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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blissful Summer Morning on Jim Smith Lake

Our Thanks to Sally Passey for these lovely photos.
No need to leave Cranbrook when we have this on our doorstep.

Genevieve enjoying the ride

Silent Reflections

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cranbrook's City Ditty

This little ditty gained notoriety in a short period of time after being read by its author, Mike Redfern at the Wednesday Farmer's Market.
Thanks Mike for sharing it with us and allowing us to publish it here.  A chuckle for the weekend.

The Ugliest City in Canada – with apologies to Sweet Molly Malone

Once Cranbrook’s fair city
Was not quite so pretty
And was given an unwelcome reputation
By a newspaper reporter
Who attacked it without quarter
As the ugliest city across this fair nation.
The ugliest city,
The ugliest city,
The ugliest city
Across this fair nation.

When City councillors heard it
They quickly referred it
To an advisory committee to research and report.
The committee ruminated,
Then finally stated
They needed to give the whole matter more thought.
To give the whole matter,
To give the whole matter,
They needed to give
The whole matter more thought.

But while they were thinking
The residents were sinking
Into a morass of recrimination.
And while some blamed the City
Others thought it a pity
That the Chamber had not done some mitigation.
The Chamber had not done,
The Chamber had not done,
That the Chamber had not done
Some mitigation.

But a volunteer committee
Decided the city
Would look so much prettier with flowers in bloom.
Along the Strip so notorious
It would really look glorious
If gardens were planted wherever there was room.
If gardens were planted,
If gardens were planted,
If gardens were planted
Wherever there was room.

Soon saplings and flowers
Were growing in bowers
Alongside the highway and all through the town.
The citizens all smiled
That their town, once reviled,
Was now one of the best-looking cities around.
Was one of the best,
Was one of the best,
Was now one of the best-
Looking cities around.

But a problem remains
And it isn’t the drains
And it isn’t the garbage or fresh water supply.
But some streets in this town
Bring its reputation down
For the paving’s so brutal it makes a man cry.
The paving’s so brutal,
The paving’s so brutal,
The paving’s so brutal
It makes a man cry.

So in next year’s City budget
Dear council, don’t fudge it,
Please allocate money to repave the road
That threatens my suspension
And undermines my intention
To only speak well of my chosen abode.
To only speak well,
To only speak well,
To only speak well
Of my chosen abode.

Now Cranbrook’s fair city
Looks really quite pretty
With most of the eyesores hidden away.
Behind foliage and flowers
The ugliness cowers
And this new handsome face is now here to stay.
This new handsome face,
This new handsome face,
And this new handsome face
Is now here to stay.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Recycling to Upcycling

Christi Crawford salvages used fabric items and reclaims the good fabric to upcycle into something even better in her business known as

For more about upcycling:

Christi also reuses zippers, buttons, belt loops and even back pockets in her work.  All her creations are branded locally at Mega Silk Screening and prewashed in organic soap nuts which are considered antimicrobial and biodegradable.

Christi is usually at the Cranbrook Farmer's Market on Saturday Mornings 9:00am - 1:00pm

just some of Christi's fine work

Around Town and Looking Good!

Last year the City of Cranbrook dedicated the
Pat Casey Garden near City Hall.  Pat Casey was a well known teacher, business owner, and volunteer in our community.  The garden is beautiful and has been part of the City's beautification efforts  in downtown Cranbrook.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

What's Happening.......

Mixing it up with Trina Rasmuson A Summer Vertical Dance performance
Climbing Crag
17K along St. Mary’s Lake Road
7:00pm $12
carpooling recommended

Fort Steele
Wild Horse Theatre
Gaberdine’s Galoshes
Daily 3:30pm

Saturday July 30
Cranbrook’s Saturday Market
9:00am – 1:00pm
10th Avenue
adjacent to Rotary Park

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Hike Island Lake Lodge....hike up the road through amazing old growth cedars to
Island Lake lodge near Fernie,
where you will find great views of the Lizard Range of the Rockies.
Full day, moderate pace. 1/2/2 For info, call Alice 427 - 7244

July 12 th - August 6 th
Auto Images Past to Present
Features a display of automotive related imagery by local artists
Held in conjunction with a historical
photographic exhibit titled ‘Fast Cars & Fancy Free’
courtesy of the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.
Includes Skip Fennessy 's collection of
scale-model Ford, Cadillac and other early American vehicles.

Fort Steele
Now through August
Children’s Summer Week Long Day Camps
There are still spaces left
250-417- 6000

Brody encouraging some hesitant  participants just about to collect fresh laid eggs

Aimee has no fear of chickens unlike a few of the boys!

