Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 24, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Out-of-towners snap up tickets to Winter Games Prospective Winter Games spectators who put off buying tickets are going to be "darn says the Games' ticket boss. "The out-of-town orders are grabbing up all the says Pat Berti, box office super- visor at Action Central, the Games' new downtown information centre. "People in Lethbridge are sitting back and telling themselves there's no she warns. "Lots of them are going to be darn disappointed." Only 119 tickets remain for the final syn- chronized swimming competition at Stan Siwik Pool, she adds. A scant seats are left for gymnastic finals at Exhibition Pavilion. Figure skating tickets are also' selling briskly, Mrs. Berti says. Of seats in the Sportsplex, have already been snapped up by skating fans. More than tickets have been sold for the official opening and more than for closing ceremonies. Mrs. Berti says closing ceremonies are favored because of the price difference. Opening tickets cost and closing, She says the box office is getting its share of complaints from people upset at the lack of reserved seats. Mrs. Berti says her office cannot handle reservations, because there are tickets for 265 different events. The number of tickets also makes it im- possible for the Games to exchange or refund tickets, she adds. Another source of complaints is admission charges for children. "One man came in and bought tickets for his family for a week... it cost him J21." Did he think the bill was too high? Apparently not, replies Mrs. Berti, because he told box office workers, "I can c even take my wife out for a night with The Lethbridge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, January 24, 1975 .Pages 17-32 School funds withheld Grant cut may kill program at Pincher By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Alberta School Trustee Association lawyers are checking the legal im- plications of.a move by the provincial government to withhold school operating funds from the Pincher Creek school board. The government action is forcing the board to operate on borrowed money and may mean the death of the com- munity school concept of education that has been operating in Pincher Creek for the past three years. The action that may lead to a head-on confrontation between the provincial government and the trustees association was taken by the Valley hearing Monday A bylaw which will guide future development of the en- tire length and breadth of the city's river valley will be scrutinized at a public hearing Monday. The bylaw, which is the result of years of study and work by citizen committees, city parks department staff and planners from the regional planning com- mission, is up for second and third readings following the hearing. Indication has been receiv- ed that five briefs from the public will be presented to the hearing, City Clerk John Gerla said Thursday. The hearing starts at 8 p.m. in city council chambers. The intent of the bylaw is to preserve the river valley for recreation. It divides the valley into 23 "resource" areas covering a total of acres with specific recommended uses for each area. The uses range from nature preserve, bridle paths, hiking, nature and pedestrian trails, picnic and campground areas, and toboggan and ski areas to such intensive uses as tourist campgrounds and even motor hotel and drive in restaurants between Highway 3 and 3A West. Development of the river valley park scheme is likely to take place over a number of years. One such proposed develop- ment the tourist campground on the site of the provincial campsite off Highway 3 will also likely be discussed again by city council Monday. Further negotiations have been conducted this week between 'City Manager Allister Findlay and campground developed Doug Nielson following council dis- cussion of campground policy at its seminar Saturday. cabinet last November when it passed an order-in-council to amend the school founda- tion grant program. The amendment eliminated the foundation grant for high school students over 23 and for all students attending classes after 6 p.m. The Pincher Creek Matthew Halton Community School had been receiving the regular school foundation grant of per student for adults attending the school during the day and evening and for younger students taking the high schooT'program after 6. p.m. The school has been able to develop its program to a point where it is the centre of education for both young and old from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays. The expansion of its ser- vices was accomplished on the strength of the regular school grants it was receiving for all full-time students regardless of age or time of day they attended school. Ironically, the school is one of three in the province defin- ed by the department of education as an experiment in community school operation and receives a grant from the province to develop the community-school con- cept. The ASTA is examining the legal implications of the government action because it feels the province is trying to recover grant funds that legally belong to the board. Pinch is two-fold The financial pinch felt by the Pincher Creek school board is two-fold. If the province is successful in its attempt to reclaim, retroactive to July 1, grants for students over 23 and those attending school after 6 p.m., the financial loss to the board would be an estimated The second financial set- back results from the depart- ment of education decision to withhold the foundation grant final settlement the Pincher Creek school board was to receive for all its school students in mid-December. The foundation grants are used to fund the daily ad- ministration and operation of all seven schools and student transportation in the Pincher Creek School Division. Subsequently, the board is borrowing money to operate the schools at about 11 per cent interest instead of receiving interest on money it would normally have on hand after receiving the final settlement. Normally, school boards receive a final settlement from the department of education foundation grant in June and December of each year based on the student pop- ulation of the schools at those points in the year. Pincher Creek school of- ficials told The Herald they are concerned that the depart- ment of education would "change the rules of the game after the game has started." 