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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sidelining Sidewalks

In March of 2011 Macleans published an article by Tom Hanson titled 'Down Shovels: the city should clear the sidewalks'

Downing shovels completely would not encourage personal responsibility or health but the article does raise interesting points.  The article was mentioned at a Cranbrook Council meeting a year ago and here we are again, discussing the same issue and this happens year after year.  By the time we get around to making the situation better, maybe climate change will have solved the problem for us.  Of course the major impediment to seeing this happen is always cost, no surprise, so we have posted a poll to the side of this post to see what you think.

An excerpt from the Macleans article:

No Canadian city would ever expect residents to keep the roads in front of their houses clear of snow and ice for the benefit of cars and buses. Yet Vancouver residents are expected to have their sidewalks cleaned for pedestrians by 10 a.m. daily. Saskatoon gives its citizens 24 hours to get the job done. Numerous other cities, including Edmonton, Windsor, Ont., Hamilton, Kitchener, Ont., and Waterloo, Ont., have also off-loaded responsibility for sidewalk shovelling onto residents, although Calgary appears to be breaking new ground with its demand that citizens shovel the path behind their house as well as the sidewalk out front.

Curiously, many other Canadian cities, including Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton and the majority of Metro Toronto, manage to keep sidewalks clear as part of their routine duties. Sidewalks may be lower on the priority list than roads and bridges, but the effort is there. So what explains this snowy divide?

Cities that require citizens to do their own shovelling frequently cite the heavy cost of sidewalk clearing and limited budgets. But sidewalk plowing appears to be one of the great bargains of municipal governance. Winnipeg, for example, manages to keep its sidewalks free from snow and ice for $2 million a year, or less than $7 per household. Try finding a teenager willing to shovel your driveway just once for $7, let alone a whole season.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Isaman Convicted of Failing to File Income Tax Returns

Special to The Cranbrook Guardian

Sheldon Isaman, a well- known Cranbrook businessman and developer, was fined a total of $9,000 in Cranbrook Provincial Court Jan. 18 after pleading guilty to nine counts under the federal Income Tax Act.
Charges first appeared on February 3rd of 2011 and following a number of court appearances since then, this case has finally come to conclusion.

According to a press release issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Isaman failed to file his 2005 to 2007 personal income tax returns as well as his corporate tax returns for Summit West Investments (2002) Inc. for the 2005 and 2006 taxation years and the 2002 to 2005 taxation years. Isaman was fined $1,000 on each count for a total of $9,000.

Isaman was given until Jan. 18, 2013 to pay the fine and the outstanding returns have since been filed, said CRA Communications Manager Dave Morgan. When people are convicted of failing to file tax returns they must still file their returns and pay the full amount of taxes owing plus interest as well as any fines the court may impose, Morgan said.

Isaman currently has a large residential development proposal before the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) for approval. The 2,400 acre parcel was also part of the controversial East Hill development project proposed for Cranbrook in August 2007, but fell through after a city boundary expansion application to accommodate it was defeated by 35 votes in a hard fought and divisive referendum campaign in November 2009.

Cranbrook lawyer Natalie Hebert, who represented Isaman in court before Provincial Court Judge Grant Sheard, said her client had nothing to say about the matter. “I can advise at this time Mr. Isaman has no comment.”

The matter was originally scheduled for disposition Jan. 19, but was moved ahead a day to Jan. 18 when Isaman pleaded guilty.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thinking about Literacy

Friday January 27th was Family Literacy Day.  Education Minister George Abbott and MLA Bennett toured several Cranbrook Schools that day.

When Minister Abbott spoke to primary students at Gordon Terrace Elementary School on Family Literacy Day, he asked if any had listened to a rap by Julian Smith titled, ‘I’m reading a Book’. He even quoted a few lines in rap rhythm and received an ovation for doing so. It was interesting that none of the students raised their hands when asked if they knew this song and the ovation would indicate most parents also were oblivious to it..

After posting the video for a few hours we received the lyrics from a teacher with a discriminating ear and some good critical thinking skills. On first listen, it is easy to dismiss the song as just a gimmick and tune it out if it is not your taste in music.

We must wonder how closely the minister had listened to this song and whether he had just been fed some lines by staff. This song and its lyrics may be considered by some as one avenue for encouraging literacy with some students. However there are many ways, which dedicated teachers, parents and students are well tapped into. One of the more mature reading skills to learn is that of critical thinking. It is not so much the fact and fiction, which is difficult to evaluate in this song as maybe language. On the one hand offering a lure into reading but with a bullying overtone? Hmm. What do you think? Older students may well laugh at this but would young students?

If you wish to evaluate the song for yourself, apply some critical thinking skills and decide for which audience, it might be most appropriate, here it is. Lyrics can be downloaded easily through a search.

Skiing at South Star or Skating on Victoria

Whatever your outdoor excursion this Sunday be careful as you go.

Ski conditions are good at the South Star Trails

Walking conditions are not so good in parts of town

Join BBBS for Girls & Goals Fundraiser Luncheon

Cranbrook, BC (January 24, 2012) – On February 14th join Big Brothers Big Sister of Cranbrook for their inaugural “Girls and Goals” fundraising luncheon. This luncheon is part of a National day of action in partnership with the Girls Action Foundation. GIRLS ACTION FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting girls and young women to overcome barriers and reach their true potential. This is a great partnership for a great luncheon for women to share a delicious meal with awesome girls and talk about their personal and professional work experience. What are you doing personally, professionally and with your volunteer life that makes you tick? As grown ups how can we inspire the youth of today? For young women this will be an amazing opportunity to meet some cool women who have and are doing amazing things and who you can ask questions to about school, future plans, career goals! This luncheon is a fun and fabulous opportunity to meet some cool ladies, share some stories and learn from each other!

Tickets for the luncheon are $22 (which subsidizes the girls lunches). Tickets for are available by calling (250) 489-3111 emailing  or at 930 Baker Street, Cranbrook

Saturday, January 28, 2012

VIP Day at GT

As part of Minister of Education, George Abbott's tour of Cranbrook's Schools on January 27th, Family Literacy Day,  he spent a few hours at Gordon Terrace Elementary School accompanied by MLA Bennett, where he observed several components of their literacy programs including the Sound Connections Program and the Eager Reader Club. Minister Abbott and members of his staff took time to listen to children read and also read to the Eager Readers and some of their parents and grandparents at a special luncheon in celebration of Family Literacy Day.

Sydney reads to Minister Abbott
Minister Abbott later moved on to Mount Baker School in the afternoon for a good look at a school that many hope will soon be replaced. He also visited Amy Woodland School.

Meetings were also scheduled with School Trustees, Parent Advisory Groups and members of School District No. 5 Administration.

Gordon Terrace Library, Principal Michelle Sartoral and Librarian Wendy Gook hosting Ministry Staff, parents, students and District Administration to their luncheon.

