Crosses honour Texada clear-cut trees

June 29, 2018.

It brought tears to my eyes,the first time I saw a clear-cut of the magnificent gigantic trees that abound on the west coastal areas of British Columbia.

I felt like weeping.

This was on Salt Spring Island when activists were protesting the Texada company’s clear-cutting on the island that would have demolished one-tenth of the trees growing there if they had been left to go unchecked.

When activists decided to ‘plant’ crosses to represent the trees that would be killed, I got what they meant.

Clearly, I got what they meant.

Here is the article:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Crosses honour Texada clear-cut trees

by Tanya Lester

About 50 Salt Spring Islanders each had one or two crosses to bear last Saturday in opposition to Texada clear-cut logging on Mount Tuam.

They were participating in a cross-planting ceremony held before the afternoon rally and street party at the Burgoyne Bay triangle.

As a sing held by organizer Devon Guest explained, one cross represented one truckload of trees.

The activists met in a circle near the Burgoyne Bay Road gazebo and then carried the crosses, made of recycled wood, onto Fulford-Ganges Road where they were hammered into the ground in recognition of the trees which have been clear-cut by Texada.

They faced Mount Tuam for a moment of silence and then Mount Maxwell with the hopeful intention that Texada will do clear-cut logging in that area. (Logging has been stalled by North Salt Spring Waterworks District officials’ concern about watershed interference if the area is clear-cut).

“We shall overcome some day,” the group sang as they moved back towards the Burgoyne Bay area which is expected to face chainsaws next. “Deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome someday.”

Salt Spring resident Patricia Brown participated in the campaign launch because she would like to see laws change concerning the removal of trees on private property.

“I don’t think people should be allowed to take trees down even if they own the land; they don’t own the trees,” Brown said.

In an interview with the Driftwood after the launch, Guest said the cross campaign is one of many initiatives concerning the clear-cutting.

“Unity does not mean mean conformity,” said Guest, quoting Indian mystic and revolutionary Sri Aurobido.

Guest acknowledges that the cross is a loaded symbol and that some Christians might find the campaign painful and offensive.

“Yes, it is offensive and painful for me too that trees are being mercilessly cut down,” she said. “It’s a personal reclamation for me in being able to use the symbol. A symbol of oppression can become a symbol of liberation.” As a performance artist and clown with 10 years experience in playback theatre, Guest is used to creatively responding to community events. “It is the marriage of the artist and the human, of passion and purpose,” she said.

Considering that most crosses were anonymously removed from the Fulford-Ganges Road site on Saturday evening and that verbal abuse was doled out by passersby prior to the campaign launch, Guest now believes a public forum is an important next step in the clear-cutting discussion.

This would bring together everyone, including the Texada owners, other land owners, Islands Trust representatives and environmentalists and, with everyone being offered a voice, could prevent negativity from “leaking out.”

Guest is against confrontational strategies by anyone involved. She said that once she decided to spearhead the cross campaign, people quickly came forward to help.

These included Murray Reiss, Gunther Sandl and Gina Horrocks, who helped gather scrap wood, purchased some timber from a sawmill and made the crosses.

Wildlife photographer Joanathan Grant, who suggested the cross campaign idea at a December public meeting on Texada logging , has been working with Guest to take photographs of the crosses in key areas that have been or will be affected by the clear-cutting on the island.

These photographs are being used in promotional materials directed at national media outlets and on the local activists’ website……

Guest also wants to encourage those opposed to Texada clear-cut logging near Horne Lake on Vancouver Island to participate in the cross campaign.

“We need to keep looking at new ways of doing things,” said Guest, who feels a non-confrontational approach to issues is dawning in the new millennium.

Anyone who has wood to recycle for crosses or wants to plant a cross in their yard can contact Guest…

She would also like to hear from anyone interested in a public forum.


To read more posts in this blog of varied writings on many subjects and in genres, 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 can be purchased from the author and from   The third book ,Dreams and Tricksters, is in the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All four titles are available in a variety of public libraries.

