Solstice show gets top marks

June 23, 2018

All over the Gulf Islands, which snuggle between the Vancouver mainland and Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada, there are artistic groups of all disciplines that glitter like stunningly magical stars.

When I discovered Solstice Theatre, quietly mounting plays for extremely talented actors, I am sure my mouth dropped open.

Here is a piece about one of the plays they did:

Gulf Islands Driftwood – Penders Edition

Wednesday, April 1, 2000

Solstice show gets top marks

by Tanya Lester

It would be difficult for anyone, even an English literature professor, to argue against the premise that Ann-Marie MacDonald is among the finest of young Canadian writers.

Her novel, Fall on Your Knees, is a major work by an author who takes the risk of writing in multiple layers and pulls it off extremely well.

MacDonald’s highly acclaimed play, Goodnight Desdemona (Goodmorning Juliet), produced by Pender Solstice Theatre Society, opened last weekend at the community hall. It, too, has as many layers as can be peeled away from an onion.

This is the most well-written play I have seen since I last went to a William Shakespeare production. Coincidence? I think not.

Goodnight Desdemona (Goodmorning  Juliet) is a huge post-modern spoof of Shakespeare’s work, but even more so MacDonald pokes a finger of fun, with a very sharp nail on the end of it, at the academics who obsessively spend long days and nights pulling apart major works of literature, among them the plays of The Bard.

To produce this play, with its emphasis on hacking up Romeo and Juliet and Othello, is risky business, too.

Solstice Theatre took it and, like its playwright, is pulling it off extremely well.

Front and centre in the success of the production stands Sheila Jordan, who plays the lead of Constance Ledbelly (Ledbelly, indeed, is Jordan who was in a car accident the Tuesday before opening night.)

Jordan’s acting stays perfectly balanced from the moment she walks on stage as the unbalanced Constance wearing a red toque with a quill pen and gets behind a crate-style desk stamped “Prop Queen’s Univ. Discard,” through her ludicrous time-travel scenes into Shakespeare’s world and back again as a transformed Ledbelly.

She is the brainy, virginal, mousy assistant to an unethical progessor, who regresses into the past “lives” of Shakespearean characters and tries to change the plots as laid donw by the Elizabethan playwright.

Constance discovers that what happens to Romeon and Juliet when they go on living is more than she ever imagined and quite beyond her comfort zone — just as messing around with Iago’s evil manipulation gets her into another tight corner.

Jordan’s acting smoothly flows through the bumps in her character’s development much as a real person might who goes through, say, Jungian therapy, which is one way of looking at the archetypes the MacDonald play struts out across the boards.

The other actors develop very nicely as well but, unlike Joran who stands steady at the production’s helm, they shine better in some places than others.

Tim Kempe is a true clod as Professor Claude Night. Joyce Davis blossoms as the deflowered Juliet. Colleen Shannon plays a great Soldier of Cyprus and a good Desdemona. Steve Larouche pulls off Romeo whether in tights or long dress. Kim Davis is a wickedly wonderful Iago.

The play is highly amusing in the first act and leads the audience into raucous laughter in its more bawdy second half.

(“Does no one in Verona sail straight?” asks Desdemona, summing up the character development in Act III.)

“Life is a hell of a lot more complicated than you think” is what Ledbelly learns and the audience sees acted out by the end of this play…

You do not want to miss it. It is one of the best plays I have seen since I arrived in the Gulf Islands two years ago.


To read more posts in this eclectic blog of genres and topics, go to and

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two books listed here can be purchased from the author or from amazon. ca    The third title is housed at the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All four books are in some library systems.

Tanya has worked, to date, for 21 years as a psychic counsellor who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, mediumship and gypsy cards. She is also a reiki master and fulltime housesitter. For more information, go to Tanya’s web: and/or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align. To book a reading text or call Tanya at 250-538-0086 or email: 



Market Expenses Don’t Figure

June 22, 2018

I have told many, many, many tourists over the years about the wonderful and huge Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island, BC.  I lived right in Ganges for 16 years and saw how big it was every Saturday, all summer as it is held in Ganges.

