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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Stay Safe

Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, any eve.

Cranbrook Guardian - in Review

The readership of this little blog has now grown from its initial readership in 2010 of a few pageviews per week to between 11,000 and 12,000 pageviews per month.  Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook saw a need in 2010 to share what many saw as ‘the other side of the story.’  Cranbrook was facing a major boundary expansion enabled by an alternative approval process.  Many were fearful of the consequences of such a decision and considering what has happened to several developments in and around Cranbrook, the state of our infrastructure and future municipal financial realities, the taxpayers uprising to oppose such extravagance was not a bad decision. 

In our list of most read articles of all time was the article titled 'The Whole Story' from the fall of this year 2012.  It took us into the world of Provincial politics.  Although our focus is primarily Cranbrook’s well being, all things are connected and when the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce chose not to facilitate a Cranbrook business audience for the leader of the opposition, Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook questioned the decision.  It is not surprising this story was the most popular for 2012. 

A storm of another kind came in second as a popular story for 2012. It was that of the windstorm of July 20th ‘More Storm Images.’  This storm wreaked havoc with trees and property in and around Cranbrook and the evidence is still clearly visible especially on a few homes still awaiting the completion of restoration. 

The popularity of the Christmas CP Holiday Train should not be surprising as it is searched from all over the country and The Cranbrook Guardian is one of the easily found internet sites.  At this time of year it can be seen that the SouthStar Trails are searched continually and it is our hope that someone soon is able to regularly update the SouthStar Trail blog.

Running a City is no easy task but when the collective wisdom of all taxpayers is taken into consideration, it likely will be a smoother ride.  Decisions made or influenced by a few frequently become problematic if there is not a good understanding of what the residents want.  We like to think this blog provides another venue for debate and discussion around some issues concerning our city.  We like to think that those watching and listening will have more information on which to base their decisions.   Cranbrook belongs to all of us so keep the comment coming in. 


Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Yogurt Economy

Cranbrook's economy will be on the minds of many as we launch into 2013.  Will it change, 'grow', be sustainable?  What does that all mean anyway and what is really important for this community to be a happy one?

From:  comes this paragraph:

    Many people hear the word "economics" and think it is all about money. Economics is not just about money. It is about weighing different choices or alternatives. Some of those important choices involve money, but most do not. Most of your daily, monthly, or life choices have nothing to do with money, yet they are still the subject of economics. For example, your decisions about whether it should be you or your roommate who should be the one to clean up or do the dishes, whether you should spend an hour a week volunteering for a worthy charity or send them a little money via your cell phone, or whether you should take a job so you can help support your siblings or parents or save for your future are all economic decisions. In many cases, money is merely a helpful tool or just a veil, standing in for a partial way to evaluate some of the goals you really care about and how you make choices about those goals. 
According to Answerbag Drexel University explains that the word “economics” derives from two Greek words, “oikos” and "nomia." “Oikos” translates to a family household or estates, and “nomia” means laws or rules issued by the government.
Read more: Where does the word economics come from? | Answerbag

It is interesting that one of the most delicious yogurts on the market goes by the name of 'Oikos'.

There is much talk about economic growth for Cranbrook as there is for other communities.  There is constant discussion about what would be good to boost our local economy and in the feedback from the Chamber it recommended that the city, 'Work with the business community to take a more aggressive approach on the City’s economic development strategy, including regular progress reporting.' 

We already have an economic development officer on staff at City Hall and economic boosts have been sought after in Asian locations at the City's expense.  However maybe a healthy economy should not be based on financial wealth but on the the health and happiness wealth of those within a community and maybe the economic drive could come from the people within that community. By defining economic growth differently other solutions might be possible.  

The 'sharing community' thinks so.  We have a 'carshare' group in the area and in some cities around the world this idea has taken off with great success.  The economy succeeds with more sharing and less money is required.

We have seen the success of the Farmer's Market with much satisfaction being achieved by both growers and consumers.  Money still changes hands but it is a sure bet the producers are not getting rich.  Satisfaction is achieved in another way.

With less emphasis on owning more material stuff our economy may well change into something a lot more meaningful.

