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A look back at my personal favorites

Going through back issues of The Chronicle, it’s been fun to reminisce a little about some of the stories that made headlines and the memorable photos that have captured moments.

Bestsellers bring back memories

I came across a list of the most popular Christmas gifts for the past three decades and found it very interesting. In some regards, it was a walk down memory lane.

Collision ban makes sense

Major League Baseball is in the process of installing a rule that would ban collisions at home plate. Although the new rule could be implemented as soon as the upcoming baseball season, the more plausible time frame is for a 2015 launch. The move parallels what the National Football League has been pushing for several years with regards to reducing concussions.

Arts center offers great experience

In some — OK, many — areas, Omak and the surrounding area lacks the amenities of big cities.

Web offers symbolism in movies

A conversation about the Hunger Games series triggered me to do some online searching for political satire or symbolism used in other popular movies.

I’m counting my blessings

This is the time of year where Americans count their blessings and acknowledge all the people, places and things they’re thankful for. It would seem a daunting task to most, but every year there’s some guy who tries to list all the things he’s truly thankful for.

Wages vote creates buzz

I’m sure many people in Okanogan and Ferry counties are keeping an eye on statewide election results as the remaining close races are determined.

Job seekers need better writing skills

I saw something recently about the economy and how employers are complaining about a lack of qualified candidates — namely in written and verbal communication skills.

Sin taxes spoil the fun

Washington state is nearing the one-year mark for its vote to legalize marijuana and the two-year anniversary of privatizing liquor sales. I wonder, looking back on those two votes, if things have turned out the way people expected.

Get out, cast your votes

Just one week remains until election day. Obviously, without the thrill of a presidential race or major state initiatives, this upcoming election seems lackluster compared to 2012.

Making the change from PC to mobile

Lately, the staff at The Chronicle has been talking a lot about technology. The roll out of our revamped website is just the beginning of what will eventually be major changes, not just for the immediate future, but for the long-term success of our company — and, not just for our paper, but for the entire print news industry.

Tattoo ads are coming

The other night, I got sucked into a vortex of eBay shopping. Again. It happens from time to time. Although I rarely buy anything, I love to window shop. I’m always one bored moment away from starting a new and useless collection of something.

Changes will revamp site

The Chronicle launched its revamped website last week to a wide-ranging combination of rave reviews and downright complaints.

Failing the budget test

For the past week I’ve been writing this column in my head. I originally plotted out — paragraph by paragraph — my tale of conquer over the SNAP Challenge.

Taking the challenge

Last week, by a vote of 217-210, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $40 billion from the federal food stamps program over the next 10 years.

Flight draws superstitions

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. While law enforcement personnel probably see this more than any other career field, working in a newsroom might not be too far behind.

Rate jump hit last week

Well, after months of anticipation, it’s finally happened: The first electricity bill with the Okanogan County Public Utility District’s revised rate structure hit my mailbox last week.

Season will be a thriller

The first week of college football is in the books, and the first week of the National Football League season is finally upon us after four weeks of tough-to-watch preseason action.

Rates match in two states

All the recent talk about electricity rates has gotten me thinking about my own power bill. I’ve begun to wonder both how it will be affected by changes in the fee structure from the Okanogan County Public Utility District and how much different the rates are from what I was paying while living in Salem, Ore., as a customer of Portland General Electric.

Race makes rodeo special

Six months ago, the only thing I knew about Omak was that it hosted one of the largest annual rodeos in the state. But to me — and I know this could be considered a blasphemous statement around here — rodeos are mostly the same from one city to the next.

Open doors create trust

It seems to me distrust in government, from both sides of the political aisle, has reached — or is very near — an all-time high.

It’s time for year-round education

If they haven’t done so already, school districts across the state will be finalizing their 2013-14 budgets this week.

Chess story fascinates

I’m sure all journalists and writers have events in history that stand out in their minds. Those are the stories that made us want to become writers in the first place.

Online sales beat the mall

My extreme distaste for shopping malls, combined with a love of treasure hunting, has turned me into a fanatic of online shopping.

Free college is a dream

While Washington has gone through its own crisis with a last-minute budget, Oregon has been going through the same issue.

Award shines hope for U.S.

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the title of “most American-made vehicle” has returned to the hands of an American auto company. After winning the honor four straight years, the Toyota Camry was finally supplanted by the Ford F-150 in this year’s annual Cars.com rankings.

What must I see in The Okanogan?

Although I’ve spent most of my life in Washington, I also lived in Arizona for a time and spent about five years in Oregon, just prior to moving to Omak.

Google can’t solve it all

The beautiful thing about the Internet is the sheer volume of information it contains. At the same time, the worst part of the Internet … is also the sheer volume of information it contains.

To spray or not to spray

Recently, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. And nobody has enjoyed it more than your friendly, local mosquito horde.

Graduations elicit advice

With the first wave of local high school graduations in the books — and one more surge still to come — I’m reminded that this year marks the 10-year anniversary of my own college graduation.

‘Unfair’ is a poor excuse

There’s a lot of debate, not just in Washington, but across the country, about how to classify private high schools when it comes to athletic competition.

My phone got smarter

I finally succumbed to the pressures of modern-age technology over the weekend and bought a smartphone.

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