At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2011 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.
3 — Creston firefighters took on three fires in a one-week period in February, said deputy chief Michael Moore. The fires were all in residences and in each case the damage was limited.
• Creston RCMP took down another indoor grow-op in the 200 block of Silvercrest Road on Feb. 25 and found a total of 600 plants in various state of growth. They arrested a 34-year-old male who was found exiting an outbuilding on the property.
• Members of the Creston Spay Neuter Animal Program have made it possible for more than 400 cats and dogs in the Creston Valley to be spayed or neutered since its creation in November 2008. SNAP has spent nearly $49,000 since 2008. Of that, $12,000 came from grants; the rest was earned through fundraisers.
10 — Town council approved variances that allowed the peak of the proposed Ramada Inn to extend about a metre higher than zoning bylaws allowed and allow construction to take place on Sundays. Council also approved a development permit for the project after receiving a report that the Ministry of Transportation, Agricultural Land Commission and Regional District of Central Kootenay had raised no objections to the plan.
• “Fix the problem or pay the price” was the message delivered to the province of British Columbia last week by BC Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan in response to a lawsuit filed by a couple who reside and operate a bed and breakfast on Goat Canyon Road.
Frustrated by the behaviour of visitors to the Point, a popular swimming hole, Scott and Caroline Mynott turned to the courts after their other attempts to solve the problem failed. The Erickson couple attempted to purchase the right of way (which once led to a bridge) and even installed a barricade to block the road, which was removed by the Ministry of Transportation.
• The Creston Valley Thunder Cats finished their season after losing to the Fernie Ghostriders in game 7 of the Eddie Mountain Division finals of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. With a record of 26-19-3, the Thunder Cats finished second in the division, 30 points behind the Ghostriders.
• The Creston Valley Minor Hockey Association’s bantam Chiefs capped a tremendous season by capturing the East Kootenay Minor Hockey Association bantam B banner in the season-ending tournament, after beating the Kimberley team 6-3 in the final.
17 — Kootenay Thai Restaurant opened in the Hacienda Inn in February and business has been better than the owner anticipated. Owner Anthony Kwan runs the front of the business, seating guests and chatting to ensure they are happy with the food and service. In the kitchen, chef Udon Suri uses the skills he learned in his native Thailand to create authentic Thai cuisine.
• Since 1987, the Four Seasons mural on 11th Avenue at Canyon Street was a Creston landmark. But crumbling of the stucco wall the mural was painted on was about to end a quarter-century reign of beauty.
“Some big chunks came down during the last big windstorm,” Pharmasave co-owner Mike Ramaradhya told Creston town council. “We are concerned about our liability and for the safety of pedestrians and vehicles.”
24 — After several budget meetings, Creston town council gave initial approval to a 2011-2012 budget that holds spending to a 2.6 per cent increase at the March 22 regular meeting.
• Sparwood Mayor David Wilks won a narrow victory over Cranbrook lawyer John Zimmer to represent the Conservative Party in the next federal election. Wilks was also victorious over Cranbrook’s Russ Kinghorn and Creston Coun. Wesly Graham.
31 — The eastbound lane of Highway 3 was blocked for several hours after a semi and trailer rolled over around 3 a.m. March 29 just east of Creston near Canyon-Lister Road. Although the cab landed on its roof on the S-curve’s concrete barrier, the driver walked away uninjured. He had swerved to avoid some deer.
• A two-year project at the College of the Rockies’ community greenhouse proved that produce can be grown through the winter. From March 2009 through February 2011, a total of nearly 50 gardeners — 34 in the first year and 37 in the second, with several overlapping — participated in the experiment, in which they grew cold-hardy vegetables in unheated beds and greenhouses of their own creation.