Letters to the Editor

Not black or white, but an American problem

September 20, 2014 — 

The recent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., has us all yet again thinking about race and other inequalities in our supposedly fair and just society.

As Nick Kristof lays out the facts in his New York Times essay:

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Disappointed with the Tea Party

September 20, 2014 — 

I am an old school conservative that thinks liberty is paramount. I am not one of today’s board room style corporate Republicans that puts Wall Street ahead of Main Street.

Regarding liberty, there was a time when Republicans put this concept ahead of just about everything else. Some still do. With the advent of the “war on pot” however, a new breed of conservative has emerged.

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Hall deserves more ink

September 19, 2014 — 

The Union recently published an article regarding congressional candidates Doug LaMalfa and Heidi Hall. Your article dedicated way more space and coverage to LaMalfa compared to Heidi Hall, which gave the impression that LaMalfa’s views and opinions were more deserving of coverage than Ms. Hall’s.

Ms. Hall’s views and opinions, on the other hand, were limited to five paragraphs on page 5 while LaMalfa dominated all of the front page and most of page 5. Since Ms. Hall is the lesser known and the opposing candidate, it seems that she should have been allocated at least equal space and exposure so that we could learn and evaluate her positions.

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What’s the next ‘urgency ordinance’ from the supervisors?

September 19, 2014 — 

In his recent piece on the proposed Outdoor Events Ordinance, Doug Coursey called for laws that are clearly written, with objective enforcement criteria. Coursey denounced the sweeping discretion the ordinance would give the sheriff.

We’ve seen this before: Criticism levied against poorly conceived and confusing proposals, the Board of Supervisors’ dependence on small focus group input while ignoring the views of the larger community, the board giving the sheriff broad discretion to interpret unclear and ambiguous standards …

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Thanks to our amazing firefighters

September 19, 2014 — 

In light of all the fires in our area, the biggest thanks goes to our firefighters. In Nevada City we came very close to disaster. The response was amazing.

Our state is having a tough fire year. I, for one, am happy to pay the $100 to $150 annual tax to help support our California firefighters.

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MRAP, appropriate or ‘overkill’?

September 19, 2014 — 

My personal reaction to the picture of the hulking MRAP and the headline is this: This is not only overkill but fiscally irresponsible.

While this type of vehicle might be occasionally useful in Los Angeles, and other big cities, how can it be justified here? Yes, Sheriff Royal said he got it for the cost of transportation and seizure funds were used.

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Little foresight with the new Dollar General

September 18, 2014 — 

I am so sorry that there seems to be very little foresight when it comes to Grass Valley decision making and planning.

The new Dollar General, referred to as “the smallest big box store,” with their “very small footprint” of a building, has stolen our view of the remaining trees that could still be seen from certain angles in Glenbrook Basin. Wow, all that, and it will begin to chip away at the locally owned stores that have built our community. If that is not enough, their modified “standard cookie-cutter building” is being built by a construction and management group from Texas.

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Ms. Fev’s farewell

September 18, 2014 — 

Dear friends, colleagues, parents and former students,

This area has been my home for 25 years. In that time, I had an extraordinary career as an educator with the Nevada City School District. How do you say goodbye in 200 words?

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Constitution Day a success

September 18, 2014 — 

Once again Nevada Lodge 13 has put out another successful Constitution Day observance with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce and City of Nevada City. Forty-eight years ago, the Masons decided to have a celebration celebrating that great document, and for the first 40 or so we (the Masons, with Colonel Bill Lambert as our leader) did a bang up job!

Lately we have been helped by the Nevada City Rotary and other fine merchants in the area. It was a little warm, but the crowd was receptive and loud. The military and schools helped to make it a very special day. We are one of the few, if only, places west of the Mississippi to do this and it makes me proud to live here. The Shriners, Masons all, are a great addition to the parade, with the clowns, Lions head, and all of the other units.

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Abolishing Second Amendment won’t erase desire to kill

September 17, 2014 — 

It was difficult to get through the chaos of the piece by Cheryl Cook (September 9, “To insure domestic tranquility” vs. the Second Amendment). She spent 75 percent of the space giving her version of history, feigning reverence for the Constitution, insulting our forefathers, complaining about the “fanatical focus on ‘the document’” and characterizing her version of “the real loss of liberty” before getting to the main point — abolishing the Second Amendment. Perhaps her argument wasn’t strong enough to fill the whole space?

Shredding the Second Amendment won’t erase the desire to kill. However, political correctness has become a serious barrier to frank discussion in finding solutions to societal problems. For instance as many as 9,000 African Americans are murdered every year. Ninety three percent of these are perpetrated by other blacks. In 2005, 49 percent of all homicide victims in the U.S. were black. Shouldn’t we recognize mental illness is responsible for 79 percent of recent of mass shootings? Perhaps a discussion of these issues would led to some reasonable solutions to deeper problems.

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Medical facilities provided great care

September 17, 2014 — 

My husband, Dale, and I would like to thank the entire staffs at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Wolf Creek Care Center, for the wonderful care they gave him recently, for his surgery and difficult recovery.

