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By Bonnie Hutchinson

Bad news antidotes
“I stopped watching the news,” a friend said, “because it was so scary and depressing, but I like to be informed. Lately, I’ve been watching documentaries. I thought they would not upset me so much. But after a weekend of watching documentaries about how we’re running out of water and horrible things happening all around the world, I’m left thinking the world is a terrible place.” This friend is one of the sunniest people I know–usually.
There’s a lot of it going around. Even as spring opens up and restrictions recede, feelings like fear and pessimism are still in the air. Mass media doesn’t help. Seems like the more we find out, the more we wish we hadn’t found out.
We can’t instantly change mass media or the fact that we’re depleting planetary resources faster than the planet can replenish them. But we can do something about how we feel moment to moment. When we feel better, we might be able to change things that could use changing–like mass media and the planet.
Here are five short-term antidotes to state-of-the-world angst. What are some of your antidotes?
Spend time with real people. Hanging out in the virtual world makes us lose touch with real people and real things. Spend time with people you enjoy–people you care about who care about you. Spend time with people who are mostly encouraging, kind and optimistic. That will help you remember all the reasons it’s fun to be alive right now–and a privilege.
Do something. Take small actions that move toward something you believe in, something that makes you happy. Action is an antidote to paralyzing fear and depression. Even something as simple as stretching for a minute or shaking out your arms and legs can shake up downer energy and lift your spirits. So can cleaning out a small pile of clutter, or writing a cheque to a favourite cause, or doing a random act of kindness.
Thank somebody for something. It’s impossible to feel gratitude and feel depressed at the same time. Make a point of noticing something you genuinely appreciate about someone, and tell them. Write a note; send an email or text; tell them in person. You’ll both feel uplifted.
Tap into compassion. When you’re exposed to a bad news story, try to find a feeling of compassion for those affected. Consciously moving into a feeling of compassion changes your mood and energy for the better. We may not be able to change outward circumstances, but we can uplift our own emotions, thoughts and actions. That empowers us.
(There’s also some credible evidence to suggest that focused positive energy may sometimes have a measurable impact, even from a distance, but that’s a topic for another time!)
Find something to laugh about. Last week, I was in a serious conversation about serious problems for which there are no obvious quick fixes. One person told a hilarious incident from the day before. By the time the guffaws and belly laughs died down, we were all more cheerful. The serious problems seemed much less formidable.
These are all quick fixes to get us through dark moments. At some point (preferably now!), we as a species do need to address some challenges that will take more than quick fixes. The world needs all of our wisdom, commitment, integrity and willingness to work with others, some of whom we may not know or trust very much.
But if, moment to moment, we can use quick fixes to restore and replenish our hope, our generosity and our clear thinking, we improve the odds of resolving thorny problems. If nothing else, many more moments of feeling better are a good enough reason for practically anything!
What do you do to lift your spirits when confronted with dark information? I’d love to hear from you. If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, send an email to Bonnie@BonnieHutchinson.com. I’ll happily reply within one business day

Morishita shares views

By Murray Green

Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita was in Camrose to listen to local taxpayers’ views on provincial issues last month.
He knows every place in Alberta has its own challenges as it moves forward in 2022-23.
“I think we need to re-prioritize spending to look more at preventative measures. We want to avoid such things as homelessness and mental health issues. The Alberta Party does believe that you should pay as you go to reconcile the books, but we are more future-looking in saying this will benefit six or seven fold in the future,” said Morishita, at the Norsemen Inn. “We had a conversation about education, where if you have a lack of funding at an early age, it only leads to further problems later on. If we don’t support them in school, we will have to support them heavier when they come out (finish).”
A provincial election is expected to be called for May 2023.
“We need to look at underlying issues. Why do we need things such as women’s shelters–family violence, mental issues. The trouble is you have a maximum stay of 21 days. Where do they go for help after that,” reasoned Morishita. “I’m a believer in de-centralizing this and letting the community determine the length of stay. I trust the people who are doing the jobs in the community.”
Camrose constituency president Bud James introduced Morishita to local residents. Over the next few months, the local association will be naming a candidate for the Camrose riding.
“Our system is bent backwards because we are not concerned about the outcome. The government is more concerned about doing it the way government says to do it and not listening to the experts,” indicated Morishita. “The government won’t bend on the 21 days and that is a fundamental failure of the system. We need to trust and empower people to do their jobs.”
People talked about the shortage of nurses, doctors  and veterinarians in rural Alberta. The government solution has been to increase the number of immigrants, instead of adding more spots in universities. “We had our nursing program cut in rural Alberta, at Augustana,” said Bill Sears.
The government didn’t support the University of Alberta with enough program funding.
“Albertans who are trained here want to stay in Alberta because this is their province, their home,” added Steven Hansen.
“We need to invest in Albertans. We need to think about our budget and investing in the future,” said Morishita. “We (the government) are always cost-cutting and thinking they are saving money. No we are not, we are mortgaging the future. If we stick to the six principals of good governance, we will make good decisions. We believe every Albertan deserves the opportunity to succeed.”
Morishita was first elected as a Brooks city councillor in 1998. He was elected Mayor of Brooks in 2016, and president of Alberta Municipalities in 2017. In September 2021, he stepped down from both roles to become leader of the Alberta Party.
“Priorities need to change. There are a lot of great people who know what to do, but the current government doesn’t like to communicate or listen to people,” said Morishita. “Sometimes better government is getting out of the way.”

