Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Last Day for the Cranbrook Connected Survey

Have you taken a few minutes to fill out yours?  If not, this is the last day for you to have a say as part of the Cranbrook Connected project in how you think Cranbrook might have a sustainable future.

Around Town and Looking Good

Pat Adams Reading Lounge

The Fireplace Reading Area at the Cranbrook Public Library was dedicated to now retired Head Librarian Pat Adams on Friday January 28th.  Pat was introduced by Dave Clark who described Pat's many years of dedication to making sure Cranbrook received its much overdue and much needed new library.  He also described the many library services involving technology at a time when technology was very new, that Pat introduced.  A plaque hand-made by Ursula Brigl, Head Librarian was then unveiled. 

The community thanks you Pat for your perseverence, resoucefulness and service to this core part of our community.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So Cool Solar Highway

After a week of serious topics we thought the tone should be 'lighter' today.

Thanks to Wayne Stetski who brought this to our attention.

"I believe we need to make Cranbrook the Centre For Solar Power Technology for British Columbia given that we are the sunniest city in BC".

Wayne Stetski
January 21, 2011

This is so cool ! Cranbrook should be home to the Canadian factory to produce and further the development of this technology!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Clean Air Testing to Begin

Learning to Drive the Prius
After a slight delay due to technical difficulties the Clean Air Testing Project  began last night and will continue every night for 3 weeks.  A specially equipped Toyota Prius will be driven by a team of volunteers between Cranbrook and Kimberley. They will follow the same route at approximately the same time every evening.  The vehicle is equipped with a portable nephelometer which will take air quality readings for particulate matter in the air every 15 seconds.  This should provide us with more information about the quality of air in Cranbrook, Kimberley and area.  While our air quality is excellent in the summer it tends to be quite poor in the winter partially due to inefficient wood burning stoves.  Poor air quality has a real effect on the health of many people, including children and seniors. The government is trying to encourage people to upgrade their stoves to  more high efficient models which greatly reduce the wood smoke released into the environment. Results of the testing should be available sometime this summer and we will let you know the results.  To learn more about the Wood Stove Exchange Program please go here or here

Friday, January 28, 2011

Townsman Headline January 27th

Millions flow in for wastewater treatment! Oh come on, let's keep it real – most of it is a LOAN (which the article does go on to say), which means you and I still pay!

It’s a good thing there is a source for this money to pay for something that is essential if Cranbrook wishes to stop blushing over its embarrassing behaviour in dealing with its wastewater for the last twenty plus years. $674,800 according to the same article is a grant and the remainder we pay for over the long term along with also, according to the Townsman, another $8 million to come from somewhere if and when all projects are completed. The Townsman states $19 million as being the new minimum for the current upgrades.

A line item for 2012 in the City’s recent Five Year Financial Plan shows $125,000 towards a baseball stadium. A further item for 2014, shows $500,000 for baseball diamonds as well as a hopeful $2 million for a campground grant. By comparison a small $190,000 is shown in the same year for the Southview Park which already has been sitting in a sorry mess for at least two years – a park which would be used year round and on a daily basis if it were properly landscaped and reclaimed.

In the City’s Five Year Financial Plan it states:

The City took over the Rec Plex in March 2007. Projected revenues in 2010 from the Rec Plex, including pool operations are $995,325. Operating expenses are estimated to be $2,349,167 before debt payments of $1,792,431.00. This means the Rec Plex alone costs taxpayers approximately $3 million every year.

Is it really fair to ask the average Cranbrook citizen to partially pay the bill for yet another costly sports facility, which only a small minority of the population might use for only part of the year? Remember also, these facilities would need regular maintenance and field care. The elaborate fence around the existing Moir Park is already torn down in many places and this is a new facility.

How many sports facilities should we as taxpayers subsidize when our infrastructure has fallen seriously behind necessary upkeep? The wastewater upgrades continue to garner headlines but it is not only the sewage system that has fallen behind in its capability.

Getting smug about going into more debt for something that should have been done and paid for years ago is not appropriate.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's Happening...

Play for Literacy - January 27
Scrabble Evening at the Cranbrook Library.
Families with children aged 5 up are invited to Play for Literacy at CBAL the Cranbrook Library's Scrabble Evening. Registration is at 6:30. games start at 7pm followed by refreshments.

Ali Babas Lounge - January 28
Featuring Red People. Go out and support Live Music in Cranbrook

Sustainable Building and Living Conference - Kimberley - January 28
At McKim Theatre - A lively and informative evening featuring the leading thinkers in sustainability.
Refreshments 6:45 to 7:30. Show starts at 7:30 Tickets are $10 at Black Bear or Lotus Books, $12 at the door

Sustainable Building and Living Showcase - Kimberley - January 29
Featuring 25 regional exhibitors showcasing products and services to help us build a more sustainable future.Noon until 4:45. College of the Rockies Kimberley Campus, Admission; FREE

Lovers in a Dangerous Time Premier - January 29
Local film shot in Creston is opening today at the Columbia Theatre in Cranbrook. Check theatre for show times.

