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2 As an ARTA member, you will receive a member benefit on all Collette tours worldwide Travel Made Simple A leader in travel since 1918, Collette Vacations offers tours to all 7 continents. Our diverse travel collection features inclusive land tours, river cruises, rail journeys, small group tours, family vacations and more. From Italy to Australia to the wonders of South America and beyond, embrace your dreams. We seamlessly handle the details - you experience the world. EVERY TOUR INCLUDES: Quality accommodations Unique cultural experiences Many meals included Must-see sights A professional Tour Manager On-tour transportation SEDAN SERVICE INCLUDED! Receive roundtrip home to airport sedan service on all air-inclusive tours. For more information, contact your local travel agent, or call and mention promo code R844-AX1-918 or visit Costa Rica - A World of Nature November 4, 2012 Member Rate: $ 1799 * Non-member Rate: $ 1899 * Immerse your group in this vibrant, living Eden. Costa Rica quickly went from hidden gem to the world s most popular eco-destination. Find out why. Visit a local school supported by the Collette Foundation to meet the children and learn about the Costa Rican educational system. Enjoy a two night stay in Tortuguero National Park at an Eco-lodge. Spend three nights in Arenal with breathtaking room views of the volcano. *Rate is per person, land only, double occupancy. Other dates and rates are available; contact us for more details. Not valid on group travel. Service is offered on all air-inclusive departures when within 100 km radius from most major Canadian gateways. One transfer per room booking. Additional stops arenot permitted on route. Other restrictions may apply; call for details. Travel Industry Council of Ontario Reg.# BC Reg.# 23337

3 News & Views Table of Contents Volume 21 Number 1 Fall Greetings 5 Executive from the President Director s Report 27 In My Opinion 28 In Memoriam 33 Letters to the Editor 36 Classified Ads Columns 11 Lynne Butler 13 What Are We Doing Now? 15 Diane Britton 50th Anniversary 2 Curling Bonspiel 3 Photography Contest 4 Get Ready to Celebrate 12 Anniversary Quilt 17 ARTA Book Fair From Our Readers 6 The 7 Leave Puzzle of Kindness the Past Behind Articles 9 Navigating the Alberta Energy Consumer Jungle 23 A Special Relationship: Grandparents and Grandchildren 25 Tai Chi 31 Steppin Out Memorial Golf Tournament 34 Keeping Your Finger on the Pulses Travel 18 Rhine River Cruise From Our Partners 21 Before and After an Auto Accident 22 Coordinate Your Benefits 36 Johnson Inc. and AON Contests From the ARTA Office 17 A Word about Memberships 17 Contest No. 14 News and Views is published four times a year by the Alberta Retired Teachers Association (ARTA). Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to 409, Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 2R1. Tel.: ; Alberta only: ; fax: ; website: Contributions to News and Views to the editor: Robin Carson, 409, Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 2R1 or Deadline for submissions for the winter issue is October 25, Assistant Editor: Vi Oko; Graphic Artist: Hazel Adair; Printing by Central Web, Avenue NW, Edmonton T5P 1G9 AR-ARTA-12

4 50 th Anniversary Curling Bonspiel Remembering Floyd Sweet Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17, 2012 Vermilion Curling Club, Vermilion, Alberta (Turn west at the corner of Highway 41 and College Drive) Fee of $40 per curler or $25 per non-curler includes: Wine and Cheese Social Friday night Banquet and Entertainment Saturday night Three eight-end games (for curlers) Cash prizes Teams We encourage at least two ARTA members or two ARTA plan participants per team. (Limit of 30 teams) Registration Deadline Friday, October 19, 2012 Register by following the link on the ARTA website or contact Janet at Accommodation To ensure room availability, identify yourself as part of the ARTA Memorial Curling Bonspiel before November 1, 2012, at the following locations: Vermilion Super 8 ( ) $129 plus tax Brunswick Motor Inn ( ) $109 plus tax (two doubles); $170 plus tax (suite with two kings and a couch) Lakeland Alumni House ( ext or ext. 8737) offers a house with 5 bedrooms. (View at lakelandcollege.ca/alumni/ stay-connected/alumni_house.aspx) Rates per room per night: Rooms A and B $75 (Share bathroom) Rooms C and D $85 Room E $95 Whole House $415 Billets available with CERTA members for two to four people. Indicate your preference when registering. 2

5 Greetings from the President Gordon Cumming The Sentimental Journey Another September and ARTA members breathe easy as the bell tolls again for students and former colleagues still in the classroom. In many branches, the obligatory To Hell with the Bell breakfast or luncheon will take place; but as excited as we are by no more lesson plans, all of us will miss the enthusiasm and excitement the new school year brings. Comments heard Who s in my classes? Do you like my new clothes? I resolve to make this the best year yet! and that s just the staffroom chatter before the doors open. To all those future ARTA members, have a great year and take consolation in the knowledge that by June you will have added two years to your pension index. * * * * In June, Daniel Mulloy and I had the opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART) in Ottawa. With eleven member-organizations across Canada, it is a strong voice for retired teachers and other seniors. A major contributor to that voice has been our own Dean McMullen, who was recognized for his many years of service, as he steps down from the role of Regional Representative for Western Canada. We have to echo that appreciation. He has done ARTA proud. * * * * Now if you ask any teacher, any writing assignment at this time of year has to highlight What I Did On My Summer Vacation. Here is mine. As well as time spent with friends and family, we attended the centenary celebration for the town of Three Hills. As you know, Thomas Wolfe wrote the classic You Can t Go Home Again, but I want you to know that this summer, fifty years after finishing high school, I did. I was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm, commitment, and welcome extended by the organizing committee that made the event memorable. True, the same players were not all there, and there were new faces and different buildings, but the opportunity to share memories effectively bridged the gaps. So why is this an item for this column? The common denominator for so many memories was the school, the teachers, and classmates. Almost automatically we classified ourselves into the Classes of 61, 62, 63. It was a powerful message on the intended and unintended legacies of education. I hope all of you can have a similar opportunity to take a sentimental journey by being involved in some aspect of our celebration of ARTA s fiftieth anniversary. Both this and upcoming issues of News & Views will keep you in the loop. Events and activities organized and supported by our various committees and many individual branches will focus on the anniversary to highlight their own events. A photo contest, writing, quilting, curling, golfing or enjoying a social event we hope you can join in. Most of all, I hope it will be an opportunity to reflect on your own journey as a student and teacher and the people who made it special. ARTA 50 th Anniversary Photography Contest As part of the celebrations commemorating ARTA s 50 th anniversary, ARTA is holding a photography contest open to all regular and associate members. For more details, contest rules and an official entry form, visit our website at 3

6 IMPORTANT CONTACTS ARTA Toll-free: News & Views or News and Views 409, Street NW Edmonton, AB T5N 1R1 ATRF Toll-free: CPP & OAS Benefits Toll-free: Johnson Inc. Service: Home and Auto: Pension Deposit Dates (Third last business day of the month; early at Christmas) September 26 October 29 November 28 December 20 March 28 April 26 May 29 June 26 July 29 August 28 Get Ready to Celebrate! By Dean McMullen, Chair, 50th Anniversary Committee Alberta retired teachers can take great pride in the significant contributions they have made to their profession and their communities in the classroom and beyond. The Alberta Retired Teachers Association celebrates its 50 th anniversary during 2013, so the ARTA Board of Directors wants to encourage ARTA members to find ways to celebrate this important milestone. GET READY TO CELEBRATE! A 50 th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee was appointed to encourage, support and coordinate programs and activities planned to be a part of this celebration. The committee consists of Dean McMullen (chair), Lily McCool, Chuck Rose and Paul Boisvert (consultant). Daniel Mulloy (Executive Director) and Gordon Cumming (ARTA President) also attend. Recently, the committee was pleased to add Don Mock as communications coordinator to arrange material for a special issue of News & Views, and for the ARTA website. News & Views and our website, will carry updates and details of the many programs and activities being planned by the provincial organization and its branches. You do not have to be a member of an ARTA branch to participate in these activities. Many of our members do not have access to a branch because none exists in their area. As an ARTA member, or an individual participating in the ARTA Benefit Program, you are eligible to participate in all ARTAsponsored programs and activities. Planning is well underway for many 50 th anniversary events. To date, we have planned a photography contest, the curling bonspiel, the quilting project and the kickoff social, all with details on the website. The kick-off social will be held in conjunction with the 2012 Annual General Meeting banquet on October 3 rd of this year. Some other activities that are in the possibility or planning stage are a book fair featuring literary works of retired teachers, an art fair, historical displays, documentaries and testimonials recognizing teachers who significantly influenced somebody s life, a retired teacher volunteer recognition program, a sponsorship and partnership recognition program, and a project for branches to locate and recognize the location of all of the schools in their area. The 50 th Anniversary Committee encourages every ARTA member to find a way to celebrate fifty years of success. The variety and scale of such projects and activities are subject only to the limitations of imagination. We encourage you to contact ARTA with your ideas, suggestions or plans that are already underway. GET READY TO CELEBRATE! 4

7 Executive Director s Report Daniel Mulloy Let s Take It Personally It s not personal; it s business. Far too often, we hear this glib phrase to describe a situation when a business decision does not go the way we want it to. Far too often, businesses, governments and associations hide behind a statement like this to explain how a situation is handled, almost as an excuse for their actions. I am of the opinion that all business, in one form or another, is personal. When we realize that business transactions are built on relationships, trust and the desire to do the best for each party, that goes a long way. As business leaders, educators and citizens, we must reach beyond the simple sums of business to embrace the more difficult and challenging trials of life itself. We must refute the superficial, expressed with catchy slogans like It s not personal; it s business in favour of more balanced tactics that better integrate our business needs with personal and ethical relationships. Separating personal and business can produce a severance between individual and corporate behaviour. When we do this, it is easy to hide behind impersonal statements, and that is when we make our biggest and most costly blunders, ones that can leave us with feelings of guilt and remorse. When we become the business only, we lose our sense of self and forget that we are, after all, dealing with people, our fellow men or women. Accountability, honesty, transparency, integrity, responsibility, compassion, courage and justice are human values of everyday life. These are not just business values designed to ensure a healthy bottom line. Embracing these values does not mean it is necessary to ignore the bottom line; actually these values are considered prudent and are expected in business. Successfully managing business relationships can protect business interests and be virtuous in itself but it ceases to be so when people forget that business is personal, and is better for being so. To us at the Alberta Retired Teachers Association, business is indeed personal. Every transaction we carry out, every negotiation we enter into is built on the foundation of relationship and trust. To us, relationships matter. To us, It is personal; it is our business! News & Views Special Issue The 2013 spring issue of News & Views will be a special 50 th anniversary issue. We would love to have your input about what it should contain. In addition, we are also looking for original writing, photographs or anything else that you feel might be appropriate for the issue. Contact Robin Carson at or send a letter addressed to the ARTA office at 409, Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 2R1. 5

