The two George’s (Rebane and Boardman) on the Rood Center, economic development — or whatever

Editor’s note: George Rebane’s blog is a true source of comic relief if you need to be on a laptop all day. What would we do without their wisdom? Here’s an excerpt:

Boardman (The Union’s paid columnist): Dr. R: Your 9:11 AM got to the heart of the issue: There is no coherent economic development plan in Nevada County because there is no leadership on this issue from the Rood Center. The Supes’ No. 1 priority is to balance the budget. Economic development is considered a second level priority, and then they’ll get involved only as appropriate. Instead, they are content to send a check to the ERC every year and distribute patronage to the local chambers, hardly a winning economic development strategy. Maybe I spent too many years in the Bay Area, but I’m used to seeing leadership and initiative from local elected officials. All we have up here is a bunch of auditors.

Rebane (once Drew Bedwell’s planning commissioner): GeorgeB 944am – Thanks for those good words. I’ve been on that ED soapbox for years trying to goad the Supes and Councils to put their shoulder to the wheel. I think it might be of considerable help if you wrote a column or two in that vein, and we could pick up and/or point to each other’s words. Your ‘bunch of auditors’ observation is spot on. Without such coordinated backing, Greg’s dour analysis will continue to rule the day (year after year).

The Union columnist ignores news in his own neighborhood

Last month, The Union columnist “Bored” Georgeman denigrated Nevada City — a favorite pastime — but he might want to “dig deeper” within his own gated confines.

One page away from his Monday column (signed “George Boardman lives in Lake of the Pines”), there is a “you can’t make this stuff up” article about his own neighborhood.

The headline reads “Trial set in LOP civil harassment case for July 7.” It is about a man who alleges harassment on two occasions by an HOA board member and his wife.  “The alleged harassment stems from his role in questioning activities of the homeowners’ association board and its oversight of the community finances and operations,” according to the article.

The man said he attended “numerous board meetings where he questioned certain actions of the board, such as administrative issues and the administration of slip rentals at the LOP marina,” it continued. “These acts of threats and violence have ruined the lifestyle that we have paid greatly for, and tried so hard to obtain at Lake of the Pines,” the man said in court documents.

The HOA board member’s attorney, Ray Shine, denies the allegations. His statement: “We deny that both of these things happened. And we deny that there was any intent to harass him.”

Last year, an episode in Lake of the Pines aired on a television network called Investigation Discovery, as reported previously.

I went and found the video clip: “An elite California Lakeside Community is rocked to its core when two well-to-do gentlemen go to war over an 18-inch property line discrepancy. One neighbor takes the dispute to new levels when he hires a hitman to permanently solve the problem.”

The episode was titled “Fear Thy Neighbor.”

Out-of-touch columnist thinks we need another out-of-town burger chain

George Boardman, the out-of-touch columnist from our local newspaper, is complaining this morning that “we have a scarcity of ‘better burger’ chains that turn up their spatulas at the basic burger in favor of higher-quality meals produced quickly, generally called fast casual.” Thus he concludes: “What we need is more upscale burger choices in Western Nevada County.”

Huh? George must be laying the groundwork for another tenant for the proposed Dorsey Drive shopping mall. Though his family once co-owned the Stonehouse Restaurant in Nevada City, George has never understood the concept of “shop local.” In fact, we have lots of great locally owned restaurants that turn out upscale burgers.

To his credit George mentioned Pine Street Burgers, as we have, but here are some more from a 2011 article in our magazine. The South Pine Cafe in Grass Valley and Nevada City also have first-rate burgers. In Truckee Burger Me has been honored by Esquire magazine.

