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New Kids in Town

They're enjoying our lifestyle...and they're "embracing a western diet...on their way to developing chronic health problems within five years of their arrival."

This from a recent study from the University of Saskatchewan that took a look at 300 immigrant and refugee children in Saskatoon and Regina.  They found many have poor diets and sedentary lifestyles.

The researchers point out the health of young newcomers is "an important economic and social consideration for the long term."

The concern for these people is that they'll grow up overweight and have to deal with issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

One researcher said while "an apple costs about the same as a soft drink and a bag of chips...a child is still hungry after eating an apple," and that's why some parents choose to feed their kids high-fat and high-sugar foods.

The conclusion?  Our public health and social services systems need "to consider social factors...in designing and delivering culturally sensitive screening and health promotion programs to prevent chronic health issues among new Canadians."

Councillors Get Raise

The headline reads, "Council Approves Gross Wage Increase."  Moose Jaw City Council voting in favour this week to give themselves a raise.  While their gross pay will go up, their net pay will remain about the same because of a federal tax adjustment.

Most of the locals commenting on this DiscoverMooseJaw.com story are not in favour of this.  Sandi says "I would also like a wage increase to bolster what I lose via taxes...pay them less and less tax comes off."

Elaine says, "Yep...it's gross alright."

But, a man named Keith says, "I don't have a problem...Our elected officials were underpaid relative to other cities in the province to begin with..."

Keith's right.  In fact, when the mayor's annual salary goes from just over $68,000 to $79,000 it'll still be well below the $88,000 the mayor of Prince Albert earns.  Yorkton's mayor makes about $81,000 and in Swift Current the pay is $78,000 and those are apparently part-time positions.

I've said it before; if we want to attract quality people to City Council we have to pay them a reasonable salary.  

Local Economy

You'll remember because it was within the past decade.  We had a shortage of housing, including affordable housing, here in Moose Jaw.  There was a push on to change that and we did.  Developers saw the opportunity and built a number of multi-unit, affordable homes.

Unfortunate then that not long after those homes were ready for occupancy, the economy took a downturn - nationally, provincially and locally.

If you take a look at "HelloGoodBuy", the new classifieds section on DiscoverMooseJaw.com today, you'll find 123 houses and apartments for rent, 141 houses and condos for sale and a number of commercial buildings for sale and rent.  

That's a sure sign of an economic slump.

However, I've talked to a number of optimistic, local business people in real estate and retail and they're expecting better days ahead.  They point to the SaskPower plant that was recently announced as one of the projects that will stimulate the local economy.

A Wink and a Smile

I have fond memories of my Mom.  I had a wonderful childhood and my Mom was a big part of that.  She was warm and loving.  She hugged and kissed.  She talked and listened.  Turns out, she knew what she was doing.

I see the local Empire School is posting some educational material for parents on social media.  They're sharing what they call "simple ways to help the growth and development" of our children.

Studies have found our kids need a minimum of 8 touches a day to feel connected to a parent.  Simple pats on the shoulder and little hugs go a long way.

They've also found eye-to-eye conversation on a daily basis is important.

And, it has also been proven the most important 9 minutes of a child's day are the first 3 minutes after they wake up, the first 3 minutes when they get home from school and the 3 minutes before they go to bed.  The experts say those brief times are special moments when we need to make our children feel loved.

Karma

I believe in karma.  If you do the right thing, something good will happen in your future.

We made that happen yesterday when we learned about local man Blaec Harkness.  He found $140.00 on the floor at the grocery store the other day.  He watched social media for a clue and found it.  He returned that money to the man who lost it.  We awarded Blaec with the CHAB Salute - a gift card for Bobby's Place Olde World Tavern.

It got me thinking about all the times I've lost and found cash.  The last time was just last fall.  I was at a local convenience store standing in line.  The guy in front of me spotted a $20 bill on the floor at exactly the same time I did.  He looked at it, looked at me and asked, "Is that yours?"

I said, "Nope."  

He said "Are you sure?"

I said, "Yes.  Positive."

So, he picked up with a smile and then he looked back at me and asked, "Do you need it?"

I said, "No, not really, but thanks for asking."

He took the $20 and we both felt good about it.  And I've had karma on my side ever since.  I'm still waiting.

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