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, September 30, 2013

One World Garden Workshop - this week

It's hard to believe, but the 5th One World Garden Workshop is upon us already!  Please note the different timing - 
this THURSDAY Oct. 3:
Kimberley: 10-noon at the Cominco Community Garden
Cranbrook: 3-5pm at the Cranbrook Public Produce Garden
The Magic of Perennials will focus on the care needed for these amazing plants that arise after a cold, snowy winter to produce year after year.  We'll look at what we can do now to encourage a bountiful harvest next year, as well as specifics on transplanting care, autumn pruning, and dividing.
As usual, we will have the honour of experienced guest garden mentors sharing their local experiences.  We'll be making extra effort this time to be hands-on; keeping us all warm on a potentially brisk October day, as well as making it easier for those who are not as comfortable with English.  If you have garden gloves, bring them along.
in Kimberley - call (250)427-2535 ext. 223 or email
in Cranbrook - call (250)427-7981 or email


The Unseen Damage of Excessive Fooding

In the is article by Glenn Scherer, he points out what is missed in the immediate reporting of the massive floods the world  is enduring as part of climate change.

"What TV doesn’t show is the invisible, potentially deadly, long-term toxic legacy these devastating storms leave behind with increasing frequency as climate change intensifies", he states.

Colorado’s flood, for example, inundated vast amounts of natural gas and oil drilling infrastructure in one of the nation’s most intensely-drilled areas.

He goes on to talk about superstorms Katrina and Sandy and then repeats the message many of us have heard before:

"The climate change forecast is for escalating deluge, with scientists warning of a warmer, wetter world that carries more moisture in the atmosphere, and more powerful storms. It’s already happening: Between 1958 and 2011, precipitation falling in heavy downpours increased by an astounding 74 percent in the Northeast U.S., 45 percent in the Midwest, 26 percent in the Southeast, 21 percent in the High Plains states, and 12 percent in the Rockies and most of the West, according to NOAA."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

More Fall

photos Jenny Humphrey

Tired Allium seed head

Daddy Longlegs

Bear Hair

At this time of year there is always more general talk about bear sightings and the awareness we need to focus on.  BC Magazine has a wonderful feature this month on The Secret Lives of Bears.
This is a sample of Jude Isabella's work.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's That Time

Photos - Stewart Wilson
Geese show signs of gathering

Rose hips turn red

Chokecherries are ripe

Ribes aureum, Clove Currant leaves turn colour

Season of the rut

Friday, September 27, 2013

Michael's Musings

Hockey as the Invisible Hand of Canadian Compromise

By Michael J Morris

I took a course in twentieth century European history from Dr Jacques Goutor more than 40 years ago now, and the first thing I learned from him was that hockey kept Canada together. Well, he didn't actually come out and say that exactly, but on the first day of class he told us about his arrival in Canada from France.

Dr Goutor told us that upon arriving in Toronto, he went out and bought the newspapers and the headlines were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP! It was 1967, our Centennial year as a nation, and the Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens in six games. It was to be the last time the Leafs would win Lord Stanley's mug. 

As an aside Dr Goutor was one of the best professors I ever had and went from Wilfrid Laurier University to the University of Western Ontario. He died recently.

All so typically Canadian for our Centennial year in 1967-- a team from the heart of English Canada wins the Stanley Cup but the focus for the celebrations of the centennial is on Montreal, the major French Canadian city which hosted Expo '67, and the cup is named after an Englishman who was Governor General at one time. 

Trust me on this one! It is such as this that has contributed  to keeping the country together and safe-- the invisible hand of Canadian compromise!

Dr Goutor, who at the time had little knowledge of hockey and its importance to Canadians, said he decided to stay here because it had to be a safe place if the headlines were about a sporting event. He was raised in France and lived through the horrors of World War II and its aftermath.

