News | DrumhellerMail - Page #9
04222018Sun
Last updateFri, 20 Apr 2018 5pm

Kilo of Kindness caters to less fortunate

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Kilo of Kindness is a program started and supported but the Community Building  Initiative (CBI) to bring awareness of hunger in our local community. A recent Social Needs Assessment done in Drumheller that food insecurity and food costs are currently a concern locally. In an attempt to help the Salvation Army food bank during a slow season and the lead up to Easter, Kilo of Kindness came to be. It was with the help of the 3 local schools in Drumheller, as well as the Pioneer Trail Seniors Center who made several of the bags, that a Half Ton of kindness was given not just a Kilo.  At the donation are (l-r) Ayesha Rehan, Gratia Keller, Hayes Armstrong, Everrett Weir, James Mendoza, Sophia Brost and Celeste Shrock.

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Pilot tourism project makes Drumheller main focus

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    Travel Drumheller, Drumheller & District Chamber of Commerce (DDCC), and the Town of Drumheller have teamed up to drive the economy in a positive direction through tourism.
    A pilot project called the Tourism Industry Business Retention and Expansion (TIBRE) survey initiated by the provincial government’s Culture and Tourism department is set to begin within a couple of weeks to determine the current status of tourism within Drumheller and how the tourism industry affects the population as a whole.
    “Drumheller is one of the great rural communities that actually has a legitimate world class product,” said Travel Drumheller Marketing Consultant Alyssa Barry. “We have the geography, we have these world class attractions and so from a product perspective we are already there so it’s kind of a nice baseline to look at in terms that the community is a tourism destination.”
    Step one is to implement a survey with local business owners directly or indirectly affected by tourism. Owners will be called beforehand to set up a time to chat with volunteers from the community conducting the survey. Barry says it won’t take longer than an hour.
    “They will be one-on-one in person interviews, they are not going to be bringing anything you have to hand in. Everything will be confidential obviously but all this information is going to go to help better and support the tourism sector in Drumheller,” said Barry.
    Education is key to building a strong foundation. The survey will highlight jobs, revenue and potential opportunities. It will also gauge what jobs and how many are affected by the economy and find any gaps that may need to be addressed. It provides them with an analysis of where Drumheller is lacking and where the town is doing well.
    “We do know that the culinary area is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry where people travel for food and so Drumheller can start looking at opportunities for investments, vendors or restaurants or chefs or all that sort of stuff coming to town,” said Barry.
    Alberta’s tourism industry has created $9 Billion in revenue for the province. Travel Alberta, a branch of the Alberta government has a goal to increase this number to 10 Billion by 2020.
    Diversity is one of the main ways to reach this lofty goal set by the province.
    “We all know oil and gas is probably not going to come back in terms of how it was so you have to have other alternatives from an economic impact perspective because you want people coming to your community,” said Barry. “Visitors are one thing but you also want it in order to work for people of your community, for future jobs, future opportunities and investments.”
    Drumheller was selected because of its established world class status but also retaining its small town charm that many communities across the province are scrambling to figure out. This survey will help create programs for other communities to follow as well as benefit the town by having information to potentially attract investment.
    “It’s easier to make decisions when you know what the actual numbers are and I think in Drumheller in particular there is a lot of different studies and a lot of different people coming in and sort of having different things but there hasn’t been a definitive understanding of how many people work in the tourism and hospitality industry in Drumheller.”
    Barry explained that any business that deals directly with the public is in fact a tourism sector business and that education will be a key factor to this recognition.
    “It doesn’t matter if you are a gas station or an A&W or whatever, you are still impacted and you are still a part of the industry,” said Barry.

National Wireless Public Alerting system launches

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    The smartphone has replaced so many everyday items including the personal music player, calendar and alarm clock. Now it will be the first line of warning in case of emergency.
    On April 6, the  National Wireless Public Alerting will be launched. This means that Canadians with a cell phone will receive life-threatening emergency alerts to their cell phones and wireless devices.
    Lauren Arscott, press secretary for the Minister of Municipal Affairs, says in an email this is a collaboration among federal, provincial, and territorial governments, cell phone companies, broadcasters and the Weather Network. This will supplement the public warnings that are on TV and radio.
    The alerts will appear like a text message on compatible phones that are 4G LTE. It will be sent through cell broadcast distribution. This is a mobile technology that allows messages to be broadcast to wireless devices in a designated geographical area. This means if there is a local emergency, such as flooding, boil water advisories or weather warnings such as winds and tornadoes, devices in the area will be alerted.
    Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski says currently the municipality would work through the Alberta Emergency Alert System.
    Arscott explains this protocol remains, and it will continue to utilize the provincial warning system.
    “Even with this new system in place, the Government of Alberta, through the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, will continue to provide the infrastructure, user training, and support for the Alberta Emergency Alert system,” she states in an email.  “In Alberta, emergency alerts will continue to be issued by trained local officials, and seamlessly passed from the Alberta Emergency Alert System to the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System.
    “This means no process change for the users in Alberta communities who are trained to issue public alerts.”
    John Shoff of Reality Bytes, which is a Bell Mobility dealer, welcomes the new system.   To receive an emergency alert, the wireless device must be an LTE device like a smartphone, powered on, and connected to the network. It must also be wireless public alerts-compatible, meaning it must allow for messages to be sent by the service provider through a cell broadcast.
    Shoff says by and large most smartphones are compatible. Cell phone users can check on their providers’ website to make sure their phones are compatible.
    “It’s nice to see that it is there, I think people will definitely utilize it,” said Shoff.
    Arscott encourages people to continue to use the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile app.
    “The app will continue to be an important tool for emergency alerting, not only because it will take time for wireless alerting to include all mobile devices, but also because the app can include more information, such as maps and more detailed instructions. Alberta is a leader in emergency management, and the new federal system for wireless alerting will be an important additional tool to ensure that Albertans are safe when emergencies hit.”
    To learn more about  National Wireless Public Alerting, go to www.alertready.ca
    Or download the  Alberta Emergency Alert App www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca/


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