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Has it rained yet? If not, cancel your plans to have a campfire or drive your ATV around in the bush. Both are forbidden until further notice – or were when this was written. Anybody with a lick of sense knows a spark in the wrong place in these conditions can lead to the wildfire none of us ever want to see.

Hosting a few hundred refugees from a wildfire evacuation has its pros and its cons. Mostly pros, though. Local businesses get a boost, for sure. Then there’s the satisfaction that comes from helping. That alone is worth a lot. Of course there are a few incidents. The novelty wears off. The evacuees wish it would end and they could get home. And people in the host community start wishing things would get back to normal. That’s usually how it goes.
It’s all pretty small potatoes, though. For perspective, take a look at our almost sister-city in Lebanon. Kab Elias is the home town of many of the Mouallems of Slave Lake and other local Lebanese people. It’s a city of 60,000 that has something like 40,000 refugees from Syria. Talk about a strain on municipal resources…. That was the situation of a couple of years ago, when the mayor of Kab Elias visited Slave Lake. You name it, they were facing it. What we’ve got is a walk in the park by comparison.

Yes, there was a duck on a leash in the annual Animal Rescue Committee Dog Walk on May 25. It belongs to Sandy Robinson and John Vennings, who raise ducks (and sell eggs, Sandy tells us).

Well, when it comes to major screw-ups, last week we managed a pretty big one. Superimposed on an ad was a photo of a bird. Nice-looking bird, but it wasn’t supposed to be there, and the whole team of proofreaders missed it. Then of course when the paper came back from the printer, it jumped right out.

Good news! The men’s baseball field is full at six teams for Widewater Sports coming up this weekend. On the other hand, organizers were still scrambling for slow-pitch teams the last we heard. Call Harry at 780-805-0482.

Last week (May 26 – June 1) was Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. To mark the occasion and raise awareness, Slave Lake Victim Services brought in a speaker. Karen Kuntz spoke at the Legion on May 27 on being a survivor of sexual assault.

One thing the B.C. wildfire map has over the Alberta one is it shows the perimeter of the bigger fires. Very helpful! Alberta Ag & Forestry should think about doing something like that.

We’re sorry for any confusion regarding the date of a barbecue at Points West Living during Seniors’ Week. The latest info we have is it is scheduled for Thursday, June 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This looks like fun. Somebody has organized a ‘community international potluck supper,’ for June 15. It’s at St. Peter’s Ecumenical Church on 7th St. SE in Slave Lake. ‘Bring a favourite heritage dish to share with 6 – 8 people,’ says the poster, ‘and taste other heritage dishes.’
‘Dress culturally,’ it also says. Okay….so if you grew up in the boondocks of northeastern British Columbia (just as an example), what would qualify as ‘cultural’ attire? Gumboots might be a good place to start.

Things were developing rapidly last week as we closed in our deadline at The Leader; We’ve tried to give the latest information we could get before sending the paper to print, but it will inevitably be behind whatever is happening. Thanks for your patience.

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