1 bonnieapr2021

Reflections

By Bonnie Hutchinson

What makes you laugh?
 
Tomorrow is December 1 –official beginning of “ho ho ho” season, whatever form that may take this year. That got me thinking about things that make me laugh.
According to Robert Provine, Ph.D., who wrote a book called Laughter, “One of the remarkable things about laughter is that it occurs unconsciously. You don’t decide to do it. While we can consciously inhibit it, we don’t consciously produce laughter. That’s why it’s very hard to laugh on command or to fake laughter.”
I started remembering birthday cards, one-liners and incidents that made me laugh.
Front of a birthday card: “The years have been kind…”
Inside the card: “…but gravity’s not doing you any favours!”
Provine said, “Laughter is social and contagious. We laugh at the sound of laughter itself. That’s why the Tickle Me Elmo doll was such a success–it makes us laugh and smile. The first laughter appears in babies about three-and-a-half to four months of age, long before they’re able to speak. Laughter, like crying, is a way for a preverbal infant to interact with the mother and other caregivers.”
Front of a Mother’s Day card: “Mom, I’m sorry you had all the pain, the agony, the anguish…”
Inside the card: “…but enough about my brother!”
Provine: “Contrary to folk wisdom, most laughter is not about humour; it is about relationships between people. Over a 10-year period, we studied over 2,000 cases of naturally occurring laughter.
“We found that most laughter does not follow jokes. People laugh after a variety of statements such as ‘Here comes Mary’, ‘How did you do on the test?’ and ‘Do you have a rubber band?’ These aren’t jokes.
“We don’t decide to laugh at these moments. Our brain makes the decision for us. These curious ‘ha ha ha’s’ are bits of social glue that bond relationships.”
Something my grandmother said about my father: “There must be music in him, because none ever came out.”
Provine: “No one has actually counted how much people of different ages laugh, but young children probably laugh the most. At ages five and six, we tend to see the most exuberant laughs. Adults laugh less than children, probably because they play less. And laughter is associated with play.”
Front of a birthday card: “One good thing about getting old…
Inside the card: “…Nobody wants to borrow your clothes.”
Provine again: “When we laugh, we alter our facial expressions and make sounds. During exuberant laughter, the muscles of the arms, legs and trunk are involved. Laughter also requires modification in our pattern of breathing.”
***
A favourite laughter memory:
My dad was a stickler for safety. At work, he was insistent about safety goggles and proper procedures for using machinery. At home, when he mowed the lawn, no matter how hot it might be, he put on coveralls and work boots and wore leather gauntlets. (The family thought it was funny that, under the coveralls, he was still wearing his white shirt and tie.)
Once when he and Mom were in their 70s, he got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. On the way back to bed, he stubbed his toe. It really hurt and he made some noise. A voice from Mom’s side of the bed said, “You mean you weren’t wearing your steel-toed boots?”
They both started to laugh and then they got the giggles. When one would begin to stop laughing, the other would start again. As Dad said, “Two old coots in the middle of the night, laughing their heads off in the dark.”
It’s one of my favourite images of my parents.
Actually, who cares why we laugh? We do and it’s fun. The phrase, “I could die laughing” might not be a bad way to go!
***
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.

Council hears concerns on COVID mandates

By Lori Larsen

A contingent of residents attended the November 15 City of Camrose regular council meeting to express concerns over the COVID-19 vaccines and the provincially mandated wearing of face coverings in all indoor places.
Six individuals spoke separately to council, relating information and personal concerns about the mandate to wear masks and the need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated, a privately-paid negative rapid test result taken within 72 hours of service, or documentation of a medical exemption.
Concerns were also raised over the need to provide the aforementioned proof in order to access businesses and City-operated facilities.
Connie Stollery began by presenting council members with an information package containing documents from: Action4Canada (“Vaccine” Notice of Liability: Elected/Appointed Officials) and The Nuremberg Trials 2.
Colleen Smith voiced her concerns over the COVID-19 mandates.
Dan Olson expressed to council the impact mandates have had on him not being able see his mother in the lodge and not being able to go to other businesses. “It scares me because those of us that remember pre-World War II, Hitler started to manipulate people with what I think was a virus, to gain control of people. It sure looks familiar and it does scare me.”
Mayor PJ Stasko asked Olson to clarify what he meant by mandates.
Olson replied, “Mandates of having to be vaxxed (vaccinated) to go to the swimming pool, the theatre, which I do, and wearing masks at the Co-op (grocery store). It really bothers me.”
Mayor Stasko clarified, “The City of Camrose does not have a mask bylaw. That is a provincial bylaw and all businesses have to follow REP (Restriction Exemption Program, implemented by the provincial government) and we (City) have instituted the REProgram at our recreational facilities. You can still come in with a negative test, 72 hours prior.”
Olson responded, “It goes against the Canadian Charter of Freedoms Act and the Humans Right Act. I just don’t agree with it.”
Another spokesperson, Deb Drever, said with regards to the REProgram, “I just think it is ridiculous. We pay taxes, but we can’t use the swimming pool, can’t use the theatre, we can’t do lots of things, so why are we paying property taxes?”
Mayor Stasko clarified, “There is not a mandate for everyone to be vaccinated, but a mandate for where unvaccinated people can and cannot go. Private businesses do not have anything to do with the City. Going to City facilities is what we mandate and (a person) can also come into (City recreational facilities under the REProgram) with proof of COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior.”
Dennis Rittenhouse also spoke about how he made the decision to retire from the City of Camrose, after 46 years of service because he did not want to get vaccinated or have to be tested.
Mayor Stasko, on behalf of the City of Camrose, thanked Rittenhouse for his years of service.

