Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Elmarie Roberts February 23rd, 2017

Elmarie Roberts, Organic Gardener, Educator, Communitarian

by C. L. Cook – Gorilla Radio

 

February 2017

“Sharing something sustainable, something healthy, and something that makes us happy…”

 

Despite traveling half-way around the World to find it, Victoria was a homecoming of sorts for South Africa native, Elmarie Roberts. The educator and organic gardener arrived in Canada with her young family in 1994, settling first in Vancouver. It didn’t take long for the Roberts’ to look further west, and starting a new life on Vancouver Island.

Elmarie’s journey into organic farming was a roundabout one too. Before getting her hands back in the dirt, she taught ESL classes, ran her own sustainable retail business, and worked with the charitable, St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Her career however began to go in another direction when taking an Organic Farming as a Business course at Victoria’s Camosun College led to the Haliburton Community Organic Farm and the creation of her Sunbird Farm. It also led some years later to Gaia College, where she both earned Growing Food and Organic Master Gardener certificates, and employed her teaching instincts becoming an instructor for Gaia’s Growing Food in the City course.

“It’s a good thing,” she says, the teacherly tone of her lightly accented Afrikaans coming across over the telephone line.

 

“You can feel it in your bones, when one is out there working with your hands in the soil.”

And it’s a coming of full circle in a way, going back to her beginnings of growing up close to the land.

“My dad was in the parks department of the local municipality,” she tells me, her voice casting back over the years to her childhood in South Africa.

“I loved hanging out in the greenhouse with him, and discovering what was under the pots,” she says, reminiscing about,

“…those early, formative years, when you remember happy things, like the warmth and the smell of a greenhouse…and plants just growing beautifully everywhere.”

Elmarie has since passed her Sunbird Farm plot along to new farmers, and while she still keeps her fingers in the earth maintaining a demonstration plot growing herbs, flowers and seed, she’s concentrating primarily on passing along knowledge gleaned at Gaia College, and her eleven years running her hands through the soil at Haliburton to a new generation of organic farming students; imparting to them both the practical lessons of organic gardening learned, and more vitally the spiritual connection between farm and farmer.

Elmarie Roberts currently teaches Gaia College’s Food in the City course,  and instructs too at Haliburton Community Organic Farm’s newly initiated EcoFarm School. She reminds, farming is also about community and, “…sharing something sustainable, something healthy, and something that makes us happy.”

Postscript:

Fifteen years on, the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society is thriving despite its uncertain beginnings, (thanks to an uprising of sorts by locals concerned about rampant housing development in Saanich) and continues to be “…a leading model of community-supported, small-scale sustainable organic agriculture carried out in harmony with local ecosystems.”

Gaia College continues in the tradition of its founder, Heide Hermary to cultivate community and be, “A global community of educators, professionals and students teaching, working and learning in the areas of holistic land management, health and environmentally sustainable technologies.”

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Lavallee, Cyrus Molavi, Christina Nikolic February 22nd, 2017

Where will it all end? When will we finally turn the corner on the Fossil Fuel Age, and begin the long work of repairing the damage we clever apes have wrought against the environment?

No time soon, if the extractive industries have their say; and they’re just about the only ones who have the ear of government at all levels in this country, and abroad. Seattle’s Sightline Institute reports plans to send more than a million barrels of oil per day through the Pacific Northwest region. Oil coming from shale fracking in North Dakota, and Alberta’s Tar Sands and destined for Asia’s Satanic Mills.

So, how far will Big Oil and Gas take the Fossil Fuel Age? To the very ends of the Earth.

David Lavallee is a Canadian filmmaker whose first documentary, ‘White Water, Black Gold’ garnered awards at numerous film festivals, and was broadcast around the World. He’s a Pull Focus Film School grad, and a product of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Producer Emergence Program. David is now in the process of producing his next film, ‘To the Ends of the Earth,’ an investigation into the lengths the latter day oil barons will go to keep their energy domination going.

David Lavallee in the first segment.

And; you don’t need a street light to see Victoria is rapidly and, some would argue, radically changing. One community here is hoping it can prove a catalyst in changing the way Victorians navigate their way in, through, and around the city.