Kate serves up the 'special occasion' cake


More Family Literacy information can be found at:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Demographics Diverge for Cranbrook and Kimberley

Perceptions by Gerry Warner

"Two-thirds of everything."

Back in 1996, that’s how University of Toronto economics professor David Foot explained the power of demographics in a book that became a best seller, a rarity for the “dismal science” known as economics. “Boom, Bust and Echo.” The 313 page book was subtitled “How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift” and it sold more than 300,000 copies and remained on the best seller lists for years.

Foot explained how the “Baby Boomers,” the 32 per cent of the Canadian population born after World War II dominated Canada for three generations after the war but were now giving way to Generation X, the boomers’ children or “bust generation” which make up18 per cent of the population and hot on their heels the “Echo Generation,” 23 per cent of the population and now the children of the Digital Age.

Shown on a graph, the baby boomers look like a giant bulge going up a ladder swallowing everything before it. “A snake swallowing a rabbit,” was how Foot put it. But not everything is going their way because as the Baby Boomers now begin to enter their retirement years there are far fewer left behind them to support their relatively lavish life style. Neither Generation X or the Echo Children have the population or the inclination to keep mom, dad, grandma and grandpa in their comfortable cocoons as they go gently in the good night. And if they are unable to get the high-paying jobs and pay the taxes that keep both private and public sector pension plans afloat, where is the money going to come from?

What is needed is more people, of course. People that have jobs, pay taxes, contribute to pension plans and other social goods – and most important of all – people that produce more people, which is where the power of demographics come in. Simply put, if we stop making babies, which many of us have, there won’t be enough new tax payers coming along to support us in our Golden Years. And this is exactly the fate facing most prosperous, First World countries like Canada. At its best, such a scenario could lead to a slow but steady decline in living standards for everyone in the country, especially the elderly who are living longer all the time and are the fastest growing segment of the population. At its worst, it could lead to inter-generational conflict and who would want that?

So with all of this in mind, I was quite surprised and somewhat alarmed the other day when I came across the latest population estimates for B.C. municipalities from BC Stats Infoline, which works closely with Statistics Canada. BC Stats Infoline produces population statistics annually using a Generalized Estimation System (GES) based on health registrations and residential hydro hook-ups to gauge population growth from one year to the next. Municipalities all over the province use the figures for planning purposes in between federal census takings which take place every five years.

There are certainly some surprises in the latest GES figures. For instance, in the year ending June 2011, Kimberley’s population grew while Cranbrook’s declined slightly. In actual figures, Kimberley’s population in the year ending June 2011 increased from 6,646 to 6,883 while Cranbrook’s slipped from 19,117 to 18, 932 over the same period, a one per cent decline. Now who would have thought that? Certainly the population differences aren’t huge with either city but what’s important is the trend. In Kimberley, the trend is up. In Cranbrook it’s down.

We, of course, will have a better idea when the next national census is taken in 2015, but as far as the situation looks for Cranbrook now there are some dark clouds on the horizon. A city not growing is declining. There’s no real other way of putting it. It might be nice to just stay the same as Nelson has for so many years, but Nelson lacks room to grow unless they build up. And Nelson’s stagnation in the long run will lead to higher property taxes as the population ages and inevitably declines. That’s not the fate we want for Cranbrook.

Another disturbing figure in Cranbrook is the rental vacancy rate, which has climbed to 7.5 per cent, the last time it was measured by CMHC in the fall of 2011. This is up from close to zero in the 2008 – 2009 period but still well below the double digit vacancy rates of the decade preceding that. No reason to panic, but some cause for concern. As for reasons for our moribund growth situation, that will have to wait for a future column.

It’s Time to Recognize our Outstanding Young People

This February, JCI (Junior Chamber International) Kootenay will be awarding its 2nd Annual Outstanding Young Persons Award. The TOYP Award of JCI Kootenay recognize individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 who exemplify the best attributes of the world’s young people in the categories of accomplishment, achievement, contribution, innovation and leadership. Recipient(s) will be selected by a committee comprised of business, public, community and non-profit sector leaders and will be honoured at the Evening of Excellence on February 25, 2012.
Honourees selected in past by Junior Chamber International have represented the heights of progress in all human endeavours. Many have gone on to even greater achievements. All have continued to serve humanity in a great variety of ways. JCI Kootenay is a leadership organization of young people, ages 19 to 40, who live and work in the East Kootenay. The mandate of the organization and the members is in the importance of creating positive change in within the community and the world.
Completed submission forms are available for download on the JCI Kootenay Facebook page:
and are due by 4:30 pm on Friday, February 17th, 2012.

For more information contact: Dana Osiowy (250) 489-3111

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's Happening...

Thursday, January 26

'Noises Off' - a comedy at the Key City Theatre
Tonight and Friday 7:30pm, and Saturday matinee at 2pm
Tickets are $15 available at the box office
or call 20-426-7006

'Raising Kain' Reading - Cranbrook Public Library 7pm
A reading by Keith Powell from his recent book, Raising Kain
The Adventurous Life of Conrad Kain
The author will also present slide shows of his trip to Austria and the
Kain Hut in the Bugaboos

Saturday, January 28

Health and Wellness Expo - the Prestige Inn
Presentations on health and wellness throughout the day.
In addition their will be 15 exhibitors will be in attendance.
Admission Free

Monday, January 30

Friends of the Cranbrook Library present - A Red Sea Travelogue
See Ron Wierstra dive off the coast of Sudan, with sharks and amazing coral
7pm Lecture Theatre, College of the Rockies

Tuesday, January 31

Live Music - Open Mic at DD Magee's
Dave Prinn host open mic night at DD Magee's (formerly Finnigans Wake)
6:30-10:30 pm, No Cover

Wednesday, Feburary 1

Myanmar and South East Asia Travelogue with Roger and Sharon Mitchell
Presented by the GoGo Grannies
7pm, Lecture Theatre, College of the Rockies

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From 1955...... The Late George T. Moir

If not for Mr Moir, Cranbrook would not have a Moir Park.  It is not in the location he bequeathed to the city as that has now been reduced to what remains of the gravel pit now almost fully excavated by the city.  The proceeds of that gravel have of course contributed to current Moir Park.  The  man after whom Moir Park is named appears to have been quite a character.

From The Cranbrook Courier January 27th 1955;

 A Tribute To His Memory By L. P. Sullivan

George T. Moir, the energetic little man with the bowler hat and the flowing bow tie, who did so much for Cranbrook early day youth, has passed into the valley of the shadow. Word of his demise was received in the Kootenays with profound sympathy by people in every walk or life.

Community interests, he always said, are what keep us alive and active. Being an early day railway telegrapher he quite frequently used the phrase "let the wires down' and we become mere idlers on the sidelines with little or no interest in life.