8 The Puzzle of Kindness By John White It all came together like a jigsaw puzzle. It is nice to think that it was because the motivation was to help the street kids of Chisinau, Moldova to have warm clothing for the upcoming winter. The whole community around Cold Lake, Alberta, became involved in this worthy project. There were students, teachers, parents, officials, truck drivers and clergy who helped fit the pieces together. However, every project must have a leader and organizer. Maggie, the school counsellor, was chosen. It was Maggie who met with the Parents Group of 2000, and it was Debbie and Patti of this group who picked up the challenge. Of course, they had the full support of Greig Christian (principal), Josephine Urlacher (vice-principal) and Allan Buck (head of Family and Community Support Services). It was a missionary in Chisinau who told the Chisinau International School of the plight of the street children. Grand Centre Elementary School back in Canada was searching for a suitable socialservice project, and so the two came together. This in itself was a minor miracle! It was the coming together of two vastly different settings and foreign cultures. In the classrooms, teachers provided maps of Moldova and integrated the project into the Social Studies program. In English classes, as part of reading and research, the children learned what an orphanage is, what hunger is, and what it is like to not have a change of clothes. The project motivated many people to search their own heritages, and soon grandmothers were knitting socks, scarves and toques to help fill the boxes. It was Grand Centre Elementary School and the community of Grand Centre that took up this challenge of fitting together the pieces of the puzzle. They collected and sorted boxes upon boxes of warm coats, toques, mitts and scarves to warm the children of Chisinau. It was Maggie, the school counsellor, who motivated and rallied the entire community around this project of kindness. Through Maggie s enthusiasm, the original objective of four or five boxes grew. It grew from five, to ten, to fifteen and, finally, to forty-six boxes, all brimming with warm children s clothing. The parents of Grand Centre School wrapped and labelled all forty-six boxes and canvassed the local dentists for toothbrushes and paste, while the hotels donated bottles of soap and shampoo. Under Maggie s guidance, the pieces fitted almost perfectly. Everyone the school, the parents association and, indeed, the whole community wanted to see this project succeed. The International School of Chisinau had an agreement with the United States embassy to transport the items from New York City to Chisinau via diplomatic pouch; however, boxes were still in G.C.E.S., not New York. Now another near-miracle occurred when a local trucking company volunteered to take the boxes to Toronto at no cost, but Toronto is still not New York. Now the project stalled. We needed another miracle! Nobody knows how it happened, but it happened nonetheless. Was it Divine intervention? Was it that good triumphs? Although it still remains unexplained, the boxes somehow suddenly arrived on the dock in New York. Again a snag reared its ugly head. Several little bottles of shampoo and hand soap donated by one of the local hotels had been packed into the boxes. These liquids meant that the U.S. could not accept them for shipping via the U.S. diplomatic pouch. Someone, maybe an angel on the dock, must have had the inspiration to appeal to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to include our boxes with one of their many aid containers. 6

9 So it was that the shipment arrived at Chisinau International School on the day of their Christmas concert. This event seemed to encourage the children of the International School to sing with more gusto, dance more vigorously and smile wider than they might otherwise have done. We opened one box, just so the children could have a peek inside, and in between all the scarves and mitts were many stuffed animals and toys. The church picked up the boxes and arranged a gathering for distribution among all the children. This was another revelation. As the children came forward, there was no pushing, no shoving, no wild demands. The street children were orderly, took turns and respectfully took the items they so badly needed. There were sometimes requests, May I have mitts or a hat for my brother or sister? It brought tears to the eyes. What is the moral of the story? Could it be, If kindness is the objective nothing will stand in the way! Or, perhaps you just need a Maggie to lead the community into accomplishing a worthwhile goal. Postscript: From an educational aspect, this project confirms that challenges can be met when we work together with direction by a super leader. It proves that when a need is confirmed, people enjoy assisting, giving and sharing. Did the school stop assisting others? Not a chance! Other programs such as the open morning breakfast enabled students to help themselves to fruit, buns or sandwiches provided free by the local IGA. Leave the Past Behind By Doug Mirtle Changes come and changes go, But all through life you ll find, Whenever you must change yourself Leave the past behind! Invest each day your energies, To all you meet be kind, So as you move along through life, Leave the past behind! To build a better world is tough, The efforts tax body and mind, But it will help to lighten your load, When you leave the past behind! When tough times hold you tightly bound, Grow with heart and mind, And when it s time to move along, Leave the past behind! Your yesterdays have long since passed, Successes and failures combined, To move ahead and conquer the storms, Leave the past behind! Nature too reminds us all, She nurtures living kind, Her seasons surely illustrate, Leave the past behind! For visions cultivate new fields, What was is crusty rind, Don t fetter dreams to what once was, Leave the past behind! Since dwelling on those things now past, Usurps future growth you ll find, What you can be demands response, Leave the past behind! Thus changes come and changes go, Like me you too will find, Tomorrow beckons fresh anew, Leave the past behind! 7

10 1917 By James F. Lavers August 18, 2009 This story, which my father told me in the 30s, and my only surviving uncle recounted in the 80s, was one that haunted their father until his death in As sergeant he had taken the top bunk closest to the exit : rough stairs that actually led to above ground, if it could be called that, since the ground had long since disappeared into a quagmire of broken equipment, trees, and the debris of war. His reasoning seemed sound since if the Germans attacked, he, as the light sleeper and in charge, would be the first line of defence. Nothing seemed to have happened, but he did awaken early, before dawn, sensing a problem. He called to the two young men, one a raw recruit from the prairies, below and behind him. No response. The German gas attack had filtered into their cave, drifting downward to those below. 8

11 Editor s note: The spring issue of News & Views was intended to focus on health and wellness and was already very full. With regret, Mr. Kirstein s article was held for this issue. In it are references to concerns about energy that relate to winter months; with winter almost upon us, those references are again very timely! Navigating the Alberta Energy Consumer Jungle By Hans-Jürgen Kirstein, BGS, BA I pretend to assume that all of you have swallowed and properly digested the engineered (two power plants decide to do maintenance in mid-winter?) 50% hike in your January power bill well, good on you. On closer examination, it turns out that it is not the energy cost per gigajoule or kwh that produces these heart-stopping invoices; there is an entire host of entities, some of them frankly non-producers that are firmly latched onto consumer teats. I had a rude awakening when I returned from a two-week August expedition to the Arctic: I opened my gas bill. My total bill came to $51.48, of which the sum of $3.63 represented the cost of gas consumed. The remaining 92.9% went to various entities, charges and riders; some of them only remotely related to producing a tangible good as understood by my admittedly old-fashioned sense of socially useful productivity. A similar scenario unfolded when the power bill arrived. Closer examination of the invoice revealed that, had I turned off the main gas valve for the entire billing period, I would still have owed $35.45 for fixed administration fees and delivery charges, plus GST this is a damned fine business to get into, folks. The Alberta Government has a great Utilities Consumer Advocate website ( that does a wonderful job of explaining all this to the extent of causing your eyes to glaze over. To me, it comes across as the print equivalent of a Klein cabinet minister who was able to talk non-stop during media interviews until the clock ran out she was magnificent: the poor reporter could not get another question in edge-wise. But, I digress; the following is what the website tells me about the two fixed items on my bill: Fixed Delivery Charge: Covers the cost of building and maintaining the distribution system to deliver natural gas to customers. It is not based on consumption (we are being honest now) and is typically charged at a fixed monthly rate. In my hypothetical case of closing the main valve, I would incur a charge for the delivery of nothing. Administration Fee: It is intended to cover the provider s costs for billing, customer services, call centre and other administrative services. This has to be the only business on the planet able to bill the customer directly for their administration and accounting expenses my hat is off to the genius who managed to persuade the government regulator that this is a legitimate charge to be directly borne by the consumer. Picture yourself at the grocery check-out counter looking at your bill to see a charge to cover the wages of the folks stocking the shelves. I am not going to enter the equally dismal power sale and distribution situation we have to live with now, but how did we get into this energy pickle? The short answer takes us to the Klein Party ideologues and their borrowed Friedmanite mantra of the free market and deregulation, which demolished a straightforward supply system by adding more piggies to the consumer trough. All this competition was supposed to bring down energy prices; in reality, it became a casino game with a limited number of players and the consumer unable to buy any real chips to play it. Under the bad old regulated system, we had three and eventually four companies engaged in the production and distribution of energy. Now, we have these four engaged in the retail end as before; but they are joined by fourteen others who, frankly, produce nothing; their sole occupation being to play the hourly casino game of energy auctions 9

12 and to sign up consumers for various contracts. Wedged between the consumers and retailers are the distributors who somehow managed to acquire the pipe and transmission lines and are able to charge for delivering nothing; there are at least four or five of them, each occupying a territorial distribution fiefdom. Strangely, they are supposed to be regulated because of their inherent monopoly position, but we know little else about them apart from their glossy websites. One of them Fortis Alberta has the rights to all power transmission in a big hunk of North/ Central Alberta; it operates out of St.John s, Nfld, is listed on the TSX and made $137.1 million CA on revenue of $1.44 billion CA. The problem is that we do not know how much money was generated in Alberta because the company also operates in Belize, the Cayman Islands and other interesting places. As piggies at the trough go, this is a biggie as seen by its large presence on your invoice. So what about that free market and consumer choice we are supposedly enjoying now? First, here is my example of how I understand competition and a free market ruled by the choices of the consumer: I live within walking distance of three major grocery chain stores. On a fixed pension income and with time on my hands I know where to get the best buys on seafood, where to get meat for my freezer at a 30% discount and when the 10% or 15% off days are on. That is competition and consumer choice in the way that Adam Smith, the much misquoted patron saint of the capitalist right, understood it. Consumer choice in the case of electricity or gas would work only if I had three or more sets of switches or valves in my basement to switch suppliers on or off as dictated by the hourly ticker tape quotes on my computer something clearly impossible. Ensuring a level playing field for consumers living in civilized societies is precisely the reason why utilities are regulated. But as explained by the Alberta Market Surveillance Administrator, that is exactly how the game is played by the fourteen electricity retailers ( Reading its mandate, it becomes immediately clear that this body exists only to regulate the crap game among the retailers since the consumer is not mentioned anywhere, the implicit assumption being that the merits of competitive bidding will trickle down as a benefit to the consumer. Nothing could be further from the truth; go back to and check out their competitive rates for longer-term contracts. In fairness, there is evidence that one or two members of the club are starting to balk on the issue of contract cancellation policies. So does competition work in the energy market? Of course it does, but only for the fourteen players seated around the crap table supervised by the Alberta Market Surveillance Administrator. The game produces tangible and profoundly antisocial benefits in terms of profits for the participants, a situation that can only be described as unmerited and unearned income. (Sorry about that, but coming from the working class, and at age eighty-one, I have very old-fashioned views about what activities constitute honest, merited income and a tangible product.) To borrow a phrase from scripture: They toil not, neither do they spin. The MSA website makes for interesting reading. In their 2011 Compliance Review we learn that $69,750 in fines were issued for thirty-five breaches of the rules. At the top of that list is an outfit called Morgan Stanley Capital Group, which was fined $22,000 for a total of six violations about the price of a couple of power lunches in that rarified environment. In 2003 I wrote an open letter to my then-sitting MLA, a bona fide charter member of the Old Boys Club that is now bailing out of the good ship Alberta Tory. In it I mentioned a 50% increase in annual power costs in the space of two years and concluded with this remark: Your government has developed a taste for attacking the public good right after an election in the expectation that we have a limited capacity to remember four years later. In the rush to create opportunities for the exercise of greed by means of eliminating crown corporations and regulated utilities we lost more than most people realize. Regulated public utilities were bulwarks of financial stability and provided stable pricing for the consumers; the regulated regime provided enough cash flow to finance expansion of the system as needed and pay steady dividends to shareholders. If you are old enough to remember glass milk bottles on the doorstep, you will remember the term widow and orphan stocks. They were the stocks and bonds of utility and telephone companies that were very secure, did not melt down at the least rumble of the market, and provided a steady but not spectacular stream of dividend income and capital gains: something you could count on in uncertain times. Today, we have only faint echoes of that situation with a few green power companies operating in jurisdictions allowing for feed-in tariffs at premium prices under long-term contracts; some of them produce combined yields from capital gains and dividends in the vicinity of 5 to 8%. Regulated utilities were similar, but that was not good enough for the apostles of greed. 10

