Our take on the issues      Our response to local editorials
Note: Links to The Union take you to their web site. Allow those links time to load, their web site is SLOW.
  • Jane Pelton op ed on Yubanet.com
  • CLAIM-GV Fact Checks Union "article" on DEIR rejection.
  • Denise Reynolds, The Union Opinion of the week, Apr 11
  • Tom Grundy, The Union Other Voices, Mar 21
  • Sharon Delgado and CLAIM, The Union Other Voices, Mar 20
  • Mike Pasner, The Union Other Voices, Mar 4
  • Elisa Parker, The Union Other Voices, Feb 28
  • Local contractors not hired for Walgreens project, from article in the Union Monday Feb 16.
  • Incisive comments from a local schoolteacher.
  • Mine Would Make Bad Air Worse.
  • Comment from a local resident made at a recent Planning Commission Meeting.
  • Check out our YouTube channel.
  • CLAIM Presents - a series of presentation snippets on IMM Project Impacts
  • Fuzzy Math about the benefit to our local economy. An Analysis of the Mining Labor Force, 1936 vs. 2008

    We have figures for how many people were employed in mining in all of Nevada County in 1936 from The Nevada City Nugget, Friday May 22, 1936, "Men Employed in County Mines, 2499".
    In 1930 the county population was 10,600 people per Nevada County, CA Population by Decades from http://recenter.tamu.edu. In 1940 it was 19,283. Assuming linear population growth that puts the population in 1936 at 15,809 people.
    In 2000 the population of Nevada County was 92,033, op cit. The growth rate was 1.6% per year. That puts the 2008 population at 103,776.
    Thus by simple math, in the mid 1930's, 1936 to be exact, during the midst of the depression, 15.8% of the population of Nevada County was employed in mining. Similarly, in 2008, using a total of 400 jobs for the IMM project, which is generous, the percentage of the population of Nevada County that would be employed in mining would be 0.4%.
    The impact of having close to 16% of the population in mining in 1936 vs. the impact of having less than 0.4% employed in mining in 2008 or 20xx, is ludicrous. There will be no "safe from the depression" impact on our economy from having one active mine in Nevada County in 2008 vs. having 38 active mines in 1936.

    The impact that will occur is a significant increase in traffic, pollution, and global warming, and a significant loss of local well water, local water quality, and local overall quality of life.

  • Posted on Stop Reopening IdahoMaryland GoldMine Petiton:
    I am a local teacher, who last year, spent a good deal of time learning and teaching my students about the proposed re-opening of the Idaho Maryland Mine. Being committed to true education, I am proud to say that both sides of this debate were presented to my students - often by the individuals directly involved. All of this is to say that I have not rushed into a particular position nor have I encouraged my students to do this either. Quite the contrary, I am a proponent of gathering the details and making a decision based on rational sustainable economics. After hearing from several employees of Emgold, including Dave Watkins, James Woods, and Dennis Hada. As well as hearing from individuals involved with developing the tile making process, I have come to this conclusion. I oppose the re-opening of the Idaho - Maryland Mine. The applicant proposes to "mitigate" light, water, and noise pollution along with a 200,000 square foot tile processing factory that will emit air contaminated with arsenic and asbestos. Mitigate means to make less severe, it does not mean to rectify degradation to our environment nor our quality of life. While the history of our area is steeped in gold mining, that is no longer the foundation of our local economy. The re-opening of this mine would not be quaint, nor remind us of the good ol' days. Instead it would threaten the jobs of those who work in the tourist, high tech, recreation as well as housing industries, as those residents who can, leave and those who cannot, are left with the consequences of poor foresight and decision making. The risk to our local economy and our quality of life if this project is approved by the Grass Valley City Council will far outweigh even the best economic projections supplied by Emgold. This is neither the time, nor place for an unproven company (Emgold has never seen a project of this scale through) to rely upon tile-making technology, (that has not yet been successfully scaled-up to production levels). Please do not jeopardize the current economy or quality of life in Nevada County for what at best, could be a twenty year mining operation (depending upon the fluctuation of gold price and tile demand) that would perhaps employ six hundred people (only 50% of which would be local). While we are in a tough economic period, it would be terribly shortsighted to trade the myriad of mitigations and potential exodus of established employers for several hundred mining associated jobs. As a born and raised local, I vehemently oppose and urge you to deny the request to re-open the Idaho Maryland Mine.
  • From The Union Editorial page, Feb 13, 2009
    MINE WOULD MAKE BAD AIR WORSE Eight years ago, the California Air Resources board stated in their report on air quality in the Los Angeles basin, that any child living in L.A. more than a year would have 15 percent less lung capacity for life. I couldn't understand why people with children would move into L.A., except most people haven't read the report.
    Our air is not that bad, but it is bad, and to deliberately do something to our air quality that is acknowledged by the mine company itself to be "unmitigatible," seems to me to be profoundly wrong. Since we are at the mercy of Sacramento for the fact that we have the 12th worst air quality in California it is not our fault. It is our fault if we allow the mine. We can hardly ask for help or allowance if we make it worse ourselves.
  • From GV Planning Commission Meeting by a Local Businessman and Resident:
    I have spent a lot of time thinking about this project and reading the DEIR. As described in the DEIR, the magnitude of this project and the changes that would be forced on our community are immense.
    I have tried to find a scenario for this project that I could recommend, like allowing extraction of rock but moving processing to an outlying location. However, due to the significant impacts of even that scenario: dewatering, blasting, noise, dust, and massive numbers of trucks with the inherent pollution and GHG emissions, I cannot support anything other than not allowing mining in the middle of our community.
    We are being told that there is something called "modern mining" which will not create any significant impacts. After reading the DEIR I can only equate modern mining to clean coal. There is no such thing.
    Mining is what it has always been: dirty, dangerous, and polluting. In different ways from 150 years ago perhaps, but in the middle of our community, exactly that.
    We are told to put all of our trust into a "benevolent" corporation, and our overworked, understaffed government agencies to represent our best interests. If you have looked at the news recently you know how well this scenario has worked out: SEC, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, CA legislature, CA governor, TVA, EPA. We cannot afford to wager our community's health in order to enrich Emgold and whoever actually winds up with permit when in all likelihood Emgold sells it.
    Remember, at most 0.4% of the community could possibly be considered employed by mining in 2020 whereas in 1936, 16% of the community was doing mining. There is no depression proof magic.
    Alternately, following the existing GV General Plan, if we, as a community, put a fraction of the effort that is now being expended on this 19th century project into attracting 21st century jobs in R&D for alternative energy, other high tech opportunities and using some of the land for solar farms or biomass power generation we will have hundreds of local jobs which will be permanent, high paying, and environmentally responsible. We will be improving our community and we can get help from state and federal funds that are being made available for these projects. I am certain that we can put together numerous incentives to stimulate job creation and company creation. We just have to try.
    An under discussed concern about this project is the loss of high paying jobs and the loss of high wealth residents that will likely occur if it starts. The jobs will leave because the companies that are here now cannot continue to do business due to blasting or other impacts. Residents may choose to leave because the quality of life in this community has been compromised. Thus we will realistically see a net loss of jobs, a net loss of tax revenue and consequential further loss of home values. If even 1 tech company leaves this area we will essentially be labeled as "not a tech friendly location" to do business. We will find it impossible to recruit any new companies to move up here when we have forced out a "compatriot".
    It is past time to put this project where it belongs, in the recycling bin.