Tag Archives: Ashley Zarbatany

Reporter Roundtable: Fish farms and seaweed production

In partnership with Cortes Community Radio & Cortes Currents, Folk U Radio offered its first Reporter Roundtable: Fish farms and seaweed production. 

The panel: Binny Paul (LJI reporter for Campbell River Mirror), Rochelle Baker (LJI reporter for Cortes and Quadra Islands, National Observer), Roy L Hales (editor of Cortes Currents) and Ashley Zarbatany (Folk U Radio’s new political and climate commentator). 

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Climate solution: kelp farming on Cortes Island

the Discourse, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ashley Zarbatany has been an environmental organizer for the last 11 years. Now, as she spearheads a climate action plan for her community on Cortes Island, it’s innovative ideas like kelp farming that inspire her work.

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A Climate Action Plan for Cortes Island

“What exactly do we need to do as a community to survive, and thrive, through what is coming. Through the climate crisis; through climate breakdown; to mitigate as much as possible so that we can forego the extreme worst case scenarios and avoid them,”  said Ashley Zarbatany.

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Wood waste landfill proposal withdrawn

Jeff Levine said that when he purchased the 155 acre property on Sarah Point Rd. in Bliss Landing, he planned to use a tiny portion of it for a business venture. He claimed that Ministry of the Environment staff helped him develop the proposal. They told him that the ideal site for a wood waste landfill was land that had previously been clearcut or was a forest industry site.

There is a four acre parcel within Levine’s new property that fits both categories. It had been clear-cut three years ago. A sawmill had once stood there. In addition, the site was close to the ocean, which would make it easy to barge wood waste in. Ministry staff said he needed to submit the name of a proposed waste wood site, so they could see how his operation would work. So, Levine said, he used the old Interfor mill site in Squamish as a model.

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SRD released funding for Cortes Island’s community halls

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) released the funding for Cortes Island’s community halls. Though they were to have received this money in quarterly instalments, it has been close to a year since the SRD passed the Bylaw “to establish a community hall service within and for the benefit of Electoral Area B (Cortes Island).” The minutes of that meeting refer to the need for “a further report outlining next steps for implementing the community hall service.”  Former Chair Michele Babchuk and the SRD’s Corporate Officer did not receive authorization to ‘execute the contracts’ until last August. A spokesperson from the Whaletown Community Club (WCC), which operates Gorge Hall, said the funds needed for a year of operations have now been deposited directly into their bank account. Manson’s Hall Manager, Mary Lavelle, confirmed that a similar deposit was made into the Southern Cortes Community Association’s (SCCA) account on Friday, October 30th, 2020.

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