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, October 30, 2011

Local Larch Last Week

on North Star Trail - Thanks to Stewart Wilson for this one

Looking over the St Mary Valley, Wednesday October 26th
St Mary Flood Plain

Beaver evidence!
St Mary Plateau

St Mary Hoodoo
The mist lifts over St Mary Valley - Thanks to Stewart Wilson for this one

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mice Life

This post is change from the norm for a Saturday but after a week of politics I retreated into my favourite place, the garden. It is never dull out there and it brings me back to what life is all about. This was yesterday’s adventure.

Mice Life
by Jenny Humphrey

I killed a mouse yesterday – not intentionally but it suffered and I felt terrible. When I found its limp, furry little body on top of the compost, eyes closed and tiny feet curled, I cried. Some would say silly of me but I can’t help it. No matter how long I garden and make compost I cannot get used to the fact that I will find the odd mouse and it needs to be dealt with. All I could see however, was a dead Hunca Munca and I thought I had allowed her to escape.

Earlier in the day I had been turning the compost in my very large compost bin. The previous week I had spread over my garden beds the black, sweet, friable compost from last year’s bin and this day’s job was to turn the smelly mass of rotting apples and a year’s worth of garden debris and kitchen plant waste into its new bin so that it could magically become nutritious soil for next fall’s muck spreading. As I was turning the lumpy mixture a pretty, little grey head appeared between the tines of my fork. “Oh mouse” I shrieked as if I had never seen one before. I immediately retreated from the composting chore to allow Hunca Munca to get away and she waddled off between some banana peels. Little did I know I had fatally injured her for when I returned, there she was, dead.

It is not as if this has never happened to me before. I sliced a mouse in two once while digging, crippled a mouse in a trap by breaking its back leg and it screamed for a day before I realised what the noise was. I also once inadvertently fed one too much saved garden seed so that, just like Pooh, it got stuck in the tiny hole through which it had gained access to my greenhouse. However, I cannot get over this natural part of being a gardener and I’m always really upset by these events especially when I have to deal with the situation and find the mouse traps.

I continued my chore after asking my husband to bag the dead body but as I was working I could hear a rustle. I stopped, listened and looked around. There sitting innocently on top of an upturned flower pot amongst the dry fall leaves were two Hunca Muncas missing their lost relative no doubt, one sitting up on hind legs on lookout duty while the other busied away enjoying some freshly discovered nibbles.  They were just enjoying a simple life and not harming anyone.

These tiny, furry, warm bodied mammals are an integral part of nature’s life cycles and when an owl flies off with one I don’t weep. So in contemplating my human sensitivity I decided that it must be because these little creatures cannot speak for themselves, are defenceless against lumbering great mammals with pitch forks and I probably have read too many children’s stories involving mice.

Hunca Munca is a mouse in the Beatrix Potter Story, “The Tale of Two Bad Mice”

Advance Poll Numbers

The first Advance Poll for this fall's Municipal Election was held on Thursday October 27th.

187 electors voted on Thursday.
In the last General Election 78 voters cast their ballots at the first Advance Poll.
At the 2009 East Hill Referendum 204 voted at the first Advance Poll.


Continued from yesterday:

January and February was chosen for the study because maximum PM2.5 readings due to wood burning are usually noted during cold, relatively windless evenings; this is when air particulate levels are normally higher and remain relatively steady. Temperature inversions are common this time of year and allow contaminants to linger in the air.

So what can be done with the results of this study? Here are some possibilities:

· The identification of hot spots could help city planners target individual neighbourhoods for Burn-it-Smart education programs or wood stove exchanges.

· The study provided an excellent snapshot of wintertime conditions for our communities. Any future like-studies can use the results to track progress, especially if air shed management strategies are put in place.

· The results can help with decisions on location or type of future stationary air sampling equipment.

· Health professionals can use the results to calculate health risks or impacts.

· The information can assist city planners with land-use decisions.

· Information taken from energy use surveys could be used with the results of this study to help explain air quality ‘hot spots’.

Despite the usual hiccups and technical difficulties, the diligence of the volunteers and advisors overcame most problems and the data capture rates were more than adequate. The mobile sampling equipment was crosschecked daily with stationary samplers and the agreement was excellent. Perhaps even more impressive was the strong agreement between the feedback to the data collectors’ noses (wood smoke smell in the air) and the response from the instrument. The results, which will be detailed in the upcoming report, should be of interest to readers, especially those at risk or any who wonder about the air quality in their neighbourhood. Along with the confirmation of expected ‘hot spots’ (some neighbourhoods in Marysville and the Wycliffe area), there were a few surprises that warrant further investigation.

The full report will be released at a special evening next Thursday, November 3rd in the Manual Training Building 7:00 - 9:00pm  See Poster to the right.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Results of the Air Quality study will be released November 3rd at the Manual Training Building
7:00 -9:00 pm.

From a human health perspective, fine particulate matter (also known as PM2.5) has been identified as the air pollutant of most concern in British Columbia. One of the largest contributors to outdoor fine particulate matter is widely considered to be residential wood burning. Wood smoke may be thought of as natural, but there is ample evidence that wood burning emits large quantities of known health damaging pollutants, including fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and a number of known cancer causing toxins. A large percentage of the population (upwards of 50%) is subjected to adverse health impacts as a result of severe and long-term PM2.5 exposure including children, asthmatics, persons with respiratory or heart disease, diabetics, and the elderly.

While there is a large body of health studies indicating wood smoke exposure is a health risk, studies specific to the East Kootenay are limited. In light of its relative importance to overall PM2.5 emissions in the air sheds of Interior BC, residential wood combustion may pose a seasonal exposure risk during wintertime in areas where terrain and weather contribute to poor dispersion of pollutants.

In the early part of this year, a number of concerned individuals, citizen groups, and agencies collaborated to complete a study of fine particulate using a mobile monitoring technology. The Ministry of Environment and the University of Victoria provided state of the art air quality monitors. The Ministry of Environment provided technical assistance for the sampling. Data analysis was done by retired scientist Jack Loeppky and the College of the Rockies students with technical assistance from staff from Interior Health, the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resource Operations. Project management was by Wildsight and the East Kootenay Citizens for Clean Air. Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook were proud to be asked to help. CLC members along with other concerned citizens volunteered to conduct data collection for long hours into the evening sampling periods. The Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program kindly provided funding for the project.

This study used a mobile PM2.5 sampler, global positioning system and thermometer, transported by a Toyota Prius hybrid, along with wind gauge readings at predetermined stationary sites from 27 January to 13 February. A sampling route was chosen to include Cranbrook, Wycliffe, Marysville and Kimberley and proximities to perceived wood burning smoke sources and areas most likely to be impacted by it, e.g., schools, hospitals, clinics, day care facilities, playgrounds, senior centers and residences. The route was 91.4 km in length, requiring about 3 hours of driving time. The route, was driven in opposite directions alternate evenings so any location’s averages were not influenced from nearby sources in one direction.

Part 2 tomorrow.

Really? A Last Minute Change of Heart?

October 17th, we read in the Townsman one incumbent councillor running again for a second term is quoted as campaigning for ‘Controlled Growth’. She said, “It is critical our growth be managed and sustainable”

Yet this same councillor and most of Council as well as the Chamber of Commerce apparently were completely in favour of the now infamous East Hill proposal of October 1st.

