Opinion Columns

Byron York: In GOP scramble, voters want leadership before policy

September 2, 2015 — 

Conservatives who oppose comprehensive immigration reform are delighted Donald Trump has brought the issue to the fore in the GOP presidential race. They want to believe it’s Trump’s stand on immigration that is driving his popularity.

But talks with people who came to a recent Republican event in South Carolina are a reminder that voters, when evaluating candidates, are usually looking for a set of personal qualities more than a position on any single issue. If those qualities are there, they believe, the issues will work themselves out later.

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Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: California prisoners strike a win against solitary confinement

September 2, 2015 — 

Thousands of prisoners will be moved out of solitary confinement in California, thanks to a landmark legal settlement announced this week. Grass-roots organizing can be tough, but when done by prisoners locked up in solitary confinement, some of them for decades, it is astounding.

The settlement grew out of a federal class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

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Ulrike Lapkass: Time for leadership to catch up regarding homeless

September 1, 2015 — 

Regarding the opinion column, “Homeless issue requires bold leadership, supportive community” by Reinette Senum, I agree with Ms. Senum that affordable housing can be difficult to find in our local community and that not enough housing choices exist for the underemployed, elderly, disabled, etc.

I also agree that our county supervisors must entertain new solutions. Clearly, housing options spread throughout the entire community would have a much better outcome than segregated tiny house villages/low income housing apartments etc.

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Paula Orloff: 'A well regulated militia ...'

September 1, 2015 — 

What is often left out of the discussion about gun ownership is that the Second Amendment begins, “A well regulated militia …”

Amanda Wilcox of the Brady Campaign recently referred to the 2008 Supreme Court decision.

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R.L.Crabb: It takes a village idiot

September 1, 2015 — 

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Theodore Hill-Weld: Microaggressions, prejudice and educational environments

August 31, 2015 — 

In his article, “The only thing micro at UC is the thinking of its administrators,” George Boardman steadfastly asserts his opinion that everyone should get over being offended, because complaining just prevents freedom of expression.

I’m no expert on being oppressed, but it’s important to recognize Mr. Boardman as an affluent white male living in a county where everyone is just like him. He’s absolutely correct; students going off to college are in something new. But he thinks this is a bad thing, when in fact exposure to concepts other than the ones circulating in Nevada County since its inception might be a good thing for everyone.

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Patricia Smith: Jumping to conclusions

August 29, 2015 — 

Sixty-two children die from marijuana! Did you miss that headline? Me, too.

However, one would come away with that conclusion after reading Thomas Elias’ “California Focus” in The Union (Aug. 12) “Marijuana harm ignored in push for legalization.”

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Mark Machado: The wow factor

August 29, 2015 — 

A couple of days ago, I was visiting with my cousin, a real estate broker outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

Since I have built and sold homes in my past, the topic of how best to market such, in today’s world, quickly became a topic of discussion.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 29, 2015 — 

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William and Christine Newsom: An open letter to Congressman LaMalfa

August 29, 2015 — 

We would like to thank you for presenting the town hall meeting which we attended on Aug. 11 at the Grass Valley city council chambers.

We found it very informative and worthwhile, and the discussions were quite stimulating. There were several statements that you made, however, that caused us significant concern.

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Leo Granucci: Town hall forum may not be best way to solve homeless issues

August 28, 2015 — 

I read with great interest Jim Hemig’s article along with The Union’s Editorial Board’s comments regarding the homeless and encouraging people to attend The Union’s town hall meeting on Sept. 10 at the Center for the Arts.

This town hall meeting is scheduled for two hours; a one-hour presentation by Dr. Marbut and one hour for discussion.

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Byron York: With all eyes on Trump, Ted Cruz rises in GOP race

August 27, 2015 — 

Ted Cruz got a big boost in Iowa recently when the influential social conservative activist and radio host Steve Deace endorsed him.

To call it a sought-after endorsement would be an understatement. Deace says prospective 2016 GOP campaigns began contacting him well before the 2012 election. (All just assumed that Mitt Romney was going to lose.) The recruitment efforts picked up in 2013 and 2014.

