Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District THe Lethbridge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, December 11, 1974 Pages 13-24 CRAIG CLIFTON OF C AND J RENTALS CLEARS RUIN FROM HALLWAY Westcastle loan sought despite AOC turndown Requests from Westcastle resort for financial assistance and development approvals are being considered, provin- cial government officials say. Ed Clark, managing direc- tor of Alberta Opportunity Company, said after AOC refused a loan application from Westcastle, the resort appealed directly to the government. (See related story on page 1.) "I know the government has been turning over a number of alternatives and other op- Games ski competition may go Cypress Hills Financial clouds over Westcastle ski area won't obscure Winter Games plans for alpine ski events, says Games manager Keith Lees. Games policy is to find alternate sites for all events, Mr. Lees said, and if Castle Mountain Resort Ltd. cannot honor its contract with the Games society, ski competition will shift to Cypress Hills, east of Medicine Hat According to the agreement between the Games and West- castle, the resort will be paid for seven days rental of ski facilities and staff. Mr Lees said he has heard rumors of financial insolvency, but added he hasn't received any formal requests from the Westcastle operators to support their requests for help from provincial authorities. Charles Virtue, Games president, told The Herald the provincial government has already assisted Westcastle by in- stalling telephone service and upgrading the road from Beaver Mines to the lodge. "One would expect that would put them in a much more viable position." said Mr. Virtue, one of 50 original shareholders in Castle Mountain Resort. Burned school fenced off A fence is being constructed today around the burned out portion of Wilson Junior High School to stop anyone from en- dangering themselves around the area, the superintendent of the public school system said today Bob Plaxton said "there is concern on everyone's part that students will climb through the windows and hurt themselves." The fence will be a reminder the area is off limits, he said. The school now is "secure and no one is allowed Mr. Plaxton said. "Security is very strict with two com- missionaires on duty at night and caretakers and super- visors on duty during the day." tions are being considered, but I'm not able to discuss Mr. Clark said in a telephone interview from Ponoka. He said the possibility of development of year-round recreational facilities was "not a factor" in AOC's loan refusal earlier this year The manager of AOC, which lent Westcastle in September 1971, said the government-run company is net "shirking its role" of financing medium-to-high- risk ventures like Westcastle, but added, "there must be a reasonable chance'' borrowers will be able to pay AOC back Meanwhile, Lands and Forests Minister Allan Warrack said "we're going to take our time, and not be browbeaten" into making a quick decision on commercial development at Westcastle. He predicted the provincial government would not deal with recommendations in the Environment Conservation Authority report on the Eastern Slopes until "at least the middle of 1975." The minister said the EGA report recommended helping Westcastle prepare for the Winter Games, and this has been done Improvements to the Beaver Mines-Westcastle" road, costing roughly million, have been completed and a 25-pair cable has been laid by Alberta Government Telephones at a cost' of Dr Warrack said "any further development depends on the question of economic viability" and government implementation of the EGA report. RICK ERVIN photos SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE, GEORGE HANDS, CALGARY FIRE INVESTIGATOR, LEFT; MERL MOSS, CITY ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR; JOHN KOBIBAS, CITY FIRE INSPECTOR, AND DOUG KOMETZ, CITY FIRE MARSHALL, SIFT THROUGH RUBBLE. Clean up will take longer than expected Wilson closed until 1975 By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer The fire-gutted Wilson Junior High School will re- main closed until the end of the Christmas vacation unless the education minister objects to the closure. The public school board agreed Tuesday to close the school and give the students an extended Christmas break. The vacation began Monday after an early morning fire destroyed the south wing of the school and left most of the building damaged by smoke and water. The board decision to close the school and give the students an extended holiday causes an alteration to the regular school calendar that must be approved by Educa- tion Minister Lou Hyndman. School officials had hoped to open a portion of the school to the 720 junior high students Thursday or at the latest Friday They have since been in- formed the process of clean- ing and renovating the smoke and water damage is more ex- tensive than first appeared. BOOKS COATED "There is no possibility that the school can be occupied before the end of the school year, "Superintendent Bob Plaxton informed the trustees. Holiday means longer hours next semester The teaching staff of the fire-damaged Wilson Junior High School agreed Tuesday to work a longer school day and assist students after school hours next semester to make up for the instructional time lost through closure of the school The first major fire in the Lethbridge public school system since 1929 Monday has forced closure of the school until Jan.3. The teachers, many of whom lost instructional materials they have been ac- cumulating for years, were concerned about the instruc- tional time their students would be losing when they met with school ad- ministrators Tuesday. Reporting on the meeting to the public school board. Superintendent Bob Plaxton said the Wilson teaching staff felt most students would not suffer educationally by the ex- tended Christmas holiday if some of the hours lost were made up next semester. However, he said, it was also felt that some students "may suffer extensively" from any loss of instructional time. The teachers agreed to give extra assistance after regular school hours to students "who may be falling behind because of loss of instructional he reported. During the meeting, the teachers decided to extend the school day in the second semester (January to May) fay 15 minutes a day to make up for about five of the school days lost through closure the school. EARLY START Another school day, they agreed, should be gained by designating the Jan 3 teacher professional day as a regular school day with teachers arriving at the school at 7 a.m. and students at a.m. To create additional in- struction time equivalent to one day over a full semester, the teachers decided to hold all staff meetings on their own time instead of during regular school hours. School Principal George Castles is devising a plan to utilize other areas of the school for classroom space so the Grade 7 students can con- tinue their education at Wilson after the Christmas break. Gruenwald calls centre 'porno shop' Dick Gruenwald considers the Lethbridge Birth Control and Infor- mation Centre "close to a porno shop" although he has never visited the centre. "If I were a committee of one, that damn thing wouldn't be the 57-year-old Lethbridge West MLA pledged at a Kiwanis Club meeting Tuesday. "It's closer to a porno shop than it is a good type of information Mr. Gruenwald charged. Information distributed by the centre tells young girls "how to do and then how to "have an abor- tion and avoid all the un- pleasantness." The centre offers "no talk of said the former member of the Lethbridge Separate School Board. "We have to talk about responsi- ble parenthood, but it has to be done by responsible people. "I' should be done by the church, by the home and by the school, like I say, by responsible people." But the MLA said after his speech he has neither talked to the staff at the centre, nor visited it. "I would just be embarrassed to go there. I have no reason to go in there. I'm not interested in birth he said. "They advocate sexual relations outside of marriage and all the ways it can be done. This type of ex- plicitness is uncalled for." Mr. Gruenwald's charges were refuted by Pauline Hoskins, director of the centre and a public health nurse. "What we're trying to do is give out information. We don't give out opinions as to what people should or should not do." "We're pretty careful about younger Ms. Hoskins added in a telephone interview. "They are, however, often brought in by their parents and teachers." The centre does offer information on abortion, but only in conjunction with other alternatives. "We always give all the she said, including information on homes where pregnant women or girls can spend their pregnancies. She said birth control information offered in comic book style by the federal department of health and welfare was withdrawn before being distributed last spring. Mr. Gruenwald and Lethbridge East MLA John Anderson had com- plained about that information to Alberta Health Minister Neil Craw- ford. Mr. Gruenwald, the father of seven, remains upset that booklets such as one compiled by a Calgary voluntary birth control agency, How To Take The Worry Out Of Being Close, are still available in Lethbridge. "Every book in the library is coated with residue the corridors have layers of greasy material some walls must be refinished" and carpets are soaked with water, the superintendent said The damage must be rectified by school janitorial and maintenance staff The school board was faced with two alternatives Tuesday. To give the students an extended Christmas break until Jan. 3, which they agreed to, or attempt to find space for the 720 students in other buildings They opted for the first because the other alternative would have created many problems and didn't appear to be especially educationally beneficial to