13 Lynne Butler, BA, LLB is a senior Will and Estate Planner for Scotiabank, with an extensive background in elder law in Alberta. Her blog is at Trusts in Wills Lynne Butler By Lynne Butler If you have been looking into having your will updated, you may have heard about trusts in wills. Many people assume that trusts are not suitable for them, even though they may not really know what trusts are all about. Sure, we have all heard of those enormous trust funds that are set up so the billionaire s children don t ever have to go without Ferraris, but trusts are not only for those with multi-million dollar estates. Trusts set up through wills (known as testamentary trusts) can also be very useful for people like you and me. Although many people shy away from the idea of a trust because they believe it must be complicated or expensive, in reality it is simpler than you might think. A trust is created in a will whenever your trustee (usually the same person as your executor) holds onto money or property for someone else, i.e. one or more of the beneficiaries of your estate. The terms of the trust such as when the beneficiaries are paid and how much they are paid are set out in your will, by you. Although the trust is not set up until after you have passed away, you have a chance to see that it is properly organized and has clear instructions by making a careful will. A trust is put into a will to serve a particular purpose. A trust should solve a problem or present a better way of dealing with an issue. Often individuals do not realize that the estate-planning problem they face, such as blended families or spendthrift children, could be successfully resolved by using a testamentary trust. The following are ten common reasons that ordinary people use trusts in their wills: 1. A child inheriting under a parent s will can inherit the entire share on the day they reach the age of majority. The same applies to grandchildren. Most parents would prefer that a child or grandchild not inherit a large sum of money at that age, as they feel a lack of life experience might cause the child or grandchild to blow the money foolishly. A trust can be used to hold that share, or some part of it, until the child is older and more mature. 2. A trust can protect a child who is hopeless at handling money by ensuring that a predetermined amount is paid to the child on a monthly or yearly basis. The trust can be structured so that emergency funds are always available if needed. 3. A child with a drug addiction can be protected by a trust that pays for basic necessities such as rent, but does not make the whole share available at once. This will ensure that the money is not wasted, but more importantly, will ensure that the child cannot use the money to endanger himself or herself, or be taken advantage of by others. 4. A handicapped child s share can be managed for the child s lifetime in a way that brings the parents peace of mind, while at the same time does not cause the child to lose valuable provincial health benefits. 5. A spouse who is already in a high tax bracket may not want the additional income 11

14 that would be earned once a share of the estate is received. Setting up a trust for the spouse s share allows the tax to be earned (and paid) by the trust rather than the spouse. This kind of trust is often fully discretionary, so that if the spouse s financial situation changes, more money can be taken out of the trust than was originally anticipated. 6. In the case of a second marriage, using a trust would allow a person to give a surviving spouse the use of assets for that spouse s lifetime, after which the assets could go to the children of the first marriage. This type of trust is commonly used for assets such as the family home or cottage. 7. A trust can be set up to provide for emergency funds for any vulnerable family member a child, an elderly parent, an ailing sibling to be used when and if needed, with any remainder later going to the family members you specify. 8. A trust provides funds for the taxes, insurance and upkeep on an asset that is used by more than one beneficiary, such as a lake cottage. It is not intended to work indefinitely of course, but works well for that interim period between the death of the cottage owner and the transfer or sale to a beneficiary, even if that interim period is a year or more. 9. Funds that are held in a trust are safe from creditors of the beneficiary (except in the case of bankruptcy). 10. If a beneficiary s marriage breaks down, funds held in trust are generally not held to be matrimonial property, and are therefore not lost as a result of the beneficiary s divorce. These are life events that affect even those of us with modest estates. Trusts are wonderfully flexible and can be used to support students in college, to protect someone who marries young from gold-diggers, or to provide a handicapped person with an annual vacation. You would likely be surprised at how useful trusts can be! As you can see from the variety of issues addressed, each trust is different and should be tailored to your individual needs. There are, however, some common rules that apply to all trusts. For example, the trust must be clear as to who is to receive payment from it, when they are to be paid, and for exactly what expenses or purposes they are to be paid. There must be a statement about who gets the money in trust if the beneficiary dies before receiving all of it. And of course, there is the selection of a trustworthy, geographically available trustee who is capable of managing the money. If your lawyer is suggesting a trust for your will, keep an open mind to see if it would work for you. Do you love to quilt? Cross stitch? Embroider? Why not share your talent to help celebrate ARTA s 50 th anniversary? We invite you to submit an unfinished 10 ½ inch square on a white cotton background depicting your best thoughts and memories of ARTA, teaching, and education over the past 50 years. Squares may be quilted, embroidered or cross-stitched. A wall hanging to be displayed in the ARTA office will be designed. Extra squares will be individually framed to be awarded as ARTA 50 th anniversary commemoration gifts. To confirm that you will submit a block or if you need more information, contact Please submit your square by September 11, 2012, to Marilyn Bossert, Box 3152, Vermilion, AB T9X 2B1. 12

15 What Are We Doing Now? Marilyn Bossert The Fair By Marilyn Bossert For many of us living in rural Alberta, the best part of the summer is the local agricultural fair. Irene Smith and her family exemplify the typical family that is instrumental in initiating and maintaining this annual event. Celebrating Family, Farm and Fun, the 2012 theme of the Vermilion Fair, captures the essence of the rural agricultural fair. We return year after year to meet with family and friends while we are entertained by our favorite fair events. Many family RVs are moved onto the grounds as early as a week before the opening day. A pancake breakfast and parade launch fair days. By noon we are ready to move to the fairgrounds where a daily admission of only $5 grants us entry to an extensive selection of activities: the livestock shows cattle, light horses, heavy horses, sheep, or chickens; the pony chariot and pony chuckwagon races; the antique and modified tractor pulls; the grandstand shows and open stage performances; Old MacDonald s barn, where kittens and puppies will find new homes; school fair exhibits, displaying the work of local students; the Trade Show, displaying everything from jewellery to interlock roofing; the Exhibit Hall featuring horticultural products, photography, canning, cooking, sewing, quilting, stitchery and handicrafts from people of all ages; school reunions; and the midway. Fireworks thrill the crowds on the final night. Agricultural fairs are the product of endless volunteer hours. What starts out with entering a single event very often leads to much more involvement. For Irene Smith and her family, association with the fair started with the local 4-H Light Horse Club in the early 1980s. All three of her sons were in 4-H, but once all of the boys had moved away to further their education, neither Irene nor her 4-H horse were ready to retire. Irene entered her first equine show the next year. Unfortunately, that venture did not go quite as well as expected. The horse responded much better when ridden by her son Glen. Not to be deterred, Irene returned the following year with a different 13

16 horse and more success. Now she participates in as many as nine or ten English and Western classes each year. The Vermilion Fair Equine Show soon became a Smith-family event. Sons Jim and Glen competed against one another in driving events. For over twenty years at least one of the Smith grandchildren has been in the costume event. Granddaughter Kyla started at the age of three, moved on to junior classes, and then to senior classes. Great granddaughter Mercedes was in her first show two years ago. This year, granddaughter Dariel is sharing the same horse with her grandmother. One class they enter together each one will be judged separately, but the final results will be the culmination of both rides. As the Smith family became more active in the equine show, they also saw the need to become more involved. All three generations are there for workdays to get the grounds ready before the fair, during the fair and after the fair. Irene and her son have gone a step further by joining the Agricultural Society Executive. Glen has served as president, and Irene has been a co-chair of the Light Horse Committee for the past four years. This committee is responsible for organizing several clinics each spring. Not only does Irene help with the organization, but she also participates. She loves the camaraderie of this committee, another group in her life in addition to Senior Choir, Handbell Choir and CERTA. Like many families attending the fair, Irene s entire family will meet at their RV at least once each day before they go their separate ways to enjoy the other events at the fair or to go home to feed and groom the horses to prepare them for another day. For Irene s family, it is all part of Celebrating Family, Farm and Fun! Share your retirement experiences with News & Views. Contact 14

17 Editor s Note: This month, thanks to the efforts of the Wellness Committee, News & Views is pleased to welcome Diane Britton, a registered dietitian who will provide regular features about healthy eating. Ms. Britton, a graduate of the University of Alberta, has worked as a sports nutritionist at the U of A, and has done contract work with the RCMP, Health Canada, and Southwest Alberta Child and Family Services. After nine years at the University of Lethbridge working with athletes, students, faculty and staff, she now works for Alberta Health in the Lethbridge Health and Wellness Centre. Diane Britton Eat a Rainbow By Diane Britton Colourful vegetables and fruit pack a powerful nutritional punch. Red and purple grapes, apples, pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, purple grape juice, grapefruit and onions the closer your plate resembles a rainbow, the better. Why? Vegetables and fruit are loaded with polyphenols: antioxidants that help reduce cardiovascular disease. Polyphenols stop blood cells from sticking together to form clots, and they help prevent free-radical damage to blood vessels. Although there is no recommended daily intake amount of polyphenols, there is a lot of research behind the Canada Food Guide s recommendation of five to ten servings a day of vegetables and 15

