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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's Happening .........

Thursday May 31st

Steve Earle
Key City Theatre, 7:70pm
Tickets $47.50 Key City Box office

Bard in Your own Backyard presents
Midsummer Night's Dream
Stage Door
Tonight and June 1,2, 7, 8 and 9th
Tickets $15 Lotus Books

Saturday June 2nd

Pack the Bridge
for the Trans Canada Trail Dedication of the North Star Trail
2:00pm St. Mary River Bridge on the North Star Trail

Sunday June 3rd

Sonatina Sunday
East Kootenay Music teachers Association
Piano ,Voice and Strings
Knox Presbyterian Church
Tickets Lotus Books
Adults $10, Seniors $8, Children$5

Cranbrook and District 4H Show and Sale
Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds 11:00am
Sale 4:00pm

Monday June 4th

Kootenay Orienteering Club AGM and Slide Show
all welcome
Kimberley Nordic Centre

Blissett Seeks NDP Nomination

Norma Blissett of Cranbrook has announced that she will seek the nomination in the Kootenay East provincial riding.

Blissett is a forester and a teacher and has lived in Cranbrook for the past seventeen years. She is currently teaching science and math at Mt. Baker Secondary School.
Norma plans to spend her summer travelling throughout the riding meeting and listening to the local people.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our Resources and Our MLA

Calling all men to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Break out the blister cream: High-heeled walk-a-thon comes to Cranbrook

May 17, 2012
Cranbrook, B.C.: You’re going to see something new during this year’s Sam Steele Days Parade: A group of men wearing bright red, high-heeled shoes walking to raise money for the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre.
The men will be taking part in Cranbrook’s first-ever Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.
“We sometimes forget the valuable contributions men are making to stop violence against women,” said Roberta Rodgers, with the Friends of the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre. “This gives them the opportunity to declare where they stand about gender violence.”
And stand they will—and hobble, strut and walk—in men’s-sized shoes provided especially for the occasion, down the 1.2-mile Sam Steele Days parade route on June 16.
“We special-order the shoes before the walk,” Rodgers said. “The heels aren’t ridiculously high, but they’re high enough to challenge most people, men or women.”
Walk a Mile In Her Shoes started in 2001 in California, and has spread to many communities across North America. Proceeds from every walk must go to a community organization that works to reduce violence against women. The Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre, under the auspices of Community Connections of Southeast BC, is just such an organization.
“This is a fundraiser for the centre,” Rodgers said. “Our goal is to sign up as many men to walk the mile, and to inspire those men to form teams, collect pledges and enjoy themselves on parade day.
“After they complete the parade, they’ll receive a card acknowledging that they did, indeed, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”
The Friends are now approaching businesses and organizations to sign up walkers.
Walkers can also register online at
“We’re also looking for some sort of parade vehicle so the men can take a few breaks if their blisters get too big,” Rodgers said.
Keeping in the spirit of Sam Steele Days, the group is seeking horse-drawn conveyance first. “It doesn’t have to be a big carriage,” Rodgers said.
“If anyone has a carriage and horses—or even a bicycle rickshaw—and would like to get involved, we urge them to contact us as soon as possible,” Rodgers said. “We are putting the event together right now so there is still time for us to make our part of the parade fun, evocative and low-impact.”
To request a pledge package, visit or call 250-489-0174.
To volunteer, to offer your low-impact transport, or to find out more, call 250-426-8588.
As for men who might be shy about walking in heels or collecting pledges, Rodgers had a word of advice: “Ask your friends how much they would pay to see you walk in heels,” she said. “How can they resist pledging when you put it like that?”

About •
The Friends of the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre is a standing committee of the Community Connections Society of Southeast BC. The Friends work year-round to raise funds to keep the doors of the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre open.

Meeting of the Mayors

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Meeting of BC Mayors Calls for Realignment of Resources
By BC Mayor's Caucus
PENTICTON - At the close of the inaugural meeting, 86 mayors from across BC are calling for an immediate discussion, beginning with the Premier and Cabinet, to examine the state of BC communities, and specifically, for a more efficient use of existing resources to better address the challenges facing residents.
The BC Mayors' Caucus endorsed the following statement: "BC communities are frontline service providers for our citizens and we are seeking a new partnership with the provincial and federal governments in the best interests of all of our communities. The BC Mayors' Caucus requests an immediate discussion on the efficient use of existing resources to better address the challenges our residents face."
The mayors outlined a number of specific areas that need to be addressed including:
  • Create a Premier's Round Table with the BC Mayors' Caucus to discuss public policy changes that affect local government budgets and delivery of services;
  • Eliminate the ad hoc granting process in favour of one that is sustainable, accountable, quantifiable and allows for long term planning by local governments;
  • Expand the mandate of the Municipal Auditor General to include an examination of the financial impacts of downloading on local governments;
  • Develop a round table on aging infrastructure that includes federal, provincial and local government participation;
  • Affirm the core service delivery of each order of government;
  • Redesign the cost sharing formula for significant infrastructure projects to reflect the tax revenue distribution;
  • If services are devolved to local governments, a sustainable revenue source for those services must be identified;
  • Develop a coordinated approach to how social services are delivered into a community;
  • Call for a full review of ambulance service delivery;
  • Establish flexibility around the federal gas tax to be goal oriented to the priorities of the specific communities;
  • Expand the application of the fair share principles province-wide and to include other industry sectors.
Steering Committee member Mayor Shari Green of Prince George said the feeling in the room was clear. "This was an incredibly beneficial meeting where it became evident that BC mayors have, for the first time, come together as peers with a single voice. This is a new day in the way we as mayors will move forward for the benefit of all of our residents."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of May 28, 2012

