Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 25, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 THE LETHBEIDG5 HERALD Tuesday, July 25, 197i- SWIHART It appears that Ihe advocates of a Canadian gov- ernment elevator system are finally winning some of the battle to save the big while monsters. The evident success of the experiment of ship- ping barley by truck from country points to the ter- minal elevators in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon has shown that the elevators can be used to supplement the regular grain handling operation. Millions of bushels of barley that would have re- mained unsold -Cor (he time being is now on its way to export market. The Palliser Wheat Growers Association points out some interesting facts. Critics of the experiment claim it is too costly and there have been some thought that once it is finished, the terminal eleva- tors will again drop out of the picture as a signifi- cant factor in grain movement. 11 is worth noting that most of the criticism comes from certain organizations which no doubt fear some loss of revenue if the terminal elevators were to be used to capacity. They claim it is loo expensive for the farmers, but. don't point out that most the cost involved is because producers are "locked in" to the ele- vator companies. Although a producer can haul directly to a ter- minal elevator he has named that point on his per- mit book, he must sell through an elevator agent and pay the same charge per bushel as if he had hauled to his local country elevator. In addition, there is a little magic called a di- version charge added if grain is shipped from the Prairie to a terminal elevator that bypasses t h e commercial elevator system. The case of inland terminals is strong. Cleaning is a big factor at heavily populated and congested coastal areas. Dust control alone costs millions of dollars. In addition, the cleaning process seriously limits the surge (storage) capacity of the coastal terminals. Savings on pollution control, demurrage, storage and interest could probably more than offset any additional costs involved in using and expanding the inland terminals, says Palliser. The wheat marketing organization feels that by using inland terminals, revenue for farmers will be increased by the very fact that more grain can be moved through the export facility. Word is waiting for the release of the federal government's gain transportation study. Unifarm is waiting to lake the word to the farmers. Apparently Unifarm is to start a province-wide information dispersion program and at the same time collect reaction from producers. Unifarm has received the information: from Otto Lang but won't divulge it until the ministerial relase. Dobson Lea, president of Unifarm, said that the report could alter substantially the present grain handling system. It apparently adds a number of al- ternative systems any or parts of which could be implemcnled. Then there was the lime John Hesler was batch- ing for a short lime and some visitors were treated to a feed of holy beans. Upon emjuiring, John claimed they were the same as most beans only they had the hell boiled out of them. Ted Wilson Lethbridge's own weatherman. Weatherman uses science Folklore and old wives tales have some meteorological basis but we don't make weath- er forecasts by them, accord- ing to Ted Wilson, a weaHier- man with 26 years experience, who is the officer in charge of the Lethbridgc weather of- fice. Red sky at night is a sailor's delight; red sky in the mom, sailors take warning these are some oC the better known tales handed down through the centuries. "II we lake and examine each of them on.a meteorologi- cal basis, we will find that some of them do have some he said. "It's all a matter of com- munication. The people of the olden days may have passed along the weather signs by sign language. we use satellite, com- puters, trained experts and in- stant communication. "The strange part appears to be that the more data we are aHe to gather and digest, the more we want to know so that we might be able to make better and more accurate fore- casts aix1. pass them onto the public." CHINOOK AUCH Wilson feels that about (he only natural weather indicator for sov.Lh Alberlans which can be relied upon with any amount of accuracy is the chinook arch. "It is almost a certainty, es- pecially in the winter he said, "that if you see nn arch in the western sky just above the horizon, it has some- thing to do with warm weather. "The chinook wind may not necessarily reach Lethbridge, nor will it necessarily touch ground level it may stay 500 lo feet or more hi the air. But, you can be rest assured the warm breeze is around somewhere. Mr. Wilson doesn't sec why it should be harder to forecast Hie weather in southern Alber- ta than it is anywhere else. "We are tied into the great- est; weather monitoring and gathering systems in the world at Dorval Airport near Mon- he said. "We are literally in constant touch with all parts of the hem- isphere and parts of Europe and Asia. Montreal where our computers are tied In with those from the United States and with the mounting facili- ties of the U.S. satellites. "Lethbridge ties in with hun- dreds of monitoring stations in Canada and U.S. For the Cana- dian west, we have regional breakdowns at Winnipeg, Ed- monton and Vancouver. "But, a key point is that, des- pite the fact that we are using all this sophisticated equipment, it stilt lakes a trained man lo sit down with teams from across the country and Iry lo make an educated guess about what Ihe wealher is going lo be like." FROM THE NORTH Wilson has spent most of his career in the weather service in the north country and has seen a wide variety of situations. took charge of operations al Lethbridge in 1968. lie could have gone to some larger cen- tres, but he heard and read about this progressive commun- ity wilh a new university. He said every community has its own peculiarities when it comes lo the weather. "There's probably nothing like Ihe strong west winds in Leth- bridgc. A light aircraft can be coming in for a landing here when the pilot realizes too late that even if he Is able to land, he can't turn his plane around. He can't return to home base because he hasn't enough fuel. "So, fire trucks are dispatch- ed out and the rescuers dangle on the wings to keep the plane from flipping over while it Is being turned. This is especially true of pilots who arc strange to the Lelhbridge winds." The Lelhbridge weather office has a staff of six and it is manned 24 hours a day, 365 dayc of the year. "And, no weatherman has ever lived unlil he has worked here Ihe day before a long weekend when the wealher ap- pears as though it is going to be bad, or it can't make up its mind to be bad or good; and there is only one man on duly. "The weather observations still have to be made, and there appears to be no end lo Hie ring of Ihe public tele- phone."