the students "It will be impossible to carry on normal programs because the teachers will not be with the students they nor- mally teach. Most teachers are specialists in one or two Dr. Plaxton reported. TEXTS BURNED To be able to facilitate the 720 students, every public school and other public buildings would have to be utilized. The result would have seen classes of Wilson Junior High students spread throughout the city, leaving one or two teachers attempting to teach "students they may not have seen before" at each location It was also pointed out that many students have no books or materials to work with. Most of the Grade 7 students lost their texts and note books in the fire. Principal George Castles said a few Grade 7 students had taken their school books home to study during the weekend so did not lose them in the blaze. The fire destroyed three specialty areas and put seven Grade 7 classrooms out of operation until next fall. Dr. Plaxton predicted "very severe transportation problems" would occur unless parents were able to deliver the students to the new locations and pick them up in the afternoon. The school system would find it difficult to obtain enough desks for the students and transport them to the various locations before Christmas, he advised. ACCOMPLISH LITTLE Concern was also expressed about the disruption the es- tablishment of remote classrooms in other schools would cause for the students now studying there. "In the superinten- dent summed up the situation of relocating the students, "the're would be very serious dislocations and little would be accomplished in terms of student learning" by relocating the students for the few school days remaining before the Christmas school break. Indian ammunition cash into trust fund Five Southern Alberta Indian bands have agreed to divide won from the federal government in an historic treaty claim settlement. But the five tribes, who signed Treaty No 7 in 1877 and later brought legal action against Ottawa for reneging ammunition money payments, still haven't decided how to distribute their largess. In the first treaty claim by Canadians Indians to be settled with the federal government, the Peigan, Blood, Sarcee, Stoney and Blackfoot tribes received in back payments and a default penalty levied against the department of Indian affairs. The Stoney band, the last to sign the agreement, met Tuesday with Indian affairs official Cy Fairholm and department official Carol Pepper. The accord places ammunition money in a trust fund for five years or until the five bands agree how to divide the money If no agreement is reached within five years, the money will be split up by the Federal Court of Canada. Webster Macdonald Sr., counsel for the Treaty 7 tribes during their ammunition money suit, hailed the five year trust agreement a "breakthrough of interest to every Indian in Canada. "It's the first settlement of its kind in 100 years." The March 1, 1973, settlement with Ottawa, he added, "shows the federal government is honoring its com- mitment to Indians Under Treaty 7, signed 97 years ago, Ottawa agreed to pay each tribe annually for hunting am- munition. This money was never paid. Since the historic settlement, however, the five bands have disputed division of the money. At a meeting held after the out of court settlement, the five voted to split the money evenly, but this decision was later declared invalid by the Blood and Blackfoot tribes, who wanted the money divided on a per capita basis. Per capita distribution, which today would bring each registered Indian would have given the Blood band and the Blackfoot The smaller tribes, the Stoney, Sarcee and Peigan supported splitting the into five equal payments. But on a per capita sharing system, the Peigans are entitled to Sarcee, and Stoneys, 000. AMA hopes for fee ruling by month end The Alberta Medical Association is "hopeful" dis- cussions with government on whether to re-open its existing fee contract will be concluded by the end of the month. Robert Clark, executive director with the AMA, said Tuesday in a telephone inter- view a "news blackout" is continuing on the talks. "Bat we are hopeful talks will end by the end of the Dr. Clark said. The AMA, through its five- member negotiating com- mittee, is seeking to have the government re-open its ex- isting contract because of the rapid increase in the cost of living. The contract does not expire until Dec. 31, 1975. Negotiations on that contract are not scheduled to begin un- til July 1.1975 Bruce Rawson, chairman of the Alberta Health Care In- surance Commission and chief deputy minister of health, said Tuesday another meeting with the doctors will be held before Christmas. The groups have held two formal meetings and several "informal discussions" since beginning talks in mid- November, he said. The government is represented in the talks by Mr. Rawson, AHCIC member Dr. Bruce McLeod and health department consultant, Dr. Graham Clarkson.