At the time, ‘the proposal’ contained carriage houses, commercial areas, mixed use areas, low and high density – in other words very much an urban structure totally disconnected from the main community of Cranbrook, certainly not sustainable or controlled under the accepted definitions.

What exactly does this Councillor understand controlled growth to be and why now are we hearing these phrases from the very same people who have campaigned vigorously for planning which is far from the sustainable controlled conditions contained within the GMS recommendations, the current OCP, the Cranbrook Connected Document or what we have continuously lobbied for.

No wonder people become cynical.  Isn't it time to bring back some trust?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cynical Politics

The City of Cranbrook is holding its only open house on the referendum question of Water Meters tonight in the Council Chambers at City Hall between 5-7pm. Surely this issue deserved  more consultation by the City and its citizens especially as the event is on the same evening of an advance municipal election poll. It does not provide enough time for the City to take the feedback they receive at this event and incorporate that input into a referendum question that truly represents the views of its citizens.

 The City of Kamloops held a water meter referendum several years ago which was soundly defeated. However, due to their serious water issues and the continuing costs of providing potable water to its citizens they are now requiring water meters be installed in all homes. Other cities have taken a more gradual but still effective approach.

 It does not have to be an all or nothing proposition and by handling it in this way it assures that the water meter question will be dead for many years to come. We need real leadership on this issue not the cynical attempts of the city pretending to want water meters but knowing that it will go down to defeat in the referendum.

What's Happening...

Thursday, October 27

Advance Poll for the Municipal Election
Parkview Seniors Hall
Get out and vote!

City fo Cranbrook Open House
RE: Water Meter Referndum
5-7pm in the Council Chambers
Cranbrook City Hall

Cranbrook and District Arts Council
All Hallow's Eve Reading Event
Featuring readings not longer than 7min.
At their new location 135-10th Ave. S.
call 250-426-4223 for more information

Cranbrook Public Library hosts a public reading
Author, Rosa Jordan will read from her book
Far from Botany Bay
7pm in the Manual Training Room

Ghost Tours at Forte Steele
Lantern Lit Ghost Tours each evening this week
Until Oct. 31, 7:30pm
Tickets are $15 per person
For tickets call 250-417-6000

Friday, October 28

Drop in Dancing with Randy Tapping
Beginners to advanced are offered every Friday night
7pm - 9pm at Stages School of Dance
6th St. S.

Saturday, October 29

Hallowe'en Spooktacular at Fort Steele
Bonfires, trick or treating, pumpkin carving and so much more!
Tickets are $12, 3pm- 9pm
Call 250-417-6000 for tickets or more information

Watercolour Workshop by Valerie Macphee
College of the Rockies 9am-4pm
Call COTR for more information

Grant writing Workshops for sports groups
Facilitated by Moira Gookstetter
9am-Noon at the College of the Rockies
To register call Cranbrook and District Community Foundation

Symphony Concert
Season opener for Symphony of the Kootenays
La Diva and the Maestro
7:30 pm at the Key City Theatre
Call the KCT Box office for tickets

Tuesday, November 1

Dance Classes with Randy Tapping
Learn to Dance at Stages School of Dance on 6th Street South.
Call Randy for cost and times at 250-426-1142

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

VOTE on the way to the Photography Show!

The Kimberley Camera Club are holding our annual slideshow this week Thursday night October 27th at the Cranbrook Campus of the College of the Rockies.  This is also the day of the first ADVANCE POLL for the Municipal Election so why not vist the Senior Hall on the way and VOTE.  Poll closes at 8:00pm.

Room 250 Lecture Theatre, 7:00 pm. Admission by Donation
There are three features of this year’s annual photographic slideshow. Many local photographers including Janice Strong will be showing their work.

1. The “Members Exhibit” will highlight each individual member’s style or photographic theme.

2. “Landscapes” features “Mountains of the West” and “Down from the Mountains” to other landscape images from around the world.

3. “Into The Wild” is the club’s awesome showcase work with inspiring and beautiful images of plants and animals.

Water Meter Programs Around BC and Open House

On Thursday October 27, 2011 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm City of Cranbrook staff will be hosting an informational Open House in Council Chambers at City Hall, with regard to 'Water Meter Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 3732, 2011'. Their informational package is available at:

It appears there are many alternative approaches to the introduction of water meters.  It is a shame that there was no citizen input on how this future necessity might have been achieved.  It will be difficult to bring this issue back in the near future unless citizens and Council get creative in their approach.
To see what other communities are doing it may be worth looking at Surrey’s program. There are 45,000 households in Surrey who have water meters. 27,000 of those meters were installed voluntarily. The water meters are provided free of charge in Surrey although the cost must be included somehere in the city’s budgeting.

Tomorrow October 27th is also the day of the first ADVANCE poll at the Senior's Hall!

Delta and Richmond both have voluntary programs
This information is taken directly from the Richmond webpage:

About the Program

Why does Richmond have a Voluntary Water Meter Program?

In the face of rising water rates, Richmond residents wanted a more equitable way of paying for their water use. In response to these requests, the City of Richmond and Neptune Technology Group Canada developed the community-based Volunteer Water Meter Program.

How much should you expect to save with a water meter?

Without a water meter, you will pay $953 for water and sewer in 2011.

Environment Canada stated in 2007 that the average Canadian with a water meter uses 266 L/day. Using water saving devices also reduces water consumption by 8%. The 2011 metered rate for both water and sewer is $1.87/m3. The table above was developed using this information and includes the $10 quarterly meter maintenance fee.

Although Prince George made water meters compulsory on new homes they too have introduced a voluntary program.

Prince George, BC, Canada --- (METERING.COM) --- December 27, 2007 - Water meters will be compulsory for new dwellings developed in the City of Prince George effective January 1, 2008, the City government has decided.

According to the City, providing homes in new subdivisions with meters and water-conservation devices means extending the life of existing water facilities and delaying future costs for improvements.

Water metering has been under discussion since 2004 and at that time it was found that to install a water meter on every home would cost $8.7 million while saving only $6.4 million over 30 years in operations, maintenance and deferred capital costs. Thus the concept was considered as becoming effective only if the Ottawa and Victoria provincial and federal governments assisted with the costs.

Under the current flat rate system, homeowner pays a fixed amount for water ($202.32 per year), regardless of the amount used. While Prince George has a plentiful water supply, residents are among the heaviest water users in Canada, particularly during hot, dry spells when consumption can exceed the average 504 l per person.

As part of its water conservation efforts, to increase awareness on the use of water and encourage its conservation, the City introduced a voluntary water metering program in July 2005. Participants are billed at the flat rate for the first year and thereafter based on usage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blake: Fort McMurray Planning Its Core From Scratch

Councillor Whetham talked about this article at Monday night's Council Meeting. 

From a story in the Calgary Herald by Melissa Blake October 20, 2011

Panelists at a recent discussion on the future of Fort McMurray:

"One of our objectives for Fort McMurray is to have more families settle in the area.  According to our 2010 Municipal Census, about 25% of the residents in the region were temporary "flyin-fly-out" workers whose permanent homes were elsewhere.  We want to change that by demonstrating that Fort McMurray is a great place to settle and raise a family." said Ron Taylor speaking about Fort Mc Murray's plan to build a downtwon sustainable core.

