At a glance: Good start

With the new year there is always an excitement for really neat things to come. Take some time for a glance at the night sky, as the year starts out with all the planets visible and Mercury and Venus are showing off together from Jan. 7 to 12 in the southwest after sunset. The earth […]

Spices and herbs put the yum in healthy comfort foods

There’s good news for the millions of Americans resolving to eat healthier in the New Year and not give up warm, satisfying comfort foods. Spices and herbs can replace the flavor lost when using lower-fat ingredients in favorite home-cooked comfort dishes — from macaroni and cheese to meat loaf. One recent study showed a meal […]

El Dorado County youth prove they are stars

From tutoring to volunteering to teaching kids how to play soccer, El Dorado County’s young people give thousands of hours back to the community each year. Many of those youth recently received Youth Star Awards for their tireless efforts. The El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition hosted the ceremony on Dec. 14 at Lakehills Church. […]

Rubicon Trail fundraiser tickets on sale

The Rubicon Trail Foundation is proud to announce the seventh annual Black Tie and Boots Dinner and Auction, happening March 7 at the American Legion Hall in Placerville. By unanimous vote the foundation is honoring Daphne Green with the annual “Rock Award.” Green served as deputy director from 2004-11. She worked tirelessly to rally support […]

2014 grape harvest looks good

California vintners and growers across the state are grateful for another excellent vintage, despite an ongoing drought and earthquake that rocked south Napa in late August just as crush was getting underway. A mild winter and spring caused early bud break, although the overall length of the growing season was similar to past years. A […]

California Vineyards and wineries to go for the green

California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the inaugural California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. Applications are now being accepted at The California Green Medal was developed by California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners and Vineyard Team as a way […]

The important things: Do it differently

It’s that time again — January. The month we try to motivate ourselves with all sorts of goals to improve our lives, our looks, our relationships, our finances. January is a month we expect self-perfection right out of the gate and hope we can maintain it with no lapses. January is the month we are […]

Positive thoughts for the New year

The Mountain Democrat wondered what people are feeling about the approach of the New Year and how they view the wrapping up of 2014, so we hit the sidewalks on Main Street, Placerville. Question: Why are you going to have a happy New Year in 2015 and what about 2014 will Make You happy to […]

Railroad Museum needs volunteers

Fascinated by railroading history? Interested in working on a train? Enjoy working with visitors, children and school groups? California State Parks, the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park (SHP) are now recruiting adults (18 or older) who are interested in volunteering to help communicate the West’s fascinating heritage of railroading and […]

Grow For It! start a vegetable garden

“The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an avocation. It becomes an obsession.” — Phyllis McGinley “Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor’s garden tiller. If he does not own a garden tiller, suggest he buy one.” — Dave Barry This article is for […]

Happy holidays = happy year

Artist Lorrene Baum-Davis flipped through the pages of the accounting books at Gold Country Artists Gallery on Main Street in Placerville, then broke into a pleased smile. “Oh my gosh,” said Davis, then “Oh my gosh!” as she kept seeing ever more impressive numbers. She stopped at one particular page, glanced up and said, “What […]

The important things: Figuring it out

The important things in life aren’t things — we have heard that before, ad nauseam, right? What if I told you that those important “things” are largely in our subconscious mind and yet they create nearly every aspect of our lives? I am not trying to make another stop-and-smell-the-roses or slow-down-and-get-a-kiss-under-the-mistletoe kind of point. Bringing […]

Arbor Day Foundation offers trees

Residents of California can ring in the New Year with five free crapemyrtle trees by joining the Arbor Day Foundation any time during January 2015. “These small flowering trees will provide any landscape in California with a splash of color for much of the year,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. […]

As we were: Saving Bambi

25 Years ago Dec. 29, 1989 Subdivision developers seek DFG deer clearance Noting that their “hands are tied,” the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is suggesting that the developers of the proposed 25-lot Pepper Pike subdivision continue negotiating with the state Fish and Game to resolve problems that entity has with the project. The Southpointe […]

Volunteers make it work at Green Valley café

Saturday is a workday at Green Valley Community Church’s café and it starts at noon for Brooks Wampler, one of many volunteers who make dinner for attending congregants. Arriving about the same time are maintenance workers who attend to restrooms and floors. The café ministry works on a “nonprofit/break even basis,” according to Gina Simerly, […]

Foothill dining: Peanut butter

Calling all peanut butter lovers. It’s time to use the creamy spread to make dessert-time even more delicious. Show your peanut butter some love with the top recipes from QVC’s resident foodie and best-selling cookbook author David Venable.   Frozen peanut butter hot chocolate (Serves four) Venable’s insider tip: “Part milkshake and part hot chocolate, this […]

