Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nominations Open

Today is the first day of nominations for the municipal elections. Candidates have from today until October 10th to file the paperwork and officially run for Council or Mayor. I'll be putting my papers in next week.

I'm looking forward to seeing some announcements from new candiates. My guess is that there will be at least two more running.

Bonspiel update: all spots are filled for the curling fundraiser...but you can still come sit in the Crow's Nest. There is no cost for that! Also, if you'd like to contact Lorie at lorie.hall@shaw.ca you can register as a "spare" and/or you can be added to the waitlist.

Hope to see you at ABSC on Saturday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Coffee Talk

In the last two days I've had a lot of coffee. Today alone, I've been for coffee at three different coffee shops. Fortunately, its not just the caffeine that is sending my head spinning...its the conversation too.

Recently I posted about the community visioning process that Ladysmith has been taking. I was particularly intrigued by their attempts to engage youth in the planning process. I am grateful that an incredibly interesting woman named Sarah has taken the time to chat with me over the phone about some of their innovations. She is not only a fellow storyteller, she is also a lover of quotes. The website, www.definingthefuture.ca opens with this one:

"A strong sense of place begets a strong sense of community. In an ideal situation the community pulls together, cooperates, takes care of its people, develops its village pride, its cuisine and accents, tolerates and supports its local eccentrics and characters, and has in some cases an indigenous music, or a literary style – and, above all, a sense of itself." - John Hanson Mitchell from Walking towards Walden: A pilgrimage in search of place.

I am fascinated with their use of strategic storytelling to engage youth and I'll be following along with keen interest.

Today I had the opportunity to sit down with someone whose work I have read and admired for a very long time - Bernard von Schulmann. His writing can be seen in several places on the Internet. I check www.victoriavision.blogspot.com daily. It is the most comprehensive source of information on the different municipal candidates that I have found.

He generously cleared a little time on his busy calendar to meet. I really enjoyed it. Like all good discussions I left with much "food for thought" and inspiration to dive into more research. Learning, exchanging ideas, meeting new people....this is what I love most about running for Council.

What I loved most about this day though, was starting it off at Beans and Greens with a few of my closest friends. I am so fortunate to know real friendship and feel real community.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Talking 'bout "My Girl"

We just returned from a weekend visiting family in Washington. My brother-in-law's retirement party was held at a place called "My Girl Drive-in and Car Museum" in Kingston.

At the end of a very long dirt driveway, that twists and turns into the woods, sits a home that has been converted into a '50's diner. This home has a room full of cars from that era. It also has a room full of pinball machines, air hockey, Foosball and pool tables. My favourite though is the room full of magazines, books and advertisements from the '50s. It is quirky and weird and wonderful.

Please check out the link: http://www.geocities.com/s.aandy/index.html

It got me thinking about what makes a place special. Is it the hula hoop contests or the bubble gum blowing competitions? Is it the decor or the collection of original toys and memoribilia? Is it the friendly DJ and staff?

Whatever it is, "My Girl" is a checker floored, neon lit time machine with a glow all its own.

Here's to the unique vision of "My Girl". Thanks for the memories!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Plastic Bags

The CRD has launched another "take the pledge" campaign. This time they are encouraging people to use cloth bags instead of plastic. They are even handing out free ones! Check out this link: http://www.crd.bc.ca/takethepledge/plasticbags/ or go down to the Esquimalt Municipal Hall. I just picked out a bright orange bag for participating!

Rec Centre Passes

Here is an interesting article from Vic News online today:

New rec passes cross borders
Published: September 19, 2008 2:00 PM
Updated: September 19, 2008 2:51 PM
Greater Victoria residents will be able to visit any local recreation centre using a single card beginning Jan. 1.

A regional annual pass is being introduced as part of a pilot project, says Agnes Szilos, of Recreation Oak Bay.

As a result of government departments constantly asking recreation centers for bulk group discounts, five of eight recreational centres in Greater Victoria got together to issue an annual pass.

“We didn’t really think it was fair for one organization to receive a break so this is an enlargement of that,” Szilos said.

The pass will cost $420.10. The amount is a play on the year 2010, the year that Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Sooke is the only recreation centre so far to turn thumbs down to the shared pass.

The pass allows purchasers unlimited access to all the local recreation centers, including pools, fitness centres and weight rooms.

Passes in the pilot project will be sold until the end of 2009 and passes will be honoured for a full year from date of purchase.

The regional pass ties in with the province’s Active communities mandate introduced last year that challenges B.C. residents to be 20 per cent more active by 2010.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


A quick post while I prepare for the PAC BBQ tonight....where are all the Federal Elections Campaign signs in Esquimalt? Is anyone campaigning in this neighbourhood?

I have heard that Brian Gordon from the Green Party is knocking on doors, but is anyone else? Let me know if you hear from any candidates.

I find it a little odd. I work in Saanich, and once I cross the highway, I see all the big signs. Here in Esquimalt there are just a few on private property.

Any thoughts?