He continued, "In one sense we are fortunate; we can plan our downtown from scratch and avoid much of the cost of urban renewal that other cities have faced in revitalizing their downtown cores.

Blake: Fort McMurray planning its core from scratch

“Downtowns are . . . about meeting growing demands for sustainable urban living,” said Keesmaat. “You are more likely to own one less car and walk to work if you live in an urban environment. You are more likely to have a smaller carbon footprint because you will live in a smaller space and use more public amenities.”

"That’s important to us here in Fort McMurray as we strive to become Canada’s most sustainable municipality." Keesmaat also said that downtown development is a key to the success of our city and our region.

To read the full article:

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of October 24th 2011

Cranbrook Jr. Lacrosse proposal Delegation was cancelled

The VOT Very Old Team and the Classic Hockey Association was represented by Len Bousquet at the delegation to request a senior’s Ice Rental Rate. It seems the $82 an hour rental has now been increased to $104 and with a fluctuating number of players the $12,000 bill for their ice time has become a challenge. Mr Bousquet made the point that concessions are made for youth so it would seem only fair to offer some concession to the senior demographic of society.

Councillor Wavrecan made the point that the City undertook renovations to the Memorial Arena and promised that there would be no cost to taxpayers so costs had to be covered.

A motion was made to refer this request to the Heritage and Wellness Committee and also to the budget process, which would not be completed until March.

Council Enquiries

Councillor Whetham stated he had received a comment on the general vandalism of election signs and asked if something could be said about this.

It is a Federal Offence to tamper with election signs.

Councillor Davis had enquiries concerning:

 -Could signs be erected to direct tourists to the heritage Walking Area?

 - When will work begin on the garden designated for plaques and memorials in Rotary Park – there is apparently CBT money available which will be lost if it is not used?

 - Could some kind of support not have been given to the Mining Conference scheduled for Kimberley?

Administration Update

This entire report can be read at:

Councillor Whetham expressed a concern regarding the problem of parking at the new trailhead, as this is legally CPR property.

Correspondence can all be read beginning at:

Councillor Davis made a motion to support the Women’s Resource Centre by donating $450 towards expenses in renting the Key City Theatre for production fundraiser.

9.4 will be referred to Bill Bennett

9.5 Hydro will be thanked for their significant contribution to the Urban Forestry Plan

9.6 Motion to waive the $138,000.00 in DCC’s for the Homeless Shelter Carried.

Business Arising

Councillor Wavrecan spoke of the proposals to create two new economic development zones for tax relief or incentive. This idea has become popular in some other communities. Notice of motion was carried to bring forward;
We wrote about this kind of incentive in our post of :
We are very pleased to see this come forward.

- Those renovating and installing secondary suite conversions would be eligible for tax relief on the expenses required to bring the buildings up to code.

- Tax incentives will be provided to those building or renovating within the downtown core.

New Business

The cull of 20 Mule deer will be carried out soon. Clover traps will be used. Meat will be donated to 1. First Nations 2. Food Bank

The Invasive Plant Management program referred by the RDEK was turned down. This would have involved city taxpayers contributing a large portion of the funds necessary to control invasive weeds in the RDEK.

Industrial Development Permit for 521 Industrial Road G was carried.

Bike Skills Park Recommendation was carried as there are no further impediments to this park planning going ahead.


Taxation Exemption Bylaw adopted

Rezoning to accommodate the Homeless Shelter was given first and second readings. There will be an Open House Nov. 7th concerning this major addition to the community.

Borrowing bylaw for 2012 anticipated borrowing was given first, second and third reading.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wood Heat and Neighbourhood Air Quality Survey Release

These informative evening sessions in either Kimberley or Cranbrook will be of interest to those who: heat with wood, are interested in air quality, are in the wood heat industry, and are local policy makers.

Highlights of the evening will include the release of our Winter Air Quality Study Report by Paul Willis, which was completed in the Kimberley /Cranbrook area in February 2011. Over an 18 day period, more than 20 volunteers including seniors, concerned individuals, citizen groups, and agencies collaborated to complete a study of fine particulate using a mobile monitoring technology.

From a human health perspective, fine particulate matter (also known as PM2.5) has been identified as the air pollutant of most concern in British Columbia. Wood smoke may be thought of as natural, but there is ample evidence that wood burning emits large quantities of known health damaging pollutants. Dr. Ilona Hale will speak about the link between wood smoke and human health.

Wood is a readily available and renewable energy source that is widely used in our area for heating. Those who heat with wood will not want to miss WETT Certified Master Technician Doug Burton from Kootenay Furnace in the Slocan – who will speak on maximizing wood heat efficiency and minimizing emissions.

Refreshments provided, as well as the chance to win draw prizes including moisture metres and a half cord of split, seasoned firewood.

The two sessions will take place:

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Wednesday, November 2nd at College of the Rockies Kimberley Campus, and

7:00 – 9:00 pm Thursday, November 3rd Manual Training Centre, Cranbrook

For more information contact

Advance Council Notes - October 24, 2011


5.1. Cranbrook Jr. Elite Lacrosse Members RE: proposal to build an outdoor lacrosse box

5.2. Classic Hockey Association RE: Hockey rates for seniors.

Administration Updates 7.1

- City of Cranbrook residential water consumption has been estimated to be 607 litres per day although it is difficult to tell the true number as Cranbrook does not have water metres. This average is considerably higher than the national average of 330 litres per day.
- RDEK Bylaw 2342 (Sublot 14 - Ramparts) Staff have reviewed the proposal and noted only minor differences between the referral and the presentation given by Sheldon Isaman. It has not been referred back to the City for additional comment.
- Asia Pacific Initiative Progress - the services of Paul Bon Wittgenstein were secured to conduct a more comprehensive scouting mission and evaluation of candidate communities for the twinning initiative. Two communities have been selected for developing a more formal relationship 1) Wonju, Republic of Korea 2) Taicang, China.
Both communities have expressed an interest in formalising a relationship with Cranbrook
- 3rd quarter of 2011 saw construction value of $6.5 million as compared with $9.4 million in the 3rd quarter of 2010.


9.1 Highlights from the RDEK meeting of October 7

9.2. Shaw has informed Council that th 2011ey will not be taping Council Meetings from Oct. 14 to November 19

9.3. Friends of the Cranbrook Women's Resource Centre requesting $450 in aid towards rental of the Key City Theatre for their fundraiser March 30 and 31 of "The Vagina Monologues" Or be given one of the Cities 2 days allotted at the Theatre without charge.

9.4. BC Community Living Action Group requesting municipalities forward a resolution Highlighting the serious cuts to this program inflicted by the Liberal Government.

9.5. Letter from TreeCanada RE: BC Hydro Planting Project

9.6. The Salvation Army requesting the elimination of the development cost charges in relation to the new shelter being constructed.

