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Wendy Schultz

Something to think about: All at once

For some, this is Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — the day when you pull out the Christmas decorations and go up to Apple Hill to cut down your Christmas tree or arrive at the department store at 3 a.m. to do your Christmas shopping. This year, for us, it’s a breather, cosmically […]

Book offers a look into the past

Book: “A Lovely & Comfortable Heritage Lost” Author: Ellen Osborn Publisher: Pronghorn Press, September 2015, 288 pages, paperback Unhappy with our city and county roads? Worried about having to protect water rights? It’s nothing new for the residents of El Dorado County, according to Pollock Pines author Ellen Osborn. “A Lovely & Comfortable Heritage Lost,” […]

‘Journey’ tells a real saga

Book: “Journey from Bondage to Freedom” Author: Marcia Rose Publisher: Page Publishing, July 2015, 172 pages, paperback and eBook versions “Journey from Bondage to Freedom,” is a story most people will identify with — a trek out of pain and lack of acceptance toward self-acceptance and belief in your own worth. It’s a journey many […]

Something to Think About: Tell your story

So, The Donald has written a book. Big whoop. So did Dennis Rodman and I’m not even sure he can read. A review of The Donald’s book said that it read like a campaign manifesto, but neglected to give any real information about how he plans to resolve the big issues like health care, immigration […]

Doughnuts can be deadly

Book: “Dying for a Donut” Author: Cindy Sample Publisher: CreateSpace, published November 2015, 284 pages, paperback and e-book versions El Dorado County soccer mom and would-be sleuth, Laurel McKay, is back again, this time in Apple Hill, where her doughnut munching leads to the discovery of a powdered-sugar covered corpse. Laurel has met up with […]

Something to think about: Halloween eve

It’s All Hallow’s Eve eve. No one cares about All Hallow’s Day on Nov. 1. Too holy. Holy is out; wicked is in. No, what millions of quivering little minds will take to bed with them tonight is that tomorrow is Halloween — the candy-filled, costume draped, pumpkin glowing culmination of a month-long celebration of […]

‘Haunted Lake Tahoe’ fits the Halloween season

Book: “Haunted Lake Tahoe” Author: Janice Oberding Publisher: Arcadia Publishing and the History Press, Sept. 14, 2015, 128 pages, paperback and e-book versions   Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe in the Cal-Neva Lodge, an old hermit in the depths of Lake Tahoe and mansions along the shoreline — hauntings all, according to Nevada author and […]

Something to think about: The Sweetest Day

The Sweetest Day has been on pre-printed Hallmark calendars for years. Until this August, I had no idea what it was supposed to celebrate or why such a holiday made it to Hallmark calendars when other national days like National Pizza Day, Feb. 9, or National Tequila Day, July 24, did not. After researching this […]

Jack Gallagher returns to Placerville

What: A Night at the Theater with Jack Gallagher Who: New Morning Youth and Family Services Where: The Placerville Shakespeare Club, 2940 Bedford Ave. in Placerville When: Friday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. Cost: $40 each or $70 a couple Information:   Celebrate the arrival of fall with laughter, as New Morning Youth and Family Services presents […]

Something to think about: More than love

October is one of my favorite months and this year it’s a little more special since my friend Noel is getting married today. The dress is fitted and the flowers prepared. The sheepdog, Finn, is groomed and his tux as Best Dog is waiting for him. Guests have made it into town. Tonight is the […]

Kayla Grissom and partners keep children safe

People, particularly children, using Jenkinson Lake in the Sly Park Recreation Area, are a little bit safer thanks to an enterprising Scout, the Active 20-30 Club, Goldrush and the El Dorado Irrigation District. Life jackets for children are always a good idea, but it took a teenager to step up to make it happen. Kayla Grissom, […]

Lotus provides setting for an intriguing novella

Between the covers Book: “The Hermit Bookstore, a California Gold Country Story” Author: Linda Westphal Publisher: Linda Westphal, January 2015, 98 pages. Paperback and e-book versions It’s a common truth that the right book at the right time can change a life. In “The Hermit Bookstore,” a mysterious bookstore appears in the small community of Lotus […]

For your dining pleasure

Sharing a meal is a way of bringing people together; a tradition that has been handed down for thousands of years. The dining room table is the focal point where kids learn table manners, where family stories are embellished and shared, where family traditions such as Grandma’s Sausage Stuffing are born and announcements, like a […]

Something to think about: Friendly persuasion

We do not need to waste lives and resources trying to bomb other countries into submission. There is another way. As any parent or grandparent can tell you, nothing wears down resistance like a laser-focused child. Recent exposure to young children who are bent on obtaining whatever they have decided they need or want has […]

Something to Think About: The New Bigotry

Do we always need someone to hate — someone to feel superior to, someone to attack and make a scapegoat for woes? It seems to me that bigotry is always present in some form, but the targets have changed. Jews, blacks, immigrants, the landless poor, gays, Native Americans and women have all been targets for discrimination […]

