PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Dawn Hodson

Around About Transportation gives you a lift

There’s a new business in town and it’s giving people a lift along with some one-on-one TLC. Called Around About Transportation, the startup provides non-emergency medical transportation to those on the Western Slope of El Dorado County. Jointly owned by Pete Messimore along with husband and wife team Margaret Birge and Jeff Hill, Sr., the new business has only […]

Taxpayer group updated on ‘big hairy beast’

Two years ago this month, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors awarded a $2.6 million contract to Tyler Technologies to replace the county’s current financial, payroll and human resources systems with a new system called FENIX. An additional $3 million was approved to hire staff to assist with implementation and conversion of the project. FENIX will […]

Snow survey results ‘grim’

The results of Tuesday’s snow survey at Phillips Station were disappointing, with an average of 6.7 inches of snow on the ground and slightly less than one inch of water content.

At only 5 percent of the historical average for the site, the results were actually down from last month’s average of 12 percent.

“It’s pretty grim,” said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), as he checked the numbers.

“And pretty reflective of measurements we’ve been taking up and down the Sierra over the past week or so as well as reflected in the telemetry measurements that come in each hour.

“We’re nudging up against the lowest snowpack on record,” he said, citing the snowpacks recorded in 1991 and 1977.

“Clearly there’s no good news in terms of any runoff,” he continued. “We were fortunate to have a fairly wet…”

Cell tower in SLT shot down in three

A special use permit to erect a cell phone tower in South Lake Tahoe was denied by the El Dorado County Planning Commission. But it took three hours and three motions to get it done. It was controversial because the tower was to be located on leased single-family property in a high-end residential area; a request for […]

Foundation hosts an uplifting day for nonprofits

Feb. 20 was a day of training and inspiration as 70 representatives from nonprofit agencies in El Dorado County attended an all-day workshop hosted by the El Dorado Community Foundation. Held at the Cameron Park Community Center, experts in the fields of accounting, public relations, board development, social media and more conducted different breakout sessions in their area […]

King Fire restoration plan in the works

While still in the draft stage, a plan to restore the area burned by the King Fire is drawing both support and criticism, with the U.S. Forest Service stuck in the middle.

Last year’s conflagration burned almost 98,000 acres, 63,000 of it in the Eldorado National Forest.

According to a restoration plan being circulated for comment, only 14,100 of the 63,000 acres will receive some kind of treatment, including salvage logging and the replanting of trees.

Laurence Crabtree, who is supervisor of the Eldorado National Forest, said so far the public feedback is mixed with some advocating for more timber harvesting while …

Drought update given at EID meeting

It was a short meeting as the Board of Directors for the El Dorado Irrigation District received an update on the drought and different projects on Feb. 23. Brian Mueller, EID’s director of Engineering, reported that as of Feb. 11, Jenkinson Lake was at 72 percent of capacity, Caples Lake 68 percent and Folsom Lake 53 […]

Accolades for retiring editor

Michael Raffety, who is retiring as of Feb. 23, leaves behind a wake of good will and respect for his time as editor. Described by bosses, colleagues and those he wrote about as honest, fair and intelligent — with a bit of good-humored quirkiness thrown in — Raffety is a man who put all his talents at the […]

Longtime editor of the Mountain Democrat retiring

After almost 37 years at the Mountain Democrat — virtually all of it as an editor — Mike Raffety is retiring as of Feb. 23.

A fixture at the paper for more than a generation, Raffety has served in multiple capacities — reporter, editor, photographer, columnist and opinion shaper. He’s also been a steadfast champion of the community, celebrating its accomplishments while unsparing when criticizing those who fall short when it comes to looking out for its welfare.

Something of a renaissance man, Raffety was born in Berlin, Germany, and later adopted by an American military couple who moved back to the United States, eventually settling in California.

