Tuesday, July 31, 2012

RCMP caution Albertans of ongoing money scams and potential frauds; avoid the pitfalls

Do not send money of any kind to people you don't know, unless it is an accredited financial or business institution.  This is strong crime prevention advice coming from Alberta RCMP, who continue to provide caution, and reminders to people, warning of ongoing frauds involving the buying and selling of products and services on major internet classified sites.

Fraudsters continue to try their hand at stealing money from unsuspecting persons, and have been known to make attempts at impersonating known businessmen, or trusted members of a community, with the goal of   garnering some credibility as they contact sellers of high-end and expensive items listed in classified ads.

Here is how it works.

Arrangements are made to attend the seller's location, or an other agreed upon location, to purchase these items in person.  Fraudsters later advise the seller that they have experienced troubles, more often they report vehicle troubles and are stuck. They then request funds be sent direct from the seller in order to fix the "problem", which will allow them to continue their travels to the point of intended transaction.  Sellers send the funds with the understanding that they will be reimbursed when the final sale has been made.

The "buyer" then disappears, and the seller is out their hard-earned money.  They have been defrauded.

Major internet classified sites warn the public of fraud.  One particular site suggests to, "...ensure that all transactions take place locally and in-person.  When buying or selling, you should meet in-person to see the product and exchange funds.  Meet in a public place, with many people around, such as a coffee shop...".

Also, "...never send or wire money to sellers or buyers.  This includes never mailing a cheque or, using payment services like ... Western Union or Money Gram ... to pay for items".

If you suspect that you may be, or have been a target of fraud, or you have already sent funds, don't be embarrassed, you're not alone.   You need to report the incident to police as soon as possible.

If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at toll free: 1-888-495-8501, toll free fax: 1-888-654-9426 or email:

British Soccer Camp held in Pincher Creek

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Some of the British soccer camp participants with coaches
Michael McRobert (left) and Ryan Stewart
C. Davis photo
The field behind the Pincher Creek pool was the site of the 2012 Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp, held last week.

Young athlete Sasha practicing
her skills after British Soccer Camp
C. Davis photo
Michael McRobert from Scotland and Ryan Stewart from England put local athletes from the age of 3 to 16 through their paces, giving them a fresh perspective on the game.

This is the second year of coaching internationally for McRobert, and his enthusiasm was very evident.

"We've got half day, 9 am to 12 pm, we half day 1 pm to 4 pm, and a full day that's 9 am to 4 pm," he said, explaining how the camp functions over the course of an immersive week.

"We'll start off in the morning here, and define skills which just get them to have skills with the ball, get them used to having control of the ball, and used  to having it at their feet."

"Throughout the week we do different things," McRobert continued, "like we would have them passing to start, and we'll work on dribbling a specific day, and we'll work on shooting a specific day, and tackling and defending one day, and on the last day we normally do a big refresh, so the kids know exactly what they've learned."
Some of Pincher Creek's best up and coming soccer talent
revisiting the drills they practiced during a week of British Soccer Camp
C. Davis photo

The coaches do camps for 6 weeks in total.  "We get a new camp each week," McRobert said.  "We don't usually know what camp we're getting until Thursday.  So both of us are going to High River (next).  We haven't always been in the same camp.  My first week, I went to Kindersley  and the second week I was in Vermillion, and this is my third week."

Michael McRobert
C. Davis photo
McRobert said his co-coach Ryan Stewart "has been here longer than me.  He was in St. Paul's one week.  We are coaching kids the basic skills, to help their entire game.  We also do fun theme days."

According to McRobert, "One of the big things in challenger camps, we put them into different teams, them we get them to wear the team colors."  He explained that the kids would get to choose different nations, and have to research that nation's colours.  Then kids that did that research and wore t-shirts of the appropriate colour would win points for their team.

"They don't just get points for winning," McRobert continued.  "They get points for drawing a game, and they get points for losing.  It's all about taking part.  They get points for learning a skill well."

"It's all about getting the kids reacting positively to doing things well, so that they can improve on themselves."

He's a true believer when it comes to soccer. A chance to see parts of the world also drew him to the program.   "At home I do a lot of sports coaching," he said, "and I do coach soccer back home and I wanted to travel.  I get to see different parts of the country.  We stay with host families, and they do stuff with us.  Things you wouldn't know to do if you stayed in a hotel, or a motel."

"I was in America two years ago, and New England so I enjoyed that, so I thought, 'I've never been to Canada.  I'll see the country, it's a massive country."

He explained that soccer is the sport where he comes from.  He said that was part of the appeal to the young athletes in his charge.  "I think it's different learning from someone who played it from when they're young.  You eat and sleep soccer.  And you're learning from someone from a different country."

Related link:

Pincher Creek Crop report, July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012
J. Davis photo

Introducing the Pincher Creek Crop Report, a new thing we're trying out. 

 Let us know how you're doing out there, like this:

  • A local rancher had this to say  regarding the hail damage that was inflicted on local crops last week:  "It's like working all year, then finding out that you're not going to get paid."

Country sensation Kira Isabella performs at Ranchland Mall

Josh Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Kira Isabella with support from Steven Kirk and Justin Kirk at
the Ranchland Mall on July 30

J. Davis photo
Singer/songwriter Kira Isabella was in town on the afternoon of July 30th, performing a short set at the Ranchland Mall in Pincher Creek. The winner of the 2012 Canadian Radio Music Award for Country demonstrated her considerable vocal talent and incredibly relaxed stage presence to a small audience gathered at Ranchland Mall.

Isabella’s debut album, 'Love Me Like That', will be hitting shelves on October 16.  Her new radio single 'A Little More Work' came out the day of her performance.

For more information about Kira Isabella, check out her website at

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fatal Boat Crash at Oldman Dam

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

At approximately 5 pm on July 29,  Pincher Creek Emergency Services responded to a boating accident at the Oldman Dam Windy Point dock

According to RCMP, a 2007 Sky Supreme V212 boat with three men onboard was traveling on the Old Man Dam when suddenly it took a sharp turn into the bank of the Oldman Dam.  One of the men was able to flag down a passing boat who called the incident into the Police, Ambulance and Fire department.

