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Oh, where do I start…

Well, after years of using local media to try to get Tofino to come up with a safer and more appropriate earthquake/tsunami emergency plan, to no avail, I finally went to bigger, out-of-town media, hoping to get some reaction.

And it’s finally worked! Our mayor, John Fraser, spoke on CBC Radio’s show On the Island this morning, in response to my concerns. (You can read about my concerns in yesterday’s blog post, or you can listen to them on my own CBC On the Island interview of two days ago).

For those of you who missed it, you can listen to what our mayor had to say today by clicking Read the rest of this entry »

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Sometimes I wish I didn’t know the things I know (see references listed at the bottom of this article).

But even if I didn’t have a PhD in Structural Geology (study of movements in the Earth’s crust, e.g. faults), and even if I hadn’t read most every scientific paper published about the earthquake and tsunami risk here on the West Coast, I think I’d be asking someone who did know. This is life-and-death stuff.

Even more relevant now, with a new geological study published last month, saying that the likelihood of the big earthquake+tsunami coming within the next 50 years is nearly 4 times higher than previously thought. I sold my house on Chestermans based on the old data Read the rest of this entry »

I seem to be the only person who marks this anniversary. I continue to believe that it’s important. I guess it’s against human nature to try not to think about the bad things. But when those bad things are coming — 100% for sure — and there are steps that we can take now that will save people’s lives, I feel that it is our duty to think of those bad things, and make contingency plans.

What’s happening in Haiti will happen here

This is especially on my mind right now, as I watch the tragedies unfolding in Haiti. What is happening in Haiti will happen here. About the only difference is that our earthquake will be 10 to 100 times stronger.

It’s easy to think that the consequences here will not be so bad – we’re an affluent first-world society, right? Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know about you, but this makes me really happy and I wanted to share it.

Yesterday, I rode my bike around with my little point-and-shoot camera taking pictures of blooming flowers. To my amazement, I found 31 different types of flowers in bloom right now!

So, if you want some local pix to brighten up your day, head on over to my blog and have a look.

Hello everyone –

In all of the spare time that I don’t have, I’ve been researching how water rates are charged in other districts – both on Vancouver Island and across the country.

With the exception of Tofino, the formulae for charging water rates (residents vs. businesses; summer vs. winter; having or not having rate tiers) are extremely simple. What’s coming up from it is pretty interesting, though
– Tofino residential rates are much higher than pretty much anywhere else
– no other district that I’ve looked at charges residents more than businesses besides Tofino
– water rates themselves, as well as methods for calculating them, vary widely across the region

It’s a real lot of work to go through it all – but in the coming days I will present some analyses of it all for you.  So please check back for details!

For now, I will provide you with links to some of the rates information that I have uncovered (which you can refer to in my upcoming posts), as well as remind you of the public meeting to discuss water rates and water issues, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 at the Tofino Community Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Please check back here as I continue to post more info, so you can be fully informed on this issue.  And, if you care about these things, please do your best to show up at the meeting.

For now, some water rates info:
Port Alberni
Nanaimo
Victoria’s “Western Community”
Vancouver rates
A comparison of water bills across southern Vancouver Island and Canada

With yesterday’s water usage figure of 402,000 gallons, this brings our 3-day running total to 1,346,000 gallons.  Another record for us (compare to the 3-day totals in the table below, all well under 1,300,000 gallons).

In the summer of 2006 – the year our town was abruptly closed to tourists at the beginning of the biggest tourism weekend of the year – our daily usage never even reached 500,000 gallons… not until August 28th and 29th.  The high usage those two days was what precipitated the shut-down.  Now, here we are, late August again, with water usage soaring to those same levels…  why is it me reaching out to distribute this information, and not our district?  Please pass the word out:  we are still at risk, please continue water conservation efforts.

Councillor Dorothy Baert was the lone dissenting voice in saying that we should open this for public discussion.

But the remaining councillors approved the new proposed rates without even reviewing them. So, residents continue paying the highest rate per volume, and the biggest businesses (large resorts and fish processing plants) pay the lowest rates.

The exact motion put forward by our financial officer Edward Henley was:

THAT COUNCIL consider the proposed changes to the utility rates and recommend modifications to either the proposed rates or the water and sewer budget to achieve a balanced water and sewer budget.

However, instead of “considering the proposed changes and… recommending modifications” as Henley proposed, our council simply approved the Table of Rates as is.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hello everybody –

Thank you thank you thank you for your interest!  Tofino Residents has received over 500 views in its first week of existence! (That’s way more than my own website!!)

I am really glad to see  that there is so much interest from the community in what I am trying to do here.  However, I have to be clear – I am not about to keep up this much effort on my own.  The two aims of this website are:

1.  To share information (i.e. not just me provide it – you guys provide it too!)

2.  To promote discussion about issues that affect us (i.e. please use the Comment feature!)

I am happy to do the work in making this website happen – but I cannot Read the rest of this entry »