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



No Cuts To Groundskeepers

June 28, 2018

In 2004, when my son, Luke, was in Grade 12 on Salt Spring Island, Gulf Islands school officials began to discuss reducing the five day school week to four days in order to save money.

There was a lot of debate on the pros and cons connected to reducing the school week and lengthening the school hours of the remaining four school days. Some students, like Luke, who was working at Thrifty Foods in Ganges, saw the possibility of getting more shifts and making more money if they were available to work on Fridays besides Saturdays and Sundays.

Other students who played school sports feared a reduction in practise hours. While those on the southern Gulf Islands (other than Salt Spring) felt it would be depressing to board the water taxis in the dark and go home in the dark.

Parents with small children wondered how they could work on Fridays while finding and paying child care for Fridays.

During this time, I decided to take a weekend film course at the Gulf Islands Film School on Galiano Island. I pitched doing a short film on the four day school week proposal. To my surprise the other people in my group, lived in other parts of  the province of British Columbia agreed that the subject was a good one.

In the following article, even the hiring of a head groundskeeper for the school grounds was decried as unfair while the four day school week was becoming a reality. Every penny spent or being proposed to be spent was scrutinized by members of the Gulf Islands communities:

Village Views

Friday, May 7, 2004

No Cuts to Groundskeepers

by Tanya Lester

A School District #64 (SD#64) posting to hire a head groundskeeper for $40,000 per year could be the proverbial bitter pill to swallow for employees facing work reduction if a four-day school week is implemented.

Yet SD#64 secretary-treasurer Rod Scotvold believes employing a head groundskeeper is about safety as much as aesthetics. Students,  teachers and others could be injured on the playing fields if grass cutting is not done properly, he said.

Mistakes can also be costly to repair, he added.

Scotvold said two part-time groundskeepers have been doing the work over the last year while also driving school buses half time. The job was previously done by three full-time groundskeepers. The groundskeepers report to the facilities manager.

For over three years, there has been no supervisory groundskeeper. Still, Scotvold defends the decision to hire a head groundskeeper, pointing out the position will require only an additional $1.17 per hour over the salary of a Level 4 groundskeeper.

The secretary-treasurer said the work is not conducive to several part-time workers, who could be paid less, as there is not enough equipment to go around.

Scotvold said he has gone ahead with advertising for a head groundskeeper as he has not been instructed to do otherwise.

— END–

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

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

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


A Day of Defiance

June 27, 2018

When the Liberals led by Premier Gordon Campbell were in power, things ramped up to quite a bit of protesting by labour and other activists.

Here is an article about labour action by health workers from the perspective of those on Salt Spring Island, BC:

Village Views

Friday, May 7, 2004

A Day of Defiance

by Tanya Lester

Health care workers going back to work at Greenwoods and Lady Minto Hospital this week are among those who face a 15 percent wage cut and the possibility of being some of potentially 1200 employees who may lose their jobs. This is something many may say will have a ripple effect throughout the entire community.

“Deep down we believe an injury to one is an injury to all,” said John Martin-McNab,, Health Employees Union (HEU) Community Services chair.

Martin-McNab was among union and community members who blocked traffic headed for the Long Harbour ferry on Monday afternoon as a protest against the Campbell’s Liberal government’s continual cutbacks.He voiced the opinion of many when he said their own union leaders, HEU’s Chris Allnutt and BC Federation of Labour’s Jim Sinclair, “buckled under” by reaching a settlement on the verge of a general strike.

Susan Berlin attended the Long Harbour picket line because she believes the cuts, which have occurred over the three years since Campbell was elected in 2001, extend well beyond the union movement to the detriment of the entire community.

“They’ve (the Campbell government) come for those in school, come for health care workers, students seeking summer employment (waving minimum wage), people on disability…” she said. “It’s time to take a stand because there won’t be anyone left by the time they come for the last ones.”

