Opinion

Trump thinks like a sidewalk bully

May 1, 2016 — 

Donald Trump’s call for punishment of women who have an abortion gives us insight into himself. That comment reveals his attitude more truly than any crafted statement claiming the opposite. All women — and all men who care about women — should give careful thought to the implications of that.

True enough, but the event is far more important as a demonstration of his decision-making. It shows (as the Washington Post’s Dan Balz points out) that Trump acts on instinct rather than thought-out policy. Does that leave room for advisors? Perhaps. Retraction of his statement two hours later hints that someone persuaded him of the need.

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Pauli Halstead: We can't just rely on government to solve homelessness

May 1, 2016 — 

I would like to give a big thanks to The Union editorial board for taking the interest and time to research the issues regarding the permitted use of Streicher House.

This was definitely a complicated story to follow with many twists and turns in the process. At the heart of it is that cities and counties, as we have seen, can really mess up and prevent folks from using their property in the way it is legally permitted.

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Tim Stokes: The enemy is Citizens United, not the IRS

May 1, 2016 — 

Here is a snippet of history regarding the “social welfare” groups mentioned in Mr. Boardman’s article:

“When Congress created the legal framework for ‘social welfare’ groups,” as Jane Mayer wrote in Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. “... it never anticipated that they would become a means by which the rich would hide their political spending. In fact, to qualify as tax-exempt, such groups had to certify that they would be ‘operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” “The IRS later loosened the guidelines, though, allowing them to engage marginally in politics, so long as this wasn’t their ‘primary’ purpose. Lawyers soon stretched the loophole to absurd lengths. They argued, for instance, that if a group spent 49 percent of its funds on politics, it complied with the law because it still wasn’t ‘primarily’ engaged in politics. They also argued that one such group could claim no political spending if it gave to another such group, even if the latter spent the funds on politics ... For example, at the end of 2010, the Center for Patients Rights reported on its tax return that it spent no money on politics. Yet it granted $103 million to other conservative groups, most of which were actively engaged in midterm elections.”

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George Boardman: Virtual, augmented reality? We have plenty of experience in those areas

May 1, 2016 — 

The Economic Resource Council has decided to go all in on virtual and augmented reality, the Next Big Thing in technology that promises to revolutionize the way we experience the world. Either that, or it will just give us another excuse to waste time.

Just to make sure everybody gets the point, the ERC announced it is changing the name of the nascent Sierra Digital Media Center to the Green Screen Institute to establish a “firmly defined niche in the digital media space,” according to Jon Gregory, the ERC’s executive director.

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Rev. Eileen Smith LeVan: Fundraising campaign to help families in need

April 29, 2016 — 

The “Leap of Faith” campaign sponsored by Peace Lutheran Church shows what faith, prayer and hard work can achieve: The generous people of western Nevada County donated $17,680 — far surpassing Peace’s goal of $10,000.

Thank you for your loving hearts!

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Thomas Elias: 'Trump effect' on Latinos started early

April 29, 2016 — 

It was bound to happen once Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz began building their campaigns on a foundation of anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric and policy proposals:

Many thousands of legal Latino residents all around the nation began seeking U.S. citizenship so they could become registered voters and cast ballots against either Cruz or Trump, should either become the GOP’s nominee.

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Heidi Hall: I stand by my statement

April 29, 2016 — 

I was surprised and saddened to see Mr. Meckler’s letter in The Union on April 26, calling into question my integrity after I shared information, at his request, pointing out the connections between the Americans for Good Government and Tea Party in good faith.

Please read the source material for yourself: Sierra Foothills Report, May 30, 2014 and YubaNet, March 9, 2016 ; then consider the company candidates keep and the funding they receive when deciding who to trust with your vote for supervisor.

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Darrell Berkheimer: Suicides, drug prices make big jumps

April 29, 2016 — 

Two recent news items deserve additional attention because of how they relate to our declining middle class. The one is the sharp increase in suicides; and the other is the tremendous jump in prices for the 10 most popular drugs — four of which have more than doubled in price.

A Washington Post article a few days ago cited federal data that revealed the U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply the past 15 years — led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women.

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Jeremy Gallus: Why being relevant is important for our small town

April 29, 2016 — 

We live in our world of change that’s been accelerated year over year.

Remember when flip phones were the technological flagship for cell phones? Now we’re able to watch VR (virtual reality) videos on our smart phones that have more computing power than the Apollo 11 spaceship.