We’d like to thank all employees at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, from housekeeping to the ICCU. Special thanks to Dr. Statton, Dr. Samuel Chan, the hospitalist doctors, and the ICCU nurses.

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Sierra Nevada Children’s Services lives up to its mission

September 17, 2014 — 

Our grandchildren are at risk. My daughter has received support and subsidized childcare from Sierra Nevada Children’s Services. As a single parent these services have allowed her to work in order to support her two young sons. Working to support her family allows her to stay off Medi Cal assistance and improves her self- esteem, as she can contribute to her community.

This support was recently withdrawn, in part due to the agencies need to prioritize the needs of the families they support, due to their available funds. Fortunately, her services were reinstated. How many other children go without? Sierra Nevada Children’s Services is a private community-based nonprofit organization providing assistance to families with financial hardships, related to health, transportation, and enrichment benefits to the physical and emotional needs of the child. Your help is needed to fund their Children’s Community Chest Program, a discretionary fund to meet the needs of our children. The Grass Valley office is located at 420 Sierra College Drive, Suite #100. You can call 530 272-8866, ext. 207 to support this program. What is more important than the safety of our children? Please do what you can to support this agency.

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Enough with the low-budget behemoths

September 17, 2014 — 

I read with interest your reporting on another proposed Dollar General in Alta Sierra. That would make three of these low-budget behemoths, the other two being across from Grass Valley’s Fowler Center and on Rough and Ready Highway.

Didn’t I read in yesterday’s paper that a party store was being put out of business? How many other small businesses is our county’s planning department going to sacrifice to these cheap, cheap, cheap goods stores?

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Historic faire a success

September 15, 2014 — 

I recently attended the historical faire, “Remember When,” held at the Nevada City Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Eric Anderson and Rick Simms of the Piney Creek Weasels delighted us with bluegrass music as we visited the various booths. Richard Johnson from the Nisenan Tribe had a storehouse of artifacts and information about the Nisenan Indians from this area. Terry McMahan and Charlie Jakobs from Nevada County Consolidated Fire District brought an old Nevada City Fire Engine. Judy Mabry from Hooper & Weaver Mortuary had plenty of information packets for those of us facing the loss of a loved one. David Davidson-Methot and Millie Beatie of Emmanuel Episcopal Church shared the history of their beautiful church in Grass Valley. Virginia Guilbert with California’s Pioneer Heritage taught us about the Mormon Battalion. Eileen Phelps and Helen Martini represented the Nevada County Genealogical Society. And Robert Reed, Cynthia Johnson and Eric Johnson were busy at the LDS Family History Center station.

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Haiku - on the way to Red Dog Road

September 15, 2014 — 

i walk on the trail

from gracie to red dog road

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Get engaged

September 14, 2014 — 

Last Friday I read in disbelief the announcement of the upcoming debate between Gov. Brown and the Republican contender, Niel Kashkari, that took place the night before. How is it possible to have this article published the day after the event? Did the editor read the AP article before publishing it? Was the assumption that no one would be interested, or that Gov. Brown is a shoo in, regardless of what Mr. Kashkari may have to say or offer? A recent “Our View” article bemoaned that not enough people are politically engaged. Well, is The Union engaged?

By no means does The Union stand alone in making the only debate for the highest office in our state a non-event. The powers be, scheduled the debate on the same night as a major football game, meaning, that, most likely those under 60 would be watching that. The debate was televised only on two stations, Fox Sacramento and CSPAN. Not exactly mainstream.

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Fortunate to have InConcert Sierra

September 14, 2014 — 

Once a tuba player in college and semi-professional orchestras, I’m always hungry to hear the rich inner voices I learned to love in symphonic music. Here’s good news: we can all hear them at the Sept. 21 fundraiser concert by InConcert Sierra’s excellent Orchestra!

Maestro Ken Hardin has designed an interesting program spanning diverse musical styles and periods from the late 17th century right up to our time.

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One of us?

September 14, 2014 — 

At least once a day, I pass a sign that reads, “Elect Doug LaMalfa. He’s one of us.” I always wonder, ‘Who’s not one of us?’

Jim Cunningham

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Best hospital stay ever

September 14, 2014 — 

To the staff of employees of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, I just want to thank you for the friendly and professional care that was extended to me during my recently short stay.

Never have I seen so many “strangers” give beyond their normal duty to help make an old man comfortable and content. It was “almost” a joy to be in your hospital! I sincerely appreciated the camaraderie and care, and I shall never forget.

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What a great country!

September 13, 2014 — 

In response to Ron Lowe, you are right. I’m tired of hearing Republicans complain about the president.

Barack Obama is the greatest president ever. Prior to 2008, I had to work at least 40 hours a week to pay my bills. Now, I get taxpayer-funded handouts that you help pay for. Thanks man! I haven’t paid for food, rent or medical care for awhile (loving that free Obamacare).

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Don’t trash Nevada County

September 13, 2014 — 

This is to support Susan Perry’s recent “Trash talk” letter.

On the one hand, we have Jon Gregory and the ERC working hard to come up with ideas to entice new industry to the area, on the other hand we are wading through trash on our streets. If Grass Valley and Nevada City were properties for sale, the real estate agent would say, “If you want to sell this property, clean up the trash and mow the lawn.”

