Jaywalkers’ back downtown

By Murray Green

Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce have brought the 65th annual Jaywalkers’ Jamboree back downtown.

Jaywalkers’ Jamboree will be held on June 7 to 9 this year, a week later than usual. Along with the usual spaces used downtown, Jaywalkers’ Jamboree will be expanding into the The Brick, Burgar Funeral Home and Ken’s Furniture properties.

The Chamber board of directors heard that West Coast wanted to bring in more and bigger rides to increase the midway. The board decided to move the event to the Camrose Regional Exhibition, but many Chamber members were upset with the decision.

The City of Camrose’s downtown area has seen construction on several empty lots over the last year where either events, rides or parking used the space.

Linking DNA to genealogy

By Lori Larsen

For a variety of reasons, more and more people are taking an active interest in their genealogy and the Camrose & District Branch of Alberta Genealogical Society are excited to be able to assist with that journey of discovery.

Meetings for the Camrose & District Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society started up again in March and are scheduled every third Thursday of the month at the Camrose County Ag Services Building, 4238-37 Street, beginning at 7 p.m.

“For the next couple of months we will be exploring Scandinavian ancestry,” noted Camrose & District   Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society co-president Janine Carroll, adding that the April 18th meeting will feature Cindy Mailer giving a talk about researching ancestors in Sweden.

Continuing with a focus on Scandinavian ancestry, Adele Goa will be presenting on researching ancestors in Norway during the May 16 meeting.

“In addition to our regular monthly meetings, our Branch has several Special Interest Groups (SIGs),” said  Carroll. “They are a “members only” perk, but folks are welcome to attend once or twice to see if it’s something they would be interested in.”
The following is an outline of the SIGs:

Organizational SIG occurs the first Monday of every month at 1 p.m. held at the Camrose County Agri Building, 4238-37 Street.
Attendees are asked to bring their own project, laptop, photos and documents to work on and join a few others for some “social” work-time.

Military SIG occurs the third Wednesday of every month, at 1 p.m., held at the Camrose County Agri Building.

“Our Branch is extremely fortunate to have two well versed military authorities who share their knowledge and help members move forward in their family military history,” remarked Carroll. “We are learning so much.”

Writing Your Family History SIG will have a second group held every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 2 until 4 p.m.

“This group will meet electronically to support and motivate each other in our family history writing.”

On Saturday, May 4 from 1 until 3:30 p.m. come out for a free of charge, in-person workshop to be held at the Camrose Public Library (downstairs meeting room).

The ABCs of DNA: a (ancient) au (autosomal) mt X and Y workshop, will be presented by Lianne Kruger. Topics to be covered include: explaining the different types of DNA and how they are helpful in genealogy work; why take a DNA test; terminology needed to understand what is needed to help and  surname studies; FTDNA group projects; where to start; how they can work together; research questions and warning labels and ethics.

If you are interested in attending, email the Camrose Branch of AGS at camrosegeneo@gmail.com.

There is a limited amount of spaces available.
3 habitat home

Local family receives keys to new Habitat Camrose home

New homeowner Hayley Cottrell and children Phoebe and Alba received keys to their place from Jason Diduck, executive director of Habitat Camrose, chair Lee Foreman and board member Alton Puddicombe.

By Murray Green

A local family has a new home with the support of Habitat for Humanity.

Camrose community partners, along with numerous dedicated volunteers, has allowed the dream of home ownership to become reality for a family for Hayley Cottrell and her two children.

“Through Habitat Camrose’s affordable homeownership program, this family now has the sense of accomplishment, pride, stability and home security. Thank you for all the community support as we welcome this family home. Habitat for Humanity Camrose is so incredibly proud of Hayley for her hard work and dedication towards home ownership,” said Jason Diduck, executive director, Habitat for Humanity Camrose.

“My sincere congratulations to the new homeowners and wish you health and happiness in your new residence. Camrose is a fantastic place to raise a family and forge a life,” added Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely in a note.

“I am no stranger to hard work and pride myself on the way I treat those how I would like to be treated. I have suffered from discrimination for several different reasons over the years. I feel like this is a strength as I turned that negativity into a learning experience instead of letting it bring me down. With all this adversity I am still here and striving to do my best for my children, our lovely little community of Camrose and myself. Having a home that we could call our own would mean everything to me. It would mean I could breathe,” shared Hayley.

Habitat Camrose is a pioneering force in bringing the community together to foster strength, stability and independence through an initiative of affordable home ownership. A proud and independent affiliate of Habitat Canada, they have successfully built 46 homes in the City of Camrose, resulting in over 50 families accomplishing their dreams of owning a home.

Habitat for Humanity Camrose also operates a home retail store–the ReStore–selling new, donated, and used appliances, furniture, kitchens, building materials and home supplies. Habitat for Humanity ReStores play an integral part in Habitat’s mission by providing financial support for our work.

County lowers tax rate to 3.5 per cent

By Murray Green

It is not every day that you receive good news.

But, at the end of last year the County proposed an interim budget for the average ratepayer living in Camrose County expected to see an increase of approximately 4.3 per cent more in property taxes.

However, due to spending accumulated Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, moving some funds to new projects and alleviating operating costs, they lowered the amount of the tax increase to 3.5 per cent.

“A number of capital projects have been added to the budget since the interim budget was presented. As the MSI Grant Program has ended and the funds will expire if they are not used, administration has strategically added projects and adjusted some from using reserves to using grant funding, to use the funding before it expires,” shared administrator Teresa Gratrix.

