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, June 30, 2013

Blast from the Past - Mineral Monument 20 or Eager Hill

On a Canada Day weekend take a minute to visualise our early residents who instead of driving to a favourite campground might well have ventured up to the top of Eager Hill Lookout - still a favourite of course and hopefully the trail is now more acceptable for those with height phobia.

Click to enlarge

Cranbrook Courier July 22nd 1937
Cranbrook Courier, 1937
Bitteroot on Eager Hill

A fine group of ladies standing on the concrete pad where the fire lookout used to be - view northeast

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Devil's Caudron

We are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful geographic features.  This precipitous drop into what is known locally as Devil's Cauldron is a short distance from Cranbrook and an easy half day hike.



Wild Mock Orange in the foreground - looking south west towards Cranbrook, Mt Baker in the distance



Friday, June 28, 2013

Michael's Musings

End of Big May Mean Scrapping Little Red School House
by Michael J Morris


When I was news editor at the Chatham Daily News in 1968, my mother, Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris decided to come from Chapleau and spent  the summer with me. To keep herself busy during the day, she decided to take a summer course in education.


The times they were a changing in the late sixties in more ways than one, and education was included. Mom, who had taught school for 34 years at the time became increasingly frustrated with the new thinking in education being set out by the professor.


Just an aside about the changing times in the Sixties -- shortly after I arrived in Chatham, Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated; peace talks started in Paris to end the Vietnam war and on June 24, Pierre Trudeau led the Liberals to victory in the federal election. Our headline in 120 point type was CANADA GOES TRUDEAU, which wasn't quite true as he was not popular in some parts of the country.


Anyway, back to Mom and the professor.
One day the professor said in effect that teachers must "account for individual differences" in children, and used some other trendy words in his lecture. Mom, who had not said a word in class all summer, raised her hand to ask him a question. But the classroom teacher still taught to the middle simply because the way the system is structured., including new trendy words signifying really nothing.


"Don't you mean that all children are special with needs?," she asked. I don't recall his reply to Mom, but I do know the rest of the class agreed with her. After spending her entire teaching career treating each and every child as special with needs, she retired two years later after teaching at Chapleau Public School and at Kekabeka Falls for a total of 36 years.
Mom taught elementary school and emphasized the child before the subject content always.
Obviously she had no use for the labelling of children, or anyone else for that matter.
Let me give you an example that involved me. I was teaching economics at Chapleau High School, and almost all the students in my class failed a test. I was having coffee with my mother and pontificating against my students in typical teacher fashion. Mom stopped my little rant, made some suggestions including that maybe I scrap the course content as I had prepared it, and start over. She also suggested I might want to think about finding another career.
"Start where the students are, not where you are," she recommended, adding that she didn't have the foggiest notion what I was talking about when I tried to explain the material on the test.
I took her advice and we started over. In fact, as Junior "B" hockey was very big in Chapleau at the time, I used a hockey rink to teach the factors of production.


Some years later, a school board member, on a tour of the school, stuck his head in my classroom and asked me, "Is this there where they teach hockey?" I replied yes it was and offered to demonstrate. He didn't take me up on the offer. 


Today, more than ever, I believe my mother was right, and I was so fortunate to finish my teaching career at College of the Rockies where I helped found a grad program in new media communications which was very student centred. I will always be indebted to Dr. Wm. Berry Calder, the president of COTR, who believed that the future is now in 1994 and supported me as we pioneered web based communications when many told me that even email would never really catch on.


The advances in technology since I retired in 2000 have been phenomenal, and today I think of the possibilities for a real student centred education system where it is accepted that each child is special with needs is a starting point. Increasingly methinks that the little red school house and all its trappings designed for the 19th century should be relegated to the dustbin of history.


Just the other day I was sitting in the new Starbucks in the new Target store in Cranbrook, thumbing through 'The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath' by the American writer Nicco Nele which I had bought from Amazon.ca and picked up at the Canada Post Office in Shoppers Drug Mart.


