It’s Girl Scout cookie time again! Pre-orders have already started and will end Feb. 1. If you know a Girl Scout, place your order now. Store front orders will begin Feb. 27. For more information, e-mail Alana at


The Western Nevada County Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering the Emergency Response course for lay first responders. At the close of the training, first responders will be prepared to sustain life, reduce pain and minimize the consequences of injury or sudden illness until more advanced medical help can arrive. This 46-hour training course also provides CPR for the professional rescuer, automated external defibrillation and safeguards against infectious materials and blood-borne pathogens. Class will be held at the chapter house in Grass Valley on consecutive weekends beginning Feb. 7 and concluding Feb. 21. No prerequisites apply. Registration and class fee are required in advance. Call the chapter office at 272-3265 for details, questions and to register.


Animal Spay and Neuter Clinic in Auburn is looking for a few good veterinary surgeons to work with them. Surgery days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Schedules are set up several months in advance. The clinic does high volume surgery safely. The staff is well trained and organized. Surgery time is usually six to seven hours per day, with two doctors each day. Email Dede at or call her at 889-8800 for more information.


The Nevada County Library Literacy Service is having basic literacy tutor training from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 27 and from noon to 4 p.m. on Jan. 29. Attendance at both sessions is required. The workshop will be held in the Literacy office at 117 New Mohawk Dr., Suite C, Nevada City, in the CalWorks building. RSVP by Jan. 26 at 470-2715.


The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers to assist in times of emergencies and disasters in our local community. Volunteers will be trained in providing immediate assistance to individuals and families facing emergency situations. Also needed are RNs and LVNs to be trained in Red Cross procedures during times of disaster. The training is provided free of charge and is funded by local donations. Call 272-3265 for additional information and training class availability.


The Empire Mine Park Association would like to announce the upcoming spring 2004 volunteer classes. The mandatory volunteer orientation will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 23. Training classes for all volunteers will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 2, 9, 16 and 23. Volunteers are needed in many venues, including school and public tour guides, workers in the gift shop or gardens, and participants in the cottage or mine yard living history groups. If you are interested in becoming a park volunteer, call 273-8522 for more information.


The IRS/AARP Tax Aide program is offering free tax assistance to seniors and middle and low-income residents of Nevada County from Feb. 9 through April 15. The service is confidential, and prepares tax returns and answers tax questions. Call HelpLine at 278-2278 for an appointment.


Supporters of Tall Pines Nursery School, a local nonprofit child education and development program, are holding the second ”Hats Off! To Wine!” tasting event from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 6. The benefit will be in the Indian Springs Vineyards tasting room at 303 Broad Street, Nevada City. Gourmet hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $15 per person. To reserve tickets, call the Indian Springs Vineyards Tasting Room at 1-800-375-9311.

Pam Fortner is a freelance writer in Grass Valley. Her column on nonprofits appears each Monday. Deadline for information is 5 p.m. each Wednesday. The column will appear in the following Monday edition. Send information to Pamela Fortner at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945; e-mail; or fax to 477-4292.

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Geraldine Kothe: Thank you, first responders


From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.

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