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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What’s Happening….

Thursday March 31st through Saturday April 2nd
Rockies Film Festival
Tickets and information at Lotus Books

Friday April 1st
Dave Prinn at Ali Baba’s

Saturday April 2nd
GoGo Grannies Craft Sale
11:00am – 3:00pm United Church Cranbrook
Proceeds to Stephen Lewis Foundation

Sunday April 3rd
Jazz Vespers
Christ Church Anglican

Tuesday April 5th
VisArts 2011 begins
Artrageous Gallery

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Young Artists Revealing Talent

Artrageous Gallery, the current home of the Cranbrook and District Arts Council is one busy little place.  With constantly changing exhibits and workshops in different media the tiny space is very well used.  A book and art supply sale had to compete for space this last week with the current exhibit of Young Artists Revealing Talent.  Students ages 13 to 19 years have been displaying their work for the last two weeks.  The exhibition is on until April 2nd when the Annual VisArts will replace it (April 5th - 30th).  If you have not popped into the gallery lately, the work of students in our community is well worth a visit. 

Some of the pencil work from young artists

Artrageous Gallery
32A 11th Ave S, Cranbrook

A Crash Course in Genomics - TONIGHT

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Green Building

Certainly not a greenhouse, Wikipedia defines green building as:

Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

· Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources

· Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity

· Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation

Our ‘Passivhaus’ article has rated consistently as one of our top posts since February. ‘LEED’ building standards were one topic of Calgary Architect Jeremy Stugess’s presentation a few months ago. ‘Built Green’ is being advertised locally and that is exciting to see.  Much has has been written about sustainable building and Kimberley put on a great conference for us on the topic. Even if you are not in the market for a new home, some of the creative ideas are fun to look at.

All these new 'green' standards have a great purpose but naturally differ in who set them and what was set. New techniques and heightened interest in building responsibly can be confusing for the consumer so asking questions and doing some reading will help to clarify what is important for the buyer.

For whom are the standards set – the builder or the buyer or both?

Who set the standards?

How rigorously are the standards enforced?

What qualifications do the builders and inspectors have?

Does the municipality have any regulations or preferences as to standards and are they enforced?

Are there examples of LEED, Passivhaus or BuiltGreen or other to see in your area?

and check out these web sites:-

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vote Compass

Whether we want it or not a Federal Election is once again upon us. We go to the polls on May 2.  Many people, especially the young, are not voting and are not interested in becoming involved in the political process. This is both disappointing and a bit of a cop out.  Voting in Canada is exceptionally easy and takes barely 10 minutes of your time. Yes, not everyone is interested in the political machinations of Ottawa or Victoria but the decisions that are made there have a direct economic effect on many of us.  A lot of youth claim that they don't know where they lie on the political spectrum as an excuse for not voting.  The CBC, on their news website,  is are offering an interesting questionnaire called Vote Compass which tries to show which party you are closer to after you have answered 30 questions.  Thousands of Canadians have already taken part in Vote Compass and it is an interesting exercise which has created a lot of discussion. It was created by a group of political scientists and election researchers.  Go ahead and give it a try.
Please get out and vote on May 2.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kootenay River Walks

With the snow gone, now is a great time to walk parts of the Kootenay River Valley - Fenwick Road, near the Trout Hatchery, Fort Steele and the Kootenay River bed at Fort Steele are all great locations.  The Kootenay River in March:

Red Osier Dogwood lines the bank of the Kootenay River - from Fenwick Road

from the wetlands near Fort Steele

Kootenay River bed in March near Fort Steele

Looking down on the meandering Hillbar Creek (flows into Kootenay River) and irrigation ditch, Fort Steele 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Think Electric Vehicles Slow?

With the price of gas only bound to increase and the environmental cost going up, there is no doubt we must start getting more serious about alternative fuel for our methods of transportation.  This might fire the imagination for some.

Oregon Field Guide: Electric Drag Racing

Go out to the drag strip for some racing gone green – without a drop of gas.

Burnaby Prioritizing Water

With the end of Water Week on March 22 the City of Burnaby has been awarded the title of a Blue Community. A Blue Community is a municipality which recognizes the importance of water.
Burnaby City Council has passed several resolutions which recognizes water as a human right, supports publicly owned water systems, and has banned the sale of bottled water at all municipal events. BC residents use 490 litres of water per day. The average use for Canadians is 329 litres. It's time that all communities, especially here in BC start valuing water by creating legislation which encourages conservation and protects this valuable natural resource.  For a quick guide to conservation please go here:

Letter Regarding the Five Year Financial Plan

We thank our readers for their interest in the post of Tuesday March 22nd. 

This letter is published with the permission of Jenny Humphrey.  On Tuesday March 22nd we made comment on the Round Table Comments from one member of Council regarding input to the City's Five Year Financial Plan.  This is one of the letters we assume (it was difficult to recognise the letters from what was said about them but we do know four letters were referenced and this is one of the four). 

Understandably those who love and play ball may not agree with this letter.  We are not asking them to.  The more important issue is how fairly and best the city uses its limited funds.

March 6th 2011

Dear Mr Staudt, Mr Pearce and Members of Council,

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Five Year Financial Plan.

I wish to register my displeasure at the inclusion of two items relating to both Ball Diamonds and Ball Stadium in the Five Year Financial Plan of 2011, $500,000 to be borrowed in 2014 for ball diamonds and $125, 000 towards a stadium in 2015. I certainly applaud the effort put into the presentations made to council over the establishment of a Ball Franchise in Cranbrook. However, considering the huge losses we incur annually over existing sports facilities I cannot support the building of more. Moir Park is a beautiful under-used facility already suffering high maintenance costs and parts of which are already in disrepair - dying trees, falling fences. Existing facilities are predicted to incur ongoing and expensive upgrades and more facilities mean even more maintenance and ongoing costs, which are already out of balance for a community this size.

