Friday, June 29, 2012

A soggy end to the Pincher Creek Minor Baseball season

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Despite valiant attempts to play through a downpour, last weekend's Pincher Creek Minor Baseball Association year-end tournament had to be called mid-way through.  The wet weather continued, necessitating the cancellation of the wind-up party as well.

On a positive note, Beau Walter is representing Pincher Creek on the 2012 Chinook West All-Star Team, which plays through the summer.  They are currently playing a tournament in Lethbridge.

Slow Pitch highlights, June 14 - 28

Tanis French, Contributor

The Slow Pitch season is shaping up well, with great weather and fun times had by all. With each game teams are improving strategy and skills. The Sons of Pitches are experiencing great success with a 7-0 record. Team work and natural ability have contributed to their achievements. Recently competing at the Sam Steele - Balls of Steele Tournament in Cranbrook, BC June 15-17 , the Sons finished 12/31 in their Mixed Rec Division. They faced some competitive teams including The Prodigy from Brocket, AB who went on to win the division. The Sons will be competing at the Rum Runner Days Tournament the weekend of July 21, 2012 in the Crowsnest Pass.

Heavy-hitter Lorali Kettles
Tanis French photo
This weeks games were filled with sunshine, and finally the dreaded mosquitoes came to enjoy the exciting games. The Replacements played the Second Basers, winning the game 16-8. The Second Basers made it past second and all the way home, to produce their best score this season.

In an exciting match up the Pitch Slaps competed against the Sons of Pitches. With a definite disadvantage playing in Diamond B, both teams struggled with the blinding sun. Travis McNabb proved that real athletes catch the ball ~ no excuses. He made 3 amazing catches in left field, including a jumping split over team mate Kelly. Wylie and Jesse Handford showed that baseball runs in the family; both hitting over the fence! A big congratulations to Jay Taylor with his 2 hits that made it to the grass ~ WAY TO GO! However despite their great efforts, the Pitch Slaps came up short, with a 25-10 win for the Sons of Pitches.

Wade Giesbrecht sizes up a pitch
Tanis French photo
With only a month of slow pitch to go, all the teams are anticipating the Year End Tournament on July 27-28, 2012. Each game and the nice summer weather we have been enjoying has brought more fans out to cheer on their favourite teams and players. Feel free to come down and have some fun. Check us out at the Facebook group Pincher Creek Slow Pitch League.

Changes to the Insurance Act come into effect July 1

Albertans who purchase insurance will see their rights clarified and strengthened with changes to Alberta’s Insurance Act, which come into effect July 1.

Highlights of the changes to the act include a new dispute resolution process that will make it easier for consumers to work with insurers in case of a disagreement. Consumers will also have two years to initiate legal action over a claim, up from the previous one year time limit. A number of the regulations associated with the act have been updated as well, with the goal of streamlining procedures for both consumers and the insurance industry.
Overall, the changes to the act and regulations modernize the legislation, strengthen consumer protection and address issues raised by both consumers and industry during consultations.

A fact sheet listing major changes to the act and regulations and other information is available on the Treasury Board and Finance website at:

MHHS holds Annual Blue and White athletic awards

2012 Blue and White award recipients

Frank van Zandwijk, Pincher Creek Voice

On June 19, 2012 Matthew Halton High School held the annual Blue and White Athletic Awards. Everyone on each the team received an award for participating, which was then followed by the coaches of each teams making a small speech about what the specifications were for the other specific awards and/or how the specific individual earned it. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MHHS looking for volleyball coaches

Matthew Halton School is looking for volleyball coaches for this coming fall at both the Junior and Senior level, boys and girls.  If you're interested please contact Randy Whitehead.
phone: 403-632-9946

RCMP and Sheriffs Stepping up traffic enforcement for long weekend

This Canada Day long weekend, the Integrated Traffic Services of the RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs will be monitoring and enforcing traffic safety on Alberta highways in an effort to improve public safety.

The goal of the integrated Traffic Services is to ensure all road users in Alberta enjoy safe travels while they celebrate Canada's birthday. The integrated Traffic Services will be conducting traffic safety operations including Alberta Check Stops, and enhanced enforcement at locations throughout the Province.

This year, the Police will have one more tool in the fight against impaired driving, the enhancements of Bill 26 to the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspensions (AALS) will be in effect July 01. This will mean that any driver charged with impaired driving will be immediately suspended for the entire duration of the court process, and the vehicle will be subject to a minimum 3 day seizure.

Novice drivers under the Graduated Drivers Licence (GDL) Alberta Zero Alcohol Tolerance (AZAT)program, still have a zero tolerance for alcohol and if alcohol is detected they will be subject of an immediate 30 day suspension and a 7 day vehicle seizure.

The Integrated Traffic Services will be focusing on dangerous driving behaviors with enhanced presence to deter the primary injury and fatal causation factors of impaired driving, occupant restraints, intersection and distracted driving, speed and other aggressive driving behaviors.

Motorists are reminded to always drive responsibly and use safe driving practices as they travel to and from their destination. Don't become a statistic this long weekend.

Drywood/Yarrow Conservation Partnership watershed tour

"Fish, Bear, and Ranchers - Can they coexist in a watershed?" 

