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California Rambling: Old West Christmas

Mary Stewart had a difficult life as a young widow living near Fair Play during the California Gold Rush.  Christmas just made it tougher. She’d lost her husband in a mine explosion and was left with two children, Totty, 5, and Benny, 4. To put food on the table, Mary worked long hours washing miners’ […]

The rural life: ‘Our’ rattlesnake

Jennifer Forsberg Meyer The sound, loud and unmistakable, was coming from under the stairs of the deck leading to our front door. A rattlesnake was bidding our guests (arriving for a small Labor Day barbecue) the opposite of a welcome. From the far side of the deck, I crouched and peered, gingerly, underneath. And there […]

Community Resource Center a lifeboat

EDITOR: My husband and I have spent many hours the past several days at the Community Resource Center (CRC) helping Rene Evans (the director)  in any way  we can. It has been extra busy the past two weeks  with the weather turning cold and more people coming in to take advantage of the overnight shelter, get […]

Chuck Norris: A leader we all can follow

William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth Colony, was a remarkable leader who endured much from Europe to the coastal regions of North America. Born in 1590 in a small farming town in England, he was only 1 year old when his father died, 4 when his grandparents took over his guardianship, 6 when his grandfather […]

Letter writer might be delusional

EDITOR: Todd Dierdorff can be excused his juvenile rant of Nov. 22 because, as my conservative friends have told me, it is hard to think straight when foaming at the mouth. His predictable rhetoric about exploding liberal heads, government “takeover” of health care, a lousy president, and Omigod! “an incredible bent toward socialism” come right […]

Central planning

The Obama administration’s plan to kill off private insurance plans got under way as the Health and Human Services Department issued regulations this week to make sure premiums are used by insurance companies for overhead and profits. God forbid anyone in this country should make a profit. That just wouldn’t be “fair.” A better plan […]

Big bad Ben

And he’s bad, bad Leroy Brown Baddest man in the whole damn town Badder than old King Kong And meaner than a junkyard dog — Jim Croce Uncle Ben Bernanke is being the baddest bank regulator in the whole wide world. Last week he publicly criticized China’s monetary policy and urged Congress to pass more […]

‘Offensive’ flag drawing teaches valuable lesson

EDITOR: Kyle Brown says that the last time he checked, burning the American flag was illegal. I’m not sure when he last checked, but if he’s inclined to check again, he could start with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in Texas v. Johnson, in which the court ruled that flag burning is expressive conduct protected […]

Thank you, Assistance League, for helping youth

EDITOR: On behalf of Tara Turrentine, Noemia Plank and the Edwin Markham Middle School community, I would like to extend our gratitude to the women of the Assistance League who very generously implemented the Operation School Bell program benefiting 41 Markham students. They were provided a gift of $100 each to spend on much-needed items such as shoes and socks, jackets, shirts […]

O Christmas trees, O Christmas trees

EDITOR: The Highway 50 trees are up. Back for the second season since the big time-out for the roadwork, thanks to the commitment of Leadership El Dorado Class Three, the hard work of Dolly Wager, the yearly donation of the trees from the El Dorado Christmas Tree Growers and the support of our great community. […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Don’t be afraid of intimacy

Each of us has a small crystal ball inside of us. Our crystal ball contains a need, an urge for intimacy in our lives. We are hoping that someone will rub our crystal ball and free our intimacy needs. Waiting for the intimacy to be released requires a lot of patience and frustration as we […]

Thanks for supporting dogs, group

EDITOR: On behalf of the Placerville police service dogs and Life Trials I would like to thank all the wonderful merchants for donations to our joint fundraising event held on Nov. 13. Unfortunately space limitations don’t allow me to mention all by name. Thanks to everybody who attended and thanks for the support of these two […]

