Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: “Left in the dark”

Residents concerned about future of Pioneer Village

Pioneers Housing is pictured on Dec. 30, 2014.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Elsie Langhorne, 96, has lived in Pioneer Village for almost 23 years.

“I’m not moving,” she said.

Whether the residents of Pioneer Village will have to move remains to be seen. Pioneer Lodge provides 24/7 nursing care with 60 long-term beds and 14 short-term stay beds where as Pioneer Housing is a low-income seniors housing complex with 24 married housing units and 37 single housing units.

On Nov. 26, the residents of Pioneer Village received a letter from Bert Linklater, Five Hills Health Region (FHHR)’s senior vice president of operations. The Times-Herald obtained a copy of the letter.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Realigning, planning and impulse

By Lisa Goudy

The end of the year is nearly upon us.

Typically this is a time of year for reflection and goal setting for what to accomplish in 2015. Already I have heard of people who are planning ahead and sweeping the Christmas season under the rug, even though Christmas Day wasn’t even a week ago.

To be honest, I have mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, planning ahead is always important, but on the other, enjoying the moment is also always important to do.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Fostering bookworms this winter

Host of programs coming up at the library

By Lisa Goudy

From eBooks to paperbacks, Karon Selzer can’t wait to continue to offer new and fun programming.

“(I’m excited) to continue to grow our program offerings and trying to meet the needs of the community with regard to the information in various forms,” said Selzer, head librarian at the Moose Jaw Public Library.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Open for business

Snow Hut hit hard by road closure

The Snow Hut, located at 105 Home St. E., lost a lot of
business thanks to the closure of a section of Highway 2.
 Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

It’s only been a year since Terry Tian took over the Snow Hut and, for seven months, the main access road to the business was closed.

The small local business, which is a Laundromat, convenience store and ice cream and frozen dessert dealer is located at 105 Home St. E. It was directly affected by the closure of the underpass at Main Street South on Highway 2. The one-way street was first closed in June and just re-opened last weekend.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Safety first for Wakamow fun

(From left): Cindy and Jemimah Latrace skate on
the oval in Wakamow Valley on Dec. 23, 2014.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

There is no better way have fun in the winter than doing outdoor sports.

“I think that winter sports can be very healthy and very fulfilling for people to do. Nothing is better than going out,” said Margaret Moran, CEO of Wakamow Valley Authority.

“Nothing tires out kids by going out and playing in the winter. They not only come back with rosy cheeks, but they also use up a lot of energy so they tend to sleep better that night.”

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Local lawyer “delighted” to receive Queen’s Counsel appointment

By Lisa Goudy

It’s been 34 years since local lawyer Gail Wartman was admitted to the bar and now she will have a Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) designation.

“It’s something that probably most lawyers can hope for in their careers. It’s a recognition that you’ve done some good achievements in your practice,” she said. “It’s mostly the recognition that means a lot to us.”

Wartman, partner at the Moose Jaw branch of the McDougall Gauley firm, was one of 14 Saskatchewan lawyers who will receive the 2014 Q.C. designation, as announced by the provincial government on Monday.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Preparation prudent for winter travels

These are some of the preparedness items to take
along in the car before heading out for winter travelling.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Travellers need to head out prepared.

“The big thing is just to keep alert and keep it safe,” said Michael Brenholen, director of operations with St. John Ambulance. “Dress appropriately for the weather outside, not the climate inside.”

When travelling on snowy roads and in winter conditions, certain hazards might arise. Just in case, it’s good to include a shovel, blankets, booster cables and a first aid kit in the car. Keep them within easy reach.

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Staying fire safe for the holidays

It's important to test and make sure smoke
detectors are working on a regular basis.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

One of Cathie Bassett’s biggest holiday Christmas fire safety concerns is Christmas tree safety.

“Keep it watered daily because they’re thirsty and the more they get dried out, the more chance of them catching on fire,” she said. “Place it away from a heat source. That’s a fireplace, that’s a TV, that’s a space heater – anywhere where it’s going to be hot. Try to place your tree away from your heat source.”

Bassett, the public education officer with the Moose Jaw Fire Department, added fire safety is just as important in the holiday season as it is all year round.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Budget talk with Mayor Deb Higgins

By Lisa Goudy

Mayor Deb Higgins doesn’t see the point of raising taxes if residents can’t see the value of their tax dollars at work.

“For us to keep increasing taxes, my concern is that that’s inappropriate until we actually see some work being done,” she said. “They need to see some work being done, they need to see some improvements in the city before I think we can go back to them and ask for large tax hikes to dedicate strictly to infrastructure.”

She added the projects with money currently dedicated to infrastructure need to come to fruition before “we start getting ahead of ourselves.”

