Lorraine’s Lowdown: Chasing the checkered flag | TheUnion.com
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Lorraine’s Lowdown: Chasing the checkered flag

By Lorraine Jewett | Special to The Union

GVPD Captain Steve Johnson was shopping when he noticed a car rolling backwards — toward parked cars — in the SPD parking lot at the McKnight Crossing Shopping Center. He couldn’t stop the out-of-control vehicle, but he leaped into action after it hit an empty parked car. Inside the runaway car, Steve discovered Orville, a yellow lab/golden retriever mix, who was unhurt. It seems Orville’s owner left the motor running in neutral with the parking brake on. Orville was scampering around inside the car when he disengaged the parking brake and sent the car rolling. “Although Orville made several moving violations while ‘driving’ the car,” says Steve, “I decided not to issue Orville a citation since it was his first offense…”

Ken and Laura Bigham headed to the Midwest to visit family, including nephew Alexander Rossi, one of the stars of IndyCar racing. “We had a lucky moment at the Andretti hospitality tent at the Indianapolis Speedway,” says Laura. “As we settled at a table, Mario came down the stairs and sat nearby. We struck up a conversation, and he was very gracious and open to sharing thoughts on his life.” Nevada City native Alexander is just as chivalrous with hometown fans, friends and family. “We were walking in the IndyCar garage when Alexander drove by in a golf cart and recognized us,” says Ken. “He hopped off and engaged me in conversation. I told him, ‘You know, when we show up for your races, you always do well.’ Indeed, Alexander had his best finish of the season that day…

During a trip to visit family in the Midwest, Ken Bigham greeted his nephew Alexander Rossi at an IndyCar race and offered good luck and encouragement.
Submitted to The Union
Laura Bigham was visiting her nephew, IndyCar racer Alexander Rossi, at his workplace when she encountered Mario Andretti. The two posed for a photograph at the Andretti hospitality tent.
Submitted to The Union

Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Miller, who represents the Third District, tells me he will not run for reelection next year. Dan says his wife Roxanne has been incredibly supportive and patient during his 32 years in various public offices, and the two want to spend more time together in retirement. Dan jokes, “If I seek another term, I might have to seek another wife…”



Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Miller will not run for reelection next year so he can spend more time with his wife Roxanne.
Submitted to The Union

During Wednesday’s Grass Valley Fire, KCRA Channel 3 broadcast incredible video — not from one of its own reporters — but from The Union Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, because the newspaper gave KCRA permission to broadcast his live Facebook feeds. “The challenge of photographing and reporting on fires is you want to get flames, so you want to get close but not too close,” says Elias, who has been covering fires (and other news) for 17 years. “I always keep an eye out for escape routes, and my main focus is not to be in the way of firefighters. On Wednesday, it was awesome to see people nearby stepping up to put out spot fires. I’m pleased that my coverage shows people what is actually happening so they don’t panic…”

The Union’s Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez broadcasting live through Facebook from the scene of Wednesday’s Bennett Fire.
Photo: Elias Funez

We Knew Her When. Maria Byers Ramos, owner of Maria’s and Kane’s restaurants, will appear in a TV commercial with her daughter Gina Sidebottom and 13-year-old grandson Hayden Byers. (Maria promises not to let fame change her.) She was filmed cooking and dining with family, and those scenes will be part of a TV advertisement promoting new technology and treatment at Chico’s Enloe Regional Cancer Center. “The idea is that with this new technology, people will have less time in treatment and more time to spend with family,” says Enloe Marketing Manager Joseph Page. “Maria and her family were wonderful. Sometimes acting naturally in front of the camera is difficult, but they genuinely seemed to enjoy each other. You can tell they are a close family…”



Maria Byers Ramos, at table, far right, owner of Maria’s and Kane’s restaurants, will appear in a TV commercial with her daughter Gina Sidebottom and 13-year-old grandson Hayden Byers.
Submitted to The Union

Maria Was Not Intimidated by the lights, cameras or bustling production crew. “I love spending time with my family, and I’ve literally spent most of my life in the kitchen,” Maria laughs. “Believe me, there was no acting on my part.” Once the new technology is deployed at the cancer center, the commercial will be broadcast in and around Chico, but we won’t see it here in NevCo…

Patrick Eidman was born and raised here, graduated from Nevada Union High School, and showed sheep and cattle at the Nevada County Fair. He rose through the ranks and was appointed CEO of the fairgrounds, and now he’s stepping down. “Making the decision to leave has been torture,” says Patrick. “This is home for me.” Patrick heads to Colorado next month, where he will work in historic preservation. “I thought CEO of the fairgrounds would be my longtime career, but then I was offered and accepted my dream job…”

After 24 Years, Eleanor Kenitzer is hanging up her baton. Eleanor is stepping down as director of the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir, which she founded in 1997 after she and the local Cornish Carol Choir visited Cornwall and were inspired by men’s choirs there. “This has been my ‘child’ and I couldn’t hand it over to just anybody,” says Eleanor. “The choir has been shut down like everything else during the pandemic. As we think about starting up again, we know some members won’t come back because of age and health reasons. With the need to rebuild, now is a perfect time for me to step away and introduce a new personality with new ideas and new energy…”

Eleanor Kenitzer is stepping down as director of the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir, which she founded in 1997.
Submitted to The Union

The New Male Voice Choir Director will be versatile musician and flutist George Husaruk. “George has so much to offer this group!” says Eleanor. She will continue to direct the Cornish Carol Choir — the mixed-gender choir that sings locally at Christmas — which she has led since 1990…

Weekly Witticism: Making fun of a nearby city as if it is an unsophisticated twice-removed cousin, some people say Yuba City is actually an acronym for “Why You Be A City?”…

With “To Go” Bags Already Packed, grabbing clothes based on your destination’s weather can be a frantic decision when evacuations become mandatory. Rebecca Terrassa, a Holbrooke Hotel mixologist, has a suggestion based on experience: “Grab clothes from your hamper,” says Rebecca, “because those are your favorite clothes you wear most often…”

If You’re Tired of Being Tired, there may be helpful advice when author Kate Washington talks about her book “Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America.” Even if you don’t consider yourself a caregiver, really, aren’t we all? The event, organized by One Source Empowering Caregivers (http://www.EmpoweringCaregivers.org), is 3 p.m. Sunday at Gold Miners Inn…

“Originality Is the Fine Art of remembering what you hear, but forgetting where you heard it.” – Laurence Johnson Peter (1919-1990), Canadian educator and noted authority on organization hierarchy…

But Wait! There’s More! Peter (above) is best known for his formulation of the Peter Principle, a business management concept that goes like this: People in a hierarchy tend to rise to their “maximum level of incompetence.” Employees are promoted based on their success until they reach the level at which they are no longer competent…

Rise to the occasion and send your happy news to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com


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