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Protesters weren’t welcome at a Donald Trump rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
(Photo by Wendy Gore-Hickman)
Trump rally a fright to behold

One of Wendy Gore-Hickman’s lasting memories of attending a Donald Trump rally in March is when a semi-trailer truck pulled up at the site. The back door opened and out poured 20 men dressed to the nines in combat gear.
They were wearing flak jackets, helmets, goggles and gloves. They had big guns and appeared to be itching for a scrap. They were there to ensure a small group of protesters didn’t disrupt Trump during what would be a 40-minute speech on a scorching hot day.
Drs. Rick and Wendy Gore-Hickman — my brother- and sister-in-law — spent part of the winter in Fountain Hills, a community of 25,000 just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Wendy had heard about the rally when she was working out at a gym across the street from the park. Why not get tickets and attend, she thought?


It’s Citizen Budget time! If you have time, that is

The City of Saskatoon is asking for input from all of us before it devises the budget for 2017. To participate, you can go to Saskatoon.citizenbudget.com to get started on this year’s Citizen Budget.
Started is all I got. You can get seriously involved in the figures and explanations presented on the site, and perhaps also lose a little patience while trying to answer the questions and determine how much to allot to each spending category.
I suspect that this tool has been proffered, in part, to give the average citizen a feel for how hard it is to make appropriate decisions. Actually, I know it; the site more or less says so. I’ll give administration and council that: there are plenty of places to plunk tax money, and perhaps less money than we’d like to plunk.

Honouring heroes
Plaque will recognize fallen firefighters

The 1980 heroics of two Saskatoon firefighters — Victor James Budz and Dennis Aron Guenter — will be recognized again on May 31 at 1:30 p.m., 36 years to the day of the Queen’s Hotel fire.
A plaque will be installed on property at the southeast corner of 20th Street and First Avenue, thanks to the co-operative effort of the Saskatoon Firefighters Local 80, the Saskatoon Fire Department, the City of Saskatoon and the Downtown Saskatoon Business Association. The space has been contributed by Cineplex Galaxy Theatres.
Budz, 47, a 17-year veteran of fire services, and Guenter, 29, a member for less than two years, died as a result of smoke inhalation while fighting a fire which broke out shortly after 10:50 a.m. on May 31, 1980, in the basement of the Queen’s Hotel. Budz was rushed to University Hospital at 12:15 where he died moments later. Guenter was pronounced dead on arrival at City Hospital.

Disney’s ideas don’t have to be make-believe

We just got home from Disneyland. We were there in February 2015, but this was a trip planned by extended family, so we had to go again. I know, I know, you’re playing the world’s tiniest violin. There are far worse things in life than spending too much time at the Happiest Place on Earth.
This visit felt a bit different. We were able to take our time, unimpeded by maps and newbie wonderment, so I was able to look at the park a bit more critically. What struck me on our first morning was one thing: attention to detail.
Everything about Disneyland is consistent without being boring. Every square inch of the place has been considered under microscopic attention, and as a result, nothing short of every blade of grass is placed deliberately and carefully.

Trap lines yield great stories, along with food

“Tell me more stories about the trap line,” my little girl asked me.
She was around eight years old when I started sharing stories about my life when I was her age.
The stories I told her weren’t exactly the whole truth — like the time my dog and I fought off a whole pack of wolves. The truth was that I was inside our cabin when four wolves came to visit. Only my dog and my mom and I were home.
I remember my mother telling me not to panic and to stay low. There was always a rifle around for emergencies such as this. My mom loaded the rifle and stuck it out the window. When a rifle is fired it is very loud, but when it’s fired indoors the sound is almost deafening.
She took one shot and the wolves scattered. I quickly got up to look out the window, and I could see the wolves running for it. This is what I meant when I told my girl my dog and I fought off a pack of wolves.


Four-year budget allows for long-term planning

Question: Can you please explain why we are going to a four-year budget cycle and what it means in terms of annual tax increases?
Mayor Atchison: We want to create stability and certainty and still allow some flexibility in long-term financial and project planning. A four-year budget is a blueprint for the city. It will put us in sync with Growing Forward, Shaping Saskatoon — our plan for growth for the future.
Every business, big or small, has a long-term plan and the city should budget that way as well. Council will be able to determine that direction over a four-year period. Right now the federal government has long-term funding plans like the Build Canada Fund that goes out 10 years. The province has long-term funding programs. We want to be able to put our plan in place to allow us to access those funds.

City has too many unenforceable bylaws

There are so many bylaws in this city that, even with the city’s new website, tracking down any bylaw is an onerous task, as one bylaw seems to bleed into another. Enforcement of many bylaws is complaint-driven, which is probably a good thing as it saves hiring bylaw enforcement officers. A good example is the sidewalk snow-clearing bylaw.
But why do we have any bylaw that the city can’t or won’t enforce, or worse yet, bylaws that defy common sense?
Recently there was a report in The StarPhoenix about a property owner who had storm water draining off his neighbour’s property onto his site, contrary to a bylaw that states that water run-off from any property should be directed to a storm sewer. According to the news report, the problem arose from a property owner failing to follow the building plan filed with the city.

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.