Mme. Gabaglia, a French immersion teacher at Ecole Willows School, was chosen by 91.3 the Zone as their Teacher of the Month for October. One of her students nominated her for being a great teacher while they juggled rooms waiting for their portable to be finished. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News) Mme. Gabaglia, a French immersion teacher at Ecole Willows School, was chosen by 91.3 the Zone as their Teacher of the Month for October. One of her students nominated her for being a great teacher while they juggled rooms waiting for their portable to be finished. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

November 2017: Children’s drawings aim to slow speeders in school zones

Willows school students tackle Cadboro Bay Road safety

Const. Markus Lueder, Oak Bay’s school liaison officer, pulled drivers over in the École Willows Elementary school zone to hand out drawings in November. Drivers faced a fine, or a more poignant reminder to slow down as the Oak Bay Police Department adapted the Think of Me program, started by the RCMP, where officers ask elementary students to draw pictures of how they perceive driving can be hazardous to them as students.

Police officers then hand out the drawings to speeding drivers alongside either a warning or a ticket.

École Willows Elementary parents hope to see Oak Bay consider the Cadboro Bay corridor from Foul Bay to beyond the school in next year’s budget.

They’re looking for “a corridor that works for everyone,” says parent and spokesperson Roy Brooke.

Oak Bay is crafting a plan to embark on bike lanes from Foul Bay Road to Bowker Avenue, with a proposed completion date of summer 2018. As part of the Bowker building at Bowker Avenue and Cadboro Bay Road, Abstract Development put $100,000 toward work on that intersection. It was identified by the community early in that discussion as a major safety concern and Oak Bay plans to implement changes with those funds.

“It struck a number of us that there’s no sense having a good intersection floating in a sea of garbage,” Brooke said.

The Cadboro Bay Road corridor includes wide corners and bad sight lines from Estevan Road right through to Fort and Foul Bay, Brooke notes, saying it’s not “encouraging” for the young or elderly walkers or riders. Then there are the two schools, with 2,000 children in a 650-metre stretch.

In 2018, Willows students are expected to make presentations to council on what they think might work for the road.

Trevor Gains sold his boat and was about to load it onto the new owner’s trailer at Oak Bay Marina when Constable Brett Stewart ran up to ask if Gains had time to help save a life.

Stewart and Gains hopped in the boat and drove over to a man who was half-submerged and had been clinging to the side of his sailboat for over 25 minutes. They pulled him on board and brought him to emergency services waiting on shore.

While extremely weak from the ordeal, the man fully recovered from his exposure.

Embracing emergency management earned Oak Bay Fire Chief Dave Cockle the Pacific Northwest award of excellence. But those who work alongside him weren’t shocked by the recognition of his leadership for commitment to both the BC Earthqauake Alliance and its initiative ShakeOut BC. While they may not all recognize him as fire chief, most in the room knew Cockle, says Eileen Grant, manager of the Oak Bay Emergency Program.

Cockle serves as president of the earthquake alliance and is past president of ShakeOut. Cockle is also active with the Oak Bay Kiwanis (currently serving as chair of the Kiwanis Pavilion Society board) and other community initiatives such as his “arrest” for a Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock fundraiser last month.

An Oak Bay teacher got a surprise visit in November from Dylan Willows and Jason Lamb, hosts of 91.3 the Zone’s morning show.

Mme. Sandra Gabaglia, a French immersion teacher at École Willows School was the October winner of their Teacher of the Month contest.

She was nominated by a student because the class had been through a lot since September, waiting for their portable to be finished. The nominator noted that Gabaglia organized a lot of field trips, such as nature walks, visiting a bird sanctuary, getting a VIP tour of the legislature and watching a bird documentary at IMAX.

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Drawings from elementary school students are meant to give speeders pause as to what is really at stake. The drawings are part of the Think of Me program being implemented by the Oak Bay Police. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Dave Cockle with the Pacific Northwest Preparedness Society Award of Excellence awarded to him during the Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity Conference in Vancouver Nov. 1. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

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