Opinion Columns

Harry J. Wander: Vaccines are safer than diseases

February 27, 2015 — 

In over 56 years of practicing medicine, the last 50 specializing in pediatrics, I have seen many children die from vaccine preventable diseases. These have included such diseases as meningitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, measles, and chickenpox.

I have never seen a child die from a vaccine. I have never even talked with a physician who has seen a death from a vaccine.

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Diane Robertson: Our vibrant culture is the true gold of these hills

February 27, 2015 — 

In recent columns, George Boardman and JoAnn Rebane take Nevada County folks to task. Mr. Boardman seems to imply that we’re likable hicks, and Ms. Rebane that we’d best get busy encouraging more logging, milling and other big exploitative industries lest our cities become ghost towns.

Neither mentions our vibrant culture. We have a wealth of talent here, and the connections and the professionalism to import what we lack. We have not one, but two classical music organizations, InConcert and MIM. We have at least five theater companies. We have musical performances in a wide variety of genres presented by the Center for the Arts, Miners Foundry and the Nevada Theater. We have literature readings. We have dance. We have three multi-screen cinemas, one of which shows the Met Live and National Theater Live. We have countless visual artists — painters, sculptors, potters. We have numerous festivals throughout the year, from blue grass to environmental film to storytelling. Access to any of these cultural events is not cheap, but it’s a great deal cheaper than in big cities, and it’s free for volunteers.

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Inyo County Board of Education: Inyo Register story on McAteer full of exaggeration, falsehoods

February 27, 2015 — 

We write this letter today to set the record straight regarding Inyo County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Terry McAteer, concerning an article submitted to The Union by the editor of the Inyo Register. Unfortunately, Inyo County is ill-served by this libelous article against our superintendent and your former county superintendent.

Let us be clear: This article is filled with gross exaggeration and outright falsehoods. In fact we wish to highlight several of the transformative results that Terry has helped create during his seven years as the educational leader in our community:

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Nevada County clerk-recorder’s office issues report on electronic poll book

February 26, 2015 — 

The digital age has changed the way people around the world process information. So, too, has digital evolution changed the way elections are conducted in Nevada County, according to Clerk-Recorder Gregory J. Diaz.

The careful introduction of Electronic Poll Books (e-poll books) in the county has already benefited voters, taxpayers and the team of election workers who run the polls, tabulate the votes and assure that the elections are conducted lawfully.

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Cartoon

February 25, 2015 — 

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New marijuana facts from Colorado, Washington

February 25, 2015 — 

Whether we like it or not, chances are good that California voters will approve a 2016 initiative to legalize marijuana for adults over 21. I myself have mixed feelings about this proposal; however, I choose to work with the drafters of the initiative to ensure that medical marijuana patients retain their rights after recreational use is legalized.

Protecting the rights of small mom and pop cultivators is another key issue that needs to be resolved before I would support this initiative.

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Tom Miller: Church community mourns passing of Paul Perry

February 25, 2015 — 

We mourn the death of Paul Perry, who will be remembered as one of the people who shaped western Nevada County into what we know today.

Perry did for this community, through music, what Osborne and Woods did for architectural preservation; what Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital did for medical care; what KVMR and KNCO did for radio broadcasting and public discourse; what the Grass Valley Group did for technology; and what Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus did for education.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

February 24, 2015 — 

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Julie Reaney: All of us deserve choices in end-of-life decisions

February 24, 2015 — 

This commentary is a follow-up on both of the “Other Voices” articles by Carolyn Peterson, executive director of Hospice of the Foothills on Feb. 3 titled, “Can 1.5 million people a year be so wrong?” and Greg Archibald’s response as a 77-year-old individual on the Feb. 10 titled, “4.8 million people deserve the discussion.

Coincidentally, I too am a 77 year old with yet another slant on the need for individual choice. In this case, mostly, but not exclusively, about the very personal subject of how we die when there is the opportunity to choose.

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Tom Durkin: Mortal coil shuffle

February 23, 2015 — 

Blessings on the caregivers in assisted living, long-term care, and ultimately, the tender refuge of hospice. These people and the organizations they work for provide a wonderful service for people who are dying what doctors call a natural death.

But a natural death is not for everybody.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

February 21, 2015 — 

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Manny Montes: Today’s regulatory environment chokes economic growth

February 21, 2015 — 

The Union Editorial Board member Norm Sauer wrote a piece on our current administrative (regulatory) state, and warned of its extra-constitutional assault on our liberties. Harry Wyeth responded with amazement at how this well-meaning, educated man “can reach such odd-ball positions.” What is amazing is how Mr. Wyeth, a retired attorney, can make such a statement in light of the fact that if anyone should understand the nature of Mr. Sauer’s argument, is an attorney.

Mr. Wyeth continues in this vain and states Sauer’s piece, “...was no more than the same old, same old standard Tea Party conservative’s wailing about bureaucracy, big government, and failure to follow the Constitution — or at least what the writer’s idea of what the document should mean.”

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Jim Firth: Growing economic pie while maintaining quality of life means choices must be made for Nevada County

February 21, 2015 — 

Western Nevada County economics are diverse. We have tourism, but also significant agriculture resources (both legal and illegal), ranching, a computer technology element, although smaller than in past decades, many family owned businesses and government institutions.

Regardless, western Nevada County is still in the process of re-inventing its economic future.

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Wanda Way: Is that a fact?

February 21, 2015 — 

“Is that a fact?” This was my father’s favorite response when someone made a political declaration or comment. Dad was a thinking man but not immune to making statements that demanded his own response.

“Is that a fact?”

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Megan Timpany: United Way leads discussion on hunger in Nevada County

February 19, 2015 — 

United Way of Nevada County has gone through an extensive strategic plan process and has been focusing in on advocacy and collaborative work that addresses three distinct impact areas: the basic human needs of food, emergency shelter and access to health care.

Through mobilizing the community, United Way hopes to make some impactful changes in Nevada County.

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Charles Atthill: The making of the Maestro, Paul Perry

February 19, 2015 — 

Paul Perry announced his intention of becoming a baseball player. His parents suggested that would be a waste of his musical talent. He thought again.

“What!?” said his father, when he said he planned to become a musician. “Your mother and I wanted you to have culture in your life, but that’s no way to make a living.”

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John Carr: Carrtoon

February 18, 2015 — 

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Charles Durrett: Opportunity Villages save lives

February 18, 2015 — 

Another homeless man died outside this month, in a makeshift camp, without a tent, cold and alone.

It would be so easy for our county to allow an empty piece of property to be leased as a temporary Opportunity Village based on the model in Eugene, Ore., where the city humanely rents a site for $1 per year and saves lives.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

February 17, 2015 — 

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Vaccines: Can you afford not to?

February 17, 2015 — 

A walk through our old cemeteries reminds us how far we’ve come in keeping children alive. Startling numbers of headstones mark the graves of children and infants; some families lost several children under the age of 10.

Until the early 1900s, losing a child was a painful but somewhat expected part of life. Two out of five children died before the age of five, often from diseases that are now prevented by vaccines.

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Clover Jacobs: Remembering our early American presidents

February 16, 2015 — 

In the early dawn of our great country, 14 courageous men stepped forward taking our first baby steps to becoming a great nation. There is little mention of them or their sacrifices and contributions in laying down the building blocks for the strong foundation on which we stand. Let us honor them this Presidents’ Day.

Though called presidents, these gentlemen were more like chairman. The title usually used had been “President of the Congress” or “President of Continental Congress.” The first two served very short terms. In 1774, Peyton Randolph served just 14 days, resigning due to poor health. Henry Middleton filled a short four days when the first Continental Congress adjourned and then dissolved itself on Oct. 26, 1774.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

February 14, 2015 — 

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Chuck Starnes: No return to the ‘Dark Ages!’

February 14, 2015 — 

Believe me; I don’t like getting involved in these discussions, but am finding that I dislike being silent about them more. This is in response to Wayne Bartz’s Other Voices in the Jan. 31 edition of The Union. I am thankful the The Union doesn’t take its editorial polices from the Sacramento Bee and most other newspapers throughout the country.

I realize that publishing the three “religious tracts masquerading as editorials” goes against the prevailing “correctness” that dominates the public square today. But would you agree that they are “Ideas and Opinions” based on The Book that has been the best seller of all time with an estimated 100 million copies published per year. It is The Book that has, in the past, and continues to exert a major influence on society, culture, law, literature and history. It is The Book that stimulated the fight for liberty and birthed The Bill of Rights of our great country and acknowledged that mankind is “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (notice that it our Creator that endows us, not government). It is The Book that was the inspiration of the Magna Charta which celebrates its 800th anniversary this year and the inspiration of the United States constitution. It is The Book for which literally millions of people have sacrificed their lives rather than deny their unwavering faith in it and to the Creator-Redeemer God it reveals. We should not be mystified because a small gold country newspaper allows Ideas and Opinions to be published base on such a Book, but be asking why it is now that most of the world prohibits such ideas and opinions to be mentioned much less discussed in a free and unhindered way?

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Tracy Deliman: Enjoy valentine’s day, even without a sweetie

February 14, 2015 — 

It’s here, the day of hearts, flowers and romance!

For many people, it’s a joyous day spent with one’s sweetheart giving and receiving gestures of love. On this day, sales of chocolates, red roses and greeting cards skyrocket. All different kinds of businesses find creative ways to capitalize on our hunger for love — beauty shops, bakeries, clothiers, jewelers, florists, travel agencies and many others. More marriage proposals take place on Valentine’s Day than any other day.

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John Carr: Carrtoon

February 11, 2015 — 

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Izzi Tooinsky: Let’s talk: The Nevada County Middle East Discussion Group

February 11, 2015 — 

I grew up loving baseball and Israel. I did not see Israel as “my nation.” I saw it more as my home team. Just as there is no conflict of interest between being a Raiders fan and being an American, I felt no conflict between being a citizen of the USA while at the same time loving and supporting the tiny, new nation called Israel.

It all felt natural and intimate. My grandparents supported Israel. My parents supported Israel, and I was a great advocate of the Jewish state.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

February 10, 2015 — 

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Reckless driving is a choice no one should make

February 10, 2015 — 

This is a letter to the young driver of the white pickup truck who ran me and my family off of Alta Sierra Drive last Monday.

Hi, I’m the mom who was driving the Chevy Suburban that you failed to notice because you had your head down and were staring at your lap. Luckily, I was paying attention and was able to veer to the side of the road to avoid a head-on collision. Granted, it would have been a low-speed collision, but it would have been damaging none the less. Now, I say “luckily” because it was lucky that I was not distracted, too.

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Greg Archbald: 4.8M people deserve the discussion

February 10, 2015 — 

Last Tuesday’s “Other Voices” column featured a thoughtful and informative op-ed piece by Carolyn Peterson, R.N., executive director of Hospice of the Foothills in Grass Valley. I hope that it was widely read for its excellent information on the many capabilities and benefits of hospice care.

I’m 77 years old, think the world of hospice and the palliative care movement in this country, but I don’t buy Ms. Peterson’s attempt to stifle a healthy debate over California SB-128, the recently introduced End of Life Option Act. She dismisses the bill out of hand by saying there are “many compelling reasons beyond religion, values, fear or ethics not to expand physician aid-in-dying.”

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Sue Jeffrey: More of a political balance here than you think

February 9, 2015 — 

I found many of the broad-sweeping statements made by Cheryl Cook in her “Welcoming Community?” column (The Union, Jan. 31) to be just plain untrue.

Let’s start with, “Yes, most people who reside here are Republican and/or conservative.” “Most” means nearly everyone and, while it is true there are more registered Republicans (38 percent) than Democrats (33 percent) in Nevada County; that hardly equals “most.” I belong to several social organizations and I cannot think of one that is predominately liberal or conservative. This seems to be the experience of most people I talk to. Folks gather and work together because of a shared interest — Music in the Mountains, bridge, quilting, church, etc., regardless of their political differences. I have lived in Nevada County for 12 years and no one — liberal or conservative — has ever interrogated me in the way Ms. Cook describes to determine or denounce my political affiliation. Of course, Ms. Cook would have you believe that is only because I am a conservative. Please!

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