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Deb (left) and Gerri are among those tending to the plants at Floral Acres Greenhouse and Garden Centre on Valley Road (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
Missed Connections makes its return

It’s that magical time when we peek into Saskatoon’s underground social scene. The items below are from postings under the Missed Connections category on Kijiji. We have some interesting folks in Saskatoon. The comments are mine. I am not interesting.
“Blonde with Two Others Girls in Vegas: Not likely you’d look here but worth a shot. I was in Vegas with my family and we entered the elevator with you ladies April 6th. I just thought I’d tell you that you looked amazing.” Comment: You should see some of the things that happen in elevators in Las Vegas. This is tame, but I was once riding one with two inebriated women who were around 50 years old. We made a stop and two studly young guys got on. I’m pegging them as mid-20s.


Mother knows best
Music ticket for DuWors to travel the world

Violinist Kerry DuWors has reached some rather amazing musical milestones.
She was twice a member of Canada’s National Youth Orchestra, chosen as the concertmaster for a tour of Europe when she was 17 and the second-youngest member in the 70-piece orchestra. Then, as a member of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, she was able to play at Carnegie Hall.
Just four years ago, she played on the same stage as Yo-Yo Ma, arguably the world’s finest cello player, at the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, N.Y. In January 2015, she toured Japan with pianist Futaba Niekawa, with whom she has formed a concert pairing called duo526.
As someone who has appeared in Europe at last half a dozen times, she laughs that her career has turned out somewhat like her mother, Maureen, of Saskatoon, predicted.
“My mother gave me every chance to enjoy activities,” said DuWors, “but she told me that music would allow me to travel around the world. It has.”

Woman credits STARS for saving her live

Bonnie Fortin credits STARS for giving her the chance to hold her fourth son.
Fortin needed the air ambulance service after a C-section went wrong in Swift Current. The Elrose woman had three sons and was having her fourth that day. She had problems with her third natural birth, so she chose a C-section for her fourth.
“There was a complication during my surgery,” she said at the launch of the 2015 STARS Lottery last week. “I was bleeding to death and the doctor couldn’t stop it, so I needed immediate transport to a specialist for repair.
“When STARS came on the scene I was critical; my body was shutting down, the hospital was running out of blood, and the doctor was running out of time. After everything that went wrong that day, STARS arrived and everything started to go right.


City vehicles not sitting idle

Question: Idling of vehicles is a major environmental issue. What is our civic government doing to educate our citizens about the need to significantly reduce idling of motorized vehicles? This is not simply a problem in winter. People idle in all areas of our city, in parking lots, at the weir, in front of homes and businesses and at job sites. Is there a city bylaw to deal with this problem?
Mayor Atchison: The City has a no-idling policy for our civic vehicles. And we have asked citizens not to idle in school zones. All we can really do is encourage people not to idle vehicles. It’s difficult for people to turn their vehicles off when it’s 40 below, especially when they have groceries and produce in their vehicles and they are still shopping. On the other hand, when it is nice and warm in the summertime, I really don’t know why you need to have your car idling. Put the windows down a little or open side vents and enjoy the fresh Saskatchewan air as compared to inhaling a bunch of pollutants.

Party in your PJs at Soroptomist fundraiser

Pajamas and pearls are common wardrobe staples for many women — what’s less common is wearing them at the same time.
But that’s exactly the fun twist that will happen at Soroptomist International of Saskatoon’s upcoming fundraiser, Pyjamas & Pearls Girls’ Night Out. On May 28, women are invited to don their pajamas and pearls and head out for an evening of appetizers, socializing and entertainment — all for a good cause.
“The Pyjamas & Pearls is the major fundraiser for our club, and basically it’s an event that’s a girls’ night out,” said Arlene Hretsina, president of Soroptomist International of Saskatoon.
“We’ve rented out The Bassment, and the Toon Town Big Band is going to be doing the music for us.”
The event will also feature a silent auction, a photo booth, Irish dancers and a caricature artist. As well, there will be a cash bar with a signature drink on offer, said Hretsina.


Let Ken Achs purchase, develop old police station

Ahhh. What a relief to hear someone speak the truth to the City last week. It was like pouring mental Pepto Bismol over my dyspeptic mind.
The voice of reason was Ken Achs, long-time property developer and very smart guy. He offered the City $11 million for the old police station and the adjacent parking lot, and was turned down.
The City put it on the market 20 months ago for $15.6 million, a minimum bid it has since removed. It may be a prime piece of property, but with vacancy rates jumping to 15 per cent in downtown Saskatoon, there is less hope the property will attract that kind of money.
So, the City has two options: consider lower bids, like the one Achs put forth, or wait for the economy to come raging back. (I suppose there are other options, like building a waterslide or a new art gallery, but let us stick to the two for now).

Roomba vacuum, mixer garage sales gold for me

You’ve been asking for it, so here it is: my annual garage sales column.
Let’s start with some shopping successes to get us warmed up for the season, shall we? Then, later on this month, we can get to selling – because, trust me Saskatoon, some of you need me on that, too.
As I write this, I’m taking great pleasure in the dulcet tones of my Roomba as it does my housework for me. The little vacuum-cleaning robot hums along sweeping up the grass, dirt and pet hair that equals the sum of my family’s life in springtime. The sad fact (sad, in what does this say about my boring life) is my Roomba is probably one of the best purchases I’ve ever made — the total output of which has been $47 for two of them.
Admittedly, the first Roomba is broken, but I’d venture a fair wager that would have been a certain outcome, regardless of whether I bought it brand new or out of your backyard. Have you ever seen a Roomba in action?

Private clinics, MRIs not harming health care in other provinces

I don’t get the brouhaha around the private MRI clinics. And I certainly don’t get the provincial government’s “buy one, get one free” proposal. What I do get is the message that our health-care system is ailing and unsustainable in its current state and that change is not an option, but a necessity.
This province and city have some rich people, more since the boom began. They are the folks that can afford the over $1-million homes with four-car garages, and then to fill the garages with late-model high-end vehicles.
Take one step down and meet the upper-middle class. They buy the $750,000 homes with three-car garages, but maybe only park two high-end late-model vehicles in them.

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.