Opinion Columns

Councilman Howard Levine: What I did on my summer vacation

August 29, 2014 — 

Well, school is back in session and I finished up my vacation with one last hurrah. Saturday night was Dancing With Our Stars, a fundraising effort by the Center for the Arts at the Veterans Building in Grass Valley.

I was a dancer, along with 21 others of our community who have put a whole summer into the program.

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West: Eric Holder: Leading the rush to judgment

August 28, 2014 — 

One thing an old Ivy League revolutionary can’t stand is people noticing that he represents the Establishment. That he embodies the System to a point where he can make it stop and make it go. He will go to great lengths to convince himself, if not others, this is not so.

Take Eric H. Holder Jr., Columbia College Class of 1973, Columbia Law School Class of 1976, now into his sixth year as U.S. attorney general of the Obama Imperium. The man really wants us to think he is not also “the man.”

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Goodman: ‘The Guns of August’

August 28, 2014 — 

In her epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Guns of August,” historian Barbara Tuchman detailed how World War I began in 1914, and how the belligerence, vanity and poor policies of powerful leaders led millions to gory deaths in that four-year conflagration. Before people realized world wars had to be numbered, World War I was called “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars,” which it wasn’t. It was the first modern war with massive, mechanized slaughter on land, sea and in the air. We can look at that war in retrospect, now 100 years after it started, as if through a distant mirror. The reflection, where we are today, is grim from within the greatest war-making nation in human history, the United States.

In the early years of the 20th century, the leaders of the nations of Europe had contrived a web of alliances, each treaty binding one country to join in the defense of another in the event of war.

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Carrtoon: Aug. 27, 2014

August 27, 2014 — 

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No laughing matter

August 26, 2014 — 

I was as stunned as anyone when I heard about the death of Robin Williams.

My first thought? Too young — far too young. Only 63. Especially now that 60 is the new 40.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

August 26, 2014 — 

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Over-reaching Outdoor Events Ordinance needs to be stopped

August 24, 2014 — 

On Aug. 12, I attended a mind-numbing Board of Supervisors meeting, with a morning session to review the Outdoor Events Ordinance and an afternoon session to review the same ordinance.

I obtained my “clean copy of the Outdoor Events Ordinance” that same day from our County Counsel Alison Barratt-Green, who was very helpful and explained to me the background and the intention of the ordinance. No small task.

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BOS chair’s rebuttal lacks any supporting data

August 23, 2014 — 

On several occasions in the recent past and finally at the Aug. 12 Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting, Chair Nate Beason has made public comments in an attempt to discredit the economic impact estimate prepared through the dedicated work of a dozen or more Nevada City Chamber of Commerce members affected by the recently passed Outdoor Events Ordinance.

This estimate was prepared using a combination of sources: a survey of the affected businesses, county recorder data enumerating the total number of weddings performed in Nevada County in 2013, economic information from a national wedding industry association, and some background research by a Dean of Business at a College in Bangor, Maine (a community with similarities to our own) on the “tourist dollar multiplier effect”. We are confident this is the best information available.

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Water bond will prepare state for the next drought

August 23, 2014 — 

There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second-best time is now.

The same holds for building reservoirs.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

August 23, 2014 — 

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Hemig: The Union’s new community editorial board

August 22, 2014 — 

“How could you put Stan Meckler on the editorial board?” was one comment I received.

“Reinette Senum is an interesting choice for The Union’s board,” was another emailed to me last weekend, after The Union announced it would add eight new board members to create a 15-person community-based editorial board.

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Open letter to parents, teachers and taxpayers

August 21, 2014 — 

I would like to reiterate my position on an agenda item for the Aug. 13 meeting, regarding the Nevada County Board of Education reviewing monthly expense reports from the superintendent.

This agenda item rests on a flawed premise by asking whether or not the County Board of Education will follow California Education Code

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York: Gloomy, frantic Dems plead for more money

August 21, 2014 — 

I’ve been getting a lot of email from Democratic fundraisers lately. They seem very worried about November’s elections.

First came the highly publicized “Impeachment Red Alert” campaign, in which the Democratic congressional committee warned that Republicans will impeach President Obama if they win control of the House and Senate. Though much ridiculed, the “Impeachment Red Alert” effort was a big winner, pulling in $2.1 million in small donations in a single weekend.

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Goodman: The ghost of Dred Scott haunts the streets of Ferguson

August 21, 2014 — 

The ghost of Dred Scott haunts the streets of Ferguson.

Thousands have been protesting the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

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Facts important in understanding Gaza conflict

August 20, 2014 — 

I need to respond to an article written by Karen DeHart regarding the conflict in Gaza because it is full of prejudicial half-truths.

DeHart writes: “The Israelis are bombing defenseless people who are already their prisoners.”

