Community crisis coming?

Rising property taxes, coinciding with declining papermill jobs, make for a sad and poorly-timed situation. In fact, a community crisis!
Little wonder, then, that there’s been no local protest over my suggestion last week concerning the need for a casino here—the kind of project that could employ possibly more than 100 people directly and offer us hope for hanging onto what we have managed to put together over the past century!
Now everything could disintegrate in a hurry!
The casino approval will require study, but already the door seems open for my suggested location on the Rainy River. This even might require a floating site—midway across stream—so as to avoid dispute with either Canada or the U.S.
Quite a study in relationships may have to develop before this issue is settled, but local survival is certainly uppermost. And nothing else has emerged so far to save our place on this planet.
Maybe Ottawa will howl over any supposed effrontery to its powers, but while our very life is at stake here, let’s insist that our governments pay attention to our very vital situation.
Or have your heard of any better, and more timely, solution to our present crisis? Everyone will want to see hundreds of visitors stopping here for their recreation rather than headed into several spots all across Minnesota.
And there goes income that should be staying with us here in Canada—and will be as quickly as it takes to install our own tables and slot machines, and save our very lives right here and now.
Suicide or happy times—the choice is clear!
Casinos have been everywhere else right along and I do not detect many outcries of protest. Yes, those with little control over their own spending could learn to regret it.
Rising inflation, on every hand, including taxes, should be demanding the right decisions—not someone interfering with use of our bank account.
And on the positive side, the payoff will be better peace of mind with more personal control of our destiny! In other words, if there is a chance to line our pockets while helping save our community, we would be foolish to overlook this lone opportunity.
• • •
Crystal Hahkala reports having room on her popular schedule for more customers and toenail trimming. She has a devoted following, and her faithful care certainly is much appreciated.
• • •
Our late Mabel Flinders, famous as a great worker herself for all the years she spent providing milk from her west-end dairy, would be proud of grandchildren like high schooler Sarah Flinders.
When I tipped over a glass of water, Sarah immediately rushed in with a dry cloth, mopped up the floor, and saved a waitress the trouble.
How many others around would have bothered, but the Flinders’ reputation for diligence and work is still alive, as proved by Sarah.
My eldest daughter has the same first name, as well as the same kind of approach to being helpful.
• • •
We have not yet found our town full of bears awakened by all this fine weather, but you can hold your noses because the skunks certainly are with us again!
• • •
If you don’t recognize him as he cuffs off the miles, the runner this past week around Pither’s Point has been Lorne Ricard—just as full of energy as was his popular father, Richard, who used to fill opposition nets in the old Allan Cup hockey series.
• • •
I’ll have to tell Gail and Noni, the former Shortreeds now residing in Winnipeg, that their family name still is alive in this district, where their brother Ken’s son, Teddy, is a tourist camp operator at Atikokan while their cousin, Tim Shortreed, has a highway farm at Emo.
Gail Madill and Winona Pizzey are sisters of my late wife, Emily, and all grew up in town here.
• • •
One woman’s comment in the local casino suggestion: “It beats looking at four walls.”
Local boosters for the casino idea are popping up everywhere—needing only organizing to start pushing it!
• • •
During the great sleigh dog race (Iditerod) in Alaska, which recently ended, I discovered Fort Frances also has been “going to the dogs” quite well.
Having once obtained dog team experience when there were no cars around, as well as a successful kennel for dog sales that placed our wonderful Irish setters in every province, I became impressed here recently by the number of homes currently in possession of two dogs.
While local pet lovers are not getting much work from their pets, which was formerly the motive for having more than one canine, I admired several breeds here while wondering about their food bills because larger dogs are now preferred!
I am seeing not what you might call small household pet, but dogs so large I was grateful they were more good-natured than some people!
Big dogs once were essential for guarding homes and farms, or for barking at prowling wild animals. And in town, most homeowners have learned to get along without their help in recent years—although the four-legged friends can provide much companionship and enjoyment for children.
(”Cubby” would pull me in the annual Scott Street dog derbies—where a certain German Shepherd would start a dog fight).
Dogs will go hunting with their owners and prove very useful while earning their keep in various ways, though seldom pulling sleighs anymore although it’s something they learn to enjoy, as I can testify.
In mining days at Mine Centre, where my father once had to trudge three miles to and from his job night and morning, his two-dog team was much appreciated. They also hauled barrels of water uphill from a nearby lake, as well as groceries from town.
Inexperienced owners soon can learn to adapt to their dogs’ many good ideas and also to control their behaviour. Few dogs will ever bite their owners and need to be chastised.
Or if they try to retaliate, will sometimes surprise owners with a growl but rarely an attack.
In the latter case, that dog may become a problem, yet he probably will regret his temper immediately and may never show anger again.
Owners rarely have anything to fear from their own dogs although the neighbours may own a watchdog to put visitors on guard.
But with that dog, if he has a companion, be extra careful! Two dogs after you can really cause trouble! There could be an occasional lawsuit!

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