I was in pretty big corporate surroundings to be reading about the End of Big.
However, I chuckled to myself and kept thumbing through Nele's rather incredibly good read and near the end came across two suggestions he makes. To better help us inhabit the End of Big, he suggests that in revising institutions, focus on making them more amenable and responsive to individuals and second, demand serious, thoughtful, informed leadership. (Italics are Nele's)


I would be most interested to hear from you. Please comment or email me atmj.morris@live.ca




Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

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

Thursday June 27th

Artsy Urban Deer Quest Forms
available at the Cranbrook and Arts Council office
135 10th Av. S.
31 deer to locate in participating businesses
A city wide scavenger hunt for fun
Some deer still available for individuals and families
available at the CDAC Office ( Artsy Deer Round Up August 24th)

Saturday June June 29th

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
10th Av S.
9:00am - 1:00pm

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Hike
Hoodoos Ft Steele
Lorne Sinclair 250-426-8864

Monday July 1st

Canada Day Celebrations Rotary Park
Childrens games in pm
Fireworks Moir Park at 11:00pm

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Celebrating Aboriginal Day at Gordon Terrace

Students at Gordon Terrace had fun celebrating aboriginal day last week in their native plant garden - in the rain!



Mayor Nenshi and his Opposition

CALGARY—There is no sign of drugs in a secretly recorded video that involves Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. And it is not being shopped for $200,000 by shadowy figures.
But despite that, this video has garnered a lot of attention in Calgary because it involves money and some very powerful people: Nenshi, former Reform party leader Preston Manning and Cal Wenzel, one of the city’s most prominent and prosperous homebuilders.
The story begins last November when Wenzel addressed a closed meeting of 150 people from the development industry about how they can thwart Nenshi’s plans for the city by backing candidates in the upcoming municipal elections who will “swing our way.”
Someone in the crowd used a cellphone to record his remarks and then in April turned the recording over to the local Global television station, which broadcast excerpts and then posted the entire 18-minute video on its website.
Wenzel, founder of Shane Homes, is extremely forthright in the video about his distaste for Nenshi and what he perceives as his anti-development stance, especially in the sprawling suburbs.
But Wenzel also concedes that since there is no one waiting in the wings who has even a faint hope of beating Nenshi in the October elections the developers need another strategy if they are to realize their agenda.
Because the mayor has only one vote on city council out of a total of 15, the developers need to get eight city councillors on board, Wenzel told the meeting. He then goes on to name current councillors and candidates for city council who deserve financial support from developers.
This is where Preston Manning comes in.
Gillian Steward is a Calgary writer and journalist, and former managing editor of the Calgary Herald. Her column appears every other week. gsteward@telus.net

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of June 24th 2013

Delegations

1. Ombudsperson - Best Practices Guide for Local Government
Kim Carter Ombuswoman who is travelling the area talked about the Best Practices Guide supplied to municipalities by her office.  Although only about 7% of her work is municipal as opposed to provincial the guide has recommendations for Municipalities in dealing with a number of issues.  Ms Carter focused on the procedures and protocol around closed meetings.
2. Trent Brereton - Naturopathic Physicians Practice
Dr. Brereton spoke of the Naturopathic physicians' desire to have access to provincially funded labs for diagnostic procedures as well as visiting rights to their hospitalized patients.  Currently blood tests for example must be sent to Alberta.  He explained how naturopathic medicine focuses on prevention and although naturopathic doctors do now have prescriptive authority in BC, they do not yet have these other privileges.  Dr. Brereton asked for Council to send a letter in support of these privileges to the Provincial Government.  Council responded that the best avenue to address this would be from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.  

Council Inquiries
Councillor Whetham enquired as to whether changing Council's order of business might mean the more important matters of business could be accomplished first making the meetings more expedient for those attending and for city administration. Should a meeting need to be extended until a later date important business would not be delayed.  Administration will look into this.

Councillor Warner asked for a more detailed report of the Auditor General's process with the city.  CAO Staudt briefly outlined the procedure stating this will cost the city staff time but not extra dollars.  The report should be available by March 2014.


Administration Update
Go to this link to read the full report.
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3206


CAO
Friends of Burma Request
Coffee with the Mayor
Family and Community Services Committee membership Gerry Sobie moving to new community

