Have mask will travel

HONOLULU- We have built an eclectic collection of face-masks: Colorful ones, plain N95 masks, even a blue-and-gold one with a Cal Berkeley bear.

For a short week, we escaped to Hawaii, which is a travel bargain because of Covid. On the islands, vaccinating is upwards of 65 percent. We have been vaccinated since spring, and we brought a pile of masks along.

Visitors are required to show vaccination cards before exiting the airport. Hotels check vaccination cards at check-in. It is the strictest procedure I’ve seen. (A lost credit card can be replaced, but DO NOT lose a vaccination card). The six-foot rule is enforced, even at the beach.

I’ve noticed some Japanese tourists have worn masks in pre-COVID visits to Hawaii. Now we’re all joining them. The mayor has participated in the effort, handing out free masks to beach goers at Waikiki.

Despite all this, Hawaii has still struggled with COVID. Going into Labor Day, hospitals’ ICU units were full or near full. The state has just 223 licensed ICU beds.

Of course, it is still possible to have a great time in Hawaii in the COVID era. We are reading books while glancing out at the ocean, taking long walks on the beach, eating fresh fish, and swimming often. Aloha!

Target store coming to Grass Valley

A Target store is coming to the McKnight Crossing Shopping Center in Grass Valley, according to Target’s corporate website. The future store is “located at 111 West McKnight Way, Grass Valley, CA, 95949,” according to a posting on Target’s corporate website.

The link is here.

Grass Valley has long been seeking “big box” stores to help boost its tax base.

Target, headquartered in Minneapolis, has 1,915 stores in the United States. About 75 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Target store.

The space now occupied by Kmart in the shopping center previously had been listed for lease. It is expected to close by yearend.

The next nearest Target is in Auburn.

Diaz: “Forensic Audit” in Nevada County – Unnecessary

“The California Secretary of State and several counties, including Nevada County, are receiving a large number of calls and correspondence requesting ‘forensic audits’ of elections,” according to Diaz’ statement that is posted on YubaNet. “When someone calls for a ‘forensic audit’ they’re essentially asking for an independent third party to come into our election systems, review our logs, machines, and source code, and physically dissect the equipment.

“A ‘forensic audit’ is not authorized under California law. It is an intrusive process that adds an unsecured, non-authorized entity into our election systems — compromising our entire chain of custody and risking the security of our elections. Any unauthorized access to the proprietary components, including hardware, firmware, and software of voting system equipment, is a violation of the contract terms with the voting system vendors.

“If forensic audits were conducted, the county would be required to replace the existing election equipment: voting machines, computers, software, and related electronic equipment. We would have to purchase new voting equipment after every forensic audit. The current election system equipment cost Nevada County approximately $600,000 to obtain. We have two elections every two years, at least.  In short, county taxpayers would have to spend at least $600,000 after every such audit, with costs rising all the time.”

The rest of the article is here.

CNN projection: Newsom defeats recall

California Gov. Gavin Newsom survives GOP-backed recall effort and will remain in office after a majority of voters voted “no” in Tuesday’s recall election, according to a projection from the CNN Decision Desk.

California voters were asked just two questions on the recall ballot: First, “yes” or “no” on whether they want to remove Newsom from office. 

Newsom will now finish out the remainder of his term.


The Nevada County election results are here. Newsom defeated the recall in our County too. The margin was narrower than the statewide number but still decisive.

In Truckee, Measure T — a Truckee Fire Protection District measure — was winning.

San Diego planning commission latest to support effort to make temporary outdoor spaces permanent

“Though many questions came up about the city of San Diego’s initiative to transition temporary outdoor spaces to permanent ones, none of them were enough to stop the city Planning Commission from voting in favor of the ‘Spaces as Places’ program during its Sept. 9 meeting,” as the La Jolla Light is reporting.

“A primary example of space to which this could apply is outdoor dining that has proliferated since last year to help restaurants replace indoor capacity lost in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“’Spaces as Places is proposed for the post-pandemic world, when restaurants can operate at full capacity indoors and outdoor dining would represent an expansion of restaurant seating capacity and … enhance the overall public experience,” said project manager Sameera Rao.’

The rest of the article is here.

Nevada City Council votes 3-2 to remove Laurie Oberholtzer from the planning commission

The 3-2 vote is at about 4:18:21 on this video after a marathon Council meeting (I watched a couple of baseball games in between). The “yes” votes were Daniela Fernandez, Duane Strawser, and Erin Minett, and the “no” votes were Doug Fleming and Gary Petersen. Although I didn’t always agree with Laurie O., I want to thank her for her volunteerism and tireless efforts to protect the town’s R1 neighborhoods over the years. In my view, Laurie O. largely fell victim to small-town politics, some deep-seated personality conflicts, and/or a “power play,” as Doug (go Northwestern Wildcats) succinctly put it. We all have something to contribute. “And the band played on???”

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay

BALTIMORE- We’re hanging out at an inn that looks out on the docks of Chesapeake Bay, enjoying the sunshine and watching the boating enthusiasts who are hosing down and polishing their vessels.

We feel a sense of relief (and pride), having just dropped off our son, Mitchell, at his dorm at Johns Hopkins University for his sophomore year.

It has been a long journey from Nevada City on a narrow-body plane, which stopped in Dallas before landing here. Summer air travel is more of a hassle than usual, thanks to COVID-19. You need to mask up at all times and keep your vaccination card close at hand.

Mitchell and his friend and classmate Nicole were reunited last night, enjoying dinner in Baltimore’s “Little Italy.” We ate at the hotel and watched a ballgame.

This afternoon, the campus was filled with parents and their students, carrying a varied assortments of boxes and bags into the dorm rooms.

We wrapped up late in the afternoon, said our goodbyes and headed back to our hotel in an Uber.

We’ll meet again for dinner on the weekend before we head home, but for now it’s mission accomplished.

Tom Hanks’ beloved Airstream is going to auction in Carmel

Actor Tom Hanks is auctioning off an Airstream trailer was his “home away from home” while filming movies over a period of 20 years.

Hanks said in an interview for Bonhams Magazine: “I got it in the days when movies moved slower. I had spent too much time in regular trailers with ugly decor and horribly uncomfortable furniture, so I decided to buy a brand-new Airstream shell with an interior made to my own request.”

Bidding begins on August 13 in an auction in Carmel. More details are here.