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Stop branding the Palestians as ‘bad guys’

August 20, 2014 — 

For the past few weeks, the world has witnessed the brutal bombing attacks on the peoples of the Gaza strip. Gaza lies on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea. It has been under occupation at various times by Egypt, Great Britain and Israel.

Its citizens have suffered horrendously under Israeli control since 1967. Gaza, a densely populated city of almost 2 million on the Mediterranean Sea, has been mercilessly bombed and shelled in both 2008 and 2014.

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Carrtoon: Aug. 20, 2014

August 20, 2014 — 

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Western Sierra Medical Center: a nonprofit dedicated to community health

August 19, 2014 — 

The delivery of health care is about making sure patients have access to much-needed services and treatment, whether it’s a routine annual exam or a life-threatening disease. In short, health care is about connecting with the community and meeting its needs.

As a nonprofit health center, our charge is to serve everyone — people with insurance, people covered by Medicare and low-income and uninsured residents.

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Change a life: Orientation for foster children’s CASA program Wednesday, Aug. 20

August 19, 2014 — 

Child Advocates of Nevada County’s CASA program has 51 CASA’s — Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Those CASA’s are currently working with 77 children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. CASA’s are volunteers, from all walks of life and with varied backgrounds. They are screened, trained and supported to work with children who desperately need stability, predictability and a safe adult in their lives, someone who will stick with them all the way through the court process to a loving, secure and permanent home.

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It Takes a Village Idiot: Aug. 19, 2014

August 19, 2014 — 

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Fighting for women’s rights!

August 17, 2014 — 

There has been a lot in the news in the papers about the so-called Republican’s “War on Women.” I’d like to tell you a story about a Republican couple that supported and encouraged women.

The story starts back in December 1849 when a man from Massachusetts arrived in San Francisco bay on a clipper ship. He studied law and in 1861 was elected to Congress. After serving several terms he was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate.

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Our nation’s character has taken a troubling turn

August 17, 2014 — 

Two stories in the recent news — one local, one national — illustrate a disturbing trend in our society.

The first concerns the agonies of the 46 Grass Valley “neighbors” who signed a petition protesting a residential home for four mentally ill adults in their neighborhood on Pelton Way. Considering the uproar, one would think the proposal was for forced housing of people with mental illnesses in the “neighbors”’ homes. Hardly.

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School shootings support senseless sensationalism

August 16, 2014 — 

“I want to leave a lasting impression on the world.” — Eric Harris, 1999 Columbine killer.

Caution. School’s starting up this month.

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‘War on women’ cries demeaning to American women

August 16, 2014 — 

In her op-ed, Nancy Eubanks seems to have a very low opinion of a woman’s ability to be responsible for herself and to think and act independently (“Don’t Let Your Freedom Tread On Me,” Aug. 4).

She is repeating the scripted talking points of the Democratic party that women are hapless victims of their reproductive system, and that either the government or employers must be responsible for providing free birth control for all women because they are incapable of making their own decisions, controlling their own behaviors, or providing for themselves.

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FFA encourages leadership, responsibility in today’s youth

August 16, 2014 — 

I am writing to you as a sixth generation Nevada County resident and the parent of a local FFA student. My concern lies in the article published in your paper “Panda’s New Life,” that portrayed the FFA organization and youth in Agriculture in an unsavory and one-sided light.

The insinuation that the FFA is an obsolete and useless organization in today’s agricultural industry is absurd and the assertion that “FFA doesn’t teach students about how farming is done. It’s all factory farms, except for a few small farms,” is shortsighted and frankly false “information.”

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Calif. businesses need stronger federal clean water rules

August 16, 2014 — 

You don’t have to be a native Californian to know how important water is to our state, especially in light of the current record-breaking drought.

The total cost of this drought is already running into the billions of dollars, and could end up costing us thousands of jobs.

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It Takes a Village Idiot

August 16, 2014 — 

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Who is Jim Firth?

August 15, 2014 — 

I have not met Jim Firth, but I thought it was revealing when I read that he was going to run for Grass Valley City Council on a platform “to end the reign of the good old boy/girl network.”

What does this mean and who is this person?

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Hemig: Shop local

August 15, 2014 — 

I frequently hear the words “shop local” from people and businesses in our community. But I also hear that the choices in Nevada County are somewhat limited and tend to be more expensive than those found in Auburn, Yuba City, Roseville or even Reno.

Since I am new in town, I needed to find a few items — a couch, a small kitchen table, a bed — to furnish a temporary apartment while looking for a house. I decided to check out the local shopping options first.

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York: The more people learn about Obamacare, the less they like

August 14, 2014 — 

Democrats have long believed Obamacare would become more popular once it was fully in place and Americans got a chance to see it up close. So why is Obamacare less popular now than a few months ago? Because it is fully in place and Americans have had a chance to see it up close.

According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked Obamacare for years, 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. That’s an eight-percentage-point jump in unfavorability over last month, and a two-point drop in favorability over the same time.

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