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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 […]

Disband the Air Force

EDITOR: Mr. Napolitano (senior judicial analyst for Fox News) has asked where in the Constitution it authorizes the federal government to regulate the delivery of health care? Hmmm, got me to thinking there is nothing in the Constitution about the United States Air Force. Let’s give those fly boys 30 days notice — the savings […]

Move forward with 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 the deputies who […]

Good neighbor policy

Kudos to El Dorado County for its response to complaints from neighbors along the new section of the El Dorado Trail that ends at Missouri Flat Road. The county installed fencing along the trail as far as Old Depot Road. The county also fixed up that road, which apparently had been partially damaged from trail […]

All in the family … poor judgment by sheriff

EDITOR: After learning that the newly elected sheriff had appointed his brother-in-law to the position of undersheriff, and having difficulty believing that this was acceptable according to El Dorado County regulations, I investigated the county’s policy regarding nepotism. Human Resources provided me a copy of the Personnel Management Resolution, Item No. 810, which  addresses nepotism. Even though […]

De-icing highway

Thank you, Caltrans, for your quick response to unusual icy conditions along a realigned section of Highway 49 in the China Hill Road area south of El Dorado. Apparently a spring or excess water from the rains had been welling up through the pavement causing ice on the road during freezing conditions. Caltrans’ solution is to […]

Health care costs most likely going up … and up

EDITOR: The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka by some Obamacare). A few of their concerns causing this vote: Insurance companies required to spend 80 percent of premiums on health care claims, insurance companies required to accept those with pre-existing conditions, insurance companies required to insure […]

Yay, Ray, for getting the cat down

EDITOR: Three cheers for El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting for taking the time our of his busy day to help a person get his cat out of the tree. I know the man with the cat appreaciates it. Thank you, Mr. nutting. DUANE FULLER Diamond Springs

Cut away

Gov. Jerry Brown aims to cut the pay of the 63,000 state workers who didn’t complete contracts with Gov. Schwarzenegger when he was in office. Brown’s savings are projected at $308 million. Other savings, currently unspecified, would shift juvenile prisoners to county facilities in three years, eliminating 4,000 state jobs plus related but unspecified administrative […]

California rambling: Family ski memories

Our family’s annual winter vacation was always to the same magical place, Yosemite National Park. It was the early 1950s and skiing had not yet become widely popular in California. The Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley would change that in 1960, but until then, Yosemite and its ski area, Badger Pass, were as if […]

The rural life: Making your mark

Dogs are so funny. Out on a walk, when they come to a place where another dog has left a “calling card,” so to speak, they must stop and place their own mark directly on top of it. Even if all they can squeeze out is one tiny drop of urine, they’ll work at it, […]

If I ever need help again …

EDITOR: First I want to thank the two people who saw me fall and immediately came to help me as I was lying on the cold blacktop on Saturday, Jan. 8. You were angels to me. I will never forget your kindness and thanks for calling 911. When the ambulance arrived things happened very fast. […]

Ehren Dixon deserved a full, rich life

EDITOR: In regard to Robert Patrick Kaser: Ehren Dixon was a terrific kid in 1985 with a bright future. He was a member of the Dry Diggins Dolphins swim team along with our sons, one of whom was the same age as Ehren. Ehren Dixon was highly thought of by everyone who knew him and […]

The weekly Daley: Moving on

You know how sometimes you wake up one day and realize it’s time to move on? I did that this week. Nothing significant like quitting your job and becoming a pirate or running away to the circus or changing your gender. Next to those, this was pretty small potatoes. I switched gyms. For 16 years […]

Sheriff’s choice: Nepotism is counterproductive

EDITOR: After I arrived home from a winter trip, I sat down to review the past issues of the Mountain Democrat that my wife had saved while I was gone. I was shocked to read that the newly sworn sheriff had selected his brother-in-law as his undersheriff. I also read the letters to the editor […]

