We’re donating $200 to Greg Diaz’ campaign because experience counts

We’re pleased to  disclose (AKA Jeff and Shannon Pelline) we’re making a $200 donation to Greg Diaz’ campaign for Nevada County Clerk Recorder.

It is just the second campaign contribution we’ve made since 2010 — local or national — and none before that. The first was for Diaz (when he ran against Barry Pruett). We also put a campaign sign for Nate Beason in front of the house less than a week before the election in his race against Sue McGuire, at Nate’s request. He’s a friend and neighbor. All of this was disclosed here.

The reason for our donation to Diaz is simple: He is the most qualified for a job that requires certain qualifications. Imagine that! I don’t expect to be writing much about this race going forward (I don’t think Greg’s opponents will run an ugly campaign as some locals have in the past), but when I do, I will happily disclose the donation.

In the meantime, here are Diaz’ qualifications:

“Gregory J. Diaz attended Westtown High School outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with two years studying abroad at Saffron Walden Friends in Essex, England. He then graduated from Swarthmore College with a Bachelors’ Degree in History and Minor in Education, obtaining a Pennsylvania State Teachers’ Certificate. Greg taught middle school social studies before attending Rutgers University School of Law.

“Greg became a Nevada County property owner in 1996 and has been a full-time resident of Nevada County since 2003.

“For eight years, Greg served as the County Clerk-Recorder for the City and County of San Francisco managing the office and defining departmental policies, procedures, budget, operations and legislation on both the local and state level. He also served as the Assistant County Clerk-Recorder in San Francisco for four years and he worked in the City Attorney’s office for six years drafting legislation and litigation documents.

“Greg was appointed Nevada County Clerk-Recorder in June 2007 and re-elected twice in 2010 and 2014 respectfully. Subsequently, he has earned the California Professional Election Administrator Credential (2011) as well as obtaining CERA status nationally through the Election Center (Certified Elections/Registration Administrator) 2013. He was elected President of the County Recorders’ Association of California in December 2015 to a two year term. In June 2018, Greg will lead Nevada County Elections in implementing the California Voters’ Choice Act along with four other California Counties.”

Who’s endorsing Hilary Hodge for District 3 Supervisor?

This email was sent from Hilary Hodge’s campaign:

Hilary Hodge, candidate for Nevada County District 3 Supervisor, released her endorsements this week with support from former Nevada County Supervisors, community leaders, and some of California’s top lawmakers.

Hilary Hodge’s supporters include former Nevada County Supervisors Peter Van Zant and Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin.

“I’m endorsing Hilary Hodge for the new ideas and fresh energy she will bring to the Board of Supervisors,” said Van Zant. “Hilary’s long time roots in Northern California and her experience in local jobs development and economic development are needed now. She understands the unique and strategic role the Board of Supervisors plays in the economic, cultural, and social life of Nevada County.”

Two of California’s Constitutional Officers endorsed Hilary Hodge along with California State Senator Kevin de Leon. California’s Insurance Commissioner and candidate for state Attorney General, Dave Jones is among Hilary’s supporters along with California Board of Equalization member, Fiona Ma. Hilary’s supporters also include neighboring community elected officials Marni Mendoza, Mayor Pro Tem of Colfax, and Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen.

“We need a Supervisor who is going to reach across community and county lines in order to work for Nevada County. I will be that Supervisor,” said Hilary Hodge. “We need innovative ideas and collaboration to ensure our community’s future. With my experience and my relationships, I’m the best qualified candidate for the job.”

Hilary Hodge is supported by a number of community members including the past Executive Director of the Center for the Arts, Julie Baker; local broadband champion, John Paul; CEO of California Solar Electric, Lars Ortegren; and Co-founder of See Jane Do, Elisa Parker.

Alison Lehman expected to be appointed the next Rood Center CEO

That’s what this blog is predicting — more than a month in advance, no less.

And here’s what prompted the prediction: The Union is reporting this week: “It’s possible Nevada County supervisors will make a decision next month on who will succeed CEO Rick Haffey. Supervisors are scheduled to hold a closed-door session at their May 8 meeting to discuss the position, which Haffey will leave Sept. 7. Haffey in a previous closed meeting made a recommendation on who should take his place, saying that person has the talent, ability and education for the job. He also called the person the most qualified. Haffey and Supervisor Ed Scofield, chairman of the board, declined to name the person. ‘I believe that the transition will be a smooth one,’ Haffey said, basing his statement on the supervisors’ response to his recommendation.”

Here’s Alison’s background from LinkedIn: “Alison Lehman currently serves as the Assistant County Executive Officer for Nevada County. Under the direction of the County Executive Officer, she is accountable for providing oversight of general administrative activities for the County.

“She previously served as the Director of Social Services for Nevada County for seven years where she was responsible for the delivery of public assistance, workforce development, veterans, children and adult welfare programs.

“Alison has been with Nevada County since 2001 and has held several leadership positions including; Interim Public Health Director, Interim Human Resource Director, as well as, Program Manager for the Health and Human Services Agency Truckee Satellite Office. She has a commitment to administering strong programs that enhance the quality of life for families and continues to focus on meeting the challenges of service delivery in rural communities.

“Prior to joining Nevada County, she was the Executive Director of a children’s non-profit in Yolo County, where she administered programs that provided advocacy services for youth in the Juvenile Justice System. She also served as staff to the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Child Development.

“With a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, Alison has more than twenty years of experience in government and community non-profit settings.”

In addition, Alison received a master’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge (2015-2017) — a well-regarded program for public administrators.

