Bowen this week: May 22

What happened on Bowen this week and what's coming up: a crash at the dock, the marine atlas launches and Woodfibre extension recommendation comes back to council

It’s not even Juneunary yet: The Environment Canada forecast may dampen the ambitions of Howe Sound gardeners this weekend. Rain’s forecasted for Saturday evening and Sunday with highs of 17 and 20.

Environment Canada 7-day forecast for Squamish.
Environment Canada 7-day forecast for Squamish. - Environment Canada

Looking over the past week:

It was a dramatic afternoon in Snug Cove Tuesday after a local man apparently lost consciousness while driving, causing his vehicle to speed down Trunk Rd. and smash into a hydro pole at the Snug Cove Dock. The driver walked away from the incident and no bystanders were injured. The accident affected four hydro poles including those of Bowen Island Marina and BC Ferries. Power was out on the pier for at least a day and for the ferry ramp for a couple of days, causing delays in ferry sailings as the Queen of Capilano had to use ship-to-shore power. During the event BIM used its BowENS system, texting and calling phones signed up for the service. Those on Bowen who didn’t receive a notification can subscribe here.

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Businesses are starting to reopen: It’s the first week of the province’s phase two restart plan, which allows for some non-essential businesses and organizations to open, provided they adhere to physical distancing, cleaning and other COVID prevention guidelines. See how Bowen businesses are testing the waters of the new normal here. If you know of changes to businesses’ statuses, please email editor@bowenislandundercurrent.com.

Coming to a neighbourhood near you: Bowen’s Neighbourhood Emergency Response Program (NERP) is setting up kiosks in several Bowen neighbourhoods to allow for old-school communication. While they’ll start out as notice boards, NERP hopes to eventually add storage for first aid kits, AEDs and even charging stations.

Property tax notices: BIM says they’ll be mailed out in the last week of May and are due by July 2.

BIM also says that Westside Playscape is closed due to active construction in the area.

From the Emergency Operations Centre May 22 update:

While the EOC is still in place, Mayor Gary Ander said in his video update that only a few staff are currently involved with it.

This week’s update focussed on BIM’s restart plan. Highlights of BIM’s phase 2 plan include:

  • Snug Cove Wharf opens
  • Firehall access and limited firefighter training and practices restored with enhanced protocols
  • Potential for limited access to library for public computer use only
  • No use of volunteers at the library
  • Council, committee, public hearing and open house meetings remain online
  • Municipal Hall open by appointment only
  • Remote work for half of BIM’s staff
  • Bylaw parking enforcement resumes
  • Community Recreation altering events (eg. Canada Day) and in-person programming outside only

The current phase three plan, set for June through Sept. if the curve stays flattened allows for BIM’s facilities to reopen and kids camps to go ahead.

Coming up:

The marine atlas launch is Sunday at 7 p.m. To join the virtual celebration, email Susan Munro at susanmunro@shaw.ca.

 

The Hearth is hosting Paul Deggan is giving a live online presentation about his pastel drawings, Spirit of Bowen Woods in the time of COVID, hosted by the Hearth. See more information here.

Below is Tristan Deggan’s gorgeous short film of his father drawing in the woods.

 

Bowen’s got talent: the Bowen Island Legion is hosting a virtual talent show over the next few weeks. There’s piano playing, poetry, singing and more.

 

Firesmart: the pandemic may be at the top of our minds but forest fire season is coming up quickly. BIM is offering a free online workshop May 27 to help islanders learn how to protect their homes.

The week ahead:

The regular council meeting May 25 has a jam-packed agenda. Among the recommendations coming to council this week are:

  • Second and third readings of a speed regulation bylaw. Community planner Emma Chow has clarified that the intent of the bylaw is to reflect the currently posted speed limits on Bowen and make them enforceable. This iteration has several amendments from the speed limits of the April 27 meeting
  • Issuing the island’s first heritage alteration permit
  • Reviewing Woodfibre LNG’s environmental assessment certificate extension application. At least 15 islanders wrote in asking that BIM recommend against the province extending the certificate.
  • Second readings of rezoning bylaws for 720 Gardner Lane (Nectar Yoga B&B) to allow it to operate as a retreat centre.
  • Second readings of short term rental bylaws to regulate the local industry
  • Fire department core services review implementation plan
  • That council request Islands Trust support BIM “in its efforts to oppose any recreational use of motorized vehicles on Mount Gardner Crown Lands on Bowen Island.”

Also, BIM’s new chief administrative officer Liam Edwards is scheduled to start next Tuesday, replacing interim CAO Dennis Back.

Outdoors: 

For our cetacea: Di Izdebski and Bob Turner remind islanders to always be on the lookout for whales while out on the water, “if you see a blow, go slow!”

Below: Adam Taylor’s video of an orca breaching.

 

Local gardeners have started a "plant it forward" campaign.

“Plant it Forward” is a community project aimed at making vegetable gardening more accessible to Bowen Islanders," says Jillian Rushton. "We’ll be distributing seed starting kits to those that need them. The kits will include easy-to-grow seeds (three vegetables and one edible flower) and instructions for how to get started."

This week's Ron Woodall cartoon:

Two goldfish in bowls looking at one another
Source: Ron Woodall

For something completely different, one of our sister papers, the North Shore News, published this long-read story from Grant Lawrence about the closing of West Vancouver's Squarerigger Pub. It's quite the read! 

That's it for this week! What would you like to see in next week's update? Let me know: editor@bowenislandundercurrent.com.

Bronwyn Beairsto, Editor

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent

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