Michael Raffety

GDPUD down to 1 treatment plant operator

GEORGETOWN — The lure of higher pay has whittled the number of water treatment plant operators at the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District from three to one, General Manager Hank White reported to the Board of Directors Nov. 8. Besides technical education, it requires two years full-time on the job to become certified as a […]

Chlorine gas gone from Camino water plant

CAMINO — The chlorine gas cylinders were removed from Water Treatment Plant No. 1 Oct. 13. That coincided with the shutdown of the El Dorado Canal as Flumes 39 and 40 are reconstructed. Replacing the chlorine gas that was used to kill off germs in the water will be a chlorine bleach called sodium hypochlorite. […]

Weather stats 11-9-11

Placerville Weather Statistics Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date Rain Nov. 1 0.00 Nov. 2 0.00 Nov. 3 0.00 Nov. 4 2.60 Nov. 5 0.00 Nov. 6 0.27 Nov. 7 0.10November rainfall to date 2.97 138-year average rain for month of November 4.37 138-year average […]

Lake levels 11-4-11

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Nov. 4, 2011 Elevation (feet) 424.41 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 564,900 58% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 560 Outflow 2,435 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011 Elevation (ft) 3,457.81 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 32,961 80% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 20 Outflow […]

Weather stats 11-4-11

Placerville Weather Statistics Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 9  a.m. on last date listed. Date  Rain Nov. 1 0.00 Nov. 2 0.00 Nov. 3 0.00 Nov. 4 2.60 November rainfall to date 2.60 138-year average rain for month of November 4.37 138-year average cumulative total through November 7.14 Season rain total […]

Belltower: Unusual Pissarro paintings collected from around the world

To see this many paintings of Impressionist Camille Pissarro in one place one would probably have to go back in time to the 19th century and visit his studio. Currently on display through Jan. 22 at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, “Pissarro’s People” includes paintings not exhibited in decades plus a revealing anarchist […]

October weather stats

Placerville Weather Statistics Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date Rain 1-Oct 0.00 2-Oct 0.00 3-Oct 0.00 4-Oct 0.00 5-Oct 0.00 6-Oct 2.75 7-Oct 0.19 8-Oct 0.00 9-Oct 0.00 10-Oct 0.00 11-Oct 1.55 12-Oct 0.00 13-Oct 0.00 14-Oct 0.00 15-Oct 0.00 16-Oct 0.00 17-Oct 0.00 18-Oct […]

Lake levels 11-1-11

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Nov. 1, 2011 Elevation (feet) 425.87 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 577,400 59% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 748 Outflow 2,545 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Oct. 27, 2011 Elevation (ft) 3,458.37 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 33,245 81% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 12 Outflow […]

EID crew rebuilding 2 flumes

Four regular construction crew members and four temp workers are busy hammering away at 336 feet of wooden flumes the El Dorado Irrigation District is rebuilding from the ground up. They began Oct. 3 and by Oct. 26 had all the framing in place. The EID construction crew is rebuilding two flumes, identified as Flumes […]

Small turnout for EID workshop

CAMERON PARK — On a night that saw the Texas Rangers take a 3-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, El Dorado Irrigation District General Manager Jim Abercrombie had a quiet evening at the Cameron Park Community Center. He came to explain the newly completed Cost of Services study and answer […]

EID hydro revenue strong this year; will help pay bond early

In a mid-year update of the El Dorado Irrigation District’s two-year budget, Finance Director Mark Price reported that hydropower income was so strong that he suggested putting $2 million in an escrow account to pay off a bond coming due in 2012. That recommendation won a unanimous endorsement from the Board of Directors Oct. 24. […]

Wild tag for Upper Truckee in hibernation

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Supervisor Norma Santiago sought a board resolution to support designating the Upper Truckee River in the Meiss Meadows area a Wild and Scenic River. But in the end she moved to table the issue at the Oct. 11 meeting of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting in the South […]

Lake levels 10-13-11

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Oct. 13, 2011 Elevation (feet) 436.94 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 677,300 69% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 1,447 Outflow 4,133 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Oct. 13, 2011 Elevation (ft) 3,459.47 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 33,933 83% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 11 Outflow […]

Weather stats 10-13-11

Placerville Weather Statistics Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date  Rain 1-Oct 0.00 2-Oct 0.00 3-Oct 0.00 4-Oct 0.00 5-Oct 0.00 6-Oct 2.75 7-Oct 0.19 8-Oct 0.00 9-Oct 0.00 10-Oct 0.00 11-Oct 1.55 12-Oct 0.00 13-Oct 0.00 October rainfall to date 4.49 138-year average rain for […]

