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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Around Town and Looking Good

Today is World Rivers Day

These are just some of the organisations and local citizens who care about our waterways and put their caring into action with volunteerism to ensure the well being of the water on which we are dependent.  Volunteers are always needed.

The Bargains are Gone .. 'Til Next Year

This Saturday September 29th, The Cranbrook Public Library held its annual book sale and the Cranbrook and District Arts Council in conjunction with the Lions Club, held a Well Loved Art Sale.  There were bargains galore and some great finds for the discerning eye.

Howl of a deal, full moon or  just less impressed with the wait!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Social Media “Journalism” Poor Substitute for Real Thing

Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Just back from the UBCM convention Friday and all I can say is I despair for the future of print on paper journalism if the UBCM’s panel on “Social Media and Local Government Leadership” is any indication.
By “print on paper journalism” I mean just that – newspapers, magazines and books as opposed to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterist whatever that is.
The panel was made up of several of the stars of what I like to call “The Big City Media” in Vancouver as well as elected local government officials and it wasn’t long before the aforementioned started falling all over themselves showing how hip they were to using social media, sometimes called “New Journalism” or “Citizen Journalism” as opposed to the olden days four or five years ago of stogy old print on paper journalism often referred to “Legacy Media.”
And what do you think much of the discussion was about?  How often they “tweeted” or “posted,” how many “likes” they got for certain stories and who had the most “followers.” I kid you not. One local government official sitting beside me was so disgusted by the discussion he called aloud “crap” and walked out. And frankly, I don’t blame him.
But as I sat there listening to the gibberish, I got to thinking. It’s an Internet World now whether we like it or not and Google, Facebook and Twitter are the new media gods as much as that may offend the sensibilities of some of us old Luddites. So as the Victorians said to nervous young brides prior to sex: “Lie on your back and think of England,” I’m trying to accept this so-called “new journalism,” but I’m not quite there yet. Let me tell you why.
Consider the huge scandal that erupted this week over the most read newspaper columnist in Canada, Margaret Wente of the Toronto Globe and Mail. Wente and the Globe have been in damage control all week over a column that Wente wrote almost three years ago that strongly appears to have borrowed some wording – word for word, in fact – from an earlier piece in the Ottawa citizen. In a news story Tuesday, the Globe said it had taken “disciplinary actions” against Wente but didn’t say what they were. Wente herself, in a mea culpa column said something about not checking her notes which sounded weak and unconvincing. The column prompted 1,800 comments on-line – a record – and most of them were negative.
So what’s going on here and what does it have to do with social media? Well, as a columnist myself, having written hundreds, probably more than a thousand, in 30 years of journalism, I think I can make an educated guess. Thanks to the Internet, it’s so easy for social media “journalists” to fall in the clutches of Google, Wikipedia and the like and ATRIBUTION, the Golden Rule of journalism, has gone out the window. The Net, in fact, makes finding “information” so easy that many of today’s “new journalists” conveniently overlook the quality of “information” they’ve received. This leads to shoddy and superficial journalism, or in the case of ideas and opinion, an irresistible temptation to pass off other ideas and opinions as their own. Under deadline pressure, they may even believe it’s their own, but this still doesn’t excuse it.
I’d like to think this is what happened in the Wente case because I’ve greatly enjoyed her columns over the years and had a lot of respect for her. Now I don’t know whether my respect was deserved.
Social media, with the power of the Internet behind it, is indeed a powerful force. But often that power is a mile wide and an inch deep. It can be very superficial and with all the substance of a soap bubble. And so when I hear a bunch of seasoned media professionals and politicians on stage going ga ga about their tweets and followers, I really have to wonder. As George Bernard Shaw once said: “there’s less to this than meets the eye.”
Would Woodward and Bernstein have brought down a president by relying on Facebook postings and tweets? I doubt it because “Deep Throat,” their main source, was a flesh and blood person they interviewed face-to-face and not a random piece of information they found floating in cyberspace.
They call it the “New Journalism.” If that’s the case, I’d rather stick with the old.

 Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a Cranbrook City councilor. His views are his own.

