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Happy birthday, America

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 — This week we celebrate the founding of our nation — the Declaration of Independence.

All across this great land of ours, most of us will celebrate America’s birthday Friday with fireworks, barbecues and a fine summer day and evening with family and friends free from the toil of our labors. But we also should remember the reason for the holiday.

While the Declaration of Independence, mostly credited to Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, recites a lengthy catalog of grievances against the British crown and government and provides the colonists’ justification so the rest of the world might understand their decision to “dissolve the political bands” between the colonies and England, it is the second paragraph’s opening words that have become the underlying principle of this great land of ours — even though they have no real legal standing and were not included in the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

Unexplained illnesses continue to plague Gulf War vets

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 — A prominent condition affecting Gulf War veterans is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders and memory problems. VA refers to these illnesses as "chronic multi-symptom illness" and "undiagnosed illnesses." The term “Gulf War Syndrome” is used when referring to medically unexplained symptoms reported by Gulf War veterans.

Gulf War veterans who meet the criteria below do not need to prove a connection between their military service and illnesses in order to receive VA disability compensation. VA presumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for six months or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. These presumptive illnesses must have appeared during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or by Dec. 31, 2016, and be at least 10 percent disabling.

Come celebrate the glory days Detroit steel

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — Now that I’m in my 60s it seems as if nearly everyone I know is quick to point out I’m old. I accept it as a little good-natured ribbing and accept I’m probably going to have to listen to those kinds of comments from now on.

But being old means I remember a lot of things younger folks have never really experienced. One of the things I remember well is the glory days of the American automobile industry and its effect on our culture back in the 1950s and 1960s. Wow, that was a time. And we can all revisit a little piece of those days this Saturday when the Lassen County Chamber of Commerce hosts the Main Street Cruise. You sure won’t want to miss this one if you love those great old cars from yesteryear.

Taking advantage of opportunities to do good works

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 —Today I am thinking of a favorite scripture passage from the Book of Ephesians in the Bible that states while we cannot work for our salvation because it is a free gift from God received by faith, our salvation leads to good works. (Eph. 2:8-10)

Ephesians 2:10 reads — “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

It came to mind as I read a short piece in the “Notebook” section of World Magazine dated May 31. The piece titled, “Coffin carver,” told of a good work God called Bobby Siears, a professional cabinetmaker, to “one Sunday morning last year to help grieving families.” Since that time, he has made more than 65 small caskets for children, some the size of a shoebox for premature babies. Parents who have lost a child find his gesture comforting. His good work is for anyone in need, regardless of income, race or religion, according to the article.

Time to start work on another pool site

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — At its Tuesday, June 17 meeting, the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority directed staff to write a letter to the Lassen Union High School District Board of Trustees to say the authority is no longer interested in pursuing the purchase of the Credence High School site for a community swimming pool.

Some members of the board expressed their dissatisfaction with the progress of the negotiations with the high school district while others defended the high school board as it seeks to sort out the question of who actually owns the site the authority ranked No. 1 for the community pool and resolve those issues.

At this point there is no reason to play the blame game and try to make the high school district board wrong.


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