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Reflections

By Bonnie Hutchinson

Survival of the funniest
 
First there were distant rumours about some virus in faraway China. Then we heard it had escaped to other places in Asia. Then it spread to every place on earth except Greenland and Antarctica.
We shut down bars and arenas and restaurants and sports and concerts and theatres, then schools and child care centres and workplaces and the Olympics. “Social distancing” was first recommended, then required. Families are trapped at home together. And then, inevitably–a wave of coronavirus humour, not a moment too soon.
I do not want to minimize the pain, fear, illness, deaths and disruption we’re experiencing, not only from coronavirus, but from the measures taken to contain its spread. But I can’t resist sharing some of the coronavirus humour that’s made me laugh lately.
You might be thinking this is a sneaky way to avoid actual original writing. You might even be right. But I have a great cover story.
Laughter helps strengthen our immune system. Really! Credible sources like the Mayo Clinic tell us that the more giggles, guffaws and belly laughs we have, the stronger our immune system. You can look it up.
So, in the interest of improving our physical and mental health, here are some things that made me laugh this week. Introvert and nerd heaven. Social isolation is agony for lots of people. About two-thirds to three-quarters of us–extroverts–are energized by people contact and find isolation painful. But about one-third to one-quarter of us–introverts–have to recover from being in crowds and are energized by solitude.
A satire newsletter carried this spoof headline: Nation’s Nerds wake up in Utopia where everyone stays inside, sports are cancelled and social interaction is forbidden. All types of nerds, from social introverts to hard-core PC gamers, welcomed the news.
In real life, not satire, someone I know recently returned from Mexico. When she and her husband left, the virus was known, but it wasn’t in our faces. When they returned, the world had changed. They instantly went into 14-day quarantine.
A few hours after returning, she sent me an email that said something like, “Forced to spend 14 days at home and not go anywhere. Fourteen days of not having contact with people. Bliss!”
Hoarding antidote. We’ve heard the stories of people buying carloads of toilet paper and we can’t find disinfectant or hand sanitizer anywhere. A supermarket in Denmark shut that down with a simple strategy: pricing.
1 bottle of hand sanitizer:  5.50 Euros
2 bottles of hand sanitizer: 134 Euros each
Hoarding stopped.
Quarantinis. The Novice Chef Blog introduced a new drink with this explanation: “You can’t find toilet paper, everyone is stuck in the house from school and work and everyone just got in a big fight over the 1,000th game of monopoly. What are you going to do? Make a quarantini.”
The ingredients are vodka (or gin), lemon and honey. The instructions say, “You can use vodka or gin. And sure, if you want to, you can even use rum. You know what, go ahead and grab whatever is in the liquor cabinet and add it to the martini shaker. After the first couple, you won’t taste much anyway.”
Great one-liners. Here are some of my favourites.
“Texas coronavirus protection: Wash your hands like you just got done slicing jalapenos for a batch of nachos and you need to take your contacts out.”
“I’m deeply disturbed by how many people seem to see washing their hands as a new thing.”
“If you need 144 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, you probably should’ve been seeing a doctor before COVID-19.”
“Day 2 without sports: Found a young lady sitting on my couch. Apparently she’s my wife. She seems nice.”
“Prediction: There will be a minor baby boom in nine months, and then one day in 2033, we shall witness the rise of the Quaranteens.”
***
I’d love to hear from you! If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, send a note to Bonnie@BonnieHutchinson.com. I’ll happily reply within one business day.
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Household full of energetic love

