Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

Bill Drake: The Confederate flag and racism

July 4, 2015 — 

I was born in 1945 in Virginia and grew up during the Jim Crow era, when the law of the land kept blacks and other minorities in an inferior position. My family, which firmly believed in white supremacy, was proud of the Confederate flag, our Southern heritage, and our connection to slavery.

My mother’s paternal grandfather was Lt. Col. William Henry FitzGerald, a slave owner and Civil War hero who commanded Mississippi’s Tallahatchie Rifles under General Robert E. Lee. A statue in honor of him and his regiment can be found at the Tallahatchie County courthouse in Sumner. After the war, he helped create the Jim Crow era as a Mississippi state senator. My mother’s maternal grandfather also fought for the South. At least three generations of my mother’s ancestors on that side of her family were slave plantation owners.

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Mary Anne Davis: No fireworks, please!

July 4, 2015 — 

Although it has been illegal to discharge any type of fireworks in the county and the City of Grass Valley, and parts of Nevada City, every year I hear neighbors who still try to get away with shooting off a few “just for fun.”

I beg all of you, please do not even discharge one single piece of firework this year. We are in the most serious of drought conditions and our fire danger level is extreme. Just one spark can devastate our entire community. If you want fireworks on the Fourth of July, attend a community sponsored and professionally run show, but please do not set them off at home, whether it’s technically legal where you live, or not. Thank you.

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Steve Kyser: It could happen to you

July 4, 2015 — 

If you find the Lester/Laferte trial verdict shocking you are not alone.

As an investor who lost a lot of money in Gold Country Lenders I have stayed close enough to the action to know this trial has re-defined “Travesty of Justice” in our country. Unchecked character assassination is the acceptable norm, fueled by individuals able to manipulate public officials, including the courts, into taking complex regulations completely out of context for their own vengeful purposes.

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Dennis Fowler: Jury came to correct verdict in Gold Country Lenders case

July 4, 2015 — 

This letter is in response to the letter to the editor written by Mike Rough relative to the Lester/Laferte guilty verdicts.

A jury of their peers deliberated for several days, reviewing all of the evidence presented at trial. As an investor who lost a great deal of money, I am thankful to this jury for taking the time to come to the correct verdict.

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Louis Pearl: America still a land of opportunity

July 4, 2015 — 

As we approach the birthday of our country, I am saddened by those Americans who disparage America.

There is little doubt that we as Americans can always do more and better to make this country greater than it is. That being said, I feel it is time to acknowledge just how exceptional America really is. This in itself could be a subject of debate and volume.

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Bill Trzeciak: Democratic socialism is capitalism as if people mattered

July 4, 2015 — 

Bernie Sanders said “Socialism is a word that scares older people.” He’s right about that.

Most of us older people in America have been given a definition of socialism that clearly conjures up the worst of Soviet-style communist totalitarianism. We’ve lived through the Cold War and know what we’re talking about, by gum.

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Brian Buckley: SummerFest Arts

July 4, 2015 — 

The magical village of SummerFest Arts, with over 40 of the top artists from Nevada County and beyond, was a beautiful sight to see at the Fairgrounds.

The Nevada County Arts Council (NCArts) would like to thank the many artists, musicians, and creative talents who put together this wonderful celebration of community and creativity. The event would not have been possible without the tremendous assistance of our collaborative partners, Music In the Mountains.

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Our View: Amid Fourth of July festivities, remember what we're celebrating

July 4, 2015 — 

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival,” John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers and the second President of the United States, wrote of our Independence Day. “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Considering those words, President Adams would likely approve of western Nevada County’s annual celebration of our country’s birthday, including that “parade” (11 a.m. in downtown Grass Valley) and those “illuminations” (left safely in the hands of fireworks experts at 9:30 p.m. at the county fairgrounds).

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It takes a village idiot

July 4, 2015 — 

It takes a village idiot

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Thomas Elias: PUC reform bills too little, too late

July 4, 2015 — 

It’s the same with the state Public Utilities Commission these days as with almost everything else: by the time state legislators notice something is a problem, things are so bad, so extreme that other people and agencies have already acted.

Just now, almost six months after state and federal investigators executed search warrants on the homes of former PUC President Michael Peevey and a since-fired Pacific Gas & Electric Co. executive for whom Peevey would apparently do just about anything, lawmakers are finally ready to act.

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Jim Hemig: In search of ....

July 3, 2015 — 

The other day a reader called and left me a voice message saying, “I have some really, really incredible pictures of extraterrestrial life … or something like that.”

She did clarify by also saying, “I’m not a nut, either, and wouldn’t call if it wasn’t true.”

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Karen Wallack-Eisen: Family Fun & Run a success

July 3, 2015 — 

On May 2, PARTNERS Family Resource Center held our first Family Fun & Run at Nevada Union High School. There were activities for all ages along with the chance to count your laps around the track. We encourage families to enjoy healthy, physical activities together.

