Kids honoured at Standard Awards Night
Junior and Senior high school students from Standard School were given personal invitations to attend the annual Awards night on Monday, June 4.
Students, along with their parents and guardians, waited in anticipation to hear the names of this year’s award recipients. Mr. Mark McKeen gave introductions and eligibility requirements for each award before announcing the winners for this school year.
Athletic awards were the first to be distributed and were as follows: Sportsmanship Awards for Junior High went to Brayden DesRoche and Julia Newell. The Senior High awards went to Dale Palsson and Janelle Hoff. Athlete of the year for Junior High went to Christopher Everett and Stephanie Larsen and Senior High to Duncan Michie and Carly Melcher. As well Coaches from the various team sports handed out their most improved player and most valuable players awards.
Student of the Year Awards were handed out to the following students from each Grade. Grade 7, Faith Neumann and Julia Newell. Grade 8, Christopher Everett and Kennedy Adamson. Grade 9, Emily Lam. Grade 10, Nick Gerritsen. Grade 11, Shaun Brintona and Shannon Brinton. Grade 12, Morgan McCallum.
Scholarships and Academic Awards for the graduating class were given out as follows :
Class Act Award – Toby Noy
Citizenship – Carly Melcher
Keith Schneider Ambassador Award – Adelle Ellis
ATA / Wheatland Student Award – Toby Noy
Lionettes Award – Adelle Ellis
Ed Cornett Scholarship – Janelle Hoff
Jordan Roppel – Owen Dahm
Andrew Patterson Memorial Award – Brandon Thomas
Governor General – Stephanie Wise
The evening ended with McKeen commissioning the kids to remember why they were there and to really take a moment to thank their parents for their diligence in raising them and driving them to succeed in life.
Changes needed at Family Centre to host Alberta Cup
Councillor Rocky Blokland announced at the June 6 regular council meeting the Strathmore Minor Hockey (SMH) has been tentatively awarded the chance to host the 2013 and 2014 Alberta Cup, with a few conditions. The Alberta Cup is a five-day hockey tournament for bantam aged players. A bid was made by SMH in April.
One of the sticking points according to Blokland is that the press box is not suitable the way it is currently and it will require some expansion.
Blokland made a motion to council to approve the motion to host the 2013 and 2014 Alberta Cup, and for the cost not to exceed $10,000 for the press box and $2,000 for wireless Internet.
“The town is trying to bring better and bigger events to town such as the winter games and the seniors games and I think that doing something like this only helps in our efforts to do those kinds of things,” said Councillor Earl Best.
“I think with a bigger press box we’re accommodating the types and sizes of tournaments that we can bring in, and I certainly do appreciate that and therefore I am certainly behind this.”
The motion was passed unanimously.
Peace officer sharing agreement
A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) has been drafted between the Town of Strathmore and Wheatland County to share Peace Officer and Municipal Enforcement Services. Chief Administrative Officer Dwight Stanford said there are lots of benefits to the MOU. One example is with Heritage Days the peace officer from the county can help provide extra security, and possibly with help with other big events in town. The same goes for the County; if they need help then the Towns peace officers can assist them.
Watering hour changes
Changes were approved for the watering schedule on June 6. Previously the hours had been from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The hours have been increased in both the morning and evening, adding an additional two hours to each. The watering times are now 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tim Hortons Camp Day a continued success
Wednesday, June 6 was this year’s annual Tim Hortons Camp Day fundraiser, where volunteers, staff and customers had fun earning money to send children to camp.
Last year, Tim Hortons collectively raised $10 million towards sending children to a Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation camp. Strathmore Tim Hortons contributed $10,000 last year, and Erin Wilson, a manager at Strathmore’s Tim Hortons says that this year both local and national stores are aiming higher.
“We’ve got four local kids going to camp in Kananaskis this year,” Wilson says. “We’ve also got about thirty volunteers coming this year.”
Volunteers from the fire department, RCMP, town council members and others helped employees serve coffee and donuts to help raise money.