Renaming of Camrose Creek

3 stoney camrose creek
Camrose Creek may soon to be returning to its roots as Stoney Creek.

By Lori Larsen

During the May 2 City of Camrose regular council  meeting, council voted in favour of sending a letter of support to Alberta Geographical Names Program for an application made by Alberta Culture and Status of Women to change the name of Camrose Creek to Stoney Creek.
According to a report presented to council during the April 19 Committee of Whole Meeting, information provided by the Alberta Geographical Names Program indicated that Stoney Creek was used to identify the creek (now named Camrose Creek) up until around the 1920s. At that point in time, the name Camrose Creek was beginning to be recorded in official documents.
In 1955, the Geographical Names Board of Canada officially adopted the name Camrose Creek.
After a review of the name change proposal, City of Camrose administration advised council that there would not be any significant implications to the City other than updating some future planning documents and the City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) to reflect the name Stoney Creek as opposed to Camrose Creek.
During the April 12 Camrose County Council meeting, council voted in favour of submitting a letter to the Geographical Names Program Coordinator of the Provincial Government, expressing Council’s support of the proposed renaming of Camrose Creek to Stoney Creek.

Rotary fundraiser

By Lori Larsen

Raising funds and having fun–the annual Rotary FUNdraiser dinner to be held on May 13 at the Camrose Regional Exhibition  is all about both.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for cocktails, with steak dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.
Stay around after dinner for auctions, raffles, games and musical entertainment featuring Travis Dolter.
Funds are being raised for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to sponsor youth locally, for the Ukrainian Refugee Program, and internationally for the Dr. Deirdre Duffy Ultrasound Training Program.
For those unable to attend the in-person event, virtual tickets are also available For more information, telephone Lou Henderson at 780-678-5135.

Huntington Society creates awareness of disease

By Murray Green

Camrose Chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) is busy with community fundraising events as they celebrate May as Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an incurable and debilitating genetic disease that affects thousands of families in Canada.
“As local HSC volunteers, we can tell you from firsthand experience that individuals and families affected by Huntington’s disease (HD) in our community and across Canada benefit enormously from the proceeds of wonderful events such as this, which fund the Society’s much-needed funds, research, programs and services,” said Leaha Mattinson, vice president of the Camrose chapter.
May is the month members try to educate the community about the disease, to raise awareness and support for those living with it.
“About nine years ago, my dad, who had Huntington’s disease, and my mom moved off the farm and into Camrose. He passed away in December and that is why I am affiliated with the Camrose Chapter. My parents have been involved with the local chapter for about 17 years,” shared Leaha.
“I’m an advocate for health and wellness. The problem with Huntington’s is that people get really sick, mentally ill, and have cognitive malfunctions and physical disabilities. People have movements that make it look like they are drunk. My dad lived well for a long time and lived at home farming until he was 75 with no medications,” said Leaha.
“I thought people could possibly live better through lifestyle choices. That is how I got involved in health and wellness. I received my genetic status 12 years ago, that I am gene positive as well. I wanted to be around for my children. I wanted to be a sane adult and still contribute to society. Then I got into being more involved with the Huntington Society and going to national conferences,” recalled Leaha.
Science is learning more about the disease and how to manage it better.
“When I was given gene positive status, I made a resolution to do whatever I could to learn how to treat this disease, a disease my doctors said was untreatable,” shared Leaha.
She has written books and created a wellness podcast that helps others with their own health. “People didn’t talk about lessoning the impact of the disease, so I felt that I had to. My focus is on how to be more healthy.”
Huntington’s disease is passed down through generations and is inherited. It is often compared to having Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, cancer and dementia all at the same time.
“If science can figure it out, it most likely can be applied to other diseases as well,” added Leaha. “Some people with HD look okay physically, but are struggling with serious mental health issues and the loss of executive functioning, losing their employment very early in life. Rare diseases such as Huntington’s don’t receive as much fundraising money. Camrose raised the most through a golf tournament, but we are not ready to have one again.”
The Camrose Chapter will be hosting three exciting fundraisers to raise awareness and financial support.
A hamburger barbecue fundraiser will be held in the Wild Rose Co-op parking lot on May 20.
“You can also join the Camrose Chapter as we walk virtually for Huntington’s disease (HD) this May alongside Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) chapters and participants nationwide. This year, we are encouraging participants to walk throughout the month of May to reach our target goal of 4,000 kilometres walked by our community. We know we can do it by making walking a habit and encouraging friends and family to join us,” said Leaha.​
The collective efforts will help raise funds and awareness for HD not only in Camrose, but all across Canada.
A Virtual Silent Auction will be held May 27 and 28. The Camrose Chapter will collect and post silent auction items on the Camrose Chapter’s Facebook page. Early preview of these items will be available for viewing on the site by May 24. Visit the website www.hdcamrose.ca for more details.
“Contributions will ensure the success of this event by allowing proceeds to go directly towards the Huntington Society of Canada and its services and research programs.
“Your sponsorship will help in playing a crucial role that the Huntington Society of Canada has in finding a cure and supporting individuals with HD and their families through each progressive loss imposed by the disease. It is a family disease. My children and grandchildren are at risk with a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease. I hope that people have more compassion towards people who have Huntington’s disease.”

