PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Wendy Schultz

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: placerville-downtown.org 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 […]

Correction

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 […]

Placerville City Council: Medical marijuana dispensaries discussed

Placerville City Council heard a report on the status of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city of Placerville at the May 26 meeting. The report, drafted by City Attorney John Driscoll in response to a request by Councilman John Clerici, detailed the history of the Compassionate Use Act and SB 420, which established the Medical […]

Old wood given new life with El Dorado High School class

On May 15, students in Lance Gunnersen’s woodshop class at El Dorado High School had an opportunity to see the culmination of one of their projects and learn a little bit of history about Diamond Springs. When Linda Wells, Mother Lode Lion and good friend of Clara Scheiber, saw the knotty pine ceiling boards being […]

Wagonmaster Downer is back for year two

Last year, the Highway 50 Wagon Train had a new wagonmaster for the first time since 2001. Steve Downer, a seven-year veteran of the Wagon Train took over for Dianna Newborn with the help of the whole train and this year he’s back again as wagonmaster for the 66th Highway 50 Association Wagon Train which […]

The final days of Saigon

In 1975, Hollis Henderson was a 28-year-old USMC Warrant Officer stationed with Maine Light Attack Helicopter 367 in Futenma, Okinawa after three tours of Vietnam. He’d been in the Marines for 10 years. USMC Lance Corporal Ken Crouse was a 19-year-old serving as an Embassy Guard in Saigon in his first tour of duty. They were enjoying their duty stations — Henderson as helicopter crew chief and pilot, serving as the Logs and Records Chief and Crouse, living in the six-story Marine House in Saigon, five blocks from the U.S. Embassy, with 41 other 19-to-23-year-old Marines. “We could have taught fraternities some things,” said Crouse.

Remembering Dennis

Once upon a time, the Mountain Democrat had a war correspondent — 18-year old USMC Pvt. 1st Class Dennis Kramer, from Camino. His articles, sent to the Mountain Democrat from the jungles of Vietnam, detailed his arrival at Camp Pendleton, his assignment to Vietnam, his arrival in Da Nang, his duties with Bravo Company, third […]

Wagon Train 2015 offers a challenge

It’s almost like our very own “Game of Thrones” — horses and wagons instead of fighting factions and dragons, a bi-state celebration instead of a multi-country war — but otherwise the 66th annual Highway 50 Wagon Train is a trek into the wilderness, guided only by your wits, skill as a driver and the CHP. Unless […]

Councilwoman gets text threat: Former commissioner sends in Latin

“Good luck in the future. Do your homework. Vengeance required. Ass is grass.” These texts were sent, in Latin, to Placerville City Councilwoman Wendy Thomas by former Placerville Planning Commissioner Michael Drobesh on May 6, the day after interviews were held to fill three open Planning Commission seats. Drobesh was not selected for a second term on the […]

Something to think about: Calling down the ages

On May 17, our wire-haired fox terrier will be 11 years old. When we got her, after 25 years of my gentle hints that I needed a dog, I was working as a corporate trainer and my husband had just sold his business. Bob, at home with a very active puppy, became the alpha dog […]

Hold on two: City water restrictions listed in bill

The May water bills will have a little notice that Placerville residents should pay attention to: Mandatory watering restrictions will hold at two days a week through November. In the past two years of drought, watering in the city and in the county has been restricted to one day a week from November to April, bumping up […]

Girls’ Night Out — it’s the bee’s knees

What: Girls’ Night Out Who: Placerville Downtown Association: Where: Main Street, Placerville When: Saturday, May 16 from 6-9 p.m. Information: 530-672-3436   Speakeasies, flappers, yards of pearls — the Roaring ’20s comes to Placerville for Girls’ Night Out on Saturday, May 16. The free-wheeling, anything goes atmosphere of the ’20s is the perfect setting for an […]

Foothill Ammo owner: ‘We needed a good ammo shop’

There aren’t too many ammo stores where you can pull up a chair, munch a cookie and watch a slideshow or peruse a magazine while you wait for your partner to buy a box of 9mm Fiocchi target rounds or some Tannerite exploding targets. Foothill Ammo, at 3293 Saratoga Lane in Cameron Park, may be the only place in El Dorado County to offer that amenity.

The shop, which opened on May 8, is the dream of Chris Puehse, a former propane truck driver, miniature motorcycle builder and high-tech salesman. It …

On the road for PTSD

When Ken Brenner returned from Somalia, his wife said he wasn’t the same person. “She always said that I went over there, but I never came back,” said Brenner. The Somalian deployment was a humanitarian mission that turned into a combat mission, and the 21-year-old Marine witnessed many traumatic events as well as many Somalian […]

‘Renegade chicken farmers’ state case in Placerville

Three “renegade chicken farmers” in Placerville spoke up at the April 28 Placerville City Council meeting, hoping to get a city ordinance changed to allow the keeping of egg-laying hens within city limits. David and Sue Cooper started the egg rolling in October when they came to the city with their request to keep their two […]

El Dorado County man in Nepal quake

Bud and Jeannie Earnshaw have been glued to CNN since April 25, the day of the 7.8 earthquake in Nepal. Their son, Chris Earnshaw, 42, was hiking his way up to the Mount Everest Base Camp at 17,000 feet when the quake happened.