This is one idea for a boost to the local economy:
Click on Effluent to Affluent and then on Summary, problem etc.
This little project did not win the $10,000.00 hoped for - for a feasibility study but maybe other opportunities will come along.
The schematic drawing for the above changemaker project can be viewed here:

Any other ideas out there?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

For Downton Abbey Fans Only - Countess Cora has an alter ego

Another antidote to Gerry's column - the new Season 3 is about to begin.  Downton Abbey is about as far removed from Cranbrook life as one can get but there are a huge number of fans in town and and so for those fans, here is Elizabeth McGovern in another role.

Our Winter Playground

After reading Gerry's column yesterday it is easy to state the obvious - we are so lucky to live where we do. It may not be wise for us to ignore the state of the world or to totally abdicate our own responsibilities as one small cog in the wheel but this weekend with perfect snow conditions, there is every reason to get out and enjoy the day whether it is watching the bird feeder, snow shoeing, tobogganing, skiing, skating walking or taking a trip out to Fort Steele.  It is too good to miss.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 was a tough year and 2013 could be even tougher

Perceptions by Gerry Warner
The year 2012 is grinding to an ignominious end and I wish I wasn’t so deeply pessimistic. But I am, and there’s no point hiding it. So if you’re still enjoying the year-end  fun and festivities please continue and you might be better off skipping this gloomy epistle.
As for my state of mind, and I suspect many others, how can pessimism be avoided in the wake of the Newtown shooting tragedy and the shooting deaths of  two New York firemen that followed only a few days later?  Sure, it’s easy to say that’s the U.S. and we’re different, but are we really that much different? The anti-feminist motivated massacre at the Montreal Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 ranks right up there with the worst of the American school slaughter tragedies and there have been others in Canada and around the world too.
What’s the likelihood of more such shooting tragedies occurring in 2013? You might as well run a lottery on it  because more deaths are that certain.  Hell, let the NRA run it and give an AR-15 semi-automatic to the “winner.”  Then there’s the toxic state of American politics. We’re only days away from the so-called “fiscal cliff,” an agreement cobbled together by Republicans and Democrats a year ago to force them to agree on future fiscal policy or a draconian set of spending cuts and tax increases will kick in forcing the world’s biggest economy into another recession.
The clock is ticking on that one, and if the American economy slides into recession again will the Canadian economy be far behind? And then there’s the Euro Zone, already heavily into recession with Germany the only strongly solvent major country left and countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy in the cross-hairs of economic collapse.
Even the Chinese economy slowed down drastically the past year and stories began to seep out of over-worked Chinese workers jumping out of the windows of giant sweat shop factories churning out electronic toys for technology-obsessed Western consumers.
Meanwhile war, disease and starvation continue to stalk large undeveloped areas of Africa, Asia and South America while we in the developed West rack our brains trying to figure out how to hold on to all our “stuff.” But even in the West there’s great discontent as wealth continues to spiral upwards to the gilded few belonging to the so-called “one per cent” while the middle class grows smaller by the day and thousands, if not millions, face the grim prospect of sliding down the standard of living ladder into a life style full of fear and privation.
Am I depressing you yet? If not, you haven’t been paying attention.
Meanwhile as the world’s climate grows ominously warmer on a yearly basis and the atmosphere fills with carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases, let me tell you what I fear the most – the dire state of the American body politic.  Like it or not, the U.S. is the fulcrum on which the rest of the world spins. The Excited States of America is the most powerful country in the world financially, militarily, technologically, intellectually and any other adjective you care to use. But in many ways this colossus of a country is one sick puppy. Bipartisanship, once one of the strongest features of American democracy, is dead. With the death of bipartisanship, American politics has slid into gridlock. Witness the 11th hour settlement on the debt ceiling agreement last year. Look at the looming fiscal cliff crisis approaching now. Look at the country’s $16 trillion debt with the majority of it held by Communist China, a country many Americans consider their mortal enemy. And most of all, a country now seriously contemplating using armed battalions to protect its children at school while at the same time fighting one of its many wars to keep the Taliban from killing school children in far off Afghanistan.
And who said irony is dead?
And how many of you realized this? According to an October 2012 Brookings Institute  report, more U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan  this year of suicide than were killed by the Taliban. The latest official totals from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 were 222 deaths caused by “hostile causes” and 247 by suicide. Even Uncle Sam’s own troops don’t believe in the American Dream anymore.
And where does this leave the Global Village I hope I never have to find out.
Happy New Year everybody.  Honestly!