To this day, I watch the headlines of Canadian daily newspapers, and headline writers are ecstatic on those days they can proclaim victory for their local hockey team when it wins a title, and are beside themselves with joy when Canada wins internationally. 

But they know their audience. Hockey has kept it all together in this vast and magnificent land where fans travel great distances for a hockey game, and complain about that other great Canadian unifier, the weather.

Our passion for hockey begins at the local level. I was raised in the northern Ontario town of Chapleau, where the Chapleau Huskies, in various incarnations were the pride and joy for much longer than I have been around. 

When I first visited Cranbrook in 1988 to see if I would move here, while chatting with Karin Penner, the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce manager, she told me the city had two major teams and both were in the playoffs. While here, I went to the Memorial Arena to watch the Colts and the Royals, the Junior and senior teams respectively play. Little good I did them -- both lost.

And so, from local unheated hockey rinks, many of them called barns, much like the memorial arena in Cranbrook (before renovations) where rivalries among communities brought people together to cheer on their own team, to national and international championship series, Dr Goutor was right. It was a safe country in which to live.

But it seems to me, the times they are a changing, and although hockey certainly remains very popular, somehow it just doesn't seem the same.  I wasn't a very good hockey player but became a referee (and many would say I wasn't very good at that role either), and later I coached and managed Midget and Intermediate "A" teams.

The arrival of the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League In Cranbrook and the construction of what is now Western Financial Place was to herald a new era for hockey here. In the beginning I think it did, but it seems attendance has been shrinking the past few years.

However, because I go to the aquatic centre daily for my swim, I am there when minor hockey tournaments are being held and quite often I will watch a game.

Notwithstanding the tremendous work that minor hockey volunteers do each year, their tournaments  are assuredly one of Cranbrook's best kept secrets. Other than family and friends the 4000 plus seat arena is empty. Minor hockey gets very little publicity in the community, despite the fact that it must be a major economic generator in the Winter months. Maybe somebody should do an economic impact study.

In those days to which Dr Goutor was referring, the "barns" were full for minor hockey tournaments too, and I think we were much closer as citizens of a community.

When I wrote a similar piece a while back for another publication,referring to Dr Goutor's observations, Lorne Riley, the head of corporate communications at Dubai Airports, who studied Journalism and Law at Carleton University, and was a student of mine at Chapleau High School responded. Lorne's father, Lorne Sr. was one of the best hockey coaches in Northern Ontario years ago.

Although Lorne agreed that hockey is one of the ties that binds this great nation, recalling games huddled under the heaters, or jammed against the glass of the press of the crowd, and an "electric" atmosphere existed especially in the playoffs, he fears the tie is fraying.

He mentioned the decline in local enrolments for minor hockey, especially in Ontario, but across the country and interestingly, at least to me -- "new age diversions like the internet, video games, satellite TV .. things that we never had to contend with" are contributing.

And Lorne added: "Another contributor to minor hockey's gradual downfall is the staggering cost. Equipment, rink rental, club fees and travelling costs have gone through the roof. Even the most passionate hockey Moms and Dads think twice about footing the bill. A changing demographic, with cultural roots more closely tied to cheaper sports like soccer, is also eroding interest and participation in Canada's national pastime.Is Canadian hockey in danger of extinction? Not at all. Is it at risk?"

He concluded that that we need to recall those days when we jammed into the local barn -- "not only to enshrine them in our memory but to use them to encourage parents and children, in small towns and big cities across Canada not to lose touch with our roots and by extension our national identity."

Once again in our history we need the invisible hand of Canadian compromise that hockey provided, and seems to have been lost somewhere along the way. Despite intense rivalries, players shook hands at the end of each game, a sign of mutual respect for a game well played, no matter who won.  A safer place too! My email is

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, September 26, 2013

On the Trail of Ghenghis Khan

Coming to Key City Theatre Friday October 4th 7:00pm, brought to you by Wildsight. 

What's Happening.......

