At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2013 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.
7— Plugging parking meters went the way of the dodo after a town council decision on Jan. 29 to continue with free parking in metered spaces. Town manager Lou Varela told council that studies conducted in the summer months of 2011 and 2012 showed there is no shortage of parking in the downtown core. Enforcement of the two-hour limit will continue with random checks and by responding to complaints from businesses and citizens.
•About 60 people gathered at Prince Charles Theatre on Feb. 1 to witness the installation of two Lower Kootenay Band councillors who were elected in November. Incumbent Mary Basil was re-elected and Robin Louie will serve his first term after returning to Lower Kootenay in 2011. Also on council are Chief Jason Louie and Couns. Anne Jimmie and Farlene Basil.
•A forum held at Prince Charles Secondary School on Jan. 30 identified safe youth space, a youth co-ordinator and youth activities as priorities for the Creston Valley. About 70 people — including regional district directors, the RCMP and members of the social services sector and arts communities — attended the forum, part of an initiative by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), which gave communities $25,000 a year for four years to put toward youth projects.
•Five years after its formation, the Creston Valley Community Housing Society partnered with the Town of Creston for a building site, when an agreement was been reached paving the way for construction of affordable family housing units on the south Millennium Park parking lot.
“It has been a real challenge,” said CVCHS spokesperson Rita Scott. “We looked at many other possible sites. Now we will work with architect Christine Ross to try to be really innovative and be environmentally responsible.”
14— Area B director John Kettle, who was recently re-elected to his second term as Regional District of Central Kootenay board chair, has been given another vote of confidence, being named to a sixth term as chair of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District board.
•On Feb. 6, a female reported to Creston RCMP that she was the victim of an online “secret shopper” scam. She received a cheque in the mail, and soon after was directed to send three of her own cheques via Western Union to New York addresses. As well, she was told to visit a Walmart store, buy $100 worth of merchandise, then fax some forms reporting her experience.
21—With playoff hopes dashed a week earlier, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats played their final game of the 2012-2013 season on Feb. 16, losing 5-3 to the Columbia Valley Rockies, who finished the season with 48 points, seven ahead of the Thunder Cats.
“Our guys played pretty hard,” said head coach Josh Hepditch. “We outshot them 45-32. I give them full credit for that. It’s a tough game to get motivated for.”
•The death of Irwin Kenneth “Ken” Huscroft, 88, on Feb. 8, left Creston Valley residents searching for words to describe his impact on the community. The son of John Henry and Amy Huscroft, he went on to build the family-owned J.H. Huscroft Ltd. sawmill into one of Creston Valley’s biggest employers. He also owned the largest farm on the Creston flats.
“It’s difficult to assess the impact that his loss will have on our community,” said Creston Mayor Ron Toyota. “As the son of parents who were among our earliest settlers, Ken lived a remarkable life, one that touched hundreds — probably thousands — of people in countless ways.”
•At the Feb. 8 regular Creston town council meeting, Mayor Ron Toyota and Regional District of Central Kootenay chair John Kettle were presented with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.
Toyota presented Creston Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Mike Moore with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal in recognition of “20 years of loyal and exemplary service to public safety in Canada.”
28—Lower Kootenay Band Chief Jason Louie became one of two Creston Valley recipients of a BC Community Achievement Award. Louie and Tom Lymbery, longtime owner of Gray Creek Store, were among 34 recipients who would receive the provincial recognition for 2013 at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria.
“When I received the news I was going to be awarded the BC Achievement Award I was and am surprised,” Louie said. “I am honoured and humbled by the award and will do my very best to represent not only the Lower Kootenay Band but also the Creston Valley.”
•A year into its provincial contract, it appeared the Town of Creston was justified in negotiating its share of policing costs downward from the original offer. According to statistics released by RCMP Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan at the Feb. 12 council meeting, in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, files originating from within town limits dropped to 47 per cent of the RCMP workload (1,606 out of 3,341).
Originally, the town was told it would have to foot the bill for eight of the detachment’s 13 members, but Mayor Ron Toyota and town manager Lou Varela were able to negotiate a reduction to seven of 13 RCMP members’ costs. They were told at the time that such a result was virtually unprecedented.