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VOLUME 9.13

Home Built by Heredity Homes

SPOT LIGHT

Builder Len Olson

Heredity Home....$830,000 Lotus Sports Car....$45,900 Dom PĂŠrignon............$200 Cuban Cigar..............$149 This Lifestyle

MAGAZINE

spotlightmagazine.ca Cover photo compliments Gainsboro Studio

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6oz Steak Lunch Special 11:00am - 2:00pm Daily

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contents FEATURES

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Page 8, 16

SPOTLIGHT MAGAZINE

EDITOR SCOTT COWAN (403) 504-7092 ART DIRECTOR JOAN BATEMAN SALES OREST TKACHYK (403) 878-3260 PAT FLINN (403) 548-1997 LYNNETTE SCHILE (403) 581-8075 KRISTIN TRAPP (403) 928-7047 DON PAYNE (403) 512-7634 GERRY MILLER (403) 866-1984

Along Came a Bunny Tanya Cassar 4 A Message From Drew Barnes 7 On The Red Carpet With Gainsboro

PHONE (403) 504-7092

Spotlight 8

FAX (403) 504-0041

Advance Preparations for Assest Protection Dan Hein 11

EMAIL scott@spotlightmagazine.com

Matrimonial Property Exemptions Scott Stenbeck 12

ADDRESS 377 - 4 Street SE Medicine Hat, AB T1A 0K4

A Closer Look at Volatility Jackson Woodruff 17

For a free subscription to Spotlight, forward your email to scott@spotlightmagazine.com Designed and printed by Copy Works Design & Gifts spotlightcopyworks@gmail.com

Disclaimer: No responsibility can be taken by Spotlight Magazine for any errors or omissions contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Spotlight Magazine. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spotlight Magazine. Comments are welcome.

Dorm Life Leslie Cochrane 18 Differentiating Art With Values Theresa Eisenbarth

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Lessons From Detroit Scott Cowan 23 Crossword Puzzle 24 A Message From Lavar Payne 26 Pg. 3


Along Came a By Tanya Cassar Anyone who frequents Police Point Park has most likely seen little bush bunnies running around. Cottontails are quite common to this area and have developed several adaptations necessary to survive in the wild. As a herbivore and a featured dinner special, you can imagine this is a challenge. Despite all odds against them, these bunnies still thrive in the wild. From a young age, cottontails observe how their mothers and siblings react to different stimuli in their environment. During this time, they are getting the crucial experience needed to avoid being the next meal. Cottontails never venture too far from thick brush which serve as protection from large predators like hawks and foxes, who have a harder time squeezing through dense branches. If you have ever tried to approach a bunny in the wild, the most common response will be the bunny dashing away for cover in the bushes. This innate fear response is essential to the survival of these bunnies. Other physical adaptations include having large eyes and ears, as well as having colour-specific fur allowing them to camouflage into their surroundings. All these factors contribute to the long-term success of the cottontail as a species. Recently, a new kind of bunny has been spotted roaming around Police Point Park. Unfortunately, this bunny is the victim of neglect. This unsuspecting bunny was dumped in the park with no more consideration than a piece of litter would have been given. Unlike our bush bunnies, this one is white and brown, making it quite visible to potential predators. Because it is a domesticated bunny and not a wild one, it also lacks some of the innate fear it should have of humans. Consequently, its chances for survival are very poor. Many people believe releasing an unhappy pet into the wild is a blessing, however this couldn’t be further from the truth! Would you like to be “given your freedom” by being pushed out the car door in the middle of unfamiliar territory with no preparation or warning? People should understand, there is a large difference between domesticated animals and wild ones. Wild animals are equipped to deal with everyday challenges faced in the wilderness, while domestic animals have no sense of real danger. Instead of leaving unwanted pets to fend for themselves in an unfamiliar area, it is much more humane and considerate to put your pet up for adoption in an animal shelter, or find another family who would be willing to put in the time and effort required to take care of the animal. Just remember, when it comes to mother nature, she doesn’t go easy on those who are not prepared!

