Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The Lethbridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, March 16, 1974 Pages 13-20 I This pooch likes mailmen i. g 1 I K I Spot even shows up Saturdays Group to urge rights when the post off ice is dosed (for mentally retarded By KEN ROBERTS Herald Staff Writer Spot (alias Thumbles) Jones enjoys his new job with the post office. He's very keen. He's the first one there in the morning and is always a little dejected when the day ends. He's even been known to show up on Saturday when the post office is closed. It all started about 1V2 years ago when he began following carrier Harold Sturm around his route. Then about three months ago he began showing up at the post office at A.m. As soon as someone opens the door in he comes. .Anxious to learn the trade Spot watches Mr. Sturm, Bob Brown and W. R. McBurney sorting their mail before they head out. As soon as one of them makes a move to leave Spot is right there tagging along. Usually he starts1 out with Mr. Brown but as soon as he sees one of the other two on their routes he leaves Mr. Brown and tags along with him. By the end of the day he's usually spent some time with all three. "All the kids know this Mr. McBurney says. They call him Thumbles. He's very partial to uniforms. Saturdays he follows the traffic commissioner around as he tags cars. Spot is suspicious of people not in uniforms, likely due to one too many run-ins with the dog catcher. One day he was following Mr. Sturm when the dog- catcher appeared. Spot had lost his old licence so he was fair game for the catcher. the catcher asked Mr. Sturm if he knew the dog. Mr. Sturm said no. He pursued Spot all morning and just as he was about to knab him he jumped into a post-office truck with Mr. Sturm. When Mr. Sturm and Spot arrived back at the post office a collection was taken to buy a licence for him. Meanwhile, the dog catcher arrived and complained to post master, Art Lewis, that Mr. Sturm was interfering with his job. Mr. Lewis told him there was nothing he could do. And by this time Spot had a new licence and could roam the streets unharassed But... he's got to learn not to growl at the boss Doing their thing mailman Bob Brown and helper Spot lives with Bob Jones at 623 7th Ave. S. Mr. Brown, president of the letter carriers union, says Spot will soon join the union. He has a lot to learn, though. He has to learn to punch the time clock and not to growl at the post master, his boss. But he is dedicated. One day a lady on Mr. McBurney's route offered him a left-over dish of stew. As he was eating he saw. Mr. McBurney fading out of sight. Torn between the stew and his job, Spot took off after Mr. McBurney with the dish in his mouth and the kind lady who had offered him the stew in hot pursuit. Spot is not the post office's first canine employee. Mr. Sturm had another assistant who followed him for 10 years. Lunchtime is a highlight of the day. Usually Spot gets a sandwich, maybe some roast beef or chicken from his three letter carrying pals. Recently he got the scraps from the annual postal carriers' banquet. g The boys at the post office H Bob Brown, Harold Sturm, W.R. McBurney and Spot Jones (without the tie) LCC wants to train teacher aides The Lethbridge Community College is attempting to institute a teacher-aide training program to meet an anticipated need for paraprofessionals in elementary and secondary schools in the province. Keith Robin, dean of instruction, says he believes (he educational setting for teacher-aides is sufficiently promising to make it feasible for the college to consider providing a school aide program. A few years ago the college investigated the possibility of instituting a similar program but found that the grant structure for grade schools made it less expensive for them to hire a teacher than an aide. However, now that the department of education's school grant structure is based on student enrolments, it is economically advantageous for schools to hire teacher-aides. The teacher-aide program would train to perform clerical 2nd audio visual duties and assist teachers in the classroom and the library. Dr. Robin says the superintendents of the city's public and separate schools have agreed to "assist on an advisory committee" for the formation of the teacher-aide program. He even suggested a byproduct of the program could be a short-course for people who work as volunteers in schools. LCC administrators are now in the process of obtaining program approval from the department of advanced education. could be tourist attractions By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer As of April 1 the Lethbridge Association for the Mentally Retarded will change its focus from providing direct services for the mentally handicapped to changing public attitudes and government legislation. The volunteer association will also be promoting the legal and social rights of the retarded as com-serv takes over the provision of direct services, association director Malcolm Jeffreys says. The association will be monitoring the com-serv project as it works at a professional level to integrate the handicapped into society as total citizens. The attitude of people toward the mentally handicapped needs change and this will be up to the association's public education and attitude committee, he says. "Society denies the mentally handicapped the experiences from which we all grow and learn." The retarded are expected to act differently, and although people are expected to act their age the handicapped are treated throughout their lives as if they were five-years-old, he says. If expectations for the mentally handicapped were higher and the same as those for a normal person they would come closer to reaching that goal. Mr. Jeffreys points out national average statistics which show 88 per cent of the retarded have intelligence quotients between 50 and 70, "a mild range." This generally means they can be educated "within and as adults, are capable of independent living and working in competitive jobs. The committee will also try to steer the public away from the use of degenerating terms such as "retard'' which make the.mentally handicapped "different by he says; "It isn't really known how far the retarded can develop because they are just beginning to have a chance to live without the stigmatization of he The Peigan and Blood Indian Reserves have potential as tourist attractions, says the executive vice president of the Travel and Convention Association of Southern Alberta. The scenic settings of the reserves, the history culture of the Bloods and Peigans and the accessibility of the reserves all boost the reserves as tourist attractions, Frank Smith says. The reserves could accommodate every aspect of camping and hiking. By emphasizing the Indian way of life the reserves could attract many visitors, Mr. Smith says. The decision of whether the reserves will be developed or not rests, of course, entirely with the Indians, Mr. Smith says. The Indians would have to control and look after any developments themselves. The primary benefits of such a development would be to the Bloods and Peigans, and the secondary benefits would be for Southern Alberta. There are plans to develop the Blackfoot Reserve at Gleichen and the Stoney Reserve at