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Dawn Hodson

County Fair: Attendance rises 18%

With this year’s El Dorado County Fair now just a memory, Jody Gray, who is the Fair Association’s chief executive officer, reported that attendance was up 18 percent over last year with 56,000 people attending the four-day event. Revenue also increased by $60,000 over last year. Gray said fabulous weather, good attractions and lots of […]

Green Valley convenience center under review

A proposed convenience center in El Dorado Hills was sent back for additional work by the El Dorado County Planning Commission after multiple objections from local residents. Planned for a 2.12-acre piece of land on the southeast corner of the intersection of Green Valley Road and Sophia Parkway, the center would include a gas station, convenience store, […]

Interim GDPUD GM introduced

Gary Hoffmann, the new interim general manager of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District (GDPUD) was introduced at a special board meeting on Tuesday (July 30). With board President Bonnie McLane lauding his credentials, Hoffmann said he was there “to help the district fulfill its mission and to help the board accomplish it.” The board […]

ALT plant bids in

Bids to retrofit the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant have been made public by the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. The low bid came in at $10.8 million and was submitted by Auburn Constructors Inc. of Sacramento. The highest bid was for $12 million and was submitted by RGW Construction. Only four of the seven […]

Web portal idea draws comments

A Request for Proposal to set up a Web portal drew some clarifying comments from backers after it was reported that included in the RFP was language suggesting that the portal be supported with advertising. Approved by the Board of Supervisors at its July 16 meeting, the RFP included spending up to $100,000 to develop […]

McNuggetini sparks new career for former EDC resident

Combine a travel and food show with a couple of zany dames and you have the making of a new cooking show featuring former resident of El Dorado County Alie Ward, 36.

The offspring of a parent in the news biz, Ward comes with journalistic chops including time spent at LA Weekly (while also moonlighting as a bartender) and a stint at the Los Angeles Times and TV station KTLA.

Her best friend and cooking show sidekick, Georgia Hardstark, 33, is a longtime Los Angeles resident who was a …

Fire base camp acts like mini-town

For all the drama of the Kyburz Fire, those watching it only saw part of the story. For behind it, out of sight and out of mind, were all the logistics that went into fighting the fire. On July 12 those logistics were on display at the Kyburz Fire Incident Command Post that was temporarily […]

Supes keep options open in White Rock Connector JPA

At the July 16 meeting, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward on two actions related to the Elk Grove-Ranch Cordova-El Dorado County Connector Authority Agreement (White Rock Connector JPA). The actions included requesting that the Joint Powers Agreement for the Connector Authority be amended to reserve the county’s right to consider […]

Cruisin’ in the veggie mobile

Let’s face it, there are only so many times you can use oil to deep fry before you have to throw it away.

But what if instead of trashing it, the oil could perform one last good deed before expiring, namely powering a car?

If so, Placerville resident Bob Hollis wants to talk to you because he can use it to fuel his veggie mobile.

Hollis, 49, a man with a passion for the environment, said he first became interested in vehicles fueled by something …


In the article “Supes OK $280k to promote county,” Davey “Doc” Wiser was quoted as saying he wanted to apply for a grant to pay for stagecoach rides. The money, instead, was intended to be used for repairs and maintenance of the El Dorado Western Railroad.


The article “Skateboarding and Staying Gold” said the Placerville Skate Park was originally built by El Dorado County. However, the building of the park was actually spearheaded by Placerville Rotary members and in particular local businessman Joe Stancil Sr., for whom the park is named. Stancil is credited with raising half a million dollars from […]

Skate park back at CPCSD

The skate park at Christa McAuliffe Park was back on the agenda at Wednesday’s board meeting of the Cameron Park Community Services District. Resident Bill Carey had requested the item be on the agenda after complaining repeatedly at board meetings about trash, graffiti, drug and alcohol use in the park. Citing Joe’s Skate Park in Placerville […]

