Carnie's Comments - Sidewalk Days

So, it was Friday afternoon.  A childhood friend of mine sends me a message.  He said he was in Moose Jaw with some family for a medical appointment.  He asked me for a suggestion on where to dine in The Friendly City.  I gave him a couple of suggestions and let him know they'd have to park a block or two away from downtown because Sidewalk Days was on.


Later in the day he messaged me again.  "Wow," he said, "What a great day to be in Moose Jaw!"


Not only did my friend and his family find food, they found music and entertainment and they didn't want to leave.  Instead of simply stopping for a quick lunch they stayed for the afternoon and enjoyed what we have to offer at Sidewalk Days.  They were blown away.


I took some time to enjoy Sidewalk Days on Friday night.  I was blown away.  The line-ups for food and drink were long, people were out and about and smiling and the local entertainers did us all proud when they took to the various stages.


Sidewalk Days - The event has always been good but this year's version was great.  How about a "Tip o' the Hat" and a "Way to Go" for all involved. 

Carnie's Comments - FRASER TOLMIE

He's running for the mayor's chair again.  He made it official at a news conference yesterday.


Former Moose Jaw city councilor Fraser Tolmie will, this fall, run for the position of mayor.


You may remember, Tolmie settled in Moose Jaw not long after retiring from the military.  He won a spot on council back in 2009, earning the 5th of 6 positions with 3216 votes.  Three years later, with Mayor Glenn Hagel retiring, Tolmie went up against Deb Higgins for the top job and fell short.  It was close, though.  Tolmie finished with 4645 of 9884 votes for 47% of the vote compared to 53% for Higgins.


What was the difference?  Well, I believe there are a lot of local people, like me, who aren't really impressed by newcomers who arrive in our city with smiles and handshakes and bright ideas.  It's kind of that old school, old boys club mentality but it's not just men who feel this way.


While we are friendly and welcoming, Moose Jaw's the kind of city with the kind of people who demand hard work and commitment.  One must earn respect and that comes with persistency, time and doing good work with your chosen vocation and in the community.


Has Fraser Tolmie earned that respect?  That'll be up to you to decide in this fall's civic election.

Carnie's Comments - PHOTOGRAPHERS

And in the year 2016, everyone will be a photographer.  They will be using portable telephones to snap beautiful photos of friends, family and summer thunderstorms.  Did anyone predict this? 


We're sharing a variety of photos from a number of people today after last night's thunderstorms in Moose Jaw and area.  The clouds were threatening and the skies opened up with rain and some hail and social media lit up.  Local folks were on Facebook and Twitter, sharing their pictures of last night's storm.  In fact, you can see some of the spectacular shots on DiscoverMooseJaw and on the CHAB Facebook page.


Think about it.  We don't have to drive around and look for a pay phone anymore, we can send people text messages when it's more convenient than making a phone call, we can look things up on the world wide web on our portable telephones and we no longer have to wait for the newspaper to come out to see photos of last night's storm.


I know the world of technology is making our world more complicated in some respects but it's also enhancing our ability to communicate and I believe that's good thing.  Isn't it?

Carnie's Comments - Summer Vacation

Are you planning a summer vacation?  It's nice to get away for a few days.  I know some like to get away for a few weeks.


I saw an article today about vacations from a website called "Babble", a publication all about lifestyle  -  "15 Reasons Couples Should Go on Vacation Instead of Buying Stuff".


The author tells us "people who collect experiences are happier than those who collect things" and, you could "visit family or friends", " is educational", and travel "puts you in touch with nature",  The article also points out that traveling abroad and exploring other cultures helps you appreciate your own life and relationships can "grow on vacation in a way they can't at home".


Yes, the folks at Babble will have you talked into going away on a vacation with 14 of their 15 reasons.  But then, they say "Sleeping in a hotel makes you happy to come home to your won bed", further saying "Hotel beds are great!  But, they make your own bed an even more welcome sight when you get home."


You see, they'll have you booking a vacation and then they ruin it.  They should have just stuck with 14 reasons. 

Carnie's Comments - WHAT A WEEKEND!

Garth Brooks, they say, was awesome and Meat Loaf took ill and postponed his Moose Jaw show.  A weekend to remember for sure.


Thousands of Saskatchewanians will talk about Garth Brooks forever.  He put on 6 shows during a 4 night stand in Saskatoon.  On Friday and Saturday nights, Brooks performed back-to-back shows. They tell me he was just great.  Interesting, many were worried about getting to and from the SaskTel Centre but the traffic jams started at Chamberlain.  People trying to turn onto Highway 11 from Highway 2 were waiting 5 and 10 minutes.


Rock 'n roll fans drove 2 and 3 hours to Moose Jaw only to find out Meat Loaf's show at Mosaic Place had been called off.  Meat was not feeling well.  I would have thought many of the would-be concert goers would make the most of Saturday night and stay downtown for eats and drinks.  However, downtown Moose Jaw was pretty quiet by about 10 o'clock.


Some Meat Loaf fans were upset and some critical on social media but, what do you do?  If they guy's sick he's sick.  Or, as one fan said on Twitter, "Meat Loaf - he might 'Do Anything for Love' but he won't play through his sickness in Moose Jaw."


