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Publisher’s ink: Looking through the office window

Several years ago I published the Hebron Herald, a weekly newspaper located in northern Indiana. The newspaper employed a woman named Helen, who for many years penned a local column called “Looking through the Office Window.” Helen’s desk was situated in a way that gave her an optimal view of passersby and people became the […]

Juvenile Hall Christmas thanks

EDITOR: To our El Dorado County friends: A simple “thank you” does not seem adequate for the support you have given to our recent Christmas celebration at Juvenile Hall. We were amazed at your generous gifts and are humbled to use them wisely in the best interests of our youth. Beyond the carefully selected gifts […]

My turn: Why government should stay out of green energy

In the realm of solar power, there has never been more fanfare for a startup than in the case of Solyndra. Founded in 2005, the company’s rooftop mounted solar panels were immediately touted as “the next big thing” in alternative energy. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Solyndra has been a magnet for venture […]

Don’t parole killer Kaser

Robert Patrick Kaser should never even be considered for a parole hearing from prison. The only reason he is, is because of a mistrial being declared on a picayune technicality. He was convicted of first-degree murder, but the verdict was later overturned because a juror looked up a word in the dictionary. So the district […]

Kaser determined his own fate

EDITOR: When a grown man kills a young boy for no particular reason, he should stay in prison for the rest of his life. Robert Patrick Kaser has determined the rest of his life – no on else has done that. P. WALSH Placerville

Tucson tragedy: Let’s end the inflammatory metaphors

EDITOR: I hope the tragedy in Tucson will finally, once and for all, put to rest the comments by some individuals and fringe groups who use gun related metaphors about rival candidates and incumbents. The use of phrases such as “Second Amendment solutions” and “in the crosshairs” are probably viewed by 99 percent of those […]

Don’t throw local merchants under the bus

EDITOR: This letter is in response to a letter from Mr. Jon Bromenschenkel in regard as to why he should shop locally after having a bad experience at a local merchant. Mr. Bromenschenkel, the independent local merchants work extremely hard as well as at great expense to bring to you and other locals a unique […]

Christmas compassion and spirit appreciated

EDITOR: The Christmas season is well past but we, the brothers of the Sierra Chapter of the Vietnam Vets, Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club,  would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of many of the residents of the Pollock Pines community. Each December we get together at the Fifty Grand Steakhouse […]

Respectful tone not quite reached

EDITOR: Reference Mr. Giacomo’s recent letter concerning Japanese war plans and his opinion that I should keep a respectful tone and realize others (Mr. Alger) may disagree with me. As for Japanese war plans, Mr. Alger consistently argued that Japan had no contingency plan to attack our West Coast yet, in fact, it did exist. […]

Internet shoppers not killing local business

EDITOR: In reading the letter posted regarding Internet shoppers killing local business, I was drawn to reply, due to the origin of the complaint. I have personally been in the local business that was cited several times in the past four years and have seen no customer service. A second letter posted on the same […]

Put me in charge

EDITOR: I don’t believe in handouts but I do believe in giving a hand up. I would see no man, woman or child go without the basic necessities. But welfare and entitlements cannot and should not provide a comfortable way of life. This must stop. 1.   If people need food, they should get it; bags […]

Give the deputies a break

EDITOR: Is letter writer Mr. Dean Plant for real? My gosh, go buy some electrical cords and watch your own yard. People have been mailing in minor complaints for 20 years. Leave the deputies alone. After a 10-hour shift and hundreds of calls, they need a break. Believe me, they are not hiding. Their radios […]

Opinions and respect — they can go hand in hand

EDITOR: I sometimes wonder, Mr. Longhofer, if you believe that your numerous letters are purely factual and not just opinions? Your letter regarding Japan’s plans to invade the USA is somewhat factual but the possibility of an invasion happening is pure nonsense. All generals, etc., have multiple plans drawn up but they are just contingency […]

Parasitic health insurance companies

EDITOR: It’s reported that a prominent insurance company seeks rate hikes of as much as 59 percent for individuals. Soon their customers will have to turn over their entire paychecks to satisfy these —- fill in a word, parasites comes to mind. Can anyone give me one reason (logical please) we need health insurance companies? […]