Fort Steele - January 29
Grand opening of the travelling photography exhibit title, Two Views: Photography by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank. Two views is an extensive collection of black and white photographs. Appetizers and a  toonie bar available from 5pm-7pm at Fort Steele Heritage Town.  Call Fort Steele for further information 250-417-6000.

Meet the Author Wednesday February 2 Noon - 1:00pm Angie Abdou
Lecture Theatre COR
Free book reading, signing and Q and A
"The Bone Cage"

Let's Chat Workshop - How to Read in Public- February 3
at the Artrageous Gallery.
 Admission is Free but you must register to take part. Phone 250-426-4223

Thursday February 3rd
Rotary Film Series
Blue Valentine
Columbia Theatre
Tickets at Lotus Books

College of the Rockies

COTR is holding an open house for prospective students on Thursday, Feb 10 on a drop in basis from 4 - 6pm at the new entrance. . Staff will be able to help guide you through the post secondary education process at the COTR or at any other institutions. Other information will available such as how to apply for student loans and scholarships

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cranbrook’s Waste Water Management System Background Information

It is a very good thing that Cranbrook’s Waste Water Management Program is being updated. However just because 14 million, now 19 million tax dollars and infrastructure grants are being poured into these upgrades, it does not mean all problems will completely or immediately go away. The public has good reason to question and ask for clear communication and information and the following may explain why.

There are ongoing concerns some of which to the ordinary person would seem relatively easy to solve. Some on the other hand are understandably much more complex and will cost a great deal more money. Council may take comfort in recent correspondence from the Ministry and its many paid experts now constructing the upgrades but it is interesting to recall the words contained within the Environmental Hearing Board’s Report. These experts we must remember, were not hired by the city, or asked to work with the city, but were appointed as impartial experts to give educated opinions and direction on the level limit of effluent contained in Lagoon #2. The City was appealing the decision and former direction given to them to maintain the level below 824 metres above sea level. (CPR had suffered slides on its tracks closest to the lagoon and it was felt leaking effluent could possibly be the cause) Part of the Appeal Hearings involved learning about the state of Cranbrook’s Waste Water Management Program.

Ref. 84 from the Environmental Hearing Report of 2009

In reference to Cranbrook’s Waste Water Management System

While conceptually acceptable, the implementation by Cranbrook has been far from acceptable. What this panel has determined is that components of the sewage treatment system have been seriously flawed for many years and that Cranbrook has done very little to correct them. For reasons not clear, the Ministry has not enforced its Permit. The Panel had hoped for a presentation from Cranbrook that would demonstrate a determination to find an engineered solution but what the Panel received can only be considered ‘too little too late’. While compliance and enforcement of the Permit are not the responsibility of the Board, non-compliance and non-enforcement, have been so overwhelmingly consistent that the perception from the evidence before this Panel is that Cranbrook has been ‘thumbing its nose’ at the regulators.

Part of this passage was quoted in a local paper at the time of the report’s release. While many residents in the area had concerns before this report, many more had concerns after its publication.

Considering the above information and the fact that the current council is the same council, (many of whom were members of former councils), that received this assessment, the public has good reason to expect ongoing clear informative communication about the state of the upgrades and how their tax dollars are being spent.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of January 24th 2011

· Katherine Hough’s presentation on the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy and their work in the community was most informative. She featured a short video from Surrey that demonstrated how important it is to make literacy a focus in all areas of municipal work.

· Letters concerning the Spray Irrigation System became the focus of Correspondence. Denise Palleson, Mayor Manjak and Liz Schatschneider made reference to the letters from the Ministry of the Environment. They felt reassured about their working relationship with the Ministry and the ongoing upgrade work. Mayor Manjak talked at length about the personnel dealing with the upgrades and gave assurance to one member of the gallery that his questions not answered tonight would be answered soon.

· Mr Jamie Hodge gave a lengthy slide presentation demonstrating the engineering systems which have gone into the Spray Irrigation Upgrades. The slides and the financial breakdown were most informative and interesting especially for those residents who may not have had the opportunity to see some of these locations or work in action for themselves. Mr Hodge’s presentation was limited to the current upgrades.

We did learn that Cranbrook should be meeting standards by the end of 2011.

Some of the questions we posed on January 12th on this blog were given an answer.  Some were not.

· Will The 15 million dollars designated to this project be sufficient to complete the improvements already contracted? Apparantly not. Cost now estimated at $19 million.

· Which of the original planned upgrades are not going to take place due to lack of funds? No clear answer given although we were assured basic standards will be met by the end of 2011.

· If more work is required to complete the basic upgrades, what will be the estimated shortfall? Estimated at $4 million

· What procedures are in place to reassure the residents surrounding the spray site and leaking ponds numbers one and two that well water in the area is safe? No answer although it was admitted there is a leakage problem.