Drought workshop proposed for Georgetown Divide PUD

The drought was on everyone’s mind at the Feb. 10 board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. According to General Manager Wendell Wall, the current water storage in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir is at 10,790 acre-feet or 54 percent of capacity. He said that is the lowest storage level in the lake in the past 49 […]

Local couple wins wildfire mitigation award

Logtown residents Ken and Nancy Hasse recently learned they are among only 21 individuals and organizations nationwide to be honored with a 2015 Wildfire Mitigation Award. The first year they are being given out, the awards are jointly sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Forest […]

Making EDC fire safe

El Dorado County residents got a sharp reminder of the need to make their properties as fire safe as possible after last year’s Sand and King fires. Local organizations that have been helping in this effort for years are the county’s fire safe councils (FSC). Grassroots organizations, they exist to make California’s communities less vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire […]

Interim GM to leave water agency

The El Dorado County Water Agency will be losing another staff member as it was announced by the board at its Feb. 11 meeting that Interim General Manager Tracey Eden-Bishop would be resigning at the end of the month to take a job with the El Dorado Irrigation District. Eden-Bishop has been serving as interim general manager […]

Regional Transportation Plan update highlighted in local workshop

It was show-and-tell time at the fairgrounds the evening of Feb. 6 as the El Dorado County Transportation Commission rolled out a draft of its updated Regional Transportation Plan. A job it must undertake every five years, the workshop attracted board members as well as staff from the agency and its partner agencies including SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments), […]

Operation School Bell a hit in Placerville

It looked like Christmas in February as children went shopping for new school clothes on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Kmart. Lined up outside the store as early as 8 a.m., an estimated 125 children and their parents swarmed through the store loading up shopping carts with everything from shoes and socks to the latest in t-shirts and dresses. Part of […]

Sheriff briefs Tea Party on crime

Sheriff John D’Agostini covered everything from crime to finances at the Jan. 28 meeting of the Tea Party in the Hills. Noting the increase in crime in the county, D’Agostini attributed it to passage of Proposition 47 last November. That law reduced the classification of most nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes from a […]

Placerville resident appointed as deputy at DWR

On Jan. 23, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office announced that Placerville resident Ed Wilson, 59, had been appointed deputy assistant director of public affairs at the California Department of Water Resources. Wilson has been working as the assistant director of communications at the California Department of Conservation since 2005. From 2000 to 2005, he served as interim assistant director […]

Elvis has left the building … for the slopes

There were multiple sightings of Elvis at Sierra-at-Tahoe last Thursday. In the pub, on the slopes, hanging out on the plaza — they were everywhere — all 13 of them. Part of a “man trip” they have been taking for 19 years, the guys came dressed as Elvis for a day of snowboarding and fun at the popular […]

Another drought year ahead? Survey says: Most likely

California may be looking at a fourth year of drought based on the latest snow survey conducted Jan. 29 at Phillips Station.

With sunny weather and not much snow on the ground to measure, Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey for the California Department of Water Resources, stuck a pole into the ground and came up largely empty.

The survey found a snow depth of 7.1 inches and a water equivalent of 2.3 inches, which is just 12 percent of the long-term average for this time of year at that particular snow course.

These results are down from measurements done Dec. 30 when there was 21.5 inches of snow on the ground with a water content of 4 percent.

“In a normal year we’d have about five feet of snow depth at this location this time of year,” said Gehrke.

Statewide, the snow water equivalent as measured by more than 100 sensors was 4 inches, or 25 percent of the historical average. That’s down from …

Marshall seeks baby-friendly imprimatur

Looking to add to their credentials, Marshall Medical Center hopes to add the designation of being a Baby-Friendly Hospital next month.

Part of a global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, the designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding.

In particular, the initiative focuses on providing new mothers with the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully breastfeed their babies and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

In charge of the program at Marshall is Christine Miguelgorry, who is a …

Correction

In the article “New ruling gives hope to dredgers,” the caption for the photo on the front page was in error. Rick Eddy is on the right in the photo while Steve Tyler is on the left.

New ruling gives hope to dredgers

A new ruling issued on Jan. 12 of this year is giving hope to suction dredgers that they will once again be able to ply their trade on California’s waterways.

Issued by San Bernardino County Judge Gilbert Ochoa, the decision builds on a previous ruling by a state appellate court in the case of People v. Rinehart.

