Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

December 20, 2014 — 

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Let’s progress with solutions to the problems that plague us

December 20, 2014 — 

December in the United States is a month of giving and understanding. Christians celebrate Christmas, Jewish persons celebrate Hanukkah; Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day (Enlightenment Day); Muslims celebrate Ramadan, Atheists celebrate Human Light — touting human potential and peace; and most everyone is traditionally thankful for what they have or hope to achieve.

As humans we are reminded of our similarities as well as our differences. We try to coexist, and we try to accept how to live in harmony. It’s not always easy. In grammar school in the 1950s, I had white, Asian, and black friends. In high school I also had friends of all races and religious backgrounds, even though there was racial tension in the early 1960s. When I worked for a large store in the Bay Area in the 1970s, one of my male coworkers had shoulder length hair. The store manager said he had to cut his hair so customers would not be distracted while shopping in the store. Our union stood by my coworker and eventually he, and all store employees were able to wear whatever hairstyle they felt was appropriate.

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United Way’s ‘Project Warmth’ a success

December 20, 2014 — 

A big “Thank You!” goes out to all of the many businesses that participated in Project Warmth. Some businesses were drop-off locations for the public to donate much-needed items for those in need, and other businesses collected items themselves to donate.

Many sleeping bags, pairs of socks, coats and other items were delivered to those who needed them the most in Nevada County. They will stay a little warmer this winter due to the generous donations of those businesses and Nevada County citizens. Thank you!

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Know the difference between aging and signs of Alzheimer’s

December 20, 2014 — 

The Alzheimer’s Association sees a rise in calls to its 24-hour helpline — 800-272-3900 — during and after the holiday season, when people return home and visit with friends and family whom they may not see as frequently during the year. Visiting relatives over the holidays may raise questions about the physical and cognitive health of family members.

I remember one year visiting my grandmother, who lived alone in Oklahoma. She looked the same as the year before, but after an hour of conversation I realized something was wrong. Grandma asked the same questions repeatedly and wasn’t able to find routine household items that she misplaced. My grandmother needed help.

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Season greetings and a wishlist from the Hangout

December 20, 2014 — 

During this holiday season, and as the first half of the Hangout’s fifth season draws to a close, it’s time (again) for reflection, acknowledgment and a “wish list.”

The Hangout is a Grass Valley after-school program for high ­school students. It’s open during the school year from 2:30­ to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Giving back

December 20, 2014 — 

Too often the news is filled with what is the wrong and bad in our schools. Problems make headlines, and much that is good is neglected. This a good time of year to take stock of the overwhelming good that our students and schools are doing for our community. Winter and the holidays bring joy, but also great needs, and service to others is happening in ours schools every day.

Bear River High School has a culture of active service; it’s common for students to participate in several groups, so they regularly help seniors, the homeless, the environment, and children.

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Thanks for support, but let’s enjoy Victorian Christmas

December 20, 2014 — 

As owners of the Fur Traders for the past 40 years, we appreciate the support of those who protested against the animal rights groups who impose their extremist views on wearing leather, furs, wool, angora, cashmere, pet ownership, fishing, hunting, rodeos and animal husbandry.

We would also thank the members from 4-H, VegansAgainstPETA.com, Future Farmers of America, fishermen, PETAKillsAnimals.com, AnimalScam.com, hunters, ranchers and those who have fought for our freedom of free choice and their support.

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Elias: ‘Disclose Act’ still a must, has a change in 2015

December 20, 2014 — 

THOMAS ELIAS

California Focus

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Our View: Let’s let the spirit of giving lead the way

December 20, 2014 — 

The Union’s Editorial Board has been constructed to represent the strongly differing opinions and political stances of western Nevada County’s community members.

What is kind of miraculous about this is that our members all manage to get along, to agree and disagree without animosity and to come together during the editorial process.

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Eisenhower had it right

December 19, 2014 — 

On June 17, 1954, President Eisenhower cut off this illegal traffic.

He did it quickly and decisively with only 1,075 United States Border Patrol agents. They made 1,000 arrests per day.

