Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 29, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The Lethbridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, September 29, 1973 Pages-9 to 18 A news analysis million economy boost, 500 jobs from urban renewal By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer Downtown Lethbridge is about to un- dergo the most profound change in its history; an urban renewal that is seen as producing both immediate and far- reaching benefits. Woodward's Lethbridge Centre pro- ject and the provincial government ad- ministration building will replace five square blocks of aging, and in many cases decaying buildings with a glittering, sparkling place to live, work, and shop. The most immediate gain to the local economy will be in the construction of the million Woodwards complex and the to million government building. Both jobs will begin after Jan. 1. Poole Construction Ltd. of Edmon- ton, which is handling the Woodwards project, has not completed estimates of the construction force it will require, but a spokesman says it will number several hundred men. It will be difficult to handle with the local labor market, the company of- ficial said. "There's no doubt that a good deal of the labor force will come from Calgary and elsewhere." Such was the case with the univer- sity, he said. Poole was the major contractor on that job. LABOR MARKET "Our experience at the university was that there was a fair pool of un- skilled labor and a good number of carpenters. "We had the most problems with the mechanical trades plumbers, electricians." The construction company spokesman said this could occur again especially since the go-ahead has been given for the massive Syncrude project at the Athabasca tar sands. That project, he said, could put a crimp in the labor market for some time. He also said the timing of the Woodwards project will require that it "start with a bang" and go ahead full steam in order to finish in the 20-month schedule. "Assuming the project is million, that's million a month, he said. "About one-third of that will be labor, and that's a lot of labor to put into a city of this size." When the project is finished and Lethbridge Centre opens its doors sometime in the fall of 1975, another 500 permanent new jobs will have been created, according to Dennis O'Connell, city economic development officer. Most of these jobs will be in the retaa business and since these tend to be second-income jobs, Mr. O'Connell sees the Woodwards development as an en- ticement to families considering mov- ing to Lethbridge because the chief bread-winner has already been offered a job by local industry. The Woodward's store and its accom- panying shopping mall is also being touted as enhancing the city's role as the major regional retail centre. More and more people from as far away as British Columbia, Montana and even as far north as Claresholm will shop here, Mr. O'Connell predicts, because of the diversity of choice in good and services. Locally, the development will change shopping patterns in the city, and while Mr. O'Connell and Jim Spoulos, presi- dent of the Downtown Businessmen's Association feel the opening of the new centre may adversely affect other retail businesses at first, the net result will be'beneficial to all. As Mr. O'Connell sees it, the new shopping centre will anchor the west end of downtown, the new Safeways will be another anchor, and Centre Village Mall another, creating traffic and pedestrian flow through the down- town area. UPGRADE AREA "We'll see a continual upgrading of the area because of this, says Mr. O'Connell. "Many downtown merchants already have plans to upgrade their shops. It will follow automatically." Mr. Spoulos said he couldn't see the new centre doing anything but good. "It will bring in new people from the region, he said. "A lot of guys panicked at first when Woolco's opened, but it only brought in more business for everyone. It was the same with Centre Village." "It's really going to help, particular- ly in that end of town." Mr. Spoulos also said he doesn't forsee too many stores moving from their present downtown location into the new shopping mall, although seme may consider opening another shop there. "You're looking at quite a difference in he said. The city is also going to gain con- siderably in taxes. City hall estimates the Lethbridge Centre development will be worth about to to city coffers annually, when it is com- Although city hall's assessment of- fice did not have the exact figures on hand, it termed the previous revenue from the area peanuts in comparison. CITY'S COST The run down nature of many of the buildings plus the fact there were several dwellings being taxed as residential property at a lower rate even though the land was zoned com- mercial, accounted for the dwindling tax base. All these benefits will not, however, have been achieved without some cost, although city officials look upon that cost as an investment. Aid. Vaughan Hembroff, who along with Deputy Mayor Cam Barnes handl- ed most of the negotiations with Woodwards and the province on behalf of the city, estimates the downtown redevelopment project has cost the city about million. This is a rough estimate, he says, and it includes about million in land costs not recovered in the sale of land to Woodwards and the government, near- ly for relocation of utilities in the downtown area and another to develop 10 acres of the Marshall property into a public parking lot as re- quired in the agreement with Woodwards. No firm estimate of the cost of this last commitment has been received Aid. Hembroff said, and it depends upon the amount of fill the city can truck to the site from the 6th Avenue S. bridge approaches. Woodwards will pay the city the cost of development of the parking lot up to in exchange for the land in 10 years time. Aid. Hembroff is confident the work won't come to more than but another source said preliminary es- timates showed it could cost a minimum of Whatever the cost, the city will have to also bear the interest charges over the 10 year period. At Alberta Municipal Finance Corp. rates of 8% per cent, just the simple interest would be per year. However the city did reduce by half the