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Substance abuse does not justify bad behavior

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 — Two years ago William “Billy” Altes broke into our home in the wee hours of the morning. Today Altes sits in jail, accused of murdering a woman exactly my same age.

If we had a dollar for every person who told us “if it were my house, he would have been a dead man,” we’d be rich.

But consider the circumstances. A gun, locked and loaded, stays right next to the side of my bed. I know how to use it.

Altes broke into our bedroom, and later told police he even lay on our bed. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) we weren’t in it. We were sleeping in another room because we were in the middle of painting the master bedroom.

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We were lucky: This time it was just a lot of corn

The recent derailment of 11 railcars in the Feather River Canyon probably won’t garner the kind of attention it should. That’s because nobody got hurt and the cargo that spilled into the river was just corn. It was a lot of corn, but still, just corn.

If the railcars were carrying volatile Bakken oil, this would be an entirely different story.

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Park and ride comments sought

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 — Janesville residents have the opportunity to voice their opinions on a park and ride lot in their area.

A public meeting regarding the discussion of specific location options for the new or redesigned park and ride will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Artisan Coffee Shop in Janesville.

According to transportation project manager Cynthia Raschein, she hopes the later meeting time will allow more people in the Janesville community to attend the meeting.

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December’s thoughts turn to decorating Christmas trees

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 — I have begun to think about Christmas trees. December seems to trigger such thoughts. To make sure I was not alone I did a little Internet research and found at least 25 to 30 million other people are thinking about getting a tree to decorate. How do I know? That’s how many real trees are sold each year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Living in the middle of Lassen National Forest I will not be purchasing a tree grown on one of the farms across the United States but instead I will make my selection from the choices found on these mountains. In this endeavor I am part of a minority — 85 percent purchase precut trees and only 14 percent cut their own.

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County hosts many events to brighten your Christmas spirit

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 — With Thanksgiving behind us, the rush toward Christmas Day always picks up speed. Believe it or not, Santa Claus arrives in just a little more than three weeks. Wow.

The good news is Lassen County is the place to be if you’re seeking a little Christmas cheer, and sometimes it seems as if nearly every resident must be involved in one kind of holiday shindig or another.

Check out our Arts and Entertainment Calendar and our At A Glance column for a listing of normal every day occurrences and special holiday events across Lassen County from Westwood to Doyle and everywhere in between.

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