Saskatoon Express, February 18, 2019

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 1

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Saskatoon snowboarders now have a place to go to hone their tricks. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)

Optimist Hill opens

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ongratulations to These are big-time projeveryone involved in ects, and there are others that the project that gave us are fuelled by volunteers and Optimist Hill at Diefenbaker generous people. Park. I had my doubts about OpIt was an amazing accomtimist Hill becoming reality. I plishment, especially at a time should have known better; we when there are so many other live in a city where things get organizations raising money done. Rob Letts and Joe Van’t for various projects. Hof, co-chairs of the project, Look at the last few years. were relentless in getting the We now have a world-class art hill ready for winter fun. Their gallery and two new bridges. reward — and all Optimist Editor We are not far from having club members in Saskatoon — a children’s museum and a was the many smiling faces children’s hospital. Friends of the Bowl last week at the official opening. are doing wonderful things at the south Nathan and Anthony Thoen were the end of Avenue P. faces of the project. These two cool cats,


no doubt, had a huge role in Mark McMorris paying a visit to town to promote the project. The Thoens point to McMorris as an example of not having to get your start on a mountain to become a world-class skier or boarder. We are all world-class tubers, methinks. I spent an hour at the base of the hill on opening day. It was wonderful to see so many people there on such a cold afternoon. I chatted briefly with the parents of a four-year-old skier and said hello to a frosty-faced tuber who had to be pushing 50. He was about my age. Photos — at least mine — don’t properly capture the added length (Continued on page 2)

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Instead of taking the easy way up the hill, this snowboarder goes it alone. (Photos by Cam Hutchinson) (Continued from page 1) of the courses for skiing, boarding and tubing. Tubers come down the hill so fast that there is a padded safe zone for them to use for stopping. Boarders have a course for tricks and skiers can, well, ski. There is a temporary chalet. The permanent one will be part of a second phase. This isn’t the old Diefenbaker Hill. What has been accomplished is amazing. Thank you to one and all associated with this project. You done good. ***** I wasn’t too happy to learn that I can’t be an Uber driver unless I get a newer vehicle. I thought the 2000 Lincoln Town Car I inherited would be perfect. It’s in mint shape inside and out, and has fewer than 130,000 kilometres on it. Turns out an Uber vehicle can only be 10 years old or newer. Even though I won’t be driving, I was curious about how much Uber drivers make. One article I read was incredibly detailed. The writer — Will Preston of — has done 4,000 rides in the San Diego area. He broke down his costs including depreciation of his vehicle and such things as fuel, tires and general maintenance. Preston gave an example of a weekend when he did 25 rides in approximately 12 hours. He put 400 miles (645 kilometres) on his vehicle. When he shut his car down, Preston had $430 in his pocket. Preston received $265 of this, which included $40 in tips, while Uber received $165. It should be noted that Uber’s total included $69 in booking fees. With expenses of almost $100, Preston made $176 — $14.70 an hour. Uber put $165 in its coffers. He was driving a Prius, so he was getting much better mileage than the vast majority of drivers would.

Joe Van’t Hof (left) and Rob Letts were co-chairs of the Optimist Hill project. Preston wasn’t complaining about the amount of money he received. He pointed out that Uber has incredible costs in terms of research, development and marketing the company. And let’s remember that Uber drivers are playing a role in keeping impaired drivers off the road. That’s worth plenty.

***** We have tickets to give away for a performance by Canada’s Pink Floyd tribute act. The show will be held March 3 at the Broadway Theatre. Tickets for show are available at or by calling 306-652-6556. To enter our draw, email Please put Pink Floyd in the subject line.

Optimist Hill Facts • Skiing and snowboarding equipment can be rented. Rentals include skis,boards, helmets and boots. The cost is $16 for a day and $10 for a half day. • For people 16 and older a weekday pass is $14, and a weekend pass $20. For those 15 and under, a weekday pass is $10 and a weekend pass is $13. Season passes are available as well. • The hill will be open from Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. • It is a 70-foot hill with approximately 400 feet of slope.

• 154,000 cubic metres of dirt was moved from the floor of the hill to the top. • There is a temporary chalet on site, with a permanent one part of the second phase. • Still to be completed in phase one is a toboggan run and a second lift. The first phase cost approximately $2 million. The second will cost about $5 million. • One of the plans for the summer is to turn the hill into a mountain bike terrain park. More information can be found at


Dear Lianne, I am engaged to a lovely lady. We are having a wedding at a beautiful location just west of town. This is a second marriage for both of us. We are excited to spend our future together. With all the real world problems, this may seem trivial but it is causing me stress. I want to address it and have a win-win outcome but I’m somewhat baffled. My future wife’s daughter wants to sing at our wedding. She professes to be a

wonderful singer but to be completely honest her voice would make your hair curl. I don’t want to insult her or cause any problems with my future wife but I simply can’t allow her to embarrass herself or us. My kids have commented on her atrocious singing voice and I don’t want her to be a laughing stock. Her mom knows that she is tone deaf but is reluctant to burst her bubble. How do we solve this dilemma without hurting her feelings. Her mother feels we should

just let her sing. I, on the other hand can’t allow this to happen. I feel I am caught between a rock and a hard place. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. – Dan Dear Dan, The last thing you want to do is cause stress and alienate your future stepdaughter. I can can appreciate your dilemma. I would choose another task for her to do at the wedding. Perhaps giving a speech or prayer. If you are

willing to fib, explaining to her that someone else has offered to sing and you and her mother appreciate the gesture but feel it is best that the music is left to the band. If you are willing to go all out, perhaps having her work with a voice coach may be a solution. The song could also be pre-recorded in a recording studio where they can modify tones. The best bet is to speak with your bride to be and see which solution she feels most comfortable with.