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Smartsville should be proud of its fire department

December 19, 2014 — 

In early August, as the Eiler and Day Fires were blowing up, I was asked to coach an under 10 soccer team that my son was on.

It was a difficult decision because I had already committed to being an assistant coach for my older son’s team. I needed help.

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Hemig: Finding a fact is like searching for the Holy Grail

December 19, 2014 — 

What is a fact anyway? Wikipedia says: “A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments.”

A week doesn’t go by at The Union where I don’t get a call or an email from someone saying a written opinion submission isn’t factual.

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‘Enhanced’ interrogation damages us all

December 18, 2014 — 

The recent Feinstein Report on “enhanced” interrogation techniques (torture) not only demonstrates that it is ineffective, but that it has a corrosive effect on us as a society and that as a civilized people it is something that no human being should do to another human being.

Also, I would say it is inhuman to take another life unless a person’s life is immediately threatened. A corrosive effect on us as a society has been ongoing and will continue to denigrate us as humans as long as we condone taking another life, whether it is done by an individual or by an institution.

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Open letter to Senator Feinstein

December 18, 2014 — 

Dear Sen. Feinstein: I cannot tell you how appalled I am with your decision to release the Democrat’s summary report on the CIA and its use of enhanced interrogation on terrorists who were responsible for killing over 3,000 American civilians.

You were the chairwoman of the Select Oversight Committee on Terrorism. What was your senatorial duty on that day? Do you not bear some of the responsibility since you failed to protect the Americans who died on that day?

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Holiday Cheer Program a success

December 18, 2014 — 

Once again our community has given of themselves to make the Senior Outreach Program a wonderful success. With an abundance of donations and the help of many caring individuals and groups, we were able to package and deliver 137 Christmas gift bags to our communities homebound seniors.

A special thanks to the following groups: Craft Guild of Nevada County, RSVP, Not 2 Square Weavers, Sierra Center for Positive Living, Grass Valley Red Hat Crafters, Bitney Springs Prep College, Job’s Daughters, Interfaith Food Ministry, Patchwork Pals Quilting Group, Nevada City United Methodist Church Prayer Shawl Ministry, Nevada County Juvenile Hall, Nevada County Behavioral Health, Nevada County District Attorney, Ladies Relief Society, Help at Home Senior Care team and Girl Scout Troops 750,930,920,538,192 and 154.

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Supes shouldn’t raise their own salaries

December 18, 2014 — 

Our county supervisors’ pay will rise from $39,447 to $43,335 in January. This is the first leg of the $10,000 raise they awarded themselves over the next three years. They say they want to attract younger people to run for office, but the real reason is probably ordinary greed — they can raise their own salary, so they do. Then they cancel the Dec. 16 board meeting, one of their duties.

The regular staff does the work that actually keeps the county running. They’ve had to forgo raises and cope with furlough days and staff cuts. Good management sees to it that those who do the work are appreciated and well compensated before they reward themselves.

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Goodman: Obama and the beginning of the end of the Cuban embargo

December 18, 2014 — 

The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighboring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may finally be collapsing.

On Wednesday morning, we learned that Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor convicted in Cuba for spying, had been released after five years in prison. Another person, an unnamed Cuban imprisoned in Cuba for 20 years for spying for the U.S., was also released. This has made global headlines. Less well explained in the U.S. media are the three Cubans released from U.S. prisons. They are the three remaining jailed members of the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five were arrested in the late 1990s on espionage charges. But they were not spying on the United States government. They were in Miami, infiltrating Cuban-American paramilitary groups based there that were dedicated to the violent overthrow of the Cuban government.

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York: Obama opens fraud-ridden benefits program to illegal immigrants

December 18, 2014 — 

President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration will make hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, illegal immigrants eligible for federal transfer payments. That will be done primarily through two widely used programs — the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC.

As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government.

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Carrtoon: Dec. 17, 2014

December 17, 2014 — 

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How about discussing real problems, instead of ‘same old’ rhetoric?

December 17, 2014 — 

After reading Editorial Board member Norm Sauer’s recent worries about the supposed dangers of “extra-legal, supra-legal, and absolute” federal government power in our country — and seeing at the end that he is a retired attorney — I marvel again about the variation in the human psyche.