· It was proven in the test results for 2009 that runoff provided in one pond to the cattle for drinking water exceeded contamination guidelines by a substantial amount. Have cattle as yet been provided with a clean, fresh drinking water source? Not addressed

· Does ultimate responsibility for management of the spray site not rest with the City Farm? If so why are cattle as of August 2010 still permitted to graze when active spraying is taking place? This contravenes government regulations. Mr Hodge said a few weeks ago in a previous meeting that this was a mistake.  By deduction - by the end of 2011 this will not happen

· What has been the total cost to taxpayers for ten years worth of legal dispute with CPR culminating in an extensive and likely very expensive Environmental Hearing? No information given.

We are ever hopeful and must assume at some point the missing information will be revealed.  It is interesting to note that one part of the bid process for the upgrades stipulated that a personel relations appointment be made to answer the public's questions.  To date we do not know of any one person holding this position.  Several council members stated in this meeting that there have been non-compliance issues in the past.  This is the same council who in the past and for a very long time denied there were any issues with waste water management.  The result of this has been the skeptism, concern, research and care shown by residents although not all may have the confidence to publicly question the authorities especially when they have run the risk of public put downs.

We have made several posts on this subject over the last few months.  You may be interested in reading:

· Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw was given third reading with amendments. All of the amendments were not discussed although a soft introduction to this bylaw was not accepted. Some change was given to wheel cleaning methods. It is good to see Cranbrook taking this issue seriously by introducing this bylaw.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of January 24th

1. Nathan Lieuwan, Kootenay Ice re. Family Faith Night
2. Katherine Hough Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Work in the Community

Administration Update

· Waste Water Improvement Project Update
To be presented by Jamie Hodge, City Engineer

In light of Mr Stoich’s letter to the Mayor and Mayor Manjak’s invitation to all for this presentation, we are anticipating the public’s questions will be answered.

· Engineering Report

Building Permit Summary for the fourth quarter of 2010 and the Year Total for 2011. This can be viewed online at:

· 2010 Mosquito Control Program Summary

- can be viewed online at:

· Both the Library and Leisure Services Report can be viewed at the same location on line


15 pieces of correspondence including three pieces of correspondence regarding Cranbrook’s Spray Irrigation Upgrades, one letter concerning the Shadow Mountain Properties Payment of Cash in Lieu of Park Space (, one letter concerning South Hill Water Issues.

New Business

· A recommendation regarding the Gas Tax Agreement Strategic Priorities Fund

· Report Recommendation from Corporate Services regarding Development Variance Permit, New Dawn


· Report recommendation from Corporate Services regarding Multi Family Development permit New Dawn Developments


Report Recommendation from Engineering regarding the proposed Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw No. 3692. Third reading. CABBDA made several recommendations with regard to changes.

Report recommendation from Corporate Services regarding Cranbrook Public Library Establishment Amendment Bylaw 3717 – to adopt

Around Town and Looking Good

Today's photos courtesy of Stewart Wilson.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Avalanche Danger is Considerable.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre has just issued a special warning for most of southern and central BC. The rating risk is "Considerable" for the Kootenay Boundary area. In the Kootenay Boundary region the centre is warning of dangerous avalanche conditions and that careful snow pack evaluation, cautious route finding and conservative decision making are essential to stay safe. In the South Columbia region the rating is "High" and travel is not recommended in avalanche areas. These warnings are in effect until at least Monday, January 24th. Anytime you are considering a trip into the backcountry please check with the Canadian Avalanche Centre for their recommendations. We live in an amazing outdoor playground but lets be careful while we out having winter fun.
To learn more about avalanche warnings, avalanche education, trip planning, training, and snow pack evaluation go to

Friday, January 21, 2011

Community Dollars - Creating Generosity

Community Dollars are coming to Cranbrook. Here is how it works; businesses will buy community dollars to donate to local community groups or charities. The business will then show a debit on their account but a credit in the account of the community organization. There is no actual cost to the business but they are agreeing that the business will allow partial or full payment in Community Dollars. The community group can either trade them  for federal dollars, use them to purchase goods or services from local participating business or use them for employee or volunteer bonuses. Sounds good so far. It has the added attraction of keeping those dollars in our community.  This dollar systems is already in use on the coast and SaltSpring Island. The entire Columbia Basin will be participating and Cranbrook is being assigned the $10 bill.  Still confused? Then watch this or go to

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's Happening?

Friday January 21st
Dave Prinn and Friends at Ali Baba’s
Finnegan’s Wake Pub

Saturday January 22nd
Robbie Burns Night
Prestige Inn
Tickets $30 adults, $20 children 12 and under, $5 children 5 and under
From Lotus Books if any available
More information

Sunday January 23rd
Snowshoe at Elizabeth Lake
With Rocky mountain Naturalists
1:00pm Tourist Booth

Monday, January 24
GoGo Granny's - Grandmothers Helping Grandmothers
Noon at the College of the Rockies Room 206
Contract Ingrid at 250-489-3240

Wednesday January 26th
Friends of the Library
Polar Bears of Churchill
COR Lecture Theatre 7:00pm
with Jeff Cooper

