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Saskatoon Police Service members show off some of their hardware at their community barbecue last week. (Photo by Keenan Sorokan)
 
Edmonton loses to us again

I would say poor Edmonton, but that would be a bigger lie than those Donald J. Trump tells.
The 1970’s and 1980’s City of Champions has lost again to Saskatchewan. As many pointed out late last week, the Rush lacrosse team and the Eskimos coaching staff have moved to greener pastures. (Note: the jury is still out on the coaching staff, but good things are expected down the road.) Now, when a bottom line is signed, the prestigious Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) will be coming our way, beginning in 2017. It had been in Edmonton for 43 years. That’s a lot of bucking and lassoing.
The CFR is to rodeo what the Grey Cup, Memorial Cup and Brier/Scotties championships are to their sports in Canada. As Donald J. Trump would say, this is bigly.
We owe a huge thank you to the people at Tourism Saskatoon and the SaskTel Centre. Concerts, conventions and sporting events don’t happen here by accident.
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A festival that will tickle your ribs

Ribfest is a time for Saskatonians to get their faces and hands messy — with barbecue sauce, that is.
Ribfest will be held from July 29 to Aug. 1 at Diefenbaker Park. Five ribbers will be on site — Prairie Smoke & Spice, Gator BBQ Company, Smoke & Bones, Boss Hog’s Smokin Chophouse and Misty Mountain. These companies make award-winning bones.
Ribfest sponsorship chair Bryan Tastad explained what this event means to the ribbers.
“This is their livelihood. They cook this stuff for hours and take this very seriously.”
And so do the people doing the eating.
The event also features a people’s choice award and a celebrity panel of judges to liven the ribbers’ competitive spirits.
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Eat, play, shop:
Fringe Festival returns to Broadway July 28 to Aug. 6

See a play. Buy a craft. Eat a meal. See a busker. Take the kids.
The Fringe — aka The PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival, Saskatoon — is, in its way, not a fringe event at all. Every year, about 55,000 people attend the popular Broadway Avenue fest, and that’s hardly a number on the edge.
This year, Fringers can see 33 plays (and 231 performances), taste the creations of 35 food vendors and buy from 100 market vendors.
They can stop to see dance, music and busking; and if that’s not enough, there are several new additions.
“We are expanding into W.E. Graham Park with a tented eating area, an outdoor stage for a variety of performances, a kids’ play area by DJ’s Amusements, sponsored by PotashCorp, and a new flea market area,” said Colin Grant of 25th Street Theatre, the Fringe producer, in a release.
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Diamond Girls
All-American Girls’ Baseball featured in Fringe play

FROM 1943 UNTIL 1954, Saskatchewan sent 25 players, more than any other province, to enjoy the experience of playing in a truly unique All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League.
The league was the brainchild of P.K. Wrigley, the chewing gun magnate and owner of the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley wanted entertainment in his Wrigley Field as a safety valve in case major league baseball was seriously disrupted by Americans enlisting in the Second World War. Major league baseball was never disrupted.
The history of the girls’ league has been documented to a considerable degree, the most noteworthy evidence assembled by a full-length 1992 motion picture called A League of Their Own.
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Creep catchers interfering with justice system

Without condoning what they do, it’s admittedly easy to understand why Canada’s “creep catchers” are doing it.
Put simply, this group baits potential child sex predators by posing as underage girls online and via text message, culminating in an arrangement to meet up, presumably for illegal sexual activity.
The creep arrives at the designated location, and finds a catcher waiting for him, armed with a video camera. Up goes the video on YouTube, and crashing down comes the creep’s life as the video makes the rounds on social media.
In a way, creep catchers save the potential sex offender a world of legal pain. The group has no powers to arrest or press charges, so beyond the excoriation in the court of public opinion (which some might argue is worse than having to go through the justice system), the alleged almost-perp gets to walk away. If it was a police operation, the outcome would likely be been different, in which lies part of the problem.
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It’s not the End of the Trail for First Nations people

End of the Trail is a piece of art I don’t like.
The original was a sculpture by James Earle Fraser. It was commissioned by Clarence Shaler as a tribute to the Native American for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. It was moved to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City in 1968, where it’s currently on display. A painting of the work was on the cover of the 1971 Surf’s Up album by the Beach Boys.
The reason I don’t like the work is because it looks too depressing. Don’t get me wrong: as a work of art, it is a great piece. I just don’t like the message it sends.
Even the title, End of the Trail, suggests this is it for the North American Indian. There is no more going forward. On the other hand, the man on the horse could be texting. Hey, you never know because it was the Indian who invented wireless communication.
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Saskatoon definitely needs a new track

Question: What can the city do for the track and field community now that it will lose its home at Griffiths Stadium next year?
Mayor Atchison: I am hopeful that the track and field community, all the different organizations, can come together and build a consensus among themselves. They need to come together with one voice on where the track could be located, what the facility includes and what the true benefits are to the community as a whole. Track enthusiast Dennis Beerling spoke at the Planning and Development Committee this past week and laid out the case very clearly.
We need a new track in Saskatoon. We can’t be the largest city in Saskatchewan with the second largest government in
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Keep Kinsmen playground and build one in Caswell

With a civic election pending, it is time to ask the question: What is important to the residents of Saskatoon? Clearly, parks are important as evidenced by public reaction to the possibility of loss of funding for the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA.) But there is also the issue of the city’s park space and play areas.
The idea that the city would tear down the Kinsmen Play Village, a play area that accommodates children with physical challenges, is astounding. The question is why. The older areas of Saskatoon are already desperately short of park and playground spaces for children. And it makes no sense when you factor in the city’s growth plan to create high density residency through infill development in the City Park area. Add to that, the nearby YWCA’s daycare centre.
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It’s time for those in recovery to speak up

Sixteen mothers gathered at Dr. Wendy Gore-Hickman’s home one night to talk about addiction recovery advocacy.
All 16 of those moms have suffered the heartbreak of addictions. Three have had children die — two to fentanyl overdoses and one to drunk driving. One mom’s son is in the Prince Albert penitentiary.
The children of 11 of those moms have had overdoses. Thirteen have spent at least $30,000 — and some more than $100,000 — to get out-of-province private treatment for their children. They would like to see more being done in Saskatchewan for those battling addictions.
For her part, Gore-Hickman has a long list of things that could to be done in Saskatchewan to save the lives of our addicted and help them onto the road to recovery.
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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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