Potato Picking Party

Everyone is invited to join the Cranbrook Food Action Committee (CFAC)  at the First Annual Public Produce Garden Potato Picking Party
Sunday, September 30noon to 4 pm
Come for a fun-filled afternoon and maybe leave with some potatoes or kale or cilantro or just a tummy full of yummy new boiled potatoes. 

There will be potato sack races, potato egg and spoon races and Mr Potato head decorating contests  for the kids a composting workshop given by local expert, Laura Duncan, for the adults, and a roaming vermiculture (worm composting) expert, April Wells, before we all get down to some serious taste testing of the first potato harvest of many to come in our new Public Produce Garden.

The Garden is located in Eric McKinley Park which is on 18th Avenue North between 6th Street North and 8th Street North.  Closest bus stop is just before Victoria Ave by the Mitsubishi building. 

The project was begun by the City together with the CFAC to benefit everyone so all are definitely welcome. 

For more information contact:


Friday, September 28, 2012

Bosco Verticale

How lucky we are that we still have some Bosco horizontale in this part of the world but when the necessity is there, amazing things happen!

'The Bosco Verticale (Milan) is a system that optimizes, recuperates, and produces energy. Covered in plant life, the building aids in balancing the microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment (Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Europe)'.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

What's Happening...

Thursday, September 27

Fall Book Sale Continues
Friends of the Cranbrook Library continues today
in the Tembec Gym through Sunday, Sept. 30

Meet the Arts Council
Artists and members of the public
are invited to meet the Cranbrook and District
Arts Council this evening from 7pm-9pm
at the Artrageous Gallery.

Writers Workshop
A writers workship for people interested in the
2012 Kootenay Literary competition being held this
November is being held today at the COTR
from 6:30pm-9:30pm. The Cranbrook workshop
will be run by Bob Wakulich. The fee is $20
For more information go to

One Planet Series
Wildsight's One Planet Film series gets underway
at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre at 7:30 tonight.
'Riding Bikes with the Dutch' and 'With My Own Two Wheels' will
be shown. Admission is by donation.

Friday, September 28
Creating Opportunity
A workshop hosted by Cranbrook Society for Community Living
for those who help disabled people find employment will be let
by Denise Bissionnette today from 9am to 4pm at the Heritage Inn
Workshop fee is $50 which includes lunch. For more information call

Sheva will be performing this weekend at the
St. Eugene Casino and Golf Course Resort this evening
and tomorrow evening starting at 9pm

Saturday, September 29

Sunrise Rotary and Cranbrook and District Arts Council 
Art and Treasures Sale
well loved art at reasonable prices
9:00am - 4:00pm
Tembec Building

La Cafanmore String Quartet
In concert tonight  at the Knox Presbyterian Church
starting at 7:30pm. The program will feature Brahm's
Clarinet Quintet. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 students
For more information call Jeff at 250-505-2508

Benefit Concert
A benefit concert for the Alisha Symonds family featuring country
gospel singers along with local favorites will be held
this afternoon at 2pm, 1st Baptist Church. Tickets are $10
and are available from Lotus Books.

Sunday September 30

Go Go Grannies Concert
Harpist and Vocalist Bronn and Katherine Journey
2pm today at the Key City Theatre.
Tickets are $25 available at the KCT Box Office.
Proceeds will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation

Dr. Jane Goodall at KCT
Dr. Goodall will make her 'Reason for Hope'
presentation at the Key City Theatre starting at 7pm.
Tickets are $50, available at the KCT box-office or by calling

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blast from the Past - Watt Avenue Trees

Cranbrook Courier 1925 May 21

Balm of Gilead  is now generally known as balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)

Riding Bikes with the Dutch - affirming lifestyle

Thursday September 27th
Cranbrook College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre

Wildsight One Planet Film Series

Kimberley films at Centre 64
All films start at 7:30pm. Admission by donation

Riding Bikes With the Dutch and With My Own Two Wheels
Cranbrook -Thurs Sept 27 and Kimberley - Fri Oct 5