An adventurous journey of learning

She had blisters on top of blisters, tore through four pairs of shoes, walked two days and 20 miles on a sprained ankle and endured rain, snow, 100 mph winds and 110 degree temperatures. But if you ask Vicki Clift of Somerset whether she would hike 2,400 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail again, she’s […]

Celebration fundraiser marks repeal of prohibition

On Dec. 5 — in conjunction with Boeger Winery, David Girard Vineyard, Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery and Wofford Acres Vineyards — Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises Inc. held its annual celebration of the Repeal of Prohibition with all proceeds going for the benefit of MORE’s programs. Hosting the program at David Girard Winery was Kara Sather, the […]

Life as I know it: Recovering the Tyrolian hats

Last time I wrote briefly about being in Barcelona with all the family. I also mentioned seeing the Columbus ship “Santa Maria.” What I failed to mention was that it was a replica of the ship, not the original. As we left Barcelona and Spain we headed north toward Paris we stopped to see one […]

Things to do: Dec. 26, 2014

ONGOING put gold 1226 here Gold Country Artists Gallery, 379 Main St. in Placerville, through Jan. 4 is celebrating the holiday season with a special gallery wide show “12 Days of Christmas.” This theme has inspired the gallery members to bring their imagination and creativity to an old holiday tradition with painting, jewelry, clay, photography, […]

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino transformation underway

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe is joining the Lake Tahoe skyline this winter. The resort casino is making progress toward a highly-anticipated grand opening in January 2015. “The excitement is building with the property really taking shape. You can feel the momentum, energy and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino vibe,” said Don […]

MontBleu begins major renovations

Renovations exceeding $24 million at MontBleu Resort that include the casino floor, convention center and all 437-rooms from the 17th floor and down began in mid-October. The comprehensive plan includes all 36 suites and 401 rooms. The designers describe the overall looks as “Scandinavian fantasy” with clean, contemporary aesthetics that will combine beauty, functionality and […]

Tibetan Monks’ January schedule

Jan. 2-15 — Cozmic Café, 594 Main St., Placerville, Mandala Room is open for viewing 9 a.m.-6 p.m. most days, except Mondays (café closed) and where noted differently in schedule. Friday, Jan. 2, 10 a.m. — Opening ceremony for Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala Friday, Jan. 2, 7 p.m. — Vajravadaran Healing Ritual, according to Tibetan Buddhism the colorful ritual of Vajravidarana is […]

SnowGlobe fuses music and snow

SnowGlobe Music Festival returns to the stunning landscape of South Lake Tahoe over New Year’s Eve, Dec. 29-31. Combining the world’s best live musicians with the world’s best snow conditions, SnowGlobe is a one-of-a-kind festival experience that seamlessly fuses music and mountains. Hosted each New Years in the heart of the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains, fans […]

Tibetan Monks return to county

El Dorado County has a very special tradition to begin the new year with, a tradition now in its 12th year and perhaps unique in the nation. Here in the foothills, backed by snow-covered Sierra Nevada peaks, residents begin each year with a two-week visit by the Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery. With its […]

Paula Vance creates heavenly music

A silver-haired angel has touched down in El Dorado County, bringing her heavenly music along with her. Harp maker and music teacher Paula Vance and her husband Steve decided to leave the desert of south Utah and head to the Gold Country, locating in a comfortable country home between Diamond Springs and Pleasant Valley, off […]

Anniversary: Earl and Brenda Woods

Earl and Brenda Woods were married on Dec. 1, 1964 in Camino at her parent’s home. The couple went to Illinois for their honeymoon. To celebrate their 5oth anniversary, the couple went to Nashville, Tenn. in October. They also had a party at Pollock Pines Community Church on Nov. 30. Family and friends came to […]

Quilters help piece life back together

When flames devour your home on a hot summer day, the last thing you might think about would be a warm blanket. But members of the Hangtown Quilters didn’t want to just stand by as their neighbors lost everything to last season’s Sand and King fires, so they set their capable hands to work. Some […]

At a glance: Time to sing

The popular Christmas carol “Silent Night” was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg. Appropriately, it was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 at St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf. Father Joseph Mohr brought the words to Gruber, a school master, and asked him […]

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco awarded grant

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $65,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in support of the upcoming exhibition “Jewel City: Art from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.” Opening at the de Young on Oct. 17, 2015, the exhibition will mark the […]

Silver Screen Classics presents a comedy

Silver Screen Classic Movie Series continues on Saturday, Jan. 3 with a screwball comedy from 1934. Escaping her rich father on her mad flight to happiness, Ellie Andrews gets stuck with broke reporter Peter Warne. He knows a story when he sees one. She finds him a pest, he thinks she’s a brat. It’s true […]

