Susan Laird

Sacramento Youth Symphony seeks alumni to mark 60th anniversary

Music engages the mind and spirit in a way few art forms do. It stimulates multiple areas of the brain. Scientists believe it enhances mathematical and logical talent. Theologians praise it as “praying twice.” When a young person takes up an instrument, the potential for personal growth is virtually unlimited. But those who mentor these […]

Lunafest showcases films about women issues

The medium of film is a great vehicle to bring awareness of an issue to the public. Soroptimist International of Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills, which focuses its efforts on improving the lives of women and girls, will host its third film festival on Wednesday, March 26. The Lunafest is a fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting […]

Success through greatness of heart: Folsom Symphony

Call it the “Little Symphony that Could.” A little over 11 years ago, four individuals sat around a table, about to embark upon a noble quest: to bring high quality symphonic performances to the Folsom region. Founders Bruce Woodbury, Dick Merz, Marsha Williams and then-musical director Maestro Michael Neumann knew this artistic venture might be […]

‘Food for the soul’ at American Visions Gallery

When one strolls into the American Visions Art Gallery on Sutter Street in Folsom’s Historical District, one immediately feels at home. This is a comfortable place to be, not highfalutin in the least. A member of the staff gives a friendly greeting, and asks if there is anything in particular you are looking for. No? […]

Community efforts take flight; Mercy Helipad dedicated

Sometimes, it takes a village to complete a major project. That was the general consensus as community leaders gathered in the autumn sunshine for the dedication of the Klein Family Helipad at Mercy Hospital of Folsom on Oct. 9. The helicopter landing pad, located just east of the hospital parking lot, allows air ambulances to […]

Healing animals through alternative medicine

As more and more Americans turn to alternative medicine in their pursuit of wellness, it is no wonder that similar treatments are finding their way into the world of animal care. Massage, acupuncture, laser and other techniques are now entering the mainstream. Pet massage Massage is a time-honored technique for improving blood circulation, gently breaking […]

Animal ambassadors for kindness live at HartSong Ranch

They speak in many languages: whinny, moo, oink, baaah, honk, quack and woof. The message these animals convey to the humans they meet at HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary is one that “every life matters.” Each one is an animal rescue. Located on 30 rolling acres in Greenwood, just four miles west of Georgetown, over 60 […]

Living by the Golden Rule: Back Forty Texas BBQ

The Golden Rule is the backbone secret of success at Back Forty Texas BBQ in Shingle Springs. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Jerry and Shelley Cobb own and operate the Highway 50 Corridor’s favorite place for authentic Texas-style barbecue. They hail from the Bay Area, where the original Back […]

Tanko Well Drilling serves area more than 60 years

One of the most obvious secrets to becoming successful is to not be afraid of hard work. Gary Tanko established Gary C. Tanko Well Drilling 50 years ago in 1962. Prior to that, his father ran a well drilling business in Placerville in the 1940s. Now headquartered in Auburn, Tanko Well Drilling continues to serve […]

Shoestring: Home of the pastrami burger and chili cheese fries

Happiness is not just a destination. If one is wise, happiness is found along the journey. And that is key to the success at the Shoestring restaurant in Placerville. Housed in a little yellow building, just feet from the pavement on Broadway, this old-fashioned burger joint evokes memories of the small town burger places of […]

There’s no place like ‘Homes for the Holidays’

What: “Homes for the Holidays” Who: Assistance League of Sierra Foothills Where: Homes in El Dorado Hills When: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 from noon to 5 p.m. Cost: $20 for adults and $12 for children Information: The “Winter Wonderland” month — December —  is nearly here. Soon, […]

Restore your quality of life with Oak Hills Chiropractic Center

Quality of life is first and foremost in the mind of Dr. Caroline Mohlstrom at Oak Hills Chiropractic Center. And key to that quality of life are the aspects of Integrity, Respect and Trust. Dr. Mohlstrom knows what it is like to have an injury put one’s life on the sidelines. It happened to her. […]

Nucali Spinal Care offers unique treatments for the pain

Pain — and back pain especially — is no laughing matter. Ask anyone who has suffered from a pinched nerve. The term “exquisite” barely come close. One just wants to lie as still as possible, waiting for the pain to go away. Nowadays, society is just beginning to learn the benefits of keeping the human […]

Positive energy and healing at Absolute Wholeness Massage & Wellness

Placerville’s “Favorite Place to Get a Massage” in 2011 and 2012 is not only a great place to de-stress, it is also there to help those seeking healing from injuries and accidents. Absolute Wholeness Massage & Wellness is staffed by skilled, competent therapists who assist clients in healing from injuries, car accidents and more. Their […]

Getting in shape is safe and convenient at Snap Fitness

The best way to protect one’s health is to eat right and stay fit. However, putting that philosophy into practice is often easier said than done. That’s where the friendly staff at Snap Fitness in Shingle Springs and Placerville come in. “At Snap Fitness, we are passionate about creating and delivering wellness programs that appeal […]

