Lethbridge College snow removal plan

The storm that hit Lethbridge last weekend crippled student’s ability to get to school and make it to their classes safely. The snowstorm followed by several days of 30 below weather has caused several icy spots to develop, causing incidents on the roadways that may have been avoided with further prevention methods.

Chris Eagan, director of management facilities is asking that anyone with information on some of the icy spots on campus, should give them a call with their concerns at the general facilities office 320-3223 or email at www.chris.eagen@lethbridgecollege.ab.ca.

“We’re only to happy to have others call in, because we’re only seven guys and can’t be everywhere,” says Egan.

“Our priorities are getting faculty and students to class safely.”

Egan also says that it’s tough for his Building Maintenance Supervisor, Clarence Slomp to decide what is a greater priority.

“Do we set up the chairs in the gymnasium for a tournament on the weekend or go out and take care of the snowfall.”

Slomp has been given full power to decide what to do as these situations arise. The maintenance crew can’t be everywhere and has to compromise between where to delegate the crew.

“Often when we are in the gym setting up chairs, we’ll get a complaint about a slippery sidewalk where someone has taken a fall.”

The crew of seven is responsible for maintenance of school grounds, walkways, parking lots and anywhere else students or faculty walk. They’re also responsible for setting up chairs for sporting events or maintaining classrooms and the cafeteria’s ability to function. Egan says it’s also about trying to strike a balance between safety and academics. Since it’s an educational institution, academics comes’ first and if they hire another maintenance worker, the money won’t be there to hire more faculty.

“If the situation becomes extreme, I can contract out for emergencies,” says Egan

The maintenance department is responsible for keeping their own snowplows in tact and taking care of any snow that falls on campus. They use Snowmelt as little as possible because it’s more expensive, but better for the grass.

“We spread small chipped blocks around on the pavement,” says Egan

“The maintenance crew is doing all they can when a snowstorm hits, but it’s all about striking a balance between safety, workload and nature.”


Canadian Forces recruiting artillery field soldiers

The 18th field Regiment, a part of the Reserve force of Canada is recruiting Canadians looking to serve their country with a part-time career as an Artillery Field Gunner.

The Regiment has been a part of Lethbridge ever since 1908 and has gone through many changes from WWI to the present. Lethbridge is the birthplace of all of the artillery batteries currently embodied in the 41st Canadian Brigade Group artillery units.

The 18th Regiment was a total force unit, consisting of Regular and Reserve force members, but due to government cutbacks, it became a Primary Reserve force in 2005.

To become a member of the (CF) Canadian Forces, call the local recruiter, Master Corporal Panchuk or come down and watch the Reserves parade on Wednesday nights from 7 to 10 P.M.

“You can get a feel for what it’s like,” says Panchuk.

“The recruiting process from start to finish takes between three to six months,” says Panchuk.” Grade 10 is a minimum requirement to join the CF and the more education you have, the better. The first step after handing in your fully completed application form, is to write the CFAT test (Canadian Forces Aptitude test) and the higher you score, the more future job opportunities you have.

The test requires the completion of 15 multiple choice questions in five minutes to test applicants verbal skills. Followed by 15 multiple choice questions in 10 minutes to test spatial (shapes) ability and lastly, complete 30 problem solving questions in 30 minutes.

The next step is to get yourself as fit as possible and be ready to take on the Army’s physical abilities test (PT test). Pushups, sit-ups, a step test and a grip test are part of the PT testing.

Minimum requirements differ, depending on your age and gender and for more information go to www.forces.ca to see about specific requirements, training, trade information, videos and pay scales and opportunities to specialize. If further information is needed, the site has an online chat area where you can speak with recruiters directly.

Once the potential recruit has completed these two steps, they’re sent to Calgary (CFRC) for a medical and final screening interview.

If accepted, you’re sworn in and either sent to an eight week summer BMQ (Basic Military Qualification) or ten straight weekends of training Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Once basic training is completed, hopefully a position in the Recruits trade choice will be available. The commitment to the CF is to come out to parade night every Wednesday night to practice drill and one weekend per month.