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 3

lifetime,” said Hulak. “It was an amazing core group of guys and it was really good hockey, and to play at this level of hockey with good friends was another of my career highlights.” Hulak attributes a lot of his success and his determination to work hard to his mom, a woman he says was a hockey mom through and through. “My mom loved being at the rink — she was a nurse and even if she was working nights and was tired, she always had a pre-game meal ready and waiting for me and she made sure I made it to the rink on time,” said Hulak. “She never wanted to miss a game. When she couldn’t make it to the rink because she was sick, she listened to the Blades games on the radio, and seeing the joy in her face when I got home from having a good game really stuck with me. Here she was going through this battle, and yet she still made sure hockey came first for me — her love for the game really stuck with me.” The passing of Huskies teammate Cody Smuk also stuck with Hulak. “It made me realize just how quickly life can change. Here I was getting called to play hockey in Texas, and at the same time Cody was getting diagnosed with cancer. He would have wanted to keep playing, so I just try to take advantage of every day I have at the rink.” Hulak remembers these two people who touched his life in a special way. Every hockey stick Hulak has used since his mom was diagnosed with cancer over 13 years ago bears the initials ‘A.H.’ AfDerek Hulak began playing hockey in the Flyers zone in Saskatoon and has kept on going. (Photo Supplied) ter Cody passed away, Hulak added the initials ‘C.S.’ to his stick as well. “It’s just a nice way to remember them, and all that they taught me about hard work,” said Hulak. Hulak’s advice to any player dealing with an injury or any kind of adversity is to always work hard and keep trying. By Leanne Nyirfa While Hulak said the prognosis was drafted to the Regina Pats prior to the “It doesn’t matter how young or old lmost every minor hockey play- hard to hear, it motivated him to get bet- 2006-07 season. But playing away from you are, or how long you’ve been player’s dream is to play professional ter so that he could play again. home became more and more difficult as ing — you can always get better with hockey. For former Saskatoon He worked hard to rehabilitate his Alina’s disease progressed. practice. The main thing, though, is to native Derek Hulak, the dream of play- injury with physiotherapy two to three Eventually, then-head coach of the have fun. I love being at the rink and ing pro came true twice — both times times a week, and chiropractic treatment Saskatoon Blades, Lorne Molleken, to have that taken away from me for a through hard work and determination. twice a week. He also participated in worked with the Pats, their division period of time really made me appreciate Hulak began playing hockey as a active release therapy, acupuncture and rival, to trade Hulak to the Blades so he being able to be at the rink every day.” Flyer in the Saskatoon Minor Hockey stimulation, and worked out in the gym could be closer to home. Leanne Nyirfa is a Saskatoon freeAssociation. After Midget AAA, he five days a week. That trade resulted in Hulak not only lancer writer. went on to play with seven teams in four After almost two years of hard work being able to spend more time with his leagues including his current team: the to recover, Hulak finally felt ready. His mom before she passed away in 2007, it (This story was provided to the ExAmerican Hockey League Hershey Bears agent let a few teams know that even started what was to become a spectacular press courtesy of the Saskatoon Minor in Pennsylvania. though he had missed a lot of time, he four seasons that Hulak says were some Hockey Association. The SMHA is the It was in late 2016 while Hulak was was healthy and ready to play again. of the best of his life. governing body for minor hockey — playing with the Utica Comets of the “A lot of teams had doubts, but the “As much as I really enjoy playing ages five to 17 — for Saskatoon and AHL that he suffered a devastating blow Hershey Bears took a chance and invited professional hockey, when I look back, area. SMHA has 3,800 registered players — a back injury from which doctors said me to camp,” said Hulak. “Even with all playing in front of my hometown crowd and 1,400 registered volunteer team ofhe might never recover. of my hard work and although I knew I with the Blades was pretty special; I was ficials on over 250 teams.) But Hulak wouldn’t have it. He wasn’t 100 per cent, I also had to take a so fortunate to have four years with the started work to rehabilitate his injury chance.” team,” said Hulak. “I still get people and even signed with the AHL’s Lehigh Derek Hulak’s teams: After the first two days in camp, Hu- coming up to me to this day saying they Valley Phantoms for 2017-18. Unfortu- lak’s back was doing well and each day remember me from my time playing with Regina Pats (2005-2006, 2006-2007) nately, due to the severity of his injury, he was able to push a little more. the Blades.” Saskatoon Blades (2006-2007, a role with the Phantoms wasn’t meant “I made the team and played on openAfter his Blades career ended, Hulak 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010) to be and he ended up missing the entire ing day — it was a dream come true went on to play a half season with the season. for me all over again, to be back on the Tulsa Oilers. From there, it was back Tulsa Oilers (2010-2011) “Hearing from my doctors that my ice and playing pro hockey again,” said home to Saskatoon where he played U of S Huskies (2010-2011, injury was likely career-ending was a Hulak. almost four full seasons with the Univer2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014) shock because I wasn’t ready to give up Hulak’s back injury wasn’t the first sity of Saskatchewan Huskies. Texas Stars (2013-2014, 2014-2015, hockey,” said Hulak. “It was unbelievable time he faced adversity. In 2005, Hulak’s “The Huskies was a great time for me 2015-2016) when I got the opportunity to play profes- mom Alina was diagnosed with cancer. for different reasons — with a universional hockey the first time. I was able to While it was devastating news for sity team, you play with mainly the Utica Comets (2016-2017) play a game I loved to play as a kid, so to both Hulak and his family, he continued same group of guys for so long, and the Hershey Bears (2018-2019) do this as a job was a dream come true.” to play Midget AAA Hockey and was friendships you make you have for a

Derek Hulak

Perseverance key to long hockey journey


JW021803 James

SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 4

I’m concerned about SNC-Lavalin debacle, and the Riders


should probably be more pressured her to abandon same concerned with the extremein favour of a new “remedialy strange SNC-Lavalin tion” option offered only since mess in Ottawa than with the early 2018, the resignation outSaskatchewan Roughriders and come was likely from the hop. our quarterbacking problem. Wilson-Raybould was (Yes, our. You know we first demoted from the justice own whatever happens with portfolio to veterans affairs. Not that team. I certainly do, and long after, she said no comso I took matters into my own ment and nothing further when hands, as you will later see. asked about the situation. Then You’re welcome.) she said no comment due to Columnist And I am! Concerned about solicitor-client privilege. Then the government and SNC-Lashe didn’t appear with Justin valin, I mean. Glued to the TV on succesTrudeau during an availability, as they call sive evenings, when I’m often already in it, in her own province. bed, I watched this weird apparent dispute As I write this, she is saying she is reunfold between our prime minister and Jody signing “with a heavy heart” and consulting Wilson-Raybould, former justice minister on whether she can speak publicly on the and attorney general. issue. Sounds like something’s up. As I begin this column, she just resigned This is not over, not by miles. While from cabinet over the SNC-Lavalin debacle. Wilson-Raybould is, at the moment, the Maybe it’s just as well, in that she may central figure in this mess, the problem now actually say/be able to say something. lies in the PMO. Where the buck stops. If Maybe I’m not very surprised, either. indeed the highest political office in the When it first came to light that the prime country was trying to influence the outcome minister and/or his office, which amounts to of certain serious charges — indeed, to have the same thing, had probably waded into the them dropped — we have a big problem potential prosecution of SNC, and may have that flouts a principle at the heart of our

Joanne Paulson

legal system. Everyone is equal under the law. Not only that, but our legal system, and its decisions, should not be influenced by the politicians of the day. That there have been issues at SNCLavalin, at least in the past, is hardly in question any more. A long list of scandals involving foreign interests from Libya to Bangalesh have been trailing behind the firm since 2015. SNC has also had its fingers in various Saskatchewan pies to the tune of $765.8 million over nine years. This, in Saskatchewan, is not chicken feed. NDP Leader Ryan Meili is right to ask for a review of the Quebec company’s activities here. By the time you read this, at least 800 more developments will have taken place on this file. It’s important to follow it. Of course, it’s possible that all is well. It’s also possible that fundamental values have been, if not entirely violated in the eyes of the law, trodden upon in the eyes of the public. Which brings me, inelegantly, to my other obsession: the Roughriders and our pivotal problem. The quarterback. I wanted it to be Mike Reilly. This will come as no surprise to you, gentle reader,

nor my husband nor friends nor family. He is not just a very good quarterback, but a leader. We need him. And he was a free agent, a possible solution to many of our problems. So when I heard that he had come to some sort of agreement with the B.C. Lions, I was not very happy. I sent him a Tweet. Why not? I thought. No one else has been able to make this work. Why not me? Because I have no money, no influence, and no credibility in the sports world? Pshaw. I was very courteous, and I think made an excellent argument. Decide for yourself. Open letter to #MikeReilly@Rikester13 Dear Sir: I hear you are likely going to #BCLions. Please reconsider Saskatchewan. Our team needs you very badly. They have $$/weather, but #Rider #fans will surround you with <heart> . Sincerely, Me of #RiderNation I was too late. Reilly is off to the Lions, darn it. I wish I’d tried this earlier in the proceedings. I mean, how could anyone resist such a lovely entreaty? Leaving me, and legions of Rider fans, to wonder — now what?

Fossils show evidence of earliest moving creatures

By Chris Putnam It’s a discovery that could rewrite the history of life on Earth. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have helped uncover the earliest evidence ever found of organisms capable of movement. In a new paper, an international team of scientists reported the discovery of stringshaped fossils they believe to be trails left by tiny creatures that wriggled through mud 2.1 billion years ago. The discovery suggests that some lifeforms on Earth were able to move themJW021805 James selves about 1.5 billion years earlier than

previously thought. Dr. Luis Buatois (PhD) and Dr. Gabriela Mángano (PhD), both professors in the geological sciences department of USask’s College of Arts and Science, are co-authors on the paper. “This is by far the most challenging material we have ever studied. As soon as we looked at the specimens, we realized what was at stake,” said Buatois. The strange fossils forced the researchers to consider explanations that could rewrite large portions of the timeline of life on Earth. Similar structures have been found in

rocks in the past, but the evidence they were made by very ancient lifeforms has never been as strong as this time, said Mángano. Using CT scans, the researchers were able to create highly detailed 3D reconstructions of the structures, and found “compelling” similarities to fossil burrows in younger rocks. The volume of fossils in this case also makes for strong evidence, said Mángano. “We have a large collection of specimens and it is clear that we are looking at some recurrent patterns, not just a weird-looking curiosity.” The researchers aren’t sure what the

creatures responsible for the trails looked like, but suggest they might have been sluglike organisms, similar to slime moulds, that migrated through the mud in search of food. The fossils were found in a deposit in Gabon, Africa, where evidence was previously discovered of the earliest colonial organisms — single-celled lifeforms that lived in colonies. The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (Chris Putnam is a communications officer in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan.)