Lesley Peterson of Trout Unlimited at Twin Butte Simmentals Ranch

Chris Davis - Approximately 100 people gathered at Tony and Lorraine Bruder's Twin Butte Simmentals ranch on Thursday, June 21 to participate in the Drywood/Yarrow Conservation Partnership watershed tour. It was an eclectic group comprised of ranchers, politicians, media, people involved in conservation efforts, wildlife experts, interested citizens, and others.  Beginning at the Bruder ranch, the all-day bus tour made several stops throughout the area. At each stop landowners and involved individuals and organizations demonstrated watershed stewardship and large carnivore projects that have been implemented over the past 5 years. 

Canada Day celebrations to be held at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

Pincher Creek's Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV) will again be the site of Canada Day celebrations on Sunday, July 1, 2012.

Admission is free for this event.

The doors open at 10:30 am. Opening Ceremonies will be held in the central courtyard in front of  NWMP Outpost.

Dignitaries scheduled to speak include Curator Farley S. Wuth, Town of Pincher Creek Mayor Ernie Olsen, and M.D. of Pincher Creek No. 9 Deputy Reeve Terry Yagos.

Demonstrations by the Maddog Cannoneers throughout the day are expected to be a highlight of the event.

There will be music, bouncy tents, a children's center, concessions, and cake.

The event will run until 3 pm.

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is located at 1037 Bev McLachlin Drive, Pincher Creek.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Town Council notes June 25, 2012

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Pincher Creek's Town Council held a meeting on the evening of June 25, 2012. In attendance were Mayor Ernie Olsen, Councillors Don Anderberg, Sahra Hancock, Lorne Jackson, Roy Smyth, Wayne Oliver, and Murray Lauder, with CAO Laurie Wilgosh also in attendance.

A slippery problem

Council heard from citizen Barbara Doepke, a woman with a slippery problem involving snow removal, property lines, and property tax billing.  Doepke made a request for the council to remove charges she said were inequitable from her property tax bill.

Doepke brought a number of documents with her to help her state her position.  "I have a receipt that my 2011 taxes were paid, in full. My bill for 2012 says that there are arrears from 2011," she said.  "I'm just asking for correction, I need a corrected statement for my property taxes."  It was said by Doepke that the charges appear to arise from snow removal done in 2009. "It's a survey correction line,"  Doepke said adding that the property is adjacent to her property but is not part of the title of her property.  When asked if the snow removal charges from 2009 were on the 2010 or 2011 property tax bill, Doepke said that "it showed up on the 2012."  When asked if the snow removal was from the area that Doepke said belongs to the town, or from a sidewalk that is part of her property, Doepke seemed unclear in her answers.

Councillor Sahra Hancock said to Doepke that "normally how we proceed with things is once we hear from somebody we have the opportunity for administration to compile all of the documentation from all of this."  Hancock indicated that this has been an issue that is ongoing over a number of years, and now has a variety of secondary issues that will have to be addressed.  She said that there will be further discussion on a future date where all interested parties will be welcome to attend.  "It sounds like there is a lot of details that need to be sorted out, and have to be presented."

Golf Club hoping to expand maintenance shed
The Golf Club is requesting to construct an addition to an existing maintenance shed to create a heated workspace and staff lunchroom and staff washrooms.  Councillor Wayne Oliver wanted the clarification that "we are not an authority granting body."  Council passed a motion that gave permission to the golf course to construct the addition, with a friendly amendment.

Children's World Daycare to hold a Merchandise Charity Bingo
The funds that are raised at this event will be used toward the building of a new playground to help children develop healthy fitness habits.  For the bingo itself the Town of Pincher Creek will find an appropriate prize donation towards the cause of health and fitness.  Councillor Hancock suggested a swim pass.

Council also directed administration to advise Children's World Daycare Society to bring their request for funding for the playground to the Joint Funding Committee for consideration.

Finishing touches to be applied to drainage swale 
An area that suffered from water erosion at the south end of Police Avenue is going to go through a beauty treatment.  The area suffered damage from excess water and was repaired approximately six years ago. Although an inspection deemed that it functions in the capacity that it was constructed for it, has an unfinished look to it.

That had a local citizen write a letter to air their concerns to Town Council, MLA Pat Stier, and Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths.  Six photographs were presented showing the area in question.  In the photos rocks are on, but do not cover and hide black filter cloth that is used in landscaping the area.

Councillor Wayne Oliver said that he would "like to see something happen here, to tidy it up, as it were." Based on his background in construction he made a number of suggestions on ways to approach the cosmetic aspects of this swale, and raised some concerns as well.  He mentioned that as it was in a park, boulders may present a hazard for children.  Councillor Roy Smyth brought up concerns of smaller rocks being washed away with excess water.  Council decided that it should be included in the next budget discussion.

Administration was directed to look into the cost of covering the filter cloth with suitable aggregate material to be presented at the next budget meeting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taber Youth Raises $4,100 for Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer Society in Lethbridge is celebrating with Macrae Setoguchi from Taber who raised $4,100 in honour of his grandparents who are/were living with Alzheimer’s disease. Macrae received support from family and friends across North America to help those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as part of the Investors Group Memory Walk on June 16. The remarkable part of the story is that Macrae is only 11 years old!