Wayne Staudt took the oath of office as the Interim Chief Administration Officer while the process of appointing a new CAO takes place.  Previous CAO Pearce has left to take a position in Vernon.  It is expected Mr. Staudt will fill this position for a period of approximately three months.


5.1 RCMP Delegation; Crime Statistics for the last quarter.
These statistics can be read at:
Sgt. Laurie Jalbert highlighted the fact that the offender caught for the recent high number of break-ins plead guilty and was sentenced to five years.
51 drivers were removed from the road. 109 for the year to date.
9 distracted driving offences.  Distracted driving will become a focus for a designated period in the future.
The watch on prolific offenders is working well to reduce crime.  Bar Watch is successful.
The school programs D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education and) as well cyberbullying are up and running.
The force is down nine members at present due to transfers in having difficulty selling their properties in other locations.

There were several comments and questions to Sg. Jalbert concerning cycling.  In the discussion that followed Councillor Whetham requested some sort of awareness for cyclists around their responsibility to follow the 'rules of the road' within traffic.  With cycling becoming a much more popular method of transportation the importance of bike training, rodeos, safety and mutual respect were stressed for both cyclists and drivers.  All agreed on these issues.

5.2 Mount Baker Interact - Proposition regarding a Community Youth Action Plan
Thea Rodgers and Paniz Khosroshahy presented their ideas for art bike racks. Partly as an outcome of the recent youth Columbia Basin Trust Youth Conference in Kimberley, these students would like to enhance Cranbrook's bike culture.  Through a PowerPoint presentation they presented their ideas with some intitial draft form designs for Council's input.  This presentaion was very well received, encouragement given and some members of the gallery followed up with resource information after the presentation.

Council Enquiries
Councillor Pallesen had received a concern through Gary Lancaster regarding seniors concerns with Smart Meters.  Discussion indicated persons have the right to refuse the meter by placing a sign on their property and following up with a phone call.
Councillor Cross asked that there be a focus on outdoor watering practises in the city's advertising.  Councillor Cross also reported confusion over the proposal to rehabilitate parts of Joseph Creek.  A motion had previously passed that this proposal from community groups would go ahead.  However a series of emails received by some members of council and those volunteers involved, indicated a reluctance from some members of council  to accept  international professional expertise on the protection of  such waterways, a preference being shown for more access to water's edge for children to splash and more access for dogs being recommended.  Councillor Pallesen stated this is an 'urban stream' and should be accepted as such.

It is heartening to know the plan will go ahead.  Joseph Creek is not a manufactured piece of urban landscaping but originates naturally in the mountains, supplies our water and goes on to flow into the St Mary's River and subsequently becomes part of the Columbia River network.  As a fish-bearing stream it deserves the very best in environmental practice.

Councillor Warner had received an enquiry regarding speed limit time zone differences between playgrounds and school zones - one being dusk and one being 5:00pm.  Sgt Jalbert had left by this time but it was noted that times are usually posted.

There are still two places on the Community Builder Committee.  Mayor Stetski encouraged people to apply.  Details available on the City website.

Administration Updates

- Slaterville Implementation Update,
- Bus Idling Policy
John Darula has formulated a new idling policy.

- Dam Safety Review (Idlewild and Phillips)- will go ahead at a lesser cost than expected

- 2012 Annual Capital Roads Program is running into some difficulty in that infrastructure issues with sewer and water mains are much greater than anticipated and will be considerable more expensive than the budget allows.

- Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Program Status - Phase 2
A ribbon cutting ceremony was requested by the Province to ackowledge the 'almost' completion of this vast work.  It will be held at the Pump House on the Spray Irrigation Fields between 3:00- 4:00pm on June 8th with MLA, MP and Mayor present.

- Electronic Tender Bidding Initiative  Mayor Stetski asked for an in-house workshop for local contractors to address concerns with this new program.

