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, August 31, 2010

A Must Share - for us to learn a little

The Bear Dude from nicco dehaan on Vimeo.

Around Town and Looking Good

Just one of the city's many beautiful baskets.  This one supplied by Casey's Greenhouses.
If you didn't get out to the Saturday Market, Columbia Valley Nursery has some exceedingly fine BC produce.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Somethings Growing at the Salvation Army

 Something  wonderful is happening at the Salvation Army.  In a vacant lot beside the Salvation Army building gardens are growing.  The garden was instigated by a client of the Salvation Army who expressed an interest in being able to garden.  A garden committee was formed and letters were sent out to the local business community  asking for donations.  The business community responded with wood, tools, hoses, soil and more.  Growing food is secondary, more importantly the garden is a bridge allowing marginalized people to connect and it provides a real sense of community.  I spoke to one of the gardeners the other day and she was very knowledgable and loved coming to take care of her garden which was growing sunflowers, corn, beans and carrots. There are presently 12 gardens but next year they hope to have more.  If you would like to make a donation to the Salvation Army please drop them off at .533 Slater Road  or call 250-426-3612

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Despite the wet weather on Sunday, the dogs continued to bask in the limelight at the Cranbrook Dog Show
Waiting their turn

Tommy enjoys the world circuit so this Cranbrook stop is nothing to get excited about.
Our best side
Everything a dog might need to look good was available at Clifford's store

Corgi takes turn in the herder class.

Saugham Lake for a Gentle Sunday Stroll- soggy stroll on this wet Sunday

Take the Lakit Lake Road off Holmes Road near Fort Steele

Saugham Lake from the Lakit Lake Road

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Artistic-licious Zucchini Cake

All the hard work we've put into our gardens are coming to fruition. While some of my efforts haven't been as successful as I would like my zucchini plants are producing in abundance. If , like me, you are struggling to find things to do with your zucchini why not try this recipe by local artist Joseph Cross.

White Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking power, rounded
1 tsp baking soda, rounded
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded zucchini

In one large bowl mix all dry ingredients, in another large bowl mix all liquid ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and mix. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan at 350* for 40 - 45 minutes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Significantly Slaterville

Brown Bag Lunch April 21st 2009

Steve Lehman Talked about the term “Slaterville” and how, he feels, it has a negative connotation. Suggested that the name should be changed. Councillor Pallesen suggested that residents get together and suggest a new name to Council for its consideration. Mr. Lehman commented on the lack of services to the area, including City transit, curbs, gutters and sidewalks, potholes on the road, narrow streets, which he suggested should be made one-way. Mayor Manjak advised that Cranbrook is working on the transit issue to the area.

At the last Council meeting of August 16th 2010 a zoning change was requested for a lot in Slaterville in order to permit the building of an extra residence. The effect would be to densify that particular area and is an example of infill development – using up vacant space. The permission was denied on the grounds of narrow roads, insufficient infrastructure and poor access. Mayor Manjak made it clear this flew in the face of what was being being requested during the time of the East Hill Referendum. Indeeed it does. However on a number of occasions Council members have stated they understand Smart Growth. They also on a number of occasions have stated that it is up to the residents of Slaterville to come forward with initiative for a revitalisation plan for Slaterville. Have the residents of Slaterville not already tried to do that? An example is given above from the Brown Bag minutes. If Council indeed does understand the tenets of Smart Growth and wish to become serious about actually practising it, it would seem it is up to their planning and engineering department to provide some sort of initial meeting with information about what is possible and spell out what exactly is expected of the residents. The city has the expertise and there appears to be a will to get something accomplished. A one-way system of traffic has been suggested for example. Is not providing and servicing infrastucture to an area close to all amenities a lot more cost effective than an area far removed from the city core? What is the potential for development in this area? It would seem serious consideration could be given to these issues. In driving around the area I noticed a few vacant lots for sale, some beautiful home renovations and a ‘quaintness’ that is not achievable in a new area. It would seem there is some Smart potential here.

Slaterville is an historic part of Cranbrook. It was originally the site of the Slater sawmill and several prominent pioneer families including the Slaters and the Leasks lived and worked there. It would be a shame to change its name. There is a Slaterville Facebook page,   where some photos of the original homes, many still standing, can be seen. More of Slaterville’s history and references can also be found there. Many have commented in the past on the lack of pride in Cranbrook’s history. Slaterville is a waiting opportunity both as a model for Smart Growth and as a recognition of Cranbrook’s past.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cranbrook and District Kennel Club Annual Dog Show August 27,28,29
Moir Park
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Starts 8:30 am each day
To watch a video of last year's show
and for more information

Artrageous Gallery
Don't forget the last few days of the Members Exhibit

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Saturday Morning next to Rotary Park

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Smart Money in Real Estate is on Smart Growth"

Baby Boomers, developers and cities are catching on to Smart Growth.  Boomers are looking to escape the suburbs and developers have recognized the great opportunity this presents. Cash strapped cities are revitalizing their downtowns and preventing urban sprawl which is helping their bottom lines The following are excerpts from an article in Reuters by Helen Chernikoff and Al Yoon.

Maryland (Reuters) - This suburb of Washington, D.C. inspired R.E.M.'s 1984 song about the soul-sucking blandness of a suburban adolescence that has been a staple of rock and roll. "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville" described a town of empty houses, "where nobody says hello."