Macrae was celebrated as the Top Youth Fundraiser at the Memory Walk in Lethbridge for his sizable contribution. His name will be entered in the provincial Top Youth Fundraiser category where he could win a Nintendo 3DS. Macrae was not the only young person to show his commitment to the cause: Tori Solomon Duda raised over $2,000.

RCMP to increase Boat patrols on Chin Lake and 40 Mile Lake

Cst. Mike Homeniuk, Taber/Vauxhall RCMP

As the warm weather continues, recreational boat users will be enjoying more and more time on lakes throughout the province.  With this increased number of users the potential for boating related problems also increases for the members of the many RCMP detachments around the province.

The Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment and members of the Bow Island RCMP detachment have joined forces to ensure that everyone that goes boating this summer is doing so in a safe manner for everyone else on Chin Lake and 40 Mile Lake.

Since the middle of May, RCMP members have been conducting random boat patrols and both Chin Lake and 40 Mile Park. Patrols proved to be highly successful as a large number of boats were stopped and inspected.  Members on patrol were checking boats to ensure that each boat had a sober operator, that no alcohol was being consumed on board and that boats were equipped with all of the mandatory safety equipment that is required by the Small Vessel Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act.

Pincher Creek hosts soggy U16 Soccer Tournament

Pincher Creek vs Elkford at the U16 Soccer Tournament
Josh Davis photo

Josh Davis, Pincher Creek Voice:

On June 23, 2012, Matthew Halton hosted its U16 Soccer tournament at the Matthew Halton field. In attendance were teams from Pincher Creek, Sparwood, Elkford, and Fort Macleod. The sky was overcast, and the rain was an increasing factor in the day’s games.

The red clad Pincher Creek played their first game of the morning against purple Sparwood. The field was at its driest this game, as the rain had not yet started in earnest. Pincher Creek was clearly outmatched in this game, getting shut-out 4-0 by their Sparwood opponents. They lacked teamwork, and spent most of the game defended their own side of the field, apparently disheartened from the moment of Sparwood’s first goal.

They fared slightly better in their next game against the red/blue clad Elkford early in the afternoon, scoring the first goal of the game. However, Elkford pushed back and managed to turn the game around, with it ending 4-2 for Elkford. It was during the last 5 minutes of the game that the rain started really pouring in, a trend that would continue throughout their entire third game.

Pincher’s final match of the day was against Fort Macleod, dressed in purple. The field was incredibly slick, with many players from both sliding and slipping throughout the game. Pincher’s U16 players valiantly pushed on despite these conditions, winning the game 3-1.

Brent Woodard, Contributor:

The Crowsnest Pass and Sparwood had the last game of the day on Saturday. They were seeded first and second in the league, and as the tournament developed they were both about tied going into the last game. The game was played in the pouring rain. Some commented the game should be delayed to another day, but it was instead moved to the Sproule Field which is well designed, especially for a lot of water. The youth didn’t seem to mind, and the parents either stayed in their cars or stood under umbrellas. The Pass won the game 1-0, taking Gold, Sparwood taking Silver.

The Pincher Creek team placed 4th out of five.

Yarrow Creek vehicular accident results in injury

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

A single vehicle accident at Yarrow Creek occurred yesterday, June 25 between 9 and 10 am.

According to Pincher Creek Fire Chief Dave Cox the vehicle was southbound on Highway 6 and appeared to have mounted the right-hand bridge railing before falling over a steep embankment into the creek, where it landed on its roof before rolling back onto its wheels.  Pincher Creek Emergency Services responded with an ambulance and a rescue vehicle.  RCMP also attended the scene.  The single passenger of the vehicle was transported to Pincher Creek Hospital with undetermined injuries.

The vehicle remained in place until today, June 26, when passers-by report a crane was used to pull it from the creek.

Yarrow Creek is south of Pincher Creek.

Going With The Wind

Herky Cutler

Herky Cutler, Columnist, Pincher Creek Voice

I had the distinct pleasure of going to Atlanta, Georgia last week  to speak and participate at the National Career Development Association’s Annual Conference. The theme this year was “Building on the Dream!” The “dream” in this case is helping people find their passion, find what it is they can resonate with during their time on this Earth in terms of how they can contribute to make the world a better place through their career.

When over a 1,000 people from all over the world gather in one place with a common goal and purpose, there is a tremendous amount of energy that swirls through the conversations they engage in and sessions they attend. You really do get the feeling that anything is possible. So why can’t that feeling permeate through all our days and all our engagements with others?

Baseball wind up cancelled

The Pincher Creek Minor Baseball Association wind-up party scheduled for this evening has been cancelled due to inclement weather.

Uniform hand-in at the Pincher Creek pool lobby will still be held tonight, June 26 from 4:00 - 6:00 pm.

Reader appreciates local RCMP assistance

Kim Clemens, Commentary

I don't think enough good has been said about the RCMP in our town. I had the unfortunate experience of having to call them for a stranger beating on my door while I was alone as hubby worked the night shift. The officer that was sent searched high and low for this man, and even after my husband came home we often saw him (the officer) circling our home through the night, and again last night.

It's nice to they are out there even though I hope I have no more need for their use. This RCMP officer was super pleasant and really got me calmed down until my husband's arrival from work, so I want to say thanks to him for going through all the steps that could help me and for taking my fear very seriously. I feel much safer with them out there watching us at night !

