Cortes has a housing crises. Young families are being forced off the island because of the lack of affordable units and there is not much room for seniors who are no longer able to maintain large lots. The Cortes Housing recently purchased 51 acres in Mansons Landing to help address this issue, but are facing another issue as well. There are already too many nutrients draining into Hague and Gunflint Lakes. In this morning’s program we talk to Rex Weyler, Lake Stewardship Coordinator for the Friends of Cortes Island and David Rousseau, President of the Cortes Island Foundation, about adding housing while reducing human impact on the lakes
For most of us, Christmas is a time when families come together. However there are still some Cortesians for whom the word home takes on a more temporary aspect. Cortes Community Housing is attempting to help rectify this situation on 51 acres they recently purchased in Mansons Landing. In this morning’s program, Sandra Wood and Hayley Newell talk about their association’s new initiative to giving option: Home for the Holidays.
In my second interview with the candidates for Cortes Island’s Regional Director, I became aware that they have a very different vision of how the island should be governed. The current Director, Noba Anderson, portrays herself as an instigator, who “convenes conversations that would not otherwise happen.” Many of the island’s best known projects came about through her direct intervention. Though George Sirk chalked up a similar list of accomplishments during the nine years he represented the island (1996 – 2005), he stresses the idea that there should be more of a separation between the Regional Director and specific business projects. In this morning’s episode, I ask, why re-elect George Sirk as Regional Director?
Some vital issues undergird the impending Cortes Community Housing fund raiser, on July 14. According to David Rousseau, one of the principal organizers, “We are slowly slipping towards a community of older people who can not afford to be here. And the people who want to come here; live here; raise families and work here are slowly being squeezed out.” He points to Hornby Island as an example of what could happen. (The population average is a decade older than on Cortes and most trades come from off island.) Cortes Island Seniors Society’s purchase of a 51 acre parcel close to downtown Mansons Landing is a significant step towards addressing the Cortes Island Housing Crises.