Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

Ron Avanzino: Fool with the bull, you get the horns

January 31, 2015 — 

On Meet The Press, the editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo magazine defended their right to publish cartoons ridiculing and debasing religious icons on the basis that it protected religious freedom.

This is not a freedom of speech or freedom of the press or freedom of religion issue. This is simply an issue wherein someone chose to print salacious cartoons that offended the entire population of Muslims and unfortunately for them, there’s a very small faction of the Muslim religion that are angry and militant and need very little provocation to kill when offended.

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Cindy Alejandriz: A great big thank you

January 31, 2015 — 

I would personally like to thank all of our patrons for their business. Each and every one of you are an important part of our work to save lives and bring families back together. Thank you for 2014. I hope to see you again in 2015 and God bless each and every one of you.

Cindy Alejandriz, manager

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Michele Spencer: More than a collection of red states and blue states

January 31, 2015 — 

On Tuesday night, Jan. 20, President Obama addressed the nation in his yearly State of the Union speech. Covering a vast array of topics from healthcare to foreign policy, the president centered his address on the importance of middle-class economics to strengthen the growing economy.

The president used the speech as a platform to lay out his plans to provide more opportunities for success in America, noting “middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change. That means helping folks afford childcare, college, health care, a home, retirement. And my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year.”

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Cheryl Cook: Welcoming community? Only if you keep your politics to yourself

January 31, 2015 — 

In the Jan. 23 column, “Are we a welcoming community?” Publisher Jim Hemig questions Jim Firth’s experience of political disenfranchisement in our community. Ironically, one only has to go to the sole comment to Firth’s article on The Union Web page to help find the answer.

“I guess you forgot that most people here are Republican and/or conservative. Both do not fit in your vocabulary. I myself moved here in 1981 with my family to rid ourselves of the agenda that San Francisco holds.”

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Carole Chapman: Wooed by the ‘good old boys?’

January 31, 2015 — 

I find it hard to believe that a smart man like Mr. Hemig completely missed the point that Mr. Firth was making concerning his article about a welcoming community.

The point Mr. Firth was making was about being disenfranchised from our local politics. It is about the bullying and personal attacks from the “good old boys” who run city hall. It is not about what social club you may belong to. And I find Mr. Hemig’s comments to be very patronizing and feel insulted that he would not understand the difference between the two.

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Wayne Bartz: A return to The Dark Ages?

January 31, 2015 — 

As a new subscriber to The Union, I am somewhat mystified by reading what are basically religious tracts masquerading as editorials (e.g., “The Words of Christmas,” “It’s a Fact That Beliefs Influence Ideas, Opinions”, and “No Such Thing as ‘Separation of Church and State”).

These are the types of articles that used to appear in newspapers’ “Religion” sections, dropped in recent years by most papers because nobody wanted to read them.

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Jan Roth: Nice story on spiritual healer Matt Kahn

January 31, 2015 — 

I want to thank you, Keri Brenner, most sincerely for your well-crafted coverage of Unity and Matt Kahn. This article, like everything you write, was extremely well-balanced and highly informative.

I am sure I am not alone in expressing an interest in The Union publishing more stories like this one. Anytime I read your work I come away understanding just how special our community is. And thanks, in great part, to your inordinate talent in putting stories together, I find myself reading more of The Union now than I did even one year ago.

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Linda Erdmann: State Of The Union address a bust

January 31, 2015 — 

Rated the second lowest viewership by Nielsen after Bill Clinton’s State of the Union in 2000, President Obama delivered his seventh State of the Union address on Jan. 20. Heidi Hall, a regular columnist to The Union, recently wrote “State of the Union Address — bold or busted?” supporting President Obama and his progressive policies.

Like President Obama, she disregards the election of November 2014 and the country’s sound rejection of the president’s policies by sending Republicans to Congress in historical numbers. The election outcome was because his “more progressive roots on social and economic issues were exposed,” not during the State of the Union as Ms. Hall contends, but during the last six years of his administration.

