Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Buying Back our own Oil?

Here's one for the "believe it or not" column.  The province of Alberta is a very large producer of crude oil, both traditional crude and synthetic crude from the oil sands.  The way I understand it, our crude is already being shipped out of province down to the United States, where it's processed into gasoline and shipped BACK to Alberta -- to be sold at huge mark-ups. 

I have also been told that there are refineries here in Alberta capable of making gasoline sitting idle or producing at a very low capacity.

I obviously don't understand this industry.  Shouldn't these companies who are exploiting an Albertan natural, non-renewable resource be working hard to put as many Albertans to work as possible?  Alberta has always been proud of its highly trained oilfield workers.  Albertan oilmen and women are being employed around the world to help others with their petroleum industries.

Yet jobs are disappearing here at home while our own crude is exported elsewhere so others in other countries may profit refining it!  Stranger than fiction.

Squirt Makes the News!

Congratulations to Beiseker Public Works team members Holly and Shawn, for their stellar performance being interviewed by Global Calgary yesterday!  They were excellent spokespeople for our little village and its goofy mascot.

They introduced the good folks from Global Calgary to our very own Squirt the Skunk.  Squirt has continuously made the news since he arrived in Beiseker, more than twenty years ago.  There was plenty of controversy back then when a skunk was chosen as our mascot, but I think now all would agree that he has certainly brought much positive publicity to our village over the years.  Squirt is a popular addition to many social events in and around Beiseker.

You never hear about other towns' swan, goose, gopher, fish, badger, buffalo, sausage, or pretzel, but Squirt the Skunk from Beiseker is always front and center!  Thanks, Squirt!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Public Works Foreman's Position

Beiseker is on the hunt for a new Public Works Foreman!

Responsibilities of the job are many and varied.  It will take us some time to preview all applications, short-list candidates, interview those shortlisted, and then choose the most appropriate candidate for the job.  The advertisement was posted in municipal and local media, with the competition closing at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12

We are urging all who have the qualifications to apply to the Village Office.  Please include your updated resume.  The detailed posting is available, here.

In the meantime, the Village Office has assumed leadership of Public Works Office, with our Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) specifically acting as Public Works Foreman/Supervisor in the interim.   We are very fortunate to have a very competent and willing Public Works staff on the job!  So far, they have proven themselves very capable of handling the chores in the village. 

If you have questions or comments, please contact the Beiseker Village Office at 403-947-3774.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Many Taxes, One Pocket

It's no secret that one of the government's main source of revenue is direct taxation.  Each level of government has been given certain methods of gathering money from Canadians. 

The federal and provincial governments collect income taxes.  Our national government and most provinces (except Alberta) gather sales taxes.  Provinces tax things like liquor and tobacco (so-called "sin taxes"), while the provinces and the federal government both tax gasoline and vehicles. 

Municipalities tax properties - but the provinces have a hand out there, collecting its education portion of property taxes.  There is also the 'trickle down' tax dollars; the federal and provincial governments send a trickle of dollars down to the level (or levels) below them.

It's all very complicated, but what many of our elected MPs, MLAs and municipal councilors might forget sometimes is that all of these various levels of taxes are paid for out of one pocket.

The same person who pays his property taxes also pays provincial and federal income taxes.  The money used to pay property tax, liquor taxes, sales taxes, fuel taxes and  other taxes has already been taxed by the federal government before the taxpayer is even allowed to put his wages in his pocket!

All taxes are paid for out of one pocket; the taxpayers pocket! 

All elected officials; municipal, provincial, and federal, must be constantly reminded of this very fact.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ken Farwell Passes

I was greatly saddened by the news that Ken Farwell had passed away.  Ken grew up here in Beiseker.  My wife taught him at Beiseker Community School starting in Grade One.  The Farwells are neighbours so we'd see him often.  I taught him many times through his years at our school.

He helped re-start C.O.P.s (Citizens On Patrol) here in Beiseker but his latest Beiseker adventure was his joining Stage East!  He loved getting involved with that whacky group and making suggestions on the performance.  He worked on sound affects and music.  We had convinced him to act and he was ready to do it! 

Unfortunately, his health issues prevented his stage d├ębut and he had to bow out of Stage East.  We all missed him very much.