Cranbrook has a history of imbalance between funds spent on Arts and Sports and it is not in favour of the Arts. In fact, I see no capital expenditures planned for the Arts, re-purposing of the Firehall Number One (which could be a wonderful arts facility) for example. Cranbrook has no museum for its own history and artefacts languish unseen in poor conditions at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. Cranbrook has major infrastructure problems, which according to the Growth Management Strategy are going to cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. I think decisions made in recreational spending should be made in respect to the many well-researched studies as to what Cranbrook needs the most to become a balanced community and not in respect to who lobbies the loudest. The Arts Scan is one example of a well-documented study that has already been conducted recently. The attached tables also demonstrate the deplorable lack of funding for the Arts in BC.

(A look at the Five Year Financial Plan quickly demonstrates the predicted upgrading expenses on existing sports facilities and we must remember the Rec Plex alone loses $3,000,000.00 a year)

We have a responsibility to protect our heritage, arts and culture. That should be priority especially in BC and especially in our own community. It is time, in my opinion, the city subsidises sports facilities to a much lesser degree especially a private franchise and that we start expecting users cover more of the costs.


Jenny Humphrey

To view the City's Five year Financial Plan:

Scroll down to Financial Plan Highlights Informational Package 2011 - 2015.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Random Acts of Chocolate/ Kindness from Mars

A sweet request from United Way:

You nominate a non-profit organization (United Way of Cranbrook and Kimberley), project name is (Youth Advisory Council) in your community and if they draw your name, the organization you named will win a $10,000 donation.

There are 3 donations of $10,000 being given out. The form is very easy and quick to fill out.

What's Happening...

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Used Book Sale and Art Supplies 
March 24, 25, and 26th
Thursday, 11-5, Friday 11-9, and Saturday 10-3
At the Artrageous Gallery 32A - 11 Avenue South

Rocky Mountain Naturalists Hike
Saturday, March 26
Enjoy this hike in the Wasa and Bummers Flats area
Meet at the Wasa PRovincial Park camping area at 10am
Call Ruth for more information 250-427-5404

Ski Bum The Musical- Key City Theatre
Saturday, March 26, 7pm
A musical appropriate for family entertainment

Safari Travelogue- Friends of the Cranbrook Library
Tuesday March 29, 7pm
John Przeczek shares stories of his travels through Tanzania
Call 250-489-8207 for more information

BC and Alaska Kayaking Travelogue - GO GO Grannies
Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 PM College of the Rockies
Derm and Susanne Kennedy speak about their kayaking adventures
For more information please call 250-426-6111

14th Annual Rockies Film Festival - Sunrise Rotary Club
Starts Thursday, March 31, April 1, April 2
Columbia Theatre
Films this year include, Waiting for Superman, Incendies, Waste Land, Barneys Version, The Illusionist,
For more information go to Lotus Books or visit the website

Register now for:
Riparian Workshop
April 16th

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Boys are Back in Town - Elk that is

It was heartening to read in a letter to the Townsman about the person who had compassion enough and was careful enough to remove a T shirt from a deer's head.  Anyone who has lived with animals and has a smattering of common sense knows the majority of animals will respect other animals who know how to respect them.  There are always exceptions of course and we may not always be aware of how we can provoke.  It is probably safe to say it is a good thing we are only dealing with deer and not elk though.  Okay - I can hear someone saying there are those who live on edge of town who do have to deal with them ....or is it that they must deal with us?  This clip demonstrates both respect and common sense as well as a huge lack of it.

From Estes Park Colorado.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Commentary on Input to Council's Five Year Financial Plan

One Council member saw fit at the end of last evening’s Council meeting to rail against all those who had given comment on the Five Year Financial Plan. These letters according to one member of council were seen as personal attacks on the integrity of council. This reaction is baffling to say the least. Input was requested and so some citizens were thoughtful enough to put pen to paper and give their thoughts. They were not an attack on members of council but expressions of interest and opinion on where they saw changes might be made for the betterment of the community. Reasons and documentation were provided.

It is council’s right to uphold their original document if they so choose. Opinions don’t come in sugar coated pills. They may taste good and they may not. However if they are reasoned responses to requests for input one would think they at least would be accepted with good grace by the people who were elected to serve. Maybe reasoned responses as to why the opinions and ideas cannot be implemented need to be given back i.e. debate and discussion. It is then councils’ choice whether they accept those opinions. It seems informed opinions have become offensive by their very nature. No questions or opinions from the plebs please!
Again in the Council Comments section another Councillor wanted to let the public know that the Five Year Financial Plan really doesn’t always mean a lot as if to negate the very Five Year Plan that the public was asked to comment on. Some items apparently remain in the plan for many sets of five years. So we really need not worry?

Okay, so the Five Year Financial Plan really doesn’t mean much and our opinions are even more worthless(unless they are a pat on the back) so what are we all getting our knickers in a twist for? Sounds like this is a case of much ado about nothing…….or is it?

There were three or four letters referenced in this latest outcry. The one letter from Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook can be read at:

Interpretation put on the letter made it difficult to recognise so it has been made public for the record. We hope to be able to publish some of the other letters, which were submitted, at a later date if we are able to gain the authors' permission and if readers let us know this is a priority issue.  The letters could possibly be accessed through a request to City Hall.

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of March21st 2011

Sioux Browning and Linda Holmes made an appealing presentation on the potential sites for The Cranbrook Arts Centre. An Art Centre is a much-needed facility in Cranbrook and the preferred choice at this time would be Firehall No 1.

