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Friday, April 18, 2014
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Author Archive: Mountain Democrat

Retain Joe Harn as auditor

Whether it’s $150 haircuts for welfare recipients or secret pay raises for some favored appointed department head, we have always counted on El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn to bring these government misdeeds to light. When Supervisor Charlie Payne disappeared from office, moving to Honduras with his girlfriend, Harn stopped his automatic check deposit and […]

Retain Bill Schultz as Recorder-Clerk

Periodically someone thinks it might be worth a shot at running for election against Recorder-Clerk Bill Schultz. As usual they waste their money paying the filing fee. This year’s competitor, who registered to vote in late February, was too busy to appear at the first candidates’ forum sponsored by the Tea Party in the Hills. […]

DA Pierson has been outstanding

The man with a last name for a first name and a first name for a last name will not be on the ballot. We are talking about Judson Henry, who showed up to register to vote two days before the deadline to file candidacy papers for the position of district attorney. An obvious stalking […]

Cancer center vital resource

April 8 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors was at loggerheads over whether to give $800,000 or $500,000 to Marshall Medical as it seeks tobacco settlement funds to help with its $8 million renovation and equipment upgrade for its cancer treatment center in Cameron Park. The county has $1.2 million of tobacco settlement funds […]

Save small farms by reforming them

Greg Prada has been attacking agriculture water rates long before he was elected to the El Dorado Irrigation District board. Though he toned his rhetoric down during the election, since taking his board seat in December 2013 he has continued to speak out against the Small Farm rate, claiming customers on the Small Farm rate […]

A water rights deal

Ever since the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors agreed in 1957 to let the Sacramento Municipal Utility District take possession of water rights to the Upper American River Project, El Dorado County has been trying to get that 40,000 acre-feet of water SMUD promised to us from the penstock of the White Rock Powerhouse. […]

Drought lingers

Drought conditions still prevail, but it is not the killer drought of 1975-77. The real deficit was the warm December-January when short-sleeved shirts prevailed. In December 2013 the Mountain Democrat rain gauge measured 0.10 inch and the average daytime temperature was 67. In January, we measured 0.75 inch of rain and the average daytime temperature […]

Ashworth best for judge, Office 1

Having interviewed all three candidates for Superior Court Office 1, we are confident any one of them would make a good judge. But for the person who would make the best judge, we recommend Vicki Ashworth. Mrs. Ashworth, a deputy district attorney with 16 years experience as a prosecutor, handles a couple hundred cases at […]

Hoffman for judge, Office 5

There are two candidates for Superior Court Judge, Office 5. One is a court commissioner, primarily in South Lake Tahoe and apparently performing that function well. The other is attorney Joe Hoffman, 44, who in 2012 came very close to unseating a recently appointed judge. We endorsed Joe Hoffman then and we endorse Joe Hoffman […]

Shock in Frisco

Doing a bill search for Sen. Leland Yee and typing in guns or weapons doesn’t turn up a lot. He had a bill that proposed expanding the definition of assault-style rifles already banned in California. Included in this definition are replaceable magazines for both rifles and pistols that hold more than 10 rounds. The legislation […]

April 02, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

A great achievement

Many of our readers may know about Independence High School in Diamond Springs. It is accessed through the same driveway as the Mother Lode Lions Hall off of Missouri Flat Road. Its campus is situated along Pleasant Valley Road. Independence High is a place where students go who may have missed some school because of […]

EDUHSD evolving

El Dorado Union High School District isn’t standing pat. The latest advance by the district with four comprehensive high schools is to add an engineering curriculum to Union Mine High School in El Dorado. It is a gradual process in completing the curriculum. It started by applying for and being accepted to Project Lead the […]

Courts complimented

We were impressed to hear that the Superior Court of El Dorado County has worked out a joint court with the tribal judge from the Shingle Springs Rancheria. One judge from each jurisdiction will sit together for child welfare, family court, domestic violence, juvenile matters and substance abuse issues concerning tribal members. The two judges […]

Measure G supported

Measure G is for Georgetown. More precisely, it is for the Georgetown Library. And we support libraries. So has the Georgetown Divide. Twenty years ago, two-thirds of the Divide residents voted in favor of a parcel tax that kept the Georgetown Library open five days a week. It is strictly used on the Georgetown Library […]

