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Publisher’s ink: Senseless … just senseless

Senseless. That sums up the tragic event one week ago today. Our community continues to reel from the aftermath of the shooting death of Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara and ponders the motive why custodian John Luebbers allegedly murdered him. The chaos that ensued from Mr. Luebbers’ reported actions last Wednesday was all too frightening […]

World War II Japan’s war plans for Southeast Pacific…

EDITOR: When exceptionally important questions were to be discussed, the emperor would attend a meeting known as the “Privy Council.” The emperor along with his military staff did review the war plan, dated Sept. 6, 1941, that defined the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy  operational goals in Southeast Asia and the Central […]

My turn: New approaches to funding state parks

The prospect of California State Park closures is again in the news as the state of California deals with its continuing budget crisis. There are, however, private alternatives that should be considered before closing the parks. Increased public funding is no longer an option. The failure of Proposition 21 last November made that clear. Voters […]

News media hardly professional when they chase people in parking lots

EDITOR: I work for the El Dorado County Department of Transportation in Building C in Placerville. Arraignments for Superior Court are also in the same building downstairs. As a friend and I were returning to work from lunch on Friday, we were witness to the media chasing some people across the parking lot. We figured it […]

Regarding letter writer, a couple of points

EDITOR: After reading Monday’s letter from Jim Riordan, two thoughts came to mind: 1. I am very grateful that he has nothing directly to do with the education of our children. 2. If he were in my English class, my first comment about his letter would be that he needs to work on being more […]

Untruths being circulated on the Georgetown Divide

EDITOR: The Georgetown Public Utility District is continually attacked by the e-blast,  an electronic notice that is put out by Divide Citizens for Water (Bonnie McLane). Everyone knows that during an election many things are circulated that are somewhat less than honest but what is the responsibility of a sitting director after they are elected? The […]

Grand Jury Report: Tahoe jail roof issue not fully explained

EDITOR: One of the items published in the El Dorado County Grand Jury Report from the Friday edition of the Mountain Democrat was related to the often leaking condition of the county jail in South Lake Tahoe. As one of the previous “county architects,” I can tell you the cause of the leaks without having […]

One hundred years ago

EDITOR: Sunday was Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. A couple of human interest items: The first is his fondness for earlobes. I just read his son, in a book recently published, noted his father’s interest in touching earlobes. From the fog of memory, I realized I knew this about him way back in the 1960s. A […]

In the wake of the shooting, some thanks …

EDITOR: I am a parent of a child who attends Schnell School and I wanted to take the time to say thank you to a few people and companies in our community. While waiting to pick our daughter up at the Fairgrounds, Raley’s grocery store took the time to drag pallets of water over to […]

Qualifications, ethics, honesty say it all about candidate

EDITOR: I have known John Allard for 15 years. John was Assemblyman/state Sen. Tim Leslie’s chief of staff for 12 years. He was the chief legislative officer for Cal Fire, is serving his second term as Roseville city councilman and he and his wife Lisa own a small but growing business. John has publicly stated […]

Forced arbitration … heaven help us

EDITOR: We should all be concerned about forced arbitration, a practice commonly used by corporations to evade accountability and take advantage of employees and consumers. Anyone who has insurance, a credit card, a cell phone, cable service, a retirement account, a student loan, or a loved one in a nursing home has likely been forced […]

From a student

EDITOR: For Sam LaCara: Tragedy pains our lives, a death felt strongly and deep. For he who was lost, we reflect upon his life. For him, we remember and weep. ZACH SOMERS, age 16 Placerville

It’s about guns, pure and simple

EDITOR: All the prayers, thoughts and other forms of grief expressed at the shooting of Mr. Sam LaCara won’t help him, his wife, his three kids or his parents, one single iota.  I suggest that all those expressing grief’ at Mr. LaCara’s death put action behind their words. In the mid-60s, the American Medical Association […]

