Ear Hustle – A podcast about prison life that builds bridges between us and them

You can’t hate someone whose story you know. I recently discovered the Ear Hustle podcast. “Ear Hustle brings you the stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with […]

3 Mutual-benefit strategies to reduce conflict and improve the land-use application process

Land-use applications are a rich source of conflict, almost everywhere. That’s certainly my experience, here in Victoria. Too often, the interests of developers, public administrators and community members are in conflict, especially when a rezoning, or amendment to the Official Community Plan, is required.  It’s not uncommon for changes proposed by a developer to be […]

Our relationship with orcas (killer whales) is transforming us

When I moved to Victoria in the early 1990’s, one of the first things I did was go to Sealand of the Pacific, to watch the orcas, “killer whales”, perform. Sealand, in my neighbouring municipality, Oak Bay, was barely a kilometer from my home. Today – Sealand is no more – though a landmark orca […]

Peninsula Co-op: A business that primes local connections, economy and community

It’s summertime. Setting aside the smoke from distant forest fires that currently hover over my city, summertime is a usually a good time to head out-of-town. When gas is involved, my go-to gas station is Peninsula Co-op. Why Peninsula Co-op? I’m a Peninsula Co-op member, which makes me a part owner. In co-operatives, members are […]

Collaborative relationships are the foundation of Pacifica Housing’s Private Market Partnerships program

As property values have skyrocketed the last few years where I live, affordable housing has risen to the top of social issues. One of the more progressive local agencies tackling the issue, in a collaborative fashion, is Pacifica Housing. Their mission “is to be a leading innovative provider of affordable and support services that contribute […]