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A Brewer’s blackbird fledgling waits impatiently to be fed (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
Cody’s life was taken far too soon

We have lived next door to Darla and Marty Smuk for almost 25 years. During that time, we watched our children, and theirs, go from toddlers to the 20-somethings they are today.
We lost one last week with the death of Cody Smuk — at just 26 years old. Cody and my 25-year-old son, Brandon, learned to skate together. I can still picture them in the Clavet winter carnival when they were four. Cody had a really cool sombrero on his head.
We had a backyard rink and watched Cody become the excellent hockey player he was. He could turn both ways on skates before the other kids. He could do backwards crossovers sooner than the others.


Gibson’s Fish & Chips
Iconic Saskatoon business moving to Louise Avenue

After operating a fish and chips specialty restaurant in the same Cumberland Square location for almost 51 years, the Gibson family is moving its business.
Jonathan Gibson, son of the company’s founder, and his family have acquired the property at 1025 Louise Ave., where Jim Dangas owned the Salonika Restaurant for 34 years. Shutdown day for Gibson’s Fish & Chips was June 30. There is hope they will be up and running in the new location within four to six weeks.
The change in scenery occurred after the family rode an “emotional rollercoaster” for the past 11 weeks.
The demolition of the Safeway store, next-door neighbours to Gibson’s Fish & Chips, may have been an early sign that change was imminent.


Final Flight
9/11 Never Forget exhibit to appear at airshow

There will be a first for Canada and a last for Saskatoon on July 11 and July 12.
The city will say so long to the Canada Remembers Our Heroes airshow 20 years after the first one. It will close with a highly coveted display on the ground at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.
Brian Swidrovich, who has been the director for all the shows during the past two decades, said a lot of things fell into place quickly for Saskatoon to become the first place outside of the United States to land the 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit.
The 1,000-square-foot travelling memorial is described on its website as being a “poignant reminder of that tragic day. It provides interactive education, including artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos and recordings of first-responder radio transmissions.” Two New York firefighters will lead tours of the exhibit.


Signs will be going up at McKercher Drive overpass

Question: Your answer to the query regarding merge, yield and speed limits on the McKercher Drive overpass was a typical politician’s answer — 86 words and no answers. Will you now explain why there are no yield or merge signs on these ramps, and tell us when these signs will be placed? Also, with the myriad of temporary signs throughout the city, wouldn’t it be, in the interest of safety, advisable to have speed-advisory signs placed on the ramps until such time as the speed limit on College Drive (No. 5 highway) is reduced to the same speed as McKercher Drive?
Mayor Atchison: Once again, we thank the reader for the question the first time and certainly thank him for the comments this time.

Matt Andersen will rip apart the Garden air

Saskatoon blues and jazz devotees have likely heard Matt Andersen perform solo, perhaps at the Saskatoon Blues Society’s festival or at the Broadway Theatre.
They know his giant voice tears the roof off. They know his acoustic guitar sound is so big it could be electric if it wasn’t so natural.
Wait until you hear him at the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival with a 10-piece band.
Andersen will shake the Bessborough Gardens with the biggest act he’s ever assembled, and fans are asking: Will he sing Ain’t No Sunshine? How about The Devil’s Bride?
You’ll have to wait to find out, but one thing is guaranteed: “We’re a racket when we show up, that’s for sure,” said Andersen in an interview.


I vote for three spans, two piers on new bridge

We’re back to the big debate about what to do with the Victoria/Traffic/Iron Bridge.
The frustrating thing about the debate is that it should never have been necessary. We probably wouldn’t have had to shut the darn thing down in the first place had it been properly maintained — at least, not as soon as we did, although I’m sure it had a life expectancy.
But that water being under the bridge, so to speak, here we are.
People are still arguing that the new bridge should carry only pedestrians and cyclists. I think we’re past that decision. As lovely as it would be to start cutting back on car traffic in Saskatoon, it’s not realistic at this point. This remains a car culture, and our economy, partly, and our safety, turn on it. The bridge can carry cars as well as pedestrians, so why not accommodate all forms of traffic?

Rubbing shoulders with rich, famous

So I’m at this fancy backyard party — really fancy. Not fancy like twinkle lights around the gazebo fancy. Fancy like it looked like the set of a Jennifer Aniston movie when we pulled up. There were lighting crews and sound crews and two stages. There were food stations that involved real chefs, not just my mom splitting hot dog buns.
There were more than 1,000 people at this wee soiree when I showed up. For me and my raging social anxieties, that type of crowd takes a while to get used to, as did walking on the cobbled paving stones in platform wedges. I don’t recommend it.
The combined net worth of this crowd was probably greater than many countries. The hipsters were actual hipsters: V-necked T-shirts under velvet blazers with saucily cinched neck scarves and great fedoras that probably came from Holt Renfrew, not Old Navy.

Much Ado About fun at Shakespeare festival

It’s been lauded as one of William Shakespeare’s greatest comedic achievements — and Saskatonians will soon be able to take in live performances of Much Ado About Nothing during the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival.
The iconic white tent has been erected on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, and the annual festival is set to open on July 8 with the first performance of the comedy.
Actors Robbie Towns and Jenna-Lee Hyde are sure audience members will enjoy the play and have a great time.
“I think they’ll love it. I think it’s a really entertaining play,” said Hyde.
“Every storyline has a different level of reality and comedy to it for different palates. All different palates will be satisfied.”

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.