Tanya Cassar, Park Interpreter MH Interpretive Program is managed by Grasslands Naturalists and based in Police Point Park. For more information contact the Nature Line: 403-529-6225 or visit natureline.info. Pg. 4


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Wildrose Calls For Public Inquiry Into

Flood Response Looking back on the events of the 2013 floods in southern Alberta, Albertans are left with many unanswered questions. If we are ever going to learn from the disastrous flooding so we can be prepared in the future, we need the answers to these questions. Why did early warning systems fail? What were the protocols for warning Albertans before the waters hit? What steps were taken in the last 10 years to mitigate flooding? What steps can be taken to improve responses in future emergencies? Could the three tragic deaths due to the flooding have been avoided? What are the communications responsibilities of local and provincial governments during a state of emergency? Who is responsible for deciding evacuation policies, are the current protocols sufficient?

the 2006 Flood Mitigation Report and a flood mitigation infrastructure plan to help rebuild the vast majority of homes and businesses without forced relocation. The Wildrose plan calls for assisting residents in areas that cannot be made safe, to relocate to safer areas, and a review of Alberta’s early warning system. The government should also improve Alberta’s financial preparedness for future disasters by rebuilding the “Rainy Day” fund and budgeting annually for disaster response and recovery. The bottom line here is that we must learn from High River. It’s naive to think something like this won’t happen again. It will. Now, it’s just a matter of being the best prepared we can be. To get there, we need answers. We need a public inquiry. As MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, I value your input. Contact my office at 403-528-2191, e-mail me at cypress.medicinehat@ assembly.ab.ca, find me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @ DrewBarnesMLA.

TEAM Insurance & Financial Services

ENERGY INDUSTRY

These unanswered questions are why the Wildrose Official Opposition called for a judge-led public inquiry into the critical operational failures that put Albertans needlessly at risk during the 2013 floods. Albertans want and deserve a judge-led public inquiry to investigate the government’s response so we will be better prepared for the next disaster.

The Wildrose Official Opposition caucus submitted a list of 50 questions to government that we believe a public inquiry should address. (To see the list, visit www.wildrose.ca). Wildrose has led the post-flood discussion with a Preliminary Flood Report that contained 22 recommendations to prepare for future floods. While the 2013 floods could not have been prevented in their entirety, the failure of the provincial government to heed repeated warnings and prepare for severe flooding resulted in far more damage and hardship than was necessary. Wildrose Official Opposition recommendations included implementing

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Clearly, there are lessons to be learned from the 2013 floods, and from the circumstances during the aftermath of flooding in High River. Much of what the government did to respond to the floods was done right, but significant failures in key areas of government responsibility left Albertans feeling frustrated and hurt.

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31 Greenwood Crt SW

58 Desert Blume Gate SW 73 Desert Blume Cres SW

Impressive open-concept, 1300 Sq. Ft, two storey home. For more information contact: 403-529-1023 www.newrockhomes.ca

2,099 (4,239 developed) Sq. Ft, bungalow. For more information contact: Gerhard Brost at 403-529-1023 www.brostdevelopments.com

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1846 Sq. Ft executive bungalow. For more information contact: Lisa Wingenbach at 403-529-5430 or 403952-7377 www.winporthomes.com

159 Stratton Road SE

by Joan Bateman

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620 Vista Dr SE

This is a two storey, 1416 Sq. Ft home. For more information contact: 403-529-1023 www.newrockhomes.ca

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27 Hamptons Way SE

This two storey home boasts 2155 Sq. Ft. For more information contact: Ray Bosch at 403-528-7736

7 Links Bay SW

242 Desert Blume Dr SW

3908 Sq. Ft fully developed, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms. For more information contact: Mitch Strachan at 403-952-1576

Beautiful 2638 Sq. Ft. For more information contact: Viorel Luca at 403-526-0021 or 403-504-7520

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On the Red Carpet GAINSBORO SPOTLIGHT

2360 developed Sq. Ft split level home. For more information contact: Wahl Contruction Ltd. at 403-526-6235

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628 Vista Dr SE

Beautiful 1504 Sq. Ft bilevel. For more information contact: 403-548-5837 www.bravadahomes.com

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468 Somerside Pl SE

2563 Sq. Ft. fully developed two storey. For more information contact: Ken Neilson at 403-952-0284

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Spotlight is proud to present this year’s “Parade of Homes.” Every year the community waits for this unique opportunity to visit the elite show homes in our city. Medicine Hat is fortunate to have a builders association to promote and feature this type of show. If you are in the home market, it’s a great opportunity to buy a property that builders spend extra time and money to construct. Let’s be honest, these houses are each contractors moment to shine, and show off to their peers as well as the general public. As you tour each property, take the time necessary to really “see,” that one house that very well may become your home.

