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Friday, August 31, 2018

Waterton Lakes National Park open to visitors (Boundary Wildfire updates)

Fire Information Update - Boundary Wildfire - August 31, 2018; 16:25

Parks Canada - Waterton Lakes National Park is open and ready to welcome visitors. Most recreational activities and tourism opportunities are available.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The big red barn gets a new coat of paint in time for winter

photos courtesy Heritage Acres
Heritage Acres with the support of Federated Co-op and their 'Communities in Full Colour'  program and a whole lot of volunteers painted the Vogelaar/Zoeteman barn ranch red on August 9 and 10. Member of Parliament for Foothills Alberta John Barlow was one of the many volunteers who donned work clothes to lend a helping hand.   A contractor painted the higher portions of the project.  The barn was moved to Heritage Acres in 2014, and has since been  re-roofed, windows have been replaced, and the new coat of paing finishes the exterior.  Related link:  The Barn Move

Braden Barber (Heritage Acres) and MP John Barlow
Rick Bell, rarely seen without an ancient tractor
Leonard McGlynn

Calf scramble winner happy to be 'in the running'

Carter and Jake Anderson
Toni Lucas - In a matter of minutes at the Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo on Saturday August 18th  the Anderson family won two bikes during the Windyview calf scramble. Eight-year-old Jake won in the 9 and under category, and 11-year-old Carter won in the ages 10-12 run. Both brothers were delighted with their bikes.

Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award recipient Shawna Morning Bull

Shawna Morning Bull (submitted photo)
Piikani Nation's Shawna Morning Bull was recently announced as the winner of the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award, which was presented to her by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on June 20 at Calgary City Hall during National Indigenous Peoples Day and Aboriginal Awareness Week

“I am extremely honored to be receiving such an important award as the Chief David Crowchild Award. I am earnestly grateful for this recognition I have received for my work in the indigenous and non-indigenous community of and the surrounding communities of Mohkinstsis (Calgary). Humbled to my peers that they feel I deserve this honour and thankful for their ongoing encouragement for the work I do.” - Shawna Morning Bull

An oasis moment


Joyce Sasse - There are times I despair when I consider the future of the church as we once knew it. There are other times when a particular experience affirms an amazing glimmer of hope in a turbulent world.

After weeks of drought, heat, smoke and the threat of wild-fire, last Sunday’s gathering at church provided a moment of spiritual refreshment.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Closed: All of Waterton Lakes National Park (with some exceptions)


From a Parks Canada Information Update issued August 24, 2018


AREA CLOSURE:

As a result of local fires, all of Waterton Lakes National Park including all water bodies is closed to all traffic and travel until further notice, with the exception of:
  • Waterton townsite
  • Travel on Highways 5, 6, Chief Mountain Highway and the Entrance Road
  • Prince of Wales Hill
Violators may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act: maximum penalty $25,000.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Sage Creek Fire updates

Highway 507 between Beaver Mines and Castle Mountain (Aug. 10)





Sage Creek Fire Update
August 21, 2018; 1100 hrs

As of 1100 hours, Tuesday, August 21, 2018, the Regional Emergency Management Organization (REMO) closed the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for the Sage Creek Fire.

REMO would like to acknowledge the personnel from the following agencies, whom have been instrumental in the EOC since August 2, 2018, when Sage Creek was first discovered:

  • Pincher Creek Emergency Services
  • Alberta Ag and Forestry / Alberta Wildfire
  • Alberta Parks
  • Alberta Health Services
  • RCMP
  • Shell Waterton
  • Town of Pincher Creek
  • MD of Pincher Creek
  • Alberta Emergency Management Agency
  • BC Wildfire


REMO would also like to thank their residents and members of the public for their cooperation with the evacuation alert and area closures.

Public safety is the first priority for any event. Residents are always reminded to have a 72 hour Emergency Kit available and to download the Alberta Emergency Alert app onto their mobile devices.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

It isn't the first time


Joyce Sasse - It isn’t the first time that once-declared-icons of history have been displaced. In the name of “reconciliation” with Canada’s First Nations’ People, names of building are being changed, statues are being removed from prominent locations, sports teams are getting new names...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Kenow fire exposes history of Waterton Lakes National Park

Parks Canada archaeological team on the road to discoveries

Chris Davis - 
The Kenow wildfire, as it became known, crossed over from the British Columbia border into Waterton Lakes National Park on September 11, 2017.  38,000 hectares were burned,  including 19,303 hectares of Waterton, causing significant destruction of wildlife, vegetation, and infrastructure.  Artifacts representing the last 1000 years or so of the area's human history have also been temporarily uncovered.  An archaeological team is spending a year surveying, recording, and researching the new discoveries, racing the clock before new vegetation hides the sites again.


