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Dawn Hodson

Governor Brown signs legislation benefiting connector

On Monday, it was announced that Governor Brown had signed legislation that will likely cut planning and construction costs for the Capital SouthEast Connector expressway project and help deliver the project more quickly. According to a press release, AB 1171, authored by Assemblyman Eric Linder of Corona and supported by the Connector Joint Power Authority, would […]

Capital SouthEast Connector piece to be on BOS agenda

With work continuing on the Capital SouthEast Connector, later this month the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will decide what happens next on a remaining 1 mile section of the project being built in this county. That mile is on White Rock Road, going from the county line to Windfield Way. Part of a 35-mile long limited-access […]

El Dorado High School earns grant

The library at El Dorado High School will soon be $5,000 richer in resources as the result of a grant it received on Sept. 29. There to personally deliver the check to school librarian Amy Linden was State Senator Ted Gaines, whose district includes El Dorado County. Linden wrote the successful grant application for the high school. […]

‘Mr. Make it Happen’ turns 80

El Dorado County is full of people who have left their mark — having founded a business, built a monument or created a legacy that will live on long after they are gone. Fred Simon is one such man. A resident of Shingle Springs who turned 80 in September, he remains as much a force to be reckoned with now as when […]

See how new garden grows

What: Sherwood Demonstration Garden grand opening Who: UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County Where: Behind Folsom Lake College, El Dorado Center, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville When: Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Information: (530) 621-5512 After years of planning and thousands of volunteer hours pulling weeds, digging and planting, the grand opening of the Sherwood Demonstration Garden is set […]

Updated fire fee approved by Cameron Park board

The Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Directors moved forward on two fee schedule updates at its Sept. 16 meeting. Approved on a 5-0 vote was an updated fire impact fee program following a presentation and public hearing. The program is expected to fund the expansion of fire protection and emergency response facilities, apparatus and equipment as the […]

Nonfiction authors gather for tips

It was an eclectic group of authors and would-be authors who showed up on Sept. 15 for the first meeting of the El Dorado County Chapter of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Sponsored by Barbara Thompson and John Roe, two Cameron Park based therapists, the meeting attracted people as varied and interesting as the books they want to write. Many […]

Gigantic gourds coming to Placerville

The monster pumpkins are coming! The monster pumpkins are coming! Set to roll into El Dorado County this weekend, here’s a chance to see pumpkins weighing a thousand pounds or more at the third annual Giant Pumpkin Festival of El Dorado County. A treat for kids and adults alike, the festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 […]

El Dorado Water & Power Authority delays water rights decision

A potential Memorandum of Understanding between the El Dorado Water & Power Authority and the city of Folsom was put on hold until next month after another contentious discussion took place at the Sept. 9 EDWPA board meeting over the merits of pursuing additional water rights. The MOU is similar to one adopted with the Rio Linda-Elverta Community Water District […]

EID considers changes to Deer Creek discharges

A proposal to change the amount of effluent discharged from the Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was reviewed at the Sept. 14 meeting of the El Dorado Irrigation District. According to staff, in the past EID has been required to discharge a minimum of 1 million gallons per day (mgd) of treated wastewater from the Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment […]

BOE goes nowhere on Meyers’ DUI

A special board meeting by the El Dorado County Board of Education regarding Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Meyers came to naught after the board learned it had no authority to act, even if it wanted to. The Sept. 15 meeting was requested by Trustee Heidi Weiland last month following Meyers’ DUI arrest and conviction. Meyers was arrested on […]

Golden team preps for championship

The room was abuzz with excitement as those planning the 2016 World Gold Panning Championship in Placerville gathered in the offices of the El Dorado Community Foundation last week. With some of them just freshly back from the 2015 World Gold Panning Championship, the audience included members of the newly formed Gold Panning Championship board, volunteers, parade organizers, […]

GDPUD directors, ratepayers await Prop. 218 outcome

With the hearing on the Prop. 218 to fund the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant scheduled for Sept. 14, the Sept. 8 board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors was less contentious than usual as the community waits for the outcome. The hearing will determine whether or not the retrofit of the […]

Pay up to get high: Regulate and tax marijuana, Runner says

Normally George Runner, a conservative member of the California State Board of Equalization, likes new taxes like a bad case of poison oak. But at a recent Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County meeting, he came out in favor of taxing and regulating medical marijuana just like any other product. A member of a BOE marijuana task […]

GDPUD ratepayers look at funding option

PILOT HILL — Looking for a cheaper way to pay for retrofitting the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant, residents on the Divide gathered at the Pilot Hill Grange on Sept. 2 to learn about a funding alternative. Speaking to a group of about 40 people, Ray Kringel, who serves on the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Finance Committee, discussed the details […]

Ready or not: Harvest time is here

If you thought spring came a little earlier than usual this year, you aren’t alone.

El Dorado County’s crops have come in early, and now many growers are ahead of the normal harvest schedule.

Boa Vista manager Brad Visman said they started harvesting certain crops seven to 10 days ahead of schedule.

