First vote in an election a family affair

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In our family turning 18 was a real rite of passage ... registering to vote and then casting a ballot for the first time. In 1994 our youngest daughter had turned 18 just over a month before the general election. When Sarah stepped into the voting booth at Frederick Post Elementary School with her ballot it was an especially memorable occasion. Her grandfather, my dad Ron Rankin, was on the ballot as an Independent candidate for Idaho governor. So the very first vote Sarah cast was for her Grandpa Rankin.

I was reminded of the memory when Chalee Atkinson, 18, posted a video about registering to vote in the upcoming election. Chalee will also have the opportunity to cast her first-ever vote for her grandfather, Rich Houser, on November 6. Rich is running unopposed for Kootenai County Assessor.

I wish everyone would likewise treat the responsibility of showing up on election day, informed and grateful for the privilege afforded to citizens of this country. Kudos to Chalee and her family for setting a good example of engagement in the democratic process.

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According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween retail spending is projected to be $9 billion in 2018. Billion with a B. About 90 percent of Americans will spend about $2.6 billion on candy. Almost 75 percent will purchase Halloween decor, spending $2.7 billion. Slightly less than 70 percent of Americans will spend $3.2 billion on costuming themselves, children or pets.

I hate to disappoint the NRF but I wonít be contributing much toward that projected number. I admit Iím not a fan of Halloween. Iím as fun-loving as the next gal and enjoy the little kids in their super hero and princess costumes who come to the door for treats. But Iíve never been comfortable around grown-ups in masks and gory make-up. Iím just not a fan of being frightened. I donít watch scary movies or read scary books.

There was no childhood trauma with scary clowns and the like. I have friends who love all things Halloween, their favorite holiday of the year and I simply donít get it. But then again, they probably donít get my love of dressing in red, white and blue every Fourth of July.

My husband has been volunteering for over two decades with his Post Falls Lions Club to put on the famous Haunted House. Iíve spent many hours volunteering in the concession stand but have never once gone through the haunted house. Too scary for me.

The other 11 months of the year I love to dress up, the kind of dress up that involves sequins and rhinestones and pretty shoes. So for the next week Iíll just ride it out and wait for the Christmas season to begin in earnest.

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The odds of winning the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpots are greater than one in 302,000,000. Thatís if you have a ticket. The odds of winning without a ticket. Nada, zip, zero.

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Things to Do Highlights:

Thursdays to Sundays through Nov. 4, Lake City Playhouse presents Cheaper by the Dozen. www.lakecityplayhouse.org.

On Saturday thereís something for everyone starting with the Fall Fest and Apple Palooza in downtown Coeur díAlene with the Kootenai County Farmerís Market (last one of the season!), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

8th Annual Trail of Terror Run, noon, starts at Cedar Mountain Farm Bed and Breakfast, 25249 N. Hatch Road in Athol on Saturday. Half marathon, 10k and 5k races. Packet pick up Friday, 2-6 p.m. at Fleet Feet CDA.

The Post Falls Lions Haunted House is holding a Fun Night/Lights On for the youngsters on Sunday from 6-8 p.m. Ages 10 and under free admission, age 11 and up $3. Regular fright nights Friday and Saturday and Halloween Eve and Halloween night.

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Happy birthday today to Rocky Banks, Jeff Turk, Melissa Hjeltness, Adam Slobodow, Randy Millsap, Frank Orzell and David Ingalls. Tomorrow Jack Price, Mary Foeller, Kyley Greer, Kathryn Arrand and Damon Darakjy celebrate the anniversary of their birth. Friday birthdays belong to Gail McGaughey, Shweta Bangaloree Green, Scott Peterson, Wanda Corcoran, Linda Jones and Brock Prince. Another trip around the sun will be marked on Saturday by Barb Smalley, Cade Coffey, Trinity Newman, Anthony Beckstead, David Cole, Jen Butler, Deirdre Eldredge, Deeann Zahn and Aidyn Dugger. Sunday birthdays for Melanie Simpson, Terri Gervais, Laura McNeil, Jenni Gibson, Jill Swoboda, Jonathan Mueller, Tracie Olin Smith, Kathleen Clancy, Bernadette Oaks, Heather Montee, Dale Fitch, Jamie Oliver and Ashley Gerzina. Sandy Patano, Jerry Baltzell, Mark Symons and Kara McCollum, Amanda Krier, Mary Ransdell, Dave Clark and Shawn Duncan are celebrating on Monday. On Oct. 30, wish a happy birthday to Rainey Coffin, Lori Dahlke, John Kelly, Lori Jurado, Vivian Stadley, Brad Oliver, Kay Mills and Derek McGee.

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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.

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