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, September 30, 2011

The Debate about Smart Meters - Shocking!

Just one topic of debate this week at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention attended by some local councillors.

'Smart' meter debate escalates in B.C. as cities consider call for moratorium

By: James Keller, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - BC Hydro's smart meters are either carcinogenic instruments of death or high-tech devices that will help ensure the province's energy sustainability, a debate that has prompted some B.C. municipal politicians to ask for more time to figure it out.

Controversy has been brewing about the health, privacy and financial impact of the wireless devices ever since the provincial utility announced plans to install them outside each of its customers' homes.

On Thursday, delegates to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver will vote on a resolution calling for a moratorium on the $930-million smart meter program, which is expected to be rolled out across the province by the end of next year.

But as complaints about the smart metres pile up, it's increasingly apparent that critics are united only in opposing them and not as much in the reasons why.

The radiation is dangerous, some say. Or the wireless signals put their privacy at risk. Or the meters will cause electricity bills to increase. Or the province's plan to install them in every home is taking away their freedom to make their own decisions. Or the utility is generally dishonest and any BC Hydro initiative is to be regarded with suspicion.

Those opponents have set up websites, started petitions and convinced a number of municipalities, including Victoria, Invermere and Colwood, to pass their own resolutions calling on BC Hydro to stop or delay the smart meters.

A small group has been camped outside the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver this week holding placards and passing out flyers.

While BC Hydro has no plans to reconsider its smart meter program, regardless of what delegates in Vancouver decide, executive vice-president Greg Reimer said the corporation is sensitive to the controversy.

"I think (Energy) Minister (Rich) Coleman has been very clear that the smart meter program is going ahead; nonetheless, we think it's important to have this discussion with all British Columbians," Reimer said in an interview.

"A lot of folks have expressed some concerns on the basis of things they've been hearing from others, and what we're trying to do is to provide them with the facts so that they can make a valued decision."

Coleman wasn't available for an interview, but in a written statement, he noted the convention resolution isn't binding.

"Smart meters are the global standard for a modern power grid — about one billion smart meters will be installed worldwide by 2020," the statement said.

"These new smart meters will provide many benefits to B.C. families and businesses, helping them save money and also allow them to make choices about how they manage their electricity consumption."

The meters measure residents' power consumption and then use wireless signals to beam that information back to BC Hydro, which says the new technology will make the province's energy grid more efficient, sustainable and better able to respond to outages.

BC Hydro is a sponsor at the convention, where the corporation has set up an information booth and is handing out information about smart meters in delegate packages.

That material repeats the corporation's insistence that smart meters only broadcast several times a day, and that living next to a smart meter for 20 years would expose a resident to the same level of radiation as a 30-minute cellphone call.

Reimer said BC Hydro has received "a couple of thousand" complaints about the smart meters and has been trying to work with each customer to figure out a solution.

In most cases, BC Hydro hopes education will be enough to convince wary residents to accept the meters, but customers also have the option of relocating the meters farther away from their home — at their own cost.

About 100,000 smart meters have been installed so far.

Smart meters have generated similar controversy elsewhere, including Ontario, where it has emerged as an issue in the ongoing provincial election campaign, and throughout the United States. At least one county in California has passed a bylaw making it illegal to install the devices.

The resolution in front of municipal convention delegates isn't expected to have any impact on the utility's plans, but it foreshadows the difficulties BC Hydro could face during the coming year as it attempts to visit each of its 1.8 million customers to make the upgrades.

The resolution cites a World Health Organization news release from May that classified electromagnetic radiation, such as those emitted by cellphones, as "possibly carcinogenic." Smart meter critics have also pointed to the WHO statement as proof the devices are harmful.

But the WHO statement did not refer specifically to smart meters, and an official from the United Nations organization has publicly suggested smart meters aren't a major concern.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control examined BC Hydro's smart meter devices, and concluded they are far below the radiation exposure limits set by Health Canada.

Invermere's mayor, Gerry Taft, said his community wants information from an independent source, rather than from BC Hydro.

Taft said even if concerns about the smart meter program are unfounded, many residents just don't trust the power company. He noted some municipalities in B.C. already use the same technology for their water meters, without controversy.

"I'm not an expert in radiation or any kind of health field, so I think what we're looking for is more review and potentially independent review," said Taft.

"I think the people who are concerned about this are not likely to believe the information from BC Hydro. A lot of this opposition is about who is rolling out this program versus what the program actually is. Some of it is a trust issue."

Colwood resident Sharon Noble is among those leading the charge against smart meters, and she said she just doesn't believe BC Hydro. She doesn't believe the corporation's claims that the devices are safe, that they save power or that they won't result in higher energy bills.

"These smart meters are wireless, so it's like having a mini cell tower on the outside of your home — they're forcing us to live with this," Noble said while protesting outside the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.

"They're wrong."