Thursday September 26th

The first of the
ART 21 Series of Film Documentaries
exploring the theme of 'Place'
Cranbrook and District Art Gallery
Bring snacks and opinions

Friday September 27th

Key City Theatre
Indigo Girls
Tickets $42

Saturday September 28th

Saturday Farmers Market
10:00am - 1:00pm
Tenth Avenue South adjacent to Rotary Park

Drop in Social
1:30 - 4:00pm
Seniors Hall

Monday September 30th

Go Go Grannies
College of the Rockies
250-426-6111, Norma

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fostering Self Esteem

There’s much more to life than being top of the class

New research suggests that some children fare better in academically average schools. But self-esteem is just as important as attainment.

With a sharp yank on the tail of every Tiger parent, researchers at the London School of Economics claimed this week that children might do better at a “worse school” than an academic one. Far from encouraging less intelligent pupils to achieve, being surrounded by ferociously intellectual classmates can destroy their confidence – whereas being top of the year in a school with lower standards can boost self-esteem and performance.
Dr Felix Weinhardt, who co-wrote the report, said: “Our findings go against the common assumption that having better peers is always the best for children… there are situations where your child will be better off from not going to the school with high-performing peers, especially for boys.”
Scanning the report with sweat on my brow, I discover that investigation analysed the academic performance of over two million pupils in English, maths and science. Is it possible that hot-housing your darling into that selective school was not only a waste of time and shouting, but could ruin him, academically and emotionally?
.........It was a gratifying response. If your child tries hard, and can withstand a few knocks, then confidence – and achievement – will follow. Success in life is rarely about being the cleverest.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cranbrook & District Community Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters under the same roof.

Cranbrook, BC—On Friday, September 27, 2013 you can join Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) and Cranbrook & District Community Foundation at their Open House as they celebrate the opening of their new co-location.

The Cranbrook & District Community Foundation is a locally-run public foundation that builds and manages endowment funds to support charitable activities in our community. In turn it enhances the quality of life for area residents.

Big Brothers Big Sisters began in Cranbrook in 1977. For over 35 years it has been providing quality mentoring programs for children and youth and currently supports over 100 children in Cranbrook, Kimberley and surrounding area.

Please join us from 2:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 27 at Suite 250 - 2nd floor,  100 Cranbrook Street North (Access Centre). It will be a great opportunity for the community to come down and check out our new digs, learn about what we do and enjoy some good food!
For more information: Riley Wilcox, Cranbrook & District Community Foundation, (250) 426-1119, or

Six in the Stix and Community Forest Maps

Another great biking event was held last weekend in the Cranbrook Community Forest.  Mountain bikers came from a wide area to take part in an event which requires a unique public area such as our Community Forest.

New Community Forest maps produced by the Community Forest Society, illustrating flowers and wildlife as well as the well-used trails are now available in many locations.  The maps , printed on waterproof paper, sell for $10 and are available at local bike shops and sports outfitters, Top Crop, The College of the Rockies, The Paw Shop and Lotus Books.  Visitors to Cranbrook will need to purchase them at one of these locations as they are not available at the Chamber Tourist Information Centre.

Scenes from Six in the Stix - courtesy Joseph Cross

Monday, September 23, 2013

Why Mayors should rule the World

Some of our City Council members made their mark at last week's UBCM.  This video suggests they should be given more control.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Favourite Fall Flowers

by Jenny Humphrey

As we move into Fall I always look forward to having these blooms in my garden. They brighten any day and most make good cut flowers.  These photos were all taken in the last week and most of these plants will hold their bloom into October.

These beautiful flowers of Cimifuga, Bugbane or Snakeroot carry a light fruity fragrance and bees love it.

