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Pass Powderkeg Ski Hill celebrated its closing day on Sunday, April 6 with the infamous Slush Cup. About 35 brave skiers and snowboarders showed what they’re made of as they attempted to pass over a pool of slushy ice water. The crowd of spectators cheered them on as some glided effortlessly across the surface while others weren’t quite so lucky, falling entirely into the icy water. While other residents gritted their teeth, Pass Powderkeg benefited from continuous snow throughout the winter, making it one of the ski hill’s best seasons in several years. See more photos inside. Photo by J. MacFarlane
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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
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Mill rate moves closer to finalization By Joni MacFarlane Editor
Council passed first reading of the mill rate bylaw, paving the way for a three per cent property tax increase and a 4.7 per cent increase in utilities. After passing the 2014 budget on April 1, council unanimously voted on the mill rate to allow the municipality to collect revenue needed for operating services, capital projects, programs and provincially mandated funds. “This budget includes funds to retain current service levels as well as addressing some new initiatives,” reads the Executive Summary. “What it does not provide are funds set aside for the future.” The budget provides for $24.1 million in capital and operating expenses funded by $17.2 million in revenues. Property taxes in the amount of $6.9 million are required to achieve a balanced budget. The property tax base decreased 2.1 per cent from last year. This comprises a real growth increase of 1.5 per cent and a reduction in property values of 3.6 per cent. The assessment base drives the mill rate. As the assessment base declines due to negative growth in fair market value, the burden of tax carried by property owners decreases. Conversely, if a property owners’ assessment
increases, the mill rate increase will mean an increased tax bill. Past property tax hikes were 3.8% residential and 4.9% commercial (2013), 2.5% (2012), no change in 2011, 3% (2010), 3.8% (2009) and 11.2% (2008). The 2014 budget defers the transfer of $100,000 to York Creek Lodge’s project as committed to in 2010. The council of the day made a commitment to transfer $100,000 per year for 10 years towards an upgrade of the Lodge. This is the second year in a row, the transfer hasn’t been made. The Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) is based on assessed property values, not on the number of children attending school. It decreased from 2013 and totals $2.7 million. Another provincial collection fund is the Crowsnest Pass Seniors’ Housing Authority which typically goes up 10 per cent annually. It is paid in monthly installments and totals $270,195. Property tax assessments are set to be mailed out to property owners by the end of April for payment by June 30. Second and third readings of the mill rate bylaw are scheduled for April 15. Council members were assured that changes may still be made up until the final reading.
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An April bluebird poses on a fencepost in west Coleman - a sure sign of spring . Photo by C. Gibbie
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Quarterly cash flow presented
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By Joni MacFarlane Editor
9pm to 2am
2414 213 St, Bellevue, AB 403-564-4676
A summary of the municipality’s quarterly cash flow shows there is $2.3M in the bank until the end of June when property taxes are due. Chief Administrative Offi-
cer Sheldon Steinke presented the statement to council with estimates to the end of March 2014. Total income from January 1st was estimated to be $2.9M with the sale of goods and services at $947,660, grants at $1.3M, and miscellaneous items at $697,000. Expenses will total $3.4M comprising $1M in wages and benefits, $1.7M in payables and purchases, and
$626,166 in the first installment of the Alberta School Foundation Fund. This means there was a small over-expenditure from Jan. 1st of $296,084. But, Steinke said, adding in the balance carried forward from the end of 2013, the estimated cash position is $2.3M. “That is the cash we have in the bank to get us through to the first of July,” he said.
Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
Public meeting argues against off-site levies By Joni MacFarlane Editor
gate. As mandated in the Municipal Government Act, off-site levy calculations haven’t been updated since 2009, he added. Strickland also said the fees have been applied inconsisAlthough it’s an issue that’s been bandied about for more tently and unfairly implemented. “You have to look at the criteria, why was it implemented, than a decade, people attending last week’s public meeting what is it for?” he asked. “When you follow the criteria it agreed it had never been discussed in such an open forum. A small group of builders, realtors and residents met with makes sense if you’re booming. We’re not booming… The council and administration at a meeting on March 31 to dis- criteria is flawed.” In addition, said Pundyk, the Crowsnest Pass has a low cuss the Municipal Off-Site Levy Bylaw. absorption rate Organized by meaning the the municipality, it length of time was an opportunito sell a house ty to consult with can’t be predictthe community on ed, prohibiting an issue that has building. had a long on“Until we deand-off-again hisvelop statistical tory. support for deA brief presenvelopment, we tation by Develwill not attract... opment Officer first line develKen Bourdeau reopers because viewed off-site levthey will just ies, requirements laugh at us if we of the provincial send them our government, histosales statistics,” ry of the fee in the said Pundyk. Crowsnest Pass, as Realtor Lowry well as what other Toombs, also Alberta municiwith Royal LePpalities are doing. age South CounA round-table try, agreed and discussion folsaid it’s difficult lowed where parto explain to priticipants discussed vate homebuildthe unique cirers who are hit cumstances of the with a hefty offCrowsnest Pass site levy fee. and alternatives to Industry insidthe current bylaw. Off-site levies were first implemented in 2000 in Crowsnest Pass and have been ers agreed that Bourdeau dewidely discussed as to whether they are valid in a period of declining population if the Crowsfined off-site levies and economic stagnation. nest Pass were as an added revPhoto submitted keeping pace enue stream prowith provincial vided to municigrowth, it would palities to offset need an average the costs of new or of 60 to 75 new expanded utilities such as water, sewage, storm sewers, roads, bridges and in- single family dwellings a year. Currently, there is a high incidental structures. The levy may only be collected once and ventory of land available, with many lots sitting vacant for years. doesn’t include fees for existing built-up areas. “When you’re growing so fast that you have to expand water The province has certain requirements including full and open disclosure of the fees, flexibility to negotiate, consistent and sewer, not upgrade - that’s done through property taxes methodology, annual reviews, and shared responsibility by - that’s when you implement an off-site levy,” said Strickland. The builders agreed that if and when the municipality were municipality and builders to address infrastructure needs. Bourdeau said some communities have off-site levies, oth- growing and they were building enough to fill the need, they ers have local improvement charges, infrastructure charges, would be happy to pay off-site levies. “When we’ve got 60 houses being built a year here, sign me or in some cases, no fee at all. Looking at the statistics, he said, the municipality has been up. I’ll be the first person to write you a cheque for an off-site averaging the same amount of housing starts regardless of levy,” said Stewart Resident Gus