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Readers Writer

A tribute to Paul Wellstone

Minnesota and much of America went into shock on Friday with the news of the sudden death of Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife and daughter, three campaign workers, and two pilots in a small plane near the Iron Range. The flags in Washington are at half-staff today.

Who among us can take his place? Of course, with the Senate majority razor thin, the political implications are enormous. But what I am remembering is the undersized, rumpled son of Jewish immigrants, professor in a small college town, with very little cash – a most unlikely candidate for the Senate, in some ways the most prestigious club on Earth.



Yet his passion intelligence and tenacity over two terms won him respect even from those who disagreed with him totally. “What you saw was what you got.” His authenticity was legendary, and neither money nor favor could seem to deter him. He very simply voted his conscience, even though as recently his was the single vote against the war in Iraq. It was heartbreaking to see a few banners in Washington’s Peace March on Saturday, already asserting stoutly that Paul and Sheila were looking down on them – with approval of course.

Let us all pause for a moment of silent tribute to the life of a true American.




Rebecca Hughes-Hartog

Grass Valley

Who believes Thorpe claim?

So Mr. Thorpe is claiming he is innocent now, by reason of his insanity? Of course, I understand that people do occasionally commit crimes while they are under the duress of psychoses.

I think anyone who commits violent crimes must be under such influence. That does not explain his rational decision, during the rampage, to not shoot the woman who told him she was pregnant.

Mr. Thorpe purchased and amassed firearms. Was he innocent when he purchased ammunition? Was he innocent when he killed my co-workers and left Mike Markle’s family with no father? Did he ever apologize to any single one of the people who were hurt by his rampage? I know he never apologized to me.

If he is “better” now, shouldn’t that have been demonstrated in such actions? Or is “better” the condition he was in when he bought a gun? What did he buy the fun for if not to kill? I’d really like to have him answer that.

Tom Anderson is doing his job, and if the insanity defense is bought, Mr. Thorpe will get treatment (at tax expense to the rest of us). Does Mr. Anderson really believe this man is innocent? I don’t.

Daisy Switzer

Grass Valley

Webb plagiarism is denied

After reading the letter to the editor (Oct. 18, 2002) accusing Loraine Webb of plagiarism in her “Other Voices” column (Oct. 14, 2002), I decided to check out the two Web sites the writer listed in his letter.

The writer’s assertions are inaccurate, exaggerated and appear to be a deliberate attempt to smear Ms. Webb’s credibility and discredit her message. Anyone with Internet access can check this out personally. It is, in fact, the writer who owes an apology to Ms. Webb, The Union staff and its readers.

And, by the way, thanks for calling attention to the important information Ms. Webb brings to the readers and for calling our attention to two informative Web sites.

Deborah Gutierrez

Nevada City

Let’s support the Sheatsleys

I, too, feel ashamed of our Nevada City Council decision to deny the Sheatsley family approval to sell their Nevada Street cottages as affordable housing at moderate prices. This is not a “big” developer, but a senior couple who live in an old farmhouse and work full time.

The Sheatsleys care about Nevada City and are active in service to the community. They worked as volunteers on the Eden Ranch project for 20 hours a week for two years, helping to provide housing for 10 medium- and low-income families.

What I cannot understand is how the Nevada City Planning Commission gave approval for the project and now the City Council takes it away. Shouldn’t these entities work together hand in hand on something so important? Our elementary school enrollment is dropping each year because young families are moving away. They cannot afford to buy a home here.

Let’s listen to this message and support the Sheatsleys, for they support us as a community. City Council members, please rethink your decision.

Shannon Francis Schott

Nevada City

Most want 639 prefix

I am a resident of Penn Valley and subject to SBC Pac Bell’s 639-prefix designation. I was surprised at the “flavor” of Mr. Dickey’s article that there is an even division in regards to changing our 639 telephone prefix to reflect our true county identification, which is Nevada County, not Yuba County.

I am aware that the majority of us want this 639 prefix changed and that there is a very, very small minority that does not.

I am in the minority, with losing a smaller amount in the area of $15-$20 a month for “local” calls, but as a retired person, those dollars add up.

My husband and I are big proponents of changing our 639 telephone prefix to one that identifies us with the county that we patronize.

Melinda Bergquist

Penn Valley


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