Owner tearing his hair because a bear’s been there. (Gazette file photo)

Lake Flashback: Angry fence owner, angry cable operator, and overwhelmed voters for you this week

Politicians by the score join ‘garbage’ bears, cable TV ‘thieves’ in our romp through years past

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through oldnewspaperswiththeassistance of the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives so we can jog your memory, give you that nostalgic feeling, or just a chuckle, as we take a look at what was making headlines this weekaround Cowichan Lake in years gone by.

This week around the Cowichan Lake area…

10 years ago:

“Lake couple fed up with fence damage by bear” was a timely story in the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Oct. 15, 2008.

For the first 18 years that Walter and Norma Cosby lived on Eldred Road in Lake Cowichan they never had any problems with bears. That’s changed in the last three years.

In mid November of 2006 a bear ripped through two parts of their fence. The same thing happened last year and then again early last week. The most recent incident was at about 9 p.m. on Oct. 6. Norma said she heard a noise and looked out to see the bear. It had broken through a portion of their front yard fence, as well as through the backyard fence.

Walter said he’s fed up.

“I’m pissed right off,” he said last week, two days after the damage was done on Oct. 6. “This is three years in succession they’ve destroyed our fence. It’s cost us a fortune to repair it and I don’t think I should have to do it again.”

Walter said they do what they’re supposed to by keeping their garbage in the house and only putting it out on the days it’s picked up. He is also careful to remove fruit that falls on the ground.

“I’m afraid to go out at night,” he said, noting that the bear is a big old female that in past years has been seen with two cubs. “I think she’s a danger to people. This is definitely a garbage bear because it didn’t touch the apples on our tree.”

Walter said he telephoned the 1-800 number the police gave him for filing a bear complaint, but he hasn’t heard anything back. He’d like to see the town put pressure on the conservation officers.

“It’s definitely cost me more than a thousand bucks to repair my fence and it’s going to cost even more because I have to hire someone to do it,” said Walter.

In an effort to lessen the problem of bears getting into garbage, town has increased pickup to every week from May to the end of October.

25 years ago:

“It could be a noisy election in the area” said The Lake News of Oct. 20, 1993.

“A rousing old-fashioned drag ‘em out election seems possible as no fewer than 21 people filed nomination papers for 12 seats in the Lake district.”

Standing for mayor of Lake Cowichan were the incumbent Earle Darling and Coun. Pat Foster.

Offering themselves for the four seats on council were: Coun. Jean Brown, Coun. Leon Portelance, Ken Douglas, Gary Gunderson, Jack Peake, and Sheila Simmons.

Filing nominations for the school board: Chair Gary Gunderson, Trustee Buck Hollingdrake, Trustee Rolli Gunderson, Trustee Barb Olson, Trustee Wilma Rowbottom, Ian Cairns, John Hugi, Cindy Knight, Gerhard Ludeman, Vickie McArthur, and Pat Weaver. (Remember: Lake Cowichan had its own school board then).

For the first time in years, long-time Area I director John Ward has competition. Doug Baird and Vivian Evans filed nomination papers.

Joseph Allan, director of Area F, will be elected by acclamation: the only politician who won’t have to fight for his seat.

40 years ago:

“Cable owner to crack down on thieves” is an intriguing headline from the front page of The Lake News of Oct. 18, 1978.

Whazzup? Let’s find out.

Clarence Severson, owner of Lake Video Ltd. and Youbou Cablevision Ltd., says he has been aware for some time that a number of subscribers have been hooking up cable illegally. He says he wants everyone to be aware of the fact that unauthorized hook-ups contravene Section 287.1 of the Criminal Code, which deals with theft of telecommuncation services.

Severson said while he would be reluctant to prosecute anyone stealing his service, “I might have to lay a few charges.”

He said people stealing the service usually hook up additional TV sets or FM tuners. The cost of an additional hookup is $10 initially and $1.50 per month. (Remember, this is 40 years ago.)

He said many of the people making unauthorized hook-ups do so improperly and may interfere with the strength of the signal they receive.

Severson said he will give some of the poeple he knows are illegally using the service a final warning and “if they get nasty about it, I’m going to cut them right off.”

He said the company will be performing “a maintenance audit to check out our equipment” in the coming weeks and this will involve visiting subscribers’ homes to take a meter reading of the strength of the cable.

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