County to fight off private ambulance company

It’s been three years now since Sacramento-based TLC Ambulance filed an application to post one of its ambulances at a Placerville retirement community. TLC owner Ken Whipple said his vision has been for the rig to provide non-emergency transport to and from the hospital for Placerville Pines residents, while also being on call around the […]

Heard over the back fence: Catch the four-course dinner

A QUESTION FOR THE GOVERNMENT: John Chapman of Folsom dropped off the following T-shirt statement: “Why no ‘Senior Citizen Discount’ on health care?” • • • CAREGIVER’S BREAK TIME: Jeanie Redmond’s monthly Alzheimer’s caregiver “Souper Group” luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, March 24, at 11 a.m. Women and men caregivers are invited to share thoughts, frustrations, advice, […]

Missing Nancy’s dog

A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE MISSING JACKIE: A lot of people, including myself, enjoyed watching Nancy Dunk walk her dog, Jackie, down Main Street in the early mornings. Jackie never met anyone he didn’t want to know better. Jackie recently passed away, and a very nice tradition is no longer available in the early Placerville […]

Candy shack open

HOW ABOUT A CHOCOLATE RABBIT? The Mother Lode Lions Sees Candy Shack is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Mother Lode Lions Clara Scheiber Hall parking lot, corner of Missouri Flat Rd. and Pleasant Valley Rd., Diamond Springs. The Easter candy has arrived!  

Barley the golden retriever given a leg up on life

SHINGLE SPRINGS — After the beloved Barley, a 14-year-old golden retriever, fell down last autumn and couldn’t get back up, the Shipman family tearfully said their good-byes to the gentle soul and called the veterinarian to come out and put their pet’s life to an end. But Barley and doc Dean Bader had other ideas. […]

Logue measure to protect counties from convicted felons passes Assembly committee

SACRAMENTO — North state Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, announced the passage of AB 44 through the Assembly Public Safety Committee March 16. This measure, jointly authored by Logue and Assemblywoman Galgiani, D-Livingston, would add more protection for counties from the sudden release of convicted felons into their communities. “The citizens of California have a right […]

Nuclear reactor safety consultant Cheryl Bly-Chester defends nuclear power in California

Editor’s note —  Roseville resident Cheryl Bly-Chester is an MIT-certified nuclear reactor safety consultant. She also served as a consultant to President Reagan’s Chernobyl Response Delegation in 1986. Cheryl Bly-Chester issued the following statement regarding the implications of Japan’s nuclear power disaster on California’s future. “Putting the Japanese nuclear accident in context with radioactive releases […]

Parolee notification bill would alert residents earlier

SACRAMENTO – North State Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, announced the passage of Assembly Bill 44 through the Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday. This measure, jointly authored by Logue and Assemblywoman Galgiani, D-Livingston, would add more protection for counties from the sudden release of convicted felons into their communities. “The citizens of California have a right […]

Desolation Wilderness permits now available online

Desolation Wilderness visitors now may make their overnight permit reservations online. The popular 64,000 acre wilderness area is located in both the Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. “I am happy to announce that Desolation Wilderness visitors are now able to reserve an overnight visitor permit  by going online to,” […]

Woodcutting now permitted year-round in the Eldorado National Forest

Woodcutting season in the Eldorado National Forest will open early this year, beginning on March 16 rather than the usual April 1, announced Forest Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo. The 2011 fuelwood permits will expire on Dec. 31. The opening date change came about partly due to the economic times and the many people requesting woodcutting permits. Woodcutting […]

Hearing for suspected child molester continued

The hearing for a Placerville man accused of child molestation was continued Monday afternoon in an El Dorado County Superior Courthouse. Lynn Edward Olsen, 64, is charged with one felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under of the age of 14 and one felony count of possession of child pornography. During Olsen’s […]

High bail puts restaurateur in county cooler

Embattled restaurateur Kevin Cairns, owner of Dante’s on the River, pleaded not guilty to several criminal charges Tuesday afternoon, including felony assault and vandalism. Cairns, 50, appeared in El Dorado County Superior Court with defense attorney Steve Tapson and Cairsns’ wife, Nancy. Cairns entered the plea to charges filed earlier this month including two felony assault […]

Jury selection begins for two trials

Placerville’s Main Street Courthouse was packed to the rafters Monday morning as more than 200 prospective jurors turned out for jury selection. Armed with books, e-readers and iPods, El Dorado County residents were forced into the cramped hallways of the aging Courthouse, which was built in 1913 without a jury assembly room. Keri Shane, the court’s […]

Part 1: Fire districts cut to the bone

Editor’s note— Part 1 of this three-part series describes fire district funding inequities in El Dorado County and the status of a proposed regional consolidation. Part 2 will explore how districts across the county are struggling to get smaller, the history of funding inequities and how salaries compare across districts. Part 3 will look at […]

