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Readers Write

It can happen to us

The Nov. 25 Union on environmentalists needs some additional info.

Near London, Ohio, is located 53,000 acres of the best farmland in the U. S. About four years ago, there was a threat to the ownership when it was discovered the Fish and Wildlife Commission had begun to hold secret meetings with the Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups.

The focus was to determine how to acquire 23,000 acres to be totally set aside for wildlife, free from human intervention, and then the additional acreage would be a buffer zone. They were told in no uncertain terms to either sell their property or they would lose it.

Rapp’s property is in the middle, formed a Stewards of Darby to fight it. They contacted the Paragon Foundation of Almagordo, largest property rights group in America, who immediately went to spearhead the fight. They also received help from 42 states and two Canadian provinces. Paragon saved their land.

About a month ago, the Darby folks received a “Record of Decision” (final order) that was issued, and the FWC stated it no longer had any interest in acquiring the property. Now the Paragon Foundation and the Darby folks are down in the Florida Everglades fighting in an 8.5-mile area that has had homes bulldozed after the government “acquired them from willing sellers,” and you need to know coercion existed to get sellers.

This is what is happening all over the U. S. today from the environmental organizations. The battle has been joined. We had an election that I hope portends what we might be able to do in the next election. It can happen to us. So be warned and watch for the signs.

I can give the Paragon address to anyone who wants to contribute to help them. The “Sawgrass Rebellion” is their battle.

Harold W. Bansemer

Grass Valley

Paper’s stewardship questioned

It’s unfortunate that Jeff Ackerman couldn’t bring himself to rise above the fray and respond to allegations of candidate bias in the last election with more professionalism (“How to sabotage a supervisor campaign,” Nov. 12). Instead, Mr. Ackerman chose to answer the charges with a sophomoric and sarcastic rant, far more befitting of a petulant and unruly 12-year-old than the publisher of a county-wide newspaper. I was truly stunned by its level of immaturity.

One has to question whether it was a very smart move for Mr. Ackerman to respond personally in the first place. Certainly a more seasoned and experienced publisher would have responded in the form of a “white paper” editorial, stating concisely and clearly that it is the view of The Union that their reporting was fair and unbiased. By responding personally, Mr. Ackerman has simply reinforced the charges leveled against him that his stewardship of The Union is suspect.

A good publisher guides a newspaper unheralded, he doesn’t spout forth his personal beliefs. Perhaps Mr. Ackerman would better serve our community by adopting the status of the British royal family; he’s allowed to have an opinion, he’s just not allowed to express it.

Steve Dryburgh

Grass Valley

What of the president’s future?

A Saturday evening TV newscast included a segment devoted to Bush’s visit to Vilnius in Eastern Europe. In the historical context, it was noted that Napoleon also visited Vilnius almost 200 years ago, confidently leading his seemingly invincible warring army of some 400,000 soldiers eastward to do battle with the Russians.

We know that at least some in the part of the world welcomed Napoleon, perceiving the greater threat to be from the Great Bear to the east. We also know the outcome of the Russian campaign, conducted by the most powerful military leader of the western world at the time. Only about 10 percent – 40,000 troops – of Napoleon’s defeated multinational force managed to survive the campaign and the unexpectedly bitter winter of 1812.

As I watched our president stride confidently out to speak to the cheering, flag-waving crowd, I could not help but wonder what history will hold in 200 years for the current most powerful military leader in the western world.

Terry Fieldhouse

Nevada City

Help a child this holiday

Happy Holidays. Thank you for joining us to bring Christmas cheer to some children who may not have a fruitful Christmas without help from people like yourself.

Come to the Grass Valley Police Department and take the desired child’s gift tag from the tree. Buy that gift, wrap it, attach the sticker, and return it to the Grass Valley Police Department lobby by Dec. 10. The gifts chosen were picked so they would not exceed the $20 range. You may attach a personal card so that we may thank you later in making our program work. Monetary gifts are welcome, and we will do the shopping for you.

On Dec. 14, at 7 a.m., at K-Mart in Grass Valley, the children will be given $20 to spend on gifts for themselves or for family members. K-Mart supplies a free breakfast. Santa Claus gives the gifts bought by you to the children. K-Mart then holds a raffle and gives away some very nice surprises.

The Grass Valley

Police Officers


The Grass Valley Police Department Volunteers

Moral content no longer popular

I doubt if many youths today ever heard of “The Three Little Pigs.” Two built houses of straw which the big bad wolf blew down and then had them for dinner. The third built his house of brick, thus was saved.

One could equate this story with our modern education system. Foreign students study difficult and rewarding subjects while Americans party and protest anything that seems like a good idea.