Here is BC Hydro's video:

Visit their website for more information.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Effluent Outfall to Kootenay River

As part of the upgrades to Cranbrook's Waste Water System, an outfall is being built into the Kootenay River.  The City has stated that they don't anticipate using this outfall for another seven years.  It cannot be used until both ultra violet disinfection and alum treatment have been put in place.  The outfall is the end of the effluent pipe that will join to the City's new and third effluent storage pond on the Spray Irrigation Fields.   Divers will  hook up the diffusers once the pipe is in location under the bed of the Kootenay River.

The length of pipe shown in the photo will all be pulled across the river to the East side. At that point the horizontal drill will drill across the river, from west to east, staying just below the bed of the river. After the drill has reached the east side it will be hooked to the end of the length of pipe and will pull the pipe back through the tunnel that has been drilled. Once the end of the pipe with the welded openings are in the correct location under the river bed then the divers will be sent down to dig down through the river bed and attach the diffusers.
 The effluent pipe lying on the west side of the Kootenay River before it is all dragged across to the East side.

Shows the spot in the Kootenay River in which the diffusers will be located.

The spot on the river bank through which the pipe will enter its horizontal drilled tunnel under the river.

Worker putting the finishing touches to the pipe so thediffusers can be attached once the pipe is in the correct location under the river.

What's Happening

Wednesday September 28th - Sunday October 2nd
Cranbrook Library in conjunction with Sunrise Rotary
Fall Book Sale
Tembec Gym 9:30am - 6:00pm
Thursday 9:30am - 9:00pm
Donations of CDs, DVDs and books to circulation desk of the Cranbrook Public Library

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Saturday October 1st
Kiako Mountain Lookout
Lorne 250-426-8864
Sunday October 2nd
North Star Mountain, Moe's Canyon
Phone Tom, 250-489-3543

Thursday October 6th
Rockies Film Series
presented by Sunrise Rotary
Ben Stiller's 'Submarine'
Tickets at Lotus Books

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bob Whetham Will Run Again for Council

Press Release from Bob Whetham

Over the past several months a number of people have approached me and asked if I would run again for Council. I deferred making a decision while recovering from a heart attack earlier this year but now feel that I am ready and willing to say “Yes”.

Cranbrook has been my home since 1980 and the opportunities and quality of life that drew me and my wife Gretchen here initially have given me the resolve and commitment to continue to work for the betterment of our community. The past three years have not been easy ones but I believe that we are moving towards a more open and collaborative approach to conducting the City’s business.

Throughout my term I have advocated for and supported initiatives that put resident’s interests first. Among other things, Council changed its position on imposing an unfair tax on Pinecrest residents and agreed to replace failing water lines in that area. Another positive outcome was the decision to proceed with a neighbourhood plan for Slaterville. This was initiated following informal discussions with concerned residents. Less successful were attempts to ensure equal public access to a newly established park on the St. Mary River although an equitable solution may yet be achieved at some future date.

One thing I would like to address is my position on growth. There are people who would suggest that I am anti-growth but my real issue is not whether we grow but how. I believe our focus should be on growing our local economy; working to retain the jobs we have and creating new opportunities for jobs that will support families. The City’s recently completed Economic Development Strategy identifies a number of things we can do to enhance our economic position and this could be expanded to include wider regional participation.

If re-elected to Council, some of the other things I would like to accomplish over the next three years are:
- Change the way we make decisions. When we need voter consent - to borrow money for example – I would like to see us adopt procedures that allow more opportunity to work towards solutions before imposing polarized “win or lose” outcomes.

- Update the City’s Official Community Plan to provide a clear direction for development and to incorporate recommendations for sustainability developed through the public consultation process led by Cranbrook Connected.

- Work with the City of Kimberley and the RDEK to designate the Northstar Railtrail as part of the Trans Canada Trail network in order to take advantage of funding opportunities and Canada wide exposure.

With more than thirty years of public and private sector planning experience and a record of working constructively with diverse interests, I believe I can continue to bring a thoughtful and considered approach to Council decision making. I hope that residents will consider my record and allow me the opportunity to continue to serve our community.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sharon Cross Declares Intent to Run for City Council


CRANBROOK - Long-time resident and active community member Sharon Cross has declared that she will run for Cranbrook City Council in the upcoming municipal election.

With a strong record of volunteering with non-profits, spearheading innovative community action programs and her consistent commitment to making Cranbrook the type of community we all want to live in, serving at the municipal level is a natural next step.

"Community and service have always been very important themes for me," said Cross. "I feel strongly that it is time for new voices on council; voices that put the taxpayer first in decision-making."

Cross quotes her favorite statement by Winston Churchill: 'The government is the servant of the people and not its master'. But she feels that a lot of politicians have forgotten that.

When asked what she can offer the citizens of Cranbrook Cross focuses on three themes: respect, responsibility and balance.

"Having attended council meetings regularly for the past four years I'd like to see a Council that is open to listening and respecting the views of all sides of an issue," stated Cross. "We need healthy debate prior to decisions being made. We need to create an open and receptive environment for our citizens so they feel comfortable presenting their ideas.

"According to the Growth Management study the City paid $500,000 for we know that Cranbrook's infrastructure requires serious upgrading and that will cost money. We will need to make responsible and prudent choices about how best to address these needs.

