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‘Tis the Season & Time to Think of Safety

On the North-American calendar, it is the beginning of The Season. That is, the Season of cooler temps and snow shovels taken out of their short-lived retirement, of corporate and family gatherings being planned, and Charities coming into the spotlight with spirited fundraisers… I offer sincere wishes to the devoted parents, administrators and eager youngsters involved in school fundraisers. Sausage or cookie batter, anyone?
 Some tasteful shopping destinations can be found in our own communities: craft sales and artsy boutiques support the year-round work and ‘inspired’ skills of many Alberta artisans and ‘crafters’. These individuals represent a Cottage Industry that goes about its business in a dignified and passionate fashion: it encompasses talented “artists” who express beauty and comfort in many genres, many tools of Arts and Crafts. In our Elevator Minute, we expanded on that topic, promoting local Christmas Craft Sales… Check them out: local calendars or a quick call to your community’s office should let you know the local shopping events to mark on your own calendar!
 Quality in arts and crafts leads me to think about quality in community service… Whether it’s at the reception desk of a Civic Centre (yes, Eleanor and Crystal rock!), or out there in the retail and hospitality world (Maryann at Zambelli’s, Dave at Jonathan’s and Tammy at Kennelli’s, you know it!), it’s always pleasant to receive the top quality service that some of us tend to expect. The world of Canada Post in the City (and Region) of Leduc has lost a sweet and hard-working ambassador: Jackie Sharpe who for many years, was the Main Attendant at the 7-11 Post Office and then at the Downtown location passed away recently, losing a proud battle with cancer. A country music lover, cheerful and caring, Jackie always found a moment to listen to her clients’ stories while delivering a professional service. She will be fondly remembered by her faithful clients, both urban and rural, and I was both!
 I have my own list of great Leduc & Wetaskiwin customer service and hospitality providers. I am not shy to mention them and I don’t expect a thank you from them, but I do hope that if you read this and you know this individual, you might want to shake his or her hand and say: “Hey! I read your name in the Pipestone Flyer, and I agree, you’ve given us great service!” Compliments and positive affirmation are certainly appreciated by those who ‘serve’ us.
 I have heard quite a few stories recently of criminal activities in our communities and our counties, and the concern and fear of the residents affected by the actions of nefarious characters. Night-time stalkers entering an unfinished garage, a doorknob broken off a friend’s house under renovation, blue bags split open and their contents scattered all over the street, vehicles keyed and riffled through: the list goes on! Well, allow me to share this: I am a believer in the “good works” of community activists who care about the safety of their community, knowing that police forces cannot be everywhere at all times.
 I want to give a heads-up to groups such as the Leduc Nighthawks, also called the Black Gold Citizens On   Patrol, and the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch in the County of Wetaskiwin (members of ACOPA.ca). They are dedicated volunteers who provide “extra eyes and ears” for the RCMP in a safe and controlled manner, and the way I see it, if more citizens offered one or two patrols per month, criminal activities might be reduced, and petty thieves would think twice about targeting our property… More citizen involvement in “supervising” their own streets and neighborhood would also create a sense of greater safety… Just sayin’!
 In researching a story, I found out that City of Wetaskiwin Mayor Bill Elliott recently attended a Twin Cities Conference in Japan: budget critics might overlook the fact that the City of Wetaskiwin has already hosted one of these conferences, attended by many Alberta officials and a large Japanese delegation (including some representatives of Ashoro, its twin city in Japan): the economic and global spinoffs of such a conference far exceed the cost of an elected official’s representation of our region. We wish Bill Elliott great success in promoting the charms and dynamic hospitality of this City, and look forward to the cultural opportunities he will help create.
 An interesting tidbit is that  when I looked up “Twin Cities of Canada” online, Wikipedia offered a list of Alberta towns that did not include Wetaskiwin, or Leduc! Hmmm… we will have to investigate this, and possibly help rectify it. Winnipeg is a real friendly city as it boasts twelve twin cities (!!), while Vancouver has six.
 I appreciate your friendly notes at dominique@pipestoneflyer.ca. Hope you’ll enjoy a fun Halloween and safe travels!

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