Hopefully, foreign students are preparing for a rewarding life, but there are some whose goal is destruction of America. We have become so complacent and intent on enjoyment we fail to realize this fact. The land of the free is free only because we have the weapons to insure it temporarily.

If we continue in the free-fall of personal delights, the big bad wolf may blow our house down. Liberalism is our greatest threat, as it panders to the young who unknowingly are weakening the rights which America is founded on.

There are far too many educators either willing or duped who are influencing the young that anything the world decides is bad is automatically America’s fault. Folklore had moral content, which is not in vogue today.

Frank Haggerty

Penn Valley

Curtains to be drawn for last time

I am pondering a sad question. Will anyone who is a fledgling or experienced theater person perform, direct or produce theatrical productions again, somewhere? When will the supportive patrons enjoy performances in an intimate theater such as the City Center Playhouse?

Nelda and Lennie’s Dance Studio is still in full “swing” upstairs. And this Christmas they are again presenting “The Nutcracker.” But it is at an end.

With Community Players and other theatrical groups, I knew I had a home and a place to get involved with theater. At the city Center Theatre, each cast was “family.” It was drafty in winter and hot and stuffy in summer. Those days are almost over. The City Center Playhouse will be torn down and a hotel and convention center will soon be built on that site.

The current company is Chris Harada Productions presenting “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Every person should attend one of the last performances.

Community Players and countless other production companies will not have a venue to entertain their audiences. It saddens me to know that yet another Nevada County tradition is taking its final bow. The great velvet curtains are being drawn for the last time. The follow-spot is dark forevermore.

Ronna Lee Joseph

Nevada City

Beware of catchwards

“A good catchword can obscure analysis for 50 years”

– John Huisinga.

It is the emotional impact of the words that gives them the power to seriously distort judgment. The verdict in the O. J. Simpson trial is a good example. The sequestered jury in the O. J. simpson trial reached the verdict of not guilty because by “playing the race card” the jury was made to feel bad if they would have come back with a guilty verdict.

The phase “War on Terrorism” is also a “catchword,” if that term can be applied to more than one word. Playing the war card against terrorism in general, rather than simply al-Qaida and the Taliban, the only target of the actual war on terrorism, meant that the war would be a war of good against evil. Now, the whole rest of the world could become the enemy.

The unquestioned acceptance of the phrase “War on Terrorism” was because, after the national trauma of 9/11, it made Americans feel good again. In fact, it made them feel so good that the opinion of the rest of the world no longer mattered.

All this because of the blind acceptance of a “catchword.”

Robert Eli

Nevada City

Letter carriers

deserve our thanks

Today I went to the book store and saw a book titled 3Letters from a Soldier,² and I began to cry. My son just enlisted in the Marines and will be heading to boot camp on March 10. The only communication I1ll have with him are letters.

My husband has been delivering letters for 17 years, and until today I never truly understood what he does. He brings hearts back home. I know in my heart that he thinks his job is a simple job. I just wanted to thank him, and the rest of Nevada County Postal Employees, for doing their jobs.

My prayer for them is that they see the value of what they do, and know that there will be many days during the holidays that they will be delivering more then bills. They will deliver hearts that came home for Christmas through a letter.

Gina Gippner

Grass Valley

Cruelty to chickens should concern all

I am writing so I can inform people on the cruel treatment of broiler chickens. It may sound ridiculous, but it is a pressing matter. I can’t mention everything because of content, but they do horrible things to these birds.

Broiler breeding began in the 1950s, only to get worse with time. The fact that they are kept in dark, cement-floored sheds crammed together is one thing, but when their litter isn’t changed throughout a chicken’s short life, is another.

The disgusting conditions are harmful to us as well. Rather then give the chickens more space, many farmers slice off the chick’s tender beaks and shove plastic tubes through rooster’s noses with no anesthetics, thinking it will stop fighting or eating another1s food. Like it matters. Most of them suffer from starvation and chronic thirst.

It is said that 6 million chickens die a year on the way to be slaughtered from lack of care and rough treatment. Every person informed counts, and I feel everyone has the privilege of knowing what1s going on. Please help draw attention to this matter! We are all animals, after all.

Djamie Soejoto


Enough! Take down

NH 2020 signs

Enough, already yet! Take down the d— “No on NH2020” (it’s alive or otherwise) signs! They are still up all over the county these many weeks after the election, and they are an eyesore. Besides, you can’t start healing the political sores if you keep picking at the scab, and all the signs do is make us mad every time we drive by one. Or is that the point?

Bryer Keane

Nevada City

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