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Turkeys, hams needed to fill hampers

    The Salvation Army is coming down the home stretch leading up to Christmas, but there is still a need for a few more items.
    This week hampers are being packed and getting ready to be distributed, but they are still in need 15 turkeys and 25 hams to fill the Christmas packages.
    These items can be dropped off at the Drumheller Sears, given at any of the grocery stores in Drumheller, The Salvation Army Thrift Store and The Salvation Army Family Services office at the church.
    While the days are ticking away, the Salvation Army has plans to get everybody in the Christmas spirit. This Saturday morning they are hosting a free pancake breakfast at O’Shea’s from 8-10 a.m. This is a great family event, and they expect Santa will take a break from his busy schedule to update his nice list.
    This coming Thursday, December 22, The Salvation Army is hosting a screening of the Nativity at the Napier Theatre at 2 p.m. This is a free event, and there is no donation needed to attend.
    While Christmas approaches there are still openings to man Christmas Kettles.
    To volunteer, or for more information any of these events, contact The Drumheller Salvation Army at 403-823-2215.

Rotary gives Taiwanese student Albertan education

Rotary gives Taiwanese student Albertan education

    On December 12, inSide Drumheller sat down with Rosemary Kean, from the Drumheller Rotary Club, and Amber Lin, an exchange student from Taiwan attending DVSS.
How does the Rotary exchange program work?
Rosemary: Amber came from a Rotary Club in Taiwan and we’ve sent Alana Augart to Belgium for the year. We sign up for it and we only do it every two years, because there’s quite a bit of expense involved.
    Amber will live with different Rotarian families while she’s here, usually for three months at a time. That way she gets to experience the culture here, but through different families.
So Amber, why did you want to come to Canada for your exchange?
Amber: Because in Taiwan when I was in Grade 10 my life was not good. I was upset with myself, so one day my mom asked me if I want to be an exchange student. So I said yes. It would be a chance to  treat myself. So I came to Canada.
Were there any other choices of where to go?
Amber: Before Canada, I thought about going to Sweden, but there weren’t any Rotary Clubs doing exchanges there.
Rosemary: Rotary Clubs sign up and depending on the Rotary Club and their location they put the kids wherever. They give the kids a choice somewhat, but they never know until a month or two before they leave.
Compared  to back home, what are things you have found surprising or have enjoyed the most?
Amber: The snow! I’ve never seen snow before I came to Canada, so it’s a new experience for me.
Must be pretty cold though?
Amber: Haha! The weather is so cold.
Rosemary: She was cold in September when it was six or seven degrees in the morning when I was taking her to school. She was frozen!
That’s T-shirt weather!
Rosemary: Well she’s starting to become acclimatized.
So are you going to try your hand at any of the winter sports here?
Amber: I would really like to try, but I haven’t had a chance to go skiing yet.
Rosemary: I’ve taken her to a couple hockey games. She’s never seen it before.
What has school been like here compared to back home?
Amber: The schedule here is easy and simple. In Taiwan you go to school at seven o’clock in the morning and leave at five o’clock in the afternoon. Your life is just full of studying, going to class, and taking tests. It’s not fun.
    School here has many options, like cooking or drama. It’s good for students to do what they like to do. In Taiwan we don’t have many options, we just take the school schedule.
What are some of your favourite classes?
Amber: I think it’s the cooking class.
Did you get many compliments from the Seniors Dinner you helped cook last Thursday at the DVSS?
Amber: Yeah, it was fun.
What are some of the things you like most about Drumheller so far?
Amber: I’ve been to the Tyrrell, it was great.
    There’s not very many houses here. In Taiwan there’s tonnes of houses stuck together, and the street is not beautiful. Here, there’s lots of plants and trees, it looks beautiful.
    The people here are so friendly to me and to everyone. Everyone knows each other and are so kind and friendly.
Have you had a chance to go to Calgary or Edmonton?
Amber: Yup.
Rosemary: She went to Zoolights last weekend. Other Rotary exchange students got together last weekend, stayed in Calgary and got to go. Amber said it was so romantic.
After July you go home, would you want to come back?
Amber: Yeah, for sure. But, I’m not sure I’ll have the chance or time to come back, because the school schedule in Taiwan is hard. But if I can I will.
What have some of the host families learned from Amber?
Rosemary: Well it’s been a lot of fun to show her our area, the snow. For example we took her to the corn maze, and she had never seen that before. It’s fun to see Canada through her eyes. Like, stuff you take for granted all the time.
    I think she’s a pretty brave girl to come all the way here, to stay with people she didn’t even know.

