Sentinel's 2010 year in review

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
December 30th, 2010

Looking back on 2010 presents an interesting take on the changes and challenges faced by our communities over the year. In addition to pressing political and economic shifts, the Boundary saw its share of human interest stories this year as well. The headlines that you, the readers, saw as most important are the ones included in this look back at the events that shape our communities.   Boundary Region   While whatever happens in one community impacts all our communities, some truly involve region-wide efforts. Our year opened with the Olympic torch passing through the entire region that celebrated all day. This year the region also saw parents across the school district stand up and support the small Beaverdell Elementary school to stay open. The Boundary Economic Development Committee under the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was challenged as an institution, but is working on staying together for 2011. Under the guidance of the BEDC and the Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society food security has become a front-seat issue. In 2010 progress has been made on an agriculture development plan, a mobile abattoir, two community gardens – Midway and Grand Forks, and senior and future growers are actively learning from each other. Of note as another growing success story is the ongoing development of a regional chamber of commerce under Community Futures Boundary.  Human Interest  Not all our region’s happenings were positive as several occurrences made national headlines this year. In early 2010, two local residents were challenged in the Human Rights Tribunal for discriminating at their bed and breakfast. A visitor to Christina Lake drowned after falling into the Kettle River above Cascade Falls. Grand Forks resident Kimberly Noyes stood trial for the murder of 12-year-old John Fulton and was sentenced to a criminal psychiatric unit in Vancouver area. 24-year-old Australian Owen Rooney went missing from Boundary Hospital where he had checked in after receiving a beating at Christina Lake. His parents and sisters continue to search for him in Alberta.  Christina Lake  A meeting of the Area Planning Advisory committee early in the spring saw the proposal for a waste-to-energy plant thwarted. The Christina Living Arts Centre celebrated its official grand opening becoming the first art gallery of its kind in Canada while they hosted their first homecoming event. Bears were discovered at a home in the Fife area along with a marijuana grow operation. Receiving international coverage, the bears, which have been fed by the residents, were protected partly from the efforts of a Facebook group.  Grand Forks  While animals were a theme here too in the form of deer management challenges, the year opened with the city getting national exposure in the show Cannabiz that aired on CBC. The city went on to face infrastructure upgrading requirements that are anticipated to cost over $36 million, and to work with local businesses to resolve the abandonment of the local rail line. Local mill operator International Forest Products also announced plans to upgrade their sawmill and a decision to build a co-generation plant on their site if approved.  Greenwood  Greenwood nearly saw gold when their water was judged at the international Berkeley Springs Water competition but came home with the bronze. The community was deemed in jeopardy should a dam break near Providence Lake, but they’re not sure it really is a problem. In the fall a local resident announced his plans to mine the slag pile and, along with extracting minerals, use the residue to manufacture solar panels.  Midway

Midway started the year focused on economic development after approving a plan put forward to council. They were named a Solar Community joining Grand Forks in moving towards greener power sources. After an unsuccessful auction of the Midway sawmill by Fox Lumber Inc., and a tax sale, the Village of Midway worked with other local governments, and local businessmen to reopen the mill. Boundary Sawmill Inc. has been opened, and shares are being offered to the local community. After three years in tax deficits, the Village is looking forward to future years with their mill up and running. 

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