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the AGLC on this project for three years now, and it was never exactly a slam dunk. “Just a little bit south from where they are going The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission is to build in St. Albert, they could have easily gone staying put in St. Albert. there as well,” he said. “We had After looking at sites to compete hard. ... It’s like going throughout the Capital deep sea fishing and you’ve got Region, the AGLC has a marlin on the line; you’re not decided to build a new going to let it go.” $80-million, 500,000-squareAGLC communications officer foot warehouse in St. Albert’s Tatjana Laskovic said that Campbell Business Park, just location was high on their list of south of Apex Casino. criteria in choosing the new site. “This is basically “The AGLC wanted to make consolidating all the sure that the location is able to warehouse space they had maximize efficiencies with the around the Edmonton region existing warehouse, which will into St. Albert, so it kind of be re-engineered to support puts us on the map from that the new facility and store perspective,” said Guy Boston, slow-moving liquor products,” executive director of economic Laskovic said. development for the City of The new warehouse will be >lp9fjkfe St. Albert. “Notwithstanding just a few blocks away from :`kpf]Jk%8cY\ik that fact, it’s a significant the AGLC’s old warehouse amount of tax revenue that on Corriveau Avenue and is comes off a building that size.” expected to employ about 400 people. Boston said that the City has been working with “That’s a huge employment opportunity for St. Albertans,” Boston said. It will be adjacent to Campbell Road, with easy access to Anthony Henday Drive, and will eliminate the need for additional storage space to be leased in Edmonton warehouses. The new facility is needed because, since alcohol sales were privatized in 1993, the number of registered products the AGLC offers has grown from 2,200 to more than 27,000, with nearly 18,000 available at any one time. The AGLC states on its website that it hopes to have the facility completed within Photo courtesy City of St. Albert three years, but Laskovic did not have a more specific 8eX\i`Xcm`\nf]k_\cXe[j`e:XdgY\ccGXibJflk_ timeline. n_\i\k_\8>C:n`ccYl`c[`kje\nnXi\_flj\%

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:FM<I After playing the guitar for many years, finding a discounted book spurred St. Albert’s Michael Lazar to get into the actual crafting of guitars, all of which have contributed to him winning a lifetime achievement award at this Friday’s Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Gala at the Arden Theatre. See story, page 12.

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('d`Zifd\ki\j That’s how small the world’s smallest replica electric guitar was, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Based on a Fender Stratocaster, it was carved out of a block of silicon at Cornell University in 1997 and is 1/20th the thickness of a human hair. Each of its six strings was 0.05 mm thick, or the equivalent of 100 atoms laid end to end.

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MoneySense magazine has finally confirmed what many St. Albertans already felt to be true: that St. Albert is the best place in Canada to live. The magazine released its annual rankings of the Best Places to Live in Canada on Wednesday, and for the first time, St. Albert took the No. 1 spot overall out of 201 municipalities, moving up from second in 2013 and knocking Calgary off the top and into the No. 2 position. “This is a testament to the residents of St. Albert who have in the past and continue to build our community,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse. “This is a blend of the volunteer sector, the business community, the residents, the churches, the schools, the government and more, who — combined — bring this community this recognition.”

“It’s a huge feather (in our cap),” added Coun. Cathy Heron. “This is No. 1 in Canada. And it’s a very hard data ranking; it’s not subjective. I mean, most of us who live here would say, ‘Yes, it’s the best.’ But this is hard data. There were always little things that were knocking us off these kinds of lists ... but we seem to have overcome a lot of those, and No. 1 is great.” Before finishing second in 2013, St. Albert ranked 12th in 2012 and fifth in 2011. A total of 103 points was available for each municipality in the ranking. Categories like average house price, crime severity index, property taxes and employment were given a certain number of points based on importance. The rest of the top 10 included: Strathcona County; Ottawa; Burlington, Ont.; Boucherville, Que.; Oakville, Ont.; Edmonton; Regina; and Quebec City.

“So exactly how does a small city with 64,000 people on the fringe of Edmonton beat out every other city in Canada? Take your pick,” writes author Mark Brown on MoneySense’s website. “Unemployment sits at just above four per cent, incomes are among the highest in the country, crime rates are steadily falling, and while its winters can be skin-splittingly cold, it’s sunny all year round.” While the MoneySense ranking focuses on factors that attract people to live in St. Albert, Heron noted that accolades like this will also help drive non-residential development in the city. “For the economic development side of things, this is massive; huge doesn’t even cover it. This is a massive win. It makes awareness of St. Albert,” she said. “Across Canada, people are not quite aware of St. Albert, but when they see how we do with housing prices and unemployment and transportation networks, that will bring investment into the city like probably nothing else can.”

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It looks like St. Albert homeowners will be getting a little bit of money back from city council when property tax bills are mailed out later this year. At the regular meeting of the City of St. Albert’s Standing Committee on Finance Monday, city councillors voted 6-1 in favour of taking $620,142 from the $1.29-million operating surplus from the 2013 fiscal year and using it to offset property tax increases for 2014. “I think there’s some policy work required, but I also think what we need to do is get the year-end done.

... Let’s get the policies corrected, and let’s recognize that a certain amount should go back to the taxpayers,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse. The Standing Committee on Finance is made up of all seven city councillors and is chaired by Coun. Wes Brodhead. The only vote against the motion came from Coun. Cam MacKay. “If we take $600,000 extra this year to reduce the increase we’ll need next year, we’re taking money now we don’t need. ... We’re telling the public that we’re taking money from you that we don’t require so it’ll be easier on us next year,” MacKay said. The rest of the surplus will

be transferred to the City’s stabilization reserve, an account that is meant to cover one-time and emerging costs through the fiscal year, such as extra snow removal. There was quite a bit of debate on Monday, however, on whether the stabilization reserve is the best place for the surplus cash to go. In particular, Coun. Sheena Hughes wanted some of that money to go to the City’s utility reserves, which will receive $426,000 less than expected due to unfavourable variances in revenue and expenses. “This is one of the key areas that we keep seeing increases faster than the tax rate right now,” she said. “We need to figure out some way to get more money into there to help

keep the utility rates low.” Council policy says that the stabilization reserve should be capped at two per cent of the previous year’s annual operating budget. But City staff had originally recommended placing the whole surplus there — which, with the existing balance of about $2.06 million, would have brought the reserve to about 2.5 per cent of the 2013 budget. Staff reasoned in the meeting’s agenda report that the overage was marginal, that the two per cent ceiling had not been reviewed in several years, and that a review of reserve policies will be completed and presented to SCF this June. Instead, though, the extra money

over the reserve ceiling was the money used to offset property taxes. The $1.29-million surplus is slightly higher than the figure of $1.25 million that was given out at February’s SCF meeting due to year-end inventory adjustments that were not recorded until after the cutoff date. The surplus is also paying for $10,000 in one-time capital costs for the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce to provide tourism and welcome services out of its building on St. Albert Trail, and for four one-time operating business cases in the 2014 budget worth $191,300 that were approved on March 3.


