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.

Friday, January 30, 2015

EarthShip Construction in Southern Alberta

January Spring


Stewart Wilson Photos

What's Happening.....

A quiet weekend ahead in Cranbrook but plan now for the many events to take place in February.

Friday January 30

Snowed in Comedy Tour
8:30 Key City Theatre
Tickets Key City Theatre

Thursday February 5th

Rotary Film Series
Sunshine on the Leith
Tickets Lotus Books

Tues Feb 10 
Le Vent Du Nord
Key City Theatre

Feb. 10,11, 12
Gypsy at the Key

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Are We in Control of Our Own Decisions?

Elected Officials who Blog

Blogging is becoming more popular amongst some elected municipal officials.

In Kamloops Councillor Arjun Singh has written a blog for Kamloops residents since 2005.

Now Penticton Mayor Jakubeit has joined the municipal elected officials list of bloggers.
"Mayor's Minute" blog provides instant update on city happenings
By Steve Arstad

PENTICTON - A new feature on the City of Penticton’s website will update you on all things Penticton in one minute.
The “Mayors Minute” blog launched this week as a new feature on the city’s website. The blog gives many residents an easy to access opportunity to read about council news and councillors’ thoughts.
Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he wants the blog to be “a window that helps people see what council does - the amazing volunteers we meet, the serious issues we tackle and the light-hearted moments we encounter, too.”
The blog will also provide means for councillors to provide guest posts on issues they are aware of. Pictures, featured community programs and links to events will be enabled with the blog, with additional features to be added in the future.
The blog can also be found under the city news section of the City of Penticton website.

and here is another in Ontario:


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Necessity of Art and Beauty

A Point of View: Why tyrants are afraid of art and beauty

Beauty - and art - may seem unnecessary luxuries, but they are as essential to our survival as food and water, argues AL Kennedy.
A while ago I was at my mother's house and - as I walked into the hall - there was a tray set out and on the tray was a dish of rose petals. A single petal wasn't in the bowl, it was on the tray. Without thinking, I put the petal into the bowl because I'm anal retentive and controlling and don't really enjoy, or even understand ornaments. I live in hotels a lot - mostly the only ornaments there will be a kettle......
Art is a power, and much of its true power is invisible, private, memorised and held even in prison cells and on forced marches, so you can see why totalitarians of all kinds dislike it. You can see why Soviet Russia and Bible Belt America had to resist rock and roll, why Nazi leaders would ban the work of decadent artists, Jewish artists, black artists, of all the untermenschen - while secretly appropriating its glamour and comfort for themselves - or why suspected communists would be prevented from making films in McCarthy's Hollywood, why the Bamiyan Buddhas had to be destroyed, why the Dubrovnik world heritage site had to be shelled, why it would seem amusing and powerful to compel musicians to play while people screamed in gas chambers, why in most years, somewhere books are burned, or why the Khmer Rouge would ban the word for sleep, or kill a girl - as it was put - "because she was too beautiful". The control of our art is very often to prevent us from being too beautiful, independently sustained by beauty from uncontrollable sources - beautiful for ourselves, beautiful for others.
To read the whole article go to the link above.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunset Glory January 25th

photos Jenny Humphrey and Stewart Wilson









Is Green Power Rising?

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/12/31/2015-Historic-For-Greens/

How 2015 Could Be Historic for Greens

What Elizabeth May has to offer Justin Trudeau, and her prize just two elections away.
By Kai Nagata, 31 Dec 2014, TheTyee.ca

What would the House of Commons look like with the addition of a few dozen Green MPs? Under any kind of minority government, a Green caucus led by Elizabeth May would wield outsized political clout. For example, they could demand important environmental policy commitments every time they helped pass a government bill.
This could be reality in four years or less, if Green Party members in a few key ridings play their cards right.
Here's the situation. The Greens hold just two seats out of 308 in Ottawa -- one secured by Elizabeth May in 2011 and the other courtesy of Bruce Hyer, the former NDP MP for Thunder Bay who sat as an independent before joining May as a Green.
That's just 0.6 per cent of seats, despite the Greens polling as high as 10 per cent nationally. One survey commissioned by the party found as many as three in 10 Canadians would consider voting Green. What holds them back is Canada's first-past-the-post voting system, under which Green candidates almost never have enough concentrated support in a single riding to win.