Moir always provided the Courier with plenty of "live" copy. He lived news, although he detested publicity and the limelight.
His aggressive spirit and fearless manner in all his undertakings were not always received on the part of the public with acclaim. Indeed he was assailed on numerous occasions for his outspoken opinion on local issues. He enjoyed a good clean fight and hewed to the line, letting the chips fall where they may, and let it be said to his credit there were plenty of chips falling . . .

I knew him best for his prominent part in the Cranbrook Amateur Athletic Association, a body of some thirty men who handled all athletic events, including high and public school meets. During his term as secretary he handled over $25,000 in cash and insisted that each and every year an annual audited statement be published.

The C.A.A.A. paid the city of Cranbrook an annual rental of $300 for the old arena rink after the eviction of the curling club, and usually ended the season with a surplus of from $800.00 to $1000.00. With this surplus the grounds of the Cranbrook District Agricultural Association were purchased from W. J. Uren, CPR superintendent here, who held a mortgage for some $6000 Local men who contributed financially to the venture were Frank Constantine, A. A. MacKinnon, Dr. W. Green, George Moir and L. P. Sullivan. The purchase was made, with the distinct understanding that the grounds would always be used for athletic purposes. This has never been fully carried out.

On the occasion of the Pioneers Reunion in 1938, with the consent of the three remaining signers, the grounds were donated to the city and named Moir Park, honouring G. T. M.

Just what kind of an individual was George T. Moir? Throughout his years of residence here there was a sort of continuous rebellion in his make-up — Against poverty and drabness; against conformity in business; in society against snobbery and sham.

With a character like this it is easy to understand the conflict that went on. At times the little man was the most unpopular person in town. But he had guts and generally carried the day.

Liberal-Labor in politics he was always advocating better conditions for the masses. On numerous occasions he took me to task for not taking a more aggressive stand against liquor. When I told him that liquor was in the world from the beginning of time and would probably remain to the end, the little man blew his top and said: "There is only one redeeming feature about the Courier. It is Liberal and does stand for the working man."

In closing this tribute to the late George T. Moir I wish to pay my respects to a great individualist, a man without fear and without prejudice. It was good to have known him and to be associated with his many worthwhile activities. It is too bad that Cranbrook has not a. few more of his kind. Peace be to his ashes.


Cranbrook Courier January 27, 1955

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of January 23, 2012

This meeting is now available to watch at:


5.1 Chris Alying gave an update from the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan Committee (More commonly known as Cranbrook Connected). Cranbrook Connected is hiring a co-ordinator who will work on several key tasks including creating a sustainability checklist, developing a communications plan, helping to develop a set of criteria for an annual award and community event, as well as developing connections and relationships in the communities between other social and cultural agencies. Cranbrook Connected will concentrate on several of the Big Ideas identified in their report including "Water Forever" and Revitalization of  the Downtown Core or "Restore the Core"

5.2 Nathan Lieuwen, from the Kootenay Ice requested City support for 2nd annual Family Faith Night (February 11)
While all councillors agreed it was a great event for the city some expressed their discomfort with providing money to a "faith" based event. Councillor Warner was concerned that it would open the door to other faith groups who would also expect money from the City. Lieuwen felt that it was a family event which deserved City support.


9.1 In response to the correspondence from Dean and Jennifer Siewert, Mayor Stetski stated that the City was making every effort to encourage economic development in the City including Downtown Revitalization, a Committee for Hwy3, and requesting the Chamber of Commerce to provide information regarding ways in which the City could make it easier for small business in our community.
9.2 In response to Heath Slee, UCBM President regarding Cranbrooks membership in UCBM is was agreed that Cranbrook would renew its membership.
9.6  Ron Miles, Chair of Family Faith Night II requesting $554.50 in funding from the City generated a significant amount of discussion. While Council supports the event they were not willing to support the administration recommendation to provide the event with City monies.  Councillor's Davis and Cross agreed that they could not support the City providing funding for this event. Councillor Scott felt that the faith group should consider fundraising. Only two of Council supported the recommendation, Councillor Pallesen and Mayor Stetski. The rest of Council voted against the recommendation
9.7 Council unanimously supported that February 11, 2012 be proclaimed as Kootenay Ice Family Faith Night II.
9.8 Council unanimously supported a proclamation that May 13-19 be declared "Drinking Water Week"

Administration Update

The largest issue discussed in the Administration Update was the removal of snow from sidewalks and if a bylaw was something that the City should be looking at. Since there is no bylaw requiring the citizens of Cranbrook to remove the snow from their sidewalks there is no enforceability. Mayor Stetski was specifically concerned about the routes most taken by Senior Citizens and perhaps the areas that they used most could be prioritized. CAO Will Pearce pointed out that Seniors live in many different parts of the City. Mayor Stetski indicated that he was most concerned with areas around the Green Home and other Srs. housing areas. Councillor Cross asked if the City was using "crusher dust" on our roads and sidewalks. CAO Will Pearce indicated that the City did not use crusher dust but rather gravel, sand and salt. Councillor Cross asked Councillor Scott for more information regarding the Snow Angels program which last year did not have enough volunteers to successfully run the program. Both Councillor Cross and Scott agreed that more people had cleared their sidewalks this year than last. Council requested a map of areas that are already having snow removed by the City.

Business Arising

10.1 Report Recommendation from the Engineering Department re: Development Cost Charges
The discussion around this particular issue was somewhat confusing so there was a motion to defer the policy direction.  Most of Council felt that they needed more time to understand this very important issue which will have a significant impact on the amount of money the City collects from developers. Council was offered 2 options by Administration. Presently, the City of Cranbrook required developers to pay $2,032.00 per lot which is much less than it actually costs us to provide a lot with City services. One of the recommended rates, which is mentioned in the Growth Management Study for a single residential home in Cranbrook is $11,409 per lot.
Councillor Cross suggested that the options be deferred until the next meeting as she required more time to understand this important and complicated issue. Councillor Whetham, who had concerns about the assist rates, also supported a deferal. Council did not want to commit to administrations options if they could not alter the percentage of "assists" among other issues.

Committee Recommendations

11.1 CAO recommendations for the Cranbrook -Kimberley North Star Rail to Trails included installing fireproof garbage cans as well as creating a by-law restricting motorized vehicle use.

New Business

12.1 Councillor Angus Davis is appointed as alternate to the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty Advisory Committee
12.2 Councillors Davis, Scott and Whetham are appointed as City representatives on the CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs grant approval committee.
12.3 2012 Draft Business Plan was supported by Council.


13.1 Zoning Bylaw No. 3737, 2012 (first, second reading) Carried Unanimously
13.2 Report Recommendation OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 3739, 2011 (second reading) Carried Unanimously.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weighing All Costs of Development Cost Charges

From the Government web site:

Development Cost Charges
Urban expansion and development often leads directly to an increase in the demand for sewer, water, drainage, parks and roads.

