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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2010

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Raegan McFarlane, 6, enjoys having her face painted by volunteer Jessica Riches. Raegan was taking part in the very successful and fun wrap-up to the summer’s reading party at the library. Mickey Dumont/Laker

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EDITORIAL 2 Chestermere Laker

Political season upon us

Friday, September 3, 2010

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ack to school. Back to work. Back to the polls. The end of summer brings so much activity to our lives this year. With a weather-challenged summer behind us and only three weeks officially left of it, it’s time to really think politics. Think about what you thought of your town council and its individual members. Did it or they do a good job? Is Chestermere moving forward in a positive direction? Come October 18 you’ll have a chance to make a difference. Wednesday night a number of residents came out to learn if they personally can make a difference and if they have what it takes. The town invited prospective candidates to attend a “Candidates 101” meeting and to talk directly to councillors and the mayor about what it is like being in public office. Town administration explained how one could make his or her intent to run official and how to campaign — the down and dirty stuff necessary before Election Day. Christopher Steeves attended and said there was a good crowd and he was a bit surprised by some who showed up. He quickly added he’s reserving his surprise for the nomination deadline Sept. 20, to see if they signed on for the campaign. “I’m standing on my record of what I did for the past three years,” he said. That’s what we need to know as voters. What was his or her record? As a community newspaper, we will be drawn to issues in this election as a moth is to an open flame. With less than two months before the polls open, we’ll feature increased coverage as we move closer to the date. It’s already known who on council will be running again. We’ve outlined voter turnout last election was below the provincial average and we’ll be there to learn who will be contesting for office. All we ask is that you get out and vote.

Bench program offers soul comfort

What better way to commune with loved ones who have moved on than to sit in park space on a bench dedicated to their memory? The municipality has started a Memorial Bench Program to provide residents with the opportunity to sponsor a bench to be placed in a green space and have a plaque installed. Applications are available at the municipal office and the Public Works Yard.

The Chestermere Laker welcomes letters from its readers. Letters must be signed and should include a clearly printed name, address and telephone number. Only names will be published. Send your letter via email to letters@chestermerelaker.com or you can drop off or mail your letter to 30 -140 East Chestermere Dr., Chestermere Ab. The Chestermere Laker is owned and published by MAS Publishing Inc. and distributed every Friday to residences and businesses in Chestermere. The Chestermere Laker 30-140 East Chestermere Drive Chestermere, Alberta T1X-1M1 (403) 984-9009 EDITOR Mike D’Amour editor@chestermerelaker.com REPORTER/PHOTOGRAPHER Mickey Dumont news@chestermerelaker.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Michelle Woodruff sales@chestermerelaker.com

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hestermere Laker

ADMIN/DESIGNER Sandra McKinlay office@chestermerelaker.com Unsigned editorials are produced by the Chestermere Laker’s editorial board. For advertising rates and information contact: Michelle Woodruff at 984-9009, ext. 2. Deadline for advertising copy is 5 p.m. Tuesday


Chestermere Laker 3

Friday, September 3, 2010

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After 35 years, lakefront owners see final land deal

no interest from foreshore deposits

From WID to the toWn to resIDents: Land deals just about done Mickey Dumont Chestermere Laker

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n irritant that has been washing up on the shores of Chestermere Lake since 1973 is finally coming to a close. Already several lakefront homeowners have received revised deeds to include the land under the water where their docks are anchored. Anything homeowners previously built into the lake was built on Western Irrigation District (WID) land and therefore illegal. In a deal administered by the town, homeowners paid in excess of $6 million to buy the deeds to the land under the water and connected to their property. There are 388 lots surrounding the lake featuring everything from cabins to castles. Each homeowner paid $3,000 for the lake portion and $7.60 a square foot for the land portion. Some owners paid as much as $85,000 while some properties already included land right to the lake and owners didn’t have to pay much at all. The WID initially wanted $20 million to close the deal when it first offered to sell. WID kept an area around lake for access as part of the deal with lakefront owners in 1973 that saw them purchase land their cabins were on instead of leasing it. The land has been referred to by the town as the ‘doughnut.’ Lakefront owners offered in 1973 to also buy the land under the water, but the WID said it would never sell it. “Fast forward in time, the WID decided ‘you know, we don’t need this headache, we’ll sell the land,’” said Chestermere Mayor Patricia Matthews. “The lakefront owners come back with the response: ‘No, no, you said you would never sell this land and it has now gone up 10 years in value — we’ll pay you the price that we would have paid you in 1973 when we said we would buy it.’” The business savvy WID didn’t agree and offered the land at current market value. “And the jousting begins, said the mayor. “This goes back and forth for a very long time.” Matthews added discussions centered on what type of land it actually is and what it should be valued at. Was it special recreation land and valued and

