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Celebrating the Basque roots in my family tree

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — I suspect my family’s history, like that of many Americans, contains a rich mixture from a variety of different cultures.

My maternal great-grandfather came from Germany in the 1880s and settled in a town called Azel a few miles outside Ft. Worth, Texas. I’ve tried to trace the family line back through the Fatherland, but my great-grandfather came from Dresden, a city mostly destroyed and burned to the ground by 1,300 British and American bombers that rained nearly 4,000 tons of bombs and incendiaries on the city during a three-day period in February 1945. I’ve been told the city’s genealogical records are hard to come by, although some Germans say I might be able to find more information if I traveled to Dresden myself.

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Myths and metaphors: From Irish snakes to divine hanky-panky

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — Recently, I was discussing St. Patrick’s Day and how the holiday got started with a friend.

That got me thinking about some of the more ridiculous myths behind metaphors, when taken literally, and the need to debunk some of these age-old and damaging fabrications.

A metaphor is a symbolic, conceptual image that suggests something else. It’s not really the way things went down — if they went down at all.

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A shout out to a new generation of musicians

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — Anybody who knows me can tell you music plays a big role in my life. I guess that’s one of the characteristics of being a musician. Frankly, I can’t even imagine my life without music — it’s that important to me.

Last Tuesday evening I attended the Susanville Symphony Society’s Academy of Music Spring Recital at the United Methodist Church for an hour-long concert by young and old players alike who are new to their instruments.

From one musician to another, let me welcome you to a wonderful world of discovery and enjoyment. You’ve already taken that first giant step, and I wholeheartedly congratulate you on your decision to learn to play an instrument. Well done.

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District needs state’s help to sort out watermaster issues

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — Probably none of us here in conservative Lassen County wants to find himself or herself beholden to the liberal bureaucracy that is the state government in Sacramento. That’s a given.

But the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District has allowed the watermaster service it has administered since 2008 under a Lassen County Superior Court decree to become a boil that must be lanced and the infection cleaned before any healing can begin.

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U.S. Secret Service agents tainted by scandal

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — In slightly less than three years, the long-held and stellar reputation of the United States Secret Service has taken solid hits as a result of three public scandals, the last of which occurred during the first week of this month and just came to light.

It has been reported two senior agents, one of whom is a top member of President Barack Obama’s protective detail, crashed a government vehicle into a White House barrier while allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

Prior to last week the most recent incident occurred in September 2014 when a man with a knife jumped the White House fence and was able to run all the way to the mansion before being stopped.

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