Some locals show up to support Dollar General stores at hearing

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.28.43 PM
What Dollar General video calls a “Yummy Snack”

“Opponents of Dollar General applauded on Thursday when the Nevada County Planning Commission unanimously signaled their intent to deny the business a site in Alta Sierra,” The Union is reporting. “In the other two sites, commissioners opted to approve a development permit and management plan for the 17652 Penn Valley Drive site. They denied the permit and plan for the 12345 Rough and Ready Highway proposal.”

“Barry Pruett argued the Planning Commission had no legal reason to deny the stores. Denying them would create instability for future applicants who want to bring businesses to Nevada County. Additionally, a lack of businesses would only perpetuate the housing problem here, Pruett said.”

“Most people opposed the stores. Discussing the Alta Sierra site, Charisse Lolli said she wanted no chain store near homes and disputed that it would complement existing businesses.

“Robin Voigt said Dollar General would create competition for existing stores, arguing that profits from the Tennessee-based business would leave the community.

“It is the visual impact,’ she said. ‘I have to say it is not a fit for the community.'”

The Union article is here. A Dollar General “Yummy Snacks” video is here:

Supervisor Dan Miller challenges cannabis growers to participate in more fundraising efforts

The race for District 3 supervisor is underway even though only one candidate has announced. (Other than The Union’s columnist/”journalist” George Boardman, many people expect Hilary Hodge to enter the race).

In a column in The Union, incumbent Dan Miller writes: “I am often approached by business owners who inquire, ‘Why don’t the cannabis growers participate in fundraising efforts?’ Frankly, I have no answer for them.

“It is often mentioned the cannabis industry brings in boatloads of money to our county. Where is it? Since the growers do not pay taxes yet, this challenge provides an opportunity for them to participate in a jumpstart of goodwill.

“I ask them to consider some of the following: Contribute to Hospitality House or the Salvation Army. I know Habitat for Humanity needs help, and also the Interfaith Food Ministry.

To be sure, cannabis growers do support local businesses — some of them “in spades.” In fact, their contribution is significant — and we’d suffer economically without it.

And some individual cannabis users are big local donors, thought not in “the name of cannabis.” (Dan should have acknowledged this more and had more of an “answer” for the naysayers).

But Dan raises a good point. Our small business, for example, makes a lot of local donations for its size, ranging from donations to arts and culture to a monthly contribution to feed families at the Interfaith Food Ministry. It is part of the culture of our towns, and it’s enjoyable.

As cannabis becomes legal, it would be good for the growers to make some high-profile, long-term donations. Having said that, the non-cannabis crowd, including “good old boys,” needs to reach out and invite them into the tent. We still are a “cliquish” town.

Todd Juvinall: His deceptive email name is “Nevada City Guy”

(Drawing of Todd by R.L. Crabb that circulates on the internet)

What kind of a guy would go around hiding behind the email name, “Nevada City Guy”? And for what purpose?

Well, it’s not Matt Damon or Brad Pitt. Hold onto your bottle of Aqua Velva! “Nevada City Guy” is none other than Todd Juvinall, a grown man in his late 60s who acts like a two-year-old and who has become known for lashing out at many people in our community for years. (And a one-time county supervisor, no less).

I cannot think of a more unfit individual to represent our community as “Nevada City Guy” — even on his own terms or whatever his motive. In fact, Todd is an embarrassment to our towns.

His loud mouth is responsible for much of the political divisiveness in our towns. He is widely know for his personal attacks, name calling, and verbal bullying going back to his founding of CABPRO, an extreme right wing activist group that has fizzled as the western county becomes more “middle of the road.”  Todd routinely picks fights with locals in the community internet forums and insults women such as Hilary Hodge and Marilyn Nyborg. He has attacked me routinely — he likes to dish out the “fat jokes,” for example — because I challenge him and his extremist, sometimes hateful views. It is one reason this blog began — to address the hatefulness from Todd and his political allies who were trying to run our community.

Steven Frisch of the Sierra Business Council is another favorite target of Todd. Steve and I don’t hesitate to punch back, as well as others.

“Todd Juvinall has been spewing hostility and anger toward his Democratic enemies for years. I have not heard any constructive criticism, interest in listening, dialogue or understanding. I strongly question his motivation and targets. His writing seems very closed to anything outside of his own idea of truth,” as one local, Marilyn Nyborg, wrote in a letter to the editor of The Union.

