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Lisa Swarthout took quite a public beating this week and last. Seven published letters to the editor, one editorial cartoon and countless social media comments referenced Lisa’s remarks regarding the investigation of Terry Lamphier’s alleged county computer misuse prior to the election. People wrote comments like “Hasn’t she ever heard of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights?” and “He is
Published: November 21, 2014
Grass Valley Police Department Sunday 6:17 p.m. — A caller from the hospital reported an assault victim. 8:26 p.m. — A caller from the 100 block of Park Avenue reported a stolen Ford F150 truck. The California Highway Patrol had just responded to a vehicle accident off Pendola Road in Yuba County. The driver crashed into a tree but was
Published: November 11, 2014
After years of planning, preparation and construction, the Dorsey Drive Interchange opened to through traffic Monday morning. The traffic signals were on, as signified by a blinking red light, though not yet fully functional until mid-morning. “The interchange is open and Caltrans is completing the timing and video detection adjustments,” said Trisha Tillotson, an engineer with Grass Valley’s Department of
Published: November 11, 2014
Tuesday’s meeting of the Grass Valley City Council was one of the shortest of 2014, concluding in less than 15 minutes. Tim Kiser, director of public works, commented that this was the shortest council meeting he’s been to since he came on board with the city in 2005. Aside from a proclamation honoring local Hospice of the Foothills, nearly every
Published: October 29, 2014
The city of Grass Valley staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning to commemorate the completion of the Dorsey Drive Interchange Project. City officials say this new point of access to Highway 20/49 will ease congestion throughout the eastern side of town. The city expects to be finished some time early next month, but city engineer Trish Tillotson said crews still
Published: October 24, 2014
The newer, tighter, better Grass Valley roundabout at East Main and Idaho-Maryland is now about six years old. From the beginning and continuing to this day it backs up traffic at rush hour. About 3:30 p.m., after Nevada Union High School lets out, traffic will often back up all the way to the “Big A” Drive-in. To drive from the
Published: October 18, 2014
Firefighters quickly put out a small wildfire Tuesday night near the Dorsey Drive Interchange Project. The incident was first reported just after 6:30 p.m., and it took firefighters just a few minutes to get the blaze knocked down and under control. Roughly a quarter acre burned, and units remained on scene for a few hours to get the fire completely
Published: October 16, 2014
City and county union employees have endorsed Terry Lamphier for his 2014 Grass Valley City Council candidacy. Lamphier is a strong union supporter due to their commitment to providing highly professional services while enabling workers to earn solid middle class wages that strengthen our local economy, he said in a press release. IUOE Stationary Engineers Local 39, comprising the bulk
Published: October 16, 2014
As I complete my term as your Nevada County Supervisor, I’m asking for your vote to bring my extensive experience to the Grass Valley City Council. I offer this “résumé” for your consideration as to why I will be a good representative for you. First, my core values. I strongly believe in Lincoln’s idea of government “of the people, by
Published: October 4, 2014
​The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Coalition for a Drug-Free Nevada County Outreach Team, is collaborating on a series of interactive school presentations about underage drinking consequences, reasons to choose a drug and alcohol free lifestyle and highlighting the positive choices youth are making today, according to the Friday memo issued by Nevada County CEO Rick Haffey.
