Letters to the Editor

Bill Neville: Is there a connection here?

April 18, 2015 — 

Is there a connection between Nevada City bed and breakfast permits and a fire station brown-out? As I understand the April 9 story regarding NC Council actions, the council has adopted ordinances/policies:

• Prohibiting any future establishment and perhaps closing existing bed and breakfast facilities.

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Melissa Hawk: Fight for your child's education

April 18, 2015 — 

Common Core testing begins soon and I, a parent of three children in the Nevada City School District, am ever so frustrated with the over complicated math and one-sided history and science curriculum, that so obviously pushes the liberal agenda.

Our many parental concerns and meetings were glossed over and now we bend over backwards to help our children learn something we ourselves can’t hardly grasp. The fight is happening across the country. Parents and entire schools are opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Testing. While this won’t solve our Common Core dilemma, it will certainly make our fight against the standards known.

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Charles Shawcross: Young pianist to perform at Holbrooke Hotel

April 17, 2015 — 

On July 21, 2011, you printed an article on your front page about a young pianist James Pavel Shawcross after he had won a national title in Las Vegas.

When he was 8, he played at the Sacramento Ragtime Society as well as the Sacramento Jazz Society (tailgate room). In the four years that have followed, he has gained international attention through Internet sites like Fandalism, which is like YouTube for musicians.

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Miriam Martin: Who really needs a semiautomatic weapon?

April 17, 2015 — 

A recent issue of The Union had an advertising insert from Cabela’s that advertised a semiautomatic rifle and other high powered rifles. It just offends me and hopefully others. We read daily about shootings of a police officer or innocent bystander or child.

It sickens me that we don’t have more gun laws in the USA but the NRA has such power over most people. They feel their rights are taken away, but what about the lives that are taken away with the gun that shot them?

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Terry Armor: Thank you, Drew!

April 17, 2015 — 

Drew, you were a knight in snowy armor on Tuesday, when you came out of your warm safe truck to rescue a stalled car on the Ridge Road hill! You took charge of the situation and the safety of the players, creating a safe haven during a stressful few hours of weather, and making it a memorable event to reflect on. You are so appreciated; any mother would be proud! Looking forward to enjoying your organic fare this summer at the Nevada City and Rood Center farmers markets!

Terry Armor

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Lee Hicks: Court system needs to seek truth in child pornography cases

April 16, 2015 — 

The April 7 issue of The Union features two Nevada County criminal cases involving child pornography.

In one, two children of a convicted child pornographer chastise the court for shortening the sentence of their father, their molester. This father of eight children, six of them adopted, was convicted of 16 charges of molesting and filming children ages 1 to 3. Nicholas Ponce, his father’s victim, describes his own young life as ruined. The reduction of the sentence of Luis Ponce based on a technicality has revictimized the victims of this pornographer. His son warns of the potential of his father to reoffend.

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Joyce Hoffman: Who needs enemies with a friend like this?

April 16, 2015 — 

In his Other Voices column, Steve Enos alluded to The Vatican, Elvis and John Steinbeck. He did so to distract from any negative intentions he had in submitting his anonymous letter, which led to the investigation of Terry Lamphier.

The Vatican is a beautiful city with some of the finest Italian Renaissance art. Elvis still has a lot of fans who love him. Steinbeck was one of our greatest authors. I am insulted that he would use them to add levity and sarcasm to what is, in my opinion, a tragedy.

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Donald Ringen: Don't take away the Stretch IRA

April 15, 2015 — 

President Obama’s budget proposals for the 2016 fiscal year once again called for the elimination of the Stretch IRA.

Why would President Obama want to take away one of the few retirement vehicles that helps the middle class in retirement?

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Mike Hauser: Lunchtime automotive event an educational experience

April 15, 2015 — 

Thanks for your recent story on the Nevada Union Automotive team competition. It was the Roamin’ Angels’ intent by staging a lunchtime event to highlight their accomplishments.

We brought in several race cars and the experts that build and race them, including NU Alumni. Everyone was welcome to climb in, take pictures and in the end celebrate the noise when we lit them up. It was also important to our members that the crowd of kids and staff visiting our displays understood the importance of what they study and teach. Math, art, science even history and English are what we apply to our passions, those vehicles and our hobby.

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Chris Kane: One problem for letter writer

April 15, 2015 — 

Mr. Tope’s recent letter to the editor states that because of not enrolling in the Affordable Care Act, he has lost a portion of his tax refund despite having kept his Medicare, kept his supplemental insurance, and kept his doctor. One problem — he also kept his accountant.

Chris Kane

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Bev Warnecke: A good ACA experience

April 15, 2015 — 

My daughter in San Francisco was ecstatic when I prepared her 2014 tax return. After putting info into Turbo Tax from her 1095A Health Insurance Market Place Statement, up popped a credit of almost $1,500. Seems she paid too much health care premiums based on her self-employment income. Much of the problem people seem to be having this year is in the reporting of their health care.