Thanks to our sponsors for making the benefit a success and raising funds for the many programs offered at our three Family Resource Centers. Thanks go to: Barbara Parrott, BriarPatch, Buzz Martin, REMAX, Drs. Chan, Moon & Kirschbaum, Dyann Castro-Wehr, Grocery Outlet, Hills Flat Lumber, Linda Horowitz, NC Chamber of Commerce, NCSD Adaptive PE, Nevada County Youth Orchestra, NUHS, SPD, Susan Hopkins, Tahoe National Forest, Tour of NC Bike Shop, Trkac Running Store.

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Don Loux: God outdates SCOTUS

July 3, 2015 — 

So what’s it been; three days since the SCOTUS decision redefining who qualifies for the institution of marriage, and already Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times is calling for the disallowance of tax exempt status for all churches and faith-based originations.

I don’t know if Mr. Oppenheimer is an atheist or an agonistic, or just your garden verity liberal, but I doubt that he gives much credence to the Holy Bible or he would have to acknowledge that it just so happens that God Himself, the creator of all things including man and woman designed the intuition of marriage to be between a man and a woman only. The last time I checked, God outdates the SCOTUS by an eternity past! Every church and pastor is now subject to the possibility of entrapment for refusing to marry a gay couple!

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Carole Chapman: Take down Confederate flag, and that State of Jefferson one while you're at it

July 3, 2015 — 

Unfortunately it took the murder of nine black people in their church by a local white supremacist for the Confederate flag to finally come down. Even retailers across the country have stopped selling the flag because of what it represents, which is absolute hate for the black race.

Some in the South would try to have us believe it’s about state rights, but that’s a lie. History tells us the USA won the Civil War and beat the Confederacy, then freed the slaves. Abolishing slavery was the right and moral thing to do. So, it’s time to retire this symbol of hate and intolerance to a Civil War museum.

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Ralph Hitchcock: A different view of the Central Valley irrigation history

July 3, 2015 — 

California’s complex water supply and irrigation infrastructure has become an important topic of discussion during this drought. The history of how our agricultural prosperity came about is quite interesting, with unfairness and irony involved, as well as misplaced pride by those of us from old California families.

The agricultural development in the Central Valley provided the economic foundation for the state’s phenomenal urban and industrial growth from a 1930 population of 5.7 million to 39 million. I think it might be interesting for all post-World War II Californians to recognize that as recently as 1940, the state had just passed Texas into sixth place, but New York still had twice as many people; this combined with isolation from the East in both transportation and communications, limited California’s national influence significantly. The enormous post-World War II growth which would change California forever was still to come.

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Jayne Nordstrom: What are you going to do when the well runs dry?

July 2, 2015 — 

I woke up happy Sunday morning. As I began to make coffee, I got a sense of foreboding when the faucet didn’t work. My husband, Toad, flipped the pump breaker. Still no water. He assumed the pump was broken and called Cover’s Pump where Rick walked him through testing it. The pump worked, but still no water.

While Toad pondered his next step, I picked up the San Francisco Chronicle. The lead article read “struggling to cope when wells run dry.” I began to feel dread.

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Sandy Spalding: Regarding 'miscarriage of justice'

July 2, 2015 — 

I appreciate Mike Rough’s letter on the miscarriage of justice, June 26. I am also troubled by the result of Phil Lester’s and Sue Laferte’s trial and am grappling with the blindness of justice.

I don’t understand how the judge and the jury could see this any other way than the result of the recession, something that hit us all, something entirely out of our control and theirs too; but I do know that God is in control and there is something bigger in His plan than our minds can comprehend.

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Byron York: GOP searches for strategy to counter Obama winning streak

July 2, 2015 — 

Republicans have tried to pin the lame duck label on President Obama for quite a while now. But for a lame duck, Obama is doing pretty well.

He won on Obamacare. He won on gay marriage. He won on trade. His party was even able to leverage a horrendous crime — the killings in Charleston — to put Republicans on the defensive over the Confederate flag.

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Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: 'What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?'

July 2, 2015 — 

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham.”

Douglass escaped slavery in 1838 and became one of the most powerful and eloquent orators of the abolitionist movement. His Independence Day talk was organized by the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Sewing Society. Douglass extolled the virtues of the Founding Fathers, those who signed the Declaration of Independence. Then he brought the focus to the present, to 1852. He said:

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Getting Rx drugs off the street — doing more harm than good?

July 1, 2015 — 

Over the next few years, we’re going to hear a lot from the government, telling us what a great job they’re doing in curtailing prescription drug abuse.

It’s going to sound impressive.

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Cathy Fagan: Whose hateful words were these?

July 1, 2015 — 

I was shocked to read the following in the police blotter several weeks ago:

2:21 p.m. — A caller from a business in the 100 block of West McKnight Way reported a suspicious woman came into the salon, but the salon does not provide services for that type of person/hair. The woman then came back and left trash inside the business, and might have been casing the business to rob it. Extra patrols were requested because the woman might rob businesses in the area, because of her race.

