We live on a very, very small planet

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — Ah, I was happily noodlin’ away on some countryesque guitar licks in the A minor pentatonic scale, completely absorbed in practicing my full-step bends and doublestops in various positions up and down the neck, when Cindie looked out the sliding glass door in the afternoon Sunday, April 19 and noticed Diamond Mountain blanketed in a gray haze of wildfire smoke.

“Must be a fire somewhere,” she said, but I couldn’t find any information on a fire in our area or even anyone who knew of a fire here in Lassen County. Still, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Then, Monday morning as I’m gulping down my second mug of Joe, son of a cosmonaut, the TV weather guy mentions we’re seeing smoke from fires burning in Siberia carried all the way across the Pacific Ocean by the jet stream.

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City residents need to conserve water now

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Government leaders from Lassen County and the city of Susanville frequently complain about the “one-size-fits-all” rules and regulations they must adopt and enforce that originate with the state bureaucracy in Sacramento — rules and regulations that sometimes don’t make much sense in our corner of Northeastern California.

Of course, everyone knows the state struggles in the midst of one of the most severe droughts in recorded history — and leaders in Sacramento have taken steps to address this crisis.

The city of Susanville, as a municipal water supplier, must comply with orders from the governor and the State Water Resources Control Board to reduce water consumption by its customers by as much as 35 percent below usage levels set in September 2014.

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Lauren Hill’s life inspires us all

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — The college basketball season is officially finished with Duke being crowned the national champions for the men and University of Connecticut for the women. Some may argue that the biggest story of the college basketball season may have been the debate about the “one-and-done rule,” or the possibility of Kentucky going undefeated. In reality the biggest story in college basketball took place at Mount St. Joseph University.

Mount St. Joseph is a division three school in Ohio that has an enrollment of less than 2,000 undergrad students. Why was this small school the biggest story of the season? Lauren Hill. Early on in 2014, Hill was like any other 19 year old. She graduated high school and was getting ready to go begin college and play basketball, the game she loved.

That was until she was diagnosed with DIPG, a form of terminal brain cancer and was told she only had a few more months to live. Despite the terrible news, Hill was determined to accomplish her dream. That dream was to play college basketball and the Mount St. Joseph program was going to help make that a reality.

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John Michael Montgomery — a true country legend

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — Some of my first country music memories rise from the ashes of my grandfather’s beer joint just outside Ft. Worth in the mid-1950s. I remember he had an old jukebox, but he refused to let the serviceman put any Elvis 45s on it. Nope, Grandpa want wanted real country artists like Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, George Jones, Eddie Arnold, Kitty Wells, Red Sovine and Johnnie and Jack.

It worked. Sure enough, every afternoon those wrinkly, squinty-eyed, sun-parched Texas cowpokes rolled up in their disposable pickups (that’s a Texas term, I think), scraped the mud and manure off their boots, dropped a couple of nickels into the old Wurlitzer and enjoyed a little music with a few bottles of salted beer poured in skinny little glasses.

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Thanks for another great fishing derby

Chalk up another great event for Lassen County youngsters — The 26th annual Susanville Junior Fishing Derby sponsored by the Susanville Sportsmen’s Club.

Blessed by a special dispensation from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that permits the event the week before the regular fishing season opens, the children rise early in the morning to ply their fishing skills along the Susan River or Piute Creek through Memorial Park (for the younger anglers).

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