18 fruit, some of the main sources of polyphenols in our diet. For a plateful of polyphenols, add some colorful vegetables and fruits to your next meal and your heart will thank you! Other sources of polyphenols can be included in moderation for a healthy diet: Peanuts. Watch your portions of this healthy fat choice containing the polyphenol resveratrol. The maximum daily recommended serving size for nuts, seeds and oils is 60 ml (or ¼ cup) of nuts or seeds; 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of a healthy oil; or 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of non-hydrogenated nut butter like peanut butter. Although healthy, moderate intake is important because these foods are energy dense. Green Tea. Sip green tea, which is loaded with polyphenols, more often. New hydration guidelines recommend 13 cups of fluid per day for men and 9 cups of fluid per day for women. All beverages are included in these amounts, even those containing caffeine like green tea. However, try to limit any caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea and pop) to four cups a day or less. Red Wine. The French Paradox is an observation that while the French have a high intake of saturated fat, they also have a lower incidence of heart disease. One theory is that their intake of red wine helps to protect their hearts. Other factors, proposed to play a role, include higher intake of vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. While red wine contains polyphenols that help promote healthy arteries, it is important to remember to consume it in moderation because there are risks associated with excessive alcohol intake. Health Canada recommends that if you drink alcohol, men should limit their intake to not more than two drinks daily, and women to one drink per day. Dark Chocolate. Flavonoids found in dark chocolate and cocoa powder may reduce the risk of heart disease. While it is inviting to believe a diet high in chocolate is good for us, further studies are needed to confirm the role of chocolate in chronic disease. Chocolate is also loaded in fat and calories, so savour chocolate only in small quantities. If you are eating five to ten servings of vegetables and fruit a day, especially a wide variety of colourful ones, you are on the right track to including polyphenols in your diet. Your heart will love you for it! 16

19 ARTA Office News A Word about Memberships By Evelyn Morin, Executive Assistant We appreciate the patience of our members as we are in the midst of processing thousands of new applications at this time of year. You will notice that you have a new ARTA number on your ARTA membership cards. ARTA is now using unique computer-generated numbers for your membership number, which does not in any way affect your membership or your health care benefits. The News & Views label with the member s name and address also indicates the expiry date of your membership. For those members who have two memberships per family (i.e., one membership for a husband and another for his wife), only one membership per family is actually required. If husband and wife want different ARTA health care policies, two memberships, one for the husband and one for the wife are required one for each policyholder. ARTA members serving on ARTA committees need an ARTA number. To put it simply As much as ARTA appreciates the support when both a husband and wife are members, just a single membership will do. A single membership allows access to the ARTA health care plan, with the member as policyholder. A second membership is not needed unless two individual health care policies are required, or unless the spouse without the membership will be serving on an ARTA committee. Contest # 14: ARTA History ARTA is celebrating a special anniversary in This anniversary is an important milestone in ARTA s history and ARTA wants everyone to be aware of it. The prize is a two-night stay in a King room with a buffet breakfast for two at the Executive Royal Inn Hotel and Conference Centre in Calgary. To win this prize, all you have to do is correctly answer both questions below. If your entry is drawn and your answers are correct, you will win the prize. Question 1: ARTA will be celebrating an anniversary in 2013? Which anniversary? Question 2: ARTA has a new News & Views editor. What is his legal first name? Send your answers to ARTA at: Contest #14, ARTA, Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 2R1. Contest #14 officially closes at 1:00 p.m. on October 15, The contest is open to all ARTA members in good standing regular and affiliate. Entries received after the closing date and time will not be considered. The winner will be notified shortly after the closing date. The decision of the judges is final. entries will not be considered. The name and photo of the winner may be published in News & Views. Knows-Count How many ARTA members have written and published a book? Or books? Ardith Trudzik wants to know so she can include your books in the ARTA BOOK FAIR 50 th Anniversary Celebration. Please contact Ardith by phone at , or Lily McCool at so that we know we can count on you! 17

20 Rhine River Cruise Pat and I often travel with our friends Donna and Paulette. The four of us had sailed on large cruise ships but opted this time to try a much smaller river boat, cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest: good choice! After boarding, we wandered the Old Town in Amsterdam and learned that while cars will stop for you, cyclists in bike lanes see pedestrians as fair game. We saw a three-tiered parking lot for bicycles so bikes are extremely common. Non-cyclists were friendly, helpful, and willing to speak English. The next day we toured the Rijksmuseum, where a dramatic guide gave us a better appreciation of three artists, especially Rembrandt. Later we took a canal tour boat. The canals often have character and beauty. Some buildings beside the canals lean because the peat subsoil is unstable; some of these houses are held in place by rebar. Houseboats on the canals vary from rusty hulks to freshly painted homes covered in plants. Our river cruise boat was docked near the red light district. We heard the story of a man who said he was too sick to go walking with his wife and friends, but when they returned a bit early from their walk, guess who they saw coming out of one of the red light apartments. Our guide speculated that the marriage ended shortly after. We took a small bus into the countryside to beautiful Edam where there are some medieval features and attractive homes, especially those located beside water. On the third day, passengers could walk into the pretty town of Xanten, which was a pleasant distraction because this part of the Rhine is industrial and not attractive. Day four included a stop at Cologne where we saw the huge Cologne Cathedral. Sights on the river included forests, interesting buildings, and one castle. In Koblenz we walked to the German Corner where the Mosel meets the Rhine. After lunch we took pictures along the Romantic Rhine, including several castles, eye-catching buildings, and vineyards on steep slopes. Day six started at 5:40 a.m. with a bang that could have made passengers think we d managed to imitate the Titanic. Our ship had broadsided one of the fifty-seven locks in this section as we switched over to the Main River. It was a rough portage. We spent an interesting tour day at Wurzburg. We walked into the Residenz, a U-shaped castle composed of three big buildings 18

21 that housed the ego of the Prince Bishop. The guide s views on art and architecture were amusing; we saw some unusual combinations of modern and traditional work. In a church we saw extremes of modern and traditional, side by side. The guide suggested that one enhanced the other. One figure of Christ had the arms down off the cross, perhaps suggesting forgiveness. We took a wine tour in Juliusspital to a complex that includes a seniors residence, hospital, and winery. Huge old oak wine casks were located downstairs, some of which had beautiful wood carvings on the lid. One lid showed patients who were happy because of the wine (one threw away his crutches), but a carved devil at the bottom waited for those who imbibed too much. Using wine sales to support the charity of the residence and hospital is an interesting concept. Naturally, I supported the charity. The next day was spent sailing on the Main River to Bamberg. The tour guide told us that at one stop people in a previous group had reported that a woman s husband was missing. The tour guide then turned to the woman and asked, Are you missing your husband? to which the woman had replied, No, I m not missing him at all! Often these old cities have charming city halls, but Bamberg s was unique. The church owned all the land and there was a secularchurch struggle. Finally the city officials said, You own the land, but not the water. They placed wooden pilings on an island in the river and built a city hall that looks like a boat in the river. We went to the stadium in Nuremberg where Hitler addressed ranks of people at the Nazi rallies. Today the concrete that includes the podium is a cold, barren place. We also saw the Old Town, which is certainly more picturesque. The next day we moved from the Main River to the Danube, which was not blue. It is a calm, mature river. A kayaker passed us, rather like a bike passing a Porsche. The day at Passau was very pleasant. Daniel, our guide, is a university student. He paid no tuition fees for his first degree. Thereafter, the university is not allowed to charge a fee of over 1000 euros per year because education must be accessible to everyone. Although the exterior was plain, the decoration inside St. Stephen s Cathedral was astounding. The interior said, If this is the work of men, imagine how beautiful heaven must be. Around the frescoes on the ceiling are four holes that supported scaffolding for the artist. The artist, in a sense, had his nose to the ceiling, but had to imagine what his painting would look like to observers on the floor. Outside, we went down a narrow, sloped street that has gravel spread over the cobblestones in winter so that it will not be slippery. One winter snow rose to a height of four or five meters. One day, Daniel s uncle was on his way to a meeting, parked his car, got out and lit a cigarette just before a block of ice fell and crushed his car. Daniel commented that it was a rare time when smoking was good for the health. 19

22 Our first glimpse of Vienna was disappointing since we had to drive through grungy commercial streets with a condescending guide. We saw the Opera House from the outside and a training session of Lipizzaner horses. The Imperial Vienna tour in the afternoon, with a different guide, was much better. We walked through the imperial rooms where we saw something of life in earlier times. The bedrooms, bath, and dining room were revealing. The table setting was striking. If each glass was filled once, there must have been many inebriated diners. A passenger born in Budapest had suggested that we be on the sun deck as we approach that city. When we looked out our window the morning of the last full day of our cruise, we saw nothing but fog; but as we got closer to Budapest, the fog began to lift. Soon, the jewel of the Danube revealed its beautiful skyline of old buildings. We went first to Pest, which is the flat side of the Danube and then over the Chain Bridge to the Buda side, where we walked around Castle Hill and into Matthias Church. At one time the area fell to the Turks who decorated the inside of the church with designs human and animal images are not allowed in the Muslim faith. We had great views from Fishermen s Bastion and from the Citadel area. Back on board we ate Hungarian food, and then it was time to pack for the trip home. News & Views Deadlines Winter issue: October 25, th Anniversary issue: January 25, 2013 Summer issue: April 25, 2013 Fall issue: July 25, 2013 Your letters and ideas are welcome. Please send them to 20

