Letters to the Editor: February 26

Kootenay Ice reportage; Cranbrook Beautiful; Coverage; Homelessness

Kootenay Ice

My name is James LeClair and I have been a hard core fan of the Kootenay Ice hockey team for the last 18 years since the team arrived here in 1998. The Kootenay Ice being here in Cranbrook means a lot to me, not only as a fan but knowing it is an integral part of our community.

This team has in many ways given Cranbrook an identity. I have attended every Memorial Cup since 2000 and everywhere I go I am proud to tell people I am from Cranbrook and am equally proud to say I’m a huge supporter of the Kootenay Ice. I will always remember this team has a rich winning tradition as part of the W.H.L. and I will always be proud of our team WIN or Lose!

I would like to take this opportunity to compliment your paper on a very informative article on the current state of affairs on how things stand with our hockey team the Kootenay Ice. Your article shed light on a lot of outstanding questions that are on all the minds of hockey fans in respect to the future for this team here in Cranbrook and the Kootenays.

It is a relief to me that the Kootenay Ice will continue to be in Cranbrook through the 2016-2017 season. I also find it reassuring that the City and Mayor Pratt and commissioner of the league Mr. Robison have worked together at some point to find constructive answers and ways to keep the team here. Not only for next year but for many years to come. I hope the league and the city can continue to work together now and in the future to ensure that this team can stay here.

Obviously poor attendance is a problem but many people including myself believe that a change in ownership may go a long way to overcoming this problem.

My hope is that there are financial interests in this community that will come forward and see that an investment in this team is also a strong investment in our community itself. I applaud the City and Mayor Pratt’s efforts in this matter as well.

If the right and appropriate changes in ownership and management can be found I believe this would be huge and would go a long way to turning things around and to rejuvenate fan support for our team.

James LeClair, Cranbrook

Cranbrook Beautiful

In response on your recent article  “Cranbrook beautiful,” on Feb. 11 by Dave Humphrey (It Happened This Week In Cranbrook:

This excerpt was originally from the year 1908, and it’s unfortunate that after all these years we continue to face this same issue.  I would like to congratulate the City on calling on every citizen to make Cranbrook a beautiful place to live in and to visit .

To quote one sentence of the article “We should do all in our power to get rid of unsightly spots and to substitute that which is pleasing to the eye.”

Why then is a Rental company allowed to keep rubbish, brush and tree stumps in full view of a senior residents at Joseph Creek Village. Are they not worthy to join “Cranbrook beautiful?” Do they not deserve to live the last years of their lives in a pleasing to the eye surrounding?

I would like to ask the city council to take a look and ask themselves, if they would like their parents to end up looking at that mess. People from other locations in Canada and Europe visit seniors at Joseph Creek Village. They have commented and wrote letters about this not so beautiful site.

The City of Cranbrook has an Unsightly Premises Bylaw — why is it not enforced in this case? Are seniors not important enough for this to be rectified?

Please take this into consideration and let’s make Cranbrook into a beautiful place for ALL people.

From February 1908:

“Cranbrook beautiful … A Cranbrook beautiful should be the aim of every citizen. Not only for our personal satisfaction but for the purpose of making the city attractive to our fellow citizens and the stranger within our gates. We should do all in our power to get rid of unsightly spots and to substitute that which is pleasing to the eye. Much can be done a trifling expense by the planting of a few flowers and flowering shrubs about our homes. If every householder, without exception, was to devote a little time to cultivating a small flowerbed what a difference it would make. The Herald would like to suggest that at the time of the fall fair a prize he given for the best kept garden. This is done every year in Nelson and the competition is very keen indeed. Let us have a Cranbrook Beautiful.

The city council does good work … Everything is moving smoothly and the people are pleased. The health committee reported that they had visited the Chinese quarter and the alleys in the center of the city. Some of the Chinese houses were found to be overcrowded and dirty, chicken houses, being, in some instances, adjoining the dwelling. Instructions were given in each case to clean up, The committee found several alleys and yards in a dirty condition and instructed the owners or tenants to clean them up. The committee intends to ask for further powers which will be dealt with in a bylaw to be submitted at the next regular meeting.”

Christa Knight, Cranbrook

Coverage

I commend the Townsman for publishing the news in a transparent and uncensored manner.

Apparently Shelley Balfour condones censorship and non-transparency in news reporting, especially in connection with teachers. Indiscretions should get reported, regardless of profession.

Jim Muraro, Cranbrook

Homelessness

Re: Urban drug ghettos don’t work (B.C. Views, Feb. 3).

Full credit goes to Tom Fletcher for being the first to scratch the surface of our failed “homelessness” model and his observation that money alone will not solve this crisis.

Throughout the world and throughout history, social ills have always been the result of shortages. Shortages of food, water and shelter were the result of a lack of resources. In our society, social ills are a result of excesses. Too much money, too many calories, too much salt, too much alcohol, for example, are the result of oversupply.

Since losing my job in the oil and gas business in Calgary in 2008 I have been a regular user of our “homelessness” services and it is obvious to me that “homelessness” is a result of substance abuse, not poverty. The province has a legal obligation to provide access to housing services but we have an entire arsenal of housing resources on the federal, provincial and municipal level that are being abused.

Once again, congratulations to Fletcher and this paper for the courage to address the reality of this problem.

Eric Hoch, Campbell River

Homelessness

Re: Housing car defends drug ghettos (B.C. Views, Feb. 17).

Good for Tom Fletcher for saying it like it is and what most people seem to be scared or uncomfortable to express.

Having been an advocate for the truly disadvantaged for more than 50 years I am discouraged by the lack of long-range thinking of our governments in this regard.

As a teen I volunteered in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and have worked in Victoria in community support for many years. I have friends who work in the field here and in Vancouver. So I guess I have first-hand experience and while I obviously care I am also a realist.

While of course there are sad valid situations, it’s becoming a runaway horse. The overall excuses and sense of entitlement and the perpetuating of this mindset by our elected leaders has produced no results except more and more of it.

How about putting this effort and funding into long-term prevention? Like using the former Victoria Boys and Girls Club after-school activity space since a large middle school happens to be across the street. I’m sure this will be of some use to keep kids safe, occupied and out of the hands of drug recruiters while parents work.

Instead of paying homeless people a $20 per person to consult on housing, perhaps the total spent could have provided breakfast in schools where some kids come hungry.

Erika Hallschmid, Victoria