News

A CBC Defender Aims to Be Vancouver Island's Next Green

Driven to save the threatened broadcaster, Jo-Ann Roberts enters the ring.
By Andrew MacLeod, Yesterday, TheTyee.ca 

You've said both the Liberals and the Greens sought you as a candidate. How did you decide?
It was a hard decision. I looked at their platforms. I don't know Justin Trudeau personally. I grew up in the time of his father, whom I did admire. But I admire Elizabeth May, personally. I admire that she's trying to change the conversation. So when I looked at the party platforms, Vision Green was closer to my own values and what I think the country should look like going forward... Overarching all the issues in this election, I would think, is how we are going to approach the future of our climate and our environment. 

Theatre, Music, Ballet on Screen

Our Columbia Landmark Theatre has, since November been screening magnificent productions recorded at world famous venues including The Royal opera House and The Globe.  Audiences have gradually been increasing as word spreads about the fabulous quality of these productions.  Show times are mostly Saturday mornings at 10:00am but there have been some encore performances following the first showing.  The Royal Ballet's amazing production of Alice in Wonderland saw a good sized audience on Saturday January 24th and this show left ballet fans thirsting for more of the same.
Go to the 'Experiences' tab at Columbia Theatre to find out more.

These are just two of the schedules:
At this time it would appear 'Manon' listed in the brochure but not on the web, will not be showing on Jan 26th.

Click to enlarge




Friday, January 23, 2015

Warner's Corner

What’s best for our city; the short view or the long?
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Was the closure of the Cranbrook Target store a wake up call as far as city planning is concerned?
Think back. A long way back when Cranbrook once had a thriving downtown with lots of busy stores and businesses on Baker Street not to mention some architectural and heritage gems like the old Court House, the Post Office, the ornate YMCA building and others. Downtown was a happening place then. Quite a change from now despite the best efforts of the DBA and others.

So what triggered the change? Well in the 1960’s Cranbrook was booming. The pulp mill had just been built, the Salmo-Creston Highway opened and investment was pouring into the city. Then the Mayor and Council of the day had a better idea. They would build Cranbrook’s first shopping mall and show the rest of the province just what a new Babylon Cranbrook was becoming. And so they did right   across Baker Street almost cutting the downtown in half. It didn’t make sense from an accessibility point of view and over the years some major downtown streets had to be torn up and realigned to make up for this, but it worked for a while at least until a bigger mall was built way out on Cranbrook Street which soon became known by everyone as “The Strip” and attracted business growth in its direction at the expense of the downtown.

By the time yours truly arrived in 1997, The Strip was effectively “THE DOWNTOWN” as many businesses including restaurants, retail outlets, car dealerships and even one bank either sprang up or relocated on The Strip and the downtown withered on the vine, a faint shadow of its glory days. But at least we had The Strip. The travel writers may not have liked it, but it was a damn busy street as the tire grooves worn into the pavement attested.

Around the year 2000, the Council of the day had a chance to revive the downtown a bit by approving a giant Safeway at the now declining Cranbrook Mall. However, little came of it because Council approved Safeway’s plan to separate itself from the rest of the mall and demolish part of the old mall that used to be physically connected to the former Safeway premises. And Council also missed a golden opportunity to fully re-open Baker Street, instead opting for a lane on one side of the store complete with speed bumps. And the effect on Cranbrook Mall was devastating with store after store closing until recently when two clinics relocated in the dying mall and attracted some badly needed new tenants like the pharmacy that just moved in. Let’s hope the trend continues.

However the street that’s in danger now, incredible as it may seem, is our beloved Strip. Earlier this year, the Council of which I was a member went eagerly along with a recommendation of the City Planning Dept. to allow two car dealerships to vacate the Strip and move across the tracks to the industrial park. All council members with the exception of yours truly went along with the planning department’s recommendation. I opposed it because one car dealership had already moved to the north end of the strip and almost off it and now two other dealerships were going to move off the Strip completely, sparking a troubling trend that could see the Strip abandoned like the downtown with large empty lots filled with weeds, broken glass and garbage. Not a very welcoming sight for tourists or anyone else.

And now Target is closing, which will leave 100,000 sq. feet of empty floor space and more than 100 jobs gone from The Strip, the biggest job loss in our city for a long, long time. No one needs to be told this is not a healthy situation.

So what’s my point? It’s simply this. Maybe the car dealers have some perfectly good reasons for abandoning The Strip. Target obviously thinks it has some good reasons for abandoning Canada. But what’s City Council’s role in all this? Is it to cater to the wants of business no matter what? Or is it to take the longer view of what’s best for the city as a whole? In other words planning and vision.

Dear reader I leave these important questions to you and I wish City Council good luck in its deliberations.





