Manslaughter trial suspended

Dozens of grieving family members and friends packed an El Dorado County Superior courtroom Friday afternoon expecting to see Mark Steven Barrera sentenced for three counts of felony manslaughter. Instead they left not yet knowing what would happen to the man responsible for killing three young adults. Barrera, 22, pleaded no contest last month to […]

Dugard’s foundation releases first PSA

The foundation formed by kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard has released its first public service announcement. The 20-second clip, available on the JAYC Foundation Inc.’s Website, features a voiceover from Dugard imploring viewers to “Just ask yourself to care.” “If you see something that looks wrong or amiss, speak out,” she says. “You might be […]

November 07, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Replies

Heard over the back fence: Air Park Holiday Boutique this week

 My pal John Chapman sent me the following sign language statement: “I’d Turn Back If I Were You.” • • • AIRPORT HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE:
 The Friends of Cameron Park Airport have scheduled their annual Air Park Holiday Boutique for Friday Nov. 11, from 4 to 7 p.m., at 3239 Baron Ct., Cameron Park Air Park. […]

Council releases Delta Plan draft EIR

The Delta Stewardship Council has released the Delta Plan draft environmental impact report for public review and comment. The draft may be downloaded from The document is 2,200 pages with one proposed project alternative and five additional alternatives. The alternatives include the Ag-Urban Coalition’s Alternate Plan and the Environmental Water Caucus’ plan. It covers […]

County recorder-clerk-registrar leads coalition to help overseas military personnel vote

Thursday, Nov. 3, the Federal Voting Assistance Program announced an award of $1.8 million to a coalition of 13 California counties, headed by El Dorado County.  The funds are slated to enhance the absentee voting process for military and overseas citizens. The coalition will begin transmitting ballots electronically to up to 20,000 American voters either […]

Economic development slowed by regulatory environment

We have met the enemy, and he is us. — “Pogo” by Walt Kelly, Earth Day, 1971 Attracting business to El Dorado County has become an exercise in frustration for local government and for interested investors. Pogo’s famous dictum applies to the regulatory environment that county supervisors believe is an enormous barrier to economic development. Tuesday’s […]

November 04, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 11 Replies

Training for the unthinkable: Local man teaches pros

What if a shooter lets loose in a hospital? What if one of the many toxic chemicals used by a hospital spilled, endangering the lives of patients and medical personnel? What if people contaminated by contact with hazardous materials arrive at the hospital unannounced? These queries aren’t the product of a twisted mind, but the […]

November 04, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

State prison plan could increase Tahoe crime

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A California plan to reduce its prison population by shifting the responsibility for certain inmates to counties is a “huge step backward for victims” and represents a “grave concern” to public safety at the South Shore, according to one local prosecutor. Gov. Jerry Brown launched what has been referred to as the […]

November 04, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Replies

Search for sweatshirt leads to stolen truck

The search for a stolen sweatshirt led El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies to a much larger find: a missing truck. On the morning of Oct. 21, deputies responded to a reported strong-armed robbery at the El Dorado Hills Town Center, said sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz. Deputies contacted the victims and were told that a group […]

Fall back: Change clocks, change smoke alarm batteries

This weekend marks the end of daylight saving time and the beginning of standard time, with residents setting their clocks back one hour. The time change occurs offically at 2 a.m. Sunday. “It’s that time of year again, time to change your clocks and change the batteries in your smoke alarms,” said Chief Kelly Keenan […]

Sex offender pleads to possession of child porn

A Placerville sex offender pleaded no contest Wednesday in El Dorado County Superior Court to possession of child pornography. Anthony Michael Storey, 23, admitted to Judge Douglas C. Phimister that he was in possession of child pornography while on probation for a previous sexual offense. Court documents indicate Storey was found guilty of committing lewd […]

November 04, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

El Dorado Trail closure continues to mid-month

The closure of the El Dorado Trail 200 feet east of Schnell School eastward continues through Nov. 15, much to the dismay of trail users. Cimarron Construction from Oakland has been constructing culverts for drainage along part of the trail. A 40-foot gash and mounds of dirt piled along the trail have kept hikers, bikers […]

Veterans’ Day Closures

Some offices throughout El Dorado County will be closed, Friday, Nov. 11, due to Veterans’ Day, a national holiday. Here’s a look at what local residents may expect: All schools in El Dorado County will be closed. The offices of the police and fire departments will be closed. For emergency calls, dial 911. For non-emergency […]

Community Foundation helps fund critical local senior services

The El Dorado Community Foundation is breaking new ground by picking up the pieces of the fallout of federal and state funding through grants to fund critical senior services in El Dorado County. A total of $49,000 to fill the gap in funding left behind in the wake of state and federal budget cuts is being […]

