Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

It takes a village idiot

April 20, 2014 — 

Bob Crabb cartoon

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Our view: Public libraries are still important today

April 19, 2014 — 

Some people see libraries as antiquated in this modern digital age. Some are concerned about the tax implications required for funding our libraries. To some folks, the library has an image of being just for kids to complete school projects.

The Union believes libraries are still important because of these factors:

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Dorsey interchange needed to save lives

April 19, 2014 — 

As a new nurse, I am incredibly happy to see the interchange at Dorsey Drive taking place. Access to the hospital will be faster, safer and in the end will help save lives. My husband, a firefighter, also agrees that the ability to access the Dorsey area will allow fire trucks to maneuver in a more efficient manner, again in the end, life-saving. As a young, growing family, we are looking to our elected officials to not only serve our needs, but also the needs of the community. Mayor Dan Miller, led the Grass Valley City Council in the decision to put monies towards Dorsey Drive, creating accessibility to an area that desperately needed it. We will be voting for Dan Miller for District 3 supervisor because he has proven his leadership capabilities. We hope you’ll join us in supporting Dan.

Ashley Eckhardt

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NC post office should clean up its property

April 19, 2014 — 

I am the owner of Nevada City Crystal and Glass. I, too, am concerned about the beautification of the exterior of our downtown buildings, as is our new postmaster, Kenny Weins. I wonder, however, if Kenny could start his beautification process by weed-whacking all the overgrown grass and weeds that surround the post office property from the parking lot to the front of the building, as this is more of a blight than the newspaper racks. I would be willing to do it for him as long as I don’t get arrested for destruction of federal property.

Dave Iorns

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Fiscal values differentiate Miller, Lamphier

April 19, 2014 — 

I am a Grass Valley resident and communicate with Mayor Dan Miller and Supervisor Terry Lamphier about twice a year on issues. My emails are short, respectful, and my requests are reasonable. Mayor Miller rarely answers my emails. Supervisor Lamphier always answers my emails promptly, even in disagreement.

Between February 2008 and June 2009, the Grass Valley Redevelopment Agency (which the city council runs) purchased three properties on South Auburn and Neal streets for about $1.1 million. With demolition, consultant fees, etc., the cost is much higher. In October 2013, the city’s consultant valued the three properties at $31,000 to $65,000. While redevelopment is not a profit endeavor, this is a poor return. In 2014, the Grass Valley City Council hired a new city manager for $163,000 plus generous benefits to run our city of 12,000 residents, a 20-percent pay increase over the last guy. Last month they hired a new finance director for $115,000, with possible bonus pay up to $132,000. These salaries are more than Nevada County pays the CEO and elected auditor.

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Two thumbs up

April 17, 2014 — 

Early Saturday morning, when leaving my home, I see our DA, Cliff Newell, landscaping the neighborhood island, cleaning and trimming trees that the city owns and has not maintained in the 30 years I’ve lived there. Cliff’s actions inspired others in my neighborhood to lend a helping hand.

It’s very nice of this man to do this on his own time. I would like to say “Thank you very much” to Cliff Newell for caring for our community and giving back to the community. He won my vote.

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Judge weighs in on bail schedule, plea bargains

April 17, 2014 — 

George Boardman suggests “pointed questions” to “give us confidence that our votes won’t be wasted or miscast.” To elect the best judge, Boardman would like to know the candidate’s views on the following critical topics: the candidate’s position on the courthouse building; the bail schedule; and “the big one,” plea bargaining.

A well-informed electorate will make the best choice for our next judge. However, asking the wrong questions does not educate the public. Consider the following:

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Author of anti-gun legislation arrested for gun trafficking

April 17, 2014 — 

Well, after a long spell it finally turned up. Yes, another letter by our prolific anti-gun man. Yes, guns do kill people.

I wonder if his “Champion of Gun Control,” Mr. Yee, senator from San Francisco, had that in mind when he was arrest for “gun trafficking.”

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Twinkle town

April 17, 2014 — 

Please, Ms. Senum, stop. Your quest to make our funky little mountain town into a yuppie wine carnival has reached ridiculous proportions. We already have the cute little gas-light thing going on — and the Euro-Boardwalk deal. Why must we have the addition of circus lights? The county fair is in August; let’s not have it all year ‘round. This is historic Nevada City, not hysterical Nevada City.

