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Special to the Democrat

Memorial Day Ceremony somber and celebratory

There are approximately 17,000 veterans in El Dorado County, and when the community gathers to honor the fallen, military families and service members show up in droves.

The El Dorado County Veterans Monument Memorial Day Ceremony took place on Monday, May 25, hosted by the Friends of the Veterans Monument at the El Dorado County Government Center off of Ray Lawyer Drive in Placerville.

My turn: Let’s talk about water rates

Let’s talk about water rates. I have recently had the great pleasure of working with Mary Fleming from an organization called the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC). This company receives funding from the State Water Resources Board to help small agencies such as the GDPUD complete tasks like complying with Prop. 218, allowing the district […]

Charles Krauthammer: You want hypotheticals? Here’s one

Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it’s the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who’s in charge — while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America’s alleged strategy for […]

Ponderosa team riders finish second in state

LOS OLIVOS — The Ponderosa High mountain bike team took second place at the California State Championship held at Los Olivos Dirt Park last weekend. Almost 800 racers representing 111 teams endured the hilly and dusty course under ever-changing partly cloudy skies. The three year-old Bruins team earned its second consecutive second place finish at the State […]

John Stossel: Dr. Capitalism

For years, my scientist brother Tom was the nonpolitical Stossel. I defended free markets on TV, and he studied blood at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Mom asked me when I’d get a “real job” like his. Then the crusade against capitalism reached his world. Medical “journalists” demanded that corporations distance themselves from medical […]

Taking action with skin cancer on the rise

By Family Features With the return of warmer weather and longer days, it’s good to remember that temperatures aren’t the only thing on the rise. Skin cancer rates continue to increase and cause more deaths each year, with one in five Americans expected to develop skin cancer in a lifetime. Despite progress in the fight […]

My turn: Fresh food and fresh air: The latest healthy heart recommendations

By Lynn Norton, MS, RD Barton Health In January 2015, new studies in the Journal of American College of Cardiology and JAMA Internal Medicine discussed heart disease. Some findings are familiar: Poor diet, an inactive lifestyle, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and obesity are all linked to heart disease. But another risk factor is gaining attention: […]

Mark Shields: Surviving Graduation Day

It’s graduation time once again. And by some unwritten but strictly enforced law of nature, every graduation must have a speaker. Before I gave my very first graduation speech, some 25 years ago, I was frankly nervous. But the advice of a priest friend calmed me down. Remember, he counseled, that the role of the […]

2016 Mazda 6: Premium economy

By Mitchell Weitzman Let’s be clear on this, buy a new Mazda 6 and you won’t be disappointed. It’s possibly the best car in this heavy segment of boring and bland mobile human-transporters, and for many good reasons. If you’re on your way now to pick up a new Camry, you ought to be kicking […]

Charles Krauthammer: Save Obama (on trade)

That free trade is advantageous to both sides is the rarest of political propositions — provable, indeed mathematically. David Ricardo did so in 1817. The Law of Comparative Advantage has held up nicely for 198 years. Nor is this abstract theory. We’ve lived it. The free-trade regime created after World War II precipitated the most […]

My turn: ‘The Balancing Act’ versus reality about Terri Daly

This is an expedited and abbreviated followup to a series of articles by Larry Weitzman and a recent letter to editor in the Mountain Democrat. I’ve just rushed posting one key graph of basic county data for net position, revenues and expenses onto, more will follow later as my personal time permits. The short […]

Busy year for Delta Kappa Gamma

El Dorado County, Epsilon Chi members of Delta Kappa Gamma have had an enjoyable year with a wide variety of programs that focus on their international goals of promoting the professional and personal growth of key women educators. Delta Kappa Gamma is an international honor society with 84,000 members in 18 countries. In early September […]

Buckeye School student earns third-place award

An excitement exhibited by Julie Olsen’s fourth-grade class at Buckeye School in Shingle Springs to enter contests resulted in student Hannah Elzinga capturing third-place in a statewide farm water contest. This year marks the 16th year that the California Farm Water Coalition has sponsored the statewide contest that is open to all fourth graders. “The […]

Mark Shields: Voters prefer governors over senators for White House

In the past 94 years, American voters have elected a total of two United States senators — John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Barack Obama — president. By contrast, before Obama, four of the past five men elected to the White House — Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — were […]

Mother Lode captures state title

SAN DIEGO — The Mother Lode Rugby Club JV squad won the California State Championship in San Diego last Saturday with a 10-6 victory over the Coastal Dragons from San Diego. The win capped an undefeated season which included wins over local powerhouses Jesuit and Granite Bay en route to a Northern California Championship, an […]

Charles Krauthammer: Free Willy!

