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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Energy and BC, An Essay by Roger Gibbins

The discussion  about LNG and BC resources is repetitive and does not go away. This article from Alberta Oil Magazine is from February of this year.  As we experience and assess more and more weather events due to climate change, our collective conscience surely must ask if we really should continue to 'say yes' to massive resource developments as Premier Clark emphatically stated in her address to the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce.  What is so wrong with 'no' and a commitment to consume less, be more self-sufficient and hold growth to something more sustainable as much of the world is doing?  We are players too.

Like her or loathe her, B.C. Premier Christy Clark is possibly Canada's most influential energy player.

An Essay from the former president of the Canada West Foundation by Roger Gibbins
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark embodies the tension Canadians feel between energy development and environmental protection. The fate of her political career depends on finding the right balance.
This conclusion stems only in part from B.C.’s vast, if hardly unique, natural gas reserves. Of greater significance is that the most pressing energy challenges we face – access to Asian markets and investment, First Nation participation in rather than opposition to energy projects, strident environmental campaigns against any form of resource development, community deference to the National Energy Board, and public concerns about tanker traffic along B.C.’s iconic coast – are all coming to a boil on Premier Clark’s watch.

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Finding beauty as the backed-up water recedes at Elizabeth Lake

The  green slippery slime on the bridge deck is not pretty.  Neither is the sludge and mess of weeds on what was once a network of trails loved by visitors and residents alike.  The clever opportunists of the plant world however are there, including this beautiful Polygonum amphibian, Water Smartweed in other words.  This pretty pink blooming plant likes to grow where water is drying out.

Thanks Stewart for the great photo

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Today is Canada Parks Day

Thank You John Bergenske and Art Twomey

From Wildsight:

Emerald Basin
Yoho National Park
photo - Jenny Humphrey
This Saturday, July 19th, is Canada’s Parks Day. All across the country, Canadians will celebrate the important role parks play in maintaining healthy ecosystems, protecting habitat and contributing to human happiness. This year, however, many of our favourite BC parks are facing an uncertain future.
With the passing of the Park Amendment Act (Bill 4) this spring, consultation-free park boundary adjustments and industrial activities that were formerly prohibited in our parks are now permitted.

This Parks Day, we in the Kootenay region are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. At 200,000 hectares, it is the largest protected wilderness in Southern BC, thanks in part to the efforts of a group of wilderness activists including Wildsight Executive Director John Bergenske and filmmaker Art Twomey. 

The group, alarmed at the pace and scale of the industrial activity around their homes in the upper St. Mary’s Valley, made movies and slideshows about the Purcells and began to tour around the province drumming up support for protection of their beloved mountains. John Bergenske remembers, “It came down to those old questions: if not now, when? If not us, who?”  In 1974, their efforts were rewarded with the creation of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park.

On Saturday, as we celebrate the importance of humans’ relationship with nature by honouring Canada’s parks, we need to remember that it’s up to us to protect these places for generations to come. To say yes to a future with wilderness and wild places.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's Happening....

Saturday July 20th

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Tenth Avenue South
9:00am - 1:00pm

Summer Sounds
Rotary Park
11:30am - 4:00pm
This Saturdays line-up: 11am-12noon Clayton Parsons & Dan Unger Folk Music 12noon-2pm Jamie Neve Solo Acoustic Performance 2pm-4pm DJ in the Afternoon Before or After checking out the market, head over to Rotary Park and stay for the music.....Please share this with your Friends

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
Members photography exhibit AND Victorine Kierstead held over


This poorly little chap
 is waiting for visitors
Cranbrook and District Arts Council and Cranbrook Businesses 
Teddy Bear Hide and Seek now on
Get your clue book at The Gallery
24 bears waiting to be found

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
135 Tenth Av S.
Tues to Sat. 11;00am - 5:00pm Sat. 10:00am - 2:00pm

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
Members photography exhibit AND Victorine Kierstead held over

Sunday July 20th 
Kimberley Nature Park Hike
3 hour hike
Meet at Riverside Campground at 9:30am

Michael's Musings

Opening doors as "the last refuge for the scoundrel"
By Michael J Morris

Some years ago now I was walking along Burrard Street in Vancouver in the early morning hours when I saw across across the street from me on one of the churches a huge banner proclaiming, "God is alive in the heart of the city."

I had no problem with the words on the banner, but I immediately thought of the homeless who would be unable to seek refuge there because the doors were locked. Some were sleeping on the steps in front of the church.
Churches have generally kept their doors locked for years now except when open for Sunday services and other stipulated times ostensibly to keep the "bad" people out, whoever they may be.
Perhaps I watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame too many times and looked at the church -- no matter the denomination -- as the last refuge for the scoundrel. At times in my less than perfect life, I have been so grateful when I have found the church door open and I could enter, rest and pray other than on a Sunday..
Shortly after I was elected as the faculty representative to the Board of Governors at College of the Rockies, I convinced Dr Wm Berry Calder, the president, to let me go to Vancouver and look at outreach education programs in the Downtown Lower East Side.
I visited the Carnegie Centre and First United Church right in the heart of the area. I walked from my hotel despite warnings that I should take a cab. It was an overwhelming experience but in the midst of the misery, I met many dedicated people working to make each day a little better for those who had fallen through society's cracks. And yes, the doors of the church were open and some homeless people were resting on the pews. And students were learning too.
I also visited the Gathering Place, a living room for those who need it in downtown Vancouver. There people can get a shower, wash their clothes, have a meal, read, shoot pool, work out it in the fitness centre and get advice and counselling, and of course, just visit and be among people. I have also seen some of the poetry written and art work created by folks at the Gathering Place. Amazing!
The college did not introduce any new programs but to his credit Dr Calder did have a report prepared.

