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The sun shines through a bullet hole on a sign on the outskirts of Saskatoon (Photo by Steve Gibb)

Another edition of Missed Connections

When I am struggling for a column idea, I often turn to the Missed Connections feature on Kijiji. There is one reader who actually encourages me to do this column. Sick puppy. As always, the ads from Kijiji are unedited. And my comments aren’t either, for that matter.
“Court Room: You were in court number number 4 at 2:00 Tuesday. This is creepy I admit but if there was any way you wanted to chat you should message me. You were a shorter blonde chick, with a rocking body and You were reading. if you tell me what you were reading I will believe it’s you.


The Word On The Street
50 authors to participate in festival

Imagine going into a book store or a library and meeting an author at the end of each aisle.
That’s basically the idea behind The Word On The Street, a book and magazine festival that is having its fourth fling in and around civic square in downtown Saskatoon on Sept. 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will be more than 50 authors, including several of national and international stature, involved in 38 presentations, some in a 300-seat Great Expectations tent, two others in 75-seat tents and another 200-seater in the lower level of the Frances Morrison library.

United Way
2014 campaign launched

The Saskatoon and Area United Way campaign is off and running.
Approximately 350 supporters paraded on a cool morning in downtown Saskatoon last week to officially launch the campaign. This year’s goal is “$6 million and beyond.”
United Way has invested more than $85 million in Saskatoon since its inception in 1959. Last year, $5.2 million was invested, including $3.94 million into local service agencies and registered charitable organizations.
The Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre is one of those organizations that is grateful for the support it gets from the United Way.


My first experience using transit in city was also my last

Moving to London, England, from Saskatoon was a culture shock. Food, population density, traditions and even the dialect were all things I had to adapt to — and quickly.
I was in my early 20s, but I already had quite a few years of driving, and even a few vehicles, under my belt. I had sold my car to move to England, and buying a new one over there wasn’t an option. In fact, it wasn’t even really ever even up for consideration, because no one else had a vehicle either. Everyone in my life: my roommates, friends, and virtually every single one of my co-workers, moved around by transit.


Taxpayers aren’t paying more for less

Question: Where are our tax dollars going? I am paying four times as much now as I did in 2006. I am getting less. Bus routes are being cancelled, my kid’s classroom is in a boot room, roads are worse they have ever been, and pools are closing. How can I be spending four times more and getting so much less?
Mayor Atchison: The question about how increasing taxes by four times as much and doing less since 2006 is just not factual. What has happened since 2006 is reassessment. With reassessment it sounds to me like your home may have gone up substantially in appraised value. We work on the ad valorum system.

If only I would have had a second chance to see Lyle

I am a believer in second chances. Mostly because of other people giving me a second chance or, in many cases, a third and even a fourth chance.
The whole point is to never give up on someone who stumbles and falls more often than they are standing. I know people who were so down and out it looked like they would never get themselves up. In fact, I was in many ways one of those people.
I have made no bones of my past struggles with addictions and the revolving door that seems to wait for me in one of the country’s iron-bar hotels.

Transit workers make some good points

Apparently our nine-year-old bus thief did a stellar job navigating a couple of narrow streets, without doing extensive damage to parked vehicles, before being apprehended.
It is rumoured the joke around the transit facility is that they should hire the kid, as he wouldn’t need much training. Oh well, black humour is better than no humour at all.
While recently visiting with neighbours and their guest, the conversation rolled around to the grand theft bus story. After discussing the absurdity of the situation, my neighbour’s guest had the courage to confess that he was a bus driver. And so the stories began.

Parking spots become parks for a day

Several dozen metered parking spots will soon be transformed into temporary public parks, as part of the third annual Park(ing) Day in Saskatoon.
The event will be held on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Riversdale area, on 20th Street West between avenues B and E.
“It’s pretty interesting. We have all sorts of different people, organizations and businesses that will take over a parking stall and transform it into a mini park for a day,” said event chair Carrie Catherine.

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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