Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 29, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
14 TH6 lETHBRIDGi HERALD Friday, June 29, 1973 City drivers show little interest in defensive driving course By BERNICE HERLE Herald Staff Writer Lethbridge residents have been reluctant to attend de- fensive driving courses given in the city in tha past year to the frustration of course organizers. Dr. Keith Robin, director of continuing education at LOG, says the average num- ber of people per course was 11. "We really need about 20 to 25 students to make the course pay. So far, every course we have run in the past three years with the ex- ception of one has had to be Dr. Robin said. He said the cost for the de- fensive driving course was S3 and of this fee had to be turned over to the Alberta Safety Council, leaving only which to pay an in- structor's wages. The program is endorsed by the Alberta Safety Council and set up at the college as part of the continuing educa- tion section. Dr. Robin said people don't want to admit they might need a course like defensive driving. He said the college had re- ceived no applicants from companies such as trucking firms, which are good support- ers of the course in other centres. The college became involv- ed with the defensive driving course, which is set up main- ly to teach psop'e how to avoid two-car accidents, sev- eral years ago when they were asked to provide the service by the Alberta Safety Council. The advantages to drivers taking the course, besides awareness cf accident pre- vention, include a probabil- ity of lower insurance rates and the opportunity to earn two merit points to bring a driving demerit score down. A written examination is available for those who want to take it. A mark of 50 per cent entitles a remission of two demerit points and 75 per cent gives three. Dr. Robin said more peo- ple are attracted by the po- tential reduction in insurance fees than by the merit sys- tem. He said younger people are especially interested in the lower insurance rates. Dr. Robin said he has nev- er taken the course himself but has been to'd by those who have taken it that it is eftective in teaching people to avoid the type of situation that results in an accident. The course consists of sev- en different sections, but Dr. Robin said because of low enrolment the college has only offered three sections. The course offered for im- paired drivers is entirely sep- arate from the defensive driving course. But, Dr. Rob- in said, some drivers who take the impaired driving course on the recommenda- tion of the courts often take the defensive course too. "There is nothing in the law that says you have to take the defensive driving course. The magistrate can recom- mend it to people as a good idea but ha can't make them take Dr. Robin said. The college is the only place in Lethbridge at which the Alberta Safety Council course is offered. Paul Lawremce, general manager of the council says he believes the course in Lethbridge is offered under the best possible circum- stance but says it is evident there have not been enough people enrolled in the course The course will be offered to the college board for con- sideration as a subsidized program. If it is accepted it will be scheduled again In fall along with the other con- tinuing education programs. 'Small Lethb ridge firms follow sell-out pattern' WiU Russell ERVIN photo to retire after 44 years service with fire department The chief didn't intend to stay By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer On October 24, 1929. a young lad just turned 19 started a new with Lethbridee Fire tor at per month. An energetic young man, he had held other jobs and didn't really intend staying at the fire department much longer than a couple of months. But the depression came along when jobs were at a pre- mium, and the only welfare was a neighbor's welfare in the form of a gift of a sackful of ipuds, and well he just stayed on. Now nearly 44 years later he's finally getting out of the business. Lethbridge Fire Chief Wilf Russell announced his re- tirement this week and steps down in August, although his official retirement date will be Oct. 24. A genial, talkative man born and raised in Lethbridge, Chief Eussell is a reporter's dream. Is he going to miss the old No. 1 Fireball also due for re- tirement soon? No way. "The sight of a fire truck doesn't do anything for he says "There's no way I'll be hang- ing around the station talking Work-study class at V of L set The co-ordinator of the new co-operative studies project at the University of Leth- bridge will begin his duties early next week. Dr. Edwin Webking, a 37- year old political science pro- fessor, has been approved by the U of L board of gover- nors for a four-year period as co-ordinator of the program. The program is to allow students to spend part of nor- mal class time in a work en- vironment, learning on the job applications of their aca- demic "knowledge. -Students will obtain practi- cal work experience in their field of interest while gain- ing academic credit in uni- versity courses leading to degrees in education or arts and science. Dr. Webking's duties as a eo-ordinator of the pilot pro- ject will include serving as a liason between the univer- sity's academic councils and