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Merci beaucoup

September 13, 2014 — 

We would like to give accolades to some of the most generous and hospitable families in our county.

For three weeks, 16 families participated in a cultural exchange program involving French high school students. These families opened their homes and hearts to students here to expand their knowledge of our culture. All of the families displayed remarkable willingness to share their time and resources with their new “son” or “daughter.” As we said our tearful “au revoirs” it was obvious more than just housing took place.

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Nisenan Heritage Day a success

September 13, 2014 — 

Our community once again showed their support and interest for our Nevada County Native American Tribe the Nisenan.

Saturday, Sept. 6, was the Fifth Annual Nisenan Heritage Day. We would like to thank Sierra College for once again co-sponsoring this wonderful cultural event, The Union for being receptive to our message of historical relevance and CHIRP for continuing to support the important work of the Nevada City Rancheria.

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Thoughtful acts

September 13, 2014 — 

I want to acknowledge two thoughtful acts recognizing the recent passage of my dad, Wiley Martin.

Thank you Assemblymember Dahle (with help from Assemblymembers Chesbro and Gordon) for adjourning the California State Assembly on Aug. 14 in honor of my father’s passage, speaking about his heroism in World War II, as well as his contributions to the state’s schools as a teacher, principal and administrator, and his excellence as a father and grandfather.

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Thanks to our firefighters

September 13, 2014 — 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to the firefighters who did such a fantastic job of putting out so quickly the potentially dangerous fire in Nevada City on Sept. 7.

They deserve everyone’s respect and appreciation.

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Don’t trash Nevada County

September 13, 2014 — 

Don’t trash Nevada County

This is to support Susan Perry’s recent “Trash talk” letter.

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Additional tips to ease kindergarten jitters

September 12, 2014 — 

Additional tips to ease kindergarten jitters

While in Grass Valley back in August, I read Cory Fisher’s article on “kindergarten jitters.” Nice work, Cory. A good way to help parents ease into having their “babies” go off on their own.

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Downieville and Sierra City need timely medical care

September 11, 2014 — 

Sierra City Fire Chief Brian Davey is absolutely correct in his remarks about Western Sierra Medical Clinic.

The issue is about a very serious community need — timely medical care in Downieville, Sierra City, and environs, and that has to come before business considerations; emergencies don’t wait. Our family has used the clinic twice in the last three years: my 89-year-old mother was having serious difficulty breathing at the Sierra City elevation and needed very timely treatment, which the clinic provided. I had a bad case of food poisoning, dehydration and nausea that would not stop, and again the clinic provided very necessary medication and care.

The care at the clinic needs to remain at the same levels; cutting back endangers the community as well as the vacationing population. WSMC can’t serve the community’s medical needs long-distance. This is about necessary medical care, not about profit. Putting profit first is obscene and inhumane.

Judith Kirk

Redwood City

Piling on and cheap shots

September 11, 2014 — 

I remember yard duty as a school principal in the early 1950s. We had to be alert for young boys identifying an adversary, getting him down and all “piling on,” or jumping on top of him. Many had no idea why they were piling on but only that it seemed the popular thing to do. All the presidents in my life, including Herbert Hoover, suffered critics “piling on.” President Obama, however, is getting more and frequent criticisms and ire. Along with the blind critics I too think CIA Director Brennan should have been fired when the CIA violated their franchise by spying on members of Congress. I had problems before that with the renditions to Poland of suspected terrorists. Remember the Nazis used Poland for at least eight death camps. Foreign Intelligence gathering is more than enough work for the CIA without their acting like the KGB and usurping the FBI and other agencies responsibility for homeland security.

Regardless, the tenor of several letters printed in The Union demonstrate ignorance about the president, the Constitution and our U.S. system of representative government. Remember also the president won his second term by 60 percent of the electoral vote and a million votes by your neighbors and other U.S. citizens. His background includes both parents earning Ph.D.s and President Obama has taught Constitutional law before entering politics.

I resented a few of my fellow soldiers mistreating others in World War II as well as young bullies “piling on.” While I did fight in a war for your right to spew hatred and ignorance, I also have the right to deplore it.

Donald M. Foster, Ph.D. a World War II veteran and a California born educator. He and his wife Frances have lived on four continents after he earned his doctorate from Stanford University. They have lived in Grass Valley since 2007.

Growing population strains government budgets

September 11, 2014 — 

In reference to “Grass Valley braces for $2 million budget shortfall.” Now we know that Grass Valley is not the only city, county and state with this problem.

We have the homeless, jobless and those looking for jobs and those whose lives are supplemented by the generosity of others or our government. Even our veterans are not getting the attention they deserve.

We have always had an influx of people entering our country illegally. That is a problem that has never been truly addressed. Thousands are now coming across our borders. They are mostly women and children. Where are the fathers of these children? Who is stirring the pot that so many should suddenly be arriving?

I am as compassionate as we all must be, but I have a fear that we may also be on our way to becoming a third-world country. What can be done? World population is a plight that we all must face. Help!

Micki Kennedy

Grass Valley

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