Julie Samrick

Meet Karen O’Donnell: Golden Hills’ head of school

As the new head of Golden Hills School, Karen O’Donnell can be seen most days mingling with the school’s junior kindergarten to 8th graders, nearly 200 students in all.  She already knows each child by name and on this day casually pops into classrooms to ask who’d like to be part of a photo-op. All […]

Oak Ridge students ‘tackle hunger’

Oak Ridge students spent last week spreading the message that people in our own community do, indeed, need help getting food on a daily basis. At halftime during Friday night’s football game against the Rocklin Thunder, the students’ three-day efforts in partnership with Rolling Hills Christian Church paid off when they presented a check for […]

Mormon Island Dam stabilization in final phase

The bulldozers smoothing out the downstream slope of the Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam mark the final, “permanent fix” in a 25-year effort to reinforce it. Visible from Green Valley Road, the 900-foot-long, 480-foot-high Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam is one of four dams and eight dikes that make up the larger system of Folsom Dam. “Most […]

Second initiative takes aim at growth

One week after Rural Communities United filed the county ballot initiative “Fix Highway 50 Traffic First/Keep Us Rural,” residents behind the Shingle Springs Community Alliance (resident opposition to the proposed San Stino and Tilden Park development projects) filed “Protect Rural Communities/Fix Community Region Line Flaws,” which RCU spokesman and Measure Y co-creator Bill Center said might confuse […]

Grace Foundation still waiting for a resolution

The footprints of countless volunteers and ebullient voices of children are all but gone though 127 horses and more than 80 other four-legged friends still live at The Grace Foundation, a 600-acre animal rescue and equine therapy ranch off Latrobe Road. Things are hardly back to normal since the foundation briefly closed and then reopened […]

Gay Berge lives by Golden Rule

In the nearly 30 years she’s been a Realtor, Gay Berge has never forgotten what it’s like to be the customer. “I live by The Golden Rule,” she said. “I’m a strong Christian and I believe if you do unto others as you would have them do unto you then you can’t go wrong.” Berge […]

Lean in for Shari Merle’s sound financial advice

After 27 years in the business, Shari Merle never tires of her job as a certified financial planner. The branch manager of LPL Financial in El Dorado Hills says educating clients about the importance of understanding their financial situations and saving for retirement is what makes her tick, especially when it comes to women. Merle […]

Boy’s leukemia fight continues

Since his cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2012, third-grader Shane Rogers, of El Dorado Hills, and his family have kept their eyes on the prize — stay the course and knockout leukemia one strong punch at a time.

Back pain during a family reunion led to the shocking news the otherwise vibrant boy had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia — a cancer of the white blood cells where excess lymphoblasts overcrowd the bone marrow. Mom Kristen Rogers explained though Shane has crossed a grueling, physical fight of one battle, they’re barely midway through the war.

“Leukemia is different than other cancers,” said Rogers. “You can get it to go away …”

Resident beautifies New York Creek Trail over 25 years

Jim Miner recently strolled through his spacious backyard on a warm January afternoon. He crossed a barely bubbling New York Creek still within his property line and pointed to how high he’s seen the water rise in the years he’s lived in his home on Tam O Shanter Drive. Miner knows just where the invisible […]

White bestowed section’s AD honor

EL DORADO HILLS — The California State Athletic Directors Association recently named Oak Ridge High’s Stephen White the 2013-14 Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year. He was nominated and selected by his peers from approximately 150 schools for the honor. White has taught and coached at Oak Ridge since 1994. Before becoming athletic director 10 years […]

Oak Ridge brings holiday cheer to sister school

For the fourth straight year, Oak Ridge staff and students worked to make the holidays brighter for Oak Ridge Elementary students in Sacramento. In partnership with the Be Change campaign, which secures funding for kids in the tough Oak Park neighborhood and promotes the self-reliant message of hope through the theme Be the change you […]

A salon with style

Chances are you or your neighbor get coiffed at the newly named Salone di Carlo, formerly the Hair & Spa Boutique on the corner of St. Andrews Drive and El Dorado Hills Boulevard. New owner Carlo Gallad has cut hair in El Dorado Hills since moving here from the Bay Area in 2001. He recently […]

EDH School takes on Hour of Code

Rolling Hills Middle School students joined school children globally Friday, Dec. 13, as they participated in the Hour of Code, a challenge to get 10 million children worldwide to spend one hour learning about computer science. Getting 1,025 students logged on to the same site at the same time to learn computer code was the […]

EDH woman tackles cancer with a party

Less than three months ago Diana Fontana’s breast cancer diagnosis came as a shock to everyone, especially her. The El Dorado Hills stay-at-home mom is a licensed registered nurse with what she called zero risk factors. “I eat right, I exercise, I’m not overweight,” she said. “I’ve learned 85 percent of women with new breast […]