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JW021802 James SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 5


Indigenous stories told with humour

here is one area that doesn’t get much attention in the writing

“I have great news,” he said. “Soon a warrior will arrive and save our nation.” world. The young man then told Indigenous short stories the people to prepare. are generally stories that “His name is Falling teach lessons with humour. Rocks,” said the man. The stories are made up and For days, weeks, months passed along so others can and then years the tribe share them. Throughout the waited for Falling Rocks to years, I’ve collected a few of come and save the people. these stories to share, mostly The substance abuse spiralled with the kids from the neighout of control and people Columnist bourhood. continued to die. I make up stories and test The spiral included all the them on young people. During the sum- dysfunction, violence, and insanity of mer it’s nothing to have half a dozen substance abuse. Finally, there was only eight- and 10-year-olds sitting outside one member left. But he still believed my place with me telling them stories. this saviour would come. He decided to The stories include the Snow Snake, put up signs in case he died and there which is a snake that slithers around would be no one left. Which is why tounder the snow. It’s about a metre long day you drive through the Rocky Mounwith pink eyes and if it bites you, your tains you will see the signs — Watch for body turns into a giant ice cube. Falling Rocks. But the snow snake can only be Some of the short stories include found in the bush, so stay away from animals. the bush during the winter. One is about an old wolverine that The other story I enjoy telling the caught a fish. He decided to share the kids is the Spaghetti Tree. I ask the kids catch with his friend, the owl. It was a if they know where spaghetti comes long journey to the owl’s home, but he from. Of course they don’t. decided to try anyway. I told them how there are great spaAbout halfway there, he got tired and ghetti trees in China where the spaghetti a weasel approached him. The wolverhangs over the branches and all a person ine told the weasel about his ill health has to do is go by and slurp away. I told and the long journey. The weasel said them how workers pick the spaghetti he could take the fish to the owl. and lay it in a straight line in the sun The wolverine thanked the weasel until it is dry and cut into what is sold and handed over the fish. But the weasel in stores today. quickly grabbed the fish and headed One of my favourite stories is about straight into his hole to eat the fish. The falling rocks. wolverine sat there with tears coming There was a tribe of Indigenous peo- from his eyes. ple who lived in the mountains — the An eagle came by and asked what area which is known today as British was wrong. The wolverine told the Columbia. The small group was fighteagle about the weasel stealing the fish ing a losing battle with substance abuse. he was supposed to deliver to the owl. The leaders, along with the elders, The eagle told the wolverine he didn’t know what to do, so they asked would look for the weasel. That’s why one young man how he managed to stay today the first thing a weasel does when away from what was taking the lives of it comes out of his den is look up toso many people in his community. wards the sky and snap his head around He told them he fasted and asked the to make sure the eagle isn’t around. Creator for guidance. The group then Indigenous short stories are oral stoasked the young man if he would fast ries which are often told at gatherings. for his people. The following morning, One thing is for sure; I’ll walk away the young man headed for the mounwith stories generations old and a lesson tains to start on his fast. or two. After four days the young man returned.


Recycle glass at SARCAN


n a step to increase the amount of glass that can be recycled, a pilot program between the City of Saskatoon and SARCAN will enable residents to take their glass items to SARCAN depots. “We scanned blue bin programs across Canada, and noticed that single-stream collection programs may not be the most effective in recycling glass products since 90 per cent of the glass gets broken. While less people might use a depot, the overall percentage of glass that gets recycled can actually improve,” Amber Weckworth, manager of education and environmental performance for the City of Saskatoon, said in a news release. While the current blue bin program will still accept household glass material, residents are encouraged to “take it, don’t break it” and avoid broken glass during collections by taking clean glass jars and bottles to their nearest SARCAN recycling depot. SARCAN Locations • East Depot – 350B-103 St. East • North Depot – 2327 Faithfull Ave.

• South Depot – Avalon Plaza 20A — 2605 Broadway Avenue • West Depot – 7 - 2305 22nd St. West What you can recycle • Food container jars — jam, pickles, peanuts, sauces, etc. • Beverage glass bottles • Food glass bottles — olive oil, etc. The following items are not accepted in the SARCAN pilot program: excessively dirty glass, broken containers, Pyrex, ceramics, dishes, drinking glasses, carboys and jugs from homemade wine kits, mirrors, light bulbs and glass home décor. What you need to know Glass that has no deposit paid at the time of purchase results in no refund given at SARCAN. Clean glass jars and bottles before taking items to SARCAN. Visit for more information.

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TA021806 Tammy The Saskatoon Express

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 6

Opening of Optimist Hill Photos by Cam Hutchinson

Anthony Thoen talks to the crowd at the opening of Optimist Hill.

Kathy Donnelly skis toward the chalet, where she and her daughter Sloane could warm up.

Boards are standing in wait.

Four-year-old Lachlan Rowson gets ready to hit the slopes.

AS021804 Aaron

This snowboarder didn’t land his jump.




Most people dressed for the cold at the opening ceremony at Optimist Hill.

Tubers have their own lanes at the hill.



(306) 290-8377

SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 7 CT021808 Carol

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thought if the day came when prototypes that bubbled water out Coun. Darren Hill became of the spout and spread conthe beacon of light on countaminants. Improved models and cil, that would be the day I hung higher water pressure that can up my spurs. project water at least four inches I’ll put that thought on hold from the spout means people will and wait to see if his illumination lean into the water flow without was caused by a one-time power placing their mouths near the surge. spout. New water dispensers, On the debate about possibly such as those at the University of banning the sale of bottled water Saskatchewan, are specifically sold at civic facilities, Hill said: designed to fill reusable contain“I think that our citizens are ers. Columnist smart people” and “they know According to experts, the the impact of single-use bottled water and key to good public water fountains is the they can make their decisions on their own. monitoring and maintenance of the dispensWe don’t need to do that for them.” Thank ers. Monitoring would include establishing you, councillor, for the respectful comment protocols for daily cleaning and disinfecting about the people you serve. of the fountain, flushing to remove sediments The only time I buy bottled water is when and stagnant water and using filters. I am visiting a country where the water It would include replacing either parts quality is iffy and barely potable even with of or all of a fountain as the need arises. a purification kit. In my opinion, Saskatoon It means ensuring that the water pipes are has good water, so why buy the bottle when modern and free of lead, copper and sources the taps are free (or should I say pre-paid?) of microbial contamination (and I assume About one-third of the bottled beverages that most of our public facilities have good sold at city facilities are water. If this is all up-to-date plumbing.) It also means regular about our beloved landfill, there are disposal testing of the water to ensure its quality. containers for those used bottles (and tin It also might mean changing our thinking cans), and we should assume those contain- about raising our kids in a sterile environers will go to the recycling depot, not the ment. landfill. But if council was going to consider God knows how many of us survived banning the healthiest beverage being sold, an era where you could pull a carrot from a why not ban all bottled beverages? While garden, wipe the dirt off on your jeans and they are at it, they could ban Styrofoam cups then eat it. Let’s not forget about drinking some facilities still use for hot beverages. from the garden hose before flushing all the Most people participating in an athletic or stagnant water out. exercise activity come with their pre-filled Today’s kids live in a bubble, slathered reusable water bottles to hydrate themselves with hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial wipes, throughout the activity. keeping them in a germ-free world where It’s the spectators who tend to belly up human touch is shielded by nitrile disposto the snack bar, often parents who come able gloves. That’s not to say sanitation and to watch their kids play a sport with other cleanliness aren’t important, but that kids children in tow who will beg for a beverage and dirt go together like peas and carrots, during the game. Better the little munchkins and reasonable exposure to their surroundshould get a bottle of water than a sugarings might just improve immunity in the filled soda. With the onslaught of juvenile long term. obesity and diabetes, parents should always Of all the money this city has wasted encourage the water alternative. on trivialities, putting $450,000-plus into Years back, drinking fountains were maintenance costs for expanding the public’s commonplace in public spaces. They were access to safe drinking water seems like a slowly phased out because of health and good investment. contamination concerns. If fountains are untenable, increasing We have all seen kids and adults wrap the number of spigots for refilling reusable their mouths around a fountain or spigot water containers should be a viable option. that is barely trickling out water, and today In creating an alternative rather than banning there are serious life-threatening diseases bottled water, council might find that the sale and viruses being transmitted through bodily of bottled drinking products will decline, and fluids. Furthermore, there was and continues the single-use plastic bottle problem will be to be a concern about the quality of water of- solved through lack of market demand. fered in fountains because of old lead plumbAs respect is a two-way street, I respecting and lack of proper maintenance. fully submit these comments to the powers But the world of drinking fountains has that be. greatly improved from the original vertical