The accident took place approximately one mile from the dock.  Pincher Creek Emergency Services, Pincher Fire Department, Ambulances, RCMP, and Alberta Parks attended the scene.

According to Fire Chief Dave Cox all three people were injured.  Private boats were used to transport two ambulance crews to the scene.  Two Alberta Parks boats were used to transport fire fighters and Rescue to the scene.

The patients were transported to the dock area, one in a private boat, and one each in the Alberta Parks boats.

All three men were taken to Pincher Creek Hospital.

One male patient was pronounced deceased at Pincher Creek Hospital.
One male patient was then transported via STARS Air Ambulance to a Calgary hospital.
The third male was treated and released from the Pincher Creek Hospital.

All three men are from the Pincher Creek area.

RCMP are investigating and believe that both speed and alcohol may have been a factor in this accident.

The names of the injured and deceased are not being released at this time.

updated July 30, 2012 at 11:47 am

Town Council notes from July 23, 2012 meeting

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Council for the Town of Pincher Creek met on the evening of July 23.  In attendance were Mayor Ernie Olsen, Councillors Sahra Hancock, Don Anderberg, Lorne Jackson, Wayne Oliver, Roy Smyth, and Murray Lauder.  Also in attendance were Director of Operations Al Roth, CAO Laurie Wilgosh, and Director of Community Services Diane Burt-Stuckey.

Three delegations made presentations at the meeting:

Snow removal is the responsibility of the property owner

Barbara Doepke was in attendance at the meeting to hear Council's decision  on snow removal costs dating to 2009 for her property. These charges have been added to her 2011 tax bill.  According to Town administration records, Doepke had been made aware of her responsibility to clean the walk in front of her property at the time of a complaint from a citizen.  Doepke was also made aware at that time that charges for removing the obstructing and or hazardous snow and ice would be charged to  the resident/home owner if it was not removed in a timely fashion.

Doepke has received bills regarding this matter. According to CAO Laurie Wilgosh "The bill has been on the books since 2009.  Traffic bylaw allows for us to add it to the taxes, but it doesn't say at what point we have to add it to the taxes.  We were treating it as an opportunity for the resident to come forward and pay it.  Adding it to the taxes is a last resort, and there isn't a regulated time frame for it."

Councillor Don Anderberg wanted to know why contractors were called in for the job of this particular sidewalk cleaning.   Wilgosh explained that in many cases it has to do with the "time frame and workload of the town staff, and it's a common practice to call in a contractor in a situation like that."

Councillor Sahra Hancock suggested that a policy be developed on the timing and processing if billing has to resort to being added to taxes.

"Lots of sidewalks go unshoveled for a long length of time, and the individuals aren't charged," said Councillor Wayne Oliver.  He continued, "This is a highly visible location on Main Street, and someone made a complaint on it.  I would like to see a fair and equitable fashion for assessing fines."

The request for the Town of Pincher Creek to accept the snow removal and subsequent special assessment of the cost thereof levied for information purposes only was denied.

Liaison Officer position cancelled

The Liaison Officer position for the town of Pincher Creek for the summer of 2012 has been cancelled.  According to administration four persons applied for the job position, and two interviewed for the position.  Currently bylaw enforcement is increasing their level of prominence to address areas of concern.

Road to be re-opened

Council held the third and final reading regarding opening the road that previously closed due to bylaw 1239.  This road is a gravelled road that lies in a west east direction and attaches to the eastern side of the northern corner of Beverly McLachlin Drive. This request has been made by the same applicant that would like to put in an office on the property adjacent to the road allowance, and would like to remove existing buildings from the property.  the third and final reading was given, and the motion was carried.

Interest forgiven due to medical complications

A resident was late in paying their tax bill and interest fees were levied.  The family has always been prompt in paying any charges according to a letter written by the landowner's daughter.  Due to a medical condition the land owner did not attend to the taxes promptly.  The letter requested that the interest be waived.

The bill was paid within 15 days of the deadline.

Council agreed to drop the interest charge.

Heron Street to get anode bed

Alta Gas is looking to set up an magnesium anode bed on Heron Street to control  corrosion to an existing pipeline. A one time fee was brought up by Councillor Hancock.  Councillor Smyth agreed.

"Do these beds have a life, so at the end of the life they reclaim the land and take all this out?" asked Councillor Roy Smyth.

"They typically a life span, but they would typically replace it with another sacrificial anode so it protects the system," replied Councillor Oliver.

Director of Operations Al Roth was in attendance and clarified. "Within the next eight to ten years they would have to replace the anode bed itself.  Presently they were relying on a rectifier system, but because the link between the creek was disrupted they decided not to continue that process, because there was a higher cost in that.  I would have done the exact same thing and I do the exact same thing in our water distribution system.  I don't create rectifiers, because they cost more money.  Anode beds cost less money, but they do the same job."  Roth suggested that "I can discuss this, or Laurie and I can discuss this with our corporate services person, and he can forward that information to Alta Gas, and they can get back to you with whatever information that you guys want."

Councillor Anderberg made a motion that the matter be brought back to the next Committee of the Whole meeting, with investigation into a one time fee.  The motion carried.

Study to look into regionalizing Emergency Services

The Town of Pincher Creek will support the engagement of  EMS services through the services of Pamadon Resource Limited, MSC Consulting Limited and Kenneth Kendal Consulting to study the regionalization of emergency services and emergency management for the Town and  Municipal District of Pincher Creek.   All councillors were in favor of this motion.

Council acknowledges RCMP concerns

The council for the the Town of Pincher Creek acknowledged that substance abuse, boredom, loitering, and traffic safety are the community priority issues and form part of the 2012 - 2013 performance plan for the Town of Pincher Creek RCMP detachment.

Councillor Smyth added that he would like to see something added regarding traffic noise.  CAO Wilgosh said the RCMP considered that to be a traffic safety issue.

Hunter Street to be paved

The Town of Pincher Creek has authorized administration to pursue a contract with McNally Contractors Limited for asphalt paving services of Hunter street in the amount of $271, 251.75 including GST.

Job Fair gets $7,500 in funding from the Town of Pincher Creek

The overall job fair is estimated at $21,300.  An Alberta Works grant will cover $10,000, the M.D. of Pincher Creek #9 will cover $3,600, booth rentals of seven booths at $300 a booth will cover $2,100 and the Town of Pincher Creek share should be $5,600 but an allowance was made based on the variable of how many actual booth rentals happen.