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Our View: Community takes priority over scoring political points

April 29, 2016 — 

Considering the season, it didn’t take long for proponents and opponents of Measure W to jump on what they saw as a political football this week.

But, in reality, it was no football. And it’s a shame some sought to score political points by bouncing off a local family’s crisis, one that could easily have become a catastrophe for our community.

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Mark Schaefer: We can do better than Measure W

April 29, 2016 — 

Supervisors Hank Weston and Dan Miller recently published their rationale for Measure W. The No on W Committee would like to respond.

No on W is about addressing environmental and public safety concerns by way of regulation, not prohibition. No on W is about fair government that hears and considers the needs of all citizens impartially. It is about taking advantage of new opportunities to tax and regulate medical cannabis. NO on W is about adopting a new approach that includes a realistic look at the future of cannabis in our state.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

April 29, 2016 — 

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Ed Thomas: A thoughtful response

April 28, 2016 — 

I was at a loss for a civil response to Norm Sauer’s recent rant in the paper. Kudos to Lynn Wenzel for her spot on thoughtful response. It was informative and educational, and demonstrated a mature and non-hostile way to make a point.

Ed Thomas

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Weldon Travis: U.S. needs to wake up

April 28, 2016 — 

“A Beacon of Liberty” by Norm Sauer (April 9 in The Union) is spot on and reflects my own values and significant concerns about the direction our once great nation has taken, and what it has become.

It is way past time that America awakens from its destructive stupor, including the indiscriminate and mass acceptance of fanatical religious terrorists and the tyrannical conduct of our elected and appointed national and state “leaders.”

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Jim Firth: The Tea/Jefferson party's over in Nevada County

April 28, 2016 — 

The State of Jefferson experiment in Northern California is over. There could be a vote in Lassen County that keeps the experiment on life support for a few weeks, but the United States Supreme Court unanimously voted for a total population formula to select representation in our democracy. Children, disabled, residents, unregistered voter citizens will be included in the formula to determine the population of representation. We are all in this together.

I do agree with my neighbors that the California State Government needs to provide assistance to Rural Counties. This will be accomplished by building bridges, not by building walls, as some people have suggested. The unwillingness of some elected representatives in Rural Counties, be they US Congressional, State Senatorial or Assembly District people will not result in the improvements needed in our Rural Counties. These minority representatives do not represent the interests of the majority of the greater California population.

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Terry McLaughlin: Support Measure W, for our kids' sake

April 28, 2016 — 

There are three indelible truths regarding drug use: increased advertising, increased access, and more tolerant attitudes toward drugs all result in an increase in use.

Legalization of marijuana increases all three, and unquestionably increases use among youth. While Measure W only addresses regulations related to growing medical marijuana, which is currently legal in California, confining these grows to 12 indoor plants for personal medical use would prevent advertising for dispensaries, decrease access to minors, and indicate to our youth an attitude that our community does not tolerate or accept illegal cultivation and use.

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Jane Calbreath: Broad assumptions not reality

April 28, 2016 — 

I am stunned by Mr. Norm Sauer’s column, and it is difficult to know where to start in addressing his broad assumptions, seemingly picked out of thin air, or a life secured behind the gates of privilege.

Capitalism is an “ism” and it has created more poverty in our country over the past 35 years, exactly because it has become runaway hoarding of wealth by the very rich, who seem to have no end to their greed.

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Janis McGregor: Thanks to Lynn Wenzel

April 27, 2016 — 

Having just finished Lynn Wenzel’s column in The Union, I want to express how grateful I am for her writing and her positions.

It is wonderful to read an article that expresses openness, inclusion, and understanding of other people and ideas, rather than the negative and accusatory rhetoric of Norm Sauer, another member of The Union’s Editorial Board.

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Frank David: We deserve better from our justice system

April 27, 2016 — 

Joshua Packard is the prime suspect in a remarkable list of felonies and misdemeanors. The D.A. and the court offered a ridiculous plea deal which the defendant found “unacceptable.” Too bad.

Packard wants a trial; he should have one, including prosecution of every offense charged, and with consecutive prison sentences for every conviction.

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Anna West: Don't take the Lord's name in vain

April 27, 2016 — 

I would like to see the correct changes made. God has not been allowed in public schools for a long time. So, why is it that the school staff are so unaware of the using of the Lord’s name in vain? I cringe when I hear anyone use His name in disrespect.