Take health to new heights with Barton Health

Whether it is summer or winter, the Lake Tahoe region is a sports lover’s paradise. The region offers some of the world’s most beautiful settings for mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, trail running, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and much more. With so much activity going on, accidents are bound to happen from to time. […]

Dr. Cummings: Old-fashioned attention and service

In our technological, rushed culture, much of what one could expect from a doctor’s office has gone by the wayside. “Nowadays, it’s easier to make an appointment with the Almighty than with a gastroenterologist,” quipped one wit. That statement might ring true elsewhere, it certainly does not in the office of gastroenterologist Daniel Cummings, M.D. […]

El Dorado Hills Dental: Exceeding expectations

The staff at El Dorado Hills Dental love dentistry. Period, end of story. Well, not really. But it truly is where the story begins. Established in 1987 by James C. Cope, DDS and his wife, Kimberly, El Dorado Hills Dental was just the second dental practice to come to El Dorado Hills. As the village […]

El Dorado County shines at State Fair

For the last 158 years, Californians have proudly celebrated the talent and bounty of this great land at the California State Fair and Exposition. Whether in good times or tough ones, somehow the good folks of the Golden State manage to “step up to the plate” and show why there is always hope for the […]

El Dorado County girl wins Young at Art competition

Sometimes, what it takes to succeed is the willingness to step out into the deeper water. This is what Sophie Hill, who lives in Shingle Springs, did on Feb. 1 when she showed her artistic talent at the annual “Young at Art” competition at St. Francis High School in Sacramento. Sophie is a seventh grader […]

Forester Pub and Grill carries on Camino restaurant tradition

Business success, as in real estate, is often determined by: location, location, location. But what do you do when circumstances in your community change dramatically? You fall back on two secrets of success: focusing on what you do well and perseverance. That is what the owners at the Forester Pub and Grill did two years […]

January 06, 2012 | Posted in Secrets of Success 2011 | Tagged | 4 Replies

Mountain Mail revamps, plans new initiative in 2012

One of the secrets of success, strangely enough, is learning from failure. Or, as the famous American inventor Thomas Alva Edison put it: Learning from “those things that don’t work.” Edward Whittacker purchased Mountain Mail in Placerville three years ago. He had high hopes for the local business, which was established in 1982. As a […]

January 06, 2012 | Posted in Secrets of Success 2011 | Tagged | Leave a reply

Handley’s Western Wear has same owner 60 years

If 80 percent of success is simply showing up, then Donella Handley has that secret of success completely mastered. For the past five decades, this mother of two, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of two has opened the doors — every day — at Handley’s Western Wear in Folsom. Seven days a week, she is […]

January 06, 2012 | Posted in Secrets of Success 2011 | Tagged | Leave a reply

Hard work, planning key to having fun, friendships for 4-H champ

Some girls collect dolls. Others collect stuffed animals. Emily Piland collects metal. And what a collection this 14-year-old has: in the form of silver and gold belt buckles (over 20), medals (too many to count), trophies, plaques and even a silver tea service. But Emily is really a metal “collector by default,” because her focus […]

‘Breaking Away’ actress Robyn Douglass appeared at Library Filmfare

“No time is ever wasted that makes two people friends.” The trailer for the bicycling classic movie “Breaking Away” states: “Somewhere between growing up and settling down, it happens to all of us.” The “it” the movie refers to is the process of growing up, of trying something entirely new and discovering one’s identity in […]

Golden Spoke Bike Shop: ‘Getting the job done right’

For the past three decades, individuals and families have continued to come to Golden Spoke Bike Shop in Placerville. Why such loyalty? “A big part of our success has been knowing how to work with people, and how to find solutions for their needs,” said Rufus Watts, general manager. “Customer service is the bottom line […]

| Posted in Secrets of Success 2010 | 1 Reply

Snook’s Candies built on a bedrock of family values

One of the region’s most beloved institutions for nearly half a century is Snook’s Candies in Folsom. Established in 1963 by John and Jeannine Snook, the business focuses on creating high quality confections with old-fashioned flair. Jim and Renee Snook are the second generation to own and operate the unique chocolate factory that is always […]

Cary House Hotel remains close to the action

In the world of real estate, the secret to success is location, location, location. The historical Cary House Hotel in Placerville certainly has that quality. However, it is the mystique of the place that perhaps gives visitors the key to this Victorian hotel’s secret to longevity. The original hotel was built during the Gold Rush […]

Placerville Hardware always fun, always relevant

A trip to the Placerville Hardware store on Main Street is like stepping back in time to an era when things seemed simpler. And yet, this is the ideal place to come to solve those modern-day home and property challenges. Not only is Placerville Hardware internationally known as the “oldest hardware store west of the […]

Sequoia features great cuisine

The historical Bee-Bennett House is one of the oldest surviving Gold Rush era structures in Placerville. Constructed in 1853, it is the only building called out in the original town description for Placerville. As such, the Bee-Bennett house has seen many changes in Placerville’s history — good times and the rough patches as well. Somehow […]