Click here for more about this story.

Bylaw officers to monitor weed control compliance

The Council appointed bylaw officers Gord Pitt and Nigel Whitington to monitor and enforce compliance with the weed control act.  They will be acting with the help of the Southern Alberta Weed Coordinator Partnership (SAWC).  SAWC will not be charging for their help for the year of 2012.

"This year, they (SAWC) have offered their services for free." said CAO Wilgosh.  In the future they will be charging for their services, with a membership fee of approximately $2,000 for the year of 2013.

Wilgosh explained that the SAWC can advise on fine structures, and educate those that are appointed to work with them.

Gunfight at the Great Divide

Phil Burpee, Columnist

Phil Burpee
Burpee is a carpenter and farmer living north
of Pincher Creek. He keeps an eye on the
world from under the big Alberta sky.
Somewhere up on a high rock ridge, far, far up in amongst the ramparts of the Rocky Mountains, beneath the watchful gaze of the golden eagle and the grizzly bear, as lightning crackles and thunder booms, a mighty dust-up is shaking the very foundations of the great mountain chain that separates the proud and vast Queendoms of British Columbia and Alberta. Two Great Mothers, two towering titans of their respective multitudes, are squared off in a steaming, stomping, stupefying fracas, each possessed of a fiery heart beating hotly within a swelling bosom of righteousness and stalwart intransigence. Christy and Alison, the sharp-tongued and ruthless champions of our neighbouring provinces, are nose to nose, staring each other down, fingers fidgeting on their legislative pistols, eyes steely and unblinking, each ready in an instant to drop the other one without mercy should she weaken or even flinch. The birds have fallen silent. The very clouds themselves seem to hang nervously along the mountain-tops. And high overhead, the jet planes give the showdown a wide birth, fearing the sudden turbulence that could erupt at any second should the Premiers suddenly throw down, and lock into a dreadful, tearing combat. For Alison has come with her oozing pipeline – and Christy is in no toying mood.

Deadline looming for public input into Alberta Election Act

Rob Bernshaw wishes us a
happy birthday

Rob Bernshaw, Columnist

On Tuesday July 31, 2012 the consultation process will close.

For all Albertans, it is very important that we get involved in the governmental affairs of our place of residence, otherwise laws and policies that affect us will be made without regard to what we, as the most important stakeholders, value in our everyday lives.

For example one of the questions refers to changing the length of time municipal governments stay in power.  Will it be 3 years as is currently in place, or will it be 4 years as is being recommended?

Is the current 3 year term adequate?

  1. Some things to consider in responding to that particular question would be: 
  2. How do we feel about longer terms for our various municipal councils?
  3. What term in office, would be appropriate to better serve us the public, not the individuals representing us?
  4. Key consideration is:  Would it actually be a benefit, or a hindrance, to us and our various municipalities for a longer term in office?

If there is ever to be advancement and progress, we as taxpayers and voters, need to get involved and participate in the process.

Without the healthy participation of us; the people; we will slowly lose those opportunities and abilities of affecting change, however small we may perceive that change to be.

Here is an excerpt from the Alberta Municipal Affairs Website:

The Local Authorities Election Act sets out the election processes and procedures for municipal and school board elections. It was enacted in 1983 and has been amended several times since that date.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs has committed to a review of the Act to ensure that it continues to provide an effective framework to support secure, fair and impartial elections. Stakeholder feedback will be considered in making any recommendations for amendments, and public input is welcomed. The consultation is open from June 11 – July 31, 2012

To get involved with the process please click on the following  link to access the Alberta Municipal Affairs Website, and click on the appropriate survey link, in the body of the web page.

Please be aware that there are two links under the, Start the survey heading: one link is  for individuals and one link is for various organizations to participate.

Remember this is your Alberta, let us help it to prosper and grow, in order to benefit all of us along the journey.

Full participation in government and society has been a basic right of the country symbolizing the full citizenship and equal protection of all.
~Charles Rangel ( American Politician born June 11, 1930)~

We have the opportunity to help in the outcome of the decisions being made.

Exercise your rights: Participate!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New Senior hockey team asks for a reduced cost for practice time

New RHL team renamed as Huskies

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

New RHL Huskies logo
Jeff Kaupp appeared before Pincher Creek's Town Council on July 23 as a delegation on behalf of the new Ranchland Hockey League (RHL) team that is forming around players from Pincher Creek and the Crowsnest Pass.

"I'm just here to update everybody on the senior hockey team," Kaupp said.  "There have been a few changes, I hope that sway your decisions."  One change is that the team name will be the Huskies, instead of the Sulphur Kings.

Kaupp requested a reduction to half price for the ice time for practices, while still paying full rate for games.  "We're not going to cut into the prime ice time," said Kaupp, referring to the practice times.  He also mentioned that last year some of the teams in the RHL had their games on Thursdays and Sundays.  He said 16 local people are interested in playing.

"It's typically one game here every weekend or every other weekend.  The league has been cut down to  five teams, and that is a change from what I originally reported," Kaupp explained.  "From last  year, the Cowboys have taken a leave of absence, and Kainai and Siksika have both been rejected for various reasons, so we have five teams now."  

"The plan is for 18 regular season games, three exposition games, and the playoffs are dependent, it adds up to about another three games total," he said.  Kaupp said they were looking at  approximately 3 hours a week practice time for 24 weeks over the course of the season.

Councillor Wayne Oliver asked "Do you see this as a one year request, as this is a new team, to get things going?"   Kaupp said he wanted to concentrate on this year first, but once he had a more solid foundation regarding the team and the league, he could see things changing in the future.

Council has yet to make a formal decision on the matter.

The Ranchland Hockey League is soliciting serious applications from Southern Alberta communities that are interested in forming a team for the 2012/13 season.  Visit  or email for more information.

See also: Crow Creek Huskies Senior 'A' Team forming to compete in RHL

48 hour Old Timer's hockey game planned

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Dan Crawford (left) is one of the
organizers for the 48 hour hockey game
C.Davis photo
Dan Crawford and Cal "Pappy" Olsen of the Pincher Creakers Old-Timer hockey team appeared as a delegation before Town Council on July 23.  They asked council's permission to booking ice time to hold a 48 hour hockey game at Pincher Creek's MCC arena.

