Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 4, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Winter Games ski competition to remain at Westcastle Red Deer offer 'for publicity' "We are going to ski West- castle, there's no two ways about said Keith Lees, Canada Winter Games Manager, Friday. "There's never really been any doubt in our minds that the skiing will be at West- he said. "Sure we have back up venues, but we've got them for everything except we haven't got an extra Sportsplex. "That's just part of good planning." There has been continuing speculation about the site of the Winter Games skiing since it was disclosed last month that Castle Mountain Resort Ltd., which operates the ski hill 28 miles west of Pincher Creek is in financial dif- ficulty. But Friday, Mr. Lees said there is no real connection between the company's problems and the use of the hill for Winter Games skiing. "The contract has been settled for months the i's were dotted and t's crossed months ago. "My job is to see the hill is available during the games and it is going to be. "The rumor he added, "has been operating overtime." Mr. Lees said he had receiv- ed a letter from Red Deer mayor Roy McGregor offer- ing the Canyon Ski Hill near Red Deer as an alternate site for Games Skiing. "I think he's just trying to get his name in the paper I received it and answered the Games manager said. It was the second time the Red Deer mayor had offered the Red Deer River valley ski hill as a Games site. An earlier Red Deer letter was sent to Marc LaLonde minister of health and welfare, but the minister, away on holidays until Mon- day, has not yet answered. The designated alternate Winter Games skiing site is the Cypress Hills east of Medicine Hat. Westcastle, meantime, has been open since Boxing Day and good skiing conditions are reported. Medical costs jump again By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer Costs for physicians' ser- vices and hospital care in Alberta will likely top million this year, financial projections show. Although government of- ficials are reluctant to discuss impending costs of the Alberta Hospital Services Commission and Alberta Health Care Insurance Com- mission, severe increases are expected. The AHSC supplies Alberta hospitals with yearly operating funds and the AHCIC makes payments for services to doctors and other practitioners. The combined payments by those two government agen- cies was about million in 1973-74. Their budgets are not based on the calendar year. The hospital commission's fiscal year ends in March and the insurance commission's in June. The hospital commission, which is now reviewing all Alberta hospital budgets, has not yet estimated what the in- crease in their total payments will be, finance commissioner Runo Berglund said Thurs- day. Hospitals' in the province have been submitting budgets based on 1974 figures and the commission is to make ad- justments based on inflation and new labor contracts. Traditionally, individual hospitals were given that task. But, said a commission source, uncertainties in labor negotiations and material costs has caused the commis- sion to make the estimates. The three budgets sent to the commission from Lethbridge hospitals amount to more than million and these will have to be adjusted by the commission to account for inflation. Hospital operating costs in the province have been in- creasing in the past few years by more than 10 per cent. The commission's total budget through this year was million. Even a similar increase this year in the AHSC budget would pat hospital costs over million. The commission source said 10 per cent would be a "realistic figure" for an overall increase this year. The commission will be reviewing each hospital budget individually, looking at inflation and other factors, Mr. Berglund said. The commission will begin alloting its payments to hospitals in March. The health care insurance commission is in the middle of its budget year which will see more than million in payments given out to physicians' and practitioners. The Alberta government picks up about million of this cost, the rest coming from residents' payments and federal government coffers. Payments to. physicians, about million, could in- crease in the near future because the doctors are currently negotiating for a cost of living increase on their fee agreement. Sources haye said the doc- tors are pressing for a 20 per cent increase in their payments until their existing contract is renegotiated in June. That contract is to ex- pire Dec. 31, 1975. These two negotiations could increase health care payments more than 30 per cent over the commission's next, fiscal year, a medical source said. This would boost total health care payments to more than million. G. R. Beck, AHCIC finance commissioner, said Thursday if the provinces contribution is increased, the federal government's contribution will also increase, offsetting some cost to the province. Snow lubricates streets This morning's snow fall has made Lethbridge roads "very Lethbridge city police say: The falling snow is being packed by cars and is