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, February 7, 2016

Seeds for Diversity

Following the previous article this website is a mine of information and resources for finding a diverse range of rare varieties and heirloom seeds Seeds of Diversity

If you missed Creston's Seedy Saturday, an address is provided to learn more about future events.

Creston Seedy Sunday

Sunday February 7, 2016          1 to 4
Creston and District Community Complex, 312 – 19th Avenue N
Creston, BC

The Dan McMurray Community Seed Bank will host Seedy “Saturday” on Sunday at the indoor Creston Farmers Market. We will have several seed vendors, lots of rare and heirloom seeds from the seed bank (by donation), seed exchange tables, information, and entertainment courtesy of the Farmers Market. Free admission.

Ordering Seeds - Consider This

Simran Sethi: Some of the world’s most delicious foods are going away


Embedded in every conversation about feeding people, conserving natural resources and ensuring a healthy diet is the threat of the loss of agricultural biodiversity — the reduction of the diversity in everything that makes food and agriculture possible, from the microorganisms, plants and animals we consume to the inputs and broad range of environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues that inform what and how we eat. This shift is the direct result of our relationship with the world around read the entire article go to the link above

The revolution starts here, on our plates, by looking at the pillars of our own diets and by making simple changes. The way to take back this power for ourselves is to understand why we eat what we eat. And to understand what we’re losing — so we know what to reclaim.
Simran Sethi is a journalist and educator focused on food, sustainability and social change. She is the author of “Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love,” from which this essay was excerpted.
On Twitter:

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bernie Sanders confounds the naysayers, Perceptions by Gerry Warner

Bernie Sanders confounds the naysayers
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
I have to admit that until six months or so ago, I hadn’t heard of Bernie Sanders. Maybe you hadn’t either. Now, Bernie has a realistic chance of becoming president of the US and is inspiring people around the world, especially young people.
What’s going on here?
To answer the above, I think you have to take a very close look at “here” By here, I mean 2016 and I mean everywhere, not just the US. The wars in the Middle East have been grinding on for almost 20 years with no end in sight and setting off a migration of Biblical proportions that’s even flooding into Canada not to mention most of Europe and parts of the US.
And who was one of the few American Congressmen to vote against the invasion of Iraq in 2002? Bernie Sanders.
Let’s go even further back to 1962 when Sanders was a student at the University of Chicago and took part in the first civil rights sit-in in Chicago’s history against the university’s segregated housing policy that didn’t allow blacks to live in dorms on campus.
As Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was the first mayor in the city’s history to fund public housing. He also balanced the budget and engaged the city in several downtown revitalization projects and overturned a developer’s plan to build an expensive condo development on the city’s waterfront and turned the land into a downtown park.
After serving four terms as mayor, Sanders got elected to Congress as an independent, the first independent elected to Congress in 40 years. And if this wasn’t enough, he was elected as a socialist, one of the most vilified terms in American politics and not exactly a compliment in Canada either. But this didn’t stop him nor the fact that he was a Brooklyn-born New York Jew.
As an independent Congressman for 16 years, Sanders attacked the policies of both Republicans and Democrats alike and accused both of working primarily for the wealthy. He voted against the Patriot Act and was a vocal critic of Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, who he accused of being “way out of touch” with ordinary Americans and blamed his economic policies for helping to trigger the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009.
As a Senator elected in 2012 with 71 per cent of the vote, Sanders maintained his independent standing but supported Democratic legislation regularly and bitterly opposed George Bush era tax cuts in a filibuster that was later published as “A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class.” In the 2012 election, he was encouraged to run for president against Obama but declined. However, on April 30, 2015, Sanders, now ranked as the most popular Senator in the country, announced his quixotic crusade to seek the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, at which point most of the political pundits in North America laughed including this one. But the laughing ceased after the Iowa caucuses when Sanders came within a hair of upsetting the powerful former First Lady, whose power is only exceeded by the baggage she carries after a long and checkered political career.
So where does this leave us now?
Perhaps the famous soliloquy in the Oscar-winning movie Network sums it up best – “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” In many ways Bernie Sanders is a real life version of Howard Beale, the charismatic TV host who rightly sensed the anger so many people hold against all politicians be they presidential, federal or local. What do you think Donald Trump has been feeding on the past six months? Everyone is pissed off with politicians! The same on this side of the border, which saw Stephen Harper suffer such an ignominious defeat.
People know they’re being lied to. They know the economic “recovery” is only happening on Wall Street and Bay Street and sending our young men to war only pleases ISIS and the international arms dealers.
They want someone truly different and not someone “different” like a billionaire who wants to build walls, or an evangelical who claims he’s on a mission from God or the wife of a former president who feels she’s owed the presidency.
They want someone “different,” who can feel their pain and is not going to B.S. them that their prospects are improving when they know they’re not. And someone who has enough guts to be a socialist in the most un-socialistic country in the world.
Watch Sanders in this presidential race. Like Justin Trudeau, he might come from the back of the pack to win.                                                              

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who admits he was once a politician too.