CNP Parent Link closes for summer, plans a party

The Crowsnest Pass Parent Link Centre is now closed for the summer.  It will re-open in the Fall on September 10, 2012.  Parent link will be holding year-end wrap up party and "Family Fun Swim" on June 27, from 1-3 pm at the Crowsnest Pool in Blairmore with free admission and hot-dogs.

15 month Border Enforcement investigation results in multiple charges

RCMP press release

The Rocky Mountain Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) recently completed a 15 month cross border investigation which has resulted in multiple charges being laid against 3 individuals in Canada. Two significant cocaine seizures -  one at Coutts on March 22, 2012, where Canada Border Services Agents seized 6 kilograms of cocaine, and one at Great Falls, Montana on July 27th, 2011,  where 10 kilos of cocaine was seized - were a direct result of this investigation. 

31 year old Abram Klassen of Taber, Alberta, 35 year old Jacob Dyck of Coaldale, and 33 year old Isaak Banman of Chihuahua, Mexico, are all charged with Importing Cocaine, Possessing Cocaine for the Purposes of Trafficking, and Conspiracy to Import Cocaine.  Klassen and Dyck were arrested today on these charges. Banman was previously charged in London, Ontario on related charges, and is currently before the courts there.   A warrant was issued for the arrest of Banman on the Alberta charges.

IBET is an integrated investigative team made up of investigators from the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, United States Border Patrol, US Homeland Security Investigations, as well as United States Customs and Border Protection. This particular investigation also included two invited participants: Taber Police Service, and the DEA.

Specially designated Canadian and United States Law Enforcement officers, working together on integrated teams, are authorized to enforce the law on both sides of the border. This cooperation was key to the success of this investigation, and resulted in 16 kilograms of cocaine being seized, and prevented more from being imported into Canada. This cocaine was in its purest form directly from Mexico and has ties to organized crime in Mexico. Investigators jointly worked this investigation from the US / Mexico Border, through the United States, and into Canada.

RCMP S/Sgt. in charge of the investigation, Gord Sage said "The success of this project is directly linked to the cooperation of the involved agencies. It clearly demonstrates how working together can protect the safety of citizens on both sides of the Canada/US border. A secure and efficient border is vital to our economy, our sovereignty, and to the safety and security of our citizens."

The investigation is continuing, and anyone with any information about this, or any other crime, is encouraged to contact the police in his/her area, or call Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS.

Rainfall warning issued

This alert has now ended.

Environment Canada has issued a warning that there is threat of severe thunderstorms that continue this morning over Southern Alberta with 50 to 70 mm of rain possible by this evening. Isolated strong thunderstorms developing in Western Montana in advance of an approaching upper low continue to move into Alberta.

Conditions are expected to improve late this afternoon. In addition the approaching upper low will also result in significant rainfall for much of the southern portions of Alberta. The slow moving system will move into Southwestern Alberta this morning bringing rain to the foothills.  This alert is issued for Pincher Creek and surrounding area, MD of Ranchland,  Crowsnest Pass, Waterton Park, Cowley, Twin Butte, Burmis, Maycroft, Beauvais Lake, Blood Reserve 148a, Peigan Reserve 147, and other areas throughout Alberta.

State of the Pincher Creek Voice, June 26, 2012

Chris Davis,  Pincher Creek Voice

In less than a month the Pincher Creek Voice will be celebrating our first year of publication.

Some stats
According to Google Analytics, this website received 33, 169 pageviews in the last 30 days.  11,986 of those were "unique" visitors, as measured by ip address.  Even assuming each regular reader uses two devices, that number of uniques indicates we hit a market much larger than the immediate local area.

In the past eleven and a half months we've seen our work in other publications clear across Canada, and even in New York and California, sometimes credited, sometimes not, sometimes paid for, too often not.

Several weekly and monthly publications across western Canada will be featuring aspects of our work in the near future.  We'll brag about those in more detail when the time comes.

A new model
We have attempted to provide an unbiased source of news, too often a rarity in the screaming-headline-I'll-tellya-what-to-think world of the modern press.  We have attempted to redefine what a local news source does for a community like ours. We've embraced the present while doing our best to anticipate and in our own small way shape the future.  We've had our successes and we've had our failures, and we've learned from both.

We're sticking around
When we started, we said we'd give it a try for a year, full-on, and see how far we could take it.  We said we'd decide whether to continue after doing so.  We've decided.  The Pincher Creek Voice will continue into the foreseeable future.

Our first year was really all about creating enough value to sustain a significant readership.  I believe we've done that.  It's our intention to keep on doing that. Going into our second year we will be developing our financial sustainabilty while doing our best to maintain the high level of coverage Pincher Creek Voice readers have come to expect.

Always free to read
The Pincher Creek Voice will always be freely offered to the reading public.  We will never charge a subscription fee.  That doesn't work in the modern internet world. Therefore, much of the following doesn't apply to you, dear reader.

