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Dawn Hodson

Senate picks G’town doctor

The California State Senate Rules Committee has announced the appointment of  Georgetown physician Alexis Lieser, 36, to the California State Commission on Emergency Medical Services. Lieser is an emergency physician and director of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at Marshall’s Medical Center in Placerville where she has worked since 2010. Nominated for the position by the […]

Local teen to study at famed Moscow’s Bolshoi

With her pointe shoes in tow, Placerville ballerina Aubrey Kendler left last Thursday on a 19-hour plane trip to Moscow to study at the Bolshoi’s Ballet Academy.

The 16-year-old junior at Oak Ridge School will be there until June, training at one of the premier classical ballet companies in the world.

Kendler said the opportunity to train with the Bolshoi was the result of an intensive training program run by the Bolshoi’s Ballet Academy that she attended last summer in New York. At the end of the program, she was evaluated and was ecstatic when afterwards they extended her an invitation to participate in the year-round program in Moscow.

The talented Placerville youth said she has been taking ballet since she was 12 but didn’t get serious about it until a couple of years ago. That was around the same time she attended a different summer intensive run by the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet. Kirkland is a world renown American ballerina.

More storms needed to boost snowpack

Unseasonably warm weather is keeping the snowpack below average for this time of year according to the most recent readings taken by the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR).

Conducted on Feb. 28 by Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey for CDWR, only 29 inches of hard packed snow were measured at Phillips Station, which is located near Echo Summit.

However, Gehrke said things are not grim yet because the water content of the snow is actually higher than it was last year at this time. When measured on Thursday, it was 13.4 inches or 54 percent of average for this time of year. A year ago it was 3.9 inches.

The amount of snow measured on Thursday was also higher than this time last year when it was at only 17.7 inches.

“Clearly it’s not what we want to see,” Gehrke said, “but it’s better than it was last year.”

Dr. Pepper by the river

An ad agency from Los Angeles was in El Dorado County last week filming a new commercial for Dr. Pepper. Lisa Johnson, the executive producer of the commercial, said on Wednesday they shot at Sly Park. On Thursday they set up their equipment along the shore of the American River off Highway 50. With a […]

GDPUD workshop discusses connection fees

The Feb. 21 workshop for the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District consisted of discussion with no specific actions taken. Only three board members were present for the workshop as Kathy Otermat and Norm Krizl were absent. Reviewed was a discussion of raw and treated water, connection fees, cost of service maintenance and infrastructure. Part of […]

Retirement facility features deluxe country living

A new spa-like retirement facility is now open in Shingle Springs that promises to be a home away from home for those wanting to retire in luxury. Located on 150 acres of rolling green hills dotted with oaks and a meandering stream, the Hulbert Ranch Assisted Living facility is the brainchild of ranch owners, Gary […]

CEDAC back for portion of hotel tax revenue

The El Dorado County Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) made a return visit to the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25, asking for ten percent of the hotel tax (Transient Occupancy Tax) collected by the county. With a cadre of supporters from all over the county, they asked the board for $200,000 of the approximate […]

Professors report on 10 years visiting Haiti

Pirates of the Caribbean, Haiti’s Path from Underdevelopment to Catastrophe was the theme of a talk at Federated Church on Saturday, Feb. 16. Part of a series of presentations called the “Season for Nonviolence,” two sociology professors from Cameron Park discussed the work they have done in Haiti over the past 10 years before a […]

Cameron Park CSD: Front desk help for CPCSD sent to committee

A decision to hire or not hire a permanent front desk person was sent to the Budget and Administration Committee for further study after a lengthy discussion by the Cameron Park Community Services District board on Wednesday night, Feb. 20. Currently the district is using temporary help to cover the front desk. General Manager Mary […]

Audit shows EDCFD $1.4M in the red

The El Dorado County Fire District Board of Directors received further confirmation of the district’s dismal financial condition Thursday night when its auditor reported a $1.4 million dollar deficit for the prior fiscal year. Certified Public Accountant Craig Fechter, of Fechter and Company, said the district received $9.7 million in revenues and had $11.1 million in […]

