The Page

This just in from the head office: the Spotlight regional supplement to this and two other newspapers in the region is being phased out, or cut out or at least terminated. This we expect to happen next week. What does it mean for The Leader? Probably not that much. The classified ads, such as they are, will now appear in The Leader and other advertising that typically appeared in Spotlight will move into one or two or even all three of the papers that Spotlight has been a part of. Besides The Leader those are the High Prairie South Peace News and the Falher Smoky River Express.
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The snow was melting a bit last week and although this was very welcome for all sorts of reasons, one thing it revealed was some really nasty-looking potholes. You wouldn’t want to hit those things with any kind of speed at all. Let’s face it, the climate is brutal on roads.
While we’re at it, let’s mention how much better an experience it is for walkers along 6th Ave. SE in Slave Lake since the sidewalk was moved away from the edge of the street a couple of years ago. It was unsafe for one thing and for another, when water was on the road the sidewalk was constantly getting sprayed. Little changes like that can make a big difference for pedestrians, who are often the overlooked or forgotten factor in urban planning. There are a couple of other spots we could mention….
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What a relief last week’s warm weather was (maybe it continues….). People were out all over the place enjoying it. The dog park in southeast Slave Lake, for one thing, was very busy on a nice sunny, warm pre-spring day.
Of course we’re just a few more warm days away from a winter’s-worth of litter to be exposed by the disappearing snow. Another season, another challenge.
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Here’s something that doesn’t happen every day – a grader and a train colliding! According to the South Peace News, it happened just east of High Prairie on March 3. What happened is the grader had gone off the road at the crossing and was presumably stuck there when a train came by and clipped the blade. The operator was unhurt and the train continued on its way.
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At the risk of being tedious, we’ll put in another plug for sidewalk maintenance by property owners. With the melting and freezing going on lately, the footing gets pretty bad in places. Not everyone who walks is as nimble as a goat and it would be a great courtesy to throw down some salt.
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‘Hamlet plans ready to review in April,’ said the headline in a community newspaper last week. ‘Great,’ we thought. ‘Somebody’s mounting a Shakespeare play.’ But it wasn’t that at all.
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‘Buy stock in lentils.’ Somebody told us that as a joke last week, which we didn’t get. We are open to explanations. Could it have to do with the news story that after the Prime Minister’s visit to India, the Indian government slapped a big tariff on Canadian lentils? Oh dear.
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Two trips to the river last week; two failures to see any waterfowl. However, we ran into a guy who says he saw, more or less in the same area, two ravens, two coyotes and two swans out on the ice near open water. He also told us a story about a woman who was kayaking when an otter leaped out of the water and attacked her. But it wasn’t around here.
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Government by tweet. Represention by tweet. It’s hard to take seriously, but apparently this is the way the world is going. Everybody’s doing it. We’ll have to try a bit harder than we have been to understand the benefits.
Half the news these days seems to be about what some leader or other tweeted. The outrageous stuff gets top billing, so it gets a bad reputation. But we suppose it’s a handy way of reaching a lot of people quickly, which makes it irresistible. Our MP Arnold Viersen does it. The other day while waiting for the town council meeting to start, your reporter saw Viersen fiddling with his phone and said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek: ‘You’re not doing that Twitter thing, are you?’ He was. A subsequent check of his website shows that it largely consists of tweets about one thing or another.
Perhaps it all adds up to effective communication. It can also of course be impersonal, frivolous and outrageous – depending on who is doing it and how they do it.

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