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A very special guest is helping take it to the street at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prayer Breakfast in St. Albert. The 2014 edition of the event will feature guest speaker Pat Nixon, who will share his inspirational story of going from living on the streets to founding the Mustard Seed Street Ministry in Calgary, one of the most prominent and successful organizations helping homeless people in all of Canada. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gone from a difficult past through to becoming a real leader and leaving a real laegacy of positive change,â&#x20AC;? said Mayor Nolan Crouse. The breakfast is put on by the St. Albert Ministerial Association, a group made up of leaders from local churches. Association member Dean Kurpjuweit of Next Christian Community said that Nixon is a guest speaker theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been trying to bring in for several

plan, where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re recognizing years now. the need for affordable housing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been trying to get him for four years, and the schedules and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re recognizing the need for greater community just never worked out,â&#x20AC;? development, he can speak Kurpjuweit said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pat has one directly to of the most those things,â&#x20AC;? compelling he said. stories youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll While it ever hear.â&#x20AC;? hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite The been annual breakfast will through the help raise six years it has funds for been held, the Nixonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prayer project, the Breakfast has StreetLevel become a very Network, important which date on the connects ;\XeBligaln\`k calendars of organizations Jk%8cY\ikD`e`jk\i`Xc8jjĂ&#x2039;e local churches. across the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like all country good things, it takes a while to working to eradicate poverty build a base of support and a bit and homelessness. of a routine,â&#x20AC;? Kurpjuweit said. Kurpjuweit believes â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happened now, that, while St. Albert has a and I think whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s come is an reputation for being an affluent expectation that this is going community, there are still lessons we can learn from Nixon to happen, that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to bring somebody in that has a and the message he is sharing. story to tell that can bring value â&#x20AC;&#x153;In light of the social master

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to us as a community.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the hustle and bustle sometimes of the things we do, there are moments of reflection that are important for people, and I always find the prayer breakfast to be that,â&#x20AC;? Crouse added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had some great speakers who force you to reflect on the greater good of humanity and the greater good of mankind.â&#x20AC;? Past guest speakers at the breakfast have included former Edmonton Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed and Kim Phuc, who was in a famous photograph of a napalm attack in Vietnam in 1972 when she was just nine years old. The Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prayer Breakfast will take place on Saturday, April 5, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the St. Albert Alliance Church, located one kilometre west of Walmart on Villeneuve Road. Tickets are $25 each and must be purchased in advance through the St. Albert United Church (20 Green Grove Dr.; 780-458-8355).

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The follicles fell as the totals climbed at Bellerose Composite High School last week. From Wednesday, March 5, to Friday, March 7, the school held its 11th annual Bike-A-Thon to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Kids with Cancer Foundation, raising $295,000 and bringing their running total to more than $1.2 million. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For all of us, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unbelievable. It feels like a bit of a dream, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for sure,â&#x20AC;? said Bellerose athletic director Sue Leighton, who has been one of the Bike-A-Thonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s principal organizers since its inception. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re so proud of the kids. It was powerful.â&#x20AC;? Even after 11 years, and even though none of the current students were around when the event began, Leighton said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a â&#x20AC;&#x153;good surpriseâ&#x20AC;? to see how the school rallies around the Bike-A-Thon every year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were really calm this year; they were really dedicated to the process. They just really honour all those kids who have come before them. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a legacy,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each year is just building on the last year in such a good way.â&#x20AC;? The big highlight of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 48-hour event, though, was when St. Albert RCMP detachment commander Insp. Kevin Murray took the stage and had his trademark mustache â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which he has had since 1998 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shaved off

after an RCMP team raised $10,000 for the cause. On Monday morning, he admitted not having the old soup strainer still felt a bit weird.

Ă&#x2C6;@k]\\cjc`b\ n\Ă&#x2039;i\niXgg\[ `eXYcXeb\kf] jlggfik%Ă&#x2030; Jl\C\`^_kfe 9\cc\ifj\k\XZ_\i â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most people have said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taken 10 years off my appearance, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a bad thing when you get to be my age,â&#x20AC;? Murray said with a laugh. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a great experience â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not so much the actual shaving, but to see the commitment of the youth at Bellerose â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the entire school, staff included â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that they put into that event.â&#x20AC;? Murray â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who took over the helm of the St. Albert detachment in 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; said he has been approached to shave off his whiskers for charity before, but he agreed to do it for the Bike-A-Thon after the school resource officer for Bellerose suggested the detachment put in their own team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d always sort of sidestepped it, but when they came to me and said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How much would it take?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I talked about it with my family and

said $10,000, thinking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Yeah, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make that,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And they did. There were three rather large donations from friends of mine that got them halfway there.â&#x20AC;? Leighton said that seeing that kind of support from Murray, the RCMP and other dignitaries who showed up to take part in the event is wonderful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It feels like weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re wrapped in a blanket of support,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The community support, in fact, is integral for us now. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so meaningful for the kids when the inspector comes and shaves his mustache, when you have the trustees, the City of St. Albert, the foundations weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re raising money for, the Edmonton Eskimos, all these parents coming ... thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no place like it.â&#x20AC;? While the bikes are put away for this year, Leighton said that planning for next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bike-AThon will get started pretty soon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting ready for next year, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to put it in a box for a couple of days so we can revel in it,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re starting to think about what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do next year, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to sit in the moment for a while.â&#x20AC;? As for Murray, he hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t decided if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll grow back the mustache, but if he does, he said it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take too long. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not having water stuck on it and, in the wintertime, not having ice accumulate on it (is nice),â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m kind of enjoying the change right now.â&#x20AC;?

