Recent comments

  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I find it very worrisome that only one candidate has housing listed as an issue. There are only 2 apartments ( in only one apartment building) for persons under 60 without children that offer subsidized housing at the Ministry of Social Development's rate of $375.00 per month. The building that offers these 2 units is Maranatha Court, run by BC Housing. When contacted, BC Housing stated it did not want to rent vacant 2 or 3 bedroom apartments to single people without children, even if those vacancies have been long-standing. While 2 additional 1-bedroom apartments exist within Maranatha Court, they are sequestered by Interior Health for out-of-town stays for people with Mental Health & Substance Use. For example, people who need a temporary place to stay while taking part in the Day Treatment Program to quit drug & alcohol use, can stay in Maranatha Court. There are several subsidized buildings for seniors and people with children, albiet with wait lists. At-risk-for-homelessness is an on-going issue here in the West Kootenays. Nelson & Trail have made strides in addressing this issue, but Castlegar lags behind. We are the only community in the region to have not done a Needs & Demands study for population vs housing stock. Hidden homelessness, such as couch serfing and youth exchanging sexual favours for a place to stay, is a very real issue. Sharing accommodations with a roommate is not a viable option for many single people, especially if one is trying to become or remain sober, while the other is not. I truly am quite shocked to find all but one council member ignoring housing as an issue. As I posted to Sue, I'd like to hear her comments, and comments from other council members, as to what they think about housing issues and what steps might be taken to address those issues. I thank you for your consideration.
  • Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff - City council   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Hi Sue I see you are the only candidate with housing on the radar. Would you please speak more about that? What do you see as the issues surrounding housing? How would you address these issues? Thanks for considering my questions.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    First of all I think that if one is going to write a letter one should not hide their name. If they are confident enough to write it in the first place what are they hiding??? My name is Lori Hoover and I am the proud mother of LeeAnn Zaitsoff!! My daughter has accomplished more in her 10 years than most adults.As a parent I am trying to teach her to be confident, kind and caring, Leeann has raised over 8500.oo for cancer, and has just taken interest in raising money for cops for kids, which she has raised approx. 1000.oo. LeeAnn raises the money by collecting pop cans, and instead of receiving gifts at her birthday parties she asks for donations instead ,and gives it to her charity.How many children out there are like this? I am going to be positive and say lots.... Leeann has been following the election since it came out in October, she has followed it in the castlegar news listened on the radio, and on face/book. Leeann is crushed to say the least, Kyra your paper published a letter about how ,I ,her mother told her what to do and what to say. This is so far from the truth, I simply asked her to sit down and wait till the adults went first, Leeann was angry because of this. Leeann felt that her question was very important, so I changed my mind and let her back in the line. I was never so proud of her, she was very confident looking and proud. Her question was directed at Deb macintosh, the question Leeann was asking had been asked before to councilor Deb before, which she stated that evening, but everything was twisted around to be about her dad....You were there why did you not ask Leeann personally,get your facts straight .We as parents encourage our kids to be involved,Gord does not need to use his daughter, his voice is strong and loud. To me you are the ones that are using my daughter just to get back at Gord or to put him down. Is this council that worried that they have to stoop this low and use my 10 year old as the big news of the day,shame on you. Kyra I also emailed you another letter I hope you put that one in your next edition as it is written ,not your version.also to the "watcher"I am willing to meet with you with my daughter so you can explain to us as to why wrote this letter, You owe her that much, and she can tell you how she feels about this issue.