Monthly Archives: November 2013

Official Opening of MAAP

The unofficial opening of the multi agency accommodation project, MAAP, took place on Saturday, November 23 in Grand Forks. A large group of local people, politicians, and representatives of the various groups involved showed up for the affair. The public were allowed to browse through the facility for a short while and then there was a ribbon-cutting, actually two ribbon cuttings, followed by sod turning for the still-to-come Habitat For Humanity ReStore.

As you listen to the speeches you will learn that this facility is the result of collaboration and cooperation between not only social service groups such as Whispers of Hope, Habitat for Humanity, and Boundary Emergency Transition House but also includes corporate support from industry, Interfor and Roxul, and various levels of government.

As it currently exists the facility houses a thrift store, the emergency housing area with common area, washroom facilities, laundry facilities, and kitchen. Eventually there will be a store selling recycled construction materials and supplies.

MAAP is located at the corner of Riverside Drive and 72nd Avenue just by the river in downtown Grand Forks BC. The emergency housing is open and available from 8 PM to 8 AM.

With the recent arrival of freezing temperatures and winter the opening of this facility could not have been timed better. Those who have been paying attention to city Council will have been aware of this project and what it entails. For those of you who are not keeping up with Council we will provide links so you can easily watch and listen to the presentations before Council if you choose to.

May 6, 2013
COTW discussion on Lease proposal (at 41 minutes into the video)

Council decision on Lease of 7212 Riverside Drive. (at 1 hour 16 minutes)

Whats Up in Grand Forks

It’s time.

Nearly two years ago I put whatsupgf into a sort of limbo. This was for various reasons.

Time passes and the environment changes and old things go away and new things arise. Since I shelved it quite a few new groups have sprung up on FaceBook to connect people in the local area together. This site has sprung up. And, thanks to efforts by Sandy Mark the Christina Lake Community coordinator, there is now a move to have various groups in the area use a shareable online calendar format and a specific online calendar tool from a company in Nelson, BC.

One of the original issues I had with was gathering enough events to keep the calendar topical and up to date. It’s not enough to scour the posters and newspapers for events – not every group utilizes every channel of communication. (and was a free service that did not ‘pay for itself’). This new shareable calendar from looks to help solve that problem.

So I’ve purchased the calendar tool and installed it on the whatsupgf page on this site. It’s currently located at the bottom of the page. As of this writing the events it has have come from a link to the Christina Lake Calendar. More local events will be added as we gather events and learn more about this new tool.

And eventually we’ll decide if will continue as a standalone web site OR become a part of this site,

IF your group or organization has meetings the public can attend, puts on events the public can attend and wants to get the word out then maybe you should look into using this same online tool. The basic version is free and, if your website uses WordPress, it is easy to install and set up. And once it is you can share your calendar simply and that lets our calendar subscribe to your calendar. What that means is when an event is posted to your calendar it also appears on our calendar. So even if someone doesn’t know about your website they might still come across your event in our calendar.

IF your group or organization does not have a web presence and is thinking about it we recommend you look into creating your site with WordPress. It’s free and easy and very well supported with information, tutorials and lots of 3rd party plug-ins and themes.

And if you do implement one of these calendars on your website and wish to share the events on it please let us know. (currently you can use the emails address ‘releases (at)’ to get that information to us.

– Les Johnson


Robbery in Castelgar

RCMP Release:

On Wednesday, November 13 2013 at approximately 11:10 am, a male entered the Shopper’s Shoppers_robbery_suspect_sketchSimply Pharmacy Castlegar, formerly Paragon Pharmacy, brandishing a shotgun and proceeded to rob the pharmacy making off with a large amount of Prescription medication and Canadian currency. The male, described as early 20’s, approximately 5’8″, slim build wearing a dark blue/grey jacket, fled on foot out the back door of the pharmacy.   A male was seen running from the area of the robbery shortly thereafter.  A composite sketch of the male the male running away from the scene was obtained and is attached.

Castlegar RCMP are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the male depicted in the sketch.Please contact the Castlegar RCMP Detachment, or Crime Stoppers,  with any information pertaining to the identity of the male at (250) 365-7721.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Council meetings of Nov 12, 2013

Water Meters are coming!

So is a Deer Feeding Bylaw.

These are some of the highlights of the meetings on Nov 12.

The morning saw the most activity with the Committee Of The Whole meeting running over 2 hours. It started with council presenting two entities with Thank-yous for helping out with facilities for city hall operations after the fire. First up was ROXUL who owns the former CANPAR property that is being used for city administration and council meetings (00:13). Next was School Division 51 who are allowing the city’s public services office to be located behind SD51’s offices downtown across from gallery 2 (01:55).

The meeting then had presentations to council from delegation. First was from Interfor giving the city an update on their operations in Grand Forks (04:37). Next was Mr. Allard explaining the municipal Well Water Protection plan (18:13). He was followed by the CAO, Mr. Allin, explaining the coming Water Metering Program (51:47). The final presentation was later in the meeting when Mr. David Reid explained the city’s Snow Clearing of Roads and Airport Policy (1:32:55).

If you are unsure about the why’s and wherefore’s of the city’s Water Metering Program then watching Mr. Allin can help clarify things for you. Some people do not want meters because they do not want strangers wandering about on their property. These meters do not need that – they communicate by radio with a central station. That might be an issue for those people who ‘worry about wireless’ and look at all Electromagnetic Radiation with suspicion. Why do we need meters? How can they help? How will it work? Listen to Mr. Allin (51:47).

We’ve all seen the Deer wandering through town as they search for things to eat and places to sleep. Well the Deer Feeding Bylaw is moving its way through the machinery of municipal government. You can see the discussion in the COTW meeting at 2:16:11

The evening meeting was very short in comparison. Both the Mayor and Councillor Smith were absent. Councillor Wyers was Mayor for the meeting (who gets that job rotates around the council on a schedule set the previous year).

Water Metering came up again in the evening meeting (13:18). Whenever a corporate entity like the city wants to do something, whatever it is, it usually costs money. So they have to figure out a budget: how much will be spent and where will that money come from and when and so on. Without a budget nothing happens. With this program they’re spending over a million dollars of the money that comes from the Gas Tax Refund that flows back to the city ($1.3 M). That’s in addition to the $96,000 allocated in a previous council meeting to cover moving forward on mapping out the locations for these meters appropriately and implementing a GIS system to create an information infrastructure that replicates and describes the physical entity that is Grand Forks, BC. Welcome to municipal plumbing in the 21st Century.

The Phoenix Ski Hill Society has approached Council for financial support for the coming year’s operations. They’re asking for $25,000 and you can listen in on council’s discussion about that (17:44).

TOTA is looking for stories … this in the area of tourism. (TOTA is Thompson-Okanagan Tourist Area). Listen to Councillor Wyers explain in her report (4:08). Maybe you’ve got a story they could use …?