Friday, December 5, 2008

It Has Been A Tough Week

When one works in the media as I once did I can feel for all the reporters, and desk people who have had to endure this week, and all the news. We all waited with bated breath to see if we were going to be overturned, and run over by a bunch of bully's masked under the cloak of the coalition. The Governor General listened to us as tax payers and voters that made our decision some 7 weeks ago. I guess that is the reason why it is so important to get out and vote. This should be a lesson to all. We need to run with majority governments not minority's like we are limping along with now. Well hopefully this cooling off period, and some smart politicking between now and January 26 will save us from a major kerfuffle. As a reporter some of the assignments that have been generated from this has made the sale in coffee go up 10 fold I am sure.

Some of us that were following the Steinke trial the past 3 or so weeks have seen conclusion to a horrific tragedy. It took 12 peers 11 hours to find this person (I even have trouble calling this person a man) guilty. I am not sure how there could be any other decision, but it is like go to a decision in a prize fight. When it goes to the judges anything can happen. The only down side to this trial verses a prize fight.... in a fight you have the opportunity to TKO the vermin before the end of the match. Why can't we do that with people such as this. Now you might find me a bit twisted, I do feel sorry for this pukes mother. When women have kids they never imagine that their bundles of love are going to go down in history as one of the biggest murders in Alberta and possible one of the top 10 in Canada if not the World. She is going to beat herself up after each breath she takes until the end. That if she would only... things might have been different. Well I can say it is not your fault! In today's society there is enough stop gaps if the person really wanted to get help to change their ways there is help out there! Now on Dec. 15th the media circus will begin in Medicine Hat as that is where the final sentencing will take place. Can't we do the tax payers a favor and just exterminate him? He is going to be 48 before he see's the light of day. Where is he going to be other then at the Gov't Tit looking for support as no one will ever hire him! Not to mention that the world will be alot different then it is now. Lets do the tax payer song I owe, I owe it is off to work I go to support the people that thinks we owe them a living!

Now as a freelance writer I still have ties to the main stream media world. One of the daily papers that I enjoy reading, and occassionaly report dor is Brooks On-Line. They had a very interesting article one day earlier this week. Now as most of you know I was a long term resident of Brooks Alberta. Now as I have said I consider it my home town more or less. I will say it is not the same town I grew up in. I think that we all can say that due to the big boom especially in Western Canada their is not many towns that we grew up in are still the same. Especially towns located along the trans-canada hi-way. Change is not necessarily a bad thing at times though. Now having a fresh set of eyes looking at a situation is sometimes just what we need to get a new prospective on a situation. Recently Brooks did just that. They brought in FICE now that stands for Fresh Impressions Community Exchange. Now these folks come in and look at your town, talk to people, and then write a report based on their observations. Now sometimes things are pointed out that long term residents would not normally see. It is like living with a family memeber, and then if Grandma has not seen you for a long time says oh how you have changed since I last seen you. Well you might not notice because you see yourself every day. Though fresh eyes all sorts of new things can be brought to light. Now you have to be prepared for some constructive critisim. Again in order to grow to a better place you have to know what you need to change to make things better. Now I must admit I found this submission very intersting. If you live in Brooks the talk of the town is two things. 1. The smell of the city 2. Why is the crime rate so high. I would like to add a disclaimer. Crime is present in Brooks, but I will say I think the media has just picked up on it more. I am going to share part of the report with you, because of all the things that the outside group commented on about Brooks having a high crime rate was not one of them. Here is the report:
Much of the FICE (First Impressions
Community Exchange) report has been made public already after it was
reported in the weekly papers and to Brooks
Council on Monday. What the group from
Cochrane noticed when they came to Brooks
didn’t come as a surprise to many who live here.
We can see the short falls ourselves.

What the Cochrane group didn’t bring
up in either the written report or with the one on
one vocal presentation is how we think our crime
is a problem and a concern for outsiders. That
didn’t even show up on their radar.
Listed below are random comments from the FICE
report. The Brooks Economic Development
committee has the detailed report.

  • Industrial looking main drag, similar to that of
16th Aveneue in Calgary.

  • Older homes are nicely kept with big trees in
residential areas.
  • Hanging baskets and banners are very
  • The name says “City”, but it still very small town
in appearance.
  • While there are many signs promoting a range of
things, there will little in the way of consistency.
  • The Brooks sign was almost burred in grass.
  • Coming in from Cassils was a pleasant surprise
with the tree lined road.
  • Stunning tree lined streets in older parts of town.
  • For some on our team, the odour from the
packing plant would be a deterrent to move to
  • Quite a bit of low income housing appeared to be
grouped together.
  • The apartment blocks we noticed were not
terribly attractive.
  • Generally people were happy with the level of
education available and the proximity to the
  • The Global Friendship/Immigrant Centre is a
wonderful service to have available in a
community with so much ethnic diversity.
  • There appeared to be a strong presence of police
and bylaw officers.
  • There were numerous store fronts that were
closed or boarded up.
  • A variety of stores downtown, but really nothing
of a speciality nature that would serve to draw
visitors to downtown. Stores downtown were
  • We found parking to be quite good, especially
with the parking lots.
  • The fact that Brooks has industrial land available
is a big plus these days when so many communities
are struggling.
  • There was signage that promoted Brooks was a
Communities in Bloom community, but the beds
were in poor condition.
  • Items such as drinking fountains and garbage
cans were not really visible.
  • As for tourism, it didn’t appear to be a strong
sector in the community.
  • Found some of the staff to be unsure of the
location of some facilities in town.
  • Brooks presents itself as a fairly clean
community. Low in litter.
  • The entrance sign from the west, the feedlots
(smell) and the very commercial strip gave a
negative first impression

Now all and all I thought it was a good honest report. Now you can walk around with blinders on, and say these points were not fair. I think every comment was very honest, and I hope the powers to be take heed of these comments and do something.

So next time you want a honest unbiased opinion use a total stranger that is willing to give you their opinion, you might be pleasently surprised of the out come.

Well it is weeks end all we can do is hope the next week is better then this one. The year end is coming in quickly. I will talk in the coming days about not getting caught up in the whole idea of the giant commercialism of Christmas.

Until then.....Be kind to your web footed friends as a duck may be somebodies mother...

As Red Green says if women can find you handsome, they better be able to find you handy..Oh No I am really in trouble! I am not handy or

Have a great weekend everyone!

From The Big Ape

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