Coldest Night

It was back in the late 80's.  I remember clearly.  I was doing my early morning "cop check" to see if they had any news for us at CHAB.  The Duty Sergeant told me it was too cold for criminals but, he said, they did help out a homeless guy with a meal and a room for a night.  That's all we could give them back then.

The Friendly City is in better shape to assist the hungry and the homeless these days, thanks to the Riverside Mission.

The Mission provides emergency shelter for men, assisted living support, low income housing and a community kitchen that feeds less fortunate men, women and children on 7 occasions each week.

Locals will gather for the "Coldest Night of the Year" charity walk tomorrow night. They'll learn about and bring awareness to the local community about the hungry and the homeless.

I know we all do what we can do and there are many worthwhile, local charities.  I think the Riverside Mission is one of the most worthwhile.

Teddy Awards

It might make your blood boil. 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is out with its 19th Annual Teddy Government Waste Awards.  They call these the "best of the worst" in government waste from the past year.

The CTF found The Department of Canadian Heritage spent $14,000 for a survey on Parliament Hill's Christmas light show.  The Department of Agriculture chipped in with the Manitoba government to give Maple Leaf Foods $500,000 to boost bacon production.  They also found the City of Montreal spent $3.45 million to install 27 granite tree stumps in a park and a now former Chief Administration Officer in Nova Scotia who filed "dubious mileage claims" and an expense sheet for $582 worth of food and drink at two Houston strip clubs.

How about the Canada Revenue Agency paying an employee $538,000 in moving expenses?  They say it was a move from Richmond Hill to Belleville, Ontario, about 192 kilometres.  We taxpayers paid for "price protection" on the home and $168,000 in realtor fees.

And here WE are, trying to come up with enough money for water pipes and potholes.


What's your favourite day of the week?  A recent survey found 54% of us like Saturday the best, followed by Friday at 29% and Thursday with 11%.

What about Wednesday?  It tied with Tuesday with just over 3% support.

For many of us, Wednesday is "hump day".  We get over the hump today and we're more than halfway to the weekend - significant, I suppose.

A growing number of people now look forward to Wednesday for "wing night". Restaurants across North America have specials on chicken wings on Wednesdays.  "Wing Night Wednesday", they call it.

I know a long-established and successful restaurateur who told me, in the 70's, he used wings to make stock.  No one wanted to eat 'em.  He says folks who ordered a 3 piece chicken dinner felt they were getting ripped off if one of the pieces was a wing.

Years later, chicken producers can hardly keep up and the wings are expensive, going for $2.69 a pound from wholesalers.  That's $1.60 more per pound than whole fryers.

Happy Wednesday.

Back Alleys

It is, by definition, a "first world problem".  That's a challenge for us here in a "wealthy, industrialized nation", one that third world people would probably roll their eyes at.

That said and understood, we, in Moose Jaw, must soon find a way to bring our back alleys back up to snuff.  The heavy snow followed by unusually mild conditions have combined to put our alleys to the test and they fail.  

I've had a good look around our city.  It appears most of our alleys are in poor condition. They are soft and muddy and messy.  In fact, behind the place where I live, the muddy alley makes it very difficult to take the trash to the green bin.  Several taxpayers in my neighbourhood have garages in the alley.  They can't access their indoor parking spots without taking a good deal of mud inside.

I could point fingers, we could point fingers and play the blame game but really, it's a SOLUTION we need.  We need better quality gravel in our alleys and they need to be properly and carefully graded.

If you agree, tell your favourite city councilor about this.  Let's get this going.  It's one pressing problem and Moose Jaw City Hall needs to deliver.

Game Time 8 o'clock?

Local hockey fans have been talking about it since Tuesday night when our Warriors hosted the Brandon Wheat Kings.  The opening faceoff was moved from 7pm to 8pm to accommodate the national TV audience on Rogers Sportsnet.

The consensus?  8 o'clock is too late to start a hockey game.  They say they didn't get home 'til 11 o'clock and it was way past the kids' bedtime.

Many of us will remember when 8 o'clock starts were the norm.  I remember back in the 70's and early 80's, going to Moose Jaw Canuck games - 8 o'clock - Moose Jaw Civic Centre.  Families could get home, have some dinner and a rest, maybe tackle some homework and then it was off to the hockey game.  

Times have changed.  You see, back in the 70's, not many started work or school before 9 o'clock.  I remember some businesses didn't open up 'til 9:30 or 10:00am and many shut down on Wednesday afternoons.  Nowadays, many have to report to work at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00am and hundreds of locals have commutes of 30 and 60 minutes.

As a society, as a community, we're just busier than we used to be.  How did that happen?

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