After neArly four DecADes: shoreline connected to private property deeded to homeowners as deal comes to an end. such or should it be valued as single family residential that would increase your property value? Matthews said negotiations between the owners and the WID were becoming tense. The owners approached the town to become involved. “The town at that point was advised, because it was a private land deal, the town should not become involved,” the mayor recalled. But, because the lake is a town amenity, it did become involved after it was leaked the WID would be piping water from the lake for irrigation purposes. “That opened the doors for the town to become involved,” Matthews said. “If you drop the lake level significantly it means you can’t use it as a recreational amenity.” With the town and the involvement of the lakefront owners, MLA Rob Anderson sat down at the table with the WID with to hash out a deal. In the end, the town purchased the land with the intent of immediately flipping it to the lakefront landowners. “The town always said right from the start that we would in no way put the rest of the taxpayers in jeopardy in a private land deal,” Matthews said. “Our condition was that we needed to have at least 80 per cent of the total accumulated amount accounted for before we would move forward with the deal — we got 93 per cent,” she said. “It was obvious this was going to move forward.” Only three owners have yet to sign off and two houses are in foreclosure. The town is working with the respective banks to ensure the new deeds will include the underwater land. “We know one of the owners works overseas and it is just a matter of getting in touch with him,” said Matthews. “As for the other two, we have no idea,” she said. The finalization of deeding the under water land to the lakefront owners, “is imminent,” said Matthews. “Over 60 per cent of the deeds are now being processed or are now in land titles.”

If lakeshore property owners are hoping to get interest payments from the $6 million in deposits paid to the town while finalizing forefront property purchases, it won’t happen. Some lakefront owners are beginning to see titles coming in, but not interest payments on deposits given to the town in August of 2009. Nor should they expect them. Money went directly into a non-interest-bearing trust account with the town’s lawyer. Eric Bennett, investment advisor with Canaccord Wealth Management, said this week the loss isn’t staggering given the financial market breakdown that started in 2008. He added, putting the money in trust is the “right” thing to do in just about every land deal. That said, after consulting with colleagues at HSBC and Manulife, “a rough estimate is that $6 million could have returned $28,561.37, or almost enough to purchase a decent ski boat. If the money had been placed in an interest bearing account, each lakefront homeowner would have received a cheque for about $71. “This is a rough estimate from a few personal sources I have here in Calgary and in no way representative of Canaccord Wealth Management. A 30-day fixed Treasury rate for $6 million would have been roughly 0.35% from August 2009. This rate remained level until March 2010.” After seven months the total would have been $6,012,260.73. In April interest rates rose to 0.45, May 0.55, June 0.65, July 0.75 and a whopping 0.85 for August. In every land deal this is normal, but hiccups, including the town firing its lawyer, saw it stretch out to a year with the money sitting idle. When asked why a non-interest-bearing account, she said “because the town has no intention of making money on this deal and because the way the land deal was setup,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews. “Once the title closed, the money would transfer from the lakefront owners to the town to pay the outstanding amount with the Western Irrigation District.” The town fired its lawyer — the firm Windsor Jensen — that was working on the deal, in April. She said there was a lack of communication with residents, and “things weren’t being processed properly and on time.” Town administration stepped in. “If we’d had them on it in the first place, we would have this done in months rather than the issues we had to deal with our previous lawyer and are now cleaning up. “If our lawyer had processed things the way it was supposed to be processed, it would have been months, maybe. We were advised at the time that you put it in trust with the lawyer. As soon as it is in trust, there is no interest that accumulates. “The entire reason that this couldn’t get processed fairly immediately was that we discovered there were two additional sets of paperwork that needed to be done on every single one of those titles in order for them to be processed through land titles,” said Matthews. “We had to track down every lakefront owner in order to get those two additional signatures.” —mickey Dumont


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Friday, September 3, 2010

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Energizer awaits

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Mickey Dumont/Laker

Entertainer Melanie Porter leads a group of children in song and dance during the library’s summer reader program wrap-up party.