City counts down with Christmas contest

By Lori Larsen

Outside of some of the continual programs and services offered by the City of Camrose, the team in the Recreation and Culture department have cooked up some seasonal fun.
On the first day of Christmas, Camrosians gave to all, photos depicting holidays.
The Twelve Days of Christmas Photo Contest encourages residents to submit photos beginning December 10 up until December 21, depicting subjects posted by the City for the 12 days of Christmas.
The City will be posting the subject of the first photo on December 9, so participants are asked to send their photos in by 4 p.m. the following day to recreation@camrose.ca. Photo subjects will be posted by 4:30 p.m. the day prior. For example, the subject for the December 11 photo will be posted by 4:30 p.m. on December 10.
“We will post our favourites on social media as well as instructions to enter for the next day,” explained City of Camrose Community Services Chuck MacLean Arts Centre recreation program coordinator Christine McCord.
Each photo submission will be entered in a random draw for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to a local business of your choice.
It’s a fun way to kick off the Christmas season and share some of your traditions and the fun and exciting ways you and your family and friends spend the holidays.
For more information, visit the City of Camrose website at www.camrose.ca/en/recreation-and-leisure/12-days-of-christmas.aspx.

Christmas Fund needs your support

3 elks christmas
Merry Christmas Fund co-chair Morris Henderson, left, accepts $400 for the food hamper program from Camrose Elks Lodge exalted ruler Gerry Czapp on Nov. 18, from the service club’s various fundraising efforts. The Merry Christmas Fund program provides a food hamper for those in need at Christmas time.

By Murray Green

December is upon us and so, too, is the need to support people in our community. It is time to fund-raise and prepare to assemble food and toys for the Merry Christmas Fund hampers.
“Donations are at $3,375 to date, with businesses, service groups and individual suppliers of goods and services coming on board. People are filling shifts on our volunteer schedule and preregistering for packing. Everyone is to arrive after 9 a.m. at the rear of the Fire Hall for delivery on December 18,” said co-chair Morris Henderson.
The Camrose Merry Christmas Fund was started about 56 years ago to supply food hampers to less fortunate families within the community.
Last year, the Camrose Merry Christmas Fund supplied about 250 hampers to families.
“We are preparing for 252 hampers this year,” said Merry Christmas Fund co-chair Morris Henderson. “Last year, we raised about $25,000. We need to raise a little more in order to purchase food for the hampers if we receive more requests.”
The food hampers are intended to provide a good Christmas meal and food for several days. “If you or someone you know is in need of a hamper, contact Neighbor Aid at 780-679-3220. The Kinettes Club of Camrose is collecting toys and gifts to distribute with the hampers. Cash donations are also welcome to fill gaps in collection.”
Camrose Kinettes Silent Santa program accepts gifts for children to include with hampers. Volunteers also help deliver toys packaged by the Camrose Kinettes. “We will be packing hampers on Wednesday, December 15 and Thursday, December 16, so we will be ready for delivery day. All are mindful of COVID practices,” said Morris.
If people know they are receiving a hamper, they are asked to be home to receive the hamper to avoid unnecessary returns.
Donations can be made at the Royal Bank and Camrose Fire Hall. You can also mail donations to: Merry Christmas Fund, Box 1612, Camrose, AB T4V 1X6. The Camrose Merry Christmas Fund is a registered charity, so people who make donations by December 31 will be mailed a tax receipt in January.
Co-chairs for the Merry Christmas Fund are Morris Henderson and Jason Delwo. “It is a good outing for families who want to expose their children to volunteering during the Christmas season.”
Email MCHampers@gmail.com or call Morris for more information or to volunteer with sorting, delivery or other tasks.

Giving Tuesday a reminder of the goodwill to help others

By Lori Larsen

It is more than a meal or a gift for a child. It is more than the much-needed personal care items or the dollars used to provide them. The generosity of others is about hope.
It gives those in need hope that they can make it through this season with a little less on their shoulders, built on the knowledge that people they don’t even know care and want to help.
One of the most difficult realizations for any person is that their circumstances have changed and that every day is a challenge just to survive.
This season, take time to really look at others and make an effort to understand that everyone is walking through life the best way they can. Take time to appreciate the struggles of others by being  patient and kind.
Choose and use your words wisely, because what you may forget in an instant has the potential to stay with someone else for a lifetime.
Use your hands and your strength to pull someone up instead of pointing fingers to put someone down.
In the world today, where the only two things that are certain are uncertainty itself and that every person has the potential to be great in another person’s life, chose to be that person.
Giving Tuesday, November 30, is so much more than the donations so generously given by those who can for those who need. It is also about giving of your time, your attention, yourself and supporting the cause of others. It is a gift that is not only felt by the recipient, but also the person giving.
A depth of gratitude is felt by all the amazing organizations, agencies and individuals in Camrose and area, who selflessly continue to provide support to others in need in our community.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the human spirit can conquer so much if given the chance to fly.

Bailey Theatre hosts popular December events

By Murray Green

The Rose City Roots Music Society will be presenting the band 100 Mile House at the Bailey Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 3.
Back by popular demand, 100 Mile House consists of folk duo Denise MacKay and Peter Stone from Edmonton.
Christmas Business
It will be A Night of Strictly Business as far as a Christmas show goes. Expect to see this musical cabaret bring laughter, entertainment and holiday cheer back into your life.
They are an Edmonton-based theatre company that will be performing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 11.
Bailey Buckaroos
The local band Bailey Buckaroos are back for another performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 19.
Each month, the Buckaroos welcome special guests to the stage to help them round out the country show.
For more information on shows contact the Bailey Theatre.

Camrose Fire keeping residents safe

5 cfd ir sled 1
CFD firefighter Evan Biel rescues Cory Erickson with the use of an ice sled.

