Dueling billboard signs on I-80 to promote Grass Valley?

1236517_10152290685240949_3696408743050292238_nA recurring theme here is whether the Chambers are competing, or collaborating, when it comes to promoting tourism.

Here we go again. About a month ago, the Grass Valley Downtown Association rolled out a program for a billboard on I-80 to promote downtown Grass Valley starting Nov. 1. It is going to be around Penryn for traffic going up the hill from Sacramento and the Bay Area. The GVDA is asking its members to each make a small monthly donation for the sign — as little as $25 per member and more. We are going to participate as associate members, because I think it’s a good idea. I’ve long been a proponent of a billboard on I-80 — first mentioning it three years ago in a report to the County. The fundraising campaign is underway.

The billboard image, from our friend and photographer Kial James, is the same one we commissioned Kial to do for the Grass Valley Visitors Guide that we publish for the GVDA. It is on the cover of this year’s guide. The photo looks awesome. The first billboard will promote Cornish Christmas, and others will be brand promotions for Grass Valley. (There are multiple change outs per year).

Now along comes the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce with its own plan for a digital (not print) sign. “I was recently approached by a company that operates digital display signs,” writes the Chamber co-CEO in his Friday newsletter. “They have a sign location available at Colfax, near the former Dingus McGee restaurant that faces eastbound traffic.” (We’re familiar with that sign; it is used to promote local businesses).

“If we were to raise the TOT tax in the Nevada City-Grass Valley area to 13 percent we estimate the additional 3 percent would increase that revenue by $300,000″ and it could be dedicated to a digital billboard and “two or three” other print billboards on I-80.

“In addition, the Regional Chambers could sell advertising space for the billboards at a special rate for their members.”

But the GVDA already has a plan in place for a billboard to promote Grass Valley. To be sure, billboard advertising is not a panacea. Though a lot of people see it, most do not make a split-minute call to action. It takes time. But it will help.

We continue to suffer from the “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome.  The Chambers ought to accelerate their efforts to be advocates for business — and support the GVDA sign. TGIF!

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A locals Halloween

This is one of the best communities around for Halloween. Colorful autumn leaves line the pathway to houses, decked out with artfully carved Jack O’Lanterns and spooky decorations, including creepy sounds and smoking cauldrons.

Downtown Nevada City is a favorite spot for local trick or treaters. Its Victorian homes and old deciduous trees are the perfect backdrop for Halloween. Nevada City is hosting its second annual Halloween parade, and Miners Foundry will hold its annual Fright Night. Downtown Grass Valley hosts a trick or treat for preschoolers. Little ghosts and goblins, and a Cinderella or two, are marching around with bags of candy.

Our home is all decked out for Halloween, as usual. I’m a big fan of artful flower displays, and I ordered a Halloween theme from Foothill Flowers. It was a masterpiece. The fresh-made cookies are from Emily’s Catering & Cakes, which just opened a new store on Colfax Avenue (AKA “The Avenue”) in Grass Valley. It goes to show you what our local merchants offer. I can’t imagine going “off the hill” to a Halloween outlet store in a mall.


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Lamphier: “I have not proactively and knowingly ‘clicked on, visited or downloaded’ any inappropriate material

Terry Lamphier’s response to a criminal investigation about him is here

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Fable Coffee coming to Mill Street in downtown Grass Valley


From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

Fable Coffee is coming to Mill Street in Grass Valley, at the corner of Mill Street and Neal Street, next to the historic Del Oro Theatre.

“I just secured the spot with a sweet little deposit,” Fable’s owner Amanda Daley wrote on Facebook — increasingly the source of breaking community news.

Fable has built a local “cult-like” following, with appearances at the Nevada City Farmers Market and at stores such as Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. and Emily’s Catering & Cakes.

Fable will be open at night and sell coffee to patrons at the Del Oro Theatre. The store will open its doors on the theater side as well.

Fable was started in 2012 by Jacob & Amanda Daley – a married duo with a passion for coffee, as their website notes. They moved around for a couple of years, then found themselves in Nevada County, and wanted to help bring good coffee to the area.

