Meet The Union Editorial Board’s community members |

Meet The Union Editorial Board’s community members

R.L. Crabb
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union


The Union thanks its previous board members for their participation since the editorial board was revived in 2013. Past members are: George Boardman, Andy Burton, Cheryl Cook, Shannon Cotter, Mary Anne Davis, Halli Ellis, Robert Erickson, Nancy Eubanks, Cory Fisher, Walter Ford, Rachel Helm, Jim Hemig, Gene Horrigan, Stan Meckler, Maryn Miller, Bob O’Brien, Megan Ross, Norm Sauer, Dave Schmall, Reinette Senum, Jenny Warden and Lynn Wenzel.

A dozen community members have joined seven members of The Union’s staff to form its editorial board. Each member will write their own monthly opinion pieces each month, as well as collaborate in discussion to form The Union’s weekly “Our View” editorial and the “Hits & Misses” feature published Thursdays.

R.L. Crabb

R.L. (Bob) Crabb is a native of Grass Valley. At various times in his life he was a songwriter, forklift driver, cook and repo man, but his passion is drawing cartoons. He started professionally in the Nevada City Independent in 1980 and his work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, Grateful Dead Comix, The Comics Journal, Loompanics Unlimited, SCOOP, and many other publications. His comic strips and editorial cartoons have appeared in The Union since 1994.

Jeff Dellis

In 1990, Jeff Dellis was blessed to meet his future wife in his hometown San Pedro, California. She was visiting from a hamlet unknown to him at the time: Nevada City, CA. As their relationship blossomed, it became apparent one of them would have to move. After one visit to God’s Country, he was sold. In fact, Trisha likes to say Jeff fell in love with Nevada City before he fell in love with her (He says that’s not true). They have raised their two children, 26 and 23, here. He has taught in the high school district for the past 23 years; the last 21 at Nevada Union High School.

Mike Dobbins

Born in San Francisco, Mike Dobbins has lived in many states, including one Pacific island, before returning to California in the early ’60s. “Perfect timing: The Beach Boys, Surfing USA and best of all, Surfer Girls!” He attended San Diego State University (criminal justice/television & film) and after an on-the-job injury ended his law enforcement career (sheriff’s deputy) in 1977, he moved to Grass Valley and joined the news staff at KNCO Radio. Mike became part of The Union’s staff in 1980, as a reporter, then wire editor and later assistant managing editor. In 1987, he returned to KNCO as its news director. He purchased The Wildwood Independent in 1994 and published it until 2015, when TWI merged with The Union. Mike is married to the former Linda Bertoncini, a Grass Valley native. They have three children and six grandchildren. He’s a licensed private investigator, a 27-year member of Rotary International and served nine years on the Nevada County Fair Board.

Shanti Emerson

After visiting a friend in Nevada County, Shanti Emerson was overwhelmed with the natural beauty and the arts community and moved here from San Francisco in 2001. She taught language arts and writing at Academy of Arts College in SF. She is a member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Board, Soroptimist International of Grass Valley, League of Women Voters, Business and Professional Women, and Unity of the Gold Country. She practices yoga and is a ceramic sculpture artist. With her partner, Jivat, she gives tours of India. Shanti has lived in five states, five California cities, traveled on five continents, and been a member of both national political parties. She hopes her wide range of experiences will be of benefit to the Editorial Board. She welcomes all suggestions and polite comments.

Becky Goodwin

Rev. Becky Goodwin has been a pastor appointed to United Methodist churches for 25 years. Currently serving Grass Valley, she previously served churches in Madera, Rancho Cordova, and Colfax. Before working in churches, she had a teaching career with children in Soledad and Gilroy. Becky has two adult children who both graduated from New York University and work in the film and television business, one in New York and the other in Burbank. Widowed in 2008, Becky is happily married again, to an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Paul Colbert. Becky is a poet, preacher, music lover and avid reader. She is in her element in the early morning with a cup of tea and a writing project.