In order to avoid the penalty, you do not have to purchase health insurance on the California Marketplace. Your health insurance can be purchased from any source. And while we are limited to health insurance providers in Nevada County, my insurance agent found me a very good Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan F that is just at $90 a quarter for age 79.

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Jody Hanson: Let your dog ride up front

April 14, 2015 — 

I would like to comment on the April 3 photo in The Union of a dog in the bed of a truck going down the highway. This could very well be the last day of that dog’s life. We’ve all seen dogs riding in the back of pickup trucks as the trucks fly down the highway.

The dogs look to be having fun, but by being in the back of a truck they risk injury from flying objects. Eye injuries are common, but there is an even greater danger. According to a California state legislator, approximately 100,000 dogs a year nationwide are killed because they jump or are thrown from a pickup.

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Chelsea Martin: Transients camping behind apartment complex

April 14, 2015 — 

It is regrettable that transients with vehicles don’t have any designated camping areas in the Grass Valley area.

It has been my unfortunate experience to have multiple transient vehicles — trucks, trucks with trailers and trucks with campers — parked nightly behind my apartment complex for months on end. Calls to law enforcement have not been successful in moving these people along. Town Talk Road has become the nightly destination for hapless souls who don’t seem to have anywhere else to go.

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Cheryl Wicks: Efforts, fundraiser help 41 rescued horses

April 13, 2015 — 

On March 14, the Lacy J. Dalton concert took place at the beautiful Martines ranch in Penn Valley. There were 500 people in attendance. This was a benefit for the 41 horses that Animal Control, Sammie’s Friends, Horse Plus and so many volunteers rescued in January. From rescuing the horses to the Lacy J. Dalton fundraiser, an amazing group of people came together to do something miraculous. The roundup itself was organized in less than a week and this huge fundraiser was put together in less than a month. No one can dispute that this community really cares for its horses.

I am unable to list every person who helped, the number is too large. There were well over 100 people who made all of this possible. Sammie’s Friends is so grateful for all the help that everyone provided to see to it that these 41 horses were rescued. A giant thanks to all. I hope many blessings come your way for your big heart for the horses.

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Joanne Wohlfeld: More chain stores, more asphalt?

April 13, 2015 — 

The idea of Dorsey Market Place is a sad commentary on the typical selling out of open space for more and more chain stores and asphalt parking lots.

When does it ever end? So it is all about tax money and low-paying jobs in big chain stores. I was suspicious of the Dorsey Drive Interchange and this has got to be the reason all that money went into more freeway asphalt.

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Royce Larson: Grass Valley should actually listen

April 13, 2015 — 

With respect to your editorial related to the proposed Dorsey shopping center, you suggest that all those outside the Grass Valley city limits will be affected and should have a seat at the discussion table.

A real need is for Grass Valley to actually listen and consider those in the surrounding area. That seemingly small item would certainly break new and surprising ground and would be greatly appreciated.

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Julie Jasper: New mural brightens up Smartsville

April 11, 2015 — 

This is just a note to let you know that J&A’s Smartsville store has a new mural. Margaret Arnold, resident and well known artist, is working on a Gold Rush mural on the front of the little store.

The store, which opened two years ago after being closed for eight years, has really brought our little town back to life.

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Jeannie Wood: Chinese New Year Festival a community endeavor

April 11, 2015 — 

The Nevada City Chinese New Year Festival and Parade hereby responds to the March 22 letter by Daniel Guerrero.

Mr. Guerrero: We apologize for your having missed the performance by Grass Valley Taiko. They did an awesome job and I heard nothing but kudos about their performance, as well as the entertainment by the other individuals and groups. While the event was our fourth annual, it had steadily grown in scope and stature through the years. We did the best we could to estimate start and ending times of performances, but there were variables that we could not control, as well as, of course, learning curves. For example, we had two parade entries that were a no-show, which caused the parade to end a bit earlier than anticipated, and hence, caused the entertainment to begin earlier than posted. The times were, at best, good-faith estimates.

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Brian Foster: Lake of the Pines reopens dog park with improvements

April 11, 2015 — 

Lake of the Pines and two of the local service clubs have spent over $35,000 to upgrade their Huck Finn Dog Park.

Over an acre of the park has had grass planted, irrigated and fenced with water brought in for a new dog wash station, and water available for humans and dogs. Additional landscaping has also been done. Two of LOPs service groups, The Pinesmen and The Firebelles donated over $5,500 for the purchase and installation of four new benches and a shaded picnic table for the park.

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Roger Lewis: Center for Spiritual Living pitches in to help free two-day health clinic

April 11, 2015 — 

I would like to thank Sierra Center for Spiritual Living for their kind donation to help fund the free health care clinic being brought to Grass Valley Nov. 14-15 at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Hall.

This is being brought to us by California CareForce, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit all-volunteer organization from Roseville. The clinic will include medical, dental and vision care. It will serve 500 patients each day.

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Ron Lowe: Indiana law flawed from the start

April 10, 2015 — 

Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signed a blatant anti-gay bill called Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. This law is not about religious freedom, the law is a piece Republican legislative bigotry and discrimination.

