Opinion

Dick Panzica: Here I am

May 4, 2016 — 

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk into the room.

The narcissist will enter with a big smile, outstretched hands and the attitude of “here I am.” He, or she, will often be wearing something that stands them out from the crowd, like a ridiculously long tie or a “comb over” to hide his baldness, or the latest pant suit. He then proceeds to tell everyone how great he is, over and over again.

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Jerry Sakai: Campaign contribution a non-issue

May 4, 2016 — 

Regarding the District 1 supervisorial campaign — on the front page of the April 14 issue of The Union is a report of a $1,000 contribution to the Stawser campaign from a vehement denier of climate change as if that it was a colossal event.

His opponent, Heidi Hall, said, “I am astonished that he would take money from people that reject science outright,” as if that were a capital offense. And perhaps, equally astonished if he accepted contributions from atheists.

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Patricia Smith: Saving one of our own

May 4, 2016 — 

A well-attended forum, “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes,” was recently held to raise awareness about using CBD’s to treat a laundry list of conditions, including intractable childhood epilepsy. (CBD is short for cannabidiol, a component found in certain cannabis strains.)

Despite personal invitations from Forrest Hurd, not one of the sitting members of the Board of Supervisors showed up, nor did any of the Republican leadership that spoke out against this family for using their “unfortunate” child as a publicity tool. This was a perfect opportunity to meet the Hurds and to hear scientific evidence presented by Dr. Burnell Vasser, but the aforementioned chose to remain in the dark.

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Mary and Wally Krill: Let's not forget to laugh at life

May 4, 2016 — 

We were truly sorry and disturbed by the letter impugning the character and questioning the motives of our good friend John Carr.

We have known John for many years and feel we know John well enough to say that any subliminal message in his cartoons implying criticism of any segment of our society was not only not there but was never intended. To call for a replacement of his cartoons is certainly not in order. Some may find his humor funny and others may not. That’s what makes our country so great.

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Keith Davies: Medical marijuana issue not about medicine, a better community

May 4, 2016 — 

After considerable research and attending numerous meetings to inform myself better, I have come to the conclusion that our local medical marijuana issue is not about medicine or a better community, but about money and greed.

The pro-marijuana folks have done studies as well and have put together an impressive number of arguments as to why we should embrace their vision to allow western Nevada County to be overrun by open marijuana grows, transportation of this product on our roads and streets, medical marijuana dispensaries and a windfall of tax revenues. All of this to make our lives better here in western Nevada County, well I’m not buying it, and here is why:

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George Runner: Back-room deal on minimum wage a huge mistake

May 3, 2016 — 

Blink and you’ll miss it. Special interests have struck a back-room deal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour in just six years.

The deal was rushed through the Democrat-controlled Legislature — with little public input — and signed into law by the governor in less than a week.

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Ron Lowe: Transgender bathrooms in Europe for decades

May 3, 2016 — 

The current Republican “transgender bathroom” scare is just so much more of their crusade and fear-mongering against gays; trying to fool an inattentive American public. For all the anti-gay evangelicals who haven’t been out of their own bathrooms in years — get a grip!

Bathrooms have been transgender all over the world for decades. We were in Europe 20 to 30 years ago and both sexes, all sexes, were using the same toilets. Heaven forbid!

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George Moses: Stop the cuts to veteran benefits

May 3, 2016 — 

In March, the House passed a bill (H.R. 3016) that included a 50 percent cut in the monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) allowance provided to children who will have their parent’s earned Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit transferred to them. Now similar legislation is being considered in the Senate (S.425) that would put the hard-fought benefits of 2.8 million post-9/11 veterans at even greater risk.

I am standing with my fellow Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) members in opposition to these cuts to the GI Bill, and ask you to stand with us.

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Jo Ann Rebane: Well said, Mr. Sauer

May 3, 2016 — 

A letter in the April 28 edition of The Union caused me to re-read a recent column by Norm Sauer, member of The Union Editorial Board.

I want to say how refreshing it is to have an independent thinker remind us that our America has always been a beacon of liberty and the “greatest force in the history of the world to eliminate poverty, preserve freedom, and create opportunity for all.” I want to express how grateful I am for his writing and positions.

