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He signed, ‘With hope for our poetry’

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 — Boy, did I get hit with a big haymaker last week. First I learned of the death of singer Leslie Gore, who recorded the monster 1963 smash “It’s My Party,” and I fondly remembered one of my first favorite songs from my giggly, teenybopper years. But my happy, nostalgic “I’ll cry if I wa-ant to,” moment soured suddenly when I discovered poet Philip Levine had died on Valentine’s Day.

Levine came to Fresno State in the late 1950s and within a decade, largely due to his influence, the English program there garnered national recognition and even rivaled the reputation of creative writing programs at big time schools such as the University of Iowa. His students became known as the Fresno poets.

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Interceding on behalf of the persecuted

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 — Like most, I have been appalled at the activities taking place in the Middle East at the hands of men operating under the banner of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

I have not watched any of the videos of the beheadings that have taken place or of those burned alive. My imagination is sufficient to stir my heart and compel me to search for ways I might be of help.

My first reaction was to turn to prayer on behalf of the people who live in this region and I still regularly intercede for them in prayer. In prayer, I have actively been seeking ways I might help.

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Thank you to first responders, utility crews

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 — A big, big windstorm hit the West Coast on Friday, Feb. 6, hammering Susanville, Lassen County and the region with the biggest storm in years, causing an estimated millions of dollars in damage. The winds knocked out the Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s power lines that snake across the Sierra and provide power from Lassen Municipal Utility District customers. PG&E customers and Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative customers also were in the dark as were some residents in Nevada.

Lassen County District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman, who’s lived in Susanville most of his life, said he can’t remember experiencing a windstorm of this magnitude.

While most of us sought a warm, dry place safe from the howling wind, sideways rain and an assortment of airborne debris, some in our community headed directly into the storm’s path and fury and braved the elements on our behalf.

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Where were you when the big wind blew?

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2015 — Each and every single one of us probably has our own story to tell regarding the big Friday, Feb. 6 wind storm that knocked out electrical power from the Bay Area to Nevada (including Susanville and Lassen County) and caused massive property damage all across our region.

Here’s mine. Luckily there was no real damage at my house near the golf course, but several of my neighbors lost portions of their roofs. We’ve got some shingles standing up, but it appears repairs will be fairly simple and inexpensive.

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Consult with your health care provider regarding immunizations

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 — The outbreak of measles that began at Disneyland in December should serve as a wakeup call to all of us to weigh the benefits and the dangers of immunizations and then make our own individual choices responsibly.

We disagree with those state and federal lawmakers who say immunization for diseases such as measles should be mandatory. All actions potentially have consequences, but health care decisions should be made by each individual or their family and not forced upon the populace by government.

Of course, we should remember the idea behind using vaccines for immunization is to prevent the disease before it occurs. To most of us, that’s a good thing. And the number of diseases vaccines can prevent is astonishing. These include anthrax, cervical cancer,

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Friday, July 31, 2015