Dawn Hodson

Snow survey cancelled: No snow to measure May 1

A snow survey scheduled for May 1 at Phillips Station was cancelled as there was nothing to measure. The last snow survey of this water year, a press release from the Department of Water Resources deemed it “moot.” “We can’t count on the Sierra snowpack to replenish our water supplies,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “Major reservoirs […]

In Dyer straits: Swansboro board votes to fill lake

To fill or not to fill. That is the question, especially during a drought. Such is the position members of the Swansboro Country Property Owners Association find themselves in after their board voted on April 16 to fill Dyer Lake. Used for boating, swimming and catch-and-release fishing, the three-acre lake is down 3 to 4 feet because […]

State Water Board issues final draft regulations

After some minor tweaking, on Tuesday the State Water Board issued a final set of water conservation regulations. The regulations are expected to be adopted at a public hearing next week. Designed to implement Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 25 percent cut in water use statewide, the regulations have undergone few changes since the last draft was […]

UCCE Master Gardener plant selection

The UCCE Master Gardeners Plant Sale on Saturday, May 2 at the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot, 130 Placerville Drive, Placerville, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. will have a wide variety of plants available. Payment is cash or check only. For more information call 530-621-5512, e-mail [email protected] or go online at Arrive early for the best selection. Take out […]

Plant sale seeds Demonstration Garden

What: Annual Spring Plant Sale Who: UCCE Master Gardeners Where: Veterans Memorial Building parking lot, 130 Placerville Drive, Placerville When: Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: No admission charge Information: Call 530-621-5512 Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon. E-mail [email protected] or go online at   Drought or no drought, it’s spring and your garden beckons. Nowhere else will […]

EID pares revenue projections

The El Dorado Irrigation District received an update to this year’s finances at its April 13 meeting. Revenues are estimated to be down from $74.7 million to $71.8 million due to a reduction in water sales/services and lower hydropower revenue. The latter is expected to decline from $5 million to $1.5 million. Offsetting these losses to some extent is […]

Court ruling to have little to no impact locally

Monday’s decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal regarding tiered water rates may make it harder for some water agencies to reach their conservation goals. At issue is a finding by the court that San Juan Capistrano’s tiered water rate structure was unconstitutional because it charged more for water than it cost the city to provide […]

Gov. Brown decries court of appeal decision

A decision on Monday by the 4th District Court of Appeal regarding tiered water rates drew a rebuke from Gov. Jerry Brown and may throw a monkey wrench into efforts to mandate water conservation in the state. At issue is a finding by the court that San Juan Capistrano’s tiered water rate structure was unconstitutional because […]

Water rights under pressure

A press release from the State Water Resources Control Board on April 3 warned that water right holders, including some senior right holders, are likely to be curtailed soon within key watersheds in the state. The warning, to holders of more than 36,000 water rights across the state, is designed to give water right holders advance notice to […]

GDPUD declares Stage 3 drought

With Stumpy Meadows Reservoir at 12,350 acre-feet last week, the Board of Directors of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District adopted a resolution declaring a Stage 3 Drought at its April 14 meeting. Normally the 20,000 acre-foot reservoir would be spilling at this time of year. The resolution mandates reducing potable and untreated water demand between 25 to 35 percent. However, […]

New conservation targets set

After receiving over 250 comments regarding new conservation targets for water agencies, on Saturday the State Water Board issued a new regulatory framework for implementing the statewide goal of reducing water use by 25 percent. Instead of four tiers of conservation varying from 10 to 25 percent, the new framework includes nine tiers with conservation […]

King Fire area to open to public again

The U.S. Forest Service announced that the national forest lands in the King Fire area will be open to the public again beginning Saturday, April 25, in conjunction with the general opening of fishing season. However, the public is cautioned that parts of the fire area are still hazardous and will continue to be for years. […]

Updated sign ordinance perused by planners

Members of the El Dorado County Planning Commission took more than five hours to review and take testimony on a sign ordinance at their March 26 meeting. An updated version of an ordinance that hasn’t been changed since 1980, the new version covers general sign requirements, permanent signs, temporary signs, community sign programs, sign development and design standards, permit […]

Second time’s a charm for Water and Power Authority MOU

A memorandum of understanding voted down at the April 8 meeting of the El Dorado Water and Power Authority was back on the table at a special meeting held April 15. This time, however, it garnered enough votes to pass. El Dorado County Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, who is also chairman of EDWPA, opened the meeting by saying […]