Transit funds

By Lori Larsen

As part of the $79.5 million commitment from the Province of Alberta with regards to the Alberta Relief for Shortfalls for Transit Operators (RESTOR) program, Camrose is slated to receive $5,000 to support commuters in Camrose.
 The RESTOR will provide a top up to assist municipalities that are feeling the financial pinch from low ridership over the last two years. These funds will be allocated across 26 municipalities in the province.
“Whether you are taking the bus to work, or riding the train to visit loved ones, Albertans deserve high standards of safety and comfort,” said Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely. “This funding will help support our City as our economy recovers, and will ensure Albertans have the best experience when using public transit.”
Alberta Minister of Transportation Rajan Sawhney stated, “Public transit is an essential service, in particular for students who are returning to on-campus learning, seniors and other vulnerable populations who may be re-entering the workforce, to get to and from work or re-engaging in social activities.”

Timely signing of County/City agreement

7 city and county fire agree sign
The timing was perfect for the signing of the Emergency Management Mutual Aid Agreement between Camrose County and the City of Camrose which occurred on May 5 during Emergency Preparedness Week. Pictured left to right are Camrose County CAO Paul King, Camrose County councillor (Deputy Reeve) Carlene Wetthuhn, City of Camrose Mayor PJ Stasko and City of Camrose manager Malcolm Boyd.

By Lori Larsen

On May 5, Camrose County Deputy Reeve Carlene Wetthuhn, along with Camrose County CAO Paul King, City of Camrose Mayor PJ Stasko, and city manager Malcolm Boyd officially signed the Emergency Management Mutual Aid Agreement at Camrose Fire Station in front of both County and City fire trucks, signifying the importance of collaboration in providing the best services possible to County and City residents.
“The week of May 1 to 7 was designated as Emergency Preparedness Week,so we thought that it would be the perfect time to send a message out to the community that in the event of a major emergency, the City of Camrose and Camrose County are prepared and ready to act,” remarked Camrose Fire Chief Peter Krich.
“By entering into this agreement, it formalizes the systems and procedures for which emergency services can be utilized in order for a party to request mutual aid and assistance from the other party and to respond to such requests.”
Krich said that in the event of a major incident in the City or the County, each municipality will be there to provide assistance and help each other out.
Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event supported by Public Safety Canada. This year’s theme is Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything, intended to encourage all Canadians to take action to become better prepared for any emergency they may experience in their community.

Pro bull riding tour attracts top cowboys

By Murray Green

The Professional Bull Riding Association will be making a stop on its tour at the Recreation Centre in Camrose on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 7 p.m.
Called the Rose City Invitational, it will be the first event of the 2022 calendar year. It is organized by local businessman Geoff Turnquist and bull rider Coy Robbins.
“It takes an entire team of people to put on an event like this. Coy and myself are the organizers, but we have had a lot of help from Boris Rybalka, Jayden Brandt, Steve Blum and Jim Cook,” explained Geoff.
“I thought about having an event like this for a long time. I helped put on a couple events up north where I lived before and wanted to bring a PBR event to Camrose,” said Geoff, a former bull rider.
“Since I was a kid playing in the living room, I was setting up bull riding arenas and putting on bull riding events. As I got older, it never left. There is no better place to put this event on than Camrose. Camrose deserves to have an event of this stature,” added Coy.
The local cowboy started entering rodeos since he was eight years old, and now has five years of professional experience under his belt. “I’ve always wanted to be a producer of events. It gives you a different prospective being behind the scenes and seeing what takes place besides just showing up and getting on a bull,” shared Coy.
The event will feature 30 of the best bull riders as they compete for points in the race to be crowned the PBR Canada champion. Besides Coy, local riders Lonnie West of Cadogan, Zane Lambert of Ponoka, 2021 national champion Cody Coverchuk and Landon Schmidt of Tofield will also be in attendance.
After the 30 riders have had their chance to ride, a top 10 will be selected to compete in a final short round. The winners will be named after the top 10 cowboys have had two chances to score points.
“Since both of us have been bull riders, it was natural for us to want to put on an event that we know a lot about, rather than having timed events like a rodeo,” added Geoff.
“This isn’t a Sunday afternoon rodeo. It is a Professional Bull Riding event that is a staple event in any city. A PBR event wants an arena or coliseum feel to it. There was no other venue like the Camrose Recreation Centre to have this event in,” explained Coy.
“By holding the first event of the year, we will be setting the bar. With $15,000 added money for the riders, it sets the bar for riders to get a good start to the year off strong,” said Coy. “It is nice to be able to perform in front of your hometown crowd. It adds pressure and people often say that the hardest event to win is always in your hometown. I’m just going to view it like any other event.”
After the competition, rodeo fans will be entertained by country music rockers Jay Walker and Garrett Gregory.
“They are friends of mine and I know that they put on a good show. Both can rock and country with covers to original songs. They know how to party and make people feel good. We want people to have a good time,” shared Geoff. “This isn’t a one-off event. We want people to come back next year. Being in Camrose, this event is special to us and we are going to keep it going. Once our date is set, we won’t give it up.”
Coy added that Camrose needs an event like this. “I’m excited to use the arena for another event so it sees its full potential, fill the seats and bring business to town. We want to put Camrose on the PBR map,” said Coy.
This will be the first major non-hockey or non-curling entertainment event at the Recreation Centre since the Tom Cochrane concert back in 2007.
“We want to showcase Camrose,” said Geoff.
Tickets are available at Boston Pizza and Lammle’s Western Wear.