Photos: JESSE KUSHNERYK, St. Albert Leader and IAN KUCERAK, Sun Media News Services

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ack in December, we wrote in this very space about the City of St. Albert’s economic development department and the fact that we can’t expect too much from them given that the department has only been in existence in its current form for a little more than two years. The Yp>c\ee:ffb analogy used was: “It’s like expecting an expansion NHL franchise to win the Stanley Cup the first year they hit the ice.” Well, the department and its executive director, Guy Boston, may not have won the Cup this week, but they certainly scored a huge win for St. Albert. The news broke this week that the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has decided to build a new 500,000-square-foot warehouse for its centralized liquor distribution operations on land just south of Apex Casino in Campbell Business Park. The organization had been looking at sites throughout the Capital Region, but with the help of Boston and his team, they finally settled on St. Albert. Now, you could argue that St. Albert had something of a home field advantage in the case of the AGLC, considering that their current main warehouse was already just a few blocks away from the new site on Corriveau Avenue. But this was still a competitive process, and St. Albert prevailed. As Boston points out in the story on page 3 of this edition of the Leader, the AGLC could have just as easily chosen lands in Edmonton and still had access to Anthony Henday Drive without having to pay the high property taxes in St. Albert. Whatever they saw in the 30-plus years they’ve done business here, they liked it and they wanted to continue it. It’s hard to understate just how much this development will mean to St. Albert. At the very least, it will employ hundreds of people and generate a lot of tax revenue for the City. But it could also be the first domino to fall in the City’s plans to attract more non-residential development, with many more to follow. It may not quite be the Stanley Cup, but it’s at least a first-round victory that can help St. Albert build momentum on the way to our ultimate goal.

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eople have asked what I like most and least about being on city council. What I like most is the ability, on occasion, to have a positive impact on somebody’s life. What I enjoy the least is constantly dealing with politicians whereby ideology trumps common sense. The vast majority of the time, this simply sets our community back by expending resources in areas where they do no good. A past example of this has been the battle cry for the light rail transit (LRT) study. We have been told by all levels of government that there is no financial support to construct an LRT through St. Albert. The reasons are many, but the most compelling is the financial cost of such an endeavour. Constructing an LRT through St. Albert from the Superstore

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capita basis. Furthermore, the St. Albert Superstore-Walmart LRT line would presumably require some connection to the Edmonton LRT and currently there is no funding for the Edmonton Castledowns line. For that matter, funding only just came through for the Edmonton southeast line, which is their current priority. The St. Albert LRT and the Edmonton Castledowns line to our border are very long-term prospects even for the most optimistic LRT advocates. Bearing these cold hard facts in mind, the battle cry here in St. Albert to spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars now on LRT studies and public consultation exercises is hailed as good long-term planning. In actual fact, these expenditures are for decidedly short-term endeavours like alignment

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studies and public consultation exercises. These endeavours will be outdated by the time the LRT might be a reality in 50 or more years. Common sense dictates that you save tax dollars for another venture, but LRT ideology dictates spending regardless of cost or loss. The next iteration of ideology over common sense is the idea that financial controls and internal audits are illegal to be performed within the City of St. Albert. Alberta Municipal Affairs, when contacted by the media and various politicians, has been crystal clear that internal audits are not illegal. Despite their confirmation that this function is allowed in any municipality, this myth continues to be spread. At some point, common sense and the truth must prevail for the good of our community. Fne\[Xe[fg\iXk\[Yp

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9fnc`e^\m\eki\X[pkfbefZbfm\iZXeZ\i and a member of the Strikes for Cancer organizing committee since day one. “We’ve been up there once before, and For the sixth year in a row, a local then every other year has been in the fundraising event will $5,000 to $8,000 range. look to knock cancer It’d be nice to get up down a peg while also over $10,000.” knocking down a few Strikes for Cancer is pins. the brainchild of local The Strikes for Cancer kid Jaden Babiuk. He fundraiser will take was just six years old place at the St. Albert when he first pitched Bowling Centre on the idea for the event Sunday, March 23, at 10 to his mom and to the a.m., where organizers bowling alley. are hoping to raise as Over the past five I`Z_Xi[CXg\ic\ much money as they years, the event has Jk%8cY\ik9fnc`e^:\eki\ can for the Canadian raised about $48,000 Cancer Society. for cancer research. “We’d like to get over that $10,000 Seeing the event grow and evolve has mark,” said Richard Laperle, assistant been a great experience for Laperle. manager g at the St. Albert Bowlingg Centre “Unfortunatelyy we’ve all been touched

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by cancer, so to be able to start with a little boy at six coming through with this idea, it kind of blew my mind,” he said. “And then to be able to see it grow year to year, to see the same people come back and new people come and have a great time, it makes you feel great.” And he’s very happy that the Bowling Centre has been able to be involved in such a great community event. “We’ve tried to be involved in the community ourselves through all these different events, so to be able to host a big event like this has been great as well,” he said. “As a bowler and part of the bowlingg centre, you love to see people have

fun bowling, so this is a way to get nonbowlers involved and having a great time.” The Babiuk family is still very involved in the organization of Strikes for Cancer, and Laperle said they’ve been great to work with. “The hours they put in are unbelieveable,” he said. “And Jaden and (his brother) Ryan, they’re characters.” For more information, visit www. sstrikesforcancer.com.

