Weird NC police blotter items now on Facebook

Nevada County police blotter items are now a Facebook group site, the latest example of the boom in social networking for locals.

The site was started by “Rainy Blue Cloud,” whose shown in a picture in a red dress and cowboy boots while holding a chain saw.

“I was hoping someone would be brilliant enough to start this group,” wrote one follower.

The site shows a blotter item from Nevada City that reads: “A caller from the 300 block of Broad Street reported an individual dancing like a robot in a parking lot. Police were unable to locate the dancer.”

NC police blotter item sometimes make the New Yorker, Columbia Journalism Review and other publications.

The site is here.

The biggest threat to our planet: sprawl

A cool YouTube video called “Built to Last” is generating some buzz that explores the link between “New Urbanism” and environmental issues.

“What if school, work, the office or church was just a five-minute walk?” it asks. “We’d have less parking garages and more parks.”

It continues: “This idea has a name and it’s called New Urbanism, aka traditional neighborhood design.”

The video is winner of The Congress for New Urbanism CNU 17 video contest.

It is created by independent filmmaker John Paget with First+Main Media (Drew Ward, Chris Elisara and John Paget).

The video is here:

Can we support nonprofits without fireworks?

I was glad to see the Grass Valley City Council vote late Tuesday to ban fireworks.

It’s something I’ve been suggesting for years — despite the criticism. I love the tradition, but the world is a different place.

Can we support nonprofits without fireworks? I hope so.

I hope it will force us to think more deeply about what nonprofits bring to our community, besides the joy of shooting off cones in the driveway.

I liked the way our community rallied behind the nonprofits when fireworks were temporarily banned last year.

This also will force nonprofits to do a better job of explaining why they’re valuable to our community, well beyond setting up a fireworks stand in the parking lot of a shopping center.

When it comes to the ban, could Nevada City be far behind?

What’s our county’s median blogging age?

I know our county’s median age is 48 years old and growing older — one of the oldest counties in the state.

It creates some issues: the cost of an aging population as it goes from active retirees to elderly, coupled with a lack of jobs to help support them.

But what is our county’s median blogging age? Among the bloggers who post regularly, at least, I venture it’s at least that age.

The blogs I read often don’t reflect the issues I hear from the parents of my son’s friends or at the school. They’re more focused on partisan political and social cliques.

When was the last time a blogger wrote about the repercussions of declining school enrollment in our community, for example? Or really got behind the ERC’s “bring them home” campaign to attract (and keep) our youths?

What can we do to encourage blogging about issues that interest youth around here? Not just education, but the “green” economy, diversity, or just being outdoors.

I was interested in the two 20-something identical twins who launched a blog in Sacramento that is called

Thinking more broadly, I not sure *anybody* on the county board of supervisors, *or* the city councils in Grass Valley or Nevada City even has a child in school here. At least the overwhelming majority don’t.

In the “old days,” elected officials in small communities used to start on the school board and work their way up to other posts. (Our school board members typically have children in school). Nowadays we don’t have that “career path” for electeds.

“They don’t have the time,” we’re told about the younger parents. Well, in other towns they do. Do we recruit and encourage them? We’re a pretty insular bunch, focusing on those social and political cliques.

Our community’s parents and their youth represent our future. We have to work a lot harder to nurture that.

Stephanie Ortiz new Sierra College NCC dean

Thanks to trustee Aaron Klein’s Twitter updates from the Sierra College board meeting, we learn that Stephanie Ortiz late Tuesday was named dean of Sierra College’s NCC campus, replacing Neal Allbee.

Aaron also “tweeted” that the redistricting proposal I blogged about on Monday failed by a 4-3 vote. Klein said he voted to table the proposal. This was a close vote.

Stephanie’s replacement as Dean of Business and Tech is Luis Sanchez.

Congratulations to Stephanie. I enjoy knowing her and working with her. She and I got to know each other better on the board of the ERC.

Stephanie understands the role of Sierra College in helping to create better paying jobs up here, and she is a good listener. We had a good discussion about it one day at The Stonehouse.

A real breath of fresh air.

Blow to GV, boon to NC in ice cream ‘wars’

Here’s a bummer: Lazy Dog Ice Cream — a highly popular local business — won’t be allowed to sell ice cream from its pink cart at the Thursday night Farmer’s Market in Grass Valley.

Why? The Grass Valley Downtown Association wanted to offer preference to the downtown’s brick-and-mortar businesses for food vending. Lazy Dog has been there for years.

I also saw Lazy Dog ice cream in Christopher’s Deli in downtown GV. Doesn’t that count?

You still can buy their ice cream from the pink cart parked near the Safeway in Burger Basin.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Lazy Dog opened a store in Reg King’s proposed building in that shopping center? We’d go. It would sure beat a Starbucks.

In Nevada City, meanwhile, the recently closed ice cream and candy shop on Broad Street — Confectionary Mine — is expected to to get a new ice cream shop soon, according to my sources.

The leading tenant is a guy who has owned a Rocky Mountain Creamery.

Pot: an engine of local economic growth

The pot growing season is underway — a significant contributor to our local economy.

Let’s face it: Some of the cash floating around town — in stores, restaurants and service businesses — is generated from pot sales.

A lot of people who grow and sell pot like to “shop local.”

With the recession and joblessness, more people are turning to pot sales to generate income.

California’s largest cash crop is valued at $13.8 billion annually, nearly double the value of the state’s vegetable and grape crops combined, according to

The figure is expected to grow.

Our area is vulnerable to illegal pot sales, because we don’t have enough jobs to begin with. Our rural location and hillsides also make it a prime pot growing region.

Local law enforcement is stepping up their efforts to deal with illegal sales.

But a growing chorus of people is calling for the legalization of pot, citing the costs of enforcement and cash that could roll in from taxes.