Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGt i uwday, June No endangered species Tenting is not a lost art. This is the reassuring conclusion of a hard-core (or hard ground) tenter who customarily counts tents in every campground he passes to see how the breed is surviving. An informal survey taken in Waterton Park over the weekend shows that it is not yet facing extinction. In fact, at Cameron Lake, where ice still floats along the shoreline and it is still possible for one's car to get stuck in a snowdrift, the lone camping group had a tent and a fire. The species is not hard to recognize. A hard-core tenter is one who scoffs at the idea of sampling nature vicariously and of travelling with all the comforts of home. He may turn his head to admire a stream-lined trailer, while commenting audibly on how much it cost, and can sometimes be seen idling in the vicinity of a group of tent trailers. Nevertheless, he remains firm in his conviction that if the comforts of home are paramount, then one should stay at home and watch a good travelogue. A seasoned member of the species ascribes its generic durability to several factors. A growing interest in the natural environment coupled with a de-emphasis on material possessions makes tenting an admirable compromise for the serious-minded when it comes to outdoor vacations. For the economy-minded, it is also the most adaptable form of accommodation. suitable for a campground in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, or the Costa del Sol in Spain. And there are other factors. A search for physical fitness, a concern for non- renewable resources, and a need for occasional refuge from the problems which beset urban dwellers and from the daily crises of 20th century life all these are factors which enable a tenter to rationalize his choice of sleeping on the ground, living in the constant aroma of wood smoke preserved in his clothing, and learning the intimacy of rain. Although in many parts of the world tenting is just a utilitarian way of vacationing, here in the western part of this hemisphere it is more apt to be a pilgrimmage back to nature, where the peacefulness of a high-altitude mountain lake is always a revelation, where the stars at night shine like galactic companions as well as guardians, and where the sheer thrill of physical endurance does not seem misplaced. Whether they are an endangered species, and the evidence indicates that they do not need protection at the moment, tenters are easily the most colorful and exotic breed in any campground, as even the most casual observer must admit (from the door of his trailer) and if for no other reason than this they are worth preserving. The windmill? By Nigel Hawkes, London Observer commentator LONDON This could be the year of the windmill. After decades of neglect and derision, the ancient technology of windpower is back in fashion and gaining supporters by 'the day. The American National Science Foundation is all set to spend million between now and 1979 on an ambitious program of development. There are several hundred university researchers in the United States working on wind power, more than 100 in the U S.S.R. and a lesser but not insignificant number in Europe. A few years ago. only cranks or eco-freaks championed the windmill. It may all corne to nothing: there are some formidable difficulties ahead, not least the public reaction when it realizes that windpower may mean a string of ungainly pylons sprouting propeller-type blades all over the countryside. But for the moment the windmill bandwagon is on the roll. The first step in the U.S. program is the building of a 125-foot high windmill at Sandusky. Ohio, to generate 100 Kilowatt of electricity. If all goes well, and Congress continues to indulge the windmill, the Sandusky prototype will be the first in a series leading up to a veritable behemoth of a windmill generating 10.000 KW. which should start turning some time in the early eighties. The present enthusiasm for wind power is not the first. During the Second World War a large 1.250 KW windmill was built in central Vermont, and began operation in 1941 on an experimental basis. In 1943 a main bearing failed and because of wartime difficulties could not be replaced until 1945. Then the windmill went on to routine operation. But after only three weeks one of the two massive blades flew off. burying itself in a field 750 feet away. Fortunately nobody was in line of fire at the time. Given the technological advances that have occurred since 1940 particularly in light, strong materials experts now believe that a windmill of a similar size could hope to compete with newly expensive oil. Windmill proponents are used to being asked what happens when the wind does not blow. There are. they say. many ways of storing the power generated during a good blow so that it can be used on calm days. The simplest is to use lead accumulators, quite suitable for small windmills serving a single isolated farm or house. When the wind is good it charges the batteries, and when it is not the stored charge is sufficient to keep things going until the wind revives. More sophisticated are schemes in which the windpower is used to pump compressed air into a vast underground cavern created from a disused mine. When the wind drops the air is allowed to escape through a turbine to generate power. Another alternative is to pump water up to a high reservoir when the wind is blowing, then let it run down and generate hydro-power during calms. Huge flywheels could also be used to store power, or the electricity generated on windy days could be used to produce hydrogen by the electrolysis of water. Then the hydrogen could itself be used as a fuel to replace petrol. By such feats of technological exuberance the NSF believes the U.S. could be generating 5 to 10 per cent of