Heard over the back fence: Tour Placerville’s 150-year-old church

 John Chapman dropped off the following T-shirt statement:
“MENtal Anxiety
MENtal Breakdown
MENstrual Cramps
Did you ever notice how all of our problems begin with ‘MEN’?” • • • HISTORIAL CHURCH TOURS: The Episcopal Church of Our Savior, 2979 Coloma St., Placerville, is having a Sesquicentennial Celebration (150 years) on July 15, 16, and 17. On Friday, July […]

Public welcome on July 6 hike

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Tahoe Rim Trail Association, the Leave No Trace Center for Ethics and Tahoe Mountain Sports is teaming up for a fun and interactive Evening Leave No Trace Family Hike on Wednesday, July 6, from 4–6 p.m. from the Tahoe City North Trailhead. (Directions to the trailhead will be provided upon registration for […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: The bombs bursting in air

The parties, the parades, the fireworks … Who doesn’t love the 4th of July? Your dog. That’s who. Every snap, crackle and pop, every snare drum and piccolo solo, the average dog hears it five times more intensely than the average human. And if your dog is the shy or timid type, that degree of […]

Sex offender busted for failure to register

A Placerville man was arrested last week for failing to properly register for his offense, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz said Benjamin Burmley, 68, was arrested the morning of June 24 at his residence on Cold Springs Road in Placerville after detectives and county probation officers learned he […]

Law enforcement stages shooter training

EL DORADO HILLS — Nearly five months after the shooting death of Louisiana Schnell School principal Sam LaCara in Placerville, El Dorado County law enforcement staged its annual Active Intruder Training this week, ensuring that all county agencies are prepared for future threats on school campuses. This year’s training, the ninth annual hosted by the El […]

Bigger cost share for new employees

El Dorado County and its two largest employee groups have agreed to new multi-year contracts that were approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Members of the El Dorado County Employees Association Local No. 1 ratified their new contract by a 2:1 margin, Executive Director Jere Copeland told the board. The association represents more than […]

Cops, Caltrans prep for 4th

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Come this weekend, cops will be out in full force and Caltrans will pull construction crews off the roads to prepare for the influx of visitors. Construction on Echo Summit will halt from July 1 to July 10. All lanes will be open. In Nevada, the Department of Transportation stipulates in […]

School’s out (mostly) for Tracy Rodgers

EL DORADO HILLS — A bit of a prankster, one of teacher Tracy Rodgers favorite things to do involved a long wig and a Southern accent. For the past few years the William Brooks Elementary School teacher dressed up on Halloween and came to class as her “twin sister.” She would tell the students she […]

Heard over the back fence: Pollock Pines parade, fair July 4th

A DEFINITION OF NORMAL: John Chapman sent me the following washing machine plaque statement:
 “Around here normal is just a setting on the washing machine.” • • • POLLOCK 4TH IS PLACE TO BE: Pollock Pines is celebrating the Fourth of July with a parade and an all-day country fair. Family fun begins with a Firehouse Pancake […]

Walker raising heart transplant funds

Mike Tittinger of Santa Monica had been walking for only 10 days when he arrived in Placerville from the Bay Area this week, but he already had a moving story to tell. “I was on a dirt road near Elmira, walking through a farm where Google had put me, and I saw a pickup truck […]

EID gets favorable audit, advances capital projects

The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors on June 27 received and unanimously voted to file the 2010 annual audit. The audit report, prepared by Maze and Associates, Certified Public Accountants, reported no material discrepancies and states that the financial statements represent fairly the financial position of the district in all material respects as of Dec. 31, […]

Wet spring shrinks EID’s income; furloughs follow

Faced with lower water revenue because of the wet spring, the El Dorado Irrigation District employees have agreed to furloughs. In an effort to help the district reduce costs, staff agreed to take 40 hours of furloughs between July 2 and Dec. 31. District headquarters in Placerville will be closed on the following Fridays: July 15, […]

Assemblywoman Gaines votes against Demo budget

SACRAMENTO –Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Roseville, June 29 voted against the 2011-2012 Democrat budget, calling it an irresponsible plan that doesn’t include the necessary reforms to ensure the state doesn’t face the same fiscal problems down the road. “While I’m pleased to see the governor and majority party have finally listened to Californians and presented a […]

Sen. Gaines votes no on Demo budget

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, June 29 issued the following statement regarding the Democrats’ most recent budget plan: “This is the fourth Democrat majority vote budget attempt this year, and the fourth time I have voted ‘no’ on their budget package.” “Our plea for real pension reform, a hard spending cap, job creation and […]

EID to replace Camp 2 bridge

When the El Dorado Irrigation District acquired Project 184 in 1999 from PG&E, it gained ownership of a water delivery system from four alpine lakes high in the Sierra that drop water nearly 4,000 feet into the American River. At Kyburz a dam captures some of the water that then flows along steep slopes for […]

7-13-11 Senior activities seek idividuals

SHARING YOUR SKILLS WITH OTHERS: The Senior activities program is seeking individuals who have a skill, hobby or area of interest they would like to share with other senior groups in the Pollock Pines area. For more information, call 530-621-6369 or 530-621-6158.

