Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sutter's stare

  ot just about hockey.
Most National Hockey League coaches are stoic.
When their emotions are free falling on a rollercoaster, they look calm, cool and collected.
Sutter walks behind the Los Angeles King bench, rarely ever smiling. He sighs, twirls his tongue in the side of his mouth, raises his eyebrows, and generally looks like he could care less about the spirited mayhem in front of him. When the Kings score, he might smirk. But that’s it.When someone screws up, it’s the Sutter scowl, which could easily be sold as a Halloween mask and scare anyone.

Come to think about it, do farmers ever smile?
Perhaps it’s something we all can learn — to be on an even keel, not getting too high and not getting too low.
Just zone in on work to be done. And so we come to today when Sutter wakes up after a 2-1 Game  7 win over the San Jose Sharks to advance to the third round of the Stanley Cup final.He may crack a smile, but only for a second. Then, it’s back to work. And that could very well be a trait of success.

What is LA coach Darryl Sutter doing?

1. Running a powerplay drill
2. Running a passing drill
3. Practicing his shovelling technique for the farm in Viking

L.A. and the Sharks.
Game 7.
Enough said.

Today's thoughtful tune (May 28)

(We love news. We love music. We love putting them together.)

NEWS: A Salvation Army milestone (PLEASE CLICK FOR THE STORY)


Do you have a selection you would tike to suggest? Twitter @camtait of Email camtait@telus.net

Monday, 27 May 2013

Body checking in minor hockey needs to be curbed

  To body check. Or not.
Hockey Canada voted Saturday to eliminate body checking until players reach bantam, at aged 13, and it has sparked much debate.
Don Cherry threw his two cents in recently on Coach’s Corner and, not surprisingly, he isn’t a fan. Cherry thinks Hockey Canada is heading down the wrong path. His partner in crime, Ron MacLean, asked an interesting question: should there be two leagues — one for body checking and the other without.
Cherry’s response: “House league is perfect.”

I think Hockey Canada has made the right decision and has a vision for the future of the sport in Canada. Our country and our world isn’t getting any smaller. Unless the National Hockey League expands — and, I certainly don’t see that — the number of kids making the NHL will remain the same: a very small per centage. And that very small number needs to learn the mechanics of body checking. Absolutely.

But for the mass majority — an increasing number— they could very well be interested in playing non-contact recreation hockey — without hitting. And we should be able to have programs in place for hockey in a safe environment. So is learning to hit really that important?

The game has changed. And we need to move with those changes.
Because the most important question on the way home from the rink shouldn’t be whether you won or lost. Rather, are you OK?

Talk to Tait  @camtait on Twitter   Email camtait@telus.net
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Talk to Tait  @camtait on Twitter   Email camtait@telus.net
Please give your feedback by clicking a box on the bottom

Coming to the Tait Talk blog Monday afternoon ....

The body checking debate in minor hockey

May 27 - Cam 'n Eggs — Tait@nait


The doors to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology will open countless times today just off Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton at the main campus. Students in pursuit of careers will be going through those doors. They may not realize now, but, later, they could very well reflect on their time at NAIT as some of the best times of their lives.
I make these comments, celebrating 50 years ago today since NAIT's doors first opened. Personally, NAIT was one of the best years of my life.

I was a student of the Radio and Television Arts program in 1977. My dream: to write for radio first perhaps, writing commercials, and then, maybe, documentaries. Yet, NAIT gave me an education I never thought of — how to build and maintain relationships with people. The Glenrose School Hospital was my junior high and high school because I have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair. I found myself in a culture shock my first few months of NAIT. Clearly, I was a minority. Yet, my fellow classmates slowly helped me become one of the gang.
They showed me the value of humor to bridge gaps and so many things not on the curriculum. NAIT gave me lifetime friendships with people I still am in contact with today: Gary Chomyn, Lance Brown and Pat Petersen, to name a few. I would not be the person I am without going through the doors of NAIT.

May they swing mightily for the next 50 years.

Happy Birthday!

