Trouble on Highway 15 this summerNEWS/Entries/2017/6/21_Trouble_on_Highway_15_this_summer.html
Fyfe felt Order of Canada for the birdsNEWS/Entries/2017/6/21_Fyfe_felt_Order_of_Canada_for_birds.html
Lions build dock at fishing pondNEWS/Entries/2017/6/21_Lions_build_dock_at_fishing_pond.html
Coop barbecue supports athletesNEWS/Entries/2017/6/21_Coop_barbecue_support_athletes.html

Volume 22, Number 24, Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Veteran candidatejoins race

It is easy to simply say no to the skateboard park expansion.

City Council has already given the project $250,000 of the $500,000 needed and the volunteer group in charge has raise $150,000, but is having trouble raising the last  $100,000.

So what? Who cares? It’s just another special interest group looking for an even bigger handout.

More importantly, as one of my favourite Councillors said last week, giving any more might easily lead to a storm of requests.

The Fort Saskatchewan Skateboard Society is just another special interest group. So are the Friends of the Traders, Fort Saskatchewan Minor Football, Fort Saskatchewan Minor Hockey, the Piranhas Swim Club and many more.

The difference between the skateboard group and most other sports group is organization. Skateboarding is not organized.

The other difference is that organized sports already receive massive local subsidies. Oh, I know parents pay a lot too. Too much, really, because it is almost impossible for any but the rich to afford many of these programs. But local hockey rinks cost us more than $1 million a year to operate — and that’s after parent fees. Harbour Pool costs more than another $1 million and the proposed new pool will cost more than $2 million a year. That doesn’t count what it cost to build, replace or renovate any of these facilities.

The skateboard park costs nothing to operate.

Zero.

That is also the cost of participating, which is another major point in favour of skateboarding.

Skateboarding deserves tax and charity dollars just as much or more than any other local sport. And asking for $500,000 once every 17 years is asking for next to nothing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

PTSD Awareness Day event in FortNEWS/Entries/2017/6/21_PTSD_Awareness_Day_event_in_Fort.html

Skateboarders deserve fair share

Veteran Fort Saskatchewan City Councillor Frank Garritsen is running for a third term.

The outspoken former jail guard has been an advocate for social services, championing the cause of a new home for Family First Society and the food bank.

He also championed greater transparency for Council expense spending, pushing through motions to put all Council travel expenses online on the City of Fort Saskatchewan website. Expense rules still need tightening up, and more items, such as the extra income Councillors get from sitting on some committees, still needing to be made public, Garritsen says.

He also feels his experience will be helpful in the coming term with so many Council members not seeking re-election. “It’d be nice to have some experienced people on Council dealing with important issues such as annexation.”

There are now eight candidates officially running for Fort Saskatchewan’s six Councillor seats. The seven other candidates are:

  1. Former City Councillor Mike Ferris

  2. Former senior city manager Gordon Harris

  3. Restorative Justice advocate Don Lehman

  4. Retired RCMP member Deanna Lennox

  5. Business owner Lisa Makin

  6. Sheeptown Players star Stuart McGowan

  7. NAIT instructor John Zabuik

Councillor Stew Hennig and Councillor Sheldon Bossert have said they will not be running again this October, while Councillor Arjun Randhawa is challenging Mayor Gale Katchur for her seat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017