Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Goldendale Cafe, by Gerry Warner

Not your typical breakfast restaurant
“Perceptions” by Gerry Warner
It was with some trepidation that the good wife and I headed to Oregon for a vacation two weeks ago.
We couldn’t help thinking to ourselves that with all the craziness happening in the Excited States of America, a vulgar lout nominated for president and police killing and being killed in the streets, was this a good idea?
But we decided to take the plunge in our recently purchased Volkswagen camper van and bravely (foolishly?) headed out. A day later in Goldendale, Washington we had our perceptions disabused.
Goldendale, a small town on the Columbia Plateau close to the Oregon border, has clearly seen better days. But after a late start we decided to have breakfast there. Oddly enough, we had difficulty finding a restaurant open for breakfast in a country that usually serves the best breakfasts in the world and then we noticed there were several closed storefronts in the dusty town.
But we persevered and were finally directed to the “Coyote Café,” which we had difficulty finding because the sign over the door said the “Golden Chinook Café” that proudly served breakfast “all day, every day,” and in a previous incarnation, was known as the “Top Hat Tavern.” As we settled into our chairs and looked around, it certainly had the atmosphere of a tavern with dim lighting and a cast of characters that looked like they wanted to be in a tavern.
But then I looked closer and there was grandma knitting and watching her grandchildren in the corner as they played with toys thoughtfully provided by the restaurant. In another corner there was an old gentleman dozing in a deep, leather sofa that had probably been left over from the tavern days as well as a huge stack of old newspapers and magazines on the end of the counter including the Goldendale Sentinel.
It wasn’t fancy and certainly wasn’t bright and antiseptic like your typical fast-food restaurant. But I couldn’t help thinking “I could get to like this place.” It wasn’t just a restaurant. It was a warm and cheery community meeting place.
Then I saw the folded, one-page, paper menu that had a distinct military vibe to it. There was a “Basic Training” breakfast (bacon or Polish sausage patty with two eggs, hash browns and sausage gravy), “French Foreign Legion Toast” and a “Heavy Lift” (three-egg omelet, cheese, sautéed vegetables, hash browns and toast). And the restaurant also offered a salad with a “free cookie” and its own special blend of Goldendale Chinook Coffee. Not exactly your typical fast food joint for sure, but what a refreshing change!
When the “special blend” coffee arrived, it was served by a tall waiter with a goatee and macramé dreadlocks, who was the part owner with his father and a retired army vet. The coffee was great, I told him. “I spent 14 years in the army and I swore when I got out that I’d never drink a bad cup of coffee again,” he quickly replied.
As it turned out, it was a typically great American breakfast that took a while to arrive but was worth the wait. As we waited, I read in the Goldendale Sentinel about the shocking resignation of the Klickitat County Fair Queen. She wasn’t talking to the press, but the board president was and he said the board was seeking legal advice. And I watched as restaurant patrons leafed through a stack of paperbacks in the restaurant book exchange and I watched the kids play and do puzzles and I wondered if those millennial kids of mine would ever provide the good wife and I with grandchildren of our own?
But most of all, I wondered about the ambiguous country I was visiting, which on the one-hand seemed to be sinking into anarchy and despair and the other could provide a “clean, well-lighted place” that would make Hemingway proud.
Strange people, Americans, but I wouldn’t count the country out yet.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who loves to travel and go out for breakfast with his wife Sandra.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What's Happening...

Saturday July 30th

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Tenth Avenue South
Adjacent to Rotary Park
9:00am - 1:00pm

Summer Sounds Rotary Park
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Red Girl and East West Connection

Gateway to Nature Hike
Meet at Riverside Campground St Mary's Lake Road
9:00am Flo Brokop

East Kootenay Outdoor Club Hike
Kiakho Mountain
Lorne Sinclair

Friday August 5th

Kid's Art Day Camp
The Gallery
Baker St.