Parks committee exploring public beach idea Mickey Dumont Chestermere Laker

If something were missing at Chestermere Lake, it would have to be a beach. Years ago a beach was part of community enjoyment, but it deteriorated and, finally forgotten after many years, simply washed away. “The beach was at the south end of the lake near the canal inlet,” said Chestermere Coun. Christopher Steeves, chairman of the Parks Committee. “I am not sure of when it was there, or when people stopped using it.” The parks committee is again exploring

the possibility of a beach at the lake. As part of its vision, committee member Frank Elliott brought up the history of the former beach and the fact that the committee should look at reestablishing it. As a result, the committee made a presentation and request to the Western Irrigation District (WID) who took it under consideration. “However, they turned down our request, citing safety concerns,” said Steeves. “We have agreed with that decision and respect it,” he said. The town and the WID have shared interest in the lake and

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as a result the town consults with them on issues concerning it. The parks committee continues to look at other options and is currently looking at one for the proposed Anniversary Park. “Discussions are in their infancy and will be looked at more closely once we do renderings for the park,” Steeves said. “Because the lake is a focal point for the town, we want to ensure that we maximize the enjoyment of it, for all residents.” Cost of constructing a beach at the lake is unknown. “The committee is always looking at opportunities to enhance our experience in our parks, and are interested in hearing from the residents as to what they would like to see,” said Steeves. “Many of the changes and enhancements have been made as a result of feedback,” he said. “Going forward we expect to be able to offer a variety of attractions and activities that appeal to all residents.”

dmonton has its West Edmonton Mall and Minneapolis its Mall of America, but for one stop convenience here, one in 15 locals know it’s the Energizer. At least 1,000 Chestermerians are expected at the rec centre to learn what activities are available to them this fall. “This evening is comparable to shopping at a mall as opposed to driving around to 35 different stores,” said Vicki Klinger, CRCA program coordinator. Energizer is all about an opportunity to seek necessary information needed and register for many recreational and club activities, private lessons, and services available here in Ches-

termere in one evening and assist people in the community utilize valuable time efficiently and with ease. Convenience and variety along with the opportunity to speak with a real person is more than a bonus. “This is a key time of year for families to get organized in their winter season and back to school, which makes this evening an asset to all of us,” said Penny Sawyer, CRCA recreation program assistant. Curling, hockey, soccer, figure skating, martial arts, dance and fitness classes or programs are just a few organizations that have signed up for table at the annual event. “This is an evening for the clubs, services

and organizations to predominately give out information although many will be taking registrations that night as well,” said Sawyer. About 35 have registered so far and organizers anticipate another half-dozen to sign up once everyone gets back into the September swing. Minor hockey and Chestermere Soccer will also be hosting an equipment swap in the curling rink during Energizer. Energizer gets underway September 8th at 6 pm. If anyone is unable to attend you can register online at www.chestermerecrca. com. For more information call Penny or Vicki at 403-934-7574.

—Mickey Dumont

Mickey Dumont/Laker

Wayne McBean, a former NHL defenceman who finished his career with the mighty Winnipeg Jets, instructs his young charges during his Kids With Sticks program Wednesday at the Rec Centre.


Friday, September 3, 2010

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Schools in Chestermere invited students back Thursday morning for another year of learning. (Above) Traffic is heavier in school zones now that class is back and police want to remind drivers to observe all school and playground zone speed limits and (right) students get off the bus at St. Gabriel the Archangel ready to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones.

Watch for students Police out in force: Keeping kids safe Mickey Dumont Chestermere Laker

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hestermere RCMP are maintaining a visible presence in school zones this week as students heads back to class. “We understand the need for a visible presence at all five Chestermere schools for the safety of our children and parents,” Staff Sgt. Glenn Henry said Thursday.

Henry cautioned drivers to be patient and extra aware of the posted speed limits now that the kids are back in school. “We don’t want to charge anyone, but we’ll be there to ensure the transition from the quiet summer driving in school zones to its present more hectic pace.” Speed limits in school and playground zones are 30 km/h.

Did You Know?

Some 200 million people buy or sell 1 billion items on EBay every year, trading $2,000 worth of goods every second. More than a million people trade on EBay as a full time job and while EBay auctions are best known for finding bargains there also have been some very expensive items sold on EBay (as of 2009): • 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card: $1.65 million. • Shoeless Joe Jackson’s “Black Betsy” baseball bat: $577,610. • Diamond Lake Resort in western Kentucky: $1.2 million. • Round of golf with Tiger Woods: $425,000.

