#2 April 15, 1999


Our first issue may have come out on April Fool’s Day but we weren’t foolin’ because here we are again!

As a parent of 3 kids (2 teens) and hearing about teen violence, vandalism, living on the street, abuse of drugs and all manner of negative attractions, I wonder if there is anything that can be done to prevent this from creeping into our community. I have never known making more rules to be a solution, especially if those affected by them are not consulted and invariably lose rights and freedoms.

I do have a suggestion though. I would like to challenge you teenagers of the Boundary area with something that may give you a chance to participate in your future. If you haven’t grown up enough to take responsibility and participate in your life and you still think “it won’t do any good” or “I’m too lazy”, then you still need those rules and someone to look after you and make sure you obey them.

The OpenMinder asks all teenagers of the Boundary area to answer this question: What are the problems you are facing as a teen in the Boundary and what do you think would be the way to solve these problems?

Using 500 words give or take , drop your suggestions off at Pharmasave or Value Drug Mart in Grand Forks or mail them to SOLUTIONS c/o S320 C17 RR#1, Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0. Deadline for submissions is May 20th, 99.

Answers will be judged on the clarity of describing these problems and the clarity and feasability of the solutions. The OpenMinder will start off the prize for the best entries with $20. We also put a challenge to individuals and businesses alike, to sweeten the pot with cash or meaningful items. Any suggestions would be welcome.

On another note, I’d like to thank everyone for your very welcoming response. A special thanks again to the businesses who support this kind of publication with your advertising dollars. Think about it, readers – if it weren’t for those advertisers you would either not have any publications to read or have to pay a fortune for them! If you are a reader and would like to support this paper as well as make sure you get a copy every 2 weeks, you can send in a voluntary subscription of $50 per year and we will mail you a copy of each issue. Just send a $50 cheque to OpenMinder Subscriptions c/o S320, C17, RR#1 Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0.

Clean Water For All
by Carli Heinrichs
Grand Forks Aquifer Protection Society

Our community is lucky. Our community is filled with inspiration and drive. Our community is struggling like many others in our current economy. But our community has a strong, vibrant and diverse group of interested citizens working hard to develop a protection plan for our groundwater.

1. Why is a groundwater protection plan so important in Grand Forks? We have diversity happening in our local economy. Many home-based businesses are starting up and staying afloat.
Many other medium businesses in many areas from consulting to homebuilding to growing of plants for export and computer-related industries are coming along as well, such as the free-spirited OpenMinder publication. We have the new Granby Provincial Park, which offers spectacular hiking areas and wildlife viewing that rivals any in the Selkirks. We have country spots that are promoting dude ranches, hunting cabins and a fly fisherman for hire. We have well established retailers and long-time merchants that are helping to keep our economy going. All of these businesses are moving along and growing and need to have clean, safe drinking water. After all, business people
need to stay somewhere and use our motels and drink our water. Travellers stop in and use our restaurants and drink water. Industry uses our water and would not go too far in manufacturing if no water was available. Our public offices, court house, schools and hospital use our water. Virtually everyone who has a hooked-up water line or is using a well and lives within Grand Forks City and most of the surrounding area is taking water from the same source, the Grand Forks Aquifer.

What is an Aquifer? Although groundwater exists everywhere under the ground, some parts of the saturated zone contain more water than others. An aquifer is an underground formation of permeable rock or loose material which can produce useful quantities of water when tapped by a well. This is our single source of potable water for this community. There are 23 community wells and over 500 private wells using this aquifer. The aquifer has no impervious layer to protect it from contamination. It is vulnerable to all that is poured onto the surface of the soil. We
know that 33% of our aquifer is contaminated. No community water systems (including irrigation districts and mobile home parks) have been negatively impacted at this time.

But why wait for it to happen? In 1996 our aquifer was rated by the Ministry of Environment as A1 (highly productive and highly vulnerable to contamination). Our aquifer is approximately 25 sq.km in size and Kettle and Granby Rivers are the main recharge sources for the aquifer. Both these rivers have been classified as sensitive. You can see why our aquifer needs our utmost attention and complete support to protect it. We simply can’t afford to replace it. Fresh, clean drinking water is everyone’s business in this community. You can do your part. You can choose natural, organic fertilizers for your gardening activities. You can choose natural pest control measures. You
can choose safe, non-polluting household cleaners, soaps and other preparations that go down the drain. You can choose to recycle your household paints, motor oil and gasoline and as well you can conserve water. Put a brick in your toilet tank, get low usage shower heads, don’t use sprinklers that cannot be regulated and shut off. As a business owner you can choose to support the sale of these kinds of available products. Each of us can and must change our habits that abuse the soil and contaminate our water. What lies under it is too precious to loose. From time to time we’ll keep you updated on our progress. We’ve come a long way since we began on March 24, 1997. We’ve
struggled, we’ve grown, we need more community support.

