Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve, 2015!

Here we are on the Seventh Day of Christmas - New Year's Eve.  I am pleased to announce that the Beiseker Hamper Program 2014 helped 23 local families over this Christmas season. 

Here's a big "Thank You" to Village Assistant CAO Gail Peckham and her happy gang of Christmas elves who worked so very hard to assemble and distribute those hampers.  Another "Beiseker Pat On the Back" goes to all those donors who make it all possible!

I have been fighting a huge head cold all week so just staying awake until midnight will be a challenge for me, but I hope you all have a very happy and safe New Years celebration.  And please don't drink and drive.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

On This Third Day of Christmas

Congratulations to the members of the Beiseker Volunteer Fire Department for once again taking Santa out for a tour of the village on Christmas Eve.  You've got to admire these men and women who are willing to give up a few hours of their family Christmas Eve to accompany Santa.  They meet and greet residents while giving out greeting cards and candy canes.

This unselfish gesture to the people of Beiseker is greatly appreciated by all of us.  And it gives us one more reason to be proud of our volunteer fire department!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 26, 2014

On the Second Day of Christmas

The origins of Boxing Day is somewhat cloudy.  The best explanation comes from Britain.  It is said that Christmas Day (the First Day of Christmas) was kept very holy a few hundred years ago.

Attending church services for most of the day, then feasting in the evening was the norm.  Presents and gifts were exchanged on the Second Day of Christmas.  That day became known as Boxing Day because the folks carried boxes of goodies and gifts about.  There are other theories out there but I like that one the best!

I hope you all had a great Christmas Day with family and friends.  We certainly did!  I think I'm still digesting that fabulous turkey dinner! 

If you're one of the thousands looking for Boxing Day Bargains, good luck and stay safe.  If you're attending more parties this evening, have fun and stay safe, too!  Here's a special greeting to all those Designated Drivers out there.  Keep up that very important tradition.  We need you!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Greetings

Here we are again, celebrating Christmas Eve.  I hope you all managed to get your Christmas shopping done and your presents wrapped.  Now it's time to relax and think about what Christmas really means. 

We're celebrating the birth of someone a couple of thousand years ago.  Experts tell us He was likely born in the spring and may not have even been born in Bethlehem!  They tell us that those three kings from the East probably took more than a year to get to the place of His birth.  The story has been told so many times, it's hard to tell what happened or when at that first Christmas so long ago.

I don't think any of that is really important.  What is important is what that person did and said when He grew up!  The guy spent His whole short life preaching about peace and goodwill to all men.  He walked and talked with common folks and He told them that all humans should all live peacefully with each other, no matter their race, creed or religion. 

We're still working on that 2000 years later!

Take some time tonight or tomorrow to contact at least one friend or family member and wish them a very Merry Christmas!  They deserve that, and so do you.

Merry Christmas from my home to yours.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Enough Rhetoric

I think everyone and his dog has had a kick at the Wildrose MLAs' floor crossing in Alberta's Legislature, last week.  Every journalist and coffee shop political analyst has an opinion, and none have been shy at expressing that opinion to the rest of us. 

But I think time's up!  Lets let the politicians on both sides of the Legislature get down to doing what they're supposed to do: legislate! 

In my opinion, a series of by-elections at this time would be counter-productive and a waste of money - and we've got less than two full years before the next provincial general election.  Let's wait until then.  Let's see what these new Conservatives can do. 

As we get closer to that mandated election time, each constituency association; Conservative and Wildrose, will have to decide who will be their candidates.  Until then, we should all listen and watch intently.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Floor Crossing

The strange happenings in Edmonton these past couple of days has left me totally baffled!  Members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the Alberta Legislative Assembly up and crossed the floor to join the government!

Although I thought Danielle Smith and her Wildrose team never really managed to reach the level of what I thought an opposition party should be doing, they were at least trying.  In my opinion, a strong governing party needs a strong opposition sitting across from them.  The Wildrose party had the potential of being that strong opposition.  There are some excellent, hard working MLAs sitting on the speaker's left, including our own Bruce Rowe!  I thought they were getting stronger as an opposition.  Apparently I was wrong.

The other thing that bothers me is that these Wildrose MLAs were elected by their constituents as Wildrose Party members.  Now, they're crossing the floor to become Conservatives!  I'm hoping they polled their constituents to see if those folks who elected them don't mind that they taking that stroll.  At least they must try to justify that walk across the floor! 

In the late 1960s, a young Peter Lougheed led a handful of Progressive Conservative MLAs to be Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, against the ruling Social Credit government.  The Social Credit majority was so overwhelming, some of the Social Credit members had to sit on the Speaker's left because there was no more room for them on the Government side!

Yet Lougheed plugged away.  His credibility rose higher every time he stood to oppose the government.  Soon after the next election, he and his party was the government!

That short walk across the floor of the Legislature is a short walk for a man, but a long journey across the Alberta political landscape!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Failure is not an Option!

Last week, I attended the annual convention of the International Council of Air Shows, held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

This year, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Gene Kranz.  Gene was the NASA Flight Director on Apollo 13.  He and his crew managed to safely return the three man crew of Apollo 13 back to Earth, after a disastrous failure of their spaceship.  His leadership is credited with that rescue.   Every challenge (and there were dozens) was faced with a steadfast determination to bring those astronauts home safe.  The phrase, "Failure is not an option!" is credited to Kranz.

I asked him if there was anything that they could have done better in that tense four day rescue.  His answer surprised me.

He said that their communication with the astronauts was not as good as it should have been.  Everyone could hear each other perfectly, but sometimes some things were misunderstood.  His example was the water issue.  The fight team on the ground mentioned to the crew that they were concerned about water aboard the ship.  The astronauts thought that meant they needed to ration water intake, while in reality the concern was about the condensing water on the inside of the spacecraft.  The astronauts were rationing their water intake when, in reality there was lots of water on board. 

Their rationing was not required an had no impact on the successful rescue.  In fact, it made their trip back to earth somewhat less comfortable.

Communication is a volatile thing.  You think you communicated something clearly, and yet the person on the other end completely misunderstood it.  When I'm communicating with others, I'm going to try and remember Gene's example of the water issue on Apollo 13.

Gene said something else that impressed me;  "When overcoming challenges and finding solutions, you have to believe in it, your crew has to believe in it, and then you have to make it happen."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Some Confusion over Snow Removal!

