PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Wendy Schultz

Aaron Line

El Dorado High School graduate Aaron Line wants to save the world. The 18-year-old is now attending San Diego State University and majoring in environmental engineering. He’s also minoring in the Multidisciplinary Studies Honors Program so that the solutions he develops to save the world will be broad-based and unlimited in approach. “I want to […]

December 17, 2014 | Posted in Top Achievers 2015 | Leave a reply

Kevin Morrison

El Dorado High School grad Kevin Morrison has big plans for his future. The 18-year-old is studying mechanical engineering at University of California, Irvine. In 10 years he plans to be living in a sailboat somewhere on the West Coast and working on developing the next electric roadster for Tesla Motors. A course in environmental science sparked his […]

December 17, 2014 | Posted in Top Achievers 2015 | Leave a reply

Jenna Pendzinski

Golden Sierra High School grad Jenna Pendzinski loves working with kids. She’s now attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix where she is majoring in nursing. She plans to become a pediatric oncology nurse. “I have been drawn to this for a long time,”Jenna said. The 18-year-old is currently in the process of becoming a volunteer at the […]

December 17, 2014 | Posted in Top Achievers 2015 | Leave a reply

SubSea Systems creates underwater oxygen lounge

It was a perfect storm: four and a half hours of sleep after a Bob Seger concert, with a full eight-hour workday ahead followed by a three-hour City Council meeting with a mid-year budget review at the end of it. Coffee was ingested to stimulate my brain and prop my eyelids open, but it wasn’t going to get me past the budget review. Would putting on a SeaTREK helmet and sucking up copious amounts of concentrated oxygen, shooting a bubble gun and mugging for the camera while being 9 feet underwater keep me awake and coherent through the budget report? It was worth a try.

SubSea Systems in Diamond Springs is known internationally for its amazing inventions that enable people to interact with water in ways they could only dream of. Specialized helmets allow those who would not otherwise be able to …

STEM-based program leads the way

The first of the first: 25 Union Mine High School students are taking the first of four courses in Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a four-year career technical engineering pathway at UMHS. Project Lead the Way is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-based national program designed to equip students with skills in engineering, open-ended problem solving, application of engineering design processes and the use of industry-leading technology and software that the world’s top companies use.

PLTW Engineering students explore mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing and the environment to prepare them for post-secondary education …

Mini-grants make a big difference

California Retired Teachers Association, Division 73, awarded six El Dorado County teachers mini-grants of $400 each to purchase items to enhance student learning. The yearly mini-grant program was launched by CRTA  to lend a helping hand to second and third-year teachers, as teachers often buy learning tools out of their own pockets. Pam Cooke and Jennifer […]

Something to think about: Walking the lines

Sometimes it’s hard not to think of the world as a bad place filled with violent people, especially after listening to the news on TV. Fortunately for me, that perception only lasts a few seconds because there are plenty of examples around me to show that it’s a beautiful place filled with generous, helpful folk. […]

‘Haunted’ is a modern ghost story with twists

Book: “Haunted: the Arnaud Legacy” Author: Lynn Carthage Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp., Feb.24, 2015, 288 pages, paperback and e-book versions “Haunted” is the perfect title for this new novel, the first in the Arnaud trilogy by El Dorado Hills author Lynn Carthage. A decrepit mansion, a hidden cemetery, a teenager haunted by her own actions […]

Main Street Rehabiliation Project to be done in three phases

The long-awaited Main Street Rehabilitation Project was separated into three phases of construction at the Feb. 24 Placerville City Council meeting and a construction contract was awarded for part of the first phase. Vinciguerra Construction will construct Phase 1-A of the project, which includes the replacement of about 1,700 feet of water line. The work began on […]

Felines for friends

Cisco, a gray, green-eyed charmer meets you at the gate at Fat Kitty City, followed by Chip and Dale, striped tabby brothers who politely come up and ask for a pat. Sebastian, a huge, fluffy clone for Deuteronomy in the musical “Cats,” catches some rays in the play structure while Mystery, white with tortoiseshell markings, […]

