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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Council election forum fired by land, sex issues By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer Questions about high land costs and inflating housing costs popped up again and again at a city council election forum at the public library Wednesday. But that was only one of several issues raised in the well-run forum sponsored by the library and Women's Place, in which the 10 can- didates who attended were polled on a spectrum of topics ranging from burning barrels and the power plant sale, to the Birth Control and Infor- mation Centre, recreation facilities and pedestrian crosswalks. Local News The Lctlibridge Herald District Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Thursday, October 3, 1974 Pages 15-28 Homesile costs said high Deputy Mayor Vaughan Hembroff, who along with Aid. Bill Kergan were the only incumbents at the forum, got the most attention on the land issue and was accused at one point of "rhapsodizing" about the city's West Lethbridge project. "I'm asking whether an ex- pensive exclusive subdivision such as West Lethbridge is within the reach of young people, and whether it will really do anything to alleviate the housing shortage except for people earning a said the questioner who was among 80-some peo- ple at the forum. "One does tend to rhap- sodize from time to time when one really believes in Mr. Hembroff admitted. But, he said, there are areas in West Lethbridge planned for different types of housing. A building commit- ment is asked for plus a lot cost of from to around for a big lot by the lake, he said, adding that "you can't build much for any more." Mr. Hembroff had said earlier in the evening that West Lethbridge has a poten- tial for homes on land the city owns and the price of that land has not gone up one nickel since the city first put it on the market a year ago. Several other candidates jumped on the housing issue. Stan Klassen, a city realtor, said the city has done nothing to make land available for higher density housing 'developments such as con- dominiums and row housing. Lots in West Lethbridge are larger on the average than on the east side, so while the cost per front foot may be lower on the west side, the ultimate cost of the lot is about the same, said Mr. Klassen. The average wage earner doesn't need a 60- to 65-foot lot, he said. John Gogo, division manager of an investment company, said he hoped Mr. Hembroff's remarks about west side land were a truism and prices don't escalate because they're high enough already. Something has to be done about the housing situation, he said, quoting a remark by Municipal Affairs Minister Dave Russell that the day may be gone when the in- dividual working man can have his own home on his own 50-foot lot. There are alternatives, he added, and referred to a hous- ing development carried out several years ago in Win- nipeg. There, residents of the subdivision lease their land from the city on a long-term basis for per year. Hal Hoffman, an automotives instructor at LCC, suggested city council can push the provincial and federal governments to change the tax structure to do something about land speculators. Tony Tobin, a community agency director, said support for programs that would re- juvenate or preserve the ex- isting older stock of houses in the city would increase the supply of housing for low and, medium income people. "Yet council and the mayor in particular have gone on record that Lethbridge doesn't need such he said. Bob Tarleck, a school teacher, said controlling city growth can do much to alleviate the housing shortage and high land prices. Birth control pops out Questioners in the audience put all the candidates on the spot from time to time, and it was most apparent when all the council hopefuls were askr ed whether they would sup- port continuation of the Birth Control and Information Centre. "I think it's a personal said Bill Cousins, a teacher who was first on the firing line and apparently thought at first he was being asked to give his stand on birth control. When the question was repeated, he said he would support the centre. "I know very little about it, and plead ignorance, however, on the outside I would say .said Al Ferenz, a teacher at Catholic Central High School. "As a director of the YMCA I supported the motion that started said Mr. Gogo. "I would still endorse it in princi- ple but if there was a bill attached to it, I'd look at it again." Joe Hanrahan, a district foreman with the department of highways, said he didn't know enough about the centre to say if he would support it. "I've supported it in the past and in the same circum- stances I'd support it said Mr. Hembroff. "I'd look again at its func- tioning and its cost I'm not prepared to support any infor- mation dissemination if it costs to disseminate information to three he said. "I bate to admit it but I agree 100 per cent with Mr. Hembroff on this said Mr. Hoffman. "I'd re- evaluate it as it came up." Mr. Kergan said he wasn't worried about the centre's cost, but was concerned that it be staffed by fully-qualified professional people. "Age dictates this I he added, "but if I had a 14- year-old girl who went to the birth control centre, I'd want to be the first to know, not a doctor I, as the father, would have the first right to know." Mr. Klassen said the ques- tion was a difficult one to speak to. "I'm for more of the statistics being made he said. "It needs to be looked at in detail I would favor it if the money was wisely Mr. Tarleck said he visited the centre when it was an issue at council last spring, and was impressed by what he saw. "I agree it's an area in which parents should be in- volved, but in many cases in Lethbridge unfortunately this is just not the he said. "If the program is effective I would support it." There needs to be some way to ensure that abortion does not become the first line of defence for unwanted pregnancies and this was happening in Lethbridge when the centre was started two years ago. said Mr. Tobin-. "I'm totally opposed to abortion and someone has to come up with an alternative. I'm not saying this is the best alternative, but I would sup- port if it has effective people." be said. Power, burn ban discussed Construction sets record pace in city The value