To stay on task, try a to-do list

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 — I am a fan of the to-do list. It is my best tool for organization. It helps me reach goals; it helps me get projects completed; it prevents me from forgetting promises and commitments.

I create lists for upcoming newspaper articles when the appropriate publish dates are at a future time. Lists are written for seasonal projects. For example, this summer during good weather I refinished patio furniture and stripped and stained a dresser. I organize tasks for various church ministries on paper and of course write daily tasks. You might notice that my to-do lists are categorical rather than generic because I find my time allotted to work on certain projects varies each day and each week. A project appropriate for Saturday would be different from something I might have time for on Tuesday.

Read more: To stay on task, try a to-do list

We will never forget the horror of Sept. 11

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 — Who among us can forget the events of Sept. 11, 2001?

While the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 remains what President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “a date which will live in infamy,” Americans also remember the horror wreaked by 15 terrorists armed with box cutters who hijacked three commercial jetliners full of civilians and flew them into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City, and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

Other terrorists who apparently intended to make the U.S. Capitol building their target also hijacked a fourth plane, but the passengers confronted them and all 44 souls were lost and four hijackers killed when the plane crashed short of its target in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Just before the crash, passenger Todd Beamer famously asked several passengers who sought to regain control of the jet liner, “Are you guys ready? Okay. Let’s roll.”

Read more: We will never forget the horror of Sept. 11

City needs to regulate medical marijuana gardens

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 — It’s been nearly 20 years since 56 percent of California voters approved Proposition 215, known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and the state legislature passed Senate Bill 240 — the two state laws that regulate medical marijuana in California.

Since California became the first state to adopt medical marijuana, 23 other states, nearly half the nation, and the District of Columbia, have joined the party. According to California state guidelines, medical marijuana users may possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana and may grow six mature plants or 12 immature plants.

Read more: City needs to regulate medical marijuana gardens

VA offers a variety of financial benefits for veterans

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 — Compensation is one of the main categories of benefits provided by the Veteran Administration.

The primary VA benefit is a service-connected compensation commonly called disability compensation. This tax-free benefit is paid to veterans with disabilities resulting from a disease or injury experienced or aggravated during active military service. In 2013, Lassen County veterans were paid $5.1 million in disability compensation. That’s tax-free money that goes directly into the pockets of our veterans and their families.

Read more: VA offers a variety of financial benefits for veterans

Ice bucket challenge brings awareness

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 — Like many Facebook users, my wall has been inundated with the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket challenge these past couple of weeks.

The purpose of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness and funds for the disease. Participants are challenged to donate money to the cause, dump a bucket of ice on their heads, or both. They post a photo or video on social media challenging others to do it.

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