P.S. if you're interested in the bonspiel...call or email Lorie now. We'll be putting it all together soon and there are only a couple of spots left!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fundraising Events

In the past two days, I've had lunch at the CPO's Mess in beautiful Esquimalt twice. Looking out over the ocean, enjoying a meal, I've been acutely aware of how fortunate I am.

Yesterday, I attended an event put on by the FASD community circle. 9/9 was Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day. Over the years I have worked with children, youth and families, I have watched awareness about FASD grow. I hope that in my career I will see understanding and support grow too.

The FASD community circle is doing some amazing things to support families affected by FASD. They have also set a goal to reduce the number of babies born prenatally exposed to alcohol on Vancouver Island from 1% to 0.5% by 2018. If you are planning on running the Royal Victoria Marathon this year, they are one of the charities that you can run for and collect pledges for. Every single week, a baby is born with FASD on Vancouver Island. The website is: http://www.royalvictoriamarathon.com/sponsors/charities.php#charities

Today I attended a Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock Fundraiser. Childhood Cancer is a terrifying thought to most parents. When my own children were little, I worked at Victoria General Hospital as a Child Life Specialist. On days when families had just been told that their child had cancer I would rush home just to hug my own children and check their temperature. Despite the horrors of this disease, progress has been made. In the past 20 years, survival rates have improved dramatically. Research has made life possible for many more children. Treatment is still very hard though. Things like Camp Goodtimes make life for children with Cancer better. Cops for Cancer aids both research and support programs for families. For the next event near you check out: http://www.kintera.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=270703&lis=1&kntae270703=002CAEB5EB5F403DACB8CB3A6EF616EC

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Shorty Bonspiel and Pub Night

We're having a campaign fundraiser! On the left is a picture of me listening very intently to Dave and Ed as they taught me to curl during the PAC spiel last February. Once again, incredible volunteers from the Esquimalt Curling Club will share their energy and enthusiasm for the sport!

Please join us for a very fun evening Saturday Oct 4th at Esquimalt's Archie Browning Sports Centre. Curling is from 8pm-10pm and the(cash)bar will be open until midnight.

This shorty is designed for beginners but all curlers are welcome! The focus is on having fun and promoting this great sport! People who don't want to curl are welcome to watch from the lounge. Tickets are only $30 per person or $100 for a team of four.

Your ticket buys:

a free curling lesson

two end games of curling


fantastic door prizes

For more info contact Lorie Hall at lorie.hall@shaw.ca or 250.386.5471

Friday, September 5, 2008

Taking the Bus to Shoreline

I just received an email from a very happy Esquimalt parent whose child goes to Shoreline middle school. Apparently the new BC transit schedule makes it possible for Esquimalt kids to take the bus!

In Esquimalt, students who are in the French Immersion program attend Macaulay for elementary and then go to Shoreline for middle school. Unfortunately, the bus schedule has traditionally given the students two options: arrive for school an hour early or ten minutes late. Neither option is feasible so parents have been driving their kids. It is a long way to walk in the morning and the bike routes aren't really "kid friendly".

Many parents have been strong advocates for a better bus schedule over the last year. They have written letters, appeared before Esquimalt Council, the School Board and the Transit Commission. They have worked very hard. I'm so thrilled that their efforts have finally been rewarded! Families finally have a way of getting to school on time without driving the car.

Many thanks to all the parents and to BC transit for changing the schedule!

Cougars Home Opener

Last night the Cougars had their Home Opener at Archie Browning Sports Centre. Once again, they let all Esquimalt Residents in for free. What a great night! They even had some Olympians come and help celebrate! We saw Brian Price (rowing), Kevin Light (rowing), Kyle Hamilton (rowing), Malcolm Howard (rowing), Ravinder Kahlon (field hockey), and Riley McCormick (diving). All six athletes were available in-between intermissions to talk to the fans and give autographs. My kids were thrilled with the entire event and even more thrilled to share it with many kids from the neighbourhood.

My favourite part of the night was seeing my friend Ravi - a two time Field Hockey Olympian. I've had the pleasure of knowing him since he was a teenager. It was a treat to have a visit and catch up on his travels. He is a guy that has given back so much to the community. He has volunteered many hours over the years, including coaching my Div. 1 women's team for a season. It was the year after I had my first child and I was sore, miserable and woefully out of shape. Ravi was always positive, upbeat and encouraging. He is an incredible athlete and an incredible person - I'm so impressed with all he has accomplished!

As usual, the Victoria Cougars put on a great show. They ran into trouble in the last period....but I think we'll see another championship banner hung at ABSC this time next year!

These Cougar games happen because they have a large group of dedicated volunteers. I was honoured to be a volunteer last night. They demonstrate commitment and it shows in the players. Last night, several residents shared their personal stories about how the Cougars attended their special event or helped out with their child's hockey practice. The Cougars are a part of what makes Esquimalt a great place to live. We need to save our arena AND our Cougars!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Its been a few days and I'm sorry for not blogging earlier! We've been to the Saanich Fair, the Labour Day picnic AND we've got the kids launched off to school for another year. Between writing names on tiny parts of pencils and comforting the first day jitters we've barely had a spare moment to breathe around here! I'll report more after the Cougars Home Opener tomorrow!