The signed comments in The Union forum go like this: “Once again, Todd Juvinall spews his hate-filled rhetoric for all to see and hear,” wrote local Joan Merriam. “Todd Juvinall … your reply insults women,” writes another, Richard Sciaroni. “Todd Juvinall … this last one crossed a line into hate speech,” wrote Mike Mooers. “The Todd has been over the top for at least 25 years,” said Jon Shilling.

As the community becomes more “middle of the road,” extreme political activists such as Todd are becoming more vocal — and truly outlandish. I suspect the Trump presidency has emboldened them too. Lately, Todd has become as childish and unhinged as ever, lashing out like a toddler. I guess he (along with a few of his internet trolls, who are too cowardly to sign their real names) want to be heard.

Well, Todd, we hear you. Now go pound sand in your sandbox. lol

Juvinall’s blog is blocked on the Oxford Tube

The Oxford Tube, an express coach between Oxford and London, is the highest frequency long distance coach route operating in the United Kingdom.

It touts 4G Wi-Fi, so I fired up my laptop to catch up with the “news” from home.

All of the local news websites and blogs worked fine — except for one: Former Nevada County Supervisor Todd Juvinall’s “Sierra Dragon Breathe (sic).”

The Brits know a cesspool when they see one. You can’t make this stuff up!

Rachel Maddow reposts tweet from local Democrats: a sign of their renewed organizing clout

Enterprising local Hilary Hodge (social media marketing manager, writer, and executive director of Sierra Commons) volunteered to launch and manage a Twitter feed for the Democratic Party of Nevada County just two months ago, and the account is now receiving national recognition — the latest kudos coming from prominent progressive political commentator Rachel Maddow, no less.

This weekend Maddow retweeted a tweet from “Nevada County Dems” (@NevadaCoCADems). It was a photo from the local Dems Twitter feed, which reported on Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s Town Hall meeting at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in real time this past weekend. The headline read: “Line at the in Grass Valley.” And it was a long line. (See screen grab below).

The Nevada County Dems and LaMalfa’s Town Hall meeting also were mentioned on Maddow’s show. “We (Nevada County) just got a shout out from Rachel Maddow! The resistance, of course,” wrote Heidi Hall, the newly elected District 1 County supervisor, on Facebook. Hodge added: “[Maddow] retweeted one of the Tweets I sent out from the Nevada County Democrats on Saturday.”

Maddow’s Twitter feed has 6.78 million followers. Her show on MSNBC has experienced gigantic ratings growth as MSNBC’s primetime audience grew more than twice as fast as Fox News in the first quarter, according to an MSNBC press release.

That is a big megaphone for the Nevada County Democratic Party — in what has long been a “red” county! The local left has been reinvigorated, as this blog has been reporting. This is the latest example. It comes amid a continued shift to the left in local politics, as we’ve been reporting. One of the reasons is here.

By contrast, the local right looks tired and shrill, at least judging from local opinion articles in The Union by longtime local hard-right activists Fran Freedle and Todd Juvinall. Freedle lashed out at The Union, and Juvinall lashed out at Hodge. Both articles were juvenile and had no merit. The local right needs more sophisticated-sounding spokespeople and some “new blood.” A memo from the local GOP leaders became featured political satire in the Sacramento Bee, drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jack Ohman. What a hoot!

LaMalfa Town Hall shows continued shift to the left in local politics

Locals lineup for the LaMalfa town hall meeting (Photo credit: Facebook)

A theme on this blog last year was that elections results are pointing to a shift to the left in local politics. Though much of the local hard right is in denial — including the human global warming naysayers— the handwriting has been on the wall since last June and again in November.

In Nevada County, Heidi Hall won the District 1 Supervisor’s race; Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump for president; Kamala Harris bested Loretta Sanchez for the California Senate; Doug LaMalfa narrowly beat Jim Reed (50.56 percent vs. 49.44 percent) for Congress; and Robert Derlet beat Tom McClintock for Congress — handily. Nevada County is going blue.

This weekend, the trend was reinforced at Doug LaMalfa’s town hall. I listened to the proceedings on KVMR and watched them on YubaNet — in real time. The Union lacked the real-time reporting of the progressive local media, only reinforcing its perception as the “Tea Party Gazette.” (Memo to The Union: The internet is changing how we communicate).