San French

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The reality of Obamacare

April 17, 2014 — 

The two subject articles — “Obamacare turns out to be positive experience” (column on Monday, 4/14/14)) and “Health Insurance Hassle in Nevada County” (front page, Tuesday, 4/15/14) — sure are in direct opposition. The first is a dream letter, written by someone happy to be on Medicaid. The second, by Randy Harris, unfortunately fell into the net of false promises along with so many, believing the “Hope and Change” pied piper. “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it,” and better yet, “If you like your doctor, you can keep him.” Don’t forget the “Period” for emphasis placed after those now famous lies.

The over 2,000-page ACA has some more surprises for the gullible public. They will find out about hidden clauses having to do with death panels, IRS brown coat-type knowledge of personal health data, restrictions, and paying for care we don’t need or want (i.e. abortion) that lurk in that document. Welcome to socialized medicine, folks.

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Earth: We’re all in it together this Earth Day

April 17, 2014 — 

Earth Day has never been more important and timely given the recent alarming reports from the world’s scientists. We’re losing our planetary life-support system more quickly than they had anticipated, and they’ve known for decades. Our children will certainly suffer. We owe them an apology — and a habitable place to thrive.

We’ve had a great ride, but we used it up — most of the forests, fish, birds, agricultural land, petroleum and potable water — and we left even the air contaminated. We have to turn this around in a hurry. Now that will take a herculean effort on the part of individuals, communities, countries, industries and international organizations.

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What is the difference between a journalist and a blogger?

April 17, 2014 — 

I have a funny joke for our readers.

What is the difference between a journalist and a blogger?

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Economic boom just beginning

April 16, 2014 — 

Fast forward: We are watching the beginnings of an economic boom on a scale never experienced before. We have entered a period of sustained growth that could eventually double the world’s economy every dozen years and bring increasing prosperity for — quite literally — billions of people on the planet. We are riding the early waves of a greatly expanding economy that will do much to solve seemingly intractable problems like poverty and to ease tensions throughout the world.

The face of the earth has changed dramatically and is changing ever faster. What would have taken 1,000 generations in the past may now happen in a single generation.

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Kraus a wolf in sheep’s clothing

April 16, 2014 — 

In response to Mr. Rick Kraus’ Other Voices column in Monday’s The Union, “Obamacare turns out to be a positive experience.”

Mr. Kraus must be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Only a Republican political activist could have written this letter. It is the poster child of what is wrong with The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Mr. Kraus, age 62, and his wife, 59, are able to quit their jobs, which enabls them to pay for health care coverage, retire and have the American taxpayers pay $1,214 of their $1,325 monthly health-care premium. We, the American taxpayers, are sooooo happy for you. Rich Daniels

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Pelosi lives in a liberal bubble

April 16, 2014 — 

Congresswoman Pelosi expressed the notion that Obamacare offers the opportunity for its participants to feel free to pursue their passions, be it art, music, poetry, etc., since the burden of providing health care has been lifted. This is officious nonsense. You still have to pay the bill, rent, groceries, taxes — the other necessary burdens of life. Ms. Pelosi lives in that elite liberal bubble filled with happy gas.

John Coon

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People kill people

April 16, 2014 — 

Contrary to Ron Lowe’s stirring the pot again, guns do not kill people, people kill people. Ever see a gun on a table kill someone without a human hand? Didn’t think so. From a news article: A Massachusetts police official says the brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon before having shootouts with authorities didn’t have gun permits.

From my mate in Australia:

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How we devalued the ‘R’ word

April 16, 2014 — 

At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I’m Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn’t raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers or deserved all the power he’d inherited.

It was in that spirit that I recently challenged Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks about the shiftlessness of African-Americans. From the 17th century onward, I wrote, “virtually every negative stereotype applied to our ‘inner city’ brethren today was first applied to Paul Ryan’s (and my own) ancestors. Irish peasants were called shiftless, drunken, sexually promiscuous, donkey strong but mentally deficient. They smelled bad.”