Friday, February 5, 2016

What's Happening.....

Saturday February 6th

Locals Coffee House
Studio Stage Door

Naoemi Kiss and Rita Deane
Soprano and Classical Guitar
Royal Alexandra Hall
Love Songs across the centuries
Tickets $20 Key City Theatre

Wednesday February 10th

Tickets Key City Theatre
$35 and $29 members

Belle Star
Studio Stage Door
Tickets Lotus Books

Cranbrook Senior's Centre
to the music of 'Old Spice'
7:pm - 10:30pm

Thursday February 11th
Rocky Mountain Naturalists present
Lars Sander-Green
Climate Change and Carbon Emissions
College of the Rockies
Lecture Theatre, 7:00pm

MP Stetski Responds, by Michael Morris

By Michael J Morris

Wayne Stetski. the Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia, has advised  he has met with Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt on city priorities for infrastructure and a general discussion.

Responding to my Michael's Musings column by email, Mr. Stetski said he "wanted me to know that he "arranged a meeting with Mayor Pratt and CAO (Wayne) Staudt on January 13 to get the city's priorities for infrastructure and for a general discussion." 

He did not provide further details. 

Mr. Stetski added: "I have met individually with all of the East Kootenay Mayors including Elkford, Sparwood, Fernie, Kimberley, Canal Flats, Invermere, and Radium and several of the RDEK Directors, as well as the Mayors of Salmo and Nelson.

"When I'm back from Ottawa next week I'll be doing community visits with constituents and community leaders in Field, Golden and Revelstoke. Interesting to hear about their challenges and their successes."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dysfunctional councils are costing you money

Chris Walker conducted an interview with Dermod Travis
of Integrity BC.  The job description of CAO's was discussed. The interview can be heard here.

Michael's Musings: Cranbrook politicians need to start working together on 10 Big Ideas

Cranbrook politicians need to start working together on 10 Big Ideas

by Michael J Morris
The federal election is over, and sooner rather than later I hope, Cranbrook city council will come up with 10 big ideas to fix the community's infrastructure and be ready when Justin Trudeau announces details of the infrastructure program he promised.

But before so doing, Mayor Lee Pratt and his council will need to accept the reality that Canadians elected a majority Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau. However, in Kootenay-Columbia, voters bounced David Wilks, the Conservative MP in the last Parliament, and replaced him with Wayne Stetski, of the  NDP.

Stetski, who was mayor of Cranbrook but defeated by Pratt in the last election, is now the city's voice in the new Parliament, but will be a rookie MP in the House of Commons with a steep learning curve. The NDP is also the third party in terms of members.

I would suggest that as the political times are new, all involved put aside any differences they may have, meet and get on with co-operating for the improvement of the community. Focus totally on the things bringing them together -- a better place to live, work and play -- rather than those things dividing them.

It was the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll who aroused me to comment singing "I'm late / I'm late / For a very important date. / No time to say "Hello, Goodbye". / I'm late, I'm late, I'm late."

I really don't want Cranbrook to be late for a very important date with the new government of Canada in submitting projects to improve the city.

On to 10 Big Ideas for Cranbrook. I suggest that a public consultation process be undertaken to assist in deciding the infrastructure program.

For example, in 2014, the Toronto Star started by asking its readers to provide 35 big ideas that would help the city became a better place for all citizens to live, work and play, and then whittled them down to the top 25. The next stage was to select the Top Ten, and hopefully city council would  act on them.

I know. I know. My example is from Toronto not the most popular city in these parts.

Wow. I must have been here a long time. When I arrived here over 26 years ago, I was very careful about mentioning in the faculty lounge at College of the Rockies, then East Kootenay Community College, that I was from Ontario, never mind that I had attended school and worked in Toronto. And yes, I have written articles for the Toronto Star in the interests of full disclosure.

