Opinion

Richard Van Steenkiste: GOP hypocrites

August 4, 2015 — 

What an incredible bunch of hypocrites the Republicans are! They are rightly shocked by statements by Donald Trump — one of their own — about John McCain not being a war hero.

But where was their outrage in 2002 when Saxby Chandliss of Georgia denigrated triple amputee Vietnam war hero Max Cleland for his service, linking him in an aid to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Or when in 2004 hundreds of delegates to the Republican convention made fun of John Kerry’s medals and service in Vietnam by wearing little bandages with purple heart stickers on them, or when they cheered Swiftboat commercials that lied about and belittled Kerry’s service in Vietnam.

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Wayne Hild: Look at the real issues, Mr. LaMalfa

August 4, 2015 — 

Congressman LaMalfa asked me what I think about “sanctuary cities.” There are many more important issues that I would encourage you to write him regarding. Here’s how I replied ...

I think it’s a pretty small issue but the Republicans are hoping to generate some political outrage, while continuing to applaud the right of yet another conservative gun nut to carry a pistol into a movie theater. You should be working with the Democrats to find a “compromise” (remember that word) on a sensible immigration overhaul.

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Cynthia Schuetz: Loved every minute of 'The Producers'

August 4, 2015 — 

My husband and I saw “The Producers” Sunday and loved every minute of this funny, irreverent musical.

There was not a weak link in the production. The actors, the set design, the orchestra — all first rate. We have grown used to Sierra Stages mounting Broadway-quality shows. Whether they chose to do drama, comedy or a musical we know we will leave feeling thoroughly entertained. We are so fortunate to have such talent in our community. A particular shout-out to Robert Rossman, who can do it all, it seems, playing such diverse characters as Willy Loman and Max Bialystock. He’s amazing!

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Chuck Shea: Forest fuel loads must be reduced

August 4, 2015 — 

My compliments on Norm Sauer’s editorial on July 27. It was dead-on! It was factual, laid out well and his points are not disputable.

Mr. Sauer is well versed and is totally knowledgeable about what the issues are! However, knowing the problem and having a proposal to fix it are two different things.

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R.L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 4, 2015 — 

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Allan Haley: A response to the county and its counsel

August 4, 2015 — 

At a recent meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the first item was the addition of another $100,000 to the county’s litigation budget, making the total spent for an outside law firm on just one case equal to $275,000.

Some supervisors, to put it mildly, did not take kindly to criticism of their spending this money in the public comment period. Characterizing some of the comments as “egregious fiction” and “slander,” supervisors demonstrated their strong belief in the county’s position in this protracted land use litigation, pending in Nevada County Superior Court under Erickson vs. County of Nevada (No. 13-079389).

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Rob Chrisman: The shadows of socialism

August 3, 2015 — 

Normally, I would let pass Bill Trzeciak’s attempt to justify the current mania for socialist and progressive programs, but the election of 2016 looms and demands a response.

Here are his principal points when you boil it down:

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Michele Spencer: Addressing criminal justice

August 3, 2015 — 

President Obama recently commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent federal drug offenders and more are to come.

He is not alone in recognizing that kids, particularly those from deprived backgrounds, make wrong choices and need to be supported, redirected or rehabilitated rather than having their lives ruined by being incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses.

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George Boardman: Funding of Amgen race one example of how we miss the big picture

August 3, 2015 — 

The recent contretemps over who should bear the burden of promoting the Amgen Tour of California cycling race through Nevada City illustrates what happens when there is no central leadership or vision for promoting our economy.

By all accounts, the race has been a positive for Nevada City in particular and western Nevada County in general. A lot of visitors sleep here, eat here, and spend money that wouldn’t come our way otherwise.

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Jennifer Nickel: Poachers encroaching on protected land

August 1, 2015 — 

Thanks to early conservation efforts, vast areas of prehistoric redwoods have been protected from logging where they survive in our state despite generations of an industrial economy.

These redwood forests are now under threat and help is needed if we want these ancient trees to continue into the future.

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Donald Christensen: See 'The Producers' before it sells out

August 1, 2015 — 

My wife and I saw Sierra Stages production of “The Producers” last night. The show was very well done. Music, actors, set were very well done. The show as a whole is fantastic.

We recommend seeing the show. Please hurry and get your tickets, change your plans as I believe the show will sell very well through its run. If you are looking for an evening of pure fun, Sierra Stages mounting of Mel Brooks “The Producers” is it!

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David Chapman: Hats off to President Obama

August 1, 2015 — 

Congratulations to President Obama and his team on what appears to be the successful negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program.

I just visited a half-dozen news sites and see that the usual suspects are still hoping to see him fail — and judging this accomplishment to be a failure even before the details have been published. I am a senior citizen who has voted for candidates on both sides of the aisle, but never been prouder of anyone that I supported.