'The rules changed' They are referring to the order-in-council that was made in November, about 10 months after the school board had committed itself to a 1975 budget based on the previous "rules." The officials said they are not opposed to the change in legislation as long as it is applicable to all school jurisdictions and doesn't take effect until the beginning of the year. They expressed concern that only two school systems have been singled out by the department as victims of the new regulations. The other is St. Paul Regional High School in St. Paul', about 160 miles northeast of Edmonton. It is also one of three experimental community schools in the province. The Pincher Creek board is complying with the advice of the ASTA not to submit a new count of its student population based on the amended regulations. department has requested the new count. The board believes it must take a stand on the issue for itself and other boards in the province. Meeting set with Hyndman It feels the department may be establishing a precedent that may lead to the minister of 'education treating each school board on a different level. The Pincher Creek officials are also concerned that the change in regulations may result in the "death" of the community school operation as it now functions. To save what they call "a highly successful they are attempting to obtain "special project funding" from the department to enable the school to continue operating in its current form during the next school year. However, they realize all special education grants are terminal so their long-term objective is to encourage the government to establish a form of funding for all com- munity school operations in the province. The next course of action for the ASTA and the Pincher Creek school board is to meet Education Minister Lou Hyndman to discuss the im- plications of the November order-in-council. The meeting has been ten- tatively set for next week. Central opens Winter Games action Thursday was downtown Thursday, in the old library build- ing on 3rd Ave., recently donated to the Games for an information centre and lot- tery and ticket sales office. Games Pres- ident Charles Virtue and CBC sports per- sonality Ernie Afaganis punch their way through Games posters to officially open Action Central. At the ticket counter, Bonnie Osmond, left, Dorothy Bertsch and Cheryl Shulz prepare for a crush of ticket buyers. Meanwhile, at the lottery stand, Games work- er Del Brown sells a ticket to Dwight Ganske of Edmonton, an official with the culture, youth and recreation department. FR REGISTRATION SOI Speech 6just crumbs from Tory table' Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Southern Alberta MLA's Thursday labelled the' government's throne speech "halo "grandmotherly" and "just crumbs from the Conservative table." "How so little could be said in such a long speech, I'll never John Anderson (SC Lethbridge East) said in reaction to the Tories' fourth outline of legislation. "I was disappointed they never mentioned the Syncrude Mr. Anderson said. He also said he hopes Lethbridge receives one of four provincial parks promised in the speech. "An oil policy was conspicuous by its Dick Gruenwald (SC Lethbridge West) said. "The area I would like to see enunciated is housing. Low interest loans are one of the most beneficial ways to use the oil revenues. "Under transportation I would have hoped for specific alternatives to railway he said. "We'll certainly be watching for the budget because that's what makes this thing work." Charlie Drain (SC 'Pincher Creek Crowsnest) blasted the government for a lack of policy on eastern slopes development. He said 'the resource industries needed decisions from the government in order to proceed with mining. "The new school he said, "can be included among the crumbs that fell from the Conser- vative table. Mr. Drain said he was looking for something constructive as far as Southern Alberta's water supply is concerned. "All the government came up with are studies what we need is action." Ted Hinman (SC Cardston) said the speech was among the worst ex- amples of "halo polishing" he has seen after hearing many throne speeches. He said the government talked as if it only could have done" what has been achieved. In fact, its accomplishments are only possible because of oil revenues and past good management. Fred' Mandeville (SC Bow Valley) said there was not enough in the speech concerning irrigation. The speech was "a rehash of programs we already have in effect." Ray Speaker (SC Little social critic for the Socred op- position, said the government was expanding its programs but not ex- amining its priorities. He said million to million is needed this decade for irrigation projects and the government has neglected the energy question as well. "There should have been something to build confidence in the Alberta economy to get people to in- Mr. Speaker said. A program for help to small schools is "certain- ly a good but any grants must meet actual costs. Agriculture critic Leighton Buckwell (SC Macleod) said the government statements on agriculture were "grandmotherly." "I imagine the budget will be so full of goodies we'll think Christmas is here again." He said there should have been specific programs for rehabilitation of irrigation projects. Mr. Buckwell was also disappointed that help was not forthcoming for the beef industry.