Development cost charges (DCC's) are monies that municipalities and regional districts collect from land developers to offset that portion of the costs related to these services that are incurred as a direct result of this new development. The demand created does not always relate to works that are located adjacent to the property being developed. For example, new development may require a local government to increase the size of its water storage reservoir. Developers pay DCCs instead of the existing taxpayers who are not creating the demand and are not benefiting from the new infrastructure.

Using DCCs, local government can apply a common set of rules and charges to all development within a community. DCCs are applied as one-time charges against residential, commercial, industrial and institutional developments. They are usually collected from developers at the time of subdivision approval or at the time of issuing a building permit.

Although written for elected officials this document is available and may be interesting to some.

Cranbrook's DCC's have been considerably lower than those in other BC cities.  In fact DCC's were only introduced to Cranbrook in the 90's.  The City is reviewing current DCC rates and have as one proposal very modest increases from 8 years ago when they were last set.  No change in current assist factors is also one proposal.
The document can be read at:

Considering rates of inflation, the resulting increase in infrastructure costs and the known major infrastructure upgrades that will be required to partly accommodate future growth, should DCCs not be raised substantially? 

The argument for keeping DCCs at a lower rate with a high assistance factor from the City is that it will attract more development and business.

However we must ask - At what cost to taxpayers long term?  Will not increasing the DCCs by a larger amount cause the City to continue to lag behind in tackling its serious infrastructure problems? 

The cost of upgrading Cranbrook's Sewage Disposal System has doubled since initial estimates.  Higher DCCs might have helped pay for the increase in capacity to accommodate more recent development.

It is known that costs to upgrade our water delivery system to help accommodate new growth will be high but current estimates are likely to also double by the time the work is done.  A higher DCC rate might contribute to the costs incurred due to development.

Roads have been neglected for years - yet  new subdivisions have been built which put more wear and tear on the current road system.  A higher DCC rate might have alleviated the extra costs due to extra development - sidewalks, lighting.  14th Avenue, for example, still does not have sidewalks in an area of new development.  Would an appropriate DCC rate not have paid for sidewalks?

In the new subdivision of Mount Royal (a Summit West Development), the roads have problems.  Manhole covers are raised out of the road surface. Areas of asphalt have already been removed and surfaces are uneven.  One must ask if appropriate standards were adhered to in initial construction and if not a higher DCC rate might help pay for the necessary upgrades as new development becomes dependent on that current infrastructure.  One must also ask if the current standard of new road construction is adequate given issues such as that illustrated below.

road condition, Mount Royal
If Cranbrook is to attract business and the resulting residents, surely quality of roads and infrastructure play a large part. Isn't it time to get real with the costs of doing that business? Shoddy roads, lack of sidewalks, incomplete parks, ongoing infrastructure issues are not attractive and do not showcase a quality place in which to live.

The deterrent in the long term to business and economy needs to be considered and weighed against the short term deterrent to developers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of January 23rd 2012

6:00pm Council Chambers

  1. Chris Ayling, Chair of Integrated Sustainability Plan or Cranbrook Connected – quarterly report
  2. Nathan Lieuwen, Kootenay Ice, Family Faith Night
Administration Update

This can be read at:

This update includes responses to a Council Enquiry of the January 9th meeting concerning ‘icy sidewalks’.

Unfortunately it does not directly answer the questions asked. One of the questions was whether it would be possible to clear just the main arterial walking routes to the down town immediately after a snowfall as is done for roads?
Only the costs of completely clearing all sidewalks on a rotational basis was provided.
It was recommended residents continue to buy ice melting products for their own use. We would direct residents to this link:
The city spreads crusher dust and small gravel on its roads for traction. It is not to be anticipated that foot traffic would create as much or more dust than vehicular traffic. Chemical products cause deterioration of concrete and vegetation. It would be interesting to weigh the cost of an unknown number of buckets of crusher dust to the cost of medical costs due to broken bones or the cost of good will and incentives for residents to look after their own sidewalks.

Other topics included in this report are:
Revitalisation tax exemptions, Secondary Suites, Mosquito Control program, Building Permit Summary, Leisure Services Report and Library Report

All items can be read beginning at:

Letter 9.1 lists the number of empty store fronts on the strip as a concern for attracting new business and asks what council has in mind to keep the city attractive.
There are also letters requesting funding and traffic safety.

Business Arising
Development Cost Charge Bylaw Update- DCC's
This item 10.1 is explored at length at

This item would be of particular interest to many residents who have concerns about the city’s infrastructure. More information is available in the City’s Growth Management Study at:
And also in abbreviated form under the tab at the top of this page.
The City is examining

How much Development Cost Charges should increase?
What amount of assistance to these charges should the city provide to developers?
Developers are responsible for the initial coasts of new infrastructure to service new development. Ongoing maintenance is paid by the city.

Committee Recommendations
Recommendations from the Advisory Committee for The North Star Rails to Trails concerning garbage disposal, washroom maintenance and more

New Business
12.1 Appointment of alternate to Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty Advisory Council
12.2 Concerns grant applications for 2012 and 2013 CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Area Programs

A lengthy document concerning the City’s 2012 Business Plan.
This document lists as Attachment 1 individual Councillors priorities for the Business Plan for the City.

13.1  A consolidation document incorporating past amendments to the current zoning Bylaw 3737.

13.2  A report Recommendation from the CAO to incorporate the Slaterville Neighbourhood Plan into the City’s OCP.

Urban Lake

Elizabeth Lake

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Lament for the Good ‘Ol Days of Eastman Kodak

Perceptions by Gerry Warner

How many of you remember your first camera? If you’re over 30, virtually all of you would have owned a film camera and at least 90 per cent of you would have been using Kodak film and many of you would have been shooting with a Kodak camera.

Not anymore!

Thursday this week Eastman Kodak company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ending one of the most storied ventures in the history of U.S. business and a story that has virtually touched us all. Many of the 27,000 Kodak employees laid off in recent years must be wondering how to make a happy “Kodak Moment” out of this. Fate has dealt them a harsh blow as the digital juggernaut has moved on leaving more victims in its wake.

A few years ago, I remember hearing a story that when Kodak began to restructure its operations it demolished one of the no longer needed film buildings at its Rochester factory. As the giant wrecking ball began to swing knocking bricks and mortar flying, many Kodak employees were out on the street snapping pictures with their digital cameras, of course. And who says irony is dead?

My first camera was a Kodak Brownie. It’s still sitting on a shelf across from me in my home office in a small camera collection that goes back to the days of those old, fold-out accordion style cameras that my grandfather used. One thing that you could say for the old Kodak Brownie is that it was simple, the very epitome of “point and shoot.” No F-stops to worry about, no zoom, no depth of field, just point, press the button and shoot.

Those were the days. And those old Brownies amply illustrated one of the most solid dictums of photography – “F8--125 and be there.” Or at least that’s how Dan Mills, one of my old colleagues at the Townsman once put it to me and he’s right because a F8 depth of field setting and a 125th of a second shutter speed will cover about 90 per cent of the picture situations most amateur photographers will encounter.

