PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Dawn Hodson

Vote of no confidence for Fire Chief Combs

A vote of no confidence in Fire Chief Robert Combs was presented to the board of the Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire Protection District Wednesday night by firefighters with Local 4972. Thirty to 40 people filled the room to support the union action including district firefighters, family members and representatives of other firefighter unions in the […]

Planners approve The Crossings’ revised phasing

At the May 8 meeting of the El Dorado County Planning Commission, commissioners gave their OK for a change to The Crossings project in Placerville with phase 2 to be built before phase 1. The commission found the revision to be consistent with plans already approved for the project. Construction will take place on 72 […]

Mosquito Fire looks at ‘functional consolidation’

The firehouse was the most popular place in town Thursday night as the Mosquito Fire Protection District held its regular board meeting. Spurred by rumors that the district was thinking of merging with the Garden Valley and Georgetown Fire Districts, 60 to 70 residents showed up to find out firsthand what the board had in […]

Defense, prosecution rest

Wednesday ended the evidence portion of the trial of Supervisor Ray Nutting with Judge Timothy Buckley planning to give the case to the jury on Thursday. The day opened with yet another minor hitch. This time it was a juror who was excused after becoming ill. That spot was filled by an alternate. Defense attorney […]

Nutting takes the stand in own defense

Tuesday’s trial of Supervisor Ray Nutting got off to an inauspicious start with Mark Stewart, a registered professional forester who had previously worked for Nutting, repeating his desire to take the fifth against self-incrimination. This led Judge Timothy Buckley to strike his testimony and the jury admonished to disregard it. Later in the day, Teresa […]

Tick season begins

As the warm weather in May beckons us to go outdoors, people need to be aware that they are not alone as the woods are full of ticks.

In fact, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, a reminder that sometimes very bad things can come in very tiny packages. In this case, it is a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted to animals and people by the bite of the western black-legged tick.

A particularly nasty and debilitating disease, Lyme has brought together a group of people in El Dorado County who either have Lyme or who have a family member with the condition. Together they make up a support group called Lyme Junction.

As the women talked, it was clear that their stories were similar as they sought treatment either for themselves or their children: one of continual misdiagnosis, a lack of local …

Mosquito chief quits

The resignation of its fire chief resulted in the calling of a special board meeting on Sunday of the Mosquito Fire Protection District.

A few days earlier Fire Chief Tom Stuart had resigned, apparently due to an impasse in contract negotiations.

Board Chairman John Moalli told the roughly 40 residents in attendance that the reason for the meeting was to hold a closed session to discuss finding a replacement chief, with the board open to different options in filling the position. The board also used the meeting to cover other topics.

Thanking Stuart for his …

No snow, no surprise

The last snow survey of the season was anticlimactic with nothing to measure but, well, dirt. Held May 1 at Phillip’s Station, staff from the California Department of Water Resources and members of the media looked like they were out for a picnic in their sunglasses and spring clothing. While some patches of snow were visible […]

Nutting defense begins

It was the defense’s turn at Supervisor Ray Nutting’s trial on Wednesday, April 30, preceded by the prosecution’s last two witnesses and closing with allegations that the District Attorney’s investigator had threatened a defense witness.

The day’s events began with prosecutor James Clinchard of the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office introducing into evidence several maps of Nutting’s property and copies of documents filled out by Nutting that qualified him for grant funding.