The law allows businesses to refuse service to gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Does everybody see how flawed the law is right off? How are business owners to make judgment calls as to who is or who isn’t gay? That’s how ridiculous the law is. That Gov. Pence signed this bill into law seems suspect.

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Harry Wyeth: On health care, what is working elsewhere?

April 10, 2015 — 

Reading the recent back-and-forths about the Affordable Care Act, I noticed one item missing: information about how other wealthy countries manage health care and how much it costs.

It is well known that all of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand offer free medical care for everyone. Of course, it is paid for out of taxes — ”there is no such thing as a free lunch” — but a little basic research shows that the cost per capita in all such countries is much, much less than in the U.S.

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Dennis Westcot: Thanks to Caltrans

April 10, 2015 — 

We need to give a special thanks to the Caltrans crews that remarked the crosswalks and lines at the intersection of Highway 49 and North Bloomfield Road. Numerous kids use this to cross to the county library and this eliminates a clear safety hazard for the kids. Good job, Caltrans.

Dennis W. Westcot

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Julie Reaney: A hospital's 'hot potato'

April 10, 2015 — 

When a local cancer patient received news that her liver cancer had returned following two-plus years of treatments, pain and fatigue, four hospitals with red tape and no sense of urgency have allowed her to continue failing.

To date, some three months later, one hospital responded after another two-plus weeks passed with a “you’re too weak for surgery.” I wonder why. Yet another conflicting opinion. Most have not or will not even respond to her daughter’s requests to even speak to the doctor for status on the most current referral, let alone, order another PET scan immediately and perform appropriate surgery.

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Laurie Chamberlin: Fundraiser sweetens the pot for Child Advocates

April 9, 2015 — 

A big, big shout out and thank you from Child Advocates of Nevada County to all our neighbors at the Fowler Center!

Scraps Dog Bakery, you rock! Thank you to everyone for supporting our Spring See’s Candy Store Fundraiser, you have just helped us tend to the very important work we do for Nevada County’s most vulnerable children.

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Stephen DeSena: Old Barn Self Storage honors dads with hillside art features

April 9, 2015 — 

We are glad people are noticing Old Barn Self Storage’s Happy Art facing Highway 20/49 in Grass Valley.

We believe that fathers who work hard to support their families and raise their children are part of the foundation of a healthy society and deserve recognition.

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Robert G. Brehm: Customers have the right to 'opt out' of smart meters

April 8, 2015 — 

Business owners and business leaders, you do have the right (as do all citizens, homeowners or renters) to have your smart meters removed from your buildings. PG&E is lying to you if they tell you otherwise. PG&E is violating your Constitutional rights under the 4th, 5th, 10th and 14th amendments.

Your health and safety as well as that of your customers supersede any regulations put out by the CPUC. There is an abundant amount of information on the Internet — over 6,000 sites on medical and scientific studies done on the hazards of and medical problems related to Smart Meters. These include fire dangers, DNA and chromosome damage, cancer, depression, neuropathy and many, many more.

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Ronnie Portlock: Could spring cleaning be a 'Tipping Point'?

April 8, 2015 — 

In Wednesday’s spring cleaning article, Police Chief Foley explained the broken window theory and how one small act or behavior, if gone overlooked, can promote more of the same act or behavior in a small or large area.

Well, I thought that he and others would be interested in a great book called “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell explains that exact same theory and how those types of social phenomenon comes to be as well as how they can be reversed by those same principles. Cleaning one wall in a bad neighborhood, for example, can create a tipping point and prompt the cleaning of an entire block and reduce crime and vandalism. Good read for all ages.

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Hindi Greenberg: Well done, Sierra Stages

April 8, 2015 — 

Once again I feel compelled to remark on the amazing quality and quantity of talent in our community.

On April 1, I attended a play reading at the Miners Foundry sponsored by Sierra Stages. A play reading is generally something that is rehearsed two or three times; the actors read from printed scripts, there are few or no props, costumes or scenery; and the audience sits back and enjoys the playwright’s writing and the actors’ interpretations of the script. But at last night’s reading of the musical play, “Ordinary Days,” all four actors — Jay Barker, Nancy Haffey, Jonathon Hansard and Kim Wellman — had virtually memorized every word, all which were wonderfully sung (and the music was not easy) to the excellent piano accompaniment of Musical Director Ken Getz. With fine stage direction by Sandra Rockman, all four actors moved, sang, gestured, emoted and involved the audience in the lives of their characters. So well done was the play that we didn’t need a full set or costumes or props to completely relate to the troubles and joys of the four characters. About 150 attendees seemed to completely enjoy the production, giving a loud, standing ovation at its conclusion.

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Jackie Wapp: We are Lions; we serve

April 4, 2015 — 

Let’s talk about Lions. Lions are the world’s largest service organization. Their motto is “We serve” and we are “the knights of the blind.”

In the spirit of this we will be having a day of vision screening at Pioneer Park 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 18. The Northern California Lions Sight Association (NCLSA) sight van will be here and with the help of Dr. Layne Christiansen we will conduct vision tests and glaucoma tests. These will be free and refreshments will be available.

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