Letters to the Editor: February 14

A sense of community; When to shovel snow off the roof; Carbon taxes;l etc

A sense of community

This past week has brought the City of Cranbrook and surrounding areas to its knees with the amount of snowfall over such a short period of time. The Cranbrook RCMP has been busy responding to complaints and motor vehicles incidents all over the Key City. What we have seen overall, though, is a sense of community.

In driving around the city this past week we have noticed the citizens of Cranbrook helping others. People have jumped out of their vehicles at intersections to push vehicles out of the way in order to keep traffic moving. Strangers have attempted to pull vehicles out of ditches and shoveled walkways. Roof tops have been cleared by people just wanting to help.

And through all of the snow, very few collisions were reported within the city of Cranbrook. Drivers paid more attention and took their time getting places. Pedestrians helped at intersections in letting cars know when it was safe to cross roadways. People stayed off the roads when they didn’t urgently need to be somewhere.

Were there incidents of frustration and road rage? Absolutely. Did we get calls from neighbours who were concerned about snow being placed on their newly plowed walkway? Yes. Were some people angered when the two way street they normally travel has been reduced to one lane? Yes again. But through it all, what the Cranbrook RCMP noted were the small acts of kindness that got everyone through.

Cranbrook RCMP would like to acknowledge and thank the citizens of Cranbrook for persevering through this rough week. We are still asking all drivers on the roadway to continue to drive with care in these winter conditions and to consider pedestrians when approaching intersections. Here’s to an early spring (but slow thaw!)

Cst Katie Forgeron/Cranbrook RCMP

Should I shovel snow off my roof?

For those of you that are wondering when you should shovel the snow off your roof here is a quick rule of thumb to help you if you are concerned.

Basic calculation (for a quick analysis only): This calculation is based on a 25 per cent moisture density which may be conservative for our current snow fall. As a rule of thumb, saturated snow weighs approximately 20 pounds per cubic foot. The moisture content of snow can range from approximately one per cent to 33 per cent, which relates to snow potentially weighing from one pound per cubic foot to over 21 pounds per cubic foot.

Calculation: S x 1.25 = P where:

• S equals Inches of snow on the roof (depth);

• 1.25 equals weight of one square foot of snow for each inch of depth;

• P equals pounds per square foot (lbs/sq ft).

Example: If the snow on my roof is 20 inches deep, what would that equate to?

20-inch roof snow depth times 1.25 lbs/sq ft equals 25 lbs per sq ft of roof snow load. In this example the roof would be okay.

NOTE: Any ice build-up on the roof would need to be added to this formula. Add 5.2 lbs for each inch of ice depth.

You can always check your roof snow load by cutting a one-foot by one-foot square the full depth of the snow from your roof and weighed in a plastic bag to determine if your snow load is getting close to the design roof snow load of 40 pounds per square foot. This would need to include any roof ice build-up also.


1. Structures constructed in Coeur d’Alene with building permits are designed for 40 lbs/sq ft. minimum roof snow load. Older roofs may be of concern and may not meet this minimum roof snow load.

2. Until recently, manufactured homes were designed for a roof snow load of 30 lbs/sq ft.

Look at the certification label (a metal label affixed to the manufactured home) to verify your design roof snow load.

3. Flat roofs are more of a concern (Less than 3/12 pitch). Flatter roof pitches tend to hold more snow moisture.

4. If we receive excessive rainfall, the weight of the roof snow can increase rapidly.

5. If your structure is in question, it is best to consult an Idaho licensed engineer.

Please be aware of the potential dangers of shoveling or raking snow from a roof. Besides the potential damage to the roofing materials and structure, there are such factors as a person sliding off the roof, falling off a ladder, overexerting themselves, or injury from snow sliding on top of them.

In summary, the City of Coeur d’Alene does not make recommendations on when to remove snow from roofs. It is up to the individual property owner to consider the benefits and dangers of snow removal and decide their own course of actions. Remember that, as a rule of thumb, saturated snow weighs about 20 pounds per cubic foot and then consider the depth and relative moisture content of your snow and the capacity of your roof structure in making your decision to remove snow or not.

Wilf Bakan/Cranbrook

Voters’ Guide to Carbon Taxes

Re: “Voter’s guide to carbon taxes”

Tom Fletcher’s latest rant (“Voter’s guide to carbon taxes”) starts with some reasonable (not alternative) facts. He even admits that we need a higher carbon tax rate if we really want to encourage a shift towards lower carbon lifestyles: “That’s a rate (24 cents per litre) that would actually force more people onto bikes and buses.”

But then Mr. Fletcher shows his true colours, railing against the term “carbon pollution” because carbon is the basis of all life. All pollution is too much of some substance in the wrong place. Too much carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, much of it from human sources, is deeply harmful pollution and the cause of climate change. That’s not “propaganda”, that’s scientific fact.

Despite Mr. Fletcher’s claims, the Paris climate agreement does not allow China and India to “continue ramping up emissions until 2030.” China, by its own admission, needs to reduce carbon emissions by 60-65% per unit of GDP by 2030. China’s heavily populated Pearl River delta area is hugely threatened by climate change and the associated sea level rise, and this, among many other reasons, is why China is investing heavily in renewable energies. China views the transition to renewable energy, quite correctly, as a “new engine for economic growth.” The US (and Canada) ignore this economic opportunity at their peril.

So, according to Fletcher “…none of this Canadian posturing matters a damn bit.” Why is taking meaningful (albeit perhaps too limited) action through carbon pricing “posturing”? Change takes leadership. As one of the richest countries, and one of the most renewable resource rich countries, in the world, the only ethical action path we can take is to be leaders. Whining that someone else isn’t doing the right thing gets us nowhere and certainly doesn’t absolve us of our own inaction.

Tom Fletcher continues to ally himself with the ever-thinning ranks of climate change deniers. It is time for the editor of this newspaper to stop publishing Tom Fletcher’s columns – if not all of them, then at least the ones that try to stop us from meeting this incredibly serious threat.

Bill Green/Kimberley

Focus should be on Canada

Re: Steen Jorgensen’s letter:

I think a lot of people have missed the important point of Steen’s letter in that he is saying we as Canadians are too focused on the president of another country and are not looking as critically at our situation here in Canada.

While we are spending an inordinate amount of time backing the president of the U.S., we are neglecting that our own Justin Pollyanna Trudeau in Ottawa is tripping merrily through the flowers of the international community with selfies at every sign of a camera and distributing Canadian taxpayers’ dollars like rose petals to any country that asks for a so-called humanitarian donation. He is driving Canada into an impossible financial debt situation that, when you look at our population and GDP growth potential, our descendants are going to be in debt for generations.

Justin Pollyanna Trudeau may have some appeal on a glamorous basis to people in countries that believe that Canada is all well and fine but important issues like the Canadian economy are being ignored.

The U.S. Has elected a president that has some questionable perspectives and administrative goals but these are matters the American people to sort out in their own way and their own time.

Canada should remain focuses on our own country and our own problems that originate from our own capital and our own politicians.

Jim Fennell/Cranbrook