Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

How to draw a line in the sand

July 13, 2014 — 

I have been disappointed that over the years of contributing to these pages, readers have not seen fit to comment on one of my fundamental points — that it is not the left, not the progressives, not the Democrats who have the moral high ground.

No, that belongs to those who resist the programs of the collectivists and who advocate for individual freedom.

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Seeing a movie down the hill

July 13, 2014 — 

We hear so much about “buying local” that I wonder why the owners of the local movie theaters have declined to play “America, Imagine the World Without Her,” in spite of it being a box office success and having received many resident requests to show it locally. Unfortunately, this gives Nevada County residents no other choice but to go “down the hill” to view the movie and perhaps pick up a few other items that we might have otherwise purchased locally.

Sue Jeffrey

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The will of the people should not be overlooked

July 13, 2014 — 

I strongly urge that SB1272, The Overturn Citizens United Act, be placed on California’s November Ballot. The nation as a whole and the U. S. Supreme Court in particular need to know that the “Will of the

People” — the collective will of our individual voices — should not be trumped by the unrestricted funds of corporations buying their way into the election process.

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Corporate religious beliefs trump your own personal beliefs

July 13, 2014 — 

When a company has the right to determine what you do outside of work, your personal freedom is reduced. The new Supreme Court ruling allows some companies to determine what health care you get based on the rich owners’ religion. So the rich owners’ religious beliefs trump your own personal beliefs.

This is not freedom of religion. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The law does not (or should I say did not) require employees to use contraception any more than allowing gays to marry requires you to have a gay marriage. Conservative Christians are now rejoicing but wait until Muslim-owned companies start making religious choices for Christians.

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Boardman: Our attitude toward illegal immigrants chock-full of irony

July 13, 2014 — 

Gov. Pete Wilson caught a lot of flack during his 1994 re-election campaign for running the “They keep coming” ad, which featured grainy images of illegal immigrants running across Southern California freeways (and presumably into the neighborhoods of God-fearing citizens).

But the ad did help get Wilson re-elected and may have made him a prophet 20 years before his time. Just ask the residents of Murrieta, Calif., not too far from the border crossing where the footage used in that 1994 ad was shot.

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Our View: Did Nevada County’s civil grand jury do its homework?

July 12, 2014 — 

By all measures, the 2013-14 Nevada County Civil Grand Jury was among the most productive grand juries in the past decade, producing 11 reports to the community on the overall performance of government agencies and their ability to manage issues impacting the community.

But as several reports were released to the public in recent weeks, the community’s response has heard consistent criticism and questions wondering whether our civil grand jury did its homework in performing a full investigation before weighing in on local issues.

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Economic impact of proposed outdoor event ordinance is real

July 12, 2014 — 

A bride wanting to get married on the beach would not pursue Nevada County to host her wedding, just as bride wanting her wedding outdoors, in a vineyard, by a pond or a barn wouldn’t consider an indoor ball room or outdoor patio in the middle of a parking lot as an alternative site.

It all starts with the venue. Couples go to where the beautiful venues are. Fewer venues mean fewer weddings; and the local economy suffers.

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Today’s gold country is not as prosperous as its rich heritage

July 12, 2014 — 

You know, I can’t help it, but I get sick and tired of hearing these people whining and complaining about dust and noise, or their wells going dry if they re-open a gold mine, such as the Blue Lead or the Idaho Maryland Mine. What these naysayers forget, is that this is gold mining country.

Prior to World War II, stamp mills were operating 24/7 and so was the narrow gauge railroad, with locomotive whistles in the air. It was music to people’s ears. It meant jobs, industry and wealth out of the earth, and nobody complained about dust and noise or their wells going dry and that awful — gasp! — mercury. Today there’s not even a saw mill in operation.

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Water is the new gold

July 12, 2014 — 

The four elements of life: earth, air, fire and water. The Native Americans understood the interrelationships of these and endeavored to educate foreigners on the relationship of all four in the balance of life. My European ancestors rewarded this gesture by severely reducing the Native American population.

So, after thousand of years of Native Americans living in Nevada County, my European ancestors “discovered” gold on and under the Earth! That discovery was about 164 years ago. Think about that for a minute. Native American’s lived here for thousands of years and had a reverence for the Earth, an appreciation for the air, a regard for fire, and an understanding that water is the foundation of life.

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Western Nevada County fire authority is exactly what we need

July 12, 2014 — 

Finally. About time. I applaud the Grand Jury and its latest report on Nevada County Consolidated Fire District and the recommendation for a single fire authority in western Nevada County. As a former employee of NCCFD, everything I read is spot on.

I think it was “kind” that the Grand Jury will give not only NCCFD but other fire districts a couple of years to accomplish this task. That being noted, if the fire districts resist this change (and that is most certainly to happen), then the Nevada County Board of Supervisors could direct LAFCO to “begin the steps necessary to reorganize western Nevada County fire districts into one single fire authority.” While the individual fire districts may feel this is not in their best interest, it is certainly in the best interest of the public they serve.

