March 11 - More signs of summer drought

School bus fees on the way? UVic teams finish top 10 in Canada

Good morning !

How are you feeling after the longest daylight (and shortest overnight) of the year? On the one hand, we got more light—but on the other hand, many of us got less sleep.

It looks like we can expect the days this week to get a lot warmer as well as longer. But enjoy it while you can, since the signs continue to point to a dangerously dry spring and summer. More on that below.


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Today’s approx. read time: 4 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 8 / 4

Tomorrow: 🌦️ 9 / 4

Day after:  🌧️ 9 / 3


District may start charging school bus fees

Photo (cropped): SD62 / Facebook

The Sooke School District is considering bus fees for next year, citing an “unsustainable rate” of cost increases due to inflation and rising enrolment.

SD62 is one of the fastest-growing districts in BC, with 2,000 more students expected by decade's end. The district and province have been rushing to catch up to the Westshore's rapid growth, with multiple schools under construction.

It’s the cost of educating these students that has the school board weighing bus fees; it says that the alternative is to start reallocating classroom funding toward transportation. Currently, $4M is allocated to bussing and the only fee in recent years has been a $25 safety fee.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Week will get warm: Rain until Wed. will give way to sun and cloud with highs up to 18C.

Saanich council meeting tonight at 7pm.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


As winter runs out, Island snowpack still extremely low

Snow basins as % of normal snowpack, via BC River Forecast Centre

The Island gained a lot of snowpack in February, but not enough. We are now at 46% of normal as of March 1—a big jump from 39% on Jan. 1 and 30% on Feb. 1, but still among the lowest on record. BC as a whole is at just 66% of normal, with the eastern regions faring better and the Island among the three lowest.

One year ago, the Island was much higher (77%), as was BC (91%). But last year still had major summer droughts, as did the year before. This year could be even worse, especially with a warm summer expected.

There are “significantly elevated” drought hazards for this spring and summer, the River Forecast Centre says. The 4-8 weeks left to accumulate snowpack are not expected to make much of a difference.

The silver lining: Spring flood risk, at least, will be low.


UVic teams finish Top 10 in Canada, but no medals

Star runner Elise Coates at nationals. Photo: Vikes Sports / David Mahussier

Men’s basketball ends tourney at #6

A team that entered the Final 8 as the top-ranked team in the country for a second straight year fell short of a medal once again. An opening-day upset against low-ranked host team Laval relegated Victoria to the consolation bracket, where they won on Sat. but lost 80-70 on Sun. to UQAM.

Swimming women #6, men #10

The best event finishes in Montreal were fifth, for both Victoria-raised Lauren Crisp in the 200 Back, and her team in the 400 Medley Relay. For the men, Elijah Agostinelli Stull was seventh in the 1500 Free while Ricky Mills set two school records, becoming the first Vike to swim a 100 free in under 50 seconds. [Full results]

Track women finish #6 in two races

Nanaimo’s Elise Coates was the star in Winnipeg over the weekend, landing sixth in 3000m and ninth in 1500m. UVic’s relay women were sixth in the 4x100 and the men eighth, while Victoria’s Daniel Damian snuck in at tenth in the 3000m. 


Luncheon with Captain Roger Williams

On March 19, Captain Roger Williams of the BC Coast Pilots will be speaking at the Hotel Grand Pacific to members and guests of the Canadian Club of Victoria. The talk will begin after the luncheon, which begins at 11:45 am.

Pilots are the brave souls who climb a ladder from their boat, 9 metres up to the rails of huge foreign ships that ply our local waters to and from Vancouver. They take over the steering to safely navigate them to and from the open Pacific Ocean. Captain Rogers will explain this fascinating service that has existed from the mid-1800s.

Tickets may be purchased here through the CCV website.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🥞 Unique brunch spots to check out: 6 unique options via Tasting Victoria.

📈 Progress your career growth! Jump into new possibilities and build your future. Gain valuable skills and career training with Continuing Studies at UVic.*

🐚 The hand-placed stone spirals of this View Royal wall, and the story of how they were made, via photographer Doug Clement

🤠 The music of Gram Parsons performed by local tribute band Gilded Palace. This two-hour concert stream starts at the 10-minute mark.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Oak Bay police chief retiring after 21 months on job
Mark Fisher said health challenges prompted his early retirement. This was his second stint; he was also chief constable from 2011 to 2014. 

James Bay senior dies after 103 years of land, water, and air adventures
Trevor Anderson was a friendly neighbourhood character often seen on his front porch. But he was also a WWII aircraft gunner, lighthouse keeper all around the Island, self-taught sailor, road-tripper, and author. [Times Colonist]

Seafood funding for 9 Island organizations
The $1.9M Climate Ready BC Seafood Program aims to increase understanding of ocean acidification and hypoxia and support BC’s coastal food security. Recipients include Ocean Networks Canada and VIU (where previous work has looked at making acid-proof oysters). Read more at Victoria Tech Journal. 

Downtown waffle spot appears to have closed
During its decade on Broad, West Coast Waffles was known for its ultra-customizable waffles and late hours. [Tasting Victoria]

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🗓️ Things to do

 🎶 Sing the Tragically Hip with the All Together Now Drop-In Choir. Victoria Event Centre. Today, 7:30-9:30pm.

🎥 Ferrari at Cinecenta: The biographical sports film starring Adam Driver plays at the UVic theatre. Today. 5pm and 7:30pm.

🌷 Greater Victoria Flower Count is on until Wed. [Petal power]

🎞 IMAX Film Festival: Fan-favourite documentaries are airing all day, all month at the museum theatre. [Schedule / info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Saturday news: Billion-plus water plan. “Noise cameras” on roads? Big cig bust. Royals clinch playoffs. [Mar. 9]

Class action suit vs. fertility/menstruation app, over data privacy, can proceed in BC courts. [CP]

Victoria 2 Everett 6: Royals lost on Sat.

1,000+ voters have cast 15,000+ votes in the 2024 Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards. [Cast your vote]

Beware toxic newt on Westshore, warns City of Langford.

That’s it!

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