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Saanich News, January 15, 2022

Letter: Saanich dragging its feet on endorsing free contraception

For the past two years, B.C. municipalities have been adding their support to AccessBC’s call for universal no-cost prescription contraception. The City of Victoria was the first, passing a motion in January 2020, and since then, 29 municipalities and districts across the province have taken less than 10 minutes out of their agendas to adopt a motion urging the provincial government to make all prescription contraception free.

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GVPN, November 27, 2021

Delivering the 50,000th book of the Pocket Places Project

Since August 2017, the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network’s Pocket Places Project has been delivering books to little free libraries (LFLs) around the region, and this week, project lead Teale Phelps Bondaroff added the 50,000th book to a LFL. A copy of Chris Hadfield’s ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth,’ was left in the Republic of North Park Little Free Library on Queens Ave. Victoria.

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Hürriyet, November 5, 2021

From Mexican fishermen to Japanese yakuza, everyone is after them!

Over the years there has been an incredible increase in sea cucumber fishing in Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar. Populations of the most expensive species have dropped by up to 60 percent. Today, this small tropical island has become a haven for illegal smugglers and poachers. For the more than 10,000 fishing families living on Sri Lanka's northern coastline, such as Vigrado, the state of the seas is very worrying. [Translated from Turkish]

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BCHA, October 27, 2021

Saanich endorses COVID-19 denial through permissive tax exemption

Without benefits tests for permissive tax exemptions (PTE), municipalities risk funding organizations that only provide services to their members, run commercial operations, exclude and discriminate against people or flout the law. This is exactly what the District of Saanich did at its meeting on Monday, October 25th when this municipal council unanimously voted to renew a PTE to a prosperity gospel church known for equating child disobedience to witchcraft, for preaching homophobia, endorsing and engaging in so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ and for outspoken COVID-19 denial and anti-vaccine rhetoric.

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The Discourse, October 13, 2021

Langford little free pantry is ‘a coral reef for community’

“When you create a public place that is people-centric, people will gather there and interact and that’s the basis of community,” Phelps Bondaroff says. “We don’t actually have a lot of situations in our lives where we bump into and have conversations with strangers. Our infrastructure in our urban environment isn’t really designed for that … but that’s what placemaking does. It softens the hard edges of the city and makes it more about people.”

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Saanich News, October 8, 2021

LETTER: Noisy vehicles should be monitored in Saanich

Given the well-documented harms of noise pollution to health and well-being, action is needed. I encourage Saanich to explore using noise cameras to address this issue. Our current approach is not working.

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The Guardian, September 7, 2021

Licence to krill: the destructive demand for a ‘better’ fish oil

“It’s pretty worrisome when you’ve got fisheries exploring these ‘unexploited’ areas or discovering large stocks of fish,” says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research at OceansAsia. “This really should raise eyebrows because what’s really driving that expansion? Krill oil is obviously one factor.”

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Oceans Inc., September 6, 2021

Krilling for Oil

Yet, scientists are unsure how effective an MPA will be, given that the ones proposed are static rather than adaptive. Krill are migratory species, which means they do not stay within a set boundary. Having a proposed border for no-fishing may be fruitless if swarms of krill move outside those boundaries, according to Phelps Bondaroff. 

“What you're trying to protect is not the ocean water. You're trying to protect the species that move through it,” he said. “So a marine protected area may not make sense insofar as krill movement dynamics are concerned.”

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Times Colonist, August 17, 2021

Working on reconciliation, one free little library at a time

“People thought that it was a great idea and suggested that it would be a good title to be included in the little free library network,” said Phelps Bondaroff. “We started a public crowdfunding campaign and in under 24 hours, we managed to raise the $4,000 we had initially asked for. We then raised the goal and, as of Tuesday, have raised almost $6,900.”
 

That’s enough for the non-profit organization to purchase 902 copies of the booklet — 870 in English and 32 in French.

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VictoriaBuzz, July 26, 2021

Little Free Libraries take off in Victoria as 500th library installed

A dragon’s lair has taken root in Saanich. But neighbours don’t have to be afraid; this dragon is hoarding treasures of the literary kind. It’s the newest Little Free Library in Victoria, and it is also marking an incredible milestone: the 500th library installed in the CRD. That figure is based on tracking information from the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network (GVPN), which began mapping Little Free Libraries in the area in 2016.

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New Indian Express, June 10, 2021

Around 65 tonnes of sea cucumber seized in five years from Gulf of Mannar and Palk strait

Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff, also the Director of Research, OceansAsia, a Hong Kong based marine conservation organisation, told The New Indian Express that the illegal smuggling routes are traced to remote island chains while mapping the crime occurring places. Protecting the threatened species of sea cucumbers, the earthworms of the seas, from poaching help to keep our marine ecosystems healthy, he said.

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CBC News, May 30, 2021

Little Free Libraries launch book bingo game across Victoria

Greater Victoria is home to more than 467 miniature libraries and, thanks to a new initiative, readers can now play a game of bingo while searching for new books. Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, the group that started Little Free Libraries — a collection of take-a-book, leave-a-book stalls throughout the city — has now launched Little Free Library Bingo. 

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Oceanography Magazine,
April 13, 2021

RIPPLE MARKS • Surgical Masks on the Beach: COVID-19 and Marine Plastic Pollution

“The 1.56 billion face masks that will likely enter our ocean in 2020 are just the tip of the iceberg,” says Phelps Bondaroff. “The 4,680 to 6,240 metric tons of face masks are just a small fraction of the estimated 8 to 12 million metric tons of plastic that end up in our ocean each year.”

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The Guardian, April 11, 2021

‘Aphrodisiac’ of the ocean: how sea cucumbers became gold for organised crime

“If you have a legal market in that kind of way in proximity to an illegal market, the legal market becomes a huge source for fish laundering,” says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research at OceansAsia, whose recent report maps the arrests and seizures of sea cucumbers in the two countries.
 

For years, authorities in Sri Lanka and India have been trying to combat this marine crime. But despite the number of arrests and seizures on the rise, new cases show the illegal trade is spreading to previously untouched areas.

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