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Paul Berger: Facts just a mouse click away

August 1, 2015 — 

“Wake up Californians,” Dick Panzica’s letter to The Union ominously declares. Any time I read the phrase “wake up” I know what’s about to follow: a self-indulgent, uneducated rant.

Mr. Panzica is actually upset that California has a budget surplus, fearing it will go to teachers and the poor (heaven help us). Mr. Panzica’s letter represents a well-worn tactic of self-styled conservatives: take news that portrays Democrats in a flattering light and try to turn it against them. They did it to John Kerry, when the Swift-boaters took his undeniably heroic war record into tried to turn it into a tale of cowardice.

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Laurent Clark: Political cartoon misses the mark

August 1, 2015 — 

The Union’s July 28 political cartoon of a gold panner is unfortunate. The Confederate flag represents institutionalized oppression by an illegal government whose proponents brutalized a race of people.

The Gold Rush was a mass migration of people from all over the world. There was no institutionalized government to prevent abuse of the weaker by the stronger. Whites brutalized Indians. Indians brutalized whites, Hispanics and other Indians. Germans brutalized Irish who brutalized Chinese. Mormons brutalized non-Mormons and other Mormons. Mexicans brutalized “Texicans” who returned the favor when they became stronger.

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Richard and Wendy Chase: The kindness of strangers

August 1, 2015 — 

A few weeks ago my husband got a flat tire at the intersection of McCourtney and Lime Kiln roads. Many people stopped and offered to help, but my husband waved them on, saying he was OK.

One insistent couple stopped anyway. They got the car up on the jack and the flat tire off the vehicle. They lent him their cell phone to call me to come meet him with our other vehicle.

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Mike Mooers: Support efforts to bring in a wider range of visitors to Nevada County

August 1, 2015 — 

Back when the Tour of California rolled through, a video was produced, “Ride Fast, Live Slow,” by the Nevada City Chamber. It lives on YouTube.

The video shows a place where young and old, active and retired coexist. It’s a place where people who live for some sweat-generating, fast-paced outdoor mojo share a place with people appreciating relaxed, easygoing living in a place steeped in history. It’s place where someone can enjoy and thrive in a life that involves all of the above.

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Elaine Meckler: It's not a black-and-white issue

August 1, 2015 — 

I agree with the article titled “Local demonstrators support Black Lives Matter movement” that was written by Ivan Natividad and posted in The Union on July 10, that white supremacists have a very skewed opinion of anyone and everyone who is not of the “pure” Aryan race.

And, I agree with the photo that says that “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” because they do.

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Terri Andersen: Strawser sole owner of Amgen event, not City of Nevada City

August 1, 2015 — 

This is in response to the “Our View” published in The Union on July 25 titled “Time to put our money where our mouths are.”

The theme of the “Our View” was that Nevada City Councilman Duane Strawser was being “stiffed” by Nevada City’s refusal to pay for the unexpected losses that he incurred at the recent Amgen bicycle event.

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R. L. Crabb: It takes a village idiot

August 1, 2015 — 

It takes a village idiot

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Ron Lowe: Walker not presidential material

July 31, 2015 — 

Republican presidential hopeful, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, is an anti-abortion extremist. With Madison, I’ve always considered Wisconsin a liberal state; where did he get the votes to become governor?

Last week, Gov. Walker signed a bill that outlaws non-emergency abortions at or beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. Walker’s record also includes defunding Planned Parenthood, requiring doctors to have abortion privileges at nearby hospitals (now blocked by a federal court order), and requiring women to have and see ultrasounds. Walker sounds dictatorial, not the type of person to be president of the United States.

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Isaac Orr: Fracking and water

July 31, 2015 — 

The guest column by Scott Costa, “Fracking and the California drought,” published on July 20, was an interesting read, but the article failed to put the amount of water used in the hydraulic fracturing industry into perspective. And, as a result, he overstated the impact of fracking on California’s water resources.

Seventy million gallons of water seems like a lot until you realize it amounts to only 0.0069 percent of all the water used in California, a tiny fraction of the state’s overall water use.

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Jim Firth: The new water reality

July 31, 2015 — 

Climate Change is real. This opinion piece is not about whom or what caused it, but rather how we deal with it. I did write an opinion piece last April entitled, “When the Well Runs Dry” that summarized conditions that may lead up to mandatory water rationing. Fortunately, we’re not there — yet.

The following statement was in the April piece: “Western Nevada County doesn’t possess the aquifer storage ability that Truckee and much of the rest of rural California enjoy. The water in western Nevada County comes from rainfall and melting snowpack. We haven’t seen much of either in the last six months or three years.” California’s biggest source of fresh water is in peril. A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change shows the Sierra snowpack shrinking substantially in the years to come.

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Jim Hemig: Let's dance

July 31, 2015 — 

Want to watch your publisher cut a rug? Well, at least make an attempt to do so?

