You are here

Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

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

Finding the new normal through chaos

As we self-hibernate, we can try to make our lives as normal as possible. Take for instance International Day of Pink, which occurs on April 8 this year. Unfortunately, many events surrounding Day of Pink have been cancelled. The Day of Pink, also known as Pink Shirt Day, began in 2007, when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The Day of Pink aims to create an atmosphere in schools, workplaces and communities that all people feel safe, valued and respected.

Not alone in the loneliness

I hate this virus. I hate the insecurity that it has brought into our lives. I hate that I don't know what will happen after the 14 days of self isolation. Will the self isolation be extended for another one, three or six months? I feel helpless. When will life go back to being normal?

I miss the interaction with other people. I miss my normal life with its schedules created over decades. I miss my freedom to do as I please. The premier of Nova Scotia has banned meetings of groups exceeding five persons.

I doubt that I am alone.

Publisher

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This thought came into my mind on Saturday evening as I began thinking about our road trip to see our grand daughter. We made it as far as Brandon, and after a discussion with our son in Calgary made the disappointing choice that the prudent decision was to return home.

Publisher Pen March 3, 2020

Our season is changing. The sun's radiant heat is pushing back the snow banks. Our major streets are now snow and ice free. Creeks and small streams are again gurgling over rocks and sand bars. Driving over the causeway, one can see ice fishermen in portable canopies fishing along reefs and movement in the north tells you that snowmobilers are again moving across the frozen expanse of lake.

We will have several more snow falls. The sea gulls will return and then we will count down the remaining snow falls of the spring.

Macro problems from micro fibres

As I changed the load of dried clothes in the dryer, I also emptied the lint container that was totally covered with fibres from the polyester cotton blended shirts that I enjoy wearing. They are comfortable and easy to care for. But week after week, fibers fill the filter that is usually emptied after each load of wash. It sparked a memory of a segment I had watched on television.

The path to the future is electric

It is quite clear that Ontario residents and Canadians are moving to fully electric vehicles. As a group of us discussed the various benefits of different half tons on the market over a meal one evening in Thunder Bay, one of the people at the table pointed out the merits of owning an electric half ton or any electrical vehicle. He pointed out some simple facts.

Be careful which flu strain you fear

I listened quietly in the background on Saturday afternoon as two different parents debated the value of flu vaccines. Apparently one woman's husband had come down with the flu and had become quite sick. Fearing the worst, she took herself and two children to a pharmacy, hoping that the flu shots would be an ounce of prevention to protect herself and two children from catching what her husband already had. The family had never received flu vaccines prior to that week.

Publisher January 29

One of the first things that I learned as a newspaper carrier was that many of my customers looked to the Times and Bulletin not only for news, but to read the specials in grocery stores, whether it was Fillmore's, Einars, the Independent Store Group, Safeway, Shop Easy or the West End Market operated by the Wright family. From the various ads that were found in the paper, people would make their grocery shopping lists. And if I had missed a house, the phone would ring at home and my parents would send me back out immediately to deliver a paper to that missed customer.

Publisher column January 22

I recently listened intently to a speaker talking about the need for looking to new solutions in community housing. An article in The Economist looked at new solutions for community housing. In a community like Fort Frances, sprawl and infill are easy solutions for new building lots. Coun. Wiedenhoft was surprised at the potential costs of building lots on Erin Crescent, just to recover the costs of installing services.