Undersheriff choice smells bad to me

EDITOR: Last October I placed a telephone call to El Dorado County sheriff’s candidate John D’Agostini to ask who he planned to name as his undersheriff because I kind of smelled something coming that I didn’t like. He showed that he had some political blood in him and danced around the answer, finally telling me […]

In support of Ridley K-9 Academy

EDITOR: We are writing this letter because we have used Garrett Ridley of Ridley K-9 Academy with help in training our male Doberman pinscher Sterling. We could not stand by and see all the newscasts on TV reporting about the case of animal cruelty toward Garrett Ridley without telling our great experience with Garrett. Garrett […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Eliminate boredom in 2011

The amount of boredom in your life is really 100 percent up to you. It would be nice to blame others or to blame your job or to blame your lover or spouse for the boredom in your life, but it will not work. External forces do not determine your boredom level – you do. […]

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Give the new Republican House of Representatives credit for concentrating on job creation while the Obama administration concentrates on destroying jobs. House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., aims to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations. Upton told WorldNetDaily his committee would “foster a new era of job growth, fight rampant regulations, fortify […]

Supervisor Ray Nutting rescues cat stuck in tree

EDITOR: What a great story in the midst of constant bad news: The chairman of our own El Dorado County Board of Supervisors puts his own safety at risk to help a resident of our county. Talk about going way beyond the call of duty. I just wanted to say thank you, Ray Nutting, for […]

1099 insanity

Among the crazy schemes to fund Obamacare was the belief that making a business file a 1099 Form on every vendor from whom it buys $600 worth of print toner or copy paper or toilet paper would somehow root out the so-called underground economy. All it has done is make a living hell out of […]

We’re funding a bloated educational system

EDITOR: With regard to our state’s budget crisis the elephant in the room is educational expenditures. Our state’s educational system is a failure by any social or economic standard of measurement. Did you know that 33 percent of students entering the ninth grade in California never finish high school? Could you afford to operate a […]

Hope House helped … thanks

EDITOR: Jeff Headrick and his team from Expert Design and Construction in Rancho Cordova recently underwrote all labor and materials to completely remodel a kitchen at a local transitional home in El Dorado County. Working with Assist Local Network out of Folsom, Expert Design reviewed project proposals from throughout the region looking for a project […]

Appalled at Animal Services criticism

EDITOR: I read the recent editorial, headlined “Gold plated animals” with great dismay. Whenever given a chance to attack El Dorado County Animal Services, you seem to jump at the opportunity. And may I suggest again that you get with the times and quit calling the animal shelter a “pound?” It’s an antiquated term. So […]

Have you lost a child to murder?

EDITOR: Mr. Steve Tapson’s recent letter defending child-murderer Robert Kaser sickened and saddened me. I’m sickened by his use of the letters to the editor as a forum for Kaser’s defense. Using the excuse of a high blood-alcohol level is absurd and sounds desperate. Are you suggesting we’re all capable of murder if we’re drunk […]

Response to columnist regarding guns: This is not a perfect world

EDITOR: Mr. Chris Daley, I must vehemently disagree with most of the points you made in your column entitled “Can gun tragedy be avoided?” You stated that maybe if the shooter knew everyone had guns, he might have decided to go back to school. According to reports I have read, he was in school and […]

My turn: Snowshoe Thompson genealogy revealed

I had the great pleasure of visiting your town in September 2010. The reason was mainly to see where my uncle John Magnus Kristensen used to live in the 1950s. The Mountain Democrat has once helped me track down descendants of him some years earlier. No one showed up, but I am very grateful for […]

Publisher’s ink: The heroes of El Dorado County

If the large turnout at last weekend’s Boys and Girls Club’s Heroes Night benefit is any indication of what to expect in 2011 then several non-profit agencies serving El Dorado County could be in for a stellar year. Heroes Night was this year’s first major non-profit fundraising event so I’m sure those responsible had some […]