You’ve likely seen some of the effects of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition‘s efforts to make our berg better for bikes already. From promoting bike lanes and “sharrows”, and the much touted “Biktoria” campaign, to lobbying for infrastructure projects like the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails the GVCC “works with businesses and city stakeholders to create the conditions for safer, more inclusive cycling infrastructure across Greater Victoria.” Cyrus Molavi, a Director on the board of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition joins us today.

Cyrus Molavi, pedaling for a more bike-friendly Victoria in the second half.

And; intrepid horticultural innovator and green business entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here with Left Coast News and Events updates at the bottom of the hour.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Eoghan Moriarty, Terry Wolfwood, Christina Nikolic Feb. 15, 2017

It’s official: We are indeed living in those proverbially interesting times; but what no ancient Chinese curse could have prophesied is the sheer scope and magnitude of these days of ours.

That we face myriad peace, justice, and environmental issues locally, nationally, and globally none but the shortest of thick planks would deny, but how in the midst of this chaos of calamity does one know which of the Hydra’s many heads to strike for? Well, we are fortunate perhaps in British Columbia that within our realm there exists the lair of a beast-horror signally representative of the multitudinous ills so deleteriously effecting the whole of the Natural World.

It is the Hydro-headed Site C dam, the dark aspects of which can only be regarded as an evil pure, born of the deepest, reptilian corner of the human psyche. And, if you think that’s going too far, you don’t know the half of it.

Eoghan Moriarty is founder of the Vancouver-based Mindagape, a media and creative services company, and describes himself as a “digital storyteller” who became involved in documenting B.C. groups fighting against coal exports transiting through their communities. Between filming coal trains and researching the relationship between the Port Authority, Vancouver, and the coal industry, and recording community solidarity and resistance events, Eoghan co-founded RealPortHearings.org, a part of the RealHearings.org concept “creating platforms for organizations working on environment, climate, and other progressive campaigns.” Eoghan Moriarty is also vice-president of the Burns Bog Conservation Society.

Eoghan Moriarty in the first half.

And; Terry Wolfwood will present Palestine in My Heart at the upcoming CAFÉ SIMPATICO. Terry’s Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation, and her articles on peace and social justice are featured in Briarpatch, Peace News, and Third World Resurgence among other places. The long-time Victoria-based activist/organizer, poet/essayist and World traveler for justice is also the local coordinator for Victoria’s Women in Black and she’ll be showcasing slides and telling stories of her recent trip to Palestine and Jordan where Terry says she, “met with teachers, students, farmers, activists, artists, writers and local officials to learn about their struggles for justice in their occupied country.”

It’s all at the next CAFÉ SIMPATICO, coming Friday, February 24th at 1923 Fernwood. There will also be music, and special Palestinian refreshments served and admission is free!

Terry Wolfwood in the heart of Palestine in the second half.

And; Christina Nikolic will be sitting in for Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of the good goings on going on on the streets of our city and beyond planned for the upcoming week. But first, Eoghan Moriarty getting Real Hearings on Site C and more.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joyce Nelson, Jamie Kastner, Janine Bandcroft Feb 8, 2017

Welcome to the Great Undoing, an experiment in media-induced social dissonance so fantastic for sanity’s sake it’s essential you date all notifiers to remind this is indeed 2017.

Yes, much more than an homage to the days of yore, America’s new model year president is a wholesale throwback to a time before your mother was born. Reference the archive under Cleaver, June; Smith, Kate; and Hudson, Rock… (somebody should probably tell the Chief about that last one…).

But, even more frightening than Mr. T’s medievalist social policy is the unmitigated unfettering of the monsters he and his fellow Frankenstein’s in Finance would loose on Wall Street and the World.

Joyce Nelson is an award-winning Canadian freelance writer, researcher, and author whose articles appear in the Watershed Sentinel and at CounterPunch.org. Her book titles include: ‘The Perfect Machine: TV in the Nuclear Age,’ ‘Sultans of Sleaze: Public Relations and the Media,’ ‘Sign Crimes/Road Kill: From Mediascape to Landscape,’ and, just in time the newly released, ‘Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism.