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Obama administration ‘most corrupt of all time’

July 12, 2014 — 

Ron Lowe would like everybody to drop the Benghazi incident and write it off as another “phony scandal.”

Wrong Ron! Republicans are not the “party of no” as you state, but rather the party of truth! They merely want to know why the Benghazi mission was there, why those murdered received no assistance, and why the massacre was blamed on a video when it was known all along it had much to do with the 9/11 anniversary. Real American citizens died as a result of this administrations’ failures. As with all the Obama administration’s scandals, there are lies being told by the president and his minions.

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Empty progressive principles

July 12, 2014 — 

Actions speak louder than words. Never has that old adage been more true than in the current scandal involving the IRS agency’s targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 presidential election. The more the agency tries to obstruct the investigation, the clearer it is what they are trying to hide.

By already having led Lois Lerner to the slaughter right out of the gate (in spite of her having pled the “fifth”), it is patently obvious that anyone’s head can be placed on the chopping block in this investigation, so why do they continue to hamper the inquiry? Why have they now resorted to that lamest of lame excuses: “Sorry, we’ve lost all of Ms. Lerner’s emails.” Why? There is one head that they cannot allow to be placed on the chopping block – the president’s.

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Ranchers are coming around on global warming

July 12, 2014 — 

The chorus of global warming deniers has not shrunk. Outcries claiming the entire issue is fraudulent are not going away.

But realism is also slowly setting in among some California groups that long tried to wish away the issue by claiming any warming that’s happening is strictly a cyclical natural phenomenon.

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It Takes a Village Idiot

July 12, 2014 — 

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Grand jury report doesn’t come close to root of homeless issues

July 11, 2014 — 

As a person who has worked daily with the homeless in Grass Valley and Nevada City for the last 10 years — and as a co-founder of Hospitality House and as the president of the new nonprofit called Sierra Roots, whose mission is to build community with the homeless of our community who cannot or will not go to Hospitality House — I am appalled at the Nevada County civil grand jury’s report about the “PVTs” (panhandlers, vagrants and transients) in our community.

I hate that label and disagree completely with the jury’s findings.

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A memo to the Tea Party

July 10, 2014 — 

Do not chortle about knocking off one of the most intelligent Republicans in Congress.

Remember, the Tea Party was responsible for the re-election of the purportedly “unre-electable” Harry Reid. How’d they perform this miracle? Why they knocked off the three moderate Republicans in the primary (each of whom could have beaten Reid) and backed a woman who is to the right of Genghis Khan. Then the people of Nevada had a difficult choice — go with the evil you know (Harry Reid) or the evil you don’t know.

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NU Aquatics gets a boost

July 10, 2014 — 

The Nevada Union Aquatics Booster Club wishes to thank Melissa Bryant and the staff at Bistro 221 for sponsoring the fundraiser Tuesday night. The food and service were excellent. A good time was had by all. We also thank all those who participated and helped to contribute to the water polo, swim and dive teams. Another special thank you to the staff at The Union, who always go out of their way to support local events.

Kerri and Steve Latter

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Hemig: First world problem?

July 10, 2014 — 

Last Thursday when I came back to the office after a meeting, the first words I heard were, “We have no Internet and no phone. Should we panic?”

As the publisher, it is my responsibility to make sure the staff can work and the paper gets out.

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High praise for the hospital

July 10, 2014 — 

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital is the best hospital my wife and I have had the great fortune to have available.

After making many trips up the hill, I felt it was time to state just how great the people are that keep this hospital working. I can’t say enough to thank all the people who always smile and never complain about their assignments. They seem to take everything that comes their way in stride and do everything to make you comfortable.

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Is there a patriotism gap?

July 10, 2014 — 

Despite prolonged economic troubles, deep political divisions, headaches abroad and a sense that the country is on the wrong track, the heartening news this summer is that a majority of people say they often feel proud to be an American.

A new Pew Research Center poll divides the public into seven political categories. There are “steadfast conservatives” who embrace social and small-government conservatism. “Business conservatives” who are more pro-Wall Street. “Young outsiders” who distrust both political parties but hold liberal positions on the environment and social issues. The “next generation left” who are mostly liberal but skeptical about government’s effectiveness. The “faith and family left” who favor an activist government but are somewhat socially conservative. The “hard-pressed skeptics” who are financially stressed, lean Democratic but distrust government. And finally, the “solid liberals” who take the liberal position on pretty much everything.

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Nomads of the digital age

July 10, 2014 — 

The freedom to communicate and to share has entered a new era. The power promised by this freedom, by the Internet, is immense, so much so that it frightens entrenched institutions. Governments, militaries, corporations, banks: They all stand to lose the control they exert over society when information they suppress runs free. Yet some of the most ardent advocates for the free Internet have become targets of these very institutions, forced to live on the run, in exile or, in some cases, in prison.

