Stance on NH 2020 signs insult to our community
Has The Union completely lost sight of what a community newspaper should be about? I have come to the conclusion that The Union has no interest in providing balanced, fair and consistent coverage. The Union appears to be about creating controversy and fanning the flames of divisiveness. The Union loves reporting the controversy, not the substance, and clearly not the facts.
Maybe if The Union were returned to local ownership it would make a difference. Then it could return it to its historical roots of accurate information, community service and respect. I wish The Union would take some lessons from KNCO, our local community radio station. KNCO works hard to inform, serve, and respect our community. While KNCO serves us, The Union exploits our community.
Over the past few months, it seems to be getting worse. The Union’s editorials and the publisher’s opinion pieces seem to be bound and determined to inject as much negative energy and increased conflict into our community as possible. The sad part is, these folks think they are humorous and insightful. Too bad they don’t check the facts before putting ink to paper.
Case in point is the recent change in direction The Union has taken on the illegal “NO and STOP NH 2020” signs. The Jan. 22 The Union editorial stated, “It’s time for NO on NH 2020 signs to come down.” Then on April 9, the publisher (Mr. Ackerman) provides his humorous stance that the county is “sending the wrong message by ordering opponents to remove signs from their private property.”
Mr. Ackerman goes on to say, “I’ll go out on a limb and guess that many of those who have complained about the signs also believe in civil disobedience and in the right, for example, to chain themselves to a tree that doesn’t belong to them in an effort to save it from the guy it does belong to. They’re generally the first ones to run for the spray paint, bullhorns and sign boards when the whales, wolves, waters or waffles are threatened. You know … the kind of free speech that makes this country a better place to live than, say, China”.
Mr. Ackerman, maybe the brush you use to paint the people of Nevada County should not be so broad. Maybe you could use some restraint in categorizing and stereotyping the people of the fine community you recently moved into. I have complained about those hideous and illegal signs. I consider myself to be part of the “rational middle.” Too bad your newspaper seems to focus only on the extreme ends of the challenging issues that face our community.
Mr. Ackerman, maybe you could take the time to do a little research before you “guess” and climb out on your limb. Last Nov. 29, The Union included a story about the arrest and sentencing of a logging protester. In that article, Nevada County District Attorney Mike Ferguson stated he “just doesn’t think protesters should break the law to get media attention.” In a July 1 The Union article District Attorney Ferguson said, “There are a lot of legal ways in our society of making your point. It comes back to the ends don’t justify the means.” Oh, by the way, Mr. Ackerman, the trees the protester was concerned about were on U.S. Forest Service land, public land, land belonging to the people of the United States of America.
The director of code enforcement classified the “NO and STOP NH 2020” signs as “temporary political signs.” I do not agree; NH 2020 has not yet been placed on the ballot. Would the director also consider signs saying “NO CLEAR CUTTING/STOP SPI, “or “NO EMINENT DOMAIN/STOP NID LAND GRABS” as “temporary political signs,” even though these issues are not on a ballot?
Looks like Mr. Bedwell and I have found some common ground to stand on. Drew Bedwell also disagrees with the director of code enforcement. Mr. Bedwell states “the protest signs were never a part of the politics.” If that’s the case, I wonder why the phone number shown on his “STOP NH 2020” signs is the exact same phone number printed on his “Drew Bedwell for Supervisor” signs.
If the “NO/STOP” signs are not “temporary political signs” then they are and have always been illegal signs. Signs are required to have a permit to be erected. Mr. Bedwell, could you please show us the required permits to put up your “nonpolitical” signs?
The Jan. 21 The Union editorial also stated “Legal or not, the signs are a blight along the county’s highways. The message they deliver these days has little to do with the perceived ills of the proposed NH 2020 program. Instead, the signs are widely seen as a demonstration of the unwillingness of NH 2020 opponents to be good neighbors and clean up after themselves once they have made their point.”
Drew Bedwell, please respect the citizens of Nevada County and our laws by removing your illegal signs. Maybe the U.N. will loan you their “black helicopters” to airlift the signs from our scenic roads and out of our county. Please be a good neighbor and clean up after yourself. It’s not only the law, it’s the right thing to do.
We are a society of laws, and I think they should be enforced equally. Logging protesters and property rights extremists should get the same treatment. If we don’t like the laws, we should work to change them, not break them. It’s simple: break the law and you should be held accountable. Don’t you believe in equal accountability, Mr. Ackerman?
Please let us know if The Union is interested in selling. We can raise the money and maybe get the good folks at KNCO to manage the newspaper. They respect our community and their responsibility to our community. Too bad The Union does not.
R. Josephine Jordan is a resident of Rough and Ready.
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