Replacing the Culvert at Basil Creek

By Roy L Hales

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed a small segment of Whaletown Road on Cortes Island. The impact on the local community is minimal. However replacing the culvert in Basil Creek is part of a program that could make a huge difference for British Columbia’s threatened fish stocks.

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Victoria’s Passive Houses

By Roy L Hales

When I first interviewed Rob Bernhardt in 2014, you could count the number of British Columbia’s passive houses on your fingers. The Berhardts built the first certified passive house in the Victoria region. Rob went on to become the CEO of Passive House Canada. I recently interviewed him again, during a quick peek at Victoria’s passive houses.

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Turn It In Week

By Roy L Hales

For the past eight years Gorge harbour residents, on Cortes Island, have been cleaning up the aquaculture debris, left by industry, at their own expense. This was sometimes a source of tension between property owners and industry. Barry and Amanda Glickman, who organized these annual clean-ups, said the first year they hauled away three truck loads of debris. The most recent clean-up was last May. Now the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is stepping in and, in partnership with industry, will be holding Turn it in Week between September 11-15, 2017.

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Revisiting Ocotillo

By Roy L Hales

The Ocotillo wind farm went online almost five years ago. Were they not documented in such meticulous detail, some of the  reports coming from the tiny desert community this project surrounds would be difficult to believe.  I once received a constant stream of YouTube videos and reports. It was one of the sites that shaped my perception of the energy sector.  To some extent, I’ve moved on from this story, but I always knew I would be revisiting Ocotillo.
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The West Coast’s Epidemic Wildfires

By Roy L Hales

As British Columbia reels from the worst fire season in its recorded history, it is easy to look upon this as a local problem. Only much of Oregon is wrapped in smoke, there are reports of ash falling like snow in some Washington cities (photo at top of page) and two days ago a state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles. What is causing  the West Coast’s epidemic wildfires?

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What the 50 Summers Of Love Says To This Generation

By Roy L Hales

As many as 100,000 people participated in the 1967 Summer of Love. There were 450 at the recent anniversary celebration on Cortes, which is a huge turn-out for our little island.  I was there, asking what the 50 Summers of Love says to this generation.

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European Battery Park Black Starts The Grid

By Roy L Hales

Though black-outs are common occurrences in North America, they are virtually unknown in Germany. Philip Hiersemenzel of the Berlin-based storage pioneer Younicos, explained this is “because our grid is very strong am there are lots of fall back options.” How important is it when  the first European battery park black starts the grid?

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Gathering Place Trading

By Roy L Hales

Lovena is Canadian and her husband Ryan is from South Africa. They wanted to keep in touch with their families in both countries. Being Rooibos tea lovers, the Harveys sought out a supplier in South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains. That’s where they found Frans and Gerda, who greeted the Harveys with a cup of the best Rooibos tea they have ever tasted. Gathering Place Trading was born.

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The Horse Racing Industry Is Very Environmentally Conscious

By Roy L Hales

A lot of images come to mind when you hear that someone is an environmental consultant, but horse racing isn’t one of them. Stephen Griffin told me about another side to this industry, when we met at Manson’s Landing Friday Market. When it comes to their animals, the horse racing industry is very environmentally conscious.

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Victoria’s First Dedicated Bike Lane

By Roy L Hales

There are already cyclists pedalling the city’s streets. Many of the streets have bike lanes. The Galloping Goose stretches from the Johnston street bridge to Leechtown, north of the Sooke Potholes Regional Park. Someone I met outside a coffee-house on Fisgard street said his only means of transportation, for the past twenty years, has been a bicycle. So what is the significance of Victorias first dedicated bike lane?

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