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Include love in political policy, debates

April 16, 2014 — 

Was Jeb Bush right to insert love into a political debate? Such was the gist of a question I was asked on talk radio in response to the former Florida governor’s assertion that some immigrants come into the United States illegally as an “act of love.”

It would be trite to echo the Beatles and say, “All You Need Is Love.” It would also oversimplify and obscure rigorous policy differences. But it also could be a start.

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Thanks, Northridge

April 15, 2014 — 

The Nevada County Jewish Community Center-Sisterhood would like to take this opportunity to thank Carlos and the staff at the Northridge in Penn Valley for sponsoring our fundraiser.

We not only made money, but we had a blast doing it. The staff felt like family, the food was delicious and the atmosphere was so positive. Again, thank you.

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We agree on one thing, a broken political system

April 15, 2014 — 

In response to Michele Spencer’s piece in The Union on April 4, some comments.

She rants about big corporations contributing to campaigns, particularly taking umbrage with the Koch brothers. Why not include George Soros, ACORN, MoveOn.org, and the unions, as well? They all try to buy elections. Then she goes on to cite Bernie Sanders (yes, the avowed socialist) as well as mentioning a tired quote from long dead King Louis XIV.

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Retiring judge endorses Tice-Raskin as successor

April 15, 2014 — 

In the following open letter to the public, Nevada County Superior Court Judge Sean Dowling endorsed United States prosecutor Robert Tice-Raskin as the person most qualified to replace him:

Dear Nevada County Voters,

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April 15, 2014 — 

Endorse SB1272, The Overturn Citizens United Act

Citizen’s United is a transparent ploy to concentrate the power that rightfully belongs to individuals in the hands of wealthy, nonhuman entities. The United States was founded on the principles of a democratic society, not an oligarchy ruled by the wealthy with the power to buy self-serving laws. The Citizens United Act flies in the face of everything this country was built upon.

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April 15, 2014 — 

Endorse SB1272, The Overturn Citizens United Act

I am astonished that we would even need to explain why the imbecilic and blatant end of Democracy that our “Supreme” Court “ruled” needs to be overthrown, unless we actually prefer only the very most venal few govern us forevermore.

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John Carr Cartoon

April 15, 2014 — 

John Carr, Nevada City

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Hillary leans on Bill and Barack to sell presidency

April 15, 2014 — 

Recently Hillary Clinton gave what appeared at first to be a rambling and unfocused answer when asked to name the proudest achievement of her four years as secretary of state. The short version is, she doesn’t have one. But Clinton’s words make a lot more sense when seen not as a nonanswer to a specific question but as an effort to lay the foundation and establish a theme for a presidential campaign.

The occasion was her appearance on a panel discussion at the Women in the World meeting in Manhattan. It was pretty easy going; the moderator, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, asked softball after softball. (Sample: Noting Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, Friedman asked: “What have you learned from her?”)

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What are the progressives so afraid of?

April 14, 2014 — 

Michele Spencer, in her Other Voices piece on April 4, states that everyone knows “that something is going seriously wrong in this country …” and cites the “growing income gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of us is likely evidence of the underlying problem.”

Boy, has she hit the nail on the head, but is entirely wrong as to the impetus of that gap.

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My case for Fran Cole for supervisor

April 14, 2014 — 

Fran Cole is running for supervisor against the incumbent Hank Weston.

Weston is a well-known local official. But who is Fran Cole, and why is she hoping to unseat the sitting supervisor?

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I am supporting Hank Weston for District 4 supervisor

April 14, 2014 — 

The recently used campaign phrases of “a more sustainable economic ecosystem” and “we are ready to choose the future,” sound good, enlightened and worldly.

However, a supervisor, while always keeping the future of our community in mind, spends the most time in the trenches battling towards these lofty goals with baby steps.

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Plenty of reasons not to trust state government

April 14, 2014 — 

Californians don’t trust their state government. That’s nothing really new, but right now there’s as much cause for distrust as ever before in modern times.

There is, of course, the scandal that sees three indicted or convicted state senators under suspension after accusations of political corruption, gun-running and/or perjury, all refusing to resign.

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It Takes a Village Idiot

April 14, 2014 — 

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