all its electricity by the year 2000. It may not have been exactly what Congress had in mind when it set aside the funds, nor quite what the public expects of windpower. Can an eyesore be ecological? The way things are going we may not have to wait long to find out. ERIC NICOL A gold mine Twenty years ago I bought a gold mine. At the time I thought that what I was buying was a house. I mean, it looked like a house a stucco building mostly above ground, with doors, windows and so on. But I know now that it is actually a gold mine. This was confirmed as recently as last week, when a neighbor stopped to chat as I was mowing the overburden. "You're sitting on a gold mine." he said, enviously. He is sitting on a gold mine too. but I gather that my mine has a better view (of the 1 felt good about what my neighbor had said, because sitting on a gold mine is a very comfortable position, so long as you don't teeter over the pit. I paid to buy the gold mine an above-average price 20 years ago. Cash on the barrelhead. The purchase represented years of hard work coupled with the parsimony of a church mouse. I wanted to prove that just because people call you Sneezy doesn't mean you have to share the gold mine with six other dwarfs. Today there is no telling what my gold mine is worth. Every time I open the newspaper I learn that Ihe price of houses has gone up another 50 per cent. By my reckoning my house, the gold mine, is at this moment assessed at This quotation is valid for only three or four hours, depending on whether the paper boy is late. The only problem is: How do I get this half million or more out of my gold mine? There appears to be a basic conflict between my sitting on the gold mine and my laying hands on the bullion. Once the mine has been sold. I must find someplace else to sit. And here is where things get sticky. Other people who own homes for sale have psyched themselves into putting a price on the house that is grotesquely inflated. Perhaps because they believe everything they read in the paper, they think that they too own a gold mine. Most of them don't know their manse from a hole in the ground. This brings me to the point, which is that Mr. Trudeau's program to relieve the housing crisis offers no relief whatever to persons like me who want to get the most out of their gold mine. I don't know who he thinks he's talking to. when he goes on about the cost of mortgages, but it certainly is not those of us who bought our gold mine 20 years ago. From what I can gather from press reports about this largely irrelevant concern with. mortgages, there are two types of mortgage available those with a low down-payment and those with a low-down payment. Party leaders are getting worked up about the placement of a hyphen, to the disgust of mine owners like myself who are suffering because everybody and his dog thinks he holds the deed to El Dorado. Sometimes I wonder whether it pays to live in a gold mine at all, whether I wouldn't be better off renting an apartment and letting someone else worry about the tailings. But F don't wonder for Jong. We mining men are made of stem stuff. We hang in there. I aim to sit on my gold mine so long as my bottom holds out and the cricks don't rise. Because, dagnab it, is my kind of shafting. Letters Women fighting to win By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator When this campaign is over there will be little about it to remember except who won and lost. Yet the election deserves more than a footnote in history. It marks the entry of women into the mainstream of Canadian politics. Three years ago Chatelaine magazine set out to "kill, quite conclusively, one there aren't enough good women who are willing to run for election." Chatelaine featured the photographs and brief biographies of 105 potential women candidates. In this election, 135 30 more than Chatelaine could find after a cross-country not just willing to run but are doing it. That is double the number in 1972. One- all the New Democrat candidates are women. More to the point, about 20 women could become MPs. They are contesting ridings where the prospects for whichever of the national parties Liberal, Conserva- tive, NDP they belong to are at least good. Numbers can be misleading. A larger difference from 1972 is that women now are making it on their own. In the last election the Liberals, determined to balance their representation, parachuted women candidates into three safe Quebec seats; Monique Begin, now an MP, lost her first nominating con- vention and had to make two jumps. This time, says Liberal na- tional director Blair Williams, "I can't recall the subject being discussed at executive meetings. We just took for granted that more women would be running." Another measure of the change is that women no longer are running for themselves. In 1972 two ran in Toronto as feminist candidates. None are this time, and one of those '72 candidates, former Voice of Women president Kay Mac- Pherson, is contesting York East for the NDP. "I did it last time to show that the parties were not serious about says Mrs. MacPherson. "This time I'm doing it to win." Some examples of how women have set out to win: women have been blocked at nominating conventions where local executives have strongly favoured male candidates. This time, for ex- ample, 23 women contested Liberal nominations: all but two won. are running in some of the choicest ridings each of the parties has to of- fer. The likeliest Conservative gain in the country is the constituency of Ontario, east of Toronto, lost last time by just four votes. The candidate is Joyce Bowerman. The best NDP prospect in the national capital is Ottawa West. The candidate is Doris Shackle- ton. The brightest Liberal hope in Nova Scotia is South West Nova. The candidate is Coline Campbell, one of three women contesting the