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Three years ago, Darren Skalsky had an idea on how to expand the Career and Technology Studies program that was being offered at St. Albert Catholic High School. The program already had courses in cosmetology, fashion, television and video, and even graphic design. But Skalsky wanted to start teaching something that could be his own brainchild. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just remember thinking, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be neat to have some of these kids view the world of radio?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Skalsky says. Budding from his own interest in radio broadcasting, Skalsky helped establish 96.9 The Hawk, a shortwave radio station broadcasting through SACHS and most of the area surrounding the school. Best of all, all programming and broadcasts are done by students in the Career and Technology Studies program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have one student whose grandmother lives nearby,â&#x20AC;? Skalsky explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She and her friends listen every time he goes on, so his sign off became, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This broadcast is grandmotherapproved.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Through The Hawk, students have an

opportunity to develop their own 45-minute programs broadcast during the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lunch hour. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a different show each day, and new batches of students get to start broadcasting each semester. Topics range from independent and non-mainstream music to local and national sports, and even film scores and soundtracks. But Skalsky explains that, for a program to get on the air, students donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t simply just sit down and start broadcasting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You see the nervousness and shaky voices when they first sit in front of the microphone,â&#x20AC;? Skalsky says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But as they practice and develop, you see the confidence build for when they finally go on air.â&#x20AC;? Before students go on air, they need to follow a full process thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all part of the Career and Technology Studies program. First, they need to write a proposal explaining what the show will be about, what they will be talking about, and what recordings they plan on playing. Once the proposal is approved, students then learn about everything that goes into radio programming, from recording sound effects to designing show promotions. From there, students begin recording practice shows to develop their speaking skills and radio personalities. Once all of these facets of

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broadcasting are explored, students can finally hit the airwaves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We make sure that the kids arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just going to sit and play music,â&#x20AC;? says Skalsky. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We listen to local radio and give examples as to what most DJs talk about. So it becomes an opportunity to research and have something to say.â&#x20AC;? And it turns out that these students have a lot to talk about. From music trivia to current events, to sports, and even interviewing members of the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sports teams, Skalsky is witnessing firsthand the development of his studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; communication skills and watching as each one finds themselves a bit more every day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have had students who have gone on to study at NAITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s radio program,â&#x20AC;? says Skalsky. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These kids are looking for something and it

gives them a reason to want to come to school every day. The core subjects are a need, for sure. But the radio becomes a want, and you can see the kids becoming passionate about it.â&#x20AC;? Skalsky knows that radio is an older medium, but also knows that, like any other medium, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quickly evolving for an online format. For now, The Hawk is going to stay at its home on 96.9 on the FM dial. But as Skalsky looks to the future, he sees the class adopting an online presence, especially as podcasts become more popular every day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We use a program called GarageBand for most of our sound engineering, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably the best program to use for podcasting,â&#x20AC;? Skalsky concludes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the natural progression of where this is going and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited to see what it looks like when it gets there.â&#x20AC;?

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A book on classical guitar making might be the best $2.50 Michael Lazar ever spent. Already an accomplished selftaught guitar player and having some research on the subject, it was 1980 when Lazar found the book in Audreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Books in downtown Edmonton. That book launched a guitar-making career and helped land him the Lifetime Achievement Award at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Celebration of the Arts Gala, to be held on Friday evening at the Arden Theatre. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I found this book on guitar making, where it showed the mechanics of putting one together, I said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well, I might be able to do that,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? said the man who everyone calls Mick. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The book was on the shelf, marked down to $2.50, and I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any trouble figuring out why. Who would want to buy it?â&#x20AC;? Lazar said it was a big surprise when gala organizers called to tell him he had won, as he was first nominated a couple of years ago and he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize that the nominations carried forward. But he said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important to see artists recognized like this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People slug away at what they do, and hopefully most of them find rewards in what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing, see the results of what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing put to use. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always been my biggest joy,â&#x20AC;? he said. Past winners of the Lifetime Achievement award include pottery teacher Nell Sadee, visual artist Joanna Drummond, painter

Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

D`Z_X\cCXqXinfibjfeY\e[`e^jfd\nff[kfdXb\X^l`kXi`ek_\nfibj_fg`ek_\YXj\d\ekf]_`j;\\iI`[^\ _fd\%CXqXin`cci\Z\`m\k_\c`]\k`d\XZ_`\m\d\ekXnXi[Xkk_\DXpfiĂ&#x2039;j:\c\YiXk`fef]k_\8ikj>XcXfe=i`[Xp% Pat Wagensveld and playwrights and actors Maureen Rooney and Paul Punyi. Lazar first picked up a guitar when he was 17 years old and looking for a hobby while working in the banking industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I ended up doing some recording studio work, some television work, but at all times, it was my hobby, not a career. Over the years, I suppose I made a little money doing it, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not what drove me,â&#x20AC;? he recalled. While Lazar dabbled in a number of genres as he was transferred from town to town

throughout Western Canada, it was in a small town in southern Manitoba that he fell in love with classical guitar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The music was way more sophisticated and, I thought, much more beautiful than threeor four-chord rock music or country music,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was sophisticated music; there were transcriptions of music by very famous composers. Probably my personal favourite in terms of music that I played was Bach.â&#x20AC;? When he found that book at Audreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in 1980, though, that really set his guitar-making career

into motion. A year after retiring from banking in 2000, he took part in a week-long class with master guitar maker Gregory Byers in California. While it gave Lazar a lot of satisfaction to play an instrument he made with his own hands, he said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even more satisfying to see others â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including some of the best guitarists in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; play them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen, I doubt that I could continue â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or at least I doubt that I could continue with the same energy and passion,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And certainly I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

produce as many guitars. If they were just piling up, I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have room for them. My wife would throw me out if I had 100 guitars laying around the house.â&#x20AC;? He usually builds six guitars per year, and while most stay in the Edmonton and Calgary areas, he has shipped them as far away as Denmark and the Netherlands. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I still donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t consider myself to be a hardcore professional guitar maker. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do the things I would have to do to spend almost all my time making guitars. I was pretty old when I took that last step anyway; I was retired and I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to make too big of a thing out of it,â&#x20AC;? Lazar said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the people that come to me come to believe that, despite the relatively small amount of money I charge for them, they are good guitars.â&#x20AC;? Lazar canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play the guitar much anymore due to arthritis in his hands, but he said making guitars in his basement workshop keeps his passion for the instrument alive. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made guitars for players who are far better than I ever was or ever could have been. Hearing (them being played) is great, and their appreciation is really gratifying as well,â&#x20AC;? he said. Tickets for the Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Celebration of the Arts Gala are $35 each and are available through Ticketmaster or the Arden Theatre box office. Several other awards will also be handed out at the gala. For more information on those and the event itself, visit www.stalbert.ca/ mayors-arts-gala.