By Lori Larsen

Four children, Thomas (age 5), June (4) and twins Henry and James (2) Driver, are full of energy, full of questions, but more importantly, full of love and keeping their mom Anne and father Ian very busy these days. Anne shares her thoughts during a telephone interview.
While two of the children would normally be attending St. Patrick Catholic School classes and a preschool program, the recent turn of events in our world has all four children home on a full-time basis, something that has taken some ingenuity, rethinking and patience to juggle.
“We had been making use of things such as the library, Parentlink and the playgrounds, but, of course, those are things that are no longer available to us (temporarily),” said Anne.   “So we have had to keep things as fun as we can within our own house and backyard and, of course, we are still going for walks.”
The family makes a point of getting out and enjoying fresh air every other day for a walk and are grateful to be living in a community where the population is less dense.
“We rarely encounter other people and when we do, they see I have four children and go way around,” chuckled Anne, guessing it is to maintain social distancing, but it may also have something to do with allowing her lots of room to maneuver that handful.
“During our walks, we have noticed how others are doing wonderful things to cheer up the community such as sidewalk chalk messages and hanging art, signs and inspirational messages in their windows.”
As for how Anne is handling the situation indoors, where quarters can be a little more confined, she finds solace in knowing that every parent/guardian is in the same boat right now.
“A lot of parents are feeling that responsibility of teaching their children at home and that becomes a weighty responsibility, but the reality is all children are out of school, so it is not just my child who is going to be behind when they go back in September, God willing,” she laughed, with a degree of nervousness.
Keeping that in mind, Anne has alleviated some of her own concerns by not putting undue pressure on herself or her children by overdoing homeschooling.
“We do school at home, but mostly we are just staying with what the teachers have sent home. I am not printing off hundreds of worksheets or setting up a crazy schedule or anything like that. We cover a little school work in the morning and again in the afternoon, and then just let the day go.”
Anne recognizes that having younger children is much different than junior high or high school students, but she said there is an abundance of information and resources available to keep them learning. “It is almost overwhelming,” she laughed, adding that you get the sense you want to do everything you can as a parent, but she reiterated she is not forcing hours of structured learning on her children.
Instead, she chooses to follow the play-based model used by St. Patrick School.
As for the wellbeing of the children during these tumultuous times, Anne said they are managing quite well. “They haven’t complained really. The hardest thing for them is they are used to seeing their little neighbours down the street and that has been tough, the lack of social interaction.”
She said the children also struggled with the closure of the City playgrounds and cancelled church functions.
In the fight against what Anne and Ian have coined the Big Germ, her little ones are having a hard time grasping how it has changed their lives.
“Our daughter, June, remarked  that the Big Germ is taking away all the things we love.”
Communication is the key in any family and the Driver’s strive to keep their children informed.
“The way we have talked to them about it is there is this Big Germ that is making other people sick, but we, our family, really don’t have to worry about what it will do to us, but we do have to worry about what it can do to other people. So we are trying our best to fight this Big Germ and we do that by staying at home.”
Advice we should all take to heart.
“Our thoughts go out to all those people in compromised situations. My husband is still working (he works out of his truck which allows him to maintain social distancing), and we are all healthy. I feel we are better off than many.”
While reading a news article, Thomas, the eldest Driver child, noticed a photo of two people wearing masks and hugging and he asked, “What is that about?”
Anne responded, “In China, where they have had to battle this Big Germ a long time, they have had no new cases and the people are really happy about that.”
Thomas’ reply spoke volumes. “So we are winning.”
Anne’s message to all is the longer people don’t take something that is so important seriously and break the rules, the longer her children won’t be out on the playgrounds.
Anne’s final words of encouragement are to listen to the proper authorities, educate yourself on the facts through the proper sources and we will get through this.

Restricting park, recreation areas

By Lori Larsen

As of March 27 the Alberta Government temporarily suspended automobile access to all provincial parks as well as provincial recreation areas to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus which are the same restrictions currently in place at national parks.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has advised that parks facilities, like washrooms, can only remain open if parks staff have access to personal protective gear for cleaning. Government recognizes that these scarce resources are needed in Alberta’s health care and social services front lines, which is why facilities will remain closed and access restricted to help reduce the spread of the virus.
“We understand the need to get outdoors, but now is not the time to visit our provincial parks and recreation areas without abiding by common-sense public health and safety measures,” said minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon.
For more information visit albertaparks.ca/alber taparksca/news-events/alberta-environment-and-parks-response-to-covid-19/.