9.7. Request for Proclamation Metis Week Nov 13-20 and Louis Riel Day Nov. 16

9.8. Request for Proclamation of Veterans Week Nov. 5-11

9.9. Request for Proclamation of Nov. 15 as Philanthropy Day

Business Arising

10.1 Development of Two Economic Zones which will make people eligible for tax relief from increasesin  value of their buildings which arise from renovations or the creation of secondary suites.

New Business

12.1 Proposed Deer Cull Update. The City has received a draft permit from BC Ministry of Forests to cull up to 20 Mule deer between Oct. 15 to Feb 28

12.2 To consider a request from the RDEK which would change the method of funding management of invasive plants in the E.K. Staff are not recommending consent due to the cost to the citizens of Cranbrook

12.4 Recommendation by staff that Council support the use of lands at the skate board park for the purpose of a Bike Skills Park

To read the entire Council Package go here

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Litre of Light

An innovative and free way for people to light their homes. Its a nice feel good story during these challenging times.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bylaw Enforcement on the Sunshine Coast

We recently on this blog, questioned bylaw enforcement for such issues as sign regulation, use of fireworks and unsightly premises within the City of Cranbrook. We are not sure why these bylaws are not enforced but it appears The Sunshine Coast has been taking this issue quite seriously with its new pilot program for enforcement.  Would something like this be worth considering?

Here is their press release:

New Bylaw Enforcement System Saves Court Time and Money
Sechelt, BC – August 29, 2011 — The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has adopted a pilot program for a new adjudication and enforcement model for bylaw infractions called the Bylaw Enforcement Notice System. The pilot project will involve ports and sprinkling regulations. "The new bylaw adjudication system shows what we can do when local government and the province work together to find creative solutions," says Garry Nohr, SCRD Board Chair. "This new system has many benefits for Sunshine Coast residents, including reducing the costly, time-consuming process associated with not only issuing a ticket under the current Municipal Ticket Information (MTI) system but disputing bylaw offences through the court system as is currently required,” says Nohr. “The Bylaw Enforcement Notice system will run concurrently with the MTI system”

The new system, as set out in the provincial government’s Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, is intended to resolve disputes in a simple, cost-effective manner at the local level rather than through the Provincial Court System. It will improve efficiency in serving tickets, paying and collecting fines as well as delivering a streamlined process to the public. Those wishing to dispute their ticket may do so by contacting the Regional District within 14 days of issuance. At that point, the adjudication is a three step process:

1. The individual disputing their ticket (disputant) will have the opportunity to speak with a Screening Officer. The Screening Officer will review the ticket and may cancel it, confirm it, or enter into a compliance agreement if appropriate. If the ticket is confirmed by the Screening Officer, the disputant may pay the fine or request adjudication.

2. If adjudication is requested, the adjudicator must provide the parties to the dispute with an opportunity to be heard. The disputant can request service by mail, fax, phone, email or in person. The Regional District will always present their case in writing to the adjudicator.

2. Adjudications will be conducted at the Regional District Administration Building or other available facility where the public can attend. The adjudicator will determine whether the bylaw notice should be cancelled or upheld. If the notice is upheld, an adjudication fee of $25 will be charged to the disputant to assist the SCRD in recovering the costs of the adjudication system.

For more information visit

Rodney Brown at Hot Shots

 An Arts Council audience as well as patrons of Hot Shots Café were treated on Tuesday October 18th to the music of Rodney Brown. Many of Rodney Brown's songs gained recognition on CBC’s Vinyls Café. One of Rodney Brown’s passions is the history of Canada’s fur trade. especially the adventures of favourite explorers including William McGillivray after whom his home town in Ontario is named.

The audience was treated to many of Rodney Brown’s explorer songs as part of this fundraiser for the Arts Council.

The Cranbrook and District Arts Council is now operational once more and almost settled into its latest new home at 104-135 10th Avenue.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Off-Leash Dog Parks

With a population of approximately 27,000, Orangeville Ontario is not much larger than Cranbrook. An off-leash dog park is something that some might argue is an unnecessary luxury especially when surrounded with the rural areas we have here. However an off-leash dog park is also about dog owners, many of whom are seniors. Owning a dog has been proven to have many health benefits for the owner. Socialized dogs are healthy, happy and non-aggressive. For senior or single dog owners, walking in the forest is not always an option and letting a dog off-leash is not always safe for many reasons. Neither is walking on slippery, often icy sidewalks in winter. An off leash dog park provides a community place for all dog owners and their dogs and it is especially beneficial for seniors. If you visit a dog park in any city you will find as much socializing going on amongst the owners as with the dogs. It is no different than visiting a playground where families with young children congregate and often forge lasting friendships. We provide a wide variety of recreational amenities for the younger members of our population and with the increasing percentage of mature residents facilities such as dog parks need serious consideration. Off-leash dog parks are a healthy addition to any community, appeal to a very wide demographic, are relatively low maintenance and are a comparatively very low cost investment.

There has been talk of planning for an off-leash dog park for Cranbrook. A dog park in a central location close to senior and high-density housing would be a wonderful addition to our recreational facilities.

This is how Orangeville accomplished it:

From Orangeville Municipal website:

Orangeville's Off-leash Dog Park Opens Oct. 15

The project got off the ground last year, with a group of residents who had championed the cause and formed the Off-Leash Dog Park Committee. The group initiated some fundraising efforts, gained the support of Orangeville Council, and the Town found a 1.5-acre site west of the Orangeville Mall, north of Hansen Boulevard. Site work, in the Orangeville Highlands parkland area, has included surveying, grading, seeding, fencing, and the development of a parking lot and small and large dog areas.

The project cost of $27,000 has been covered by the Town of Orangeville and donations, with fundraising continuing for future maintenance and improvements at the park. Additional future features could include shelters for shade, benches and landscaping, and possibly water stations and dog agility equipment.

"I'm thrilled to have been able to work on the off-leash dog park project and to assist the residents' committee with their fundraising efforts to help reduce the tax-supported portion," said Councillor Jeremy Williams. "It's another addition to services offered by the Parks and Recreation Department and I know there are many people eager to enjoy the park with their dogs. I'm also pleased that Orangeville Council got behind the project and understood the need in the community."

There is a growing list of vendors who will participate in the opening day celebration. Vendors will offer dog nail trims for $10, professional pet photos for $5, doggie treats, and pet supplies, with a portion of proceeds going to the second phase of the dog park. Coffee and baked goods will also be available. Plus there will be prizes and a silent auction, featuring such items as dog grooming, a Blu-Ray player, gift baskets, and gift certificates from local businesses. The fundraising goal for the second phase of the off-leash dog park is $15,000.

Off-leash dog park advocate Jackie Roxburgh says she is proud of her team and the continuing commitment to bring further improvements to the off-leash dog park in future. "The Off-Leash Dog Park Committee has worked very hard to make the project happen. With many volunteer hours we have managed to gain support from the public and that further motivated us to give the residents of Orangeville a park that is now needed. I'm looking forward to being able to use the park and let my dogs go for a run. The support for the dog park has been overwhelming and many people want to help us now that the park is a reality."

Committee member Jo Ann Bourque has taken her two golden retrievers for a run in the country in the past. "They love to run and play and to socialize with other dogs - and now we won't have to leave Town. It's really nice to see all our hard work paying off with the opening of this dog park."