Medicare: Let’s not get all warm and fuzzy yet

EDITOR: Letter writer John Herman states the current cuts to Medicare have nothing to do with the $500 billion that has been referred to as a cut to Medicare. He’s right that the current cuts don’t have anything to do with the above $500 billion. He then points out the savings that the government hopes […]

Veterans: We don’t just drink beer

EDITOR: I am a retired Navy veteran and a member of the Fleet Reserve Association. If you are or were an enlisted member of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, active duty or retired, honorable discharged, regardless of time served, you are eligible for membership. This is a letter to some veterans and […]

Garrido case not complex

Two recent issues Judge Douglas Phimister is facing in the Garrido case seem less complicated than the three parties are making them out to be — judge, prosecution and defense. No. 1 is whether the prosecution can obtain an  audiotape of an interview of Phillip Garrido by the court appointed shrink who is determining whether […]

California Rambling: Mountain lions

A dead deer is not unusual in El Dorado County, but when a fresh deer carcass was found half eaten in our El Dorado Hills neighborhood one morning a couple of weeks ago, then dragged away by some animal to be finished an hour later, the first thing that came to mind was “mountain lion.” […]

The rural life: Adventures in pet nutrition

What you put inside your body to nourish it really, really matters. So says the research, and I for one believe it. I’ve also come to realize this truism is true for pets, too. What we put inside their bodies affects not just their weight but also their overall health and ability to resist disease. […]

Consolidation can save school expenses

EDITOR: With Jerry Brown now as governor and his desire to raise taxes let’s consider some options before we give any government entity any more of our money. Let’s start with the schools. I’m focusing on El Dorado County schools because that is the area where we the local taxpayers have the most say. Here […]

Catholic church is morally adrift

EDITOR: The Dec. 21 Belfast Telegraph reported “Pope Benedict’s claim that paedophilia wasn’t considered an ‘absolute evil’ as recently as the 1970s. Pope Benedict also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered ‘normal’ by society. ‘In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,’ the Pope said. […]

Can we help this guy and his dog?

EDITOR: Recently I noticed a temporarily homeless man sleeping outside in the cold rather than be separated from his canine companion. Can we do something to help this loving pair transition to home and work? Think of how devoted an employee such a person would make. How responsible. But in the meantime, the friends are […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Don’t allow external forces to control you

It’s that time of the year to set goals, make promises and dream about success for the new year.  A new year should create new energy, fresh optimism and sincere hope. I recommend you eliminate material possessions as part of the fresh resolutions. Do not allow external forces like cars, houses, money and other people […]

The weekly Daley: It’s unconstitutional

The new House majority took over this week and vowed to read the Constitution in its entirety into the congressional record. Then they vowed to repeal the health care reform laws because they’re unconstitutional. That is, there’s nothing in the Constitution that says anything about the health care of the American people, and more particularly, the […]

GSE competition needed

The 112th Congress has a lot on its plate: stopping that economy killer Obamacare, ending the crazy deficit spending and doing something to end the parade of drug smugglers, human traffickers and illegal immigrants trooping across our southern border. But somewhere among the high priorities ought to be ending the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac […]

Conspiracy abounds

EDITOR: At the beginning of the 20th century every major city had four or five newspapers, mostly independent. Reformers such as Lincoln Stephens, Ida Tarbell, Louis Brandeis, Owen Wister, Upton Sinclair and periodicals like Harpers, Atlantic, McClures, Cosmopolitan, and Century brought us news, uncovered scandals and exposed the American public to assorted opinions. Then JP Morgan and […]

Who’ll stop the rain?

EDITOR: What would you think if we have a contest to see which year the rain will stop? Give the winner a raincoat with a hood. In the years we’ve lived here I’ve seen the creek in front of our house go up almost to a river. Do whatever you think would change the weather. […]

Animal shelter, not a pound

EDITOR: I take exception with your negative editorial in last Friday’s paper regarding the adoption fees in place at the Animal Shelter, yes I said shelter, because you so rudely referred to our shelter as the pound. This is an archaic term used in the 1950s and it is not what our shelter is now. […]

Tell me again why we should shop locally?

