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.

Cortes Island Women’s Centre

Originally posted on Cortes Radio.ca. This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

The Covid-19 lockdown has sparked an upsurge in domestic violence both in Canada and worldwide, as well as making it harder for support services to offer counseling and shelter for victims.

On April 15, 2020, I interviewed Tanya Henck, founding member of the first Cortes Island Women’s Centre which opened in January 2019. A combination of diligent sanitization and long microphone cables, plus a newly constructed and never-inhabited space, enabled us to set up for Covid-19-safe recording.  (The room was so bare that you may hear a certain amount of natural reverb in the podcast.)

Tanya has lived on Cortes Island for 14 years, and has long been aware of the persistent and under-addressed problem of domestic violence.  Every community whether rural or urban has to deal with this issue, she says, and Cortes is no exception.  Yet Cortes, she feels, has been for years “behind the times” in coming to grips with this problem.

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Shocked, Shocked?

[An earlier version of this article originally appeared in Medium, an online magazine, under the title “The Price Tag.”]

The influenza epidemic of 1918 — as most of us are remembering or discovering right about now — killed about 50 million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920. At that time, the world population was perhaps about 1.8 billion people (as opposed to today’s approximately 7.8 billion people). So to achieve the same statistical impact, a pandemic today would have to kill about 200 million people (or approximately 2/3 the population of the US). Spread of the disease was greatly aided by military deployment at the end of WWI, and by the poor physical condition and abysmal living conditions of troops in the trenches. So far, Covid-19 is not even remotely in the league and hardly merits comparison. However, that could change. Like the old Carpenters song, it’s only just begun.

My second reaction to Covid-19 was one of puzzlement or frustration (I’ve written about the first reaction elsewhere). All around me, people were not only scared or appalled, but bewildered, outraged, shocked. What a freakish thing to happen, how unfair, how incredible, how surreal! A pandemic? A Plague? How mediaeval! Who woulda thunkit? How could that happen here?

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Anne & Sam: Market Farmers On Cortes Island

Originally Published on Cortes Radio.ca. This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

Podcast: Interview with Anne Dzakovic and Sam Gibb about their life as market farmers on Cortes Island.

Congratulations to Anne and Sam on the safe and successful birth of their second child, Graciella!  Just prior to their departure from Cortes Island to await her arrival on the big island, I had the pleasure of  interviewing Sam and Anne at their home on Blue Jay Lake Farm.

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Interview with Mark Lombard

Originally published on Cortes Radio.ca. This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

On Saturday March 14th, the monthly Cortes Currents news/talk show featured an interview with Mark Lombard, contract manager for the Cortes Forestry General Partnership.  This podcast explores what the “Community Forest” is, and how it works.  Did you know that CFGP’s license now covers far more hectares of Cortes Island than the MMB/IT/Mosaic license? This and many other interesting details are discussed in our program (such as what “MMB” and “IT” mean).

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Spring Migration of Whaletown Post Office

Whaletown Post Office — much photographed by tourists — has a long and interesting story (you can find out more at the Cortes Museum). It has served the community for over 70 years.

When its tenure on private property near Whaletown Wharf could no longer be maintained, Whaletown residents banded together to “Save the Post Office” and find it a new home. After several weeks of discussion and some generous donations to “buy more time,” a solution was found: Whaletown Community Club agreed to host the Post Office in the Community Hall parking lot.

Once the destination was chosen, the ad hoc Post Office Committee (“Friends of V0P1Z0”) worked tirelessly to plan and execute the relocation. On the weekend of March 6th-8th — as the clocks changed — their plans were realised: the Whaletown Post Office moved to a new and sunnier location next to the Whaletown Community Hall.

Continue reading Spring Migration of Whaletown Post Office