- Engineering Services Acquisition Policy
-Flight Information Display Screens
- Northstar Rails to Trails Update.  The allocated budget will take care of repairs need.  A Trans Canada Trail Dedication Ceremony will be held at the bridge on June 2nd 2:00pm.  All trail lovers invited.

- New Horizons for Seniors Grant - Yet another garden for Cranbrook.
- Canada Day - Sunrise Rotary are working with the City to organise celebrations, hopefully for Moir Park contingent on grant approval.

- Handicap Parking Rec Plex - more than most recreational complexes
- Summer Reading Club
- Zero Emission Electric Vehicle.  Considerable research has gone into this with pros and cons being taken into consideration but a decision has yet to be made.  Councillor Pallesen would rather wait until technology has advanced more.  Councillor Pallesen wondered where such a vehicle could be recharged about town.  More information on this can be read within the administration report.

There might be a minimal cost to setting an example but without forward thinking and leaders to demonstrate, a culture change in care for the environment will not happen.

All correspondence can be read beginning:

9.1 RDEK Highlights
9.2 RCMP Press Release
9.3 Round the Mountain Festival
9.4 UCBM Correspondence
9.5 Correspondence RCMP
9.6 Cranbrook Society for Community Living
9.7 Letter from JJ's Custom Cakery - Charity Fundraiser for the Girl's and Boys Club
9.8 Rails to Trails special event on June 2
9.9 Request for sponsorship for the Ktunaxa Charity Golf Tournament
9.10 Ministry of Justice re: Recycling
9.11 Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals Nominations
9.12 Letter re: breastfeeding support
9.13 Kootenay Ice Golf Tournament
9.14 SPARC BC - Access Awareness Day
9.15 Letter from the Mayor of Vernon to BC Hydro supporting their citizens ability to refuse smart meters
9.16 Letter from Associates Medical Clinic regarding pot holes in the back alley
9.17 CAP Youth Initiative Program
9.18 Sunrise Rotary Club - Canada Day 2012
9.19 Invitation to Small Business Roundtable
9.20 ICBC Cost Sharing Opportunities - Road Improvement Program
9.21 BC Transit - door accessibility for people with disabilities

9.22 IPAD app especially designed for Mayor's and Elected Officials
Councillors Warner and Davis opposed the the recommendation that an assessment report on this new technology be brought back to council in September.  The recommendation carried.  Councillor Scott absent.

9.23 Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library

9.24 Letter from Stu Deeks re: Composting Household Waste
This topic which has arisen before will be put into the workplan for 2013-2014.

9.25 Letter from the United Way re: United Way Financial Centre
9.26 East Kootenay Brain Injury Association

Committee Recommendations

11.1 Cranbrook in Motion Committee Recommendations
- that speed bumps NOT be installed along 14th Avenue, 200 block north
- that the City in collaboration with the College of the Rockies install a bus shelter

- that Council approve the use of free transit during the Cranbrook Farmers Market for those riders carrying reusable, recyclable bags.  It was explained this idea will be used as a promotion (in conjunction with transit who will promote the idea) for the Public Transportation System. Carried, with Councillor Davis opposed.  Councillor Scott absent.

New Business

12.1 To consider the draft policy for Electronic Changeable Copy Signs
to view the proposed policy:
Carried. Councillor Warner opposed.  Councillor Warner appeared to find the policy too restrictive.

12.2 To seek a resolution of Council authorizing application for funding in the amount of $95,000 under the Gas Tax Agreement's Innovation Fund in support of the project entitled "Development of a Bioenergy
Sector Economic Economic Assessment Tool"

12.3 2012 Capital Roads Program - Water Mains
There was considerable discrepancy between original estimates and current predicted costs.  This transfer will reduce the shortfall.


13.1 Development Cost Charge Bylaw 3740,2012
Some discussion ensued about an amendment which might reduce the assist factor for storm drainage.  It was partly agreed to this being this forward at a later reading and after public input. First Reading - carried with Councillors Cross and Whetham opposed.   This draft will now be made available for public input.

13.2 Cemetery Amendment Bylaw 3748,2012

13.3 Leisure Services Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw 3749,2012 - to freeze rental fees

Monday, May 28, 2012

Advance Council Notes, May 28


5.1 RCMP Delegation; Crime Statistics
These statistics can be read at:

5.2 Mount Baker Interact - Proposition regarding a Community Youth Action Plan

Administration Updates

- Slaterville Implementation Update
- Bus Idling Policy
- Dam Safety Review
- 2012 Annual Capital Roads Program
- Wastewater Treatment & Disposal Program Status - Phase 2
- Electronic Tender Bidding Initiative
- Engineering Services Acquisition Policy
-Flight Information Display Screens
- Northstar Rails to Trails Update
- New Horizons for Seniors Grant
- Canada Day
- Handicap Parking Rec - Plex
- Summer Reading Club
- Zero Emission Electric Vehicle

All correspondence can be read beginning:

