Revelstoke Year in Review 2012, part 2
Revelstoke Grizzlies owners apply to move team to 100 Mile House
A May 6 meeting of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League board of governors will determine if Revelstoke will have Junior B hockey next season.
On Sunday, April 1, the current ownership team of the Revelstoke Grizzlies sent notification to the KIJHL’s 20 governors notifying them of their intent to sell the team to a group from 100 Mile House.
The 100 Mile House Wranglers have their own website, logo and have announced a spring camp taking place April 13–15. Rumours that the two parties have been in discussion have been persistent over the past months.
KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen confirmed the news of the notification to move in an April 2 interview. “This is the first time that the governors have heard about this,” Ohlhausen said. “They will have to decide.”
Regional district criticized over airport fence
A local resident is seriously questioning the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s decision to block access to the Columbia River flats near the Revelstoke Airport.
“The way they went ... about this makes you wonder if further actions to cut off access will happen just out of the blue,” said Jim Maitre, who lives near the Airport. “They don’t talk to anyone about it, there’s no signs to indicate potential hazards for people running around the runway. They just arbitrarily closed access and there’s no reason to think they won’t close other access.”
Maitre was reacting to a decision by the CSRD to place a fence that would block access to the trail used to access the area.
The CSRD, which operates the airport, said the action was being taken because of concerns that people and their pets accessing the runaway could conflict with aircraft taking off or landing at the airport.
Residents express concern as smart meters arrive
It’s finally happened – Smart Meters are coming to Revelstoke, with numerous people receiving letters indicating the controversial machines will be installed at their homes.
The meters, which are supposed to modernize BC Hydro’s transmission grid, have been met with opposition due for a variety of reasons ranging from health to cost to privacy concerns.
“To me it’s mostly a health issue with the radiation from the meters,” said Frank Lemay, who paid to have a flyer warning about the risk of smart meters placed in this week’s Times Review. “Then the cost, of course. The cost to install, the cost for people to have them – people are paying a lot more money for hydro.”
BC Hydro says the smart meters will make the system more efficient, provide more accurate readings and reduce waste. It says the amount of radiation emitted over a 20-year-period is equivalent to one 30 minute cell phone call, though those numbers are disputed by the Coalition to Stop “Smart Meters”.
Council hears competing visions for Revelstoke bike route
Revelstoke city council was presented with a competing vision for a proposed new bike lane system at its April 24 meeting.
The city’s proposed main bike lane route through the city would follow roughly the same route and no parking would be eliminated.
However, a recommendation from the City of Revelstoke’s Enhancement Committee proposes a plan that would see the elimination of on-street parking on one side of the street for extensive stretches on the route through the city.
Grizzlies staying in Revelstoke under current owners
The Revelstoke Grizzlies will not be moving to 100 Mile House and the current team ownership, under the direction of Lew Hendrickson, will continue to run the franchise.
“All I can tell you is I attended the league meetings in Castlegar and they asked me if I was going to operate the team and I said yes,” Hendrickson told the Times Review Monday morning.
Resource conservation hit hardest as government cuts 14 local Parks jobs
The resource conservation department for Revelstoke & Glacier National Parks will be the hardest hit by a recent round of layoffs that will see 14 staff have their jobs eliminated or hours reduced.
Out of the 14 affected jobs, six have been surplussed – government speak for eliminated – and eight others will see their hours reduced by varying degrees. Out of the six layoffs, five people left voluntarily.
As a result, hours and days of operations in the Parks will be reduced, with facilities such as campsites, the Giant Cedars Boardwalk and the Rogers Pass Centre set to open for shorter periods of the year.
The cuts are across most parts of the parks’ operations; highway operations, the avalanche program and visitor safety will remain as they are but resource conservation is the hardest hit, with four out of eight positions eliminated, long-time Parks employee Alan Polster told me.
City engineering director Brian Mallett passes suddenly
Friends and family, many from Alberta, joined community members from Revelstoke for a standing-room only funeral service on Friday in memory of Brian Mallett, who died suddenly on Sunday, May 6.
Relatives spoke of a man who loved the outdoors, family and was dedicated to the betterment of the community in his professional and private life.