TMDL is an $11 million acronym

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — TMDL, which stands for Total Maximum Daily Load, is one expensive acronym. It refers to limiting the amount of sediment going into Lake Tahoe. Enforced by the Lahontan Water Quality Control Board, it is estimated to cost El Dorado County $11 million, according to Supervisor Jack Sweeney. “I’m thinking we’re wishing […]

Meyers dump nears completion

The Meyers dump off Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe is being capped with a porous geotechnical material. Completion is expected by Oct. 15. The project, which included excavating the old dump, covering it and installing an 800-foot-long French drain, originally was estimated at $5.5 million, but during a recent tour of the site El Dorado […]

New project planned on Mo. Flat Rd.

Combining three parcels into a 4.32-acre commercial development at the northeast corner of Misouri Flat and Forni roads is the sole item on the El Dorado County Planning Commission’s Oct. 13 agenda. Developer Grado Equities plans 30,572 square feet of commercial buildings on the property. The square footage includes a two-story mixed-use professional office/retail building, […]


A front page story Friday about Councilman Dave Machado incorrectly stated he faces federal charges. He is not federally charged. He had been charged by the El Dorado County District attorney with alleged violations of state laws.

Belltower: U.S. ambassador returns to Libya

I read a brief little notice Friday that the U.S. ambassador to Libya had returned to Tripoli, reopened the embassy and raised the American flag. Before even arriving he had held a conference call with 150 U.S. companies interested in doing business in Libya. The item was of particular interest to me because I attended […]

‘Innovators of the year': Mountain Democrat Website gets top honors

The redesigned Website based on an open architecture won “Innovators of the Year” honors for the digital publishing team serving the Mountain Democrat and the three other major newspapers owned by McNaughton Newspapers. “Judges from the Suburban Newspaper Association praised the use of open-source software to produce both the newspaper and the Website and described […]

Thousands of volunteers clean up Sierra rivers

AUBURN, Placer Co.  — About 2,000 volunteers collected approximately 36,000 pounds of trash, appliances, car parts and other debris during the third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup Sept. 17. The event, which was sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, includes a growing list of 50 partner organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada.  (A full listing can […]

Amenities highlight Eskaton Village and Lodge

Eskaton Village Placerville, now in its fifth year of operation at the end of Blairs Lane off of Broadway, features amenities for both its lodge residents and the single-family residences’ homeowners association. The Community Center has exercise equipment, a pool table and a heated indoor pool and a large meeting room. In the summer the […]

Robinson’s Medical Equipment & Supplies has it all

Not only has Robinson’s Medical Equipment and Supplies moved into its own store in the appropriately named Robinson Plaza, but it is celebrating 30 years in business. The medical supply store advertises more than 10,000 items to choose from, but the latest innovation is one of its most popular — the portable oxygen concentrator. For […]

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HearingMed Hearing Center improves your communication

Located in the Safeway Shopping Center off Missouri Flat Road, the HearingMed Hearing Aid Center is more than a hearing aid store. “We offer hearing solutions, not just hearing aids, said owner Mark Moore. “We help people communicate better.” “A hearing aid device is 60 percent of the solution,” Moore said. HearingMed also has computer […]

Diamond Springs mobility keeps people moving

Diamond Springs Mobility is a full-service medical equipment and supply business. Their power mobility includes backup safety features. The most popular equipment sold or rented is the power scooter, said sales manager Linda Soto. The business will rent equipment by the week or month, especially with the power scooter. Diamond Springs mobility offers a wide […]

Ike Rahimi is full-service dentist

Dr. Ike Rahimi doesn’t just fill cavities and install crowns. He is a full service dentist. He does root canals, tooth extractions and implants. If a tooth has to be removed you don’t have to make do with a gap or a partial bridge. That tooth can be replaced with a titanium implant and a […]

GDPUD managers form bargaining unit

The theme of Directors Kathy Otermat and Bonnie McLane to cut employee expenses got cut from the agenda Sept. 13 after management employees delivered a formal petition to form a bargaining unit of management and confidential employees. “We are asking under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act,” said Operations Manager Steve Gau as he handed the petition to […]

GDPUD worried about water rights

Since the Delta Planning Council took in the entire watershed when it began its environmental impact report earlier this year, water districts with “area-of-origin” water rights have looked at this state-created agency with fear and loathing. Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Sept. 13 had enough fear to kick in $2,000 to help the Mountain Counties […]