Riding Bikes with the Dutch(2010 -38 min)
Filmmaker Michael Bauch's light-hearted and intriguing film recaptures the fun of biking for the everyday person and the positive ramifications for our families and society at large. The film weaves through the beautiful streets of Amsterdam to show the variety of bikes and diversity of people that carry on daily life throughout the city. By doing a home exchange with another family in Amsterdam, Michael, his wife and young son are able to document the bicycle-centered lifestyle of the Dutch through the eyes of residents actually living in the city. When Bauch returns home to Long Beach with his family he begins to see the amazing transformation of his own city. Has the biking lifestyle followed them home? Is Long Beach the next Amsterdam? Come along for the ride! ride! View trailer at

With My Own Two Wheels (2011- 44 min)
For many Americans, the bicycle is a choice. An expensive toy. An eco-conscious mode of transportation. For countless others across the globe, it is much more. For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients. For Bharati, a teenager in India, it provides access to education. For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to disabled people in her community. For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment. For Sharkey, a young man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers.  With My Own Two Wheels weaves together the experiences of these five individuals into a single story about how the bicycle can change the world—one pedal stroke at a time. View trailer at

More information at

Upcoming films in the One Planet Film Series are:
Mad City Chickens
Cranbrook -Thurs Oct 25 & Kimberley - Fri Oct 26
The Economics of Happiness
Cranbrook -Thurs Nov 22 & Kimberley - Fri Nov 30
Surviving Progress
Cranbrook -Thurs Jan 31 & Kimberley - Fri Feb 1

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

United Way First Friendship Festival

Cranbrook/Kimberley United Way celebrated both the last and upcoming year of fundraising on Saturday, September 22nd in Rotary Park.  The celebration started with the arrival of the Kimberley contingent carrying the United Way flag after their bike and roller blade relay down the North Star Trail to Cranbrook from Kimberley.

Numerous agencies and societies are dependent on United Way to see them through a year of helping to make both communities stronger and healthier.  Donations can be made though most employers or directly through the United Way Office.

Children were able to have their faces painted or partake of the many activities provided by the receiving agencies of United Way.

 United Way Board members (red shirts)and members of receiving agencies receive their cheques , the result of last years fundraising efforts.  From left to right, representatives from the Hospice Society, Donna Brady Fields(United Way), Linda Douglas,(Options for Sexual Health), Pat Chisholm, (Better Babies), Bev Campbell, (United Way Chair), Gord Johnston, (Boys and Girls Club), Dana Osiowy, ( Big Brothers and Sisters), Kelly Klein, (Community Living), Susanne Pederson, (United Way)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stewardship Zone Incorporated into the Cranbrook Community Forest

The Cranbrook Community Forest Society is excited to announce the inclusion of the Stewardship Zone into the Cranbrook Community Forest (CCF). The Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations expanded the current Recreation Site designation to include certain Crown lands to the west of the existing Community Forest boundary, informally described as the “Stewardship Zone”.  Many members of our community assumed these lands were part of the CCF already and by applying this protection it allows for more rigorous management to this area and ensures that the lands are managed for public use in the same manner as the rest of the Cranbrook Community Forest.  On going thinning projects and fire suppression efforts can now be undertaken in this area. None of the CCF actually falls within the City of Cranbrook city limits but we share a large common border  and most users are citizens of Cranbrook.
As well, recent contract work has been completed to the North side of the CCF commonly known as the Eager Hills area to block unauthorized vehicle access. The desire is to prevent environmental degradation of the area that causes soil erosion, spreads invasive weeds, and contributes to habitat destruction. It is all part of the CCFS’s ongoing educational goal to make the general public aware of this amazing recreational asset. By restricting motor vehicle access it preserves the green space as a semi-wilderness area for all people to enjoy.
The Cranbrook Community Forest Society is a registered Non-Profit Society which is actively involved in the enhancement & protection of the integrity of this 2000 hectare Interpretive Forest/Recreation Area. The CCFS works with the Province in accordance with a Management Agreement and includes fund raising and eco-system activities as well as raising public awareness as its primary goals.  Presently we are working on creating a new map and increasing signage in the northern portion of the CCF.
Please consider becoming a member of the Society by visiting our website at

ACT and Water Security

What is ACT?
The Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) brings leading experts from around the world together with industry, community, and government decision-makers to explore the risks posed by top-of-mind climate change issues and to identify opportunities for sustainable adaptation.

Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook are pleased to announce that we will be bringing both Deborah Harford from ACT and Bob Sanford to the area on October 24th

October 24th, McKim Auditorium Kimberley
‘Storm Warning’
Water Security in a Changing West
A joint presentation by
Bob Sandford and Deborah Harford
Entry by donation
6:30pm Refreshments, Mix and Mingle, book signing in lobby
7: 45pm Speakers
8:15pm – 8:45 Q and A
9:00pm Closing remarks

This event will coincide with the CBT Water Smart Conference (Oct 24th – 25th) for elected officials and administrators being held at the Conference Centre in Kimberley on October 24th 25th.  All interested area residents are invited to attend the above evening event.

CLCS would like to thank both Mainstreams, Wildsight and the College of the Rockies for assisting with the sponsoring of this major event.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blissett Wins Kootenay East NDP Nomination

Norma Blissett of Cranbrook will carry the NDP banner for Kootenay East in the next provincial election.  She defeated Fernie city councillor Randal Macnair at the party’s nominating convention in Cranbrook Saturday.

“I’m honoured by this vote of confidence from the local NDP members,” said Blissett, “and I will work hard between now and the May 14 election to become the MLA for Kootenay East.” 

 “I believe that with my resource industry background and my experience in the community, I can be a strong voice for the people of Kootenay East,” said Blissett.

 “After talking with constituents in the Elk Valley and Cranbrook it is clear that many people are looking for a change in government. They want an MLA that will listen and act on their concerns. They want an MLA that will respect the views of all constituents.  I believe that I can be that MLA” 

Blissett, 51, is a forester and a high school teacher.  Originally from Ontario, for the past 17 years she has lived in Cranbrook, where she raised her three children—Douglas, Mathew and Hope.  

Blissett currently teaches forestry, science and math at Mount Baker Secondary School.  Previously she was employed as a Forest Educator by a group of East Kootenay forest companies.  In Ontario, she worked as a forester for the Ministry of Natural Resources and as a science teacher at Port Hope High School.  

Blissett earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University, and a Master’s in Leadership from Gonzaga University.  

She has served as a volunteer for a number of organizations including Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook, East Kootenay Child Care Resource Centre, Salvation Army, Heart and Stroke Society, Kimberley North Star Ski Racers and Cranbrook Minor Lacrosse.  Blissett enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and skiing. 

Herbert Falls and Sorghum Lake

An easy Sunday walk could take you to two hidden treasures close to Cranbrook!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Norma Blissett wins at NDP Nominee Selection Convention

Norma Blissett won the NDP candidate selection for Kootenay East on Saturday, September 22nd.

Norma Blissett enthusiastically thanks supporters and fellow candidate Randal MacNair after her landslide win at the NDP Nomination Convention

Randal McNair also an NDP candidate nominee chats with a member of the audience

Jumbo Pass and Brewer Basin

One of the most beautiful times of year to get out and up into the mountains is now.  For those who have never seen Jumbo Pass.......

