King’s plea for peace: ‘Can we all get along?’

Lately, I keep hearing in my memory Rodney King’s plea for peace: “Can we all get along?”

King was the Los Angeles cab driver tazed and beaten by police after a car chase one night in 1991. A video of the brutal incident sparked outrage. Later, when officers were acquitted, riots erupted and 53 people died.

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Gatsby – a great book recommendation

Recently, my language-arts class finished reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is often cited as an American classic, and I consider it one of my favorite books of all time. This is for many reasons, most notably the story and message, which I think still resonates today.

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Cannibalism at sea harrowing, riveting

In the whaling days of the 19th Century, crew members on ships, fearing cannibals, steered clear of many an island.

That’s the grim irony at the heart of a non-fiction survival saga by Nathaniel Philbrick. In the Heart of the Sea tells the true story of cannibal-fearing men resorting to cannibalism themselves while stranded at sea for 90 days.

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Robins, daughter leave nest, spread wings

During the past few weeks, we’ve watched a pair of robins gather twigs and materials to create a safe and cozy haven, lay their eggs, hatch their four newborns and care for them morning, noon and night by bringing food and protecting them from the elements.

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Sgt. Pepper taught the band 50 years ago

It was 50 years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.

Well, not quite, but close. It was June 2, 1967. And what a momentous day it was – the day a pop-rock album changed the cultural landscape of the world, the springtime day just before the Summer of Love, the day the Beatles released their psychedelic masterwork, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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Speak up or go home

by Dave DeMars

For 15 years and then some I have been going to meetings – city council meetings, school board meetings, county commissioner meetings, town board meetings and other assorted board meetings. On the whole I find them interesting – some more than others. Some say all these meetings are boring, but I believe boredom says more about the person claiming to be bored than it does about the so called “boring subject.”

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Gerrymandering threatens democracy

The integrity of our voting process, which is the bedrock of American Democracy, is threatened by three factors.

One is voter-suppression efforts based on bogus claims of rampant voter fraud.

Another is the electoral sabotage by Russians.

The third is “gerrymandering.” It occurs when legislatures redraw legislative-district boundaries to keep themselves in power. It’s nothing new. In fact, the word itself was coined by the Boston Gazette in 1812. The Democratic-Republican Party redrew the boundaries of a Boston-area district to make it less likely the Federalist Party would win control of the state senate. In order to skew the district to their favor, they drew a serpent-like map that some said resembled a salamander. The governor was Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and in 1813 President James Madison’s vice president. When people saw the redrawn-district map, ridicule erupted, and one wit called it a “Gerrymander,” a portmanteau word comprised of (Elbridge) Gerry and sala(mander).

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Good luck to the Class of 2017

It’s that time of year again when school is letting out for summer break. This old tradition has millions of students across the country basking in their newfound “freedom,” whether it be getting a summer job, participating in an activity or camp or just relaxing.What used to be a way to gather labor for the upcoming harvest now has parents scrambling for options to keep the kids entertained for three months. There is one group for which this time has a greater significance – our high-school seniors.

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