Fall Crocus or Colchicum - plant the bulbs now for next year.
Steely blue Globe Thistle or Echninops  named after the Greek 'echinos' meaning 'like a hedgehog'
Sedum 'Autumn Joy', recently renamed by the Royal Horticultural Society but still carried by most nurseries as 'Autumn Joy.'  Look for its distinctive flowers - also loved by bees 
'Clara Curtis' Chrysanthumum.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Two Tier Policing Resolution

As reported in the Cranbrook Townsman on September 17th 2013,
Councillor Cross took a resolution to the union of BC Municipalities Convention this week to promote two-tiered policing as a way of dealing with escalating policing costs.  
It passed yesterday with no votes against.
The future of this resolution is now in the government's hands.

Michael's Musings

Developing a Social Media Strategy for Cranbrook

By Michael J Morris

Some years ago now I was a speaker at the annual convention of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Toronto, giving my views on the internet's future role in defeating politicians or au contraire helping them win.

Without hesitation I took the position that most certainly it could, but in all honesty, my views were not met with much approval in a room full of journalists. 

In fact, journalists and most of my colleagues on the faculty at College of the Rockies were not convinced that email would prove popular in 1994, the year that I taught Writing for New Media, which would now be called social media, as a prelude to the launch of the college's New Media Communications Program.

Maximizing the potential of the Internet was a tough sell in the declining years of the 20th Century, and despite the fact that Facebook, for example has over one billion users globally, it still is, so politicians may be safe for a little while longer. 

But the times they may be a changing given the success of Barack Obama who is the best example of a relatively unknown politician being elected not once, but twice as president of the United States.

In Canada, right now I am impressed with how Justin Trudeau, the leader of the federal Liberal Party is using web site, email, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook -- and has just launched real time video question and answer periods with folks on various issues. Yes, the Harper Conservatives have been good at using it too, but mostly for attacks. 

However, this week at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver, which I am sure was attended by at least some members of Cranbrook city council, a session on the use of social media was held.

According to an article by Jeff Lee in the Vancouver Sun, Shachi Kurl of Vision Critical talked  about how to properly engage citizens including going online to Twitter and Facebook or offline through community meetings.  

Interesting, but a quick look at the use of Facebook, or lack thereof, by Cranbrook municipal politicians, indicates they are not much interested in engaging citizens in any real way online. Maybe that will all change if they attended the Shachi Kurl session.

And yes folks, 2014 is a municipal election year, and UBCM approved a resolution calling for four year terms. If approved that's asking citizens to give municipal politicians one more year without going to the people.

On September 18, I searched on Facebook for each member of Cranbrook city council. Without sharing all my findings, because if you are on Facebook, you can look for yourself, I concluded that all Cranbrook city council members are not coming even close to effective citizen engagement through social media.

And the City of Cranbrook does not have a Facebook or Twitter presence other than one automatically created by Facebook. But Cranbrook is not alone on that one.

Now, that is not meant necessarily as a criticism. I know they are busy. I know they are communicating each in his or her own way with citizens, and the ones I know well have always been readily available for coffee or a telephone chat, and answer email.

And yes, I know about Coffee with the Mayor and Brown Bag Lunches.

But let me suggest that they move forward as a council to develop a social media strategy for the city -- and I am aware the city's web site has been revised.

Why a social media strategy?

Here is a quote from 'A City's Guide to Social Media' which was prepared by the county and city of Honolulu and Code for America.

"It's fast, it's viral, it can spark civic engagement and it's free.
Social media helps cities in their core mission of reaching more constituents to more broadly share government information and activities... It's the quickest,cheapest way to communicate and interact with your community... social media can also increase government transparency, and it allows you to communicate directly with residents".

And, a caution: 

"Don't use social media if you simply want to broadcast your message; it's a conversation, and you have to participate by providing information and listening to feedback".

I am available on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at

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, September 19, 2013

What's Happening.......