Brian Hamilton

Brian Hamilton is editor at The Union, where he was first hired as a sports writer in 2000. An Indiana native, Brian has also worked for the Frankfort Times, the Elwood Call-Leader, the Anderson Herald-Bulletin and the Ball State Daily News, since his start as a high school correspondent for his hometown paper, the Wabash Plain Dealer. In all, he’s been writing and editing for newspapers for nearly 30 years. He served as The Union’s sports editor and city editor before becoming editor in 2012. Brian left The Union in 2001, after meeting his wife in his home state, returning one year later — after they were wed at the Wayside Wedding Chapel of Rough and Ready. They have two daughters and live in South County, with their dog, two cats and four chickens.

Liam Lambert

Liam Lambert is a Canadian ex-pat who came West for love, and has been obsessed with writers and writing for as long as he can remember. He wrote his first story when he was 7, and has been at it with a scattershot intensity ever since. His current obsessions are popular culture, history of all stripes, and mining his childhood for short story material. He can be found feverishly typing somewhere in Grass Valley, where he lives with his wife, dog and too many cats for any one reasonable person.

Ross Maak

While City Editor Ross Maak lives in Auburn (because it’s too expensive to live here) he considers Nevada County home. He was born in Ames, Iowa, and moved to Colorado in early high school. He went to college in Colorado and has worked in newspapers ever since, including papers of different sizes in Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and California. He has worked for Swift Communications (The Union’s parent company) for nearly 20 years. (Don’t take the words “parent company” too seriously, he says. It’s not a corporate behemoth. It’s a wonderful, family-owned company.) Anyway, his passions are newspapers, sports and road trips.

Paul Matson

In 1970, Paul Matson left Wisconsin and hit the road for San Francisco, and shortly thereafter moved to Nevada City. His first full-time job was at SPD on Zion Street. Nevada City was then finding and creating a new identity and future. The freeway had just plowed through the town, the Historical Ordinance was created, and the changes began. In 1976, Matson became a city planning commissioner, and in 1978 began a 20-year stint as city council member with several terms as mayor. It was a time of positive change. The Rood Center was built, Grass Valley (Group) moved to town. Gold Flat Industrial Park and two new office parks were created. The General Plan was updated and the Deer Creek Environs, Hirschman’s Pond and Sugarloaf were zoned Open Space. Today Paul is semi-retired conducting estate sales on occasion, enjoying his children and granddaughter who live here, fishing, and traveling.

Terry McAteer

Terry McAteer is the retired Nevada County Superintendent of Schools. McAteer was elected to four four-year terms as superintendent in Nevada County and two four-year terms in Inyo County. During his tenure, Terry championed charter schools, tough truancy laws and expansion of arts and recreation for local youth. He has managed high school and Sierra College bond campaigns along with serving on scores of local nonprofits. While superintendent, he also taught AP Government at Bear River High. Terry holds a doctorate in educational administration from USF, along with degrees in history, geography and journalism. He has been married to Liz McAteer for the past 33 years and they have two children, Jeanne and Gregory, who are both products of our local schools. Liz and Terry reside in Grass Valley.

Rick Nolle

Richard “Rick” Nolle was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. He spent almost 20 years in Chicago, where he met his wife Suzie. His career has spanned a 45-year period with most of his time in high-tech positions. He started out as an IBM systems programmer and has held numerous positions of ever-increasing responsibility. His last two positions were at the senior management level with global responsibility for sales and sales operations. He is currently a Broker-Associate and his wife is a Sales Associate at Century 21 Cornerstone Realty. Rick and his wife moved permanently to the Nevada County area in 2004. He has been a director for the Penn valley Fire Protection District, a director and chairman for the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, and a member of the Penn Valley Municipal Advisory Council. Rick and his wife have a grown daughter, Paige.

