The countdown to Christmas is on — Help Santa and your local merchants

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 — There are only 28 shopping days left before Christmas, and we encourage you to use them thoughtfully. Before you click “submit order” or slide your credit card out of town, ask yourself, “Is this something I could buy locally?”

Yes, this is another “shop local” pitch, but it’s also a realistic one. We realize there are some gifts that just can’t be purchased locally, and some bargains are just too good to pass up. But there are many times when local stores have the right gift at a competitive price. It’s the same with many proprietors throughout Lassen County — they strive to stock their shelves with items tailored for their customers. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

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It’s 2014. Why is the wage gap still an issue?

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 — At the beginning of my final semester in college in 1988, I stood in line to pay my tuition just like 45,000 other students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

  I handed the guy behind the payment counter a check for $608.09. He had no neck and was wearing one of those “wife beater” muscle shirts.

  “Hey you, what da hell is this?” Mr. No-Neck snapped at me. “You’re in-state, so your tuition is $868.70.”

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Honey Lake Hospice helps us in our hour of need

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 — My younger brother, John Theodore Williams, 62, suffered from cancer and died a couple of months ago. I’m not writing this to collect sympathy or have anyone feel sorry for me. I neither want nor need that, but thank you so much for the thought. I truly appreciate it.

On the contrary, my big upset came one afternoon the better part of a year ago when I learned despite an operation that removed a 15-pound tumor from his abdomen, the cancer had returned and his condition was terminal. Radiation and chemotherapy might give him a little more time — maybe — but in the end the disease would surely take his life.

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We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 — Harvest celebrations are probably as old as civilization, but here in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day based on the history and legends of that first Thanksgiving back in 1621 following a brutal winter in which the Pilgrims and the other colonists who arrived on the Mayflower in December 1620 lost nearly half of the original party.

Historians suggest the colonists probably would not have survived at all had the Native Americans not helped them and showed them how to grow food on the new and foreign continent.

The celebration back in 1621 lasted for three days and 91 Native Americans joined in the festivities. Not only was there a place for everyone at the table, everyone contributed to the feast.

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Make sure you say thank you to a veteran today

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 — Unfortunately, the war to end all wars — World War I — did not. Today, on Veterans Day, we honor those who served their country in the armed forces of the United States.

The World War II veterans, members of what has been called America’s Greatest Generation, have reached their senior years. America entered the war in December 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor and in less than four years our country and its allies had defeated the German and Italian fascists and the Japanese.

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