Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Vera!

My wife and I had the pleasure of joining Vera Schmaltz's family in wishing her a very Happy 80th Birthday this past weekend!  Saturday's Open House at our Community Centre was packed with well-wishers!  Later, just the family got together for supper.

Vera has been a mainstay of our community for quite a while, and shows no signs of slowing down!  Here's a few places you've seen Vera around Beiseker;

She has been a Village Councillor. 
She was affectionately known as "Mother Hen" when she served on our Beiseker Volunteer Fire Department. 
She has worked as a parent volunteer at our school. 
She worked at the Village Office, the banks and at the Medical Centre here in town. 
She is our faithful prompter at Stage East. 

Vera has held positions on our Emergency Management Committee and is very active within her church, just to mention a few!

And during all of that she raised four fantastic kids with her husband, the late Tony Schmaltz, here in Beiseker!  If there were ever to be a title of "Mrs. Village of Beiseker", Vera would be one of the first chosen to claim it!

Happy Birthday Vera, and many more!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beiseker History: Floods!

Flooding on Beiseker's Main Street, 1914.
Glenbow Archives
T.L. Beiseker and his group of land speculators from the United States sold the land around what is now the village of Beiseker to eager settlers wanting new farmland.

When it came down to picking a site for the new town, they looked around at the options.  They needed a site that was adjacent to the then-new Canadian Pacific Railway right-of-way, and near the proposed Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (now, CN) right-of-way.  It had to be reasonably flat and preferably not saleable as farmland.

They chose here!  The site where the village now sits was a lowland, with small sloughs and wetlands.  It dried up every year, but it was sometimes too late to seed a crop.

Fill was brought in, buildings were constructed and the village grew. 

Unfortunately, the two railways interrupted the natural flow of water through the area, and on heavy run-off years (or after big storms) Beiseker always flooded.  There was many years where Main Street flooded.  In fact, there was a year when over a metre of water flooded Main Street in front of the King George Hotel, where the hardware store is today.

There is an myth of an unfortunate individual who staggered drunk out of the King George Hotel tavern, fell in the water and drowned, right there on Main Street.  I have yet to find any facts to back up this story.

In the 1950s, with the help of provincial funding, a drainage channel was built around Beiseker, just south of town.  That solved the severe flooding problems.  Because most of downtown Beiseker was built on a flat lowland, there are still some small problems with water pooling even today.  Practically every direction out of downtown Beiseker is uphill.  The only good flowing water channel is that one built over 60 years ago.  

Now that system is being burdened by water coming into Beiseker from Rocky View County lands, north of town.  If I had a chance to go back in time and talk to Mr. Beiseker, I'd advise him to build his town on higher ground!  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Does the Water Smell Funny?

We have received a few questions at the Village Office about the smell of Beiseker's tap water.  Some of you have noticed an "earthy" smell or taste to the water these past few weeks. 

This can happen this time of year, especially in drier summers when the flow in the Red Deer River is at its lowest through the year. 

Our water is treated three times before it comes out of your home taps.  The Town of Drumheller treats it before it goes to the Aqua7 Regional Water Services Commission (A7RWSC) treatment and pumping plant at Kirkpatrick, where it is treated again. 

The Village of Beiseker then treats the water a third time before it enters our distribution system here in town.

As a result the water is perfectly safe to drink and use.  We did get a note from A7RWSC a couple of weeks ago mentioning that this odor issue might happen.  Our water is chlorinated at each treatment point, so it can sometimes have a "bleachy" taste, too.

Again, the water is safe.  If that status changes, Aqua7 will inform us right away and we will inform you. 

This recent rain will help the situation as the river flow increases.  Remember, Beiseker and Irricana are at the end of the line so, water changes which happen at the Drumheller site can take a couple of days or more before we notice a difference here.

The best advice I've heard is to draw your drinking water and let it sit in the piture for a let the odors dissipate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

South Health Campus is great, but it's no Airdrie Hospital

A few weeks back I had an appointment at the new South Health Campus.  This is the new Calgary hospital located in the far south of the city.

Getting there was super easy; south on Stoney Trail and follow the "H" signs as you turn west.

There was a huge underground parking facility which is very easy to navigate.  All sections of the parking garage are given names like "Mountain" and "Forest," so it's easy to retrace your steps back to your car after your appointment.

Once in the hospital I was impressed by the quiet, serene atmosphere of the place.  I also noticed the place was absolutely spotlessly clean.  There was cleaning being done all the time we were there!

This is one beautiful hospital!

However, there is one huge problem with it.  It (or one like it) isn't in Airdrie!