“We just finished harvesting Gala apples and will harvest Golden Delicious next week,” he said when the Mountain Democrat stopped by in late August. “Jonagold will be harvested today or tomorrow.”

Zoning update moves on

After a two-day hearing marathon, Aug. 27 and Sept. 2, the El Dorado County Planning Commission gave its stamp of approval to an updated General Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Commissioners also approved an accompanying environmental impact report and resolutions governing community design standards. Called the TGPA-ZOU (which stands for Targeted General Plan Amendment-Zoning Ordinance Update or the “project” for […]

Can you spare $2.77? Campaign helps finish new Boys and Girls Club

It was moving day — earth moving day, that is — for the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope, as work on the new facility in Placerville gets under way.

To be built on Green Valley Road near Mallard Lane, signs of construction were everywhere from the huge ducts lining the top of the adjoining hill to the bulldozers below, scooping up dirt in one place and packing it elsewhere.

“They have been moving dirt around for three weeks,” said Sean McCartney, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club. “Once we have power, we will put up a webcam so people can watch our progress.”

Education board to discuss Meyers’ DUI

Following the sentencing last month of El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Meyers for driving under the influence, El Dorado County Office of Education Trustee Heidi Weiland asked that the issue be placed on the next board meeting agenda. Reading a prepared statement at the Board of Trustee’s Aug. 27 meeting, Weiland said she struggled with what the board should […]

Artisanal coffee-house opens downtown

The words ambiance and high-end come to mind when ordering at ToTEM Coffee Company, Placerville’s latest coffee-house addition. Located in the Foundation Plaza next to the historical Cary House Hotel, the boutique coffee-house is a place where guests can get a custom-brewed cup of joe, healthy organic food plates as unique as the coffee blends, roasted coffee beans […]

Nonfiction writers unite and unblock

Got a book in you that needs writing but you just can’t get crackin’ without some pushing and prodding? Well filling that bill is a new group that is starting up in September called the El Dorado County Chapter of Nonfiction Authors Association. Sponsored by Barbara Thompson and John Roe, two Cameron Park based therapists, chapter meetings promise to […]

Cumpston reviews water issues with taxpayer group

El Dorado Irrigation District General Counsel Tom Cumpston covered everything from the drought to the “blob” at a recent Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County meeting. Cumpston noted that this year the state has seen it all — conservation mandates, curtailment of water rights, litigation and enforcement actions. Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown mandated cutting water use by 25 […]

EID’s flume work continues

With repairing and replacing its flumes a top priority, at its Aug. 24 meeting the El Dorado Irrigation Board of Directors approved spending $406,568 for additional assessment work on Flume 44. Actual construction will take place later. Located above Highway 50 between Bridal Veil Falls and Ice House Road, the approved work on Flume 44 will include performing geotechnical […]

GDPUD Prop 218 hearing set

A hearing on the intention of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District to assess a charge to pay for the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant was announced at the board’s Aug. 11 meeting. The district has mailed notices to all its ratepayers informing them of the Prop 218 hearing which will be held at 6 […]

Fire district cuts retiree health benefits

Since the 2008 economic collapse the El Dorado County Fire Protection District has struggled to get back on a sound financial footing. Last month district officials took another step toward recovery but it means a hit for retirees. “It’s no secret that we were in financial trouble three years ago and had a $1.6 million deficit,” said Fire Chief […]

SMUD’s Iowa Hill project still in assessment phase

Like a slow-moving glacier, work continues on the Iowa Hill hydroelectric project but at a deliberate pace that will ultimately be reckoned in decades. Called a pumped-storage system, the project, when built, will add to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s electrical generation and storage capacity. Located a few miles northwest of Camino, the project got its start in 2001 […]

‘Terrorizing’ cell tower put on hold

Trying to reconcile what some argued are incompatible land uses occupied most of the El Dorado County Planning Commission’s meeting on Aug. 13 with one of the most contentious issues the siting of a new Verizon cell tower in Mosquito. Deemed a “terrorist” structure by one property owner who claimed it would cause “immense distress among the members of […]

EID’s water supply updated; directors get legislative update

An updated water supply report was received by the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors at its Aug. 10 meeting. Prepared annually, staff said the district can count on 63,500 acre-feet of water supplies 95 percent of the time. Sources of the 63,500 acre-feet include 15,080 from Forebay; 21,000 from Jenkinson Lake; 7,550 from a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation […]

Split decision to sell reservoir

After an earlier attempt to close the deal failed, the El Dorado Irrigation District board voted 3-2 at its Aug. 10 meeting to approve the sale of the Blakeley Reservoir, deciding that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. At previous meetings in June and July, staff recommended selling the 36-acre property for $51,000. Seemingly priced […]

Veterans groups come together

About 70 people packed Placerville Town Hall last Wednesday to learn more about veterans’ services. Congressman Tom McClintock hosted the event and encouraged everyone there who’s having issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs to call his office, saying his staff can help them “bird dog” their claims and help them fill out the paperwork to file an […]

