Stumpy Meadows spills early

Stumpy Meadows Reservoir started spilling at 3:46 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 19. Flows during the storm peaked at 1,540 cubic feet per second (11,500 gallons per second) at 4:39 p.m. on Dec. 19 and Pilot Creek is currently flowing at 253 cubic feet per second. The Georgetown Divide Public Utility District crew was prepared and the […]

Shenandoah High School’s first homecoming open to public

Shenandoah High School, El Dorado Union High School District’s first public charter school, will present its First Homecoming Event on Jan. 19 featuring Elliot Washor, Ed.D., guest speaker and co-founder of Big Picture Learning. Big Picture is a nonprofit educational reform group dedicated to the fundamental rethinking of schooling. Shenandoah exemplifies the Big Picture philosophy […]

Heard over the back fence 1-3-11

Not so modest T-shirt: John Chapman of Folsom dropped off the following T-shirt statement: “It’s not a superiority complex when you really are superior.” Ron and Diane Lagorio live next to Union Mine High School. For the past 10 years they have been decorating the outside of their house on holidays. The high school students […]

Dave Barry’s Year in Review

McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) Let’s put things into perspective: 2010 was not the worst year ever. There have been much worse years. For example, toward the end of the Cretaceous Period, the Earth was struck by an asteroid that wiped out 75 percent of all the species on the planet. Can we honestly say that we had […]

McClintock appointed chairman House Water and Power Subcommittee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, has been appointed chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee in the 112th Congress. McClintock served as ranking member of the subcommittee in the previous Congress. “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tom McClintock as the chairman of the Water […]

Contractors licensing board cautions licensees

SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board’s Renewals Unit has been contacted by several licensees who attempted to renew their license through an outside business, rather than directly with CSLB. In some cases, doing so caused delays, which resulted in their licenses expiring. As a result, they must now pay late fees. The Attorney General’s […]

McClintock appointed to House Budget and Natural Resources committees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, has been appointed to serve on the House Budget Committee and the Natural Resources Committee for the upcoming 112th Congress. McClintock will begin his second term on the Natural Resources Committee where he served as ranking member of the Water and Power sub-committee during the 111th Congress. […]

New Year’s resolution: Repetition helps Cameron woman lose 72 pounds

Cameron Park resident Sharon Tate made the same New Year’s resolution each year for 15 years — to lose weight. It’s the same resolution that millions of other Americans make every year, along with getting more exercise and quitting smoking. But in 2010 Tate not only kept her resolution, she made up for the years […]

Heard over the back fence: Auld lang syne

As the New Year approaches, I am reminded of my friend and co-worker Linda Cline. She was a person with a kind heart and generous spirit. She made my job so easy, it never felt like work. I miss you, Linda. All of us here at the Mountain Democrat miss you. John Chapman of Folsom […]

High school district covers retiree health benefits

Employees of El Dorado Union High School District will be pleased to know that there is money in the bank to cover their retirement health benefits. Since 2004 public employers such as the district are required by the Government Accounting Standards Board to perform actuarial valuations to measure and disclose retiree health program every two […]

Kinkade pleads no contest to DUI, will get 10 days in the pokey

World-renowned painter and Placerville resident Thomas Kinkade recently pleaded no contest to a June DUI charge and now faces jail time. Kinkade, 52, was stopped near Carmel by a Monterey County sheriff’s deputy on June 11 for a Vehicle Code violation. The deputy suspected signs of alcohol on Kinkade and the painter was booked into […]

Better Business Bureau announces top scams of 2010

With many residents still basking in the warm afterglow of the holiday season, the Better Business Bureau has released the year’s top scams in an attempt to educate consumers heading into 2011. The year’s most popular, widely used scams have two goals, according to the BBB: Steal money and/or identities. “Every day, the BBB receives […]

Ex-café owner becomes president

One day after Scott McNeil was sworn in to his Cameron Park Community Services District board seat, his fellow directors elected him president of the board. Running the Mira Loma Café for three years changed McNeil’s perspective, he said. It exposed him to local politics and people. “It really got me out into the community.” […]

Stanton wants a ‘brand Cameron Park’

Greg Stanton’s vision for Cameron Park includes more civic events, a dog park and a walkable town center, “if not in my lifetime, at least in my kids’.” “We have this bifurcated community because of the freeway, but so does El Dorado Hills, and they overcame it; so can we,” he said. “We just need […]