seat. (The Quebec riding of Louis- Hebert holds the record: four women among five Many women candidates, of course, have little or no hope of victory. Seven of the 19 NDP candidates in Alberta, for example, are women. Among them are Canada's first mother-daughter team: Mrs. Anne Hemmingway in Peace River and Loranne Hemmingway in Medicine Hat. Women also face political disadvantages. Money in particular. Women, usually, lack the business contacts that produce election funds. In this election, though, women have at least one advantage. "The two topics I'm most interested rights and foreign subjects that it's quite pointless to talk about. The cost of living is all that says Mrs. MacPherson. "But door to door I can talk about the cost of living in real terms, of food, clothing, household bills." Because inflation so domi- nates the campaign it has blurred the edge of hard-core feminist issues, such as abor- tion. Instead women's concerns are more practical: day-care centres for mothers pushed onto the labor market to try to cope with higher prices; pension plan equality; compensation for housework. Women candidates represent just over 10 per cent of the contesting all ridings. That number is "significant, but not yet says Status of Women Council chairman Dr. Katie Cooke. "It's significant because it's twice the number- last time. It won't be satisfac- tory until so many-women are running that no one needs to count how many there are." British middle class glum By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator LONDON The British middle class has been fair game for social critics through this century. Shaw mocked its morality; others have pronounced it smug. Philistine, parochial. But a good many of the qual- ities admired in this country are products of middle-class tradition: honesty, fairness, resilience, the nonpolitical dedication of civil sen-ants and teachers and other professions, the habit of courtesy. One strong impression in Britain now is of a middle class that feels itself threatened. Generalities are risky, because the term "middle class" is social as well as economic. It takes in people with incomes of a year and But a great many of them doctors and businessmen, nurses and Architects plainly believe that their standards of life are at risk. Inflation is now running at an annual rate approaching 20 per cent in this country. Tax changes made by the new Labor government bite everyone with an income over about a year, and more at higher levels. As a result. people can sense that their real income their standard of life is being cut. In theory, of course, the middle-class person can increase his money income to keep up with inflation. In fact, it is difficult. Even if you do find ways to earn more, you find yourself in a higher tax bracket. A family making a year would have to increase its income nearly twice as fast as the rate of inflation to keep its wsl buying power steady. The Economist observed recently that if 18 per cent inflation continues, prices will double in four years and a year man would need S100.000 to stand still. It is harder for the professional person or civil servant to accept what inflation and taxation are doing to him or her because, in their view, the same thing is not happening to the coal miner or the automobile worker. The powerful unions have broken all attempts at wage restraint, and are demanding and getting increases higher than the price trends. Post-war Britain has had remarkable achievements in assuring minimum stan- dards for all her citi- zens. The welfare sys- tem and the National Health Service have greatly reduced the worst cruelties of income inequality, and public spending on transportation, arts and other amenities has improved life for ail. But the process that appears to be under way now is quite different from that improving of minimum standards. It is. rather, a process of leveling. When a country has no economic growth and so far this year Britain has less than none more for the miners means less for someone else. Different middle class groups have begun to fear that they will be the unfortunate someone else, indefinitely. "If it goes on like one thoughtful Labor voter remarked, "we shall have the most egalitarian in the western world." He paused, then added, "for good or ill." Some Britons would say that the change, if it goes on, will be a good thing. The middle class has had its day. they argue, and has now proved loo tired and too stodgy to lead the country out of its endless economic troubles. As it took over from the gentry and the industrial grandees at the end of the last century, it must now hand over effective power to the working class. Those who disagree and they are not only on the political right doubt that society will be better off if its professionals and its managers expect to get poorer every year. It is also dangerous politically to destroy the middle class, they argue; that was done in Weimar Germany. The unions seem to offer only a free-for- all, with no restraints on their power. The issues are not presented so starkly, but they are there. Social malaise is settling in beside the economic troubles. The old institutions are stumbling, and as people lose confidence in them they become even less effective. Socially, economically, politically there are ques- tions for Britain that will not wait. The boiling point I have just finished reading Jeff Carruthers' piece in The Herald June 15 and my blood is at the boiling point. As a rancher's wife of some 25 years, I beg to differ with the hotel and restaurant owners as to the price of beef. Anybody who pays anywhere between six and nine dollars fcr a steak dinner is not paying that for the steak but for the surroundings in which it is eaten. And I doubt very much that the surroundings have improved that much in the last two years. Last year