Homeless woman on a quest to find help

Every homeless person has a story — the series of events that led to where they are now — the choices, the betrayals. Alexis Asher has a story to describe why she has been homeless for the past 12 months. Choices to ignore documents from immigration, betrayals by abusive parents and husbands, a choice to […]

Something to think about: Job requirements

People love watching a train wreck, wanting to see what will happen next — like watching the baby mamas on Maury Povich and Jerry Springer or Snookie and the other house stooges on “Jersey Shore.” It’s fascinating to see people behaving outrageously without seeming to care about the consequences. I blame reality TV for The Donald […]

Come on, get happy … at Happy Kids Preschool

They are riding tricycles, doing math, making art, learning letter sounds and figuring out volume and mass. It may look like the kids at Happy Kids Preschool and Child Care Center are playing, but they are learning important skills … and having fun at the same time. Happy Kids owner Sherri Springer believes in education, […]

Poetry is alive and well in the county

If you love writing, reading or listening to poetry, there is a way to enjoy it in the company of others who love it as well. The third Sunday of each month, wine and poetry with world-class poets takes place at Nello Olivo Wine Tasting cellar. The second Wednesday of the month finds Poetry Off […]

‘Mean Mom’s Guide’ is full of helpful tips

Book: “The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids” Author: Joanne Kraft Publisher: Leafwood Publishers, March 2015, paperback and e-book versions, 256 pages   Tiger Moms, beware! Mean Moms are speaking up, some 75 of them. Instilling boundaries in the lives of children. The Mean Mom “keeps her word when it’s hard; gives, models and […]

Something to think about: No news is good news

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the news this summer — too busy playing outside and being social. I’ve replaced CNN with gardening and the evening news with camping in the backyard. I’ve missed a few major events, but I’m not sure I really needed to know about them. When I resurfaced, I […]

Something to think about: Wake up, sleepyhead

We woke up at 6:40 a.m., waited around for a bit and then walked downstairs. I made coffee and we let the dog out. We talked with our daughter. Something was wrong, very wrong. At 7:30 a.m. one of them appeared — a tousle-headed granddaughter with mischief in her eyes. This was more like it. […]

More than before at It’s Personal

It’s Personal Bistro is … more. At its new location, 414 Main St. in Placerville, since the end of May, the wine lounge and bistro has more room, more food, more beer and wine — more of just about everything. The long, narrow space of the new location is decorated in warm, bright colors and […]

Jeepers Jamboree: Generations keep tradition alive

Rock music blared as cases of soda, water and beer were placed on ice. High Hill Ranch in Camino was abuzz with activity on June 28 as Jeepers Jamboree set up for the Jeepers Jamboree Volunteer Appreciation Picnic.

Three generations of Jeepers and off-road enthusiasts have carried the Jeepers Jamboree — the first, biggest and the toughest of U.S. off-road events — into the new millennium and a fourth generation is already learning the ropes. The current seven directors all have long-time ties with Jeepers, either as family members of the founding directors or as participants, or both.

“All of our Board of Directors were Rock Rollers, mechanics and work party crew for years before becoming directors,” said Mike Gerondakis, 61, who has been a Jeepers board member for three years and a participant in the jamboree since 1979. He is in charge of the work party crews who set up the camp for participants.

Sidebar for Jeepers Jamboree

Jeepers Jamboree events July 22: Jeepers Jamboree Outdoor Expo (free to the public) will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Main Street in Georgetown. July 23-26: Jeepers Jamboree four-day event July 24-26: Jeepers Jamboree three-day event July 31 through Aug. 2: Jeep Jamboree event plus Camp Rubicon activities

‘Rusty: A Journey of Hope’ offers helpful tips on life

Book: “Rusty: A Journey of Hope” Author: Terry Sheppard Publisher: Xulon Press, 2015, paperback, hardback and e-book versions, 59 pages “Rusty: A Journey of Hope” is a children’s book, but not really. The brightly colored illustrations by Placerville artist Warren Dayton and the story of a dog and his owner, written in small chunks of […]

Something to think about: ISIS and the bird wars

An unidentified gray bird with a long tail we’ve named ISIS for her irrational, self-destructive behavior has been attacking our black 4Runner and, like the United States, while we’re bigger and have more resources at our disposal, we don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. Day one — I’m writing in the office and […]

Apple Mountain CSA brings fresh produce to the table

Community Supported Agriculture is not new in El Dorado County, but it’s back. Or it will be when Doug Alberts pulls together Apple Mountain CSA, a multi-farmer CSA. Albert’s Green Acres Organic Farm in Camino will be the anchor farm for Apple Mountain CSA. It’s a risky venture that takes advantage of the current trend of farm-to-fork […]

Something to think about: Summer freedom

The longest day of the year has come and gone; the hottest temperature of the year has yet to be. The county fair was last week; the state fair is next month. For children, summer is ripe — most of the summer possibilities are still waiting and boredom has yet to set in. School is still […]

Fun trips are available for seniors

The El Dorado County Senior Activities Program is announcing the following trips: Sacramento River Cats Game — Wednesday, July 22. Depart Raley’s in Placerville at 9:30 a.m. and Raley’s in El Dorado Hills at 10 a.m. to spend the day watching the San Francisco Giant’s affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, take on the El Paso […]

