- Our Town
New Year’s Gripe
I walked into this New Year carrying with me the belief that optimism is essential, and whining is not just annoying, but also shows a lack of appreciation. Not everyone can wake up at 4:45am with a toddler smashing them in the forehead and know that they are lucky. I do… three hours and a pot of coffee later. Having an office and a really good excuse to go there is another blessing.
In any case, I’m going to diverge from my commitment to positivity in order to put things into context.
We have a lot of things to be grateful for here on Bowen: multiple three-generation families in one place, clear night skies… I could go on and on.
We also have a lot to work on: local businesses have to fight hard to keep afloat, as do lots of families, and single people, and seniors, in the face of rising ferry costs, fewer ferry sailings, etc.
Now to put things in context, let’s remember that we’re not alone. There are island problems (largely ferry related) and then there are the things that just go with being here, now. We live, right next door, to the second-most unaffordable housing market IN THE WORLD.
Is it any wonder that the pressure of that spill over onto us?
If you google this statistic, you’ll find a lot of articles quoting economists saying that exceedingly expensive housing prices are bad for economies. The cost of buying a home on Bowen is significantly lower then in Vancouver (which is a small part of the reason my husband and I bought here), and it seems to be a common gripe that prices are low. The reality is, they are only low compared to our utterly ridiculous neighbours, but while we are separated by salty water, our problems, big picture, are shared.
Now let me gripe about work, and business and keeping our heads above water.
The Undercurrent, as I see it, is a community service. It’s a place where you can find out what happened at the last council meeting without having to sit through a three-hour video (although I am astonished and impressed by how many people on this island are actually willing to do just that.) It’s also, as it happens, a business, and one that pays just enough for me to justify me skipping out on domestic chores and taking care of Bam-Bam. I also, apparently get benefits, and when they kick-in it will be the first benefits I’ve had in a decade I’ve spent in the “grown-up” workforce.
I’m not asking anyone to care about either of these facts, but if you appreciate the service, recognize the fact that the Undercurrent is also a business. Despite the woderful world of the web, I know that people still count on this newspaper as a source of information. I know because you tell me. Sometimes a conversation at the General Store leaves me baffled at how well you pay attention.
We’ve got new owners now, and they’re promising all this fancy digital stuff to tack-on to online ads, and access to a broader market. Maureen made a great pitch for these offerings at this week’s EDC tourism meeting, come and talk to her about it.
So, if you think it might be worthwhile printing an article in the Undercurrent, it might also be worthwhile running an ad. If you don’t have anything to promote or advertise, write a letter to the editor and tell me what you think. I want to hear from you, in print!
If not, that’s cool… we can all go back to Facebook and I’ll sit on my favourite rock, singing the corporate-social-media-home’s too expensive blues.