Opinion Columns

Opposition of California Proposition 47

October 31, 2014 — 

As your Nevada County public safety leaders, we emphatically express our opposition of Proposition 47, which has qualified for the Nov. 4 Statewide General Election.

The law enforcement community and crime victim advocates strongly oppose Proposition 47, misleadingly titled “The Safe Neighborhoods and School Act.” The proponents of Proposition 47 claim the act simply alters sentencing of low-level nonviolent crimes such as drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors with direct financial savings going to other state services including the K-12 schools, mental health treatment, and victim services. These claims are false. There is nothing progressive about reducing the penalties for the possession of illicit drugs, including drugs used to facilitate date-rape, and downgrading the theft of a firearm to a misdemeanor.

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Hemig: Six degrees of separation - community human kindness

October 31, 2014 — 

We live in a small community that is filled with people who care.

In fact, not only do we have people who care, we have people who step up and provide support for those in need.

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Measure S isn’t about medicine

October 31, 2014 — 

Thanks to the League of Women Voters and their recent forum on Measure S, the medical marijuana initiative, I learned a lot and had my hunches confirmed. According to Ms. Patricia Smith and Mr. Stephen Munkelt, they wrote Measure S to facilitate medical marijuana (MMJ) growing by collectives in order to be able to grow more MMJ for more people including people who don’t live in Nevada County.

Proponents of Measure S agree that no one actually knows how many Nevada County residents have a current prescription for MMJ. But to them, it doesn’t matter because the needs of those few should trump the needs of the greater community. We should just put up with noxious odors and give up quiet enjoyment of our neighborhoods and backyards for the six to eight weeks when MMJ smells the worst.

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Realtors seek to set record straight on Measure S

October 31, 2014 — 

The Nevada County Association of Realtors would like to set the record straight. The published ad by Citizens for Fair Laws stating “85% of REALTORS® Support Measure S” constitutes 45 of 53 REALTORS® who responded to a NCAOR poll – a broken survey and poor sampling of less than 8 percent of our 503 REALTOR® membership.

The Association of REALTORS® reviewed the proposed Measure S, addressed the ramifications of such legislation and took a position of “No” on Measure S because the impact of such legislation, if passed, will dramatically change residential neighborhoods and may affect associated home values in Nevada County. The measure addresses zoning and land use, issues that are clearly best addressed through the local ordinance process in which public comment and Board of Supervisors’ approval can affect changes that suit our evolving needs as a community.

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Wicked or good witch: which one are you?

October 30, 2014 — 

When a wicked woman’s broom has swept the light of 840 moons, she evolves into the Septuagenarian phase of her life bringing deeper wisdom, freedom, and personal power.

Family may call her Nana, Grammy, or Nonna but they are only euphemisms. She is hag. She is crone.

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Sound advice from Churchill

October 30, 2014 — 

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “Never, never, never give up.” I agree. Persistent and tenacious are qualities in which I take great pride.

From the time I was a young child, I have worked very hard to accomplish things that were important to me. I began working at age 12 because coming from a low-income, single-parent household, I understood it was my responsibility to pay for extra things I wanted and to contribute to our household.

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Consider board of education votes carefully

October 30, 2014 — 

“… There is no room for politics at the county office of education” — Bob Altieri.

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Serious hazards to heavy cannabis use in adolescence

October 30, 2014 — 

“Yes on S” people refer to “patients” in their literature — as if they are concerned only with some vast community of sufferers oppressed by heartless status quo setbacks that hinder access to a magic potion for everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Almost makes you forget who the more likely beneficiaries of this measure are — pot entrepreneurs who cultivate “scripts” as well as cannabis, create public safety issues, and show up in town with their untaxed flash wads every harvest season.

“Patients” is meant to give this measure a moral glow. Other Yes on S arguments don’t bother. Take, for instance, the claim in a recent paid insert in The Union attacking marijuana “myths” that, far from being a “gateway drug,” pot might actually be beneficial for young people since it decreases their use of tobacco and alcohol. This would be news to the American Medical Association, whose last annual report not only supports the gateway thesis — “early cannabis use is related to later substance use disorders” — but goes even further: “Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic thought disorder.”

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Carrtoon: Oct. 29. 2014

October 29, 2014 — 

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Small business is the backbone of our local economy

October 29, 2014 — 

Nevada County is not only blessed with a beautiful environment, recreational opportunities, and a well-educated population; we also keep much of our wealth here in the county.

The technology, farming, winery industries based in Nevada County export their products far and wide.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

October 28, 2014 — 

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No on Proposition 1 – the Water Bond

October 28, 2014 — 

The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (AB1471), the Water Bond, is on the ballot this November for voter approval. Proponents want us to believe that it will “save” water by building dams and reservoirs. It won’t. It is designed to remove dams, not create them. It supports wetlands restoration, not water storage.

In the beginning, this bill called for the removal of four Klamath River dams. The language has been changed to make its intent less obvious, and the intent stands.

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Arguments against Prop. 47 misleading

October 27, 2014 — 

Opponents of Prop. 47 are using scare tactics to discourage voters from voting “yes” on this sensible criminal law reform. They say Prop. 47 will open the doors to early release of violent felons. This argument is incredibly misleading.

