Nevada County health services: What is available?

Editor’s note: Here’s an email I received from the League of Women Voters, which does a wonderful job of providing information for our community.

Members and friends of the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County are invited to attend our next monthly meeting at Peace Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 11, when a panel of local local healthcare professionals will present “Nevada County Health Services – What is Available?”

The panel will include Sharyn Turner, R.N. with Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, Cindy Wilson, R.N. with Nevada County Health Department, and a representative from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Services. These experts will discuss the range of ongoing medical services available to citizens, from the hospital emergency room to county-run health programs.

We will also learn about health-related programs and services in place in local schools, and how well we are prepared, at a local level, to deal with a severe health crisis.

The presentation is sure to include useful information for everyone. Program time is 10 a.m.-12 p.m., including ample time for Q&A. Please join us at 9:30 a.m. for complimentary refreshments and coffee service. Peace Lutheran Church is located at 828 West Main Street, Grass Valley.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, please visit

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The Union’s “Father knows best” retiree columnist wags finger at millennials


“Get off my lawn!”

51Kx00F73mLThe Union continues to confirm that its “sweet spot” for readers is in the aging, declining demographic — not our youth.

Last week, in a sycophant-toned column, Publisher Jim Hemig issued a public apology to Eskaton’s management for reporting the news — negative in this case — largely to keep them on as advertisers.

And sure enough, this morning, I saw a banner ad on its website promoting Eskaton as a “best of” winner in The Union for the 11th year or whatever it was — despite some serious allegations against the outfit. Good going Jim! You made Swift’s management proud.

This morning The Union’s “Father knows best” columnist, George Boardman, is wagging his finger at UC students for — well — acting like college students. He chides them for not acting like adults.

George suffers from being an out-of-touch “70-something,” locked up at home all day behind gated walls.

From what I can see, millennials are looking for solutions to a world that its “elders” helped create: one where they could rightfully ask: “Where is the adult in the room?”

They see a society marked by political polarization and intolerance, hateful behavior, politics dictated by wealthy special interests and so on.

The list includes the Ferguson, Missouri, debacle, crybaby Republicans angry they are not President, the ill-conceived Citizens United decision, State of Jefferson political temper tantrums and other headlines.

Around here, they probably also read the looney letters to the editor in The Union — like the moronic one this morning titled “Democrats can’t claim long history of civil rights fights.”

As for The Union, printing George’s column only gives rise to what has been called the “war on the young.” In short, more affluent older Americans are benefitting at the expense of younger people.

•Student loan debt is rising and college costs have risen faster than inflation. Some of our “electeds,” such as Tom McClintock, patron saint of “Get off my lawn!” conservative retirees, don’t want to help address the problem either.

•In our area, we have a problem with housing affordability and a lack of jobs for younger people.

•Today’s generation is faced with having to cover the bills sent to them for seniors’ medical care and retirement.

•The recession has made everything worse.

If I were a millennial, I’d be angry too. And The Union’s idea of a “conversation” is publishing a column by “Father knows best.” What a joke.

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The Bee launches improved commenting online

“Open commenting is back at,” the Editor writes this morning.

“Last Tuesday, The Sacramento Bee rolled out a new registration system that opens commenting to readers who do not subscribe. It is not, however, our system of old, which allowed anonymous commenting that too often devolved into rancorous and sometimes offensive so-called conversations.

“Sign-up has been simplified. Should you want to comment on a story or opinion piece, you must be registered and use your real name. You can choose to do that through a social media account if that’s easier and you like the connection. If not, you can use The Bee’s registration. If you click on the comments link above each story, you will find directions to register, FAQs and our community commenting guidelines.

“Like the printed newspaper’s Letters to the Editor, online commenting has provided a valued platform for community connection. The differences between the two, however, affected the quality of the conversation. Letters historically required names and addresses and were verified by Bee staff. Commenting developed in an online era that enabled and even celebrated anonymity; some of those commenting told us they felt it was their right to remain anonymous and say whatever they wanted.

“But anonymous commenting too often affected the people we wrote about, who were vilified by trolls. Parents told our education reporter they didn’t want their children interviewed for fear of ugly comments. Latino legislative leaders complained about racism. We learned we couldn’t allow comments on certain stories. Derogatory comments ranged from racist to vulgar to vicious personal attacks – all of which violate our commenting policy, even then. Some 300 comments each day were flagged by readers as problematic, and Bee digital staff would remove about half of them.

“The Bee shut down comments late in 2013. We’ve spent the time since then developing and testing various approaches. Right now 1,373 people, mostly subscribers, are registered and commenting, with their names attached. They’ve written more than 11,000 comments that meet the goal we state in our guidelines, which is to enable readers to “share information and opinions and engage in community discussion” that is thoughtful and relevant to the story being discussed.

“You will see two key changes in our comments:

“▪ Reporters might jump in on a conversation if they can add information, respond to a question or correct a fact.

▪ We will insist that you use your name to register, or we will remove your commenting privileges. That happened immediately on Tuesday with a reader who registered with a false name.

“Your registration to comment will have an added benefit for you: It will help us provide a better reader experience overall at We’ve developed technology that allows us to suggest stories in which you’ve shown an interest over time (think Amazon and its technology to recommend books you might like). We won’t be pushy about this, but we will make suggestions in your story feed.”

