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While pigeons are regular tenants of Saskatoon’s bridges, it’s unusual to see geese in such an awkward location. However, this pair of Canada geese were spotted soaking up the sun high up on one of the pillars of the CPR Bridge. (Photos by Steve Gibb)
It’s a classic man-saves-dog story

Sandy and I were having dinner with two other couples when one of the people at the table said, “I think I have a story for you.”
It turned out to be one of those “no way, that-just-doesn’t-happen stories.”
With every sentence at the table that night, the story became more captivating. Our eyes got bigger and bigger, and our jaws started to drop. The story begins when a dog gets spooked at a dog park and bolts away from its owner. It ends with the dog being taken in by someone and returned to its owners the next day. None of that is particularly uncommon.
What happened in-between is mind-blowing. It’s one of the best man-saves-dog stories I have ever heard. Then again, dog-saves-human stories are more often in the news. This story is about Calvin Hamm seeing a dog jump off the Circle Drive Bridge and, almost an hour later, going to the river to see if she survived. It has a happy ending, as you know from looking at our cover.

Josie and her hero
Dog rescued after jumping from bridge

It was 5 a.m. and the end of Calvin Hamm’s shift. He and the others in a fleet of trucks used to haul snow were heading back to the yard to park their semis.
Hamm was travelling west on the Circle Drive Bridge when suddenly the car in front of him slammed on its brakes. With a rear-end collision pending and a truck to his right, Hamm swung into the left lane.
Suddenly a dog darted out from in front of the car. Hamm knew he couldn’t stop his semi before hitting the dog so he laid on the horn, hoping the dog would run up the road to avoid being hit.
Then, something happened that will be forever etched in Hamm’s mind and in the minds of the others on the bridge on that chilly March morning.
The dog veered to her left, jumped over the edge and into the middle of the river below.


Are smart meters as smart as they say?

Question: Please explain how and how much savings there will be to switching to the smart meters, since neither meter (old or new) is more accurate than the other. It is incorrect to state the smart meter is more accurate.
Mayor Atchison: When you say they are not more accurate, my understanding is they are more accurate. The other part is the City is able to monitor them on an ongoing basis, so that if there is a problem they are able to identify it immediately. Sometimes with the old meters, people would complain that they are being charged too much — that the meter was going around too fast. They say that cost them more. Sometimes they were; sometimes they weren’t. The City would go to the home and check on the meter and, if they were faulty, they would be removed.

Short Cuts 2015
Plenty of diversity in six 10-minute plays

“What takes 10 minutes and can change your life forever?”
That’s the question being posed by an upcoming theatre event called Short Cuts 2015. The 10-minute play festival, which is set to run in Saskatoon from April 17 to April 19, is presenting six 10-minute plays that are described “as deeply personal.”
“The theme of the whole festival is relationships,” said Philip Adams, one of the directors involved with the festival, in an interview.
Organizers put the word out about Short Cuts 2015 last August, which resulted in 30 scripts that were received from throughout North America. In the end, six plays were chosen: Litany, by Anthony McMahon; Knead, by Lauren Holfeuer; Runners High, by Donna Hoke; 2 Indians, by Falen Johnson; Slick Dame, by Kay Poiro; and Baggage, by Joel Bernbaum and Heather Morrison.


Staggering number of boys are sexually abused: expert

Once in a while, the public will hear of the child sexual abuse of boys. Sheldon Kennedy and Theo Fleury have come forward with their terrible stories, and leaders of boys’ schools have been convicted for such abuse.
Yet the public is likely not aware that one in every six boys experience some kind of sexual abuse, a number that forensic consultant David Lisak calls “staggering.”
A former professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lisak will speak on child sexual abuse at an upcoming conference planned by the Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre and Saskatoon Police Victim Services.
“The sexual abuse of boys has been historically, and still is, very much of it under the radar,” he said in a recent interview. “When many people think of sexual abuse, they think girls. People are used to adult women disclosing. Oftentimes we’ve had celebrities disclosing publicly they were sexually abused as kids, but it’s been mainly women.

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Greetings from my beloved Elk Ridge.
I know, I know. “Is that woman ever not on vacation?” I hear you asking yourselves.
OK, you’re not asking yourself that but, for the record, I’m not always on vacation, either. But when I am, I like to write my column.
Here I sit looking out over the blessedly mucky, brownish landscape — I say blessedly, because oh, how it smells and feels like spring. Instead of acres upon acres of waist-deep snow, there are swaths of freshly revealed greens and dirty chunks of ice everywhere. Oh, no, wait – those are elk. Wow, there are elk everywhere, in fact. Isn’t this the time of year they go all crazy protecting and/or making their babies? Note to self — check with front desk for elk mating patterns before letting the kids wander in the forest.

When it comes to cyclists, the squeaky wheels are getting the grease

Every now and then I agree with Mayor Don Atchison, and in those instances I usually step back and question my own judgment. However, he actually verbalized what I was thinking relative to the upcoming downtown bike lanes.
I can’t quite figure out how a five-block link between the extremely heavy traffic on both Idylwyld Drive and Spadina Crescent, running through the bus mall, is going really to benefit anyone. As the bus mall prohibits through traffic, 23rd Street tends not to have heavy traffic and every intersection is controlled. The median on Second Avenue also prevents through traffic on 21st Street and slows traffic. And again, each intersection is controlled. As well, 19th, 20th and 24th streets all have controlled intersections at every corner. And anyone who has travelled down Second Avenue between 19th and 24th streets could attest to the snail pace of traffic. For the best part, downtown traffic does not zip along at the same high speed as does traffic on arterial roadways.

Bentley Busts A Move to honour wife’s life

For retired Saskatoon fire chief Brian Bentley and his daughter, Meaghan, the opportunity to become co-chairs of Saskatoon Bust A Move 2015 was something they couldn’t refuse.
The event will give Brian and Meaghan a chance to recognize and honour the life of their loved one, Myrna, whose contributions to Saskatoon and even fields far away were significant before she lost her life to cancer on Aug. 21, 2014.
Her commitments to family were first and foremost. She placed a high value on community living during a 38-year career with Concentra Financial, the last 12 years as president and CEO. After retiring, she became part of the Canadian Co-operative Development Foundation, where she tried to help women succeed in Malawi, Peru, Colombia, Thailand and Indonesia.

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.