Economist: ‘Debt-fueled growth is not healthy, not sustainable’

This is part two of a two-part article featuring an interview of consulting economist John Williams who believes that many of the statistics issued by the government misrepresent the true state of the economy. Part one ran in the Feb. 22 issue.  John Williams, a San Francisco based economic consultant, said the unemployment numbers put […]

New use planned for site of burned Pollock Pines restaurant

The burned out remains of the Los Hermanos restaurant in Pollock Pines are in the process of being removed with plans being made for a retail outlet to take its place. Evan Bell, who owns the old restaurant building as well as the Pony Express Station Plaza where the building is located, said all the […]

Pssst. Looking for a hot stock tip?

Are you a woman wanting to learn more about how to buy and sell stocks? Then the Golden Hills Investment Club may be the ticket as they are in the market for new members. In operation in El Dorado County since 1989, the group is loosely affiliated with the National Association of Investment Clubs, known […]

Study to improve local economy approved by EDCTC

A study to help improve the local as well as regional economy was approved by the El Dorado County Transportation Commission (EDCTC) at its Feb. 7 meeting. Called the Bay-To-Tahoe Basin Recreation and Tourism Rural Roadway Impact Study, the work will be carried out by Wood Rodgers Inc. at a cost of $239,775, with funding provided by […]

Economist says government-issued statistics misleading

This is part one of a two-part article featuring an interview with consulting economist John Williams, who believes that many of the statistics issued by the government misrepresent the true state of the economy. On Feb. 1, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest national unemployment figures, saying that unemployment in January was […]

Finding a life path

Golf lessons, a tsunami and finding one’s path in life were melded into an inspirational talk given to members of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce at their meeting on Feb. 13.

Provided by PGA teaching professional Will Robins, the golf pro described surviving a devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004 while on his honeymoon.

Robins said the life-threatening event altered his perspective on life and the career path he subsequently pursued. He has since developed a golf academy based on his insights, insights which have produced amazing results for his clients.

The tsunami occurred on Dec. 26, 2004 after a 9.1 to 9.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean. At the time, Robins and his new wife Amanda, were honeymooning on the island of Phuket, which is off the coast of Thailand. They were on the last day …

GDPUD workshop delves into job description

The agenda for the Feb. 14 workshop included five items, but it was all the board of directors of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District could do to get through just one of them — namely, the job description and salary schedule for the business and finance manager. That item was originally on the agenda for […]

Learning to fly: Local youth earns helicopter pilot’s license

Valentine’s Day was a special treat for El Dorado Hills resident Austin Bowa who not only turned 17 but also earned his private pilot’s license to fly a helicopter.

His mother Shelly said she believes her son is now the youngest licensed helicopter pilot in the United States.

A year ago, Bowa took his first solo flight in a small two-seater helicopter at Auburn Airport with family, friends and the media looking on.

This past Thursday, he was …

GDPUD delays ALT project

It was standing room only as residents sat through the Feb. 12 board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. A meeting that dragged on for well over six hours. Putting off the most important decision on the agenda, Board President Bonnie McLane, along with Directors Kathy Otermat and Maria Capraun, voted to delay […]

GDPUD workshop covers vehicle use

A policy governing employee use of district vehicles was the main topic of discussion at the Feb. 7 workshop of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s Board of Directors. The meeting began with Director Norm Krizl once again questioning why a workshop was being used to conduct business that belonged on the agenda of the […]

Physician’s assistant: Placerville woman named to state board

Placerville resident Rosalee Shorter, 36, has been appointed to the California Physician Assistant Board by Gov. Jerry Brown. A physician assistant for eight years, Shorter previously worked at George Washington University, Department of Surgery and now is employed at Mercy Medical Group, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She has a Master of Public Health/Physician Assistant degree […]

3D printer adds new dimension to machine shop

“What we have here is a really fun, creative and amazing family business,” said Jason LaRock.

