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Last updateSat, 20 Jan 2018 11am

Zariski named Golf Canada Volunteer of the Year


    Local duffer and Drumheller town councillor Tom Zariski has learned that he will be named the 2017 Volunteer of the Year by Golf Canada.
    Zariski is currently the president of Alberta Golf and is acting president of the Alberta Golf Foundation. He has volunteered for many years promoting the sport locally and throughout the province.
    “Considering all of these golf organizations are manned predominantly with volunteers, who spend hundreds of hours volunteering in many different capacities, to be singled out as the recipient for the award for 2017 is a huge honour,” said Zariski. “When I look at all of these other volunteers who do great things, it is a significant honour to be recognized.”
    Locally, Zariski has served as a board member at Dinosaur Trail Golf Club, serving on various committees. He also started the Drumheller Golf Association, a non-profit society and many will remember his work promoting the National Golf in School program, where he presented starter golf kits to the area schools. He was also a part of Clubs for Kids where he collected spare clubs to distribute to those  who wish to play, removing the barrier of needing equipment.
    “To this day, I still have people asking, ‘do you still need some golf clubs?’” he laughs.
    He has been a member of Alberta Golf for 12 years and a director for 10 years.  His passion is as a golf referee and he officiates about a dozen competitions each year for both Golf Canada and Alberta Golf.
    He is also on the Golf Canada rules committee. There is a good chance he will be officiating at the CP Women’s Open, an LPGA Tour tournaments in Regina.
    “That is my main role as a rules official. Many people don’t know, to be an official for golf, you are a volunteer,” he said.
    The award will be presented at the Golf Canada AGM in Calgary, January 25-27.     This is the 12th year that Golf Canada has presented the award and candidates are put forward for consideration by their provincial golf associations.

Cutbacks shut down Badlands Performing Arts Camp

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    After 18 years, the Badlands Performing Arts Camp has been cancelled.
    For years the camp, held at St. Anthony’s School, allowed students to earn 10 high school credits, as well as a chance to pursue acting, singing, and dancing. It has been a valuable experience for students.
    “This program has changed lives. As a 20-year teaching veteran, I don’t get many phone calls from my classroom parents, but I have done this for 16 years and every fall, parents will contact me,” said Tim Stolz who has run the camp. “This is no exaggeration, they will call and say ‘that program has just changed my kid’s life, what an incredible program.’”
    He explains that Alberta Education has gone to block crediting. This means schools are able to award a certain amount of credits for the student each year. The Badlands Performing Arts Camp was able to offer a student 10 credits. Not only was this an enticement to have the student sign up, but also Alberta Education would provide the funding based on the credits offered.
    “Students used to be able to get unlimited credits in the school. Literally, these have been cut it in half. So now my students are coming in and spending 175 hours in three weeks and can maybe get five credits and even less - when before they used to be able to get 10. A soon as that happens there is no funding,” said Stolz.
    The camp averaged about 35 students each summer and it partnered with the Rosebud School of the Arts. Each year students participated as actors in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play. This may leave a hole in the cast next year that would need to be filled.
    Stolz said that Christ the Redeemer School Division went to bat for the Badlands Performing Arts Camp, but about two months ago he received a letter stating that it was one program it would be cutting from its summer programs due to financial inviability.
 The Badlands Performing Arts Camp originated at DVSS and Stolz met with Principal Curtis LaPierre to discuss a possible future, but it didn’t work out.
    At this point he says they could turn the camp into a private program, however, the student would not get any credits, and there would not be any funding beyond the tuition from the students, making it unaffordable.
    “It is all because of Alberta Education making this change to block crediting. We cannot get funding,” said Stolz.
    “It is just a terrible situation.”

Altagas responds to Rosedale gas leak

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Altagas is in Rosedale investigating a possible gas leak.
Crews were on site Tuesday evening, January 2 investigating a report of the scent of gas. This is the same neighbourhood where a home was destroyed by a natural gas explosion in 2005.
“Someone smelled gas and they called us, that is what they are supposed to do, said Greg Johnston, president of Altagas Utilities. “We understand they have been smelling it for a couple of weeks, so it would be a lot better if people called the first time they smelled gas.”
The crew took action to find the leak and were busy Wednesday.
“In the meantime, we have dug up the gas main and squeezed it. It is a plastic main, so we can squeeze it with a large clamp (to block the line). We have isolated the main so we know there is no gas leaking,” he explains.
They have run over-ground lines to affected homes to continue their gas service while they investigate. A service technician was there overnight monitoring.
“We haven’t pinpointed it yet, we are doing some exploratory excavations,” said Johnston, Wednesday afternoon.
“We take this type of thing very seriously, we will find the leak and we will fix it.”

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