—from www.didyouknow.org

— Mickey Dumont/ Laker

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Friday, September 3, 2010

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Lakeview Greens open house scheduled Mickey Dumont Chestermere Laker

T

he spectacle that is Lakeside Green’s attempt to construct more residences on its golf course has added another page. The town has scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in council chambers. All interested parties are advised to arrive early. When the issue last came before an open house, there was standing room only. “This is a very contentious issue,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews. Lakeside Greens is applying for a land re-designation that would allow it to carve up some land on its fairways and develop the property. A numbered company, owners of Lakeside Greens golf course, is seeking the re-designation

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to allow for the construction of 18 villas and five single-family homes. Originally the Lakeside Greens Development Agreement allowed for 407 housing units, which was voluntarily dropped to 288. At present 245 have been constructed and the partnership holds if further development is not allowed, the way it operates here will be changed. The golf course is the largest employer in the municipality and one of the strongest magnets after the lake in attracting growth. Both the town council and Lakeside Greens management is expecting this to attract proponents for both sides of the argument. Matthews asked at council in August about a restricted covenant and how it affects the Lakeview Greens Development Agreement. “The restricted covenant mentions that there is no further development allowed,” she said. “How does that work for the land in the golf course that is not owned by the numbered company?” After the golf course played the largest role in bringing Calgary water to Chestermere, it earned the concession from the town that no further site levies would be charged. This means cost for the utilities needed to service the new homes would be borne by the taxpayer at large.

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Chestermere Laker 7

Friday, September 3, 2010

NTERTAINMENT

This Dane not so great in summertime flick Lights, camera, action . . .

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with Rick Dennis

ARMADUKE (88 mins. Rated G) was DOA at the box office (in other words, ticket sales were DoggOne Awful) and critics had a bone to pick with just about everything in the movie. (Marmaduke scored a dismal 10% approval rating on rottentomatoes.com which means that out of 89 reviews counted only nine of them were positive.) So I rented this DVD with decidedly low expectations. Good thing, too, because director Tom Dey strains in vain to stretch a single joke/ single panel comic (goofball Great Dane is so big and klutzy he runs roughshod over everything – and everybody – in his path) into a full length feature film. To give screenwriters Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio something to work with, someone decided that, unlike the comic strip, Marmaduke (voiced in a SoCal stoner drawl by Owen Wilson) should talk. Worse yet, the dog’s lips (jowls?) move (which is distracting, to say the least.) Things start out with Marmaduke introducing us to his family: harried father Phil Winslow (Lee Pace), stereotypical housewife Debbie (Judy Greer), three Hollywood-cute kids and a housecat named Carlos (voiced with a Taco Bell accent by George Lopez). The “plot” kicks into neutral when Phil moves the family from Kansas to Southern California to take a marketing job with an organic pet food company run by dog loving eccentric Mr. Twombley, played by the great character actor William H. Macy (note to Bill: get a new agent). Marmaduke welcomes the move as “a chance to reinvent myself and finally fit in ... in short, I’ve got a new leash on life.” Phil’s boss likes to conduct business in a dog park which gives the pic an excuse to introduce us to Mayzie (voiced by Emma Stone), a former rescue dog who sets out to help Marmaduke fulfill his pooch potential or, as she puts it, “put the Great back in Dane”; Raisin, an intellectual dachshund, voiced by Steve

STYLIN’: the world’s most famous and beloved Great Dane goes Hollywood in the big

screen summer comedy MARMADUKE.

Coogan and Giuseppe, a diminutive Chinese crested hairless voiced by Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse (“I’m a real dog. No, I’m not a chew toy”). The cast of chatty critters also includes Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland), a bullying Rottweiler and his gorgeous Collie girlfriend, Jezebel (Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie) I don’t want to poop all over a movie, which is basically limp but harmless. The actors do the best with the dialogue they are provided (although there is something deeply wrong about a canine-focused film in which the cat gets all

the best lines) and the dancing dogs routine will probably make your eight year old squeal with delight. However, if you’re expecting something along the lines of Lassie Come Home or even Eddie Murphy’s version of Doctor Doolittle you’re barking up the wrong tree (and if you think that is a bad play on words wait until you see the movie.) TALKING DOGGIE FLICK Rating: 2.5 Bones out of five

2010/2011 Hockey Registration Hello Hockey Families! Chestermere Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) is accepting player  registrations online for the 2010 - 2011 Hockey Season. Please visit www.chestermereminorhockey.com for details or to register. CMHA will also be on site at energizer night on  Wednesday September 8th,2010  from 6-8:30pm at the Chestermere Rec.  Centre accepting registrations. All registrants must have a current 2010/2011 CRCA membership first. MARMADUKE: with his pal, Carlos.


8 Chestermere Laker

Friday, September 3, 2010

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