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.
7 — They body of Lana Chipesia was located on July 4, four days after a search and rescue (SAR) operation resulted in the first-ever death of a SAR technician in the province.
Chipesia, a Creston resident, was missing since June 18, last seen driving her white Pontiac Sunfire. Sheilah Sweatman, 29, died June 29 as she was attaching a cable to the car in the middle of the rushing, swollen Goat River.
• New Creston RCMP Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan introduced himself to town council. With 30 years of service in the RCMP, Gollan most recently ran the RCMP detachment in Gleichen, Alta. He has assumed command of the local detachment, paving the way for former detachment commander Gord Stewart to take on a supervisory position in Kelowna.
• Nine Creston artists joined forces to start a summer arts market on Northwest Boulevard. Artistic Visions would be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays through August. Works were for sale by Lori Wikdahl, Juhl Campbell, Sue Kim, Grace Tyler, Val Van der Poel, Carol Huscroft, Annette Purnell, Brent Wellander and Lawrence Fletcher.
14 — Lister farmer Randy Meyer was in his third year of raising chickens for meat. For the first two seasons, a converted motor home rolled up to his farm twice a year. He began using a new processing plant, a converted fifth wheel trailer that could be hauled to other sites if needed.
He agreed the local market will only continue to grow for locally produced chickens, as it has for other food. While not everyone is willing or able to pay a premium for food grown and raised locally, an increasing number are.
• With not enough traffic past their Erickson Road farm to justify construction of a fruit stand, Cherrybrook Farms owners Caroline and Gord Martin were pleased to have a new Highway 3 location in Erickson.
In purchasing and renovating the buildings, the couple has worked to maintain close ties to the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market and the College of the Rockies. Caroline said she and her husband didn’t want to have “just another fruit stand” and their goal was to provide a year-round outlet for locally produced foods.
21 — Sonja Seher, from Victoria, and Crestonite Kelsey Syfchuk, both studying environmental planning at Selkirk College in Castlegar, were in the middle of a 10-day project to pull knapweed along forest service roads.
By the end of their first week, Seher and Syfchuk had cleared the sides of a 3.5-kilometre stretch of the Goat Mountain Forest Service Road, collecting 440 kilograms of knapweed in the process.
• A proposal that would create a single fire service for the Creston Valley inched closer to reality after a meeting on July 14. Town of Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay officials met with representative of Creston Fire and Rescue and fire departments in Yahk, Canyon-Lister, Wynndel-Lakeview and West Creston to discuss the plan.
A working group of fire departments had met many times to find common ground. The group put forward an agreement in which no existing service levels would be reduced, that fire protection would be an RDCK service operated by the Town of Creston and that one large valleywide service would be formed to take advantage of “economies of scale”.
• “According to the preliminary data that has been collected so far (month of June only), there doesn’t appear to be a parking ‘problem’ in Creston,” said a report to town council by Marc Miller, who was collecting parking data during the three-month free summer parking period. “The rate of compliance with a two-hour parking limit is very high, and when considering the volume of vehicles parked in the metered stalls, the number of vehicles in violation is extremely low.”
• Creston town council voted on July 12 to approve $5,000 in funds for the Beyond Wild youth program, which had received only $1,000 of a $10,000 request in the spring. Coun. Judy Gadicke opened the discussion with a motion to provide no additional funds. Her motion died when a seconder didn’t come forward.
28 — An innocent geocache adventure for four residents of Moyie Springs, Idaho, turned deadly on July 20 when a 75-year-old male fell down an embankment near Akokli Creek Road and died. The man lost his footing when he stepped over a roadside barrier and fell approximately 80 feet, according to RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
• Creston’s water smart ambassador, Brittny Anderson was spending the summer helping residents to conserve water. Among the bad watering habits she came across were overwatering — with some residents watering for four to six hours when one would suffice — and watering in the middle of the day. Some even watered at high noon, when 20 to 30 per cent of the water is lost to evaporation. Still others water both the lawn and the driveway, one of which doesn’t need water (the driveway), with the other stealing vast amounts of water to stay fresh and green (the lawn).
• Six destinations opened their doors on July 21 to about 18 Creston Valley residents who wanted to get a closer look at some of the area’s cultural and artistic highlights on a bus tour that was arranged by Wynndel artist Sandy Kunze and her husband, Dirk. The group traveled on BC Transit’s community bus, allowing participants to relax and enjoy both the scenery and camaraderie between destinations.
• More than 50 years after they met, Dixie Simon and Barb Barnes enjoyed a reunion with their Grade 1/2 teacher, Mary Mawson (née Tibolt) when they had lunch at Dairy Queen on July 22.
For both Simon and Barnes, Mawson was their first and most memorable teacher, whom they met when they entered Grade 1 in 1959.
“I could tell they were going to be excellent citizens,” said Mawson. “They were very accommodating, they were eager, they were sincere and very co-operative.