#1 April 1, 1999

Welcome to our Premier Issue
These are the main articles minus a few jokes & puzzles we throw in.


Welcome to the first issue of the OpenMinder, not only a new publication, but hopefully a new kind of publication.

Crossing over into the “21st Century”, “The New Millenium”, “The Year 2000” is just another year like all the rest, or is it? According to many cultures and myths, these are times of change. To the Hopi Indians this is the 4th world, “World Complete” – “It is not all beautiful and easy like the previous ones. It has height and depth, heat and cold, beauty and barrenness; it has everything for you to choose from. What you choose will determine if this time you can carry out the Plan of Creation on it or whether it must in time be destroyed too”.

In the North American Native culture, the birth of a “White Buffalo” (which happened August 20, 1994 in Wisconsin) symbolizes a change to the nurturing mother earth spirit, which is a very good omen and in our own culture it is said to be the “Aquarian Age”.
Even though it is just another year it sure seems to mean a lot of things to a lot of people and it sure seems like there are a lot of issues that are now being thrown in our faces to look at and “vote on” with our hearts and clear minds. Many of our previous ideas and things we were taught all our lives are being challenged under new grounds, mostly with compassionate solutions.

Many of these issues are asking for a general attitude change towards an acknowledgement of the web of relationships that connects us all. Some of these changes are affecting the laws that govern us and some the way we look at the family and our children. I see a lot of parallels between community and family. If, as a parent, I make rules and “house laws” that don’t respect my children as individuals, then how can I expect respect from them? Stupid rules only make me look stupid.
Open discussions about the rules (“laws”) should be a regular item on the agenda. If we can get the young people involved in their strengths with plenty of positive encouragement and a little constructive criticism, they end up having no time or desire to strive for negative attention. If we allow them to make their own mistakes and help them to overcome them, they will grow up to be better citizens for it. These concepts can be applied to the community as well. The “lynch mob mentality”, which originates from misinformation, vindictiveness and ignorance was supposed to go out the window with those old western movies, but it is still alive and well everywhere around us.

Open, mature discussions of the issues affecting us without suppression or purposeful distortion of information is the only way to make educated decisions about anything. The OpenMinder will strive to make this happen by letting the people who have something to say tell you in their own words.

Positive recognition of achievements encourages more positive achievements. Do you do something unique, draw cartoons, create crosswords, are you a budding musician or artist or have a home business?…. let us know!

In closing I would like to deeply thank the businesses that were adventurous enough to support this first issue with their advertising dollars (it was impossible to see you all) and those that supplied their stories.

“4,300 Feet of Business Opportunity Lighting the 21st Century
Ron Wyers – Western Aviation Services Ltd.
Nestled in the beautiful community of Grand Forks, British Columbia is a paved runway waiting to be busier. That’s what attracted Western Aviation Services Ltd. to commence extensive renovations on two hangars in April 1997 after
we had researched many other airports in central B.C.. It was two long years involving installation of essential services to begin with, since no evidence existed of a future development plan for the airport. Today, construction is still ongoing with the continuous growth of our business into Commercial Aircraft Maintenance (we are Grand Forks’ first AMO facility approved by Transport Canada). This certification is now bringing new customers from other B.C. locations to our facility and the City of Grand Forks. Expansion into composite aircraft designing and construction will happen later this year with a number of aviation enthusiasts wanting to build their own planes.

There is a great deal of work to be done to develop the airport into a thriving economical asset for the City of Grand Forks. When we arrived two years ago, we were the only active business here at the airport. Kootenay Airways from Cranbrook has recently opened a flight training school with 13 students registered and plans to bring foreign students into the area. Canadian flight training standards are considered the highest in the world and we have the latest technology and the space (airport) to tap into a market which sees unlimited opportunities for the future.

Our neighbour, Skynet Telecommunications, opened their technology-based company one year ago. As luck would have it, Skynet had the communications and aviation expertise to become the Project Manager for the airport runway
lighting upgrade. This mayor accomplishment for the airport was completed on schedule and under budget using local trades, businesses and personnel.

