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Humanity at its finest

Posted on August 17th, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
I love stories that feature the very best of humanity. The tales of those who persevere, who don’t let circumstances get them down, who rise above and do something to make life better.
That’s why the story of Kingston Wood (page 8) is not one to be missed this week. Kingston is a local kid facing a challenging life with Spina Bifida. For some people born with differences, they let that difference define them. Kingston is not one of those people.
Case in point: Kingston wanted a bike. But …

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Responsibility

Posted on August 10th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
One of the busiest weekends of the year has come and gone, thankfully without a major incident.
The vast majority of locals and visitors respected the fire ban and off-road vehicle ban as crews of firefighters worked long hours to protect property and contain local wildfires.
Of course there are always the exceptions; those who prioritize their own selfish needs above the greater good. They come in all shapes and sizes and from near and far. They are the ones to whom the rules or common sense don’t …

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Close encounter with wildfire

Posted on August 3rd, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
On the afternoon of Sunday, July 30th my wife and I headed to Kimberley and Cranbrook for dinner and a bit of shopping. At 4:15 p.m. we passed a grass fire on the west side of Highway 93/95, about 15 minutes south of our home in Canal Flats. At that time the fire was about the size of a 25m swimming pool. While no equipment was on site, there was a firefighter with a walkie-talkie in hand. Thinking everything was under control we continued south.
Before leaving Cranbrook …

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Volunteers praised for their spirit and service

Posted on July 28th, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
A stroll through the streets of Invermere last Saturday proved one mighty thing: this is a great place to live, in large part because of the people who make it great.
Sure, we have stunning views every which way, lakefront access in multiple locations, trails to hike or bike, four-season activities on water, the slopes and in town.
But what makes Invermere, and the Columbia Valley, such a wonderful place to live is the men and women who step up to volunteer.
Valley Appreciation Days was held last Saturday …

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Burn the fake news

Posted on July 21st, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
Misinformation ruled the week.
This week’s Pioneer reported on two separate news items that stemmed from fake news. The first was an allegedly deliberate attempt by two locals to instill fear and panic in residents. It is unclear why they would choose to spread lies about a fire spreading from Canal Flats to Fairmont. The fake report and the page on which it was posted were removed quickly, but not before people saw the post and panicked.
The Canal Flats fire department fielded dozens of phone calls from concerned …

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No horsing around

Posted on July 14th, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
The restricted speed zone on the Columbia River just makes sense. Passed less than a year ago, this is the first summer for the new, 20-horsepower limit zone on the main stem of the river. So far, it looks like people are, for the most part, obeying the limits.
Most people agree with the restriction. According to Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski at the time of the passing last October, written comments received by Transport Canada during the public consultation period were “overwhelmingly in favour” of the …

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Traffic means business

Posted on July 7th, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
Traffic. Our quiet little Valley turns into a congested mess of RVs, cars, trucks, and SUVs regularly over long summer weekends.
The lineup into Invermere July 1st seems to be the heaviest traffic of the year, so this last weekend was not a surprise to locals. But it was a frustration to many. Some people took more than 40 minutes to make it from the Crossroads intersection to downtown. Even leaving Invermere took 25 minutes Saturday morning.
Thankfully, it is not a regular occurence. But when it does happen, …

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Canada 150

Posted on June 30th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
Seventeen years ago, my wife and I drove to Cranbrook so that my wife could take her Oath of Citizenship. She stood alongside people with diverse heritages and experiences. The presiding judge noted that of all his responsibilities, this was his favourite. It was one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever witnessed.
I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively and have proudly worn the maple leaf on my journeys. It is a special feeling when strangers offer a friendly greeting simply because you are Canadian.
My …

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Graduation

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
Some view it as the end of a 13-year odyssey, others as a first step with many to come. All students should view this accomplishment, graduating from high school, with pride and honour regardless of what they have planned for the future.
Our graduates this year have once again received a world class education, with B.C. students having the best learning outcomes of any educational system in the English speaking world.
To the Class of 2017: Graduation is also a time that family members choose to impart wisdom and …

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Trap…and relocate

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
“When the school is on the reserve, the child lives with its parents, who are savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits and training mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. It has been strongly impressed upon myself, as head of the Department, that Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way to do that would be to put them in central training industrial schools …

