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Election fever breaks out

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I’m overcome with election fever.

After having to find a way to survive with only two trustees in my part of Winnipeg School Division since late last winter, I now have two candidates for the seat left vacant when Joyce Bateman decided she’d rather be an MP.

Abundance of riches.

Official nominations open tomorrow for the Nov. 26 by-elections to fill the vacant St. Vital council seat — where Gord Steeves left the Liberals to run as a Tory, just like Bateman, though unsuccessfully; sorry, I digress — the school board seat in WSD, and the school board seat in Louis Riel left vacant when Mike Ducharme became a candidate for the empty council seat.

Gerrit Theule and Ben Shedden have so far announced they’ll run for WSD school board. Seven people are after the council seat so far, but nary a whisper of anyone’s running in Louis Riel. Surely Bob Wilson will step forward again?

Maybe, if we dream hard enough, we’ll hit double digits in voter turnout.

Sigh.

In other stuff.....

I’ve been a tad busy this week with the doings at a certain private school. The morning I broke the story, there was a voice mail waiting from someone in the 613-area code who’d already read my story in that morning’s Ottawa Citizen, and wanted me to call him back with the school’s phone number.

And I’m thinking, you managed to find my phone number, what part of looking up the school’s number do you not understand?

Anyway.....

When is the last time I was able to say that with both seasons under way, both the Mighty Maples, bound for Stanley Cup glory, and the Mighty Magpies of Newcastle United are both still undefeated?

And is it possible to overstate just how much of a cementhead that Wayne Rooney is?

On to another topic, on which I have yet to find even a remote connection to education, except, maybe, don’t mess with the classics....

No way I’ll see the latest The Thing, an apparent CGI-laden gorefest which is a prequel to John Carpenter’s version I saw in the early 80s.

With Hallowe’en coming up, check out or revisit the original black and white version from 1951, The Thing from Another World, an absolutely terrific sci-fi film set in the claustrophobia of a snowed-in military base/research station in the far north. It came out pretty much the same time as its equal in classic sci-fi, The Day The Earth Stood Still, but whereas TDTESS had Klaatu the misunderstood friendly ET, or as friendly as a benevolent fascist with a killer robot can be, the critter in The Thing was a nasty piece of work out to conquer us all and turn us into Thing-food.

It’s scary as all heck, in that way that the best scary films have of showing you very little, and severely limiting the gore. As Scotty the newspaper guy says, "Keep watching the skies!"

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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