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Backroads: Season’s greetings from the heartland

My father died two years ago, a couple days before Christmas. Since then, I’ve been spending more time here in suburban Chicago with my mom. I’ve just dropped my wife at Midway Airport on what will soon become a beautiful, Chicago day-after-Christmas. I’ll return home later in the week. As experienced holiday travelers, we left […]

Gold plated animals

Something is wrong with the dog pound when it costs $90 to adopt a stray dog and $75 to adopt a cat. What? Are the cats covered with gold dust? Animal Services wants to raise fees in the middle of a recession for such things as removing a dead animal from your property. Try $500 […]

Putin the potentate

Valadimir Putin,Russian president for life and general potentate, is making sure his top political prisoner stays in prison in Siberia at least until the next phony election for Putin in 2012. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 on fraud and tax evasion charges and has served six years in a Siberian prison. Putin used these […]

Something to think about: Betwixt and between

Today is the last day of the year, the last day of the first decade of the new millennium. It’s also the day my husband, like thousands of other baby boomers, turns 60. He’s thinking “old,” but I’m thinking, not so fast. Sixty seems to be a tweener age — no longer qualifying as middle […]

The weekly Daley: New Year’s resolutions

Resolutions and Predictions for 2011: R – I will quit doing all the bad things I do to myself including: overeating, over-drinking, over-smoking, over-procrastinating, under exercising, under fruit/vegetable eating, overspending, under saving and under sleeping. P – As of Tuesday, Jan. 4, I will have reneged on most if not all of the above. R […]

Belltower: Some things remained a dream, some never change

Leave it to our history columnist, Doug Noble, to drop off some interesting items for my perusal. His most recent find is the proposed Sierra crossing for the Sacramento Valley Railroad. It shows it going over Johnson Pass as the round-about way, but it also shows it going under Echo Summit through a tunnel. The […]

Bamboo bike trip completion

EDITOR: I am Takashi Matsumoto, Japanese student, traveling cross country United States with bamboo bike. I met (Mountain Democrat staff writer) Jim Ratajczak at Placerville, and article about bamboo bike trip was posted on your newspaper on Sep 17. I was glad to receive that newspaper from my friend lives in Placerville, yesterday. Hello, Jim […]

Democrats are what’s wrong

EDITOR: In resonse to the letter written by Sylvia Medley, I would like to say that it’s more likely that Obama pushed us closer to the edge of the precipice. We have never been this far in debt before and I doubt that he is finished yet. In response to a question during an NBC interview, […]

A plan that won’t die

Life is trouble. Only death is not. — Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis Death panels are back in the news. It’s a plan that just won’t die. President Barack Obama, who on the campaign trail made plain his disdain for old people, is doing by administrative regulation what the Democratic majority in Congress feared […]

Publisher’s ink: What deck of the Titanic are you on?

National financial disasters have a way of getting people’s attention. During a recent evening stroll with my wife our conversation turned to economics, the home mortgage crisis and the government takeover of private industry. “Well, what did he recommend?” she asked. “Who?” I replied. “Jerry Brown? Neil Cavuto? The Messiah?” “Our financial guy, that’s who!” […]

My turn: Big fat regrets

“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it hundreds of times.”  — Mark Twain There’s a certain cordiality to the air in October. The long march of a stiflingly hot summer is finally over. The days cool off, dusk comes earlier. Mother Nature is changing fast as the trees begin to color and the first refreshing […]

Magic in Hangtown Creek

EDITOR: The photo on the Mountain Democrat Website of the feline tabby contemplating “whether to pussyfoot over the pedestrian crossing above Highway 50 at Bedford Avenue,” is Waldo, my almost 13-year-old cat. Waldo doesn’t cross the bridge, but he greets the humans who do. He is the local welcome cat, likes to visit all the […]

There has got to be a better way than abandoning pets

EDITOR: When I was younger I thought I might want to be a veterinarian, until I went to the pound looking for a lost cat and saw the cramped and dirty cages they were kept in (not in this county). Then I had to put one of my cats down, due to an incurable virus. […]

The real truth about Islam

EDITOR: In reference to statements by Richie Mishal. Richie may not want to argue that Muslims are not evil. Maybe not all of them are evil, but those that have read all of the Quran and follow the reading will not be peace loving people. I will reference several verses from the Quran. Read Quran […]

You can’t cherry-pick the Quran

EDITOR: Letter writer Mr. Mishal states: “Get the facts about my culture and religion.” The “media propaganda” he decries is not how I evaluate Islam or the Palestinian conflict, but rather consulting the Quran to learn how a letter so anti-Jew, anti-Christian, against all who “demonize Islam” can be written. I have a brilliant green, […]

We’re not going to be able to change his mind

EDITOR: My compliments to the many letter writers who have tried to disabuse letter writer Mr. James Longhofer of his delusional belief in the intention of the Japanese to be camped on the Mississippi in World War II. Many have written detailing Japanese troop strengths and concentrations, plans, defense perimeters, and even a Navy admiral […]

Give that guy a raise

EDITOR: I just wanted to tell everyone in El Dorado County how great a job coach Mike Verbitsky is doing teaching young men, including my grandson who is on his team. He is providing life lessons that are tremendous teaching tools beyond the X’s and O’s that sometimes dominate athletics. I applaud coach Verbitsky and […]

Let’s keep up the talk, civilly, on health care

EDITOR: While the debate about Obamacare has died down a bit, there appears to be still a lot of sentiment about “loss of freedom.” Like many I am concerned about the cost of mandatory health care, but the claims of “loss of freedom” by talk show hosts in particular seem patently absurd to me. As […]

