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Editor's Notebook

About James O'Connor:

James O’Connor is the Brandon Sun’s managing editor. He writes a column of his personal views on various issues and events.

  • Omniscient O'Connor

    With candidates in Winnipeg’s municipal election sprouting like so many tulips in spring, where are the people who are going to steer The Good Ship Brandon forward come this fall? The Oct. 22 election for city council and school trustees is 185 days away.
  • Looking at Winnipeg from both sides now

    “As a city of 700,000, Winnipeg is too small to be cosmopolitan but too large to be folksy. Big-city complaints about violent crime compete with small-town gripes about the absence of privacy and if you’re single, a terribly shallow gene pool.” — Excerpted from “Stuck In The Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg” by Bryan Scott and Bartley Kives, published by Great Plains Publications.
  • 'Liars, liars, liars'

    Under pressure from @PCMBCaucus in QP #NDP Ed. Min. @jamesallummla said @BrandonMBSD “had no reason” to cut 11 positions. #bdnmb #mbpoli — James O’Connor @Monstereditor tweet from the legislature’s press gallery
  • Training my sights

    While it seems one piece of vitally needed infrastructure in Brandon is in the news almost daily, I’m going to pass over that bridge to discuss another bothersome bottleneck. The Eighth Street Bridge — one of the city’s few north-south routes — has been closed to vehicular traffic since a lateral support beam was hit by a privately owned five-ton garbage truck Jan. 14. That means extra traffic has been diverted to the three remaining routes.
  • A lesson in learning

    Dump the school board. Yup, I said it.
  • END-DP

    “A resolution, passed by the convention, said ‘mainstream media is rarely onside’ with the party’s beliefs and ‘ignores or perverts’ its accomplishments.” — From a Winnipeg Free Press story on last weekend’s NDP convention
  • 'Tis the time for the silly season

    Drew Caldwell is between a rock and a hard place. Results from two Brandon Sun/Probe Research polls show the NDP is dropping like a stone in Westman — mirroring the governing party’s poor popularity across Manitoba. And unless the New Dems are blessed with nothing short of a miracle before the next election, there is a very strong likelihood they would lose Brandon East, which has voted orange since the constituency was created in 1969.
  • Hey Pally, please shut up!

    “Brian Pallister is going to win the election for us.” — Says any NDPer you ask If only Progressive Conservative Opposition Leader Brian Pallister would zip it for a while, he could sew up the next provincial election.
  • SDH makes radio waves

    “I know no one likes to pay taxes — myself included.” — Mayor Shari Decter Hirst on CKLQ 880 this week.
  • Pink Lady’s armour now full of chinks

    “As mayor, I will not shy away from public questioning. I promise that I will open City Hall and the Office of Mayor up to scrutiny by the people of Brandon.  “I believe in dialogue, NOT monologue." — Shari Decter Hirst, Oct. 22, 2010
  • Blurred lines?

    It’s an age-old tradition. Even more than a tradition, the separation between a mainstream media’s newsroom and advertising department is an ethical cornerstone that has helped print and electronic media earn trust with readers and viewers over the decades.
  • Could it be RCMP?

    The Mounties always get their man ... er, person. But should the City of Brandon be on the hunt for the Horsemen — ... er, Horsepeople — in an attempt to rein in spiralling policing costs?
  • If you talk it, ya gotta walk it

    I’ve known Drew Caldwell for 30 years. And over that time, we’ve become very close friends. 
  • It's tough being a tory

    Politics is a bloodsport. And writing about politics can be a fun sport.
  • Fun with flyers (#2)

    “These are very factual bits of information. This is an election campaign where people need to know who they’re voting for.”
  • Just the facts on Justin

    It was a tweet heard around ... well Canada, at least. Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau was greeted like a rock star at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation on Wednesday, where he spoke to a gym full of mostly high school students, teachers and community members. The students at the elementary school were all still in class when he arrived.
  • Libs on a poll roll

    “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind.”
  • Fun with flyers (#1)

    As we head into the backstretch of the Brandon-Souris byelection, your mailboxes will start to receive campaign material from most of the candidates. And if it isn’t a flyer of some shape or form, it could be a print ad in a fine publication such as the Brandon Sun, or a “door-knocker” card hanging off your doorknob informing that you missed a chance to speak with the candidate in person.
  • Anatomy of an email

    “I wish I had the courage to say no ... when this monstrous political scheme was first ordered. That’s what this Senate is about, sober second thought, not taking dictation from kids in short pants down the hall.”          — Embattled Senator Mike Duffy, to the Senate
  • ‘Safe refuge’ or common sense?

    The all-day workshop was “a closed event for pre-registered participants; however, members of the media will be provided an interview opportunity with facilitator Lindsay Marsh between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.” Staged by the City of Brandon’s Community Services Department, the Safe Harbour: Respect For All event on Oct. 3 promised “a vision in action: providing opportunities for businesses, institutions, agencies and municipalities to create respectful, welcoming workplaces and communities.”
  • To name or not to name

    There is no doubt that bullying is a top-of-mind topic after several tragic events that have led to suicides and other heartbreaking stories from across Canada and around the world. And when an incident in Carberry was from the start characterized as a young man being the victim of “bullies” for years in the town of some 1,500 people east of Brandon, the provincial and national media instantly swung their spotlights on the story.
  • Casualties in the bloodsport

    It was a week of threats, name calling, anger, tears and incredible revelations in the federal riding of Brandon-Souris. Not to mention lies, misinformation and planted stories in the media. And it all surrounds the bare-knuckled bully politics that by many accounts — both confidential sources and published comments — is being waged by some inside the Conservative Party of Canada.
  • Why is this man smiling?

    It’s tough to be a federal Tory in these parts. Well, unless you’re a supporter of the surprise Conservative byelection nominee, Larry Maguire, who emerged after last weekend as the uncontested candidate for the spot in the as-yet unplanned Brandon-Souris tilt.
  • Flight criticism a major leap

    “WestJet flight lands city officials in hot water” — A Brandon Sun headline
  • BOB-FM moves to Brandon

    When I first moved here in the ’80s, KX96 was THE radio station. It had all the hot on-air talent — many, such as Gordo Fry and Harry Calahan, went on to major market stations — and the best rock music and virtually no competition on the FM dial.
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