You have an opportunity to see a preview of my dancing skills at our local Jazzercise studio next Saturday, Aug. 8.

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Jack Sanchez: Please help struggling salmon in the Auburn Ravine

July 30, 2015 — 

Now that we know the NID’s Hemphill Dam violates two sections of the California Department Fish and Wildlife Code, send letters to Nevada Irrigation District (NID) asking GM Remleh Scherzinger and Board Chairman Jim Bachman to provide permanent fish passage over Hemphill Dam two miles upstream from Lincoln on Auburn Ravine.

NID has become a pariah water contractor concerned with its bottom line at the expense of the fishes it negatively impacts, sending water on a public waterway to its paying customers. NID has been singing a happy song for three years without action. Your voice will help salmon, so please write a letter.

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Nate Wallin: Confederate flag very different from State of Jefferson flag

July 30, 2015 — 

The Confederate flag stands for many different things to many different people. I view the flag in many different ways myself.

But to believe that the State of Jefferson flag is just as much as the Confederate flag, you are misguided. For a person that is, I believe, educated you are highly misinformed. For an old saying “walk a mile in my shoes,” please become more aware of what the State of Jefferson is trying to do and stands for.

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Alan Waters: First rate talent in The Producers

July 30, 2015 — 

There’s a local sweet treat and were not talking about the candy store. Last night we had the pleasure of enjoying our anniversary, locally. Our evening began at Friar Tucks for a delicious meal accompanied by beautiful music.

Next a play at the Nevada Theatre. “The Producers,” by Mel Brooks — you know has to be funny, right? It did not disappoint. The play is full of fun times, eye candy, great singing, dancing, acting and laughter. The costumes, sets and actors are first rate talent. We especially enjoyed the two main characters, Max and Leo.

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George Harper: Not working for the benefit of Nevada City

July 30, 2015 — 

To Nevada City Councilmembers Jennifer Ray and Terri Anderson: Shame, shame on you.

After years of working on and chairing the Nevada City Classic race and getting the Amgen Tour here in Nevada City, you turned Duane Strawser down after his fronting $15,000 for the race.

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Kathryn Jean Lopez: Mourning and second chances

July 30, 2015 — 

“This pain will come as a thief in the night. It will take away your peace if you let it; it will drag you into the harsh darkness of the misery of loss,” Maria Grizetti writes about the pain of losing a child.

And what if no one is mourning with you? What if you’re told there is nothing to mourn?

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Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Cincinnati and the murder of Samuel Dubose

July 30, 2015 — 

A stunning indictment has been handed down in Cincinnati, focusing attention again on police killings of people of color. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced that University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing has been charged with murder, for the July 19 shooting death of Samuel DuBose, a 43-year-old African-American man. Tensing pulled over DuBose because he was driving a car without a front license plate. As Deter said in his news conference: “He was dealing with someone without a front license plate. This is, in the vernacular, a very chicken-crap stop.” Tensing wanted to see DuBose’s driver’s license. When DuBose said he didn’t have it, Tensing made a motion to open DuBose’s car door. Within seconds of this interaction, Tensing’s right hand swung into the video frame with a pistol. He fired a single shot into DuBose’s head, which sent the car, with DuBose dead behind the wheel, rolling down the street, where it crashed to a halt. Before Tensing’s body-camera video was released, the officer claimed that his arm had been caught in the car, and he was dragged down the street. Another officer, Phillip Kidd, reported he saw the same thing. The video clearly debunked their version. Kidd should be arrested, too. Prosecutor Deters released Officer Tensing’s body-camera video, stating, “This is without question a murder.”

DuBose was killed about one week after another deadly traffic stop. In that case, in Waller County, Texas, 28-year-old Sandra Bland, also African-American, was pulled over by Brian Encinia, a white Texas State Trooper. Encinia claimed she had not signaled a lane change. The trooper’s dashboard camera recorded the stop. He demanded that Bland put out her cigarette, then told her to get out of the car, saying: “I’m giving you a lawful order. I am going to drag you out of there.” Bland can be heard saying: “You opened my car door. So you’re threatening to drag me out of my own car?” Encinia then shouted, “Get out of the car!” When Bland replied: “And then you’re going to assault me? Wow,” Encinia, brandishing a Taser, shouted: “I will light you up! Get out! Now!”

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D.G. Engebretsen: Comparing utility meters

July 29, 2015 — 

Here’s a little something to be aware of regarding the utility (electric, gas, water, solar) meters on your home or property: you may not be getting what you think you are paying for.

If you already called your utility company and have “opted-out” of the “smart meter” program, you could possibly still be receiving smart meter radiation. That’s because some utility companies, including PG&E, are sometimes installing “Trojan Horse” utility meters on the homes of folks who have requested traditional safer analog meters. Then, the utility company commits further fraud and charges the unsuspecting customer its monthly extortionary opt-out fee.

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