Kollee said the bylaw should be repealed. a levy. “If you have that many waivers and moratoriums in place “It doesn’t seem to me like there’s been an impediment or since 2000, why even have this bylaw?” he asked. “This bylaw incentive,” said Bourdeau. Shane Stewart of ClansWest Development said the munici- doesn’t fit the community,” he said. He suggested there were different ways to have developers pality is bucking the provincial trend with a shrinking popushare the cost of new infrastructure when it’s warranted. lation and negative economic growth. One suggestion was a trigger mechanism so in the event “With those conditions, off-site levies should not be in increased building occurred, an off-site levy or other develplace,” he said. Bourdeau said the population numbers from Statistics Can- opment fee, could be in place. “You can’t have a bylaw sit there and you… create that kind ada are inaccurate as they don’t include recreational property of fear out there. Each proposal, each plan, should stand on owners. It was argued that although “weekenders” were very impor- its own merits and is unique on its own and should be evalutant to the Crowsnest Pass as taxpayers, they were light users ated as such,” said Kollee. There was also some question over the legality of the curof infrastructure and do not add to the tax roll as they are rent bylaw, the lack of an annual review, the assumptions on typically buying existing houses. “We are very lucky to be attractive to people buying week- which the Stantec report was based, and what the funds colend homes,” said Realtor John Pundyk with Royal LePage lected to date have been used for. “When we do start to grow in the future… we’d be more South Country. “[But] weekenders have replaced previously than happy to get together to talk about [levies],” said Stewexisting taxpayers who have moved on, sold out.” Another issue discussed was the report prepared by Stantec art. “All that we’re saying is that right now is not the right time.” Chief Administrative Officer Sheldon Steinke said his advice on which the fees were based. Oliver Strickland with Rocky Mountain Properties said it to council would be to check the validity of the existing bylaw. “Then we have to figure out, what do we want or do we want includes flawed and inaccurate data, unrealistic population predictions and non-existent developments such as Bridge- anything?” he asked.
Got a news tip or story you’d like to see covered? call 403-563-7725 or ema il joni.macfar@gmailcom
The Turtle Mountain Riding Club is having their
Annual General Meeting Wednesday April 16th @ 6:30, Hillcrest Miners Club All members past or present please attend. New members welcome. Agenda includes planning 2014 gymkhana schedule, elections of executive etc. For info please contact email@example.com The Health Hub presents:
Guided Grocery Tour for Healthy Eating Options with Dr. Sarah-Dash Arbuckle, Naturopathic Doctor Feel lost or confused making healthy choices feeding your family? Get help in the jungle of labels and selections available ! Come and explore the aisles at Sobeys quietly outside of opening hours. Discover what your local grocery store has to offer for alternative foods and healthy living. Sample some products, know where to find what you need and convert your kitchen. Come take charge of your health!
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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
Phone: 250-509-0177 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For news tips, community, sporting and other events, please contact Joni MacFarlane at 403-563-7725 or email: email@example.com
Community champions for mental health celebrated
By now many people have seen the posters or the blue bikes around town and are aware of Clara’s Big Ride and her stopover in Crowsnest Pass. If you haven’t seen a poster or a blue bike, here’s the skinny: six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes is riding across Canada as the national spokesperson for the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative. Clara’s Big Ride spans 12,000 kilometres through every province and territory. She’ll be visiting 95 communities and connecting Canadians to the cause of mental health at the grassroots level. As part of her ride, Crowsnest Pass is one of the stops. On May 28, a variety of fun opportunities will be happening to welcome Clara and her team, to hear her personal and inspiring story, to donate towards mental health initiatives in our community, and to join others in “poopooing” the stigma attached to mental illness. In the Crowsnest Pass and neighbouring communities, there are many, many people who are actively working on projects to promote mental well-being. Perhaps you know of someone? In honour of Clara’s visit, the Community Champions for Mental Health Awards will be presented to individuals or non-profit organizations who are making contributions to mental health. The purpose of the award is to recognize the importance of their efforts and achievements and to celebrate them at this special event. If you know of someone you’d like to thank, think about nominating them. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. JLM The Crowsnest Pass Free Press welcomes letters to the editor that are of interest to our community. Whatever the subject, there are a few basic guidelines to follow before Crowsnest Pass Free Press will publish your comment. • Letters must be received by 4 p.m. Thursday for the following week’s paper. • One letter per person per month. • Letters should be typed or neatly written and present the issues as clearly as possible in 350 words or less. • All letters must contain the name, address and signature of the writer, and a phone number where they may be reached during business hours. • Anonymous letters will not be published and pen names may not be used, except in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the editor. • The editor reserves the right to edit for length, clarity or reject letters over matters of libel, legality, taste or style. Letters published do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy or belief of this newspaper.
CNP community spirit shines bright
Dear Editor, In a time of need, the Crowsnest Pass pulls together to assist a young community member. As some residents may be aware, Elise Kwan, is currently a patient at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Elise’s family owned and operated the River Ridge Restaurant in Blairmore and most recently sold the building to the Blairmore Legion. Elise has endured medical difficulties for a number of years, but through this time, she has managed to maintain an active lifestyle, despite being hospitalized on a regular basis. Elise is 17-years-old and was a student at Crowsnest Consolidated High School up until June 2013. She was admitted into the Crowsnest Pass Health Care Centre in late July 2013 and was then transferred to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. On Aug. 2, 2013 Elise was transferred
by air ambulance to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. At that time, the family was informed of a serious heart condition and the prognosis was very grim. She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Elise is the first person to ever have two ventricular assistive devices (VADs). As a result, she was placed on a Heartmate II and a Berlin Heart. There were many complications after the surgery. Elise has to be on the Heartware for one year and must relocate to Edmonton due to all the complications. The doctors will then determine whether or not she would be placed on the transplant list. Throughout this ordeal, Elise’s family has remained at her side in Edmonton. Although Elise’s mother, Vandy, has never asked for assistance, we are aware that this has resulted in a very severe financial situation throughout Elise’s medical ordeal. We are actively searching for fundraising options which would help to offset Elise’s family’s expenses, while they are with Elise and away from our community.
