Opinion Columns

Michelle Lewis: Nevada County Supervisors don't understand definition of 'democracy'

July 28, 2016 — 

So much for democracy in action in Nevada County.

The voters soundly rejected Measure W, by nearly 60 percent.

Learn more »

Terry Lamphier: Big development is progress? Really?

July 27, 2016 — 

I found The Union columnist Hilary Hodge’s recent column conflating events and development with progress insensitive and offensive.

She states “those of us who care to maintain a social life and/or a job in Nevada County need to let our local officials and organizations know that we care about progress in Nevada County” and “we”’ need to fight “recent anti-development comments” and Nimbyism (not in my back yard). She disparages those who treasure our “sleepy, forgotten places where folks can watch grass grow.” Spoken like a true urban transplant.

Learn more »

Josh Emery: More work needed on Nevada County interim marijuana cultivation ordinance

July 26, 2016 — 

I am not a marijuana grower. It ultimately makes no difference to me whether or not cultivation of cannabis for any purpose is permitted or prohibited in Nevada County.

I did, however, vote against Measure W.

Learn more »

Patricia Smith: A ban by any other name is still a ban

July 25, 2016 — 

I am writing in response to The Union Editorial Board’s “Our View” in Saturday’s paper as I was quoted several times in the article. I believe we are in agreement that both sides need to display patience and cooperation to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

However, I take issue with the inference that the county is the only party cooperating in the process to draft new legislation when that is a patently false assertion.

Learn more »

Loraine Webb: Reasonable regulation needed on county cannabis

July 24, 2016 — 

Yes, this is another attempt at conversation regarding Nevada County’s cannabis culture-war. I know, I know... I’m very tired of it too.. which is why my 88-year-old mother and I will be leaving for gentler pastures if Nevada County will let us go.

For twenty-six years, though my thumbs are green and many friends extolled the medicinal virtues of this “sacred herb,” I avoided the temptation to grow cannabis. After all, though our D.A. had, every year, granted dispensation to grow a few plants, the growing of marijuana was illegal at the federal level, and I’ve long felt a deep aversion to confined spaces. I’ve also held a life-long antipathy for allowing foreign substances (alcohol, prescription drugs, LSD, etc) to affect my ability to function. Though virtually every one of my peers experimented with psychoactive drugs, I did not. As a result, I’ve evolved into a clear-minded, relatively wise, virtuous and rather boring curmudgeon. The death of a beloved uncle to cancer, then of my closest friend, led me to reevaluate this much-maligned and abused herb, as it was the only medicine that provided them relief from the torturous journey of that dread disease. Subsequently, I began my own journey with this truly wonderful plant and am grateful for the insight, friendships and grace it has brought into my life. Though I still don’t partake of the plant socially, I’ve discovered that a few drops of high-CBD/low-THC cannabis oil before bedtime has relieved me of a number of previously mounting “symptoms.” My dear mother, who has come to live with me these last two years, has been relieved of her arthritic pain.

Learn more »

Cheri Flanigan: A conversation with Joe Biden

July 22, 2016 — 

In the closing session of this year’s Aspen Ideas Institute, Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, sat down for a conversation with Vice President Joe Biden.

The fascinating thing about the Ideas Institute is the casual, nonscripted conversations and presentations that go on all day with top people from around the country on any given topic. The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization based in Washington D. C. The Ideas Festival is smorgasbord of, well, ideas, topics from health care to fundraising in the arts to artificial intelligence. And politics, a topic everyone is contemplating one way or another this year.

Learn more »

Michael Wilkie: An open letter to the Nevada City Council

July 22, 2016 — 

Reinette Senum must go. Regarding the slaughter of the five Dallas police officers:

“They (the police) have obviously been given directives to go out there and kill.”

Learn more »

Steve Monaghan: Preventing child abuse is something everyone can support

July 22, 2016 — 

It seems to me in this era of increasing political divisiveness, there are becoming fewer and fewer things that all members in our community can actually agree upon and support together.

However, there are some core and critical elements that build healthy and vibrant communities that we all can get behind and support. One element that I want to talk about and share with you is truly fundamental. It is the opportunity and right that every child has to grow up free from abuse and neglect, having the chance to grow up and thrive, to become an incredible human being, to live a happy and meaningful life, and to be a vital part of a positive society.

Learn more »

Jeffrey Gottesman: 'Blue Wall of Silence' dangerous to police safety

July 21, 2016 — 

The overwhelming majority of police officers are hardworking, courageous heroes who are privately aghast at the depraved behavior of their few abusive colleagues.

However, the “Blue Wall of Silence,” which shelters deviants from justice is the greatest danger to police safety in the long run. Have you spoken out about the abuses of police power that you know about, particularly against the black and brown communities? We can’t control everyone with access to a gun, like the despicable shooter who left police families grieving in Dallas, but can avoid giving people ample cause for resentment and hatred, perhaps to erupt in terror.

Learn more »

Dick Tracy: War is waged for money

July 19, 2016 — 

OK, so why are we really embroiled in endless war in the Middle East? Stemming the Communist tide? Fighting evil? Defeating ISIS?

