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Dec.8. Hundreds of people -- families and kids -- turned out to see Santa and all his friends on floats and walking (Sooke Dance Studio owner Carole Cave and kids in photo), go by in the Sooke Santa Parade today at noon. The weather was winter-fabulous! No wind, bright skies, and nippy enough at the zero-mark to feel like Christmas. Good on the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce and the District of Sooke for organizing this. Mayor Wendal Milne was giving out candy all up and down Sooke Road. Councillor Kevin Pearson had his cute little dog Poncho in the parade, along with Councillors Herb Haldane, Rick Kasper, Kerrie Reay, and Maja Tait who were carrying the District banner. Traffic control road blockages could have been pre-announced by the private security provider however, as a lot of drivers were unaware of the extended road lengths that were blocked to traffic on West Coast Road and Otter Point Road.
Dec.8. Today is the Sooke Santa Parade! It starts at 12 noon from Sooke Elementary School, travelling along Sooke Road through town centre, wrapping up at Sooke Community Hall on Shields/Eustace. Over 32 floats and walking groups are in the parade, with Santa too of course! Organized by the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce and the District of Sooke (trophy for best float, from the District). Then at 1 pm is the start of Moss Cottage Christmas outdoors at Sooke Region Museum (Sooke Rd at Phillips Rd). Roast chestnuts over an open fire, and for the kids there's a snowman-building contest (registration 1 to 2 pm). Moss Cottage Christmas is a traditional regional celebration that goes on til 4 pm.
Dec.7. There will be a sailpast of decorated boats in the Sooke Harbour this chilly sub-zero evening, starting 5 pm. So far, the weather does not seem to have altered the sailpast plans. Viewable from Rotary Pier at the boardwalk in Sooke Harbour (accessible through Ed Macgregor Park) or at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort wharf area.
Dec.7. The Extreme Weather Shelter at Sooke Baptist Church has been operating nightly since Dec.1, where there are 10 co-ed sleeping spaces. The service by The Greater Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol is activated on a daily basis depending on a combination of weather factors; last night there were 11 active emergency shelters in the Greater Victoria area (Sooke being one). Implementation of Extreme Weather Response Plan is called by their regional coordinator when weather conditions are deemed severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of homeless persons. Anticipated weather factors from The Weather Network and Environment Canada forecasts are taken into account, including temperatures near zero with rainfall making it difficult or impossible to remain dry; and/or these factors: sleet/freezing rain, snow accumulation, sustained high winds, temperatures at or below -2°C. Staff and clients at the Sooke shelter have been provided coffee by The Stick in the Mud Coffee House in recent days. More info: www.vewp.net
Dec.7. The danger threshold for unprotected water pipes to start having freezing issues is -6°C according to a survey of 71 plumbers, as reported by The Weather Channel. Pipes that are within a home or surrounded by insulation are considered safe; pipes that are outdoors or in crawl spaces or attics may have problems of ice forming in the pipes in temperatures below the freezing point. The pipe failure is usually not where the ice has formed, but rather occurs where water pressure builds up due to ice blockage elsewhere along the pipe. Opening faucets (or regular water use) to keep water flowing can help avoid problems.
Dec. 7. It's the last day to get your signature locally onto the Sensible BC petition toward the legalization of marijuana, or use the website at www.sensiblebc.ca up to December 9. Signature table planned for outside at Evergreen Shopping Centre in Sooke for today, Sat. Dec.7 (pending bearable outdoor temperatures). Over 100 people signed the petition in Sooke yesterday, says local petition coordinator Chad Levesque. Signatures of a minimum of 10% of voters in every BC electoral area must sign, in order for the Sensible BC Act to reach the BC Legislature.
Dec.6. Donation-giving foot traffic was a bit slow for the Christmas Bureau volunteers who waited out in the cold tonight in front of Shoppers and the grocery stores. If you're shopping tomorrow or Sunday in Sooke, the volunteers will be out again to receive non-perishables, cash and cheques.