But we know when something is big (and big equates with being successful, in most peoples’ minds) then people want to get their fair share in money from it. But some people want to get more than their fair share or are given more than their fair share because the group, or individuals in the group, that runs it decide the individual deserves a large amount of money.

What I am saying here is that when there is money to be made and even more so if there is a lot of money to be made things can get complicated, unethical or illegal.

Writing a story about something like this is a challenge for a journalist. As a journalist, I always enjoyed working on a challenging story because it was interesting to do the research (the investigation) to find out as much as possible what is actually going on.

To be fair, a journalist has to interview as many people as possible about what is going on in the situation that will result in the story which will be published in the newspaper.

But there are also time restraints for many reasons: the newspaper has to go to press at a particular time; the journalist has other stories to do and other things to do in his or her life and it is important not to slander or libel anyone.

In other words, often the more interesting a story is, the more challenging it is to write. Being a journalist is ‘not for sissies’ to paraphrase a quote attributed to celebrity Mae West:

Village Views

Friday, May 14, 2004

Market Expenses Don’t Figure

by Tanya Lester

You don’t need to be Einstein to understand that something doesn’t make sense in the 2003 Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission (PARC) Saturday Market Statement of Revenue and Expenditure.

For last year’s 30-day season, expenses totalled $48,893.35. Averaged out, this means it cost $1629.78 for each Saturday that the market was in operation. Compare this to $33,474.76. That is what is cost to run Centennial Park for 365 days.

Obtained from the Capital Regional District (CRD) in adherence to Section 52 of the Freedom of Information Act, the market statement of revenue and expenditure shows Salt Spring PARC staff administration time costs $11,188.95.

“At $20 an hour, for the 20 hours a week the PARC office is open to the public, the market is paying in effect the front office person’s salary for a full seven months,” states Wendy Beatty. Beatty has been a market vendor, selling coffee, for fifteen years.

According to PARC operations manager Dave Gibbons, the office staff gets a “tremendous number of phone calls” related to the market.

Market supplies is listed as costing $1,117.79. Beatty believes these would consist of three clipboards, pens and 180 sheets of paper: one for every potential vendor as well as a software accounting program (paid for previously) used by the market coordinator.

The statement indicates electricity charges to be $260.03. Beatty said there are nine vendors who access the electricity for an eight-hour period for 30 days. “This is no more than an average household’s daily consumption,” Beatty points out. “Yet this charge is equivalent to my electrical bill for a five-month period.” Each vendor is charged an additional $20 to use the electricity.

Gibbons said one meter feeds power to the washroom and the market area. He said there was an electrical outlet upgrading charge of $186.66.

Water expenses are totalled at $873.39. “The park needs to be watered whether the Market is there or not,” Beatty indicated. “However, the water consumption due to toilet flushing is worthy of consideration. We may calculate that cost as follows: There are four toilets and two urinals. The water in the urinals runs continuously whether they are used or not. Let us assume that the other four stalls are used continuously every three minutes for six hours, for 30 days, although this is certainly not the case in the shoulder season. At the rate of .48/100 gallons, this heavy usage would cost $11.52 per day, for a total of $345.60. The wash cart, I am sure uses less that 100 gallons per day. But we shall over-estimate that usage and include the additional $14.40 in our calculation.”

“The market’s contribution of $360.00 would be considered generous,” Beatty concluded.

“Charge to the market is more than double that amount.”

The biggest expense in the statement is Contract for Services at $26,176.18. Gibbons said this includes payment for the market coordinator as well as janitorial services which were $1,500. This equates to approximately 50 days of washroom cleaning. Contract for Services in 2003 also includes $4,000 for the market manual which was prepared for distribution to market vendors this year. It explains PARC rules and regulations concerning the market, said Gibbons.

When asked about market expenditures, Gibbons said, “We have a mandate to operate the market on a break even basis.”

On paper, 2003 figures show that the market expenses were $48,893.35. “Monies collected from vendors equal $48,790.44 which leaves to a shortfall of $102.91,” Beatty stated. “Will these accounting practices attempt to be the justification for an increase in fees? Perhaps the more important question is, if this is happening here, could it be happening elsewhere in the domain of CRD/PARC fiscal responsibility?”






Review of my book : Friends I Never Knew

June 14, 2018

When I wrote fiction, I often started with a setting and other situations that I actually experienced with a main character who had a name similar to my first name.

