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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 […]

Focusing on the gun isn’t the answer

EDITOR: The opinion piece by Chris Daley in the Jan. 14 edition of the Mountain Democrat was misnamed. The Tucson incident is not a gun tragedy. The tragedy is that six people died at the hands of a mentally disturbed person. Rather than focusing on the instrument of the crime, the focus should be on […]

Can’t have it both ways, Mr. Garon

EDITOR: It was interesting to read the letter by John Garon in “Letters …” on Jan 14. The fact that the paper published his unsubstantiated, supposed facts in his collection of trash, puts the lie to his conclusions about the paper’s bias. If the paper were the propaganda tool that he claims, the letter would never […]

They’re scarier than the Tucson shooter

EDITOR: Trying to understand the senseless tragedy in Tucson over the weekend for the average citizen can be a daunting endeavor, especially if one is dependent on the mainstream media and talking heads to provide accurate and non-hyperbolic fault-finding reports. There has been a lot of public and private speculation concerning whether this is the […]

We’ll miss you, Brian Veerkamp

EDITOR: Thank you, Chief Brian Veerkamp, for your years of dedicated service to the El Dorado Hills community. We especially appreciate your unending support of our El Dorado Hills Senior Center and seniors throughout the region. You will be missed! JANET KENNEWEG El Dorado Hills Senior Center supervisor

Response to ‘Students learn of environmental impacts

EDITOR: I could not help but gag on this article, which did not list an author’s name. Could it have been provided by a school district or some government Department of Worthless Services?  The article described an “outdoor educational collaboration of students, teachers” and of course “professionals from county, state and federal agencies” participating in […]

Keep Kaser behind bars

EDITOR: I’m writing to plead with your readers to stop the parole of Robert P. Kaser. It makes me sick to think he has a chance at parole. He shot three people, killing a young man. He knew what he was doing; jury misconduct let him plead to a lesser charge. I moved here a […]

My New Year’s resolution

EDITOR: I admire the Mountain Democrat for backing its economic beliefs with words. The Christmas editorial “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” is a case in point. The celebrated answer given by the New York Sun’s editor to a young girl’s naïve question sounds very much like a metaphor for Reaganomics: a fairy tale […]

We don’t need more pebble counters

EDITOR: Response to Article in Jan 5 paper, “Students Learn of Environmental Impacts” I could not help but gag on this article which did not list an author’s name. Could it have been provided by a school district or some government Department of Worthless Services? The article described an “outdoor educational collaboration of students, teachers,” […]

Belltower: Our history on TV

It must have been a slow TV news day when KOVR Channel 13 reporter Neda Iranpour called Mountain Democrat Features Editor Mimi Escabar 3:45 p.m. Jan. 4 about coming up and doing a story about our newspaper starting its 160th year of publication. She called me about 4:45 just to be sure somebody would be […]

A dose of Dan: When it pays to retire

There is a multitude of ways to ring in the New Year, and many of us enjoy reading various lists presented by our favorite publications that reflect on what transpired the year before. Many of the items on these lists are events we remember all too well, but some of the events catch people off […]

The cell phony war

We sure have to praise Gov. Jerry Brown for finding ways to save money. Sacramento newstorial writers and and some state workers pooh-pooh the governor’s efforts as symbolic and “a drop in the bucket.” The latest money saving plan from Brown is to cut the 96,000 state employee cell phones in half to 48,000. Some […]

Tax increases are never ‘temporary’

EDITOR: Gov. Brown wants a five-year “temporary” tax increase. Politicians don’t know the definition of temporary when it comes to taxes. Rather than trust our elected representatives with this bucket of money that they can continue to waste why not offer a compromise? I’m not sure I even trust them with this concept but it […]

Kaser: The time for vengeance has ended

EDITOR: Regarding Killer Kaser (tacky alliteration).  As Bob Kaser’s trlal attorney I will happily fund a drinking experience wherein you will attain a blood-alcohol level of .31 percent and then ask if you know what you are doing. (Based on this editorial I would suspect that it will be the same as when you are […]

Getting dumped on

El Dorado County government and the local taxpayers sure got the short end of the stick on the defunct dump in Meyers, the unincorporated portion of South Lake Tahoe. The landfill was operated privately for nine years from 1946 to 1955, then it became a Forest Service responsibility. El Dorado County used it under a […]

They will demand millions

“The Dude and his bowling teammates are once again confronted by the nihilists, who have set the Dude’s car on fire. They once again demand the million dollars. After telling the nihilists what they knew, the nihilists demand all the money in their pockets.” From a Wikipedia plot summary of “The Big Lebowski“ In looking […]

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