Tait Text   Twitter @camtait  Email camtait@telus.net

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cam ''n Eggs — May 25 — Memo to Dave Rutherford: What do you mean by "these people?"

  Perhaps the most practical thing to do is send Dave Rutherford an email. Sometimes, though, practicality goes out the door. This is one of those times.
Rutherford is a talk show host on the Corus Radio network, weekdays from 9 a.m.  to 12 p.m.. On Wednesday, he interviewed Frank Oberle,  associate minister of Services for Persons with Disabilities about the provincial government’s cutbacks to Persons with Developmental Disabilities. Rutherford is to be congratulated for bringing the issue to the air waves. But only to an extent.

Before I go any further I must preface my comments: I have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair and began in the news business as a reporter with the Edmonton Journal in 1979. In covering issues and great human interest stories about disabilities, I tried to choose my words carefully to promote inclusion. That’s why I found it hard to hear Rutherford calling people with developmental disabilities as “these people.”

More concerning is the story itself: the provincial government is moving towards moving people with developmental disabilities into living in the community. They are going to go shopping, to movies, to work, to church and many other activites They are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, aunts and uncles. Not “these people.” 
They have hopes and dreams. They fail, too. But they a chance to try again.

Just like everyone else.

The media has a fundamental right to treat citizens equally. Rutherford missed the point: instead of welcoming new community members, he built barriers by calling them “these people.” They are, most certainly, Albertans first. And disability second. I could have emailed him. But, given his previous comment, he might consider me as “these people.”

And I refuse to accept that.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Today's timely tune - May 23

(We love music. We love news. We hope, put together.)

Embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford fired his chief of staff Thursday.


Now, the tune ...

Or ... your suggestions! Please email camtait@telus.net

Cam 'n Eggs: May 22 — Chair Leaders Friday: I am hoping for snow!

 I don’t get it.

In fact, I haven’t got it for 25 years. And as a person with a disability, it offends me. Let me tell you what “it” is: the Canadian Paraplegic Association is having Chair Leaders Friday in Edmonton. Taking a page from the 1970’s — timely, eh? — CPA is asking able-bodied people to spend a day in a wheelchair. The event is to raise awareness about accessibility and people with disabilities.
I think it’s nothing more than a circus.
And I have questions:
*why does CPA hold this event in May, rather than January, when there’s 15 feet of snow, a 87-km wind, a wind chill of minus 38, when wheeling a wheelchair — trust me — is damn hard. If they want to make it a challenge…
*what kind of a message does this send to the people CPA serves — people with spinal cord injuries? Does it signal people with disabilities are not really listened to?
•why can’t CPA promote people with disabilities, doing their own thing, living their daily lives with ease, dignity and creativity — not to mention blood, sweat and tears? Why are they silenced for the day, when their story could be so powerful?
•What tangible legislation for accessibility has been created because of previous years?
•Why not have someone without a disability shadow a CPA client for a day and learn how to help someone in a wheelchair up curbs, down steps, in and out of vehicles, threw crowds? Wouldn’t that be a better method of working together?
•Why is CPA digging into the past for an event rather than having one to reflect 2013?

I could go on and on. I don’t want to rain on the CPA Chair Leaders parade. I just hope it snows in Edmonton Friday.
Facebook comment from Braden Hirsch

Very good comments Cam! It is a big leap to think that awareness and understanding is enhanced by having able bodied persons ride wheelchairs for a period of time during one day. In my opinion it was marginally useful 40 years ago-- so why would it work today? I am also disappointed that CPA is involved with this.


Another comment from Renee Laporte ...

  Hear hear! They held this same sort of "event" at MacEwan a few months ago. As an able-bodied person supporting a student who uses a wheelchair there, it made me frustrated to see the participants laughing and having fun wheeling around the campus (though with the best intentions of getting a glimpse of life in a wheelchair) while my student and I struggle to reach the automatic door button placed behind garbage cans and having to walk to the next building to find a washroom we can both enter. Consulting those who are "living it" would be more meaningful and productive.

