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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 5, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 12 THE LITHBRIDOf HCTAID Tunday, S, 1973 Reporter turns bear handler Facing up BILL GROENEN photos Rsx Young, one of the stars of the Shrine Circus's several clown routines, puts on his face prior Monday's matinee performance. Dainty little Ursa gets new handler By BERNICE HERLE Herald Staff Writer "Now presenting the great Kassle's Bears act. You have to see them to believe what they said a loud boom- ing voice over the micro- phone. A tall man led three bears into the ring, a lady in a pink costume followed lead- ing one bear and another lady in pink followed with two more bears. The beasts were taken over to some small chairs and made to sit down on them. Then the ac- tion began! "And now the act will be- gin. Ladies and gentlemen, are you the an- nouncer yelled. Hold it Before we get into a re- play of the act let me ex- plain how I happened to be that first lady in the pink costume leading the bear, Ursa, into the ring. Usually I'm just an ordi- nary reporter c o v e r ing things like meetings, speech- es and so on. But Monday was different. The circus was in town. My assignment was to ''be something'" in the Shrine Circus, featuring the Hubert International Circus from Texas. Most of the day I was the "joe girl" for Carmen and Mini Hall and for the rest of the Hall family who between them work several circus ani- mal acts. Three hours before the first performance it was de- cided I was to "be some- thing" in the bear act. Bears. Big bears, about feet tall. Six of them, some black, some brown. "Remember, Jim- mie Hall told me. "We cut out the wrestling act with bears a long time ago. We don't do it anymore so just take it cool.'' That's what I did for about three hours as I watched Nini and Carmen put on their stage makeup and helped Carmen put the finishing touches on the ponies for her act. Nini told me that since I was only going to be in one performance I didn't have to put on any makeup. I helped Carmen paint the ponies' hooves white, buckle on their harnesses and fasten plumes to their heads. I watched while the monkeys dressed and bows were put en the dogs, heads. Then I stared as Carmen and Nini performed their first two acts in the ring. Intermission time came and went. It was time for us to go on we had to be ready to go on two acts ahead of time according to circus policy. I jumped into a pink cos- tume and fish net stockings and pink shoes. Carmen did my hair, using one of her hair pieces. I smeared some red lipstick on my lips and I was ready to go sort of. We walked over to the bears and I was introduced to each one of them, Nicky, Herta, Ursa, Kuneo and Dennis. Ursa was to be my charge. Jimmy gave me some jelly beans, for use in emergencies. When I asked Nini what 1 would actually be doing in the ring, she said, "I'll tell you what to do. We'll just play it by ear.'' Then we led the bears to- wards the ring. Jimmy showed me how to make Ursa stand and he "just treat her like a little puppy and. lady, relax, smile and take it easy. Don't look so frozen." As I walked Ursa into the ring I could feel the smile on my face turn into a sick grin, my legs felt weak and I could feel them wobbling in the high skinny-heeled shoes. Once, we were in the ring we made the bears sit on separate chairs. Tony and Nicky did their plank-walk- ing trick first and then it was Ursa's turn to do her bit. She came out into the ring easy. Nini and I rolled out 3 barrel for her to jump up or and she walked across the ring en it. Then I took hei back to her chair. Nothing it. After a few more (Herta on the motorbike) II was time to take our bows. A total of about six minutes in the ring with the six bears. As we walked the bears back to their cages I tried to give Ursa a jelly bean re- ward. She spit it out, a ges- ture I assume indicated her disgust at her green handler. Don't worry, Ursa, you'll never have me for a handle- again. Circus performer hurt, see Monday shows A 42 year old Florida man was injured Monday night as he fell while doing a balancing act at the evening performance of the S h r i n e Circus at the Exhibition Pa- vilion. Manuel Hernandez, was balancing on a rolling log with his wife and daughter on his shoulders in ring one. His wife and daughter were not hurt. Mr, Hernandez was taken to St. Michael's Gen- eral Hospital. He is reported to be im- proving today. About people attend- ed the afternoon perform- ance of the circus Monday and about attended the evening show. Two shows will be fea- tured today at p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is for children and for adults. The beauties and the beasts Herald reporter Bernice Herle, left, leading Ursa. Resource briefs invited By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Lethbridge citizens are either apathetic or reticent about showing their concern for the Southern Alberta en- vironment and the Oldman River basin. People don't care about the hearings, don't know of them or don't think they're quali- fied to present a brief at the public hearings on land use and resource development in the