Friday September 20th

Matt Dusk
Key City Theatre
Tickets at the Key City Box Office

Saturday September 21st

Farmer's Market
Tenth Avenue S.
10:00am - 1:00pm

3rd Annual Celebration for Peace
Idle Wild Park
Gates open at 5:30pm
Entertainment begins at 6:30pm

Social Dance
Seniors Hall
7:00pm to the music of

Sunday September 22nd

Cranbrook Community Theatre
Talk, 5:00pm
Candice Fiorentino
"Anatolia Speaks"
Stage Door Theatre, 11th Avenue
Free event

Tuesday September 24th

Funtasik Singers Drop in for vocal enthusiasts
6:45 - 8:15pm
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
135 Tenth Av. S.

Thursday September 26th

Cranbrook and District Arts Council presents
the first of the film documentaries
ART 21 Series
Theme - 'Place'
6:00pm at the Gallery
followed by discussion
Bring a notebook if you wish and snacks

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don't Care if it Rains

Walk of Reconciliation to be held in Cranbrook Friday

Since June 2008, the National Truth a
nd Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has been meeting as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. It uses a restorative justice approach which aims to heal relationships between offenders, victims and the wider community. “The TRC hopes to guide and inspire Aboriginal peoples and Canadians in a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships that are based on mutual understanding and respect.” Check the websites or for more information.
Over the last 5 years, the TRC has heard stories of survivors about their experiences. It has been a powerful and important witness to a shameful part of Canada’s history. Healing has begun amid tears and laughter as survivors tell their stories and we listen.
This week, in the 6th of 7 national events, the TRC is meeting in Vancouver. 
This meeting will be marked in Cranbrook this Friday, September 20 with a “Walk of Reconciliation” which begins at the College of the Rockies campus at noon. After a blessing from an elder, a guest speaker will explain the meaning and impact of the TRC. Following this we will walk to the Ktunaxa Nation Government building downtown, where light refreshments will be served.
The event is being co–­hosted by the College of the Rockies, CORFA (CotR Faculty Association), and the Ktunaxa Nation Council.

100 Mile Cook Out

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UBCM, Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Recycling and Changes in Municipal Election Dates

Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER — Recycling costs and pickup of material at curbsides across British Columbia is expected to be among the hottest topics at a gathering of local government leaders in Vancouver.
Many municipalities have refused to sign a contract with a new agency called Multi-Materials BC, which aims to control collection of recycled paper and packaging by May 2014, as mandated by the provincial government.
The deadline to ink the deal is Monday, the first day of the week-long Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention, where about 2,000 delegates from 196 communities will meet.
On Friday, Multi-Materials BC said local governments that do not sign on by Monday will not be eligible to participate in the recycling program when it is launched, although they can continue discussions for future involvement.
The agreement offers municipalities three options — run their own curbside collection of packaging and printed paper as contractors for a financial incentive, give that responsibility to the agency, or continue their own blue box program without any compensation.
The goal is to shift recycling costs from taxpayers to industry, which is the group of retailers and producers that makes up Multi-Materials BC as part of a program that will require consumers to pay an added recycling cost when they buy a product.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie of Richmond said his city won't sign the "draconian" contract, which doesn't offer a partnership approach.
Brodie said that as far as he's aware, only Coquitlam has signed the deal with Multi-Materials BC while other cities in the Lower Mainland have shunned it.
"We've got half the population of the province," he said of the region, adding the program as a whole is a good one because it would expand the list of recyclable items and provide curbside recycling in areas where it currently does not exist.
Multi-Materials BC said Friday that municipalities representing two-thirds of households in the province have signed the deal, although the agency did not provide the number of governments that will be eligible to participate in the program.
Brodie said the current contract must be amended because it gives too much power to Multi-Materials BC to change an agreement, leaving cities without much say.
"We think that we're currently getting a good service but we do think the concept of MMBC is an improvement. But it's got to be done in a way that works for everybody, including the cities, and the current situation does not."
Municipal taxpayers pay a yearly household levy for blue-box service, and the material collected is sold to recyclers. One of the options of the deal is for the agency to sell recyclables and return part of the money to cities, Brodie said.
Vancouver city council has said it will opt to continue its own recycling program but will not yet sign the agreement, adding it suggests the agency will have an incentive to pick up as much recyclable material as possible while the city has implemented targets to reduce waste.
Brodie said keeping his city's current program would mean a double charge for consumers who would pay an extra cost for a newspaper, for example, and also be charged a recycling tax by their municipality.
"The amount may not be that huge but I think you should have one or the other. The program to me makes sense but the implementation is not satisfactory.
"We will carry on with the status quo for the time being and it is my hope that there will be more discussions with MMBC that will resolve the issues that are so contentious."
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts also said her city will not sign the current deal, which she said favours the "dictatorial" provincial agency when it comes to compensating local governments.
"There has to be some change in language. Otherwise, it would not be in the city's best interest."
Selina Robinson, the NDP's local government critic, said Multi-Materials BC has said it will charge municipalities a fine of $5,000 for every truckload of material that exceeds a contamination rate of three per cent — "if aluminum foil is mixed in with your plastic, or whatever.
"Yes, we ought to get down to zero contamination and we ought to train people to do better, but to start with fines, that's just unbelievable."
Community Minister Coralee Oakes said delegates at the convention will also be discussing major changes in upcoming legislation, allowing for more financial disclosure and accountability in local government elections.
"It's the most significant change in election regulation in two decades," she said. "We really do think that this is our opportunity to make local government more accessible for people, more transparent."
Oakes said municipal elections will be moved to October, from November, next year.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Flathead BioBlitz

