Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Sixth Habitat build coming along

Moose Jaw firefighters among volunteers to help build Mandy Eirich’s new home 
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald
Mandy Eirich, who will move into
Habitat for Humanity’s sixth home, and Moose
Jaw firefighters stand in the home on Tuesday.

By Lisa Goudy

Taking a break from checking out progress on her new home, Mandy Eirich said she still finds everything surreal.

“It’s not real yet. I think once I move in, it’ll be,” she said at the location of her new home, which is Habitat for Humanity’s sixth build in Moose Jaw. “I love building. I love power tools. I’m learning so much on how to build my own house and it’s not even about building a house. It’s building it with absolute love. Everyone puts all their love into it and that’s the best feeling.”

Eirich is a single mother whose nephew has lived with her full-time for the past three years.

Read more

Friday, May 27, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Maintaining control of our lives

By Lisa Goudy

In the mega film, ‘The Avengers,’ at one point Agent Coulson says to Captain America, “We could use a bit of old-fashioned.”

In many ways, this sentiment could apply to many parts of our society today, including technology that has allowed us to do some great things that weren’t possible even as recent as a few decades ago. We have made some amazing advancements in medicine, for example, such as medical equipment technology to allow for more comfortable scanning equipment, as one of countless examples. 

Innovation in technology has also allowed us to do things less essential, but nonetheless helpful, such as a golf GPS watch that does things such as measure distance from your location to the hole on the green, as well as sand traps, on a golf course.

While we can all love smartphones and social media as a way to stay connected at all times and know what’s going on around the world, addiction to technology is a growing problem. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review: 'There Once Were Stars' is a captivating, fun read

There Once Were Stars' is Moose Jaw author
 Melanie McFarlane's debut young adult novel.
By Lisa Goudy

From the moment you start reading 'There Once Were Stars,' you won't want to stop. 

Moose Jaw author Melanie McFarlane's debut young adult novel, published by Month9Books, is a captivating dystopian story about truth, friendship and right and wrong. With captivating characters and a sense of mystery that only deepens as the story moves on, it takes you on a journey that`ll keep you hooked one twist at a time.

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. This is the motto that keeps the serene life of the residents in Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that poisoned the world outside for four generations, intact. It's the only life Natalia Greyes, 18, has ever known as she has lived with her grandparents ever since her parents died nine years ago. She just accepted it as fact as every member of society is delegated to a specific part of the dome for a particular purpose. 

However, when Nat sees a stranger on the outside of the dome without wearing any protection from the radiation, she starts to question everything the Order has said, including about the death of her parents. As the plot thickens, she starts to wonder if there is life outside the dome and if so, what the Order is hiding. 

The novel starts off on Nat's 18th birthday and introducing the reader to her life and the world she lives in. Immediately reeling you in, the stakes of the story only increase as you read on. It doesn't take long for the action to get going and soon, just like Nat, you'll start questioning on what to believe through the twists and turns of the novel as revelations and mystery pile up until you reach a satisfying conclusion. 

Further to that, the book also has a great balance of nonstop action and a love-triangle. McFarlane does an outstanding job of character development and world building. In the beginning, Nat is a person who is a bit naïve as a result of her sheltered life, but it's her intelligence, her curiosity, her strength and her resolve to never give up that are inspiring to any reader. This makes her relatable, as she's not a perfect character, but it also makes her inspiring and it gives you all the more reason to root for her. 

With respect to other characters, you're never quite sure who to trust and this flip-flopping and uneasiness makes it all the more intriguing. 

With vivid descriptions of this dystopian world, it really makes the settings jump off the page. There is enough backstory to picture the world in your mind without providing so much detail that it would be overwhelming. What's more is the pacing of the novel is steady and fast and each development is logical in the grand scheme of the book. 

There are many young adult dystopian novels out there, but McFarlane's is definitely a standout. With an engaging story that takes a unique look at a world after a virus, McFarlane has created a world and an enigmatic story filled with captivating characters. 

'There Once Were Stars' is a highly entertaining and wonderful novel that knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat as the mystery unfolds. It's a fantastic nonstop thrill ride from start to finish that keeps you thirsty for more by the time you reach the end.

*** This review also appeared in the May 25, 2016 edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald weekly publication, UnCut.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: ‘Waiting for the ink to dry’

City working towards resolving water meter woes 
Mayor Deb Higgins, Coun. Brian Swanson,
Brenda Hendrickson, city treasurer, and Matt
Noble, city manager, are seen at the May
24, 2016 executive committee meeting.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald
By Lisa Goudy

Under the direction of council, city administration is working to revisit the sewer and water utility bylaw to deal with malfunctioning meters.
Several customer complaints have been lodged with the city regarding a malfunctioning meter and accompanying large water bill, ranging from $1,700 to $4,500.
“It’s caused us to go back and review what practices we’ve been employing over the past number of years in the community, even to the point of actually visiting the meter shop to find out what types of meters we’re using and what types of meters we’re putting in people’s homes and the reliability of those meters,” said Matt Noble, city manager following Tuesday’s executive committee meeting.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Working together can produce amazing results

By Lisa Goudy

When we work together, we can accomplish amazing things.
While it’s true there are always things we can and should do individually, we can’t deny that there is always strength in numbers. The more people who are active for some type of change, and this could be almost anything, the stronger the chance of doing something about it. There are many things in the world that shouldn’t change, but there are also many things that should. Working together to make that happen is the best way to go.
I think a perfect, recent example of this was seen last week when a number of people in the community rallied together to pick up garbage. Littering is an issue in the world and every time we can clean a bit of it up, it makes a difference.
A 2014 article on Canada.com stated that the average Canadian person who litters would walk 12 steps looking for a garbage can “before giving up and dropping the trash on the ground,” it said. It added that cigarette butts are the most common type of litter in Canada, stating Canadians drop 8,000 tonnes of cigarette butts each year, most within 10 feet of an ashtray.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Bestselling author Nino Ricci coming to Festival of Words

Author Nino Ricci will be a guest at the 2016
Saskatchewan Festival of Words.
Submitted photo
By Lisa Goudy

A decade ago, author Nino Ricci was diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
Called narcolepsy, the disorder is characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep while in relaxing surroundings. While dreaming, the brain shuts the body’s muscles down. One of the primary symptoms of narcolepsy is cataplexy, which is when the REM switch malfunctions to shut muscles down while awake.
“It just got me thinking about sleep and how little attention we pay to it and the more research I got into it, the more interesting subject it seemed and the more I discovered how crucial a thing it is to who we are, really, and to so many aspects of brain functioning and of human consciousness,” said Ricci.