Political Ballads from an Independent Paper Scratcher.
Stories from former Stettler Independent journalist Christopher Walsh.
There was a serious issue that transpired in Stettler during the municipal elections last fall that nobody wants to talk about.
At the time, nobody wanted to even consider the matter, not any politicians, not editors at bigger papers than the Stettler Independent and certainly not elected school board officials.
The Red Deer Advocate, with their newsroom chock full of elderly souls trying their best to earn a pay cheque and go home, didn't even try to poach this story from me. It was a big one and after a year and a half of stealing my stories from the Independent, rewriting them for the Advocate and screwing up just about every fact along the way, the Advocate's editors decided it wasn't much of an issue.
In fact, Joe McLaughlin the Advocate's managing editor, wrote a piece for his paper warning people not to make it an election issue because, well, there are bigger things on our plate, and we can't quite grasp what this is or why it should concern hundreds of thousands of Albertans. Oh, Joe, you're right. Nobody who reads your paper would know what you're talking about anyway, but who gives a shit about human rights anymore?
What's the worst part of bungee jumping? I've never done it, but my guess is what happens when the plunge is done.
There you are one second, heading towards the earth at terminal velocity, feeling the rush of cool air push any loose skin on your face to the top of your scalp, a feeling of absolute terror and joy, of confusion and exhilaration as you plummet wondering when you'll feel the tug and be shot back up like a yo-yo before you hit the ground.
Then it's over and you're hanging there, completely suspended in mid-air. Somewhere in the space between a bridge and a lake, you're hanging like some sort of discarded puppet with loose strings waiting to be yanked back the way you came.
Paul Hinman knows this feeling. The leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party is a self-described risk taker, a boy scout, an outdoorsman, a lover of wildlife and, of all things, a unicyclist.
There was a knock on the door late last week and a tiny, shy girl of indeterminate middle-eastern descent handed me a pamphlet with what looked like a license plate at the top asking me, “R U Ready?”
She wasn't, because she was just about to turn around and head down the steps when I made it to the door. Instead, she slipped me the pamphlet and was quickly on her way before I could determine exactly what this exchange was about.
She was handing out Social Credit Party literature and obviously didn't have time to answer any questions about it. It was self-explanatory, a social credit message from Calgary-North Hill candidate Jim Wright. But the part that grabbed my attention was a scribble across the left side of it. An apology from Jim himself, written with a red pen in strongly feminine characters. “Sorry I missed you. 708-8160.”
I was having a cigarette with Battle River-Wainwright MLA Doug Griffiths on a dark September night in Castor last fall, when I first heard we'd all be going to the polls this month.
Doug was on some type of rebellion truth-telling crusade and had just finished apologizing to town council if they felt he had let them down over the last year. It was a trying time, Griffiths explained, but he was over whatever personal turmoil he had gone through earlier in 2007 and was back and focused and ready for anything.