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TALKING POINTS: Disasters everywhere

California is experiencing one of its worst fire seasons in history; volcanoes have erupted causing extensive damage on the Big Island of Hawaii, and heat waves across much of the northern hemisphere continue to cause problems.

The hurricane season hasn’t even reached its prime yet while monsoon-like storms pop up all over the world.

The disaster headlines and video dramatically depict the tragic loss of life and destruction.

Many of the disasters are occurring in pristine areas where lots of folks have built homes to raise their families and enjoy life.

“Living the Dream” has been just the opposite for too many people this year.

Mother Nature must be really mad.


Thanks to all the first responders, Nicor Gas workers and the military reserves for their response to a big gas main break during the Illinois and Michigan Canal work in Ottawa last week.

Disaster was averted thanks to quick response.

It may have been part luck but it was mostly the professionalism of those who responded and the folks who followed emergency instructions.


A poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs and MTV recently noted that young adults, under age 35, think voting in November would give their generation more say about how government is run. A large percentage of those polled also say leaders from their generation would do a better job running the country.

The poll also found young people aren’t real excited about voting for candidates described as lifelong politicians.

Interesting but probably not surprising results.

If you watch any part of a congressional or state legislative hearing or attend a local government meeting you’ll probably notice a disconnect with younger generations.

Nothing against experience but maybe the “kids” are on to something.


It’s been reported that the National Basketball Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association are the first professional sports leagues to have an official gambling sponsor by partnering with MGM Resorts.

Who’s next? Maybe the National Football League or God forbid Major League Baseball?

What could possibly go wrong?

And, seriously would it mean Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose would become eligible for baseball’s coveted Hall of Fame in Cooperstown? Maybe that could be negotiated into a gambling sponsor agreement.

The professional sports leagues might want to be careful about how they seek to rake in more profits.

JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing

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