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I learned the hard way … I won’t be smug about the homeless

EDITOR: I thought you might like a report on what it’s like to be homeless in Placerville. I don’t live here anymore, but I have to come down here to go to court. I was arrested last year for battery. My deputy public defender is trying to get the charges dropped due to the circumstances […]

California rambling: Passport Weekends

Passport Weekends has become – in its 20th year — the springtime equivalent of Apple Hill for El Dorado County winemakers. The two-weekend series of wine tastings and food pairings now attracts thousands of wine tasters to many of the 26 wineries that belong to the El Dorado County Winery Association (EDWA). Because El Dorado […]

Trees of El Dorado County: In praise of pine

My thoughts become bright like yon edging of pines On the steep’s lofty verge, how it blackened the air! But touched from behind by the sun, it now shines, With threads that seem part of His own silver hair. — William Wordsworth You sick? Look no further than your own window. What do you see? […]

Billingsley’s bullets: ‘Ain’t life awful’ people can change

If you have a relationship or a marriage with an “ain’t life awful” person, I feel sorry for you. These people will throw a wet blanket over any happy or optimistic thoughts you present. If you say, “It’s a beautiful, sunny day,” they will reply, “The sun causes cancer.”  When you say, “Let’s do something […]

The weekly Daley: Are we really exceptional?

It’s all the rage now to demand that politicians and other leaders include references to “American Exceptionalism” in their speeches and discourse. Folks on the right have bashed President Obama for not using those exact words and by extension clearly not believing that it’s a true description of us Americans. Robert Schlesinger, opinion editor of […]

Budget baloney

President Obama seems to be jumping the gun as the White House is threatening to shut down the government as the Republican House of Representatives begins debating a bill that would complete this budget year by cutting $61 billion from 2010 spending levels. That is $100 billion less than Obama requested. The current budget year […]

Enough, already, with begging to shop locally; it’s embarrassing

EDITOR: El Dorado County is known for natural resources. We have forests, boating, snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, four-wheeling, hunting, fishing — it goes on and on. What we do not have is shopping. So what good does it do to beg residents to pay double for less? This philosophy has been going on for […]

Roundabout — one way or the other, we’ll pay

EDITOR: Why a roundabout in Placerville? I have walked and driven through the Main Street/Cedar Ravine intersection almost daily for many years, and I have never thought that the traffic flow needed improvement. What would be gained? It will certainly eliminate numerous vital parking spaces, snarl traffic for a year or more during construction, disrupt […]

What a waste

For eight months federal prosecutors have traveled to Europe, convened a grand jury in Los Angeles and generally wasted the taxpayers’ money going after Lance Armstrong. Bicyclist Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times and has never failed a drug test. Disgraced former teammate Floyd Landis has been hurling wild and crazy accusations about […]

Roundabout could destroy Cozmic Cafe

EDITOR: The Placerville City Council has finally approved the construction of the roundabout in spite of determined opposition from local merchants, and an apparent lack of need, at least in the eyes of most frequent users of the intersection. The Mountain Democrat’s rendering of the future roundabout has an uncanny resemblance to a “Mandala,” the […]

Right on, Riordan

EDITOR: Thank you, letter writer Jim Riordan, I could not have said it any better. I have never writen a letter to the editor before, but I was inspired when my friend’s daughter came home from “school?” a couple of weeks ago with the eye-popping news that the United States of America is destroying the […]

Blind eyes, deaf ears

EDITOR: Tuesday evening over 400 Tea Party participants got more than an earful when they gathered at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds to meet the candidates for Assembly District 4. They were introduced by conservative talk show host Eric Hogue who provided information on the hottest issues at the Capitol. Also on the agenda that […]

My turn: Don’t kill California’s recovery

With jobless numbers still at record highs, it wouldn’t be right to declare California’s economic downturn over anytime soon. Even so, glimmers of hope are beginning to emerge that the Golden State is inching its way toward economic recovery. Let’s hope the politicians don’t mess it up. In his recent State of the State address, […]

Spend the roundabout money on something that makes sense

EDITOR: In today’s economy, everyone, and this includes city governments, needs to spend their money a tad bit more wisely. And for the city of Placerville to propose the brainless notion, the absolutely absurd idea, that a roundabout would be a good thing, whoever did that needs to get out of office. For the amount […]