turning into ice. Conditions are par- ticularly bad on small hills and at stop signs, where drivers tend to spin their wheels. The 9th Street over- pass is very slippery, Insp. Glen Michelson said. "We've called for the sanding Insp. Michelson said. Second Section The Lethbndcje Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, January 4, 1975 Pages 15-28 KAREN WILLIS TEACHES A SCIENCE CLASS IN THE LIBRARY VERNA MASUDA FINDS BLACKENED FILES Classes go well in burned school RICHARD NELSON TEACHES MATH CLASS IN GYMNASIUM WALTER KERBER photos It was almost business as usual at Wilson Junior High School Friday as the first school day in the partially destroyed school went "ex- tremely the principal said today. George Castles said after shuffling some classroom space, areas in the school were found to replace the 10 Grade 7 classrooms burned out in the Dec. 9 fire. "We had a place for everyone and everyone had a he said. Classes were held in the library, gym- nasium, conference room and industrial arts room. Physical education classes are ex- pected to resume next week when the cafeteria becomes available for classes now in. the gymnasium, he said. Two teachers contacted by The Herald today said the situation at the school was not ideal but "is functioning." Richard Nelson, who taught one of two mathematics classes in the school gym- nasium, said there was a great problem with voice echoes. "Every time I would raise my voice so those (students) in back could hear, the other class could hear me he said. "I tried to do a lot of work on the blackboard." Karen Willis, who taught science in the library, said the new classrooms will take time for the students to get ac- customed to because of the new desks and setting. The Grade 7 science classes are without books and equip- ment but because it is the end of the semester the students are primarily engaged in review, she said. ing each hospital Michelson said. Funding change threatens Pincher community school concept y JIM GRANT expanded its services to the special funding for adult facilities and education at no the province as one of three pleted the ground work for a staff cuts, larger classes, less concept has creat By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer PINCHER CREEK One of the most advanced com- munity school operations in the province is being threaten- ed by a technical change in department of education funding of high school students. Mathew Halton High School introduced a community school concept of education to Pincher Creek in 1972 and has expanded its services to the community since that time on the strength of the regular school grants it was receiving for adult students. During the fall semester, department of education grants for adults attending the school were withheld. To offset this loss of revenue, the school is attempting to encourage the department to alter its recent action or provide some type of special funding for adult students. If additional provincial funding cannot be obtained, the school will have to begin charging fees to adults for the courses it offers. Such action would severely interfere with the no-cost system of co-operation that now thrives the school and the community, says vice-principal Wayne Pinkney. The school provides its facilities and education at no charge and in return the com- munity provides its facilities, personnel and some supplies at no cost. The impression the school has been attempting to make on the public of being a centre of education and activity for young and old would also be damaged if some students were charged fees and others hot, Mr. Pinkney suggests. The school still receives an annual grant of from the province as one of three schools in the province operating the three-year ex- perimental Community School Co-ordinator Trial Pro- ject. Mathew Halton is the only rural school involved with the project. The province introduced the project in 1973 and Mathew Halton easily qualified as one of three experimental schools since it had already com- pleted the ground work for a community school program that was almost identical to that proposed by the government. It had also im- plemented its program a month before the province in- formed Alberta schools it was seeking three schools to par- ticipate in the experimental project. Mathew Halton introduced the community school concept of education because it feared staff cuts, larger classes, less preparation time for teachers and loss of programs because of a declining student pop- ulation. School administrators felt such measures taken to offset the loss of some provincial grants would only cause more students to drop out and as the vicious circle continued, more staff reductions. The community school concept has created the results school administrators dreamed of when introducing it. The school population rapid- ly increased to more than 700 students within a year. It registered 724 students as of December for the fall, 1974 semester, 168 of them adults. The teaching staff has also been increased slightly to 35 teachers and the school has been able to expand its programming and equipment.