Fire and Emergency Services
Fire Hall Landscaping Update
Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services has been made aware that members of Council have received a number of inquiries respecting completion date and cost of the landscaping feature that is being developed in front of the fire station. A review of budget indicates that the cost of the project to date is approximately $33,000. The project is 90% complete with planting of flowers and shrubs remaining to be completed. The
majority of the shrubs and flowers have already been purchased and are accounted for in the $33,000 expenditures to date. We anticipate we will spend approximately another $2,000 for additional plants and labor which should complete the project. As discussed earlier, the project is funded through the MFA Refunds Reserve and carry forward monies from previous budgets; $35,000 in fire hall landscaping and $15,000 in curbing for a total of $40,000 to be used jointly for landscaping and curbing. The project
scheme has used landscaping features in the form of curbing. This will allow Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services to complete all anticipated curbing, as well as providing some landscaping features in other areas within the total allotted budget of $40,000. Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services is committed to completing the ongoing landscaping project on or under budget.
It is anticipated that the project will be completed June 28, 2013. We would like to remind Council that the only cost effective way of installing a value added feature was through the utilization of Public Works staff when they were available between other major works. Upon completion, we plan to have a neighborhood open house for residents to view the feature, as well as provide fire hall tours and view static displays. lt
will also provide an opportunity for Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services to meet with neighbors and to provide some insight into the training centre which will be constructed over the next six months

Leisure Services
Rails to Trails Update

Correspondence
9.1 RDEK Highlights
9.2 Cranbrook, B.C. - TELUS is investing $7.5 million in Cranbrook this year to wire most homes in the
community directly to fibre optic cables, radically increasing lnternet speeds and giving people access to TELUS lnternet based Optik TV service
Councillor Cross asked how this would impact the city's own fibre optic cable progress.  CAO Staudt responded that the city is in conversation with Telus about this but CAO Staudt felt this program would be a huge assett to Cranbrook and that not all BC communities are recieving this service.
9.3 Shelter and transitional housing project
9.4 Memorial Scholarship Thank You letter
9.5 Approval for Shadow Mountain Park windthrow cleanup
9.6 'Park On Us' fundraising

New Business
12.1
To seek Councll's approval to enter into a contribution agreement with the Government of Canada for
a Runway Condition Reporting System (RCRS) under the Airport Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).
85% of this Reporting system will be funded by government. The City's cost will amount to approximately $6000.
Carried
Bylaws
13.1
Bylaw 3765
Administration has completed a comprehensive review of Leisure Services Fees and Charges. Revised
schedules are presented in the proposed bylaw, City of Cranbrook Leisure Services Fees and Charges
Bylaw, No.3765, 2013. Normally the proposed fees would cover a three to five year roll out, but this proposed bylaw is being presented for one year, to cover the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014. The reason for this is that Council has determined they would like to move forward with discussions with the RDEK, 10 discuss options surrounding the residenUnon-resident rates. If an agreement is made with the RDEK reflecting an elimination or change to these fees, staff would be revising the bylaw early in 2014. If an agreement is not reached, staff will still present a bylaw proposal in 2014 that will cover an extended period.
First, second and third readings carried.

13.2
Bylaw 3771 Zoning Amendment Third reading - Amusement Park.  Although two letters of concern were received by Council there were no presentations at the Public hearing.  One concern was around putting an amusement park within an industrial zone and one revolved around noise.  It was pointed out by Councillor Cross that the City's own Moir Park is in the vicinity of this proposed park.  Zoning can also be reversed at such time as the tenant on the land moves.
Third reading carried and adopted.

13.3
Bylaw 3772 To consider adoption of an amendment to the City's Land Use Applications Procedures Bylaw No, 3133, 1993 to add Joseph Creek Development permit as a Development Approval Information area,
consistent with the City' 5 Official Community Plan (OCP)
On May 27, 2013 Council adopted OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 3755, 2013 which added a new Development Permit guideline that will require applications within the Joseph Creek Development Permit Area (DPA) to be accompanied by a report from a Professional Biologist with experience in riparian and aquatic ecosystems. The report will help to better address compliance with the guidelines established in the DP area to help protect Joseph Creek.
Adopted

13.4
An application for a zoning text amendment to Zoning Bylaw 3737, 2012, has been received from 2-
Baker Developments Ltd. It is proposed to add several permitted uses to the P-2 - Community Recreation Zone in support of an existing business located at 209 - 16th Avenue North. Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3774, 2013, would add Group day care, Community Meeting Facility, and Public and Social Services as permitted uses to the P-2 - Community Recreation Zone.
First and Second Readings carried.
Public hearing scheduled for July 15th

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kootenay River, Weekend of June 22, 2013

photos Stewart Wilson







These photos clearly demonstrate the value of nature's flood plains and the respect they deserve! 

