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Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

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:FM<I Hogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head Brewing Company operations manager Shaun McCabe (left) and head brewer Bruce Sample (right) get ready to ship out a pallet of kegs from their headquarters on Rayborn Crescent. More and more beer drinkers are looking for locally brewed products, and Hogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head is ready to capitalize on that trend. See story, page 18.

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Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how high (23.95 feet) Benjamin Hendermann of Germany tossed a beer keg on a Chinese TV special in December 2011, the highest toss ever recorded, according to Guinness World Records.

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A St. Albert woman is looking to bring smiles to children in developing nations as part of her journey to compete in a national beauty pageant. Daylin Fergusson, 26, is getting ready to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant in Toronto later this month, with preliminaries taking place on May 22 and the finals on May 24, But first, she is organizing a Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day brunch and yoga fundraiser on Saturday at Sharonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Studio, just south of La Crema CaffĂŠ at 44 St. Thomas St., with guest instructor Roxanne Sundahl. The event is benefitting Operation Smile, an international organization that provides free surgeries for children born with cleft lips and cleft palettes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Two-hundred-sixty dollars provides a child with an operation in a third-world country, and I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great to give and see that come back,â&#x20AC;? said Fergusson, who went to high school in Swift Current, Sask., but moved to St. Albert for work a few years ago. This is Fergussonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first time competing in any kind of pageant, but she was drawn to the Miss Universe program because it emphasized education and humanitarian work as much as physical beauty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I liked the aspects of it taking in all dymanics and all factors when being considered and going through the process,â&#x20AC;? she said. She added that, through her participation, she hopes to be a

Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

D`jjLe`m\ij\:XeX[XZfek\jkXek;Xpc`e=\i^ljjfe`jiX`j`e^dfe\p]fiFg\iXk`feJd`c\k_ifl^_Xpf^XXe[YileZ_ \m\ekk_`jJXkli[Xpdfie`e^% role model for women her age and younger. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not only is this entering into a competition, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re giving back to the community,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a huge part of my life. I feel that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really developed me as a person in terms of reaching out to organizations.â&#x20AC;? Before qualifying as a finalist for Miss Universe Canada and being able to compete in Toronto, Fergusson had to first go through an interview with the national director and a couple of agencies. While there are more than 60 women in the pageant, Fergusson said it feels more like thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camaraderie between all of them rather than competition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lots of them Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met from

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her own interest in the practice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve taken my yoga certifcation through the AFLCA (Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association), so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to instructing in the future,â&#x20AC;? she said. And she said sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be bringing her own mom down and treating her to brunch for a good cause. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She got the first invite,â&#x20AC;? Fergusson said with a laugh. Fergussonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day yoga and brunch fundraiser kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday. There will also be a silent auction and a 50/50 draw to raise money. Admission is by donation and everyone is welcome, but participants must register in advance through Eventbrite.

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Alberta already, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all been in touch and have a really good support group going,â&#x20AC;? she said, adding that the Edmontonarea contestants have been inviting one another to their fundraising events over recent months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to seeing them and spending 10 days with them in Toronto, being in rehearsals and hopefully making some lifelong friends.â&#x20AC;? Fergusson is sponsored by local realtor Sharon Ryan and Art and Soul Salon in Edmonton. In organizing their fundraisers, pageant participants had the choice of raising money for S.O.S. Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Villages or Operation Smile. Fergusson decided to centre her event around yoga because of

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?fjg`Z\^iflgdXb`e^jki`[\j St. Albert, located at Youville Home. The push for more palliative care beds began in October last year, when several In the midst of National Palliative Care local churches banded together to raise Week, a group looking to open more awareness of the issue. palliative care beds in the St. Albert area is When letting people know about the making great strides current situation — as toward their goal. they did through an After a few groups information booth at working under loose the Enjoy Centre a few organization, the weeks ago — fellow St. Albert Sturgeon steering committee Hospice Association member Johanna (SASHA) incorporated Buisman said it often as a society on April comes as a surprise. 2, with the mission “People often don’t of opening a space even realize that is for “enhanced the one bed only,” compassionate she said. “Our whole :_i`j>l\jk end-of- life care for committee, people are J8J?8jk\\i`e^Zfdd`kk\\ community members continually asking, and their loved ones” ‘How far are you guys in St. Albert and in Sturgeon County. The getting?’ So the momentum is starting.” group has formed a steering committee and A town hall meeting was held that several subcommittees, and those involved month at the Royal Canadian Legion say they’re feeling good about the direction Branch 271, and that’s where several more they’re headed. people got involved, including Guest. “(Incorporating) legitimizes us and what “That’s we’re doing, and we can start approaching how I the general public so they can realize we’re out there,” said Chris Guest, one of the steering committee members. National Palliative Care Week runs from May 4 to 10. There is currently only one palliative care bed available in

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got captured into it, and there were other people who were the same way,” she said. “I think it was important to get the message out. We’ve got a whole list of volunteers now who are willing to help out. … But, as time goes on, we’ll need more volunteers.” With the society now incorporated, SASHA is on the lookout for an appropriate facility, and have their sights set on opening a total of 10 hospice beds in St. Albert. “We’re working very hard with a bunch of different organizations around this area, we’re researching things, and we’re trying to put forward what would be the best in this area — what type of facility, where it would be situated, what kind of funding, all that kind of stuff,” Buisman said. So far, SASHA isn’t far enough down the road to know whether the beds would be set up in an existing long-term care facility or in a separate facility, nor do they have a timeline for when they might open. But both Buisman and Guest know that palliative care beds would make a very important addition to the community. “Palliation is happening in St. Albert already. It’s happening in home care, being managed through home care in home settings. But this is that next step that sometimes can’t happen at home anymore,” Buisman said. For more info or to get involved with SASHA’s efforts, email stalbertproject@gmail. com.

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Even though officials with the City of St. Albert have expressed concerns in the past about service, they have signed a new five-year deal with Alberta Health Services to provide ambulance services in the city. The new deal was signed on April 30 and provides two Advanced Life Support

ambulances and staff for St. Albert 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “The City of St. Albert is committed to working with Alberta Health Services to deliver the best possible services for our residents,” Mayor Nolan Crouse said in a press release. “Our residents expect a high quality of life, and we need to ensure that we can provide a safe and healthy community.”

The two sides reached an agreement in principle earlier this year. The new financial arrangements came into effect on April 1, and AHS sent a letter of intent to the City to sign the new contract on or before April 30. AHS took over ambulance services across the province in 2009, and since then, City officials have been vocal about EMS service slipping below the standard of a response time of nine minutes or less 90 per cent of

the time. In the City’s corporate report for the fourth quarter of 2013, the average EMS response time was over 14 minutes. When city council voted in January to move ahead with negotiations on the new contract, Crouse said in a statement that it “is not going to address all of our concerns regarding service levels,” but he was committed to working together with AHS to solve whatever problems there might be.