Pilot Hill project advanced by Planning Commission

After three years and a complete redesign, the El Dorado County Planning Commission recently voted  to recommend approval of the proposed residential subdivision known as Sundance in Pilot Hill. Background Owner Christopher Beauchamp of Los Gatos purchased the 298-acre site in 2002. The L-shaped site is located on the south side of Rattlesnake Bar Road, […]

Weber bridge project on track

So far so good is the word on the street. In this case, the street is actually Highway 50 where it crosses Weber Creek just west of Placerville. The nearly $25 million upgrade to the bridge includes adding one additional lane in each direction and constructing a pedestrian/cycling lane along the south side of the […]

AAA offers ‘tipsy tows’ New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve revelers have no excuse for drinking and driving. If you’ve been drinking, AAA Northern California will take you and your car home for free. AAA will offer its Tipsy Tow service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day in Northern California, Nevada […]

Woman rescued

A woman in her 20s was rescued Monday night after her vehicle fell down a 100-foot embankment near Highway 50 and Bass Lake Road. KCRA reported that the woman who was a nurse called the California Highway Patrol shortly before 7 p.m. when she saw headlights from a car that left the highway. The nurse, […]

Japanese bicyclist arrives in Brooklyn

Three months after his journey first began, a Japanese man’s cross-country bicycle trip from Santa Cruz to Brooklyn, N.Y. has come to an end. Takashi Matsumoto, 33, rode his custom built bamboo bicycle from sea to shining sea to spread his global message of responsible bamboo use. His journey actually started in his native country, […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Holiday hounds

It’s no iPad, but the idea has been around a lot longer and still makes the short list of the most popular Christmas gift ideas: the puppy. The great thing about the gift of a pup is that it works both ways. After all, there is no better gift for a dog than a loving […]

Heard over the back fence: Parlez vous fun?

The French Connection Club continues to meet on the third Friday of the month at 10 a.m. at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane in El Dorado Hills. These sessions are an opportunity to practice the language, share heritage, sing songs, enjoy French cuisine and go on outings. Group leaders are Terry Provenza […]

Heard over the back fence: New year — let’s volunteer

Have you considered being a volunteer in 2011? Mary Cory and Kay Murdock are busy recruiting volunteers for the County Museum on Placerville Drive and the Fountain-Tallman Museum on Main Street, Placerville. If you enjoy history and want to meet like-minded people, come on out to the museum volunteer open house on Tuesday, Jan. 11, […]

Democrat starts 160th year

Now beginning its 160th year of publication, the Mountain Democrat is one of 19 newspapers published in El Dorado County before 1858, according to the 1949 reminiscences of former Democrat publisher Clarence Barker. It is the lone survivor of that remarkable period, and is now the oldest newspaper in California in continuous publication. By its […]

Local courts to add another judge, says governor

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Warren C. Stracener, 60, to the El Dorado County Superior Court. The vacancy was created by the conversion of a court commissioner position. Stracener is among 18 Superior Court appointments in 13 counties named by the governor on Dec. 16. The compensation for this position is $178,789. He will be […]

Sand, sandbags available to residents

In preparation for any storm-related emergencies, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, along with county fire departments and the Department of Transportation, has stockpiled sand and sandbags for county residents. There is no charge for the sand or sandbags. All of the sand stockpiles are open around the clock, but residents need […]

Somerset man arrested after shots fired

A Somerset man was booked Monday night after he allegedly fired a handgun at a motorist who drove past his house. El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz said Robert Hock, 62, is believed to have fired one or two rounds at a driver described as a man in his 50s who passed Hock’s home […]

Heard over the back fence: Happy holidays!

Happy holidays to all of you out there! Don’t forget that you are worthy and deserving of inner peace and harmony. Put down the paper and hug somebody. If nobody is near you, go out and find somebody to hug. Dec. 24 is a “give and accept” hug day. My pal John Chapman of Folsom […]

Rancho mayor seeks Senate seat

Ken Cooley knows it won’t be easy. The Rancho Cordova mayor, in a matter of weeks, will go toe-to-toe against Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, in the battle to fill the Senate District 1 seat left vacant by the late Sen. Dave Cox, who died in July. But Cooley, a Democrat, is hopeful his message and […]

Crane deposits locomotive

It wasn’t wrapped, but the train engine that arrived in El Dorado on Friday, Dec. 17, might as well have had a big red ribbon on it. The 22-ton Plymouth diesel locomotive is a gift from CertainTeed , in Chowchilla. Keith Berry, president of El Dorado Western Railway, said CertainTeed had owned the engine for […]

