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Old Cam playing against Father Time in 2015 (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
 
I had the itch to curl again

Maybe it’s because I watch a lot of curling on television. Maybe it’s because my son, Brandon, is helping coach high school curling in Hanley. Maybe it’s because I will be in Moose Jaw next month covering the Scotties Tournament of Hearts national women’s championship.
Anyway, I tried curling last week. I hadn’t been on a sheet of ice in more than 10 years and hadn’t played a game in more than 15.
My return started when Brandon wanted to purchase some curling gear for the school and for himself. Sandy and I went with him to Folk’s Curling Corner at the Nutana Curling Club. I hadn’t seen Dave Folk in years. I met him when I was in Grade 9 and curling on the Aden Bowman team.
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Learning to read changed Clarence’s life

“Can you help me write a letter?” the young man asked
It was one of those times, around 30 years ago, when I found myself serving time in one of Canada’s iron-bar hotels. Since I had absolutely no intentions of working for “The Man,” I decided I would help this young man with his letter.
He told me he was from northern Saskatchewan and only attended school “when it was available.” I didn’t understand what that meant until he started telling me his story. It was basically like my own. He grew up in a northern trap line, where his parents lived all year long.
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Does traditional retail have Target on its back?

There is little good news tucked into the bad news that Target, the big U.S. retailer, is closing all of its stores in Canada.
On the bright side — for some — is it may improve matters a bit for big Canadian retailers such as Canadian Tire, although the product mix is somewhat different, and for Walmart, although it already has the lion’s share of the discount department store traffic.
On the misery-loves-company side, if you have ever made a business mistake, it may cheer you up to know that even a huge retail entity like Target does not always get it right. Indeed, it got it so wrong, it is quite incredible.
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Inside Out Bakery caters to all tastes

It took 12 years for Lucille McInnes to figure out what was ailing her. They were 12 years of intermittent sickness, multiple misdiagnoses, confusion and visits to specialists.
In the end, it was her mother-in-law who noticed a connection to gluten.
“I was resisting that thought,” said McInnes with a laugh. “But I eliminated it and then when I tried to reintroduce gluten, my reaction was drastic. My first meal back was a homemade chicken soup with egg noodles. Within 15 minutes, I had a heat rush from my stomach to my head. I thought my head was going to explode. I thought, ‘This is crazy. I can’t have a food allergy.’ ”
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  1. Saskatoon Zoo Foundation
  2. Expansion goal of new executive director

It’s a cold January morning in Saskatoon, with temperatures dipping well into the –30 C range, but Shannon Harnett-Smith is out for a walk.
Strolling the neatly groomed paths of the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo, she peers out from inside the depths of her parka’s hood to get a closer look at the cougars pacing their enclosure, occasionally pausing to peer right back.
“Look at how beautiful they are,” said Harnett-Smith, who has recently replaced Barrie Meissner as the new executive director of the Saskatoon Zoo Foundation.
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Have libraries reached the final chapter?

Question: I see that Stonebridge is getting a new library. Is that necessary? I read the Fast Consulting study on library usage. It states that 77 per cent of Saskatoon people have library cards. Is that correct? I doubt it. The library has maintained usage by using them as gathering places for various meetings. They are also distributing videos and CDs free of charge. Is that reason enough to open a new one and continue to increase the funding? Perhaps this is an outdated business model and, like other cities, we should start decreasing the funding and close the libraries as the employees retire.
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Survivor Men can have breast cancer, too

Andrew Pratt is a breast cancer survivor who has been giving back as a volunteer almost since his diagnosis in April 2009. Through a number of coincidences — happy ones, he says — you might say volunteering became his calling.
He did an interview just before the C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer in 2009. As he was driving home from his final chemotherapy treatment, Pratt heard the interview on the air.
“That was quite exciting,” he said. “It inspired me to continue on as long as they needed.”
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Our Prairie in Fibre dream show for curator

Monika Kinner-Whalen’s pride and passion for the prairies can be heard in her voice.
After giving a tour of the latest Saskatchewan Craft Council show on a recent Saturday, she described her curatorial vision.
“I wanted to walk into a room that was full of prairie, and I wanted to be surrounded with just prairie-inspired pieces,” she said enthusiastically.
Kinner-Whalen, a Saskatchewan fibre artist who grew up outside of North Battleford, organized the new show at the Affinity Gallery on Broadway Avenue. Entitled Our Prairie in Fibre, the exhibition features about 40 pieces created by women from across Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.
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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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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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