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Jockey Isabelle Wenc was a picture of intensity after a race at Marquis Downs. For more Faces at the Races, please turn to Page 17. (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
More from the strange coincidence file

I have written a few times about strange coincidences. I love it when they happen and hearing about experiences other people have had. (You more than welcome to share yours — editorial@saskatoonexpress.com.)
For example, I had one of those hmmm moments week. I was telling people at the office about a person named David Milstead. David is an American journalist based in Colorado. I met David 20 or so years ago. He would come to Saskatchewan during summers to visit his grandmother, and we would often get together for a chat or lunch. David and former StarPhoenix business editor Murray Lyons became pals.


Weather, smoke affected attendance at festivals

Organizers of the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, the Saskatoon Exhibition and Saskatoon’s Folkfest have added up attendance numbers and are reporting relatively good financial returns.
None of the three events — arguably the best of Saskatoon’s summer shows — achieved any record-breaking successes. But any setbacks can be attributed to a lack of co-operation from the weather. There were three rainstorms during the Exhibition, one early evening rain during the final night of Folkfest and the atmosphere was filled with smoke, coming south from the northern fires, during the jazz festival.

Paying for Plasma
Company moving to Saskatoon after Ontario bans donation payments

A private plasma clinic that compensates donors is opening in Saskatoon, having abandoned Ontario because of that province’s proposed legislation banning payment for blood products.
Canadian Plasma Resources has a Saskatoon business licence, and leasehold improvements are ongoing at its location in a one-storey building on Quebec Avenue just north of 33rd Street.
The company was regularly in the news in Ontario last year, as it tried to establish two locations in Toronto and one in Hamilton. During the process, the Ontario government introduced the legislation that would not allow payment for donation. Quebec is the only other province that bans the practice.


Sometimes participation trophies are earned

“Never could believe the way you are. Every day I bless the day that you got through to me,
’ Cause baby, I believe that you’re a star. Everyone’s a winner, baby, that’s the truth…”
Errol Brown, Hot Chocolate, 1978
Maybe Hot Chocolate was on to something.
Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers’ star linebacker James Harrison sent a bit of a ripple through the politically correct crowd when he announced on social media that he was returning the trophies his sons, ages six and eight, brought home from a football camp. Why? Because they weren’t trophies for an achievement based on a traditional win. Every boy who had participated in the camp took one home.


Why is there a chain link fence on Circle Drive North?

Question: I drive Circle Drive daily to go to work and return home the same way. I am always puzzled at this time of year about why there is chain link fence separating Circle Drive East and West (from the North Circle Drive Bridge to Attridge Drive). What is the purpose of it? City workers spend a lot of time repairing/replacing it yearly, when there seems to be no purpose for the fence. I would think the workers have lots of other work they could be doing rather than replace an unneeded fence.
Mayor Atchison: The reason for the chain link fence is safety. It is a separation between high-speed roadways. Unfortunately, we have people who cut holes in the chain link fence for shortcuts.

We will pay in 2017 for election tax break

As the dog days of summer wane, the hounds begin baying at the harvest moon, howling in anticipation of the bounty to come. The crop they reap is always good because the money tree always yields top dollar and is resistant to a slow economy and/or declining markets, and there is a lucrative tree on every little patch of land within their sharecropping domain. The money trees belong to taxpayers and the sharecroppers are our council, and they will pick how many dollars they want from our trees.
The projected tax increase for 2016 currently sits at 4.35 per cent, up from 2.9 per cent in May, and 3.89 per cent in June — and there are still several months before the final tally is done. But City administration has done its due diligence and needs this increase to fuel the machine. (Wasn’t there a council goal of increases equivalent to the Municipal Price Index?)

Day of Mourning brought back memories of smiling little faces

There was the moment of silence. The children stopped playing, the music was turned down and it appeared all vehicles either stopped or came to a sudden halt.
It wasn’t what I had expected. I recently attended the Day of Mourning for murdered and missing aboriginal women. The gathering was at Pleasant Hill School. I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but the gathering opened my eyes.
The names of Saskatchewan missing or murdered women stunned me to a point where I could feel a tear every time a name was read. I recognized some of the names and knew some of the women.

A new name but the same great glee club

Jesse Weiman would probably tell you that taking over the TuneTown Glee Club was something anyone could have done. To the members of the club, though, he is their hero.
Weiman recently rebooted the club, an organization for kids and young adults with cognitive disabilities to sing and dance throughout the summer months. It was formally known as the Radius Glee Club, but after funding was cut last summer, the club was left without a home.
“We used to be the Radius Glee Club, but we had funding cuts last year, so I took it over,” he said. “I run a glee club now. It’s really weird for me. I’m a music producer, and sometimes clients will call me and ask me for something and I have to say, ‘I can’t. I have glee club.’

Spreading the word on mental-health illnesses

CLARA HUGHES is a woman on a mission. One of Canada’s most outstanding athletes ever is cycling across our country on what is being called Clara’s Big Ride.
Her goal is to bring awareness to mental-health illnesses. Like so many Canadians, Clara struggles with depression.
“This is going to be an epic journey, the ride of my life. And it’s all for awareness of mental health, breaking down the stigma when it comes to mental illnesses,” she told CBC.

Living with anxiety
People don’t understand panic attacks, but I do

I’m having a bad day.
It is not like this every day. Today is one of the really bad ones. I am feeling anxious.
The anxiety has been controlled to a large extent. I remember the hundreds of days when it wasn’t.
I would leave restaurants in the middle of meals. Sandy was left to either eat alone or follow me out the door. After she paid the bill that is. I would leave movies, leaving her to watch them alone. I remember watching Titanic from the door of the theatre; gosh, it was a long movie. Once, when we were in Las Vegas, we had fourth-row centre seats for Mama Mia.