Rules of operation for the park will be available soon and will require dogs to be leashed when entering and exiting the park, and will require handlers to be in control of the dogs and to pick up after them. For further information on the dog park, please email info@orangeville.caor  

We Get the Government We Deserve

It is interesting to read the bios of the candidates for City Council in the local paper. Its hard to tell where they stand on many of the issues since they all seem to be using similar language like , "controlled growth" or expressing concerns about our taxes, and road conditions.  It's time for the people of Cranbrook to pay attention, ask some serious questions and  select a council who are ready to deal with the difficult issues being faced by our city. Being good with a platitude does not mean you are ready to be elected to public office. Many of our councillors are running for re-election which means they have a voting record we can look at. This has been the year of the Arab Spring where people are dying for the rights many of us take for granted. The least we can do is become knowledgeable about each candidate and ask them some serious questions. I think it will be in the details that we will see these candidates differentiate themselves.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good

Congratulations Hospital Auxiliary and Tim Horton's for making this possible. $10,500 - that is a lot of cookies!

What's Happening

All week
Open Invitation Show
Key City Gallery

Thursday October 20th
Booty, Belly, Boobs
The Canadian Cancer Society sponsored fashion Show
Studio Stage Door
Featuring models from Abreast in the Rockies Dragon Boat teams
Tickets $15 Marcella’s

Friday October 21
KAMP Concert
Cranbrook United Church 7:00pm

Friday October 21
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
Fort Steele
$65.00 per person, $125:00per couple or $500:00 per table of 8
All proceeds to the Fort Steele Endowment Fund

Friday October 21
Tapp Dancing
Drop in dancing lessons with Randy Tapp
7-9:00pm Stages School of Dance

Friday October 21
Wein Stein and Dine
Cranbrook Golf Club
Junior Chamber International
Tickets $55

Saturday October 22nd

Saturday October 22nd
Fort Steele
Ghost Tours
Tickets $15

Saturday October 22nd
Spooktakular Auction
Live, silent and progressive auctions
Family friendly
250-417-4031 or

Sunday October 23rd
The Rocky Mountain Naturalists
Mini Golf Tournament
At Elizabeth Lake Lodge
Entry $10
Proceeds to support nature trails at Elizabeth Lake

Monday October 24
Middle East TravelogueWith Sheila and Greg McDonald
College of the Rockies
Lecture Theatre

Monday October 24
You are invited to the
Key City Theatre
Green Room

Tuesday October 25th
Randy Tapp Dance Classes
Two- step, swing waltz, salsa
Stages School of Dance

Tuesday October 25th
Just for Fun Singing Group
#104,135 10th Avenue S

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alberta's Municipal Sustainability Awards

From Alberta’s Urban Municipalities Association comes this report which contains some interesting ideas.

Oct 5 2011
What can you learn from municipal sustainability award winners?

The purpose of AUMA’s Municipal Sustainability Awards is not just to provide kudos to the winners. It is also to share the stories behind their success as a model for other municipalities to follow. This year’s awards winners provide examples of the vision, leadership and innovation required to effectively develop and implement municipal sustainability and other related plans.

Town of Hinton – Founder Communities Award

· The Town of Hinton is a founding community in adapting and applying AUMA’s MSP Initiative:

· Hinton went beyond consultation to have a Citizens Advisory Group lead development of what the Town has coined its Community Sustainability Plan (CSP).

· The Town signed partnership agreements with 25 local organizations who have committed to lead implementation of specific actions identified in the plan.

· A monitoring committee will guide implementation, report to the community regularly and review the plan every five years.

· The Town has consistently shared its experience and the planning resources it has developed with other AUMA membersTown of Morinville- Visionary Communities Award

· Morinville’s vision for the future includes being a regional business hub and aims to achieve the “lowest energy and water consumption and smallest ecological footprint in the region.” The Town is putting a great deal of effort towards ensuring the vision is realized:

· Stewardship of the MSP is entrusted to four governance bodies: Morinville Council; MSP Community Stewardship Committee; MSP Community Leaders and Partners; and Morinville Executive Team. The groups will meet for an annual Community Action Workshop to review progress and identify potential actions for the coming year.

· The Town has a new senior position, Deputy Chief Administrator, who will support the MSP implementation process.

· An MSP Champion Award was created to recognize individuals or groups that make valuable contributions to sustainability.

· A Strategic Planning Framework ensures business planning processes are aligned with the MSP.

· Performance will be reported annually with progress on longer term MSP targets and the effectiveness of the governance model reported tri-annually prior to each municipal election.

City of Red Deer- Innovator Communities Award

· The City of Red Deer has demonstrated innovation in a number of ways:

· In developing its MSP, the City “took the plan to the people” by offering pedestrians at locations across the city five dollar gift certificates for nearby coffee shops if they took 10 minutes to complete a survey on the plan’s focus areas. The City was at first concerned about potential backlash at paying people for their opinions, but ended up getting positive feedback on the approach and a better quality and quantity of responses than from traditional consultations at a comparable price.

· To ensure that each city department is committed to implementation, each action identified was assigned to a department for input before the actions were finalized.

· The City has committed to providing an annual report on the progress of the MSP.

· The City is addressing the five dimensions of sustainability by creating master plans for each. A master plan for the cultural dimension is already in place and in 2010 the City embarked on the creation of an Environmental Master Plan with the involvement of the community.

Les Quinton, Parks and Recreation Manager, Town of Black Diamond- Leadership Award

· In 2006 the Town of Black Diamond adopted its Municipal Sustainability Plan with a future vision to 2035. The Town credits Mr. Quinton for taking the steps to ensure that it stays on its path to sustainability. Les spearheaded a number of key initiatives including:

· Making energy saving retrofits and installing solar and wind energy systems at the local arena resulting in 20,011 lbs of green house gas reductions to date.

· Introducing xeriscaping in the Town’s parks.

· Establishing a Green fund where every dollar saved through implementing green projects is put into reserve and used towards future green projects.

To read more:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bicycling Barcelona

Bicing Barcelona
Cycling in the Gothic Quarter
Cycling Along the Med
How does a city of over 3 million people become a great place to cycle in? In Barcelona it started with their bike share program called Bicing.  Similar to many other community bicycle programs, such as the Velib in Paris, there are over 6000 bikes and 400 stations to either pick up or drop off a bike. The normal usage time is under 30 minutes as the bikes are meant to be used for commuting. To use the program you must have an address in Barcelona and you pay an annual fee of around 35 EUROS. While the Bicing program is not available for use by tourists there are plenty of bike rental companies in the city which rent bikes for  very reasonable rates.. Designated bike lanes along with a high tolerance for cycling/car interface makes it easy and fun to cycle around this beautiful Mediterranean city.  To read more about the Bicing program go here

Monday, October 17, 2011

Will the Real Rampart/East Hill Development Proposal Please Step Forward

The development proposal for Rampart/East Hill Lands from Summit West Developments is now in the hands of the RDEK….or is it? What was proposed exactly? City Council (except Bob Whetham, Angus Davis absent) agreed to a proposal that they had not actually seen. Well, that is not quite right. They had seen a proposal, but that was not the same proposal that came to them at the Council Meeting of October 3rd. That proposal was new and verbal and only presented during that meeting. We are told that the Chamber of Commerce wholeheartedly endorsed the same unseen development proposal. Did the Chamber know something we didn’t? Because the only proposal seen, the one included in the council package, was not the same one that was presented to Council on that Monday meeting.  So what precisely was the Chamber endorsing? The unread proposal was not objected to by most of Council, endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and moved on to the RDEK. First reading was passed 9 to 6 by directors who accepted the recommendation of a council who had not actually read this proposal but voted on it anyway. If the proposal is a different proposal than that originally proposed to Council does that mean this newly written proposal will come back to Cranbrook Council once more?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trash to Treasure Day, October 22, 2011

As part of Waste Reduction Week Cranbrook’s Fourth Trash to Treasure Day will be held Saturday October 22nd . As in the past, we ask that you place unwanted gently used items curbside between 8:00am and 9:00am with a Trash to Treasure or Free sign. The Trash to Treasure Sign is downloadable from dropbox on the right hand side of this blog. All unclaimed items should be cleaned up by 4:30pm.