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• University of Regina Selection Process Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same eight criteria as the national competition: Physical workplace, work atmosphere and social, health, financial & family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development, and community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their fields to determine which offer the most progressive and forwardthinking programs. For more information, visit www.canadastop100. com/sk/ | 306.244.5577

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 8

Arts &


Ed Mendez takes on general manager’s role at GTNT

Joanne Paulson Saskatoon Express d Mendez has become a fixture of the Saskatoon theatrical community over the last 10 years, doing everything from swordfighting to sketch comedy to administration. It’s the latter background that has taken him from a long-time position with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan to Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre, or GTNT. “I was at Shakespeare for a few years and I was looking for a change of pace, and that’s what drove the move,” said Mendez in an interview. “The change of pace wasn’t related to wanting to be at a different theatre. It was me wanting to get back to the artistic side.” More on how that’s worked out later, because at GTNT, Mendez has taken on the role of acting general manager. “I was approached by GTNT to come in and give them some help on the administrative side, so I decided to come on board.” At Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Mendez served as operations manager. “As far as Shakespeare goes, that’s kind of an all-encompassing title. In effect, I was responsible for day-to-day administration of the company, did a fair bit of grant writing, organization of the bar, the box office, the front of the house . . . setting up all of the tickets for saleAaron — ensuring smooth operaAS021808 tion of the festival.


“So the only things I didn’t cover were marketing, development or artistic positions for the company. Anything outside of that kind of fell on my plate, as well,” such as hiring summer staff like bartenders and box office staff. The GM role at GTNT is quite different from daily administration, he added. “It’s more the big picture, the financial side of looking at what the numbers are, trying to get budgets across for the upcoming years, trying to figure out what we need to be doing from a financial perspective and an overarching serving the community perspective as well. “It’s a big leap, I’ll put it that way. It’s more in the planning stages, less active. It’s also a bigger scale position for me. “One thing I never had to do before — I had to adhere to budgets, now I’m setting the budgets. That’s the big deal. I’m setting the budgets with board approval.” Mendez dove in at the end of December, but had put in about 14 days at the time of the interview. That’s because, almost immediately after leaving Shakespeare, he was approached by local playwright Logan Martin-Arcand, whose play The Gay Card is going to New York City’s Frigid Festival — rather like a winter-time Fringe. Mendez will be in New York Feb. 14 to 21 with the play. “He was looking for a director; he used to work for Shakespeare in 2016, in that summer. We got along great, so he ap-

Ed Mendez has left Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan to take the reins at GTNT. (Photo by Cory Dallas Standing) proached me to take on that project for him. “It’s about three gay men in Saskatoon trying to find love and the different obstacles they face while doing so,” Mendez explained. “We are hoping to do a two-day engagement once we’re back.” AS021106 Aaron

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Mendez is thrilled to be back directing. He was once involved with a sketch comedy troupe, and recently produced and partly directed a comedy show with The Sketchy Bandits. (Continued on page 9)

SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 9

Arts &


(Continued from page 8) t’s really nice to get back into it. It was something I wanted to pursue out of school, and really didn’t have a huge chance to do that until now. “I was approached by GTNT after (the directing job came up) so I’m working my office hours here around my directing schedule, while also being a parent at home.” Mendez and his wife, Tamara, a neonatal nurse, have two little ones aged three and one. “If I’m not directing or at GTNT . . . I’m at home watching Paw Patrol, making meals, changing diapers, that sort of thing.” Saskatoon born and raised, Mendez is a 2008 graduate of the University of Saskatchewan drama program. Out of the gate, he immediately hit the Shakespeare stage, and has worked with puppetry troupe Wide Open, done voice acting such as radio commercials, and served as a stage combatant, aka stunt guy. He is trained in different sword styles in combat acting. He has stayed because he loves it here. “The winters are a little rough . . . but . . . everybody in the theatre community is fantastic. The community is always expanding. We’re on the verge of something big,” Mendez said. “There are so many theatre artists living in the city it’s almost time for another big theatre to come along, like Live Five, for younger people coming out of school to establish in a space.” As for GTNT, Mendez wants to support the theatre’s goals. He’s still finding his way, but he has an overall vision. “The goals are to keep on doing what the theatre does best, which is addressing social issues in the community. I’ve AS021801 Aaron always had such a huge respect for the


work that comes out of this theatre. The shows that are coming out of here are very much a representation of what’s happening in this community. “Because we have such a strong First Nations community in Saskatoon, this work has always been deep and meaningful to me... It lives in the now and present.” The GTNT offices are situated at St. Thomas Wesley Church, but performances still take place at Studio 914. The Circle of Voices program continues to be active, most recently with Dakota Ray Hebert’s play Native Studies 101, also her directorial debut. “She’s picking up steam like crazy in this country. She started doing standup a few years ago, and she’s performed all over the country, recently in a show with Mary Walsh.” GTNT is also hoping to expand its programming in the upcoming years. There were four shows last year, but Mendez will be pushing to expand programming on both the professional theatre side and outreach side. “Just like non-profits, we all have challenges raising funds. They say you give us a nickel and we have to hammer it into a dime. There will be increased challenges that way, but I know this team is up to that challenge.” That team includes artistic director Jennifer Dawn Bishop, administrative assistant Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, publicity manager Cory Dallas Standing, and Circle of Voices co-ordinator Cheyanne Lamaigre. With his busy schedule, Mendez gets little time off, so all of it is dedicated to his family. “Time off to me is any day I’m not here or directing, and then I’m hanging out with the kids.”