Sunset, Moonset, Planet and Star Hike
with Paul Parronetto
3 hour hike beginning:
Riverside campground

Seven reasons why civil servants should use social media, John Fitzpatrick, The Guardian

Seven reasons why civil servants should use social media

John Fitzpatrick

It will be a while before this becomes the norm, but there’s a lot going on to encourage more public servants to use social media. I recently created a quick survey, which had over 100 responses, to collate views on why civil servants like to use social media. Based on the survey and my own experiences, here are seven reasons why I would encourage public servants to use social media, along with some advice on how to do it.
1. It’s easy to get startedMy social media skills are still limited but the more effort I put in the better the outcomes, and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Digital tools are usually very accessible and designed to be easy to use. This guide by Mashable on how to get started on Twitter is very comprehensive and the Government Digital Service’s guide to free internet tools is also useful.

2. It’s instantI promoted my survey via Twitter, and within a day 800 people had viewed it. Just a few minutes on social media can provide access to hundreds or even thousands of people. There are digital tools that record and analyse results; the days of collating and re-keying paper survey results are thankfully over. And for Twitter, the character restriction makes you think about what you really want to say, which is a time-saver for everyone.

To read more go to the link above.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What's Happening....

July 9 to 29

Cranbrook and District Arts Council
'New', an exhibit of
 new members and long time members new work

Roy Magee in the Gallery, 1013 Baker St.

Cranbrook Arts is excited to host Roy Magee of Canadian Classic Cowboy fame in the Gallery on July 22nd and 23rd.

Roy has become internationally known for his whimsical and imaginative horseshoe creations. 
Born in Sexsmith, Alberta, Roy learned to work with horseshoes, while turning the forge for Fred Holman, in Canal Flats.  He was eight years old at the time and horses were used in the lumber industry.  Fred Holman was the blacksmith.  Roy started at that young age to play with horseshoes and use his creative eye to put together one of a kind sculptures.  His imaginative eye has created over time, hundreds of different figures representing everyday people and their activities.  Roy is especially well known for his cowboy or rodeo figures including wheelchair cowboys, fiddlers, and pack horses but golfers, piano players and more help round out his diverse collection.
Roy’s first big show was at BC Place in 1966, where his work was recognized with awards, launching a career that has seen his work being shipped all over the world.  Roy is well known in some student circles for he has generously volunteered time at both Parkland Junior Secondary School and Mt. Baker Schools, igniting creativity in students and helping to inspire future hobbyists and artists.

We are fortunate to have Roy living in Cranbrook and look forward to having the public come and say hello to this one of a kind craftsman and artist.  Roy Magee will be in the Gallery July 22nd and 23rd 10:00 am to 5:00pm.

Saturday July 23rd

Cranbrook Farmers Market
9:00am to 1:00pm
Tenth Avenue South adjacent to Rotary Park

Rotary Park
Summer Sounds 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Music in the park
Bring your lawn chair , listen, dance and enjoy
performing tonight:
Missing Links and Tick Magnets

Wednesday July 27

Key City Theatre
Book Launch
'Stripped to the Bone'
short stories of Syrian women by Ghada Alatrash
also pianist Ivana Ferraro

Saturday July 30

Riverside campground meet 9:00am
Gateway to Nature

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Input sought for The Little Brick Building

From the City website:
Carl Schmideder volunteering his skills on the building
Cranbrook, BC (July 13, 2016) 
In order to tailor restoration work to meet the intended final use, the City of Cranbrook is seeking input from residents and local organizations for possible uses of the brick garage situated behind City Hall.
Situated at the southeast corner of Cranbrook City Hall the brick garage (the “garage”) is a municipally-owned building constructed in the early 1930s and used, at the time, as part of Cranbrook’ s Electrical & Waterworks department. 
To date the City has invested approximately $42,000 in restoration work on the garage, including asbestos abatement.  Additionally, the Cranbrook Heritage Association contributed roughly $30,000 in materials and labour to the restoration work.  The Cranbrook Heritage Association’s recent efforts focused on restoring the brick shell and roof of the garage.  Additionally, the interior of the garage was framed with dimension lumber to support the trusses and cladding of the new roof and strengthen the overall building structure. 
At this time, the garage’s interior is unfinished and lacks water, sewer, and electrical services as well as any form of heating / air conditioning.  Furthermore, there is no dedicated parking associated with the garage building.
The City is seeking input from residents and local organizations for possible uses of the brick garage.  A location map of the brick building and a full information backgrounder document are available by following the links provided.
You may submit your ideas in writing by email to, please refer to “Repurposing the Brick Garage” in your subject line, or by mail to:
40 – 10th Avenue South,
Cranbrook, BC  V1C 2M8.
ATTENTION: “Repurposing the Brick Garage”
All submissions must be received in City Hall no later than 4:30pm MDT, Friday August 12, 2016.
Please note that submission of your ideas to the City does not constitute any form of contractual agreement or understanding between the City and respondents to this invitation.  By submitting your ideas to the City you are giving the City an unrestricted right to use your ideas at the City’s discretion with no form of compensation from the City.
To help in formulating your ideas for repurposing of the garage, an open house of the garage will be held on Monday July 25, 2016 from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm (MDT).  City staff will be in attendance at that time to answer your questions regarding repurposing of the garage.

