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Shania Mocknowed and her mother, Sherry Mocknowed, were dressed as Harley Quinn and a zombie at the Saskatoon Expo last weekend (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
Email account had a busy day

One day last week I decided to take a close look at the emails sent to editorial@saskatoonexpress.com. Below is a sampling of the 50 emails the account received on Sept. 21.
• The Western Hockey League kicked off its 50th season on Sept. 24. An email invited members of the media to the historic game at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw. In recognition of the first championship series in league history, the Moose Jaw Warriors played the Regina Pats. There was an opportunity to interview league commissioner Ron Robison, as well as Ryan Smyth, a former Warrior, and Clark Gillies, a former Pat. Moose Jaw’s team, then known as the Canucks, won the series. Fifty years? I attended games in that era and hundreds more since. Here’s wishing this year’s edition of the Blades a great season.


Saskatoon Camera Club
Great photos taken for almost 80 years

With the Saskatoon Camera Club less than a year away from celebrating its 80th anniversary, its members agree the greatest evolution has been in the cameras.
Vern Sanders, the club’s archivist-librarian, joined the club in 1963 and has seen all of the changes from black and white prints to colour slides to today’s digital units.
Stephen Nicholson, the club president, joined the club seven years ago and is only familiar with the digital age.
“There have been many changes in camera equipment, and varying degrees of dollars can be spent on equipment,” said Nicholson. “Ultimately it all comes down to aiming and shooting, and the most important ingredient is the individual who is holding the camera.

Children’s Discovery Museum
Capital campaign launching soon: co-chairs

The designer has been chosen, the building is theirs and it’s time to get the ball rolling.
The Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan (CDM) will soon launch its $10-million capital fundraising campaign. Campaign co-chairs Erica Bird and Robin Chapman say the museum destined for the former Mendel Art Gallery will open sometime in 2017.
“You’re going to see from 2017 onward that area (is) going to change,” said Chapman. “It’s going to be a major, major destination for families. You’ve got the beautiful PotashCorp Kinsmen Park play area, and now you’re going to have this beautiful museum across the street.”
Chapman pointed out that the full name of the museum now includes the province.
“We’re actually going to be a provincial museum, and it’s really important that people understand this will be something for the province, not just Saskatoon,” she said.


We lost our Gizmo after he ingested something poisonous

On the August long weekend, we decided to take our dogs to the lake.
I use “decided” because our family does not normally travel with our dogs. I wish we could take them with us more often, but we’re just not that family. When we travel by vehicle, we tend to vacation in places (Elk Ridge) that don’t allow pets, or aren’t really conducive to bringing your dogs along (West Edmonton Mall). If we travel by plane, well, getting my two kids on board and into their seatbelts is a feat all in itself. When we land, we’re always in hotels.
Thankfully we have fantastic care for our furry friends right here in Saskatoon when we’re away. I’m not really sure why I felt the need to explain all that. But there you go.


Effiencies ingrained in City Hall culture

Question: What are your thoughts on the benefits of undertaking an outside independent Lean Management-style review of the City Hall departments as well as City services?  
Mayor Atchison: We did a report like that many years ago. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the end it is about the culture of City Hall itself. Did it change? I can tell you the culture of City Hall didn’t really change until about 11 years ago. We were encouraged by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce to produce an annual efficiency report. I had a conversation with the city manager at the time and he agreed to begin those reports.
After the first year he said to me, “Do you know all the good things we have done over this past year to be more efficient?” And we continued this process. Now at City Hall, it is ingrained into the culture. We refer to it as continuous improvement. How can employees work more efficiently? How can we do more with less?

I agree to disagree with city councillor on flood levy

It is a general rule of thumb that journalists do not respond to letters to the editor. But I am not a journalist, and if I have erred on any information I feel duty bound to correct it.
Coun. Eric Olauson’s letter to the editor (Sept. 7-12, 2015) sets out the “facts” about the temporary flood protection levy on our water/sewer bill. So let’s get those facts straight.
Olauson rightly pointed out that the temporary flood protection charge introduced in October 2005 was for $3 rather than $2. I apologize to readers for my error.
Olauson also pointed out that I was on council when this was introduced, and I was. I remember well the damage the flooding caused in the west end of the city, in part due to the City’s insufficient infrastructure. The revenue from this special and temporary levy was to be used for the sole purpose of offsetting a variety of costs related to the June 2005 flooding.

Toon’s on Transit
Work of 35 photographers featured on buses

People don’t typically envision taking public transit as an artistic experience, but that has changed in Saskatoon.
On Sept. 15, a two-month roaming gallery exhibition, entitled Toon’s on Transit, was launched in the city. Until Nov. 8, Saskatoon Transit buses will feature work by 35 local photographers. Thirty-five of the buses will feature an individual photo, while a “super bus” will showcase 10 selected photos.
The mobile exhibition got its start in June, when the local non-profit organization PAVED Arts, with support from the City of Saskatoon, requested the work of Saskatoon-area photographers to be placed on the buses. Following an open call for submissions, 35 images were selected from 317 pictures. The jury included Coun. Charlie Clark, a Bus Riders of Saskatoon representative and several members of the community.

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.