9.1 RDEK Highlights
9.2 RCMP Press Release
9.3 Round the Mountain Festival
9.4 UCBM Correspondence
9.5 Correspondence RCMP
9.6 Cranbrook Society for Community Living
9.7 Letter from JJ's Custom Cakery - Charity Fundraiser for the Girl's and Boys Club
9.8 Rails to Trails special event on June 2
9.9 Request for sponsorship for the Ktunaxa Charity Golf Tournament
9.10 Ministry of Justice re: Recycling
9.11 Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals Nominations
9.12 Letter re: breastfeeding support
9.13 Kootenay Ice Golf Tournament
9.14 SPARC BC - Access Awareness Day
9.15 Letter from the Mayor of Vernon to BC Hydro supporting their citizens ability to refuse smart meters
9.16 Letter from Associates Medical Clinic regarding pot holes in the back alley
9.17 CAP Youth Initiative Program
9.18 Sunrise Rotary Club - Canada Day 2012
9.19 Invitation to Small Business Roundtable
9.20 ICBC Cost Sharing Opportunities - Road Improvement Program
9.21 BC Transit - door accessibility for people with disabilities
9.22 IPAD app especially designed for Mayor's and Elected Officials
9.23 Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library
9.24 Letter from Stu Deeks re: Composting Household Waste
9.25 Letter from the United Way re: United Way Financial Centre
9.26 East Kootenay Brain Injury Association

Committee Recommendations

11.1 Cranbrook in Motion Committee Recommendations
- that speed bumps NOT be installed along 14th Avenue, 200 block north
- that the City in collaboration with the College of the Rockies install a bus shelter
- that Council approve the use of free transit during the Cranbrook Farmers Market for those riders carrying reusable, recyclable bags

New Business

12.1 To consider the draft policy for Electronic Changeable Copy Signs
to view the proposed policy:
12.2 To seek a resolution of Council authorizing application for funding in the amount of $95,000 under the Gas Tax Agreement's Innovation Fund in support of the project entitled "Development of a Bioenergy
Sector Economic Economic Assessment Tool"
12.3 2012 Capital Roads Program - Water Mains


13.1 Development Cost Charge Bylaw 3740,2012
13.2 Cemetery Amendment Bylaw 3748,2012
13.3 Leisure Services Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw 3749,2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Around Town and Looking Good, Spring Market

Residents and visitors flocked to the Spring Market yesterday.  It was great to see the vendors and familiar friends.

The wood-fired oven from Invermere was a popular stop for bread

Geri Binder  with his pottery

Richard Hessler and his artwork

Wayne Durning home for a short while from Nova Scotia used his talents to the add to this market
Judy's raku and her great flower arrangements were back

and everyone's favourite bears had gained some new friends over the winter.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On Pesticides

Jenny Humphrey
Being a gardener, I have followed with interest the debate about pesticides, herbicides and fungicides for many years.  Although all these chemicals are now lumped together under the heading of pesticides, to me they are still all very different substances used for different purposes.

It seems most people have strong feelings one way or another about these medicines for plants and that is what they are in many ways.  Like antibiotics and human potions, there is no doubt in my mind that many have been way overused in a domestic setting for far too long and that we have no full understanding of the effects of long-term use. I personally choose to avoid their use because I simply do not trust that they are completely safe.  I expect a doctor to prescribe serious medications.  I would prefer to have any serious pesticides only prescribed by someone who is equally qualified.  The fact that our life-sustaining bee populations are in trouble is proof enough for me that pesticides should not be used to the extent they are. The depletion of our bee populations is very disturbing and is very noticeable to any gardener.  Although the cause for the die-out is still under investigation, there are many linkages to the overuse of pesticides.

The agricultural practise of monoculture has unfortunately enabled many pests and weeds to proliferate, leading to the mass use of these chemicals in an agricultural setting.  Our gardens however are not monocultures (a mass of the same plants) and by their very nature, contain many natural controls and balances.   The use of strong chemicals on a few greenfly serves only to upset the balance by destroying the good with the bad. 

Surely, in our own back yards we can learn to love a few dandelions, tolerate a few unsightly pests and educate ourselves about more natural and less toxic ways of doing things. 

from the Tyee:

Legislative committee's language treats science-based critics like children.
By R. Warren Bell, Yesterday,

I'm 66 years old. I've been a family physician, working in hospitals, clinics, emergency rooms and offices for 36 years. I've headed and actually founded health and environmental organizations. I've presided over the medical staff at my hospital, and in clinical work, I've guided my actions with hard, unemotional data.
It's not often that I get treated like an argumentative, hyperanxious, irrational adolescent, so when I do, it certainly gets my attention.
And that's exactly what's happened to me -- and to most British Columbians -- at the hands of Bill Bennett and his Liberal Party colleagues on the Special Committee on Pesticides.............
And whose "scientific evidence" did Bill Bennett rely on?
Here's the government's advisory group: "the Committee heard another perspective on the environmental impacts of pesticides. Submissions from pesticide manufacturers and industrial users stressed the important environmental benefits that result from maintaining healthy lawns and gardens." And the same group reassured them on the safety side too.
Yes folks, when it comes to science, the corporations that make billions from selling pesticides, and the companies that apply them, have it in the bag. Ordinary mortals, like biologists, ecologists, nurses, doctors, environmental lawyers, and citizens who all have absolutely no personal vested interest in pesticide production and sales -- we don't know nothin'. We're all heat, and no light.

