Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Confessions of bootlegger in fertilizer By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer When Walter Pullishy is not tending his acre farm 40 miles northeast of Edmonton he is bootlegging fertilizer. Mr. Pullishy is not your average bootlegger of fer- tilizer. He sees himself, rather, as the Robin Hood of the bootleg set. He has decided to blow the whistle on his greedier fellows in the trade, and on the fertilizer manufac- turers which he sees as the real culprits behind shor- tages. Shortages are what make the trade tick. American farmers are being gouged by the bootleggers up to a ton for fertilizer which sells here for says Mr. Pullishy. Shipping the nitrogen based product south for big money has fallen into disrepute because it has already been allocated to Alberta dealers and farmers who fear a shortage next Spring. Mr. Pullishy, 45, says the traffic is probably several fold the tons government officials calculate left Western Canada in 1973-74. "That figure is ridiculously Mr. Pullishy said Wednesday in a telephone interview. One operation us- ing 51 trucks making an average one and a half trips a week between May and July hauled about tons alone, he estimates. This is how the bootlegging rake off operates ac- cording to the farmer trucker from Star, 30 miles northeast of Edmonton. Everyone takes markup A "line agent" such as an elevator agent buys the fertilizer from a manufacturer for a ton. The Agent sells it to a "Canadian broker" for to The broker sells it to a trucker for a ton. The trucker adds his markup and sells it to an "American broker" for a ton. The American broker sells it to a retail agent for a markup, bringing the price to a ton. The agent sells it to a farmer desperate for fertilizer after adding another 10 to 20 per cent, or from to a ton. The price to the farmer is now about a ton. That is, if the members of the bootleg system are not greedier: the Canadian broker might add up to a ton and the American broker a similar amount. "Between those two pirates there is an honest Mr. Pullishy says in an interview to be shown this week on CBC Television in Edmonton. He says he decided to short circuit the bootlegging system when he found one fanner in Oregon paid a ton for fertilizer which was selling in Canada for to a ton. "This is blood he says. He claims when he hauled for an Osoyoos, B.C., firm, the company "netted between May and July. 4- Everything in short supply Mr. Pullishy says he has also hauled fertilizer for a Lethbridge firm, A and M Distributors. Tom Martin, a partner in the firm, confirms that he knows of Mr. Pullishy but the company has never knowingly indulged in the bootleg fertilizer trade. A and M operates simply as a broker, bringing buyers and sellers together. "Everyone seems to be looking for something in short says the former Shell Canada marketing man. A and M is attempting to regain its money spent on a load hauled by Mr. Pullishy, which won't identify. Mr. Pullishy says it was a load of fertilizer headed for an American customer and that he will pay back A and M for the fertilizer, but not a brokerage fee. Mr. Martin and two partners, president Pat O'Con- nor and Lawrence Dahl, operate the company from an office at 1812 2nd Ave. S. They deal primarily in used cars but have branched into anti freeze, stucco wire, baler twine, fertilizer, plastic garbage bags and now possibly sugar. The operation did .worth of business last month. Mr. Dahl put The Herald in contact with a Calgary trucking firm, R and B Distributors, when asked for a recommendation on someone to haul fertilizer to the U.S. 'Rake-off small potatoes9 R and B told The Herald it has been hauling three to five loads a week, "mainly picked up from agents." Meanwhile, Mr. Pullishy used the intelligence he gathered hauling for others to strike out on his own. "My loads are running to per ton less than the brokers' he claims. He picks up most of his product from dealers northeast of Edmonton and sells a lot of it to a Washington farmers' co operative. His free lance operation has purportedly attracted the attention of the "establishment" within the business. Phone calls have reached him warning him to "maintain the blood money Mr. Pullishy says. However, he says, "the rake off is small potatoes compared to what the giant corporations are taking." "Mr. Fertilizer Big has said we're going to minimize our sales and create a shortage in Canada." He says he is doing his bit to destroy the companies' alleged price fixing, just as he undercuts his fellow bootleggers. "I can do the same thing to Imperial Oil and Sherritt Gordon. A small amount of bootleg fer- tilizer destroys their control of the price situation." Mr. Pullishy says he is not contributing to a shortage of fertilizer here because it is an artificial shortage anyway. "If it's an honest dollar and not illegal and not blood money, I'll haul anything." Mr. Pullishy's honest dollar amounts to about a week from his trucking activities. Need questioned for special school counsellors West-side school sited The separate school board selected and reserved a school site on the west side of the proposed lake in West Lethbridge Wednesday. It also agreed that when a school is developed there, it should be a community school and the site should be developed in co operation with the public school board. Superintendent Ralph Himsl told the board the city is planning for a population of 000 in the immediate area of the subdivision now being developed and another in two nearby areas. The