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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

Rusty crayfish now in Rainy

Our bay on Turtle Island of Rainy Lake traditionally has had some thick aquatic plant growth.

It harboured northern pike and bass, and was a great growing ground for the schools of young bass that were hatched on beds in early summer.

Most of those weeds have disappeared this summer—much to the delight of swimmers who choose to enter the water from our beach area.

I have a favourite fishing hole at the top end of Rice Bay on Rainy Lake that traditionally held a great variety of fish. If I had a young person who wanted to fish, this was the go-to spot for success.

Restoring cars a work of love

Have you ever been asked the question: “Do you have a hobby?”

It is an easy question as most of us probably do have such a hobby. I know that I do. So do my wife, my brother and my sister, and many of the employees here at the Times.

Often, the hobby bears no relationship to the job they do during the day.

This week, two different groups will be displaying the rewards of their hobbies. In one case, bass anglers will demonstrate their catching skills honed by countless hours spent practising on waters across the area.

Lazy days beckoning

We don't have a television at the cabin. The radio, which is tuned to CBC, seldom is on.

Yes, we do have the Internet. iPads and cellphones are logged in, but the search of news seldom is happening. Instead, in our quiet way, time often is spent reading hardcover and paperback books, as well as electronic ones on our gadgets.

This year, our weekends have been filled with serious construction work building walkways from the dock to the cabins. By the end of each day of work, I was feeling exhausted.

Don't be ashamed of our colonial past

Should we be ashamed of our colonial past? I would hope not.

On my mother's side of the family, her grandfather immigrated to Sprague, Man. from Norway and started to farm, clearing land and planting crops.

On my father's side, both my grandmother and grandfather were immigrants from Scotland who eventually ended up near Biggar, Sask. We have a photograph of my Grandmother Cumming in front of a sod hut that became their farm.

Both sides of my family sought a better life than the one they experienced in their native countries.

Plenty of Canada Day activities

With your newspaper this week is a special “Canada 150” edition produced by the Fort Frances Times.

It is remarkable in the stories that unfold on each page. Our staff has been working on this edition for months and with the support of advertisers, the paper has gathered pictures of events and businesses that have been part of the district for more than 100 years.

We've come full circle

There is an old saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

Almost 60 years ago, when I was much younger, there were neighbourhood grocery stores on almost every corner in town. They served the neighbourhood and the families that owned the stores knew all of their customers by their first name.

The husband manned the meat counter while the family looked after stocking the shelves with the fresh produce and products that came from the local wholesalers.

Do you embrace change?

Are you someone who is comfortable with change?

Are you ready to grab on to the latest technology and products? Have you loaded up your vehicle with all the latest safety monitoring gadgetry?

Or are you someone who clings to the present?

As I sat discussing technology on Saturday afternoon, I was surprised to hear from this person that he would never ride along in a driver-less vehicle, or one that did the driving for him.

He likes the feel of the road in his hand and the speed of the vehicle in his foot. A self-driving vehicle would be too unsafe for him.

A coy election ploy

It is an excellent election ploy, with hidden benefits for both the Liberal federal and provincial governments.

Ontario's Liberal government is promising major changes to labour laws that will see the minimum wage rise to $15 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019. The current rate will rise to $14 per hour this coming Jan. 1.

The government contends that 30 percent of the working force in Ontario today makes less than $15 per hour.

Deer have safe urban haven

Today is the last day of May.

The sun starts shining through the windows earlier every morning. The deer, meanwhile, continue to pick off flowers in my yard almost daily.

Last fall, I purchased several dozen special “Canada 150” tulips. Since squirrels like bulbs in the fall, I covered the plantings with chicken wire to prevent them from digging up the bulbs before the ground froze.

It worked. No bulbs were lost.

Korean weddings very symbolic

In preparation for the marriage of our son, Adam, and his fiancée, Meesun, Marnie and I viewed a YouTube video several times to understand what would take place.

It was very informative and had no resemblance to a wedding you might be a guest at in North America or Europe. I am pleased that we had watched and learned of the symbolism of the Korean wedding ceremony.