You are here

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

Kudos to snow removal crews

Our Christmas Decoration were packed up on Saturday. Most years, the decorations have been removed on New Year's Day. We turned off the outdoor lights and suddenly Saturday night the yard seemed so much darker. The outdoor lights on homes remove the darkness of December as more lights are added each day of that month. And suddenly on Saturday as I looked down the block, it was a bleak, black night. January is always a black month although by the 31st day of the month, one begins to see the days growing longer. Winter with darkness, snow and cold is here.

Publisher Pen Dec 31

Wednesday marks a whole new year and a whole new decade. We leave the teens behind and will begin a new year and new decade with a clean slate. Of course, we will drag along unfinished business from 2019, but a new year and new decade may enable us to look at issues through new lenses and perhaps be better at solving past, current issues with new solutions

Not perfect, but made with love

I have just come in from my wood shop. It has been a very busy place this past two months and I am struggling to finish the last project to go under the tree. One gift was delivered on Saturday evening and I hope the person who received the gift will get decades of enjoyment from it.

Sitting under my Christmas tree is a present to my new granddaughter.

The first of these was created 36 years ago for my son. I was so proud of that rocking horse that three more were made shortly there after and given as gifts.

District among most generous

For over a decade, the staff at the newspaper has adopted a family for Christmas.

A list is provided with the ages and genders of members of the family. A suggested list of groceries is s

upplied including all the trimmings for a wonderful Christmas dinner and breakfasts for several days.

The staff always fills the order and adds extra gift items for the kids. There are several businesses and organizations across the district which provide similar Christmas family baskets.

More electricity will be required

Canada produces 1.6 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.

Leading the pack on per capita producers is Saudi Arabia followed by Australia, the United States, and then Canada. It makes us a target to do better.

Countries like Russia, China, India, the European Union, United States and Germany produce far more a of green house gases than Canada.

Truly, the only clean environmental fuel is electricity.

Oil-fired or coal-fired electrical generating stations are being phased out.

Carry cash for charity

The Salvation Army red kettles are out, and volunteers are ringing the bells and encouraging community folks to assist the services the Army provides by dropping coins and paper currency into the kettles.

The Salvation Army began in Canada in 1882. The history of the kettle goes back to the founder of the organization William Booth who began feeding the hungry, the poor and the homeless in soup kitchens.

Where have all the babies gone?

Back in 2012, New York Times' columnist David Brooks noted the declining fertility rates across the mid-east and the affects that declining birth rate would have on the region.

In 2016, it was noted that in the United States had reach an all time low in births. It has continued to decline since then.

In Canada, our birthrate has been on the decline since 2009. In fact, Canada's replacement rate of new persons is not keeping up with our aging and dying population.

Old homes may still have lead pipes

I grew up on Third Street behind the arena.

Our home was the second to be built in that new subdivision and as a young four-year-old, the street was my playground.

There really wasn't an alley and everything behind our home was bush.

The ditches were wide and deep. The street was a gravel road. I became a young supervisor watching homes be built.

Don Christian amazed me, cutting down the sides of basements with a dragline. He could dig a basement in a day.

We must always remember them

Monday will mark the 101st anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary and the 74th year following WWII.

Each year we see fewer veterans at the cenotaph who fought in the Second World War.

We must continue to remember the sacrifices of the families who remained at home and the soldiers who went off to war.

We also must remember the soldiers from Canada who have gone to many of the hot spots around the world over the last 75 years.