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of June 24th 2013

Delegations

1. Ombudsperson - Best Practices Guide for Local Government
2. Trent Brereton - Naturapathic Physicians Practice

Administration Update
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3206

CAO
Friends of Burma Request
Coffee with the Mayor
Family and Community Services Committee membership Gerry Sobie moving to new community

Fire and Emergency Services
Fire Hall Landscaping Update
Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services has been made aware that members of Council have received a number of inquiries respecting completion date and cost of the landscaping feature that is being developed in front of the fire station. A review of budget indicates that the cost of the project to date is approximately $33,000. The project is 90% complete with planting of flowers and shrubs remaining to be completed. The
majority of the shrubs and flowers have already been purchased and are accounted for in the $33,000 expenditures to date. We anticipate we will spend approximately another $2,000 for additional plants and labor which should complete the project. As discussed earlier, the project is funded through the MFA Refunds Reserve and carry forward monies from previous budgets; $35,000 in fire hall landscaping and $15,000 in curbing for a total of $40,000 to be used jointly for landscaping and curbing. The project
scheme has used landscaping features in the form of curbing. This will allow Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services to complete all anticipated curbing, as well as providing some landscaping features in other areas within the total allotted budget of $40,000. Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services is committed to completing the ongoing landscaping project on or under budget.
It is anticipated that the project will be completed June 28, 2013. We would like to remind Council that the only cost effective way of installing a value added feature was through the utilization of Public Works staff when they were available between other major works. Upon completion, we plan to have a neighborhood open house for residents to view the feature, as well as provide fire hall tours and view static displays. lt
will also provide an opportunity for Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services to meet with neighbors and to provide some insight into the training centre which will be constructed over the next six months

Leisure Services
Rails to Trails Update

Correspondence
9.1 RDEK Highlights
9.2 Cranbrook, B.C. - TELUS is investing $7.5 million in Cranbrook this year to wire most homes in the
community directly to fibre optic cables, radically increasing lnternet speeds and giving people access to TELUS lnternet based Optik TV service
9.3 Shelter and transitional housing project
9.4 Memorial Scholarship Thank You letter
9.5 Approval for Shadow Mountain Park windthrow cleanup
9.6 'Park On Us' fundraising

New Business
12.1
To seek Councll's approval to enter into a contribution agreement with the Government of Canada for
a Runway Condition Reporting System (RCRS) under the Airport Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).

Bylaws
13.1
Bylaw 3765
Administration has completed a comprehensive review of Leisure Services Fees and Charges. Revised
schedules are presented in the proposed bylaw, City of Cranbrook Leisure Services Fees and Charges
Bylaw, No.3765, 2013. Normally the proposed fees would cover a three to five year roll out, but this proposed bylaw is being presented for one year, to cover the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014. The reason for this is that Council has determined they would like to move forward with discussions with the RDEK, 10 discuss options surrounding the residenUnon-resident rates. If an agreement is made with the RDEK reflecting an elimination or change to these fees, staff would be revising the bylaw early in 2014. If an agreement is not reached, staff will still present a bylaw proposal in 2014 that will cover an extended period.

13.2
Bylaw 3771 Zoning Amendment Third reading - Amusement Park

13.3
Bylaw 3772 To consider adoption of an amendment to the City's Land Use Applications Procedures Bylaw No, 3133, 1993 to add Joseph Creek Development permit as a Development Approval Information area,
consistent with the City' 5 Official Community Plan (OCP)
On May 27, 2013 Council adopted OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 3755, 2013 which added a new Development Permit guideline that will require applications within the Joseph Creek Development Permit Area (DPA) to be accompanied by a report from a Professional Biologist with experience in riparian and aquatic ecosystems. The report will help to better address compliance with the guidelines established in the DP area to help protect Joseph Creek.

13.4
An application for a zoning text amendment to Zoning Bylaw 3737, 2012, has been received from 2-
Baker Developments Ltd. It is proposed to add several permitted uses to the P-2 - Community Recreation Zone in support of an existing business located at 209 - 16th Avenue North. Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3774, 2013, would add Group day care, Community Meeting Facility, and Public and Social Services as permitted uses to the P-2 - Community Recreation Zone,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Storm Warning, Storm Happening

In October of last year Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook hosted climatologist Bob Sanford and Deborah Harford at our conference, 'Storm Warning'.  Here he is talking about the flood of the last few days along with some aerial photography of recent events.  Bob lives in Canmore.