Anyway, I digress as usual. How about asking citizens for Big Ideas to make Cranbrook a better place to live, work and play. I have not come up with a plan to sort them all out, but that can be decided later if necessary. 

I am really just blue skying an idea.  It will have served a useful purpose. It will help establish common ground on issues that bring the community together rather than divide it. 

Let me return to Alice in Wonderland and the Walrus: "The time has come, my little friends, to talk of other things / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings / And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings / Calloo, Callay, come run away / With the cabbages and kings."

You figure out the metaphor(s). Thanks so much for 26 years plus in Cranbrook. I wish you all the very best.

 My email is

SEEDS - such a great play

An almost full house enjoyed an outstanding play last evening, Tuesday February 2nd at Key City Theatre.The play, by Annabel Soutar, with a documentary approach, tackled the case of Percy Schmeiser, the Saskatchewan farmer accused by Monsanto of illegally growing their genetically modified and Round Up resistant Canola.

A cast of professional actors including Eric Peterson of Billy Bishop Goes to War, Best Laid Plans and Corner Gas made what could be a confusing and complicated topic into a clear David and Goliath story. Monsanto may have won the court battle but morally and ethically there was no real winner.The audience was left questioning many elements of this case and indeed, wanting to know a lot more about GM crops and the advantages and disadvantages of the products of the biotech industry.

Monsanto representatives joined in the Q and A session with the actors in the lobby after the performance. Monsanto is an employer in Cranbrook with approximately twelve full time people year round and more in the summer when their seed plots are productive.

SEEDS is a play that produces much food for thought.  Bravo.

Refugee fundraiser draws big crowd at the Prestige

The Cranbrook Hub for Refugees

Refugee fundraiser draws big crowd at the Prestige
Close to 150 people attended the Prestige Hotel grand ball room Saturday night for the first public fundraiser held by the Cranbrook Hub for Refugees (CHR) and they danced the night away while raising more than $3,000 for the cause.
The final total raised is likely to be closer to $5,000 once all the ticket receipts are counted and expenses deducted, said Verna Oderkirk-Bungay, the main organizer of the event.
“Cranbrook is the most generous town I’ve ever lived in and I’ve lived in towns all across the country,” she said.
The event to bring a refugee family to Cranbrook was organized in less than three weeks but still came together perfectly. “It was a little nerve-wracking getting organized, but now that it’s over I’m walking on clouds,” Oderkirk-Bungay said.
The Cranbrook business community contributed generously to the silent auction, lots of volunteers helped with the setup and the Prestige staff did everything they could to make the night a success. The music by East-West Connection, Sheva and Dave Prinn offered something for everybody to make it very enjoyable night, she said.

Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski and his wife Audrey attended the function and Stetski congratulated the crowd for coming out on a busy night to support the cause.
" It was great to be a part of this important event that raised money to bring Syrian refugees to Cranbrook. My sincere thanks to the many caring citizens of Cranbrook and other communities around the Kootenay-Columbia riding who are working so hard to create a better life for those who have been living in tragic circumstances.”

Stetski said almost 14000 refugees are in Canada now and 25,000 expected by the end of February. “This is creating housing concerns in cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa and the government is now asking private sponsors to consider taking on responsibility for government sponsored refugees."

Prior to the event, CHR had already raised more than $20,000 to bring a refugee family to the Key City. CHR co-chair Gerry Warner says reports are circulating that bottlenecks have formed in major Cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver where refugees are arriving first.
“This could mean that we get a refugee family sooner rather than later as we originally thought. A few weeks ago it seemed likely that we wouldn’t get our family until as late as May but now this appears to be changing,” he said.
But regardless of when the refugees arrive, CHR has organized several settlement teams that are busy preparing for their arrival, said Bonnie Spence-Vinge, the other CHR co-chair.
“We have been holding meetings weekly and the settlement teams have been active throughout the community lining up people and resources to look after the refugees’ needs such as housing, furniture, clothing, schooling, ESL and employment training,” she said.
“In the meantime I want to congratulate the citizens of Cranbrook, service groups and the business community for providing us with so much support, Spence-Vinge said.
CHR meetings take place 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Christ Church Anglican Hall with the next one scheduled for Feb. 10. The public is welcome.

For more information, contact:

Gerry Warner – (250) 489-3271
Bonnie Spence-Vinge – (250) 426-4274