Eric Christen: Change is needed in Nevada County |

Eric Christen: Change is needed in Nevada County

Other Voices
Eric Christen

When we moved to Grass Valley a decade ago there were many compelling reasons. The climate and natural beauty, the small-town feel, the fact we could afford 40 acres to raise our children and a political climate unlike much of California all contributed.

I was able to work from home while my wife, an Air Force pilot and squadron commander at Beale Air Force base, was close to work. We have never regretted our decision.

Our eldest son Damian graduated from Bear River last June. Damian came up through the Little League system here and ended up a starter on the Bear River team that made it to the section championship last year. Active in Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Agricultural Mechanics he raised steers to sell at the fair and his project was the top seller two years ago at auction.

Sophia, our middle child, is a sophomore at Bear River. The women’s section tennis champion as a freshman, she was unable to defend her title due to the state robbing our students of the rest of their school year. Also active in FFA and Agricultural Mechanics she was looking forward this year to showing and selling her steer as well as her project at the fair before it was canceled by the state.

Clearly this is no longer about “safety” and “health” but about cruelty and control.

After having been blessed with so much here, my family and I feel that it is time to give back to our community. This will take many forms but all have in common our desire to make our county a better place.

The communist Chinese government lied to the world about COVID. It was enabled by entities like the World Health Organization as the virus spread. The spread of the virus, however, has been uneven as has its severity.

In America approximately 40% of all COVID deaths have occurred in nursing homes. For an elderly population in confined spaces it is a serious threat. But our politicians, and more importantly, our county health directors, have treated every demographic and every region the same using no discernment whatsoever.

The second and third order effects have been devastating. Mass unemployment, ruined businesses, children regressing in school, neighbors instilled with fear to the point they feel they need to report each other to the authorities for not complying with the imposition of ad hoc law from government.

In Nevada County we have had one death from COVID. That is 1 death per 100,000. For comparison, New York stands at 141 deaths per 100,000 while California stands at 15. To add more context, Nevada County had 30 flu related deaths in the last year that data is available (2017-2018), or 30 deaths per 100,000. Did we shutter schools, close our economy and create an irrational fear amongst our population? No. Clearly this is no longer about “safety” and “health” but about cruelty and control.

After attending many government and citizen-led meetings this past month, and witnessing our local elected leaders in action as they’ve deferred to their staff to determine our future, it has become clear that change is needed in Nevada County. This ultimately means a new cadre of local elected officials who bring a new vision to our county that puts the needs of citizens ahead of the needs of ossified governmental systems. This vision needs to be predicated upon freedom and personal responsibility.

But first our people need help, now. Following the cancellation of the 4th of July parade and county fair, we are planning the Nevada County Freedom Festival. It is important to come together as a community again, free of the irrational fear around this virus. There is also a need to help offset the massive losses to be incurred by local nonprofits who raised $1 million last year at the Fair. Many will not survive without help. We are reaching out to leaders and businesses to help offset this loss and ask you to join us. For many in these hard times these nonprofits are a lifeline. You can go to our Facebook page @nevadacountyfreedomfest today to contact us to help.

Next, local school boards, taking direction from the county health department, will soon be determining how to reopen schools. The options range from a normal reopen to one that basically treats our children as science experiments. No sports, facemasks for a population almost immune to the virus and more distance learning. Local officials will make these decisions and they must hear from us. Please go to the Facebook page @ProtectNevadaCountyStudents to learn what you can do to protect our children.

These are difficult times, made difficult by governments both far away and close to home. Join us as we work to move our county in a more hopeful direction.

Eric Christen lives in Grass Valley.

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