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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

We loved building forts as kids

My childhood home was the second one built on the 800 block of Third Street East in Fort Frances.

Art Debenedet had built the first home, which stood at the corner of Third and Frenette Avenue. There was another home at the corner of Third and Shevlin without any between.

Third Street soon developed as a “baby-boomer” subdivision.

No roads ran north of Third Street east of Phair Avenue. Everything north was grown-up bush with lots of willow bushes sprouting up, where once large piles of sawn woods dried from the Shevlin Clark saw mill.

Look to create fresh start for district

The steam continues to rise from the Resolute kraft mill in Fort Frances. The steam still pours through the vents above the paper machines today.

But most workers still employed in the Resolute mill at Fort Frances have received termination notices.

The company has committed to keeping the heat in the buildings through this winter at a significant cost to corporate profits. Resolute has said it hopes to reposition this mill and be able to bring back workers.

Learn to use computer power

I sometimes wonder where the world of computers is headed.

In high school in my day for math and physics, we had to learn to master the slide rule. We had to be able to multiply, divide, find square roots, and many other functions on either that straight stick or the circular one.

Adding machines could add but were big and bulky.

See highways for yourselves

This past week, I was called upon to drive into Winnipeg for medical tests.

We left early Friday morning and travelled along Highway 11 to Rainy River, then across northern Minnesota from Baudette to Warroad, and then north on Highway 12 to the Trans-Canada.

The area was under a severe blizzard warning that stretched across southern Manitoba, northern Minnesota, and Northwestern Ontario. Listening to the radio, one would have thought twice about travelling but medical tests necessitated travel.

Timeless messsage carries on

In this edition of the Fort Frances Times, we will publish the “Message of Glad Tidings” taken from the New Testament Book of Luke, Chapter 2 verses 8-11.

Published for the 80th time with this Christmas edition, it is a tradition that was begun by my grandfather and his partner in 1934, which was carried on through 20-some years when he was the publisher.

The selection taken from the Bible is a message of hope for everyone.

Success can create failure

Sometimes success creates failure.

Here in Fort Frances, as more people have turned to filling blue boxes, the volume of garbage at the landfill site declined. Revenue, in turn, declined.

In order to maintain the site, Fort Frances has had to increase tipping fees. The success of the blue box program has created funding problems for the landfill site.

Wishing for a short winter

The blue-white cold of Saturday and Sunday mornings heralded that winter was in its full delightful white dress.

Hoar frost clung to the trees. Ice crystals hanging in the air created giant rainbows. The sidewalk snow squealed under the crunch of footsteps.

Winter cold was penetrating everywhere.

Winter has come fast to our area of the world. But it has come with equal speed and ferocity to most of North America.

Squirrels are a nuisance

Those grey things running around neighborhoods, and using the power and telephone lines to cross streets, are a nuisance.

There are always three in my yard and the mother kicks the young out of her nest in the early fall. Her nest is in a hollow of a tree near our back door, but four metres up.

This year, the mother died in early May and her kits played in the yard until they reached full size. One managed to knock the power out by somehow crossing the wires that run down Victoria Avenue (we receive one power outage a year from a squirrel that tries to defy electricity).

Common sense missing

Do you fist bump or shake someone’s hand when you meet them.

In sports, you often see players bumping each other’s hands with a closed fist on a successful play or goal. They are not getting ready to fight.

Michelle and Barack Obama bumped fists in Minneapolis and now regularly exchange bumps all around the meetings they attend.

With leaders from around the world, Barack opens his hand to shake a hand. But what is safer—a closed fist bump or an open hand greeting?