July 23, 2013 — Way back in 2003 I was living and working in Fresno, Calif. It was my first time living in a bigger city, and I was thoroughly enjoying the nightlife and the freedom of young adulthood. Three years into our fast-paced, city living, my husband accepted a job in some far away little town called Susanville. I had never heard of this obscure place except that my stepmother had lived in Westwood in the 1970s and attended Lassen Community College for a bit.
Friends and family were skeptical of our move here. It was too far away and too small a town. I tried to field questions I didn’t really know the answers to yet: What’s the weather like? How do you get there? Where exactly is Susanville? Why? Why? Why?
July 23, 2013 — Elections have consequences — both at the national and local levels. A case in point right here in Susanville —the proposed Sierra Community Sports Complex project. The Susanville City Council voted 3-2 last Wednesday to not complete the grant process and walk away from $2.1 million in Proposition 84 grant funding from the state of California to build the 17.25-acre complex on Sierra Avenue.
There’s no reason to start pointing fingers and playing the blame game, but the local leadership changes and vision in the city council and two city administrations doomed the project.
July 16, 2013 — I was absolutely stunned a couple of weeks ago when I received an email from the California Secretary of State’s office announcing a proposed “Bible-based speech initiative” that would exempt “speech based on biblical authority from existing constitutional and statutory restrictions applicable to all other speech, including restrictions against discrimination and hate crimes. Repeals constitutional provision denying protection to acts of religious expression inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state.”
What? Whoa. Where to start?
I believe in the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. I believe in a free and open marketplace of ideas because I also believe in such an environment the good ideas will earn acceptance and the bad ideas will fall away. I believe we especially need to defend the free speech rights of those with whom we disagree. Our freedom to think and act independently depends upon a vital public debate of ideas that arise from differing perspectives and disparate points of view.
July 16, 2013 — While growing up, fair season was always a time to relax, eat some fried Twinkies and test my fear levels on the seemingly poorly put together rides.
Then when I entered high school, my parents forced me to participate in 4-H.
I was 14 years old and in the beginners bracket where I was in direct competition with the very 8-year-old children I counseled at 4-H camp.
I was in a very confusing place: should I let my unrelenting competitive side win and potentially scar my campers from competition for life? Or should I be the nice role model and let them gain confidence by allowing them to beat a teenager?
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