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booksby Cathy Hird

March Break is coming up, a great time to get the teens in our lives to read, if we can find the right books. Here are some thoughts on what might catch a teenager's interest.

A thin layer of dust sits on the books in my daughter's bedroom. You might think that makes these the neglected ones, but it means these are the stories she loved too much to let go of. The ones that started her reading at age 10--the Unicorns of Balinore for example--have been given to other children to enjoy. What remains are the Anne of Green Gables series as well as L. M. Montgomery's Emily. The books of Kit Pearson and Philipa Gregory take up much of the shelf beside The Royal Diaries and Tamora Pierce's work.

Thanks to the abundance of Young Adult (YA) books written in the last few years, copies of the Divergent trilogy, City of...

12234930 1044181958933427 4873914067790297452 nby Diane Ferguson

My daughters both like acting, so we took them to see Carousel at the Roxy this past fall. We got together with other friends who were bringing their children. The play was so well done, well-acted, the sound was fantastic, but the play itself left me stunned. Is this 2016?

The basic premise of the story is a young woman falls in love with a bad-boy, Billy the barker, from the carousel. They go through hard economic times and he hits his wife. But his wife never gives up because she loves him. Billy dies in a botched robbery and is given a chance to redeem himself. He offers his now grown-up daughter, a star he stole. When she refuses, he hits her too. The daughter asks her mother if it's possible for a hit to feel like a kiss. And her mother answers, yes. Billy is redeemed and goes to heaven.

I have to admit, I didn't read up on this play before attending. But it was a musical. I didn't expect to

Ski trailsAs police investigate the discovery of barbed wire on four snowmobile trails (related story here) in the area over the past few weeks, questions have been raised about the motive behind the dangerous and possibly criminal acts. Is someone overreacting to concerns about the Supporting Ontario's Trails Act recently put forward by Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport?  The following is a media release from the Ontario Trails Council offering answers to some of the common questions about the Bill.

"Recent media reports concerning the impacts of Bill 100 – "The Ontario Trails Act" have the potential to cause real damage to ...

TPP-new-engby David McLaren

Think 'property.' Now think 'treaty' ... as in those instruments that transferred land from people who belonged to it, to people to whom it then belonged. Pretty good deal for us, not so much for First Nations. (A stony outcropping of land called the Bruce Peninsula was evaluated not so long ago as being worth some $50 billion – just imagine what the rest of Canada is worth.)

Now you're in the proper frame of mind to consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That's the instrument that the Conservatives negotiated and that Parliament ...

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