Finis … I hope

EDITOR: Mr. McHenry in his recent letter again brings up the subject that will never die: Japanese war plans during World War II. This is getting stale, so perhaps we should put it to bed. The topic was never whether sufficient troops were available, instead the topic was whether Japan had a plan to invade […]

My turn: Stop! Before pushing the ‘send’ button

So you are sitting in front of your computer, in your jammies, enjoying a cup of coffee … shopping. It is so easy. You enter your credit card and expect your purchase to arrive at the front door in a matter of days. You don’t look them in the eyes, ask for a discount or […]

Logic sometimes escapes me

EDITOR: I think I finally understand the logic of letter writer John Garon’s argument to restrict the use of handguns. He is saying if we restrict everybody’s use of the automobile we can curtail the problem of DUIs. As for Placerville palm trees the logic escapes me. Palm trees at In N Out Burger destroy the […]

Chuck Norris: Barbara Bush — ‘No more, you’re killing us

Former first lady Barbara Bush said on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” this past week: “We’ve got a real problem in public schools. … This is a national crisis. It’s as bad as anything in our country.” When Van Susteren was pointing out from Bush’s own op-ed piece that “Texas (is) 36th in the […]

Try it, you’ll like it

The Druid Monument roundabout appears to have been largely unpopular among those who showed up at the Placerville City Council meeting last week. New to Placerville, roundabouts are used at thousands of intersections in England and at resort communities in Oregon. They move traffic very smoothly, governing access by “yield” signs. Their only drawback is […]

A mean man

Congratulations to Sacramento police detectives for solving some especially cruel kidnapping and rapes by a Pollock Pines man. Sacramento police solved the crimes, which began and ended at Stockton Boulevard. Shane Wilson would pick up women, take them to a dark place and beat them, then handcuff them and bind them with tape and blindfold […]

Roundabout — they’re bound and determined to build it

EDITOR: I see a huge majority showed up at the meeting to try to stop the roundabout they want to build at Cedar Ravine and Main Street in Placerville. They thought that the fact that it would mess up parking and hurt businesses there as well as the fact that no traffic problem exists there […]

GDPUD in good shape

EDITOR: It was a full house at the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District board meeting last Tuesday. Early in the meeting, new board member Bonnie McLane made the motion that the salary of all employees and management be cut by 20 percent except those that belonged to the union. This includes all the office staff […]

John Allard the best choice in District 4

EDITOR: As you consider the many candidates that are running for the District 4 Assembly seat, there is one whose experience makes him the clear choice on March 8. John Allard has a lengthy, proven track record of taking a constructive and thoughtful approach to local and statewide policy issues. His many years as Sen. […]

Do-it-yourself Sheriff’s Department strikes again

EDITOR: As a retired police chief and one who spent years as a Field Training Officer who was responsible for training new recruit officers I just wish to compliment Mr. Dean Plant on his two fine letters to the editor regarding our “do-it-yourself Sheriff’s Department.” Mr. Plant, it’s true that online reporting is now an […]

State Assembly election: She’s the best candidate

EDITOR: The election on March 8 is fast approaching. The major newspaper made its endorsement on Feb. 14. They backed John Allard, a Roseville city councilman, and previously 11-year chief of staff to former State Sen. Tim Leslie. You wouldn’t learn about that long stint in the belly of the beast by reading his candidate […]

Astonishing thievery

EDITOR: As principal of Guiding Hands School in El Dorado Hills that primarily serves students with disabilities, I have had the privilege to witness the joys of student growth. Today, however, I face the challenge of trying to explain compromised integrity to our students. Last Friday, Feb. 11, our students were released early so our […]

You’ve made a good start, Jerry

OK, Jerry, you’ve made a good start in fixing California’s budget problem. But you have just hit the tip of the iceberg. You’re making an effort to stop the state from buying more cars but don’t stop with only that. There is no reason any state employee should have a state owned vehicle unless they […]

Letter writer’s vitriol spilling over … again

EDITOR When I saw the title of Mr. John Garon’s letter (My New Year’s resolution, Feb. 7), I thought he had decided to give up writing “vitriolic, nearly unhinged” letters to the Mountain Democrat about “Tea Partyers” (and other non-left-wing organizations he execrates). But I was sadly mistaken. He has now proudly concocted two “more […]

He is a killer of children — thanks for keeping him locked up

EDITOR: First and foremost I want to thank the Parole Board at San Quentin for denying parole to this inmate. I have known him for many years working in the telephone industry in the ’60s, Pac Tel, and it was apparent that he had an alcohol problem. He came to work every day, drunk. I […]

