Opinion Columns

Illegal immigrants need to do the right thing

July 29, 2014 — 

It appears the federal government operatives knew back in January of this year that a flood of illegal immigrant children would be crossing over the border later. Now it is later and here we go.

Exploiting a loophole in some 2002 law that says illegal immigrant children from non-contiguous countries must be held rather than sent back with 48 hours (plus Obama’s Executive Order on kids of illegal residents).

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State splitters secede from reality

July 29, 2014 — 

Some Northern California county supervisors have voted in favor of seceding from California and forming a State of Jefferson. In Nevada County, a small group of people want our county to join this secession movement. These secessionist state splitters have seceded from reality. They are living in a fantasy world and wasting their time.

Here’s what the Constitution says about state splitting.

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Many Americans uninformed on Israeli/Palestinian conflict

July 29, 2014 — 

I wake up every morning feeling heartbroken and sick as I watch the news reports of how many more Palestinians (mostly civilians, many children) have been killed by Israeli bombs and guided missiles.

The numbers are now over 1,000 killed, thousands wounded and thousands more made homeless.

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Building furniture is a hobby, not a business

July 29, 2014 — 

I’m a disabled Vietnam veteran who resides at Lake of the Pines and builds furniture as a hobby and donates it to friends, family and the men and women at Beale Air Force Base.

I’ve donated over 50 pieces of furniture to Beale, as well as the Women of Worth and many other organizations. I do this as a hobby and not a business.

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It Takes a Village Idiot

July 29, 2014 — 

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Electronic poll books a valuable addition to elections process

July 28, 2014 — 

During the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election, under my direction, the Nevada County Elections Office launched an exploratory pilot to experience the potential benefits of electronic poll books in polling locations across Nevada County.

These electronic poll books, or e-poll books, replace our paper roster system with efficient touch-screen tablets uploaded with a comprehensive electronic roster of the county’s registered voters.

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Commercial events in neighborhoods: Another view

July 26, 2014 — 

In an editorial appearing in these pages on July 19, The Union editorial board cautioned the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to “tread lightly” on the proposed outdoor event ordinance.

The central premise of the editorial was based on the tacit assumption that a multi-million dollar wedding industry otherwise could suffer “devastating” affects and consequently have a profound effect on the county’s economy in general. Unfortunately, the editorial not only failed to make a clear distinction between legal and illegal wedding venues, but more important, it failed to recognize the larger universe that encompasses the responsibilities of the Board of Supervisors. It might be helpful to consider that perspective.

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County’s outdoor event ordinance fatally flawed

July 26, 2014 — 

County residents have a right to expect fair treatment and transparency from governmental officials.

The county from the outset has lacked transparency and inclusiveness in its proposal to limit outdoor events.

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It Takes a Village Idiot

July 26, 2014 — 

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Hemig: Grass Valley crime stats improving, but still work to do

July 25, 2014 — 

I have been rather direct regarding my opinion of the crime and drug coverage in The Union.

In my column on April 3, I explained that The Union has a responsibility to report the happenings of this community. We need to reflect the good and the bad that affects our lives in Nevada County.

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Drive with courtesy

July 25, 2014 — 

First let me begin by thanking all the considerate drivers in our area.

I leave for three to four months at a time to do disaster work throughout the United States. It is always a surprise to me how in that period of time things can change as much as they do: new stores, new people, new roadways. While I have found drivers throughout the country to be fairly similar, it seems we do have a few unique traffic problems.

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Byron York: Angry impasse threatens border solution

July 24, 2014 — 

After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.

In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young immigrants illegally crossing the southwestern border into the United States.

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Amy Goodman: Overcoming the media blockade in Gaza

July 24, 2014 — 

According to the United Nations, one child has been killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days.

Overall, the Israeli military has killed close to 700 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, since the assault on Gaza began more than two weeks ago.

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An open letter to the U.S. Postal Service

July 23, 2014 — 

As I was picking my kids up at school the other day I passed again, as I have so many times before, the house of an elderly man.

This time he was obviously waiting for something as he stood upon his driveway with his hands in his pockets. This time I was stuck in traffic longer than was usual and so as I waited I had the opportunity to wonder for what was he waiting as he stood there.

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It’s time for solutions

July 23, 2014 — 

Facts are the ‘coin-of-the-realm’ in a democracy, but in regard to the flawed Grand Jury report on the homeless, it seems real facts are irrelevant.

No matter which view you take in this ongoing national debate on homelessness, the job of a Grand Jury is to collect facts, real data and be committed to accuracy of investigation and reporting.

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Transparency protects the public’s right to know

July 23, 2014 — 

I have a great deal of respect for the members of any school board. They are paid very little and have a huge responsibility to the schools and members of the community. However, it is important to remember that they are in their positions to act in the best interest of the children and, by way of that, oversee the tax dollars of the parents and citizens that elected them to office.