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Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: The Iran Nuclear Deal: Give diplomacy a chance

August 27, 2015 — 

A war with Iran would be a catastrophe, yet by opposing diplomacy, hundreds of members of Congress may be blundering into just such a conflict. The Iran nuclear deal, as the complex diplomatic arrangement is popularly called, was agreed upon on July 14 by a consortium of key powerful countries, the European Union and Iran. The goal of the agreement is to limit Iran’s nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, and to block Iran’s ability to construct a nuclear bomb. Despite what its critics say, this agreement is not based on trust. It grants the International Atomic Energy Agency the power to conduct widespread, intrusive inspections to ensure that Iran keeps its many pledges. In return, many, but not all, of the sanctions on Iran, which have been crippling its economy, will be lifted.

The alternative to diplomacy is to pour gasoline on a region of the world already on fire with intense, complex military conflicts. Iran’s military has more than half a million soldiers, no doubt with many more who could be mobilized if threatened with invasion. Iran shares a vast border to its west with Iraq, and to its east with Afghanistan, two nations with ongoing military and humanitarian disasters that have consumed the U.S. military since 2001, costing trillions of dollars and untold lives.

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Richardt Stormsgaard: Oozing with hatred?

August 26, 2015 — 

Jim Hemig wrote in his column on July 17 that Ms. Campbell’s outburst “oozed with hatred” for the Tea Party.

Since Obama was elected, each and every week there have been several letters to the editor accusing him of a variety of offenses from conservative locals.

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John Carr: Carrtoon

August 26, 2015 — 

John Carr

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 25, 2015 — 

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Harvey Bigelsen: Medical lies and spying

August 24, 2015 — 

Several weeks ago a doctor wrote a letter to the editor that was very derogatory to the concept of naturopathy. I am a medical doctor and I would like to respond to that letter.

Modern “scientific” medicine has not found the cure of one chronic disease in 100 years. They have done very well at crisis medicine and infectious disease, however chronic disease they have failed. Years ago I became very frustrated because I realized that I did not cure any disease and I only suppressed them by using drugs.

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Terry McLaughlin: Unsavory tactics all around

August 22, 2015 — 

In an Aug. 10 letter to the editor, Marilyn Nyborg said, “I really find it difficult to give credibility to a pro-life organization that uses totally deceptive tactics to gain the information they want. A heavily edited video, a complete set-up, using false IDs is hardly credible. Not to mention that there is no indication that Planned Parenthood did anything illegal.”

I’d like to make her aware of NARAL Pro-Choice America (previously called the National Abortion Rights Action League), which has an ongoing orchestrated campaign to discredit and quash Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) around the country. They also have “undercover” members visit CPC’s around the nation, faking pregnancies, giving false names and backgrounds stories, and carrying no ID’s at all. Does she believe that these are also totally deceptive tactics which should be given no credibility?

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Michele Spencer: What value does the pro-birth movement actually have?

August 22, 2015 — 

Our forefathers fled intolerance and government overreach and fashioned our Constitution to protect American citizens from both. Hence we have freedom of religion and speech, due process, equal protection etc. and presently the right to an abortion during the first two trimesters of a pregnancy.

I was raised Catholic, would never have an abortion, yet remain pro-choice as are many. That is because I realize that there are at least two equally ethical, religious beliefs regarding when human personhood (i.e. viability) can be determined, which beliefs must be tolerated under our laws. Whether one believes that the soul or human life begins at conception or at its first breath independent of the mother, it is a protected belief and requires our respect and tolerance even if we disagree.

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Jim Firth: Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump?

August 22, 2015 — 

There is a populist movement firmly in place in our country and our county. Two presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have energized the U.S. electorate this summer with plain talk, controversial approaches and bigger crowds of supporters unheard of in any presidential primary contests in recent memory. Is this just a summer fling?

Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Party candidate, is speaking before thousands of supporters in rallies all around our country. His messages of support for working families, free college education, a Medicare For All health-care program, expanding social security, closing tax loop-holes for Big Corporations, raising minimum wages have an appeal for progressive minded voters.