The real world of kids’ sports

EDITOR: This is in response to Debra Yurgelevic’s letter/opinion about the newly hired coaches of the El Dorado High School boys’ basketball program. Competition can be defined as the act of competing, as for profit or a prize. In this case, we are referring to competing for a prize, whether it is a league or […]

‘We’ are the Tea Party

EDITOR: We are for lower taxes, against unions, against socialism, fascism and Nazism (we’re not exactly sure we know what those labels mean, but we know our president, Barack  Obama, and his cohorts Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein, are definitely at least one of those). We’re going to take back our country! So what if […]

Great editorial: Cut whole agencies

EDITOR: Re.  your editorial regarding cutting agencies I commend the Mountain Democrat on the content of your editorial on cutting whole agencies instead of just “some” of their budgets. I join with you in supporting the elimination of all such Departments of Worthless Services. The taxpayers said loudly and clearly “cut government” but as deaf […]

Railroad goes astray

The California High Speed Railroad seems to have run astray. It is spending $4.15 billion to build 54 miles of track, including viaducts, railroad bridges, right of way, road realignment and relocation, all in the boondocks. This price tag does not even include signalization, electrification and substations. The route chosen to build is from Fesno […]

A dose of Dan: Industries consolidate, government agencies can too

Taxpayers are often left to marvel at how long it takes government to react to issues, particularly economic ones. Businesses don’t generally operate for very long without balanced budgets, but government agencies can stay in business, conduct exhaustive studies and even grant pay increases while running in the red for months or years at a […]

My turn: So much from so many

When a tragedy occurs, our community steps forward and envelopes those who have been impacted with strong, caring arms.  On Feb. 2 we in El Dorado County experienced such an event. When Sam LaCara died in a senseless shooting, we lost a wonderful husband, father, principal and community leader. Even though we may never understand […]

We need to implement Laura’s Law

EDITOR: El Dorado County is ahead of the curve with the Behavioral Health Court. The court has proven successful in helping people with mental illness to stabilize, find the right medication and work with a doctor and therapist to improve their living situation. We have a new sheriff who is energetic and deputies who have […]

Leash law good for everyone

EDITOR: While there is certainly room for debate on some points, I agree with several of the thoughtful comments in Tom Gillen’s letter (his response to Anthony Belli) regarding a dog’s natural instincts and suggested socialization techniques. However, I strongly disagree with his suggestion that dogs be allowed off-leash to “chase critters” and perhaps be […]

Belltower: What an all-star team

Orphie Tirapelle, El Dorado High School Class of 1939, brought in a clipping from the 1948 Mountain Democrat “Sport News.” It was a photo of the 1948 Caldor basketball team, which had just “dropped a powerful DeMolay” team in the 20-30 Club Basketball League. The players wearing the jerseys of the Caldor Lumber Co. are […]

This project will be dedicated to Sam LaCara

EDITOR: As the students and faculty of Schnell School begin the process of healing from the recent tragedy, Placerville has shown tremendous support. We are fortunate to have such strong community spirit and caring within our town. For the past few years I have been fortunate to work with a group of great volunteers on […]

Why can’t we get anyone to help us?

EDITOR: As enthused parents to the middle school scene, like many parents we were excited for our children to attend the school’s first overnight field trip to an Outdoor Science Camp. This camp was to be a week long and loaded with fun, adventure and lifelong memories. It seems that when our children reach these […]

Not impressed with Beth Gaines for Assembly

EDITOR: Clean hands, pure hearts… Integrity and accountability are primary considerations in choosing the best candidate to represent the voice of the people. All the dirt will eventually come out in the wash. Until then, “we the people” must hold all candidates’ feet to the fire. Beth Gaines was one of the five candidates for […]

Parole date denied for murderer — thank you

EDITOR: Dear friends and neighbors: Earlier this year we informed you that the man who murdered Ehren, our son and brother, had a parole hearing on Feb. 9. We attended the hearing and want to pass on the good news to you. Robert Kaser will not be eligible for parole for five more years. That […]

Trees of Placerville: Palm trees and beech trees

E.J. (Elizabeth) Pabst, a Tree of Life to clients at One Stop Employment, wrote a letter to the editor inquiring as to whether palm trees were “allowed” to grow in Placerville. Very funny, E.J. And, yes. Placerville Victorians in their travels brought palm trees back home. Charlene McCaslin has 200-year-old palms in her front yard […]

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