"Most of us can't take all that much time off, but a weekend, we can do," said  Crawford.  He expressed an interest in booking the weekend early in the season to avoid conflicts with other clubs for ice time.

The marathon game will get the teams off to an early start and the money that the teams raise in registration fees will go to offset costs with the remainder to be donated to the Windy Slopes Foundation toward new equipment for the hospital.

The clubs will be inviting adults 30 years and older to participate in the tournament. "The aim of it is to raise some money for the hospital.  A couple of our guys have had heart attacks, and one won't be playing this year because of heart surgery,"  Crawford explained.  He said a partnership with Windy Slopes will allow the Old Timers Hockey League to give tax receipts.

"What I need from guys is the ice, and In order to run for 48 hours, we need a Zamboni driver for the night-time,"  said Crawford.

"We are looking for about 90 guys, and we can find that right in town here," he continued.  Currently in the planning stages, the outline Crawford proposed involved having the players pay $250 to $300 per player to join.  He laid out the costs that they expect to incur over the weekend.  "Anything that isn't spent on that weekend to get through the tournament, we want to donate to the hospital."

"Guys will be coming out of the woodwork for this, there's guys that don't play anymore because they don't want to be committed to all year, but they'll come for something like this," said Cal "Pappy" Olsen.

Councillor Roy Smyth pointed out that there used to be Cowley/Lundbreck teams and Crawford expressed a willingness to include members from the entire district, not just the Town of Pincher Creek.

Council unanimously passed a motion to allow the ice time.

In a separate interview, Crawford said he was inspired by the Hockey Marathon for Kids held in Chestermere earlier this year, which ran for ten and a half days.

"I thought that was a pretty cool idea, but I really don't want to play hockey for ten and a half days, that looks like way too much work.  I got thinking a 48 hour hockey game, just one weekend, would be kind of neat.  I talked to a couple of guys from the hockey team (the Pincher Creakers) and kind of made a plan about how to make it happen, how it could work, and then we've just been working towards that ever since."

"We need 80 players and 8 goalies, and then some spares in case somebody gets hurt or called away or whatever," Crawford explained.

"We will be looking for some sponsors to help pay for the ice, and donations towards the cause would be fine too."

The game is tentatively planned to take place in early October.  A website is being set up for information and registrations.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stinky the Cat – Killed in the line of duty

Submitted by P. Burpee

Anybody who’s bought a stick of lumber at the Co-op in the last ten years will remember the little four-legged yardie par excellence known as Stinky. She worked that beat 24/7, day in, day out, month after month, year after year – never took holidays and never went on strike. She was skinny as a stick (till she got fixed a couple years ago and chubbied up a bit), but in her time she had about nine thousand kittens (give or take) and certainly knew all the local toms on a first-name basis.

Stinky was hell on varmints, and personally saw to the annihilation of more mice than you could shake a stick at, along with a squadron or two of miserable, squawking English sparrows – and rumour has it, she wasn’t at all averse to dragging home the odd gopher that made the foolish mistake of trying to hustle some action on Stinky’s patch. She was always good for a comment on the nature of the times and weather, typically offering a good-natured mmrrreooowww prooooot…and never a visit to the lumber yard went by without checking on Stink, who in latter years was like as not to be seen catching a few zees up on the desk just inside Bay 1, one eye slightly cracked to make sure things were moving along as they should.

Stinky was run over and mortally wounded as she crossed the lumber yard the other day – apparently the victim of a hit and run. All who knew her will be greatly saddened, especially Georgie and Jack and Lawrence. Stinky was a class act, and she had a thing or two to teach us all about duty and commitment and simple dedication. She met her end doing the thing that came naturally for her, in the place she called home, amongst the people she knew as friends and family, working her beat till the last. Give ‘em hell in that big lumber yard in the sky, Stink. You’re workin’ the long shift now.

Charlie Russell Living with Grizzlies presentation to be held at Beauvais Lake

Charlie Russell photo

The Beauvais Lake Campground Amphitheatre will be the site of a slide show and talk by Charlie Russell on Saturday, August 4, beginning at 9 pm. Charlie is a native of the Twin Butte area who has much experience living close with grizzlies both here and in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Charlie has written books and created video documentaries that have aired around the world. 

For more information call 403 627-1152 or email

This event may be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Parents please accompany your children.

MD Reeve Rod Zielinski announces his resignation

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Rod Zielinski resigns from MD Council after
almost 14 years of service

C. Davis photo
MD of Pincher Creek Reeve Rod Zielinski announced his imminent resignation near the end of the evening during his annual "Burger and Beans" public meeting, which was held at the old Coalfield School just east of Beaver Mines.  "I'll be leaving town, so to speak, I'll be gone before the end of August," he told the crowd. He said the Tuesday, August 7 meeting of the MD Council would be his last.

The crowd gathered at the meeting thanked him for his time and service to the community with a spontaneous standing ovation.

Zielinski has been the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 Division 3 Councillor for almost 14 years.  "I first got elected in October of  '95," he explained after the meeting.  "I went for, I think, two terms, so that was 6 years.  I got off and David McNeill took a turn, then I got back on and served until today."

I asked him what the biggest issues were during his time on council.  "Obviously, the windmills...and planning.  Planning how people can develop is a really sticky one, but a really important issue."

Zielinski said fiscal planning was an issue that really mattered to him.  "What I've suggested over the years is that the MD should go to a three-year budget.  Plan tax increases for the people, whether it is 1 or 2 percent per year, and live within that budget.  Right now the budgets we run are a wish list, and then we say 'How are we going to collect the tax dollars'.  On a three year budget, things do change for sure, but if you can go out to the public to say 'You will have a 2 percent tax increase... if you don't do anything to your place, if there's no extra improvements... you will have a 2 percent increase in your tax bill, and now the MD has to run the services and run within that budget.  I think that would be a smart idea, I think it would make us make smart decisions. It doesn't allow us to come up with new bright ideas overnight.  They would have to be planned, which may be good or bad.  Hopefully the council of the day has their long-range plans and the services that people want in order, and tries to control costs.