7-11-11 Rotary Club takes Boys & Girls Club to River Cats game

TAKE THE KIDS OUT TO THE BALLGAME! Cameron Park Rotary Club members have scheduled a River Cats trip for the Western Slope Boys and Girls Club. On Friday, July 15, the Rotarians will host 35 members of the Boys and Girls Club and treat them to a River Cats game. Thank you, Rotarians.

7-11-11 “Childbirth Education” class in P.V.

INDULGE THAT BABY: A class titled “Childbirth Education” is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Placerville. Class topics include focusing on the stages of labor, medical options and pain management. The class fee is $120. First 5 El Dorado offers scholarships to help pay class tuition. For exact location […]

Ecosystem Restoration funding comment period open

The California Department of Fish and Game is accepting comments on recommendations for proposed projects related to the 2010-2011 CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program. As the state implementing agency for the ERP, the DFG released a Proposal Solicitation Package in December 2010 requesting proposals focused on three ERP priorities: 1) Restoration projects that restore or enhance […]

City sewer rate discount today

Measure H tax revenues will show up in city ratepayers’ July 10 bill with an approximate 10 percent discount, as approved by the Placerville City Council at Tuesday’s meeting. Placerville voters approved Measure H, a quarter percent additional sales tax, on the November 2010 ballot. The measure, dedicated to providing ratepayer relief from city sewer […]

Denham convicted in Mosquito Bridge murder case: Sentencing set for July 25

Nicholas James Denham was found guilty Tuesday of the first-degree murder of Placerville resident Gerald Cody Ludden. An El Dorado County jury of nine men and three women convicted Denham, 30, of Ludden’s first-degree murder and also found him guilty of carjacking and robbery. The body of the 33-year-old Ludden was found by hikers below […]

Planning tips offered for Eldorado National Forest 4th of July

The U.S. Forest Service is preparing for the usual 4th of July crowds that come to the Eldorado National Forest, despite the unusual amount of snow in the higher elevations this year. “Many of the popular campgrounds are open and ready for campers,” said Eldorado National Forest Recreation Officer Lester Lubetkin. “However, the following campgrounds […]

Trio suspected of deer poaching

A suspected deer poaching ring was busted Thursday when three Stockton men were arrested after returning from a suspected all-night poaching trip in El Dorado County, according to the state’s Department of Fish and Game. Accused of killing deer and selling the meat for profit are Thongseuth Khounchanh, 57, Ti Sila, 51, and Bouneluna Sysenglath, […]

Statewide sales tax to decrease July 1

Companies and individuals who collect sales tax received notice from the Board of Equalization June 27 that the 1 percentage point increase in sales tax passed in 2009 will expire June 30 as originally set. For the past two years, the sales tax in El Dorado County has been 8.25 percent. In the cities of […]

GDPUD narrows budget options

Unless money is flowing in like the 2011 Sierra Nevada summer runoff, balancing a budget requires difficult decisions. When the parties involved have radically different perspectives, the deliberations are often contentious. The special meeting of the Board of Directors of Georgetown Divide Public Utility District June 24 was a perfect example. The board had done […]

Supervisors hold last hearing on reapportionment

One overriding principle informs the entire process of redistricting — also called reapportionment. All new districts must be equal in population. Every other consideration is very much secondary to the primacy of equality of numbers. El Dorado County supervisors conducted a final public hearing Monday to reduce the number of alternative maps, some configuration of […]

Grand jury recommends Sheriff’s Dept. policy changes

In its third and final analysis of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, the 2010-11 Grand Jury Report advises several cost-cutting measures for a department that accounts for roughly one-fifth of the county’s General Fund budget. The report acknowledges that the department has undergone “substantial budget reductions” over the past three years, but indicates there are still […]

Heard over the back fence: Reunion for ’75-’80 Cougars

PESSIMIST SHIRT: Thanks to John Chapman, the following T-shirt statement is presented: “I’d like to be an optimist, but I doubt it would work.” • • • REUNION FOR EDHS 1975-1980 CLASSES: The El Dorado High School Alumni for the classes of 1975 to 1980 are invited to attend a class reunion on Saturday, July 16, at […]


Key facts in the “River rescue saves South County kayaker” story from the Monday, June 26, edition of the Mountain Democrat were not known until after press time. Responders from the Pioneer Fire Protection District — including Chief Bob Gill and volunteer firefighter Phil Dayton — were first on the scene during for the rescue attempt. Also, […]

Another EDH home burned

Flames ripped through a Vista Mar Drive home Monday afternoon, destroying the two-story residence and burning some of the nearby open space and a spot on a neighbor’s lawn. The El Dorado Hills Fire Department got the call at 1:49 p.m. and when firefighters arrived at the home, “It was well involved. (The fire) was […]

Motorcyclist dies on Wentworth Springs Rd.