It appears there is some confusion as to who is responsible for snow removal, and in what areas of the village.  Every year this is debated in Council meetings.  Here is what I understand to be the law regarding snow removal here in Beiseker.
  • Residents are responsible for removing snow build-up on the public sidewalk that is on the Public Reserve strip, which borders the front of their property.
  • If ice builds up, the resident is responsible for placing sand or some traction aid down (sand will be made available down at the Public Works Yard, as it was last year.)
  • Residents have 72 hours after the snowfall to remove the snow.
  • Residents who do not comply with this bylaw may be given a warning, fined, and/or charged a fee for the removal of the snow.
All other pathways and roadways (including laneways) are the responsibility of the village Public Works Department.

We have discussed the snow removal at those areas where laneways meet the streets, but no changes have been made to the policy.  Right now, those areas are also the responsibility of Public Works.  No other decision has been made at this time.

If you have any questions regarding your responsibility for snow removal, please contact the Village Office at 403-947-3774

If you have any comments regarding our snow removal bylaw and policies, please write to your council at P.O. Box 349, or you can write your comments to me on the Write Ray blog.  And pray for lots of Chinooks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Main Street a Snow Route?

At last night's council meeting, we considered a bylaw to have cars parked on Main Street on "Snow Event" mornings towed away at their owners' risk and expense.  The bylaw would give the Village the right to have those vehicles hampering snow removal on Main Street and First Avenue to be towed away, possibly to an impound lot in Airdrie or Crossfield.  Council refused to pass it!

Right now, we have only a policy which states that Main Street be free of vehicles so that Public Works can plow the snow.  All residents and businesses on Main Street and First Avenue have been asked to keep vehicles off the street until the snow has been removed.  Still we have a problem with a couple of vehicles interfering with the snow removal almost every time it snows.

Council has held off on creating  a tow-away bylaw, hoping that we can get the cooperation of everyone without that heavy-handed approach.

We are expecting a pretty sizeable dump of snow later this week.  Let's see if we can keep Main Street and First Avenue 'vehicle free' until the snow has been removed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Operation Secret Santa Begins in Beiseker

The Beiseker Fire Department is once again doing its Operation Secret Santa this Christmas!   If you wish to donate an unwrapped gift, perhaps a toy, a board game, or other gift item, you'll find the Secret Santa Drop Off Boxes at Mountain View Credit Union; Beiseker Branch, Beiseker Pharmacy, Beiseker Home Hardware, and the Beiseker Village Office.

The hope is that Santa Claus, with help from the Beiseker Fire Department, will be able to make everyone's Christmas in Beiseker just that much more merrier!

Thank you for your donations and Merry Christmas to you all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Question about Water Price Increases

I noted that Michael Robichaud asked a question about water fees on an Rocky View Weekly article which was posted to the Village of Beiseker Facebook page, yesterday.  His question was;
The last part regarding water consumption is a little confusing.
How do you implement increases because of a lack of consumption on allotted water ?
The Village of Beiseker buys its water from the Aqua7 Regional Water Services Commission (A7RWSC).  The commission is made of seven municipalities; Acme, Beiseker, Irricana, Linden, Carbon, and the Counties of Kneehill and Rocky View.  The Commission buys its water from the Town of Drumheller

The water from the Drumheller treatment plant is sent to the Aqua7 pumping station at Kirkpatrick.  From there it is treated then pumped out of the valley, first to Carbon and Kneehill County, then to Acme.  There's a "T" in the pipe at Acme. Water goes to Linden and water flows to Beiseker and Irricana.

When this system was set up, years ago, A7RWSC said that they would purchase a set amount of water from Drumheller.  But we've never come close to purchasing that much water!  There's a couple of reasons for that;
  • The price of water; although the cost of water from Drumheller is relatively low, the cost of supporting the A7RWSC pumps, treatment systems, and pipes is expensive. 
  • Water conservation programs have been effective in convincing people to use less water.
  • Rocky View County, although they are full member of A7RWSC, has yet to buy or sell any water at all!
Drumheller claims that its system is geared to provide much more water than A7RWSC is buying.  Supporting that system to provide that unsold capacity is costing Drumheller extra, therefore they are passing that extra cost on to those who buy water from them, i.e. A7RWSC. 

We're expecting up to a 20% increase in the price of water from the Drumheller treatment plant.  That works out to about an 18 cents a cubic metre of water increase over the next few years.

The A7RWSC is trying to keep the price of pumping, treating, and transporting water to as low as possible.

How can the price of water go down?  The price of water can go down if the A7RWSC sells more water.  That means the A7RWSC  has to find more customers for its water! They're working on that.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Airdrie Health Survey

Alberta Health Services has initiated an online survey to gauge our health needs in the Airdrie area!  I haven't participated, but I plan to in the near future.  Many of the folks hereabouts are focusing their efforts on the creation of a 24 hour urgent health care facility in Airdrie.  That's a good start!

But while this is an admirable goal, it falls short of what this area around the City of Airdrie really needs - and that is a full fledged hospital!  When I'm talking hospital, I'm not talking about a small hospital such as those we find in Three Hills, Drumheller or Didsbury.  While these are wonderful facilities for the communities they serve, they fall short of what this area needs.  I'm talking about a complete care facility - such as the general hospitals in Red Deer, Medicine Hat or Lethbridge - but one similar to the South Health Campus would be ideal.

I believe that Airdrie is the largest city in Alberta (and perhaps all of Canada) without a hospital!  For any kind of serious health treatment, perhaps more than 100,000 people in the area have to scamper into Calgary, to wait in the already crowded health system and facilities, there!  The good folks of Okotoks and Alderside now have a fantastic hospital facility - the South Health Campus - gradually opening up close to them at the southern edge of Calgary.  We on the north side must be second class Albertans?

We need a similar facility, built somewhere immediately north or immediately south of the City of Airdrie. 

I urge you all to participate in the health survey and let all of those who read the results know that we do not like being treated as second class Albertans!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bridging the Gap!

For those of you who were wondering about the South Bridge on the walking path, down near the Public Works Yard, it will be reconstructed in the spring.  The other two bridges are now complete and they look great!  They have been raised up so they should be high and dry when that newly deepened ditch fills up this spring. 

We are hoping that the improvements to that drainage canal will help in moving all that run-off water from Rocky View County lands through the village, and out the East side.

I suspect that part of the delay in the reconstruction of the South Pedestrian bridge was a result of the vandalism done to the second bridge.  Senseless vandalism costs us all. 