Unsustainable is unsustainable

EDITOR: I see Mr. Longhofer who never misses a chance to reiterate liberal talking points is again putting forth the class warfare issue of tax the rich. Well, bad news for those of you reading his letter who thought his point might lead to a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you […]

Put the plaques back

It seems like we have been writing about this for more than a decade. Still the city stands paralyzed with inaction. The late Carl Borelli installed small plaques along Placerville’s Main Street with the name of each of the 28 young men from El Dorado County who died serving their country in the Vietnam War. […]

Disappointed in our senators

EDITOR: I am totally shocked and ashamed that our senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, did not support the repeal of this anti-American piece of legislation. We Are Americans, not socialist Europeans. These two, who are in the back pockets of the unions, have once again gone against the will of the people. The big […]

What a waste of America’s time

EDITOR: The House of Representatives successfully wasted theirs and America’s time in voting for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and, as predicted, the Senate then wasted more time in voting it down. The Republicans have been sounding off since November (and before) on how jobs are one of the most important issues facing America […]

Animal Shelter defended

EDITOR: I take profound exception to your front-page article regarding the El Dorado County Animal Shelter. Was your point to accuse the shelter of fraud? Was your point to paint Ms. Gratteau as a loving, caring individual? Neither is the case. I have had the pleasure to volunteer some of my time working with the […]

We will miss Sam LaCara

EDITOR: The community has lost a great friend and principal. Louisiana Schnell School’s principal, Mr. LaCara, was the best principal anyone could ever have. He would always be at the drop-off line in the morning to greet you, and he would always be there in the afternoon and wish you a good day. Mr. LaCara […]

California Rambling: Tea party

There’s been a lot of talk in California about tea parties of late, but not the political kind. Tea is experiencing growing popularity across California as the bicentennial of the War of 1812 approaches, whose most lasting effect — some claim — was to have coffee overtake tea as the national hot beverage. Tea rooms […]

The rural life: A nest’s edge

I thought I was prepared for this day. When it arrives, however, I discover I am not. My only child now has her driver’s license, and I must stand back and watch as she pulls away, alone, for the first time. It isn’t as bad as the dream I had, years ago, of sending her […]

Tragedy in a small town

Despite some startling crimes that have happened in the last year, such as the road rage homicide on Newtown Road and the shooting of a mental patient who stole an ambulance, the death of Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara is a shock to Placerville. It is a shock to his family and to the school […]

Perspective on our new sheriff

EDITOR: Sheriff John D’Agostini has selected Undersheriff Rich Williams for the position because he believes he can trust him and has confidence in him. The undersheriff is a unique position in our office of the sheriff. It is the only position in the office that “serves at the will” of the sheriff (hence the term […]

Sam LaCara, beloved principal and friend

EDITOR: We have lost a great principal and friend. Mr. LaCara was more than any of us could ask for. Every day when my mom would drop me off at Schnell School, Mr. LaCara would open the door to our car and ask us how our morning was. When my mom would pick me up, […]

Our prayers are with the LaCara family

EDITOR: Sam. You were all of our children’s mentor and my hero as a single mom when you were the assistant principal at Markham School. My prayers go out to the LaCara family, and our community will greatly miss your smile, your greeting in the morning, keeping the children in check. And your sense of […]

In the wake of prinicipal’s shooting, a call for grace

EDITOR: As we all have tried to process the tragic death of Schnell School’s beloved principal, Sam LaCara, no doubt we, as a community, are a mix of emotions. It’s impossible to comprehend what the LaCara family, and the students, parents and staff at Schnell, are coping with. While we wrestle with grief, disbelief and rage, we need to […]

I’m ‘just a housewife,’ too

EDITOR: I strongly disagree with the views expressed by letter writer Mr. Rouse on Jan. 31. The election for the 4th Assembly District is not being initiated by Sen. Gaines. It was called by the governor. Sen. Gaines ran for the senatorial seat, because then Sen. Dave Cox passed away. Having won the senatorial seat, […]