Here’s the article:

THE BURGER IS AN AMERICAN CLASSIC, just like mom and apple pie. Each year, Americans chow down 40 billion of them. Now the scrawny patty that gave rise to the $130 billion-a-year fast food industry is being reinvented as a gourmet entree. More burgers are being made with organic and local ingredients: grass-fed beef, homemade buns, and produce from local farms. Some are topped with artisan cheese, homemade onion jam or creole remoulade. Here are some favorites:

BURGER ME, TRUCKEE All-natural burgers, with fresh, local ingredients: Meyer natural Angus beef, a Diestel Ranch turkey burger and bison burger. Burgers are topped with caramelized onions. Add Niman Ranch bacon, roasted mushrooms or avocado. Sides include sweet potato fries. 10418 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee 530-587-8852

IKE’S QUARTER CAFE, NEVADA CITY Free-range beef, homemade organic bun and lettuce and tomatoes from local farms. Organic ketchup too. We like the Gorgonzola mushroom burger or “Voodoo burger,” topped with caramelized onions, Andouille sausage and remoulade. Four creative vegetarian burgers are on the menu. 401 Commercial St., Nevada City 530-265-6138

KANE’S FAMILY RESTAURANT, GRASS VALLEY A popular restaurant patterned after San Francisco’s famous Original Joes. Like Joe’s, Kane’s serves a big, juicy burger on an Italian-American loaf with steak fries. Three Kobe beef sliders also are served on a sweet bun, with caramelized onion. 120 E. Main St., Grass Valley 530-273-8111

LEFTY’S GRILL, NEVADA CITY All burgers are served with a choice of a 1/2 pound beef patty, chicken breast, turkey burger, veggie patty or portabella mushroom. Choose from cheddar, Swiss, jalapeno, jack, Gorgonzola, Brie or mozzarella cheese. Top it with housemade cabernet onion jam. 221 Broad St., Nevada City 530-265-5838

MATTEO’S PUBLIC, NEVADA CITY A 1/2 pound Niman Ranch patty with bacon, house mustard, cheddar cheese and served with all the fixings. Also a housemade veggie burger, topped with lemon dill dressing. The sesame slaw is delicious. 300 Commercial St., Nevada City 530-265-0782

MONKEY CAT, AUBURN The Monkey Cat burger is 8 ounces of fresh ground sirloin burger served with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese. Served with home-cut fries or a salad. 805 Lincoln Way, Auburn 530-888-8492

NEVADA COUNTY FREE RANGE BEEF For do-it-yourselfers, go to BriarPatch Co-op Community Market in Grass Valley for Nevada County Free Range Beef. The grass-fed beef is leaner, healthier and more flavorful than grain-fed beef. No growth hormones or antibiotics are used. 530-273-1025

TOFANELLI’S, GRASS VALLEY These 1/3 pound burgers are char-broiled, Angus ground chuck served with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and a dill pickle spear on an oversized bun with soup, salad or fries. We like the “Wild Burger,” topped with avocado, bacon and melted jack cheese. 302 W. Main St., Grass Valley 530-272-1468

WEST SHORE CAFE, LAKE TAHOE A special house-ground blend, Pt. Reyes blue cheese on an English muffin. Burger add-ons are avocado, bacon and mushrooms. Sweet potato fries, fries or a salad. 5160 W. Lake Blvd., Homewood 530-525-5200 —

The Union’s columnist Boardman: unclear what “proactive” government means

As regular readers here know, The Union stepped in proverbial “you know what” when it hired George Boardman as its weekly columnist. It seems to be aimed at hanging on to its core demographic — aging and declining — at the expense of gaining new readers. Like some former publishers, George is using his weekly column as a “bully pulpit,” speaking largely for himself. He’s also ill informed and out of touch. It’s proven to be an unproductive exercise — worse than I thought.

The stakes keep getting higher for The Union too in its challenge to grow revenues and readership. In its latest cost-cutting move, the newspaper plans to outsource its printing “off the hill” to the Sacramento Bee — for the first time in 150 years. “Contact the Bee promptly with any shortages,” states the job description for a “dock supervisor” that is now posted on its website. The Union needs to figure out how to grow its business faster.

So along comes George Boardman. Does he “delight” or “inform” readers? Nope. His errors of fact or errors of omission are pointed out here, but don’t take my word for it. Just read the letters about how he’s misinformed on GMOs and organic food here and here. One excerpt: “The Stanford study Boardman cites is a very controversial study because it ignored all the studies that found organic foods to be more nutritious with fewer chemicals, antibiotics and pathogenic microbes.”

Or how about the Bridgeport Bridge? “Our elected officials have demonstrated leadership from day one in our community’s efforts to save the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. That is why we must respectfully disagree with Mr. George Boardman’s recent editorial to the contrary,” writes Douglas Moon, chair of the “Save our Bridge Campaign.”