General increases in the 2024 operating budget are due to less provincial government funding and higher overall costs of doing business.

At the regular council meeting on April 9, administrator Gratrix presented the operating and capital budgets for council’s approval. County councillors passed the budget.

“I move that Camrose County council approve the 2024 Operating Budget with a total operating revenue of $26,980,453 total operating expenses of $43,552,659 to give a total 2024 Tax Levy (operating) of $16,572,205,” said councillor Doug Lyseng.

“The goal for the 2024 budget was to maintain a high level of municipal service to our ratepayers, given the current social and economic climate, based on council’s strategic direction and priority-based budgeting principles,” explained County administrator Gratrix.

Based on this budget, the expected property tax increase for residential properties will be 3.5 per cent. “The increase equates to a $49 increase for the average residential property, $31 for the average farmland property and $79 per 100,000 for non-residential properties,” said administrator Gratrix.

At the budget meetings department managers recommended to the budget committee several changes or alternatives to services delivery and identified areas where efficiencies can be implemented.

County council approved the 2024 capital budget with total capital and project expenses of $9,539,865 to be funded by internal resources (sale of assets, grants, debentures or reserves) of $8,349,965 and a total capital levy of $1,189,900.

The budget committee deliberations that took place October 30 and 31 included potential 2024 capital projects and the funding for these projects. In general, Camrose County funds capital projects for equipment such as graders from taxation and sale of goods, and other projects from reserves and grants as much as is possible,” added Gratrix.

Administration was proposing the use of a debenture to finance the purchase of a mulcher. “This piece of equipment will last 10 to 12 years and will save the County an annual operating expense of $50,000 (2023 dollars). However, this cost is now covered by grant funds in the 2024 budget,” she added.

Communities support volunteer firefighters

By Lori Larsen

Camrose Fire Department (CFD) Chief Peter Krich joins other fire chiefs and communities across the county in support of raising the volunteer firefighter tax credit from $3,000 to $10,000 as a provision in the upcoming Federal Budget.

“We need to show our volunteer firefighter, search and rescue and rescue personnel that they are appreciated for the work that they do. As a country we ask so much of our 89,000-strong volunteer firefighters including those in our community–who also have other jobs,” said Krich.

CFD submitted a petition in support of the proposal to raise the tax credit but also to raise awareness of the decreasing numbers of volunteers willing to step up and serve their communities. Camrose Fire Department, alone, has 30 well trained, dedicated volunteers answering the call to service.

According to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, the number of volunteer firefighters has been shrinking from 126,000 in 2016 to 89,000 in 2023.

“We are asking the federal government to send a clear message to this country’s firefighter, and to all Canadians, in the budget 2024 that they will stand shoulder to shoulder with us in ensuring the retention of essential personnel by increasing the volunteer firefighter and search and rescue tax credit,” said Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, board of directors president Ken McMullen. “This is a realistic, affordable and necessary step to put Canada first as we approach the next wildfire season.”

Volunteer firefighters and search and rescue personnel dedicate not only their free time but often time away from their own jobs and businesses to provide this essential service to communities throughout Canada, that may otherwise not have fire and emergency response.

History is a stark reminder of how quickly a wildfire can change the face of a community leaving behind a path of destruction and tragedy. If the numbers of volunteer firefighters and search and rescue personnel keeps depleting the risk becomes even more immanent.

On April 10, the federal government indicated that the Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit was increased from $3,000 to $6,000.
7 student life awards

Augustana recognizes students, athletes

Augustana Vikings business operations coordinator David Ritz, right, presented female and male athletes of the year awards to Shae Boyes and Jack Hamly.

By Murray Green

University of Alberta Augustana Campus presented 2024 Student Life Awards at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre as students, staff, faculty and community members celebrated accomplishments, April 4.

Onesimus award nominees were: Jessica Andreas, Anika Briscoe, Makayla Clarke, Paulina Dias Afonso, Frank Dion, Belle Dodds, Logan Driedger, Timothy Dueck, Nate Goetz, Casey Hartman, Isca Irangwe, Adrian Lam, Emmanuella Loomis, Rylee MacLennan, Hannah Nichol, Joanna Nicolas, Meet Prakashkumar Panchal, Nicole Roy, Hannah Taplin and Stanislav Vasyliuk.

Recipients were Briscoe, Clarke, Dion, Dodds, Driedger, Dueck, Goetz, Hartman, Irangwe, Lam, Loomis, MacLennan, Nicolas, Prakashkumar Panchal and Roy.
Best New Club recipient: Augustana Drama Club. Most Improved Club recipient: Augustana South Asia Club. Best Overall Club recipient: Augustana Biology Club.

ASA Student Recognition award nominees: Jessica Andreas, AC Capper, Saim Khokhar, Rylee MacLennan and Sarah Nagel. Recipients were Andreas and Nagel.
Vikings Volunteer Coach of the Year nominees: Lauren Cardinal (women’s basketball), Dan Johnson (men’s volleyball), Bryan Laskosky (women’s volleyball), Robert Renman (cross-country running and indoor track). Recipient: Renman (cross-country running and indoor track).

Vikings Coach of the Year recipient: Steve Enright (women’s volleyball).

Betty Ostenrud award nominees: Faculty–Andrea Korda, Brandon Alakas, Paula Marentette and Craig Wentland. Staff–Kyra Thompson, Linnea Velikonja and Dave Hamilton. Recipients were Marentette (faculty) and Velikonja (staff).

Vikings Volunteer of the Year recipient: Jon Hironaka (men’s hockey).