Summer Players, Jazz Society showcase movie music


Lorna Batycki is among the singers in Movies Go To Broadway. (Timpkip Imaging Photo)

askatoon Summer Players and the Saskatoon Jazz Society have developed a tradition of mid-winter co-entertainment. The Movies Go To Broadway marks the sixth such musical revue, this time featuring songs from movies that ended up as Broadway shows. The two arts groups have reversed last year’s cabaret theme — Broadway shows and songs that made it to the silver screen. Twenty-two singers will be joined in the show by a live band on Feb. 22 and 23 at The Bassment. The show will be hosted by Kevin Bode and Liam Cummins, and directed by Rob Armstrong. The show,TAmmy said Armstrong in a release, TA021807 “features many classic songs, teamed up

with outstanding numbers from movies that made the leap to the stage. “The show runs the emotional gauntlet, capturing the audience’s attention from the opening number to the final bow.” Songs include I Want to be a Producer from The Producers, Shine like the Sun from 9 to 5 and Poor Unfortunate Souls from The Little Mermaid. Lorna Batycki, Shaun Stevenson, Celeste Nicholson and Gwenda MacPherson are among the singers. Shows are at 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23. Tickets range from $23 for members to $28, available through the Jazz Festival box office (306-652-4700) or




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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 11

A homemade solution for de-icing steps

Grip and warmth. — Rekha Dear Reena, I want to sing the praises of Can you please tell me how the spring tension rod. I have to melt the ice on the steps in used it to put up quick curtains front of my home? My mother on windows (just drape the fabric is 85 years old, and I fear over a couple of times) and you that she will slip if I don’t do don’t have to put holes in the something to make the walk molding. I also put the rods from and steps less icy. — Max front to back on the walls of Dear Max, my closets to store a variety of Use the following recipe items. I use the large ones (bath several times throughout the sheet rods) in my workroom to season, to prevent your steps Household hang fabric on for steaming and from becoming dangerous and Solutions measuring. I put them in dooricy. Into a gallon jug mix 1 tbsp. ways and closet doorways with rubbing alcohol, 1 tsp. Dawn dish soap and half a gallon of hot water. Pour curtain panels (I removed the doors, so they the concoction on the cement. Within a few wouldn’t take up so much space in the room when they were opened). One fit perfectly in hours, ice turns to slush making the area From left to right: Alicia Husband, Colleen Dell and Rita Hanoski pose for a my bathroom above the sink as a guest towel safer for walking. Also, consider securing photo with therapy dogs Kisbey, Anna-Belle and Subie. (Photo by Chris Putnam) holder (I covered it with a fabric tube). And, outdoor carpet wherever possible. yes, I do use one for my shower curtain. The Dear Reena, main advantage is that you can redecorate In a recent column the last thing you often with very little sewing. — Patty said was never pour hot water in a drip To keep cat litter fresh-smelling, mix brewer; always use cold water. My husband uses boiling water in our drip coffee baby powder in with the litter. — Eric Cure hiccups every time. Cut a wedge maker, and it seems to work OK. Could By Shannon Boklaschuk you tell me why you should not use boiling of lemon. Dip it in sugar and eat the lemon. program coordinator Alicia Husband at University of Saskatchewan Not only does it taste good, but it also makes water? — Baker or at 306-966(USask) sociology professor is hiccups vanish. — L. B. Dear Baker, 6917. encouraging faculty, staff and Back sandpaper with duct tape before apAccording to one of the world’s leading Rita Hanoski, health education costudents to have their canine companions ordinator at the Student Wellness Centre, coffee retailers, a cup of coffee is 98 per cent plying it to vibrating sanders. It will last up tested for inclusion in USask’s therapy water. So, the water you use to make coffee to five times longer. — Denis said many people coming to the centre dog program. Before dropping uncooked pasta into a should taste clean, fresh, and free of impuripresent with a mental health or wellness Dr. Colleen Dell (PhD), Centennial ties. Cold water cuts the acid in coffee by 65 pot of boiling water, grip it firmly with both concern. Enhancement Chair in One Health and per cent so that the result is a smoother cup hands (one on top of the other). Twist both “So it’s a big issue on campus,” she Wellness, said more therapy dogs are hands in opposite directions and drop pasta of coffee. Most coffee pots are designed to said, noting that connecting with other needed on campus. The animals can help people and with animals can benefit into the pot. The pasta will fan out around heat water from a cold temperature; therereduce stress, anxiety and depression fore, fewer minerals are inclined to build up the edges of the pot and cook evenly. — students. among students and can assist in mental Adrianne in your coffee maker. However, if you are “There are some people who have health crises. To stop eyes from burning when cutting never connected, they’ve never interacted happy with the taste of your coffee and your The human health benefits of interact- with a pet before, and this is an easy way machine is running well, then there is no onions, place your cutting board near the exing with animals have been well docuneed to change. Refer to your coffee maker haust hood over the stove. It pulls the fumes to do it.” mented, and Dell’s research at addictions up and away to prevent tears. — Grant Dell said petting a dog for five minutes manual for your own personal verification. and mental health treatment sites has If you don’t have enough batter to fill all increases oxytocin — which is often Best-kept secrets shown clients experience therapeutic ben- referred to as the love hormone — and Potatoes remove food stains from fingers. cupcake tins, pour 1 tablespoon of water into efits in their healing from therapy dogs. the unfilled spots. This helps reserve the life reduces cortisol, the body’s main stress Slice a potato and use the exposed side to “There’s just so much opportunity of your pans. — Anonymous hormone. In addition to that biological rub stained skin. Then wash as usual. — from what we’re seeing in all our reRemove permanent marker from counterEdna response, the physical connection with search,” said Dell, who has therapy dogs the dogs is also important, said Dell. tops and appliances by wiping with rubbing Real vanilla (not imitation) is great for named Anna-Belle, Subie and Kisbey. alcohol and a paper towel. — Janice “It’s really important for people to keeping ticks and mosquitoes away. Wipe USask’s therapy dog program, which have that, and these dogs are non-judgFor perfectly-decorated sugar cookies, cut vanilla onto skin and let dry. Mosquitoes has been in operation for five years, is ad- mental,” she said. will not bother you, and your skin will smell each cookie with a cookie cutter on the bakministrated by Dell’s office in the College ing sheet. This will prevent the cookie from Husband said students’ faces light up sweet. — Betty of Arts and Science, in collaboration with when they see the dogs. She said interactShine jewelry by soaking silver in water losing its shape. After removing all excess the Student Wellness Centre at USask and ing with the dogs is a positive reprieve in which potatoes were boiled. Let stand for dough, reposition the cookie cutter onto the St. John Ambulance. In a recent intercookie and add sprinkles. The cookie cutter for students from some of the stresses one hour. Rinse. — C. C. view, Dell said there is currently a pool of associated with being at university, such White shoe polish will not smear if hair- keeps sprinkles evenly distributed in the 10 to 15 therapy dogs that come to cam- as taking exams. spray is applied to the shoe after it has dried. center of each cookie. — Agnes pus with their owners, but the program “This is something that the university If you burn your tongue on hot liquid, — Darren needs more human and canine volunteers does that is providing back to them,” she resolve the pain by sprinkling sugar on the Reena’s Note: White shoe polish will to be able to accommodate the numerous said. “It brightens their day. I’ve had lots have a more even appearance if shoes are burn and leave to dissolve. — Jordan requests her office receives. Note: Every user assumes all risks of people say, ‘Oh, this is the best part of wiped with rubbing alcohol before polishing. Dell’s office can arrange to have of injury or damage resulting from the If you need to scrape your windshield my day.’ They just love animals and they potential therapy dogs and their owners love dogs and they’re just so happy to see and aren’t getting a good grip on the scraper implementation of any suggestions in this complete a test on campus for possible while wearing gloves, but also don’t want to column. Test all products on an inconspicuthem.” freeze your fingers off, find an old or cheap ous area first. inclusion in the program. She said a good Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational therapy dog loves people and has basic (Shannon Boklaschuk is a communica- pair of mitts. Cut a hole in the top — just presenter for large and small groups; check big enough — near and just in front of the obedience skills. Faculty, students and tions officer in the College of Arts and middle finger. Slip the handle of the scraper out her website: Ask a question or staff who are interested in taking part in Science at the University of Saskatchshare a tip at through so it’s now inside the mitt. Voila! the testing with their dogs can contact ewan.)