But some experts in the real estate business believe that in the future, more and more of us will be going back to places like the revamped Rockville -- quite happily, in fact.
"They had a point at the time," Sally Sternbach, the head of Rockville's economic development arm, says of R.E.M.'s quiet anthem. "We got it wrong. We built a mall that never found its anchors. It languished for 40 years. It was like the biblical 40 years in the desert."
Then, 15 years ago, Rockville convened hearings and forums to discuss its lackluster downtown, deciding in the end to replace it with a town square lined with shops, restaurants and apartments, all steps away from a subway station -- in other words, more of an urban experience.
The citizenry wanted vibrant street life both for the fun of it, and to attract business. So far, it's worked. Teenagers use Facebook to signal spur-of-the-moment breakdance sessions on the town square's bandstand because, as Dominique Estrera, 17, explained, it's really the only place they can "hang out and break."
Adults like to socialize there, too. "I love the Town Square because I can't walk more than a couple feet without seeing someone I know from doing business," said Robin Wiener, president of Get Real Consulting, a firm that helps healthcare providers put their records online.
Rockville's renaissance over the past four years shows how the shift toward urban-style living has reached the suburbs. And urban planners insist the trend has legs.
Dubbed "smart growth," the movement favors the development of a mix of housing and businesses in and near existing cities. At the same time, it discourages the Topsy-like growth of peripheral suburbs, known disparagingly as "sprawl."
The unexpected revival of a number of cities, from Rockville to Sacramento, stands in contrast to plunging home prices in the suburbs. "America is catching on to this trend," said Peter Calthorpe, who co-founded the Congress for the New Urbanism in 1993 to create alternatives to the conventional suburb.
He says the previous model was based on the assumption that the United States could prop up the single family home in a distant location by keeping the cost of oil and mortgages low. But that era is over. "The true cost of transportation and housing is going to start to surface," he warns.


If the trend persists, as many expect, it would be a sharp rejection of the preferences and policies that have shaped U.S. housing since World War II.
The suburb as we know it today -- open, low-slung, car-dependent -- was born with the post-war baby boom. All of a sudden, there was a desperate need for housing. By 1950, single-family housing starts had soared from around 286,000 a year in 1945 to 1.6 million, according to Census Bureau data. And as the car became more widely available, and roads spread, so did the suburbs.
During the most recent housing boom, homebuilders started 6.3 million detached single-family homes between 2003 and 2006. By 2007, single-family homes accounted for 63 percent of U.S. housing units.
The baby boomers whose arrival kicked off the postwar housing frenzy fed this latest expansion, too. This time, they sought space for their own families, said James Chung, president of Reach Advisors near Albany, New York, whose clients include developers. "Suburban developers did a fantastic job riding that wave," he said.
But today, aging boomers are growing out of the suburbs and their children have not yet grown into them -- and may never do so to the extent their parents did. This demographic shift, more than anything else, is driving consumer demand for compact, walkable neighborhoods, Chung said.
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers represent about a third of the U.S. adult population, and will do so through the next decade, said demographer Dowell Myers of the University of Southern California.
Boomers are eager to liberate themselves from the maintenance of house, lawn and car now that their children have skipped the nest, said Mollie Carmichael of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an Irvine, California-based firm that advises homebuilders. They want necessities within walking distance because they know they will not be able to drive forever.


Elected officials and bureaucrats like Gochnour and Rockville's Sternbach are also being mindful of the public purse, said Joseph Minicozzi, a real estate developer and city planner in Asheville, North Carolina who has done research there and in Sarasota County, Florida.
His work shows that local governments reap much more in taxes from urban centers than from malls or "big box" retail like a Wal-Mart, but pay more to build suburban infrastructure such as sewers and streets.
In the city and county of Sarasota, for example, 3.4 acres of urban residential development consumes one-tenth the land of a multi-family development in the suburbs. But it requires little more than half of the infrastructure investment and generates 830 percent more for the county annually in total taxes: that's $2 million from the city structure and $238,529 from the suburban one.
What's more, suburban housing takes 42 years to pay off its infrastructure costs. Downtown? Just three. "I'm preaching to Joe and Jane Six-Pack who want to be subsidized. These (city) centers produce a tremendous amount of revenue and then hemorrhage it out to the suburbs," Minicozzi said. "We don't have a rational discussion on the true costs of the way we manage land."
That is starting to change, as cash-strapped governments struggling with the recession's hit to tax revenue are starting to press developers to share the pain of paying for highways and other infrastructure, said Richard Rich, a director for Thomas Enterprises, whose 240-acre redevelopment of Sacramento's abandoned railyards is the largest urban redevelopment project in the country.
As a result, profitability will come to depend on higher-density construction, said Rich, his voice echoing through the cavernous stalls of the former transcontinental railroad being salvaged for a retail plaza. "Just as they evolved to start, they will de-evolve the product," he said, of suburban developers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drake Landing Solar Community Animation -Inspirational Video

We would love to hear from anyone out there who has experience of this community.  We know some builders in the area are now providing this kind of option with new homes and that is great to see.  You can read more about this award winning community at

Monday, August 23, 2010


"Cranbrook and the East Kootenays are well positioned to lead western Canada out of the downturn"

Jay Savage, Developer of Boulder Creek-Wildstone.
Kootenay Business Magazine July/August 2010

With the cancellation of Mountains of Gold 2010, steep price reductions on housing developments  in the valley, Walmarts decision not to expand, and little activity in Cranbrooks two second home developments  isn't it about time for an honest assessment the direction our economy is taking.  Hopefully Cranbrook and the East Kootenays will weather this economic storm as they have done in the past but to suggest that we will "lead western Canada out of the downturn" appears to be economic cheerleading of the worst kind.

