The Page

Looking on the bright side….. things sure are growing nicely around here. That of course includes weeds. But we’re looking on the bright side! It’s a great growing season so far. Hot and dry early, wet in June. August is going to be a month of ripeness.

South African and Mexican firefighters arrived not long ago to spell off the other crews that had been working long hours and many weeks on northern Alberta’s huge and numerous wildfires. Given how wet and cool it has been, they must be wondering how those fires ever got so big. Come to think of it, the first time the South Africans came, the scenario was pretty much identical. They got here at the end of a dry spell that saw many fires and as soon as they got here it started raining.

What happens if you have a web page you pay good money for and nobody uses it? Do you keep it up ‘just in case?’ Municipalities (and others) must be asking this question. Others have asked it already and answered it by staying away. Websites are cumbersome, slow, frustrating. Social media is quicker, more satisfying.
It’s been noted again and again that people can’t seem to find what they are looking for on the Town of Slave Lake or MD of Lesser Slave River websites. There’s certainly lots of info there. But the specific thing you are looking for? Murphy’s Law seems to be in effect.
For example, somebody was looking for info on the Canada Day activities on the town website and couldn’t find it. Same with Summer Splash.
On the M.D. website we’ve tried and failed again and again to find info on the time and place of the next council meeting. Of course the answer is only an phone call away, so it’s not such a big deal.

Okay, so somebody is claiming to have seen a sasquatch-like creature in the Mitsue area. Please feel free to chime in.
These things are fun distractions, but they never seem to amount to much. That’s not to say that just because every other ‘sighting’ has been the product of wishful thinking that the next one will be as well.
UFOs, crop circles, bigfoot. We’ll believe it when we see it. On the other hand – and as an online correspondent reminded us last week – showing up is 80 per cent of the battle. In other words, bigfoot is unlikely to pay a visit to the Lakeside Leader offices.

Word is Moe Mouallem is organizing another stand-up comedy show in Slave Lake. That was quicker than we were expecting, based on what he told us after his first ‘Stand Up Guys’ show this past spring. But here it is, in black and white. Simon King is performing in Slave Lake at the Legacy Centre on Thursday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. Also on the bill are Alex Mackenzie and Mouallem himself. Northern Haven Support Society (i.e. the women’s emergency shelter) is again the beneficiary. Tickets are at Alimo’s Pizzeria or online at

On Facebook author Darrel J. McLeod says he’s from Slave Lake Alberta. In his book ‘Mamaskatch,’ he mentions Spurfield, Smith and Athabasca as places he lived as a child. When he started Grade 1 in Smith School, one of the first kids he met was Perry Mah, the son of the operators of the restaurant in the Smith Hotel. Is there any chance this was Perry Mah, the late, celebrated news photographer from Edmonton? (He’s the guy who took the famous photo of Wayne Gretzky crying at the announcement he’d be leaving the Oilers.

It’s always fun when you send somebody a message online and they answer by walking in the door a few minutes later. Sheila Willis did that last week, just after we’d FB-ed her about Darrel McLeod. Not only has she heard of him, “I’ve got a signed copy!” she says. Darrel has relatives all over the place in these parts. About the Perry Mah thing, though, Sheila couldn’t say….but she knows somebody who probably can…..

As for Willis’s ‘History Check’ mobile app, she says it got 600 downloads in the two days following the June 21 province-wide launch. The total number of downloads she’s not sure about; just that there have (or had, as of July 3) been about 1,500 on Apple devices.
We were going to ask the Travel Alberta honchos what they think of History Check, but they wouldn’t return our calls, no matter how many times we left the office.

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