No one is chasing millennials out of our towns faster than The Union’s paid commentators





No one is chasing millennials out of our towns faster than The Union’s paid commentators.

This weekend, The Union’s paid cartoonist RL Crabb drew a cartoon mocking environmental efforts to address environmental damage from dredge mining. It showed an old miner looking askance because “environmental impact fees” were cutting into his efforts to mine gold with a dredge.

Crabb received high praise for his cartoon from hard-right political activist and blogger George Rebane, once the planning commissioner for local hard-right politico Drew Bedwell.

“Good ‘toon, would have been better with Izzy holding the business end of the dredge,” wrote the avid local global-warming denier Gregory Goodknight, attacking Izzy Martin, executive director of the Sierra Fund, whose mission is to “address the legacy of historic mining in California.”

“Any donations from the Middle East to the Sierra Fund?” added Todd Juvinall, once elected to be a County supervisor and one of the nastiest commentators in our western county. “Any Arabic names on the roster? Are they armed? LOL! That would be the only thing that might keep tax money from flowing to these eco ripoffs.”

Juvinall added, “SYRCL now has grown like all these eco-scams do and is suing the very taxpayers who fund them regarding other rivers. And they are trying to tear down Englebright. All the while being paid to remove mercury from Combie using, GASP! Dredges!”

Hard-right blogger Russ Steele, once a County Transportation Commissioner,  added: “Donating to local non-profits can have bad consequences.”

But wait, there’s more: On Monday, The Union’s paid columnist George Boardman wrote: “Is the free exchange of ideas being sacrificed for political correctness?” He was repeating himself from another column.

George added: “Today’s students — the best and brightest of our young adults — apparently can’t take the heat. Instead, they insist on ‘trigger warnings,’ protection from ‘micro aggressions,’ and ‘safe spaces’ where nobody will challenge their beliefs.”

So let’s throw out political correctness and make an observation: The Union has hired two aging, white, stodgy males — one mocking environmental laws and the other mocking political correctness — as its columnist and cartoonist.

This comes at the same time our community is hoping to recruit and retain well-educated millennials to our region.

Imagine how the rants of Crabb and Boardman resonate to a newly minted engineer from a coastal college who might want to relocate here.

What a disconnect! And what an embarrassment.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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23 Responses to No one is chasing millennials out of our towns faster than The Union’s paid commentators

  1. jeffpelline says:

    Needless to say, Todd is up and at ’em this morning, whirling the insults and personal attacks. Let’s hope Todd runs for Supe in the spring! It’s time to send this “good old boy” a message — loud and clear. My hunch: He’ll back out, because he knows what we know. His views are as outdated as he is.

  2. Annie Fox says:

    Reinette any time. Since they appears so jealous, why don’t they open up a restaurant, employ people, and compete with her. Or are they afraid of a lovely woman?

  3. jeffpelline says:

    More illiterate words from Todd Juvinall: “The party I attended this last Saturday had hundreds of people, and they came up to me to tell me how they really liked my bolg.” Todd what’s a “bolg”? LOL. Let’s hope all this praise encourages Todd to run for District 1 Supervisor!

    And George Boardman is proud to be called out for his foolishness. Let’s hope The Union renews its contract with Boardman in 2016! Can’t wait.

  4. jeffpelline says:

    And what would Monday morning be without some hate from George Rebane’s blog:

  5. jeffpelline says:

    This is generating some interesting comments on Facebook from some well-educated longtime locals raising families with good jobs. Here’s one: “Nothing says ‘this town is for old farts’ like a read through The Union. Not to mention all the coverage about meth related crime and mug shots.”

  6. Peter Van Zant says:

    Jeff: I will take exception on throwing Bob Crabb into the anti-milliennial focus here. I’ve gotten support and damnation from his cartoons. But is is doing what a cartoonist should do….skewer all positions. I would also add that dredge mining is probably not a millennial sport or issue.

    • jeffpelline says:


      When I think of bringing college-educated millennials to our region, I do not think of Bob Crabb as an ambassador.

      These people are not drawn to the river to dredge mine; most would prefer that it be protected with environmental laws like SB637.

      And this “skewering all positions” is an old wives’ tale about Crabb. He’s a Nevada County “good old boy” at heart and more of a reflection of an older generation.

      It’s a good discussion, though. Here are some signed comments from Facebook:

      Sue Williams Clark— Agreed

      Wendy Van Wagner — Truth! Nothing says “this town is for old farts” like a quick read through The Union. Not to mention all the coverage about meth related crime and mug shots!

      Heather Donahue — Are millenials considering a move here reading The Union?