Supes give CASA $50,000

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a one-time contribution of $50,000 to CASA El Dorado at last week’s board meeting. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The agency, which has operated nationally for 35 years, provides volunteer advocates for children in court. Often CASA volunteers are called in to assist cases […]

Supes OK $280k to promote county: $100k for Website that will sell advertising

On Tuesday, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved spending $280,000 to help promote the county. Recommended by the County Economic Development Advisory Committee, one of the recommendations approved by the board was $80,000 for a mini-grant program. The grants would be awarded for up to $5,000 for cultural and community development projects. Half […]

Animal Shelter: New site purchase approved

It was a full house on Tuesday as the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to move ahead and purchase property for the future site of the Western Slope Animal Shelter. Sporting an existing building as well as acreage for livestock, the board authorized spending $1.86 million for the 4.73-acre site at 6425 Capitol Avenue […]

Carson Trail markers finished

With the sun glinting off the sapphire-colored waters of Caples Lake, approximately 35 people gathered on the shoreline to celebrate the completion of the Carson River Route Interpretive Sign Project.

Eight years in the making, the project to mark the Carson Trail was spearheaded and paid for by the California-Nevada Chapter of the Oregon California Trails Association (OCTA) at a cost of $11,000.

The two signs at Caples Lake marked the last of seven …

GDPUD hires 2nd interim GM

At a special meeting on July 10, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District made the decision to hire a second interim general manager. Kelley Shively is currently acting as interim general manager, a position he has held since March when General Manager Hank White went on leave. White has since resigned his […]

Frentzen ousted as county chamber president

Shiva Frentzen, president of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, was ousted at a special board meeting on July 9 after a conflict arose over her membership on different elected groups. Frentzen said the action was taken following her signing a letter, along with Sam Bradley and Bill Center, that was sent to Cameron […]

Who owns Snowshoe Thompson’s skis?

Do the skis of Snowshoe Thompson’s at the El Dorado County Museum belong to the museum or are they just on loan?

That’s what Liz Fairchild, whose family once owned the skis, wants to know.

Last year, Fairchild, whose family lived in Placerville for several generations, contacted Mary Cory, director of the El Dorado County Historical Museum.

In a letter to Cory, Fairchild said, “I have documentation showing that the skis were originally acquired by Will and Frances Fairchild for display in the Fairchild Drug Store, Placerville, before being loaned to the museum for display. Do you have this same documentation and if not can you provide me with what documentation you do have regarding the loan of the skis to the museum.”

Cory’s responded by letter saying, “So far my research has shown that the skis were acquired by the County Museum as part of a larger collection of artifacts in a transfer of Interest from the Chamber of Commerce …

Ross Dress for Less OK’d next to Save Mart

Placerville is one step closer to having a Ross Dress for Less store after the El Dorado County Planning Commission approved the developer’s application on July 11. Up for consideration was a proposal by property owner, WRI Goldenstate LLC to tear down an existing 9,500-square-foot building in Prospectors Plaza and construct a new 25,000-square-foot building […]

Skateboarding and staying gold

It was just another day in the concrete jungle as skateboarders swooped in and out of sculpted canyons, did crooked grinds, fakies, and flipped 360 turns mid-air at the Placerville Skate Park.

Located just inside the fairgrounds, the park, which is also known as Joe’s Skate Park, presents challenges to any skateboarder from beginner to expert.

On the morning of June 27, 11-year-old Logan Rogers was there practicing his “air out of bowls” and “axle stall.” Nearby was veteran Isaac Gomez, 23, of Placerville, who was flying “over the box” with friends.