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Lee Andersen: Shocked by the cruelty

August 21, 2015 — 

I decided during my lunch break to look at one of the shows I recorded on DVD and selected a Frontline episode about a man who was formerly an attorney, but whose village in Iraq was sacked by ISIS, with hundreds of men murdered and women and children kidnapped.

The man had escaped with his family before the ISIS attack and now devotes his life to rescuing many of the kidnapped people.

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Byron York: Jeb Bush and the dangers of refighting the Iraq War

August 20, 2015 — 

Jeb Bush based his first major foreign policy address, delivered last week at the Reagan Library, on the classic Republican interpretation of the war in Iraq.

Yes, mistakes were made at the beginning, Bush conceded, but what really matters is that the surge succeeded in 2007-2008 and that President George W. Bush handed over a peaceful Iraq to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton the next year. Then Obama and Clinton screwed it all up.

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Passing the torch: From Julian Bond to Black Lives Matter

August 20, 2015 — 

Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Passing the torch — From Julian Bond to Black Lives Matter

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Wade Freedle: Full disclosure still not presented by Higgins Fire District

August 19, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: Responding to a claim made in this Other Voices, Higgins Fire Protection District officials state the average response time for the district was increased to 10.86 minutes in December of 2013, prior to Station 23 reopening in March 2014 due to a FEMA SAFER grant. The district reports that when the station reopened, average response time was reduced to 8.45 minutes.

As in all political contests, the question in regard to the necessity of the proposed tax increase is viewed from a different perspective by the opposing parties.

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Carolyn Niehaus: Farewell for now, from Rafael

August 18, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: Our community’s efforts to rescue “Rafael” and so many other animals in western Nevada County are not taken for granted, as this submitted Other Voices from AnimalSave Director Carolyn Niehaus shares, from the perspective of Rafael.

Boy, did I get lucky! Several months ago I got separated (not so lucky) from my family and was wandering the streets near Humpty Dumpty in Grass Valley. Then a very compassionate person saw I was in trouble, picked me up and took me to AnimalSave.

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Lori Nunnink-Taylor: Increase outreach to those with mental health challenges

August 17, 2015 — 

From Founding Father Abraham Lincoln, space explorer Buzz Aldrin, and distinguished author Ernest Hemingway, to broadcast journalist Mike Wallace, baseball great Daryl Strawberry, and internationally-recognized actor and comedian Robin Williams, mental illness has inadvertently helped shape the American culture.

But for Williams — and thousands of individuals each year whose desperation leads to suicide — help comes too late.

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Jeff Sheldon: Poor practices with fire taxes, personnel management

August 15, 2015 — 

I received the Aug. 6 edition of The Union and read a front page article, and then inside, an editorial by Bruce Jones, chairman of the Higgins Fire Protection Board of Directors, each advising us, the taxpayers, why we needed to vote for Article V — otherwise the Higgins Fire District is going to punish us by closing one of our fire stations.

Then, in today’s mail I received a post card, also from Jones, repeating the same threats and then he has the audacity to insinuate that the cost of the mailer and the costs of the “election” for Measure V did not cost us, the taxpayers, anything, as the funds came from the state and federal governments. Mr. Jones, where do you think the state and federal governments get their money?

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Wendy Reddish: Vote yes on Measure V

August 15, 2015 — 

Last week, voters in the Higgins Fire District received post cards from an anonymous “group of concerned citizens” who urged a NO vote on Measure V, a local measure which would raise the fire tax paid directly to the Higgins Fire District.

This tax would be the first increase in 35 years since a tax of $25/year was approved by the voters in 1980. The following is my response to the misinformation propagated by these anonymous individuals:

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Kimberly D'Urso: Misguided campaigns to defund Planned Parenthood alarming

August 15, 2015 — 

Planned Parenthood is a nearly 100-year-old organization that serves our communities nationwide by providing low-cost and free reproductive health services to women and men who might otherwise be unable to access this important healthcare, usually due to socioeconomic status or limited rural access.

As one who believes in the right of every woman to make choices for her body, and as president of Nevada County Citizens for Choice, I feel compelled to share my personal story about Planned Parenthood and why I stand solidly with its mission.

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R. L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 15, 2015 — 

It takes a village idiot

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