Never Mind the Weather

Upstanding Cranbrook residents staying together:


Thanks to Bob Whetham for the Elizabeth Lake photos

A Letter for Us All from Mike Soron



http://steadycity.ca/about/






Photo by Tyler Soron.
Photo by Tyler Soron.
Early yesterday morning, my dad texted me to say he fled his home in Canmore, Alberta shortly before the town declared a state of emergency. By noon, my brother was told to evacuate his home in Calgary’s Mission District, near the Elbow River. Later, friends near the Calgary Stampede grounds were told to leave their apartment, bringing enough supplies for a week away. As the day went on text messages, and Facebook and Twitter updates chronicled a province in chaos.
As I’m writing this, 18 Calgary neighbourhoods have been evacuated. More than 100,000 people have been forced from their homes. Eight other Alberta communities are under mandatory evacuation orders and 12 have declared states of emergency.
Growing up in Calgary, I remember many floods, heavy rains, hail and tornadoes. But now, these events are more frequent and intense–as climate change models have long said they would be. More directly, the reinsurance company Munich RE told us three years ago: “the only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change.” Experts are urging journalists to incorporate climate change in their coverage of floods and say any uncertainties about its impact must not delay adapting our communities to a warmer world.
In 2011, climate activist Bill McKibben wrote about severe flooding in Missouri, noting that the disaster wasn’t about the power of nature but about the power of man. McKibben was referring to our extraordinary experiment combusting fossilized energy stored in oil, gas and coal. Combusting these fuels is overheating the planet. For years climatologists have warned that warmer air holds more water than cold air. The result is more snow, winter runoff, and rain. In other words, these Alberta floods are what climate change looks like.
Yes, global warming didn’t cause these floods. Instead, man-made climate change is intensifying flooding and our land use and development practices worsening its impact. It is deeply irresponsible to diminish climate change factors in urban and emergency planning–doing so puts lives and communities at risk.
Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and these gases keep more energy from the sun in our atmosphere. Adding this energy is like putting the planet on steroids. In performance-enhanced baseball, no single record-breaking home run isdirectly due to steroid use. But the chances of a powerful hit at bat is far higher. By radically changing the chemical composition of our atmosphere we’ve changed the chances for extreme events like these floods. If we don’t urgently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions we’ll face the consequences of our “juicing” in uninsurable homes, damaged communities, and public expenditure for disaster response.
But don’t take my word for it. Just last month the Insurance Bureau of Canada told Albertans to prepare for more floods and other disasters linked to global-warming. In 2010, the Bureau explicitly linked the rise in flood claims to climate change. Their research director at the time said, “municipal infrastructure has not been designed to withstand what we are experiencing, and that fact that the climate has changed.”
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities urged cities to adapt to climate change:
“For most of the country, the infrastructure is not built for the climate that we are now starting to see… Climate change is on our front steps. It’s in our communities. We see it. We have to adapt. We can’t wait for some global agreement and we can’t just try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions only.”
Just last month, John Pomeroy, the Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change told the Calgary Herald:
“[Multi-day rain events] are increasing in their intensity and frequency and we’re fast learning that our roads, our bridges and even some of our towns aren’t any match for the rainfall and the overflow that results.”
Pomeroy pointed in particular to climate-driven flood risk at Canmore’s Cougar Creek–the very creek that forced my father from his home yesterday.
There should be no optimism about the safety and resilience of our communities. As Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, warned this week, if we let the coal, oil and gas industry implement their business plans, the increase in global temperature would be as high as 5.3 degrees Celsius. Two thirds of all proven fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground, he said, to avoid “devastating effects on all of us.”
It’s difficult to even imagine the dangers that a world 5.4 degrees warmer will pose.
What is to be done?
If you live in Alberta, obviously focus today on the immediate safety of your family and neighbours. But after the waters recede and the dehumidifiers are returned, do not forget this catastrophe.
Call your city councillors, MPs, and MLAs and insist they act urgently to repair and upgrade our infrastructure and continually develop climate change adaptation plans. Acknowledge that preparing for and responding to climate emergencies requires collective action and we need taxes to fund it. Governments are being starved of urgently needed resources to protect our communities by corrupted elected officials, harmful memes about austerity and deficit reduction, and aggressive tax avoidance by global corporations and the super-rich. We must immediately price carbon pollution and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, then put these funds to work protecting our communities.
And most importantly–and I understand that this will be very difficult for many Albertans to hear–we must leave two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground and immediately stop exploring for new oil, gas, and coal deposits. The first rule of holes is that when you’re in one, stop digging.
Alberta’s flood emergency will soon pass; the global state of emergency won’t. Climate change is the emergency we’ll be dealing with for the rest of our lives. Albertans must quickly wake up to the dangers of climate change.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bummer's Flats June 21st 2013

now Bummer's Lake

Despite the devastating floods so close to home we have been relatively lucky.

