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17 September 2012


billy T

Little infant steps do not take us to the promised land. Broadband is a great idea that will benefit all, but it comes with a price. Vice President Al Gore while stumping for President declared internet broadband is a right. I wondered if he had any idea what was involved. Wiring schools and taxing everybody with a land line won't get us there, especially when folks are dropping land line phones.

Vision of the future? Are we going to built the green train to Colfax or down the center divide of 49? Its not like we go to the hope chest and pull out a piece of paper that says "Dorsey Off Ramp", click our heels together 3 times and it appears next week.

Regulations come from above. Local regs are not the issue in the grand scheme of things. Sure, Nevada City has to approve any tree being chopped down or the type of windows you can have. Big Boxes or no boxes? Dog parks and no smoking. These tiny issues do not help businesses.

This reminds me of Columbus. He had no idea where he was going, didn't know where he was when he got there, but at least he got a woman to pay for it all. I know many people like that. Where is Queen Isabella when we need her?


George I implore you DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT complain to the government... I would hate to see what they come up with for a 'solution.'

I gave up on such meetings years ago... local government bodies are simply the minions of the Fed/State government.

Amen. "the main thing that entrepreneurs and business owners ask of government is just to get the hell out of the way."

Russ Steele


There is a long history of my participation in the ERC activities and insights at my old blog NC Media Watch. The link is here: http://ncwatch.typepad.com Use the search functions with the key word ERC.

Todd Juvinall

Well hell, Frisch and I agree on CEQA! The irony though is the organization he runs is in my view a backdoor way to keep it in force. Phony outrage if you will.

California is a hopeless cause. The State and Feds shove their mandates down the throats of locals and we have to take it. It started under Nixon and has only gotten worse.

If you hire ONE employee you become subject to hundreds if not thousands of rules and requirements. If you don't follow the rules the government will "punish" you, that is, fine you and sanction you. If you want to grow the footprint of you building, you are subject to the nightmare of regulation under zoning and CEQA and dopey General Plans. But that is what we have done to ourselves in the name of "getting along" as a people.

I fought the land use wars here in our little county and I lost. I attended every meeting in the 90's and tried to bring simple common sense to the proposed GP policies and recommendations but to no avail. I was not PC but practical. Go back and listen to the thousands of hours of tapes and you will here from the people like Izzy Martin and Peter Van Zant, representing the left why we are in the boat we are in today. Their views prevailed and I predicted we would end up as a "service based" ecomony of low wages and commuters to the big city. All from the "landuse" regulations of our county.

They and their fellow believers in a ratcheted down landuse plan have gotten what they wanted and it will not change anytime soon. Along with a ultra leftwing State Legislature we are screwed. Thousands of new rules and in every aspect of our lives and businesses are passed each year. Nevada County has become the bedroom community I warned against and the biggest employer has become government. I saw this in Plumas County back in the 80's and warned we would become them and it has happened.

I am no soothsayer but I do have common sense and can read people and their intentions pretty well. When every project for change or betterment become a barttleground in the Planning Commission meetings, then we only have ourselves to blame for the rot created here.


Is this not an ag county? If so, how soon do you want all our Ponderosas to be owned by Monsanto? What sort of legacy are we leaving our great grandchildren, if laws like MOnsanto lobbied for are allowed to stand? Why would there be o mentions of this issue at such a "conference?"

~Philip Andersonposted to U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance~

"Something that bugs me about Monsanto legalities against farmers. If a Monsanto-using farm's pollen pollenates your plants, you will be sued for using their product without paying. That's the equivalent of you jumping over my fence, raping my wife and impregnating her... and then suing me for illegally using your seed. That is insane logic. And knowing that pollen spreads, it must have been thought out and planned ahead years before that eventually all specific plants would change to Monsanto "brands."

George Rebane

TomK 837am - Do you have any evidence that Monsanto has filed such suits, and if so, have they prevailed? BTW, in reality we are NOT an ag county since that segment contributes less than 5% to gross county product. That doesn't mean that our envirodents are not quietly knawing away at our body politic in the hope that the current 5% becomes 100%. The astute reader will recognize that this is possible to achieve without increasing the dollar value of the current 5%, and that is their current objective.

MikeyMcD 743am - please don't misunderstand. My supplications to the electeds is TO PURPOSELY DO LESS (disassemble the barricades to business), not to come up with any grand plan for business development, of which they are totally and terminally incapable.