After a couple of anxious days with no word about Chris or the friend he was climbing Mount Everest with, Bud was contacted by representatives of Bio Bio Expeditions Travel Medicine Trek, with the news that his son was OK and so was his friend, Chris Pereira. The two, although not doctors themselves, were part of a medical expedition studying treatment for …

Something to think about: May Day

All things change — take a look at May Day. Today, May 1st is … May 1st. The first day in the fifth month of the year, unless you use the Chinese or Jewish calendar. The last full month of spring. A hundred and fifty years ago, May Day was a big celebration in the U.S. […]

Wally’s Pizza Bar has a lot to offer Cameron Park

Wally’s Pizza Bar is not a pizza/arcade/beer joint — it’s a sports bar with 70-inch HD TVs, 20 beers on tap, wine and handmade specialty cocktails; a restaurant with gourmet pizza, pasta, four different salads and a kids’ menu, and an outdoor, covered and heated patio that is toasty and comfortable even on the coldest nights. […]

Local schools benefit from Amerigas program

Schools are perennially in need of money for equipment, new programs and repair. Funds aren’t always easy to find, especially for small things that could expand an existing program or enable an income-challenged family to send its child on a sponsored field trip. Amerigas, a propane company with nation-wide offices, has a School Days program in which […]

Makeup and mayhem on the road

Makeup artist Sarah Wolfe grew up in Placerville and cut her theater chops on local productions. Her father Peter Wolfe is one of the founders of Imagination Theater and her mother, Linda Furman, acted on local stages like Olde Coloma Theater and Theater El Dorado. “I grew up doing community theater with my parents,” said […]

Public input needed

The Echo Summit Bridge Project is coming and you might want to have some say in how it happens if you plan on using Highway 50 to go to South Lake Tahoe. The project to replace or rehabilitate the Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct, seven miles west of South Lake Tahoe, started in 2012 and is scheduled […]

Sharing stories with music

In 2005, Sarah Vienna Berchtold, from Placerville, walked into the Children’s Hospital in Brasov, Romania. The abandoned children she saw had been lying in cribs unattended for many hours with seven layers of urine-soaked rags covering them. There were no diapers; there wasn’t enough staff to attend to the hundreds of children under the age […]

Cruise into ‘Anything Goes’ at Union Mine

What: “Anything Goes” Who: Union Mine High School drama students Where: Theatre at the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane, El Dorado When: April 24 to May 2 Cost: $12 for general admission and $10 for students Information: [email protected]   Ocean liners, cabaret singers, public enemies, stowaways and the nobility are all part of “Anything Goes” —the light-hearted […]

New ride for Placerville Police Department

Faster than a speeding bullet; more silent than a snail creeping through your garden — it’s the 2013 Zero DS ZF11.4 electric motorcycle acquired by the Placerville Police Department.

Placerville Police Sgt. Dan Maciel showed off the new bike to Placerville City Council on March 10.

“It’s more nimble than the Harley; easier to turn on our narrow streets,” said Maciel. “It’s very powerful at freeway speeds and half the weight of the Harley. “The PD also has a conventional Harley-Davidson police motorcycle.”

Expanding your horizons: Take flight with local pilot programs

In the passenger seat of a Cessna Turbo Skylane RG, piloted by a skilled pilot like Dick Wampach, the world unfolds beneath me, revealing its secrets and expanding my perspective of the area I know so well from the ground. Just about any kid — and many adults — is going to want to put down the video game and pick up a log book after seeing hidden ponds sparkling under the canopy of pines, the breadth of the foothills and rapid-filled rivers twisting beneath them. That’s the idea behind the Placerville Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagle Flight Plan Program.

Geyser erupts on Main Street when service line separated

A geyser erupted on Main Street in Placerville on Tuesday, April 14 in front of the Herrick/Hangman’s Tree building at 301 and 305 Main Street. A recently installed service line separated from its connection to the main line at just after 3 p.m., and sent water shooting up over the top of the historic building, which […]

Something to think about: The sound of the gun

Aren’t there thousands of drugs that can kill you? Aren’t some of them painless and a sure thing? So why, if unable to obtain the approved lethal injection drugs for executions, would a state decide that death by firing squad would make an acceptable alternative? When Utah recently reinstated the use of death by firing […]

An old story, but a new marker

Amelia was only 18 years old when she decided that life was not worth living without the man she loved. Her story could have happened at any time in history, including current times, but it was in 1896 that she took her life in the Central House Hotel in Placerville.

“When I read her story, I cried, it was so sad,” said Bill Mackay. Amelia is the Cameron Park resident’s great aunt, the youngest daughter of his great grandfather, Henry Bernard …

Airborne at 95: Pilot tries to break world record

The paperwork is on its way to Guinness World Records, the record-making flight was documented and photographed on March 30, and now all Peter Weber, Jr. has to do is wait to see if he qualified.

The Cameron Park resident was 95 years, 4 months and 23 days old when he made his attempt to qualify as the oldest qualified pilot still licensed and flying solo in the world for the Guinness World Records. He’s been flying for 72 years and still flies several times a month out of the Placerville Airport in a rented plane.

“I was at the Placerville Airport one day and the manager said he thought I might be the oldest active pilot in California,” said Weber. That got him thinking that he might be the oldest active pilot anywhere. After doing research online at the …

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