Rene Laporte

A Facebook comment from Mel Tauber 

  here"s my thought: if they really have to put "able bodied people in wheelchairs, why make it so easy for them??? tie one of their hands on their back and make them sit on one of their lower legs (of course opposite one of the tied hand) AND THEN let them wheel down an ice covered ramp ... give them at least ONE of the challenges "disabled" people have to go through every day ... let them set up a DATS pickup, let them ride the ETS all by themselves, let them roam through the streets without a companion who will nicely open every door for them ... to just put someone in a wheelchair for a day in a building with people who will assist them because they know about the event ain't gonna bring change ... try to walk blind for a day or be deaf, or try to come around only with one leg orm arm functioning ... for heavens be creative and give us "able bodied" a challenge and don't cater to us so that we maybe maybe one day would understand, because the majority never will, because most people in our days lack one major thing: COMPASSION AND IMAGINATION!

What do you think about this? Please let me know! camtait@telus.net

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Great Scott! Sterling is the winner

Sterling Scott
Persisitence pays off in everything. Even comedy.
Sterling Scott’s smile was unquestionably the biggest Tuesday just after 9:30 p.m. when he was the finalist in The Funniest Person With a Day job at the Comic Strip.
Scott was crowned the winner. He had a giant cardboard cheque for $1,000 and will be the opening act for a Comic Strip concert series in the fall.
Scott has a great laugh when he is on stage and uses it well. His material, timing and delivery contributed to his conquer.
And he has tried winning the competition before. Four times.
But this year’s contest, which began back on April 9 with 41 enteries, was his.
And he needed nerves of steel.
Terry Evans
The six contestants in the final Tuesday night didn’t know what order they were appearing. MC Terry Evans drew names out of a glass vase.
Scott was the sixth and final act of the night, following David Dempsey, Matt Labucki, Brandon Franson, Brett McCrindle and Dan Taylor.
Demspey placed second, while Labucki was named third-place winner.
It was a great night of comedy, making it especially hard for the judges: Global’s Gord Steinke and Carol Anne Devaney, CTV’s Joel Gotlib, Comic Strip owner Rick Bronson and yours truly. Thanks for including me.
Scott probably enjoyed the evening. But he’s back to work: Scott and his infectious laugh will be appearing at the Comic Strip the week of June 12.

Coming this afternoon: why this guy is smiling

It was a big night for STERLING SCOTT last night.
We'll tell you why soon

Cam 'n Eggs: Mike Duffy and Rob Ford ***UPDATE WITH TORONTO STAR STORY AT 1 P.M.

(Ford and CTV reporter story)
 Mike Duffy and Rob Ford deserve each other — and, for all we know, they could be hiding out together somewhere in an undisclosed location.

They should be ashamed of themselves, not only for their recent actions, but also for wanting to cover them up.
Duffy is in hot water for the $90,000 cheque he received from, maybe, the prime minister’s office. Such a spicy situation for a senator.
Ford, the embattled mayor of Toronto, is under allegations he was with a few chums having a puff or two on the crack pipe.
Their situations deserve questioning on many levels. But perhaps the most compelling is they are both public servants. Their paycheques come from bank accounts that get deposits from taxpayers: in Duffy’s case federal taxpayers are paying the freight; in Ford’s case, it’s the taxpayers of Toronto.
Funny how both men chased reporters when they were seeking election.
Rob Ford
They won. But now they are being accused of wrongdoing and are avoiding reporters at all costs. Interestingly, Duffy has been on the other side of the camera many times chasing subjects who don’t want to talk.
That, clearly, isn’t fair. And the longer they remain in silent, the more questions will be raised.
We’ve seen it before. We’ll se it again.
But, somewhere, somehow, we should all learn from the disgrace others.
This time Mike Duffy and Rob Ford took the fall. The sooner they stand up and move forward, they can move on with their lives. And, sadly, ours too. 


A sign of a great day!


Enjoy the day!

