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Be prepared for winter storm hazards

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 — Last week’s winter storm that rocked Northeastern California — what USA Today calls the “fiercest storm in five years,” — should serve as a wake-up call for our readers. The Pineapple Express, a river of warm, moisture-laden air that originates near Hawaii in the Southern Pacific Ocean pumped lots of moisture toward the West Coast with wind, rain and snow.

While Susanville got rain and a just a light dusting of snow last Sunday, Quincy residents were blanketed in eight inches of the white stuff. Flooding concerns were raised along creeks and rivers, especially in areas recently ravaged by fires and in the area around Lassen Volcanic National Park. High winds closed Highway 395 near Susanville for high profile vehicles, and many local residents expressed concerns about possible power outages.

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.

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.

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.

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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