23 Before and After an Auto Accident Would you know what to do in the event you were in an accident? It is difficult to remember everything you need to do, so here s a checklist. Keep a copy in your vehicle. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but it s good to have it, just in case. Before Is there a copy of your insurance card (pink liability slip) and vehicle ownership in the car? Do you have an emergency roadside kit in the car that has a disposable camera? Does your policy have a rider allowing for the rental of a replacement vehicle while yours is being fixed after an accident? Are you aware of your municipality s accident reporting requirements? Do you keep a notebook and pen in your car? Do you have the contact information of a friend or family member to get in touch with in the event of a serious accident? After Check for injuries to anyone involved in the accident. If any, call 911 and do not move any of the vehicles. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other party or parties, including vehicle descriptions, license plate and driver s license numbers, and contact information. Note the time and location of the accident as well as weather and visibility conditions. If any party does not have information or refuses to produce it, inform the police. Note the damage to each of the vehicles. Take photos of the vehicles before they are moved. Were there any independent witnesses to the accident? Obtain their contact information. Always call the police. Depending on your municipality s accident reporting requirements you may be sent to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre or, depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances, an officer may attend. Once you have contacted the police and your vehicle is drivable, try to move it safely out of traffic then contact your insurance company or broker. If your vehicle is not drivable, your insurance company or broker will arrange to have your vehicle towed when you contact them. Depending on the municipality, you may be towed to a Collision Reporting Centre. Do not agree to take your vehicle to a body shop that you do not know. Wait until you talk to your adjuster who will give you your options. Never leave the scene without the intent to report the accident. Failure to report an accident or leaving the scene of an accident are serious offences if you are convicted. The 10 Rules of Tire Safety 1. Check tire pressures and adjust them accordingly at least once a month and before long trips. 2. Inspect tires regularly for abnormal wear or damage. 3. Rotate tires every 10,000 km or as specified in the owner s manual. 4. Maintain tires in proper balance. 5. Maintain the vehicle s steering and suspension in proper alignment. 6. Never overload your tires by overloading your vehicle. 7. Avoid overheating tires. 8. Replace tires when required. 9. Install tires in matched pairs or complete sets. 10. Select the right tires for your vehicle and driving environment. Did you know that 50% of all car accidents occur in and around parking lots? And of these, the majority happen while drivers back out of parking spaces at departure time. The solution to reducing your personal risk for this type of accident is to always back into your parking space when you park. Doing so allows you to see and be aware of what or who is coming toward your vehicle when you leave. Drive defensively, back into your parking space and reduce your risk of being involved in an accident! Articles provided courtesy of Johnson Inc. For further information or to request a quote, please contact Johnson at To ensure that you receive the benefits that have been negotiated on your behalf, be sure to reference your Group ID code: AT 21

24 Coordinate Your Benefits and Maximize Your Coverage! By Katie Gates, AON Hewitt Are you covered by more than one benefit plan? If you are, it pays to coordinate benefits between plans to maximize your coverage. To get the most from your family s benefit plans, it is important to know the guidelines for submitting your claim. You may have a number of different coverage options available to you a plan through Alberta Health Coverage for Seniors if you are 65 or older, your ARTA coverage, and any available coverage from a spouse and tapping into each of those options could mean your family is covered for up to 100% of reasonable and customary health care expenses. Here s how. Determining your primary plan When submitting your claims for health care expenses, it is important to understand which coverage option serves as your primary plan. Your primary plan pays the claim first, based on the plan s rules and eligible coverages. Next, you submit the unpaid balance of the claim to a secondary plan, which could be another plan you are a member of, or your spouse s plan where you are covered as a dependent. Here is a checklist to help you decide: þ Are you 65 or older? If the answer is yes, your primary plan will always be the provincial coverage for seniors. For Albertans 65 and older, the primary plan will always be the Alberta Health Coverage for Did you know? There is a special set of guidelines for making claims for the health care expenses of your dependent children if you and your spouse have benefits coverage. Some universities provide benefits coverage for students, as do some part-time employers. If your dependent child is covered, this plan is the primary plan and would be the first option for your child s coverage. Otherwise, the claim should be submitted to the plan of the parent with the earlier birthday in the calendar year first. Then the claim would be submitted to the second parent s plan. Special coverage for special needs. There are special rules for auto insurance, out-of-province/country expenses and workers com pensation in Canada. While ARTA proudly provides members with options in these areas, these items are not coordinated in the same way. Check with ARTA s plan administrator at ARTA(2782) for more details. Seniors, which provides coverage for certain prescription drugs and other health care expenses. Check out the details of your provincial plan by going to delivery-prestation/ptrole/indexeng.php or your provincial government website if you live outside Alberta. þ Do you have coverage with another benefit program? Some retirees just cannot keep out of the workplace, and in some cases, that means a new position and a new benefit plan. If you answered yes to this question and are under 65, your employer plan will be your primary plan. If you are 65 and older with an employer plan, the seniors provincial plan will be your primary plan and your group benefit plan will be your secondary plan. þ Your ARTA membership. If you are under 65, even if you are covered by your spouse s benefit plan, the ARTA plan is your primary plan. You would submit the claim to the ARTA plan, then to your spouse s plan for any unpaid balance. Remember, you can only claim up to 100% of reasonable and customary expenses. Each plan will pay benefits according to its plan rules. Submitting your claim who pays first? With so many potential options available to ARTA members, you may be wondering which plan to 22

25 submit your claim to first. All in surance companies in Canada use the same guidelines for processing your claim, which can help take the guesswork out of submitting your expenses. The process is simple: 1. Determine your primary plan. Using the guidelines set out above, you can establish which plan is your primary plan. That plan will always pay first, before your other coverage options. 2. Make copies of your receipts. If you are planning to submit a claim to multiple plans for the same expense, take a moment to photocopy your receipt. The original will not be returned by the primary plan, so copies will be needed for any further claims. 3. Submit your claim. Using the claim forms provided by the administrator (for ARTA claims, claim forms can be found on our website), submit your claim to your primary plan. Be sure to indicate in the appropriate box if you have additional coverage, and provide the identification numbers. In some cases, if you and your spouse both have benefits through ARTA, the claim will be coordinated automatically based on this information. 4. Review your Explanation of Benefits. When receiving a payment on your claim from your primary plan, you will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) outlining the amount not eligible for coverage. Make a copy of this for your records you will need to submit the original EOB with your secondary claim. Coordinate Your Benefits continues on page 26. A Special Relationship: Grandparents and Grandchildren By Marilyn Marks, Founding Member, Alberta Grandparents Association, Calgary The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is special because it is mutually beneficial. In this relationship, grandparents can feel that they are important in their grandchildren s lives by being able to love their grandchildren unconditionally. In turn, grandchildren can feel special when they know their grandparents love them and are available for them when they are needed. Grandparents presence can substantially assist a grandchild to cope in times of stress, or can help a grandchild to feel successful on a more continuous basis. The relationship can provide joy, love, fun, support, mentoring, teaching, security and stability within an extended family unit. But when this grandparent-grandchild bond is not nurtured and protected, it breaks the continuity of the family connection, affects the sense of community and prevents everyone in the family from living their best, healthy and happy lives. For the past eleven years the Alberta Grandparents Association in Calgary has been approaching legislators to amend legislation to make the process easier for grandparents to have a relationship with their grandchildren when access is disrupted. The Association has shown good evidence why it is in the best interests of children to have a relationship with their grandparents in most cases. (According to the Elderly Adult Resource Service in Edmonton, denying grandparents access to their grandchildren falls into the category of emotional abuse.) The Alberta Family Law Statutes Amendment Act, 2010 (as it pertains to grandchild-grandparent access) has problems that make it difficult, if not impossible, for the grandchild-grandparent relationship to form when parents or guardians deny their children access to their grandparents. 23

26 These problems are similar to the problems that existed in previous legislation, the Family Law Act. Such access is usually denied because of unresolved issues from the past, which may have nothing to do with the right of the child to have a relationship with their grandparents. The real problem is that the onus is on grandparents to show very difficult and intangible conditions to the court in order to support why they should have a relationship with their grandchildren. In addition, the forum for this discussion is adversarial, expensive, confusing and often unsuccessful. Another problem is that the legislation treats some grandparents in a prejudicial manner because of the family situation their grandchildren live in. Grandparents whose grandchildren live in an intact family (children residing with parents or guardians) and who wish access to their grandchildren must meet two requirements. These grandparents must bring a Leave application before the court which requests permission to bring an Application for Access forward. However, grandparents whose grandchildren reside in a single parent family have one requirement to meet: to bring an Application for Access forward. No matter what family situation they live in, most grandchildren value having a relationship with their grandparents. Grandparents and other family members should have a less adversarial and fragmented setting than a regular court in which to decide such challenging family concerns as grandchild-grandparent access. At present, these decisions often require trips to two or three different levels of court a process that is onerous and confusing for grandparents and other family litigants. A Unified Family Court was to have been established in Alberta, with specialized judges and services to help resolve family disputes with the least possible damage for family members. In Calgary, the Unified Family Court was to have formed part of the newly built Courthouse that would have integrated the Court of Appeal, Court of Queen s Bench and Provincial Court. Support for the establishment of a Unified Family Court system in Alberta was overwhelming. The Unified Family Court Task Force (made up of Albertans from all walks of life) clearly made the case for the creation of this specialized court in which to resolve complicated family issues like denial of access by grandparents to their grandchildren. The Alberta Government s choice to abandon a Unified Family Court System left grandparents unable to resolve their family issues in a less adversarial court setting not a blueprint for success for family members. Another consideration might be a plan similar to the Province of Manitoba s Grand Relations Strategy, an internationally acknowledged, and highly successful plan that strives to have grandchild-grandparent access denial issues successfully settled out of court. The benefits to children having access to their grandparents emphasize the importance of this special relationship: Grandparents provide a stabilizing force in times of crisis. Grandparents contribute to child development by socializing with grandchildren, giving financial and emotional support, passing on family history, values and traditions. Children s relationships with their own grandparents affect relationships with their own grandchildren two generations later. Grandparents often offer unconditional love. This positive psycho-social role the grandparents play suggests that the family unit as a whole may rely less on public social resources, and more on family relationships. Grandparents can provide continuity in relationships and present a long-term, stabilizing force in a grandchild s life. The benefits to grandparents having access to their grandchildren also emphasize the importance of this mutually beneficial relationship: Grandparents develop an increased sense of well-being and morale. Grandparents as historians teach values, ethnic heritage and family traditions. Grandparents have time to maximize resources available in rearing children, minimizing parents reliance on government and community resources. The grandparent-grandchild relationship can function as a family resource. When a close grandparentgrandchild relationship has formed, an attachment of quality is developed and nurtured throughout the life of each. Whether it is through change to legislation, the implementation of a Unified Family Court, or a strategy similar to Manitoba s Grand Relations Strategy, it is incumbent upon us all to advocate for change that ensures both the success of the grandparent-grandchild relationship and a healthier sense of community and society. (The referenced information discussed in this article can be found on the Alberta Grandparents Association s website at www. albertagrandparents.ca where you will find our six-page research document.) 24