By the way, I noticed tracks across the pedestrian bridge behind CHS-DynAgra which appear to be made by some kind of ATV, perhaps a quad.  A reminder to all that the bridge was built as a pedestrian bridge.   Motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles should not be using it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Great Town Hall Meeting

We held our usual fall Town Hall Meeting at the Beiseker Community Centre.  It gives a chance for ratepayers to sit through an abbreviated council meeting then participate in a question and answer session with members of Village Council.

The main topics:
  • The Bassano Station issue was the first up.  Although village council has very little control over the Centennial Railway Museum's project, residents were most concerned the building would soon become abandoned.   With part of the roof missing and it not being closed in around the foundation,  residents were wondering of its future.  We on council could give them few answers.
  • One resident was concerned that issues brought to the attention of council were not being followed up.   Was the village office writing a note to the person who brought the issue to council's attention, outlining actions taken?  We were able to indicate that, in most cases, the follow-up was done by either phone call or letter.
  • We were asked why we lengthened the time residents have to clear their sidewalks of snow from 48 hours to 72 hours.  We explained that it gives the residents a bit longer to remove the snow in case they can't get on the shovel right away.
  • Another resident was wondering if there was a bylaw preventing parked vehicles from blocking laneways.  We indicated to them that this was a part of the province's Traffic Safety Act.  I've taken a  couple of quick tours around the area mentioned, but found no vehicles blocking laneways.  Vehicles can be parked between the garage and the lane if there is room.  The laneways should remain clear at all times.
  • Residents wondered why we weren't collecting tie-down fees at the Beiseker Airport.  I was able to tell them it was a clerical error, which would be corrected in the next few days.
  • Also discussed during or right after the meeting were the removal of some of the village's aging poplar trees, water drainage flows, potholes, and recycling fees.
Overall, I was pleased with the meeting.  I like to have residents attend our regular council meetings, but I know that for many that just isn't possible.  Town Hall Meetings make it a little easier. I think it is important that all village residents to stay in touch with their village council throughout the year. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

This Remembrance Day

First, my humble apologies to the students of Beiseker Community School.  I missed their Remembrance Day Poster judging, this morning.  I was asked to help judge the Remembrance Day posters while at Stage East this past weekend - but I didn't have my agenda with me to note it.  I didn't remember it until after the time had passed.  Again, my apologies.

Remembrance Day is important to me. It's a time when we can appreciate what the sacrifices of the many thousands of Canadian soldiers actually accomplished, here at home.  A couple of minutes of silence seems so little compared to what those soldiers gave us.  It is also a chance for us to thank the veterans for their similar gift to us.  Freedom is never free!

I will be attending the Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the Acme Community Centre tomorrow starting at 10:30 a.m.  I am urging you to join me.  The ceremony is organized by the Royal Canadian Legion branch there and it is very moving.

This year after the ceremony, upon my return to Beiseker, I am going to stop at our memorial in front of the Beiseker Community Centre and place my poppy there.  Why don't you do the same?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Town Hall Meeting Reminder

Monday, November 10 is the date of our 2014 Fall Town Hall Meeting of Council.  A Town Hall Meeting provides a chance for residents to ask questions or voice concerns to Village Council without having to attend a regular council meeting as a delegation.

I will be chairing tomorrow night's meeting at the Beiseker Community Centre.  We will first hold an abbreviated council meeting following our standard agenda, after which we will take questions from those assembled.

We ask that questions be addressed to the councilors and that they address concerns within the village.  These Town Hall meetings are NOT to be used as a witch-hunt!  Derogatory or inflammatory comments directed toward village staff members or councilors will not be acknowledged.

We'll have the coffee on, I hope to see you there!

2014 Another Successful Year for Stage East!

Leroy & Ray
Photo by Bernice Iremonger,
via Facebook
I'm tired, but very happy today!  We had another successful run of Stage East on Friday and Saturday night.  This is one incredible cast and crew, who are able to put on a great show year after year.  It's not easy for them, either!

Many of them are strong, creative, independent individuals with busy lives of their own.  Directing them each year is like herding a hundred cats!  Yet they are able to come together each spring, develop a program, write scripts, and rehearse most of the summer so they can put on an awesome show for the community each year.  I am very proud to be a part of this incredibly talented group.

After a great meal, the audiences were entertained with a series of performances which culminated in a very sophisticated finale simply called "Pots".  You had to be there!

Most of the proceeds from this year's show will go to a fund we've created to replace and augment the stage curtains at the Hall.  Again, my huge thanks to the entire Stage East 2014 cast and crew.  You rock!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Airdrie Needs a Hospital!

The City of Airdrie is among the fastest growing communities in Alberta.  But I understand that, with a population approaching sixty thousand, Airdrie is still without plans to have a hospital there!

I think that is ridiculous and disgusting!  Calgary has the new South Health Campus, which is a beautiful facility, but it certainly was never designed to help the folks from up north here - it's just too far away!  We need a similar facility built somewhere right around Airdrie!  NOW!

I've been told that over 1200 babies are born in Calgary hospitals each year to Airdrie parents!   New moms are transported down one of the busiest highways in Canada, to a hospital many kilometers away from their home communities.  New dads have little choice but to either get a hotel room in Calgary, sleep on the hospitals' floors, or commute from Airdrie to visit their new families!

What kind of a system is that?

Those in the Provincial government say that Airdrie's huge and rapid growth was hard to predict.  Well, predict it or not, it's here!  So what is going to be done about it?

I say let's shelve the "Big City Charters," for now and concentrate all resources on addressing this health care crisis in Airdrie.  I'm sure the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton would both agree that this is a much more pressing problem!   Our new Premier, Jim Prentice, must be made aware of this situation.  He's been too quiet on this crisis so far. 

What are we going to do about it?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Christmas, Already!

I noticed that some city stores took down the Jack-O-Lanterns and whipped up the Christmas decorations over the weekend.   Christmas music is playing in some malls.  I even saw some of the TV Christmas classics listed on the November schedules!

Isn't this a bit early?  I know that many retailers depend on Christmas to show a decent profit but I think they're rushing it just a mite. 

What makes it even stranger to me, is that all that Christmas hype disappears on December 26th - which is actually only the second day of the traditional, centuries old twelve-day Christmas festival.  No Christmas Carols are played after December 25th, not even the one about the partridge, the pear tree and the leaping lords!  Very strange.