In that case, Brandon Rinehart successfully appealed his conviction for suction dredging without a permit when the Third Court of Appeals for California ruled the trial …

Suspect in stolen car arrested in EDH

The pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in an arrest early Friday morning. According to the Placerville Police Department, the incident began at 1:23 a.m. Friday morning in the 300 block of Placerville Drive. An officer identified a 1998 Subaru Forester as one stolen from Pollock Pines and began a pursuit. The suspect fled to El Dorado Hills […]

Huntsman’s trial conference set for March

A trial-setting conference for Wayne Allen Huntsman, the man accused of starting the King Fire, was held on Friday, Jan. 23. Huntsman, 37, was indicted on Dec. 15 by a Grand Jury on suspicion of felony arson of forest land, with special allegations of arson with aggravating factors. The King Fire, which started Sept. 13 in Pollock […]

Dawn Cappell and Stacey Raye have the sweetest jobs

What happier profession could there be than to be a confectioner in one’s own candy shop? Such is the position that Dawn and Ryan Cappell find themselves in since October 2014, when they became the new owners of CandyStrike Emporium in Placerville. A favorite of anyone walking downtown, the store beckons with its vast display of delectable […]

Stumpy Meadows: Bathymetric survey plumbs reservoir

Two small spending projects were approved by the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District at its Jan. 13 meeting. A contract with Andregg Geomatics was approved for $17,960. The contract will pay to conduct a bathymetric survey of the Stumpy Meadows Reservoir. Because of damage to the Pilot Creek Watershed following the King Fire, […]

Eden Halbert focuses on four-legged clients

“It’s great working in something you love,” said Eden Halbert, owner of Sierra Dogs and Sierra Luna Photography, as she snuggled with her own two dogs plus the two adorable puppies she is currently training. On the Sierra Dogs side, Halbert offers in-home, cage-free dog boarding, certified dog training classes and puppy training camp. Her second business is taking heirloom […]

Controversy continues over death of Gen. George S. Patton

Even 70 years later, the death of Gen. George S. Patton remains controversial.

A person connected to the Mountain Democrat offers a different, insider’s perspective on the traffic accident that led to Patton’s death, disputing the controversy.

A brilliant and audacious warrior who was often called “old blood and guts,” Patton’s untimely death at the end of World War II resulted in speculation that he died at an assassin’s hand rather than because of an automobile accident.

It was the subject of several books. One published in 2008 was called “Target Patton,” by journalist Robert Wilcox.

Salmon expert eyes Cosumnes River

The El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited got some good news about fish restoration efforts at its Jan. 15 meeting. There to talk about efforts to improve the passage of fish up the Cosumnes River so they can spawn was Donnie Ratcliff, who is the assistant program manager of the anadromous fish restoration program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife […]

White Meadows continues King Fire recovery

Despite the devastating effects of the King Fire, clean up and recovery efforts continue in White Meadows.

That area suffered the most in terms of property damage with 12 homes and at least 57 buildings destroyed.

One of those families whose home burned was Michele and Doug Mudgett, whose ranch, Pacific House Farms, was in the path of the fire.

Their home, barn and much of the timber on their property was lost. They are now living in a small travel trailer on their property along with their …

Sen. Gaines talks regulatory reform: Highlights value of small businesses to chamber lunch

Touting the theme that “the private sector will lift us into prosperity,” state Sen. Ted Gaines touched on that subject and others when he spoke before the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. A small business owner himself, Gaines said he started out working in his father’s insurance agency right out of college. He still owns Gaines […]

Marshall employee retires at 87

It was cake and kisses for Gloria Baldwin, 87, as staff at Marshall Medical Center held a retirement party for her on Monday. The well-loved octogenarian is retiring after 37 years in the admissions department with her last work day being Jan. 17. A resident of El Dorado, Baldwin said she came to work for the hospital when she was […]

Mohr named to CPCSD

Margaret Mohr was selected to fill the vacancy on the board of the Cameron Park Community Services District on Wednesday night. The opening was created after Vicky Neibauer resigned in December. Mohr is the chief marketing officer for e.Republic. Her current duties with the company include company branding, external marketing efforts, public relation campaigns, developing advertising […]

