Darrell Berkheimer: Mine snow job fails | TheUnion.com

Darrell Berkheimer: Mine snow job fails

Rise Gold CEO Ben Mossman and J. Wallin Opinion Research have failed in their attempt to hoodwink Nevada County folks into thinking the reopening of Idaho-Maryland Mine would be good for the community.

They simply have been unable to snow the residents here with all the claims, promises and biased survey presentation. Instead, they learned that many residents here are well educated, well informed and not easily fooled.

That statement is well supported by the multitude of letters and other voices that poured into The Union from its readers during the past several weeks. Those strongly worded missiles from readers have provided a long list of good reasons for shooting down the mine proposal.

Readers who go online to read commentaries published by The Union also see many additional reader comments — most of which agree with those opposing the mine opening.

But that’s not all.

Those of us who have our personal email address added at the bottom of our commentaries usually receive additional comments that aren’t available to even online readers unless we choose to write about them.

Most are appreciative kudos, while the majority of the negative comments usually are only online. I’m speculating that those few who include a touch of rudeness prefer not to disclose their personal email address.

For those of us who are not paid for our frequent column contributions to The Union, it is the personal laudatory comments we get that provide a major portion of our rewards for the time we spend doing research, writing, editing and rewriting for our commentaries.

To nearly all such notes received in my personal email, I usually reply with a “thank you for taking the time to write” — even to the negative ones.

Who doesn’t like to receive comments like this one last weekend from Robert Hubbard: “Right on point! Thank you, Darrell, for a well-thought-out analysis.”

Or this one from Jezra: “Thank you for pointing out the big ifs that The Union’s article about the push-pull absolutely failed to mention.”

Those two comments appear online.

But one that I received in my personal email suggested that the Wallin survey company was doing a bit of cherry-picking in determining which respondents to include in the survey.

A Lake Wildwood reader, who asked not to be identified, wrote:

“Mr. Berkheimer, I do not know you, but I enjoy your articles. I particularly liked the one you did July 3 regarding the mine survey.

“I did get a call from that survey company. They had my phone number and said they would call me back if the time was not convenient.  I am knowledgeable about the mine, and took the call.

“When the questions became specific to the mine (which I am against), they did not like my answers and I was disconnected.

“I live in LWW and was using a true land line so the disconnect was clearly on their end and they did not call back. I wonder how many people they disconnected until they got the answers they wanted.

“Just thought you might want to know this in case you do any kind of follow up. Thanks again for all the great articles.”

Another reader who also prefers to remain anonymous reported his pessimistic opinion of surveys with this comment: “I have never in my life (70 years worth) taken a survey that allowed honest answers. They are designed by businesses, non-profit or for profit, to get the best results, which is sell their product and make money.”

Which brings me to a comment made by George Boardman when we were chatting about the mine reopening issue. He noted: “If this proposal was economically viable, the big gold mining companies would be interested in the project. The fact that Rise Gold is struggling to raise capital tells you what the investment community thinks of the proposal.”

Darrell Berkheimer, who lives in Grass Valley, is a frequent contributor to The Union. He has eight books available through Amazon. His sixth, “Essays from The Golden Throne,” includes 60 columns published by The Union, plus a dozen western travel and photo essays. Contact him at mtmrnut@yahoo.com.

Support Local Journalism

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.


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