PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Wendy Schultz

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 …

A life of service

Former Placerville mayor and associate superintendent of schools for El Dorado County, Allen Tuttle, died in Utah on April 3 at the age of 85. He was the “Voice of the Cougars” at El Dorado High School sporting events for many years, a Bishop in the Church of Latter-Day Saints, a brigadier general in the U.S. […]

Police Department getting new roof

On March 24, Placerville City Council approved a contract with Gordon Mott Roofing for $51,300 for the replacement of the Placerville City Police Department roof at 730 Main Street, next to the fire station. The project will include removing the roof from the police department and the fire bay and replacing it with sloped composition shingle […]

Googling at Herbert Green

“Notebook” no longer means three-hole punched, white, ruled paper. Eighth grade students in the technology class at Herbert Green Middle School can build their own Websites, research history, “share” their work and write essays about advertising or diabetes. They are  powering through their classes using Chromebooks instead of pencils and a class laptop instead of an […]

Carrow’s Family Restaurant closes abruptly

Carrow’s Family Restaurant at 209 Main Street in Placerville was one of the casualties of a change in ownership of the Catalina Restaurant Group. Last month, the San Antonio-based Food Management Partners acquired Catalina Restaurant Group’s 149 restaurants and promptly closed 75 of them on April 1, the first official day of ownership. Catalina, which owned both […]

‘Images of Modern America: Folsom’ explores the city

Book: “Images of Modern America: Folsom” Author: Roberta Kludt Long Publisher: Arcadia Publishing Co., March 2015, soft-cover and e-book versions, 96 pages “Images of Modern America:  Folsom” is just what anyone interested in the city of Folsom would want: a bit of history, a wealth of what the town has to offer in the way of entertainment, […]

Teen organizes Laps for Leukemia

What: Laps for Leukemia Who: Sam Gerstle Where: Ponderosa High School track, 3661 Ponderosa Road in Shingle Springs. When: Saturday, April 11, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost: Registration is $12 Information: 530-391-6454   After Sam Gerstle’s father became a bone marrow donor, she wondered how she could make her own contribution. Her family lived by the Kott family. Baby Trevor Kott […]

Something to think about: The year without a winter

The first day of spring in El Dorado County this year was … spring-like — warm and sunny with daffodils and flowering quince welcoming the day. In my memory, the first day of spring is hardly ever spring-like and when it is, it’s regarded as brief reprieve from the dark coldness of winter before the […]

Crafty creations for kiosks

Outdoors, brushes of white paint fly over the surface of rain catchment barrels imperiling the hair of fellow artists painting vines along the bottom of the barrels. Inside Catherine Moné’s house, four 9-year-old crafters pull out the gardening stakes, bird baths, bird feeders and wind chimes from a huge collection they’ve already made while, in the kitchen, other 9- to 13-year-olds are alternately stuffing a peanut butter/seed mixture into bird feeders and bagels into their mouths. This meeting of Funding for Farmlands is a little busier than usual, but it’s always a bustling scene.

The group is part of 4-H Gold Hill Toppers, and in November of 2014, they were looking for a 4-H Learning Service project that would serve a community need, allow them to research …

Courthouse debate results in letter from city

The Placerville City Council voted unanimously at the March 24 meeting to send a letter to the California Judicial Council in support of relocating the courthouse within Placerville city limits and requesting assistance with mitigating the anticipated economic impact to the downtown area.

Recent concern expressed by downtown business owners prompted both the letter and a special community meeting on March 22 with City Council members and members of the community to talk about the courthouse, both the Main Street courthouse and …

Gold and boots found on Main

Shades of “Paint Your Wagon” revived Gold Rush dreams in some when gold flakes were unearthed during the water line replacement work being done on Main Street. “We’ve known all along that we might find some flakes of gold during construction,” said Placerville City Manager Cleve Morris, “but it’s nothing anyone is going to get rich […]

Threat locks down schools

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a call at approximately 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, about a man at the El Dorado Center of the Folsom Lake College campus who claimed to have a gun and threatened to blow up the college. “We take threats like this very seriously,” said Lt. Tom Murdoch […]

Discover More Than Gold

The Discover More Than Gold on Main campaign is ongoing during the Main Street Rehabiliation Project, March through August, with a break in May and June. Each week has a specific theme and different activities  to promote interest in downtown Main Street during the construction period are featured, such as “Goldrush History” and “Self Indulgences.” […]

Trail opening March 28

Whether you’ve been out on the trail all year long or have been waiting for warmer weather, Opening Day for Trails, March 28, is a great way to officially celebrate the season. During this nationwide celebration of trails, the city of Placerville is teaming up with Rails‐to‐Trails Conservancy to host a ribbon cutting ceremony and […]

Chief reports on crime

In his annual reporting of Placerville Crime Statistics, Placerville Police Chief Scott Heller had mostly good news to report. There was an overall 11 percent decrease in Part One type crimes in the city between 2013 and 2014. These include violent crimes against persons, which were down 30 percent overall, with no increase in homicide, […]

Something to think about: Choose both

It’s the first day of spring — the season of new growth, for the birth of something new to burst forth from old branches. Is it time for spring in your life? As I grow older I notice more and more often that people my age and older have stopped — stopped their mental and […]

Designer to the stars comes home to breathe

When jewelry designer Geoff Thomas graduated from El Dorado High School in 1991 to attend Cuesta College, he planned to become a financier, not an artist. He’d grown up with two artist parents and, in typical teenage rebellion, decided to follow the linear path of business. Fate in the guise of a black and white photography […]

Lend-A-Heart lands locally

Dogs and cats and rabbits, oh my! When the founders of Lend-A-Heart Animal Assisted Therapy started the organization in 1987, they knew it was a good idea to have therapy animals visit people who needed their affection and silent encouragement, but they probably didn’t expect they would visit 60 facilities in the Sacramento region and need […]

And the moral of the story is …

Start with the end and work backwards — El Dorado High School’s advanced drama class did just that when instructor Paul Tomei asked juniors and seniors to come up with a series of original instructive skits for two Children’s Theater performances at Buckeye Elementary School. Each group of five to seven students brainstormed some instructive morals […]

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