More hydropower, more cost-efficiency

Plentiful rain and snow this past winter not only ended California’s drought, it gave a healthy boost to PG&E’s hydroelectric power. The added snow and rain are already benefiting the utility’s customers, the environment and the power grid. That’s because hydroelectric power is less expensive than most other forms of power available in the market. […]

Greenwood market owner faces court date

Vincent Cal of Cal’s Market in Greenwood is in a bit of a conundrum. He opened his business on Main Street in Greenwood without a license; however, he applied for his business license more than a year ago. “They told me that there was commercial property all around me, but my property was rezoned residential,” […]

Nutting receives Lions award

Ray Nutting, chairman of El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, received the Lions Clubs International Melvin Jones Fellowship, named for the founder of Lions and considered the organization’s highest honor. District Gov. Richard Wilmot presented the award at a recent organization dinner. Nutting, who represents District 2, is a longtime member of the Somerset Pioneer […]

Supes extend mental health funding

Funding for mental health treatment and related programs for county residents was extended by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors during its June 28 meeting. Eight special programs received approval for extensions ranging from two or three months to one year. The county’s agreement with Progress House Inc. which provides substance abuse treatment services, […]

CHP reports zero fatals

All things considered, the 2011 Fourth of July weekend was a relatively safe one for El Dorado County motorists. Placerville area California Highway Patrol officer Dan Stark said the three day span of Saturday through Monday yielded 13 crashes and no fatalities. “We managed to avoid the worst-case scenario,” he said. Stark said there were […]

Heard over the back fence: Go rafting with the chamber

KEEP ON TURNING: John Chapman gave me the following T-shirt statement: “Hokey Pokey Anonymous – a place to turn yourself around.” • • • WHITE WATER RAFTING ADVENTURE: A white water rafting trip, sponsored by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce and Gold Rush Outfitters is scheduled for Friday, July 29, at
1 p.m. Minimum age is […]

New food handler law now in effect

A food handler card is now required for all non-exempt food handlers due to a new California law that took effect July 1. A food handler is an individual involved in the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility. There are some exemptions:  temporary food facilities, certified farmer’s markets, commissaries, grocery and […]

Champion for the children, Ron Henke, dies

After a lifetime dedicated to improving the lives of small children, licensed clinical social worker Ron Henke, 78, died June 28 in his Diamond Springs home. A United States Navy veteran who served during the Korean War, Henke was the first Child Protective Services worker in El Dorado County. He spearheaded several programs, including Wee CARE […]

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the […]

Cameron Park CSD appoints new director

CAMERON PARK — The Cameron Park Community Services District voted to add its newest member Thursday night, filling the vacancy left by former director Rich Green’s sudden resignation in May. In an unanimous vote, longtime Cameron Park resident Sean Tucker was elected to take Green’s spot on the CSD’s Board of Directors. “I am honored […]

Low-cost Tdap vaccinations offered through clinics

The El Dorado County Health Services Department, Public Health Division, is offering Tdap vaccine at low cost this summer and just in time for middle school and high school students who will need proof of the vaccination to start school this fall. The Tdap vaccine, which helps protect against pertussis, will be administered to seventh-12th-grade […]

Local woman falls to her death in Stateline

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Detectives of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada are investigating the death of a Placerville woman who fell from a 14th floor balcony at the Horizon Casino in Stateline.  The body of the woman, later identified as 68-year-old Loretta Sangara, was discovered by Horizon Casino security officers about 10 a.m. Friday. […]

Local agricultural values down in past year

In the retail world, it’s location, location, location. In the world of farmers and ranchers, it’s weather, weather, weather. In 2010, it was the weather in spades that caused a nearly 7 percent decline in the gross crop value of El Dorado County’s agriculture industry. The “El Dorado-Alpine Counties 2010 Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report” […]

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 […]