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Dawn Hodson

Plant sales grow demo garden

Gardeners can get in a twofer this weekend by shopping at the Master Gardener fall plant sale knowing that their purchases are helping to pay for the Master Gardener demonstration garden going in at Folsom Lake College, El Dorado Center in Placerville.

More than 3,500 items, including a large number of fall starter vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, greens, chard and bok choy, will be available at Saturday’s sale. All of them will make nutritious additions to stews and soups this winter.

Nutting case goes to trial

After a short hearing in South Lake Tahoe, Judge Timothy Buckley ruled that Supervisor Ray Nutting must face trial on the charges brought by the El Dorado County district attorney and California attorney general.

Buckley, who is a retired associate justice, was called in for the Nutting case.

Nutting’s lawyer, David …

Petco opens in Cameron Park

Catering to all the pet lovers in El Dorado County, a Petco store officially opened in Cameron Park on Monday, Sept. 16. With an enormous selection of pet-related items to choose from, store manager Ben Roach-Cogswell said they have everything needed to care for your pet including a wide variety of pet foods, bedding, toys […]

Hospital charges vary: Medicare reimbursement rates released

For the first time, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released data on medical bills submitted during 2011 by 3,300 hospitals located throughout the country. The charges were for the top 100 most frequently billed discharges for inpatient services. The study revealed a large disparity in what is billed from state […]

ALT bid decision due this month

With multiple deadlines facing the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District, a decision on whether or not to award a bid for the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant (ALT) will have to be made later this month. In July, the district received four bids to construct the plant with […]

GDPUD: No board clerk — is it legal?

The legality of some of the actions of the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District came up for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting. Resident Bill Evans and Director Ray Griffiths both asserted the board is not following the California Public Utilities Code, which governs the district. Reading from a section of the code, Evans […]

Contracting authority considered at GDPUD

Approval of a resolution describing the purchasing authority of the interim general manager was put off until another date at Tuesday’s board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. The resolution would have limited Interim General Manager Gary Hoffmann’s contracting authority to $5,000 with no restrictions on what he could spend in emergency situations. […]

EID candidates: Jake Flesher, Division 4

Running in El Dorado Irrigation District Division 4 is Jake Flesher, 39. His campaign Website is A resident of El Dorado Hills, Flesher received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his law degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. He previously worked as a deputy district attorney […]

EID candidates: Dr. Dale Coco, Division 4

Running in El Dorado Irrigation District Division 4 is Dr. Dale Coco, 67. Coco’s campaign Website is A retired physician who lives in Cameron Park, Coco has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Southern Methodist University and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He was chief of staff at Barton Memorial Hospital and served […]

EID candidates: Richard Englefield, Division 2

Running in El Dorado Irrigation District Division 2 is Richard Englefield, 71, of El Dorado. Englefield’s campaign Website is Englefield was employed for 32 years as an administrative analyst specialist in the computing support Department at California State University, Sacramento. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resources from the same university. He served on […]

EID candidates: Greg Prada, Division 2

Running in El Dorado Irrigation District Division 2 is Greg Prada who lives in Cameron Park. His campaign Website is While declining to say his age, the county recorder listed his age as 63. That same bio describes him as having been the president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of […]

INNcredible voyage

Over the years, Fair Play resident Brian Fitzpatrick, 60, has been largely land bound as the owner of an organic vineyard, winery and lodge.

But it would seem the sea has always been his secret love and in the end, has won his heart.

Originally from the Jersey Shore where he swam, surfed and sailed a Sunfish sailboat as a kid, he has now returned to his roots as the owner and captain of a floating bed and breakfast: a $700,000 46-foot catamaran named the INNcredible.

Available for rent as a unique bed and breakfast getaway or as a venue for a company event, the INNcredible is brand new but also well-tested as Fitzpatrick sailed her himself all the way from the French coast to the California coast — a 10,000 mile journey.