In other words, you don’t have to be Ansel Adams, or Brian Clarkson for that matter, to get great pictures. The important thing is “to be there.” The “be there” might be near dusk on a cold winter day like we’re now having with your camera pointed at Mt. Fisher and the Steeples just as the alpen glow turns the peaks into a reddish gold.
Or as happened to me last summer in the Rockies northeast of Radium when I rounded a corner of the trail and came face-to-face with a young Grizzly standing on its hind feet starring in my direction with the sun at his back lighting up the silver hairs on his spine and the brown tufts of fur around his ears. And me, the great backwoods photographer, for some inexplicable reason had my camera stuck safely in my pack. It could have been a National Geographic picture, but I didn’t get it. However, one of the women in our group did have her camera ready, and even though she felt the trepidation we all felt facing that young griz, she got a shot of Usus Arctos Horrbillis as he slowly settled down on his haunches and sauntered off into the bush. Phew!

But maybe my best camera story concerns the very first SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera I ever owned – a Russian “Zenit,” which cost all of $55 in 1972 and was my first photographic move up from my old Kodak Brownie still sitting on the shelf. I took a lot of ribbing about my trusty, old Zenit, a big clunky thing that wasn’t at all like the sleek Nikons, Pentaxes and Leicas that were flooding the market in those days. But it took good pictures and once when I was on a raft race in the Thompson River and the raft overturned and we all got wet with several cameras ruined forever.

But not the Zenit! I took it home, wiped it off and stuck it in the oven for about an hour on the lowest setting the oven would produce. Several hours later, I took it out looked it over and decided to press the shutter – kerthunk. Just like it always sounded and its water-tight light meter was working just as before. It’s sitting on the shelf too, and if I could just buy some film for the darn thing, I’d use it again.

But film today is pretty well a thing of the past. Just ask Eastman Kodak.

This comment and photo came in from SMW.

"I have fond memories of my Kodak Brownie, but I was glad that I was

packing my lightweight Panasonic Digital Camera with its zoom lens to

catch this shot of Gerry Warner reaching the summit of Lakit Mountain

in July 2011, when he led a group of hikers from the E.K. Outdoor Club."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's Happening...

Thursday, January 19

Noises Off - A Comedy
Opens tonight at the Key City Theatre
Continues Friday and Saturday night and
January 26, 27, & 28.
Tickets are $15

Robbie Burns Evening
A traditional Scottish Prime Rib Dinner and haggis
Entertainment by Angus MacDonald and friends
Anglican Church Hall at 6:30pm
Tickets are $25

Saturday, January 21

Grant Writing Workshop
Presented by Columbia Basin Trust
College of the Rockies Rm. 205
To register please call 250-426-2099
or email

Robbie Burns Night
Kimberley and Cranbrook Highland Dance Association's
Annual Robbie Burns Night
Prestige Inn starting at 5pm
Cocktails and a full Scottish Dinner
Tickets are $35 adults and $20 children
Tickets available at Lotus Books.
Please reserve seating by contacting Nicole Fulton

Monday, January 21

Rankin Family
The Rankin Family are performing tonight
at the Key City Theatre
Tickets are $47.50
Available at Key City Theatre

Kundalini Yoga
The Radha Yoga Centre is offering  Kundalini Yoga
Each Monday, starting tonight
The location is Lotus Books 7:30-9pm
Cost is $80

Tuesday, January 22

Hatha Yoga
The Radha Yoga Centre is offering Hatha Yoga
at Van Redecopp's Studio at 26012 Ave. S.
9am-10:15am every Tuesday morning until March 20

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Culprit on 11th St.

This is the water main which split and flooded homes on 11th St., Cranbrook on Friday 13th of January.  The split was caused by a faulty pipe.  According to staff this was likely caused by a lack of, or insufficient, or uneven distribution of the strengthening agent in the metal.

The Real Links between Money, Real Estate and Golf

An excerpt from:
As golf declines, life on links ain't what it used to be

by Mike Perrault and Keith Matheny, USA TODAY

Ashley is the kind of die-hard golfer and second-home buyer who has driven much of the real estate growth in California's Coachella Valley and other golf-oriented residential areas such as those near Las Vegas, in Arizona, Florida and elsewhere.

But fewer Bill Ashleys are coming.

"We're not getting replacements for those people," said real estate analyst Lou Goodkin, president of Miami-based Goodkin Consulting.

"There are fewer golfers, fewer people who can pay the high amounts to buy into a club. There's going to be a lot more people out there that are challenged in their retirement years than we've had in the past."

Golf resort communities are bleeding money and members, as the recession exposed the vulnerability of the business model that created an unbreakable linkage between golf and real estate.

In the nine cities of the Coachella Valley, including Palm Springs, where multiple presidents, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra swung the clubs and lived in golf-centric resorts, today nearly one out of every four homes listed for sale is on a golf course.

"We're entering a new normal," said Pete Halter, chairman of The Halter Companies, an Atlanta firm that advises developers. "We can't think this will be over soon. Things have changed for good."

Among the forces reshaping the relationship between golf and real estate:

•Fewer people play golf, and Baby Boomers don't have the time, money or interest in the game their parents did. The number of golfers in the U.S. has fallen by 13% in the past five years, according to National Golf Foundation statistics. The number of golf rounds played nationwide last year through November was down 3.5% from the previous year, according to the foundation.

•Nationally, golf memberships have dropped by a million since the early 1990s, and of the 3,400 courses built across the country in the past decade, 93% are daily fee courses, according to industry associations. Coachella Valley golf resorts have responded by slashing often six-figure club membership fees by as much as 70%.

To read the entire article:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

'The Loaf' Comes to Cranbrook

Many who purchased bread  from the Loaf Bakery at the Farmers Markets this past summer and fall asked if the bread could be made available in Cranbrook.  The Loaf Bakery is located in Fernie.

Good News -  The Loaf's bread will be available on Thursdays as of this Thursday January 19th, at Muriel and Jane's on Tenth Avenue.  The delivery may not arrive until 11:00am so best not to rush down too early.  Frequency and quantities of deliveries will depend on responses so maybe this will be the time to put in an order!

Check out the website at:

and visit Muriel and Jane's General Store on Thursday for the freshest, best selection.

Around Town and Looking Good

With the somewhat meagre snowfalls of the last few days this beautiful sight needs to go into the winter memory bank of Cranbrook Winter 2011/12.

Photo Stewart Wilson

City Grants Scrutinized

City Grants to Organisations came under scrutiny yesterday at the first Public meeting of Council to discuss the Five-year Financial Plan.

It was pointed out by Councillor Pallesen that for some organisations such as the Bugle Band this is their only source of funding. Other general perceptions included the fact that there seems to be less emphasis in the community placed on groups actively fundraising for themselves through such methods as bottle drives.

