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Don’t forget to vote

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 — Political pundits frequently proclaim the upcoming election as the most important in history. The truth is every election is important.

The Tuesday, Nov. 4 General Election gives Lassen County voters an opportunity to set the course of the ship of state at the national, state and local levels. Many residents will vote at polling places on Election Day, and many will vote through vote-by-mail ballots. For those who voted by mail, the county elections office must receive your ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day, but remember postmarks do not count. If you feel your ballot cannot be processed through the mail in time, ballots may be dropped off at the elections office at the Lassen County Courthouse. Voters also may exchange their vote-by-mail ballot for a polling place ballot at their poling place. Voters who do not have their vote-by-mail ballot can still vote on a provisional ballot. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Frightmare Forest scared me straight

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 — I just haven’t been in the Halloween spirit this year. It’s unusual for me, since fall is my favorite season. I love the changing colors, brisk weather and pumpkin-flavored everything. Halloween is the gateway to the holidays, all of which I normally love, so it was strange for me to feel so unenthusiastic about all of it.

Maybe it’s because in my third trimester of pregnancy anything that pulls me away from decorating the nursery, shopping for baby things or sleeping seems extraneous. Time I would have normally spent carving pumpkins I feel should now be spent in more productive ways, like setting up the crib. Money I would normally spend on Halloween candy, now leaves guilt behind in the spot where it used to sit in my wallet. I should have spent that money on diapers, right?

eBenefits connects vets to resources

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — The Veterans Administration is launching in the 21st century, and it wants veterans to follow its lead.

They have created eBenefits, a joint Department of Defense and VA web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to veterans, service members and their families to research, access and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information.

The eBenefits application is a key component of the VA’s ongoing transformation to a digital environment for benefits delivery. The capabilities of eBenefits give veterans and service member’s greater flexibility in securing the information they are looking for from the convenience of their own homes or smart-phones.

Authority hurls unexpected curveball

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — Our elected officials on the Susanville City Council and the Lassen County Board of Supervisors need to carefully consider all the implications and ramifications of a request from the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority to prepay the construction costs for a community pool in Susanville.

The authority, created through a joint powers agreement between the city council and the board of supervisors at a special joint meeting held Nov. 18, 2013 at the Veterans Memorial Hall, collects $200,000 from each entity annually through 2028 for a total $6 million commitment to the pool project over 15 years. The authority’s board of directors is comprised of supervisors Larry Wosick and Jim Chapman, Susanville Mayor Brian Wilson, councilmember Nicolas McBride and public member Dave Meserve. Chapman and Wilson came up with idea to form the joint powers authority to build a community pool last year.

Complacency easily can creep into our daily lives if we don’t remain vigilant

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — Not too long ago I failed to notice a rattlesnake next to a trail within the lower elevation of the Lassen National Forest. Hearing a rustling in the leaves, I stopped to look thinking it was a lizard but then heard the rattle as it slithered off to coil beneath a tree.

I was thankful I had avoided an encounter with the poisonous snake so far from medical care. However, I realized I had become complacent when it comes to watching for rattlesnakes, because I now live in an area where they are not common. During that same outing I almost brushed against poison oak as well but was warned by a companion. Again, raised in the foothills of El Dorado County, I should have recognized the leaf.


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