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Bounty thank you for the clarification but you seem to be doing a lot of assuming for me. I don’t disagree that Mr. Zaitsoff’s daughter is wonderful kid and has made some amazing sacrifices for the betterment of others. Youth should be involved in what happens in their community and encouraged to voice their opinion. I do however disagree with your statement “I agree that it could have been a bad idea to allow her a voice of her own” in fact I think it is important for youth to have a voice of their own not as you suggest a "bad idea". However my opinion is that this was not a voice of a youth but a well-conceived plan to garner maximum impact in front of an audience. By your own admission “her wording seemed pretty adult and could have been perceived as “planted”” The people that I talked were much of the same opinion as me. Politics has a lot of perceptions some true some not but for a well-seasoned politician like Mr. Zaitsoff knowing what perception may have come out of this particular situation he should have been given it much more thought. As you probably guessed Mr. Zaitsoff will not be my choice for a Castlegar Mayor after what I observed last night for obvious reasons.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    What I did was respond to the crap that Gord had spewed out about our stance on Health Care on the same Radio Station. NO critisim of Gord's daughter, I am sure she is absolutely a wonderful young girl.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Yep, I was there. Well, I was in the hallway. I bailed out with the question about adding a 2nd road through town (personally I advocate for a 6 lane super-highway - complete with express over pass for whomever feels a bout of road rage coming on, we'll have to move the whole town, but at least commute time will decrease by at least 10 minutes) . It was a long time to stand, and straining to hear was a challenge. Highlights for me: Gord Zaitsoff, I am not that familiar with him - but was impressed (didn't know about the daughter issue - couldn't actually hear most of the audience questions). Incumbent councilors' side stepping audience question about the social costs of the Casino. Only newcomer Peter Wulowka was willing to acknowledge that part of her question. A very notable silence from one incumbent Councillor for most of the audience questions. School board trustees - got to see the issues. Experience and stability was evident - particularly given the challenges to be faced.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I think it is interesting that you have attacked Gord Zaitsoff's wife for what appeared to you as her asking Gord about timing for his daughter to ask the question. You assume Gord hand fed his daughter the question. You have also assumed her to be a puppy dog. In all cases you are wrong. In fact, Gord's daughter is has been very opinionated and outspoken for years. She has a mind of her own and takes a personal stance regularly in the press (not created by her mom and dad). She, on her own, chose to forgo gifts for all birthdays since she was 6 to give thee money to cancer and "cops for kids". Her Baba Louise, also and outspoken advocate for Castlegar, suffered and died with Cancer. She also set up a fundraiser, with little help from Gord or "his wife". Zaitsoffs daughter has viewed city politics for years and is not comfortable with political bullying and unfairness. She has suffered bullying and hates it. She came up with the question on her own...unfortunately her wording of it seemed pretty adult and could have been perceived as "planted" . When the incumbant she questioned took it upon herself to publicly insult Zaitsoff on Mountain FM interviews (all day on October 20th), she became upset and decided to research the council member and ask the question on her own. I recommend that you ask anyone about the tenacity of this child. In regards to your perception that Gord's wife was was motioning to Gord as to timing to ask the question, if you had been sitting closer, as I was, you would have heard her concern about allowing her daughter to public scrutiny. She was actually asked to sit down by her mom. Zaitsoffs daughter defied her mom and got back up. In regards to whispering after the meeting, the public support was phenominal. I agree that it could have been a bad idea to allow her a voice of her own. If you don't know her, it could have been taken wrong.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I agree with your comments , very poor form. I can without a doubt say that had Mrs. Zaitsoff got up and asked the question my answer would have been more candid. Perhaps Mr. Zaitsoff should get his own house in order. I too have heard unhappy people from his area. People in glass houses Mr. Zaitsoff! I thought perhaps his superman cape would have come out last night. After all he is a one man show!
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago

    Wow. I'm not going to respond to the personal hacks - you're clearly not interested in any sort of genuine dialogue on that, which is your right.

    I have never, in these comments or anywhere on the internet, said I think any specific candidate is going to win in a landslide - I merely said I think the top contenders will win with a wide margin. Who those top contenders will be remains to be seen. I have my opinions on that, but I have, on the 'Net, kept them to myself.

    Who do you think is the "one" council candidate I support? I've been routinely accused of being pro-council - all of them - but have never before been accused of supporting just one at the others' expense, so you've tweaked my curiosity.

    I'm Facebook friends with all the councillors and contenders who are on Facebook, so I'm having trouble guessing which one you mean.

    To identify opinion material on this site - it will either be under the comments section (hence the name 'comments'), or it will have "OP/ED" written before it (that means opinion/editorial) or will have my photo and column title, "Out of Left Field" right on it.

    I'm not sure how to make that more clear for you.

    Kyra

  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    In my opinion last night was by far the worst example I have ever seen of what most people would probably call dirty politics. I watched as Mr. Zaitsoff’ a Castlegar mayoral hopeful’s daughter coached by her mother whom I sat nearby to was encouraged to ask a loaded question of one of the council hopefuls. I watched as Zaitsoff’ wife clearly made gestures from the floor trying to find out if the timing was right to send their young daughter up to ask the question. Ultimately knowing that no one would want to debate a young child I am assuming. To the councilors credit the response was respectful but definitely checked. After asking the question you could see the child looking to both her parents for their approval. Poor form Mr. Zaitsoff. Mr. Zaitsoff also did a very good job of side stepping the issue when asked how he could be an advocate for both the city and the regional district at the same time. I think this would be almost impossible when a lot of times these two groups are on different sides of the table. One of the examples raised is when Zellstoff and the city were having difficulties with the tax issues. It was said the Mr. Zaitsoff made every effort to try getting Zellstoff, Castlegar biggest tax payer to join the regional district instead and went as far as having the Regional District threaten legal action on the City for non-payment of Zellstoff’s portion to the Regional District taxes. Let’s not also forget the Robson water fiasco. Mr. Zaitsoff was clearly not on the same side of the issue that the previous Mayor O’Connor and council were on. So how can he serve both? He says he can and all will end well I just cannot imagine it thou. Judging by the whispers going around the room last night I think most people could see thru Mr. Zaitsoff as I did.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Kyra, At the time I wrote my letter not all candidates were not posted. Also, in your article you made it clear who you felt would win by a landslide. Somehow you justify your coments saying they are commentary. On this site it is not obvious what is news and what is commentary. In addtion, your Facebook comments make it very clear who you supp0rt. At last nights forum you also made your feelings clear, until the cheers for the candidate drowned out your ranting. I feel all candidates represented themselves very well. I also think city council has worked hard on initiatives created by the past Mayor. Many city council members deserve to be there and I applaud their efforts. Also, the incumbants had some incredible ideas, not just the one you support. In Regards to identifying myself, I have seen your venomous attacks on those that don't buy into your ridiculous attempts to forward your personal agenda. Although you obviously have access to my name, I am thrilled that your policy is to let readers communicate without recourse from you....cowardly...I think not. I don't have a problem communicating my personal opinions to the public in my own words. You have a history of writing your own words into interviews with others.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago

    You were there?

    I wish you'd said hello - I'd love to have a face to put to the name.

    Any thoughts on last night's forum? Did any of it change your mind about the ballots you'll cast today?

    Kyra

  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Ron - I am also disappointed in not having a good on-line forum to debate the issues. But, having attended the debate last night, I can understand the reservations that some candidates would have about posting on this site. Which is too bad, because prompting Kyra's responses is proving to be a valuable resource on the opinion gap that exist in Castlegar. And, unfortunately, the Castlegar News does not have as active of an on-line component. Oh well, I am going to vote today anyway (only chance to walk to vote in the North End). I eagerly await Kyra's news report from the debate, along with her separate editorial opinion.
  • Proposal opens trails to all users - can motorized traffic co-exist with bikes?   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I was under the impression that the TransCanada Trail network was specifically for non-motorized use, with the exception of snowmobiles in the winter. I don't have a problem with shared trails in general, and railbeds are good for that, being wide flat and not very steep. And while ATV's and dirtbikes can bring problems, I appreciate the educational efforts by clubs to make sure everyone is courteous towards others on the trails. But - it would be nice to reserve at least some trails for non-motorised use so people can enjoy a trail without the noise of motors - in other words a true escape from modern technology (discounting all the very modern technology that is used to make mountain bikes thesed days). Some trails exclude motorized use by their physical qualities, such as too narrow, steep, or rocky - but those trails also often exclude the less physically fit or daring as well, which is why I think the TCT is such a good idea because it's generally a pretty easy trail. And of course ATVers and motorbike users will also appreciate trail areas specifically built for them, where they don't have to be on the lookout for hikers and cyclists all the time. I do think there is a space for shared trails though, which would allow a greatly expanded reach for all users to more remote wilderness locations. And as has been noted - without motorized vehicles of some sort, trail building and maintenance in very remote locations becomes very hard if not impossible.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I just want to be able to have chickens in my back yard. I will vote for the person who thinks sustainability is an important issue.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Thank you Gordon for responding. I find it interesting that few have taken advantage of Kyra's offer to post questions for the candidates. I also find it interesting that Mr. Turner was the only candidate to respond to my questions. But then, maybe they don't all read the Castlegar Source.
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Not only was the price tag outrageous but the manner in which the proposal was presented to the public was somewhat offensive in that councillors who spoke at the public meeting were basically issuing an ultimatum.....support this, or get nothing at all for an undetermined period of time. No indication, no desire expressed to come up with an alternative plan should the referendum fail. Where are we going with this and why isn't it more of an election issue?
  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago

    All 10 council candidate profiles have been posted, and each candidate got a day in the feature section of the front page.