Merchants to hold fastball reunion in Camrose

By Murray Green

The national mens’ champions Camrose Merchants fastpitch team will be holding its reunion here on June 9 to 11.
Players from the inaugural first team to the junior and girls’ teams will also be taking part in the celebration. It will be honouring 50 years of the sport.
“This will be open to not only those who played for the Merchants, but to anyone who played against them since 1973 in the old Western Major Fastball League,” shared longtime player-manager-coach Jim Reed.
Reed brought the Merchants to Camrose in 1976, which set in motion a winning tradition of men’s softball. “We were champions in year one, with a lot of local players,” recalled Reed.
Camrose won nationals in 1984 and were inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. The Merchants hosted nationals in 1991.
“During that time, you couldn’t go anywhere in North America without people not knowing where Camrose was,” added Reed.
In their inaugural season as a member of the Western Major Fastball League, the Merchants finished the regular season seated in third place going into playoffs, where they would eventually win the pennant with an 11-4 record.
They continued this winning streak for the next three years, earning back-to-back-to-back league titles as well as the first ever World Series of Fastball title in 1979. In 1980, they pursued further fastball success by winning a provincial title and participating in their first Canadian Championship, finishing the tournament with a 3-3 record. They went on to earn the silver at Senior Canadians in 1982 and the bronze in 1983, all the while achieving more accomplishments in both the Alberta Major Fastball League and the Midwest Fastball League.
The culmination of the club’s illustrious career was in 1984, when the Merchants won their first Canadian Championship, going a spotless 7-0 throughout the tournament. With the talents of such Hall of Fame athletes as Glen Jevne, Ray MacMillan, Jeff Boyce and Marty Kernaghan, as well as coach Reed, the success of the Camrose Merchants ignited a passion for softball in the community.
Members of the team were Shawn Bailer, Jeff Boyce, Robbie Boyd, Len Chanasyk, Jevne, Kernaghan, Ray McMillan, Tom O’Toole, Donnie Pruss, Dave Recknagle, Dale Taylor, Jeff Timlin, Ernie Uniat, Tom White, Bill Yaremchuk, Art Owen, Reed and Rick Gross as an assistant coach.
“We are inviting Harold Mackaborski and the Wetaskiwin Car Capitals players. This reunion has been a long time coming. With COVID-19, we were delayed. Most of the players are getting older now, so we want to do this before people can’t travel to be here,” explained Jim.
Wetaskiwin notable players were Jevne, Chanasyk, Bruce Marshall, Ron Shantz and Bryan Sosnowski.
Players and fans will gather to share stories from the past as well as play a game for old time’s sake.
“We want to celebrate not only the Western Major Fastball League, but everything that happened after that. Everybody who I have talked to is excited about this,” added Sosnowski. “In some cases, we haven’t had contact with them, so we hope to gather everyone together to share stories.”
Reed said the weekend is open to the midget, junior and girls’ teams that were under the umbrella of the Merchants organization as well.
“Wally Byers is the only guy left from the original ownership group of 10. Then we had a new group of 10 owners for the second phase. We want this to be open to owners, ball players, umpires and fans. We expect 300 or more people.”
Proceeds from the weekend will be donated to minor ball. “The players want to give something back, so we are going to run a ball clinic for young players on Monday and Tuesday,” added Sosnowski.
“Camrose was the hotbed of fastball at the time. The stands were full and the hill was packed. Players wanted to come to play in Camrose,” said Sosnowski.
Weekend plans include a Thursday night (June 9) kick-off mixer and golf registration at the Norsemen Inn. Friday morning begins with the golf tournament at the Silver Creek Golf Course, and the evening will be highlighted by an old-time Merchants exhibition ball game at Kin Park.
On Saturday, a meet the players session and a tent with memorabilia is also in the planning stages. The evening concludes with a banquet and dance at the Camrose Regional Exhibition.
Email camrosemerchants@gmail.com, call Tammy at 780-679-8964 or visit https://camrose merchants.eventbrite.ca for more information.

Catholic Women’s League holds 100th in Camrose

By Murray Green

 The 100th annual Convention of the Edmonton Diocesan Council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada was held at the Norsemen Inn from April 29 to May 1.
Incoming president Clover Oryschak was excited to have the event in Camrose. “This is our 100th convention and it is only fitting that it is in Camrose, because Camrose was part of our first group to form a CWL in this area. In fact, the very first CWL started in Edmonton and Camrose was a part of that. Although this is our 100th, our history goes back to 1912,” explained Clover. “We have been serving the community and vulnerable for 100 years through a variety of different projects. Every year, we come together to celebrate our faith and the community around us. That is at the local, provincial, national and international level.”
The event was held to promote the objects and policy of the League, to plan future programs, to present annual reports, to conduct instructed votes on the proposed amendments to the constitution and bylaws and to hold an election of officers.
“We all consider ourselves sisters within the League, so it is a strong sisterhood. We have more than 160 sisters here, a strong showing considering post pandemic. Today everyone is happy just to be together again,” shared Clover.
The Edmonton region is the largest diocese in Alberta. “Our area is from Lloydminster to Jasper and  from Olds to Onoway. Celebrating 100 years means we are able to go back and see the successes that happened and understand how we arrived to where we are now,” said Clover.
The CWL are often the first to assist in social and justice services. Projects start out at the grassroots level and escalate as needed across the world.
“The women in communities know what is needed and are able to assist others to help out quietly, sometimes too quiet and they don’t get enough recognition. It all started with Katherine Hughes and women welcoming immigrants into the area and finding work. Today we still talk about helping immigrants and assisting Ukraine women fleeing from their country because of the war and coming here,” said Clover.
“Wherever there is a need, we tend to be. To help across Canada makes you feel you are part of something big. Some ladies here have been members for decades. My focus over the next two years is to bring people back together again and to strive to continue doing good work. Camrose is a beautiful city and I’m glad to celebrate 100 years in Camrose.”