of city construction reached a new record high this week with a building permit worth for the Woodwards development going on the books at city hall. The permit, reflecting what's already going up, is for a Woodward's department and food store to the west of Lethbridge Centre site and a shopping mall and office tower to the east. Plans for an apartment tower have been dropped from the development, with Poole Construction currently Concourse will provide base for future high-rise Lee Backer of Coaldale fills Bob Knoll's concrete bucket at Lethbridge Centre. Peterson parents band together to save elementary grades By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Parents in the Gilbert Paterson School area have banded together in an attempt to halt the proposed elimina- tion of elementary grades in the school. The Gilbert Paterson School now includes both elementary and junior high school grades. Parents charge that the public school board failed to inform them of its plans for the school. As a result, they claim, many parents with young elementary children are not moving into the area for fear that their children will have to be bused out if the school is ever restricted to junior high grades. To obtain more funds from the department of education for the renovations and addi- tion now under construction at the school, the public trustees passed a resolution in the summer of 1973 that supported the transition of Gilbert Paterson from an elementary junior high to a junior high school when the student pop- ulation warranted it. The province had previously informed the board it is prepared to provide greater support if the school is restricted to junior high. As a result of the motion, the parents believe that the trustees have decided to eliminate the elementary grades from the school. Such is not the case. Gerry Probe, director of public school personnel and material resources, said in an inter- view. By including in the motion that the transition will only take place when the school board believes the student population situation warrants it, the trustees have not com- mitted themselves to ever eliminating the elementary grades, he claimed. No decision about the school will be made until after the public school building utiliza- tion committee completes its one year study of the present and anticipated problems of public school building utiliza- tion during the next five years, Dr. Probe said. Dorothy Beckel, chairman, told a questioner at the coun- cil of home and school associations school board can- didates forum Monday the school board would not eliminate the elementary grades from the school without consulting parents in the area. However, such assurance has not been communicated to the parents in the Gilbert Paterson area. A recent meeting of 70 parents elected a new ex- ecutive to their home and school association and directed it to investigate the proposed transition of the school into a junior high school. "They have not let us know what they are doing, but we intend to find the new president of the Gilbert Paterson home and school association warned. Bob Mclntosh questions the statistics the school board is using to support its statement that the elementary popula- tion has decreased to a point it may not be feasible to main- tain an elementary school in the area. Presenting statistics obtain- ed from the 1971 Alberta bureau of statistics, Mr. Mclntosh showed that the Gilbert Paterson area has only 720 residents in the 15 to 24 age group while it has 660 youngsters in the five to 14 age group and another- 240 in the four and younger age category. Phil Kasperson, new vice president of the association, suggests the number of elementary students in the area has been reduced somewhat by the- school board's decision to reduce the school area by changing its boundaries. The executive members of the association also indicated they know of at least one parent who moved out of the area for fear the elimination of the elementary grades in Gilbert Paterson would mean their children would spend the next few years riding the bus. Mr. Kasperson also express- ed concern about the elemen- tary children in the area hav- ing to cross Mayor Magrath Drive to attend the Lakeview School, if Gilbert Paterson is restricted to junior high grades. "Some parents are even considering sending their children to Assumption the separate school in the same Ron Butcher, the association's new secretary, says he favors combining elementary and junior high students under the same school roof. The transition from elemen- tary grades to junior high school is much easier for the children if it takes place in the same school, he explained. Otherwise, some youngsters "almost freak out" when they are first exposed to the at- mosphere in a junior high school. The teachers are also better equipped to handle the student's problems in the junior high grades because several people in the school are familiar with the student's elementary background, says Capt. Butcher, a correctional services officer with The Salvation Army. The association executives are not concerned about the problems related to placing young teen agers (junior high) in the same school as elementary The school has operated for years with the two groups and the problems have all been minor, Mr. Mclntosh says. So the older children can't push younger students around after school, the elementary grades are released a few minutes before Grades 7, 8 'and 9, he said. According to the new ex- ecutive of the Gilbert Paterson home and school association, the elimination of the elementary grades is only one of many issues the association hopes to investigate during this school year. The association intends to support the home in any way possible and act as a liason between the home and school in an effort to foster better communications between the two. Mr. Mclntosh claims parents now don't feel they can approach the teacher about their child's education even though many teachers are very approachable. Because of their reluctance to approach the school, parents just don't know what is happening in the classroom, he maintains. The association executive intends to keep the home and school meetings concise and organized so parents don't have to spend too much time at the meetings. Background information on all items to be discussed at the meeting will be sent to the parents prior to the meeting so they can attend prepared to participate. 