“Be There, Help Prepare”: Teens create a suicide prevention public service announcement

Our son is ending his two-week program at the Rady Children’s Hospital and UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Summer Medical Academy for high-school students interested in healthcare as a career. It has been a wonderful experience for him — and all of us in fact. We joined him in The Village student dorms (as required for teens), so he had a chance to explore the UCSD campus. My time was a little shorter because of work.

The program was an in-depth immersion into the world of healthcare and medicine. Over 100 faculty led lectures and interactive discussions, hands-on skills clinics, career panels, team building, and group projects. It was remarkable what the teens were exposed to in just two weeks.

One of the projects was for each group in the program to create a video for a public service announcement aimed at preventing teen suicide, which is on the rise. “The tragedy of a young person dying because of overwhelming hopelessness or frustration is devastating to family, friends, and community,” as the hospital staff explains. “Learning more about factors that might lead an adolescent to suicide may help prevent further tragedies. Even though it’s not always preventable, it’s always a good idea to be informed and take action to help a troubled teenager.”

Here is the public service announce that our son and his group produced:

Hotelier Jordan Fife shares his vision for The Holbrooke


From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

The summer issue of our quarterly magazine — circulating since last week — features a striking photo of downtown Grass Valley on the cover, with the headline “Historic Hotels,” among others. We also ran a newly assigned photo of The Holbrooke in Grass Valley on page 3. (Thanks to local Kial James for both).

We chose downtown Grass Valley for our cover for good reason: It’s undergoing a resurgence in food, wine, and art — literally. And as our article on Grass Valley’s renaissance observes: “The downtown’s historic Holbrooke Hotel could soon change hands and undergo refurbishment — just like the neighboring National Hotel in Nevada City — our magazine has learned.”

Now hotelier Jordan Fife — an ebullient and successful entrepreneur — is talking openly about the long-simmering deal to buy The Holbrooke, having just inked a deal to buy The National. Though it is not “99 percent” official, Fife is optimistic the deal will close escrow on August 15.

With both towns’ historic hotels belonging to the Fife-led National Exchange Hotel Co., Fife is happy to be a tourism ambassador for Grass Valley and Nevada City. He will appear soon on “Good Day Sacramento” and morning programs in the Bay Area, we learned.

California Klondike

In an interview, Fife discussed his vision for renovating The Holbrooke. Unlike the National, The Holbrooke will remain open throughout the renovation.

Both hotels will retain their historic character but have distinct personalities. The National Hotel will be more “Victorian luxe” while the Holbrooke will be “California Klondike,” inspired by the Gold Rush, with a Western stage coach feel, he said.

The Holbrooke’s dining room will specialize in well-prepared comfort food, and the outdoor patio will be a lively venue. The hotel’s Golden Gate Saloon will have an authentic Western feel, while the Iron Door space downstairs will become an underground speakeasy specializing in craft cocktails.

The rooms will receive new flooring and furniture with a Western theme, he said. The bathrooms will retain their claw-footed tubs and trademark hexagonal tiles. The hotel has 17 rooms in the main building and 11 rooms in the adjacent Purcell House.

The renovation will begin with the Purcell House, which also can be rented for group functions.

The Holbrooke, at 212 W. Main St., was built in 1862 around the Golden Gate Saloon, the oldest continuously operated saloon in the Mother Lode region,” as we wrote in this summer’s issue. “The hotel’s guests have included Mark Twain, Bret Harte and U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, and the building is a California Historical Landmark.”

The Holbrooke is just the latest investment in downtown Grass Valley. As our summer issue points out:

—The iconic Nevada County Bank building in the historic downtown has sold, and the new owners have imaginative plans for the historic building. The new owners are longtime locals Craig Hamilton and Lore Reynolds-Hamilton. The husband-and-wife team have a knack for renovating historic residences and commercial buildings in our area.

—The Center for the Arts is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation that calls for seating to increase from 310 to 492, a world-class sound system from Berkeley-based Meyer Sound, an expanded lobby with a 23-foot bar, and new “green rooms” for performers, among other features. More details HERE.

—In late summer, a new restaurant called Watershed plans to open in Grass Valley, practicing the art of approachable fine dining. The name Watershed fits the bill perfectly, bringing to mind a restaurant tied to locally sourced food. More details HERE.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Nevada City, Fife plans a multimillion-dollar renovation to breathe new life into the 40-room National Hotel with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

The “new” National Exchange Hotel — reverting to its original name — will be designed to reflect Victorian style with modern influences. It will feature Frette linens, claw foot baths, and a mix of bespoke and high-end vintage furniture.

The hotel also will boast a farm-to-table restaurant with veranda seating. Its bar and lounge will host live music. Fife hopes to reopen the renovated hotel around Christmas.

(Photo: Kial James)

Trump shows the world he’s Putin’s lackey

“No matter how low your expectations for the summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on Monday, it was hard not to be staggered by the American president’s slavish and toadying performance,” writes Michelle Goldberg, a Times Op-Ed columnist

“On Friday, the Justice Department indicted 12 members of Russia’s military intelligence service for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election and hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The same day, Trump’s director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, gave a speech about America’s vulnerability to cyberattacks, particularly from Russia. ‘I’m here to say, the warning lights are blinking red again,’ he said, comparing the threat to the one that preceded Sept. 11.

“But standing beside Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Trump sided with the Russian president against American intelligence agencies while spewing lies and conspiracy theories. ‘He just said it’s not Russia,’ he said of Putin’s denials. ‘I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be.’ Continuing in a free-associative fugue, he asked, ‘What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the D.N.C.?’ referring to a debunked right-wing claim about a former Democratic I.T. staffer. ‘What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? Thirty-three thousand emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.’

“Perhaps the most sinister part of the news conference was Trump’s seeming openness to a deal in which F.B.I. investigators could question people in Russia in exchange for letting Russians question Putin critics in America. Putin referred specifically to associates of his arch-nemesis Bill Browder, a businessman (and British citizen) who has succeeded in getting seven countries, including the United States, to pass laws punishing Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption. (The Russians who met with members of the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in June 2016 wanted to discuss this law, the Magnitsky Act.)”

The rest of the article is here.

Trump’s second Supreme Court pick: Conservative Kavanaugh, as expected

Karl Rove and Kavanaugh (credit: Getty Images)

“President Trump has chosen Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — often thought of as the second-most-powerful court in the country — to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court,” as NPR is reporting.

“Kavanaugh is a connected Washington insider with roots in politics in the George W. Bush White House. He has written almost 300 opinions for the D.C. Circuit in 12 years — and he is only 53, which means he could serve on the high court for a very long time.

“Some conservatives, though, question his bona fides, and he is controversial with Democrats because of his role investigating President Bill Clinton as part of the Starr investigation in the 1990s. And he now believes that a sitting president should be protected from litigation and criminal investigations because they ‘are time-consuming and distracting.’

“Notably, in an era of hotly partisan politics, Kavanaugh has said that it’s important not to be a partisan when one becomes a judge. ‘Check those political allegiances at the door when you become a judge,’ Kavanaugh said in 2015 in a speech at Catholic University’s law school.

The rest of the article is here.