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!