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a Cranbrook City Councillor. His opinions are his own.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remember to RECYCLE

As we clean up the boxes, wrapping paper and collection of other recyclables, let's remember to dispose of everything sustainably and responsibly.  The more we can keep out of the landfill the longer the current landfill will last.  Most of the Christmas waste can be recycled with the exception of Styrofoam.  In the pictures below Gordon Terrace students are given a tour of our local recycling facilities and taught the value of reduce reuse and  recycle.

Recycle Guides have been available in local papers and a one page downloadable version is available here:

Watch in the spring for a local 'Clean Bin Project' sponsored by Wildsight.  This local project was inspired by the couple who visited our area last year.

Loree Duczek assists a student in using the YELLOW BINS
Yellow Recycling bins accept CARDBOARD, NEWSPRINT, MIXED PAPER, PLASTICS #1 - 6 (but NOT STYROFOAM), and TIN CANS.
Saved from the landfill and put to reuse

The forever shrinking landfill

Thank you again to Stewart Wilson for the photos.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

A Very Merry Christmas to all our Readers
and a big Thank You to all those who contribute to this blog by way of articles, photos or discussion.

Thank you Stewart Wilson for the photos

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Winter Solstice

We just experienced the darkest day of the year, the time at which the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon and the day in which the hours of sunlight are at their least.  Only the sun can bring back the light.  We can store it, we can make a fiery substitute and we can make the ancient call for its return  but only our predictable rotation around the sun will really do the trick.

The gift of the Community Forest solar lit tree - Thanks again Elves.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Is change in the wind for a nation in love with guns?

Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Back in the days when the United States was 13 colonies of religious fanatics huddled on the East Coast of America facing a dangerous wilderness and hostile natives wanting their land back -- and rightly so -- it was understandable why the pioneers needed guns.
Guns fed them. Guns protected them.
A hundred or so years later those same pioneers fought a revolutionary war against the greatest empire on earth – and defying all odds – were victorious. Once again, the key was guns. Then it came time to create a country with a sacred document to guide it into an uncertain future. Is it any wonder that the Second Amendment to the American Constitution was the right to bear arms?
But this is where things started to go off the rails.
The Second Amendment was intended to provide the fledgling country with a citizens’ militia because the New Republic still faced many enemies, not the least of which were the imperialist British still smarting from their unexpected defeat, Spain, which possessed a great empire of its own, Mexico, part of the Spanish Empire to the south and the misnamed North American Indian, who still controlled the western half of the continent and had great leaders of its own like Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
But the Americans persevered and eventually defeated all of their enemies and became the Greatest Empire in the history of the world, bestriding the earth like a giant colossus, albeit a colossus with a fatal flaw – a love of guns. Any kind of gun from an AR-15, the semi-automatic weapon that killed 20 innocent school children in Newtown, Connecticut last week, to a Glock hand gun concealed in a pocket to the hundreds of drones killing children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (When a gun doesn’t work, you get a better weapon – and praise the Lord – the killing can continue.)
We’re talking about a sick country here. Sick, sick, sick! The gun culture is ingrained into the very fiber of American DNA. And ironically the only person that may be able to reverse this atavistic disease is one who has played a major role in continuing it – President Barack Obama.
Yes, I’m talking about that president, the one who was elected more than four years ago saying he would fight for tougher gun laws and did nothing. The one who gave the order for the extra-judicial murder of Osama bin Laden (in his bed surrounded by his wives and children) instead of  bringing him to American justice and legally executing him like a truly civilized country would do. And, oh yes, the president who expanded the Drone War in the tribal lands of  Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing hundreds of innocent civilians including dozens of women and children. No public tears shed for them. Then again, sitting in their stone houses and hovels in the Steppes of Asia, they represent great threats to American “security.” Yeah, right.
I know this is harsh, but I defy anyone to tell me it isn’t the truth.
Yet, despite the foregoing, I’m actually daring to believe that maybe this time it’s different. Obama’s tears looked genuine on TV. This time he’s pledged to act on gun control and put Vice President Biden in charge of a special task force to come up with concrete proposals for new gun laws within weeks. Referring to the Newtown massacre where teachers tried to shield students with their bodies, he said it’s time for Americans to show “one tiny iota of courage those teachers in Newtown summoned on Friday."
Pray to God, I hope Americans start doing that. This, after all, is the country where sales of children’s body armor and bullet-proof  backpacks soared after the Newtown tragedy and where some politicians have seriously suggested arming all teachers to keep students from being killed.
But now there are signs that real change may be in the air. It took three days for the National Rifle Association to respond to the killing fields of Newtown and the NRA responded in a gracious manner with no mention at all of Americans inalienable right to gun each other down. Even some senators and congressmen, who have strongly supported the gun lobby in the past, are showing signs of a change of heart. Given this, Obama has a golden opportunity to forge a legacy of being the president that restored peace to the public square, made school children safe in their seats and created a kinder, less violent America.
What a Christmas gift that would  be.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and Cranbrook City Councillor. His opinions are his own.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Draft Sign Bylaw and Comment Sheets Available Here.

