Local State of Emergency Declared

RDCK EOC MOVES TO LEVEL 3, RESPONSES UNDERWAY FOR SEVERAL AREAS OF CONCERN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NELSON – The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has moved to Level 3 status in response to several problem areas identified throughout the region. Level 3 indicates positions within the Emergency Operations Centre will be staffed on an ongoing basis until potential flooding threats have passed.

Heavy rainfall over the past 48 hours has caused creek and river levels to rise rapidly.

Currently, EOC staff and emergency personnel are focused on the following areas:

Crawford Creek – A dyke just west of the village centre has been experiencing water piping and some overtopping. Further dyke section failures could impact some residences; as a precautionary measure a declaration of a local state of emergency has been issued along with an evacuation alert for residents living in the alluvial fan area south of the dyke. This will impact approximately 25-30 residences.

Slocan Valley West Road – There is the potential for access to some residences on this road to be cut off if the Slocan River continues to rise. At this point in time, access is not compromised. A declaration of a local state of emergency has been issued as a precautionary measure.

Harrop-Procter Road – A culvert has been compromised and as a result Procter Creek has impacted the road near the Procter General Store. Maintenance contractors Yellowhead Road and Bridge (YRB) have responded to ensure continued road stability and safe passage.

Highway 3A has been washed out near Gray Creek and is closed temporarily. Travelers and area residents should check the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructures Drive BC website: www.drivebc.ca

While the amount of rain is expected to lessen over the coming hours, the forecast remains unsettled for the next few days. Residents need to exercise extreme caution around and near creeks, streams and rivers now and for the coming weeks until runoff recedes.

To report concerns regarding flooding threats, contact the EOC at (250) 352-8154 during regular office hours. Twenty four hour assistance is available by calling the Provincial Emergency Program at 1-800-663-3456. Information on emergency preparedness, including proper sandbagging techniques, is available at www.pep.bc.ca

Hey, What’s Going On?

So much happens on our East Shore, sometimes my head spins with appointments, community events, meetings, live entertainment, extra-curricular sports/theatre/fun nights… the list goes on and on. Every time I hear someone say, “There’s nothing to do around here,” I nearly fall over backward.

In some cases, that sentence is heard coming from the mouths of area youth who are, understandably, floundering at times without a strong social network of people their age. Sometimes I’ve heard the sentiment come from people who keep themselves somewhat more secluded out of choice or necessity, so they may not have their ears as much to the ground. Sometimes, though, it comes from the most surprising places – young, energetic, socially-conscious parents and adults who just seem to not be making themselves as open to the myriad opportunities that surround us every day.

The list of things to do and be involved in is endless, so I won’t bother to start it, but I do want to make it very clear that this is exactly how I hope this website can serve the community. It is hoped and requested that you put your events on the calendar – that you use the free classifieds and ride share – that you comment and post your own ideas. Let me know how this can be better facilitated, and we will do our best to accommodate.

In the meantime, what was going on this past weekend, on May 12? Well, after a pretty well-attended Crawford Bay Park cleanup for the first half of the day, I attended the Community Connections AGM and the What’s Going On business workshop/forum at the Crawford Bay School.

Community Connections held it’s AGM and re-elected Janet Wallace as Chair, Muriel Crowe as Treasurer and welcomed new board members. Palma Wedman was officially introduced as the new administrator for Community Connections and led the meeting as well as the fun and fast-paced business forum that followed.

Approximately 25 or 30 businesses were present and well over fifty people were in attendance to listen to the one-minute show and tell segments presented by any business that wanted to participate. We heard about what different restaurants, bars and campgrounds were doing to prepare for our 2012 tourist season, what the artisans had in the makings and where other businesses stand at this point in time. It was a unique opportunity for East Shore businesses to introduce themselves in a “speed-dating-fam-tour” kinda way.

There were speakers at the forum as well. Tom Lymbery spoke about the history of business on the East Shore. He owns probably the longest-running successful business on the “Best Shore” in the Gray Creek Store http://graycreekstore.com, and announced that they are excited to be preparing for their 100th year in business in 2013. What an accomplishment! Tom and his family have been serving the East Shore for so long that he was referred to several times (as he always is) on some fact-checking on historical points throughout the forum.

After Tom, Dale Hodgson (majority owner of Kokanee Springs http://www.kokaneesprings.com/) spoke for a while about who he is and his history in business. He also spoke about the existing and future developments of the golf resort and took questions. His speech was interesting and informative and he seems a thoroughly approachable individual. He promised to be inclusive and transparent regarding future developments and invited locals to drop by the information booth at the golf course to see the plans, short and long-term.