Elise is currently completing Grade 12 through Distance Learning and it is her wish to return to the CNP for her graduation with her classmates on May 9. Crowsnest Consolidated High School has also joined our fundraising efforts within the school, and will be running some events, starting with “Taco in a Bag”, that students can participate in to fundraise for Elise. Please consider watching a video of Elise, entitled “Elise Kwan, Be The Change” at http://animoto.com/play/nYgXs7MO1ozUGpJa98Ne7A. We would respectfully request that consideration be given to provide any assistance to this cause. A trust fund has been opened for Elise Kwan at the local Scotiabank Branch in Blairmore. If you would like to make a donation, please attend at the Scotiabank in Blairmore, or contact Diane Plaza at email@example.com or Susan Poelt at firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are gratefully appreciated. Thank you. Susan Poelt / Diane Plaza
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Published weekly each Thursday by The Crowsnest Pass Free Press, a division of Black Press Group Ltd. and distributed throughout the Crowsnest Pass. Free circulation, 2,500. Reproductions of any material contained in this publication is forbidden without the prior consent of the publisher.
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Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
Site plan accepted for development
Do you have a community event you’d like to see advertised? Call Jennifer at 403-563-4231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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A “concept plan” was accepted for a proposed hotel/retail development for the former Crowsnest Centre site. Council voted to eliminate the service station/truck stop. Photo submitted By Joni MacFarlane Editor A concept plan for development of Crowsnest Crossing includes a hotel, retail/office space, walking paths and a community gathering place. A service station and truck stop were scrapped. On April 1, council reviewed three concepts prepared by Development Officer Ken Bourdeau for the former Crowsnest Centre site at Highway 3 and 20th Avenue, Blairmore. “We’re in the final stages of decommissioning the site and in response to that, the Economic Development Officer started the marketing of the site to private developers,” said Bourdeau. “As part of the preparation for dealing with developers, the Economic Development Officer recognized the need for a concept plan.” A number of people were consulted, he said, including those from Alberta Transportation, Stantec Engineering and the Oldman River Regional Services Commission. As well, he reviewed previous council discussions, land use bylaws, location of utilities, and concept plans from other municipalities. Identified potential uses for the 6.2 acre site were a hotel, retail sales, medical office space, automotive sales, truck stop, and a “community gathering place” for events such as a farmers’ market, said Bourdeau. Potential purchasers have indicated they want high visibility from the highway, he added, but it’s unlikely that Alberta Transportation would grant
Economic development looks for funds By Joni MacFarlane Editor Economic Development Officer, Sherry Poole, presented a list of grant proposals to council for their information on April 1. She told council many of the applications have been submitted, while others are being prepared for submission. “There are some additional grants out there. I’m still sourcing but these are the ones I’m in the process of making the applications… This is a base minimum of what I’m set to go after,” Poole said. “In a positive sense, there will be more that are likely
access from the Highway 3. Access is from 20th Avenue and 107 Street. Bourdeau described the first concept plan as maintaining the status quo of what could potentially be developed in the current zoning of C2 (drive-in commercial). The site was divided into two different properties, north and south, and included a hotel, retail/office space and retail/auto sales. Concept B included a service station/truck stop and was developed on a “traditional main street” theme, Bourdeau said. The buildings were close to the main street that goes through the properties with parking in the rear. The final concept plan had similar uses but the buildings were set back at the perimeter of the site. Bourdeau asked council to choose their preferred concept plan to assist with requests from potential buyers and with administrative land issues. He stressed that the concept plan is not binding but only helps to deal with enquires from interested purchasers and the community. “It’s to give visual integrity to potential planning so when we can go out and more aggressively market the project,” said Sherry Poole, economic development officer. “This is visual imagery, it creates the dialogue.” Council members agreed on Concept B divided into three potential parcels. They asked to take out the service station/truck stop, as a service station already exists nearby. It was suggested a restaurant could go in that space instead. Walking paths will also be incorporated into the plan as well as sidewalks and landscaping. going to be added to this.” Grants in the amount of $183,000 were included in the 2014 budget for Economic Development purposes. Poole said grant applications are assessed anywhere from 30 to 90 days and if approved, are generally received June through August. “The intention of a grant application is that… on the side of economic development sustainability… these are intentional programs that you are going to facilitate”. It was requested that a review of grants be conducted in the fall, to gauge the success of the proposals. Applications for these grants were not submitted in 2013, Poole said, because the EDO position wasn’t filled until after grant season. Having the EDO position drives some of the grants, she added.
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The Food Bank Needs Your Help!
Please drop off your donations at our location on 20th Avenue
Mon. & Wed., 5-7 pm., Thurs. 11am-2pm (closed Tues.) (403)564-5110
Thank you for your support
Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
GOT AN OPINION ON SOMETHING YOU’VE READ OR AN ISSUE IN THE COMMUNITY? WRITE joni.macfar@ gmail.com Crowsnest Pass Taxi is looking for a driver.
