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Richard Esposito

Publisher’s Ink: Debates expose the talking and walking dead

Fans of “The Walking Dead,” a popular AMC series, are being treated to an exciting sixth season. The non-stop action in this zombie apocalypse mini-series keeps viewers riveted to their seats. On the opposite side of the television spectrum we have the presidential debates where viewers last Saturday night were treated to a scene of the […]

Publisher’s Ink: This workshop is just window dressing

Marshall Fields department store on State Street in Chicago was always a favorite destination during the Christmas holidays. People waited in line down the sidewalk for an entire city block just to stroll by the store’s windows. Parents with children in tow gazed in awe at the holiday decorations, including tiny villages with Christmas lights, […]

Publisher’s Ink: Newspaper editors of special note

Time marches on and after 164 years the Mountain Democrat named Noel Stack its newest editor. She becomes the 20th person in our history to hold that title. Having worked with Noel these past six years, I’ve come to appreciate her talents and newsroom savvy. I selected her knowing she’ll move our newsroom forward in […]

Publisher’s Ink: Trump touching a nerve and making people nervous

Political pundits, pollsters and the old guard of the Republican Party are shocked by the resilient support businessman Donald Trump is receiving. “He’s touching a nerve in the country” has been the most recent explanation by his rivals and the media. Could that be the same nerve that propelled Republicans to sweep elections in 2012 […]

Publisher’s Ink: Playing chess in Placerville

It was hard to miss the “Going out of Business” advertisement for Evergreen Footwear Store appearing in this newspaper last month. It’s something everyone hates to see. Much changed since Judy Stanfield took over the shoe store in 2002. Online shopping took a bigger slice of her retail pie. According to Judy, it wasn’t uncommon to […]

Publisher’s Ink: Grave robbing — no shovels required

Victor Frankenstein, the young student of science portrayed in Mary Shelley’s novel, was on a quest to create life. The movie based on Shelley’s work depicts Frankenstein robbing graves in search of human body parts to use in his scientific experiment. The result of his endeavor was an 8-foot creature stalking the countryside and terrorizing […]

Publisher’s Ink: To the back of the bill Mr. Hamilton!

It’s nice to see our federal government hard at work tackling worrisome financial issues. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is soliciting public feedback to determine which woman to place on the $10 bill. An election year is just around the corner. From 1886-1891 Martha Washington’s portrait appeared on the $1 silver certificate. A picture […]

Publisher’s Ink: Got water? I’ll drink to that.

As Ag Tours go, this year’s topic and agenda was most enlightening. Attendance was a tad lower than previous Ag Tours I’ve attended. This was likely the result of including only one wine-related venue on the tour. Participation always seems to increase in direct proportion to the number of wineries visited. This year’s theme “Got […]

Publisher’s ink: The ‘WMD’ has been located — it’s in Chicago

After several failed attempts purchasing subway passes, my wife and I were aided by a friendly Chicago Transit Authority employee. Trying to navigate the subway token vending machine was more difficult than traversing the city and its outlying neighborhoods. “I hope that was the most challenging part of our visit,” I stated as we boarded […]

This drought emergency is ‘nuts’

“This executive order is done under emergency power. It has the force of law … It affects lawns. It affects people — how long they stay in the shower. How businesses use water.” — Gov. Jerry Brown So there you have it. Our drought-time governor has officially declared an emergency. We’re still in a drought […]

Publisher’s ink: This logic went out the window years ago

The best four words a father hears from his child are “Dad, I love you.” The second best four words this father heard recently from his daughter were, “I GOT A JOB!” It’s been three months since our youngest excitedly gave us the good news. I decided to wait the customary 90 days before sharing […]

‘Kid Obama’ down three rounds — world title fight continues

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. — William Shakespeare To Shakespeare the world was a stage. Today, in the throes of war and terrorism, it resembles one […]

Publisher’s ink: Was this trial all for ‘Nutting?’

