Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 30, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Friendship centre moves closer to dissolution By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Staff Writer The Lethbridge Friendship Centre Society moved a little closer to the brink Monday as the executive director, hired three months ago, tendered her resignation. Claiming the board of direc- tors is incompetent to run the centre and that promises made to her at the time she was hired have been broken, Corey Foster presented a detailed letter of resignation during a meeting Monday afternoon between Mayor Andy Anderson and the centre's board of directors. The meeting had been called to discuss city funding for the centre. Adding to the internal problems besetting the society, three board members have told The Herald that if Miss Foster's resignation is accepted, they will also resign. And in what may be the final death blow to the society's troubled four-year existence, Mayor Anderson said that if the board is un- successful in resolving its in- ternal divisions, funding may be cut off. He said he was not threaten- ing the board, only pointing out that "if you don't have a director, I would think that other levels of government wouldn't give the funding that you require. "If your problems are not resolved, I'm afraid we won't have a native friendship centre." At a special board meeting called after the mayor left, directors moved to table dis- cussion on the resignation un- til a special meeting Nov. 19. That meeting will also develop an outline of duties for the executive director. The lack of a job description has been one of Miss Foster's consistent complaints. Although the tabling motion was passed with only one director Cyril Brophy dissenting, the five board members voting in favor seemed to do so for very different reasons. Eva Teles said during the discussion that if the board wants to keep the centre in operation, it should do everything possible to keep Miss Foster on. "I would like to ask her to reconsider because we need Mrs. Teles said. Frank McDonald, who presented the motion, said later in an interview that if the resignation had been voted on Monday night, the board would have accepted it and he didn't want that to happen. Will apply elsewhere But Annie Cotton and Mike Keewatin, who provided vocal opposition to Miss Foster's tenure, also voted to table the discussion. They did not give any reasons for their actions. Mrs. Cotton had presented a motion to accept the resignation, but it died on the floor when no one seconded it. And Mr. Keewatin, before the vote was taken, said that if Miss Foster wants to resign, the board should accept her resignation. When told of the board's decision to postpone the dis- cussion, Miss Foster said she would still begin to apply for other jobs. In her letter of resignation, she gave one month's notice, effective Thursday. She also said she could not be persuaded to withdraw her resignation as long as Mrs. Yellow Feet remained as president. She claimed Mrs. Yellow Feet is incompetent and in- terferes in the day-to-day ooeration of the centre. in an interview Monday, Daryl Sturrock, a member of the Lethbridge friendship centre society and a founder of the Edmonton friendship centre, said the Lethbridge centre is run by a clique. "This centre is nothing more or less than Rose Yellow Feet, her relations, and her she claimed. Mrs. Cotton is Rose Yellow Feet's sister. Other members of the rul- ing group within the society, as outlined by Mrs. Sturrock include Donna and Mike Keewatin and Evelyn Bardell, secretary to the board. Mrs.- Keewatin, who resign- ed last week from the board, is the society's treasurer and the stenographer at the centre. Mike Keewatin was the acting executive director before Miss Foster was hired. Some board members are speculating that if Miss Foster's resignation is accepted, Mrs. Keewatin will be appointed to the position. According to several sources, she had applied for the job when Miss Foster was hired. Indian director Mr. Brophy said after the meeting the centre would have no trouble finding a new director. "They'll just ask Donna he said. There has been some discus- sion at previous meetings that the executive director should be an Indian. Mrs. Cotton has stated that many Indian people are un- able to communicate with the executive director because of the language barrier. And at last week's meeting, Mrs. Keewatin said she has received suggestions that with a shortage of good jobs for native people, the executive District The Lethbridge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Tuesday, October 30, 1973 Pages Sewage plant project depends on new bylaw This one's turn loaded onto squeezer the big crunch By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer City officials are still hopeful that a planned million expansion of the city's secondary sewage treatment plant can be postponed beyond 1975. While the expenditure is included in the city's 1975 capital works budget, city engineering director Randy Holfeld said Monday it is hoped the sewage bylaw pass- ed by council in mid-August will reduce the "shocks" on the plant's bacteriological treatment process, delaying the necessary modification and expansion. It is these shocks and fluc- tuations in sewage loads from the city's agricultural in- dustries that are throwing the plant operations out of kilter, Mr. Holfeld said. "We're at the end of the chain trying to hold up the whole said Mr. Holfeld, describing the sewage treatment situation. "We're hoping the bylaw will reduce the variations and the shocks and give us something a little more accep- table to process." A provincial department of the environment memoran- dum tabled in the legislature last week said