Saturday, June 23, 2018

More This and That

The Fire Truck Saga;  I heard that the Village of Beiseker has sold our old-new fire truck that was languishing down at the Public Works Yard!  I didn't hear what they got for it but I hope it was around the $25 000.00 mark.  That was what I figure it was worth.

I was very pleased that the young fellow who lives down in the Okotoks area was cleared of all charges related to a shooting at his rural home.  The young man found some folks trespassing on his property and allegedly trying to steal some of his belongings!  A shot was fired and the trespassers left.  They have since been arrested and face numerous charges.  The property owner was also charged for discharging his gun and other things.  I understand all those charges have now been dropped.  The charges against the trespassers and possible thieves remain!

The above mentioned story reminds us that rural policing in Alberta has its challenges.  We've all heard stories of folks having to wait more than half an hour for the police to arrive at the scene of an incident.  There are solutions;
  • Increase the number of personnel at every detachment in rural Alberta.   This would be expensive but well worth it! 
  • Remove the RCMP from highway traffic duty.  This would free up officers to do other duties.  Re-create the Alberta Provincial Police to do highway traffic duties.
  • Have the provincial government strongly support local crime watch groups.
I worry that the large patch of prairie grass which extends right through Beiseker may become a fire hazard as the grass dries out later this summer.  The land belongs to Alberta Trail Net.  It was lent to the railway museum which appears to have disappeared like a feather in the wind.  The Village can't afford to mow it down.  What's going to happen?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Little Bugs

Early summer is bug season in this part of the world.  The mosquitoes were ferocious earlier on and now those black & yellow wasps are back!  Here are some other little bugs that annoy me:
  • It bugs me to have to bump over all those "speed bumps" in parking lots!  There are some lots in Airdrie which are particularly bad.  I have to almost stop the car then ease over these lumps!  It discourages me and other motorists from visiting those shops and eateries!  I guess they're discouraging vehicle traffic there.
  • It bugs me to have folks step out into a crosswalk without even checking for traffic.  They're too busy talking or texting on their cellphones!
  • It bugs me when dog owners do not pick up after their pets.  There are some pooches which regularly leave dog-logs on my front lawn for me to pick up!
  • It bugs me when I see an individual operating what appears to be a commercial auto repair business on a lot zoned residential without so much as a local business license!  That is against village zoning bylaws yet the village is powerless to stop it!
  • It bugs me when, while waiting for a passing train, I notice that every rail car that passes is covered in graffiti!
  • It bugs when the price of gasoline jumps up by more than ten cents a liter just before a long weekend! 
  • It bugs me when I see drivers taking unnecessary chances trying to pass someone moving farm machinery then flicking the bird to the tractor driver on the way past.  Especially in the spring and fall, farmers need to move equipment from one field to the next quickly.  Other drivers should show patience!  
So there are a few of my little bugs.  Do you have some?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Ridiculous Pipe Dream

This whole debate about the twinning of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the west coast has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous!

There is overwhelming evidence to show that the project will have minimum impact on the environment of either province.  A pipeline is much, much safer that shipping the oil by rail!  In my opinion, the economic benefits to Canada will be widespread and significant in a positive way! 

Yet the protesters and the support groups demonstrate against each other.  Folks are blocking access to the pipeline building sites.  The squabble has become a farce on democracy.   I suspect that most protesters don't even understand what they are really protesting and why!

Yet the fight goes on!   I think now the fight is being waged, just because!  The reasons for the initial debate have been lost in the rhetoric over the past few months.  Let's just quit all this silliness and build the pipeline!  And maybe we should build a huge oil refinery in Fort Mac. as well! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Great Fire Truck Challenge

A few years ago, the good people of Beiseker donated to buy a newer fire engine.  The money was raised, and a truck was found in the States.  It was purchased and trucked to Beiseker. 

It was from the southern U.S., so there were a few things that needed to be changed so it could live in our not-so-tropical climate.  A block heater was installed, along with a cab heater and a heater to keep the water pump warm. A few other modifications were made.

A few short years later the pump needed to be rebuilt.  The truck was sent in to "experts" in Calgary to estimate how much it would cost to fix it.  Those experts said the truck was a complete disaster and it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair!

I disagree!

I think that much of the repairs could have been done locally and the cost of putting the truck back in service would be considerably less than the estimate given to us.  Instead, now that truck now languishes in the public works yard, out of service!

I believe that truck can still be repaired and sold to recoup some of the money this community worked so hard to gather!  It is NOT scrap!  It is a major capital expense for this village!  What is council going to do?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Aero-Kard!

I am very excited to report that Aero-Kards has produced, printed and delivered its first new card in almost two years!

The new Aero-Kard belongs to air show performer Kevin Maher of British Columbia flying the Stearman Kaydet!  The new card will be included in Aero-Kard packs beginning in July, and will be available at air shows across Western Canada. Aero-Kards are back in production!