Sooke News Mirror, October 28, 2015

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October 28, 2015 edition of the Sooke News Mirror

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  • C O M M U N I T Y N E W S M E D I A

    Black PressWednesday, October 28, 2015 Mail Agreement #40110541

    INDEX NEWS COMMUNITYNews 2Opinion 9Sports 32

    A raise in senior and youth bus passes is likely on the way for B.C. Transit users in Greater Victoria

    Page 5

    Sooke was once home to a religious commune near Whiffin Spit in the early 1920s, writes Elida Peers.

    Page 23

    A night of fright

    Chris Simmons, one of the many volunteers who offered to mutate into a rabid clown, blends in the background with the rest of his friends at Eerie Acres in East Sooke. Eerie Acres offers haunted family fun on Friday (Oct. 30 and Oct. 31) from 7 to 10 p.m. Its located at 1468 Woodcock Rd. If a tamer Halloween is more up your alley then the District of Sooke hosts the annual Safer Halloween on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. For more on Safer Halloween, please turn to page 2.

    Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror

    Kevin LairdSooke News Mirror

    The Capital Regional District is edging closer to turning the water taps on in rural areas.

    For months the CRD has been debating whether to restrict growth by refusing to allow piped water into rural areas.

    The issue came to the forefront last spring as CRD directors reviewed the latest draft of the Regional Sustainability Strategy, a revised and expanded version

    of the CRDs Regional Growth Strategy.

    But Mike Hicks, the CRD director for the Juan de Fuca electoral area, called the plan discriminatory, and now it appears he might win the battle.

    Last week, CRD directors passed a motion put forward by Hicks asking the board to ensure people of rural areas are able to access city water, no matter where they live.

    In the past the CRD was reluctant to look at the issue because it felt it would encourage urban sprawl

    something both Hicks and Sooke Mayor Maja Tait deny.

    To me, this is one of the most important issues in the JdF, Hicks said.

    Water can no longer be used as a planning tool to determine density.

    The CRD boards mind was made up when Tait suggested Sooke would not back the growth strategy (all 13 municipalities need to ratify it).

    Some properties within the District of Sooke have remained on

    well water since the municipality incorporated in 1999.

    What I hear from the CRD board is we dont want sprawl, we want this but were trying to build a more compact community ourselves to keep our residents here. And water is a necessity of living, Tait said.

    n OPINION /9n CRD hikes water rates / 2

    RIGHT TO WATER TAKES GIANT LEAP FORWARDJdF director Mike Hicks convinces CRD board to open city water taps to rural residents SEE WATER PAGE 34

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  • 2 I NEWS I sookenewsmIrror.com wednesday, october 28, 2015

    Sookes Most Wanted

    Francis GORMLEYAge: 56Wanted: Mischief

    Dylan HOLSTEINAge: 25Wanted: Theft under $5,000, breach of probation

    Michael LUNDAge: 40Wanted: Drive while disqualified, theft

    The following individuals are wanted by the Sooke RCMP as of Oct. 13. If you have any information on these individuals or their crimes, you are asked to call the RCMP at 250-642-5241 or anonymously through Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at victoriacrimestoppers.com.

    Octavian LacatusuSooke News Mirror

    Between parties, after parties, trick or treating and haunted house tours there will be no shortage of activities to do on Halloween night in Sooke.

    And heres another: Safe Halloween, a traditional family-friendly event held in Sooke for more than a decade, featuring carnival games such as pin the nose on the pumpkin, ghost bowling, witch hat ring toss, as well as fireworks.

    All activities will be held in the Muncipal parking lot starting at 5 p.m. on Halloween night, with fireworks expected to be set off next door in John Phillips Park around 8 p.m.

    Its about providing a safe and fun environment for kids and families during Halloween at either before theyre trick or treating or after theyre trick or treating, to come together as a community to enjoy different games and activities, said Megan MacKeigan, recreation coordinator at SEAPARC Leisure Complex, one of the organizers of the event.

    Ironically, Safe Halloween earned its

    name several years ago not to necessarily protect youth from ghouls and goblins, but more so to protect youth from themselves.

    MacKeigan recalls there were several years in a row in Sooke on Halloween night when youth took over the town core, setting off fires in dumpsters, throwing debris at police, smashing windows of businesses and vandalizing property.

    The juvenile violence hit its peak however, and in 2000, a local group formed between

    business owners and parents, who decided to get together and regain control of the town core again on Halloween night and make it safe for youth and families alike.

    The solution? Not riot gear and tear gas, no, instead they simply gave youth something to do that night. Because hey, why set fire to a car if you can win yourself a fuzzy teddy bear while playing ghost bowling?

    It all came down to gearing the event towards young people, and allowing them

    to do something fun and productive on Halloween, MacKeigan said.

    Over the years, the event morphed, changing locations and becoming an all-ages kind of night, predominately for kindergarden and elementary kids.

    In addition to fireworks, there will be music and other activities.

    Otter Point Fire Rescue firefighters and staff are also hosting their own Halloween event at Camp Barnard, starting at 6 p.m.

    The crew will have bags of goodies for kids, along with hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over a bonfire.

    Fireworks will be set off later that night right over Young Lake.

    news@sookenewsmirror.com

    Safe Halloween planned in Sooke

    Sooke RCMP arrested two men on Robinson Road Friday after they were caught with instruments used for breaking into houses.

    The thefts are believed to be related to several thefts of opportunity in the Otter Point area, police say.

    RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur said the Tugwell and Robinson roads in the Otter Point area has seen increased suspicious activity recently.

    We ask people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, regardless of

    if they are in that area or not, McArthur said.

    Some residents also reported having individuals hanging around their property, or knocking at their doors looking for someone, particularly late at night and in the early morning hours.

    A sub-compact red car and a motorhome, suspected in the crime spree, were seen in the area, but the vehicles can easily change as well, McArthur said.

    In response to concentrated suspicious activity

    in the Otter Point area, police patrols are increasing and the investigation is ongoing.

    The two men were charged for theft and released, pending their next court appearance.

    Two arrested after Otter Point break-ins2 I NEWS I SOOKENEWSMIRROR.COM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015

    Publisher: Rod Sluggett publisher@sookenewsmirror.comEditor: Kevin Laird editor@sookenewsmirror.comReporter: Octavian Lacatusu news@sookenewsmirror.comAdvertising: Joan Gamache sales@sookenewsmirror.comCirculation: circulation@sookenewsmirror.comClassifieds: Vicky Sluggett classifieds@sookenewsmirror.comOffice Manager: Deb Stolth office@sookenewsmirror.com

    How to reach us 250.642.5752 fax: 250.642.4767office@sookenewsmirror.com

    Some residents also reported having individuals hanging around their property, or knocking at their doors looking for someone, particularly late at night and in the early morning hours.

    A sub-compact

    crime spree, were

    the investigation is ongoing.

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  • WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015 I NEWS I SOOKENEWSMIRROR.COM 3

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    DONT FLUSH......your expired or unused medications down the toilet or throw into the

    garbage please. Once or twice a year, I like to remind everyone to go through their medicine cabinet and check for any outdated medications.

    Most medications become less effective after the suggested expiration date, however there are a few that may become toxic. Also it is a good idea not to take any prescription medication that was prescribed long ago... they may interact with medications that you may be using now. Remember to think about the environment when disposing expired medications. Tablets, capsules, and most liquids can be taken to your pharmacy to be destroyed properly.

    Make sure to take any tablets or capsules out of blisters before bringing them to the pharmacy... this helps with the disposal process.

    Wednesday, OctOber 28, 2015 I NEWS I sOOkeneWsmIrrOr.cOm 3

    Situation biggest concern in rural areas due to wild vegetation and street lightingOctavian LacatusuSooke News Mirror

    Picture this. Something happens, and you need to call 9-1-1. You give them your address, then anxiously await their arrival. Half an hour goes by, still nothing.

    Turns out, emergency crews cant find your house because your address is covered in several feet of wild bush and one of the letters has fallen off.

    As it happens, its a common problem for all fire, police and ambulance crews, who receive a call but have nowhere to go because the address sign is missing or cant be seen from the street.

    Trivial that a simple sign could be so much trouble, but all emergency personnel pose the big question: what if the Grim Reaper finds you first?

    East Sooke Fire Chief Roger Beck recalls being paged to a recent medical call, but all emergency vehicles drove right by the address because the street sign was overgrown with ivy and shrubs.

    Another case that springs to his memory is a womans husband having a heart attack. Similarly, the emergency response was delayed because no signeage was in place to show which house on the 4 on 10 block (four houses per each 10 acre parcel of land) was the one that made the call.

    And in the event of a heart attack, seconds matter.

    It could well have cost her husband his life. It didnt, so we were lucky, but it could have, Beck said, adding she was warned there may not be a next time if the poor signeage, or lack thereof, continues on.

    When youre emotional, when its a close call like that, then yes, the time is right to do something about your address signs, he said.

    The incident resonated so deeply with some East Sooke 4 on 10 residents that several developments now have maps showing all the main drives, the numbers of each house up that drive, and then a nest of all eight numbers in numerical order.

    Beck is concerned with the latest strata 4 on 10 design as these developments usually have a single driveway, without any indication on whether or not the driveway constitutes as a road, which leaves

    individual addresses out of view from the main road.

    If the sign on your house cant be seen from the street, then you have to put another number at the street, he said, adding that some people have avoided doing this because they feel their privacy is more important than their own protection.

    Mind you, 4 on 10s are not the only culprits here. Adding to the problem are signs placed only to face the way the residents travel back and forth, not towards the other direction as well, where an emergency vehicle could be approaching from.

    As Otter Point Fire Chief Kevan Brehart puts it, this is a common issue not only in East Sooke, but in Otter Point, Sooke, as well as other rural areas.

    There are homes where the sign is not clearly visible, and often they will put up a sign facing Sooke, so if you come from Sooke you see their sign, but if you come from the west, or the opposite direction of where they come from, you cant see it, Brehart said.

    Just recently, Brehart and his team responded to a call where the sign was pointing down Kemp Lake road, because typically everyone comes up Kemp Lake Road, but for them, coming down from the Otter Point fire hall, they drove right by.

    This only highlights the importance of two-way address signs, in addition to the letters and numbers themselves being reflective and visible at night.

    Put them perpendicular to the road so that they can be read from both directions. Its the ones that are angled, facing down, or towards one direction that cause issues not only for us [fire department] but for police and ambulance too, he said.

    Not to mention the pizza guy, who, by the time hell find your house, your pizza will have probably turned into a cold, mushy mess.

    Brehart said majority of locals have good signs, but theres still a fair number who have bad ones; just enough to cause problems.

    And even though So...