By Lori Larsen

Camrose Fire Department (CFD) reminds residents to play it safe when it comes to ice on ponds and waterbodies in and around the City. What may seem like a rock hard ice surface may in fact be just the opposite and a potentially deadly hazard.
CFD Chief Peter Krich shares vital information on ice safety.
First and foremost, the most important message Camrose Fire Department wants to give to all residents is, the reason a person/pet falls through the ice is because the ice is unsafe. That  means the ice is unsafe for anyone who may attempt to rescue the victim. “When you enter to go try and rescue, you will probably enter the same conditions the person you are trying to rescue did or fall in at another spot, which creates a more compounded rescue for us.”
Krich recognizes that it is human nature to help others in distress, but by going out on the unsafe ice, unfortunately the good-willed rescuer now becomes the one needing rescuing. “Now when we come up on the scene, we have multiple rescues.”
The best thing anyone can do when they see someone has fallen through the ice is to stay on shore, contact 911 for help and communicate with the victim to ensure them that help is on the way.
Krich said that preventing falling through ice by knowing that what may appear to be “safe” ice is the first line in safety, and warns that people should never assume because there is some ice formed it is safe to traverse out onto the ice.
“We are in that danger zone again, where the ice is not making or has the potential of melting,” he explained. “Dangers on the ice are at the extremes right now.”
He said that in order for hard “safe” ice to form, there must be consistent  cold temperatures.
“The key with the formation of ice on bodies of water is that it is not consistently forming at the same thickness/same rate all over the water surface.
“What may look like good ice thickness on the edge or where you experimentally throw the rock on the ice to determine the thickness, may very well be okay for that particular spot, but two feet over, it could be too thin to go on.”
Krich explained there are a lot of variables that need to be considered on how ice forms or builds.
“Any kind of movement underneath means the water doesn’t freeze or, if the water is not clean, it doesn’t freeze as well as clean water.”
He added that snow covering ice adds a layer of  insulation, which means the water may not freeze as quickly.
“Then you have animals underneath the ice moving around, such as beavers, which will contribute to thinner ice.
“You also have the geese this time of year still looking for open water on any large bodies of water. They will find that little bit of open water and they will keep it open by their movement in the water. Even when they do leave, the water close to where the birds were might freeze, but not exactly where the birds were, and that portion of the lake becomes very thin.”
He said that this may not be visible from the shoreline and can be very deceiving.
“As well, as ice builds, it wants to take up the space in the water, so it pressures up and creates little heaves in the ice and those create areas where the water doesn’t freeze. This also becomes another danger zone.”
Krich’s point is that there are many variables that affect ice conditions, creating many hidden dangers on what may appear to be frozen waterbodies.
“This beginning stage of ice making is the most dangerous,” repeated Krich. “We (Fire Department) have experienced that in the past from an ice rescue point of view, where you get people who want to go and test the ice, which is not safe. The best rule of thumb is to wait until very cold weather and no fluctuations in weather risking melt and thinner ice.”
Krich also advised residents on keeping their pets safe around ice on waterbodies. “If you are walking  your dog close to bodies of water, make sure the dog is leashed. We have done a number of dog rescues where a dog has run out onto the ice because they are not very heavy, then come across a weak spot and go through the ice. Then the owner, being heavier and usually larger than the dog, tries to go out and save the dog and goes through. Now we have two rescues.”
Krich strongly advises to call for help and not attempt to rescue the animal. “If the dog went through because the ice was unsafe, the pet owner is going to go through as well.”
In an effort to ensure all residents’ safety, the City tests the ice by drilling holes and experimenting on how thick the ice is before they actually will allow anybody on the ice. Waterbodies within the City are posted with “Ice Unsafe” signs, which residents are advised to mind. Once the ice is determined to be safe by the City, the signs will be removed.
If at any point the City deems ice to be unsafe, the signs will be reposted.
When and if the time should arise for a ice rescue, residents can rest assured that Camrose Fire Department is well prepared for the job at hand.
“We have the tools and equipment, the training techniques and ability to be able to go out and do the rescue in a safe and effective manner,” said Chief Krich.
On November 16 during the CFD regular training night, one group of the volunteer members braved the frigid winds and temperatures with an on-site ice rescue training session. The waterbody was first carefully tested for thickness and stability before a hole was made in order to simulate a victim who had fallen through the ice and was in need of rescue.
All members entering onto the ice and subsequently into the water suited up in special waterproof, cold-resistant suits and were tethered to safety lines held on the shore. One member would submerge up to their neck into the icy water, while another member would use one of the techniques for ice rescuing.
On-shore members manned the pull lines and would also, in the event of an actual rescue, control crowds.
While the training session was a controlled situation, the sense of urgency amidst the members was real. Every aspect of the training was gone over in great detail, with members taking turns at being the victim and being the on-ice rescuer. Communication between the “simulation” victim in the water and rescuers on shore never stopped. At all times, the victim was being instructed on what was going to happen and reassured that they were being helped.
“We have done some training in the swimming pool in a warmer controlled environment as well,” said Krich. “That way we can also simulate a struggling victim and how the rescuer should respond should the victim try to pull them down or become very overly anxious.”
Krich said communication with the victim is imperative in order to control the situation. “It is important that the victim understand what we (fire rescue) are asking them to do so we can help them. The first thing we tell all fire rescue is to make contact with the victim so we have direct and constant communication with the victim and give them an understanding of what is going to transpire so they know what we want from them and they don’t panic. We will get to them.”
He said no matter what else, the victim needs to listen to the people (fire rescue) on the shoreline. “They will give direction, support and ultimately they will get you out.”
Training for ice rescue is done by all CFD firefighters annually this time of year when the ice is still forming and it is optimum for dangerous situations.
 “That is what training is all about,” said Krich, “Being proficient and being prepared to provide the services that we need to our citizens.”
In the event of falling through ice, Krich said the first line of defence is to try to self rescue. If at all possible, try to get yourself up and off the ice. “We always promote self rescue first to the best of the person’s  ability. Get out safely, but because of the cold temperatures, their efforts will be dramatically reduced. But don’t burn all your energy. Remain as calm as you can, and make sure help is coming as quickly as possible.”
Ice rescue is just one more service provided by the dedicated firefighters of Camrose Fire Department, which, with the exception of a few paid members, is comprised of all volunteers from the community.
“They are dedicated to what they have committed themselves to and they enjoy what they do.”
They are an incredible group of people who sacrifice time away from their own lives and risk their own safety and lives to come to the aid of anyone in any emergent situation.

