Archive for Great Stories to Read and Hear

Read the Plaque at Bly, Oregon

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If you drive about 8 miles outside of Bly, Oregon, towards Gearhart Mountain, you’ll find a plaque that’s alongside Leonard Creek.  There’s always a story that explains every plaque.  And every time you see a plaque, you should be a little curious about why it’s there.

The story that the plaque at Bly will tell you is one you should hear.  Few people know about it because the government, at the time, censored any news about it.  And it’s a deeply personal story that will give you pause.

But then there’s the twists in the story.  Isn’t there always a twist or two to a great story?

You’ll find out what happens next to Reverend Archie Mitchell after that fateful Saturday morning at Leonard Creek.

And then there’s what happens 54 years later that puts Bly on the front page of newspapers all around the world.

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Do you really think the IRS will give you a break?

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Maybe you’ve heard the advertisements promising to make the IRS go away and accept only pennies on the dollar for all those taxes you haven’t paid.

They promise to provide you with expert advice and skilled negotiators who know all the tricks and can beat the IRS at their game.

And after hearing them, you can’t wait to call.  That’s because you’ve tried to negotiate with the IRS without any luck whatsoever.  The best you’ve been able to do is get some more time to figure out what to do.

Before you reach for the phone, remember that the IRS accepts less than one-fourth of all the offers that taxpayers make trying to reduce the taxes, fees or interest that’s owed.

And the ones that are accepted come from taxpayers who either have one foot in the grave or are unable to pay their taxes due to circumstances beyond their control such as being totally disabled.

You also need to know that Tax Relief or Settlement Firms can’t do anything that you couldn’t do yourself if you’re willing to make the effort.  They’ll ask you to fill out all sorts of financial disclosures and budgets but guess what?  The IRS will want that same paperwork regardless of whether it comes from you or the Tax Relief Firm.

The big difference?  The Tax Relief Firm will charge a large, up-front, non-refundable fee and then require you to fill out the same forms you could have gotten from the IRS for free.  What a bargain!

Before you call any of these Tax Relief or Settlement Firms, remember their promise that they can drastically reduce your taxes is probably a come-on to take your money.  Watch out if they ask for a “small deposit” in order to get started.  That’s the oldest tricks in the book.  Shortly after you’ve sent them some money, they’ll call back and tell you they’re making great progress on your behalf but, guess what, you need to send them some more cash to keep things moving.  Expect to get a call like this about every six weeks.  Unless you wake up to how their bait-and-switch scam works.

There are lots of reputable organizations that will help you get your finances under control.  They may be called “Credit Counselors” and are often non-profit organizations funded by grants and donations.  Call them before you let a Tax Relief Firm prey on your fears,  Don’t be fooled by the Tax Relief Firm’s misleading claims and don’t let them talk you into paying an up-front fee.

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Enjoy a Conversation with Mel Counts, Olympic Gold Medalist, All-American and 2-time NBA Champion

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012-4Our special guest’s biography includes a long list of accolades and awards.  His basketball playing days began in Coos Bay on the Oregon coast.  There, he learned the values of hard work and fair play from his third grade coach; lessons that would ultimately take him to the highest levels of his sport.

After high school, he didn’t have to go far to find coaches and teammates who would help him lead his Oregon State teams to a Final Four appearance.  Many of Mel’s records playing for the Orange and Black still stand today along side his All-American team selections.  And his jersey number 21 has been retired and hangs proudly in Gill Coliseum.

There was no doubt a professional career would come next but an opportunity of a lifetime came first.  Mel was chosen to join the basketball team that would represent the US at the Tokyo Olympics.  Listen in as Mel remembers standing at the top of the podium, being honored with a Gold Medal and hearing the national anthem played.

Soon thereafter, Mel was on his way to Boston and his first training camp with the NBA team that had drafted him, the Celtics.  Coached by the legendary Red Auerbach, Mel’s teammates included Tommy Heinsohn, John Havlicek and the incomparable Bill Russell.  And it didn’t take long until Mel was playing a key role on a team that won back-to-back NBA world championships.

After 12 years of playing basketball at the highest level, Mel retired and returned to Oregon’s Willamette Valley where he’s made his home for the past 35 years.  And his second career is just as illustrious as his time on the hardwood. A successful real estate broker, Mel is always working hard to help make his community better.

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A Journey of Healing, Faith and Courage

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Listen to StitcherOur special guest began her journey in the little rural town of Aumsville, Oregon, about 10 miles from the State’s capitol building in nearby Salem.  Debbie Eisenhut stayed in the Willamette Valley for her undergraduate education at Oregon State University after which she went to medical school in Portland.  For 21 years, she worked at Salem Hospital, one of the region’s busiest medical centers, as a highly-skilled surgeon, earning the respect and admiration of her patients and colleagues.

But as you’ll hear in my conversation with Dr. Debbie, all this was preparation for what was to become her life’s work as a mission doctor.   From the relative tranquility of the mid-Willamette Valley, she first took her medical skills and training about as far away as possible to a small hospital in rural Pakistan.  While working there, she awoke one morning to find 5,000 refugees who had escaped from a devastating flood that had destroyed their homes and village.

Four years later, Dr. Debbie was called to another hospital, this one in Monrovia, Liberia.  There she found herself on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak, a disease that defies conventional treatment while being overwhelmingly deadly.  Listen as she describes how she combined what little was known about treating Ebola with the common sense she gained from growing up in rural Oregon.

Dr. Debbie Eisenhut’s story is about a journey that she’s been committed to and getting ready for nearly all her life.  It’s a journey that’s taken many twists and turns and required, more often than she could have imagined, faith and courage.  Dr. Debbie’s story inspires me and I guaranty it will do the same for you.  As you listen, you’ll hear in her voice what I felt when I was with her; the strength and conviction of her faith and belief.  Whenever I reflect on the time I got to spend with her, I smile and the world looks just a little better.  Listen to her journey and you’ll feel the same.

 

What Happens if an Election is Tied?

Now You Know
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Here in Oregon and a lot of other places around the country, the Election Season is in full swing.

And that means you might be wondering, “Will my vote make a difference?  Isn’t voting a waste of time or are there races between candidates and about issues where my vote could matter?”

Well, the answer for all you skeptics out there is yes, voting does matter and there are an amazing number of elections every cycle that get decided by just a few votes or even end up tied.

Recently here in Oregon two candidates wanting to serve on a School District’s Board of Directors tied – each got 379 votes.

In that case – and in cases where the winning (or losing) difference is very small – a recount is automatically triggered.  That’s because honest mistakes happen.  Ballots get stuck together before going through the vote counting machine or a write-in vote is misread.

But what happens if after the count and the recount, there’s still no winner?

Should there be a special election just for the tied candidates?  Should the taxpayers have to pay for another election because the voters couldn’t make up their minds?  Should the candidates be subjected to another round of campaigning, knocking on doors, putting out lawn signs and kissing babies?

The answer to all those questions may surprise you.  The rule for breaking ties has been around for nearly 100 years and no one has come up with a better idea yet.

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