At a later point in this meeting under Business Arising a recommendation was made by staff to the effect that title to this building remain with the city and that the building be used by the city for housing the fibre optic hub, Search and Rescue, displaying the city’s antique fire trucks and for meeting space. Councillor Whetham moved that an amendment be placed on this recommendation to the effect that this arrangement be revisited after three years with a view at that time to consider its use for the Arts Council. In this way the Arts Council has time for fund raising. This was carried.

Administrative Update

The complete update can be read at:

Councillor Whetham accepted this solicitor's particular interpretation of the issue concerning public access to the proposed park adjacent to Shadow Mountain but hopes in the interest of the public this issue will be revisited at a future date.

Editorial Comment
One must wonder what the rationale of Council must be in supporting the creation of Cranbrook's only river frontage park but effectively banning access to a large number of the citizens (except private residents and guests of Shadow Mountain) with the use of this interpretation of their OCP and Bylaws.  Councillor Wavrecan compared this park to the Community Forest by saying that not all citizens have access to all city parks.  Firstly the Community Forest is not owned by the city although it is a huge asset of the city's and secondly it is very accessible to all in many places.  We can be sure this issue will not go away.


The City agreed to advertise Trash to Trash Day (which will be held on April 23rd) in its weekly advertising.

Council endorsed Earth Hour, which will be held this Saturday March26th. Residents are encouraged to participate by turning off all electrical appliances, lights etc at this time to save energy.

Committee Recommendations

Several people were appointed to Committees of Council. Their names likely will be available on the City website.

New Business
RDEK referral regarding proposed rezoning of an area at Jim Smith Lake was turned down. The city has a policy and an agreement with the RDEK of not approving subdivision into small parcels of land, which fall within a ten kilometre radius of the Post Office.

The Report Recommendation from Corporate Services regarding The Five Year Financial Plan was withdrawn from the agenda.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of March 21st 2011


Options for Location of an Arts Centre in Cranbrook, Sioux Browning, Cranbrook and District Arts Council
This proposal can be read at:

It would be worth reading this document in Business Arising. It appears staff is recommending that Firehall No. 1 remain in title to the City for city use.

Administrative Updates

The City’s solicitor has upheld the City’s interpretation of the St. Mary Neighbourhood Plan which means at this time Shadow Mountain will not have to provide public access to the river through the strata development. This means the city will have a purchased a river frontage park to which there is very limited access (except by a proposed steep stairway) unless a person is a resident or guest of Shadow Mountain Development. 

Complete information can be read at:

Public Works

A community Tree Planting Program will begin by way of 100 $50 rebates to homeowners planting a minimum caliper bare root tree. This program will provide credits for the city on its carbon footprint.

Do we lose credits when lots are stripped of all trees for development?  Would credits be gained by saving some trees?

Correspondence – 11 items

Item 9.1 RDEK contains this information

RDEK to participate in Pilot Project

Effective March 1st 2011 the RDEK is exempt from the requirement to have many of its land use and planning bylaws approved by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in Victoria. This exemption is a pilot project that the Province is pursuing in partnership with participating regional districts in order to streamline the development review and approval process.
Previously, most major RDEK Official Community Plan and zoning bylaws and amendments required Ministry approval.  This change will speed up the development approval process by several months saving many applicants valuable time.  Existing bylaw approval requirements for consultation with the public and other affected agencies including holding a public hearing will not change.

Andrew McLeod
Manager of Planning and Development Services


A request from CLCS for the City to support Trash to Treasure Day Trash to Treasure Day will be included in the City’s weekly information advertising.

Committee Recommendations

Urban Deer Management Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

New Business

12.1      Appointments to Committees

12.2      RDEK Referral Proposed OSP and Rezoning Bylaws 2305 and 2306

Staff is recommending against this proposed subdivision

12.3      ACAP Contribution Agreement – Pavement Rehabilitation – Airport Runway


13.1       Five Year Financial Plan - three readings

13.2       Zoning Amendment for 916 23A Avenue North – first and second reading only. Submit to public hearing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hindu Holi Day is Alive and Well in Cranbrook!

By Sharon Cross

It was a delight to have attended a local Holi Day festival on March 19th. A night of the full moon, which this year was 30% larger and brighter than the last twenty years.

Holi is a spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus. It is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Kiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holida was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion.

The origin of the modern Holi festival has been traced to ancient Bengal, where people went to Krishna temples, applied red colour to the idol and then distributed the red coloured powder along with Prasad (a sweet) to family and friends. Red signified the colour of passion and Lord Krishna is the king of desires. The ritual signified that all our desires should be diverted for the attainment of Krishna and for the well being of society.

The burning of wood and leaves on the full moon night already existed. This ritual was to signify the end of winter and full advent of spring. Old wood and leaves that had fallen were burnt to signify that it is time for new leaves and flowers. People later smeared their bodies with ash.

Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), which usually falls in the later part of February or March.

The food was a feast to behold! Typical East Indian sweets followed. Mmmm! About forty people converged at Vintee and Manoj Kaushal’s home to celebrate Holi Day and the coming of Spring.

Tap Water, Waste Water and PPCPs

As we come to the end of Canada Water Week let's hope we do not end the concern, care and attention we need to give to this life giving resource.  World Water Day is Tuesday March 22nd.

It is not uncommon to hear Cranbrook’s effluent described  as ‘good enough to drink’. Well, I have yet to see any human drink it. The less discriminating cattle who have no option, do drink it as do many forms of wildlife no doubt.

