Hits & Misses: Longtime nonprofit leaders will be missed | TheUnion.com

Hits & Misses: Longtime nonprofit leaders will be missed

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.

MISS: To the fact that Sue Van Son is stepping away from her executive director role with Interfaith Food Ministry. Sue's contribution to the organization, and the community it serves, has no doubt been a resounding "HIT" for more than a decade, which is why she'll be sorely missed.

MISS: And while we're at it, news of Debbie Arakel Sheppard's pending resignation from her director role with Habitat for Humanity will also leave some big shoes to fill. In her tenure, also spanning more than a decade, Habitat increased its number of homes and homeowners from 14 to 31. Such accomplishments can be life-changing for generations of families. And in a community strapped for affordable housing options, the organization's work will continue to have an important impact. As with Sue Van Son, we're also heartened to hear Debbie plans to remain a member of the community, where she'll no doubt continue to make contributions.

HIT: To NID announcing its $200,000 investment to log hazardous trees at Scotts Flat Lake in order to minimize the danger of wildfire, something the community got an up-close experience with in October when the Lobo and McCourtney fires occured. Cal Fire has designated the Scotts Flat area as a high fire severity zone, which NID plans to improve by reducing "hazard trees and dense under-story vegetation."

HIT/MISS: To the City of Grass Valley seeking solutions to its parking problem. While we'll wait and see if the pay-for-parking proposal is a hit or miss, the lack of parking spaces continues to be an issue for Grass Valley and Nevada City, which both benefit from tourism dollars. In downtowns' proud of their large entertainment and event offerings, which bring people to town, requiring visitors to circle the streets in search of a parking spot might lead them to think twice about going through the trouble the next time.

HIT: To the inspiring story of snowboarder Evan Strong, a 2014 paralympian gold-medalist in Sochi, who is gearing up for the 2018 games set for South Korea in March.

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MISS: To the flu shot vaccine historically being only 30 percent effective against "Influenza A sub-type," the predominant virus making so many Californians so sick right now.

HIT: To Full-Circle Learning and its 25th anniversary year. The Nevada City based nonprofit has achieved a long list of goals toward its mission of helping "young people embrace their role as society's change agents and humanitarians" around the globe. Its most recent endeavor is a study on the community impact of learning in seven of the 30 nations it serves. According to the organization, 88,000 teachers and learners benefited from its efforts — and the support of the Nevada County community — in December alone.

HIT: To the Fringe Festival, which opens this week, for offering something for everyone in its 40 shows, 120 performers at six venues over six days. The 2017 version of the event produced some Elly Award winning acts from the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance, which would indicate some quality entertainment is on tap in coming days.

HIT: To the prospect of finally getting some snow in the Sierra — as early as today? — with a pair of storms lined up to close out the week. It might not be as much as we need, but considering the dry spell we've seen, any precipitation should be welcomed. According to the National Weather Service, we're about 30 inches short of the rainfall we received last year at this time. And while the 2016-17 winter was overwhelming with snowfall and rain, the weather service says the snowpack is just 18 percent of normal for Northern California so far.

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