The job is physically and mentally demanding and an ability to work well under pressure. Recruits work with Howitzers providing support for the front lines (infantry) and armored units by using land to land, indirect fire on the enemy. Training with small arms, such as machine guns, rifles, pistols, grenades, mortars, anti-tank weapons, driving LAV III light armored vehicles, reconnaissance, and the use of satellite computer systems to guide weapons systems are all part of being a Gunner. Practicing navigation and communication techniques and working under changing environmental weather patterns embody an artillery field soldiers duties.

Reservists who desire the opportunity for adventure, can join deployments to Afghanistan and other locations across the globe, usually on UN missions.

When national emergencies occur, such as major fires break-out or flash flooding, the Reserves get the call.

The Mousetrap captures local audience

When he started directing stage productions 30-years ago, Eric Low never thought he’d get such a rousing reception by the audience Friday evening.

Lowe’s portrayal of Agatha Christie’s, The Mouse Trap, captivated the joyful spirits of the overlooking crowd at Yates Memorial Centre. The murder/mystery play first opened in West London in 1952 and has run continuously ever since.

“I tried to give the production my own look,” said Low.

He took ideas from other plays such as using a wrench, similar to one of the murder weapons used in Clue. All the actors were permitted to bring a prop to add to an element of texture and quirkiness that Low was looking for.

When asked what he found most challenging about directing The Mouse Trap, Lowe replied, “It’s been done so many times before and I really wanted to put our own stamp on it.”

One of the ways Low did this was by introducing the element of the voice on the radio, which was made famous in Hitchcock plays. Low found himself taking on cameo, being an actor himself.

“I just thought it would be fun to see if the audience could find me while I’m doing it,” Low commented.

This was not the first time Low directed The Mouse Trap.

“I directed The Mouse Trap 20-years-ago and didn’t want to do it the same and that included changing the music.”

Low is still floored by the reaction his cast received from the audience Friday evening.

“Last nights show was one of the best I’ve ever been involved with.”

Low says it’s rare when the audience gets into it the way they did. A thought that seemed to humble the longstanding member of the Playgoers Club of Lethbridge. This year is the 87th anniversary of the Playgoers Club.

“Part of the purpose of doing this show was to raise awareness and to show how wonderful the experience can be,” says Low, grinning ear to ear.

Low is thankful to the over two dozen volunteers who showed up on countless occasions to help with stage setup, concessions and other nameless duties.

Low likes to give his cast room to grow within the parameters he sets as the director.

“I always want to make sure the actors are having fun and showing that playfulness.”

Giving the actors freedom to express joy and make body movements and exaggerations to captivate the audience is encouraged by Low. To him, it’s important that everyone involved in the show is just as important and has a vital role to fill in making the production successful.

From the audience’s reaction this past weekend, it seems to have worked.

Kodiaks clinch playoff birth

The Kodiaks men’s basketball team sealed a playoff birth after a dominating 91-60 win over SAIT on Saturday evening.

The Kodiaks started the game in a strong defensive posture right from the tip off. Feisty and tenacious efforts lead to a SAIT timeout with over 3 minutes to go in the first quarter. The scoring gap increased after play resumed as SAIT entered the penalty, leading to a 23-12 lead for the Kodiaks

They continued their strong play at the start of the second quarter, which led to several turnovers. Feeling the pressure, SAIT called another timeout. Coming out of the huddle, the Trojans employed an aggressive half court trap to great affect as they clawed their way back to a 35-25 deficit by the end of the half.

After an exciting cheerleading display at halftime, the Kodiaks came out strong for the third quarter. Every player was on fire to start the second half, draining bucket after bucket from every spot on the floor. In the midst of the breathtaking display of shooting skills and a 19-3 run, Logan Mendenhall drained a shot from the arc, plus the foul, to complete the four-point play. The crowd went into a frenzy as his teammates behind him jumped off the bench to help Mendenhall to his feet, giving him high fives as he walked over to the foul line.

“We came out with a really solid effort. Probably the best game we’ve played all year,” says Logan Reiter, Kodiaks player of the game. The first-year business student straight out of high school put up 17pts and had a stellar defensive effort to lead the Kodiak charge.

“We’re a small team, so we have to hustle out there.”

He knows they’ll have to keep up the strong play if they’re going to have a chance at winning the ACAC championship.