“[The volunteers] really get a peek of what it’s like to work behind a counter,” says Wilson. “It’s a fun day for our staff too. It’s a lighter atmosphere.”
100 per cent of coffee sales also go straight to donations on Camp Day. Tim Hortons also holds raffles, which Wilson says offer some “great prizes.”
The Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation camp provides children whose families normally couldn’t afford to send their children to camp a chance to experience a unique opportunity.
Fule for Thought
My dad immigrated to Canada in 1950. He knew there’d be a better life for him because Europe was so ravaged during World War II. As a kid growing up in the 60’s, WWII vets were still young and some had stories to tell.
All my friends had fathers who fought for the Allies. For me, it was always hard when talk with friends turned to the War, or playing “Combat.”
My dad had been forced to fight for the Germans, and sadly, I always felt a little shame, and sometimes I was teased. My dad only told me that he had been a truck driver in the War, but had been captured by the British.
His stories were only about their camp and how well the British treated them, as soldiers. Even with good treatment, conditions were very harsh. The prisoners would wait for the Red Cross shipments of clothing, food, chocolate, even cigarettes. He told me that one warm Spring day, he and his fellow prisoners were so lice infested, they couldn’t stand it anymore. So, they stripped and buried their clothing so that only part of a sleeve or pant leg would be out of the dirt. The lice would absolutely cover that piece of clothing to get to the warm air, and that’s when they would tear off the piece, shake it off, and get dressed again.
After 2.5 years in a prison camp, my dad was desperate to get home to see his family. The War had just ended, and a common soldier could be released if he had a serious medical or dental problem. Somehow, my dad secured a pair of pliers, and had other prisoners hold him down, so they could pull out his teeth! I asked him how he could go through with this, but he just said, prison camp for that long was terrible, the barracks were not warm in Winter, and all suffered … he was desperate to go home.
He finally wound up on a train car near his village. By this time, however, the Russians were beginning to take over the country. Armed soldiers kept others and dad on the car for two weeks. Finally, my dad had enough of living like this, so he began his trek across Europe, where he worked at various places in order to get a ship ticket to Halifax. He would never see his mother again, and it would be 25 years until he reunited with his father, and family.
My dad was a contract coal miner in Canmore, which meant he got paid by the number of coal cars filled. That meant you would have to work very hard your whole shift, in order to get a decent pay. There was never any “slacking off” for all these miners. One day, he was helping to hand couple two coal cars together. If cars were coming up the track, someone was always to warn the others … no one did this day. The cars smashed together with his head between! Luckily, his helmet split and he was not killed. Instead, he was left with a very large bump on his head. As long as I knew him, it was always there. As kids, we thought it was funny … it jiggled when you touched it, and we’d try to color it while he slept on the couch! He’d never let a doctor remove it!
Payday at the mine was always special for my brother and me. Dad would surprise us with some kind of toy, plus an allowance. We’d rush to the store and for a dollar, we’d each buy eight comics, and still have change! It was the comics that got me reading, and looking back, they were the start of me wanting to be an English/PE teacher. Every day my dad would have to clean the coal dust out of his ears and eyes.
He’d look at me watching, and he’d tell me no matter what, “you’re never going to be a miner.”
Any job he did, he worked hard at it, to give my brother and I a good life. I know they always ate cheaper meats, so that Gary and I could have the better cuts. He took in my mom’s youngest brother and helped him get established as a Canadian.
Dad never felt he was a Hungarian-Canadian … he was proud to become a Canadian, and that’s what he was. My parents even took in two of my cousins for six months, as their home life was damaged by their parents’ alcohol issues and fights. He was always so generous to people, even all my friends knew that the Fules’ door, and FRIDGE door was always open to them!
Later, to my children, he was absolutely devoted. He loved the fact that he had both a grandson AND granddaughter. He bought bunk beds so they could have sleepovers and watch movies. Simple outings like feeding ducks at a creek were the best things for him, and he was very happy to be with them.
On June 30 1997, my dad phoned us while Breanne and I were grocery shopping. When we got back, Deb told me about the call, and suggested I call him back. I said that I’d call him the next day and touch base.