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Bear un-aware

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by


By Nikki Fredrikson
Pioneer Staff
The journalist part of me was intrigued when I found out that there was a bear roaming around CastleRock, but the animal lover in me knew immediately there could be no positive end to this story. When I read a Facebook post discussing the bear and its confidence to walk on back decks I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that this bear was destined to be destroyed.
While investigating the events that caused three black bears to be destroyed by local …

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Not quite over yet

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
The most recent provincial election in British Columbia is one for the history books. On Tuesday May 9th, the governing Liberals earned victory in 43 ridings across our province, with NDP candidates getting the nod from voters in 41 ridings and the Green Party earning three seats.
On most election nights the winning party is clear but not here. In B.C., it takes 44 seats to govern. Adding to the uncertainty was that three ridings had vote spreads of less than 200 between the winning and second place …

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CP Rail holds hostage

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
The town of Golden is looking to bypass CP Rail (CPR) in order to access the Kicking Horse River.
This decision comes after more than a year of negotiations with the rail company to allow rafters to access the famed Lower Canyon. CPR is not budging on its demand to have liability covered. Golden took a proactive approach to the impasse, hiring a company to investigate access both through the CPR territory as well as from other points.
CPR is almost as old as Canada itself. Founded in …

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Canada 150

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
We’re only six short weeks away from the beginning of the summer school break and, of course, the upcoming Canada 150 festivities. Communities in the Valley are beginning to finalize plans and, with the help of grants from a $200 million fund created by the federal government to provide additional funding for events across our great nation, it will be a weekend to remember.
Here at The Pioneer, we have something special in store for you, our dedicated readers. Beginning today in our May 19th edition and running …

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Rivalry and support

Posted on May 12th, 2017 by


By Nikki Fredrikson
Pioneer Staff
It seems with every election comes a rivalry between parties, candidates, and occasionally supporters, however, I was surprised to see that ‘rivalry’ so to speak, dissolve as the polls rolled in.
I spent election night at NDP candidate Gerry Taft’s office, covering the election from his side of things and I was surprised by the amount of support the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding candidates had for each other.
While the battle waged on between the Liberals and the NDP to win the swing riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke the …

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Speak Up

Posted on May 5th, 2017 by


By Lorene Keitch
Pioneer Staff
In a community of such passion and pride, it was hard to believe the lack of attendance at last week’s school board public hearing (see page 3 for the related story).
Was it a lack of interest? Doubtful. The proposed changes would see a big shift in Invermere, with kindergarten to Grade 7 students split between two schools close to each other. The public hearing last October saw 40 residents speak out. The ongoing discussion on social media provides evidence of interest.
Was it a lack of information? …

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Science

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
“Listen up Apple! You too, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, IBM, Tesla and all you other technology based multinationals. We demand that you change. In the future we, the citizens of the world, insist that you begin basing policy and innovation decisions on unproven opinion rather than good science”.
If this were the case you would see investment money sprinting for the door, looking for opportunities that were far more fundamentally sound. If the markets won’t tolerate opinion-based decision-making in the private sector then why do we settle for it …

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Religious rights

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette,
Pioneer Staff
While in Cranbrook on Tuesday I found myself walking through a gaggle of media types as I entered the courthouse.
I was told that the media, from local to national to wire services, were in town to cover the precedent-setting trial of Winston Blackmore and James Oler. Both Blackmore and Oler are members of a polygamist community in the Kootenay region and both are alleged to have multiple wives, which is a violation of current Canadian law.
Beyond the theatrics of the current court proceedings, the court …

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Public hearings

Posted on April 14th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
We have already had a number of controversial public hearings this year and there are certainly more to come. Criticism has been aimed at elected officials in advance of these public hearings, anger that is misplaced and misdirected. This week I will use this space to explain the how’s and why’s of public hearings.
Public hearings are commonly scheduled when a new bylaw or amendment to a bylaw is being considered, or when a rezoning application has been put before a council.
The first step in the process of …

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Foolishness revealed

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Publisher
Another April Fools has come and gone and we at The Pioneer hope that you enjoyed this year’s silliness.
To set the record straight, we start with one of the stories in the RCMP report in which an 18-wheeler ended up on top of Mount Swansea, complete with (photoshopped) picture.
Canal Flats announced that it would be installing traffic lights and that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Our Page Six editorial dealt with the upcoming Sasquatch Centennial, a play on Canada’s 150th birthday, also known as the sesquicentennial. No …

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