In this way, I could more easily transition in the world of fiction.

The following is a review of my novel, Friends I Never Knew along with a review of one of Kristjana Gunnars’ books:

Prairie Fire

Vol. 14, No 2

Summer, 1993

Friends I Never Knew by Tanya Lester, Charlottetown: Gynergy Books, 1992, 160 pp., $10.95 paper.

The Guest House by Krisjana Gunnars, Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 1992, 144 pp. $17.95 paper.

by Ralph Kuropatwa

Both Kristjana Gunnars and Tanya Lester are women of Canada’s great plains and writers of contemporary sensibility. It would be a mistake to assume that their respective works therefore have much in common. The differences far exceed any similarities.

Tanya Lester is an activist who has written her first novel about an activist. Tanya the writer tells of Tara the activist in the women’s movement. Tanya writes of Tara who writes of the lives of the women with whom the movement brings her into contact.

Tara is on the Greek half of the island of Cyprus. A long way from Winnipeg and the daily challenge of practical struggle on behalf of women in Manitoba, Tara is there to rest, restore her energies, contemplate the lessons of her experiences, and write about the friends she had made back in Canada. Not all her friends. Her work in the community connected her with four special women, special friends: Juanita, Lou, Miriam, and Rita. They are of different social origins, even generations. They have told Tare the stories of their lives, the shaping events.

Tara listens, records, but tells us no tales of her own. Juanita, Lou, Miriam, and Rita made Tara a gift of their life stories. The value of their gift is clearly appreciated by Tara at one level. It is only dimly comprehended at another. It is this penumbra of unclear meaning that contributes to Tara’s need to get away. In the solitude of the Mediterranean island’s otherness, Tara can write her friends’ tales.

Holocaust resistance stories are, at once, infinitely sad and intensely hopeful. The tales of Juanita, Lou, Miriam, and Rita are similarly celebrations of what might yet be redeemed from the wreckage and dump of oppression. These women have overcome evil. Their lives are juxtaposed with Tara’s recurring, shifting dream and the silence around her own history.

There is a painting by Matisse in which women for a circle of fluid, dancing bodies. It is a haunting picture. Simultaneously optimistic, defensive, and accepting of human frailty, it is virtually a visual cast of Tanya Lester’s novel. Tara and her friends are connected in a circle of friendship, fluid lives that are the more potent for being connected. The circle also helps keep out the evils that have faced, victimized and been overcome by each women. It is a healing circle, itself a remedy and a prophylactic against the pains and penetrations that life inflicts.

In the end, Tara remembers her own tale. The memory wrenches as might the uprooting of a tenacious parasite. It is time for her to go home. In looking into the lives of her friends she has found a mirror and reflections of herself in them, of them in her.

Krisjana Gunnars’s book is a collection of short stories. Each story has the strength of particulars that vault into insights. In the title story, “The Guest House,” her character is shown travelling light, “… his only possession a backpack. He was even freed from the burden of family. He did not need to account for himself to anyone.”

In “Mass and a Dance”, her alienated character wanders the winter streets of St. Norbert and muses, “Snow is a story that breaks off from heaven and falls down at random.”

IN “Insomnia,” the sleepless protagonist reaches for a book to read, thinking “it was good to divert the mind by visiting someone else’s.”

As lapidary of the polished phrase, the poet peeps out in her telling the tales of ordinary people in ordinary settings. There is, after all, little that is extraordinary about family reunions, or rainy days, or buying a dress, or the rambling wisdoms in a drunk tank. What gives these settings, and the actors within them, heft and sparkle is Kristjana Gunnars’s command of the language — the talent of the poet applied to prose narrative– and the truthfulness of the dynamic that crackles between the natural world, memory, and familiar humans in utterly plausible cricumstances.

The author does not turn her eyes away from the weary, common unhappiness that settles like a light dust on many lives. Gunnars is not satisfied, however, merely to reflect the goosebumps of shivering through another day. The prairies, ocean, mountains, sun and snow of western Canada are vital to the tales. More than background, they often come close to being protagonists themselves, characters like Wessex or Castebridge in Thomas Hardy’s writing.

