Books by local authors make great gifts

COMPILED BY ELAINE KLAASSEN According to treehuggers.com, “Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the…

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Pillsbury House Theatre supports our deepest values

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN Sunday night, Dec. 9, I went out into the cold dark night to witness wonderful collaborations—people creating art moments together—at Pillsbury House Theatre, 35th and Chicago. Children in the after-school program there had paired up with professional volunteer performers, playwrights and directors to create the little 10-minute…

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A slim glimmer of a conscientious shopper

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN My friend Alex Chandler, who describes herself as a person with a passion for making the world a better place, is part of the ethical consumer movement. She looks for “companies that are committed to Fair Trade and environmentally-friendly practices, treat their employees well, and do not…

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It takes a neighborhood to write a book

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN Seward Neighborhood has written an intriguing book about its own history. The project has involved a “cast of thousands,” and took seven years to complete. Its 19 chapters start before the arrival, in 1850, of the first non-Natives who built homes and settled, and end in the…

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Bells Chime Again at St. Joan of Arc

FROM ST. JOAN OF ARC CATHOLIC COMMUNITY After years of silence, the bells of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community are ready to bring their joyous sound to the neighborhood again. Church bell ringing goes back thousands of years. Historically, church bells announced the time of day, ringing on the…

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The Power to Change (peaceful intention)

BY ELAINE  KLAASSEN In the year 2000, the U.N. developed the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, the MDGs, an initiative to decrease extreme world poverty, to guarantee primary education for everyone, to support equal rights for women and men, and to fight major diseases. The initiative ran until 2015 and…

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Holiness (emerging)

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN If I were to rank different activities in the order of physical difficulty, that is, the amount of effort required, from the most difficult to the easiest, it would look like this: 1) giving birth 2) emerging from the ocean not having drowned 3) playing Chopin Etudes…

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Legacy of Hope

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN I read FB posts too many times a day. I am shattered time and again by the evil afoot in our world. I despair. Then I remember my dear friend Rev. Harry Maghakian, who retired from pastoring Andrew Riverside Presbyterian Church a few years ago, and died…

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Summer Song (love)

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN “I’m having an affair with a married man,” my friend Allie, who is a pillar of respectability, told me. “What???” I said. Of course I had to act surprised, but anybody who ever saw her and her husband together would NOT be surprised. Could they ever laugh…

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Migration (chance)

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN Where you are born is the luck of the draw. We don’t choose our birthplace. Why is THIS my home? The rippling grain, the lone tree, the curling creek beds and endless sky. The prairie is my home. Not the desert, not the mountains, not the sea,…

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