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While tragedy astonishes, it does not routinely interrupt the rhythm of life

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — I can’t stop thinking about the mudslide in Oso, Wash. Although my brother lives nearby in Arlington it isn’t the proximity that makes this news event linger. What sticks are the stories woven into the main news account of the slide — ordinary people doing ordinary activities on a Saturday morning about 10:45 a.m.

The stories include a young woman working on her first house, getting ready to move in; a workman installing cable TV at a home; a young woman and her fiancé visiting grandparents; a motorist traveling on Highway 530 at the time of the slide.

Most likely people of all ages were in the path of the natural disaster, which was described as the equivalent of 3 million dump truck loads of earth tumbling into the rural town …

Music education should be mandatory at schools

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — I’ve played some kind of musical instrument most of my life, so no one should be surprised I believe music should play a role in every student’s education. And in that regard I’d like to congratulate the Susanville Symphony Society’s Academy of Music for providing virtually free instrumental music instruction to everyone in our community, but most especially the young people.

Now to some people, the study of music has no practical application beyond making a joyful noise. They’re completely and absolutely wrong, and here are some thoughts on why I say that. Have you ever considered how much math is involved in working with the simple Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do major scale? 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Tuesday, April 1, 2104 — A sexual assault is one of the most terrifying events that can occur in anyone’s life, and the statistics are staggering.

According to statistics from oneinfourusa.org, one in four college women report surviving a rape or an attempted rape since their 14th birthday.

A staggering 20 percent of women reportedly answered yes to the question, "In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?" Thus, one in five college women say they’ve been raped at some point in her lifetime.

A survey of high school students revealed nearly the same results. According to that survey one in five women had experienced forced sex — rape. Half of these girls told no one about the incident.

The perfect kitty brings me much joy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — I am perfectly content with my life.

About a week ago I became the proud owner of a fluffy little fur ball named Bobbins. My dream of roughly 22 years came true when I walked into an animal shelter and fell in love with the only cat who hissed at me and would not let me hold her.

I had prepared for her arrival for weeks, buying her toys, scratching posts, kitty-proofing my apartment and daydreaming about the moment she, or he, would come into my life. But I was not under any allusions. I read numerous articles and blogs on how to integrate newly adopted felines into my home. Everything I read said she would most likely hide from me for a few days until she felt comfortable enough to creep out from her safe place and explore the hidden crevices and nooks of my apartment.

Obamacare covers veterans

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, made health insurance plans in the United States more inclusive, affordable and accessible. The act also requires all citizens and permanent residents sign up for health insurance that meets a certain standard.As a veteran, if you are signed up for any of the VA health care programs, then you already have insurance that meets the federal standard and you do not need to do anything under the new law. If you are a veteran not enrolled in VA health care, you can apply for immediate coverage at any time. Generally, there are no enrollment fees, monthly premiums or deductibles. However, some members may have small co-payments for services or prescription drugs.Information about VA health care eligibility can be found at va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/veterans.asp.


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