Sampling of public safety salaries for Nevada City

Here’s a sampling of police and fire fighter salaries for Nevada City, according to the latest figures from Transparent California.  Total pay and benefits for each exceeds $100K in some cases.

Transparent California is provided by the Nevada Policy Research Institute as a public service and is “dedicated to providing accurate, comprehensive and easily searchable information on the compensation of public employees in California,”the website reads. And this doesn’t include the pensions.

It should be obvious to residents and the City Council that this might not be sustainable long-term when you consider our aging and declining population. School enrollment, a barometer of family populations, is declining too.

Yet the narrative this election season is just to salute Measure “C” and move on. Nobody on the Council is asking any of the tough questions. “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” “La! la! la!”

I wonder what it will look like around here in 2024, for example, when our son will have graduated from high school (2020) and undergraduate or graduate college (2024-2026) and is scouting out jobs and places to live.



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Excited to watch Cubs in the World Series

northwestern-university-school-of-journalism-accidentally-prints-typo-on-2014-diplomasAfter graduating from Cal Berkeley in 1981, my first biggest adventure was to go to graduate school at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

It was the first place I’d lived outside California on my own. (I’d been on only a few plane flights at the time).

I remember the week before I started classes: I walked to the journalism school (AKA Fisk Hall, built in 1899) in my flip-flops across campus from my apartment in Evanston, and it began snowing — hard. How embarrassed I felt, not to mention cold with my frozen feet.

An equal embarrassment, back in 1981-82, was the Chicago Cubs baseball team. I would join my friend and school mate David Jackson — now the White House correspondent for USA Today —  and we’d ride the “L” to the Cubs games on game day.

We could get the best seat in the house for a relative pittance — whenever we wanted. It was a fun experience for both of us.

Since then, I have been a longtime Cubs fan — often going to Cubs-Giants games, either at spring training in Scottsdale or at AT&T Park. I’ve been back to Wrigley Field too.

So it is with great honor that I get to see the Cubs playing in the World Series, ending a 70-year drought. Go Cubs!

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Another glaring error in a headline in The Union newspaper

A reader sent this along:


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Foothill Flowers turns 50

Our family enjoyed attending the 50th anniversary celebration of Foothill Flowers in downtown Grass Valley on Friday. Champagne was flowing, proclamations were read, and Marie (AKA, “Grass Valley’s Flower Lady”) looked radiant.

We mentioned the anniversary in our magazine’s fall issue. The store also is a stop on the new “Gold Country Vintage Road,” a scenic loop designed with vintage shoppers in mind.

“Mom and Pops” such as Foothill Flowers are the backbone of our local economy. We are regular customers. (The historical photo is from Searls Historical Library. The one with colorful Fourth of July bunting is by Kial James; it has been published in our magazine).

img_7031 img_7033 img_7032 nchs002-1-historical-society-3

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Nisenan Heritage Day: “Return of the Salmon Doctor” on Nov. 12

(Photo: Akim Aginsky)

(Photo: Akim Aginsky)

The Nevada City Rancheria and its Foothill Nisenan Tribal members in partnership with Sierra College-Nevada County Campus, CHIRP (California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project), the Nevada County Library, the Nevada County Historical Society and Sierra Streams Institute, invite the public to attend their seventh annual Nisenan Heritage Day. Enjoy the festivities on Saturday, November 12, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Nevada County Campus of Sierra College, located at 250 Sierra College Drive, in Grass Valley, California.

Nisenan Heritage Day presents a unique opportunity to experience a taste of living history, and a day of community building with cultural education as the Nisenan, CHIRP, and Sierra College celebrate this year’s theme: ” Return of the Nisenan Salmon Doctor.” Nisenan Salmon Doctoring has been silent on the land since the coming of the Gold Rush but is being gently re-awakened by the Tribe. The event will take place in the Gymnasium, Building N13, and will feature California Native American artisans, speakers, Traditional Dancers, and more.

