Opinion Columns

Kono, Sierra Leone: Cry me a river

November 21, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one, two, three and four at TheUnion.com.

Kono is the main diamond mining district in Sierra Leone. The origin of Blood Diamonds is right here. Even today, the buildings that were damaged and or destroyed during the rebel occupation and war still pockmark this small mining town.

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Hemig: Supporting Swarthout

November 21, 2014 — 

Lisa Swarthout took quite a public beating this week and last. Seven published letters to the editor, one editorial cartoon and countless social media comments referenced Lisa’s remarks regarding the investigation of Terry Lamphier’s alleged county computer misuse prior to the election.

People wrote comments like “Hasn’t she ever heard of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights?” and “He is innocent until proven guilty.”

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York: Dem’s path after Obamacare: Down, down, down

November 20, 2014 — 

There were 60 Democrats in the Senate on Christmas Eve 2009, when they voted in lockstep to pass the Affordable Care Act. Soon there will be 46 Democrats in the Senate, or perhaps 47, if Sen. Mary Landrieu manages to eke out a win in Louisiana. In plain numbers, the post-Obamacare trajectory has not been good for Senate Democrats.

The 46 or 47 Democrats in the next Senate are a bit different from the group that passed Obamacare. Sixteen of them took office after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. They never had to vote for it and have never had to defend voting for it.

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Goodman: Keystone, Climate Change And The Cold

November 20, 2014 — 

It was a dramatic scene in the Senate this week. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, presiding, announced the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline, a Crow Creek Sioux man from South Dakota sang out in the Senate gallery. A massive people’s climate movement against extracting some of the dirtiest oil on the planet had prevailed ... at least for now.

It was a Democrat, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, representing oil interests, who tried to push the pipeline through. She hoped its passage would help her in the Dec. 6 runoff election against her challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, who sponsored a similar bill in the House.

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Carrtoon: Nov. 19, 2014

November 19, 2014 — 

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What next for America?

November 19, 2014 — 

We are the most innovative nation on earth. America is blessed with a booming stock market, a growing GDP, and an enviable low unemployment rate. The economic outlook for America is good. Yet many Americans view the future of their children’s financial lives to be much worse than their own.

Ironically, this discrepancy is at the crux of the recent election shift in Republicans taking control of both houses. While our opposing political parties bicker and play at brinksmanship over policies of little consequence to our future, neither party is really paying attention to our collective best interests.

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Sierra Leone: Stanley avoids Dr. Livingston

November 19, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one, two and three at TheUnion.com.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 18, 2014 — 

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When will the doctors help them?

November 18, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one and two at TheUnion.com.

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Have you ever seen a robin weep?

November 17, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 15, 2014 — 

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The economic impact of Ebola on Grass Valley’s economy?

November 15, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip.

The title of this article would seem at first glance to be ridiculous. Really, how much of an economic impact can Ebola have on a small Northern California town?

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Leave capitalism alone, it’s not the problem

November 15, 2014 — 

Now that the mid-term elections are over, hopefully we can place our energies on gaining a better understanding of the forces at work to undermine our Capitalistic system of economics.

When the 99 percent staged their protests, I thought “Well they have a point.” Then, disgusted by their antics and the lack of a clear message, I moved on. But it did do me the favor of reflecting upon the fact that I really was very naive about economics.

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Hemig: Trouble with technology

November 14, 2014 — 

I’d like to vent a little.

I’m having a hard time with the reliability of our new electronic age.

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More stories to share on area history

November 14, 2014 — 

Congratulations to The Union on its 150th anniversary birthday and to the reporters and historians who included comments in the first articles.

One reporter made reference to Anthony House as a “rest stop,” but there is more flesh to be put on those bones.

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The main reasons for food labeling

November 13, 2014 — 

George Boardman’s portrayal of organic farming as food grown for indulgent yuppies and not worth the extra money is an outstanding example of not understanding the subject of GMOs whatsoever.

The main reason the public wants food labeled is because of the amount of herbicides and pesticides that are sprayed on GMO crops.

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Grateful to be here, thanks to Dr. Bigelsen

November 13, 2014 — 

I am a survivor. And my most important job is I am a single mother of a son with autism.

I not only had to save my own life, but at the same time help my son rise above as well.