Friday, July 15, 2016

What's Happening......

Saturday July 16th

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Tenth Av. S
9:00am - 1;00pm

Is it safe to drive to Oregon? Gerry Warner

Is it safe to drive to Oregon?
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
So the good wife and I are going down to the Oregon coast next week for a little R&R and to refresh my memory of one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world and when I mention this to a friend his immediate response is “be careful down there.”
So has it come to this? A little holiday in the United States of America is cause for a dear friend to express concern for your personal safety??
I guess it has got that way when you have mass shootings almost every month, cops being mowed down five at-a-time and the possibility that the most vulgar man in politics could become president by the end of the year. That can only mean things are sliding into the sewer. 
But you know, it wasn’t always that way. Roll the tape back 60 years or so and the US was the great beacon of power and democracy in the world, standing like a colossus over the rest of us mere mortals. As a young lad, I can remember trips to Spokane with my parents and gaping in wonder at the incredible variety of goods on display at Penny’s and the Bon Marche. The Woolworth’s Five and Dime in Trail didn’t cut it after that.
I first saw TV in 1954 in Los Angeles where we drove to in our old, green, Chevy pickup with a crude camper on the back that my father built out of scrap lumber from Cominco. My sister was still a toddler then so in the days before Pampers my mother kept a diaper bucket in the camper and Lord how that camper stunk. Then,  after reaching a campsite, my mother would wash the diapers and hang them on various parts of our truck as we enjoyed dinner cooked on our trusty Coleman gas stove.
I’m sure we looked like something out of the Beverley Hillbillies!
I can also remember the adults talking politics and one of the biggest political items of discussion was should Canada join the United States as one country. Who would even raise that topic now? But back then it sounded like a pretty good idea to many naive Canadians and we were certainly some of them.
But you have to put yourself back in those halcyon times. Uncle Sam was clearly number one. In most people’s minds, the US had won World War II as long as you ignored what Stalin did to Hitler on the Eastern Front. President Eisenhower was a war hero and rightly so and the fear then was of communism despite what our Russian allies had done to help us win the war. And what was the only country on earth that could stand up to the Bolsheviks? The US, of course. They were the mightiest military force on earth, and of course, they had the bomb. No one was going to mess with them.
The American economy was also by far the biggest on earth. Europe was still in shambles recovering from the war, the Chinese were barely on bicycles and Russians could only dream of owning a car. It seemed nothing could go wrong for that generation of Americans which is often referred to as “the greatest generation.”
But oh how the mighty have fallen!
Today the US is clearly an empire in decline. It’s true they still have the world’s most powerful military, but when was the last time they won a war? The American economy is still the biggest in the world, but China will surpass it in less than a decade and wealth distribution is falling into fewer and fewer American hands with each passing year. In fact, according to a recent New York Times article, the average Canadian middle class family now has a higher income than its American counterpart though the one per cent of super-wealthy Americans are still the wealthiest in the world.
But what’s wealth, even super-wealth, if it’s not safe to walk down the street? But I hear that Oregon is still safe and its coastline is beautiful beyond mere words.
That’s enough for me.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and an eternal traveller.