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423 Somerside Pl SE

A 4 bedroom, fully developed 2526 Sq. Ft two storey.For more information contact: 403-594-4242

612 Vista Dr SE

This 986 Sq. ft 2 bedroom bungalow has street appeal. For more information contact: Jennifer Good at 403952-0712

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16 Hamptons Pl SE

This bungalow is 1723 Sq. Ft (3150 developed). For more information contact: Jurgen Schlenker at 403-527-2789

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420 Somerside Pl SE

Fully developed 2453 Sq. Ft two storey. For more information contact: Jason Friesen or Chris Friesen at 403-545-6048

368 Somerside Cres SE 3300 Sq. Ft fully developed walk out bungalow. For more information contact: Dave Dederer at 403-581-8358

Show Hours Opening September 4, 2013 - September 29, 2013 14 Builders with 15 Show Homes Pg. 8

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The kitchen seen here is featured in our Heredity Homes cover.

Phone:

(403) 581-9911 Toll Free:

1 (877) 834-6281 Fax:

(403) 487-5018 D-303 Southridge Dr. S.E., Medicine Hat Web: www.flowersinmedicinehat.com Facebook: Awesome Blossom Flowers Email: abflowers@shaw.ca

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Advance Preparations for Asset Protection

Insure your life. Assure your legacy.

Most of us want the same things. Once our retirement is covered, we want our heirs and important causes to benefit from what’s left behind. However, without careful advance planning, a hefty tax bill can greatly reduce our estate. Meet John and Mary – They’re both 55 with three children, an ample retirement nest egg and a cottage that’s become the heart of their family. John and Mary have saved, invested and accumulated assets of just over $1,000,000. They were surprized to learn their estate could grow to over $4 million (projecting asset growth of 4% to 8%) by age 85. This deserves thoughtful, detailed planning to maximize value for their heirs and special causes.

Crystal Metz Ins Agcy Ltd Crystal Metz, Agent 2-1335 Trans Canada Way SE Medicine Hat, AB T1B 1J1 Bus: 403-526-1345

The Challenge – Taxes may consume a substantial portion of John and Mary’s estate – much more than many expect. Depending on our home province, registered assets are taxed as high as 39% or even 48%. Capital gains on assets such as the cottage are taxed from 20% to 24%. Without proper planning, the estate may be compelled to raise cash by selling the family cottage or other assets – or take out a loan to settle taxes owed. Find a Sensible Option – After comparing options, John and Mary implement an asset protection strategy using life insurance proceeds to cover taxes. How will this work? It’s insurance - part of each payment will immediately and permanently increase your estate’s worth by providing a death benefit. That money will offset their estate tax bill. The remainder of each payment is invested as John & Mary choose, and grows tax-deferred. In short, their policy can grow to meet rising tax liabilities. Their estate receives the policy’s death benefit tax-free and uses the proceeds to settle estate taxes.

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The Result – This plan assures that family assets will stay in the family. John and Mary have taken a $750,000 universal life policy. By contributing just under $1,000 per month, the policy benefit will grow to exceed $1.2 Million by the time they reach 85, which will be enough to pay the projected taxes and keep the cottage in the family. * The insurance premiums have been accumulated using a gross rate of return equal to 7%to include the time value of money while the policy values are based on a 5%return. This illustration assumes that the taxable portion of realized capital gains is 50%. This example is for illustrative purposes only, individual results may differ on personal circumstances. ** All insurance products and advice are offered by licensed life insurance agents.

For more information, contact:

Dan Hein, BRE

Associate Investment Advisor BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. Medicine Hat, AB Tel.: 403-528-6771 Dan.Hein@nbpcd.com www.bmo.com/nesbittburns

The comments included in this article are not intended to be a definitive analysis of tax applicability or trust and estate law. The comments contained herein are general in nature and professional advice regarding an individual’s particular tax position should be obtained in respect of any person’s specific circumstances. ® “BMO (M-bar roundel symbol)” is a registered trade-mark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence. ® “Nesbitt Burns” is a registered trade-mark of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal. Opinions are those of the author and may not reflect those of BMO Nesbitt Burns. The information and opinions contained herein have been compiled from sources believed reliable but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to their accuracy or completeness.

Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund

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Matrimonial Property Exemptions By Scott Stenbeck - Local Divorce Litigation Lawyer

I

n Alberta, splitting the property acquired during a marriage is governed by the Matrimonial Property Act. There is a very strong presumption that any property acquired during the relationship, regardless of whose name it is in, is joint matrimonial property, and that it is split 50-50 between the spouses on separation and divorce. Sounds simple, right?

Well, one of the things that makes this process more difficult is handling exemptions. Exemptions are items of property that one or the other party gets “off the top” before the rest of the property is split. Probably the most common is an exemption for assets that each party owned at the time of the marriage. Other exemptions that are available are gifts from third parties or bequests given to one of the spouses in a will of a third party. A rare one is a settlement or Court award of damages suffered as a result of a personal injury. Now, most people know intuitively that they should get to take “off the top” whatever they came into the relationship with. What they don’t know is that there are three important things that come into play in order for that to happen. The first is that it is only the original asset value at the time of the marriage that is exempt. For example, say one party has a GIC worth $50,000 at the time of the marriage. Seven years later, with interest, that GIC is worth $65,000. The original $50,000 is exempt, the growth upon it, the $15,000, is not. The second item is that generally the asset has to have been kept only in the name of the party claiming the exemption. A common situation where this comes up is where one party owns a house at the time of the marriage, in that party’s sole name. After a few years, they register the house in joint names. This can then create a situation where the law presumes an intention to share the asset, and to give up the exemption. Finally, the asset has to be traceable to a currently existing asset. In other words, if an exemption is being claimed, the party claiming it has to be able to trace the value into something that actually exists at the time of divorce. With something like my house example above, if Bob has a house at the time of marriage, and that house is still there at the time of divorce, still solely in Bob’s name, that is pretty simple. However, on the other hand, what if Bob sold the house during the marriage? Well, he has to be able to trace the equity that was realized from that sale into an asset that exists at the time of divorce, say for example another house that Bob bought, which is also registered solely in his name. If Bob put the money from the first house into an asset in joint names, he may have lost the exemption because of a presumption to share the previously exempt asset. Where this can get a bit thorny is where both parties in a divorce

claim matrimonial property exemptions, but one has kept the exemptions separate in existing assets, and one has not. For example, Bill owns a rental house at the time of his marriage to Jill. Bill’s rental house has $50,000 equity in it. After the marriage, Bill decides he doesn’t want to be a landlord anymore. He sells the house, and has the $50,000 in equity in cash. He takes $20,000 and pays off Jill’s student loan. He takes $10,000 and uses it to pay off all the party’s credit cards. He takes the remaining $20,000 and uses it as a down payment for a house that he purchases together with Jill, and that house is registered in joint names. During the marriage, Jill receives an inheritance from her uncle in the amount of $50,000. Jill takes that money and places it in an investment in her name alone. After several years, Bill and Jill separate and divorce. Each wants credit for $50,000 “off the top” of the matrimonial property. Jill gets to have the exemption, Bill does not. $30,000 of Bill’s exemption paid debt, so it can not be traced to an existing asset. The other $20,000 of the exemption is questionable because although it is traceable to an existing asset, that asset is in joint names with Jill, so it is presumed to have been intended to be shared. Jill’s exempt asset is in an investment in her name alone. If that investment grew, she will have to split the growth with Bill, but the original $50,000 is hers alone, and is not split with the rest of the matrimonial property. The days of people marrying once in their early 20’s and staying that way until death have gone the way of the Dodo. Now, people are marrying later in life, and as a result, often go into marriage with assets because they have had time to work and accumulate them, whereas that is not as much of a concern with people that marry very young. As well, a very significant number of us will marry more than once, bringing into a second marriage our share of the assets accumulated during the first, and may marry someone else in the same situation. This all adds to the complexity of property division on separation and divorce, and it can be a good reason to get some legal advice not just after a marriage, but before as well. Also, as time goes on and these trends continue, frank and open discussions between spouses as to how potentially exempt assets will be combined and shared are going to have to become part of married life.