Berline was paraphrasing the famous piece of writing that refers to a man who did not speak out when the Nazi government came for the Jews, then the gypsies, then the homosexuals during World War II. By the time they came for him, there was no one left to speak out.

Certainly Claire Heffernan, local HEU chair of the striking workers, had all but literally lost her voice by the time she and her co-workers decided to return to their jobs on Tuesday morning. She said the 15 percent reduction in her wages as a casual cleaner at Greenwoods will amount to $240 less each month. Supporting events at ArtSpring may well prove out of her range.

For Brenda Opel, who is a full-time housekeeper at Greenwoods, the pay reduction will mean doing without little luxuries such as renting movies for her 12-year-old son and herself. At other time, it may mean going without food or clothes in a family with a child who is growing fast and “eats like a horse”.

Greenwoods laundry worker Kathleen Hafting said, with three children and two mortgages, bringing less money in will probably mean fewer visits to relatives on the other islands and in Vancouver. If contracting out occurs and she loses her job, the ten-year Salt Spring resident fears she will have to take her family and leave the island.

Hafting was irked not being able to vote or present an opinion before a settlement was reached. “We didn’t get any voice in it,” she said. (The government can make a reduction in the equivalent of 600 full-time jobs. Eight percent of the workers are part-time which means double that number could lose their jobs.)

Heffernan points out that government contracting out often results in equipment, already paid for by the public through tax dollars or fundraising events, the public through tax dollars or fundraising events, being given to the private companies who take over. Campbell’s reference to health care workers in BC as being the highest paid in Canada is inaccurate and misleading if the higher cost of living in this province is not taken into account.

She said HEU hospital workers (housekeepers, dietary clerks, laboratory technicians, nurse’s aides, care aides and maintenance) often work during breaks and after their shifts are finished especially if a patient requires their assistance.

A positive that came out of the job action was management had to fill in for us, she said. “Management understands now what we put up with,” adding a new washing machine is on order at Greenwoods. Management found out first hand what it was like working with the old one. “We went back to work because we knew management were getting exhausted,” she quipped.

While being out several days on the picket line, HEU members realized their neck and back pains from the hospital work they do had gone away. This was a good side effect, Herffernan said.

In the meantime, the hospital workers and other Salt Spring residents who have been protesting the provincial government’s underfunding to the school system over the past few weeks, should keep their picket signs handy.

Chip Chipman, who represents the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), believe public protest, like the one at Long Harbour on Monday, “could and should continue until May of next year and into the (provincial) election.”


LUB talks put cart before horse as call goes out for OCP review

June 26, 2018

Even watching the proverbial ‘paint drying’ could not get me to go to another Islands Trust meeting anyway on Canada’s Gulf Islands.

For many these meetings are frustrating and difficult to follow but try being a journalist who is expected to make sense of the various by-laws, plans, committees and on and on and on.

Oh well, I guess it was a small ‘price to pay’ to live on Salt Spring Island with a lot of island hopping:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

LUB talks put cart before horse as call goes out for OCP review

by Tanya Lester

Most of the allotted time set for a South Pender Islands Trust meeting called to discuss a Land Use Bylaw (LUB) draft section-by-section last Saturday was filled by property owners telling Trust representatives they want to update the Official Community Plan (OCP) first.

“OCP is a goal,” Mariette West told the Penders Edition during a break Trust committee chairman John Money called after what was supposed to be a 15-minute question period ticked on for an hour and a quarter.

“It’s the purpose for everything else and the OCP has not been looked at for more than a decade. The LUB is a piece of paper that has tremendous potential impact on property owners’ rights to use and enjoy their investment. For many people, this is their biggest ever life investment, owning property on the Gulf Islands.”

Money pointed out early in the meeting that a provincial government grant was available to amalgamate zoning and subdivision bylaws into the LUB, but there is no money at present to update the OCP.

Property owner Dennis Perch responded by saying that the major changes suggested in the LUB draft should be decided on the community level, adding that they were issues that had been recently rejected by North Pender — including the right to rent cottages on one’s property.