the firms and businesses par- ticipating in the project by accepting U of L students as voluntary employees. He says he will begin by 'studying programs of a sim- ilar nature already in exis- tence to determine how the U of L project should de- velop. The project is limited to a maximum of 35 students for 1973-74 and is expected to be in full operation by the 1974 spring semester. "Over the next two months we hope to develop a spa- cific set of policies and prin- ciples so we can begin ac- cepting students' applications for entrance in the pilot pro- ject at tfe earliest possible he says. Dr. Webking will be in charge of establishing con- tacts with possible project participants from industry, community agencies and pri- vate firms. He has bsen w i t h the U of L since and before joining the U of L staff was an assistant professor for tnree years at the University of Alaska. Some banks open later Not all city banks shut down for the weekend at 6 p.m. today, as reported earl- ier this week. Most downtown branches do close at 6 p.m. not to re- open until Tuesday, but some north and south side branches will remain open un- til 8 p.m. injuries An intersection collision Thursday at 17th St. and Uth Ave. S. resulted in about damage, but no injuries were reported. The accident occurred when a car westbound on llth Ave., driven by Edward M. Kropinak, Fort Maclcod, collided with a southbound car driven by Guiseppa Di Palma, 17th St. S. with the boys I've had my share. "I'm not saying I won't come down and have a coffee with Holbertcn (Ernie Holberton, the deputy fire he says over coffee in the Lethbridge Hotel around the corner from the hall. "But there s no uay I'll start chasing fire trucks in my car. We've got enough sidewalk fire- men as it is." The veteran fire fighter who has held every job in the force confides: "Basically even as a boy I never wanted to be a fireman. "I could have been a railroad man. Even today trains fascin- ate me And he doesn't belive in the pood old days either. "Fire fighting was a lot harder work in those he says, re- membering connecting eight to 10 lengths of hose to put out a garbage can fire because the hydrant was ttvo blocks away. "The equipment we work with today is far superior to what we used to have." Not having been a born fire- man didn't keep Chief Russell from getting the job done. He's proud of the fact that during his entire career, not one fire got beyond the build- ing it started in. And he worries that the aver- age person has the wrong im- age of the fireman as a sleepy pool and card playing type. They don't realize the re- sponsibility a fireman he says. unfortunate that no one bears about the minor fires we avert." "You never read in the pa- per that we averted a fire and saved thousands of dollars. It's the big fires that make the headlines." Chief Russell's been to all the headline producing blazes, but none seem to really stand out in particular in his mind. He thinks of them not so much in terms of their size but in terms of the working condi- tions they imposed the hot- test fire for example wasn't the arena fire, but a fire at a place called James Storage that used to be on 4th Avenue S. be- tween 12th and 13th Streets which happened to burn down on a particularly muggy day. Then there was the Hull Black fire the Saturday af- ternoon special that with a ra- dio station giving bulletins ev- ery three minutes soon pro- duced a crowd of advi- sory fire chiefs. The chief, who's been in the top job for about 11 years now says he's enjoyed his work most times, but has no regrets about leaving. "If? going to be a pleasure just to walk out my front door without having to phone the hall to tell them where I'll he says. With no specific retirement plans, except perhaps a trip overseas if everything goes well, Chief Russell isn't wor- ried about the retirment syn- drome of having too much time on his hands. "I'm not retiring from. I'm retiring to." he says. "I'm just going to take it in stride.1' And that's something you somehow feel he'll have no trouble accomplishing. A Lethbridge businessman Thursday expressed concern to members of the Alberta Opportunity Company about take overs of local firms by out-of-province companies. Ralph Thrall, president of Thrall Holdings Ltd., told the directors and staff of the AOC, which makes provincial government sponsored loans of up to primarily to small businessmen, that the provincial pattern of success- ful small firms selling out to American or British interests after three to five years has been repeated here. Five years ago 50 per cent of the people engaged in the manufacturing and process- ing industries in this city worked for locally owned firms. "Today it's 20 per he claimed. Mr. Thrall asked if the company attached any strings on its financial assis- tance to maintain control in (he province and was told that under the Alberta Op- portunity Fund Act which set up the company July 1972, support is granted enter- prises owned and operated by Canadian citizens residing in Alberta. But up io now, said Bob chairman of the company's board of direc- tors, no conditions have been put on companies receiving the loans after the loan is made. The board and staff of the Crown company met with some 20 local and area busi- nessmen at the Yates Centre to hear