Jo Ann Rebane

As a 16-year resident of Nevada County and a third generation California native, Jo Ann retired from a challenging career as a litigation paralegal at a top law firm in SoCal. Here she continues to support classical music, local theater, as well as numerous local foundations and charities. Politically active, Jo Ann leans strongly toward conservative/libertarian political and social causes. She has lived abroad, and in retirement she and her husband of 56 years continue to travel extensively. They have two married daughters, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They are lifelong entrepreneurs, and currently co-founders and investors in a successful local high-tech business. They live in the county on a 5-acre ridgetop parcel where Jo Ann ‘farms’, entertains, and embarks on cross-country RV trips with other couples. She very much looks forward to becoming a contributing member of The Union Editorial Board.

Alan Riquelmy

Alan Riquelmy is a writer, editor and blogger with over 15 years’ experience in the newspaper and online publishing industries. He’s worked at newspapers in Alabama, Georgia and now California. He currently focuses on Nevada County government, cops and courts, but has dabbled in state government and education, as well as anything an editor throws at him. He’s worked in a variety of fields since graduating from the University of Montevallo, including mindless customer service jobs, a stint teaching English in Japan and a writing gig with a now-defunct Internet start-up, where he sat around all day and played video games. Alan is easily the biggest Cure fan in Nevada County. He enjoys reading, “Doctor Who” and losing gobs of cash at poker.

Don Rogers

Publisher Don Rogers began his journalism career as a cub reporter in Quincy and discovered Nevada City and Grass Valley during a Sunday drive with his wife and infant son. Nine papers and three decades later in a coast-to-coast career, he and his family have come almost full circle back to their favorite region of all, the northern California mountains. He’s served as publisher at three operations, chief editor at four, from metropolitan to tiny Quincy. His favorite by far is the highest bar: Small community where people really know whether you got it right and if you care.

Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers is a semi-retired marketing communications consultant and a 17-year resident of Grass Valley. She is vice chair of the Coalition of Firewise Communities; coordinator of her neighborhood’s own Firewise Community; a board member of Business and Professional Women of Nevada County and of the Nevada County Digital Media Center/NCTV; a volunteer staffer at the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research; and a member of League of Women Voters and AAUW. She is an avid amateur genealogist and enjoys singing, music, travel, camping in her vintage trailer, and her family.

Monica Senter

Monica Senter moved to Nevada City in 2011 and resides on small farm with her husband and animals. Monica has been active in community work since she co-founded Community Legal in Nevada City to provide legal services to underserved residents of Nevada County. Monica is also a founding board member of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance and a volunteer for numerous local nonprofits and political campaigns. Monica grew up in Orange County, where she received her BA in history at UC Irvine and went on to get her law degree at New College of California in San Francisco. While in San Francisco, Monica served on the staff of Burning Man, where she founded the organization’s first technology team in 1998 and served as co-chair for the How Weird Street Faire in 2003. Monica telecommutes for Wells Fargo Bank, working as a technology risk consultant.

Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy has spent over 40 of his 79 years devoted to newspaper journalism, from selling copies of the Reno Evening Gazette on city streets in grade school to 30 years with the Sacramento Bee as a prize-winning reporter, editor, photographer and columnist. During that period, he did freelancing ventures such as “Other Voices” pieces and a garden column for The Union, writing a book “Gardens of the Wine Country” (Chronicle Books, with Molly Chappellet) and most recently, “Troll Knoll: A Garden Like No Other.” with John Morris. It’s about a 20-acre wonderland in Penn Valley ( As radio columnist for the Bee, Dick gave talk show host Rush Limbaugh his first award when he worked in Sacramento (Liberal friends wince at that act). He leans conservative (yes, he owns guns and has achieved NRA certification as a youth shotgun coach), but listens to arguments from the left wing.

Mac Young

Mac Young is a longtime Nevada County resident, having graduated from Bear River High School in 1992. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, as well as master’s degrees from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University and the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Mac worked as a portfolio manager and vice president at WR Hambrecht Asset Management in San Francisco, where he managed a SmallCap Technology Fund and two privately managed hedge funds. He is a CFA charterholder. He returned to Nevada County in 2014 and currently works in asset management.

Contact The Union Editorial Board members at

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