With opinion on the Draft Sign Bylaw still trickling in, we thought more readers may wish to read the bylaw if they have not already.  Although we believe it is still available at City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce, we have made it available by clicking on this link:

The Comment sheet is also available at this link:

The deadline for comments to be received was officially extended today.
Comments must be in to City Hall attention Rob Veg by February 1st.

What's Happening...

Thursday, December 20th

Highland Dance Recital
The Royal Stewart Highland Dancers host
their annual Christmas Charity Recital
7pm, Heritage Inn Ball Room
Admission by donation to the Salvation Army

Friday, December 21

Christmas at Fort Steele
The final Saturday of Christmas Activities
at Fort Steele. Skating, bon fire, pictures with Santa

Unknown Culprits
Hard rock band playing at the
Byng Roadhouse Pub
Starting at 9pm

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blast from the Past- This Week in Cranbrook One Hundred Years Ago

For the week of December 16th to Dec 22nd

100 Years Ago
From The Cranbrook Herald December 19th, 1912

Customs collections for the month of November at the local customs office amounted to $7,770.28,
Contractor Wood has completed the work on the Indian Industrial School at the St. Eugene Mission.  The handsome structure will very shortly be occupied by boys and girls who, at present, are quite inadequately accommodated in the old buildings.
The Lord Bishop of New Westminster held services in Cranbrook, Elko and Fort Steele
Davis Bros.  The local electricians, have been awarded a contract by the C.P.R. for the erection of a complete electric light plant, of 500 lights capacity, at Bull River.
Harold Darling has gone to Calgary and Winnipeg on a business trip. He will return about Christmas time.
Jos.Ryan, who has been at Chicago in charge of the South East Kootenay mineral display, started for home this week.
There is very little doing in the interest to make up the City Council for 1913.  At present the list has A.C. Bowness for mayor, and Jos. Campbell, L. Clapp, G. Erickson, W. Cameron, J.E. Kennedy, W. Halsall, C.R. Ward, H.A. McKowan, G. Johnson, and John Laurie for aldermen.
Dr. J. H. King has returned from Winnipeg accompanied by his father Hon. Senator King, who will be his guest until after the Christmas holidays.
Dollard L. LeRoy, formerly of Vancouver, has purchased a half interest in the show business of Wm. Guerrard in the Auditorium.
It is reported that the bridge across the Kootenay River at the mouth of Skookumchuck will be undertaken very shortly and will be completed next summer.
Herr Webber, court councilor of Leipzig, Germany, and owner and publisher of the Illustrated Zeitung, speaking at Edmonton last week: "There is not the remotest danger of war between Germany and Great Britain. We are closer today than ever. I have no patience with the war gossips suggesting such a thing.  It can not be in this age.  I believe that Canada can be made a link for uniting Britain and Germany more closely in friendship.  Canada has many claims.”
The Royal Hotel, under the management of William Steward, has adopted white help throughout the kitchen and dining room. Improvements on the building have been made also.
A. Carney, of Kaslo, assistant timber inspector and collector of revenues, is retiring at the end of the month. Advancing years is given as the explanation for his retirement. He made many friends in East Kootenay during his business visits in this district.
Unusual interest is being taken in the mock trial being held in the Carmen's hall Saturday night. The trial is based on the case of "Jenny Brice," taken from Everybody's Magazine, which periodical is offering prizes for the best conducted trial. P. E. Wilson. will be the presiding judge, Judge Thompson counsel for the defense, W. F. Gurd and W. A. Nisbet being prosecuting counsel. The part of the prisoner is being taken by our genial school principal, Mr. Cranston, and witnesses in the case are all well known people. There will be silver collection in aid of Christ Church Ladies' Aid.
WE KNOW OF NO SAFER INVESTMENT – than a Cranbrook Orchard today.  Those of us who know the possibilities of this country should lose no time in securing one of these tracts before they are gone.  This company owns and controls over two thousand acres in this vicinity and they will be the means to bringing in many new settlers.  We can sell you this property at low prices and on very easy terms.  Beale & Elwell, Sole Agents for Cranbrook Orchards, Cranbrook, BC.