Powerline Baseball opens new season

By Murray Green

The Powerline Baseball League is set to open a new season on May 14.
The league will have six teams in 2022 with the Camrose Roadrunners, Rosalind Athletics, Tofield Braves, Vegreville Blue Jays and the 2021 champion Armena Royals returning to compete for the league title. A new team has emerged called the Battle River Rivals, made up of former Spring Lake Lakers and Heisler Cardinals players.
The Camrose Axemen and Edmonton Expos have dropped out of contention.
Armena will be hosting the Camrose Roadrunners and Battle River will be in Tofield for games on May 14 beginning at 6 p.m. Vegreville visits Rosalind on May 15 at 6 p.m.
On May 18, Tofield takes on Camrose, and Battle River is in Vegreville on May 19. All weekday games begin at 7 p.m.
Camrose is in Vegreville, Tofield is in Armena and Rosalind takes on Battle River on May 24. The next night, Rosalind is in Camrose, and on May 26, Battle River is in Armena.
On May 31, Armena visits Vegreville, and Tofield motors to Rosalind.
An all-star game has been slated for June 15 in Camrose.

Next Generation 911 project update

13 cps 911 centre
Camrose Police Service 911 dispatcher Paige Mitchell sits amidst a slew of monitors and other emergency communication centre equipment including the two large overhead monitors that will be live once the New Generation 911 is fully operational.

By Lori Larsen

During the May 2 City of Camrose Committee of Whole meeting, Camrose Police Service Chief Dean LaGrange provided an update on the Next Generation (NG) 911 emergency communications system project underway at Camrose Police Service.
According to LaGrange’s report, the upgrades to emergency communication systems throughout Canada were mandated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in early 2020. The upgrades will enable emergency communications centres to receive text, video and telephone calls via IP addresses as opposed to standard telephone calls from landline and cellular telephones.
The upgrades also include a back-up 911 centre, as required by legislation.
LaGrange explained that the upgrades were approved by council in the 2021/22 budget and are taking place over two phases, with a proposed completion date of June 2024.
Work completed thus far in Phase 1 consists of: call handling equipment delivered and Telus line, call recorder and call handling equipment all installed.
“The call handling training is currently underway,” noted LaGrange, adding that call handling implementation is proposed to be complete by May 17.
Phase 2 of the project is scheduled to begin later this fall and will include upgrades to the Bell Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and development of the Backup Centre. Completion of the City Emergency Operating Centre is forecast for June 2024.
“The Backup Centre, in theory, has been selected to be on the fourth floor (of City Hall) in coordination with a proposed Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the City,” explained LaGrange. “That has not been formally approved but is the concept in Phase 2.”
Funding for the project was provided through Capital Projects in the current 2021/2022 budget.
“The 2021/2022 budget called for $300,000 in capital funding for 2022 and $300,000 (in capital funding) for 2023, with an additional $135,000 set aside for the Backup Centre.”
In his report, LaGrange outlined the project budget for each phase.
Phase 1 (NG 911 Call Centre Software) was budgeted for $300,000, with $264,000 spent to date and a forecast of $80,000 additional funds to be spent, resulting in an overage of $44,000.
“At that time, Bell had not committed to supporting the CAD system with NG 911 technology. Hence, we budgeted for $300,000 in case we had to go out and seek a new vendor with new CADs. Since that time, Bell CAD has agreed to stay and provide updates to the current CADS in the police vehicles, starting with the RCMP. So that $300,000 has shrunk significantly to approximately $100,000, which is a ballpark figure from Bell of what they anticipate the upgrades to the CADs will be costing next year.”
Phase 2 (Officer Mobile Communication CAD) was budgeted at $300,000, with actual funds spent to date $0, and $100,000 forecasted for additional funds to be spent, resulting in being under budget by $200,000.
Phase 3 (mentioned as part of Phase 2 in the report–the Backup Centre)  was budgeted for $135,000, with actual funds spent to date $0, and $260,000 forecasted for additional funds to be spent, resulting in an overage of $125,000.
“Out of the $300,000 budget (Phase 2), we anticipate spending $100,000 on the CAD upgrades leaving us $200,000 under budget, which we can then use to augment the budget for the Backup Centre, which will probably take place late 2023 into 2024,” said LaGrange.
“We had $135,000 slated for that and it looks like it is going to come closer to $260,000, which is an identical version of the Phase 1. So we will be able to use the remaining budget of Phase 2 to complete Phase 3.”
The total approved budget is $735,000. To date, the total funds spent are $264,000 with a forecast of $440,000 additional funds to be spent, totaling a forecasted budget of $704,000, $31,000 under the approved budget.
“In essence, we are on track and anticipate being under budget. We just have to decide in the future where the EOC and combined Backup Centre will be.”
LaGrange spoke briefly on the cellular telephone levy fees which were increased by the provincial government in 2022 from  $0.47 to $0.97 per cellular phone per month.
The report indicated that this is estimated to increase the City of Camrose annual revenue from $190,000 to $380,000, which will be used to support 911 operation including equipment, training and salaries.
Councillor Lana Broker asked Chief LaGrange how long the New Gen 911 system should last. “Are they going to change software in 10 or 15 years? We are dumping a whole lot of money into two CAD systems. Are they (CAD vendor) saying they have this technology nailed down for another 30 years?”
Chief LaGrange responded, “Technology changes on a day-to-day basis in today’s world. If you look at the previous 911 system (landlines) that was in place for 40 or 50 years, I don’t anticipate that being the case for this Next Generation 911. We are going to put a portion of the cell phone levy in reserve each year, until we have a reserve that will address future technology requirements, so as not to require capital funding.”
Councillor Lucas Banack asked how often the backup system has had to be used.
LaGrange replied, “It is not a common occurrence, but it is legislated that we do it. It is the cost of doing business.”
Councillor Kevin Hycha inquired about the current $500,000 being spent related to 911 salaries.  “Will this change? Will this get better?”
Chief LaGrange explained, “The operating cost of the 911 Centre is consistent year over year. The difference now is instead of $190,000 in grants from the cell phone levy fees, we will be getting $380,000. Once we have a bit of a cushion in the reserves to pay for future software upgrades, more of that cell phone levy can go towards operating costs, including salaries.”
The report was received as information.

