Lorraine’s lowdown: The vanity license plate challenge is on | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s lowdown: The vanity license plate challenge is on

Lorraine Jewett
Special to The Union

No Glass Ceiling Here. Following the election of Nevada County’s first female sheriff, Shannan Moon, comes our first woman undersheriff, Alicia Burget. Alicia is a dedicated and decorated law enforcement officer with more than two decades of experience. “I’m so proud to appoint Alicia Burget as undersheriff of Nevada County,” Sheriff Shannan tells me. “I know she will do a phenomenal job…”

The Vanity License Plate Challenge is off and running, so I’ll share a few each week before determining the winners…

Mike Sivila combined the model of his motorhome, Vista, with the vanity plate “HASTALA” to come up with “HASTALA VISTA,” the line made famous by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mike says he saw someone use the license plate “BUENA” on another Vista motorhome to create “BUENA VISTA.” Mike says, “I thought ‘See you later’ in Spanish was better…”

Gina Meyer, who runs a nonprofit that gives stuffed animals named Owie Bowie to hospitalized children (ILoveOwie.org), sports the plate “I LOVE OWIE” on her car. “You can only imagine how many people ask me if I love pain,” says Gina, adding, “Have a PAWSome day…!”

Support Local Journalism

This Vanity Plate is on a Ford truck whose owner used to deal in junk cars and scrap metal. Buckley Armacher of Budget Blinds sent in the photo, and says the owner wants to remain anonymous. Buckley promises, “You’ll never find junk at Budget Blinds. We don’t even let that truck park in our lot…”

Murder and Kidnapping! I admit I wrote that bit of sensationalism to draw your attention to Richard Bannister’s first published crime drama, “Devil’s Pasture” (available on Amazon). The setting for the book is an amalgam of Grass Valley and Nevada City. Richard, already busy on book number two, writes while sipping java at his favorite NevCity coffee house and taking fictional character inspiration from real folks passing by. In addition to keen powers of observation, Richard says, “My writing requires online research into the darkest crimes, after which I find advertisements for the oddest products following me around online – scary bank robbers’ masks, handcuffs, odd tools that could be used as weapons, ladies’ underwear…”

Steve Sanchez — the ever-energetic advocate for the Empire Mine Park Association, Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, and other nonprofits — excels at gathering donations for fundraisers. He’s tenacious, perhaps just this side of annoying. Pesky Steve is persistent! He loves to tell the tale of a local insect control company that created the “Steve Sanchez Pesticide,” an imaginary spray he offers in exchange for auction or raffle donations…

Overheard: A distinguished older gentleman brushed aside the compliment that he was looking well. He replied with a “thank you” and the explanation, “I can now comb my hair with a towel…”

If Close Only Counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, we’re lucky Andy “Dead Eye” Loobey of Penn Valley chose to toss shoes, not explosive weaponry. Andy won the 2004 Horseshoe Class B World Championships in Pocatella, Idaho, among other big titles. Andy was also President of the Gold Country Horseshoe Club for 22 years. Pretty impressive when you consider he didn’t start pitching horseshoes until he was 54. Andy says to be successful, one must “have the focus of a sniper.” He’s developed a few shoulder ailments, so the 79-year-old doesn’t play much any longer. But he says he can be coerced into competition “if the terms are right and I have access to pain relievers…”

The Saying Goes: Cowboys play horseshoes and Rednecks play cornhole. Hmmm? A festive faction of us were playing cornhole at the last Nevada County Contractors’ Association business mixer. Don’t tell Executive Director Barbara Bashall what that means if the saying is true, nor NCCA members Buehler Enterprises and Mainguth Properties that sponsored the cornhole tournament …

Setting the Bar Low. A friend purchased one of those expensive $400ish motorized vacuums that roams the house sucking up dust and debris. He was thrilled: “I won’t have to vacuum for weeks!” Another friend chimed in: “At that price, I’d expect never to have to vacuum again for the rest of my life…!”

The Winner Gets Cash Instead of a Sash in this popularity contest by Andrew Twidwell and his ABT Plumbing, Electric, Heating & Air company. Andrew invites people to visit the ABT website (EasyAsABT.com) and vote for their most popular charity among three he’s selected for each “ABT Gives Back” contest four times each year. First place receives $1,000, second place $500, and third place $250. “We want to support our community,” says Andrew, “and because the community supports us, ABT has the financial ability to make these donations…”

A Loving Husband looked over at his wife, and considered her relatives’ idiosyncrasies. Hubby noted, “My wife’s family could fill a complete season of Jerry Springer…”

Welcome to eye surgeon Cheri Leng and optometrist Guy Seydel, who join Sierra View Medical Eye, Inc (SVME2020.com) and staff efforts there to keep us all lookin’ sharp. We’ll keep an eye on the new additions to the practice and its surgery unit, the prestigious Sierra Ambulatory Surgery Center (SASConline.com)…

As the Debate continues about career training vs. college, let’s recall the words of entertainer “Fats” Domino: “A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don’t have a J.O.B…”

Keep it acronym-friendly when you send me your news and vanity license plates to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to correct an earlier version of this story, which due to inaccurate information provided to The Union, incorrectly stated the title of Richard Bannister’s crime drama. The title of the book is “Devil’s Pasture” (available on Amazon).

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User