A popular venue with the skating crowd, the park was in danger of closing permanently a few years ago but got a second chance largely because …

More on Main Street Matters

Following the announcement that Placerville had been selected as one of 20 towns to receive a paint makeover by the Benjamin Moore & Co., Nick Harris, vice president of Marketing for the company, provided some additional details about the contest. Saying this was the first year for the project, Harris said that Placerville was pre-selected […]

Clean audit for EID

Auditors for the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) issued an unqualified (“clean”) opinion for the district in their report to EID’s Board of Directors at their meeting on Monday, June 24. That report was provided by EID’s auditors, Richardson & Company. The audit found that the district’s total assets decreased $24.6 million, or 3 percent […]


The story “Forest thinning planned by SMUD” mentioned the work was being done above Slap Creek Reservoir. That should have been Slab Creek Reservoir.

Placerville a winner in Main Street Matters contest

Proving once again how much local residents cherish downtown Placerville, it was announced on Monday that the city is one of 20 winners in the paint makeover contest called “Main Street Matters,” sponsored by the Benjamin Moore Paint Company. The campaign to honor and revitalize Main Street included over 130 cities in the United States and […]

GDPUD board starts process to hire new GM

The board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District held a special meeting on July 2 to discuss what to do next after the resignation of General Manager Hank White. The previous day, White, submitted his letter of resignation, giving the district 60 days notice as required by his contract. In his letter to the […]

Forest thinning planned by SMUD

A forest thinning project on Iowa Hill is being planned by SMUD (Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District) for later this year. Scott Flake, who is manager of power generation with SMUD, said the agency would file for a permit this week to undertake the project which is on 80 acres owned by the utility on Iowa […]

Doug Huffman prepared for anything

There may be no zombie apocalypse in our future, but no matter what comes our way, Placerville resident Doug Huffman, 54, is ready for it.

More than ready for it.

The owner of a business called Sierra School for Survival, the Placerville resident models what he preaches by living a self-sufficient lifestyle and teaching others how they can as well. Part of the prepper movement, he is one of those who believes there will be a societal collapse in the not too distant future.

Huffman was even featured in the National Geographic series on Doomsday Preppers. Huffman claims the episode he is in was the most popular because, “literally I was the only sane one on the show.”

The rescued caboose

America’s railroads have been called one of the oldest and most romantic enterprises in the country, which is probably why they continue to have such wide appeal.

Doing their bit to preserve that part of American history in El Dorado County (EDC) is a group of local volunteers who are restoring an old caboose that was parked at the county museum for 20 years.

Built in the 1920s, the caboose was originally used to haul lumber, freight and workers for the Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad, which was a subsidiary of the Michigan-California Lumber Company. The railroad connected a lumber mill in Camino with the Southern Pacific Railroad in Placerville. Later it was acquired by a family who used it as a playhouse for their children. When the owners sold their home in Shingle Springs, the new owner, Sandra Koop, donated the caboose to the museum where it sat in a state of disrepair.

Coming to its rescue last May was Placerville resident Ron Sexton, 73, who for many years owned High Country Woodcraft before retiring.

He wrote a proposal to restore the old caboose and presented it to the EDC Museum Commission and the El Dorado Museums Foundation.

Review of development proposals under BOS consideration

A new process that would give an early thumbs up or thumbs down to development projects was given a preliminary green light by the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Thursday. According to the staff report prepared for the board, the proposed process would, “provide a means to bring to an early conclusion those […]

GDPUD board hires engineer to review ALT plans

A contract to hire retired engineer Webb Owen was approved by a 3-2 vote at the special meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District board Tuesday. Owen came to the meeting to discuss a proposal he submitted to the board to review the design plans for the Auburn Lake Trails (ALT) Water Treatment Plant although […]

GDPUD’s GM relieved to leave

On Monday, it was learned that the general manager of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District, Hank White, had decided to leave the district and seek employment with the Foresthill Public Utility District. Explaining his decision, White said he was faced with whether to continue on an unsustainable course or go somewhere else. “The board […]

Local couple off to chili championship

Chili cookoff champions Karen and Jim Watson are headed for a world championship cook-off after winning a regional contest. Held in Tustin, the Pollock Pines couple came in first out of 25 contestants and took home a purse of $1,000 for their efforts in the Chili Cook-Off. Because of their win, in October they will go […]