Don’t give us the tired ‘diminished capacity’ defense

EDITOR: This is in response to the Jan. 17 letter from Mr. Steve Tapson. According to Tapson, the term “Killer Kaser” is a “tacky alliteration.” How about “poor, misunderstood, alcohol-challenged assassin?” Better? Is anybody else as sick and tired the “diminished capacity” (intoxicated) defense as I am? Sure, Robert Kaser was highly intoxicated when he […]

Ehren Dixon never had a chance to make something of his life

EDITOR: On Monday, Jan. 17, the trial attorney for convicted child murderer, Robert Kaser, wrote that he thought the time for vengeance should be over and that Kaser should be paroled. The attorney stated that Kaser should be paroled because he is a “model” prisoner and should be given a chance to make something of […]

Robert Kaser gave us a life sentence of grief and sorrow

EDITOR: I cannot sit idle without responding to Mr. Steve Tapson’s letter to the editor in the Jan. 17 edition of the Mountain Democrat. Simply put, Mr. Tapson asks us to not be vengeful toward the man who murdered my son. Regarding Mr. Robert Kaser, he wrote, “Then one day he lost it and committed […]

Feds out of control

Lately any acronym with federal in front of it seems to be overstepping its bounds. Take the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Now it is adding an annual surtax of $300 million to $500 million to Michigan utilities to pay for a $20 billion transmission line across 13 states in the Midwest. This is to bring […]

I’m sick of the cronyism and nepotism

EDITOR: I am disturbed by the recent actions of Arnold/Nunez and D’agostini/brother-in-law … it is rampant cronyism and nepotism. I regret I voted for either of them. And, I’m not about to vote for Gaines’wife. JOHN O’BRIEN Placerville

Laura’s Law: Do not keep our heads in the sand

EDITOR: Given the charged atmosphere created by the recent Tucson violence, it is now time for us to take action to do everything in our power to prevent such a thing from happening again. California has had Laura’s Law on the books since 2002. It allows each individual county to choose to implement court-ordered assisted […]

Placerville city redevelopment plan: The perfect storm

EDITOR: I am writing in response to the letter by V. Martello of Jan. 12, who asks some very pertinent questions. “Why is the city of Placerville still considering this ridiculous redevelopment scam?” and “Why are we allowing the city to even consider moving forward with this insane plan in this recession?” As you noted […]

Undersheriff appointment: Big step backward

EDITOR: Nepotism avoidance should have guided Sheriff John D’Agostini’s decision while considering all the possible candidates for appointment to undersheriff. It would have allowed D’Agostini to pick the second most qualified candidate and avoid the charge, real or imagined, of nepotism. Instead, the sheriff appointed his brother-in-law, the most qualified candidate, as undersheriff. Regarding “culture […]

Congratulations on choice for undersheriff

EDITOR: The many and varied obligations and duties required of a sheriff necessitate the need for having a competent and trustworthy undersheriff to aid in carrying out those duties. Our newly elected sheriff, John D’Agostini, is fortunate indeed to have someone he can trust by his side as he assumes control of the El Dorado […]

I was doing my best to kill your dogs … here’s why

EDITOR: Two years ago while walking my dog near the bowling alley in Pollock Pines we were attacked by a large German shepherd running at large. I have a beagle who never leaves the house without being on her leash. I fought as best I could but fell to the ground in the battle and […]

Ridley K-9 getting an undeserved bad rap

EDITOR: My name is Joey Selby and my dog’s name is Huggie Bear; she is a 3-year-old Rottweiler. I got her when she was 6 weeks old and did not realize how stubborn they were. When Huggie Bear was about 4 months old and getting out of control I called Ridley K-9 for help. Huggie […]

What about the First Amendment?

EDITOR: I’ve just read John Garon’s letter of Jan. 14 excoriating the Mountain Democrat for being what he calls “a tool of propaganda” for publishing “totalitarian ideas.” That’s one man’s personal opinion. OK, fine. Apparently Mr. Garon is fighting mad at an inanimate object. He bought a newspaper, didn’t like what he read and wrote […]

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