T2T etiquette asks that people respect others by not leaving unwanted items on others property.

We hope participants have fun by getting rid of some good clutter and find some treasures at the same time!

Devil's Club

Found throughout the Rocky Mountains including this area, in dark damp forests - the spiny Devil's Club    ......   summer into fall.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Beauty of October

Sumac 'Tiger Eyes' beside purple Michaelmas Daisies or Fall Asters
There will be many a gardener out this weekend pulling the last of the root crops and nothing beats carrots or beets cold and freshly taken from the soil at this time of year. The compost needs to be turned and spread, the remainder of the apples need to be picked now that they are sweeter after the first few frosts and the initial glut of leaves needs raking and putting into the newly emptied compost bin. The garden takes on a different beauty at this time of year with the sun low in the sky creating long shadows beside the fiery palate of fall.

If gardening is not your thing, you can't beat a  hike to enjoy one of our local great viewpoints overlooking our deciduous forests as they shed their summer cloak to reveal their simple winter form. 

Looking North through the hoodoos, railway below and the deciduous forest that surrounds the confluence of the St. Mary and Kootenay Rivers

Through the Poplars

 Stewart Wilson sent us these lovely photos:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Slate of Candidates for School Trustee of School District No. 5

The Candidate Slate for the City of Cranbrook Municipal Election

Daphne Bramham Discusses Walking as One Simple Solution

'Want to live longer? Build walking into your routine' is the title of Bramhams's piece in the Vancouver Sun, October 5th 2011

Excerpts include these statements:
It seems almost absurdly simple, but walking might just save the world, as well as make us healthier, happier and allow us to live longer.

To encourage physical activity means putting pedestrians first.

Cars have so altered the way cities are planned that "it's arguable that zoning is now health averse," said Larry Frank, a professor at the University of B.C.'s school of community and regional planning. One of his studies found that for every hour spent in a car, there's a six-per-cent increase in the likelihood that you'll be obese.

What makes a walkable city? It's not one single thing, Sallis found after studying 11 different countries. It's the combination of higherdensity housing, sidewalks, proximity to shops, transit and recreational facilities.

With all of those, regardless of the country, Sallis found people were twice as likely to meet the minimum physical activity guidelines.

Sallis's research is available at  or at

 Larry Frank's research is available at

Last Day of the Nomination Period for Municipal Election

The slate of candidates as of Thursday October 13th:

Mayor - Wayne Stetski, Jim Wavrecan, John York

Councillor - Sharon Cross, Angus Davis, Dave Hall, David Humphrey, Denise Palleson, Conner Stewart, Tasy Strouzas, Gerry Warner, Bob Whetham

Potential candidates have this day Friday October 14th to file papers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What’s Happening

Friday October 14th
Locals' Coffee House
Studio Stage Door
Tickets available at Lotus Books or Swing Street Coffee House

Friday October 14th
Tango Lessons with Randy Tapp Friday Evenings Oct 14 – Oct 4th
7:00 – 8:00pm at
Stages School of Dance 6th St. S
Randy 250-426-1142.

Tapp Dancing
Drop in Dancing Lessons with Randy Tapp
This and every Friday 7 – 9:00pm
Stages School of Dance 6th St S.

Saturday October 15th
Key City Theatre
Tickets Key City Box Office
Members $30, Non members $35

Saturday October 15th
The Hilarious Hillbilly Massacre
Stab in the Dark Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
Heritage Inn, 6:30pm
Evening to include a Silent Auction and prizes for the best costume
All proceeds to the Kootenay Child Development Centre
Tickets Lotus books
$85 per person or $ 75 if booking a table of 8

Saturday October 15th
Last Day of exhibition of glass jewellery by Tara Mercer and paintings by Val McPhee
The Key Gallery
Key City Theatre

Monday October 17th
Open Invitation Show
Artists are invited to participate by entering artworks that have not previously been exhibited at the Key City Theatre.
Artworks should be dropped off at noon today. All pieces entered must be for sale.
All artists are asked to attend the opening reception October 18th 5:00 – 7:00pm.
Key City Theatre

Tuesday October 18th
Rodney Brown at Hot Shots
In support of Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Admission $15

Tuesday October 18th
A just for fun singing group starts tonight
At The Cranbrook and District Arts Council
#104, 135, 10th Av. S
6:30pm – 8:30pm

Tuesday October 18th
Dance Classes with Randy Tapp
Salsa, Swing, Two-Step, Waltz
Times Cost phone 250-426-1142

Wednesday October 19th
Noteables Big Band
And Baker Street Barbershop Quartet
Cranbrook United Church
Tickets $15 Lotus Books

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SFU Report Urges Drastic Water Conservation Reforms

Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook brought Bob Sanford to Cranbrook in 2008.  He spoke to a very large audience on the topic of his book, 'The Weekender Effect, Hyperdevelopment in Mountain Towns'.
Keeping up with Bob Sanford's activiities......

By Grace Scott October 5, 2011 12:00 pm

Canada needs to develop a new "water ethic" to deal with the detrimental impact climate change is having on Canada's water system, says a recent report out of Simon Fraser University.

The report, created by the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), was spearheaded by Bob Sanford, the EPCOR chair of the Canadian Partnership in support of the United Nations "Water for Life" Decade.

It calls on politicians for serious and immediate policy changes that will implement water conservation efforts, as well as public awareness campaigning.

"The report outlines a new national proposition on water that aims to strengthen Canada's economy and ensure its environmental sustainability, while at the same time enhancing our nation's adaptive capacity in the face of growing climate change effects," Sanford said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

One of the principal findings, Sanford said, was that global warming is changing the way water moves through the hydrological cycle in many parts of Canada.

"We are beginning to experience deeper and more persistent droughts, and these are very costly," he said. "We're also beginning to experience the same intense rainfall and flooding events that are becoming more common widely elsewhere in the world."

He said these kind of weather events will likely become more and more frequent in Canada with the trend of global warming.

Sanford added that British Columbia is in trouble when it comes to water conservation. "You probably have problems you don't know you have yet," he said. "Most of the water legislation you have is from the 19th century."

He discussed issues related to ground water legislation as well as infrastructure; for example, the need for Metro Vancouver to implement water meters.