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The City of St. Albert has a busy summer ahead of it. On Monday, the City posted to its website an interactive map of all the capital projects it hopes to complete during the 2014 construction season, giving residents a chance to see what projects are planned near their homes or workplaces or along their commuting routes, and get more information. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Construction is an inconvenience to residents; however, the work that takes place is imperative to ensure the improvement and enhancement of our Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roadways, utilities, buildings plus cultural, recreational parks and facilities,â&#x20AC;? Mayor Nolan Crouse said in a press release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vital that we communicate and share information with our residents so they understand the benefits to these projects, and how we are working towards cultivating sustainable infrastructure and

services.â&#x20AC;? Major projects that the City hopes to complete this year include: t3FDPOTUSVDUJPOPGUIF roadway, drainage systems and sidewalks along Linwood Crescent; t3FQMBDFNFOUPGNFEJBOT  curbs and gutters along St. Albert Trail, as well as planting new trees and shrubs; t$POTUSVDUJPOPGBOFX wastewater lift station along Gate Avenue; t*OTUBMMBUJPOPGOFXHSJU interceptors and reconstruction of an outfall structure to reduce the amount of sediment washing JOUPUIF4UVSHFPO3JWFS t3FQMBDFNFOUBOEFYUFOTJPO of sidewalks in areas of high pedestrian traffic all over the city; t%FWFMPQNFOUPGBOFX off-leash dog park adjacent to Servus Credit Union Place; and t%FWFMPQNFOUPG kilometres of trails within the &SJO3JEHFTVCEJWJTJPO The City is also replacing

asphalt in several locations across St. Albert, and replacing park amenities that have reached the end of their lifespan. The map of capital projects is available at www.stalbert. ca/2014-capital-projects.

CORRECTION NOTICE The GoodLife Fitness Clubs May unaddressed ad mail card distributed in St. Albert May 1-9, 2014 is incorrect. Please note that the promotion indicates â&#x20AC;&#x153;on a 1 year membership.â&#x20AC;? when in fact it should read â&#x20AC;&#x153;on a 2 year membership.â&#x20AC;? GoodLife apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience this has caused. AD{CS5223939}

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Get Back in the Game

With warmer weather arriving, many people are anxious to resume a favourite summer sport or activity. Depending on a number of variables â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such as your level of physical activity, age and conditioning â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wise to plan ahead for the resumption of your favourite physical pastime and avoid an injury your first time out. Different physical activities require very different sets of muscles. But whatever your favourite activity may be, a good base level of f lexibility and conditioning is an excellent start. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect your activity or sport to â&#x20AC;&#x153;get you in shapeâ&#x20AC;? unless youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a short season. So how do you prepare for soccer as opposed to golf or gardening? When should you start? Perhaps you have an old injury that should be taken into account? The staff at the two St. Albert locations â&#x20AC;&#x201D; St. Albert Physical Therapy and Sports Injury Clinic located in Tudor Glen Place, and Dynamic Sports Physiotherapy at Servus Credit Union Place â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are experts in assessing your current level of fitness and then developing a program that addresses your

specific physical condition and activity goals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fact youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re being active and participating is the most important step,â&#x20AC;? states physical therapist James Dean, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but progress slowly, especially for activities you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t engaged in for the past few months. Listen to your body; pay attention to the signals your body provides that you might be doing too much, too soon.â&#x20AC;? The prevention of an injury is the best treatment a physiotherapist can provide. You definitely want to avoid an injury becoming a chronic condition that can limit or even end the enjoyment of your favourite sport or exercise. Some basic tools and pre-planning can contribute to a more

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enjoyable and longer active lifestyle. You want to include rest days in your plan. Especially as we age, the body needs to rest and repair. A proper warmup is essential. A short jog of 5 to 10 minutes, followed by duplicating movements used in the activity combined with muscle specific stretching, can prevent injury and even enhance your performance level. Start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your exercise. Pain limits your gain; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t try to â&#x20AC;&#x153;work throughâ&#x20AC;? it. Proper technique and equipment can greatly assist in the prevention of sports injuries. Gear such as helmets, mouth guards, eye protection and proper footwear all provide greater levels of safety and protection from often preventable injuries. All four Active Physio Works locations, including clinic locations in Fort Saskatchewan and Kensington in North Edmonton, offer FitFOREGolf, a research-based golf rehabilitation program that deals specifically with the recognition and treatment of golf related injuries. In addition, Active Physio Works locations can now order diagnostic imaging including MRIs, X-rays, ultrasound and CT scans. The Dynamic Sports Physiotherapy in Servus Place has three orthopedic surgeons on staff that work closely with the physiotherapists in providing their high standard of care within the Active Physio Works Clinics group. No matter what your lifestyle may be, the experienced staff of Active Physio Works can help you get back in the game, whether it be sport, work or everyday life. Visit www.activephysioworks.com for more information.

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Mfclek\\if]k_\P\Xi]fccfnj`ejfejË]ffkjk\gj “There are so many people here that make such an impact, it’s crazy,” said Munro, a 17-year-old who goes to Paul Kane High School and started volunteering at the age of 12 as a swimming AXd`\ instructor assistant >l\jk at Fountain Park C\X[\if]Kfdfiifn Recreation Centre. Munro said she started volunteering as a way to get a foot in the door for a job further down the road, but it quickly turned into so much more. “I met other like-minded people that had other C`Xd opportunities, and BXZ_bXi I got more involved. C\X[\if]Kfdfiifn I realized I wasn’t doing it for the job or because I needed to; I wanted to do it because I liked it,” she said. “I had this passion that I didn’t realize I had before.” And she said volunteer work is something she’ll continue doing well <c\q\ into the future. Dleif “It’s hard to stop something like this, C\X[\if]Kfdfiifn because there are so many people you know, and now it’s part of you,” Munro said. Same goes for Becigneul, who said he’ll keep donating his time for as long as he possibly can. “(I’ll stop) when they put me in a box,” he said.

