Restored Jeep joined D-Day 70th anniversary

All cleaned up and looking like new, an old World War II Jeep made a return visit to the place where it saw hazardous duty 70 years ago.

Originally manufactured in the U.S., the 1941 Ford GP quarter-ton reconnaissance vehicle has made the trip to Europe at least twice. Once, according to its owner, as part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, and a second time in June of this year when it returned for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

In between no one really is sure where else it has been, but ultimately it ended up on the East Coast rusting away until it was bought by English …

Vendor letter coming to taxpayers

El Dorado County’s vendor (R.R. Donnelley and Sons) in an oversight omitted the return payment envelope for the 2014-15 unsecured property tax bills. The third-party vendor will be mailing the return payment envelope at no cost to the county. The return payment envelope will be sent from R.R. Donnelley and Sons with a letter of […]

Heard over the back fence: Placerville Craft Fair Sunday

HOW TO LOSE CALORIES: Jewel Blair-Smith sent me the following “Life Hack” quote: “Eating celery is technically exercise. When you eat celery, you burn more calories digesting it than you consume.” HUGE CRAFT FAIR: The 17th annual Placerville Craft Fair is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 10, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Main St., Placerville. CAMINO […]

Heard over the back fence: Guitar contest at EDH Library

EFFECTIVE SLEEPING PILL: My friend Paul Chafer provided the following quote: “Working most of her life, Grandma finally retired. At her next checkup, the new doctor told her to bring a list of all the medicines that had been prescribed for her. As the young doctor was looking through these, his eyes grew wide as he […]

Region Builders pulls support of own ballot measure

In a surprise announcement last Wednesday, Joshua Wood, executive director of Region Builders, notified the Mountain Democrat that it was withdrawing its support from the ballot measure it sponsored. In a written statement from Wood, he said, “Region Builders sponsored Control Growth to Fix Our Local Roads Committee has decided to close down and withdraw our support […]

Maturity, business know-how stressed by McNeal

What you see is what you get is pretty much the message Claire McNeal wants to send as a candidate for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, District 2. In an interview at the Mountain Democrat office on July 28, McNeal stressed her maturity and business experience and said she already has a team in […]

Helicopter crashes

A helicopter crash near the Rubicon Trail left at least two people injured Friday afternoon. The helicopter crashed at about 1 p.m., an El Dorado County Sheriff’s press release stated. Deputies “assigned to the trail patrol arrived on scene and verified a downed helicopter near the area of Buck Island Lake, which is approximately seven […]

Nutting’s verdict appeal denied

The 3rd District Appellate Court has denied a former supervisor’s writ of mandate to stay in office. Former Supervisor Ray Nutting’s writ to overturn the decision to vacate his office and hold a special election to fill it was summarily denied on July 31, according to the Court’s Website, published by Presiding Justice Vance W. […]

Watch out for unlicensed contractors, state warns

The Contractor’s State License Board is urging victims of the Sand Fire to ensure any contractors for debris removal or rebuilding — or even those acting as a consultant and hiring other contractors — have a valid license.

The Amador County and El Dorado County District Attorney offices have joined with the CSLB to crack down on fraud, Melanie Bedwell of the CSLB said, utilizing the Statewide Investigative Fraud Team — better known as SWIFT.

If the contractor is unlicensed, Bedwell said, they are likely unskilled and lack the knowledge needed to get the job done correctly. “It has to be done to code,” she said. There is also the worry about Worker’s Compensation, which does not exist for unlicensed contractors, and taking money and disappearing with no contract…

Jeepers Expo highlights Jeepers Jamboree

After a 15-year absence, the Jeepers Expo returned to Main Street, Georgetown last week for a full day of fun and a great send-off for four-day Jamboree participants. “We decided to bring it back to Main Street and perk it up,” said Lacey Stiles, office manager of the Jeepers Jamboree Georgetown location and organizer of […]

National Night Out Tuesday

Placerville loves a party, and to prove it friends and neighbors will take to the streets Tuesday, Aug. 5, to celebrate National Night Out, a nationwide event that always finds local participation at its peak. In fact, Placerville has been honored with several first-place awards for its celebration over the years, including a first-place honor […]

P’ville man guilty of tax charges

A Placerville man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday on two counts of willfully making false tax returns. Thomas W. Stringfellow, 55, entered the plea regarding allegations of more than $1.1 million in underreported business income and more than $1 million in personal income on tax returns between 2006 and 2010, a press release from […]

Property damaged in fire eligible for property tax relief

Property damaged in the Sand Fire is eligible for immediate property tax relief, according to El Dorado County Assessor Karl Weiland. Weiland explained that there are provisions of the Revenue & Taxation Code that immediately reduce the assessed value in recognition of loss caused by calamity such as the Sand fire. In order to qualify […]

Cameron Park house burns

A house fire at 3010 Merrywood Circle in Cameron Park burned for 20 minutes before being doused. Called in at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, firefighters from Cameron Park, Cal fire, El Dorado Hills and El Dorado County fire responded. Four engines, a truck and a medic unit were at the scene. Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mark Branton […]

Supes delay petition

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors effectively quashed a citizen initiative related to land development July 29. Without killing it directly, the board sent it for a “30-day review” specifically for analysis of its potential economic impact to the county. That process would extend beyond the statewide deadline of Aug. 8, after which time […]

Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

With the Sand Fire 95 percent contained and everyone breathing a little easier, on Wednesday a tour of the incident command post at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds showed activity had already started tapering off.