WOW - Cranbrook's Evening Market a Wild Success

The Midsummer Night's Market held in Rotary Park last night, was a huge success with hundreds of people attending.  Many of our favourite vendors who attend the weekly Cranbrook Farmers Market were there last night. Due to the intense demand for their product several vendors sold out.  The bandstand was in constant use with live entertainment, music, poetry and readings.  Erna Jensen Shill, the Cranbrook Farmers Market Manager and organizer of last night's market was hoping for good weather and a good turnout and she got it!  It is obvious that the people of Cranbrook  loved  this type of event, buying local and supporting local business. Perhaps, more significantly, it became a real hive of social activity and gave friends and neighbours a place to meet and chat. Given the huge success of this market we can  only hope that another event will be held before the end of summer. If you missed last night you can always come to the Cranbrook Farmers Market held every Saturday, starting at 9am on 10th Avenue South, adjacent to Rotary Park.
See you there!

The  packed paths of the market

Alanthea of Backyard Bakers was all sold out in short order

Wayne and Audrey Stetski enjoying the great ambience

The bandstand in Rotary Park

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Strip is Littered ........

With ugly signs that are –stapled to hydro poles, stuck on public boulevard and cluttering what had started to become a better looking entrance to our City. There are sign bylaws,
which clearly state this kind of business signage is not permitted but as with fireworks

and recreational vehicle parking

the bylaws are blatantly ignored.

Our Mayor and Council tell us that these bylaws are complaint driven.This is a small town. People know people. Few people wish to upset a neighbour for fear of social repercussions. ‘Complaint driven’ – how negative to pit neighbour against neighbour and business against business. Some of us foolishly thought this town was getting serious about cleaning up its appearance. There are bylaws and a bylaw officer(soon to be two). If Council is just paying lip service to those who truly care and wish to add some pleasing aesthetics to the town then why bother if bylaw enforcement is impotent. As if to further mock its own bylaws the City itself has screwed an ‘aggressive deer’ notice to a hydro pole in my neighbourhood. Apart from the fact that this sign faces private property and neither I nor anyone else I know have yet to see these aggressive deer on my daily walks on this road, Hydro specifically requests that signs NOT be placed on their poles for safety reasons.

If, after the first week the on-street parking regulations were implemented for recreational vehicles, a bylaw officer had cruised the town and identified, warned or fined those who flaunted the very well publicized new bylaw, word would have travelled. It would not have become the problem it has once more become.

If after one tacky sign had been stapled to a hydro pole the business had been reminded there is a bylaw against this, they would not have proliferated at the rate they have.

If businesses were forced to follow through with their landscaping requirements we would not have piles of waste and unsightly fences in full visibility of tourists and shoppers.

We would not have signs trying to outdo the very greening up and beautification efforts of volunteers and some businesses. No wonder tourists drive right through the town. Just the Unsightly Premises Bylaw
alone should be enough to prevent some eyesores.

We have Sign Bylaws, Parking Bylaws, Riparian Zone Regulations and Unsightly Premises Bylaws. What is going on is past ‘reasonable leeway’. The free for all is destroying what some are trying to accomplish – a more vibrant, beautiful and sustainable city.

And that is a crying shame.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wild West Wednesday at Fort Steele Tomorrow July 27th

If you have never been to a Wild West Wednesday you have missed a treat. Barbeque, train ride with a good old fashioned robbery thrown in for fun. They don't happen often!

Call 250-417-6000 to reserve. Adults $40 and children $20. Only 2 more dates left - August 10th and 24th.

Limited seating.


Bike Heaven: Rush Hour in Utrecht, Netherlands

Love this - we can only dream! Can't help but notice - no helmets, no hills, and a moderate climate.

No excuses now!  Helmets do make cycling safer, electric bicycles make cycling possible for those who find hills challenging and there are really only a few months of the year when road conditions and cold temperatures make cycling more difficult so.......

and do we see obesity in this clip?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quality of Life Block Party

Saturday afternoon, July 23rd was the scene of an open invitation lawn party, pot-luck dinner, at the home of Norm and Mely Weitzel of Cranbrook, in support of the Quality of Life Challenge . . . a Living Wage for Cranbrook. There were 33 people in attendance, twenty of whom were new faces to the concept of the Quality of Life Challenge and eager to learn about this local initiative. The Social Planning Committee is raising awareness of the need to lift people up out of poverty in creative ways. Once again, the community stepped up to contribute to this event. Donations came from PharmaSave, Sandor Rental, ABC Country Restaurant, Cranbrook Society for Community Living Centre, McDonalds Restaurant. Special thanks to Mely Weitzel for all her work towards making this a successful event. Thanks to Norm Weitzel for the great idea, and to everyone who pitched in.