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Jesse Connor: B&Bs — let’s straighten this mess up

January 31, 2015 — 

I’ve watched with amazement the gyrations the Nevada City council members have been taking in their attempt to appease the two anti-business bully groups suing the city over the bed-and-breakfast struggle.

How the two groups choose to call themselves the “The Friends of Spring Street” and worse yet, “The Friends of Nevada City,” baffles me. How can a group sue another group of citizens and refer to themselves as “friends?”

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Thomas Elias: Go slow on Trans-Pacific Partnership pact

January 31, 2015 — 

THOMAS ELIAS

California Focus

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It takes a village idiot: Jan. 31, 2015

January 31, 2015 — 

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Alyce Macondray: Sammie’s Friends is fantastic

January 30, 2015 — 

To Cheryl Wicks, the office help at Sammie’s Friends and all the volunteers: I can’t thank you enough for taking care of Tyler, who was a feral cat who came out of a bean field in Ohio.

The volunteers did such a marvelous job with this very feral animal, it’s unbelievable. They calmed him down, got him to accept being handled and petted, especially tummy rubs. He became a real pleasure to have around. Tyler has a disease that prevents him from being around other cats, and Sammie’s heard about a sanctuary in Oregon that would take him. He is now doing well. Statistically, black cats are more likely to be euthanized because fewer people want them.

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Janis McGregor: A need to express all opinions without being singled out

January 30, 2015 — 

I found Jim Hemig’s editorial of Jan. 23 to be very disturbing.

In my opinion, he assassinated Jim Firth’s character in writing and then named community members in the article that supported his opinion of Mr. Firth. Not only is that extremely tacky but very inappropriate for the publisher of a local newspaper.

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Frederick Hall: ‘Loud and clear?’

January 30, 2015 — 

I’m puzzled. Sen. Joni Ernst said in the Republican response to the State of the Union address that the Congress we elected in November “heard loud and clear” what we, the voters, want.

Activity in Congress indicates, though, that what the party actually heard (and what she actually played back) was its own campaign rhetoric.

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Hemig: Where was Lake Olympia?

January 30, 2015 — 

“We didn’t have enough money to go in the correct way to pay a quarter to go swimming so we’d sneak in the back way to swim in the lake from the backside. That was a lot of fun!” Jim Moule confessed on the big screen during last year’s premiere presentation of The Union’s “Golden Stories of Our Past” film at the Del Oro Theatre.

Jim was referring to historic Lake Olympia, where he and his brothers, and many from the community, used to go to play in the water, relax and have family fun.

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Ron Lowe: Questions for American voters

January 29, 2015 — 

Economic prosperity is back, the unemployment rate has steadily gone down, millions of uninsured people now have medical insurance, the auto industry is healthy again, the stock market has hit an all time high — which in turn has improved 401(k) holdings of the middle class — gas prices keep going down, and Ebola is under control.

So why did voters give Republicans a lopsided victory in the midterm elections? Were voters unhappy that there are millions of more jobs, that the president has stimulated economic growth, worked at boosting wages, improving infrastructure, controlling health-care costs?

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Who’s behind the huge undertaking in the sky?

January 29, 2015 — 

Jan. 14 was clear and beautiful at our home. As we packed for a drive to Folsom, we noticed one airplane laying down a streak of white across the perfect blue sky.

Driving toward Sacramento, we saw plane after plane laying white streaks overhead, streaks that slowly expanded and joined together. These were not contrails. They were too low and too long-lasting.

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Lindy Schasiepen, Lindy Beatie: The Owl helps Nevada County children

January 29, 2015 — 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County, along with The Owl Grill and Saloon, hosted a fundraiser on Jan. 22. What an amazing evening!

The iconic restaurant in downtown Grass Valley was full of friends enjoying a delicious meal, sharing stories and at the same time supporting the children in our community.

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Byron York: Obama trolls, talks trash with a purpose

January 29, 2015 — 

Politically, President Obama has never been weaker, after losing both House and Senate. At the same time, he has never talked tougher. There is a connection between the two.

Obama recently told Democratic lawmakers that he’s going to “play offense” in coming months.