Around Town and Looking Good!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Late Blooms of Summer

Fall may be on its way but there are still many wildflowers to look for when out walking and cycling.  The ubiquitous Fireweed, so called as it is one of the first plants to colonize after a forest fire, seems to enjoy a long blooming season and can still be seen especially in those favourite berry picking areas.  The flowers produce excellent nectar - a bonus for our depleting numbers of bees and a good reason to allow it to naturalise if you have the space.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Value of a Tree

Why can’t the new owner of a piece of property within city limits destined to support their home determine which trees to remove from their chosen piece of property?

You don’t have to be a hard-core environmentalist to be dismayed when a large tract of previously forested land becomes clear-cut to make way for a housing development.

One only has to look at the edge of Elizabeth Lake to see the evidence of what happens when trees are removed on mass, cycle down Victoria Avenue after a rainstorm or just watch as heavy rain washes out paths of gravel from areas with no vegetation. The collection of debris, mud and water disturbance raises issues for water systems both natural and mechanical as well as for land stability. Haven’t we all heard enough about storms and floods this summer to seriously look at what is happening in our own back yard? We know tree roots act as a mesh to hold the soil in place as well as conserve the water only to release it again in a purified form into the atmosphere. Who needs to take responsibility for this kind of land stewardship? Should it be left in the hands of developers whose primary goal is to make money, not care for the land?

Does the developer need the money for the wood?

Is it just easier to service the lots?

Is enjoyment gained from what to some just seems like wanton destruction?

Does view take precedence over soil retention, flood prevention, cooling of the air in summer, air purification, heat retention in the winter and wind baffling?

Should the monetary value of a dead tree take precedence over the environmental and aesthetic value of a living tree?

Is it possible to compromise?

Are there not rules to play by?

What responsibility does a developer have for replacing the value of those trees in new trees?

Should land cost less if all the trees have been removed or more if the trees remain?

Thoughts? Solutions?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Happening

Fort Steele

Fifth Annual Gold Panning Days

Saturday August 21st and Sunday August 22nd 9:00am 5:00pm

Pancake breakfast 9-11am

Panning Lessons


Metal Detecting

Chili Cook off 1:00pm Saturday

Farmer’s Market 9:30am – 1:00pm Sunday

Final Night for Saturday on the Town

250-417-6000 for more details

IdleWild Music Festival Saturday August 21st

IdleWild Park

Gates open 2:30pm

Valdy, Aspen Switzer, Heather Gemmel, Red Girl

Tickets $20.00

under 13years by donation

Saturday Farmer's Market 9:30am -1:00pm
next to Rotary Park, Cranbrook

Key City Theatre office reopens Monday August 22nd

Their line-up for the season can be viewed at

Ian Tyson, George Canyon, Bara MacNeils and many more
Season tickets go on sale August 23rd

BC Cultural Crawl

August 1st - 31st
Check it out at and click on Cranbrook!

Artrageous Gallery

last Week of Summer Members' Exhibit

Features over 50 artworks by 15+ local artists
in the mediums of watercolour, oil, acrylic and more
August 3rd - August 28th
Cranbrook & District Arts Council
32A - 11 Ave S (Across from RCMP)
Tues-Fri 11-5 Sat 11-3

August 20,21,22
Cranbrook Profesional Rodeo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Its Your Money - Smart Growth

In tough economic times Smart Growth makes more sense than ever. Why is the City of Cranbrook encouraging developments that are being built kilometers away from the centre of the city? Who has to pay to maintain the roads, provide fire and policing protection, basic services etc.? Is this a fiscally responsible way to plan our city?    Let Cranbrook be an example to the rest of the province that compact and sustainable growth can build a vibrant, healthier and more fiscally responsible city.  The following are excerpts from an article from NewWest.Net by Amy Linn.  It comes from an American perspective but it has many valuable ideas about why Smart Growth is a smart idea which can save us money.

Economic Downturn Shows Wisdom of Smart Growth, Expert Says

How can communities in the West avoid booms and painful busts? By growing carefully and playing it smart, says the founder and director of the Sonoran Institute.

In the wake of the economic meltdown, the world seems to have changed. And that’s for the good, said Luther Propst, the keynote speaker on the second day of the Real Estate and Development in the Northern Rockies conference.
Speakers at the fourth annual conference, which brought together more than 250 developers, architects, city officials, real estate agents, planners, and others, said the shift in the economy has refocused the West on some tenets that would make a Boy Scout proud: simplicity, thrift, conservation, patience, and quality of life.
“This might be an economic reset,” said Propst, a leading smart-growth expert. “We can either be victims of change or we can plan for it, shape it and emerge stronger from it.”
Propst, the director and founder of the Tucson-based Sonoran Institute—an organization that promotes land conservation, sustainability, smart growth, and healthy communities—outlined the ways that the West has suffered because of unwise growth.