EDH resident named Registrar

El Dorado Hills resident Cindi Christenson, 57, is the newly promoted Registrar of Contractors of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB). The Contractors State License Board is one of 40 bureaus, boards or commissions under the Department of Consumer Affairs. It is responsible for the licensing and regulating of 285,000 licensed contractors statewide, 2,540 of […]

Mosquito arranges coverage as chief leaves

A loud and, at times, argumentative audience confronted the board of the Mosquito Fire Prevention District on Thursday night as a third chief in less than three years announced he was leaving the district. This following the letter from Battalion Chief Chris Johns, who announced his retirement as of Jan. 10. Johns had served as […]

Small water leak repaired

A water leak on Woodridge Court in Placerville prompted some repair work by the El Dorado Irrigation District. According to EID, the leak occurred on a service line a week and a half ago that resulted in some temporary repair work. Permanent repairs were done on Wednesday, which required installing new valves. One resident on the street said […]

Mosquito losing another fire chief

Mosquito Fire Protection District is losing yet another chief with Battalion Chief Chris Johns retiring effective Jan. 10. Johns is the third head of the district to leave in a little over two years. Mosquito hasn’t had a permanent chief since Aug. 2013 when Bob Davis resigned. Interim Fire Chief Tom Stuart took over but left in April when […]

Beware of flu

While influenza activity in California and El Dorado County remains low, the Public Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency recommends taking time to get a flu shot. It also recommends taking preventative actions to stop the spread of germs that can cause either a cold or the flu and taking […]

Dry snow in season’s first survey

A small blizzard and sub freezing temperatures greeted Frank Gehrke as he conducted the first snow survey on Dec. 30 at Phillips Station.

Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey for the California Department of Water Resources, measured the depth of the snow at 21.3 inches. But with a water content of just 4 inches, Gehrke noted it was only 33 percent of average.

“While there is more snow than last year,” he said, “the amount of water in the snow is far below average for this time of year and location. But we’re doing slightly better than last year at this location when it was only 2.3 inches of water content.

No. 3: Drought hits state hard

It was another dry year in California in 2014 as it suffered its third straight year of drought with curtailments issued by the state on both water uses and water rights. In El Dorado County, residents had a daily reminder of the drought as the water level in Folsom Lake dropped so low people could walk out to the […]

No. 1: King Fire consumes a forest

El Dorado County suffered two major fires in 2014. The smaller of the two, the Sand Fire, broke out July 25, consuming 4,200 acres in the southeast end of the county. The community had barely recovered from it when a massively bigger conflagration, the King Fire, broke out less than two months later on Sept. 13 in Pollock […]

No. 6: Nutting out, Frentzen in as supervisor

El Dorado County was the scene of political turmoil in 2014 as a county supervisor went on trial, was removed from office on misdemeanor convictions and a new person elected to fill his unexpired term, with the deciding factor being where candidates stood on several big residential developments being proposed for the county. The drama began when Supervisor Ray Nutting, a four-term member of […]

No. 7: Ballot box planning nixed by voters

Developers and grassroots volunteers went head to head in 2014, floating competing initiatives and investing big bucks in an effort to influence El Dorado County’s future. Sparked by updates to the General Plan and proposals to build several large residential developments in the county, four different growth control initiatives were circulated by local community groups dealing with community region lines, […]

40 years: 40 objects celebrate Historical Museum

With this year being the 40th anniversary of the El Dorado County Historical Museum, what better way to celebrate than by highlighting 40 objects that best tell the story of the county and the museum.

The brainchild of museum Director Mary Cory, she said the inspiration came from a book she read about the history of the Civil War that was told through 50 objects.

“Quite a few books tell a story through objects,” she said.

Arranged chronologically or by theme, the first of 40 objects …

Reindeer mischief prompts display removal

A minor act of vandalism of Christmas decorations was reported in El Dorado Hills over the holiday. According to Mike Root, who owns a home on Phillip Court, eight or nine wire reindeers on his front lawn were twice moved and then rearranged in R-rated positions. He said the first time it happened was a week before […]

December 31, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

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