Letters to the Editor

Disappointed with tree thieves, Road maintenance, Idaho and Kootenays; Jumbo

Tree thieves

We direct our disappointment to whoever trespassed on private property to cut down one our our nursery grown blue spruce trees at Jim Smith Lake. It takes 10 years to produce a tree of this size, not to mention the cost to put it in the ground.

It is unbelievable to us why you would come onto private propety, assuming after dark, and have the audacity to cut down the tree along with the stake rope — clearly you knew what you were up to.

There are thousands of trees in the wilderness to cut, why would you choose one on private property.

We hope you are honest with your family when you explain where you got this tree. We hope you enjoy your Christmas.

Terry and Debbie Thompson/Cranbrook

Road Maintenance

People have heard me complain about the conditions of the highways, and the usual response has been “Oh, I think they’re doing a pretty good job.” Well, I say you have to get out of the Kootenays for a mind-opening experience.

Every four to six weeks I head down to Hayden, Idaho, to spend a few days with my aging parents. Let me share a typical winter trip to and from Hayden with you.

On Tuesday I headed out, driving an all-wheel-drive car with new snow tires, and proceeded according to the conditions. The road was snow packed, rutting and heavily sanded. On the one hour drive to the border, I took at least four to five rock hits from passing vehicles and saw one SUV upside down in the ditch. Thankfully, everyone was okay.

I’m not surprised when I leave the border into Idaho, now driving on clear pavement. I can actually drive the speed limit safely for the next two hours. It’s like winter conditions stop at the border. But I also know that the northern “Panhandle” of Idaho gets the same snow we do.

After a two-day visit I’m heading home. The road to the border is almost dry in most places. I have a feeling of dread now as I near the border, not because of the woman at Customs and Immigration, but for what I’m going to drive on for the next hour.

Thank God it has warmed up. I experience a lot of slush and standing water, but the car still gets pinged by four to five good sized nuggets. When I get close to Moyie the accident signs are up and a totalled four-by-four pickup is being pulled out of the ditch.

How does Idaho — one of the poorest states in the Union — do it? A state-run Highways department funded directed through taxpayer dollars, as opposed to a contracted corporation, run by shareholders, who are making enough to buy a local sand company are always looking at the profit line is my long answer. Do you want the roads maintained for safety or do you want it done “on the cheap?”

Besides the extra expense to us — new windshields every year, paint chips repaired every year — our lives are in the balance. Our government continues to remind us to drive speeds appropriate to the conditions, but frankly, most times the road conditions could be better.

Bill Lindell/Cranbrook

Jumbo Municipality

I’ve been searching long and hard for a reason why Jumbo Glacier Resort should receive approval from the Ministry of Environment therefor allowing them to continue construction on one of the most controversial land use decisions in this provinces history. And that reason is simply that it wouldn’t be very professional of the BC Liberals to not grant approval to a project being undertaken by a financial supporter of the party.

It makes complete sense that the voting public that oppose the project would be ignored. Also makes sense that taxpayers will fund the democratic processes at the Jumbo Municipality as well as bridges and access to the resort (even though we had assurances from the proponent that not a dime of taxpayer money would funds infrastructure, roads and access).

The only thing that wouldn’t make sense is failing to accommodate Christy Clark and Bill Bennett’s crony campaign supporters; that would make a mockery of our Oligarchy.

Steve Tersmette/Kimberley