Amanda Williams

Carson Creek plans moving forward

Two Carson Creek planned development housing projects were reviewed by the El Dorado County Planning Commission at its July 9 meeting. Part of the 1997 Carson Creek Specific Plan, 140 residential lots in Unit 3 of the plan gained approval from the commission. Consisting of a little more than 19 acres, the El Dorado Hills property is located south of Golden Foothill […]

Finally, a hero has his Bronze Star

It was a long time coming, but after 70 years Placerville resident Wayne Queen has received the Bronze Star he earned during his World War II service.

A veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Queen, 89, still has strong memories of what some historians consider the greatest single battle ever fought by the American Army. Some consider it, in terms of participation and losses, arguably the greatest battle in American military history.

Born and raised in Heavener, Okla., Queen said he is Native American, being half Cherokee and half Choctaw. He said Heavener itself is notable for having some large stones covered with writing that some believe were inscribed by Vikings back in 1012 AD.

Pierson urges taxpayers to focus what’s really important

It was billed as a talk by El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson on department functions and budget considerations. Instead the June 29 meeting of the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County turned into a discussion about casinos, the Supreme Court, the fall of the Roman Empire, grand juries, the shooting of an unarmed suspect in South Lake […]

To tow or not to tow? Local man claims DMV harassment

Are staff from the Department of Motor Vehicles needlessly harassing people while passing themselves off as law enforcement officers? That’s what Camino Heights resident Mike Viets claims happened when he parked two pieces of equipment he wanted to sell on an empty lot on Missouri Flat Road near Forni Road. A popular place where others park cars for sale, […]

America going broke, McClintock says

Speaking to a crowd of about 60 people at Town Hall in Placerville Tuesday evening, Congressman Tom McClintock spent time talking about the country’s fiscal deficit, with the bulk of the meeting devoted to fielding questions on topics ranging from the drought to the local economy, better forest management, the new trade bill and executive overreach in […]

Gun-owner advocate vows to keep fighting

Gun legislation was the hot topic at the Tea Party in the Hills meeting on June 24. There to talk about the status of current and future gun legislation in the state was Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. Paredes is also a member of the board of directors of Gun Owners of America and treasurer […]

End of the Moore legacy

One of the most historical properties in Placerville has changed hands and will no longer belong to the Moore family. Last owned by Judge Prentiss Moore and his model/actress wife, Josephine Moore, the beautiful ranch called River Hill is located at the end of Bedford Avenue. On June 23 the new owners of the 345-acre property did a […]

Water leak spouts up in Placerville

A minor water leak at the Placerville Police Department was discovered and quickly repaired last Friday. According to Placerville City Manager Cleve Morris, he was notified of the leak around 10 a.m. on June 26. “It was nothing major but could have been if there had been a break,” he said, adding that the leak was […]

Pure Life case: Preliminary hearing set

Kelly Chiusano and two other defendants of the Pure Life Collective marijuana dispensary will appear in a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 21, a judge decided on June 26. Chiusano and Summer Bradley, owners of the Pure Life Collective marijuana dispensary, along with defendants Whitney Marchand and Christopher Brown, face a seven-count complaint that […]

Widow shares her ‘average G.I. Joe’s’ adventures

Just an average Joe is how Barbara Raines described her husband, Roger, who passed away October 18, 2011. A man who almost made it to the ripe old age of 88, Raines lived through some of the most monumental events of the 20th century, including the Depression, Prohibition, the Union Station massacre, World War II, the assassination of President John […]

Forest fire management part of bigger strategy

The sound of buzzsaws broke the silence of the forest off Silver Fork Road as crews from the California Conservation Corp worked to create a fuel break off Highway 50 near Kyburz on Wednesday.

Cutting down small trees and brush, stacks of vegetation were scattered everywhere as two teams cleared one side of the road.

Part of a much larger plan called the Roadrunner Fuel Reduction Project, the goal is to eventually treat both sides of Highway 50 all the way from Pollock Pines to Twin Bridges. “That will take a couple of years to do,” said Will Harris, a battalion chief with the Forest Service. “But there is a plan and there is a vision.”

Water management plan revised to protect salmon

In a press release issued on June 16, state and federal officials announced the outlines of a revised plan for managing water flows in the Sacramento River for cities and farms while keeping enough cold water in Shasta Reservoir to avoid high temperatures in the river that could be catastrophic for endangered winter-run Chinook salmon. […]

Ditch, dam upgrades approved

The El Dorado Irrigation District moved forward on two capital improvement projects at its June 22 meeting despite some differing opinions among the board members. First up was approving the spending of $160,291 for the Upper Main Ditch piping project. The piping will replace three miles of open ditch that extends from the Forebay Reservoir to […]

Some senior water rights on the chopping block

With drought conditions continuing, the State Water Board recently announced there is insufficient water available for senior water right holders with a priority date of 1903 or later in the San Joaquin and Sacramento watersheds and the Delta. El Dorado Irrigation District’s Public Information Officer Jesse Saich said the curtailment applies to all pre-1914 water […]