Nope. Try “economics.”

Learn more »

Diana Garbin: Opinions not backed by facts

July 19, 2016 — 

It is said that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. As Americans we proudly admit to having the freedom of speech. There are no guarantees, however, as to whether those opinions are respected. How far have we gone?

Many opinions expressed, are not scrutinized, but misinterpreted and used for inciting hatred and violence. I miss the days when reporters reported the news: who, what, when, where and why? We then formed our own opinion on the story based on facts. Debating opposing opinions meant to back up with facts, not more opinion. Now nearly every news reporter has to explain what every news story means and how we are to react based on reactions of politicians, celebrities and social media posts.

Learn more »

David Moyer: Lessons from Malakoff, and my backyard

July 18, 2016 — 

On July 21, the Nevada County Planning Commission will consider a request by a Verizon affiliate to install eight antennas on top of the Friar Tucks building.

Peer reviewed studies point out harmful health effects for those living near such antennas. However, federal law prevents this as a consideration. Local history may provide perspective.

Learn more »

James DeVinny: Measure W message fallen on deaf ears with Nevada County supervisors?

July 18, 2016 — 

Our leadership continues to fail us.

On June 7, voters resoundingly rejected our Supervisors’ ban on outdoor cultivation and commercial cannabis activity. The message was clear: our county wants realistic and workable solutions to patients’ access to medicine and the challenges of integrating the cannabis industry into our county.

Learn more »

Pinky Zalkin: This is a teachable moment

July 17, 2016 — 

I attended the meeting at the Nevada City City Hall where something akin to a public lynching of Reinette Senum occurred.

I believe that Councilwoman Senum was wrong to accuse police officers in the manner she did on Facebook. I also believe that after reflecting on her statement, she genuinely regrets ever having posted it. Listening to her deep, profoundly sincere apology, it is clear, to me, that she holds police officers in high regard.

Learn more »

Frederick Hall: Beware of homegrown tyrants

July 15, 2016 — 

It’s unprecedented! Two candidates deeply unpopular in their own parties clinched the nominations ... before the conventions that normally pick the candidates.

Hillary Clinton is widely distrusted. For some, the issue is questionable honesty; others doubt her spoken intention to rein in groups that are part of her power base. Donald Trump, the came-from-nowhere contender, repeatedly proved political analysts wrong. But he shows ignorance of the world confronting any president. The thought of putting our nuclear arsenal in the hands of a narcissistic bully terrifies many.

Learn more »

Jacqueline Finley: What are American values?

July 14, 2016 — 

Recently my husband and I drove up the California coast and into southern Oregon. While traveling through the northernmost California counties, I noticed several campaign signs for a candidate running for local office. On these signs, directly below the candidate’s name, were the words, “conservative” and “American values.”

A couple of questions occurred to me as we drove through these rural communities. What are American values, and why is the term often equated more with conservative beliefs, rather than more progressive ones?

Learn more »

George Rebane: Don't resign, Ms. Senum

July 12, 2016 — 

The Union’s headline read ‘Reinette Senum: ‘I will not resign.’” Well good for her, she has the courage of her convictions and the determination to represent her constituency — the people who voted for her.

While I take great exception to Reinette Senum’s grossly uninformed assertion that the nation’s police “have obviously been given directives to go out there and kill. It’s insane and it’s meant to create mayhem.” Holding that belief and stating it publicly should not be grounds for requiring an elected public official to resign.

Learn more »

Jim Firth: All politics are local

July 10, 2016 — 

The June 2016 Primary elections are over. The Democratic and Republican conventions are scheduled to take place in July. The Libertarian and Green parties have some activists in Nevada County and their conventions have selected candidates for president and vice president to be considered in the November 2016 election. Libertarians nominated Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, and the Green Party’s presumptive nominee is Jill Stein. Other political parties will have candidates on the November ballot.

Very few contests were decided in June. We will be voting for a new U.S. senator, a member of the House of Representatives, California state senator and assemblyperson, as well as some local city councilpersons, school board members and water district board members. We will also have state, and possibly local propositions. There will be many reasons to vote in November. There are also many reasons to be a candidate.

Learn more »

Chuck Frank: Smoke and mirrors, while America burns

July 8, 2016 — 

With the new 2016 fire season upon the west, wildfires are in full swing again. And just one year ago the U.S. Forest Service said that for the first time in its 110 year history it spends more than 50 percent of its annual budget fighting fires at the expense of other programs.

So no longer do we have a real forest service agency fulfilling its core mission. It has become the fire department.

Learn more »

Paul Berger: Don't undermine the independence of the judiciary

July 8, 2016 — 

A lot of people are furious at Judge Aaron Persky, the Santa Clara county judge who sentenced Brock Turner to three years probation including a six-month jail sentence for three counts of sexual assault against an unconscious victim who attended a drinking party on the Stanford University campus. The victim wrote one of the most eloquent letters ever to see the light of day about her experience, which has become a cause celebre in the press.

I, too, was disturbed at the light sentence handed out by the judge. Based upon what I read, I thought Mr. Turner should have paid a steeper price for what he did to that woman. But I do not support the mass hysteria in social media that has morphed into movement to recall Judge Turner or bring disciplinary charges against him before the Commission On Judicial Performance. These efforts are misguided, for a number of reasons.

Learn more »

Jack Gordon: Nevada County, gone to pot

July 8, 2016 — 

I have read with fascination about the pot farms of the county,

and the efforts of our officials to regulate the ever “growing” bounty.

Learn more »

Thomas Elias: Bullet train will make 'brownest cut' a bit harder

July 8, 2016 — 

Back in 2007, when then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger desperately cast about for ways to cut the deficit-ridden state budget, he suddenly slashed $27.8 million from the a program that preserved agricultural lands, leaving a mere token $1,000 for it in a $90 billion general fund spending plan.

Now that cut in so-called Williamson Act contracts, dubbed the “brownest cut of all” at the time since it came from a governor with very green pretensions, seems about to do more environmental damage than ever, in large part because of a new business plan adopted by the state High Speed Rail Authority.

Learn more »

Mike Vasser: War on the weak

July 6, 2016 — 

“War On The Weak” is the title of an April 18, 2011 Newsweek article by Jonathan Chait. It is well documented in the article that Paul Ryan, the Republican House Budget Committee Chairman, as well as the Republican right wing, look to Ayn Rand and accept her view that capitalists — not the workers — are the producers of all wealth, and the workers, not the capitalists, are useless parasites.

This may explain why Ryan is proposing saving trillions of dollars from Medicare by imposing huge cuts on anybody who retires starting in 2022. At the same time, he proposes extending the Bush Tax Cuts and would cut the top rate for individuals and corporations from 35 to 25 percent. Ryan insists that we ensure that America’s safety net does not become a hammock that lulls able-bodied citizens into lives of complacency and dependency. His budget proposal slashes Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps and low income housing. These support programs benefitting poor people constitute 21 percent of the federal budget, but represent two thirds of the proposed cuts.

Learn more »

Bill Larsen: Socialism, capitalism combine to produce wealth, social services

July 5, 2016 — 

In her disjointed attack on Darrell Berkheimer’s column (“A myth about government socialism), Elaine Meckler muddies the water by going into a rant of active misstatement, fact denial and empty assertions having little to do with the underlying issue (i.e. creating an integrated governmental system that meets both the financial and social needs of our country).

Nor does she address two of the main theses in his argument.

Learn more »

Jack Sanchez: Stop the Centennial Dam now

July 3, 2016 — 

Nevada Irrigation District is a very bad steward of the Auburn Ravine which it uses as a ditch to deliver water to its paying customers downstream with little regard for the ecology of Auburn Ravine.

In fact, NID’s Hemphill Dam is an unpermitted dam that has several unaddressed violations on it.

Learn more »

Roy Crain: My friends, gone but never forgotten

July 3, 2016 — 

Bill O’Leary. We grew up together and he was my best friend. Died flying a B-17 flying fortress over Europe in World War II. He was a week short of his 20th birthday, a month younger than I, born in 1924. His father died within a year of his death. My father said he died of a broken heart as Bill was his only and dear son.

Pat Fallon, a full Colonel, died flying a rescue mission into Laos, a mission he volunteered for. He had a new son he had never seen. His third war. He is MIA, missing in action, his body was never recovered.

Learn more »

George Boardman: It's good to remember that you are blessed to be an American

July 3, 2016 — 

I periodically take a moment to remind myself that I am blessed to have been born and raised in the United States of America.

That fortuitous occurrence has enabled me to live my life in security with freedom and free of want, to pursue my dreams (sketchy though they have been) and dream free of government restrictions and the dictates of a repressive society.

Learn more »

Julie Reaney: 'You've been Trumped'

July 1, 2016 — 

It’s not news that most Americans are fed up with politics as usual and that the race for president has become the most bizarre, ugly and childish in U.S. history.

I know politics is always contentious, but what I am about to share needs to be read by everyone, regardless of political party or leanings.

Learn more »

Dave Glubetich: What do Democrats really stand for?

July 1, 2016 — 

Over the years the Democrat Party has brainwashed the American people into believing they’re the ones who stand with the common folk, the middle class and those who don’t have a voice.

The Republicans, they are quick to point out, represent big business, the rich and powerful and the status quo of a dominant white male society.

Learn more »

Thomas Elias: Will Brexit spur a 'Caleavefornia?'

July 1, 2016 — 

Louis Marinelli polled just 6.2 percent of the vote in San Diego’s 80th Assembly District during the June primary, but there’s at least a chance the subsequent “Brexit” vote in Great Britain could increase his influence greatly.

Marinelli, a teacher of English as a second language, has made a semi-independent California his theme for years. Until lately, he hadn’t pushed a complete split from the rest of the United States, the way some promoters of an independent Texas now advocate, using Twitter hashtag #Texit.

Learn more »
View 20 More Stories in Opinion Columns »
Back to Top