The Page – May 16, 2018


Wednesday last week, a big north wind brought another pile of ice into the south shore at Joussard.
In fact, all up and down Lesser Slave Lake there are big piles of ice as wind moves the still melting icepacks around. There’s a couple of new pictures at southpeacenews.com sent in by Brian Bourgeault.
Interestingly, the biggest of these “icebergs” can last well into June before they completely melt away.

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The past three weeks “sunbirds” were already opening windows, airing out their cabins and trailers at all the campsites around our region. They are all getting ready for another summer season which officially kicks off this coming Victoria Day weekend.
Regulars of course, started showing up in April. They probably won’t call it a summer until late September or early October. If then.
By the time Wednesday and Thursday roll around this week, highways and byways should be filled with people getting an early start on the long weekend. With the forecast so far of sunshine and warm weather, it can easily shape up to be one of the biggest weekends ever.
And as we like to say to all our visitors, “Welcome to you all. You know, if you lived here, you would be home already!”

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The May long weekend is also the traditional last few days of getting in the crops and gardens.
It’s been a long, cold spring really. Thanks goodness for sunshine and warm days.

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Looking for something different for the Barbie? Check out the recipe for deep fried chicken at southpeace news.com under the Quirk News headline.
Lots of different ways to do this. We pressure cook just chicken legs in water in an InstantPot for 10 minutes. Dry them a bit. Dredge them in our own secret flour recipe – nine herbs and spices! Then brown them up in oil in a fry pan.
If cooking inside, there is lots of splatter. Have a lid for the pan. Marinating or brining is nice, but optional. So is the buttermilk.

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Is the High Prairie Elementary School site for Northern Lakes College dead? Who really knows? Are people still having secret meetings? Nice.
Meanwhile, as this week’s editorial says of the deal, “Wow! What a bombshell dropped a few days ago!”
Unfortunately, it looks like movers and shakers have better things to do [Halifax ring a bell?] than run around putting something new together that could really make a long term difference. One would think Northern Lakes College, at the very least, would be talking to High Prairie town council about what an opportunity for positive action this actually once again presents. Or to Peavine. Or to Big Lakes County. Or any of our local governments.
Northern Lakes College recently talked about their contribution to the entire regional economy. Among the numbers are $33.1 million per year in operations, which include staff and rents and fuel and everything. Students spend $1.7 million per year. Alumni, the people who went to school at NLC, contribute almost $70 million. This is money they earn from living and working in our region after they graduate.
It all sounds pretty good, and maybe a bit too good. But there should be no doubt education is a huge driver to any economy.
With so many students available in the entire High Prairie region, and more on the way, it really makes sense a new NLC campus, with lots of room to grow, should be a priority. That “room” just disappeared with the HPSD decision. Now it’s time to scramble.

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Here is an interesting tidbit about money:
The Town of Slave Lake has to spend $15 million on a new sewage upgrade. The town will get grants, but will also borrow $4.9 million. Financed over 20 years at three per cent will be paid back by each utility account in Slave Lake. Grand total? $12.37 per month! Each!
So how much is everybody affected ready to kick in on taxes or some kind of charge to help make the NLC new campus move forward? Zero? Ten bucks a month?
If you said “no money at all”, you sure don’t have much faith in your community, do you?
By the way, there is lots of empty land. Some is owned by the Town of High Prairie, in the west end. And some owned and privately for sale, highway frontage, cheap. Lots more elsewhere, too. Deals can be made, but only if people want to make a deal.

 

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