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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

Climate threat to ecosystems a real concern

Back in 1992, 1,700 scientists from around the world issued a dire warning to humanity. They said humans had pushed the world's ecosystem to a breaking point that would bring about colossal climate change.

The warning noted that air and water pollution, the collapse of world fisheries, and the loss of productive soil would befall human life.

This year, on the 25th anniversary of that warning, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries have followed up assessing the latest response to environmental issues.

Worthy investment

Five years ago, I purchased winter tires with studs on them for the first time in my life.

Up until then, I had relied on all-weather tires for all four seasons.

I came to realize how good those winter tires were in the first storm of the year in Winnipeg. I was driving north on Saint James in a snowstorm when I almost was involved in an accident.

The combination of studs and the softer rubber allowed me to veer out of the path of a car sliding out of control into my lane.

Not ready for winter

When I visit the cenotaph on Remembrance Day, it is either a gorgeous, sunny fall day or, more often than not, the winter winds blow down the river and the occasional snow flurry wings by.

On those days, I regret not digging out my long johns, insulated boots, and winter coat.

Hallowe'en is often rainy and wet here. Just before the trick-or-treat day, the glass storm windows are put back into the storm doors.

Which will it be?

When Ainsworth was looking to build its oriented strand board mill here in Rainy River District, they set out to get communities to compete against each other.

Calgary just has re-elected Naheed Nenshi to his third term as mayor of that fine city.

In his re-election bid, Nenshi was criticized for not stepping forward for the city to fund a great portion of the buildings that would house the Calgary Flames, the Calgary Stampeders, the Calgary Hitmen, and the National Lacrosse League's Roughnecks owned by Calgary Sport and Entertainment (CSEC).

Season changes enjoyed

Weekly, my wife and I deliver the Fort Frances Times to our news dealers between Fort Frances and Rainy River. We call it our “date day” as we spend almost four hours with just ourselves without interruption.

One of the other benefits is watching the west end of the district move through the four seasons in slow motion.

By only travelling once a week on the highway, you can notice changes in the fields, trees, and communities.

Square to be a great venue

The lights symbolizing the stars came on first, then the more powerful lights lit up the new Rainy Lake Square last Thursday night.

The grey and black sidewalks and entrances were welcoming. It was a preview to concert-goers attending the final concert “Rainy Lake 150” series on the 200 block of Scott Street.

The stage with its arched roof will be capable of hosting lots of outdoor concerts. The covered areas for vendors will be appreciated.

Community papers have value

The minister of Canadian Heritage has told me that my business model is broken. She indicated I should be partnering with both Facebook and Google to deliver the news of our community.

I guess that after more than 120 years of publishing the stories about the lives and businesses of the people of Rainy River district, such information is of no value to the minister.

Nor are the stories published in more than 700 community newspapers across Canada in more than one language of any importance. The minister must believe that Facebook and Google cover all happenings in Canada.

Chairs reveal bit of family history

Life can be full of surprises. Sometimes we learn a little bit of family history from the items we acquire.

My grandparents moved from Hudson, Ont. to Neepawa Man. as my grandfather took up a new position with the Canadian National Railway in 1952.

They moved from a small two-bedroom home into a two-storey home with a living room, dining room, and kitchen with a huge pantry. New furniture was acquired for the multiple rooms in their new home.

What a wonderful place we live in

Sometimes you fail to understand what a wonderful place we live in.

Watching the devastation from the two hurricanes that struck the southern United States, we can appreciate the fact that the extreme weather condition we might encounter would be a metre of snow overnight.

It will seem nasty but we won't lose roofs or have windows blown out and floods inundating our homes.

I've just returned to work following 10 days of vacation sharing our cabin on Rainy Lake, firstly with my eldest son and his fiancée and her parents who live in Calgary.

Can we handle a metre of rain?

I can't imagine what it's like to live in the city of Houston these days.

Following Hurricane Harvey, the citizens of that U.S. city and the 50 surrounding counties are facing torrential rain that was more than double the annual rainfall there.

Some places already had exceeded more than 30 inches of rainfall, with an additional 20 inches of rain expected to fall.

The city's emergency department had never anticipated the destructive forces of rain in the amounts that have followed Harvey. I certainly can't imagine what it's like to receive so much rain at one time.