The stories achieve further depth through the interplay of moment and memory. This is a collection of truthful fictions that are profoundly accepting of the world with all its pains and glories. It makes the point, repeatedly, that what is is natural. And as long as life can be beautifully described, the hope endures that lives can be beautifully lived.

Tanya Lester and Kristjana Gunnars have presented us with quite different gifts, each of different value to readers with different interests. Tanya Lester opens a contemporary window to our comprehension of women and their struggles. She does so with a novel that disturbs as it informs, unsettles as it captivates. The stories of Kristjana Gunnars combine beauty of language with precision of thought. She has crafted a necklace of tales, a talisman from a world whose trolls might yet prove lovely.


Tanya has worked as a psychic counsellor, with a specialization in tea leaf reading and tarot instilled with psychic channelling, for over two decades. She has done 1000s of readings. She is also a reiki master and fulltime housesitter. To find out more about her life work, go to her web at and/or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align. To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, text or call Tanya at 250-538-0086 or email:

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two titles can be purchased from the author or from  The third title is at the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All four titles can be found in some library systems.

To read more posts of the wide range of story genres and subject matters in this blog, go to and

New treatments birthed at SS Centre

June 13, 2018

For many years, I have been a big fan of all kinds of healing treatments.

I am a reiki master and totally believe in this amazing but gentle and often subtle energy healing.

Still, I am always interested in trying the many, many other healing techniques that are out there.

This is probably why when I was working at the Gulf Islands Driftwood, I was given the assignment to do a three part series in some of the treatments new to Salt Spring residents.

The Salt Spring Centre has been a home to ayurvedic treatments for years. Here is an article of some of what was– and maybe is still is offered there:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Wednesday, June 7, 2000

New treatments birthed at SS Centre

by Tanya Lester

The head is the human body’s centre of the universe when it comes to healing techniques being offered for the first time by Salt Spring Centre’s Health Collective this fall.

When the head is treated well, a ripple effect that courses over the body, relaxing and nourishing it, is set into motion, says collective coordinator Rajani Rock.

Following the busy summer season, Rock’s goal is to introduce two “new” Ayurvedic system treatments at the centre. Called shiro dhara and netra basti, they will be offered along with swedona, reflexology, reiki and jin shin do in a new treatment space over-looking the centre’s garden.

To actually call anything “new” when it comes to the Ayurvedic system would elicit huge belly laughs from the ancient gods and goddesses of India.

Rock explained the system is the “mother of all healing” and is thousands of years old.

In India, almost everyone receives Ayurvedic treatments each season of the year to purify the body, mind and spirit.

For 16 years the centre collective has offered the Ayurvedic swedona, an oil body massage and steam bath technique, says Rock, who has been part of the collective for the duration of that period.

Up until two years ago, it was one of two places in North America (the other being in Santa Cruz) where people could get the treatment.

Now, the centre collective will also provide the “third eye” treatment option to clients called shiro dhara. A conical shaped vessel drips warm sesame seed oil on the middle of the forehead, which then flows off the head and into a basin, for approximately 20 minutes.

The image might conjure up visions of torture tests in people’s minds. According to Rock, the opposite happens.

The sesame seed oil drip, which is used for its ability to be absorbed through the skin and into the body tissue, creates “an incredibly calming effect” while at the same time stimulating the nerve endings.

Rock explained that the process relaxes the entire face and head. From there, tension release emanates throughout the body. For the mind and spirit, an “amazing inner clarity” arises.

This treatment is especially effective as a stress relief and for emotional balancing, as well as a cure for migraines and other headaches.

Netre basti, which will also be offered at the centre in the fall, is an Ayurvedic treatment that originates with the eyes. A mixture of barley flour and water is used to build “doughnuts” around the eyes.

Openings are left on the far corners of each eye.

Ghee or clarified butter is melted and poured very gradually into each eye until the sockets are filled.

Rock said eye tension relaxes entirely. “It’s like you can see for the first time with real clarity,” she said. “It works deeply on the central nervous system.”

Netra basti is effective in treating a host of eye problems.

Both shiro dhara and netra basti activate the brain centre, which then rejuvenates the body’s entire inner workings.