The Ag segment is growing steadily, and our tourist attracting restaurants depend on fresh veggies and free range beef. In the event of major crop collapses from monocultured crops, we may become much more dependent on locally grown foods. If the economy goes into full collapse, growing at home may save a lot of people.


Nearly 8,000 hits for the search ~ "monsanto sues" crop gmo suit ~ on Google. Take your pick.

Paul Emery


we are indeed an ag coundy. Marijuana cultivation is by far the largest industry in our county next to, of course, government jobs.

George Rebane

All true about our local ag leanings - but as I have long told my students, don't confuse comparing different derivatives of a time varying function. Many arguments in the public square go interminably with one side saying the amount (zeroth derivative) is low, while the other side is crowing about the rate of change (first derivative) being high, or even merely positive. And the audience of nebbishes can't differentiate and soon lose interest.

But PaulE (952am), you are, of course, right but have yet to convince the electeds on an approach to tax the entire crop.

Earl Crabb

Anyone who believes Nevada County could be self-sustaining without those truckloads of food coming up 49 and 20 is smoking too much cash crop. We'd be trading Julia Child for Donner Party recipes in about two weeks, especially come winter.

Ryan Mount

RL for the win! +1

billy T

Tax the cash crop farmers and you will hear a cacophony that reaches the moon and back. Who is going to throw the magic "ON" switch and all of a sudden those involved in the black market will come clean and start "volunteering" to sent in quarterly contributions in advance?? Hope they don't forget to send in their proof of health insurance. Might lose their food stamps. My gawd, the sky was falling just on the proposal to make them register. I say tax them and watch half the country pull out Don't Tread On Me flags and carry signs that say Taxed Enough Already"

It only takes a few dozen plants to put them in the Obama "rich" category to add insult to injury.

Earl of Crabb: Julia Child? Wonder if she tasted like chicken in her younger days. Come winter Julia Child might taste great under ice, chilled to perfection.

Paul Emery

First of all the Cultivation Ordinance is a prime example of government regulation. You can't blame the Libs on this one. It was trumpeted by the conservatives and local law enforcement who wanted control over what was supported by the will on the people who voted fifty-six percent for approval Proposition 215 on November 5, 1996. Conservatives and TP types were silent and did not support opposition to the ordinance when it was passed last may. Libertarians publicly expressed strong opposition however.

So to whine about regulations on one hand and support this overkill ordinance is the height of hypocrisy. I will excuse our host from criticism on this one since he has stood up in opposition.

This is important and needs discussion, How can you do any assessment of our local economy without taking into account the largest income source in the county?

Earl Crabb

Don't blame the libs? You mean those compassionate progressives in Nevada City (and many other municipalities) who squelched any attempt at establishing a dispensary or private grows inside the city limits? Face it, when everybody voted to legalize "medicinal" marijuana, they had no idea what it would lead to. Typical for government by feelgood initiative.

Paul Emery

Well placed counter punch Mr Crabb. I was trying to make a point that with all the blathering from the right about opposition to government regulations there was a silence on this one that allows government inspectors into your back yards to check out your personal foliage to make sure it's up to spec. Yes indeed NC and GV libs opted out from allowing dispensary's in city limits. Also it's the Obama admin that let the club fly on the Colfax dispensary even there were no complaints from either the county or city. As you reported earlier Tom McClintock supported a bill to cut off funding for the feds on enforcement that gathered considerable Democratic support but little from the Pubbers. So much for supporting States rights on that one.

The failed bill's text reads as follows:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Of the 190 Democrats in the House, 134 (more than 70 percent) voted in favor of the bill. Only 29 of the 242 House Republicans (less than 12 percent) did.



In an effort to get our fair share I think we should tax the hell out of pot. Make producers pay for business license, payroll taxes, income taxes, etc.

It's only fair.

billy T

Re:Paul Emery "This is important and needs discussion, How can you do any assessment of our local economy without taking into account the largest income source in the county?"

Paul. I agree. I don't think I have ever taken a stand on the issue. I haven't smoked pot in over 21 years. As a former guerrilla farmer and daily pot smoker for 25 years or so prior, I am not coming at this as some Pauly Anna reformist thumper.

