by Meghan Hildebrand
Hello on a beautiful day,
The Powell River Water Watch Coalition formed to advocate for a publicly controlled wastewater treatment facility for our community. Our City has signed an “Agreement in Principle” to pay the mill (a lot of $$) to treat our waste. It seems there may be some “free money” from the province to pursue this, but I don’t believe this is “free money” that we can afford.
The project will be extremely rushed with no room for mistakes, and we are getting into bed with a company with a very uncertain future. Read more at our website:
If this is something that concerns you, please sign the online petition and attend meetings as they arise.
“This story was inspired by Dr. Seuss, his Lorax, and the friends of Eagle River. It is dedicated to life...lost, displaced, and affected by the trashing of special places.” So reads the inscription of the new story, Way back in Time When the Forests Were Green.
A year ago, Earth Day, local elementary teacher Anne Howey was moved to create a local version of Seuss’s timeless tale of environmental waste. Anne is a second-generation Powell Riverian who, as a youth, explored endlessly the area’s forests, rivers and beaches. I was happy to be asked to illustrate the book. I thought it a nice match for a style I’ve developed for my hand-painted cards, using acrylic paint under ink.
After deciding to donate the proceeds to conservation efforts, we designed something small, with the lightest footprint possible, to spread the message. Luckily, local media guru Corey Matsumoto prints right here in town, exclusively on recycled stock, like the magazine you are holding. (Next step—renewable tree-free paper!)
One year after the project’s inception, a standing-room-only crowd took in a reading and toasted the book at its launch on Sunday, April 19th, at Bemused Bistro, where the original illustrations are now on display. For just $10, you can get your own copy of the book. This is a handsome little book, perfect for mailing.
by Meghan Hildebrand
Some of us this Christmas season find ourselves second-guessing the traditions we have inherited. What hands made the products we buy for our children? Why should our holiday end in so much garbage for the landfill? How can we, in good conscience, feast while so many starve? And why do we gather under the premise of a religious story to do so?
These are sound questions any time of year, although Christmas has typically been the season to blow off your worries and indulge. This year something feels a little different. Attitudes are more cynical, and people are looking for ways to downplay the holiday, or at least reduce the impact of their celebration on others.I have but one modest idea to contribute to the mix. Frankly, I like Christmas, I like presents and lights and a tree in the house and being with friends and family. I do not want to grinch anyone’s cozy holiday; I’d rather contribute to a new paradigm of ‘holiday giving’. I was not about to cut down a Christmas tree or buy a fake. Happily, we found an old Christmas tree discarded in our backyard, which we dried off, propped in a bucket and brought inside. We decorated it with ribbons, dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks. A friend in insurance warned us about dry trees and lights, so I’m not suggesting using your old hot bulbs. Our tree was bushy and full, even without its needles, which we didn’t have to sweep up. It let more light through the window where it stood. We have friends who followed suit: they actually trimmed a side of the dead tree off and secured it right to their wall. Out of the way of both the view and their kid, and still they had all the joy of decorating. We have had the same dead tree for four years now, and in the summer we light it in the garden.
by Meghan Hildebrand
You’ve probably seen the hand-made signs around Powell River: “Ratepayers’ Meeting Tonight”. Perhaps you are involved in your neighborhood group already, or you thought it was an assembly of crotchety neighbours kvetching over property taxes – if you wondered at all.
A ‘ratepayer’ is anyone living in a community, not just a property owner. We all pay taxes and are all welcome at these public meetings. Groups exist in Cranberry, Townsite, and Wildwood and meet once a month for 9 months a year, sans the summer months. A typical evening meeting is 1 1/2 to 2 hours and will follow a prepared agenda with an opportunity to add your concerns from the floor. In Cranberry, there are even free goodies and coffee after the meeting.
Ratepayers’ Groups are non-political and funded by the modest donations of its members (five dollars buys you a year membership in Cranberry). It is an opportunity to meet your neighbours, voice your concerns and ideas about the neighbourhood or region as a whole, and an excellent way to consolidate our voices when dealing with the city, province or other organizations. A ratepayer association is the democratic voice of a community.
Joining the executive is an opportunity to get involved. The groups generally have a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer. There are always ways to increase your inv olvement -- or to just be a fly on the wall. There are often special guests and delegations from the other neighborhood groups. And cookies.
From September to May, Cranberry meets at 7 pm on the first Monday of the month at the Unitarian Hall, 6826 Cranberry Street. Wildwood meets the third Wednesday of the month at James Thomson School, and Townsite meets the third Thursday at the Anglican Church.
See you in September.