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Your vote is worth much more than you might realize

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 — More than 400 years ago, the first English colonists stepped ashore, stretched their legs and got down to the business of organizing their new lives in North America.

The first order of business in Jamestown in 1607? Elect a community president.

In those days, with just a handful of people living in a community, an individual’s ballot carried a lot of weight.

I went dancing for a worthwhile cause

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 — I don’t dance, usually, and I don’t particularly enjoy being in front of a crowd of people.

So, when a staff member from Lassen Family Services asked if I would participate in their inaugural Dancing For a Brand New Me, my immediate response was “no way.”

After some thought and maybe some minor threats that I would be asked again until I agreed, I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone.

Don’t forget to vote

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 — Political pundits frequently proclaim the upcoming election as the most important in history. The truth is every election is important.

The Tuesday, Nov. 4 General Election gives Lassen County voters an opportunity to set the course of the ship of state at the national, state and local levels. Many residents will vote at polling places on Election Day, and many will vote through vote-by-mail ballots. For those who voted by mail, the county elections office must receive your ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day, but remember postmarks do not count. If you feel your ballot cannot be processed through the mail in time, ballots may be dropped off at the elections office at the Lassen County Courthouse. Voters also may exchange their vote-by-mail ballot for a polling place ballot at their poling place. Voters who do not have their vote-by-mail ballot can still vote on a provisional ballot. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Frightmare Forest scared me straight

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 — I just haven’t been in the Halloween spirit this year. It’s unusual for me, since fall is my favorite season. I love the changing colors, brisk weather and pumpkin-flavored everything. Halloween is the gateway to the holidays, all of which I normally love, so it was strange for me to feel so unenthusiastic about all of it.

Maybe it’s because in my third trimester of pregnancy anything that pulls me away from decorating the nursery, shopping for baby things or sleeping seems extraneous. Time I would have normally spent carving pumpkins I feel should now be spent in more productive ways, like setting up the crib. Money I would normally spend on Halloween candy, now leaves guilt behind in the spot where it used to sit in my wallet. I should have spent that money on diapers, right?

eBenefits connects vets to resources

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — The Veterans Administration is launching in the 21st century, and it wants veterans to follow its lead.

They have created eBenefits, a joint Department of Defense and VA web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to veterans, service members and their families to research, access and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information.

The eBenefits application is a key component of the VA’s ongoing transformation to a digital environment for benefits delivery. The capabilities of eBenefits give veterans and service member’s greater flexibility in securing the information they are looking for from the convenience of their own homes or smart-phones.


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