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Utilities hiked an average of 4.7% for residential properties By Joni MacFarlane Editor Crowsnest Pass residents will be paying more for utilities effective July 1. Based on the 2014 budget, council approved first reading for increased municipal utilities in order to fund a number of upgrades identified as priorities. Chief Administrative Officer Sheldon Steinke said the last utility rate increase was in 2012. New rates are as follows: *Wastewater increased 8.4% from $36.90 to $40.00 bi-monthly; *Water increased 4.5% from $52.88 to $55.26 bi-monthly;
Please email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, hand deliver or mail to: Crowsnest Insurance Agencies Ltd. Box 88, Blairmore, AB T0K 0E0 by April 23, 2014.
tached to recoup some of those costs involved,” said Steinke. He said there was also a utility deposit increase to be paid by residents other than the owner or landlord of the property. Required deposits will be raised from $140 to $160. A proposal will be brought to council in the near future to look at contracts with non-property owners/landlords, he added. Currently, the municipality is writing off more than $12,000 per year on uncollected utility accounts. First reading passed unanimously. Second and final reading will be held on April 15.
CAO reports to council By Joni MacFarlane Editor
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*Solid waste increased 1.5% from $36.70 to $37.26 bi-monthly (not applicable to commercial properties). *There was no change to the bimonthly recycling cost. The increase totals $36.24 per year or $3.02 per month. The total residential average rate increase is 4.69% over a two year period. The same percentages have been allocated to commercial and industrial properties. The bylaw also included increases for services such as water connects and disconnects to for costs related to labour, transportation and administration. “The idea was to have a minor fee at-
Sheldon Steinke, Chief Administrative Officer, presented updates to council on March 25 and April 1 reporting on major issues administration is working on. First, repair work will be starting throughout the community for damages from last June’s flood event. Although the municipality will try and mitigate disturbance and noise levels, it may be a concern for residents. “It’s going to be a disturbance in everybody’s normal life while these projects are going on, but I think it’s a better disturbance than dealing with the flood water in the basement,” said Steinke. After receiving the resignation of the Operations M a n a g e r, Steinke met with Public Works’ lead hands, me-
Coleman legion #9 Part time help wanted
chanics and the union president. They are working towards a plan to continue operations until this position is
“We are doing some pre-emptive planning to get ready for whatever may face us.” Chief Administrative Officer Sheldon Steinke
replaced. Advertising for the position will begin as soon as possible. Job interviews with two candidates are scheduled for the position of Director of Planning, Engineering & Operations on April 5 and for two candidates for the Director of Fi-
nance & Corporate Services on April 3. The finance team is working toward completion of year-end, said Steinke, and a meeting with the auditors is scheduled for May 12. “We were using staff for preparation of budget materials and therefore that took them away from doing year-end so we had to re-schedule year-end,’ he said. Along with the Director of Community Services, Economic Development Officer, Fire Chief and three staff members, Steinke said he attended an Alberta Emergency Management workshop in Fort Macleod to prepare for spring flood incidents. Steinke told council they were in the process starting a committee to deal with emergency planning, conduct tabletop exercises, review emergency plan documents, and assign tasks to various staff. “We are doing some pre-emptive planning to get ready for whatever may face us,” he said. “The biggest issue the municipality of Crowsnest Pass has... is we have no pre-warning.”
Thursday 1-7 pm, Fridays 3-7 pm, Saturdays 3 -7 pm, plus occasional special events Competitive wages Fax resumes: 403-563-5478 Mail: Royal Canadian Legion, Coleman Branch #9 Box 448, Coleman, AB or drop by the branch Deadline to apply: April 19
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Residents of north Frank are concerned that a communal garbage bin will become a bear attractant in the warm weather. They report that the bin is used by many people outside the neighbourhood and isn’t emptied often enough, resulting in garbage overflow. The area does not have door-to-door garbage pick up. Photo submitted
Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
Easter Brunch Sunday April 20, 2014 • 10am to 2pm
Myriah Sagrafena, an interpreter with Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, gave a vivid portrayal of the Hillcrest Mine Disaster to students from Isabelle Sellon School. Students got to examine mine artifacts and roleplay as miners working at the Hillcrest Mine during the time of the disaster. Commemorative events are planned in June to honour the 100th anniversary of the Hillcrest Mine Disaster. Photos J. MacFarlane
Municipal power rates increased By Joni MacFarlane Editor
An increase in rate tariffs for the municipal electrical system passed first reading to recover the cost of providing the service. At an earlier meeting, Kevin Phillips, a consultant to Alberta Municipal Power System (AMPS), gave council a brief presentation on the how the municipality fits in the system as an owner of an electrical distribution system. Phillips said increasing transmission charges from Fortis are on the horizon to pay for new transmission infrastructure. These costs will be passed on to power providers such as the Crowsnest Pass, which in turn, are being passed on to the con-
sumer. Chief Administrative Officer Sheldon Steinke said the increase recoups the cost of retailers to provide the retail billing process and the costs that the municipality gets billed from Fortis. “We have not built any increases into the rates for the provision of power… We have not increased the franchise fee in the 2014 budget,” said Steinke. “The rate fees will bring the municipality’s price for power to residents out of the red… it’s going to bring us back in line so we have a balanced situation for our costs for the provision of power.” First reading passed unanimously. Second and final reading will be held on April 15. The increase is scheduled for June 1st.