Around Town and Looking Good

The new bridge opposite St Mary's School leading into Kinsmen Park out of Brookview(6th St.S.) has now been installed.  More bridges are destined for replacement in the New Year.

Stewart Wilson photo


Pothole Gardening

Just imagine the potential!...Apologies to engineering and public works.

Monday, December 17, 2012

West Jet Flash Mob

A Mom's Insight

If you are privileged to work in education you will likely have an understanding of this story.  So will you, if you work in mental health or in nursing or if you are the parent of a child or adult with mental illness.  This article was written in the United States but is not limited to the United States.  These stories happen everywhere, including Cranbrook and we in Canada are lucky that we have many services to assist with these issues and hopefully prevent a tragedy such as that in Connecticut.  A much better awareness of these issues however will never go amiss.

Friday’s horrific national tragedy -- the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut -- has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanza's story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan -- they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

and another article worth reading:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blast from the Past - Cranbrook Beer

The prospect of an upscale, brewhouse restaurant in Cranbrook has excited many who have been hoping for something like this to bring a more 'cultured' atmosphere to our downtown.  This is something to look forward to in the New Year and hopefully just the beginning of a new vitality for the center of Cranbrook.  Congratulations Heidi on this new venture.

Cranbrook Courier December 1930

Out and About in Nature's Sculpture Garden

Thanks  Stewart

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa's a Canadian

On Everyone's Minds

It doesn't seem right or easy to carry on with our Christmassy feelings when so many are grieving for the awful loss of life in such a violent setting.  Facebook posts, talk on the street are all about the tragedy in Connecticut.  Soon people will be saying 'life goes on' but let's hope it's a different life that goes on - one where maybe finally, possession of these deadly weapons is treated with much more scrutiny.  A committed effort for that to happen would be a Christmas gift worth having. 

No Time for Emotions, Let's Talk About Gun Control
is the headline in the Huffington Post.
'But what exactly is so "unthinkable" about Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when it almost seems to happen on a regular basis?'

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sending Our Sincere and Heartfelt Sympathy

Our thoughts and prayers to all those families

 touched by today's horrific violence in 

Newtown, Connecticut.

Sign Open House a Mob Scene or an Example of Grassroots Democracy – you be the judge

Perceptions by Gerry Warner

“Beauty (and ‘clutter’) is in the eye of the beholder.” I don’t know who enunciated this truism first, probably Shakespeare or maybe the Bible. They are, after all, the two most quoted sources in the world. But I have a confession to make and I’m not ashamed to say it.
I like signs. I like neon too, but more on that later.
Now that you know where I’m coming from, I might as well jump into the latest controversy to engulf Cranbrook and Cranbrook City Hall. And that is the City’s proposed new sign bylaw, which has stirred up a hornets’ nest of angst and dissent  at a time when the City has much greater problems on its overburdened table.
Let’s deal with the beauty or aesthetic issue first. Cranbrook Street, or “The Strip” as it’s more fondly known, isn’t beautiful nor should it be because it is, after all, a “strip,” a busy business or commercial street that brings millions of dollars and thousands of visitors and tourists to the city every year.

If there’s something wrong with this, I’d like it explained to me because I think the business The Strip brings to the city benefits every local citizen to a greater or lesser degree. Beauty? Sure, some snooty travel writers have maligned our beleaguered Strip over the years but that’s mostly in the past before the lovely flower planters were placed up and down the street, before the local heroes banners were hung from the lamp standards and before the right-angled turn was converted into a flowing curve connecting The Strip and Van Horne Street. In other words, our beloved Strip has been greatly improved and is no longer ugly.
Take that you snooty travel writers!

