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What do you do with those old doo dads? E-cycle them with the Lethbridge Community Network

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Technology changes in what seems like seconds. So, after you’ve stocked up on new gadgets over Christmas and Boxing Day, what do you do with the old gadgets?Allan Schneider suggested people  wanting to donate old technology  to the 2015 E-Cycle drive either drop it off in bins across the city or just call the Lethbridge Community Network  (403-317-7799). Photo by Richard Amery
“You can either take it to the dump or leave it in your basement,” said Lethbridge Community Network e-cycle co-ordinator Allan Schneider, who provided a third option —  recycle and refurbish them for people who need them by donating them to the annual Lethbridge Community Network Annual E-cycle Drive, Jan. 10-17.

“We did this last Easter and the e-cycle drive raised 25,000 pounds of old technology,”  Schneider said, surrounded by a stack of everything from old monitors, laptops and a bucket of old hard drives.

They don’t offer data removal services like wiping the old hard drives, so he encouraged people to remove them on their own. If they don’t know how, he will remove the drives and destroy them.
“I’ll put a nail through each one of them when I have time,” he said.

 There are fewer locations for the bins this year, but bigger bins which will be emptied regularly. A Calgary company,  Global Electric Electonic Processing (GEEP) pays them a few cents per pound, which resulted in approximately $2,900 coming in for the Lethbridge Community Network.

 Bins will be located at Peavy Mart (33 Southgate Blvd. South), Save on Foods West ( 401 Highlands Blvd. West) , Save on Foods north (1112 2nd Ave North), Sobeys Uplands (327 Bluefox Blvd. North), the Lethbridge Public Library downtown and Crossings Public Library on the west side. They can also be dropped off at their office upstairs in the same building as the Round Street Cafe ( #200 427 5th street south)
“ There are fewer locations and more bins this year,” he observed adding he had to empty many of the bins on his own last year.
“ We need volunteers because those bins fill up fast,” he said.

 The technology, which can range from rotary phones to televisions and a lot of computers, monitors, cameras, DVD and Blueray players, scanners, printers and cell phones will either be refurbished and sold to people who need them at a reasonable price. He said computers are upgraded to Windows 7 before being sold to other not for profit organizations and individuals who can’t afford new technology.
“We don’t have the funds to give away the computers” he said, noting more obsolete items are sold to GEEP which will dismantle, recycle or refurbish the parts of each of them.
“It all gets used. Every single part,” he said.


Some of the best and worst of 2014

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It seems to happen a lot— Lethbridge loses prominent members of the music community.Chainsaw Charlie lights his cowbell. Photo by Richard Amery
 This year the community had to say good-by to resident Irish roots musician  Frank Dooley. I didn’t know him well, but had the pleasure of  drinking a beer or two with him. He could usually be found playing Irish music  on St Patrick’s Day as well as with roots bands like the Skilletlikkers. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to his wake at the Slice on Nov. 9 due to family business in Calgary.

We also lost First Nations flautist Two Spirit Sage, who had being keeping a low profile, due to moving away. But he could always be found sharing peace, love and traditional stories at open mic, particularly at Lethbridge Folk Club events.
 Both will be missed.

As always there was a lot of local music this year. I’m not going to try to choose the best, because that would be impossible.
 But two excellent local roots and country acts, Treeline and Shaela Miller joined forces for many shows and an excellent CD “ Curtains” which combined the vocals of Danny Dyck and Shaela Miller.

  A variety of local musicians released new music this year including Lethbridge rockers Billie Vegas and the Dirti Speshuls,  bluesmen Paul Kype and Texas Flood and somewhat related, Greg Gomola’s new project  Zojo Black. And those are only the ones I can remember off hand.

We had a lot of memorable touring acts, proving once again if anyone tells you there is nothing to do in Lethbridge, they are  either lying or not paying attention.

 I got to see one of my new favourite rock bands three times this year. Toronto based ’70s influenced supergroup Public Animal, including the unique sounds of Ian Blurton and keyboardist Caitlin Dacey were not only an early highlight of the year at one of many poorly attended, not to mention easily one of the loudest shows this year (which is saying something) at the Slice on Jan. 2 but were also a must see at Sled Island in Calgary as well.

 It is a challenge getting to multiple shows in the same night. I usually try to time it so I catch another show during set breaks. But it still requires tough choices.
 I had to make a lot of tough choices this year, one of them being June 23 with Public Animal at Bo Diddley’s while  Five Alarm Funk were playing a packed and sweltering Slice. I caught the essence of them both though Public Animal was sadly under-attended.

The Geomatic Attic outdid themselves with big shows this year, so much so that they had to move to bigger venues. I was lucky enough to catch most of them.
They brought legendary Mexican rockers Los Lobos to the Yates Theatre, Jan. 23 with special guest Leeroy Stagger and his band who had a great year of their own including opening for Steve Earle in Chicago. Los Lobos played all of their hits and set down a wicked groove for the whole night.