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Brian Hamilton: Already in mid-(campaign)-season form

May 3, 2016 — 

Anxious voicemails from impatient people, emails alleging a perceived bias and reports of sign theft littering the daily police blotter.

Ah, yes, it’s election season.

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John Carr: Carrtoon

May 3, 2016 — 

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R. L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

May 2, 2016 — 

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Theresia Evans: More than measles at Yuba River Charter School

May 2, 2016 — 

Yuba River Charter School has been in the news lately with headlines about the student who contracted a case of the measles while overseas and attended the school while contagious.

This was cause for concern among many Nevada County residents and resulted in the school closing for a day followed by seven days of quarantine, during which time all students without documented vaccination were excluded from classes. Even though this is a divisive issue about which many parents of our school have polar opposite viewpoints, I was touched by how the school community pulled together in cooperation with the school and the health department.

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Marianne Boyer: Open letter to Nevada County Supervisors

May 2, 2016 — 

I write to you today as an individual who has worked daily for over a decade with patients seeking alternatives to many health issues — from chronic pain, epilepsy, depression/PTSD, migraines, muscle spasms, cancer and other serious maladies.

I have seen countless patients helped with medicinal cannabis.

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Hilary Hodge: Nevada County even better than I thought it would be

May 2, 2016 — 

I think that for anyone who moves from one place to another, there is always some level of culture shock.

Before moving to Nevada County, I took for granted the huge difference between living in an urban setting like San Francisco, Oakland or Sacramento and living in a rural setting. It was a little more than five years ago that my wife and I decided to move to Nevada County and there are still several things about rural living that take me by pleasant surprise.

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Trump thinks like a sidewalk bully

May 1, 2016 — 

Donald Trump’s call for punishment of women who have an abortion gives us insight into himself. That comment reveals his attitude more truly than any crafted statement claiming the opposite. All women — and all men who care about women — should give careful thought to the implications of that.

True enough, but the event is far more important as a demonstration of his decision-making. It shows (as the Washington Post’s Dan Balz points out) that Trump acts on instinct rather than thought-out policy. Does that leave room for advisors? Perhaps. Retraction of his statement two hours later hints that someone persuaded him of the need.

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Pauli Halstead: We can't just rely on government to solve homelessness

May 1, 2016 — 

I would like to give a big thanks to The Union editorial board for taking the interest and time to research the issues regarding the permitted use of Streicher House.

This was definitely a complicated story to follow with many twists and turns in the process. At the heart of it is that cities and counties, as we have seen, can really mess up and prevent folks from using their property in the way it is legally permitted.

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Tim Stokes: The enemy is Citizens United, not the IRS

May 1, 2016 — 

Here is a snippet of history regarding the “social welfare” groups mentioned in Mr. Boardman’s article:

“When Congress created the legal framework for ‘social welfare’ groups,” as Jane Mayer wrote in Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. “... it never anticipated that they would become a means by which the rich would hide their political spending. In fact, to qualify as tax-exempt, such groups had to certify that they would be ‘operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” “The IRS later loosened the guidelines, though, allowing them to engage marginally in politics, so long as this wasn’t their ‘primary’ purpose. Lawyers soon stretched the loophole to absurd lengths. They argued, for instance, that if a group spent 49 percent of its funds on politics, it complied with the law because it still wasn’t ‘primarily’ engaged in politics. They also argued that one such group could claim no political spending if it gave to another such group, even if the latter spent the funds on politics ... For example, at the end of 2010, the Center for Patients Rights reported on its tax return that it spent no money on politics. Yet it granted $103 million to other conservative groups, most of which were actively engaged in midterm elections.”

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George Boardman: Virtual, augmented reality? We have plenty of experience in those areas

May 1, 2016 — 

The Economic Resource Council has decided to go all in on virtual and augmented reality, the Next Big Thing in technology that promises to revolutionize the way we experience the world. Either that, or it will just give us another excuse to waste time.

Just to make sure everybody gets the point, the ERC announced it is changing the name of the nascent Sierra Digital Media Center to the Green Screen Institute to establish a “firmly defined niche in the digital media space,” according to Jon Gregory, the ERC’s executive director.