CARE informs on senior alcohol use

By Lori Larsen

Camrose Fire Department (CFD) reminds residents to play it safe when it comes to ice on ponds and waterbodies in and around the City. What may seem like a rock hard ice surface may in fact be just the opposite and a potentially deadly hazard.
CFD Chief Peter Krich shares vital information on ice safety.
First and foremost, the most important message Camrose Fire Department wants to give to all residents is, the reason a person/pet falls through the ice is because the ice is unsafe. That  means the ice is unsafe for anyone who may attempt to rescue the victim. “When you enter to go try and rescue, you will probably enter the same conditions the person you are trying to rescue did or fall in at another spot, which creates a more compounded rescue for us.”
Krich recognizes that it is human nature to help others in distress, but by going out on the unsafe ice, unfortunately the good-willed rescuer now becomes the one needing rescuing. “Now when we come up on the scene, we have multiple rescues.”
The best thing anyone can do when they see someone has fallen through the ice is to stay on shore, contact 911 for help and communicate with the victim to ensure them that help is on the way.
Krich said that preventing falling through ice by knowing that what may appear to be “safe” ice is the first line in safety, and warns that people should never assume because there is some ice formed it is safe to traverse out onto the ice.
“We are in that danger zone again, where the ice is not making or has the potential of melting,” he explained. “Dangers on the ice are at the extremes right now.”
He said that in order for hard “safe” ice to form, there must be consistent  cold temperatures.
“The key with the formation of ice on bodies of water is that it is not consistently forming at the same thickness/same rate all over the water surface.
“What may look like good ice thickness on the edge or where you experimentally throw the rock on the ice to determine the thickness, may very well be okay for that particular spot, but two feet over, it could be too thin to go on.”
Krich explained there are a lot of variables that need to be considered on how ice forms or builds.
“Any kind of movement underneath means the water doesn’t freeze or, if the water is not clean, it doesn’t freeze as well as clean water.”
He added that snow covering ice adds a layer of  insulation, which means the water may not freeze as quickly.
“Then you have animals underneath the ice moving around, such as beavers, which will contribute to thinner ice.
“You also have the geese this time of year still looking for open water on any large bodies of water. They will find that little bit of open water and they will keep it open by their movement in the water. Even when they do leave, the water close to where the birds were might freeze, but not exactly where the birds were, and that portion of the lake becomes very thin.”
He said that this may not be visible from the shoreline and can be very deceiving.
“As well, as ice builds, it wants to take up the space in the water, so it pressures up and creates little heaves in the ice and those create areas where the water doesn’t freeze. This also becomes another danger zone.”
Krich’s point is that there are many variables that affect ice conditions, creating many hidden dangers on what may appear to be frozen waterbodies.
“This beginning stage of ice making is the most dangerous,” repeated Krich. “We (Fire Department) have experienced that in the past from an ice rescue point of view, where you get people who want to go and test the ice, which is not safe. The best rule of thumb is to wait until very cold weather and no fluctuations in weather risking melt and thinner ice.”
Krich also advised residents on keeping their pets safe around ice on waterbodies. “If you are walking  your dog close to bodies of water, make sure the dog is leashed. We have done a number of dog rescues where a dog has run out onto the ice because they are not very heavy, then come across a weak spot and go through the ice. Then the owner, being heavier and usually larger than the dog, tries to go out and save the dog and goes through. Now we have two rescues.”
Krich strongly advises to call for help and not attempt to rescue the animal. “If the dog went through because the ice was unsafe, the pet owner is going to go through as well.”
In an effort to ensure all residents’ safety, the City tests the ice by drilling holes and experimenting on how thick the ice is before they actually will allow anybody on the ice. Waterbodies within the City are posted with “Ice Unsafe” signs, which residents are advised to mind. Once the ice is determined to be safe by the City, the signs will be removed.
If at any point the City deems ice to be unsafe, the signs will be reposted.
When and if the time should arise for an ice rescue, residents can rest assured that Camrose Fire Department is well prepared for the job at hand.
“We have the tools and equipment, the training techniques and ability to be able to go out and do the rescue in a safe and effective manner,” said Chief Krich.
On November 16 during the CFD regular training night, one group of the volunteer members braved the frigid winds and temperatures with an on-site ice rescue training session. The waterbody was first carefully tested for thickness and stability before a hole was made in order to simulate a victim who had fallen through the ice and was in need of rescue.
All members entering onto the ice and subsequently into the water suited up in special waterproof, cold-resistant suits and were tethered to safety lines held on the shore. One member would submerge up to their neck into the icy water, while another member would use one of the techniques for ice rescuing.
On-shore members manned the pull lines and would also, in the event of an actual rescue, control crowds.
While the training session was a controlled situation, the sense of urgency amidst the members was real. Every aspect of the training was gone over in great detail, with members taking turns at being the victim and being the on-ice rescuer. Communication between the “simulation” victim in the water and rescuers on shore never stopped. At all times, the victim was being instructed on what was going to happen and reassured that they were being helped.
“We have done some training in the swimming pool in a warmer controlled environment as well,” said Krich. “That way we can also simulate a struggling victim and how the rescuer should respond should the victim try to pull them down or become very overly anxious.”
Krich said communication with the victim is imperative in order to control the situation. “It is important that the victim understand what we (fire rescue) are asking them to do so we can help them. The first thing we tell all fire rescue is to make contact with the victim so we have direct and constant communication with the victim and give them an understanding of what is going to transpire so they know what we want from them and they don’t panic. We will get to them.”
He said no matter what else, the victim needs to listen to the people (fire rescue) on the shoreline. “They will give direction, support and ultimately they will get you out.”
Training for ice rescue is done by all CFD firefighters annually this time of year when the ice is still forming and it is optimum for dangerous situations.
 “That is what training is all about,” said Krich, “Being proficient and being prepared to provide the services that we need to our citizens.”
In the event of falling through ice, Krich said the first line of defence is to try to self rescue. If at all possible, try to get yourself up and off the ice. “We always promote self rescue first to the best of the person’s  ability. Get out safely, but because of the cold temperatures, their efforts will be dramatically reduced. But don’t burn all your energy. Remain as calm as you can, and make sure help is coming as quickly as possible.”
Ice rescue is just one more service provided by the dedicated firefighters of Camrose Fire Department, which, with the exception of a few paid members, is comprised of all volunteers from the community.
“They are dedicated to what they have committed themselves to and they enjoy what they do.”
They are an incredible group of people who sacrifice time away from their own lives and risk their own safety and lives to come to the aid of anyone in any emergent situation.