Hardy named chief for EDCFPD

The El Dorado County Fire Protection District’s board named Michael Hardy as fire chief at its June 20 meeting. Hardy has been acting as interim chief since the resignation of Chief Bruce Lacher last year. The board members thanked Hardy for his work and for his ability to handle the pressure of the job. Hardy […]

GDPUD GM moving on

The Board of Directors of the Foresthill Public Utility District announced they have hired GDPUD General Manager Hank White as their new general manager. The announcement was made at their June 12 board meeting. White, who starts his new position Aug. 19, will oversee a $1.9 million budget and supervise five full-time employees and one […]

Budget adopted by CPCSD board

A tentative budget for the next fiscal year was adopted by the board of the Cameron Park Community Services District (CPCSD) at its meeting Wednesday night. The budget was approved on a 4-0 vote with board member Shiva Frentzen absent. Revenues for the district are projected at $5.14 million and expenditures at $5.26 million for […]

Skate park face off

A minor dustup over the skate park at Christa McAuliffe Park occurred Wednesday night between the board of directors of the Cameron Park Community Services District and several residents. The tempest began when resident Bill Carey complained the park is frequented by youths drinking alcohol, using drugs and skating without helmets. More recently, spray painted […]

Halo spotted over county

Residents in El Dorado County looked up on Tuesday to see the sun encircled by a rainbow for a short period of time. Called a 22 degree halo or sun halo, National Weather Service meteorologist Drew Peterson said it’s caused by millions of hexagonal ice crystals randomly oriented in the atmosphere. When light from the […]

Junior Livestock Auction final results

Total sales at this year’s Junior Livestock Auction were almost 14 percent higher than last year, with 233 lots sold for a total of $269,386. Fifteen steers sold for an average price per pound of $3.47; 118 hogs sold for an average price per pound of $4.20; 48 lambs sold for an average price per pound […]

Lions, leopards and otters, oh my

It was zoo day on May 31 at Sierra Ridge Elementary school as students in the GATE program set up their own mini zoo and showed off what they had learned. Laid out in a multi-purpose room, the building took on the look of a jungle as animals created out of different materials were placed […]

Junior Livestock Auction a winner for everyone

The Junior Livestock Auction was the place to be Saturday morning as 4-H, FFA and Grange members gathered at the Vicini Pavilion of the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. There to bid and cheer them on were parents, buyers and the public.

Beef, swine, sheep, rabbits, goats and poultry were up for sale with auctioneers Doug Milton, Jimmy Clark and Seth Seever keeping things moving. Getting a break, this year’s weather was much cooler so less time was spent hosing down the animals and attendees.

Finances reviewed at GDPUD meeting

A status report on the district’s finances, present and future, was made at Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s (GDPUD) board meeting on June 11 by a member of the board’s Public Finance Committee. Garden Valley resident Dennis Goodenow said he and other committee members had been appointed several months ago to identify the status of […]

Out to bid with continued debate

Putting the plans for the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails (ALT) Water Treatment Plant out to bid seemingly hasn’t lessened any of the acrimony surrounding the project for the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. Interim General Manager Kelly Shively reported that the plans for the plant were 100 percent complete and the bid package […]

County fair in full swing

In a vision of things to come, sponsors, VIPs and fair staff gathered Wednesday night for a sneak preview of this year’s El Dorado County Fair.

With a theme of “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams,” the fairgrounds sparked with lights, sounds and sugary smells — all announcing the start of the four-day event that began Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Jody Gray, who is the CEO of the fair, said she expects 65,000 adults and children to attend, with lots of new entertainment and exhibits as well as the return of many old favorites as attractions.

Mother Lode project approved by EID

A project to replace part of the Mother Lode Force Main Project was approved by the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors at its June 10 meeting. The firm of McGuire and Hester was awarded the contract to do the work at a cost of $1,068,682. The board approved another $130,000 to cover staff time […]

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