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Floral Acres Greenhouses & Garden Centres on Valley Road is awash with colour as gardening season approaches (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)

 
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.
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Well orchestrated
A symphony lineup for the hear and wow

With only three months under his belt as general manager of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Mark Turner’s pride in Saskatchewan and incredible passion for its musicians is bursting at the seams.
His acquisition of headliners such as pianist Thomas Yu, baritone Nathan Berg and violinist Kerry DuWors for the 2014-15 Masters series might be considered wow factors. But Turner hastens to add “they are affordable wow factors.
“Thomas, Nathan and Kerry all agreed to perform, just like on the spur of the moment, because they hadn’t been asked lately. They will get the dollars they deserve.
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Sometimes privatization isn’t a bad thing

Have you ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs?
In 1927, Nobel Prize recipient and physiologist Ivan Pavlov, after experimenting with his dogs and their responses to a bell, developed the theory that we can be psychologically trained to respond to conditioned stimuli.
Much like Pavlov’s dogs, many in Saskatchewan have been trained to negatively react to the words government privatization. There will be no rational discussion as to why (like, say, cost or convenience to customers) a particular service might be privatized. The conditioned response is that any privatization is bad.
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I Am Hutterite author has new book

Saskatchewan author Mary-Ann Kirkby is back. And yes, it’s by popular demand. The Prince Albert-based author of I Am Hutterite is excited for the launch of her second book — Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen: Unveiling the Rituals, Traditions and Food of the Hutterite Culture. It will be on bookshelves everywhere on April 15.
“The new book is really a response to what my readers wanted,” said Kirkby. “After reading I Am Hutterite, readers had two strong reactions. The first was that I made them hungry, so they wanted recipes for the Hutterite foods I loved and talked about.”
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The art of gallery planning

Question: Do you believe the site for the new art gallery is the best place for a gallery or the best anchor for River Landing, given there was no chance for public input by way of a referendum? It has been a crusade since you announced your agenda in 2005. It’s a true travesty of civic democracy and still a sticking point for many people in Saskatoon.
Mayor Atchison: Back in the election of 2003 we talked about the development of River Landing. River Landing was downtown Saskatoon and Riversdale. The idea was to bring both neighbourhoods, both communities together, along with the Nutana area. It was deemed the cultural corridor that would go down Broadway Avenue, across the Broadway Bridge and the Traffic Bridge all the way through River Landing, down Second Avenue past the Cineplex Galaxy theatres, down 20th Street where the Roxy Theatre the Troupe du Jour and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra are located.
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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. Turns out we only needed one fourth-row centre seat.
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Cabinet ministers still have some explaining to do

In June of 2013 Social Services Minister June Draude took a $19,000 taxpayer-funded trip to Ghana, Africa, and London, England. In neither instance was she required nor even invited to represent Saskatchewan or her ministry in those countries. Including the day and a half, she attended a low-key Ghanaian FASD conference held in a smallish hotel in Accra, to which she invited herself. Every appointment she attended overseas was generated by necessity — not out of necessity — to justify the duration of the drawn-out voyage, which happened to include Draude’s daughter and a close friend.
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Standing at the gates of Graceland

Years ago I made a trip to Memphis, Tenn., to attend a conference. The conference was okay; Memphis was great.
How couldn’t it be?
While there I visited Stax Records Museum, the home of Isaac Hayes’ gold-trimmed Cadillac. I went to Sun Records, the first recording studio for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Sam Phillips. I toured the Gibson Guitar factory and walked along Beale Street where the music flows, especially at B.B. King’s club. On top of all that, I returned to Graceland — Presley’s home.
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