2.What can you do to help financially? We want to order beautiful signs that notify we are a Groundwater Guardian Community and are asking for interested individuals or businesses for a donation of $25 to cover the cost of each sign and then you get to place it on your property. There has been some discussion of a contest for the best sign placement. Send your ideas and suggestions to Grand Forks Aquifer Protection Society, Box 760, Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0. Mark your envelope “IDEAS”. Be proud of our efforts as a community striving to protect our single water source. All donations will be issued a receipt for tax purposes.

3.Funding? We are happy to report that funding is being applied for to collect further land use history, determine the status of private and community wells through an audit and conduct outreach educational presentations in the community. We are also receiving support from City of Grand Forks, RDKB, water districts and grants from related agencies. Please call 442-5739 after 6 pm for more information.

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 our contest for the teens of Grand Forks and would you like to take up the challenge and sweeten the prize with something as well?

Answer from the Mayor:
Who better to ask than the kids themselves. I think your contest will have many kids talking about what it feels like to live in this town and be 13 or 16. The scary thing will be whether we as adults will actually listen. I’m sorry I can’t offer money, but I will offer lunch with the mayor for the winner and a friend. It would be a chance to put their concerns on the table directly to the mayor. I’ll listen.

Stick Your Neck Out
The Giraffe Project
submitted by Carl Dortch

Background: Violence and drugs in schools are just the more visible parts of a deeper, broader crisis in the raising of our children. At root, it’s a crisis of character: too many kids are growing up with too little commitment to community and to responsible citizenship; too little sense of connection to other human beings; too little confidence in themselves; and too little courage to withstand negative peer pressure.

In 1990 the Giraffe Project began creating and implementing The Giraffe Program, a K-12 curriculum fostering courage, caring and personal responsibility in kids. Education Week, the newspaper of record for educators, has called The Giraffe Program “ultimate character education”.

The Giraffe Program is implemented by individual teachers and through alliances with major national organizations such as Cities In Schools and the U.S. Navy. The program works because it brings kids real heroes – people who stand tall, who stick their necks out to make their world a better place. As people have known for millenia, the stories of heroes stick in our minds, even though we might brush off any principles embedded in them if they came at us as rules and admonitions. The Giraffe Program uses this age-old truth as the basis for a three-step strategy:

Hear the story: The curriculum taps the Giraffe Project’s storybank, which holds the tales of over 800 real heroes, people whose courage and compassion touch the heart and inspire the spirit.

Tell the story: After the kids meet people like these, in print and in the video that’s part of the curriculum, they’re ready to find their own heroes, searching their studies, the news, books, movies, TV, their families and their communities.

Become the story: Then it’s time to stand tall themselves, putting what they’ve learned about heroes’ courage, caring, and responsibility into action. The kids look around, decide what they want to change for the better, then design and carry out service projects to make it happen.

In that progression, their learning goes deeper than theories or memorized rules can take them, into the experiences and memories that are the substance of real knowledge and understanding.

The Giraffe Program is community-oriented. Becoming more aware of local heroes helps students combat cynicism, foster hope, and build a greater sense of the possibilities for their own lives. It also leads students to gain pride in where they live – a pride that can rub off on teachers, parents and anyone else exposed to The Giraffe Program. By assessing local needs and implementing their own projects to meet those needs, students become stakeholders in the community; they learn to care about what happens there.

A formal assessment of the program is now under way, led by a team from the University of Washington. Preliminary data released in August 1996 indicated that 90% of teachers returning surveys reported positive changes in the attitude and behaviour of students taking The Giraffe Program. And 80% reported positive shifts in their attitudes and behaviour.

For more info. contact the Giraffe Project: Local chapter: Carl Dortch – 442-2491 or 360-221-7989, fax: 360-221-7817; e-mail: office@giraffe.org or visit our Web Site: http://www.giraffe.org/

Lions Clubs Objects
by Kenneth Fehr

TO CREATE and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.