Sanford cited recent policy reforms in the Northwest Territories toward water conservation legislation as a sign that although water conservation may be drastic in expense and planning, it's possible. "We don't have to go to bed wringing our hands and fearing the future. We can do this," he said.

Sanford will be taking his report on a 16-city tour across Canada and will be meeting with members of different levels of government along the way. After that, he hopes to take the report to Ottawa.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winter will soon be here as snow encroaches on the high country above Rualt Lake.

This was the sight if you were hiking in the high country on the weekend.
photo - Bob Whetham

Senior Consumers Will Drive the Housing Market

From the Financial Post comes this article by Garry Marr

Sep 8, 2011 – 6:46 PM ET

A new study from the Conference Board of Canada predicts that by 2030 about 80% of new housing demand will be consumers in their golden years.

It will bring a new wave of homes that are very low maintenance, like condominiums or seniors residences. At the same time the shift will put downward price pressure on the traditional single detached home which has skyrocketed in price over the past 15 years.

Already the Canadian Home Builders’ Association says its members are catering to the aging population by building more condos and retirement communities to meet the growing need.

“Baby boomers are the largest demographic cohort in our population and as such have been the main drivers of household formation for the past 40 years,” says the report.

Those same boomers, when they were in their 20s in the 1970s, helped drive the market to new heights with new housing starts reaching a record 274,000 in 1976. Then it was the boomer’s children, the echo-boomers, who helped drive the market last decade as they began forming households. Now, it’s going full circle with boomers downsizing. In 2006, 57% of condo owners were over the age of 50 while 17% were over the age of 75.

The trend is only expected to pick up steam as boomers abandon their single family homes.

“The point is not just retirement homes. The trend as we look ahead is more and more to multiple family dwellings,” says Pedro Antunes, director and analysis at the Conference Board, and one of the report’s authors. “The changes will happen but they will be slow over time.”

Mr. Antunes says the stock of single family homes probably won’t decline as others fill the gap and live in them, but there will not be as many new ones built and renovation activity will also slow.

That could impact long-term prices for single family homes although other economic factors could intervene. “It’s going to be a smaller cohort [that wants single family houses] but with a housing stock that large you would probably expect an easing in price for those types of homes,” said Mr. Antunes.

He expects boomers to stay in the labour market through the senior years, which will keep them in urban areas. ”They might work less hours and part-time but that meanings housing that is close to work places and not an exodus to the country.”

John Kenward, chief operating officer of Canadian Home Builders’ Association, says the impact is already being felt.

“If we look at housing today clearly there are new and different markets,” said Mr. Kenward.

He believes the renovation market will continue to prosper as many seniors renovate their homes to meet the needs of getting older.

“It is not the case as people become older that they want to move. Often they want to stay right where they are in their neighborhood with their family and friends. So you’ll see an adaptation of the home,” says Mr. Kenward.

There is also growing acceptance that housing stock has to be adapted to meet the needs of an aging population.

“That’s why you hear so much about lifestyle communities these days,” says Mr. Kenward. “People look for communities with golf courses, recreation features for things like walking. It’s not what you might think of as retirement.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Where Did Wayne’s Campaign Signs Go ?

News Release

Where did Wayne Stetski’s election signs for Mayor of Cranbrook go?

Mr. Stetski and his team erected his signs in strategic locations around our city after depositing his nomination papers for Mayor on the morning of October 4, which was the first opportunity to do so. He was eager to get this important campaign under way and had been told by an Election Official that candidates were free to erect their signs as soon as they had formally deposited their nomination information.

On October 7, while on the way to Calgary to be Master of Ceremonies at a niece’s wedding, Wayne received a call from one of his supporters to say that she had been viewing a candidate for council’s website and the candidate had received a letter from the City stating that campaign signs should not be going up until October 12. This is based on a city bylaw.

Mr. Stetski had not yet received a letter but he immediately asked members of his campaign team who weren’t out of town for the holiday weekend, to take down his signs. Upon his return from Calgary on Sunday, October 9, 2011 he personally drove around town to ensure that they were all removed.

“ I apologize that this happened,” said Wayne. “ I’ve always believed that if you make a mistake, regardless of how it happened, you need to own it, apologize for it, learn from it, and then make sure that it never happens again. I intend to take that same honesty and transparency into being the Mayor of Cranbrook.”

“ I was also pleased to see that the city is enforcing its own bylaws. This principle is one that I strongly believe in, as there is no point in having bylaws that you don’t enforce. This results in nothing but frustration for our citizens.”

Mr. Stetski said that his signs will be back up on October 12. If you would like a sign for your lawn or want to learn more about Wayne’s campaign please go to  or contact him at 250.919.1834.

For further information:

Wayne Stetski

Candidate For Mayor


Fort Steele Thanksgiving

Looking after pit baked potatoes

 Thanksgiving Dinner was fully booked at the International

Contemplating a winter holiday

Melissa and Al ready to sample Lambi House offerings

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fruits of Fall

Don't forget theThanksgiving Market today,
 Rotary Park 11:00am - 2:00pm

Downtown Crabapples
North Star Trail Chokecherries
Garden Mac Apple

Friday, October 7, 2011

Water Meters

This is just one of many articles that can easily be found about water meters. Although the article is British it clearly describes both advantages and disadvantages for water waters.

The method by which water meters are installed in many communities is very different from that proposed by our current Cranbrook Council. Beginning with those who voluntarily install their meters, enables people to talk about their experiences first hand. Residents learn from one another. The options open to those in this article is impressive.

Kamloops took their water meter issue to referendum and it was voted down but later their Council went ahead anyway. It would not be beneficial to have that scenario in Cranbrook. A more gentle, gradual voluntary approach would be much less threatening.

From The Telegraph

By Richard Evans

12:17PM BST 03 Apr 2009

No one likes to pour money down the drain, but when it comes to water bills many of us are doing exactly that. Some people could save as much as £850 a year by switching to a water meter. But others could be seriously out of pocket – especially as prices across the country are about to rise by an average of 4.1pc.

Let's look at a pensioner couple living in a semi-detached house in Torquay and their neighbours on the other side of the party wall, a couple with three young children. The pensioners use very little water; they wash up by hand, use the washing machine sparingly and don't do a lot of gardening.

The family, by contrast, are heavy users, as they have a swimming pool and are keen gardeners, while their children – and their clothes – need frequent washing.

If neither house has a water meter, their bills for water and sewerage will be identical; they will both pay £1,288. That's £471 for water and £817 for sewerage. But what happens if both decide to install a water meter?

The pensioners will probably use about 85 cubic metres of water per year. The cost of this in Torquay – which we've chosen because it falls within the South West Water region, whose rates are among the highest in the country – is £427, so they will save £861 or 33pc. (A more typical semi-detached household in South West Water's region could expect to save about £500, the company said.)

A typical family of five uses 270 cubic metres per year, according to Ofwat. The pensioners' neighbours will want to fill their swimming pool, which takes 30 cubic meters, at least once a year, taking the total to 300 cubic metres. If they have a meter installed, their new bill will be £539 for water and £819 for sewerage, a total of £1,358.

This is £70 more a year than they paid without a meter – and it will cost them another £133 each time they fill the pool. The more they use, the more they lose out from having a meter.

