Trail Times Year in Review: November

Photo: UnsplashPhoto: Unsplash
Glenn Hodge (left) pinned the first poppy on RCMP Const. Kevin Johnson at the Trail Cenotaph. Hodge, chair of the Legion’s poppy committee, confirmed to the Trail Times that there will be an in-person service on Remembrance Day this year.Glenn Hodge (left) pinned the first poppy on RCMP Const. Kevin Johnson at the Trail Cenotaph. Hodge, chair of the Legion’s poppy committee, confirmed to the Trail Times that there will be an in-person service on Remembrance Day this year.
Trail mom-adventurer shares her experiences hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with members of Trail Association for Community Living.Trail mom-adventurer shares her experiences hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with members of Trail Association for Community Living.
Richie Mann was warming up his fiddle readying for the Métis flag raising at city hall Wednesday morning, while Myrt Servatius, Kootenay South Métis Society president, was humming alongside beside him. Busloads of Kootenay Columbia students were arriving at Trail city hall to join the event just as the paper was going to press.Richie Mann was warming up his fiddle readying for the Métis flag raising at city hall Wednesday morning, while Myrt Servatius, Kootenay South Métis Society president, was humming alongside beside him. Busloads of Kootenay Columbia students were arriving at Trail city hall to join the event just as the paper was going to press.
The annual Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign launched in downtown Trail this week, with Mayor Colleen Jones providing the first cash donation to the kettle and Ferraro Foods providing $500 in gift cards. L-R: Mayor Jones, Pastors Rachel and Eric Olson, and Danny Ferarro.The annual Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign launched in downtown Trail this week, with Mayor Colleen Jones providing the first cash donation to the kettle and Ferraro Foods providing $500 in gift cards. L-R: Mayor Jones, Pastors Rachel and Eric Olson, and Danny Ferarro.

-November 2022

— Glenn Hodge, chair of the Legion’s poppy committee, confirms there will be an in-person service on Remembrance Day this year. After two years of no public services due to COVID restrictions, the community is encouraged to attend the Trail Cenotaph commemoration on Friday, Nov. 11.

— Leading up to the recommencement of a public service at the Trail Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, locals have a unique opportunity to join Tea, Music and Artifacts, and learn about Canada’s military past through live music and treasures from the archives. In the Trail library, archives manager Elinor Morrissey will be joined by two very special guests — Brendan McLeod and Adrian Glynn of a Canadian folk band called The Fugitives — in a discussion, Q and A, artifacts display and a pop-up performance by the musicians.

— In a fitting way to start wrapping up Community Inclusion Month in Trail, last week mom-adventurer Darcee O’Hearn brought a fun and interactive presentation of her five-month expedition on the Pacific Crest Trail to members of Trail Association for Community Living. O’Hearn and her three children hiked the 4200-kilometre trail — from the border of Mexico through ranges across the United States and ending in the Okanagan — through spring and summer this year.

— The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s (RDKB) Climate Action Plan outlines the bold and streamlined approach that it will take “to secure a low carbon and net-zero future in the RDKB by 2050.” The Climate Action Plan outlines six guiding principles, six climate action goals, 19 pathways for corporate action, and 53 pathways for community action provide the framework needed “to realize the transformative change required and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

— Along with bringing jobs to the Trail area, KC Recycling is making a world of difference in the recycling of plastics. The company most recently started recycling the hard plastic that encases lead batteries. Before this, this type of scrap plastic was exported to compounders in the United States where it had to be blended with other resins. KC Recycling currently recycles – over 2,000MT (metric tonnes) annually of polypropylene from automotive battery cases

— The B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission is proposing to move Christina Lake and parts of rural Grand Forks to a new provincial riding, and local officials are not happy. Grace McGregor, regional director for Christina Lake, says adding the area to a new riding is not a good idea. She referenced that Christina Lake was previously included in a riding with the West Kootenay from 2001 to 2009; however, she said it did not go well.

— A Rossland resident reports that a bear trashed the inside of his wife’s SUV in the 1500 block of Thompson Avenue. The bear managed to set off the airbags and car alarm during its rampage. The bear was scared away when the car alarm activated. Unfortunately, the vehicle sustained considerable damage to the interior during the interaction. Trail RCMP recommends that owners lock their vehicles to prevent this kind of conflict with local wildlife.