Around Town and Looking Good

Doing its work
Before the construction of the engineered bioswale, this part of 14th Avenue would wash out and large amounts of gravel would accumulate at the bottom of the hill, at the intersection with 10th St. S.  Everytime it rained heavily, public works could be seen cleaning up gravel and other debris at the bottom of the hill.  There is more to this swale than is visible but it is certainly doing its job and as the natural vegetation grows in,  even more water will be absorbed and have time to penetrate the subsoil preventing it from entering our overburdened storm drains.  




Intersection completely clear of debris or gravel after three days of very heavy rain, Thursday June 20th


bioswale Friday June 21st
bioswale Friday June 21st

Friday, June 21, 2013

Michael's Musings

School Days changing as cursive writing courses may disappear from core curriculum

By Michael J Morris

Just as I was digesting a list of nine things that will disappear in my lifetime sent to me by old friend Ken Schroeder, I stumbled across a story on Yahoo News that the end of teaching cursive writing in elementary schools is on the horizon.

Ever since, one of the verses from that old song "School Days" has been running through my mind. Remember?

"School days, school days,
Good old golden rule days.
Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of a hickory stick.
You were my bashful, barefoot beau
and I wrote on your slate.
'I love you Joe'
When we were a couple of kids."

Back in the day, so to speak. "reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic" were the Three R's, the core of the elementary school curriculum.

And above the blackboard in almost every elementary school classroom was the alphabet in capital and small letters.
                                     

But first, here briefly is the list of nine things Ken sent me. Set to disappear are the post office, the cheque, the newspaper, the physical book and newspaper, the land line telephone, music as we have known it, television and generally many  "things" we own as they will all be on a "cloud". Actually I tend to agree, but they are a story for another day.

Back to cursive writing. It never entered my mind that was disappearing as core part of elementary school curriculum in over 40 states in the United States and several Canadian provinces. Although I can't remember the last time I sent anyone a handwritten letter, and only scribble notes as needed, and keep a journal, I never assumed kids would not be required to take cursive writing. 

Tori Floyd, writing in The Right Click a Yahoo News blog on June 16, 2013. writes,   "In the not so distant past, it was a rite of passage for student in elementary school to sit through lessons on cursive writing, slowly learning how to shape connected-up letters in the hope of one day having legible penmanship.
"But with the increased presence of keyboards everywhere, the days of cursive writing may be numbered and schools are seeing the writing on the wall.
"As the end of cursive writing appears to be nigh, many parents and educators probably find themselves wondering: should we still be teaching cursive writing?"
I wonder too. Those who argue it suggest it is "one more thing teachers have to help students with in light of the pervasiveness of electronic communication."
But, occupational therapist Suzanne Asherson  said on Mashable  “In today’s world… children need to know how to both use keyboarding to type, as well as being able to pick up a pencil or a pen and be able to write.  Both skills are necessary and should be taught to our children in order to have functional adults who are efficient in their jobs and in the real world.”
Maybe, but it begs the question -- in the 21st Century is excellence in cursive writing needed to be a "functional" adult who is "efficient in their jobs and in the real world".
This debate over cursive writing takes me back to when I started high school in 1955. Because the powers that be determined I was university bound, I was enrolled in an academic program and took Latin instead of Typing. In fact, I took Latin until the end of my first year at university, and I haven't spoken or written it much in the last 50 years. I still don't know how to type properly using my own "hunt and peck" system, and I think I typed something every day of my working and retired life.
However,  as Mr. G.A. Hill, one of my outstanding Latin teachers told me, studying the subject made me better in English. 
And, he was right. Perhaps the same argument can be made for the continuation of cursive writing as part of the core curriculum. Simply put, it's good for students.
Nonetheless, no doubt I should have taken Typing too.
In 2011 in a piece for ABC World News, Brian Braiker wrote, "Antiquated or no, cursive is viewed by some parents and educators as essential to an education -- especially as text-happy teens become ever more thumb-centric."
Try as I might, I was unable to compose new words for "School Days". Somehow, "texting, tweeting and thumbing" and writing on a "tablet" just didn't do it, although tablet may be digital version of slate!
What are your thoughts? I look forward to hearing from you. You may comment here or my email is mj.morris@live.ca

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What's Happening......

