40 YEARS AGO:
The Clearwater Fire Department had two callouts this week. No damage resulted from a chimney fire at the home of Jack Fehr. There was a fire at Raft River Elementary School where an electric heater short circuited and produced smoke.
The smoke alarms set off the fire alarm system. Damage to the school was approximately $200. In this case, the early warning system resulted in men and equipment being on hand in minutes. A smoke alarm is a good and wise investment.
35 YEARS AGO:
The provincial government’s critical industries commission, headed by Art Philips, has again stepped in to assist another North Thompson lumber mill, this time in Barriere.
The Gilbert Smith Forest Products cedar mill, said to be owned jointly by the Smith family and Balco Industries, received $500,000 from its shareholders to carry on according to a weekend report. Employees have also agreed to take a 15 per cent reduction in wages to preserve their jobs.
Besides the 40-plus employees about 30 loggers and contractors are dependent on the non-union operation.
The provincial government assisted the company with a contribution of $39,175 which was owed to it for road repairs in 1982.
30 YEARS AGO:
The Friends of Wells Gray Park are calling for public comment on two proposals to extend the boundaries of Wells Gray Park.
The organization is proposing that the lower Clearwater River be set aside as a linear park. They point out that the river is acclaimed as one of the finest kayaking and rafting rivers in the world, and that it also offers some of the province’s most bracing river scenery.
According to Clearwater Forest District’s Ian Brown, a plan to coordinate resource use along the river as a recreation corridor is now making its way through the bureaucracy, with some kind of announcement expected soon.
25 YEARS AGO:
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has rejected all proposals to turn the Clearwater Fish Hatchery over to a new owner for a token sum.
After almost three years of discussions at the local level and a number of proposals by community organizations to DFO in an attempt to secure the facility for the nominal amount of one dollar, the decision has been made to dispose of the property through the normal Public Works Government Services Canada Public Tender process.
In that process, as government surplus the hatchery property will be advertised to other government agencies with federal, provincial and municipal offers receiving first consideration, in that order.
The government tender process could run up to three months. Government tenders will be accepted for 30 days, and the public tender process will last 30 to 60 days.
20 YEARS AGO:
A million dollar fire destroyed Slocan-Vavenby’s repair shop next to its Vavenby sawmill.
“There was a good response by the Vavenby fire department and the mill crew to hold it to the shop,” said Slocan-Vavenby division manager Steve Pelton. “They did a good job.”
The 60 foot by 120 foot wooden structure and its contents were totally demolished by the blaze.
The hop was originally built in 1955, according to Pelton.
It first belonged to Birch Island Lumber Company, then to Clearwater Timber Products, and then to Slocan Forest Products.
15 YEARS AGO:
Peter Pelton’s hard won success may already be known to his staff and family, but now it’s official.
Pelton was named last week one of British Columbia’s 2006 Community Achievement Award recipients.
Out of 44 outstanding candidates from across the province, Clearwater’s very own is among them, having founded his first sawmill 15 years ago that became a source of inspiration to start his now successful business utilizing value-added white birch timber five years ago.
“We took a weed tree — the birch — and used it, and now it has value,” Pelton said, still sounding surprised and humbled by receiving the recognition.
10 YEARS AGO:
Telus plans to construct three new cellphone towers along the North Thompson Valley near Vavenby, Wire Cache and Blue River over the next two to three years, according to company spokesperson Shawn Hall.
Total investment for the three towers, plus two more to be built at Spences Bridge, Long Island Lake and Coldwater River elsewhere in the North Thompson Regional District, will be $2.5 million.
The six towers will fill gaps in service along highways in the regional district, said Hall.
The new towers should mean that the only remaining gap along the highway would be between Blue River and Valemount.
5 YEARS AGO:
District of Clearwater council feels there should be more livestock slaughtering options available for North Thompson farmers.
During their March 1 meeting, town councillors voted to ratify a “Meat to Table” resolution to be taken to the upcoming Southern Interior Local Government Association convention.
If approved there, the resolution would then go to the Union of BC Municipalities convention for provincial support.
The resolution urges the provincial government to change the policy on allowing unlimited Class E licenses (slaughter own animals for direct sale to consumer within the regional district only) and a minimum number of Class D licenses (slaughter own and other people’s animals for retail and district sales within the regional district only) for livestock producers within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.