One such group that was criticized was the Arts Council. However it was pointed out the Arts Council has been ‘couch surfing’ and rental hopping for years and all their energies have been put into surviving rounds of homelessness and fixing up temporary accommodations.

Despite the criticism Council did agree to raise their grant by $5000.00 although it was hoped their fund raising efforts would become more visible in the community. Councillors Pallesen and Scott voted against this increase.  Councillor Davis was absent. It should be pointed out the total amount of under $20,000.00 is still well below other Community Arts Council Grants.

The Cranbrook Guardian will attempt to obtain a complete listing of the grant authorisations.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Five Year Financial Plan Public Meeting TODAY

If you have any interest in how your tax dollars and incoming grant monies are spent this may interest you.

From the City website:

Monday, 16 January 2012, 3:00pm - 8:00pm

A special meeting of Council to review the proposed 2012 Five Year Financial Plan is set for Monday January 16, 2012 in Council Chambers at City Hall from 3:00pm to 8:00pm. The public is invited to attend.

Tentatively slated for discussion by Council and administration for this meeting includes the following items --
- 2011 Carry Forward Projects for approval as part of the 2012 plan;

- 2012 Grants to Organizations for review;

- Water Fund – 2012 and 2013 (Capital, Special Studies/Projects, Operating);

- Sewer Fund – 2012 and 2013 (Capital, Special Studies/Projects, Operating);

- Solid Waste – 2012 and 2013 (Capital, Special Studies/Projects, Operating);

- Airport – 2012 and 2013 (Capital, Special Studies/Projects, Operating)

Items for discussion are subject to change. Two additional meetings to review the proposed budget plan are set for Monday January 30 and Monday February 13, 2012.

Location : City Hall Council Chambers

Community Gaming Grants

Jan. 11, 2012
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
B.C. acting on commitment to support community groups

VANCOUVER – Changes to the way community gaming grants are awarded will help ensure non-profit organizations have greater certainty and support in the vital work they do, announced Premier Christy Clark today.

“Through an open public engagement process, we heard from more than 1,700 British Columbians about what we can do to improve our gaming grant system,” said Premier Clark. “We listened and we’re taking action. Community gaming grants will be made available to more groups so they can focus on what they do best – delivering essential services to B.C. families.”

In July, Premier Clark appointed Skip Triplett – former Kwantlen Polytechnic University president – to lead the Community Gaming Grant Review. The primary goal of the independent review was to get advice on how to improve the governance and funding formula for community gaming grants.

In response to Mr. Triplett’s report on the review, which provides 16 options for consideration, the Province will reinstate funding eligibility for adult arts and sports organizations, environmental groups and animal welfare agencies. The Province will also increase support for other organizations that have experienced funding reductions in the past three years, including those responsible for fairs, festivals, youth arts and culture, community service, the B.C. Senior Games and community education organizations.

In addition, government will continue to work on streamlining the application process for grants, including exploring options for introducing multi-year funding in the coming years.

“Non-profits do tremendous work for British Columbians. In some smaller communities, they are the sole service providers, ensuring B.C. families have access to important resources that improve their quality of life,” said Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “By investing more in our non-profits, we’re investing in stronger communities, healthier families and a more culturally diverse British Columbia.”

“I applaud the work of Skip Triplett, Chair of the Community Grant Review, and thank Premier Christy Clark and Minister Ida Chong for this very timely policy decision,” said Norman Armour, executive director, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. “Reinstating adult arts within the eligible criteria for Provincial Gaming support recognizes the important role that the arts play in the lives of British Columbians. The social profit arts in B.C. are a remarkably vibrant and resourceful sector; the news of this investment will have a profoundly positive and lasting effect.”

To apply online for community gaming grants, go to:

Triplett’s independent report has been released in full and can be found at:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter's Irony

It was more than ironic yesterday that down in Baker Park brown grass surrounded the popular skating rink when a much more distressing event was flowing on 11th Avenue.  It was more than a mop and bucket job up when water began pumping out of the grass to flood parts of three roads in quick order.  So much water was flowing for a while that it was also gushing out of manhole covers down the hill. As city crews arrived and assessed the situation the water quickly formed a dangerous skating rink of another kind.  Crews worked all day and to our knowledge water in homes was restored by dinner time but we sincerely hope the residents did not suffer too much damage - it is hard to imagine that they did not.

Of course it was Friday the 13th.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Be careful where you smoke, or better yet, just quit.

Perceptions by Gerry Warner

I can still remember my first cigarette.

I was about 12. I'd already experimented with candy cigarettes, popular in the late 50's and my friends and I used to smoke what we called “punk wood,” a kind of a shrub that used to grow in the bush around Castlegar with a hollow stem. We'd light one end of it around a bonfire and draw the smoke down the tube and into our tender and still developing lungs.

Oh, did we think we were cool!

But now it was time to make the jump to the bigs and my sly mother, a long time smoker herself, was eager to help me along. So she lit one of her Players, Du Maurier – I can't remember exactly what it was – and being the dumb, somewhat extroverted 12-year-old I was, I took a long, deep, drag and ##!%!!&%@$! Oh my God, I almost threw up and I can honestly tell you that was the first and last regular cigarette I ever attempted to smoke. ( Yes, yes. I'm also a child of the '60's and there were funny cigarettes around in those halcyon days, and unlike a certain former president, I did inhale. But that was more than 40 years ago and no longer counts. I've never smoked a real cigarette. Not too many people can say that.

But thanks to probably the most successful public health program in history and some justly deserved million dollar fines to the tobacco companies this is all changing and changing drastically. According to the latest Statistics Canada figures, the Canadian smoking rate is down to 20.8 per cent and “Supernatural B.C.” has the lowest rate of all at 17.4 per cent although the rate is slightly higher in the Interior Health region at 17.6 per cent and that includes the Kootenays where the smoking rate is usually higher than most other regions of the province.

And you'd have to have been living under a rock the past 20 years to not have noticed the difference. Remember the good ol' days when office smokers would have ashtrays piled so high with butts that you could hardly see the ashtray itself. It seems like only yesterday that smoking was barred in restaurants, pubs and bingo establishments, one of the last bastions to go. How many people can remember hockey games when by the third period there would be a thin, blue haze hanging over the ice? As a lifelong non-smoker, I remember and I don't miss it. I seriously doubt if they sell candy cigarettes anymore and you don't see magazine ads where people say they smoke the same brand as their doctor. In an old magazine I came across recently, I saw the most incredible smoking ad ever for a fire-proof comforter that you could crawl under so you didn't need to worry about smoking in bed. No kidding!

The renunciation of smoking by modern day society is one of the greatest cultural shifts of our times, but the battle isn't quite over yet according to a recent call I got from a local resident.

The caller was a lady that suffers from asthma, who didn't appreciate someone smoking beside her in one of the City bus shelters just off Baker Street downtown. She especially didn't appreciate smoke being blown in her face when the shelter, as do all bus shelters in the city, clearly displays a no smoking sign on the glass with a fine of up to $2,000 for offenders under City Bylaw 3020.