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Usually, it’s the sons who follow in their father’s footsteps. But it was the other way around for Joe Becigneul on Saturday. Becigneul was named Volunteer Citizen of the Year for 2013 by the St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre during their annual awards brunch Saturday morning at the St. Albert Alliance Church. He follows in the footsteps of his sons, Matt and Alex, who won Leaders of Tomorrow awards from the CIVC in 1999 and 2004, respectively. “It’s pretty awesome. It’s amazing,” Becigneul said just after receiving the award. Having his sons there to share in the celebration made the win that much more special, he added. “It was very special when they each won, and ... to put another one on the mantle next to theirs is nice,” Becigneul said. Alex was part of the Columbian Squires Brother Anthony Kowalczyk Circle 4759, who won the Leaders of Tomorrow youth group award in 2004, while Matt won on his own in the senior high category in 1999. Becigneul is probably best-known at local hockey rinks for his role as refereein-chief for the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association. But he also gives his time to numerous other organizations, like Holy Family Catholic Parish, the Knights of Columbus, the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Alberta Business Incubator and several schools in the Greater St. Albert Catholic system. “The most rewarding work is the work you do with the young kids — young referees, the Columbian Squires, that sort of thing,” he said. “I’ve said to people over and over again: If you want to be inspired, work with young people.” But one volunteer duty that master of ceremonies Mary O’Neill mentioned Saturday that tipped him off that he had won was the time he spent in a mascot suit for sports teams at St. Albert Catholic High

Join Us For Our

Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

Af\9\Z`^e\lckXb\jkfk_\d`Zifg_fe\X]k\iXZZ\gk`e^_`j)'(*Mfclek\\i:`k`q\ef]k_\P\Xi XnXi[[li`e^k_\Jk%8cY\ik:@M:ËjXeelXcXnXi[jYileZ_JXkli[XpXkJk%8cY\ik8cc`XeZ\:_liZ_% School. “(My boys) used to be on the teams, and they would watch from the field while I was doing antics in the crowd at football games. A couple of times, they were even asked, ‘Are we going to have to go bail your father out of trouble?’” Becigneul said with a laugh. Other Volunteer Citizen of the Year finalists included: tSandy Fildes, who has volunteered with the Friends of the St. Albert Public Library, STAR Literacy and Holy Family Parish; tJennifer and Davey Giordano, who spearheaded the building of a new playground at J.J. Nearing Catholic Elementary School, helping fulfill the

wish of young Halle Popowich, a local girl stricken last year with a rare form of leukemia; and tDick Tansey, a tireless advocate for seniors through the local chapter of Seniors United Now and a visitor and driver at River Ridge Seniors Residence. Also handed out on Saturday were this year’s Leaders of Tomorrow awards, which went to: tJamie Guest (6 to 12 years old); tLiam Kachkar (13 to 15 years old); tEleze Munro (16 to 18 years old); tW.D. Cuts Junior High School Grade 9 Leadership Class (youth group); and tBAM! (Building Assets and Memories) (youth group).

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he definition of madness, it has often been said, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So, even though the City of St. Albert has technically only done it a couple of times, it might just be considered Yp>c\ee:ffb “madness” that City officials have signed a second contract with Alberta Health Services to provide ambulance services in St. Albert. Before the City first signed on with AHS in 2009 — albeit begrudgingly — emergency medical services were meeting their serveice targets of responding to calls within nine minutes 90 per cent of the time. That standard went downhill drastically once the contract was signed, and there have been no signs of improvement over recent years. The latest corporate quarterly report to city council reported that EMS response times are now hovering around the 14-minute mark. That kind of increase should be unacceptable to our civic leaders and should have given them more than just a brief pause when considering whether or not to renew the contract. Of course, AHS has municipalities over a barrel when it comes to ambulance service. Given how it was amalgamated in 2009, it’s likely that trying to get out of the framework at this point would mean the City incurring great costs and even greater amounts of red tape. If nothing else, the new contract should have allotted at least one more ambulance to St. Albert. Right now, there are only two units in the city, although more can be called in if needed or if they are tied up waiting at hospitals. Two ambulances seems woefully inadequate for a city of more than 60,000 people, though, whether that city is adjacent to a major urban centre like Edmonton or not. AHS is keenly aware of the service problems St. Albert is facing; a senior official said in a statement in January that “patient care is our top priority.” In the end, though, AHS will have put its money where its mouth is and work hard to bring about a different result so as not to drive St. Albertans in need of emergency care to the brink of madness.

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any of us have experienced the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival, but I’d like to introduce you to a group whose passion for the festival has allowed us to take a more active role in bringing it to life. As president of the Friends of the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival Society, I am part of a volunteer organization that supports the annual production and presentation of the festival for patrons from around the province. Our board is made up of individuals who all bring a unique skill set to serve as advisors to festival staff. We are passionate about the festival, as many of us have either grown up attending the festival, or have brought our own children over the years.

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and central Alberta. When you think that over 55,000 guests attend every year, the magnitude of what the festival provides with the help of the Friends Society is amazing! As a mom and former teacher, I’ve had the pleasure of bringing both my own children and my classroom to the festival over the years. Now, I am able to be a part of the festival through my participation with 11 other likeminded community members and ensure it continues to be a knock-out production year after year. When you wander around the festival site and see the smiles on faces of both young and old, the value of the festival and the Friends Society really shines. Mark your calendars to attend one of our favourite (and most delicious) fundraisers of

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the year. The Butterfly Cupcake Challenge will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Albert Centre. The oven mitts come off as sponsors and community groups battle it out to win the ultimate bragging rights for “Most Creative Cupcakes” and “Most Money Raised.” Cast your ballot for your favourite cupcake, buy a cupcake for a donation, and bid in the auction to win some of the amazing culinary creations! Children will also have the opportunity to make a Mother’s Day card to take home. Finally, May 27-31 are the dates to let your Imaginations Take Flight as the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival explodes into downtown St. Albert with 5 days of incredible sights, sounds and stories from around the world. See you there! Fne\[Xe[fg\iXk\[Yp

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Stone-faced soldiers walked across the tarmac at the Shell Aerocentre on Friday afternoon in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Local troops are off to Poland for readiness training designed to â&#x20AC;&#x153;reassure Central and Eastern European Allies.â&#x20AC;? About 50 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patriciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canadian Light Infantry, as well as support staff from Edmonton, will conduct training in parachuting, airborne

operations and infantry skills alongside Polish and American counterparts in this United States-led exercise with a view to enhancing alliance-interoperability and readiness. The troops departed from the Edmonton International Airport Friday afternoon. The effort â&#x20AC;&#x201D; dubbed Exercise ORZEL ALERT â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is a NATO-led exercise taking place in Swidwin, Poland, from May 5 to 9 as part of NATOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to reassure Central and Eastern European Allies. Media were barred from asking questions of the military or of MP Laurie Hawn at the deployment.