Julian Assange is perhaps one of the most recognized figures in the fight for transparency and open communication. He founded the website WikiLeaks in 2007 to provide a safe, secure means to leak electronic documents. In 2010, WikiLeaks released a shocking video taken from a U.S. military attack helicopter, in which at least 12 civilians are methodically machine-gunned to death in New Baghdad, a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. Two of those killed were Reuters journalists. Throughout the massacre, the Army radio transmissions are heard, a combination of grimly sterile orders to “engage” the victims and a string of mocking exchanges among the soldiers, belittling the victims and celebrating the slaughter.

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Small-town heroes show up with big bats, big dreams

July 10, 2014 — 

My family and I unfolded our chairs in what seemed to be the best seats in the house.

Coincidentally, there was a gentleman just below us in the “Press Only” section with a big camera and a small notebook. As he started taking pictures of the players, he glanced over his shoulder and asked us, “Is Sierra Foothills Little League in the Colfax area?” I thought it kinda funny since Colfax is such a short distance from Nevada City, yet he wasn’t familiar with our Little League. Then I realized that Sierra Foothills hardly ever makes it past the first couple of rounds of the yearly All Star Tournament sponsored by Little League International.

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Kudos to two Nevada County employees

July 10, 2014 — 

I’d like to offer my congratulations to two Nevada County employees, Assistant County Executive Alison Lehman and Principal Civil Engineer Joshua Pac,k who recently became fellows through the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government.

They are among just 28 county supervisors or senior executives who have earned that title. County Executive Rick Haffey and CIO Stephen Monaghan earned their fellowships last year. The benefits of continuing education are well recognized in many professions, including attorneys, physicians and educators. The CSAC institute applies the same concept to leaders at the county level, offering a variety of courses on management, communications, budgeting, problem solving, negotiations and other skills that make for more effective local government leaders. Fellows must complete at least 60 hours of course work at the institute just to become eligible for the program.

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Put the Overturn Citizens United Act on ballot

July 10, 2014 — 

We need to get all outside money out of politics and mandate that all candidates only use public funding for their campaigns. The media should be required to give equal, unbiased coverage on all election viable candidates and issues. The buying of our government by the corporations, secret special interests and the elite should be banned.

Robert Bowman

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Oversight or out of sight?

July 9, 2014 — 

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSOS) office should receive remedial education on the topics of budget transparency, customer service and the Brown Act.

I had heard reports concerning failed attempts to perform oversight on the COE budget and asked to be provided with some documentation. The documents raised more red flags than May Day in Moscow — like the refusal to provide details on a county issued credit card. With the help of a lawyer, a formal records request was filed. Google how many abuses of government credit cards happen.

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Grand jury, open your eyes and your heart

July 9, 2014 — 

As a guest of the Hospitality House shelter, I would like to say that after recent heart surgery and a long stay in the hospital, I lost everything.

Hospitality House has given me some hope that things will be better soon. Since my stay here, I have seen the good that they have done for those in need. We have current guests that have been school teachers for many years; guests who have worked with disabled children and many other professions who are simply having a difficult time in our current economy.

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Hamilton: Small-town similarities surpass tale of two cities

July 9, 2014 — 

At first blush, my hometown and the community we’ve now called home for more than a decade didn’t seem to have all that much in common.

Grass Valley, for example, is nestled in the natural beauty of the Sierra foothills. Wabash, Ind., on the other hand, is surrounded by miles and miles — and miles — of corn and soybean fields that spread as far as the eye can see, all across the state of Indiana.

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John Carr cartoon

July 9, 2014 — 

John Carr, Nevada City

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Critics wrong on Obamacare

July 9, 2014 — 

It’s so hard to take cynics of Obamacare like Byron York seriously.

York complains that poor individuals who previously could not afford health insurance are now being covered — with taxpayer subsidies. He ignores the fact that taxpayers were already subsidizing the cost of health care for the poor, because even they were entitled to free treatment in an emergency room. Since providers could not charge for these services, they were passed along in the form of higher charges and outrageous premiums. Giving the poor subsidized care thus decreases the cost of health care for the rest of us.

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They are just people

July 8, 2014 — 

There has been a lot of talk lately about homeless people. I have been a volunteer at Hospitality House/Utah’s Place since October of 2005. I have seen many homeless people come and go. I have also volunteered with the biennial homeless count and interviewed homeless people who do not use the shelter.

The main thing I have learned over the years is that they are just people. I bet many of you have even encountered homeless people waiting on you at a restaurant, helping you at the local drug store, working hard at the local grocery store and fixing your cars. I know these people, and they are good people. It is so annoying to see others just lump humans into categories. You can’t say all homeless people are this or that. Sure, there are bad seeds, but there are bad seeds in all “groups” of humans. It isn’t the homeless as a group you don’t like, it is the behaviors of some homeless people. The same behaviors can be found in your neighbors, politicians, churches, friends, family and anywhere. It’s like saying that all people who carry a gun will kill or all young men wearing a hoodie will mug you. It’s insane.

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