January 11th - February 5th
Artrageous Gallery
Warm Up Winter Exhibit

Get Tickets (Lotus Books) now for;
Sunrise Rotary Film Series
Blue Valentine
7:00 PM Thursday February 3 - Columbia Theatre. ..............................trailer below:
"Fully embracing its title, Blue Valentine opens with a lost dog before moving on to the lost marriage. En route, along life's bumpy road, a dissatisfied woman vies with her contented man, love eroded duels with love sustained, happier moments in the past contend with suffocating hours in the present, and two superb actors etch an unflinching portrait of a young marriage doomed never to grow old." Rated 18A

Get tickets now for;
Key City Theatre Box Office
Stephen Harper! The Musical February 5, 2011

Second City brings you Stephen Harper: The Musical by award-winning playwrights The Shehori Brothers. After taking a beating in the polls following the latest parliamentary scandal, the PM and his advisors need to find a way to turn things around before the looming election. Against Harper's better judgment, his team devises a winning strategy: create a musical about the Canadian Prime Minister's life. But not for Canadian audiences, rather for Broadway. The theory is simple; Cnadians get behind Canadians that Americans get behind. Just ask Nickelback.
Show time 7:30 pm.

Wild About the Arts Gala
A fundraiser for the Future Youth Arts Centre
in honour of Rod Osiowy
Feb 9th, 7-10pm
Mt Baker Scool
For info. or an item or art to donate to silent auction contact or 250-426-5241

Register now for:
February workshop on Permaculture
by donation

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kale, cast iron vegetable for mid-winter local production

I’m betting you are sceptical when I say I picked fresh kale from the garden yesterday. Indeed I did and what a treat it was. My purple kale planted in the summer of 2010 is now at its best. It has been through freezing temperatures of –26C, being buried under deep snow (and not) but it was not wilted at all unlike some kale you buy at this time of year in the supermarket. It's leaves were crisp, curly, unblemished and ready to prepare.  I have enough of a supply to have several meals before winter is over.

Seed catalogues are arriving and if you are serious about trying to eat locally and from your own garden as much as possible, I recommend ordering some green or purple kale to enjoy next winter. You only have to ‘Google’ kale to find out about all of its wonderful nutrient values and how good for you it is. It is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and recipes abound on the internet if you can’t find one to your liking in your cookbooks. It's delicious steamed and served with a little butter or in a sausage, lentil and kale soup.

One of my favourite kale meals is a one pot half-hour dinner. In a large saucepan of water place enough peeled potatoes for your family. When semi-boiled add as many smokies sausages as required. During the last ten minutes place as much kale as will be eaten on the top and simmer until kale is tender. Scoop out kale and sausages. Mash potatoes in some of the kale, sausage water. Serve all with mustard of choice.

before picking in garden, January 17, 2011

washed and ready to use

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bicycle City

This blog has hi-lighted ideas around Smart Growth, growing and supporting local food producers, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building, and sustainable development. In South Carolina they are building an entire planned community around these principles.  It is being planned as a village that has car free zones, LEED certified and mixed use housing, community gardens and a vibrant city centre which supports arts and culture. The city hopes to deal with some of the problems created by car centric urban planning.   It got me thinking about how these principals could  successfully be transferred to Cranbrook. With a vision and buy in from our development community, local citizens, and political will we could make Cranbrook a model  city of the future.   What sort of families or industries could we draw if our city was able to create these type of life style options? Isn't it about time that Cranbrook started to become the most progressive city in the Kootenays.
To learn more about this development please go to

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vernon's Waste Water Management Program

We have often been told Cranbrook's Waste Water Management program is comparable to other leading edge systems.  In Mayor Manjak's letter to the Townsman on January 12, 2011 he stated, "We are and will be the green example of sustainable wastewater management."

However, Vernon's system for example already has several distinct and important differences such as the final product has either received ultra-violet treatment or chlorination before any is discharged back into the environment. The public have been involved in their upgrade process and newsletter updates are released to the public.  Vernon has a system that is much newer than Cranbrook's - nevertheless they are in the process of upgrades which they appear eager to do.

For more information:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

South Star Recreation Trails

January 16, 2011
It is unfortunate the fabulous ski conditions that existed a week ago are not quite what they were but snowshoeing is a great alternative.  If you are a little nervous about tramping off into unknown territory the snowshoe or walking trails at Southstar are a great alternative.

Located at the base of Cranbrook Mountain south of Cranbrook there are the designated trails of South Star Recreation Area for those who wish to snowshoe, cross country ski or walk their dog.  Each trail is clearly marked and the cross-country ski trails are extensive. From Highway 3 travel south on Victoria Avenue which turns into Gold Creek Road.  Turn right off Gold Creek Road onto 38th Avenue.  The parking area is at the very end of 38th Avenue.

The cross country ski trails are tracked/set and require maintenance.  Trails are clearly marked as to to their designated activity.  All visitors are therefore expected to respect trail courtesy and etiquette by using the designated trails for their chosen activity.  It is very frustrating to ski on an unnecessarily spoiled groomed trails and can be dangerous too.  Kootenay Nordic Outdoor Club has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of these trails and members volunteer their time.  Planning and design is a joint effort between the Forest Service and Kootenay Nordic.