Morley, Mr. Smith says. So far the Bloods and Peigans have not expressed much interest in developing. German people are very interested in the North American Indian and there is a possibility tours could be organized for these, people to come and live on the reserves, Mr. Smith claims. German people have been known to go to the Amazonian jungle for three weeks and live with Indians there. Mr. Smith thinks the capital outlay to establish an overnight campsite wouldn't be that great and thinks it be within the immediate resources of the tribes. If something is established for this year most of the advertising should be. for following years because most people have already made up their minds where they are going this summer. .He says advertising is of utmost importance if any such developments are to be successful. He emphasized the reservations should be advertised as a place to stay overnight and not as vacation destinations. Grants and low interest loans are available for advertising tourist attractions, Mr. Smith said. Smokers would be fined Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Smokers in public places would be fined up to under a private member's bill introduced in the Alberta legislature Friday. While the chances of the bill being passed are slim, Albert Ludwig (SC Calgary Mountain View) says his bill is a form of pollution control badly needed in the province. The intent is to prevent children from taking up smoking "and if we can save a few addicts along the way. so much the Mr. Ludwig told the legislature. The bill would allow smoking in areas posted as smoking areas. But in general it would be prohibited in elevators, theatres, libraries, buses, classrooms, shopping areas. Project seeks citizen advocates Separate schools await gov't action Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Separate school supporters in Alberta will be listening with interest when the province presents its position on splitting up the education dollar. Education Minister Lou Hyndman told Dick Gruenwald (SC Lethbridge West) in the legislature Friday the government will reveal its stance in the next six to seven days. While the education minister said it was the intent to achieve equity for all school boards and taxpayers, he would not say if taxes would be split on a "pro rata" basis in future. The government had been considering a large number of alternatives for changes in splitting up education incomes, he said. Separate school systems see a number of inequities in present methods of dividing funds, one of them being that corporate taxes not earmarked for either the public or separate systems, automatically go to the public system. Whereas com-serv will be providing "hard services" the association will be providing .the "soft services" or support system for the larger project. Part of this support will be in lobbying for legislative change to improve the dignity of the retarded and their legal rights. "An association can stimulate a great deal of innovation in the community because it is made up of volunteers and he says. Parents must still have a say in the type and method of operations to help the retarded, he says. The association will also work to provide a means of access to the community for a major part of com-serv citizen advocacy. A citizen advocate is a person who works on a one-to- one basis with a mentally retarded person to help them adjust to life in the community. Citizen advocates are being sought by the Lethbridge Association for the Mentally Retarded to provide a major part of the com-serv project which begins April 1. Dale Taylor, director of the citizen advocacy program, says about 12 applicants are being screened now and more are needed. A citizen advocate is a person who works on a one-to- one basis with a handicapped person to help them adjust to life in the community. The com-serv project objective is to integrate the handicapped into the community in both social and employment aspects. A few "pilot relationships" have been established between advocates and retarded persons at the association's Sunrise Ranch facility. The com-serv board of governors will assume operations of the ranch April 1. The involvement of the community in the citizen advocate program will affect the success of com-serv to a large degree, be says. "And the only thing holding it back now is people wishing to become involved in the ob- jectives of com-serv." Community involvement applauded Women leave with fresh outlook An air of excitement and friendship pervaded the Red Room at the Lethbridge Community College Friday, when 15 students of the Contemporary Women course, sponsored by the college and the department of social development, were presented with certificates at a luncheon. Suane of Ex women have plans to start or continue their involvement in the community, whether it is simply an interest in day care. or going far beyond that to planning a nursing career. It was the second eight- week series held by the college, with another to start March 26. Dale Heyland, director of continuing eduction at the college, said the main emphasis of such a program is self-improvement to help women who are on welfare to better adjust to their home environment and be able to solve family problems which arise from it. Although some women from the first course are now confident, enough to have applied for jobs or take college or university courses, this is not necessarily the program's intent Mr. Heyland, in referring to all the elements of the community which contributed, said it is the aspect of community involvement which makes a community college special, and this course in particular points this out. Twenty seven different people, all from different walks of life, spoke to the women during the course with topics ranging from alcohol and drug abuse, physical fitness, sex education and legal rights, to applying for a job. The course was held at the YWCA three days a week with babysitting provided. Spring water above normal Water available to urban and rural residents through Southern Alberta's river chain will be above normal this spring because of more snow in the mountain region. Glen Steed, of Lethbridge, regional hydrologist for the Alberta department of the environment said Thursday snow levels so far are above normal in the regions of Lee Creek, west of Pincher Creek, Waterton Lakes National Park and the Crowsnest Pass. Measurements of snow pack taken by crews of the department indicated about nine inches of actual water content in the snow in all regions. In just the last week, another 10 inches of snow or one inch of water fell in the areas. Adding to the possibility for extra water is the condition of the snow, said Mr. Steed, He termed the snow "ripe" or saturated from top to bottom with water. This will facilitate runoff, he said. With just a couple of days of warm weather, water will begin to enter the river systems. Because the mountain areas normally get snowfall as late as May 1. prospects for at least a normal runoff are good. Because of the weather conditions in Southern Alberta, flood is a potential threat in most years. With the "ripe" condition of the snowpack, flood could be a possibility this spring, especially if rain fails in the mountain area. Mr. Steed said rain is usually warm, speeding the melting process.