Bowen this week: on-island testing, CAWES' 20th anniversary and 500 daffodils

Here's what's happened on Bowen this week

Here's a roundup of news on Bowen, though this week we start a little wider -- with warnings from federal and provincial leaders of what's to come should the curve not bend back down,

We’re heading into our second week of no socializing with folks outside of our 'core bubble.' Friday’s update from B.C.'s provincial health officer saw 617 new cases and 167 people in hospital.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that the federal government could face some “impossible decisions” in allocating resources should Canada’s COVID curve not bend back down in his press briefing Friday. B.C. Premier John Horgan said last Monday that the province could face lockdown if British Columbians don’t follow social gathering regulations. Strict Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health-specific public health orders are in place until noon Nov. 23. These orders include no indoor or outdoor gatherings except with your ‘core bubble’ (that’s different from your ‘safe six’). See more here.

Up to the end of October, there had been 206 cases in the West Vancouver local health area (which includes Bowen Island). 

Masks mandatory at local grocery stores

Nancy Lee, general manager of the Snug Cove General Store, announced on Facebook Friday that it’s now mandatory to wear masks or face shields in the store. Wednesday, Lee had posted a reminder for patrons to, “refrain from chatting inside the store, stay six feet apart, wear a mask, only bring your children if you can not find someone to care for them.” Store capacity is six. Masks are mandatory at several other local businesses including the Ruddy Potato and the Beer and Wine Cellar. Dr. Bonnie Henry said last month that it’s now her “expectation” that people wear masks in indoor public places.

Businesses adapting

With the new indoor group exercise restrictions in place, several businesses are shifting to accomodate the temporary restrictions. Kelly Konno Studio and the Well have gone online, while Bowen Island Community Recreation has cancelled its indoor and afterschool programming. The Outdoor Meditation Circle cancelled its gatherings while the orders are in place.

Other Bowen businesses are adapting to what’s sure to be a different Christmas season. Catching Stars Gallery launched its e-commerce site:

“Just last May when we were in lockdown, we were contacted by a customer on Vancouver Island who wanted to send a gift to her Bowen Island mother and we were thrilled to give her a virtual tour, gift wrap and hand deliver the specially chosen item to her for Mother’s Day,” said store owners in a press release. “The recipient was so touched and this simple pleasure that made her day is what sparked our idea of having an online store during these difficult times.”

The purchase sparked the idea of an online store and with Lower Mainland residents being told to par back their interactions, now was the perfect time to launch. The physical store remains open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Hearth announced Thursday that it is postponing the December Art Market. The Gallery and gift shop are staying open as long as they’re allowed, featuring a variety of artists.

Rainy days

It may be just as well for islanders to stay inside for the next few days as the seven-day forecast calls for rain with highs of 7°C and lows of 3°Cor 4°C. 

Environment Canada's seven-day forecast for Squamish
Environment Canada's seven-day forecast for Squamish - Environment Canada

In BIM news

Testing: BIM will work with local doctor Dr. Susanne Schloegl to see about getting COVID-19 testing on Bowen Island. Possible funding streams for such a service include the B.I. Community Foundation and the B.I. Health Centre Foundation. Councillors also voiced interest in having some of the $1.27 million relief funding BIM is getting from the province put toward COVID-19 testing.

Main flushing: Islanders near the cove have already noticed low water pressure Saturday. The muni is doing water main flushing for the next six to eight weeks. “This procedure is necessary to remove sediment that gradually deposits in pipes, and does not pose a health hazard,” BIM explained in its weekly newsletter. Most flushing will take place between Monday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Temporary water interruptions are possible, as is low water pressure but water won’t be turned off. Some turbidity and higher than normal chlorine concentration is also possible, which running the tap briefly can solve.

Water systems' committee meetings: All of the municipal water systems’ local advisory committee meetings have been postponed until December, BIM said in its weekly newsletter. The muni encourages municipal water system users to contact their LACs with any concerns before these meetings.

Happy birthday CAWES

Coast Animal Welfare Education Society (CAWES) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The local non-profit marked the occasion with a special presentation with BIM Saturday afternoon.

“Over the 20 years, CAWES has rescued hundreds of cats, some dogs, some birds and even rabbits that have been discarded in some way or another,” the society’s new (and first) executive director, Kim Sinclair explained. “We’ve trapped numerous feral cats and had them spayed or neutered to help control the stray cat population on the island.”

Sinclair also paid tribute to two women who were instrumental in building CAWES who have both since died:  Iris Carr and Rosalee Parish

On behalf of the municipality, BIM’s manager of environment Bonny Brokenshire thanked CAWES for all of its work.

That’s so Bowen

Outdoor explorations: When the pandemic hit, Emily van Lidth de Jeude had to shut down her business but she found another path to helping islanders explore the extraordinary at our doorsteps. Here’s the story behind Outdoor Exploration with Emily, a weekly YouTube series.

500 daffodils: Several dedicated Knick Knack Nook volunteers have died in recent years so the local non-profit decided to build a memorial garden in their honour. The Garden Club and Memorial Garden Society decided to contribute as well so that come spring, 500 daffodils will emerge in the BIRD yard.

The skunk, the honeybee and the hole in our staircase: the cycle of life plays out in Jacqueline Bell-Irving’s yard.

Remembrance Day

Wednesday was Remembrance Day. Instead of the usually very populous ceremony, Tristan Deggan pre-taped the Legion’s ceremony and released it at midday.

Another anniversary to celebrate

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Union Steamship’s relationship with Bowen this year. The 2020 phonebook has a wonderful story from Jody Lorenz and there had been community plans for an anniversary celebration but COVID interfered. Not to let the year pass without the newspaper doing something, Hans-Christian Behm and I are working on a Union Steamship 100th anniversary edition for the first week of December. For this edition we would love your stories, memories and photos of the era (or your parents’, grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ stories!) Our deadline is Nov. 30. Email 

The cartoon

A bunch of people standing around in hoodies with Howe Sound in the background
Source: Ron Woodall

That's it for this week. What did we miss? Email me: 

Bronwyn Beairsto, editor

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


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