1 2 3 5

John Poimiroo

California Rambling: El Dorado explorer

Jedediah Strong Smith spent much of his short life blazing trails throughout the West, though — considering the times in which he lived — he would have never imagined how his accomplishments are remembered, 185 years later. Each day, thousands walk, cycle, ride and run along the 32-mile Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, also known as the American […]

California Rambling: I Have a Dream

American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson is said to have called out to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. interrupting him as he neared the end of his prepared speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, “Tell them about the dream!” Speaking to more than 250,000 civil rights supporters, Dr. King had just called […]

California Rambling: No pizza, no fries

Ski and snowboard instructors at El Dorado County’s Sierra at Tahoe are no longer emphasizing pizza, fries and floating leaves to describe skiing and boarding positions. Instead, they’re using specially sculpted slopes to teach skiing and snowboarding, intuitively. For years ski instructors would describe the triangular shape of a slice of pizza to instantly communicate […]

California Rambling: Christmas arrives early in the Sierra

El Dorado County’s ski areas unwrapped an early Christmas present this autumn, experiencing their best start in a decade. “So far, it has snowed at least once a week,” said John Rice, general manager at Sierra at Tahoe. Rice shares an “optimistic” outlook for this year’s ski season with Kevin Cooper at Kirkwood and Cassandra […]

California Rambling: The Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas songs are heard in every shop during this season of giving. One of the most familiar is the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s a cumulative song, meaning that each verse builds upon the previous verse(s). We all know the gifts given by “my true love” in the song, starting with a partridge in a pear tree […]

California Rambling: Mormon Island

By the end of this winter, it may be another 60 years, or longer, before Mormon Island is seen again. For the past three years, Folsom Lake’s water level has been so low due to the drought that the dismantled Gold Rush-era town’s exposed foundations became one of the most popular attractions in El Dorado […]

Veteran of the Year: Joe Whiten gives back to vets on the green

El Dorado Hills resident and U.S. Army Reserve veteran Joe Whiten combined his passions for golf and helping veterans to create the Serrano Salute to Valor Golf Tournament that in the past two years has raised nearly $52,000 for military veterans.

For what he has done to help veterans, Whiten will be named El Dorado County Veteran of the Year today at Veterans Day ceremonies held at 11 a.m. at the El Dorado County Veterans Monument, 360 Fair Lane in Placerville.

California Rambling: Stolen valor

On Veterans Day (Wednesday at 11 a.m.) county residents will gather at the Veterans Monument at the El Dorado County Government Center in Placerville to remember the sacrifices of those who served the cause of freedom. They are the men and women who answered the call and served in our nation’s armed forces. Every veteran […]

California Rambling: Trick or Treat

I can’t remember us ever pulling a trick if we didn’t get a treat when we were kids. I don’t suppose that happens much today, either. Kids just go to the next house when a neighbor runs out of candy or turns off the lights. Some things about Halloween never change, though much has. Halloween used […]

California Rambling: Auto Shop

The slang used by teenagers 50 years ago mostly described relationships, fashion, insults and cars. Today’s socially connected teenagers have lots of words about relationships, but very few about cars. I discovered this when compiling a list of teen slang (then and now) for my high school reunion. I couldn’t find a single word now […]

California Ramblings: Outdoor World

Why would anyone need camouflage underwear? I asked myself that as I stood surrounded by displays draped with camouflage shirts, pants, coveralls, jackets, long johns, knit caps, T-shirts, sweaters, ghillie suits, vests, gloves and hats in the hunting apparel department of Bass Pro Shops’ new Outdoor World in Rocklin. Clearly, Johnny Morris knows something about […]

California Rambling: Autumn just seems early

Autumn seems to have arrived a little early, this year. You may not have seen the change where you live, though those living at the highest elevations of the eastern Sierra began noticing leaves changing from green to lime to yellow, and in many cases falling from branches, by mid August. Willows living in the […]

California Rambling: The Queen of Sin

She was so famous for being successful that she became infamous. Maria Gertrudis Barceló was of such exceptional beauty, independence, charm, intelligence and industry that few in the early 19th century quite knew how to categorize her. So, she was wrongly vilified as a courtesan, called “the Queen of Sin,” accused of “ill-gotten” fortune and said […]