Mallett, the City of Revelstoke’s Director of Engineering and Public Works, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. He was just 50 years old.
Budget 2012: Revelstoke council votes for 2.5% residential increase
Revelstoke city council achieved a rare consensus on a final budget vote, unanimously approving the 2012 budget at their May 8 meeting.
In recent years, holdouts such as Coun. Tony Scarcella railed against a plump budget, while another councillor said he’d hold his nose and vote for it.
This year, ‘Hard to swallow’ was mayor David Raven’s metaphor for the 2012 budget: “Often you have to chew on things long enough that we can all swallow it at the end of the day,” Raven commented of the process leading to the May 8 final version.
The budget is a revision of a draft presented about a month ago. That version targeted an across-the-board two-per cent increase for residential, commercial and industrial property taxes.
‘Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild’ proposes local maternity pen
A coalition of Revelstoke stakeholders interested in establishing a caribou maternity pen project are scheduled to present their case to Revelstoke city council on May 22.
The Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild (RCRW) group wants to build a maternity pen and place 10 female caribou from the Columbia North herd inside as they gestate, give birth and raise their calves through the critical first six weeks of their lives.
The idea is to protect the vulnerable calves from predators such as wolves, bears and wolverines.
Logging planned along two trails in Begbie Creek area
Revelstokians have an opportunity to comment on logging planned for the Begbie Creek area that will impact two mountain biking trails.
Stella-Jones, the forestry company that holds the timber license for the area, is planning on logging two cut blocks near Begbie Creek. One will impact the Quarry Trail and the other the Hemlock Groove trail.
However, the company does not plan on logging until the winter and will help re-build the trails afterwards, as set out in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Stella-Jones and the Revelstoke Cycling Association, said Ashley Ladyman, the woodlands manager for Stella Jones. “We would be living up to everything and more that we signed on to. I look at that thing and that was bare minimum,” he said.
CP Rail workers serve strike notice for May 23
The union representing CP Rail engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers issued a 72-hour strike notice Saturday, CP announced in a press release.
The notice means the workers can go on strike starting just after midnight on Wednesday, May 23.
The workers, which are represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, voted by a 95 per cent margin in favour of a strike in April.
The current collective agreement expired at the start of 2012 and negotations have been ongoing since October.
MP David Wilks anti-budget comments cause national stir
Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks said he will vote against the Conservative government’s omnibus budget bill, but only if 12 other government MPs vote with him.
“I will stand up and say the Harper government should get rid of Bill C-38,” he told a gathering of about 30 constituents at the Best Western Hotel in Revelstoke last Tuesday, May 22.
He hedged his remarks, saying he was powerless as a lone MP to change anything and would need 12 other MPs to vote with him to defeat the bill.
“If Canadians want it changed, then enough Canadians have to stand (up) to their MPs and say ‘no.’ ,” he said.
A day later he “clarified” his remarks. “I support this bill, and the jobs and growth measures that it will bring for Canadians in Kootenay-Columbia and right across the country,” he said in a statement posted to his website.
His remarks, which were first reported by the Times Review, made national headlines, going from a little known backbencher (Peter Mansbridge, host of CBC’s The National said he had never heard of Wilks) to one of the big newsmakers of the week in Canada.
Rescuers make last-minute save after boaters capsize in frigid Columbia
Revelstoke residents Colin Titsworth and Brett Renaud are being credited with saving two lives on June 15 after rescuing two capsized canoeists who were slipping into shock and hypothermia while clinging to a floating log in the middle of the Columbia River.
Airport Way closure expected to last another week
Airport Way will remain closed near Williamson’s Lake as crews work to repair a section of road that broke away after a culvert failed sometime last week.
“If we’re open by a week from today, we will be fortunate. It could be longer,” said Darren Komonoski in an interview on Monday morning.
The road was closed Thursday evening after a large sinkhole was noticed in the road at the bend just north of the Williamson Lake turnoff.
City public works’ crews started excavating on Friday and continued to dig over the weekend. By Sunday night, there was fill piled three-metres high along long stretches of Airport Way on both sides of the sinkhole. Two excavators were parked on site.