Recent comments

  • The High Cost of Fire Services: Part One.   18 hours 12 min ago

    OK, John -- soon!   Thanks for the nudge.

  • The High Cost of Fire Services: Part One.   1 day 17 hours ago

    Quote from previous article

    "This is part one; part two will follow after I have met with Moore, McLellan, and Interim CAO Mike Maturo for more information. "

    Anxiously awaiting your part 2 and suggest you also gain comment from the Rossland Fire chief. 

    I understand from your first report that L McLellan feels that part of the high cost is having firefighters dispatched for pretty much all emergencies. I'd like to know what specific questions he wants the 911 dispatcher to ask of a distressed individual calling at an accident scene that would ensure that firefighters are only called when "needed". I beleive that attempting to impose a filtering at the dispatch level has a low chance of success. 

    Please remember that there may be times when ambulance service respond times are much longer than local firefighters.Firefighters are trained in initial first aid measures and this may be the fastest FA response. Is there a way of checking ambulance vs firefighter response times?

    Remember, ambulance svces are provincially funded, firefighter svces are locally funded. If ambulance svce response times have been increasing is this another example of downloading of costs provincially to municipal?

    I have calculated that the cost of fire services is approximately $150/year for every person in Rossland. Seems pretty low for the peace of mind. I imagine my house insurance would jump if we replaced the RDKB svces with our own. 

    I have heard rumours that City council is considering getting out of RDKB fire services and going it alone. If true, my initial gut reaction is that this is a foolhardy approach to cost reduction and would like to see some facts supporting this approach. Perhaps Sara, you could provide some. 

    When will we see part 2?

    John Stephens


  • Alpine Safety Code   1 week 1 day ago

    Yes what a string of events!!!

    Just after facing and accepting the possibility of imminent death, spending a minus 12 night in the woods with wet clothing, I am bowled over on a splendid sunny day by the only other skier on that beginner slope. I was not aware at the moment that this was just the beginning of a string of events.

    Because I had been rescued by helicopter by our excellent search and rescue team, I had to see my family doctor for a routine medical checkup. This included a blood test. Fortunately for me my doctor did put a checkmark for PSA test (prostate specific antigen… the best marker in the blood for potential problems with the prostate)

    This did set up a process where I quickly learned that I had an incurable prostate cancer that had already heavily metastasised to most bones of my body. For those who know a little bit about this topic, my PSA was 560 (anything over 5 might indicate some problems) when I started my treatments and there were 30+ bone metastases. The reports never bothered to count them they just used the term “innumerable”.

    I am doing fine. I am receiving various drugs that currently keep me alive with a good quality of life.

    That ski accident when I was bowled over under ideal conditions made me very fearful about skiing again knowing that I had numerous little pack man eating up my bones.

    Currently I am very thankful that there are some new drugs and treatments that extend my life with very good quality of life.

    I am aware that I will probably have a limited number of November, I registered to the Movember movement where I will grow a mustache in November to raise some funds for men’s health.

    More than the actual positive effects of each of those contributions, my main goal is to increase the awareness (which I definitely did not have) about how serious is the problem of Prostate Cancer. This is the deadliest cancer in men after lung cancer.

    You can donate to my Movember page at :

    I would also like to start a  prostate cancer support group for the Trail/Rossland area. I would invite all local people dealin with prostate cancer to contact me for a coffee. Since my number of years are definitely limited one of my goals would be to put in place some volunteers who could keep this going once I am not there.

    Regards, Paul Picard

  • Man guilty in manslaughter death of Crescent Valley woman out in 19 months   1 week 6 days ago

    And how very little the Conservatives under Herr Harper have done to fix ANY of the problems Canadians face everyday. I thought they said this was an important issue when they came to power almost 10 years ago. What have they been doing? 

    And to think this is one of the areas the Cons are considered strong and efficient.  Must be some sort of joke. The Cons talk a lot but they accomplish nothing, even when in power for a long time. Just totally useless people.

    Please, anybody but Harper and his jolly band of clowns.

  • Man guilty in manslaughter death of Crescent Valley woman out in 19 months   3 weeks 1 day ago
    We can thank The Liberal Party of Canada For such low amounts of 'Time Served' For murder (or any ) convictions in Canada. I find this heartbreaking for victims & loved ones. I also believe that these sentences are Not Deterrents (which is the most important issue).
  • Salaries, pensions and benefits consume 72 per cent of increased spending on public schools in Canada   4 weeks 1 day ago

    This said by a private think-tank funded by American corporations, who would love to have our educational system privatized so they can get their greedy little hands all over it.

  • Gerrymandering: How a Minority of the Votes can Win ALL the Power   4 weeks 6 days ago

    It doesn’t matter how you describe the Green party’s increase in popularity. We need to see a major change in governance. Electoral reform is one of many components in the Green’s vision for this country that I support.

