BREAKERS: Traffic czars — Hot X buns — Deadly pet collars — Girls code

BREAKERS – timely tidbits and follow-ups to previously published stories:

  • Scratch coding competition for girls and young women
  • Special order Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Wild Culture
  • Amateur traffic planners at it again!
  • Popular pet flea collars killing thousands of dogs and cats

Coding competition for young women

Until the end of March, any girl or young woman, aged 19 or under, can sign up for the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s STEAM Scratch Contest for Young Women. The contest kicked off on International Women’s Day (March 8) and invites participants to use the code block building interface, Scratch, to build an animation, story, or video game about whatever inspires them.

“The fields of computer programming and coding are still largely dominated by men,” says Dalia Levy, Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) Information Technician, and event creator. “This contest is all about letting girls and young women explore their creativity and passions, and potentially hook into a new career path or lifelong interest. There are also some great prizes for some lucky coders.”

From now until March 31, individuals and groups can submit their work to the contest to  Multiple entries are encouraged from all participants. More information about this event is available on the VIRL website.

Special order Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Wild Culture

It’s that time of year again! Wild Culture Artisan Bakery will be offering Hot Cross Buns in the shop on Thursdays and Fridays from now until Easter. “We highly recommend pre-ordering online for Friday pick up due to their limited supply and popularity!” Wild Culture is located at 692 Bennett Road in Qualicum Beach, tel. 250-752-0077.

Amateur traffic planners at it again!

In a previous article we reviewed Council’s scrambling to prescribe roadway alterations – traffic control design that in our opinion might more appropriately be delegated to staff. The February 24, 2021 Council meeting brought more of the same. Town engineer Bob Weir is to be commended for his patience.

Mayor Wiese reported that he and Councillor Westbroek “are working on traffic calming on East/West Crescent [Road] and what that looks like, possibly a 3-way stop at Berwick, speed humps etc., maybe a 4-way stop at Memorial and Crescent. To protect our golfers on our course going from 5 tee to 5 green, I think we need to put some stanchions up, or maybe some bollards.”

Later, Councillor Westbroek proposed, to enable safer crossing of West Crescent to/from the Rodway Trail, “making the entire intersection of Arbutus [Street] and West Crescent [Road] a speed hump with a pedestrian-lit crosswalk.” Wiese, chuckling, said “I think a giant speed bump there I would never be in favour of, but a 3-way stop might be good.”

Continuing this ad hoc discussion, Councillor Filmer added “I think it’s time we discuss Village Way and Qualicum Road again. There was a pedestrian hit there this past weekend.” No explanation of cause was given. If neither visibility (e.g. fog) nor road conditions (e.g. black ice) were a factor, then either the pedestrian or the driver screwed up. But that didn’t deter Council from talking about adding more lights to the intersection, to which Mr. Weir recollected that previously “We put it to our transportation consultant. He said we should choose either a pedestrian-activated crossing light [which they installed] or an overhead warning light, but not both.”

Lovely Poppy is an 18-month-old Labradoodle who is “still being trained.” Poppy was waiting patiently for a promised walk in Lighthouse Country because Qualicum Beach’s in-town trails have not had wood chips laid down this year, and are now “too muddy.”

Full marks to Director Weir for, as tactfully as possible, trying to tell Council to quickly delegate the problem to the hired experts who can analyze the options and bring forward recommendations for Council (and public) review.

Wiese still didn’t get the hint, opining “I’m not sure what else you can do. With a flashing yellow light and you still get hit, I think that’s a driver issue, not a safety issue.” Until someone gives evidence to the contrary, we could just as easily assume that the pedestrian, perhaps thumbing on his or her phone, mindlessly stepped out in front of a car travelling at a safe speed. It’s happened before, with a tragic result.

Popular pet flea collars killing thousands of dogs and cats

Qualicum Beach is a pet friendly community so we thought we’d pass along a news item warning about toxic pet flea collars. According to USA Today, popular brand pet collars are linked to the deaths of thousands of pets.