When my child comes home emotionally upset and says, “It’s so hard to be good when so many people at school take the Lord’s name in vain,” I cannot just sit by and do nothing. It is time for me to awaken your ears.

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Byron York: What Trump will change; and what he won't

April 27, 2016 — 

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is in the middle of a much-discussed reworking. There’s a lot of reworking to do. But Trump, who now has the advice of several political professionals recently brought into the campaign, faces a risk of doing too much. He has to walk a fine line to fix his problems without changing the essential character of a campaign style that made him the front-runner in the Republican race.

A lot of the Trump comments that set off firestorms in the last nine months weren’t really big, lasting problems for the campaign. A few examples: Trump’s diss of John McCain, his feud with Megyn Kelly, his allegations concerning Mexican immigrant crime, his mocking a New York Times reporter’s disability, his claim that Muslims in the New York area celebrated Sept. 11, his boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would remain loyal, his charge that George W. Bush lied about the Iraq war — it’s a very long list. One could argue that they had a cumulative negative effect on Trump’s image, but one could also argue that they were a net plus in terms of cementing loyalty among his supporters.

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Kent Clark: Fixing our health care financing system

April 26, 2016 — 

One of the biggest problems facing our country in 2016 is the cost of health care. Last year, our nation’s health care bill flew past $3 trillion and is expected to reach $5 trillion in the next seven years.

Right now we have the most expensive health care in the industrialized world. Over 60 percent of all household bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to medical bills. That’s 600,000 American families (affecting 1.4 million people) who file for medical bankruptcy each year, and most of those have medical insurance.

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John Carr: Carrtoon

April 26, 2016 — 

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Brian Hamilton: Great People Connecting Communities, indeed

April 26, 2016 — 

“This way,” Jim Hemig said, pointing to the back door of a local restaurant. “This your first time here?”

It wasn’t, actually, but it was the first time I’d walked through the kitchen before being seated for lunch. And that struck me. After all, it was within just the first few weeks that he’d been on board as The Union’s publisher, and Hemig was already a back-door guest?

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Roy Crain: Vote against marijuana by voting for Measure W

April 26, 2016 — 

I retired here 45 years ago and went into the real estate business, plus a lot of other things after 28 years in the military.

I looked for the perfect place in the world to retire and it was here in Nevada County. This was after I had lived all over the United States, England, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. I chose Nevada County. I have lived here for 45 years and I call this “The End of the Rainbow.”

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Lisa Baker: Feeding the hungry

April 26, 2016 — 

The Foothill Food Pantry in Dobbins would like to extend many thanks to the Les Schwab Tire Centers in Marysville, Yuba City and Grass Valley, to Les Schwab regional manager Rick Sprouse, and to the Fellowship of Friends (Oregon House) for their generous donations, which made it possible to put new tires on our trailer!

Our (nonprofit) pantry operates a food distribution program in the Yuba County foothills. We currently distribute approximately 90 boxes each week. Keeping us supplied is a volunteer driver who weekly picks up donated food, and brings it down from Grass Valley. A lot of wear and tear on equipment!

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Patrick Tobin: Just pay the two dollars

April 26, 2016 — 

Regarding the visually important ridge line lawsuit (VIR) reported on the April 19 front page of The Union — every time I read about the long, long, legal proceedings of the “ridgeline/taking” matter, I think, “Pay the two dollars.”

By that I refer to the vaudeville skit wherein a man spits on the floor, is arrested and fined two dollars for the offense. His lawyer

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R. L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

April 25, 2016 — 

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Stan Meckler: Americans for Good Government is not Tea Party affiliated

April 25, 2016 — 

Ms. Hall misled the press when she said that the tenor of the Board of Supervisors campaign changed when a Tea Party affiliated group, Americans for Good Government, backed her opponent, Duane Strawser.

It is she that has changed the tenor by making this election partisan even though the Board of Supervisors seat is non-partisan. It sounds like she is trying to influence voters who did not agree with the Tea Party. Let me make this clear, Americans for Good Government is not affiliated with the Tea Party or any other group. Americans for Good Government does not choose their candidates by party affiliation but by who is best qualified for the job.

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Patricia Andersen: Yes on Measure W

April 25, 2016 — 

Marijuana bothers the sheriff? Maybe it is because there is substantial evidence that exposure to the drug during development can cause long-term and possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain?

Or the significant impairment of judgment, motor coordination and reaction time in drivers who have been involved in accidents?

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