New EDH subdivision map approved

A tentative subdivision map for the East Ridge Village project was approved unanimously by the El Dorado County Planning Commission at its June 11 meeting. Located in El Dorado Hills, 2,600 feet east of Valley View Parkway from its intersection with White Rock Road, the project was submitted by East Ridge Holdings, LLC. Made up of 734 acres, […]

New editor at Mountain Democrat

It’s been a year of changes at the Mountain Democrat with the latest one being the selection of a new editor. Noel Stack, 36, currently the editor of Village Life and Cameron Park Life, will assume the editor role of all three publications effective June 22. With a degree in journalism, Stack began her newspaper […]

EID customer survey shows improvement

El Dorado Irrigation District got some good news in the form of a recent customer satisfaction survey as well as feedback from customers using the Sly Park Recreation Area. In the case of Sly Park, it was recently named the Best Camp Ground by KCRA 3 A-List voters. According to EID staff, the KCRA A-List compiles businesses, services […]

Funding plan sparks controversy at GDPUD meeting

Rhetoric went fiery at the June 9 board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. At issue was how to repay a $10 million loan to retrofit the Auburn Lake Trails water treatment plant. While everyone on the GDPUD Board of Directors and most of the audience agreed that retrofitting the plant had to be done, there […]

Conservation target for GDPUD lowered

Customers of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District got some good news at the June 9 board meeting when General Manager Wendell Wall reported that the State Water Board changed how much local residents have to conserve from 36 percent to 32 percent over water used in 2013. Wall noted the change helps revenue and is a major difference […]

County officials respond — or don’t — to investigator questions

El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr declined comment when asked about allegations regarding a contract for investigative services with the legal firm of Prentice, Long and Epperson. She instead referred all questions to County Counsel Robyn Truitt-Drivon. Truitt-Drivon would only say the contract was authorized by the Board of Supervisors and the investigation was ongoing. Asked […]

Clean audit for EID

El Dorado Irrigation District received notice of a “clean” audit for 2014 at its June 8 board meeting. Conducted by Richardson & Company, CPA Brian Nash presented the findings of the audit along with EID’s Accounting Manager Tony Pasquarello. According to the findings, EID’s total assets exceeded total liabilities by $387.5 million, which is $4.7 million higher than […]

State Water Board: Conservation near 14%

On Tuesday, the State Water Board reported that water conservation efforts in the state have improved but are still below the targeted 25 percent. According to reports from 400 urban water suppliers, the amount of water saved increased from 3.9 percent in March to approximately 13.5 percent in April in same month comparisons of 2015 […]

EID Communications Director Carlton to retire

After a whirlwind career that has included stints in human resources, customer service, management consulting, community relations and more fields than you can shake a stick at, Mary Lynn Carlton, 59, El Dorado Irrigation District’s Communications/Community Relations director, is retiring. While still officially on the job until July 14, Carlton said she’ll be gone before […]

Descendants add headstones for those long gone, but not forgotten

El Dorado County is peppered with graveyards — some established, while others are unmarked family plots that have long since been forgotten. But there are always those who go looking for lost relatives in order to reconnect to their past. On May 16, members of one family did just that by placing headstones on four formerly unmarked […]

GDPUD to pursue $10M ALT loan

At a special meeting on May 28, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District voted 3-1 to move ahead and pursue a $10 million dollar state loan to fund the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant. Directors Norm Krizl, Carl Hoelscher and Lon Uso voted for the motion. Director Maria Capraun voted no. Director Jesse […]

Wagon Train itinerary

Saturday, May 30: Rendezvous and Registration and Kickoff BBQ — potluck members only — at Zephyr Cove, Nev. Sunday, May 31: Stateline, Nev. to Amacker Ranch Meyers, Calif. Evening BBQ for participants. Monday, June 1: Amacker Ranch to Tamarack Pines Cutoff — BBQ and entertainment. Tuesday, June 2: Tamarack Pines Cutoff to Kyburz. Private evening […]

The Wagon Train reins: Big-hearted horses return to lead the way

Those big beautiful black Percherons are back and once again will take the lead in this year’s Highway 50 Wagon Train.

In its 66th year, the Wagon Train — a living reenactment of history — kicked off May 30 with a rendezvous and barbecue at scenic Zephyr Cove, Nev.

After, it was up and over the summit, with stops along the way including a layover at Fresh Pond for a day of wagon rides, story telling and barbecue on Thursday, June 4.

Budgets reviewed by water agencies

Board members of the El Dorado County Water and Power Authority and the El Dorado County Water Agency previewed next year’s budgets for their respective agencies at their May 13 meeting. EDWPA board members also received an update on what has been spent to date on the water rights project and what they will be asked to […]

EID resets watering days for summer

After a series of motions that failed due to a lack of votes, on Tuesday the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors voted to allow three days of outdoor watering per week effective June 1 through Sept. 30. Customers’ watering days will remain based on the residence’s street address ending number, with irrigation limited to before […]

Rescue Raceway back on track

On the backburner for a while, the Rescue Raceway is once again up and running with a full contingent of racing enthusiasts revving up their engines in the name of getting first to the finish line.

