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Pigeons have had reason to panic during the demolition of the Parrish and Heimbecker Mill
(Photo by Steve Gibb/GibbArt.com)
HGTV won’t be calling anytime soon

A couple of Saturdays ago, Sandy and I decided to put some art on our walls.
It was a bit of a disaster, as most projects are in my life. Sandy normally doesn’t ask me to help with such things. She knows better. I proved her right again.
Let’s say we got off to a poor start on the hanging art front. To put two screws into the wall for the first picture took eight holes. I counted them. Thankfully, they are all hidden by the picture. And the wall needs painting anyway.
The second picture went a little better: three holes for the one needed. The picture is hanging about six inches too high, though. If we lower it, it will expose the three holes — of which one was needed — for all the world to see should they use our bathroom. Thankfully our bathroom is now closed to the public.

Non-profit provides comfort food for those in need

If “soup is liquid comfort,” as the saying goes, then a non-profit organization in Saskatoon is offering a lot of comfort to women and children in need.
Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers celebrated its one-year anniversary in Saskatoon in February. Calgarian Sharon Hapton, who had the idea that a warm bowl of soup can nourish and nurture, founded the non-profit charitable social enterprise in 2009. Since then, Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers has spread throughout Canada and into the U.S., with volunteers creating countless litres of soup for women’s shelters and women leaving abusive situations.
Monthly Soup Sisters events are held in Saskatoon at the commercial kitchen at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, where volunteers get together to chop vegetables, cook and package soup and share a meal.


Bikes lanes shouldn’t be a priority right now

Question: You were the only person to vote against having protected bike lanes downtown. Why was that?
Mayor Atchison: For me, it is more about common sense and priorities. Really, when you think of all the bike lanes that are not finished in Saskatoon right now — that have dead ends — it makes no sense. Having bike lanes in the middle of nowhere and then unleashing them into the regular traffic I don’t think is appropriate. I also think the MVA Trail through the downtown area — and we’ve heard from the MVA loud and clear — needs to be much wider than it is. It is so popular today that it is over capacity. Pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, long boarders – there are a lot of people on that trail.

My brother’s suicide devastating for our family

My home reserve has a small population.
Even though our land mass is fairly large, our on-reserve population is just over 2,000 people. Our community had a devastating number of deaths last year. We lost around 35 members, which is large for a small community.
I say “around 35” because it’s a general belief one should not count how many people passed away because one could be next. I think one could be next simply by saying one.
Not counting is not the only superstition on my rez. The other was never pass a graveyard while the gate is open. If the gate is open, the graveyard is inviting someone. This belief is so strong that people will actually take a route around the site. Sometimes this will take an extra half hour.


High-tech systems now part of highway design

If International Road Dynamics Inc. (IRD) attracted one international customer for every year of its history, it would long since have reached its centenary.
IRD has expanded its global reach far more quickly than that. It will mark its 35th anniversary in 2015, having grown out of Bergan family basements in 1980 to a massive complex on 43rd Street today.
The intelligent transportation systems (ITS) company is one of Saskatoon’s relatively rare firms that has grown its technology, its size and its export reach over many years of hard work and adaptation. Starting from its first weigh-in-motion (WIM) scale, IRD today sells and maintains a number of high-tech ITS products and has locations around the world.

  1. Jolie to be commended, but having millions in bank sets her apart from most

BREAKING: Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie cuts her toe nails, recommends women around the world cut their toe nails.
OK, maybe that was a little over the line.
In case you missed it, last week the New York Times ran the second op-ed column penned by Jolie in as many years, this time detailing her recent decision to have her ovaries removed.
Jolie’s first piece was published by the NYT in 2013, detailing her decision to have a double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed that she was positive for the BRCA cancer gene, the presence of which is purported to elevate a woman’s odds of being diagnosed with breast cancer to at least 60 per cent. In Jolie’s case, the discovery that she was a BRCA carrier combined with a number of other factors, including her family’s medical history, put her at an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer, according to her medical advisors.

Take your pick: Do we fear terrorists or our government?

Until recently I didn’t know what the word radicalized really meant. Nor did I pay a lot of attention to the bickering between the federal government and opposition leaders over legislation that gave more power to policing/intelligence agencies, chalking it all up to election propaganda.
I woke up the other morning to the sonorous voice of Thomas Mulcair, federal leader of the New Democratic Party, explaining why he believes Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s proposed “war on terror” bills should be defeated. I like Mulclair and respect his opinions, although I don’t always agree with him. I think he is a smart guy, and compared to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, he is an absolute genius.

Saskatchewan people caring, friendly and kind, but we already knew that

Journalists love statistics and polls. Great stories — and even not-so-great ones — get some of their credibility from numbers. If they don’t, it’s still fun to ruminate over them.
Therefore, bless Insightrix Research for its informative and fun survey of Saskatchewan residents, the results of which are far from surprising. Rather, they reflect us to ourselves in a big, shiny mirror.
When former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli purportedly said there were three kinds of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics — he was at least partly wrong, if you go by this survey. Reading the Insightrix results will make many of us nod our heads sagely: yep, that’s us, we’ll say.
It will also, perhaps, generate a little provincial patriotism, which never goes amiss, either. Where the patriotism ends, the understanding begins: about half of us really, really don’t like winter weather. You could knock me over with a feather.

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.