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                      Issue #06   Mar 18, 02

Softwood Lumber Dispute Could Drag on, and on, and...

  Canadians exporting into the US  were being charged a 19.3 per cent countervailing duty ; a tax that was applied in 2001  on imports found to be unfairly subsidized. The U.S. says the Canadian lumber industry is being unfairly subsidized  by the Government as lumber companies are allowed to cut trees on crown land, having lower than average stumpage fees.  This countervailing duty has since been suspended. As of December 15, 2001,  a  US duty law stating that provisional measures such as this can not continue past 120 days came into effect, and the duty can not be reinstated until  investigations are completed.
  Then there's the anti-dumping duty of 12.57 per cent introduced in October, 2001. Dumping is a term used to describe the sale of goods to another country at less than what they cost to produce. Canadians are outraged and BC descends into an economic recession with over 15,000 workers being laid off , as American trade authorities determine whether harm has been done to their forestry industry from Canadian exports. Both tariffs had been imposed on a preliminary basis until the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission reached a conclusion.     
  The US Commerce Department is right now engaged in a "pick and choose" process of determining which softwood lumber products will be exempt from the countervailing duty and the anti-dumping tariff investigations. Certain products such as Western red cedar, eastern white pine and some "end result products" such as bed frame parts and finger jointed components, were pronounced exempt on March 15 .  
  351 western Canadian companies have applied for exclusion from the investigations, but only 30 will have their applications reviewed .  
  Analysts believe that it will take upwards of 3 years for any resolution of the situation , as it is figured that it will take at least that long to discover whether any unfair subsidizing is occurring, to prove that it has caused harm to the US lumber industry,  and to present and litigate the case in front of an international trade committee.    
  Others we have spoken to have a much more optimistic view and see a workable solution  being reached through discussions and compromises  some time toward the end of May.

"The Big Picture" For Local Artists

Would you like to become a member of the Hope Artists Guild and exhibit and/or sell artwork out of the Hope Arts Gallery at 349 Fort Street in Hope? All you have to do is promise to volunteer at least eight {8} hours of time in "The Gallery" per month, attend at least six {6} meetings per year, agree to a 20% sales commission and pay a $35.00 yearly membership fee. The membership jury the artwork of prospective members at their regular meetings held the second Tuesday of each month. A committee of five Guild members hang new work the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.
The Hope Artists' Guild was formed in the spring of 1997 by Blaine Orloff. At first the members met at Blaine's house and had to hold exhibits in parking lots. For one summer season they used an area at the back of "The Whales Tail"on Wallace Street, where "The Blue Moose" in now located. In the fall of 1997 they leased the former Career Centre building from the Dist.of Hope and opened the Gallery in April of 1998.
  Since then, paintings, pine needle baskets, fabric art, photography, ceramics, Raku and stoneware pottery, wood carvings and lathe work, Chinese brush Painting, painted rocks, a children's book, all by local artists, have been exhibited and sold from "The Gallery".{** Local means east to Boston Bar and west as far as Agassiz.} The Guild also sponsors the "Artwalk" held each year starting the long weekend of May until the last day of September. Look for the Grizzly tracks on the sidewalks. They indicate which  businesses have artwork on  display.
Members of the Guild, as well as out of town artists can also exhibit their work in 'The Back Room'.  Hope Senior Secondary School art students have had an exhibit there in June for the last 3 years, a gal from 100 Mile House showed her work last year, The Chilliwack Golden Palette Club will display work in May. In fact all of Year 2002 has been completely booked, but one can always book for next year by phoning 604-869-2408, or by dropping by any day {except Monday} between 11:00am and 4:00pm. **{Summer hours will begin the May long weekend when "The Gallery" is open seven days a week, 9:30am - 5:30pm}
   The 4th Anniversary Open house will be held the evening of Sunday April 21st
from 7:00 - 10:00pm. The artists on site that evening will be potters Dianne
Ferguson, Trudy Feely, 'Billie' Shauer and Joshua Hon.                     --Sharon Blythe  


Spring Care for Your Fruit Trees


    
    The air is beginning to warm and the buds are swelling; the red-hued mist on the hillsides promise the eminent beauty of  fruit blossoms.  Anyone who has bitten into a sweet backyard pear knows the joy of a great harvest, a direct result of gentle, conscientious care during the last few chilly weeks of winter.  The time has come for  Fraser Canyon gardeners  to dole out some tender loving care to the apple, pear, plum and cherry trees in his back yard.
  Apple trees of all varieties will benefit from a good late winter feeding of 10-10-10 fertilizer, remember that the feeder roots are concentrated toward the outer reaches of the branches.  Spread the fertilizer around the tree covering an area slightly larger than the spread of the branches, let it penetrate naturally, it should not be forked in or the shallow
roots may be damaged.  A majority of pests can be controlled by the application of a dormant spray. Dormant spray should be applied just as the buds open.  Just before blossoms open apply a general purpose spray obtained from your garden centre.  
  Pear trees will benefit from much the same treatment as apples but since they flower earlier, they are much more susceptible to late spring frosts.  A heavy cover of mulch around the base of the tree will provide much needed nitrogen. Not allowing grass to grow around the base of a pear tree will also .help ensure it absorbs ample nitrogen from the soil.  Keeping the soil moist is crucial, even though some early summer falling of fruit is natural, dry, poor quality soil can cause an entire crop to fall.
    Plum trees are also very susceptible to late frosts, early in the spring apply a 2-inch layer of straw or compost mulch around the base of the tree. Ensure that the soil is moist before applying the mulch  and a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10.  As suckers (shoots) appear  around the base of the tree, dig around them and pull them off by hand, do NOT cut them, as this will just make more grow.  Wasps are a common pest associated with plums; they will cling to the fruits and suck them dry. They can also pass disease between trees.  If you notice wasps eating your plums follow them to their nest and destroy them  with a commercial wasp control spray.
    Cherry trees benefit from a light pruning in early spring, and a generous application of 10-6-4 fertilizer. A layer of well-rotted manure or compost works well as mulch or a cover of grass is very helpful in controlling weeds around the base of cherry trees.  Watering is really only necessary during lengthy dry spells.  In late spring drape the entire tree in netting to protect the fruit from birds.  
    Why not give the spring an early welcome?   Get  your rubber boots and venture outside to inspect the trees.  The air is brisk and the ground might still be frozen, but summer fruit salads are really just around the corner.
     Happy Spring to all!.. .
 

"Do jellyfish get gas from eating jellybeans?"