Zielinski said he was in favour of the proposal to have municipal councils serve 4 years instead of the 3 they currently serve.  "I think it's a good idea, specially for new councillors.  New councillors in their first year are getting their feet wet. it takes them maybe a year and a half.  Four years gives you that much more flexibility.  It is more of a commitment."

Zielinski said he was leaving for two reasons, work and lifestyle.  "I'm going from basically two jobs with 200 to 300 hours of overtime every year to a 9-to-5 job with no wind."

His message to his successor, who will be chosen in a by-election to finish out the current term, was succint.  "Good luck.  Listen to the people and please be as open to the public as possible."  When he announced his resignation during the meeting he said "You've got a very good opportunity, if you're interested, to walk in basically for a year, to see what the job is all about and then when the next election comes up decide whether it's something you want to do."

"I do encourage whoever is sitting there to hold meetings like this."

To his constituency Reeve Zielinski said "Thank you.  It's been an experience, most of it pleasurable, with some trying times, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything else."

Note: The public meeting hosted by Reeve Zielinski at the Coalfield School will be the subject of a separate upcoming story.

Mayor meets with curling club, suggests interim repairs

Mayor Ernie Olsen

Chris Davis - Mayor Ernie Olsen met with members of the Pincher Creek Curling Club at a special meeting held on the evening of Thursday, July 19.

Olsen said he requested the special meeting "so that I could speak to what I hoped would be the majority of the curling club."  He expressed disappointment at the turnout, which numbered approximately 40 people.

Olsen, an avid curler himself, brought an unpopular message to the club, telling them that Town Council was unwilling to fund a new rink in the immediate future. "The Town obviously doesn't have 2.3 million dollars to dish out for a new curling club."

The club's current facility was the subject of an engineer's report that found significant flaws, and the club has been lobbying Town Council for funding assistance towards a new facility.

"I asked (Curling Club President) Randy (Elliott) if he could pick and chose the most important parts out of the engineers report, and fix them."

"We have a ten year plan for the arena, and we would like to tie the curling club into that ten year plan," Olsen continued. He recommended the club consider repairing their present facility in the interim.

"I think that the majority of what needs to be done in this building can be done, for a reasonable cost."

"We can curl for the next ten years," he said.  "I'm a curler.  I want to curl.  I'll do whatever I have to do to try to keep this place going."

"Every year since 2004 the Town has basically has basically forgiven around $1,300 a year in water, the curling club doesn't pay for water.  The curling club doesn't pay any taxes on the property, and the Town owns the property," Olsen said, in response to criticisms that Town Council doesn't support the club.  "Has the Town given us anythng over the years?  Yes, they have."

He said that such criticisms coupled with rumours that the present rink was "condemned" were harming rather than helping the club's situation.

"Pick out the most needed things that are in the report the engineers gave you.  Get a price on those.  If it runs over a certain amount, I can't give it to you.  I am hoping that whatever you're going to spend, your going to spend this year."

Olsen said the Council would be holding budget discussions in August.

During the Town Council meeting of July 24, council decided to review the curling club budget.

"How much money are we going to spend on this old building for the next ten years, to keep it going?" asked one club member.  "I am hoping that whatever you're going to spend, your going to spend this year," Olsen replied.

Olsen explained that the arena is into the second year of the ten-year plan.  The Curling Club is presently a private operation.  He indicated it would become a Town facility when the new sports complex is built.

Suspect faces charges for serious injury collision west of Longview

A 19 year old female of Eden Valley has been charged for the two vehicle collision which occurred on May 20, 2012 on Highway 541, west of Longview, Alberta.

Stacina Jermaine Hunter is charged with four counts of Impaired Operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, four counts of Impaired Operation of a motor vehicle over 80 causing bodily harm and four counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Two of the four victims of the crash have since been released from hospital and are recovering from their injuries. The other two victims remain in hospital in serious condition. Hunter is set to appear in Okotoks Provincial Court on August 10th , 2012.

Co-op and Ranchland Mall Merchants Association donate to upcoming museum project

Pincher Creek Co-op GM David Crowell (center)
presents a cheque to Tracy Glen (right) and Colleen Cyr
of  KBPV  at the site of a future exhibit that will celebrate
 90 years of Co-op in Pincher Creek

Pauline Breeze photo

The Pincher Creek District & Historical Society, which manages Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV), was the recipient of  two generous donations recently.  The first was from the Pincher Creek Co-op for $3,000, presented by General Manager David Crowell to go toward a display at KBPV that will celebrate the 90th  anniversary of the Pincher Creek Co-op. “This is the first cheque,” said Crowell, explaining that in the spring there will be another donation toward the exhibit.

The Pincher Creek District & Historical Society also accepted a generous amount of $247.50 from the Ranchland Mall Tenants Association. Historical Society president Colleen Cyr suggested that this donation would go towards the 90th anniversary Co-op exhibit as well.

Loretta Packham ("Mrs. P") presents a cheque to
Colleen Cyr on behalf of the Ranchland Mall
Merchants Association

Stuart Russell photo
“What we're proposing to do is build 3-D facades of all five Co-op buildings used during the 90 years history, none of which are still here.  This will be built on east end of the Beere Hall, in the middle of Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village. It will anchor the 1920’s era exhibit. We wanted the community to get involved as well.  In the window of the creamery we want to put cream cans from the families that still might have their cream cans at home, with their name on it. If you've got your cream can with your name on it, it's $250 to donate it,” continued Cyr.

Youth Employment Services holds BBQ fundraiser

Josh Davis Pincher Creek Voice

On July 27, Youth Employment Services (YES) held another of their summer fundraisers. Stationed outside of Pincher Creek Sobeys, YES coordinator Kelsi Byam, dressed as a clown, and her volunteers, sold hot-dogs and soft drinks to the community. Sobeys donated the barbeque for their use, as well as granting them use of the space and a discount on the product. Byam estimated that they would likely raise around $150 at this fundraiser, as the crowd was consistent and hungry.