Instead, Hawn, who was there to see the threaten the stability and security of Central troops off, gave a statement echoing Prime and Eastern Europe. By taking part in Exercise Minister Stephen Harper. ORZEL ALERT, along â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Prime Minister with NATO allies, spoke for all Canadians Canadian troops today when he wished our will contribute to the soldiers good luck over the promotion of stability next while in their mission,â&#x20AC;? and security in the Hawn said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thank you region, and demonstrate very much for being able to that the international respond as the Canadian community will not Armed Forces are always standby in the face of ready to respond. We hope Russian militarism and to see them home as soon as expansionism,â&#x20AC;? said CXli`\?Xne possible.â&#x20AC;? Harper. <[dfekfe$:\eki\DG Earlier this week, Canada U.S. press secretary sent six CF-18 fighter jets Jay Carney said April 30 to Romania to help patrol the skies of NATO the U.S. will deter Russia through economic member countries threatened by Russian sanctions. aggression in the Ukraine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Russian army is obviously a substantial force, and the only way to resolve this is Prime Minister Stephen Harper Friday not through military conflict; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s through morning announced that Canadian Army organizing, as the United States has, an soldiers would take part in Exercise ORZEL international coalition to put pressure on ALERT. Russia to make sure that Russia is paying a â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Putin regimeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s persistent military high price for the actions itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taking,â&#x20AC;? he said. aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine

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Teachers should be evaluated every five years to assess their competency and keep their teaching certificate, a provincially commissioned report says. The recommendation was one of 25 listed in a report from an Alberta government-appointed task force released Monday morning. The Task Force For Teaching Excellence — a 16-member panel headed by NAIT president Glenn Feltham — also recommended changing how complaints about teacher conduct are handled. Under the current system, the Alberta Teachers’ Association investigates most allegations of misconduct, holds hearings, has the power to reprimand and can recommend the suspension or

cancellation of teaching certificates. If the report is acted on, it would be the province and not the ATA assessing performance and deciding if that teacher stays or goes. The province says the union protects under-performing teachers, and in the last 10 years, not one teacher has had their certificate revoked due to poor performance. “We believe that Alberta is blessed to have some amazing teachers. But we do believe that competency needs to be evaluated. I do believe that we can measure people’s competence, it happens in all professions,” Feltham said. Most school leaders — including principals — are members of the ATA, the report noted; the task force questioned if those leaders are able to stay objective with a stake in both groups.

The ATA issued a scathing response to the report, saying the “politically driven recommendations have the potential to seriously undermine the culture of education in Alberta.” Mark Ramsankar, ATA president, says some of the recommendations strip teachers of “fundamental employment protections” and “fail to recognize differences between policing and reviewing teacher professional practice.” Education Minister Jeff Johnson called the remarks “baseless” and

“irresponsible,” and added that the task force was given a mandate to “put the student first.” Over the next 30 days, the task force will ask for further recommendations from the various educational stakeholders, and come back with any tweaks and improvements. It will then be tabled to government, Johnson said. If approved, some of the recommendations could be implemented this fall.

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Just as Education Minister Jeff Johnson anticipated, the Alberta Teachers’ Association is none too pleased with recommendations made by his educational task force — they’re calling it a “direct assault” on teachers and the profession. The Task Force For Teaching Excellence — a 16-member panel — released its findings Monday after spending the past seven-months gathering suggestions from colleges, school boards, and educational stake holders. There are 25 different recommendations that fall under three categories: the teacher, the leader, and the education system. The ATA issued a scathing response to the report, saying it lacks transparency and the

“politically driven recommendations have to destabilize the province. As soon as we the potential to seriously undermine the start dismantling the association through culture of education in Alberta.” removal of regulatory obligations, it creates Mark Ramsankar, ATA an unstable scenario.” president, says some of the Education Minister Jeff recommendations strip teachers Johnson called the remarks of “fundamental employment “baseless” and “irresponsible,” protections” and “fail to and added that the task force recognize differences between was given a mandate to “put the policing and reviewing teacher student first.” professional practice.” “I think a lot of people would “When you’re talking about take exception to that. I think looking at responsibilities there are things in there that contained within the association you could say are critical of DXib and potentially removing the ministry, critical of the IXdjXebXi them, that isn’t enhancing the education budget, critical of 8K8gi\j`[\ek professional obligations,” he the ATA — it depends what said. perspective you’re coming from “The implementation of certain you could certainly take offense to some of recommendations will very much start the things in the report,” Johson said.

“I’m not so concerned about what’s right for an organization as I am with what’s right for students.” Not everyone was as critical of the report — Edmonton Public School Board trustee Michael Janz said, while they will request clarification on certain items in the report, the EPSB “looks forward to seeing what the recommendations mean going forward.” The Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) says it was pleased to see that a few of its recommendations had been incorporated into the report. “There’s certainly plenty of things that we talked about that appear to be in the report. So I think there will be some good support,” said president Brad Vonkeman. A public review process and feedback will be done, and then the province will decide on how it will move forward.


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The Environmental Master Plan (EMP) is a long-term strategic initiative that identifies environmental goals for the next five years. City council reviewed an updated plan that added minor changes to the action plan and additional information on City of St. Albert plans.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between St. Albert and Sturgeon County seeks to outline the working relationship between the two municipalities. County staff have made a set of recommendations about the growth and area planning as outlined in the MOU.

Two bylaws concerning the Jensen Lakes Area Structure Plan (ASP) were originally read on April 22, but unanimous consent was not given for third reading to allow staff time to incorporate changes to other bylaws in the ASP made on April 22. Council voted Monday on third reading.

Council voted Monday on all three readings of the 2014 municipal property tax bylaw, including an adjustment to the 2014 increase by 1.18 per cent, as opposed to the 1.87 per cent as originally projected, as stipulated by the budget amendments carried on April 28.

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Assessment and tax notices will be sent out to property owners on May 29. Payment is due on June 30, although appeals will be accepted up to July 28.

All changes to the EMP was carried unanimously and now is the governing plan around all environmental goals for the next five years.

The MOU will be passed forward to Sturgeon County for their approval and create a final document.

This first step sees the ASP carried forward and further Land Use Bylaw amendments and capital investments will be developed and considered to see the full development of the Jensen Lakes development.

