“Action conquers fear.” — Proverb
Approximately 19 million Americans have some type of phobia. A phobia is an irrational fear, which triggers feelings of danger that is out of proportion to the reality of the situation. The word phobia comes from a Greek word meaning “to be frightened.”Learn more »
It’s downright unAmerican not to love your mother. Mom, apple pie and Chevrolet, for you old enough to remember the motto. Even rough-tough professional football players mug for the TV camera, mouthing, “Hi, Mom!” (Why never, “Hi, Pop?” Unfair.) So we have a day to honor our mothers each year, the second Sunday in May, when we sell more flowers and cards than any other season. And, if we are not able to take our mothers to dinner, we tie up phone lines and bandwidth wishing our mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. Right? Well, if you live in the United States or (at my last count) 82 other nations in the world, that is true. Sort of. That day may go under a different name, such as International Women’s Day if you’re in certain communist or former communist countries.
Actually, International Women’s Day is technically May 8, because that is the day in 1917 that women marched in its observation in Czarist Russia and helped bring about the Russian Revolution when the Czar’s troops refused orders to fire on the women. But that’s another story, because International Women’s Day (started in 1909 to honor women in the socialist movement) really says nothing about mothers (thereby being more PC) and became more a way communist countries could give in to celebrating a popular capitalistic holiday under a different name.Learn more »
Much has been said about local people shopping outside of the county and the revenue loss this creates for the county/city and the local retail establishments. Most has been from the perspective of the city and the local merchants but very little from that of the shoppers.
Thus, as a shopper, I would like to offer some suggestions to both the county/cities and the merchants.Learn more »
Common Core, which is the unconstitutional centralization of public school standards and national policy, will now encompass the religion of U.N. Agenda 21: “save the wolves,” let the trees burn, turn off your A/C, and do your math ’cause we’re going to Mars.
Instead of getting valuable and productive instruction on the “logic” of algebra, students will actually face mathematical word problems about gay couples. In one story problem, you have a reference to “partners” in a household rather than a mother and a father. This is math logic reinvented. A little here and little there, just chip away at the foundational Judeo-Christian culture that has been the rock of the nation since 1620.Learn more »
Sexting. Most parents probably don’t tolerate their teens sexting, but what parents and teens should know is the potential serious criminal consequences of such actions.
What seem like youthful indiscretions can carry a lifetime of criminal consequences that have ruined some teens’ futures. Lawmakers have been slow to address sexting with new legislation. Currently in California and most other states, sexting is prosecuted under traditional child pornography laws.Learn more »
In the past few years, I’ve seen increasing out-of-control government bureaucracy dictating more aspects of our lives. This is not the country I’ve respected and loved most of my life.
The following story hits close to my heart and leaves many unanswered questions.Learn more »
Do you think a national poll of small business owners would show majority support for increasing the minimum wage? How about a poll in which the small business owners were predominately Republican?
Well, 67 percent of small business owners support increasing the federal minimum wage and adjusting it yearly to keep up with the cost of living, a new poll shows. Forty-six percent of respondents identified themselves as Republican, 35 percent as Democrat and 11 percent as independent. The nationally representative opinion survey of small business owners was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and released by Small Business Majority.Learn more »
“Eat your vegetables.” Who hasn’t heard that from our moms? But eating vegetables was often just a hurdle to get to the good stuff … dessert! Sure, we know veggies are good for us, but many of us don’t think they taste good.
The Nevada County Public Health Department and the Network for a Healthy California are working to change that perception.Learn more »
Two days before his first inauguration, President-elect Obama said, “What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed.”
This is the philosophy that will make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter, PPACA) work.Learn more »
Former Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt was hauled off to prison last Friday.
It was a historic moment, the first time in history that a former leader of a country was tried for genocide in a national court.Learn more »
Are snowboard instructors key to American immigration policy? Well, they’re important enough to be specifically included in the Senate bipartisan Gang of Eight immigration reform bill.