And, yet another fan posted, " Oh, dear.  Take care of yourself first.  The concerts can wait. Your health is much more important.  Love you, Meat."

Carnie's Comments - CHEAP CALLS

The "No Parking" signs say "Street Sweeping THURSDAY".  So, residents of one Moose Jaw neighbourhood were a little upset when they were getting parking tickets on TUESDAY. Obviously, there was a mistake made.  One resident tried to sort it out with the Moose Jaw Police Service but they directed her to call City Hall.  That's a cheap call.  I hope they get that sorted out.


How about this cheap call?  Who sets up a "sting" to ticket drivers for giving money to a beggar?  The Regina Police Service.  It's true.  An undercover officer stood on a meridian holding a sign that read, "NOT broke - NOT Hungy - Have a GREAT DAY!!!"


So, some soft-hearted Regina motorists stopped and handed him money, thinking he was a hungry, homeless man.  One guy unbuckled his seat belt to reach out and toss $3 on the meridian.  He got a ticket for not wearing his seat belt - a $175 fine.  So, what he thought was a $3 donation for a homeless man turned into a $178 kick to the wallet.


THAT, my friends, is a cheap call.


Police explain that busy intersections are critical areas when it comes to accident prevention and this undercover operation was part of their random intersection project program.  Cheap call.


Have a good weekend.

Carnie's Comments - THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT!

The novelty hasn't worn off yet.  I think it's a great thing.


As a community we've invested a lot of work, a lot of time and lot of money to make it happen and it's all happening.


Downtown Moose Jaw will be bustling tonight, tomorrow and Saturday nights.  Our little city will come alive to the sounds of music.


RuBarb Productions, our local, professional theatre company, will showcase the talented children who take part in their school of the performing arts.  55 children will act, sing and dance on stage at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre's historic and refurbished Mae Wilson Theatre.


Then, on Saturday night, those lucky enough to have tickets will enjoy some world class rock 'n roll when superstar Meat Loaf rolls into town.  He is, of course, responsible for some of "The Greatest Hits of All Time".


I don't know about you but I can't imagine life in Moose Jaw now without our Cultural Centre and Mosaic Place.  


The Friendly City is now a cultural capital in southern Saskatchewan and that's a good thing.

Carnie's Comments - CPP

You may have heard the concerns from financial experts and our federal politicians.  A new study concurs;  many of our elderly are financially vulnerable in retirement.


The independent Canadian public policy organization, the Fraser Institute, has concluded, "Single seniors living alone, most of whom are women and especially single seniors with limited or no work history, are financially vulnerable in retirement," and "expanding the Canada Pension Plan will not help those people."


Why is this?  Well, it's the lack of work history.  "Expanding the CPP in the hopes of helping...makes no sense because such seniors are generally ineligible for CPP benefits," says the Fraser Institute.


The study also found that, even for low-income single seniors WITH work histories, expanding the CPP will likely provide little assistance because higher CPP benefits could trigger a reduction in other federal and provincial government benefits...such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement.


The Fraser Institute concludes, "If we're truly interested in helping financially vulnerable seniors, we need to discuss reforms to programs."


In the meantime, you and I might take a lesson from the old BTO song, "Lookin' Out for Number One."  You know? 

Carnie's Comments - FUNNIES

The guy writes, "Wal Mart is closing 269 stores in 2016, putting 16 cashiers out of work...I crack myself up", he says.


Wait.  There's more.  More of what you're missing if you're not following your funny friends on social media.


The same guys says, "It actually amazes me how many stupid drivers and even dumber pedestrians in this city confuse "right of way" with "immortality".  Yes, this guy lives in Moose Jaw.


Here's one from a guy who lives in BC.  It's a fake headline that comes with a photo of a crowded beach.  It reads, "Vancouver on high alert as temperatures rise slightly above room temperature".


Here's one from a local girl who shares this:  "Who remembers unfolding the cassette insert to read the lyrics?"


And I'll finish with this gem from stand-up comedian Terry Hollas who once worked here at CHAB.  He says, "I'm worried about my 87 year old aunt.  She's sending donations to the Red Cross to help out Fred MacMurray."

Carnie's Comments - Bobby Curtola

He was a special man.  He scored some big rock 'n roll hits in the 1960's, became a teen idol and made Canadians proud.  


Bobby Curtola, a talented and handsome boy from Thunder Bay, was the first Canadian to get a long-term, multi-million dollar contract to perform in Las Vegas.  He died yesterday at age 73.


I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby on a number of occasions when he'd come to Saskatchewan for Kinsmen Telemiracle or to play a concert in Regina or Moose Jaw.  He was always upbeat, always smiling and always made the people around him feel good about themselves.  He had that gift.  He was genuine.  He was a gem.


I was honoured to introduce him to his fans in Moose Jaw back in the winter of 2011 when he played our Mae Wilson Theatre.  Backstage, Bobby took time to talk with me and my young concert guest.  He kissed her about 10 times.  She's not the kind of person who likes that sort of thing but Bobby got away with it.  


Long time local reporter and writer Joyce Walter sent me a note this morning, saying "What a shock it learn about the death of Bobby Curtola.  He was so much fun to be around and a joy to work with.  Remember the day he called you unexpectedly during a conversation with me just so we could say hello to you!"


I do remember, Joyce.  I'll never forget it. is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.