Grow For It! Gifts from the garden

Every year, Master Gardeners hold a holiday gathering to celebrate the past year. One of the fun parts of the event is an optional gift exchange, with the only rule being “Make It, Bake It or Grow It!” Adding to the fun is that you can “steal” gifts from others several times. It is fun […]

FAN clothing drive a big success

The community support poured into the second annual Winter Clothing Drive and the Foster Awareness Network (FAN) was able to distribute a great deal of new and gently-used clothing to foster youth as well as others who are less fortunate. “I was amazed to see our drop-off sites completely fill with our area’s generosity. It […]

California State Fair receives international recognition

The California State Fair received the Judges’ Choice Award and Best of Division Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) headquartered in Springfield, Mo. The prestigious Judges’ Choice Award was received for the State Fair’s development of the Save Mart Supermarkets California’s Kitchen to the California Building adjacent to […]

Transplant recipients and donor families to decorate float

Twenty-four-year old Marissa McVey of Placerville, whose 17-year-old brother, Scott, saved five lives as a donor in April 2011, knows that organ and tissue donations truly represent “the never-ending story” of life. She will be one of 26 transplant recipients and donor families who will fly to Pasadena from Sacramento on Friday, Dec. 26 at […]

Documentary chronicles archaeological investigationbuffs

Anyone with a passion for history, culture or religion will want to experience “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus,” presented in more than 600 select U.S. cinemas by Fathom Events and Thinking Man Films at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19. In “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus,” documentary filmmaker Timothy Mahoney chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt […]

Experience the passion of the tango at Harris Center

Tango Buenos Aires has become one of Argentina’s great cultural exports, known throughout the Americas, Europe and the Far East as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of the tango. It is this excitement, passion and technical prowess that comes to Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom on Jan. 8, 9 and 10. The […]

MontBleu offers a Kool time

R&B mega-band Kool & The Gang returns to Lake Tahoe’s MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa bringing its bullet-proof fresh funk sound and high-energy guitar and jazzy horn section on Saturday, Jan. 17 for a one-night only concert. Spanning 40 years and selling more than 70 million album worldwide, Kool & The Gang’s music has been […]

Guess Who is coming to MontBleu

The Guess Who, Canada’s first international rock music superstars whose anthems “American Woman,” “These Eyes” and “Share the Land” rocked the charts in the 1970s and remain classic rock staples today on FM and Internet radio, brings its hard-charging guitar and vocals to Lake Tahoe’s MontBleu Resort, Casino & Spa on Saturday, Jan. 31 in […]

Wood shop becomes toy shop

Thirty children from Pinewood Elementary School entered the “Toy Shop” at El Dorado High School on Monday, Dec. 15 for a special evening. The wood shop classroom had been transformed into a toy wonderland, where they played with many amazing handmade wooden toys built by “student elves.” The toys in the shop ranged from a giant marble […]

Mitchell wines receive top marks

Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards is excited to announce that its 2012 Estate Grand Reserve received an 89 ­point rating in the December issue of Wine Enthusiast. The Grand Reserve joins three other Charles B. Mitchell wines that have recently received high marks from the national wine magazine — the 2012 El Dorado Syrah received 92 […]

Life as I know it: Fence building in Arizona

Last time I mentioned making a commitment about taking senior high students from our church group to Chinle, Ariz.. We would work for a week at an outpost church on the Navajo Indian Reservation. As the Easter vacation approached, we adults had to try to anticipate, and make provisions for two days of travel to […]

Home Instead hiring 180 caregivers to meet demand

As America’s aging population continues to grow, the need for caregivers has become increasingly apparent. That’s why Home Instead Senior Care, the leading global provider of home care services for seniors, has announced that its Rancho Cordova-based franchise anticipates hiring nearly 180 CAREGiversSM in 2015 across three franchises serving Sacramento, Placer, Nevada and El Dorado […]

Historic Old Sacramento now hiring

Looking for an interactive, engaging and fun part-time job in 2015? The Historic Old Sacramento Foundation (HOSF) is currently accepting applications for paid tour guide positions for its popular Old Sacramento Underground tour program that will resume on April 4, 2015. HOSF is looking to fill a minimum of four paid tour guide positions to […]

California wines inspire menu choices

Looking for new recipes to transform traditional holiday fare this year? These delicious and sustainably-minded dishes from Wine Institute’s new book, “Down to Earth: A Seasonal Tour of Sustainable Winegrowing in California,” will set the stage — and the table — for a holiday to remember. Your celebration can have a festive start with grilled […]