An article in the magazine Horse Country came to my attention recently,

and I couldn’t help but follow up with a little extra reading on the subject of PPCP’s.

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products or PPCP’s form just one of the reasons some members of the population are very concerned about how we treat our wastewater and how we harvest our drinking water at the other end of the cycle. There is a growing body of evidence that there are more of these chemicals in both wastewater and our drinking water than we may have thought. The majority of wastewater treatments do not remove PPCP’s from the water and as a result what goes around comes around in the water we drink and the food we eat. Much scientific research is going on to show the effects of these varying concentrations in our water. Some of the results are not encouraging.

Both these sites make for more detailed reading.

We can be careful with the products we use. We can return unused medications to the pharmacy but with today’s use of medications, antibiotics, cleaning products and other chemicals it is going to take a concentrated effort on the part of individuals and governments to keep our drinking water and food supplies free from these contaminants.

Spring Equinox

First Day of Spring

One of the earliest signs of spring - the male flowers(Pussy Willow), of several species of Willow and they are out and about.

They can be found hugging stream banks and seepage areas all around Cranbrook.

If you cut them to bring home, placed in water they will continue to open and shed pollen, placed in a dry container they will simply last the way they are.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Continuing Canada Water Week Focus - Storm Water Pollution

A Reminder:

SOS: Save Our Snowpack! - Cranbrook

Wednesday, March 23 at 7:00pm

Location: COTR Lecture Theatre, Cranbrook

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What’s Happening?

Thursday March 17th
St. Patrick’s Day at Friendz
Jam Session hosted by local rockers Alter Ego
Days Inn
6:00pm – 10:00pm

Friday March 18th
Jam at Ali Baba’s
Pete Warland, Randy Lee Pion and friends
7:00pm - 11:00pm

Saturday March 19th
St. Patrick’s Day Tea at the Senior’s Centre
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Dance 7:00pm Country Roundup
426-3844 or 426-2655

Sunday March 20th
Spring Birding
Rocky Mountain Naturalists
Meet at Staples parking lot 1:00pm
For more inf ph. Greg at 250-489-2566

Tuesday March 22nd
Children’s Art Week
Clay Sculpting with Colleen Routley
1:00pm – 3:00pm
$40 to register 250-426-4223

Tuesday March 22nd Through ‘til Saturday
New and Gently Used Books and art supplies Sale
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Artrageous Gallery
Donations gratefully accepted

Artrageous Gallery
Current Exhibit
Youth Art 2011
Young Artists Revealing Talent
March 8th-April 2nd
32A 11th Ave S, Cranbrook
Tues-Fri 11:00-5:00
Sat 11:00-3:00

Mount Assiniboine Park and Cerulean Lake

Nicole Lablond and Joseph Cross
It is not everyday that Cranbrook sees the official unveiling of a painting.  That was just what happened at Fisher Peak Gallery last evening and it was exciting to see so many of the public including Cranbrook's artist community come out for the event.  Joseph Cross's painting 'Morning: Sunburst Mountain and Cerulean Lake' was revealed in front of a large audience. The proceeds from the sale of this painting and the limited giclee reproductions will go to support BC Parks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Canada Water Week continues - Water Pollution

Joseph Cross Painting to be Unveiled Today

Morning: Sunburst Mountain and Cerulean Lake
Renowned BC Artist Joseph Cross's latest painting for his BC Parks project is being unveiled today at the Fisher Peak Art Gallery (821B -1st St. S) beginning at 4:30pm. Refreshments will be served. The painting will be unveiled at 5:30pm.  Morning: Sunburst Mountain and Cerulean Lake, his latest painting will be available in limited edition giclees in various sizes. The majority of the profits will be for the the benefit of Mt. Assiniboine Park and other Kootenay Provincial Parks. Please go to Joseph's website for more information.

Cranbrook Connected Open House

Consultant Greg Mitchell speaking to participants

Yesterday, Cranbrook Connected held an open house at the Manual Training Centre from 4pm - 8pm. The Open House provided citizens with an opportunity to see the feedback that the committee has received over the past 4 months from the public consultations. Cranbrook Connected has consulted widely with the citizens of Cranbrook which has resulted in the creation of a set of value statements. The more difficult process of how to put these value statements into action has prompted the Cranbrook Connected committee to hire the consulting firm McElhanney Consulting Services to start the next step in the process. Consultants Cam Lang and Greg Mitchell were available to address questions about their roles and what will be involved in turning our values into actionable items.   Many of the committee members including Chairperson Chris Ayling and Gord Johnston were also available to talk to and it was encouraging to see both City Councillors Bob Whetham and Angus Davis present. While we all support many of the values that have been expressed in the initial consultation process, how we get there and put some of these values into action will be a more difficult and contentious process. Hopefully with guidance from the consultants the committee will be able to put together a document which will guide our city for many years to come and to create a better Cranbrook. We look forward to the results and hope that all citizens will decide to take part in the process.  To learn more about Cranbrook Connected please go here

Councillor Bob Whetham

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Before and After the Tsunami

Most of us are in awe of the power and devastating effects of the Japanese earthquake.  Thank you to Marion Barschal on CBC radio this morning for alerting us to this telling link - another example of the power of water.

Move the slider across the photo to see areas both before and after the tsunami.

Cranbrook Creston Commonalities

Cranbrook ctizens are not alone in their desire for more open debate around issues important to all of us.  This letter from Creston Valley Advance regarding the proposed water bottling business has a familiar theme.  Cranbrook saw its water bottling plant close in 2009 but the bottling of this resource remains a very difficult and important issue.  Considering 'water' is one of the top items for consideration in the Cranbrook Connected results and as this week of March 14th is Water Week, this item is of interest.

