Just An Observation: Several not-so random thoughts

Fire, fuel and favs among this week’s observations

These past couple of weeks have been rather busy and it’s not likely to end soon, so here’s a few things to think about that are not really random.

Wildfire affects

While everyone, rightfully so, worries and feels for every one of the individuals that have been impacted by the devastating fires in the northern reaches of our province, those are far from the only ones that need thoughts, prayers and assistance.

Firstly, all of the emergency workers — law enforcement, medical personnel, municipal and wildland firefighters, air attack crews, administration and various others — that continue to work hard day in and day out to protect the communities as a whole deserve at least some recognition for their commitment.

Sure, most think of those on the front line, but there is a huge amount of people behind the scenes working to keep everything logistically smooth among what can sometimes be chaos.

We also can’t forget that many of the people that are either taking extended time away from both “their real jobs” and their families to do what must be done to serve the needs of others. So, when we remember them we also have to think about what they and many others are giving up.

Lastly, people also need to remember that there are organizations out there that will need donations and assistance to help care for all of the people and animals that have been displaced. If you can’t help with the larger effort, do what you can to help out locally since the help is always appreciated.

Fuel-ing trouble

At least some Albertans were questioning the morality and ethics of gas station operators not even 24 hours after the province passed legislation to eliminate the carbon levy, expecting stations to immediately drop their prices by the same amount as the axed tax.

If you’ve lived long enough in this province to remember back when you could purchase a tank of gas for about $1 per gallon — that’s around 22 cents a litre — then it’s very likely the fact prices didn’t “automatically” fall came as no surprise.

Tack on the fact that the order to eliminate collection of the levy came just prior to a busy weekend and that the price only dropped in most places late Saturday, it was blatantly obvious companies were looking to make back some profits they haven’t been able to get for quite some time.

In addition, certain high-volume locations such as larger centres are more apt to lower prices faster just because they can make a profit just by selling more. That’s part of why some Ponoka stations likely hung on to the higher price for as long as possible.

So, grumble about the price of gas and stations keeping it higher than one thought if you like. However, remember this — the price will go up again soon as the summer driving season starts to pick up.

Awards

If you have not yet heard, the Ponoka News and Bashaw Star came away with some recognition last week from the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association.

Ponoka was graced with a pair of third place finishes — in the special sections class for the 2018 Ponoka Stampede supplement and in the best editorial page for its circulation category — to go along with capturing the top spot news photo.

Meanwhile, I was honoured with third in the Best Sportswriting category for the story “Weir remembers fun, crazy times as Golden Seal.”

As for Bashaw, the paper was presented with third place for Best Sports Page in its circulation class for the second year in a row.

While the pat on the back is nice to have, it really isn’t why many of us reporters are in this for — it’s about trying to give the best possible coverage and connecting with the community.

Sure, there are going to be times when horrible events and other bad news have to be reported. However, it’s just as important that positive events and stories are told, even if some people aren’t really interested.

One last thing though, not everyone is going to be pleased with how the story is told or with how it is represented in print. So, you simply accept it and move onto the next week. Because the paper is about trying to showcase stories and the community, not catering to a solitary viewpoint.

But that is…just an observation.

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