Finally, Jamie Cox, manager of the now Crawford Bay Store and soon-to-be Crawford Bay Market gave an inspiring and entertaining speech about his time as a ski resort manager/developer and spoke about his experiences watching development and how it can be done well, with a community’s support, input and involvement, and poorly, with no consideration for the region and the people living in it. He kept the crowd engaged and laughing (which was a good thing given the fact that the meeting ran well over its advertised duration).

I would like to thank the speakers, the organizers and supporter and, most especially, those who took time out of their beautiful sunny Saturday to attend this event. It was well worth the time and truly gave a healthy dose of what is really going on.

The Survival of Our Lunch Program

The hot lunch at the Crawford Bay School has been a wonderful and successful program for many years now. It has fed our community’s children a hot, nutritious and colourful meal to lead them strongly into an afternoon of learning. It is in jeopardy.

For the entire time that this program has been around, it has been run on a fine balance of one paid staff position (the chef) and endless volunteer steam. The steam has been quickly evaporating and become a fine mist, barely able to keep breath in the program. Farley, our chef of the past two years, has brought so much financial and commerce knowledge, food security and nutrition intelligence and strong energy to the program. But he’s done now. With Farley, due to a necessary and understandable life-shift, goes our uber-volunteer, Jennifer Irving. Between these two people, the program was very effectively brought out of the red and made much more well-oiled. But, it still has its major issues… It still requires a commitee to oversee its operations. It still has problems with meals owing and communication between home and school. It needs help.

There are no more volunteers. Our PAC executive consists of two to three people. We are representing 150 parents and the work is too great. A survey has been set up to ask parents to help us decide the future of the hot lunch program. In my opinion, unless several more people step forward and offer to take over the running and operations of the lunch program, it will not continue. It can not continue as it is.

We need to hire a new chef. We need a committee to be set up under the PAC umbrella (if it is to remain a PAC program) and take over the reins. We need to relieve the school administration and the PAC executive from being the only ones to ensure success of this program.

Parents reading this: please take part in the survey that is on its way to you now. Please consider the value of this program. To the rest of our community: does a hot, nutritious meal for our area youth have great importance to you? Your responses and ideas are welcome. Feel free to email me: mainstreet@theeastshore.net

Welcome to the NEW Mainstreet Online

In November 2010, we launched www.eshore.ca and it’s been a weird and wonderful (not to mention steep) learning curve deciphering the gaps and needs of this community. As numerous websites emerge in our area trying to bridge that information storm that envelopes us, we here at Mainstreet have been trying to figure out what is most needed and best provided in a news/information website for visitors and residents alike. Through trial and error, we’ve discovered that less is more. The original website was full of information – too much, it appears. It was also a bit daunting and discouraging to user feedback and regular use. That is the opposite of what we want to see happen. So, with the help of Geoffroy Tremblay (ponnuki.net), a new Mainstreet website is now available! The website URL will remain the same for the time being – perhaps forever. You can still pop the address www.eshore.ca into your favourites or bookmarks (or better yet, make us your homepage), and drop by regularly to see what’s shakin’ on the shore.

The new site is a simplified and more engaging version of the old site. We have a new, easier-to-use Google calendar which viewers can use with ease. It is hoped that you will use the calendar to advertise you events/programs/classes and that we will all be using the calendar to structure our lives in the near future. We have dumped the blogs as well as the paid Classifieds and structured Forums.

We are creating a newsy, pertinent site that will have weekly (or more frequent) news of the week stories that directly pertain to the East Shore or perhaps a bit further afield.

We have a FREE Classifieds location as well as what we hope to see as a super-used Ride Share area.

We offer FREE Buy and Sell and other local Announcements/Opportunities.

Another exciting prospect of the new site is the online subscription component, which will come available soon. We have downloadable pdf’s of past issues as well as a paid subscription option for the current issue. This will be hugely beneficial to subscribers from further away, or even a good way to get your electronic version for those who like to buy a paper copy but may find it lost in the shuffle of life as the month goes on.

This is also a big boom for advertisers! Now your ads will be seen by a substantially greater number of readers. We’ll track the subscribers and viewers as best we can and let you know how many more eyes are seeing your business’ advertisements than before. As always, there will also be the option to advertise online with the new site.

There will be much more to come, but we’re starting slow and easy and hoping the transition is smooth and effortless for all users. Thank you for your patience during this time of change and please always feel free to send in your feedback and ideas regarding the site and the paper itself. Mainstreet is what you make it and your energy is felt and appreciated.