Published: October 4, 2014
Highway 20/49 (between the Idaho-Maryland and Brunswick Road interchanges) will be subject to alternating lane and ramp closures on Thursday and Friday. The lane and ramp closures will take place each evening between the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. There will be one lane open in each direction at all times. Dorsey Drive (between East Main Street and
Published: October 1, 2014
The city of Grass Valley has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the long-awaited Dorsey Drive Interchange at 10 a.m., Oct. 23, and motorists should be able to drive on it by early November. “We expect the actual opening of the intersection to be sometime after the ribbon-cutting,” said Trisha Tillotson, Grass Valley’s senior civil engineer and deputy director of public
Published: September 27, 2014
The Dollar General Barn going up in the Glenbrook Basin across the street from Save Mart is monstrous. I live in the “Basin.” I’ve never thought, “What we need here to spruce up this place is a giant corrugated steel barn.” Everyone I’ve talked to about this hideous building thinks it’s a blight on our community. For the past couple
Published: September 24, 2014
The Grass Valley City Council approved updates to the housing element of the city’s general plan Tuesday night, in accordance with state law. California requires cities to update their housing element every five years to assess needs, evaluate constraints on housing construction, and develop housing policies to meet identified needs. The last time the city adopted a new housing element
Published: September 24, 2014
Bennett Street, between Ironhorse Place and the eastern city limit, will be subject to traffic control for underground utility and street work on Sept. 19-26. The Traffic Control System should allow public traffic to pass without delay the majority of the time that the work is in progress. Any delays should be minimal to the traveling public, as every effort
Published: September 19, 2014
Highway 20/49 (between the Idaho-Maryland and Brunswick Road interchanges) will be subject to alternating lane and ramp closures for asphalt concrete removal and paving through Friday. The lane and ramp closures will take place each evening between the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. There will be one lane open in each direction at all times. Dorsey Drive, between
Published: September 15, 2014
It is political platform season. To me, this is worse than the cold and flu season. As soon as people hear that you are running for city council, the first question they ask is ... “What is your platform?” I truly dislike the question and the feeling it gives me. It sounds cold. I think our community is better than
Published: September 6, 2014
Highways 20/49 through Grass Valley will be subject to overnight closures next week, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sept. 10-11, as work nears completion on the Dorsey Drive Interchange project. Traffic will be detoured from Brunswick Road to Idaho Maryland Road along Nevada City Highway, although Sutton Way will also be open. This closure will allow construction crews to
Published: September 5, 2014
In Grass Valley, Dorsey Drive, between Spree Avenue and Pampas Drive, will be subject to traffic control for paving Aug. 26-29. The Traffic Control System will utilize one-way traffic control between the hours of 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Every effort will be made to accommodate motorists in a timely manner; however delays of up to 10 minutes
Published: August 24, 2014
The Dorsey Drive Interchange Project is on time and on budget, according to Trisha Tillotson with Grass Valley’s public works department. If all goes according to plan, it will be complete within the next three months. There’s still plenty of work to do, however. “Upcoming work will include paving Dorsey Drive, finishing work on the highway, then paving the highway,”
Published: August 7, 2014
Stepping into Peter Ingram’s den is a bit like stepping back into a newspaper museum. A once state-of-the-art, but now antique typewriter sits ready at the roll-top desk. Across the room, decades-old black-and-white photographs take you inside The Union newspaper as it was years ago at 151 Mill Street in downtown Grass Valley. Though he passed away in 1997, the
Published: June 21, 2014
“The world needs more engineers,” said Tim Kiser, Grass Valley’s city engineer and director of public works. “It’s a field where you’re constantly fixing things and solving problems.” And there’s never any shortage of problems in the world. “We’re getting an older population of engineers, and we don’t have enough younger engineers moving through the system to make sure that
Published: June 9, 2014
Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller appeared to be on the way to unseating incumbent Nevada County District 3 Supervisor Terry Lamphier in Tuesday’s primary elections results. With 71 of 71 precincts reporting as of midnight Tuesday, Miller had 53.58 percent of the vote to Lamphier’s 46.42 percent. The rest of the vote-by-mail ballots will be tabulated on Thursday. It’s not
Published: June 4, 2014
The Union’s cartoonist R.L. Crabb has lived in Nevada County his whole life and says he has seen his share of beyond-nasty political campaigns during that time. But even Crabb, 63, a member of The Union’s editorial board, said he was shocked by Tuesday’s full-page ad in The Union blasting District 3 Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier, who is running
Published: May 29, 2014
Terry Lamphier brings Channel 13 to Grass Valley in February to produce community paranoia about a “shopping mall” being built at the Dorsey Drive Interchange. This is nothing more than an opportunistic spin for his campaign. It is ludicrous to think that Mayor Dan Miller would be on the ground floor of planning any such project that would jeopardize his
Published: May 23, 2014
Construction crews are planning nightly closures on Highway 20/49 this week due to work involving the Dorsey Drive interchange; traffic will be detoured between the Idaho Maryland Road and Brunswick Road exits from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. This will only affect southbound traffic today. Both directions of traffic will be detoured on Wednesday and Thursday, however. Project manager Trish
Published: May 20, 2014
Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier has received endorsements for his re-election as District 3 Supervisor from the Laborers Local 185 Northern CA District Council of Laborers, the Northern California Carpenter’s Regional Council, and the California United Homecare Workers Union Local 4034. Lamphier believes strongly in the importance of work that provides a living wage. “We have been supporting local candidates
Published: May 15, 2014
Beginning Sunday, May 18 to Thursday, May 22, State Route 20/49 (between the Idaho-Maryland and Brunswick road interchanges) will be closed nightly to through traffic for Stage 2 bridge demolition and falsework construction on the Dorsey Drive Interchange Project. Traffic will be detoured between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. (weather permitting).