How did that happen? The original 844-page Gang of Eight bill, released in mid-April, granted a break to certain foreigners who come to the United States to work but do not wish to settle here.Learn more »
This year, the indigent defense community is celebrating a great milestone.
Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright.Learn more »
Dave Humphers resigned as the head coach of the Nevada Union football program this past week. Dave has decided to remain on the teaching staff as a P.E. teacher. It is my understanding from reliable sources that the school does not have an open P.E. teaching position to offer an experienced coach candidate.
The position at NU requires an on-campus coach, a tradition the school has always followed and what most successful high schools adhere to. The head coaching position at NU is not a part-time or a 9-to-5 job. I have been associated with the varsity football teams at NU since 1995 as a super fan and honorary coach. I attend most all of the practices. I have seen up close what the job entails. To have a continuing successful football program as the school has experienced under Dave Humphers’ leadership, his replacement must be a successful teacher/coach with a winning record and attitude. He also must be a person who is willing to put in the required long hours to get the job done, and that’s daily and many, many weekends.Learn more »
Every year, some people grumble about the commercialism of Mother’s Day. But would any of you dare to ignore this holiday? Unthinkable to fail to honor your mother at least on this one day of the year. And if you’re a mom, you’ll be devastated if your kids don’t honor you in some way.
Believe it or not, the women who conceived of the original Mother’s Day back in the 19th century would be bewildered if not shocked by all the ads for the “perfect gift for Mom.” They would be expecting women to be marching in the streets, not eating brunch with their families in restaurants. Why? Because Mother’s Day began as a holiday that commemorated women’s public activism to create peace and justice in their communities, in their country and in the world. It was not conceived of as a celebration of a mother’s individual devotion to her family.Learn more »
When severe wildfires blazed through Southern California a decade ago, some people started rethinking our forest management practices. So far there has been too much thinking and not enough action.
Every year since 2003 we have seen millions of dollars wasted as Cal Fire responds to the annual ritual of trying to save people and property from out-of-control catastrophic wildfires.Learn more »
As sunshine and warm breezes finally reach the Sierra Nevada foothills, anglers across California reach for fishing poles, line, bait and tackle. And as people head to their favorite fishing holes, half have one other thing on their mind: dinner.
Most people know that eating fish is beneficial for your health, but few have read the warnings that eating certain fish species can be harmful to you and your family.Learn more »
After six months of mulling over November’s election results, many Republicans remain convinced that the party’s only path to future victory is to improve the GOP’s appeal to Hispanic voters. But how many Hispanic voters do Republicans need to attract before the party can again win the White House?
A lot. Start with the 2012 exit polls. The New York Times’ Nate Silver has created an interactive tool in which one can look at the presidential election results and calculate what would have happened if the racial and ethnic mix of voters had been different. The tool also allows one to project future results based on any number of scenarios in which the country’s demographic profile and voting patterns change.Learn more »
Rape is center stage this week after the dramatic rescue of three women from close to a decade of imprisonment in a house on a quiet street in Cleveland. The suspect, Ariel Castro, has been charged with kidnap and rape. These horrific allegations have shocked the nation and demand a full investigation and a vigorous prosecution.
Also this week, the Pentagon released a shocking new report on rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military. According to the latest available figures, an estimated average of 70 sexual assaults are committed daily within the U.S. military, or 26,000 per year. The number of actually reported sexual assaults for the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2012 was 3,374. Of that number, only 190 were sent to a court-martial proceeding.Learn more »
Telehealth is like seeing a specialist face to face without the wait time or the drive.
With all the advancements in technology and our modern healthcare system converting more and more to the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR), it is only natural for patient care to adapt to and make use of these changes for more options and improved health outcomes for our patients.Learn more »
Wonderful to see the coverage on the new Scotts Flat Lake Trail, but the article failed to mention all of the organizations involved with this project and without whom the trail would never have been built.