“We have a wonderful lineup of educational speakers and guests again this year,” says Shelly Covert, Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council Secretary and spokesperson, “a smattering of some of the best within the Native community. Presenters will include Judith Lowry, Dr. Sheri Tatsch, Sage LaPena, Peggy Berryhill, Heyday Books, Dr. Leanne Hinton and Tribal Council Chairman Richard Johnson discussing the lifeways of the Nisenan, the recognition and termination of the Nevada City Rancheria, the Nisenan cultural revitalization, and their vision for the future of the Nisenan people.

‘Top notch’ Native artisans and master basket weavers will showcase their original creations. The 2016 Nisenan Heritage Day T-Shirt with a fresh new logo designed by Judith Lowry and David McKay, will also be available. Nisenan Heritage Day is an “all age friendly” event – admission and parking are free. Lunch will be available for purchase from the CHIRP Indian taco booth. Visit for more information and to make a donation to CHIRP.

—Nevada City Rancheria

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Davies of Grass Valley Chamber and ex-city manager Holler reunite in Mammoth Lakes deal — well almost

“There is always something happening in Mammoth Lakes,” was the proposed events strategy slogan. No kidding!

Keith Davies and his wife, Robin Galvan-Davies, CEO of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, and former Grass Valley City Administrator Dan Holler almost teamed up together again in Mammoth Lakes, where Holler is now town manager.

But the three-year, $450,000 proposed contract with the Davies’ Sierra Nevada Destination Services for event planning was withdrawn when a conflict of interest came to light between Holler and Davies, according to The Sheet, a local weekly newspaper in Mammoth Lakes. The deal had gone before the town council earlier this week.

“As Holler acknowledged Thursday, the Davies’ rent Holler’s home from him,” the Sheet reported. “The Davies and Hollers also socialize together. Holler said that as of Thursday morning, based on various conflicts of interest between he and Keith Davies, that Davies had verbally withdrawn his name from consideration as Special Events Director.”

The article pointed to a report in The Union “that Davies and Holler together loaned NCTV $10,000 in 2013.”

The proposed 18-page contract was listed on the agenda of the Mammoth Lakes Town Council meeting this week. It is here: agenda_item_9. “Staff recommends Council approve the proposed agreement with Sierra Nevada Destination Services to support economic development efforts through the implementation of the Town’s Special Events Strategy with first year funding of $125,000 and authorize the Town Manager to sign the agreement, subject to final legal review,” it began.

“After a mid-meeting recess, Mayor Shields Richardson announced that the agenda item was being pulled, so it never came up for discussion,” the newspaper said.

The report in The Sheet, an article titled “Friends with Benefits,” is here.

“So while $125,000 seems like a big number, $100,000 of it is already dedicated to various events, meaning there’s only $25,000 on the table in the first year which would be discretionary, and $50,000/year thereafter.”

The Sheet concluded: “So what happens from here? Holler said the town will either fly another RFP completely or it can approach the other people/firms which previously expressed interest and either did/did not make a formal proposal last time around.”

In an unsolicited email to this blog on the weekend, Davies wrote: ” As you know I am no longer the Co-CEO with the Chamber as I resigned my position in May to pursue another adventure, which by the way I got, and Robin is now the CEO.”


Here’s  Peaches & Herb singing “Reunited and it feels so good,” one of my favorite tunes from the ’70s:

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Trump won’t commit to accepting election results if he loses: “I will keep you in suspense”

“A defiant Donald Trump used the high-profile setting of the final presidential debate here Wednesday night to amplify one of the most explosive charges of his candidacy: that if he loses the election, he might consider the results illegitimate because the process is rigged.

“Questioned directly as to whether he would accept the outcome should Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton prevail on Nov. 8, Trump demurred. ‘I will keep you in suspense,’ the Republican nominee said. Clinton called Trump’s answer ‘horrifying,’ saying he was ‘talking down our democracy.’

“After a sober start, the candidates shifted gears into a series of fiery exchanges over their fitness to serve as president and character traits. But over the course of the third and final debate, they delved deeper into their substantive differences than they did in the first two forums and offered a clearer contrast in the directions they would take the country. They drew sharp distinctions on the economy, trade, terrorism, immigration and hot-button social issues including abortion and guns.”

The rest of the article is here.

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