27 Tai Chi, Is It A Missing Link in Your Health Puzzle? By Steve Burger Good health is a complex combination of very different elements. For me, Tai Chi is one of the enjoyable and healthy activities I practice regularly. So what is Tai Chi? Historically, Tai Chi was a martial art as well as an exercise system; today, however, it is most widely recognized just as a form of exercise. The slow, graceful movements are a gentle type of workout that almost anyone can do. Regular practice can improve flexibility, circulation, and balance as well as reduce stress. China has an incredibly long history of both martial arts and exercise routines. The earliest reference to anything like Tai Chi is a written note by the Yellow Emperor in 2700 BC when referring to special exercises based on animal movements. In the sixth century AD, writers again refer to health-giving exercise based on the movements of five animals. About the same time, Shaolin monks began developing a series of exercises to strengthen the body for meditation, the beginning of the Kung Fu martial arts tradition. In the thirteenth century, these two forms of exercise began to merge to become what is now Tai Chi. During the Chinese Communist Revolution, Tai Chi began to appear in North America and Europe, and today there are three main Tai Chi forms: Chen, Wu and Yang, each with many variations. There is no doubt that Tai Chi has changed throughout the centuries. What started as strictly a martial art, learned and practiced for self-defense, has also become an exercise routine used by millions for its health benefit. I do not think there is a single best Tai Chi style. Beginners should ask what they want to get from the practice of Tai Chi. Is it a martial arts skill? A good series of stretching exercises? A chance to practice an exercise routine with a group of people? Whatever the reason, it is best to find a group to learn with and practice for a month or two to see if this is right for you. You know your body best. If you have health conditions or previous physical injury, check with your health-care provider about the advisability of beginning Tai Chi exercise. The physical exertion would be similar to yoga. Tai Chi practice should never cause sharp pain or undue strain to your body. If you feel pain from doing a move, stop doing it. Ask the instructor if you are doing something incorrectly since the practice should be a gentle workout to help improve flexibility and muscle coordination. Tai Chi is not a muscle-building or cardiovascular workout. Even so, you might find a few sore muscles the day after you take a class. The stretches may work muscles that do not normally get much, if any, exercise. The choreographed set of moves, when done together, produce a continuous sequence of movement lasting several minutes. This slow series of movements, developed over centuries of time, does not work the heart and lungs in the same way an aerobic workout will. The Tai Chi list of supplies is extremely short. Since the Tai Chi form can be practiced alone, once you know what to do, you do not need to go anywhere, meet with a group at a specific time or use specialized equipment. Just stand up and start. You need loose-fitting clothing so you can stretch easily. I often practice with a comfortable pair of shoes, usually runners, but sometimes just bare feet. There is no special uniform like those used in Judo, karate or other martial arts. Tai Chi has no coloured belts or sashes to mark progress. For practice space, you need an area about the size of a living room. If the weather cooperates, a patio space, deck or a lawn make great practice areas. There are a number of factors involved in learning Tai Chi. Like learning any new skill, you need to practice, preferably every day. Any type of regular practice will speed up your learning and begin to give you a variety of health benefits, 25

28 sooner. What often works best are a number of short practices of about fifteen minutes that can fit into the rest of the day s activities. Finding a class with an instructor is the best way to learn. Most classes meet once or twice a week for one or two hours. The instructor is very helpful in demonstrating the various warm ups and Tai Chi form moves. An instructor also gives you the opportunity to observe from a number of angles as they demonstrate. You can also ask questions to clarify what you are learning. Observing other members of the class can also speed up learning. Being in a group where most people are practicing together really helps you to remember the sequence of moves and observe people from many angles as you learn each step. You can benefit from other people s questions and learn from the instructor s answers to them. Social context can make learning more fun. It is also possible to learn some Tai Chi from DVDs that demonstrate warm-up exercises and movements. Local public libraries often have copies that can be used. DVDs provide a useful supplement to classes. Although the DVDs are never exactly the same as class demonstrations they give you something new to think about. DVDs, however, present several problems. Because of camera angle, some body movements will be hard to observe. Worse, no one will be there to observe your body movements and provide corrective advice. Unless you have a large wall mirror, you will not be able to see yourself; but even with one, during various movements, you will lose sight of yourself. As a result, you will have little or no idea whether a hand is too high or low or if an angle is too far right or left. There are also many YouTube videos demonstrating a wide range of Tai Chi styles and movements; but while there are some excellent examples, most are very poor and may hinder more than help. Numerous books have been written about Tai Chi. Many have a series of still photographs that demonstrate the beginning position of a move, a middle position and the ending position. I find these nearly impossible to learn from because Tai Chi is a fluid movement through each step of the form. What you cannot see from these still illustrations is the body movement between the still photographs. Every class I have been to has two common elements: all have some warm-up exercises, followed by practice on the Tai Chi form. The warm-up exercises stretch muscles, tendons and joints so you are loosened up for the later Tai Chi practice. These exercises are often similar to common Tai Chi movements, so the practice also helps repeat common physical movements within the form. The second common element is practice of the Tai Chi form. This form is made up of a number of specific body movements and positions. Depending on the class you are taking, there could be anywhere from twenty-four positions to longer forms which could have up to one hundred and eight positions. In some ways, Tai Chi is like golf: you can learn the basics in a few months, but it will take years to master the form. Tai Chi has a rich history with roots reaching back thousands of years in Chinese culture. The slow, gentle movements are excellent stretching exercises that can help improve balance and coordination. Find a class or sign out a DVD and try it. See if Tai Chi is a missing piece in your health puzzle. Coordinate Your Benefits continued from page Submit your secondary claim. After you have filled out the claim forms for the secondary plan, attach the EOB and the photocopy of the original receipt. The secondary plan will assess the outstanding balance for payment. You could be reimbursed up to 100% of your costs! 6. Rinse and repeat. If you have additional coverage options, you can repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have reached 100% coverage for your expense. Once you have reached 100%, that s it! Your eligibility for payment stops there. Did you know? While Albertans automatically qualify for Alberta Health Coverage for Seniors at age 65, you must register in order to be covered! Visit or call for more information in Alberta, or check your provincial government website for details in other provinces. What is retiree coverage? A retiree plan will always pay second after a group plan that covers you as an active employee. As an ARTA member, if you are an active employee under another plan, it will be your primary plan. Any claims made to ARTA should be submitted after they have been processed by your primary plan. Guiding your choices. There are some great resources online to learn more about coordinating your benefits. Download your guide by visiting benefitscoordination 26

29 In My Opinion by Robin Carson Robin Carson Paved With Good Intentions Recently, a good friend of mine included me in a group to whom he was forwarding a right-wing rant he had received via . It originated with one of those professional right-wing ranters who has his own radio show Neal Boortz, who broadcasts from Atlanta. According to the , Boortz apparently delivered this particular rant to a graduating class at Texas A&M University to the dismay of the faculty, but with the wild approbation of the graduating class. However, five minutes of checking on Snopes.com showed me that although Boortz wrote the rant, it was really only delivered on his own radio show. That it received rapturous applause at Texas A&M was an outright lie. I read the piece and was struck by one line in particular: From the Liberals [sic] you will hear references to groups. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights. The rant went on to expand on the idea that only individuals matter, and singled out persons of colour, bums, the poor, and even teachers as persons unworthy to be considered in the grand scheme of things. And there it is the difference between Them and Me. Throughout my life I have been taught that it is right and proper to place the needs of the many before my own needs. I learned that in church, in Scouts, in school, and, in particular, from my parents. Do we lay down our lives for our country, or our family? Absolutely. Are we to care for the least of these? Of course we are. I had the extraordinary good luck to have had Dr. Gwynn Nettler as a professor in three criminology courses back in the 1960s. He taught us and fifty years have never shown me that it is wrong that we either put the group first or ourselves (in the guise of the individual ) first. He never suggested that the division was absolute, but he certainly suggested that there would be friction between those points of view (expressed, for example, in reform versus punish in legal sentencing). Certainly Boortz s rant, and the dozens of similar ones that land by accident or design in our inboxes, verify Nettler s assertion. Us, or me, as if no compromise is possible. So, how did we get to this point? I believe that this recent trend toward me first! gained real impetus from the self-esteem movement, which we teachers have all had to deal with. We were strongly cautioned never to permit children to fail, since doing so would damage some intangible thing that would scar our charges permanently. Self-esteem somehow became a right, rather than something to be earned. If I am correct, is it any wonder that this me first attitude has eclipsed any sense of sacrificing for the sake of the group? Recently a high school teacher with Edmonton Public Schools was suspended for assigning zeros to students for work not done despite his school having adopted a no zero policy. As reported in the Edmonton Journal, Lyndon Dorval, a teacher of thirty-five years experience, was never accused of using zeros in a malicious way rather, he went to extraordinary lengths to acquire unfinished work from each student before assigning a zero for work not done. Students at his school, even some affected by the zeros he assigned, supported him by pointing out that it is not fair to students who do the work to give any other grade but zero to those who do not do the work. Supporters of the no-zero policy call zero grades a punishment, which damages the self-esteem of the child. Although Dorval used zeros only as a last resort, his opponents suggest that there are other methods he could have used. For example, he could have used a In My Opinion continues on page

30 In Memoriam Olga Margaret Alexandruk (née Topolnisky) of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, passed away on June 14, She taught at Rudolph Henning School in Fort Saskatchewan. Irene Alger (née Carrico) passed away in Lethbridge on June 28, 2012, at the age of 94. Born in Stettler, Alberta, Irene completed her schooling in Carstairs then attended Normal School in Calgary. After teaching for three years, she made the decision in 1942 to attend Business College, which led to her working at the Australian embassy in Washington, DC, during World War II. Following her marriage, she resided in Lethbridge where she was involved in many local charitable organizations. Robert Bachmann passed away on May 6, 2012, at the age of 69. Bob came to Canada in the mid 1960s, and spent the majority of his career teaching social studies at J.R. Robson School in Vermilion. Over the years, Bob worked for his colleagues in both the ATA and CERTA. He will be remembered for his hearty chuckle and his ability to relate to everyone, no matter where he went. Nita Theresa Boos (née Jones) of Calgary passed away on June 21, She was 106. Born in Sintaluta, Saskatchewan, Nita taught in many rural schools throughout Alberta, as well as in schools in Calgary. Marjorie Elizabeth Bowman (née Greer) passed away in Sarnia, Ontario, on July 3, Educated in Ontario, Marjorie spent part of her teaching career in Edmonton, where she taught primary school. Her specialty was taking a single group of students through Grades 1 to 4. Sonia Rose Marie Buryn (née Pawluk) of Redwater passed away on July 19, She is survived by her husband Myron and her children Sherri and Darren. Francis Edward Dembicki passed away on May 10, 2012, at the age of 96. Born in Mundare, Francis volunteered for active service in WWII, and was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion. He was a high school teacher in Fort Saskatchewan until his retirement after which he gardened, travelled and volunteered. Lois Noreen Campbell (née Bouey) passed away in Calgary on April 19, She was 92. Lois began her teaching career in the Regina area when she was 18, driving a one-horse sleigh to her one-room schoolhouse. She moved to Edmonton after her marriage, where she earned her BEd at the University of Alberta. Lois taught in Edmonton, lectured in early childhood education at the University of Alberta, and later served two terms as a trustee with the Edmonton Public School Board, then two terms as an alderman for the City of Edmonton. She was also a member of the University of Alberta Senate. Florence Diebel (née Zyla) of High River passed away on July 18, 2012, at 85 years of age. Florence was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and grew up on the family farm at Tyvan, Saskatchewan. She attended teachers college in Moose Jaw and taught in Saskatchewan for six years. Following her marriage, Florence taught for a year in the Regina Separate School District before she and her husband moved to Lethbridge where she taught in the Lethbridge Separate School District for eleven years. When the University of Lethbridge initiated its teacher education program, she was among the first teacher associates involved in taking student teachers. Prior to her retirement in 1986, Florence taught in the Calgary Separate School system. She was also involved with the handicapped riding program in High River for a number of years. Ardis Dobson passed away November 5, 2011, at the age of 90. After completing her teacher training in Edmonton, Ardis taught in rural Alberta schools, raised a family, and returned to finish her career in Paradise Valley. She will be remembered as a systematic, organized teacher who was well respected by her school families and colleagues. Patricia Dougherty (née Humfrey) passed away in Calgary on June 10, A teacher and an administrator, Patricia will be remembered for her commitment to public education and to mentorship. John (Jack) Powell Haggarty passed away in Edmonton on May 19, He grew up in Cluny, Alberta, where he worked with his family in the Cluny post office before obtaining a BEd in Industrial Education from the University of Alberta in Calgary, and later an MEd from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Jack spent fourteen years as an officer with the South Alberta Light Horse, and later with the King s Own Calgary Regiment. Employed by the Calgary Separate School Board, he was both a teacher and an Industrial Arts 28