LaMalfa was contrite: He mentioned progressive Nevada City council member Reinette Senum, SYRCL executive director Caleb Dardick and other progressives by name as being instrumental in being catalysts for the town hall meeting.

Meanwhile, rightwing activist and blogger George Rebane was having a hissy fit. He wrote: “The meeting was co-opted by the left.” No, it wasn’t. The local GOP was outgunned politically by the progressives despite having a staunch Republican Congressman in their camp. LaMalfa must have been disappointed at the local GOP’s effort — despite the advantage.

Senum shared a video on Facebook, writing: “Such bull. ‘Early on at the town hall. Red shirts going in on the side while we wait outside.’ Trying desperately to get an advantage. … BTW, I give kudos to LaMalfa. … To Bessee and the Chair of the local Republicans, not so much.”

She was referring to this email blast sent by the local GOP, stating: “We must show up in large numbers to show we are strong too.  The best way to assure seating is to volunteer for the set-up effort.  For that, a list of approved set-up personnel is being compiled by Don Bessee.  Only persons who are on the set-up list will be provided with the details for arrival location and early admission time for set-up.”

The progressives were well organized, holding up signs that read “agreed” when a speaker made a point that resonated with them.

What’s ironic is that their grassroots efforts are redolent of the Tea Party Patriots — but without anywhere near the hatred and rancor. The progressives’ protests are more civilized than anything that the Tea Party ever dished up.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the next round of local elections.

The village idiots in the local right-wing blogosphere

The rightwing blogosphere in western Nevada County sure lacks business acumen.

First we wrote how “Bored Georgeman” sold his stock portfolio before Donald Trump was elected president, missing out on the biggest stock market runup in decades.

And now Don Bessee writes on George Rebane’s blog: ”
HI PE! You still need fresh material my friend. ==== Now this is not a joke– The taxi cab drivers of NY have declared a strike to show solidarity with the immigration protesters. Uber stock up in overseas trading.”

Memo to Don:
1. No “overseas” trading tonight.
2. Uber is not public.

You can’t fix stupid.

Tea party-influenced PAC gives $1,500 to campaign banning local outdoor marijuana grows

The tea-party influenced “Americans for Good Government” PAC has given $1,500 to the “Yes on W” marijuana ballot initiative, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Measure W, which would ban outdoor marijuana grows and limit indoor grows to 12 plants, will appear on the June ballot.

“Americans for Good Government” has identified itself as: “we are conservative grassroots organizations, such as tea party groups and other independent groups, who are willing to work with political operatives to recruit candidates for positions in local government.”

More about the Americans for Good Government PAC from YubaNet  — noting that it has been managed by tea party members — is herehere and here. The PAC’s donors also include prominent local tea party members and leaders.

The tea party, with its extremist views, has been one of the most polarizing elements of local politics in recent years.

The latest campaign filings also show the “HOPE Committee Against Measure W” has raised $12,612. Hometown Hydroponics in Grass Valley donated $5,000, the reports show. A group “Hope for Silas” loaned $5,000. The filing is here: Against Measure W

The Union is a financial beneficiary of this group’s campaigning, among others. The group spent $1,170 for two full-page ads in the “Nevada County Cannibus” newspaper that The Union now publishes. For background, “Can pot ads save newspapers”? is here.



A parody page of Todd Juvinall shows up as he ponders run for Supe

Former County Supervisor and CABPRO founder Todd Juvinall’s statement that he might run again for District 1 Supervisor has led to a parody Facebook page “Draft Todd Juvinall for Supervisor” that is drawing attention in the community.

“Todd Juvinall has a vision for Nevada County,” the Facebook page reads. “It will be a place where people who think alike can come together to raise families. It’s a place where what people once thought the Constitution meant still means something. It will be a place where a guy can still build a subdivision in a forest or a shopping center at an exit ramp or open a mine if he wants too.”

I had nothing to do with the page except to point it out. I have no idea who created it, but it is the kind of NC Scooper-like humor that we have come to know. The link to the “Draft Todd Juvinall for Supervisor” Facebook page is here:

Todd has gone on a rant about the page on his blog in his typical bombastic style. (Among other things, Todd informs us that he “named” the Rood Center; I did not know that). The page even has drawn the attention of Todd’s daughter.  At least someone is commenting on the page with the handle “Tracy Juvinall.”

