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Ryan and Alli strike a pose at their wedding with Ryan’s grandparents:
Des Gore-Hickman and Pat Hutchinson (back row) and John Hutchinson and Eunie Gore-Hickman (front row). (Photo courtesy of In Love with Photography)
We had a blast at son’s wedding

I didn’t remember how much fun weddings can be. Sandy and I hadn’t been at one in about five years.
Our son, Ryan, married Alli Jennings on July 11. Gosh, it was a great weekend, right from the rehearsal party to the wedding to visiting with family and friends the next day.
At the reception, when Sandy and I were officially welcoming Alli to our family, I thought about going off script for a moment or two to provide a morsel of family history about Ryan. After all, without a lot of those in attendance, there would be no Ryan and no wedding — at least not this one, I think.
Like Alli and Ryan, Sandy and I held our wedding reception and dance at the University of Saskatchewan. Those were the days when there was live music, no toonie bars and no photo booths.


New thrill ride coming to Ex

The thrill-seeking riders are going to find a new challenge at the Saskatoon Exhibition this year.
A roller coaster — the Blitzer — will be on site at Prairieland Park when the fair opens on Aug. 4. It marks the first time that North American Midway Entertainment has been able to make a roller coaster available to Saskatoon fair-goers.
“I’ve been in the midway business for 39 years,” said Scooter Korek, who organizes the Canadian dates. “And I know the history of Royal American, the Thomas Shows and Conklin Shows, and I doubt if Saskatoon has ever seen a thrill ride of this magnitude.
“The routing in Canada made it easier for us to bring The Blitzer into Saskatoon. The ride is American-made, we began a restoration of it four years ago, and it is the only one we have in our North American family of fairs.”

Children’s Hospital sees delay due to project’s complexity

It will take a few extra weeks to decide who will build phase two of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS).
That could push the hospital’s completion date to 2018 from late 2017.
Originally, the winning bid was expected to be revealed by June. However, the selection committee, led by the Saskatoon Health Region and the Ministry of Health, has asked the pre-qualified builders to give them a decision extension to late August.
Phase one, which comprised putting in the support pilings, was completed on schedule in March by Deep Foundations.
However, the health region decided it required more time to complete the due diligence on the tender evaluations for phase two. The first acceptance period was 60 days, which the region has described as “aggressive.”


A tropical experience if you get the Drift

It’s a beautiful summer noon hour and there’s a popular outdoor food festival just up the street, but Drift Sidewalk Café is lined up out the door.
Owner Brian Storey stands on the stairs, elevated just slightly above the crowd, keeping a watchful eye on the lineup and the food coming out of the open kitchen. He’s making sure things move smoothly, but without particularly interfering.
Defining the vibe at Drift as “laid back” seems like an understatement.
“Thirty-eight years ago, a little place in Saint Lucia,” said Storey, when asked about the inspiration behind his latest venture, which opens onto Escape Sports in the building on the corner of 19th Street West and Avenue A, adjacent to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.
“I thought in my mind that one day I would do something like this,” he said. “Then, when Cava Wines closed, we knew we’d do a restaurant of some sort off of (Escape Sports). Then one thing led to another, and it kind of took on a life of its own.”


There are a number of ways to ration water if needed

Question: Why hasn’t city council taken the responsibility, like the whole of Western Canada, to conserve and ration what water we have?
Mayor Atchison: Given what we see in Vancouver today with water rationing, there is reason to be aware of this important issue. The City and the province are monitoring the water levels of the South Saskatchewan River. The City uses about 4.6 per cent of the average water flow coming down the river. And the waste water treatment plant returns about two thirds of that to the river, cleaner than when the City took it out. The City continues to monitor the situation with the province. If rationing is required, that certainly will occur.

Civic employees’ compensation is bumfuzzling me

In days of old, parents dreamed of their kids growing up to be doctors and lawyers and such. Today’s parents should dream of their kids growing up to be civic management employees. According to the recent public accounts report, in 2014 the number of employees earning six figures almost doubled from the previous year. I’ll wait with bated breath to see what 2015 brings.
The six-figure club breaks into three categories. There are Baby bears, Mama bears and Papa bears. The Baby bears earn more than $100,000, the Mama bears earn more than $150,000 and big Papa bears earn more than $200,000. The problem for the foreseeable future is the Baby bears grow up to be Mama and Papa bears.

The Fringe
An eclectic assembly of art and community

The annual PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival is gearing up for another year, and Robert Wyma is excited about the 2015 version of the popular summer event.
“I think we had one of our best lineups last year, and this lineup is as good or better, if I could be so bold,” said Wyma, executive director of 25th Street Theatre Centre Inc., the producer of the PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival.
The Fringe, which is now in its 26th year, will run from July 30 to Aug. 8 on Saskatoon’s historic Broadway Avenue strip. About 40,000 people are expected to visit the site during the festival’s 10-day run.

Guided Segway tours now offered downtown

Jason Kawa doesn’t want residents and tourists to go around Saskatoon by plane, train or automobile. Instead, he’s advocating for the Segway.
Kawa owns Eco Glide Adventures, a company providing tours along the Meewasin Valley on the only Segways available for use in Saskatchewan.
“It’s great for all types of people. I’ve had people who were 85 on it and they loved it, or guys with knee surgery and they can’t do much, but they can go for a cruise on these,” Kawa said.
Kawa began offering tours along the riverbank on July 1. Previously, he has offered his services to corporate events and team building clinics. This is the first time he has been able to provide guided tours.
“Originally, I first saw a guy on a Segway at a gas station, and I was a little intrigued by it,” he said. “When I tried one out, I thought it would be a great idea for around the river.

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.