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Let’s not let Brady’s death end our gun-control efforts

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 — Ah, once again I get to show my age. I’m old enough to remember that March morning in 1981 when John Hinkley, Jr. tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan and in the process severely injured his press secretary, James Brady, who died last week.

I never was a Reagan fan, and my opinion hasn’t changed in the several decades since, but despite our differences, I would never want to see a president of the United States gunned down, even one I didn’t like. Unfortunately, Brady suffered a head wound that ended his career, but he retained the title of press secretary throughout Reagan’s terms in office. I guess I have to admit Reagan must have done at least one thing right.

Living in a lookout refreshed my outlook on life

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 — The McCarthy Point Lookout nestled above the Mill Creek Canyon and the Ishi Wilderness offered stunning views and a relaxing escape from daily life.

Last month, a friend and I were able to spend two nights in the lookout originally built in 1936 by the Conservation Corps. At night, the dark, clear sky boasted star gazing opportunities in the cabin equipped with three walls of windows. Come morning, the brilliant, yet brutally hot, sunrise illuminated the canyon far below our sleeping bags.

However, one of the most liberating factors of the trip was the complete lack of cellphone service.

Community will be safer thanks to assailant incident training

Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 — Law enforcement and multiple governmental and private agencies held a training session yesterday at Lassen High School to enable them to focus on their combined response to an “active assailant incident, similar to a school shooting.”

Some of the agencies involved include the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen High School District, the Susanville School District, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Susanville Fire Department, CalFire, SEMSA, Banner Lassen Medical Center, Mountain Life Flight and the Lassen County Public Health Department.

“The purpose of this training exercise is to promote preparedness in the event of the need for a complex, multi-agency, response to a dynamic and tragic situation like a school shooting,” Susanville Police Chief Tom Downing wrote in a press release.

Could a local singer become the next American Idol?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — In the world of sports, athletes who didn’t make the cut talk about “having a cup of coffee” with the pro sports teams. I guess I had a couple of cups of coffee with the music business folks back in the old days, but Samdemonium never broke out. So I’ve always been really happy and excited when musician friends of mine start gulping their coffee down and having their brush with fame.

In the late 60s David Lane and I used to rib then teenager Danny Chauncey unmercifully for playing noisy rock riffs on his old red SG guitar in his tiny bedroom off the kitchen at his home in Alameda because he should have been playing acoustic folk music like we were. But we sure had to eat our share of crow when he joined .38 Special a few years later. Hey, Danny made it to the big time. We didn’t.

Home improvement can be well worth the effort

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — I am writing this column from the midst of chaos. That’s because everything from the bedroom has been moved into the living room and my office so I can paint. Because I am not a frequent painter, in between projects I forget how much work painting can be.

Of course there are a few other chores mixed in with the painting project such as removing white paint from an antique dresser and staining it with a natural finish. Once done it will look good, but it is time consuming. I scheduled two days for the painting, but it is actually taking three. I am not sure how long it will take to finish the dresser, so it looks as if I will be rummaging through boxes for a while trying to find the clothes I want to wear on any given day.


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