PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Wendy Schultz

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 […]

Mandala class opens new paths

If you have ever wondered how the Tibetan Monks from the Gaden Shartse Dokhang Monastery create such beautiful and precise mandalas, you have an opportunity to learn from them and try it for yourself on Saturday, Jan. 10. The monks will be teaching a class showing adults how to create a sand mandala using the traditional […]

Ched Drol Healing Ritual at the Cozmic Café

Bogged down in your own life? At times, the negative forces in the world can seem overwhelming. On Friday, Jan. 9, members of the public have a unique opportunity to identify the negative and limiting forces in their lives and have help in releasing them. The Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse Dokhang Monastery will be […]

Lions fix up Diamond Springs hall

The Clara Scheiber building, on the corner of Pleasant Valley and Missouri Flat roads, has been around since 1948, but the freezing temperatures of December 2013 took their toll on its 66-year-old trusses.

Mother Lode Lions Club has owned the building since 1959 and this February, right after the their crab feed, the Lions noticed something amiss. “The roofline was bulging out right over the entrance,” said Jerry Didlot, club president.

A roofing company called out to inspect the problem discovered cracks two to six inches wide in the trusses supporting the roof in the main hall. “We figured …”

Enter Mackenzie: First 2015 county baby born at 1:30 a.m.

The first gift of the new year was a 20-inch long, seven pound, six ounce pink package named Mackenzie Mae Marie Waisner. Born at 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015, Mackenzie was the first baby born at Marshall Hospital in 2015 as well as the first baby born in El Dorado County. Mackenzie has an […]

Stars in their eyes: Couple reconnects after 35 years

If you loved the movies “Sleepless in Seattle” and “An Affair to Remember,” this story might be right up your alley. In June of this year, Cecilia Maida, 55, met Fred Wilson, 62, in Houston at the Big Texas Dance Hall and they became a couple. That’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is […]

No. 8: Poor Red’s owners convicted, business sold

People all over the world know Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q in El Dorado and most of them have been there. In October, the iconic restaurant and bar was sold to a pair of brothers after being on the market for a year. Previous owners, Michael and Brenda Adams, were convicted of insurance fraud, and failure to […]

No. 10: Roundabouts and roads hot topic in Placerville

The contentious roundabout issue was killed twice, once by Placerville City Council in July and for the second time by the voters in November, as Measure K made sure roundabouts were truly dead, not just mostly dead. In July, City Council removed a roundabout from the list of options for the intersection of Clay Street, […]

District preparing to modernize

Being prepared is half the battle and Pollock Pines School District is gearing up to have a shovel-ready modernization project all set to go if the money ever comes in. “We are working with architect, Kirk Brainerd, to have modernization plans drawn up so that we can get them approved by the Department of State […]

City gives $1.3 million back

Congestion Air Management Quality funding in the tune of $1.3 million earmarked for a roundabout at the intersection of Main/Cedar Ravine and Clay Street was released by the city of Placerville back to the El Dorado County Transportation Commission. The money was removed from the city’s Capital Improvement Project after a resolution adopted by Placerville […]

A Christmas gift from Abby

Abby McGloughlin, 9, is a little bummed that she won’t be seeing the family elf, Lillypippa, again until next year, but Abby has been mostly good. This year, she took to heart a sentence her mother put on the family home-school chalkboard: “Instead of asking what you’re getting for Christmas, ask what you can give.”

Abby is the girl with the hair, golden brown hair that ends just above her knees. She loves her hair; her parents love her hair. But on Dec. 22, Abby and her mother, Bre, went to the Gold Country Hair Salon and Rose Laird cut 14 inches of it off to be donated to Children With Hair Loss.

“We researched different Websites because Abby wanted her hair to go to children,” said Bre. “Children With Hair Loss makes wigs for children without any cost to their parents.”

This is not the first time Abby has donated her hair. At age 3 and again at age 5, she …

Something to think about: Day of Wonder

Happy Boxing Day! In the UK, today is their Black Friday, when everyone returns gifts that don’t fit, don’t work or are otherwise unacceptable, and the merchants offer deep discounts. Boxing Day has nothing to do with the sport of boxing; it started as a day that tradespeople and servants received a Christmas box with […]

Cameron Park vet survived Battle of the Hurtgen Forest

As one of eight survivors of a platoon of 48; a Silver Star awardee from an encounter in the Hurtgen Forest where Allies were surrounded for 21 hard winter days; being wounded three times; a participant in the battle of the bridge at Remagen; successful in the career he loved and the husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather of large and loving family; Tom Vano considers himself to be a lucky man.

Vano, 88, of Cameron Park, gave his Silver Star to a family member, but he really didn’t want it to begin with. It was a symbol of things he wanted to forget and reminder of brave men who died.

He grew up in Astoria, Long Island, and was friends, classmates and bandmates with the singer Tony Bennett, whose family had come from the same part of Italy, Calabria, as Vano’s parents.

High school district approves raises for all

Yes, Tiny Tim, there is something in all the Christmas stockings of El Dorado High School District employees — at least for this year. Certificated employees received a pay increase of 5.75 percent and a 0.26 percent increase in the district’s contribution to the Health Plan Cap; classified employees received a pay increase of 5.75 […]

Community service key for retiring mayor

On Dec. 9, 2014, Placerville Mayor Carl Hagen turned over his gavel to Vice Mayor Patty Borelli and walked into a life a little different from the one he has led for the past 10 years as a member of the Placerville City Council.

Hagen, 69, who has been mayor twice, was appointed from a pool of nine candidates to replace Councilman Robert Salazar, who died during his term in 2004. In 2006, Hagen was elected to his first full term on City Council and to his second in 2010.

“There was a public …”

Ponderosa FFA celebrates 50 years

It’s less about cattle than it is about leadership now, but the Ponderosa High School Future Farmers of America club is celebrating its 50th anniversary and there are still cows, lambs, turkeys, pigs and gardens on the Shingle Springs campus. FFA advisor Andrea Adams doesn’t have to explain much about the program; enthusiastic student members […]

Taking a chance on Logan

It’s not unusual for a sophomore in high school to have a part-time job, but Logan Wright is a little different. He’s a gold medalist, part of the leadership class at El Dorado High School, an avid hunter and fisherman, and he has Down’s syndrome, a genetic chromosomal disorder which causes lifelong intellectual disability and […]

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