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Amy Goodman: Civil rights — from Sundance, to Selma, to South Carolina

January 29, 2015 — 

PARK CITY, Utah — On March 21, 1915, a motion picture was screened for the first time inside the White House. President Woodrow Wilson sat down to watch D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation.”

The film, considered one of the most nakedly racist of all time, falsifies the history of Reconstruction, depicting African-Americans, freed from slavery, as dominant, violent and oppressive toward Southern whites.

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Gale Waggener: Lack of medical freedom is not new

January 28, 2015 — 

This letter is in support of the Bigelsens. After 40 years of severe rheumatoid arthritis, the last 25 in a wheelchair and treating with many alternative healers, I found Dr. Bigelsen and Josh.

Reluctantly, I had previously tried one of the RA drugs, which gave me some relief at first, then it seemed like it was attacking my body and making me worse. With Dr. Bigelsen, Josh and staff, I consistently improved, no longer needing drugs for pain, and lost 60 pounds of weight.

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Donald M. Foster: In honor of both veterans and peace advocates

January 28, 2015 — 

Other Voices author William Larsen was insightful by mentioning Abdul Ghaffer Khan with our national holiday honoring Martin Luther King.

“Boko Haram” and other horrific Islamic fanatic crimes against humanity are the exception rather than the rule in the Islamic faith. Working collegially with Muslims over many years in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and the Maldives, never was I demeaned for having another faith. I was in Peshawar when the under house arrested Abdul Ghaffer Khan. “The Pathan Gandhi,” who died in 1988. I felt free to honor the memory of the man who walked hand in hand with Gandhi in 1947 in Calcutta on the street, separating thousands of the armed Hindus and Muslim faithful, thus saving untold numbers of wounded and dead.

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Pat Rose: First of its kind GSA Summit a resounding success

January 28, 2015 — 

On Saturday, the Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley was filled with the happy sounds of teenagers attending a summit to learn how to have effective and supportive Gay/Straight Alliances (GSAs) in their high schools.

They and some of their advisors came from 13 schools, including four local high schools and three community colleges. PFLAG and the GSA Network had been working together to plan this GSA Summit and anticipation was high for a wonderful event.

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Joyce Hoffman: Tired of the way Grass Valley City Council has been running this town

January 28, 2015 — 

Publisher Jim Hemig’s column recently implied that a member of our community, Jim Firth, should stay out of politics.

Hemig has taken several potshots at Firth, but he cannot tell one of us that we should keep out of politics or stop trying to make a difference.

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January 28, 2015 — 

Carrtoon

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Crabb: It takes a village idiot

January 27, 2015 — 

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Throw out Bigelsen’s case

January 27, 2015 — 

We say “free Dr. B” because Dr. Harvey Bigelsen is a boon to this community with his fresh and progressive approach to healing.

There are many healing modalities of all sorts in this area. Surely there is room for Dr. B’s brand. Unconventional? Yes! Criminal? No!

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Cheryl Wicks: 41 horse round-up a show of community compassion

January 27, 2015 — 

Kudos, blessings and thanks to the awesome people who came together to rescue 41 starving horses. It was truly astounding that so many people worked so hard for these precious horses.

It was a coming together of great diversity; Animal Control, the Sheriff’s Department, Sammie’s Friends, Freedom Sanctuary, numerous volunteers and, of course, a giant kudo to Horse Plus Humane Society who took most of the horses.

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Stop the criminalization of aid-in-dying

January 27, 2015 — 

There are few, if any, decisions made in this life that are more important than how we end it, if we have any choice in the matter.

Sens. Lois Wolk and Bill Monning deserve our gratitude for introducing SB128 to stop the criminalization of aid-in-dying. The story of Brittany Maynard’s passing is one that is deeply inspiring.

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Thomas Elias: Governor could, but won’t, dominate senate race

January 27, 2015 — 

If the current large corps of potential candidates for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s job look to some like a gaggle of political pygmies, it might have something to do with the proverbial 800-pound gorilla lurking in their living room.

That would be Gov. Jerry Brown, who could most likely have the job for the asking.

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