‘Chim Chim Cher-ee': Five generations continue sweep biz

They don’t wear top hats and their faces aren’t covered in soot, but Fred and Bryan Carnett are chimney sweeps, the third and fourth generation of five generations of chimney sweeps. “Long ago, chimney sweeps would sweep the soot from the chimneys they cleaned into their top hats to carry it away for disposal, ” […]

Measure K and the WPI project

A Feb. 10 project status report on the Western Placerville Interchanges Project presented to Placerville City Council led to the city’s response to the question of how Measure K will affect the project. The WPI project, approved by Caltrans on June 1, 2005 was developed to facilitate traffic flow from Highway 50 to Ray Lawyer Drive, […]

New trail segments slated to open next month

The El Dorado County Transportation Commission coughed up an additional $87,000 to complete two segments of the El Dorado Trail: one segment between Clay Street and Bedford Avenue and the other segment between Lower Main Street and Forni Road to Ray Lawyer Drive. The two segments of a Class I Bike Path are under a […]

50 Shades of Green

It’s a bit early for St. Patrick’s Day, but whether you are a leprechaun or not, you can be green, be healthy, have fun and help support local 4-H youth programs all at the same time on Saturday, March 7. The brainchild of five members of the 4-H Leadership Team, Alana Cardinalli, Brook Haynes, Nichole […]

Something to think about: Signs and portents

Punxsutawney Phil and Sarah Palin — what do they have in common? Signs and portents of the future. On Feb. 2, while Punxsutawney Phil, the nation’s Furry Weather Guesser, was predicting six more weeks of winter and then biting his handler in Gobbler’s Knob, Penn., Jimmy the Groundhog was biting the mayor’s ear in Sun […]

Correction

The Feb. 13 article “Former homeless pair to wed” incorrectly stated that Becky Nylander’s wedding dress was found at the Clothes Closet by Shirley Edwards. Nylander’s wedding dress and veil were purchased at Renfro’s by Mary Scanavino, director of Green Valley Community Church’s Clothes Closet.

UM principal gets promotion

Union Mine High School Principal Tony DeVille is moving on up — to the  El Dorado Union High School District Office. After the end of this school year, DeVille will become associate superintendent in Human Services for EDUHSD. It’s a move both exciting and a little sad for DeVille. “There are some really exciting things on […]

Placerville among 50 Best Small Downtowns in America

A January 2015 Best Choices Review of the 50 Best Small Downtowns in America ranked Placerville as No. 28. Extolled in Placerville’s virtues are the monthly stagecoach rides, the 160-year-old Belltower and the Placerville Hardware Store, as well as Placerville’s Gold Rush history and being the late artist Thomas Kinkade’s home town.

Lines drawn at MLUSD

The lines were clearly drawn at the Feb. 11 Mother Lode Union School District Board meeting: parents and teachers stepped forward to tell board members to step down if they weren’t willing to do their job in the best interest for the children of the district; they presented a declaration of no confidence in MLUSD […]

Giving, gathering and granting is a powerful focus

Giving, gathering and granting — the three tenets of Women’s Fund El Dorado, were all in evidence at the Jan. 22 Women’s Fund annual Community Needs Forum. It’s a powerful and energizing thing when hundreds of women gather together with a focused purpose of giving. “It’s a great organization for busy women who want to be charitable,” […]

Former homeless pair to wed

Being homeless is not the end of the story; for Becky Nylander and Ken Green it was just the beginning. The two met at a low point in their lives but things were already starting to change when they came to live in Hangtown Haven, a legal encampment for the homeless operated in Placerville as a pilot program. Now, both are employed and living in their own home, members of a church and part of a support system for those who are currently homeless.