Not enough input on West Creston Bottling Plant

Published: February 03, 2011 6:00 AM

To the Editor:

(Re: “Biz should be welcome”, Jan. 6 Advance, page 7)

I feel a need to respond to the letter sent by Dave Patraschuk regarding the water bottling petition currently circulating in the valley. It seems that anyone who questions the suitability of a particular business venture in our community is quickly branded “against business” and “afraid of change”. To be totally honest, I am thoroughly fed up with this type of comment. Neither I nor, to the best of my knowledge, any others involved in challenging the suitability of the water bottling business venture are “against business”. In fact the people I have worked with regarding this issue are dynamic individuals who deeply love our valley and are committed to its sustainable growth. I would hazard to say that the hundreds of people who have already signed the petition feel the same way.

Mr. Patraschuck indicates in the letter that he is unclear as to what the issues are, yet still feels compelled to advise people not to sign the petition. I hope that people will instead ask questions of those on both sides of this issue. Get the facts and then make an informed decision as to whether they wish to sign the petition or not. That is the basis of democracy and the very core of this issue.

For me it isn’t about whether we have a water bottling plant built in the area or not. It is about the lack of forthright information from the business owner, the circumventing and/or simple disregard for proper procedure by all levels of government involved in this issue and, finally, it is about our ongoing struggle to be a part of the process of deciding what happens in the community. If from the start all of the proper steps had been followed in this situation and the majority had supported this project, I would have had been more than willing to accept that decision as it would reflect the way our democratic process should work. Instead I have seen some of the worst examples of misrepresentation, preferential treatment, government incompetence and apathy imaginable.

If we are going to create businesses in our community then we need to make sure that they ultimately support the whole valley, and are not just designed to be a get rich scheme for a small number of individuals. We need to create sustainable industries that enhance the valley and provide long-term employment without destroying the resources that make our area so beautiful and unique. And, most importantly, we need to make sure the process around creating businesses is transparent and that the citizens of our community have the opportunity to be involved in the process.

Rachel Beck

West Creston

Creston is not alone in dealing with this issue:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Canada Water Week, March 14th - 22nd 2011

This is Canada's Inaugural Water Week.  It is not surprising Canada has joined in the world wide focus on water.  Our dependency on water for all life has been taken for granted in modern times of convenient delivery and disposal but many recent events have shown us that more respect and care for it is long overdue.

Drinking Water and Quality is second on the list of top ten concerns listed by residents on the Cranbrook Connected Survey.
It is very difficult to reconcile the fact that stream health placed fifth from the bottom. Streams after all are the source of our drinking water. Stormwater management came in fourth from the bottom and climate change second from bottom.  Waste water management comes in in the middle of priorities but the water we drink is eventually recycled from the waste water we dispose of.  Climate change affects the quality, quantity and reliability of the supply.  If we are to have drinking water of high quality we need to take care of all these things. All water is part of the water cycle which was taught to us at an early age.  It appears there has been a major disconnect in this understanding. 

There are no public events this week in Cranbrook that we know of in celebration of Water Week but if some of the issues surrounding our own Joseph Creek could be addressed that would be celebration enough.  Cranbrook Council did after all make a proclamation in recognition of Canada Water Week.

There is one event planned for March 23rd
SOS: Save Our Snowpack! - Cranbrook
Wednesday, March 23 at 7:00pm
Location: COTR Lecture Theatre, Cranbrook, BC

For more information:

For events in other communities:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Showing Signs of Spring

Emerging Crocus, Centennial Garden
The birds are singing and there has been a sighting of a Bluebird.

Crocus are breaking through, ice is breaking up and the buds will soon break out.

Ah, at last, Spring Break.

Maple Buds Swelling
Snow gone from Eager Hill

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gearing up for Square Foot Gardening

Eagerness to get dirt under the fingernails was evident at Doug Lyons' workshop on Square Foot Gardening last evening.  About 75 people were present to learn more about this method of intensive gardening.

Using a special homemade mix of soil, a defined grid and raised box, he showed how it is possible garden more efficiently and easily.

"New gardeners are usually better at this method" he said, as experienced gardeners find it hard to change.

Doug will be running another hands on workshop this spring when people will be able to make their own  frames and grids as well as learn how to make the soil mix.  If interested you may phone Doug at 1-250-429-3519.

The book 'Square Foot Gardening' by Mel Bartholomew is available at most book stores and there are several references on the web.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cranbrook Waste Water Treatment Update

The 5th Public Update for the City of Cranbrook Waste Water Treatment Disposal Systems Improvement was released this week, on March 8th 2011.

It is an informative report and can be requested from the Ministry of the Environment, 250-489-8540 or  It is pleasing to read how the upgrades are proceeding.

Of interest are several questions from the public and the answers given. From the report comes one of several such items:

The Municipal Sewage Regulation (MSR) under the Environmental Management Act is the Provincial regulatory instrument that outlines the requirements for reclaimed water. The standards within the MSR have been developed by the Ministry of Environment to provide clear and effective requirements in order to protect public health and the environment.

Schedule 2 in the MSR outlines the Permitted Use and Standards for Reclaimed Water. In this schedule, under the restricted public access category, the requirement for use as pasture is: “…cattle must be prohibited from grazing for 3 days after irrigation ceases unless the meat is inspected under the Federal Meat Inspection Program.”