comments on its op- eration in the area after hold- ing its regular board meeting here. The meeting was the first outside its head office, now in Edmonton but due to be moved to Ponoka as part of the government's decen- ttalization policy. Assistant deputy minister in the department of indus- try, trade and commerce, Bill Picard. who also attend- ed the informal meeting, ask- ed what has been the effect of outside investment in Al- berta. "If it results in greater em- ployment and a heightened standard cf living would we really have that much con- cern whether ownership is SO per cent here and 50 per cent elsewhere or 20 per cent here and 80 per cent else- he asked. Generally speaking until now the immediate effect has not been bad. Mr. Picard said adding that the govern- ment was in a very deep study in order to develop a posture on the question. Art Batty, developer of the Holiday Village complex, who was a lecipient of one of the Alberta Opportunity Co. tourist loans which stirred up controversy earlier this year. said that in tourist develop- ments first mortgage money is available usually only tram American firms at quite high rates of interest. His comments were sup- ported by Tom Hedricb of Glascon Industries Ltd. "When I approach Canadian and particularly local lenders they look at past perfor- mance while outside in- vestors look at future poten- tial." he said. "I can interest outside in- vestors to buy ma out and outside investors to lend to me at 12 to 15 per cent." he said. "To me this is unrea- sonable." E. A. Clarke, who came from Toronto three months ago to take the managing di- rector position with tl-e Crown company, said the AOC was more interested in whether loan a p p 1 i cants would bs successful in the future than in the value of their security, although it does take that into account. Several of the businessmen concerned about the length of time a Itvan applica- tion takes to be processed ard the complicated nature of the forms they had to fill cut. Mr. Clarke said the pro- cess i? being streamlined but it weald take time for the new company ta iron out all tiie bups and settle into its new offices in Ponoka. It's bias, hs said, is to small businessmen in smaller cen- tres. Mr Picard. who wrote the act which created the com- pany, said it was intended to be more flexible than its predecssscrs. the Alb erta Commerical Corp.. Alberta Commercial Branch, Alberta Industrial Incentives Board and the Alberta Industrial Corp. According to figures re- leased by the AOC. in loans committed or al- ready in cperrticn have gcwe to Southern Alberta out of a province-wide total of million. USED SHOTGUN Armed robber jailed A 21 year old Leth- bridge man who threatened a Hardieville man with a shot- gun then stole from him has been sentenced to 18 months in jail. Michael Patrick O'Neil pleaded guilty to the armed robbery charge in provincial court Thursday and Provin- cial Judge L. W. Hudson im- mediately passed the sen- tence Mr. O'Neil and two other men. Samuel Wayne Teague, 22. of Vancouver, and Charles Dennis Averv. 27. of Taber were charged with the Feb. 5 armed robbery of Lory Ed- ward Kennedy, Hardieville. Teague and O'Neil, who were both out on bail, did not appear for trial June 15 and warrants were issued for their arrest. RCMP apprehended O'Neil June 22 in Calgary. Teague is still at large. Avery was sentenced to 18 months in jail after he was found guilty of armed rob- ben' in the June 15 trial. Court was told Thursday that Kennedy, the robbery victim, had acquired from two friends allegedly in order to buy three pounds of hashish from Teague, O'Neil and Avery, according to evi- dence given in the Avery trial When the four men went out to a field three miles south of the city, where the transaction was to be com- pleted. O'Neil pulled out a 12- gauge shotgun and Kennedy turned over all but of the cash. The three men then drove away, Kennedy testi- lied in the Avery trial. Repeated complaints to city St. Louis Furniture flanked by old Max wants action on 'slum' buildings Max Corenblum is mad at the city again. The last time he was up- S3t with city hall was more than a year ago but it didn't seem to do him much good. What Mr. Corenblum- is an- gry about is the fact that the city continues to do nothing about two run-down stores next to his St. Louis Furni- ture Store at 118 5th St S. that are being used for ware- houses in an area zoned strictly for retail and office use. The problem, according to the city, is that the two build- ings were usad for storage before the present toning by- law was enacted and thus are permissible as non-con- forming uses. This doesn't mean much to Mr. Corenblum, though, who he loses customers be- cause the unsightly appear- ance of the buildings lend a atmosphere to the block. Their paint-pee'ing End papered over window? contrast sharply to his lav- ishly endowed display win- dows. Mr. Corenblum who's oper- Eted his store across from Gait Gardens since 1940 said he first brought the blight to the attention of city council after an old told him she didn't shop at his store anymore because "it's a slum down there." He says he was promised something would be done but, just passed the buck." When the current con'ro- versy over the 5Ui Street scene erupted, he figured it was time to act again.