    They were posted in the same order that they were received in my email inbox.

    Had I posted all the profiles at once, only seven of the 10 would've been on the front page at all, and only three in the feature position....and I would have been accused of being biased and unfair.

    If you can suggest a better, more fair way to do it, I'm all ears.

    Yes, I have opinions, and strong ones - which are never put forward in my news stories, only in commentary work. That doesn't make me less-than-credible - it's my job.

    Ironically, were I to act on personal bias, this would not be the way I'd go about it - I have more faith in the candidates than to think the number of hours they spend on the front page will be determining factors in their success ...unlike yourself, apparently.

    Oh, and for the record, "Bounty"? Part of my credibility comes from the fact that I always sign what I write.

    Kyra Hoggan

    Editor

  • Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Kyra, I find it interesting that you still are missing some candidates, although I believe you received their information on or before the 4th and say you will publish everyones comments. I also find it interesting that although you say you take an unbiased view, it is apparent through "social media" , facebook, etc. that you do have an agenda and fully support the candidates you are in favor of, not just now, but throughout the year. It has been entertaining reading your articles during the year, not informative, but entertaining. I am glad you have found a way to politic. Have you thought of writing for the National Inquirer?
  • Proposal opens trails to all users - can motorized traffic co-exist with bikes?   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I find it interesting that you question if this is a prank. I'm sure that’s what many ATV users thought when they saw signs posted around Summerland indicating that they could be fined $2000 for riding on the KVR or Spirit 2010 Trail, whatever you want to call it. It's my understanding that these signs were not legitimate and are not being enforced. It is also my understanding that there is currently no law that prohibits motorized users from riding on the rail beds. If I happen to be misinformed, then authorities are doing a poor job of communicating these laws to the general public. Putting a sign up that says, “NON-MOTORIZED USE ONLY” is not a law and from what I understand is only there for insurance purposes. Earlier this year, the Spirit 2010 Trail was officially established under Section 56 of the Forest and Range Practices Act and many ATV Clubs around the province are simply showing respect for the other user groups when they comply with certain sections of the rail beds being non-motorized. An example of this is the section of Trans Canada Trail from Grand Forks to Christina Lake. We have communicated to our members that this section is not open to ATVs. Majority of the motorized users in the area respect these closures, so at the moment what really stands out is all the “bad apples” that don’t. If non-motorized users invited all ATV users to use the trails, they just might see how many are responsible and respectful. In the article, Mr. Longden is “not saying that all motorized users are irresponsible” and that “[he] agrees that many of the club members are responsible users.” The Grand Forks ATV Club, has what we consider a good relationship with the Grand Forks Community Trails Society, and as readers may or may not have noticed in the article, the Chair of this group has attended a few of our meetings to communicate their concerns with ATVs on the trails. They have communicated to us that the Trans Canada Trail from Grand Forks to Eholt is open to motorized users, providing they have proper third-party liability insurance and a valid driver’s license. Whether they have the authority to actually regulate the use like this is beside the point, as we have communicated to them that we want to work together to make a better trail system for everyone. The section of the Trans Canada Trail that spans from Christina Lake to Castlegar is also open to ATV users. Unfortunately the bridge that was constructed to replace a washed-out section of trail was intentionally built too narrow for ATVs to cross. Many ATV riders feel this investment was a selfish and almost discriminatory act toward the ATV users and the group that maintains this portion of trail. We understand that there are certain sections of the TCT that are not suitable for ATV use, within city limits being one of them, however many motorized and non-motorized users will agree that there are no valid reasons that certain sections shouldn’t be open to ALL user groups. Look at the other comments on this article if you question this. The Grand Forks ATV Club is trying very hard to promote the safe responsible operation of ATVs in our area. In the past three years alone we have encouraged approximately 24 of our members to take the CSA/CASI Approved ATV Safety Course, and all passed. The proposal is to develop a trail network for ALL users, and to create different routes so that ATV riders can get around sections that have been “closed” if you will, to motorized users. The article indicates that “the trails would be open 365 days a year to mountain bikers, hikers, horses, ATVs, off road motorcycles and snowmobiles”, in short, for ALL to use. With that said it may