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The provincial government will move to delay controversial pension legislation on Tuesday to allow time for further consultations after push-back from provincial unions and the City of Calgary. On Monday, Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason said house leaders from each party reached a deal after Question Period to refer Bill 9, the Public Sector Pension Amendment Act, to the Standing Committee on Albertaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Economic Future. The referral will see the bill pass second reading Monday night, but then be delayed until the fall sitting as the committee pursues public hearings this summer. Last week, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi sent a letter to Premier Dave Hancock outlining numerous concerns with the bill. Mason called it a â&#x20AC;&#x153;small victoryâ&#x20AC;? that may lead to improvements to the bill. To address sustainability issues,

the bill modifies early retirement for members to a 60 and 90 factor starting in 2016, which means workers must be at least 60-yearsold and age plus years of service must also equal 90 or greater. Cost of living adjustments (COLA) for pension benefits will now be a targeted 60 per cent of Alberta inflation, rather than a guaranteed 60 per cent. Finance Minister Doug Horner said the referral goes back to conversations the government has had with unions and stakeholders on outstanding questions regarding how the jointsponsorship model for the plans will be implemented and what the contribution cap will be. Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, said the bill is â&#x20AC;&#x153;fatally flawedâ&#x20AC;? because the government didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do its homework. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a huge step in the right direction but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to break out the champagne until we get a strong guarantee that the government has in fact agreed to go back to the drawing board,â&#x20AC;? he said.

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The heroic actions of two local dogs will always be remembered by their owners and the people whose lives they saved. But now, the actions of a dog named Rocky and Edmonton Police Service dog Quanto have earned them an induction into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are comprised of three canine pets, one service dog and a courageous cat. Two dogs from the five inductees, however, were honoured posthumously, including Quanto. On Oct. 7, 2013, Quanto was stabbed to death while apprehending a suspect who fled from police on foot after ditching the stolen vehicle he was driving. With Quanto clamped down on the man’s left arm, biting his left hand in an attempt to stop him from escaping, the man stabbed Quanto multiple times, including several deadly blows to the dog’s chest. At first, his handler, Const. Matthew Williamson, thought the dog was being punched, then came to the realization the large suspect was armed with a knife.

Quanto soon released his grip — something Williamson said he never does without being commanded to do so. “I looked down and his head was falling. So I picked him up in my arms and I cradled him in my arms as I ran back to the truck,” said Williamson, who rushed the dog to a veterinarian. “I remember saying to him, ‘Not now buddy, not now.’ It was too early in his life. He wasn’t quite six.” Despite the vet’s best efforts to revive Quanto, his injuries were too severe to survive. Williamson doesn’t even want to think about what would have happened had Quanto not been there to apprehend the sixfoot-six, 250-pound suspect that day. “He’s going to be remembered for the dog that did anything I ever asked him to no matter how scary or dangerous it was,” said Williamson in an online video. “All police handlers like to think they have a great dog and a hard dog, but I got to see it.” Fort Saskatchewan dog Rocky was also recognized for his acts of bravery on the afternoon of March 31, 2013. Adam Shaw and the black Labrador were walking near the Rundle Park foot bridge that day when screams were heard coming

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DXkk_\nN`cc`Xdjfe_fc[jXg_fkff]<[dfekfeGfc`Z\J\im`Z\[f^HlXekf#n_`c\8[XdJ_Xn gfj\jn`k_IfZbpXjYfk_[f^jn\i\`e[lZk\[Dfe[Xp`ekfk_\Gli`eX8e`dXc?Xccf]=Xd\% from the riverbank below. When Shaw looked down, he saw a young girl floating in the open water, her sister desperately trying to pull her to safety. Shaw dropped everything and told his wife to call 911 as he and Rocky raced down to the ice, where the second girl had now fallen into the frigid water. After a string of events that involved both Shaw and Rocky also plunging into the water, both girls — age six and nine — were pulled to safety with the help of Rocky and his leash. “He’s our rescue dog. He saved our lives,” said Samara Wagner, who floated far down

the river before she managed to grab onto Rocky’s leash to be pulled to safety. She and her sister Krymzen were on the ice trying to retrieve a hat that had blown off in the wind when the ice gave way. “I was so thankful,” said Krymzen in an online video. “I was so happy that he actually saved her.” The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is about incredible stories of pets that save lives. From sensing deadly medical conditions to saving their owners from wild animal attacks, 136 dogs, 27 cats and a horse have been recognized in the last 46 years.

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When it comes to the craft beer craze, local is king, and Hog’s Head Brewing Company is wearing the crown in St. Albert. For the past year and a half, the brewery located in Riel Business Park has been quenching the thirst of beer lovers looking for a local brew. “In the craft beer wave that’s coming, people want to know where it came from,” said Shaun McCabe, operations manager at Hog’s Head. “... Fresh is best (with beer). People who are going to drink our beer and know that it’s local know they’re drinking something that’s fresh. It hasn’t been sitting around; it hasn’t been passed around from facility to facility.” “There’s no additives, no preservatives,” added head brewer Bruce Sample. “The beer is not pasteurized, so this type of product actually needs to go in a cooler, in a fridge. A lot of people don’t realize that. A good example I tell people is, when you go to the grocery store and you’re going to buy milk, you’re buying milk out of the cooler. You’re not buying milk off the floor. So why would you buy your craft beer off the floor?” The only problem is, not a lot of people know they’re there. “We’re probably St. Albert’s best kept secret,” McCabe said. “We’re producing beer that’s getting increasingly popular. We do these shows in Edmonton and even in Calgary, and people go, ‘There’s a brewery in St. Albert?’” Hog’s Head Brewing Company opened up in St. Albert about 18 months ago, and have since expanded their product line to

Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

?f^Ëj?\X[9i\n`e^:fdgXepfg\iXk`fejdXeX^\iJ_XleDZ:XY\c\]k Xe[_\X[Yi\n\i9ilZ\ JXdgc\jkXe[e\okkfXe\dgkpdXj_kle`ek_\Yi\n\ipËjI`\cGXib]XZ`ck`\j% 15 varieties and their sales from 20,000 to 60,000 cases per year. Some of their varieties include Clockwort Orange wheat ale, Boss Hogg oatmeal India pale ale and Hop Slayer IPA. “We want to be known as a West Coast brewery — lots of malt, lots of hops, lots of flavour,” Sample said.

“I don’t tend to follow trends. Why would I do what everybody else does?” he added. Sample — who is trained in maintaining and installing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems — lived in Houston, Texas, for several years, and started homebrewing when he grew tired of the mass-produced, flavourless beers that were

popular there. Meanwhile, the assistant brewer is a NAIT-trained chef, and McCabe’s background is in occupational health and safety. While the beer is brewed locally, there aren’t a lot of ingredients that go into the beer that can be found or grown close by. “There are certain ingredients that we get here that are local. As much as possible, we try to get local,” Sample said. The process of coming up with a new brew, like some of the seasonal recipes they roll out each year, starts simply enough with just an idea — whether that’s a name or a style of beer — and then continues with a lot of trial and error with test batches and tweaked recipes. “We’ve got a room full of people who love beer and want to talk about what we can do differently,” McCabe said. “That’s where it gets fun. The day-to-day operations are like any other job. But then we can fire up the test batches and start messing around. And if it doesn’t work, you pour it down the drain and move on to your next batch.” While Hog’s Head has experienced tremendous growth over a short time, they’re setting the bar even higher, including plans to turn their tap room into a restaurant serving locally sourced ingredients in the near future. “We’re growing fast, and at some point, this building isn’t going to contain us anymore,” McCabe said. Hog’s Head headquarters are located at 16 Rayborn Cres., and their tap room is open Tuesday through Saturday, where beer lovers can sample and purchase some of the brewery’s offerings.