There would be no next day, as he had a massive heart attack, while packing his truck/boat for fishing. When we got the call, I cried so much I hurt all over. I felt so guilty … I had blown the chance to talk to him one last time, and all because I was too lazy to phone back. It has haunted me since then. In fact, a week later, we were cleaning his mobile home out for the sale. I don’t know why, but I pressed the button on dad’s answering machine. I fell back on a chair when his voice came on … I was stunned, and once again, felt the loss of him. I had the chance to speak with him the day before he died, and now all I had was this recording … I played it over and over, listening to him … wishing he WAS on the phone.
(“Fule for Thought” is a slice of life humourous column that will appear in the Strathmore Times, written by long-time resident, town councillor, high school teacher, coach, husband and father of two – Pat Fule. If you would like to get in touch with Pat, you can send him an e-mail at
Remembering our past - Damien and May Corbiell
Damien’s father Jean Baptiste Corbiell (J.B.) was born in Norway, Michigan in 1893. They moved to Gleichen in 1910. At that time, CPR was building the roadbed through Makepiece, Hussar and Chancellor. J.B. and his brother Frank drove wagons, which carried all necessary supplies - including food, from Gleichen to the work camps. At that time, this area was so dry, that even birds were not available for fresh meat. So, gophers and badgers were trapped, cleaned and cooked over an open fire!
In 1911, a family with the surname ‘Bouchard’ arrived at Gleichen from Chicoutimi, Quebec with seven children. Two more were born in the west, including Damien’s mother – Yvonne. History advises the courtship between J.B. and Yvonne must have been hilarious, as mother knew very little English and father’s French was no better. The family often wondered if it was all sign language!
Damien, the third son of J.B. and Yvonne, and was born in Calgary in 1922. He attended Jean D’Arc school and also went to Wheatfield school. He has lived on the farm north of Cluny all his life. During his younger years, he remembers all the neighbours coming to their place to skate and play hockey, on the nearby pond. Later, Damien played hockey for the Flying Frenchmen, and in the summer played ball.
After J.B. had a stroke in 1930, it fell to the three brothers Adelard, Clem and Damien to continue to operate the farm. When WW2 began, Adelard and Clem joined the RCAF, but Damien stayed to help his father, who was now an invalid. Damien served in the reserve army for eight years as a Lieutenant.
May was born across the river in Milo, in 1930. When school age arrived, she was bussed to Cluny where she met Damien at the Cluny Dorm. They were married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Cluny, on April 20, 1950 - only the third couple to be married there.
She advises many, a road was plowed during that courtship! In those days her Dad used to haul his grain to Cluny, and purchased supplies at Louie Hong’s Store. After their wedding, they lived at the homeplace for a couple of years, before buying land from J.B. With the assistance of Ernie Gibeau, they built their new home. They adopted two boys and a girl, who have given them nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
They spent their working lives farming north of Cluny, before retiring to Strathmore in 1987. On arrival in Strathmore, they found so many of their neighbours already living here, that it was given the nickname of ‘Clunyville’!
Throughout their lives they’ve both remained very involved with the Catholic Church, both in Cluny and in Strathmore. Damien has been involved with the Knights of Columbus, The Lions Club, Curling Club, UFA, United Grain Growers, and the Credit Union.
May served as Chairperson with the Sacred Heart for Gleichen/Cluny and Strathmore, as well as being very involved with Women’s Rural Institute, Catholic Women’s League, the Curling Club, and the Gleichen Jubilee Choir..
When I asked them what changes they had seen in this area in recent years, they both replied at the same time – the population growth! There were 3,500 residents living in Strathmore when they moved here in 1987.
Train Days for Father’s Day and for a good cause
The Aspen Crossing train station in Mossleigh will celebrate Father’s Day weekend with something most fathers like: trains.
“Train Days at Aspen Crossing is something special for Father’s Day weekend,” said Aspen Crossing owner and founder Jason Thornhill.
“Most fathers and boys like trains and it’s a lot of fun for everybody.”