USask program seeks additional therapy dogs


AS021802 Aaron

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Random Acts of Photos

There’s something about a man with a machine. (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)

A group of hardy buddies play disc golf on a -25-degree afternoon. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)

The sun rises on a cold, cold, cold winter morning. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)

A Northern Goshawk perches in a tree in search of prey. (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)

Can This Marriage Be Saved?


ome time ago, when ing each other gifts on special the world seemed to be occasions like birthdays, ana more ordered place, niversaries and Christmas. The there was a proliferation loose agreement didn’t mean of magazines aimed at the that we couldn’t give presents; modern woman. In Canada, it just meant we didn’t have to. “the” magazine of record I am a notoriously diffiwas Chatelaine, while in the cult person to choose and buy United States Good Housefor. When queried, it’s almost keeping and Ladies’ Home impossible for me to name Journal filled the newsstands anything I’m pining to have – and mailboxes of the nation. well, except quality chocolate. Columnist For over 30 years, Ladies’ Frank is usually less problemHome Journal had a trademark atic as he always has a wish monthly feature called “Can This Marlist (usually involving music) and yes, he riage Be Saved?” where noted marriage loves iTunes cash. counsellors and psychologists would After we went this non-obligatory weigh in on one couple’s current marital route, I think both of us felt a lot lighter problems or plight. and less burdened. No longer was there A few years ago, Frank and I had our guilt and worry associated with “mandaown “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” tory” gift giving, but spontaneous gift moment, although we didn’t actually giving became fun again. Sometimes recognize it at the time. we’ve even managed to migrate a birthWithout too much thought or deep de- day gift to someone else who was needier liberation, we casually agreed to quit giv- than either of us.


DS021802 Dan

All of this segues rather nicely into the flurry of recent news and attention regarding the Japanese organizational guru and her philosophy of minimalism. When The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up digitally arrived on Book Bub for $1.99, followed by a reality series on Netflix, I was a goner. I needed to know what the big deal was. After reading the book and streaming the child-size, child-like Kondo to my iPad through several tidying-up episodes, I haven’t really changed my mind that she’s probably just “bat-shit crazy” as suggested by a reviewer on Goodreads. But underneath that well-mannered, courteous search for the items in your life that spark joy, Marie Kondo’s obsessional perfectionism does have a point. She may have been tidying up in utero, but the concept of simplifying the things in our lives that we need, want or love is a worthy one. When there’s a modicum of order in our day-to-day, we all feel more

in control – and you never need to fret about finding your car keys again. While I believe that everyone deserves a junk drawer of their own, and the right to keep what is personally meaningful in it, I also think for the good of the planet that we all need to reconsider our consumption of “stuff” and to decide where it fits on the continuum from need to want. Strangely and inadvertently, I started making some of my choices a long time ago when in a feminist hissy fit, I cancelled my decades-long subscription to Chatelaine (along with gift subscriptions to my mother and sister). Somewhere along the way the magazine was no longer in synch with the values that I believed in, no matter how much editor Rona Maynard protested. Perhaps Marie Kondo is onto something, but I wouldn’t count on it. There’s another new self-storage facility sprouting up on Highway 1, where there are already too many others to count.

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 13

Judges got it wrong in Saskatoon and Regina cases


hat happened in a ing for 90 days in jail, followed Saskatoon courtroom by two years’ probation, with an last week was nothing order preventing him from being short of appalling. alone with any woman. Judge It was a sentencing hearing Baniak ultimately concluded that for John Pontes, the 75-year-old Pontes’ old age, health problems owner of the notorious Northand lack of a previous criminal woods Inn and Suites, on the record were good reasons to conviction of sexual assault reject jail time. He didn’t stop he received late last year after there though, pointing fingers at being acquitted of the more Baniak’s victim as a mitigating serious charge of raping and factor in the light sentence. extorting the same victim. “It seems to be the impact on Columnist Pontes is no stranger to the the victim was not as traumatic legal process. In 2014, Saskatchewan’s as in some of the other cases I’ve examCourt of Queen’s Bench found that he vio- ined,” said Baniak at Pontes’ sentencing. lated the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code “She agreed to meet with accused later on by “engaging in gender-based discriminain the evening. That tends to indicate she tion in the form of sexual harassment” of a was not as traumatized as other (victims).” female hotel clerk in 2009, awarding that I’m sorry, what? What?? Keep in mind clerk a precedent-setting $45,000 in damthat this same judge had just acquitted ages. Pontes of extortion — the charge being “The judgment is financially notable that he held significant power over the as the damages provided by the code woman and threatened her repeatedly far exceed usual damages for wrongful about the consequences if she didn’t have dismissal,” said David Arnot, chief commis- sex with him. sioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Yes, Pontes was acquitted of that charge, Commission. “This is a clear message that but that does not mean the woman’s story, egregious human rights violations will not especially regarding how she felt vulnerable be tolerated in the workplace.” to him, is not valid. It was the fifth time Pontes had been This reminds me of another case that convicted under the Saskatchewan Human was playing out in a Regina courtroom Rights Code. The facts laid out in some earlier this month, that of a woman who of those decisions detailing the disgusting alleges she was brutally raped on a first date things Pontes said and did to the female on a back road in rural Saskatchewan. A complainants are stunning in their level of sexual assault nurse examiner told the court aggression and depravity. that she has conducted more than 600 rape After somehow avoiding criminal exams, and only once before has she seen charges on several fronts for years, on Feb. an external anal injury as large as the one 12 Pontes received his sentence for his found on the alleged victim. one sexual assault conviction: a suspended Yet, the accused’s defence lawyer, Barry sentence of 18 months probation. Despite Nychuk, still felt it was appropriate to ask the heinous actions of Pontes over the last (and was allowed to do so by the judge) decade or two, it was presiding Judge Mor- why she didn’t cry while she answered ris Baniak’s comments while sentencing RCMP questions, how many times she said Pontes that caused my jaw to hit the table. no to the accused and why she didn’t fight, CT021809 Carol Crown prosecutor Sheryl Fillo was ask- why she didn’t immediately call police,


about the woman’s weight and the style of her scream. “You let him do it. That’s you consenting,” Nychuk said. “You could have just laid back, true?... You could have resisted?” He then went on to suggest that the accused may have misinterpreted her screaming as a “pleasure scream.” That’s right, this happened in a Saskatchewan courtroom. In 2019. Like, three weeks ago. Back in Saskatoon, Baniak continued rejecting the prosecution’s attempts to actually punish the convicted criminal. On the Crown’s request that Pontes be court ordered to not be alone with a woman, the judge said no because it would be inconvenient. “He works with them all the time. He has males and females in his place of business every day,” said Baniak. “That would create a lot of problems in terms of practically as well as how to enforce it.” OK, hang on just a minute. Since when do we not sentence criminals because it might put them out? Isn’t that kind of the point? And it seems to me the fact that Pontes sexually harasses the “females in his place of business” is exactly

what is creating “a lot of problems,” so the premise that he must be allowed to continue going about his business (literally and figuratively) completely unencumbered is absurd. As for the monumental challenges Baniak saw in having to enforce such a condition, I’m pretty sure that there are all kinds of offenders all over this city who have conditions that require enforcement, so not sure why that would be a problem. Further, by all accounts, it seems that the Saskatoon Police Service visits the Northwoods Inn regularly, even daily, which perhaps might cause Pontes to think twice about breaking his conditions, because I’m pretty sure SPS officers would be more than happy to check on him since they’re routinely stopping by anyway. “John indicates he is not guilty. He believes he did nothing wrong,” Pontes’ defence attorney, Patrick Fagan, said that day, summarizing what his client told the author of a pre-sentence report. Perhaps this lawyer was telegraphing what’s in store for the court next time — Pontes faces more charges of sexual assault and extortion involving another female tenant. That hearing is scheduled for May.