actually be a benefit to the non-motorized users to support this proposal and I’m sure that many do. Read the comments on the article if you question this. It has been said many times before, there are always going to be “bad apples”; they exist is all sports and are not limited to motorized users only. To say that “[you] have seen the damage and garbage left behind by ATVers” is sure an interesting comment as it pretty much implies that you believe that not a single non-motorized user has ever done damage to the trail or left garbage behind. Your comment regarding paving the trail just might become a reality before you know it as the Grand Forks Community Trails Society has a long term goal (3-5 years) to paving the TCT from Grand Forks to Christina Lake. See the minutes from their last meeting at the following link (http://www.gftrails.ca/Home.html). I encourage more trail users to get involved with the Grand Forks Community Trails Society as they have done wonders for the local community trails. I fully understand that not everyone is going to support this proposal and I appreciate the comments. However, if anyone out there has a decent argument against it, please post it. Dialogue is what this article is all about. Cody Zorn – President Grand Forks ATV Club www.gfatv.ca
  • Proposal opens trails to all users - can motorized traffic co-exist with bikes?   4 years 24 weeks ago
    The Iron Horse trail in Alberta is 300 kms long and is a mulit-use trail that is used by non-motorized and motorized users alike. It is part of the TCT as well. Please visit the following site for more information: http://www.ironhorsetrail.ca/
  • Proposal opens trails to all users - can motorized traffic co-exist with bikes?   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Motorized & non-motorized vehicles have used these old rail beds for years. I too, have hiked, & biked on these trails since before the rails were removed, & I have never been witness to any problem with the motorized traffic on these trails. They have always yielded to me when I've been on a non-motorized machine, I can't say that about people riding bikes in the city, on the sidewalks. And seriously, no matter what it is, there are always going to be bad apples. We have to deal with it as best we can & not ban whole groups because of a couple of inconsiderate "yahoos". In the bigger picture, I think it was foolish to remove the rail in the first place. The rest of the world makes good use of their rail systems for the transport of people & goods, & we are turning ours into bike trails & fighting over who shouldn't be allowed to use them… does anyone else see a problem with this?
  • Water meter protests all wet   4 years 24 weeks ago
    I have all sorts of crazy things to say about water meters, but mostly I am interested to see if there is any interest in revisiting topic - particularly from the candidates. For me, the water supply was a major benefit to moving to Castlegar. My family grows a very large vegetable garden and we take food security seriously. I am worried that the water metering will make growing a garden cost prohibitive. And yes, I have 2 rain barrels - both which were completely dry in August. I don't think residents are done with this issue, but the mayor would like us to get on with it. Any thoughts?
  • Kevin Chernoff - City council incumbent   4 years 24 weeks ago
    Thanks Kevin, I am glad there is on-going efforts in this direction. However, I don't believe that the tripping hazard that clover presents reasonably justifies exposing children, pets and wildlife (and city mowing staff) to the dangers of 2,4D. If slipping hazards on sports fields are a concern, I suggest the city could ease up on its irrigation.
  • Kevin Chernoff - City council incumbent   4 years 24 weeks ago
    The Green Committee along with Transportation and Civic Works have been for some time trying to find the balance between the use of no pesticides and the visual and safe enjoyment of our parks and playing fields. When I talk safe enjoyment I mean playing fields that don’t have weeds creating such things as slipping hazards on soccer and ball fields. Like you I also have had a lot of personal interaction with the people in the community who are in favour of eliminating pesticide use as long as it did not impact the visual appeal that groups such as Communities in Bloom have worked hard to achieve and the safety of the users of our sports fields. The City has worked alongside such groups as the Food Security people to do testing of non-herbicide products in some existing parks with mixed results. The City has also found other products that have been effective eliminating the use of pesticide for certain applications such as Eco-Clear (citric acid) that has been used on the miles of City sidewalks. Over the past year the City was first out of the gate to try a new product called Fiesta at City Hall which the performance of this product from the summer will be brought forward this winter season for evaluation. As I as of yet have not seen any performance results on this product. The City also implemented use of organic fertilizer and corn gluten at both Kinsmen and Blueberry Creek Park which will also be evaluated this winter for its performance. I think the City has been progressive in eliminating the use of pesticides maybe not as quick as some hope but definitely moving forward in finding an effective alternative.