There will be model garden trains to marvel at, a small train for kids to ride on, a pancake breakfast, hay rides with a team of heavy horses and much more for dads and families to enjoy.
The kids’ small train was built by Ken Sanderman of Three Hills. The train can accommodate 12 kids per ride. Sanderman donates his time and lends Aspen Crossing his train for this weekend. Train rides for the kids will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with brief stops to rest the train conductors.
“I take turns driving the train with Ken,” said Thornhill.
For the last seven years the Rocky Mountain Garden Railway Society has also supported Thornhill’s Father’s Day event. Each year members of the society lay down tracks and put up buildings in the 3,500 sq. ft. Aspen Crossing greenhouse. The trains are a 1/24 G or garden scale, or ½ inch to the foot, said the Society’s Lynn Buchanan. The garden model trains will run for the whole weekend.
“We’re very into trains,” said Buchanan.
Thornhill has run fundraising Father’s Day events for seven of the eight years since he created Aspen Crossing. Each year a different charity benefits from the generosity and support of Aspen Crossing and its volunteers and visitors. Last year the event benefited the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, said Thornhill. This year STARS Air Ambulance will be the beneficiary.
“Jason is a man with a vision and a mission. He is not done building up Aspen Crossing yet,” said Buchanan.
Started as a garden centre in 2004, Aspen Crossing has evolved into all things trains and railroad. There is a museum, a gift shop, an 1887 Pullman restaurant rail car as well as a Canadian Pacific caboose and a campground.
The Train Days event is June 16 and 17. The pancake breakfast from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is $8 for adults and $4 for kids aged 12 and under. Other snacks are available after 12:30 p.m.
Aspen Crossing is located 1 kilometre west of Mossleigh on Highway 24 (also called Highway 547).
Local teacher performs in Rosebud production
Deanne Bertsch has been teaching dance and drama at Strathmore High School (SHS) for a number of years now. When she isn’t teaching SHS students, she’s in Rosebud teaching dance and helping choreograph upcoming performances. In Rosebud Theatre’s summer performance, Anne of Green Gables, Bertsch not only helped choreograph but also has a role in the production. Bertsch plays teacher Miss Stacy, a fairly easy role for her to assume.
“I can draw from my experience. It is quite fun as I can hear familiar intonations in my voice as I remind students of their behaviour onstage and am striving to get them interested in learning just as I am at SHS,” said Bertsch.
“I even get to put on a play within a play as Miss Stacy, a pageant about Canadian History written and devised by the students of Avonlea School. I actually did a similar thing with my SHS students in May, White Blank Page, about Canadian soldiers in the first world war, written and devised by the students of SHS.”
Getting the right moves down is vital for any performance, and with the variety of dances within Anne of Green Gables, it took some time to get them all down.
“We had extra choreography time before actual rehearsals began. We probably spent about 15 hours just working various dances. There is a boot dance, a soft shoe dance, a partial highland fling and a gypsy dance,” said Bertsch.
Anyone who knows the tale of Anne Shirley, either by reading the books or watching the musical performed on stage, has a part, or maybe a few, that stick out as their favourite.
“My favourite part of the production is watching the students in their scene with Mr. Phillips. Conrad Belau plays Moody Spurgeon and he is a wonderful, rebellious brat and spits a prune into Mr. Phillips’ hand, rather horrifying and hilarious,” said Bertsch.
“My other favorite part is when Marilla and Matthew both sing “The Words”, they both do such a beautiful job and the song and story surrounding it are heartbreaking and inspiring.”
Bertsch is not scheduled for any other upcoming performances at Rosebud at the moment. Anne of Green Gables began on May 25 and will be on stage until August 25. Tickets are available online at www.rosebudtheatre.com or by calling 1-800-267-7553.
Reports from Wheatland Protective Services
A proposal to establish a new Health and Safety Officer position was run past Wheatland County council by the Protective Services Manager, Gerald Skibinsky, with the support of other County of Wheatland staff.
Currently Wheatland relies upon a combined effort from all departments to carry out inspection duties.
