The ‘new guy in town’ meets the community |

The ‘new guy in town’ meets the community

Jeff Ackerman, Publisher
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

New Guy Journal.

Monday, Feb. 4, 2002: Supervisor Izzy Martin visited today. She tried to explain NH 2020, but must have noticed the glazed look on my face and stopped. She seems bright and was probably hoping I believed more government was better.

I don’t.

Supervisor candidate Bill Steele also came to see me today. He tried to explain NH 2020 to me, and it didn’t sound anything like Izzy’s description. He seems bright and was probably hoping I, too, was a conspiracy theorist.

I’m not. I think Oswald really did shoot JFK and am quite certain the government has never planted a bugging device in my head.

Speaking of more government … I heard that the county manager wrote a book about reinventing government. Then I read about the retreat to Placer County that cost taxpayers a good chunk of change and wondered if I really wanted him to reinvent my government. It sounds very expensive.

Tuesday, Feb. 5: I still can’t explain NH 2020 and am starting to wonder if it’s a learning-curve problem. I probably should have planned my start date at The Union after the primary election. I can’t tell which “welcome to Grass Valley” calls are sincere and which ones are designed to capture my support. Memo to candidates: I don’t plan to vote until November, and no candidate I have ever endorsed ever won. So don’t call unless you really are happy to see me.

I did enjoy a great lunch with some folks from the courthouse today. Judges Carl Bryan and Kathleen Butz were very cordial, and I got the feeling that our local judicial system is in good hands. I just hope they don’t call their counterparts in Carson City, where they will likely discover that I asked the local sheriff to resign and demanded that the local judge cough up a grand jury report he was illegally stashing.

Wednesday, Feb. 6: We haven’t gotten the paper out on time since I’ve been here. They say it’s unusual, but I’m starting to wonder. We have new mailroom equipment designed to make our jobs easier, but something keeps jamming. Memo to self: Call the equipment manufacturers in Kansas and remind them that a morning newspaper needs to be delivered before noon.

Monday, Feb. 11: Much of America celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday today (he was actually born on the 12th), and if history serves me correctly, this newspaper was established to help get him re-elected in 1864. That’s why people started newspapers back then. They generally had an opinion and needed a platform. The flag on this newspaper still reads: “Founded in 1864 to Preserve the Union … One and Inseparable.” If recent editorial pages are any indication, we are as inseparable as a Liz Taylor husband.

Wednesday, Feb. 13: Had lunch at the Happy Apple Kitchen today with my old friend Crawford Bost, who introduced me to some equally nice people. Crawford has been around these parts forever, and I enjoy his stories. He also knows a few shortcuts around town, provided you have a four-wheel-drive.

Had dinner in Nevada City, where my old friends Jim and Diane own a beautiful home on Broad Street. They taught me how to melt cheese at a vegetarian meal. I am not a vegetarian, but cheese is always good. Memo to self: When melting cheese, keep one eye on the burner. Jim and Diane probably spent six hours scrubbing a burned cheese burner after I left.

Second memo to self: Wish Diane luck on her state bar exam. It sounds worse than a root canal.

Saturday, Feb. 16: Attended the Red Light Ball with friends Greg and Angie. Was initially concerned that a Red Light Ball might have something to do with brothels, having come from Nevada, and was relieved to see fire trucks and police cars when we arrived at the fairgrounds. It was a great night for a great cause and reminded me why I chose to return to Grass Valley. Met lots and lots of good community-minded people whom you generally find at the core of any quality community.

Haven’t been here long enough to strut my stuff on the dance floor. It’s never a good idea to break out the triple-back-spin-to-a-half-pike until you’ve been in town at least a month.

Sunday, Feb. 17: Went running at the high school track this morning. Took three laps before the wine from the previous night’s Red Light Ball lost its glow. My friend Greg is a wine collector and will soon learn not to waste it on me.

Memo to self: Use the driveway that leads down to the football field track. The high school campus is larger than you remember it, and there are a lot of stairs.

Second memo to self: Bring a flashlight next time you run at the track at night. It hurts something fierce when you collide with a basketball hoop pole without a helmet.

Jeff Ackerman is publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesday.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Kenly Weills: Outrage to paint over street art


On May 29, I watched Nevada City’s amazing caretaker Miriam Morris starting to paint a river on Commercial Street’s pavement. Well-planted containers added to the beautification finally coming to a street that had been dug…

See more