Constituents Ask MP David Wilks to Support Democracy

A group of approximately 40 people including Teamsters Union CP employees, showed deep concern about the government's use of  the current, all encompassing omnibus Budget Bill outside MP David Wilks Constituency Office yesterday.  While MP Wilks was not present, his Constituency Assistant did very briefly listen to some CP employees.

Several CP employees read statements expressing their own particular issues including pensions.

Rhonda Barter from Lead BC told the press, "He should go with his heart as he originally stated even if he was the ONLY Conservative MP to vote against passing it" "There are close to 450 pages, and about 70 issues, more issues than there are weeks in the year. How can you possibly understand everything you are passing?"

Friday, May 25, 2012

Omnibus Bill and Cranbrook

For those wondering what the fuss is about it is easy to do a Google search and find out more about this bill which encompasses a lot more than budget.  At the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon David Wilks was questioned about the new allowances for cross border shoppers and the potential effect on Cranbrook businesses for example.  Many are concerned about the changes to environmental assessment - but the list goes on and time is short to fully evaluate the ramifications of all that is contained within this bill.
For a brief look at what the Huffington Post considers to be 15 of the major topics contained within this bill;

For those who would like to encourage our MP David Wilks to do the right and democratic thing and vote for the concerns of his constituents, there will a show of support at noon today, Friday May 25th, outside his office.

Barcelona, Spain – what a remarkable city!

Perceptions by Gerry Warner

Ahh, Barcelona. If I’d heard about ye earlier, I would have visited you before. Much before! But thank God, I got to you when I did because at least I know I can always go back.
And when would I go back? The year 2026, of course, because that’s the centenary of architect Antonio Gaudi’s birth and the year when his apocalyptic vision will finally become a reality carved in stone.

I’m referring to the “Sagrada Familia,” the stupendous cathedral now nearing completion in the Eixample District, which it looms over like a stone colossus and has been variously described as divine, surrealistic, loopy and the first Gothic cathedral designed under LSD.

Trust me, you have to see it for yourself and you’ll come up with your own adjectives.

Sagrada Familia
In a city where architecture is king and Gaudi is often regarded as king of its many famous architects, the only people that could possibly not enjoy it would be the blind and what a tragedy that would be for them. It’s Barcelona where the ostentatiously, decorative baroque style reaches its epitome with its opulent ornamentation, soaring columns and gilded statues. In our part of the world, where everything is built as functional and cheap as possible, you just don’t see architecture that is beautiful for beauty’s sake.  And I tell you, it can reduce a sensitive soul to tears. But Barcelona is also filled with classic, neo-classic and mind-blowing examples of modern architecture that would look right at home in New York or Dubai.

And I haven’t even mentioned the “Modernisme  Movement” of the late 1890s and early 1900s that Gaudi and his fellow Catalan architects largely invented featuring buildings with sensuous curves, undulating facades and ventilation shafts disguised to look like flowers. All right, enough! You just have to go there and see for yourself.

While in the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, you also can’t avoid its historic legacy including the crumbling Roman walls left in the narrow streets of the Gothic or “Gotico” District, the soaring Mirador de Colon (Christopher Columbus column), the Picasso Museum and Catalunya Square at the head of “La Rambla,” Barcelona’s famous market and shopping street that has thrilled and entertained visitors from Medieval times
After many years ago, reading George Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia,” a paean to the Spanish Civil War and the carnage it caused, I spent one of my most interesting days in Barcelona when I rented a three-speed bike for the day and spent eight hours exploring the city on my own. I slowly wended my way out of the winding Gotico, cruised by the spectacular and gritty waterfront district and finally found myself pedaling up leafy boulevards past Parc Guell, which is adorned by more of Gaudi’s ceramic sculptures, and to the top of a pine-covered promontory a thousand feet above the sprawling city. To my amazement, I found myself in a somewhat unkempt park crowned with some crumbling, concrete bunkers that were an artillery battery during the civil war and later a squatters’ settlement after the war until all the squatters were moved out in the late 1990s and the park created.