"And we must develop a more balanced and all-encompassing approach to planning for the future of our city. We must follow the values set out in the Cranbrook Connected document so that decisions are made in the best interest of all citizens.

"We all need to work together to implement our hopes and dreams for our city," continued Cross. "For instance, all residents should be able to enjoy a wide variety of arts and entertainment and have access to suitable recreational facilities. Integrating arts into our neighbourhoods results in re-energizing our community, and that has a positive economic outcome.

"Having been involved in community garden plantings, eco-system restoration projects and public murals, I support continuing the work of business owners, private citizens and community groups to make Cranbrook and area an attractive place to live."

Cross has been very active in helping to build her community through her involvement in various organizations such as the Cranbrook Community Forest Society, the Community Social Planning Society and East Kootenay Citizens for Clean Air. Cross is the past President of Mainstreams Society, the past President of Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook, and a founding member of the Kootenay Freewheelers Bicycling Club.

Cross now works with her husband, internationally acclaimed artist Joseph Cross, as his Studio Manager. Previously, Cross worked for over twenty years at the College of the Rockies, mostly as the Executive Assistant to the President.

Between now and election day on November 19th, Cross will be spending her time getting out in the community to talk to voters. Expect to see Cross or one of her volunteers on your doorstep over the next number of weeks.
"I know my role as councillor will be to listen to you. And that starts now. Let me know how you think your city should be governed."

Sharon Cross can be reached by phone at 250 489 4412 or by email at
Her website is:

Monday, September 26, 2011

BC Rivers Day Celebrated with Joseph Creek Walkabout

by Stewart Wilson

Joseph Creek Streamkeepers held a Joseph Creek Walkabout along Joseph Creek from Kinsmen Park to Baker Park to celebrate BC Rivers Day on Saturday, September 24. The group of interested citizens who participated heard about the group's involvement with the creek over he past eight years. They also had an opportunity to compare air and water temperature, as well as test the creek's pH, conductivity and turbidity. They saw first hand how the restoration project in Kinsmen Park has resulted in a more naturally developed riparian area with a variety of native plants becoming well established along the stream bank, and a more natural stream flow through that particular section of the creek.

As they walked downstream they noted that the City has changed its practice of cutting the grass right to the water's edge by leaving grass to grow naturally near the creek. Joseph Creek Streamkeepers will continue their public education program to better inform homeowners living by the creek why it is in their best interests to leave a natural vegetation buffer close to the creek, which will reduce the probability of erosion and flooding. They also noted the City Campground in Baker Park had minimal vegetation cover close to the creek, which results in higher creek temperatures, causes distress to fish, and increases the probability of erosion and flooding.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Community Forest Workbee

The Cranbrook Community Forest Society (CCFS) held its second EcoSystem Restoration Project of the year on Saturday, September 24.  Approximately 50 volunteers came out to thin the forest as part of  ongoing efforts to restore grasslands and for fire suppression purposes. Small trees are cut down by brush saws and then the trees are dragged to the edge of the road where they are then chipped.  A BBQ was held at noon for all the volunteers. Thanks go out to all the volunteers, the Ministry of Forests and the Rocky Mountain Trench Society for all their assistance in putting on a successful event. The CCFS will be holding several events annually to help preserve this special place. Look for the next event in June 2012.
To learn more about the Cranbrook Community Forest Society go to their website

Darryl with the brush saw

Sharon swamping the cut trees to the road

Justin, Eryn, Lori and Ron Wade - Ron saying Thank You for the High Country Gift Certificate he just won

Hungry workers have lunch

Wayne feeding the chipper

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What did the kids do in school this week?

School has been back in for a few weeks now and students are well into the routine.  September is a fabulous month for some outdoor appreciation.  Here is a little taste of some of the great learning that went on at Gordon Terrace:
Go to and scroll down.........

Knowing Your Onions

It is wonderful to see the upsurge in the interest of growing your own produce - getting back to our roots so to speak.  At this year's fall fair as well those in the last few years there has some beautiful produce shown and it's been terrific to see it being displayed for all to admire.  Healthy homegrown food takes planning and months of care. For many years the pride and joy of growing your own food seemed to be lost.  'Dig for Victory' was the famous slogan during and after the second world war when people took tremendous pride in who could grow the best. Now with much of our food coming from sources that we know nothing about, it is only natural we are once again becoming sceptical of those faraway growing conditions and what is put into our food.  Hence the drive to grow your own once more.

As we harvest this year's produce and contemplate what will go into that space next year here is something to think about.  Mr. Glazebrook certainly knows his onions.

Thanks to the Sunday Telegraph for this:

Tears to Your Eyes:
British Pensioner Grows World's Heaviest Onion

Britain has won an eye-watering world title after gardener Peter Glazebrook set a new record for the heaviest ever onion.

He currently holds three other world records - heaviest potato, heaviest parsnip, and longest beetroot Photo: GETTY

By Will Taylor  17 Sep 2011
The pensioner, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, smashed John Sifford’s 2005 record of 16lb 8.37oz with his 17lb 15.5oz specimen at the Harrogate Flower Show.