31 Consultant during his 35-year career. Jack was very active with the ATA at both the local and the provincial levels. He was also an active member of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Knights of Columbus. Ed Henderson of Medicine Hat passed away on July 8, Ed was an educator with Lethbridge School District No. 51 for 35 years. He taught in Goodwater, Saskatchewan, for several years before moving to Lethbridge. Ed was passionate about young people and physical education and was a respected colleague and leader. Leading by example, he was involved in numerous sports and volunteer endeavors including the Canada Winter Games when they were held in Lethbridge. Ed was a member of SWARTA for many years. Ernest Daniel Hodgson passed away in Edmonton on July 5, 2012 at 88 years of age. After his graduation from Strathcona High School, Ernest attended Normal School, then taught in a one-room school in northern Alberta. He served overseas with the RCAF, then obtained a BEd after the war. He returned to teaching in 1948, earning an MEd and a PhD while teaching school. Ernest also served as a school superintendent, a high school inspector, a senior administrator with Alberta Education, and a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta from 1966 until his retirement in He served as an Edmonton Public School Board trustee, and was a long-time member of the Edmonton Education Society. The Canadian Education Association awarded him a life membership in Lorraine Jennings passed away in Lethbridge on July 15, 2012, at the age of 80. Born and raised near Congress, Saskatchewan, she left the family farm to attend Luther College where she obtained her teaching certificate in Over the next twelve years, Lorraine taught in numerous one-room schools across Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Following her marriage, she resided in Lethbridge, Alberta, where she taught at the old Westminster School for several years. After raising her family, she returned to her profession as a kindergarten teacher at Aslan Day Care in Lethbridge. Please note the Calgary teachers who have passed away are remembered on the CRTA website at calgaryretiredteachers.org Myrtle Christine Jordan passed away on November 30, 2010, at 102 years of age. Born in the State of Washington, she moved to Valhalla Centre in the Peace River country when she was seven. Myrtle took her teacher s training in Camrose, then taught at Blooming Valley School. Lillian Margaret Munz, well known as an artist and a teacher, passed away in Calgary on June 1, She was born in Edmonton and raised in Barons. After her graduation from the University of Alberta in 1957, Lillian began her teaching career at Branton Junior High School in Calgary. She taught in several Calgary schools for twenty-five years, at H. A. Gray School in Edmonton for three years, then at a commercial college in Tanzania for three years. After her retirement, Lillian stayed active in several art organizations, tutored English as a second language and travelled widely. Raymond (Ray) Browning Phipps, a well-known teacher, singer and actor, passed away at the age of 85 on May 4, After public schooling in Saskatoon, Ray obtained both BEd and master s degrees at the University of Alberta, and later took both singing and drama training at the Banff School of Fine Arts. On scholarship, he also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Ray began his teaching career at Calder Junior High School in Edmonton, then embarked on a professional singing and acting career in the US. When he returned to Edmonton, Ray taught at Ardrossan High School, and Jasper Place Composite High School, before becoming vice-principal at Stratford Junior High School. He then became Supervisor of Drama for Edmonton Public Schools where he provided a gentle and steady mentorship for drama teachers for many years. After his retirement in 1987, Ray played the role of Alberta s first teacher, Richard Harris, in the 1881 School. Edmonton audiences will remember him fondly for his roles in over fifty musical and dramatic performances such as The Fantastics. Ray also helped to bring the International Children s Theatre Festival to Edmonton, sat as a Heritage Festival board member, and was instrumental in bringing theatre facilities to Hawrelak Park. He touched the lives of many students, teachers and audience members, enriching them with his gentle good humour. Bernice Neal passed away in Edmonton on June 15, 2012, at the age of 91. Born in Medicine Hat and raised in Hanley, Saskatchewan, Bernice attended Normal School in Saskatoon and taught for a number of years in 29

32 Saskatchewan. Following her marriage, she resided in Milk River, Alberta, where she taught school for twenty years, retiring in Bernice was very active in her community. She moved to the Edmonton area in Harold (Hal) Reid passed away in Calgary, Alberta, on October 22, 2011, at 84 years of age. In his last fifty years, he modelled great determination and tenacity for living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Hal obtained a BEd at the University of Alberta in 1952, and a BLS at the University of Toronto in On his return to Edmonton, he designed the West Library of the new Victoria Vocational School then worked there as teacher-librarian. He later combined the East and West libraries in the school. His was the first library in an Alberta high school to have a data processed catalogue, foreshadowing the computer age. Hal was on staff with Edmonton Public Schools for forty years. Mary Nemirsky-Romanko passed away on July 10, Mary started her long and rewarding teaching career with the Edmonton Public School District in 1968 and retired from her administrative position in June, She was a stellar teacher and administrator. Mary worked as a consultant and was seconded to Alberta Education. After having achieved numerous remarkable milestones in her professional career, she served on the executive of the Edmonton Retired Teachers Association for three years. Mary was very active during her retirement fulfilling many of her dreams, contributing to various organizations and travelling to exotic places. Frances Schuchard of St. Albert passed away on May 1, 2012, at the age of 89. Originally from the United States, Frances moved to the Edmonton area in the 1960s where she taught school. She is best known for teaching music, as well as for the work she did creating a music program at the Bissell Centre, and directing several church choirs. Margaret (Peggy) Edna Stratte passed away on June 17, 2012, at 94 years of age. Born in Oxbow, Saskatchewan, she pursued her formal education in Edmonton, first obtaining a teaching diploma, and then a degree in home economics. Peggy first taught in a one-room school in the Wetaskiwin area, and later served as a dietitian for Eatons and at St. Stephen s College. After her retirement as a teacher, she and her husband Orville travelled extensively. In My Opinion continued from page 27 grading system that only averages what a student does do to create a final mark. Such a situation is not surprising given a movement that seeks to provide pride in oneself, often without the effort to build that pride. Fail nobody. Never let children of any age face the consequences of their actions or inactions. Just before I retired in 2001, I was beginning to feel increasing pressure from helicopter parents who hovered during meet-the-teacher nights, open houses, and through telephone calls wondering how my grades could be correct when their sons and daughters were failing/getting a C/getting a B. My pointing out that bad work or work not done might be the reason was usually met with a comment like, But he s going to the U of (plug in a letter here) in the fall! Apparently, given the aspirations of the parents for their child, it was my fault that grades were low. The winter holidays that had caused the child to miss three assignments did not seem to matter, nor did the child s lack of study for quizzes and exams. What began as a pretty noble motive I want my children to have a better world than the one I grew up in! has become twisted by the desire of too many parents to give to their children instead of requiring children to earn. Earn what? Well, money, cellphones, tickets to Justin Bieber, or a dog, for starters. Respect and selfesteem, for finishers. Even if I am only partly right, it is no wonder that our society has shifted its caring from the group to the individual, and to rights with no corresponding responsibilities. In our fear that we will alienate our children by expecting the best from them, we have created entire generations that have their own expectations that they will be cared for and even pampered. In such a culture, it is no wonder that men can thrive who express inhumanity for the less fortunate, men like Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck. Such men promise safety from a nebulous foe, or guarantee trickledown wealth just by making the wealthy wealthier. Among those who trade the group for the self, there will many anxious to buy those promises, as hollow as they might be. If the trend continues, you might want to practice tugging your forelock. 30

33 Steppin Out By Robin Carson Calgary s reputation for hospitality is so well known that it is almost unnecessary to mention it; but hospitality was very much the centrepiece of the Calgary Retired Teachers Association s annual Steppin Out, an exciting conference of learning, recreation and networking for seniors. Steppin Out, held at Calgary s Greenwood Inn, began on Thursday, May 10 with a no-host bar followed by a prime rib dinner. The guest speaker was Colin Milner, a recognized expert on the health and well-being of older adults. The message in his keynote address, Trends in Active Aging, was enthusiastically received. The conference resumed the next day with a light breakfast, lots of coffee and smiles everywhere. In his morning plenary address, A Healthy Legacy, Colin Milner identified ten strategies to prepare for aging. He pointed out that in the last 100 years, humans have added nearly thirty years to their lifespan, and, consequently, we must plan to use that time well. Recognizing that most of us are already well into our senior years, he asked us to think about how to inspire the next generation to create a healthy lifestyle. There were two hour-long sessions in the morning with topics that ranged from the serious (such as long-term care, and downsizing) to the development of both body and spirit (such as zumba, and Jennifer Buchanan s music therapy) to makeup and footwear and places to go walking. Another speaker, Karen Driedger, had everyone join her in some madcap movement games during her lunchtime presentation of A Showgirl Trapped in a Librarian s Body. An assortment of presentations including photography, calligraphy, and investment fraud were held in the afternoon, followed by a social hour. Steppin Out is a wonderful opportunity for retired people to renew and refocus their direction. The speakers provide strong motivation to engage actively in the world, and to take on the challenges that seniors face and provide directions as to how to be able to do that. This is a conference that brings new ideas to old heads, and is definitely worth the time and the modest cost. The organizers should be very proud of what they provided for their members and the many guests who also attended. 31