This appointment would be a good call — a “no brainer,” in fact.

Now that it’s settled more than a month in advance, we can get on to more important issues: Go Cal Bears!

Five cities, one story: Californians rejecting anti-immigration agenda

This press release is from the California Immigrant Policy Center:

Last night, city councils in Fullerton (Orange County) and West Covina (LA County) rejected anti-immigrant attempts to join the Trump administration’s baseless lawsuit against California’s “sanctuary” laws, while a city council member in Porterville (Tulare County) withdrew an ordinance to exempt the city from SB 54 after community outcry. Also last night, the city of Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange County, passed a resolution in defense of SB 54, and the city of San Gabriel (LA County) passed a “Safe City” resolution.

Each of these city council meetings saw passionate commentary and strong mobilization by local residents.

The following is a statement from the ICE Out of CA Coalition steering committee, including ACLU of California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, the California Immigrant Policy Center, the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Last night, local residents in communities across the state made their voices heard and stood up to defend our values of compassion, equal treatment, and common humanity. The actions in these five cities are a reminder that the majority of Californians support local and state action to protect immigrants, who are a vital part our families and communities.

Meanwhile, the shameful behavior of anti-immigrant extremists – who shouted racial slurs at a high-school student in West Covina – lays bare the hate-filled agenda that a vocal, but relatively small, number of unrepresentative entities in our state have aligned with. SB 54 is the law of the land, and we will continue to work to build on the law’s foundation in order to defend the due process rights and humanity of everyone who calls California home, including immigrants.

Even in San Juan Capistrano, one of a handful of places where an anti-immigrant resolution went through, Mayor Sergio Farias opposed the resolution and referred to himself “[a]s mayor of everyone who calls San Juan Capistrano home, regardless of their legal status.”

Rebanes use The Union’s “hit or miss” column to grind axes with Elections Office

“MISS (from Jo Ann Rebane): To the Elections Office for the recent voter registration confirmation postcard which did not require a positive, affirmative response or signature confirmation of ‘no changes to name, address, party …’ And another miss to the postcard which practically hides the news, by putting it under the flap, that all ballots will be vote by mail ballots for the June primary.”

The Rebanes are now using The Union’s “hit or miss” column to grind their axes with the Elections Office and its able administrator, Greg Diaz. In the past, the Rebanes have been known to be “poll watchers” — keeping close tabs on the Elections Office for all of us. Thank God they are looking out for us! What on earth would happen otherwise?

As for the postcard, it was a cost-efficient mailer  that offered a chance to keep the voter rolls current and also had some up-to-date and cost-efficient procedures for voters: receive a paper sample ballot by email instead of “snail mail” — a modern and cost-efficient idea; or  be contacted via text messages and cell, instead of an antiquated “land line.”  There also were boxes to update registration information.

And rather than being “hidden” — a ridiculous comment — the postcard read at the top: “Starting in June 2018, Big Changes are Coming to Nevada County Elections. This will provide greater flexibility and convenience for Nevada County Voters….”

For so-called technologists you’d think the Rebanes would appreciate getting a sample ballot online. I know I will: It can be viewed on my mobile device, it’s convenient, it’s free, it’s good for the planet, and — hello Rebanes — IT SAVES TAX DOLLARS.

You have to wonder if the real issue is that the local voter roles are switching from red to purple and blue as more citizens register to vote. And more younger people, many of whom vote “D,” not “R,” are the ones who will be glad to embrace all these changes!

It’s not the “Leave it to Beaver” era anymore. Let’s face it, this was just another partisan political cheap shot directed at a nonpartisan office and an administrator who was elected by his peers in 2015 to the office of President of the County Recorders Association of California for a two-year term.

And shame on The Union for not doing any fact checking and just publishing this. Of course, one of its own staffers is running against Diaz for Elections Officer. What a farce!

Smith Vineyard’s owners to retire: closing winery but selling grapes to other winemakers

This memo was published on the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

Re: Smith Vineyard Retiring the Winery and Tasting Room.

To: Our Wine Club Members, Downtown Neighbors and Valued Customers

Someone once said that “drinking good wine, with good food, in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures” and we could not agree with this more! That is why our decision to retire and close the Winery and Tasting Room has been a difficult one. Although many of you may be surprised at this announcement, we can assure you that it has come after much thought and careful reflection. Making this decision has given us the opportunity to look back on all of the fond memories, while at the same time, look forward to our future in retirement. We have made many friends along the way, including our association with other local wineries and all of our neighbors in downtown Grass Valley. But, at the top of our gratitude list is YOU…our valued customer!

The honors that we have received over the years have far exceeded anything that we could have imagined when we began this journey. We have been recognized by Sunset magazine and received multiple awards for our wines over the years. Perhaps the ultimate honor has been to receive Double Gold, Best of Region and Best of State, for our 2013 Primitivo, by Calif. State Fair.

Smith Winery has been operating for 31 years in our community and we look forward to continuing to farm our vineyard and sell certified organically grown fruit to other winemakers. In addition, we look forward to traveling and spending more time with family and friends.

This is not a goodbye, as we hope to stay involved in our local community. It has been our pleasure to cross paths with each of you, and we are deeply grateful for all of your support as we pursued our labor of love. Our Tasting Room will be open through the end of May. Memorial Weekend we will be celebrating our retirement at the Tasting Room. We hope you can stop by.

Cheers to the good memories, good wine and good friends!

Gary and Chris
Smith Vineyard

(Photo: Smith Vineyard)