B.C. Forest Service moved their Rock Creek office this past winter to the G.F. Airport alongside their existing fire attack unit. An essential fire fighting service we recognize here every summer, and growing to meet the demand to reach forest areas throughout south central B.C..

Right now, we are not aware of an official airport development plan to blend compatibly with the neighbouring industrial park and rural residents. This is a reality that needs addressing. In addition, improvements to the weather reporting system (AWOS) and airport fencing are major projects we must recognize soon to pursue night landing for medevac flights, commercial and private aircraft.

Grand Forks needs jobs today and a future that we can all be a part of. Is it fear of “noisy” airplanes, losing our beautiful local colour or simply not being aware of the many opportunities that this airport is capable of providing that puts this airport in its present condition? Even our Boundary neighbours are recognizing the importance of this airport when you realize that Castlegar Airport is not capable of night flight services. We are fortunate to have attracted a number of aviation professionals to this community who have voluntarily come forward to work at making this airport economically viable for the benefit of all. I encourage everyone to get involved and visit your local airport.
You’ll have that opportunity May 22 and 23rd when the City of Grand Forks, the local flying club and the Chamber of Commerce invite you to the opening ceremony for the runway lighting project and airport fly-in activities for both days.

Ask the Man!
Ask your question to a local elected representative and we will try to get an answer in writing for you.

Question to Mayor Brian Taylor:
What do you think of this type of column in our publication and would you co-operate in answering reasonable questions?

It is essential that public officials debate public issues in the eye of the public. This weekly space will be dedicated to public debate. What I like most about Brian’s idea for this space, is that the reader will get both opinions in one read. So, say you wanted to ask a councilor why they voted in a certain way, or you think the school board needs to explain themselves; you ask the question, the OpenMinder will forward your questions to the representative of your choice and, assuming they respond, the question and the answer will be printed together.

Grand Forks sends a lot of information out by “jungle telegraph”. The problem with this low-tech approach is that the message that arrives is never the same as the message that left. Public debate in this town is a challenge. Conceivably if we were larger, we would have an exclusive radio station and maybe local TV.

I appreciate the job hat is done by both the community access cable but in my opinion the print media is the most influential voice in this community. I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to Bill, Marie, Herb and Henry at Sunshine Cable for making possible the live broadcast of city council meetings. Tune in and watch the people you elected run your city. At the end of each council meeting, the chair asks if the gallery or the media have any questions. I think it is worth considering asking the TV viewing audience to telephone or fax in a question or two as well.

My personal commitment is to make this space work. When asked a fair question I will answer clearly and honestly. In closing, my congratulations to Brian McAndrew and his wife Sonja Gartner. I believe that the ethical commitments
to open debate, education and community involvement will make this weekly paper a popular forum and a “must read” for residents and visitors to the Boundary.

Chamber Shows Pride in Community
Loretta Robinson
Every day the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce hears about something our community can be proud of. In the weeks to come we promise to expound on that theme and share information with you as well as ask you for input. Sonia at Golden Heights Estate Inn and Restaurant informed me this week that they are interested in providing wall space for businesses to advertise. All they ask is that it be done up in a tasteful collage format and put in a frame.
They have a well-trafficked wall that they feel would be ideal for merchants/businesses to promote their establishments and be an opportunity to entice the visitors staying at Golden Heights to shop/spend/stay in the area. Another thought from the Hill – would any businesses be interested in having a discount coupon put in a parting “promotional envelope” for the guests? – call Sonia – Here’s your chance for some cross-promotion.

We have a very interesting request from our Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association representative – here it is: The second edition of British Columbia: Off the Beaten Path will be published in the fall of 1999. I’m in the process of revising it and would like to include a few interesting facts from your area. For example, could you give me the
names (including a little info) of any famous people from the region (authors, musicians, actors, sports stars, etc.). Also, does your area have any – unusual or otherwise – “biggest”, “oldest”, or other superlatives that you are proud of, for example, Salmo claims the oldest phone booth in the world, Kitimat I believe claims the biggest one-day snowfall in B.C., Burnaby claims the largest ice-sports arena, B.C. Place the largest air-supported, domed stadium, Victoria has the oldest Canadian synagogue, etc.