Lovely named to Parliament secretary position

By Murray Green

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney appointed Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely as the Parliamentary Secretary to the associate minister for Status of Women.
Lovely will provide associate minister Whitney Issik advice on ways government can reach out and support elder women on quality-of-life issues like women’s health, housing and aging in place, personal finances, estate planning and other civil legal matters, and life events such as the death of a spouse, divorce, or health crisis.
“The new parliamentary secretaries will provide valuable support to ministers as they carry out the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them. I look forward to these MLAs and ministers working together to tackle these critical and emerging issues on behalf of all Albertans,” said Premier Kenney.
“I am thankful to Premier Kenney and associate minister Issik for putting their trust in me to serve Albertans in an expanded role. The Camrose constituency has more women and more seniors than the provincial average, so I am honoured to share my knowledge that can benefit all Albertans,” said Lovely, Parliamentary Secretary to the associate minister for Status of Women and MLA for Camrose.

Lougheed shows

By Murray Green

The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre will be featuring several holiday shows to bring the magic of Christmas to Camrose.
Language of the Stars
The Augustana Choir showcases its Christmas concert with performances by the Mannskor Men’s Chorus, Sangkor Women’s Ensemble, Jane Kristenson and Dr. Roger Admiral with special guests Nicole Brooks and the Strathcona String Quartet.
The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 4 in the Faith and Life Chapel.
 A Christmas Carol
Dufflebag Theatre’s version of the classic A Christmas Carol will be offering a free show at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.

City 2022 budget

 By Lori Larsen

During the November 15 City of Camrose Committee of Whole meeting, administration presented the 2022 Budget for consideration of any amendments prior to the budget receiving council approval at the December 6 regular council meeting.
The 2022 budget presented to current council was prepared in 2020 by the council at that time in order to provide the current council with the option to utilize the approved budget as a basis for any discussions that may occur during the first month(s) of the current council’s four-year term.
Three options presented to current council including: continue with the 2022 budget as originally approved; amend the 2022 budget for major anticipated variances; or                                                                                                                                          restart the 2022 budget process.
Administration recommended amending the 2022 budget for major anticipated variances as follows.
The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) project costs have increased from $42.2 million to approximately $51.2 million, increasing the requirement for funding in the form of debt (by $9 million), which results in increased debt servicing costs in the future. “This may require the increase of utility rates from the current budget to fund the debt servicing costs in the future,” explained City of Camrose Financial Services general manager Travis Bouck, in his report to council.
Bouck further reported that a second major anticipated variance since the 2022 budget, which was approved in 2020, includes a significant increase in inflation. “In addition, the budget included a freeze in compensation for all levels of staff in 2022. The impact of inflation on costs (including compensation) may be partially offset by increased user fees.”
Bouck explained that council previously passed motion 414/21 to increase the levy by $90,000 in order to ensure that all inflationary impacts are funded (including the increase to the Mayor and councillors’ remuneration approved by the previous council during the September 7 regular council meeting).
A third anticipated major variance reported by Bouck included increases to the overall cost of the electricity and natural gas forecasted revenues for the service providers, resulting in additional franchise fee revenue expected to be realized in 2022 in comparison to the current budget. Bouck suggested council consider amending the budget to reflect the increases.
The final anticipated significant variance listed in the report was that of one piece of equipment (mower) within the fleet that will need replacing years in advance of the original estimate due to the current condition. “Funding will be supplied from the Equipment Reserve and no additional levy will be necessary.”
Within the 2022 Budget (approved in 2020 by the council of that time), utility rates included an increase of one per cent to water, one per cent to wastewater, and no changes to recycling or solid waste collection. Administration recommended amending the budget to increase water rates by three per cent to address longterm asset management requirements, and increase wastewater rates by five per cent to fund increased debt servicing requirements on the WWTP project. Bouck noted that a five per cent increase on wastewater will likely be required every year for a minimum of four years to fully fund the increased debt servicing. No changes were recommended to recycling and solid waste collection.
Bouck explained that the average household spends approximately $44.10 per month on water utility, therefore a recommended three per cent increase would equate to $1.32 extra monthly (for average household) to $45.42, an annual increase of $15.84 for the average household.
Further, the average household, according to Bouck, spends approximately $33.80 per month on wastewater utility, therefore with a proposed five per cent increase to wastewater utility, an average household bill will increase by $1.70 for a total bill of $35.50 monthly, and with an overall annual increase of $20.40.
The franchise fee revenues included in the 2022 current budget were reported as follows: electricity $2,254k (increase from 14 per cent to 15 per cent), natural gas $1,628k (remains at 27 per cent), totalling $3,882k.
Bouck reported that based upon the latest correspondence from Fortis and ATCO regarding the approved riders and forecasted consumption prices, and assuming that the increase to 15 per cent on electricity will come in effect on April 1, 2022, administration currently projects the Franchise fee revenue will be as follows: electricity $2,333k, natural gas $1,852k, totalling $4,185k.
“The total levy to collect based upon the current budget is equal to $26,294,110. Total taxes adjusted for growth in 2021 were equal to $26,204,110. This is equal to an increase in taxes of approximately 0.3 per cent.”
He further explained that the 2022 budget currently contains a contingency in the amount of $217,000 originally recorded to cover inflationary costs, uncertainty due to COVID-19, and an estimate for vacancy allowance. “The inflationary costs and the vacancy allowance continue to need to be considered in conjunction with any amendment; however, administration does not believe that the $150,000 included within the contingency related to COVID-19 costs is required for 2022.”
According to the report, administration estimates that considering the impact of a five per cent inflationary increase on fees and charges combined with the less-than-expected COVID-19 operational costs offsetting some of the inflationary concerns, that the required contingency is approximately $150,000 for 2022; a decrease of $67,000 from the $217,000 contingency included in the current budget.
Bouck concluded, based upon the lower required contingency, administration recommended that the 2022 budget be amended such that the total tax levy increase is equal to zero per cent.
Councillor Lana Broker inquired as to whether or not the utility costs in Camrose were in line with what surrounding municipalities are charging. “I believe Camrose is a fair amount cheaper, so by charging this extra three per cent, in a way it is bringing us closer to what other surrounding people get charged.”
Bouck indicated that there was a comparison done, but at the time of the meeting, did not have the exact data available.
Mayor PJ Stasko suggested amending the 2022 budget with major anticipated variances (Option 2) requesting the thoughts of council.
Council directed administration to bring the 2022 budget back to the December 6 regular council meeting.

