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IT TAKES a lot to get national news media to take notice of Thunder Bay. A series of unexplained Indigenous youth deaths followed by allegations of racism on the city police force got their attention and now they’re peering hard at what’s going on here. Good. Because local media reports abou…

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IT LAST year was eventful – and boy, was it! – 2020 can be transformative in so many ways. But it will depend on how willing we are to change how we live. We are all on this ride together and as Earth’s population grows, the task becomes more urgent.

THUMBS Down to the roads division with the City of Thunder Bay for not plowing side roads for three days. “You were well aware of the forecast ahead of time so you should have been prepared. People pay taxes for a reason. The roads are so bad in residential areas that garbage pickup has also…

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THAT was the year that was . . . memorable, eventful, more than a little crazy, all of the above. As we round out another year and another decade, and prepare to enter the 2020s, we can rest assured that this year will go down in history as one that was full of surprises – some nice, some no…

THUMBS Down to the roofers on a building that includes a “family” hair care business earlier this month. “Your choice of music and the language in the music was very unacceptable — worst visit I’ve ever had. Not very respectful in a busy area.”

THUMBS Up to Cheryl at the Kakabeka post office for making sure that all the children’s letters to Santa in the area get answered. “Job well done! Merry Christmas to you and yours.”

TIME magazine’s editors had a choice to make. Will the Person of the Year — the top newsmaker of 2019 — be a girl who unified much of the world or a president who divided a nation?

THUMBS Up to Bill Nicholl and family for “rescuing my sister and I when we were given the wrong address and ended up stuck in the snow down Highway 527. They took their time to assess the situation as the truck had slid and was wedged up against a metal fence. They managed to pull the truck …

ALL too rarely there comes a time to put politics aside and unite in mutual condemnation of something so absurd that arguing about it is pointless. Wednesday’s hot mic incident in London was one of those times. But Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and, to a lesser extent, NDP Leader Jagmeet…

THUMBS Up to Grade 5 students at St. Francis School, Brinley Vescio and Ava Piccinato, who came up with the generous idea to have a bake sale to raise money for Shelter House. “They made flyers and posted them around their neighbourhood, put up posters at their school, took orders from schoo…

A STARTLING revelation by Thunder Bay police chief Sylvie Hauth points to the growing challenges she and her officers face — the same challenges that senior government for some reason continue to ignore.

THUMBS Up to all the City workers who fixed the broken hydrant that flooded the area around First Avenue and Ontario Street on Oct. 21, and filled in the huge sink hole. “We’re happy you were able to do it by bedtime.”

A THUNDER Bay police officer accused of using excessive force to subdue a girl on an ambulance gurney allegedly faced a situation that is becoming more and more common — spitting. The officer is accused of slapping the unruly girl, telling her not to spit on her, after paramedics had placed …

THUMBS way Up to the Mile Hill Melodrama theatre group for performing their 50th production at the South Gillies Hall. “They have been wowing audiences for 27 years, while keeping the old hall going. An amateur group that’s keeping audiences young and old thoroughly entertained and looking f…

THUMBS Up to the seasonal city workers that plant and maintain our major flower beds. “Outstanding job. When people take pride in their work it shows. Sad to see the end is near for this year, as cooler, wet weather takes its toll. Keep up the good work making our city so beautiful.”

BY IAN PATTISONWell, that certainly didn’t go as planned. One can only imagine the consternation in the war rooms of the major political parties as their election launch plans this week were knocked off kilter by unforeseen events.For the governing Liberals it was the SNC-Lavalin affair that…

THUMBS Down to the person who dropped used drywall on Rosslyn Road, “from which a nail punctured my back tire. Thumbs Up to the woman who caught my attention at the corner of Central Avenue and Golf Links Road to inform me my tire looked low, allowing me to get the tire repaired instead of h…

MANY “snowbirds” may soon be grounded because of inadequate health coverage outside of Canada. As the federal election approaches, many people will also be making plans for their winter vacation. Yet, worsening drug shortages now cause many to fail to quality for private travel insurance.

(Re: Citizens Aren’t Racist, They’re Just Angry — letter, Aug. 17)

IN ADDITION to the fanfare and edge-of-your seat excitement, Canadian tennis marvel Bianca Andreescu’s stunning U.S. Grand Slam victory in New York City surely served as a reminder that virtually anything is possible.

THUMBS Up to the Thunder Bay and District Labour Council for the wonderful Labour Day picnic at Current River Park. “The music, food, games, bouncy castle, horse rides and animals were enjoyed by everyone. I observed so many smiles from the large crowd. Thank you to the amazing volunteers fo…

YEAR after year we go to the public appealing for support to feed an increasing number of hungry people. After my 10 years of serving food banks, I am nearing the end of my rope.

THUMBS Up to good PR and “The Amazing Race Canada television program for the excellent coverage and photography of our city’s natural beauty. We can be proud.”

THUMBS Down to the neighbour who backs onto the McIntyre River. “Stop throwing your garbage onto the green space. The dogs and tiny people are not on the invite list to the buffet you put out for mice, rats, crows and larger critters. Join the game we all play — garbage in bag, bag in can, c…

THUMBS Down to those who portray the proposed location of a 58-unit transitional youth housing facility on Junot as ideal. “The safety of the children at St. Pius, Hammarskjold, the Gateway Program, Boys and Girls Club, the nearby baseball and park areas is paramount, not to mention the seni…

THUMBS Up to the Badanai Theatre summer production of Little Shop of Horrors playing until Aug. 15 at the Paramount Theatre. “We brought our whole family out and both young and old enjoyed the show. Fantastic time and just as fun as Mamma Mia was last winter from this talented local group of…

THUMBS Up to the man with physical disabilities that walks the downtown area with a shopping cart using a picker to collect trash. “This guy goes out for hours every day to clean up our city and he has physical limitations. What are you doing to better our community?”

THUMBS UP “and up and up to Magnus Theatre’s show Ivanka. Kudos to Crudo and Waytowich for giving their audiences many, many hilarious moments. Thunder Bay should be proud of the talent we have in this city. Hopefully Ivanka will return again as she is very popular. It doesn’t hurt to now ha…

‘FIVE senior ladies had lunch at Tony Roma’s on July 4; one of them was having a birthday. When it was time to pay, our server told us a couple seated by us had paid our bills. We couldn’t have been more surprised and pleased. A giant Thumbs Up to this anonymous couple. We will all be paying…

PROFESSIONAL response impressive. “Last month, I found myself in the midst of a police chase at 8:30 a.m., when children were walking to school and roads were full of people driving to work. My car was hit by the woman allegedly impaired on drugs, who fled the scene only to hit another vehic…