Clutter? Take a look to the right at a picture of downtown Kathmandu. Now that’s “clutter!” When it comes to clutter we're just amateurs compared to them and I’d also point out that many tourists find the chaotic sign situation in Kathmandu exotic or a great example of local culture.
Neon? The proposed sign bylaw discourages the use of neon. Piffle! In some quarters, neon is considered “art,” not clutter, and old neon signs in many cities have even been given heritage designation . So come on Cranbrook. Get with the program.
Another unfair criticism lobbed at the signs on The Strip is that they are a distraction and a safety hazard blocking the view of the mountains. Again, I say piffle! You can still see the glorious Rockies from almost anywhere on The Strip and if you’re looking at the peaks instead of the road that’s an even greater distraction. You can’t have it both ways. And besides, I think most people driving The Strip are looking for bargains, not mountains.

Then there’s the claim that a “mob mentality” was operating at the sign open house meeting Dec. 5. This one leaves me flummoxed. I was at the meeting, and while I certainly heard some emotional speeches and comments in my wildest dreams I never felt I was at a mob scene. Nor did I feel intimidated . However, I heard from more than one person there that they did feel intimidated and were afraid to speak. That’s unfortunate because the very essence of democracy is that people must feel they have an innate right to speak and express their opinion. If we do another sign open house after the revised bylaw is drawn up – and I’m strongly encouraging the City to do just that – I’m sure every measure will be taken to encourage an open and welcoming atmosphere where no one is afraid to express their opinion.

Finally, I would like to express my own opinion that everyone is free to accept or reject. And it’s simply this. I thought the sign open house meeting was a great exercise in grass roots democracy that did our city proud. Unlike the divisive East Hill debate when the Council of the day passed a unanimous motion to make a boundary extension application to Victoria before consulting with the people, this time the horse and the wagon are being put in the right order.

In other words, consultation is happening first then a bylaw may or may not be passed, or passed with needed changes. It’s essential we do it right this time because the livelihood of every Cranbrook Street merchant will be impacted by this bylaw.
And if we do it right, there should be no need for another referendum.

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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chamber Raises $27000 for Christmas Hampers

Under the leadership of Jason Wheeldon, it was announced yesterday at the Chamber luncheon that $27000.00 was raised for turkeys , hams and all the fixings for Christmas hampers.  Many Congratulations to all those involved in this great community giving gesture.  The Food Bank and the Salvation Army will look after some of the distributions.

Norma Blissett (left) was just one of the guest phone operators for the turkey drive.   

What's Happening...

Thursday, December 13

It's a Wonderful Life - The Live Radio Show
Presented by the Cranbrook Community Theatre
Dec, 13, 14, and 15th
Studio Stage Door, 8pm
Tickets are $13 CCT members, $15 non-members

Saturday, December 15

Fort Steele Heritage Town 
Presents Father Christmas at Lambi House
Get your picture taken with Santa Clause and enjoy cider and cookies
Also sleigh rides
11am - 2pm

One Starry Night
Travel Back in Time to Ancient Bethlehem
Free Activities for all ages.
Knox Church
2100-3rd St. S

Sunday, December 16

Kids Christmas Shopping P.A.R.T.Y.
Held from 1 - 5pm
Kids of all ages invited to shop for gifts
from $1-$15

Monday, December 17

Travelogue on the Grand Canyon
Presented by Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library and Gerry Warner
7pm at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre
Admission by Donation

Wednesday December 19th
Gordon Terrace School Concert 1:00pm

Thursday, December 20

The Royal Stewart Highland Dancers host
their annual Christmas Charity Recital
7pm at the Heritage Inn  Ballroom
All monies going to the Salvation Army.

The Making of a Good Citizen

Gen Y In Canada: Taxes, Tolerance And Voting Top List Of What Makes A Good Citizen
The vast majority of millennials consider themselves to be good citizens, but there is not nearly as much consensus on what that means — a disagreement often influenced by age, education and country of origin.
Abacus Data polled 1,004 Canadians of the Millennial Generation —aged 18 to 30 — on a variety of issues between Oct. 23 and 25. Overwhelmingly, respondents to the poll, carried out for The Huffington Post Canada, believed they were good citizens.
This may not necessarily be representative of the entire generation, however. People who consider themselves to be bad citizens are not likely to volunteer information to a pollster. And this kind of self-evaluation may not be accurate. For example, when surveyed, a majority of people tend to believe they are better drivers than the average person.