I can understand a few stores setting out their Christmas decorations now, because folks want to decorate the outside of their homes.  The weather is only going to get colder so an early start here is prudent, but all the rest of it can wait a little longer.

I think the middle of November is quite soon enough!  That's what I think! What about you?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Another Quiet Halloween!

Halloween in Beiseker was (once again) a very quiet affair.  We had about 35 kids at our door:  we used to get well over 100!  I was expecting more since the weather fully cooperated this year. 

I toured around town around 1:00 a.m. and things were very quiet.  I haven't seen any vandalism around town, either.  Our sign about the bridge closure was knocked down, again, but that's very minor. 

I hope the kids and the older ones too, had lots of fun.  Our first annual Halloween Decoration "Door Prize," was a great success.  Visit the Village's Facebook page for the prize winners in the next few days. 

Overall, it was a super safe Halloween here in the Friendly Village!  Well done all! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Flu Shots and Stage East!

Just a short reminder that there are still a few tickets left for Stage East.  These must be purchased by tomorrow (Friday, October 31).  They can be purchased at the Mountain View Credit Union in Beiseker and at Simply Food for Thought, also in Beiseker.  It looks like a good show again this year. I hope to see you there!

I missed the flu shot clinic which was held last Monday at the Golden Years Club.  There are still folks out there who don't believe in the flu shot.

I get one every year, I figure it's free and what the heck.  The good news is that our pharmacist is giving flu shots at the Beiseker Pharmacy (on Main Street) this year;  no appointment needed!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Gentler Time in Politics

There was a gentler time in Canadian politics, where parties respected each other and each others duties.

For example, if the governing party elected a new leader who did not hold a seat in that Legislature or Parliament, usually a member of the government caucus would resign and open up a by-election in a "safe" seat.  The opposition parties would field a "token" candidate in that by-election, and effectively let the new leader run unopposed.  

Other by-elections would be fought tooth and nail to hopefully get the Opposition's message out and increase the number of members on the Speaker's left!  But the opposition realized that if the newly elected leader was defeated in the by-election, the government would have to appoint an interim premier or prime minister while they held another leadership convention, or another by-election. 

The day-to-day business of the government would be severely compromised for perhaps months! 

I believe it is the job of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to offer legislative alternatives and to criticize the actions of the government.  It is not their job to prevent the government from governing!

In a legislative assembly or parliament, the opposition has many excellent tools in its bag to oppose the government's actions. But I think throwing a wrench into the whole political system should not be one of them. 

But I guess I'm thinking of a gentler time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unsolved Murder of James Schleppe

The James Schleppe I knew was a very gentle person.  I met him (actually, I trained him) in the late 1960s when he was hired to work at the Alberta Liquor Control Board (ALCB) store in the North Hill Shopping Centre in Calgary.

As we worked cleaning and stocking the shelves, he would tell us stories of his home town of Beiseker.  We heard about the Berreths, the Hagels and the Schmaltzes.  We heard about Beiseker School.  We heard about St. Mary's Church and everything else in his home town.  He was a very devout Christian and wanted to help as many folks as he could, even back then.

His love of Beiseker came forward again later when he became president of the Beiseker Historical Society, which was instrumental in producing Beiseker's history book, Beiseker's Golden Heritage, published in 1977.   When I'd moved to Beiseker in the early 1970s, we would occasionally bump into him around town, as he often came out to visit his family. 

On September 28, 1991, James' body was found along the Trans-Canada Highway in west Calgary, near 101 Street NW.  At first it was thought that he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident, but later we heard he had been beaten.  The trail went cold and no one was ever charged with his death.  James' death was deemed an unsolved murder.

Now the Calgary Police Service are revisiting this and other "cold case" murders since the 1970s.  I am hoping that new evidence examination techniques and the publication of his photo in the newspaper might finally lead to closure in his murder. 

If you have any information about James' death, please contact the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234, or Calgary Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Horrible Day for Canada

I am still reeling over yesterday's attack in Ottawa.  Wednesday, October 22, 2014 will be a date Canada is not likely to ever forget. 

A couple of years ago, my wife and I visited our Member of Parliament Kevin Sorenson at the Centre Block on Parliament Hill.  He was able to give us a short "behind-the-scenes" tour of the Centre Block which we enjoyed immensely.  I was horrified to see those same hallways as a backdrop for a shoot-out between police & security staff and a deranged gunman!

I was also appalled to hear that a Canadian soldier, guarding the tomb of Canada's Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial was gunned down by presumably that same gunman finally stopped in the Parliament Buildings. 

Beiseker is a long way from Ottawa, but I am still very much upset by yesterday's events.  I feel that my rights-our rights-as Canadians have been trampled upon.  I've had a knot in my stomach ever since the news started to trickle in yesterday morning. Thousands of men and women have made the supreme sacrifice to give us those rights and protect them. We must never lose them.   We must never give in to these terrorists!

My most sincere sympathies go to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who lost his life yesterday and to the family of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who was struck and killed on Monday by car driven by another terrorist.  The sacrifice of these two brave Canadian soldiers will never be forgotten. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Unfair but Required Anonymity

I watched on the news tonight as members of our Royal Canadian Air Force took off from CFB Cold Lake in their CF-18 Hornets heading for Kuwait.  Their support team arrived in Kuwait a couple of days ago, and will greet the Hornets as they arrive there in the next while. There they will participate in a force trying to stop a radical terrorist group trying to take over parts of Iraq. 

What bothered me about it was that the media had to "fuzz" out the faces of these brave young men and women, to hide their identity.  This was done to protect them and their families from attacks from "home grown" terrorists!   In times now long past, soldiers leaving for missions overseas were proudly paraded down Canada's Main Streets where the rest of us could gather to wave Canadian flags, and thank them for their service to our country.  Now they have to leave almost clandestinely!

I know it has to be done this way.  We must protect these folks and their families.

I hope that the 600 Canadian Forces personnel now in Kuwait and preparing those CF-18s know that there are millions of us here at home who support them.  We wish them all well and a safe return home.  We are proud Canadians and we are proud of you!  Godspeed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pigs Don't Deserve Poor Treatment

I was horrified to see the video broadcast on a TV news show of pigs being mistreated at the Western Hog Exchange facility in Red Deer.  The video was taken by an undercover animal rights activist, who watched the animals being kicked, hit, prodded, and beaten while being moved into or through the facility. 