Roger Epp Award nominees: Adachukwu Chimoabi, Makayla Clarke, Nate Goetz, Isca Irangwe, Rylee MacLennan, Sarah Nagel, Joanna Nicolas, Nicole Roy and Stanislav Vasyliuk. Recipient was MacLennan.

Heather Huber Memorial award nominees: Jessica Andreas, Makayla Clarke, Belle Dodds, Casey Hartman, Isca Irangwe, Rylee MacLennan, Sarah Nagel, Thanhhai Nguyen and Hannah Taplin. Recipient was Nguyen.

Moncrieff Ford Memorial award recipient was Rylee White (men’s volleyball).
Team GPA award recipients: curling and women’s soccer.

Horseshoe Hero award nominees were: Samantha Abbott, Priscilla Adebanji, Nolan Dixson, Sarthak Kaushik, McKenzee Olsen and Jake Tuazon. Recipient was Kaushik.
Rookie of the Year award nominees were: men–Colby Anderson (basketball), Jayven Leslie (hockey) and Owen Rasmunson (volleyball).

Women–Randi Cameron (curling), Hannah McCarroll (basketball), Kiara Periard-Endel (soccer) and Taryn Watson (volleyball).Recipients were Leslie (hockey) and McCarroll (basketball).

Athlete of the Year award nominees: men–Jack Hamly (hockey), Ewan Schellenberg (cross-country running and indoor track) and Jack Smilski (basketball).

Women–Shae Boyes (volleyball), Sidney Cusack (cross-country running and indoor track), Sofia Ovcharenko (soccer). Recipients were Hamly (hockey) and Boyes (volleyball).

Augustana Leadership award nominees were: Jessica Andreas, Anika Briscoe, Adachukwu Chimaobi, Makayla Clarke, Frank Dion, Belle Dodds, Nate Goetz, Casey Hartman, Berenda Helmus, Isca Irangwe, Adrian Lam, Emmanuella Loomis, Rylee MacLennan, Sarah Nagel, Hannah Nichol, Joanna Nicolas, Meet Prakashkumar Panchal, Nicole Roy, Hannah Taplin and Stanislav Vasyliuk.
Recipients were Andreas, Chimaobi, Lam and Nagel.

Vikings Leadership award nominees: Sydnee Dallyn (women’s soccer), Ryan Degner (men’s basketball), Owen Lamb (hockey), Emily Peterson (women’s volleyball) and Josie Zimmerman (curling). Recipient was Lamb (hockey).

The Ace of Spades is drawn

By Lori Larsen

Raffle 3 of Chase the Ace came to a conclusion when winner Douglas Johnson (of Edmonton) drew the Ace of Spades during the 15th draw held on April 10.

That particular draw put $324 in Douglas’s pocket but also saw Battle River Lending Place receive $324, sponsored by Rotary Camrose.

Including the Jackpot of $4,572, Douglas walks away a happy winner with $4,896.

The other big winners are the featured charities for each draw that received donations, totalling $4,072 and the major charity for Raffle 3, The Open Doors, receiving the a donation of $4,072.

Since its inception in September of 2022, the Chase the Ace initiative has donated in total, $82,796 to charities that serve the needs of all members of the community. As the result of Raffle #1 $37,078 was donated to the Hospice Society of Camrose and District (the chosen recipient of the major donation) and as the result of Raffle #2 and #3 $4,320 donated to The Open Doors (the chosen recipient of the major donation). A total of $41,398 in donations was made from all three raffles to 64 various not-for-profit organizations.
8 bob bailey theatre

Bailey honoured by City, Mayor

Camrose Arts Council chair Steven Hansen, left, Bob Bailey, City of Camrose Mayor PJ Stasko and Bailey Theatre past president Barb Stroh honoured Bailey for his MusicCounts JUNO award nomination. Stasko presented the Certificate of Acknowledgement on April 7.

By Murray Green

The City of Camrose and Bailey Theatre Society honoured band teacher Bob Bailey for his lengthy dedication to music in the community and his recent JUNO nomination.

He was one of five outstanding nominations from across Canada through MusicCounts.

He was recognized at the theatre prior to the Way Back Whens concert on April 7. Mayor PJ Stasko presented a certificate of recognition for service to the community.

Key attributes and evaluation criteria the MusiCounts committee of leading music educators across Canada were:

Passion: The Teacher of the Year should demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to teaching, and should have a demonstrated history of providing meaningful musical experiences for students.

Advocacy: The Teacher of the Year should be a strong advocate for preserving quality music education in Canadian schools through fundraising, voicing their passion for music education on different committees and boards, etc.
Experience: The Teacher of the Year’s teaching should reflect a prolonged dedication to music education and student impact.

Inclusivity: The Teacher of the Year should ensure students of varying backgrounds and skill levels have the opportunity to learn, experience and appreciate music.

Adaptability: The Teacher of the Year should have a proven track record of adapting and diversifying their teaching practices to keep up with changing student needs.

Recognition: The Teacher of the Year should have the support, respect, and admiration of students, parents, administrators and colleagues. They should be regarded as a leader in their community and a mentor in their field.

Inspirational: The Teacher of the Year should make tangible and positive differences in the lives of students, with the ability to motivate, challenge, and encourage them to be more confident creators and appreciators of music.

