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Canadiens fans come out for playoffs


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    The Montreal Canadiens’ fairy tale run at the cup has caught Canadian hockey fans by storm. Their downing of the number one seed Washington Capitals, and then putting ‘Sid the Kid’ in his place had many ‘expert’ predictions thrown out the window.
    It also had Facebook lighting up like the Vegas Strip on fight night, especially after the Canucks’ demise in the playoffs.
    And rightly so. It has become a Canadian tradition to get behind the last team left north of 49 in the post season. But with a team such as Montreal, there are diehards all across the country who have put up with ridicule in the lean years, but have also had the opportunity to dance a Habitant jig more than any other fans of any other team in the league.
    Bob Scott is one of those fans, and this year is marking his 50th year cheering for the Canadiens. His love of the team doesn’t go back to nostalgia of the Montreal Forum (although he does have a seat) or old Montreal, but to playing hockey right here in Drumheller.
    He grew up in a house right across from the arena, and every Monday night there were three games on the ice. Paddy Schaffer invited him to play as a youngster and at the time, the teams were all named after the NHL teams. His first team? You guessed it. And to add even more fable to the story, he was able to wear the #4, taking on the appearance of a pint-sized Jean Beliveau.
    Along the way he has converted his family and beyond. His wife is even watching the playoffs for the first time this season. He has a basement room filled with memorabilia, and his garage is adorned with posters and even a Canadiens toolbox.
    He has no problem with fans jumping on the bandwagon to support the team. There are, however, some distinctions between nouveau fans and the diehards.
    “A real fan is still sore about Patrick Roy jumping ship,” laughs Scott, naming the first thing that comes to mind.
    He is referring of course to “La Trade” in December 1995 when Roy demanded to leave. This is just a handful of epic moments in the history of the franchise that makes up the collective culture of the Montreal fan.
    Scott’s son Tony defines it truly as a culture. To be a Habs fan is about immersing one’s self in the culture of the team. As he grew up and learned more about the team, in turn he learned more about the Quebecois culture. This is something that separates the Montreal team from dozens of other sports franchises.
    Across the street from Scott lives Marcel Augey, another diehard. Both the Augey household and the Scott household have Habs flags visible to anyone who drives by. He says one key to being a diehard fan is knowing what ‘le but’ means. This is goal in French.
    Most diehards, said Augey, and Scott concurs, watch most of their hockey in French. A must for a fan is Réseau des sports (RDS) the French cable sports channel. Augey said they play all the Canadiens’ games all year round.
    He has no problems about new fans jumping on.
    “It’s good, people are excited, all Habs fans are excited,” said Augey. “All Canadians are like that when there is a team in.”
    He admits, “I had a Flames jersey on when they made a cup run, I was so excited.”
    He has one more little tidbit about knowing who is a true fan of the Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge.
    “Real Habs fans should know what the ‘C-H’ on the jersey stands for,” said Augey. “It stands for ‘Club de Hockey.” Some think is it is for the Habs or something.”

Drumheller residents join forces to Ride to Conquer Cancer

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    Another Drumheller resident has committed to conquering cancer by participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
    Our March 31 edition of The Mail told you about Cassandra Knight joining the ride, now Victor Bustamante, who works at The Royal Tyrrell Museum, will join thousands of other men and women in a history-making ride June 26 and 27, 2010.
    Bustamante will take part in a two-day 200 kilometre ride through the Rocky Mountains with a night of camping.
    Friends in Calgary encouraged him to join them on the Ride to Conquer Cancer after he started a new training regime to get himself fitter when he turned 30 last September.
    “At first, I thought there was no way I could pull that off. But then as I was getting fitter, I felt I was able to take the challenge on, so decided to join the ride,” Bustamante told inSide Drumheller.
    He has now started a full training regime, determined to get himself fit for the ride. When the weather permits, he bikes around Drumheller using two different types of bikes, a standard one and a recumbent one, where you cycle laying down, or swims at the Aquapex.
  “I think it is going to be quite challenging.  My longest distance so far in one day was 80 kilometres. I could have gone further but then the biggest challenge is doing it again the next day. I think the first day won’t be much of a challenge, but the second day, being injury free and ready to go will be the hardest part.”
    Like Knight, Bustamante keeps a blog of his training.
    “If people are coming to donate, I feel it is a courtesy to keep them updated with what I am doing and the effort I am putting into it.”
    With one in three Canadians diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, Bustamante is rallying the cause to support breakthrough research and the discovery of new cancer therapies at Alberta Cancer Foundation.
    Like the many who are undertaking the ride,  the disease has affected people close to him and he is hoping to raise $2,500 to help with research.
    Right now, back home in Peru, his dear aunt Norma is battling colon and liver cancers, and although she is having a very hard time with the treatment, she is still fighting.
    One of his co-workers was also affected and had to give up work due to difficulties dealing with cancer and its treatment.
    In Knight’s article, she extended an open invitation to be joined during her training.          Following this, she was contacted by another Drumheller resident, Stephanie Black, who is doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer. inSide Drumheller has now also put her in touch with Bustamante.