Cultivate Colour See what potential your front yard really has - be inspired by a stroll through the St. Albert Botanic Park on Sturgeon Road Share your pictures on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/statourism

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Eating local has never been easier thanks to some of St. Albertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular restaurants and suppliers. Over the past few years, there has been a huge shift among consumers, who are now demanding more local fare, both to reduce the impact their food has on the environment and to better keep tabs on where their food comes from and what exactly is in it. And restaurants like Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Burger Shack are more than happy to oblige. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (our suppliersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) name on the line, just like itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our name on the line, and we like to deal with people who see that and respect that,â&#x20AC;? said Tu Le, chef and co-owner of the popular Perron Street eatery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re happy and proud to serve this product, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re proud to supply that product.â&#x20AC;? Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gets two of their most important ingredients locally. Most of their buns are a special

recipe baked at local Safeway stores, although they do get some specialty buns from Grandin Bakery. Some of the specials are inspired by whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available across the street at Grapevine Deli. And they get the ground beef for their patties â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 300 to 400 pounds a week of it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fresh from Darcyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Meats in Campbell Business Park every day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Darcyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s takes a lot of pride in their product, and their name is on the line too. And when that happens, we all win,â&#x20AC;? Le said. Kyle Iseke, owner of Darcyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Meats, agrees that his reputation depends on the restaurants that serve the products he supplies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we source our product, we are sourcing what we believe to be a higher quality, more local product â&#x20AC;&#x201D; something we think is going to be better for our consumers, more delicious, more healthy, whatever it is that person might want,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So when somebody does want to buy from us, our name is on the line. We have to supply something of higher quality; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all we really have as a small local business.â&#x20AC;?

Iseke himself says he sources more than 80 per cent of the meat he carries in his shop from around central Alberta, and he and his staff know many of the farmers they get meat from personally. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The only one we really have trouble with is beef. We have a large selection of different types of beef, based on the demand, Beef is highly sought after, but a lot of people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize that, when you slaughter a local cow, there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a lot of high-quality cuts,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of hamburger, a lot of tougher roasts, and those are in less demand.â&#x20AC;? He also carries a lot of sauces and spice rubs that come from Alberta suppliers, as well as small producers from across Western Canada. That fits with a big shift he has seen among customers over the past few years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot easier to answer (customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) questions if you have a relationship with the farmer, with the grower, or you make the product yourself from scratch,â&#x20AC;? Iseke said.

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Local youth, along with City of St. Albert officials, are making some noise with a new youth arts festival, coming this October. Tuesday was the official launch for the Amplify Youth Festival, which will take place Oct. 17 and 18 at the Enjoy Centre, and will feature a wide range of workshops for young people aged 12 to 21 to explore and discover their passions, from henna body art and metalworking to songwriting and even barbecue. “I’m really ‘amped’ about the new festival,” joked Kelly Jerrott, cultural services director for the City. “It’s just so great to see so much positive energy coming from the youth in our community.” Much of the festival has been organized by a committee of youth from the community. Sarah Tougas is a member of that committee, and she said they’re excited to get things rolling. “I’m really excited that the City is supporting youth in a different way,” said the 18-year-old student at Paul Kane High School. She added that there is a buzz building about the festival among people her age. “A lot of people haven’t quite heard about Amplify quite yet,” she said, “but we’re

digital cameras and with cellphones — to certainly putting it out there. And everyone improv comedy with Rapid Fire Theatre, I’ve talked to has been really excited.” Jerrott said that the City has and from filmmaking to tape art. seen great success catering to Tougas said that coming up with 8DGC@=P younger kids through the annual the workshop topics International Children’s was a collaborative NFIBJ?FGJ effort among Festival, and she hopes Amplify will carry that K?<JLG<I/ committee members. success to an older age “The City group. :?8CC<E>< ran some “It’s in line with our Cultural Master Plan in terms of nurturing =@CK<IJ# the development of D<K8CNFIB1 J<C=@<JXe[ young artists in our :FGG<I:L==J JD8IKG?FE<J community and creating positive environments for youth,” she said. N\cce\jj C@=<JK@CC “And it’s in line with N`k_`egi\j\ekj1 council’s priorities, G?FKF>I8G?P K?<JFE>NI@K@E> too, in providing D<K8CNFIB1 :?8CC<E>< that type of community.” G<IJFE8C@Q<; @DGIFM The ;F>K8>J NFIBJ?FGn`k_ workshops I8G@;=@I< offered K?<8KI< range from photography n`k_;XiZpËj — both with :XjlXc:Xk\i`e^ advanced

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surveys in certain groups ... to see what youth would be interested in,” she explained. “Based off those surveys, we as a committee said, ‘This is what makes sense; this is what we think people would love.’ We tried to make sure we had a lot of variety.” Of the offerings, she said she was most excited about the metalworking classes, where kids can choose between making personalized dog tags and custom copper cuff bracelets. “I’ve never had the opportunity to do anything like that before,” Tougas said. The metalworking workshop was a popular choice, as that’s one that Jerrott said she’d sneak into if she had a chance. “I think the songwriting one would be great, and the metalworking looks really interesting too,” she said. The festival will also feature concerts both nights; Friday night will feature local bands, while organizers are still mum on Saturday’s headliner. There will also be the Friday Night Fever afterparty, featuring top DJs Harman B and DJ Kwake. Tickets for the Amplify Youth Festival went on sale Tuesday morning, and are available through Ticketmaster or www. stalbert.ca/amplify-festival. Single-day passes are $10, or two-day passes are available for $15 each


