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Currently browsing Letters to the Editor

The Toby — goodbye old friend

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
I recall it clearly, the way you recall all moments of abject terror.
It was dark. My entire body was tense with fear. And then something grabbed me. I screamed and jumped, and everyone around me started laughing.
Norman Gagatek, two seats down, had grabbed my shoulder from behind during a tense scene in some scary movie. Alien, I think, and I reacted just as he had hoped.
I cannot recall who else from our group was there, but I do recall that moment, and I will never forget …

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Questioning the public value of Jumbo

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
I spent this past Saturday (October 4th) at the Jumbo Wild Rally at kilometre 0.0 on the Jumbo Creek Forest Service Road. I was a participant in the rally, but I was also an observer, and three things in particular were of real concern to me, as a resident, elected official, and taxpayer of Invermere.  
I noted that four of our local RCMP force were also attending the rally — this means 40 per cent of our region’s police detachment were, literally, detached from the valley and were instead …

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Jumbo is a pie-in-the-sky resort

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
What a magnificent day last Saturday (September 27th) was for a trip up to Jumbo! There were an awful lot of people up there and all seemed to be enjoying the beautiful surroundings and marvelling at the fall colours! 
I was there to have a look first-hand (yet again) at what was going on at Jumbo Glacier Resort (JGR) and, as I travelled by one avalanche slope after another, I marvelled, yet again, at the enormous amount of water pouring out of the mountains, ready to wreak havoc during the next …

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Mobility devices by A.C.E

Posted on October 10th, 2014 by


As you may know, Access in the Community for Everybody (ACE) is a non-profit organization that has been working to remove barriers in the Upper Columbia Valley. We believe improving accessibility goes a long way to creating a healthier, more inclusive, age and family-friendly community.
We are writing to inform the community that through ACE, the District of Invermere, and other community members, there are now two unique mobility devices available to the public at no charge — a floating, rubber-tired beach chair which is designed for easy access over …

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Historial Lens woman identified

Posted on October 10th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
Editors note: Verna Woodall recognized the woman in last week’s Historical Lens ‘A woman of her times, 1930s’ photo as her great grandmother, Mrs. Beulah S. Palmer and submitted the following about her:
Mrs. Palmer was a resident of Wilmer for thirty-five years. She was born in Leeds County, Ontario, on March 24th 1856, and was a member of a family of thirteen. She came to British Columbia in 1900 and spent two years in West Kootenay before changing her residence to Wilmer. Mrs. Palmer was predeceased by her …

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Murky water poses an issue for drinking

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by


At the all candidates forum prior to the last municipal election I raised a concern about our water quality. The candidates expressed vague ideas about how to address the problem but none of them had any definite answers. Mayor Taft asked to meet with me to discuss the situation after the election.
Mayor Taft looked for information on my concern and said he would follow up. The district then initiated a sampling project for which, three sites, one including our residence were selected. Three samplings were done, the results came …

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Thanks for help in difficult times

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
You hear it time and time again that this community we live in is amazing when somebody is in need. We all know it but I don’t think that we really understand until you see it firsthand.
Over the past year my husband has been battling a reoccurrence of colon cancer. This time it showed up in his liver, and once again he was fighting for his life. He had to travel to Cranbrook, Vancouver, and Kelowna for appointments. Todd underwent more chemo, and a major surgery in …

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Surrendering control of our country

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
On Friday, September 12th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed the highly controversial Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). This strategy of sneaking in unpopular legislation on a Friday afternoon has become a habit with this prime minister. I was one of hundreds of thousands of Canadians who voiced my objection to this deal.
Following are some of the reasons why I was, and still am, very much against FIPA: The FIPA deal was brokered with no public input, provincial consultation or even parliamentary debate, making it undemocratic. …

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Step in to stop Site C

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
For the third time in 30 years, 10,000 hectares of B.C.’s most productive farm land is slated to be submerged in favour of a hydroelectric dam that would produce power no one really needs.
In a month from now, a decision will be made on BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam on the Peace River. The 1,100-megawatt, $7.9-billion project would generate enough energy to power 450,000 homes, while flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of the Peace, plus 24 kilometres of tributary waterways.
Warm Pacific air flows into the Peace River valley, …

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Dismal behaviour by motor boater

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
On Sunday, August 31st,  my family and I were paddling at the south end of the lake and up into the river channel when a motor boater came charging from the lake into the river channel at full speed. He then came within a few feet of my son in his kayak before racing past us.
Not surprisingly, within minutes, he was stuck in the mud — the river is only eight to 10 inches deep at this point. He proceeded to spend the next 90 minutes trying to …

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Toby Theatre owners say goodbye

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by


Editor’s note: The Pioneer will not be running a news story on the closing of the Toby Theatre at this time. After serving the valley for almost 43 years, the owners have requested time to mourn the loss of their beloved Toby. The following statement is their message to the community. 
After operating for more than half a century, Toby Theatre closed its doors for the final time on Saturday,  September 6th, 2014. For more than 62 years, it provided 35mm movie entertainment to Invermere and the surrounding communities, which makes …

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Smarten up when it comes to sexual health