Eastern slopes to be held in Letbbridge June 13 and 14, says the president of the Letbbridge Naturalists Soci- ety. Frank Harper said Monday the "brief can be brief" and even a hand-written letter saying why a person doesn't want commercial activities to take place in the Oldman Riv- er basin will sufficiently in- form the Environmental Con- servation Authority of b's concern. The Environment Conser- vation Authority began as a provincial government in- quiry into strip mining and sulphur extraction in certain mountain areas then snow- balled into a total look at the province's mountain region as a natural resource. Public hearings on land use and resource development in the Eastern slopes will be held in each of the five drain- age basin areas during the next two months. Mr. Harper says people can be assured commercial inter- ests will be well represented professionally by people who don't really care about the environmental damage their companies may cause since most of them don't live in this area. Helen Schuler, a member of the Lethbridge Naturalists Society, says uncontrolled de- velopment of the Oldman Riv- er basin affects people who enjoy the natural surround- ings of the region as well as the home owner in Leth- bridge who may not get enough water to keep Ms lawn green. The basin is important to Southern Alberta because 94 per cent of the Oldman Riv- er's water supply at the Crowsnest water shed. The other six per cent comes across the U.S. border. The Oldman river basin is still suffering from bad man- agement and past made by commercial firms while carrying on uncontroll- ed mining exploration in the region, Mrs. Schuler said. Even exploration roads, if not planned properly, can be environmentally hazardous because they cause a change in direction of the natural waterway system, she added. Not only will a rerouted waterway destroy plant life, but it can also diminish wild- life in the area. Per example, sheep and goats are animals with a her- edity migratory system that causes them to remain with- in the region they were born in even if their food source has been reduced consider- ably. Mr. Harper says people should not take the attitude their letter or brief will be ignored at the governmental hearings. "You can be sure your opinion will have no effect if it isn't he add- ed. He hopes Southern Albert- ans won't consider partici- patory democracy as being something far someone else to do at the June hearings. Public information on the hearings and the basin areas have been set up in Lethbridge at the public li- braries and the Lethbridge Community College library. The Oldman River Basin hearings begin June 11 in the Crowsnest Consolidated High School auditorium in Coleman and then move to Lethbridge for a two-day hearing at the Yates Memorial Centre June 13 and 14. Student begins recreation study A student from the Uni- versity of Lethbridge will spend her time this summer finding out how other city residents spend theirs. Patrol meeting Wednesday Plans for the formation of a special agricultural patrol to combat the increasing in- cidence of cattle rustling will be discussed at a public meeting in the Pincher Creek municipal building Wednes- day at 8 p.m. Formation of a producer patrol would be made through the co-operation of the RCMP and fish and mid- life department and would act as link between the two government bodies and the public. Sharon Giduk will survey between 300 and 400 Leth- bridge homes for reaction to existing adult education pro- grams offered by the Asso- ciation For Life-Long Educa- tion. Miss Giduk, who expects to publish the results of her canvass by early September, is seeking comments on pro- jects provided at the Leth- bridge Community College, the University of Lethbridge, the YMCA, the YWCA, the Allied Arts Council and the city's Community Services department. The city-wide study began Monday. "We hope to receive some direction for development tl future programs plus criti- cism of course facilities and convenience of locations where programs are held. "We hope adults will pro- vide information on their hobbies and how they spend their leisure Miss Giduk says. Provincial court Man jailed I year for MDA trafficking A 20 year old Calgary man received a one-year iri'l term Monday five months "af- ter he was charged with pos- sessing MDA for the pur- poses of trafficking. Edward Gordon McCaw pleaded guilty to the charge laid Jan. 2 after police found 62 capsules of the drug in his jacket during a New Year's Eve raid. McCaw has been sen- tenced in Calgary to one year on other drug charges. Tire sentence handed down Mon- day will run concurrent with the other sentence. A 54 year old Letnbridge man charged with possession of an offensive weapon Sat- urday was remanded without plea to next Monday. It is alleged that Peter Vajo, 712 1st Ave. S., was in possession of a pocket knife in the lobby of the Lethbridge Hotel Saturday evening. Beet thinning progressing About 14 per cent of South- ern Alberta's acre sugar beet crop has been thinned by hand labor and machines, about normal for this time of the year. Officials of Canadian Sug- ar Factories Ltd. report that beet stands are good throughout Southern Alberta. ;