July 21st, 2018

City notebook: All hail the electric circus

By Collin Gallant on January 13, 2018.

Not one but two high-speed electric car charging stations could set up in Medicine Hat this year.

On Thursday, the city and college announced they’re jointly seeking to be part of a planned southern Alberta charging network with 20 other locations.

Now the News has learned, that leading electric car manufacturer Tesla is considering a local supercharging station — albeit one only available to Tesla owners.

“It would be absolutely awesome,” said Lloyd Fehr, who purchased one of the first dozen Tesla vehicles in Saskatchewan and often drives between his home in Swift Current and the Gas City.

That level of excitement is for both the Tesla station and the joint city-college project that would be located at the Cultural Centre.

The emerging technology is still suffering from range anxiety, city officials said. Though private stations exist and some companies — like Peavey Mart and Kal-Tire, in Medicine Hat — offer the service, the logistics are still spotty.

Tesla seeks to side step the issue, providing super charging stations for the specific use of owners at strategic locations.

A quick perusal of their “coming soon” section, shows planned superchargers for Regina, Swift Current, Maple Creek, Medicine Hat and Bassano to fill a major void on the Trans-Canada.

The company however, typically doesn’t comment on timelines… which is where we find ourselves after the News attempted contact on Thursday.

Fehr also said quicker charge stations that can accommodate all models is important.

“I have a friend with a Chevy Bolt who drove across Canada and a (fast-charge) Level 3 network would have cut the time in half,” he said. 

Hockey talk

The arms race in the WHL’s eastern division went off the charts this week. Now that the trade deadline has passed, all eyes are watching the standings as possible playoff matchups develop.

Interestingly, there’s some speculation that the division’s fourth place finisher could have and easier go in the first round — avoiding the other bonafide championship contenders by crossing over to the Central. If so, they would face the No. 1 seed here, a spot currently held by the Tigers.

That’s the speculation anyway.

Tiger fans may remember a similar situation in 2013 when the coming Mem Cup host Saskatoon Blades arrived in Medicine Hat and were promptly swept out of the league playoffs.

Is it possible such stars could again align for the Regina Pats, who host the coming Memorial Cup and have suffered the above mentioned inglorious fate before?

140 years ago

Anyone who’s wondered about the life of a frontier Mountie might gain some insight into the times during a presentation this week.

The South Eastern Alberta Archaeological Society is presenting findings of the excavation of the original Fort Macleod conducted last year on Wednesday.

The site was occupied by the NWMP for a 10-year period starting in 1874. Recovered were a number of everyday items from that era as well as indigenous artifacts and trading items.

Rachel Lindemann, of Atlatl Archaeology, will discuss the findings on Wednesday, beginning at 7 p.m. in Room F156 of Medicine Hat College.

A look ahead

The public service committee sits this week with a discussion of food security and the divisions plans for the coming year.

The News will look into real estate and construction numbers from 2017 as well as forecasts for the year ahead.

100 years ago

The public school board was scrambling after two principals had previously been exempted from military service, had that status overturned,” the News reported on January 12, 1018.

Principal Baker and principal McLaurin, of the high school and Montreal St. School, had received exemptions by the local conscription board, but the military representative on the board asked higher authority to review that decision.

The school board chose not to oppose their being drafted, but formally asked that any call-up not occur until June.

Building permits for 1917 totalled $123,000 — only about one-third the value of 1916’s — but the earlier year’s total included the $250,000 Lake of the Woods Mill and $25,000 for Riverside School, accounting for most of the difference.

New fees to register motor vehicles in Alberta would be based on wheel base, rather than the previous standard of horsepower. They were between $15 for vehicles not exceeding 100 inches up to $35 for those longer than 135 inches.

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

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