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, December 19, 2014

Michael's Musings

 Living Underneath the Mountain at Christmas

By Michael J Morris

When Good King Wenceslas looked out and saw the snow with the moon shining bright in about the year 1000, he could have been describing  the weather in any Canadian community on almost any Christmas Eve in our history.

Before I go any further with King Wenceslas though as revealed in the popular carol 'Good King Wenceslas', I have only recently discovered that he was not really a king, but the Duke of Bohemia, and he was looking out on the Feast of St Stephen, the day after Christmas. To me it doesn't really matter as the carol brings back fond memories and delivers a message that applies any time.

Some readers will recall that my mother Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris directed many concerts and musicals during the 32 years that she taught at Chapleau Public School, and she was also the choir director at St. John's Anglican Church for years. Music was an important part of our home, and that's how I became acquainted with King Wenceslas as a boy. Mom would sing at home.

It became the carol that to me applied most to our weather at Christmas time. Looking outside before leaving for Christmas Eve service, "the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even. Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel..."

As we headed to St. John's, I would hum the carol and think to myself that all that needed to be added to the carol was the smoke going straight up into the skies, the temperature hovering at Fifty degrees below Fahrenheit and the music and wonderful display at Dr. Young's office, our local MD. To this day I remember walking with Mom to the church with friendly greetings exchanged with those heading to the Roman Catholic and United Churches -- an ecumenical moment in the village.

The lyrics were published in 1853 by the English hymn writer John Mason Neale.

Now, the carol addresses a subject that I never thought about much as a child growing up in Chapleau. I had my family, friends and a community where people cared about and helped each other in times of need. 

Even though there were times when I missed my father James E Morris who was killed while on active service in the RCAF in World War II, I had my mother, my grandparents George and Edith Hunt and Harry and Lil Morris as well as my aunt and uncle, Elsie (Hunt) and B.W. 'Bubs" Zufelt and my cousins, and my aunt Marion (Morris) Kennedy. And I had my friends, many of whom are still part of my life today.

But as the King walks with his page, "a poor man came in sight, Gathering winter fuel." The page tells him that this man lives "underneath the mountain."

On Christmas Eve in Chapleau those many years ago, as we greeted people on the street who were going to or coming from their respective churches, I never really thought about those who may be homeless and without food--- living underneath the mountain, so to speak.

The good King took immediate action though telling his page to gather food and wine and pine logs that they would take to the peasant and see him dine, "through the rude wind's wild lament, And the bitter weather."

The page was ready to give up as the night grew darker and wind blew stronger, but the King encouraged him and they made it to their destination

At this Christmas time, I extend my very best wishes to my family and friends who have shared moments of their lives with me during the past year. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas.

My thoughts also turn to all those good people, past and present, who at this Christmas time, reach out and care for those who live "underneath the mountain" in Cranbrook, and in all communities.

 I leave all of you wherever you may be with the last words from 'Good King Wenceslas', 

"Therefore ... be sure, Wealth or rank possessing, Ye who now will bless the poor, Shall yourselves find blessing." 

As many of you know, especially my former students, I love metaphor and have been collecting them all my life. I hope I have not mixed them too badly as I have talked about the Good King Wenceslas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's Happening......


Public Library Display Case
Christmas Display by Kathy Simon
Kathy is known for her beautiful window displays in her, soon to close, 'Kathy's Kitchen' shop

Affordable Art
at the key City Theatre Gallery
ongoing until December 20th

Tickets on sale for
Symphony on the Mountain
July 4th performance atop North Star Mountain
Lotus Books

Sunday December 21st

Vera Choirs
at the United Church

Tickets for the Sunrise Movie Series
Thursday, Jan 8th
Gold and Silver passes for the March Festival
Lotus Books

Columbia Theatre
Opera, Music, Ballet and Shakespeare fans
Columbia Theatre is now showing movies from these genre on specific dates. For the schedule go to:
Advance Tickets available.