Mr Glazebrook, who has grown several past prize-winners, was thrilled to have finally won the coveted title.

“Obviously I am over the moon," said the 67-year-old. “Winning these competitions is great, but in the vegetable growing world, the heaviest onion title is the one to have.”

The former chartered surveyor picked up £500 for winning first prize at the show, and a further £1,000 for setting the new world record.

He currently holds three other world records - heaviest potato, heaviest parsnip, and longest beetroot.

Friday, September 23, 2011

One Day to Submit Your Cranbrook Photos to Global TV

From the Global Facebook Page
Global BC Saturday & Sunday Morning News

Hi everyone! Next weekend we are featuring Cranbrook and Ladysmith on the Saturday and Sunday Morning News! Please email your photos to

Past small town features can be watched at:

Public Funding For Professional Sports Facilities Needs To Be Examined City-By-City And Case-By-Case

“From a purely economic perspective, there is not a compelling case for public investment in professional sports facilities..........,”
said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist in a report from the Conference Board of Canada.

This whole interesting article can be read at:

Cranbrook's HomeRun Society recently shelved its immediate plans to build a professional standard ball stadium in Cranbrook. Cranbrook has in its Five year Financial Plan a line item of $500,00.00 for the construction of Ball Diamonds and another $125,000.00 for the construction of a stadium both of which would have assisted a potential professional franchise. The Home Run Society is now asking for the $125,000.00 to be spent upgrading Confederation Park.

When the City has invested heavily in ball diamonds at Moir Park why would the society not want to make the most of that new facility?  Confederation Park borders a valuable a natural area and important bird staging area.  Confederation Park has already been downgraded once.  It would seem to make more sense to slowly keep working towards the upgrade of Cranbrook's Moir Park rather than invest in an area which possibly  needs to be phased out.  If the monies set aside were funds generated in any way from the original Moir Park (the large gravel pit that was Moir Athletic Park) then wouldn't the scaled down upgrades of the new Moir Park be where the funds must be spent?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yippee! That was fast!

This blog experienced a huge surge in hits on the North Star Rails to Trails posting two days ago - proof of the thirst for more of the same (trails like this)!  Many Thanks to those who made it happen in the first place and to those who secured and financed (Hydro, we believe) this extension of the trail  to McPhee Road. 

On Being Business Friendly

Always a topic of conversation in political circles is the topic of attracting business. 

September14, 2011

Kamloops Selected as Finalist for Business Friendly Award

Kamloops, B.C. - The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation has announced Kamloops as one of ten finalists for the "BC's Most Small Business Friendly Community" awards. Finalists were chosen for demonstrating leadership in supporting small business success and attracting new small business investment to their community.

The City of Kamloops and Venture Kamloops prepared the award submission based on efforts to be business friendly through targeted business attraction, start-up and retention programs, regulatory improvements, customer service orientations and a commitment to strategic economic plans. The submission noted significant process and online service improvements including the new MyCity online tracking platform. This new service enables business to monitor the progress of regulatory applications both at the City and other levels of government. Other key elements in the submission included process improvements to support the development industry, reduced zoning by-laws and program descriptions for the many business services provided by Venture Kamloops.

Mayor Peter Milobar noted, "The City of Kamloops and Venture Kamloops have worked hard to improve programs and processes to make the city attractive for new and existing businesses. Over the last number of years, Kamloops has enhanced its competitive position through these initiatives helping our economy remain stable during uncertain times. We're hopeful that we will be recognized for these efforts at the Awards Ceremony later this month."

Kamloops was recently named one of the Best Communities for Business in Western Canada by Alberta Venture Magazine in June 2011.

Award winners will be announced on September 28, 2011 during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Annual General Meeting.

What's Happening

Thursday, September 22

Take Back The Night March
Starting at 6pm at Rotary Park
Refreshments will be served at the Womans Centre
For more information please call 250-426-2912 pr
250-489-3114 Ext. 223

Friday, September 23

Social Dancing Drop-in Program
Every Friday from 7-9pm at the Stages School of Dance with Randy Tapp
People of all ages and abilities welcome
For more information call Randy at 250-426-1142

Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24

Sweaters and Scarves Sale
The Anglican Church Ladies will be selling Bolivian hand knitted sweaters
and Guatemalan and Honduran scarves
Friday 5-8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm
Anglican Church, 13th Avenue South
For more information call 250-489-4528

Saturday, September 24

Cranbrook Coimmunity Forest Eco-system Restoration Project
Come out to the Work Bee from 9am-2pm
Free BBQ for all Volunteers at Noon
Access the site by the forest service road at near the fire suppression centre and Sandor Rentals
Follow the road to the red tent and you've found us.
Come prepared to work and have fun.
For more information call Tara at 250-426-0140 or go to their website

