Susanville resident proves it’s never too late to follow your dreams

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Congratulations to Susanville resident Bill Merkle, 82, on his graduation May 16 from Dominican University of California in San Rafael.
    Merkle, the former warden at High Desert State Prison, earned a degree in humanities 36 years after he left his studies when the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation transferred him from San Quentin State Prison to High Desert State Prison — at a time when he was just six units shy of earning an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

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It’s not always easy being on the sidelines

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — It’s hard to sit there and be quiet.
It’s difficult to know something and not be able to share it.
It’s frustrating to want to weigh in, but be forced to remain silent.
It’s difficult to always be on the sidelines and not get in and play the game.

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Memorial Day is so much more than just another three-day weekend

Memorial Day is a day when we should remember those who died in the armed services, defending our freedom. And also to pay our respects to those who are still alive.
    Through the years, some of us have forgotten why this important federal holiday was created. To many, the day is simply considered a Monday off from work — a three-day weekend that signals the arrival of the summer season.
    But it is much more than that.
    In this country, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The day when graves of soldiers were decorated dates back to the Civil War when more than 600,000 soldiers died.

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The never-ending problem of clutter

Recently a retiree told me she wasn’t making much progress on the projects she planned to complete when she no longer had to devote a good portion of her day to a job.
    “I keep cleaning closets,” she said, “but someone keeps filling them up.”
    Clutter seems to be a never-ending problem for many people. Yet there is a lot of information about how to rid your life of clutter. Many bloggers are able to come up with new ideas for weekly columns on the Internet.

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Happy belated birthday to a quirky, cool role model

It seems fitting that Cinco de Mayo is the birthday of one of my more festive and feisty role models: Nellie Bly. She would’ve been 151 years old this month, and I want to wish her a happy belated.
    Born Elizabeth Jane Cochrane in 1864, Nellie Bly was her pen name. She was many things, but is probably best known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, in emulation of Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg.
    More important to me, she was a reporter’s reporter. She launched a new kind of investigative journalism after faking insanity to study a women’s mental institution from within. My kinda’ gal.

   I often try to relate some of her experiences to my own — because she was just so darn quirky and cool. I admit, I want to be like Bly.

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