Dozens of community members dolled-up in their best red dress and came together to run around Henderson Lake July 1 morning for the 12th annual Running in a Red Dress to help raise money and food for the Interfaith Food Bank.
The five kilometre run has become an annual staple to kick off the morning of Canada Day festivities around Henderson Lake, and dozens of runners got together for the community run.
“The Running in the Red Dress started as both a community builder, as well as a fundraiser for the Interfaith Food Bank,” says Eva Gorny, race director. “People are encouraged to come and bring a food donation or a monetary donation for the food bank, but also it is a bit of a spectacle with everyone showing up in red dresses, lifting that community spirit and getting people out to start their Canada Day in style. It is something a little bit different. How often do you come out for a run and people are wearing tight red dresses or anything like that?”
The Interfaith Food Bank loves being a part of the Running in a Red Dress event every year, not only for the assistance of filling the pantry for local individuals and families in need of food, but also for the entertainment value of watching their participants make their way around the lake in their bright and tight red dresses.
SAGE Clan offers to help
The Lethbridge SAGE Clan has been making their rounds through Lethbridge to assist the vulnerable population living on the streets for the last year.
And through their efforts they have been able to make the dangerous life of being homeless at night a little better through their support, connections and supplies.
The SAGE Clan is a community organization that was initiated by Mark Brave Rock, who went to Winnipeg with a team to learn more about the Bear Clan Patrol and how they have been operating since 1992 to assist the homeless population. The SAGE Clan is modelled after the Bear Clan and works to be a community-based solution to crime prevention, providing a sense of safety, solidarity in a non-violent, non-threatening and supportive manner, primarily through relationship building and reconciliation.
“The main purpose and the drive for what the SAGE Clan and what they are doing is a lot of the members have seen their loved ones or family members impacted by life on the streets and they want to be able to build connections and help individuals find supports that they are needing,” says Shannon Hansen, Housing First program specialist with the City of Lethbridge.
Volunteers sought for The Watch
The Lethbridge Police Service is recruiting for up to 20 volunteers for The Watch program.
Potential recruits need to be a minimum of 18, and be wanting to make a difference in the community and test drive a career in policing or social services.
“Since its inception in early May, The Watch has been welcomed with open arms downtown and we are excited to expand the program,” said Jeff Hansen, Watch manager, in a news release Wednesday.
Recognizable by their red shirts and coats, Watch patrollers are deployed seven days a week to enhance public safety and connect citizens with the appropriate response from police, EMS or social and community services. Watch volunteers are connected directly to LPS by radio and patrol downtown Lethbridge in teams.
They are responsible for reporting criminal activity, safety concerns, traffic hazards, nuisance behaviour, keeping a daily record of all incidents and activities, providing first aid, tourist information and Safe Walk services.
LPS says all volunteers will be provided with comprehensive training including non-violent crisis intervention, street awareness and patrol safety tactics, CPR and first aid, diversity awareness, citizen powers of arrest, report writing and note-taking, mental health awareness, occupational health and safety, and more.
City man puts worries aside to help others
A week ago, Brian Shields learned he has kidney cancer. If it has spread, the prognosis for his future may be grim.
But despite facing his mortality, Shields still staged a picnic for seniors on July 4 with cockatoos he works with as therapy birds.
Shields, 44, works primarily with residents of Edith Cavell Care Centre and St. Therese Villa supportive living facilities with his two birds, Baby and Taz. He became known in the city for his work with bird Abby, a cockatoo who escaped years ago and died after becoming jealous of a new arrival to Shields’ home.
As elderly patrons waited outside the Fish and Game Association meeting hall in Kinsmen Park to eat pizza and interact with the birds, they did so oblivious to the life-and-death struggle facing Shields, who has lived in Lethbridge since 1986.
“I can’t sit in the corner and cry,” said Shields while driving to his northside home to pick up the birds July 4.
After the diagnosis, Shields jumped on his Kawasaki sports bike and drove to Regina to tell his son in person.
“It’s not the kind of thing I could tell him over the phone.”
The cancer was discovered after Shields went to a doctor about what he thought were kidney stones, which he’s had before. Tests showed otherwise — he has a cancer that usually doesn’t show any symptoms.
“I have a reasonable chance if it’s restricted to the kidney. If it’s spread. . .” said Shields, shrugging his shoulders.
Friendship set in stone
The City of Lethbridge unveiled a public art gift from Lethbridge’s Twin City, Saint-Laurent, Que., the afternoon of July 1, to commemorate the 52-year friendship between the two cities.
The Migratory gift is now on display along Mayor Magrath Dr. South in front of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden and displays a group of geese dragging a large stone through the ground, and symbolizes the effort it takes to keep the friendship strong between the two cities.
“Saint-Laurent representatives are here and we are celebrating together a relationship that is now 52 years,” says Mayor Chris Spearman. “This was a gift from the City of Saint-Laurent to the City of Lethbridge two years ago to acknowledge the twinning relationship we have and it is a beautiful piece of art. It is a rock, it is a legacy, it is something we will always be able to look at and we will continue to celebrate that relationship with Saint-Laurent.”
The new art piece was an exchange for another art piece which will be installed later this year, and were both made by local artists who wanted to take a piece of each sculpture and embed it into the other. Strengthening the friendship between the two cities in an important part of each of their history, and the public art is a way to celebrate the relationship.
Researchers get funding
Three University of Lethbridge researchers have received $2.4 million in new and renewed funding through the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program, U of L officials have confirmed.
Matthew Bogard, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has been named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Environments. Andrew Iwaniuk, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Comparative Neuroanatomy, and Louise Barrett, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour, have received renewed funding, the U of L said in a news release.
Bogard will join the U of L on July 1 from the University of Washington, where he’s been doing post-doctoral work. As a biogeochemist, he studies how elements like carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycle through aquatic ecosystems.
“I want to use the Oldman River basin as a model system to understand how watershed disturbances impact the functioning of the biogeochemistry of aquatic networks,” said Bogard, in the release. “I also want to understand how humans are changing the food web and what impact that has on the biogeochemistry. If we’re adding too many nutrients, for example, or changing how the water flows through the landscape, that will impact the functioning of the ecosystem.”
Free concerts planned
It’s a 30-year anniversary celebration. And everyone’s invited. The Lethbridge Twinning Society is presenting two free concerts, marking its three decades of hospitality and visits.
Japanese singer-songwriter Makoto Sakurada — featured recently at Carnegie Hall in New York — will be performing here on July 16 and then in Calgary on July 20.
Admission will be free, with donations welcome, but seats can be secured now by phone at 403-330-6119 or online at visit http://www.lethbridgetwinningsociety.com.
The Yates Centre concert and the follow-up event at the Cardel Theatre in Calgary are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Sakurada, an accomplished musician, songwriter and singer performs, in both English and Japanese. He hails from Towada City, one of Lethbridge’s four “sister” or “twin” cities, and he’s frequently seen on Japanese National Television.
New pot stores open
More marijuana shops are welcoming Lethbridge shoppers.
But although the provincial regulator is no longer restricting licences, there are still no shops in communities elsewhere across southwestern Alberta.
Faced with supply issues, the Alberta Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Commission had stopped approving new retailers by the end of 2018. Now, with that problem reduced, it had issued 156 licences by the start of July.
Newly opened in Lethbridge are Fire and Flower Cannabis in the Fairway retail plaza, and Nirvana on Columbia Boulevard West. That brings the city’s tally to nine shops including locally owned independents as well as outlets for large chains like Fire and Flower, NewLeaf Cannabis, Spiritleaf and Canna Cabana.
Five are located along Mayor Magrath Drive, three on the westside and one downtown. So far, no licences have been issued for a northside retailer.
Supercluster grant awarded
A Taber hemp farm and its research partners have been chosen as the first ever recipients of a Protein Industries Canada Supercluster grant.
Federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced the government would be providing a $4-million matching grant to Taber-based Rowland Farms, Corteva Canada and Botaneco to help develop the processing abilities of the Canadian oilseeds industry.
“They were looking to stimulate parts of the economy Canada could become global leaders at,” explains Rowland Farms general manager and chief financial officer Keith Jones, “and one of things we saw in our business is demand for plant protein products start to expand. The whole idea behind the supercluster projects is these are industry-led research projects. They are meant to drive innovation and create new economic undertakings and create jobs.”
Jones says the supercluster grant will allow his company and its partners to drive oilseed protein research to a whole new level.
“We have been really interested in creating additional high-value crops,” says Jones, “and adding value to crops. We’re a large grower of a whole bunch of different grains, oilseeds and pulses, and we have grown industrial hemp for the past 20 years.”
OHV use approved by County
Now it’s legal. Off-highway vehicles may be operated on Lethbridge County roads.
Thousands of them are owned by county residents, says Reeve Lorne Hickey, and it’s likely many have been used on county roads contrary to provincial highways law.
But many Alberta counties have approved bylaws that permit their use, subject to safeguards, and Hickey said residents have been requesting a similar bylaw here.
“I’ve been asked many times,” he said July 4. “I bet almost every farm has one.”
The reeve said irrigation farmers and livestock growers often use an off-highway vehicle instead of a pickup truck on their daily rounds.
Hickey joined a majority on county council which gave third reading Thursday to a new Off-Highway Vehicle Control Bylaw, by a 4-2 vote. No county residents asked to speak for or against the legislation, but officials said a number of “likes” had been posted on social media.
During debate, some councillors expressed concern for the safety of off-highway vehicle operators when travelling along well-used rural roads. Others pointed out they’re already widely used on county roads.
UNESCO honours area park
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Origination (UNESCO) has announced the addition of Writing-on-Stone/Aisinai’pi as a new World Heritage Site at the 43rd session of its World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The nomination was prepared by the Government of Alberta in partnership with the Blackfoot Confederacy and with ongoing support from the Government of Canada.
“Writing-on-Stone/Aisinai’pi is the site of many natural wonders and a testament to the remarkable ingenuity and creativity of the Blackfoot people,” says Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, in a release. “It’s easy to see why the site is seen by many as an expression of the confluence of the spirit and human worlds. I hope all Albertans will take the time to explore this extraordinary part of the province and all it has to offer.”
Writing-on-Stone/Aisinai’pi contains the most significant concentration of protected First Nations petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) along the Great Plains of North America, with some of the carvings and paintings dating back 2,000 years. Currently, more than 60,000 people visit the historic site each year to experience the landscape and rich history.
Coaldale celebrates 100 years
Residents and visitors from surrounding communities celebrated Coaldale’s 100th anniversary with a variety of activities over the weekend, with the annual Settler Days.
The weekend celebration kicked off Friday evening with a family barbecue, Big Equipment Show and Shine, games and a double feature movie in the park.
Saturday was filled with family friendly fun, starting with the annual Candy Parade in the morning, where hundreds of children watch dozens of parade floats go by and distribute candy collected by kids to have later. Later in the day, families were able to attend a party in the park with live entertainment, family lounge, and a wide range of kids activities.
Saturday evening finished with a large fireworks display, which the Town brought in special for the centennial.