Coco talks water at chamber event

Dr. Dale Coco talked water at the April 8 meeting of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce. A director on the board of the El Dorado Irrigation District, Coco said when he was elected, he told constituents he’d examine all aspects of EID and apply what he learned about project management when he worked at Kaiser. […]

EDWPA punts on Memorandum

An application for more water rights may have been stalled as a result of action taken at the April 8 meeting of the El Dorado Water and Power Authority . The agency is in the process of preparing an application to the State Water Board for the right to 40,000 acre-feet of water that is stored in Sacramento Metropolitan […]

35% conservation proposed for EID and GDPUD

Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement on April 1 ordering a 25 percent reduction in water use statewide, on April 7 the State Water Board released a proposed regulatory framework for achieving the targeted reduction. However, rather than requiring all water purveyors to reduce water use by the same amount, the State Water Board proposed separating all water purveyors into four different tiers. The tiers […]

EID board urged to continue water rights fight

Residents urged the El Dorado Irrigation District board to “stay the course” in pursuing additional water rights for the county at its March 23 meeting. At issue is a project being undertaken by the El Dorado County Water and Power Authority to gain the right to an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water currently stored in SMUD’s reservoirs. Recently, certain members of […]

Plantation re-establishment begins

Last Wednesday, a project to manually re-plant 324 acres of plantations that burned in the King Fire began in the Nevada Point Ridge area of the Eldorado National Forest. According to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service, this tree planting is possible under a categorical exclusion (CE) authority, which allows the Forest Service to […]

Crowd previews King Fire restoration plan

Interest was high as more than 50 El Dorado County residents showed up March 25 to get a preview of what’s planned in the way of restoring parts of the Eldorado National Forest destroyed by last year’s King Fire. The fire burned almost 98,000 acres, 63,000 of it in the Eldorado National Forest. The remainder occurred on privately owned […]

EID board approves plan to sell water at special meeting

A conditional agreement to transfer surplus water to central California’s Westlands Water District was unanimously approved at a special meeting on April 1 by the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors. According to the agreement, up to a maximum of 6,430 acre-feet may be transferred this year, although staff noted the actual amount is likely to be considerably less. […]

Defendant Harris takes the stand in murder trial

The Colleen Harris murder trial continued on Thursday, April 2 as she took the stand herself and recalled her prior marriages and the death of her husband Bob Harris.

Dressed demurely in a high-necked blouse and slacks, Harris spoke in a quiet voice that was often at odds with the turbulent marital life she has led.

Governor orders mandatory water rationing

At a special press conference held April 1 at Echo Summit, Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced the first-ever mandatory statewide water reductions.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” he said. “Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

The governor’s executive order calls for a 25 percent reduction in water consumption in comparison to what was used in 2013. The savings amount to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, or nearly as much as is currently in Lake Oroville.

New irrigation schedule for EID customers

A new summer irrigation schedule was adopted by the El Dorado Irrigation District board at its March 23 meeting. Approved as part of an update to its Drought Action Plan, the summer watering schedule was changed from three days a week to an odd/even alternating watering schedule for the period June 1 through Sept. 30. Residents with odd-numbered […]

Burglar given 46 years

Following his conviction in February of three counts of felony first-degree residential burglary and two counts of attempted burglary, Bradley Michael Zaun, 27, was sentenced to 46 years in jail on Monday, March 30. In sentencing Zaun, Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Melikian cited the lack of mitigating factors in the case, noting that the burglaries were planned […]

Celio to cultivate a happy career

An old Chinese proverb says: “If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk. If you want to be happy for a week, get married. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, plant a garden.” Planning for lifelong happiness is Tracy Celio, 42, who was recently hired as the new Master Gardener […]

Water board issues new regulations in face of drought

With the state in the fourth year of a drought, the State Water Board voted to re-impose new prohibitions on water use and added new ones at its March 17 meeting. Prohibitions approved in 2014 that were reauthorized for this year include: not using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways; not allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water; […]

EDWPA continues debate on water rights application

Members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and El Dorado Irrigation District got a refresher on a water rights application at their March 11 session. Presented at the board meeting of the El Dorado Water & Power Authority, of which the county and EID are a part, the presentation appeared to be for two […]