Around Town and Looking Good

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Scouring for Good LNG News, Bureaucrats Came Up Mostly Empty, The Tyee

Scouring for Good LNG News, Bureaucrats Came Up Mostly Empty

Looking to hype industry near holidays, staffers couldn't find much to be jolly about.
By Bob Mackin, Yesterday, 

Bureaucrats in the BC Liberal government were hoping to wrap-up some good liquefied natural gas news last Christmas. But they apparently couldn't find much to be jolly about.

Documents released under freedom of information, after a request by the NDP, show how staff went looking for something, anything, about the slumping industry on which the BC Liberals have staked the province's future.

Darren Beaupre, the senior public affairs officer in the Natural Gas Development Ministry, encouraged his colleagues to find news release leads on Nov. 30, 2015.

"Are you able to canvas key people within LNG [task force] and see if any ministry projects/developments could warrant a public announcement (news release or otherwise) over next month or so?" Beaupre wrote in an email under the subject "Anything to Announce?" to Kursti Calder, the director of policy and decision support.

In a subsequent message, Beaupre explained in detail what types of information he sought.
"Project development agreements (likely none in December but hearing others we can announce)? LNG Conference 2016-we know we will announce the dates for this sometime in the near future... Power agreements? More/other sole proponent agreements? Anything that signifies completed work by ministry that helps LNG move forward..."
Wrote Calder to her colleagues: "I am not aware of any -- do you have anything."

Monday, July 11, 2016

Open Garden Day, 2016

Heading off to some great Cranbrook area gardens!

Thank you to all those generous gardeners who made their gardens available for viewing, to the Garden Club for organising the 20th Annual Open Garden Day and to all the artisans who brought their wares to the gardens. It was a great day.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Will history repeat itself in the next BC election? Gerry Warner

Will history repeat itself in the next BC election?
Perceptions,’ by Gerry Warner
The mists are beginning to lift and an image is starting to come into focus. What can it be? Oh, oh! It looks tumultuous and kind of ugly with a lot of rhetoric that can’t be trusted. Of course, it can only be one thing and it can’t be avoided. It’s the May 9, 1917 BC election in a province where politics is often called a blood sport.
I can hardly wait.
So once again pert and popular Christy Clark will dip into the electoral well and see what she can come up with. A larger majority? (By no means impossible.) Fewer members, but still government? (A more likely scenario.) But there’s one thing our telegenic Premier is very unlikely to come up with try as she might. And that, of course, is a brand, spanking, new LNG plant for the province.
Didn’t she promise at least a dozen of these giant, job-producing and polluting mega-projects during the last election? I believe the number got as high as 18 at one point and the “boom” they were suppose to create – along with a pipeline or two – was going to pay off the provincial debt and put us all on the gravy train as former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was so fond of saying.
But all Christy could do on that preposterous, political promise was produce a big fat zero and it will be interesting to see how she tries to spin that embarrassing shutout in the next electoral go-around.
But in spite of that fairy tale political promise that was never likely in the first place one would be very foolish to count Christy and her merry gang of Socreds out. For starters, Clark is a hell of a campaigner. Just ask Adrian Dix. Secondly, you’ve got to consider the most important dictum of BC politics that has stood the test of time going as far back as W.A.C. (“Wacky”) Bennett. Considering that Clark’s liberals are really hard-line conservatives (Socreds) in drag there’s an iron law of BC politics that’s never been broken. The NDP can never defeat the BC Socreds, but the Socreds can defeat themselves as they’ve done on a very few occasions.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at BC electoral history.
In 1972, the Socreds under W.A.C. Bennett had been in power for 20 years and were looking to cruise to another easy election victory when they were upset by Dave Barrett’s idealistic band of socialists. What happened? Bennett was getting long in the tooth and had lost his populist touch and his right-hand man and logical successor, “Flying Phil” Gaglardi antagonized a lot of voters with remarks in favour of greed and the role it played in building the BC boom and calling the pulp mill stench that hung over several BC mill towns the “smell of money.” Environmentalism was just beginning to become a major movement in BC and it was obvious the Socreds were out of touch.
However, the Socreds won four consecutive elections after defeating Barrett in 1975 and only lost again in 1991 when the controversial and scandal-plagued Bill Vander Zalm government fell hard in the 1991 election. In 1996, the NDP got lucky, winning a narrow, majority victory under Glen Clark even though their total of the popular vote was less than the Liberals, which the Socreds were now mischievously calling themselves. It also didn’t help when the NDP did, as the left so often does, ate one of their own when they forced former Premier Mike Harcourt from power even though he won a huge victory for them in 1991.
So now it’s John Horgan’s turn to try to win one for the gipper even though he leads a party that has a sheer genius for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as they showed so dramatically in the 2013 election debacle. But fortunately for the NDP, Horgan is personable and can give a good stump speech unlike Dix who was barely coherent in the last campaign.
With no LNG plants in the immediate offing and the Liberals clumsy and expedient handling of the school closure crisis in the province, Horgan may have a fighting chance to reverse NDP fortunes. But don’t bet the farm on it. Unlike Alberta, the right is united in BC while the Greens tend to steal precious votes from the NDP.organ  
United we stand; divided  . . . well you know the rest.organHorgan’s  