Information, membership and suggested donation box is positioned at the entrance to the trails.  Anyone may use the trails but donations towards upkeep are always welcome.

Snowshoe trail, Cranbrook Mountain in the distance

walkers carefully avoiding the ski tracks

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Las Vegas - It's Greener than you think

CityCenter - Las Vegas
During a recent holiday in Las Vegas I was surprised to discover that the new City Center development, located on the strip, which includes hotels, casinos, condos, shopping and restaurants has been awarded a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) Certification .
How, in the land of excess, could this uber large development, covering some 67 acres possibly be Green? First of all, the hotel that was torn down to build this massive development was 80% recycled. It produces its own power using a natural gas powered plant.  All of its limos use natural gas. Slot machines have air conditioning units which keep colder air at ground level.  They used  green building techniques and organized massive recycling programs.  Intensive water conservation projects were prioritized.  Radiant floor cooling uses less energy. All wood was Forest Stewardship Council certified. Excess food is composted or taken to farms to feed animals along with numerous other innovative ideas.   If they are building LEED in Las Vegas then this standard of building has gone mainstream.  Last fall we heard from Calgary architect Jeremy Sturgess about building LEED certified buildings and how the City of Calgary is now requiring all of its civic buildings to have LEED certification. If the developers of Cranbrook and our City Council are serious about being "Green" then isn't it about time to start building LEED certified buildings here?
CityCenter - Las Vegas GOLD LEED Certified

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our Condolences

Wendy Wood, City Planner, died yesterday and our sincere and heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family. Our thoughts are with Carson and the girls.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's Happening?

Friday, January 14
Potluck Steve and Friends 
will be performing in Ali Baba's Lounge
at Finnigan's Wake. Support Live Music in Cranbrook!

Saturday January 15th
Billy Jive and the Funktastiks
Ditch those January blahs with this tribute to your favourtie disco/funk tunes of the 1970's. Dig out your platforms and old bell bottoms for an evening you won't want to miss, with the return of local sensations, Billy Jive and the Funktastics.
Tickets $20 at the Key City Theatre Box Office

Sunday January 16th
Sleigh Rides
Fort Steele
11am -3:00pm
$2.25 per person
Rink Open everyday
Refreshments available in entrance building

Tuesday January 18th
Introduction to E books
Manual Taining Building
Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library

Tuesday January 18th
Toopy and Binoo & the Marshmallow Moon
Ages 2 - 6 years
Shows at 3:30 and 6:30
Tickets $29.00
Key CityCity

Tuesday January 18th
Healing with the Heart workshop
Room 206 COR
For more information contact

Radha Yoga Winter Classes
Studio Stage Door
Every Tuesday 10:30am- 11:45am
Until March 8th
Register at Lotus Books $64
250-489-4412 or 250-426-6120

Sunday, January 23
Rocky Mountian Naturalists Snowshoe Elizabeth Lake
Meet at 1pm at the Tourist Information Parking Lot at Elizabeth Lake
Phone Greg or Sue for more information at 250-489-2566

Monday, January 24
GoGo Granny's - Grandmothers Helping Grandmothers
Noon at the College of the Rockies Room 206
Contract Ingrid at 250-489-3240

Saturday & Sunday and everyday
SouthStar Recreation Trails - Cross Country Skiing
Trails are open and groomed.. Conditions are excellent
Get out and enjoy winter!

January 11th - February 5th
Artrageous Gallery
Warm Up Winter Exhibit

Don't forget to get your tickets for
Robbie Burns Night Saturday Jan 22nd
Lotus Books

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cranbrook’s Spray Irrigation Upgrades, Economy, Ethics and Food Security

The second of the City’s five articles concerning it’s wastewater management system infers it is award winning. It is common knowledge that when Ted Tatum and others pioneered this system for Cranbrook in 1977 it received well-deserved accolades. However the Environmental Appeal Board Hearing held in the winter of 2008 -2009 over a period of several months involving well qualified and knowledgeable external personnel left no doubt that Cranbrook had better clean up its waste water management and it was ordered to do so once again just as it was thirty years ago. This occurred despite constant denials from city officials that there were both capacity and environmental issues. We have never been told the financial cost of the EAB Hearing. Environmental and health costs of non-compliance are unfortunately not quickly or easily measured. As reports have become available, the information within them is not reassuring. Questions from the public about Cranbrook’s wastewater management have not always been met with respect. In fact in the past those asking questions have been publicly ridiculed on more than one occasion. The public has empathy for those trying to deal with these issues. However it is hard to regain trust and patience when much important information continues to be skirted around.

Despite five lengthy articles in the Townsman and a partial report to Council there are several unanswered and important issues surrounding the Spray Irrigation Upgrade.

· Will The 15 million dollars designated to this project be sufficient to complete the improvements already contracted?

· Which of the original planned upgrades are not going to take place due to lack of funds?

· If more work is required to complete the necessary upgrades, what will be the estimated shortfall?

· What procedures are in place to reassure the residents surrounding the spray site and leaking ponds numbers one and two that well water in the area is safe?

