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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

Food guidelines changing yet again

I will tell you right from the start that I am a Type 2 diabetic who is insulin dependent.

It has forced me to pay greater attention to what I eat for almost 25 years. Sometimes I have been more successful than at other times, and exercise certainly plays a very important role in controlling my blood glucose levels.

Early on, I had discovered that prepared foods wreaked havoc with blood sugar levels and I had to pay close attention to carbohydrates.

Will lacking by feds to move on pipelines

Each Wednesday I travel between Fort Frances and Rainy River delivering the Fort Frances Times to our news dealers.

Often in travelling the route with my wife, new ideas are floated about the crops that are being grown, fields that are being cleared, and the quality of herds that exist along the highway.

We cross the railroad tracks four times in going to Rainy River and three times in returning. I watch the red signal lights along the tracks to tell me where the trains are heading.

The industry-wide fix has become standard

I've been using the same software on my computer for almost a decade. It has performed flawlessly and I am very comfortable doing it.

However, with the latest update in the OS system, I'm now getting messages that the applications I've been using for so long no longer are compatible.

It is frustrating! I did one update too many.

I went to operate the old Word program and it told me that it is a 32-bit operation. But the OS update now operates at 64 bit and is too fast for that old program, which operated without problems up until the first of December.

Renewed optimism seen in district

It is the week before a New Year arrives and as I look back, it has been an exciting time for Rainy River District.

Record cattle sales and expanding grain fields greatly have increased the agricultural economy across the district. Daily truckloads of grain are passing through Fort Frances on their way to Thunder Bay or south into the United States.

More land will be turned into grain crops in 2019 and additional acreage will be developed in the coming year as grain crops grow in value.

Wonderful problems to tackle

It came out of the blue to the people of Fort Frances and Rainy River District that a company was making an offer to buy the idled Resolute mill complex here.

It is a dreamed of Christmas present that a deal can be struck and the work will take place to get the mill up into operation in 2019.

Seldom are the beginning of negotiations ever announced in advance. Announcements normally take place at the conclusion of a deal.

Christmas is all about memories and family

We put up our Christmas tree this past Friday and Saturday.

When our boys were young, we would go out on a tree-finding afternoon—often at my cousin's farm on the River Road. We would march through the bush, usually with one of the boys being pulled on a sleigh while the older son walked on the broken trail through the bush.

It was a full afternoon exercise before the appropriate tree was found and then brought back and tied on the roof of the van.

What does affordable housing mean?

One of the more interesting issues facing young people today, whether they live in a large city or smaller rural community, is the cost of housing.

Everyone is looking for affordable housing, but that means different things to different people and has different pricing whether in an urban or rural centre.

Affordable housing changes on the medium incomes earned in the home.

Here in Fort Frances, the Rental Housing Index indicates the average cost for rent and utilities amounts to $726. In Kenora, the amount is $872 while in Dryden, the figure is $818.

Saving time doesn't save money

Busy family life is bringing about huge changes in the food industry.

Where once sitting down with the family for an evening meal was commonplace, today mothers and fathers and grandparents are running in multiple directions taking children to hockey, basketball, dance, Guides, Cubs, and all types of youth activities as soon as school is out and lasting well into the evening hours.

Slow cookers and multi-use cookers were the hoped for salvation of family suppers but alas, even though millions have been sold, they have not stemmed the home-cooked family supper.

The long build-up to Christmas has begun

As any young person will tell you, Christmas takes a long time to arrive. Parents, on the other hand, will tell you that even with all the planning and work, Christmas arrives too quickly.

Those preparations take a long time.

For the past two weeks, I've been putting up our traditional white lights around the yard. When we used the incandescent bulbs, you could see in daylight how well you were distributing them through the trees and shrubbery.

LED lights really only show their whiteness at dusk or at night.

Action need to fill job vacancies

Last week's Times had 59 job vacancies being advertised. The newspaper averages more than 40 openings every week.

At one time, there was a surplus of people and any job opening had 50 or 60 applicants. Not so now. Life has changed here in Rainy River District.

Almost every restaurant and fast-food operation has openings for servers and cooks. Almost every retailer in the district continues to look for salespeople to serve customers.

People can now shop for jobs.

Meanwhile, doctors are being sought to fill requirements in both Fort Frances and Emo.