Regardless of your views about how this area should be protected or not this short interactive slide show demonstrates some interesting facts about the biodiversity in the Flathead Valley.

To Whom does a City belong?

This article reveals an interesting debate going on in not only Vancouver but in many cities around the world including Cranbrook.  Only the last paragraph is printed here.  To read the full article by Patrick Condon  go to:

A resolution made by Councillor Whetham was recently passed at our local Council meeting to look at future planning for a city block in our own downtown.  That block is made up of a substantial amount of city owned heritage property,  the FireHall, City Hall, the brick Electrical Building and The Studio, Stage Door.  The block also houses the RCMP building and city owned empty lots.  Public input will be requested for this planning exercise.

Whose City Is It, Anyway?

In Vancouver and around the world, middle-class citizens rage against planning that favours profit over people. 
by Patrick M. Condon, 26 Aug 2013,

What do the demonstrations at Gezi Park in Turkey,the mass protests in Natal, Brazil, and the uproar over recent rezoning in Vancouver's Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood have in common?
Throughout the world we are observing what happens when you suppress a debate about who the city is for, and how it should be built………..

Rage is real
But this brings us back again to the parallels between the Turkish revolt over Gezi Park and the Brazilian "Bus Revolt" actions.
While the case is very strong for increasing Vancouver's economic magnetism -- for Vancouver to be one of the world's "winners" over the course of the next few decades -- the weakness of this vision is the view of what makes cities thrive. It assumes that the fickle goddess of global investment must be persuaded to direct her gaze our way for us to flourish.
But not everyone agrees. The protests in Brazil and Turkey are all in opposition to this view. The critique is that when decision makers focus exclusively (and in most cases undemocratically) on attracting global investment to achieve economic development ends, it undermines the natural rights of citizens.
The rage generated by this feeling of impotence can sometimes seem incoherent, leaderless, unfocused -- but the rage is real and it's powerful enough to threaten established governments.
This rage seems particularly acute when democratic practices have been subverted -- when leaders present a face of community connection and a commitment to consultation on the one hand, but are driven by external motivations which have only a limited connection to immediate local needs and current democratic processes.
In the case of Vancouver, it feels particularly heartbreaking to many.
Political leadership in Vancouver has been united for decades across three different leading parties and their commitment to sustainability. Beginning with NPA-led efforts in Yaletown, continuing with COPE's commitment to sustainability demonstrated notably by efforts at southeast False Creek, followed by Sam Sullivan's courage in tying density to sustainability in his EcoDensity plan, and finally now with Vision's Greenest City initiative.
The despondency, present in many conversations heard across the city, is consequent to a feeling of having lost our way. There is a feeling that the green progressive agenda has been co-opted by the same forces many thought it opposed.
Certainly it can be and has been argued that there is more than one way to measure and arrive at a sustainable city, and to ignore global realities is unwise. But absent of a legitimately democratic conversation about what kind of city best accommodates our lives and the lives of our kids, the frustrations among the electorate will likely remain palpable, and our progress towards our common goal will be halting at best.  [Tyee]