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Carrtoon: Nov. 12, 2014

November 12, 2014 — 

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The end of addiction

November 12, 2014 — 

Unless you have been in a coma for the past 10 years or so, you must have noticed that cannabis has reached a legalization tipping point. Even though full-on legalization has only taken place in two states (Colorado and Washington), the majority of Americans now support it, and, therefore, it seems inevitable that many more states will soon follow.

During this national discussion, a conversation with much passion on both sides, there is one perspective that I have not heard.

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American Exceptionalism should be taught

November 12, 2014 — 

Remember when President Obama characterized American exceptionalism as an empty platitude, stating, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”?

Would you think it exceptional that America was the first nation, in the history of all mankind, to translate a philosophy of individual liberty into a governing creed? The Brits must be given some credit with Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as providing impetus to the creation of our great nation.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 11, 2014 — 

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A tribute to our veterans

November 11, 2014 — 

As we prepare to honor our Veteran’s for their service and dedication, I would like to share the words of a song that was sung by Trace Adkins, honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice:

“I never thought that this is where I’d settle down

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We need a lighting plan to complement Nevada City’s historic heritage

November 11, 2014 — 

Recently, I testified at a Nevada City Council public hearing on the topic of downtown holiday lights; should they be left on all year or should they be used from mid-November to mid-January? I would like to elaborate on my comments to the Council in the context of our history and the Nevada City Historical Ordinance.

I have a long-standing track record of supporting the integrity and preservation of Nevada City’s Historical District and the vision of those who led our preservation efforts in the 1960s and ’70s. I am grateful to people like Lon Cooper, Bob Paine, John Rankin, Bill Wetherall, Charles Woods, David Osborn and Beryl Robinson, to name a few. Many have worked to continue what they started. Following the destruction caused by the freeway construction through the middle of town, they worked to create the initial framework that rescued and preserved our small town, and its small town atmosphere. The Historical Ordinance that they shepherded through adoption in 1968 remains a success, fully intact, and our road map for appropriate change in our backdrop of Victorian, Gold Rush buildings. Ultimately this framework resulted in Nevada City’s Historical District being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Youth were the real stars in NCTV’s Foothill Films

November 10, 2014 — 

This Wednesday, NCTV will present a second screening of Foothill Films, its screenwriting-to-filmmaking event that sold out at Del Oro in early October. That night was filled with Hollywood-style glamor, red carpet interviews, excitement and guarded anticipation. After all, seven screenwriters along with cast, crew and production teams were going to see their work become reality on the big screen and in Blu-Ray.

The theater was packed for the debut of seven, homegrown 10-minute films. Two awards were given at the after party. One award was given to “Guilty” for best overall film, and the best screenplay was awarded to Jessica Burgess, a junior at Ghidotti High School.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 8, 2014 — 

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The Conservative dilemma

November 8, 2014 — 

British philosopher and writer Roger Scruton’s new book, “How to Be a Conservative,” was recently excerpted in the Wall Street Journal (Notable & Quotable, Oct. 10, Wall Street Journal). It succinctly nails the problem facing the Right in an America dominated by Progressive feel-good agendas and awash in social distractions.

“Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created.

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E-Verify can put Americans back to work

November 8, 2014 — 

Some years ago I used to play golf on the weekend with a group of individuals, some of whom owned their own businesses or managed corporations. One of the players announced he had about 50 employees, all of whom worked under one Social Security number.

He followed the law, filed the information, Form 1-9, and waited to hear from the government. They never contacted him.

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State sovereignty does not equal liberty

November 7, 2014 — 

KrisAnne Hall promotes the argument that, “If the states are not sovereign, your Constitution does not exist” (The Union, Oct. 7). This seems to be no more than an example of overly-simplistic rhetoric. She and the conservative “strict” constitutionalists fail to recognize several points …

• The debate about states’ rights has been a primary political discussion since the inception of the United States. One can find literally hundreds of articles and books on both sides of this issue. It is not as simple as some would like to make it. Not even the Founding Fathers were in complete agreement about what it should mean.

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Hemig: Introducing Mark Twain

November 7, 2014 — 

Introducing the ghost of Mark Twain to a sold-out audience at the Del Oro Theatre was a surreal experience.

If you had asked me if I thought that were possible a year ago, I would have said you were crazy.

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Goodman: Maximum progress on the minimum wage

November 6, 2014 — 

Elections in the United States are all about money — lots of it, increasingly from untraceable, “dark” sources. Ultimately, though, history is not made of money but of movements.

The Republican sweep in this week’s midterm elections has been widely described as a wave, a bloodbath, a shellacking.

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