“I think if we can continue to play like this, we can have a deep playoff run.”

Lethbridge College “adopt a family program” helped 34 families this Christmas

Lethbridge College will be sponsoring 34 families in the “adopt a family” program this year, including seven from the Students Association.
Adoptees come in here and fill out a form.

“Currently, we have 35 to 40 adopters that came forward by word of mouth over the last couple weeks. Everything is by word of mouth. In the past we’ve had about 50 to 60. It all depends on the year,” says J.P. Gentile, campus recreation co-ordinator.

“We try to bring in parents with little ones on campus, because they’re the ones struggling to feed their families.  It’s tough with tuition and everything else.  Student loans have run out or are running out.”
The adoptees come in and fill out a confidential form.
The Students Association gives out information to the departments and they go out and by the products to fill the hamper.

“These hampers are anywhere from three to five/six hundred dollars. When we hand out the gift baskets, it’s behind a curtain and nobody gets to see what is received in that box.
“It’s Christmas for us all year around here, but for students struggling, it’s a one-time thing,” adds Gentile. “It’s a lot of stuff for a one time deal.”
“Our hampers in the back are big Tupperware containers full of food, toilet paper and then we also go out and buy clothes for them a couple days prior to their (adoption) day.”
Adopters come to the (RAC) Recreation Activity Centre on the day before and drop off their hamper and then the students will come in the next day, be given a cue card and then once their number is called, pick-up their hamper.
“In the past, we’ve had people bring 13 or 14 boxes of a decent size and we’re just loading them up, one after another.”
The gift baskets will be handed out in two weeks.

“We went shopping the other day to fill the hampers and we spent over a $1000 on food alone.”

Each container will hold about $150 worth of food.
“When they open up the lid, there will usually be a $50 gift card for Wal-Mart, $50 to Canadian Tire, $50 to Safeway,” says Gentile.
A few people from outside the school help out. McKillop Church, along with other individuals that want to help out by adopting someone every Christmas.
The Students Association gives the adopters information about the size of the recipient, whether one kid, two kids, single, couple and see what they like and then they come in the day before the adoption and drop off the stuff at the RAC. Then the gifts are distributed the next day.
In the past, as many as 75 families have participated and what they did was set up a bunch of tables into The Barn, which was jam packed.
There is an increase in Lethbridge Hurricanes games, which may mean students are deciding to go out to the bars less, which may also explain why there are fewer adoptees coming forth looking for help.  “Maybe things are still good, student loans might still be around, so fewer have looked for help this year,” says Gentile, speaking of the slight drop of total recipients looking to be adopted.
Gentile says that he’s been a part of the adopt a family program since he became part of Recreation Services 12 years ago and the program has been in place for about 15 years, helping families and students make it through tough times.
“Every department has a lot of people in them, so if each person gives say $10, it adds up.”
In each hamper, the Students Association includes an envelope telling the adoptee who provided the sponsorship and if they want to send their appreciation back, they can do that.
“We know they appreciate the gifts, when my helper and I are loading them up in the back of their vehicles and we see that twinkle in their eye, that’s what makes us feel good,” adds Gentile.
“We like to spoil the kids.  We do it because it’s a good cause and we enjoy doing it.  We have a lot of people that will come in and donate $1,000 anonymously.”

Fair-play gets a shot in the foot

In the wake of another missed “hand ball” by a referee during a recent World Cup 2010 qualifier between France and Ireland, sportsmanship and FIFA’s (Federation International Football Association) fair-play campaign has a greater focus.  During the two –game playoff to determine the right to play in the World Cup, French striker, Thierry Henry, while running inside the six-yard-box, palmed the ball down and volleyed a pass over to teammate, William Gallas to win the game on aggregate in extra time.

Republic of Ireland were set to make their fourth appearance at the World Cup stage just moments before, but the blatant hand ball was missed and French players stormed the field in excitement as Ireland emphatically protested the goal, but to no-a-vale.