“We have been best friends for four years,” said Nylander, 42. “I had strong feelings for …”

Call for action at MLUSD

The results of a Jan. 13 forum and a Jan. 21 study session at Mother Lode Union School District show a trend in the district, which has been fraught with distrust and concern in the past few months. At both meetings, parents and teachers spoke of concerns about the leadership of the district, staff morale, inaccurately […]

Something to think about: Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram

We are now two days into the Year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram. The lucky element for 2015 is wood; the lucky color is green and the sheep/goat is female. It’s definitely female although still uncertain whether it is a sheep, goat or ram — whatever. You apparently have choices — maybe it’s the […]

President’s Day closures create 3-day weekend

Some offices throughout El Dorado County will be closed, Monday, Feb.16, due to President’s Day, a state and federal holiday. Here’s a look at what local residents may expect: All schools in El Dorado County will be closed. The offices of the police, fire departments and Sheriff’s Department will be closed. For emergency calls, dial 911. […]

Jerry Bennett: Pharmacist, councilman remembered

Former Robinson’s Pharmacy owner, Jerry Bennett, died on Sunday, Jan. 25 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of 79. Bennett began work at Robinson’s as a new pharmacist and he worked there for more than 40 years, purchasing it from Don Robinson and becoming a well-known and vital member of the community.

At the Jan. 27 Placerville City Council meeting, the current owner of Robinson’s Pharmacy, Dennis Thomas, spoke of his longtime mentor and friend.

“He started the pharmacy at Marshall Hospital and he helped Tom Raley start the pharmacy at Raley’s; he loaned money quietly to families in need … and he made many trips to the pharmacy after hours to help people,” said Thomas.

Bennett served on both the Placerville Planning Commission (1978-1984) and the City Council (1984-1994). Thomas described one of …

Book club takes a novel approach

If you’re walking downtown and you’re wishing you had something interesting to read, your wish has been granted. On Jan. 26, the 11 members of the Novel Lovers Book Club installed a two-shelf free lending library in the Courtyard Plaza behind the Cary House Hotel, 100 Main St. in Placerville. “We usually do some sort of […]

Tahoe vibe rocks at Hard Rock

It’s a shot in the arm for the Lake Tahoe action, a beacon for those who hunger for the glamour of Vegas and a blend of vintage and modern, but the newly-opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe has its own Tahoe vibe. Hard Rock Lake Tahoe held its grand opening party on Jan. 28 […]

Too much zinc in sewer system?

Too much zinc in our effluent — could it be that hundreds of Placerville residents are taking zinc for their health and urinating it back into the sewer system? It’s probably not the case, but the city of Placerville has been releasing a bit too much zinc from the Hangtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. On […]

Placerville PD testing out body cams

Placerville police officers will soon have another tool to assist with police-citizen encounters — body cameras. At the Jan. 27 Placerville City Council meeting, the council approved the acceptance of $1,515 in grant funding from Northern California Cities Self-Insurance Fund to purchase two body-worn cameras. “The current technology of in-car video systems is good technology,” […]

Clay Street bridge plan reactivated

The Main Street-Cedar Ravine Realignment and Clay Street Bridge Replacement Project is back in action after Placerville City Council’s approval of a design concept for a four-way stop at the intersection at the Jan. 27 meeting.

The project, approved in 2011, replaces the functionally obsolete Clay Street bridge and realigns Clay Street to face Cedar Ravine. The contentious roundabout that was proposed as an alternative for the intersection of Main, Cedar Ravine and Clay streets in 2006 was removed as an …

City boosts Boys & Girls Club’s new facility

The holding pattern that the Western Slope Boys & Girls Club had been in since October regarding the new 14,567-square-foot facility it is planning to build was finally resolved at the Jan. 13 Placerville City Council meeting. The project stalled out over three conditions of approval adopted by the Placerville Planning Commission in September. One […]

Author relates a personal experience

Book: “The Red Road” Author: Jenni Wiltz Publisher: Decanter Press, 2015, 357 pages, e-book and paperback versions Emma has a loving family, two good friends and a lot of homework. As an honor student grooming herself to go to college, her focus is on her classes, her homework and studying — until something terrible happens […]

From war to parades: Vet owns ambulance he drove in Vietnam

Not many people have a 1967 Kaiser K275 ambulance in their front yard, but Rob Hughes of Lotus has a history with this particular vehicle. In 1968, a 23-year-old Hughes drove this ambulance from Qui Nhon, Vietnam to pick up post-operation wounded out in the field and bring them back to the 67th Evacuation Hospital […]

