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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Public school board School crosswalks 6a problem' School crosswalks must be made safer and the public school board should take the action necessary to make them safe, a candidate seek- ing a seat on the public board insists. Morley McGill, former radio talk show host and now a radio sales manager, believes the public school board "hasn't gone after the traffic problem" the way it should have. "I really believe it is a responsibility of the school board and they should not have to concern themselves about regulations set up by others" when the safety of school children is in jeopardy. The first step to improving the safety of the crosswalks he recommends is to establish "some kind of liaison between the school board and the city" so issues involving city coun- cil and school children can be resolved. The next step he would take, if elected, is to ask for "better policing" of routes with dangerous school crosswalks. The two crosswalks of most concern to Mr. McGill are the 4th and 5th avenue crossings on Mayor Magrath Drive. However, he also expresses concern about a crosswalk on 6th avenue and Mayor Magrath Drive and another on Scenic Drive and 15th Street South. The school board, he says, MORLEY McGILL should encourage city council to give the city police some direction for a crackdown on "speeders and people who go through red lights." He also recommends ex- tending the time span of the walk light on 5th Avenue and Mayor Magrath Drive. "I can't even get across before it turns to don't walk." The "walk" indicator is on for seven seconds and the students have about 27 seconds to cross the intersec- tion from the time the light first changes to "walk" until the traffic begins moving in their direction, he says. If they begin crossing just before the light changes to "don't they have about 20 seconds to cross before the traffic begins to move. Mr. McGill doesn't ad- vocate a pedestrian overpass for the crossing. "An under- pass would make a hell of a lot more He is concerned that the light structure on Mayor Magrath Drive is only design- ed to keep the traffic moving and gives "no thought" to the pedestrian. "I am surprised there aren't more controls" at the major intersections. "If you don't do anything, what are you .going to say after a child is run over by a Mr. McGill asks. Another issue of concern to Mr. McGill is family life education. It is time the public school board made "a decision on it one way or the other." He claims not to have enough information to decide whether the school must take over the responsibility of teaching family life education but "suspects it is not being properly handled by parents." Mr. McGill has been a resi- dent of Lethbridge for the past 4.5 years. He decided to run for the public school board because "I felt I could handle the school board" and had "ne to do the job. ED FILAN Public school Diploma 'needs meaning9 Public school board Preschool programs supported HELEN JOHNSON The public school board should begin to offer preschool education programs in all its schools to reach children who are not receiving but need it now, one of only three women to run for school board office here suggests. Helen Johnson believes the regulations governing the preschool programs spon- sored by the province dis- criminate against children of parents who can't participate because of their commitments to the work force. The government preschool regulations require parents to not only be involved in the organization of the program but also in the instruction of their children. "It is good for parents to be Public school board 'Help students cope' The public school board has established channels for com- munication with the public but people aren't aware of it, says the youngest candidate in the Lethbridge civic elections. A priority in Mathew Lip- ton's election campaign is the establishment of better com- munications' between the home and public school board and the school board and teachers. However, in checking with school administrators he has found that the system for communications has definite- ly been established but is not being used because "most people just don't know" the various communication channels do exist. For example, Mr. LJpton says, anybody under public school jurisdiction can ask to be on the meeting agenda to express their concerns direct- ly to the school board. They can get "a fair hearing." But the school board hasn't made the public aware of this channel, he adds. The public school board has established committees that include representation from parents, students, teachers and administrators to provide feedback to trustees. Mr. Upton says he would do his very best to make sure the school board maintains a direct connection with the public instead of letting "mid- dle do the com- municating. "The public school board could do a better job in terms of public relations." Mr. Upton, 23. bdteves in life long education at the grade school level. The schooling they receive up to the end of Grade 12 should provide children with the knowledge they need to effectively cope in this world for the rest of their life, he ex- plains. Students should learn to appreciate culture, unders- tand the value of nutrition and a physically fit body, use the English language effectively MATHEW LIPTON and master life skills. The product should be "somebody who is able to cope with the pressures of our modern day society." There are "a lot of people" in Southern Alberta who can't cope with life and as a result the suicide and marriage breakdown rates are extreme- ly high. Mr. Upton says be would also support a better guidance