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The City of St. Albert is hoping to give young artists a jumpstart on their careers through a new grant program. The Young Artists Legacy Program allots money to artists from 13 to 21 years of age for shortterm educational opportunities and professional development programs beyond post-secondary education, as well as assistance for artists to travel to showcases and conferences. Individual grants are $500 each, while group grants are $1,000 each. The deadline for applications for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s round of grants is April 10. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nurturing St. Albertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future cultural leaders and artists is a council priority,â&#x20AC;? Mayor Nolan Crouse said in a press release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Young Artists Legacy Award Program provides our youth with an opportunity to explore their artistic ability, showcase their creativity, and hone their development.â&#x20AC;? Individuals and groups are eligible to apply for one opportunity each calendar year. Disciplines eligible for assistance include visual arts, theatre, music, musical theatre, film, and new media and multimedia. St. Albert city council will award this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grants in May. For more information or to download application forms, log on to www.stalbert.ca/young-artists-legacyaward-program.

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Grandin Mall, St. Albert Proposal to obtain a Development Permit in a Direct Control Mixed Use District Date: March 25, 2014 Time: 6:30-8:30pm (presentation at 7:00pm) Location: Grandin Mall (east end by Scotia Bank)

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Members of the public are invited to participate in a public consultation session intended to provide the community with information concerning Amaconâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposal for the redevelopment of Grandin Mall and to gather feedback. The Phase one development applications include a development permit application and plan of subdivision application to allow 145 residential units in two new mid-rise structures (consistent with the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (DARP) and Direct Control Mixed Use (DCMU), the partial demolition of the mall (retaining the Scotia Bank), the retention of the office tower, and a new sales centre. At 7:00pm, the proponent will present an overview of the overall master plan for the site focusing on the key elements of the Phase 1 development. This public meeting will offer an opportunity for the public to provide input to the proponent and the City about this proposal.



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the late 1960s and early ’70s, Purpura travelling with this thing that fun for believes he’s still alive in people’s me,” he said. memories today because of the sheer But, before taking the stage, Purpura did a lot of research on Diamond and his amount of music he put out and the amount of touring he did. life growing up, and he feels that adds “He sold so many another dimension to records worldwide, so his show. that’s one factor,” he “I didn’t want to said. “Beyond that, it’s go up there and just almost magical when sing song after song. you try to pinpoint I wanted to add a the reasons why he little something into had endured so much it, a little flavour and is still so popular. to the show, by It’s got to be some interspersing some of the great songs information on he wrote; I mean, his personal and ‘Sweet Caroline’ ... professional lives,” he people might not said. know Neil Diamond Purpura prides in Timbuktu, but himself on attention they might recognize to details — he even ‘Sweet Caroline.’” found a designer to recreate some of Tickets to Purpura’s show at the Legion (6 Diamond’s signature Af\pGligliX Taché St.) are $25 in costumes from the E\`c;`Xdfe[`dg\ijfeXkfi advance or $30 at the 1970s. door. Advance tickets “I think it’s very important to get down his hand gestures, are available by calling the Legion at his facial expressions, and ultimately the 780-458-3330. For more information on Purpura, clothes he wore,” he said. visit his website at www.solitaryman.ca. While Diamond’s heyday was in

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If Joey Purpura has his way, he’ll be forever in blue jeans. Purpura is a Toronto-based Neil Diamond impersonator who will be making his way to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 271 in St. Albert on Thursday, March 20, to help the local organization raise some funds. Describing himself as a “good mimic” since he was a child, Purpura has been impersonating the “Sweet Caroline” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” singer ever since he sang one of Diamond’s songs at a karaoke bar several years ago, with the richness of his voice and the variety of his repertoire being what really got him hooked. “It was ‘Holly Holy,’ and I got an amazing reaction,” he said. “And then, for whatever reason, I got into learning Neil Diamond songs, just to perform them, just for fun at first.” Soon, though, Purpura wanted to do something bigger, and he started performing as Diamond on stages around Toronto. That then morphed into gigs across Canada and even parts of the Caribbean. “I wasn’t even thinking that I’d be

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Enjoy Centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Moonflower Room, which City officials felt was a perfect space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It takes learning out of the classroom and into a space thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fresh, fun and full of light,â&#x20AC;? cultural services director Kelly Jerrott said in a press release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was important for us to find a venue that matches the energy of the festival. It will be a warm, creative oasis in the middle of October.â&#x20AC;? Enjoy Centre co-owner Jim Hole is thrilled to bring the event to his facility. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Enjoy Centre is a great place to engage youth, a great place to explore the arts and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking forward to seeing these young artists pursue their dreams under our roof,â&#x20AC;? he said in the release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thrilled the Youth Festival Advisory Committee had the vision to decide what programming they want to see and we are thrilled to be involved in this event.â&#x20AC;? The festival is being organized in part by a committee of volunteers ages 14 to 23. For more information, visit www. stalbert.ca/youth-festival.

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St. Albertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest festival will crank things up at the Enjoy Centre this October. The City of St. Albert announced last week that the Amplify Youth Festival will take over the Enjoy Centre on Friday, Oct. 17, and Saturday, Oct. 18, giving young people a chance to cultivate their artistic sides. â&#x20AC;&#x153;St. Albert is an extremely vibrant and creative cultural community,â&#x20AC;? Mayor Nolan Crouse said in a press release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Amplify Youth Festival will help nurture our future cultural leaders and artists, and support our younger residents in exploring the arts.â&#x20AC;? The festival will feature hands-on workshops and programmed performing spaces, allowing kids age 12 and up the chance to explore areas like songwriting, musical production, visual arts and even culinary arts. All of this will be taking place in the

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Exercise beneďŹ ts the brain, too!

Regular exercise can benefit the body in many ways, helping men and women maintain healthier weights and lower their risks for developing potentially deadly diseases. Though many people are quick to associate exercise with its physical benefits, those hours spent on the treadmill also can boost brain power. According to Dr. Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and coauthor of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Intelligent Memory: Improve the Memory That Makes You Smarter,â&#x20AC;? exercise has a direct impact on the brain. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because exercise works directly on brain tissue, improving the connections between nerve cells, creating new synapses, growing new neurons and blood vessels, and improving cell energy efficiency. So while many people may begin an exercise regimen with a goal of trimming their waistlines or toning their bodies, they might be happy to know that those physical benefits are accompanied by several cognitive benefits as well. As the American Psychological Association acknowledges, the connection between exercise and mental health is hard to ignore, and the APA notes that the following are just a few of the mental benefits men and women might reap from regular exercise.

