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Sandy Devine: Freedom at others’ expense

Our actions have consequences, sometimes unintended. There are people demanding the freedom to be unvaccinated and unmasked for themselves and their children in public places, including restaurants, stores, theaters and schools. I presume these folks feel they are doing the right thing supporting restaurants, businesses and school-age children by defying health protocols. Is their strategy effective? Whose freedom is in question?

The unintended consequences of the freedom to remain unmasked and unvaccinated are real and painful. Local schools are struggling to remain open due to COVID-19 outbreaks among students and teachers. Some children are home in quarantine — again! Our hospital has been busy with COVID-19 cases, staff is weary and COVID-19 deaths have increased. Breakout cases among the vaccinated are more common .

Personally, I feel I have lost my freedom to live fully and to move about my community safely. Whose freedom is in question? I am not eating out in restaurants or attending movies or concerts, so no need for new clothes I would normally buy at our local stores. I’m avoiding crowds until this spike abates. Money I would normally spend locally remains in my pocket. How ironic!

Sandy Devine

Nevada City

Leah Fowler: Homeowners near mine should be compensated

Nevada County naturally has been referred to as “Gold Country,” and while assuming there is still much more gold to be found in our area, reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine really is a excellent idea.

The question, then, is excellent for whom? Mining typically is noisy, with 24/7 operations, has environmental impacts, and a constant increase in traffic.

The area’s surrounding homeowners would be the bearers of this burden, so why can’t they profit from this project? Every homeowner within a five-mile radius should be offered compensation on a quarterly basis, based on a percentage of the profit for the lifetime of the project.

The dividends should be untaxed and transferable to any new owner should the house sell. Compensation could be the answer to cooperation.

Leah Fowler

Grass Valley

Geraldine Kothe: Thank you, first responders

From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.

Geraldine Kothe

Grass Valley

George Roberts: Sauce for the goose

So, Ms. Rebane remembers to criticize our government and President Biden. Fine.

I think you forgot to criticize your ex-president’s advice to shoot up with disinfectant. I think you forgot to criticize our ex-president when he refused to participate in the peaceful transition of power.

I think you forgot to criticize our ex-president when he pressured the Afghan government to release the leader of the Taliban. I think you forgot to criticize your ex-president when he sent Mr. Pompeo to negotiate with the Taliban when the Aug. 31 deadline was agreed to by your ex-president. I think you forgot to criticize your ex-president when he left a few hundred billion dollars of equipment with the Afghan army, and when he whittled down the U.S. presence to almost nothing.

So, you wanted our current president to strip all the equipment from the Afghan army on our way out? Trump is your ex-president, isn’t he? He did lose the election, didn’t he?

George Roberts

Nevada City

Sid Hubbard: New bills override zoning ordinances

If you want to maintain the quality and character of your neighborhood, you should be aware and greatly concerned with what the California legislators just passed. Senate Bills 9 & 10 have huge impacts on every city and county in the state.

These bills override local zoning ordinances and allow developers to construct multi-family housing on any lot in every single-family neighborhood. This turns developers into our new city/county planners, without citizen input! Do we want more high density housing in fire prone areas? Of course not.

Gov. Newsom has the power to veto these bills, but instead signed them. They do not address housing affordability. The press has been silent about these bills and the impact on our neighborhoods — probably to protect Newsom in the recall election.

When citizens become informed about these bills, they overwhelming disapprove of these actions. It appears the legislators are more concerned about the appearance of not supporting affordable housing and not concerned about the elimination of single family neighborhoods — Republicans and Democrats alike.

Just picture an apartment building next door to you in a single-family neighborhood. The governor should have vetoed these bills. And editor, let the public know what is going on with these bills!

Sid Hubbard

Penn Valley

Sarah Daley: The need to understand our history of racism

I just stood up to a racist at Safeway for calling an African American the N-word. I first asked him politely whether he had called that man that slur, which he proudly said he had. I then told him he was perpetuating racism, which he denied, and said he was being a bad role model for his son, which he also denied.