photos courtesy of Bob Whetham

Friday, September 21, 2012

The NHL lockout, money, greed and the root of all evil

Perceptions by Gerry Warner

October is almost upon us and, OMG, it looks like another October without NHL hockey – hooray! It may even be another winter (and spring) without NHL hockey. Double hooray!! Personally this 50-year hockey fan has had it with NHL hockey and most of Canadian hockey for that matter.
Ever hear of that famous five-letter word that begins with ‘G’ and ends with ‘D?’ Of course you have . It’s “GREED,” which among other things, my Webster’s New World Dictionary defines as “excessive desire for  . . . wealth” and “desire for more than one needs or deserves.”
Pretty rich, eh? (pun intended) “More than one deserves.” Let’s run the numbers and see how this applies to the NHL.
I did a little research on Uncle Google and this is what I found. Way back in the 2008 – 09 season (the most recent per- game data I could find) when the maximum NHL salary, according to the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was $11.3 million, this worked out to (big pause) $138,292.68 per game. Yep, that’s almost $140,000 every time a NHL player suits up for 60 minutes of hockey. Nice work if you can get it and more than 600 NHL players would be getting it now if they weren’t so greedy.
And the numbers keep going up. In the 2011 – 2012 season, the highest paid player was Shea Weber of the lowly Nashville Predators, who made a cool $14 million for 82 games of hockey. (and I do emphasize “game” here) But I think you’re getting my drift.
These numbers are nothing short of obscene.
In a world where the average per capita income in developing countries is only $846-a-year and just over $7,000-a-year in the richer developed countries (UN figures) making almost $140,000 for 60 minutes of hockey is unfathomable. No wonder it’s said that one per cent of the world’s population control 99 per cent of the planet’s wealth. Whatever the case, something is very wrong when sports figures (not just NHL players) can make way more money than doctors, scientists and other professionals who actually do something meaningful for society.
And of course I’m not implying that the malaise of the NHL is solely the players’ fault. The team owners, who created this cockamamie system, are equally to blame as they try to manipulate the players’ salary cap to their own advantage. Pretty crazy when you consider that 18 of the 30 NHL teams lost money in the 2010 – 2011 season (see with the Phoenix Coyotes filing for bankruptcy in the 2009 – 2010 season and now owned by the NHL itself.
In short, the NHL is a house of cards ready to tumble, much like the rest of the world’s economy, except that in the NHL it’s a “union” of millionaires scrapping with corporate owners while the fans in the seats and boxes can pay more than a thousand dollars-a-game to watch this idiocy. And since when do millionaires belong to a union? Unions are supposed to be for oppressed workers, which is hardly the case in the NHL.
Where’s it going to end? I don’t know and I really don’t care. At least in this town we’ve got great junior hockey to watch at an affordable price and more of us should start warming the seats or we may lose this precious franchise someday. The great thing about CHL major junior hockey is that the players are young and hungry and play their guts out every game because they haven’t been corrupted by NHL salaries yet.
When I think of greed and the NHL lockout, two famous quotations come to mind. One was made by Ivan Boesky, the junk bond king of the 80’s who said in a 1986 Berkley commencement address: “Greed is all right . . . Greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.” And, of course, the other one comes from the Bible, 1 Timothy: “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
Enuff said.

 Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a Cranbrook City councillor. His views are his own.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Investing in Post-Secondary Education Good for Economy says NDP's Blissett

Cranbrook--  With students now back on campus at Cranbrook's College of the Rockies, finding classrooms is not the only thing concerning students. Local NDP candidate for nomination Norma Blissett says she's hearing that students are most concerned about their finances and debt loads.

"The start of a new school year means students pay tuition, fees, books, rent, utilities and other expenses," says Blissett who's running the Kootenay East BCNDP nomination. "Since today's students are paying considerably more than their parents generation, it's no surprise national studies are finding that finances are the number one cause of stress for students"

In the last ten years under the Liberals, tuition in BC has doubled. At the same time, BC continues to have the highest interest rate on student loans in Canada while being the only province that fails to offer students financial needs-based grants. The result is that 54% of students have debt, with the average debt-load being $27,000 after a four year program.

"In less than a decade, 80% of jobs will require post-secondary education. With a skilled labour shortage starting right now, BC needs young people to get training," notes Blissett. "Companies like Teck are asking the province to invest in skills training because it is so important for the wellbeing of our economy."

Adrian Dix and the BC NDP have committed $100 million to financial needs-based grants to help reduce student debt and make post-secondary education more affordable. This bold step for positive change will help to build BC's labour force needed for a strong economy.

Mayor’s Address to the Chamber Luncheon

Mayor Wayne Stetski addressed members and guests of Cranbrook’s Chamber of Commerce yesterday at their monthly luncheon.

In his address he spoke of his personal objective of ensuring that all citizens of Cranbrook feel valued, listened to and welcome at City Hall and how he has done his best to make that happen through different opportunities to share concerns, attending special events and responding to residents concerns.  Mayor Stetski also listed actions, which have been taken over the last nine months including a focus on youth, culture and arts and work for improvements for the disabled and seniors.

