Opinion Columns

Leo Granucci: Town hall forum may not be best way to solve homeless issues

August 28, 2015 — 

I read with great interest Jim Hemig’s article along with The Union’s Editorial Board’s comments regarding the homeless and encouraging people to attend The Union’s town hall meeting on Sept. 10 at the Center for the Arts.

This town hall meeting is scheduled for two hours; a one-hour presentation by Dr. Marbut and one hour for discussion.

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Byron York: With all eyes on Trump, Ted Cruz rises in GOP race

August 27, 2015 — 

Ted Cruz got a big boost in Iowa recently when the influential social conservative activist and radio host Steve Deace endorsed him.

To call it a sought-after endorsement would be an understatement. Deace says prospective 2016 GOP campaigns began contacting him well before the 2012 election. (All just assumed that Mitt Romney was going to lose.) The recruitment efforts picked up in 2013 and 2014.

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Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: The Iran Nuclear Deal: Give diplomacy a chance

August 27, 2015 — 

A war with Iran would be a catastrophe, yet by opposing diplomacy, hundreds of members of Congress may be blundering into just such a conflict. The Iran nuclear deal, as the complex diplomatic arrangement is popularly called, was agreed upon on July 14 by a consortium of key powerful countries, the European Union and Iran. The goal of the agreement is to limit Iran’s nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, and to block Iran’s ability to construct a nuclear bomb. Despite what its critics say, this agreement is not based on trust. It grants the International Atomic Energy Agency the power to conduct widespread, intrusive inspections to ensure that Iran keeps its many pledges. In return, many, but not all, of the sanctions on Iran, which have been crippling its economy, will be lifted.

The alternative to diplomacy is to pour gasoline on a region of the world already on fire with intense, complex military conflicts. Iran’s military has more than half a million soldiers, no doubt with many more who could be mobilized if threatened with invasion. Iran shares a vast border to its west with Iraq, and to its east with Afghanistan, two nations with ongoing military and humanitarian disasters that have consumed the U.S. military since 2001, costing trillions of dollars and untold lives.

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Richardt Stormsgaard: Oozing with hatred?

August 26, 2015 — 

Jim Hemig wrote in his column on July 17 that Ms. Campbell’s outburst “oozed with hatred” for the Tea Party.

Since Obama was elected, each and every week there have been several letters to the editor accusing him of a variety of offenses from conservative locals.

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John Carr: Carrtoon

August 26, 2015 — 

John Carr

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 25, 2015 — 

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Harvey Bigelsen: Medical lies and spying

August 24, 2015 — 

Several weeks ago a doctor wrote a letter to the editor that was very derogatory to the concept of naturopathy. I am a medical doctor and I would like to respond to that letter.

Modern “scientific” medicine has not found the cure of one chronic disease in 100 years. They have done very well at crisis medicine and infectious disease, however chronic disease they have failed. Years ago I became very frustrated because I realized that I did not cure any disease and I only suppressed them by using drugs.

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Terry McLaughlin: Unsavory tactics all around

August 22, 2015 — 

In an Aug. 10 letter to the editor, Marilyn Nyborg said, “I really find it difficult to give credibility to a pro-life organization that uses totally deceptive tactics to gain the information they want. A heavily edited video, a complete set-up, using false IDs is hardly credible. Not to mention that there is no indication that Planned Parenthood did anything illegal.”

I’d like to make her aware of NARAL Pro-Choice America (previously called the National Abortion Rights Action League), which has an ongoing orchestrated campaign to discredit and quash Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) around the country. They also have “undercover” members visit CPC’s around the nation, faking pregnancies, giving false names and backgrounds stories, and carrying no ID’s at all. Does she believe that these are also totally deceptive tactics which should be given no credibility?

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Michele Spencer: What value does the pro-birth movement actually have?

August 22, 2015 — 

Our forefathers fled intolerance and government overreach and fashioned our Constitution to protect American citizens from both. Hence we have freedom of religion and speech, due process, equal protection etc. and presently the right to an abortion during the first two trimesters of a pregnancy.

I was raised Catholic, would never have an abortion, yet remain pro-choice as are many. That is because I realize that there are at least two equally ethical, religious beliefs regarding when human personhood (i.e. viability) can be determined, which beliefs must be tolerated under our laws. Whether one believes that the soul or human life begins at conception or at its first breath independent of the mother, it is a protected belief and requires our respect and tolerance even if we disagree.

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Jim Firth: Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump?

August 22, 2015 — 

There is a populist movement firmly in place in our country and our county. Two presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have energized the U.S. electorate this summer with plain talk, controversial approaches and bigger crowds of supporters unheard of in any presidential primary contests in recent memory. Is this just a summer fling?

Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Party candidate, is speaking before thousands of supporters in rallies all around our country. His messages of support for working families, free college education, a Medicare For All health-care program, expanding social security, closing tax loop-holes for Big Corporations, raising minimum wages have an appeal for progressive minded voters.