It is my opinion that a few folks who work in these kind of facilities forget these are living, breathing, feeling critters they're dealing with.  They start treating them as a logger might treat a tree, or a miner a coal seam. I don't think this is prevalent throughout the agricultural scene, but those few bad circumstances appear to create a media frenzy.  

In my volunteer work with many agriculturalists at the Calgary Stampede, I have seen nothing but respect shown to the animals in their care.  These animals are not pets but they are treated with dignity. 

In my opinion these workers need to be given specific training, skills and knowledge to be assured they do treat the animals they're handling in the proper way.

It shocked me even more when I found out that the video in question was taken months ago!  This information was kept from the owners and operators of that facility for more than two months.  Why wasn't something done two months ago?

From here, it looks like the delay was caused by the group and the media wanting to make a big splash.  The welfare of the animals appeared to take a back seat to the media expose! I think it's TV journalism at its worst!  The animal rights group and that network should be ashamed of themselves.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bassano Station now on Foundation

After a delay lasting more than two years, the Bassano Station has been set on its foundation at its new home in Beiseker! 

The building was slowly and carefully moved over, then gradually eased down onto the foundation over the past week.  The two huge beams which supported it on the old CPR trackway all this time will now be removed.  Adjustments will be made to the foundation so the building will safely sit level.

I give a huge "Thank You" to the two contractors who have worked so hard this past few weeks, to make this move finally a reality!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Aero Space School at the Museum

I was very pleased to once again volunteer at the Aero Space Museum of Calgary located at the south-east side of the Calgary International Airport.  They operate a program called Aero Space School there in conjunction with Campus Calgary

Calgary students (mostly Grade Six kids) spend a whole school week at the museum, learning about aeronautics, space exploration, aviation in general, and Alberta's fascinating role in aviation over the past hundred years.

I hope to volunteer once each week when my schedule permits!  Folks who know me call me "Plane Crazy," so talking to the kids about my favorite topic is most enjoyable for me and I think they have fun too.

If you would like to visit the Museum, it is located across McKnight Boulevard from the Port-O-Call Inn.  There are over twenty full size aircraft on display there, some of which have been fully restored!  There are many stories told and heroes to meet there.  I hope you'll visit some time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pedestrian Bridge Vandalism

As part of our drainage channel upgrades, we are rebuilding the three bridges connecting the East and West sides of Beiseker.  We are starting with the two at the north end of the drainage channel. 

With the high volume of water moving down that drainage channel, it became necessary to raise those pedestrian bridges and strengthen their foundation footings.   Preparations were started on Monday, with the installation of concrete footings for the two bridges.

Unfortunately, after the work was completed yesterday morning, some unidentified people damaged some of the footings before the concrete was completely cured.  They will have to be excavated out of there, and redone before work can continue!  This extra work will cause a delay in the construction of the bridges and take more funds from our already meagre project budget

Those responsible for the vandalism need to understand that their actions jeopardized the completion of the project this fall.   I would like to know who they are!

 If you know anything about the damage done to the pedestrian bridge footings behind the Dynagra complex, please phone the Village Office (403-947-3774), the Beiseker RCMP (403-947-3496), or the Calgary-area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hong Kong's Fight for Democracy

I'm very worried for the young people carrying on peaceful demonstrations in the streets of Hong Kong over the last while.  I had the privilege of visiting Hong Kong many years ago.  It was a beautiful oriental city, with a dash of Britain everywhere.  I loved the city.

I always wondered what would happen when the city would be turned over to the Communist Chinese.  I understand this current round of problems started when the Beijing government told the folks in Hong Kong that were allowed to have elections, but Beijing would select the candidates!

That was totally unacceptable to the young people.  They wanted more democratic freedoms, not less!

In my opinion, the Beijing government has three choices;
  • Move in and destroy the students' protests (and kill a large number of them).  Then set up "re-education camps" to show the survivors the errors of their ways. Remember Tienanmen Square.
  • Move in and substantially limit the power of Hong Kong by destroying much of its infrastructure, then recreating the city in their own image.  Remember Saigon.
  • Give Hong Kong what they want and set them on a path to becoming their own nation, like Singapore.
I'm hoping for some form of Choice Number 3.

There was talk of creating a lapel pin in the shape of an umbrella, the symbol of the fight for democracy in Hong Kong.  Where can I buy one?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 AUMA Convention News

Last week, members of Beiseker village council attended the annual convention of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association in Edmonton.  The convention venue alternates between Edmonton and Calgary, and this year was Edmonton's turn.

There's a trade show, workshops, meetings with the Ministries, and get-togethers throughout the three day convention. 

Beiseker's meetings with the ministries were all on Wednesday.  First, we met with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to discuss our flooding issues.  Our biggest difficulty with flood water is dealing with the huge volume of water we receive into the village from Rocky View County!  We asked Alberta Environment to help us deal with this huge volume of water, simply because we can't afford to do it alone.  We will be developing a plan to help alleviate the problem, working with the province and the County.

Next we were off to see Municipal Affairs.  To our surprise, the newly appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs, Diana McQueen was there to greet us.  We once again talked about our flooding issues and asked for their help, too.  We also discussed the difficulty small municipalities have with the new policy of depreciating Tangible Capital Assets (TCAs).

About three years ago, the provincial government decided that all municipalities should record ALL their assets.  That included all village owned buildings, vehicles, property, fire hydrants, water pipes and sewer pipes!  Then we have to depreciate all those things and include that amount in our yearly financial statements!  When we have an expensive year like 2013 (huge snow removal bills, water main leaks, etc.), and we include the TCA depreciation, it shows us operating very close to the wire!  This policy is not fair to small municipalities.  I think we made that quite clear.

Our last visit was to Alberta Transportation to talk about slowing down the traffic on North Road (aka Highway 72).  Vehicles are still exceeding the 50 km/h and the 30 km/h speed limits, some by a considerable amount.  A number of strategies were discussed. Stay tuned.

Councillor Karen, Assistant CAO Gail, MLA Bruce Rowe and I at the AUMA convention reception,
at Edmonton City Hall!
Councillor Dave is behind the camera!
(photo via Facebook)

Overall, I believe that our attendance at the AUMA Convention was a great success.  In the months following we'll see if our suggestions and requests took root in the provincial  ministries.

Next year's AUMA Convention will happen in Calgary in the fall of 2015.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Silly, stupid or sly?

