A 10-foot-long shark washed ashore at Coles Bay on Feb. 5. It was seen swimming in the bay two days earlier. (Peter Metcalfe photo) A 10ft shark has washed ashore at Coles Bay on Feb.5. It was seen swimming in the bay two days earlier. (Peter Metcalfe)

The top Saanich Peninsula stories of 2019

These stories caught readers’ attention online at peninsulanewsreview.com

Here are 2019’s most-read stories from peninsulanewsreview.com.

10-foot-long shark washes ashore in North Saanich

Topping the list was an unusual find on a local beach.

A 10-foot-long shark washed ashore at Coles Bay in North Saanich.

Francois Metcalfe saw what she thought was a shark swimming in the bay on Feb. 3 and two days later saw it had washed ashore. She called her husband and they went down to the shoreline to investigate.

“There are no signs of how it met its death,” said Peter Metcalfe. Metcalfe said the shark appeared to be 600 to 800 pounds and he was surprised that it does not have a dorsal fin on the centre of its back.

Later, a team of scientists from the University of Victoria performed a necropsy on the shark and found 70 babies inside the carcass of the bluntnose sixgill shark.

Experts thought the fact the shark was pregnant meant she died because of complications while giving birth. Mother sharks are known to come into shallower waters to give birth and have large litters of 20 to 100 pups.

North Saanich man captures moment comet smashes into super blood wolf moon

An amateur North Saanich photographer caught the exact moment a meteorite slammed into January’s ‘super blood wolf’ moon, causing a small flash visible from Earth. Conan Chee, a businessman and owner of a popular Facebook photography page, filmed the eclipse using a three-foot lens, from the back of his house.

“I sat on my deck for about two hours, everything was frosty. I set up the video and once the moon had moved from one corner to the other of the screen, I would shoot a few stills and then re-set my position. I got about 10 videos total.”

During one of these videos, Chee inadvertently captured the impact flash, which University of Huelva astrophysicist Jose Maria Madiedo believes was the first ever seen during a lunar eclipse.

One dead, two in serious condition after ‘violent struggle’ at Brentwood Bay home

The next story is one still going through the court system.

In May a violent attack in a Brentwood Bay home left one person dead and two others in serious condition.

Josh Haymes, who lives in the 7200-block of Meadowlark Lane, told Black Press Media he was pulling into his driveway as the altercation was happening.

Haymes said that as he ran toward the house while calling 911, a man ran out and jumped into a white car and “almost ran him over” as the guy drove away.

Sylven said it is believed the incident was not random.

Alan Charles Chapman was later charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Emily Caruana and two counts of aggravated assault.

At the time of publication, Chapman remained in custody.

Federal funding paves way for Pat Bay Highway overpass at Keating Cross Road

A $16-million investment from the federal government paved the way for a ‘flyover’ overpass from the Pat Bay Highway to Keating Cross Road in Central Saanich.

“This project has a 40-year-history. Its time is now,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor. “We have done the work as a community, and so have the provincial and the federal government. This project needs to go forward. I’m confident it will go forward.”

This flyover — which may include other elements — means that northbound drivers turning left onto Keating will no longer have to turn across southbound traffic. The project will also include a realigned southbound on-ramp to Victoria.

Construction is scheduled to start as early as 2021 and the entire project is estimated to cost $44 million.

‘Two chicks by the sea’ saved by their guardian angels

Rounding out the top Saanich Peninsula stories of the year was one that could have had a much different ending.

Sisters, known as the “two chicks by the sea,” faced a dangerous and isolated time during the snowstorms earlier this year, before they were assisted by three of North Saanich’s finest.

Juanita Harris, 78, has limited mobility and uses an electric mobility scooter to move around the house. She and her sister, 75-year-old Carol Harris, are fiercely independent despite both suffering from some serious health ailments. The pair found themselves snowed in with drifts blocking their driveway and road so caregivers couldn’t visit. When the power went out, the sisters prepared to cope as best they could.

However, their caregiver Patricia Hirsch, recognized the severity of the predicament and called the North Saanich Fire Department for assistance.

Despite being busy with call-outs and medical checks, the department – consisting mostly of volunteers – was able to send Lt. Spencer Barkley, firefighter Jordan Kelly and recruit Rob Howland to assist.

“There was a knock at the door and three handsome gentlemen in uniform were there,” Juanita said. With a laugh, she continued, “the first thing I said was ‘but we don’t have a fire.’”

The firefighters explained they were there to help. They put the kettle on for the ladies, opened some canned food, checked the fridge was well-stocked and cleared the driveway for them.

Remembering Nirvana in Victoria on Cobain’s 52 birthday

While not a Saanich Peninsula resident, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would have turned 52 years old in February. Before the band hit the big time, pre-Nevermind, they played a show right here in Victoria at what was once the Forge, now called Distrikt. Andrew Murray, an assistant teaching professor for the department of English at the University of Victoria, was at the show on March 8, 1991, and recalls it well.

“I remember they played quite a lot of songs off their first album Bleach. I remember they played a Velvet Underground cover called Here She Comes Now, which I had never heard them play before,” said Murray.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Cascadia Seaweed hopes to float to the top of a growing industry

Food products based on seaweed could hit local shelves in spring 2021

Deadline looms to take Esquimalt’s waste stream survey

Township wants residents, business owners’ thoughts on integrated resource management

New Oak Bay officer on the traffic beat

Const. Jeff Savoy a ‘top traffic enforcement officer’

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Most Read