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Gen. McAuliffe’s Christmas message, Battle of the Bulge, 1944 Dec. 24

Headquarters 101st Airborne Division Office of the Division Commander 24 December 1944 What’s Merry about all this, you ask? We’re fighting, it’s cold, we aren’t home. All true, but what has the proud Eagle Division accomplished with its worthy comrades of the 10th Armored Division, the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion and all the rest? Just […]

Chuck Norris: Obama vs. Reagan

I must commend President Barack Obama for getting closer this year to conveying the true message of Christmas. But how does that saying go, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”? This time last year, President Obama botched his yuletide yodels. Preceding presidents took pride in America’s Judeo-Christian and Christmas heritage, but President Obama […]

Publisher’s ink: Remember those you meet on the path of life

Fred T. Ward died on Oct 1, 2010. His obituary appearing in the Big Valley News said he died from a massive heart attack while vacationing with his family in Las Vegas. Fred was the former publisher of the Madera Tribune and founder of the Madera County Times. Occasionally obituaries don’t provide enough details on […]

Let’s support EDHS boys’ basketball

EDITOR: In light of the school’s recent developments and changes taking place, let us all remember that we all want the same thing; a positive experience for our boys playing basketball, a profitable fundraising campaign, good coaching and a successful season. And in this season of love and giving, let us be happy, healthy and […]

Thanks for the story about my sister

EDITOR: Loved the article about my sister, Susan Zito. she always was the brains of the family. I used to be a news photographer, but convinced my mother that I had a legitimate job playing the piano in a house of ill repute. From there I spiraled down into shooting fashion and now CSI. My […]

Thanks for saving my wife’s life … and please, let’s fix this

EDITOR: On Wednesday, Dec. 15, my wife, Karen, was hit head-on by another vehicle on Highway 50. Due to the quick actions of a passing motorists,the professional and caring actions of the El Dorado County Fire Department, paramedics and California Highway Patrol, she will survive her injuries. I’d also like to thank the staff in […]

McClintock disagrees with editorial

EDITOR: A recent editorial (McClintock needs a new speech) implores me to “stop picking on fellow Republicans” like George W. Bush and John McCain. The Mountain Democrat misunderstands the nature of my criticism. It is not the person but the policies that I have criticized. Does the Mountain Democrat deny that unsustainable increases in spending […]

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

By Francis P. Church, first published in the New York Sun in 1897. We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of the Sun: Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends […]

Current political climate: Let’s work together

EDITOR: I find it upsetting to read so much negative opinion about our current president. Imagine how things might be if John McCain had won the election. That was the only other choice on the ballot. While I believe that President Obama has the best interest of the U.S. at heart, I know that there […]

Medicare savings under medical reform

EDITOR: In his letter of Dec. 15, George Alger stated that cuts to Medicare will result in fewer doctors being willing to care for Medicare patients and that “the only way Obama kept the cost of his gargantuan medical plan all the way down to outrageous is by taking $500 billion from Medicare.” He claims […]

Placerville community Thanksgiving thank you

EDITOR: Once again the people of El Dorado County made the 14th Annual Placerville Community Thanksgiving dinner a success. Hundreds of meals were served on-site at St. Patrick’s Parish, and many more were delivered to those who are unable to travel. This amazing event simply could not have been done without the generosity and hard […]

Compromise needed

The El Dorado Irrigation District and four groups of El Dorado Hills developers have a 10-year deal that is coming to an end a month from now. The deal was these developers paid for the $4 million seismic upgrade the state required for Weber Dam. In return the district promised them 680 acre-feet of water […]

Belltower: Cartoonist, Placervillians sympatico

What a treat. Friday, Dec. 10, Mountain Democrat Advertising Director Ian Balentine and I had the pleasure of welcoming almost 100 people to our Broadway office. Assisting Ian with handing out free raffle tickets were his daughters, Kylie, 10, and Amanda, 6. They were wonderful gems. The occasion was Rubes cartoonist Leigh Rubin coming to […]

A dose of Dan: A parenting lesson learned from a video game machine

As the parents of two sons in elementary school, my wife and I recognize that our parenting skills are still being sharpened. We’re not green rookies, but we’re nowhere close to grizzled veterans. Yet we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy more parental victories than losses so far in the game. Regardless, it’s human nature to […]

Thanks for brightening my day

EDITOR: A heartfelt thank you to the El Dorado Hills Target store for their generosity to the Court Appointed Special Advocates program. My young person was the recipient of a $200 gift card. She was so appreciative and I had the privilege of watching her sunny countenance sparkle as we shopped throughout the store. You […]

Camino Cares 2010 a great success

EDITOR: Last night I took part in an amazing wrapping party in Camino with dozens of wonderful volunteers. We were there to wrap presents for the first Camino Cares 2010 Giving Trees program, sponsored by the Camino Community Action Committee. What made this program even more amazing was that a local teenager, Nick Van Gilder, […]

Rubicon Trail Foundation proud of purchase

EDITOR: On Dec. 9 the Rubicon Trail Foundation closed escrow on the purchase of 317 acres of land near the world famous Rubicon four-wheel drive trail in El Dorado County. This purchase is the culmination of efforts begun at the inception of the RTF and has been a long term goal of the foundation. We […]

Something to think about: With love, Christmas cards

So I’m doing Christmas cards, looking up addresses, filling out envelopes, writing pithy little notes. I like all the parts of Christmas except doing Christmas cards. I can see the point — sort  of — if  you are sending cards to keep in touch with people who live far away and you never see, but […]

I believe in Santa Claus

EDITOR: My name is Miranda and I am 16 years old and a junior in high school. I believe in Santa Claus. Why else would everybody be so friendly and jolly during this holiday season? Just because we can’t see Santa Claus does not mean that he does not magiclly squeeze down our chimneys and […]

