Year in Review: RSS debate creates contentious start to 2013

The Trail Times begins its annual review of the memorable moments of 2013

  • Dec. 25, 2013 1:00 p.m.

The Trail Times begins its annual review of the memorable moments of 2013

JANUARY

1 – Highly intoxicated youth on New Year’s Eve may bring a downfall to the free rides offered to all residents by B.C. Transit on that night. Meribeth Burton, spokesperson for B.C. Transit, said approximately 200 drunk and rowdy youth surrounded the 1 a.m. free ride in Rossland which prompted a call for RCMP escorts and a review of the service in general.

4 – The residential real estate market in Greater Trail was a patchwork of performance in the last year, with West Trail one of the hardest hit neighbourhoods, according to latest figures released by BC Assessment. Variations in assessed value throughout the city’s neighbourhoods saw a 5.2 per cent drop in West Trail, far ahead of East Trail (down 1.37 per cent) and Tadanac (down 1.45 per cent). However, Sunningdale was up .74 per cent while assessed value in Glenmerry rose .56 per cent.

7- The relationship between the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks may have hit its final obstacle. An impromptu Nitehawk blockade of the Smokies bus as it tried to leave the Cominco Arena Saturday morning has both sides seething. Nitehawks coach and general manager Terry Jones met with Smokies coach Bill Birks at the Cominco Arena early Saturday morning regarding the release of forward Ryan Edwards.  The KIJHL suspended Jones for three games for his actions.

14 – The Golden City is shining like a diamond in the eyes of the media. Fresh off winning Powder magazine’s North America-wide Ski Town Throwdown, Rossland is garnering more attention nationally and in one of the largest newspapers in the U.S. The New York Times travel section listed Rossland number-eight overall in its feature of “46 places to go in 2013.”

15 – Trail city council is taking a flyer on landing sole ownership of the regional airport south of the city. Council passed a motion in their regular council meeting to begin ascent into the cloudy process of acquiring it.

 

 

 

 

A crowd of approximately 500 people packed the Rossland Secondary School gym to share opinions and suggestions on School District 20’s facilities review.

16 – It was a public forum leading up to the possible closure of either Rossland Secondary School (RSS) or MacLean Elementary School by School District 20, a cost cutting measure as the board of trustees for SD20 grappled with a $1.75 million funding shortfall over the next three years. For the over 500 other Rosslanders who turned up in the RSS gymnasium for the three-and-a-half hour forum hosted by the board, they gave their impassioned views on why the financial savings weren’t worth the human cost of losing a school or grades.

25 – The 116th Rossland Winter Carnival received a warm reception from both Mother Nature, and a record number of local and visiting spectators. The annual event began during the wee hours of Friday morning when a large crowd gathered to have its smile broadcasted to the rest of Canada. Jeff Hutcheson, co-host of Canada AM, shot live footage from the corner of Queen and Columbia in downtown Rossland from 3 a.m. until 6 a.m.

27 – A boot device for immobilizing vehicles—for the accumulation of unpaid parking tickets—is expected to be shoehorned onto downtown streets as the City of Trail struggles to collect on over $150,000 worth of unpaid fines in the last four years. City council is preparing to adopt a Traffic Bylaw amendment that would allow the implementation of the device as a deterrent to up the compliance rate of people paying their parking tickets.

28 – Two new downtown locations for Trail’s library have been identified. The two currently available options include the former Fields and the former Liquidation World stores, according to the recently released Trail and District Public Library Relocation Study — Phase I.

*****

FEBRUARY

6 – Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Rossland is off the table. The first bylaw reading in favour of K-12 was voted down 6-3 by the School District 20 (SD20), board of trustees. It was a disappointing ending for Aerin Guy, coordinator for Neighbourhoods of Learning (NOL). “The bottom line is that there is not going to be high school grades in Rossland.”

12 – In front of approximately 200 people at the Rossland Secondary School gym, the School District 20 trustees voted unanimously, 9-0, to pass Option 2 – the kindergarten to Grade 9 option at RSS – to a third reading. It also means MacLean School will be closed and Rossland students in grades 10 to 12 will be headed to Trail’s J.L. Crowe Secondary next year.

19 – The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) Health Foundation has reached its goal of raising funds to replace its 11-year-old film mammography machine with a digital mammography with stereotactic capabilities. Since May 2011, the health foundation has received widespread support for its campaign, and had hoped to reach its $950,000 goal by May of this year. However, the campaign reached its goal two months earlier.

20 – A lack of qualified personnel in the Kootenays is the reason 5N Plus, a high tech company in Trail, is closing its local operations for good. The company, which purchased Firebird Technologies in 2009, issued pink slips to its 75 staff members.

25 – The board of trustees for School District 20 (Kootenay Columbia) adopted a bylaw to close MacLean Elementary School next year, and Rossland Secondary School will begin hosting kindergarten to Grade 9 in September.

25 – Care Pest and Wildlife Control Ltd. Of Burnaby, has been hired by the city to carry out the pigeon control program for $25,000. The funding was included as a high priority in the 2013 capital budget, he said.

*****

MARCH

March 5 – The walls of the Eagles Hall in downtown Trail came crumbling down in early March.

11 – The pigeon plan is on hold. Wayne Proulx, engineering technician and administrator for the proposed contract to Care Pest and Wildlife Control (CPWC) to rid the downtown area of the bird, said a press release by the city garnered significant media attention and CPWC was inundated with calls over the destination of the birds. Proulx said that CPWC was advised by the BCSPCA that due to the long distance from Trail to the Lower Mainland that it was in their best interest not to proceed with the pigeon control program with the City of Trail.

16 – After more than three decades in Trail, Zellers closes its doors at the Waneta Plaza. The Zellers chain was bought by Target from the Hudson Bay Company but the Trail outlet was not on the list for the switch to Target leaving a large vacant space in the Waneta mall.

22 – The Rossland-Trail Country Club opened for the 2013 season.

26 – The man who died in an avalanche near Revelstoke Sunday has been identified as a 38-year-old former Rossland resident. Jason Westbury, who lived in Revelstoke at the time of his death, was testing the backcountry snow conditions in the bowl of Sifton Col in Glacier National Park on Sunday afternoon when the avalanche was triggered. Two other skiers were waiting near the top of the ridge when the 2.5 category avalanche came down and buried him. Westbury was born in 1974 in Trail and attended school in Rossland, graduating from Rossland Secondary School in 1992.

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