Thursday, January 22, 2015

What's Happening......

Thursday January 22rd

Sunrise Rotary Film, Columbia Theatre

Love is Strange
Tickets Lotus Books
7:00pm

Wednesday January 21st to Saturday January 24th

Waiting for Godot

Key City Theatre
7:30pm
Tickets $20
Key City Theatre Box Office
or 250-426-7006 or online at
www.keycitytheatre.com

Friday January 23rd

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
Cara Luft and JD Edwards
7:00pm
Admission $20 at the door

Saturday January 24th

Columbia Theatre
The Royal Ballet
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
10:00am

Indoor Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Ktunaxa Gym
10:00am - 1:00pm

Heritage Inn
Robbie Burns Night
Tickets Lotus Books

Introduction to Oil Paints
Cranbrook Arts Council Gallery
$30
250-426-4223



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Creative Placemaking

Arts were once dismissed by many public officials and local activists as a frill, a nice thing perhaps but not essential when you are busy saving neighborhoods, building affordable housing, creating jobs.  But that view faded in the spotlight of national attention on Creative Placemaking success stories like the High Line in New York City, the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis and the Village of Arts & Humanities in Philadelphia.

“Arts and culture is powerful because it can give voice to the people living in a place, inspiring their own creativity,” explains Erik Takeshita, co-leader of a new Creative Placemaking project at the Local Initiative Support Corporation.  “Art has a unique capacity to help people re-imagine the place they live.” 


The Cultural Trail in Indianapolis shows one example - from:


Stormwater planters are structures with open bottoms and specific plant species, which enable stormwater to slowly drain into the ground.
These planters reduce stormwater runoff, flow rate, volume and pollutants, and recharge the groundwater.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Starling Takes a Selfie


Post Notes for the Council Meeting of January 19th, 2015

Councillor Cardozo absent.

6:00pm Public Hearing with regard to item 6.2 Zoning Amendment
There were two presentations from members of the public.
- the first questioned how costs to hook up to utilities were paid for, and the reason for a low cost housing/ trailer park/ residential development so far from the downtown, where low cost housing might be better suited
 - the seconder presentation was from the adjacent business owner who was concerned about how future residents would accept or not the noise of crushing vehicles, dust etc.  This stable and secure business, which has been in the hands of this owner for over twenty years has also been in existence for many years longer in the industrial part of this area.   
Later discussion by Councillors addressed the issues of cost - the developer must pay for hook up to utilities and DCC's (Development Cost Charges) would apply at approximately $4000 per lot. It was explained by staff, that because this is private property, the owner can apply to use the property in any way he/she sees fit.  
The issue of mitigation of dust and noise effects was discussed.  Planning explained there is a ten metre buffer zone for development and the existing tree growth should be kept.  There would also be a hold back landscaping cost.
See below for the results of the discussion on Zoning Bylaw 3816

No Delegations

Bylaws

6.1  OCP Amendment Bylaw 3814
To consider second reading and referrals of an amendment to the Wildstone Neighbourhood Plan in the City's Official Community Plan. The proposed amendment will:
• change the neighbourhood plan text by deleting references to a second golf course, amending
dwelling unit numbers to reflect removing the densities attributed to the subject parcel;
• remove the subject parcel (racetrack lands) from the neighbourhood plan area map schedules;
• amend the subject properties land use designation from Comprehensive Development to Low
Density Residential and Core Commercial;
• amend the proposed trail system map in the neighbourhood plan to realign the public pathways to
be consistent with the major road network and proposed utility alignments.

2nd Reading
Carried

In support of the request, the applicants have provided letters from Havaday Developments and
Realty Investments Corporation (owners of much of the Wildstone development lands) which
support the changes proposed. The letters do indicate they want to ensure that the overall integrity
of the Neighbourhood Plan is maintained including the connection through the parcel to other areas
of the development. In addition they do acknowledge that additional discussion regarding further
amendments to the neighbourhood plan will be required; however, specific items which pertain to
the currently proposed amendments include acknowledgement that a second golf course will not be
built as anticipated in the OCP and the reduction in density are noted.

Read the whole document here:

6.2  Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3816
The City of Cranbrook has received an application from the owner of property located on 6th Street
NW, to rezone the land to enable consideration of residential development of the property. The
subject property is indicated as 7.8 hectares (19.3 acres) in size and is legally described as Lot B,
District Lot 29, Kootenay District, Plan NEP 23315.

