I have been rather direct regarding my opinion of the crime and drug coverage in The Union.
In my column on April 3, I explained that The Union has a responsibility to report the happenings of this community. We need to reflect the good and the bad that affects our lives in Nevada County.Learn more »
First let me begin by thanking all the considerate drivers in our area.
I leave for three to four months at a time to do disaster work throughout the United States. It is always a surprise to me how in that period of time things can change as much as they do: new stores, new people, new roadways. While I have found drivers throughout the country to be fairly similar, it seems we do have a few unique traffic problems.Learn more »
After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.
In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young immigrants illegally crossing the southwestern border into the United States.Learn more »
According to the United Nations, one child has been killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days.
Overall, the Israeli military has killed close to 700 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, since the assault on Gaza began more than two weeks ago.Learn more »
As I was picking my kids up at school the other day I passed again, as I have so many times before, the house of an elderly man.
This time he was obviously waiting for something as he stood upon his driveway with his hands in his pockets. This time I was stuck in traffic longer than was usual and so as I waited I had the opportunity to wonder for what was he waiting as he stood there.Learn more »
Facts are the ‘coin-of-the-realm’ in a democracy, but in regard to the flawed Grand Jury report on the homeless, it seems real facts are irrelevant.
No matter which view you take in this ongoing national debate on homelessness, the job of a Grand Jury is to collect facts, real data and be committed to accuracy of investigation and reporting.Learn more »
I have a great deal of respect for the members of any school board. They are paid very little and have a huge responsibility to the schools and members of the community. However, it is important to remember that they are in their positions to act in the best interest of the children and, by way of that, oversee the tax dollars of the parents and citizens that elected them to office.
I’ve been attending meetings of the Nevada County Board of Education (NCBE) for a few months now and can attest to the fact that there are only two NCBE board members of the five that consistently act in the best interests of the children and the taxpayers: Marianne Slade-Troutman and Jack Meeks. The other three seem to be more willing to support a less transparent way of conducting county business.Learn more »
Nevada County’s Gold Country Trails Council is, once again, pleased to announce that the 2014 Poker Ride Fundraiser was an especially fun event this year.
We moved it up a month to avoid the heat and bees and ended up with a perfect day. The funds raised will allow for the continued improvement and maintenance of the Pioneer Trail, along with many other trails and horse camps in the Tahoe National Forest. On June 7, Skillman Horse Camp was filled with 85 riders, their horses, rigs and all the volunteers and non-riders who participated in and helped out to make the Gold Country Trails Council (GCTC) annual event another big success.Learn more »
MURIETTA, Calif. — A federal failure has resulted in the “catch and release” of non-citizens, undocumented, unscreened for disease or criminal records who crossed the United States border in Texas.
A message has been sent to the economically challenged peoples of Central America that we have an open door policy. They would be foolish not to take this opportunity, those that are already here, undocumented for years are sending for their children, 52,000 of them by September 2014. The intent of the federal policy is to send illegal immigrants to their intended family/friend support destination in the United States.Learn more »
Abraham Lincoln wished for us a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” 150 years ago.
Are we there yet? No — and going the opposite direction. Government of, by and for the corporations describes our situation far better.\Learn more »
It may seem like a contradiction to say the Nevada Union High School bands have been quietly doing great things. But that is sometimes the way it seems. While they are not often in the public eye, the NU bands are very busy during every school year.
They are active at a variety of events, including multiple concerts and numerous competitions. They make great music. The collection of trophies and plaques in the band room at Nevada Union High School is more than just impressive. More are added each year.Learn more »
Senior Vice President of the Grass Valley’s River Valley Community Bank Mike Vasquez and I have been spending a lot of time together lately. We seem to run into each other at Rotary meetings, local nonprofit events and chamber mixers.
Enough time now that we have gotten to know each other. At dinner the other night he wagged his finger in my face. I figured we were now close enough for him to tell me what he thinks we’re doing wrong at the newspaper.Learn more »
Detroit, Vallejo, San Bernardino, Stockton – all felled by one common denominator – public employee defined benefit pension plans.
They are not alone.Learn more »
The modern private sector equivalent of “lions and tigers and bears, oh my” is the world of corporate advertising, which shifted sometime back from presenting merits of products to selling lifestyles. Along the way, they have become adept at obscuring the consumer’s net value.
Case in point is the endless cycles of TV cable and satellite subscription sales. While by no means the worst at selling hypocrisy — “special deal if you act now (just don’t read the fine print)” — these hucksters are pretty good about being pretty bad for the unwary consumer.Learn more »
BOSTON — “Be careful. This is a dangerous corner.”
It’s not until you visit the Boston Planned Parenthood clinic at the heart of the recent Supreme Court buffer-zone case that you realize the unnecessary danger it created. And I’m not even inside.Learn more »
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas put a prominent, public face on the immigration crisis this week when he was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. After a number of hours and a national outcry, he was released.
He first revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant three years ago in a New York Times Magazine article, and has since made changing U.S. immigration policy his primary work. Vargas was in Texas to support the thousands of undocumented immigrant children currently detained there by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Learn more »
Recently, the publisher of The Union wrote an editorial decrying the low turnout in Nevada County in the Primary Election. There were many good points in the editorial, the dedication of poll workers, the apparent lack of interest of the younger generation, and the tendency of the elderly to consistently vote.
The one comment which particularly caught my eye was the rhetorical question, “Have people lost touch with our right to vote?”Learn more »
I needed a way to say thank you to a fantastic group of people, without falling into the impersonal expressions of blanket gratitude for all those untold instances of professionals working untold hours and how they work relentlessly, often without thanks and on and on. Not to say that those lines can’t apply, but they just lacked the personal level of thanks I need to impart.
My account is about my own personal experience of three fast days and nights in our community hospital here in Grass Valley. No story on me or my illness, only that it was serious enough that I landed at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon after four days of illness and basic sleep deprivation, not the best combo.Learn more »
I have been disappointed that over the years of contributing to these pages, readers have not seen fit to comment on one of my fundamental points — that it is not the left, not the progressives, not the Democrats who have the moral high ground.
No, that belongs to those who resist the programs of the collectivists and who advocate for individual freedom.Learn more »
You know, I can’t help it, but I get sick and tired of hearing these people whining and complaining about dust and noise, or their wells going dry if they re-open a gold mine, such as the Blue Lead or the Idaho Maryland Mine. What these naysayers forget, is that this is gold mining country.
Prior to World War II, stamp mills were operating 24/7 and so was the narrow gauge railroad, with locomotive whistles in the air. It was music to people’s ears. It meant jobs, industry and wealth out of the earth, and nobody complained about dust and noise or their wells going dry and that awful — gasp! — mercury. Today there’s not even a saw mill in operation.Learn more »
The four elements of life: earth, air, fire and water. The Native Americans understood the interrelationships of these and endeavored to educate foreigners on the relationship of all four in the balance of life. My European ancestors rewarded this gesture by severely reducing the Native American population.
So, after thousand of years of Native Americans living in Nevada County, my European ancestors “discovered” gold on and under the Earth! That discovery was about 164 years ago. Think about that for a minute. Native American’s lived here for thousands of years and had a reverence for the Earth, an appreciation for the air, a regard for fire, and an understanding that water is the foundation of life.Learn more »
A bride wanting to get married on the beach would not pursue Nevada County to host her wedding, just as bride wanting her wedding outdoors, in a vineyard, by a pond or a barn wouldn’t consider an indoor ball room or outdoor patio in the middle of a parking lot as an alternative site.
It all starts with the venue. Couples go to where the beautiful venues are. Fewer venues mean fewer weddings; and the local economy suffers.Learn more »
Last Thursday when I came back to the office after a meeting, the first words I heard were, “We have no Internet and no phone. Should we panic?”
As the publisher, it is my responsibility to make sure the staff can work and the paper gets out.Learn more »
Despite prolonged economic troubles, deep political divisions, headaches abroad and a sense that the country is on the wrong track, the heartening news this summer is that a majority of people say they often feel proud to be an American.
A new Pew Research Center poll divides the public into seven political categories. There are “steadfast conservatives” who embrace social and small-government conservatism. “Business conservatives” who are more pro-Wall Street. “Young outsiders” who distrust both political parties but hold liberal positions on the environment and social issues. The “next generation left” who are mostly liberal but skeptical about government’s effectiveness. The “faith and family left” who favor an activist government but are somewhat socially conservative. The “hard-pressed skeptics” who are financially stressed, lean Democratic but distrust government. And finally, the “solid liberals” who take the liberal position on pretty much everything.Learn more »
The freedom to communicate and to share has entered a new era. The power promised by this freedom, by the Internet, is immense, so much so that it frightens entrenched institutions. Governments, militaries, corporations, banks: They all stand to lose the control they exert over society when information they suppress runs free. Yet some of the most ardent advocates for the free Internet have become targets of these very institutions, forced to live on the run, in exile or, in some cases, in prison.
Julian Assange is perhaps one of the most recognized figures in the fight for transparency and open communication. He founded the website WikiLeaks in 2007 to provide a safe, secure means to leak electronic documents. In 2010, WikiLeaks released a shocking video taken from a U.S. military attack helicopter, in which at least 12 civilians are methodically machine-gunned to death in New Baghdad, a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. Two of those killed were Reuters journalists. Throughout the massacre, the Army radio transmissions are heard, a combination of grimly sterile orders to “engage” the victims and a string of mocking exchanges among the soldiers, belittling the victims and celebrating the slaughter.Learn more »
At first blush, my hometown and the community we’ve now called home for more than a decade didn’t seem to have all that much in common.
Grass Valley, for example, is nestled in the natural beauty of the Sierra foothills. Wabash, Ind., on the other hand, is surrounded by miles and miles — and miles — of corn and soybean fields that spread as far as the eye can see, all across the state of Indiana.Learn more »
The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSOS) office should receive remedial education on the topics of budget transparency, customer service and the Brown Act.
I had heard reports concerning failed attempts to perform oversight on the COE budget and asked to be provided with some documentation. The documents raised more red flags than May Day in Moscow — like the refusal to provide details on a county issued credit card. With the help of a lawyer, a formal records request was filed. Google how many abuses of government credit cards happen.Learn more »