LeeAnne Mila was then called to testify. Mila works in pesticide use enforcement for the El Dorado County Department of Agriculture. Examining some of the forms signed by Nutting, Mila affirmed there had been some errors in filling them out. But under questioning by defense attorney David Weiner, she admitted the errors …

GDPUD loses interim GM: Treasurer Capraun voted interim GM

In a surprise action, board member Maria Capraun was appointed interim general manager of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District after Gary Hoffmann, who had been serving as interim general manager, seriously injured himself over the weekend and resigned. That action was taken in closed session at a special meeting of the board Monday night […]

Show time for grand ladies of the garden

With cheeky abandon, the “grand ladies of the garden” are in full flower and only await your taking them home to star in your garden. Yes, it’s that time of the year again when irises show their stuff. And there’s no better place to select them than at High Sierra Iris & Wedding Gardens. Owned […]

Tourism study reviewed

An update of a study of regional tourism was presented at the March 6 meeting of the El Dorado County Transportation Commission. Called the Bay-To-Tahoe Basin Recreation and Tourism Rural Roadway Impact Study, the study was commissioned in 2012 and prepared by the firm of Wood Rodgers at a cost of $239,775, with funding provided by […]

No quick fix for California’s highways

A pending infrastructure crisis in the state was described in detail at a recent meeting of the El Dorado County Transportation Commission. Presented by Will Kempton, executive director of an industry based advocacy group called Transportation California, Kempton’s credentials include being the previous director of Caltrans. Kempton said the State Transportation Commission did a study […]

More mountain lion sightings reported

Saying that mountain lion sightings are not unusual for the area, wildlife biologist Shelly Blair said they are nothing to panic about. Blair, who works for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said two sightings of mountain lions have been reported to her office, not including the one reported last week on Darlington Avenue. […]

4-H’ers star at showcase

It was Home Arts Day on April 12 as hundreds of 4-H members gathered to showcase their projects in areas such as woodworking, sewing, photography, rocketry, robotics and arts and crafts. It was also a special day for two teens who were honored for their service and accomplishments as members of 4-H. Held at Light […]

GDPUD: Budget and GM are top topics

A special board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District on April 15 was largely informational as President Bonnie McLane and directors Maria Capraun and Norm Krizl tackled three agenda items including the hiring of a new general manager, next year’s budget and finding a replacement CPA and auditor. Directors Ray Griffiths and Kathy […]

Mountain lion seen in Placerville

A mountain lion was sighted last week near Cedar Ravine with the woman who reported it saying others have also seen one recently. Diana Miller of Placerville said she spotted a large one around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 16, as she was on her way to work. She said she stopped at the stop […]

CPCSD seat unfilled

A special board meeting held Monday night by the Cameron Park Community Services District resulted in no one being selected to fill the empty board seat left after Sean Tucker resigned in February. Eight candidates had applied for the opening but only seven showed for the interview. However, when it came down to it, no […]

DA candidate to remain on ballot

Contrary to the editorial on April 16, District Attorney candidate Judson Henry’s name will be on the June primary ballot. According to the El Dorado Elections Department, once a candidate has provided the necessary signatures and paid their filing fees, their name is on the ballot unless it is withdrawn by a certain date. That […]

Water Agency gives irrigation discharge program update

An update on the Long Term Irrigated Lands Program Waste Discharge Requirements was given at the April 9 Water Agency board meeting. Previously, the Water Agency board heard a presentation by the El Dorado County Agricultural Water Quality Corporation on the history and background of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and the Pilot Program that […]

Plantastic sale this Saturday

What: Plant Sale Who: University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of El Dorado County Where: Veterans Memorial Building parking lot, 130 Placerville Drive in Placerville When: Saturday, April 19 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost: No admission fee Information: ucanr.edu/sites/EDC_Master_Gardeners/ With spring here to stay, it’s time to put in a garden and there’s no better […]

Old mill a goner

The old sawmill in Camino that saw service for over a hundred years is in the process of being dismantled with no new plans for the site at present. Owned by Sierra Pacific Industries and located on Carson Road in Camino, spokesperson Mark Palicki said the main sawmill building has been coming down over the […]

Water rights detailed for EDWPA board

Members of the El Dorado Water and Power Authority listened to a short history on state water rights at their meeting on April 9. Related to current efforts by EDWPA to pursue an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water rights from the State Water Quality Control Board, the presentation, called “Water Rights 101,” was made by attorney […]

Georgetown calls stage 2 drought

After a long meeting Tuesday night that included extensive audience input, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District voted unanimously to declare a Stage 2 drought emergency. That decision was based on the water level in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir being 15,617 acre-feet when measured on April 7. Normally the 20,000 acre-foot reservoir would be […]

70th anniversary: Jeep ready for D-Day

June 6 of this year marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing and the Battle of Normandy. It’s an event that will bring hundreds of thousands of people to France for commemorations and festivities including parades, parachute drops, the setting up of military camps, and concerts.

