Well, one all candidates is done. Speaking last was the distinct advantage of getting to listen to everybody else, but you do get to stew in your own nervousness for over 20 minutes while everybody else talks. Jason Ross of ModernDemocracy.ca was there again with his video cameras, which was excellent, so those you following at home can see. I tried collect all the questions I could while they came up, and I think I managed to get most of them:
Child care – How are you going to provide more spots?
Traffic on the avenue – How are you going to deal with heavy traffic on the avenue and surrounding residential streets
Young families – How do you attract more to Oak Bay
Affordable housing – How to you provide more
Town hall meetings – Why haven’t we had more?
Oak bay lodge
Smart meters, and health
Deer issue – What is Oak Bay and the CRD doing about it?
Community engagement young families – How do you engage young families in the community
P3’s water/sewage – Do you support keeping water and sewage infrastructure and operation public
Composting -When is it coming to the rest of Oak Bay?
Wendy Brawer, the founder of the Green Map movement which has changed the way people view the world, is coming to speak in Victoria on March 16th, from 3pm to 4:30pm at the Bob Wright Centre B150 up at UVic. (See the Oak Bay Events tab in the upper right for a Google Calendar widget, including a feed for Outlook and other calendars)
Last night’s Active Transportation Forum was a great success, bringing together a lot of different groups, from Oak Bay, the CRD, and the school district. Despite the cold weather, there were over 50 people in attendance, up from last years. With the theme of “Connecting Locally, Connecting Regionally”, with a major goal to just get the major players in a room together. Too often these plans are considered in isolation, even within an organization (see the CRD’s various transportation plans: Regional Corridors and the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan – not to mention the old TravelChoices). I wonder where else the head of the CRD’s PCMP, Sue Hallett; the chief architect of the new Oak Bay High, Rod Windjack; and the chair of Oak Bay’s Community Initiatives Committee, Councillor Herbert; were all in the same room listening to each other?
Success for the event can be credited to Gerald Smeltzer, one of my fellow directors at the Community Association of Oak Bay, and the various people, including myself, who he pulled in to help. In the next day or two I expect Gerald to post a great deal of information on the forum on the Community Association’s page, so stay tuned for that.
This Saturday was the Bowker Creek Celebration walk, co-hosted by the Oak Bay Community Association and Bowker Creek Initiative The walk started out at the upper parking lot of the Oak Bay Recreation Centre with it’s their freshly-painted lines and walked down the creek towards the mouth. The point of the walk was to showcase the need for a greenway or trail along the whole length, not just a few disconnected lengths. Sadly due having a generally crazy day, I was only able to make the first part, but I did take a few pictures, which you can see in my flickr set.
The demand for better access to waterways is not unique in the Bowker Creek area. Across North America there is an effort to “daylight” creeks, that is to remove the culverts and let them flow in natural streams along the surface. The High Country News near San Francisco recently ran a whole series on “rebooting” creeks in poorer neighbourhoods in San Francisco.
Nearer to home, a group in Seattle won a victory about the Thorton Creek underneath the Northgate Mall. Too bad Hillside isn’t doing anything with the section of Bowker Creek that runs underneath the western edge of that mall as they expand. However, the BCI is hosting an ivy pull on the 27th of June between 10am and 12:30pm across the creek from the existing community gardens.
Spring is here and many people have excess plants from their vegetable or flower gardens. Thankfully the Oak Bay Community Association has a solution for you. They are planning on holding plant swaps starting June 25th at the Estevan Food Roots Pocket Market, which runs every Thursday from 3pm to 6pm.The swap itself will only run from 3:30 to 4:30. To kick it all off, there will be a swap this weekend at 2252 Cranmore from 9am to 11am. This is part of the 10th annual Garagelennium, an Oak Bay-wide coordinated garage sale. This year there are almost 100 houses taking part and some donating their profits to charity. Be up early, as the event only runs from 9am to 1pm.
The association also recently launched their website, the Oak Bay Connector, which I have added along with a whole host of other Oak Bay links on the right-hand side. If you see any link that should be there, leave a comment and I can add it.