Poor attendance mars another great year of live music

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Last year was pretty amazing for live acts both touring and local.
Unfortunately poor attendance still remains a plague upon the scene. I’ve been at countless amazing shows this year which dSage McBride of Shred Kelly celebrating Halloween at Inferno. Photo by Richard Ameryrew very few people. We have amazing talent playing Lethbridge and more often than not — nobody there to hear it. Part of the problem is due to shows starting late. Maybe it’s because I’m getting more cranky the older I get, but I find it constantly frustrating when a show is advertised to begin at 9:30 p.m., and it doesn’t begin until an hour later or more, or as I call it — Lethbridge time. It is all the more frustrating on a week night. I imagine it is more frustrating for those who don’t set their own schedules like I do. Especially if you have to get up early for school or work. Not to mention if you paid for a babysitter to look after your kids so you can have a rare night out.

 One of the best poorly attended shows in 2013 was Bocephus King. Another great poorly attended show was Roger Marin, also at the Slice just to name a few. And not just at the Slice.

Poor attendance could be due to many other reasons. Lack of publicity is another. I do my part. I always let people know about shows on and through the Sun Times and on my radio shows on CKXU. There is a lot of legwork involved in it. I spend a lot of time reading musician’s facebook statuses, events listings and invites and looking for posters and signage and, of course, talking to people first hand to keep my listings up to date.

But you can tell people about shows as many times as you like but short of yelling from the rooftops or goinThee Attacks put on one of the best shows of the year. Photo By Richard Ameryg to people’s houses and physically dragging them of their couches and into their community to support live music, there is not much else you can do to actually get them to show up.

But as I said, there was a lot of excellent music coming though Lethbridge this year. Casino Lethbridge brought in some great classic rock acts plus bluesman Jack Semple who brought the house down. They also featured another of my favourites Doucette plus Helix, Doug and the Slugs and even country music.

 Average Joes was home to great Canadian ’90s rock including stellar shows from Matthew Good and Sloan, plus ’90s ‘supergroups’ like Crash Karma as well as excellent metal from the Cancer Bats.

 They also featured some experimental pop music with bands like Rykka and Dragonette.

 Bo Diddly’s have also hosted excellent shows with Vancouver ’90s punk band Gob,  another excellent St. Patrick’s Day themed show from the Real McKenzies and my favourite new discovery of the year — Thee Attacks. I predicted big things from the Sheepdogs a couple years ago just before they won the cover of the Rolling Stone contest. This year I’m predicting big things for Thee AttKeenan Harrison crowd surfing at Gob. Photo by Richard Ameryacks.

 This Danish band brought back the spirit of ’60 rock and roll with liberal dollops of the Who and brought more energy to the stage than I have seen in quite some time.

I’m also predicting big things for Saskatchewan born, Vancouver transplants One Bad Son who played a couple excellent shows in Lethbridge of neo-classic rock.


Lethbridge music scene rallies in face of a tough year

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I’m sure a lot of people will be glad to see the back of this mean, nasty, tumultuous and tragic schoolyard bully of a year that has been 2013.
 There have been floods, fireD.O.A.’s Joe Keithley kicks 2013 out the door. Photo by Richard Amerys, hailstorms and prominent deaths in the community. At times it seems like Armageddon is near.

This year the local music community community was rocked by the loss three of their prominent members — Salem Abraha in May and Randy Shaver and James DJ Booda Nishima with weeks of each other in August and September.

They will be missed, mourned, but more importantly — remembered. They may be gone, but their spirit lives on in the number of great musicians, promoters and personalities carrying on their work.

 Other members of the community have suffered serious car accidents (Bente Hansen and sound man Rod Minty) and illnesses which they are still recovering from.
 Chris Lipinski and his wife Courtney lost their house to a fire, Frank Dooley had a serious construction accident.

But the silver lining of these tragedies, should you choose to see it, is the community has rallied around them and others who need help.
 The community came together to organize well attended benefit for some of these folks including the Lipinski’s July 10 and other benefits for George Arsene and Murray Nelson. Two other groups of musicians stepped forward to raise money for victims of the floods in High River — one really great day long event at a new bar in town the Smokehouse and another at CASA.

Local artists came together to volunteer time, labour and materials to build a gorgeous new gallery for the Potemkin Gallery on the second  floor of the same building which houses the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Unfortunately, that gallery is no more due to the landlord deciding to rent the space out, leaving the local artists collective without a gallery.


Library closed early due to weather

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The Main Branch of the Lethbridge Public Library will be closing at 5:30 p.m. today, December 3, 2013 Please note that due to continuing weather conditions, the Main Branch of the Lethbridge Public Library will close at 5:30 p.m. today. The Crossings Branch and the Bookmobile remain closed throughout the day.

—  Submitted

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