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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

‘Old Man Rope’ appreciated gift

We are reaching the midpoint of summer and it has been a season of unusual heat.

The waters of Rainy Lake have had surface temperatures that arched over 80 degrees F. The real water temperature is a much more modest 74 F.

Even those who really are not into swimming in the lake are welcoming the soothing, cooling, soft caressing feel of the water this year. The lake is the perfect temperature—it is neither too warm nor too cold (just as “Goldilocks” would like it).

Weather sparks constant whining

There is no end to the discussion of weather.

If it is cloudy, we complain about it. Too much rain and we are not satisfied. Crisp winter days have us complaining about cold car seats.

And now with hot summer days, we are complaining about the warmth.

We just can’t be satisfied.

In winter, you always can turn up the heat or put on more clothing to get warm. If it rains, we put on rain gear.

Weekend at cabin a real workout

Over the last several months, I have had those niggling thoughts that “I am not as young as I used to be.”

There has been nothing conclusive. There have been some signs. Another columnist in the paper tells you that age is only in the mind.

My mind keeps telling me that I am a 20 year-old. My muscles tell me that, that is a figment of my imagination.

We have plenty to be proud of

Canadians will celebrate Canada Day this weekend. Across the country, we will move to the outdoors in droves to enjoy this first summer long weekend. Traditional Canada parades, barbecues, picnics and fireworks will mark the day for most of us.

Canada became an independent nation in 1867 under Queen Victoria and for a long time was known as the Dominion of Canada having only four provinces—Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Today, we have 10 provinces and three territories.

What controls are needed on robots?

I watch with fascination the TV commercials that show a Ford automobile parallel parking on a street.

I remember how many practice hours I spent learning to put my father’s ’65 Chrysler into a tight space.

We have seen robot vacuum cleaners. We have played with robot toys and marveled at C3PO in “Star Wars,” who was human-like.

Today we are closing in on having robots become part of our every day lives.

Safety goes beyond the workplace

Here at the Fort Frances Times, Tanya Cumming attends to everyone’s safety.

She constantly is reminding everyone about health and safety rules, which often includes information about nutrition, diet, exercise, and working with computers to reduce the risk of injury.

I like to think that our workplace is a very safe place to work.

Downloading a major burden to small towns

Municipalities across Ontario complained that former premier Mike Harris downloaded many provincial costs to them.

But in doing that, the Conservative government transferred additional funding to offset some of those.

In a more subtle method, Premier Dalton McGuinty—in a bid to eliminate the provincial deficit—has handed over to Rainy River District many additional costs. And communities are just beginning to see where those costs lie.

A great weekend for swimmers

For almost two decades, I have spent the Memorial Day weekend at the Canada Games Complex in Thunder Bay officiating at the Thunderbolts’ swim meet, which attracts swimmers from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba as well as across Northwestern Ontario.

For local swimmers, it is their one meet a season to compete in a 50-metre pool. The racing and strategy is much different that in the shorter 25-metre pool.

It also is the graduation ceremony for many 17- and 18-year-old swimmers from across the region, who will be heading off to colleges and universities this fall.

The lake is alive again

Rainy Lake came alive this Victoria Day weekend.

Since our first weekend at the cabin almost five weeks ago, hardly a light has been seen at night on the lake. But this past weekend, several lights lit the windows of cabins that we can see.

Over the previous two weekends, we have cut and split wood, building a supply for next year’s hot tub season. Heating the hot tub water with a down draft wood-burning stove is not the most efficient method, but it does work.

Police officers deserve our support

When I was growing up in Fort Frances, the police department only had two cars and the station was a small brick building attached to the old town hall.

The town hall, the fire department, and the police station all existed in the space in front of the current Civic Centre.

Louis Camirand was the chief of police back then. There was a story that circulated around Fort Frances that if you ended up in front of him in his office, he would pull his revolver from its holster and slam it on the desk loud enough to make you jump—and wonder why it hadn’t fired.