Stay tuned for more news on the work of this group in our community.


photography by Myriam Abdelaziz

Can't help but wonder what could be produced by our landfill? It is interesting to observe that the old city landfill north of town, long capped and seeded, also the landfill adjacent to the Community Forest have not regenerated any vegetation other than sparse grass.

For many years our waste and wastefulness has not been a prime topic of discussion. Out of sight, out of mind was the order of the day. The desperate situation of some in other parts of the world, however, brings into focus what can become another valuable resource.

Our dependence on big systems--big oil, big coal--steers us away from little ones, such as biofuel made from garbage, that are transforming communities in other countries.

So begins an article By Hillary Rosner titled 'The Low-Hanging Fruit' published in the July 2011 Issue of Popular Science.  The full article can be found online by searching under that title.  It continues  ....

Like wildfire in a part of the world largely dependent on firewood and charcoal, a child at the school lights methane directly from the tank. Culhane says these moments are what best communicate the promise of biogas.

The Mukuru slum has little infrastructure: no sewage system, no underground gas lines, no landfills. Residents toss potato peels and plastic bags into the street. Eyes sting from charcoal smoke. But this jumble provides an opportunity to rethink some basic things, and to improvise new forms of energy.

Here, a few biogas systems like Culhane's are turning waste, the world's most pervasive and overlooked energy source, into fuel. In the process, they're also turning households into closed-loop systems of local energy production and reuse.

When microbes digest organic waste-sewage, manure, food scraps- in the absence of air, they produce methane (along with small amounts of carbon dioxide and water), which can run everything from electric lights to city buses. No one has figured out what kind of biogas system it would take to power a whole city. But in Kenya, a plastic tank and some tubing can transform a single household's entire energy cycle.

Culhane runs a nonprofit called Solar C3ITIES (Connecting Community Catalysts Integrating Technologies for Industrial Ecology Systems). It has no paid employees and is funded, barely, by individual contributions. He has built low-tech, low-cost biogas systems in Cairo, Lagos and the West Bank, and trained local people to maintain and replicate them.

To learn more about Thomas Taha Rassam Culhane and his work:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Short Sunday Climb in Cranbrook's Community Forest

If you are looking for a quick hike with a great view this one might do the trick.  Park at #9 on Janice Strong's map of the Community Forest
and then head up the steepest trail you can see from the parking area.  It will take you to this view :

Cranbrook from the Northeast

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Continuing the Topic of Cycling

As a follow-up to our post by Paul Willis on cycling as a main means of transportation, this video is worth the watch.

Can't Make the Market Today Saturday?.....Try the Midsummer Evening Market

This coming Wednesday July 27th, the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market in conjunction with the Cranbrook and District Arts Council is hosting its first ever Midsummer Evening Market. The market will feature local area vendors offering locally made, baked and grown products, alongside music, visual arts and spoken word performances in Rotary Park.

This market will provide the opportunity for those who normally work, or are out of town on Saturdays to come down and check out the market, as well as provide another chance for those who love the market to be able to enjoy it with an evening ambience.

· Time 5:30 – 9:30 pm, Wednesday, July 27th (set up from 4:30 – 5:30 pm)

· Location Rotary Park, in downtown Cranbrook

Businesses in the area also being encouraged by the Downtown Business Association to stay open late on this evening, to lend more atmosphere and ‘buzz’ to the downtown area for the night.

For more information please contact:

Erna Jensen-Shill or phone 250.427.9360

Friday, July 22, 2011


Honk, Honk.  Now we may get hissed at for pointing out to the Townsman staff that these are geese, not ducks.  We at the Cranbrook Guardian try to forge our own path with subject matter but having noticed a few articles covering the same topics several days later in the Townsman and feeling flattered we thought we would good naturedly run the same photo of Stewart Wilson’s, as the Townsman did in the Friday July22nd paper and point out that the birds are actually Canada Geese, not ducks!

For more of Stewart Wilson's photos and our local area visit:(

Beads, Bangles and Pottery

If you need to brighten your day tomorrow after the dismal rain showers of today Friday, a visit to Judy and Patricia’s table at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow might just do the trick. The Bead Hen, Patricia Kendall has a wide selection of intensely colourful bead jewelry which alone forms a fabulous shot of colour. When combined with Judy Walker’s beautiful raku pottery and her fitting Japanese style flower arrangements it forms a riot. Judy frequently displays flowers from her garden including her collection of Penstemon varieties. If you only have one or two flowers in your garden at one time these raku flower vases are the perfect solution for bringing a few blooms inside to enjoy.

left, Judy Walker and Patricia Kendall

Motivation to Recycle

Following up our post on motivating people to recycle, Stewart Wilson contributed this article about a field trip last fall. 
Would a trip like this for adults be a motivator?
Loree Duczek explains to students how clean waste wood can recycled into wood chips,
and used pop cans can be recycled too.

