Nevada City Council to consider cannabis dispensary

This is from the agenda packet of the 9/28 Nevada City Council meeting:

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More background is here (scroll to page 57).

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The Union’s conflict of interest in reporting on the NCERC-“Green Screen Institute”

The Union has an highly positive article about a local virtual reality class called Connected Communities Academy. It basically is a free advertisement for the academy stating that the start date for classes is “flexible and will be based on minimum enrollment requirements.”

In this instance, the article is written by the son of The Union’s city editor.

What the article does not disclose is an inherent conflict of interest. The Union is a paid contractor with the Nevada County Economic Resource Council to manage the county’s tourism website. And the executive director of the NCERC also is the managing partner of the Green Screen Institute. The academy also is partially funded by the NCERC.

I am excited about the potential of virtual reality. But I am not excited about the conflict of interest that exists between The Union, the NCERC and the “Green Screen Institute.” It does not lead to objective reporting.

I also still don’t understand how holding virtual reality classes will create local virtual reality jobs. That is a stretch.

This is an issue the Nevada County Board of Supervisors should take more seriously, since the NCERC is funded by the county.

Come on people, we can do better.

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An ugly campaign, condensed into one debate

‘”Debate’ is an iffy word for an exercise in which candidates are prompted by moderators to dole out their stump speeches bit by bit under hot lights while a clock counts the seconds and every quip and jab and stumble is used to keep score and proclaim a ‘winner,'” as The New York Times is reporting.

“But when just one candidate is serious and the other is a vacuous bully, the term loses all meaning.

“Monday night’s confrontation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was a spectacle, for sure: the sheer reality-TV hugeness of it, the Super Bowl audience of tens of millions. ‘Debate of the Century,’ said The Drudge Report. ‘America on the Brink,’ said The Huffington Post. For once, the hype may have been about right, given the tightness of the polls and the nearness of the election.

“There was a fundamental asymmetry to the exercise, because of the awful truth that one of the participants had nothing truthful to offer. But seeing them on the same stage distilled exactly who they have been throughout this campaign.

“Standing at the lectern, interrupting and shouting, playing the invisible accordion with his open hands, filibustering, tossing his word salads — jobs and terrorism and Nafta and China and everything is terrible — Mr. Trump said a lot. But as the debate wore on, he struggled to contend with an opponent who was much more poised and prepared than any of the Republicans he faced in the primaries.”

The rest of the article is here.

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“Multiple reports” of whooping cough at Nevada Joint Union High School District

Editor’s note: I received this email:

“Good evening parents,

“This is Superintendent Louise Johnson with an important message about your student’s health. We have had multiple reports of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough on campus. The Health Department is making this recommendation:

· If your student has not had a Pertussis booster shot they should have one as soon as possible. Please contact your private provider to obtain a vaccination;

· If your student shows signs of a progressively worsening cold or cough, you should contact your doctor. Although your student will eventually recover, they may expose infants, the elderly or pregnant women who are more at risk for complications.

· Should your child develop Pertussis, he/she will need to be out of school until a 5 day course of antibiotics has been completed.

Please go the Nevada Joint Union High School District website for more information or contact your school’s nurse. Thank you.”

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Union won’t print a column from one of its editorial board members — what does this tell us?

Update: Despite George Rebane’s comment that “The Union has not decided to publish it,” Norm Sauer’s diatribe attacking Hillary Clinton has been published on Tuesday morning. Who can blame The Union and its management (Publisher Don Rogers and Editor Brian Hamilton)? Losing one subscriber is losing one too many. lol.

On his hard right political blog George “Raghead” Rebane is whining that The Union won’t print a column from Norm Sauer, who also happens to be one of its editorial board members. It is an inflammatory and asinine article titled “Clinton unfit to lead.”

The real question is, why is Norm Sauer on The Union’s editorial board in the first place if the newspaper won’t run his articles because they’re so inflammatory? These are the same people The Union depends on to help write its own editorials.