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
At the risk of sounding amoral, I would like to address some of the issues brought up in the Faith column written by Pastor Rev. Fraser Coltman in the September 5th issue of The Pioneer.
Mr. Coltman tackled the difficult and controversial subject of sex and sexual education in his submission. While I don’t purport to be an expert, I do have some small experience in the field; I volunteered at our local chapter of OPT (Options for Sexual Health) as a reproductive health counsellor several years ago. 
My goal in …

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District’s distasteful water a disgrace

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
I have to give the maintenance workers, council and town of Invermere a superior grade when it comes to the beautification of the downtown core, new cenotaph area and the eye-pleasing clean appearance of the town in general.
I know my visitors often make complimentary remarks regarding the flower gardens, hanging baskets and entrance from the highway.
That all ends when they taste our drinking water. Good thing the plants like the water because it’s not fit for human consumption.
It’s a disgrace when viewed in context with such beautiful, …

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A FISHERMAN’S FRIEND — Hope Brewer stands by a canoe in Taynton Bay (now known as Kinsmen Beach) circa 1950.
Photo Submitted

A valley old-timer remembers a ‘true Pioneer’

Posted on September 5th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
I enjoy reading your paper, especially the photos and information about the old timers. I hope you will find space to print the enclosed photo and profile of one such early day resident, a good friend and fishing companion, Samuel Hope Brewer.
Hope was born at Perry Creek which is south of Kimberley, on May 30th, 1886. He was the first white child to be born in the East Kootenay. At that time, his father Samuel, a placer miner from Wisconsin, was working a gold claim on the creek. From …

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A reminder about road, sidewalk use

Posted on September 5th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
Cars and trucks are licensed as vehicles, for road use, and should never drive or park in bicycle lanes or in spaces for vehicles with a wheelchair symbol; the owner must not be in the vehicle whilst a driver is shopping.
Bicycles are not licensed, but are also recognized legally as vehicles and for road use — except tricycles for small children. They should never be ridden on sidewalks; only on road or cycle lanes.
Helmets should be worn by children and adults at all times, and children should be …

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Interior Health defends permitting process

Posted on August 29th, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
I wanted to clarify Interior Health’s temporary food event permitting process in light of recent coverage in The Pioneer.
Interior Health recognizes that temporary food events like fundraising barbecues are an important and valuable part of our communities. Our role is to assist people to minimize the risk of illnesses associated with food so that the food served at these events is safe. Our approach and the guidelines we use have not changed from last year. In fact, we have issued more than twice the number of permits this summer …

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Historical Lens photo revives cherished memories

Posted on August 29th, 2014 by


Editor’s note: The following letter is the second response to the Historical Lens photo in the August 1st issue titled “A day at the beach, 1955.”
Dear Editor:
The photo you had in the August 1st edition of those beautiful (and young-looking) girls brings back many wonderful memories that have been cherished and will be cherished forever.  However, Margie is MacGougan, not McGowan, and Arlene is Arleen Gibbons (unfortunately I cannot remember her married name). Arleen was from Toronto and always stayed at the Talbot’s cabin. Margie was married to Hans Gmoser of heli-skiing fame …

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Jumbo culture clash

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by


Dear Editor:
In the beginning, according to Kootenay archaeologist Wayne Choquette, the Ktunaxa (Kootenay) peoples arrived as the great glaciers melted. Being gatherers/hunters, they were following the herds into new ice-free lands. Their pre-history territory was far larger in all directions than now. However, after suffering the ravages of the foreigners’ airborne communicable diseases that preceded “contact”, like all indigenous populations, their population was greatly reduced. Ktunaxa survivors all moved close to the Purcell Mountains — at that time, a safe place. They welcomed their distant cousins, the remnant Peigan (Blackfoot), and …

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In this image, dated August, 1955, Mary Daniel, Arlene Gibbons, Margie MacGowan, Sharon Daniel and Helen Stirling prepare for a relaxing day at the beach in front of the Daniel cabin on Windermere beach. If you have any more information, e-mail us at info@columbiavalleypioneer.com .    Photo (A1439) courtesy of the Windermere District Historical Society

Windermere Beach remembered

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by


Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to the Historical Lens photo in the August 1st issue titled “A day at the beach, 1955.”
Dear Editor:
This photo brought back many happy memories of my childhood spent at what is now Terravista — then called “Windermere Beach” by my parents, Walter and Eleanor Stoddart, who owned and rented fourteen rustic cabins near the iconic sandhill. The Daniel cabin was located just north of our home on property my dad had subdivided and where he sold lots for as little as $150. 
Despite the …

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Government knew tailing pond was inadequate

Posted on August 15th, 2014 by


Dear Editor
Thank you for your timely and appropriate August, 8th editorial regarding the recent Mount Polly Mine tailing pond crisis.
The two big questions in the minds of the people of that area are probably, “what is the provincial government going to do to ensure that accidents such as this never happen again?” and “will the government ensure that Imperial Metals, the mine’s owner, bears the full expense of the cleanup?”
The answer to these two questions is very little. Imperial Metals is controlled by Alberta oil magnate Murray Edwards. Six companies …

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