Saturday, September 19, 2020
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Enjoy the baby steps to normalcy, quietly

| May 13, 2020 1:00 AM

It takes a lot to steal my joy when May comes around but holy cow, this just might be the year. We’ve had lots of sunshine, relaxing of business closures in stages and the optimistic yet, delusional expectation that we’d be seeing normal again.

Now that businesses and activities are opening with more to come this weekend the chorus of voices are reaching a crescendo. Those who will continue stay home and not risk going out in public vs. those who are reacting like a dog who just realized the gate’s been opened.

Kootenai County Farmers Market opened on Saturday in the sunshine. Enthusiastic vendors and shoppers with smiles for miles were the visual. Unless you’re one of the people who saw the same thing and complained that people weren’t being cautious and wearing masks or social distancing appropriately. That conflicting dialogue will only grow louder in the coming weeks with people who think we never should have closed businesses or been ordered to stay home for weeks, and those who think the worst is yet to be seen but certainly will now that people are out enjoying life, without or with masks.

I’m at a loss to figure out how to navigate the negativity, but go back to my position all along which is for everyone to take personal responsibility and reintegrate with humanity in a way that makes you comfortable. There really are no bad guys here, just people who feel strongly that their way is the only right way. So here’s my hope to get through the coming weeks, respect for the different approaches and turn down the volume on your indignation.

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For at least a quarter century Steven H. Nipp American Legion Post 143 has hosted a Memorial Day ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery in Post Falls. I’ve attended most years, with crowds consistently around 100. This year with the restrictions of large gatherings, Post 143 and the city of Post Falls have brokered a compromise.

As they’ve always done, the Legion will be placing more than 700 3x5 American flags on 8-foot posts at every veteran gravesite, beginning Friday, May 22, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to volunteer with the flag placing. The flags will remain in place through Monday, May 25, which is Memorial Day. On Memorial Day, Legion representatives will be at the cemetery with programs listing the name of local veterans who’ve passed since Memorial Day 2019.

While there will be no ceremony, three times during the day on Memorial Day (10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.) the bell will toll, the veterans’ names will be read and taps sounded on a bugle.

Please contact the Post at 208-773-9054 or visit its office at 1138 E. Poleline Ave. in Post Falls to find out how you can volunteer and more about an opportunity to support yellow ribbons to be affixed to the flag poles, a new program this year.

With so many events being canceled altogether, a heartfelt salute to Post 143 for ensuring on a day that honors and remembers those who’ve given their last full measure of devotion to America, respect will be shown in a most fitting manner.

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I will miss going to the polls on May 19 to vote in the 2020 primary election. I love my polling place in Precinct 24 where I’ve been voting for more than three decades. The poll workers are always a pleasure to visit with and the good people of Calvary Lutheran Church always have baked goods for the voters coming in.

As I put my ballot in the locked box, the worker saying out loud, “Kerri Thoreson has voted,” makes me wax patriotic, always proud to wear the I VOTED! sticker as part of the ritual. Such a privilege and while my ballot was cast this year by dropping it in a mailbox instead of voting in person, my vote still counts. Good people with the determination and courage to place their name on the ballot always inspire. So even though voting right now looks a bit different, it’s still an important piece of our civic duty. Vote!

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Happy Wednesday Birthday today to Kathy Hlebichuk, Butch Marks, Steve Pollard, Tim Cushman, Judy Brooks, Charlie Morris and PJ Christo. Sharing my May 14 birthday are Williene Gagnon, Stephanie Davenport, KJ Brant, Jaime Cornwell, Macy Ducoeur, Mark Hemenway, Rita Preston, Randy McKahn, Jake Hobbs, Kathy White, Liz Ricciardi, Breanne Ruff, Kimberly Westrick, Kristi Messinger, Caren Easterly, Bill Ohlfs, Linda Green, Katie Bane, Mitch Bevacqua, Chrissy Johnson and Averie Barnes.

On Friday Suzanna Spencer, Al Harrison, Lorri Gum, Patricia Braddock, Jack Wheir and Barbara Welch take another trip around the sun. Saturday birthdays will be celebrated by Wednesday Walton, Diane Wahl, Kari Malkovich, Cindy Barnes, Natalie Fritz and Michelle Richter. Bryan Myers, Jared Janke, Brad Finney, Shawntel Shofner, Brad Enders and Christine Brannon blow out the candles on Sunday.

Wish a happy Monday birthday to Vicki Isakson, Jeanne Helstrom, Amy Corbett (40!), Larry Carstensen, Tom Ball, Corky Chadderdon, Richard Alderman, Shaun Johnson and Tina Haskin. Putting on their party hats on Tuesday are Laura Stensgar, Tom Lien, Vera Brown, Julie Kohut, Jessica Smalley, Tammy Rupinski (60!) and Rick Nowoj.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.