· It was proven in the test results for 2009 that runoff provided to the cattle for drinking water exceeded contamination guidelines by a substantial amount. Have cattle as yet been provided with a clean, fresh drinking water source?

· Does ultimate responsibility for management of the spray site not rest with the City Farm? If so why are cattle as of August 2010 still permitted to graze when active spraying is taking place? This contravenes government regulations.

· What has been the total cost to taxpayers for ten years worth of legal dispute with CPR culminating in an extensive and likely very expensive Environmental Hearing?

There is absolutely no doubt as to the economic benefit of ranching. That does not need justification. The Farmers Market of the past year proves many people crave a healthy local food supply. Many people would like nothing better than to know where their meat is grown, how it is grown and what it is fed. That information is impossible to know unless you buy directly from a local farmer.  The hamburger sitting on local supermarket shelves could be a mix of several animals from several different ranches and feed lots. The public is at the mercy of an industrial food supply which supplies food at the lowest cost it can.

Isn’t it only right therefore, that at minimum the public can be reassured and be able to trust that regulations and guidelines are adhered to at the City Farm? Isn’t it only right that taxpayers know the full extent of what still needs to be accomplished and at what cost before our waste disposal system is promulgated as ‘state of the art’?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Post notes from the Council Meeting of January 10th 2011


Caitlin Eatherington from the Community Social Planning Society gave a very interesting and informative presentation on The Living Wage Initiative. Caitlin gave a synopsis of the information available at:

The Living Wage is not the same as minimum wage. Its calculation is dependent on living costs for different locations. For example a living wage for a single parent living in Vancouver is calculated to be $18.17 but in Cranbrook it was calculated at $14.16. Part of the calculated wage may be an in kind payment such as travel costs or rent subsidy should the employer be able to provide accommodation. The initiative will encourage employers to become Living Wage Employers and help on how to do this is on the website.

New Westminster passed a resolution to establish a Living Wage Policy in April of 2010. Their information can be found at:

Administrative Update

No further information was added to the report which is available on the City’s website


Councillor Whetham volunteered to represent council on the Key City Theatre Society Volunteer Fundraising Committee.

Committee Recommendations

Council agreed to review the standard of pedestrian crossings. Some crossings including the Gordon Terrace School zebra crossing will be repainted.

New Business

Council accepted the report recommendation from Mr Pearce regarding an Off Leash Dog Park. A portion of dog licensing fees will be put towards the park as well as education on dog handling etiquette. The recommendation at this time is for the future off-leash park to be located where the original Moir Park existed. It has for many years been a source of gravel and the area will have to be reclaimed.

Although the support for project is applauded, it is unfortunate a more central location for seniors and apartment dwellers could not be located. This is not within walkable distance for many of the people and dogs who would benefit and use this kind of facility.

Council also accepted the report recommendation concerning a new recreational building proposal from Mr Hockley. It appears the proposed building would include courts for racquet sports and may include an indoor climbing wall. The location was specified as 1824 Industrial Road and would be known as Oasis Centre.

Other business included accepting several recommendations regarding deadline extensions for federal infrastructure grants.


Wood First Bylaw 3716 was adopted.  Wood will be the material of choice for city buildings.

An amendment to Cranbrook Public Library Establishment Bylaw 3717 was made to enable two more Library Board Directors to be appointed, one from Area C and one from the city.

Further information on A Living Wage may be obtained at these sites:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Advance City Council Meeting Notes

The holidays are over and its back to work for our city council.  There is fairly long agenda but here is a synopsis which should give you the hi-lights.

The Community Social Planning Society will be appearing before council as a delegation to discuss the "Living Wage Initiative" I am greatly looking forward to this presentation as we often hear about the "minimum wage" but the idea of a "living wage" seems compelling.

Administrative Update
Of particular interest:

· Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw 3692 Three responses to the proposed bylaw were received as a result of the workshop held prior to Christmas. The response from CABBDA( Cranbrook and Area Business and Development Association) contains several proposed changes including a delay in the implementation of the bylaw, some fee reductions as well as requests for different control methods. Mr Pearce repeatedly stated at the workshop held December 21st that the intent of the bylaw would not be compromised.

· The draft of the Airport Master Plan has been received and it is anticipated the final draft will be available by the end of January

· Memorial Arena and Kinsman Arena updates

· Library Services announces a free seminar on eBook readers. Tuesday January 18th at 4:00pm

-a regular update from the Regional District of East Kootenay
-notice of Local Government Awareness Week May 15 - 21
- notification by UCBM that $394,116.98 will be deposited to the City of Cranbrook in accordance with our Community Works Fund agreement,
-introduction letter from the new Minister of Community, Sport, & Cultural Development, Stephanie Cadieux
-letter from the Ktunaxa Nation regarding a new program assisting people living on the street or at "risk" (This looks like an amazing program and we certainly support its objectives)
-UCBM notification of a successful grant application in the amount of $13,500 for a outdoor cross training facility at Steeples School
-UCBM notification of another successful grant application in the amount of $3590 for an accessible handicap door at Cranbrook Aquatic Centre
-request for new netting at the tennis courts by students of TM Roberts School
-Key City Theatre Society requesting the appointment of a city council member to its board KCTS Volunteer Fundraising Committee
-letter from BC Hydro regarding municipal Xmas lights
- letter from UCBM regarding Bulk Fuel Purchasing Program
-request that the City proclaim March 21 - 25 Co-operative Education Week
-request that the City proclaim Feb 14 - 20 Eastern Star Week

Committee Reports
Cranbrook in Motion Committee recommendation that crosswalks at Gordon Terrace School will be repainted in a more visible "zebra stripe" when weather permits but they do not recommend changing traffic control on 11th Avenue South.