Clouds Pottery: Originality, love and teamwork

It takes a special perspective on life to venture into business ownership. It takes an even more unique quality of courage to venture into the world of the creative arts and make a living at it. Yet, this is something that G.F. and Penny Cloud of Clouds Pottery in Folsom have managed to do. Since […]

The personalized options business: Act 1 Video & Music

In Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” he wrote that one of the first secrets of success is to smile at another person. Everyone who walks through the door at Act 1 Video & Music in Placerville is greeted with a smile. It is just the beginning of the great customer service […]

St. Francis bucks the spring musical trend, premiers Willy Wonka Nov. 3

Arts and entertainment columnist St. Francis High School brings innovation to the fore once more with its production of ÒWilly Wonka: The Musical,” opening Nov. 3 and runing through Nov. 13.The all-girls Catholic high school, which has developed a national reputation for excellence in the arts, draws students from the entire region: Sacramento, El Dorado […]

Robbers exhibit and more celebrates 150 years of Sutter Street

Arts and entertainment columnist The Golden State has always been a source of many treasures. So it stands to reason that many people would pursue them Ñ including gangs, swindlers, murderers and stagecoach robbers. Stagecoach robbers? Yes, IÕm speaking of the ÒRobbers and Other Bad GuysÓ exhibit now on view at the Folsom History Museum, […]

A perfect 10 Crocker expansion ready to open Oct. 10

Arts and entertainment columnist In what may well be the largest happening in the Sacramento region this year, the Crocker Art Museum will re-open its doors to the public on Oct. 10. Sacramento is going to party like itÕs É well, 10-10-10. At the center of the event, which begins at 10 a.m. and runs […]

Great music kicks off season 7 for Folsom Lake Symphony

Arts and entertainment columnist The Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra kicks off its seventh season in grand style this fall with a concert of ÒBeethoven, Brahms and BorodinÓ in its largest venue yet Ñ Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Fair Oaks Ñ Saturday, Oct. 16. The popular symphony orchestra will perform in three venues this season. […]

Martin Yan coming to Tahoe for Food and Wine Festival

Arts and entertainment columnist In 1978, a new face appeared on PBS that taught many of us how to prepare healthy, fascinating Asian dishes. With a warm smile and gentle humor, Master Chef Martin Yan taught us ÒIf Yan can cook, so can you!Ó From Chef Yan, I learned how to handle all the knives […]

Arts Association explores Interiorscapes

Arts and entertainment columnist If you visit the de Young Museum in San Francisco later this month you will be able to view Van GoghÕs portrait of his ÒBedroom at Arles,Ó (1889). Starting this Friday, you can see how members of the Folsom Arts Association view room interiors. Interiorscapes ÒInteriorscapesÓ opens Sept. 17 at the […]

Antique Evaluation Day this Saturday in Folsom

Arts and entertainment columnist Some of the most popular programs on television deal with antiques and collectibles. Americans and Europeans are fairly fascinated with the material items that make up the ÒstuffÓ of life, as ÒAntiques Roadshow,Ó ÒCash in the Attic,Ó ÒPawn StarsÓ and ÒAmerican PickersÓ can all firmly attest. All of this Òarmchair quarterbackingÓ […]

Local theaters earn Elly nominations

Mother Lode News Next month more actors, directors and producers than ever from local theater companies will fill the aisles of SacramentoÕs Crest Theater to await the names of coveted Elly Award winners, with a disproportionately high number of nominations going to Imagination Theater, El Dorado High School, Oak Ridge High School, El Dorado Musical […]

Two unprecedented exhibits at San Franciscos de Young this month

Arts and entertainment columnist A few months ago I wrote about the ÒBirth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the MusŽe dÕOrsayÓ exhibit from Paris, France that is currently in its last week at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. If you havenÕt seen ÒBirth of ImpressionismÓ and are a serious lover of the visual arts, […]

Folsom, El Dorado Hills rake in Elly nominations

Arts and entertainment columnist Next month more actors, directors and producers than ever from local theater companies will fill the aisles of SacramentoÕs Crest Theatre to await the names of coveted Elly Award winners, with a disproportionately high number of nominations going to El Dorado Musical Theatre, Oak Ridge High School and Sutter Street Theatre […]

Summers still here; get out and enjoy yourself

The Arts columnist So far, everyone I encounter is enjoying the weather of the summer of 2010. The days are Ñ for those of us used to the Sacramento Valley Ñ warm, but not scorching. The evenings are pleasant. And there is plenty to do, whether it is a barbeque by the pool Ñ or […]

Celebrated cookbook author to publish El Dorado Hills Cookbook

Arts and entertainment columnist When El Dorado Hills resident Laura Denktash was laid off from her job as a quality control manager in March 2009, it was a seminal moment. ÒWhile on the one hand my supervisors were going over lists of paperwork during my exit interview, my mind was racing over another list. I […]

Folsom Lake College seeks your input

Arts and entertainment columnist ItÕs hard to believe, but it was nearly two years ago when Folsom Lake College broke ground for their Performing Arts Center. The crme de la crme of FolsomÕs business and arts communities celebrated the dawn of a new era of arts and entertainment. It was just before the banking crisis […]

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