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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Authority hurls unexpected curveball

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — Our elected officials on the Susanville City Council and the Lassen County Board of Supervisors need to carefully consider all the implications and ramifications of a request from the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority to prepay the construction costs for a community pool in Susanville.

The authority, created through a joint powers agreement between the city council and the board of supervisors at a special joint meeting held Nov. 18, 2013 at the Veterans Memorial Hall, collects $200,000 from each entity annually through 2028 for a total $6 million commitment to the pool project over 15 years. The authority’s board of directors is comprised of supervisors Larry Wosick and Jim Chapman, Susanville Mayor Brian Wilson, councilmember Nicolas McBride and public member Dave Meserve. Chapman and Wilson came up with idea to form the joint powers authority to build a community pool last year.

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Complacency easily can creep into our daily lives if we don’t remain vigilant

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — Not too long ago I failed to notice a rattlesnake next to a trail within the lower elevation of the Lassen National Forest. Hearing a rustling in the leaves, I stopped to look thinking it was a lizard but then heard the rattle as it slithered off to coil beneath a tree.

I was thankful I had avoided an encounter with the poisonous snake so far from medical care. However, I realized I had become complacent when it comes to watching for rattlesnakes, because I now live in an area where they are not common. During that same outing I almost brushed against poison oak as well but was warned by a companion. Again, raised in the foothills of El Dorado County, I should have recognized the leaf.

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Community shows support for our wounded warriors

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 — The residents of Lassen County and the city of Susanville enjoy a justly earned reputation for helping those in need. Last week the community’s largess reached far beyond the county line to offer assistance to Marine Cpl. Joshua Hotaling, a warfighter who lost both legs and part of his right hand in an improvised explosive device blast in Sangin, Afghanistan on May 13, 2011.

Several of the more than 100 participants at a Saturday, Oct. 4 fun run for Hotaling at Susanville Ranch Park noted while the wounded warrior is not a member of our local community, as a United States Marine wounded on the battlefield, he is, nonetheless, one of our own.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place April 5, kick-starting the construction of a new home for Hotaling in Loomis, California.

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I love the community feel of small towns

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 — Small towns have a magnetic charm to them, and once one becomes accustomed, at least in my case, it is hard to jump to a more fast-paced environment.

I’ve always lived in small-ish towns, first growing up in Paradise, California, then moving to Quincy, and later choosing a college situated in a city of about 30,000 in Oregon.

There is an inviting draw in the activities and the people, despite the fact that I naturally always feel awkward and let my shyness take over.

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