Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
I THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, October 8, 1974 Public school board 6Let's cut prejudice' The only female member of the Lethbridge school boards during the past three years believes it is the responsibility of trustees to encourage the expansion of family life education in the schools so youngsters learn to unders- tand themselves. Dorothy Beckel, 50, a public school board incumbent, says youngsters must understand themselves as sexual beings, as potential parents and as people. It is also important that they understand the world they live in, she says. That is why she believes schools should place an increased emphasis on environmental education. "Students should study our geographic area so they un- derstand our prairie region" and the Southern Alberta en- vironment will mean something to them. The attitudes of students toward other students and of themselves is also of concern to Mrs. Beckel, a mother of four. They should also have respect for other ideas, she believes. She suggests the school system will have to take a close look at how the public school curriculum is affecting student attitude. "We'll have to look at the curriculum to see where pre- judice is being taught. She has found that textbooks tend to teach prejudice without intending to. The sexes are stereotyped, the history of the labor move- ment degrades those involved, the culture of immigrants was ignored and the Indian people are labelled savages, she says in listing as some of the ways prejudice is taught in schools. The establishment of a task force to investigate prejudice in the curriculum would not remedy the situation im- mediately, suggests the woman who spent the last year as chairman of the public school board. The attitudes of people must be gradually modified, she continues, so that people don't apologize for the way they are. People should be taught Meet your candidates Public school board "Consultation needed' DOROTHY BECKEL to look at what they're doing and weigh it. Likewise, Mrs. Beckel believes a family life educa- tion program must be developed over a period of years so that consultation can take place with parents, agen- cies, students, citizens who aren't parents and teachers. "If there is proper consulta- tion and time for discussion, over the years a program can be developed that will be of value" to society. There are many aspects of family life education' other than sex education that must be developed further, she points out. Home economics is one aspect of family living that must be given another look. Mrs. Beckel sees family life education being taught within the regular school courses by the classroom teacher. When specific areas of family life education must be dealt with the teacher might bring in an expert from the community. But, she says, "there is no hard and fast rule on how it can best be done." The public school board es- tablished a committee to look at family life education programs and determine how they should be introduced into the schools and who should be involved in developing a program for public schools. A public school board in- cumbent who has served on the board since 1964 says his prime concern in the educa- tion of Lethbridge children rests with teachers.' Doutf Card, 57, says he is concerned about maintaining good communication with teachers, hiring high quality teachers and providing teachers with good working conditions. He feels much has been ac- complished in those three areas of concern during the period of time he has spent on the public board. "I have been working for better communications with teachers for a long time." In order to develop a good channel of communication "each has to respect the other." Some school boards tend to overpower teachers and some teachers want to bring school boards to their knees, but if they begin communicating effectively a more productive attitude toward education of children will surface, he maintains. Mr. Card believes the school DOUG CARD board should consult on every subject before a decision is made. However, he admits, he and his fellow trustees didn't "ful- ly consult (teachers) on a cou- ple of issues." A decision by the board to negotiate a contract directly with its teachers rather than bring in an outsider to do the negotiations has proven beneficial in maintaining good relations, Mr. Card claims. Good relations are necessary to turn out a good product, he adds. Mr. Card is also a firm believer that the provincial government won't turn down the local school board's re- quests for financial assistance for school construction if local trustees present government officials with "a good state- ment of need." If "we show them it isn't a fly-by-night thing but something that is really needed" they will listen, he contends. The school board must "be prepared to barter back and forth." Mr. Card doesn't believe in building a new school for the sake of building but suggests in some cases it may be wiser to demolish an old school and replace it instead of attempting to renovate. Even if in fair condition, some older schools can't be adapted to the modern educa- tion process, he suggests in _ support of demolition of older schools. He also warns against the -sudden adoption of the por- table school concept. If a school is expected to be fully utilized for 15 to 20 years, it should not be of portable construction because the life of a permanent school should only be considered to be about 20 years, Mr. Card suggests. City council 'Ask some questions' ANNOUNCES A NEW LICENSEE LOCATION AT FOREIGN CAR (LETHBRIDGE) LTD. 1102-3rdAve. S. DROP IN MEET CASEY HIS FRIENDLY STAFF TELEPHONE 327-6320 BOB TARLECK City council Many problems remain "Before we rush headlong into expansion we've got to ask fundamental questions about where we