In 2014, Zachariah Hudson joined the team, and has been logging a lot of hours on our Diedrich IR-7 small-batch drum roaster.

Grass Valley is becoming a mecca for local premium coffee, with stalwart Carolines Coffee Roasters and Brew Bakers Family Cafe, which offers premium Temple Coffee from Sacramento.

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Our letter to the editor runs in the Sierra Sun to support our schools

Editor’s note: We wrote this letter to the editor in the Sierra Sun of Truckee to support Measures E and U. It ran this week. Measure U & E are General Obligation Bond measures being placed on the November 4, 2014 ballot by Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD). If approved by votes they will provide funds for the highest priority facilities needs of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

We also are proud to have a sign in our front yard in Nevada City to support Bob Altieri, Shelly Sexton and Larry Meek for the Nevada County Board of Education. The letter to support Measures E and U is here:

Our schools are vital to the economic health of our community, so we hope you will support Measure E and Measure U. Supporting these measures is a highly worthwhile investment in our community to attract and retain families.

We have owned a home on Tahoe’s West Shore for 15 years, we are raising an elementary school-age child, and we are excited about all the improvements to Truckee and Tahoe City. This includes the street-scape in Truckee, the commercial core improvements to Kings Beach and “smart” redevelopment projects that are in the works, from Truckee to the North Shore to the West Shore.

New businesses are opening throughout the Tahoe-Truckee area, existing ones are gaining more accolades, and we are being more widely recognized as a year-round recreation “destination” — thanks to a lot of hard work from “electeds,” business and civic leaders and our residents.

As our economy rebounds, we also need to support and bolster our schools, a lynchpin for any economic development plan. Rural communities with vibrant, modern schools are more robust both economically and civically; help lead to more equality; and they support a stronger middle class. Technology improvements in schools are vital to keep pace with rapid change.

Please support Measure U in the Truckee area and Measure E in the Lakeside area. Thank you.

Shannon and Jeff Pelline

Nevada City

Tahoe City homeowner

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Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is “proud to be gay”


(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Editor’s note: We have been Apple shareholders and customers for years. This is a extraordinary essay from CEO Tim Cook. Cook has alluded to facing difficulties in Alabama, where he has said that “human rights and dignity are values that need to be acted upon.”

“Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said he was ‘proud to be gay’ in an essay published early Thursday, becoming by far the most prominent executive of a public company to come out,” the New York Times is reporting.

“Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Mr. Cook wrote in the essay, published by Bloomberg Businessweek.

“Mr. Cook, 53, has never spoken publicly about his sexual orientation in the many years he has worked in the spotlight at Apple.

“In his essay, Mr. Cook also noted that he had spent much of his life trying to keep his personal matters private, which is why he had not previously spoken in public about his sexual orientation.

“Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world,’ he wrote, ‘and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.’

“While he has never talked about it publicly, Mr. Cook’s sexuality has been a widely open secret in Silicon Valley. In private forums, he has alluded to facing difficulties growing up as a young man in Alabama, where he was raised for much of his childhood. He has said that human rights and dignity are values that need to be acted upon.

“With his essay, Mr. Cook becomes the most prominent gay man in the corporate world, joining a very short list of openly gay executives at public companies. He also defies corporate sexual identity norms; 83 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual people hide aspects of their identity at work, according to a Deloitte report.

The article is here.

An excerpt is here: “Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

“The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant.”

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On no, an editorial board member of The Union/cartoonist is after me again!

You gotta love small-town politics. Here’s a drawing of my blog from RL Crabb, a cartoonist for The Union and “editorial board member.” At least it beats getting anonymous unwanted magazine subscriptions in the mail! For RL, it’s much safer territory than scrutinizing Grass Valley politics. That might upset the publisher’s friends. LOL.

The internet is changing how we communicate, and that’s a tough pill for the old-timers to swallow. They are defenders of the “old order.” Let’s put some pennies in our loafers and cut the rug!

(Source: RL Crabb’s blog)

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