And joining them on the beach will be an old World War II Jeep that was recently restored by Diamond Springs resident Jimmy Strauss and a team of local craftsmen who’ve remade the vehicle in time for the upcoming event.

Taking nine months to complete at a cost of over $70,000 …

Candidates busy raising money

Election hopefuls are in the process of adding to their war chests using cash and in-kind contributions, fund raising and loans to finance their campaigns. As of March, this is what candidates have raised and spent according to filings with the California Secretary of State or the El Dorado County Elections Department. Elected department heads […]

CPCSD special meeting rescheduled

A special meeting of the Cameron Park Community Services District to interview candidates for an open board position has been moved to April 14 at 5:30 p.m. Originally the meeting had been scheduled for April 7. Eight people have applied for the opening. They are Mark Harris, Keith Kaplan, Gerald Lillpop, Steven Long, Margaret Mohr, […]

Gold Bug volunteers: Characters need apply

Have a hankering to relive the history of the gold rush with thousands of visitors from all over the world?

Then become a volunteer at the Gold Bug Park and join such notables as Black Bart, John Studebaker and Duffy the crazy Irishman.

Part of a crew of 25 volunteers, they are more than just history buffs. Some must have show biz in their blood as they have adopted a character of their own from the past — real or imagined — that they play when conducting tours complete with clothing, props and …

CPCSD board candidates special meeting tonight

With one vacancy on the board of the Cameron Park Community Services District, a special meeting will be held on April 7, 5:30 p.m. to interview candidates vying for the spot. According to General Manager Mary Cahill, eight people have filled out applications for the position. They are Mark Harris, Keith Kaplan, Gerald Lillpop, Steven […]

EDWPA gets update on innovative water rights project

An update on the El Dorado Water Reliability Project was given at the March 12 board meeting of the El Dorado Water and Power Authority (EDWPA). If successful, the project would add 40,000 acre-feet of new water rights for the county under 1927 area-of-origin law, with the water stored in the Upper American River Project of […]

Ballot statements highlight District 5 supervisorial candidates

Outlining their positions and qualifications for the job are the six candidates running to be a member of the Board of Supervisors in District Five. Kevin Brown, 50, says he is a 16-year business owner and civic leader. “I am running for supervisor to unite our region to achieve our desired goals of a thriving […]

No foolin': Drought still on

With the latest snow survey falling on April Fool’s Day, it was no joke that despite the recent storms, the state continues to face a water shortage.

“This is almost a mispicture,” said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), as he stood knee-deep in soft snow.

“This snow course was basically bare two days ago,” he said. “All the snow we measured just now came mostly last night and illustrates the difference between a good water year and a bad water year.”

At Phillips Station, Gehrke and his staff measured a snow …

Panel OKs EDH nursery

Despite some complaints from nearby residents about traffic, wetland setbacks and other issues, the El Dorado County Planning Commission approved a special use permit for the Green Valley Nursery and Landscape business at its March 27 meeting. Located in El Dorado Hills at the corner of Green Valley Road and Shadowfax Lane, the property is […]

Commercial builders float own initiative

A new ballot initiative that would quash the anti-growth initiatives currently being circulated in the county is now making the rounds in search of signatures. Sponsored by Region Builders, a Sacramento-based group of commercial builders, architects and engineers, the initiative is called Control Growth to Fix Our Local Roads. According to Joshua Wood, who is the […]

Spilling and loving it

With other water districts trying to hold on to every drop of water they have, the Grizzly Flat Community Services District is in the enviable position of having a reservoir that is actually spilling.