Any information you can give me to make the second edition of BC:OBP more colourful would be much appreciated. So – Grand Forks and Boundary…. do we have any juicy stuff???!!

We have just finished the final, complete 1999 Calendar of Events! This encompasses the entire Boundary area and not only keeps you informed but can be a great marketing tool for visitors to our area. Call the Chamber if you would like a copy.

Medical Marihuana
Excerpt from “Marihuana , medicine and politics” by Lester Grinspoon, M.D.

In September 1928 Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to his laboratory and discovered that one of the petri dishes he had inadvertently left out over the summer was overgrown with staphylococci except for the area surrounding a mold colony. That mold contained a substance he later named penicillin. He published his finding in 1929, but the discovery was ignored by the medical establishment, and bacterial infections continued to be a leading cause of death. Had it aroused the interest of a pharmaceutical firm, its development might not have been delayed.
More than 10 years later, under wartime pressure to develop antibiotic substances to supplement sulfonamide, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain initiated the first clinical trial of penicillin (with 6 patients) and began the systematic investigation that might have been conducted a decade earlier (Hayes, et al., 1993).

After its debut in 1941, penicillin rapidly earned a reputation as “the wonder drug of the ’40s”. There were 3 major reasons for that reputation: it was remarkably non-toxic, even at high doses; it was inexpensive to produce on a large scale; and it was extremely versatile, acting against the microorganisms that caused a great variety of diseases, from pneumonia to syphilis. In all three respects cannabis suggests parallels:

(1) Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years,
cannabis has never caused a death. The most serious concern is respiratory damage from smoking, but that can easily be addressed by increasing the potency of cannabis and by developing the technology to separate the particulate matter in marihuana smoke from the cannabinoids (prohibition, incidentally, has prevented this technology from flourishing). Once cannabis regains the place in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia that it lost in 1941 after the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act (1937), it will be among the least toxic substances in that compendium.

(2) Medical cannabis would be extremely inexpensive. Street marihuana today costs $200 to $400 an ounce, but the prohibition tariff accounts for most of that. A reasonable estimate of the cost of cannabis as a medicine is $20 to $30 an ounce, or about 30 to 40 cents per marihuana cigarette. As an example of what this means in practice, consider the following. Both the marihuana cigarette and an 8 mg ondansetron pill (cost to the patient $30 to $40) are effective in most cases for the nausea and vomiting of cancer chemotherapy (although many patients find less than one marihuana
cigarette to be more useful, and they often require several ondansetron pills). Thus cannabis would be at least 100 times less expensive than the best present treatment for this symptom.

(3) Cannabis is remarkably versatile. The most common present medical uses of marihuana: cancer treatment, glaucoma, seizures, pain, AIDS, affective disorders (i.e. depression), asthma, rheumatoid disorders, etc.

Small World
Sharon Ann
Let me share a little story with you! Last summer a Canadian artist, Alex Duparis, stopped at Grand Forks and sold me a couple of his Limited Edition pictures – one of which turned out to be quite special! This picture was painted in Barkersville, B.C. of a re-created nostalgia wedding outside one of Barkersville’s old churches. To my amazement one day I heard some ladies talking in the corner of the store (Sharon Ann’s) where the picture was sitting! June, one of the ladies, could not believe her eyes as she recognized the painting of that wedding – her daughter had been chosen to be one of the bridesmaid models in that wedding! June and her family were living in Barkersville at the time the artist was painting this picture! Yes, she bought the painting as a surprise gift for her daughter, who is now grown up, married and having a child!

If you have a story that shows how small the world is, send it in to us at the OpenMinder (Small World) or drop it off at our drop boxes at Pharmasave and Value Drug Mart in Grand Forks.

5W’s contest
Guess Where

If you are an elementary school student in the Boundary Area you could win $5 by telling us what this is a picture of. Don’t forget to include your name, grade, school, and phone number. Drop off your entry at Value Drug Mart,
Market St. or at Pharmasave, Central Ave. in Grand Forks. The first correct answer to our puzzle drawn from our hat
will win the $5 prize.