Published: May 15, 2014
I have known Terry Lamphier for 10 years, and though he is not my supervisor — and knowing Mr. Dan Miller — I feel that I should discuss my views regarding the differences between these two candidates, and why I feel Terry Lamphier is an asset to our community and should receive the community’s support. In the time that Mr.
Published: May 7, 2014
Terry Lamphier applauds the beginning of the construction of the “Dorsey Lane” interchange in his campaign handouts (he should know that it is “Dorsey Drive”). He now follows that statement with questioning the integrity of the many community leaders that worked tirelessly to make this 40-plus year project finally happen. This seems very contradictory and insulting to me. As a
Published: April 28, 2014
Two Nevada County District 3 supervisor candidates accused each other of mishandling events around the Dorsey Drive interchange project and traded other barbs and allegations in separate interviews with The Union. Incumbent Terry Lamphier, seeking re-election to a second term in the June 3 election, said his challenger, Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller, used public monies that were supposed to
Published: April 24, 2014
Tuesday night, the Grass Valley City Council discussed the possibility of proposing an ordinance restricting the distribution of single-use plastic bags. “The bottom line is we need to do something,” said Mayor Dan Miller. With Nevada City considering an ordinance and the statewide bag ban known as Senate Bill 270 gaining traction in Sacramento, local officials are feeling the pressure
Published: April 22, 2014
As a new nurse, I am incredibly happy to see the interchange at Dorsey Drive taking place. Access to the hospital will be faster, safer and in the end will help save lives. My husband, a firefighter, also agrees that the ability to access the Dorsey area will allow fire trucks to maneuver in a more efficient manner, again in
Published: April 19, 2014
The first major public dustup in the already contentious District 3 Nevada County Supervisors race erupted Friday over an unlikely topic – NCTV, Nevada County’s public access television station. Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier in the June 3 election, released a statement criticizing Lamphier for declining an interview invitation
Published: April 19, 2014
Tuesday night, the Grass Valley City Council will consider the Nevada County Transportation Commission’s (NCTC) draft Overall Work Program (OWP) for fiscal year 2014/15. This document is prepared annually to summarize expected revenues and expenditures, as well as outline new and continuing projects. Locally, those include the ongoing Dorsey Drive Interchange project and the SR 49 Corridor System Management Plan,
Published: April 7, 2014
The situation with the Dorsey Drive interchange and proposed development is a problem of access and transparency. It is understood that the property owner has been paying property taxes to the city with the right to use that ownership for economic gain, and that certain land uses require improved access for safety and traffic concerns. The transparency problem arises when
Published: March 28, 2014
I share the community’s consternation at the now disclosed plans to build a new shopping center at the not-yet-completed Dorsey interchange. I find myself in the large group of locals who feel we’ve been “had!” I think the best would be that said shopping center was never built at all. That said, there is one way I think that Mr.
