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News and announcements
- Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says an individual in the Island Health region has been identified to have the first case of the COVID-19 U.K. variant in B.C. Henry says the individual returned to B.C. from the U.K. on a Dec. 15 flight, developed symptoms while in quarantine and was immediately tested. A small number of close contacts have been isolated and public health is following up with them daily.
- The Capital Regional District is advising residents that temporary adjustments to the water disinfection process may lead to a stronger-than-usual chlorine smell and taste in water in some parts of Greater Victoria. The CRD says the water remains safe to drink. To mitigate any unpleasant smell or taste, residents can use regular tap filters or let the tap water stand for 30 minutes prior to consumption.
- The Oceanside Trail linking Ed Macgregor Park to the Murray Road staircase – adjacent to the Rotary Pier and Boardwalk in Sooke – is closed until further notice. The District of Sooke says recent storms have brought down several large trees in the area, making it unsafe for pedestrians. The district asks residents to avoid using the trail until the hazards have been removed.
- On Dec. 23, West Shore RCMP set up on Bear Mountain Parkway to educate drivers on the importance of having winter tires. Out of the 600 vehicles checked, about 20 had the wrong type of tire or insufficient tread depth. The drivers were issued warnings. The West Shore RCMP is reminding drivers of winter tire guidelines as we move further into the winter season.
- Starting Jan. 4, there will be some service changes to BC Transit in Greater Victoria. Routes servicing some schools have trip time adjustments. On the West Shore, Royal Bay Secondary students will see extra service on routes 51, 59 and 60 to meet new midday bell times.
- The Capital Regional District is offering to fix hand wash faucets that aren’t operating at maximum water efficiency at businesses and institutions using CRD water supply. The CRD says the aerator replacement program will “dramatically reduce the amount of water a facility uses, while saving money and greenhouse gas emissions.” Learn more here.
- A crossing guard at Sangster Elementary is being recognized for “going the extra mile,” Global News reports.
- A Langford baker’s Christmas cookies have made special appearances in locally-filmed Hallmark holiday movies this year, CTV News reports.
- Thursday, Dec. 31: 👨💻Join staff from Quazar’s Arcade and Powerhouse Pinball for a six-hour Twitch livestream of a Pinball Throwdown at the arcade.
- Friday, Jan. 1: 🥗The Victoria HarbourCats have partnered with Arbutus RV to gather food donations in an inaugural Fill the RV event. Head to Save-On-Foods in Saanich, located at 3150 Blanshard St., from noon to 4 p.m. to donate via drive-thru. Donations will go to The Mustard Seed Food Bank.
- Saturday, Jan. 2 to Sunday, Jan. 3: 🎄Bring your old Christmas tree to the Colwood Fire Hall for recycling. Colwood volunteer firefighters will be chipping trees by donation from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds will go towards the Colwood Firefighter’s Historical Fund.
- Now until Sunday, Jan. 3: 🎭 The annual SD62 Pace Musical Theatre Christmas show has gone digital this year. The theatre company rehearsed in parking lots to learn choreography, learned songs on Zoom, learned to lip-synch on camera and recorded vocals wearing masks to film over 30 numbers for a one-of-a-kind experience. Buy tickets to stream the show ($25 per household) and watch it as many times as you’d like between Dec. 22 and Jan. 3.
- This month: 🌿 Go for a walk in Colwood to find some of the city’s festive light displays which have been set up to lift spirits and spread cheer. There are forest lights at Herm Williams Park, light tunnels at Meadow Park in Royal Bay and signature Colwood starburst lights on city-owned lamp posts.
- This month: 🍅 Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive put on by Royal Bay Secondary, Belmont Secondary and Edward Milne Community School has gone virtual. Make donations, to go to local food banks, here.
- Weekends until Jan. 10: 🖼 Check out the Metchosin ArtPod’s Mighty Fine Affordable Art and Craft Show and Sale to see local fine art and handcrafted artisanal pieces! Metchosin ArtPod is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you’re planning an event that I should consider for an upcoming list, send me an email and let me know.
In your words
Melanie sent me an email after I announced The Discourse would be working on a series of stories about development on the West Shore in the new year.
“Looking forward to your future investigative reporting on this topic,” Melanie says.
Thanks so much for your support, Melanie. I can’t wait to dig into the series and hear the community’s feedback about it.