Losing the Bulls can be a lesson learned

By Cam Kennedy

It’s been almost two weeks since it was announced the Belleville Bulls would be leaving to Hamilton. Still hasn’t suck in yet, has it?

I’ve only been here in Belleville for almost two years now, yet I have a strong sense of what the Bulls mean to the area. The Bulls in some ways, put Belleville on the map. They are one of the more “historic” franchises you could say, in the Ontario Hockey League. “Historic”, like the arena the team plays in.

The Yardmen Arena, home of the Belleville Bulls. Photo by roamingtherinks.com
The Yardmen Arena, home of the Belleville Bulls. Photo by roamingtherinks.com

The Yardmen Arena certainly isn’t state of the art. However, how many times do you find yourself going to an arena talking about how futuristic or state of the art it is? You don’t. Arenas are canvases that await big moments to take place. Forget the foundation it takes to build an arena, the real foundation are the historic games that have taken place on the sheet of ice.

Fingers can be pointed in every direction as to why the beloved Bulls will take their stampede to Hamilton. Belleville mayor Taso Christopher has taken his fair share of the blame, so has former Bulls owner Gord Simmonds.

If you are a Bulls fan in Belleville however, lay some of the blame on yourself.

The opportunities were given to support this hometown team. Yet, the attendance numbers always dwindled at the bottom of the league’s rankings.

Simmonds made it clear that upwards of 3,000 people needed to attend games at the Yardmen in order to keep this operation running. The only time 3,000 people attended a Bulls’ game on my mind was last Saturday, the final regular season home game.

A little too late.

Fans flocked the arena like it was a final chance to show that they would start packing the seats every game. The same thing will probably happen when the Bulls host the Barrie Colts in the first round of the playoffs.

I do think Belleville is a hockey city, you could argue any Canadian city is. Hopes have even come up saying the Erie Otters could be on the move here, it’s all speculation however. But before any team comes back to this city, the city needs to be ready to host an OHL franchise.

Let the loss of the Bulls be a reminder that you can lose something you love in an instant so that maybe when another team opens its arms to this city, Belleville will be ready.

Afghanistan Memorial Vigil visits Kingston

By Cam Kennedy

KINGSTON – A touring memorial commemorating the people who lost their lives during Canadian military’s mission in Afghanistan was in Kingston on Wednesday.

After making stops in the Northwest Territories and the Royal Military College in St. Jean, Que., the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil’s final stop was at the Royal Military College of Canada.

The vigil will be transferred to Ottawa, the new permanent home of the display. No final location is set.

The memorial consists of plaques dedicated to each  of the 158 Canadian soldiers and more than 40 Americans.

Located in the centre of it all is a glass case that highlights some of the items associated with repatriation ceremonies that took place at the Kandahar airport.

Bagpipes, a Canadian flag flown in Kandahar and a chaplain’s robe were all sent from Afghanistan to be put on display with the rest of the vigil.

Along with the public, students at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston were able to view the display on Tuesday.

For one student, understanding the realities of war is easy when visiting displays like the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil.

“It (the vigil) gives a perspective from the families of the soldiers, you see their faces,” said Officer Cadet Adam Hyland. “It makes it easier to understand and to honour those who fought and served by showing your respects at this memorial.”

While the members honoured were mostly Canadian, it was the young Americans killed that struck a cord.

These American troops worked under Canadian operations while their mission was carried out in Afghanistan.

A couple of the American soldiers killed were only 18 years old, something that stood out to OCdt Hyland.

“Seeing the faces of 18 year olds, who are younger than most of the people at this college and in the military, it shows the reality of war and what it can do,” said Hyland.

Photoshop Editing

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BEFORE                                             AFTER

This picture was tough to edit but I tried to add a few things. Again, I adjusted the levels and curves. I also used the sharpen tool on some of the faces so that way they stand out a bit more.

Photoshop Editing

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BEFORE                                               AFTER

I took this photo with my IPhone so I knew the quality wasn’t going to be that great. However, I used Photoshop to make adjustments. I used the curves to brighten the picture and also used the clone stamp to get rid of the puck marks on the glass.

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BEFORE                                                  AFTER

In these pictures, I adjusted with levels and curves. I also adjusted the hue and saturation.

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