You get what you pay for
This is a business based upon the advertising model.  The only revenue we get is from the ads you see on this website and on the Pincher Creek Classifieds website.  In the past year we've given away the store too often. If you want to thank your sponsors, buy an ad.  If you'd rather buy an ad elsewhere to thank your sponsors, don't expect us to take the pictures and run the same advertorial material here for free.   If you want to use our services professionally, we'd be glad to arrange something with you, at a reasonable cost.  To expect it to be otherwise is unreasonable and unsustainable.  Our time is a finite resource. Our equipment costs us.  Our skills are hard-earned.  We're not a philanthropical organization.  We don't run on grants.  We're capitalists.   

We're going out on a limb (again) and have added part-time staff.  Frank van Zandwijk and Josh Davis will be covering a lot of youth oriented events going forward, and I believe they bring a fresh perspective.  We're not expecting to cover more events than we already do, they've been employed to help us maintain our present level of coverage.

Closed on Sundays
For the immediate future, we will be closed on Sundays.  We will continue to publish emergency alerts and other critical information on Sundays as the situations arise.  If you have a Sunday event you'd like to see in these pages, you are encouraged to submit a story.  

Submitting stories
Please do.  We can't possibly get to every event.  We can't possibly cover every point of view.  If it's not an advertorial for a non-advertiser and it doesn't violate our basic standards we will publish it.  That's a promise.  

Invite us/press gets in free
If you want us to come to your event, an invitation is always nice.  Press gets in free. Yeah, we're cheap.   If you don't consider us press, feel free to invite us but don't expect us.   We don't make enough money to pay for all the events we attend,  it's just that simple.  

When are you going to print the Pincher Creek Voice?
 When we have enough advertisers to support over 150 stories and several hundred photographs a month.  The several hours of video we publish in an average week will still present a conundrum...

Keep on reading
Wow, you made it this far, thanks!   Dear reader, you make this endeavor meaningful.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success
That's a very long list.  What goes around comes around, and I hope we can be as good to you as you've been to us.

Thanks Toni and Phil!
Toni Lucas, words fail.  You've been a rock.  There would be no Pincher Creek Voice without this little lady's incredible effort and support.
Phil Burpee, you've been our most constant contributor, and an inspiration.  Thank you.   

Thanks, advertisers!
I'm going to single out some long term advertisers here. They make this possible.
  • Pincher Creek Co-op - there since day one, thank you.
  • Collar Tire - we're very grateful for your early support
  • Fox Theatre - Kim Jorgenson, you're awesome
  • The Co-operators - Thank you for helping to ensure our growth.

Precious Gems

Rob Bernshaw, Columnist.
Rob Bernshaw

What is a precious gem to one person may be another persons rock. When one defines precious, does the definition define the object or is the object being defined as precious is in the eyes of the beholder only? Even rocks, when viewed in the eye of certain beholders, is considered precious (for example our majestic Rocky Mountains are considered very precious gems). As Albertans, do we fully realize the treasures lying beneath our feet? One person may say we have pavement beneath our feet, another may say mud, another grass and yet another may say black gold. All would be correct and all would possibly miss the true beauty, which is Alberta, Is it the urban jungle we call cities, is it the small towns and communities that dot the rural countryside? Even though these are all part and parcel of what is under our feet and are all aspects of what would possibly be considered as precious gems. What do we have beneath our feet that we pass by every day and take for granted, but yet is a very precious gem to treasure and enjoy? In every community, along every highway and byway, is this precious gem being taken for granted, not only in Alberta but around the world?  Here is a question to consider.  In our homes and lives: would; what we consider as an empty space, be considered an opportunity to fill with something, in order to feel more comfortable with our lives?  Would we consider open spaces as precious gems or places to fill in and clutter up at our whim?  Our society has many open spaces that we have taken for granted and filled in with development, because we could.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Barrel Race cancellation

The Southwest Barrel Race scheduled to take place in Raymond this Wednesday is cancelled.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ranchers Family Fun Rodeo

The McGlynn team at the Ranchers Family Fun Rodeo
C. Davis photo

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Last weekend's Cowboy Poetry Gathering ended with a return to the roots of the event in the form of the Rancher's Family Fun Rodeo, held Sunday, June 17 at the Pincher Creek rodeo grounds. Various skills were ondisplay, including Horse Catch, Team Sorting, Team Doctoring, and Goat Tying for the young ones. The event was organized by Brian Delinte.

Naomi Paridaen and Cord Delinte
C. Davis photo

A highlight for particpants and onlookers alike was the "Hide Ride", wherein particpants were horse-towed while clinging to a buffalo hide.

Eddie and John Mitchell
C. Davis photo

Five teams participated, including:

  • McGlynn - Leonard "Grandpa", Larissa, and Megan McGlynn with Levi Anderson
  • Porcupine Hills - Brian and Cord Delinte and Naomi Paridaen
  • Mitchell - John, Buzz, Ben, Jack, Sam, and Eddie
  • Wells - Shaun, Cassie, and Taylor Wells, and Jan Taylor
  • Stauffer - Stacey, Merrick, Ellie, Coulson, and Locky

Sandhill Cranes

Voice reader Pat Moskaluk submitted these wonderful pictures of  Sandhill Cranes, spotted in her pasture south of Pincher Creek earlier today.

Pat Moskaluk photo

Pat Moskaluk photo

Pat Moskaluk photo

Youth Employment Services to hold free workshops

Youth Employment Services (YES) is offering a number of free workshops to the public to help young people gain experience and confidence while readying them to join the workforce.  Aimed at people in the age group of 10 to 24 years old, the workshops are designed to help with work and life skills such as resume and cover letter writing, pet care, crafts, lawn equipment safety, and active living.