4-5-11 Genealogical Society’s mentor sessions

WHO WERE MY FORERUNNERS? On Tuesday, April 5, the El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society’s mentor session will be held at the El Dorado Hills Library, 7455 Silva Valley Parkway, El Dorado Hills, from 5 to 7 p.m. This meeting is an informal sharing of genealogy information. Visitors are always welcome. Bring your family history questions. […]

Criminal annals, part 111: News articles and assault

The Sept. 7, 1852, edition of the Sacramento Daily Union has a lengthy story regarding what it calls “attempts to muzzle the press.” It shows that a column, article or letter in the newspapers of that day, could bring more than written comments, including violence. The first part of the story is a condemnation of […]

3-30-11 Research your family history

RELIVE THE PAST: On the 3rd Wednesday of each month, the El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society meets from 6 to 8 p.m. at the El Dorado Hills Library, 7455 Silva Valley Parkway, El Dorado Hills. Visitors are always welcome to research their family history. The meetings include a genealogy speaker. For more informtion, visit

3-28-11 Poetry reading at the library

POET’S PLAYTIME: On the second Wednesday of each month, from 6 to 7 p.m., the El Dorado County Main Library, 345 Fair Lane, Placerville, presents “Poetry off the Shelves.” This is an opportunity to read your original poetry or to read the poetry of your favorite poet. You may also come and just listen to […]

Residents, hunters collide in Kanaka Valley

“You’re ramming hunting down our throats,” said Kanaka Valley resident Richard Fischer to Lauren Fety, an indefatigable 26-year old biologist heading up the Kanaka Valley project for the Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode field office. She claims she’s gotten used to comments like that since she’s fostering a bitter dispute between residents of a […]

Man takes deal in sex case

A Placerville man accused of sexually assaulting a Shingle Springs girl was sentenced Monday afternoon after pleading out in an El Dorado County court. Brett Michael Davis, 20, was arrested in January after a 14-year-old Shingle Springs girl was reported missing. El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz previously described Davis and the victim as acquaintances […]

Deputies look for Somerset woman

El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies are looking for a Somerset woman suspected of receiving stolen property. Alyssa Carole Rossetta, 40, is wanted on suspicion of having stolen goods after deputies conducted a probation search Saturday morning of a Somerset home on the 2300 block of Apache Pass Road and discovered allegedly stolen property as well […]

3-21-11 State Regents Genealogical Bible Records

SAVE THOSE FAMILY RECORDS! The El Dorado Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is participating in the Calif. State Society State Regents Genealogical Bible Records Project. This project allows those who have pre-World War II Bibles that contain family records an opportunity to have the records photo copied, indexed, and submitted to the […]

Buckeye school district superintendent to retire

By Julie Samrick Special to the Democrat EL DORADO HILLS — “What are you learning today?” Buckeye Union School District Superintendent Terry Wenig said she will miss asking this question most after she retires this June. Twice a week Wenig visits the classrooms of the 5,200 students that make up Buckeye’s five elementary, two middle […]

County chamber CEO welcomes public to annual ‘I Love Film’ mixer

By Laurel Brent-Bumb It’s that special time of year again when the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce has the opportunity to help promote business in our county through the Business Showcase and “I Love Film” mixer. This free-to-the-public event on March 18 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds grows bigger […]

Actor Jeffrey Weissman to appear in Placerville

The El Dorado Lake Tahoe Film and Media Office will host the annual “I Love Film” film industry mixer from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. Film mixer attendance is open to the public and is a great way to learn about the film business in […]

El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition addresses underage drinking

El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition is collaborating with local schools, youth-serving organizations, and public agencies to address the topic of underage drinking. Youth will take a lead role as participants in a Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking on Thursday, April 7, at the Oak Ridge High School cafeteria, 1011 Harvard Way, from 6 to […]

Heard over the back fence: Search and you shall find

SHIRT À TROIS: Thanks to John Chapman of Folsom, the following T-shirt statement is offered: “Me, myself and I say you’re wrong. It’s 3 agaist one.” • • • FAMILY SEARCH PARTY: On Wednesday, March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., the El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society will meet in the Community Room in the El Dorado […]

Designate a driver for St. Patrick’s celebrations

St. Patrick’s Day is a popular night out to socialize with friends, family and coworkers. However, with so many local establishments promoting alcohol sales or special promotional events, far too many drunk drivers head out onto streets, making it dangerous for all. As a counter measure to all the “green beer” on sale St. Patty’s […]

Fire Safe Council faces funding crisis

The El Dorado County Fire Safe Council is facing a conflagration of its own — in the form of a funding crisis. Established under the auspices of the state Fire Safe Council and generally funded by grants from the federal Bureau of Land Management and Department of Agriculture through the U.S. Forest Service, the local […]