Keep the rails

A March 10 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court may have a profound effect on the 26-mile railroad corridor El Dorado County owns jointly with Folsom. The 8-1 decision essentially confirmed what the U.S. government had argued 70 years earlier. That argument, which the government recently tried to weasel out of, was that the General […]

Time to get real

It’s time for President Obama to stop putzing around and take Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously. Stop the silly talk about seizing the Crimea being a 19th century action. It happened. Russia took it and now Putin is calling Kiev “the mother of all Russian cities.” “We are one nation,” Putin said Tuesday. Putin also […]

Income matters

On March 10, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors, on a split vote, approved a power connection agreement with PG&E for a mini-hydro project that will substitute a generator for a pump in a pipeline serving Water Tank 7. The net income from the project will depend on which method of power sale […]


In the March 17 article “Cal Fire fee bills due to arrive,” instructions on which organization to file an appeal with were incorrect. Appeals should be sent to the state Fire Prevention Fee Service Center, not the state Board of Equalization. Full instructions can be found at

A dry year

So far the rain year that began July 1, 2013, and will end June 30 is looking like a year for the record books. The most recent rainfall figures from the Mountain Democrat rain gauge show 14.46 inches. Keep in mind, that up till now the lowest annual rainfall in 139 years of Mountain Democrat […]

DST a menace to society

We blame Richard Nixon. The president who brought us the Endangered Species Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, wage and price controls as well as Daylight Saving Time. He also darned near brought us a health care law similar to Obamacare. He used the IRS to […]

Innovation vs. inanity

Four elected department heads are facing challengers in the June 3 primary and four are unopposed. However the election turns out, one thing remains constant for us. Elected department heads remain more responsive to the public, do a better job of adhering to their budgets and are leaders in innovation. For budgeting we particularly cite […]

All for us, none for you

The Friday Mountain Democrat carried a story about the IRS and the U.S. attorney in Sacramento indicting an El Dorado Hills man for alleged tax evasion. “The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system. We should not expect the honest […]

Who’s the real neo-Nazi?

Russian President-for-Life Vladimir Putin is now claiming neo-Nazis are a threat to Ukraine. Swastikas have been painted in synagogues, though Jewish leaders are ascribing this to Russian provocateurs. Russian protesters in the eastern Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Kharkiv that have beaten Ukrainian supporters and taken over buildings are reported to have accents indicating they […]

Rain watch

Three days of rain is an encouraging way to start off the month of March. Here’s hoping for a March miracle. A miracle would be rain like we saw Jan. 1, 1997. That produced a 500-year flood event. Water from the North Fork of the Cosumnes River ran over the Bucks Bar Bridge and water […]

Survey no suprise

The survey results from El Dorado Hills are no surprise. Most folks there want more public open space and parks. At the same time they think El Dorado Hills has enough houses. But there is an inherent contradiction here. There are two kinds of open space. First, there is open space that is somebody’s private […]

Crony capitalism

Every day thousands of vehicles drive on Latrobe Road between the highway offramp and White Rock Road. Each day they go by a large building with landscaping and a well-manicured lawn. That large single-story building has been empty for about a decade. It once was home to a manufacturing company that made plastic cases for […]


Well, I walked through the jungle and around the bend Who should I meet but President Diem Said, you’re fighting to keep Vietnam free For good old de-em-moc-ra-cy (Diem-ocracy) — Talking Vienam Blues by Phil Ochs Here’s the new take on that 1964 excerpt, updated for 2014. We’ll call it the “Talking News Blues,” a […]

A sad case

Kent Maloney was taken into custody Jan. 28 for a two-year prison term. He had embezzled $200,000 from the Lions Education Foundation over seven years. Until this crime came to light, Maloney had a sterling reputation in the community. A certified public accountant, he had originally been in partnership with the late C.S. Nicholas, then […]

Time to act fast

The governor and the leaders of the Assembly and state Senate announced drought plan legislation Wednesday afternoon. There aren’t bill numbers attached to it yet, but there is a figure: $687.4 million. The breakdown that is key for El Dorado County is $549 million from “accelerated expenditure of voter-approved bonds, Proposition 84 and Proposition 1E, […]


Two issues emanating from Washington, D.C. are troubling. First, is a letter from three Democratic senators and one Demo representative calling on the Federal Trade Commission to save us from outlet malls. They are claiming outlet stores are pulling the wool over the consumers eyes by making them think they are getting top-quality merchandise marked […]