Now that the dust has settled following the trial of Supervisor Ray Nutting, many readers are wondering what cost to county taxpayers was spent on this losing endeavor? Losing you ask? Wasn’t Supervisor Nutting found guilty of something? Let’s see. District Attorney Vern Pierson charged Supervisor Nutting with four felonies and at the end of […]

Publisher’s ink: In search of another parking space

There are approximately 2,038 road miles between Placerville and Chicago. When you factor in four miles needed to locate the historical Wyoming Frontier Prison at Rawlins, Wyo., five miles searching for an Outback Steakhouse in Cheyenne, and two extra miles including an illegal u-turn at Gallally, Neb. (missed the exit for the motel), the total […]

Publisher’s ink: ‘Bear Killer’ vs ‘Kid Obama’ — Round one goes to Putin

With the closing of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin has cast his sights on Ukraine. Political upheaval in that strategically important country gives Putin an opportunity to move Russian troops onto the Crimean Peninsula. This is all under the guise of protecting Russian citizens living and working in the country. President […]

The ‘State of the Mountain Democrat’

I was recently invited to speak to the Pollock Pines–Camino Rotary Club. It’s always enjoyable to break bread (or in this case a breakfast Danish) with business leaders of this small but highly respected service club. It’s amazing what 16 Rotarians can accomplish. One of their key projects is to provide free dictionaries to students […]

Publisher’s ink: Puppies, cats and pork chops

Our oldest daughter called me the other day. It’s always nice to hear from her. Now that she has a full-time job and is officially off my payroll, her incoming text messages and phone calls are that much more enjoyable. Actually with this particular call she was reaching out to her mother. “Looking for mom?” […]

Publisher’s ink: All dams leak

“All dams leak” were three interesting words I heard prior to taking a tour of the inside of Norris Dam located at Norris, Tenn. This dam was the first one constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933. While it’s not the largest of the TVA dams, standing 265 feet below it gives one […]

Publisher’s ink: Polar vortex is vexing

As temperatures plunged below zero last week, people across many parts of the country were forced into survival mode. The report from our older daughter living and working in Chicago was as follows: “It’s so cold outside my eyes hurt.” Not quite sure what this meant so my advice to her was to keep them […]

Publisher’s ink: President Houdini inspires 2014 predictions

Another year has passed, as if acclaimed magician Harry Houdini waved his wand across the calendar while reciting a few mystical words and the past 12 months just went …“poof!” Houdini, “The Handcuff King,” master illusionist and grand entertainer, thrilled his audiences with feats of magic. Obviously this talent isn’t a lost art. Our present […]

Publisher’s ink: Christmas memories in the ‘clutch’

By the time anyone gets around to reading this column our family will be gathered by the Christmas tree opening presents. Of course our greatest gift is having both our daughters home for the holidays. It’s a time for sharing joy, good food and making new lasting memories. Christmas memories… Like the year we decided […]

Publisher’s ink: Davey ‘Doc’ Wiser is our living history

On Oct. 26, 1881 at approximately 3 p.m., an event occurred that would be long remembered across the country. Four of the men involved would become infamous and the community to this day is still recognized for this single action that depicted what living in the west was all about. It wasn’t the discovery of […]

Publisher’s ink: ‘Paper or plastic’ might be dumped

“Will that be paper or plastic?” the grocery store clerk asked. Years ago brown paper bags (or sacks as some folks refer to them) were the only game in town. Growing up in our household, we saved our paper grocery bags. We re-used them to line the kitchen trash container. And at the beginning of […]

Publisher’s ink: What’s a parade without an ark?

This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. — Genesis 6:15 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, […]

Publisher’s ink: Fiscal cliff-hanger looms as parties posture

Just when you thought it was safe to resume normal life after the election, we’re now facing what could be a crisis of epic proportion. The countdown to the nation’s “fiscal cliff” is winding down. The “fiscal cliff” is what we’ll fall over if the Bush tax cuts don’t get extended and automatic spending cuts […]

Publisher’s ink: Location, location, location

When the Key West Citizen newspaper relocated from the heart of “Old Town” to the less commercialized side of the island in 1988, they had much working in their favor. Property values in the Florida Keys were running higher than the national average and this daily newspaper was sitting on almost a half-block of prime […]

Publisher’s ink: Read dog food labels carefully when dieting

Since gaining weight I’ve been more inclined to reading the labels on the back of cans. Knowing the ingredients helps in reducing those unwanted and unsightly pounds. On one particular can I found it included fish broth, peas, spinach and sunflower oil. All these appeared to be healthy foodstuffs — for a dog. Ollie, our […]

Publisher’s ink: Ammo Depot just a ‘sign’ of the times

School officials with the El Dorado Union High School District shot themselves in the foot after making the decision to turn over Ammo Depot’s sign on the Ponderosa High School stadium scoreboard. The advertisement was purchased by the Rancho Cordova business to promote the store and help sponsor the school’s football program. Brandon Lungren is […]