      Douglass Truth — Most have no idea it exists, I’m sure.

      Bruce Levy — The Tea Party Gazette, slowly circling the drain, as it should.

      Michelle Noe — Welcome to Nevada County!

      Kim L. King — So what’s new? The Union has been a backwards rag fit for little but the bottom of a birdcage for decades. I can’t bear to read it. They get the news wrong more often than not, and the editorial policy is an affront to reason.

    • brucelevy says:

      Peter, you comment may have resounded in years past, but things changed.

  7. Chris Bishop says:

    I never said a word. But, I heard my wife talking with some of her family this weekend. My wife’s family has lived in this community on two occasions spanning the 70’s-early 90’s. They currently live all over the nation including; Idaho, D.C. SoCal, and Miami.

    Basically, my son will never live here,again. Neither will the 30, or so, Valedictorians of the NU class of 2015. And, it’s not necessarily the lack of jobs; even if there were jobs.

    The smart, high schooler’s know. They know who their representatives are and what their positions/values are.

    The Pine Tree Tax is worn out.

  8. jeffpelline says:

    Yup. That is the issue. But I don’t think it matters much to the crowd that spends its time hanging out on the “Lido deck” in our small towns. It’s a parallel universe.

  9. jeffpelline says:

    Sure enough, Crabb turns to his blog to defend his simple-minded cartoon, calling it a “statement of fact.” A teachable moment for sending kids to college.

  10. jeffpelline says:

    The phone rang at about 7:10 p.m. tonight, and our son picked it up because he was expecting a call from a classmate about a homework assignment. In fact, it was for me. I picked it up, and the caller identified himself as Michael Kesti asking to talk to me. I said no and please don’t call at night again.

    • jeffpelline says:

      BTW, memo to Michael Kesti and others: If you want to reach me, send an email to (one of my email addresses). I will be happy to respond promptly. But do not call my home during the dinner hour. Thanks!

    • jeffpelline says:

      I did receive an email from Michael Kesti last night.

      Michael Kesti wrote: “You may have misunderstood my comment as I feel that I had in no way mocked Los Mineros and that my intent was to be supportive. “

  11. Douglas Keachie says:

    Without actions towards effecting true climate stabilization, it’s entirely possible that nobody will be able to live here in 30 years.

  12. Douglas Keachie says:

    I think you might want to read up on the relationship between mercury and gold. As residue from the previous century’s mining efforts, they are often found together, and today’s sluicer dredgers actually do a service in attempting to get them out of the rivers. Where they do a disservice, is in making tremendous noise, and muddying the waters. Having alternate days or weeks would be one compromise.

  13. Douglas Keachie says:

    If the atisan miner uses a close system to recapture mercury vapour, then he does a service. If not, then he endangers the environment. See also:

  14. jeffpelline says:

    Here’s another clown who is chasing the millennials out of town:

    One look at his resume, and you can see he’s taxpayer subsidized too! LOL.

    • brucelevy says:

      I found this comment from the “even-handed” Mr. Crabb on the article interesting:

      Mr Crabb at 7:33 – “…priming the pump of revolution…”
      Er, what ‘revolution’? Bernie, Hillary, Obama et al are simply calling for more of what the govt has been doing for decades. It doesn’t work and yet millions of fools want a lot more of it.
      I’ll agree putting in the word ‘rich’ was stupid. The fact is that all folks that live and visit SF shouldn’t have to put up with what is going on. You wouldn’t let your child poop on the side walk and sleep in the gutter. Why should society put up with those that decide to live that way? I notice the article complains that he offers no ‘solution’. The fact is that current conditions in SF concerning the homeless IS the solution the city govt has come up with. There is a compassionate solution to the homeless problem, but for various reasons our society has decided to not implement them. Some are good reasons (conservative and libertarian), and most are just evil (left wing).
      I can’t begin to fully address the ‘homeless’ problem here, but the idea that we have one generation after another of clueless, uneducated voters because of the opinions presented in that letter is absurd.

      • jeffpelline says:

        Crabb said this comment is not his but “Scott O.’s”
        Instead, Crabb drew a cartoon mocking environmental efforts to address environmental damage from dredge mining. And George Boardman wrote in a column: “Today’s students — the best and brightest of our young adults — apparently can’t take the heat. Instead, they insist on ‘trigger warnings,’ protection from ‘micro aggressions,’ and ‘safe spaces’ where nobody will challenge their beliefs.”

        Does anyone who is younger than 65 years old, let alone a woman, ever comment on Rebane’s blog? LOL. Millennials beware.

  15. jeffpelline says:

    He’s still feeling the glow of being a “Grand Marshall” (sic). LOL.

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