Grade 3 students and some of their parents from Gordon Terrace Elementary had an unforgettable field trip last October, arranged by Loree Duczek, Communications Manager at RDEK, where they learned about the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

First they visited the Transfer Station where everyone dropped off items to be recycled including newspapers, mixed paper, cardboard, tin, and plastics #1 to 6 in the yellow bins. Any glass was put in a separate container. Then it was off to the Recycling Centre where they saw what happens to all the recycled materials once the bins are emptied. Paper, cardboard, tin and plastics are sorted then baled ready for transportation to large centres, where they are turned into recycled products. They also saw a large pile of crushed glass, which is sent to Airdrie in Alberta. Afterwards it may be added to some paints used in marking centre lines on roads and highways and other uses.

Next they visited the Processing Plant where bottles, cans and juice containers are taken for recycling from all over the East and West Kootenays. The highlight was watching plastic bottles being shot from a pipe into a netted area before being ground into plastic chips.Their final destination was the Regional Landfill on the road to Fort Steele, where all the garbage in the local area including Cranbrook and Kimberley is taken and buried. The landfill is divided into sections, and the whole operation is carefully managed to ensure that it will serve the area for up to 50 years. Each day several trailer loads of garbage are brought to the site, where a compactor crushes the contents, which are then buried under a layer of soil. After a section is filled, it is closed and a new site prepared in another area of the landfill. However, there is a great deal of recycling done at the landfill including making waste wood into wood chips for lining local walking trails. Garden and yard waste is composted. Piles of concrete, shingles, and tires will eventually be ground up and reused for a variety projects.

All the grade 3 students who took part in the field trip would like to encourage everyone to do their bit for the environment by REUSING, REDUCING and RECYCLING their waste whenever possible.

Would adult tours of the Transfer Station have an impact as it did on these Gordon Terrace Students?  What do you think?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's Happening?

Thursday July 21st
Live at the Legion
Downstairs at the Heritage Inn
All musicians and patrons welcome

Saturday July 24th
Farmer’s Market
Tenth Av. Adjacent to Rotary Park
9:00am- 1:00pm

Saturday July 24th
Norm’s Block Party - You are ALL invited.

Cranbrook's Social Planning Committee promoting 'a living wage' is encouraging community groups, employers and businesses to attend this event.  The purpose is to share ideas and become aware of the possibilities.  Please bring your own cutlery, plates, napkins, cups (to reduce the amount of waste), and a lawn chair, as well as a potluck dish. Coffee will be available, McDonald's is donating a large dispenser of soft drink, and there will be donated fried potato wedges from the ABC restaurant.
Through this event we are raising awareness of the need to raise people up out of poverty in creative ways.  Come and join the discussion.

Sunday July 24th
East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Mount Dingley.....hike a mountain up at the headwaters of Wildhorse Creek near Wildhorse Ridge in the southwest part of Top of the World provincial park.
Full day, moderate pace. 2/2/2
For info call Wayne 432 – 0083

Wednesday July 27th

Wednesday, July 27th , 5:30 - 9:30pm.
Art in the Park in partnership with the Evening Farmer's Market
Seeking artists interested in displaying their artwork at tables.
Musicians interested in playing at the gazebo.
(A sound system will be provided but performers should keep their sets up extremely simple and bring their own patch cords.) Writers interested in performing short poems or prose.
Artists and musicians please contact Pauline or Linda at the CDAC office 250-426-4223 or respond to this email. Writers please email Dorothy McKay, at

Artrageous Gallery
July 12 th “ August 6 th
Auto Images Past to Present
Features a display of automotive related imagery by local artists
Held in conjunction with a historical photographic exhibit titled Fast Cars & Fancy Free courtesy of the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.
Includes Skip Fennessy 's collection of scale-model Ford, Cadillac and other early American vehicles.

Fort Steele Heritage Town
Gaberdine's Galoshes
3:30pm daily

Cranbrook Air Show

The 2011 Cranbrook Air Show took place last night at the airport. The CAF Snowbirds, the USAF Fighting Falcon, CAF F-18, North American P51 Mustang, Grumman F8F Bearcat, and the VaughtF4U Corsair all took part in demonstrations. The Snowbirds have been seen flying over Cranbrook for the past several days   Thanks to Stewart Wilson for the pictures.


Water Bomber

USAF Fighter and a Snowbird


Many Thanks to all those involved with the organisation of this high powered event.