First, a little history. Three or four years ago the Forest Service closed what was known as the Scotts Drop Trail. This trail had been in use by mountain bikers for as long as anyone could remember, but it did not meet Forest Service standards for trails. The mountain bike community, including the Forest Trails Alliance (FTA) and Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC), began meeting with Forest Service personnel to develop plans for a new trail to replace the closed trail.Learn more »
As surely as summer follows spring (except we didn’t have spring), it follows that when my husband is working out of town, stuff stops working in the house.
I am mechanically challenged, but my goal is to jury-rig stuff rather than paying to have it fixed. When I first moved to Nevada County from an urban area, I even went to B&C and bought an axe. No reason, except I figured in the mountains you need one. It was exciting to have the cashier not bat an eye as he sold it to me (although he may have been wondering if giving a senior discount to a woman for an axe was the best option).Learn more »
If you live long enough, pay attention and remember the good ol’ days, you’ll notice the deception peddled about guns and mass shootings. Scientists, religions and farmers know about cause and effect. You plant a particular seed (or deed), and when it matures, you’ll either enjoy or hate its product.
During the Vietnam War, a friend and I attended a local Parent Teacher Association meeting at Hennessy School. The guest speaker had attended a world gathering of psychiatrists in Russia, the world’s authority. The doctor showed us photos of her experience. Amid the awes of admiration, my friend and I glanced at each other in disbelief. According to the doctor, any child or parent who expressed a viewpoint contrary to what the Russian government taught was taken to the mental hospital to re-adjust their thinking.Learn more »
People ask a lot of questions about marijuana. But they may not be asking all of the right questions.
Of those who don’t question marijuana use, some might not want to ask the tough questions because they don’t want to hear the answers. Many may not even realize that there are some very important answers that need to be heard because they have been lulled into thinking that marijuana is just a benign herb that causes no harm. Nothing can be further than the truth.Learn more »
“Ultimately, the success of the nation depends on the character of its citizens.” So said George W. Bush in his speech at the dedication of his presidential library in Texas last week.
The library officially opened to the public May 1, the 10th anniversary of his famous “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, anchored just off the coast of San Diego. Bush, in his remarks at the library, along with President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others all failed to mention the word “Iraq.”Learn more »
Loopholes put illegal immigrants on fast track to citizenshipMay 2, 2013 —
Members of the Senate’s bipartisan Gang of Eight stress that under their new immigration plan, currently illegal immigrants will have to wait more than a decade before achieving citizenship.
Newly legalized immigrants will be given a provisional status and “will have to stay in that status until at least 10 years elapse and (border security) triggers are met,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News on April 14. After that, Rubio said, they’ll have to wait longer for a green card and, ultimately, citizenship.
Unless they don’t. A little-noticed exception in the Gang of Eight bill provides a fast track for many — possibly very many — currently illegal immigrants.
Under a special provision for immigrants who have labored at least part-time in agriculture, that fast track could mean permanent residency in the U.S., and then citizenship, in half the time Rubio said.
And not just for the immigrants themselves — their spouses and children, too
First the agricultural workers. The Gang of Eight bill creates something called a blue card, which would be granted to illegal immigrant farm workers who come forward and pass the various background checks the bill requires for all illegal immigrants.
Blue card holders could receive permanent legal status in just five years.
How does an illegal immigrant qualify for a blue card? If, after passing the background checks, he can prove that he has worked in agriculture for at least 575 hours — about 72 eight-hour days — sometime in the two years ending December 31, 2012, he can be granted a blue card. That’s it.
His spouse and children can be granted blue cards, too — it can all be done with one application.
The bill’s supporters point out that the Gang of Eight would limit the period of time in which illegal immigrants can apply for a blue card.
That’s true; the bill specifies that applications have to be filed in the year after the last of the rules enforcing the new immigration law have gone into effect.
But the bill also gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretion to extend that period by another year and a half if she or he determines that “additional time is required” for the applications. The extension can also be granted for any other “good cause.”
The next step happens five years after the Gang of Eight bill is enacted. At that time, the legislation requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to change the blue card holder’s status to that of permanent resident if the immigrant has worked in agriculture at least 150 days in each of three of those five years since the bill became law. A work day is defined as 5.75 hours.
Also, the immigrant can qualify for permanent residence with less than three years, of 150 work days each, if he can show that he was disabled, ill, or had to deal with the “special needs of a child” during that time period.
A second provision in the legislation creates another fast track for illegal immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16 — the so-called Dreamers.
The bill gives them, and their spouses and children, permanent resident status after five years. To get that, they have to have completed high school or earned an equivalency degree.
In addition, the bill says the immigrant must have a college degree, or completed two years of college, or served in the U.S. military for at least four years.
That requirement is often cited by Dream Act supporters to show the tough standards immigrants must meet.
But the very next section of the bill outlines a “hardship exception,” which says the immigrant may be awarded permanent legal status if he or she has not completed college, or not completed two years of college, or not served in the military at all.
The immigrant who has done none of those things may still be fast-tracked if he can “demonstrate compelling circumstances for the inability to satisfy the requirement.”
The bill does not specify what those compelling circumstances might be; the discretion for such decisions lies with the Secretary of Homeland Security.
The bottom line is that what Rubio claimed would be a long and arduous path to legal residency and then citizenship will be much shorter for some than for others.
Byron York is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears in The Union.
Max and Barney on Thursday nightApril 30, 2013 —
Barney: “Max. What’s wrong? You look depressed.”
Max: “I am depressed. I’m gonna miss a lot of my favorite things. No more vanilla ice cream bars covered with milk chocolate and almonds. No bamboo underwear. No yogurt with Gummi Bears. No more going to my favorite antique stores, used clothing shops or wine tasting joints.”
Barney: “Now what did you do to get yourself banned from all those places?”
Max: “No, not me, Barney. Grass Valley. They’re thinking about rejecting some nonprofits from the Thursday Night Marketplace (TNM). So, I ain’t gonna shop on Mill Street no more. I’ll miss it a lot.”
Barney: “It’s only a street fair. What’s to miss?”
Max: “Plenty. I like to argue politics. I go to the GOP and argue in favor of socialism. Then I go to the Demos and sing the praises of capitalism. If they ban both political parties, it would be bipartisan discrimination.”
Barney: “As long as they ban both, it’s only fair.”
Max: “But it’s not fair if they ban one side and not the other.”
Barney: “Give me an example.”
Max: “KVMR-FM is nonprofit. KNCO-AM is a business. If they ban the nonprofit, it’s unfair competition.”
Barney: “I see your point. Any other examples?”
Max: “The nonprofit citizens’ group CLAIM is …”
Barney:”CLAIM? What’s that stand for?”
Max: “Citizens Looking at Impacts of Mining. If they get banned, the Idaho Maryland Mine can go on selling shares of stock for a nickel each. Unfair.”
Barney: “Well, Max …”
Max: “Wait! I got more. How about the politicians who come here to shake hands, meet citizens and get elected? And charter schools enrolling new students? Public information from public schools? Junior college programs? Military recruiters? The Peace Lady? It just ain’t fair.”
Barney: “Are you done with your rant, Max?”
Max: “No. I’m just getting started. What if they ban nonprofit street musicians because they play for free? That’s censorship. And think about the nonprofit religions. No Catholics? No Protestants? No Buddhists? No Ananda? That’s a violation of religious freedom, free speech and freedom of assembly. Has Grass Valley ever heard of the Constitution of the United States?”
Barney: “Max? You’re wrong. No one is banned.”
Max: “I’m on a roll. Will they allow real estate developers to push new homes but not the nonprofit community opposition? Also, will there be a booth for Hospitality House to help the homeless? A booth for Hospice to help the dying? This makes Grass Valley look bad.”
Barney: “Max! Enough. No nonprofits are banned, yet. Merchants of the Downtown Association’s subcommittee take applications and decide in May to reject or accept. If you don’t believe me, call Julia Jordan at 530-272-8315 or go to: historicgrassvalley.com.”
Max: “I dunno. I guess I’m in the mood to fight for freedom and prevent injustice.”
Barney: “At the first Thursday Night Marketplace this year, go find the Peace Lady and sign up. Use your sense of justice, energy and insights to fight for World Peace. It’s a higher cause.”
Max: “What if they reject my favorite nonprofits? Should I still shop on Mill Street?”
Barney: “Where are you gonna shop if not on Mill Street? It’s second only to Nevada City.”
Max: “I’ll shop McKnight. They’ve got a lot of stores.”
Barney: “True, but not as charming as Mill Street. They don’t have any street fair out there and it’s still in Grass Valley.”
Max: “Oh, Barney. You’re right. What am I gonna do?”
Barney: “Get your nonprofit friends – all 400 groups around here – and lean on the elected Grass Valley City Council. They’ll keep an eye on this situation.”
Max: “Why would they do that? Some of us, including me, don’t even live or vote in Grass Valley.”
Barney: “Yeah, but you are all, collectively, a target population that they don’t want to lose.”
Max: “We are? Who are we, Barney?”
Barney: “People who use nonprofit services, which is everyone. They’re also known as consumers.”
Paul August lives in Nevada City.
Carrtoon: May 1, 2013April 30, 2013 —
‘42’: This isn’t a review, but see this movieApril 26, 2013 —
I was an intern teacher in 1973 — age, 23. At the end of my first day in front of a room full of high school students, I distributed three index cards to each kid.
“Please, take a minute,” I directed, “to write down the names of three people you think were most important in the history of the United States. Put one name on each card and hand the cards to me as you leave.”
That night, I sorted the index cards according to their historical timeline. I noted, from more than 100 responses, how many times names were repeated. After organizing the input, I prepared my next day’s lesson.
“Today,” I told the class, “I am going to summarize the history of the United States of America based on the guidance you provided me.” Visibly referring to the index cards, I spoke about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and many others. I spent time on the contributions and context of each person in direct proportion to the number of times a person appeared in the stack of index cards.
I told these students a few times that my talk intentionally emphasized what was important according to their input. I spent the most time talking about Lincoln and Washington. In the top five amount of time, I spoke about Jackie Robinson.
In my 1973 classroom, the name of the player who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier appeared on about 25 percent of the students’ submissions of people most important in American history. Would it surprise anyone to hear that this fledgling teacher with a clever teaching gimmick was the only Caucasian in that inner city Philadelphia classroom?
I could tell from the far-from-classic range of names on all the cards that some kids were riffing on this teaching exercise. Most of those kids were riffing sincerely. I learned in that classroom that Jackie Robinson actually and symbolically did more to advance the American experiment than almost any other American.
Lily white me knew about Jackie Robinson, but I didn’t know in my heartened soul about Jackie Robinson. Decades and much progress later, every American can always do well by recharging his or her understanding of America’s best efforts “to form a more perfect union.”
The Jackie Robinson story travels hand in hand with the courageous vision and leadership of Brooklyn Dodgers co-owner Branch Rickey, as well as the loving partnership with wife Rachel Robinson (still active 60 years after her husband played Major League Baseball from 1947 to 1956).
Untold numbers of people played inside and outside this exemplary game change in the myriad ways that change transforms people of every stripe. Baseball — the American Pastime — is still the iconic American sport. Race is still the iconic American issue.
See the movie “42.” The biopic about Jackie Robinson, playing in theaters now, is a good film — solid but ordinary Hollywood filmmaking. It can’t avoid having several standout moments radiating from its “based on a true story” foundation.
I am not writing a movie review here. Regardless, see the film “42.” (That number on Jackie Robinson’s uniform is the only number retired from further use in all of Major League Baseball.) See “42,” not because it’s a satisfying two hours at the movies. See it because you can hardly know too well how important Jackie Robinson is in American History.
Chuck Jaffee lives in Nevada City.