when beef reached an all time high and it was possible for us to make a profit and indulge in a couple of luxuries we had earlier not been able to afford, we noticed on our occasional meals out that all the restaurants we visited had used the price of meat as an excuse to raise the cost of meals considerably. Since that time the price of beef on the hoof has dropped by an average of a head, but the cost of meals out has shown no such decline. At the present time we are holding cattle which cost us 10.000 dollars last year because the price is so low that we can't possibly sell them and break even. And I know that some of our neighbors are in much the same position. I read recently that cattle feeders this past winter lost between 100 and 200 dollars a head. Would it be too much to suggest that restaurants drop their prices accordingly? Surely a loss of 1 dollar a customer for a few years would be good for the tourist industry. Perhaps Mr. Carruther's would care to do a column suggesting it. or would they all be crying in their beer. Tough. MARY-JO BURLES Cowley Discussing power sale 1 would like to make several brief observations regarding the sale of the Lethbridge power plant to Calgary Power. I attended all three public hearings but will con- fine my remarks specifically to events at the second (June 3) of the three since I think that that meeting was by far the most "enlightening" and at the same time the most dis- turbing of the three. It was at that meeting that Alderman Barnes said he couldn't understand why citizens persisted in their ef- forts regarding the power plant matter since it should be apparent that council had already made up its mind. So much for consultation. Alderman Kotch expressed it slightly differently that same evening when he said that he was in favor of one more public hearing (the one eventually held June 17) so that people couldn't come back later and claim that council had ignored them. The inference was very obvious to all who were there Alderman Kotch wasn't interested in another hearing to consider any new informa- tion which might be presented but simply to make sure that people couldn't later hassle him. Never mind substance, the image is what is impor- tant. Alderman Tom Ferguson's main interest was in how long the petitioners had lived in Lethbridge. Never mind whether their representations: had merit. Finally, and perhaps mos disturbing of all, Deput., Mayor Vaughn Hembroff, ad- monished any groups tha intended to present briefs tha they had better be prepared to present viable alternatives to sale of the plant and not jus waste time criticizing the report since he (Hembroff) could "shoot i full of holes" himself. Lethbridge citizens are witness then to the rather ludicrous spectacle of their city council having called a public hearing to "ostensibly" discuss the sale of the power plant when they had already apparently made up their collective mind to sell, on the basis jf recommendations of a report which the deputy mayor himself admitted he could shoot full of holes, anc which other citizens had shot full of holes. This is responsible government? N. BRIAN WINCHESTER Lethbridge Editor's Note: We askec Alderman Hembroff to con- firm or deny that be bad made the statement attributed ti him. He replied that he hat indeed said he could fine errors in detail in the report, but he could not escape the conclusions in the report, anc he had indeed asked to hear about viable alternatives to the report, good reasons for not selling the plant, and noni had been forthcoming. Canadian education? Recently I glanced through my daughter's social studies book (grade Imagine my surprise and dismay when I found that a man on whom she was to depend was the U.S. president (Richard Nixon and his and that a tool to help her produce faster and better was a gun (shades of the Symbionese Liberation Furthermore she was to think of herself as an American child, two printed handouts were to be pasted into her school book for this one: the Indians she was to learn about were the Pueblos and not any of our native tribes and finally her heritage was one of pilgrims rather than of Red River settlers. It seems to me mildly ironic that I am required to send my child to a Canadian public school to learn to be a good American citizen. Would I be breaking the law to keep my daughter at home and teach her myself in a last ditch attempt to raise her as i Canadian? Who- is to blame for situation: the militia who fought at Lundy's Lane anc Queenston Heights; the dreamers who pushed z railroad through to the Pacific: or present-day parents who don't care what American pablum is forcefed our children and teachers so idle they dish out the same pablum and consider it too much trouble to use Canadian examples? Will Alberta be the first province in Canada to finance its subversion through itr department of education? Finally can a Canadian education be obtained in provinces such as Ontario or British Columbia? It certainly seems unlikely in Alberta. P. H. STOCKDALE County of Lethbridge Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are re- quired even when the letter is to appear over a they are sensible and not libelous; they are of manageable length or can te shortened (nor- mally, letters should not exceed 300 they are decipherable (it greatly helps if letters are typed, dou- ble spaced and with writers do not submit letters too frequently. The lethbridge Herald SM 7jh S1 S ielhbriBge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Seocmd Class Mail Regisiiaifon Wo OOT C1EO MOWERS. Editor DON H PILLING Managing Edtlor DONALD fl DORAM General Manager It's not much of a job it's better llaan walking the ROY f MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Edrtor POBERT M fENTON Ciaulalicrn Manager KENNETH BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"