An acquaintance of mine needed two new tires for her little car.  It's a front wheel drive car and the front tires were badly worn.  The rear tires still had plenty of tread on them. 

She went to a large box store in Calgary to buy two tires.  She found two tires at a good price.  While purchasing them, she indicated that she wanted them to replace the two worn front tires on her car. 

She was told that was impossible - company policy.  The new tires would be put on the back and those two rear tires would be recycled! 

She explained to the young man that hers was a front wheel drive car and the new tires with better traction should go on the front. The rear tires were still good. The fellow insisted that these two new tires would be put on the rear - company policy.

She left the store without any new tires.  I suggested she go to a tire dealer or a small garage operation.  They could provide her with two tires and put them on any wheels she wanted.

Either the box store tire folks didn't understand the physics of tires and the difference between front and rear wheel drive, or they just wanted to sell her four tires instead of just two. 

I don't know.  It's a very strange story, but true!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hooray for Scotland!

I was pleased to hear that the Scottish voters decided to stay within the United Kingdom.  The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has promised to give them some more control over their own affairs.

I understand that will have to go through their Parliament in London so may not be as easy as all that.  We'll have to wait and see.

The United Kingdom without Scotland would be like having a car with one wheel missing.  It would look OK from one side but would be difficult to do anything.  A few hundred years ago Scotland, England, and Wales quit fighting among themselves, joined together a became the most powerful nation in the world. 

They may have lost that status to nations like China, but I think they are much stronger and more successful together.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beiseker Fire Department Gets a Boost!

photo via Rocky View Weekly
Friday morning, I got a call from Beiseker Fire Chief Bob Ursu.  He asked me if I had time to come over to the CHS DynAgra facility next to the Village Office to help receive a cheque on behalf of the Fire Department.

Imagine my surprise when I found out the cheque was for $25,000!  Each year, CHS Inc. - of which DynAgra is a part - provides funds to communities for worthy projects.  The Beiseker Fire Department applied for funds to continue their upgrading of equipment and vehicles.

CHS Canadian Region Director, Mark Biedenfeld, was part of the presentation of the cheque to Chief Bob and myself.  He was most pleased to be in Beiseker and to help our volunteer firefighters.  This donation will provide a tremendous boost for the Beiseker Fire Department and their efforts to upgrade their firefighting and rescue equipment along with their vehicles.

Thank you CHS, good on ya! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Restarting the Bassano Station Project

I am pleased to report that work on the Bassano Station has resumed.  Work is now under way to prepare the foundation to accept the building.  Damage to the foundation caused by it sitting open for so long are being repaired.

The building should be able to be moved onto the foundation soon.  I'm not making any predictions or deadlines because too many have done so before only to have them pass by.  My prediction is to expect it when you see it moving over there!

Here's a huge "Beiseker Pat-On-The-Back" and a "Thank You" to all those who have helped us restart this project.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Vera!

My wife and I had the pleasure of joining Vera Schmaltz's family in wishing her a very Happy 80th Birthday this past weekend!  Saturday's Open House at our Community Centre was packed with well-wishers!  Later, just the family got together for supper.

Vera has been a mainstay of our community for quite a while, and shows no signs of slowing down!  Here's a few places you've seen Vera around Beiseker;

She has been a Village Councillor. 
She was affectionately known as "Mother Hen" when she served on our Beiseker Volunteer Fire Department. 
She has worked as a parent volunteer at our school. 
She worked at the Village Office, the banks and at the Medical Centre here in town. 
She is our faithful prompter at Stage East. 

Vera has held positions on our Emergency Management Committee and is very active within her church, just to mention a few!

And during all of that she raised four fantastic kids with her husband, the late Tony Schmaltz, here in Beiseker!  If there were ever to be a title of "Mrs. Village of Beiseker", Vera would be one of the first chosen to claim it!

Happy Birthday Vera, and many more!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beiseker History: Floods!

Flooding on Beiseker's Main Street, 1914.
Glenbow Archives
T.L. Beiseker and his group of land speculators from the United States sold the land around what is now the village of Beiseker to eager settlers wanting new farmland.

When it came down to picking a site for the new town, they looked around at the options.  They needed a site that was adjacent to the then-new Canadian Pacific Railway right-of-way, and near the proposed Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (now, CN) right-of-way.  It had to be reasonably flat and preferably not saleable as farmland.

They chose here!  The site where the village now sits was a lowland, with small sloughs and wetlands.  It dried up every year, but it was sometimes too late to seed a crop.

Fill was brought in, buildings were constructed and the village grew. 

Unfortunately, the two railways interrupted the natural flow of water through the area, and on heavy run-off years (or after big storms) Beiseker always flooded.  There was many years where Main Street flooded.  In fact, there was a year when over a metre of water flooded Main Street in front of the King George Hotel, where the hardware store is today.

There is an myth of an unfortunate individual who staggered drunk out of the King George Hotel tavern, fell in the water and drowned, right there on Main Street.  I have yet to find any facts to back up this story.

In the 1950s, with the help of provincial funding, a drainage channel was built around Beiseker, just south of town.  That solved the severe flooding problems.  Because most of downtown Beiseker was built on a flat lowland, there are still some small problems with water pooling even today.  Practically every direction out of downtown Beiseker is uphill.  The only good flowing water channel is that one built over 60 years ago.  

Now that system is being burdened by water coming into Beiseker from Rocky View County lands, north of town.  If I had a chance to go back in time and talk to Mr. Beiseker, I'd advise him to build his town on higher ground!  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Does the Water Smell Funny?

We have received a few questions at the Village Office about the smell of Beiseker's tap water.  Some of you have noticed an "earthy" smell or taste to the water these past few weeks. 

This can happen this time of year, especially in drier summers when the flow in the Red Deer River is at its lowest through the year. 

Our water is treated three times before it comes out of your home taps.  The Town of Drumheller treats it before it goes to the Aqua7 Regional Water Services Commission (A7RWSC) treatment and pumping plant at Kirkpatrick, where it is treated again. 

The Village of Beiseker then treats the water a third time before it enters our distribution system here in town.

As a result the water is perfectly safe to drink and use.  We did get a note from A7RWSC a couple of weeks ago mentioning that this odor issue might happen.  Our water is chlorinated at each treatment point, so it can sometimes have a "bleachy" taste, too.

Again, the water is safe.  If that status changes, Aqua7 will inform us right away and we will inform you. 