BRCF assists schools

The Battle River Community Foundation awarded a grant to The Battle River School Division to fund an award at École Camrose Composite High School.
The grant is from income from the Rhine Family Fund, established by Margaret Rhine and supported by her family, which provides money for an award for the most improved student in the school cosmetology program.
The Battle River Community Foundation exists to support projects and programs such as this in East Central Alberta, which benefit the local communities and have a positive impact on the future.
Grants from the Battle River Community Foundation are primarily made possible through the generosity of individual donors and organizations that have created endowment funds. The principal of these endowment funds is kept intact and the income is made available annually to support local projects and organizations.
Since it was founded in 1995, the Battle River Community Foundation has granted over $6,370,000 to support programs and facilities operated by organizations like the Battle River School Division.

County road restrictions

By Murray Green

Camrose County announced that road bans have been issued starting on March 27.
Vehicle weight restrictions of 75 per cent will be placed on all gravel roads within Camrose County. This also applies to Pelican Point Road and the road through Round Hill.  Exemptions for weight restrictions will occur daily between 2 and 11 a.m.
The County administrator or his delegate may issue Special Permits to allow 100 per cent axle weight loadings for the purpose of hauling farm produce and supplies, as well as other goods when the need is perceived to be of an urgent nature.
For more information, contact public works at 780-672-4449.

Chamber plans business updates

By Lori Larsen

Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce continues to update the website with information to assist businesses and organizations through these difficult times.
A recent post on the Friday Fanout service is bringing attention to a Call to Action implemented by the Canadian government to Canadian manufacturers and businesses that may be able to assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies.
The following link will direct you to the specific details and further instruction, www.canada.ca/en/services/business/main taingrowimprovebusiness/manufacturers-needed.html.
The site indicates that if businesses or manufacturers can answer yes to any of the following inquiries, their help is needed and gratefully appreciated.
You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
Organizations are being called upon if they  have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.
Also provided on the Chamber website is a link to assist small businesses with Top 5 Things Small Business should know during COVID-19.
For more information and other updates on Chamber related news, visit the website at http://cam rosechamber.ca/ or contact them via email at exec@camrosechamber.ca or admina@camrosechamber.ca or, in the event of emergent situations, by telephone at emergency 780-781-5680.
The Camrose Chamber office is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19.