Third Reading
Carried

Adoption
Councillor Graham sated he would like to examine the public hearing concerns further.  Councillor Shypitka voiced similar concerns around the issue of respect for a long time and pre-existing successful business.  Mayor Pratt stated he would like to see the planning process move ahead.

Carried with Councillors Graham and Shypitka opposed. 


New Business

8.1  CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs.
Postponed due to Councillor Cardozo's absence.

8.2  Appointments to Committees
Appointments were read out and will bevailable on the City website

8.3  Kootenay Christian Academy School Zone Request
To set the maximum speed limit along Kootenay Street North at 50km/h and place a 30km/h school
zone speed limit by Kootenay Christian Academy consistent with the City of Cranbrook Streets and
Traffic Bylaw as amended.


8.4  Off leash Dog use Areas
To seek Council's direction regarding the development of an off leash dog use area.
RECOMMENDATION BY: Staff
THAT Council direct staff to continue to pursue an Agreement between the City of Cranbrook and
the School District #5, to utilize the vacant school ground formerly operated as Muriel Baxter
Elementary School, as an off leash dog use area, maintained by the City.
This item produced discussion around cost. Councillors eventually agreed to let the project continue and address the cost within budget discussions.  It was pointed out by CAO Staudt that this project has been in the works for a considerable length of time.  Discussions have gone back and forth with the School Board and the board has now given approval.  Much research and public input has been received on this topic and this location was considered preferable this time for affordability and central location reasons.
Comment
 Kamloops a city four times larger than Cranbrook, has five secure fenced dog parks located in different neighbourhoods.  Information can be found at:
To learn more about the benefits of dog parks:
Cranbrook has a Dogpark Facebook page with 243 likes.



10.1  Administration Update
Can be read in full at:

https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=4466
Of note is the clarification that ALL seniors over the age of 65 are eligible for a parking permit within City limits including area C residents.

Correspondence

12.1 Gordon Terrace Crosswalk modification request
Recommendation to refer to Engineering.
Carried

12.2  Proclamation Family Literacy Week
Proclaimed

This Council meeting can be viewed at:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of January 19th, 6:00pm

6:00pm Public Hearing with regard to item 6.2 Zoning Amendment

No Delegations

Bylaws

6.1  OCP Amendment Bylaw 3814
To consider second reading and referrals of an amendment to the Wildstone Neighbourhood Plan in the City's Official Community Plan. The proposed amendment will:
• change the neighbourhood plan text by deleting references to a second golf course, amending
dwelling unit numbers to reflect removing the densities attributed to the subject parcel;
• remove the subject parcel (racetrack lands) from the neighbourhood plan area map schedules;
• amend the subject properties land use designation from Comprehensive Development to Low
Density Residential and Core Commercial;
• amend the proposed trail system map in the neighbourhood plan to realign the public pathways to
be consistent with the major road network and proposed utility alignments.

2nd Reading

In support of the request, the applicants have provided letters from Havaday Developments and
Realty Investments Corporation (owners of much of the Wildstone development lands) which
support the changes proposed. The letters do indicate they want to ensure that the overall integrity
of the Neighbourhood Plan is maintained including the connection through the parcel to other areas
of the development. In addition they do acknowledge that additional discussion regarding further
amendments to the neighbourhood plan will be required; however, specific items which pertain to
the currently proposed amendments include acknowledgement that a second golf course will not be
built as anticipated in the OCP and the reduction in density are noted.

Read the whole document here:

6.2  Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3816
The City of Cranbrook has received an application from the owner of property located on 6th Street
NW, to rezone the land to enable consideration of residential development of the property. The
subject property is indicated as 7.8 hectares (19.3 acres) in size and is legally described as Lot B,
District Lot 29, Kootenay District, Plan NEP 23315.

Third Reading


New Business

8.1  CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs

8.2  Appointments to Committees

8.3  Kootenay Christian Academy School Zone Request
To set the maximum speed limit along Kootenay Street North at 50km/h and place a 30km/h school
zone speed limit by Kootenay Christian Academy consistent with the City of Cranbrook Streets and
Traffic Bylaw as amended.

8.4  Off leash Dog use Areas
To seek Council's direction regarding the development of an off leash dog use area.
RECOMMENDATION BY: Staff
THAT Council direct staff to continue to pursue an Agreement between the City of Cranbrook and
the School District #5, to utilize the vacant school ground formerly operated as Muriel Baxter
Elementary School, as an off leash dog use area, maintained by the City.

10.1  Administration Update
Can be read in full at:

https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=4466

Correspondence

12.1 Gordon Terrace Crosswalk modification request

12.2  Proclamation Family Literacy Week

Winter Wonders and Ice Caps from Stewart Wilson

When out and about with Stewart, this is what you might find....