Classic story told on ÉCCHS stage

9 anne green gables
Anne of Green Gables cast rehearsed musical numbers for the upcoming show with the high school band.

By Murray Green

The classic story of Anne of Green Gables will be brought back to life on stage by the École Camrose Composite High School drama department on December 3 at 7 p.m., and December 4 with two shows at 2 and 7 p.m., in the commons area of the school.
“We were supposed to perform this show last year, but it was cancelled because of COVID-19. I was going to be Marilla. My teacher, Mr. (Stephen) Cole, pulled me aside and asked me if I would be up to playing Anne this year. I said yes, of course. It is super exciting and it is one of my favourite musicals,” said Marissa De Hoog, who plays Anne.
We all know the story. Based on the beloved novel by L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical follows the precocious and imaginative Anne Shirley as she captures the hearts and minds of her newfound family and neighbours in the small farming community of Avonlea–simply by virtue of her own pluck and personality. This original, glorious adaptation–now firmly embedded in Canadian national culture and musical theatre canon–continues to enrapture audiences around the world with its rich score and a rare, affecting story for all ages.
“It is pretty easy to get into Anne’s character. Everyone knows she is over-the-top dramatic, which is more of a challenge for me. This is a nice way to end Drama here for me,” said the Grade 12 student. “There is excitement for this show because everyone knows the story,” said Marissa.
Anne of Green Gables–The Musical started life as a television musical adaptation, originally premiering on CBC Folio in 1956. This version premiered on the main stage at Charlottetown Festival, becoming a perennial favorite for all those who visit Canada’s Prince Edward Island. The production (which underwent significant changes in 2011) has run every year since its stage inception, and has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running annual musical theatre production. The musical premiered in London in 1967 and at New York City Center in 1972.
When aging brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert send to the orphanage in Nova Scotia for a boy to help them on the farm, they get more than they bargain for.
Due to a mix-up, they are instead left with 11-year-old Anne Shirley. Over the course of six years, this romantic, hot-headed and energetic girl wins their hearts and turns the stodgy, rural Canadian community into a bright world of kindred spirits. This swift, yet theatrical adaptation of the classic novel is an all-ages crowd-pleaser.
The high school band will provide the music for the story as it unfolds. Other departments at ÉCCHS assisted with the play in making the set, designing clothes and providing makeup.
The ÉCCHS drama department is led by teacher Stephen Cole. “We have some Grade 9 students in the musical, but they are eager to learn and are very energetic.”
Tickets are available at the door or live streaming by visiting the school website.

City offers fun activities

By Lori Larsen

You can give the gift of your time and talent to someone this year with a handcrafted piece of art or decoration that you made yourself during one of the City of Camrose’s seasonal programs.
Camrose youth are invited to participate in Youth Art Class offered Wednesday, December 1 from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Chuck MacLean Arts Centre.
What about giving someone a special handcrafted decoration that will be appreciated for many years?
Children can join the City of Camrose Kids’ Craft event on December 18 from 10 a.m. until noon and make bell Christmas decorations out of clay pots.
Then adults are invited to the Adult Craft Event on December 18 from 1 until 3 p.m. to craft Christmas string art on distressed wood.
Supplies are included in the cost of registration.
Visit the City of Camrose website at www.camrose.ca/en/recreation-and-leisure/programs-and-courses.aspx#Christmas-Craft-Day to check availability.
What a wonderful way to express your creative side, get out of the house and visit with some other crafty Camrosians.
Participants must show proof of vaccination through a QR code, a current negative PCR test or exemption. Social distancing and masking will be in effect.
Just because it is winter doesn’t mean there can’t be adventure. The City of Camrose will be hosting a three-day Mini Winter Adventure Camp for children ages six to 12 on December 28, 29 and 30 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Participants will spend the days with camp staff snowshoeing, building snowpeople, tobogganing (weather permitting), playing games and doing crafts. There are only 40 spots available.
If you are ready to slide out of 2021 and into 2022, then the City of Camrose has a family fun-filled way to do just that, with the New Year’s Eve Day Tobogganing Party. Details are in the planning for a fun and safe way to bring in the New Year. Stay tuned for more details–don’t let this party “slip” away from you.
City of Camrose recreational facilities follow the Restriction Exemption Program.