EDITOR: My wife arrived home recently and described an experience she had at one of our local merchants. It went like this: “I walked in the entrance and an employee seated at a counter by the door looked up from her ‘device’ and made a cursory greeting and promptly redirected her attention to her thumb’s […]

Pilot Hill Sundance project a really bad idea

EDITOR: I am writing this letter in response to the Dec. 28 story about the El Dorado County Planning Commission’s approval of the Sundance residential subdivision in Pilot Hill. So it seems now that the real purpose of the Williamson Act is to allow people to pay very low taxes until the conditions are just […]

Internet shoppers kill local business

EDITOR: We, as a small business, stock many parts for our customers’ needs so they can walk in, get the appropriate customer service, and walk out with their purchase. Our prices reflect California/El Dorado County living, cost of retail business space, keeping our employees insured, trained and employed so they are not a drain on […]

My turn: Avastin vs. Lucentis — one step closer to cost rationing?

One of the many concerns about President Obama’s health care legislation is that it will encourage — if not eventually require — the government to approve the cheapest rather than the best medical therapy. Indeed, the government already engages in some price rationing in the health insurance programs it controls: Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans […]

Publisher’s ink: The future is in the cookies

Another year has come and gone. The holidays are over and the carton of eggnog is empty. This could only mean one thing. It’s time for predictions. I contacted Professor I.M. Looney, the preeminent para-psychological theorist and investigator of those things that go “bump” in the night. He agreed to meet me for lunch. Professor […]

Freebies aren’t free

While Gov. Jerry Brown was being sworn in Monday he declared he has a “tough budget for tough times.” He can start with the state Department of Public Health. Many homeowners received a “Dear Resident” letter from Robin Belle Hook, chief of the Environmental Health Services Division, offering free radon testing kits. Radon is not […]

My stay at Marshall is appreciated

EDITOR: Recently I was in Marshall Hospital for one week. I am very satisfied with the care and attention I received. I want to publicly thank nurse Catherine Lynch who helped me through some tough days. She made me feel special with her caring attitude, for which I am very grateful. ARLENE CRAWFORD Placerville

Do-it-yourself Sheriff’s Department

EDITOR: Sadly, on the morning of Dec. 28 while on our morning walk we discovered that a criminal or group of criminals had stolen most of our extension cords used to light our Christmas display. That in and of itself was enough to break my wife’s heart. As with most, Christmas is a special time […]

You ought to join us

EDITOR: On Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. a group of past, present and future, young and old, heart patients will be getting together in the dining room at the Senior Center in Placerville. The purpose of this monthly get-together is to discuss, compare, share, learn, encourage and even laugh a little. You would be surprised […]

Baseless editorial

EDITOR: Your recent editorial about advanced-care planning is at best a parody of the “death panel” belief system. I would hope an educated man could engage in meaningful dialog with the medical profession and organizations such as Partners in Care, Snowline Hospice and Elder Care in our community before printing an uninformed, inflammatory and baseless […]

Christmas Eve at the shelter

EDITOR: Tom and I have a big extended family and always celebrate Christmas with them, enjoying each other’s company, playing games, eating too much and opening yet another round of gifts. This year was different. My husband, son and myself  (and several volunteers from Green Valley Community Church) spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with […]

Another year bites the dust

What a year 2010 was. We got Obamacare, more bailouts, a suspicious nuclear weapons deal with the thugocracy called Russia, a weird financial regulatory bill from the two most corrupt and arrogant jerks in Congress — Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd. Then there’s the gift that keeps on taking. Fannie Mae and Freddie […]

A dose of Dan: The Christmas gift that gives the gift of adventure

We recently celebrated another joyous Christmas at the Francisco house, and even though we all know the meaning of Christmas is not about gifts, some of the gifts we have received over the years made more of an impression on our lives than others. One gift in particular, a globe of the world, has provided […]

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