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A healthy crop of sunflowers, beginning to fill out, surround the yard of a home in Bradwell, east of Saskatoon (Photo by Steve Gibb/GibbArt.com)

French Chocolate the talking horse

It was great being at Marquis Downs last weekend to watch Isabelle Wenc ride in the second race of her career. I missed the first one by a week unfortunately.
After looking tense and focused before the race, it was so nice to see the 19-year-old Saskatonian burst into a big smile after she finished second aboard French Chocolate. Second in her second race is pretty darn impressive.
I spoke with Isabelle the next day in the barn area. What a delight it was to chat with somebody so honest and passionate about what she does. I would take jockeys and quilters and coin collectors and business owners over politicians and professional athletes and entertainers almost any day.


Condo owners prepare to take on province

Members of the Saskatoon Condo Owners’ Association are about to feel another financial pinch.
The pinch — or maybe more than one — will come as a result of the revised Condominium Property Act and Regulations, a provincial government process that has been in the works for two years and was initiated in June.
A discussion with provincial government officials will take place on Sept. 12 at 6:45 p.m. at the Cliff Wright Library at Lakewood Civic Centre, 1635 McKercher Dr.

Happy horses
Being at track labour of love for trainer

Horse racing has been described as “months of misery for moments of magic.”
“It really is,” said trainer Jamie Hartmann. “You bring these horses in in February and they’re hairy and it takes blood, sweat and tears to bring them to the races. Then when they win, it’s a really good feeling. For one minute you’re so excited.
“It’s a rush. I love how happy the owners are. The horses are so happy. They can tell when they’ve won. It’s what it is all about.”


North America’s Salad Bowl

ST. JULIAN, West Flanders, Belgium — His head bowed in grief, hands resting on the upturned butt of his rifle, the towering sculptured figure of a Canadian warrior dominates this corner of the killing fields that were western Flanders.
The 11-metre-high memorial was built from a single column of granite and was designed by Regina architect Frederick Chapman Clemesha. Wounded in 1915 while serving as an officer in the Canadian Infantry, Clemesha has captured in his poignant work the horror, sorrow and courage of the Great War.


When will the perimeter highway be built?

Question: The City is moving ahead with the new North Commuter Parkway Bridge, but I want to know if there is any news on the proposed perimeter highway around Saskatoon. I know business owners in the north end would like to see that highway get built.
Mayor Atchison: I would certainly like to see it get built, too. We have two approaches to this issue right now. We have the Planning for Growth (P4G) group, talking about the city growing out in the future to 500,000 to one million people. We’re working with Corman Park, Martensville, Warman and Osler.

New school year reminds me of lime green and lard

Then, the school yard came alive. The children had returned from their summer break. Once again the swings were swinging, the monkey bars were being challenged and the new spiral slide tried.
A few years back, I moved into a small house by an elementary school. In fact this was the same school I attended when I was going to school. It hadn’t changed much, except for an expansion.
I thought it would be nice to move to a familiar area with a place with a lot of fond memories. What I hadn’t counted on was the noise. You know how much noise five children can make? Now multiply that by 100. The screaming, crying, hollering was, at times, too much to bear.

City needs to control debt before chickens come home to roost

Upon return to the city after a relaxing summer off, I was catching up on the news. Front and centre was an article in The StarPhoenix about keeping chickens in city backyards. Buried on Page 7 of the newspaper was, apparently, the chicken feed.
First, the chicken issue. Admittedly, I don’t like chickens. It stems from my farm experience as a youth. One of the designated farm chores was to gather eggs every morning. I hated going into the poop-encrusted coop and trying to get my hand under the hens to collect the eggs. On one such occasion a vicious hen pecked me near my eye and thus began my hostility towards chickens.

Intercultural association to mark 50th anniversary with supper

A local non-profit organization that provides services for immigrants and refugees is celebrating its 50-year history in Saskatoon.
The Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA) will mark its milestone anniversary with a multicultural supper on Sept. 12 at Prairieland Park.
“We’re doing an international supper, so there’s going to be different food stations from different areas of the world,” said SIA executive director Jess Hamm.
As part of the event, people who have played important roles in the growth of the SIA and in promoting intercultural relations in the province will be recognized with awards in five categories: volunteerism and leadership; language and education; arts and culture; intercultural relations; and organizational contributions.

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.

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