Rock said all the body work done at the centre is part of a yogic lifestyle as laid out by Baba Hari Dass. It includes yoga practice, of course, as well as the nutritious food for which Salt Spring Centre is well known.

This does not mean having to forsake your day-to-day lifestyle, however. “I think it’s important for people to know they don’t have to make a major life change,” said Rock…..


To read more posts on this blog of eclectic writings and genre varieties, go to and

Tanya’s books are : Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two are available for purchase from the author and from  The third title is housed at the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All titles are available in some library systems.

Tanya has worked now for over two decades as a psychic counsellor specializing in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, mediumship, and gypsy card readings. She is also a reiki master and fulltime housesitter. For more about what she does, go to her web at and/or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align. To book a reading or arrange a housesit, text or call Tanya at 250-538-0086 or email:




Reaching for a feminist workplace

June 12, 2018

As HERizons became more iconic, article lengths got shorter. I know what the score was: many submissions and trying to get most of the good ones into any given issue. Trying to have more topics in each issue for women to peruse.

Here is a short piece I did on the evolution of the feminist workplace which was also about reaching more with possibly less:


April 1984

Reaching for a feminist workplace

by Tanya Lester

Feminist and women’s groups start out in the right spirit. We gather in circles in each other’s living rooms or in a meeting room that doesn’t cost much to rent. Over coffee, we decide what legislation has to be changed so women won’t be discriminated against in the workplace and in domestic matters, what services are needed for women who are being abused, how to overcome our isolation in a male-dominated society, and so on.

In these gatherings, we give and take on an equal basis. We listen to each other. We even make sure that those women who are not used to speaking out are given the opportunity to talk. Out there, all of us experience discrimination. In our small groups, we share our frustrations and draw strength from each other to work against sexism.

But, then, it dawns on us that we are not going to overcome male domination in a year, or a decade, or even a century. We need more women to be part of this process and we need better services. To reach all the women ‘out there’ or to have them reach us, we need office space, a telephone, and someone to answer it. And, wouldn’t it be nice for a change if at least some of us could get paid for the work that we have been doing so long as volunteers?

So out of our little groups evolve The Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women (MACSW), HERizons, Osborne House, the Native Women’s Transition Centre, Women’s Employment Counselling Services, and the many others that have been started by dedicated women from a feminist politic.

Gradually we do reach more women who are desperately in need of what we have to offer. If you don’t believe this, just ask a woman who has been battered by her husband for years and finally discovers that she doesn’t have to take it anymore when she finds refuge in Osborne House. Or ask a rural Manitoba feminist who is told by everyone in her community that she is crazy but is reassured that she is not when HERizons arrives in her postal box each month.

But because we’re women, a condition synonomous with having little money, our organizations can only provide these services and pay our staff if we are able to get government or agency funding.

We apply for these grants. And to get the money, we sacrifice much of our internal equality. Because governments and agencies operate on a hierarchical structure, they force us to at least pretend that we are willing to operate in this same fashion in order to secure funding.


Tanya has worked as a tea leaf and tarot reader for a couple of decades. She has evolved into, what she calls, a psychic counsellor. She is also a reiki master and fulltime housesitter. For more about her work, go to her web: and/or to her pages at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter , Google and Align.  To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, text or call 250-538-0086 or email:

To read more posts in this eclectic mix of themes and genres, go to and

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well Women Rights/Writes.  The first two books are available for purchase from the author or  The third book is available at the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All of these titles are in some library systems.


Salt Spring’s Waste Transfer Controversy

June 11, 2018

Recently on a Facebook page called “You know you live on Salt Spring…”, a woman wrote about  how some people complain a lot about happenings on the most-populated Gulf Island.

I commented about much that I enjoyed on Salt Spring Island during the 16 years I lived there.

But it would be naïve for anyone to believe that controversies do not erupt on Salt Spring Island and the other Gulf Islands. The following article illustrates that ‘psychological volcanoes’ do erupt on the natural scenic island:


Village Views

April 2, 2004

Salt Spring’s Waste Transfer Controversy

by Tanya Lester

Lee Road area residents are embroiled in one of those Salt Spring controversies that involves three levels of government and has as many twists, turns and bumps as the roads they live on.

Key to the position of both sides is signed affidavits.