Illegal immigrant crime by the numbers

The topic of crime committed by illegal immigrants with criminal pasts has become front page news of late with the murder of two California law enforcement officers and a woman in San Francisco. Yet the amount of crime committed by illegals is not new. A study released in 2011 by the Government Accounting Office reported on incarcerations, arrests and […]

Slain deputy’s wife supports immigration reform, creates foundation

El Dorado County resident Susan Oliver has joined the illegal immigration debate, speaking up about the Davis-Oliver Act, an immigration enforcement bill named after her husband Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff’s Det. Michael Davis Jr. who were killed in the line of duty last year. Accused murderer Luis Bracamontes, AKA Marcelo Marquez, an […]

Protests start at StemExpress

Mothers and babies in strollers lined the street in front of StemExpress on Monday in protest of the company’s practice of selling the fetal body parts to research facilities.

Camino resident Lisa Hart said she was the one who called for the demonstration. There with her husband and teenage daughter, she said the protest was in response to Center for Medical Progress videos showing fetuses’ organs being harvested in an illegal and immoral way. In two of the center’s undercover videos, people posing a representatives of biomedical purchasing companies speak with Planned Parenthood employees, in detail, about the fetal tissue procurement process. Planned Parenthood provides fetal tissue to Stem Express, which then passes it on to medical research facilities. A third video includes statements from a former Stem Express employee.

Skydiving great-grandma takes a giant leap

Proving that age is no barrier to an adventurous spirit, Placerville resident Ida-May Hicks and her son Mark celebrated their birthdays by skydiving together on July 25. A great-grandmother who turned 85 on Aug. 2, Hicks’ son was also facing a milestone birthday as he turned 60 five days earlier. “My son and I are kind of daredevils … […]

Final phase of Cameron Glen Estates approved

Phase five of the Cameron Glen Estates was approved by the El Dorado County Planning Commission at its July 23 meeting. This is the final phase of the project. Fifteen single family residences are slated to be built on a 1.64-acre parcel located on the south side of Green Valley Road near the intersection with Cameron Park […]

Living Water projects purify the soul

It’s a long way between the multi-million dollar homes of El Dorado Hills and the rural villages of South America.

Helping bridge that gap are volunteers whose mission is to make a difference, one well and one water pump at a time. Operating under a faith-based organization called Living Water International in Houston, Texas, they travel to developing countries all over the world and put in wells and pumps.

The need is acute, with one-eighth of the world’s population not having access to safe water, according to Living Water. Millions suffer illness or die from water related diseases. Many people who have no running water must spend a quarter of their time collecting water for everyday use.

Water agency/EDWPA budgets adopted

The El Dorado County Water Agency and the El Dorado Water and Power Authority recently adopted budgets for the next fiscal year. Final approval will be granted at the agencies’ August meetings when public hearings are held. The adopted water agency budget comes in at a little more than $5 million. Operating expenses, including salaries, benefits, supplies and professional services make up $1.19 million; water […]

EID approves water sale

In a unanimous vote, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors voted 5-0 at its July 27 meeting to sell 3,100 acre-feet of water to the Westlands Water District. The sale is not final until approved by a number of water agencies, according to Gayle Holman, public affairs representative for Westlands Water District. Once approved, it’s […]

Property owners getting a say on GDPUD plan

Amid a flurry of questions about how votes will be counted, the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors at its July 14 meeting approved a Proposition 218 process to fund the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant retrofit. Prop. 218, approved by California voters in 1996, requires voter approval prior to imposition or increase […]

GDPUD gets merger request

Worried about being left high and dry, Quintette Service Corporation board members made a consolidation pitch to the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors at its July 14 meeting. A small community located 12 miles east of Georgetown, Quintette is a mix of part-time and full-time residents served by a mutual water company that was founded in […]

Scholar: Farming at risk if California doesn’t solve water crisis

Editor’s note: With the drought on everyone’s mind, the Mountain Democrat contacted Dr. Victor Hanson, a scholar at the Hoover Institution — a public policy think tank at Stanford University. Hanson writes extensively about California issues. This is part two of his take on California’s water crisis. Droughts in California are not unusual, noted Victor Hanson. In the last 140 years […]

More golden days lie ahead

With an eye on reminding the world of El Dorado County’s prominent place in Gold Rush history, organizers of next year’s World Gold Panning Championship in Placerville will head to Spain next month …

Scholar: Bad policies created water crisis

Editor’s note: With the drought on everyone’s mind, the Mountain Democrat contacted Dr. Victor Hanson, a scholar at the Hoover Institution — a public policy think tank at Stanford University. Hanson extensively writes about California issues. This is part one of his take on California’s water crisis. While California’s politicians scramble to deal with a fourth year of drought, commentator Dr. […]

Ponds get a reprieve

Some El Dorado County ponds won’t go dry just yet, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors decided at its July 13 meeting. As the board has sought to meet state regulations that call for a 28 percent reduction in water use, in May the directors approved revisions to EID’s Drought Action Plan that included suspending potable water […]

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