Bailey has received awards in the past: David Peterkin Memorial Award recipient in recognition of an outstanding contribution to band and band music in 2023 from Phi Beta Mu (International Bandmasters Fraternity, Alberta Chapter (Mu Alpha); Certificate of Merit recipient for his volunteer work as trumpeter for Royal Canadian Legion functions since 1988 from the Royal Canadian Legion; named the Alberta Band Director of the Year (Elkhorn Award) in 2015 by the Alberta Band Association in 2015; Inaugural Fine Arts Achievement Award co-recipient from the University of Alberta, Augustana Faculty; invited to be guest conductor of the Southern Alberta Junior High Honour Band in 2007; Excellence in Teaching Award recipient from the Battle River School Division.

His bands have received numerous Superior awards at the provincial festival over the years, including the Outstanding Level 1 Band and the Adjudicator’s Choir Award, as well as the Orlan Strom Award for best band.

He has been invited as guest clinician and guest conductor throughout the province for clinics and as a presenter at the Alberta Music Conference and band camps in the summer. He adjudicates festivals through the province as well. This year, he’s adjudicating at Vegreville, Grande Prairie and Stettler. In the past, he’s adjudicated at Airdrie, Olds, Medicine Hat, Sherwood Park, Red Deer, Olds and many others.

Veselka dancers at Lougheed

By Murray Green
The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre has a great lineup still to come this season.

The Camrose and District Music festival will be holding its 40th Grand Concert on April 23 at 7 p.m.

The Camrose Veselka Ukrainian Dancers will be holding its annual Spring Concert on April 28 at 2 p.m.

Heartstrings and Honky Tonk will be celebrating 70 years of country music. The show will be held on May 1 and will include Clayton Bellamy, Dan Davidson, Duane Steel, Nice Horse and Tracy Millar.

The Country Divas will be having a show at the Lougheed Centre on May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Celebrate country music’s most iconic female artists such as Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain and Faith Hill.

École Charlie Killam School will be holding its annual Spring Concert on May 29 at 7 p.m.

Join the Outlaw Country singers in a Tribute to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings on May 30 at 7:30 p.m. David James and Big River are one of the top Johnny Cash tribute bands in the world.
10 ff bushfire training hose throw

FireSmart program prepares for wildfire season

Camrose Fire Department (CFD) firefighters train and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. Firefighter Will McPhee practices throwing out a hose line from one of the two bush trucks equipped for fighting wildfires in places harder to reach with the larger fire trucks. 

By Lori Larsen

Preempting the onset of the wildfire season, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Parks Canada and Natural Resources Canada/Canadian Forest Service have devised a FireSmart program to assist fire departments and community members in protection against wildfires.
In conjunction with the FireSmart program Camrose Fire Department (CFD) has included extensive training for all CFD firefighters in an effort to ensure the most effective response to any wildfire situation.

“While it may not seem like Camrose is at high risk of a wildfire incident, like we have seen in other municipalities throughout the province that border on heavily forested areas, we do have residential areas that interface with areas of natural vegetation and wildland that can be at risk should a wildfire occur,” noted CFD Fire and Life Safety Educator Captain Jeff Knopf. “CFD also responds to wildland fires in the county, so training for our members is imperative.”

In any of these cases, wildfires have the potential to not only burn acres of natural land and habitat but pose a threat to residences, businesses and private property, especially those adjacent to wildlands.

“Part of the FireSmart program entails educating residents on preventative measures they can take to reduce the risk of property loss or damage should a wildfire occur,” said Knopf. “The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides methods for homeowners in preparing their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire impacting homes, attachments or other structures on the property.”

Prevention begins by understanding the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) which is further broken down into three zones, the immediate, intermediate and the extended zones.

The NFPA provided the following tips for prevention in each zone.

Immediate Zone (home and area 0-5 feet from furthest attached exterior point of the home defined as non-combustible area):
  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows.
  • Screen or box in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors–mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles–anything that can burn.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.
Intermediate Zone (5-30 feet from the furthest exterior point of the home):
  • Clear vegetation from under large stationary propane tanks.
  • Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
  • Keep lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
  • Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns. Prune trees up to six to ten feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed one-third of the overall tree height.
  • Space trees to have a minimum of 18 feet between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope.
  • Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet to the edge of the structure.
  • Trees and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape.

Extended Zone (30-100 feet, out to 200 feet):
  • Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
  • Remove dead plant and tree material.
  • Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
  • Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
  • Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops.
  • Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at least six feet between the canopy tops.
For more details visit https://www.alberta.ca/firesmart.

“Our goal is to not only provide the communities we serve with the firefighters who have the highest standards of training for any emergent situation, including wildfires, but to help educate the public on what they can do to reduce risk and remain fire smart,” said Knopf.

Camrose Fire Department is offering, for purchase, exterior fire sprinklers that can be installed on the roofs and eaves of homes to help fireproof the home in the event of wildfire threat.

Contact CFD at 780-672-2906 for further details.
12 marvin st.louis 57 chev

St. Louis found his prize ’57 Chev truck

Marvin St. Louis of Bashaw found his ultimate truck in Stony Plain. The 1957 white truck looks classy, but has a peppy 350 motor and a few extra additions for cruising.

By Murray Green

Marvin St. Louis of Bashaw owns a 1957 Chevrolet 3100 truck.

“I bought the truck from a guy in Stony Plain. I like the style of this truck and had been looking for one like it for a long time. Then I found this one,” said Marvin.

The Chevrolet Task Force is a light-duty (3100-short bed and 3200-long bed) and medium-duty (3600) truck series by Chevrolet introduced in 1955, its first major redesign since 1947.