Kelsi Byam, Tim Jorgensen, Haley Bruder, Briteany Robinson, and Elliot Nemeth at Sobeys for YES fundraiser
C. Davis photo
Their next fundraiser will be a barbeque to be held at the Ranchland Mall Co-op on Friday, August 3 from 11 am to 2 pm.  Following this will be their business bake sale on Thursday August 16, set in front of businesses around town, and focused on Main Street. Their final summer fundraiser will be another barbeque at the Ranchland Mall Co-op, to be held on Thursday August 23, which also begins at 11 am.

These events are also listed on the Pincher Creek Voice Events Calendar.

YES also recently held its Pet Care Clinic workshop at the Pincher Creek Veterinary Clinic. Seven lucky students got a tour of the clinic, and were taught how to do exams on their own pets. The final YES workshop of the summer, on active living, is to be held on Wednesday August 1 at Monster Fitness. This workshop will begin at 1:00 pm, so don’t be late if you want to develop your physical fitness.

Good luck to YES as they head into their last month of summer fundraisers.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blackfoot Arts and Heritage Festival to be held in Waterton

Parks Canada is pleased to be working with the Blackfoot Canadian Cultural Society to present the Blackfoot Arts & Heritage Festival at the Waterton Community Centre. The event kicks off on Monday August 6 at 7 pm with an opening reception for the visual arts exhibit. On Tuesday August 7 and Wednesday August 8, between 11 am and 2 pm there will be an art show, crafts, storytelling, music, and dance performances. A festival highlight is sure to be the exhibition pow-wow, on Tuesday August 7, with Grand Entry at 4 pm.

This event provides the opportunity to experience and appreciate Blackfoot culture in a park setting, and honours the longstanding relationship between Parks Canada and the Blackfoot people.

Alberta Health Services to discontinue offsite food preparation

Albertans living in long-term care facilities operated by Alberta Health Services will soon enjoy fresher food that better meets their dietary needs and preferences.

Health Minister Fred Horne is directing Alberta Health Services (AHS) to discontinue the practice of preparing meals offsite and reheating, and bring back on-site food preparation services in the long-term care facilities it operates.

The changes will be in effect by December 2012.

Beauvais Lake Provincial Park to hold Wonders of the Wetlands event

Everyone is welcome to attend "Wonders of the Wetlands" at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park on Saturday, July 28.  The 2.5 hour program begins at 10:30 am.  

During this program, you will have the chance to walk along the lake (2 to 3 km), dip your net in the wetlands, and discover creatures you may have never before seen in your life, while exploring the biodiversity of the Beauvais Lake wetlands.

Admission is free, to a maximum capacity of 25 people.

What to bring:
  • A water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • A hat
  • Walking shoes
  • A snack
  • Rain coat
  • Warm clothes
  • A camera
  • Binoculars
  • Your smile!

Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
In case of heavy rain and thunderstorm, the field study will be cancelled.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What is Harmony and Balance?

Rob Bernshaw

Rob Bernshaw, Columnist

In our daily fast paced rush to the future, have we neglected the harmony and balance that has got us to where we are now?

As with any words, many meanings can be derived, depending on the experiences and education of each individual.

To some the sights, smells and sounds of urban living, is the harmony and balance that lulls them to sleep at night.

To others the sights, smells and sounds of the rural environment are a soothing balm to the soul.

As our society advances, it seems that the urban juggernaut is expanding and rolling over the rural countryside in an unstoppable mass, that will one day engulf the planet in a coruscant style landscape.

Hail storm strikes Pincher Creek Area

Hail and blueberries (south of Pincher Creek)
Pat Moskaluk photo

A hail storm passed through the Pincher Creek area this evening, July 26 from approximately 4:45 pm to 6 pm.  Hailstones as large as 1 inch wide fell during the storm, which lasted a reported 10 to 20 minutes in the affected areas.  People in the Cardston area report hailstones as large as baseballs struck there.

Hail that fell east of Pincher Creek
Melissa Friesen photo

Hail that fell south of Pincher Creek, with AA batteries for comparison
Pat Moskaluk photo

Above and below and video: Hail that fell at 
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek
Toni Lucas images

Emergency Services responds to mobile home fire

Mobile home fire at Spruce Villa
T. Lucas photo
Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

This morning, July 26, at approximately 9:30 am, Pincher Creek Emergency Services responded to a mobile home on fire at the Spruce Villa Trailer Court.  According to Fire Chief Dave Cox, it appeared no one was home at the time of the blaze.  The home was substantially damaged.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Bag of Books sale to be held in Lethbridge to benefit Alzheimer's Society

Trying to beat the heat? Take a break from the sun and join the Alzheimer Society in Lethbridge's Centre Village Mall for their annual Bag of Books Sale. Mark August 10-11 on your calendar and plan on enjoying a day or two of finding your favorite books. 

The book sale begins when the mall opens at 9:30 am both days, and will end at 8:00 pm on Friday & 5:30 pm on Saturday. Funds raised will support local programs and awareness. 

Volunteers are needed for both days plus Thursday to help sort. 

Call Diane today at 329-3766 for more information on donating books or volunteering. 

Mandatory automobile insurance premiums to increase by up to 5%

As a result of its annual public rate review, the Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) will permit premium levels for mandatory automobile insurance to increase by up to five per cent, effective November 1. As part of the competitive process, insurance companies have the option to implement all or part of the five per cent increase over the next three years.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Update: missing 12 year old found


Landon McGillvery has been located safe and sound.  Red Deer RCMP would like to thank the media and the public for the help in locating Landon.

Original story:

On July 23, 2012 at approximately 6:30 p.m. Red Deer City RCMP received a complaint of a missing 12 year old male last seen in the 48th Avenue and 53 Street Red Deer.

2012 Active Living Challenge held in Pincher Creek

Mallory DeCock, Pincher Creek Community Services Coordinator/ Contributor

Here at the Recreation Department of the Town of Pincher Creek, we challenged the community to come together as teams of 5-10 members and push themselves to be physically active and to eat healthy. Each individual kept track of their personal points every day for four weeks (May 21 –June 17th) and earned ‘physical activity points’ and ‘healthy eating points’.  At the end of the challenge teams turned in their sheets and the highest scoring individuals, the best team name, and the team with the highest scoring average were determined.