IMPROVED MOOD Many people feel great after exercising, especially if that exercise comes at the end of a particularly stressful day. However, those extra laps on the track or those hours spent on the treadmill donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just pay short-term dividends. In a controlled trial overseen by Duke University researcher and clinical psychologist James Blumenthal, sedentary adults with major depressive disorder were assigned into one of four groups: supervised exercise, home-based exercise, antidepressant therapy, or a placebo pill. Those in the exercise and antidepressant groups had higher rates of remission than those in the placebo group, and Blumenthal concluded that exercise was generally comparable to antidepressants for men and women with major depressive disorder. In addition, in following up with patients a year later, Blumenthal found that those who continued to exercise had lower depression scores than those participants who were less active.

Blumenthalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s study was not the only one to conclude that exercise can have a positive impact on mood. In a review of 11 studies that examined the effects of exercise on mental health, Boston University professor of psychology Michael Otto and his colleagues found that exercise could be a powerful tool when treating clinical depression, and even recommended clinicians include exercise as part of their treatment plans for depressed patients.

ANTIDOTE TO ANXIETY Some researchers, Otto included, have begun to examine the effects of exercise on treating and possibly preventing anxiety. The bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nervous system responds quickly when people feel frightened or threatened, often causing the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart rate to increase and sweating and dizziness to occur. Those people who are especially sensitive to anxiety respond to these feelings with fear, and that makes them more likely to develop panic disorders. But Otto and fellow researcher Jasper Smits of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University studied the effects that regular workouts might have on people prone to anxiety. Since exercise produces many of the same physical reactions, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, the body produces when responding to fear or threats, Otto and Smits wanted to determine if exercise might help people prone to anxiety become less likely to panic when experiencing fear or threats. In studying 60 participants with heightened sensitivity to anxiety, Otto and Smits found that the subjects who participated in a two-week exercise program exhibited marked improvements in anxiety sensitivity compared to those participants who did not take part in the exercise program. Otto and Smith concluded that this improvement was a result of the exercise group participants learning to associate the symptoms common to both fear and exercise, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, with something positive (exercise) instead of something negative (anxiety). Regular exercise benefits the human body in numerous ways, not the least of which is its impact on the brain.

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The St. Albert Theatre Troupe is hoping audiences get caught in its web as it tries something new. After a couple of seasons offering mainly lighthearted fare in strictly dinner theatre environments, the troupe is spreading its wings by offering its first straight drama production, The Spider or the Fly by Sam Bobrick, which opens tonight (Thursday) and runs through Saturday at the Kinsmen Banquet Centre in Riel Park. Director Louise Large said that not having dinner as part of the package this time around makes a pretty significant difference. “Dinner theatre, a lot of times, can often represent a night out in general. People enjoy the evening out and the social aspect, to come out and have a meal and have the full package of an evening,” she said. “But when we’re just presenting a straight play, the content of the play, the way it’s presented, the story being told has a much higher impact, because that’s all we have to offer.” The Spider or the Fly is a

Leader file photo

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She added that the troupe is also taking on more complicated technical challenges with this play. “We have original sounds that we created for the show, and a pretty extensive lighting rack that the troupe is very excited to be playing with,” Large said. “It’s not something on a technical level that’s ever really been attempted by the company before.” Large appeared on stage in the troupe’s production of Rumors by Neil Simon last year, and although she has directed other plays, this is her first turn at the helm of a St. Albert Theatre Troupe show. “It’s been a fantastic process,” she said. “I’m very thankful for the faith and trust that Mark (McGarrigle, one of the founding members) and the troupe put in me to helm the first one of these. It’s definitely a risk when you’re shaking up a successful formula, but I appreciate for the faith they’ve had in me.” The Spider or the Fly runs Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Kinsmen Banquet Centre (47 Riel Dr.). Tickets are $25 or $20 for students and seniors with rush seating, and are available through the troupe’s website at www. stalberttheatre.com.

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psychological thriller that see two storylines unfolding in the same space but in different timeframes. On one hand, characters Maura and Scott get romantically involved while serving on the jury for a murder trial, but soon find out they can’t agree on what the verdict in the trial should be. On the other hand, another young couple, Jan and Tom, work their way through their own unusual relationship that has ties to the murder case. “It represents a bit of a clean slate in terms of our production,” Large said. “It doesn’t have a large production history, particularly in Canada; it’s a fairly unknown play. And I liked the idea of taking on something that isn’t banking on name recognition or having been a film at some point. I wanted us to be able to really make it our own.” It’s a challenge to keep the two storylines straight sometimes, Large admitted, but she and the actors are managing well. “It takes a lot of careful planning and research and really diving into the text, and making sure myself, going into the rehearsal process, that I, as the leader of the process, was crystal clear on all the universes we were dealing in,” she said.

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Are you heartbroken about your favourite TV series or film franchise ending? Keep your quivering chin up. These days, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see your beloved characters embarking on new adventures â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but on a digital service. Netflix followed its revival of cult sitcom Arrested Development with the announcement that it was going to give crime series The Killing a proper final season. And in the past while, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen digital resurrections aplenty. KI8@C<IG8IB9FPJ1If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a Trailer Park Boys fan, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a whole lot of Sunnyvale

