Claude McIntosh - Mac's Musings

Instead of slowly strangling the print edition of its newspapers to death, Postmedia should just get it over with a painless coup de grace.

The once-daily Standard-Freeholder like so many other small and medium papers in the profit challenged Postmedia stable will be down to three days a week by the end of the month.

It’s all part of a long-term plan to wean readers – what’s left of them – off the print product and over to the e-edition. Circulation has plunged from 20,000 in 1989 to about 2,800.

At best, the print edition will survive as a weekly paper, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Under Postmedia, the newspaper – the once paper of record – has all but wiped out its footprint in the community. Staff has been reduced to a handful – two dedicated reporters try cover the city and counties – and it no longer has an office with the seven or eight full-time employees working from home.

It’s back to the future, in reverse. Some 80 years ago the S-F went from three-times-a-week to six days a week. And in the early 1990s it had a brief fling with seven days a week.

As Bob Dylan wailed, “Times are a’changin”.

THIS AND THAT If super sniper and Putin admirer Alex Ovechkin missed targets as many times as the Ruskies who are heaving missiles into Urkraine, he would be a lot farther behind Wayne Gretzky’s NHL scoring record. The “Evil Empire” keeps insisting that it does not intentionally target civilians infrastructure, this comes after another apartment building is hit by a rocket. …. Every Canadian citizen should be required to spend a day at the local court house to see how justice pokes along. And just pray that you don’t get called for jury duty and have to waste a day listening to a judge’s “It’s-Your-Duty” lecture after hearing a litany “excuses” for not serving. … It has long been said that goaltenders are a peculiar breed of hockey player. Robin Lehner, who is paid $5 million this year not to stop pucks for the Las Vegas Knights (he is injured), supports that belief. With a $50 million debit hanging over his head, Lehner has filed for bankruptcy. The filing shows that he spent $1.5 million to purchase a rare snake collection for his reptile farm.

HERE AND THERE The passing of former Standard-Freeholder publisher Don Tomchick brings the long list of living publishers this scribbler worked for down to two – Milton Ellis and Don Brander, two of the best to take charge of the S-F, long shots from the eccentric part-time Mormon bishop they brought in from Northern Ontario to run the paper and was gassed after just about wrecking the place.

THIS AND THAT Sam Montembeault isn’t a Vezina Trophy contender. Not even close. But dollar for dollar the Canadiens’ tender at $800,000 just might be the best supporting cast member in prime time. On the weekend the 25-year-old, filling in for the injured Jake Allen, went back-to-back in the Big Apple and of the combined 77 shots the Rangers and Islanders fired he made 74 stops. Meanwhile, the alleged goaltending future sat on the bench for each game after being called up from Laval. … New twist on a home-based family business: A mother and son have been charged by Florida cops for running a brothel out of the family home.

LOOKING BACK Two major fires in a short stretch in January 1959 tested Cornwall Fire Department manpower.

On Jan. 27 fire destroyed the Jacobs Building at Pitt and Second streets. Fire crews, barely recovered from a spectacular fire on Marlbourgh street six days earlier, spent seven hours fighting to contain the Jacobs fire from spreading to other stores.

Six days earlier, most of the same fire fighters found themselves up against a fire that started in the Page Craft Co. building. Fanned by strong winds, the fire soon spread to the nearby three-storey frame apartment building at 620 Marlborough St., leaving 23 residents homeless.

Fire Chief Lou Carrier, who pitched in at both fires, praised the work of his small band of fire fighters.

Of the 78-year-old Jacobs Building fire, Carrier said that for a time he thought the entire block was going up in flames.

ALSO THIS MONTH IN 1959 – The Broderick Home at Ninth and Amelia streets was torn down to make room for a commercial building. The red-brick, two-storey house started life in 1882 as hotel and general store on the north side of Ninth next to the CNR station. It was later moved across the street. … Seven new aldermen were sworn in. The new members were Ralph Carrara, Art Cardinal, Doug Fawthrop, Gerald Parisien, Larry Keen, Rheal Lemire and Larry Keen. Incumbents were James Ross, J. D. Murray, Bernard Miller, Harold Shields and Robert MacDonell. For the first time, the inauguration meeting was broadcast live on CKSF radio. … Former city police constable Raymond Powell was given a two-month jail term after pleading guilty to breaking into a city service station and stealing a set of tires while on duty. He was fired the day he was arrested at the station. … Ted Saunders was named sports editor of the Standard-Freeholder. He came to Cornwall from the Painesville, Ohio newspaper. He succeeded Frank Orr who would become a Hall of Fame hockey writer for the Toronto Star. … Montreal Canadiens fans were upset after Terry Sawchuk of the Detroit Red Wings was named to the NHL first all-star team while Jacques Plante was relegated to the second team. … Ron Muir and Daryl MacMillan scored two goals apiece as Cornwall Chevies edged Whitby Dunlops 4-3 in a senior A hockey game. … A wind storm that packed gusts of 45 miles per hour downed trees, caused power outages and left dozens of television aerials a twisted mess. … Rhome and Haas chemical company planned a $2 million plant just east of Morrisburg. … Comont Construction of Cornwall said it would build 25 homes in a Morrisburg subdivision.

TRIVIA This Cornwall lawyer once served as president of the Canadian Bar Association: 1) Pat Rudden, 2) Hugh Duncause, 3) Stanley Fennell, 4) Paul Rouleau, 5) Lionel Chevrier.

TRIVIA ANSWER Cornwall’s first Pride Festival was held in Lamoureux Park in September 2004.

QUOTED “You must remember that some things legally right are not morally right.” – Abraham Lincoln

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