proposed school site en- compasses 35 acres, he said. By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer The need for professional personnel who, specialize in counselling in the separate schools was questioned by school trustees Wednesday. Trustees John Boras and Steve Vaselenak felt counselling may be better handled by the classroom teacher who is familiar with the student's background. The discussion was sparked by a report on guidance and counselling methods and procedures presented to the trustees by the principal and counsellors of Catholic Central High School. In response to the questions, Principal Stan Sawicki pointed out that the report was not meant to be a rationale for the existence of specialized counsellors at Catholic Central. He expressed a willingness to produce a more extensive report on the need for counsellors at another meeting. The trustees took hjm up on his offer. Suggesting such a report should be presented in a closed meeting, Trustee Paul Matisz said he would like to ask certain questions but did not want to do so in front of the press. "It is not a matter of public he insisted. He proposed that the trustees and counsellors "sit down and talk for two or three hours maybe over a glass of beer." Trustee Steve Vaselenak argued that the only discussion on counselling held in a closed session should be that which mentions stu- dent names. The trustees did not reach a decision on whether to hear the next report in an open or closed session. Trustee Robert Kolesar suggested counselling was a subject that should be dis- cussed in a meeting with parents. His suggestion appeared to be approved by other members but they did not want to take any action until they hear the report. The report showed that most students visit counsellors two or three times a year and 15 per cent of the student body receives counselling from four to 24 times a year. "The choices to be made by children are more complex and greater in number "-.than they were in the past when life was simpler, the report stated. It claimed teachers don't have the time, training or experience to deal with the more complex problems facing students today because they have become more specialized in their subject area. "By keeping almost all children in school until Grade 12, the schools are also keeping many children with a variety of problems who would have dropped out as early as Grade 6 in past it pointed out. Mr. Vaselenak felt the efforts of the counsellors should be geared to the 15 per cent of the students who really need their help and the teachers should counsel the others if necessary. Mr. Boras claimed there is "nobody who should have more time, training and ex- perience" to deal with student problems than the teacher.. Second Section The Lethbridge Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Thursday, December 12, 1974 Pages 19 36 Private river valley camp proposed By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer A proposal to develop a river valley recreational vehicle campground with 162 a swimming pool and other facilities was before two city com- mittees Wednesday. Council's land sales com- mittee recommended a lease be given River Valley Campgrounds, a Lethbridge based com- pany, for a lOVa acre site where the Highway 3 West campground is situated. Details of the lease agreement, which will likely go to council Monday, were not released. Doug Nielson, who heads the company, said it involves a phase out of the city operated Henderson Lake campground. Mr. Nielson also took his proposal to the Municipal Planning Commission for a development permit, but the commission referred him to the community services Ad- visory Committee. Mr. Nielson said in an inter- view he hopes to have at least part of the campground ready for operation by May 15 next year. Each rec vehicle site would have a grassed area screened by a hedge, a barbecue pit and picnic table, said Mr. Nielson." He said he had approached KOA, an American chain of campgrounds for a franchise at one point, but then had decided against affiliating with the company. The campground, which will have full water, sewer and electrical hookups for better than half the stalls; will cost about to develop, ex- clusive of land costs, Mr. Nielson said. All internal servicing would be done by River Valley Campgrounds, Mr. Nielson said. But it's understood the city may meet some of the costs of putting sewer and water lines to the campsite, under the lease agreement. The land sales committee decision Wednesday appears to counter statements made Monday at council's capital budget meeting. Council voted then to defer city development of a river valley campground costing and Bob Bartlett, community services director told council private proposals for campground development appeared to either require large city subsidies, or are planned with few amenities for the travelling public. Mr. Nielson said, however, his campground would exceed standards set by Travel Alberta and the Canadian Standards Association. He said he has some silent partners, but is the major shareholder in River Valley Campgrounds, and has been working on his proposal since June. "Studies we did last summer showed there were an average of 142 recreational vehicles staying in the city during June, July and Mr. Nielson said. Average charge for the campground would be which is 10 per cent lower than the average rate charged at private campgrounds, he said. BILL GROENEN photo GARY KINNIG SHOWED A ROAST SUCKLING PIG PREPARED FOR THE LCC FOOD FAIR Food fair Lethbridge9s largest art show The