I, too, am a retired attorney, and I have often wondered in my career just how it is that well-educated, undoubtedly well-meaning, and bright minds can reach such oddball positions.

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Planned micro housing a bad idea

December 17, 2014 — 

I was a recent visitor to your town, where I saw friends, toured widely, ate well and enjoyed the sustained restorations of Nevada City. Your citizens’ work and planning have made it a fine community. I have visited Nevada City several times since the 1950s. It has turned itself from a mining town into a beautiful residential and tourist mecca.

Congratulations.

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Hamilton: ‘Mama’ on front lines of sex trafficking asks, ‘What would you do?’

December 16, 2014 — 

As I opened my laptop to write this column, my Web browser popped up with the cute, cuddly and colorful world of Webkinz.com.

For moment, I’d wondered if I somehow had pulled up a long-forgotten Web page visit from my browser history, but soon realized maybe our daughter hadn’t quite outgrown her former fascination with the stuffed animals despite them being swept from sight in her bedroom.

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Crabb: It Takes a Village Idiot

December 16, 2014 — 

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Is our community biased toward allopathic conventional medicine and all in favor of a medical monopoly?

December 16, 2014 — 

I would love to buy Dr. Bigelsen’s office equipment as his family faces financial ruin.

But, who wants to set up an office to be raided for “being different” or something that Western medicine professionals do not understand because of their lack of training in medical college, especially in this community of many wanting the holistic approach to medicine and wellness rather than the allopathic approach of toxic chemical drugs, surgery, and radiation as medicine.

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Burton: LCFF, LCAP and why they matter to you

December 16, 2014 — 

Spend any time reading about our education system here in California and you might be left with the impression that without acronyms they would have no language at all. Recently, as in the past few years, a couple of new acronyms have popped up … LCFF and LCAP.

Now, I am willing to admit that I have attended many site council meetings at Lyman Gilmore Middle School, and have had conversations with our local school administrators, and have heard either or both of these new terms used with some frequency and have never really understood what they mean.

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A medical crisis in western Sierra County

December 16, 2014 — 

Western Sierra Medical Clinic (WSMC) opened its new center in Grass Valley on Dec. 15. While the Grass Valley Clinic (formerly Miners Clinic) celebrates its expansion, another part of WSMC is not celebrating.

On Jan. 1, 2015, the residents of and visitors to western Sierra County will lose the services provided to them during the past 40 years in Downieville.

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Confused on the bridge

December 15, 2014 — 

I just read the article regarding the Dog Bar Bridge and was confused on a few things.

The article said that the bridge could be flooded once the new Parker dam was going in but, as Supervisor Terry Lamphier says, it is a major thoroughfare. So why do anything at all to the current bridge, if it will be under water once the dam is built?

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Bigelsen case unfair

December 15, 2014 — 

I am writing to express my disappointment in the court system and at the DA for pursuing this case against Harvey Bigelsen.

Dr. Biglesen had treated me for knee pain a couple of years ago because I had been experiencing pain after a day of skiing (I am a professional ski coach). After only two months of treatments, my pain has gone away and has not returned since. There are many aliments Western medicine has no way of treating. My degenerated cartilage is one of these conditions.

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Thanks, Steve

December 15, 2014 — 

Kudos to Steve Sauer of Signature Health Insurance Services in Grass Valley! He’s helped me with my health insurance questions, woes and frustrations and made everything work the way it should. He’s a real professional and a great guy. I really recommend him and can’t thank him enough!

Sally Maki

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What a difference a year makes

December 15, 2014 — 

Some locals may remember that last year, The Union ran a story on a Nevada City house that had been a constant source of problems for the neighborhood in which it’s located. For almost a decade, the person owning the house had rented to clients with horrible addiction and untreated mental-health issues and neighbors were forced to live with the resulting drama/chaos always associated with those sorts of places.

As the years went by, calls to the police became so common that eventually the accumulated police file regarding the place looked to be the size of a small phone book. Eventually, the neighbors decided to draw a line in the sand and ask Nevada City’s city manager to close the place down permanently. The city manager began the process.

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