Archive for the 'News' Category

Common Household Problems That Need to Be Taken Seriously

[this post originally appeared as an article in the Lethbridge Journal in September 2010]

Many people in Lethbridge own homes, and have peace of mind in the fact that their homes provide comfort after a long day of work. However, many homeowners only focus on their homes cosmetic problems, and unless you have an eye for such things, you may not notice things that could develop into real problems.

“People tend to worry about the little things, like a loose shingle, or hairline cracks in their stucco, which are all minor things,” said Jean Greer, from Greer Home Builders in Lethbridge. “We tend to forget that houses are made of wood and things that shrink and move. Our houses are built on soil, and our houses need to move and crack a little bit.”

A lot of systems built into our household walls and underneath the floors allow for many of the luxuries we take for granted, and it’s important to have them looked at once in a while.

“We have to do the basics, like vacuum out your furnace filter, make sure your eaves troughs are clean,” said Greer. “Really think about the mechanical system that runs your house. “Think about the plumbing, and the stuff that’s hidden in those walls is what really makes our homes comfortable.”

Pillar to Post, a home inspection company in Lethbridge, was kind enough to share a list of common concerns to watch out for, which includes improper electrical wiring, and old plumbing.

There are many other structural concerns that need to be looked after, such as foundation cracks and split floor joists. Floor joists are the pieces of wood that support the floor and hold up its weight.

An outdoor concern is unkept yards, such as trees that are up against the house, which can cause grading, but is more common with 40 or older year old homes, not with newer homes due to less trees on properties.

According to Pillar and Post, grading and drainage on the outside of homes are the most frequent root problem of household aggravations.

“Grading is basically the dirt up against the house, or landscaping up against the house,” said Mike Hemmerling, a Home Inspector with Pillar to Post. “You want to make sure you have a good slope away from the home so water can’t pool. If water can pool at the home, water will eventually get into the home.”

Other outdoor concerns include doors or windows that are not properly sealed or caulked from the elements, allowing water or air in.

Roof damage caused by old or worn out shingles can cause leaks, and improper flashing. Flashing is metal or rubber pieces that create a seal between the shingles and things on the roof such as vents or chimneys.

We often think to repair or fix household problems that we are aware of, but it’s important to research other possible problems, and even have a home inspector analyze our homes, so smaller issues don’t turn into big problems.


Upcoming Events at the Galt Museum – repost of article

[this post was originally an article in the Lethbridge Journal in October 2010]

Halloween is quickly approaching, and the Galt museum has three nights of fun for the whole family to enjoy, including two movie nights, an interactive movie event, and tours of the old hospital building. They also have an artifact fundraiser event happening.

“I’d like to focus on our Halloween events,” said Anine Vonkeman, Marketingnd Communications Officer at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge. “We have our Movie Madness [event]. We have two nights of movie marathons, and the third night is the Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

The first two nights are $10 for each person per night, and $18 for the third night. Tickets can be purchased at the Galt Store. Admission for all three nights can be purchased for $30 per person, but only until October 27th.

The first night, called Bite Night, will feature 5 Dracula movies from 4:30pm until approximately 1am.

“On Thursday the 28th,” said Vonkeman. “It features the movies of Dracula. The doors open at 4pm. The screening time starts at 4:30pm. We have all of the movies online with specific screening times.”

The second night is called Zombies Galore and will feature 4 movies from 5:30pm until about 1am. The 30th will have an interactive showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“On Saturday, October 30th, we have the Rocky Horror Picture Show,” said Vonkeman. “It’s the third year that we are offering this. Doors open at 9pm, movie starts at 10pm. We usually have constume contests before the movie starts, which is for both Halloween characters and Rocky Horror Picture characters.”

“The tickets for that include all of the props, when it rains, we spray water, and when there’s a toast to the bride, we throat toasts.”

“For either night, you can come and go as you please,” said Lori Harasem, Events Coordinator at the Galt Museum. So, if there’s one movie you don’t want to see, you’re more than welcome to leave (and come back). We will be running a concession and bar on both nights.”

On Halloween itself, the museum is partnering with Trap Door Artists Run Centre, and for an event called Macabre Museum.

“We will have tour guides who will be providing tours of the hospital building part of the museum, the part that is 100 years old, said Harasem. “Instead of doing the hospital tour just as we normally provide, the focus will actually be on the paranormal experiences of people who have been in the building have told us.”

“We have a psychic coming in that will be reading the artifacts and telling what energy [she gets] from the artifacts and tell us a bit of story about who owned them. That event is $10 and the evening starts at 7pm.”

From November 1st to the 30th, the Galt is holding a fundraiser auction on a website they’ve had specially created,

“Adopt an artifact is an online fundraiser that you can bid online and watch other people bid,” said Vonkeman. ”This year we have 23 items up for bid. These are all selected from our collection.”