First, Laurie Hedger, who owns Laurie’s Recycling and Waste Service, signed one for Islands Trust. It stated that he has been operating an extensive waste transfer business for several years. By doing so, he sidestepped applying for rezoning to establish the waste transfer station. If he did apply for rezoning, islanders would have been given the opportunity to make presentations in opposition as well as in support of Hedger operating the waste transfer station.

Having on other way to prevent the operation, Hedger’s Lee Road area neighbours have now signed affidavits refuting his claim of operating such an extensive business since 1998. Six affidavits have been forwarded to Islands Trust planner Linda Adams. The neighbours hope the Trust will reverse its decision that has allowed Hedger to receive a Capital Regional District (CRD) class on license.

“We’re afraid of some kind of toxic material,” said Bill Harkley, who runs a vineyard 300 metres from Hedger’s property. Several Lee Road residents say drinking water pollution is feared, as well as damage to salmon in Fulford Creek, due to contaminated run-off coming down Lee Hill from Hedger’s property. Soil pollution could harm surrounding farms including an organic vineyard and a sheep farm where organic walnuts are grown.

These fears are echoed by Robert and Birgit Bateman. The renowned artists and environmentalists are quoted in an e-mail being circulated by Lee Road residents, Tom Pickett and Harry Warner. “We are amazed and horrified by the idea of this kind of industrial operation in a residential area and so close to natural features such as important watershed and two public parks, ” the Batemans’ statement reads. “The environmental impact from water pollution to air pollution will be entirely negative. It does matter that the natural and rural character of Salt Spring Island is not significantly violated.” They point out, as do Lee Road resideents, that the existing Blackburn Road waste transfer station is adequate for island use.

Anxiety over Hedger’s operation is based on his receipt of a license from the Capital Regional District (CRD) that will allow him to expand into a “full-blown” waste transfer station similar to the one on Blackburn Road. Waste will be stored in vats for a 72-hour maximum period. According to Harkley, Island Garbage Express and Ron’s Disposal are two of Hedger’s clients.

Although Harkley and his neighbours are pleased the Islands Trust will not be allowing the general public to disperse garbage on the Lee Road site, they are still concerned that the storage vats could leak.

Already, Lee Road residents have witnessed a diesel fuel leak that occurred when Hedger was cleaning out a truck about a month ago. Photographs show soap was mixed with fuel in an attempt to clean it up. It ended up in a stream that runs info Fulford Creek. Harkley concedes tests conducted by the CRD indicated 700 parts per million counts of chloroform. Counts of 1000 are considered environmentally unacceptable by the CRD.

Prior to the diesel fuel leak, a break in a truck’s hydraulic line created an oil spill. The fire department was called in.

CRD director Gary Holman points out that either of these minor oil spills could have happened even if Hedger was not operating a waste transfer station — this is something that can happen to anyone who drives a truck. On the other hand, Holman said, he understands the neighbours’ anxiety as he, too, would be concerned about his drinking water and other pollution in such a situation.

Although Hedger does have certified leak-free vats, the CRD issued him a license before he had conformed to other waste bylaw terms. Holman explained Hedger did not want to go to the expense involved in conforming to the terms if he was not assured he would get the license.

Holman said, in addition to the vats, Hedger must construct a drainage encasement that will prevent waste from leaking into the ground and contaminating area properties. He has to pour a concrete pad on which vehicles must be parked when they are unloaded. The deadline was March 31 but Holman believes pouring the concrete pad will be delayed due to wet weather.

The other complication is Hedger’s gravel pit (Hedgehog Bulldozing & Excavating Ltd.) on the same Lee Road property.

Provincial Ministry of Energy and Mines does not allow the waste disposal and mine operations in close proximity of each other. Holman said the gravel pit is some distance from the waste transfer station site on the eight-acre property. Neighbours also have complaints around the noise involved in both operations.

The CRD director said the site has been inspected and will continue to be inspected four times a year. An inspector does this without notifying the operator in advance.

According to Harkley, “The majority of the neighbours here would like Laurie (Hedger) to keep his operation as it was in 1998.”

In 1998, Hedger started to park his loaded garbage truck from his waste and recycling business overnight on his property.