Joseph Creek Walkabout - Celebrating BC Rivers Day
Joseph Creek Steamkeepers
Starts at the parking lot in Kinsmen park at 10am
Learn more about Joseph Creek and its importance to Cranbrook.
For more information contact Stewart Wilson at 250-489-1422

East Kootenay Outdoor Club Hike
Fish and Sparkles Lake in Top of the World Provincial Park
Call Elton for more information 778-517-1717

Sunday, September 25

Arthritis Society Bottle Drive 1-5pm
Volunteers will canvass door to door for refundable bottles, cans and juice containers.
To volunteer or for arrangements of large pick ups please call Shirley at 250-489-2202

Monday, September 26

Grandmothers helping Grandmothers Travelogue - Africa
7pm College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre
Join a Nelson grandmother in her travelogue of her travels to Africa with the
Stephen Lewis Foundation
Admission by donation
Call Norma for more information at 250-426-7111

Kundalini Yoga
The Radha Yoga Centre is offering weekly classes this fall.
Mondays 7:30-9pm  at Lotus Books.
Participants should bring a notebook and pen.
Fee for this class is $80

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good

Construction of the North Star Rails to Trails extension is moving along very quickly much to the delight of many who will now be able to avoid that very vulnerable feeling while cycling along Theatre Road. 
The old Rex Drive  In screen from the extended trail.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Rebates for Installing Solar Hot Water on Homes!

The Sunshine Coast Regional District acted on this idea by installing a solar panel into their administration office. Their press release can be read at

Posted by Susanna Grimes on July 14, 2011

On July 12, 2011 the federal government announced the return of the ecoENERGY Retrofit for Homes Program. The program provides homeowners with grants of up to $5,000 for making their homes more energy efficient. Included in the list of grants is $1,250 for installing a year-round solar hot water system. If BC residents also apply for the $500 grant for solar hot water installations available from LiveSmart BC, they can save $1,750 in total.

Both the ecoENERGY program and the LiveSmart BC program require the homeowner to have a pre- and post-retrofit energy evaluation. To qualify for ecoENERGY funding, purchases of energy saving equipment must be made after June 6, 2011, and retrofits and the post-retrofit evaluations must be completed by March 31, 2012. For LiveSmart BC funding, retrofits must be completed within 18 months of the pre-retrofit evaluation or before March 31, 2013, whichever comes first. LiveSmart BC funding is provided on a first come, first served basis.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for BC residents to install solar hot water systems, save on their energy bills, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”, says SolarBC Manager, Julia Roberts. “I recommend that residents act on this opportunity quickly as the timelines are tight and we saw LiveSmart BC grants snapped up last year.

Monday, September 19, 2011

CELEBRATE BC RIVERS DAY Saturday September 24th

Here is another opportunity to spend time outdoors learning about and contributing towards the well-being of the great environment in which we live.

Joseph Creek Streamkeepers invites interested citizens to join them for a walk along Joseph Creek between 10 AM and noon on Saturday, September 24th to celebrate BC Rivers Day. The walk will start from the parking lot in Kinsmen Park at 10 AM and end at Rick Spooner Park opposite the Rec. Plex. Participants will get a chance to do meter readings of Temperature, pH, Conductivity and Turbidity to check on the water quality of the creek.

During the walk participants can expect to learn more about:

  • Why Joseph Creek is important to Cranbrook.
  • The restoration project in Kinsmen Park, designed to serve as a living laboratory for community water conservation awareness activities.
  • How erosion along the creek can be managed.
  • Why we should be concerned about the gravel and debris being carried into the creek from storm drains.
  • Why we should be concerned about rising water temperatures.
  • Why brook trout are able to survive, but the westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout have almost but disappeared from the creek.
  • Where the fish hatchery used to be on Joseph Creek.
  • How the largest outdoor swim pool in Western Canada was fed by water from Joseph Creek.
  • How and why Joseph Creek was rerouted downtown.
  • How we can ensure that Joseph Creek remains healthy.
For more information contact Stewart Wilson at 250 489 1422.

Cranbrook Community Forest Work Bee - Sept 24

A work bee to improve grassland health in the popular Cranbrook Community Forest is being held on Saturday, September 24, 2011 between 9am-2pm

This will be the second event held this year after an exceptionally successful event held in June with over 70 volunteers. The Cranbrook Community Forest Society in partnership with the Ministry of Forests and the Rocky Mountain Trench Society (of which the CCFS is now a member) has been holding these events for 2 years and is part of its efforts to increase awareness regarding grassland health and increase participation of Forest users to become involved in its preservation.

Volunteers will be working near the Sylvan Lake area thinning the densely forested area that was once grassland. This improves forest health and provides excellent wilderness habitat as well as reduces fire risk to the city.

Work will involve the use of brush saws and hand loppers to thin saplings, they will then be pulled to the road side where they will be chipped for further use on the trails.

This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to come out and be involved in maintaining the treasure that the Cranbrook Community Forest is to our community. There are many types of jobs available and any effort, even a couple of hours will be appreciated.

Work gloves, long pants, sturdy footwear and a hat are essential for all jobs.