So, you ask, what's my point?

Well, I am really delighted that Street Angel was launched here in Cranbrook. Ktunaxa Nation deserves credit and support.

I wouldn't likely have known about a weekly breakfast served at the Cranbrook United Church, shared by three churches, but I have friends who help with it. Great stuff!

There are other grass roots and "church roots" projects too even if the main doors are not open as much as I would like to see.

Now, lately I have seen more "words chasing words" about the project for the homeless here, but nothing much concrete seems to happen. How about it folks?

Whatever our circumstances today -- whether we relate best to the citizens of the Downtown Lower East Side in an otherwise beautiful city or are facing the prospect of job loss and foreclosure on a mortgage or are still sitting in a comfortable pew, I am sure there are times when we felt homeless even when we had a place to live.

In these challenging times I believe it is time to throw the doors of the community open so that such banner rings true, "God is alive in the heart of our city" or if you prefer a non religious reference, "We are alive in the heart of our city" -- no matter where we live!

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, July 17, 2014

Smoke in Area

Another message from Loree Duzcek, RDEK

Good afternoon everyone,

Just a quick update on the smoke in the air around the region.  To make a long story short: we are surrounded! 

The smoke across the East Kootenay is from a variety of fires. In the Columbia Valley, some of the smoke is from Alberta, some from fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre region.  In the rest of the region, the smoke is primarily coming from the Apex Mountain fire west of Penticton.  The smoke is expected to blow out of much of the region in the next couple of days; however, there are several large fires in Eastern Washington and the smoke from those fires will arrive in the coming days. So, we will likely have smoky conditions for the foreseeable future.

There are a few very small fires being actioned in the East Kootenay; however, so far there are no large fires. 

and from the City of Cranbrook:

Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services ask that if you see smoke or fire, please do not assume others have reported it. 
Call the Southeast Fire Centre toll free at 1-800-663-5555 or call *5555 on most cellular networks.
For current fire danger ratings, maps and news on active fires in the Southeast Fire Centre please visit

Caution please for we are tinder dry

This message is from Loree Duczek at the RDEK:

While there have been a few forest fires in the East Kootenay region, so far we have not had any wide scale fires of note; however, it is dry out there and we need to use caution. You only need to look around the Province and into Alberta at the number of forest fires popping up to see how quickly things can change. Please use caution if you are out in the woods, camping, or recreating in our beautiful outdoors.

Currently, campfires are permitted in our region; however on July 2nd , all open fire was banned throughout the entire Southeast Fire Centre (which covers the East Kootenay).  Prohibited activities include:
·         the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description
·         the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
·         stubble or grass fires of any size over any area

Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquette are still allowed at this time.

The RDEK follows the Provincial Wildfire Management Branch fire prohibitions.  To learn more about fire bans and current fires, visit the BC Wildfire Management Branch website at:

Another resource I use often that is one you might be interested in bookmarking is . It’s a great site for current alerts and bulletins, but also includes some prevention and preparation materials.

As I speak, there is a fire threatening an entire community (Hudson’s Hope) in the Interior and it serves as a good reminder of the power of mother nature.  Please do what you can to prevent fires – from ensuring campfires are fully extinguished and cool to keeping cigarette butts in the car instead of throwing them out the window – small actions make a big difference in tinder dry conditions.


Useful Links:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Potholes in your neighbourhood?

It was reported in the Administration update at Monday evening's Council meeting that this year's budget for pothole repair is all but spent.  It has been brought to our attention that Council may possibly consider, at the next August Council meeting, augmenting this budget to complete more pothole repair.  Mayor Stetski acknowledged to those present at the Brown Bag Lunch on July 16th, that roads have deteriorated considerably after this last winter.  A majority of Council will make the decision as to whether more funds will be added to the budget.  Mayor Stetski also acknowledged the need to complete pothole repair in areas where a major fix has occurred but a single pothole was left untouched just meters away.

Phone: 250-489-0218 (Public Works) to register unfixed and seriously bad potholes.  They will be put on to a priority list.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Damselflies and Dragonflies

The Odonates
Rather like moths and butterflies the wings resting position is one clue for identification.  Damselflies wings are in a closed position when resting. Dragonflies wings are open when in a resting position. Watch for them while cooling off at water's edge.

photos courtesy Stewart Wilson

Monday, July 14, 2014

City Council Meeting tonight July 14th 2014 6:00pm

The whole agenda and package can be read at;

Little Brick Building item 7.1
Administration updates
• Potholes & budget status
Public Works advises that this budget has $9,733 remaining, out of an operational
budget of $123,000. The $9,733 will be utilized primarily on pothole patching. Due to
the limited budget, only the major road concerns will be addressed at this time. A
request for additional funds may be required.