“There are over 30 sites and inspections that take staff away from their regular duties. Inspections are running behind and with nine fire and building inspections added on, it requires evening and weekend work,” said Skibinsky.
He proposed that a Health and Safety Officer would be beneficial because they could be on site, helping site personnel understand safety regulations. He said with so much work, other municipalities are also hiring full time Health and Safety Officers.
The costs and job description was provided to council for their consideration. Council gave approval to establish and post the position.
Sergeant Jeff Cyr gave an update of the protection services statistics for May 2012.
• Seven criminal investigations that were forwarded to the RCMP.
• 60 traffic stops
• 13 animal complaints
• two unsightly premises
• two fire and ems assists
• four environmental calls
Cyr indicated officers continued to help Drumheller and Strathmore RCMP on requests for assistance, and the services had forwarded their appreciation for the help. They would be helping during Canada Day celebrations and for Heritage Days.
Disturbing the peace
Counsellors asked Cyr to look into a ratepayers request to monitor an unsightly address in Gleichen. The complainant said there was increased drunk and disorderly activity near the address and complaints of increased panhandling activity, especially in the evening hours. Councillors will contact the ratepayer and communicate with the Siksika Council as to recommendations to deal with the complaint.
Andy Schultess, long time Standard Fire Chief, is retiring. He will help part time with training exercises. He and his wife are looking to travel and spend winters in the south.
New Standard fire hall
The Standard Fire Association is looking to build a new shop on County land, close to the County mechanical shop. They had made previous inquiries to the County and no objections were voiced.
The Association would retain control of the hall, while the County would retain ownership of the land. The designs are in and the Association has narrowed the bid to two contractors. The decision will be made at the July 7 Capital Budget meeting.
Only three fire departments have responded with members’ years of service. The information was needed to make service awards.
“If there is no interest there, there may be no awards,” said Skibinsky.
The deadline for submission is June 30.
Mutual aid agreements
Wheatland County Fire has mutual aid agreements with Brooks/Newell County, and Dalum Fire has an agreement with Drumheller. However, County councillors cautioned that the services should have a written agreement to deal with any potential liability issues.
Saturated soil concerns
A landowner next to Eagle Lake nurseries is concerned about the excess surface water runoff coming onto his land through a culvert under the private road between the nursery and his property.
He is asking the county to help manage the problem.
“It comes down to a dispute between neighbours,” said Public Works Manager Gerry Van Ooostwaard.
“It would be nice if they take responsibility and mitigate the problem,” said Councillor Ken Sauve.
Van Ooostwaard said the nursery saturates the soil with their drip irrigation system to maintain the nursery plants, so when moisture falls on the land, it diverts as runoff. The county has a similar problem with the nursery from drainage into the ditch that runs through a culvert under a county owned road and this problem occurs in areas close to sod farms as well. Van Ooostwaard said industrial sites are required to put in storm water ponds, to deal with excess drainage, but land designated as agricultural use has no such restriction.
Councillor Ben Armstrong stated that the nursery has to apply to Alberta Environment to drain and reclaim portions of the property for new nursery development.
“The minute the neighbour complains, that is when Alberta Environment will step in,” said Armstrong.
Council asked for the matter be referred to Alberta Environment and the Western Irrigation District also be advised of the problem.
Public Works picks up the pace
Public Works crews are completing many projects and moving on to new ones. Manager Gerry Van Ooostwaard said that the Duck Lake road project is complete. Work at the Langley Siding is also complete, with changes that will keep it from washing out in this year’s spring and summer rains. Gravel crews finished projects in Div. 3-4 and moved to Lyalta or Goldsmith. Shoulder crews are reworking the Prescott road and worked with oil crews to get it into shape. They have now moved to Ardenode. Potholes on the Oxbow road are repaired.
“The patches are all filled and primed, “said Van Ooostwaard.
Graders are working on the Namaka road and finishing up in Rosebud.
The Utilities crew are fixing soft spots.
“Sometimes it works out good and sometimes it don’t,” said Van Ooostwaard about soft spot repairs.