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Lee Andersen: Shocked by the cruelty

August 21, 2015 — 

I decided during my lunch break to look at one of the shows I recorded on DVD and selected a Frontline episode about a man who was formerly an attorney, but whose village in Iraq was sacked by ISIS, with hundreds of men murdered and women and children kidnapped.

The man had escaped with his family before the ISIS attack and now devotes his life to rescuing many of the kidnapped people.

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Byron York: Jeb Bush and the dangers of refighting the Iraq War

August 20, 2015 — 

Jeb Bush based his first major foreign policy address, delivered last week at the Reagan Library, on the classic Republican interpretation of the war in Iraq.

Yes, mistakes were made at the beginning, Bush conceded, but what really matters is that the surge succeeded in 2007-2008 and that President George W. Bush handed over a peaceful Iraq to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton the next year. Then Obama and Clinton screwed it all up.

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Passing the torch: From Julian Bond to Black Lives Matter

August 20, 2015 — 

Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Passing the torch — From Julian Bond to Black Lives Matter

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Wade Freedle: Full disclosure still not presented by Higgins Fire District

August 19, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: Responding to a claim made in this Other Voices, Higgins Fire Protection District officials state the average response time for the district was increased to 10.86 minutes in December of 2013, prior to Station 23 reopening in March 2014 due to a FEMA SAFER grant. The district reports that when the station reopened, average response time was reduced to 8.45 minutes.

As in all political contests, the question in regard to the necessity of the proposed tax increase is viewed from a different perspective by the opposing parties.

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Carolyn Niehaus: Farewell for now, from Rafael

August 18, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: Our community’s efforts to rescue “Rafael” and so many other animals in western Nevada County are not taken for granted, as this submitted Other Voices from AnimalSave Director Carolyn Niehaus shares, from the perspective of Rafael.

Boy, did I get lucky! Several months ago I got separated (not so lucky) from my family and was wandering the streets near Humpty Dumpty in Grass Valley. Then a very compassionate person saw I was in trouble, picked me up and took me to AnimalSave.

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Lori Nunnink-Taylor: Increase outreach to those with mental health challenges

August 17, 2015 — 

From Founding Father Abraham Lincoln, space explorer Buzz Aldrin, and distinguished author Ernest Hemingway, to broadcast journalist Mike Wallace, baseball great Daryl Strawberry, and internationally-recognized actor and comedian Robin Williams, mental illness has inadvertently helped shape the American culture.

But for Williams — and thousands of individuals each year whose desperation leads to suicide — help comes too late.

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Jeff Sheldon: Poor practices with fire taxes, personnel management

August 15, 2015 — 

I received the Aug. 6 edition of The Union and read a front page article, and then inside, an editorial by Bruce Jones, chairman of the Higgins Fire Protection Board of Directors, each advising us, the taxpayers, why we needed to vote for Article V — otherwise the Higgins Fire District is going to punish us by closing one of our fire stations.

Then, in today’s mail I received a post card, also from Jones, repeating the same threats and then he has the audacity to insinuate that the cost of the mailer and the costs of the “election” for Measure V did not cost us, the taxpayers, anything, as the funds came from the state and federal governments. Mr. Jones, where do you think the state and federal governments get their money?

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Wendy Reddish: Vote yes on Measure V

August 15, 2015 — 

Last week, voters in the Higgins Fire District received post cards from an anonymous “group of concerned citizens” who urged a NO vote on Measure V, a local measure which would raise the fire tax paid directly to the Higgins Fire District.

This tax would be the first increase in 35 years since a tax of $25/year was approved by the voters in 1980. The following is my response to the misinformation propagated by these anonymous individuals:

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Kimberly D'Urso: Misguided campaigns to defund Planned Parenthood alarming

August 15, 2015 — 

Planned Parenthood is a nearly 100-year-old organization that serves our communities nationwide by providing low-cost and free reproductive health services to women and men who might otherwise be unable to access this important healthcare, usually due to socioeconomic status or limited rural access.

As one who believes in the right of every woman to make choices for her body, and as president of Nevada County Citizens for Choice, I feel compelled to share my personal story about Planned Parenthood and why I stand solidly with its mission.

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R. L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 15, 2015 — 

It takes a village idiot

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Aharon ben Or: Bernie Sanders, the unlikely hero

August 14, 2015 — 

The national media regard him as an unlikely candidate, a longtime independent in Congress making a long-shot challenge to Hillary Clinton’s dynastic claim to the throne of the Democratic Party.

And yet, a recent CNN/ORC poll shows him even with Jeb Bush, edging out Scott Walker, and crushing Donald Trump. Still, 41 percent of those polled don’t even know who Bernie Sanders is, so this is likely the result of an “anyone but the other guy” preference.