Deficit — we’re going down

EDITOR: Once you get past the personal attacks on conservative talk show hosts and the gratuitous rant on English grammar that comprised the bulk of Mr. Longhofer’s latest rambling letter he does mention one real issue, the deficit. He asks what the Republicans would cut to help balance the budget, which is something the Democrats […]

Publisher’s ink: Thank God for Thanksgiving

An angry reader recently sent me an e-mail explaining why the city of Placerville wasn’t displaying “Merry Christmas” banners downtown. “I recently contacted the Placerville Downtown Association to inquire why no ‘Merry Christmas’ banners were interspersed with the ‘Happy Holidays’ lamppost banners,” his letter states. He’s disappointed at not seeing any of the traditional greetings […]

Amenities vs. necessities

EDITOR: Law enforcement is a necessity, not an amenity. When the average, responsible person encounters lean times they know how to cut their budget to make ends meet. They cut the amenities like fancy coffee, dinners out and vacations first, and keep the necessities like food and a roof over their heads. What is necessary […]

Send a prayer when you see this tree

EDITOR: On Friday in Placerville, they lit up the trees that are decorated next to Highway 50. Please watch along the freeway for a tree in front of the candy store. The candy store sign has a woman wearing a pink dress and depicting Lucy and Ethel. You’ll see a tree with yellow ribbons streaming […]

Topsy Tahoe

As the Lahontan Water Quality Control District ignores the recession, California’s $25 billion deficit and the huge layoffs and cutbacks that have shaken local government it presses ahead with its costly program. Its regulatory  plan for Lake Tahoe was passed Nov. 16 and will go on to the State Water Quality Control Board for final […]

Don’t worry about the lines in the sky

EDITOR: Regarding letter writer Delia Cummings’ worry about those pesky jet plane “white trails,” universally known as condensation vapor trails  or “contrails,” that’s what happens when heated air meets cold air in a moist environment. I’m sure many agree with your concerns but they are probably mostly cats and dogs who look up as you […]

Letter writer blind to his own anger

EDITOR: Oh dear, another rant from Mr. John Garon (“The Tea Party’s phony outrage. Nov. 10). I foolishly  thought that the outstanding letter from Ms. Maggie Dunaway (Nov. 3) would have shamed Mr. Garon into holding his vituperation for more than a week – particularly since Ms. Dunaway quoted chapter and verse about Mr. Garon’s earlier […]

It’s about the jobs

EDITOR: The deficit/national debt are our two most important issues and must be addressed over all other problems facing our nation — we hear this as a constant drumbeat from Washington, D.C. But might the deficit/national debt be a wedge issue designed to serve other agendas by taking attention away from our economy and our […]

Contingency plans

EDITOR: Letter writer Mr. Longhofer’s latest attempt to justify his ludicrous position that the West Coast to the Mississippi was under imminent Japanese threat in World War II says that all militaries have contingency plans for almost everything, so therefore he’s corrrect in saying that the Japanese had one to march to the Mississippi. To […]

Shame on you for not helping the injured deer

EDITOR: Shame on the person who hit a deer on Cold Springs Road at the curve near the convenience store next to Country Club Road, Nov. 17 around 5 p.m. and left him to die. His leg was broken and would have either caused another accident by someone swerving to avoid him (as I had […]

Let’s return to decency

EDITOR: I think that I have finally recovered from the last very negative and ugly political electoral process. It seems from the campaign ads that our elections have diminished to choosing the lesser of “two evils” rather than the best of what America can offer (who has been smeared the least wins). After reflecting on […]

My turn: Biking through Africa

Just got back from an exciting, beautiful, learning  experience on another bike ride. Ever been to Cape Town, South Africa? If you have, you know just how difficult it is to describe it without getting carried away. It takes pictures, of which I have many, many, many, to do the place justice. Generally, It looks […]

Love it or leave it

EDITOR: Lee Gardner writes a letter to the editor in the Nov. 19 Mountain Democrat saying he is going to wear a black arm band, and a black stripe across his license plate, well, all I can say is the same thing that has been said to me so many times now: Love it or […]

Does John Garon really exist?

