Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Local news The lethbridge Herald SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, March 25, 1974 District Pages 13-24 A news analysis A little magic and... poof Miniely's dealies By AL SCAKTH Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON With almost embarrassing haste, Municipal Affairs Minister Dave Russell rose to make his ministerial announcement on the eve of the budget The cities had learned their lesson, he said, and so the province could remove its ceiling of 7V2 per cent on municipal spending increases Rising costs had made the ceiling untenable and the municipalities were showing restraint, he said If Mr Russell appeared a little breathless, it was because of his rush to justify increased spending before the treasurer announced provincial spending increases nearly triple those it had allowed municipalities The timing of the announcement had been a ticklish business Possibly it was considered too blatant a justification of increased spending for Provincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely to lift the ceiling in one breath of his budget address and reveal provincial increases in the next It would be worse not to lift it with the Opposition falling all over itself to point out the inequity. At the same time, Mr. Russell was watching the course of an Edmonton plebiscite asking citizens to spend million to build facilities for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Not a whisper or a hint of provincial interference by a government lauding its progress in promoting local autonomy could be allowed Any announcement before the plebiscite that the lid was off municipal spending would have raised screams of anguish that the province was attempting to tamper with the results. Mr. Russell had to wait, with the announcement of what was sure to be called an inflationary budget looming Friday night. The plebiscite would not tick off its final hour until Wednesday night He only had Thursday left to put some sort of decent grieving period between the death of the ceiling and the announcement that the province would spend enough to destroy three ceilings After his announcement to the legislature Thursday, it was Provincial Treasurer Miniely's turn. A little accounting magic, and, poof, Miniely's dealies were born. Not only was the province not being a spendthrift as its new programs would benefit everyone, but it wasn't really going to spend another 21 per cent either. "Of the total increase of million in the 1974-75 operating budget, million is devoted to direct tax reductions and cost Mr. Miniely said. So spending increases by the government were really only 16 5 per cent. Voila. Mr. Miniely 'said it wasn't a dealie. But to those not used to magic accounting it remained unclear why, if the reductions Weren't expenditures, Mr. Miniely felt compelled to list them as expenditures He now faces an even tougher, task of hiding another expected billion-dollar bonus in oil revenues. It could be a few hundred million, it could be 700 million, it could be 850 million, it could be a billion, the treasurer said in an interview. As an Edmonton journalist had put it earlier, the decision to include or not include the revenues would mean the difference between a whopping budget and one that was merely spectacular As it turned out, Mr. Miniely did not include expected revenues from the export tax on crude oil and increased royalties. They are so large and so undetermined that he will need another budget to squeeze them into provincial coffers, Not wanting the province to appear too gilt- edged in comparison to some of its raggedy-Ann fellows such as the Maritimes, Mr Miniely will probably be tucking the revenues away in various corners so they don't stand there in one offending lump "Non-budgetary" funds, loans and advances to government agencies, a huge consolidated cash investment tnwt and other corners are all beckoning The government will also be spreading the revenues around not primarily to disguise them, in many oases, but to diversify the provincial economy as the revenues won't last forever But things do get "lost" as was so dramatically revealed by the government last week Three months ago, it simply tucked a Two Hills chemical plant under its skirts. It took over the plant temporarily to preserve jobs important to the town. The plant also contains equipment for manufacturing caustic chlorides, now in demand for oil sands extraction processes In its zeal not to upset the good people of Two Hills during the Christmas season, the government sort of forgot to tell anyone about its new chemical plant which only cost a dollar Another dealie BURNING ISSI IF. Bundling and bagging can actually save time? Something for everyone South science on display Increased garbage collection loads and costs as a result of an outdoor burning ban in the city are not anticipated by city officials Engineering director Randy Holfeld admitted in an interview he can only speculate at this point what effect the ban By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer woqwnave because no one has any idea of how many backyard burning barrels are in regular use in the city. "It's going to have some impact, but I don't think it will have that critical an effect on Mr Holfeld said. There is some excess capacity on the route cycles of 'the packer-type trucks used by the sanitation department, he says. "Whether the crews pick up two containers or three doesn't really add that much he adds. "What eats up the time is the manner in wh'ich the garbage is presented If there's broken bags and spilled containers, it takes forever "We just can't pick up loose material from Mr Holfeld says. At the moment, the amount of extra refuse the city will have to collect that is now going up in smoke is still an academic question. Outdoor burning is still legal and will remain so until an amendment to the city fire code bylaw is passed. guarantee All council did in its 4-2 vote at its last regular meeting was to agree to initiate the bylaw amendment. The city solicitor is working on a draft of the amending bylaw, which likely won't get back to council for a few weeks. And there's no guarantee that a total burning ban will then be passed. At least one alderman who voted for the burning ban said he Would like to see provision made for spring clean-up and fall burning for short periods. And Mayor Andy Anderson, who was out of town, and Aid. Cam Barnes who was ill in hospital, both missed the meeting. If they both vote against the bylaw and all other council members voted the same, the result would be a 44 sawoff in which case the ban would be lost T While some opponents of the burning ban fear they'll be forced into buying quantities of plastic garbage bags and other measures to handle the papers and garbage they now burn, the city waste bylaw in fact gives residents a fair amount of leeway AH it requires is that loose garbage, or old newspapers, magazines, clothing and the like be in the garbage container or securely tied and placed beside the container Wet garbage is supposed to be wrapped and tied before going into the container. Garden material, grass cuttings and the like will similarly be picked up as long as its in a bag or cardboard box or other container According to the bylaw, the city does not pick up. discarded furniture, discarded auto parts, tires and other private