program in the public schools. That is "one area where you need very capable people. People who can zero in oft the problems" youngsters are having. The counsellors should be able to expertly deal with problems that occur between generations, the home and school and the child and school. Sex education is one subject thai could be handled by counsellors, he suggests. "I don't think we can spend enough on a guidance program.'" Schools must teach children to respect ottfer people. Schools must "show children, within the format of the curriculum, that there are rules tvtijrwite in society must comply with." involved if they can be, but I don't think they all can says the mother of seven. She cited children of single parents who are working and of working couples who may not be receiving the preschool education now because their parents are unable to be in- volved. Mrs. Johnson also believes the program should be offered free and be optional so parents who don't believe in early childhood education don't have to send their children. Early childhood education is very important to the develop- ment of the child, she suggests, it allows children to learn by playing and socializ- ing with other children their age before entering Grade 1. If they are gradually prepared to live and work with others before grade school, their attitude toward educa- tion could be quite different from Grade 1 on, the former school teacher maintains. "When children a home that'doesn't have all the advantages, they may be behind in school from the word go and never catch up." Mrs. Johnson believes it is most advantageous for children to be taught as much as possible while they are "still curious and eager to learn." Educators have known for years that the years four to eight are the "critical years" in the education of children because their lives are often shaped by what they learn between those ages. The preschool programs would grow in student popula- tion "by leaps and if the school board accepted the responsibility of ad- ministrating them, she forecasts. "We have the space now in schools with empty classrooms. This is one way of filling them she suggests. Physical education in the public schools is also an area 'Mrs. Johnson would like to see some changes. "I would like to see physical education compulsory right through high school." Physical education is now only compulsory for Grades 1 to 10. She is particularly keen on activity programs tftat provide students with an interest in some type of physical fitness so they will continue with it after they leave school. "We eeed more team com- petition by the average kids." Expensive activities such as school bands aren't the only way to get children involved in music, she says. "We were all bom with an instrument voice) and we can get a lot of fun out of using it" Mrs. Johnson would like to see more choirs hi the schools. A resident of Lethbridge for the past 24 years, Mrs. Johnson is seeking a seat on the public school board because "I think there should be more women on the board." A Lethbridge businessman and former Edmonton teacher wants to make the high school diploma "mean something again." Ed Filan will attempt to have the public school board take another look at the high school curriculum if he is elected a trustee in the Oct. 16 civic election. Rather than have everybody gain a diploma "on one basis or the public school candidate wants Jhe "easy" courses removed from the curriculum. Students who can't master the regular high school courses should be encouraged to attend technical institutes or colleges to obtain .specializ- ed training instead "of oc- cupying space in high schools from 16 (years of age) on." Mr. Filan believes "it is pointless to force the same education on a child if he's not learning it." The high schools just give a course a higher number in the next grade and the student who was unable to master the course the previous year simply takes it over again, Mr. Filan claims. After spending five years of his life in engineering, another seven teaching school and the last five operating a business, Mr. Filan has been in contact with several high school graduates during the past 17 years. His conclusion: "Many graduates aren't as good to- day as were those of years past." He is also aware that com- munication between the home and school is a big problem but he doesn't "think it is the fault of the schools." Many teachers1 are trying to communicate with the home but it is difficult to encourage some parents to take an active interest in their child's education. It is a problem that Mr. Filan says the school board must study. The board must attempt to reach a solution that will improve the com- munication between home and school, he says. Disputing the opinion of some other candidates in the school board campaign, he doesn't believe school busing is an issue. "I think we have to live with the busing problem." He is all for "busing children into empty classrooms" to save local tax- payers the cost of building new schools when old schools are not filled to capacity. Mr. Filan doesn't believe sex education should be taught in the classroom. Sex education, he says, should be part of the counsell- ing program within the school so that each child can receive advice on the subject when they need it It is very important that children receive sex education at certain points of their development he believes. "How many parents give out this information at the proper This campaign marks the first time Mr. Filan has thrown his hat into the political ring. "I felt now is the time I would like to get involved because my children are in school so I am involved anyway." During his five year stay in Lethbridge, be