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Byron York: Amid Trump mess, GOP candidates shine at redstate

August 13, 2015 — 

ATLANTA — It’s likely the Donald Trump melodrama is the only news you’ve heard from the RedState Gathering of conservatives in Atlanta. But something unusual happened here, and it had nothing to do with Trump.

A parade of Republican presidential candidates marched through — Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker — and not one of them bombed. Not one underwhelmed, disappointed, or mailed it in. Instead, the GOP hopefuls were sharp, fired-up, and focused, even as the embarrassments of the latest Trump controversy threatened to overshadow it all.

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Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Art, politics and social change at the Venice Biennale

August 13, 2015 — 

VENICE, Italy — This historic city, famous for its canals and its sonorous gondoliers, its stunning museums brimming with art, where tens of thousands stroll the wide Piazza San Marco and wander its maze of narrow alleys, hosts the world’s oldest and most prestigious art biennial, the Venice Biennale. Every two years, artists from around the world showcase their work in scores of venues — some national pavilions sponsored by countries from around the globe; others international or independent exhibits. High art may seem a rarified field when the world is consumed by war, climate catastrophe, mass migrations and growing economic inequality. Art may seem a luxury as people of color are gunned down by police in American streets. This year’s Biennale, though, explodes these myths.

Okwui Enwezor of Nigeria is the Venice Biennale’s first African-born curator. Enwezor has been widely credited for bringing political art back to the 120-year-old festival. He says he was partly inspired by the 1974 Biennale, when part of the exhibits were dedicated to Chile, to protest the U.S.-backed coup of Gen. Augusto Pinochet that overthrew Chile’s democratic government. Exhibits that Enwezor has brought to this Biennale include an epic live reading of Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital,” the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s piece, a boat covered in the front page of a Venice newspaper published the day after nearly 400 migrants drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013, and Iceland’s controversial pavilion, where an actual mosque was created in a church that had been empty for more than 40 years. The city of Venice shut down the mosque, citing security concerns.

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Halli Ellis: What a GREAT program for our youth

August 12, 2015 — 

It’s not every day that children get to throw wet sponges at police officers, meet students from different schools, and be trusted enough to paint the town, but this summer, youth got firsthand experience on how fun and rewarding it is to be involved in the community.

The GREAT Summer Youth Academy has been around for five years, featuring one-week sessions for fourth-eighth grade students. I’ve had the privilege of being a staff member since the beginning and every year, I witness the transformational growth the youth go through in a short life-changing week. The children come from all over Nevada County, representing different schools and bringing with them different life experiences. Some children start out shy, slow to jump in and participate, but by the end of the first day, they’re already saying it’s the best camp ever!

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Louis Pearl: Strawser should have had adequate funding

August 11, 2015 — 

This letter is in response The Union Editorial Board’s opinion piece entitled, “Time to put our money where our mouths are.”

On the surface your piece outlines accurately the situation Mr. Duane Strawser currently finds himself in.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 11, 2015 — 

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Manny Montes: Contemplating the word 'progressive'

August 10, 2015 — 

I was pleased to see Mike Brazil’s response to my article, “The Elephant in The Room”, published June 27. However, I was stunned by the vitriolic ad hominem nature of his response. I must have hit a nerve.

Mr. Brazil begins by correcting me on the date of the start of the French Revolution, citing 1788 as the start year. Many historians place the date at the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. This date is now commemorated in France as a national holiday, and as the start of the French Revolution.

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Frederick Hall: Adam 1 and Adam 2

August 8, 2015 — 

Government “by the people” cannot survive unless campaign finance laws sever politicians’ dependence on big donors. Books in four distinct areas substantiate this conclusion; their four threads intertwine at the end.

David Brooks’ “The Road to Character”, explores the differing personalities of Adam mentioned in Genesis. Adam 1 is outer-focused, driven by pride in achievements his resume can tout. Adam 2 is introspective, seeking to live morally and find meaning. Character — what a eulogist could say — results from his self-disciplined life. Both Adams are in us.

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Jim Goetsch: All lives matter

August 8, 2015 — 

Heidi Hall has been downplaying her Democrat talking points over the past few weeks, focusing more on issues that are important to all of Nevada County. I give her kudos for that.

So why in her recent editorial (July 28 in The Union) does she take a single event involving the arrest of a black woman by an overly aggressive traffic cop, and that woman’s subsequent death by apparent suicide in the local jail, and accuse the entire “white” world of institutional racism — ending her comments with “black lives matter?”

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Sheriff Keith Royal: Protecting our community's quality of life

August 8, 2015 — 

Once again, we find ourselves in the middle of marijuana growing season here in Nevada County. On a daily basis, the Sheriff’s Office is receiving nuisance complaints from members of our community.

Complaints include concerns regarding strong skunk like odors coming from the gardens growing on nearby properties, increased traffic from individuals helping cultivate the marijuana, the theft of water, trailers being brought onto properties to house the workers with no adequate bathroom sources and additional trash being thrown on the ground, and armed individuals walking around guarding the marijuana gardens.

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