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, whose political predictions haven’t been too accurate lately, but he’s not trying to jinx the Socreds, oops, the Liberals.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Chinese Politician's Role on Teck Board Worries Watchdog

Chinese Politician's Role on Teck Board Worries Watchdog

Beijing in the boardroom bad for sovereignty, says IntegrityBC's Dermod Travis.
By Jeremy J. Nuttall, Today,
A British Columbia watchdog says Teck Resources' appointment of a Chinese government official to its board of directors undermines Canada's control of its resources.
Dermod Travis of Integrity BC said the move gives China a voice at the board table of one of Canada's largest mining companies, with revenues of more than $8 billion.
"You have an official with a foreign government who is sitting on the board of a public company in Canada," Travis said. "There are a lot of people in China they could have chosen, and the fact this individual is a member of the government should set off alarm bells."
He said he isn't aware of any other foreign government officials sitting on the boards of Canadian corporations.
Quan Chong was elected as one of 14 directors on the Teck board in April.
A Teck spokesperson said Chong has a wealth of experience in international trade and insight into the business climate in China.

Dead Ash Trees Become Works of Art

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cranbrook City Councillor Norma Blissett seeks the Kootenay East NDP Nomination

Norma Blissett opening the Under 16 Softball Ball BC
Provincial Championships
 in Cranbrook, Canada Day Weekend
Cranbrook City Councillor Norma Blissett seeks the Kootenay East NDP Nomination

Cranbrook City Councillor, Norma Blissett has thrown her hat in to the ring for the Kootenay East NDP nomination.  “ Running for the provincial NDP in 2013 and sitting on Cranbrook City Council  have provided me with the experience necessary to run a successful provincial election campaign in 2017” she said.

 “I knocked on over 2000 doors and spoke with hundreds of people over the course of the 2013 campaign.  Knowledge of the local people and local issues allowed me to successfully run for Cranbrook City Council. Since being elected I have increased my knowledge by attending numerous community events and meeting with a variety of community members.”

Blissett has lived in Cranbrook for over 20 years. She works as a science and math teacher at Mount Baker Secondary School. She was a forester before becoming a teacher and was employed by a group of East Kootenay forest companies to do forestry education in local schools. Blissett holds bachelors degrees in both forestry and education, as well as a masters degree in leadership and administration.
“I have a resource industry background. I am aware of the importance of resource industries-- forestry, mining and agriculture-- to our local economy and I will fight for resource industry jobs at the provincial level.”

 “Being employed as a high school teacher has given me an appreciation of the issues that impact Kootenay families. I am confronted daily with the concerns of youth--affordable postsecondary education, employment opportunities, and the environment. “

“I enjoy being on Cranbrook city council and teaching at Mount Baker, so it has been a difficult decision to run again provincially “ Blissett said. “A number of people within the NDP and the community at large have encouraged me to run. It is time to put the experience that I have gained from working in forestry, education and municipal government to good use.  I am very aware of how much hard work is required to run a provincial election campaign and I am up for the challenge.”

