Meeting with the new Veteran’s Affairs secretary

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 — On Tuesday, Aug. 19, I was invited to meet new Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald at the regional office in Reno. McDonald, a former Procter and Gamble chief executive, Airborne Ranger and 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, was President Obama’s nomination to replace Eric Shinseki.

McDonald acknowledged VA is currently incompetent but said he plans to change that in the coming months. He said he plans to use $16 billion Congress appropriated to hire more doctors and nurses to care for the increasing number of veterans returning home from war.

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Have a wonderful Labor Day holiday

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 — Happy Labor Day. Every year the first Monday of September we celebrate Labor Day — the last big three-day weekend of the summer.

While the holiday may have started more than 100 years ago as a creation of the labor movement and unions to honor the contributions of American workers to the America, it has become the last long weekend for family fun before many schools start, the days get shorter and we all settle in for another fall and the arrival of winter.

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Help is available even when all hope is gone

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 — Like most of you readers, I also found myself shocked and stunned by Robin Williams’ apparent suicide last week. My first thoughts were how could a rich, famous and talented person with absolutely everything the world has to offer easily within his grasp make that fateful decision to take his own life? But once the reality of it all sank a little deeper into my brain a few seconds later, I realized the situation can’t be quite that simple. Despite his great wealth, fame and public acclaim, in the end Williams was a human being just like the rest of us, subject to the same human frailties to which we all suffer from time to time. Unfortunately, in his case, the feelings beneath those frailties must have finally overwhelmed him.

I’d be willing to bet if we are really honest about this subject nearly all of us, if not every single one of us, has entertained the idea of ending our life by our own hand at one time or another. I know I have.

Read more: Help is available even when all hope is gone

A reminder to use caution when driving around school zones

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 — For many local youngsters and teenagers, those long, lazy days of summer have finally come to an end, and it’s time to start lugging those heavy backpacks to class as another school year begins.

During the summer vacation, drivers need not worry about students on their way to or from class, but summer vacation has ended. We encourage drivers to slow down and remember the speed limit in school zones is always 25-miles-per-hour when children are present. Drivers should pay particular attention to student pedestrians on foot or on bicycles or skateboards — especially in the morning when students arrive at school and in the afternoon when they head back home.

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Take the time to know the candidates before voting

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 — The deadline for filing to run for an elected office in Lassen County has passed and voters will now have until Tuesday, Nov. 4, to determine which candidates to support. Although learning about candidates can be difficult, I encourage everyone who is a registered voter to take time to learn as much about a candidate as possible before the election, whether the elected position is a member of a local board or a director of an agency or public utility.

Also, I encourage candidates to interact with voters as often as possible so questions about policy, point of view, experience and knowledge on issues can be addressed.

In June campaign posters were everywhere — in the windows of businesses; in lots along the roadways; in the front yards of supporters. A friend commented voters gained little more than name recognition and that was not the best way to pick a candidate.

Read more: Take the time to know the candidates before voting


Visitor's Guide
Monday, August 31, 2015