YES will also be holding several fundraising BBQs, a bake sale, and a Pincher Creek clean-up day this summer.  If you would like to volunteer for any of these events, join a workshop, or find out more information about YES contact Kelsi Byam at  403-627-5615 or email

Calendar of YES events:

St. Michael's French Immersion students visit museum

Toni Lucas

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV)  had special guests on the grounds from St. Michael's School recently.  The grade one and two French Immersion Class taught by Dominique Plouffe visited for a special four-day educational field trip from June 11 - June 14.  They had activities and events throughout the week that included candle dipping, building log cabin models, learning about the history of Pincher Creek and area and having lessons in Fishburn School, a one room school house on the grounds.  

The finale of their visit was marked by a square dance performed by the children themselves.  The caller for the dance was Peter from the grade 2 class.  After the dance was completed, the students celebrated the afternoon by having a pie social and showing highlights of their trip to family members.

Cowboy Church

Cowboy Church performers at the 25th Pincher Creek Gathering
C. Davis photo

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

The 25th Pincher Creek Gathering wrapped up a week ago today with Cowboy Church, a tradition stretching back to the beginnings of the event.  Dave Dance acted as MC.   Alison Demeter led the impromptu choir, and the large crowd assembled sang along with gusto.   Several performers took a solo turn at the microphone, and Bryn Thiessen finished up with some folksy preaching.

Performers included Hugh Kelly, Vivian Oliver, Randy Smith, Mag Mawhinney, the Divine Bovines, Doug Keith, and Miriam Dreher.

Good ol' Golden Rule Days

Phil Burpee

Phil Burpee, Columnist

My Grade 4 teacher was Mrs. Knox, who could fling a piece of chalk on a fast swivel, and without so much as a wind-up, with the estimable velocity of a pea-shooter - ping! - ouch!! Grade 5 brought Miss Hopper. She favoured the blackboard pointer in a light whack across the back of the head. Grade 6 was Mrs. Rowsome, a fearsome old creature with eyeglasses slung on a string down onto her ample, sagging bosom, and whose preferred weapons of retribution were either a yardstick brought down with righteous fury across the backbone or, her specialty, about a four ounce wood and felt chalk eraser hurled with deadly accuracy at the unsuspecting temple of some miscreant who had the temerity to be seen turning around to his neighbour for some wisecrack remark. Grade 7 brought Mr. Beckstead, of dubious obsessive sub currents, who would rise into apoplectic rage and banish the appointed wrong-doer to go kneel in the back corner in supplication ("Get back there and pray, mister!!"). And if you still hadn't learned to toe the line, there was Mr. Hanton in Grade 8 - the Principal - who had the power to drag you into his office by the ear and remove from the drawer about a fourteen inch hunk of laminated, cross-hatched leather (aka the Strap) which he would whack down across your outstretched palm a number of times as a firm reminder that you were approximately on a par with a maggot, before returning you to the classroom in quietly blubbering shame. Ah, school days.................all warm and fuzzy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

MD Council notes, May 22 and June 12 meetings

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Regular meetings of the Council of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 were held on Tuesday afternoon, May 22 and again on June 12.  In attendance at the May 22 meeting were Reeve Rod Zielinski, Deputy Reeve Terry Yagos, Councillors Helen Cyr, Rodney Cyr, and Bjorn Berg, CAO Wendy Kay, Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, and Development Officer Assistant Tara Cryderman.  Councillor Bjorn Berg was absent from the June 12 meeting.

Castle River Campground update
Earl Johnson of the Cowley Lions Club addressed Council regarding the Castle River Campground, which is owned by the MD and managed by the Cowley Lions.  Mr. Johnson thanked Council for supporting the club's endeavours at the campground.  According to Johnson, the campground now has 72 camping sites, with 42 of them powered.  He said many of the sites are rented ahead of time for the season, and that a considerable number of renters leave their units onsite all year.
Cowley Lundbreck Regional Water System Contract approved
Council approved the awarding of a contract to MPE Engineering Ltd. to design, manage, and administer the Cowley Lundbreck Regional Water System Project with a total approved cost not to exceed $6,180,000.00.

Way paved for Landfill Road funding
Council decided to draft a bylaw to secure a $3.6 million debenture for the Landfill Road paving project.

Highland dancer performs at the Gathering

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Highland dancer Jaiden Panchyshyn at the Gathering
Brent Barbero photo

A taste of Scotland was featured at the Gathering this year in the form of Pincher Creek's Jaiden Panchyshyn, a student of the  Wilson School of Highland Dance, who performed for the crowd in the Community Hall.  "It was a new thing for me, and my mom, she had never been to it before either.  It was interesting to hear the other poets and performers."

"I am going to the Canadian Championships in Edmonton in July,"  Panchyshyn  said. Her dance troupe will be defending their gold win from last year.

Last November she and her fellow dancers performed at Disney Magic Music Days in France. "Paris was a completely different experience than I've ever had before."  400 Highland dancers performed from 3 countries. It wasn't just all work though.  "We did get to see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre," she said.