Saturday, January 17, 2015

Gordon Terrace SnowShoe Club

Getting Outside in BC
Thanks to these parents, teachers and Stewart Wilson of Gordon Terrace School














Friday, January 16, 2015

Notes from the City Budget Meeting of January 14th

The first public budget meeting for 2015 - 2019 plan was held Wednesday January 14th and lasted over three hours.  This first session was for Council to review, clarify and carry forward projects and work already started in 2014.  For most of these projects, the work is partly complete, purchase orders issued and all that remains is for work to be completed and bills paid.  One example is the Clocktower Square rebuild which could not be completed in the fall due to a discovery of deep infrastructure requiring replacement.  Trees have been ordered and final landscaping will be completed in the spring.

Charlotte Osborne, Director of Finance articulated what the long list of Carry Forward projects consisted of and Council could ask for clarification or more information.  Department heads were also present to clarify if necessary.  Council members had received the information package prior to the public meeting.

Councillor Graham questioned the need to replace street light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs because of the short term cost.  It was pointed out by CAO Staudt that this is a partnership project with BC Hydro (including grants)and that there will be long term savings.  Councillor Cardozo questioned the Asia twinning project and indicated she would rather see the funds spent locally.  CAO Staudt pointed out that this was a provincially funded and directed project.  Councillor Graham questioned the need for a contracted Parks and Recreation Master Plan cost but it was pointed out that the Plan is complete.  Mayor Pratt questioned the need to move forward with the remaining plan for the Slaterville intersection upgrade.  Mayor Pratt also stated, “We do not want to plant trees if they have not been purchased.”

A resolution was requested to accept these Carry Forward projects with a proviso to find more information for a few of the projects mentioned above.  However, Mayor Pratt indicated he wanted to review a much larger number of projects. 

Recognising that Council was not ready to move forward it was agreed to move the resolution to the Feb 4th.  CAO Staudt explained that there will always be a link to the previous Council with projects that have been approved, taxed for and grants received.  He also stated that most of these projects are committed to.
Councillor Graham stated, “Bottom line, if there is something Council doesn’t want to fund we don’t fund it.”

After the Carry Forward Project part of the meeting two options were put forward for the 2015 Roads Program.  Council voted to move forward with the’ mill and fill of 3 and 1/2 kilometers of road rather than complete the first phase of deep infrastructure replacement on 2nd St S.  This road has been shown to have deep infrastructure problems, which could fail and the road needs a complete rebuild.  The 2nd St. South project was the topic of an open house and petition in 2014.  Mill and fill refers to the process where the top surface of the road is broken up and reused for resurfacing.

During the meeting Councillor Popoff questioned the existing 1% road tax and suggested removing it in order to lower taxes. He asked if the money could be found elsewhere in the budget.  Director of Finance Charlotte Osborne explained that that amount of money could not be found elsewhere as roads are not eligible for grants and it must come out of taxes.  The tax was brought in under the Council of Mayor Manjak and has been used several years now.  The initial amount of just over $200,000.00 has now compounded to a significant budget for roads and accrues to millions in the next few years.  Other Councillors agreed they were in favour of the 1% road tax.

Also discussed was the application to the Build Canada Fund for pump and electrical system component replacement at the City Farm, Spray Irrigation System. A loan application bylaw has already been approved for this project but at the last Council meeting, it was suggested by Councillor Blissett, that an application to the Build Canada Fund might be a good option.  Either one of these options will ensure there will be financing for the necessary project.   It had been indicated the pump replacement was urgent for the system to function this season.  It is now felt by engineering that the system could limp through one more year, which will allow the design phase of the project to be completed in good time.

The meeting was recessed until the next Budget Meeting.


Next proposed Budget Meeting dates:
February 4th  Water, Sewer, Solid Waste and Airport Funds will be discussed
February 17th General Fund, Capital, Grants to organisations, Borrowing and Tax Rates.
March 4th
April 8th

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's Happening...

Saturday January 17th

Locals Coffee house
SOLD OUT

Sunday January 18th

In Search of Beethoven
Columbia Theatre
10:00am

In Search of Beethoven offers a comprehensive and dynamic account of the life and works of the great composer.  The film features 65 performances by the world’s finest musicians. In addition 100 interviews were conducted in the making of this beautifully crafted film. 
The film delves beneath the mythical image of the tortured, cantankerous genius to search for the real Ludwig van Beethoven. In Search of Beethoven addresses the romantic myth that Beethoven was a heroic, tormented figure battling to overcome his tragic fate, struck down by deafness, who searched for his ‘immortal beloved’ but remained unmarried. The results reveal someone quite different and far more interesting.