Paula Gendron gets personal with her customers

Paula Gendron has a new business, but it’s so successful she’s preparing to move to an expanded location in the spring and  a branch of her business has opened in Folsom. It’s the personal touch that brings success, she said. “A lot of success in business depends on the owner being hands-on and available,” Gendron […]

Gayle and Janis Combellack dress for success

It’s one thing to start a new business, but it’s quite another thing to take over an established business and make it your own. Sisters Gayle Combellack-Mog and Janis Combellack did just that, taking on a business started by their great-grandfather, William Bill Combellack, in 1888, carried on by their grandfather William Herbert Combellack and […]

Fair seeks to ‘de-organ-ize': Rare pipe organ 1 of 2 in CA

She was the first pipe organ in El Dorado County; she might be one of the only two Bergstrom Pipe Organs left in California; she might be the largest surviving Bergstrom and now, this vintage lady of El Dorado County history needs a home as the county fair is asking the Historical Society to move it.

Built by John Eric Bergstrom, a Swedish immigrant who learned the science of organ building in Sweden before coming to the United States in 1850, the Bergstrom pipe organ is the only occupant of the Organ Room at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Usually the background for exhibits during the county fair, the organ hasn’t been played for many years.

According to “History of El Dorado County Federated Church,” by Malcom E. Wright, the organ was purchased by the Placerville …

Something to think about: Stand up or stand down?

Defiance — I’m coming to like that word. For me it’s less about getting into someone’s face than it is about standing my ground— especially when someone is trying to take away my freedom and what I hold most dear. The recent terrorism in France may be thousands of miles away from us, but it […]

Mother Lode parents open conversation

The Jan. 14 Mother Lode Union School District Board meeting was well attended. Approximately 75 people, most of them wearing purple, sat at tables in the Herbert Green cafeteria, waiting for a chance to share their concerns, listening to the concerns of parents and teachers and wanting to start a conversation about what is going […]

The rainbow activist returns

A little over two years after completing his walk across America in support of equal civil rights for all Americans regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, activist Richard Noble was back in Placerville — this time arriving by car. He started his long trek across the nation at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco […]

Personal novel ‘Done in One’ is an intense read

Book: “Done in One” Author: Grant Jerkins and Jan Thomas Publisher: St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books, published January 2015, 288 pages, hardcover, Kindle versions   Intense. Frightening. Real. These are just a few words that could be used to describe “Done in One,” a first novel by Pleasant Valley author Jan Thomas. Jake Denton is […]

Grandpa’s Cellar starts a new chapter

It’s not just a passing of the torch; the sale of Grandpa’s Cellar in Apple Hill is a blending of well-loved tradition and new technology and of two Apple Hill essentials — bees and apples. Pat and Bill Scheuner have owned No. 17, Grandpa’s Cellar since 1978. Bill grew up in El Dorado County where […]

Strategic plan for Placerville PD

Placerville Police Chief Scott Heller rolled out a new two-year conceptual strategic plan for the Police Department at the Jan.13 Placerville City Council meeting. The 2015-2017 plan, designed to provide better service to city residents, has four focus areas: community service; professional development; internal operations and capital improvement. Targeted areas for community service includes developing […]

MLUSD concerns

EDITOR: Concerned parents, teachers, staff and citizens of the Mother Lode Union School District: As many of you know, the district had scheduled an open forum on the night of Wednesday, Jan. 7, to discuss concerns regarding the district. This meeting was cancelled on Monday evening. We have recently learned that some of the proposed […]

Pet Bath and Beyond: More than a great bath

Being adaptable to customer needs has changed the business Betty Allen and her sons Dylan, Lucas and Matt built. On Dec. 6, Pet Bath and Beyond, 4570 Pleasant Valley Road, celebrated its one-year business anniversary, but it’s not exactly the same business they started with. “Originally we opened a do-it-yourself dog wash,” said Betty Allen. […]

Something to think about: Fifty years of gold

Fifty years of marriage. Fifty years of trying to figure out another being; of wondering if their idiosyncrasies are making you crazy; of trying to change your own idiosyncrasies so that there aren’t two crazy people in the room at the same time; of marveling how well your bodies fit together; of listening to stories […]

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