I enjoyed cartoonist’s presentation at the paper

EDITOR: I’d like to thank the Mountain Democrat for having the cartoonist, Leigh Rubin, the creator of “Rubes.” If you weren’t there, you missed a fine presentation. Mr. Rubin is an “artist of humor” as well as an entertaining speaker. Yes — invite him back. KATHLEEN MURILLO Diamond Springs

The weekly Daley: Letters from Santa

Dear Mr. President – That was brilliant what you did last week. Taking questions, reassuring the public that the tax deal was a good deal, explaining compromise and how to get along in Washington, D.C. Equally brilliant was the other guy bringing you in on short notice to sell the package. Good job, Billy. Love, […]

Pets are a cherished commitment

EDITOR: You recently printed a letter by Teena Bonnici about the slim chances of an animal being adopted once put in a shelter. Her letter was powerful and it took me right where I didn’t want to go. I would like to add to this subject of unwanted animals a line or two about one […]

To Support 4 Soldiers, from Traci’s mom

EDITOR: I am the mother of SSG Traci Nesthus currently deployed to Afghanistan. I was unaware of your support group until Traci recently received a package from your group. She was happily surprised to receive her package, as these soldiers are so happy to know that they are being thought of back home. At this […]

National deficit — does this make sense?

EDITOR: Here is where we are — extend the tax cuts and after we do so, let’s get serious about the deficit. This is simply crazy — let’s add to the deficit and then we can be concerned about the deficit. Does this make sense to anyone? Let the Bush tax cuts expire and let’s […]

High school musical groups were quite impressive

EDITOR: We had a great experience yesterday. We went to the senior citizens’ Christmas luncheon at the El Dorado Hills Community Center. The entertainment for this event was provided by musical groups from Oak Ridge High School. This started off with a large choral group (at least 30 members) who sang several songs a cappella. […]

Bullying at Christmas program elicits apology

EDITOR: This letter is in response to the Buetow family from Pollock Pines regarding their being bullied at the 54th Annual Singing Christmas Tree Performance. For those who are not familiar with this event, The Singing Christmas Tree is an annual event that is attended by approximately 25,000 patrons over the course of 10 performances. […]

The imperative of community owned telecom infrastucture

EDITOR: As the Internet becomes the universal telecommunications infrastructure delivering Web content, video and voice, it is becoming eminently clear that for much of El Dorado County, alternative, community owned telecommunications infrastructure must be put in place as rapidly as possible. Many expect this vital infrastructure to be expanded and upgraded by the big, investor-owned […]

We need to talk about testicular cancer

EDITOR: In 2008 a 31-year-young Placerville man lost his battle with cancer. A disease not many men talk about, afraid it might induce a snicker or uncomfortable silence. A man may be reluctant to even talk to his doctor about the subject. That is a problem. Testicular cancer is a serious disease; a killer responsible […]

Don’t feed the deer — it’s suicide for them

EDITOR: At the top junction of Fort Jim and Newtown Road in Placerville near the Snows Road entry, there is an over-abundance of deer, not to mention the carcasses of fawns and does on the side of the road. I was informed the deer are being fed by one or more homeowners in that area […]

Does a Navy rear admiral trump an Army colonel?

EDITOR: The 6 Sept. 1941 Japanese War Plan was documented in the book “The Two-Ocean War ” by the noted naval historian, Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, USNR (Ret.) Nowhere in his “The Two-Ocean War” book does Admiral Morison document that Japan had any plan to invade Hawaii or the U.S. mainland. Other World War […]

Horror holiday

Many folks of Mexican heritage go down south of the border to visit relatives and celebrate Christmas in the traditions of their home villages. It’s visiting relatives and getting in touch with your ancestral roots, whether it’s Mexico, Wisconsin, Italy, Germany or Norway. For many, though, there is danger in the home country, which was […]


The lame duck Congress has put together a$1.1 trillion-$1.2 trillion 2,000-page “budget” bill that is really a continuing resolution to keep the government operating for the next nine months. It is larded up with 20,000 earmarks, with a big chunk of them by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii. He is down for $159 […]

There’s more to trails than rail cars

EDITOR: The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors recently withdrew a proposed resolution that would have set trail pursuits (hiking, cycling, equestrian use) as the county’s priority for the Sacramento-Placerville Transportation Corridor. I laud Supervisor John Knight for having authored the resolution showing his foresight in recognizing the health, spiritual and economic benefits of setting […]

How can this be a good idea?

EDITOR: I am pretty sure that we all, regardless of political affiliation, do know that Wall Street and the banks have a gigantic responsibility for our economic situation these days. And I am pretty sure that members of the Tea Party and conservatives also realize that, but do they realize that by voting in the […]

Letter writer’s venom is showing

EDITOR: I have a question for letter writer Bill Karr whose venomous rage against letter writer John Garon and all Democrats was published in the Dec. 6 edition. Bill, I noticed that you, twice, used the phrase “true American(s).” Can you please give us your definition of a true American so we will know just […]

My turn: I’m dreaming of a green Christmas

Regardless of political persuasion, everybody wants to go green, and with the Christmas spirit of generosity once again upon us, it’s a perfect time to consider how to get the most green for your hard earned green. I offer some guidelines and observations to help guide the way into a cleaner future. From an efficiency […]

U.N. stands for Under control of Nuts

Where does the United Nations hire these nut cases that it appoints to high office? An Associated Press story Dec. 10 objected to officials and corporations acting to cut off funding and deny server space to WikiLeaks. Navi Pillay, described by AP as “the U.N. top human rights official,” said these moves were “potentially violating […]

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