“I like the style, year and the colour (white). I wanted white and I was lucky to purchase this one the way it is. I did a few things to the truck. I put on a hitch, the original bumper back on the rear and a few things under the hood,” explained Marvin.

These trucks were sold with various minor changes over the years from 1955 until 1957.

“It has a fuel injected 350 engine with a C4 transmission. When these trucks were built, they came with six cylinder motors and a three on the tree transmission. I wanted some modern conveniences, so this truck is exactly what I wanted,” shared Marvin.

GM redesigned their truck line for the second half of 1955, but sold both designs that year; the previous design became known as the First Series, and the all-new design as the Second Series.

“The dash is original, but the gauges have been updated. The body and style is original. I picked up a trunk that I put in the back that says St. Louis on it. I thought it would be a nice addition since my name is St. Louis. I found that at an antique store in Montana,” he laughed.

In 1957, the grille changed to a more open design and the hood was given spears resembling the Bel Air.

“It is a pretty basic truck. This is my fourth (fifth now) season with the truck. I try to go to a few car shows every year. I just enjoy driving it around,” said Marvin.

For the first time in GM history, trucks were available with optional power steering, power brakes, and V8s. A column-shifted three-speed manual transmission was standard, with an optional floor-shift four speed manual or Hydramatic automatic. The electrical system received an upgrade to 12 volts.

The new body featured the truck industry’s first wrap-around windshield and an optional wrap-around rear window for Deluxe cab models. Headlights became integrated into the fenders.

The cab is taller in size and in-cab steps replaced the running boards of previous models. A step between the cab and rear fender aided access to items inside the pickup bed. Redesigned bed fenders were carried through the next generation body that ended in 1966.

The 1955 Second Series Task Force was the first year for new body style. Fenders have single headlights and a one-piece emblem is mounted below horizontal line on the fender. In 1955, it was the only year for the mid-length seven-foot bed. The GMC inline-six remained 6V for 1955 only. In 1956, the trucks had a wider hood emblem. Two-piece fender emblems are mounted above the horizontal fender line. It was the last year for egg-crate grille. 1957 was the only year for more open grille. Hood is flatter with two spears on top, similar to the 1957 Bel Air. Fender emblems are still above fender line, but are now oval-shaped, as opposed to previous versions in script.

In 1958, all light-duty trucks were called Apache, medium-duty trucks called Viking and heavy-duty trucks called Spartan. First year for factory-equipped air conditioning. Significant redesign of front end, featuring a shorter/full-width grille, four headlights instead of the previous two and parking lights are now in the grille instead of being in the front of the fender. The hood is similar to 1955-56 models, but with a flat valley in the middle. A new styleside all-steel bed replaced the Cameo/Suburban versions; called Fleetside by Chevrolet and Wideside by GMC, available in 6.5 foot (2.0 m) and eight foot (2.4 m) lengths.

Wash your vehicle with care to remove salt, sand

By Murray Green

The frequency of washing your car or truck in Canada depends on various factors such as weather conditions, road conditions and personal preferences.

In Canada, weather can vary significantly depending on the season and region. During winter months, road salt, sand and ice-melting chemicals are commonly used on roads to combat snow and ice, which can lead to the buildup of grime and salt residue on your vehicle.

Therefore, during winter, it’s advisable to wash your car more frequently, potentially every one or two weeks or even more often if road conditions are particularly harsh. In milder seasons like spring, summer, and fall, washing your car once every two to four weeks may be sufficient, depending on how dirty it gets.

If you frequently drive on dusty, muddy, or gravel roads, or if you encounter construction zones or off-road terrain, you may need to wash your vehicle more often to remove dirt and debris that can accumulate on the exterior.

Some people prefer to keep their vehicles impeccably clean at all times and may choose to wash them more frequently for aesthetic reasons. Others may be less concerned with maintaining a pristine appearance and may wash their vehicles less often.

Consider the type of wash you’re giving your vehicle. If you’re just rinsing off dust and dirt with water, you may be able to do this more frequently without using soap. However, if you’re using soap and scrubbing the vehicle, it’s generally recommended to wash it less frequently to avoid stripping off protective wax layers.

Applying wax or sealant to your vehicle’s exterior can help protect the paint and make it easier to clean. If you have protective coatings applied, you may be able to wash your car less frequently, while still maintaining its appearance.

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to monitor the condition of your vehicle regularly and wash it as needed to keep it clean and protect its exterior finish. Pay attention to signs of dirt buildup, salt residue, or other contaminants that could potentially damage your vehicle over time. Adjust your washing frequency accordingly based on the specific conditions to which your vehicle is exposed.

Choose your car, select mechanic

By Murray Green

Selecting a mechanic for your vehicle is an important decision that can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s performance and longevity. Seek recommendations from family, friends and colleagues who have had positive experiences with mechanics in your area. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights into the quality of service and customer satisfaction.

Look for on-line reviews and ratings of local mechanics. Pay attention to comments about the quality of work, customer service, pricing and overall satisfaction.

Ensure that the mechanic or repair shop is properly licensed and certified to perform automotive repairs. Look for certifications from reputable organizations or manufacturer-specific certifications for your vehicle’s make. Take a visit to the mechanic’s shop to assess the cleanliness, organization, and overall professionalism. A well-maintained and equipped facility is often indicative of a reputable mechanic who takes pride in their work.

Ask about the mechanic’s experience and expertise in working with your vehicle make and model. Some mechanics specialize in certain types of vehicles or specific repairs, so it’s important to find one that is familiar with your vehicle’s needs.