The rest of the article is here

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Enjoy your Easter week

I grew up in the Episcopal Church, and I still love the songs of the Easter season. For whatever reason, we have been out of town on some religious holidays, including Easter and Christmas, over fifty some years.

I try to find an Episcopal or Catholic church that celebrates with lots of music. Some memorable experiences were an Episcopal church in Fort Lauderdale, when we went to visit friends that I once worked with at the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, including an easter egg hunt for our son; St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Tahoe City; Grace Cathedral in S.F., in the neighborhood where I first lived in S.F.; Church of our Savior in San Gabriel, where I grew up; Notre Dame de Paris, where we celebrated Christmas two years ago; and St. Martin in the Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square, where we attended a  glorious Christmas concert one year.

Organs, trumpets, guitars, whatever. Some of the songs i enjoy are “Hail thee, festival day” and “Welcome Happy Morning.” Enjoy your Easter week. Or Passover, which begins April 3.

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The last campaign ad ever

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The Union’s “best of” competition needs a major tuneup

This morning The Union publisher Jim Hemig writes that Eskaton is receiving the newspaper’s “2014 Best Of Nevada County Assisted Living award.” It comes despite a recent class action lawsuit by homeowners and vote by workers to unionize — not exactly Eskaton’s best year.

“The lead plaintiffs’ lawsuit has nine complaints against Eskaton’s Sacramento management of alleged breach of fiduciary duties, financial elder abuse, unfair business practices and negligence,” as Hemig writes, also pointing out “Eskaton’s staff voting to unionize.”

Eskaton has won The Union’s Best Of Nevada County Assisted Living category every year since 2004.

The undercurrent of Hemig’s column this morning seems to be to keep Eskaton in the fold as one of its biggest advertisers amid the negative publicity. Hemig says he’s a “fan” of the local management nonetheless.

But the sycophant-toned column also shines a light on the “best of” competition itself, which is in need of a major overhaul.

Small newspapers long have turned to “best of” competitions to boost advertising revenue. They sell ads to the businesses who win (or don’t win) for special publication and hold a luncheon. It’s a revenue generating strategy masquerading as an altruistic one.

It’s a highly subjective “competition” too. In The Union’s case, the competition doesn’t have enough categories, and some of the “best” businesses — or any of them for that matter — aren’t even listed on the form. They have to be “write in” candidates.

The Union needs to completely rethink the categories. It doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on the latest trends among our local businesses, either — or in some cases, the up-and-coming businesses that also should be listed.

In addition, the contest needs to have a much better pool of “voters.” The choice of Eskaton was voted on by more than 3,300 of The Union’s readers, Hemig writes. Only 3,300? That’s out of a pool of 60,000 people in western Nevada County. Yet it is called “best of.”

In fact, The Union calls its competition “best of” Nevada County, not just western Nevada County. That’s a population of nearly 100,000 people. I don’t see too many Truckee businesses being named “best of” in The Union’s competition, even though they are recognized in the Sacramento Bee’s news pages.

In addition some businesses lobby their customers to vote for them, while others do not. That’s their prerogative, and you can’t blame them, but it could put some other businesses (who don’t want to do that) at a disadvantage.

The Union needs to overhaul its “best of” competition or risk losing credibility to the community.

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Nevada City Spring Cleaning set for March 31-April 2

Nevada City will be undertaking a massive 3-day spring-cleaning called Spring Madness Hits Nevada City, beginning Tuesday, March 31 and continuing through Thursday, April 2, 8 a.m.-noon, as first reported on this blog.

The City of Nevada City, the Nevada City Police, Fire Department, Public Works, and organizations such as Hour Nevada County, Sierra Roots, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, the Food Bank of Nevada County, students, neighbors and downtown businesses will be pulling out their scrub brushes for day one and following up for two days with painting and light building repairs.

Teams will also be removing graffiti while numerous storefronts will be receiving a fresh coat of paint. Gas lamps, fire hydrants, and street curbs will also be getting freshened up as well. Other teams, led by Ray Bryars and Jim Morris, will be weed eating and clearing hedges along sidewalks.

The Nevada City Rotary Club will be cleaning up the Deer Creek Trail and other public areas while volunteers led by Richard Thomas and Sierra Roots President Janice O’Brien will be spearheading a team to clean and paint throughout Pioneer Park.

Police Chief Tim Foley, a lead organizer of the event, said “A handful of citizens have been working on this for months.”

Paints are being provided by the respective businesses and volunteers are asked to show up either day, Tuesday through Thursday, between 8am and noon with their own brushes and buckets, ready to clean or paint the town.

Though tools and equipment will be provided it is first come first serve and event organizers highly recommended that volunteers bring the tools they think they will need that day, i.e. paint or scrub brushes, buckets, paint trays and rollers.

A special biodegradable orange-coconut cleaner is being provided by Nevada City business SOAP to reduce its impacts of the run off into Deer Creek. Knight’s Paint is providing additional painting supplies.

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 for directions. The Food Bank of Nevada County is providing breakfast snacks as well as coffee and tea.

Volunteers can receive a free membership with Hour Nevada County as well as receive service-credits: where your good deeds become exchangeable! To find out more about Nevada County’s first TimeBank visit:!events/cs8c.

To sign up in person you can do so at the Nevada City City Hall or the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce. If you like to sign up online you can do so at at Or simply show up, prepared for work any time between 8am and noon either of the three days. Please join us in this extraordinary event! All ages welcome!

—Reinette Senum

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