According to General Manager Jodi Lauther, the small 31-acre-foot reservoir has been spilling since a new liner was put in back in 2012.

At present, it is somewhat under capacity at 27 acre-feet, which Lauther said is for safety in case there is a sudden influx of water or a freeze that could cause water to top the reservoir.

The extra water is actually fed into a pipe embedded in the side of the reservoir that empties into Eagle Ditch Creek. The same creek that feeds the reservoir.

GDPUD drought workshop attracts crowd

A special board meeting and workshop of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District may not have settled much, but it did attract a large and engaged audience of around 100 people with most of them being there to find out how the drought might affect their irrigation water. On the agenda at the March 25 […]

Ballot statements sketch portrait of 8 Dist. 4 supervisorial candidates

Outlining their positions and qualifications for the job are the eight candidates running to be a member of the board of supervisors in District 4. Scott McNeil describes himself as a veteran, small business owner and elected member of the local community services district. “More importantly, I’m a husband and father,” he said. McNeil says […]

Maintenance Mania hits county

Maintenance Mania hit Placerville in March as fair employees from throughout the state visited Placerville for a three-day safety and training event. Held at the El Dorado El Dorado County Fairgrounds, the annual event offers classroom and hands-on instruction for maintenance and service workers who help keep fairs running smoothly throughout the year. John Marino, […]

DA challenger makes debut

It was a so-so, no-show night as the El Dorado Hills Tea Party held a debate for candidates running for different county offices Wednesday evening. A seemingly unevenly matched debate was between incumbent Vern Pierson and challenger Judson Henry for the position of District Attorney. Henry struggled at times making his case as he began […]

GDPUD waits a month for drought hearing

With the water level in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir still an issue and makeup rainfall an iffy proposition at best, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District took steps that may eventually lead to cutbacks in water use. At the March 11 meeting, Interim General Manager Gary Hoffmann reported that the reservoir is at […]

Judicial hopefuls weigh in with candidate statements

Superior Court Judges are being elected for five different offices, although only two offices have multiple contestants. Below are the candidate statements of those running for open spots. Running for Judge of the Superior Court, Office 1, are Vicki Ashworth, deputy district attorney; David Combellack, attorney-business owner; and Joe Weinberger, trial attorney. Vicki Ashworth, 44, […]

Water Agency discusses drought plans

The drought and what is being done to cope with it was the main agenda item at the March 12 meeting of the El Dorado County Water Agency. Dave Eggerton, general manager of the agency, noted that 2013 is the driest year on record since the 19th century with 2014 being more of the same. […]

Diamond, El Dorado plans adopted

The final draft of the Diamond and El Dorado Area Mobility and Sustainable Community Plan was adopted by the El Dorado County Transportation Commission at its March 6 meeting. A report three years in the making, the plan is designed to address transportation circulation and other transportation improvements in the El Dorado-Diamond Springs area. Dan Bolster, […]

EDH nursery: Owner says issues fixed

Saying that all the issues regarding their nursery have been resolved, Julie DeVorss, who with her husband Don are co-owners of Green Valley Nursery in El Dorado Hills, said she is looking forward to their hearing before the El Dorado County Planning Commission meeting on their special use permit. Pointing out that Monday’s Mountain Democrat […]

Observatory an eye on the sky

Want the sun, the moon and the stars for free?

Not to worry. All are well within your reach at the Cameron Park Rotary Club Community Observatory at Folsom Lake College in Placerville.

And if even if you’ve been there before, there’s always more of the universe to explore.

Completed in 2006 in celebration of Rotary International’s 100th anniversary, the popular observatory annually attracts 6,500 visitors and features one 17-inch telescope and one 14-inch telescope with a color video camera along with an assortment of other star-gazing equipment.

Staffed totally by volunteer docents, the observatory is …

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