Obtain estimates from several mechanics for the specific repairs or services you require. Compare the prices, breakdown of costs, and warranty offerings to make an informed decision.

Inquire about the warranty coverage provided for parts and labour. A reputable mechanic should stand behind their work with a warranty or guarantee.

Choose a mechanic who communicates clearly and openly about the diagnosis, recommended repairs, and pricing. They should be willing to answer your questions and provide updates throughout the repair process. Choose a mechanic that is conveniently located and offers flexible scheduling options. Easy access to the shop and convenient hours can make it more convenient for you to drop off and pick up your vehicle.

Ultimately, trust your instincts and choose a mechanic that you feel comfortable with and confident in their abilities. If you have any doubts or concerns, don’t hesitate to seek out another mechanic for a second opinion. By following these steps and conducting thorough research, you can find a reliable and trustworthy mechanic who can provide quality service for your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs.

Spring car care tips

By Murray Green

Spring car care is essential to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition as the weather transitions from winter to warmer temperatures.

Check the oil levels and change the oil if necessary. Inspect and top off other fluids, including coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid.

Cold temperatures can affect a car battery’s performance. Test the battery and replace it if needed to avoid unexpected breakdowns.
Inspect tire tread depth and check for uneven wear. Rotate tires if necessary. Ensure tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Winter conditions can affect wheel alignment and balance. Schedule a professional wheel alignment and balancing if you notice steering issues or uneven tire wear.

Check brake pads and rotors for wear. If you hear any unusual noises or experience braking issues, have the brake system inspected by a professional.

Wash the exterior of your car to remove salt, road grime, and winter debris. Apply a coat of wax to protect the paint from spring and summer elements.

Inspect all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights and turn signals. Replace any burnt-out bulbs. Check the windshield wipers for wear and replace them if needed.

Check and replace both the engine air filter and the cabin air filter if they are dirty or clogged. This helps improve engine performance and air quality inside the vehicle.

Spring is an excellent time to give your car’s interior a thorough cleaning. Vacuum carpets, wipe down surfaces and clean windows and mirrors.

Before the temperatures rise, test your car’s air conditioning system to ensure it is working properly. If you notice any issues, have it serviced.

Inspect belts and hoses for signs of wear, cracks, or leaks. Replace any damaged components to prevent breakdowns.

Check the shocks and struts for signs of wear. If you notice a bouncy ride or handling issues, have the suspension system inspected.

Premier speaks publicly on incident involving MLA Lovely

By Lori Larsen

In a public statement, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said the confrontation NDP MLA Marlin Schmidt (Edmonton-Gold Bar) instigated against United Conservative Party MLA Jackie Lovely (Camrose) was unacceptable.

“I happened to be at an event with MLA Lovely that evening and I can confirm for you that she was scared, that she was rattled and she was afraid to go back to a committee meeting where she feared she might face another confrontation with this individual,” said Smith at an April 10 press conference.

According to Lovely, Schmidt became enraged over a debate they were having in the chamber regarding a private member’s bill on urban parks.

“Afterwards, he chased me and screamed at me in private to the point where security had to intervene,” said Lovely.

“This is the latest in a long pattern of behaviour from this NDP MLA that is not only unbecoming of a member but downright disturbing. He’s personally attacked UCP MLAs, celebrated the death of a female politician, and made other disparaging remarks.
“I urge this NDP MLA to reflect on his behaviour and seek anger management training and psychological help for what is clearly a negative pattern of behaviour.”

The April 9 Alberta Hansard 959 reported the following regarding the incident.

Alberta Government House Leader Joseph Schow raised a point of privilege (an MLA brings a motion to address a serious issue with another one’s conduct)  regarding an altercation that occurred outside the Chamber where the Member for Edmonton-Gold Bar intimidated and obstructed the Member for Camrose in the performance of her parliamentary duties.

“Honestly, Mr. Speaker, I’m at a loss for words here; I truly am. While we all represent our constituents in this place, collectively we represent all Albertans. Of course, any member can speak to any provincial matter of importance, either to them personally or matters which their constituents feel strongly about. To insinuate that members can only speak to matters in their own constituencies is completely absurd.

“There’s nothing wrong with expressing your dislike for another member’s opinion; in fact, I believe that’s the whole point of this debate. But there are rules, Mr. Speaker, with a bit of latitude built in so as not to prevent one member or the other from being able to freely express their opinions. It makes for good and thorough debate.

“However, the reason I chose to raise this point of privilege is because there is a difference between heated remarks made during the course of debate in the Chamber and to have a member intentionally seek out another member in order to verbally intimidate and prevent them from fulfilling their parliamentary duties, something they were duly elected to do.”

In the report, Schmidt said that it was not his intent to intimidate, mock or make MLA Camrose (Lovely) feel threatened.

“I recognize and take seriously the fact that the Member for Camrose felt threatened and intimidated, and I regret my behaviour in making her feel that way. I know that many of my colleagues here have expressed on numerous occasions times that they have felt threatened and intimidated by members of this very Legislature, and I take that seriously. It was by no means my intent to make the Member for Camrose feel threatened or intimidated, nor was I attempting in any way to obstruct her ability to do her work here in this House.

“That’s my version of events, Mr. Speaker, and I’m pleased to put that on the record. I’m also apologizing directly to the Member for Camrose for my own actions yesterday. Like I said, I acknowledge that she has felt threatened and intimidated, and I sincerely regret having made her feel that way. I will do anything that I can to restore a feeling of safety and wellness in this workplace, and I commit to the entire House that my behaviour will reflect that improvement and that consideration going forward.”