Hearts, hands assist foreign residents

By Murray Green

Camrose residents Norma Jeanne Pohl and Jean Knudtson have travelled to Guatemala to help build stoves for Mayan people.
They like to volunteer to assist others and build a healthier life for others with founder Janet Townsend.
“Our trip this year was cancelled because we didn’t have enough people committed to go. We are hoping to have enough volunteers to go this fall, Oct. 16 to 29,” said Norma Jeanne, about the Hearts & Hands Foundation.
“I went in February 2016. I wanted to go again this February, so I could be back in time for the dog show,” added Norma Jean. She and her husband Norm help organize the Battle River Canine Association’s Dog Show at the Camrose Regional Exhibition in March (now cancelled).
Many Mayan families still cook on an open, wood-burning fire that produces smoke-filled homes. The result is respiratory and eye disease, serious burns and deforestation. Volunteers help clear the air by providing the funding and labour for the installation of fuel-efficient, vented stoves. Hearts & Hands has installed more than 6,000 stoves in 73 communities.
“When we go down there, we are put into teams. It could be me and another person along with a local person from the country. Eventually, Jan wants to hire local people to teach others, so they become less dependant on North American volunteers and cut down on the expenses. Right now, about 75 per cent of what we spend is tax deductible. The expenses come out of the funds that she is able to generate through donations,” explained Norma Jeanne.
In 2001, founder Janet Townsend, a retired social worker, decided she wanted to make a real difference in the world in a meaningful way. Her love of the Mayan culture in Central and South America led her to work in Guatemala with the Mayan people in the areas of health and education.
“Working in Guatemala with the Mayan families has been such a blessing. Together with volunteers from Canada and the United States, I have had the opportunity to help the families help themselves,” said Jan. 
“Currently, COVID-19 is also in Guatemala. I am concerned for the Mayan families in the rural areas where we work. Mayan families live together in one room and cook there with open fires.  They keep their senior members at home as there is not such a thing as nursing homes. Due to the open fires, they all have compromised lungs. If the virus hits the rural areas, many will die. This is a reason our stove program is so important to eliminate open fire cooking.”
Jan set out to form teams of like-minded, adventurous people seeking the challenge of helping others in a different culture while learning about that culture. In 2005, the Hearts & Hands Foundation was registered as a charitable society based in Canmore in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.
“When I went the first time, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it was an adventure and had no clue what I was walking into,” shared Norma Jeanne. “As it turns out, I have never met such beautiful people. Most can’t speak a word of English, but their faces tell it all. They are not a smiley people, but they were smiling and so appreciative of what we were trying to accomplish. We went into their shacks and the walls were black from soot from the cooking stoves. They are living with smoke all of the time, which causes lung and eye damage. It takes us about two and a half hours to build a stove and it is a lot healthier.”
Each stove costs $175, which is paid for through donations, as well.
The mission is to enhance the quality of life of the Mayan people through sustainable programs in health and wellness, infrastructure, and education. Programs delivered by volunteers and Guatemalans ensure cross-cultural understanding and promote mutual respect.
Hearts & Hands builds basic education from the ground up, from building new schools with classrooms, kitchens and lavatories, to providing scholarships and translating and publishing textbooks into the Mayan language. They are raising the bar on education in Guatemala. Hearts & Hands has built 65 classrooms in elementary schools in Uspantan and Chicaman, San Andres Sajcabaja as well as two junior/senior high schools in El Pinal and Quizachal, Uspantan.
By volunteering, people can visit beautiful, colourful Guatemala to install wood-burning stoves in remote Mayan communities, improving the quality of life for many families. Then you will enjoy a week of sightseeing with local and Canadian guides. Through the Hearts & Hands Foundation, you will turn your vacation time into a meaningful and rewarding volunteer experience—a purpose-filled journey.​
“You will meet Mayan families, work alongside them, laugh with them and sometimes cry with them. There is only one thing they promise you when you go on one of the trips. You will never be the same afterwards,” said Jan.
Volunteers cover the cost of airfare, hotels, local transportation, accommodation, meals and tours and receive a tax receipt for the costs incurred during the week of work.
For more information on Hearts & Hands, contact Jan at www.hearts hands.ca.

Community of hope

8 zurvick painting
Pictured left to right, Eden, Riley and Molly Zarski pose in front of the artwork they created to display in their neighbourhood for the enjoyment of anyone out for a walk.  The easels were made by their neigbhour, Pete Jensen, to get the art closer to the people.

By Lori Larsen

This world, despite its massive size, is really just composed of communities. Not countries, not provinces, not municipalities, but communities, be them larger urban centres, smaller rural villages or the community that exists in your own neighbourhood or home.
Communities are popping up everywhere and recognizing the need to come together, while ironically maintaining a distance.
One such community exists in our city, on a neighbourhood street that has rallied their ideas and taken full advantage of this time to showcase not only the talent, but the ability of children, to make lemonade out of lemons.
Heather, Chris, Eden, Molly and Riley Zarski and neighbours have delighted in finding ways to spread joy not germs.
“A lovely neighbour has organized an art walk in our neighbourhood,” said Heather. The neighbourhood children are encouraged to put their art in windows.
“My other neighbour made us a homemade easel to display the art work closer to the sidewalk.”
The Zarski’s neighbourhood is an example of what can be done when people (communities) come together and face these times as opportunities rather than challenges.
“My daughter writes encouraging sayings in the snowbanks beside a walking trail and checks on them daily for replies.”
Heather said the family has been spending  a lot more time as a family playing card and board games.
“My son is officially better than me at cribbage,” she said with a note of playfulness.
“We’ve taken the opportunity to cross country ski to the biathlon range (something we’ve never done before) and we set up the tent recently to camp out in the basement.”
The Zarski family serves as examples of how the world situation is not all bad. It is, if anything, providing us with a moment to step back, breathe and reflect on the most important things in life: family, friends and communities.
“While these times are challenging, we’re keeping a positive attitude by keeping busy balancing technology, creative and academic time, as well as outdoor activities. This too shall pass.”
Yes indeed, it shall, Heather and family, but let’s hope that the new wisdom it has developed within society never does. read more