Ignorance of the law, of course, is not a defence, but it's hard to keep up with every law and regulation in these fast moving times, so I did a little research and this is what I found out. Under the provincial Tobacco Control Act, no one below 19 is allowed to smoke and smoking is not allowed in any public building, workplace or enclosed structure, which includes bus shelters. Under the provincial law, fines for smoking in prohibited areas can be as high as $5,000, a steep price for consorting with the Nicotine God. And in some cases like bus shelters there is jurisdictional overlap and you could be fined by either the City or the Province (Interior Health) or both.

Like most things to do with government, the regulations are complex and if you're unsure you can contact the Interior Health Tobacco Enforcement officer at: (250) 505-7210 or the City. Then again, why don't you just butt out because as Mary S. Ott says in Bartlett's Unfamiliar Quotations: “Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ski Bums Never Die

This is just one of the movies shown at the Banff Film Festival and we have more than a few of these ski bums in the East Kootenays also.  The joy of living where we do.  Way to go!

What's Happening...

Thursday, January 12

Mountain Town Maulers Recruiting Drive
7pm Cranbrook Society for Community Living (Near Baker Park)
Looking for coach's, players, and referees to take part in Roller Derby

Elizabeth Lake Art Challenge
Key City Theatre Gallery until February 8
The Gallery is open from 10am-4pm M-F and
11am-3pm on Saturdays
A variety of artwork all inspired by Elizabeth Lake.

Saturday, January 14

Dance at the Seniors Centre
Dance to the music of Country Roundup
Lunch to be served
Call Flo for more information at 250-489-2720

Sunday, January 15

Pancake Breakfast
Fraternal Order of the Eagles are hosting a
Pancake Breakfast from 9am-11am at the Eagles Hall
on Kootenay Street.
Admission is $5
Proceeds to ALS

Family Fishing Derby for Kids with Cancer has been postponed
originally scheduled for this date from 10am-3pm
Horsehoe Lake Ice-Fishing, games, rides, and silent auction
Contact for more information
Warm weather postpones Family Fishing Derby

Thanks to the bizarre warm weather the area has been experiencing lately, the Family Fishing Derby has been postponed until February.
Monday, January 16

Cranbrook Garden Club Meeting
7pm Manual Training Centre
New Members Welcome
Contact Anna at 250-489-2443

Tuesday, January 17

Rocky Mountain Melo-Dears
6:30-8:30 Cranbrook and District Arts Council
104,135-10th Avenue South
You are invited to join the Melo-Dears for an evening of singing
Free to CDAC members or $2 for non-members

Wednesday, January 18

Rocky Mountain Naturalists AGM
7pm, College of the Rockies, Rm 235
For More Information please contact Marianne at 250-489-1601

Thursday, January 19

Robbie Burns Evening
6:30pm Anglican Hall
Traditional Scottish Prime Rib dinner and Haggis
Musical Entertainment
Tickets are $25 and available from Todd
at Hub International Call 250-426-8261

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Council Committee Appointments

Item 12.3 on the Council Agenda last evening was the appointments to committees.  They are as follows:

Advisory Planning Commission: David Heidt, Jane Campbell, John Vanden Broek

Atheltic Commission: Chris Nault, Scott MacLeod, Chris Franklin

Board of Variance: Greg Jaster, Fred Graham, Sharon Billey

Cranbrook in Motion (appointments previously made, we acknowledged their appointments): SD #5, Patricia Whalen; Cranbrook Transit, John Darula; ICBC, Dan Ford; Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, Michael Pearson; RCMP, Corporal Pat Prefontaine.

Cranbrook Public Library Board: David Clark, James Shepherd, Tasy Strouzas

Economic Development Committee: Chris Ayling, Gord Felske, Lourdes Roxas-Butalid

Environment & Utilities Committee: Dave Hall, A.J. Brekke, Tom Haverko

Family & Community Services Committee: Salvation Army, Nancy Zier; Cranbrook Community Living Society, Melanie Fiorentino; Ministry of Children & Family Development, Lani Dowling; RCMP, Constable Lisa Schlatter; Public-at-Large, Carly Proudfoot

Urban Deer Management Advisory Committee: Public-at-large, Laurette Hamoline

Wellness & Heritage Committee: Public-at-large, Louise Selby; SD#5, Chris Johns, COTR, Yvonne Nelson; Key City Theatre, Sandy Zeznik; Cranbrook & District Arts Council, Linda Holmes.

Key City Theatre Society Board: Rezin Butalid

Kootenay Regional Advisory Group (Treaty Advisory Committee): Councillor alternate deferred to next meeting.

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of January 9th Part 2

Continued from the previous post.

Council Enquiries

Councillor Cross passed on an enquiry about Icy Sidewalks from a concerned resident. This issue has been discussed on this blog. Administration took the suggestions and will respond.

Administrative Update
Complete report available at:

23 items which can all be read beginning:


9.1 – a request from Cranbrook in motion for a city representative on the committee will be passed on to the Cranbrook in Motion Committee. It was pointed out that it is very difficult for a Council representative to be present every Cranbrook Committee

9.2 $394,000.00 will be transferred from the Gas Tax Agreement Community Works Fund to the City.

9.8 It was suggested by Councillor Cross that a letter be sent in support of a letter sent from a few other municipalities concerning Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Negotiations. If this is brought in it could affect local contactors. The correspondence can be read at:

9.10 A resolution was made and passed to support the Cranbrook and District Science Fair with a contribution of $500 from the contingency fund

9.18 A resolution was made to support the reinstatement of Community Living Funding by way of a letter to MLA Bennett

9.20 A request to expand the Economic Development Zone Bylaw designed to stimulate renewal of the downtown came from several businesses and CABBDA. The request would expand the tax benefits to areas of the Industrial Park. As this would have major implications and was not what the bylaw was designed for, the request was referred back to administration.

This bylaw like many others of its kind in other communities is a targeted tax relief bylaw designed to assist with the revitalisation of the downtown core.

9.22 Operation Street Angel will be invited to appear as a delegation

New Business

12.1 The report recommendation from the Chief Administrative Officer to extend funding for the RCMP position of Court Clerk was passed. This position expedites court matters.

12.2 Authorisation was granted to complete the application to the Department of Canadian Heritage for a grant of $9800 for Canada Day Celebrations.

12.4 The recommendation of making recordings of the most recent council meetings available to the public on the City Website was discussed and passed. However a request was made by Councillor Cross to look into whether it would be possible to make past recordings available on DVD at the Public Library.

12.6 An application for a further tax exemption from the Cranbrook Golf Club was not approved.

12.7 Approval was given to complete the loan process for payment of improvements to the Memorial Arena. Councillor Warner asked what the public had received for this money and Treasurer Staudt explained that a new roof, new slab, electrical upgrades, new entrance were all part of the upgrades.


