(up to September 02, 2005)

Hello neighbor and welcome back to the Blotter, and what a week it?s been here in the Ridge. Do you ever find yourself saying, ?I remember in the good old days, things were different.? And then you talk about how much better it was, and how nowadays things have gone to heck in a handbasket. Well, I had one of those conversations the other day.

I just came back to work after a few days off and found the constables in the coffee room laughing it up. Instead of walking in the room to see what was so funny, I stood outside the door and listened. In between the giggles and gaiety I could hear ?My turn!? My turn for what? And more importantly, were they playing games on company time? As it turned out, the game was nearly at its zenith, and whoever won the next turn would be the winner. The excitement was palpable. Although it was only a game, I could feel the tension.

I peeked around the corner just in time to see the New Guy roll the dice. His eyes were closed and he appeared to be seeking help from a higher power. The dice bounced across the table and skidded to a halt. ?YES!? shouted the New Guy, ?I get to pick.?

Just then I entered the room, ?Hey guys, what?s up?? Silence, and then some sheepish grins. Do you know what they were playing? Craps? Backgammon? Some other manly-type of game? I could only wish. They were playing ?Pretty, Pretty Princess.? It?s a game where you dress up like a princess and roll the dice to see what the next article of clothing or jewelry you get to wear. The New Guy was wearing a pink princess gown. Fat Pat was wearing a Tiara (which by the way, really brought out the blue in his eyes), and Cst. Harvey had several large dinner rings on his fingers. The final roll was to see who would win the scepter, and then the winner would choose the guy who would have to patrol the town in the full princess get-up.

That?s when the conversation with myself kicked in about the olden days. (You have to read the next line out loud and really emphasize the ?I?s? and ?we?s? in it). ?I remember when I first joined the Mounted police. You would NEVER catch us playing such games. No sirree sir, back then men were men and criminals cowered. You might have caught us combing the mane on our horse or other such manly pursuit. (I really loved the pink mane on My Little Pony and his blue body. In fact I still remember how the light reflected off his sparkles.) But Pretty, Pretty Princess? Give me a break.

Enough of this Tommy-rot, let?s get to work. Bears, bears bears, who cares? Apparently a lot of people. These animals are in full swing, eating everything in sight to get ready for the big nap. On a daily basis bears pass through town looking for lunch. It?s a genetic thing that they have to pack on the pounds before winter….just like several people I know. This gorging behavior causes all sorts of problems for both bears and people. In fact three bears were destroyed over the past week and a bit due to safety concerns.

Did you ever wonder what criteria the police or the conservation officers use when a decision is made to put down a bear? How do you define a problem bear? When can a bear be tranquilized and transplanted? Does this criteria work for cougars? Those are great questions, thanks for asking. Well, I?ll tell you… but not just yet.

The RCMP will be hosting a community meeting in rooms 4 and 5 at the Rec Center on September 21 at 7 pm. A Conservation Officer from Dawson Creek will be here to field any questions you might have about bears. He will also respond to enquiries about the transportation of firearms, hunting and fishing regulations and the like. I have heard his presentation before, although the message is good, he is kinda hard to look at. So please try and refrain from gagging when you ask your question.

The RCMP will report on crime stats for the first three quarters of 2005. You can take a look at where we spend our time and your dollars. There will also be a question and answer time where you can ask any question you want of the police. Just don?t ask me about money or love or you?ll end up broke and lonesome. There will be several displays incorporating everything from drugs, guns, counterfeit money, careers in the RCMP, and a ton of other stuff. Mark your calendars now. The last meeting we had was planned for an hour but went for two. Oh, I just about forgot, there will be some coffee and dainties for those of you are packing on the pounds for the long, hard winter ahead.

There is a ton of other stuff that needs to be reported on, but that?ll just have to wait for the community meeting.

We?ll talk again next week, the Good Lord willing.

Keep it between the ditches.

CPL. Kurt Peates