We often wonder how people of the past, including the most revered and refined, could have universally engaged in conduct now considered unconscionable. Such as slavery. How could the Founders, so sublimely devoted to human liberty, have lived with — some participating in — human slavery? Or fourscore years later, how could the saintly Lincoln, […]

John Stossel: Hillary’s armor

“This vast right-wing conspiracy,” Hillary Clinton said, “has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced.” That was the “feminist” first lady’s response when her husband was accused of having sex with a 21-year-old. Bill was more lawyerly. He said things like, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” […]

My turn: Fight for our area of origin water

Ever since James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, El Dorado County residents have battled for water and water rights. It’s as much a part of our history and our legacy as the Gold Rush, the timber industry and Apple Hill. Water, flowing through the tailrace of Sutter’s lumber mill, exposed the nugget […]

Bruins repeat as NorCal champs

BOGGS MOUNTAIN — The Ponderosa High mountain bike team rode to victory at the last race of the season for the NorCal high school race series held at Boggs Mountain State Forest last month. The victory captured the championship for the Bruins’ team for the second consecutive year. Thirty three Division II teams competed in the NorCal race series […]

Charles Krauthammer: Men wielding power in hellish times

“Wolf Hall,” the Man Booker Prize-winning historical novel about the court of Henry VIII — and most dramatically, the conflict between Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More — is now a TV series (presented on PBS). It is maddeningly good. Maddening because its history is tendentiously distorted, yet the drama is so brilliantly conceived and executed […]

My turn: While lake clarity results are positive, new challenges loom

The University of California, Davis and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency recently released their yearly water clarity readings for Lake Tahoe. The good news: Mid-lake water clarity improved significantly in 2014, with an average reading of 77.8 feet. That’s 7.5 feet greater than the average reading for 2013, and almost 14 feet greater than the […]

Mark Shields: Wisconsin’s semi-favorite son

MADISON, Wis. — Why, during a recent visit here — while asking some trusted Wisconsin sources for their candid assessment of Scott Walker, the state’s governor, an undeclared but leading 2016 Republican presidential candidate — did I keep thinking about a conversation I’d had 17 years ago with one of my favorite American politicians and […]

Helm in Australia’s Ironman

Former Dry Diggins swim coach Daniel Helm, a 1982 El Dorado High graduate, arrived Monday in Australia to compete in Sunday’s 2.4 mile swim/112 mile bike ride/26.2 mile run Australia Ironman, 20 years after competing in his first one and 10 years after leaving the sport. Helm’s first Ironman in the land down under occurred in 1995 […]

Teaching youth an appreciation for wildlife biology

Wildlife tracking By Shelly Blair Wildlife biologist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, North Central Region It is approaching Thursday, April 16 and I am readying equipment for tracking deer. My capture pack is prepared, deer gps/satellite collars tested and working, receivers charged and antennae cables packed. Hobbles — check, eye covers — check, antlers […]

My turn: What you should know about your water district

There are a few issues about your water district that you all need to know. We (Georgetown Divide Public Utility District) are a single-source water district with no connections to any other source of water. Our one and only reservoir is Stumpy Meadows. Stumpy holds approximately 20,000 acre-feet at capacity. In a typical year there […]

Celebrating 90 years of working and giving

Anton “Tony” Schuh has lived in El Dorado County on the Georgetown Divide for almost 34 years and is turning 90 on May 3. He hand-built the Sierra Pines Mobile Home Park and has given so much to family and friends and to the residents of the park. Family and friends are giving him a 90th […]

Community participation, water and marijuana topics of RCC meeting

By Meg Anderson Democrat correspondent Representing three local governmental entities, the guest speakers at the recent meeting of the Rural Communities Coalition included Supervisor Michael Ranalli, Sheriff John D’Agostini and Wendell Wall and Darrell Creeks representing the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. The RCC looks at issues that impact the economy of the Divide and […]

John Stossel: Freedom of and from religion

Religious oppression was one reason many of our ancestors came to America. They wanted to escape rulers who demanded that everyone worship their way. In Ireland, Catholics couldn’t vote or own a gun. I assumed that because many of America’s founders came here to escape such repression, they were eager to allow religious freedom in […]

Changing it up in 2015: Home and Garden Show

By Kathy Jurgens This is the year to “change it up.” And what is “it” you ask? It could be your home, your health regime, attitude, anything. We at the El Dorado County Home and Garden Show have made a lot of changes this year, like free admission and live music just to get started. […]