“How about trying to make a difference in someone’s life instead of trying to tear someone down?” the person “Tracy Juvinall” writes.

“Golly Tracy Juvinall, I guess you just can’t face the fact that Todd is saying he wants to run for Supervisor and is the best choice for Nevada County,” the Facebook page’s administrator writes. “Todd sets such a good example of doing good in the community and going out of his way not to ‘tear someone down’ that we just can’t think of a better candidate. Expect to see much more from the grassroots Draft Todd Juvinall for Supervisor effort in the future.”

The administrator points to Todd’s own blog as an example of nasty, boorish, bullying, lying, insulting behavior. Internet trolls run rampant; people do not sign their names. I do not know if his daughter reads her dad’s blog.

My only observation is that Todd Juvinall reaps what he sows. Longtimers tell me he has a history of this type of behavior. One example is here.

I hope Todd decides to run for District 1 Supervisor — if only to confirm his gross misunderstanding of his popularity in our community.

I’d like to see how many people wind up voting for Todd and how much money he can raise. Todd is a retired contractor. Will the Nevada County Contractors Association endorse him? Will the Nevada County Republican Central Committee endorse him? Will current Board of Supervisor members endorse him? Will Nevada County natives such as Russ Steele or right-wing political activists such as George Rebane endorse him?

I’d also like to see people sign their names in support of him — not anonymous internet trolls who run rampant on his blog.

Todd Juvinall: Our Village Idiot

Here’s Todd, George Rebane and friends with Dan Logue, who is running for LaMalfa’s state senate seat. (credit: “Rebane’s Ruminations):
Here’s Todd, hard-right blogger George Rebane and friends with Dan Logue, who supported Rick Perry for president. (credit: “Rebane’s Ruminations):

Along with its cartoon “The Village Idiot” by RL Crabb, The Union this weekend treats its readers to commentary from our community’s longtime real-life village idiot: Todd Juvinall, founder of CABPRO and — get this — once elected to be a County Supervisor.

In “It’s the Democrats with the extreme views,” Todd rambles on about the local Democrat Central Committee, climate change, “liberal extremist power grabs,” PG&E smart meters, Saul Alinksky, Planned Parenthood — all in one article. Did I leave anything out? LOL.

Here’s an excerpt: “Lately we have seen a full-court press by the local democrats to convince people ‘climate change’ is caused by humans. After all my research, it appears to be a hoax.”

“After all my research”? And what are Todd’s qualifications as a climate scientist? “I have been a General Building Contractor since 1977, now inactive,” Todd writes on his blog, which is a mud pit of nasty personal attacks, where internet trolls are allowed to run amok.  “I consider myself a conservative and I support conservative people and issues. I have lived here in Nevada County most of my life. My parents came here in the middle to late forties. I attended NUHS class of 68′ and Sierra College.”

Todd’s commentary is entertaining — like a real-life cartoon — but not informative. It is another shining example of The Union running itself into the ground as a credible information source — ironic, since the newspaper’s publisher likes to make fun of social media and its lack of credibility.

Rather, the newspaper is focusing on holding onto an aging, declining demographic by running whatever material it can round up. Often it comes from longtime subscribers like Todd, whose views represent the past in our community (and an ugly one at that), not the future. There is no fact checking or vetting of the material, a common policy at most other newspapers.

It also is a sad mirror into the small but vocal element of our community, where “those who reject mainstream climate science,” supporters of seceding from California and tea party activists are praised.

None of it ever gets adopted as local policy, but the noise is loud enough to make our community a political laughingstock of Northern California — burning bridges with the rest of the state when it should be building them.

Todd has long been our local poster child for nasty politics, going back to NH2020 and efforts by environmentalists to declare a stretch of the South Yuba River “wild and scenic.” “Serious misinformation regarding Wild and Scenic designation for the South Yuba is being circulated by local opponents Todd Juvinall and John McAlister in a concerted effort to influence public opinion.,” according to a SYRCL document from 1993.

Todd lost this one, along with others. CABPRO is a shell of its former self.

Even local GOPers laugh behind Todd’s back. I once asked one of them how a majority of progressives once got elected to the County Board of Supervisors. He looked at me with a straight face and exclaimed: “Todd Juvinall.”

It’s ironic to think we want to attract a bunch of thoughtful and successful people and businesses here while touting such extremism. It will just scare them off. And The Union is playing right along.