Trailer Park content coming your way. Netflix recently picked up two new seasons of the show â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Season 8 will be released before the end of 2014 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and three standalone specials. This Netflix deal stems from the fact that the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three stars â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay and Mike Smith â&#x20AC;&#x201D; purchased the rights to the series last summer. ?<IF<JI<9FIE1 After a stellar first season, the storylines on this NBC series deteriorated in less-than-heroic subsequent seasons, before the show got cancelled in 2010. Now, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be seeing a new story arc, presumably with new characters, hitting television next year. But before that, NBC says that a digital series will

introduce the new plot and characters. Since the original show was one of the first adopters of multiplatform storytelling, it makes sense that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d flesh things out online again. JK8IN8IJ1K?<:CFE<N8IJ1 Netflix recently extended the Clone Wars storyline by 13 episodes when they picked up Season 6, entitled The Lost Missions. Aside from a new story arc that will please Yoda fans, this move is significant because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the first time Netflix has streamed Star Wars content. M<IFE@:8D8IJ1 This week, Kristen Bell returns to the character that made her famous, as the Veronica Mars movie simultaneously hits theatres and iTunes on Friday. After the

showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cancellation from The CW in 2007, fans played a huge role in bringing their beloved blonde detective back to life with an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign. =IFD;LJBK@CC;8NE1 This TV retelling of the cult 1996 crime-vampire movie hits Netflix this week, with one important caveat â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be able to binge it right away. The service plans to release one new episode a week, like a traditional show. Robert Rodriguez, who directed the original movie, returns to helm four of the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10 episodes. While Quentin Tarantino wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be reprising his role as Richie Gecko, the tasty fast food chain from Pulp Fiction reportedly makes an appearance.

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The Arden Theatre hosts over 150 performances a year

$376,416

Low $262,000 / High $542,500 Avg. days on market: 54

HERITAGE LAKES

OAKMONT

Active Listings: 8

Sold Listings: 21

Active Listings: 5

Sold Listings: 9

Active Listings: 18

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

$421,050

$406,792

$461,166

$712,124

Low $359,900/ High $479,900

Low $307,500/ High $505,000 Avg. days on market: 33

$439,720

ERIN RIDGE

Low $419,000 / High $459,900

KINGSWOOD

Active Listings: 34

Sold Listings: 15

Active Listings: 24

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

$550,839

$897,350

$631,637 Low $449,900/ High $879,900

Low $390,500/ High $880,000 Avg. days on market: 67

$649,000

      

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780.995.0555 780 9 5 0555 (direct) 99 780.458.8300 www.samelais.ca

99 ELLINGTON CRESCENT 2718 sq.ft. 2 Storey, 3 Beds, 3 Baths.

Sold Listings: 5 Average sale price:

$894,400

$534,900

Low $538,500 / High $1,900,000 Avg. days on market: 50

780.995.0555 780 995 0555 (direct) 780.458.8300 www.samelais.ca

Low $419,900 / High $649,900

$461,300

Low $345,000 / High $573,000 Avg. days on market: 57

STURGEON HEIGHTS *120 Days Back

Sold Listings: 15

Active Listings: 1

Sold Listings: 7

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

Average sale price:

$674,211 Low $349,900 / High $1,198,800

Average list price:  ÂŽ

PINEVIEW

*150 Days Back

Active Listings: 36

Active Listings: 5

      

$769,859

Low $385,000 / High $1,935,018 Avg. days on market: 67

Average list price:

$558,135

Low $319,000 / High $1,100,000 Avg. days on market: 38

*120 Days Back ST. ALBERT

Average sale price:

Active Listings: 2

MISSION

$659,000

5 EMBER COURT NEW LISTING

Low $469,900 / High $2,399,900

Sold Listings: 5

Low $419,000 / High $1,398,888

Sold Listings: 8

Average sale price:

LACOMBE PARK ST. ALBERT

1795 sq.ft., 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms.

Low $366,000 / High $661,000 Avg. days on market: 66

$516,796

Low $367,000 / High $680,000 Avg. days on market: 45

$327,140 Low $249,900 / High $369,000

Sold Listings: 5 Average sale price:

$386,000

Low $316,500 / High $525,000 Avg. days on market: 51

$449,900 Low $449,900 / High $449,900

$332,071

Low $307,500 / High $365,000 Avg. days on market: 19

WOODLANDS Active Listings: 4 Average list price:

$459,325 Low $409,900 / High $539,900

Sold Listings: 6

Average sale price:

$421,050

Low $355,000 / High $466,900 Avg. days on market: 83

*The above area market averages represent the trailing 3-month averages, except where otherwise indicated, of single-family homes only as of the Friday prior to publication week. Data is provided by CRAIG PILGRIM of RE/MAX Real Estate (St. Albert), member of the Real Estate Association of Edmonton. Data does not include condos, townhomes or apartments, and does not differentiate between styles of homes. All efforts are made to ensure data is accurate for information purposes, but please consult a licensed real estate agent for additional market information.*Did you know source: City of St. Albert website, St. Albert 2012 Census AD{CS5155851}


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JkXgc\jj\\jjXc\j[ifg# n`ccZcfj\)),cfZXk`fej JLED<;@8E<NJJ<IM@:<JÆ Staples Inc said it would close up to 225 stores in the United States and Canada — 12 per cent of its North America outlets — and forecast another quarter of sales decline as it loses customers to mass market chains and e-retailers. Shares of the largest U.S. office supplies retailer fell as much as 17 per cent after the company also reported weaker-thanexpected fourth-quarter results and forecast a profit for the current quarter that fell far below analysts’ estimates. Staples has 1,846 stores in the United States and Canada. “Our customers are using less office supplies, they’re shopping less often in our stores and more online, and their focus on value has made the marketplace even more competitive,” chief executive Ronald Sargent said on a postearnings call. Staples said it had initiated a multi-year cost reduction plan that was expected to generate annualized pretax cost savings of about $500 million by 2015. Analysts said the store closures, which would take place by 2015, were unlikely to boost the company’s results in the near term. “The company had years to close and shrink the store base and stuck to its guns, and that decision is likely to impact them for the foreseeable future. This is too little, too late,” Janney Capital Markets analysts wrote in a note

to clients. The brokerage cut its rating on Staples’ stock to “neutral” from “buy.” Staples and rival Office Depot Inc have been struggling to keep shoppers from turning to mass market merchants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and online retailers like Amazon.com Inc. Office Depot, which reported a surprise quarterly loss last week, said it expected sales to continue to fall in 2014. “Staples’ disappointing fourthquarter performance further highlights the ongoing secular and cyclical challenges facing the office supply retailing industry,” BB&T Capital Markets analyst Anthony Chukumba wrote in a note to clients. Staples has been shifting its focus to new categories such as business technologies, breakroom supplies, and copy and print services from traditional office supplies like paper and toner. The company said on Thursday that it would refresh about 20 per cent of the products in its stores, adding new items in categories beyond office supplies. In North America, the company will add eight new categories including maintenance repair and operations items, storage solutions and retail supplies for small businesses. Staples said it would add about 1,600 items in categories beyond office supplies and remove about 1,000, beginning mid-March.

