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Bumps in the road of life

Driving up to a meeting in Las Vegas, I started thinking about how life is symbolically a highway. The interstate was smooth. Then – all of a sudden, there was traffic jam – stop and go for a few miles, slowing me down.

When I exited the highway, I found myself on a street that had patches and bumps, bouncing my car. I thought, how could I go from that smooth highway to this battered road so quickly? How do I find my way to a smooth road?

I’ve been around long enough to know that human nature is unique and none of us are perfect. We can look for ways to solve imperfect people; my personal experience is that there is none, but it sure is fun trying. There are times and circumstances that can have a great impact on our lives. One decision can take us off our chosen road. But it’s never too late to get back on the road – or find new roads to explore.

Recently, I attended the graduation of the Boulder City Breaking the Cycle Recovery Court. Each time I attend these, the stories of overcoming challenges amaze me. Judge Victor Miller invited a special guest: the Honorable Gisele Pollack, who now makes her home in Southern Nevada. Gisele was a judge in Broward County, Florida, overseeing drug cases in 2004. She felt she had conquered alcoholism on her own after years of struggling. She was well respected among her colleagues and determined to help those suffering from addiction and mental health issues. But life, as it does, twists and turns. In late 2013, after 20 years of sobriety, she relapsed.

Over six months, she found herself on a very destructive path. She came to work under the influence – twice. In May 2014, she was in an accident that injured the driver of the other car. She admitted that she had been drinking. That, she said, was the wake-up call she needed. The judicial qualifications committee recommended her removal from the bench, and she then resigned from her job, without a hearing before the Supreme Court of Florida. She stopped drinking and recommitted herself to sobriety nearly ten years ago – this time, finding the help she needed to get back on the right path.

How we react to challenges and obstacles can greatly impact the trajectory of our lives, taking us off our chosen road. It can be easy to find fault or be angry. I believe our purpose in life is to get help to solve our problems.

There are thousands of people in Southern Nevada experiencing homelessness. I’ve heard it said, “They want to be homeless.” I’ve never met a 5-year-old who said, “When I grow up, I want to be homeless.” We need to be understanding – to find the reason one is unhoused, then try to repair that. I applaud the efforts of Boulder City Fire Department and the BC Hospital Community Liaison in their efforts to find the root of the problem, treat it, and help people find the right road.

Substance use can escalate to addiction in some people. The Boulder City Recovery Court works with participants to find the root of the problem and help the person start to heal. The road to recovery is long and bumpy. With care, support, and hard decisions, the road can be conquered. The bottom line is that we as a society would have nothing to do if everyone was perfect. If we focus on the flaws of others, we miss an opportunity to see what can become of them.

Today, former Judge Gisele Pollack serves on several boards in Florida and in Las Vegas that address mental health and substance use. She is sharing her story of pain, loss and recovery to inspire others. Her message to the Recovery Court graduates last month was this: “If you don’t continue to practice the principles of a 12-step program and continue to do the work, you’re going to drink again. The consequences will continue.” She has found her way, and now she knows which way to turn when she needs help, and how to help others find their road to recovery. The entire audience was incredibly touched by her message.

The next time you get dealt a blow, ask yourself: where do your roads lead?

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.

Shhhhh… Don’t tell anyone

So, there was this guy I used to know. And, yes, a million stories told in bars have started with that exact phrase.

How my career has come full circle

This time next week it will have already been a year since I took over as editor of the Review.

Housing opportunities many for veterans

Veterans who buy real estate with what is known as a “VA loan” can get some real bargains.

Rock, Roll ’n Stroll … senior style

This Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Senior Center of Boulder City is hosting its annual Rock, Roll and Stroll fundraiser at Gazebo Park behind City Hall and the Rec Center.

City Talk: Start 2024 fresh with the Big Clean

As the weather warms up, we all start considering spring cleaning activities around the house.