Heard over the back fence: Be well, seniors

The Senior Information and Assistance Program will help seniors navigate through the various senior programs available. You can learn about programs to keep you safely at home, to keep you active in the community and programs that contribute to your overall well-being. Call 530-621-6369 for more information. Mark of a senior: John Chapman of Folsom […]

Big fir falls in Pollock; no injuries

POLLOCK PINES — A 29-year-old woman and her 3-year-old daughter escaped injury when a 170 foot tall Douglas fir fell onto their duplex early Sunday afternoon, shocking the woman and frightening nearby neighbors. “It was very powerful to see, the wind would whip it to the left, then to the right — and then it […]

Don’t get ‘Grinched’ at gas pump in the new year

During the busy holiday season many motorists may not have noticed that gas prices are at the highest point in more than two years, nearing $3 per gallon on average. While motorists can’t control the price of gas, they can keep from getting “grinched” by following a few simple steps from the Car Care Council. […]

Heard over the back fence: Peace be with us

The Monks are coming! The Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery in India will be in Placerville at the Cozmic Cafe from Jan. 4-12. During the day the creation of the Sand Mandala will be ongoing upstairs at the Cozmic Cafe and visitors are welcome. Volunteers are needed to help with various events. To volunteer […]

Trial date vacated in Somerset shooting case

The start date for the murder trial of a former Bay Area cop accused of shooting a Grizzly Flat man was pushed back yet again Friday morning. But if or when Morris Greenberg, 39, does stand trial for the shooting of 26-year-old Anthony Dumont, it will be with a new attorney acting as his counsel. […]

Big storm due Saturday

With the holidays right around the corner, El Dorado County can expect to bid farewell to the sunshine and welcome a wet, windy and, in some cases, snow-filled weekend. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for Friday afternoon, expected to continue through Sunday afternoon. Sierra Nevada western slope residents above 6,000 feet […]

Heard over the back fence: Let’s ride!

Legion raffle Lisa Peterson is shown here sitting on her new Kawasaki 360 All Terrain Vehicle, which she won in the El Dorado American Legion Post 119 raffle. Next to Lisa is Dusty Deryck, District 7 first vice commander of the American Legion Department of California. The raffle rasied $2,150, which will go toward the […]

DUI patrols start tonight

As motorists hit the highways for holiday travels, DUI checkpoints are slated to begin Friday night in Placerville and South Lake Tahoe. Law enforcement from every city and county agency will be out in force beginning Friday night through the New Year’s weekend. The Avoid the 6 Task Force will kick off the weekend with […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Deck the halls with your dog in mind

Tis the season in which people the world over willingly and of sound mind invite chaos into their lives. We dangle from ladders while stapling lights to our rooftops. We drag trees from the outside inside. We flit from party to party and engage in full-on battle at the stores. And through it all, there […]

Tahoe student alleges police abuse at high school

Tahoe Daily Tribune A South Lake Tahoe High School student has alleged police used excessive force against him during an on-campus arrest last month, but police say standard procedures were used to gain control of an unruly student. The incident started on a Friday morning after a teacher told the 16-year-old student who is on […]

Pot use up, drinking down among teens

Findings released late last month by the University of Michigan shows that teenage alcohol consumption has reached historically low levels while marijuana and ecstasy use are on the rise. The 36th annual Monitoring the Future study, a national survey targeting American teenagers, is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2010 the study […]

Criminal annals, part 107: The dark side

The Aug. 24, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union” has an article about the Relief Train, the supplies that are being sent eastward by wagon to aid people who, for one reason or another, are without adequate supplies to complete their trip to California. There have been several articles prior to this one lauding […]

Sheriff’s defendants ask suit dismissal

The seven defendants named in the July discrimination lawsuit against the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department have all moved to have the suit dismissed. The seven men, all of whom are sworn personnel with supervisor ranks in the department, filed motions to dismiss the pending lawsuit earlier this month. The motions will be heard before […]

Heard over the back fence: Let’s bag it

Are your paper and plastic bags taking up too much room? The Partners in Care Thrift Store needs your extra bags. Please drop off your extra bags at the thrift store, 2883 Cold Springs Road in Placerville … and we thank you. My “Insight from the Dalai Lama” calendar proclaimed the following: “If we do […]

Zanon sentenced to death

David Charles Zanon, for the 2007 killing of California Highway Patrol officer Douglas “Scott” Russell, was sentenced to death Monday morning by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner. Monday’s sentencing came three months after jurors recommended Zanon, 41, be put to death for his first-degree murder conviction. Several uniformed CHP officers were […]