Joyce Nelson in the first half.

And; this week Victoria hosts the 23rd Victoria Film Festival boasting a program of more than 120 theatrical features, shorts, documentaries, animated, Canadian, and international films. Just one of which is The Skyjacker’s Tale, Canadian director Jamie Kastner‘s documentary chronicle of murder and intrigue in the lower latitudes, and Ishmael Muslim Ali‘s desperate flight from the law. The genre-busting Kastner’s films, Secret Disco Revolution, Kike Like Me, Free Trade Is Killing My Mother, Djangomania!, Recessionize! For Fun and Profit! and The Skyjacker’s Tale have between them screened in London and Rotterdam, and Toronto’s prestigious TIFF among other places.

Jamie Kastner and The Skyjacker’s Tale in the second half.

And, Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of the good goings on planned for the streets of our town and beyond in the coming week. But first Joyce Nelson, Beyond Banksters.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, Peter Lee, Christina Nikolic Feb. 1, 2017

Three presidents and fifteen years into the long war the George W. Bush promised, the prison at Guantánamo Bay symbolizes both America’s abrogation of international conventions on the treatment of prisoners, and the failure to end the global paranoia, arms races, and proxy turf battles of the Cold War era.

Any hope for the alluded “peace dividend” following the collapse of the Soviet Union is long forgotten. In fact, the world is poised again above the abyss as accusation and sabre-rattling replaces diplomatic discourse between remnant Russia and the financially fragile United States.

And, into this china shop blusters Donald Trump, who says he would like keep Guantánamo open, and “load it up with bad dudes” among other things.

Andy Worthington is freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker, and singer-songwriter who has made an annual pilgrimage to America from his native Britain to lobby for the infamous prison’s closure, and he was there again last month in the run up to the Trump inauguration. Andy’s book titles include: ‘Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, ‘Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion’, and ‘The Battle of the Beanfield.’ He also co-directed (with Polly Nash) the documentary film, ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.’

Andy Worthington in the first half.

And; there’s no bigger china shop in the world than China, and bull moose Donald has done little to disguise the cross-hairs his administration has drawn on the global economic superpower’s business. For the last half of his tenure, Obama tried repeatedly to orchestrate his so-called “Asia pivot,” an effort to move America’s foreign policy focus back to the Pacific where it’s uncontested half-century of dominance has come under challenge. What will a Trump administration do to make America’s hegemony in Asia great again; and how will China receive its efforts?

Peter Lee is a freelance journalist writing on East and South Asian affairs as they intersect with US global policy. He’s the driving force behind the Asian affairs website China Matters, providing critical updates on China and Asia-Pacific, and his articles also appear at Asia Times, and at CounterPunch.org, among other internet news sites. News sites like Newsbud.com who just last month launched Peter’s weekly report, China Watch.

Peter Lee and a not so Happy Chinese New Year for America’s Year of the Bull in the second half.

And Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour to, in association with Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus, Janine Bandcroft, bring us news of good things planned for the coming week in and around our town and beyond. But first, Andy Worthington, an Englishman in New America.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Tim Boultbee, Peter Verin Presente!, Christina Nikolic Jan. 25, 2017

Welcome to a new world disordered. For some the coming of Trump means the hope a systemically corrupt America can be restored to a state of grace and greatness. Others wonder where and when that alluded to state existed. Either way or both ways one thing is sure, changes are a-comin’.

In office only a day, Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the TransPacificPartnership, or TPP. Could the long implied abrogation of NAFTA, the trade and investment deal linking the U.S., Canada, and Mexico be far behind?

Tim Boultbee is a human rights activist whose interest in Mexico and Central America began during the dark decade of Ronald Reagan’s Dirty Wars down there.

Tim traveled to Nicaragua then to see firsthand the effects of the US-sponsored Contra terrorist campaign against the country’s mainly rural poor and, when the Zapatista’s rose up in Chiapas, (the day the NAFTA treaty was announced) he went down to serve as a human rights observor in 3 Zapatista communities.