Owner of a precision machine shop called Sierra Manufacturing Solutions (SMS), LaRock is one of those entrepreneurs helping to keep manufacturing alive in this country.

The Cameron Park company had its start in the family garage in 1979. Now third generation LaRock and his wife Janel own it after he bought out his parents in 2007.

LaRock said the firm, which employs anywhere between …

Shooting for sport

There may have been a football game, but Superbowl Sunday didn’t stop members of the El Dorado Rod and Gun Club from getting in some competitive trapshooting anyway.

Standing atop a hill overlooking spectacular scenery, groups of shooters took turns blasting away at orange-colored “clay pigeons” under an azure-colored sky.

The “pigeons” were saucer-shaped biodegradable combinations of clay and resin mixed in with a little fertilizer.

Orangevale resident Mickey Razy was one of the competitors. A member of …

Paramount Motorworks uses finicky focus to keep customers coming

“I can always find a solution to a problem and have never worked on a car I couldn’t fix,” said mechanic Jeff Peters. Owner of Paramount Motorworks, Peters, 35, has had his own vehicle service and repair shop in Cameron Park for a year and a half. But he said he’s had years of experience […]

GDPUD workshop produces Request for Proposal

At their fifth workshop, the board of directors of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District finalized a Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire a new general counsel for the district. The reworked RFP will be presented at the next regular board meeting for approval. With half of the workshop spent parsing the language of the […]

Homicide rates and guns

Homicide rates from other countries, whether by guns or by other means, don’t make the case for the United States being an unusually violent country. In fact, the U.S. is near the bottom of the list of countries in terms of homicides and homicides due to firearms. The United Nations, office of Drugs and Crimes, […]

Militarization of local law enforcement

At the same time controversy swirls around proposals for even stricter gun control measures, below the radar is the increasing militarization of police agencies in the country from the federal government down to local police departments. This has occurred despite the fact that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally bars the military from law […]

Sutter’s Mill meteorite a rare space treasure

Rare, complex, and super fast, the Sutter’s Mill Meteorite that landed in the Lotus-Coloma area last April 22 has been a scientific treasure trove, according to those who have studied it.

Called a Carbonaceous Chondrite Regolith Breccia (that is, a primitive meteorite rich in carbon compounds and glass spherules or agglutinates), the Sutter’s Mill Meteorite was of a very rare type, making up less than 3 percent of all known meteorites.

Recently the meteorite was the subject of a paper published in the Dec. 21, 2012, issue of …

Proposed finance committee outcome of GDPUD workshop

A Thursday evening workshop held by the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District ended with a decision to consider appointing a finance committee to help sort out multiple financial issues and policies. Board member Norm Krizl started the meeting by saying the workshops seemed to be turning into regular meetings and some members […]

Panel OKs Oakstone Winery plan

After a two-hour discussion, a revision to a Special Use Permit for Oakstone Winery was approved on a 3-1 vote by the El Dorado County Planning Commission. The Jan. 24 meeting drew a large crowd of supporters, as well as a few critics, regarding the application from John and Susan Smith, who own the winery. […]

SET promotes hands-on science ed

It may have been a bit foggy in Henningsen Lotus Park last Saturday, but nothing could dampen the spirits of the 4-H SET youths who gathered to get a lesson in geology and, in particular, fossils.

Led by project leader Danielle Fisher, 45, of Greenwood, the youths went through a series of hands-on experiments including simulating how resin, dripping from trees, trapped and preserved insects a hundred million years ago. They also examined fossils on loan from the Eureka Gems & Mineral shop in Placerville, viewed a collection of dinosaur bones and dung, and went on a fossil fuel scavenger hunt.

Participating in all these activities were an energetic group of youngsters …

EDH woman appointed to EDD

El Dorado Hills resident Sharon Hilliard, 48, was recently appointed as chief deputy at the California Employment Development Department by Governor Jerry Brown. Hilliard, who has worked for EDD her entire career, will earn $128,064 in the new position. The El Dorado Hills woman said she started with EDD at the age of 17 when […]

Marshall’s new wing now serving patients

After many years of planning and fund-raising, the new wing of Marshall Medical Center officially opened at 5 a.m. on Jan. 15.

