Dan Miller's house on Meadowview Road in Haliburton went up in smoke in the early hours of Friday, March 30. Photo by Terrance Gavan - Editor/The Style.

Haliburton Echo and Minden Times are back… without the albatross of Maple Key and Bram Lebo in the picture

TERRANCE GAVAN – EDITOR SHRIKE.CA

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Dan Miller's house on Meadowview Road in Haliburton went up in smoke in the early hours of Friday, March 30. Photo by Terrance Gavan - Editor/The Style.

Occasionally News Happens. Sometimes… It’s not positive. Sometimes… We have to wade in the water… to find the story. Know how many rumors I heard while taking this picture?? A lot. We can continue to rely on rumor? Or we can decide we want the truth…

I hope Jenn Watt does not mind because I am going to quote parts of her editorial from this week’s Haliburton Echo.

I do this because in spite of my best efforts? We all still have no idea what happened in the Haliburton Highlands over the Christmas break.

The editorial from Ms. Watt is entitled:

Positive change.

And included the following:

“THE LOCAL MEDIA landscape has shifted under our feet a couple of times this last month with changes hard to keep up with…

Now things have settled and for those curious about the future of the Minden Times and Haliburton Echo, there is good news.
Both papers are now under the sole ownership of London Publishing, an independent publishing group based out of Beeton, Ont.

This new structure follows a month-long partnership between The Highlander newspaper and London Publishing under the name Maple Key Media.
Last week, the two sides of Maple Key decided to part ways and now London Publishing is taking over exclusively.

This new ownership aims to strengthen the Times and Echo and presents the opportunity for these long-standing, award-winning papers to return to their roots.
And we’re excited about that.

Okay so we’re happy happy happy and we still do not have a fucking clue about the caustic and debilitating rumble and ruminations that occurred to turn the Echo and the Times into rag tag dalliances from the unimaginative mind of one Bram Lebo, who was a Director of Maple Key Media just long enough to pad his Alfred E Neuman, chopomatic and detritus filled bullshit CV. Mr. Lebo can now count Director of a publishing empire among his many ersatz accomplishments and qualifications.

We are saying this… and only this. The Haliburton Highlands is rife with problems. Jeezuz. You don’t have to go very far for a real goddam story. Go to the fucking people. Go to the single moms. Go to the unemployment offices. Go to Fleming College continuing education. It ain’t fucking rocket science. I did it. Of necessity. And I can tell you that there are people suffering in Haliburton. A lot of people are moving out!

I admire Ms. Watt’s positivity and her continued sense of thrall. I get it Jenn. You love the Highlands. And by the way I’m very happy to hear that Mr. Chad Ingram is back in the fold. Steve Galea? Meh? We don’t get along much. I am not a big fan of his sophomoric and juvenile prances. And I prefer my columns without the de rigueur fallback to… “and then… I had nothing to write this week? And so… I shot a fucking moose. With an a) arrow; b) AK47; c) My uncle Joe Simonski’s Davy Crockett blunderbuss. But that’s just me… being an elitist intellectual, left wing rant king, and tree buggering, bunny hugger.

I digress. Back to the point and the crux of this dissertation ad absurdium. My natural state. So sorry. I have been so screwed over in the Highlands over the past eight years that I fear I must stand up for the many people I have talked to in the course of my also de rigueur hunt and peck through the unemployment offices, labour board nuances and small claims court bodegas that populate the Highlands. It’s sad. I wish I could tell the stories I’ve heard. But the people I have met say they can’t talk about the employers that have diddled with their self-respect and made life in Haliburton generally unbearable. They say it would ruin their chances at future employment. (Irony) Because employers, they say, would hear about it and say: We don’t want no troublemakers.

I am not talking anecdotal stuff here. I am referring to real people. Single moms. Poor families.

By the way… for Mr. Galea’s edification; if someone spots Steve in the street please tell him what anecdotal means. I’m afraid I may have upset the poor moan (sic) man with that word at one point during a brief foray into the twilight zone of a period which we shall now call: Zombie Wolves Invade Haliburton!!! What the fuck happened to those genetically fucked up wolves? Mr. Galea? Mr. Hodgson? Anyone?

But we digress. My Highlands and Jenn’s Highlands are two different animals. I see a very old town without access to town water. I see a reeve and a deputy reeve who have basically been arguing for the imposition of term limits (ironically through their own ineptness) for the last decade and a bit.

For fuck’s sake. Jenn and Chad. You were – but for the mildest of moments – stuck on that long, long train of destitution and unemployment because you had to quit jobs you loved rather than work for someone that you felt you would not or could not work with. Can we? Can we for fuck’s sake? Get a real story out of this? Or shall we have to go to the mattresses and the clusterfuck of the Haliburton Highlands underground railroad of screwed over employees? To get the latest rumour.

C’mon! Grab some cohones. Somer BALLS! (en anglais) It’s what papers do. They name names of thieves and burglars and drunks and peeping toms. Without curry or favor. They clear up things like: “Oh by the way I quit… and leave you dear Highlanders to the incompetent machinations of a clusterfucked newspaper empire.”

Because? Why Jenn? Why Chad? High road? Bah! Humbug. It’s horseshit. But I get it. I do. Smile. Emoji!

We’re not asking for much. Just the goddam truth. With some compassion, some feeling, some sense of moccasin’s in the snow. You were all unemployed at Christmas! Like a lot of fellow Haliburton Highlanders. Why not learn from it. Rabble anyone? (Inside Joke) Is there a trumpet large enough at London Publishing North? To speak truth to power? To out the creeps and liars. Because a free press is not only enabled… but urged to lay out the story… for the edification of the populus. It’s a fucking mandate.

Speaking truth to power!

Instead of bullshit to some misplaced mantra that you all (not me any longer because I needed a real job) live in the most wondrous place on earth. You think you’re on the high road? Not. It’s a version. It’s enabling. (And I can speak to that as a reformed alcoholic.) It’s fucking wrong. It ain’t news and it ain’t real journalism. It’s country prose. It’s gentrified bull shit on peas. It’s lily-liver on a bun. It ain’t “real” man!

And it ain’t the truth.

It ain’t…

News without curry or favor.

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