The Speaker of the House said, “I have made a decision. That is to accept the apology. I’ve provided my ruling. This matter is dealt with and concluded.”

Service your vehicle with people you trust

By Murray Green

If your vehicle is still under warranty, whether you should take it to a dealership for service largely depends on the terms and conditions of the warranty, as well as your personal preferences.

Review the details of your vehicle’s warranty to understand what is covered and any requirements for servicing. Some warranties may specify that certain repairs or maintenance must be performed by authorized dealership service centres to maintain coverage.

Dealership service centres often have specialized knowledge, training and access to manufacturer-specific tools and diagnostic equipment. This can be beneficial for addressing complex issues or performing warranty-related repairs that require specific expertise.

Dealership service centres typically use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are designed to meet the exact specifications of your vehicle. Using OEM parts may be a requirement for maintaining warranty coverage, as aftermarket parts may not be covered under the warranty.

Taking your vehicle to a dealership for service ensures that all maintenance and repairs are documented according to manufacturer standards. This documentation can be important for warranty claims and may help preserve the resale value of your vehicle.

Dealership service centres often offer amenities such as loaner vehicles, shuttle services and comfortable waiting areas with Wi-Fi and refreshments. Additionally, dealership service appointments can be scheduled on-line or by phone for added convenience.

While dealership service centres may provide high-quality service and OEM parts, they can sometimes be more expensive than independent mechanics or repair shops. Compare pricing for routine maintenance and repairs to ensure you’re getting a competitive rate.

Earth Day promotes awareness

By Murray Green

Celebrating Earth Day can take many forms and there are numerous ways individuals and communities can participate in activities that promote environmental awareness and sustainability, April 22.

Attend or organize educational events focused on environmental issues, such as lectures, workshops, film screenings, or panel discussions. These events can provide valuable information and inspire action.

Organize or participate in a local cleanup event to remove litter and debris from parks, beaches, rivers, or other natural areas. This not only improves the environment but also fosters a sense of community and stewardship.

Planting trees or starting a community garden can have a positive impact on the environment by improving air quality, providing habitat for wildlife and promoting local food production.

Make a commitment to reduce waste by practicing the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. This can include reducing single-use plastics, repurposing items and properly recycling materials.
Take steps to conserve resources such as water and energy by adopting habits like turning off lights when not in use, using energy-efficient appliances, and reducing water waste.

Support businesses and organizations that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility, whether through purchasing eco-friendly products or advocating for sustainable policies.
Get involved in environmental advocacy efforts by contacting elected officials, signing petitions, or participating in marches or rallies to promote policies that protect the planet.

Spend time outdoors and connect with nature by going for a hike, visiting a park, or simply enjoying the beauty of the natural world. This can help foster a deeper appreciation for the environment and inspire a desire to protect it.

Remember that Earth Day is not just about one day of action—it’s about making lasting changes in our daily lives to protect the planet for future generations. Consider making long-term commitments to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.

Housing sales remain strong

By Murray Green

The Camrose residential market continues to show resiliency in an otherwise uncertain global market.

After seeing a decline in values in 2023 quarter three (Q3) and a stabilization in 2023 quarter four (Q4), market values increased in 2024 quarter one (Q1).

“While interest rates remain high, it appears that inflation is beginning to cool, which should eventually help to ease the pressure on new buyers looking to get into the market. Overall housing demand remains strong, which should continue to spur on the Camrose residential market in 2024,” said Jacobus Slabbert, HarrisonBowker Camrose manager, senior appraiser.

The average sale price in 2024 Q1 was $325,266 which is up 3.22 per cent from last quarter and up 22.76 per cent from the same time last year. The rolling 12-month average increased by 4.86 per cent.

The median sale price in 2024 Q1 was $325,000 which is up 6.21 per cent from last quarter and up 27.45 per cent from the same time last year. The rolling 12-month average increased by 5.76 per cent.

There were 14 sales over $400,000 in 2024 Q1, which is three more than last quarter and eight more than the same time last year. The increase in number of higher valued properties helps to explain the significant jump in average and median sale between 2024 Q1 and 2023 Q1.

The average Days on Market was 77 days, which is up 22 days from last quarter and up five days from 2023 Q1.

In rural Camrose County, there were 11 reported sales in 2024 Q1, which is down three sales compared to last quarter and down two sales compared to 2023 Q1. The average Days On Market was 78 days, which is up 23 days compared to 2023 Q1.

In rural Flagstaff County, there were three reported sales in 2024 Q1, which is down one sale from last quarter, but up one sale compared to 2023 Q1. The average Days On Market was 184 days, which is down 52 days compared to 2023 Q1.

City of Camrose,  while rents have increased almost 12 per cent, vacancy rates are at an all time low of just 0.2 per cent.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month

By Murray Green
Parkinson Canada declared April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease. Movement is normally controlled by dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the brain. When cells that normally produce dopamine die, the symptoms of Parkinson’s appear.

Most common symptoms are tremor, slowness and stiffness, impaired balance, rigidity of the muscles. Other symptoms could be fatigue, soft speech, problems with handwriting, stooped posture, constipation and sleep disturbances.

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s can take time. A family doctor might notice it first. You may be referred to a neurologist–a specialist who deals with Parkinson’s. There are no X-rays or tests to confirm Parkinson’s. So the neurologist will check your medical history, do a careful physical examination and certain tests and rule out other conditions which may resemble Parkinson’s.

