Brown is long gone

It would be much easier to say goodbye to Ponoka if it were a crappy place to do business and the staff here published a poor newspaper

It would be much easier to say goodbye to Ponoka if it were a crappy place to do business and the staff here published a poor newspaper every week.

Neither is true and that makes this farewell difficult.

Next week’s Ponoka News will be the last in which I will play a significant part in producing as I will leave at the end of the month to take up my duties as a co-owner and editor in chief of the Melville Advance, Fort Qu’Appelle Times and Whitewood Herald, all in Saskatchewan, the Land of Living Skies and grain dust haze.

I’ll wait for the laughter to die down before I continue.

Like I was saying, I’m moving to east central Saskatchewan to take the next step in a newspaper career of more than 30 years that has lurched forward and back for the most part at community newspapers between Red Deer and Edmonton. It’s the first time since I left Sylvan Lake for Wetaskiwin in 1987 that I decided when to leave for greener pastures — a few times that decision was made for me.

I joked the other day that while the time doesn’t change when you cross the Fourth Meridian into Saskatchewan, your calendar flips back to 1973. There may be some truth to that; the province has adopted Alberta’s discarded slogan and touts the “Saskatchewan Advantage.” It seems Saskatchewan is poised for the kind of growth Alberta enjoyed during its modern boom under Premier Peter Lougheed. Resource development, lower taxes and higher wages are attracting immigrants from Manitoba and Alberta. They’re even welcoming new arrivals with a massive paving program.

After arguing unsuccessfully that town council would be wrong to enact its proposed liquor store hours bylaw and force outlets to close at 10 p.m. I’ll now be working in a town with one liquor store that closes at 6 p.m. The irony is not lost on me. Of course there’s late-night off sales but only on Pilsner, I think. Karma, I guess.

I am grateful to you, our readers, my critics and supporters over the past four years; you helped to mould our decisions and improve this newspaper.

But after Sept. 27 you won’t have Brown to kick around anymore, I’ll be long gone to Saskatchewan. Where the getting’s good if you’re getting’ gone.

Keep it real, Ponoka.

— Off The Record

Just Posted

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

Ponoka airport leaseholders to see second straight increase

Rates set to rise by 2.5 per cent when the calendar flips to 2019

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

Bradley Williams takes over as Westerner Park Interim CEO

CFR expected to go on as scheduled with no disruption

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Canada’s goal is to play in a medal game at World Cup in Spain

The 2014 women’s world basketball championships were a coming out party for Canada.

Most Read