Hits & Misses: HIT: To western Nevada County holiday traditions | TheUnion.com

Hits & Misses: HIT: To western Nevada County holiday traditions

The Union staff

Each week we'll run through the sublime, the trivial and profound issues, decisions and goings on that strike us as Hits or Misses. You can join in, too, by emailing your Hits & Misses to drogers@theunion.com or bhamilton@theunion.com.

HIT: To western Nevada County's unique traditions in celebrating the holidays. Of course we all know about all the Christmas craft fairs and Cornish Christmas, in its 50th year, and Victorian Christmas, in its 40th, and the entertainment options seems nearly endless. But there is a long list of long-running annual events that also help remind the reason of the season, including 28th annual Roamin' Angels Toy Drive, the 26th Nevada County Food & Toy Run and of course, the annual Donation Day, which dates all the way back to 1883 in downtown Grass Valley.

HIT: To The Family Circle, a nomadic homeless shelter program, revolving between area churches to provide local families a place to sleep at night.

HIT/MISS: To Sunday's first Victorian Christmas celebration of the season, which drew a massive crowd to Nevada City, creating a bit of backup on the Broad Street exit of the Golden Center Freeway and putting parking spots at a premium. But dealing with such a tremendous turnout of visitors is a great problem to have.

HIT: To man's best friend, in this case an 8-year-old border collie named Sarah. Ralph and Stella Morris say their pup saved their lives by waking them in early morning hours of the Oct. 9 Lobo Fire. They lost their Rough and Ready home of 43 years, but not each other or their devoted dog.

MISS: To driving under the influence, which was reported to have led to the loss of another life last weekend in the Alta Sierra area.

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HIT: To dedicated historians like Maria Brower who help preserve our rich Nevada County history by documenting in their writings, as with the case of Brower's latest book "Ranches and Agriculture in Nevada County."

HIT/MISS: To Bear River's football team kicking off in its first Northern California Bowl Game Saturday; if only the Bruins were a bit closer to home than the nearly six-hour drive to Fortuna, so more of Nevada County could be on hand to cheer them on and not miss the historic moment.

HIT: To wonders of today's technological advancements, which through a DNA sample helped a woman meet her Grass Valley father for the first time and helping her find a "missing piece of the puzzle" in her life; and, in doing so, united Grass Valley's Gary Barnes with his adult daughter he never knew he had.

MISS: To the lack of Sierra snow. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows was named as the top ski resort in the country in a poll by USA Today, but there's not yet much snow up the hill to make the most of our rides back down. And while we enjoy the warm weather, we do so knowing that we'll need that snow pack for the weeks and months to come.

HIT: To our firefighters. We could (and probably should) do this every week, but our local heroes have saddled up once again to head south and fight some serious blazes in Southern California.

MISS: To the passing of Roberto Wilson, a Haitian immigrant who, after a stroke limited his ability to communicate, took to gardening around his Olympia Park Circle apartment as a way to cope.

HIT: To all of our community's photographers — professional, hobbyists or pure amateurs — for sharing their community photos through our "Nevada County Captures" photo pages (See page B4 in today's edition) and bringing the faces and places of western Nevada County to our readers. Keep 'em coming by sending your own shots to photos@TheUnion.com!

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