The only people who would be released are those serving sentences for personal use drug possession or for thefts of less than $950. No one serving time for any other crime will be released under Prop. 47. An inmate seeking early release would also need to apply for it, and a judge could block release if it would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. Prop. 47 would not apply to anyone with a record of certain violent crimes or sex crimes or who is required to register as a sex offender.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

October 25, 2014 — 

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Hemig: The future looks great at The Union

October 25, 2014 — 

What a great year!

The staff at The Union has really enjoyed celebrating the newspaper’s 150 years of bringing news, information and entertainment to western Nevada County.

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Hemig: The party ain’t over yet!

October 24, 2014 — 

A month ago, The Union hosted a 150th anniversary open house party. Almost 500 people helped celebrate this momentous occasion.

We had some wonderful food, music and tours. We celebrated the great historical stories and photos we’ve been running all year. And we had some great community camaraderie.

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A tribute to True, my ‘other mother’

October 24, 2014 — 

Sunday, Oct. 26 is Mother-In-Law Day. Mothers-in-law are a favorite butt of jokes for stand-up comedians. Rumble seats in the old coupes and roadsters were called mother-in-law seats because those who rode in them were out of the passenger compartment, and presumably out of the driver’s hair. If you Google “mother-in-law jokes” you will have page after page of sites listed.

A few of the less offensive ones are listed below:

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Opportunity Village in Nevada City

October 23, 2014 — 

According to Amnesty International, 2.3 million homeless people live in the United States.

The average homeless person lives to less than 50 years old. A rather unfortunate testimony to how we treat our fellow citizens, much less the large percentage of them who have previously gone off to fight our foreign wars.

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Carrtoon: Oct. 22. 2014

October 22, 2014 — 

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Friday is World Polio Day; here’s why we’re this close to ending it — forever

October 22, 2014 — 

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century. It’s a human enterovirus spread by nasal and oral secretions and by contact with contaminated feces.

The virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies as it goes through the digestive system. In 99 percent of cases, polio is a mild illness with flu-like symptoms and no long-term effects.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

October 21, 2014 — 

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Despite mail ballots, polling places essential

October 21, 2014 — 

Mr. George Horrigan, in his column, “Your vote counts, but only if you vote” on Oct. 9, urged a look at adopting exclusive vote-by-mail elections instead of our current mixed system of mail ballots and polling place ballots. Although eliminating polling places might have some cost-benefits, there would be other consequences that might not be as desirable.

Political campaigns like to “lock up” votes in advance of election day, which they can accomplish by encouraging early voting by mail before all the facts are known. Once the voter has received a mail ballot, the temptation is to vote it and mail it in, thereby completing one’s civic duty. But the earlier the voter casts a ballot, the less well-informed his or her votes are likely to be. And there is also the possibility of last-minute revelations that might otherwise sway voters but will have little effect if the ballots are already cast.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

October 18, 2014 — 

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The Devil in the Disregard

October 18, 2014 — 

I don’t believe in “the Devil” that fervid pastors tell,

Nor pitchforks, horns, nor burnings pits of Hell.

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It takes a village; a low-income housing solution

October 18, 2014 — 

Nevada County has a housing crisis. Many people, not just our chronically homeless, are finding themselves without shelter. There are not enough affordable rentals. Individuals and families are having to share anything that is available. A single paycheck is no longer adequate to pay rent and then cover remaining living expenses and food. As a result more Nevada County residents are becoming homeless.

On Nov. 10, Sierra Roots, a 501c3, based in Nevada City, is hosting a presentation on the micro-house village model, Opportunity Village, which has already gained success in Eugene, Ore. Andrew Heben, author of “Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages,” will be the speaker for the evening. He will discuss the kind of collaboration that has emerged simply by making a space available for local community resources.

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Peter Pohorsky: a good, faithful servant

October 18, 2014 — 

A friend of mine passed away recently whose name will be recognized by regular readers of this page. Peter Pohorsky, 93, died peacefully at his assisted living community in Grass Valley.

I decided to write because I don’t believe many knew of his passing, or of his life.

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Orson, more than a friend

October 17, 2014 — 

You asked for nothing, yet gave so much. Never would you discriminate against others or make insincere political statements, nor would you incite war and exhibit greed.

You would not sideline those who have different beliefs or who are physically challenged. You gave nothing, but love, gratitude and patience.

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Voting: what you need to know

October 17, 2014 — 

The Nevada County Elections Office is very busy preparing for the upcoming Nov. 4, 2014 Consolidated General Election.

There will be dozens of voter decisions including federal, state, judicial, and local contests. Some of these contests include Justices, local candidates, six statewide propositions, one countywide measure, and two district measures. These state and local elections are the most important elections for communities to have their voices heard and implement change on a local level. With so many choices on the ballot, this means the official ballot will consist of two cards, front and back.

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Hemig: Not in my backyard

October 17, 2014 — 

As I stood in the middle of a 1-acre lot and looked around at all the trees providing privacy between the neighbors, I thought to myself, I could sure grow a lot of pot here.

Or I could hold many great outdoor weddings or events. Or maybe even build and sell a bunch of furniture.

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Hall needs moderate Republicans to beat LaMalfa

October 17, 2014 — 

The recent 1st Congressional District candidates’ forum in Redding, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, was well attended and useful in getting to know Democratic challenger, Heidi Hall, and Republican incumbent, Doug LaMalfa.

No question, at least from my perspective, Heidi Hall came away as the strongest candidate in the room.

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