Oct. 15, 2013 — The murder of a Susanville man receives national coverage at 9 p.m. this Friday when Dateline NBC airs a two-hour special on the Wallin-Reed murder trial. Northeastern California news on the national stage — I can sympathize with the families whose stories will be blasted across the airwaves.
When my uncle, Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams, died in 2002 and two of his three children announced the Hall of Famer’s remains would be cryogenically preserved, that harsh, national spotlight landed right on me, and I am eternally grateful for the advice I received from Dave Moller, then the newspaper’s managing editor, who reminded me I could always decline to comment on what I felt was essentially a private, family matter.
Oct. 8, 2013 — Confession: I love junk food. If I was given the option between a well-balanced meal at a decent restaurant and greasy, cheese-loaded taco, I might be inclined to choose the heart attack in a shell.
Also, I love sugar. Candy rarely lasts long in my house, and I am a sucker for chocolate-dipped anything. Or fried anything. Or cheese.
Obviously I have many weaknesses when it comes to food.
However, as I enter my new adult life, I have wanted to change my ways. For the first time, I am solely responsible for feeding myself, and I am starting to realize that the different foods I consume make me feel better or worse. I do not have a meal plan to rely on if I get lazy, and I do not have my parents sitting in the adjoining room giving me condescending looks as I scarf down that fourth taco. I am now responsible for my health. Scary.
Oct. 8, 2013 — On Monday, Oct. 1, the federal government shut down when the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democrat-led Senate could not agree on a budget.
Funding for the Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — is the central issue in this partisan battle with House Republicans on one side and Senate Democrats on the other. Both parties seek to place the blame for the shutdown on the other — it’s the divisive and partisan brand of politics Americans have been forced to endure from the federal (and state) government for years.
It’s not like we didn’t see this coming, but it doesn’t make it any less ridiculous. If employees in the private sector acted like this they would be strongly reprimanded — more likely fired.
Oct. 1, 2013 — The first time I visited Herlong High School it was a dark and stormy night during basketball season. I was new to Lassen County and even newer still to my role as the Lassen County Times’ sports editor. I punched the directions into the GPS app on my phone and followed the voice of Google for 45 minutes down dark country roads and a seemingly endless highway until I got to the turnoff for Herlong. As I made my way through the town and Google told me I was approaching my destination, I have to admit, I was freaked out. It was dark, didn’t look much like a town, and most of what I could make out through my headlights were cracked sidewalks and boarded up windows. I reached to my left and jabbed at the button that reassured me my car doors were locked as I wracked my brain to remember if I had actually told anyone where I was going in case I never returned, which seemed like a distinct possibility.
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