want Lethbridge to go and what sort of community we want to live says Bob Tarleck, a coun- cil candidate from the north side. "Aid. Cam Barnes said he turned the city on and he's afraid some of the new people might turn it off. "I suggest the simple application of a little common sense and says Mr. Tarleck, a 33-year-old teacher at Wilson Junior High School, making his first bid for alder- man. "There are still many problems remaining from the growth of the last 10 years, including the failure to meet the Alberta Clean Water Act, the problem of truck traffic through residential areas, odors from some industries, school crossing hazards and rapidly escalating housing costs and shortage of rental accommodation. "Before we rush off and build another appendix to Lethbridge we've got to solve some of the problems we have and make decisions about the sort of community we want to live in. "There's a lot of talk by the incumbents about controlled growth. Many of them talk as if this is a fairly established policy of this council, but that's difficult to accept when you recall they still haven't established an acceptable truck route to the industrial park. That should have been done 10 years ago." Mr. Tarleck remains stead- fast in the opinion that the north side deserves better representation on council. "One thing that really sur- prises me is that there's so much negative response from some candidates to the idea that North Lethbridge needs a voice on he says. "I would never accuse any alderman of wilful neglect of the north side and give Aid. Bill Kergan full credit for his efforts to represent that part of town, although it's nothing more than he should have done. "But it hardly justifies the sort of imbalance that exists. "I agree there can be too much focus on north south differences, but my philosophy is you have to remedy the problems they're not going to go away by pretending they don't exist, which is the attitude of some candidates. "The north side resident lives there, he meets people there, smells the pollution, hears the truck noise. It's not the same as a windshield view. "I'm very surprised at the refusal of some candidates to recognize the basic unhealthy constitution of the present council it's not even just a south side council, but a small area of South Lethbridge." Mr. Tarleck also believes steps should be taken now to save old neighborhoods in the city. "You can already see a deterioration in hundreds of homes in neighborhoods, yet Lethbridge has taken no ad- vantage of the Neighborhood Improvement Program even though the federal and provin- cial governments put up most of the money." The bicycle bylaw is another concern, says Mr. Tarleck, because it's totally impractical and discriminates against those who can't afford to dnve an auto or choose for recreation and exercise to cycle. HAL HOFFMAN FRANK MERKL City council Basic rights 'ignored' "I'm appalled by council's disregard for the basic rights of all who reside in Lethbridge and the area it says council candidate Frank Merkl. "I don't like the methods be- ing used by council, such as closed says Mr. Merkl, a fourth-year Universi- ty of Lethbridge psychology student and president of Disabled on the Move. "I advocate open council meetings, including budget matters that would lead to land speculation are being he says. Examples of council's dis- regard for people abound, says Mr. Merkl, who says he basically represents the elderly, the disabled and the unfortunate. "When the budget was being cut last year, thoughtlessness prevailed and we lost a large sum of money that could have been used for community ser- he says. "We've got to get rid of the present bicycle bylaw, or put some bike paths in. "I don't understand how the present council has been allowed to be discriminatory to so many tax-paying members of our city. "I'm really disgusted that no air conditioning is being put into the senior citizens' Mr. Merkl says. Senior citizens would benefit greatly by extending the bus hours ater 10 p.m., he adds. "It's ridiculous that they have to be in before a certain hour because the buses stop running, "At the last senior citizens' meeting I went to, they all said they wanted the buses to run later." Mr. Merkl says there's also a definite need for an un- restricted bus pass for all young people trying to receive an education. Such a pass could be made available at 15 a month, he suggests. The city needs more hospital beds, he says, and some kind of hospital is es- pecially needed on the north side. "I'd rather see a new hospital built before we spend money on city he says. A veteran of 11 years in the Canadian navy, including ser- vice during the Korean War, Mr. Merkl, 43, has lived most of his life in Southern Alberta and the last eight years in Lethbndge. Besides Disabled on the Move and his work on the Lethbridge Aid for the Disabl- ed and Elderly Citizens pro- ject, he's on the board of two other handicapped organizations in the city. He's vice-president of the Lethbridge branch of the Civil Liberties and Human Rights Association, and com- missicrfer o> the Lethbridge Minor Football League. "What's needed more than anything else on city council is to have questions says candidate Hal Hoffman. "For example why does the bus service always seem to accommodate downtown store hours and not social, cultural and recreational hours? "Why are bylaws enforced making parking lots around hotels and apartment buildings mandatory, yet playgrounds, where they have them, are third rate? "Why haven't bicycle paths even been thought Mr. Hoffman, an automotives instructor at LCC, making his second bid for a council seat has other questions; on the electrical power rate structure, the Woodwards' deal and Sportsplex construction contract methods. The power rate structure should be changed, Mr. Hoffman says, so that