Thursday June 20th
Businesses have until 4:00pm today to register their Artsy deer
The first herd have all been sold but businesses still wishing to purchase a deer have until 4:00pm today to register and their deer will be ready by early next week for pick up.  Business deer must be displayed for the Urban Artsy Deer Quest by July 1st.  More deer for for the public categories (child, family or group) summer projects will also be available next week.

Saturday June 22nd

Cranbrook Summer Farmer's Market
adjacent to Rotary Park
9:00am -1:00pm
First of the season

Acrylic Workshop
with Linda Bullock
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
$35
only one place left
Call Helen 250-426-4223

Learn more about Bats
Bats Mist Netting
Wasa Community Hall
9:00pm

See previous posting

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Hike
Tokay Hills
Valley View Ridge
Call Lorne
250-426-8864








Cleaner Bins in Cranbrook Schools

Almost 1500 elementary students and 100 staff from seven Cranbrook elementary schools participated in Wildsight's Clean Bin Project. The students took a very close look at the waste at their schools, and challenged themselves to reduce it for a week. Project coordinator, Skye McDougall, said that the results were fantastic.
“Every school was successful in reducing waste,” she said.
After watching The Clean Bin Project, a movie that tells the tale of a Vancouver couple who challenged themselves to produce no waste for a year, the staff and students put their heads together with McDougall to brainstorm how they too, could reduce their garbage. They studied a day's worth of garbage - its weight and the number of bags filled - and then dissected it. A mucky job, but the participants enthusiastically conducted their waste audit to separate items into compost, recycling, and garbage. Everyone then discussed options for reducing waste at their school and why they should be thinking about it. 

“The kids were geared up and ready to begin their week-long challenge,” said McDougall. “Each class had a bucket provided for compost, and staff and students were keen to begin.”

Earth Machine Composters, donated in partnership from RDEK and Wildsight, were set up at four schools, and McDougall was impressed to see that three schools already had compost programs running. She said that composting dramatically reduces the amount of trash and subsequently, the amount of methane created from organic waste in the landfill.

During the week, students and staff really stepped up to the challenge. They encouraged each other to bring waste-free lunches and use reusable containers rather than Ziploc bags or plastic wrap, and bring reusable drink containers instead of juice boxes, bottles or cans.

“I returned to the schools at the end of the challenge week for an assembly to celebrate the successes of the project,” said McDougall. “The kids were excited to find out if their efforts had made a difference - custodians kept the garbage from the day before for comparison with the initial weigh-in.”

McDougall said that the results were incredible.

“Every school was successful in reducing waste. Results ranged from over two kilograms (5 pounds)  to almost 5 kilograms (11 pounds),” said McDougall, “and that’s per day, so this means that schools reduced their garbage between 10 to 25 per cent, which is an amazing effort.”

McDougall said that kudos goes to the following Cranbrook schools:
  • Kootenay Orchards
  • Amy Woodland
  • Kootenay Christian Academy
  • Highlands
  • Gordon Terrace
  • Steeples
  • TM Roberts
  • Boys and Girls Club

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Great Idea

After spending a couple of hours weeding a flower bed in front of a Cranbrook downtown building and having to remove hundreds of cigarette butts, this seems like a great idea. Walking into the our regional hospital and seeing the thousands of cigarette butts littering the area this seems like a great idea.


A penny for a butt? 60,000-plus cigarette butts turned in for cash in West End
By Cheryl Chan, The Province June 16, 2013


Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/penny+butt+plus+cigarette+butts+turned+cash+West/8533797/story.html#ixzz2WcKlORdS

A penny for a butt? Turns out, there’s plenty of takers.
As part of a push for a provincewide deposit program on cigarette butts, a downtown Vancouver group offered a penny for every returned cigarette butt, or $20 per pound, at the West End’s Car Free Day on Sunday.
More than 60,000 discarded butts were turned in, said organizer John Merzetti of West End Cleanup.
“The whole idea was to prove to the powers-that-be in Victoria that putting a deposit on cigarette butts would work,” said Merzetti. “We had a lineup of 15 people before we started.”
The group quickly burned through its $500 budget, a grant from the Vancouver Foundation, collecting about 52,000 butts in three hours. It used extra funds from donations and popcorn sales to collect another 8,000 or so butts returned by binners.