The Republican forces had dug themselves deep into the rock, carving out tunnels and underground dormitories where they lived while the war raged around them, including Mussolini’s aerial bombing which served as a “practice run” for the Second World War. It gave me a spooky feeling to be doing this and put me in a very reflective mood about war and its tragic vicissitudes.
And then I noticed the most amazing thing.
Some of the steps leading into the tunnels and the tunnel floors themselves were covered with a rainbow of decorative tiles of many colours. “Decorating a bunker while fighting a war,” I thought to myself. “What kind of people would do such a thing?”
In all honesty, I don’t know if it was the civil war fighters or the squatters that laid the tiles down. But all I can say is Barcelona, and the Catalan people that inhabit it, are remarkable examples of the human spirit.
I strongly recommend going there and seeing for yourself.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MP David Wilks Focuses Spotlight on the East Kootenay

For your information:

There will be a show of support for MP David Wilks in his opposition to the omnibus bill at his office at noon on Friday May 25th.  Those who wish to show their support of opposition to the omnibus bill are asked to be at David Wilks office at noon, Friday May 25th.

Constituency Office

100 Cranbrook Street North, Suite B (Main Office)
Cranbrook, British Columbia
V1C 3P9

Cycling as a Way of Everyday Life

by Jenny Humphrey

We featured an article about cycling from the Tyee a few days ago.
These photos from Amsterdam at the end of April 2012 illustrate the points made in that article.
Yes, the topography is flat but similar scenes can be seen all over Europe and where it is hilly or more mountainous, electric bikes are very popular - more on that later.
The article in the Tyee states; 'You don't have to be a "cyclist" to ride a bike. Recreational sub-cultures have owned cycling in North America for a long time. That's starting to change and it's an important cultural shift'. 

part of the morning rush - commuters with their laptops and brief cases

cyclists have RIGHT of way and their own bike paths alongside the roads with trams, buses and cars

bikes make a statement about the owners

the typical cargo bike used to transport everything from children, to groceries to dogs
 city bikes are old, simple but distinctive

bikes are parked everywhere in Amsterdam

Bikes can be stolen in Amsterdam, just like anywhere else so it is not unusual for someone to own more than one bike - frequently an old, cheap, easily distinguishable bike is used for commuting but a more luxurious model is kept at home for especially long rides or recreational use.  Some commuters own two old bikes, one to get them from home to the train station and one for the train station to office.  With the thousands of bikes parked everywhere, finding your bike can sometimes be a challenge.  I met one fellow who took 45 minutes to find his bike after attending a large event when bikes were piled one on top of another.  Having distinguishable features on your bike helps.  Over 12,000 bikes are pulled from the canals of Amsterdam every year so investing too much money in a bike can be a waste.  The value of a bicycle in Amsterdam is for getting to where you want to go, not in the bicycle itself.

Bicycles rule in Holland.  I was told,  "You think the American gun lobby is big.  It is nothing compared to the Dutch bike lobby."

What's Happening

Friday May 25, 
7pm Key City Theatre MBSS Bright Lites Theatre presents Ghost-Busters. A multimedia presentation about Ghosts and a badminton team in a highschool. The show entails both film and live performance under black light, and features the talents of special needs students and community members. Tickets: Adults $15; Students/Seniors $12

Saturday May 26th
Farmer's Market
Curling Rink - see poster to right

Acrylic Painting Workshop
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
John deJong
9:00am - 4:00pm Sat and Sun

Anglican Church Plant Sale
1:00pm - 3:00pm
46 13th Ave S.

Jim Robertson at Fisher Peak Gallery
11:00am - 2:00pm

Social Dance at Cranbrook Senior's Hall
7:00 - 11:00pm

Monday May 28th
Cranbrook Council Meeting
6:00pm Council Chambers

Tuesday May 29th
Spring Charity Recital
Royal Stewart Highland dancers
Wildhorse Theatre, Fort Steele
Admission by donation to the Wildhorse Theatre Seat Restoration Project

Monday, May 21, 2012

Creek Stewardship Belongs to All of Us

During the spring freshet Joseph Creek rises, sometimes quite dramatically causing more likelihood of bank erosion and damage.  A walk through Kinsmen Park at this time will clearly demonstrate how bank stability is achieved only when there is a good mix of native vegetation including trees and shrubs.  Grass especially mown grass does not have the root depth to protect a creek bank from eroding.

By leaving a buffer zone beside the creek, home owners can assist in the reduction of bank erosion on their property.  A 5 meter buffer zone is recommended by most authorities dealing with riparian zones.  Mixed planting will not only stabilize creek banks but cool the water and encourage diversity of fauna.

Primary classes at Gordon Terrace were recently taught about the importance of vegetation to creek health and bank stability by staff operating the Stream Trailer.  This model clearly demonstrates what happens to a creek's banks when there is little or no vegetation, and what difference it makes after trees and shrubs are planted.