Please check back soon for neat stuff, including what makes Sterling Scott so funny.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tait@noon - a parting gift for Mayor Mandel - UPDATED WITH PICTURES

In many ways, the time seems right.
 Stephen Mandel announced just seconds after 11 a.m. Tuesday he will not run for a fourth term. Now, the downtown arena project is set in stone, thanks to last week’s city council ratifying the agreement, Mandel feels it’s time to retire.
Maybe, he doesn’t have the strength — physically and mentally — for another monumental project, namely the downtown arena project.
But he’s 67. It’s time, perhaps, for him to share some time with his family. Maybe travel. Or walk in Edmonton’s river valley, look all around him, and feel the pride of the city help build.
Mandel goes out on top, with many wanting him to run for another term — one he’d probably win.
The big question now is who will guide Edmonton come fall when the next civic election rolls around.
But let’s not worry about that today.
Let’s celebrate and honor a man who has shared his vision with us; a man who has shown compassion, toughness and boldness.
Mandel deserves a parting gift, something that will mirror his work as mayor.
Maybe, a new road around the downtown arena. Call it Mandel Way.
Because that’s how he made Edmonton grow. 

Cam 'N Eggs - May 21 - Celebrating Canadian hockey in the spring ... or not?

Maybe, it’s time Hockey Canada re-considered  Canadians participating in the World Hockey Championships.

The maple leaf hasn’t blown in the medal round since 2009 when Lindy Ruff was head coach. The magic didn’t reappear this spring: Ruff, axed from the Buffalo Sabres earlier this season, guided the Canadians to a fifth-place finish in Stockholm.
Fifth place, eh? Same result as last year.
But, we’re Canadians. Hockey is our game. We can do better.
Can we though, really?
The Canadian roster is players from teams who don’t make the National Hockey League playoffs.
Excuses for a sub-par performance don’t cut it. But perhaps the condensed NHL season took its toll on the Canadian players.
Not a very strong argument: eight NHL teams are still fighting tooth and nail in the post-season.
Maybe the World Championships could to re-scheduled to end of June so the Stanley Cup Champions could ... Fat chance, right?
We need a new approach. Finding that right approach is certainly easier said then done.
Canadians should not accept failing to make  the medal round for three years and counting.
Canadians deserve to celebrate a major hockey championship when it counts the most — in the spring.
The lone Canadian team left in the Stanley Cup won a thriller Sunday, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in double overtime
The Ottawa Senators won it at home in the nation’s capital.
And, so, hockey in Canada is still alive.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Today's Timely Tune - May 17

(We love news. We love music. We try to put them together to make a point)

Councillor Kerry Diotte announced Thursday he is planning to run for the mayor's job in the fall.
Mayor Stephen Mandell was talking about Diotte's tweetng and, .. well, here you have a look.



Cam 'n Eggs: May 17 -The Scheetz Shuffle for a great cause

Radio personalities, like television anchors and newspaper columnists, have gifts. The obvious gift is their voices
And if they can tell a story, they are even more gifted.
Throughout Edmonton many members of the media have shared their talents with many charities to raise funds and awareness.

Everyone of them deserves our admiration.
They are simply driven by the genuine desire to help others and continue to make a difference.
People like CISN-FM’s Chris Scheetz. In 2002, Scheetz lived in a tractor for five days and raised more than $150,000 for drought stricken Alberta farmers.
Two years ago when town of Slave Lake was ravaged by forest fires, Scheetz asked listeners to contribute household items for people that need them. During a 48-hour period three semi-trailers were plumb full of items and rolled into Slave Lake.
Scheetz is at it again this week.

He set out to walk 250 kilometers to raise funds and awareness for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
He’s going asking people to go online and sign up for the Drive For Life Contract: a pledge saying you will not drink and drive and will not text and drive.
For every pledge for the Drive For Life Contact, $1.00 will be contributed to MADD. The event is sponsored by Mayfield Toyota and LA Z Boy Furniture Galleries.
Scheetz started the journey Monday and headed west to Evansburg. Heturned south and went to Drayton Valley before looping back. Scheetz has walked 50 km a day.
Sometime around 4 p.m. today Blackjack’s Roadhouse in Nisku.

When he gets there news reporters might very well ask him why he embarked on such a journey.
But really, there’s no need to ask: Scheetz just followed his heart