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Theatre lovers have one last weekend to catch the latest production from the St. Albert Theatre Troupe. The troupeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last three performances of Shrunken Heads by M.Z. Ribalow go tonight (Thursday), Friday and Saturday at the Kinsmen Banquet Centre on Riel Drive. And so far, Mark McGarrigle â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one of the troupeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founding members and a member of the cast for this production â&#x20AC;&#x201D; said the response has been great. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last weekend was one of our strongest

weekends. We added a couple of Sunday performances, which had a good turnout,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody leaving is loving the food and the show.â&#x20AC;? Shrunken Heads tells the tale of a psychiatrist who tries to spend a quiet weekend relaxing at his country estate, but keeps getting interrupted by eccentric and neurotic patients, by his daughter and even by his ex-wife. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little more cerebral ... but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very funny,â&#x20AC;? McGarrigle said. And the cast has taken to the show quite readily. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have quite a few of our veteran actors (in this one) ... the stalwarts or whatever you

want to call them, the people that are always around,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And everybody in that group definitely takes their characters to another level. And theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all crazy characters.â&#x20AC;? This is the last show of the season for the St. Albert Theatre Troupe, a season that saw quite a few firsts, including their first drama. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our company keeps growing, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been fantastic. A big help was having (Global Edmonton meteorologist) Kevin Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell in Same Time, Next Year â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just his popularity definitely got the word out a little bit more,â&#x20AC;? McGarrigle said, also noting that the troupe helped put on a comedy night to raise money for the Save Our Space Camp campaign last

month. But McGarrigle is already looking ahead â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the troupe has next season planned out, starting with another play, Looking, by one of their favourite writers, Norm Foster, in November. Also up for next season are another drama, Waiting for the Parade by John Murrell, and Laffertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wake, which is a little more interactive than plays theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done in the past. Tickets for Shrunken Heads are $50 each, or $45 for students and seniors, and are available through www.stalberttheatre.com. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner starts at 6:45 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.

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ERIN RIDGE Active Listings: 42 Average list price:

$577,260

Low $369,900/ High $849,900

Sold Listings: 29 Average sale price:

$575,292

Low $424,000/ High $880,000 Avg. days on market: 41

FOREST LAWN Active Listings: 6

Sold Listings: 8

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $379,900 / High $649,000

Low $317,000 / High $425,000 Avg. days on market: 20

$451,416

$371,750

Sold Listings: 44

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $379,500 / High $1,198,800

Low $320,000 / High $1,108,355 Avg. days on market: 27

$655,969

$525,970

MISSION Active Listings: 3

Sold Listings: 6

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $320,000 / High $374,900

Low $292,100 / High $414,000 Avg. days on market: 32

$348,266

$340,516

NORTH RIDGE Active Listings: 25

Sold Listings: 27

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $409,900 / High $829,000

Low $370,000 / High $953,750 Avg. days on market: 36

$566,295

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$384,610

Active Listings: 5

Average sale price:

Average list price:

$406,091

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Sold Listings: 11

$394,766

Low $344,900 / High $479,500

Sold Listings: 18

Average list price:

BRAESIDE Active Listings: 3

Active Listings: 12

 

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Sold Listings: 22

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $434,900 / High $1,398,888

Low $365,900 / High $1,250,000 Avg. days on market: 29

$707,694

$609,252

PINEVIEW Active Listings: 3

Sold Listings: 5

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $575,000 / High $668,900

Low $405,000 / High $625,000 Avg. days on market: 42

$634,600

$480,000

STURGEON HEIGHTS Active Listings: 2

Sold Listings: 5

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $354,900 / High $355,000

Low $325,000 / High $647,000 Avg. days on market: 51

$354,950

$419,900

WOODLANDS Active Listings: 12 Average list price:

$451,633

Low $379,900 / High $544,900

Sold Listings: 7

Average sale price:

$425,128

Low $375,500 / High $466,900 Avg. days on market: 82

*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. AD{CS5221370}


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One of Canada’s most prolific guitar players is making a stop in St. Albert to show local musicians a thing or two. Guitar master Jeff Gunn — who has played alongside the likes of Serena Ryder, Arrested Development and Swizz Beatz, while opening for artists like Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Feist and K’Naan — is bringing his talents to Innovations Music on St. Albert Trail on Thursday, May 15, for a workshop based on his Hidden Sounds series of books. “We’re really trying to provide them with a creative approach to the guitar, which they can then take and explore on their own,” Gunn said. That, he conceded, is very different from usual guitar instruction methods, but that’s how he likes it. “It really champions the idea of being as creative as possible,” he said. “Take, for instance, an A-minor chord — instead of just playing it naturally, we’re going to look at different positioning techniques so you can get different sounds using the exact same fingering, but just strumming it different places.” Other variations include using a pick versus strumming with fingers, or trying to imitate other instruments like a mandolin or even DJ turntables. Gunn is taking his workshops across Canada, touring local music stores from Montreal to Victoria, B.C., over the course of May and June. They are designed so that guitar players of any skill level can take something meaningful away, which is what he saw on the tour’s first stop in Oshawa, Ont. “Some of the guitarists knew literally one chord, and they still took something away out of it,” Gunn said. “... If I show you how to do one thing with one chord, then you can apply it to other areas of your performance.” Gunn started playing guitar at the age of 14, and within three months, he had started his own band. “I had discovered my dad’s records, and I just wanted to play music after listening to The Doors and Jimi Hendrix and all these bands from the ’60s,” he said. He studied music at York University in Toronto, and then travelled all over the world for about six years, picking up new guitar techniques at every stop along the way. When he returned to Canada, he started playing with African hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal, and gigs started coming in fast and furious after that. He said that he can clearly remember the moment he knew that playing guitar would

MAY 27-31, 2014 ST. ALBERT, ALBERTA

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be a huge part of his life and career. “The first time I did a live show when I was 15, I knew this was the path for me,” Gunn said. “It was for a couple of reasons. I like the idea that your job is to make people happy. … And then travelling, too, and interacting with cool people and getting to play with your musical heroes.” Gunn has played with and opened for artists spanning several musical genres, from rock to hip hop to folk. The choices to play with those artists were conscious ones, he said. “As a guitar player, there’s a lot of freedom to explore different genres, and to improvise as well over top of structures,” he said. “And it cuts across my interests; after travelling, I really like different styles of music from around the globe beyond North American pop radio.” Jeff Gunn’s workshop takes place at Innovations Music (580 St. Albert Tr.) on Thursday, May 15, running from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but spots are limited. To reserve your spot, call Innovations Music at 780-460-4400.