Downtown Camrose temporarily closes office

By Murray Green

Downtown Camrose Development is temporarily shutting its office down and the manager will be working from home in the future.
“The Downtown Camrose Development has had to make some tough decisions, but we want you to know that we’re in this together,” said manager Rebecca Topping.
“In cooperation with the City of Camrose, Downtown Camrose has decided to forgo levies for 2020. You will not be receiving a bill from us this year. We hope that the break from the fees will help your organization’s sustainability,” she said in a note to members.
“We are still planning to provide events and services this year, but those will be fewer than originally planned. We have decided to cancel the Easter Scavenger Hunt on April 4, and the general meeting on April 1 this year. We are staying hopeful that this will blow over by the time the Downtown Market starts (mid-June), so those plans are still going ahead.”
The downtown manager will have reduced hours because of the closure of the Mirror Lake Centre. She will be working from home and only available by phone or email.
“We are still administering our survey to find out your perspectives and priorities this year. If you haven’t done so already, fill out the survey,” said Rebecca.
You can contact Downtown Camrose at down towncamrose.com or phone 780-672-5191.
10 auto thompson

Demon brings out the best in Thompson

Paul Thompson of Tofield isn’t scared to take his Demon on the road during nice weather. He purchased a 1971 Dodge similar to his original 1970 that he drove when he was younger.   

By Murray Green

Paul Thompson  of Tofield owns a 1971 Dodge Demon because it brought back a lot of memories of his early cruising days.
“I’ve owned this car for three years and it is a work in progress. I found this car in Sherwood Park and I had one when I was growing up, so it was my chance to get one back. I’ve been looking for one ever since. I wasn’t able to find one until I found this vehicle,” said Paul.
“I originally had a 1970 Demon, so when I came across this 1971, I thought I better grab it. I liked the fact that there weren’t very many of them around. You could find lots of Dusters. I’m a Mopar fan, I liked the look of them and the way they rode down the road,” added Paul.
In 1971, only 10,098 Demon 340s were produced in comparison to 69,861 base Demons and 102,480 Dart Swingers.
“I liked the power. This one has a 360 Magnum engine in it, out of a 1998 Durango, so it actually has a little more power than the original 360. This one about 320 horsepower,” he explained. “I changed the rims and tires, suspension and I have re-done all of the interior. The only thing I haven’t touched is the body, because it is still the original paint and it has never been touched. The car has a little bit of rust, but I’ll worry about that in the future.”
Paul’s Demon has an automatic 727 transmission with a shift kit and a 340 style torque converter. It has a positraction rear end to help it get up and go. “I like to go to a few car shows around Alberta and the area.”
Smaller-sized models with medium-size engines were an interesting subset of the muscle-car market. Their engine compartments could seldom accommodate the big-block motors that made the intermediates so potent, but their compact bodies were lighter and, combined with highly tuned V8s, presented a tempting power-to-weight ratio for performance buffs on a budget.
“I had just fixed up my original car when I moved out west. So I had to sell it to have enough money to move from Prince Edward Island. Out here, I couldn’t find a Dodge if your life depended on it. So finally, three years ago a friend of mine knew the guy that owned this car, who had put a 318 engine in it. He had it in his driveway and blew up the motor. He put the car up for sale right  away and that’s when my friend gave me a call and told me about the Demon,” said Paul.
“It came with the drive train, but the motor was pooched. I happened to have a motor for it, so it worked out. I want to keep it as a bit of a sleeper (looks normal, but has added power). I would like to put a little more muscle into the engine. All that comes in time, same with the body and paint.”
Paul indicated that eventually he would put on bigger tires in front because they are too skinny for going on long drives.
“It’s been fun so far. I hope people continue to keep the old cars around and get the younger children interested.

