Letters to the Editor: June 25

Unprovoked Dog Attack; Greyhound Route F; Root Cause Analysis

Unprovoked Dog Attack

To the lady whose dog attacked our golden retriever in the Community Forest on the morning of Tuesday, June 23, 2015,

We understand dogs can be unpredictable but for your dog to run at our dog from a distance and viciously attack him for no reason should raise serious concern for you.  Fortunately for you and your dog, this unprovoked attack didn’t result in major injury to our dog.   Next time you might not be so lucky.

This was very upsetting for my parents who were walking our well-disciplined dog. If you cannot control your dog 100 per cent of the time then walking off leash is not an option for you.  We expect the next time we run into each other, your dog will be on leash.

The Aikins Family, Cranbrook

Greyhound Route F

I was deeply concerned to learn that Greyhound Canada has filed an application to eliminate the Greyhound bus route F through the Columbia Valley. It would seem that such decisions are made without any concern for those of us who live in rural areas with large distances between communities.

I suppose that the rationale is that most people drive, but not everyone does, particularly the elderly, the handicapped and those who cannot afford to own vehicles.

One of the drawbacks of living in regions such as these is isolation. This proposal would contribute to that isolation.

A second point is that of transporting goods between the communities by Greyhound, which is relatively cheap and convenient.

A final point — and I consider this by far the most important one — is that some people who have to travel to Calgary may have no other means of transportation, and cannot afford to fly. Such a decision could create immense distress to those who need it the least.

I sincerely hope that the application by Greyhound Canada to the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board will be rescinded.

Pat Townshend, Cranbrook

Root Cause Analysis

I am a Kootenay Ice season ticket holder since their arrival here and that will not change.

Regardless of ownership, any business must be run on profit-based principles, reinvestment and improvement — the Ice cannot be an exception. In my opinion, the team has had great success on the ice and challenges to the point of failure on the marketing and customer service side. The scouting, coaches, ownership and management have done an incredible job of putting successful teams on the ice, year after year, and need to be commended for those successes.  We appreciate the players’ hard work ethic and dedication and enjoy watching their growth and improvement.

When I look at the attendance records across the WHL, OHL and QMJHL there are quite a few problem teams and market areas; low and/or fluctuating attendance.  I find it interesting to compare teams; their ownership and population base.  Take the Moncton Wildcats, who have an approximate 4,400 per game; draw from a within city population of 64,000 and including the surrounding metropolis, 139,000.   The Ice draw from a Cranbrook base population of 19,000 or within close rural of 26, 000 and inclusive of driving within 150 km in any direction a base of 75,000 people.The Ice’s attendance has dropped from a high of 3,635 in 2000/01 season to now around 2,230 per game. It is time the CHL President, WHL Commissioner and Kootenay Ice ownership step up and takes responsibility for a root cause analysis on why there has been a 1,400 person drop in game attendance; it’s not just simply because of economic downturns or fan apathy.  Putting a good product on the ice is not good enough; more focus, energy and leadership is required on the marketing/customer service side.

The team is the Kootenay Ice, not the Cranbrook Ice; we collectively need the support of all towns, cities and rural areas within the Kootenays and this will not be done at the expense of other junior hockey clubs in the area. The Kootenay Ice have had the benefit of many fine volunteers, but it is not up to those volunteers and committees to take the lead in putting the Ice on track for profitability and to support the CHL organizational structure. I suggest that the WHL Commissioner and Ice ownership have more focus on being visible in the community, get to know the businesses better and more importantly the customers at the rink; it’s not up to the customer to know you, it’s the other way around!

Other recent letters to the editor suggested town hall meetings; this is a good idea; expect some heat but if facilitated well could prove productive. I note that Prince George has seen a marked improvement in their attendance with whatever changes have been made. I also wonder why over the course of 17 years that we could not have more local talent on our team.

I find the timing and comments of the Commissioner during the playoff run, recent article in the Cranbrook Townsman suspect. I challenge Mr. Branch, Mr. Robison and Kootenay Ice ownership to conduct a root cause analysis, show more leadership and put an action plan in place to work cooperatively with municipal governments, local businesses, volunteer committees and the customer, the citizens and fans to turn this franchise around at the gate.

Lastly, beyond the expectation of a profitable hockey club, the real benefactors are the future players, who under the mentorship and guidance become contributors to society and only two to five per cent, at best, of them will earn their living in pro hockey.

Lloyd A Havens, Cranbrook

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