— The long-standing Trail tradition of swearing-in newly elected civic officials in front of a roomful of citizens at the Riverbelle has been nixed. Instead, mayor-elect Colleen Jones and six councillors; Bev Benson, Paul Butler, Nick Cashol, Thea Hanson, Terry Martin, and Doug Wilson, will be sworn to service in Rossland during an invite-only event Thursday. The city said lack of staff resources made the event in Trail not possible.

— On behalf of the city, Trail Coun. Paul Butler thanks the six retired service members: Maj. Gavin Robertson; Capt. Bart Fyffe; Sgt. Jeff Klick; Cpl. Daryl Guse; Cpl. Victor Helgren; and Cpl. Ben Schmidt.

— Researchers, faculty and students at Selkirk College are embarking on an extensive three-year project to address rural homelessness across the West Kootenay. With a $360,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the project brings together 17 supporting partners that includes local government, social service agencies, health care providers and post-secondary partners.

— B.C. announced a new payment system for family doctors Monday, which promises to compensate them based on total time spent rather than by patient visit. The much-awaited new model will offer an alternative to the fee-for-service system, which family doctors have long pegged as one of the primary causes of the province’s doctor shortage. Under the fee-for-service system, doctors are paid around $30 per visit regardless of its complexity or length and regardless of how much time they spend on patients outside their actual appointments. Family physicians say the model has left them underpaid and burned out.

— An investigation has found that most of the $25 million raised by the “Freedom Convoy” was either returned to donors or ended up in an escrow account awaiting the results of a civil lawsuit. A report released by the commission Thursday shows that only about $1 million was actually spent by the convoy’s various organizers.

— The majority of children in the Interior Health region are not protected against COVID-19 as youth vaccination rates remain the second lowest in the province. Vaccines for children ages five to 11 have been available since November 2021, but new data shows Interior Health’s overall vaccination rates trail the provincial and national averages. Only 39 per cent of children ages five to 11 have had one dose of the vaccine in Interior Health. Just 15 per cent of children in the Nakusp area have had their first dose. Elsewhere in the West Kootenay, Trail has the highest number of children with their first dose (53 per cent) followed by Castlegar (39 per cent), Nelson, Grand Forks (28 per cent), Creston (26 per cent) and Kootenay Lake (24 per cent).

— The unemployment rate in the Kootenays declined from 6.5 per cent to 6.1 per cent from September 2021 to September 2022. Total employment in the region reached 79,100 by September 2022, a 9.5 per cent decrease from the previous year. Since 2019 the total workforce in the Kootenays grew 2.7 per cent, with a population growth of 3.1 per cent.

— An 82-year-old Grand Forks man spent 59 hours laying in a local hospital bed with a broken hip this week, waiting for an ambulance to transport him to Trail for surgery. Marion Duralia said her father Frank Duralia was admitted to the Boundary District Hospital in Grand Forks and was scheduled for surgery the same day at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, but that they couldn’t get an ambulance to take him there.

— Students, college staff, government leaders and contractors gathered for the official groundbreaking ceremony that signals the start of a 112-bed project on the Castlegar Campus and a 36-unit project on Nelson’s Silver King Campus. The $31.2 million investment will result in on-campus housing for students in all programs.

— B.C. is on track to surpass 2,000 deaths from the toxic drug crisis for a second year in a row. There were 171 lives lost in September the coroner reported Monday, which is equals six people dying each day. A majority, or 71 per cent, of those who have fatally overdoses were between 30-59 years old. Seventy-nine per cent have been men.

— The chief elections officer for the 2022 municipal election in Trail has released a report focused on ballots and voting. Sandy Lucchini reports the city had a total of 6,574 eligible voters, including 76 new registrations and 17 non-resident property electors. But only 2,429 votes were cast.

— Bruce Moffat, born and raised in Trail and now living in the Lower Mainland, has been recognized for 30 years of outstanding dedication and service in B.C.’s emergency services. Moffat was recently recognized for his distinguished career when he was awarded an Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal.

— We each are uniquely one-in-eight-billion – at least, that’s according to the United Nations, who has projected that the world’s population surpassed eight billion people on Tuesday (Nov. 15). Dubbed a “milestone in human development,” the United Nations is also calling for collective action to protect people and the planet.

— Interior Health (IH) has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital in Trail. IH confirmed that as of press time, there were seven patient cases connected to the outbreak, and no deaths.