Outside the building used as the incident command center, a map showed the extent of the fire.

“It was a topography-driven fire,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Kevin Lucero of Butte County as he traced on the map where it began and how it spread. Walking the length of the fairgrounds, he described how all the different planning and logistical units fit together to suppress the fire as well as the role other agencies and community groups played throughout the fire…

Sand Fire 95% contained

The Sand Fire has been nearly fully contained and management of the fire has been handed to the local Cal Fire unit. A final update Wednesday evening from Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McClean revealed the fire was at 95 percent containment. The fire had technically grown in size to 4,240 acres, but this was […]

Two fires in town

Two fires were contained in Placerville on July 28. The first saw fire crews dispatched at 12:13 p.m. to a mobile home park at 1525 Cold Springs Road, space 49, said El Dorado County Fire Capt. Brandon McKay. The home was “heavily damaged throughout,” but crews stopped the fire from affecting wildland or other homes. […]

Heard over the back fence: Authors coming to Main Library

GO FOR IT! The “Bits and Pieces” magazine offered the following thought: “Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.” — Christopher Reeves, actor LOCAL AUTHORS’ PRESENTATIONS: On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Placerville Library, 345 Fair Lane, the following authors […]

Army’s Second (Indianhead) Search

SECOND (INDIANHEAD) SEARCH: We received the following request regarding the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division: “The Second (Indianhead) Division Association is searching for anyone who served in the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division at any time. For information about the association and our 93rd annual reunion in Omaha, Neb., Sept. 16-20, contact secretary-treasurer, Bob Haynes, at or […]

Heard over the back fence: Hawks and owls to visit Pollock Pines

AVOID SMALL THINKERS: A glance at the “Bits and Pieces” magazine reveals the following recommendation: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain MEET YOUR LOCAL OWL: On Aug. 20, at 3 p.m., the […]

Relief temporary for Outingdale

El Dorado Irrigation District temporarily lifted drought watering restrictions in the Outingdale service area during the Sand Fire. General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported July 28 that the Outingdale water tank was filled and an emergency generator was ready to keep the water lines charged for fire suppression purposes. Once the threat of fire has passed, […]

Gov’t services offered to fire victims

The El Dorado County, state and federal governments offer a multitude of services to those affected by the Sand Fire. From the county, Health and Human Service offers public preparedness services, adult protective services, animal shelter and services, public health and mental health services. Crop damage will be assessed by the county Department of Agriculture. […]

District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

The six candidates running for the District 2 spot on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors have filed statements that outline their qualifications as well as reasons for running. Jennifer Nutting, age 36, listed her occupation as a small business owner. Her qualifications include owing her own beauty salon for over nine years and 18 years of family […]

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

The Sand Fire has been kept at bay at 3,800 acres burned with 80 percent containment.

About 50 people milled about the Ponderosa High School cafeteria waiting for an update Monday morning. Most were evacuees, waiting to hear whether roads had been opened so they could go home, wondering if they still had a home to go to. A few, including married couple Rick Ogden and Colleen O’Key, who the Mountain Democrat spoke to the previous day, already knew their home was gone.

A few minutes after 9 a.m., Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott …

Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

The Transportation Division of El Dorado County’s Community Development Agency will implement full closures of both directions of U.S. 50 between El Dorado Hills Boulevard and Bass Lake Road, as well as closures of the Latrobe Road on-ramp to eastbound U.S. Highway 50, the Bass Lake Road on-ramp to westbound U.S. Highway 50, and White […]

Tails wagging over dog park approval

The El Dorado County Planning Commission approved the much-anticipated El Dorado Hills dog park on July 24. The park will be the second dog park on the western slope; the El Dorado Dog Owners Guild celebrated the opening of its first park, the Hacienda Dog Park in Cameron Park, late last year. The dog park […]

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

A brush fire near Sierra Pines Mobile Manor in Kelsey burned approximately one quarter of an acre last Thursday, July 24. Residents fairly far away said they heard two large explosions. One person with second-degree burns was transported by Medic 61; it is not known whether the victim went to a hospital or burn center. […]

Sen. Gaines asks Gov. to declare emergency disaster area in EDC

SACRAMENTO — Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) recently sent the following letter to Gov. Jerry Brown to request that he issue an emergency proclamation designating portions of Amador and El Dorado counties as disaster areas as a result of the devastating Sand Fire. “Dear Govenor Brown: “On behalf of my constituents, I request that you proclaim […]

El Dorado County services available for Sand Fire

In response to the Sand Fire, the County of El Dorado has set up a hotline and Webpage for information regarding county services available to those affected by the natural disaster. The phone number is 530-642-7263 (SAND). The hotline will be available from 7 a.m. to  7 p.m., Monday through Friday E-mail messages may be […]