 New Business
The city is continuing to look into an off lease park area for dogs. The suggested location is Moir Park. (I find it unlikely that most people would be willing to drive to Moir Park to walk their dogs considering Cranbrook's many parks and close location to the Cranbrook Community Forest)

Secure financing for the fibre optic broadband network in the amount of $750,000.00

To consider an application of a Industrial Development Permit to enable construction of commercial sports complex located on Industrial Road "F1"

To seek an extension from the Government of Canada from the Building Canada Fund

-the adoption of the Wood First Bylaw 3716 which encourages the use of wood in all construction of City Funded Buildings
-consider an amendment to the Cranbrook Public Library Establishment Bylaw No. 3418 2001

Just a reminder that municipal government has a real effect on your everyday life. Its your money!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

East Kootenay Alpenglow

One of the joys of clear cold evenings is the waiting for and watching that brief moment when the sun, as it dips to the west, paints the mountains with shades of glowing pink and orange.

Fisher Peak

The Steeples

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just a few plastic bag dryers left .....

David Bernier shows off the $3 kit
Mr Paul Knipe at Mt. Baker School informs us that there are just few plastic bag dryers still available at Mt. Baker Scool.  This was a fabulous project and the students had to go into production more than once before Christmas selling over 150 kits. The kits sell for $3 and are available by phoning Mt Baker School 250-426-5241 ext. 657 and asking for Mr. Paul Knipe. For a detailed report of the project go to the post of December 4th 2010.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Clean Air

Volunteer Orientation at the Ministry of the Environment
 College of the Rockies, East Kootenay Citizens for Clean Air, and the Ministry of the Environment are all taking part in a Winter Air Quality Monitoring Program with a $20,000 grant obtained by Wildsight from the New Horizons for Seniors Program as part of a Federal Government Grant. Starting Jan 18, volunteers will be driving a 95 km route between Cranbrook and Kimberley every evening for 3 weeks. A Toyota Prius will be outfitted with a portable nephelometer which will take air quality readings for particulate matter.  While Cranbrook does have a stationary air quality reader, this type of mobile sampling offers a great advantage and will give us greater in site into our winter air quality which tends to be much poorer than the air quality we have in the summer. Volunteers will take turns driving the route every evening and a report will be presented possibly sometime this summer, although this is dependent on the type of data that is collected. Air quality has a real effect on the health of our local citizens and this is a great project involving many local volunteers and various government and non-profit organizations.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What’s Happening?

Thursday January 6th
Rotary Film Series
Tamara Drewe
Tickets at Lotus Books or at the door

Friday January 7th
Key City Theatre
Meet the Artists
5 - 7 pm
Photographic Exhibition
Inspiration Expressed
Exhibition continues until Jan 31st
Gallery open weekdays 11am – 3:00pm

Friday January 7th
Jon Bisset and Friends
Ali Baba’s Lounge
Finnegans Wake Pub

Saturday January 8th
Boy Scout Christmas Tree Collection
Place tree at edge of curb for pick-up
trees will be chipped
Leave donation by mailbox or have one ready

Saturday January 8th
Banff Mountain Film Festival
Key City Theatre
Tickets $20 Key City Theatre

Saturday January 8th
Locals Coffee House
Entertainment by Local Talent
Tickets at Swing Street, Lotus Books or at the door
Studio Stage Door
11-11th Av S.

Sunday January 9th
Rocky Mountain Naturalists
Snowshoe Outing
1:00pm Wilks and Kahn
2 – 3 hour outing
Phone 250-489-1601

Sunday January 9th
Horseshoe Fishing Derby
Contact  for tickets

Sunday January 9th
Winter activities
Skating etc
Fort Steele

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Membership has its Rewards

On Saturday January 8th, members of the Cranbrook Community Forest Society (CCFS) will have an information table at the Tamarack Mall. The purpose of the table is a membership drive and to provide general information to the people of Cranbrook about this amazing asset to our community. Many people are unaware of the incredible work that the CCFS does to maintain the health of the Forest. The Cranbrook Community Forest is an established recreation site and provides many opportunities to hike, mountain bike, cross country ski, horseback ride, walk etc.  The CCFS has a management agreement with the Ministry of Forests and is responsible for care and maintenance of the trails, restoration of grassland and riparian areas, and ongoing ecosystem restoration projects. Why not become a member of the CCFS to support its ongoing work. Membership is only $10 a year for an individual and $15 a year for a family.
 For further information about the CCF go to their new website at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cranbrook's Fibre Optic Network Installation on Hold

It seems there are still some citizens wondering what the downtown activity was all about during November.  There was a great deal of digging, determination and unfortunate damage when the installation of the new fibre optic network began.  After a broken gas pipe and severed telephone cable, the installation was put on hold.  Hopefully the company will have more success when the work begins again after the process is reviewed. Installation of a fibre optic network was the second goal of the Economic Development Strategy undertaken by the city.