EDITOR: Honestly, I don’t think there really is anyone out there by the name of John Garon. First, if there was, he wouldn’t put his name at the end of his brainless tirade, “The Tea Party’s phony outrage.” There could not be anyone stupid enough to want their name attached to his idiotic banter for […]

Wakamatsu revisted

The American River Conservancy has performed a real service to El Dorado County, one that future generations will praise even more. The conservancy acquired  the 272-acre Veerkamp ranch along Cold Springs Road. The purchase, based on a current appraisal and not an out-of date one, while benefiting the sellers benefits the county more. The sale, […]

Belltower: A few thank-you cards

NIXONÕS PRESIDENTIAL HELICOPTER seats 16 and cost $1 million. Before the holidays catch us up in the annual whirlwind I thought I’d take a moment to send out some thank-you cards, with my usual bow to late Night Show host Jimmy Fallon, who invented the format. No, I can’t sing like he can and I […]

A dose of Dan: America and El Dorado County need more broadband service

Dan Francisco Want to jumpstart the American economy and create jobs? Bring greater broadband access to the people. Americans should be embarrassed about where our country ranks on a global scale in terms of broadband access for our citizenry. According to a recent survey by Cisco and the University of Oxford, the United States ranked […]

Response to liberal letter writer

EDITOR: In pondering Gloria Howat Brown’s letter of Nov. 17, I can’t decide what is scarier, a God fearing, law abiding patriot or an uneducated liberal. If you don’t understand it, call it a domestic terrorist. If you can’t comprehend it, create false ideoligies about them. In her letter she says that domestic extremists, who are […]

Feed the feral cats but not the deputies?

EDITOR: In a last minute proposal presented 30 minutes prior to Monday’s El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Jack Sweeney attacked the Sheriff’s Office by recommending an additional $1.5 million be taken from the 2011/2012 budget. This is on top of the current recommendations by soon-to-be-retired Chief Administrative Officer Gayle Erbe-Hamlin, which could result […]

Please join me to honor those lost at Pearl Harbor

EDITOR: I am a retired Navy Veteran ( 21 years active duty) and a proud member of the Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 275, Placerville, an organization comprised of active duty, retired, and all veterans regardless of time served, who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. I was not in […]

Bush tax cut rhetoric

EDITOR: To all you readers who rail on about the “Bush tax cuts” benefiting only the rich, I would like to point out only one thing. The lowest income tax bracket includes income from $0 to about $17,000 and the current rate is 10 percent. If the cuts are not extended that rate will rise […]

Happy holidays … and merry Christmas

EDITOR: With the Christmas season almost upon us, I see local merchants gearing up for it. In my downtown Placerville wanderings, I saw a lot of proclamations of “Happy Holidays” but nary a “Merry Christmas.” Merchants say they do not want to offend anyone with proclamations of “Merry Christmas” and want to be “politically correct” so […]

Alarmist Scientists Launch Shameful Political Offensive

By James Taylor Heartland Institute Proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the global warming debate is all about political activism instead of scientific inquiry, the increasingly partisan American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced on November 8 a campaign to discredit global warming skeptics and resist congressional inquiries into climate research scandals. AGU is blatantly violating the […]

The weekly Daley: Food basics

daley_chris_color You’ve seen the television ads, and you’ve seen the displays in the stores and recipes in every magazine from “Outdoor Life” to “Real Simple.” Sure it’s the holiday season, but by any measurement, it’s really the “food season.” Just as I got out of bed Wednesday morning, the phone rang. It was my sister-in-law […]

Democrats should rethink values

EDITOR: In the aftermath of the elections, Democrats are starting to understand that it is no use having a compelling vision if you can’t communicate it to the voters. The party sorely needs a new formulation of its core values. It needs to be something clear and emphatic, and something that resonates with Americans. May I suggest, “Lower […]

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