Our Community: Student takes lead role on climate

Rebecca Wolf Gage, a Grade 7 student at Shoreline Community Middle School, is not about to let climate change defeat her.

Wolf Gage has taken personal steps to reduce carbon dioxide. For example, she rides the bus and went vegetarian, and she continues to lobby her little brother and mother to join her in giving up meat.

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On Friday, the 12-year-old helped organize an Enviro School at the Victoria Quaker House and invited young people, 20 of whom showed up, to hear from experts and officials on the climate-change issue.

Wolf Gage has also organized what she calls regular strike action for young people to protest inaction over climate change. The first was on Dec. 20, with young people not reporting for school and instead demonstrating at the B.C. legislature.

She is taking inspiration from 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg, who has taken similar actions.

Wolf Gage said climate change frightens her, but she remains optimistic.

“I’m kind of scared, but I’m also really hopeful we will find a solution,” she said in an interview.

Have a beer and talk theology

Beer, politics and religion might seem a combination to be approached with caution. But folks at Christ Church Cathedral see a chance to talk about the big issues.

Christ Church is hosting a downtown pub night called Theology on Tap this Wednesday. The topic is Non-Violence or Non-Existence and the session will feature an American scholar of the lives and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968).

Leading the event will be religious scholar John Thatamanil, associate professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, who has long studied Gandhi and King.

Despite the presence of alcohol, Thatamanil said Theology on Tap has proven a way to engage with young people on relaxed and neutral ground. In the U.S., many cities have an ongoing Theology on Tap event.

Besides, he joked, the session is about non-violence and the teachings of the 20th century’s two great, non-violent but revolutionary figures.

“Both men argued that violence is the exception and non-violence is the greater reality for humans,” Thataminal said in a telephone interview.

“History books are filled with exceptional acts of violence, but most of our lives are marked by mutual care and support.”

This week’s Theology on Tap is on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 6 to 7 p.m. in the Loft of the Sticky Wicket Pub, Strathcona Hotel, 919 Douglas St.

Young students get clean place to sit

Luv a Rug has stepped in to help local schools provide clean spots for little ones to sit on the floor.

Stephen Dusty Roberts, team leader for Luv a Rug Services Inc., said the company has cleaned up 120 rugs to send back to the schools free of charge.

Roberts said for some reason, various floor rugs in primary schools are not being vacuumed or cleaned regularly. So Luv a Rug has stepped in to help out.

He also said Luv a Rug has done the deed in past years, so it’s almost a yearly tradition for his company.

“The kids are sitting right on the carpet and they deserve something reasonably clean, healthy and sanitary,” Roberts said.

Videos deliver reliable medicine information

Medication information can be best administered via a short video, watched and reviewed at home with responsible family members, say Island Health officials.

Island Health has produced a series of videos available online to discuss best practices for six common medications: Warfarin, statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, Beta blockers and direct oral anti-coagulants.

Dr. Sean Spina, Island Health co-ordinator of clinical pharmacy, said a hospital, where patients recover from surgeries or crises such as heart attacks, can be a poor setting to educate patients about medications. In hospital, patients are often overwhelmed and the printed information now handed out with all drugs can be difficult, Spina said.

But a short video watched at home, often with supportive family members, can be a great way to ensure proper information is getting through. It can be watched again and again if confusion or questions arise.

It also means patients are less likely to go surfing on internet search engines and get steered to questionable information.

“This is a bona-fide source of medication information,” said Spina. “Patients can watch it again and again or when a son or a daughter or some other family member comes to visit.”

To find the medication videos, go online to islandhealth.ca.

Cool Aid looking for winter coats

Anyone who received a new coat for Christmas and no longer needs their old one is being asked to donate it to Cool Aid.

The local agency, which works closely with those in need and often homeless, is asking for gently used winter clothing, such as coats, hats, gloves or socks. Waterproof is always appreciated. New items are also greatly appreciated.

Bedding, blankets, sleeping bags, tents or tarpaulins are also useful at this time of year.

Wendy Stone, co-ordinator for the Cool Aid Casual Labour Pool, said the agency is being approached by more people than just the homeless.

“The need is high,” Stone said in a telephone interview. “We are now seeing folks from all different backgrounds coming in.”

“The cost of living is just so high now,” she said.

Anyone who wants to make a donation can drop items off at Cool Aid’s Labour Pool, 465 Swift St. near Wharf Street, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays until Monday, Jan. 14.

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