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Moving forward through the past PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
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Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:18

By Cassie Weiss
People really do take a lot of things for granted, excelling on medical advancement, better qualities of life, and so much more.
Recently Kat and I started watching a Canadian TV show based on World War II. The show centralizes around a core group of girls, bomb girls, girls who worked in an ammunitions factory.
The show starts off with rich-girl Gladys Withum wanting to do her part in the war, having just begun months before the show started. Continuing on as she fits into the work scene, deciding she would rather work the hard job on the floor than sit comfortably in the office, the show depicts the dangers that come to these girls.
As faulty bombs explode back on testers, as equipment catches onto another girls scalp and tears her hair off, the reality is something not many remember when honouring those who fought and died for the war.
From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the loss at Dieppe, Bomb Girls gives you a taste of romance, heartbreak, anger, but most of all, it brings forward the importance of these girls’ role in the factories.
Every year for Remembrance Day, the paper completes features on the different men and women who served in the war, and I’ve heard many tales from these folks that I interview.
Hearing these stories, and watching them through the screen of my TV, is something fascinating.
Never the biggest history fan in school, there is nothing better, in my opinion, than hearing the story from the source.
Hearing about WWII from a man who fought in it? History class doesn’t get more real than that.
To see, in person, what the war can do to a man, how some grow, but how others never return, though their body may be physically sound.
September is only half over, but Remembrance Day will be here before you blink, and again it will be time to remember those long since passed away.
Those who fought overseas, facing death and fear in the eyes, those who worked in the hospitals and medical tents, trying to keep the soldiers alive, and those women, who filled casings of Amatol and carefully sanded to remove sharp medal spears from the bomb exterior.
They all had a part to play all those years ago, and they all played their part well. Thanks to them I can be sitting here on my computer, spending more time on Facebook than any human really should.
We take a lot for granted, and sometimes we just have to stop and realized how things have changed, and how thankful we are to those who had a part in that change.

Autumn is right around the corner PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
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Tuesday, 10 September 2013 19:05

By Jamie Rieger

Here it is September already. Where does the time go?
The young people are back in school all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager for another year of learning. (Right?)
So far, the weather has been more like mid-July than early September, but I don’t think people are complaining too much about that.
And because the weather has been so warm, there is merely a hint of the leaves starting to turn from green into their autumn array of oranges, yellows, and reds.
I love autumn...when the world becomes so much more colourful. As long as there is no white in the spectrum, I am totally fine with it.
The air becomes brisker and the nights become cooler  and much easier for sleeping at night for those who don’t have central air conditioning.
As soon as the school year commences, the stores are filled with not only Halloween items, but also Christmas decorations. Okay, the marketing gurus are really pushing their limit on that one!
Farmers are working like crazy to get their crops harvested and it seems like everybody is busy with ‘stuff to do’ before autumn turns to winter before its scheduled arrival.
Autumn is often brief in southern Alberta and maybe that’s why I like it so much. It never overstays its welcome.
And, there is always Thanksgiving Day to consider. As the barbecues get used less frequently, the warmth and scents from the oven on Thanksgiving is comfort to me. Time spent with family and over-eating is always a pleasure from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Some people may not like autumn because they know the snow and cold are not far behind, but I for one, will enjoy it to its bitter (hopefully not too bitter) cold end.

You really can't save them all, but you can try PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
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Wednesday, 04 September 2013 19:24

By Cassie Weiss
I have a soft spot in my heart for cats. Having five of my own, this is one animal that I have counted on since I was a little girl, sneaking our tom cat into the house once my parents had left for some before-school cuddles.
I’ve always wanted to save the world, but not in the normal sense. I mean, sure I care about the conflict in Syria, and the poverty in Africa, but animals have always come first for me.
I ended up with five cats, not because I wanted five cats, but because I am a bleeding heart who wants to give life to those less fortunate.
All but one of our cats were found on the streets, one by us, the others by humane societies or rescue organizations.
Our one cat still pays, every day, for the traumatic experience she had on the streets, and it has taken her three years with us to be this comfortable, not running every time we enter the room.
Feral cats have, and always will be, a problem. Cats that have been abandoned by their owners, learning to adapt to a life on the streets, scavenging for food, protecting themselves with tooth and nail against those atrocities in the night.
It breaks my heart driving down the road, seeing road kill that usually turns out to be one of those sweet little felines.
When people look at the problem of feral cats, all they see is disease, and mess, and these poor things destroying gardens because the ground is soft enough for a litter.
People shout obscenities; they throw items, and do everything possible to turn these cats away.
It is not the fault of these animals, who are simply doing what they must to survive.
Yes, these cats are feral, but there are people out there who can capture these animals and relocate them to places where they are better suited, where they can be safe, free from disease, free from unnecessary death.
When people see a feral cat population, all they want to do is get rid of it, not understanding the problem, or that these animals deserve life too.
There are organizations out there, ones like Persian Dreams and Canine Themes, that do their best to give these animals something to look forward too, and there are remedies online that can kept the critters from your gardens.
Don’t be so quick to hate. One person can’t save the world, and there will never not be a feral cat population. Maybe instead of cursing, pick up the phone and call someone who actually does care.