This example shows how important it is to look at the circumstances before deciding to switch to a water meter. The rule of thumb is that small families in big homes are likely to be better off having a meter installed, while big families in small homes would probably be better off sticking to bills based on rateable value and avoiding a meter.

If you have more bedrooms than occupants, say experts, you should probably get a meter.

If you want to be sure that you'll save by getting a meter, your local water company should be able to tell you, Ofwat says. The regulator also has an online tool on its own website ( that should help you do the sums.

If you've decided that you will save by getting a meter installed, how do you go about it? The first thing to know is that it's free (except in certain special circumstances) and that your water company cannot refuse your request (again, unless there is a strong practical impediment).

The meter should be installed within three months of a customer's application, the regulator said, adding: "Where companies cannot meet the deadline for installation they should make provisions to ensure customers are no worse off."

The water company can choose where to put the meter, which could be inside or outside the property.

If you have worked out that getting a meter would save you money, but find that you cannot have one, there is a third way to calculate your bills: the water company will estimate what your meter reading would be if you had one, based on factors such as the number of occupants, and bill you accordingly. This is known as an "assessed charge".

Deciding whether to have a meter won't always be as clear cut as in our example of the two neighbours. Some people switch to a meter in the hope of saving money, only to find that their bills go up.

Under the rules, such customers are allowed to return to unmetered billing, although the meter itself will be left in place. But you can switch back only within the first year after having your meter installed.

Water companies cannot insist that you pay by volume, except in certain circumstances. These include householders who use a sprinkler, a swimming pool that fills automatically, a large bath or a power shower.

Many people try harder to use less water once they have a meter, knowing that every extra drop costs them money.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's Happening

Thursday October 6th
Rockies Film Series presented by Sunshine Rotary
Ben Stiller's 'Submarine'
Tickets Lotus Books $10
$12 at the door

CBT Open House
College of the Rockies Kootenay Centre
followed by
Barbecue 6-7:00pm when the presentation will commence
Columbia River Treaty up for renegotiation between 2014 and 2024

Friday October 7th
Social Dancing
Drop In
at Stages School of Dance
This and every Friday
7 -9:00pm
all ages
Randy at 250-426-1142 or

Music for Dancing
Legion Downstairs Heritage Inn

Saturday October 8th
Thanksgiving Farmer's Market
11:00am - 2:00pm
Rotary Park
Pumpkins, Squash and other veg
plus all the usual market fare

Sunday October 9th
Fort Steele Thanksgiving
Taste of Thanksgiving - potato roast, turkey taster, pie auction, wagon rides etc
Reservation required for Thanksgiving Dinner

Wednesday October 12th
Johnny Winter at Key City Theatre
Tickets at Key City Box Office

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


A number of  false statements and assumptions were made at the Monday night’s Cranbrook Council meeting. Most of these statements were directed towards Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook. We are pleased that our concerns are sometimes being taken to heart and are being taken seriously even though they are not always agreed with.
However we are not pleased with statements that are completely untrue.

Sheldon Isaman of Summit West Developments stated Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook were making political hay with his East Hill Proposal, which only became known to those who read Council Meeting Package Notes on Friday September 3rd.

If notifying interested residents of a proposal, which has in the past, been known to be of high interest to many citizens is called ‘political hay’ we are proud to think we alerted those citizens to what appeared to be a deliberate, last minute reveal for something which would have a large impact on Cranbrook.

Sheldon Isaman had obviously taken many concerns to heart because what he verbally presented to Council on Monday evening was changed considerably from the written package received three days prior. It is our understanding this proposal has changed many times since June and it is hard to know what Council voted in favour of (not objected to) at this time. For a Councillor to vote on a verbal proposal as large and complicated as this, which has not been read is highly unusual, certainly at a Municipal Council Meeting.

It is even more unusual for a Council to vote against its own bylaw. Councillor Wavrecan argued that because the electorate chose not to bring this area into the city in 2009 that the 10km clause is null and void. Yet, the City has used this same bylaw to deny other rural development applications. No amendment has taken place to change this in the OCP bylaw and there may be, in the future, another proposal, which is different from Mr Isaman’s enormous original proposal. There are still other options for this land under the current OCP, which still exists and is part of the planning structure. To ignore it is to show blatant disrespect for its own and taxpayers bylaws. This decision is in the hands of the RDEK but they requested honest input from the residents of Cranbrook through their Council. City representatives at the table have approved a large revision to the Rockyview OCP based solely on a verbal presentation.

Mr Isaman made these statements:-

CLC is anti-growth

CLC is anti-development

CLC is anti-investment

And CLC is betting on the livelihood of residents.

These statements are inflammatory, completely and utterly untrue and spread malicious unfounded gossip. We can only be grateful he made them at the Council Table for all to hear.

Mr Isaman has put a lot of work into the project but that does not make it right. He knew what the zoning was on this land when he purchased it. He had not examined what the future of Cranbrook might look like or what the residents of Cranbrook might like to see in how their community develops.

Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook stand for smart, sustainable growth, which has been planned by the community at large and based on proven need. To that end we have invited well-known and respected development experts to Cranbrook on a number of occasions. Bob Sanford, (Canadian Chair of the United Nations International “Water for Life” Decade, and author of “The Weekender Effect: Hyperdevelopment in Mountain Towns”, Greg Halseth, (UNBC Community Development Institute), Jeremy Sturgess, (world renowned architect) have all presented to the CLC membership and many members of the public. We have presented free movie nights with relevant documentaries from other jurisdictions to large audiences. Council was invited to all events and only one member of Council other than Councillor Whetham ever came to one presentation. Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook are most concerned about the livelihood of residents which is why we examine and read all municipal documents including the Growth Management Study and Economic Development Strategy which both have supported our concerns and call for careful responsible use of residents tax dollars as well as long term economic drivers.

Councillor Scott made the comment that the Shadow Mountain and Wildstone Developments got us through the last few years of economic downturn. Yet with many Boulder Creek Properties in arrears, a much reduced Wild Stone Golf Course and Shadow Mountain being just a small shadow of what was planned this comment defies reason. Short-term construction jobs do not an economy make and deceive a community into thinking everything is stable when it is not. Development is only good when it is necessary and can be sustained in the long term with long-term employment.

Councillor Denise Pallesen seemed to object her phone number being listed so that residents could contact her. Most other municipalities have contact information for their councillors listed because councillors are elected to serve their constituents. Councillor Pallesen went on to ridicule a named member of the public for phoning her and then apparently did not understand one of the concerned citizen’s questions and so ridiculed that. She then went on to incorrectly associate a resident’s letter to the CLC. These actions hardly create an open, welcoming climate with citizens.

We are left wondering WHY the majority of Council is pushing this development so vehemently.

Citizens have every right to ask questions about matters, which concern our community. We are hoping for a more welcoming, inclusive atmosphere at the Council Table after the upcoming election – an atmosphere based on truth, honesty and enthusiasm for all members of the community regardless of their viewpoint.

Post Note
There is a meeting at the RDEK Offices on Thursday evening October 6th at 6:30pm when Sheldon Isaman will be making another presentation to the RDEK as part of the process within the RDEK.  The public may wish to attend.