City redevelopment questioned again

A small but vocal group of El Dorado County residents posed questions for the Placerville Redevelopment Agency at Tuesday’s City Council/Redevelopment Agency meeting, but not all of them stuck around to listen to the answers. The Redevelopment Agency was tasked with approving and adopting a report to the City Council on the Proposed Redevelopment Plan for […]

Report to supervisors: Tahoe economy ‘a mess’

Lake Tahoe and its surroundings should be considered a distinct, unique and separate “economic environment.”  That represents the conclusions of a 15-month study resulting in the Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan that further recommends establishing a Tahoe Prosperity Center. The Lake Tahoe Basin is a mess. That was the message recently delivered to El Dorado County […]

National alert issued for runaway

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issued an alert Friday afternoon for a runaway El Dorado County girl. Donna Joann Fishback-Nelson, 17, of Somerset, was last seen Feb. 13. She is described as being 5 feet 1 inch, 87 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. Currently, the lower half of her hair […]

Keep the Wagon Train rolling: Send money

Circle the wagons, we’re being attacked by the Budget Demons. The pioneers survived early snows, they struggled over the Rockies and thirsted in the desert — but they could be stopped by California’s financial crisis. This year’s Highway 50 Association Wagon Train, the only rolling Bi-State Historical Event, has 16 wagons, including military hitches coming […]

Potential site OK’d for new courthouse

The state Public Works Board on Friday approved selection of a potential site for the proposed new courthouse in Placerville for the Superior Court of El Dorado County. The site, among a number of sites currently under consideration, is approximately 6 acres owned by El Dorado County adjacent to the county jail on Forni Road. […]

Sam LaCara memorial garden planned

The dirt at the end of the Highway 50 Schnell School Road off-ramp will be dirt no more. Soon plants and flowers will brighten the west corner of Schnell School Road and Broadway, bringing  beauty and color to an otherwise drab area and honoring the memory of a beloved local educator. A project that has […]

Business park stalls over boundary

Harrington Business Park, a 77- acre proposed development in Diamond Springs, stalled at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this month. The county Planning Commission had approved the project early last month, and development services recommended that the board approve the project with certain conditions. However, during public testimony, Sharon Mellor told […]

Heard over the back fence: First give blood, then eat tacos next night

THE UN-SINATRA SHIRT: John Chapman of Folsom dropped off the following T-shirt statement: “Chairman of the Bored.” • • • TASTY TACOS GALORE: Placerville Elks Lodge No. 1712 invites the public to attend their Taco Nights on every first and third Thursday, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., at the Elks Lodge, 3821 Quest Court, Shingle Springs. • • • […]

Books for the homebound

BOOKS ON WHEELS: The Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills and the El Dorado Hills Library are now providing library books to homebound El Dorado Hills residents. Volunteers deliver and pick up library materials. For more information, call Cecilia Finch at 916-933-2111.  

Charges filed against Dante’s owner

The owner of the Riverton area fine-dining restaurant Dante’s on the River was formally charged last week for his roles in two separate altercations with car-sick travelers in the parking lot of his eatery. Kevin Cairns, 50, faces two felony assault counts, one count of felony vandalism, one misdemeanor charge of brandishing a weapon and […]

Beware of tsunami relief effort scams

In the wake of the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in over 100 years, many Americans want to help those impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami that followed. Better Business Bureau warns donors to exercise caution when making donations to relief agencies and charities. As with every natural disaster, there are unscrupulous people […]

4-19-11: Class on Poor Digestion at EDH Sr. Center

POOR DIGESTION – WHAT CAUSES IT? A class titled “Poor Digestion – The Secret Problem” is being presented on Tuesday, April 19, at 12:45 p.m., at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane, El Dorado Hills. Among many other things, participants will learn three simple tips to improve digestion, increase energy and allow […]

4-19-11: Free senior legal seminars

GRANDPARENT RIGHTS: Free senior legal seminars are available on Tuesdays, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Placerville Senior Center Dining Hall, 937 Spring St., Placerville. The seminar for Tuesday, April 19, is titled “Granparent Rights.” Participants in the class will learn about their options involving legal relationships with their grandchildren.

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: A $10,000 lesson

I’ve been working with a 1-year-old Weimaraner. His owners started looking for a trainer after he did more than $10,000 worth of damage to two living room sofas.  After. When I visited their home for the first time, I walked into the living room and couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like a supersized shredder […]

Pollock pavement a puzzler

Just about everyone could use a million dollars. The Pollock Pines Union School District was awarded an Emergency Hardship Grant for that amount, which is good news. The bad news is the precariousness of the state budget and the continued cuts in base revenue for school districts. Will the money allocated for repaving almost a […]

Cal Fire reminds Californians: Change your clocks, change your batteries

Smoke alarms are such a common feature in homes across California that it is easy to take them for granted. Tragically nearly two-thirds of residential fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. To help reduce these losses, Cal Fire and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are reminding all Californians to change the batteries […]