Smart growth that condenses development can solve the problems—and save big money, Propst said. A “compact growth” plan in Gallatin County, for example, would save $53 million between now and 2025, he said. The savings come from simple things like reducing the miles people have to drive and reducing the roads that need to be paved or patrolled.

What are the most important things communities can do to grow smartly? The seven key steps, according to Propst, are to:

-- Develop and revitalize downtown areas
-- Create in-town residential development
-- Build traditional, walk-able, compact neighborhoods
-- Use conservation easements to protect the landscape and working ranches
-- Avoid building developments in danger zones such as fire-prone wilderness areas or flood-prone riparian areas
-- Avoid creating subdivisions that create burdens on other citizens
-- Use policies at the state level to encourage healthy, prosperous communities

The goal is “more livable, more prosperous communities,” Propst said. “We can grow in a way that is more sustainable—economically and ecologically.” There’s no need to despair, he added. “There’s a tremendous ability to influence things. We’re still writing the text.”

Do You Want to Dance?

If you like dancing or always wanted to learn how why not head down to Rotary Park at 7pm tonight and join in the fun. Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Notes from the Council Meeting of August 16th

Waste Water Improvement Project

Jamie Hodge, City Engineer seemed to indicate the actual final scope of the upgrades will not be known until the remaining 10 contracts have come in, as the ability to cover items within the confines of the budget must be taken into consideration.

Flooding issues on the South Hill have been referred to the Engineering Department and a report and recommendations on how to address the citizens’ concerns will be forthcoming at the next September meeting of Council.

Motion to go ahead with the Alternative Approval Process to extend the south City Boundary to include the Gold Creek Campus of College of the Rockies was carried.  A rezoning amendment for an area close to the old Echo Field Raceway was also carried. . One resident asked for more detail about the proposed development. Councillor Whetham commented he thought this whole area needed a new overall plan as the Wildstone Development Plan had significantly changed.

Certainly a new overall plan would avoid piecemeal changes and give residents and business owners alike peace of mind concerning the continuity and future of their neighbourhood.

A rezoning issue in Slaterville created much discussion. After two presentations by neighbouring residents Council voted 4 to 3 to defeat the motion to adopt a Zoning Amendment Bylaw which would have allowed the division of a large lot in order to allow the building of a new residence. Traffic issues, road width and capacity of infrastructure were considered major impediments to this proposed development. Mayor Manjak broke the tie on this vote but was clear in his comments that this decision seemed contradictory to the discussions around infill development. As he pointed out this was a major point of debate at the time of the East Hill Expansion Alternative Approval process.

Both Councillor Wavrecan and Mayor Manjak also made it clear any change in the planning design of Slaterville will have to start with the residents.

It seems unfortunate that it must be the residents who initiate a planning process for this historic part of Cranbrook. It would seem the experts reside within City Hall and maybe if the initiative came from planners who have the facts about current and necessary infrastructure requirements, the residents would be more able and willing to participate in the process. No one resident of any part of our city could possibly be expected to have all the knowledge about ownership, expropriation issues or legal requirements to be able to even begin this process although most residents would wish to contribute their ideas.  This initiative would seem a very daunting task. Considering this area was once the site of the Slater Sawmill and one of Cranbrook’s first economic generators, surely the catalyst for planning improvements for this significant part of town needs to come from our leaders.  With a detailed visionary plan for the entire city, the renewal and design of one area might not be so onerous.


Again after lengthy discussion, Council voted 5 to 1 to go ahead with the Ministry’s recommended survey at the same time as a committee is formed to assess the situation. Councillor Whetham favoured shortening the survey and allowing the committee to come forward with the best options and recommendations for dealing with the problem, before the choice of options is given to the residents, as some of the options in the survey may not be suitable or possible for Cranbrook.  The survey will be on line, hopefully by September 1st and a computer will be set up at City Hall for those who do not otherwise have access to one.

Footnote - repeat information from August 9th

The document Urban Ungulate Conflict Analysis, Urban Ungulates Summary Report from the Ministry of the Environment may be of interest to many residents.

It is a long document but it does outline other community experiences as well as possible management solutions. Of particular interest are pages 30 and 31 where a table shows a summary of Population Reduction and Fertility Control Options. Also of interest on page 6 is the Canadian and US Overview demonstrating experiences of different cities and municipalities that have already tried to deal with this same problem. Their experiences are dealt with in more detail within the document appendices

Round Table Comments

There were many positive comments including Councillor Schatschneider’s about the improved visual impact of our city.
Councillors seemed very happy to have met Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Monday, August 16, 2010

This is One Reason Why We Care

Winnipeg Free Press: Canada

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Researchers say skewed sex ratio of fish in Alberta rivers raises red flags

By: Shannon Montgomery, The Canadian Press

29/07/2010 8:56 PM

CALGARY - Alberta researchers say gender-bending fish swimming in the province's southern rivers raise serious questions about whether the water is safe for people to drink.

Two University of Calgary professors have been studying how a small species of minnow reacts to a wide variety of hormone-altering chemicals detected in several rivers.