 
FUN FACTS
The first generation of the Dodge Demon was short lived but nonetheless, an exceptional vehicle. The original Dodge Demon was made in 1970. The Demon had a 108-inch wheelbase, which was three inches shorter than the other Dart models. The Demon was also equipped with dual exhausts, a heavy duty suspension and rally instrument cluster.
The most impressive feature of the Demon was the variety of engine choices. The Demon was available with a  340-cubic inch four-barrel engine, which produced 275 horsepower. The Demon was also available with a 230-horsepower 318-cubic inch V8 engine and it came with hydraulic tappets to reduce the valve-train noise and do away with periodic tappet adjustments. The four-barrel engine accelerated over half a mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. Initially, the demon was going to be called the Beaver. Afterward, the name was changed to Demon but that was quickly put to an halt. Some religious groups didn’t appreciate the name and considered it problematic. Demon came standard with the venerable slant six engine. Its base V-8 was the 318 two-barrel. read more

Mobile motivation through music

By Lori Larsen

Music, the universal language, has a way of lifting a person’s spirits, not to mention their feet off the ground and arms in the air, and right now, the world needs some oversized speakers.
This is exactly what Shauna Campbell and her three children Liam, 10,  the DJ, Eve, 8, on vocals and Jace, 6, roadie (literally) are doing–bringing the music to the streets.
“We recently started a driveby karaoke with my son DJ’s karaoke machine and my daughter singing karaoke in our vehicle,” said Shauna. “Our friends come out and dance for us. I then edit the video, somewhat because I really don’t know what I’m doing, and post it on Facebook.”
Shauna is aiming for one a week and thus far, has posted two on her Facebook page shauna.campbell.5.
“We follow all the social distancing rules and have been having fun doing it.  People also seem to be enjoying it.”
Keeping a distance, people come out of their homes and get to dance, sing along or just enjoy the frivolity of it all, along with some fresh air.
To enjoy some of the Campbell’s Crazy “C”araoke, visit their Facebook page or the link on the Camrose Now! app.
What is the worse that can happen–you tap your toes or dance in the streets? If so, then good for you.

Man van stop cancelled

By Murray Green

Due to the health and safety of all of the communities, the man van visit to Camrose has been postponed until further notice due to COVID-19.
Visit getchecked.ca for future clinic times and locations. It was originally scheduled to be at the Norsemen Inn on April 2.
The PSA blood tests are for men over the age of 40. Along with the test, blood pressure, blood glucose, stress check questionnaire and waist circumference measurement will be available to all men over 18.

Lessons beyond school classrooms

13 jensens easels
The Jensen family (minus Jenna who was sleeping off her nursing night shift) proudly shows off their works of art for all the neighbours and any passersby to enjoy. Pictured left to right are Astrid, Hans, Karl, Pete, Beck and Soren.

