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General News · 19th December 2011
Noba Anderson
Hello islanders and the VERY best of the season to you! Above all, may you be with those you love and share your abundance with others.

There is just so much happening on Cortes these days. Within the next week or so, I will be mailing out to Cortes mailboxes (and of course posted here) a review of the past three years and what I anticipate in those upcoming. I will also very soon be posting a detailed update on all the many aspects of the situation in Gorge Harbour that are finally coming together after so very long. So, some short updates…

The Official Community Plan review settled into a good rhythm this fall, however, not all issues have been addressed or settled. We are working out how to wrap up this community input process in January and details will be included in the mail out mentioned above.

After a meeting of their membership, the Cortes Island Seniors Society pulled their expression of interest to apply for a recreation grant through the SRD to construct a senior’s activity centre on their land in Manson’s. Instead, they have decided to work with existing Cortes spaces and not stretch themselves too thin in these fiscally lean times.

In the new year I will roll out improved communication methods to you all. I will begin a regular radio show, send out the second and ongoing issues of e-news directly into your inboxes (if you want to subscribe, go to http://eepurl.com/g6xdA ), have a dedicated notice board at the Whaletown Post office in addition to the long standing board in Manson’s Hall, try a regular ‘speak-easy’ forum, continue to host dinners for the under 50 population, and welcome invitations to gather with you and a group of friends or neighbours to discuss matters of interest to you.

Much Cortes attention has been turned this fall (and specifically very recently) to island forestry matters. Cortes has been invited to apply for a community forest on all the island’s unallocated crown forest lands. A Community Forest Co-op has been formed with close to 200 members and over $60,000 raised in order to meet Klahoose as an equal partner in the application and eventual license. Much community discussion and planning is needed in the next months to get the application ready. This is the single biggest land-use opportunity that Cortes has ever had. I strongly encourage you to be involved. On the private land front, Island Timberlands intends to begin road building in January for harvesting operations this coming year. I have written to senior management suggesting that it may benefit to all parties if they delay operations long enough so that their activities, for many reasons, can be informed by the planning that will happen through the community forest effort. If you want to know more, please contact me.

Advisory Planning Commission (APC) & Alternate Director
The APC is a body that advises me and the SRD board on formal land-use planning matters. The SRD board appointed a new APC at my recommendation which includes returning members Julia Rendall, Doug Weyler, Paul Brewer, Frances Guthrie, Joe Cliffe and Kristen Scholfield-Sweet, and new members Eva Boucek, Mary Clare Preston and Ester Strijbos. Welcome all. I will post the new meeting schedule when we have one. All meetings are open to the public. After 42 years of service on the APC, Bruce Ellingsen has been the longest serving APC member in BC! I want to extend my most profound gratitude not only for his years of service, but also for his open mindedness and attitude of cooperation. He is stepping aside to devote his full volunteer attention into the community forestry efforts. Thank-you Bruce! Also, a huge ‘thank-you’ to Kristen Scholfield-Sweet who has served as my alternate director for the past three years and a true welcome to Mike Moore who was just sworn in as my new alternate.

Trash (operations, planning and pick-up)
More upgrades are coming to the Cortes Recycling Centre in 2012 including a new tipping wall for three more bins, a ring road around the garbage bins to improve traffic flow, railings along the tipping wall, improved signage, and site paving. In the early new year, we will also be seeking public input on the draft regional solid waste plan, which includes an imminent decision about where and how to dispose of our future garbage. There will be a Cortes public meeting about this likely in February. In the meantime, a few copies of the draft plan will be available for pick-up for keeners at the three Cortes post-offices and the library. And finally on the topic of trash, the SRD board just signed another garbage and recycling residential pick-up contract with Margaret (and Henry) Verschuur.

Thanks to all of you for all you do to make our island home a beautiful place to live. Enjoy the season.

As always, feel free to contact me about these, or any other issues.

In gratitude, Noba Anderson
935-0320, directorcortesisland.com