1750 Gershaw Drive SW, Medicine Hat, AB Phone: 403-526-9500 Toll-Free: 1-800-403-1891

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A Closer Look At

VOLATILITY By Jackson Woodruff

If you’re an investor, you know the impact that volatility can have on your portfolio. Ups and downs in financial markets, individual securities and even mutual funds can have you smiling one day, worried the next. However, it is possible to manage volatility so price fluctuations won’t be such a concern. When you understand volatility and how it works, you can take steps to manage its impact. Volatility is important because it is a measure of risk and potential reward. It is the tendency of securities to rise and fall over a short period. Large swings equal high volatility. More moderate swings represent lower volatility. The higher the volatility, the greater the potential for short-term returns and the greater the risk that your investment will decline in value over a short period. If you have the potential to make a lot of money you often have the potential to lose a lot as well. Less volatile investments may not have the same potential for windfall profits, but they usually don’t have the same degree of downside risk.

period of time. This is easily managed by ensuring your portfolio is well diversified. Hold individual investments that vary in their degree of volatility, as well as including all major assets classes in your portfolio. Individual asset classes don’t always move in tandem, and they seldom fluctuate to the same degree at the same time. You can also reduce volatility worries by focusing on the long-term. With a longer investment horizon, temporary fluctuations don’t matter as much. You reduce volatility risk and take advantage of the fact that over the longterm, the direction of markets is generally up. You can even take advantage of volatility to enhance returns. If you invest at regular intervals-through a periodic investment plan, for instance-volatility can work in your favor because your regular investment amount will buy more when prices dip. This technique is known as “dollar cost averaging,” and it can lower your cost of investing. Ask your financial advisor for help in assessing and managing the volatility of your portfolio. Member Canadian Investor Protection Fund

Ph: 403-504-0550

Email: jackson.woodruff@edwardjones.com

You can gauge the volatility of an investment by examining its price history. For example, if a stock has a tendency to fluctuate considerably over a short time, it is volatile. This is especially the case if the price movements are out of sync with the market. While you might expect stocks to move up and down with general market conditions, a volatile stock will often fluctuate even in times of generally stable markets. A low-volatility stock will vary in price much less. Its price moves may be more gradual, and it may even move in tandem with a market index most of the time. Should you be concerned about the volatility of an investment? If you want to assess potential risk before investing for the short term, the answer is yes. If you’re willing to take on more risk to earn potentially higher returns, more volatile investments might be suitable for your portfolio. If you want low volatility, with the tradeoff of lower returns potential, look for lower volatility investments. You should also be concerned about the overall volatility of your portfolio-in other words, how much the value of your portfolio fluctuates and over what

Capital Glass & Creative Floor Coverings were involved in building the Heredity Home featured on the cover and page 16.

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$19/3

Dorm

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By Leslie Cochrane, Loft 3 Design Company

Before you start thinking about decorating your new dorm room, ask yourself this extremely important question: “Am I living alone in my room or with other people?” If you are living by yourself, then go to town, however, if you have roommates, make sure you talk to them before making any large decorating decisions. Decorating your dorm room together can be a great bonding experience for you. Now, here are some helpful decorating hints.

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Stay true to yourself. Let your dorm room style speak to your personality. If you love bright colors, get a few throw pillows that lighten up your room. If you are a movie buff, cover your room with posters of your favorite films. Remember that most colleges do not allow you to paint the walls of your dorm room, so accessories like throw pillows and blankets, posters, photographs, and peel and stick wall art that will define your room’s personality.

4.

Stay within reason. Understandably, decorating your dorm room is an exciting adventure to embark on. However, remember that you will be living in that particular room for a year before either moving to another dorm room or moving off-campus. Be sure to not go overboard purchasing items that will only serve you for one year’s time. Also, remember that lots of people come in and out of dorm rooms. Make sure you don’t have any items in there that are of a great value and/or that cannot be replaced. A lot of accidents happen during college and you wouldn’t want your favorite one-of-a-kind item destroyed on a fun night. If you are unsure as to what you need or if you just want a few decorating ideas, check out Loft 3 Design Company, downtown on 3rd street. They feature fun, affordable items that will make your college friends envious! You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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Stay organized. Remember that you have a small space to work with and that without organization your dorm room can become a place that drives you crazy, not a home away from home. You are not only sleeping in your dorm room, you are entertaining there, studying there, and in most cases, sharing the space with at least one other person. A little organization can go a long way in ensuring a functioning dorm room. Invest in some inexpensive baskets and totes that are colour coordinated to your décor.

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Stay relaxed. Make sure that your bed is an oasis of comfort for you after a long day of classes and socializing. An egg crate mattress pad can go a long way in improving the comfort level of your bed. Also, if you have a security item from childhood, don’t be afraid to bring it to school. Sometimes seeing that teddy bear can provide a great deal of comfort and relief to you, especially if you are stressed out! Same thing goes for a few family photos strategically placed around your room. Those photographs will most likely make you feel more at home whenever you see them.