􀁺 Lit fibre‐optic cable available for businesses and
institutions to connect to starting in 2010, with
the central business area completely wired by

Part of the installation used a horizontal drilling machine which would avoid the need to excavate whole trenches.  The conduit through which the cables run was pulled through after the drill had done its work.  The massive amounts of machinery and buzz were very visible and audible during the process.  No doubt it will be the same when work resumes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Development Cost Charges - Golden, Invermere and Cranbrook

Cranbrook's Development Cost Charges have been a topic of discusssion amongst citizens since the last municipal election.  We wonder if 2011 will actually see a change to Cranbrook's DCC rate.  In August we posted this article:

Now this from Golden:

Potential Changes to the DCC Bylaw in Golden
By Kirk Verner - Golden Star

Published: December 22, 2010 8:00 AM

With the New Year approaching faster than a black bear to an unclean barbeque, the Town of Golden, its staff, and Town Council is busy working as most are preparing for the holiday season. With the first draft of the Zoning Bylaw currently being scrutinized by the public and with the passing to rewrite the Development Cost Charges (DCC) Bylaw, Town Hall is bustling.

There have been a lot of wagging tongues in town of late, the goings-on at Town Hall the target of much of the discussion; primarily, the revision of the nearly 10-year-old DCC Bylaw.

The purpose of the current DCC Bylaw, and likely the potentially revised version, is for the sole purpose of providing funds for the municipality to pay for the capital cost of providing, altering, or expanding sewage, water, drainage and highway facilities and for acquiring park land or any of them in order to serve, directly or indirectly, the development in respect of which the charges are imposed.

“DCC are not in place as a form of penalty or punishment. They are in place so that the costs of bringing services to new developments are covered by the developers themselves, and not by all taxpayers,” Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Golden, David Allen said.

The current DCC for a single-family dwelling in Golden is $1965; this cost seems diminutive when compared to the overall cost of constructing a residence. When compared to other communities in the Kootenays, Golden’s DCC are a bargain. Currently in Fernie, for the same type of residence, the DCC are $12,017. Even closer to home, in Invermere, the cost is $9480. All of a sudden, a couple thousand dollars doesn’t seem so steep.

“As the provincial information states, Golden is well below average with regards to DCC in British Columbia,” Allen declares.

The cost of reviewing and updating the DCC Bylaw does not come at a low price. In fact, the price tag hanging from the paperwork is just below $60,000. But, the town is making efforts to lower such a cost by utilizing all resources possible.

“We are actively applying for grants from the province of British Columbia in order to assist with some of the costs as pertained to the DCC Bylaw revision,” Allen added.

At the end of the day, the new DCC Bylaw will, in a sense, persuade developers to “go green”, or “go as green” as possible. For instance, if a developer follows LEED and LEED-ND design guidelines, there is the potential for DCC to be considerably lowered, or waved altogether. The possibilities to have such fees lowered or even waved are directly related to the passing of Bill 27 in 2008.

Bill 27, the Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendment Act (2008), provides local governments with some additional powers to make changes in their communities, yet gives them the flexibility they require to adapt operations in ways that meet their unique needs and circumstances.

One of the key amendments focuses on local governments setting targets to reduce Green House Gas emissions within their communities, as well as developing policies and actions to achieve those targets in their Official Community Plans (OCP).

If townsfolk have an issue with the revising of the DCC Bylaw, or the Zoning Bylaw for that matter, they have to realize it is all taking place as an effort to reflect the town’s OCP; a plan that will carry Golden into the future as an innovative, progressive community.

As the process of revising a bylaw is not a 24-hour development, there is time for anyone interested or concerned to cast his or her voice into the Town Hall fishing pond before anything actually comes into fruition.

“Before the new Bylaw is adopted, there is a lengthy process involved. Residents and Council will be able to view the first draft of the bylaw and express their questions and concerns before any further steps are taken. If anyone in Golden would like to discuss this issue, or any other for that matter, the door at Town Hall is always open. Our knowledgeable staff is always available,” Allen concluded.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Penguin Wannabes

Just off Rotary Way on Victoria Avenue the overwintering Mallard Ducks hang out.  Watching them slide down the snow and into the creek one would think they really enjoy the snow and ice.  The high density population in this vicinity may have something to do with alternative food sources but in any case watching them provides enjoyment to all who pass by.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hope, Celebration of Life and Happy New Year

Evergreens and more latterly 'Christmas Trees' have long been used to demonstrate respect for life, hope and celebration.  Maybe the elves decorated this delightful little tribute to our community forest.  Whoever it was, thank you and Happy New Year to you too.

On Guard