Oak Ridge launches new sports facilities

EL DORADO HILLS — Oak Ridge High unveiled its exciting new athletic additions Monday, underscoring the school’s vision to be a premiere high school in California. The $4 million athletic renovation to its gym, weight and wrestling rooms are just one component of that larger goal. “To be ‘the best in class’ there are four […]

Dr. Bertsch giving smiles in and out of dental office

In 1990 Dr. John Bertsch was a young dentist looking for a place to settle and open his new practice. The Lodi-born, Roseville-raised Bertsch was struck by El Dorado Hills’ combination of small town atmosphere with a growing population and he settled when there were only two dentists in town at the time. He married […]

Hacienda dog park open

After seven years of planning, fundraising and watching their beloved community of canine friends grow from pups to middle age, “grey in their muzzle” companions, the El Dorado Dog Owners Guild can finally celebrate an off leash dog park in Cameron Park, the first on the western slope of El Dorado County.

Ground broke Nov. 11 and a fence was installed later that week on the half-acre site in Hacienda Park, located at the northeast corner of Cameron Park Drive and Hacienda Drive.

“Thank you to Golden State Fence that gave us such a fabulous deal with superior products and an amazingly efficient work crew,” said …

Scout builds outdoor classroom

Golden Hills students and staff recently recognized an alum who never forgot his years at the El Dorado Hills school. Jonathan Heideman of Boy Scout Troop 193 recently built an outdoor classroom there for his Eagle Scout project. The Jesuit high school sophomore attended Golden Hills School from kindergarten through eighth grade and described the three […]

Solar power gains favor — safety, aesthetics still being debated

California leads the nation in the total number of solar-powered homes. This year Lancaster became the first U.S. city to require new homes to average at least 1 kilowatt of solar power each. The El Dorado Hills Community Services District Covenants, Code & Restrictions Committee has seen an upswing in solar requests too and the […]

Windsor Point Park officially open in EDH

Community leaders, a fire engine and even cupcakes made an appearance at the Nov. 7 Windsor Point Park ribbon cutting ceremony in El Dorado Hills, but a pick-up soccer game really got the kids’ attention. The newest El Dorado Hills Community Services District Park on the corner of Francisco Drive and Schooner Drive had been […]

Blues and Brews to build park

Saturday evening, Nov. 16, the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills will present its fourth annual Blues and Brews celebration to honor veterans and raise funds for the planned 1.2-acre Veteran’s Memorial Park at Promontory Park in El Dorado Hills. Leah Tysse Band will headline the event. A Midwesterner, Tysse got her first gig as “the […]

CEDAC-EDH launching community survey

Upwards of 60 El Dorado Hills residents attended the newly formed El Dorado Hills Community Economic Development Advisory Committee’s general meeting last Tuesday to discuss what was called a historic opportunity to shape the future of El Dorado Hills. “Our task is to bring you into the fold so your voices are heard,” said CEDAC-EDH zoning […]

Don’t forget your CC&Rs

More than 20 percent of exterior home projects aren’t reviewed or approved by the El Dorado Hills Community Service District’s Design Review Committee so the group’s kicking off a “Did You Know” campaign to spread the message — it’s worth it to follow procedure. “Basically anything that would impact the exterior of your home and […]

Group petitions for new EDH charter school

They have a site, a plan and plenty of passion, yet a group of parents and educators wait to hear whether the Buckeye Union School District will welcome their petition to create a new charter Montessori school. Lakehills Covenant Church in El Dorado Hills offered to house the first through eighth-grade school to be named […]

Tablets aid ORHS students

During a recent lesson on enzymes, Oak Ridge science teacher Casey Rhyan stood in the back of his second period biology class acting more as coach than lecturer. Students worked with their own Samsung Galaxy tablets, engaged as they conducted research and worked at their own pace as part of Oak Ridge’s blended learning pilot […]

Hands4Hope opens new headquarters

In the five years since Hands4Hope-Youth Making a Difference was founded, members have met in borrowed spaces like the Raley’s Community Room, Nugget Conference Room, or the El Dorado Hills Fire Station. “This worked for us for the first three years and then it started getting tough to find meeting spaces big enough and that […]

Niello Concours showcases cars and fashion

The 10th annual Niello Concours at Serrano celebrates the Marque of Rolls-Royce and 50 years of Lamborghini and the Porsche 911 but these beautiful cars won’t be the only things to catch visitors’ attention. A James Bond-inspired fashion show is creating buzz as the must-see portion of the Sunday, Oct. 6 event. “The exciting thing […]

Mote family healing, helping soldiers

In the year since the death of their beloved son and brother Marine Staff Sgt. Sky Mote, the Mote family has had to come to terms with the painful details surrounding Aug. 10, 2012. Serving his third tour of duty, Sky, 27, worked for the Marine Special Operations Command in Afghanistan and trained local police […]

EDH development discussion coming up; ballot measures planned

When the Board of Supervisors hosted a workshop to discuss growth in the county, so many people turned out Supervisor Ron Briggs opened the meeting with a joke about calling the fire marshal. “The room was overflowing,” said Ellen Van Dyke of the Green Valley Alliance, a coalition of local residents concerned about easing congestion […]

Bass Lake for sale?