Yet George kept it up, and he generated this recent response from Supervisor Hank Weston: “George Boardman’s column on Monday containing the header ‘Read the Agenda’ was inaccurate and requires me to respond not only to you about your facts, but to defend the many citizen volunteers who attended the budget hearing in support of accelerating the funding for the restoration of the Bridgeport Covered Bridge.”

Both electeds “doing the right thing,” at least in this case

Now this morning George pits “electeds” against each other (at least in his own mind). He writes that Grass Valley Mayor Jason Fouyer is being “proactive” because he attended a meeting to create a large western Nevada County recreation center. Then he calls that “quite a contrast” to Supervisor Ed Scofield, who recently wrote that leadership means “finding the funding” and leadership needs to come from “organizations and citizens with the passion to create the vision.” (Scofield was responding to a Boardman column in a polite fashion).

George shows a real misunderstanding of the process, not to mention an ongoing petulant tone. In short, what Fouyer and Scofield are doing and saying are not mutually exclusive. They both are doing the “right thing,” at least in this case.

Like Fouyer, Scofield also attends meetings to help build collaboration. And like Scofield, Fouyer also would support the need for “finding the funding” and finding “true leadership” from the organizations involved. There is no difference between the two styles — and the funding part is the hardest “nut to crack.”

George also is off base about the Rood Center’s role in community decision making, as shown by the response from the “Save Our Bridge” participants, ranging from Doug Moon to Hank Weston. In fact, the “Save our Bridge” campaign was one of the most nonpartisan acts of collaboration I can remember for our western county. It’s widely praised, from conservatives and progressives alike in our community.

Scoop: Supes to announce measure to extend library tax

Since it’s the start of a new week, here’s a “scoop” that further suggests that our electeds, including the supervisors, can be “proactive,” to use Boardman’s words. My sources tell me that the supervisors, or at least one of them, will soon announce a plan for a measure to extend the county library tax — known as “Measure C.” It would be up the voters to decide.

I’d support that. The money will be well spent: to continue to support our libraries throughout the county. The Madelyn Helling Library also has a collaborative technology center, showing that it is keeping up with the times. Measure C was originally passed by Nevada County voters in 1998 for five years, and was passed again in 2002 for a 15-year extension. The eighth-cent library tax is set to expire on September 30, 2018. Some background is here.

In addition, the money also could help fund a community recreation center in Penn Valley, which will include a library. So in fact, this eighth-cent tax could help address “finding the funding.”

This goes well beyond attending a meeting to show collaboration and leadership. It’s proactive too.

It is time for The Union to rethink its one-year-old experiment with George Boardman as a weekly columnist. It just isn’t working out. We are neither being “informed” nor “delighted.” And he just can’t get his facts straight. It merely undermines the newspaper’s credibility when it needs to be bolstering its readership.

George Boardman: “The Village Idiot” in our local newspaper

Editor’s note: Here we go again: another uninformed column by weekly columnist George Boardman drawing an “Other Voices” in The Union. It’s endless. Think of all the ink and paper that is wasted from publishing his column and then having to publish the counterpoint. How utterly unproductive. Where’s the RL Crabb cartoon on “Bored Georgeman”? LOL.

“George Boardman’s portrayal of organic farming as food grown for indulgent yuppies and not worth the extra money is an outstanding example of not understanding the subject of GMOs whatsoever.

“The main reason the public wants food labeled is because of the amount of herbicides and pesticides that are sprayed on GMO crops.

“Many of those chemicals remain on and in the food that goes to kitchen tables all over the world.

“More reasons for ‘no’ to GMOs:

“1. Organic farming practices are safer for the water, air, soil, farm workers, farm families, all animals, bees, adjacent towns and especially children and pregnant women.

“We are all paying extra for the fallout from GMOs.

“2. The weeds that are being sprayed are now superweeds— resistant to the herbicides, requiring heavier use or stronger poisons further affecting the environment.

“3. The GMO companies produce patented seeds that farmers are not legally allowed to save without paying again and they manufacture the herbicides and pesticides that go with them.