Drowning us in the bathtub

EDITOR: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK., is calling for fiscal austerity. He hasn’t been specific yet so may I suggest what he has in mind? First cut taxes on the rich and corporations. Next, announce there is no money left to run the government so spending for the old, poor, and disabled must be savaged — the old “drown […]

Billingsley’s anger management

EDITOR: I found Bob Billingsley’s Dec. 24 column titled “Anger is not always loud” a worthwhile column. I am curious about what other gems he acquired from his Cherokee philosophy class. How about a series of columns on the subject? GLORIA HOWAT BROWN Placerville Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will be teaching a new class […]

Solar ‘savings’ exposed

EDITOR: The media have finally come through with an article on Sunday, Dec. 26, in the Sacramento Bee. Section D, which is the business section, on page D-2 clearly shows acres of solar panels (that have to be cleaned) and the astounding statement that (here is the quote) “Solar and wind power is generally more […]

On the trail of contrails

EDITOR: In response to the previous letters regards to airplanes that fly over our area and leave contrails, I support Delia’s letter. I have watched these planes fly over our area for many years. The planes start crisscrossing the skies early in the morning and fly until late afternoon, leaving a trail behind them that […]

Ted Gaines is the one

A little late in the game Ken Cooley changed from the man of mystery skating through as the unopposed Democratic nominee for the First Senate District to a walking, talking candidate speaking to our editorial board. As mayor of Rancho Cordova we have no doubt about his abilities. Rancho is an up and coming new […]

Trees of El Dorado County: A nymph of a tree

The city of Placerville recommends Nyssa Sylvatica or the blackgum tree as one of its street trees. According to City Planner Andrew Painter, blackgum is recommended because of its brilliant and early-occurring orange-red foliage and the fact that it is not too messy. Also, its blueblack berries are loved by birds. Nyssa is the Greek […]

California rambling: Holiday movies take to the road

Movie theaters will be filled this week with people seeking romance, laughter and adventure, but those experiences need not be limited to the dark, popcorn-perfumed, sticky-floored confines of a theater. Go to the movies, then bring them to life by traveling to the following destinations. Tron: Legacy, Disney’s film about a boy transported into a […]

Why did our congressman vote against help for 9/11 responders?

EDITOR: Congressman Tom McClintock once again voted against the 9/11 First Responders Bill. The congressman was unavailable for comment, so I thought maybe the editor of this paper could get a response to “Why?” These guys lost their jobs, had to pay for their own medicine, and the full cost of medical plans on unemployment […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Anger is not always loud

While reading books for my Cherokee philosophy class, I learned that quiet anger is just as destructive as loud anger. Quiet anger builds up over a long period of time, and often the only person aware of the anger is you. Cherokee teaching points out that the quiet, stifled anger can create inner disharmony and […]

Don’t stop looking to the sky, Delia

EDITOR: In his letter to the Mountain Democrat of Dec.22, Jim Riordan fails to reference the date of Delia Cummings’ letter in which she apparently writes about her concerns about “white trails” that Riordan says are her “worries.” Riordan is both dismissive of Cummings’ letter and is full of his own errors when he states […]

The weekly Daley: A fine Yuletide tradition

Like most families, we have some out of the ordinary little holiday traditions that got started long ago — no one is sure why or just when, but they’ve been with us for years. One year, for unrecalled reasons one or more of the boys weren’t going to be with us for Christmas Eve. Our […]

Placerville Public Works employees go above and beyond

EDITOR: After a night of solid rain last Dec. 17, I awoke once again to water in my basement. The water is caused by a defect in the street in front of my house in the form of a large depression that allows for a pool of water to form during periods of steady rainfall. […]

The signs in Arizona

EDITOR: For letter writer Ron Lanner: I’m not delusional, you’re just ignorant. Everything I write is supported by facts. All you have to do is Google them. The signs in Arizona were posted by the Bureau of Land Management along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, a major east-west […]

Chopped liver, or our most immediate danger

EDITOR: The tax bill is out of the way adding $858 billion to the deficit, so we can now again be concerned about the deficit. Yes, we and our politicians are more concerned about the deficit instead of our fellow citizens who are out of work. Millions unemployed, underemployed and those who have given up […]

Iwo Jima veterans, take note

EDITOR: Any United States Marine who fought in and survived World War II’s Battle for Iwo Jima, and still lives, who would like to place his signature, division and regiment (if known) on a 2 foot by 3 foot poster of Joe Rosenthal’s photograph of the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi, along with […]

Santa Claus and Jesus

EDITOR: I was encouraged by several friends to write this. The “I believe in Santa Claus” letter by Miranda was very well written and inspirational. I would like to interject my feelings regarding her thoughts. I believe in Jesus Christ. Why else would everybody be so friendly and jolly during this Christmas season? Just because […]

Get a rope

EDITOR: I read in the Mountain Democrat that David Zanon has been found guilty and sentenced to death. What a joke, Mr. Zanon will die of old age rotting in a jail cell, enjoying television and eating three meals a day, all at the expense of taxpayers. The hidden expense of this travesty is the […]

Don’t miss this display

EDITOR: I have spent a reasonable amount of time in my life driving around to look at Christmas decorations with our children and grandchildren. During those trips I have seen some cute ones, some nice ones but most are just gaudy. I have observed the display presented by the Wing family of Rescue since it […]

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