Blissett, a mother of three adult children, says that she has the time and the energy required to devote to provincial politics. “For the NDP to be successful in Kootenay East we need to provide a strong alternative to the BC Liberals. The residents need to know that they will be listened to and that their concerns will be advocated for at the provincial level.  The people of Cranbrook have seen from my work in the community and on city council that I will do my best to speak on their behalf. Now I must demonstrate this to the rest of the constituency.”  

Norma Blissett volunteering at Fort Steele

Out and About with Stewart

at Elizabeth lake

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Youth Citizenship Awards

Acting Mayor, Norma Blissett, presents the Youth Citizenship awards to students from Parkland, Laurie and Mt. Baker Schools during the Canada Day celebrations at Rotary Park on July 1st.
Students receiving awards were:
Mt Baker - Josie Ruoss (absent from picture), Nicole Byford, Matthew Honeyman
Parkland - Ryan Lockhart , Ryan Penney, Kimberley Willicome
Laurie - Kaitlin Grainger, Samantha Simmons, Connor Thompson
click to enlarge

A modest proposal for the future of Cranbrook, Gerry Warner

A modest proposal for the future of Cranbrook
“Perceptions” by Gerry Warner
As the shockwaves subside from the Disunited Kingdom voters’ decision to separate themselves from the European Union (EU) it seems there will be no end to the madness.
No, I’m not talking about Quebec, where separatist flames are barely flickering or Catalonia breaking away from Spain, or for that matter, Scotland ditching not-so-great “Great” Britain for the EU.
I’m talking about a separatist movement much closer to home. No further away then just off the Left Coast in fact where a new political party has sprung up wanting to make Vancouver Island Canada’s eleventh province.
No kidding!
This week saw the launch of “VIP,” the Vancouver Island Party led by a former MP in Joe Clark’s Progressive Conservative government and a Harvard economist at that. Robin Richardson wants to run candidates in all 14 Vancouver Island ridings in the May 2017 provincial election and have an Islanders-only vote on becoming Canada’s 11th province in 2021, the 150th anniversary of BC joining Confederation.
“Our beloved Island’s distinct way of life is under threat from severe climate change, federal and provincial government indifference and economic, environmental and social injustices,” the party’s website says. Its platform includes lower ferry fares and free university tuition. “Our motto is Island first and proud of it,” said Richardson in a CBC interview.
Whew! Maybe the VIP leader also wants to turn water into wine and lead into gold? It’s certainly a very ambitious platform. But after all, we are dealing with BC politics.
Say what you want though, these VIP’ers are serious. They’ve even designed a flag that looks startlingly like the Red Ensign. It features a circular white badge with the trident of Neptune and the wand of Mercury representing the sea and trade, a pine cone representing the forest – though a chainsaw might be more accurately symbolic – and a beaver to represent the fur trade or maybe all the furry critters in our wildlife-rich province.   
Whatever the case, these super-patriotic Vancouver Islanders got me to thinking. If a chunk of terra firma as small as Vancouver Island could become a province, why not the Kootenays? After all, we’re bigger than The Island and much bigger than Prince Edward Island. We’re a long way from our provincial capital in Victoria and often ignored by it. And we’re unique in many ways. We have historic Nelson, one of the mellowest cities in the country with its Victorian architecture, laid-back lifestyle and the shaggiest, ‘60s-era hippies you’ll find north of San Francisco. There’s Trail with the biggest lead/zinc smelter in the world and some of the best Italian cuisine to be found East of Italy, Kimberley with the only power-generating “sun mine” in the province, Fernie with its legendary skiing and fishing. And then, of course, there’s Cranbrook with its lively, if much maligned “Strip” and its unique Sam Steele Festival dedicated to the man that brought peace to the valley between the invading settlers and the indigenous Ktunaxa who were being pushed off their land after more than 10,000 years of successful settlement.
What better example is there of peaceful co-existence and learning to get along? And what better community than Cranbrook to be capital of this new province? We are, after all, the “Key City” of the Kootenays.
Surely if Scotland can separate from England after more than a thousand years, as is being talked about now, why couldn’t the Kootenays separate from BC, an arrangement less than 150 years old? Think about it because there’s only one other logical alternative for separation.
Join Alberta!

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who’s been known to write tongue-in-cheek on occasion.