One-of-a-kind 1956 Chevrolet Apache

By Murray Green

David Wood of Donalda owns a modified 1956 Chevrolet Apache truck.
Chevrolet didn’t make extended cab pickup trucks back in the 1956. “It has two cabs that were put together to make an extended cab. The doors were fabricated to make them fit and everything works, including the windows,” said David.
The truck sits on a 2003 Silverado heavy duty frame and offers modern conveniences that you would find on a model in 2003.
“It is all stock with a 6.0-litre engine, air conditioning and cruise control. A friend of mine, Bob Dietrich, built the truck and I bought it from his wife. He had a shop (North Star Autobody) north of Red Willow. Bob restored the body and made everything to fit the 2003 chassis. It has rear bag suspension on it, so it has been modernized to be a good cruiser,” explained David.
He owned a NAPA auto parts store, from where Bob used to go and get his parts. The two quickly became friends. Unfortunately, Bob was in a bad car accident and had to sell his business. He passed away last spring.
“David brought the truck out to the cemetery during the service, so everyone got a chance to see the truck again,” said Bernice, Bob’s mom. “Owning a body shop, he fixed and restored a lot of vehicles, but his favourite project was always his red 1956 truck. His favourite colour was red, so his truck had to be red.”
Introduced in March 1955, Chevrolet’s new Task Force series was quite a departure from their existing line of pickup trucks. Smooth, rounded sheet-metal replaced the old pontoon-style fenders, and large, wrap-around windshield glass offered better visibility and gave a more contemporary look. And for the first time, an eight-cylinder motor was available under the hood.
His extended cab with a shortbox is one of a kind. “I can cruise at 100 kilometres an hour and still enjoy the look of an old truck. I like the look of the truck and being unique. You can almost go to sleep driving it,” David chuckled, about the smooth ride.
It is the best of both worlds, merging mid-century style with the modern technology in a vehicle.
“With the V-8 engine, it has a four-speed automatic transmission. The guy built it to drive, not for show. It has a fifth-wheel hitch in it to pull his holiday trailer to go camping,” shared David.
“It is enjoyable to drive and I like the uniqueness of it,” he said, on why he wanted to own the truck. “The hood opens the other way. He left it like it should open normally, but just to be different, it opens to the front. It took a long time to build this truck. I can’t imagine the amount of labour that went into this truck. I helped out a little bit. Once in a while, I would stop and visit him and lend a hand.”
FUN FACTS
Aside from slight emblem changes, 1956 Chevy truck exteriors were unchanged. The long options list from the prior year was back, including power steering, power brakes, whitewall tires, full wheel covers, chrome front and rear bumpers and a factory-installed radio. Very similar to 1955 Chevy trucks, the fender emblems were two pieces and were mounted above the horizontal line on the fender. The emblem on the front of the hood was now longer on the bottom than top. The front hood emblem had a cast-in V of a V-8 truck. Identification numbers were: 3A half-ton, 3B half-ton long bed, 3E three-quarter ton, 3G one-ton, and so on.
Designed by Ned Jordan, these pickups featured a stylish wraparound windshield, hooded headlights, and an egg-crate grille, while the traditional pontoon-style fenders found on Advance-Design models were eliminated. A Task Force half-ton pickup could also be fitted with Chevy’s historic 265-cid overhead-valve V-8. However, the 235-cid six remained standard.
The Custom Cab option included chrome interior doorknobs, arm rests, dual-sun visors, a cigarette lighter, and a large wrap-around rear window. Starting in 1956, V-8 engine blocks were machined with an oil filter boss, allowing a full-flow oil system.
All light-duty trucks were called Apache, medium-duty trucks were called Viking, and heavy-duty trucks were called Spartan.

 

County searches for some drainage solutions

By Murray Green

Producers in Camrose County want to maximize their land by farming as  many acres as they can.
However, draining and diverting water to Camrose County land or to the neighbours’ land may not be the best solution.
Camrose County is currently developing a drainage bylaw that will clarify enforcement for illegal drainage activities that negatively impact Camrose County property, including culverts, roads and ditches.
The draft bylaw received first reading at the September 14th regular council meeting, and was reviewed by the newly elected council at the November 9th meeting.
The draft bylaw has been advertised in the newspaper and circulated to the local drainage boards.
Although this new bylaw outlines the penalties and enforcement process that would be taken in the event of drainage offences, it is not a change to authorities. Alberta Environment remains the authority on all drainage items between property owners.
It is clear that Camrose County has no jurisdiction to become involved in these disputes. Secondly, this is not a change to the Drainage District Act authorities. The Drainage Districts retain the authority to construct works and use lands, including road allowances, within the district boundaries.
Feedback has been received from the local drainage board. The comments have all been related to clarifying that this bylaw does not infringe on Drainage District jurisdiction or Alberta Environment jurisdiction.
This new bylaw pertains only to drainage affecting County property. Camrose County owns the rural road network infrastructure, 2,600 kilometres of gravel roads and over 8,000 culverts.
County administration is tasked with maintaining and protecting this infrastructure. This new bylaw will give County public works and protective services staff a standard process to address issues.
County roadside ditches are designed to accommodate natural drainage. Trenching ditches impact the steady, gradual movement of water during springtime and causes downstream issues. Slopes in the ditch can be affected and the road structure can be compromised.
Culverts can be damaged by excessive volumes of water when illegal ditching is performed.
Landowners may feel that facilitating the movement of water off their land is a right, but altering or accelerating the natural movement of water is, in fact, illegal. Landowners are not permitted to drain any wetland without first obtaining provincial authorization. Trenching issues relating to private land can be reported to the Alberta Government Hotline at 1-800-222-6514, as this is not a Camrose County issue.
County council needs to enforce against surface drainage changes on private and public lands affecting Camrose County property.
The drainage bylaw will return to council for consideration of second and third reading. You can view the full draft bylaw on the County website. If you have questions about the drainage bylaw, call the County office at 780-672-4446.

Camrose lights up the season

2 christmas lane
Marler Drive, aka Christmas Lane, leads the way to smiles with bright lights and festive displays.

By Lori Larsen

As we near the end of November and welcome the beginning of December, more and more homes around Camrose are flying the colours of the season with magical outdoor light and ornament displays.
The Camrose Christmas Association is delighted to once again bring joy to Christmas with the third annual Camrose Christmas Lane on Marler Drive.
In a display of festivity, many homes along Marler Drive will once again be featuring colourful twink-ling lights tracing the outline of homes and other objects, adorable blowup lawn decorations, handcrafted decor and other displays that bring smiles to faces.
Christmas Lane will officially run from December 3 to December 31 (weekends) from 5 until 10 p.m. at participating residences.
Along with the beautiful displays, Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch will  be making appearances as and, if all goes to plan, the Camrose Christmas Association also hopes to have food trucks available on the weekends.
Residents are encouraged to add Marler Drive (Christmas Lane) to their driving light tours around the City, but are reminded to abide by all traffic laws and rules, and be extra cautious while traversing the roads.
If you are thinking of strolling along Marler Drive and really soaking in the pageantry, use extreme caution when crossing roadways, abide by pedestrian laws, keep younger children close by, do not go onto people’s property unless you have permission, do not disturb displays, pick up after pets, and remember to social distance when approaching others.
In keeping with the spirit of “lifting spirits”, the Camrose Christmas Association will also be presenting the Camrose Santa Claus Drive-by Parade again this year on December 3 from 5 until 9 p.m.
Similar to last year, the Drive-by Parade will have a route for motorists to follow that includes participating organizations and businesses. A copy of the route is available on the Camrose Now! app.
Pack up the family in the car, bundle up in warm clothing and grab a hot cup of cocoa. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of labour of some very creative and festive Camrosians.

