Ponderosa West Project, creating a fuel break for wildfires

Ponderosa West Project is a shaded fuel break. Unlike a fire break, a shaded fuel break does not remove all vegetation to bare mineral soil. Rather, living vegetation will be modified or reduced to limit a fire’s ability to spread rapidly. The California Native Plant Society, CAL FIRE and Fire Safe Council are collaborating with property owners to create a custom fuel reduction plan for each property.”

Power outages, wildfires, and COVID 19 (oh my!) — but still optimistic

In theory, at least, rural economies such as ours in the Sierra Foothills were supposed to be winners by the 2020s: Offering a breath of fresh air from sometimes stifling city life.

Unlike Coastal California, the housing is in our neck of the woods is affordable. Our schools are still good (Ghidotti High is a statewide standout) and the outdoor lifestyle is extraordinary. Those neighborhoods with high-speed internet (we live in one) open up great telecommuting opportunities from the woods.

Jobs are a mixed bag, as you’d expect in a rural setting, but good opportunities exist for those with entrepreneurial mindsets (we’ve experienced that).

Things have been looking up in our towns: A thriving arts and culture scene, exciting new projects ranging from the new Center for the Arts building in Grass Valley to the Truckee Railyard — as well as heightened environmental awareness.

Then along came the wildfires. And COVID 19. And PGE’s “planned” power outages. (Like others, we now awake to the sound of power generators running in our neighborhood, not just song birds). This week, the internet dropped too. Argh.

Add to that “distanced learning,” the latest education “experience” in the COVID 19 era. And fighting in the streets of our “quaint town” as political rallies turn ugly.

For those on fixed incomes — a big chunk of our population — the stock market decline has depleted their IRAs. Others have lost their jobs all together. Some are half joking, “What’s next? The locusts.”

As it turns out, 2020 is proving to be a challenging one, exposing our region’s vulnerabilities. In short, we seem ill-equipped to handle all of it at once.

It’s a fragile state of affairs, to be sure. And it’s easy to get drawn into the negativism.

Though the problems (expected and unexpected) seem daunting, I’m remaining optimistic and keeping it all in perspective (AKA “The sun will come out tomorrow”).

I’ve noticed encouraging signs of collaboration, such as the Nevada County Relief Fund: “The Nevada County Relief Fund is our emergency response to Covid-19. We don’t know how this crisis ends, or how bad it will get. But we do know that in times like these, we take care of one another and unite against adversity head on.” We’ve gladly donated to the fund.

I also see some progress when it comes to expanding broadband initiatives, a longtime bugaboo. And I see more of our talented locals stepping up and running for public office — providing new leadership. I also see signs of compassion, even smiles emerging from beneath the masks that people are wearing around town. We can do this.

Julie Baker for School Board

Julie is an ideal fit for the Nevada County Board of Education. She is an engaged and passionate leader. Julie also understands public education: She and Richard have raised their children in our District’s schools, and she is a UC graduate. Julie is a proven leader in the local arts and nonprofit scene, helping to raise our towns’ profile across the state. Her campaign manager Morgan Margulies, a rising junior at Columbia in New York, is a “rising star” in his own right and a testament to the caliber of our public schools, as well as its teachers and administrators. What a team!

Joe Biden’s speech to the Democratic convention: full text

Here’s the full text of Joe Biden’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president, as prepared for delivery and released by the convention:

Good evening.

Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way.

Give people light.

Those are words for our time.

The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division.

Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness.

It’s time for us, for We the People, to come together.

For make no mistake. United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.

I am a proud Democrat and I will be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So, it is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America.

But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did.

That’s the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.

It’s a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.

America isn’t just a collection of clashing interests of Red States or Blue States.

We’re so much bigger than that.

We’re so much better than that.

The rest of the speech is here.