The Highway 148 Effect

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We have a smooth, fast highway for a country road. Now, at the end of June, when most roads are still pockmarked after the long winter and the rainy spring, we are a ribbon of road that invites stupidity. Some people blame the road, but it is not the road that is dangerous, it's the drivers. They are in an excessive hurry, they pass on double lines and on blind corners, they are on their phones, they've had a few drinks, they are high, they are possibly not even licensed drivers. 

Today I thank the powers of fate or lucky coincidence that my daughter and I are alive after meeting such a driver while driving 90 km/hr on the 148 about to pass the Wyman-Clarendon intersection. Not a 100 feet from the intersection, a driver suddenly and inexplicably pulled out from Wyman side road in front of us. If I had not swerved, we would probably all be dead: me, my daughter and whoever was in that kamikaze car.

I swerved, went airborne over the (luckily small) ditch, bounced down on the grass and headed straight for the electrical pole. We must have bounced a little more because, as I tried to steer the car clear of the pole, the wheels at first did not respond... and in the last minute did. A second brush with fate. Finally the car stalled in the grass. We sat confused about what had happened until it dawned on us that we were lucky to be alive. The driver, who forced us off the road, was nowhere to be seen. He did not stop to see if we were okay. 

So here is my plea to people behind the wheel on our roads: Put down your phones.

Be sober and don't drive high.

If you have to get somewhere, give yourself enough time or be content to be late. 

Life is fleeting. 

For all those who have perished on the road or who, like us, have luckily only had a brush with that terrible fate, please pay attention! Make it your mission to preserve life (human or animal) and to stay in touch with all real human contact. Be ready to help when help maybe needed. 

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by: 

Kate Aley

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by: 

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Above, Linda Bergeron Baril with the three paintings selected to be in the exhibition.

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by: 

Kate Aley

translation: 

Guy Faubert

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by: 

Kate Aley

Two months ago, Ottawa high-school teacher Julia Brown* was a healthy woman enjoying a summer day at a riverside cottage. Yet a bite from a tick nearly took her life. But it was not Lyme disease; it was something worse. Brown and her family were visiting a friends’ cottage on the waterfront in the south of Luskville, along Ch. Pins on Black Bay in mid-August.

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