California Rambling: Less is more

Like Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, the accident-prone handyman in the 1990s TV sitcom “Home Improvement,” the error most binocular buyers make is demanding “more power.” Vickie Gardner, vice-president of Stuff at Alpen Optics, a California-based binocular producer says buying too much binocular is the biggest mistake first-time buyers make. “People often think they need the highest […]

California Rambling: Missouri’s Bull Run

Time ran out for Nathaniel Lyon, 154 years ago, next Monday. As commanding general of the United States’ Army of the West, based in Springfield, Mo., Brig. Gen. Lyon had been running out of time since taking command in May. Missouri was neutral when the Civil War began four months earlier on April 12, 1861, […]

California Rambling: Americans, ugly or not?

In Eugene Burdick’s 1958 novel, “The Ugly American,” a fictitious Burmese journalist says, “For some reason, the (American) people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves […]

California Rambling: Southern California’s Lake Tahoe

Northern California has Tahoe, and Southern California has Big Bear. Though Big Bear Lake is a reservoir (created in 1884 by damming seven-miles of the San Bernardino Mountains’ Bear Valley) and Lake Tahoe is a natural Sierra Nevada basin, the two mountain lakes and their resort communities have much in common to compare and study. […]

California rambling: Feeding time

What is it about feeding time at a zoo that is irresistible? The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens lists a couple of dozen keeper talks on a busy day; many include a feeding. Fascinated zoo goers line enclosures to watch keepers measure mackerel to penguins at Penguin Island, toss apples to bears at Hearst Grizzly […]

California rambling: Surprising Branson

Branson may be the bowl of kettle corn you’ve put off tasting. However, once you do, odds are you won’t be able to put it down. What makes Branson (population 10,000) so tantalizing is its down-home authenticity. Branson is located in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri near the Arkansas state line. This is a […]

California rambling: Summer camps

Summer began this past weekend for many residents of El Dorado County. They went camping, had backyard barbecues and sunbathed by the water. Though in reality, summer doesn’t begin officially for another 28 days. However, you can’t convince a kid that summer won’t arrive for almost another month. After all, graduation ceremonies have been happening […]

California rambling: Capture California: Taliesin West

America’s best-known architect had, at the age of 70, become ill. Frank Lloyd Wright had contracted pneumonia and a doctor advised his wife, “If you take Frank out of those bitterly cold Wisconsin winters and move to Arizona, you will prolong his life by twenty years.” So, in 1937, Wright began searching for desert property […]

California rambling: Evergreen Lodge a new type of Yosemite accommodation

It’s not every day that a decision to establish a youth employment program leads to the creation of one of the most successful businesses in its area, but that’s what happened at Evergreen Lodge outside the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park. The lodge is the creation of Lee Zimmerman, Brian Anderluh and Dan Braun, […]

California Rambling: Play ball!

The joyful call, “Play ball!” has just returned to Major League Baseball parks across our nation, though it was being shouted a month ago at Spring Training camps in Arizona and Florida. If you’ve never been to Spring Training and you enjoy baseball, attending spring training is an experience to add to your life’s list […]

California rambling: The Rhônes of Pleasant Valley

Wine has been made in El Dorado County since the start of the Gold Rush, though it took until the 1970s to discover that Pleasant Valley, southeast of Placerville, is ideal “terroir” for Rhône style wines. These are the wines made in southeast France’s Rhône River Valley, from Côte Roti south to the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape. […]

California Rambling: Vitamin S

There’s a healing property in the Sierra Nevada that John Rice, general manager at Sierra-at-Tahoe, calls “Vitamin S.” “I believe in Vitamin S,” he said. “Whatever ails you, Vitamin S helps in so many ways.” Rice is speaking about the therapeutic effect that skiing and snowboarding has on people. He said it’s more than just […]

California Rambling: Carnaval de Québec

We Californians don’t know winter. Yes, our Sierra Nevada gets 400 inches of snow on average, but that doesn’t mean we know winter. We travel to the mountains for short escapes to play in the snow, then scurry back to our homes at lower, warmer elevations. A 40-degree day is often the coldest winter day […]