(C. Davis photos and video except where otherwise noted)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Joint federal and provincial review panel for Grassy Mountain Coal Project announced

Government of Canada map of proposed mine site

Chris Davis -
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency yesterday (August 16, 2018) announced the establishment of a three-member Joint Review Panel for the environmental assessment of Benga Mining Limited's proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project, which would be located 7km north of Blairmore in Crowsnest Pass, pending final approval. "Mr. Alex Bolton has been appointed as the Chair of the Joint Review Panel. Mr. Hans Matthews and Mr. Dean O'Gorman have been appointed as members of the Joint Review Panel."

Update on investigation into shooting on Highway 1A


RCMP Alberta - The RCMP Serious Crimes Branch is appealing to the public for information in the investigation into a shooting that occurred August 2, 2018.

At approximately 11:40 am, a black Dodge Durango was travelling eastbound on Highway 1A through the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The investigation thus far has revealed that the vehicle, driven by a 60-year-old man from Germany, was travelling from Banff towards Calgary. While travelling on Highway 1A, the man and his family detoured into the Nakoda Lodge briefly then continued east, travelling off the highway once again onto Branch Road and driving a short distance before returning to Highway 1A and continuing east.

‎Bill Roques‎ (via our Facebook page) - Hi all. I'm writing from Buckinghamshire in England just to pass on a strange coincidence. We were driving through Alberta in July and stopped to buy a pair of sunglasses at Pincher Creek... it was our first experience of main street Canada... and apologies to the driver at the four way stop... it was also our first experience and we forgot the sequencing.

I used to be a Housemaster at a boarding school in Wokingham called Bearwood College. During WW1 the school (it was an old mansion) was used as a convalescence home for Canadian soldiers (20,000 passed through there). Its early Registrar was "Captain Gillespie of Pincher Creek, Alberta, of Queens University and Intercollegiate hockey fame". I didn't realise this connection till later, is he remembered in Pincher Creek? He would have been a very important man in Winnersh (where the school was).

Editor's note: Winnersh is a village in Berkshire, England.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Heritage Acres holds 2018 Annual Show


Toni Lucas - Heritage Acres held their 2018 Annual Show over the August long weekend, and celebrated how the stationary engine made people's lives easier by mechanizing farming related tasks. It also indirectly celebrated families. Everywhere on the extensive grounds families were enjoying time with each other and the multitudinous exhibits. Children were enjoying activities like rope making and trying out pedal and miniature tractors. Adults enjoyed the machines, the cool weather, and the nostalgia.

Sea cans used as sheds under discussion at town council


Toni Lucas - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek passed the first reading of land use bylaw amendment 1547-AF on Monday, July 23. This bylaw pertains to add standards of development which include allowing a shipping container such as a sea can be part of the accessory building for discretionary use in R1 areas within Pincher Creek. One consideration is the exterior finish is to match the design, character and appearance of the primary building. Council also passed there will be a public hearing on this bylaw amendment Monday, August 27, at 6 pm in council chambers.

Pool temperature to be raised and situation monitored


Toni Lucas - At their regular meeting on July 23. Council for the Town of Pincher Creek supported a recommendation to increase the pool temperature by 0.25 degrees to a 28.75 set-point The decision was in response to a request by a  June 25 delegation of people who participate in aquafit at the pool, represented by Debbie Reed.

Letter: A crash course in Highway 3 planning


David McIntyre - Highway engineers appear to have become so preoccupied with their vision to create a high-speed, twinned superhighway that spans Alberta they’ve embraced a solution that serves the landscape to the east, applied it to the entire equation and, in the process, ignored a mountain.

Alberta RCMP alarm policy changes to improve efficiency


RCMP Alberta - Alberta RCMP is following a new policy: to verify alarms before responding, and to not respond to alarms that are only triggered once. The policy came into effect on July 13, 2018.