Fort Steele
Sleigh Rides noon - 2:00pm
Skating (everyday)

Monday January 19th

City Council Meeting
6:00pm, Council Chambers

Wednesday January 21st

All About Triathlon
Studio Stage Door
Learn about the club and the sport
7:00pm - 8:30pm

January 21st - 24th

Waiting for Godot
directed by Paul Kershaw
Key City Theatre
7:30pm
Tickets $20

January 22nd

Sunrise Rotary Film
Love is Strange
Columbia Theatre
7:00pm
(Also Sunshine on the Leith Feb 5th)
Tickets Lotus Books


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Between the Layers

photos Jenny Humphrey and Stewart Wilson



City Budget Meeting

Budget Meeting

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015
4:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Special meeting of Council is scheduled for budget discussions, as it pertains to the City of Cranbrook 2015 – 2019 Five Year Financial Plan.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 14th, beginning at 4:30 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.
The public is welcome to attend

Monday, January 12, 2015

Supporting Healthy Eco Systems

Are you a committed rancher, land steward or community builder challenged to meet your goals? Are you asking how do I do it all? Can I increase my bottom line, find time to spend with family and support healthy ecosystems?

Jeff Goebel, certified holistic management educator and international consensus builder, specializes in leveraging issues which can accelerate and lead to the  long-lasting and effective changes you want.

Jump out of the box and join Jeff Goebel at Clear Sky Centre February 26-28, 2015. Click  here to register and find out more. 


Blast from the Past - Best Block

Cranbrook Courier Sept 17 1953

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Falling Oil Prices Could Rock Canada's Politics; The Tyee

From the Tyee



Falling Oil Prices Could Rock Canada's Politics: ExpertA Tyee interview with Terry Lynn Karl, who wrote the book on petro states.By Andrew Nikiforuk, 18 Dec 2014, TheTyee.ca 


[Editor's note: 'Oil Keeps Crashing': Just the latest headline marking a steady plunge that has the price of Brent Crude, the international benchmark, now scraping $52 a barrel. What are the political ramifications here in Canada and around the world? Andrew Nikiforuk’s interview with expert Terry Lynn Karl went viral when we published it on December 18 and remains one of the Tyee’s most read pieces today. In case you missed it…]

What do the plummeting oil prices tell us not only about our near term economic future in Canada, but the political fragility of the world's petro states?

Asked in a wide ranging interview what Canadians might expect if oil prices stay low for a few years, she predicted "a rapidly declining Canadian dollar, greater problems over pipelines, the reduction of future investments, and a very bumpy oil ride, especially for Alberta.
"Oil prices and stock markets used to go in different directions. When prices went up dramatically, market hysteria pushed stocks down, and recession would ensue. Because the price is now down, this should be a boon to consumers, help the economies of consuming nations, and represent a massive transfer of wealth from oil producers to oil consumers. But the stock market doesn't reflect this. In the last few years, the markets and oil prices are moving in tandem, and this is new.
"I suspect there are several reasons for this. First, advanced industrialized economies, and most especially the United States, have reached historic highs in inequality. This means that there is no wage growth, there is little consumer spending and the main concern is deflation, not inflation. While low prices help consumers, they simply will not have the same effect given acute poverty levels and the squeezing of the middle class.
"Second, the global economy may be de-accelerating, meaning this is not just a supply glut but also a reflection of lower demand from China, Europe and elsewhere.
"Finally, the stock market is reflecting the dangerous intertwining between oil futures and junk bonds, which was not the case decades ago."
Both oil companies and global economies are now carrying great debt loads as hydrocarbons become more extreme and difficult to extract. The world's largest 127 oil and gas firms generated $568 billion in cash from their operations during 2013-2014, while their expenses totalled $677 billion? How is debt affecting this whole picture?

To read the whole article, go to the link above.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gordon Terrace raises $4000 for Gordon Terrace, Nepal



David and Patricia Stock visited Gordon Terrace School, Cranbrook on Friday, January9th to show their DVD presentation which demonstrates the culmination of their coordination and the fund raising efforts of students at Gordon Terrace to build a school outside of Katmandu, Nepal. 



Over four years the students here have raised over $20,000 and this sum of money has enabled the building of a Gordon Terrace namesake school in a tiny village many kilometres and cultures away.  This project has provided all the students involved with many unique learning experiences.  Dilly Bar sales, handmade bracelet sales, craft sales, the collection of Canadian tire money, penny drives have all taught many skills only learned in the real world of business. 


