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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 […]

Coaches, it’s time to make the shift

EDITOR: El Dorado High School –You have brought in new coaches to the boys’ basketball program, yet they have been acting in the old standard of winning at every stake by only playing the select few they “believe are better” or “earned the right to play.” Well, I believe in the word team and that […]

Thanks for coming forward about Garden Valley Fire District

EDITOR: Congratulations to Ms. Maria Capraun for seeing her lawsuit through and her well deserved settlement. I and my family experienced three painful and very expensive years due to this same individual and subsequent lawsuit that was brought against him and the fire district for which I was employed for 12 years. My lawsuit was […]

Rock doc: A rapidly evolving medical landscape

Parts of medical science are highly developed areas where doctors can precisely nail down specific diseases and even sometimes eradicate them. The more vexing – and perhaps more interesting – pieces of medical science are those in which we still struggle to diagnose, let alone fully treat, major maladies. Mark Vonnegut, M.D., the son of […]

Franckly speaking: The many faces of Grandma and grandson

Here’s a story that illustrates how my face must have looked. After I dropped my daughter and grandson at the airport for their post-holiday flight home, I decided to eat lunch at In-N-Out Burger in Woodland. Although it was 12:15 p.m., the restaurant wasn’t crowded and a young woman motioned me to her cash register […]

Divide residents — it’s your water district so pay attention

EDITOR: Some of the new directors for Georgetown Divide Public Utility District indicated that while they were campaigning there were a lot of complaints regarding the late fee of $25. In fact, one director was saying that the district was violating the California Public Utility Code. They were so upset that during their first meeting […]

I agree with letter writer about high sewer bills

EDITOR: The following was sent to letter writer Bill Karr in support of his move to sue the city of Placerville over the new sewer bills. Bill, I have followed you for years in Western Outdoor News and also letters to the editor and sportsman shows. You always seem to be the voice of reason […]

Looters or moochers?

EDITOR: Rep. Paul Ryan this past week gave the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. He focused on the deficit and limited government, implying we are going broke and therefore Social Security, Medicare and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would have to be curtailed, privatized or canceled. Strangely, in […]

Placerville City Council and the Painter of Blight

EDITOR: OK, so last week again I was listening to the Placerville City Council and they were talking about redevelopment in Placerville. Their dedication to the elimination of the blight that plagues Placerville is impressive. I can’t actually see the blight, but I’ve never had a good eye for it — just ask anyone whose […]

Upcoming Assembly election: Who I’ll vote for

EDITOR: I was pondering whom to vote for in the upcoming special election for state Assembly District 4. Back to basics … Federalist Paper No. 52 describes the House of Representatives, and the lower house of a bicameral legislature in general. It says: “As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should […]

Dog trainer Garrett Ridley supported

EDITOR: I would like to share our experience with our puppy training with Garrett Ridley of the K9 Academy. My husband and I became a little disconcerted after reading the article in your paper with the alleged charges of improper dog handling. We have a German shepherd that is now 4 months old. She has […]

Caltrans, county DOT: What’s the holdup?

EDITOR: Hey Caltrans,El Dorado County Department of Transportation: Any chance you could actually do something at the Highway 50-El Dorado Hills Boulevard intersection? I know it’s been almost three years and all. Are you waiting for material? The freeway has been grooved now for a year-plus; is that some kind of an experiment to see […]

Good story … let’s really talk

EDITOR: Many thanks to reporter Susana Carey Wey for her fine article about the powerful anti-bullying program, “From Hate to Hope,” presented Jan. 29 at Federated Church. However, in an otherwise exemplary story, Ms. Wey uses some incorrect terminology that may perpetuate misunderstandings. Matt Boger had not “admitted his alternative lifestyle to his mother.” Sexual […]

Belltower: New readers panel empaneled

We’re starting up our readers panel this week after a holiday break. And it’s another fascinating group of people from the community. Greenstone Country General Manager George Amo has been a Placerville area resident since 1969 when he got a job managing Dillinger’s Furniture. That building is now occupied  by the Thomas Kinkade Gallery. Prior […]

Truth about the pope

EDITOR: God Bless America, a country where everyone has freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech does not necessarily mean truth. Mr. Boylan’s letter of Jan. 24 has many erroneous statements. One must look at the facts, so that freedom of speech will provide truth. Joseph Ratzinger in 1939 entered the minor seminary in Traunstein. In […]

A dose of Dan: Experiencing ‘Roof Gate’ In El Dorado Hills

Only in El Dorado Hills. Only in a town so privileged and often insulated from reality could a neighborhood be arguing about the quality and value of new roofing materials. The argument has led to a neighborhood association board recall. Meanwhile, in the real world, unemployment climbs in the state above 12 percent, government budgets […]

A monument to stupidity

Pinnacles National Monument is a monument to government stupidity. And now Sen. Barbara Boxer wants to double down on dumbness by making the mystery location a national park. We don’t need more national parks, especially such a useless one as Pinnacles. Pinnacles National Monument is found by taking one of the more obscure and lonely […]

We have to quit feeding this monster

EDITOR: Yet another long-winded rant by letter writer John Garon stating, in sum, “I hate Bush II and the Mountain Democrat.” Yes, students are performing at less than satisfactory levels in reading, failing miserably in mathematics and below average in the sciences. Garon — obviously, throwing money at the problem isn’t fixing it, as we […]

Sophie the spaniel, glad you’re alive

EDITOR: “Dog Shelter Double-Cross”? I’m not sure that headline really captures the essence of the ensuing article. I feel gratitude and pride in our local animal shelter for having saved Sophie, the cocker spaniel’s, life. El Dorado County Animal Services, whose business in part is to evaluate and protect abandoned animals, made good on their […]