We missed his bright smile, and his positive outlook.   Ken will be missed by so many here and elsewhere.  My heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Give From the Heart Radiothon

Once again I had the pleasure of visiting the good folks over at AIR 106.1 FM radio station in Airdrie, yesterday.  We were promoting the Community Links program through their Give From the Heart Radiothon. 

As you know, the Community Links program has a branch office over here in Beiseker.  It's located in our new Community Services Building at the corner of Fifth Street and Third Avenue, along with the Playschool and the Library.

It's open two days a week (Tuesday and Friday) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The programs they offer there are amazing!  They can provide help and support for those who need it.  And if they can't help you on the spot, they'll find out who can and get you connected.  If you're dealing with an issue and you're looking for solutions or you want to learn more about something that's affecting you, or maybe just need someone to talk to, Community Links is your place!  Drop in and get a publication called CONNECTING with a description of all their programs. 

By the way, that same publication is available at the Beiseker Village Office. I think you'll be amazed at the things they do over there!

Each year Community Links and AIR 106.1 FM holds a telethon to raise money to help insure the wonderful work they're doing keeps going. 

I had two other meetings that day, so I had to bug out mid-morning, but they were already coming in on $10,000 pledged so far!  I'll let you know what the grand total was when I find out.  If you missed the Telethon, drop off your donation at the Community Links branch here in Beiseker or you can donate online through Canada Helps.  Remember; many small donations yields a huge success!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Airshow on Discovery Channel!

I am enjoying the new series on the Discovery Channel called Airshow!

Over these past two weeks the hour long program has featured Alberta locations (Airdrie and Rocky Mountain House) and many Canadian air show celebrities.  It's fast paced and shows a bit as to what goes on at an airport hosting an air show.

I know many of the performers featured on the series, and I'm glad to see them show everyone what they go through to give us those few minutes of excitement at an air show.

I highly recommend the show which airs each Monday evening at 8:00 p.m on Discovery Channel.  Tune it in!  It may give you some idea as to why I and so many others are "Plane Crazy"!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bruce Rowe not Seeking Re-Election

I read in the Three Hills Capital newspaper an open letter from our MLA, Bruce Rowe.  He has declared in the letter that he will not be running for the Progressive Conservative nomination in this constituency, and not seeking re-election as MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills

I totally understand his reasons for leaving Edmonton, but in many ways I wish he could have stayed one more term. 

I've worked closely with Bruce for many years when we served on Beiseker Village Council together.  You'd be hard pressed to find a more dedicated and hard working elected official!  I admired his tenacity and ability to stay ahead on the learning curve. 

Many of us have been in local politics for decades; Bruce was a "newbie" when he was elected by the good folks of Beiseker.  The learning curve here was steep, but he mastered it to go on to be our mayor.  He joined the executive of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and started doing those long drives to the provincial capital almost weekly to represent us there at AUMA meetings.

When he was first nominated for the Wildrose Party, then elected as our MLA, I was pleased for him and saddened for Beiseker.  We were losing a great local politician, here.  The learning curve just got a lot steeper for him, too.  But he persevered and I think he served his constituency well these last few years.  Those hard won skills and knowledge will be hard to replace!

In his statement in the paper, Bruce cited family ties as the main reason for his leaving provincial politics.  I totally understand.  He and his wife Carol are going to want to see their grandchildren grow up, and they do that so very fast.  I know that Bruce will continue serving this constituency to the very best of his ability until the election is called.  Then I and many other folks in beautiful downtown Beiseker are going to want to welcome him back! 

Thanks for all your hard work, Bruce.  I look forward to seeing you around town more often again soon!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Confused Groundhogs and Cloudy Water

It's Monday morning, February 2nd!

In some places in North America the resident groundhogs forecasted an early spring, but in other places the knowledgeable little rodents declared six more weeks of winter.  If we had a groundhog here I think he would be calling for an early spring!  Yay!

I also just got word that a computer glitch at our Aqua7 Regional Water Services pump house in Kirkpatrick temporarily shut off the pumps, there.  They have been restarted, but water users may notice their water is a bit cloudy.  That's normal when we have a pump shut-down, then a restart.

The water is still safe and potable.  For more information, please call the Village office at 403-947-3774.