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Last updateWed, 14 Feb 2024 9am

New Year, New You - Part 2




    In part one of our New Year,  New You feature in last week’s inSide Drumheller, you will have hopefully found a few ideas to get you started on becoming a healthier person and what is available in the valley to help you achieve this.
    This week we are looking at ways to improve your mind and spirit, would it be spending more quality time with the family, getting out of debt, being more organized, bettering yourself or having more fun. 
    The key to success is looking at what you really need to improve, tackling one area at a time, and stop proscrastination:  do what you need to do and do it now, set some time aside in your busy schedule to free yourself from this burden.
    In the valley, you will find plenty to help you on your way to bettering yourself and your quality of life.
    Learn something new: this will open your horizons, help you forget about your busy life, make you feel good about yourself, improve your confidence and your mental health too.  In the process, you will meet new people and it might even help you get a better paid job!
    The Drumheller and District Further Education council offers an array of courses, from learning a new language, to cooking classes, improving your computer skills, finding or developing a new hobby, for instance photography.  There’s even a course on public speaking and confidence.
    If you are unemployed, you may even be able to get assistance, Annette Nielsen, program co-ordinator for the Drumheller and District Further Education told inSide Drumheller, “we work together with MH Enterprises and Alberta Immigration to help finance people to get their education and start their career.”
    Join the library and make time to discover new authors.  Did you know you can reserve books online via the library system and have access to 153 libraries?
    Start a blog: it’s free, easy to set up and a great way to explore subjects you want to, it can also be a way to keep in touch with those people you have meant to contact for some time. Even the Mayor of Drumheller has one, so what are you waiting for?
    Learn to play a new musical  instrument, or create a band with friends. Concentrating on music is a great way to forget all your problems, it’s like taking a little vacation, and you will get a great feeling of accomplishment.
    Learn a new board or card game, with your family or friends, a cheap, easy way to relax while learning a new skill. Why not play scrabble with your kids?  A perfect way to have family fun and improve literacy skills.
    Have a culture day where you and your family or friends visit all the museums and art galleries in the valley, find out about Drumheller’s history, and discover new artists.
    How about trying quilting? Not only do quilts make a wonderful personal gift but it is also a great way to socialize,  Bit’s and Pieces offers several options to get you started.
    As well as offering classes, you can drop in anytime you want for advice or help and they also run a free social evening on Wednesdays.
    Tara Semchuk, owner of Bit’s and Pieces explains why people may want to try it, “People get personal satisfaction out of it, some prefer to work on their project at home in solitary and find it relaxing, others like to come and sit in to do their projects and the socializing and meeting people and learning new tips and techniques.” 
    Bit’s and Pieces is also involved in Victoria’s Quilts whose mission is to provide handmade quilts to people with cancer in Canada at no cost to the recipient. “We have had lots of feedback on the comfort that people have got from the fact that complete strangers care about them” explained Tara.
    As you can see the advantages of learning something new are many.

Building permit values up again


    In Drumheller, 2009 was a record year for values of building permits, as it edged out 2008’s yearly totals by close to $1 million.
    2009 was a year for growth, and while the total number of building permits was down by about 30, the overall total value was up over $25 million. A large part of that was spurred on by institutional growth.
    In 2009, six institutional building permits were taken out for a total value of $15,400,538. The bulk of this was for the renovation and modernization of Drumheller Composite High School. That permit alone was worth more than $14 million.
    Another growth area for the town was in industrial permits. The value went from just over $800,000 in 2008 to $3,692,584. A large portion of this was municipal work at the Drumheller Water Treatment Plant.
    While other sectors remained strong, they did take a slight dip when compared with the previous year. This year there were 12 commercial permits taken out with a value of over $1.5 million, down more than $1 million over the previous year. The renovation to make way for the new Shoppers Drug Mart was one of the main drivers of this number, with a value of about $1 million.
    There were 78 residential building permits taken out with a value of $4.5 million, down from just over $7 million in 2008. This was the lowest number of permits taken out since 2004.
    Recreational building permit values also took a small jump, with the sole permit issued to the Dinosaur Golf and Country Club with a value of $106,000 for its new storage building.

Pharmacies worry about future of industry


    Despite negotiating a better than planed deal with the Alberta Government, pharmacists are still facing an uphill battle to make sure they are viable in the future.
    The changes to the way pharmacists meet their bottom line has taken its toll already as the Hanna Value Drug Mart announced last week it would be closing its doors.   
    In a letter to the Hanna Herald, owner Barb Knauft, who has owned the business since 1991, informed the community she would be closing shop.
    “After many stressful weeks, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to close Hanna Value Drug Mart. Our final day of business will be March 31, 2010," reads the letter. “(I) can’t thank our customers, staff, family and friends  who have supported us throughout this entire time enough.  I have strived to serve the community with fairness, integrity and professionalism.”
    Paul Ainscough, owner of Riverside Value Drug Mart was surprised by the announcement made by Knauft.
    “Any store that closes is a shock. The way the times are, the government is making promises, but they never really come across with what they are promising,” said Ainscough, who owned the Hanna store before Knauft. “It’s tough to go to the banker with promises.”
    He says in Ontario and British Columbia, there have been completed studies on how much it costs to dispense a prescription, and it is between $13.50 and $14. In Alberta, the government is currently paying $10.93. While the government is planning to up the amount to $13.93 this April, this may be only a patch.   
    “The only problem is in a year they are going to drop it by $2, and a year later they are going to drop it by $1.  After three years, you are back to  $10.93. The first or second year might be alright, after that, unless things change, there are going to be a lot of problems,” said Ainscough.
    Last week it was announced the government would reduce the cost of generic drugs from 75 per cent of the name brand to 56 per cent. This was off their target of 45 per cent. Ainscough says the discounts help, but they are not as reliable to count on.
    “My personal opinion is we’d be better off without rebates.  It would be better if we stuck with the $3 (dispensing fee) and not drop it,” said Ainscough. “The first thing they will do with rebates is start dropping them.”
    He explains the idea of rebates came in the early 1990’s when the government began slashing health care.  The drug companies decided to help the pharmacies by offering rebates.
    “They, (the government), came out and dropped the rebates to 56 per cent, but in six months from now they could drop it in half again,” said Ainscough. “(It would be better) …if they raised your fee by $3 and kept it that way.”


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