They found sexual changes both in the wild populations of the fish and under controlled lab experiments with the same chemicals, said co-author Hamid Habibi.

He said while it's not known whether the levels are high enough to hurt humans, there is a possible risk the chemicals could increase cancer rates or developmental abnormalities.

"We think there's a health concern," he said Thursday. "We'd like to be able to predict these things and reduce that kind of risk."

In some locations, female fish accounted for as much as 90 per cent of the minnow population, far higher than the normal 55 to 60 per cent.

At many of the sites studied, male fish showed elevated levels of a protein normally high only in the blood of females. Other areas have produced male fish with female eggs in their testes.

Habibi and co-author Lee Jackson found a large variety of chemicals that affect hormones in the water. They include synthetic estrogens, such as the birth control pill and bisphenol A — a chemical used in making plastics — as well as agricultural byproducts.

The disturbances in fish populations were greater downstream from cities than upstream and were most notable around several major cattle feedlots.

One area of high concentration was interrupted by a normal region where the river is joined by several tributaries from Waterton National Park.

The researchers managed to replicate many of the changes in a lab environment by combining the chemicals in the same ratio as found in the river.

They also discovered that while a single chemical might affect a fish one way, the combined effect with another chemical might be much greater than expected.

In one case, two chemicals might each have a one-fold effect on a fish, while in combination the effect might be nine times bigger.

"The potency of these chemicals improves significantly if they are present in a mixture. That is new information," said Habibi.

"Which means some of the data used by Health Canada and EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States) may need to be revised, because they're based on individual studies for those chemicals."

Jackson said most wastewater treatment plants don't get rid of many of the chemicals.

The researchers have partnered with the City of Calgary to begin work at a new treatment plant investigating how engineering can keep the chemicals from flowing back into the water.

He said it's too early to tell whether the current levels in water might have anything to do with a rising trend of cancers that are under hormonal control, but he added that a possible link should be studied.

"I think we need to look at this a little more carefully and ask, what is the message the fish are telling us," he said.

"If the fish are showing bent genders and people are drinking the same water ... we need to try to evaluate that risk."

Part of the research is to be published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

What does this have to do with Cranbrook?

With a few clicks of a mouse and the use of Google it is very easy to come up with countless peer-reviewed scientific studies of the effect of treated wastewater on our environment. In the vast majority of these studies the effect of introducing wastewater to our natural water systems and on their supported wildlife is one of negativity. Scientists are frequently noticing gender changes and other deformities to the wildlife that has been exposed to the wastewater.

Cranbrook, like most communities, is unable to control what gets sent down the drains and into our sewage system. Wastewater typically contains a mixture of natural and synthetic xenobiotics, household and agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other compounds, many of which remain unidentified. Wildlife is thus being exposed to complex, fluctuating mixtures of contaminants that may act in various ways and that may induce combination effects via the same or different mechanisms.

Just because we send Cranbrook's effluent 9km from where we live shouldn't mean that we act in a NIMBY manner and ignore what its potential effects are on the environment and the life that lives in, and around, the Kootenay River. Some other communities have been giving a lot of thought and effort in removing most of the potential pollutants from their wastewater before it is returned, in some fashion, back into the environment. Cranbrook's new plan is one of screening, simple disinfection, and aeration before the effluent is sprayed over the fields.

Right now would you want your/our effluent returned to the Cranbrook watershed that supplies your/our drinking water?

Perhaps Cranbrook's effluent is closer to the human food chain than we imagine. Cattle are raised on crops grown using the effluent. The cattle are drinking the effluent and even being sprayed with our wastewater as they forage in the spray fields. Is it time when we need to ask our meat suppliers where, and how, their supply of beef is being raised? I'm not sure that I particularly relish the thought of potentially introducing natural and synthetic xenobiotics, household and agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other compounds into my body as I chow down on my barbequed beef steak.

Around Town and Looking Good

The Railway Museum saw over 400 people at its Open House this weekend as part of the Arts and Culture Tour.  Kinnette Promenade enters Van Horne Park at the south end of the museum parking area and provides a great little picnic spot for visitors to cool in or an alternative cycle route if heading south.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pat Casey Memorial Garden

This little garden adjacent to City Hall has been made in cooperation with Cranbrook in Bloom and the City of Cranbrook as a Memorial to Pat Casey. Pat Casey was a well-known long-time Cranbrook resident who served the community in many ways including being a member of the Cranbrook in Bloom Committee. The tree a ‘Corinthian’ columnar type Linden, is under-planted with a selection of perennials chosen by City Public Works staff to increase in size, grow and bloom again next spring and summer.  In the photo can be seen Daylilies, Delphiniums, Veronica, Golden Rod, Malva, Bergamot, Phlox and Nepeta. 

The Dedication Ceremony for this garden, which should provide much colour and enjoyment in this busy part of the downtown core, will be held in the fall.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Advance Notes for the Cranbrook City Council Meeting of Monday August 16th

From the Administration Update of August 13th 2010

The Growth Management Study promised for July or August has been delayed until September.

Due to workload and health issues in the department, leading to the unexpected absences of key personnel, the review of the Growth Management Study has not been fully completed. A report with evaluation and recommendations will come forward to Council at the September Regular meeting.

We hope so.

