Opinion Columns

Manny Montes: Government coercion cause of financial market calamity

June 30, 2016 — 

Progressive pundits espouse codified conclusions that have a tenuous relationship with facts. Upon further analysis, their conclusions are shown to be false at best, and disingenuous at worst. This latter, in my opinion, permeates the progressive pundit community as to the causes of the 2008 implosion of financial markets.

The reasons they tout, and which the media repeats, is that greed and insufficient regulation of banks and Wall Street precipitated the 2008 financial collapse. While there is much blame to go around, e.g., lenders, borrower, government regulators, and the financial markets, it is on the government regulators’ shoulders on which all other players stood until the weight was too much to bear.

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Eric Christen: Keep your hands off the Constitution

June 28, 2016 — 

Following the Orlando massacre Muslim Fundamentalists have now carried out 48 terrorist attacks in America in the past four decades, with at least another 40 having been thwarted before they could be carried out.

In light of this most recent murderous rampage some in our community, like Marilyn Nyborg and Hilary Hodge, have used the killing to push their own personal left-wing agenda.

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Gregg Littell: Assault weapons modifications too easy

June 27, 2016 — 

The horror of the shooting in Orlando has again sparked the “assault weapons” debate and further interest in “gun control.”

As a longtime precision target shooter, reloader, and supporter of the Second Amendment, I’d like to make this point: Gun rights activists say it’s not the gun, it’s the evil person pulling the trigger. That’s absolutely true, but when that trigger is pulled, what sort of firepower is being unleashed?

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Charles Benner: A survey on Measure W and why it failed

June 27, 2016 — 

During the three days before the election I conducted an informal survey, asking voters how they were going to vote on Measure W. I “polled” for a few hours Friday, in front of the Safeway on Brunswick, and for a few hours Saturday in front of Kmart.

On Sunday morning I surveyed people in the parking lot of the Twin Cities Church; on Sunday afternoon I posed the question at the Soap Box Derby in Pioneer Park. I interviewed a total 87 people, varying in age and ethnicity, to find out how they planned to vote and why. The results: No won with 61 percent, Yes had 29 percent, Undecided was 8 percent. Felons not allowed to vote, 2 percent.

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Rich Ulery: On paper, county budget tells a different story

June 26, 2016 — 

I attended the June 7 meeting of the Board of Supervisors during which county executives Rick Haffey and Martin Polt presented the preliminary county budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

While the supervisors participated on the budget subcommittee and were certainly in discussions with county staff prior to the meeting, there were very few questions posed to county staff during the meeting. Most of the comments were congratulatory in nature about the excellent job in completing the budget and keeping the county in “healthy financial condition,” as quoted by Mr. Polt, deputy county executive officer.

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Michael Freedman: Quality of life requires our investment

June 24, 2016 — 

We moved our family here in 2005 when our kids were little. We chose Nevada County since it has a perfect blend of qualities for growing a family:

• A beautiful environment and easy access to a broad range of outdoor recreation.

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Edlin Patterson: Climate change, individual responsibility

June 24, 2016 — 

Every day the news media publishes articles about the causes and effects of climate change.

Included have been: the melting of ice on Greenland is accelerating, flooding of some east coast cities has increased by more that a factor of 10, Antarctic sea ice (home of krill) is forming six weeks later, thirty percent of coral reefs are dead or dying, and of course the world is getting hotter.

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Debbie Gibbs: Want More Local Food? Support the Food Hub

June 24, 2016 — 

Have you noticed that only a handful of our local restaurants serve food coming from local farms and ranches?

Do you wonder why this isn’t more common? After all, we have a vibrant agricultural community, beautiful grower’s markets, and the wonderful Nevada Irrigation District system providing water (to the envy of many other counties) to many of our pastures and crops.

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Terry McLaughlin: Religious exercise is a fundamental freedom to be protected

June 23, 2016 — 

Among the American founders there was a profound sense that faith and freedom were deeply intertwined. “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time”, Thomas Jefferson wrote.

Soon after he became president, George Washington wrote a series of letters to different religious congregations in the U.S. To the United Baptists he wrote that under the federal Constitution every American would be protected in “worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.” He told Presbyterians that America would provide an example of “an enlarged and liberal policy” concerning “liberty of conscience and the immunities of citizenship.”

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Pauli Halstead: Changing homeless services in Nevada City

June 21, 2016 — 

This article may not be popular, but here it is. I have come to see that there needs to be a single agreed on strategy between Divine Spark, Sierra Roots, and Nevada City when serving our local homeless population.

Serving the homeless is a complex and sometimes thankless task. I applaud the volunteers who give of themselves to help. However, after witnessing the situation firsthand as a volunteer for the last five years, I am troubled by how things haven’t changed much for all the help given.

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Maria Grieve: Cancer Aid Thrift Shop celebrates 45 years

June 20, 2016 — 

Cancer Aid Thrift Shop (CATS) is celebrating 45 years of serving Nevada County this year. It is a good time to reflect on why Walt and Vivian Huson donated the building in 1970 that houses the shop.

They wanted to offer cancer patients in Nevada County a service: financial assistance.

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Sandy Blake: Butterfly Garden had many angels

June 19, 2016 — 

Thank you to all of you for your help in putting on our 16th “Butterfly Garden of Remembrance.” The garden looked lovely and was very meaningful for the visitors, as well as the hosts.

I want to start by thanking Kay Baker and all the people at Hooper & Weaver. What a wonderful, helpful, group of people to work with! They are so generous to store our supplies throughout the year, to provide the venue for our beautiful ‘Butterfly Garden,’ to laminate and cut the remembrance cards for us, and provide all those ads for our event!

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Gloria Glenn: More freedom with marijuana means more problems

June 19, 2016 — 

This is in response to the June 9 opinion piece in The Union by Jonathan Collier, spokesman for the California (Marijuana) Grower Association. Mr. Collier first comments on the sheriff’s “inability to eradicate growing related challenges.”

He later says that marijuana has been here for decades and you just can’t get rid of it. He acknowledges “a rising criminal element” and says that the county has had a “laissez-faire attitude toward land use.” I take that to mean that the county has not tried to eradicate illegal marijuana growing, which isn’t true.

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Elaine Meckler: Socialism ignores importance of incentive

June 17, 2016 — 

Regarding the May 28 opinion piece, “A myth about government socialism” in The Union by Darrell Berkheimer — Really?

He stated that governments don’t have the immense expenses that corporations have. Really?

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Judy East: What is a Soroptimist?

June 17, 2016 — 

Soroptimist International is a worldwide organization for women, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women. There are nearly 100,000 members in 120 countries working as “A Global Voice for Women”.

The name, Soroptimist, means “best for women” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best!

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Lori Nunnink: Turning tragedy into triumph

June 16, 2016 — 

Just months after tragically losing his son to suicide in 2013, nationally renowned author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren began publicly coping with his family’s tragedy, asserting his belief that God often uses pain to fulfill His purpose. Rick implores listeners: “Don’t waste your pain; let God heal it, recycle it … use it to bless other people...”

Seven years before the death of Rick’s son, Mike and Robin Bratton, a respected Nevada County family, discovered their son, too, had sadly taken his own life.

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Karla Arens: Taking care of our hometown

June 14, 2016 — 

The elections have come and gone and as we all know Measure Y, the Neighborhood Protection Ordinance, was defeated.

We proponents of Y are ready to move on and in the spirit of community cohesion wish the Hosts good luck. However, before we close this chapter on the Airbnb discussion, we feel that in the interest of truth and fair play we must respond to the erroneous comments put forth in last week’s Other Voices by council person elect, Reinette Senum.

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Susan Wallace: The Lamphier case — we'll never know

June 13, 2016 — 

The recent announcement in The Union of the plea agreement for the charges that were brought against a local elected official Terry Lamphier about obscene matter on his county computer and his access to it on his county computer was more than troubling.

I do not know Terry Lamphier.

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Heather Burke: Due to Measure W, united we now stand

June 12, 2016 — 

“I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”

—Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

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Joanna Robinson: Without Cindy Maple, there would be no Utah's Place

June 10, 2016 — 

Cindy Maple will retire from her position as executive director of Hospitality House on June 17. There’s no way to exaggerate the importance of the role she’s played at the shelter or to overstate the gratitude of the many people who have encountered her there over the last 11 years. Since day one, she’s been the shelter’s heart and soul.

Before Hospitality House, Cindy spent several years as a Social Services employee for the county. She met a lot of homeless people in her work, and many times she’s told stories of her heartbreak at having to watch families head out from her office into the cold with no money and no home. A born activist, in early 2004 she started researching how homeless shelters function. When in November she met some folks who also recognized the need for a shelter, she brought a fund of knowledge to the table, along with lot of intuitive know-how and a ton of energy. It was no small sacrifice when several months later she quit her county job, sacrificing benefits and comparatively high pay, to become the director of Hospitality House. Many thought she was crazy, but those who knew her better understood that she had no choice but to follow her heart and put her tremendous compassion to work.

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LeeAnn Brook: Sports, art and inspiration

June 8, 2016 — 

I don’t know if it was the mimosa at South Pine Cafe in Nevada City on my first day off in quite a while, or if it was the forthcoming birth of my first grandchild, but something was stirring in this inspired-filled mind of mine.

When I stopped to think about it, it was something I read in The Union on Memorial Day (accompanied of course, by my usual espresso ... thus, the source of inspiration). It was this morning that I read the sports page first. A rare occurrence in my reading patterns, where I usually go to where everyone my age goes first: the front page, the obituaries, and then to my horoscope. And of course, I then go to the art happenings in the Prospector in Thursday’s paper. I may get to the other parts of the paper, depending on if I have time for that second latte.

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Larry Lansburgh: Fear not

June 6, 2016 — 

I have now successfully operated a sledgehammer!” my friend Buford Runce told me, his eyes shining with enthusiasm. As a flange salesman, Buford sees his share of excitement, of course, but I had never seen him this keyed up.

“I bought the sledgehammer for self defense, because they want to control me.”

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James Butler: They don't want us touching the 'wealth of the earth'

June 5, 2016 — 

Well I for one am glad to see a coalition against Centennial Reservoir on the Bear River. Every time there is a flood or a drought the politicians get on the dam bandwagon. All at the taxpayers’ expense. They don’t give a damn about concerns. However, I wonder if they were to build the dam, could gold dredgers go in and clean up all the mercury (for free)? Before the lake inundates the Bear River for ever? Oh no they can’t do that. They don’t want us getting our hands on the wealth of the earth.

When I moved up here on my dad’s mining claim on the Yuba River in 1975, the politicians were beating their drums for the Marysville Dam on the Yuba down near parks bar. That would have put me under 250 feet of water, and 50 feet had to be cut of the top of the Englebright Dam and backwater clear up to Bridgeport. Last I remember the project was shelved because cost/benefits were lopsided.

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Jonathan Collier: California Growers Association offers 'Solution Statement'

June 5, 2016 — 

It’s already clear the Measure W “solution” isn’t working. The “Emergency Ordinance” has been in effect since January, yet the front page continues to illustrate the sheriff’s inability to eradicate growing-related challenges. He has proven our point. Prohibition is a failed policy. Measure W would not have resolved the issues we all share — youth access, smell, environmental degradation, and illegal activity.

The status quo is a crisis. We must work together to solve problems.

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Barbara Kruger: Freedom of speech a casualty of climate change

June 4, 2016 — 

Is anyone alarmed by the tone set in The Union’s article of April 14 titled “Climate Change doubter donates $1K to campaign” by Alan Riquelmy? In it, The Union reports that Board of Supervisor candidate Duane Strawser received a $1,000 contribution from a “climate change doubter.”

Are the authors of this article, and Heidi Hall, implying that Mr. Strawser is violating some sort of campaign finance law? Is it wrong to accept money from a “Climate change doubter?” Apparently so.

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Don Loux: Vote, and pray

June 4, 2016 — 

I wonder how many of us remember that line from Longfellow’s poem that begins with: “Twas the 18th of April of ’75, when hardly a man is now alive, who remembers that fateful day and year!”

A rhetorical question at best. However, are we remembering the event and the events that led up to “the shot heard round the world?” We have just gone past that day, some 241 years ago.

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Jesse Hicks: No on W, here's why

June 4, 2016 — 

When it comes to the county officials’ arguments in favor of Measure W, there are a few places where I see eye to eye.

First, I agree that environmental concerns around improper grows are real. Wildlife poisoning, water theft and watershed pollution are criminal issues that need to be dealt with. Additionally, it makes sense that medium or large scale cultivation should not occur in residential neighborhoods.

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Jim Ciaffoni: Want Trump? Vote Bernie

June 4, 2016 — 

Want Trump? Vote Bernie Why? Because if Bernie wins California, he will be full of himself enough to not let it go, even though Hillary, having won about half of the delegates, will easily surpass the number needed to secure the Democratic nomination.

Neither he nor his supporters will let anyone forget that many of the polls suggest he would do better than Hillary against Trump, and that she would just be a continuation of the “establishment elite.”

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Michele Spencer: Heidi Hall would be a welcome change

June 3, 2016 — 

We need new leadership on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.

Whether it concerns openly tending to any of our big issues in Nevada County or their attitudes toward the voters, the present Nevada County Board of Supervisors seems to me to function like any other political elite rather than like the humble representatives of their constituents that we need and deserve. They are simply dangerously out of date and out of touch and we are all paying the price for it.

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Lee Nold-Lewis: Misguided government

June 3, 2016 — 

Whether you are for or against medical cannabis, you must stand for wise decisions that can be enforced. Unnecessary laws which cannot be modified for decades serve no one in Nevada County on either side of this issue.

The board of supervisors finds themselves caught up in a controversy of their own making. No one has been able to quantify the number of complaints made about cannabis. This board of supervisors has taken a position to punish cannabis growers who didn’t comply with Measure S guidelines, according to Dan Miller.

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