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Got an old bike? Paint it blue and put it out! To help celebrate Olympian Clara Hughes and her special visit to Crowsnest Pass, May 28, we invite everyone to welcome Clara’s Big Ride with a community of blue bikes.Get yours out and be part of the fun! Or if you’ve got an old bike and want it taken off your hands, contact John Redekopp at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-651-4142.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
Flood recovery work continues By Joni MacFarlane Editor
Another contract was approved last week for work on municipal land damaged by last year’s flooding event. G.W. Cox Construction Ltd. was awarded the contract for work on several sites at Hillcrest’s Byron Creek and upstream of 4th Avenue on Drum Creek through to the Crowsnest River. Stephen Burnell with ISL Engineering told council this bid was extended to March 6 and has been under review by Stantec Consulting because there were several calculation errors by bidders. Five tender responses were received, said Burnell, and Lethbridge’s G.W. Cox was the lowest bid at $2.1 million. Other bids were received from Dakota Reclamators, Chinook Pipelines, L.W. Dennis Contracting and DeGraaf Excavating Ltd. “We did have a third party review the tenders because of some of the bid irregularities,” said Burnell. Once all permits are received, repair work will start as soon as possible, said Burnell, but in
With help from Crowsnest Curling Seniors’ League, students from Isabelle Sellon School learned the art of sweeping, throwing rocks and other curling basics on April 1st. Photos by J. MacFarlane
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some areas, work will have to wait until the snow and ice melts. The entire project is to be completed by Sept. 30. There are two funding sources available for this project – the Disaster Recovery Program and the Flood Recovery Erosion Control Program. Council unanimously approved G.W. Cox. Council members advised that the contractor be aware of the Hillcrest Mine Disaster celebrations in mid-June and asked to have them schedule repairs so areas used for that event can be finished first. As well, Burnell assured council that permits were in place and contracts signed for repair work to the Lyons Creek Bridge. This work could start within the next few weeks, he added. Chief Administrative Officer Sheldon Steinke told council that in addition to contractors being on site during community events, there will also be noise concerns in Hillcrest and Blairmore while work is continuing. “These contractors will be looking at generators for pumping water for stream diversion while doing work in the streams,” said Steinke. “I’m assuming our phones will be ringing as this process starts up.”
Stan Rey crossed the finish line first in the Monster Enemy Lines race at Fernie Alpine Resort for the second year in a row. Twelve skiers had a mass start from the ridge top of the Lizard bowl, racing down the headwall to the base. On stage in the FAR plaza, Dan Treadway presented Rey with the big $20,000 cheque for first place. Photo by T. Hynd
Economic committee expanded By Joni MacFarlane Editor An appeal to increase the size of the Community Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee (CEDTAC) from five people to nine was approved on April 1. Economic Development Officer Sherry Poole told council the committee has experienced setbacks in completing its strategic plan and priorities. Expanding it by four would allow the committee to move forward, she said, and still leave sufficient members in the event of holidays and
other absences. Poole said she also hopes increasing the numbers will attract people with broader experience. “We have a very business heavy membership. It would likely be more effective, especially in going forward with our strategic plan, if we have a stronger sampling of financial representatives of the community, as well as industry, realtors, legal people,” said Poole. “It seems it would be skill sets that would be much more effective in helping us to drive our initiatives.” Councillor Bill Kovach suggested having representation from the Chamber of Commerce, and other tourism sites such as the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre and the Bellevue
Underground Mine. Poole suggested they need to recruit in those areas and said it’s not a true sampling of the community as it is. “That’s a deficiency that we have,” said Poole. “It would make for a much more aggressive committee gaining faster outcomes.” Currently, CEDTAC has five appointed voting members from the community, plus one council representative and the EDO. The Terms of Reference for this committee will be brought back to council on April 15. Later that evening, council appointed Melanie Beals, Gary Farstad and John Pundyk to CEDTAC to meet the new requirements of nine appointees from the community.
Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
It’s “bear”ly spring and already time for bear season By Kristina Jones & Marianne Webber BearSmart volunteers
year that include Bear Spray Training and more. The support of the community and the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has The Crowsnest Pass Fish & Wildbeen terrific, contriblife BearSmart program was uting a large part to formed several years ago by the group’s success. dedicated volunteers and Fish A partnership was & Wildlife. Presently Fish & formed this year beWildlife Officer Clarke and his tween the Fish and 12 volunteers all have the same Wildlife BearSmart passion and motivation: to reProgram and the Hillduce the human wildlife concrest Fish & Game flicts between bears, residents Association. Fish & and visitors in the Crowsnest Wildlife representaPass. tives and the Hillcrest Not until 2012, with the forFish & Game Club mation of well trained and clearly have a comcertified Fish & Wildlife volunmon goal and that viteers under the Provincial Govsion will help promote ernment BearSmart Program, both the BearSmart did we grow into a successful Program and the Hilland respected group within our crest Fish & Game community. Club in the future. Fish and Wildlife Officers and Please watch for all volunteers consistently interact BearSmart Activities, with the community and the Courses and Presentaresults have proven very suctions. cessful. You can help with The group is respected and Along with their other initiatives, the BearSmart committee holds “Bear Awareness” in human-to-bear conflicts have bear awareness programs for Crowsnest Pass residents throughyour community! been reduced over the years. out the year. The group would With the group’s success their Photo submitted not be such a success focus has expanded to include without the coma variety of related activities Officer Clarke and the volunteers spend munity’s continued support, so a huge that help minimize issues between bears and residents. This results in reducing countless hours monitoring radio-tagged THANKYOU to all of you from Offithe need to euthanize or relocate “prob- residential black bears and patrolling the cer John Clarke and the Fish & Wildlife community in search of free roaming BearSmart Volunteers. If you would like lem” bears. to help out the Fish and Wildlife BearSOfficer John Clarke and the Fish & non-tagged bears. Keep on the lookout for volunteers in mart Program, donations can be made Wildlife volunteers are involved in promoting the “BearSmart Message” in and around the community, appearing in to the Hillcrest Fish and Game Associaseveral ways; by talking with residents parades and hosting approximately six tion. Please contact Mandee Brown at through door knocking; making them Bear Awareness Public Presentations per 403-563-4287 for further information. aware of a bear in the area and assess their yard site for things like attractants. They also organize the removal of fruitbearing trees and apple picking.