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Art View | Theresa Eisenbarth

www.artworksinred.com | theresaeisenbarth@artwork-

Differentiating

S

Aspen Trees have intrigued me since I was little… making each tree piece look a little bit different is an interesting challenge for me. The white against black, the angle of the growth, the light shining through and the overall mystery of the tree fascinate me.

ummer is a time for collecting reference material for those long, cold studio months when the selected subject matter is far from hand. As a local, Medicine Hat artist, I have been photographing and gathering reference material for a series of Aspen tree paintings started before summer. The white against black, the angle of the growth, the light shining through and the overall mystery of the tree fascinate me. Although a lot of artists paint outside during the summer, I have not yet made the leap. When away with family my time tends to lend itself to the camera instead of setting up my paints. When I review my photos of the Aspen trees, the colour tends to look muddy and dark without any of the mystery I witnessed while on site. I realize the artist’s challenge is to introduce a sense of mystery and colour to the landscape not captured in the photograph. When choosing an image to paint, I like to look at the values of the image. So what are the values in a painting? All painting, whether figurative or abstract, are concerned with the relationship of colour and tone. A value of a colour refers to how light or dark the colour is. This is sometimes referred as tonal value. All colours are modified by value whether an artists uses water, medium or turpentine to thin the look of the paint or uses another colour to lighten or darken the image.

In this particular series, I have been using a certain amount of tin foil to represent the bark of the tree. Here you can see the orange lines in the background for the start of the piece with the start of the tin foil on top. Pg. 20

Often I am drawn to an image by the way the light and dark are captured. This is a good starting point for a painting. I draw out the image on a cradleboard staying as close to the image as possible. I like to use an orange pencil to be able to see the detail. Once I’ve included a decent amount of form - the real work begins. I like to paint intuitively and use a variety of household material with my painting medium. In some paintings, I use coffee grounds, rocks or even salt. In other paintings like the one picture here, I have enjoyed the working surface of tin foil. I plan what medium to use to capture the feel and value tone I am

with values after: making each tree piece look a little bit different is an interesting challenge for me. With the muddy areas of the photograph, I like the freedom to change that into something more inviting and exciting! As long as the sunlight and shadow areas are captured accurately, I feel like I can use any colours in my palette. Dioxazine Purple, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Umber and Phthalo Blue are some of the colours used to wash the background of these paintings. The shadow against the foreground, the light of the sky on the horizon set against the bark of the tree is where the challenge lies. The dark areas contrasted against the light of the lightest colour make them sparkle. I often use a touch of Phthalo Blue in the dark areas and spot this around the painting to give it a sense of cohesiveness. Once I have looked at it on an easel for a while, then I can get a true sense of what values need to be corrected. When I am struggling with a painting problem, I put on my thinking cap and ask myself “Where do I need to punch up the value in the dark areas so the lights can stand out?” Acrylic paints unlike other media are very forgiving. Even if after all this value analysis and I can’t save the painting, there’s nothing like the excitement of starting a new one! Theresa Eisenbarth is a Medicine Hat Artist at ArtWorks in Red Studio. To see her current work, please visit www.artworksinred.com or live in person at Inspire Studio, Gallery & Café.

Artist Theresa Eisenbarth


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Lessons From Detroit

By Scott Cowan

Comments send to scott-cowan@live.com

Politicians should be paying close attention to the city of Detroit Michigan. This is an incredibly teachable moment. It shows how a city, and by extension a country, can be virtually destroyed by electing liberals. As a boy I remember my parents taking me to Detroit for the Christmas parade. Then later to Hudson’s to see Santa. This was my first introduction to liberal policy. I recall asking my parents why store elves asked whether I wanted to see the white or the black Santa. As a 4 year old, I couldn’t understand why there were two, or how he could be both. Which was the real Santa? Liberals have no problem destroying tradition, even Christmas. Detroit was still a wondrous place, the fourth largest city in the USA boasting 1.8 million people. Motown was the engineering bread basket of America that produced 75% of WW2 hardware and all the great music. In the sixties auto manufacturers started getting out due to ever increasing union demands. But ruling liberals kept hiring public employees to keep people working, instead of encouraging private sector diversification. They built great buildings and statues compliments of the taxpayer. Today no less than 48 unions control 10,000 Detroit city, and educational employees. The city is the dominant employer. The only trouble is there’re over 18,000 retiree’s trying to collect from their under-funded pensions. The public debt has exploded to over $18,000,000,000.00 (billion). Since 1957 Detroit has been run by liberal democrats municipally, state, and federal. The meager 700,000 remaining taxpayers experience police response times of 58 minutes with the average being 11 minutes for all other US cities. Detroit enjoys the worst crime rate in the USA with only 8.7% of violent crimes ever solved. Half the street lights are out and 80,000 blighted buildings are abandoned. A full 46% of the taxable properties are delinquent, due in large part to the 18% unemployment rate. This is the result of liberal policy unimpaired

