Editor's Notebook

Prizes, prizes

About 20 years ago, Dana’s uncle Harvey, 90 plus years of age and wheelchair bound, asked if my eldest, Caleb, and his cousin, John, would take him to Montreal to pick up his Reader’s Digest prize money.

He figured Caleb was big enough to carry him and John, who can speak French, could handle any language problems they might face in Montreal.

The boys were not needed because Harvey never won any prizes.

Today, I can see why Harvey thought he had a good chance of winning the big bucks.

I made the mistake of buying a Reader’s Digest subscription a few months ago.

The good ones

Last Wednesday, a group of 11 from London came to Kincardine to tour the labryinth and have dinner at a Kincardine eatery.

The week before, a group of artists from Southampton made the tour.

Vision TV did a documentary a year ago on the labyrinth; the Vancouver Sun has featured it.

Betty Conlin and a group of excellent volunteers have built and maintained the labyrinth which is located behind the barn in Geddes park. New volunteers are always coming forward and more are always welcome, she says.

The experts

According to the experts, the scandal at eHealth Ontario will set back the transfer of your health records from paper to digital by months, maybe even years. The search for someone to run eHealth could be international.

That is really hard to believe.

The province spent more than $600-million trying to set up a system to transfer the records before it quit and started again with eHealth. Why are public relations people and their entourage of consultants needed to set up eHealth?

Surely a few computer geeks and a team of crack keyboarders are what we need – not a gaggle of high-priced consultants.

Does anyone care?

Listening to an Afghanistan war veteran at the D-day banquet in Kincardine a week ago Sunday, I couldn’t help but wonder why Canada is fighting in that country.

Afghanistan is a god-forsaken place. It has been in a state of war since 1978 and the infrastructure has been destroyed.

Looking back on my notes, I see that the country has 10 million land mines – it is one of the most land-mined countries in the world.

Only five per cent of women read and 15 per cent of men can read. The country has a serious drug problem and 50 per cent of the population is under 19 years of age.

Was it God?

Kincardine’s former recreation director was the topic of discussion around the office last Wednesday.

Josh was writing the “30 years ago” column and noticed this column in the June 6, 1979 edition.

It was Fitness Week back then and Davidson had everyone in town walk around the block on the Monday night.

Our family was participating when our four-year-old daughter, Sarah, asked Dana: “Who said everyone is supposed to walk around the block at 7 p.m.? Was it God?”

Dana replied, “No it was Keith Davidson.”

Back then, Sarah likely thought Davidson was a pretty powerful guy.

Call it chance

After talking to Bob Gorski on the phone Sunday, it struck me that most of us are still alive and kicking more by chance than good planning.

Bob and his wife Lucy are the Michigan couple who saved three young men from drowning on Lake Huron around the supper hour on Friday.

The Gorskis obviously like the outdoors because for years they spent weekends in northern Michigan. But nine years ago, they visited friends at Inverhuron. When Bob returned home, it was the first time he really felt relaxed after a weekend away.

He went to the internet and found only one lakefront cottage for sale in the Kincardine area.

Where is the vision?

When I look back over 37 years in the newspaper business in this community, I can think of only one project for which Kincardine showed real vision.

That was the building of the Davidson Centre, a project of Kincardine town and township in the early 1970s.

When it was built, with a great of deal community effort, the multi-use recreation centre was way ahead of its time. Visiting hockey teams were impressed that you could take a swim in Kincardine in the winter.

Now we seem to be followers.

The Davidson Centre has grown tired and there likely should be plans to replace it. Instead, we’re adding to it piecemeal. It serves the community well, but Goderich is now the town in this area with the state-of-the-art recreation centre.

Ignorance is not always bliss

Kincardine and Ripley have apparently had their share of hot heads over the years.

Last week we ran a story on the new exhibit that opened at the Walker House. On display are paintings of Kincardine’s first dentist, Nelson Gumaer, and his wife Emma.

Following is a short tale of a nasty day in the life of the good dentist.

After the end of the First World War, Gumaer made a trip to Ripley by train to look after his Ripley patients.

When the dentist arrived, he received a rude welcome as the populace started pelting him with eggs. The welcoming committee accused the dentist of flying a German flag from his window.

He was able to get back on the train and return to Kincardine where he was met by another egg-equipped group of rowdies.

Never trust a motorist

Death can come quickly on the highway – something most of us rarely think about.

 About 6 p.m. Sunday, Dana and I drove out to Sobeys.

Ignorance reigns

After listening to the news one morning last week, the message came through loud and clear. We live in an illiterate world.

People around the world can operate all those fancy communication devices. They can twitter and go on face book.

But for the most part they lack understanding.

In many parts of the world, likely even in this country, there are people who believe they can get the flu from eating pork. Some countries have already cut off pork imports from Canada to prevent the disease from arriving in their food. In Egypt, they are slaughtering pigs.

Anyone who can read should know you can’t get swine flu from eating pork.

And what about the pigs?