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Earth Day tips - April 22 By Bernice Sprague Submitted
This year, Earth Day is on April 22 – a day that aims to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the earth’s environment. Over a billion people in 190 countries take action on this day as people plant trees, clean up their communities, and more – all on behalf of the environment. In honour of Earth Day, we’d like to offer things you can do to help our environment. Each week, we’ll be giving tips to Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. *Cut gift tags from old greeting cards or used coloured envelopes *A cup of white vinegar poured into your toilet bowl and left over night will make the bowl sparkle when you clean it the next day. *Don’t waste money on paper towels. Cut up old flannel sheets, terry cloth towels or old discarded clothing into suitable sizes. You don’t have any old things to chop up?? For a small fee you can buy a bag of rags from a thrift shop. *Put up a clothesline in the back yard and dry your laundry outside and cut down on your energy costs. With the winds we have in the Crowsnest Pass, a line full of laundry is dry before the next load comes out of the
washing machine! *Got a rust stain on a towel or T-shirt? Stew a few stalks of rhubarb ( woody ones not nice to eat are okay), strain the pulp and bring the juice back to a low boil. Hold the rust spot in the boiling juice and, quick as can be, the rust disappears. I used this on a child’s pale blue dress and it worked just fine without taking the colour out of the dress.
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Reporting to the FCSS Programmer, the Casual Bus Driver will provide a crucial role in providing a strong positive image for the Community Services Department. The primary role encompasses transportation of clients, coordinating client trips, operating the bus in a safe manner, and recording client use. Required Qualifications: • Valid Class 4, 2, or 1 driver’s license with air brake endorsement. • Valid First Aid and CPR Certification. • Strong communication skills, working independently and in team environments. • Ability to respond to inquiries from the public. • Bus service is provided on weekdays, and Casual Drivers will be asked to limited hours and shifts when the regular driver is on leave. 2014 Wage Rate: $27.17/hour Applications must include a detailed resume and cover letter, which can be submitted in person or through email (please attach in Word format only). For additional information please contact: Lyle Hannan, Director of Community Services Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Phone: 403.563.2214 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org All applications must be received no later than April 17, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
Wintervention 2014 recap
Crowsnest Pass Eat & Drink CHEF DEZ ON COOKING
Perfecting gravy for Easter dinner Have you ever had the misfortune of tasting gravy that was bland, watery, or starchy as dragging your tongue across a pile of raw flour? To say the least, it is not pleasant, and a far cry from serving its purpose: to enhance the food being served. To assist you in avoiding this mishap at your Easter dinner, let us discuss the basics in perfecting gravy. Gravies are considered sauces made with the pan drippings of either meat or poultry, and thus basics of sauce making are fundamental knowledge. The functions of sauces are to add flavour, moistness, richness and appearance to prepared foods. To achieve this we need three elements of the sauce or gravy: a liquid, a thickener, and flavour. I realize ham is also very popular, but for this Easter example, the focus will be on turkey gravy. The liquid for gravies is simply the juice from the poultry with additional broth and/or wine. The thickener will be a roux (pronounced ‘roo’), a cooked combination of equal weighed amounts of fat and flour. Additional flavours will be created from roasted vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. Always cook turkey on a rack inside the roaster as it prevents the bottom half of the turkey from boiling in its own juices. Below the rack should be a combination of a few bay leaves with rough chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic. As the turkey cooks the liquid is needed for basting however excess juices should be removed occasionally (and reserved) to aid in the caramelization of the vegetables. Once cooked, remove the turkey from the roasting pan, drain and reserve the remaining liquid and allow the fat and juices to separate. Add a bit of the fat back to the roasting pan along with some flour and cook on a medium-low heat stovetop with the vegetables for a few minutes. This process will cook out the starchy raw flour taste and help in the final browning of the vegetables. It should be fairly thick and pasty. Slowly deglaze the pan with some white wine or broth. Deglazing is the process of removing the browned bits of flavour from the pan and incorporating them into the sauce. Incorporate the reserved turkey juices (not the fat) and additional broth (or additional broth and white wine) gradually to avoid lumping. While heating through, continue to add enough broth/wine until you have reached the thickness that you want to achieve. Remember, the full thickening power of the roux will not take effect until the gravy reaches a full boil. The vegetable pieces and herbs can now be removed by the aid of a wire mesh strainer. Taste and season the gravy with salt and fresh cracked pepper before serving. Additional herbs such as thyme, sage, and oregano can be used but should be in minimum amounts to prevent from overpowering the gravy. Dried herbs should be added during the cooking process of the roux, as they will need re-hydration time to release their flavour. Fresh herbs are more delicate and should be added with the liquid, once the pan is deglazed, for optimal taste and fragrance. Whatever type of gravy or sauce you are making, remember one important rule: always create depth of flavour by adding a variety of complimenting tastes rather than just one bold main ingredient. For example a tomato sauce made only by reducing diced tomatoes will only taste like tomatoes. However, add wine, broth, onions, garlic, herbs, etc. to the cooking process and your sauce will have character.
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Winners of the Human Dog Sled race from Bedrock City at Wintervention 2014. Photo submitted By Tim Juhlin Crowsnest Cultural & Recreation Society This year’s Wintervention, coordinated by Crowsnest CanDo, was a wonderful success. Some reflection on this event and its potential for the future of the Crowsnest Pass and next year’s plans are provided below in the hope that other groups and clubs in the area will consider getting involved in making this a “one of a kind” event that will attract visitors and help us unite as one community. Many have asked about how we came up with the name. Wintervention was the brainchild of Jessica at Stone’s Throw. So what happened? A wonderful wine and cheese party complete with Prohibition dress up was held at Crowsnest Museum in Coleman to kick off the display of Prohibition in the Crowsnest Pass. Unfortunately, the weekend weather was very cold and events such as the Sole Survivor and Cross-Country Ski Loppet were cancelled and the Lion’s Breakfast was slow. The outdoor events scheduled for Saturday were postponed until the following weekend. On March 1, a great dinner and dance with Tequila Rain from Calgary was sponsored by Crowsnest CanDo. More than 110 businesses contributed to the Wintervention experience. The funds raised through the dance and silent auction will be contributed towards the development of a Cultural and Recreational Hub in the Crowsnest Pass. At the dance the bartenders were not to be messed with and the
prizes for the best costumes were awarded to Bonnie and Clyde and friends shown below who donated huge personal time during the dance. ATCO Gas provided a patio heater that allowed for donations and name placement on a ballot. The winner was Mark Ondrus of Calgary. Some events were moved to the following weekend, March 8. Mountain Radio handed out hams in a number of locations. The Frying Pan Toss was a great success and a big thanks goes out to Joe and Jean Lumley for overseeing the competition. The human dogsled races proved to be great entertainment, with seven teams competing. Coordination of this event was in the competent hands of Rick Valley. A big thanks to Rick. The sleds were sponsored by Sure Glass, Sutton Realty and CNP Property Management. The prizes for the best costumes were awarded to a family from Bedrock City. Best dressed teams received gift certificates from the Boston Pizza in Pincher Creek. A first place prize valued at $300 and $150 for second place were awarded to winners of the Human Dogsled Race. The next Wintervention is scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28, 2015. Consider what your group can do to help make this a community driven and supported weekend and how your organization can contribute towards the development of a Cultural and Recreational Hub in the Crowsnest Pass. For collaboration on your proposed activity contact CrowsnestCanDo@gmail.com.
