Contact: editor@eastendecho.ca

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Keep My Seat Warm This issue of the Eastend Echo is the final of the year. And it is the start of my extended sojourn to Europe. As per our usual routine at Christmas, there will be a few weeks that the Echo will go silent. However I am going to try with the help of Ilse Upsher to maintain an online version of the Eastend Echo which I will help to produce from across the ocean. This mini-Echo will not be updated weekly but instead I am aiming for biweekly transmissions from abroad. I reserve the right to make it weekly if I find myself with the time to complete it. Please keep sending your information to me at editor@eastendecho.ca and I will get it in there. I will be gone for a few months and some of you have expressed dismay . . at not having the paper for their consumption. I'm sorry to put you lovely people out, you make it that much more worthwhile for the effort taken to produce your weekly diversion.As I go, so goes the guy that many have relied upon as a designated driver for functions. If you aren't aware, Saskatchewn has the highest rate (of impaired driving offenses. We are almost double the rate per 100,000 than Alberta, the number two. When that report was made public, the Provincial Government resolved to do something about it. Check stops have increased and will probably continue to do so. Especially during the holidays when parties are plentiful. So plan ahead and arrange a designated driver to ferry you home. Check with your Eastend School Seniors, or you might want to see if Matt Johnston from Innovation Credit Union is available for 'booking', he's a great guy who has helped at functions in the past. And further to the topic of road rules, starting Jan 1 the Traffic Safety Act is getting a revision. Starting then you will no longer be able to hold or look at your phone while driving. This new law is due to some people successfully arguing that checking the caller ID on an incoming call was not using the phone. So to my incredible extended family of Eastenders who have supported me this year through your readership, your advertising business, and most important to me, your personal friendships and support especially during the loss of my beloved Mother and followed by lovely little Timmy just one month later. I am sending all of you my fondest wishes for a Happy New Year and keep yourselves safe and warm until I return in the Spring and we can catch up on things. Enjoy every day with each other.