Heard over the back fence: Group plans scholarships for women over 30

 Thanks to John Chapman, the following T-shirt statement is submitted: “There is absolutely no excuse for the way I’m about to behave.” • • • NEWS FOR 30-YEAR-OLD WOMEN:
 The Philanthropic Education Organization is sponsoring a local scholarship program for women over 30 years of age, attending El Dorado Center. To raise […]

November 04, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Replies

Delta Stewardship Council schedule slips

In spite of their best efforts, and Chairman Phil Isenberg’s determination to meet the legislative mandate to adopt a Delta Plan by Dec. 31, the Delta Stewardship Council had to face reality at its Oct. 27 meeting. Everyone involved knew that meeting the deadline would be a rush job, and the smart money was on […]

November 04, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Drug take back day called a success

Nearly 200 pounds of prescription drugs were taken in locally during National Prescription Drug Take Day sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The event occurred Oct. 29, with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office partnered with El Dorado Hills Vision Coalition and Drug Free Divide to offer three locations where residents could bring old and […]

Nationwide test to take place Nov. 9

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. The nationwide test will occur on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m. and may last up to three and a half minutes. The […]

Cal Fire reducing staffing for winter

On Monday, Nov. 7, the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire will transition into its “winter preparedness” level of staffing. This will mean most seasonal fire fighting personnel will be laid off and some fire stations will be closed (in Amador County: Dew Drop Fire Station, River Pines Station and Sutter Hill Station and in […]

Mittelman sentencing continued

The sentencing of convicted killer Steven Howard Mittelman was continued last week. Mittelman, 56, of El Dorado Hills, was found guilty in September of fatally shooting his ex-wife, Valerie Rita Mittelman, in their apartment on the evening of June 17, 2010. Mittelman, who is facing 50 years to life in prison, had been set for […]

Ponderosa honors ‘Fallen Warriors’

A single, solemn plaque placed in a quiet nook next to Ponderosa’s football field will remind all who walk by that a life was lost. And the honor to Spc. Mathew Taylor, a 2004 Ponderosa graduate who died in September 2007 after suffering severe injuries in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Afghanistan, is the only […]

November 02, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Replies

Tahoe murder suspect arraigned

The South Lake Tahoe man accused of killing his roommate was indicted by El Dorado County grand jurors and arraigned Monday morning. Brad James MacEwan, 55, is accused of killing 52-year-old Patrick Lee Rego. Tahoe police officers on July 27 found Rego dead inside the South Lake Tahoe residence he and MacEwan shared. Rego reportedly […]

Judge upset over delays

The message to attorneys in the first-degree murder trial of Morris Greenberg was clear and concise: Be ready. Or else. During a brief pretrial hearing Monday morning, El Dorado County Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner said he would not hesitate in imposing sanctions or excluding witnesses from testifying if attorneys could not resolve their lingering […]

Garcia’s passing leaves vacancy on education board

Dolores Garcia, a well-respected member of the El Dorado County Board of Education since 1996, recently died, which created a vacancy in Trustee Area III. The board would like to fill this vacancy through a provisional appointment process on Nov. 29.  All interested residents of the newly aligned Supervisorial District 3 are encouraged to apply. […]

Tahoe settles police racism suit but city admits no wrongdoing

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — South Lake Tahoe has agreed to pay the South Shore’s former transit administrator $5,000 to resolve a federal civil rights suit that alleged racism within the Police Department. In August 2010, former South Tahoe Transit Authority Administrator John Andoh filed suit against the city, the Police Department, officer Russell Liles and unnamed […]

Heard over the back fence: What a Pondo combo — crafts and e-waste

 John Chapman sent us the following T-shirt statement: “I huffed and I puffed and I got up out of my chair.” • • • CRAFT FAIR AND E-WASTE EVENT:
 On Saturday, Nov. 5, an E-waste fundraiser will be held in the staff parking lot of Ponderosa High School, Shingle Springs. Also, on the […]

Sixth graders to be ‘hired’ at mock interviews

Folsom Lake College’s El Dorado Center in Placerville, the El Dorado County Office of Education, and the El Dorado Union High School District are collaborating to produce a career awareness event at the El Dorado Center on Friday, Oct. 21. Close to 300 middle school students — mostly sixth graders — will participate in mock interviews with […]

Governor Brown unveils pension reform plan

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. Oct. 27 proposed 12 major reforms for state and local pension systems that would end system-wide abuses and reduce taxpayer costs by billions of dollars over the long term. “It’s time to fix our pension systems so that they are fair and sustainable over a long time horizon,” […]

