Oregon gunman’s father dismayed by lack of gun legislation

“The father of the gunman who killed nine people at a community college here called on the nation to change its gun laws on Saturday, saying the massacre ‘would not have happened’ if his son had not been able to buy so many handguns and rifles,” as the New York Times is reporting.

“’How was he able to compile that kind of arsenal?’ the father, Ian Mercer, said in an interview with CNN at his home in Tarzana, Calif. He said he had no idea that his son owned more than a dozen firearms.

“His comments came as officials here confirmed that the gunman, Christopher Harper-Mercer, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging fire with police officers who responded to the shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning.

(Criminal histories and documented mental health problems did not prevent at least eight of the gunmen in 14 recent mass shootings from obtaining their weapons).

“Adding a raw, personal voice to the debate over gun control in the wake of this latest mass shooting, he said the United States needed to tighten gun laws.

“’It has to change,’ he said. ‘How can it not? Even people that believe in the right to bear arms, what right do you have to take someone’s life?’ He would not discuss his son’s mental health issues, deferring to the police investigation. ‘Obviously, someone who goes and kills nine people has to have some kind of issue,’ he said.

“Standing on his lawn, Mr. Mercer said the shooting had devastated his family. ‘But we’re not alone in this,’ he said. ‘My heart goes out to all the families that were affected by this.’”

The rest of the article is here.

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Local newspaper succumbs to those who reject mainstream climate science

This is unbelievable. On Sept. 25, Michael Mann wrote an opinion article in The Union titled “Columnist peddles discredited fossil fuel industry propaganda.”

It so enraged our vocal locals “who reject mainstream climate science” that not only was a rebuttal presented but it somehow is being published against The Union’s own rules for submissions.

In a weak explanation The Union states: “Editor’s note: The Union accepts one submission per author, per 30-day period, although our policy does afford opportunity for rebuttal on a case-by-case basis in the form of a letter to the editor. However, due to high interest in this timely topic, The Union is publishing Mr. Sauer’s full response to a recent Other Voices submission.”

No wonder some locals call The Union “The Tea Party Gazette.” It bends the rules for its aging, conservative demographic. Podunk.

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BriarPatch to remain at Sierra College Drive

BriarPatch made this announcement:

“There’s no place like home.”

“Sometimes a long journey makes you glad to get back to where you started. After two years of research into options for the store’s future, the leadership of BriarPatch Co-op Community Market has concluded that the market will remain at its current location at 290 Sierra College Drive for the foreseeable future.

“Since May of 2007, when the cooperatively-owned grocery store moved from a much smaller building just down the hill on Joerschke Drive, its business growth has vastly exceeded expectations, raising the question of how to best manage that success.

“’Our growth presents very real challenges, and we have been seeking to meet those challenges in ways that best represent who we are as a community-owned co-op,’ said Chris Maher, BriarPatch’s General Manager.

“Since 2014 the store’s management and Board have been exhaustively exploring options, the major ones being moving to a larger store, improving the current store, and opening a second store.

“’We got market studies, worked with experts in various fields, and received lots of input of owners and shoppers,’ said Maher.

“With this thorough consideration, Maher and the Board concluded that the best choice is to renew the lease on their current space on Sierra College Drive – which comes due in 2017 – and improve the building to accommodate growth.

“The Sierra College Drive store, which was developed in 2006 by Calloway LLC (the Litton family and Greg Francis) to fulfill the Co-op’s requirements, is under a 10-year lease, with options to renew for two additional 10-year terms. ‘The support and cooperation of both Calloway and the City of Grass Valley were absolutely essential in making this store possible,’ said Alan Weisberg, BriarPatch Board President.

“A number of sites were considered for relocation, but all proved to be either infeasible, unsuitable, or too expensive. Nor was opening a second store found to be a viable alternative at this time. A survey that BriarPatch conducted in April of 2014 showed a variety of views from the store’s owners and shoppers, including many supportive of staying at the Sierra College Drive location.

“The intention now is to improve the store on many fronts. Plans for remodeling the shopping and dining areas are already being developed. The warehouse spaces will be improved in order to provide a more efficient workspace for staff, as well as to make room for large-volume, discounted purchases whose savings can then be passed on to shoppers. The parking area will be expanded and the driveways modified to improve accessibility.

“The Co-op and Calloway LLC will be working over the coming months on the terms for renewing the lease and making improvements.”

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Donating to Hospitality House

Discussions about homelessness are fine, but I hope you will join me in making a donation to Hospitality House, which faces the loss of grant funds. The link is here.

