Opinion Columns

Carrtoon: Nov. 26, 2014

November 26, 2014 — 

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With thanks to my county public works crew

November 26, 2014 — 

I read in the paper that one of the counties many projects was to widen Newtown Road to create a bike path.

Soon thereafter, I was awakened by the sounds of a lot of trucks and heavy equipment arriving and setting up their base of operations on the roadside near my house.

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Hemig: Ringing the bell for a good cause

November 25, 2014 — 

Staffers from The Union will be ringing the bell in support of the Salvation Army Saturday, Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Safeway on Sutton Way in Grass Valley.

Would you like to tell me I was off base regarding my column last week? Put some change in the tin can and let me have it.

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Firth: A vote-by-mail future?

November 24, 2014 — 

The 2014 election in California and in Nevada County shows that vote-by-mail is increasingly popular. Should voting by “absentee ballot” be the only option in California and/or Nevada County?

Statistically, (and all data is pending final results) the number of people registered to vote in California is 17,803,823, and in Nevada County it’s 61,706. There are 7,120,084 registered voters who cast ballots in November 2014 in California. If half voted absentee (the current average) that would equal over 3,500,000 absentee ballots.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 24, 2014 — 

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When comic books were currency

November 24, 2014 — 

“Wanna trade?”

Those magic words were spoken by a kid named Keith, who lived not far from my home in the 1950’s. And under his arm were dozens of comic books.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 22, 2014 — 

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Help preserve a Nevada County treasure

November 22, 2014 — 

In 1974 the artists Charles Woods and David Osborn purchased the Miners Foundry and christened it the American Victorian Museum. From that then defunct industrial space, they created a 9,000 square foot venue for artistic, social and cultural events and activities. Fifteen years later, the Nevada City Winery acquired the property and donated the Miners Foundry to the Miners Foundry Cultural Preservation Trust.

At that moment this grand community asset was permanently secured to serve our residents, businesses and visitors.

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Elias: Key pension question unanswered in Stockton ruling

November 22, 2014 — 

Politicians and public employees drawing pensions had high hopes they would get clarity on a key question from the federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the city of Stockton’s ongoing attempt to regain its financial health.

But it now appears that unique inland port city will emerge from more than two years of bankruptcy without any answers to the question of whether public employees deserve more long-term security than people working for private companies.

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Ebola ‘threat’ comes home to Grass Valley

November 22, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the sixth, and final, story in a series filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one, two, three, four and five at TheUnion.com.

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Kono, Sierra Leone: Cry me a river

November 21, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one, two, three and four at TheUnion.com.

Kono is the main diamond mining district in Sierra Leone. The origin of Blood Diamonds is right here. Even today, the buildings that were damaged and or destroyed during the rebel occupation and war still pockmark this small mining town.

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Hemig: Supporting Swarthout

November 21, 2014 — 

Lisa Swarthout took quite a public beating this week and last. Seven published letters to the editor, one editorial cartoon and countless social media comments referenced Lisa’s remarks regarding the investigation of Terry Lamphier’s alleged county computer misuse prior to the election.

People wrote comments like “Hasn’t she ever heard of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights?” and “He is innocent until proven guilty.”

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York: Dem’s path after Obamacare: Down, down, down

November 20, 2014 — 

There were 60 Democrats in the Senate on Christmas Eve 2009, when they voted in lockstep to pass the Affordable Care Act. Soon there will be 46 Democrats in the Senate, or perhaps 47, if Sen. Mary Landrieu manages to eke out a win in Louisiana. In plain numbers, the post-Obamacare trajectory has not been good for Senate Democrats.

The 46 or 47 Democrats in the next Senate are a bit different from the group that passed Obamacare. Sixteen of them took office after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. They never had to vote for it and have never had to defend voting for it.

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Goodman: Keystone, Climate Change And The Cold

November 20, 2014 — 

It was a dramatic scene in the Senate this week. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, presiding, announced the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline, a Crow Creek Sioux man from South Dakota sang out in the Senate gallery. A massive people’s climate movement against extracting some of the dirtiest oil on the planet had prevailed ... at least for now.

It was a Democrat, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, representing oil interests, who tried to push the pipeline through. She hoped its passage would help her in the Dec. 6 runoff election against her challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, who sponsored a similar bill in the House.

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Carrtoon: Nov. 19, 2014

November 19, 2014 — 

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What next for America?

November 19, 2014 — 

We are the most innovative nation on earth. America is blessed with a booming stock market, a growing GDP, and an enviable low unemployment rate. The economic outlook for America is good. Yet many Americans view the future of their children’s financial lives to be much worse than their own.

Ironically, this discrepancy is at the crux of the recent election shift in Republicans taking control of both houses. While our opposing political parties bicker and play at brinksmanship over policies of little consequence to our future, neither party is really paying attention to our collective best interests.

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Sierra Leone: Stanley avoids Dr. Livingston

November 19, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one, two and three at TheUnion.com.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 18, 2014 — 

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When will the doctors help them?

November 18, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip. See parts one and two at TheUnion.com.

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Have you ever seen a robin weep?

November 17, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

November 15, 2014 — 

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The economic impact of Ebola on Grass Valley’s economy?

November 15, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories filed by Grass Valley gemologist Louis Pearl, who travels to various countries in Africa to evaluate and sometimes source rough diamonds, on his observations on the Ebola outbreak while on a recent trip.

The title of this article would seem at first glance to be ridiculous. Really, how much of an economic impact can Ebola have on a small Northern California town?

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Leave capitalism alone, it’s not the problem

November 15, 2014 — 

Now that the mid-term elections are over, hopefully we can place our energies on gaining a better understanding of the forces at work to undermine our Capitalistic system of economics.

When the 99 percent staged their protests, I thought “Well they have a point.” Then, disgusted by their antics and the lack of a clear message, I moved on. But it did do me the favor of reflecting upon the fact that I really was very naive about economics.

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Hemig: Trouble with technology

November 14, 2014 — 

I’d like to vent a little.

I’m having a hard time with the reliability of our new electronic age.

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More stories to share on area history

November 14, 2014 — 

Congratulations to The Union on its 150th anniversary birthday and to the reporters and historians who included comments in the first articles.

One reporter made reference to Anthony House as a “rest stop,” but there is more flesh to be put on those bones.

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The main reasons for food labeling

November 13, 2014 — 

George Boardman’s portrayal of organic farming as food grown for indulgent yuppies and not worth the extra money is an outstanding example of not understanding the subject of GMOs whatsoever.

The main reason the public wants food labeled is because of the amount of herbicides and pesticides that are sprayed on GMO crops.

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Grateful to be here, thanks to Dr. Bigelsen

November 13, 2014 — 

I am a survivor. And my most important job is I am a single mother of a son with autism.

I not only had to save my own life, but at the same time help my son rise above as well.

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Carrtoon: Nov. 12, 2014

November 12, 2014 — 

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The end of addiction

November 12, 2014 — 

Unless you have been in a coma for the past 10 years or so, you must have noticed that cannabis has reached a legalization tipping point. Even though full-on legalization has only taken place in two states (Colorado and Washington), the majority of Americans now support it, and, therefore, it seems inevitable that many more states will soon follow.

During this national discussion, a conversation with much passion on both sides, there is one perspective that I have not heard.

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American Exceptionalism should be taught

November 12, 2014 — 

Remember when President Obama characterized American exceptionalism as an empty platitude, stating, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”?

Would you think it exceptional that America was the first nation, in the history of all mankind, to translate a philosophy of individual liberty into a governing creed? The Brits must be given some credit with Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as providing impetus to the creation of our great nation.

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