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Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
Province puts resources into backcountry trails By Joni MacFarlane Editor
Ten million dollars has been set aside by the Alberta government to repair backcountry trails damaged by the flood event of June 2013. Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) officials told municipal council the province realized there have been significant impacts, both economically and socially, on communities who rely on recreational trails. Backcountry Trail Flood Rehabilitation Lead, Andun Jevne, said flood damage has reduced the ability of users to access and utilize backcountry trails and increased the hazards. “Restoration of these trail systems are seen as very important to the economic, environmental and social benefits of the regions, the public lands, along the Eastern Slopes,” said Jevne. “Restoring these is an important part of the recovery from the flood event.” The Alberta government, said Jevne, has committed $10M throughout the province to restore and repair trails on public lands over the next three years. The goal is to re-establish recreational trails to a sustainable trail standard and could include reclamation of unsustainable linear disturbances, he added. Work will include repairs to motorized and non-motorized trails and removal of trails that have been damaged in “sensitive riparian and highly erodible areas”. It includes bridges, signage and staging areas.
The program is collaborative, said Jevne, and will be done in partnership - both the planning and implementation phases - with user groups such as the Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad. The first phase is to assess the damage and develop a priority list of trails that need restoration, he said. Although assessment work has been done on damage to backcountry trails, more detailed work is needed that includes securing approvals and contractors. Jevne said each project area will be given a priority value detailing specific criteria such as accessibility, infrastructure damage, and level of usage. ESRD crews will be out in the field assessing the damage but Jevne said they are also relying on users to provide input. A website will be set up, he added, for people who are out in the backcountry to report damage. The $10M fund is directed for backcountry trails from Rocky Mountain House to Waterton Park boundary, said Darryl Johnson, ESRD Regional Manager, Resource Management, South Saskatchewan Region. Johnson also said there are three focus areas to be managed. The intent is to have a stewardship coordinator and crews for Crowsnest Pass, Calgary and Rocky Mountain House areas. The stewardship coordinator is a two-year project position to work with volunteers and the community, added Jevne. “The coordinator’s primary role is engagement with the community and user groups to give us an idea of priorities and high usage areas, he said. “Then they’ll coordinate getting out
Police briefs By Joni MacFarlane Editor
Between March 26 and April 2, Crowsnest Pass RCMP responded to 28 calls for service. They included: Assaults: 1 Fraud/Forgery: 2 Mischief/Vandalism: 1 Thefts: 1 Impaired Driving: 1 Disturbing Peace: 1 Other Criminal Code: 1 Driving Complaints: 3 MV Collisions: 5 Suspicious Occurrences: 1 Assistance to General Public: 2 Assistance to Other Agencies: 1 911 Calls (Invalid): 2 False Alarms: 1 Animal Calls: 3 Municipal Bylaws: 2 Prisoners: 2 Passing through On March 26 at 3:30 p.m., police received a complaint of a vehicle on Highway 3 west of Coleman. It was reported the vehicle was passing and forced two vehicles off the road. Police located the vehicle and a 61-year-old male from Idaho was issued a violation ticket for passing when unsafe in the amount of $172. Return to sender On March 27, police received a complaint from a Crowsnest Pass resident who reported he had mailed personal
and doing the work,” he said. While some of the minor work may be done by user groups, the bigger projects will be contracted out through the provincial government’s process, said Jevne. Once a pre-qualification list of contractors has been developed on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website, the projects will go out for tenders, he added. “We are making sure that we get the most out of the money that we do have. Once that full assessment is done and those priorities are categorized across all of our public land zones, then we’ll have a much better handle on the dollars and cents for projects,” said Jevne. “The scope of the project is strictly for restoration of flood damaged trails and so, anything outside of that is beyond the scope of the project.” Johnson added that the greater question of backcountry trail management is being addressed in the South Saskatchewan Regional Land Use Plan. He said he expects there might be opportunities for user groups to access grants as well as a wider expectation for provincial funding through introduction of a Trails Act or a delegated Trails Authority to collect access fees. “We’re hoping this $10M can lever itself into $30M,” said Johnson. “That’s part of this partnership approach… There’s a number of balls in the air with regards to recreation and backcountry management... This, to me, is a little sliver of the pie as a result of a catastrophic situation from last year.”
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Gone but not forgotten On March 31, police received a complaint of an abandoned vehicle on Highway 22 over the weekend. The license plate had been removed and the 1989 Volkswagen was towed away. Lights out On March 31, police received a complaint of four streetlights damaged in the parking lot of a Bellevue church. The damage appears to have been caused by paintball guns and is estimated at $3,000. Cell found On March 31, a cell phone was found in the Subway parking lot in Coleman. The owner can pick it up at the RCMP detachment office by identifying it. Noisy neighbour On April 1 in the early morning hours, police received a complaint of noise by a neighbour in Coleman. Police attended and the occupant of the residence was issued a Noise Bylaw ticket in the amount of $100.
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Domestic On March 28 at 11:20 p.m., police received a complaint of domestic assault in Blairmore. A male reported a female who had left the residence assaulted him. Police attended and spoke to the intoxicated male. Police located the female who was not intoxicated and released her on condition to appear in court in Pincher Creek on May 6.