Publisher’s ink: ‘Big Mitt’ feeling Chicago-style heat

With calls for presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns one might suspect the candidate has more to hide behind his wealth. Just how much is this Republican contender worth? And how much does (did) he pay in income taxes? The clamoring from the left would lead one to believe Mitt […]

Publisher’s ink: A hero comes home

Nothing written in today’s column could lessen the pain the family of Staff Sgt. Sky Mote has experienced. The loss of a loved one is hard. But losing a son in the prime of his life must be unbearable. Sgt. Mote’s death brings a distant military campaign closer to home. It reminds us of nine […]

Romney playing defense in the Olympic sport of politics

Despite last week’s Rasmussen poll showing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama by five percentage points, his chances of winning are slim. Here’s one reason why. During Romney’s stopover in Great Britain he was asked a question regarding preparations for the British Olympics. “There are a few things that were disconcerting,” Romney […]

960 hours and counting

The stench from the criminal actions of former Placerville mayor and city councilman David Machado still lingers. It wasn’t enough his plea bargain netted him 960 hours of community service time to be spent in sunny Mexico — as he preferred. Now there’s a new twist. Machado was last seen managing the efforts of the […]

Publisher’s Ink: Machado pays the price … doing time in Mexico

The dark cloud wafting over Placerville will likely remain there a while longer now that former mayor and city councilman David Machado received his slap on the wrist. After pleading guilty to three counts last week including a felony count of conspiracy to commit an act injurious to public health, one misdemeanor count of conspiracy […]

From Day to Knight

As elections go, incumbent El Dorado County Supervisor John Knight’s loss to newcomer Ron Mikulaco for the District 1 Supervisor seat was quite a surprise. People across the county are still talking about it and what it means to the district. Knight outspent Mikulaco 4-to-1 yet it wasn’t enough to retain his seat. So what […]

Measuring the value of wine, wood and water

Miraflores Winery was the final stop on this year’s Ag Tour. Now in its 48th year the Agriculture Tour continues its mission of providing awareness of the importance of agriculture to El Dorado County. The event was sponsored by Agricultural Council of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, Apple Hill Growers Association, El Dorado […]

Publisher’s Ink: Finally … taking the reins of Facebook

Well, I’ve done it. I finally succumbed to the peer pressure. I’m now on Facebook. Just to clarify. It was the technical savvy of daughter No. 2 that made it all possible. Without her help I would still be staring at Facebook’s introduction page. With the recent media hype over Facebook’s IPO stock offering and […]

This wolverine stuff(ing) is hard to make up

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) becomes uneasy when she enters the office parlor of the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 suspense/horror film Psycho. The ominous scene of stuffed birds staring down from the walls gives us a glimpse of Norman Bates, the character Anthony Perkins portrays. Stuffing things, especially birds, was Norman’s pastime. And his […]

Publisher’s Ink: This joke is on us

The joke: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The punch line: “To get to the other side.” Everyone’s heard the joke and the multitude of answers to the basic question. Now it seems the joke’s on us as we’ve changed from chickens crossing the road to deer and other wildlife. With the construction of […]

Publisher’s Ink: Bracing for a new war — on real working women

Another new war has been declared. Republicans, according to Democrats, are now waging a war on women. This battle started when Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal revealed cuts for Planned Parenthood primarily those targeted at providing free contraceptives to women. President Obama’s forces were already retreating from a skirmish involving his healthcare initiative mandating religious […]

Facing death with the help of hospice

Standing in the doorway of my parent’s garage I embraced my mother for what seemed like an eternity. Deep down inside I knew (and perhaps she as well) that difficult days lay ahead. It was during this visit that I realized how much pain she was experiencing. Unbearable as it was she still refused to […]

Struggling to live while facing death

Grace walked into the Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida with her newest hard cover puzzle book featuring an assortment of mind benders and Sodukos. Working crossword puzzles helps pass the time and at age 69 Grace’s skill level is ranked somewhere between amateur and professional. On this particular day, Grace would […]

Highway 50 toll road — then and now

Motorists traveling on Highway 50 may not understand the historical relevance of this, the first state road authorized on March 26, 1895. Back then it was referred to as the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. The 58-mile span of road from present day Newtown Road to the Nevada state line was a toll road until 1886. […]

Canine dental care giving me a toothache

Sobbing from examination room No. 2 at Sierra Animal Hospital reminded my wife and me that pets, like all other living things, don’t live forever. Moments earlier, a gentleman carrying his dog in his arms joined his wife in the room and the door closed behind him. The sobbing from inside the room brought tears […]

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