the department was waiting to see how effec- tive the new bylaw will be in controlling industrial sewage before the city is ordered to improve its treatment plant. The report said it normally takes a year for new sewage plants to be broken in, but the million Lethbridge plant has been in operation for more than years and is still en- countering problems. Mr. Holfeld said the plant is not overloaded, as a general rule, but there are sharp variations as a result of in- dustrial processes, and the bacteria which breaks down the sewage just can't live un- der those circumstances. An industry can discharge sewage in two or three hours that can alter the conditions and disrupt the process at the treatment plant for two to three weeks, he said. The new bylaw will assess surcharge -penalties against industries that release high loadings of sewage, but it Spray weeds When applied in the fall, Avadex BW gives as good wild oat control as when applied in the spring, says Keith Price, weed control specialist with the Alberta department of agriculture. doesn't come into effect until Jan. 1, when automatic sewage samplers and meters, made mandatory by the bylaw will be installed at the major "wet" industries. Mr. Holfeld said the day of plant modification is inevitable to handle the peak loads of industry. "A year ago, we looked at 1975. today we're still looking at 1975, but we're still hoping we can postpone that day." He said the forms the modifications will take have not been finalized, but a chemical process may be one of the options that has to be investigated. "There are a number of things we're looking at." he said, "such as a holding cell that would take off the peaks at our end, allowing the plant to receive sewage on a more uniform basis." Irv Fraser, city water works and sewage engineer said at one point in September last year the plant was treating sewage with a biochemical oxygen demand equivalent to the domestic sewage of a city with a popula- tion of The highest the BOD. which measures the amount of organic material in the effluent, has been this year was equal to a population of about Mr. Holfeld said there has to be an awareness of the problem on industry's part and he's satisfied industry is aware of the problem and is generally acting responsibly. United Way ahead of 1972 drive The Lethbridge United Way has raised during 25 days of canvassing more than collected last year during the same period. Al Purvis United Way executive director reported Monday. The campaign, which kicked off Sept. 24, is in its sixth week with 40 per cent of the business canvass completed. A major portion of cam- paign funds comes from the payroll deductions of about 40 major firms, who last year with their contributions and their employee's payroll Summer paving sidewalk work costs The city spent some on its paving and sidewalk, curb and gutter programs this summer. According to city engineer- ing department figures, the city now has lineal feet or roughly 18 average city blocks of new "light residen- tial" pavement. There was another feet or about 15 blocks of ".semi- permanent" asphalt laid down, while lineal feet or about 17 blocks got an asphalt overlay of new pavement. Pavement reconstruction covered about IVfe blocks. The terms "residential" and "semi-permanent" simp- ly refer to the thickness of the asphalt, with residential pave- ment being two inches thick and semi-permanent three in- ches, an engineering depart- ment spokesman explained. A major item in the road program this year was the Mayor Magrath Drive 3rd reconstruction from Avenue to 6th Avenue S. The underground drainage system for that job cost 000 with gravel base and pave- ment reconstruction costing another The city also paved 14 back lanes this summer at a cost of The sidewalk, curb and gutter work cost Keep cool "Do you know it and then blow is the theme for a workshop to be held Wednes- day (Oct. 31) in the University of Lethbridge counselling centre, Room C-630. Practical methods for keep- ing cool in the exam situation will be offered to students in the workshop. It is to be led by U of L psychology professor Mark Sandilands and counsell- ing service co-ordinator Dave Ayers. deductions gave about half of total donated, said Mr. Purvis. Payroll deductions have been made in about half of these payroll centres and "by the beginning of next week I expect most of the payroll deductions from these firms will be he said. Letters are being sent out this week to team captains asking them to complete their business calls, said Mr. Pur- vis. Campaign returns include collected during the residential drive which this year was organized on two fronts collection of donations in pint-size con- tainers distributed to about 11.000 residences and funds collected from persons con- tacted by personal letter. The container canvass wound up Saturday bringing in 2.020 containers with the remainder coming from 325 persons of 600 mailed per- sonal letters. Funds from the residential canvass are expected to climb to with money coming from persons mailed letters as well as container donations which may still be returned. Residents who still have containers and who wish to turn them in may deliver them to their nearest Safeway store. L Mart store, the Centre Village IGA or the Family Y. Res'idential campaign chairman Karen Lawson says a two week follow up of the letter canvass is scheduled for completion by mid- November. United Way hopes to collect about more than the last year. director's position should be filled by an Indian. At a special board meeting Friday night. Indian direc- tors, with the exception of Frank McDonald, carried the discussion one step further, saying the board of directors should be entirely Indian. However, before this could be done, the society's con- stitution, which