Stunting On March 30 at 12:20 a.m., police saw a vehicle revving engine and spinning tires before continuing onto the street at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was stopped and an 18-year-old male from
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Fraud On March 29 at 3 p.m., police received a complaint of a possible fraud activity. The complainant received a call from a male offering free insurance for an appliance and requested personal information. No personal information was provided and the matter was referred to PhoneBusters.
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False alarm On March 29 at 2:40 p.m., police received a complaint of a possible impaired driver in Coleman. Police patrolled and located the vehicle. The driver was spoken to but was not intoxicated.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
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Province buys land for wildlife corridors By Joni MacFarlane Editor
A provincial program started in 2009 bought two parcels of the land in the Crowsnest Pass that were identified as important wildlife corridors. Senior Advisor, Land Allocation & Management, Teresa Stokes with Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) presented council with a brief overview of two provincewide programs with the objective of “restoring connected corridors for biodiversity”. The Land Stewardship Fund administers the Land Trust Grant Program and the Land Purchase Program. Funds for the programs are financed through the sale of surplus public land, said Stokes. The idea behind the programs is conservation and stewardship, she added. Stokes, who administers the Land Purchase Program, said they target a small number of parcels that have high “conservation value”. According to Stokes, the land value is determined using well-defined processes that look at the site’s role in the landscape as identified in regional plans, alignment with conservation initiatives such as species at risk, as well as characteristics such as native vegetation, site integrity, its replaceability, and any risks such as buildings and soil contamination. Landowners are not solicited but come forward on their own, she said, and an extensive evaluation process is undertaken to see if the land meets the program’s objectives. Price is determined by establishing
the current market value based on highest and best use, assessed by an independent third party, said Stokes, as well as comparable sales in the area. “I can tell you to date, we haven’t had very much uptake on this since its inception,” said Stokes. Once the lands are purchased, it is absorbed into the provincial land base, she said. The land is actively managed and may be used for purposes compatible with conservation objectives such as grazing or recreation, she added. Two parcels have been purchased in the Crowsnest Pass totaling about 410 acres. One is near Rock Creek corridor between Lundbreck and Burmis and another, larger piece is northeast of Bellevue. ESRD Regional Manager, Resource Management, South Saskatchewan Region, Darryl Johnson, told council that a lot of work has been done in the last 10 years or so on the potential highway twinning and relocation. “Part of these land acquisitions tie directly into those wildlife movement corridors that have been identified through a variety of projects that [Alberta] Transportation have also acknowledged,” he said. “These are all basically tying themselves together as opportunities for dealing with potential future development with regards to the highway realignment. These aren’t fragmented isolated parcels, they serve other purposes in the greater context.” “We want to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity before major development, highway alignment, starts to take place,” Johnson added.
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About 40 people enjoyed The Great Plains’ performers Saskia and Darrel at the Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery on April 3. The duo delivered an entertaining mix of humour and heritage in a unique style of folk music. Photo submitted
Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
Bunny Bonspiel: a Pass tradition By Barbara van Vierssen Trip Crowsnest Museum
The two teams were awarded Best Dressed and Worst Dressed, respectively. Other Bunny highEaster is one of lights include the three those holidays with generations of Vejprava s winning events both a huge commerbetween 1978-1983, cial aspect (hello, chocand the team consistolate eggs!) as well as ing of Pat Chernesky, many different cultural Lee Misura, Sharon traditions associated Lemeche, and Cynwith the weekend. thia Squarek who We could talk about scored an 8-ender in different traditional 1978. Stories abound ceremonies, foods, of curling around the crafts or eggs, but each clock when the enof these things would thusiastic number of be only tied to a few players far exceeded of the families living in The Roughead Rink: Piper Louis Moore, Wm. (Bill) normal capacity at the the Pass. There is one The Martini Rink (L to R): Bert Moorehouse, Joughn Gray, Roughead, Chick Roughead, Erwin Spievak, and Jimmy Blairmore Ice. tradition in town, howLouis Derenzo with accordian, Guido Martini, and John Gibos. Anderson. In front: team mascot Billy Roughead. For more informaever, that unites race, Photo courtesy of Crowsnest Museum & Archives Photo courtesy of Crowsnest Museum & Archives tion on sport in the religion, community Crowsnest Pass, stop and creed: the Bunny by and check out the Bonspiel. lowing year the Bunny moved to Blairmore where it would display at the Crowsnest Museum & Archives or our outThe very first Bunny was held in Bellevue March 1st, stay for the next 40 years. reach display at the Curling club. Here’s hoping that the 1947 less than two months after the first artificial ice arena The 1957 Bunny saw fierce rivalry when the Roughead rink in the Crowsnest Pass officially opened. The popular event of Coleman, looking to win the Best Dressed competition, rinks competing this year in the 67th Bunny make some has been held nearly every year since then, and there has let it be known they would be competing in kilts – com- history of their own! You can also check out a few other Easter traditions been some real history made on the curling ice in the inter- plete with a bagpiped entrance provided by Louis Moore. in the Pass by visiting our History Detectives program on vening years. Not to be outdone, their rivals from Blairmore (the MarIn 1955, disaster struck when the cooling system in the tini rink) came up with “Italian” costumes and planned April 12th at the Crowsnest Museum. Drop by anytime beice arena failed, leaving rinks competing on slush. The fol- their own entrance with accordionist Louis Derenzo. tween 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
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Crowsnest Pass Free Press Thursday, April 10, 2014
A few of the most hardy, young and old, who braved the icy waters at Pass Powderkeg Ski Hillâ€™s annual Slush Cup on Sunday, April 6. This popular event marked the close of a successful season at the municipally-owned ski hill. Photos by J. MacFarlane
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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Crowsnest Pass Free Press
FINAL WEEK SALE ENDS APRIL 15
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Exhilarate! Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm 2462 213 St, Bellevue, AB 403 562-2208