by conservative values and restraint. Unions, a large contributing factor of this inevitable result declined to accept cutbacks in pension benefits. They suggested the city renege on bond holders, so Detroit has filed for bankruptcy. They’re awaiting judicial decisions of doing so constitutionally. The scary part is Chicago, Santa Fe, and Oakland is waiting to see what happens in Michigan. They have similar debt issues and share one common problem, liberals in charge. The worst thing that can happen is if President Obama bails them out, which will hasten the inevitable crash of the USA dollar. Obama ran on hope and change receiving the black vote. Yet 80% of Detroit residents are black, and they should be asking, have democrats done anything to help black voters. Democrats use blacks then they suffer needlessly after every election. Detroit is the Petri dish of American politics. Almost sixty years of unrestricted Liberal rule and the result, bankruptcy! Another teachable moment, ask how many of the Detroit city managers have been fired, or replaced for their disastrous decisions? None! Except the mayor who was jailed after a lengthy and multi-million dollar investigation. Next door, the city of Grosse Point has some of the most expensive homes in Michigan. Driving out of Detroit on Jefferson Avenue and crossings the city limits is like passing from Mexico into Texas. Now how does this all equate for our city? I‘ve never figured out why in our area so dominant in electing conservatives, we’re saddled with municipal employees openly liberal and NDP. Plus, we see roads being fixed and fixed again, public buildings going up, millions wasted and what happens. They’re re-elected. When are we going to start demanding accountability in elected officials, and from public employees? If a city manager or commissioner screws up a project, they should be fired. When are we going to figure

out if it takes months to obtain development permits, business migrates to other places? When will we acknowledge that our taxes go up when the city doesn’t attract new development and expand the tax base? New business brings jobs and is what breathes life into the city. I would encourage everyone to call the candidates and find out there political affiliations. Quit spouting this nonsense that municipally it doesn’t matter. It is more important than higher offices. Remember for every $450,000.00 our city spends, taxes increase by 1%. If you don’t own, the landlord will be raising your rent to offset his increased expenses, so everyone pays. An alderman reported our crown jewel of a public utility is five years from bankruptcy. It has been estimated the utility might be valued around 350 million dollars. Except before this mayor and council took over, its estimated value was in the billion dollar range. So a good question might be what happened to the 650 million dollars, and who is responsible for the loss? Just like in Detroit I wonder if any public figures here will be punished. For the last three years the utility has been unable to pay the 25 million dollar dividend to the city used to offset taxes. The Mayor and council have robbed from other accounts to cover the shortfall, so your taxes remained neutral. But this creative accounting can’t continue, so get ready for huge increases. They’re just waiting to get through the October election. Don’t let any of them tell you, “It’s a bad economy.” It’s bad public management period. It’s liberal management. It’s government unfairly competing with business. Almost every business to survive has had to tighten the belt in this economy. When the city has a short fall they go to your wallet. Obama won the Presidency preaching hope and change. Come this November, I just hope something changes. Pg. 23


CROSSWORD

PUZZLE

Crossword puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com (http://www.bestcrosswords.com). Used with permission.

