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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

Tough to heal the divide in U.S.

I searched my computer Monday morning with the term “Clinton” to discover how many items on my hard drive included that word.

My computer had 290 e-mails, stories, etc. with the word Clinton included in the copy or title.

After it was announced Friday about more than 600,000 e-mails being discovered on a shared laptop of a Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Wiener, I had never before thought about how many things that have passed through my computer about a certain subject.

Election for president appears over

My wife and I were in Washington, D.C. for the past several days.

In the U.S. capital, you might expect the hotbed of politics to be alive with lawn signs and television commercials promoting presidential and congressional candidates.

You would be wrong.

On Monday afternoon, we visited the “Nuseum” that focuses on news production from the earliest of times.

Located next to the Canadian Embassy, it features a gallery outside of all the front pages of publications that were printed on Monday.

Job market sure has changed

Last week in Times, we ran a story about a labour shortage across Rainy River District.

Then in Monday’s Daily Bulletin, we reprinted an article from 1936 about employment in the bush of the district. More than 800 men had appeared to work in the logging camps.

Between 1936 and today, huge changes have occurred in jobs across the world.

Lots of sports names to ponder

Around coffee one morning at From the Grind Up, names began being tossed about as nominees for the Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame.

Larry and Jimmy Fontana threw out names that those under the age of 70 might have had only a fleeting memory of.

I remembered stories told to me by my great-uncle, Cecil Lyons, about his son, Morley, playing Triple A ball for a major-league team following his return from the war.

Fall most beautiful time of year

The lakes were still. The leaves of the trees were silent.

The leaves were turning from red to orange to golden yellow. Silhouetted against the greens of the shores, the multi-coloured trees were awesome.

The reflected images from the shores were mirrored in the water.

Fall may be the most beautiful time of the year and this past weekend may have been the most colourful in decades.

My wife and I travelled back and forth to Thunder Bay on the weekend. We were spellbound by the beauty of the poplars, maples, birch, and ash that adorn both sides of the highway.

District highways being improved

We are all too prepared to accuse the provincial government—centered in Toronto—of not understanding Northwestern Ontario and investing in our communities.

Some of those criticisms are warranted. Many are not.

The province, for instance, has set an aggressive schedule rebuilding Ontario’s highways. Right across Rainy River District, we are experiencing a grand upgrade of our highway system.

Driving to Rainy River on Saturday for the Rainy River Walleye Tournament’s final weigh-in, I couldn’t help but appreciate the road construction going on across the district.

Difficult decision to be made

Back on April 1, 1985, we wrote on the front page of the Rainy River Record that as owners, we intended to keep separate the publications of the Fort Frances Times and Rainy River Record.

“We hope to aid in the growth of business, educational, and cultural activities in the community, and we encourage the participation of all our readers through ideas, articles, letters, and pictures,” we had said.

In acquiring the newspaper from the Ricci family, we recognized that it had to have a business presence in the community.

Rainy Lake a fishing gem

Sometimes it takes someone from “away” to show you what a treasure you have in your own community.

I frequently write about the bass tournaments and the great bass fishery of Rainy Lake, and I’ve caught numerous big smallmouth bass to prove my point.

Those fish always are released back in the water to have another person enjoy the thrill of the fight they display.

Volunteers make things happen

There is a sign posted at the Civic Centre that reads, “Volunteerism is the rent we pay for living in a great community.”

I’m regularly reminded of this quiet saying that Mohammad Ali originally spoke as I look throughout the district at all the projects that continue to benefit residents.

It is not just the arenas, the hospitals, and the community centres that contribute to our quality of life; it is the people who volunteer countless hours to making things happen.

Years flying by faster

The yellow school buses were circling the block yesterday picking up students with new backpacks and brightly-coloured runners.

Lineups of cars at Robert Moore and other schools had parents dropping off their children for the first day of school.

Alas, we are heading into the last long weekend of summer. As I get a little bit older, summers become shorter and shorter. It feels like we only opened the cabin a few short weeks ago at the end of April.