period Woodwards will have to pick up the 10 acres, in a deal that saw Woodwards get the land along two blocks of the west side of 2nd Street instead of in a westerly direction down the coulee. This, said Aid. Hembroff, also reduc- ed by half the costs the city will have to bear on the interest charges. It also means the city should have less coulee land to fill, reducing the cost of building the parking lot. One source had placed the estimated cost of converting the wreck-strewn coulee at the south end of the Marshall yard at as high as million. FRONTAGE But while the city is saving on development costs and interest charges Woodwards is gaining frontage on a portion of 2nd Street between 2nd and 3rd-Avenues that will be adjacent to phase two downtown redevelopment. Council will soon be considering a development control bylaw for phase two, and Mayor Andy Anderson has said there has been considerable interest shown by developers in the area, sparked in a large part by the Woodwards development. "You won't recognize downtown in seven the mayor has predicted. One aspect of all this development is that land values downtown are ex- pected to escalate considerably. Woodwards paid the city for a little over 10 acres for its three-square block development. According to one observer, land is now worth an acre downtown. And he adds, the pattern set by Woodwards developments in other areas has been that land values triple within five years of it openings its doors. Dollars and cents aside, there are also what Mr. O'Connell refers to as spinoff benefits to the downtown redevelopment, which he says are im- portant in terms of the quality of life. Not the least of these is the removal of the Marshall Auto Wreckers yard from the heart of the city. VALID VIEW Both Woodwards and the province said there was no way they would go ahead with a junkyard next door, said Mr. O'Connell. "We were only too pleased to agree that their viewpoint was valid." The park that will eventually replace most of the wrecking yard will be much more compatible with the system of river valley parks now being planned by the city's river valley development committee, said Mr. O'Connell. Alcoholism centre director says Bed-pan count not doctors job The newly appointed direc- tor of the Henwood alcoholism treatment centre, near Ed- monton, said Friday that he was hired for his ad- ministrative ability, not because of any special knowledge of alcoholism. Herald editorial writer Jim Fishbourne said in an inter- view it would be "mis- employment" to put a doctor, who has spent seven years learning medicine, "behind a desk to shuffle paper." He pointed out that Promotions, parade set for local Air Cadet Week Lethbridge air cadets will celebrate Air Cadet Week next week, starting with a church parade at a.m. Sunday at Southminster United Church. A special promotions and awards parade will be held at Kenyon Field Armories at p.m. Tuesday. Capt. N. Bullied will announce promotions and present flying badges and certificates earn- ed during the summer camp program. Parents, members of 702 Wing RCAF Association, and all interested persons are invited to attend. Two Lethbridge cadets took glider training during the summer. One cadet went to Camp Borden, Ont., for athletics and leadership training, one took survival training at Camp Worthington, northwest of Ed- monton, and two at CFB Penhold. Thirteen boys attended summer camp at Penhold. Air cadets attempt to develop good citizenship and leadership ability in young men aged 13 to 18. There is no commitment to join the arm- ed forces, but some flying training is offered, and efforts are being made to increase the amount of flying and air training. Parades are held Tuesday evenings at p.m. at Ke- nyon Field Armories. wniie tne doctor was learning medicine, someone else was learning accounting or ad- ministration and was the proper person to administer an institution or do the bookeeping. "You don't have to be a brain surgeon or a pediatri- cian to fire a ward orderly, count the bedpans or pay the said Mr. Fishbourne. Mr. Fishbourne also said he did not yet have any specific plans, but would have to wait until he gained a larger knowledge of alcoholism before forming any. He said that he had held discussions with others in the field including the former director. Alcoholism, he said, is rated one of the top 10 diseases, and is "the most serious drug- abuse problem in the world. People who scream their bloody heads off about the price of hamburger will still get blasted Saturday night." He noted that while Alberta is rated one of the most ad- vanced places in the world in the field of alcoholism treatment, federal spending in this area amounts to less than one-tenth of one per cent of the amount collected in excise tax on liquor. Mr. Fishbourne previously held administrative posts at the University of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge. Spider under glass A Black Widow spider, to be precise. Like most spiders, the Black Widow is venomous, although their bites are rarely fatal to humans. But because getting bitten by a Black Widow is no laughing mat- ter and is considered serious, this little devil is en- closed alive in a glass cage near room D760, Uni- versity of Lethbridge. Lack of funds stalls health test centres By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer CALGARY Progress by the Alberta Medical Associa- tion to establish multi-phasic health testing centres for the general public has stalled in- definitely because of a lack of funds. Multi-phasic health testing revolves around a series of 20 tests given to people to deter- mine the general state of their health. "Up to this time, funds have not been obtained to un- derwrite the project. Until they are, the likelihood of its progressing further is the AMA board of directors report said. Dr. W. G. McPhail, newly- elected president of the AMA, said in an interview the con- cept of centres offering the service has been implemented in the United States but only for employees of certain com- panies. "We would, however, like to pioneer and use it for the general he said. Three association represen- tatives, including Dr. McPhail, came back from a San Francisco conference with the idea of setting up a