I’ve been attending meetings of the Nevada County Board of Education (NCBE) for a few months now and can attest to the fact that there are only two NCBE board members of the five that consistently act in the best interests of the children and the taxpayers: Marianne Slade-Troutman and Jack Meeks. The other three seem to be more willing to support a less transparent way of conducting county business.

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Poker Ride fundraiser a success

July 22, 2014 — 

Nevada County’s Gold Country Trails Council is, once again, pleased to announce that the 2014 Poker Ride Fundraiser was an especially fun event this year.

We moved it up a month to avoid the heat and bees and ended up with a perfect day. The funds raised will allow for the continued improvement and maintenance of the Pioneer Trail, along with many other trails and horse camps in the Tahoe National Forest. On June 7, Skillman Horse Camp was filled with 85 riders, their horses, rigs and all the volunteers and non-riders who participated in and helped out to make the Gold Country Trails Council (GCTC) annual event another big success.

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It takes a village idiot

July 22, 2014 — 

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Federal inaction encourages more Murrietas

July 22, 2014 — 

MURIETTA, Calif. — A federal failure has resulted in the “catch and release” of non-citizens, undocumented, unscreened for disease or criminal records who crossed the United States border in Texas.

A message has been sent to the economically challenged peoples of Central America that we have an open door policy. They would be foolish not to take this opportunity, those that are already here, undocumented for years are sending for their children, 52,000 of them by September 2014. The intent of the federal policy is to send illegal immigrants to their intended family/friend support destination in the United States.

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Deep pockets becoming our masters

July 21, 2014 — 

Abraham Lincoln wished for us a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” 150 years ago.

Are we there yet? No — and going the opposite direction. Government of, by and for the corporations describes our situation far better.\

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It takes a village idiot

July 19, 2014 — 

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Another fine year for NU’s bands

July 18, 2014 — 

It may seem like a contradiction to say the Nevada Union High School bands have been quietly doing great things. But that is sometimes the way it seems. While they are not often in the public eye, the NU bands are very busy during every school year.

They are active at a variety of events, including multiple concerts and numerous competitions. They make great music. The collection of trophies and plaques in the band room at Nevada Union High School is more than just impressive. More are added each year.

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Hemig: A picture is worth a thousand comments

July 18, 2014 — 

Senior Vice President of the Grass Valley’s River Valley Community Bank Mike Vasquez and I have been spending a lot of time together lately. We seem to run into each other at Rotary meetings, local nonprofit events and chamber mixers.

Enough time now that we have gotten to know each other. At dinner the other night he wagged his finger in my face. I figured we were now close enough for him to tell me what he thinks we’re doing wrong at the newspaper.

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Admit guaranteed pensions are unsustainable

July 18, 2014 — 

Detroit, Vallejo, San Bernardino, Stockton – all felled by one common denominator – public employee defined benefit pension plans.

They are not alone.

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The not-so fine print of corporate TV

July 18, 2014 — 

The modern private sector equivalent of “lions and tigers and bears, oh my” is the world of corporate advertising, which shifted sometime back from presenting merits of products to selling lifestyles. Along the way, they have become adept at obscuring the consumer’s net value.

Case in point is the endless cycles of TV cable and satellite subscription sales. While by no means the worst at selling hypocrisy — “special deal if you act now (just don’t read the fine print)” — these hucksters are pretty good about being pretty bad for the unwary consumer.

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Kathryn Lopez; Heart of darkness in the buffer zone

July 17, 2014 — 

BOSTON — “Be careful. This is a dangerous corner.”

It’s not until you visit the Boston Planned Parenthood clinic at the heart of the recent Supreme Court buffer-zone case that you realize the unnecessary danger it created. And I’m not even inside.

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Amy Goodman; Border Children: ‘They Don’t Speak English, But They Understand Hate’

July 17, 2014 — 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas put a prominent, public face on the immigration crisis this week when he was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. After a number of hours and a national outcry, he was released.

He first revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant three years ago in a New York Times Magazine article, and has since made changing U.S. immigration policy his primary work. Vargas was in Texas to support the thousands of undocumented immigrant children currently detained there by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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A disillusioned voter is no surprise

July 15, 2014 — 

Recently, the publisher of The Union wrote an editorial decrying the low turnout in Nevada County in the Primary Election. There were many good points in the editorial, the dedication of poll workers, the apparent lack of interest of the younger generation, and the tendency of the elderly to consistently vote.

The one comment which particularly caught my eye was the rhetorical question, “Have people lost touch with our right to vote?”

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Carrtoon: July 16, 2014

July 15, 2014 — 

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Compassionate care at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

July 14, 2014 — 

I needed a way to say thank you to a fantastic group of people, without falling into the impersonal expressions of blanket gratitude for all those untold instances of professionals working untold hours and how they work relentlessly, often without thanks and on and on. Not to say that those lines can’t apply, but they just lacked the personal level of thanks I need to impart.

My account is about my own personal experience of three fast days and nights in our community hospital here in Grass Valley. No story on me or my illness, only that it was serious enough that I landed at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon after four days of illness and basic sleep deprivation, not the best combo.

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