October 1st, 2020

City Notebook: A summer like no other, but the heat has arrived on cue

By Medicine Hat News Opinion on July 25, 2020.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

Typically this week, we’d be diving into plates of pancakes in a parking lot somewhere, sweating it on the midway, watching rodeo, mixing Clamato juice into a cup of suds and enjoying the Medicine Hat Stampede.

We’re not, of course, you may have noticed.

COVID’s cancelled most everything, it’s seemed. And though the joke is that 2020 is the year that will seemingly never end, it’s becoming clear of late that time is marching on in a surreal way.

A comment by Mayor Ted Clugston summed it up nicely earlier this week, while lamenting that Stampede Week 2020 will have to wait ’til 2021.

“It’s a sort of bookmark – you know where you are in the year,” he said, referring to the halfway point of summer.

In the newspaper business, this means the emergence of Back to School Flyers – like a groundhog spotting his shadow and saying “really!?” – as well as the start of the Dog Days of Summer, a period typically marked by vacations.

While most of us, jobless or not, have tried to keep at it so far since March, does anyone expect much to happen in August?

Minor projects and some major ones on the list have likely been tackled. You can only paint the fence so many times.

News-wise, city council goes on break next week.

After an arduous and somewhat unprecedented summer session of the Alberta Legislature (it sat for seven weeks, before rising on Thursday) won’t reconvene until October.

At the same time things go on hold, anxiety grows about what’s most definitely coming.

Just like kids faced with the existence of back-to-school sales, parents are certainly worried about the implications of a return to in-class instruction next month as announced by the province this past week.

Many are at the same time concerned about their child’s development, and perhaps their own ability to return to work.

Like many issues that parents face, it’s a can’t-win, and you’ll feel horrible no matter which way it goes.

Hot weather

Medicine Hat, Irvine, Social Plains and Buffalo, Alta., all held the title as hot spot in Canada at some point this week.

And unfortunate for Hatters who have taken extra pride in their lawns this year, now is likely the best it’ll look all year, which has been wetter after three years of drought in southeast Alberta.

And get ready, we see all plus-30C days next week in the long range forecast, and very little relief in the overnight lows.

A look ahead

Council’s next meeting comes after the typical summer break on Aug. 17.

After dates were shuffled due to COVID, city property tax notices will be mailed on July 27 (amounts are due by Sept. 30 to avoid late fees).

100 years ago

Two city employees were dead following an explosion in a manhole, the News reported on July 22, 1920.

City engineer Pyper and city foreman Jackson had been inspecting a water chamber between the Dunmore Bridge and the Ogilvie Flour Mill, when it was suspected their light touched off an accumulation of either sewer gas or natural gas.

After fleeing from the hole and running “up to 70 yards, pulling off their flaming clothes” both men perished in hospital.

About 900 farmers and representatives from the region gathered at Hilda to push for the completion of the Medicine Hat to Leader rail line proposed by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. UFA locals from Maple Creek, Burstall, Schular, as well as the grain growers locals from Surprise and Gilknockie were joined by Medicine Hat city councillors and trade representatives.

Long-serving local police official Insp. Shoebotham was to be transferred to Victoria.

The lumber manufacturers of Western Canada launched a campaign urging Canadians to use government loans to build homes and “have your rent cheque pay your own mortgage.”

Edward, the Prince of Wales, had shipped eight ponies and 11 thoroughbreds to his ranch near High River that had been purchased during the previous year’s visit to the dominion.

The Medicine Hat Agricultural Society announced that it would hold two days of horse racing in the Hat on August 5 and 6.

Collin Gallant covers city politics and a variety of topics for the Medicine Hat News. Reach him at 403-528-5664 or via email at cgallant@medicinehatnews.com

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