FIFA has put several years and a sizeable amount of funds towards their “Fair-play” campaign.  There was nothing fair about the referee not standing his ground and calling off the goal as he was the only one with the power to do so.  Instead, celebrations were already taking place on the field as he discussed it with his linesmen, but it was too late.  The referee missed what is likely the most blatant handball in the history of the game.  Diego Maradona’s concealed hand ball to score a historic goal for Argentina was nothing compared to this missed call.  There was no need of instant replay to see that Henry’s hand ball was similar to that of a basketball player palming a basketball during a dribble, otherwise known as a “carry ball.”

If you’re charged with the responsibility of making the right call and one as obvious as this, you should be relieved of your job.

Handshakes, hugs and the exchanging of jersey’s following a game are wonderful gestures of sportsmanship, but without referees acting responsibly themselves, the world’s most popular game will always be under scrutiny as these referee’s continue to make mistakes.

The referee, even as celebrations had ensued, had the right to call the players back onto the field and disallow the goal.  He didn’t do that.

The Republic of Ireland filed an appeal and asked for the playoff match to be re-played from the moment the hand ball took place in the game.

Thierry Henry issued a statement that the only fair way to deal with his hand ball infraction, is to replay the game.

Henry was quoted as saying, “Naturally I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish, who definitely deserve to be in South Africa.  Henry said it was an instinctive action to reach out and handle the ball and by playing the game myself, I truly can buy that, as in the heat of a fast paced game, I’ve found myself touching the ball momentarily, without meaning to. After the game Henry stepped up right away and told Irish players, his teammates and the referee that he had handled the ball, there was no denying it.

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter spoke to the media soon after Henry’s comments saying that it wasn’t the player’s responsibility and he (Henry) didn’t need to say anything.

To me, this is a case of actions speaking louder than words and contradicts FIFA’s statements about sportsmanship and fair-play in the beautiful game, which has reared its ugly head during this debacle. If anything, Blatter should be commending Henry for stepping forward and showing true sportsmanship, something often lost in professional sports.

The Republic of Ireland’s appeal to replay the match was immediately denied, with FIFA quoted as saying “the game was in the referees hands and we can do nothing about the result now.”

Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger of the English Premiership is quoted as saying, “What is terrible for the referee is that he gave the goal knowing something was not regular, yet he had no help,” said Wenger. “I saw him walk from the linesman to the middle of the park, thinking ‘I have to give that goal’, knowing it is not a regular goal. That is where football is guilty.

Athletes like Thierry Henry show what an impact they can have on kids who listen or read his comments after the game. Even with a birth at the World Cup for his nation of millions on the line, he stepped forward and assumed responsibility for cheating in the heat of the moment.  Henry would replay the game, because it’s the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the bigger message youth will receive from this ruling of unsportsmanlike behaviour, is that it pays to cheat. This message contradicts FIFA’s fair play initiative and shouldn’t be ignored. Republic of Ireland played fair, but they won’t be going to the World Cup Finals in South Africa.

Pine-Beetle scare forces Alberta to invest $25M

The Federal and Alberta governments have recently invested $25M to slow down that pesky Pine-beetle from continuing to cause widespread damage to the forestry industry.

The wave of bugs is headed east after destroying about half of B.C.’s marketable pine timber. The bugs reached deep into Alberta this summer and have stretched northward to within a one-hour drive west of Edmonton.

The $25M comes from a worry that the Pine beetle could devastate Alberta forests and the small communities that depend on forestry for survival and are already suffering from the economic bust.

The areas where the Pine beetle has had the most affect, is around the communities of Grande Cache, Whitecourt, Edson, Swan Hills and Slave Lake.

A decade ago, the same threat faced British Columbia.  They chose not to act and now kids who are ten-years-old in B.C., won’t see a matured Timber Pine until they’re 50-years-old.

The government doesn’t want the same thing to happen in Alberta.

Alberta’s $9-Billion forestry industry provides jobs for 38,000 people, including many small communities where the local mill is the major employer, along with providing much of the municipal tax base.

Experts are estimating that 6 million hectares of pine forest is at risk of a pine-beetle attack.

The mountain pine beetle burrows into the bark of pine trees, spreading a fungus that turns the needles red and kills the trees.

Alberta has spent more than $200M to battle the Pine tree beetle since 2006.

The $25M will be used to hire crews that will harvest the infected trees.

The worst thought for the government and environmentalists is that the bugs could spread into the Jack Pine in the Boreal Forest that runs across the country.