Help for varicose veins

By Murray Green

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. They are most common in the legs and ankles. They usually aren’t serious, but they can sometimes lead to other problems, according to Alberta Health Services.
Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. Normally, one-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs up toward your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs and pressure builds up.
Varicose veins often run in families. Aging also increases your risk. Being overweight, pregnant or having a job where you must stand for long periods of time increases pressure on leg veins.
Mild symptoms may include heaviness, burning, aching, tiredness, or pain in your legs. Symptoms may be worse after you stand or sit for long periods of time causing swelling in your feet and ankles and itching over the vein.
More serious symptoms include leg swelling; swelling and calf pain after you sit or stand for long periods of time; and skin changes, such as colour changes, dry, thinned skin, inflammation and scaling. It could result in open sores, or bleeding after a minor injury.
In some cases, varicose veins can be a sign of a blockage in the deeper veins called deep vein thrombosis. If a physician identifies this as a problem, you may need treatment for it.
 Varicose veins are easy to see, especially when you stand up. Your doctor will check your legs for tender areas, swelling, skin colour changes, sores, and other signs of skin breakdown.
Home treatment may be all you need to ease your symptoms and keep the varicose veins from getting worse. You can wear compression stockings; prop up (elevate) your legs; avoid long periods of sitting or standing; and get plenty of exercise.
If you need treatment or you are concerned about how the veins look, your options may include sclerotherapy to close off the vein; laser treatment to close off the vein; radio- frequency treatment to close off the vein; phlebectomy, or stab avulsion to remove the vein; and ligation and stripping to tie off and remove the vein.

Camrose Women’s Shelter celebrates 35 plays years

By Lori Larsen

On April 29, the Camrose Women’s Shelter Society hosted a 35 + 1ish Anniversary and Volunteer Recognition Low Tea at the Shelter’s Outreach Community Centre.
Invited guests were given an opportunity to tour the Outreach Community Centre and hear from dignitaries and stakeholders on the important role the Shelter plays in the communities it serves and the lives of the women and children it supports.
Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear welcomed guests to the celebration, then played a pre-recorded message from MP Damien Kurek who thanked the society and the staff for all the work they do by stepping up for women and children in their time of need.
MLA Jackie Lovely offered greetings on behalf of the Province. “You serve such a large area and this is a safe place. You see people on their worst days and help them forge a path forward.”
Greetings and congratulations to the Women’s Shelter Society were offered on behalf of the City of Camrose by Mayor PJ Stasko on the work the Shelter has done and continues to do for such a vulnerable part of the community.
Greetings and comments were offered on behalf of Camrose County by Reeve Cindy Trautman.  “The County has a true appreciation for what this organization and staff do, knowing there is a safe haven for those who need it.”
Camrose Police Service Chief Dean LaGrange spoke on the important role the Shelter plays in the City. “The Camrose Police Service and our members see domestic violence firsthand and we know the damage it can do. We strongly support the efforts of Nora-Lee and the volunteers and staff at the Women’s Shelter here and we value them. We know they are critical in building and maintaining a safe community.”
Camrose Women’s Shelter Society vice chair Bill Sears brought greetings on behalf of the founders of the Womens Shelter. Sears read a letter of congratulations and thank you on behalf of Jackie Schaffter, one of the original founders of the Shelter. In her letter, Schaffter said, “Unfortunately, I see every day in my role as a judge that intimate partner violence is increasing particularly over the pandemic, which rise in cases is often being referred to as the Shadow Pandemic. Societal change has not occurred as we had all hoped, and we are all even more keenly aware of the long-term damage that is done, not only to abused partners, but to the children of those families, which adds to the cycle of abuse.
“The work that the Camrose Women’s Shelter does in our community and elsewhere is so critical to both providing immediate safety and support, but also long-range in effecting change in our society.”
Camrose Women’s Shelter Board chair Judilonne Beebe thanked everyone for attending and taking an opportunity to tour the new facility. “It is an honour to be here today and still be involved in serving the Shelter after all these years (35) and especially to see from where we started. From their vision back then to the vision that the current board and Nora-Lee has, we have come a long way. Over the years, we have definitely progressed. Our services that we do have expanded and how we do it has changed and grown over these years as well.”
In conclusion, Rear said, “In 1985, the Shelter opened for business and the first client was a family who was admitted on day one.  And we have had families and individuals come into the Shelter pretty much every day since then.
“There has been many changes to the building, staffing, programming, volunteers and funding. And like any other good not-for-profit, there have been many ups and downs. But at the heart of all, the purpose of the organization which is the vision and mission have remained and that is what we are reflecting on today: ‘To create communities where all people are free from violence and abuse.’”