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Like Bees to Honey

We love the Saturday Market!

Endless summer produces endless beautiful, big squash

Part of Christian Kimber's crop of Pattypan squash

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Joseph Creek Stream Keepers need your help September 17th, 18th

Joseph Creek Streamkeepers are holding a work bee next Tuesday and Wednesday between 5 and 8 PM at Spooner Park between Mt Baker High School and Western Financial Place and are looking for your help. 

Over a year ago native plants were planted in clusters called permaculture guilds involving group of smaller native plants planted around evergreens. As they grew so did the grasses and weeds including invasive weeds like burdock. Last July several members assisted a professional remove the burdock, weeds and grasses. This treatment has been repeated. Now the group would appreciate assistance from any interested members of the public who have time to help lay sheets of cardboard to cover the area around the permaculture guilds to prevent sunlight from reaching the grass. Then mulch will be dumped on top of the cardboard which should eliminate grasses and weeds.

For more information call Stewart Wilson at 250 489 1422.

It is hoped that native plants will be protected and invasive weeds like burdock will eradicated by clearing the riparian area of weeds then placing layers of cardboard covered in mulch around the permaculture guilds.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Michael's Musings

The Winter of Our Years: Not Quite Yet
By Michael J Morris
It never entered my mind that I may now be in the Winter years of my life until I received an email from a friend expressing condolences on the death of my cousin.
The email expressed the thought that we are in the “winter” of our years, and may have arrived sooner than we thought.
It was a most kind message, but it got me thinking about the Winter years -- was I really there now?
Gosh, it seems like just yesterday that I was cruising the sidewalks of my home town on my tricycle, and making the trip up and over the horseshoe bridge to visit my grandparents on the other side of town. That was in the 1940s.
It seems that it was only yesterday that my cousins were singing 'She'll be Coming Round the Mountain' on the day our grandmother arrived home from England in 1944 after serving as a Red Cross nurse with the British Army in England since 1939. I told them she was coming from Toronto and there no mountains on the route.
It was only a moment ago that my mother and I got on the evening Canadian Pacific Railway train for an overnight ride to Toronto to visit family and friends there, or board another train to head into the United States to visit folks there. 
It doesn't seem that long ago since I took my first airplane ride over Pittsburgh in a Piper Cub with Iven Nichol as the pilot, one of my father's best friends from RCAF days, and his daughter Sandy as the other passenger. That was about 1953, only 60 years ago.
When I am out and about I sometimes still sing 'Heart of My Heart' that our Bantam team sang over and over again in our private railway car on the way to and from Sudbury to play hockery in 1954.
My lifelong friend Butch sent me an email about my cousin recalling time we all spent at the camp my mother and grandfather built at Healy shortly after the end of World War II. Sure I did, and I remember learning all about canoes from my grandfather who despised outboard motors.
My old friend Ken enjoyed a story I had written about a local businessman, and thanked me for including a photo from his days working in the man's department store after school and during holidays. That was about 1958.
I recall vividly the day my uncle, my cousin's father, and my grandmother drove me from Chapleau to Timmins to start my first full-time job as a daily newspaper reporter. I just calculated and that was only 49 years ago now.
OK, I admit that I took early retirement from College of the Rockies 13 years ago, and was feeling a little tired when I decided to call it quits after 32 years as a teacher. 
And I stopped riding my bicycle a few years ago because I started to become concerned about a tumble. And, I curse the city now when the sidewalks aren't plowed in the winter immediately after a snow storm even though I was raised in a village where side streets may never be plowed.
Yes, I walk by those new tennis courts on Second Street North, and want to go and play just one set for old times' sake but realistically it ain't gonna happen.
But, I walk about five miles a day, and swim at least 250 metres daily -- well kinda, but I have to admit that I use a noodle for assistance -- but the lifeguards at the Cranbrook Aquatic Centre now think I should spend half my time without it. And who am I to argue. Most are about 50 years or so younger than me.
My Winter years though. Not quite yet. Robert Frost, one of my favorite poets ended his poem 'Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening' with
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
That's my plan too.
Let me leave you with one of my favorite sayings attributed to Etienne de Grellet (1773-1855), a Quaker missionary: 
"I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
To me at least, that's a great way to spend the Winter years. My email is
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, September 12, 2013

