Summer is almost upon us

This week, the Times is distributing our home improvement edition and next week we will distribute the Emo Walleye Classic edition as a precursor to the summer season.
This period is one of the busiest of the year for the Times and Rainy River Record.
Monday of next week is Victoria Day, and that creates even tighter deadlines for both the Times and Record. It removes a full day of research for stories.
It also marks the first long weekend of spring, when district residents really head for their cottages. It also is the season when many plant their gardens, hoping the last frost of the year is behind them.
The border was busy last weekend, and is expected to be even busier this coming weekend. as visitors to Canada arrive. Inspections at the border have become much more intensive on both the Canadian and U.S. sides.
This past week, Michael Hilborn took on a story about what visitors to Canada can bring into the country. He was looking to find out what food restrictions currently are in place on the border.
He began the task by trying to talk to senior management personnel in Fort Frances. Through the course of time, he was transferred to Pearson airport, Guelph, Ottawa, and back to Pearson.
Eventually, with the assistance of Mr. Nault’s office, he was able to get a good understanding of what permitted food items can be imported—and in what quantities.
On Friday, Michael spent most of the day at the Rainy River First Nations’ annual fish fry. It was an historic day as a land claim finally was completed. It has been a long process—and one the band can truly be proud of.
That story appears in this week’s paper.
Three students have been added to the staff in Fort Frances. In the graphic arts department, Garret Phenix is at work producing ads and has begun the layout of the graduation edition that will be published in late June.
A summer reporter, Jessica Wilson, has arrived fresh from Algonquin College in Ottawa and ready put to use her skills as a journalist and photographer just by walking around the community and discovering Fort Frances.
And Adam Cumming has returned to the electronic publishing department, dusting off his skill he had mastered before heading off to university last fall.
With a little bit of heat on Saturday and Sunday, the dandelions have sprouted and are into bloom across the district—and the sounds of revving lawn mowers could be heard as the first cuts on lawns were made late Sunday afternoon.
I guess it is time for me to go and sprinkle some fertilizer and dandelion remover on my lawn so that I can get to cut grass twice as often. My day lilies are sprouting, as are my tulips.
I surveyed the outside of my house and again the wood is calling for treatment. When we checked for hazardous waste, I found almost enough paint from previous painting episodes to repaint the house. We are now considering other alternatives.
The fascination of wood siding—with its upkeep—has turned to a bad dream. The cedar posts on my back fence also need to be replaced.
The summer projects keep piling up. The flower gardens have to be turned and prepared for this year’s crop of annuals. Several shrubs again have been killed off by the cold winter and they will be replaced with shrubbery that is hardier.
It’s time to get to work.

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