Every now and then, I check in on this blog to see what one of the Prime Minister's closest friends is thinking.
He's John Weissenberger, an old Calgary friend of Stephen Harper, now chief of staff to Immigration Minister Diane Finley. He and Harper go way back. When Harper was being sworn in as Prime Minister, Weissenberger flew to Ottawa to spend the weekend with the future PM and his family.
Weissenberger doesn't write about immigration or his Harper friendship on his blog, though - he and co-blogger George Koch write about an eclectic variety of things on their minds.
The latest installment is about newspapers - delivery, to be precise, and a question about why adults, not kids, are delivering the papers these days. (A little known fact - a young kid named Stephen Harper used to deliver the Star in Toronto about four decades ago.)
Weissenberger's not the first to pose the question. The excellent Freakonomic blog at the New York Times wondered the same thing a couple of years ago.
Well, as it turns out, I work at a newspaper. I might as well ask, right?
And here's what I was told.
"The main reason is that in this day and age, too many parents did not want their kids out on the streets unaccompanied in the dark, and thus it was too hard to find enough kids to do the job, the turnover was tremendous," one manager told me in an email.
"Circulation people found adult carriers more reliable and available."
A couple of other colleagues told me, as well, that the trend away from child delivery really began when newspapers moved to early-morning delivery - as opposed to the afternoon kind that you saw on Leave it to Beaver or in Mayberry.
It just wasn't safe or practical to expect kids to be up at 4 a.m., papers delivered by 6 a.m.