has owned and managed Western Track Body Manufacturing Ltd. His experience In business provides him with the second reason for seeking school trusteeship. "The present board is lack- ing representation from in- dustry and he points out. Meet your candidates Monday, October LETHBRIOQE City council Land bank supported City council Seniors 'need a hand9 City council should be com- mended for the senior citizens' high rise, but it didn't go far enough, says council candidate Joe Hanrahan. "There's room for a tax rebate or some sort of assistance to senior citizens on fixed incomes who want to remain in their own says Mr. Hanrahan, who at 63, intends to take early retire- ment from his job as district foreman with the highways department. Such assistance, is desirable, he says, because it's the taxpayers' dollars that are used to build senior citizen accommodation like the high rise in any case. "I'm a great believer in getting the mill rate down and holding it adds Mr. Hanrahan, who served a term on the Coleman town council in the 1960's before moving to Lethbridge. "I favor anything that is logical and needed, but nothing that is not needed or can't be he says in reference to the position he'd take on expansion of city hall. A north side resident, Mr. Hanrahan does not take quite the same position of the other two north side candidates on representation from North Lethbridge. "There's a lot of work on the north side that must be done that has been neglected, particularly traffic he says. "But any council must be' prepared to serve all the city you can't divide the city un- less you adopt a ward system, to which I would not be op- posed. "If it works out right, it's a good thing, because then you get representation from every part of the city." Mr. Hanrahan says the city's whole traffic system, truck routes included, needs a general revamping, with strong emphasis on some form of traffic controlled JOE HANRAHAN pedestrian crosswalks. A truck route is a must since trucks won't be able to use 5th and 9th Avenues, he says. "It needs a detailed study. "I'm a great believer in one way he adds. "Some one way streets would alleviate a lot of traffic problems." Mr. Hanrahan says that while he believes the power plant sale is a dead issue, he doesn't agree with the way it was done. "It was undemocratic I believe when the people ask for a plebiscite on an issue that big their wishes should be .honored." An employee of the provin- cial government since 1934, Mr Hanrahan says he will retire by the end of the year, if elected, in order to devote all his time to "the service of the people." "I promise nothing except to be the peoples' servant and do my best to serve them honorably and honestly and to be available to the citizens any he says. Accusations by some city council candidates that the present council has lost all feeling for and contact with its citizens is "absolute says incumbent Aid. Bill Kergan. "Speaking for myself and perhaps for all the incumbents .1 believe that council in the last three years has put the people says Mr. Kergan, 63. "I think our record shows it and I'm prepared to stand on my record and let it speak for says Mr. Kergan, a former city policeman, social worker and director of preventive social services, now retired. He also takes issue with claims that council has ig- nored the citizens of North Lethbridge in some respects. "This is absolutely false and I would hope that during this campaign, friction will not rear its ugly says Mr. Kergan, who has served one term on council. "It's true controversy and some ill feeb'ng did exist between North and South Lethbridge, but this dis- appeared years ago. "As a resident of North Lethbridge for 47 years and now a resident of South Lethbridge, I challenge any candidate to prove that the residents of North Lethbridge are not treated in the same manner as those of South Lethbridge. "As an alderman it is my duty and responsibility to serve all the citizens, and this I have done and I challenge any candidate to prove me wrong." Mr. Kergan says he's for controlled growth although he sees his responsibility as an alderman is to see all citizens have the opportunity to gain- fully employed. "As far as I understand it (controlled Mr. Kergan said, "it means that we should make every attempt to have our citizens enjoy an excellent quality of -life and we can only grow to' the extent that our sewage dis- posal plant and other services can be maintained. "For the city to remain static would be suicidal we must improve our tax base BILL KERQAN whenever possible under a controlled growth policy." Land banking and land assembly by the city also gets Mr. Kergan's support. "We should buy land where we can and not just in West Lethbridge so council may control the price of land so the ordinary citizen may build his own he said. Something must be done with the present city hall, Mr Kergan says, particularly the council chambers which are "possibly the worst in the country." He's promising if elected to ask for a determined study on the city hall expansion plan at capital budget time. Crosswalks are a controver- sial issue and have been for some time, Mr. Kergan says, and further study and action is a must. "I'm not prepared to say at the moment whether an over- pass is necessary at Mayor Magrath Drive and 5th Avenue S., but it may be the only solution and I'm prepared to support it if no other solution can be he says. Mr. Kergan says he's prepared to continue his sup- port of handicapped and senior citizen groups. He's also ready to support any project, depending on costs, for expanding the Ke- nyon Field terminal -and runways. PHOTO 419-5th Streets. 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