Sooke News Mirror, December 16, 2015
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C O M M U N I T Y N E W S M E D I A
Black PressWednesday, December 16, 2015 Mail Agreement #40110541
INDEX NEWS SPORTSNews A2Opinion A8Arts B1
Sooke School District board of education chair Wendy Hobbs chooses not to accept nomination when she believed she didnt have support of other trustees.
Sooke teen Morgan Couture, 14, is one amazing kid as she leads efforts in volunteering and helping others.
Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror
Smiles all aroundEast Sooke Fire and rescue opened its new fire hall on East Sooke Road on Saturday with an official opening. The $2.5-million, two storey building can house six vehicles. Officials taking part in the ribbon cutting were CRD Juan de Fuca director Mike Hicks, left, TSou-ke Nation Chief Gordon Planes, East Sooke Fire Commission chair George May, CRD chair Barb Desjardins, East Sooke Fire Chief Roger Beck and MLA John Horgan.
ARTS FUNDING CUTS REVERSEDKevin LairdSooke News Mirror
Funding cuts to some of the com-munitys most high-profile organiza-tions have been reversed by Sooke council.
Last month the community grant review community decided that several groups, including the Sooke Fine Arts Society and Sooke Com-munity Arts Council, would face funding cuts due to a new protocol introduced by council earlier this
year.However, council decided Mon-
day night to go against the com-mittees recommendations and rein-state some funding.
The Sooke Community Arts Coun-cil will receive $4,000 as requested. The committee had recommended no grant. Sooke Fine Arts Society saw its request of $7,000 reinstated. The committee recommended $3,500. Sooke Region Food Chi will get $7,000. The committee recom-mended no money.
This year the grant process was marred with controversy when the committees recommendations were announced. That controversy rolled into council on Monday when council chambers was standing room only, mostly art supporters.
The committee was tasked with reviewing grant requests against council policy during budget debates earlier this year. The grants are not intended to provide ongoing support for an indefinite time.
Few groups attended the commit-
tee meetings, but all were sent let-ters.
It is important to have public input anytime these sorts of deci-sions are being made, said Coun. Kerrie Reay, chair of the grants com-mittee.
As projects grow and become successful there is some expec-tation that organizations should become more sustainable finan-cially rather than to continue to rely on public funding, she said.
See GRANT, Page A6
Sooke council reinstates requests made by some community groups
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Merry Christmas From all of us at Sookes Home Team
A2 I NEWS I SOOKENEWSMIRROR.COM WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015
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A2 I NEWS I sookenewsmIrror.com wednesday, decemBer 16, 2015
Around 15 vehicles had their tires slashed around midnight Monday night between Maple Avenue South, Caldwell and Eustace roads.
One of the vehicles also had a broken windshield.
Sooke RCMP are currently investigating at the scene and looking for suspects, as well as a possible motive for the attacks.
Its unknown at this time whether they were related.
Chamber urges saving local old growth forests
Conservationists are delighted that the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce has issued a statement to the provincial government requesting that it protect the Central Walbran Valley from old-growth logging.
Port Renfrew has been transformed in recent years into a big tree tourism destination as hundreds of thousands of tourists have come from around the world in recent years to visit some of Canadas largest trees in the nearby Avatar Grove, the Red Creek Fir, Big Lonely Doug (Canadas
second largest Douglas-fir tree), San Juan Spruce, the Harris Creek spruce and the Central Walbran Valley.
The publicity about the old-growth forests near Port Renfrew in recent years has brought in a flood of visitors from Europe, the U.S. and Canada to visit Port Renfrew. Dan
Hager, president of the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce said that if the Central Walbran were to be protected, it would be a great addition to the towns repertoire of big tree attractions.
Along with sport fishing, old-growth forest tourism has become a staple of our local economy, Hager
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Readers PhotoEv Petries captured this late fall sunset across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Readers Photo of the Week is sponsored by the Stickleback West Coast Eatery.
Tires slashed on Maple Ave
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015 I NEWS I SOOKENEWSMIRROR.COM A3
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Wednesday, deCeMBeR 16, 2015 I NEWS I sookeneWsMIRRoR.CoM A3
Kevin LairdSooke News Mirror
Sooke parents could see changes to how their child gets to school once the board of education presents its 2016 budget.
The school district subsidizes its bus routes and needs to look at ways to manage transportation costs and find efficiencies.
The Sooke School District, however, will seek substantial public input before any changes are made, said Bob Phillips, the new board chairman.
Its not yet clear what form those
efficiencies could take, but Phillips said increased fees and changes to transportation services are being considered.
There will be consultation. Busing is a big issue in this part of the district, and its certainly not an option for families living in Shirley, Otter Point or East Sooke, he said.
In the past, busing was funded by the district. Now parents and the district share the costs.
The busing issue came to a head this fall when school began and demand for transportation outpaced resources available. The district was forced to use spare buses to answer
the need.Last week the board received
approval from the Education Ministry to buy four new buses.
Much of the problem is the growth of the district where more than 300 students enroll