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For those who think Edmonton lacks entrepreneurial drive, the man building the jewel of condo towers — the 36-floor Pearl overlooking the river valley from Jasper and 119 Street — arrived from India as a penniless immigrant 34 years ago. “When my mom and dad first came, they had no connections, no wealth,” says Raj Dhunna of his father Rakesh Dhunna, respectively chief operating officer and president of Regency Developments. “They worked day and night, had us kids. My father decided to build our own house in 1987. Then he built a house in Twin Brooks, sold it, built 15 to 20 more.” One thing led to another, from a rental property portfolio, to a strip mall on 34 Avenue, to a Beaumont 60-unit townhouse project. During the boom of 2006-2008, Regency was gearing up for bigger projects, making strategic land acquisitions Along the way, Rakesh built up Regency’s network of tradespeople, lenders and sub-contractors. It was that network, plus a strong sense of community, that kept Regency in business during the grim years. Regency’s first big-time project couldn’t have had worse timing. Regency bought the rezoned land for the 117-unit, 22-floor Quest tower on 105 Street and 104 Avenue in 2007. Things looked great. A sales office had opened, 20 per cent of the condos had been sold. Then the global financial crash hit Edmonton in November 2008. Condo prices collapsed. Sales at Quest ground

to a near halt. That’s when Regency’s reputation and its network kicked in, says Raj. “We sat down with our tradespeople and bankers. We all hung in. We never stopped construction. That’s not in our genes.” By 2010, the economy began to revive. The last Quest condo unit was sold in early 2013. Rakesh and Raj (freshly minted University of Alberta MBA in hand) had never stopped looking into the future — as developers must do. They’d purchased the land on which The Pearl now sits, a couple of run-down apartment buildings on Jasper Avenue. The block was ripe for redevelopment. The original zoning allowed for two 20-storey side-by-side towers. “We had travelled, and seen what multi-story condo towers could do,” says Raj. Why not take the same density, put it into one really tall tower, win over the neighbourhood (and city council) with public amenities at ground level and extra attention to shadow minimization? Going higher meant more unobstructed views of the river valley and the surrounding city. The timing on the Pearl couldn’t have been better. City council was ready to approve visionary projects. Once it was apparent the Pearl would be a good neighbour, the local community bought in. The rezoning to 35 stories (now 36) passed near-unanimously. This time, as the concrete was being poured, Edmonton’s economy was improving. Empty-nest baby boomers are exchanging houses for an upscale urban experience. The boomers

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were buying up the top floors of The Pearl, with young professionals buying the smaller, lower units. “As we were going up, the market was asking for fewer but bigger, more luxurious units,” says Raj. “We went back, re-figured the units, upgraded the quality all around.” Another floor was added, and 174 units shrank to 128 bigger units. The Pearl’s exterior is now finished, all sky-blue and glass. The building is 60

per cent sold and will likely sell out by October. Leaving Edmonton isn’t in the cards. “It’s about knowing the market, and making changes in a timely manner,” says Raj. And, he says, it’s about community. “My father would never move. When I did my MBA at the U of A, I was influenced by the likes of Joseph Doucet, Ralph Young and Mike Percy. They teach you about pride of place, about doing the right thing.”

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LORENE LECAVALIER

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780-990-6266 Direct 780-460-8558

Pierre Hebert

780-459-7786 www.bermontrealty.com

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A few days ago, I attended my first Accelerate AB conference on behalf of the Northern Alberta Business Incubator. The event was hosted by the C100 in collaboration with local organizations such as TEC Edmonton and Startup Edmonton. Putting incubation groups and entrepreneurs in one big room doesn’t seem to happen often enough! The main conference events took place all in one day, featuring keynotes, breakout sessions, and panel discussions. Topics included building your team, pitching to venture capitalists, and keeping track of metrics in a useful way. The speakers came from very diverse backgrounds, representing industry heavyweights like Shopify and CloudFlare. Although every journey of entrepreneurship is different, a couple key themes seemed to run throughout the day’s presentations. The first theme was that the focus needs to be on the customer. This is something we focus on at NABI, but the speakers at Accelerate AB framed this idea in a different way. If you were to survey 500 of your customers about your product disappearing, at least 40 per cent of them should respond that they would be “very disappointed.” You might think you have the most incredible product in the world, but if it isn’t serving your customers, it isn’t doing anything at all.

The second theme was problemsolving. Nearly every speaker touched on problems, especially identifying the most important ones. We heard one especially great analogy. Each year, more people are killed by mosquitos than are killed by sharks. Although entrepreneurs greatly fear the sharks (other entrepreneurs who might steal their idea), it happens less often than we think it does. Instead, focus on the mosquitos — the small problems that can be real threats, like internal communication, cashflow, and inventory. Some of the wisest words of the day came out of the venture capitalist panel. The session featured three venture capitalists from California, all of whom are originally from Canada. They reminded the entrepreneurs in the room that VC cash can be very positive, but not to fret if you don’t receive funding. If you can create your own roadway to success without the help of VCs, then that’s something to celebrate. In addition to the sessions, Accelerate AB was a great chance to meet ambitious young entrepreneurs and my fellow incubation comrades. We share ideas, best practices, and struggles of the industry. It made me hopeful for the state of small business in Alberta and ready to work together to create something great.

Brittany Kustra is the Communications and Leasing Co-ordinator for the Northern Alberta Business Incubator.

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Canada’s spy agency doesn’t want its thousands of intelligence officers being twits on Twitter and fatheads on Facebook, according to newly disclosed social media guidelines for Canadian spooks. Sun Media News Services has learned that CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) sent guidelines to its spies last November that outlined a social media code of conduct. “Every keystroke leaves a trace on the Internet,” says the nine-page CSIS document obtained under a federal accessto-information request. “One small mistake can ruin months or even years of prudent use, as many online hackers and offenders found out much too late.” The document also suggests that spies keep tabs on what people close to them are posting online, and warns to be on the lookout for people posting photos of them or revealing personal information by, for example, wishing them a happy birthday. Spies are also warned to review past posts and check for photos “from your carefree youth that may be embarrassing in your current professional life.” The document uses a bit of humour to describe just how much a part of people’s lives websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest have become. The document quotes Bruce Schneier, one of the world’s foremost security experts: “If you’re not on Facebook, you don’t hear about parties, you don’t see your friends and you don’t get laid.” On a serious note, CSIS also reminds the spies that sharing any information online with colleagues, family and friends could be very dangerous, especially if the information is being shared via tablet or smartphone.

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Style & Sales Associate - Cerulean Boutique • Sales Associate - Westend Nissan Inside Sales Associate - Global Cell • Newspaper Carriers - St. Albert Leader City of St. Albert: Facility Service Associates • Utilities Supervisor – Public Works Community Development Coordinator - Family & Community Support Services AD{CS5221325}

Employees are also warned that there are no guarantees of Internet security. For spies that are super-paranoid of possible consequences associated with social media gaffes, the agency suggests they close their social media accounts “and rediscover the old-fashioned pleasures of connecting with your friends and family in real life.”

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St. Albert Leader May 8, 2014  

St. Albert Leader May 8, 2014

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