Water providers urge continued conservation

The Regional Water Authority (RWA) Board of Directors is urging its 22 water provider members to continue efforts to reduce water use by 20 percent or more according to a press release issued by the organization on March 13. RWA represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sutter counties. “With our typically wettest winter […]

Expanded senior lunch program proposed for Cameron Park

Seniors in Cameron Park may soon enjoy two additional days a week of low-cost lunches according to El Dorado County Supervisor Shiva Frentzen. In February, Frentzen contacted the Cameron Park Community Services District regarding offering a senior lunch program at the community center. At the March 18 meeting of the CSD, its Board of Directors unanimously adopted the […]

Small fires sparked off Highway 50

Fifteen small brush fires were sparked on the south side of Highway 50 Wednesday evening. Called in at 5:51 p.m., crews from El Dorado County Fire and Cal Fire put out the fires by 6:22 p.m. No other damage was reported. The fires caused traffic to back up between Placerville Drive and Forni Road as the far right […]

Grand opening for new animal shelter on Sunday

El Dorado County Animal Services is inviting the community to celebrate the grand opening of its new facility in Diamond Springs this Sunday, March 29, from 2 to 4 p.m., according to a press release from El Dorado County Animal Services. A much-anticipated event, the celebration will include tours of the facility, animal demonstrations, presentations, informational booths, […]

King Fire area gets a Band-Aid

Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a helicopter dropping straw!

Helimulching was once again being carried out in the King Fire burn area as two helicopters dropped ton after ton of rice straw on the blackened hills, turning them yellow as clouds of thatched material spiraled into the air and then settled.

A joint effort of the U.S. Forest Service and the Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District, 695 acres were treated …

Tribe addresses gun range complaints

In a press release issued on Monday, the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (Tribe) said it is addressing the concerns of the nearby community regarding a proposed gun range. “We are investigating and vetting all concerns. We will not move forward with the project until all concerns are addressed,” said Tribal Chairman Nicholas Fonseca. Earlier this […]

CAO quizzed on budget deficit

Getting the county budget back on track was the main topic as interim El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr spoke before the El Dorado Taxpayers Association on Monday. With the county needing to cut almost 5.9 percent in spending in order to close a structural gap in its budget, Knorr said she, along […]

Bridge project to proceed

The El Dorado Irrigation District held a special board meeting on Friday to discuss two closed session items. Reported out of closed sessions was approval of a settlement with U.S. Specialty Insurance Company regarding the Camp 2 Bridge Replacement Project. U.S. Specialty insures Excavating Engineers Inc., the company originally hired to complete the project. The new company […]

GDPUD losing money on its meters

The water district is losing money on its aging meters, according to a study presented to the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District at its March 10 meeting. Conducted by MC Engineering, the purpose of the study was to determine the overall efficiency of the district’s system. Paid for through a grant from PG&E and the […]

Drought and ALT plant discussed

Although there are still hoops to jump through, progress is being made to retrofit the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant, according to a staff report made at the March 10 board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. George Sanders, who previously acted as interim general manager for the district, reported that although they have yet to receive final […]

Coloma Post Office still delivering mail after 165 years

The tiny post office in Coloma may be 165 years old and counting, but old age and rumors that it’s haunted haven’t dampened its spirits.

Indeed, while over 100 post offices are said to have existed in El Dorado County at one time or another, it’s the Coloma Post Office that is still here while most of the rest have closed or been combined with others.

It’s also a meet up spot for the community as there’s no other mail delivery in the area. Instead residents stop by regularly to collect mail from their boxes while catching up on the local gossip.

Coloma is more than just a …

EDCWA interim GM selected

The El Dorado County Water Agency (EDCWA) tentatively selected an interim general manager. However, a contract must still be hammered out. That decision was reached at the agency’s board meeting on Wednesday. Ken Payne, who is a partner in the Municipal Consulting Group, was selected to fill the spot until a permanent general manager is hired. […]

EID reviews Drought Action Plan changes

The El Dorado Irrigation District received an update on the drought and considered changes to its Drought Action Plan at its board meeting on Monday. Providing an overview of EID’s water supply, Brian Mueller, director of Engineering, said that as of the end of February, Jenkinson Lake was at 75 percent of capacity and Caples Lake was […]

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