The Wastewater Improvement Project Program

Of particular interest within this paragraph is the statement “Subject to the total cost of the remaining 10 contract packages (to be awarded), it may be necessary to reduce the scope of the final program to maintain budget”

We hope not.

Many promises have been made with regard to this upgrade. A few years ago Council publicly announced that there was nothing significantly wrong with the Waste Water Management System. Once it was finally determined through a costly Environmental Board Hearing (cost to the City taxpayers unknown) that there were MANY significant problems with the system we were assured that the present upgrades would turn it into a ‘state of the art system,’ ready for the world to come and see. Without removal of potential pollutants and when pumping into the Kootenay River will still be required, it will hardly be ‘state of the art’. False predictions can create mistrust.

It is hard to be overly optimistic.

Southview Flooding Issues
Of other note in the Council package for Monday August 16th are a number of letters from residents of the South Hill regarding flooding. This appears to be another city planning issue that needs to be resolved.

Three items of New Business are included in this package including a proposal to extend the City of Cranbrook’s south boundary to accommodate the Gold Creek Campus of College of the Rockies. The beginning plans for dealing with the Urban Deer issue will also be an item of New Business. You may find the information listed in the article ‘What Shall We Do Deer’ posted August 9th useful.

For more information about the upcoming Council Meeting go to;

And click on Council Packages - Regular Meeting

Friday, August 13, 2010

Barrel of a Deal

Wildsight is taking names of people who would like to purchase rain barrels. If they achieve the magic number of 200, the barrels will be available for $50.00 – a great deal. The company that has offered to supply the barrels at such a great price is

Please let Liam know at 250.427.2535 (Wildsight office) or  if you are interested.

An alternative for acquiring a great rain barrel is to enter to win the Wildsight garden photo contest. Details below.

Having a rain barrel is great way to collect water that usually flows off the roof and into the storm sewer. This water is soft and untreated, perfect for garden use. When the barrel is raised on a platform, it is easy to fill a watering can or hook up a soaker hose. In Bermuda, rainwater was for many years, the only supply of water. It was collected in large cisterns. It is not unusual in Europe these days to see similar large rainwater cisterns being installed under new buildings as a method for collecting and augmenting the water supply.

A rain barrel is just the beginning!

Love It Wildly Lawn and Garden Photo Contest in Kimberley and Cranbrook

Great Prizes for Pictures of Pretty, Pesticide-Free Yards! The Love it Wildly Lawn and Garden photo contest runs until September 15. Prizes include gift certificates, a RainXchange™ rain barrel, and other green stuff! Find out more about the contest and submit your photos, in either the lawn or garden category, to There is only one rule: the area cannot have had any pesticides used on it in the last year. Grab your camera, take some photos and help us spread the message that pesticide-free gardening is not only possible but beautiful!!

After September 15, photos will be posted where you can vote for your favourites. Photos will also be on display in coffee shops in Kimberley and Cranbrook. For more information, contact Robyn Duncan at Wildsight at or 250.432.5422.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What's Happening

What a great weekend for the Visual Arts!

Columbia Basin Culture Tour

August 14 and 15, 2010, 10am - 5pm

Explore artists' studios, museums, art galleries and heritage sites through this free, self-guided tour. Meet the artists, shop for fine art and craft, view demonstrations, special exhibitions, interpretive displays or chat with local historians during this two day long cultural celebration

Download events brochure at

In Cranbrook. Artrageous Gallery, The Railway Museum, Fisher Peak Gallery (where Joe Cross will be painting) and the studio of Ann Holtby-Jones are all open as part of this tour. For the complete tour please download the brochure or pick one up at any of the tour locations.


all watercolour and acrylic paintings marked down as much as 50 %

leaving the Kootenays--must travel lightly

Saturday and Sunday August 14 and 15th

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

419 3rd. Ave. South


in conjunction with the CBT Heritage and Cultural Tour


invite you to come and visit us this Saturday and Sunday (August 14 and 15)

Admission to the town site is FREE this weekend for the Columbia Basin Culture Tour.

ART AT THE FORT Gallery will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (several of the artists will be in attendance)

Demonstrations will be presented during the weekend

(encaustic art, painting and sketching; gold panning,

blacksmithing, butter making, street theatre,

and much more.)

ART AT THE FORT Gallery is located on the second floor of the Wasa Hotel.

Museum is located on the main floor.

ART AT THE FORT presents the artwork of 12 local artists ...watercolour, acrylic, oil, encaustic paintings

fabric art, photography, clay sculptures, originals and reproduction art cards

Art at the Park Festival

Saturday, August 14th, 9am - 1pm

Rotary Park

Cranbrook & District Arts Council in conjunction with the Farmer's Market has invited visual artists, musicians, literary artists and any members with a talent that entertains to take part in this event.

For a taste of the market and some of the musicians you might see view this;

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Its Your Money - DCC Rates

It looks like the ongoing housing market slump in Invermere is causing the District of Invermere to rethink their DCC rate.  They are considering a drop from $16,304 to $9,480.  Keep in mind that even after the rate reduction, Invermere's rate  is still over $7000 more than Cranbrook's.  When will the City of Cranbrook address our DCC rates and when will the taxpayers of Cranbrook stop being forced to subsidize the development industry???