Across 1- Outdo 4- Stories 9- Indian chief 14- New Haven collegian 15- Disney mermaid 16- Evade 17- Permissible 19- Not once 20- Bearings 21- Overact 23- Cong. meeting 24- Animated 27- Med school subj. 30- Casual shoes 32- “Lord, is ___?”: Matthew 33- Capital of Finland 37- Lace tip 39- Person with new parents 40- Suggestive of a man 42- Color anew 43- American wigeon 44- Marseille Mrs. 45- Quickly 48- Cummerbund 50- Quotes

51- Actress Ward 55- Clan symbol 57- Son of Isaac 58- Fang, e.g. 60- Study of antiquities 64- Actress Taylor 65- Starbucks order 66- Acapulco article 67- Designer Simpson 68- Sontag composition 69- Road curve

Down 1- Crews 2- Stan’s pal 3- Heaps 4- Shooting marbles 5- Altar in the sky 6- Women’s ___ 7- Conger 8- Arm cover 9- City in Western Nevada 10- Prince Valiant’s wife 11- Works produced in one’s youth 12- Citrus cooler 13- That woman

18- Switch settings 22- Debussy subject 24- First-class 25- Canoeing body 26- ___ were you... 28- Bikini blast 29- One tenth, usually 30- Unit of volume 31- Like beaches 33- Injures 34- Accumulation of fluids 35- Variety of magnetite

36- Engage in espionage 38- Econ. indicator 40- Created 41- ___ well... 43- Mouthpiece of a bridle 46- “___ Ventura” was played by Jim Carrey 47- Zit 49- Monopoly buy 51- Baseball’s Bando 52- French school 53- Company em-

blems 54- Vast chasm 56- Old-fashioned pronoun 57- Young kangaroo 58- Lilt syllable 59- Brit. lexicon 61- Small batteries 62- Mil. officers 63- Sorority letter

Answer: Pg. 26

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LAVAR PAYNE

MP, Medicine Hat, Alberta Our Conservative Government has continued to make improvements to our immigration systems; they are enhanced to better insure that Canada has the right requirements for the growing needs of Canada’s skills deficits. We know that there are critical shortages of workers in various parts of Canada. In particular, Alberta has a large skill shortage. Temporary Foreign Workers help with some of those shortages, however, training Canadians for available jobs is essential. Canada is a global leader in having immigrants who want to come here for a better life and opportunities. We have approximately 250,000 new immigrants annually to help with building our Canadian economy. We also take in approximately 25,000 refugees annually. Canada was built by immigrants and prospers through the efforts of immigrants. However, there continues to be a large number of false asylum claimants and that is why our Government unveiled a list of safe countries unlikely to produce refugees. Since that time we have seen a significant drop of approximately 50% in asylum claims. I know that some groups have advocated continuing to provide these false claimants the extra medical care that most Canadians do NOT have under their Health Care Plans. Canadians have told us that we should not be providing more than basic health care for these false asylum claimants and we have listened: we do NOT provide additional benefits that other Canadians are NOT eligible for. Some individuals have recently criticized our Conservative Government for not providing our Veterans with sufficient benefits.

the Helmets to Hardhats Program bringing unions and private and public sector resources to match opportunities in the construction industry. In our 2013 Economic Action Plan we have included $65 million to enhance the Funeral and Burial Program by simplifying it and increasing the funeral services rate from $3,600 to $7,376. Our Canadian economy continues to the lead all of the G 7 countries with almost 1,000,000 jobs created since the global downturn in 2008. Canada is the only G 7 country to have more than fully recovered the business investment lost during the global recession. Our focus continues to be on job creation, economic growth and long term economic prosperity.

Here are some of the Tax Relief for Families that our Conservative government has incorporated into our Economic Action Plans over the last several budgets: • We cut the GST from 7% to 6% to 5% to help families with every purchase • We have provided Children’s Fitness Tax Credit on eligible physical activity programs • We have delivered the Children’s Arts Tax Credit • We have provided the Family Caregiver Tax Credit to help with relief for caregivers of infirm dependent relatives • We have delivered the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) giving parents with young children $100 month for each child under the age of six • We have increased travellers’ exemptions on the value of goods that may be imported duty free up to $800 for a 48 hour stay outside of Canada

For example, we now offer up-front payments for grounds maintenance and housekeeping services; this will help approximately 100,000 Veterans. One of the new programs, the Veterans Transition Group Program, will help with support of up to $600,000 over four years for group based therapy. We have also instituted

It is an honor and privilege to represent you as the Member of Parliament in Ottawa. I continue to provide your input to our Cabinet Ministers and our Prime Minister and I welcome your calls, emails and conversations. You can reach me in Ottawa, or through my offices in Brooks, Taber or Medicine Hat.

Answer to Crossword

Since our government came to office we have invested $4.7 billion in new funding to enhance Veterans’ benefits, programs and services. We introduced the Enhanced Veterans Charter Act which created new payment options for the Disability Award and by enhancing other benefits.

Pg. 26


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September Spotlight Magazine