34 2012 Memorial Golf Tournament By Dawn Curran, Secretary, STARTA 2012 Memorial Golf Committee The third annual ARTA memorial golf tournament was held on June 18, 2012, at the Sandpiper Golf & Country Club near St. Albert. This Rod Throndson event honored a great Albertan, Rod Throndson, an admired St. Albert educator and civic leader who passed away in August Special guests included Rod s wife, Betty, their two daughters, Terena Le Corre and Shawna Christensen, and grandsons Mark and Brady Christensen. The St. Albert and Area branch (STARTA) hosted the event. Ninety-three golfers from as far as Lethbridge, Calgary, Grande Prairie and even Salt Spring Island enjoyed a full day of golf and fellowship. After the golf tournament, many people came to enjoy the barbecue and the after dinner program. The steak barbecue at the Sandpiper Clubhouse followed a day of fine weather, morning coffee, special skill events, ice cream snacks, golf bingo, and a mulligan draw. The program included tributes to Rod by daughter, Shawna, cousin, Lowell Throndson, and friend, Barry Findlater. The top team in the Texas Scramble was from Cold Lake. They had an impressive score of six under par. We extend congratulations to Greg Christian, Roger Jackson, Greg Haldorson, and Larry Marciniuk who won new golf bags. Other skill prizes and consolation prizes included travel bags, Calloway golf clubs, ball retrievers, cash and golf passes for the Sandpiper. STARTA Door prizes were also awarded so that everyone went home with something. Unfortunately, no one won the shiny new Hyundai from Johnson Inc. or the $10,000 from ATB Financial in the hole-in-one events. Eleven STARTA volunteers got up early to work the tournament. STARTA historian, Joyce Keltie was the official photographer and Kevin Easthope, the head professional. The Sandpiper Golf and Country Club provided a wonderful Golf Tournament continues on page 33. (l-r) Gordon Miller, Terena Le Corre, Betty Throndson, Shawna Christensen Family friends Skip and Holly Pickle with Rod s grandsons, Mark and Brady Christensen 32

35 To the Editor: One unexpected advantage of being a satellite member of ARTA here in British Columbia is receiving ARTA s News & Views. What I particularly appreciate in the magazine are the articles on retirees giving back to their communities, and the editorials (in a couple of recent editions) on the need for compassion in social policy. So good to read about Ellen Teasdale and the way she used quilting to make a special contribution to E. H. Walter School and her special Grade 5 students! The value of this emphasis is very apparent to me because I started receiving ZOOMER, the mouthpiece of the Canadian Association of Retired People, at the same time. I found it, in contrast to News & Views, utterly devoted to retired people consuming goods and services and having a good time, whatever the circumstances around them. There s nothing wrong with people enjoying themselves, of course, but there s more to life than a focus on oneself, and I very much encourage ARTA s News & Views to keep reminding us of that. (And I ve cancelled ZOOMER!) Yours, Chris Bullock Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta Winners of the 2012 Golf Tournament site and Kinley Chorney and the staff of Golf Town assisted with the purchase of prizes and monogrammed gifts. The St. Albert host committee, chaired by Lou Duigou, would like to thank the organizations that partnered in hosting the event. Johnson Inc. stepped up to be our major sponsor, and once this important sponsorship was in place, the committee was able to firm up a budget and plan for the event. Johnson Rep, Nicole Nyenhuis also brought refreshments and supplied some door prizes. ARTA co-sponsored the event and was represented by Juanita Knight, Vice-President, and, Daniel Mulloy, Executive Director, who also participated in the tournament. Seven ARTA branches Medicine Hat, North East, Edmonton, Calgary, South West, Wainwright, and Foothills made financial contributions. Refreshments were donated by the following St. Albert businesses: Investors Group, Apex Casino, Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons. Our memorial tournament would not have occurred without the contributions made by these sponsors and supporters. 19, 3 33 ALBERTA RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION News & Views Volume 21, No. 1

36 Keeping Your Finger on the Pulses By Zohre Hashemi and Kaiyuan Yang What are pulses? Pulses are the edible seeds of legumes such as beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils. They are available dried, frozen or canned, with the dried varieties being available most inexpensively in bulk. Pulses are really nutritious Pulses are a rich source of protein and some vitamins and minerals, which makes them exceptionally nutritious. They are also an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre slows the rate of food emptying from the stomach, and hence results in a more gradual uptake of nutrients. In other words, you feel full longer. It also slows cholesterol absorption. Insoluble fibre helps to prevent constipation. These qualities make them an excellent addition to diets aimed at weight maintenance and management of both diabetes and high blood cholesterol. Pulses are gluten-free Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley grains. For individuals with celiac disease or who must exclude glutens from their diet, pulses provide a nutritional substitute that other substitutes sometimes lack. Healthy eating and healthy budget The costs of eating pulses are low and the benefits are high. For example, the protein in ground beef is almost ten times as expensive as the same amount of protein from kidney beans. Although almost all plant-source proteins lack certain amino acids, they can be complemented by other foods such as corn, rice, or small amounts of animal proteins to obtain a full protein diet. But what about the wind? Beans have a reputation for promoting gas. If you have ever sat around a campfire, you have probably even sung about it. Fortunately, help is available. There are several ways to prevent gas problems from happening. Ask your pharmacist for commercial products that you can take to avoid gas. You can also add seasonings like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and epazote when cooking pulses to improve digestibility. Even presoaking pulses to remove some of the indigestible sugars will work, although some water-soluble nutrients are also lost in the soaking water. Eating yogurt helps with flatulence as well. Tips for increasing the use of pulses Literature suggests that many older people have inadequate intake of fibre and many micronutrients such as zinc and folate that are present in pulses. Pulses can be incorporated into meals in various ways. If you do not eat pulses often, start by adding them to your meals gradually, which could help to control bloating and gas as well. Keep pulses on hand: dried, canned or frozen pulses are inexpensive and keep for a long time. Use hummus (made from chickpeas) as a spread on sandwiches. Add pulses to soups, salads, casseroles, stews or curries. Include some pulse flours in Baking: pizza crust, muffins, cookies, bread, tortillas, pitas and bagels Pulse flours can increase the nutritional value (iron and protein) of the bakery products, and their high protein and fibre content can also improve the texture of the baking goods. Breading and Batter Using flour made from pulses can increase not only the fibre and iron content, but also increase cook yield and lower the body s oil absorption. Meat and fish coated with breading that includes pulses is crisper and more golden. 34

37 Easy pulse recipes from the Physical Activity and Nutrition for Diabetes in Alberta (PANDA) resource guide Hummus Ingredients (Serves 4) 1 cup (250 ml) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained ¼ cup (63 ml) tahini (This is a sesame paste available at healthfood stores. You could flavour instead with a little sesame oil, which is available at grocery stores.) ¼ cup (63 ml) water 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tsp (20 ml) canola oil 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley ¾ tsp (4 ml) minced garlic 2 tsp (10 ml) canola oil Directions In a food processor, combine chickpeas, tahini, water, lemon juice, oil, parsley and garlic; process until creamy and smooth. Serve with crackers or baked pita. Quick tip: Hummus is super easy to make, but you can buy pre-made hummus at most stores. Look for hummus that is lower in fat! Turkey and Refried Bean Enchiladas Ingredients (Serves 2) 2 7-inch corn tortillas (available at most grocery stores) 6 oz sliced turkey breast (about 1 to 1 ¼ cups) ¼ cup canned refried beans 1 cup tomato sauce 1 /8 tsp hot pepper sauce ¼ cups shredded, Monterey Jack cheese Directions Place tortillas on a countertop. Divide turkey slices in half and place on tortilla. Spread refried beans over the turkey. Roll up the tortillas and place in a microwave-safe dish just big enough to hold them, seam side down. Mix tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce together and spoon over tortillas. Cover with another dish or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remover cover and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Cover and microwave 1 minute. Divide between two plates and serve. Vegetarian Chili Ingredients (Serves 8) 2 tbsp canola oil 1 cup chopped carrots 1 cup chopped red bell peppers 1 cup chopped green bell peppers 1 cup chopped onions 2 cloves minced garlic 1 fresh green chili pepper (optional) 1 tbsp ground ancho chili pepper (you can use a mild chili powder instead) 1 tbsp ground cumin ml (28 oz) can plum tomatoes with juice ml (14 oz) can drained red kidney beans ml (14 oz) can drained black beans 1 cup tomato juice salt to taste Directions Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, bell peppers, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring until golden, about minutes. Then add chili pepper, ancho chili pepper (or mild chili powder) and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add in tomatoes, beans, and tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the flavours are blended, adding more tomato juice or water as needed, about 45 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Pulse Canada has developed a booklet, Pulses and the Gluten- Free Diet: Cooking with beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, which contains 26 delicious recipes and more practical information of pulses. Go to for a free copy. 35

38 CUBA Spanish Studies in Cuba (Havana), $2, Can. for 4 wks. Hotel with breakfast and dinner, tuition fee. (Air fare not included) SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA. For your next trip to the land of the sun, consider renting one of our condos. Pictures and prices available at or for information or call Kathy (Ontario). English teaching in China. Just retired and seeking adventure and or change? Five cities to choose from: Beijing, Nanchang,Yantai, Dalian and Chongqing. Accommodation is provided. Half year and full year contracts (airfare paid). University students. Curriculum provided and full staff support. Chance to travel. Short teaching hours. Contact ATTENTION CAREGIVERS: Newly opened adult and senior day respite support and relief. No referrals ehab AND etreat Senior Care Specialists LTD. necessary. No waiting lists. Therapy-based professional health and wellness programs. Dementia and Alzheimer specialists. Safe, secure and rehabilitative. Phone , Avenue, Edmonton, AB. The deadline for classified advertising for the next issue of News and Views is October 25, 2012 Johnson Home and Auto Insurance Contest The lucky winner of the Early Bird Draw for a digital camera is Dale Erickson of Sherwood Park. How can you be a lucky winner? Request a home or auto quote from Johnson Inc., and your name goes into the draw. If you already have home or auto insurance from Johnson Inc., then your name is automatically entered. The final draw for an Apple ipod will be December 31, Benefits Contest Answer these questions to be entered in our draw to win a Manchester United player s jersey. Question #1: What type of insurance available through the ARTA plan protects you from identity theft? Question #2: You are planning to travel the world in 80 days; the basic travel coverage is not enough. What plan does ARTA provide to extend your coverage and increase the amounts and types of services you are eligible for? Hint: trip-cancellation insurance is included! Send your answers to: Benefits Contest, 409, Street NW Edmonton, AB T5N 2R1 Entries must be received by 1:00 p.m. October 15, The contest is open to all ARTA members in good standing regular and affiliate. Entries received after the closing date and time will not be considered. The winner will be notified shortly after the closing date. The first correct entry drawn will be declared the winner. The decision of the judges is final. Watch next month s issue for a special article from AON about getting the most out of prescription drugs. 36 ALBERTA RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION News & Views Volume 21, No. 1

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