195 people attend PC dinner Nearly 200 persons paid a plate to attend a premier's dinner in Lethbridge Wednes- day night. On the menu for the Progressive Conservative fund-raising function at Sven Ericksen's Family Restaurant was Chateaubriand. The main course was preceded by Danish beef broth and lobster Newburg and followed by baked Alaska with hot cherry sauce. Red and white wines and liqueurs ac- companied the meal. Premier Peter Lougheed explained his government's takeover of Pacific Western Airlines in a 15-minute speech after the dinner. He said the government would be criticized for the purchase but it would prove to be a very wise move- Mr. Lougheed also discuss- ed water and irrigation in Southern Alberta and fielded questions from the 195 persons in attendance. The cabinet entourage attending the function includ- ed Dave Russell, minister of municipal affairs, James Foster, minister of advanced education, Neil Crawford, minister of health and social development, Roy Farran, minister of telephones and utilities. Bob Dowling. minister of consumer affairs, Horst Schmid, minister of youth, culture and recreation, and Al Adair, minister respon- sible for northern development. Jeanne Lougheed. wife of the premier, had planned to attend but spent the evening in Calgary instead as a judge at the Miss Calgary Centennial pageant. About 25 women attended the dinner. Optional sex education program begins in separate schools The candidates' answers were more predictable on some of tine other issues. Most of the challengers, for instance, said they didn't like the way council handled the power plant fesne. with opi- n'on divided on whether or not it was a dead issue at this point Nearly everyone supported a review of (he burning ban, passed by council early this year. Even Mr. Hembroff, who strongly supported the ban, said he'd be willing to take another look at it, while Mr. Kergan, unslintingly pro- burning, reminded everyone he's known around town as Burning Barrel Bill. Three candidates who were unable to attend the meeting had representatives speak briefly for them. They were Frank Merkl, recovering in hospital after a traffic ac- cident, Roger Rickwood, who was teaching a class at the U of L andDon Le Baron who is in Edmonton this week. Previous commitments kept other candidates away. A family life education program that includes an element of sex education will be introduced to separate schools this month as part of the Grade 8 religion course. The separate school trustees approv- ed the program Wednesday after receiving a report on the program and viewing two of the sex education films that will be used as instructional aids. The instruction this year spread over a six-week period and deal with such topics as development of the human being, the family, preparation for a family and concerns related to family preparations. Parents and teachers worked jointly during the summer months on the development of the program and parents of separate school Grade 8 students reviewed the course content Sept. 23. Ralph Himsl, superintendent, reported Wednesday that parents reacted favorably to the program when it was presented to them. No parents objected to a film show- ing the birth of a child that is to be included within the program, he pointed out. The program will be taught by four teachers who participated in a week- long training session in September. Mr. KirftSl also informed the board that some parents had requested some type of instruction in sex education for building a two-storey com- mercial concourse designed to accommodate a high rise tower in the future. A Poole spokesman said to- day that Woodward's decided against proceeding im- mediately with the apartment tower, because the Vancouver-based company has been unable to find anyone take over management of the apartment tower. Along with the September total of building permits just released by the city develop- ment office, Lethbridge Centre's permit brings this year's construction total to more than million. The construction total reached last year, also a record, was Some 108 permits worth were issued in September, including two at for the Lethbridge Lockers and Compac Foods Ltd. frozen foods plant. Housing construction per- mits issued in September included permits for 50 houses worth permits for three duplexes and one fourplex apartment building. Four permits for construc- tion of office buildings, or of- fice building additions and renovations were Province to rule on loan The province will rule before Oct. 15 on a million request for expansion of the city's northside industrial park, an official said Wednesday. According to Municipal Af- fairs Minister Dave Russell, similar requests have been made by other communities, but he is aware of the urgency of the request for money to buy 206 acres from Lethbridge Theatres Ltd. A city-held option on the land expires Oct. 15 and unless the million is available, the city could forfeit its option fee and face delays in plans to annex 465 acres from the county near the city's northeast corner. The parcel will cost and is needed to complete the proposed expansion of the in- dustrial park. City officials were expected to remind Premier Peter Lougheed and two Cabinet ministers of the situation at a a plate Conservative fund-raising dinner Wednes- day night here. themselves so they are belter equippped to handle their children's questions on the subject "We might even obtain some skills from parents on bow to approach the subject" he suggested. Consideration may be given to ex- panding the family life education program to grade 7 and 9 next year. Those involved with the operation of Ow program will encourage all parents of Grade 8 children to allow their children to participate. But if parents clearly state that "1 can not allow my child" to lake the family life education program, their child will not have to attend. Mr. Himsl said. United Way on its way Did yon know There are 66 blind people in Lethbridge registered with the Cana- dian Institute for the Blind? Support the CNIB through the United Wav. 1974 campaign results to date: Professional National Selected residential Local Education Civic Provincial Federal Banks financial Real estate Agency staffs UW 190.000 750.000 700.000 50.000 Unibed way ;