Dec.6. It's going to be very cold tonight in the Sooke area, with sub-zero temperatures tonight. Already -5°C by 7 pm, predicted to reach -8°C in the wee hours of Saturday morning, which in combination with strong winds from an arctic cold front will lead to wind chill values ranging from -15°C to -19°C tonight Forecast updates on the Environment Canada website: www.weatheroffice.gc.ca
Dec.6. Lest we forget... 14 women were gunned down in Montreal on this day in 1989, only because they were women. December 6 is the proclaimed Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. "BC continues to support female victims of violence through more than 100 transition house programs and over 400 victim service and violence-again-women counselling and outreach programs," says Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. "Despite the important work that has been done to end violence against women, on this day we are reminded that this work is far from complete. Today, we remember those that have been lost, and the women and girls who spend each day living under the threat of violence," says NDP women's issues critic Maurine Karagianis.
Dec.6. The BC-NDP report that 15,828 people have signed their petition that protests the 28% BC Hydro 5-year rate hike. More signatures hoped for ... www.bcndp.ca/hydro
Dec.6. The Dec.6th edition of Sooke Voice News is now online! Front page stories include a list of the Santa Parade participants, reason why Canadians should care of the Senate scandal, November home sales up (year to year) in Greater Victoria. Page 2: another funding injection to the BC Arts ($2.6 million), BC Buy Local week Dec.2-8. Page 3: Full list of the Santa Run / Candy Cane Run for Dec.14. and more!
Dec.5. Move This! Dance Studio is giving an informal dance performance for the residents of Ayre Manor seniors facility on Saturday, Dec.7. Approximately 12 dancers from the studio, ages 6 to 16, will perform jazz, tap and modern improvisational works. The dancers will then spend some time socializing and sharing holiday treats with the residents and audience members.
Dec.5. It's a snowy Thursday in Sooke! Light flurries, but it seems to be sticking and not melting away, in -2° temperatures. Almost no wind, so the snow is quietly falling. Looks pretty, but may contribute to traffic issues later in the day as temperatures drop. Jeri Grant of the Juan de Fuca Emergency Preparedness division reminds drivers to brush up on winter driving tips.
Dec.5. Yesterday (Wed.Dec.4) at 4:47 pm there was an MVI in the 5800-block of Sooke Road (Hwy 14). A car rolled over into the trees. Two occupants and two dogs in the car -- driver and one dog were out of the vehicle when Sooke firefighters arrived. Emergency personnel: There were 4 Sooke RCMP, 2 ambulance attendants and 12 Sooke firefighters on scene. Sooke Fire Chief Steve Sorensen says there were minor injuries and that firefighters had to use a pry bar to force open the car door (it was stuck due to the vehicle being upside down and the roof had crushed inwards). There was a traffic detour set up for about an hour, using Harbourview and Woodlands Roads. Photo by Steve Sorensen shows firefighter rescue personnel in action.
Dec.4. About 125 people came out to John Horgan's annual Christmas reception for the Juan de Fuca constituency last night at his new constituency office at 122-2806 Jacklin Road (corner of Goldstream Ave). Horgan has been holding these annual get-togethers since first elected as MLA for Juan de Fuca in 2005 (the Malahat-Juan de Fuca).
Dec.3. The popular Bee's Knees Boutique consignment store that has been open at their Evergreen Shopping Centre location for many years is relocating within town centre at year-end. Closing up Dec.24 and reopening in January, the new down-sized location has yet to be announced. "Rest assured we are not closing down, but instead moving and changing our look," says Bee's Knees owner Judi Trudel. The store will also have a new name, and a stronger online presence.