Lessons start again in September and she will be going into her sixth year of dance and her second year in choreography.  Panchyshyn will be focusing more on choreography studies over the next few months, having stressed her knee joint and being told to rest it for healing. "Next year, Hopefully if my knee isn't causing me problems I'll be doing full out programs, and going to Disneyland and Florida in January, and Montreal in the summer for the Canadian Championships."

The Wilson School of Highland Dance has studios in Calgary, Saskatoon and North Battleford and won gold last year in Nova Scotia in choreography.

The specific challenges that Panchyshyn faces in doing choreography is bringing the studios together.  "Even though we compete with each other, we all dance together for one big group dance. It's a big step for our studios because it shows how much we work together."

Town of Pincher Creek wins Spirit of the Gathering award

Pincher Creek Chamber of Commerce Press release

BJ Scott presents Chanel Alexander and Gord Pitt of the 
Town of Pincher Creek with the 'Spirit of the Gathering ' award
C. Davis photo

     On Thursday, June 14th the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce presented the Spirit of the Gathering award to the Pincher Creek Town Office. The Spirit of the Gathering Award is given out annually during ‘The Gathering’ celebration.   Winners receive a trophy with a plaque with their organization’s name on it and two free tickets to a weekend at the Gathering.  A panel of judges went out to the different participating organizations looking at how well they decorated, using the theme of ‘The Gathering.’ It was a difficult choice as everyone did a wonderful job with decorating their buildings.

     Several of the organizations went a step further by putting on a presentation such as the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village where a grade one and two class showed off some square dancing. The judges also really appreciated the poetry that was recited at RBC and at Whispering Winds. Upon entry of the Pincher Creek Town Office, the judges listened to Gord Pitt recite a poem that he had written while another staff member played the banjo.  The front lobby was decorated and most of the staff were dressed in western gear. They really went all out and all three judges agreed that they had captured the Spirit of the Gathering the best. The Ramada, Pincher Creek Credit Union and Ruffles also put on an impressive display.

     The Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all participants and look forward to having even more participants next year.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Upcoming events at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park

Saturday, June 30, 8:00 pm - Alberta Birds of Prey Centre presents Rescue and Release. 

Saturday, August 4, 9:00 pm - Charlie Russell presents Living with Grizzlies.

Friday, August 10, 9:00 pm - Doug Manzer presents, On the Wolverine Trail: Unveiling the Mysteries of an Alberta Ghost. 

Friday, August 17, 9:00 pm - Mike Verhage presents, A Mouth Full of Dirt: Monitoring Mineral Licks in the Southwestern Alberta Rockies. 

Friday, August 24, 9:00 pm - Brad Hurkett presents, Monitoring Bull Trout in Southern Alberta. 

Friday, August 31, 9:00 pm - Julie Landry-Deboer presents, Do You Hear What I Hear? A Birder's Morning.

For more information call 403 627-1152 or email 
Events may be cancelled due to inclement weather, parents please accompany your children.

Break and Enter to Granum residential property

Between the dates of June 8, 2012 and June 10, 2012 a residential garage was broken into on Aberdeen Street in the 300 block of Granum, Alberta. Thieve(s) once inside the garage took several hand held power tools totaling in the neighborhood of under $500. The theft occurred during the weekend of the Granum ball tournament.
The Fort Macleod RCMP are investigating this Break and Enter and ask that any members of the public with information regarding this incident contact Cst. J. D. SMITH of the Fort Macleod RCMP detachment at 403-553-4407 or share their information with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Three found guilty of Wildlife Act offences

Separate investigations by Fish and Wildlife officers in Fort Macleod and High Prairie have resulted in the convictions of three people under the Wildlife Act.

On June 6, 2012, Nathan Benjamin Tschetter and William James Tschetter from the Fort Macleod area pled guilty in Fort Macleod Provincial Court to 10 counts under the Wildlife Act. Michel Blanchett, a guide/outfitter from Cold Lake pled guilty in High Prairie Provincial Court on March 20, 2012, to two counts under the Wildlife Act and one count under the Wildlife Regulation.

“Alberta’s fish and wildlife officers are dedicated to protecting our province’s wildlife resources,” said Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis. “Convictions like these are a result of their hard work and commitment to ensuring Albertans can continue to enjoy the natural beauty of our province.”

Fish and Wildlife Officer Paul Prefontaine with
evidence of Wildlife Act infractions
The charges in the Fort Macleod area resulted from a six-month undercover investigation into the trafficking of eagle parts and big game antlers. Nathan Tschetter received fines totaling $12,405 and a nine-year recreational hunting license suspension, while William Tschetter received fines totaling $27,220 and a 21-year recreational hunting license suspension. In addition, the individuals are prohibited from possessing birds of prey or parts of these birds: William for life, and Nathan for 10 years.

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch’s investigation of Cold Lake guide/outfitter Michel Blanchett included assistance from the California Department of Fish and Game - Law Enforcement Division and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife - Enforcement Program. Blanchett was charged with hunting wildlife without a license, hunting wildlife using bait, and failing to submit guide/outfitter reports. The conviction resulted in fines totaling $16,500 and for the next five years he must report to the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch before and after hunting.

