From where we sat: here’s an ultra-brief rundown on differences (or not) noted in Wednesday’s  forum featuring Yuba County District 1 supervisor candidates Andy Vasquez and Joan Saunders (candidate David Joyce was absent).

– The Lake Oroville crisis: Vasquez thought the county handled it well; Saunders did not.

– Additional tax revenue dedicated to public safety: Both are OK if the public votes for it.

– The Charlie Mathews initiative to redistribute revenues generated from groundwater substitution transfers. Saunders is for it; Vasquez said the water agency should handle the money.

– Trashy properties: Saunders said the county should strengthen code enforcement; Vasquez said there are sometimes conflicts with private property rights.

– Attracting new businesses? Vasquez emphasized that the county has worked to streamline processes; Saunders said the county needs to make people feel more comfortable to invest in the Linda area.

– Marijuana issues: Both said illegal grows are bad.

– Homelessness: Vasquez says that compared to other places, the situation here isn’t that bad and that the big issue is drugs and alcohol. Saunders said the problem here is enormous and suggests an apartment-style situation where the homeless could live if they work.

– Sanctuary state: Saunders said the state is breaking federal law; Vasquez said the county has to be careful not to jeopardize the $6 million annually paid the county by ICE for space at the jail to hold detainees.

– Peach Tree Mall: Vasquez said it’s a private property issue – the owners will or won’t do something; it’s their decision. Saunders said the owners should be given a deadline for rehabilitating the facility or demolishing it.

– Traffic: Both said a bypass around Marysville was a good idea. Both support District 10 residents opposed to a Highway 70 widening project.

– The county’s handling of the Cascade Fire: Vasquez said the county did an excellent job; Saunders disagreed and said the traffic congestion during the evacuation was terrible (she may have misunderstood the question to be in reference to the Oroville crisis).

Next forum is Wednesday, back at the Yuba County  Government Center featuring District 5 supervisor candidates and Yuba County sheriff candidates. Show up (6 p.m.) and write your questions on a card; or email them to ADnewsroom@appealdemocrat.com; or go to appealdemocrat.com, click on the the heading, “Questions for Candidates,” and then click through to our survey. Catch this and other forums on our Appeal-Democrat Facebook page.

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Thumbs Up: One of the things that sealed the deal for us when we moved to this community was Italian Night (and then the dozen or so other solid, fun, tradition-laden events in this community – crab feeds, lobster feeds, blues music and barbecue, and a bunch of others). 

Italian night impressed us because the food was great and the music was fun, but mostly there were lots of people having a good time being together, and that’s what you like to see in a community: members of it enjoying each other’s company.

This is just acknowledging it took some pluck to risk changing the decades-long theme. Now it’s “Mardi Gras in April” night, which means tasty Cajun chow cooked on site by some pretty good cooks. 

(Disclaimer: I’m a proud member of this club ... but I’m proud of all the area service clubs that do these events. And don’t worry, I’m  not one of the cooks.) Tickets are still available at the gate – $45 for a good cause, doors open at the big hall at the fairgrounds at 6 p.m., dinner’s at 7:30 p.m.

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Thumbs Down: A good friend left us a voicemail earlier this week asking us to warn readers that the scammers are back at it with the IRS ruse. They’re calling people and posing as IRS personnel, claiming that you owe a pile of money and you’re about to lose everything but you can avert disaster by sending them a payment right away ... or some variant of that script. IRS agents don’t call out of the blue and tell you to send them money. Don’t fall for it.

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Ugh: (I’m the only one at this end of the building who remembers Arthur Godfrey.)

– What’s the difference between death and taxes? Congress doesn’t meet every year and talk about how to make death worse.

– “I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is – I could be just as proud for half the money.” (Arthur Godfrey, entertainer)

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