Currently, there is no cure. You can live with Parkinson’s for years. The symptoms are treated with medication. Some people with Parkinson’s may benefit from surgery. The following therapies can also help manage the symptoms: physical therapy helps mobility, flexibility and balance; occupational therapy helps with daily activities; speech therapy helps with voice control and exercise helps muscles/joints and improves overall health and well-being.
Parkinson’s can progress at a different rate for each person. As symptoms change, medication will need to be adjusted. As the disease progresses, non-motor symptoms may also appear, such as depression, difficulty swallowing, sexual problems or cognitive changes. It is important to find a doctor who is knowledgeable about Parkinson’s, ideally a neurologist. By working with a health-care team, a treatment plan can be created that will meet the person’s individual needs.

Every Parkinson’s experience is unique. The symptoms and progression will vary from person to person. Living with Parkinson’s requires an individualized approach which includes all aspects of your life (a holistic approach).

It is important for you to be an active participant in managing the disease. Care partners can also be involved.
21 egg hunt winners thea and grayson

‘Hoppy’ winners

Winners of the City of Camrose Hopping Through Easter Egg Hunt Contest, left to right, five-year-old Thea and seven-year-old Grayson Vassberg are rewarded for a hunt well done with a gift certificate for a local business of their choice, courtesy of the City.

By Lori Larsen

This year’s City of Camrose Park Hopping Through Easter event was yet another success with over 60 participants entering the contest cumulating in four very “hoppy” winners.

“It’s exciting that even though this contest was created out of COVID, the numbers show it’s still a hit among the community,” said City of Camrose Community Services Recreation Program coordinator Jayda Calon. “We loved seeing all the submissions and how much fun each participant had, which was evident in each photo submission.”

Participants scoured the City parks and trails hunting down large cutout decorated eggs and one very cute chick each containing clues to the next discovery.  Once they located four of the cutouts and took their photo with each one, they emailed the photos, along with their name and phone number, to the City Recreation Department to be entered into a contest to win gift certificates to a locally owned business of their choice.

This year’s lucky winners were: five-year-old Thea and seven-year-old Grayson Vassberg, and five-year-old Eddie and three-year-old George Riggins (see photos).

“We also loved all the comments we received to accompany the photos that really told a fuller story of their experience,” added Calon. “Responses like these only further our drive to offer community events and observe the impact and importance of simple contests like this one and the other inclusive events we offer.

“We hope this contest continues to grow, bring joy, and get people active.”

For more information on any upcoming events or programs offered by the City of Camrose Recreation and Culture Department, visit the website at www.camrose.ca.


Ask an empowering question
So there I was, on the edge of catastrophizing, when a voice in my mind said, “Ask an empowering question.”
That voice belonged to one of my early mentors who taught that some questions are empowering. Others are not.

She pointed out that some questions we ask ourselves are limiting and disempowering. Examples are, “Why is this happening to me?” or “When will this ever be finished?” or “What’s wrong with me?”
When we ask questions like that, our thinking narrows. None of the answers are happy. We can feel our energy depleting, our spirits sinking. Our Inner Victim may take over and disconnect us from our personal power.

On the other hand, some questions empower us. They expand our thinking, open us to new possibilities and tap into our creative genius. They take us to our sources of personal power.

Examples of empowering questions are…

“What can I learn from this?”
“How can I help in this situation?”
“What’s a benefit in this situation?”
“Who else could help?”
“What’s within my power to do right now?”

So–on the edge of catastrophizing–I thanked that voice in my mind. I asked, “What’s in my power to do right now?” and some ideas came to me. As the day went on, I asked questions like “What’s a gift in this situation?” and “What am I grateful for?” The answers to those questions were happy empowering ones. The day unfolded in a much better direction.
Closed and open questions

Decades ago, I learned about closed and open questions–useful in grammar, useful in designing questionnaires and sometimes useful in a crisis.

Closed questions can be answered in one or two words:  “How old are you? What time is it? Would you like a glass of water?” Closed questions are useful when you need quick concrete information.

In contrast, open questions cannot usually be answered with one or two words:

“What would it be like if this problem were solved?”
“How could I make this better?”
“What can I do today to move forward?”
“How could I get others to help?”
“What am I grateful for in this situation?”

Open questions often begin with What or How. Empowering questions often include the word “I” (not “they” or “them” or “you”) because ultimately “I” am the only person with power to impact my situation.

Empowering questions tend to be open questions that tap into a creative place in our brains. Our brains were built to solve puzzles. They love exploring and discovering possibilities.

Ask yourself an empowering question and let it go. Sometime in the next short while, you’ll likely begin to think of possibilities that had not occurred to you before. Not all possibilities will be useful, but all will add something you’ve not thought of before.

There is a time and place for closed questions–when you need quick information or want not to overwhelm someone. But when you want to explore, open a conversation, or find out more than the obvious, open-ended questions are a good bet–if they go to a happy empowering place.
Don’t ask what you really don’t want to know
I think it’s a bad idea to ask a question for which you really don’t want to experience the answer.

“What could go wrong?”
“How long could it take?”
“What’s not to like?”

Of course, it’s sensible to ask, “What could go wrong and how could I avoid or deal with that?” The addition makes it an empowering question. But when we toss off a question like, “What could go wrong?” when we really mean we think nothing could go wrong, our clever puzzle-loving brains will go in search of an answer.

Be careful what you ask for and be careful what you ask!

So… what empowering question are you asking right now?

I’d love to hear from you! If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, e-mail Bonnie@BonnieHutchinson.com. I’ll happily reply within one day.