Published: March 27, 2014
The Sierra Joint Community College District has paid $590,419 to the city of Grass Valley to mitigate traffic impacts associated with expanding the district’s Nevada County campus. “We’ve added square footage and we’ve built new buildings,” said Sierra College spokesman Chris Yatooma. “With more buildings, we’ll be bringing in more students each year. “Those funds are payments to the city
Published: March 19, 2014
The man proposing to build a shopping center near the Dorsey Interchange Project says he’s still moving forward despite predominantly negative comments received from members of the public at last month’s meeting of Grass Valley’s Development Review Committee. All but one of the individuals who addressed the committee during public comment expressed concerns or opposition regarding the 26-plus acre development.
Published: March 17, 2014
You can tell a lot about a community by looking at its retail lineup. If the roster includes Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Restoration Hardware, you can safely assume it’s a high-income area. On the other hand, if the area features a Grocery Outlet, Kmart and — coming soon — Dollar General, then it could be Grass Valley, which is apparently
Published: March 17, 2014
Much ado lately in local press and other spheres concerning the future of Grass Valley. Citizens, elected officials, print journalists, bloggers and other characters have bandied about a variety of notions. At issue: What is, what has, and what will really revitalize Grass Valley? It has been suggested the new Dorsey interchange is the true “silver bullet.” It has been
Published: March 11, 2014
Nevada County Economic Resource Council board members — who unanimously approved the organization’s business plan presented by its new director Thursday — certainly won’t be alone in welcoming a strategy for local economic development with open arms. Newly hired ERC Director Jon Gregory outlined the organization’s goal in the document as follows: “Through a combination of initiatives and activities designed
Published: March 7, 2014
The plan for a proposed 215,000-square-foot shopping center on the southeast corner of Dorsey Drive in Grass Valley quickly became a hot-button issue in recent weeks after the plan was presented to the city’s Development Review Committee in late February. City leaders, residents and business owners have since taken sides on the issue, some against the project and others promoting
Published: March 7, 2014
Motorists on Dorsey Drive will experience added delays of up to 10 minutes next week. Contractors will be “potholing” or digging to locate existing underground utility lines — and that will require single lane closures with flaggers on scene for traffic control. This part of the Dorsey Drive Interchange project will run from Monday, March 10 to Friday, March 14.
Published: March 7, 2014
Walking up the trail last summer from Salvation Army to the library, my friend and I were stopped by a woman, well dressed and carrying a back pack. She asked: “Can I sit down and have some lunch?” My friend and I, having lived here since 1990, paused … momentarily … then the lady said: “I am a tourist from
Published: March 3, 2014
News of a proposed shopping center to be constructed at the Dorsey Drive Interchange brought forth plenty of passion this week, as the community suddenly found itself revisiting an old issue once summed up on bumper stickers spotted all about western Nevada County: “Don’t Roseville Grass Valley.” Of course, the Grass Valley Development Review Committee staff report opened the door
Published: March 1, 2014
In the last week, Grass Valley has been rocked by a sudden controversy over a conceptual design for a 26-acre shopping center near the Dorsey Drive Interchange, submitted to the city of Grass Valley on Jan. 30. Opponents have claimed that the development project was the city’s ulterior motive for building the interchange, which broke ground in April of 2013
Published: March 1, 2014
Throughout the 30 years I have lived in Grass Valley, people have been clamoring for a 49/20 interchange at Dorsey Drive to alleviate the traffic debacle at Brunswick Road and give faster access to “Pill Hill,” the hospital and now Sierra College Drive. If a shopping center goes in at the interchange, all the new traffic that it generates will
Published: March 1, 2014
Roughly 35 people turned out for Tuesday morning’s meeting of Grass Valley’s Development Review Committee after a controversy developed over plans to build a 215,250-square-foot shopping center near the Dorsey Drive Interchange construction project. The interchange was originally pitched as a way of improving vehicular access to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Sierra College from the freeway. Some have suggested
Published: February 25, 2014
The Grass Valley City Council has approved $120,520 to fund an investigation of how rainwater and groundwater affect the city’s sewer lines. The expense was approved as an amendment to an existing $707,000 contract with Stantec Consulting Services to develop master plans for the city’s water and waste water systems. One of the provisions of that grant money requires that
Published: February 26, 2014
You wonder why people don’t trust government. Reinette Senum is absolutely correct; this was the hidden agenda behind the Dorsey Drive interchange all along. Just what we need — more shopping centers. I moved here 35 years ago to get away from urban sprawl. You want all this stuff, then move back to the city where you all came from.