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If you can't stand the heat ...

July 1, 2015 — 

I read with some amusement The Union’s article about the Lake of the Pines’ board of directors election. One candidate, in particular, is claiming that he has been the target of bullying. Throughout the history of the United States, candidates and people in the public eye have been subjected to their constituents love or hate of them. We live in a democracy that gives us the Constitutional right of free speech. Do you hear the president of the U.S., the governor or any other public official crying because there have been negative words written about them? No, they carry on with their platforms and beliefs. If any candidate cannot stand the heat, I suggest they get out of the kitchen.

Julie Barnum

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Kudos to the GREAT Program

July 1, 2015 — 

I want to express my appreciation for the GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program facilitated by the Grass Valley Police Department and PARTNERS Family Resource Center. My son is a fourth grader and just completed the program. The techniques and life skills that are taught are extremely valuable. I did not realize the extent of what this program covered until I attended the graduation ceremony today. The children participate in community service projects such as retrieving trash and painting light poles. Daily lessons are focused on methods of controlling anger, communicating messages clearly, respecting others, and refusal skills relative to peer pressure and bullying. The staff and volunteers are absolutely amazing and I hope they know how valuable and appreciated they are! Every child in Nevada County should have an opportunity to participate in the GREAT Program.

Jennifer Acree

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

July 1, 2015 — 

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Thomas Elias: Long wait looms for GOP congress gains here

July 1, 2015 — 

Few things gall California Republicans more than realizing they hold just 14 of this state’s 53 seats in Congress. That’s only 26 percent of California’s representatives, while the opposition Democrats, with a mere 14 percent more registered voters, hold 39 seats, or about 74 percent.

The GOP had a big chance last year to remedy this, targeting vulnerable Democrats who won their offices by narrow margins in President Obama’s 2012 reelection landslide.

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Charisse Lolli: About county's hearing on Dollar General

June 30, 2015 — 

Residents will find themselves once again in the county government chambers to oppose the construction of the Dollar General Store at Alta Sierra Wednesday.

This is the fifth Dollar General store that has been proposed within a 13-mile radius. Although previous notices have provided incorrect dates for submitting public response, opponents should know that their written responses can be received at the hearing. This hearing is for 1 p.m. Wendesday. If this is passed, it will allow the construction of a 9,100 square foot box store at the entrance of Alta Sierra Drive, larger than their average 7,300 square foot store.

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Betsy Lombard: Taxpayers should have a say on medication prices

June 29, 2015 — 

I am a member of Anthem Blue Cross, Covered California. I use several prescription medications. I patronize Dokimo’s Nevada City. I like the people there, it is a small town business, a low stress experience, and it’s next to a great grocery store. Recently I asked my doctor for a three month prescription for two expensive medications. I took it to Dokimo’s, they ran it to see what the price was. It came back, “Your insurance doesn’t authorize three months of refills.” And Dokimo’s price was about 40 percent higher than getting three months worth at Express Scripts.

I called my insurance company and was told, “We have a contract with Express Scripts to provide this service.” If one company is authorized to provide three months of refills, AND a large discount, then other companies should have a crack at that market too. I want to keep my dollars in my local economy, so that there are local jobs and businesses, and important services available to me here in my town.

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Lou Douros: Juvenile sexting and the public pool

June 29, 2015 — 

It used to be that the public pool was a safe place for unsupervised young teens to hang out and stay cool on those hot summer days. My 14 year old daughter and her friends were at the Pioneer pool this week. A boy their age traded phone numbers with one of my daughter’s friends (despite my daughter begging for a smartphone, here is one more reason she’ll have to wait).

By the end of the day, those girls had received lewd images of this male minor who had an apparently high opinion of his ... maleness.

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Be a patriot: don't drive drunk

June 29, 2015 — 

Eating, drinking and watching fireworks are what people enjoy when celebrating America’s independence. America’s freedom does not allow people to drive drunk. Ironically, it is one of our country’s deadliest problems.

A drunken driver hit me head-on in April of 1992 when I was 16. My education and active life in sports against other San Joaquin County schools ended.

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Barbara Larsen: Bravo

June 29, 2015 — 

On May 30, the Elder-Care Providers’ Coalition held an all day conference at the Holiday Inn Express titled, “The Caregiver’s Journey Continues...”

The overwhelming response from the audience was extremely positive and people came away with hand-outs and materials regarding the many resources and services in our beloved county. I would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to the following: HelpLine Information & Assistance, One Source, Banner Crest Care Home, Atria Senior Living, Eskaton Village, Cascades of Grass Valley, Partners in Care, Interim HomeStyle Services, Brunswick Village, Gold County Home Care, Holiday Inn Express, and members of the Elder-Care Providers’ Coalition. Bravo!

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