Water polo coach praised

EDITOR: My daughter’s water polo season through Ponderosa High School and Desperados has been much more than I had hoped for under the guidance of coach Alan Miller. UCLA basketball head coach emeritus John Wooden said, “Sports do not build character … they reveal it.” While I know this to be true from my own […]

Respectful tones, indeed

EDITOR: Letter writer Mr. Giacomo again writes requesting a respectful tone concerning Mr. Alger and Japanese war plans. He is also concerned I signed off a previous letter with “checkmate,” indicating I may have won a debate with him, which he doesn’t concede (his position being I had offered an opinion that he and some […]

Let’s keep the tone respectful

EDITOR: Reference letter writer Mr. James Longhofer’s reply. I thought my reasons for writing a response to your letters were clear but perhaps they weren’t. I most certainly did not single you out nor did I take sides. All I did was express my opinion on Japanese intentions and a desire that we all keep […]

Pinnacles is a treasure

EDITOR: I am writing in support of Pinnacles as a National Park. It is truly a treasure and should be recognized as such. Every time I visit Pinnacles, I am amazed to find a peaceful wilderness so close to a major urban area (less than an hour from San Jose). The park is home to […]

I hope Garden Valley Fire takes grand jury report seriously

EDITOR: After recently reading the story entitled “Garden Valley Fire responds to grand jury” dated July 22, 2010, I was awestruck and amazed at the concerns and comments made by the grand jury to the Garden Valley Fire District board regarding their fire chief, William Dekker. Ironically, these comments were almost exactly the same as […]

Put away the knife, dog guy

EDITOR: Letter writer Anthony Belli, you say you’re a lifelong dog lover and that “hurting any dog would be devastating.” Hopefully you are allowing your beagle to enjoy his life from his perspective also. As a beagle he is a natural hunter, high energy, loves to run (chase), very social, hunts in packs with other […]

Billingsley’s bullets: You can’t blame God for everything

God did not create the following: Cell phones that go off in church, restaurants, memorial services and weddings.   Perhaps God can come up with a method of eliminating these discourteous items or their owners? Church sermons that never offer any everyday solutions to everyday problems. Three- or four-way “stops” where reluctant “B” personalities are […]

Let’s respect the sheriff’s choice

EDITOR: I am getting very tired of some of the residents of this community complaining about the sheriff and his decision to hire his brother-in-law as undersheriff. Stop and think a minute. He comes to a county that he has not lived in long, he doesn’t know the district attorney well, much less the officers […]

Publisher’s ink: Working to keep my garage door working

“I got a job!” This was the text message I received last week from daughter No. 2. A message so surprising, I almost ran off the road while reading it. While sharing this news at work with fellow employees I was absolutely giddy. “What kind of a job did she get?” someone asked. “I don’t […]

Assembly candidates galore

Democracy is alive and well as evidenced by the eight candidates who have filed to represent El Dorado, Placer and Alpine counties in the 4th Assembly District. The district doesn’t completely cover the county boundaries, except in Alpine. Northern Placer is part of the 3rd Assembly and far western El Dorado County — El Dorado […]

Don’t take the media images for gospel regarding Islam

EDITOR: In my letter published in the Mountain Democrat dated Dec. 22, 2010, I tried to clarify my beliefs regarding Islam and Arabs in the United States. The letter attracted a good deal of attention. Some of it positive and enthusiastic, some of it uncomprehending. But most of it (as was to be expected), very […]

Change courtrooms

Too small a courtroom for jury selection for Phillip Garrido’s competency trial is no excuse for excluding the local area media. Jury selection is not a state secret. It is something that should be observed by the public. Judge Douglas C. Phimister needs to conduct the jury selection in a larger courtroom than the one in […]

My turn: Auto insurance, health insurance — Moving in opposite directions

By Steve Stenak Have you noticed the disconnect between what’s happening in auto insurance and health insurance? In auto insurance, businesses are moving to charge premiums that more accurately reflect the reduced risk posed by motorists who drive fewer miles. In health insurance under Obamacare, the push is to ignore the reduced risk posed by […]

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