Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Vehicles In Stettler

Stettler Independent - New transportation service available for Stettler area residents:

By Richard Froese - Stettler Independent

Published: December 10, 2008 10:00 AM
Updated: December 10, 2008 10:55 AM

Stettler area residents requiring transportation to medical appointments anywhere in Alberta can now access a new van service thanks to Stettler and District Handibus Society.

A 2008 Chevrolet Uplander van valued at $55,000 and a new 2008 Chevrolet handibus valued at $85,000 recently arrived with strong support from many community partners.

'We want to promote our new van service,' said Owen Blake who serves as a director of the society.

Both vehicles were officially presented to sponsors and supporters on Dec. 3."

For more info see the rest of the article.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bonnyville Handibus back on road

(Ed note: Excellent support from Bonnyville's MLA. Our own recent request for matching funds a bus was cut by a third. Obviously local priorities prevail)

Bonnyville Nouvelle - Handibus service saved

Christmas came early this year for a dedicated group of Bonnyville residents struggling to save the town’s Handibus service.

The Handibus was involved in a collision in July and was damaged beyond repair. That meant an end to activities for seniors who rely on the bus for transportation and put a contract to transport special needs students to school in jeopardy.

The Handibus’s major source of revenue is a contract it has with the local school transportation system. With the start of school rapidly approaching, the Bonnyville Lions Club and its Handibus partners immediately started to look for ways to fund a new bus.
The fundraisers hit a snag when they discovered that the grants they wanted to apply for from the provincial government required matching funds from the group requesting the grant.
Desperate to find a solution to their dilemma, the group approached Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA Genia Leskiw for help.

“I said fill out an application and we’ll find the money somewhere,” Leskiw explained.
With the school transportation contract on the line, two members of the group – Padey Lapointe from the Bonnyville Health Centre and Rita Bell from Bonnyville Community Health Services — took out personal loans to pay for a new Handibus so it would be available to take students to school in September.

On Thursday, their sacrifice was rewarded when Leskiw presented them with a cheque for $65,290 from the province’s community initiatives program, enough to cover the cost of the loan.

“This is the best part of my job,” Leskiw exclaimed as she received hugs and words of gratitude.

Newell Community Action Group gets a better budget

The Brooks Bulletin: "NCAG getting more money for handibus
Sandra Stanway
Brooks Bulletin

The Newell Community Action Group, who is in charge of operating the city’s handibus service, was given additional funding by the city.

Council formalized an agreement on Monday that was signed at the end of November, giving the non-profit organization $48,584. The funding is considered a budget adjustment and is for a deficit for the organization’s 2007-2008 fiscal year that ended in July.

Alan Martens, a finance employee with the city, said when they run a deficit the city makes it up to them.

“If we see there is a deficit then what the city will do is reimburse them for that deficit,” he said. “If they’re running a deficit through the year on their program, they’re paying for it, they’re running into the hole and then they don’t get money from the city until after year end. So they don’t have to finance that,” he said.

The Newell Community Action group will now get $5,000 or $60,000 per year. Until this point, the city had transferred about $33,000 for each year.

In addition to the money, another change under the new agreement will include vehicle repairs. In the past the city has covered certain repairs, but now the city will take care of all the work.

To help offset the costs as well, users of the service pay $3 per ride."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Is transportation for seniors finally on the Alberta Government's radar?

A recent Alberta government report places transportation issues amongst the top ten anticipated requirements of Seniors...

Albertans weigh in on planning for future seniors

Demographic Planning Commission's Findings Report highlights Albertans' thoughts on seniors and how to meet their needs

Edmonton... Feedback from more than 10,000 Albertans and over 100 organizations is captured in a new report on the needs of current and future seniors.

“Alberta’s population, like that of the rest of Canada, is aging,” said Mary Anne Jablonski, Minister of Alberta Seniors and Community Supports. “We felt it was important to hear from Albertans and I thank everyone who took time to provide feedback. Your input will help us prepare for an aging population, including the large number of baby boomers who may have very different needs than current seniors.”
The Demographic Planning Commission’s Finding Report captures the feedback from an online survey and meetings with organizations who support or provide programs and services to seniors. The report is divided into 10 main themes:

  1. Enabling seniors to remain in their own homes.
  2. Providing services to seniors in the community.
  3. Better connecting seniors with services.
  4. Building the workforce.
  5. Undertaking appropriate transportation and capital planning.
  6. Meeting the health needs of seniors.
  7. Determining how to provide effective government support.
  8. Supporting the role of the family and informal caregivers.
  9. Fostering respect and dignity towards seniors.
  10. Raising awareness among future seniors to better prepare.

The full report is here: DPC Findings report

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hold the Phone!!!!!!

this video link is the right one.....

Going For The Record - Las Vegas Sun

Wheelchair athlete's back flip lands him in record book - Las Vegas Sun

It's been about two years since we saw the vid of young Mr Fotheringham doing his first wheelchair backflip. But it was only Oct 31, 2008 when he finally had the opportunity to enter the Guiness Book of Records for his achievement. A Las Vegas paper covered the official event and there is a stop action vid to show how easy he makes it look.

Wheelchair athlete's back flip lands him in record book - Las Vegas Sun: "Aaron Fotheringham went into the record books as a pioneer in wheelchair sports Saturday.
Guinness World Records recorded the Northwest Las Vegas resident, in front of a crowd of more than 300 at Doc Romeo Park, as the first to complete a back flip in a wheelchair."

(editor's note: The athlete always seems to get the babe...)