Koren charged up about original car

15 ed koran 1970 dodge charger
Edward Koren purchased the classic Pink Panther model of the Dodge Charger 500 back in 1970 when he saw the car on the dealership lot. He had two cars to choose from and he thinks the right decision was made.

By Murray Green

Edward Koren is the proud owner of a 1970 Dodge Charger 500.
“I worked in the north for several years, came back in 1970, and I went to a little dealership in Two Hills. This car was on the lot, so I bought it,” recalled Edward.
The Dodge Charger is known as a mid-size automobile that was produced by Dodge from 1966 to 1978 and was based on the Chrysler B platform.
“It was a small lot in a small town. Actually, it had two cars on the lot, this one and another one,” laughed Edward. “And I chose this one. I soon learned that a Charger is a pretty good car. It has lots of power with a 383 magnum engine with a four-barrel carburetor. It has an automatic transmission.”
The Charger made its debut in mid-1966. Sharing its chassis and front-end sheet metal with the mid-sized Coronet, the Charger was positioned to take on AMC’s conceptually similar Rambler Marlin.
He drove the car for a few years and then got married and had children. “Then I parked the car and it sat for about 24 years. I brought it back to life and now drive it around the local area. I live east of Millet on an acreage, so going to Camrose is a nice drive.”
A group of classic car enthusiasts from the Millet area regularly make the trip to Camrose for car shows and touring the city.
“We all like and appreciate the vehicles and touring the countryside together. We go as a group and it is fun meeting new people.”
The Charger was not intended to compete head to head in performance with pony cars, but was available with Chrysler’s famed 426 Hemi V8.
Edward drove the car for about seven years before parking it. “It had rock chips, door scratches, rust on the chrome wheels because chrome doesn’t like salt very much. I had it painted and all of the chrome bumpers and wheels re-done to make the car look a little more spiffy. I painted the car the same as the original factory colour. I wanted to keep everything original. The only exception is that I added a tachometer to it, and back in the ’70s, I added an ooga (air) horn and then since then a Dukes of Hazzard horn,” explained Edward.
The original Charger 500 prototype was a 1968 Charger R/T with a 426 Hemi and automatic transmission. The prototype was painted in B5 Blue with a white stripe, as well as a white interior.
“I left all of the old stickers on the windshield from the ’70s,” he laughed.
Dodge was not satisfied with the results of the Charger 500. The car was not enough to beat the other aerocars on the NASCAR circuit, so improvements were on the horizon.
The Charger was changed slightly for the 1970 model year. This was the last year of the second generation Charger and featured a large wraparound chrome bumper, and the grille was no longer divided in the middle. New electric headlight doors replaced the old vacuum style. The taillights were similar to those used in ’69, but 500 and R/T models came with a new more attractive taillight panel. On the R/T, new rear-facing scoops with the R/T logo were mounted on the front doors, over the door scallops. A new 440 or Hemi hood cutout made the option list for this year only.
Dodge painted the hood scallop inserts black and put the silver engine callouts on top. New high impact colours were given names such as Top Banana and Panther Pink. The SE Special Edition trim option added luxury features and was available in the 500 SE and R/T SE versions. A new pistol grip shifter was introduced, along with a bench front seat–a first for the Charger since its debut.
In the 1970 NASCAR season, the 1970 Charger had 10 wins, more than any other car, giving Bobby Isaac the Grand National Championship. Buddy Baker, driving the blue 88 at Daytona, was the first and only legal car to run over 200 mph in 1970. That record lasted for over 13 years.

Police want safe roads for all users

By Lori Larsen

Camrose Police Service will be joining other law enforcement agencies across Canada in a Safer You. Safer Me., road safety campaign from May 10 to 17, encouraging motorists to make driving decisions that ensure all road users, including other motorists, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians, are kept safe.
“Camrose Police Service hopes by educating all road users on the importance of road safety that we can help make the roads in our community some of the safest in Canada,” said Camrose Police Service Constable Matt Rolfe.
Canada Road Safety Week is an enforcement-driven initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and, more specifically, by the CACP’s Traffic Safety Committee.
“This week-long initiative is designed to increase public awareness as well as compliance with safe driving measures,” said Rolfe. “By doing so we hope to save lives, reduce injuries and reduce property damage.”
The Safer You. Safer Me. road safety awareness campaign is part of the broader Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025, aimed at making Canada’s roads the safest in the world.
“The campaign will focus on driving behaviours that put other road users at risk,” explained Rolfe, “Including drug-impaired driving, alcohol-impaired driving, fatigue-impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and driving without a seatbelt.”
One of the key messages of this year’s campaign is to make motorists aware that the decisions they make are not just based on the level of risk they are personally willing to accept, but that those decisions have the potential to impact another person, often in life-changing ways.
“We remind drivers to practice some fairly simple good driving habits. Keep their hands on the steering wheel, keep their eyes on the road, and stay focused on their driving.”
Rolfe added that abiding all traffic safety laws and traffic safety devices is imperative.
“The theme Safe You. Safe Me. is all about making sure we can all travel our roads with a degree of assurance that everyone is trying their best to make them safe.”