There will be a BBQ for all volunteers at noon

To access the work site you take the Sylvan Lake Forest Service Road near the fire suppression camp near Sandor Rentals at the north end of “the strip.” Follow the road to the red tent. Parking is limited so, if possible, car pool or even hike to the work site.

The Cranbrook Community Forest is one of our most valuable natural assets. It provides over 1800 hectares of wilderness including grasslands, wetlands, and forest that are easily accessible to the citizens of our community. The Forest is widely used for hiking, biking, snow shoeing, cross country skiing as well as providing an invaluable education opportunity for students.

For further information please contact Tara at 250-426-0140 or Kathleen at 250-489-2875

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thank You for an Amazing Summer at the Cranbrook Farmers Market


The Backyard Bakers -

Local strawberries were still available
Lining up for the best coffee from Kirsten and Ross
With a fall chill in the air, the last regular Cranbrook Farmers Market of the season was held this Saturday.

The market was crowded with people making last minute purchases and talking to the amazing vendors, our neighbours, and friends. The Market has been able to bring people together in a unique way and has helped create a real sense of community as well as drawing people into our downtown.

Cranbrook and area are fortunate to have so many talented artisans, farmers, bakers, and producers. Thank you for all your hard work in providing us with superior products.

More great news after talking to Erna Jensen-Shill, manager of the Cranrbook Farmers Market, there will be a Thanksgiving Market held on Oct 8 between 11am-2pm in Rotary Park. See you there!

Nothing beats locally grown garlic!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Restored Fink Fountain Unveiled

Pat Adams, Chair, Cranbrook in Bloom and Jenny Humphrey, Project Manager

The Fink Fountain in the Centennial Garden was rededicated to the memory of Jacob Pius Fink and Zeljko Kujundzic yesterday.

ManWoman speaks of knowing Zeljko Kujundzic and working on this project with him

The Fink Fountain has both historical and artistic significance for the city of Cranbrook. It was originally unveiled in Baker St’s Central Park in 1959(location of the original Court House) as a memorial to Jacob Fink, Cranbrook’s’ third Mayor, first Fire Chief and owner of the Fink Mercantile. Zeljko Kujundzik received the commission to both design and build this project for which he was paid $2350.00. The Fink family raised most of these funds. Zeljko Kujundzic (1920 –2003) had just taken up his first position as a High School teacher in Canada, teaching at the Cranbrook High School.

This commission was one of Kujundzic’s first works in Canada. He went on to be a founder and director of the Nelson School of Art and later became a Professor at Pennsylvania State University. The Thunderbird sculptures atop the poles at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium are his work. Zeljko Kujundzic became an internationally known artist completing many sculptures, prints and paintings and Cranbrook can be proud to possess two of his works, this fountain and plaques at the Cranbrook Regional Hospital. After its original placement on Baker Street’s Central Park, this fountain was located for a few years next to City Hall and then for many years in Rotary Park until the Spirit Square Project required its removal in 2008.

Zeljko Kujundzik was responsible for the entire fountain comprising of the hand-poured white cement, which contained white marble dust obtained from Boswell. The hand raised copper plaques which were placed around the pedestal of the fountain depicted Kootenay scenes as well as the memorial to Jacob Fink. The copper fish originally spewed water into the bowl of the fountain. The sculptures on the fountain today were cast from moulds of the original art work and the original copper sculptures, all but one, are stored in a safe location. One of the original plaques went missing a number of years ago but because an original photograph of Kujundzic’s sketch was obtained, a replication was made possible. All the replication work and much restoration was undertaken by locally well-known sculptor Reg Parsons.

Cranbrook in Bloom undertook to coordinate this restoration as the fountain is a fitting central sculpture for the Centennial Garden, planted with ‘Karl Foerster’ Grasses, which represent the grassland of our valley. The waving mass of grasses in full bloom represents the many lakes or rivers in the area and the fish sculptures are a tribute to the many fish, which leap from those watery surfaces.

Many Thanks go to those who made this project possible:
City of Cranbrook
Trikon Concrete
Downtown Business Association
Community Initiatives
Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance
Falkins Insurance
Sunrise Rotary
Cranbrook in Bloom Committee Members

from the left
Reg Parsons, sculptor, DianaJ. Scott, Councillor, Grant Tulloch, Cranbrook in Bloom, Jenny Humphrey, Cranbrook in Bloom, Pat Adams, Cranbrook in Bloom, A.J. Brekke, Cranbrook in Bloom, Jim Wavrecan, Councillor, Jan Gordon Hooker and Glo Hoeschman, Cranbrook in Bloom, ManWoman

Friday, September 16, 2011

Slaterville Community Barbecue

The residents of Slaterville got together for a community barbecue on Thursday September15th in Pop Price Park.  They were celebrating the new neighbourhood plan which has been a long time in coming but is now finally in progress.  Some city staff were on hand with a map of the area under consideration for some potential upgrades.

At a Mayor's Brown Bag Lunch of April 21st 2009 Steve Lehman talked about the lack of services to the area, including City transit, curbs, gutters and sidewalks, potholes in the roads and the narrow streets, which he suggested should be made one-way. Mayor Manjak advised that Cranbrook was working on the transit issue to the area.

