I've met quite a few people whose first impressions of Lethbridge were from Lethbian Love. Some even because good friends. If you're moving to Lethbridge, a student coming to college or university, or just a tourist passing through, chances are you want to soak up as much information about the city and surrounding areas as possible. That's kind of what my blog is here for, so you don't have to watch decrepit tourist videos (however informative).
Here's a short video about our city that shows off the landscape and activities around here. I even caught a glimpse of Shaela Miller, one of our city's musicians, playing at The Word on the Street festival from 2011. Must have been hard to find more recent footage. But I kid, I kid.
“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” – George Jean Nathan
In 10 days, October 18th to be exact, citizens of Lethbridge will have the opportunity to vote in a new mayor and aldermen in the municipal election. But that’s not to say they will.
In the last election, voter turnout was 22.63%. Out of the 65,835 citizens eligible to vote ONLY 14,896 actually did. Disgraceful. And to make matters worse, no one ran against Bob Tarleck for mayor, giving him that seat by default. This is the guy partially responsible for the $30M+ ABCP investment fiasco, which was only revealed after that election.
My opinion? Stop voting in the same, used-up politicians that have been getting a free ride year after year and start with a fresh city council. We have a good opportunity here to make Lethbridge suck less.
This year, many candidates have been using more than just the shotgun-approach of yard signs and newspaper ads, but have websites and engage in social media. For the first time I have been talking with candidates, openly and have gained their trust, going on more than what’s just printed on a piece of paper. They are engaging me in an open, fluid medium for all to see.
If you’re wondering who are our candidates, what the issues are and how to interact, Elect Lethbridge is a great place to start. To find out their stance on certain issues, Lethbridge Accountability is also fantastic. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, join the conversation.
And for everyone’s sake, get the hell out there and vote! Don’t be lazy!
On Facebook and Twitter the other day, I petitioned my dear followers to answer this question:
“What brought you to Lethbridge? What makes you stay? Good or bad – I’m curious to know!”
Here are a few of the more interesting responses:
Sarah: My Dad was transferred here in 1998, and I fell in love with Lethbridge and its Arts community! It is a great size city to raise my children in, has great schools, wonderful people, and lots of wind to blow any worries away!
Kelly: Schooling brought me here, career opportunities and my fiance (and our newly purchased house) keep us here.
Kevin: Moved here for college and fell in love with the city. Such a great sense of community, and the people are fantastic! Graduated in April of 2009 and refused to leave.
Michael: My job; I brought the Wife; the mortgage is currently keeping us there after my job was swallowed by the “economy” last summer.
This weekend the members of the Roots Garden Club and many others from the UofL community got together to dig the first ever on-campus garden. A communal Campus Community Garden, it boasts 9 private plots available on a first come, first serve basis and a rather sizable communal plot which will have up to 30 people tending the delicious vegetable and plant life that will soon be in this ground. To sign up for the garden individual plot or communal plot, or just to stay in the loop and be involved and participate in this amazing venture, follow this link. Although I missed most of the fun (re: putting in stakes, fences and digging lots…) I did get out there today to see the finished product and help with some clean up.
Many people have worked very hard on getting this project underway in the past two years and it is great to see something this positive bringing so many groups from around the campus together. Now, a campus wide composting project perhaps?
Today, Joanne and I had the opportunity to meet with city consultants Cory and Brian, who are involved with the process of bringing Lethbridge into the 20th 21st century. They’re part of the “Plan Your City” initiative, where Lethbridge might actually listen to its citizens, so as to shape our future up to the year 2050 (before beastmen enslave humanity).
Listen, Lethbridge matters to me, or else I wouldn’t have started this blog. If you’re a young person like me (I’m 28) who has ever referred to this city as “Deathbridge,” this should matter to you.
Tonight at 4PM I will be moderating the semi-final round of the Changing the World: Student Speakers Challenge. There have been six student speakers so far and of those six three speakers will be presenting again today to be narrowed down to two who will compete against each other in the final.
These student speakers have presented on what they believe can be done to change the world, these presentations have been created by the student themselves and have been done so out of class time. In this time of great change, the world as a whole is looking to bend the status quo and find solutions for the myriad of issues we have presented before us. Education, economic hardships, over consumption and technological evolution all play into our day to day lives now and with a constant barrage of negative messaging being thrown at us we look to those who present something positive.
An incredible opportunity to hear what plans are in store for the future, as these are the minds that will go on to shape our world and hopefully change it for the better. Come out tonight to Ballroom A in the Students’ Union Building at 4PM to hear Jeff Henry, Trish Silk and Joanna Waszkiewicz present on changing the world, what it means to them.
An idea conceived by several community members and a student in the early days of a crisp, clear and earthly fall. The United States was entering into a black hole of financial mismanagement, an environmental crisis in Alberta’s backyard was receiving international focus and Canada’s democratic process was being called into question. It seemed that the end was near. It still seems like the end is near but with witty political slogans and copycat poster makers, North Americans seem to have calmed down just a little. Which is it a bit of a concern, this right here is not the time to calm down, this is the time to pay close attention to what the future has in store. Changing the world, a difficult concept, how big does change need to be?
Jonny’s note: Jenn Prosser, both a student and active community member, is the newest contributor to Lethbian Love.
Lethbridge is a mash up of students and townies. It’s a little like “The Outsiders,” only less hair grease and more church (and I have yet to meet Pony Boy). Students, who make up 12% of the population, are gently tolerated by the rest of city and exist in their own little worlds. Shy and retiring, they live in small clumps, preferring to breed amongst each other. Although they don’t avoid interaction with the “townies,” they do have an annoying habit of assuming everyone under the age of 25 is one of their own.
Berkeley Place, residence buildings and most low-income housing heave with this segment of the Lethbridge population. Rarely venturing outside their invisible boundaries, they prefer to find sustenance in the form of $5 pizzas and Duke wings, and take for granted the endless opportunity for activity at their fingertips.
Yesterday, I implored my friends on Twitter and Facebook to answer this question. Here are some of the responses I received:
Kim: I loved the the people, the scenery!!!, the college, the nightlife, the shopping, the warmth.
Karla: the city being surrounded by nature! Coulies! It being small enough to initiate some sort of change…am I dreaming?
Damian: THE WIND! (haha thought I would be the first person to make that terrible joke) I like how it has a smaller town feel but not being extremely boring like a smaller town. smaller town.
Conrad: The landscape. I love the coulees in the fall and summer.
Wendy: it is very easy and time-efficient to get from one side of town to the other. In fact, it doesn’t take much effort to get anywhere in town…easy peasy!
Kristine: dollar giant… and the thing I hate is the stench. smaller town.
Martin: friends and family that reside there.
your work is cut out for you ruzek.
My work certainly is cut out for me! I was hoping for more responses than just that, but it seems that apathy runs rampant. That or I don’t have any friends. Probably the latter, but your mom says I’m cool. And Kristine, I don’t smell THAT bad.
So what do you love about Lethbridge? Let it be heard!