This recent rain will help the situation as the river flow increases.  Remember, Beiseker and Irricana are at the end of the line so, water changes which happen at the Drumheller site can take a couple of days or more before we notice a difference here.

The best advice I've heard is to draw your drinking water and let it sit in the piture for a let the odors dissipate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

South Health Campus is great, but it's no Airdrie Hospital

A few weeks back I had an appointment at the new South Health Campus.  This is the new Calgary hospital located in the far south of the city.

Getting there was super easy; south on Stoney Trail and follow the "H" signs as you turn west.

There was a huge underground parking facility which is very easy to navigate.  All sections of the parking garage are given names like "Mountain" and "Forest," so it's easy to retrace your steps back to your car after your appointment.

Once in the hospital I was impressed by the quiet, serene atmosphere of the place.  I also noticed the place was absolutely spotlessly clean.  There was cleaning being done all the time we were there!

This is one beautiful hospital!

However, there is one huge problem with it.  It (or one like it) isn't in Airdrie!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beiseker's History: Fires!

King George Hotel fire, 1936.
From Beiseker's Golden Heritage
As you are aware, I am very proud of Beiseker's volunteer fire department which, in my opinion, is second to none in this great province. 

Firefighting today is a science and our volunteers are constantly upgrading their skills and training with courses and practices. 

But fire has been an enemy of this village since it started as a small hamlet a hundred years ago.  Early volunteer firefighters had little water and structures built entirely of wood and insulated with wood shavings to contend with. 

Despite the heroic efforts of those early volunteers, fire has destroyed much of Beiseker's historic buildings over the years. Here are a few of the early fires;
  • In 1929, a fire destroyed the Hagel & Held Block on Main Street
  • Sam Dattner's store at the west end of Main Street (near where Ng's restaurant is today) burned to the ground in the early 1930s.
  • In 1932 the building built by E.C. Aisenstat at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue (now occupied by Apple Pie)  burned down.
  • In 1936, the King George Hotel located at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue (at the current location of the hardware store) was totally destroyed by fire. Approximately fifty years later, the Beiseker Hotel located down the street from the King George, suffered the same fate.
  • In 1944, fire destroyed Mrs. E. N. Hagel's home.
  • In 1944 the Roman Catholic Rectory (located in front of St. Mary's Cemetery) burned down.
  • In 1945, fire destroyed the pool hall, barber shop, Stimac's confectionary, and the post office located on Main Street.
  • 1953 saw the destruction by fire of the Beiseker Curling Rink, built in 1939.
Despite these horrible events, Beiseker and its folks survived and thrived.  There are likely dozens of acts of valour and heroism connected with those disasters now forgotten in time. 

Whenever I see our volunteer firefighters in their shiny trucks, I am reminded of how far we've come over the past hundred years.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beiseker's History: T.L. Beiseker and the Founding of the Village

Thomas Lincoln "T.L" Beiseker
I read in the paper this morning that the City of Calgary is doing a series of stories, articles and presentations on the city's history this week.  I thought I'd start a similar thing here in the Friendly Village.  Here goes;

The village was named after Thomas Lincoln "T.L." Beiseker, an American banker and land speculator originally from Harvey, North Dakota.  Thomas Beiseker never really lived in the village named after him - although he and his partner, A.J. Sayer, had an office in Calgary at 809, 1st Street W, in the 'Alberta Block' building that still stands today.

Mr. Beiseker was a director of the Calgary Colonization Company.  The company bought land "dirt cheap" from the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and started selling it around here at quite a large profit in late 1906.   They pretty well had it all sold off by late 1908.

For the future Beiseker townsite, a piece of land which was not much good for farming was chosen.  The land was not a slough, as local myth says, but it was quite marshy in a few places.  The Canadian Pacific Railway reached Beiseker in 1910.  Before that, settlers had to cross the prairie from the railway siding at Crossfield to get to their new land. 

The Alberta Pacific Grain Company elevator was started in 1909 and took its first grain in 1910.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weeds and Potholes!

A number of residents have asked me when Public Works going to mow down the weeds in the back lanes throughout Beiseker.  I know we have done this in the past, but it is actually the responsibility of the home owners to keep the weeds down both on the public reserve in front of their homes, and the area behind their back fence next to the lane. 

We have completely discontinued the weed-whacking services in those areas to save some money.  We are asking everyone to take care of those areas themselves.

We have been working on filling the over abundance of potholes this summer - experts are telling us the brutal winter caused most of them.  If you spot a pothole which has been missed by our Public Works, please report its location to the Village Office (403-947-3774) and they'll put it on their list!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Train Whistles (Again)!

photo by Mathieu Tremblay, via Flickr
I have recently received a number of complaints from Beiseker residents about the noise created by the Canadian National Railway (CNR) when their trains whistle several times while going through town. 

I think it has to do with many having windows open during the night to cool down the house.  The still air and those open windows can make a train whistle pretty loud at 3:00 am!

I am going to ask representatives of the CNR to join us as a deligation at one of our council meetings so that we may ask them what is involved in having the trains stop their whistles. 

I'll let you know when we've arranged that meeting.  You're more than welcome to attend that meeting to get the info first hand.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Playground on the Move!

Here's a huge "Beiseker Thank You" to those who worked so hard to removed the playground apparatus on the north side of the Beiseker Community School yard. 

As you may recall, the equipment was slated to be demolished by Rocky View Schools, even though it was in excellent condition - save a few relatively minor repairs.  Members of the Beiseker Fire Department and a few other volunteers spent a good part of Saturday carefully dismantling the structure, and hauling it off to storage. 

There it will be cleaned and repaired while a suitable location is sought for its re-installation.

I was the blister!  I arrived after the heavy work had been done.  The small but mighty group of volunteers had already removed most of the structure and had just a few of the uprights left to load up.

To all those who helped out goes a B.B.P.O.T.B.  (Big Beiseker Pat On The Back).  Well done everyone!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Recovered from Stampede!

I think I've recovered from the Stampede.  Last Sunday was the final day of the big show, and it was HOT!  Trying to keep the critters comfortable in the old barn was indeed a challenge.  We had so many fans going it was hard to hear over the constant din.

The hot days not withstanding, I think the 102nd edition of the Calgary Stampede was a huge success.  In the infield, Canadian rodeo stars shone brightly in the finals Sunday afternoon -- winning three out of six events!  That may be a record of the number of Canadian cowboys taking home the top prize which now is $100,000!  And two of them were Albertans!