The initiative to finally introduce the plan after months of no action came following a meeting in 2010 between Councillor Bob Whetham and several residents including Lynden and Steve Lehman who identified a number of long standing issues and concerns of their neighbourhood. The more significant issues were incorporated into a letter signed by twenty residents and property owners and directed to the Mayor and Council in December, 2010. Council subsequently agreed to include the neighbourhood plan into the City’s work plans for 2011.

After several years of being promised bus service, residents of this and other areas on the west side of the railway finally have some service. 

These thoughtful girls Desiree, (left) and Rachel brought treats for the pets who might attend the barbecue

Face painting

Roy Hales with the map showing the area of historical Slaterville under review

Fink Fountain Rededication

A little bit of Cranbrook's history will be recognised today at 5:00pm in front of Gerrick's at the Centennial Garden.  The Fink Fountain, now a refurbished static sculpture will be rededicated to the memory of Jacob Pius Fink, Cranbrook's first Fire Chief and third Mayor.  The restoration of this well-known feature has been a three year project for Cranbrook in Bloom and adds a fitting centrepiece to a garden which marks one entrance to the centre of Cranbrook.

The fountain, very cracked and unable to hold water as it was in Rotary Park, 2008
Some sculptures missing and in storage.

City Works Yard

Partially sandblasted in the Trikon Yard, revealing the original white marble dust finish

almost at its destination


in flight

Completed restoration with accurately replicated sculptures and a replicated finish

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's Happening...

Friday Sept 16
United Way Park on Us
Free Downtown parking will be permitted at participating businesses
Compliments of the City of Cranbrook
Morning Coffee and a lunchtime BBQ on Baker St.

Jazz Council at The Stage Door
CD release concert at 7:30pm
Tickets $15

Music at the Legion
LIVE Music every Friday night downstairs at the Heritage Inn
All musicians are invited to play

Friday Sept 16 and Saturday Sept 17
Ten Thousand Villages Fair Trade Gift Sale
Knox Presbyterian Church
2100-3rd St. S., Cranbrook
Friday 10-8
Saturday 10-3
Call 250-426-4606

Saturday September 17th
Last Farmers' Market of the summer
Tenth Avenue adjacent to Rotary Park

Sat Sep 17th

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Bull River Dam
Hike upstream of the dam on the Bull River on the west side on old trails and roads. Little elevation gain. Full day, 2/1/1, moderate pace. For info call Lorne 426 - 8864

Sat Sep 17th
Cranbrook Mountain
full day, long hike to the top of Cranbrook Mountain. Moderate pace, 2/3/2. For info call Tom 489 - 3543

Saturday Sept 17
Kid's Swap - indoor Market of kids things, new and used
Cranbrook United Church Social Hall
Starts at 10am
Call 250-426-2022 for more information

East Kooteany Outdoor Club
Sun Sep 18th
Jumbo Pass full day hike (after long drive to trailhead via Invermere and up Toby Creek) to summit of Jumbo Pass and over to the Forestry cabin. Great views of the high Purcells, glaciers and icefields. 2/2/1, moderate pace. For info call Gary 426 - 8704

Sunday, Sept 18
Kidney Golf Tournament at Mission Hills Golf Course
Entry Fee is $40 and starts at 1 pm
Proceeds support kidney transplants
Call 250-426-0662 for more information

Monday, Sept 19
Kundalini Yoga
The Radha Yoga Centre is offering a regular weekly workshop
Today and each Monday until November 28 from 7:30-9 pm
At Lotus Books
The fee for this class is $80

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Columbia Salmon Festival Preview Information

For the complete package of information and the Registration Forms please click on the Dropbox link on the top right hand side of this blog.

Storm Water Run Off

There are many residents in Cranbrook who well understand the effect of super-charged storm sewers after heavy rain.  Cranbrook residents are not alone.  This is how Kitchener Ontario is dealing with the problem.
Landscaping that incorporates vegetation is much more able to absorb heavy rainfall and is also of benefit to the atmosphere.  Avenues of trees set in grass swards for example will alleviate some excess run off.  It is common knowledge that deforestation or removal of existing vegetation will cause drainage issues.  This program in Kitchener sounds interesting.

KITCHENER – Kitchener’s innovation in the realm of storm water management was celebrated this week as the Honourable Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Peter Hume, immediate Past President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director, presented a P.J. Marshall Plaque Award to the city for an innovative program, launched earlier this year, that transferred storm water management funding from property taxes to a user-fee program based on the amount of impervious area on a property.

“Our city’s residents identify environmental issues as one of the most significant problems we face, said Vrbanovic. “With the storm water management project, the City of Kitchener is taking another step toward becoming one of the most sustainable communities in Canada.”

Storm water runoff flows across land and is routed into drainage systems and ultimately natural areas such as creeks, lakes and wetlands. Developed areas with houses, roads, businesses and parking lots limit the amount of storm water that be absorbed into the ground.