GDPUD revisits water plant plans with engineer

Providing his assessment of what to do about the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant, consulting engineer Webb Owen presented his findings at a special meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Wednesday. Present for the meeting were Directors Bonnie McLane, Kathy Otermat and Maria Capraun. Directors Ray Griffiths and Norm Krizl were absent. […]

Pilgrimage to the pope

An estimated three million Catholics celebrated mass with Pope Francis when he visited Brazil for World Youth Day. One of those making the pilgrimage to see the pope was Carolyn Straight, 47, of Rescue, who with her son Charles, 16, went with a group of other people. A stay at home mom of three, Straight […]

Planners forward marijuana ordinances to BOS

After a long hearing last Thursday, the El Dorado County Planning Commission approved two ordinances governing the growing and distribution of medical marijuana in the county. The ordinances now go to the Board of Supervisors for review and approval. Up first at their meeting was reviewing changes made at the commission’s last meeting to an […]

Cameron Park Community Services District GM’s contract extended

It was a light agenda for the Aug. 21 board meeting of the Cameron Park Community Services District. Topping the news was action by the board to extend General Manager Mary Cahill’s contract for another year, effective Oct. 1. In the works with the Local Agency Formation Commission is the annexation of a Cameron Hills 20-acre parcel […]

$82k: County loans to fire dist.

At Tuesday’s El Dorado County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Auditor-Controller Joe Harn informed the board that the El Dorado County Fire Protection District needed a loan of $82,380. “It’s unusual that this early in the year for a special district to need a loan,” he said at the meeting. In a letter Harn sent to the […]

GDPUD releases legal/GM contracts

Two contracts for services have been finalized and made available by the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District . A contract for general counsel services was signed on Aug. 15 with Churchwell White LLP, a Sacramento-based law firm. Among other things, the law firm will advise GDPUD on special district government matters, draft or review district […]

EID responds to forum candidates’ figures

Following the forum last week for candidates wanting to serve on the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) board, EID was asked to respond to the information discussed at the forum. Below are its comments. EID added that if something was not responded to, that means it either has no comment or will provide a comment […]

Tea Party hosts EID hopefuls

Rate increases, debt levels and the long-term financial health of the El Dorado Irrigation District dominated a panel discussion last Wednesday by candidates running for two board positions at EID. Sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots of El Dorado Hills, candidates Greg Prada, Dr. Dale Coco and Jake Flesher took turns fielding questions from the moderator […]

Bunny billboards cause stir in county

Two billboards off Highway 50 in El Dorado County have caught the attention and outrage of some residents. Featuring the name of a brothel in Nevada, the billboards, one in Camino and the other in Strawberry, show two shapely blondes and a Web address for the Bunny Ranch Bar. However, it’s all a misunderstanding according […]

Latrobe resident chosen for transportation agency

Latrobe resident Peter Southworth, 48, was recently named deputy secretary and general counsel at the California State Transportation Agency (CSTA) by Gov. Jerry Brown. He assumes his new post on Monday, Aug. 26. Southworth has been a supervising deputy attorney general in the California Attorney’s General’s Office, Government Law Section, since 2011. He served in […]

McClintock’s dichotomy: Choice between freedom or socialism

In a short presentation that covered a number of topics, Congressman Tom McClintock declared Americans are faced with some difficult choices when he spoke before the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 14.

We’re at a crossroads, he said. Either return to American founding principles of individual liberty, constitutional and limited government, and personal responsibility or fade into history as another failed European state.

However, all is not lost, said McClintock, who reminded the audience that past examples of bipartisan cooperation helped get the country back on track, in part, by removing the burden imposed by the government on the economy and the American people.

GDPUD conduct code proposed

A draft of a new policy governing conduct was discussed at the Aug. 13 Board of Directors meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. Presented for discussion by Director Kathy Otermat, the policy included language requiring members of the board to demonstrate “respect, kindness, consideration and courtesy to others. Responsiveness and attentive listening in […]

One lucky fellow

The winner of the $289K Powerball ticket has been identified as Camino resident Mike Gregor, 67. Gregor won in the drawing on Aug. 3 when he purchased a ticket at the Camino Food Center and picked five of the winning numbers, only missing the Powerball number. “I thought someone was messing with me at first,” he said. […]

GDPUD: New water plant a long way off

The retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant was back on the agenda at Tuesday’s board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. Interim General Manager Gary Hoffmann reported the district does not have financing in place with either the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the California Department of Public Health to […]

Immigration reform social issues highlighted

Editor’s note — This is part 4 of a four-part series on immigration reform legislation that is making its way through Congress. Social capital and immigration reform Supporters of S. 744 believe that legalizing the 11 million to 12 million aliens in the country will “bring them out of the shadows” and help them eventually […]

Planning panel shapes marijuana growing law

The El Dorado County Planning Commission held a first hearing on a proposed ordinance regulating medical marijuana cultivation at its Aug. 8 meeting. Previously the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors imposed a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries and established interim standards for the outdoor cultivation of marijuana. The new ordinance would replace the existing […]

