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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

‘Spring Fever’ welcomed

This is “Spring Fever” weekend in Emo. This year, it also might be known as the “Cabin Fever Breakout.”

The businesses of Emo have, for more than four decades, drawn district residents together to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring and summer.

Some 47 years ago, I made my first trip on my own to check out the boats at Tompkins. That spring, I had a licence to drive and my father let me borrow the family car and with my brother on a Friday night, we headed to Emo for Spring Fever Days.

I haven’t missed a “Spring Fever” weekend since.

Travel offers education benefits

This past weekend, I was discussing the value of travel in young peoples’ education with parents from Kenora and Dryden.

It is interesting to note that the current generation of young people are more informed, more mobile, and more adventurous than previous ones.

When I was growing up, the big trip I remember was travelling west to Saskatchewan to visit relatives of both my mother and father.

After that, the only experience I had was travelling with the Muskies to the Centennial tournament in Sudbury back in 1967.

Support daffodil pin drive

It is the first flower of spring. It is Mother Nature’s symbol of hope.

The daffodil, with its brilliant yellow petals, has been sold every year in Fort Frances by the sororities as their way of supporting the Canadian Cancer Society.

In my household, I’ve been bringing those fresh daffodils home for more than 35 years. The local sorority would have a sign-up sheet for daffodils at the newspaper, and my sister would go around encouraging everyone on staff to buy at least one bunch.

Ditches tempt all little boys

Sunday teased us that spring actually might be happening.

The rain gutters melted out. The downspouts were shooting water across my sidewalks into the banks of snow that were ready to soak up all that moisture.

I suspect that the water eventually worked its way across the yard and onto the sidewalk, where it drained onto the road.

Election fever in air

We must be gearing up for a provincial election.

Even with the chills of winter still storming around us, Premier Kathleen Wynne appears to have rallied her troops this past weekend to be ready to pound on doors and wear out shoe leather on the sidewalks.

She pummelled the Harper government, lambasted the provincial Tories and leader Tim Hudak, and, without naming Andrea Horvath, indicated to her attentive audience that the New Democrats were not ready to govern.

All the provincial parties are ready to get into the election ring right now.

Everything in moderation

According to the World Health Organization, that glass of orange juice in the morning no longer is healthy.

Under its new guidelines for sugar intake, an average glass of orange juice exceeds the six teaspoons of sugar an adult should consume in a day.

The proposed recommendations would cut the sugar intake from 10 percent of your allowed calories to just five percent.

Enjoy staying at B&Bs

This past Sunday, my wife and I were in Grand Rapids, Mn. to hear the Soweto Gospel Choir perform at the Reif Performing Center.

We had taken accommodations at the Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast, where we have stayed previously.

One of the benefits of staying at a B&B is that you get to meet and visit with a variety of travellers over coffee and breakfast.

Hope lion turns to lamb

I believe the whole country is talking about the cold and length of this winter.

In fact, I would suggest that most of North America has experienced more cold this year than in the previous 35.

Historically, one of the coldest days recorded across Ontario happened on March 3, 2003, when temperatures across the province dropped into the minus-25 to minus-30 C range.

It may have been broken this past weekend.

Decision steeped in history

I spent the weekend reading through the decision of Mr. Justice J.S. Fregeau, who presided over the trial of Couchiching FN et al v. AG Canada et al.

I didn’t attend any of the court hearings, which ran here from Feb. 19 through March 28 last year, and now I’m kicking myself for skipping them.

Time to think gardening

The garden seeds are in the stores. So, too, are the starter kits for flowers, tomatoes, and other plants that will be transplanted later this year.

The days are growing longer and there still is light after six p.m. In the mornings, I almost can see daylight now as I head to the office shortly before 7 a.m.

And this week, in fact, we are seeing melting temperatures.

Spring is arriving although winter keeps kicking and fighting to stick around.