Pet bylaw draft leaves some residents howling

Pet bylaw draft leaves some residents howling

    As reported in the December 7 edition of The Drumheller Mail, council had been presented with a draft of the Responsible Pet Owners bylaw.
    The draft, if passed, would replace the current Animal Control bylaw and would require cat owners to register and tag their cats. Other changes within the draft include greater restrictions regarding vicious dogs and larger fines for infractions of the bylaw.
    Reactions among residents have been mixed between those who wish the bylaw to go though, those who want it scrapped, and those who want something in between.
    “I’m not happy with it at all,” said Diane Synder. “I agree some of the bylaws regarding animals should be changed, but not to this extent.”
    Currently under the Animal Control Bylaw, dog owners already pay an annual registration fee of $35 per dog.
    “I don’t think it's fair that dogs owners have to do so much, but cat owners don’t,” said Allison Fotheringham, a cat owner.
    “A lot of cats can’t wear a collar,” said John Shoff, who owns a dog. “They will scratch at their necks until they’re bleeding to get the collar off.”
    One of the goals of the draft is to reduced the number of feral cats in Drumheller. However, there has been confusion among residents as to how cat registration will achieve that goal. Suggestions have pointed to a spaying and neutering program, and although expensive, may be the only way to reduce the feral cat population.
    “As for licensing cats, if they think this will help get rid of the feral cats in Drumheller, think again, it’s not going to work,” said Snyder. “I understand that to get an animal fixed is expensive and there are people that genuinely can’t afford it. But maybe there’s a government or town resource that could help people out with the cost.”
    “People have a valid concern that the cost of spaying and neutering an animal is high,” said Fotheringham. "I think part of the cost of licensing should go to a spay/neuter program.”
    There is concern over the definition and penalties for vicious dogs. The draft currently defines a vicious dog as any dog that is observed to have chased, injured, or bitten a person or other animal, damaged property, threatened or created the reasonable apprehension of a threat to a person or animal, or been previously determined to be a dangerous dog under the provincial Dangerous Dogs Act.
    “Their description of what a vicious animal is, essentially up to the bylaw officer,” said Shoff. “If the dog makes any suggestion of a bark or a bite, it could be deemed a vicious dog and it doesn’t matter what kind of dog it is. If a bylaw officer is threatened by my dog, I have to get a separate permit to have that dog and I have to get a two million dollar insurance policy on that dog.”
    Residents who are deemed to have a vicious dog would be required to keep the dog at least one metre away from their property line, regardless if there is a fence or not. For example, were a resident to have a fence at the edge of their property, a vicious dog would still have be tied so as to not be within the one metre restriction.
    “For one, I don’t understand the logic behind there being a one metre restriction between your dog and your property line,” said Shoff. “If you have a secure fence, and your dog can’t get out, you’re still breaking the law if the dog can go right up to the fence. If I have a dog, why can’t he run in my yard?
    "I’ve spoken to the police about an unrelated matter and one of the officers suggested having a dog for personal safety. But the town is saying that we don’t want you to have a dog that is in any way aggressive.”
    The draft is currently just that. Council is awaiting feedback from residents to make an informed decision regarding the bylaw. Residents are encouraged to contact town councillors and make their opinions regarding the bylaw known. More information regarding the draft can be found at www.dinosaurvalley.com/council-meeting-dates-minutes in the database under the agenda for the Council Committee held on November 28. Discussion regarding the draft can be found on The Drumheller Mail’s Facebook page.
    “There are a lot of people who are really upset now and who have already stated they will not donate anything more to the Humane Society,” said Snyder. “It’s a wonderful organization, but this is not the way to do it.”
     “If people don’t speak up, then that draft gets stamped and becomes a bylaw,” said Shoff. “We definitely need to not make this a bylaw, because it's way too restrictive.”
    “Cats, like dogs, are pets and not wild animals,” said Fotheringham. “They should be inside or in immediate contact with their owners.”