Nevertheless, not everyone in the poll believed themselves to be model Canadians. While 39 per cent said they were “very good” citizens, another 57 per cent said they were merely “good” citizens. Women were more modest than men: 35 per cent said they were very good citizens, compared with 43 per cent of men. And the more educated someone was, the more likely they were to consider themselves very good citizens.

Read the top list and the entire article at the link above.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blast from the Past - December 9th to 15th 100 Years Ago

100 Years Ago

The week Dec 9th to Dec 15th

Readers please note that we would not use some of this wording today - however these headlines and articles are taken directly   From The Cranbrook Herald December 12th, 1912.

 Pictures of the 101 Ranch will be shown at the Auditorium Friday night.
The popular comic opera “The Cingalee” is to be performed by the Cranbrook Opera Society next week.
The Cranbrook Farmers’ Institute held a meeting at the Government building last Wednesday.  A motion was unanimously carried protesting against the action of some local merchants, who, in spite of the well-known fact that hundreds of acres of potatoes were grown in this district this past season have ordered their winter supply from outside the district.
A large supply of Japanese oranges for the holiday trade arrived this week for the local merchants.
It is expected that the new Indian School, at the St. Eugene Mission, will be taken over from the contractor during the coming week. There will be a formal opening later on.
The Ladies Aid of the Methodist Church conducted a very enjoyable and profitable Bean Feast.  There were eight booths, all beautifully decorated and filled with timely Christmas Gifts.  The bean supper was a rare feast to which quite a large number did justice.  The takings were substantial which will be used to wipe out the debt on the new organ.
The Kootenay Central Railway has a rail laying gang busily at work between Fort Steele and Wasa.
Two carloads of horses were landed here this week by J. Turpin from the State of Washington.
Dr. Hugh Watt has permanently taken up residence at Elko, where he is building a home and a small hospital. He has been gazetted medical health officer for the Elko district.
Miss Amy Woodland has been engaged as principal of the Fort Steele public school. She will be assisted in her work by Miss Eleanor Curley, a recent arrival from Liverpool, England.
Mr. and Mrs. A. H. DeWolf will shortly take up residence in the Geo. Powell house for the winter months, but expect to build a home for themselves in the city in the coming spring.
J. S. Campbell. C.P.R. locomotive engineer, left yesterday for the Old Country, Where he will spend his Christmas holidays, returning here in the spring.
James Finlay while out on Vancouver Island last week purchased the tourist hotel at Shawnigan Lake and has put a good man in charge to run the place.
The Cranbrook Conservative Association is putting forward the name of J. D. McBride for appointment to the senate, and West Kootenay Conservatives are boosting for the appointment of R. F. Green, M.P.
With the object of cutting timber from limits adjoining the international boundary line on the Canadian side. A. E. Watts is building a small mill a short distance north of Port Hill, Idaho. This will be the third sawmill under operation by the Wattsburg Lumber Company.
The fine brick and concrete garage on Norbury Avenue opposite the curling rink, built by Contractor Geo. R. Leask, is now practically completed and presents a very handsome appearance. Cranbrook can now boast of the best garage between Winnipeg and the coast. A. J. Mott is the local manager.
Cranbrook to Toronto and return $72.15; Cranbrook to Montreal and return $77.15. Take the Canadian Pacific Railway Annual Eastern Excursions.
SACRIFICE SALE – 132 foot frontage on Norbury and 122 feet on Edward.  Positively the best available close-in corner in the City. Price $2,000.00 Half cash.

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of December 10th 2012

Councillor Scott absent.


5.1 Chamber of Commerce - Results of Doing Business in Cranbrook Survey

Dave Butler, as second Vice president of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce gave an overview of the Chambers' response to the Survey that had been requested by Council.  Of the almost 1500 licensed businesses in Cranbrook, 295 responded, (20%).  The purpose of this survey was for Council to learn more about how to remove barriers to doing business in Cranbrook.  The full report can be seen on the Chamber website.