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Introducing a Sports Hall of Fame

Jody Hauta, director of parks and recreation, is
pictured at the Dec. 15, 2014 council meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

The Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame is now a municipal project.

“The Sports Hall of Fame will serve as a form to recognize and honour building builders, athletes, coaches and teams for their accomplishments and contributions to the sports community and history of Moose Jaw and district,” said Jody Hauta, director of parks and recreation.

“The committee is in the process of securing funding for the operation of the hall. They will be holding a media event to announce the hall in the near future.”

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Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Selling housing to fund housing

Coun. Don Mitchell speaks about his housing reserve
motion at the Dec. 15, 2014 council meeting. 
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Selling off family housing units is now an investment in future housing projects.

The City of Moose Jaw’s investment in family housing units dates back to 1953. Over the last 61 years, councils have invested in a part of the social housing cost in a municipal partnership with the province and the federal government. As inflation increased, so did the city’s investment.

When one of those units is sold, the city’s portion of revenue from the sale will now be transferred into the housing reserve fund as of a motion passed at Monday’s council meeting.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Bulk bin recycling options shut down

By Lisa Goudy

Residents hoping for council discussion during budget around options for bulk recycling bins will be disappointed.

At Monday’s council meeting, council defeated Coun. Don Mitchell’s motion to refer the options for bulk recycling bins discussed during capital and operating budget deliberations. It was his hope that councillors could discuss cost, scale and location in conjunction with decisions on single-stream curbside recycling.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Mountains of infrastructure deficit

Unfunded 10-year capital budget outlines $227 million in projects
City manager Matt Noble is seen at the Dec.
15, 2014 council meeting during budget talks.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

Matt Noble, city manager, and Brian Acker, director of financial services, describe the 10-year unfunded capital budget as “not a wish list, but rather a compilation of essential projects that will require funding” in their report.

The unfunded capital budget totals $226.91 million in capital projects.

“The past practice of deferring these expenses to the future will continue to result in the City being faced with major projects that become urgent and must be addressed. The more projects are pushed off to the future, the more urgent they become when they finally must be addressed,” said the report.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A tricky capital budget

Nearly $140 million in expenses set for the next five years

Brian Acker, director of financial services, delivers the
preliminary budgets at the Dec. 15, 2014 council meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

The City of Moose Jaw has set a new expenditure record in its preliminary capital budget.

The proposed 2015-2019 five-year capital budget $21.95 million of uncompleted works being carried forward, including transportation upgrades, CPR Dam replacement, multiplex capital upgrades, Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, the Buffalo Pound pipeline project, water and sewer main replacement and wastewater treatment upgrades.

There is $117.53 million in other expenses over the five-year period as well. That leads to a total of $139.48 million in expenses for the capital budget.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A proposed 3.62 per cent tax hike

Increases galore in preliminary 2015 operating budget

Council listens to the presentation of the
preliminary 2015 operating budget presented
at the Dec. 15, 2014 council meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Residents can likely expect to see a sizeable tax increase this year.

In the operating and capital budget reports from Matt Noble, city manager, and Brian Acker, director of financial services, presented to council at Monday’s meeting – the last council meeting of the year – it recommended an increase in taxation revenue of 3.62 per cent to make up for the $825,693-shortfall in the 2015 operating budget. This would mean residents would pay an additional $41 in property tax for 2015.

“(It) represents a budget which maintains the same programs and services as 2014 and also provides funding for several initiatives that are aligned with the city’s overall goals and needs,” said Acker.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Beginner and professional artists mingle at art market

Emmy Barr offers out a caramel apple at her Queen
of Caramel booth at the third installment of the
Moose Jaw Art Market on Dec. 13, 2014 at the
Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Emmy Barr, 20, is the Queen of Caramel and she has no intention to share her secret recipe.

“It’s my great-grandmother’s secret recipe so I don’t tell anybody what’s in it,” she said. “I have caramel apples and I have squares.”

On Saturday afternoon, for the second time, she had a booth set up at the third installment of the Moose Jaw Art Market downstairs in the library by the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery. It was her second time setting up there.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Singing into the Christmas spirit

Having a merry little Christmastime at singalong

Monica Deason (left), Sharon Church and Cameron
Church, along with students from Vanier Collegiate
and Peacock Collegiate, sing a Christmas song during
the Christmas singalong at the Mae Wilson Theatre
at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre on Dec. 13, 2014.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

From young to old, everyone left the Mae Wilson Theatre on Saturday night with that Christmas feeling.

From classics such as White Christmas and Sleigh Ride to traditional favourites like Silent Night and Away in a Manger, Saturday night’s Christmas Singalong was filled with a wide array of Christmas tunes. With a 28-song set list, the 70-person audience happily sang along at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.

“I’m so happy to see so many of you,” said Lorne Deason, accompanist and organizer of the Christmas Singalong.