In speaking of the Cranbrook’s economy he noted in 2011, 1318 business licences were issued.  In 2012 in the first 8 months, 1432 licences have been issued.
Building permits – the total value of construction permits up to the end of August was $24,117,039,31, which is a 33% increase over 2011.  While some of that was due to storm damage, new industrial development is at $3,281,699, which is 3.5 times as much as in 2011.
Passenger use at the airport is up 6% over last year to date.

Mayor Stetski stated he is very much looking forward to receiving the report he requested from the Chamber of Commerce that will help Council better understand the barriers and challenges that business face in the city.

Three large potential projects on the horizon were listed as the new intensive care unit for the hospital, a new homeless shelter and the replacement of Mount Baker School as well as potentially key City Theatre.

Mayor Stetski told the audience that in the spring of this year he volunteered Cranbrook to be one of seven communities working with the Province on a Pilot project to try to break the poverty cycles for families and children.

He concluded his speech by listing some of the challenges identified by Council and staff.  These included improving infrastructure while funding or improving the needs of other sectors of the community that need help, improving infrastructure while trying to minimize taxes, planning for a replacement of Key City Theatre and establishing a permanent home for the Arts in Cranbrook and implementing a long term vision for the Railway Museum as well as creating a strong business environment to encourage new business opportunities.

Mayor Stetski’s complete address can be read at:

What's Happening...

Thursday, September 30

The Canadian Federation of University Women
Celebrate 30 Years in Cranbrook
Special presentation, Guest speaker Ghada Alatrash
Starting at 7pm, Manual Training Centre
Everyone Welcome

Middleton at Key City Theatre
The fold musical 'Middleton'
Starts at 7:30pm, Key City Theatre
Tickets are $20 adults, $18 students
Tickets available at KCT box office

Friday, September 21

Stenhouse at the Casino
Mike Stenhouse will be the featured performer
in the weekend showcase at the St. Eugene Mission Casino
Starts 9pm

Saturday, September 22

United Way's Friendship Festival
From noon to 6pm, Rotary Park
Activities for all ages including Battle of the Bands,
arts and crafts, face-painting, a silent auction.
For more information contact

Cranbrook Community Theatre Workshop
Today and Sunday from 10am - 4pm at the Stage Door.
Actors Workshop showing participants how to create a character
To register email Terry at or call
250-432-0047. The workshop fee is $20

Catholic Parishes Bazaar
The annual Catholic Parishes Bazaar will be held
in St. Mary's School gym on 5th St. South from Noon to 3pm
There will be home baking, jellies, produce and sewing for sale.
As well there will be an afternoon tea of sandwiches and sweets for $5.

Rails to Trails Exhibition
Opening reception this afternoon from 1pm - 4pm
for the Key City Gallery's opening exhibition "Rails to Trails".
The show continues to October 15 and can be viewed between
10am - 4pm Mondays to Friday and 11am - 3pm  on Saturdays.

Seniors' Social Dance
A Social Dance will be held at the Cranbrook Seniors Hall
on 2nd Street South starting at 7pm. You are invited to come and dance to
music of the Don Davies Quartet. Refreshments will be served.
Admission is $10. For more information call 250-489-2720

Sunday, September 23

Kidney Foundation Golf Tourney
Takes place at Mission Hills Golf Course today.
The shotgun start is noon. The entry fee is $45 and includes
18 holes of golf dinner and prizes.

Wednesday, September 26

The Annual Fall Book Sale of the Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library
and the Sunrise Rotary will be held in the Tembec Gym today through
Sunday, September 30. The doors open at 9:30 and close at 6pm. Friday and
Saturday doors stay open until 9pm.
Donations are still being accepted
Please call Marilyn for more information at 250-489-6254

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Store

On Saturday, September 15th, The Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary (at 30 - 8 Ave. S., Cranbrook) opened their “Little Art Gall’ry” at the back of the store.  The gallery features framed art reproductions and some originals, in a mixture that ranges from needlework to modern decorative pieces.

The “Little Art Gall’ry” was the brainchild of Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary volunteers Bonnie Close, Evelyn Botterill and Marcella Murdoch, which received the enthusiastic blessing of Odette Rouse.  