— The Land Conservancy of British Columbia and Sinixt Confederacy welcomed partners in conservation; Kootenay Native Plant Society, Rotary Club of Waneta Sunshine, and community volunteers for a day of habitat restoration at Fort Shepherd Conservancy Area. During the one-day restoration event, 23 volunteers put over 1,000 native plants including Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), ʔiʔ̓txʷ̌ ǎʔ (Camas, Camassia quamash), Parsnip-flowered Buckwheat (Eriogonum heracleoides), and Silky Lupine (Lupinus sericeus), as well as one million seeds.

— After 14 years ministering in the Salvation Army overseas, Captain Eric Olson, corp officer and pastor, has returned to his hometown of Trail, B.C. to oversee ministries offered in Trail. At his side is wife Rachael Olson, corps officer and pastor.

— The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) — responsible for management of the Beaver Valley Arena located in Fruitvale — have responded to a police report that a regional district arena employee was arrested on allegations of voyeurism the night of Nov. 16. The accused, a 21-year-old man, is alleged to have set up his phone to record young women inside the changing room (Nov. 16). The RDKB confirmed in the employee has been temporarily suspended. The man is expected to make his first appearance in court next year.

— After seven confirmed COVID cases, and no deaths, the COVID-19 outbreak at KBRH was declared over Nov. 17.

— FortisBC residential and commercial customers will soon receive a one-time cost-of-living credit on their electricity bills on behalf of the province. Residential customers can expect to receive a $100 credit on their electricity bill over the next three months.

— Add-ons in the seventh edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” are announced, joining more than 100,000 words of two to eight letters. About 500 new words and variations added to the game’s official dictionary: stan, sitch, convo, zedonk, dox and fauxhawk among them.

— The Skills Centre, in Trail, reports that living wages have increased significantly over last year. In Trail, the new living wage calculation is $21.13 an hour for 2022, up 16 per cent over last year.

— Drivers passing through the Paulson Summit will not know ahead of time how much snow has fallen on Highway 3 this winter. The webcam was vandalized in July. A ministry spokesperson said the camera has not been replaced due to supply chain delays, and there’s no estimate for when it will be replaced.

— A new survey released by Habitat for Humanity Canada finds Canadians rank affordable housing as the third most important issue facing Canada today, behind inflation and health care. The survey also sheds light on growing concerns to homeownership including lack of housing supply, increased cost of living, discrimination, NIMBY (not in my backyard) sentiment and more.

— This year, Trail Kiwanis is celebrating everything local. The volunteer group sourced 350 premium Douglas fir trees from the Kootenay Tree Farm near Cranbrook and will be selling the holiday evergreens in the old Zellers building at the Waneta Plaza from Nov. 24 to Dec. 13.

— VISAC Gallery has a few craft workshops coming up, a holiday pottery sale this weekend and on Friday — an opening reception for the latest exhibit showcasing a local fibre artist. Leading all these interactive artistic goings-on in the downtown Trail gallery is a new executive director, Sharon Roberts.

— After logging more than 6,100 kilometres of distance in walking/running and well over 1,200 hours of tracking fitness activities, participants in the second Annual Operation Owatz have raised $30,000. The fundraiser honours Dr. Todd Owatz, a beloved surgeon who worked in the Ambulatory Care Unit at KBRH before he passed away in 2020 at the age of 49. Over two years, Operation Owatz has raised $70,240 to benefit KBRH patients.

— The research poll results show that 50 per cent of Canadians surveyed are finding it harder to rest every night because of financial anxiety. The results are up seven points since a similar poll conducted in May 2021, according to Research Co.

— Crown counsel has asked for a six-to-eight-year sentence for the woman who walked into a Castlegar home and stabbed two teens. Sasha Prokaski entered the home where the two teenagers were in the early hours of Feb. 21, 2021. An altercation ensued with both teens being stabbed, and one of the pair receiving multiple serious stab wounds. Prokaski and the victims, who are protected under a publication ban, did not know each other.

— Business outlooks worsened in the third quarter as interest rates began to have a cooling effect on the Canadian economy. Statistics Canada said the ongoing labour shortage, downward trend in energy and metal prices, and depreciation of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar all contributed to increased uncertainty and worries over an economic slowdown.

— Thousands of people dropping by the Last Minute Christmas Market at the Trail mall on Saturday and Sunday as well as Waneta Plaza stores — plus all the top-notch small businesses in the Trail area buzzing with daily and seasonal offerings — truly illustrates that there’s never been a better time to shop all things local.

City of TrailKootenay Boundary Regional DistrictLocal BusinessRossland