Located next to the Rescue Community Center on Green Valley Road, the return of the raceway is like the story of the comeback kid.

Originally it was a racetrack for remote-controlled cars powered by gasoline engines.

“But they were very noisy and the neighbors …”

Placerville native bused to the top

Susan Dreier, 56, may have started her career as a bus driver, but she’s since traveled a whole lot further with her most recent accomplishment being named the chief executive officer for the Pierce County Public Transit System in Pierce County, Wash. Originally from Placerville, where her mother still lives, Dreier said she began her career […]

Fire blight attacking local trees

A report of fire blight has local backyard gardeners and fruit growers worried about the safety of their trees. Looking as though the leaves and fruit have been hit with a blow torch, fire blight is a bacterial infection that only affects members of the rose family. This includes more than 75 different kinds of trees […]

King Fire restoration project Draft EIS released

On Friday, May 22, the U.S. Forest Service announced it was releasing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the King Fire restoration project. The public is invited to review and comment on it over the next 30 days. Normally the formal comment period is 45 days, but was shortened due to the emergency nature […]

Plant sale a big success

This year’s UCCE Master Gardener Annual Spring Plant Sale was a blowout according to Merry Campbell, coordinator of the event. While not having a final count yet, Campbell said they expect to net close to $19,000, which is the highest sales total ever. Some 6,500 plants out of 7,600 available were sold — more than 85 percent. This year’s plant sale also […]

Harn talks budget to Taxpayers group

Frustration seemed the order of the day at the May 11 meeting of the El Dorado Taxpayers Association as the discussion swirled around how to resolve the county’s structural budget deficit and related financial problems. There to talk specifically about his budget was El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn. Harn began by saying that when the Board of Supervisors told him […]

Ag dinner features water talk

“Got water?” That was the main topic at the 19th annual Agricultural Roundtable Dinner held April 17 in Placerville. With the drought, water conservation and securing additional water rights on many people’s minds, three speakers addressed the subject, including Doug Leisz, who is a member of El Dorado County Citizens for Water; Dr. Dale Coco, who is on […]

GDPUD sets irrigation limits: ALT decision put off

With a water shortage looming, the Georgetown Divide Public Utility Board of Directors voted to cut off water to irrigation customers once the level of water in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir declines to 9,000 acre-feet. The vote was 3-2 with Directors Norm Krizl, Lon Uso and Jesse Hanschild voting yes; Carl Hoelscher voting no; and Maria […]

EID adopts state water regulations

Following on the heels of the State Water Board issuing new water conservation regulations, at its May 11 meeting the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors approved incorporating the new regulations into its drought action plan. Included in the vote was adoption of a conservation target of 28 percent. The board also considered adding […]

When the hot rodder met the Jeep guy

It must have been Kismet. Hot rod expert Norm Sappenfield, 87, was thinking of retiring once he hit 90. Meanwhile Jimmy Strauss, 51, was looking for a shop where he could restore Jeeps. And before you could say zoom zoom, kaboom, a match was made. Strauss is well-known in the county for restoring military Jeeps as […]

EID votes to continue water rights fight

The El Dorado Irrigation District board gave a thumbs up to pursuing additional water rights at its May 11 meeting.

However approval was by a narrow margin with Directors Bill George, George Osborne and Dr. Dale Coco voting for and Greg Prada and Alan Day voting against.

At issue is a project EID is a partner to, along with El Dorado County and the El …

HHSA director talks budget, services

Don Ashton, director of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, spoke before the Taxpayers Association on April 20, answering questions about his agency’s budget and services. Employed by the county since 2011, Ashton said HHSA utilizes a “super agency model” in which several departments are combined under one umbrella. In his case, he oversees […]


The article “GDPUD OKs Prop. 218 process for ALT” stated that the water agency had 45 days to notify property owners of the upcoming Prop. 218 hearing and to determine how much of an assessment to charge its customers. However, the 45-day period does not begin until the amount to be borrowed is established, which should […]

GDPUD OKs Prop. 218 process for ALT

Faced with the prospect of fines, loss of grant funding and rising construction costs, the Board of Directors for the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District voted to initiate a Prop. 218 process at a special meeting held April 27. The process will be used to fund the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant. […]

Give Where You Live campaign raises $86K

El Dorado County residents once again stepped up to the plate, donating $86,000 to 71 county nonprofit organizations in this year’s Give Where You Live campaign. In its second year, the one day fundraiser held on April 23 was coordinated jointly by the El Dorado Community Foundation and the El Dorado Office of Education. The 71 nonprofits […]

Mandatory water restrictions adopted by State Water Board

As expected, on May 5 the State Water Board adopted new regulations to enforce Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for 25 percent conservation. Tuesday’s action followed release of water production figures for March that showed that statewide, the amount of water conserved compared to 2013 was only 3.6 percent for the month. Locally, El Dorado Irrigation District […]

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