The El Dorado Irrigation District could sell Bass Lake and approximately 141 acres surrounding it to the Rescue Union School District for a future school site, according to the Bass Lake Action Committee. “The parties may be close to inking a deal,” the committee’s August bulletin states. “The EID Board declared Bass Lake and the […]

Two long-awaited county dog parks opening soon

It’s a good month for local dogs and their owners. Not only will the El Dorado County Dog Owners Guild host what they call “the most fun event for dogs of the year,” they’ve announced two off-leash dog parks are close to opening. Dogs and their families can enjoy the fifth annual Pooch Plunge & […]

Oak Ridge gym expanding

Oak Ridge High School staff and students return this August to the sounds of the school bell and hammers as a construction crew transforms a large portion of the school’s athletic wing into what new Principal Paul Burke calls “a phenomenal athletic facility.” One wall of the large gym has been torn down to bump it […]

Helping to make the world better

What: Fourth annual benefit barbecue Who: Human Concerns Ministry at Holy Trinity Parish Where: Holy Trinity Parish social center, 3111 Tierra de Dios Drive, El Dorado Hills When: Saturday, Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $13 per adult and $7 per child or $45 for a family of five or more Information: Joe and Julianne Kurowski didn’t […]

EDHCSD, employees reach impasse after negotiations

The majority of 23 El Dorado Hills Community Services District union employees showed solidarity by attending the board meeting July 11. The union and CSD declared impasse June 28 after the two parties couldn’t agree on the new employee contract that was to go into effect July 1. Several employees voiced their frustration that the […]

Construction starts on Sienna Ridge Road

Many drivers pass right by Sienna Ridge Road’s inconspicuous northern entrance off Bass Lake Road in El Dorado Hills, but soon that entrance will be moved to extend a new, realigned section of the roadway eastward from Serrano Parkway. Serrano Associates began the planned realignment of what was formerly known as Old Bass Lake Road […]

Rush success quite a rush for 50/70 team

EL DORADO HILLS — The El Dorado Hills Little League 50-70 Rush squad had quite a summer in winning the District 54 and Section 4 crowns earlier this month. Claiming the section title sent the Rush to the Nor Cal Divisional Tournament in Chowchilla last week where they  finished with a 2-2 record in the double-elimination […]

EDH senior center celebrates

Seniors enjoyed a celebration luncheon Friday, June 28 to commemorate seven years since the Ramona “Moni” Gilmore senior center opened its doors on June 30, 2006. Days later the festivities were capped with a sweet ending many called long overdue: a prominent sign formally recognizing Gilmore was installed out front at 990 Lassen Lane in […]

Enjoy a spectacular time in Cameron Park

What: 14th annual Summer Spectacular Who: Cameron Park Community Services District Where: Cameron Park Lake, 2989 Cambridge Road in Cameron Park When: Saturday, June 29 from 2 p.m. to dark Cost: Wristbands in advance are $3, children 6 and younger are free Information: Visit or call 530-677-2231 Be dazzled at the 14th annual Summer Spectacular presented by the Cameron Park Community […]

Burger Hut back in town

To the delight of many, Burger Hut is back nearly three years after abruptly closing its doors even when business was thriving. El Dorado Hills residents and owners, Bill and Tammy White, patiently waited for the reopening as well. Without going into too much detail, Bill said they want to move on from the rent snafu […]

No layoffs at Rescue; teachers seek first raise in seven years

Fourteen Rescue Union School District teachers will not lose their jobs and every teacher in the district will receive a cash bonus. Superintendent David Swart released a statement stating: “On Tuesday, April 23, the Board of Trustees of the Rescue Union School District held a special meeting to consider approval of a Tentative Agreement with […]

Rescue parents oppose layoffs

Emotions ran high at last week’s Rescue Union School District board meeting where parents and teachers implored the five-person board not to lay off more teachers, but instead spend some of the district’s surplus funds to save jobs and give all teachers a pay raise. Fourteen of the lowest tenured, or non-tenured, teachers in the district received pink […]

EDH woman marathoner was 50 feet from explosions

Running the Boston Marathon had been a lifelong dream of El Dorado Hills resident Amy Dolley. “Seventeen years ago when I married my husband, Craig, we planned to leave straight from our April wedding for the marathon,” she said. “But it never happened.” This year, she finally fulfilled that dream. Dolley, 46, qualified to run […]

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