Lorraine’s Lowdown: Santa’s going to need a bigger boat | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: Santa’s going to need a bigger boat

By Lorraine Jewett | Special to The Union

Where Are Those Missing Presents? Maria Byers Ramos, owner of Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, was on an RV vacation in SoCal and checked out the backlog of shipping container ships offshore. If Maria omitted anyone from her Christmas gift list, she can show this photo and say, “It’s not in the mail. Your present is in the ocean…!”

If Maria Byers Ramos, owner of Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, forgot anyone on her “Nice List,” she can tell them their missing Christmas gift is in one of these containers offshore in Southern California.
Submitted to The Union

Nearly Two Centuries. Five GeeVee police reserve officers, with 195 years of service between, them are retiring. Reserves are duly sworn, uniformed, gun-carrying officers who work alongside regular officers — the difference is reserves work part time. Community kudos to Mike Walsh (48 years), Larry Aguilar (44 years), Jerry Eason (44 years), Michael Hooker (42 years, both full time and reserve), and Todd Tripp (17 years). “We will greatly miss seeing them in uniform at special events or riding with one of our officers to assist in keeping our community safe,” says Chief Alex Gammelgard, who gave the reserves a heartfelt send-off at the department’s Christmas party. “We can never express our gratitude deeply enough, but on behalf of our entire community, we thank them for their service…!”

Grass Valley Police Department command staff bid a fond farewell to retiring reserve officers whose legacy of service spans 195 years. From left, Larry Aguilar, Todd Tripp, Lt. Joe Mateoni, Michael Hooker, Chief Alex Gammelgard, Sgt. Mike Walsh, Capt. Steve Johnson, and Jerry Eason.
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“I Always Loved Halloween Patrol, showing kids the other side of law enforcement,” says retiring Reserve Sgt. Mike Walsh, who was the longest serving GVPD reserve officer. “We dressed in costumes and patrolled trick-or-treat areas to ensure kids were safe and no one was bullied.” Another of his favorite memories is competing in police combat marksmanship contests, in which Mike consistently won “accolades and trophies.” Since he started with the department in 1973, Mike worked for five police chiefs (for old timers keeping count: Knuckey, Seck, Mouser, Foster, and Gammelgard). “In the old days, we didn’t have portable radios and we communicated only from the patrol car radio,” Mike recalls. “The work is much safer now, with better communication, instant access to research such as a suspect’s background, bullet-proof vests, and cages in cars….”

No Matter How Many Times loyal viewers of Hallmark’s “The Christmas Card” enjoy the movie, they get giddy when they watch and record re-runs. Recording is key; rare DVDs of the movie sell for hundreds of dollars. There are several “Christmas Card” groups on Facebook, where fans argue about details and question characters’ motives: “Did Cody leave early in the morning? If he left after his words with Paul, then why didn’t they notice his bike gone when they got home from church?” The flick was filmed in NevCity, and tourists from all over the globe travel here in homage. That’s why this year the NevCity Chamber of Commerce put a link on its website with info and a map of locations featured in “The Christmas Card” (http://www.nevadacitychamber.com/the-christmas-card)…

“The Christmas Card” Author Joany Kane reveals the storyline was inspired by her real-life events. “Back in the tail end of 1998, I was working on a Christmas romance screenplay,” writes Joanie. “I had the general idea, a serviceman serving overseas receives a Christmas card from a young woman and it touches him so deeply he sets out to meet her and to thank her. The week between Christmas and New Year’s, I started a new job working in the office of a lumber mill in western Massachusetts. The first Friday of 1999, a logger walked into the mill and for me it was love at first sight.” Once Joanie finished the script, she delivered the first printed copy to that logger. She and Dave have been living happily ever after for more than two decades. Joany says the story was originally set in Vermont, but, “Nevada City turned ‘The Christmas Card’ into magic and I’ll be forever grateful to the town and the community…”

Because it receives so many questions about where Hallmark’s “The Christmas Card” was filmed in Nevada City, this year the Chamber of Commerce posted on its website helpful information and a map.
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Mike, Tommi, and their children Riley and Hunter cut the ribbon on NevCo Habitat for Humanity’s 43rd home — the family’s new home. The resilient couple completed their 500-hour sweat equity commitment despite COVID-19, homeschooling, and other challenges since they were selected for homeownership in 2019. “My children have a safe neighborhood to play in and their own bedrooms for the first time in their lives,” says Tommi. Mike worked with Habitat construction volunteers every Saturday and installed all the flooring himself. NevCo H4H volunteers contributed more than 2,000 hours of labor building the home, Byers Enterprises roofed it, and MEC Builds installed rain gutters…

Riley, Hunter, and their parents Mike and Tommi cut the ribbon on their new Nevada County Habitat for Humanity home. The children will have their own bedrooms for the first time in their lives.
Submitted to The Union

Deborah Wilder Has Been Recognized by the Oregon State Bar Association for her 40 years as an attorney (she studied law and worked as an attorney in Oregon in 1981 before moving to Foster City in 1982 and then NevCo in 2008). “As I attended law school, my amazing husband Russ would pick my our eldest daughter from day care, bathe her, feed her, put her to bed, have a load of diapers in the washer or dryer and dinner on the table when I got home,” recalls Deborah. “I graduated law school and passed the bar exam while pregnant with our second daughter.” Deborah is owner-operator of Contractor Compliance and Monitoring Inc., a consulting firm she founded 19 years ago that helps agencies and businesses comply with prevailing wage requirements. “I still love what I do almost every day,” says Deborah, who is also the author of three published books…

Deborah Wilder, whose consulting firm helps agencies and businesses comply with prevailing wage requirements, has been recognized by the Oregon State Bar Association for her 40 years as an attorney.
Submitted to The Union

Hospice of the Foothills plans to open a new, larger Gift & Thrift Store that will contain goods from two of its thrift stores that have been shuttered. The GeeVee store closed Nov. 26 and the NevCity one closed last week due to storm damage. The Penn Valley store remains open (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, donations accepted 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The new store will open in February at 840 E. Main St. in GeeVee, next to Sierra Cinemas. “This new expansive store is centrally located and will provide room for more merchandise, consistent donation hours, and a pleasant shopping experience,” says HoFo Marketing and Events Manager Mary Anne Davis. “We look forward to the opening of our new ‘mothership’ store…”

“I Don’t Believe in Astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.” – Sir Arthur Clarke (1917-2008), British science writer, futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and science-fiction writer who co-wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey”…

Don’t be skeptical. Believe that your happy news snippets are welcome at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com


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