Ministry statement regarding the pasture requirements:
The cattle that graze on the spray irrigation land are subject to the Federal Meat Inspection Program therefore will not be in violation of the MSR if effluent happens to be sprayed on the cattle. Regardless, the City of Cranbrook has committed to not irrigate in fields when the cattle can be sprayed with the effluent. They are planning to further address this issue within the Operating Plan and also outline the operating cycle of the pivots. For further information on the Federal Meat Inspection Program, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Receiving information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency so far has not been easy. One must ask what the Federal Meat Inspection Program consists of. Locally, the cattle are inspected only for communicable diseases by a local veterinarian.

In 2005 –2006 according to the Food Inspection Agency website for Beef (Table A3-21)

A total of 7697 tests were performed on domestic beef samples.

Of 4185 tests for veterinary drugs, 4144 had no detectable residues (99.02%). There were 41 positive results, 40 of which were identified as violations (99.04% compliance).

Domestic beef was tested for pesticides using the multi-residue method, and was also analyzed for carbamates, chlorinated phenols and synthetic pyrethrins. Out of a total of 707 tests for pesticides, 696 had no detectable residues (98.44%).

Domestic beef was tested for 15 different metals (aluminum, arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, mercury, manganese, nickel, lead, selenium, tin, titanium and zinc). A total of 2805 tests for metals were performed. Of these, 704 were for the toxic metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead). There was no detectable mercury in any sample. There were positive results for arsenic (8), cadmium (1) and lead (5). There were no toxic metal violations in domestic beef (100% compliance).

On the surface these results sound pretty good. However the City Farm alone produces approximately 3,500 head of beef cattle in one year. In all of Canada and out of over 3 million head of cattle a total of only 7,697 tests were performed in 2005 – 2006.

One must wonder how beef raised on effluent and forage grown on effluent would stack up in its test results and indeed whether any meat from that kind of environment has indeed been tested.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Whats Happening...

Career & Job Fair 2011 - Thursday, March 10th 1pm - 5pm College of the Rockies

Aboriginal Business Showcase - Fri., March 11th 5pm-9pm and Sat March 12 9am-4pm
at the Heritage Inn
Aboriginal Entrepreneurs, Aboriginal Businesses and Aboriginal Arts will showcase their product and services.

Cranbrook & District Arts Council host the Youth Art Awards Gala - Thursday March 10 7pm-9pm.
Open to the public. Celebrates the artistic talents of youth.
For more information please call 250-426-4223

Bastardization of the Bard - This play continues on March 10, 11, and 12th. at the Stage Door
Showtime is 7:30pm Tickets are :$15 and are available at Lotus Books and at the door.

Square Foot Gardening Seminar - Friday, March 11 at the Cranbrook Public Library
Doug Lyon will teach your about Square Food Gardening which uses less water and space.
Admission is $10  Please phone Doug for further information 250-429-3519

Cranbrook Connected - Tuesday, March 15 4pm - 8pm Manual Training Centre
Open Public Review workshop. If you haven't contributed to Cranbrook Connected yet then this is your time. To read more about Cranbrook Connected to here

Country Music Star, Roy Clark plays at the Key City Theatre - Tuesday March 15th 7:30pm
Please phone the Box Office for ticket information 250-426-7006

March Break Childrens Art - March 15, 16, 17th from 1-3pm daily.
Cranbrook and District Arts Council are offering the opportunity for children to take a Tile Mosaic Trivet Class. Cost is $60.00.

Joseph Cross painting to be unveiled - Wed. March 16th 5:30pm at the Fisher Peak Gallery.
Morning: Sunburst Mountain & Cerulean Lake was painted as a fundraiser for the BC Parks.
Refreshments to be served from 4:30 to 7pm.

Rocky Mountain Naturalists - Sunday, March 20. Join the naturalist for an afternoon of birding in the Ft. Steele/Spray Irrigation Field area. Meet at the Staples Parking Lot 1pm. Phone Greg at 250-489-2566

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Women of the Year, Velma McKay and Vicki Dalton

by Sharon Cross

The Cranbrook Federation of University Women held their annual Woman of the Year Award at the Manual Training Centre on Monday March 7th. Each year they honour women who elevate the lives of others in our community. This year they honoured two very deserving women – Velma McKay and Vicky Dalton. Interestingly, both women’s lives were intertwined through the tireless work they do in our community elevating others in many ways.

Tributes to both women were very emotional.

Velma McKay was absent as she is presently at the coast with her family dealing with cancer and preparing for the next journey. Her very positive and creative attitude to her life and her life’s work has touched the lives of many in our community. Today, the strength of her faith is carrying her. Velma is an instructor at College of the Rockies, and became known as the singing instructor. She taught math through song. Part of her message of thanks to the University Women’s group was that meaningful education is valuable for women.

Vicky Dalton was instrumental in getting the community garden going in Cranbrook. She also created a warm and safe environment at the Women’s Resource Centre and worked to improve the advancement of women through many and varied challenges before them. Vicky’s daughter Sarah Marriott spoke about growing up with a women’s activist/advocate for a mother. How ironic that Vicky was presented with this prestigious award just days before the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre will close.

Of the images that stand out most for Sarah is the poster in her mother’s office – that of a knight fighting a dragon. Here are two warrior women in our community that have fought many successful battles for others. Yet sometimes the dragon wins.

It is the spirit of these women that will live on in our community in the seen and unseen.

Thank you Velma and Vicky for all that you have done and all that will be done.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of March 7th 2011

Judy Bertalanic and Jim Dezall of Cranbrook Search and Rescue made a presentation to the City of Cranbrook thanking the City for their support over the years. Cranbrook Search and Rescue is celebrating its 35th year and works closely with the City.  Cranbrook Search and Rescue respond to between 80-100 calls per year, many highway emergencies. It is an all volunteer group and we are certainly lucky to have these dedicated citizens working in our community.