Canada Revenue Agency fraud scam


RCMP Alberta - RCMP have recently received reports of a telephone scam circulating where individuals posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tell the call recipient they own money to CRA and can pay with Google cards or some form of alternate gift card purchase.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Impaired charge for operator of boat on Oldman Reservoir


Pincher Creek RCMP - On August 11, 2018 at 8:30 pm Pincher Creek Emergency Services and RCMP received a 911 call from a boater on the Oldman Reservoir who reported his boat had quit and the people onboard were in peril. With limited information and thunderstorms storms moving in, Pincher Creek Fire, Cowley Fire, and the RCMP responded to the North Fork boat launch.

The boater and boat were located on the Crowsnest River arm of the reservoir, where they were sitting on a shallow muddy area. In the boat was a 36-year-old male from Crowsnest Pass, a 32-year-old female and a 7-year-old child.

The adults were found to be intoxicated, the male operator of the boat was arrested and subsequently charged for impaired care and control of a vessel, as well as liquor offences.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Collar Tire Mechanical

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

New norm unsettling

Joyce Sasse
Joyce Sasse - We might not want to think about it, but we have to – think about the changing climate, that is!

It is only human to be fearful in the face of uncertainty. That’s why so many, for so long, have tried to deny what climate scientists have been telling us for years. Now, in this 2nd year of extreme drought across the Canadian prairies, and with excessive temperature highs everywhere around the globe, the time has come to seek out facts and develop strategies for how to move forward.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Voluntary water restriction now in effect for Town of Pincher Creek


Town of Pincher Creek, August 10, 2018 - Due to hot, dry conditions a voluntary water restriction is now in effect for the Town of Pincher Creek. We are asking residents and businesses to cautiously consume water and to be mindful of your watering choices.

To be proactive and good environmental stewards the Town has reduced the watering and irrigation schedule as of August 7. We are hoping the reduction in draw will have a positive effect and set the stage for the community watching their water consumption.

Evacuation Alert issued for parts of MD of Pincher Creek, Castle area


MD of Pincher Creek, August 10, 2018; 1300 hours - While the Sage Creek Forest Fire has NOT crossed the Alberta border, a proactive Evacuation Alert is being issued to residents in the following locations:
  • Castle Mountain Resort
  • West Castle Valley
  • South Castle Valley
  • All areas South of Highway 774 from the turnoff to Beaver Mines Lake to Castle Mountain Resort
Barricades will be placed along Highway 774 at the turnoff to Beaver Mines Lake Road. Residents of this area are strongly encouraged to have an evacuation plan in place, and be prepared to evacuate with an hours’ notice. Additional information on the evacuation process can be found on the MD website.

Residents choosing to evacuate at this time are requested to register with the MD by calling 1-855-627-5365, and leave a message, or email info@mdpinchercreek.ab.ca. Please provide your contact name, the number in your party, your contact numbers and your legal land description.

Residents with livestock in the area should prepare to remove your animals. A document on preparing your livestock for evacuation is available on the MD website here.

Alberta Parks has issued an Area Closure for the following locations:
  • West Castle Valley to the east and south of Castle Mountain Resort
  • South Castle Valley, south of designated camping area number 3

For further information on this Area Closure, visit AB Parks website at www.albertaparks.ca.

Residents are strongly encouraged to download the Alberta Emergency Alert app. Instructions can be found at this link. Please listen to the local radio station, Real Country, found at 92.7 fm and continue to visit the MD of Pincher Creek website at www.mdpinchercreek.ab.ca for further updates, including important links related to the Sage Creek Fire, and air quality information.


MD of Pincher Creek Emergency Information Line 1 855 627 5365

Agriculture Youth Council launches


Agriculture for Life - Agriculture for Life (Ag for Life), is seeking Alberta youth aged 16 to 21 to join its Agriculture Youth Council. The council will pilot Ag for Life programs and resources, provide valuable insight and ideas on types of programs and ag-related topics for youth and attend Ag for Life events.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Fire restriction for part of southern Alberta


Government of Alberta - There is a fire restriction prohibiting open fires on private land, as well as backcountry and non-designated camping sites in parts of southern Alberta.  The fire restriction is in effect in the Calgary Forest Area, which extends south of Highway 32 along the mountains and foothills to the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

RCMP Major Crimes South investigating death of 2-year-old


RCMP Alberta - RCMP Major Crimes are investigating the death of a two year old girl who was taken to hospital on August 2 with serious injuries. The Cardston RCMP were notified of this situation on August 3, 2018 and launched an investigation. On August 6, the young girl died in the hospital as a result of her injuries. On August 7 an autopsy was completed at the Calgary Medical Examiner’s office. The RCMP are working with several agencies as the investigation continues.