STUMPY MEADOWS — An Elk Grove man was killed Sunday morning when he lost control of his speeding motorcycle on Wentworth Springs Road, an official with the California Highway Patrol said. Placerville area CHP officer Dan Stark said Christopher Austria, 42, died Sunday at 11:40 a.m. when he was thrown from his Kawasaki ZX-250 while […]

Youth Explore the Outdoors at Nature Camps in Coloma and El Dorado Hills

Calling all campers: Youth ages 6-11 are invited to explore the outdoors at Nature Camp in Coloma or El Dorado Hills. For over 20 years, the American River Conservancy’s Nature Camps have provided youth the opportunity to explore the outdoors while learning about science and nature. In Coloma, this summer’s theme Energized by Nature addresses […]

State health official offers tips for staying cool in summer’s heat

SACRAMENTO – With the arrival of summer and hot weather, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, is encouraging California residents to follow these top-10 helpful tips to stay safe this summer: 1. Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep […]

Forest Service urges 4th of July safety

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — With the busy 4th of July holiday approaching, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit asks residents and visitors to help protect public safety and the environment. Forest Service officials ask that the public keep wildfire prevention in mind during 4th of July celebrations. Despite the fact that snow remains […]

Free Fishing Day is Saturday, July 2

The California Department of Fish and Game invites anglers to celebrate Independence Day by fishing in California’s spectacular waters. Saturday, July 2, is the first of California’s two 2011 Free Fishing Days (the other will be Sept. 3), when people can try their hand at fishing without having to buy a sport fishing license. All […]

Sheriff’s Office hours change

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office lobby and records window hours have been increased to better assist the public with their needs. The former, curtailed hours were imposed due to budget restraints, which severely limited the public access to vital services. The new Sheriff’s Department lobby and records window hours are: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 […]

’Bye to the badge: CHP Officer of Year retires

Nearly 29 years ago, Denise Foster began her career with the California Highway Patrol. Now, in a matter of days, the woman who was the 2010 recipient of the Placerville area CHP’s “Officer of the Year” award will be hanging up her badge. Foster, 59, is creeping up on the mandatory retirement age of 60. […]

Criminal annals, part 122: Chilean drama, burned towns and tragic mishaps

Moving on to the Sept. 20, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we find under “Calaveras Correspondence” an altercation between some Chileans and a young American. “Calaveras Correspondence. “Jackson, Sept. 18, 1852 “Messrs. Editors: –  To-day being the anniversary of Chilean Independence, a large number of that nation congregated in our village, for the […]

River rescue saves South County kayaker

FAIR PLAY — A kayaker was rescued early Friday morning after becoming separated from his friends the night before. El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz said a German-born kayaker, whose name was not available as of press time, was injured Thursday night while kayaking down the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River. The California […]

EDH Fire board president responds to grand jury

El Dorado Hills Fire Board President Greg Durante issued the following statement in response to the 2010-11 El Dorado County Grand Jury Report: “I have assigned the report to a committee and will provide a detailed response to their findings and recommendations in the next 60 days. That is our opportunity to correct misstatements and clarify district […]

7-8-11 Childbirth education classes in PV

THE STORK IS COMING: A class titled “Childbirth Education” is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Placerville. This class is a condensed, fast- paced childbirth class that will focus on the stages of labor, medical options, and pain management. The class is designed for pregnant women and their partners. […]

7-8-11 New officers for Shakespeare Club

NEW LEADERS – FUTURISTIC GOALS: The Placerville Shakespeare Club recently installed the following officers for 2011-1012: President – Joan Geel; 1st Vice President – Janice Masterton; 2nd Vice President – Joyce Francies; 3rd Vice President – Raelene Nunn; Secreary – Merrilee Heffernan; General Fund Treasurer – Edna Knutsen; Renovation Fund Treasurer – Kathy Walter; Mollie […]

Grand Jury scorches EDH Fire Dept.

El Dorado County’s 2010-11 Grand Jury delivered a scathing review of the El Dorado Hills Fire Department, calling it “top-heavy,” “over compensated,” “inflexible” and out of step with the realities of what its firefighters do on a daily basis. The June 10 report accuses the district of “overspending … despite receiving a disproportionate amount of […]

Group cares for soldiers’ pets

EL DORADO — There are a lot of things to take care of when a soldier is deployed, a lot of things to worry about. One of the biggest concerns is what to do with their pets. Sometimes a friend can be found to pet-sit, sometimes the only options are an expensive boarding kennel or […]

County not in market for mitigation lands

El Dorado County supervisors backed each other up Tuesday afternoon to reject any notion that the county should acquire more land in order to mitigate environmental losses due to future development. The issue was raised during a presentation by Development Services Director Roger Trout. On the agenda to ask the board to approve a request […]