Susan Brandt Blachley: Is this the neighbor we want?
In The Union on Dec. 24, 2020, there was a full-page Christmas letter advertisement by Rise Gold’s Ben Mossman. He assured readers his gold mine won’t have any ill effect on Grass Valley. He invited readers to send him a letter, providing his email. So while I am against the plan to restart the old Idaho Maryland Mine, since he listed his email address and invited our letters, I decided to send Mr. Mossman an email.
My letter’s focus was to suggest another way to develop that property, something other than a gold mine. The alternative idea would be more beneficial to the community. What if he took all the money he would use to restart the gold mine and think of something that would be beneficial to the community — what could that be? In my mind, I imagined a marketplace, a park, a school?
I didn’t suggest these things in the letter, but thought I could appeal to Mr. Mossman’s creative side to see if he had another way for him to have a business in Grass Valley but one that wouldn’t create so much neighborhood strife and potential environmental damage.
What if he took all the money he would use on drills, trucks, explosives and gasoline and instead enhanced the beauty of the area with — how about a Mossman Park? It could be a beautiful tribute to the old mine but with an Earth-friendly park that teaches about local flora and fauna while honoring the area’s mining history. How about a farmers market, a playground? Mr. Mossman, you could be a hero.
You could take that money instead and do something good for the community rather than risk damaging the air, land, roads, water, property values and increasing noise and truck traffic. In my view, these threats to the peace and beauty of Grass Valley far outweigh the jobs they say they will create — the one benefit they say will exist for the community.
It’s now a month since I was invited to write my email to Rise Gold, and I still have not received a reply. Not even an acknowledgement of my letter. I did copy the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and was very glad to get their acknowledgement.
As a resident of Grass Valley, is this the kind of business we want here? One that pretends to care but doesn’t really? If this is any indication of what we can expect from Rise Gold, I sincerely hope our community thinks long and hard if this is the kind of neighbor we want.
Susan Brandt Blachley lives in Grass Valley.
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