California rambling: Watchable wildlife

A famed BBC naturalist once described California (before the Mission period) as the Serengeti of North America. California’s Great Central Valley was populated with vast herds of elk and antelope. Families of ferocious grizzly bears feasted on game and salmon and steelhead that teemed in its mighty rivers. Its blue skies were filled with millions […]

California rambling: Final Honors

While serving as a Navy Ensign in Washington, D.C., many years ago, I was assigned collateral duty as a Casualty Assistance Calls Officer. In the Navy and Marine Corps, CACOs are those military officers who, with a chaplain, must notify next of kin that a service member has died. The duty involves informing the service […]

California Rambling: Rarest of the rare

Inside a “sea blue” metal building beside the Cameron Park Airport, 15 craftsmen restore U.S. Navy WWII warbirds that truly are the “rarest of the rare.” Currently being restored at Vultures Row Aviation are a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber, the bomber that won the battle of Midway; a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, the Navy bomber […]

California Rambling: ‘Go All In’

Meghan Trainor’s hit song, “All About That Bass” has double meaning for the employees at Heavenly Mountain Resort who, while riding chair lifts, sing “bass” as a homophone for “base.” With 32 inches of packed powder (at deadline) Heavenly is all about that base. The ski area is also all about who Trainor’s song appeals […]

California rambling: Aspirational inventions

A childhood dream became realized while exploring the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, recently. There, resembling a tail-less, aluminum, dragonfly on the exhibit floor was a United Helicopters Commuter (UH-4). Produced in July 1946, this compact, personal helicopter was the concept of aviation pioneer Stanley Hiller Jr. and industrialist Henry Kaiser to allow anyone […]

California rambling: Bracebridge Dinner

Beginning Saturday and continuing for 13 nights, California’s most storied holiday pageant and its associated free concerts will fill the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park with music and pageantry as sublime as the natural beauty surrounding the hotel. Bracebridge Dinner is a holiday event unlike any other. It is a three-hour performance and banquet at […]

California rambling: Cooking the bird

You would think that 393 years after the first Thanksgiving dinner was held, Americans would know the best way to prepare turkey. Though each year it seems a new method is announced with its inventor declaring it to be the best way yet to cook a turkey. We all know the traditional roast turkey. It’s […]

California rambling: Playland-Not-At-The-Beach

Amusement Parks were not places for children in the early 1950s. At least, that’s what my mother believed. On trips to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, my sisters and I would stare out the window as mom’s Oldsmobile would roll slowly past Whitney’s Playland-At-The-Beach. We were seduced by the cackling of Laffing Sal, an animated papier […]

California rambling: Skiing and snowboarding with benefits

Being loyal has benefits, particularly when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. Ski areas used to compete with one another for a skiing and riding public that was expanding, but for the last few decades skier and snowboarder visits have been declining. Last winter, 56.2 million skier visits occurred at U.S. ski areas, according to […]

California rambling: Discovering Iceland’s Westfjords

Iceland’s Westfjords, an area of mythic beauty discovered by Norse settlers 1,140 years ago, is now just being rediscovered by leisure travelers. Until two years ago, this remote, northwest edge of Iceland, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus of land and populated by small fishing villages, lonely sheep farms and millions of nesting […]

California rambling: The Shelties in our lives

Joan and I have had seven Shetland sheepdogs live with us, during in our marriage. Heather was our first Sheltie, a sweet though terminally timid sable-colored puppy that was my Christmas gift to Joan when we lived in Tahoe City in 1974 (we’d been married four years, but military service, graduate school and relocations kept […]

California Rambling: Taking notice of autumn

Next week, California changes seasons, but most Californians won’t even notice. September 23 is the first day of autumn, though it’s a day largely ignored by Californians, most of whom have never considered that the state has any other season than summer. What a shame, for California’s other seasons are truly glorious. Winter glistens with […]

California rambling: Taking notice of autumn

Next week, California changes seasons, but most Californians won’t even notice. Sept. 23 is the first day of autumn, though it’s a day largely ignored by Californians, most of whom have never considered that the state has any other season than summer. What a shame, for California’s other seasons are truly glorious. Winter glistens with […]

1 2 3 5

Special Publications »

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.