In summary the results indicated three main points:

  • An action plan inside the City of Cranbrook to improve the service culture for business;
  • Work with the business community to develop a business liaison position to help new and existing businesses navigate the people and processes necessary to succeed; and
  • Work with the business community to take a more aggressive approach on the City’s economic development strategy, including regular progress reporting.

5.2 Renovation of Heidi's Restaurant to a Brewhouse

Heidi Romich owner of Heidi's Restaurant and David Dearsell of Kamloops described an exciting new partnership to bring a brewhouse/restaurant to Cranbrook.  Mr Deardsell a well-travelled and experienced brewmaster owns and runs such a business in Kamloops and is in the process of relocating to Cranbrook to work with Heidi Romich to do the same here.

7.1 Administration Updates

Engineering - Administration is developing and alternative watering source for cattle for the G1 Spray Irrigation Fields. The alternative water source will be a large trough.

Library Service - Presentation of the Library's strategic plan
Ursula Brigl described the library's intentions over the next few years and one request has been to bring a quality coffee shop and eating facility to the library.  

RCMP - 2012 Mayor's Report

The RCMP were not able to be present to deliver this report but Mayor Stetski noted that Cranbrook is still 30% short in its allocation of officers.  This has been the situation for approximately 9 months and Mayor Stetski requested the reasons for this.


9.1 Pitch in Week
9.2 Trans Canada Trail Update
The Trans Canada Trail has achieved over 10 million dollars in pledges.
Councillor Whetham noted a troubling report that the Fernie Sparwood link in the Trans Canada Trail may have to be closed due to poor usage.  This area has been known for its difficulty in forming continuous links and this would be a setback.
9.3 Fire Protection of Fort Steele
The City is working on a suitable arrangement with Fort Steele for the City Fire Department to cover this historic site.
9.4 Ktunaxa Nation Community Action Convening Grant
9.5 Partnership with Key City Theatre - School District Proclamation regarding the replacement of Mt. Baker Secondary School
This proclamation has come as a relief to all involved now that a clear direction for the future of the Key City Theatre has been set.  It has been decided that when the School is replaced the theatre will be included in the plans and the School District partnership with the City's theatre will continue.

9.6 Funding Support Candlelight Vigil - request for waiver of fee for use of Rotary Park Bandstand.

$65 Approved

11.1 Committee Recommendations - Family and Community Services

That a letter of support be send to the Interior Health Authority outlining concerns and recommendation for action on the matter of on the matters of blood testing and nurse practitioners.

New Business

12.1 2013 Regular Council Meeting Dates
12.2 2013 Acting Mayor Appointments
12.3 Appointments to Committees Council Members
12.4 Appointments to Committees
12.5 Mayor's Brown Bag Lunch Nov. 20 - One person of the public attended.
The attendee presented her case for backyard chickens.  Councillor Warner gave notice that he will bring this matter back to the table in the New Year.

12.6 Asset Management Investment Plan - To seek council's approval regarding next steps for implementation of the Asset Management Investment Plan (AMIP) and refer to the Environment and Utilities Committee for their recommendations.
It was discussed as to whether the public would like to see an executive summary of the Growth Management Plan.  Councillor Pallesen noted she had not read the plan and Councillor Davis noted a $200-$300 million price tag was involved.  Consensus seemed to be that much of the information from that study has now been incorporated into ongoing work such as the infrastructure report cards.
CLCS reported extensively on this study after its release in 2011.  Many of our members read the four part study and found much of the report enlightening.    Although the dedicated page of excerpts has now been taken off this blog, the full report can be found on the City website.  

12.7 Urban Deer Population Count Results

On November 18th approximately 96 deer were counted and 75 were counted on December 2nd.


13.1 Zoning Amendment Airport - to allow for expanded commercial and industrial development on airport lands.

13.2 OCP Amendment - to consider a comprehensive amendment to the Official Community Plan which will add new sections integrating the City's Integrated Sustainability Plan and Growth Management Study.
13.3 Fees and Charges Amendment
A repeal of the old Animal Control Bylaw to make way for the new.
13.4 Animal Control Amendment - Increase in Dog License Fees
An increase in dog licencing fees was approved.  Although fees are substantially reduced if paid early the spayed female dog fee will go up from $33 to $37 and the same for a neutered male.  The increase in fees will start a fund dedicated to a dog park.
The full fee schedule can be read at: