My husband and I were running errands at the shopping center in Brunswick. We planned our strategy to shop separate stores and we’d meet at the bench near Ben Franklin. He discovered that there are no benches to sit on.
Then I remembered having learned in a letter to the editor in The Union written by a woman who explained that she found out the benches were removed because of complaints that homeless people sat on them.Learn more »
That time I was listening to an avowed Marxist — at the time, possibly the last remaining Marxist on the face of the earth — as he joyfully explained to me the intricacies of the Nevada Union football team’s offense.
All those letters to the editor we got after that guy suggested that senior citizens shouldn’t be allowed to drive.Learn more »
There’s a newspaper in Nevada that boasts it is, “The Only Paper That Gives A Damn About Yerington.”
Try as I might, I couldn’t find anyone to refute that. There wasn’t a single other paper that really gave a damn about Yerington and … believe me … I checked with most all of them during my stay in the Silver State newspaper business.Learn more »
The Union turns 150 this year!
To celebrate, we are holding a big 150th anniversary open house party next Thursday, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at The Union.Learn more »
The most vital characteristic that a journalist must possess, whether he or she be reporting on a local, national or global level is the ability to speak truth to power. As any journalist will tell you, when you dare to confront the powerful with their inadequacies they will most often resort to casting aspersions on the speaker — the tried and true “shoot the messenger” technique.
While the tactic is all too common in this business what is striking about former Penn Valley Chief Gene Vander Plaats’ latest attempt (“In fact, all is well in Penn Valley Fire Protection District” The Union, Sept. 17) to employ this strategy is how riddled it is with utter falsehood.Learn more »
Want a good breakfast? Want to learn more about your local newspaper? Have a burning question you’ve wanted to ask The Union’s publisher?
Do you have an opinion about the paper, or a specific article? Would you like to support Nevada Union’s High School culinary program?Learn more »
On Oct. 3, 2013, The Union published an article written by staff writer Matthew Renda regarding the Penn Valley Fire District chief and the board of directors. The bold headline presented on the front page, above the fold was titled “Residents castigate Penn Valley chief, board.”
The article, in the first paragraph, stated “All is not well in the Penn Valley Fire Protection District.” Included in the article were several quotes and accusations made by a resident of the district, Bill Gassaway, described as “a former volunteer with the district.” Renda attended the Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 1, 2013 and witnessed the comments made by Mr. Gassaway. Mr. Renda made contact with me after the meeting and asked for a response to the accusations. I did attempt to provide accurate information and gave Mr. Renda the names and contact information for several people who had direct knowledge of the topics of discussion. It would have been easy for the reporter to obtain the facts on each of the charges Mr. Gassaway made by simply asking the right people the right questions. Mr. Renda apparently chose not to hear facts but to go with Mr. Gassaway’s comments.Learn more »
It is just over one year since Nat Hentoff, long a mainstay of the super-liberal Village Voice, in addition to a PBS fixture and revered doyen of what might be called the coherent Left — and, more recently, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute — mooted the idea of impeaching the current president (“Bringing civics classes back to schools: Obama impeachment?” The Jewish World Review, May 29, 2013)
The problem, as Hentoff sees it, is Obama’s blatant disregard for the Constitution. In his JWR piece, Hentoff urges all of us, conservative and liberal alike, to please, for the love of Pete, sit up and pay attention. There is deeply troubling stuff being done on this president’s watch, possibly even on his orders, says this long-time icon of the Left. Stuff that matters.Learn more »
Growing up in the ’50s, our economy was in full gear and life was good, but my parents remembered the hard times of their youth and taught us the importance of not wasting resources.
Now we consume without thought, sucking natural resources from our environment until Mother Nature screams that there isn’t enough to sustain all. So what do we do? The only thing that an animal as arrogant and shortsighted as a human would do. Don’t fix the problem, just put a pink flowered band-aid on it. That looks better, go home and don’t worry your little head, because all is OK for now.Learn more »
Well, I, and many thousands of others, especially small business owners, are fed up and we’re asking many questions!
Why do we have such oppressive energy mandates? Why are so many individuals and businesses leaving California (5 percent in 2013 alone)? Why are many cattle ranchers’ hands tied to do what is necessary to keep predators (coyotes from the northern states that have protected status in California) from killing their livestock — their livelihood? Why have our legislators not fought for farmers in the Central Valley to get water to their crops so they and their family’s business could survive, rather than protect a fish? Why is it an either or situation in the first place? Is it really about the fish ... or just more partisan politics on the backs of “we the people?”Learn more »
When we talk among ourselves it appears the “pursuit of happiness” lines have been blurred.
Some folks say that “we” as a country have peaked. I don’t believe for a moment that statement is true. Instead, those people who think those thoughts may have peaked, but our nation by far is the strongest nation in the world and will continue to be so.Learn more »
August 26 was the 94th anniversary of the Constitutional Amendment that granted women the right to vote. The League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County is marking this historic occasion through its ongoing work to engage and empower all potential voters to participate this year.
League members in our community are committed to ensuring that voters have the information they need to participate in elections. The League has scheduled four Candidate Forums for this general election coming on Nov. 4, 2014.Learn more »
After reading Mr. Sauer’s Other Voices piece in the Sept. 6 edition of The Union, “A plan to save our forests,” I thought the correct title should be, “A right-wing plan to takeover local national forests,” or maybe, “Norm Sauer’s plan for a Nevada County coup d’état of the Tahoe National Forest.”
It’s really sad! And, as a friend pointed out, “to people who think like Norm does, ‘law’ is just an inconvenience to be used as either a distraction or skirted at the convenience of ideology. It is ironic for people who claim to be Constitutionalists.” Good point!Learn more »
Today, on Sept. 11, 2014, two years have elapsed since Islamic militants attacked the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador killed while on duty since 1979.Learn more »
Last Friday, in my column, I announced I would moderate a Measure S debate the evening of Sept. 23.
My column was simple enough. I mentioned the location, date, folks involved and a little about Measure S.Learn more »
The Falls Prevention Coalition will present its seventh annual community event from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 17. While we always love putting the event together, we are particularly excited that this year we will highlight the “Forever Young Senior Chorus.”
The Coalition decided to begin a chorus for seniors because we learned of research that correlates singing with a reduction in falls … yes, singing! How could we not jump on that emerging data and bring seniors together to sing, since we are interested in any approach that could reduce the alarming rate of falls in Nevada County.Learn more »
Springs of living water flow down from the snowy mountain tops of the Sierras forming waterfalls and rivers of life, touching the earth and following a crystal path of least resistance. Capturing this water and saving it for another day is the job of the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) located in Grass Valley and they’ve been doing this faithfully since 1921.
Back then, the oldest water rights in the state were secured and a blueprint was drawn up as the winter snows finally came, whereby eventually a system of 453 miles of flumes and canals, seven hydroelectric dams and various lakes began bringing precious surface water to 98,000 people as of 2014. What an achievement!Learn more »
The NFL recognizes its “role and responsibility to have a positive impact beyond professional football” – NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell
Learn more »
It is political platform season. To me, this is worse than the cold and flu season.
As soon as people hear that you are running for city council, the first question they ask is ... “What is your platform?”Learn more »
Last week our Nevada County Supervisors properly passed a resolution declaring a local state of emergency resulting from our overgrown forests coupled with drought, and the likelihood of catastrophic fire especially in national forests.
They resolved to ask Gov. Brown to get involved and work with the federal government to alleviate this emergency.Learn more »
For than more than 100 years, 4-H has been a cornerstone organization for American youth. While, as a community, we’re committed to our farms, ranches, our livestock, and our way of life, we’re even more committed to raising responsible, caring members of society.
4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills as they work in partnership with caring adults. What does that mean? In 4-H, we are committed to helping young people develop skills that will help them succeed. We want to empower all youth to reach their full potential.Learn more »
For a moment, set aside these facts: that marijuana is listed by the Federal Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 Drug which has a high potential for abuse; that, according to Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal founder of Phoenix House, substance abuse treatment and prevention center, “… pot damages the heart and lungs, increases the incidence of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia …”; that marijuana does lasting damage to the brains of adolescents and it impairs learning, memory and judgment according to Dr. Nora Volkow’s research at Northwestern University; that Colorado and Washington states have legalized recreational use of marijuana; that California voters in 1996 approved Prop 215 allowing marijuana cultivation for medical purposes only; and that cities and counties may adopt and enforce ordinances consistent with the state’s health and safety code.
What we do need to focus on right here in Nevada County is Measure “S” on the November ballot. According to Nevada County Supervisor Richard Anderson, proponents of Measure S want voters to replace a liberal ordinance with a more liberal ordinance. The current medical marijuana cultivation ordinance, adopted in May 2012 specifies where, how, and how much medical marijuana may be cultivated in unincorporated residential and agricultural areas of the county. The current ordinance has enforcement, appeal and abatement provisions, and provides the community a means to alleviate nuisance marijuana “grows” and encourages those who legitimately grow it for their personal medical use to be good neighbors.Learn more »
Now is the time for principled, pragmatic leadershipSeptember 5, 2014 —
A wise friend of mine, Machen MacDonald, once said to me, “Don’t worry about showing off, just keep showing up.”
I took that advice to heart and continue to apply it to my business, volunteer opportunities and my campaign for Grass Valley City Council.
My decision to run for city council has not changed the fact that I continue to be present for my volunteer responsibilities. I make myself available at least once per week to the voters in Grass Valley at events playfully branded, “Java and Juice with Jerri.” I have attended every Grass Valley City Council meeting. I have attended events hosted by both major political parties.
I have participated in and enjoyed local community events.
Why do you care what I do with my time? You may care because while I have been at City Council meetings, community events and serving my community, I am looking for other candidates. Vice Mayor Jason Fouyer is always present at council meetings and contributes significantly to the running of our city. However, voters should remember we have two more candidates involved in this race. I find myself looking for them and wondering why they aren’t present at meetings to learn the topics being addressed by the council and preparing to fit into the dynamics with existing council members. I believe it is necessary for me to understand these things work to make important, positive contributions. Do others assume they have the answers already?
People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. As a matter of fact, there are networking groups built around that very premise. People also want to vote for people they know, like and trust. People serving as leaders in the community want to work with people they know, like and trust.
Does finger-pointing, name-calling and stereotyping create leadership voters can know, like and trust? Do voters want to put their trust and representation into someone who is known for building more obstacles than bridges? Do current council members want to sit at the table with candidates who have either ignored them or degraded them up to the time of election?
I believe that the voters in Grass Valley deserve representation from a candidate who has served both businesses and individuals in the community. I know that Grass Valley voters deserve a candidate who will listen to their concerns and be willing to provide answers when they ask questions. I believe Grass Valley voters will trust a candidate with a history of bringing people together to accomplish goals and create positive impact.
I challenge others running for a seat on Grass Valley City Council to attend our council meetings. I invite them to join me for coffee so we can sit and discuss the issues facing Grass Valley, such as the current fire chief crisis; the potential for bringing high-speed Internet to the area; the need to generate a positive presence in our parks so our families and children can play there without worrying about unsavory activity dampening their enjoyment.
We can talk about smart development and how to attract more tech companies and complementary businesses to Grass Valley.
Now is the time for principled pragmatic leadership on Grass Valley City Council, leadership that will work to propel Grass Valley into the future while still cherishing our legacy. Grass Valley voters deserve better than candidates entering into games of name-calling, mud slinging and accusations. It is our job as candidates to provide positive options and campaigns built on experience and ideas. As a nonpartisan elected position, a seat on Grass Valley City Council should be occupied by someone who understands the importance of representing the voters and not used for a personal agenda or a platform for political rhetoric.
I encourage the voters of Grass Valley to take advantage of the opportunities they are provided to meet their candidates by attending forums, coffees and the meetings where their candidates and leadership are present.
I ask each qualified resident of Grass Valley to register to vote, if they have not already. I implore the voters of Grass Valley to vote by mail or at the polls on Nov. 4 for the leaders they believe are best for the future of Grass Valley.
Jerri Glover, who lives in Grass Valley and is the incoming chair for the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, is a candidate for Grass Valley City Council.
Hemig: Join us for a Measure S debateSeptember 5, 2014 —
Nevada County voters will decide between two radically opposing viewpoints of Measure S on Nov. 4.
Measure S is a proposed revision to the county’s existing medical marijuana cultivation ordinance.
This will likely be a heated topic as we proceed to the election. Undoubtedly a lot of information will be flowing from both sides of this controversial issue.
The Union has been covering this topic for many months now. An article on Aug. 19 summed up the differing viewpoints well:
Patricia Smith, chair of “Yes on S” and a leader of Americans for Safe Access-Nevada County, maintains that the existing ordinance is intentionally impossible to follow for people who want to comply and be legitimate growers of medical marijuana and who want to be considerate of neighbors.
“Measure S solves these flaws with sensible solutions by: banning outdoor cultivation on residential parcels under 2 acres; requiring that any garden visible from ground level be confined behind a solid fence with a locked gate; allowing terraced hillside gardens; and removing outdated, abandoned bus restrictions,” the ballot argument in favor of Measure S says.
Smith said the two main examples of impossible-to-meet requirements in the existing ordinance are those calling for completely level and flat growing areas and the use of abandoned school bus stop locations for setbacks. Both of those are corrected in the proposed revision. But the county’s argument, signed by four of five members of the board of supervisors, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal and Ariel Lovett, director of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Nevada County, has a different view.
“Measure S dramatically changes regulations regarding size, location and manner in which marijuana may be cultivated and removes important neighborhood protections from nuisances associated with larger marijuana grows, including: odors, noise, dust, traffic, glare and hazardous materials,” the county’s argument says.
How should people in our county vote? How can we get information to make a good voting decision?
Here’s an answer:
The Union and KVMR are hosting a Measure S public debate from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City.
I will be moderating the debate. The public is encouraged to attend and the debate can be heard live on KVMR and watched on NCTV.
The debate will feature one of the Measure S authors, Patricia Smith, as well as attorney Stephen Munkelt and Dr. Sean Devlin in support of Measure S.
One of those responsible for the original ordinance, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal, along with Don Bessee, a representative of the International Faith Based Coalition, and County Counsel Alison Barat-Green will represent the opposition of Measure S.
My goal is to administer a fair debate providing each team equal speaking time. The debate structure will include a standard team debate format. My intention is to maximize the time both teams talk and minimize dead air or talking from the audience. The debate format will include a speech-style session, allowing each team member a chance to share their specific information as well as rebuttal time to the other team’s arguments. I believe people will want to hear the information provided from both teams rather than points made by the moderator or audience.
The debate will start promptly at 6 p.m. and last roughly one and a half hours. I am reserving an additional 30-45 minutes for questions from The Union newspaper readers. If you have a question you’d like me to ask, both those who support and those who oppose Measure S, please send me an email at email@example.com. Please include your name and city or town, as I will reference your information during the debate.
I will not be opening the floor to questions. In an effort of fairness, I will only be asking the debate participants pre-screened questions I have received. So please email me questions prior to the debate.
Join us for the Measure S debate. You will be a more informed voter as a result.
Jim Hemig is publisher at The Union. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 530-477-4299.