“The only thing is that you don’t actually get to take the artifact home. We take care of the artifact at the museum. We do give you the adoption certificate, photo, and description of the item. You get a chance to get a behind-the-scenes tour of our collection in 2011.”

In addition to the Galt’s special events, they also have regular organized programs.

“For seniors, Wednesdays at the Galt,” said Vonkeman. “For families, Saturdays at 1pm. We have a special event coming up where we have Galt nurses reminiscing about their time at the Galt hospital.”

Anniversary of 9/11

Five years after the September 11 attacks killed 2,973 people, the country’s mood is awash in emotions, balancing resolve with vulnerability, a need to remember with a desire to move on.
It’s been five years since the Sept. 11 terror strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, yet most Americans still believe more terror attacks on their country are imminent.
Experts say it’s the psychology of terrorism that causes it to command so much attention in the media and the national psyche — a fact that has been "milked relentlessly" by the administration of U.S. President George Bush.
It was a disaster. About that, there is no debate. The planes that crashed in New York and Pennsylvania and Washington five years ago tomorrow plunged the United States into crisis and a disbelieving sense of tragedy.
It would be comforting to leave the sentence like that, with its sad but reassuring past tense. This anniversary will be marked with formal solemnity and, for the victims’ families, sweet, sad recollections.

Steve Irwin Passes Away

Steve Irwin, famous for being the ‘Crocodile Hunter’, and watched by millions around the world for years, died on Monday, September 4, at approximately 12 noon Australia time. He was filming a sequence for a new tv series dedicated to his daughter, Bindi, 8. He was underwater, and was unexpectedly stabbed in the heart by a sharp ‘barb’ from a Stingray known as the ‘Bull Ray’. He went unconscious after only minutes and after an hour of trying to revive him, he was pronounced dead by his crew. His body was taken to mainland Australia, where his family would meet them. His wife, Terri, daughter and son, were vacationing in Tasmania when they heard of the news.
Discovery Channel has announced they will continue to air the Crocodile Hunter tv series. In his honor, they will rename the sensory garden outside their headquarters after him. They have also converted the tv show pages into a tribute to Steve Irwin, and are allowing fans to post condolensces and comments. They have also aired an hour-long tribute to Irwin on Tuesday, Sept 5.
"His unscripted narration was punctuated with “Crikey!” and “ Look at this beauty!” Many called him a thrill seeker, but he called himself a wildlife warrior. He was in fact a highly knowledgeable natural historian, whose mission was to educate people by enthusing them."
Although I did not know Steve Irwin personally, I knew him through his tv show. He was controversial, but anyone who strives to make a difference in the world usually is. "“If you can’t get wilds into people’s hearts”, he said, “then we haven’t got a hope in heck of saving them — because people don’t want to save something they don’t know.” —TimesOnline  He deeply knew and respected the animals he dealt with, and although they are dangerous, he put his life on the line fearlessly and with imense enthusiasm. He and his wife Terri dedicated their lives to educating others on wild animals. I had and will forever continue to have a great deal of respect and admiration for Steve, and what he lived for. He was truly one of a kind, in every way.
CTV Video Tribute 4:54 (disable popup blocker)
Rest In Peace, Mate.                Steve Irwin 1963 – 2006


Student Sues CDI College


"Ontario resident Aaron Laforest was tired of dead end jobs. When he saw the career training advertised by CDI College in Sudbury, he thought it sounded perfect. He enrolled in a 49-week program, to become a Network and Internet Security Specialist. It was, he claims, a waste of time.

"You sit there and read," Laforest told CTV. "This was pretty much a correspondence program that was overpriced — where you could have easily sat at home and done the same job on your own."

Laforest received high marks. However, he quit the program before it was completed. He’s now suing CDI for $10,000, alleging "false advertising and misrepresentation." Laforest claims, in his lawsuit, "There has been no teaching received throughout this program.""


Oilers bound for Stanley Cup final

source: Edmonton Sun
                                     As the city gears up for the Oilers’ first Stanley Cup final appearance in 16 years, Mayor Stephen Mandel will meet with top police officials this week to plan a crackdown on Whyte Avenue hooligans. And they’ll even consider a total ban on the unruly Stanley Cup playoff post-game celebrations.




Toronto Transit Strike

                          About 800,000 commuters in Canada’s largest city were forced to find other ways of getting to work Monday as transit employees walked off the job. Subway stations were locked and buses and streetcars remained parked in garages while confused commuters scrambled to find alternate routes to work.
source:  video
                           There was little warning of what the TTC called "an illegal job action" by its 800 maintenance workers before the city’s subways, streetcars and buses were idled between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. EDT. Toronto’s temperature was forecast to hit 30 C on Monday, aggravated by humidity and smog, which was expected to make walking an uncomfortable option.



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