Jim Weir: The Rise Gold survey | TheUnion.com

Jim Weir: The Rise Gold survey


My “Probability and Statistics” class in college was taught by a cantankerous old geezer. One day we got off onto a tangent about surveys. His advice: “If you want a survey to come out a particular way, just pick your data from folks that don’t have a dog in the fight.”

Certainly Rise Gold must have had a teacher like that in the way they picked their folks to come out with a “strong support” for the Idaho-Maryland Mine project.

Consider this: They picked 100 folks in each of the county’s five supervisorial districts to formulate their data. Think about it.

District 1 is mostly Nevada City, Banner Mountain, and the area around. They will have little, if any, impact on their homes or businesses. Not much of a dog in the fight, is there?

District 2 is mostly Alta Sierra, Lake of the Pines, and the area around. Again, practically no dog in the fight.

District 3 is Grass Valley, McCourtney to the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Ridge Road, Cedar Ridge, and Brunswick Road to the Y. Nearly 100% of the impacts of the mine projects are in this area and there is one huge dog in this fight.

District 4 is from the fairgrounds west to the county line and includes Penn Valley, Lake Wildwood, North San Juan, and all the way out to Lake Camp Far West. For all intents and purposes, there will be zero to minimal impact on this area.

District 5 is all of eastern Nevada County from 5 Mile House to Truckee and all the way to the state line with Nevada. Not only is there no dog in the fight, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single dog hair in that part of the county.

Think, then, if you will, about how the data is skewed. One hundred percent of the impact is on one supervisorial district and the other four have somewhere between zero and a miniscule amount of impact.

Suppose — just suppose — we had a proposal to drain Lake Wildwood and make it the county garbage dump? District 4 would come out of their shoes screaming naughty words. Same for Lake of the Pines and District 2. How about a high-rise hotel on Broad Street in Nevada City? Or how about we extend and widen the runways at Truckee Airport to be able to handle heavy jets 24/7/365 in competition with Reno International?

This survey smacks of the inmates writing the business plan for the asylum.

Jim Weir is a retired Nevada County supervisor for District 3. He is vice president of engineering for RST Engineering in Grass Valley.

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