13.2 First reading was given to the Slaterville Neighbourhood Plan. This will become a secondary plan within the current OCP. A second public hearing will likely occur in early February. Councillor Whetham and Cross both complimented staff and the residents for the completion of the plan.

Round Table Comments

Councillor Cross acknowledged and thanked staff for their work with grant applications for the funding of the Waste Water Management upgrades. She also acknowledged and thanked those Fort Steele and Cranbrook residents, Jim Roberts, Arlene Ridge and David Humphrey for their diligence, research, concern and persistence in ensuring serious issues were and are being dealt with.

Meeting adjourned.

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of November 9th 2012 Part 1

This meeting was very full after the Christmas break. For that reason post notes will be broken into two posts.

· MLA Bennett addressed an earlier request from Council for more information regarding the Resource Roads Act. This is still in the process of being created and although the deadline of Dec. 19th for official input has passed Mr. Bennett assured residents that if they have concerns or points to make they can contact his office and make their concerns known through him. The new act is being designed to address maintenance of more than 450,000.00 kilometres of roads, (which are not part of the public highways systems), who the designated maintainers might be and what roads might be put out of service. The act is designed to focus primarily on industrial use but has obvious implications for those who use trails for recreational purposes. The new act is designed to be ready for introduction to parliament for the fall of 2012.

More information is available at:

There are also a number of sites, which comment on the implications of this proposed act – just Google Resource Roads in BC.

· Kevin Patterson Environmental Services Manager, Regional District of the East Kootenay addressed Council regarding the Invasive Plant Management Program. The last Council voted to not renew their existing bylaw which involved an almost $8000.00 contribution to the program. Mr Patterson detailed the involvement of the program over the past few years with the city and asked Council to reconsider.

Councillor Pallesen agued against renewed involvement as she felt taxpayers of Cranbrook were paying “the lion’s share of the program”. Council agreed to send this issue back to administration for review especially due the fact that the figures presented at this meeting were slightly different than those originally presented.

It must be remembered that Cranbrook has the ‘lion’s share’ of residents in the area and it is that large population which is also in large part responsible for the spread of invasive weeds through backcountry use with trucks and ATVs as well as other uses.

· Clint Habart from Minute Muffler made a request to Council for a Reader Board outside his business. He was supported by a number of other businesses. This request had previously been denied, as it does not fall within the Cranbrook’s Sign Bylaw regulations. Mr Habart made the point that his current ‘special offer’ sign had only brought in two extra customers (to his knowledge) in the time it had been up.

The request was referred back to administration for a period of six weeks while bylaw changes from Creston and other information is reviewed.

Council has a very difficult and precedent setting decision to make with regard to this type of sign. It would be interesting to know whether this type of sign would bring in any more business than any other type of sign such as the sign about which Mr Habert commented. It might if it was the only one but once there are many, what difference would it make? Do residents wish to see the same type of advertising as is seen in many US and larger Canadian cities? Does Cranbrook wish to look like every other city in this way?

Maybe it is time for an in-depth and careful review of advertising signage, its effectiveness for business and overall impression of the city both positive and negative.

Readers may like to read yesterday’s post to stimulate some thought.

Monday, January 9, 2012

City Without Advertising

Council is being asked to consider an advertising request at this evening's meeting.  Congratulations to the party involved for coming to council with the request.  There are many signs, which ignore sign regulation bylaws already in place.  Many signs are haphazardly stapled to poles and sitting on boulevards. We must ask what they add to the aesthetics and memories of those who drive, walk, or cycle the strip, whether visiting for the first time or whether a resident or returning visitor.  If not controlled, signs could get bigger, bolder, higher,wider and more prolific all in an attempt to be noticed. What limits should there be?

Is it time for the city to review and implement its sign bylaws?

In 2006 Mayor Gilberto Kassab of Sao Paulo Brazil had a quest to eliminate visual clutter from the city. This resulted in a ‘Clean City Law’.

“The Clean City Law’ came from a necessity to combat pollution . . . pollution of water, sound, air, and the visual. We decided that we should start combating pollution with the most conspicuous sector – visual pollution,” said Kassab.

From the Editors of Big Think in 2012

What's the Latest Development?

Five years after São Paulo, Brazil, began fighting visual pollution by banning billboard, poster and bus advertisements, people report being happier with their city and business leaders have become more forward thinking. The ban was the result of the 'Clean City Law' of 2006 which required the removal of tens of thousands of unregulated advertisements. "Anna Freitag, the marketing manager for Hewlett-Packard Brazil, said her company had never considered how inefficient billboards and the like were until they were illegal."

What's the Big Idea?

Some Americans now looks at more than 4,000 advertisements per day. Since the ban in São Paulo, which with 12 million residents is the largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere, people can again see the city's architecture and businesses have been forced to reevaluate their marketing strategies in ways that connect more directly with consumers. Marketing experts say the industry has grown complacent with public advertising even though it executes a 'call to action' less effectively than social media advertising.


While advertisers weren’t too happy about the law – $8 million in fines were levied against those who dawdled in taking ads down, and Clear Channel launched an unsuccessful campaign to raise support for putting them back up – the citizens clearly approve. Surveys found that at least 70% are happy with the change.

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of January 9th 1012

Council Meeting is at 6:00pm Council Chambers

Three Delegations

1. Bill Bennett, MLA, Kootenay East re: Natural Resource Road Act
This should be of interest to those who use the back country for trail access.

2. Kevin Patterson, Environmental Services Manager of East Kootenay: Invasive Plant Management Program

3. Clint Habert, Minute Muffler re: Request for Allowance to install readerboard signage

Administration Update
The full update concerning RCMP Contract negotiations, Secondary Suites, Deer Cull Report, Rotary Way Extensions and Repairs, Library Services and Water Loss Management Seminars can be read at:

There are numerous, (due to the longer gap between Council meetings over Christmas) pieces of correspondence in the Council package. They can be read beginning at:

Of note:
9.12 RCMP - Crime Prevention through Environmental Design magazine and DVD Video available through the Municipal Clerk

9.22.1 Operation Street Angel with Debbie Whitehead invited to appear as a delegation at a future Council meeting

New Business
12.1 – 12.7
Can be read beginning at:

12.3 concerns appointments to committees

12.4 concerns the recording of council meetings and their availability to the public. Due to the unreliability and delayed broadcasting of service from Shaw, administration is recommending recordings be made available on the city website but that archives of past meetings NOT be kept.

12.6 concerns a request from the Cranbrook Golf Club that their taxes be waived.
Administration recommends that no further tax exemption be granted to the Cranbrook Golf Club as a significant exemption ($18,982.00 in 2011) is already provided.
An interesting table of area Golf Club taxes is provided at the link above.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

More Like March

fresh spring-like leaves

brown fields looking north west
brown city looking south west

open creek