The impressive three-story building includes a state-of-the-art emergency department on the ground floor along with a large lobby and private consultation rooms. A very spacious and comfortable maternity center occupies the second floor. The third floor is not used at present.

Over 90 employees work in the new emergency department, including two physicians on call 24 hours a day, 50 RNs, nurse practitioners, and a crew of support staff.

The hospital staff are particularly proud that the new emergency room is certified as a Level III trauma center, one of only two in all of California.

Grizzly Flat CSD gets things right

The Grizzly Flat Community Services District (GFCSD) may be small, but it seems to get everything right from its choice of general manager, to its board, to the way it does business. Previously a private water company owned by the developer of Grizzly Flat, in 1987 it was formed as a public utility by the […]

GDPUD votes to resolve Caltrans conflict

A workshop held by the board of Georgetown Divide Public Utility District on Jan 17 ended with a decision that finally resolved a conflict with Caltrans over a highway construction project slated for later this year. After listening to a presentation on the project by Kelly Shively, assistant operations manager for the district, the board […]

Shawn Allan and Andi Wagner take on short sales

Meet Shawn Allen and Andi Wagner, energetic Realtors with a passion for real estate and El Dorado County. These two Placerville Realty World Platinum stars know how to work in today’s market. Allan ‘loves real estate’ Shawn Allan said she loves living in El Dorado County and showing properties to those interested in also calling it […]

CPCSD reduces facility fees

Hoping to bring more business to the community center, the Board of Directors of the Cameron Park Community Services District approved new rental fees for the facility at its Jan. 16 meeting. Effective immediately, fees for renting the Assembly Hall will be reduced by 20 percent. Previously the cost to rent the entire Assembly hall […]

EDC survivors of shipwreck hold reunion

Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck gathered Sunday, Jan. 13, for a reunion to remember what happened a year ago when the passenger ship they were on struck a reef and capsized off the coast of Italy, killing 32 people.

Reluctant to talk to the media until now, the group of El Dorado County residents — Joanna and Adam Lynch, Phyllis Eggan, and Brenda Miller — recalled what happened that day and afterwards. Their story is a tale of survival, kindness, friendship and faith.

The taxman cometh — with hand in your pocket

Between the new budget agreement signed into law on Jan. 2 by President Obama and all the new taxes associated with Obamacare, Americans are facing a whole rash of additional taxes this year despite promises to the contrary. According to the budget agreement, income tax rates will remain the same for most people. However 77 […]

Highway 193 roadwork almost complete

Caltrans continues work on a 40 to 50 foot section of Highway 193 just north of Rockcreek Road. Initially expected to be finished by mid-November of last year, Caltrans is installing a retaining wall, widening and resurfacing the road, and placing a barrier on the slope side of the road. Currently stoplights are managing traffic […]

Gun control talk boosts sales

With the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary fresh in everyone’s mind, there have been calls from politicians across the country to impose stricter gun control or even to abolish the Second Amendment.

President Barack Obama has said he favors stronger background checks, a meaningful ban on assault weapons and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines, although he’s unsure such legislation would pass in the House of Representatives.

Vice President Joe Biden has offered that Obama could …

Commission OKs Malcolm Dixon revised subdivision plan

The El Dorado County Planning Commission took action at its Jan. 10 meeting that moved ahead the Malcolm Dixon Road Estates Subdivision by approving a revision to the approved tentative map that included a phased plan for financing improvements. The property, which is owned by Chris Labarbera, consists of 40.6 acres, divided into eight lots, […]

GDPUD: A tale of 2 treatment plants

As GDPUD has moved forward with plans to retrofit the Auburn Lake Trails (ALT) water treatment plant, questions and charges have arisen regarding why earlier plans to build a new water treatment plant at Greenwood Lake (GL) were later abandoned.

That decision, according to the different agencies involved, traces its history back to 2004. At the time the district’s two water treatment plants at Walton Lake and …

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