Hedger told neighbours this was necessary as he could not make the last ferry to Hartland Land Fill on Vancouver Island. Instead, he took the morning ferry. At that time, Hedger was operating two days a week. Since then he has expanded to six.

“We believed him that he wasn’t transferring garbage,” said neighbour Steve Grayson who raises sheep and grows organic walnuts as well as produce on Lee Road.

Then, it would seem Hedger reversed what he was telling people about his business. Claiming that he had operated a waste transfer station for several years appears to have aided him in skirting the land re-zoning issue. Several neighbours — including Harkley, Grayson and Warner — agree that this appears to be what happened. Grayson feels that it has come down to an issue of trust between neighbours.

Harkley alluded to the fact that Hedger can trace his ancestors on the island to before the turn of  the 20th century. This could mean he is just used to doing things differently than the more recent Salt Spring islanders among his neighbours. Hedger was not available for comment.

At press time, Harkley and four of his neighbours had met with Adams in Victoria. Harkley said she indicated that lawyers advised Islands Trust to refrain from reopening the case with Hedger. “We’re determined to put Hedger out of business,” Harkley said. Lee Road area residents were to discuss the possibility of taking Hedger to court this week.


To read more posts in this blog of varied genres on various themes (something for everyone), go to and

Tanya’s published books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf ReaderFriends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two books can be purchased from the author or   All of these titles are available at some library systems including the Legislative Library of Manitoba.

Tanya has worked now for over 20 years as a tea leaf reader and tarot reader while also doing psychic channelling and sometimes mediumship and gypsy card reading. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. To find out more, go to Tanya’s web at and/or her pages at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align.  To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, contact Tanya by text or phone at 250-538-0086 or email:





A F.Y.S.T. full of feminis

July 10, 2018

My byline is not on the following article but I am sure I did it.

Sometimes one’s byline does not appear on an article if an editor has edited something so much that it is unrecognizable as the journalist’s work.

This could have been the case in this one:


August, ?

A  F.Y.S.T full of feminism

Young feminists realize that pressure to conform in a sexist society often begins in school. Because they often feel isolated in school and in their personal lives. Two feminist support groups have emerged in the province — GAP (Girls are People) in Brandon and FYST (Feminist Youth Studying Together) in Winnipeg — to provide support for young, women’s rights advocates.

“At school, you get the academic education and the sexist education,” said Rain(bow) Springer, a GAP member.

Rain recalls taking a classroom spelling test.

“Bunnies,” the teacher announced the word for his students to spell. “Playboy bunnies are fun to look at.”

The next word was “diving”. Rain saw her chance. “You’re diving into a controversial issue,” she warned her teacher. He caught on, went back to “bunnies” and said. “Bunnies have pink eyes.”

Cindy Brazer, a member of Feminist Youth Studying Together (FYST) in Winnipeg, ran into teacher opposition when she decided to take shops. “Why don’t you take cooking? It’s what you should be doing,” she was told.

Cindy knew better. She had failed cooking and sewing but ended up with top marks in her metals class. But her woman guidance counsellor still suggests that Cindy’s only career alternatives should be in nursing or secretarial areas.

These young women often have to tackle the sexist education system alone. Both GAP and FYST group members say there is seldom a teacher or even another student to whom they can turn for help. All of them agree that the support they get in the young women’s groups help them feel stronger when fighting discrimination back in the schools.

Both young women’s groups are study groups of the Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women (MACSW). The GAP members, between the ages of nine and 12, were organized by Brandon MACSW staff member Bev Peters. Daphne Nordal brought the Winnipeg group, aged 14 to 19 together a year and a half ago.


Tanya has been a psychic counsellor for decades now. She once wrote and did readings of her work. Now she just does the readings (but a different type, of course). She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. For more information, go to her website at and/or her pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and Align. To book a tea leaf reading or tarot or arrange a housesit, text or call 250-538-0086 or email:

To read more posts in this blog of eclectic writing genres and topics, go to and

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two titles can be bought from the author or  All of Tanya’s titles are in some library systems including the Centennial Library in Winnipeg, Manitoba

This is blog of the many articles published by and about me over several decades as a freelance writer and a tealeafreader/tarot reader/psychic.