Areas that are more impervious create more runoff and pollutant loading from the property and consequently pose a greater burden on the city’s storm water management system.

In 2010, Kitchener adopted a utility structure using an impervious area calculation to set the rate structure. This structure provides full, sustainable and dedicated funding for its critical storm water management - a service that has been consistently underfunded through the tax base.

The new user rate also allows the city to improve its stormwater service levels by:

* Keeping pollutants out of our stormwater system - leading to better protection of our source water.

* Preventing local flooding and pollution from reaching our creeks and streams - preserving their health and vitality.

* Replacing aging stormwater infrastructure (pipes, catch basins), some of which are 80 to 100 years old.

Rates are assessed to each parcel of land based on usage of the drainage system. As a result, some property owners are adopting best practices such as introducing pollutant trappers called vegetated swales to reduce the amount of impervious area. The city is now exploring a way to provide rate credits for property owners who want to provide onside controls that reduce the runoff from their property.

For the full article:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harvest Moon, Monday September 12

Harvest Moon Over Idlewild

Harvest Moon - photo Stewart Wilson

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of Monday September 12th


Pat Adams, Cranbrook in Bloom

Pat spoke of this last year's projects including the ongoing planting of trees, the completion of the Fink Fountain Restoration and planned activities for next year including the landscaping of Centennial 3 Garden - the area opposite Centennial 2 Garden, behind the mini mall.  Pat emphasised the CIB committee would like to see the formalisation of the Urban Forestry Plan

Patrick Leblanc

Patrick previewed the Key City Theatre’s upcoming 20th Anniversary Year Events. The full listing can be viewed at the theatre’s website.

Administration Update

Can be read in full at:
See pre-Council notes.


9.3  In response to the Community Connections request for waiver of rent, Councillor Wavrecan suggested a $20,000.00 bridging loan for the group until such time in 2012 when funding from Bingo proceeds would become available. There was some discussion about the issue of organisations needing to become self-sustaining but council carried the subsequent motion to go ahead with this.

9.6   Correspondence from Gary Slonowski concerning upgrades to Confederation Park was referred to the 2012 budget process beginning this fall.

Business Arising
10.1 Hours of Liquor Service at Wildstone Golf Course. There was a fair bit of discussion around the necessity and request for a 9:00am opening for liquor service. The recommendation carried because it was felt unfair that the Cranbrook Golf Course already had this ability and treatment needed to be equal. Councillor Davis opposed.

Committee Recommendations

11.1 The 4-way stop installation on 7th Avenue and 2nd Street will not go ahead. Instead speed signs will be installed with extra monitoring using speed cameras and RCMP presence. It is recommended that slower speed zones also be signed on Victoria Avenue within the extension to the Cit boundary. There seemed to be considerable opposition from Councillor Wavrecan to use of speed bumps or traffic calmers.

12.2. The topic of referendum for Water Meters created quite a discussion. The cost will be over 7 million dollars for installation into all homes and businesses and it was felt by some councillors that the referendum will be turned down on that basis alone. Other Councillors felt the question needed to be asked to open the debate.
The question would be:
Are you in favour of Council adopting Water Meter Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 3732 to borrow on the credit of the municipality a sum not exceeding 7,778,500.00 dollars to be repaid over a period not exceeding 15 years for the purpose of funding the acquisition and installation of water meters to properties in the City of Cranbrook?

YES       NO

Editorial Comment
Certainly an open debate is needed but it would seem unfair to have an important decision such as this squashed for lack of examination of alternative methods for implementation.  The question for the recommendation is more about borrowing 7 million dollars than whether residents are in favour of water meters. Councillor Davis is correct in saying there are other priorities for many people and indeed the Growth Management Study certainly points out many other very expensive deficits in our infrastructure.  There must be other creative ways of beginning a program such as this and maybe we all need to be looking into alternatives that would compliment the necessary infrastructure overhaul.   Asking this question may have the positive effect of grappling with the issue of water,its value and delivery but we could have that discussion without such a threatening question.

All were either adopted or given third reading.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Fabulous Fall Fair - 2011

It could not have been a more perfect day.  We awoke to the news of Keinan Hebert's return.  The sky was clear blue, the temperature was that of summer and the Fall Fair entertained for hours - music, animals, exhibitions of the finest homegrown vegetables, fruit, baking, preserving, art and crafts.  The threshing machine was in full operation and the wagon rides were in continous use.

To all those amazing volunteers who work so hard to bring us back to the celebration of the harvest, the land on which we depend and the joy of being creative and self reliant, a huge thank you. Congratulations to all those involved in this great day - Fort Steele and the Fall Fair Organising Committee and volunteers.


Thank You to Geraldine White for this photo

Thank You to Sally Passey for this photo

The wheat separated from the straw and chaff

Childrens' crafts in the Schoolhouse

Patient Pony (miniature horse)



Rope making

The Barber Shop Quartet
Wayne chatting with the Murdochs
and the Harvest Moon to enjoy later!
1077 and the wheat stooks
Thank you to Bob Whetham for this photo