Published: February 25, 2014
The interchange at Dorsey Drive was paid for with taxpayer funds to enrich the lives of the many. It wasn’t intended to enrich nor engorge the pockets of the few. The notion of another mall in that vicinity is nonsense. It would most likely constrict access to the hospital area. First those proposing the reopening of the Idaho Maryland Mine
Published: February 24, 2014
The Grass Valley City Council will meet tonight at 7 p.m. The agenda includes an $827,520 contract with Stantec Consulting Services to develop water and wastewater master plans for the city. This will include projecting demand, identifying and evaluating deficiencies within the city’s systems, analyzing system improvements and recommending updates to the capital improvement program. A portion of the contract
Published: February 24, 2014
A proposed shopping center on the agenda of Grass Valley’s Development Review Committee Tuesday morning is already drawing outraged opposition — even though the conceptual development review is the very first step in a lengthy approval process. After the agenda item was posted on Yuba Net Friday morning, former Nevada City council member Reinette Senum posted a withering rebuke to
Published: February 24, 2014
It’s not surprising that Patti Ingram chose to write favorably about Dorsey Drive, and, in the process, attack Terry Lamphier (who successfully unseated her husband, John Spencer, for district supervisor). Furthermore, it’s quite interesting that she and perhaps all the others she felt Lamphier “accused” of misappropriating funds have failed to understand what’s really important to most of us who
Published: February 7, 2014
Having been born and raised in Nevada City and Grass Valley, and my family having lived here for over a century, I take exception to Terry Lamphier’s personal puff piece regarding economic development in last Saturday’s edition of The Union. If Mr. Lamphier had been involved with the Dorsey Drive project at any time prior to the groundbreaking, he would
Published: January 31, 2014
I agree with George Boardman (“Supervisors lack the ‘vision thing’” published in The Union, Jan. 20) that the number one issue for our area is economic development. I’ve used every opportunity to responsibly enhance our economy, especially our “shop local” strategy supporting “mom and pop” businesses. A strong economy also gives our youth an alternative to drug-hazed couch surfing and
Published: January 27, 2014
When Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill observed that “All politics is local,” he could have been describing the Nevada County board of supervisors. Whether it’s a utility pole on Combie Road, fire protection in North San Juan or the Dorsey Drive interchange, the supervisors and the people who would like to have their jobs have a laser focus on district-specific issues.
Published: January 20, 2014
With the New Year upon us, here’s a look back at how the Western Nevada County commercial real estate market fared in 2013. The following results are derived from our database, which tracks almost 7 million square feet of commercial property in the Grass Valley/Nevada City region. The following figures are rounded and approximate. Vacancy rates offer a bird’s eye
Published: January 20, 2014
There’s no doubt about it, marijuana continues to be among the top newsmakers in Nevada County. Whether grabbing headlines through the ballot initiative sought by Americans for Safe Access to rewrite the county’s marijuana cultivation nuisance ordinance, a discussion on the economic impact cannabis brings each harvest or the hundreds of pounds of pot confiscated in the dozens of drug
Published: December 30, 2013
As western Nevada County says farewell to 2013, many of the story lines that blossomed during the previous year will continue to develop into 2014 and beyond. As the United States persists in a widespread economic recovery that has accelerated in pace in the coastal areas of California, rural areas such as Nevada County continue to grapple with a difficult
Published: December 31, 2013

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