Perch said changes should not be made on the basis of money in a budget. “That’s no way to develop a community,” he said.

Several others in attendance at the meeting spoke about concerns similar to Perch’s.

“If I don’t need new shoes,” said one man. “I don’t buy them just because they’re on sale.”

A few felt the LUB draft process should continue as it had been planned by the Trust.

As the meeting went on, Money did admit that “it’s putting the cart before the horse” to deal with the LUB before updating the OCP. Trustee John Henshaw agreed. “It seems to me we’re doing things ass-backwards,” he said.

Other attendees suggested that if money was available for the LUB, it might be a worthwhile process to work on areas of the LUB which do not conflict with the present OCP.

John Rumble indicated by the end of the meeting that Money, Henshaw, Islands Trust planning consultant Derek Pratt and himself needed to meet to consider if the LUB could be dealt with only in certain areas.

Rumble said other suggestions discussed at the Saturday public meeting would be considered by the four.

During the limited time remaining in the meeting after the break, property owners commented on the LUB draft idea that four rural residential zones replace the two now in existence.

Both Bob Viscount and Perch questioned the exclusion of an agricultural reference in the Rural Residential 1 zone of the draft.

Commercial Resort zone bylaws were also reviewed.

If the LUB draft consideration continues, there will be a public hearing before it would be passed by the Islands Trust, Money said.

“It seems to me that our community values have been driven until now by a process which is determined by the paid staff and planners,” West said after the meeting. “If we had an honestly and genuinely community-driven process, the bylaws from island to island would be unique, not replicas and facsimiles. This time the community had someone in John Henshaw at the front table who willingly asserted what it seemed apparent the majority of the community wanted…..


To read more posts in this blog of a variety of writing styles and subjects, 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 purchased from the author or on   The third title is in the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All of these books are available in some library systems.

Tanya has worked for over two decades as a psychic counsellor with a specialty in tea leaf reading and tarot as well as psychic channelling, mediumship and gypsy card reading. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. To learn more, go to her web at and/or 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:


Pender bird carver’s career soars

June 24, 2018

It is common knowledge, on Canada’s Gulf Islands, among people who live there, that you never know to whom you might be talking.

Sooner or later it will be someone who is famous and maybe famous a couple times over:

Gulf Islands Driftwood – Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Pender bird carver’s career soars

by Tanya Lester

It could be easy to mistake Steve Madsen for being a regular guy.

He lives with his wife and two small children on North Pender. He volunteers on the fire department. He plays at Port Browning Marina Resort in a local band called Thin Ice. He likes bird watching and he is a pilot.

It could be easy to mistake Madsen for being a regular guy if you do not see the streak of individuality in each of us.

Madsen does. Observing birds has made him realize that each is unique in its species.

Madsen has a couple of things that make him stand out in the human species. He is a world famous bird carver, for one.

He’s so famous that extremely wealthy people spend thousands of dollars buying his work. Billionaire Bill Gates, for one.

The richest man in the world has a Madsen carving of an eagle preening itself in his Washington State mansion.

Another carving owner is really not so rich at all but as a Hell’s Angel motorbike-head is — how would you put it? – influential in his own right in certain circles. That is another story I will leave for later.

Right now, you might be saying to yourself: he makes a lot of money from carving birds. So, is he any good?

The short answer is: yes.

He has been told that his rating as a bird carver is in the top two per cent world-wise.

The secret to Madsen’s success ( to borrow a highly overused expressions) is that he meticulously carves every aspect of his wooden birds, down to each individual feather, to concisely duplicate the live version.

This is why it will take Madsen over a year to complete the first ever carving of a peacock down to every last “eye” in its magnificent tail plumage.

It can take one day for Madsen to carve one tail feather out of the tupelo wood imported from Louisana.

So you might say the secret to his success is patience. Yet it is more than that.

Madsen has replicated the preening eagle that adds to the ambiance of the Microsoft giant’s north-west American home in a pose seldom seen duplicated in bird carvings.