Exhibit opens at RAM

By Murray Green

The Royal Alberta Museum’s(RAM) latest feature exhibition DRIVE: Re-imagining the Ride opened March 9.
Visitors will learn about 12 vehicles, spanning from the 1890s to the 1990s, on loan from the Reynolds-Alberta Museum and Remington Carriage Museum. These vehicles tell varied stories of imagination and creativity in addressing basic needs to get ourselves–and things–from place to place.
DRIVE: Reimagining the Ride invites visitors to think outside the box about what is possible on the road to the future–from the Nanook solar-powered speedster and an amphicar that moves through both land and sea to the stylish Bricklin SV-1 sports car that likely inspired the famous DeLorean.
RAM’s 1,100-square metre Feature Gallery is transformed into a world where visitors are encouraged to explore the similarities and differences between vehicles of different eras, context, purpose and approach, and gain appreciation for the imaginative minds of inventors and designers.
“DRIVE: Reimagining the Ride takes visitors on a journey through the human need to move, to innovate, to make mistakes and try new approaches. It is a celebration of the spirit of ingenuity and the diverse collections of our historic sites and museums. I encourage Albertans to take a road trip through history and take in this stunning exhibition,” said Ron Orr, Alberta Minister of Culture and Status of Women.
The exhibition also includes a Tinker Garage, where visitors of all ages can participate in hands-on exploration and expression through a different themed activity each month, exploring their own dreams, imagination and creativity.
After taking in DRIVE: Reimagining the Ride, RAM visitors will be eligible to receive a coupon for free admission at partner site Reynolds-Alberta Museum through May 15.
DRIVE: Reimagining the Ride will be open to visitors until April 30, 2023. Entry to this feature exhibition is included with general admission.
The Royal Alberta Museum is located in Edmonton, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum is in Wetaskiwin, and the Remington Carriage Museum is located in Cardston.

Lougheed ready for season launch

By Murray Green

A legendary tribute to Connie Francis, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis is slated for May 19 at 7 p.m.
The Lougheed Centre will be holding their season launch on June 9 at 7 p.m. You can listen to Maddie Storvold and Ellen Doty during the event.
Canadian comedian Brent Butt has had his show moved. He will bring laughter to the Lougheed Centre stage on June 18 for a 7:30 p.m. show.
The Lovettes show “Leaders of the Pack” is slated for 2 p.m. on June 19. This concert features music from ladies of ’40s to ’60s songs.
Shumka’s Emerge program will be held at 7:30 p.m. on July 22. Witness the dance and colour from seven different projects.
ABRA Cadabra will be bringing the music of ABBA back to the Lougheed Centre on September 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Jill Barber has a new date for the Lougheed Centre–September 23 at 7:30 p.m.
A tribute to Garth and Shania (Brooks and Twain) will be held on October 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Randy Bachman’s new show date is ready to go on Thursday, November 10.
The Cheesecake Burlesque Revue has been postponed until January 20, 2023.
Steven Page will be back in Camrose for a show at 7:30 p.m. on March 10, 2023. This concert was postponed from this spring.
The Irish Rovers postponed their show until March 29, 2023, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Raven by Still Hungry has been postponed until April 20, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Signs of stress in youth

By Murray Green

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but stress can take both a physical and mental toll no matter what age you are.
Recognizing the symptoms of stress and knowing how you feel and how your body reacts can help you manage your stress and stressors, according to Alberta Health Services.
Everyone reacts to stress differently. Youth often deal with unique stressors that adults in their life may miss or not understand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress for many people. Stressers may include time pressures; more responsibility; sexual identity; divorce or separation of parents or close family members; worrying about the future; bullying and abuse, friends, peer pressure, teasing, relationships with parents; homework deadlines and tests; pleasing parents, teachers and friends; relationships and dating; how they look and self-esteem and death or illness in the family.
Recognizing and managing stress in children and teenagers early on can lead to healthy coping strategies that will help them into adulthood.
Think your child might be stressed? Some tell-tale signs include eating and sleeping problems, nightmares, headaches or stomach aches, low self-esteem, anger or rebellion.
If you’re a parent or caregiver of a child or youth, here are a few suggestions that may help:
Create a low-stress environment at home.
Work with your child to help them develop positive coping skills.
Whenever possible, acknowledge your child’s feelings. If appropriate, reassure them that you can understand why they would feel sad or scared.
Being an active listener develops trust and demonstrates that you are supportive and understanding of your child’s concerns.
Allow your child to try and find their own solutions, if appropriate, but offer to help and be available if they need you.
Aim to provide a good example for them. Create plans to reduce stress, and share them with your family.
Provide them with some control. Allow your children to make choices within your family framework. For example, allow them to arrange their room, choose family activities, and help make family decisions.

Births and Deaths

- To Kendra and Kirk McPherson, of Sedgewick, a daughter on April 22.
- To Ayla Huculak and Zachary Selin, of Camrose, a daughter on April 24.
- To Camille and Marc Ayore, of Camrose, a son on April 26.
- To Jordyn and Kyle Kvemshagen, of Rosalind, a daughter on April 28.
- To Katie and Jon Sabeski, of Camrose, a daughter on April 28.
- To Tyann and Jeff Erikssen, of Sedgewick, a daughter on April 29.
- To Jennifer and Nicholas St. Pierre, of Beaver County, a son on April 30.

- Emma Marie Johnson of Camrose, on May 5, at 100 years of age.
- Lionel Wesley Sampson of Camrose, on May 5, at 86 years of age.