“4. There are health risks associated with GMO feeds given to lab rats and farm animals.”

The rest of the column is here.

Bashing farm-to-fork in our local newspaper

BriarPatch donates chickens to feed the homeless (Photo: Tony Finnerty)
BriarPatch donates chickens to feed the homeless (Photo: Tony Finnerty)

The Union continues to show it has a lock on the curmudgeon and ignorant demographic with a mind-boggling column by George Boardman, its paid weekly columnist, in this morning’s newspaper. A parody website now calls this guy “Bored Georgeman” – no wonder.

This time The Union columnist manages to ridicule the newspaper’s readers in Nevada City, along with the local farmers, farms and businesses who produce or sell local and organic food (including the BriarPatch and Michael Funk’s United Natural Foods) — all in one swipe.

“The vast majority of feed given to dairy cows in the U.S. is made from GMO corn, soybeans and alfalfa, and 80 percent of packaged foods contain GMOs,” Boardman writes.

“It’s unlikely any of this concerned our neighbors who gathered recently on Commercial Street in Nevada City to indulge themselves at the second annual Farm to Table Banquet, a celebration of the local effort to produce organic food and a benefit for the Commercial Street Music Fund and music for the First Friday Art Walk. This year’s meal, which featured a flat-iron steak (grass-fed, of course), was priced at $75 a plate, plus an 18 percent gratuity and a $5.86 fee on top of that — over $94 to dine on an asphalt surface infused with grease and oil. Alcohol was extra.

“The prices reflect in part the willingness of people to pay the premium required to be a righteous eater, a premium that moves down the food chain. Being holier than thou commands a premium of 20 percent to more than 100 percent, according to price surveys done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other organizations.”

Here are the facts: Besides being a fundraiser (at a price comparable to other local fundraisers), the banquet supported our local farms, farmers and small businesses: Nevada County Free Range Beef, Riverhill, Blue Bird, First Rain, Dinner Bell, Soil Sisters, Super Tuber and Mountain Bounty, among others. The participating restaurants included Matteo’s Public, Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., Nevada City Winery, Treats Ice Cream and The Fix. (The Fix is owned by the family of our local Olympic hero, Evan Strong).

The banquet was a sellout for the second straight year. It was a great community accomplishment; others would struggle to match it.

Boardman concludes: “So when the time comes, forego that hand-crafted peach, gorgonzola, bacon pizza and donate the cost to a food bank. You’ll find the act nourishes your soul.”

In fact, the same people participating in the banquet do just that!

BriarPatch regularly has donated organic chicken — 1,000 pounds of it at once — to the Food Bank of Nevada County to help feed the hungry.

So does United Natural Foods Inc., founded by local resident Michael Funk of Nevada City. The details are here and here. The BriarPatch also gave a grant.

The Food Bank is one of few food banks that offer organic and sustainably grown products.

But wait, there’s more. Nevada Union High is now offering fresh food from local farms in the school cafeteria. “We are working closely with local farms to secure produce that is grown locally and regionally; this means students can expect colorful summer vegetables when they begin the school year, crisp apples as they enter autumn and savory root vegetables as they turn the corner into winter,” the school writes.

More details are here.

All told more locals, including the homeless, are eating organic products, much of it produced by locals. What’s wrong with that?

The community-wide complaint about Boardman is that he never does his homework, shooting from the hip with strident views.

Picking extreme views does not create balance

The Union continues to open itself to endless back-and-forth sniping in our community with ignorant columns like this, but it doesn’t end there:

Here’s an example from this morning of what we can expect from The Union’s new editorial board: Tea party supporter Nancy Garcia rebutting progressive Nancy Eubanks’ column: “Whose freedom is being tread on”?

As reader Greg Zaller wrote here on the weekend:

“I posted this comment on The Union comment site:

“(Publisher) Jim (Hemig), it appears that your premise is that by picking the most extreme views it will create balance, to which I don’t agree. Extremeness is not a point of view. If you seek balance then you will need to find people who experience the different conditions people face in this county, instead of its newsworthy activists.

“It would be most interesting if you developed a second editorial board, as I described, and let the two write side by side editorials. I doubt that my suggested board representing actual segments of this community would agree closely with your ‘balanced’ board.”