    ABC. The last thing I want see again for this country is a Harper majority government. He seems stuck in the past of British Empire days, basing his policies on a crazy neo-conservative philosophy of small government and trickle-down economics. Rather than making decisions based on independently-verified facts, he seems to go mainly by his personal irrational intuitions. The sooner he is out of government, the sooner we can resume building a Canada for the 21st century. Read about how Harper criticizes our welfare state in a speech Canada through Stephen Harper's Eyes Harper’s Eyes and how he will destroy public values for Canadians. Change Canada.

    The Harper government’s behavioural patterns reveals two possibilities: it’s either a coincidence or the Harper government is seeing the movie 1984 as a user’s manual. Think of Harper when watching this piece of George Orwell’s last interview. Absolutely chilling.

    Perhaps Harper was a big Orwell fan when he was younger

  • Gerrymandering: How a Minority of the Votes can Win ALL the Power   5 weeks 10 hours ago

    What you're saying makes no sense. But even if you were right, you're still wrong. 

    The Green part is losing my respect because 

    a) they should understand that if the NDP or Liberals can win this election, we have a far greater chance of electoral reform nationally, and they should understand that they would get much more votes and more representation in the government if we went to a different voting system. If the conservatives win again, we won't have any change and the Green party will continue to have one or two seats in government that are insignificant and don't have any real impact on legislation that is being passed. For their own good, they should bow out of any close election and tell their faithful to vote for whoever has the best chance in their ridings to beat the Conservative candidate. That way, if there's reform, they can get a lot more votes and members in govmt. I would vote Green if we had proportional representation.

    b) You must be sarcastic when you're talking about the Green party being a movement that's sweeping the country... they're lucky to get two candidates voted in across the country. What kind of sweep is that? If you're running for the Green party that really reflects bad on them, if you really think that conservatives either vote Conservative or Green and that Green votes split the conservative vote... no one would second that opinion.

    c) You're right that Liberals and NDP also split votes - that's why I support campaigns asking those party members also find who has the best chance of beating a Conservative and throwing their support behind the other party. I believe that the Green, Liberal and NDP supporters - if they really care about Canada - would forget about party allegiances and vote ABC - and in our riding the NDP has the best chance of beating the Con..

  • GOLDEN CITY DAYS COMING UP!   5 weeks 11 hours ago

    The 2015 Golden City Grind takes place Sunday, September 13! 10k, 5k and shorter and longer kids' races! Register at 9am, race at 10am at the Centennial trail head. Thanks to our sponsors: the Alpine Grind, Gerick Sports, Sweet Dreams Heritage Inn and Cakery, Mountain Nugget Chocolate Company, Ferraro Foods, and Bear Country Kitchen! Proceeds to skier development at Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club.

    NEW THIS YEAR! New 10k route, and a new kids' run! ALSO, pick up your registration form early from the Alpine Grind or Gerick Sports in Trail and fill it out ahead of time to avoid the rush before the race!

    Contact Shelley Ackerman for info: sackerman(at)

  • Gerrymandering: How a Minority of the Votes can Win ALL the Power   5 weeks 21 hours ago

    A strong Green Party vote will not split the NDP vote.  A strong Green Party vote will split the conservative vote; conservatives will vote Green.  It is a strong Liberal vote that will cause the conservatives to win.  Just look at the voting record when Jim Gouk won, strong Liberal turnout, conservative victory.  Weak Liberal turnout NDP victory.


    Vote Green for change.  It is not a political party but rather a movement sweeping the nation and Globe.

    Stephen Hill

    Catlegar, BC

  • Gerrymandering: How a Minority of the Votes can Win ALL the Power   5 weeks 21 hours ago



    I agree with you; the system must be changed.  That is why i have decided to submit my nomination papers for the Green Party today.

    Stephen Hill


  • Gerrymandering: How a Minority of the Votes can Win ALL the Power   5 weeks 1 day ago


    You're exactly right about needing to change our system of electing our representatives and how our political system is set up, but..... You're just so dead wrong about voting Green. You're exactly right that you'll be splitting the vote and helping to get a conservative voted in to represent our riding. The conservatives are not at all interested in changing the first past the post. The NDP are, the liberals say they probably are too. You need to help us get the conservatives out first, then change the voting system, then you can start to vote green, red, blue, yellow, orange, pink whatever - I don't care at all, but you'll never have a vote that matters if the conservatives keep winning, because they'll never want to change the system.

    One more election is hopefully the last time you'll have to vote to keep someone else from winning rather than for who you want to win. But you have to be smart and help us get to where we want and where we need to go to change our voting system. Now is not the time for what you're thinking of doing... we have a chance here, a real chance.