December Schedule
In Search of Mozart  Sunday December 28th 10:00am
Globe On Screen Taming of the Shrew Saturday December 20th 10:00am
Royal opera House L'elisir d'amore Saturday December 27th 10:00am and Monday January 5th 2015 6:30pm

Gov. Cuomo Makes Sense on Fracking, New York Times


Gov. Cuomo Makes Sense on Fracking

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a statewide ban on the extraction of natural gas using a controversial drilling process called hydraulic fracturing. This was not an easy decision, but it was the right one. Many geologists and industry leaders believe that the deep shale formations underneath the state’s southern tier, known as the Marcellus Shale, contain bountiful supplies of natural gas. But extracting the gas, the governor concluded, carried — at least for now — unacceptable risks to the environment and human health.
In making what amounted to his first major decision since his re-election last month, Mr. Cuomo embraced the conclusion of state health officials that important health issues remain unresolved and that it was impossible to declare that hydraulic fracturing is safe for the environment or human health.
Acting health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, told a meeting of the governor’s cabinet that “the science isn’t there” to say definitively whether hydraulic fracturing is safe or not. But judging from the overall weight of evidence, Dr. Zucker advised against going forward. “Would I live in a community with (hydraulic fracturing) based on the facts that I have now?” he said at one point. “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby?” After looking at the questions raised in numerous reports, he said, “my answer is no.” Mr. Cuomo found Mr. Zucker’s personal response particularly impressive.
Hydraulic fracturing involves blasting water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to unlock the gas. The technique has been around for many years and has been used, mostly without incident, in hundreds of thousands of natural gas wells. But the risks of water and air pollution have multiplied as the wells are drilled deeper and stretched vertically and horizontally to get at remote deposits….
Mr. Cuomo said that this was “probably the most emotionally charged issue that I have ever experienced” as governor and added that he made this decision as a layman bowing to the experts on his staff. His choice is a measured one that protects New Yorkers until the science of hydraulic fracturing can catch up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Canada's Oil Future, Discussion

Time for 'Adult Discussion' on Canada's Oil Future, Says Tyee's Nikiforuk on CBC

Election preview? Plunging oil prices, Norway's petro-smarts drive debate on The National.
By David Beers, Yesterday,
The Harper government will seek a second majority in an election sometime next year, and has signalled it will run on its economic priorities -- none higher than subsidizing and promoting the oilsands.
On Sunday evening CBC viewers were treated to a fascinating preview of the election conversation Canada needs to have, as Tyee contributing editor Andrew Nikiforuk, drawing on Tyee reporting, played a key role.
Nikiforuk appeared on CBC's The National politics panel discussing the plummet in oil prices and whether the Conservatives have bet Canada's future too heavily on petro-development. The much decorated journalist repeated points he's made in recent years on the Tyee -- that oil, and especially bitumen, is a highly risky commodity to base a national economy upon, given its price volatility, detriments to currency value and other sectors of the economy, and power to distort democracy.

Out and About with Stewart

The Glorious Steeples
Thank you Stewart

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Making Merry

It was a packed house for the Summer Sounds Appreciation Night Concert at the Alexandra Hall on Friday December 12th.  This beautiful hall provided the perfect ambiance for the expertise of the Little Jazz Orchestra and those dancers who took advantage of a floor made for that purpose.

The Funtastik singers entertain at the Affordable Art and Craft Show, at the Key City Theatre.

Progress on the old Electrical Building

It may look like left-over Hallowe'en decoration but it is actually the Little Brick building being cleared of asbestos.  All windows and doors are sealed to prevent dust escaping.  Stabilisation and restorarion work will continue in the New Year.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Art Appreciation in the CDAC Gallery

Gordon Terrace students enjoying some hands on art appreciation this week in the Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery

photos - Stewart Wilson

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cranbrook has Solar Energy Opportunity

Prior to Cranbrook's Municipal Election, a report was made by administration about the developing potential of a solar energy experimental site being located on the City's Farm.  This would give an enhanced and sustainable use to the already well used spray irrigation fields.  

With much bickering going on amongst world leaders and their contributions to mitigating further effects of climate change, Cranbrook has an opportunity to begin playing a small part.  Let's hope it is successful.

From in Peru:
December 10, 2014 , senior climate economist, Climate and Energy

I’m in the beautiful city of Lima, at the annual United Nations climate talks, or COP 20. Even as negotiators labor over “non-papers” and “elements of draft negotiating text,” the real buzz here is about the incredible opportunity to drive down global emissions by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. What makes this a particularly exciting time is that the costs of renewable energy are falling dramatically. The clean energy transition has never been more affordable – or, frankly, more urgently needed.

Solar energy, in particular, has experienced tremendous growth.
In 2013, for the first time, global growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) outpaced new wind capacity. Annual growth in global solar PV capacity has averaged almost 55 percent over the past five years.