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The first week in 2021, there were rumours that fishing had started up again.
A Facebook post on January 4 said that all the fishing bait in Slave Lake was sold out. In a comment someone said that AG Foods in Kinuso still had some.

Is it ever too early to think about gardening?
A rabbit trail on the internet recently led from boreal conservation to Gardening for Wildlife, which has a certified garden in Slave Lake. The name and location of the garden isn’t on the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s website, but if anyone knows who it is please have them call The Leader 780-849-4380.
Gardening for Wildlife is a type of conservation where people landscape with native plants to help out wildlife, often with a focus on birds, butterflies or bees.

It turns out that Jan. 13 was a Wednesday in 1954, ‘60, ‘65, ‘71, ‘82, ‘88, ‘93, ‘99, 2010, 2016, and 2021. The Leader and its precursor Northland Free Press weren’t in business for quite all of that time, but were for most of the time starting in 1972. However, there are still a few gaps in the archive, so if anyone has papers from 1976, ‘82 (we have only a few months), ‘83-86, please drop them off.

What a start to January – mild, mild, mild and still very little snow. We’ll resist the usual temptation to say this is all good. Unseasonably warm weather in the middle of winter is not good, for all sorts of reasons. It is good, though for the mountain pine beetle. It is not good for any activity that depends on thick ice, or deep snow, or frozen muskeg.
Broadcast news weather people should give their heads a shake once in a while and at least acknowledge that mild weather isn’t always and only ‘good.’ But they never do. Cold weather – bad! is their constant refrain, along with: ‘snow – bad!’ It’s like a broken record.
Of course they are pandering to city viewers and listeners. What do they know or care about the benefits of deep snow and thick ice? Not much, obviously.

This just in from Terry Triskle of Home Hardware in Slave Lake. There’s a thing showing up these days, called a ‘face mask exemption card.’ It’s something “people are starting to try to use,” he says. Presumably this refers to people who have no business using it, but are seeing if they can get away with it by carrying one of the cards. On the other hand, there are exceptions to the rules requiring masks in business premises, such as if you have a medical reason. What’s a person to do? You probably have to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if you suspect you are getting scammed.

Speaking of giving the benefit of the doubt: what should you do when a person with a certain reputation asks you to break the rules (I.e nobody comes in without a mask) because he needs to warm up? And then asks you to call an ambulance because he thinks he might have a seizure? You pretty much have to give him the benefit of the doubt, even when you know he pulls this kind of stunt all the time. What happens if he is really in distress? Sooner or later he will be, and you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Remember Slave Lake Developments? It ceased to exist a month or two ago, after about 50 years in the property development and management game. It was a local initiative, launched as a way to provide much-needed housing in the booming community. We’re working on a story on the history of SLD, which should appear in a week or two.

Congratulations to Muriel Jensen of Slave Lake, who turned 101 last week. She was featured on the front Page of the Jan. 8, 2020 Leader when she turned 100. Is Muriel Slave Lake’s oldest resident? She could well be, but on the other hand…. Let us know if you know of somebody older!

From the ‘It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem’ department comes the following item: Somebody in Slave Lake who prefers to remain anonymous takes exception to the former MLA’s constituency office sign still being up, about 20 months after she moved out. The question has come up before. Why is that thing still there? The answer now is the same as then; it’s up to the landlord to change it and he didn’t feel it was worth the effort. As soon as a new tenant shows up, it’ll be changed, he told us last week. He also said he tried to talk the new MLA into taking over the space – even offering good terms – but that was turned down.
But for those bothered by it, good news: a new tenant has been secured and the sign should disappear soon.

Although still closed to the public for drop-in use, the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation has come up with a COVID-friendly system of cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals. The new rental form is on and can be emailed to [email protected]

No date yet for the reopening of the Northern Lights Aquatic Centre (aka. The Pool), says a Town of Slave Lake update in early January. Construction continues.

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