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No more free speech?

On Tuesday, June 8, the board of directors of the Nevada County Certified Growers Market Inc. met. The board reached a consensus to end the 12-year tradition of allowing free-speech booths at its markets. When asked why the board made this decision, lead member John Drew said, “This is a new board.”

The NCCGMI board suggested that groups requesting a booth contact the Nevada County Fairgrounds to see if they would allow a booth to be set up just outside of the market. As a proponent of free speech, I contacted Ed Scofield, chief executive officer of the Nevada County Fair. Ed quickly told me, “I won’t touch this.”

The responsible board members are Chris Bierwagen, John Drew, George Loftus, Norm Willerup, Doug Forster, Janie Vizno, Jim Cimino, Joe-Ann Buczkowske and Nadeem Schawareb.



John Drew, Doug Forster and Joe-Ann Buczkowske are the three newest members. They were appointed by this board, not elected by the membership.

Farmers’ markets throughout history and around the world have always been places for neighbors to discuss their communities’ concerns. Please don’t allow our right of free speech to be attacked.




Mike Pasner

Penn Valley


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