Apparently the butts can be recycled. Once the toxic substances are removed, they can be used for manufacturing sporting items such a surf boards.
and Adriane Carr is ready to push for a program.  It really is a great idea.
http://www.straight.com/news/392686/vancouver-green-councillor-adriane-carr-calls-cigarette-butt-deposit-and-refund-program

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why We Worry

From the Tyee:



Today marks the start of the final stage of public hearings in the Northern Gateway pipeline review.
Proponents and opponents of the project, which would see the construction of two 1,200-kilometre pipelines from near Edmonton to Kitimat, will make their final pitches to the federal review panel over the next two weeks.
However, as The Tyee's Geoff Dembicki pointed out in a recent Northern Gateway explainer, public engagement on the project truly began on Jan. 9, 2012 when federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver delivered an "open letter" to Canadians just as the first round of joint review panel hearings on the pipeline were set to begin.
Oliver decried the "environmental and other radical groups" that "threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda."
Opposition to the project has come not from radical groups but from regular citizens.
At a public rally held yesterday in Terrace, B.C., among the 200 citizens who gathered to protest the project were a daycare supervisor and a retired oil industry workers.
Representatives from Enbridge, the company behind the pipeline, will be the first to present at this last round of hearings. The B.C. government is also scheduled to address the panel, although in May, it submitted its official position on the project, which was that it should not be approved as currently proposed.
The hearings wrap up on June 28, and the panel will issue a decision later this year.
Daily hearing updates can be found here.
Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.
- See more at: http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/06/17/NorthernGatewayFinalHearings/#sthash.OM99IQxv.dpuf



and these
June 17th
http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/06/17/Alberta-Oil-Spill/
June 13th
http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/06/13/MerrittOilLeak/
June 9th
http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/06/12/Apache-Alberta-Rupture/
http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/06/09/Apache-Spill/

Monday, June 17, 2013

An Opportunity to Learn more about our Mosquito Eaters

http://www.kootenaybats.com/bat-basics
There are at least 11 species of bats in the Kootenays including vulnerable and threatened species like the Townsend’s big-eared bat, fringed bat, northern myotis and little brown myotis. 

The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) is partnering with Wildsight to host a public bat mist-netting night at the Wasa Community Hall next Saturday, June 22 at 9 pm for residents to come and see bat biologists in action. Biologists from the KCBP will be catching bats by setting up thin mist (volley-ball type) nets at dusk.
 “The bats accidentally fly into the nets and get tangled, giving us an opportunity to gently remove them and determine their species, sex and other characteristics” say Juliet Craig, Coordinating Biologist of the KCBP. “There are approximately 10 species of bats present in this area and mist-netting provides an opportunity to see some of these species up close.”
 The evening will kick-off with a fun and entertaining interpretive program “Cool Facts About Bats” at 9 pm that is great for all ages. Bring a flashlight and good walking shoes for the event.
 “We are excited to host this event” says Dean Chatterson, Director of Wildsight. “Our organization focuses on working to protect biodiversity and this is a great way to raise awareness about the importance of bats in our ecosystems.”
 Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the Kootenay Community Bat Project is a local initiative for bat conservation. The project aims to raise awareness about bats, identify bat species present in the Kootenays, and support landowners who have bats living in their buildings. Residents are encouraged to contribute to this project by reporting bats roosting (living) on their property.
 To find out more or to report your bats, go to www.kootenaybats.com or contact the KCBP at 1-855-9BC-BATS orkootenaybats@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sam Steele Saturday


everyone loves the parade


parade begins
Ronald
Mayor Wayne Stetski, Councillors Davis and Cross with driver
Wildhorse Bike Club

RDEK

Christian Kimber of Three Crows Farm and  Heath advertising the Farmer's Market

Lourdes and Filipino Association

Top Crop
Street Angel


Summer Theatre



Sirius
the grill
the condiments
watching the action
bike polo
face painting
and a great tribute to all those involved in 
100 years of 4H



4H Petting Zoo

and Nella(?) from Baynes Lake, the most patient  and beautiful of bovines who rode the float, walked the concrete steps and starred in the petting zoo -  now back to the pasture

Thanks Everyone for a great few days