WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?... Taylor Rusnak got a welcome home to Winnipeg this summer she hadn't been expecting. In a good way.
The 22-year-old returned recently after being away in Quebec for five years, and last week she contacted me with a story that suggested why she's happy to be home.
"Winnipeggers are awesome" is how she started her email.
Taylor went on to explain that earlier this summer, she and her dog had driven to the Bridge Drive-In -- a.k.a. the BDI -- for a taste of famous Winnipeg ice cream. But while she was loading her dog back in the car, she put her cellphone and wallet on the roof of her car.
And drove off.
It wasn't until she reached her house in Wolseley and got out of the car that Taylor realized what she had done.
The cellphone was still on the roof.
But her prized new Star Trek-themed wallet and its contents -- driver's licence, debit, health and credit cards, plus a yet-to-be-deposited cheque -- were gone.
"Still, I wasn't too stressed about it," Taylor recalled. "I can tell you that I would not have felt so unconcerned if this had happened during my last five years in a different city. I even told my brother: 'I have faith in people here.' And I was right. Extremely right."
In the end, everything was returned.
But it's how it was returned that's the real story. Evidently, when the wallet flew off the car roof, its contents all went flying, too. So when the wallet and its contents were returned, they came back separately through the efforts of five individuals.
"One person returned my debit card to my bank, another looked up my last name and called my house to let me know they had my Visa card. Somebody else left my driver's licence in their mailbox for me to pick up, and my cheque was mailed to where it was issued (in Quebec!) and is now on its way back to me here. Finally, my sweet Star Trek wallet -- complete with tire marks -- and health card were mailed to my house from Tracey, whose son found it on the street near the Bridge Drive-In."
Taylor had a message for everyone involved.
And for the rest of us.
"Thank you, Winnipeg; it's good to be home."
-- -- --
THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE... At first, I was surprised to see former Free Press editor Margo Goodhand had been named editor-in-chief of the Edmonton Journal.
Then it all made sense.
The news comes just 13 months after she resigned, having concluded it was time to leave her newspaper career behind, write a book and find something different to do.
A year passed. She had just a first draft of her book about the history of the women's shelter movement and, after exploring potential positions at local universities and non-profits, Margo was encountering exactly what I had warned her she would when she left.
Where was she going to find a job as exciting and satisfying as the daily deadline journalism she had left behind?
Just then, the phone rang.
It was a head-hunter calling from New York, if you please. And he had a tempting administrative position with the Irving newspaper group based in St. John, N.B. That was soon followed by another attractive offer from the Journal.
The deciding factor?
Margo said the Edmonton job got her back in a newsroom, leading it.
"I really thought I was through with newspapers," Margo said, reflecting on her decision to leave the Free Press.
Obviously, newspapers weren't through with her.
-- -- --
SHUTTING OFF THE PIPELINE ... It appears pressure from a coalition of concerned students has finally forced the end of an agreement between the University of Winnipeg and a Calgary-based pipeline company with a controversial environmental record that, curiously enough, had funded an environment-based enrichment program for aboriginal and other inner-city Grade 6 students.
The so-called Eco Kids on Campus program has "expired," the university confirmed when I inquired Wednesday. The U of W still has hope other donors might be found before the program's regularly scheduled October start.
Other donors -- meaning other than Enbridge -- is where the university should have searched for funding in the first place, of course. And it shouldn't have taken what the U of W dismissively termed "a handful of students" to teach that lesson to a university administration.