Grid danger

For those who didn’t catch the well-researched article in the Feb. 5 Wall Street Journal, or its summary on Fox News, the electrical power grid may be under direct threat, and not just from cyber attacks. What the WSJ found from public filings that recently became available is that on April 16, 2013, someone removed […]

FAA roadblock

The Federal Aviation Administration is standing in the way of progress and taking too long to write rules about things it should have minimal, if any, say over. Case No. 1 is aerial drones used by real estate photographers that don’t go any higher than 500 feet. Real estate photographers use balloons or mini-blimps that […]

How to save water

When the El Dorado Irrigation District asked its customers to reduce water use 30 percent many customers thought EID would be checking their meters and making a list of who’s naughty and nice. Put your mind at ease. That ain’t going to happen. No. 1, they only have enough staff to read them every other […]

Thirsty future?

January looked like one for the record books when last week we looked at it in this space, but decent rain at the end of the month left the month with a total of 0.75 inch. That is more than the 0.62 inch recorded in January 1977, the final drought years. It is more than […]

Nancy Fay Clampitt

Oct. 2, 1955 — Jan. 25, 2014 Nancy is survived by her husband of 18 years, Chris; and her parents Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Rowe. She was a longtime resident of Kyburz and widely loved by her neighbors. She enjoyed may outdoor activities like camping, fishing and kayaking with her husband. She also loved […]

Plan now for water saving

From the documents the El Dorado Irrigation District produced for its revenue-saving refinancing comes a list of the district’s largest customers. The list also serves as a blueprint for saving water. There is little prospect of saving water this year, except through the individual efforts of its customers. But that doesn’t mean EID shouldn’t plan […]

A water-saving ag practice

UC Cooperative Extension alerted us to a way to save some water and improve soil conditions. Since 1999 UC researchers, farmers on the west side of the valley and Natural Resource Conservation Service conservationists studied cotton and tomato production by comparing fields with cover crops and no tillage to fields with standard tillage. Applying 8 […]

Save our plastic bags

Another bill, Senate Bill 270, is making its way through the Legislature to ban free plastic bags. It’s the San Francisco disease. They want to charge us all 10 cents apiece whether its plastic or paper. By the way, since San Francisco’s plastic bag ban went into effect there have been five to six more […]

Target shooting

Who would have thought simple target shooting could play a role in California’s economy? Well, according to a new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in California target shooting-related spending contributed $1.5 billion to the state’s economy and supported 12,046 jobs. The report, dated 2012, covered statistics from 2011. It was released Jan. 24 […]

Ad tax insanity

Democrats never saw a tax they didn’t like. To translate that from the double negative, Democrats love to tax us. In 1969 there were 155 high-income taxpayers who found enough deductions to not pay any income tax. So Congress enacted a millionaire’s tax called the Alternative Minimum Tax. Since then it managed to suck in […]

Toxic cloud

The Pacific Northwest experienced a “cloud” of radiation after Japan’s monster tsunami sent three units of a power plant into meltdown following the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku magnitude 9.0 earthquake. That was pretty tame compared to what China has been sending us via the atmosphere — air pollution. It’s been going on for some time […]

Drought or no drought?

An examination of the Mountain Democrat rainfall records for the past 139 years finds no precedent for this year’s pathetic precipitation to date. To recap the rain year that began July 1, 2013, September recorded 0.11 inch of rain. That is not an unusual figure for September, which has averaged 0.54 inch and had zero […]

Another stab in the back

In the 2012 presidential election the IRS managed to stifle a whole raft of Tea Party groups throughout the country by stalling on their application for 501(c)(4) status. The IRS would ask endless bizarre questions and then never deny their application so they could not appeal. No decision, no appeal. When this hit the news […]

‘A stone of hope’

Today we celebrate the 85th birth date of Martin Luther King, Jr. Whenever you say that famous name, we immediately think of two things — his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” and the “I Have a Dream” speech. Aug. 28, 2013, was the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech given at the […]

Get off the fence

Newly elected Director Dale Coco has been stymieing the El Dorado Irrigation District board’s effort to elect a vice president. His consistent abstain vote has left the board deadlocked between new Director Greg Prada and first-term Board President Alan Day who want Dr. Coco as veep and Directors George Osborne and Bill George who want […]

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