Golden bubbles at the brewfest

What: 15th Bell Tower Brewfest Who: Placerville Downtown Association Where: Main Street in Placerville When: Saturday, June 27, 6-9  p.m. Cost: $35 Information: or (530) 672-3436   Ales, lagers, pilsners, Hefeweizen, Belgian-style — there are liters of beer coming to the 15th Bell Tower Brewfest on Saturday, June 27 in downtown Placerville. So much to choose […]

Hangtown Cranker Classic: Take a ride, wheelers’ style

“Get up! Get out! Get better!” It’s the motto and game plan for Placerville Mobility Support Group, an organization founded in 2007 by Lynn Murray to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people with ambulatory impairment. Murray, 69, was a coach for 32 years, a teacher and mountain climber. He also worked in construction. In […]

Community college employee receives state award

Shingle Springs resident Rochelle Franco was recently honored by the California Community College Board of Governors as one of the four 2015 California Community Colleges Classified Employees of the Year. She was selected for recognition out of thousands of community college classified employees from throughout the state. Franco, 43, works at Folsom Lake College and has been […]

Community resources for foster children

Some community resources for foster children are listed below: Big Brothers Big Sisters — 530-626-1222 Boy’s and Girls’s Club — 530-295-8019 CASA El Dorado — 530-622-9882 Childhelp USA National — 1-800-4-ACHILD Child Protective Services — 530-642-7100 El Dorado County Deptartment of Human Services — 530-642-7300 El Dorado County Mental Health — 530-621-6200 Family Connections El […]

Becoming a foster family

This is the final installation of a three-part series about foster care in El Dorado County. Part one can be found here and part two can be found here. To become a foster parent, applicants must be at least 21 years old and in good physical and emotional health. They must be able to support […]

Becoming a substitute family for children in need

There is no one kind of foster parent — some are single parents, others are married; they represent all different ages, races and income levels. Some have biological children of their own or adopted children living at home; others have never had children; still others have raised their own children to adulthood. Some are gay; some are not. All have to want to help children and have a lot of patience, said Katie Blankenship. Blankenship and her husband, Mike, have been foster parents for about 75 children over a 20-year period, sometimes having as many as six foster children at a time.

“I retired from working and knew there was a huge need for foster families so I …”

Something to think about: Time for something new

June 9 was my last official day as a Mountain Democrat reporter. I started a decade ago on June 4, 2005. My second day on the job included covering a City Council meeting. With no instructions, I went off to the meeting and was briefly captured by Joe Stancil, who was very excited about the […]

‘Superman was a foster child’

Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part series about foster children and the families that support them. Read part two here. Sirrele Steinfeld, 21, was in foster care for four years — years he said made him the person he is today. Removed from his mother’s care before he was 2, Steinfeld was placed with […]

Placerville participating in PACE program

The Placerville City Council unanimously approved the city’s participation in the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) at the April 14 City Council meeting, and on May 26, they approved two companies to implement the financing for city residents who wish to participate in the program. The PACE program, active in 31 states, enables homeowners and commercial […]

Stage 2 Drought Alert declared in Placerville

Placerville residents are urged to begin reducing their baseline water consumption by 30 percent as prescribed by El Dorado Irrigation District’s Stage 2 Drought Alert. After the State Water Board adopted Mandatory Water Conservation Regulations to implement Gov. Jerry Brown’s Executive Order requiring an immediate statewide reduction of 25 percent, Placerville City Council approved a […]

Couple discovers love in new novel

  Book: “Family of her dreams” Author: Keli Gwyn Publisher: Harlequin, 2015, 288 pages, paperback and e-book versions available Too-Tall Tess, Tess Grimsby, forthright in her speech, very capable and absolutely convinced she’ll be an old maid because no man would want such a tall female, arrives in Shingle Springs in 1866. Her prospective employer is […]

George Langley is planing future adventures at 102

George Langley is 102 years old and will turn 103 this summer. It’s an age few people reach and those who do aren’t usually planning for future adventures. But George Langley has a goal: He wants to reward the people who help him in his daily life with an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii. He plans […]


In the May 28 article “Placerville City Council: Medical marijuana dispensaries report discussed,” Kirt West’s name was incorrectly spelled. Michael Christiansen was incorrectly identified as West’s business partner. Christiansen is not affiliated with West or his business.

Images of Hope — healing the deeper wound

Max, the labradoodle, happily bounds into the Marshall Medical Cancer Resource Center, past the comfortable circle of chairs and wall of resource literature in the waiting area; past the Threads of Life quilts on the walls; past the wildly decorated bras hanging on a white picket fence, courtesy of art therapy classes; past the classrooms […]

Disposal rates going … down?

Every year, El Dorado Disposal reviews their rates and determines the amount of increase. A rate increase is based on two factors, the Produce Price Index for #2 Diesel Fuel and the Consumer Price Index for California. At the May 26 Placerville City Council meeting, Jeff England, district manager for El Dorado Disposal, asked for […]

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