Category Archives: Columns

A Tale of Two Newspapers: Jackman-Atkinson

A Tale of Two Newspapers: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Newspaper

NEEPAWA, Man. — The newspaper industry has a problem, but it’s not what most people think. More than anything else, the newspaper industry in North America has an ownership problem. Long known by those in the industry, the public watched this story explode a little over a week ago. The spark? A series of editorials in the Denver Post blasting their owners, a hedge-fund called Alden Global Capital.

What most readers forget, or don’t know, is that many of the papers they read are owned by hedge funds or investment companies. It could be outright, like the Denver Post, or by extension, like Postmedia, which has borrowed so much to fuel its expansion, it is effectively beholden to its lenders. This ownership structure favours profitability at any cost — they are investors looking to make money through newspaper ownership, not newspaper owners looking to make money.

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Fact or Fiction in the World of Online News: Jackman-Atkinson

Fact or Fiction in the World of Online News: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Laptop News

NEEPAWA, Man. — In the past few months, I’ve had a couple of people send me news articles they’ve found online and ask me if I thought they were true. In each case, some investigation revealed that they were in fact completely fabricated. The whole phenomenon of “fake news” is recent and while slants and biases have probably existed since the first newspapers, today we find ourselves in uncharted waters. On the internet today, you don’t have to look hard to find “news” that is completely made up, but packaged to make readers believe that it is real.

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Hidden in the Gazette: Manitoba Moves to Change How Public is Notified

Hidden in the Gazette: Manitoba Moves to Change How Public is Notified

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Manitoba Legislative Building
Manitoba Legislative Building (SHUTTERSTOCK)

NEEPAWA, Man. — We’ve all heard about the mushroom treatment, “Keep them in the dark and feed them [manure].” I wonder if this is the philosophy our current provincial government is following? If they get their way, Manitobans will have to work a lot harder to be well-informed about the issues that impact their lives and communities. Two bills currently before the legislature, Bill 8, the Government Notices Modernization Act, and Bill 19, the Planning Amendment Act, will make significant changes to the process by which governments must notify the public about changes at local and provincial levels.

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Distracted Driving Penalties Could Tangle Up Innocent Motorists: Jackman-Atkinson

Distracted Driving Penalties Could Tangle Up Innocent Motorists: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Cell Phone Driver
A driver talks on his cell phone while driving in Ottawa, Wednesday September 30, 2009. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Across rural Manitoba, residents are concerned about safety. They’re concerned about the ability of the RCMP and local police forces to effectively tackle issues such as property crimes and illegal drugs, in the face of stretched budgets and competing demands on their time. They’re looking for support from the government. The provincial government has introduced new legislation aimed a keeping us safe, but not in the way that many Manitobans, especially those in rural areas, are looking for. Last week, Bill 17 received a first reading.

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Now a Word About Automation: Waddell

Now a Word About Automation: Waddell

By Ken Waddell, Neepawa Banner & Press

Cell Phone

NEEPAWA, Man. — As the business world becomes more and more automated, it is doubtful in my mind if it is a good thing. One of the worst bits is automated telephone systems. Except for an after-hours answering machine, I refuse to embrace them. I phoned a government agency about 10 days ago in response to an email they sent that required immediate online action. Like a good citizen, I went online but was unable to figure out exactly how they wanted a form filled out. In that case, I was advised in the email to call the helpline so I did just that. The automated phone system answered and advised me to leave a message and they would get back to me in five business days. It has now been 10 days and so I guess it wasn’t that big of an emergency.

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Historians Dive into Neepawa’s Business History in New Book

Historians Dive into Neepawa’s Business History in New Book

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Neepawa

NEEPAWA, Man. — This year should be a good one if you’re interested in local history. While 2017 may have been full of national historical celebrations, something special is coming to Neepawa this summer. The History of Neepawa Businesses is expected to hit bookshelves this June and for it, three local historians have combined forces to put together the most comprehensive chronicle of Neepawa’s business history.

The book isn’t just a really neat look at Neepawa’s past and present, but it also represents everything that’s great about rural Manitobans. The three authors, Rick Sparling, Norma Forsman and Cecil Pittman, are all familiar names when it comes to Neepawa’s history. Sparling grew up in Neepawa and even though he moved away, the town still holds a special place in his heart. He’s spent his retirement chronicling the town’s history — first, with two books about local hockey. At the suggestion of friends, he decided to make his third book about Neepawa businesses.

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Food Musings: Corto at The Forks’ Common

Food Musings: Corto at The Forks’ Common

By Kathryne Grisim (@foodmuser)

Corto Sandwich
(KATHRYNE GRISIM PHOTO)

Full disclosure: I have been a fan of the cuisine of chef Scott Bagshaw ever since he opened the first Deseo at the old Royal Albert Arms Hotel on Albert Street in the Exchange. I was even able to pick out one of Scott’s creations in a black box seafood contest where I sat on the panel of judges. There is something about Scott’s conceptions that simply resonate with me.

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Tender Feelings: Questions Remain Surrounding Manitoba’s Crown Land Tenders

Tender Feelings: Questions Remain Surrounding Manitoba’s Crown Land Tenders

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Farm
(Summer farm image via Shutterstock)

NEEPAWA, Man. — For a while, there has been talk about the need to modernize the regulations that govern Manitoba’s Agriculture Crown Lands (ACL). In December, the provincial government announced that changes were coming and last month, we found out what a least some of those changes will be.

There are about 1.45 million acres of land that the provincial government rents or leases to individual farmers for grazing or hay production and another 11,000 acres leased for cropping. For some livestock producers, Crown land forms an integral part of their operation. Crown land rental and lease rates are inexpensive, but the use of the land does come with limitations; such as how it can be used and that it must remain accessible to the public.

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Trading Places Beyond Provincial Borders: Jackman-Atkinson

Trading Places Beyond Provincial Borders: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, myWestman.ca

Prairie Field Wind

NEEPAWA, Man. — While most people think of trade agreements in international terms, trade between provinces isn’t always as free as we think. In November 2016, Manitoba joined the New West Partnership, which aims to create a western Canadian free trade zone. The goal of the agreement is to allow for the better mobility of trade, investment and labour, with the end result of reducing costs. The original partnership was signed between British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2010 and came into effect in 2013.

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Of Combines and Code: Opening the Right to Openly Diagnose Broken Tech

Of Combines and Code: Opening the Right to Openly Diagnose Broken Tech

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Tractors

NEEPAWA, Man. — What do a tractor and Microsoft Word have in common? A lot, if equipment manufacturers get their way. For close to a decade, automobile manufacturers have been governed by Right to Repair legislation. In Canada, this voluntary agreement came into effect in 2009 and requires manufacturers to make key software and training available to independent garages, which allows someone other than the dealership to access a vehicle’s software in order to diagnose and repair problems. Given the increasing level of computer control on modern vehicles, such access is required for almost all repairs. Automobile owners can also take it one step further, all vehicles must use the same data port, meaning owners can purchase inexpensive scanners to do their own diagnostics.

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