Letters to the Editor

Cranbrook History

The Cranbrook History Centre Directors appreciate the support they have been given by Editor Barry, the Cranbrook Townsman Staff and Black Press. Through the Townsman pages we have been able to advertise and report on some of the many activities being carried out in the History Centre.

Using the Townsman we have also been able to inform and engage the public in articles detailing events in Cranbrook’s history each week and gain additional input on various items in our archive collection.

Over the past few weeks we have had exceptional responses from the public in naming all the players in the 1950s hockey photos and have gained much information to add to knowledge of the sketch we printed on the Cranbrook Rover Cabin.

It is not uncommon for us to receive emails and phone calls before the History Centre opens up. These have led to some great communications with locals and with them sharing additional photos, logbooks and even offers to show us the remains of the Rover Cabin where it once stood close to what is now Cranbrook’s Phillip’s Reservoir. Your publication allowed us to be contacted by the son of the artist who drew the original sketch and for us to understand why, and when, the cabin was built. All this additional information and these articles will greatly add to the historical value of these items in our archive collection.

Thank you very much, Barry, for the support you have given us and for helping us in keeping the public engaged with the many exciting happenings in the busy Cranbrook History Centre.

Tammy Morgan

Interim Executive Director,

Cranbrook History Centre

Air quality, or lack thereof

Poor quality public information about air quality in the East Kootenay region leaves me wondering if I should be concerned for the health of my family.

We watched earlier this summer as Kamloops hit 22 on the ten point Air Quality Health Index and media widely reported high risk readings of 7 in Vancouver.

While there has been intermittent smoke throughout the summer, we have been receiving the same Special Air Quality Advisories issued by Environment Canada for at least two months now. But it’s clear from the recent pea soup haze that its getting worse.

How bad has air quality become? We don’t know because there is no air quality reporting on the East Kootenay. The closest Environment Canada monitoring station is in Castlegar – with 250 kilometres and two major mountain ranges separating the 60,000 residents of the East Kootenay from that data point.

It leaves me wondering if we should be keeping our newborn and three-year-old inside. The only benchmark I have for changing conditions is that for the first time I can no longer see the ski hill four kilometres from my house.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. It feels like we are getting second class service.

Kevin Wilson

Kimberley

Grizzly Hunt Ban

I have two thoughts on BC’s grizzly bear hunt legislation.

First, allowing a hunt for meat-only is, I guess, either an allowance for indigenous hunters to feed their families in “traditional” practises or, more likely, it is a loophole to allow the hunt to continue with “photo ops” replacing severed heads, hides and paws.

Our local First Nations treat their grizzly bears as sacred and don’t eat them. Harvesting the meat, as hunters are supposed to do, makes grizzly bear meat the world’s most expensive non-delicacy. There are certainly cheaper ways to feed families.

My second thought on the issue is that, like the Great Bear Rain Forest, legislation is needed to plan to designate more areas of the province as protected grizzly bear viewing areas and to allow much less hunting, until the practise of issuing grizzly bear tags in BC completely stops. Regions of the province with significant bear populations shouldn’t be “managed” for the benefit of big game hunters and their local guides, but instead managed to create healthy ecosystems with thriving bear populations for all people to enjoy.

From 1922 to 1975, in just over 50 years, 31 of 37 grizzly bear populations were extirpated in the US (US Fish and Wildlife Service). In contrast to this tragedy, the large, easily viewed and protected grizzly population in Waterton/Glacier National Park is here for us to enjoy.

We should be most concerned that Canadian, American and European trophy hunters have little else in mind, when they pay their guides $15,000, than killing a bear for their personal satisfaction. I am disappointed that the proposed new provincial grizzly hunting legislation suffers from a wacky meat harvesting rule and lacks a strong vision of conservation for the province’s grizzly bears.

Grant Smith

Kimberley

Cancer Society Office

Last week I wrote a letter regarding the sudden closure of the Canadian Cancer Society’s office in Cranbrook. I copied the CCS and was immediately contacted by two representatives from the CCS which I appreciated. I explained my outrage about the closure and the way the staff and clients were treated and they listened to my concerns. I thought I had made progress. However, I have just read the article in the paper and their comment that “literally the wig banks are the only thing that people are needing to access physically” demonstrates to me that they still don’t understand the impact of the personal touch.

In March of 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I hadn’t told my family as I needed to process this news before I could utter the words out loud. As I walked past the CCS office, there was a sign which I had walked by many times before “Facing Cancer?”. This time I could answer “yes” to that question. I walked into the office rather shell-shocked and was greeted by a warm and loving staff who took the time to answer all my questions and made sure I was okay. They provided me with a wealth of information, brochures and contacts. I then felt that I had the information and understanding to go home and tell my family the news. Another benefit to this encounter – I gained three life-long friends!

The human connection is so important when facing a life-threatening illness. Cranbrook deserves the service that other interior and coastal communities enjoy!

Shelley Balfour

Cranbrook