largest annual Lethbridge art show, with more than artistic works on display, is set to be ad- mired and eaten Friday. The culinary works of the young chefs training in the food services program at the Lethbridge Community College will be displayed and sold by auction Friday at the 10th annual food fair on cam- pus. To their master chef, LCC food services director Vern Olsen, the food fair is not simply a place where people Ramp decision lauded A decision by city council this week to fund construction of sidewalk wheelchair ramps at some 55 city intersections next year was Wednesday greeted with approval by Disabled on the Move. "I'm pleased with it that's pretty well what we had Glazier talks break down Talks between Canadian Pittsburgh Industries Ltd. and the Glaziers and Glassworkers Union have broken down, a company of- ficial said today. The company is involved in other work besides construc- tion and has to compete local- ly with seven non union firms in supplying auto glass and house windows, he said. Con- ditions in the Lethbridge trading area also have to be considered, said the official. said Gerald Trechka, acting president of the group. The decision to put in the ramps came on a resolution by Aid. Bob Tarleck during council's capital budget dis- cussions. It called for of the set aside for the annual sidewalk renewal program to be used for the wheelchair ramps. Randy Holfeld, city engineering director, said the figure was a minimum cost estimate for the ramps. At 40 of the locations, one central ramp would be put in at each corner instead of two ramps per corner as was done this summer at 4th Street and 9th Avenue S. he said. Most of the ramps will be constructed downtown. Disabled on the Move, a local handicapped persons ac- tion group, first asked for the ramps this summer when a number of downtown sidewalks were replaced as part of the sidewalk renewal program. can enjoy gastronomical de- lights. It is an opportunity for food service students to explore their creativity in developing a culinary work of art that is an example of well prepared food, has eye appeal and returns "hard, cold cash" in the same manner of other works of art that are sold in art auctions throughout the world. EYE APPEAL "There is nothing more beautiful than a dish with eye said Mr. Olsen, whose appearance is not that of the typical hollywood type artist. However, the rough talk- ing master chef is as much an artist as the sculpture and painter in his heart and maybe even in the pit of his stomach. It is a pride and respect for culinary art and the deter- mination to have it held in the same high esteem as the fine wines of the world that Mr. Olsen hopes to develop in his students by having them create their own master- pieces for the food fair. He fears a loss of professionalism in cooking, a fear that was shared by many other master chefs this fall at the 16th congress of the World Association of Cooks Societies in Banff. Students must understand the significance and value of the materials used in a dish and the reason for its creativeness, he said, while suggesting the food fair is an excellent method of cultivating an awareness of the culinary art. SANITATION Sanitation must be one of the major considerations of each artist in preparing his work of art for public display and consumption, the college food services director pointed out in an interview. Food fairgoers, he said, should note the glaze used on meats. The glaze is a brown or white sauce with an additive that provides a protective coating for the meat. Much of the meat is also kept in ice while on display to prevent bacterial growth. Producing the sneer of a muscle bound camp cook, Mr. Olsen expressed objection to people accusing food fairs of wasting food while millions of people in other portions of the world are suffering from hunger. Everything that is on dis- play is sold at the auction, even the decorations and flowers, he boasted. In fact, he added, "we don't have enough to go around." EDIBLE DISPLAYS Everything that is produced for the fair is ediblp Mr. Olsen was also quick to discredit rumors that industry was disgruntled with the college interfering with their- sales by holding a food fair and auction less than two weeks before Christmas. Industry is providing finan- cial assistance for the opera- tion of the fair, he remarked with a grin. During the afternoon and evening of the fair Friday, lucky ticket holders will be awarded prizes that have been donated by the food industry. The organ music is also to be provided by the business community. The food fair opens at 1 p.m. for viewing and the buffet begins an hour later. At p.m. a torchlight parade headed by two RCMP constables is to be led into the LCC auditorium by piper John Gilchrist. Carl Johnson, the man who held the LCC presidency in 1965 when the food fair was in- troduced, and the members of the board of governors of that year will be honored during the parade. WANT Mr. Olsen anticipates that about food fairgoers will view the works of LCC food service students and staff members. A variety of fish and dis- plays have been added to the large number of cake, meat, poultry, bread basket and other food dishes that take on a new artistic appearance at the fair each year. The food service students and staff have been working on most displays since Dec. 2 and will not complete all dis- plays until Friday morning because some types of fish will not arrive in Lethbridge until this evening. "Some of us won't go to sleep Thursday Mr. Olsen said Wednesday with a little less enthusiasm.