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We're kind of fond of this Earth; it's home. We're not alone.

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Janette Edna Powers, 85, died April 15, 2014 at St. Josephs Hospital, Bellingham, Wash., after a short illness.
Mark Edward Cooley, 55, died April 9, 2014, with his family by his side at their home in Des Moines, Wash. He was born in Portland, Ore., on April 10, 1958. He grew up in Butteville, Ore., on the Willamette River, and graduated from North Marion High School.
Esther Rita Brown, 53, died on April 10, 2014, at her home in Ketchikan.
10/10/2012
Hang up

Hang up the phone.

It's not safe to talk on the phone or for that matter do anything with a cell phone while driving. No texting, no web surfing, no emailing, no dialing.

Plus, it's rude when it interferes with the flow of traffic, i.e. drivers stopped at intersections talking instead of moving along and letting drivers behind them do the same.

Yet, it's done all of the time. It's unusual to go through a day without seeing someone using their phone while driving.

The smart ones, carrying their phones in their autos and receiving or making phone calls while moving from one location to another, pull over to answer and to place calls. Be one of the smart ones.

Remember when learning to drive that one of the first instructions was to place both hands on the steering wheel. Not much has changed about that; two hands still should be used on steering wheels.

Sure, it's possible to drive with one in a lot of modern motor vehicles. But it's safest to drive with two.

And while much has changed in telecommunications to make life easier, drivers got along fine without having a cell phone in their auto for decades. The world started experimenting with powered automobiles around 1672. Karl Benz is acknowledged as the inventor of the modern automobile. He designed his initial engine in 1878. Benz' wife, Bertha, is credited with being the first long-distance automobile driver in the world. By all accounts, she didn't have a phone of any sort in the auto.

Looking back, that means drivers have done well without using cell phones while driving for decades. Granted, some have done other distracting things to reduce safety. But cell phone usage doesn't have to be one of them.

Let's be safe on the road.