Anyone with information that would help solve any fish or wildlife crime in Alberta is asked to contact a local Alberta government Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch office or call the toll-free 24-hour Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. Anyone who provides information can remain anonymous and could qualify for a reward.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

25th Gathering ropes 'em in

Gathering performers Dusty Dee Litchfield, Shilo, Barry Heath, the Divine Bovines, and Trevor Panczak

Chris Davis -
The dust has settled on the 25th annual Cowboy Gathering. Established in 1988, the Gathering grew from a small event planned by the then newly formed Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association into the 4 day extravaganza it has since become. The Gathering has also been a major economic boon to the Pincher Creek area, bringing hundreds of tourists to town every year. The Pincher Creek and District Agricultural Society has been an integral part of the event from the beginning.

The incomparable Hugh Kelly

As in years past, the event took place on two stages simultaneously, one in the Pavilion and the other in the Commmunity Hall. The Pavilion also featured artisan booths and was the setting for a roast beef dinner prepared by Barry's Cookin' from Cowley in the evenings. I had the good fortune to be employed as soundman for the Pavilion stage, affording me the opportunity to hear and see most of the talented people performing at the event over the course of the weekend. The list of poets and musicians that performed is a long one, and the memorable moments were numerous.

Talented locals included Alyssa Barbero, Martyna Lively, Albert Prairie Chicken, and Jaiden Panchyshyn. Featured performers included Trevor Panczak, Phil Lethbridge and the Westwinds, Shilo Sharrard, and the Travelling Mables. The Divine Bovines made their Gathering debut, entertaining audiences with their pasturized hilarity. Dave Dance kept it real, every time.

Hugh Kelly gave others a lesson in performance with his delightfully smooth sound. One of the best vocalists I ever heard. Listen to him sing " I'm thinking tonight of my blue eyes" if you don't believe me. Mariya Soetaert wowed the crowd with her voice and also with her engaging original material. "Peanut Butter" was on of her standout moments. Mother and daughter duo Jill and Kelly Stewart brought some magical harmonies to the stage. Dusty Dee Litchfield and his extraordinary sideman Dave knocked it out of the park every time. Buddy Gale's laconic style was again enhanced by his remarkable memory, as he pulled poem after story after poem out of his memory as the mood suited him.
Ed Brown is always a treat to hear (C. Davis photos)
Albert Prairie Chicken
Mariya Soetaert 
Randy and Rai Smith 
Randy and Rai Smith duetted divinely, and Randy also played solo, demonstrating his superb baritone and strong song-smithing. Phyllis Rathwell was funny and poignant. The Bibby's tag-teamed the laughs. Harry 'n Jen were low key and marvellous. Perry Jacobsen and Rob McConnell rollicked through classic tunes. Bud Stewart made it all look easy, singing and reciting. Barry "the vet" Heath was as charming as ever. Mag Mawhinney turned whimsy into hilarity with regularity. Ol' Ugly was old, ugly, and really funny. Yodeler Miriam Dreher Colter represented the art admirably. Margaret Wilhelm, Phyllis Rathwell, "Gramma poet" Hazel Rust, Morrie Goetjen, Doug Kieth, each brought something special to the microphone. Impromptu bands formed for brief shining moments and then went their separate ways. And it just kept coming... song after song, laugh after laugh, excellent performer after excellent performer.

Some performers also left the venue to perform at Canyon School, the Pincher Creek Hospital, and at Vista Village and Crestview Lodge.
Calgary Stampede Royalty (sporting "Divine Bovine" ears) 
Dusty Dee Litchfield gets a hug from Harry the Horse 

The Calgary Stampede White Hat Round Up Volunteers visited on Saturday, bringing with them white cowboy hats, trinkets, rodeo queens, mascot Harry the Horse, and the show-stopping Keister Family Fiddlers.

2012 Calgary Stampede Centennial Native Princess Amelia Crowshoe (from Brocket) with yodeler Miraim Dreher Colter 
Cowboy Church on Sunday morning was very well attended, turning into a spirit-raising singalong.

The Gathering faces some challenges going forward. Younger performers joining the show are musicians, not poets. The poets who have been the cornerstone of the event are increasingly finding it difficult to attend. The audience too is getting older, and traveling less, affecting the attendance numbers. It's uncertain at this point exactly what direction the event will take in the future, but most of the organizers I talked with were confident that it will evolve and continue.

Eileen McGlynn receives a thank-you bouquet from Alyssa Barbero 

Another big challenge will be finding a suitable replacement for Organizing Chairperson Eileen McGlynn, who has announced she is stepping down from the position after more than a decade on the Gathering Committee.

The Ranchers Family Fun Rodeo held on Sunday was a hoot, and will be featured in a separate story, as will several other Gathering related stories and videos.

Canada Day celebrations to be held at Waterton Lakes National Park

In celebration of Canada’s 145th birthday on July 1st, entry to Waterton Lakes National Park is free.

Canada Day events begin with a decorated bike parade starting at the Waterton community field at12:30.

At 1 p.m., the main event will be the Grand Opening of the Waterton Community Centre and flag raising ceremony.

Free cake and lemonade and a $3 BBQ will be provided. Families can also pick up their free copy of the 2012 Xplorers booklet.

Guided walks will take place throughout the afternoon and at 8 p.m. there will be theatre programs, one about wolverines at Falls Theatre and another about bears at Crandell Theatre.

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