Community Columns

Carnie's Comments - TRAVEL TEAMS

Many parents who have kids involved at elite levels will disagree with me today and that's OK.  I'm just giving you some food for thought.

I think our focus on "elite" athletes in minor sports has gone wrong and that opinion has support.


Today, I'm sharing an article with you.  You can find the link if you read this commentary on  It's ESPN's Senior Writer Tim Keown writing about preteen youth sports.  He writes:

"The days of simply playing ball with your friends is over.  It's a different world out there for the preteen athlete, with "Elite" and "Select" commonly turning up in the names of our youth sports teams and leagues.  We're having tryouts for 10-and-under traveling baseball teams...traveling the country playing against other fourth-graders at God knows what cost to the parents' bank accounts and the kids' psyches.  All in the name of what?  Trophies?  Exposure?  A leg up on a college scholarship?  The egos of the parents?" 

Sound familiar?  Read the article here....



Carnie's Comments - Mike Babcock

It's a success story that has local people talking.  Mike Babcock, the former Moose Jaw Warriors coach and general manager, signing a $50 million deal to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs.  It makes him the highest paid hockey coach...ever.


I was among those who knew Babcock would succeed when he was coaching our Warriors.  He was a student of the game and a good communicator.  He was focused and firm.  He wanted to win and help his loyal players make it to the next level.  He knew, in turn, that he would get to the next level.  He just knew.


Working with Mike was challenging.  He did things his way.  Some locals will remember he refused to take part in our "Coach's Corner" post game show during his final season in Moose Jaw.  Babcock was a young man of conviction...perhaps that's one of the qualities that got him to where he is.


One local man, on social media, declared Babcock is "a great coach from a great province".  He also said "My mom used to like him because she always saw him him church...when he was coaching the Warriors".


I had to comment.  I told him Mike "...took our Warriors to a 27-42-3 record in his final season in Moose Jaw" and "He wouldn't do the live post game show with us and had the personality of rattlesnake.  He apparently learned from those mistakes...Then again, maybe that's part of why he's so successful."

Carnie's Comments - FOOD FARM

It's time and energy and money that will be well-spent.  The resources will be directed to the people and places that need the assistance.


The Mosaic Community Food Farm is about to take shape in Moose Jaw's Wakamow Valley.  Mosaic has some money and Wakamow has the land.  Now they need our time and our donations.


We'll be growing food, good food, in the valley for the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank and for the Riverside Mission.  These organizations have limited access to fresh produce.  That is about to change.

Now, they need us.  They'll take cash donations and gifts of plants, seeds and tools and, they're going to need some volunteer gardeners.


The Mosaic Community Food Farm.  It will become part of the solution and make our community an even better place.  Way to go people...way to go!

Carnie's Comments - TOURIST SEASON

I've heard the radio ad before and this morning, again.


The Tunnels of Moose Jaw letting listeners know they are "open 364 days a year".  If you assume that one day they close is Christmas Day, you are correct.


You see, the people who own and operate the tunnels get it.  They, long ago, made a commitment to taking the tourism industry in our city to the next level.  Oh, they have some company.  There are a number of local businesses that stay open 7 days a week to serve us and our visitors.


However, if you were downtown yesterday, you would have found a number of local businesses closed.  In my opinion, that just isn't going to work in this tourist town.  


Our tourism "anchors" are almost always open;  Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, Casino Moose Jaw and The Tunnels of Moose Jaw.  We've all seen a number of local shops come and go over the last few years.  I'll bet most of the survivors are open on holiday weekends.


If you want to run with the big dogs, you've gotta get off the porch.

Carnie's Comments - BOOZE BAN



It's "May Long" in Saskatchewan and the alcohol ban in provincial parks, implemented several years ago, remains in effect.  And, so, an encore performance of "Carnie's Comments" that has generated much feedback in the past.  Do you have a comment? E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Here it is. The unofficial start of summer in Saskatchewan.


For thousands of Saskatchewanians the Victoria Day Long Weekend means the beginning of camping season. We fill up the coolers and pack the tents, clean up the trailer or the motorhome and get them ready to serve as home AWAY from home for the summer. And, for most, it's off to the nearest Provincial Park.


And, again, there is a ban on alcohol in ALL Provincial Parks this weekend.  Unfortunate for those who like to enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine with dinner. But, you too are prohibited from drinking at your campsite this weekend.


It's all because we went through several consecutive years of violence and vandalism in our parks on the May Long weekends...


I think there's a better course of action than an alcohol ban.  I think we should have an age restriction enforced in our Provincial Parks.  How about a law that says anyone under the legal drinking age of 19 has to be accompanied by a parent. Not just this weekend....but every weekend !


The kids can stay at home and grow up......while grandma and grandpa can have a drink with their dinner at their campsite. THEY have earned it.

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