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There she is, said airport officials as the first non-stop flight from Reykjavik, Iceland touched down in our city last week. On board the inaugural flight was some very precious cargo — the Prime Minister of Iceland — to celebrate what he says is the beginning of a strong friendship between the two regions. Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, his wife and other dignitaries arrived from Reykjavik, as nonstop service from our city to Iceland kicked off Wednesday afternoon. His hair may have been a little ruffled from his in-flight nap, but Gunnlaugsson said the first non-stop flight to our city was a success. “It was wonderful to fly over and see all of the squares (on the ground), Canada is very organized. But that doesn’t mean that Canadians are square. You’ve all been so very nice and kind,” he said, offering some words to awaiting passengers. “And I hope you all have a wonderful

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time exploring my country, while I take a bit of time to tour your city.” Rod and Irene Stevenson waited anxiously as they prepared to board the departing flight. Rod said Iceland has been on his list of go-to destinations for some time. “It’s always been on my bucket list, it’s a place I’ve always wanted to go,” Rod said, adding that he can’t wait to visit the Blue Lagoon, one of the most beautiful hot springs on the planet. “It’s a very unique part of the world.” Also on hand for the ceremony, Mayor Don Iveson along with Deputy Premier Dave Hancock. The new service will operate every day of the week except for Thursday on an Icelandair Boeing 757, which seats 183 passengers in a three-class layout. The more than six-hour red-eye flight will depart from EIA at 6:30 p.m., and will arrive in Reyjavik at 6:50 a.m. Iceland time the next morning. A flight from Reykjavik will leave at 4:45 p.m. and arrive at EIA at 5:30 p.m. Edmonton time the same day.

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Between computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets and more, we’re attached to technology most of the time. Reminders of tech security are the forefront of many people’s minds as well, from complex passwords and security questions to campaigns on covering your ATM pinpad. So what does it take to really stay safe? Mat Honan of Gizmodo, a design and technology blog, shared his story online after being hacked in 2012. Honan is a tech savvy journalist, so he may seem like an unlikely person to fail to set up basic security measures. But Honan’s story makes it clear that consumers can still follow the rules of the digital world, but companies may fail to protect them. The hackers found Honan’s e-mail adresss and billing address by doing a few quick online Google searches. Then they called Amazon, claiming to be the account cardholder and requesting to add a new credit card. All they needed to do this was the account holder’s name, billing address, and e-mail — things that could be found online — and they added a new credit card to the account. Next, the hackers called Amazon a second time, this time speaking to a different call centre agent. They claimed to have lost access to their account through their primary e-mail address. This time, with a name, email, billing address, and credit card number, they

requested to add their own e-mail address to the account, where a new password was sent. This gave the hackers full access to the Amazon account and Honan’s real credit card information. Finally, having that credit card information gave the hackers access to Honan’s Apple accounts, where a plethora of his other personal information was stored. You may be wondering what the hack was all for. Did the hackers use his credit cards for lavish purchases? Read private company emails? Steal Honan’s identity? Nope - none of that mattered to the password pirates. Honan had a rare three-character Twitter handle, @mat. (He eventually won the username back.) Since Honan’s experience went viral in 2012, Amazon has upgraded its security measures, but as companies change their methods, so do hackers. What does this means for you and your business? Honan and others have learned a few tips from their hacking experiences. Set up extra security measures with your bank and other major organizations, such as additional security questions and verification numbers. Use different passwords for accounts on different websites, and regularly back up your computer in case of a crisis. The cost of an external hard drive will far outweigh the cost of losing all your data. Proactive will be better than reactive in any and all situations. Brittany Kustra is the communications and leasing co-ordinator with the Northern Alberta Business Incubator.

Photo: Sun Media News Services

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Early influences matter. In one household, a girl grew up learning about money so she would become financially independent and have the freedom to live the way she wanted. In another household, a girl grew up being told absolutely nothing about finance. Is it any surprise which of the two girls suffered from a serious financial setback in later years? Here is a quote from the woman who grew up in the household where financial education was a priority: “My parents were small business owners and they always told me that I needed to learn about finance and be independent. When I was 16 years old I started saving $50 a month and at 21 I hired my first investment adviser when I got my first job. When I was 30 I started buying stocks on my own but it didn’t suit my personality. I would obsess about things like how fast you could lose money. These were distracting thoughts. “Also as a busy mom I have no time for analysis so I found a very good female adviser who put together a long-term financial plan for me and who could be my trusted adviser. My husband and I live to a very strict budget. We manage our lifestyle to what we can afford and I save 10 to 15 per cent of my income every year. The first thing I do in January is pay off my RRSP, TSFAs, RESPs and other investments first.”

But the woman with the opposite kind of upbringing has a very different story: “Growing up I didn’t learn anything about finance. My parents were Vietnamese refugees, and they had nothing when they arrived to Canada and I was born. Juggling work to provide for the family was their priority and they had little time to teach us life lessons. “In my early 20s I met a man in university, and I thought he was the love of my life. We moved in together, bought a car, furniture, and appliances ... all on credit. We graduated and got jobs but the relationship ended shortly after graduation. During our time together, we spiralled into debt and everything was under my name. He told me he would help but our communication ended when he started dating my friend. After our breakup, I had to file for personal bankruptcy. From there, I decided that I would always take care of myself. “After five years of settling my consumer proposal obligations, it took me a year to rebuild my credit rating and I had to hold off on buying a house that I wanted. I felt so frustrated — how did I not know about this?” From my research, I know many women won’t even think about investing unless they have “perfect knowledge.” Could it be that they don’t even think about giving someone a money message for the same reason? After years interviewing smart and successful women, I can tell you that some of the best pieces of advice they received are simple: “Don’t spend beyond your means” and “It isn’t about how much you earn, it is about how much you save.”

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St. Albert Leader March 13, 2014