The following article is from the Invermere Vally Echo by Darryl Crane

DOI rethinks development costs

The current state of the development cost charge (DCC) in Invermere may be on its way to a change after months of discussion among council, District of Invermere (DOI) staff and local developers.

In May of this year a group of developers came to a meeting with council to state their concerns over the current cost of the DCC on developers in the region.
It was at this meeting that DOI staff agreed to take another look at the current DCC to see if any changes were necessary to make at this time. After months aoflooking at the subject, a new proposal was brought to council at the July 13 regular meeting of council.
In the proposed changes the DCC cost will drop from $16,304 to $9,480.
This is a fair number according to chief administrative officer of the DOI, Chris Prosser.
“We have gone back with our engineers and removed projects deemed redundant and made sure to meet some needs but we are protecting the infrastructure of the people who live in Invermere as well,” Prosser said.
Prosser is hopeful that people will come to an upcoming open house and ask questions about the DCC and the projects that are happening within the town.
David Behan is part of the development team working on the CastleRock project. At the meetings in May, he was vocal that changes needed to happen for development to continue.
Talking to Behan this week, he is happy to see some of the changes to the DCC.
“They dropped off the phase 2 connector of Westside road and that was not necessary. This is a more realistic plan,” Behan said.
Though not completely happy with how far the changes have gone, Behan said he is happier than he was when this first started.
“I think overall the development community is happy, though there is no way you will ever make everyone 100 per cent happy,” Behan said.
Behan also stressed the point that he did not see this as a reduction of the current DCC. “Things have been taken out and it is a better list of things that are necessary to be done. This is a change due to a revised list of needs in Invermere,” Behan said.
Prosser thinks the new rules are for today and the future needs. “I think it is reflective of our needs at the current time and our population and future needs. At the end of the day it is there to serve on the next 20 years of our projected growth rates,” Prosser said.
Councillor Al Miller is hopeful that the changes will be helpful for developers and also for residents in Invermere.
“My belief is that we have the DCC in the area it needs to be. The (costs), as far as I am concerned, were too high. There were projects on there that did not need to be a part of it at this point. I believe in charging a fair price for what is needed,” Miller said.
Miller believes this drop will take some of the strain off development groups and put it in a spot where it is right for developments today.
“It is my hope that this will be good for the community. My belief is the development community will be all right with the new proposal and things are at a much fairer level in the new proposal,” Miller said.
The date for the open house has not been set but should be available within the next week.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dancing is Romancing

Why not head down to Rotary Park on Wednesday night and take part in Dancing in the Park. Its a delightful evening spent dancing around the band stand , meeting new people and getting a little exercise.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What shall we do deer?

Enjoying an afternoon in the shade of the Tembec Building
Residents of Cranbrook will soon be asked their opinions on dealing with our urban deer issue.

The document Urban Ungulate Conflict Analysis, Urban Ungulates Summary Report from the Ministry of the Environment may be of interest to many residents.

It is a long document but it does outline other community experiences as well as possible management solutions. Of particular interest are pages 30 and 31 where a table shows a summary of Population Reduction and Fertility Control Options. Also of interest on page 6 is the Canadian and US Overview demonstrating experiences of different cities and municipalities that have already tried to deal with this same problem. Their experiences are dealt with in more detail within the document appendices.

Around Town and Looking Good

Flowers and patios make summertime eating more fun.

Rockwater Steakhouse

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why should I buy local food?

The video at the following link demonstrates just one reason for buying local food such as that found at the Saturday Farmer's Market. The fish are Basa (Catfish) and if you buy Basa, you may be interested to learn about how it might be farmed. Much of the fish described in this video ends up in North American supermarkets.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cranbrook's Mural Makers

It is wonderful to see Kirsten Taylor back at it - painting a beautiful piece of original art work on one of our downtown’s businesses. Many will remember her beautiful butterfly mural, which briefly adorned a wall on Cranbrook St. Many could not get over the fact that despite the bylaws in place the mural was destroyed. There is a process to be followed for major changes to buildings in many commercial areas of most cities including Cranbrook. When a business or property owner in certain parts of the city wishes to upgrade its building in any substantial way applications must be made, permission sort and frequently council’s stamp of approval is required. These protocols are important for maintaining the integrity and style of any city and especially those of significance. Rome would not be Rome, London or Paris would not be the same without such regulations ensuring the integrity of those cities. Special architecture, ancient frescos, pictographs are all protected and preserved in this way regardless of who owns the building. Heritage designation or preservation orders are frequently put in place.

Too often the same protocols in this part of the world do not seem to apply when a property owner wishes to dismantle something held in high esteem by the public. Cranbrook may be a long way from Rome but if it is to become a beautiful city of significance some consistencies need to be adhered to. Even when property is privately owned, the exterior becomes part of something larger, the public space. If the public values that space, protection of it whether mural, sculpture, park or special architecture, it is important bylaws are strong enough to keep it intact whenever possible. Public art representing our history and culture is currently adding quality to several areas of our town. Let’s hope the trend continues and let’s hope it is valued enough to be protected if necessary. If an old advertisement is still intact on the side of the Armond Theatre and pictographs in this valley have survived for hundreds of years on rock walls open to the elements these murals have every chance of doing the same. Art and culture help to sustain the health and vibrancy of a community. The final responsibility for preservation of public art rests with those who administer the city.