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Rev. Eileen Smith LeVan: Fundraising campaign to help families in need

April 29, 2016 — 

The “Leap of Faith” campaign sponsored by Peace Lutheran Church shows what faith, prayer and hard work can achieve: The generous people of western Nevada County donated $17,680 — far surpassing Peace’s goal of $10,000.

Thank you for your loving hearts!

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Thomas Elias: 'Trump effect' on Latinos started early

April 29, 2016 — 

It was bound to happen once Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz began building their campaigns on a foundation of anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric and policy proposals:

Many thousands of legal Latino residents all around the nation began seeking U.S. citizenship so they could become registered voters and cast ballots against either Cruz or Trump, should either become the GOP’s nominee.

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Heidi Hall: I stand by my statement

April 29, 2016 — 

I was surprised and saddened to see Mr. Meckler’s letter in The Union on April 26, calling into question my integrity after I shared information, at his request, pointing out the connections between the Americans for Good Government and Tea Party in good faith.

Please read the source material for yourself: Sierra Foothills Report, May 30, 2014 and YubaNet, March 9, 2016 ; then consider the company candidates keep and the funding they receive when deciding who to trust with your vote for supervisor.

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Darrell Berkheimer: Suicides, drug prices make big jumps

April 29, 2016 — 

Two recent news items deserve additional attention because of how they relate to our declining middle class. The one is the sharp increase in suicides; and the other is the tremendous jump in prices for the 10 most popular drugs — four of which have more than doubled in price.

A Washington Post article a few days ago cited federal data that revealed the U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply the past 15 years — led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women.

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Jeremy Gallus: Why being relevant is important for our small town

April 29, 2016 — 

We live in our world of change that’s been accelerated year over year.

Remember when flip phones were the technological flagship for cell phones? Now we’re able to watch VR (virtual reality) videos on our smart phones that have more computing power than the Apollo 11 spaceship.

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Our View: Community takes priority over scoring political points

April 29, 2016 — 

Considering the season, it didn’t take long for proponents and opponents of Measure W to jump on what they saw as a political football this week.

But, in reality, it was no football. And it’s a shame some sought to score political points by bouncing off a local family’s crisis, one that could easily have become a catastrophe for our community.

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Mark Schaefer: We can do better than Measure W

April 29, 2016 — 

Supervisors Hank Weston and Dan Miller recently published their rationale for Measure W. The No on W Committee would like to respond.

No on W is about addressing environmental and public safety concerns by way of regulation, not prohibition. No on W is about fair government that hears and considers the needs of all citizens impartially. It is about taking advantage of new opportunities to tax and regulate medical cannabis. NO on W is about adopting a new approach that includes a realistic look at the future of cannabis in our state.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

April 29, 2016 — 

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Ed Thomas: A thoughtful response

April 28, 2016 — 

I was at a loss for a civil response to Norm Sauer’s recent rant in the paper. Kudos to Lynn Wenzel for her spot on thoughtful response. It was informative and educational, and demonstrated a mature and non-hostile way to make a point.

Ed Thomas

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Weldon Travis: U.S. needs to wake up

April 28, 2016 — 

“A Beacon of Liberty” by Norm Sauer (April 9 in The Union) is spot on and reflects my own values and significant concerns about the direction our once great nation has taken, and what it has become.

It is way past time that America awakens from its destructive stupor, including the indiscriminate and mass acceptance of fanatical religious terrorists and the tyrannical conduct of our elected and appointed national and state “leaders.”

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Jim Firth: The Tea/Jefferson party's over in Nevada County

April 28, 2016 — 

The State of Jefferson experiment in Northern California is over. There could be a vote in Lassen County that keeps the experiment on life support for a few weeks, but the United States Supreme Court unanimously voted for a total population formula to select representation in our democracy. Children, disabled, residents, unregistered voter citizens will be included in the formula to determine the population of representation. We are all in this together.

I do agree with my neighbors that the California State Government needs to provide assistance to Rural Counties. This will be accomplished by building bridges, not by building walls, as some people have suggested. The unwillingness of some elected representatives in Rural Counties, be they US Congressional, State Senatorial or Assembly District people will not result in the improvements needed in our Rural Counties. These minority representatives do not represent the interests of the majority of the greater California population.

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