).

Mark followed with a preliminary estimate of how the local economy could benefit from enhanced food security (i.e., net gains of as much as $1 million annually by 2020). Better utilization of District ALR lands, more farmers with long-term affordable leases and the creation of "supply chain" ventures (such as cooperatives, cold storage facilities and irrigation networks) are all part of a realistic, achievable vision. 

    Stay tuned for more news from the Food Security Steering Committee coordinators Christine Bossi and Martin Bissig.
Climate Change – A Little Good News and Some Bad News

The intensity of global carbon dioxide emissions, the amount of carbon dioxide released per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), decreased in 2014.  Overall, emissions remained the same as for the previous year but for the first time in modern history the production of a higher volume of goods and services did not result in a higher level of carbon dioxide emissions.   

Much of the credit for this reduction in emissions intensity should go to China, the world’s single largest emitter, which is undergoing a shift from coal to renewable energy sources.  Its economy grew by nearly 4% in 2014 while its carbon dioxide emissions declined by 2%.

That’s the good news but now the bad news: In March of this year (2015) atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) at 40 measuring stations around the world for the first time in human history.  This threshold is important in terms of a “ramp up” effect on sea levels, extreme weather events and wild fires.

Dr. James Hanson, a former NASA climatologist, is calling for a reduction of the global atmospheric concentration to at most 350 ppm.  The transition from reliance on fossil fuels to greater use of renewable energy will be critical to achieving this target, together with improved energy efficiency and wider adoption of sustainable farming practices.   
 
Wild Wise Sooke Update

This summer, there are many sightings of bears reported in the Sooke area.  In just one day Debbie Read received over 15 emails with reported bear sightings.

“The reports are from all over Sooke,” said Read of the emails.  We encourage people to call in a sighting so we can educate people about why the bear is in their yard and also so we know where the bears are.   

Read works with Wild Wise Sooke and tries to educate people on what they can do to decrease bear and human conflicts. 
“We’re getting calls because people are not managing their attractants, mostly garbage,” she said. “It’s a people problem, not a bear problem.”

Attractants such as garbage, fruit trees, windfalls and bird feeders are all picked up by a bear’s great sense of smell. Read said bears can smell garbage from as far away as two miles. They have found easy pickings in apartment buildings and places where easily opened blue bins are found, garbage left outside or on the street. 

Bears are motivated by food and once they have found a food source they are protective of it and that is where the human/bear conflict can arise.

The sad thing about bears and humans is that the human usually wins. Bears are not easy to relocate as they will often not survive and it is not a good option. So, many times they are destroyed as nuisance bears.

“It’s not a positive situation,” said Read.  We have already seen garbage habituated bears having to be destroyed in Sooke ... Because of  garbage!  ...  “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

Wild Wise Sooke has a facebook page, where one can look to see educational tips and where bears have been sighted: 
      
 Email Debb Read -Wild Wise Sooke-Community Coordinator   
Wild Wise Sooke’s website has now been launched. It’s been designed by the Sooke Youth Council’s Kayla Curtis and is packed full with essential tips and info.
Transition Sooke Overview

Check out Jeff Bateman's article on page 6/7 of the July edition of the Rural Observer for an overview of our first four years as a society and our 2015 activities. 
Social Media Highlight

RIP Maywell Wickheim 

* Repairing our broken economy through Community Wealth Building

* The BC Government wants your input via this online survey as it develops a Climate Leadership Plan (deadline: Aug. 17) 

* To change the way we buy our food go to the Good Food Chain

* The District of Sooke's 2015 Annual Report 

* Now that the BC legislative assembly has passed the Liquefied Natural Gas Project Agreements Act, let's hope MLAs remind themselves about how Destination BC is marketing Super, Natural British Columbia with clips like this 

* Dear District Of Sooke, time to get with the program. Expect a Transition delegation about pesticide free Sooke to be knocking at council's door in the months ahead ... 

* Time (as always) to start planting ahead...  Winter gardening dates

Pope Francis urges the UN to take strong action on climate change

* "Few young activists today can believe BC was once a world leader in forest ecology, biodiversity, climate change, and best practices for public consultation." - Briony Penn
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