This year’s Active Living Challenge consisted of eleven very determined teams from the community:

  • W ‘Rec’ Department
  • Mal’s Pals 
  • The Avengers (PCWES)
  • The Blueweed Busting, Knapweed Nipping, Toadflax Terminating,  Starthistle Slaughtering, Flowering Rush Fishing, Autumn Olive Abolishing ATHLETES of PINCHER CREEK (MD Weed Crew)                                                                                  
  • Pounds, Dollars & Sense (ATB)
  • Vista Village
  • CIBC Pink Bandits
  • Charlie’s Angels (Vet Clinic)
  • Wicked Water Witches (Lifeguards)
  • Team Lightning (TOPC)
  • HIA (Hedderick Insurance Agencies) 

We intended on awarding two individuals based on the age categories of over 65 and under 65, however, we did not have any participants who were over 65 so we awarded two participants under 65. Tina Snow from team Vista Village and Travis McLellan from the MD Weed Crew’s team were the highest pointed individuals. Congratulations Tina and Travis for your active and healthy lifestyles! Both received recreation t-shirts, Frisbees, health brochures, and 5% off discount coupon to Mirror Mirror Salon (which were donated) as prizes for their excellent scores. Tina Snow earned 662 combined active living and healthy lifestyle points, and Travis accomplished 643 combined points.

The best team name, and certainly the most unique, was awarded to the MD Weed Crew, a young and vibrant bunch, as seen in the below photo.

MD Weed Crew:
The Blueweed Busting, Knapweed Nipping, Toadflax Terminating,
Starthistle Slaughtering, Flowering Rush Fishing,
Autumn Olive Abolishing Athletes of Pincher Creek

According to team member Jessy Pisony, a few of their crew members wanted to use the names of weeds that they have been spraying and pulling this summer to represent their team. And by using creativity, a dictionary, and alliteration, they did just that. Good job guys, thank you for participating and I hope you enjoyed your recreation t-shirts, Frisbee’s, and healthy meal planners. 

And finally the team with the highest scoring average was the lifeguards from the Pincher Creek Swimming Pool aka the ‘Wicked Water Witches’. They had an average score of 440 with just 5 members, which is very impressive. They took home some nifty lunch bags filled with a water bottle, a stress ball, Frisbee, health pamphlet, and a donated pass for a Free Drop-in to Fusion Fitness.

All in all it was a successful Active Living Challenge and I hope even more teams enter in next year! Thank you to all participants and I hope you continue to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle!

Rotary Club of Pincher Creek raises $15,000 to fight Polio


Nearly 100 Rotarians and guests from around southern Alberta gathered on July 21for a prime rib BBQ hosted by Paul and Anna Eggert.

Paul Eggert headed up the fund-raising initiative, and a combination of support from Club members, corporate and personal donations resulted in collecting just over $15,000 for the Rotary Foundation, specifically aimed at supporting the final stages of the world-wide eradication of polio.

Ridding the world of Polio has been a top Rotary priority for over 30 years

Paul Eggert cooked and carved prime rib,
serving Rotarian Dr. Greg Steed
[brief historic note below; much more information on]

On 29 September 1979, Rotarians and delegates of the Philippine Ministry of Health looked on as volunteers administered drops of the lifesaving Sabin polio vaccine to children in the Manila barrio of Guadalupe Viejo.
… Rotary's first Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant project was underway…  committing Rotary International and the government of the Philippines to a joint five-year effort to immunize about six million children against polio.

All-Girl Rodeo held in Pincher Creek

Senior Barrel Racing Champ Skyler Mantler of Coaldale
J. Davis photo

Josh Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

On the sunny weekend of July 21-22 the All-Girl Rodeo was held at the Agricultural Grounds in Pincher Creek. Over 600 entries, Junior and Senior, competed in a variety of events, including Pole Bending, Steer Undecorating, Barrel Racing, Goat Tying, Tie-down Roping, Team Roping, Breakaway Roping, and Cow Riding. The event was run under the umbrella of the Canadian Girls Rodeo Association (CGRA).

Lundbreck's Britnie Zur
J. Davis photo

These talented ladies demonstrated great skill and perseverance in their events. Those who fell during tie-down roping were quick to get back up and back to it, while those who knocked down poles or barrels raced no less fervently for it. It seemed, admirably, that they were competing for themselves first, and the prize second.

Coleman's Jolayne Collings
J. Davis photo
Jolayne Collings of Coleman is a veteran of the rodeo who has been riding horses for 17 years.  She enjoyed the chance to strut her stuff in the competition. "I had a good time. Made a little money," she said.  Collings came in fourth in Steer Undecorating on the Saturday, and fifth in Steer Undecorating on the Sunday. She also competed in Pole Bending and Team Roping over the weekend.

Locals finishing in the money over the course of the weekend  included Lundbreck's Abby Zur, Britnie Zur, Kim Schatz, Morgan Michalsky, and Barb Michalsky, and Shaylee French from Pincher Creek.

Golf Course hazards Town Council for donation to tree planting project

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Pincher Creek Golf Course
C. Davis photo
Bob Toney approached the Town of Pincher Creek during the regular council meeting held on the evening of July 24.  Speaking on behalf of the Pincher Creek Golf Course, Toney explained a fundraising campaign that is underway to put more trees on the course.  The trees would be placed to act as hazards and to beautify the course according to Toney.

"We have wanted trees forever," said Toney.  The course has approached a nursery in Raymond that will sell a number of  ten foot trees to the club for $200 a tree, and will plant them all on one day.  "That sounds like one heck of a good deal,"  said Toney.

"Fall is the optimum time to transplant these trees,"  he continued.  The golf course staff will have to water in the trees, and care for them for the first year.  He said after that they will be mature enough that they should require no extra effort in regards to watering.

The Golf Course has been requesting donations from businesses, club members, golf enthusiasts, and any interested parties.  Those that make a donation of $200 or more will get their name on a plaque in commemoration of the initiative.  Toney asked Town Council to donate toward this project.

"I would like to see a spectacular nine-hole course," said Toney.  He said the course served both local and tourist customers.

According to Toney,   the nursery would replace trees that did not make the first year, but the course would be responsible to pick up the replacements up and plant them.  He said that the club had already raised the amount for 60 trees, and that they would like to get at least 100 trees.

