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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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; […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 …
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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. […]
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 […]
Fed up with what they say is a lack of representation and infringement on their liberties, several hundred people attended a townhall meeting Feb. 28 at which El Dorado County residents were asked to leave California and form a new state called Jefferson. Sponsored by the Tea Party in the Hills, the meeting’s primary speaker was Siskiyou County resident […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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), […]
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 […]