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We hear a certain entry in the Rotary NHL playoff pool charged out to a comfortable lead in the ‘Media Challenge’ competition. But as we haven’t confirmed it, we won’t name any names or offer any congratulations just yet.
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Please take a look at the very well written and heartfelt letter by Don Calvert of Marten Beach on this week’s ‘Letters’ page. You’ll notice that it exceeds our recommended letters length by about six times, but it does make interesting reading.
Further on the topic of long pieces, we hope our serialized Brian Pitcairn story isn’t causing too many headaches for readers. It will run five (maybe even six) episodes altogether. If you missed one or more, the whole thing appears online at historius.ca.
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Lots of wildlife action down at the river lately, we’re told. Your Page 9 correspondent goes down there often, hoping to see newly-returned waterfowl and whatever else might be there. Otters, muskrats, beavers. Other people have told us about seeing otters out on the ice with a fish, and coyotes and ravens trying to steal a free meal. Also seen was a pair of coyotes trying sneak up on the two swans that have been hanging around on or near the open water for several weeks. Word is the male has a bad wing and can’t take off and that’s why they’ve stuck around so long.
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Premier Rachel Notley will be in Slave Lake this week, at a fundraising event for the NDP constituency association, as far as we can figure out. Fair enough, that’s part of a party leader’s job, traditionally. You pay so much ‘per plate,’ as they say, and for that get a meal and a chance to schmooze with the leader. The association makes some dough to help with the cost of running another election campaign, which if we’re not mistaken comes up around this time next year. It’s all in the game called party politics. Is the local press invited to these things? Turns out its not, but there may be other opportunities.
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A lot of journalism these days, as far as we can tell, consists of following the ‘tweets’ of various celebrities and regurgitating it. Here at The Leader, we go Old School. Visit the coffee shop several times a week and regurgitate that – usually in modified form – on Page 9. Now if we were really ambitious, we’d head down to Calgary, ride the elevator to the top of some of those office towers, pin the oil company honchos to the wall and demand an explanation of gasoline prices. But we gave up doing that kind of stuff years ago – even by telephone – because there just aren’t ever any satisfactory answers.
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Chances are decent that in a month or so the snow will all be gone and we’ll be able to see all the trash that has collected in our communities over the winter. A dent will be put in this disgusting mess during ‘Pitch-In Week.’ How big the dent is depends on how many individuals and teams sign up to participate and then actually get out and do something about it. We don’t have the dates yet, but we’ll be promoting the event when we get them.
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Hey, there’s a group in town with ideas of developing ‘single-track’ mountain bike trails in the hilly area south of Slave Lake. That would be a very nice development, should it come to pass.
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With the snow coming down last Tuesday we were tempted to make some sort of joke about opening day at Gilwood being a bit further off, but that would be cruel. Anyway, by the time this newspaper hits the stands, it might have warmed up to plus 20 and turned all that snow into big puddles.
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Thanks to Chris Brown of the TOSL for helping us out so often with photos when we haven’t been able to make it to one thing or another. He doesn’t have to do that and we appreciate it. Thanks to his employer too, of course.
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Holy cow, The Leader staff took advantage of a window of warmer weather last week to wash the front windows. What a lot of frickin’ dirt! It’s so bright in there now the girls at the front have to wear shades.
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A big hurrah to all the volunteers in the community. We will have more next week on this topic.

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