Later in the meeting council agreed to donate $4,000 toward the project.

Slow Pitch season set to end with tournament this weekend

Tanis French, Contributor

Kristen Colleen Wagner of  The Replacements at bat
J. Davis photo
We have been blessed by the Gods of Summer! The Pincher Creek Slow Pitch League could not have asked for better weather to play ball. It seemed like it would rain all week, and turn out nice for our games. As we wrap up the season for this year, the teams have been putting on some real nail biters. This week’s games were no exception.

The Pitch Slaps played the Second Basers this week, and judging by the score the Second Basers have made use of their practice nights. With a few new, yet seasoned players the Second Basers put up quite a fight, producing their best score of the season. It wasn’t quite enough to beat the big hitting Pitch Slaps, who ultimately won the match up 18-13. Pitch Slaps Jesse Handford turns up the heat when he runs the bases and demonstrated excellent placement hitting. Joel Marchand another exceptional base runner and Robert Hodgson helped to ensure the win for their team. Second Basers Team Rep Lorili Kettles has put in an excellent season with her team and has illustrated that if you always have fun, you will definitely improve your skills.

The other game featured the Sons of Pitches vs. Team COOP. With a late start to the game and a few players short, the Sons demonstrated how sportsmanship can add to the game, as they lent two players to the COOP team for the duration of the game.  This did not slow the competition, except that the Sons players on the COOP team played exceptionally better than previous games  Brad Klienhans made two solid catches in the field and hit like Babe Ruth!  Carolina Hunsberger shut out Tanis French twice during play, making two excellent catches near short stop. These catches came after Tanis’ first home run of the season. “It was a base hit home run, BUT it still counts!” said French. Trevor Doell also hit a base running home run, showing that you don’t have to hit over the fence to get a home run. The Sons of Pitches ultimately won the game 37-5. Although the Sons have been dominating the season, they still believe in teamwork and fair play and they always have fun when they come out!

Season end tournament this weekend
The season wraps up this weekend with the Pincher Creek Slow Pitch League Tournament. The final games will be Round Robin to let everyone get their fill of Slow Pitch before the summer ends. Games start at 7:00 pm on Friday and will continue on Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm with the final game at 6:30 pm.

If you haven’t been out to enjoy the fun, please come join us to celebrate a great season of Slow Pitch in Pincher Creek.

A thank you goes out to the Town of Pincher Creek for letting us use the diamonds and accommodating our needs. Thanks to all the teams and players for helping to make this season fun and eventful. Thank you to the Pincher Creek Voice for their support as well.

Photos: Josh Davis

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Man dies in white water rafting accident near Longview

Update (July 24, 2012): Arun  Anbazhagan age 35, from Chennai India has been identified as the male who died after a rafting accident of the Highwood River west of Longview, Alberta on Sunday 22 July 2012. A  family representative in India has spoken with an RCMP Turner Valley Member and been appraised of the details.

Original story:
On Sunday, July 22 2012 at 2:00 pm RCMP Turner Valley, Alberta were called to the edge of the Highwood River approximately eight kilometers west of Longview. There a male was found with no signs of life. EMS, including STARS Air Ambulance, attended and attempted to resuscitate him however he never regained consciousness. 

The investigation revealed that the deceased subject was white water rafting with four friends when the raft descended a waterfall and flipped in the fast moving river. The other subjects made it safely to shore but the deceased drifted downstream where nearby swimmers saw him floating face down. They pulled him from the water but had to scramble a steep two hundred foot bank to call for help.

The deceased subject is a 35 year old male from Calgary. He was wearing a helmet and a life jacket.

The name has not been released pending Next of Kin notification. RCMP Victim Services workers attended the scene to help the distraught friends of the deceased.

Due South Canines visit Pioneer Lodge in Fort Macleod

Judith Snowdon, Contributor

On Saturday, July 20, members of the Due South Canine Entertainment group attended the Pioneer Lodge in Fort Macleod to entertain the lodge residents and their families.

Tubby Miller from Calgary, was on hand with his brace of Newfoundland Dogs to give rides to children.  The dogs barrel raced, did flyball, and agility and ran some relay races for an appreciative crowd.  Our group enjoys sharing our talented dogs with members of the public.

Update: Missing Hope girl found

Update August 8, 2012:
Jessica Janis Webber, a 16-year-old girl from Hope who was last seen on July 8th, 2012, attended the Lethbridge RCMP detachment in Alberta on August 7, 2012, and should no longer be considered missing.

Original story:

Hope, BC:  Jessica Janis Webber, a 16 year old girl from Hope, was last seen on July 8, 2012, at 5:00 AM at her residence.  

Jessica is described as 5'4", 96 pounds, with brown shoulder length hair and brown eyes.  It is believed she has traveled to Alberta by hitching rides with long haul truck drivers.  Police have confirmed that Jessica attended a friends residence in Wetaskiwin, Alberta on July 9th.  She has family and friends in Hay River and Lethbridge, however there is no indication at this time that she has been to either city.  On July 17th, police confirmed that Jessica contacted a friend in Campbell River, BC, and advised the friend that she was in Alberta.

Rotary Club of Pincher Creek welcomes new President and Executive


Each year in July, Rotary Clubs around the world begin a new Rotary year and welcome a new President and Executive Committee.

The Rotary Club of Pincher Creek thanks outgoing President Tom Holoboff and his executive for their leadership in 2011-2012.

Jane Tew,  Gerry Alex (incoming President, 2012-2013),
Tom Holoboff  (outgoing President 2011-2012), Lisa Holoboff

The new President for 2012-2013 is Gerry Alex.

The incoming Executive is as follows:

  • President Elect..............Bob Dyrda
  • Secretary......................Jane Tew
  • Treasurer......................Earl Shields
  • Club Service.................Scott Korbett
  • Public Relations............Maureen Bevan
  • Membership..................Joyce Zwick
  • Vocational Service........Lynn Brasnett
  • Community Service.......Dick Burnham
  • International Service......Ken Butler
  • New Generations...........Tom Holoboff
  • Sergeant At Arms...........Dan Crawford

The Rotary Club of Pincher Creek was Chartered on August 14, 1998, and has just celebrated its 14th anniversary.

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