Thank you, DA’s Office

EDITOR: A few years ago my father, Roy Skiles, was killed in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver. She was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter on a plea deal and did very little time for taking my father’s life. A few weeks ago she was again picked up in El Dorado County for […]

The weekly Daley: State of the Union

Well, he didn’t, as they say,”hit it out of the park.” But I thought the State of the Union address wasn’t bad. Not like when he gets his “preacher on,” but not bad. “Winning the future” was a pretty good theme. It has that hopey changey ring to it without being overly schmaltzy or impossible-sounding […]

Something to think about: Year of the Rabbit

Feb. 3, the day after Groundhog Day, is the Chinese New Year in 2011. Traditionally I present a column about the predictions for the upcoming year as viewed by Chinese astrologers and this year is no exception, although I think we ought to scrap all such predictions and move blindly into the future, trusting only […]

Dog’s life is precious

EDITOR: I really want to express my heartfelt thanks to Henry Brzezinski and El Dorado County Animal Services for saving the life of little Sophie. This is a classic example of why so many animals are in the shelter, and euthanized, due to owners not willing to fully accept the responsibility of training. Rather than get […]

I’ve had it with Placerville sewer rates — let’s sue them!

EDITOR: I just received my most recent bill from Placerville, and I simply refuse to pay their arbitrary and capricious sewer rates anymore. My water bill was $37.56 and my sewer bill was $143.88 for this past time period. That is disgusting, and as I told the City Council when they first proposed these rate […]

Call to abolish Dept. of Education dismally misguided

EDITOR: On Jan. 11, 2000, President George W. Bush asked: “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” We just received the answer: “They isn’t!” The Department of Education just released a study of 320,000 fourth-, eighth- and 12th-graders, entitled “National Assessment of Educational Progress.” It analyzed students’ proficiency in science, and the results are […]

Obamacare: Told you so

EDITOR: A little while ago I sent a response to the doctor who said that due to savings Obamacare would not end up costing Medicare.  Looks like I was right.  Medicare’s chief actuary just told Congress that Obamacare probably won’t hold down costs (there go the savings) and won’t let everybody keep their present insurance […]

Life or death for dog? Shelter staff made right decision

EDITOR: Front page of today’s paper: “Dog shelter double-cross?” Our El Dorado County Animal Shelter staff are forced to make life or death decisions daily and I applaud them for recognizing that Sophie the cocker spaniel deserved a second chance. Clearly this family was not a good match for this dog from the start; it’s […]

Consolidation worth a look

Congratulations to El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Vicki Barber for commissioning a school consolidation financial study. It is one way to be one step ahead of the continuing educational funding squeeze from the state. And the future looks grim despite Gov. Jerry Brown’s current exemption of K-12 schools from budget cuts. When the voters […]

How do they get re-elected when they say such idiotic things?

EDITOR: I am wondering who actually votes for the Tim Donnellys in the California Legislature? Of course I also wonder who votes for quite a few of our state level representatives and our federal level representatives. Tim Donnelly suggests that we eliminate the Employment Development Department since unemployment is high. If that is the solution […]

Veterans — now and in the future

EDITOR: I submitted a letter a few weeks ago regarding what the local veterans’ organizations do in El Dorado County. It was well received and I wish to express my appreciation to the editor for publishing it. I would like to take this opportunity to inform the veterans of El Dorado County what the veterans […]

Thanks for the help, Sen. Gaines

EDITOR: I am the proud father of two soldiers serving our country. My son is in Afghanistan and my daughter leaves in approximately three weeks for her third tour in Kuwait. Last week my daughter called and informed me her wallet was stolen with her driver’s license inside. Because she drives military vehicles she has […]

Redevelopment would do harm

EDITOR: In response to Mr. Wolfe’s Jan. 16 letter regarding “Placerville city redevelopment plan: the perfect storm,” you correctly pointed out many of the negative issues surrounding redevelopment. The City Council has insisted that redevelopment is “about people,” to create jobs and to attract businesses so everyone benefits, not just developers, bond brokers and consultants. […]

We thank our STARs

EDITOR: Assistance League of Sierra Foothills held a Tour of Homes during the holidays in El Dorado Hills in December. We requested the assistance of the STARs (Sheriff’s Team of Active Retirees) from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the area around the six homes on the tour during tour hours. Their presence […]

Publisher’s ink: MORE than just art

The sandstone artwork on the bookshelf in my office was a gift from Diana. I’ve had it for several years now. It’s one of those little items one keeps because there’s special meaning attached to it. The small hand-crafted sculpture of an adobe was created by a young woman who worked two days a week […]

Family affair at Sheriff’s Office

EDITOR: Remember the song, “It’s a Family Affair”? I see in Wednesday, Jan. 19, edition the front page showing a lady pinning a sheriff’s badge on the brother-in-law of John D’Agostini. The brother-in-law has been appointed and hired by D’Agostini to be second in command at the Sheriff’s Department. Sounded a bit convenient to me. […]

I’m sorry Dante’s is for sale

EDITOR: In response to the article in the Jan. 21 Mountain Democrat, I wish to state that I am a supporter of Mr. Kevin Cairns, the chef and owner of Dante’s. If someone was using my property as a toilet I would be very upset also. Having raised four children I know that kids can […]

My turn: The new royal forests

Much of my district is comprised of forests managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Over the last two years I have received a growing volume of complaints protesting the increasingly exclusionary and elitist policies of this agency. These complaints charge the Forest Service, among other things, with: • Imposing inflated fees that are forcing the […]

Those lazy bums

EDITOR: Millions of Americans are out of work — I hear in the media they are bums who don’t want to work and are parasites living on the dole. Could it be they just can’t find work? I remember back in the 1980s when apparently unemployment was a problem (I say apparently because I was […]

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