All posts by De Clarke

De Clarke is a sailor, photographer, retired software engineer and intermittent author who since the late 70’s has published both technical writing and essays on various topics ranging from feminism to technology and environmental issues. She has lived on Cortes since late 2011.

2021: Cortes at Fairy Creek: In Their Own Words

[From the Archives: A series of programs originally broadcast daily between Dec 13 and 17, 2021]

I mean, I’ve been in cut blocks quite a lot before, I’ve been around that sort of stuff quite a lot, but I’ve never seen it the way I did when I was at Fairy Creek, you know, feeling the misery of the land and the devastation there, like on a very personal level.

— Dani

Most people are probably aware of the protest and blockade at Fairy Creek on Vancouver island. For over a year, forest defenders have blocked a logging road to prevent logging company Teal Jones from cutting intact old growth areas. For this special feature. I did a little oral history with seven local people who went to Fairy Creek to join that blockade.

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Farewell To Trude’s Café

(From the Archives: March 14, 2022)

It was a beautiful time; you know, there’s these blips in history and you don’t realize that when it’s happening, how special it is.
— Lovena Harvey

On February 9th 2022, Whaletown neighbours near the Robertson/Whaletown intersection were alarmed by an unusual sight: the old “Trude’s Café” building was on fire.

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The Cortes Deathcaring Collective

(A five part series airing daily between July 11 and 15, 2022. Podcasts 1 through 5 are now embedded below)

For the last several years, a small but dedicated group of Cortes Islanders have been taking practical steps towards an ambitious goal for themselves and their community: a healthier relationship with death and dying. Their projects include regular meetings for discussion and support, humane and family-led funeral arrangements, and green (natural) burials in our local cemeteries.

The Deathcaring Collective was kickstarted by Margaret Verschuur, in collaboration with Quadra Island’s similar effort (Way To Go). The two groups share an informational website,, and the Cortes group now includes over a dozen volunteers and a larger membership connected by email list and regular meetings. The core group of volunteers offer several kinds of assistance for islanders dealing with a death (or anticipated death) in the family.

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Vessels of Concern: Signs of the Times

The grounding of “March Wind” in January prompted Roy Hales to write a story about boats adrift. I’d like to dig (or dive?) a little deeper under that story and consider some of the factors that have led to the increasing number of derelict and dilapidated boats on the BC Coast.

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Garbage is an Issue on Cortes Island Docks

Recently the Harbour Authority of Cortes Island (HACI) decided to stop offering garbage disposal services on our docks. This news sparked a flurry of discussion on Cortes Island Facebook groups. Some people were upset at the HACI decision, while others supported it. Most people agreed that there is a “garbage problem” on our docks, but opinions varied about who is to blame and what should be done.

On Saturday, May 21st I visited the Gorge Harbour Government Dock to interview Billie Fleming, who has worked for HACI as a garbage collector. Billie is now offering her own garbage pickup service at the Gorge Harbour public dock from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday.

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