by Kyle Wells After just under two years as a reporter with Powell River Peak I am moving to the greater Victoria area to take a job with another community newspaper.
The decision is part professional, part personal. The job I am taking is a good opportunity for me to keep developing as a journalist. Also, I grew up on Vancouver Island and this will give me the chance to spend more time with my family. It is a change that I need to make, but not one that will be easy.
I will miss the community of Powell River and all of the people that I have come to know here. I will miss telling your stories and reporting the news. I will miss the nature and the sunsets and Patricia Theatre and working with the enormous number of people who believe in the value and duty of volunteer work. I will miss being able to go to any event alone, knowing that I will know at least a dozen people there.
And then there’s the ferries. Honestly, as is the case for many, they have been a large factor in my decision to move. Both the cost and the inconsistency of service makes leaving Powell River to see my family and friends on the island difficult and ultimately unsustainable. It’s not BC Ferries’ fault so much as the provincial government’s, which needs to pony up more money to reduce fees and update the fleet. Change is needed for this community to survive and the ferries are putting a choke hold on that change.
This is not a perfect community. I have never lived somewhere that often feels so divided. Whether it be wastewater treatment, the new library, homelessness or any number of issues, people in this community are passionate about what has made Powell River what it is and where it is going next. Passion is good but at times the inability of either side to listen to the other has been discouraging. Change is healthy and roots are important. Recognizing, celebrating and encouraging both is key.
You have so much to be thankful for in this community. It is unique and wonderful in so many ways. When you do come together for events such as Blackberry Festival or for any number of charitable causes you can see what makes this community special. I have lived in a number of different places, but never anywhere quite like Powell River. These have been two of the most formative years of my life.
I would like to thank the Peak for giving me the opportunity to take this job straight out of school and for helping me develop as a journalist. I will miss my coworkers, the job itself and my life in Powell River.
You have a great community here. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.
Kyle Wells moved to Powell River in the spring, 2010. He is now working as a reporter for the Goldstream Gazette.