My point is the forest, not the trees. Its easy to say tax em all and rub our hands together and think problem solved. Nor am I referring to those that would frequent a medical clinic or have a bush or two behind the tool shed. I am referring to the guerrilla grower who has never lived on the sunny side of the street and has only known the black market as a life style. The dudes with surveillance cameras in every tree and has not filed taxes in years. The ones who would never "sell out to the man" or be part of "the system". No regs will bring in those types into the fold, not today, no way and no how. Say tax them to death but I say don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Pot is a prime example of local regs that can be amended and altered with relative ease. State and Federal regs that our county is forced to abide under is a horse of a different color. A war horse.

But regarding the forest, is what is the vision for the business climate and future for the county? I ain't talking about the little lady's Victory Garden in the side yard. I am talking the big picture, the whole enchilada, the gist of Dr. Rebane's post.

I sat in the doc's office this fine morn. Noticed a picture with a quote hanging on the wall. It was a beautiful pic of a harbor right after dusk in early evening as night was approaching. There was a lighthouse that had not been fired up yet for the night. The quote read something like this: GOALS: Without knowing which harbor you are going to port, no light is bright enough to show the way.

That is what I am talking about, as well as Mr. Steele and Dr. Rebane. Where are we headed? It ain't about wacky tobaccy and barters' street fairs. Where is this county going and what will it look like in 10-20 years??? Without a vision the people are scattered.

Paul Emery

We agree again Mikey. It is estimated that MJ cultivation in California is a $15 billion annual enterprise, probably around 200 million in Nevada County. Imagine the tax revenue potential. Combine that with the reduction in in law enforcement, judicial and incarceration expenses and you have a huge windfall for State and local governments. Of course this is fiercely opposed by the law enforcement-incarceration industry and commercial growers themselves who prefer to have legal action incorporated as a manageable risk to keep prices up. However there are many local growers who are no longer in compliance with the heavy handed ordinance that were very modest in their ambitions and were indeed growing only for the needs of themselves or a small number of others consistent with state law.

Effective enforcement of this ordinance would devastate Nevada Counties economy for sure. I conducted a casual survey with 9 Nevada City downtown businesses who are freaked out at the possible effect on retail. Also, look for a new surge in foreclosures since property ownership is an essential component. Also the feds closing of dispensaries effects revenue. If it was peaches instead of pot that drove our local economy the price per pound would be a huge topic and local growers would probably ask for assistance much like Rep candidate LaMalfa who gets millions in price support from the taxpayers..
Since the local economy is the topic of this post it is essential that these ramifications be part of any conversation on the future of our economy.

George Rebane

All good points and an illuminating discussion. Can anyone (PaulE?) summarize where we are currently in the pot regulatory loop? Is there any major decision/review point coming up for the Board of Supes?

Paul Emery

The Ordinance is currently being enforced. One of the first to be cited was an 58 year old woman with Hoskings Disease who had 24 plants. She was growing on five acres in the Scotts Flat Area. She has been cited for too much square footage, growing not on a contiguous plane and not proper fencing. She has five CALENDAR days to appeal from the date of notice. If she does not appeal or abate within five days the Sheriffs office will do it for her and charge her for their time. Another person I talked to who was visited by the Sheriffs dept asked what would happen if he required a search warrant and, according to him, he was told that if forced to get a search warrant they would not knock and would instead kick in his door.


My understanding is that the owners and builders of the business Ridgestop Cafe have sold, and possibly because they sensed everyone getting nervous about the obvious ease with which plants can be spotted from the air, and the failure of the Obama admin to legalize the stuff. Coming down hard will affect every business in GV/NC, with fewer and smaller sales in everything from gardening supplies to dinners out. Less tax revenue, less money for police to make raids, fewer raids, more pot grows, a great counterbalancing system in action. I'm sure there must be a fancy word for this kind of systems behavior.

George Rebane

TomK 1111pm - Yes, it's called unintended consequences. What you and PaulE (1049pm) are citing should be brought to the attention of the Supes. I'm not sure that they all are aware of how the 'oh, we're really not going to enforce the small stuff' provision of the ordnance is being implemented. In any event, their public response and clarification at one of their regular meetings is required in cases like this. Who in our marijuana counter-culture is going to bring it to their attention?


I may live here, I may have smoked pot in the dim distant past, but I am not part of the MJ counterculture.

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