Local News Briefs: Night Market and Swap and Shop coming to the HUB in February

Plus Experience Gold Country, why not to turn on house lights while driving, and more.

Excellence in Gold Country contest

Gold Country Communities Society (GCCS) has launched its “Excellence in Gold Country” program; and there are 300 $50 gift cards to be won. The cards can be redeemed at any participating Gold Country business.

There are two different ways to enter. You can nominate your favourite Gold Country businesses, or explore the GCCS website to find answers to five simple questions. Both surveys—as well as a list of participating businesses—can be found at www.exploregoldcountry.com/contest.

This promotion is running from now until March 9, 2018, and is limited to one entry per person. There is no purchase necessary to enter. The gift cards are valid until May 31, 2018. Prizes will be drawn every Friday through March 9, and winners will be contacted by GCCS.

Plus size fitness classes

The Ashcroft HUB is offering a fitness class starting on Thursday, January 11 for anyone who is plus-sized or mobility-challenged, and who is intimidated by the thought of fitness classes. The class will be a low-impact one with chair support available if needed. It will run every Thursday starting at 5:15 p.m.

Pre-registration is required from members and non-members. The drop-in cost is $8 ($6 for seniors) per class, but punch cards are also available and will decrease the per-class cost. For $40 per month members can have access to all fitness classes on the schedule.

For more information email ashcrofthub@gmail.com or call them at (250) 453-9177.

Acoustic guitar lessons

David Thompson will be offering acoustic guitar lessons starting on January 18 and running until March 29. Youth (aged seven and up) classes will be Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and adult classes will be Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. The classes will be at the Ashcroft HUB.

Thompson has 35 years of experience playing guitar, has eight years of full-time reaching experience, and has given many live performances. His aim is for participants to have fun as they learn how to play.

A minimum of six people are needed in order to run the class, and participants must have their own guitar. The cost for the series of lessons is $135. For more information or to register, contact the HUB.

After school program

The HUB is once again offering an after school program on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. from January 10 to 31. The program is for any children in Grades 1 through 6 inclusive, and a minimum of six participants are needed.

The group leader will meet the participants at Desert Hills Community School at 3 p.m. and walk with them to the HUB. A snack will be provided at 3:15, and there will then be an outside activity, a craft activity, and a baking activity. The session finishes at 5 p.m.

The cost for the month is $40, and pre-registration is needed. For more information or to register, contact the HUB.

Night Market and Swap and Shop

The Ashcroft HUB will be holding a Night Market and Swap and Shop on Friday, February 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Market will feature crafts, baking, and home businesses, while the Swap and Shop will feature toys, clothes, and other children’s items. Vendors can book a table and bring in any items their children no longer need, then sell or swap them.

The fee for vendors is $5 (plus $3 if you need a table). Contact the HUB for more information or to book space.

Don’t turn on house lights while driving

Installing an app on your mobile phone so that you can turn the house lights on from afar may sound like a great idea; but it’s best not to use it while driving.

A North Vancouver driver learned this lesson when, while several blocks away from her home, she attempted to use a new app on her phone to switch on the house lights while she was driving. She became distracted and drove into a steep ditch, flipping the vehicle on its side.

“The driver admitted to police to performing this illegal and dangerous manoeuver while driving,” says Cpl. Richard de Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP. “Fortunately no one was injured, considering that the outcome could potentially have had negative consequences.”

The 71-year-old driver was issued a violation ticket for driving while using an electronic device.

Have a voice on electoral reform

British Columbians are reminded that they can provide input to help shape this year’s provincial referendum on electoral reform as part of the How We Vote public engagement campaign.

Until February 28, 2018, British Columbians can visit engage.gov.bc.ca/HowWeVote to learn about the characteristics of voting systems used here and elsewhere in the world, and provide input on key elements of the referendum, including ballot design, choice of voting systems, and public funding distribution during the referendum campaign period.

“British Columbians deserve a say in the question of how we elect our members of the legislative assembly, and how our society is governed,” said Attorney General David Eby.

“I encourage everyone to visit the engagement website to learn more and participate. We want to hear from all B.C. voters.”

British Columbians are encouraged to visit the website to complete an online questionnaire, provide comments, and review the submissions of organizations.

“This is the first step towards asking voters if they want a change from our current voting system to a system of proportional representation,” said Eby. “This is about giving British Columbians the power to decide how we vote.”

Get ready for storm season

Winter conditions will be the norm for the next few months; and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness Mike Farnworth reminds British Columbians that proactive winter storm preparedness can go a long way towards ensuring the safety of B.C. families.

Environment Canada will issue arctic outflow warnings when extremely cold winds that can create wind chill values of -20 C. or colder are forecast for six or more hours. Parents and pet owners should be particularly mindful of children and pets being outdoors during these times.

Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Dressing in layers, with a wind- and water-resistant outer layer, provides flexibility for changing conditions. Cover as much exposed skin as possible by wearing hats, scarves, and gloves to avoid frostbite.

Severe weather can cause power outages. Be prepared for up to one week by developing a household emergency plan and putting together an emergency kit. If you come across a downed or damaged power line, assume it is live and a danger. Stay back at least 10 metres and call 9-1-1 immediately to report it.

Drive for the conditions. There are fewer daylight hours, and blowing snow can further reduce visibility. Wet and icy roads call for extra caution behind the wheel, and drivers should always maintain a safe distance from highway maintenance vehicles. Motorists should monitor www.drivebc.ca for up-to-date road conditions and have an emergency kit in their vehicle that includes warm clothes, winter footwear, food and water, a shovel, a flashlight, and a fully charged cellphone for emergency calls.

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura (www.atlasobscura.com) is a website that bills itself as showcasing “Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations” from around the world. Now and then one of the sites is within striking distance of our region, so travellers might want to check them out next time they visit.

Wayside chapels are common sites in Europe; places where travellers seeking spiritual nourishment could stop along their journeys. A tiny wayside chapel in Washington State fulfills this same purpose; and when we say tiny, we mean it.

Travellers on the Stevens Pass Highway northeast of Seattle will encounter a wayside chapel six miles east of Monroe. Built in 1962, when Seattle hosted the World’s Fair, the chapel bears a sign reading “Pause, Rest, Worship”; but only eight people can do so at a time, due to the chapel’s diminutive size. It contains a pulpit, four two-person pews, and a few flower vases; but it is a favourite with locals, some of whom have been married, or renewed their vows, there.

The chapel is easily accessible by vehicle on the Stevens Pass Highway. For more about the chapel, go to http://bit.ly/2CDEwB0.

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