TO PROMOTE the principles of good government and good citizenship.

TO TAKE an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.

TO UNITE the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.

TO PROVIDE a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest; provided, however, that partisan
politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.

TO ENCOURAGE service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to
encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and
private endeavours.

Medical Marijuana on the way here?
by Brian Taylor – Brown Bear Medicinals Co-op

Large monoculture farming is not working for the herbal industry. Mono-cropping is seen to lead to a dependence on chemical solutions, to genetic problems and to loss, damage, and reduced crop potency.The industry favours the small (3 to 10 acres) family farm that practices organic farming and maximizes diversity. Many new and “exotic” plants are on the market along with multi-purpose but small-scale processing equipment.

Finally, we may have an agricultural industry, where it is an advantage to be small and truly honest to your values. Brown Bear Medicinals Co-op feels the Boundary is ideally suited for a herbal industry. A number of motivated and committed farmers in the area are already growing organic. A substantial number of the area inhabitants have ethnic, or counter-culture roots and share a history of organic farming and an appreciation of herbs.

Soil conditions are excellent for most applications, and until the early 50’s, the Boundary was the seed basket of the West. Our co-op has been most visible to the public around our application to the Federal Government for a license to grow medical marijuana and process cannabinoid extracts. It is the co-ops intention to be diversified and to wildcraft and to farm the herbs and medicinals that flourish in our B.C. environment, however, the medical marijuana industry will be huge and will provide the co-op with a predictable revenue source that will support the development of a herbal
industry in the Boundary.

Our strategy is to build support upward from the community and to lobby at all political levels. We believe that this model will work, here and in other small communities, creating well paying jobs and stimulating new agriculture throughout the Kootenays.

For more information, or to express your opinion on this or other activities of Brown Bear Medicinals call 442-5166 or e-mail us at gfhc@sunshinecable.com

Roadside Flowers
by Carli Heinrichs

Pesticides are used in virtually all public buildings, golf courses, schools, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and private homes as in agriculture and forestry. Did you know that pets are sentinels of pesticide effects on health and the ecosystem? For thousands of years the company of animals, domestic and wild has alleviated our isolation, loneliness and physical hardship. They also act as a monitor of the environment, giving early warnings of environmental contamination. Take for instance the “dancing cats of Minimata”. A dramatic environmental tragedy resulted in crippling nervous conditions and birth defects, affecting an entire generation of cats from a Japanese village. Abnormal behaviour, resembling frenzied dancing, in local cats was the first sign of trouble, but failed to avert disaster. With the benefit of hindsight, we understand that the “dancing cats” of Minimata were warning the villagers that fish from the bay had been contaminated with toxic levels of methyl mercury. Bearing this tragedy in mind, we should never dismiss out of hand animal epidemics since they might indicate environmental deterioration.(Taken from excerpts of “Pets as Sentinels of Pesticide Toxicity” from Racheal Carson Council web site at http://members.aol.com/reccouncil/ourpage/pets.html)

A statistically significant association between exposure to topical flea and tick dips and the occurence of bladder cancer in dogs has been found. The risk of bladder cancer was increased further in dogs living in proximity to areas sprayed regularly with insecticides for mosquitoes. An increased rate of bladder cancer in humans has been recently reported. (Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 19899; 4077-414).

Now let’s stop and think about our wild bird and animal friends. Toxic herbicides are often sprayed on roadsides for keeping down the weeds and brush. Forestry practices the same methods and these chemicals find their way into everything. Ask your local Ministry of Highways office or local Forestry office. The weeds and brush are food sources to some wild animals. Dry weeds are perfect nest materials and don’t we encourage our kids to collect cans and bottles for recycling from roadside ditches? I suggest we plant wildflowers on the roadsides and enjoy the beauty. In the Winlaw valley I drove the highway last spring and thoroughly enjoyed the wildflowers along the roadside. Ministry of Highways obviously made an exception and didn’t spray a herbicide. Let’s make the same exception this year for the Boundary. Plant some wildflower seeds on the roadside!

5W’s Contest
Last issue winner

Erika Thorpe in grade 6 at Dr. D. A. Perley School wins the $5 for correctly guess the City Hall
Guess Who
Who was the first mayor of Grand Forks?
If you are an elementary school student in the Boundary Area you could win $5 by telling us who the first mayor of
Grand Forks was. 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.