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Where were you when the big wind blew?

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2015 — Each and every single one of us probably has our own story to tell regarding the big Friday, Feb. 6 wind storm that knocked out electrical power from the Bay Area to Nevada (including Susanville and Lassen County) and caused massive property damage all across our region.

Here’s mine. Luckily there was no real damage at my house near the golf course, but several of my neighbors lost portions of their roofs. We’ve got some shingles standing up, but it appears repairs will be fairly simple and inexpensive.

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Consult with your health care provider regarding immunizations

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 — The outbreak of measles that began at Disneyland in December should serve as a wakeup call to all of us to weigh the benefits and the dangers of immunizations and then make our own individual choices responsibly.

We disagree with those state and federal lawmakers who say immunization for diseases such as measles should be mandatory. All actions potentially have consequences, but health care decisions should be made by each individual or their family and not forced upon the populace by government.

Of course, we should remember the idea behind using vaccines for immunization is to prevent the disease before it occurs. To most of us, that’s a good thing. And the number of diseases vaccines can prevent is astonishing. These include anthrax, cervical cancer,

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Choral society shines in three-quarter time

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 — Anybody who knows me knows I’m a staunch, born-again guitar player, and I will make no apology for my obvious musical preferences. I’m a proud, native-born American who toddled my way across central Texas, so I’ve always enjoyed Americana music with its guitar-driven folk, blues and country influences. Hey, I can even handle a little dash of pop now and then. Since I hear confession is good for the soul, I should also acknowledge my immense appreciation for some British Invasion stuff, and my uncompromising, undying and uncontrollable fetish for the heavily compressed jangly noises that erupt from a Rickenbacker 12-string. Think of the Byrds or Tom Petty — that’s the ear candy I’m mumbling about.

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Missing groundhog shows up in the nick of time

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 — “Should we actually attach a mustache to him, or have him holding up one of the paper ones we have left over as props from our wedding?”

  This is the kind of absurd question I found myself asking as one of the organizers for the Groundhog Fever Festival last year.

  My wife and I were two of a group of eight who started the festival two years ago. The event, much to everyone’s surprise, was a hit.

  Way more people than we expected showed up to the festival the first year, and we were a little unprepared. The second year, we had a better idea of what to expect and tweaked the layout and format of it to better suit a larger crowd.

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Effort to create a new state is a waste of time

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 — In principle, the movement to make Northern California its own state makes sense. Our voices are but a whisper when compared to those in the urban south. Our lack of representation in matters that affect us is very similar to the injustices that prompted our forefathers to declare independence from England.

But the reality is much different. No matter how many small northern counties endorse the creation of a new state, it’s not going to happen in our lifetime.

While many of us might find it appealing to carve out a 51st state from the crags, buttresses and mountains many “Jeffersonians” call home, there are a bevy of factors those supporters are not taking into account.

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