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A few good men

Jane CollinsThe world needs more good daddies. And so I convinced my husband to join me on a twoweek service vacation at a children’s orphanage in Peru this past March with the ulterior motive of providing the kids with the chance — maybe their only one — to have a positive experience with a wonderful male role model. Fully 70 percent of the 560 kids there were fatherless and the ratio of adult women to men caring for them was roughly the same ratio you’d find at a Nordstrom shoe sale.

I was told that kind-hearted men occasionally volunteered at the orphanage but many of them were older and had the intention, but not necessarily the stamina, to play with the children. Enter my husband Mike — a guy who has raised two wonderful sons, knows his way around any sports field and has the strength to toss kids into the air at will. His very presence inspired awe among the tweens (he’s 6-feet-8), and somewhere on my hard drive I have a great picture of him surrounded by cute little Peruvian kids wearing yellow shirts, all measuring themselves against his waistline.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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A guilty displeasure

Reuben MeesI feel guilty. I’ve taken to driving again and it’s been over two days since I’ve walked anywhere at all.

I’m not even getting in a halfmile perambulating to and from work and general downtown locales.

Considering in recent weeks, I walked sometimes two to three miles in a single day, that’s a lot of exercise I’m missing out on.

And for what? So I can drive a car again?

While driving can be relaxing — on rare occasions — I really don’t want the burden in my life.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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Slogan should be created: ‘Remember Memorial Day’

Doug LoehrRemember Pearl Harbor, and never forget 9/11.

Those are two surprise attacks that can never be erased, and the list for America could go on forever if we think hard about our country’s history at war. But those are two that will never be erased from the minds of the “baby boomer” generation.

Those slogans, if you will, should be remembered this Memorial Day weekend as too many Americans truly look at this holiday as just a paid day off work.

That’s sad, because the holiday is here for good reason. Had it not been for our nation’s war veterans we would probably be working come Monday morning.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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A partial solution to gas prices

Reuben Mees“I’m tired of driving; it must be time that I walk about …” 

The Beastie Boys wrote those lyrics in a song produced in 1993 — long before gasoline hit $4 a gallon.

I’ve been walking a lot these days (not entirely by choice) and it has been an enlightening experience, especially as I listen to people complain about the price of gas or watch them wince as they start filling up their tanks.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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‘Idol’ caught me by surprise

Doug LoehrI just happen to be, thanks to my wife, a huge American Idol fan. That’s because three years ago she made an offhanded remark that we don’t do anything together anymore, including what we watch on TV. So I, being the sensitive and loving husband that I am, caved to her wishes and began watching Idol.

At times it somewhat embarrasses me, especially when I am conversing with my rock and roll band buddies, when I mention Idol around them. I always get this ... look ... like, well, let’s just say they give me this “look.”

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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Wishing the government would stay out of sports world

Do we not have enough problems in our country that our government now has to get involved with our professional sports leagues?

First it was steroids in baseball. I’ll admit that maybe Bud Selig and Major League Baseball needed a little nudge from Congress to get a handle on baseball’s continuing problem with banned substances.

However, I think the government is now going too far in its meddling with the sports world. U.S. Senator Arlen Specter has developed a personal vendetta against the National Football League and Spygate, the saga involving the Patriots taping of opposing team’s defensive signals.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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Get Out & Give Back: The Invisible Woman

The worst part about our vacation to Cuzco, Peru, last month was tolerating the street vendors who were always pestering us to buy something. Every time we left our hotel or a tour bus or a tourist site, we were bombarded with offers from poorly dressed, weathered looking women or children to buy sweaters, blankets or rugs, all promising that these identical-looking items were handmade and original.

Finding a restaurant without interruption was even worse. For the first time in our lives we knew how Britney Spears must feel being trailed constantly by the paparazzi. Every time we came near a restaurant, waiters would run up to us, three at a time, shoving English-language (how did they know?) menus in our faces and extolling the virtues of sautéed alpaca or fried guinea pig. My husband learned that saying, “No thank you. Maybe later” would bring us some temporary peace, at least until the next vendor saw us coming. I just trudged ahead, head down, annoyed at the continual inconvenience.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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We’ll take your huddled masses, but get a job first

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain says the focus on illegal immigration during the Republican primary season harmed his party’s image among Hispanics.

Speaking to reporters in Phoenix on Cinco de Mayo, McCain said that Hispanic citizens want America’s borders secured and illegal immigrants to be treated humanely.

He says low-income Hispanic citizens are vulnerable to losing their jobs to the lower wages accepted by illegal immigrants.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012

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