Savour the moment - with sprinkles PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 16:02

By Jamie Rieger
Nothing goes better with these hot, dog days of summer than a big bow of ice cream with some fresh fruit piled on top. (For me, that fruit would be a heapful of fresh-picked raspberries!)
And like all good things, it needs to be enjoyed slowly, letting the natural juices from the fruit mix into the melting ice cream.
I got to enjoy some the other day, the first time all summer I've had ice cream. Typically, I'm not much of a sweet eater and ice cream actually makes me more thirsty and feeling full, so it's not something I get a craving for.
But on occasion, I will indulge and I certainly did that the other day after being out in the sun for the better part of the day. Thinking back now, a couple slices of watermelon would have probably had the same effect, and would have quenched my thirst at the same time.
Regardless, I enjoyed that bowl of ice cream and raspberries, savouring every spoonful as I put my feet up to watch the news.
And, like with most other things, I like to keep it simple; no need for sprinkles, gumballs, chocolate chips, or whipped cream for me. Just the basics, like a freezie or a popsicle on a hot day will make me happy!
It's important to take those small, seemingly insignificant moments like eating a bow of ice cream and take the time to really enjoy them. Sometimes, those moments are fleeting or rushed and we never really take the time to let it all sink in.
All the rest of the 'stuff' that has to be done will still be there in 15 minutes, after you've finished that sweet goodness. Let it wait for a bit. Slow down the pace, put your feet up and savour that bowl of ice cream.
Life is too short not to take a moment to enjoy the small things. So, fill a bowl, pile on the fruit, and even throw some sprinkles and whipped cream on top. Then, sit down and enjoy!

It's everybody's place to vote in election PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 16:07

By Cassie Weiss
Politics. This word sums up the next couple months in a nutshell. It is also one of my most hated words, simply because I do not like politics.
Politics have always come out as dirty, in the news there are always complaints about the government, from slanderous videos depicting officials partaking in illegal activities, to upset with the lack of action in regards to the recent June floods.
I struggled with social, with learning the ins and outs of the political system, figuring that I would never need to know the history and the everyday workings of politics.
I didn’t think I would ever need to worry about who wanted to be mayor, or MLA, or president for those of us who share a vested interest in the connections between Canada and our neighbours to the south.
And despite my argument that I would never need to care about this information, I found my opinion on this matter changing rapidly.
Maybe it began when I turned 18 and stated I would never vote, only to have a comment made along the lines of “if you don’t vote you have no right to complain.”
This actually made tons of sense to me. If I wanted the government to change, I had to give my say, be it only a little tick on a ballot sheet.
My view on politics changed even more when I started working with the candidates in the provincial election, realizing what each had to say on a smaller level.
There was no longer any separation between the things these candidates were saying and I.
I could relate one selling point of the campaign to almost anyone I knew.
I made me step back and realize that I am a part of the decision, and I need to play the role I was given.
Now, the municipal election is upon us, and although I’m not living in Redcliff or Cypress County, I wish those candidates all the best, and I hope the residents step up and show they do care about the outcome of their municipality.
If they want change, they need to fight for it.
I know I will be. I may be reporting on a few different elections, but I also have one of my own to participate in.
Election Day is in October, and you can bet that I will be down at City Hall, marking my x on a piece of paper.
I believe things can change, if they are wrong, and sometimes there is a need to stay the same.
But the residents are the ones who make that choice, and they have a duty to themselves to show up and cast a vote, where a vote is required.
It all comes back to that simple comment.
If you don’t vote you have no right to complain.

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