February 15, 2018 — Well, this is a first. I've never had a newspaper colleague decide to run for an elective office, until now. Not where the news staff alone numbered over 150, not at any of nine papers between here and upstate New York. Not in 32 years.
February 8, 2018 — The group I marvel at most concerns men laid their lowest. On their knees, these prematurely wrinkled, stone-eyed husks who have burned and burned out, who know the worst by touching it directly and so were torched back. Reap what you sow, baby, a blunt
February 1, 2018 — It's never been more exciting to work at the paper. I'm serious. I don't believe our readership ever has been higher. Everyone interested in western Nevada County news can read us, in print or online, your choice. Our reach doesn't end at the last box
January 25, 2018 — I knew no one going into last year's Sierra Writers Conference. I'd never participated in a writers conference, hadn't been on the Sierra College campus, didn't know where to go, what to expect. So new to town, so ignorant. I didn't even know who this
January 18, 2018 — We're blessed with so many local news providers. You know that, right? Of course I'll pat my own back with the daily newspaper, for all its many real and imagined flaws that critics are only too happy to point out, as if we were puppies
January 11, 2018 — "Dude, hear the news?" "Trump's insane? Knew that already, um, dude. Who doesn't?" "What? Oh, the book by Kitty Kelly? No, I mean the real news." "'Fire and Fury' was written by somebody Wolff. Who's this Kitty?" "Gossip queen of the Reagan era. Wrote a
January 4, 2018 — Robert did pretty much all the talking. Just as well, since he could hardly hear. I communicated mainly with nods, shrugs, shakes of the head. Smiles. His caretaker, Sandy, made sure key snippets got through, "He says …," she'd shout, and Robert would say, "Oh"
December 28, 2017 — I could feel the lid beginning to rattle as we spoke over the phone. Dad — once president of the Honolulu Young Republicans, once a promising GOP candidate for Assembly in a state that couldn't be bluer and I'm not talking about the ocean, and
December 21, 2017 — If the universe is infinite, we each lie at the center of it. I'm not talking esoterica here, either. The cosmic microwaves provide a real clue, coming from everywhere. At you. And me. I'm going by consciousness. No one is you'er than you. From you,
December 14, 2017 — Mary, my wife, was even sadder than I'd expected with two memorials and a giant fire that burned to the ocean and destroyed 900 homes. So far. We were in downtown Ventura on Sunday for the second of these services — firefighter style, cast as
December 7, 2017 — A reporter comes as me one Halloween decades after I've left the hotshots. He tapes a paper cutout of the fire crew's insignia on a ball cap, just like in one of the pictures I keep as a totem in my office. Same with a
November 30, 2017 — There's something ironic about The New York Times Magazine running cartoons explaining what each letter to the editor is trying to say. Wait, what? The oh so erudite Times needs … anime? This is a comic book now? Well, yes, apparently the intelligentsia of journalism
November 23, 2017 — What infinitesimal chance of becoming you do you suppose you had? And yet there you are, maybe reading this, the height of indulgence. You could have been the turkey in the middle of some Alta Sierra road as my SUV bore down, lights on in
November 16, 2017 — Seems like a dam burst, doesn't it? All this news about powerful men committing sexual atrocities. Like we hadn't heard it before. Like we didn't know. Such misconduct long ago reached into the highest office in the land. Presidents Kennedy and Clinton most prominently. Their
November 9, 2017 — Last time the Dodgers made the World Series, I lived in Quincy. It's been a long haul since 1988, me migrating from town to town, them hopping from owner to owner. Sometimes they were good. More old-time Cubs good, though. Just not nearly so lovable.
November 2, 2017 — A precious few people in this life leave you understanding their true importance. Speaker after speaker came to the podium Saturday at the North Star House to talk about Peggy Levine's meaning for our community. I agreed wholeheartedly. Even I, a newcomer, knew Peggy and
October 26, 2017 — Help Wanted: Dynamic true believer in the Grass Valley School District to lead successful campaign for first bond measure in 50 years to upgrade aging school buildings and technology. Requirements: Clear understanding of students' educational needs. Ability to mobilize support through the mom networks, business
October 19, 2017 — On March 26, 1969, a professor named John Kennedy Toole parked his car near Biloxi, Mississippi, and strung garden hose from the exhaust through a window. He had other issues, but his suicide tied closely to being unable to get his novel published. He was
October 12, 2017 — If you know reporter Liz Kellar at all, you know it could only go this way: Roused by a neighbor Sunday night, seeing the fire front across the NID ditch and coming fast, she in flip flops and her husband and son in bare feet
October 5, 2017 — Out of racial ugliness in downtown Grass Valley came the most beautiful thing last Friday: maybe a thousand people gathering in Mill Street to declare this is not us. We are something better. It couldn't repair what a few thoughtless boys shouted at a neighbor