Administration Updates
During the review of the Administration Updates, Councillor Bob Whetham expressed his concerns about the staff's review of a St. Marys Neighbourhood Plan bylaw that was brought to the city's attention in a letter by Sharon Cross, President of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook.  The City Staff expressed their view that the Shadow Mountain Development is in full compliance with the St Mary Neighbourhood Plan which forms part of Cranbrook's Official Community Plan.  However Councillor Whetham  does not believe the development is in compliance specifically with Section ii) of The St. Mary Neighbourhood Plan which states,

"The City requires some public opportunity to access the piece of Crown Land through subdivision through the strata lands."

Both Councillors Jim Wavrecan and Denise Pallesen supported the Administration Report and think that  the development is following the "intent" of the by-law. Mr. Whetham stated that this is a stand alone provision of the bylaw and that it is not related to any others and therefore the development is not in compliance. The City cannot pick and choose which parts of the bylaw it wishes to comply with. Councillor Whetham has asked that the bylaw be sent for legal advice as it could have serious consequences for the city in the future. Councillor Whetham did not vote in support of accepting the Administration Report. Many people should be concerned that while we, as taxpayers, are paying for the park we will not have equal access to it. Those who live in the development can walk or drive to the park entrance to access the river while the rest of us will have to access the park down a VERY steep embankment with stairs.

Councillor Diana J. Scott expressed her concerns about the lack of sidewalk clearing during the recent heavy snow. This has made her sidewalk dangerous to walk on and impassible for some people. It also discourages walking. She has asked that the issue of a snow removal bylaw yet again be discussed. Mayor Manjak and Councillor Wavrecan pointed out that we are a "complaint" driven city and that it would be difficult to enforce. Many other cities have a bylaw regarding snow removal so it does not seem unreasonable that the City look at this particular issue again. Why do some of these issues seem impossible to deal with in our City yet are standard practice in many others?

FYI - 12.2 Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw 2300 - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw that was to be discussed relating specifically to a development in Gold Creek was removed from the agenda. It will be brought back at a later date.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of March 7th 2011

Judy Bertalanic and Jim Dezall, Cranbrook Search and Rescue re Presentation for Support

Administration Updates
There are a number of very interesting items included in the Administration Updates all of which can be read at:

Included are:

Shadow Mountain – Access to the St, Mary’s River
The issue of access to the river through the piece of land to be purchased by the city for parkland remains contentious. Differing opinions on interpretation of the St Mary Neighbourhood Plan are evident. Strong public opinion exists around this topic. For the Chief Administration Officer’s interpretation please read at the above link.

Economic Development
The city recently participated in several initiatives of the Economic Development Association of BC. A one page advertorial and associated one page advertisement will appear in the 2011 Invest in BC magazine. This magazine has wide distribution both on the North American Continent and throughout the world.
The glowing advertisement can be read at the above link.

Engineering will host 25 Selkirk students on a tour of Cranbrook’s Waste Water Treatment System. 
It is interesting to note that local citizens have not been offered this opportunity despite requests.

Leisure Services
Curling – tickets went on sale February 21st. Riverdance tickets selling well.

CBT Grants
Funding for several projects has been applied for including one proposal to upgrade Clocktower Square.

RecPlex Heating
There are funds(amount?) in the budget for 2011 for this problem to be looked at.

Policy Manual Review underway.

Public Works
An update on dead tree removal and trimming.

Twelve items
Some of the correspondence can be read by clicking on the individual pieces at:

Item 9.7 is from the desk of This Old House editor notifying the city that Cranbrook has been selected as one of This Old House’s best Old House Neighbourhoods in 2011. Six winners can be seen at their website.

Item 9.12 proclaims March 14 – 22nd 2011 as Canada Water Week

Committee Recommendations
Lighting on Baker St.- Mt Baker School
Temporary Parking Signs for Key City Theatre

New Business
  1. RCMP Priorities
  2. RDEK Zoning Referral – Gold Creek
  3. 2011 Municipal Election – for information and costs
  4. Engineering Consultants

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Townsman Headline, East Hill Developer Seeks Input

If you cannot use the front door you will try the back door. That only makes sense, so the fact that Mr. Isaman is going to seek a zoning amendment through the RDEK for his east hill property was to be expected. The fact that the brand new Rockyview OCP after much public consultation, has just been completed with zoning in place does not seem to matter. At this point we do not know what the developer has in mind for the property but it is encouraging that the public’s input is being requested. Many aspects of any potential development will impact our city regardless of city boundary issues so let’s hope all potential impacts are weighed extremely carefully.

Mr Isaman’s original concept plan, Appendix F, page 245
is included in the Growth Management Study. We, Cranbrook tax payers, paid $1000 a page for this 500 page study. This is just part of what the Growth Management Study had to say:

Based on the conceptual urban framework for the east expansion area, a high-level traffic review was conducted. The key findings are summarised below.

· Since only three external accesses, corridors (two connecting to the existing city plus one connecting to Highway 3/93) were proposed for the east expansion area development, the projected traffic along the two transportation corridors would have been very high, about double the existing traffic along the Highway 3/95 corridor within the city.

One must assume one of those connecting highways is the potential road shown though the middle of the Community Forest; the other would be 2nd Avenue.

Workshops are to be held on this ‘new’ proposal and once again your input is requested and needed. Three workshops will be held March 22nd, 23rd, and 26th at the St Eugene Golf Resort.