I didn't spend as much time down at Stampede Park this year as I usually do during the ten day mayhem.  Time for the younger folks to take over!  And take over they did!  The brand new Agrium Western Event Centre was opened for its very first Stampede.  Everyone pulled together to make the displays and exhibits shine in their new digs! Well done everyone!

No, I didn't try Scorpion Pizza or Deep Fried Everything, but I had fun there nevertheless.

Something that really bugs me is that the media do an amazing job of covering the rodeo and chuckwagon events during the Stampede.  This year's CBC TV and press coverage was absolutely awesome!  Unfortunately, as soon as Stampede is over, finding out anything about those sporting events is almost impossible. 

Likewise, the rodeos leading up to the Stampede are rarely mentioned in the newspaper or on TV.  The "chucks" are running in High River today (Guy Weadick Days) and over the weekend, yet I've heard not a word!  Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, and many other sports are reported in the media -- but not rodeo!  It's almost like the media believes that the Rodeo and Chuckwagon season begins and ends at the Calgary Stampede.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Time at the Beiseker Airport

Summer time is the busiest time for our Beiseker Airport!  The skydivers at Alberta Skydivers are flying high if it's not too windy.  On a good day you'll see dozens of the brightly coloured canopies floating down over the course of the day.

We expect to have three aerial applicator groups (spray planes) using the field this year.  We'll have two commercial spray outfits and one local farmer using Beiseker as their base for crop spraying in the area.  We have moved one operation away from in front of the clubhouse to try to solve the conjestion around there and the fueling area.  These users pay the village to use the airport each summer.

We also have a couple of flying schools who use the airport for students doing "touch-and-go" landings.  That means they actually land their airplanes, but take off again just after the wheels touch the runway.  It's good training for them.

All the leaseholders will try to get some flying in during these warmer months.  They will often fly early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the air is less bumpy.

Public Works and airport volunteers are constantly mowing to keep the grass down and a local farmer has purchased the haying rights at the field.

A couple of leaseholders have made plans to build new hangars this summer so they'll be construction going on out there, too!

All that activity makes for a busy airport all summer.  All planes using the airport are in radio cantact with each other and must follow a pattern when flying around the field.  This pattern is called a circuit.  It is important that they follow the rules and land and take-off in the same direction.  That direction is determined by the wind direction shown by the wind-sock.

Ir you're planning to come out to do some plane watching, we ask that you stay behind the fence.  And bring your bug spray!  The mosquitoes are fierce out there this year.

Reminder: Every third Saturday of the month is coffee time at the airport between 10:00 am and Noon.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's Stampede Time Again!

We're well into Calgary's annual western shin-dig, with the start of the Calgary Stampede.  I was down at Stampede Park last week, helping with set-up but I haven't been back since the "Big Show" started.

My Stampede committee puts on Aggie Days each spring but many committee members help out with Agrium Ag-tivity in the City at the Stampede.  I will likely be down there during this week to help out.

This year, the Agriculture display area includes the new Agrium Western Events Centre!  The building officially opened about a month ago.  The agricultural displays are spread out this year between this new building and the old original barn.  Everything is there to see!  All the producer groups have displays set up there to show Stampede visitors just exactly where their food comes from, and the care and attention producers take to make sure our food is as safe and nutritious as it can be.

Let's hope for continued good weather, not too hot.  Check out the Ag Displays in their new digs when you visit the Stampede this year. I might see you there!

And -- any respect I had for animal rights groups was lost when I read of an incident the other evening when two members of an out-of-province animal rights group chained themselves to the race track rail fence at Stampede Park.  This prevented the start of the chuckwagon races for 30 minutes, while officials sawed off the protesters' restraints and bundled them off to the slammer.

I understand that they have the right to protest, but delaying the evening event was, in my opinion, very silly. 

Before they protest, I wish groups like this would do their research properly.  They might find out what measures have been taken in recent years to make the wagon races safer for horses.  They could talk to the veterinarians in charge of animal health and safety.  They should talk to the chuckwagon owners and drivers to see how their animals are treated off the track. They might talk to the folks at Spruce Meadows or Cavalia to see how their horses are treated.  They need to get their facts straight. 

We need folks out there to remind us to humanely look after all the critters in our charge.  But in my opinion, this action the other evening accomplished nothing but disdain for those groups.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quiet (but Happy) Canada Day in Beiseker

Canada Day turned out to be a fairly quiet affair here in the Friendly Village.

My apologies to you if I sent you to the wrong place to celebrate yesterday.  The venue was moved over from Legacy Park to Friendship Park, because there is more room and there are shade trees there.  I think everyone who was looking for the Canada Day celebrations did find us eventually.

The kids had fun doing the passport game.  Eight stations were set up and the kids had to visit all of them to get a prize.  Our Beiseker Fire Department came over to show off their fire truck and their first response vehicle.   The Alberta Health Services folks shut down our BBQ and our face painting, but everyone had a good time anyway.

The big celebration around here was held in Irricana.  I was unable to take part in the festivities there, but I was able to watch their fantastic fireworks display last night!  Good on ya, Irricana!

Answers to my trivia questions;  Canada started out with four provinces back in 1867.  They were Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.  Prince Edward Island was supposed to be there too, but they held out, wanting some special treatment because they were so small.  They did join a while later, after their concerns were addressed.   Newfoundland was the last province to join Canada in 1949, making an even ten provinces.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Canada Day in Beiseker

Tomorrow is Canada Day!  On that day (July 1) in 1867, Canada officially became a country.  To be truthful, it wasn't much of a country.  It only had four provinces and most of its affairs were still controlled by the British back in London, but it was a start.

And look how far we've come!  We've grown from sea to sea to sea with ten provinces and three territories.  We make all of our own decisions domestically and internationally, we have our own national anthem, and our own flag.  We're a strong and peaceful country, to the envy of the two other nations which share North America with us.  Canada is respected around the world.  We have much to celebrate!

Tomorrow is the day we celebrate.  I hope those folks who place those little Canadian Flags at our pathways are going to do that again.  I haven't heard. 

We'll have a big celebration in Legacy Park, which is just north of the Village OfficeAlberta Health Services has told us that we can't BBQ burgers there any more, but we'll be giving out pre-packaged goodies and treats.   It goes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Be there to show your nationalistic spirit!  See you there!

Here's a couple of trivia questions for you;  What were the four provinces in Canada back in 1867?  What province joined Canada last to make it an even ten?