We applaud those businesses and artists who contribute to the cultural ambience of Cranbrook.  Here is a sampling.

Kirsten Taylor painting Sakura ('Cherry Blossom' in Japanese)

Wanda deWaard painting a new mural on the wall of Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital

Part of Joseph Cross's mural on 9th Avenue

Well known tribute in Rotary Park by Joseph Cross
back of the Credit Union Building by Darlene MacDonald

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's Happening

Introduction to Orienteering, Clinic
Saturday, August 7 - Eager Hills
Time: 9:30 am

Location: Eager Hills parking lot (the small parking area that people use to hike to the viewpoint). Turn left off the highway, just as the roads becomes two lanes.

Format: This was the site of the 2010 North American Orienteering Championships. We'll be visiting many .
of the control locations used in that event

The session will include:
- orienteering the map

- map reading and understanding the orienteering map

- map walk, as a group to a number of control sites

- break into small groups to find a number of controls

This should be fun for both those new to orienteering plus a great refresher and training opportunity for those with previous orienteering experience.
RSVP: To ensure we have enough maps for everyone please RSVP to Jim at

This is a special, no charge event for those that RSVP, as we'll be using maps from the NAOC event.

Kootenay Outdoor Club
EKOC Saturday August 7 – Pedley Pass & Bumpy Meadows: Hike through fascinating Bumpy Meadows and up a good trail to Pedley Pass. Then complete a scenic ridgewalk, which if conditions allow, might be a loop back to the trail head. 1/2/2 Call Linda 427-1784

Special Event at the Trout Hatchery
Kids Science Day Saturday August 7th
!0:00am - 2:00pm
suggested donation of $10 per child, max $30 per family
Ages 7 to 12 years
Call to register 250-429-3214
Catch and identify local insects
Use microscopes to determine a fish's age
Participate in experiments to learn about fish swimming habits
Observe a fish dissection
Have fun with lots of other cool science related stuff

Showing now at the Artrageous Gallery
Summer Member's Exhibit

No Theme - All Mediums
August 3rd
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
32A - 11 Ave S (Across from RCMP) Cbk
M-F 11-5 Sat 11-3
Info: 250-426-4223

Art in the Park Festival

Saturday, August 14th , 9-1pm
Cranbrook & District Arts Council in conjunction with the Farmer's Market
Invites visual artists, musicians, literary artists and any members
with a talent that entertains to take part in this event.
Sales tables will be free for our members.
It is hoped that participants will help make this an interactive event.
We are seeking the following artists. Are you:
A musician with a CD to sell?
Come out, play your instrument and sell that CD!
A painter with originals, prints or artcards available?
Do a some painting, make that connection with the public and sell.
A potter or ceramicists with practical and impractical 3-D objects d'art?
Have a little hands on fun, show the public how its done and make those wares available.
A writer whose published a book?
Do a short public read and get the them pumped up to buy.
A carver, moldmaker, fabric artist, one of kind jewelry maker?
Exhibit your skills and your wares.
Have nothing to sell but would like to demo, play your music, put on a mini play.
We'd love to have you.
Do you know of any stilt walkers, fire eaters, jugglers or others who might like to put out a hat?
Pass this info on.
Please let us know, no later than August 7th so that we can set up a schedule of activities.

Ph: 250-426-4223 Email:

Water and Sewer Line Work To Close Echo Field Road Thursday

Cranbrook, BC -- Echo Field Road at McPhee Road in Cranbrook will be closed for three days beginning Thursday August 5, 2010 at 6am through Saturday August 7, 2010 for the installation of water and sewer lines at the Wildstone property. Residents are advised to use alternate routes until the work is complete. The area will have traffic control personnel on site as well as signage for the duration of the project

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Seeding Deep Democracy

Please take the time to listen to Vandana Shiva. She is an inspirational woman who is making real change for the people of India. She also has a powerful message for all of us regarding democracy and being a citizen. Its a message all of us should take to heart.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DCCs (Development Cost Charges) and Why They Matter to You

Urban expansion and development often leads directly to an increase in the demand for sewer, water, drainage, parks and roads.

Development cost charges (DCC's) are monies that municipalities and regional districts collect from land developers to offset that portion of the costs related to these services that are incurred as a direct result of this new development.

Cranbrook has some of the lowest DCC rates of any community in BC at $2032.00 a lot. Both Fernie and Invermere have considerably higher DCC rates which have not inhibited development. Considering the fact that taxes will be increasing, as per the City of Cranbrook 5 Year Plan, isn’t it time that we looked at raising the DCC rate and stop subsidizing the development industry. Yes, the $500,000.00 Growth Management Study is supposed to address some of these issues but due to its considerable delay will the rates be adequate given the increase in costs. DCC rates should represent a fair, equitable and stable charge which adequately remunerates the city for its expenses, encourages SmartGrowth principles, and supports well planned development.

Lets begin the discussion here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Around Town and Looking Good

Garage Gardens

When a fill is necessary, how lovely to be able to smell roses a few meters away.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

If you can't get out on the local trails....

If you can't go down to the woods today, there is a sampling of our abundant wildlife by some of our talented local photographers at the following site.
Kootenay Rockies Area of BC
Wildlife on Trails, in Parks and Natural Areas