E-letter: Running amok

American football player Colin Kaepernick’s antics, refusing to stand during the national anthem, have the media all-abuzz. Self-styled experts on the U.S. Bill of Rights are doing cameos on all the news, sports and entertainment channels. I assume this confuses most of us, so let’s take a look at what it means, and why it’s important for Canadian […]

E-letter: Big box forever? Not so sure

Whether in trade, association or consumer magazines, newspapers and broadcast, a good editor is a skeptic. Being a skeptic means not accepting everything people try to tell you at face value. Sometimes people lie. Unfortunately, the vast majority of current journalists are not skeptics. They are either lap dogs for special interests or they are […]

Degree in debt

The lead story in the August 2016 issue of Consumer Reports highlights the financial stresses of higher education with the cover blurb: “I kind of ruined my life by going to [university].” That was from Jackie Krowen, 32, in Portland, Ore., who owes $152,000 in student debt. “You didn’t have to meet with anybody,” she […]

E-letter: Right to pay

Ikea last month announced it is recalling 29 million Malm or similar dressers in the U.S, along with 6.6 million in Canada, because the units are unstable if they aren’t secured to a wall. The company said it is offering free anchoring systems for customers owning the offending furniture, or will provide the customers with a full […]

E-letter: Own the boots

I wonder if the business environment is actually any different than it ever is. Sure, we are threatened by imports, trade deals, dollar exchange, governmental regulations and fly-by-night operators. And, while it may seem that the pressures are more overwhelming than they were 30 years ago, I think if you checked the editorial pages from […]

Safety net thanks to you

There is no denying. Things are looking pretty good. Every shop we’ve heard from is busy and growing. The latest building permit and housing investment numbers out of the States are positive, and wood-products manufacturing in Canada is up over 10 percent over last year. However, one thing we seem to be lacking in Canada […]

E-letter: Fort McMurray down

Although the Fort McMurray fire is still burning, the threat to the city has been diminished and media and officials have been able to survey the damage. As of presstime, about 2,400 structures have been destroyed, most of which are residences. Each of these residences will need flooring, cabinetry, furniture and other functional items for […]

E-letter: Post-customer matrix

One thing about getting older – you just don’t bite on every lure they drop in front of you. The supremacy of progress, for example. For the past many years, conventional wisdom has had it that everything old is bad and must be replaced with something new. In the world of education, this has resulted […]

Pardon my fun

It is nothing short of amazing how much negativity the internet pumps into the world per nanosecond. It’s as if every would-be internet publisher or personality quickly learns that good news does not sell papers. On just one cruise through the news this month, I see a really pitiable story about Madonna, drunk on-stage and […]

E-letter: Ikea goes rustic mass-elitist

Conrad Black in last week’s National Post predicted the eventual win by Donald Trump of the U.S. Republican Presidential Primary. While I am not persuaded by sooth-sayers, fortune tellers and theosophists, something else he said caught my attention. He said of Trump rival Ted Cruz that his constituency did not extend beyond, “Bible-thumping, M16-toting corn-cobbers […]