High flyers

Ben often enjoys these experiences:

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What about the tacky signs in Nevada City?

A lot of attention is being focused on the lighting in Nevada City, with some short-sighted thinking that does not yet take the merchants’ needs into account. What worked then may not work now, and Nevada City is going to have to step up its game amid competition from Grass Valley, Truckee, Auburn, Lincoln and Loomis — and the shopping malls in Roseville.

The lights in Truckee look great at night and not tacky. Perhaps a field trip “over the hill” is in order. We can learn from each other.

While worrying about tacky lighting, Nevada City also ought to worry about tacky signs.

Here’s the sign my son and I see after we grab a scoop of freshly made ice cream with local fruits from Treats after his school. This sign is staring you in the face at the Bonanza Market as you turn onto Broad Street from York.

Every time I see it, I wonder how it fits with Nevada City’s historic charm or farm-to-fork theme, a popular trend that is real in our community. I have never seen an alligator or a kangaroo around here, so the jerky must not be local. ROFLOL.

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“The future looks great at The Union” — and new content will include a focus on “senior issues”

“The future looks great at The Union,” Publisher Jim Hemig tells us this morning, waxing on but not mentioning the newspaper’s “paywall,” the subscription rate increases of the newspaper, a lagging presence of Facebook, few online reader comments, and other factors.

(“Want to join the fun on Facebook? ‘Like us on our page,'” he states, seeking to build the traffic.”)

Hemig talks about the reach of the paper but he does not tell us “who” it is reaching.

He answers the question toward the end in stating: “Additional new content in 2015 will include a more focused effort on senior issues, holistic medicine and historical stories and photos.”

Senior issues and historical stories and photos? That’s an aging, declining demographic, as any publisher will tell you. That’s a “fixed income” demographic whose disposable income is dependent on the uncertainties of the stock market and other factors. That’s a dangerous demographic for a business to depend on.

It’s fine to be a cheerleader, but we need to have a more honest conversation about our newspaper’s future and what it needs to do to last another 150 years. In the Tahoe-Truckee area, startup newspapers like Moonshine Ink have jumped into the market and are winning widespread praise, putting the squeeze on Swift’s Sierra Sun.

Moonshine Ink is free, not subscription based.

The free internet and free publications are changing how we communicate. We have to embrace that and come up with innovative print-web strategies. The Union is “swimming in place.”

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Arrest in Auburn, Sacramento shootings that leave two police officers dead

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Editor’s note: God Bless our peace officers and their families, and our friends and professional colleagues in Auburn.

“A massive manhunt for a suspected cop shooter ended with an arrest today of a man inside a home near Auburn’s Placer High School,” as the Auburn Journal is reporting

“The man is suspected of shooting two Placer County Sheriff’s Office deputies around noon after firing and hitting a Sacramento officer this morning. Associated Press reported that two peace officers had died – one was a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, the other with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

“Placer County sheriff deputy Michael Davis has died along with Sacramento County sheriff deputy Danny Oliver. A third officer in Placer County was shot, his wound are reportedly non-life threatening.

“The suspect was arrested at a Belmont Road home in Auburn. He was identified by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office as 34-year-old Marcelo Marquez. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin said at a hastily called press conference after the arrest at about 3:45 p.m. that he would be taken to the Placer County Jail in North Auburn for questioning and booking after a medical examination.

“With the arrest, residents were safe to return to their homes, Erwin said.”

The rest of the article is here.

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The Union’s map makers need to be more careful

I’m glad The Union is getting around to promoting Colfax Avenue, but the map could use some work. Both Diegos and Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli are located on Colfax Avenue, but the map shows them on side streets. Let’s hope this gets revised at some point.Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 10.13.32 PM

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2015-16 Placer County Visitor Guide

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Here’s a digital version of the 2015-16 official “Visit Placer County” guide that we published for Placer County this month.

The Guide is a full-color magazine with interviews of prominent local endurance athletes, top chefs, farmers, artists, winemakers, craft brewers and entrepreneurs, showcasing all Placer County has to offer. It was a collaborative effort with a lot of groups.

The Guide has two covers featuring “Lifestyle” on one side and “Outdoor” on the other. Besides original content, the guide features world-class photography, maps, activities, directories and an events calendar. It’s been well received and is circulating throughout Northern California as a “calling card” for Placer County — in print and online.

One of the best compliments we’re received is from the “electeds,” civic and business leaders and residents, who have said it makes them proud of our area and its people. We’re going to hold a grand celebration, with invitees from the Olympians to the chefs to the farmers, bringing all of them together at one place to “toast” the county.

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What does a middle of the road voter look like?

Here’s the recommendations of lawyer Jim Porter, a good guy, accomplished lawyer and columnist for the Swift-owned Sierra Sun, posted in that newspaper: http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/northshore/13494152-113/vote-county-district-yes

He’s for Jerry Brown (D), Brian Dahle (R), Ted Gaines (R), Heidi Hall (D), Art Moore (R) and Carolyn Dee (Truckee City Council). If you know our local politics (and Truckee’s) this is a mixed bag of Rs and Ds. For those who don’t know, Carolyn was recruited by the tea party to run for supervisor (though she declined).

Could the western county make endorsements like this? I doubt it. They’re far more polarized politically. Our local right wing nuts would go nuts over these endorsements.

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