It’s that wonderful time of year when plants are moved from greenhouses to gardens.
Shaughnessy Gardens on Valley Road is wearing lots of green for the green-thumbers out
purchasing their plants. (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
Harry goes from geeky kid to cool dude

I remember feeling somewhat sorry for Prince Henry of Wales years ago. Prince Harry, as he’s better known, appeared to be the geeky little brother, while William had his mother’s good looks.
As they grew older it seemed to get worse for Harry. William settled seamlessly into king-to-be life. He started losing his hair, he married a wonderful woman and they have three beautiful children. We never heard of William being naked in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Who knew Harry would turn out to be a gem, despite displaying the royal jewels in a game of strip pool in Vegas. Harry is one of the coolest, most giving people on the planet. And he seems genuine, just like his mother.
The Invictus Games, founded in 2013, are his crowning achievement — or one of them.
“The Games used the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women,” it says on the Games’ website.


Riki Walkathon
50 years of raising money one step at a time

Al Anderson was part of an organizing group of a Riki Walkathon which saw “a crazy dream” turn into a “50-year, million-dollar legacy.”
Anderson has been a long-established sporting goods dealer in Saskatoon. He has been a most important player in the development of both Elmwood Residences and Cosmopolitan Industries, two organizations which help individuals with disabilities lead rich, more fulfilling lives. And he was a founding member of the Riversdale Kiwanis Club.
To hear Anderson tell it, “we were just a group of men, 35 to 40 members, who had only been in Kiwanis for four to five years when we challenged ourselves to raise money to build a cabin at Camp Easter Seal. It was going to be our way of helping in 1968.”
Camp Easter Seal is a fully accessible summer camp for people with disabilities on the shore of Little Manitou Lake, not far from Watrous. Under the managerial reins of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, the camp accepts about 800 people a season.

Sixties scoop affected my family

“TriActin,” my friend said when he mentioned a product he had discovered.
Actually he’s more than a friend; he’s like my own personal advisor. We have shared many trails together — from being one of the “scooped” children, to imprisonment and to extreme addictions.
The scoop was a practice by the federal government in the 1960s. First Nations children were the wards of the federal government at the time and one of the things the feds did was adopt out First Nations children all over the world.
My family was directly affected. Even though I was able to contact my brothers and sisters years later, there is still one brother we’re looking for.
The way it works is both parties have to make an application to find their natural parents. Years ago I made an application to find my sister Debby. Years went by and I didn’t hear anything. Then one day, right out of the blue, my phone rang and it was my sister.

A weekend at the cabin – hopefully – and a princely wedding

By the time you read this, if all goes well, I will have been to the lake and back.
From my vantage point pre-long weekend, I’d say we have a fairly high chance of getting smoked out like little sausages. Or burned out, like old growth trees.
The Tuff Fire today is burning hot, blanketing the Waterhen Lake First Nation with thick, choking smoke, bad enough that the band decided to evacuate its elders to safer locations.
Photos from the lake we frequent, quite a distance away, were daunting; a heavy haze over the water, huge clouds of smoke hanging to the north.
I want to go to the lake. I must go. I have not been out of this city in 10 months and I need to get out of here. I will scream, and you don’t want that.
On the bright side, the government finally brought in a fire ban on all Crown lands south of the Churchill a couple of hours ago, and I’d say not a moment too soon. At the time of writing, and according to a CBC story, there had been 148 fires on Crown lands so far in 2018, well up from the five-year average of 86. Yikes. So those late snowfalls in March and April didn’t help too much on the dry side, then.

Sharon Butala
Acclaimed author publishes first mystery novel

In 1962, the body of 23-year-old Alexandra Wiwcharuk was discovered by a young boy who had wandered into some trees by the South Saskatchewan River.
Wiwcharuk, a Saskatoon nurse, had left her City Park apartment on May 18, 1962, to mail two letters at a nearby drugstore and to go for a walk. She was scheduled to work at City Hospital a few hours later and told her roommates she would return.
Tragically, she never did.
Wiwcharuk’s body was discovered in a shallow grave nearly two weeks later, near the intersection of Spadina Crescent and 33rd Street. Police considered a number of suspects in the case, but, more than five decades later, answers continue to elude investigators.
Best-selling Canadian author and University of Saskatchewan alumna Sharon Butala (BEd’62, BA’63, PGD’73, DLitt’04) has had a longtime interest in the unsolved case. Butala went to high school with Wiwcharuk and published a nonfiction work about her killing in 2008. That book, The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder, examined why the brutal slaying of Wiwcharuk continues to intrigue people to this day.

I want to pay library tax for books, not bricks

Was it simply happenstance that our tax bill arrived the same day that an article appeared in the local newspaper regarding construction of a new downtown library ranging in cost between $80 to $120 million or more?
The library tax shown on our current tax bill is $579. For that money I could buy a new softcover book once a week over the next year and still have change to spare.
You might be thinking that we live in a mansion to be paying that much in library tax. We don’t, but we do live in one of the neighbourhoods that got heavily dinged when new assessments came into play, primarily because residences were assessed at the peak of the boom.
Although the market value of our home is much lower than the assessed value, there was no way to appeal it. But I digress.
It appears that anything this city builds only has a life span of about 50 years or less, that nothing can be renovated or expanded, nor are there alternative ways to deliver services. Such was the case with the Mendel Art Gallery and the police station, and according to recent reports, possibly TCU Place, Sask Tel Centre and now the library.


Saskatoon police reports have different messages

It’s a tale of two reports.
Both released in mid-May, the first painted a picture of a rather inefficient Saskatoon Police Service (SPS). The second measured public satisfaction with the service.
The first one dealt with a potentially divided staff in a culture where civilian SPS employees feel lesser than colleagues who are “actual” cops, or sworn officers.
Based on that report, it appears as though the SPS could be letting down itself, and those that call upon its resources.
“The sergeants assigned to the Communication Centre often have no experience in communications or radio systems prior to their transfer to that section,” reads the first report, which was based on surveys from last year, but was only made public last week in the board of police commissioners’ agenda, and then was discussed at the board’s meeting.