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 14

RAM trucks keep winning awards


very time FCA (RAM’s parent com(e-Torque is sort of a hybrid system and could fill pany) sends out a press release, it is to this space all by itself) and variable valve timing tell me that the truck has won another brought about fuel economy improvements. I award. This time, the RAM was crowned North would like to tell you that they were significant, America’s Truck of the Year. but that will depend on your driving style. On The truck I drove was a 1500 RAM in Larthe Prairies on a calm day and at the speed limit, edo trim, plus a few extras. This year there are my instant fuel economy was a bit under 11 several trim levels including the North and the litres/100k. Rebel, as well as the mainstream trims. Since I have better things to do that take two Starting with the unlocking of a door, the days to get somewhere in our province, I kinda, power-operated running boards unfold from sorta pushed the envelope a bit. Fuel economy their storage area under the lower sill. This is dropped to between 14 and 16 litres/100k. I Autozone common for a few other models, but not on any suspect that headwinds and heavy loads would RAM I’ve seen. These running boards come have the same effect. In any case, fuel economy out far enough to be useful and are at the right height to be a will never be close to a Prius, but is certainly better than past good step. On top of that, I know that three people over 200 RAMs that I have driven. pounds can stand on one board and it doesn’t bend, buckle or As a four-door truck, the RAM does things a bit differstop working. ently and, to my mind, a bit better than competitors. If you Once inside, the power bucket driver’s seat can be remember the “mega cab” option of the past and you sit in adjusted within seconds to be a comfortable command post. the back, the largesse of backseat space and thus comfort All instruments, including the HVAV and centre console, does bring back memories. Somehow calling it a mini-mega are easy to see. Switches are large and easy to use. The gear cab just doesn’t sound right. selector is the now-common RAM rotary dial. There is one Ride quality has taken a big leap forward, as well. The for the gears and one for the electronically controlled 4X4 secret lies in the air suspension. Yes, the RAM 1500 for system. Within limits you can go from 4Hi to 2Hi while 2019 can be ordered with air suspension. A multi-link driving, but 4Lo still requires that you be stopped. coil spring suspension is standard complete with recaliTransmission gearing and the eight-speed automatic, brated springs to significantly improve empty ride qualalong with various engine upgrades such as e-Torque™ ity. Suspension packages go all the way up to providing

Charles Renny

The RAM North works well in the snow. (Photo Supplied) a towing capacity of over 12,000 lbs. When it comes to looks, the RAM has significantly changed its (what I called) Kenworth front and grille setup. The new grille and front fascia still tell you it is a RAM, but now it looks more impressive than aggressive. I suspect the new treatment is in part to keep air flow up so that the new electric cooling fan doesn’t inhale the grille. That fan is large and powerful. Back inside, the RAM boasts the largest touch screen in class and, as I said earlier, the controls are easy to use. That does not mean perfect. I never have my test vehicles inside. They are all outside, summer or winter. Seat heater controls have become near and dear to my tush. The RAM switches are in the touch screen. When it’s really cold out, it was slow going to get the seat heater switches to start. That’s being a bit petty. If I was in the market for a truck, this is the one I would most likely purchase.

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 15


FEBRUARY 22 -23 The Saskatoon Summer Players step forward with a program called The Movies Go to Broadway, emphasizing the songs which were movie favourites before they went to Broadway. Friday at 9 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. The Bassment, 202 Fourth Ave. North. Tickets $23 for SJS members, $28 for non-members.

FEBRUARY 24 It’s an annual homecoming for Suzie Vinnick, singer, guitarist and engaging performer. She’s won 10 Maple Blues awards and widely-recognized at American blues venues as well. Her latest album is Shake The Love Around. 7:30 p.m. The Bassment. Tickets $22 and $27.

MARCH 2 Saskatoon Youth Orchestra presents Musical Dividends in support of Saskatoon’s youth music experience. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Saskatchewan Convocation Hall. Tickets can be purchased in advance at McNally Robinson and online at Eventbrite. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. ***** Klarinet Koncert. Soloist: Jonathan Gunn, Clarinet. Saskatoon Concert Band. 7:30 Holy Cross High School Theatre. Tickets: $20 general admission, $10 seniors and students, under 8 free. Tickets available from members, at the door and from McNally Robinson. Available from Members, McNally Robinson, at the door and online at For more information, visit

EVENTS FEBRUARY 23 MENSA is an international, non-profit society for people who score among the top two per cent of the general population on a standardized IQ test. A supervised IQ testing session is being held in Saskatoon at 2 p.m. The cost is $90, or $70 for students. If you are interested in attending this session, call Tim at 306-242-7408 or e-mail

MARCH 4 An Evening of Song and Dance. At La Troupe du Jour (914 20th St. West) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is presented by the Canadian Federation of University Women and the Saskatoon Council of Women. No cost to attend and refreshments will be served. ***** The Yorkton Film Festival and Grace Westminster United Church are hosting a film event at 7:30 at the church. This event will feature And When They Shall Ask, a feature length documentary about the emigration of the Mennonites from Russia. Jake Buhler of the Mennonite Historical Society. There is no charge for the event. Refreshments will be served.

MARCH 5 Three Treasures Tai Chi Club Yang Style Tai Chi - An Ancient Chinese Martial Art known for its health benefits and renewed energy. Beginner Registration& First Class; March at 7:30 p.m. Classes: Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Church(454 Egbert & 105th Street) For more information, call 306-975-0058 or visit

MARCH 6 A Geocaching March Coffee Event (GC8342Y) at the new Tim Hortons in Hampton Village from 7:30-8:30 p.m. A friendly meet and greet —everyone is welcome to attend. Come on out to learn about geocaching.

MARCH 8 Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers. 14th annual fundraising dinner at the Western Development Museum. Reception 5 p.m., Program at 6:15p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment: Back of the Bus. Tickets $50: Beer, Wine cash bar. For tickets and information, contact Maureen at 306-373-0087 or Jennifer at 306-242-4989. Or pick up tickets at McNally Robinson Booksellers. The event supports the Stephen Lewis Foundation ***** Irish Ceili at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall (1006 Broadway Avenue, side door). Opens at 6:30 p.m. $5 for adults and $2 for those under 12. Cash bar and food available, sponsored by Claddagh Branch, Comhaltas.

MARCH 13 RUH Foundation’s Greek Gourmet Feast, 5:30 p.m. at Manos Restaurant & Lounge (200-1820 Eighth Street East). Proceeds support 12 innovative chronic care programs, including equipment and research initiatives related to diabetes, coronary artery disease and stroke, heart function, cardio-oncology care, epilepsy, respiratory care, and culturally safe approaches to chronic disease management proposed by clinicians and researchers at

Royal University Hospital. Call or email Trina at 306-6550628 or for more information or to purchase tickets. ***** Let’s Go Crazy geocaching event (GC838P4) at the stuffy rider booth at Lawson Heights Mall from 7:15-8:30 p.m. It’s a poker rally with a twist. Everyone welcome.

MARCH 21 The Saskatoon Council on Aging will host a spring dinner and dance party to bring back memories of sock hops and drive-ins. Western Development Museum. Writer and performer Brenda Baker will be master of ceremonies for our “kick-off to spring” event. The Cherry Bop Hop features England playing your favourite tunes from the 50s and 60s. Wear red and be entered to win exciting door prizes. The Cherry Bop Hop is a fundraiser for the Saskatoon Council on Aging. Tickets $65. phone 652-2255 or visit


The stately Bessborough Hotel looked chilly on this morning. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson) SENIORS CLUB

Care for the Caregiver Forum, including a caregiver app launch, a caregiver self-care presentation and a TED video presentation of Brenè Brown with facilitated group discussions. Circle Drive Alliance Church (3035 Preston Ave. South) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $20 (lunch included). To register, call 306-652-2255.

St. George’s Senior Citizen’s Club (1235 20th St. West). The club is campaigning for new members that are 55+. Memberships are $10 per year with many discounts included. Regular events are bingos, card playing & socializing from 1-4 pm every Wednesday, bowling on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, contact Ed at 306-382-7657 or 306-716-0204 or Sylvia at 306-382-4390 or 306-717-8773.



A Geocaching Event (GC8357X) Out Like a Lamb @ Wendys in University Heights area on from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Come out to meet geocachers and learn what to do to get you started on this fun game.

The MindFULL Café, part of the international Alzheimer Café movement, provides an opportunity for persons with dementia, family, care partners and other interested people to meet in a relaxed social setting. The Café is a two-hour get together with refreshments, entertainment and information. 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Sherbrooke Community Centre. For more information, call Robin Kitchen at 306-655-3646. ***** Memory Writers — September to June, 10 a.m. to noon at the Edwards Centre, 333 Fourth Avenue. Share the events and memories of your life in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. For more information, call Hilda at 306-382-2446.