Tim Boultbee will be presenting ‘Human Rights in Mexico: What’s next?’ with Claudia Barrueta Martinez as part of a CAFÉ SIMPATICO BENEFIT SUPPER this Friday January 27th at 1923 Fernwood Rd.

Tim Boultbee in the first half.

And; former CFUV broadcaster and environmental champion, Peter Verin died last week. The Reverend Al Tysick conducted a service Thursday near Peter’s centre of operations at the corner of Quadra and McKenzie, close to the recycling depot. I went down to hear the tributes to this most singular Victorian.

Peter Verin Presente! in the second half.

And; Christina Nikolic will be standing in for Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things planned in, on, and around the streets of our city and beyond in the coming week. But first, Tim Boultbee and Human Rights in Mexico! What Next?

Ape Goes to Peter Verin Memorial Service January 19, 2017

I went down to Peter Verin’s memorial service today. Peter was an itinerant environmentalist. He lived on the streets, refusing to live in any way most of us would recognize as “normal.” There are a number of tributes published to him linked below, but suffice to say, he was well loved, despite, or more likely because of his curmudgeonly demeanor. There was somewhere between one and two hundred people present to hear reverend Al Tysick’s send off, with many voicing their relationship to Peter. Those are recorded here, (with varying technical alacrity).

I met Peter many years ago, when we were both broadcasters at the University of Victoria radio station, CFUV. Peter had an environmental show, and we often talked about politics. Indeed, Peter engaged generations of students in long, philosophical debates on all manner of topics. Like some latter-day Socrates, Peter’s uncompromising personality had a cost; he was eventually banned from the radio station, and later kicked off campus altogether.

Adios Peter, our philosopher prince.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=peter+verin+victoria&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=rTGBWODUGYrAjwO5pYagDA

 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Douglas Gook, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft January 18, 2017

Life has been anything but routine for the BC interior residents of Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake, and Quesnel Lake. On August 4th, 2014 the Imperial Metals mine tailings dam burst, sending an estimated 25 million cubic metres of extractive process contaminated sludge and heavy metals-laden toxins into the local watershed.

In what was deemed at the time the biggest spill of its kind into the environment of all time, the chemical impacts of the Mt. Polley Mine spill disaster made Imperial Metals, according to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, “the largest emitter of copper, arsenic and manganese in Canadian waters in 2014.”

But, nearly two and half years after the fact, the governments charged with crafting and enforcing laws to protect the people and places of this Canada are yet to lay charges in enforcement of those laws regarding Imperial Metals.

It’s fallen instead to MiningWatch Canada, the “[P]an-Canadian initiative supported by environmental, social justice, Indigenous and labour organisations from across the country” to launch a private prosecution. This past week, the federal government tried to torpedo that launch before it left the dock, moving to stay the case and prevent MiningWatch entering evidence.

Douglas Gook is a Quesnel-based ecology activist who’s focused on Eco forestry alternatives in the woods there and beyond for more than forty years. He leads Forest Protection Allies, one of the many environmental organizations pressuring government to get effective cleanup processes going, and appropriate compensation for those effected by the Mt. Polley Mine disaster put in place. He attended the gallery in the MiningWatch case Friday, and was there when the federal government’s stunning motion to the court was read.

Douglas Gook in the first half.

And; with mere days left before the inauguration of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president, governments around the World are frantically arranging and rearranging ministries and departments in preparation of a new era in their US relations. Canada is no exception, but where most other countries are moving to align themselves more harmoniously with perceived Trump values, Ottawa appears to be taking the novel approach of charting a 180 degree course in the opposite direction. At least, this is how the elevation of the famously Russophobic Chrystia Freeland is being interpreted in some quarters.

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties.” He’s a former political science professor who’s served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the U.S., and in Asia where he regularly lectures on Russian topics. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’ among others.

John’s latest article, ‘Chrystia Freeland is the Body Double – Canada Plays Hillary Clinton Card at Russia; Kremlin Suspects Putsch Against Justin Trudeau‘ examines the meteoric rise to power of Canada’s newest Minister of Foreign Affairs.