What's Happening.......

Thursday September 12th

New season beginsFriday September 13th
Room 210, College of the Rockies
7:00 - 9:00pm

Friday September 13th

Lost and Found Videos
Cranbrook and District Arts Council present
Emmy Willis's six short documentaries about area personalities
including Shannon Duncan and Michael Hepher
7:30pm 135, 10th Av S Entry by donation

Saturday September 14th

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

Cranbrook Terry Fox Run
Rotary Park
10:00am - 1;00pm

Horse Show
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Maverick Riding Club's 3rd Annual Schooling Horse Show.
Great entry level show for beginners wanting to try a small Horse Show.
For more information contact Kendra at (250) 426-7980.

Sunday September 15th

One World Garden Workshop
3:00 - 5:00pm
'No Fear of Frost'
Public Produce Garden
McKinnon Park Cranbrook

Kootenay Ice Game

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One World Garden Workshop Saturday September 14

One World Garden Workshop Saturday September 14 in Kimberley and Cranbrook

The 4th workshop in the One World Garden Series, No Fear of Frost, is coming up Saturday, September 14, 10-noon in Kimberley and 3-5pm in Cranbrook.  With the abundance of harvest season upon us, this is an exciting time to get your hands dirty in the garden! 

In No Fear of Frost we’ll be learning about simple ways to extend the harvest, including a demonstration of building cold frames, the wonders of protective fabrics, and local experiments with hydro-thermal energy.  There’s no reason your tomatoes can’t ripen on the vine this year!
The goal of this workshop series is to increase the local capacity for growing food by offering a place where immigrants or people new to gardening can learn more about growing food locally while gaining hands-on experience and exchanging skills with local members of the community.
“These workshops have been so much fun, with local garden mentors coming to share their knowledge I’ve seen a lot of people gain new gardening confidence this summer”, says Jessica Windle, Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook Food Sustainability Coordinator.
Following the workshop in Cranbrook will be the Public Produce Garden’s second annual Potato Pickin’ Party, complete with a potato boil – come down, taste some taters, and take some home, too!
The Kimberley workshop will be held from 10-noon at Rita’s Memorial Garden at 455 Bryant Blvd. and in Cranbrook from 3-5pm at the Public Produce Garden in Eric McKinnon Park. 
The Potato Pickin’ Party is 5-7pm, bring the family down for some fun in the garden!  Consider inviting your friends or neighbors who are new to town to come and share in the harvest too!
As part of the Welcoming Communities project, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, Cranbrook Food Action Committee and Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook have teamed up to provide these gardening workshops for free.  This project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
The workshops are free but require registration.  To register, in Cranbrook: or call (250)427-7981, in Kimberley: or call (250)427-2535 ext 223