“The vision of Hospitality House is to empower homeless people with tools to overcome the barriers that prevent them from securing homes.

“The money will go to startup costs for Bread & Roses Thrift and more, including leasing a building; refurbishing the building; purchasing equipment, a vehicle (for picking up furniture), advertising, and insurance; paying initial wages to one full-
time and one part-time manager with thrift store, management, and job-training expertise.”

“If you care about helping the homeless people in our community get back on their
feet, please contribute to our Bread & Roses Thrift and More campaign to support the vital services at Hospitality House.”

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Nevada City’s “Fall Cleaning” is on Saturday

spring cleaning 2This is from Reinette Senum:

“We’re in the countdown for the upcoming 1-day fall cleaning that has been scheduled for Nevada City on Saturday, October 3rd, 8am to 1pm. At the same time, RAKE (http://therakeevent.com) will be having their community-wide cleaning and both groups will be coordinating their efforts throughout Nevada City.

“The City of Nevada City, the Nevada City Police, Public Works, and organizations such as Hour Nevada County, Sierra Roots, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, and neighbors and downtown businesses are coordinating their efforts.

“Pioneer Park is on the list for cleaning and volunteers will be led by Richard Thomas and Sierra Roots President Janice O’Brien. They will be spearheading a team to clean and prune throughout the park. Jim Morris who will be overseeing weed-eating and clearing hedges along sidewalks throughout the downtown will lead an additional team.

“This round, focus will be less on painting storefronts and more on washing sidewalks, parking meters, painting curbs, pruning and weeding, and graffiti and sticker removal throughout downtown Nevada City and the 7 Hills District.

“Though tools and equipment will be provided it is first come first serve and event organizers highly recommended that volunteers bring what they can: rubber or garden gloves, brushes (to scrub sidewalk and meters), and pruning and weeding tool. Paint clothes and proper shoes are encouraged for those who want to paint curbs. Bring rollers and brushes if you have them!

“’It’s awesome that our community wanted to have another cleaning before winter,’ stated Reinette Senum, a lead organizer of the event. ‘Though this is a scaled down version from last spring, it will help continue to make us shine throughout the winter until our next big spring cleaning.

“The check-in and staging area for volunteers will be located in the Chinese Parking Lot next to HAALo, 412 Commercial Street beginning at 7:30am. All volunteers are asked to check in at this location to sign release forms and to receive directions. The Food Bank of Nevada County is providing snacks as well as coffee and tea.”

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Deaths from gun violence vs. deaths from terrorism

“More than 10,000 Americans are killed every year by gun violence,” writes Vox. “By contrast, so few Americans have been killed by terrorist attacks since 9/11 that when you chart the two together, the terrorism death count approximates zero for every year except 2001. This comparison, if anything, understates the gap: Far more Americans die every year from (easily preventable) gun suicides than gun homicides.

“The point President Obama is making is clear: We spend huge amounts of money every year fighting terrorism, yet are unwilling, at the national level, to take even minor steps (like requiring background checks on all gun sales nationally) to stop gun violence.

“‘We spent over a trillion dollars, and passed countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so,’ Obama said. ‘And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?'”

The rest of the article is here.

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Indiana GOP’s House Leader resigns after texting sexually explicit video of himself cheating on wife to everyone on his “Contacts” list

Editor’s note: What a creep!

“The controversial House Majority Leader in Indiana — he cosponsored the state’s ‘religious freedom’ law — resigned suddenly on Tuesday after a sexually compromising video was sent to all of the people on his ‘Contacts’ list, the Advocate’s Bil Browning reports,” according to Salon.

“After news of the mass-texting began to circulate, Representative Jud McMillin (R) claimed that his “phone was stolen in Canada and out of my control for about 24 hours. I have just been able to reactivate it under my control. Please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received.”

“But his ‘Canadian girlfriend stole my phone’ defense apparently didn’t convince many of his “Contacts” — or at least, not the ones who mattered — and so Tuesday night he released a statement in which he said that the ‘time is right for me to pass the torch and spend more time with my family.’

“During his five years in the legislature, McMillin has crusaded to ‘protect the integrity of the institution of marriage,’ but the Advocate reported that the woman on the video he texted was not, in fact, his wife. According to his campaign website, he claimed that ‘the family has always been the foundation of our strength of community’ and that ‘[i]n these times of turmoil the rest of the country could learn something from our example.’”

The rest of the article is here.

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