John Helmer and Anatomy of a Canadian Coup in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things scheduled for the coming week on and beyond the streets of our city. But first, Douglas Gook and the federal government’s attempt to stay the toxic flow of information on the Mt. Polley mining spill disaster.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Anthony DiMaggio, David Fairey, Janine Bandcroft Jan. 11, 2017

It’s often said there are two sides to every story, but two sides doesn’t cover the many facets of the near six years-long war in Syria. Whether at the front lines or on the virtual battlefield everyone, from the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies, to America and its friends in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the myriad extra-state actors arrayed on either side, has a point of interest to defend and an enemy’s position to attack.

One certain thing though is, the people of Syria have been terrorized by all sides and it’s their best interests being sacrificed every time a bomb is dropped, a sniper shoots, or a media propagandist pulls the camera trigger.

Anthony DiMaggio is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University, holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released, ‘Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11.’

His recent article, ‘The Pathologies of War: Dual Propaganda Campaigns in Reporting on Syria,’ appearing at the news website, CounterPunch.org, takes a hard look at the righteous claims on all sides of the Syria conflict.

Anthony DiMaggio in the first half.

And; are you suffering for your paycheque, or is someone you know being brutalized by workplace tyranny? The BC Employment Standard Coalition, a group “bring[ing] together organizations, advocates and workers to campaign for decent wages, working conditions, respect and dignity in the workplace” is in Victoria and they want to hear your story.

David Fairey is Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition and Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He’s past Director of the Trade Union Research Bureau, and has worked over the course of a long career on “a wide variety of labour and employment law issues such as labour standards, labour relations, pay equity, construction safety, and migrant labour.” David and the BC Employment Standards folks are down at the Victoria Events Centre at 1415 Broad Street all day today and this evening lending an ear, and offering workers help with employer challenges.

David Fairey and slaying the workplace ogre in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of the good things scheduled for the streets of our town and beyond in the coming week. But first, Anthony DiMaggio and the pathologies of the Syria war.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Satya Sagar, Richard Kastelein, Christina Nikolic Jan. 4, 2017

Happy New Year to all following the western, or Gregorian calendar. It’s important to remember, time is relative and calendars mutable; like other things we may regard as solid, (say economic systems) nothing is changeless, nor eternal.

Take India’s rupee; late last year, prime minister Narendra Modi launched, depending upon your point of view, an either visionary, or draconian demonetization program aimed, he says, at “black money, terrorism, and tax evasion.” His critics however wonder if there’s not more behind the unprecedented move to take both the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, workhorses of the nation’s currency accounting for more than 85% of cash transactions, off the street and onto a controlled grid.

Satya Sagar is a journalist and public health worker whose clarion English language articles on demonetization, ‘Death by Demonetisation‘ and ‘Demonetisation: The Sultan of Sophistry‘  have appeared on this side of the World via the Kerala-based news website, CounterCurrents.org, among other places.

Satya Sagar in the first half.

And; it’s not only India witnessing an economic paradigm shift. Across the planet, Bitcoin and its many imitators, had been received as both a halyard of hope to rescue upward mobility for the embattled middle and working classes, and harbinger of an impending doom, promising chaos by delivering the economy into the hands of internet fraudsters and shadowy networks of web gangsters.

Though the early application of cryptocurrencies had problems, the implementation of a more sophisticated Blockchain 2.0 database insures a more secure regimen. But, there’s more to ushering in a new age of money than ones and zeroes, what’s needed too is a social and necessarily political framework, a context from which the new system can operate. That’s were the Blockchain Party comes in.

Richard Kastelein is a media and technology activist, educator, and entrepreneur. He’s the publisher and editor-in-chief of Blockchain News, a co-founder of Blockchain Partners, director of The Hackitarians Foundation, and now moves into the political sphere with BCP, the Blockchain Party.

Richard Kastelein and bringing new politics to the new money in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will not be joining us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things the coming week promises on in and around the streets of our town, and beyond there too, Christina Nikolic will instead step into the breach. But first, Satya Sagar and putting an biometric thumb in the eye of India’s financial system.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/