vehicles and household equipment, tree limbs, whole shrubs or bushes, portions of hedges, fences gates, other permanent and semi-permanent hyasehold Fixtures or anything else weighing more than 75 pounds or more than four feet long. The reason for this is simply that such material is not easily compressed by the garbage trucks hydraulic packers which squash the garbage to a fraction of its original volume The one exception to the general rule is the annual spring clean-up campaign when city crews come around with open trucks and take just about anything except "earth, gravel, rock, concrete, building refuse. large tree trunks, car bodies, manure and dead animals Another provision in the waste bylaw prohibits use of 'waste receptacjes at residences that weigh more than 75 pounds when filled It also spells out the size 2te to three cubic feet and sa; of galvanized meta and rigid handles Biochemical mutation project wins fair By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer About 150 young Southern Alberta scientists manned 80 display booths in Lethbridge Saturday and Sunday to s'U'V. VIU ays they should be made al with a water-tight lid, with household cleaners and their affect on bacteria found most cleaners suitable for killing bacterial growth. But one row away another student was projecting a grim exhibit biological and physical for consumers. science projects ranging from case the development of cattle to tadvertising." how cigarette smoking affects plants Up to the resident Anything that the city won't haul away has to be carted to the city landfill by the resident Since the city took over the landfill operation from a local contractor in Jan- uary, it has been open from 8 a.m to 8 p m. Monday through Saturday According to Mr Holfeld, control of blowing papers and other material at the landfill has been better since the city took over the operation Theoretically at least, the volume of papers let loose at the dump to blow around shouldn't increase even though residents would no longer be able to burn them in their backyards. If they're properly bundled, bagged or boxed they'll be picked up by the garbage trucks, whose squashed loads, says Mr. Holfeld. are compacted enough that they don't blow away. The city's sanitation department, which includes operation of the landfill, pretty well pays for itself each year. Last year the department had a surplus, this year it's forecasted to operate on a deficit. Major source of revenue is the monthly fee charged most residents on their utility bills which brings in about a year, just about covering the cost of domestic garbage pick-up. S20.0M bill The spring clean-up will cost about this year and could be one item council 'could dispense with in their budget-trimming moves The burning ban as proposed would still allow residents to apply for special burning permits to the fire chief at fire department headquarters at No. 2 fireball. But such permits, says city fire marshal! Doug Kometz, would likely be issued only for such things as group bonfires at Henderson Lake or Indian Battle Park, for which permits are already being issued. Refuse burning would just about have had it if the bylaw amendment is passed, he said. Special situations may arise though, he said, for which a permit could be issued if we see no fire hazard and it gets the health department's okay. But Mr. Kometz pointed out the health department has already stopped construction site refuse burning in the city under provincial regulations designed to cut air pollution And in Mr Kometz's estimation bundling and bagging paper and other garbage rather than burning it saves time because within the letter of the law. residents are required to tend their burning barrels, fire-extinguishing equipment at the ready. The scene was the 12th annuakregional science fair at -the exhibiticn-4-H building and more than 15 junior and senior high schools in the region were represented. There seemed to be something for everyone at this year's fair. For instance city aldermen may have found interest in the results of an experiment on air pollution which decided burning barrels should be banned. Robin Stilgoe, Renee Harris and Dawn Michael of St. Mary's School in Lethbridge through experimentation by burning various substances found the'residue from burning caused an increased pollution factor in the air. The trio decided the burning of garbage should be done in domestic incinerators where the smoke from initial burning can be burned also, "eliminating such things as dust, ashes, mildew, and smog." And beside their display was a more .ominous prediction of the hazard of air pollution. Michelle Sakamoto and Nola Pommen of W. R. Myers High School in Taber showed the systematic destruction of plants as they were immersed in a jar of smoke. They pointed out if pollution is allowed to continue unabated "all our plants will die and with them even us." In the results of another pollution exhibit, county planners could breathe a sigh of relief as two other students from St. Mary's in Lethbridge decided after extensive investigation, that pollution in the Oldman River is "not too bad." "But it isn't pure enough to said Tina Antony and Rae Ann IngarfieU. In an even more contemporary subject, a little light was let into the darkening world of the consumer with studnets showing what hand soaps clean the best and what household cleaners kill bacteria Working on the hypothesis that no soap could actually clean a person's hands to the point of sterilization, some could come close. By growing bacteria in some augar taken from their hands after washing with different best selling soaps the students found some eliminated almost all bacteria on the skin Their preferences were Sunlight. Dove and Camay Students do.ng similar tests Tom Gillespie, snowed in' his display "just what kind of people and planning the consumer is-up against when they watch a commercial on television or read a magazine." Various case histories of false advertising on display as well as the method advertising agents use when "building" an ad. The display- warned of tncks such as those which cost a soup company when they put marbles in their "chunky soup" to make it look thicker on television, or a bread company which was fined for calling government required additives "special enriched ingredients" and an oil company's much heralded "platformate" which in fact most major oil companies use. Tim Westwood of Catholic Central High School won the Grand Award of the fair. The 15-year-old student presented a complex experiment where he produced a biochemical mutation. In' the physical sciences, even though there were no proverbial "better mousetraps" one Taber student did produce a more efficient airfoil, and with it first prize in his category. Dennis Kalma. of W. R. Myers, developed a flapped airfoil similar to an airplane showed a 12 per cent increase in efficiency over a normal air foil Dennis found by cutting slots in the the performance of the foil increased He said the results are at this time relative to the size of model he used for his-more than 100-hour project Chewing away the lime John Machacek of Taber with his project Young scientists decided the burning of garbage should be done in domestic incinerators where the smoke from initial burning can also be burned. Earth hangs at science fair Jonathan Levine, 14, of Pinchef Creek, with his anti-gravity demonstration.