Laut state’s best in pole vault

GRASS VALLEY — The Oak Ridge varsity boys, varsity girls, and Frosh/Soph boys were victorious over host Nevada Union last week. Valuable points were earned by athletes in running and field events. Several obtained personal records in their events. Competing in the shot put and discus, Jack Root  placed first in both events. His 51-0 […]

Campaign finance reform

  First place essay By Riley Wilson Golden Sierra High School Our government has built-in checks and balances to help assure our political systems are fair. When there has been an imbalance, a constitutional amendment has been drafted, voted for and enforced. We have an imbalance in our system right now. Excessive private funding of […]

Bruin bikers extend lead

PETALUMA — The Ponderosa High School mountain bike team rode to victory at the first-ever NorCal high school race held in Petaluma last weekend. The victory extends the Bruins’ team lead in the 33-team race series with one race remaining. Second place is held by the Spartans, a composite team of local riders, with the Reno/Tahoe […]

John Stossel: Bake me a cake, or go to jail!

Sadly, that is the new message from “inclusive” America. If you don’t want to cater, photograph, preside over, sell pizza at, sell flowers to or otherwise participate in a gay wedding, you will be punished. If you don’t want your business to pay for a kind of birth control that you consider murder, you will […]

Charles Krauthammer: The Iran deal: What we’ve given up

“Negotiations … to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability …” — Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, The Wall Street Journal, April 8 It was but a year and a half ago that Barack Obama endorsed the objective of abolition when he said […]

Mark Shields: Stop invoking Reagan; start heeding him

It was not a pretty sight. Republican officeholders in Indiana and Arkansas, having been charged by not just their political opponents but also their strongest corporate allies (think Walmart and NASCAR) with damaging the states’ images and the business climate by passing legislation to effectively give legal sanction to discrimination against citizens who are gay, […]

John Stossel: The next bubble

They’re doing it again! When the last housing bubble burst, politicians blamed “greedy banks.” They said mortgage companies lent money recklessly, making loans to people with dubious credit, for down payments as low as 3 percent. “It will work out,” said the optimistic bankers. Regulators didn’t disagree. Everyone said, “Home prices will keep going up.” […]

Mark Shields: Drop-out from the Electoral College

In the cliffhanger presidential election of 1976, when Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford, the Republican president, the margin of victory in 20 states (totaling 299 electoral votes) — including California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Hawaii — was less than 5 percent of the vote. In 2012, when President Barack Obama confounded the […]

Bruin cyclists back in the lead

LAGUNA SECA – The Ponderosa High School mountain bike team rode to victory at the cycling race at Laguna Seca last weekend. After three races the Bruins’ lead the five race NorCal series with 6,006 points. Second place is held by the Spartans, a composite team of local riders with 5,851 points. Marin Academy holds […]

Birth announcement

A 10 pound, 4 ounce, 22 inch baby boy was born to Eden Osucha and Jason Middleton at 5 p.m. on Feb. 23 in  Lewiston, Maine. Laszlo Raffael Osucha-Middleton joins his 3-year-old sibling, Marek, and he is the grandson of Theodore Osucha of Placerville and Karen and John Middleton of Arlington, Va. If you’d like to […]

My turn: Making progress

It has now been four months since the new Board of Directors for the GDPUD was seated. I believe that we have made some progress, although sometimes it feels like “pulling teeth” — and I should know, being a dentist. We have voted to buy new computers; the old ones had hieroglyphics on the keyboards […]

Charles Krauthammer: The GOP racing form: First edition

With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it’s time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies. No point in wasting time on the Democratic field. There is none. The only thing that can stop Hillary Clinton is an act of God, and he seems otherwise occupied. As does […]

Mark Shields: Laughter, still pretty good medicine

“There are three things which are real,” said John F. Kennedy, “God, human folly and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third.” As a national candidate, the then-senator did just that. Sensitive to the charge that his multi-millionaire father was trying to buy the […]

Community meetings ongoing in Dollar General proposal

By Meg Anderson Democrat correspondent “The community has spoken and Placerville has heard your voices,” said Michael Ranalli, El Dorado County District 4 supervisor, speaking to more than 50 people crowded in front of Worton Market on Tuesday, March 10 to discuss putting a stop to the Dollar General Corporation’s proposal to build a 9,100-square-foot […]

Charles Krauthammer: No peace in our time

WASHINGTON — Of all the idiocies uttered in reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu’s stunning election victory, none is more ubiquitous than the idea that peace prospects are now dead because Netanyahu has declared that there will be no Palestinian state while he is Israel’s prime minister. I have news for the lowing herds: There would be […]

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