The students' reward has been much more than dollars however and the success of the project has motivated the students to continue supporting the little Hot Pink School on the other side of the world.  $4,000 was presented to the Stocks on this visit - the proceeds from the Christmas craft sale.





Principal Michelle Sartorel, Patricia and David Stock thank students.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

What's Happening....

Thursday January 8th

Sunrise Rotary Film Series
Whiplash
7:00pm
a very limited number of tickets available at the door if you get there early

Friday January 9th

Good Ol' Goats play at the Byng
10:00pm

Saturday January 10th

The Globe on Screen
The Tempest
10:00am Columbia Theatre

Sunday January 11th

Fort Steele
Sleigh Rides
12 noon to 2:00pm

Everyday Fort Steele

Skating
outdoor rink 
10:00am - 4:00pm daily

Plan now for upcoming events

Travelogue Luxury Barging in S. France  Jan 14th
COR Lecture Theatre

Locals Coffee House Jan. 17th

Sunrise Rotary Movies
Love is Strange Jan 22nd

Key City Theatre
Waiting for Godot Jan 21st - 24th 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of January 5th, 2015

Bylaws

6.1 Rescind Fluoridation Bylaw 3799 as it did not pass referendum
Carried

6.2 Adoption of loan authorisation bylaw 3812
The deadline for receiving elector responses against borrowing up to $700,000 to finance the
replacement of the Motor Control Center (MCC) at the City's Spray Irrigation Facility was December 10, 2014. Sufficient elector response forms were not received and the Director of Corporate Services provided a Certificate of Non-Sufficiency. City Council may proceed with adoption of Motor Control Center '(MCC) replacement -Spray Irrigation Facility Loan. Authorization Bylaw No. 3812, 2014.
There was discussion around potential alternative sources for funding for this expense. Federal infrastructure funding, reserve funds were both ideas put forward.  CAO Staudt explained that applications have already been made to the infrastructure, Build Canada Fund ( IdleWild Dam, 2nd St infrastructure) and that to apply and run the risk of not receiving the grant was too great as this pump was essential for functioning of the spray irrigation fields this summer.  Councillor Blissett suggested completing the application for the loan but also to apply to the infrastructure fund anyway.  
The motion for loan application carried.

6.3 OCP Amendment  Bylaw 3814.
To consider first reading of.an amendment to the Wildstone Neighbourhood Plan in the City's Official Community Plan. The proposed amendment will: .
• change the neighbourhood plan text by deleting references to a second golf course, amending
dwelling unit number - to reflect removing the densities attributed to the subject parcel;
• remove the subject parcel (racetrack lands) from the neighbourhood plan area map schedules;
• amend the subject properties land use designation from Comprehensive Development to Low
Density Residential and Core Commercial;
• amend the proposed trail system map in the neighbourhood plan to realign the public pathways to
be consistent with the major road network and proposed utility alignments.
In effect this now blankets the once proposed golfcourse area with similar wording for future planning.
Comment
The results of the Growth Management Study identified a lack of potential industrial lands for Cranbrook.  As this area is adjacent to existing industrial land and as the Growth Management Study also demonstrated an already abundance of residential property, one must ask what is the state of planning for future industrial land and would this area be suitable?


6.4  Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3816.  To consider first and second reading and referrals for a proposed rezoning of land located on 6th Street NW to enable consideration of subdivision and residential development of the property.
Carried
A mobile home and low cost housing development is proposed for this property above Farbrook Auto Wrecking in Slaterville.  A public hearing is scheduled for January 19th at 6:00pm

New Business

8.1 To consider an application for an Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) Subdivision of a 4.0 ha property located on Parnaby Road to facilitate creation of two 2.0 ha parcels.
Carried
Comment
This property is in the agricultural land reserve and despite its existence within city boundaries, one must question the wisdom of this decision and ask if any provision in the OCP has been made for small holding /industrial food production facilities such as abattoir or greenhouse food production. The property is close to railway and major distribution roadways and a large greenhouse facility is already close by.  Has any consideration been given to provision for such planning in light of the fact that discussions around the economic benefits of local food production have been very relevant of late.  One such indicator of the potential for local food production is the local Farmer's Market continuing operation through the winter months.