An update will be provided when available.

Precautionary air quality advisory issued for Alberta


AHS South Zone – Air quality is expected to be variable across Alberta over the coming days due to wildfire smoke.  Alberta Health Services (AHS) is issuing a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire province because of these fires.  Residents of and visitors to Alberta are advised to be aware of air conditions and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

Pincher Creek RCMP and Southern Alberta CRT seize stolen property / firearms and cocaine


Pincher Creek RCMP  – The Pincher Creek RCMP worked in conjunction with the Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Team (CRT) to target and investigate activities at a rural residence believed to be involved in drug trafficking, and harboring stolen property. The investigation was successful, arrests were made and charges laid.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Triple fatality on Hwy 22 near Priddis


RCMP Alberta – This morning at 3:10 a.m., Turner Valley RCMP responded to a report of a serious motor vehicle collision on Highway 22 west of Priddis Valley Road.

As a result of the collision three adults are deceased, and one adult has been transported to a hospital via STARS Air Ambulance.

Two vehicles were travelling on Highway 22 in opposite directions and collided head-on.  The 26-year-old male driver and his 31-year-old female passenger in a car were both declared deceased on scene.  The 34-year-old male driver of an SUV was also declared deceased while the 27-year-old female passenger of the SUV was transported to a Calgary hospital with serious, but non life-threatening injuries.

Investigation into this collision continues by the RCMP Collision Analyst.  Resources from Okotoks and Cochrane RCMP provided assistance.

The RCMP have now re-opened the highway to travel.

Further information will not be made available.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Precautionary air quality advisory issued for Southwest Alberta


Alberta Health Services, Pincher Creek – Due to wildfires burning in British Columbia, air quality is expected to be variable across Pincher Creek and surrounding areas in Southwest Alberta over the coming days. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is issuing a precautionary air quality advisory for the area.

Residents of and visitors to this area are advised to be aware of air conditions and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

If you can taste and/or smell smoke in the air: 
  • Monitor your symptoms. 
  • Minimize physical activity outdoors. 
  • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed. 
  • If you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air. 

Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms in smoky air conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs. 

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 811, to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality can and will vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality website at airquality.alberta.ca.

Heritage Acres 2018 Annual Show to feature stationary engines


Toni Lucas - Heritage Acres Farm Museum's 31st Annual Show featuring stationary engines and how they worked in the early farming/ranching days will occur August 3 - 5. Heritage Acres is a continually developing 180 acre attraction located north of the Town of Pincher Creek which showcases the history of rural life in the area. Heritage Acres Executive Director Mark Barber explained "Before the stationary engine came, there was a lot of work that was done by hand. This revolutionized rural life, and transformed agriculture in the west." He expects there will be a dozen or more demonstrations of stationary engines during the show including the ice cream maker. "I think it will be very, very unique. It made a lot of chores much easier. It was a huge, huge advancement."

Cannabis discussed at Town Council


Toni Lucas - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek held a public hearing on the subject of retail cannabis prior to their regular meeting Monday on Monday evening, July 23. Oldman River Regional Services Commission Senior Planner Mike Burla was present and discussed the matter at some length. "We are just moving into a totally different attitude in society in respect of some of the stuff that used to be taboo." Burla said the framework for non-medical cannabis establishments is regulated at a federal level. Non-medical cannabis use in Alberta is regulated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

A spiritual pillar remembered

Joyce Sasse

Joyce Sasse - 
I spent time this morning at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens meditating on the memories of my oldest mentor and friend. Yesterday, amid family and friends, we celebrated a life that reached back 97 years.

She was a positive, joyous, forward-thinking person whose presence electrified any gathering. Her motto was to celebrate even the tiniest moments of life.

Infinite Scroll