Merchants assess Parking Task Force recommendations

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    The Downtown Drumheller Parking Task Force delivered its recommendations to Drumheller Town Council on the future of parking changes to the core, however the recommendations are getting a mixed reception from some of those affected.
    The task force made its recommendations, and council unanimously accepted the documents. Some of the recommendations included parallel parking along 3rd Avenue between Highway 9 (2nd Street West) and 1st Street West. The rest of 3rd Avenue will remain angle parking, however the angle will be changed, which will widen the driving lane and improve visibility.
    The formation of the task force came after a groundswell of residents made their voices known to council through a survey published in The Drumheller Mail, spearheaded by a group of downtown merchants.
    Sylvia Madsen owner of Café Italiano was part of the initial campaign. She tells inSide Drumheller she has mixed feelings about the recommendations.
    “It’s a compromise. It’s not the perfect solution, I don’t think there will ever be a perfect solution. I don’t think there would ever be something that everyone could agree on,” she said. “It was a surprise it took so long to get to this point, and I’m surprised the town did the right thing.”
    Another part of the changes is to reconfigure the intersection of Highway 9 and 3rd Avenue West. Under the new plan, eastbound lanes will remain relatively unchanged. There will be two westbound lanes at the intersection; one will be a left turn lane, while the other will be a thru traffic/right hand turning lane. The traffic light cycles will be amended to suit the new configuration.
    Madsen said as a business owner she can see the good and bad points. She understands parallel parking needed to be implemented in order to change the intersection of Highway 9 and 3rd Avenue, but also understands it could impact businesses.
    She does like the recommendation to change the angle of the parallel parking.
    “I think it is better there is a 10 per cent grade (change in angle of parking). People will be able to see better backing out,” she said.
    Of the entire plans, “I think it is better than what they originally planned, when they said ‘deal with the cards you’re dealt with.’ That was harsh,” she said. “At least this was a little more democratic.”
    Barry Fullerton was chair of the task force and said the process worked well.
    “I have said it before, they were really a good group to work with,” said Fullerton.
    He told inSide Drumheller the  work of the group was meticulous and they left no stone unturned when looking for suitable options for the downtown parking and traffic flow issues. He concedes it is a compromise, but also indicates he feels the group was representative of many views of downtown merchants and residents alike. This includes business directly affected by the change to parallel parking to 3rd Avenue.
    Doug Wade, whose business is on the stretch that will now have parallel parking, isn’t as warm to the plan. He has gone from being upset about the issue to being upset about his take on the democratic process.
    “On February 12, downtown Drumheller delivered at great expense of time and money the most important information council needed,” said Wade. “The overwhelming majority of residents, 1,680, wanted parking left as is. Also the 200-plus members of the Chamber of Commerce gave the same message. Democracy has not been served.”
    He said in light of the survey, the task force should have never been struck, and it will have an impact on his business.
    “Now the question is not if there is going to be a loss, now it is how much,” said Wade.
    For Madsen one of the good things that came out of the process was the work put together by downtown businesses.
    “I give kudos to the task force, they did a heck of a lot of work in a short amount of time, they were very committed. At times I think it would be nice to have a committee between the Town and everyone else… I think it would take the pressure off the town, and it would open up lines of communication,” she said. “I think it was awesome to get all the businesses to work together and find common ground and work to a common goal.”

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