To register email
David Savage  
with your name and interest.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Editorial Comment on Cranbrook Reduces Carbon Emissions

 I am certainly encouraged by the CAIRP (Climate Action Revenue Incentive Report)  regarding the City of Cranbrook's efforts to reduce our Green House Gas Emissions. However one of the fundamental  issues in our commitment to the Carbon Action Charter (CAC) is to  produce compact municipalities or in other words; preventing sprawl.  Given the City of Cranbrook's support for the  East Hill expansion and Shadow Mountain, it seems impossible that the City is able to meet is commitment to the CAC. By keeping Development Cost Charges at rates which do not cover the City's expenses to provide services, we only encourage this type of development which is becoming increasingly unaffordable for municipalities across North America. The direction in urban design towards more compact, higher density housing is driven by several facts. Primarily, it costs more for cities to service larger areas and many cities, including ours, have to face tough economic realities.  If the City of Cranbrook is serious about its commitment to the Carbon Action Charter then it will encourage the type of development that prevents sprawl. We can no longer afford it.

Cranbrook Takes Steps to Reduce Carbon Footprint

The City of Cranbrook has signed the Climate Action Charter (CAC) to be carbon neutral in corporate operations by 2012. The CAC is part of the Province's attempt to reduce greenhouse gases. The municipality is required to measure and report on our community greenhouse emissions, and work to create compact, more energy efficient communities. Communities who have signed onto the CAC and publicly report on their progress will be able to access the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program.(CARIP). CARIP is designed to offset the carbon tax paid by local governments. Cranbrook has just presented its report for 2010. The City has been meeting some of its goals which include the low flow toilet rebate, completion of a business case for a bioenergy plant, considering alternative energy sources for buildings such as solar and geothermal. These are all promising and it is our hope that the City will follow through on many of these good ideas. To read the entire report please go to

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's Happening ...

Rockies Film Series  Thursday, March 3, 7pm at the Columbia Theatre. 'Somewhere' is the latest film from Sofia Coppola. Tickets at the door $12 or at Lotus Books $10

Tom Bungay at Ali Baba's Lounge, Finnegans Wake Pub starting at March 4, 7pm. Come out to support live music here in Cranbrook.

Friday March 4th 1:00pm
Free Computer Classes for Seniors 60+
Cranbrook Public Library
to register 250-417-2896

Friday March 4th, Saturday March 5th and Sunday March 6th
Rec Plex
What a great opportunity to see some fabulous skating.

Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library Magazine Sale Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, 10 am - 6pm in the Manual Training Room next to the Library.  Large selections of magazines and VHS movies. Come out to support your public library.

Friday March 4th, Saturday March 5th
Bastardization of the Bard
Bard in Your Own Backyard Production
Stage Door 7:30pm
Also next week Wednesday to Saturday

Friday and Saturday March 4th and 5th
Watercolour Demonstrations
Fisher Peak Gallery

Saturday March 5th
Ballet Kelowna
Key City Theatre 7:30pm

Saturday, March 5
Owling with Peter Davidson of the Rocky Mountain Naturalists, 7pm. Meet in the Staples parking lot. Phone Peter for more information 250-426-2458

Artrageous Gallery Saturday, March 5th- Last chance to see both Love, Lust, and other Appetites and the Ktunaxa Youth Cultural Exhibit. The gallery is open Tues. to Fri. 11am - 5pm and Saturday 11am to 3pm

Cranbrook's Woman of the Year 2011- Monday, March 7th 4pm.there will be a ceremony celebrating Velma McKay and Vicky Dalton. Please come out to celebrate these amazing women who have contributed so much to Cranbrook. The ceremony is being held at the Education Centre beside the Cranbrook Public Library

Career and Job Fair Thursday, March 10 1pm- 5pm  College of the Rockies

Friday March 11th
Square Foot Gardening Seminar
with Doug Lyon
Cranbrook Public Library
Manual Training Room
$10 at the door

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good - Cleared Sidewalks

Nothing like a cleared sidewalk for little legs, old legs, short dog legs, Mom's and Dad's with baby buggies legs, people with walking sticks and walker frames, people walking to work legs and for that matter anyone and everybody.  In a couple of days we may be running with water once again when wet ice can be treacherous.
We truly appreciate those who care about the safety of all walkers.  Thank you for clearing your sidewalks.

constant snow and constant clearing but this sidewalk will soon be clear of ice

after a three day thaw this sidewalk is compact ice - no fun and dangerous

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Most Livable Community Awards

In October of 2009 CBC was just one of the media sites to post the story of Gibsons, BC being named as one of the most liveable communities in the world.  The full article can be read at:

Quoting from the  'Sunshine Coast Bed and Breakfast, Cottage Owners Association News',
'key to the award was the Upper Gibsons Neighbourhood Plan, an innovative development project designed to conserve energy, water and land, use bike and pedestrian paths to promote alternate forms of transportation, promote social interaction, and encourage people from all ages and incomes to live there. The town is also set to install North America's first municipal geo-exchange district energy system, which will heat homes and businesses with thermal energy pumped from the ground.'

The LivCom Awards were launched in 1997 and are endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme, (UNEP), with which it shares a Memorandum of Understanding. The LivCom Awards is the World’s only Awards Competition focussing on International Best Practice regarding the management of the local environment. The objective of LivCom is to develop and share International Best Practice, with the further objective of improving the quality of life of individual citizens through the creation of ‘liveable communities’.

The Environmentally Sustainable Project Awards are open to both the Public and Private Sectors and Partnerships of both. The objective of the Project Awards is to encourage Developers to have the same environmental objectives as communities.

Apart from the worldwide recognition given to communities that win any of these awards there is also the possibility of a financial award. The international acclaim however is probably worth a lot more.

Gibsons won in 2009 for a community with fewer than 20,000 residents. Could a project in Cranbrook aspire to this in the future?

It is something to think about.

For more information: