Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

An inhospitable atmosphere

September 21, 2014 — 

My husband and I were running errands at the shopping center in Brunswick. We planned our strategy to shop separate stores and we’d meet at the bench near Ben Franklin. He discovered that there are no benches to sit on.

Then I remembered having learned in a letter to the editor in The Union written by a woman who explained that she found out the benches were removed because of complaints that homeless people sat on them.

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(Not so) random acts of kindness

September 21, 2014 — 

Today my 86-year-old disabled father’s car broke down in the Raley’s parking lot. Fortunately we were not far away, but when I arrived, I discovered I was too late to do much.

Raley’s employee “Eric,” had already taken care of dad by helping him find his AAA card, bringing him some ice water and staying with him until I got there. Our neighbor, Carrie, happened by and helped him get into his wheelchair and out of the sun, and, later, while I was struggling to lift his wheelchair into our car, Heidi, who as it turns out is a physical therapist at Golden Empire Hospital, rushed over to assist me.

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Trattoria Milano - yum

September 21, 2014 — 

​If you have not treated yourself to a meal at Trattoria Milano, you are missing a superb dining experience. We have had dinner there five times in recent months and have thoroughly enjoyed each visit. Chef Maffezzoni knows his way around an Italian kitchen, preparing fresh, authentic flavorful dishes. The staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable ​about the menu. The wine list is good with reasonable prices and every morsel from the appetizers to desert has been delicious and innovative. You won’t find a better trattoria between here and San Francisco.

Bob & Lee Gaede

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Boardman: NFL controversy has men talking about a problem they prefer to ignore

September 21, 2014 — 

Something good is emerging from the ongoing controversy over how the National Football League should discipline players who are accused of domestic violence: Men are actually discussing the problem.

Men should discuss the issue — we are responsible for 85 percent of the domestic violence in this country. As with other crimes, we hear a lot from the victims while the perpetrators just want the subject to go away. It’s past time men start discussing this plague on our society.

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Seelmeyer: Oh, the memories of my days with The Union

September 20, 2014 — 

That time I was listening to an avowed Marxist — at the time, possibly the last remaining Marxist on the face of the earth — as he joyfully explained to me the intricacies of the Nevada Union football team’s offense.

All those letters to the editor we got after that guy suggested that senior citizens shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

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Ackerman: The whole point to ‘the daily miracle’ is to ‘give a damn’

September 20, 2014 — 

There’s a newspaper in Nevada that boasts it is, “The Only Paper That Gives A Damn About Yerington.”

Try as I might, I couldn’t find anyone to refute that. There wasn’t a single other paper that really gave a damn about Yerington and … believe me … I checked with most all of them during my stay in the Silver State newspaper business.

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Not black or white, but an American problem

September 20, 2014 — 

The recent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., has us all yet again thinking about race and other inequalities in our supposedly fair and just society.

As Nick Kristof lays out the facts in his New York Times essay:

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

September 20, 2014 — 

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Disappointed with the Tea Party

September 20, 2014 — 

I am an old school conservative that thinks liberty is paramount. I am not one of today’s board room style corporate Republicans that puts Wall Street ahead of Main Street.

Regarding liberty, there was a time when Republicans put this concept ahead of just about everything else. Some still do. With the advent of the “war on pot” however, a new breed of conservative has emerged.

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Hall deserves more ink

September 19, 2014 — 

The Union recently published an article regarding congressional candidates Doug LaMalfa and Heidi Hall. Your article dedicated way more space and coverage to LaMalfa compared to Heidi Hall, which gave the impression that LaMalfa’s views and opinions were more deserving of coverage than Ms. Hall’s.

Ms. Hall’s views and opinions, on the other hand, were limited to five paragraphs on page 5 while LaMalfa dominated all of the front page and most of page 5. Since Ms. Hall is the lesser known and the opposing candidate, it seems that she should have been allocated at least equal space and exposure so that we could learn and evaluate her positions.

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What’s the next ‘urgency ordinance’ from the supervisors?

September 19, 2014 — 

In his recent piece on the proposed Outdoor Events Ordinance, Doug Coursey called for laws that are clearly written, with objective enforcement criteria. Coursey denounced the sweeping discretion the ordinance would give the sheriff.

We’ve seen this before: Criticism levied against poorly conceived and confusing proposals, the Board of Supervisors’ dependence on small focus group input while ignoring the views of the larger community, the board giving the sheriff broad discretion to interpret unclear and ambiguous standards …

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Thanks to our amazing firefighters

September 19, 2014 — 

In light of all the fires in our area, the biggest thanks goes to our firefighters. In Nevada City we came very close to disaster. The response was amazing.

Our state is having a tough fire year. I, for one, am happy to pay the $100 to $150 annual tax to help support our California firefighters.

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Hemig: You are invited to our party!

September 19, 2014 — 

The Union turns 150 this year! 

To celebrate, we are holding a big 150th anniversary open house party next Thursday, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at The Union.

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MRAP, appropriate or ‘overkill’?

September 19, 2014 — 

My personal reaction to the picture of the hulking MRAP and the headline is this: This is not only overkill but fiscally irresponsible.

While this type of vehicle might be occasionally useful in Los Angeles, and other big cities, how can it be justified here? Yes, Sheriff Royal said he got it for the cost of transportation and seizure funds were used.

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Our View: Transparency could improve reception of law enforcement’s military-grade gear

September 19, 2014 — 

Last week’s front-page story on local law enforcement’s reception of military-grade equipment led to substantial discussion on the topic at TheUnion.com, The Union’s Facebook page, as well as at several social media outlets.

That discussion included responses in favor and against local law enforcement agencies accepting military gear, including the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office acquiring a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle from the Department of Defense.

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Crabb: It takes a village idiot

September 19, 2014 — 

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Concerned with education issues? Get involved; be part of the solution

September 18, 2014 — 

Back in August 2010, the California State Board of Education first adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and immediately began the process of their implementation for all California schools.

CCSS is a rigorous set of standards for the English Language Arts and mathematics curriculum that has been developed based on the best practices of schools and organizations across the country and around the world.

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Former chief chooses to ‘shoots the messenger’

September 18, 2014 — 

The most vital characteristic that a journalist must possess, whether he or she be reporting on a local, national or global level is the ability to speak truth to power. As any journalist will tell you, when you dare to confront the powerful with their inadequacies they will most often resort to casting aspersions on the speaker — the tried and true “shoot the messenger” technique.

While the tactic is all too common in this business what is striking about former Penn Valley Chief Gene Vander Plaats’ latest attempt (“In fact, all is well in Penn Valley Fire Protection District” The Union, Sept. 17) to employ this strategy is how riddled it is with utter falsehood.

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Little foresight with the new Dollar General

September 18, 2014 — 

I am so sorry that there seems to be very little foresight when it comes to Grass Valley decision making and planning.

The new Dollar General, referred to as “the smallest big box store,” with their “very small footprint” of a building, has stolen our view of the remaining trees that could still be seen from certain angles in Glenbrook Basin. Wow, all that, and it will begin to chip away at the locally owned stores that have built our community. If that is not enough, their modified “standard cookie-cutter building” is being built by a construction and management group from Texas.

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Ms. Fev’s farewell

September 18, 2014 — 

Dear friends, colleagues, parents and former students,

This area has been my home for 25 years. In that time, I had an extraordinary career as an educator with the Nevada City School District. How do you say goodbye in 200 words?

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Constitution Day a success

September 18, 2014 — 

Once again Nevada Lodge 13 has put out another successful Constitution Day observance with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce and City of Nevada City. Forty-eight years ago, the Masons decided to have a celebration celebrating that great document, and for the first 40 or so we (the Masons, with Colonel Bill Lambert as our leader) did a bang up job!

Lately we have been helped by the Nevada City Rotary and other fine merchants in the area. It was a little warm, but the crowd was receptive and loud. The military and schools helped to make it a very special day. We are one of the few, if only, places west of the Mississippi to do this and it makes me proud to live here. The Shriners, Masons all, are a great addition to the parade, with the clowns, Lions head, and all of the other units.

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Carrtoon: Sept. 18, 2014

September 18, 2014 — 

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Hemig: Breakfast with the publisher

September 17, 2014 — 

Want a good breakfast? Want to learn more about your local newspaper? Have a burning question you’ve wanted to ask The Union’s publisher?

Do you have an opinion about the paper, or a specific article? Would you like to support Nevada Union’s High School culinary program?

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In fact, all is well in Penn Valley Fire Protection District

September 17, 2014 — 

On Oct. 3, 2013, The Union published an article written by staff writer Matthew Renda regarding the Penn Valley Fire District chief and the board of directors. The bold headline presented on the front page, above the fold was titled “Residents castigate Penn Valley chief, board.”

The article, in the first paragraph, stated “All is not well in the Penn Valley Fire Protection District.” Included in the article were several quotes and accusations made by a resident of the district, Bill Gassaway, described as “a former volunteer with the district.” Renda attended the Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 1, 2013 and witnessed the comments made by Mr. Gassaway. Mr. Renda made contact with me after the meeting and asked for a response to the accusations. I did attempt to provide accurate information and gave Mr. Renda the names and contact information for several people who had direct knowledge of the topics of discussion. It would have been easy for the reporter to obtain the facts on each of the charges Mr. Gassaway made by simply asking the right people the right questions. Mr. Renda apparently chose not to hear facts but to go with Mr. Gassaway’s comments.

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Abolishing Second Amendment won’t erase desire to kill

September 17, 2014 — 

It was difficult to get through the chaos of the piece by Cheryl Cook (September 9, “To insure domestic tranquility” vs. the Second Amendment). She spent 75 percent of the space giving her version of history, feigning reverence for the Constitution, insulting our forefathers, complaining about the “fanatical focus on ‘the document’” and characterizing her version of “the real loss of liberty” before getting to the main point — abolishing the Second Amendment. Perhaps her argument wasn’t strong enough to fill the whole space?

Shredding the Second Amendment won’t erase the desire to kill. However, political correctness has become a serious barrier to frank discussion in finding solutions to societal problems. For instance as many as 9,000 African Americans are murdered every year. Ninety three percent of these are perpetrated by other blacks. In 2005, 49 percent of all homicide victims in the U.S. were black. Shouldn’t we recognize mental illness is responsible for 79 percent of recent of mass shootings? Perhaps a discussion of these issues would led to some reasonable solutions to deeper problems.

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False equivalence does not justify racism

September 17, 2014 — 

False equivalence is a fallacy which describes a situation where there is a logical and apparent equivalence, when, in fact, there is none.

The Union readers recently experienced it in the Aug. 28 Diana West’s nationally syndicated column titled, “Eric Holder: Leading the rush to judgment.” In an attempt to denigrate the recent events in Ferguson, Mo. and to equate her personal experiences as a white woman with that of African American men, West presented the epitome of a false equivalence and gave new meaning to the word racism.

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Medical facilities provided great care

September 17, 2014 — 

My husband, Dale, and I would like to thank the entire staffs at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Wolf Creek Care Center, for the wonderful care they gave him recently, for his surgery and difficult recovery.

We’d like to thank all employees at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, from housekeeping to the ICCU. Special thanks to Dr. Statton, Dr. Samuel Chan, the hospitalist doctors, and the ICCU nurses.

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Sierra Nevada Children’s Services lives up to its mission

September 17, 2014 — 

Our grandchildren are at risk. My daughter has received support and subsidized childcare from Sierra Nevada Children’s Services. As a single parent these services have allowed her to work in order to support her two young sons. Working to support her family allows her to stay off Medi Cal assistance and improves her self- esteem, as she can contribute to her community.

This support was recently withdrawn, in part due to the agencies need to prioritize the needs of the families they support, due to their available funds. Fortunately, her services were reinstated. How many other children go without? Sierra Nevada Children’s Services is a private community-based nonprofit organization providing assistance to families with financial hardships, related to health, transportation, and enrichment benefits to the physical and emotional needs of the child. Your help is needed to fund their Children’s Community Chest Program, a discretionary fund to meet the needs of our children. The Grass Valley office is located at 420 Sierra College Drive, Suite #100. You can call 530 272-8866, ext. 207 to support this program. What is more important than the safety of our children? Please do what you can to support this agency.

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Enough with the low-budget behemoths

September 17, 2014 — 

I read with interest your reporting on another proposed Dollar General in Alta Sierra. That would make three of these low-budget behemoths, the other two being across from Grass Valley’s Fowler Center and on Rough and Ready Highway.

Didn’t I read in yesterday’s paper that a party store was being put out of business? How many other small businesses is our county’s planning department going to sacrifice to these cheap, cheap, cheap goods stores?

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Liberal Nat Hentoff lays the “I” word on Obama

September 15, 2014 — 

It is just over one year since Nat Hentoff, long a mainstay of the super-liberal Village Voice, in addition to a PBS fixture and revered doyen of what might be called the coherent Left — and, more recently, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute — mooted the idea of impeaching the current president (“Bringing civics classes back to schools: Obama impeachment?” The Jewish World Review, May 29, 2013)

The problem, as Hentoff sees it, is Obama’s blatant disregard for the Constitution. In his JWR piece, Hentoff urges all of us, conservative and liberal alike, to please, for the love of Pete, sit up and pay attention. There is deeply troubling stuff being done on this president’s watch, possibly even on his orders, says this long-time icon of the Left. Stuff that matters.

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