GDPUD ranked high for big grant

GEORGETOWN — The third round of funding from the Proposition 50 drinking water and beach bond lists Georgetown Divide Public Utility District in the No. 2 position. No. 3 spot is held by the powerful East Bay Municipal Utility District. GDPUD General Manager Hank White informed the board  earlier this month about A $2 million […]

Audience critiques GDPUD board

GEORGETOWN — The open forum session at the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District meeting Sept. 13 began with critiques leveled at the Board of Directors. “The benefits of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District were negotiated over 30 years,” said Erika Bachmann. “Now that times are difficult two directors want to eliminate them entirely. The […]

Belltower: Every art show is an education

My wife and I really enjoy going to art museums — whether it’s in La Jolla, Santa Barbara or the two Getty museums in Malibu and Los Angeles. When we travel to another state or abroad we always pick out ahead of time the art museums we plan see and make sure they will be […]

EID GM says gadfly misguided

During the 10 months that the Cost of Service Ccommittee met with El Dorado Irrigation District Manager Jim Abercrombie, one person was consistently on the losing end of 9-1 votes. Without Cameron Park resident Greg Prada’s “no” vote the committee would have been unanimous as it plowed through financial minutiae to assign costs to EID’s […]

EDH board to work with Skeel

Skeel is off the suspension skid. The El Dorado Hills Community Services District Board of Directors has decided to work with John Skeel, recently hired as general manager of the CSD. Skeel had started with the district Jan. 4 , but was suspended with pay and booted out of his office June 20. Following a […]

EID cost study in flux

A Cost of Service Study that came from a committee and a consultant has pointed toward a rate structure that would assign 50 percent of the revenue to base rates and 50 percent toward consumption charges. EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie called this the Canadian method. After looking over detailed spread sheets dividing up costs […]


In an Aug. 17 story about the recovery of Angora Creek Hannah Shembri of Lahontan Water Quality Control Board staff said vegetation management projects under 500 acres go to TRPA for review. However Doug Smith, manager of the Lahontan Planning and Restoration Division, said Shembri was “unaware of the recent court ruling requiring all vegetation […]

EID board unanimous on new map

With four alternative redistricting maps to study since its last meeting Aug. 8, it didn’t take long for the El Dorado Irrigation District to decide on one map Monday. The unanimous choice Aug. 22 also won universal praise from the three audience members most interested in redistricting. Despite the 5-0 vote for Alternative 6, Board […]

South Tahoe Public Utility District modernizing

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe Public Utility District is in the process of modernizing its wastewater treatment system. It is building an $8 million replacement for its headworks plant that was built in 1959. The headworks is where the sewage first arrives and hard trash that winds up in sewer systems is sorted […]

School consolidation advances to the final four

The movement to consolidate elementary school districts came down to the final four Monday evening as the four school boards simultaneously convened special sessions at the El Dorado County Office of Education. By the end of the evening Aug. 15 almost two hours later there was a general nodding of heads when El Dorado County […]

GDPUD scopes out GIS mapping

GEORGETOWN — GIS mapping of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s pipelines, meters, lift stations and other facilities attracted seven bidders with a wide price range. The lowest bid was $65,000 and the highest was $344,000, General Manager Hank White told the Board of Directors during a meeting earlier this month. “We’re working up a […]

Unpaid utility bills head for tax rolls

Unpaid water or wastewater service bills from the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District are heading for the El Dorado County tax rolls as a lien against the property. The list of 71 unpaid bills ranges from $13.10 to $1,312. Three are more than $700. Thirteen are higher that $250. Seven are higher than $109. “This […]

GDPUD in line for hydro bucks

The Georgetown Divide Public Utility District may be in line for some free hydro power income. The Board of Directors heard a presentation from NLine Energy chief executive officer Matthew Swindle Aug. 8 when he told them his firm could generate 1 megawatt per year from three siphons in the GDPUD water system. NLine came […]

Creek recovering from Angora Fire

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Lahontan Water Regional Water Quality Control Board, which has been monitoring Angora Creek since the devastating June 24, 2007, fire gave a largely upbeat report to the El Dorado County Water Agency Aug. 8. The weather was a major factor in mitigating the potential runoff from the 3,000-acre high-intensity fire. The […]

Shark week at GDPUD

It looked like Shark Week at the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District when the Board of Directors continued its budget cutting discussion Aug. 9. On the list of cuts targeted by at least two directors are capping medical insurance costs to the district at $500 monthly per employee, eliminating all dental, optical and life insurance […]

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