states that three of the eight directors shall be white, would have to be changed. Mrs. Sturrock said if the friendship centre becomes a place where only Indians are made welcome, the original purpose will be lost. Prejudice and dis- crimination, she said, will only disappear when both whites and Indians can get together and communicate with each other. The society's constitution states: "The purpose of the society is to promote fellowship, progress and understanding between native and non-native people." Miss Foster's resignation was prompted, in part, when the board refused at its last meeting to review her tenure and salary, as promised when she was hired three months ago. Instead, the board said Miss Foster would be given a job description Dec. 5 and another three-month probation period beginning on that date. The centre has faced such problems before but has always managed to put per- sonality differences behind it and muddle through but now, as Mayor Anderson said, there is a possibility that the feuding may lead to a cancellation of grants. The mayor stressed tha't city council supports, and wants, a friendship centre in operation but said grants would be considered only if the operation is viable. He told board members if the society applies to the Social Services Advisory Board, a recommendation may be made to city council to give the centre or more for programming. But if problems within the organization make it not viable, "consideration could be given to cutting off the 000 grant." the mayor said. If the city does not give the centre any funds, the secretary of state's core- funding program, which provides the centre with 600 a year out of a total budget of about could be withdrawn. In a letter to the board, George Lee, president of the Alberta Association of Friendship Centres, said that if funding from the city is not forthcoming, federal govern- ment core-funding could be cut-off. When asked Monday in a telephone interview if core- funding would be cut-off because of the Lethbridge centre's internal disarray, Mel Benson, a field officer for the citizenship development branch of the secretary of state's department, refused comment. But he did say that any application by the society to have the centre classed in the "B" category meaning an annual funding increase of over would have greater difficulty gaining approval unless the problems are resolved. Mr. Benson will be in Lethbridge later this week to discuss the situation with centre officials. Tractor rolls kills operator A 22-year-old Taber man was killed Monday evening when the tractor he was operating rolled in a ditch. Thomas John Chontosh was working in a field four miles southwest of Taber at the time of the accident. He was alone. Coroner Dr. B. B. Wiebe has ordered an autopsy, but is un- decided about an inquest. RCMP are still investigating the accident. Female teachers' pensions flattened and ready to haul away A Calgary firm hired by the provincial department of the environment Monday began its task of removing some 800 old car hulks from Marshall Auto Wreckers in Lethbridge. Navajo Metals Ltd. will squash the car bodies here then haul them to Calgary where they will be fed into a scrap metal shredder. The big squezze was caught by Herald photographer Rick Ervm. Female teachers who retired before 1970 are being treated unfairly in the pension benefits they receive, says the president of the local Retired Teachers' Association. James Wishart says the lower monthly payments paid to a female teacher by the teachers' retirement fund which administers the pension plan "from the standpoint of the in- dividual is unfair." Under the pension plan, worked out in the 1930s, females who retired before 1970 receive less in pension payments than their male counterparts. Pension payments are lower because women were rated on a different basis than men. It was assumed women had a longer life expectancy. In 1970, through a presentation by the Alberta Teachers' Association, the rating system was changed giving women teachers who retired after 1970 the same pension benefits as men. However, teachers who retired before this change are still rated as they were before. "Death is pretty uncertain for males or sayd Mr. Wishart. "Females should not be penalized when they have given the same quality of service as men." The retirement fund is a pool of contributions by teachers in the A'l'A and is helped by govern- ment contributions of about 70 per cent of the total paid out to teachers in the pension scheme. Van Van Orman, member of the retirement fund board, says the ATA legislative committee plans to meet with the department of education to once again present the case for retired teachers. The ATA had approached the govern- ment previously. The association expects to meet with the government before spring, he says. The government counters the ATA request by arguing the pensions are retroactive, not only for teachers but for persons in the public ser- vice. It als points to the cost in time and money of recalculating pension benefits to retired teachers. "If you start recalculating pensions, where would you draw the line? Will you have to go back to the first pension ever granted ending up with unlimited calculations and incalculable is the government's argument, says Mr. Van Orman. Retired teachers with an interest in pension plan changes have the same voting power as ac- tive teachers to elect representatives to the an- nual representative assembly, where association policy is formulated. The ATA legislative committee is empowered to approach the government in attempts to resolve the issue because of a resolution passed at the assembly. Mr. Van Orman says it "is still the policy of the ATA to try to get in spite of the government's reaction thus far.