Students at Gordon Terrace will be involved in planting along Joseph Creek with help from students in the Outdoor Education Class at Mt. Baker, with assistance from Joseph Creek Streamkeepers and the City of Cranbrook.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Marvel of May

Marvellous May Flowers
This is such a fabulous time of year to be out walking in the woods or on the grasslands.  While being serenaded by the Meadow Larks and many other song birds there are flowers to be found everywhere.

Balsam Root 

Narrow Leaf Desert Parsley

near Airport

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seven Ways to Fall in Love with Cycling - from The Tyee

For the complete article:

Seven Ways to Help Folks Fall in Love with Cycling

TYEE LIST #14: Wheels got you reeling? Notes on pedaling's softer side.
By Christine M. Grant, 12 May 2012, 

Traveling the world's great bicycle cities, I fell in love with cycling. The ease, safety, convenience… (dreamy sigh).
But as my six-month love affair came to an end and I returned home to Seattle, I began to realize the reason for my infatuation: cities like those in Denmark and Holland simply make themselves lovable. They don't just build cycle tracks; they inject fun, whimsy, compassion, and even romance into cycling.
Certainly, many Cascadians love their bikes, but more of us would if we learned these lessons on cycling's soft side from the world's active-transport capitals.

  1.  Human powered is romantic. I bike home from work with my boyfriend almost every day, and it's one of the best parts of my day. We talk about what we see along the way or what smells are coming from the Hostess Cake Factory. When it's sunny, we sometimes stop for a beer along the way. When it's a crisp winter night, we stop and watch the ships pass under the Fremont Bridge. When it's raining, we talk about what kind of soup we want to make for dinner. Biking together through the elements bonds us in a way that would never happen if we were strapped into a car. Throughout my travels, I saw all kinds of romance on the cycle tracks -- teenagers kissing at stoplights in Paris, older couples holding hands while pedaling in Amsterdam, and a post-wedding getaway bicycle in Copenhagen. The average U.S. worker now spends about 48 minutescommuting each day. Despite the billions of hours we collectively spend commuting, we don't often talk about the way our transportation choices make us feel -- physically or mentally. Maybe we should.
  2.  You don't have to be a "cyclist" to ride a bike.Recreational sub-cultures have owned cycling in North America for a long time. That's starting to change and it's an important cultural shift. "None of these people consider themselves cyclists," Andreas Hammershøj from the Danish Cycling Embassy explained to me last June as we stood on a sidewalk watching swarms of Copenhageners pedal across the Dronning Louises bridge, as 10,000 to 30,000 do daily.  "These are just people getting to work, school, or the grocery store," Hammershøj said. It turns out there are Cascadians who, like Copenhageners, would like to get from A to B on their bikes but don't ever want to ride a century. (They might not even care to know what a century ride is.) That's fine. You don't have to identify with the recreational side of cycling to use a bike for transportation. Just ask Blake Trask, the Statewide Policy Director of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. "I'm not much of a cyclist. I just ride my bike to work most days."
  3.  Remember kickstands? Henry Cutler, the Dutch-American owner of WorkCycles in Amsterdam, is convinced that urban cycling will explode once Americans get off high performance bikes and on to bikes that are upright, comfortable and utilitarian. "Americans ride bikes that are like race cars; Dutch bikes are like Honda Civics and mini-vans," Cutler joked last July as I admired his fleet of practical bikes. They come outfitted with child seats, baskets, bells, chain guards, and front and rear lights powered by your pedaling. Oh, and kickstands: Why don't bikes have kickstands anymore?Tom Fuculoro, author of the Seattle Bike Blog, got it right when he wrote recently that buying a bike ought to be more like buying a car. "Most people aren't fascinated by the technical aspects of car engines; they're sold by the sunroof or cup-holders." David Schmidt, owner of The Dutch Bike Shop in Seattle reports that the useful bike trend is gaining steam. "Ninety per cent of our clients haven't ridden a bike since they were kids. They're rediscovering cycling because it's fun and simpler than driving. These aren't the crusader commuters. They're just people who want to start biking to the grocery store."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Now’s the Time to Create a New Downtown