This encounter is the reason public school teachers need to teach the good, bad and ugly in their American history classes. Without understanding this country’s history of racism, some of our current white citizens will continue to be racist towards African Americans without realizing it or even justifying it, just like this man did.

It is only by understanding our past that we can change our present and our future toward how we treat African Americans and other minorities in our country.

Sarah Daley

Grass Valley

Jennifer Gray: Bottles and cans

I love our little hamlet! Beautiful scenery, fun festivals, etc., but there is something lacking — especially in some of our citizens who believe it is their right to verbally abuse others. We all would like to do our business at the dump quickly and efficiently. If only it were our private waste site, but it isn’t.

Workers are getting called every name in the book, and I’m not talking the “Good Book” here. They are getting things thrown at them by some immature adults frustrated with having to wait. I am not an employee of Waste Management, but I know wonderful people who work there, and hear and see all of what I am saying.

“Why can’t you remove the lids?” Or “Take my stuff!” Well, consider this: If attendants had to take off lids, then we would have Armageddon among those waiting for their turn. Instead of taking out our aggression on a skeletal crew, we should be more understanding. They are short-handed and doing the best they can.

Show a little grace toward your fellow citizen. We are all just trying to get rid of our trash and make a little cash on our bottles and cans.

Jennifer Gray

Grass Valley

Ben Prescott: Stop the madness

Like so many in my community, I owe my life to Jesus Christ. It’s hard for me watching good people refusing vaccines because sickness and fatality are somehow “God’s will.” Shall we refuse to create defensible space around our homes, because forest fires are also “acts of God?”

You are senselessly, needlessly killing my neighbors out of convictions in your hearts. I implore you, worship the God who created you. Let this madness go.

Ben Prescott

Nevada City

Scottie Hart: A closed Mill Street will be tough on seniors

Darryl Berkheimer’s Aug. 28 column, “Mill St. trims convenience,” addresses the new downtown Grass Valley plaza realistically, citing relevant statistics and trends, not just sharing another opinion.

Notably, he refers to the “three main factors in marketing”: price, convenience and service. The new downtown significantly impacts convenience for me.

I am one of the women Berky mentions: I am an enthusiastic recreational shopper. There are several stores on Mill Street where I actively enjoy shopping and quite a few more I consider a fun browse. Add lunch with a friend, and woo-hoo! In the past 10 years or so, it has also become a good place to take visitors who enjoy shopping as much as I do.

I love our downtown. I want it to thrive. Yes, I like the look of a pedestrian area. Yes, I like the sense of a gathering space. Yes, a chance to sit outside and people watch while enjoying a Lazy Dog ice cream is delightful.

Yet my husband is no longer able to walk comfortably from a distant parking space to the “husband chair” in a store I want to visit. I, myself, am a senior with decreasing mobility. A long hike (uphill both ways!) from parking is not attractive. I am increasingly likely, for instance, to look for a new mixmaster on-line rather than trek to Tess’ Kitchen Store. I will settle for grocery-store balsamic at Raley’s rather than make an expedition to The Olive Groove. I will miss my occasional chats with Dave at William’s Stationery. A life without ArtWorks feels sadly diminished.

After a decades-long history with Mill Street, downtown is no longer my first shopping choice. I grieve the loss in my life of many special places there, functionally unavailable to me because the most accessible parking no longer exists.

Is anyone listening? Is anyone considering Berky’s suggestions for improving convenience in downtown Grass Valley? What other creative possibilities can we imagine together? Can I be hopeful?

Meanwhile, with genuine regret, my visits to Mill Street have slowed significantly.

Scottie Hart

Grass Valley


David Mott: Grateful to firefighters

I, too, have to give a big shoutout for the firefighters. I live on the edge of the Bennett Street meadow. When the Bennett Fire started, the firefighters were on it immediately and promptly had it under control. It was quite amazing. Then there are the firefighters who are dealing with the exhausting job of the larger fires. Many, many thanks are due these people.

David Mott

Grass Valley