Crews are moving to do drainage to the east side of the Namaka road and draining it to the north, leveling out the road and then will complete weeping tile installation near the hall.
Street sweeping is completed in the small hamlets and soon gravel and grading of the alleys will be done.
“It is the next thing on the list,” said Van Oostwaard.
Councillors asked crews to clean up two asphalt piles and blocks in Carseland, ditches by Cheadle on Hwy 24 and clean the debris left by CPR on the rail crossing by Hussar, before they become a safety hazard.
New road reclamation method
Van Ooostwaard travelled to Didsbury to view a new method of road reclamation using dry calcium as a stabilization product.
The calcium is sprayed on and then a reclamation unit is attached to a grader. The road demonstrated had been oiled at one time and the process chewed up two to three inches of the old oil, and mixed that with the calcium and water. Van Ooostwaard said if gravel prices continue to rise, this might be an option to consider in the future.
Break-in At Carseland gravel trailer
In spite of the installation of high quality locks, burglars were able to cut the cast steel bracket with a bolt cutter and take tools from the trailer. There were cameras monitoring equipment in the yard, but there wasn’t a good view of the culprits obtained.
More cameras were installed and all tools and equipment will be marked with county brands to make it harder to sell at pawnshops and flea markets.
Kubota vs. John Deere
Public Works was looking to replace a mower and had suppliers provide a demo day.
After a purchase of a new John Deere last year, and reflecting on the subsequent problems with the new mower, the decision was made to try a Kubota.
“How are you going to know if a Toro is better if you don’t try them,” said Van Oostwward.
He looked at all suppliers and although the Toro was a little more money, it was chosen.
Two companies bid to do sidewalks and gutters in the Hamlet of Cluny. Con Site Construction Ltd. bid $169,065.00 and Brooks Asphalt and Aggregate bid $107,332.00. Brooks Asphalt and Aggregate took the contract.
The Capital Works Waterline Extension on Indus Street in Carseland had two bids, which did not include tunnelling and direction to minimize disturbance of the playground area.
“Bids were over budget and unusually high because of the small job,” said Dave Churchill, Transportation and Infrastructure Manager. He said the county plans to do underground work next year on the sewage line on Main Street. He suggested the Carseland work could be combined with next year’s work, as it was not an emergency and a new tender could be considered in 2013. Council approved the postponement of the tender.
AM Mackay bid $114,922.50 and Mid Developments bid $136,463.25 on the Rosebud well supply main tender. AM Mackay was granted the tender for the first half of the job. The tender for the supply main was deferred to the spring of 2013, as there were some problems accessing the location and it being a small project.
The Municipal Development Plan received four bids: Maloney and Associates-$81,000, Brown and Associates-$79,993.20, Dillon Consulting-$69,786 and ISL Engineering-$75,978. The bids will be reviewed and the result brought back to council on June 12 for council decision.
Hefty buck for dust control
On May 15, county councillors wanted to get an idea of what dust control for all the residents in the county would cost. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Jennifer Deak brought back figures on what it might cost to supply residents with 1,000 feet of dust control from their residential entrance. The amount was given as an approximate cost, based on the number of address signs, excluding those on pavements, times the cost of the application. The cost for Calcium Chloride treatment would be approximately $3.2 million, $12.1 million of that for oil treatment and $10.5 million to top up previously oiled approaches.
“The total municipal budget is only $26.5 million, so this program would be quite costly,” said Deak.
The figures did not include man-hours or machinery. If councillors approve the process, they would have to find some way to provide the funds, as it is not currently in the County budget. Councillors asked Deak to compute the approximate raise in mill rate it would take to provide the service to ratepayers and report back to them.
The CP Rail crossing NE of Carseland on TNSP 222 and RR 255 has become a safety concern because of trees blocking the line of sight for oncoming trains. The trees are on CP Rail property so county crews are not able to clear them. Council approved a letter to CP to request the clearing of the trees from the crossing.
Councillors directed that CN Rail be notified of weed control needed between the rails near Lyalta.