It is a reflection on The Union’s demographics. Over the years, the Union has “reaped what is sows,” and this is a classic example.

The Rebane “hit parade” of Russ Steele, Don Bessee, Greg Goodnight, Bill Tozer, Walt all weigh in, with the expected responses.

It reminds me of the bar in Star Wars:

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The Union’s Boardman: the world’s most boring columnist

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s installment from “Bored Georgeman”:

“Much to my surprise, I encountered a phone tree that connected me to a human being after punching just a couple of numbers. The fellow I talked to was friendly, professional, and appeared to actually know what he was doing. I completed the call in less than five minutes, and they picked up the bins when they said they would. Waste Management is clearly making an effort to improve its customer service, and I want them to know that at least one customer appreciates the effort.”

A Waste Management “phone tree” no less! Podunk.

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Measure C in Nevada City faces a backlash

14390807_186399711794439_974284477998345036_nMeasure C in Nevada City — a Nov. ballot measure to tax local residents for “status quo” police and fire services — is now facing a backlash, stemming from an ongoing series of hateful, personal attacks directed at Council Member Reinette Senum for her comments related to the Dallas police shooting.

Weeks later, Reinette’s business is still the subject of hateful, “bogus” reviews on Yelp. And the ongoing attacks aren’t sitting well with some locals.

The backlash became apparent in a recent planning commission decision to reject cell phone towers in the historic downtown — unrelated to police and fire, but a decision that Reinette and others agreed with for various reasons. Their objections had been vocal prior to the vote.

The problems began this summer when Senum made some inappropriate comments about law enforcement in general but apologized for them — twice. I did not agree with the comments, but I agreed much less with the hateful backlash — much of it from people who do not have a two- or three-digit addresses in Nevada City but figured that stirring the pot would somehow be constructive.

They called Reinette ugly names and police associations who should have known better called for a boycott of her restaurant — a decision that should be well out of their purview.

This is not new. I’ve noticed Nevada City has long been hijacked by people with their own political motives — often self-serving ones. Others just don’t like Reinette, and never will, because of her political views. They are incapable of looking past politics to see what Reinette has helped accomplish.

The taxpayers who live in Nevada City know that Reinette is outspoken. Her comments were painful to hear, but she is not alone. Recent examples abound: the words and actions of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, or a recent police shooting in Tulsa. In Tulsa, a white police officer who was shown on video fatally shooting an unarmed black man has been charged with manslaughter.

As for Reinette, many locals also appreciate what she has accomplished for the town. She helped found the Nevada City Farmers Market, which generates business. Some of the same people who attacked Reinette acknowledged as much when the Council voted unanimously last week to extend the farmers market year-round — a first for Nevada County. No personal word of thanks, however.

Reinette also has advocated for the homeless population and won awards for outstanding community service from the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and Marching Presidents. She also is a local business owner.

Now it turns out that the same people who mishandled and exacerbated the response to Reinette’s words are insisting that we vote for another tax increase for fire and police protection — just like insisting that we go “all in” for the cell phone towers in an historic district without questioning alternatives.

Let’s face it: Measure C is a “band aid” proposal, because the area’s population is aging and declining, while the costs for police and fire, including pensions, are rising. In the future, we will be asked to approve more taxes to keep Nevada City incorporated. There’s no doubt about it.

Few are addressing the systemic problems — a lack of good paying jobs, political intolerance that leads to gridlock in decision making, and increased competition from other retirement communities, including ones in Nevada. Meanwhile, we face escalating public pension costs, including ones for police and fire.

To be sure, we support our local police and firefighters. We attended the recent Nevada City firefighter pancake breakfast, and donate to the “boot” and countless other fundraisers.

I suspect we will “dutifully” vote for Measure C, going along with the “go along to get along” sentiment only to “kick the can” down the road until another time.

But like others, we think the hatefulness directed toward a fellow citizen was more inappropriate than the offense — and a shining example of the political bullying and intolerance that helps define our town and flies in the face of economic development. No one is addressing that either.

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