Dec.3. The annual Christmas reception for the Juan de Fuca constituency is tonight Tues. Dec. 3 from 5 to 7 pm at John Horgan's new constituency office at 122-2806 Jacklin Road (corner of Goldstream Ave). Horgan has been holding these annual get-togethers since first elected as MLA for Juan de Fuca in 2005 (the Malahat-Juan de Fuca). Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Food bank donations are welcome at the event. Info: 250-391-2801
Dec.3. Transformer burnout in 8400-block West Coast Road last night around 7 pm. Power expected to be back on for about five BC Hydro customers by 8am this morning. As of 4:22 am this morning, power is out for about 28 BC Hydro customers in Langford (900-block Weaver Place and 3300 Block Lodmell Rd); restoration time estimated as 7:30 am. In Metchosin, it was lights out for 245 electricity customers this morning around 5:30 am with 'cause under investigation'; estimated restoration time is 9 am.
Dec.2. In Sooke there have been 100 new business licence applications in 2013 to date, as part of a total 574 businesses licences in Sooke this year, says the District of Sooke bylaw department. Of the businesses in Sooke, 29.7% are small commercial, 27.8% are home-based and only 3.4% are large commercial. Inter-municipal licences are held by 34.3% of Sooke businesses, while 4.3% of Sooke business licence holders are non-resident. In 2013 there are 10% more business licences over last year.
Dec.2. BC has proclaimed Dec.2-8 as 'Buy Local Week' as a push to encourage the support of small businesses and grow the local economy, says a Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training news release today. Small businesses employ more than 1 million people in BC and provide about 55% of all private-sector jobs in BC (the 2nd highest rate in Canada).
Dec.2. "We saw market activity slow down after a very busy five months," says the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) today upon releasing their Nov.2013 MLS real estate sales stats. They attribute "flat employment and weak economic growth" as "likely contributors to a moderating market". Active MLS listings continued to decline (dropping to 4,017 by Nov.30 compared to 4,488 one year ago). However, the number of home and property sales last month was in fact higher than in Nov.2012, by 11%. The new HPI blended average house value in Sooke was $341,800 for Nov.2013, down by 3,300 from previous month. The old averaging system (pre-HPI) would have pegged the average Sooke house price at $366,545; subjective factors like 'neighbourhood' and 'proximity to services' are now factored into the HPI figures.
Dec.2. A bit of intersection action (interruption) today in Sooke at the corner of Otter Point Road and Sooke Road, for services upgrading in support of the car wash and laundromat being constructed nearby off Murray Road.
Dec.2. It was windy/gusty in the Sooke area last night. While the swags along utility poles in town center took a bit of a weather-beating, there were no power outages in Sooke. In Metchosin, however, trees did come down across wires causing outages for 23 BC Hydro customers during the day and into the evening in some areas, as well as for 5 customers in the Kangaroo Road area this morning.
Dec.1. In Sooke tonight there will be an emergency homeless shelter at Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Rd. It will be open from 9 pm tonight to 7 am tomorrow morning. Organized by the Greater Victoria Extreme Weather Response Plan. Inquiries: 250-896-4012 | Info: www.vewp.net
Dec.1. Sunrise was officially 7:45 am this Sunday morning and at that time the wind had already gusting for a few hours up to about 46 kph, with stronger winds up to 55 kph predicted for mid-day and later today. For this afternoon, the Weather Network predicts 100% precipitation, let's hope it's rain (not snow)! The temperature is 9°C at 8 am, but "feels like 5" with the wind chill.
Dec.1. "Ho, ho, ho!" Only one week until the 2013 Sooke Santa Parade. To have a float or walk in the parade, contact the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce for an application form at firstname.lastname@example.org . The parade will be held on Sunday, December 8 starting at noon (floats will assemble at Sooke Elementary starting 11 am that morning).
Dec.1. The BC NDP have clearly found their first rallying cause
since the May 2013 election.
For the past few days they have been pitching to their followers to
sign a petition in protest against the 28% hydro rate increases,
and to pay even small donations to help fund a campaign they say they
will launch to protest the large hike slated to start with 9% in April
2014 and run its course over five years, with further five years of
increases already pre-authorized.
The petition can be signed electronically at
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