City Councillor, Sharon Cross, had the privilege of cutting the ribbon with Bonnie Close, Evelyn Botterill, and Marcella Murdoch.  Councillor Cross commented that it was an honour to open the Little Art Gall’ry as it provides an affordable option for home decorating.  “The whole store and the work of the volunteers are an asset to our community.”

Blast from the Past - School Supplies

Hopefully all the school supplies are now taken care of . Compare to 1924.

Click to enlarge - or download and enlarge.
Cranbrook Courier September 3rd 1924

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dead Peasants Insurance – a new low for civilization

Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Just when you think you’ve heard it all and you couldn’t possibly be surprised or appalled anymore, something comes along that knocks you screaming to your knees – “dead peasants insurance.” Let me explain, and for my explanation, I’m heavily indebted to Harvard Professor Michael Sandel and the Manchester Guardian newspaper.
Sandel, a professor of philosophy and politics at Harvardarvard and the author of the widely acclaimed best seller, “Justice,” has written another sure-to-be acclaimed book, “What Money Can’t Buy, the moral limits of markets.”  I recently read a review of the book in The Guardian and I’m still sweating with anger and disbelief.
First let me explain “dead peasants insurance,” sometimes known as “janitors insurance.” An employee of a big-box retail company, one present here in Cranbrook, was recently carrying a TV set outside for a customer when he collapsed and died of a heart attack and an insurance company paid out $300,000 for the loss of his life.
A tragic event for those concerned, but not all that unusual in today’s busy world. However, what may give you pause for concern is that the money didn’t go to the deceased’s family. They didn’t even know of the policy. No the $300,000 went to the dead man’s employer, the largest retail company in the world, that had taken out a “dead peasants insurance” policy on him and thousands of others of its staff.
Is this illegal? Not on your life. (unintentional pun) Numerous companies do it and it’s one of the latest things in the insurance industry known as “stranger originated life insurance.” Is it immoral? Unethical? That I will leave up to you, but according to The Guardian review when an insurance company president was interviewed about it, he said: “There have been some phenomenal returns, but there have also been some horror stories when people live longer.” I kid you not, and if that doesn’t give you the creeps, you better put your hand to your chest to see if you still have a heart.
Guess when this kind of “insurance” originated. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic. I don’t need to explain the details. However, Sandel uses this ghoulish practice as an example of the intrusion of market values into everyday life (and death) and laments what The Guardian calls “the collective loss of our moral compass.” Or as Sandel puts it: “The most fateful change that unfolded in the last three decades was not an increase in greed. It was the expansion of markets, and of market values, into spheres of life where they don’t belong.”
But in a society where everything is for sale and it seems money can buy almost anything – the U.S presidency, an Olympic medal, a trophy wife, happiness itself – this commodification of our moral and ethical values is deeply troubling and promotes great cynicism . It makes me think of what Oscar Wilde once said: “A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
And it isn’t philosopher Ayn Rand, the apostle of capitalism, that Sandel has in his sights. Like the author of  “Atlas Shrugged,” Sandel says the unfettered free market does one thing very well. “No other mechanism for organizing the production and distribution of goods has proved as successful for generating affluence and prosperity.”
No, Sandel is not advocating socialism per se, but he is saying there are areas of life that the profit motive must take second place to the public good and that money has a tendency to corrupt some of our highest values. One intriguing example he offers is of a daycare in Israel where parents often arrived late to pick up their children, showing a lack of concern for their kids and even more so for the daycare staff. So the daycare started to fine the tardy parents and you know what happened? The problem grew worse than before because the guileless parents simply regarded the fine as another fee to be paid and they could afford it.
But there are other examples all around us. A school in Texas that pays students $2 for every book they read. Does this engender a love of reading or a love of money? What about carbon offset payments? Do they equate to a love of the environment or just a socially acceptable way for people of means to pollute?
I haven’t read the book yet, but I think Sandel is on to something here. They say money can’t buy love, and if that’s true, there are lots of other things that money shouldn’t be able to buy either.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a Cranbrook City councillor. His views are his own and not meant to represent city council.