Amador County Fair accepting animals for shelter

PLYMOUTH — The Amador County Fair is accepting animals for shelter from the “Sand Fire” and has taken in several horses with rabbits, chickens and kittens on the way. The annual Amador County Fair was in progress through Sunday, July 27, however stalls and pens were prepared for possible incoming animals. The primary shelter is […]

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

The El Dorado County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures issued its annual Crop Report on July 22. It announced that the gross crop value of agricultural production in El Dorado County for 2013 was up 20 percent over the 2012 value. The $56.8 million yield in gross returns (not net profit) was up from […]

35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

A fire that broke out at the Deerfield Lodge in South Lake Tahoe destroyed or severely damaged at least six rooms and five vehicles and displaced 35 people late Wednesday night. Nearly a third of the hotel was heavily damaged by the fire, and was charred black and still dripping water Thursday morning while investigators […]

County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

El Dorado County Counsel Ed Knapp reiterated that there was no Brown Act violation related to a letter written by the Board of Supervisors that ran as an “Op Ed” in the July 2 Mountain Democrat. Knapp opened the public portion of the July 22 board meeting explaining that the letter, drafted during a closed […]

General Plan workshop today

El Dorado County Supervisors have scheduled a special public workshop for Monday, July 28 at 9 a.m. in the board chambers. The agenda focuses on a variety of issues in the General Plan relative to preservation and management of the biological components of the county’s natural resources. Topics include oak woodlands, special flora and fauna, […]

Two growth control initiatives get green light

Two of the three growth control initiatives circulated by the group called the 1-2-3 Volunteers have qualified to be on the ballot and are now headed to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday for approval. One initiative, better known as the “Green Petition,” is officially titled “Protect Rural Communities — Fix Community Region Line Flaws.” It was certified July […]

Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

A fast-moving fire that began in El Dorado County Friday afternoon and then moved into Amador County has burned more than 4,000 acres.

Named the Sand Fire, 10 residences and seven outbuildings have been destroyed and 515 more are threatened. Containment was at 35 percent by Sunday morning with firefighters hampered by weather conditions and steep terrain.

Starting at approximately 4:34 p.m., the fire began at the juncture of Highway 49 and …

Fatal accident in Camino

A man was killed in a fatal accident Thursday afternoon near Camino. Lawrence Alvin Randall, 78, was driving his 1997 Toyota 4Runner westbound in the No. 2 lane of Highway 50 east of Carson Road at about 4:10 p.m., a CHP press release stated. He was traveling at approximately 55 mph when, for unknown reasons, […]

Property tax appeal period under way

SACRAMENTO — California taxpayers who disagree with local assessors’ valuation of their property can contact the local assessor’s office to discuss the assessment or appeal their property tax bills. “Thanks to Proposition 13, property taxes remain predictable and reasonable for California homeowners,” said Board of Equalization Member George Runner. “Even so, taxpayers should carefully review their […]

Heard over the back fence: Story of Sierra Nevada Phillips to be told

OLD CAN BE BETTER: Paul Chafer sent the following : “What Seniors Are Up To” quote: “All you young whipper-snappers will never know the satisfaction of slamming down a receiver on a rotary phone.” PHILLIPS CLAN REVISITED: Mary Jo Sonntag, author of “Write If You Live to Get There” will be a guest speaker at the Placerville […]

History of charter counties shows limits on terms limits

A state law, put into effect after two court cases, prevents the El Dorado County Charter Review Committee, and by extension the Board of Supervisors, from limiting terms for elected department heads. This was the conclusion of previous committee Chairperson Cris Alarcon in his published notes from 2010. “The Supreme Court of California has ruled […]

Charter group makes final Nov. 4 ballot recommendation

The El Dorado County Charter Review Committee made two final recommendations for the Board of Supervisors to consider including in the upcoming election, Nov. 4. The committee made recommendations for deleting a section of the charter that had repealed itself in 2005 and clarifying the positions of the Board of Supervisors using common parlance. The […]

Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

A request from Tim and Sue Taylor, who are renovating the buildings at 301 and 305 Main Street, for a 30-day extension of their encroachment permit brought out a plethora of supporters, some of whom took the opportunity to take pot shots at the Placerville City Council during the July 8 meeting. The encroachment permit was set to […]

District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

Economic development, jobs and preserving El Dorado County’s rural nature were the major themes of the evening as the first candidates forum for those running for the District 2 Supervisor took place Wednesday night.

Sponsored by the Shingle Springs-Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce, all of the candidates were present with the exception of Jennifer Nutting.

Using a format in which the candidates spent the bulk of their time responding to written questions from the audience, the snappy one-hour forum still gave everyone an idea of which way the candidates would …

Help available for breastfeeding mothers

August is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month. During the month of August, health professionals in El Dorado County are raising awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding and sharing information about local resources and supports for breastfeeding mothers. “Breast milk is the best food you can give your baby,” said El Dorado County health officer, Dr. Alicia […]