Kodiaks break losing streak

By Murray Green

The Camrose Kodiaks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Olds Grizzlys in Alberta Junior Hockey League action on November 23.
The snarly Kodiaks racked up four goals before Olds knew what hit them. Camrose went up 3-0 in the opening period with two goals from Callum Gau, one on a power play, and Luke German.
In the middle frame, Carter Coutu garnered a tally before Olds hit the scoreboard and mounted a short-lived comeback attempt. Owen Dean added another power play marker before the period ended.
Jarod Newell, on a power play, and Dean, with his second of the night, completed the scoring in the contest.
Kodiaks goalie Logan Willcott turned away 25 of the 26 shots fired in his direction, while his teammates peppered 40 shots at the Olds cage.
Camrose dropped a 5-2 decision to the expansion Blackfalds Bulldogs on November 20.
The Kodiaks scored the first two goals of the game and then the scoring went into hibernation for the rest of the contest.
Noah Alvarez and Michael Lovsin (shorthanded)notched tallies for the Kodiaks to start the game strong and were on top 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes.
Blackfalds tied the game in the middle frame with a shorthanded marker of their own.
In the third, it was all Bulldogs as they added three more goals.
Goalie Logan Willcott made 21 of 25 saves in the Camrose net. Camrose recorded 42 shots on goal, but had trouble getting the black disk behind Blackfalds netminder Lucas Massie.
The Kodiaks again scored first, but couldn’t hold off the Brooks Bandits in a 4-2 loss on November 19.
Defenceman Robert Kincaid garnered a tally in the opening period. Brooks tied the game before the period was over.
Camrose again went up on a Connor Gourley power play marker, but the Bandits stole the momentum with two more goals in the middle frame. An early goal in the third period was enough to put the game away.
Goalie Spencer Welke stopped 30 of 34 shots he faced, while Camrose fired 23 at the Bandits cage.
The Kodiaks host the Calgary Canucks on November 30 in the Holiday Truck game.
Camrose is at home against Brooks at 2 p.m. on December 5, Canmore at 7 p.m. on December 7, Olds at 7 p.m. on December 8, Drumheller at 7 p.m. on December 14, Drayton Valley at 7 p.m. on December 17, and Grande Prairie at 2 p.m. on December 19.
Holiday truck
The Kodiaks are hosting the Coca-Cola Canada Holiday Truck on November 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Recreation Centre parking lot. It has been rumoured that Santa Claus is going to make an appearance to update his Christmas list.
The holiday truck will be accompanied by on-site local musical guests, entertainment and snow globe displays.

BRCF grants funds to City museum

By Lori Larsen

The Battle River Community Foundation awarded a grant to the City of Camrose to support the operation of the Camrose and District Centennial Museum.
The grant is from income from the Ruth Ordze Memorial Fund, established to provide annual operating assistance to the Camrose and District Centennial Museum.
“This generous donation will be put to great use in various ways around the museum,” remarked City of Camrose Recreation and Culture, Camrose and District Centennial Museum coordinator Jayda Calon. “In the summer, we purchase supplies for our children’s programs and camps.”
Calon said the camps teach youth about local Camrose history and engage them through games and crafts, such as making their own log huts from pretzels and chocolate.
“We also do a lot of accessioning work which entails taking new artifacts and giving them a unique number for cataloging purposes.”
Calon further explained the process is completed by using special archival quality pens that allow the marking to last for long periods of time, but do not harm the items.
“The other aspect of museum management is the restoration and longevity of our archives,” said Calon. “We also purchase museum-grade archival boxes and acid-free tissue paper that we use when storing items of clothing. This ensures the fibres will be kept in the same condition as when they are received, preserving the items through a balanced pH level.”
Being able to continue offering valuable children’s programs and purchasing the necessary items required by the museum to properly archive historical items is made possible through generous donors.
“Thanks to this wonderful donation, we can educate, inspire and preserve our local Camrose history.”
The Battle River Community Foundation exists to support organizations 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 principals of these endowment funds are 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 $7,550,000 to support charitable activities in the Battle River Region.

Crush back in first place

By Murray Green

The Camrose Crush hammered the Bonnyville Pontiacs 15-5 to move up to first place in the North Central Senior Men’s Hockey League on November 20.
The Crush fired 20 shots on goal in each period for a total of 60 in the contest. Bonnyville started the scoring, but before the period ended, Camrose was on top 3-2. Zaine Walker, Brad Trautman (on a power play) and RJ Reed (also on a power play) recorded the tallies for the Crush.
In the middle frame, the Crush scored seven of the nine goals to take control of the contest. Reed netted two to complete his hat trick. Also finding the back of the net were Cole Gibson, James Davis, Zach Ayotte, Tanner Korchinski and Landon Oslanski.
The Crush added to the lead in the third as Ryley Bennefield, Daniel Stollery, Rhett Dudley, Reed with his fourth and Ayotte with his second completed the scoring. Crush goalie Ethan Klein-Fraser stopped 38 of the 43 shots he faced. Camrose fired a season-high 60 shots at the Bonnyville net.

Births and Deaths


BIRTHS
- To Ashley Michielsen and Mike Grosfield, of Camrose, a daughter on November 18.
- To Lennie and Glenn Dayondon, of Camrose, a son on November 19.
- To Nevissa Jane Ledesma and Harold Siao, of Camrose, a daughter on November 19.
- To Amy Scott and Clayton Kroetsch, of Camrose, a son on November 22.

DEATHS
- Alphonse Leonel Gagne of Ryley, on November 14, at 80 years of age.
- Judy Linda Magneson of Ryley, formerly of Vancouver, BC, on November 20, at 54 years of age.
- Scott Clarke of Camrose, on November 21, at 78 years of age.
- Elma Doreen Bergstrom of Camrose, on November 23, at 87 years of age.
- Eric Augustine Tobin of Camrose, on November 24, at 72 years of age.
- Pearl Margaret Obleman of Camrose, formerly of Lloydminster, on November 24, at 64 years of age.
- Howard C. Reil of Ryley, on November 24, at 85 years of age.
- Rita Elly Wolski of Camrose, on November 25, at 80 years of age.