By Lori Larsen

In a reversal of roles, parents are now faced with the often daunting job that teachers are charged with doing–Monday to Friday, September through June–facilitating learning for their children.
This is not to say many parents haven’t been providing learning opportunities to their children already, but as a result of the extended break, a more structured agenda is required, and that has proven to be a bit challenging amidst all the other parental responsibilities and the current world situation.
The Jensen family from Camrose (mom Jenna, dad Pete, Soren, 12, Karl, 10, Beck, 7, Astrid and Hans, 5) is doing things a little out of the ordinary, learning and growing from the opportunity that has presented itself.
In an email interview, Pete shared his family’s ways of strategizing, innovating and coping.
“Our family is doing quite well with the isolation,” said Pete. “It’s the blessing and the curse of big families I guess.”
The family consists of mom, a nurse; dad, a paramedic; and five very active, very inquisitive and quite adorable children ranging from kindergarten to Grade 6.
Pete said he and Jenna feared this extended break was going to turn into 60 Saturdays in a row, which he eagerly admitted would leave them all pretty exhausted.
“We’ve switched into home school mode which has been just what we needed. It forced our hand on a number of necessary organizational areas, like how we manage our time and space.
“As a paramedic in town, and my wife a nurse at the hospital, we don’t always have a lot of gas for extra stuff–much like everybody else in the world.”
In an effort to develop a sense of structure, the family created and posted a timetable for the day which they make every effort to maintain.
“It has outside recess and lunch hour built in, as well as house cleaning and learning time. The schools have done an amazing job teaching the kids the discipline of schedule keeping, so it kind of felt like we just tapped into what the kids were already very able to do and we were surprised by the success of it.”
But it is not all systematic learning. The family is making sure physical activity and fun are part of every day.
“Until yesterday, we had an ice rink in the backyard which we maintained pretty well, so that was a great outlet for potential cabin fever. We’ve also been doing a daily Lego building challenge we found online. We send Lego videos every day to our cousins in British Columbia who are also home from school of course.”
Recognizing that staying social is also very important, the family has devised some inventive ways to keep social distance while reaching out to others. “A couple things that have worked well are Battleship and Guess Who games the kids have been playing over Skype with their friends.”
With warmer weather approaching, the challenge to keep children away from others is real for all parents, but isolation does not have to equate to confinement. “We made some bingo sheets with things you might see around Camrose and we do drives around town to play. It’s a way to feel a little like we’re getting out without violating the isolation rules.”
The Jensens also felt it imperative to stay connected to their community, specifically those right in their own neighbourhood, so they were delighted when neighbours Jaymie Reinhart, Leann Shapka and Dan Wispinski arranged a neighbourhood art walk.
“The art in the street idea was something we had heard of in Europe. Someone in the neighbourhood posted signs up asking if people would put pictures of art in the window to spruce up the daily walks which have been the only activity for a lot of people in the community.”
Concerned that people walking may not be able to see the art in the window as clearly as possible from the streets, Pete took it upon himself to build easels to display the amazing works of art.“They’re a pretty simple design, but there’s a piece of plexiglass to protect the art inside. The kids are very pumped about creating art for the neighbours to enjoy.”
The project of positivity has gone over well and Pete already has a demand for more easels. “I like the social responsibility of caring about other people’s loneliness and mental health,” said Pete.
And apparently Pete and Jenna have done a tremendous job of raising their children to be ambassadors of goodwill as well.
“My daughter is convinced that her kitty pictures will save the world.” read more

Willms top goalie in SIJHL

By Murray Green

Goalie Zach Willms of the Red Lake Miners was named Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) top goaltender this past season.
The former Camrose Minor Hockey goaltender earned the award for the 2019-20 season. He received the most votes by each of the SIJHL’s member clubs.
The 20-year-old had a great year for Red Lake as he led all goalies in wins with 27, goals-against average of 2.80 and save percentage of .925, while recording three shutouts in regular league play.
He set a SIJHL record for total career victories with 52, surpassing the 51 that both current Buffalo Sabres goalkeeper Carter Hutton and Josh Mrakic had set in the SIJHL.
Willms is the first goalie in Miners’ history to be named the top goalie.
Last season, Willms recorded 25 wins, a 2.88 goals against average and a .921 save percentage, to be very consistent over the two seasons.

Births and Deaths

Births
- To Simi Juby and Juby Mankudiyk, of Camrose, a son on March 19.
- To Rachel Jones and Trevor Bromby, of Hardisty, a daughter on March 21.

Deaths
- Robert William Lindsay, of Camrose, formerly of Ontario, on March 21, at 71 years of age.
- Ivan Clifford Hill, of Forestburg, on March 21, at 73 years of age.
- Vera Jackson, of  Ferintosh, on March 22, at 93 years of age.
- Joanne Marie Friesen, of Red Deer Lake, on March 23, at 71 years of age.
- Eunice Bernice Ford, of Camrose, formerly of New Sarepta, on March 25, at 79 years of age.
- John “Jack” George Zimmer, of Camrose, on March 25, at 78 years of age.