It wasn’t Woodstock, but the Comox Valley Renaissance Faires in the 1970s came close  /  George Le Masurier photo

Woodstock icon living in Comox, 3L developers defeated, and public wants bold action

Aug 16, 2019 | Commentary, News

By George Le Masurier

This week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the “Aquarian Exposition” informally known as the Woodstock festival. Over three days, more than 400,00 people came together for peace and created a definitive moment in popular music and an apex of the counterculture and anti-Vietnam War movement.

But did you know the iconic image of the biggest rock festival of all time features a Comox Valley resident?

Jessie Kerr, of Comox, says she is the young woman in rose-colored glasses and a flowered dress that she had made herself and wrapped up in a blanket with a man on the morning after rain turned the festival site into a mudslide.

The photo, by Burk Uzzle, appears on the cover of the album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More and has illustrated numerous article and documentaries of the event.

CBC radio interviewed Kerr Thursday morning — Aug. 15, 1969 was the first day of the festival — because a New York couple, Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, have claimed for years that they are the people in the photograph, not Kerr. The New York Times, Time magazine and other media outlets have written about the Ercolines, who have basked in their mini-celebrity status.

Kerr said she never wanted the fame that might have come from being recognized as the person in the famous photograph, but she wants the record set straight. It’s just a little annoying, she said, that another person is claiming to be her.

The Cumberland Wild music festival might not attract as many people, but the spirit of music-infused community will live on in the village starting today and running through to midnight on Sunday.

The BC Supreme Court has called out 3L Developments for their unfounded allegations and their several attempts to bend a community-supported document (the Regional Growth Strategy) through lawsuits. The court said none of 3L’s allegations were proven, including the claim of a racist comment they said was made by Area C Director Edwin Grieve.

This should put an end to 3L’s attempts to build a 1,000 house subdivision in the triangle between the Puntledge and Browns rivers. But it probably won’t be the last we hear from the development company or its principal, David Dutcyvich.

Dutcyvich may still try to develop the property in large, multi-acre lots that could be allowed under current zoning. But that might not be profitable, and 3L could try to sell the land or just hold it as an investment and try again down the road.

But he will undoubtedly continue to deny access to Stotan Falls, the popular summer swimming site, through his property, which he has every right to do. But doing so won’t win him any support from the court of public opinion.

Dutcyvich’s company created a contentious and litigious relationship with the Comox Valley Regional District, and made itself an easy target in the process.

BC Ferries hasn’t made many Comox Valley friends either, despite their good intentions.

The diesel-pwered ferry from Buckley Bay to Denman Island has run afoul.The plastic sheathing on the underwater cables is breaking off and polluting Baynes Sound. Some of the plastic is washing up on nearby beaches, but a lot more is probably staying in the water where it will break down into micro beads and poison marine life.

Climate Change Quiz: Who said this?

“Failure to adequately transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy — by either political or business leaders — will further erode public trust in the institutions that underpin our society.”

A) The Sierra Club
B) David Suzuki
C) Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

If you guessed “C,” you’re probably an accountant because who else would figure this staid group to join the climate emergency movement?

But our nation’s CPAs have submitted recommendations to the House of Commons this week for overhauling the federal tax system to address the business issues of climate change. They say the current system “isn’t up to the job.”

“If Canada’s economy is to become cleaner and low-carbon, digital and data-driven, and more globally integrated and competitive, Canada’s tax system is not up to the job,” CPA Canada said this week.

According to a national survey conducted by Abacus Data in July, the Canadian public supports bold actions to combat climate change that go far beyond what all levels of government are willing to undertake.

“My main takeaway from this national opinion survey … is that the public is ahead of our politics. A large share of Canadians is already deeply worried about the climate crisis, and they are increasingly ready for bold and ambitious actions,” said Seth Klein, a former director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives — BC Office, who commissioned the survey.

The survey results show that 75 percent of Canadians are worried about climate change, and 42 percent think it’s an emergency. Almost half were ready for an immediate shift to 100 percent clean energy sources and another 37 percent agreed with the shift but didn’t think getting to 100 percent clean energy was possible in the short term.

Most importantly, the survey showed that up to 84 percent of Canadians would support bolder legislative or other government actions to reduce carbon emissions.

Klein said the survey counters the typical reasons given by elected officials for not moving more quickly from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. Politicians typically justify non-actions because it would be “political suicide,” a notion the survey results appear to debunk.

 

 

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