APRIL 3 A Geocaching April Coffee Event (GC83430) at the new Tim Hortons in Hampton Village from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend — come out to meet geocachers and to learn how it is done.

ONGOING FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH Left Behind by Suicide is a drop-in support group for individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. Located at W.A. Edwards Family Centre, 333 Fourth Ave. North, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is no cost to attend. For more information, email ***** FROMI - Friends and Relatives of People with Mental Illness meetings will run from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at W.A. Edwards Family Centre, 333 Fourth Avenue North (wheelchair accessible). If you have a loved one or friend with a mental illness and you need understanding support, contact Carol at 306-249-0693, Linda at 306-933-2085, Lois at 306-242-7670 or email

AL-ANON MEETINGS Weekly group meetings open to anyone who has been affected by someone else’s drinking. For more information, call 306-655-3838.


EVERY TUESDAY Love to Sing? The Saskatoon Choral Society welcomes new members. No auditions. We meet Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at the Grace-Westminster United Church (505 – 10th St. East). Two sessions: September to December and January to April. For more information: or ***** Magic City Chorus (women’s four part a cappella harmony) rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings at St. Paul’s United Church, Egbert Avenue, in Sutherland at 7 p.m. New members welcome! Check out magiccitychorus. ca for more information. For more information, contact


W E H A V E T H E L A R G E S T S E L E C T I O N O F J I G S A W S I N S A S K AT C H E W A N !

FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH Bridge City Needlearts Guild meets at Mayfair United Church at 7:30 p.m. for our monthly meetings. We also have a stitching day at Sobey’s Stonebridge the first Saturday of each month. Come join us and have fun stitching with fellow stitchers. For further information, contact Glenda at 306-343-1882.

FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH: The Classic Dance Club hosts ballroom and Latin dancing at the Royal Canadian Legion (606 Spadina Cres. West). An informal lesson starts at 7:30 and dancing from 8:30 to midnight. Snacks provided. Join us for a fun evening on the best dance floor in town. For more info, visit www.

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TABLE TENNIS The Saskatoon Table Tennis Club plays on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30, Friday evening from 7 to 9 and Saturday morning from 10 to 12. The location is the Zion Lutheran Church, 323 4th Ave. S. Entrance through the side door off the parking lot on the North side of the building and down to the gym. Drop in and have a look, no charge for the first visit. For more information, call 306-242-7580 or 306-975-0835.

EVERY THIRD WEDNESDAY La Leche League Canada - Saskatoon Daytime Meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Anglican Church (609 Dufferin Avenue.) March 22 and April 19. For more information or to get breastfeeding help, contact a leader by phone (306-655-4805) or email or LLLCSaskatoon.

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SASKATOONEXPRESS - February 18-24, 2019 - Page 16

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Cam Hutchinson & Friends: Views of the World

What’s a seventh-inning stretch without peanuts and Cracker Jack?


C Chong, on a burglar using a doggy door to break into a house: “The police report stated that jewelry, cash, three cans of Alpo and a box of Milk Bones were missing.” • Janice Hough, on the Ravens trading Joe Flacco to Broncos: “Well, Denver has already proven you can win a Super Bowl with a former NFL quarterback.” • With Reilly, Mitchell and Harris off the table, and Jennings negotiating with Ottawa, can you imagine where the Riders would have been had they not signed Zach Collaros? If you want to see who is on the Riders roster, visit It looks pretty good. • Did the Montreal Alouettes know they could sign free agents on and after Feb. 12? Is it time to worry about the future of the CFL in Montreal? • Minutes after Auston Matthews scored his 100th goal last week, Sportsnet released a recording of all of them. I wonder what they will do for his 1,000th. • It is touching every time a player such as Mitch Marner acknowledges a young fan. Those pucks and sticks and smiles are precious. • From Torben Rolfsen: “Pitchers and catchers have reported to their agents’ offices to find out why they don’t have contracts.” • Chong, on INRIX Global Ranking rating Boston as the worst American city for traffic: “No wonder, there seems to be a parade, marathon or some other sideshow every month.” • Hough, on the Cleveland Browns signing Kareem Hunt: “Well, Baker Mayfield had a least a few months of being part of a feel-good story.” • Has the CFL had a tryout camp in Liechtenstein? • From Rolfsen: “Why wouldn’t Kyler Murray choose football? There’s a new league starting every week.” • Here’s a question for you: Are Bill

Belichick and Tom Brady the most disliked coach/player combo in sports ever? Who else is in the running? While I am not a hater, I suspect the two are right up there. Winning does that. • Chong, on Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford banning peanuts and Cracker Jack from its baseball stadium out of concern for allergies: “So the seventhinning stretch will call for revised lyrics: “Buy me some donuts and cinnamon buns.’” • Tim Tebow, six-feet-three and 245 pounds; Pat Mahomes, six-feet-three and 230 pounds; Donald Trump, sixfeet-three and 243 pounds. Someone is fibbing. • Hough, on Duke coming back from 23 points down in the second-half to beat Louisville 71-69: “Are we sure the Blue Devils weren’t playing the Atlanta Falcons?” • From comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “Kenny-G was hired by Kanye West to play for Kim Kardasian on Valentine’s Day amid hundreds of longstemmed roses. This is exactly why other countries despise us.” • Rolfsen, on the New York Knicks using an image of Kevin Durant in their 2019-20 season-ticket pitch to fans: “Seems a little premature, but better than the last few years when they featured Pizza Rat.” • From Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur: “Marc Gasol got a bigger ovation at the Raptors game than Sting did, despite having 17 fewer Grammys.” • Chong, on a Wire Fox Terrier winning Best in Show at the annual Westminster Dog Show: “It was not a popular win as there were scattered boos in the crowd. When I heard that, I thought the dog might have been named Bettman or Goodell.” • Shouldn’t we be calling Sid the Kid, Sid the Adolescent by now? • A question from Rolfsen: “Is Matt Kuchar advising MLB teams on spending money this offseason?”

Valentines and a Rose


By RJ Currie he top three things I enjoy on ice: 3. NHL Hockey; 2. Grand Slam Curling; 1. Scotch. • I sent my vegetarian wife a valentine: “My cuke little peach, lettuce be a pear. I’ll be so grapeful and won’t take you for pomegranate.” She replied, “I corn seed you be leaf that, but peas beet it.” • Canada’s women’s hockey team reportedly underwent to a youth movement “looking for more speed.” So how perfect is the name of this rookie? Renata Fast. • First the Bombers signed ex-Riders DE Willie Jefferson, described by TSN as “a thorn” in the club’s side last season. They also signed DB Winston Rose. A Rose behind the thorn? • An ESPN pundit suggested the Westminster Dog Show was biased because for the 47th time out of 115 events, a terrier won. Why not say it’s fixed — or in dog terms: call a spay a spay. • Rocco Mediate admitted he often drank alcohol on the course during tour events. Instead of a putter, I’m thinking he finished rounds with a designated driver. • Reuters reports a chain of St. Louis sports bars has installed urinals with a

mugshot of reviled Rams owner Stan Kroenke in the centre. Is there anything one can add to make that funnier? • Set to launch on Valentine’s Day, a Tinder-like app called Tudder that helps farmers match dairy cows with ideal breeding partners. It sounds like a lot of bull, but it’s the udder truth. • Just wondering: when people in sports describe an athlete’s play as “unbelievable,” should we believe them? • The Daily Mail reports a New Zealand scientist recovered a USB memory stick of holiday photos inside a slab of seal poop. You have to wonder what made the guy look for it there. • The Hartford Yard Goats baseball team no longer serves peanuts or Cracker Jack due to peanut allergies. The Mariners also once solved a nut problem: they cut Milton Bradley. • An update on the guy arrested at New York’s JFK airport for smuggling in South American finches, prized for their birdsong. He might do time in Sing Sing. RJ’s Punalty Box A friend was in Paris recently, and said the Louvre museum was so big she had trouble finding her way out. I said there must be 50 ways to leave your Louvre.