Winning lottery ticket bought in Camino

Someone buying a Powerball lottery ticket in Camino is a whole lot richer as a result of last Wednesday’s drawing. According to the Camino Food Center, someone bought a ticket from them that is worth $289,341. As of Friday, the holder of the winning ticket had not yet been identified. Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 […]

Going for the gold

Flying off to the World Gold Panning Championship recently were Richard (aka Uncle Fuzzy) and Joyce Mason. Wishing them well in the competition was the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors which, at its July 23 meeting, recognized the couple with a proclamation acknowledging the role as volunteer ambassadors for the county at the event […]

Teller retires: 45 years in banking

“I enjoyed the whole time,” said Wells Fargo teller Edythe Olsen, who retired on July 31 amid tears and hugs. Employed at the same bank for 44 years and 11 months, Olsen said she was getting ready to turn 72 and decided it was time to retire. “I never once said I didn’t want to […]

Immigration reform: Critics find loopholes in bill

Editor’s note — This is part 2 of a four-part series on immigration reform legislation that is making its way through Congress. While the “Gang of Eight” in Congress and their supporters tout immigration reform as being the solution to the problem of 11 million-12 million illegals and a perceived lack of qualified workers, others […]

Immigration reform: Dueling studies examine fiscal effects

Editor’s note — This is part 3 of a four-part series on immigration reform legislation that is making its way through Congress. The immigration reform bill has ignited a fight between those who say the bill would add to the financial and unemployment problems of the country and those who say it would do just […]

Walking America 4 cancer

“I’m the walker,” said 60-year-old Mike Warren, who slipped into town just long enough to tell the story of how he is walking cross-country to raise money for cancer research. Working on behalf of a nonprofit group called USA Hands, Warren started his quest on July 23 at the Emeritus Senior Living Center in Vacaville. […]

County warns of roadside vendors

Concerned about outside vendors selling flowers, produce and processed food along roadsides, a coalition of public and private organizations has launched a “Protect Local Growers Campaign.” Composed of staff from the County of El Dorado, Sheriff’s Office, Agriculture Department, Environmental Management Division, City of Placerville, El Dorado County Farm Bureau and the El Dorado County Chamber […]

30th anniversary: Night Out a community party

It was party time as residents gathered with their neighbors, law enforcement and fire personnel, and volunteers throughout El Dorado County for National Night Out on Tuesday evening.

Part of a nationwide event that’s in its 30th year, the goal of National Night Out is to strengthen communities by encouraging neighbors to get to know each other, to form stronger relationships with each other and local law enforcement agencies, to heighten crime-prevention awareness, and to send a message to criminals that local neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Immigration reform: Senate Bill 744 outlines the basics

Editor’s note — This is part 1 of a four-part series on immigration reform legislation that is making its way through Congress. Immigration reform is on the agenda as President Obama and the leaders of both parties have promised to come up with a plan to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million to 12 […]

Medicare changes limit access to local medical equipment

Starting July 1, El Dorado County Medicare patients found themselves with fewer options for accessing certain medical equipment locally as a result of changes in the way Medicare pays for it.

Called the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Competitive Bidding Program, 10 years ago Medicare began a test program in certain urban areas by seeking bids for sole-source providers of medical equipment. Since July 1 of this year, the program has expanded and now 99 urban centers are part of it, including El Dorado County.

Caltrans roadwork updated

Caltrans has released an updated schedule of long and short-term roadwork projects for El Dorado County and the Tahoe Basin. Due to “Hot August Nights,” no lane closures will be allowed on eastbound U.S. Highway 50 from noon on Wednesday to 8 p.m. Monday and westbound from 10 a.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Monday. LONG-TERM […]

Food Bank coming

The Food Bank of El Dorado County announced upcoming free food distribution dates and places for residents in Placerville . Food to be given out includes produce, bread and pastries. In Placerville, the food distribution will be at the Veterans Memorial Building, 430 Placerville Drive Sept. 11 and Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 […]

Local enjoys restoring the ‘jeep, jeep, jeep’

In a rare appearance, five vintage Jeeps dating from World War II and the Korean War were on display at Strauss Wholesale Food Company earlier this month.

Included in the lineup were two Jeeps owned and restored by Jimmy Strauss. One was a rare prototype 1941 Willys MA. The other was a 1944 Willys MB used by the Marine Corps in the South Pacific.

Also on display were Jeeps restored by Strauss but owned by others including a 1943 Jeep produced by Ford; a 1945 Jeep MB that was used in the Solomon Islands by the Navy; and a Willys M38 used in the Korean War.

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 […]

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