Debate about Dollar General also applies to our proposed shopping centers

Editor’s note: Here’s a letter in our local newspaper by Judith Berliner that is spot on. (As I mentioned the other day, I ordered laundry soap, dishwashing liquid from Dollar General to “test it out.” The box arrived late and was poorly packed).

But as for Judith’s argument, I would add that her point also should be part of the discussion when the Dorsey Drive shopping center comes up. (It will once the interchange opens). We need to encourage “smart growth” and preserve our ridge lines, views and so on. Is it possible to do both? Of course.

We just need smarter, more conscientious people involved with the execution — as well as the oversight. I wrote about this store last fall, but it didn’t get more widespread attention required — until the big, ugly building went up. It’s because our local media was clueless. Another example of “too little, too late.”

“I am so sorry that there seems to be very little foresight when it comes to Grass Valley decision making and planning.

“The new Dollar General, referred to as “the smallest big box store,” with their “very small footprint” of a building, has stolen our view of the remaining trees that could still be seen from certain angles in Glenbrook Basin. Wow, all that, and it will begin to chip away at the locally owned stores that have built our community. If that is not enough, their modified ‘standard cookie-cutter building’ is being built by a construction and management group from Texas.

“I can’t even imagine what the extra cars darting into the current traffic flow in Glenbrook Basin will do.

“In one recent issue of The Union, there is an article about a ridge line in Penn Valley that the county calls ‘visually important.’ The property owners are being told they can’t build there. I guess that ‘visually important ridge lines’ only apply to rural areas. Please shop local. Put your money where your heart is, and please vote. My dad, Harold Berliner might have said this better, but I had to say something.

Judith Berliner

Nevada City”

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Code Red

Editor’s note: We signed up for this. This is the notice posted on

“Effective June 1, 2014, Nevada County will have a new emergency and mass notification provider. The transition from CityWatch to the industry-leading, high-speed mass notification system, CodeRED, began earlier this year.

“The transition to CodeRED will offer Nevada County residents access to patented technologies that were not available with the previous provider. Public safety officials will be able to more effectively communicate time-sensitive messages using the CodeRED system’s robust dialing infrastructure that is entirely managed by its parent company, Emergency Communications Network. This access will allow calls to be delivered seconds after public safety officials launch a message. Additionally, the County will have the ability to better target notifications geographically, only notifying those community members impacted by an alert.

“Nevada County residents who registered with CityWatch have been transferred to the new CodeRED system, however all residents of Nevada County are encouraged to update their existing information and enroll additional contact information through the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services enrollment page.

“Residents and Businesses who are using AT&T as your landline phone provider; your home phone number is already added as the part of a Public Safety Data Base available to public safety agencies. You are still encouraged to add your cell phone information to the CodeRed data base.

“Contact information accessed thru CodeRed will only be used by Public Safety Officials for emergency notification.”

You can register here.

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Moonshine Ink wins Vision award

Regular readers know that I’ve been a fan of Moonshine Ink in the Lake Tahoe area.

We could use a Moonshine Ink in our western county, as I’ve said before.

So I was glad to read this: “Mayumi Elegado, publisher of Moonshine Ink, whose ongoing editorial balance and expertise have fostered a successful local paper at a time when newspapers seem to be going extinct.”

The newspaper received a well-deserved “Vision Award” from the Sierra Business Council. Moonshine Ink also has a good website.

I was also glad to read that High Hand in Loomis was honored: “Scott Paris, owner of the High Hand Nursery and Café in Loomis, who has created a successful brand and destination hot spot while maintaining forward-thinking, environmentally responsible business practices.”

The Vision Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, Oct. 9, during SBC’s 20th Anniversary Conference, “Peak Innovation: The Next 20 Years”, taking place at Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge in Tahoe City from Oct. 8 to 10, 2014.

I couldn’t agree more with both honors. If I can get some work off my plate, I am going to the conference to shake hands with the recipients. We have a lot of innovation going on in our region (these businesses and others) but it is under-reported.

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The Union’s “Foothill Direct”: 76 “likes” on Facebook

It’s interesting to watch The Union and the Auburn Journal slug it out amid the Great Slump in the newspaper business. As reported earlier Foothills Entertainer invaded The Union’s turf. And now The Union is striking back.

“Foothill Direct is a publication The Union produces for Colfax, Weimar, Applegate, Dutch Flat, Meadow Vista, Alta and Gold Run,” said a post on The Union’s Facebook page. “Keep up on what’s happening in those areas by liking the Foothill Direct’s new facebook page!

To be sure, we have world-class photojournalism in our area, thanks largely to natural treasurers such as the Yuba River, Lake Tahoe and our historic towns.

But let the record show that the “homegrown” journalism, at least when it comes to the chains such as Swift Communications and Gold Country Media, is largely still po-dunk. Both The Union and the Auburn Journal need to step up their game.

Here’s “76 Trombones” from the Music Man:

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Study: Sponsored digital content has a trust problem

“Sponsored content. Paid posts. Partner stories. Whatever you want to call it, it’s drummed up its share of controversy over the past year as the vast majority of publishers have adopted some sort of native advertising offering. The media industry’s echo chamber is teeming with talk of it.

“But how do readers feel about sponsored content? We got one answer in February, when Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, revealed that only 24 percent of readers were scrolling down on native ad content on publisher sites, compared to the 71 percent of readers who scroll on ‘normal content.’ It was a damning indictment of the quality of sponsored content at large.”

The rest of the article is here.

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King Fire as seen from downtown Grass Valley

A reader submitted this photo of the King Fire from downtown Grass Valley. The fires are making the national news.IMG_9850

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Tess’ Kitchen Store now sells artisan cheese, thanks to Dedrick’s

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

Tess’ Kitchen Store in downtown Grass Valley is now offering gourmet cheeses from Dedrick’s Cheese Store, a popular artisan purveyor in the foothills.

Dedrick’s is stocking a display cooler at Tess’ with some of the world’s finest artisan cheeses. It is providing cheese, salami, crackers, nuts and olives, among other items, for Tess’ customers.

Dedrick’s is based in Placerville, but it has other satellite locations in Truckee, Lake Tahoe and Plymouth. It also sells cheese at the Nevada County Certified Farmers Market at North Star House in Grass Valley.

This is a good example of collaboration between our local businesses.

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