  • PLEASE -- BEAR WITH US   5 weeks 1 day ago have such a sensible (and sensitive) mayor. This proactive approach to dealing with bears is the smartest  I have seen come out of Rossland council in the four decades I have lived here.  Exactly the right response to this summer's slaughter, initiated or carried out by those who do not realize that it is no longer considered civilized behavior to murder an area's native inhavitants.




  • Gerrymandering: How a Minority of the Votes can Win ALL the Power   5 weeks 2 days ago

    Harper is on record saying that we won't recognize Canada when he is done making changes. I believe him. How can the Harper Government have the mentality to simply ignore the constitutional laws of Canada and pass unconstitutional legislation? Yet rarely can anyone afford challenge their decisions in the Supreme Court, which happens to be the public’s only hope against our elected government’s private agenda.

    Although I have been an NDP supporter for many years, I have decided to switch to the Green Party. They are the only party to mention thorough fiscal reform and even suggest revisiting the role of the Bank of Canada. I was attracted to the Greens in the last federal election and felt that they were on the right track, but felt forced to vote NDP for fear of splitting the vote. It is sad to see increased voting for a party not liked, to defeat a party they hate, while abandoning the party that supports their beliefs. When looking at the plummeting voter turnouts, it’s time to fix an electoral system that produces governments that doesn’t reflect the diversity of our country. No more first-past-the-post. No more false majorities. The recent electoral redistribution of adding 30 seats with the newly drawn electoral districts used the standard population formula. Although, I wouldn’t doubt the gerrymandering formula has some royal blue figures. The power of money, aka political economics, is democracy’s death by a thousand cuts.

    I have to agree with the quote ‘Yes, there are government trolls on social media, blogs, forums and websites’. Snowden Leak: But isn’t he linked to terrorism? Treating a person, their privacy and their home and neighbors with respect is more effective than the controversial Conservative C-51 anti-terrorism law could ever be.

    Gotta go now, I just got weird email and text messages and my land line is ringing…

  • Insights West poll gives NDP big lead in BC   6 weeks 9 hours ago

    The  newsletter in the previous message link contains lots of information to digest at one sitting. As well, reading the newsletter online is a bit messy. Just in case the motivation to get outside is lost with all this smoke in the air. Here is very informative video of a very thorough explanation of the private banking scheme we are forced to live by, with a somewhat frank and candid tone. The main discussion is just over an hour with another hour of questions and answers.

    Our public infrastructure, facilities and our social support requires, maintenance, replacement and/or improvements.  Yet, the compounding interest payments on public debt paid by ordinary citizens (99%) goes directly into the pockets of the wealthy (1%). Thus, financing the public infrastructure for future generations unrealistic.

    And I always hear the quote, it was different back then. Tell that to future generations paying the price when the next bubble, even larger, bursts!

    Before selecting any thumbs on the comment, please listen to the message in the video.

  • LETTER: Residents write to Fortis protesting smart meters   6 weeks 14 hours ago

    Do you even know what you are complaining about? EMFs have been around us since the dawn of time. Man-made EMFs have been around since we invented alternating current. That's right, the very service you are complaining about creates EMFs all the time in the 60Hz range throughout your house.  Don't want EMFs? Get rid of alternating current in your household. In which case you also won't have to get angry at Fortis for installing their new meters. 

    If you are specifically worried about EMF's in the MHz to GHz range, than you must be oblivious to the fact the computer you wrote your complaint with is constantly emitting EMFs in this range.   There's irony for you!

    I think Fortis should charge even more to people not wanting remote readings from the smart meters and invest that into a special fund for better science education in our school system.

  • Insights West poll gives NDP big lead in BC   6 weeks 1 day ago

    We probably can't blame the political corruption in Ottawa on a single political party. Although, the claimed ‘transparent’ one in office is very scary. The door is slowly opening and exposing the craziness in Ottawa virtually run by the private bank system and corporations.  You rarely hear of a career politician anymore. Most walk out after they meet or buy their wealthy friends with public money. They quickly begin working for billionaires or are sitting on a corporate board of directors. It’s good to know there are professionals like Rocco Galati looking out the vast majority of ordinary Canadians. Read up on the COMER Litigation against the Bank of Canada, Monetary Reform, What is C-51 for? and The Five Most Outrageous Things About the Conservative Budget. The May-Jun 2015 newsletter is very informative. A publicly funded extended election campaign isn’t necessary for me to mark my ballot.

  • Cyclist/hikers using trails in active wildfires endangering themselves and firefighters   6 weeks 1 day ago

    What a bunch of dimwits.

