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A group of buddies enjoy the sun on a lazy day down the river.
It was a picture perfect day

It was like fishing in a barrel. It’s a big barrel with lots of room for you as well.
With Sandy unavailable to take a photo of Mayor Atchison and Chief Darcy Bear paddling from Whitecap to Rotary Park, I grabbed her camera bag and off I went. I don’t have an eye for taking photographs, but I love looking at them. On this beautiful day, it was literally point and shoot in every direction.
I thought the pedestrian walkway under the South Circle Drive Bridge would be a good place to get photos of the mayor and Chief Bear as they approached from the south.
Before Mayor Atchison and Chief Bear arrived, I spotted a no-brainer shot. Near the east bank, there was a group of guys floating down the river in some sort of dinghy. I was later told it was a bachelor party — I hope my source was good. If so, the photo will prove to the wife-to-be that no strippers were on board the vessel.


InfraReady Products
Saskatoon company feeding the world

Unless you need a 1,000 kilogram bag, don’t drop by InfraReady Products Ltd. for your seven-grain baking blend or barley-based cat litter.
The Saskatoon company is in the business of providing healthy, pre-cooked ingredients to manufacturers; but the average eater (or cat lover) can still enjoy their products.
You’ll find InfraReady’s baking blends in breads sold at local Co-op stores. You can try the red bean flakes in Kashi cereals. Taste a Bushman’s Bar, which contains pre-cooked Saskatchewan wild rice.
Eat a Clif bar, or a Dare cracker, and you are likely to taste an InfraReady grain or pulse. Or, you can sip the Gulo beer at Mano’s restaurant on 22nd Street.

Vision accomplished
Jim Hill got the Jazz Festival started on high note

Jim Hill ignited the spark for a jazz festival 30 years ago and today, the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival continues to celebrate an unbelievably rich tradition.
Hill, who now lives in North Vancouver, will be in Saskatoon for the first three days of this year’s festival. He remains in constant awe of how a community seized one man’s dream and turned it into reality.
He has fond memories of the step-by-step approach required to put Saskatoon on the festival map.
“We had started the Saskatoon Jazz Society in 1979, and tried several locations before acquiring the lower level of the Glengarry Block for a permanent home.

Council communications come at a steep price

We need to talk about the communication allowances of Saskatoon city councillors and Mayor Don Atchison.
The city, via your taxes, allocates $235,000 to a communications allowance — $10,000 per year for each councillor, $125,000 per calendar year for Mayor Atchison, and $10,000 per year to the city clerk to administer the pot.
The allowance was implemented, retroactively, on June 10, 2013. Guidelines on what to spend their allowances on include paid media advertising; books and magazines; tickets for the councillors and their partners to banquets, theatre performances and golf tournaments; hiring consultants (for what, it doesn’t say), and personalized stationery, magnets or pens.

Sound system changes, vibe stays the same at Buds

One of Saskatoon’s rules of thumb is this: Don’t go messing with the ambiance of Buds on Broadway.
Buds owners Dan Sirois and Dave Beckman know that full well and are careful to make a distinction between enhancements/improvements and changes.
Buds has undergone a couple of improvements during the past month. It has a new sound system and new stage lighting, for starters. Sirois said the club’s soundman hasn’t quit smiling.
Sirois and Beckman have owned Buds for more than two and a half years. They bought the club almost by chance. Sirois had moved back to Saskatoon from Kelowna and was looking for a business, while Beckman had recently retired from a job he held for 28 years.
Sirois had previously been in the food and beverage world.


Why the extended parking times downtown?

Question: Why extend street pay parking times downtown to three hours? I always thought we wanted people coming and going.
Mayor Atchison: That’s a good question. This is certainly a shift in how we address parking. Before, it was in and out with lots of turnover, but in today’s society people are looking to stay longer. They are looking for shopping, dining and entertainment. When they come downtown they may be looking for a complete experience. One-hour parking just doesn’t cut it. If you go out for a meal, and you are sitting down and are enjoying yourself, the last thing you want to do is jump up and move the car.
The downtown Business Improvement District, which is now called DTNYXE, said it is in favour of the changes. So council listened and took its advice.

A few green shoots of promise emerging

On June 12, Michael Raine, managing editor of the Western Producer (WP), tweeted a photo of his newly-emerged flax crop, along with five hashtags.
Raine, also a farmer (obviously), hashtagged stuff like #shallow and #packingpressure, things farmers are interested in and like to discuss on social media.
The tag that popped out for non-farming types in the province was #warmwetsoil.
Indeed. Warm, wet, soil. Even Raine, whose land lies in one of the finest farming regions of the province (if not the world), has never seen a flax crop emerge like that in four days. I asked him. Plus, if anyone knows farming, that would be Mike.
Happily, Raine is not the only farmer soaking up the sun and the rain and the warmth that is, amazingly, advancing the Saskatchewan crop beyond the industry’s wildest dreams. Look back six weeks. It was drier than popcorn farts in this province, and visions of a drought year were starting to freak folks out.

It’s time for those in recovery to speak up

Sixteen mothers gathered at Dr. Wendy Gore-Hickman’s home one night to talk about addiction recovery advocacy.
All 16 of those moms have suffered the heartbreak of addictions. Three have had children die — two to fentanyl overdoses and one to drunk driving. One mom’s son is in the Prince Albert penitentiary.
The children of 11 of those moms have had overdoses. Thirteen have spent at least $30,000 — and some more than $100,000 — to get out-of-province private treatment for their children. They would like to see more being done in Saskatchewan for those battling addictions.
For her part, Gore-Hickman has a long list of things that could to be done in Saskatchewan to save the lives of our addicted and help them onto the road to recovery.

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.