“The problem does not seem significant unless you consider the fire hazard,” said Councillor Brenda Knight. “Everything possible should be done to deter the risk of fires getting out of hand.”
She felt that fire hazards increased in dry weather and there was the chance that prairie fires will jump the tracks by attaching to the weeds between the rail lines.
Council approved the posting of a 60 km sign on RR 261 south of Hwy.1. There is a blind spot and the sign was approved for safety reasons.
The Economic Action Plan sign in Gleichen will be taken down, as the fund is no longer in existence. Council approved the action, after notification from a ratepayer.
Council approved that the policy committee consider paving program sign changes and forwarded a request to have the policy committee consider stop signs posted when a gravel road comes onto a county paved road. The province currently mandates that a stop sign be placed when a road crosses a paved provincial highway.
Peace officers are to reassess the safety risks on the TNSP 265 and RR 255 by Lyalta. Residents have suggested that a four way stop sign would reduce the speed of traffic going through the intersection. Residents say it is difficult to see because of the dust. Councillors said they would approve the signs if it were a safety issue and not just a dust control issue. They tasked peace officers to observe traffic during ball games and on weekends and report back to council with their findings.
Badlands Community facility opening
Counsellors were torn whether attendance to the Badlands Community Facility Opening on June 12, implied their support for a forthcoming donation. Other municipalities had requests for donations up to $100,000.
Councillor Glen Koester said that it was kind of a social dilemma as communities like Hussar or Dalum might make use of the facility.
“Then let the Dalum or Hussar community members make the request,” said Councillor Ben Armstrong.
Council felt the facility was built with the expectation that membership would help foot the bill, without providing the County an opportunity for input. Many members felt a donation to the Badlands facility would open the doors for matched funding expectations from other large facilities such as the one proposed for Strathmore.
“The Community Enhancement Fund cannot support large facilities,” said Councillor Ken Sauve. “It will not last.”
Bid in for old Rosebud fire hall
Councillor Glen Koester let councillors know that he had been approached with an offer to buy the Old Rosebud Fire Hall.
The issue was discussed at the Feb. 11, 2012 council meeting.
Other interested parties had not come up with the money to buy the hall.
Council acknowledged that an appraisal should be done and the matter goes out for tender.
Koester requested that Rosebud residents be notified in their water user bills.
Council approved the notice and if there were no objections, the matter would proceed to tender on July 20.
Gleichen Community Centre expands parking
Councillor Alice Booth temporarily stepped down from council to request the use of five county lots for the Community Centre Parking lot.
She indicated that events were clogging street parking and the existing lot needed an expansion for up to 200 more cars.
“We would like to use the soil to supplement other county lots and set up a defined parking setup,” said Booth, about the request. “The busier we get the more demand we have.”
Council referred the matter to public works, to figure out how many lots were necessary to accommodate an additional 120 cars.
Gleichen resident leaves money
Charlotte Prouse bequeathed money from her estate to be paid onto Gleichen’s Sewer and Water debenture.
“It put a huge dent in it,” said Jennifer Deak, CAO.
Prouse was born in Gleichen in 1911, she was very civic minded, and active in many of the local organization. Residents will receive notice of her generous gift which will help generations to come.
Info on EMS for AAMDC
The Alberta Association of Municipal Districts Council is requesting information from Wheatland County as to their satisfaction with Wheatland’s Emergency Medical Services.
“Things are going great,” said Councillor Glen Koester. “We haven’t relinquished control of our service or dispatch.”
Councillors had received information from other municipalities who had given control over to Alberta Health Services that they were experiencing concerns regarding patient care with reduced quality of service and safety issues.
Councillor Alice Booth suggested that a letter be sent outlining what makes WADEMSA’s service so successful.
“We have retained our local ambulance and dispatch. We are in control of our own destiny,” said Booth.
Head-shaving for donations
Leslie Pringle, the owner and operator of Eagle RV Resort, is shaving her head for the third time to raise money and awareness for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.
At the 25th Anniversary Golf Tournament on August 8, Pringle will be shaving and donating her hair to Angel Hair for Kids, and hopes to raise an astounding $25,000 in donations.