  • Parts of RDKB Area C and Grand Forks on evacuation alert   6 weeks 2 days ago

    Go to the RDKB for a detailed list of affected addressed

  • Billions and Billions: The Economic Costs of Invasive Species   6 weeks 2 days ago

    I'm curious.  Why do you think Japanese knotweed is  no problem -- in the face of all the damage it has already done  to roads, foundations, and real estate values?

  • Insights West poll gives NDP big lead in BC   6 weeks 2 days ago

    I place little faith in the results of polls, especially this far ahead of election day.  Besides -- the general trend in preference for a party and  the total  number of votes it receives seem to have little bearing on who forms the government, as we all saw in the last election:  only about  39% of those who voted, voted Conservative, yet we have a Conservative government with 100% of the power.   Gerrymandering means that riding boundaries have been adjusted to increase the likelihood of that happening again.

    This promises to be one of the most interesting elections in recent Canadian history.

  • Billions and Billions: The Economic Costs of Invasive Species   6 weeks 2 days ago

    Nature fills a vacuum at so many levels.|||Knotweed is KNOT a problem.


  • LeadNow targets local ridings in Kootenay-Columbia and South Okanagan West Kootenay   6 weeks 2 days ago

    |The  record of the harper conservative is horrible for Canada and the world. It starts at the top and we see criminal activity that harper is responsible for. |Harper has bad judgement and is addicted to power and terrorism and wants to control every part of our lives for the benefit of the elite 1% and the detrimant of everybody else


  • LETTER: City in Conflict of Interest   6 weeks 4 days ago

    It has been a month since Jack's letter about me was posted. And in that month no one, not Jack - not even I have commented on it. (Should Jack and/or I take that as some sort of hint that i'm not such a beg deal?)

    Well Jack I did work on a reply - twice. But they were too long. And while the Mayor is a public figure and I put myself out there ... Jack is not a public figure. And one of my favourite topics is getting council and the community to pay more attention to each other - if I were to repsond in a serious way to an attack it would work against that yen to see more of the public participating. So I'm going to keep this short Jack.

    First off I want to Thank You Jack Koochin.

    That’s correct I’m saying thanks … covering small town politics by myself is not an easy task and sometimes my drive falters and I wonder if it’s all worth it. And just when I’m thinking of chucking the whole thing and going off to do something else you come to my rescue.

    You’re paying attention. You read my stuff … gee, Jack, I’m almost speechless.

    It’s nice to know I’m having an impact on the thinking of the people of this town. It may not be the impact you desire Jack but until you spoke up I wasn’t sure anyone from your side of this whole thing was even paying any attention.

    But I feel I should point out that some of the things you mention in your letter you have got wrong. I wouldn’t want you to be spouting untruths and malicious gossip – that kind of behavior could get someone in trouble Jack.

    No, Julia Butler did not succeed in getting anything 'taken down' off of the intenet.

    No the city does NOT conduct official city business on That they do on the pages of the Gand Forrks Gazette where they spend many thousands of our tax dollars every year.

    My treatment of the Mayor is not to your liking Jack? Well that's just too bad because we live in a democracy and elected officials can expect scrutiny and criticism.

    You liken me to Jerry Springer ... did you know that he was the Mayor of Cinicinatti before he was the big TV success?

    Keep paying attention Jack, sooner or later you will get your facts straight.

    And one more time: Thanks for watching, listening and paying attention Jack.


  • LETTER: City should check existing water metres   7 weeks 2 days ago
    Before writing the above letter, I read all the Grand Forks BC water meter related publicly available engineering reports. None of the engineering companies suggested that installing water meters could trigger as much water conservation as what Nipperk has claimed. In fact, depending on the engineering company, they made different guesses of how much water may be conserved. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In researching global data, I found that installing water meters doesn't necessarily mean that people will use less water. And, in situations where there appeared to be a decrease in water use, the municipalities had actually done more than just install water meters. They had also taught residents water saving techniques, or had installed water saving devices at the same time as water meters. In these cases, then, it's unclear what actually led to the initial appearance of a reduction in water use. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To complicate matters more, the estimates/guesses of how much water residents use has sometimes been too high because of including non-residential water use in with the residential amount. Specifically, in Grand Forks it looks like some of industry's water was calculated as residential. The engineers wrote that not necessarily all of industry's water connections were metered, and also they suggested large industry water meters be tested for accuracy (as mentioned above in the letter). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I wrote the above letter because I wished to share with the public the information that was shared with City Council at the July 20th Committee of the Whole (COTW) meeting. (Pages 6-11 at At the time of writing this letter, I had not yet heard of plans for a by-election. This letter was published on August 8th. It was on August 10th that the media informed the public about the by-election. I value research because I wish to get my facts straight. And, I have especially taken care to be accurate before sharing material publicly. I appreciate it when others do the same, because it helps us all be better educated.