Other works include a kingfisher surfacing up from the water with a fish in its bill, a heron and turtle in an antagonistic stand-off, and a pelican perched with a shadow of a seagull in the water next to it.

These are slices of bird life captured by Madsen as a result of the Pender bird carver’s keen observation skills.

Another important skill that Madsen does well in research.

He volunteered at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria where he categorized bird anatomies. This is how he learned about the shape of birds’ feathers, their skulls and even such minute details as how the nasal tract runs up the back of a bird’s throat.

This is what judges at carving competitions look for. This is why Madsen’s carvings win a lot of ribbons (enough to wallpaper a small room if he so chose). This is why he gets the big bucks from rich people, including lots of movie stars.

Then, there are the “Goonie birds” that sell for $150 a piece. Now we are back in the Hells’-Angels-boss-price-range.

Madsen commissioned a caricature bird for him. Other Goonie birds include a roadrunner done for a stockbroker, a loon dressed as a fisherman and another as a Mountie,  a puffin with a “no puffin’ allowed” sign for use in a no-smoking bar, penquins as beach bums and even a shark for one of Madsen’s lawyer friends.

Why would someone who can make thousands of dollars from his “serious” carvings get into selling Goonie Birds for under $200?

“It got out of hand,” said Madsen, who at first started the Goonie line so his work could be more affordable to people who do not have a lot of money.

He still gets about five calls a month from people who want to commission a Goonie and Madsen has become good at saying no because he does not want to get side-tracked from his peacock carving.

While researching this major project, Madsen saw a peacock sitting in an apple tree and decided that he wanted his carved peacock to be perched on a branch. Near its tail will be a winter wren which Madsen describes as a small aggressive bird but “really brave like your basic teenager.” The carving will be called David and Goliath.

The Hathaway family, the Oregon hotel and casino owners who commissioned the carving, agreed with Madsen’s idea. The piece is 80 inches in length and stands close to six feet high — high enough so the peacock’s eyes looked straight into mine when I got up close to it where it sits, a word-in-progress, in Madsen’s basement studio.

“The face is what makes it alive,” Madsen agreed. He said once the face of the bird he is carving is done right then everything else falls into place.

Yet it is difficult for him to articulate why things come together for him so well. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. “I carve what I see.”

This is what any good artist does, of course, yet Madsen finds he cannot teach this when he works with students. “I cannot teach them to perceive like I do,” he said.

Before he takes his power carving tools to wood, Madsen, who admits that he cannot draw, usually sketches a clumsy version of a bird design in pencil. Next, he makes a model in clay to ascertain if he can get the bird in the pose he wants once he starts working on the wood carving.

Of all the things Madsen could have chosen to carve, he chose birds because he has always enjoyed watching them. He loves flying as well but being human (in this life, anyway), he soars through the air in a plane.

Madsen took up carving 18years ago just as something to do in his mid-20s. The talent is perhaps inherited form his father who was a shipwright.

Up until eight years ago, he also worked as a carpenter and a musician, which brings us to the other skill that Madsen has which makes him unique.

He is a fine bass player; so fine he played in rock star Bryan Adams’ band.

He prefers what he does for a living now because “it’s peaceful and it’s quiet” and, though Adams asked him to return to the band a few years ago, Madsen wants to spend more than two months out of each year with his children, so made the decision to stay off the road as a musician.

The practical side seems to be what keeps Madsen balanced.

When asked if he has difficulty letting go of a carving once it is complete, he said, “Usually I’m so sick of looking at them, I’m glad they’re gone.”

Sort of the same as a lot of “regular” people feel about their work.


Tanya has worked for 21 years now doing psychic counselling with a specialization in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling and occasional mediumship and gypsy card reading. She is also a reiki master and a housesitter. To read more about her work, go to her web site at and/or her pages at Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and Align. To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, text or call her 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 books can be purchased from the author or from The third title is housed at the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All of her books are housed in different public libraries.

To read more posts in this blog of eclectic styles and themes go to and





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?”






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.