When we polled you last week, readers were fairly evenly split on whether summer is over as of this week, with Labour Day or the return to school, or lasts into mid-month.
But September’s robust roster of local events means that, whatever you call it, the summer season isn’t necessarily over.
Today’s approx. read time: 7 minutes
“Endings are rarely beautiful”: HeroWork, the local charity that helps local charities, closes down
Emily Vance / Capital Daily
After a decade, HeroWork announced last week that it is closing in Victoria and Vancouver with “both gratitude and a heavy heart.”
The group and its volunteers did construction work for other local organizations helping people in town, helping them to create customized spaces that they lack the budget for. In its model, charities pay a fixed 38% of initial budget while HeroWork figures out the rest even if costs grow.
It has done renos for Rainbow Kitchen, the Mustard Seed, PEERS, Citizens Counselling, Threshold Housing, and Cool Aid Society. Capital Daily profiled HeroWork’s “radical renovations” of Cool Aid almost exactly a year ago. At that time, HeroWork was expanding to the Lower Mainland and hoped to expand its model across Canada.
But now, the organization says operations have become financially unviable in the pandemic and post-pandemic era.
GM Trevor Botkin said in a video that across the construction industry costs have surged while workers are tired from the constant push. He lamented that HeroWork had finally put together the ideal team and “complete package” but that it had come too late, and apologized to the current reno recipient, Power to Be, for not being able to finish.
“Endings are rarely beautiful,” he says in the video, going on to tell the group’s sponsors and volunteers that this is “not the ending you deserved” and calling on the public to support struggling local charities.
School zones are back today. 30km/h limit, 8am-5pm on weekdays.
Expect Hwy 17 delays near Keating Cross Road due to high back-to-school traffic, especially near Keating Elementary at dropoff and pickup periods. Province advises travelling off-peak or planning for extra travel time.
This week’s weather: Sunny and 19-20, with some cloud returning on weekend.
Bacteria warnings return to major local beaches
Willows Beach photo used by Oak Bay for advisory announcement
Just days after the last one was lifted, a new warning against swimming at Willows Beach has been released by Oak Bay. The Island Health Sept. 1 update that it cites also includes a bacteria warning for Cadboro Bay / Gyro Beach.
The usual threshold for an advisory is 400 E. coli or 70 Enterococci. The tests measure these fecal bacteria not simply because they’re unpleasant but because they are generally a good indicator of other concerning bacteria being present. The August warning was based on Aug. 14 test results that found 4,400 enterococcus in a 100mL water sample—over 25 times the previous record-high.
Possible Westshore byelections next year, as Sooke mayor becomes federal candidate
Maja Tait (left / District of Sooke photo) will run to replace Randall Garrison (right / Wikimedia)
Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was officially announced at the end of August as the NDP’s candidate to replace longtime local MP Randall Garrison, 73. In late April, Garrison announced he would not run again for the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke seat he has held since 2011.
Tait has served on Sooke city council since 2008, twice as a councillor before being elected as mayor in 2014, and re-elected in 2018 and 2022. With a federal election no later than fall 2025, and the next municipal election coming in fall 2026, Sooke would need a byelection to replace her if she is elected MP.
Garrison has held the riding for the NDP since its creation—winning re-election comfortably in 2015, 2019, and 2021—but its main predecessor was competitive and Garrison originally won his seat only narrowly in 2011.
Garrison may leave MP seat early
At the event introducing Tait, Garrison said he may retire next spring if the federal election remains on track for late 2025 rather than being called early, the Times Colonist reported. That would mean that Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke would go to a 2024 byelection, rather than the general. Tait will take a leave to campaign when an election is set, and does not intend to run for mayor again regardless of the result—saying Sooke needs “fresh ideas with fresh people.”
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📽️ 2000s movies at Cinecenta this month, starting this week with Twilight, High School Musical and Mean Girls.
🎹 Preschool, child, and youth programs: Register for programs like piano classes, babysitting lessons, dance classes, and more.
📷 Out There Arts festival just wrapped another year; see a few photos of this past weekend’s fun via Colin Smith.
🪶 Beautiful iridescent feathers stand out when you see a starling up close, as in this photo from Comox.
Last time: Sonic forever = Sega / ages
Congrats to everyone who submitted the correct answer!
Discrimination complaint about Victoria softball: A tribunal will hear the complaint, which argues that the city discriminated by spending $2K on Pemberton Park’s softball field, where girls’ teams play, and $150K+ on Hollywood Park where boys play. [CHEK]
Crew member’s car crash led to 12 ferry cancellations in Powell River and Sunshine Coast area. [CTV] Staff absences led to 40% of ferry cancellations last year, per new BC Ferries numbers. Specialized roles mean that losing certain people can prevent entire sailings.
After 2021 setback in Victoria, Canada MBB finally makes Olympics: An overtime heartbreaker in the Olympic basketball qualifying tournament held right here at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena kept Canada’s men’s team out of Tokyo. But now a 88-85 win over world #1 Spain in the World Cup has guaranteed a Paris spot. If not for a stunning comeback in the game’s second half, Canada would have had to try yet again in 2024. [Yahoo Sports]
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Arts and Culture Colwood Society and Parks Canada present 'In Sight Festival' September 9 and 10 at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites. Free Admission!*
😋 Looking for a family outing to celebrate back-to-school? Here are some of the most kid-friendly local restaurants.
150+ local surgeries postponed as Royal Jubilee shuts another operating room for two months, taking it down to 75% of full capacity. [Monday]
Bus & SUV collide at Bay and Douglas, causing two injuries. Police and BC Transit are investigating; security footage appears to show the SUV entering the intersection when other cars had stopped.
The root of the issue: New pilot project to protect Victoria trees from drought. [Sunday]
Saanich kid wins 7 medals at the World Dwarf Games in Germany. [CTV]
Perfect cuts by leafcutter bees make circular doors for their leaf cocoons in these photos from Royston.
Amazing Race visits Island to sample some of the local attractions—and the local food. [Tasting Victoria]
Another pedestrian was killed at a Saanich crosswalk on Friday.
Nanaimo-bound flight clipped on YVR tarmac by another plane. [Global]
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