Previous head shavings, both raising donations for the Kids Cancer Care, have totalled almost $5,000 together.
“It’s the 25th anniversary of the golf tournament, so we said why not $25,000?”
Pringle said when she went to get her hair cut before the first head shave, they told her if she waited a few months she would be able to donate her hair to create wigs.
“My hair grows fast, so I can donate my hair,” says Pringle, “and of course when you’re female, you can use it as a fundraiser opportunity.”
“Since my first head shave, I’ve known two kids who have died of cancer,” Pringle says.
“I want to make life a little bit better for somebody else.”
The fundraiser is in conjunction with the RVDA, or the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, and all the different RV dealers and campgrounds throughout the province are all coming together to raise the $25,000.
To donate, please visit https://secure.csfm.com/kidscancer/donate/general/index.php. There is also an online auction and a silent auction at the golf tournament that items can be provided for.
Making families work
Usually the month of June equates with weddings, but Strathmore social support professionals gathered at Hope Church on June 6, to discuss ways of helping children caught between parents in a divorce or separation situation.
Growing Families invited Sandy Shuler of Family Life Works Inc., www.familylifeworks.ca to speak to the group. She is a registered social worker and a certified Canadian family life educator with over 40 years professional and personal experience, dealing with issues surrounding family breakups and restructuring. She presented extensive material and strategies that professionals could take away to help aid families in transition.
“Taking a few minutes can lend a huge support to families, helping them find their own strengths,” said Schuler to the participants.
She challenged them to be messengers of hope around the subject of co-parenting and conflict reduction.
Divorce and separation demographics are changing with Dads’ increased participation in co-parenting situations. Over 40-48 per cent of families will experience joint and co-parenting issues. Schuler said 20-25 per cent of disputes are classified as high conflict situations, but between 70-80 per cent are coping well.
“I am seeing many separation situations where the families are managing quite well,” Schuler said.
She said relationships are not defined just by marriage anymore; it is a process of co-parenting by single parents, extended family members, multi-ethnic or generational families, blended families and same gendered families.
She indicated it is often how the conflicts are managed that impact the children more than the fact they were part of a divorce or separation situation.
“The best we can do is help families understand and manage these issues, as the conflicts may not be resolved and may be ongoing,” said Schuler.
She gave examples of myths people tell themselves about children of divorce and separation and emphasized there would be all kinds of responses from many types of issues. It is often a wish of others that children will bounce back. She said children might not verbalize their needs and often various variables will contribute to how children react, respond or adjust.
“Familiarize yourself with resources to help children with the changes in their lives and facilitate a safe place where their voices may be heard,” said Schuler to those in attendance.
She said language is very important when reframing the child’s environment. It is not Dad’s home, or Mom’s home… it is their home with Mom or Dad. The term sole custody or shared custody implies ownership, so it is better to give children a voice by using terms like shared co-parenting. There is a myth that children can choose which parent to live with by the age of 12. Schuler said that there is no research available to support that a child that age can make such a decision and most courts will order an assessment around co-parenting situations.
“You need to love your child more than you want to be right or fight with your co-parent,” Schuler reminds parents.
The following tasks help parents help children through the separation and divorce:
(Parents may need the help of a qualified professional and a parenting plan, to achieve these tasks.)
• Acknowledgement of the reality of the situation
• Don’t make them part of the conflict or adult issues
• Resume your own life interests
• Manage the variety of losses because loss is multi layered
• Resolve anger and self-blame
• Accept permanence of the situation
• Move on with your relationships.
Schuler gave many factors that influence success in families facing restructured situations and the lack of the factors could just as easily prompt lack of success. By working together as a family with trained professionals providing good resources, there is a greater chance restructured families can move on to a healthy family life.
Growing Families will be asking Schuler to put on a workshop for families in separation and divorce in the fall and people can go to www.familylifeworks.ca where an “Effective Co-Parenting: Putting Kids First” program is offered on Nov. 17 at Self-Connection Bookstore: 4611 Bowness Road NW; 403-284-1486.