multi-phasic health testing centre in Edmonton. But, the AMA could not interest the University of Alberta or the provincial government in the funding of the project. Dr. McPhail, who is deeply involved in the research for development of a centre, said initial cost could be a factor in the government's un- willingness to fund the pro- ject. "It is going to cost a lot of money we are not spending now. but in the long run it will be cheaper than the current testing he said. People who would be helped by the centre's health screen- ing would be those who are usually the last to see a doc- tor, such as the businessman. The centres would be es- tablished in downtown locations to make them accessible to this segment of society, he said. At present, the physician does not usually see them un- til a medical problem, such as ulcers, has already developed and little can be done exceot spend money on care. The centres would discover problems at an early stage decreasing the cost of treatment, Dr. McPhail ex- plained. Because of the large volume the centre would handle, the unit cost would be relatively low about rather than the present for a screen- ing of the multi-phasic type. The testing would include a list of questions with yes or no answers fed into a computer to form, a history profile. Blood and urine tests, and electrocardiograms would also be part of the testing. If a person fails on the in- itial screening, a more thorough examination would be recommended by their family doctor, he said. Despite the government's lack of interest in funding the initially-expensive program, the AMA is not worried because it will allow time to watch the U.S. model more closely and develop a more useful service. Dr McPhail said. Dr. McPhail was elected president nf the AMA at the annual meeting this week replacing James Oshiro of Coaldale. The Edmonton physician is the executive director of Glenrose Hospital. Taking over Dr. McPhail's previous position of president-elect was Dr. R. E. Hatfield, a private practitioner in Calgary. Acupuncture classed as research project CALGARY Despite in- creasing interest in acupunc- ture therapy, the Alberta Medical Association has decided to class it as a research project rather than an accepted treatment. The association finds the use of acupuncture very fascinating but to approve its use fully would be premature, former AMA president Dr. James Oshiro says. "In the province of Alberta, acupuncture should not be accepted as a treatment mechanism, but for the pre- sent it be classed as a research project under the medical a report from the college of Physicians and Surgeons council says. There may be considerable pressure from both the public and the media for the profes- sion in Alberta to undertake or advocate acupuncture, perhaps prematurely. Before the board of direc- tors stamp of approval can be given the technique, "they must be satisfied that acupuncture withstands scien- tific scrutiny through high- calibre research conducted in a western setting." Dr. Oshiro explains. Media, professional and public interest in acupuncture was stimulated this year by the visit of a delegation of physicians from the People's Republic of China, Dr. Oshiro says. "Because of this interest, because many persons in Alberta have made enquiries regarding where they might obtain acupuncture therapy and because a small number of Alberta physicians have ex- pressed interest in using this technique, the subject has been considered by both the board and the council of the Dr. Oshiro says. The board will maintain considerable interst in the subject and review its position as circumstances warrant, he added. Another area the medical association is view- ing with an "open mind" is the use of meditation as a techni- que to prevent and treat psy- choactive drug dependency The AMA committee on alcoholism and drug abuse has studied the Science of Creative Intelligence and Transcendental Meditation on a small scale. Dr. H A. Ar- nold committee chairman says. Such programs im- plemented in various in- stitutions on an individual or group basis have sometimes led to improvement in the drug-dependent patient. "We cannot give an answer on this type of treatment but we are sympathetic with any approach which might help drug dependency." the Lethbridge physician added. John Howard Society urges halfway centres fine for unsafe highway entry, 2 deaths Jim l-'is new position A Sylvan Lake man was fin- ed and costs in provincial court Friday for entering the highway when it was unsafe to do so. Donald Frederick McCutcheon, 40, was the driver of a gravel truck in- volved in a collision near Kipp July 23 in which Joseph Ondrik, 50, formerly of 1105 16 St. N., and his son, Timothy, 14, were killed. According to testimony at the trial, McCutcheon, who was entering Highway 3 from the Kipp road, had failed to sec the Ondrik vehicle approaching from the east on Highway 3. The outside rear- view mirror on his truck ap- parently caused a blind spot, court was told. In finding the accused guilty, Provincial Judge L. W. Hudson said McCutcheon should have been aware of the blind spots on his truck. The establishment of residential centres, to help former prison inmates re- establish useful lives in society, has been proposed by the John Howard Society of Alberta. The proposal, made to the society's board of directors meeting in Calgary Saturday, says non-custodial facilities could be used as temporary accommodation by former prisoners who have served their sentence. "Each residential centre would provide post-release lodging, food, suitable clothing where necessary and other essentials for the seek- ing of employment. As well, psychological testing, group therapy or psychiatric con- sultation would be a society news release says. The society urges full integration of the residential centres with the work of the police, courts, parole and probation authorities and preventive programs. "A key part of the proposal is that the prisoner himself would be able to select the type and location of centre most suitable for his par- ticular rehabilitation plan." the society said. The proposal suggested a combination of private and government funds be utilized for the capital cost of es- tablishing a residential centre.