By Councillor Gerry Warner
Talk about irony! For years, I wrote a column in this space where I often took the City to task and now I’m one of them. However that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to suggest ways to improve Cranbrook and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Just back from a two-week vacation in Barcelona – what a city – and you know what’s the last image in my mind? An ugly pall of smoke over the downtown as we left early to catch our plane in Calgary. A disturbing send-off for sure.
Thanks to the Internet,  I was soon filled in on all the details and let me add my congratulations to the outstanding efforts of the fire department and the RCMP that saved lives and prevented the flames from spreading farther than they did even though the loss to the city was still great.
Now what?
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but it just may be possible that the destructive blaze may open the door to a new opportunity in our somewhat beleaguered downtown, which has suffered for years as previous City administrations sought opportunities to grow the city elsewhere as our historic downtown languished.
As a result, our oft-derided “Strip” has most of the business that you’d expect downtown and we only narrowly escaped efforts in recent years to develop new “mini downtowns” in residential developments on the periphery of the city and outside its borders. The economic downturn took care of that possibility, at least for the short term, and what are we left with? Downtown Cranbrook, of course, but what about a new, revitalized downtown?
I’m serious. Perhaps there was a message in that unfortunate fire two weeks ago and this may be a never-again opportunity to finally get off our collective butts and do something with our downtown other than watch it languish. I’m glad to say the City, in fact on the very night before the fire, gave third reading to a downtown revitalization bylaw that will give a badly needed tax break to any downtown business owner or developer that expands their premises or constructs something new. And boy do we need something “new” downtown.
Saying this, of course, is one thing.  Doing it is another, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, I’m lead to believe that even before the fire at least one developer with a proven track record was taking a hard look at a potential downtown development here and there’s likely to be others especially with the new revitalization tax bylaw in the mix. And let’s face it, if there’s going to be new major development downtown , it’s almost 100 per  cent certain it’s going to have to come from the private sector. The City can encourage it, as it already has, and be supportive in every way possible. But in the end it will most likely be a private developer or businessman, most likely a visionary type, that will roll the dice, take the risk and breathe new life into the downtown core that desperately needs it.
But they won’t be entirely alone either. We have a very active and dynamic Downtown Business Association (DBA) that’s itching to revitalize the downtown. Our Chamber of Commerce supports development as a matter of principle and I’m sure they would be anxious to climb aboard. There’s also CABBDA, a developers group that   have made it plain that they would like to see more development in the Key City. And then there are private citizen groups like the one trying to restore the Armond Theatre and turn it into a youth arts centre and a possible meeting place for civic functions. Sure it’s a long shot, but this is exactly the kind of creative thinking needed to make our downtown a happening place that it used to be and which is becoming again with the success of the farmers markets in Rotary Park. Our sister city of Fernie provides an example of what can be done downtown with the restoration of the former Fernie Secondary School into an upscale condo development downtown.
So Cranbrook, what do you think? Maybe at some point the City should hold a public meeting where more ideas could be tossed around. Let’s get some momentum going.
And if you’re looking for inspiration remember what Jane Jacobs, the philosopher queen of revitalized downtowns once said in “The Death and Life of Great Cities”: “You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Conflict of Values

Map showing area  being logged - airport lower right

close-up of southern area to be logged - airport on right

Those present understood the philosophy of grassland reclamation but when it is in your own backyard and it is an area so valued by many it is hard to accept. 

A meeting of local residents and some frequent users of the airport/clearview lands(known as Rouse Pasture to the industry) met with Canfor employees on Wednesday May 16th in the location so valued, to discuss Canfor’s plans for the area and how the rest of the plans will be implemented.  Many who use the area regularly have been shocked at the destruction of existing trails, large Ponderosa Pines and by large equipment pushing in roads and logging staging areas. 

According to Ken Streloff, Planning Supervisor for Canfor some notification to residents was given and some input received.  However many present, felt they had been misinformed about procedure and the area in question and the extent of the logging.  Those users from Kimberley and Cranbrook felt they had no knowledge of the plans.  One of the most upsetting actions to date has been the taking of very large Ponderosa Pines in the area.  Mr Streloff explained that 15 to 30 larger trees per hectare will be left standing but all smaller trees will be taken for chips.  It is not understood why some large trees have been removed. One of the rationales given for logging was that this area has been logged in the past.  It was also pointed out that it is economically viable to cut this area.  It is also an area suitable for the Grassland Restoration Project.

Randy Harris was present to speak about the Grasslands Restoration Project, which is attempting to restore an area of the trench, which was historically grassland back into grassland.  Several Canfor employees spoke at length about the fire hazard of small brush trees.  Those in attendance made the point that grass fires can be just as hazardous as they travel so fast. It was felt by several, that interfering with nature will only make matters worse.  Trees help to retain water in both the ground and atmosphere, act as wind-breaks and cool the area.

The question of follow up and how Canfor proposes to restore the grassland once cutting has finished was another hot topic.  Mr Streloff explained that seeding although not necessarily with native grasses, will take place.  The issue of invasive weeds was raised as this area is now opened up and exceedingly vulnerable to invasives of many kinds including larger vehicular traffic, which spreads invasive weeds.  Mr Streloff tried to assure those present that this area would become priority for weed control.

After a long discussion the group took a walking tour of part of the area.  While those present appreciated Canfor taking the time to meet with those who love, appreciate, respect and use this area, they will be very sad to see an area of abundant wild flowers, trees and animals, some would say unnecessarily be torn up.  It is hoped with the interest shown today some of the most diverse areas of flora might be given a wider berth and that the work undertaken be accomplished with the utmost respect.