Committee Recommendations
That Council authorize placement of a Safe Communities Cranbrook sign in the service clubs ladder
board at the west entrance of Cranbrook at the expense of Safe Communities Cranbrook; and further,
that Council require the sign be a similar design style to existing signs in the ladder board; and further,
that Council forward the request to the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce, to inquire about
the ability for Safe Communities Cranbrook to place a sign on the Chamber of Commerce property
near the east entrance of the City.
Carried

Administration Report
Can be read in full at:
2014 Urban Deer Public Educaticn Campaign (WildSafeBC) 
St. Mary's School Crosswalk Request
Councillor Graham disagreed with administration's recommendation that no sidewalk be granted. Councillor Hockley also had concerns about this location.  CAO Staudt pointed out that as there is no sidewalk and as the property in question is privately owned, the City is in a difficult position regarding responsibility and liability.  It was agreed that the City will go back to St Mary's School and discuss the problem further.

Correspondence
Beginning:

Habitat for Humanity - request for City lot - Referred to Budget Discussions
Request for zoning Kootenay Christian Academy - more information will be gathered regarding current zoning and speed limits
Alzheimer Awareness month 
Know Your Watershed

Announcement
First Budget Meeting - Open to the public
January 14th 4:30pm, Council Chamber





Warner's Corner

There is only one country where toddlers are armed and dangerous

by Gerry Warner


Last week, my wife and I were getting ready to go to Spokane for “First Night” New Year’s festivities, which our American neighbours do with great pizazz, when the first sickening headline came across my computer screen -- “Toddler fatally shoots mother in Idaho Walmart.”

What’s this, I thought. Some sort of sick New Year's joke? Tragically, this wasn’t the case. 

My mind reeled as I read the details. “Toddler shoots, kills mother” screamed a 72 point headline in Spokane's Spokesman-Review. “Just a tragic accident,” said a more sedate head line in the Bonner County Daily Bee of Sandpoint.

An accident! What kind of headline is that? It almost sounds apologetic, I thought to myself as I drove down Highway 95 New Year's Eve towards Spokane. Then another thought quickly bounced into my mind: “we'll be driving right by that Walmart. I think I’ll go in.” No you won't, declared my wife, defiantly surmising my thoughts before I even uttered them.

But what husband ever listens to his wife's counsel no matter how wise it may be? Thirty minutes later we were sitting in the parking lot of the Hayden, Idaho Walmart, where the grotesque tragedy had taken place. Even then, I hesitated. “It all looks so normal.” Shoppers pouring in. Shoppers pouring out. The parking lot full of sale-seekers. No sign of a memorial to the dead 29-year-old mother, a nuclear research scientist who worked for the Idaho National Laboratory, and along with her husband, a strong  – I'm tempted to say a fanatical – supporter of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, the right to bear arms. The gun, a loaded 9mm, Smith and Wesson pistol was in a special purse designed to carry a weapon in a retention holster in a zippered pocket. Both the deceased and her husband had concealed weapon permits legal in Idaho. Hayden is also well known as the former home of the Aryan Nation, a neo-Nazi white supremacist group.

A relative told reporters the deceased and her husband were avid gun enthusiasts and had taken many classes in gun safety. “Our whole family; we are gun people,” the relative told the Daily Bee. “Roni usually carried on her person, but they have been researching other ways to conceal their weapons in public.” After analyzing the situation, the relative said he came to a conclusion that may shock those of us who are not “gun people.”

 “I can't fault her for doing anything wrong. And I am not trying to defend the gun manufacturer or the purse manufacturer. This is just (a) tragic accident,” he said as if carrying  a loaded firearm into Walmart is as necessary as bringing  your wallet or purse. Then again, maybe it is necessary in a country known far and wide for its paranoid gun culture and where guns outnumber people and where even the President cowers before the power of the National Rifle Association.  Is it any wonder then that the “Home of the Brave and Land of the Free” allows people filled with hate and mistrust to appear in public with loaded, lethal weapons ready to shoot any fellow citizen that inadvertently crosses their path.

Such a country has lost its bearings, and is indeed, an empire in decline. I defy anyone to name me another country where an incident as tragic and senseless as this could take place. Only a jurisdiction where lawmakers have abandoned their fundamental duty of providing security to its citizens could produce a situation as bizarre as a toddler “accidentally” killing his mother as she wheels him around the candy store.

Yet Americans laugh at the follies of North Korea where children starve because of the  paranoia of their leaders. But have you ever heard of a child “accidentally” shooting his mother in the Hermit Kingdom?

For that kind of cowardly leadership and lunacy, Americans only need to look in the mirror.

Gerry Warner is a freelance journalist.  His opinions are his own.