residents, who actually own the electrical system, get the best rates, not the worst rates. "Residents have no means to pass on power costs to someone else, nor can they deduct it from their income he says. "Commercial concerns can do both. The argument that they should have lower rates only holds water if their entire production is consumed in Lethbridge or the immediate area, but it isn't." "The argument that they should be subsidized by the taxpayer doesn't make sense. To make the rates equitable, you don't give them a 'sub- he argues. "Let the cost of production be reflected in the price of the goods produced." "The incumbents say the power plant issue is like flogg- ing a dead Mr. Hoffman adds. "I think the horses are alive and running and it's an oppor- tunity for people to pass judg- ment on their decision to sell the plant. "You would think they would welcome an opportuni- ty to debate if they are so proud of their decision." Mr. Hoffman questions the million investment the city made to bring Woodwards' Stores here, and the "partnership" references made to it by Deputy Mayor Vaughan Hembroff. "I pressed the landl sales committee on this and Cam Barnes said it was not an in- says Mr. Hoff- man. "I ask myself, if it's not an inducement maybe we didn't need to spend million to br- ing the firm here. "The city never had a partnership with Woolco or Zellers or Centre Village Mall, but these firms keep paying taxes." Mr. Hoffman claims some of the business people that had to leave the downtown area to make way for the Woodwards development were not well treated by the.city. "They claim all the people are happy, but I know he says. "Verbal agreements were made that have been broken." "I feel the city bent over backwards for Woodwards and did just the opposite to local businesses. "They were treated very summarily and in fact I'm told one of them may be forc- ed out of business." Mr. Hoffman said he's happy Woodwards is coming here, but the deal should have been done differently, with the city assembling the land using federal urban renewal money and it's own legislative powers and then once it was assembled, offering it to whoever wanted to use it, at the full market price. The cost-plus method of building the Sportsplex meant losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Mr. Hoffman adds. "The alderman said they could do it cheaper that way, but I think it cost more than it would have if it had been let to tender. It's true the person that won the tender would have lost money, but that's free enterprise." Public school board School busing rapped Provincial government regulations may be forcing school boards to bus children rather than build schools but that doesn't mean changes shouldn't take place at the local level to reduce and im- prove school busing. So says Mabel Byam, a mother of six, who is familiar with the busing problems of the public schools and intends to make others aware of them while campaigning for a seat on the public school board. She advocates the im- mediate curtailment of double busing, the return of the 1.5 mile limit and the elimination of the plastic bus passes. By double busing she is referring to the public school system of busing elementary children from "area A" which has an elementary school to "area B" which also has an elementary school. The result is that students from Grade 1, 2, and 3 in "area B" are bused to the "area A" school while Grade 4 to 6 students in "area A" are bused to "area B." Mrs. Byam suggests that the school board return to a policy of only busing children who live more than 1.5 miles from school. The provincial government reduced the minimum dis- tance from school for elemen- tary children from 1.5 miles to three-quarters of a mile in 1973 but school boards still have the option of establishing their own limits. The change in the minimum distance would not only save taxpayers more money but MABEL BYAM also encourage children to do more walking, Mrs. Byam maintains. "Children are pampered too much. It wouldn't hurt them to walk'1 that short distance. Mrs. Byam wants the plastic bus passes abolished because children always lose them or break them in the cold weather and in each case it costs their parents a to replace it. It has happened that children haven't been able to get a ride home on the bus because they lost their bus pass, she recalls. The plastic bus pass also breaks easily in the cold weather and children can even break them by sitting on them after placing them in their back pocket, she says. Mrs. Byam's remedy to the bus pass dilemma is simple. Just stamp the students' school identification card. Children very seldom lose their cards and the school board would save the cost of purchasing bus passes, she suggests as two benefits of her idea. If elected, Mrs. Byam says she will promote a com- pulsory physical education program for Grades 1 to 12. Physical education in the public schools is not com- pulsory in Grade 11 and 12. Because it is an option course in Grade 11 and 12, many students can't afford to take the physical education program, she claims. When a course is com- pulsory it must be offered without charge to the students but since it is optional the students have to pay extra for such activities as golf and they often have to supply their own transportation. The transportation problem is the greatest problem for most students, she says. Mrs. Byam is dissatisfied with the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute's physical education program in the upper two grades because it doesn't allow students any options. "Either you take the entire physical education program or you don't take it at she claims. Some children don't have skates or don't like hockey. Physical education, she says, should be taught throughout the school year to all children on a daily basis, she reoornmends.