Anglers asked to help conserve California sturgeon

The Department of Fish and Game asks anglers to use special techniques and extra vigilance to help conserve California’s green and white sturgeon. Both species are caught by anglers in a popular sport fishery centered in the San Francisco Estuary, but anglers need to be aware of special regulations in place to protect the long-term […]

Nimbus hatchery fish ladder open

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova was opened earlier this month, signaling the start of the spawning season on the Sacramento River. Department of Fish and Game  hatchery workers will take more than a half million eggs during the first week alone in an effort to ensure the successful spawning of the returning fall Chinook […]

California Automobile Museum to feature Corvettes

During the month of November, a special exhibit at the California Automobile Museum will trace the evolution of “America’s Sports Car,” the Corvette, with examples from each of the car’s six generations on display now through Dec. 3. The public is invited to come to the museum and see an array including a 1969 Corvette […]

EID workshop draws dozen in Pollock

It hasn’t always been the case with public meetings, but El Dorado Irrigation District General Manager Jim Abercrombie faced a mostly friendly audience at the Pollock Pines Community Center Wednesday night, Oct. 26. The turnout of a dozen people matched that at the Cameron Park meeting two days before, Oct. 24. Explaining Cost of Service […]

November 02, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Replies

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Howlin’ Halloween

Who doesn’t get goosebumps at the thought of Halloween? The scariest, spookiest, kookiest night of the year is here. Will it be a fun night — or a fright night? The magic of Halloween lies in all the possibilities. Limited only by the depths of your own imagination, free to fulfill your darkest or most […]

Women partners of Asperger men — A free education and support group

On Tuesday Nov. 8, 7-9 p.m., and continuing on the second Tuesday of each month, a free education and support group will be held for women partners of men with Aspergers Syndrome. The meeting will be held at the UC Davis MIND Institute at 2825 50th S., Sacramento and is co-led by Sally B. Watkins […]

Residents, directors discuss RVs, house trailers

CAMERON PARK — Whether to park an RV and house trailer in front of a Cameron Park residential property in the air district was the question answered for residents from the Cameron Park Community Services Board of Directors — along with some drama during the discussion — in a recent meeting at the assembly hall […]

October 31, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 30 Replies

EDH rescue group helps in horrendous horse case

EL DORADO HILLS — She hates to do it, but Grace Foundation Director Beth DeCaprio is asking for help. Her El Dorado Hills-based animal rescue and rehab organization has accepted 56 starving and abused horses from the derelict Whispering Pines Ranch of Susanville. At least 18 of the recovering horses are pregnant. “This case has […]

October 31, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 4 Replies

County dives deeper into Delta water wars

El Dorado County supervisors took another collaborative step to protect the county’s water rights at a recent meeting. Following a presentation by Dave Eggerton, general manager of the El Dorado County Water Agency, the board passed a resolution to join a Regional Water Resources Coalition. The goal of the coalition is to lobby, advocate and […]

October 31, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

‘Spirits’ on the menu at local cafe

Apparently there’s a new ghost at an old haunt in downtown Placerville. Two years ago the California Haunts Paranormal Investigation Team investigated a building on Main Street that was reportedly haunted by the spirits of two men, an older woman and a young boy. Now the team found itself returning to the same building as […]

October 31, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Court facilities group recommends cost reductions in new courthouses

SAN FRANCISCO — The working group tasked by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to oversee the judicial branch’s facilities program is recommending ways to proceed with minimal delay on most projects in the court construction program as well as the elimination of two projects in Alpine and Sierra counties. El Dorado County was not specifically mentioned […]

October 31, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 11 Replies

Details emerge in Pollock murder arrest

Outraged over being denied a stake of his father’s inheritance in 2008, Pollock Pines man Gary Goins swore he would have his revenge. “I will track you down and find you, I will learn your routines and then assassinate you,” Goins told his brother and sister-in-law, according to Oregon Circuit Court documents obtained by the Mountain Democrat. Goins, […]

October 31, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Replies

Mom appears in court

The Pleasant Valley woman whose son was killed in a manufactured home fire last month appeared in court Friday for a brief trial-setting conference. Jennifer Christine Ewing, 27, is facing one count of felony child endangerment likely to produce great bodily injury or death. Ewing’s 4-year-old son, whose identity has not yet been released by officials, was […]

Heard over the back fence: It’s Toys for Tots time again

 John Chapman sent the following T-shirt statement: “I really should get a backup GARAGE just in case.” • • • TOYS FOR TOTS KICKS OFF:
 Beginning tomorrow, our local Toys for Tots campaign begins. Many local businesses and service groups will take part in collecting toys for the kids. To locate the nearest toy […]

Questions and answers: What is a CIP?

Mary Lynn Carlton, EID’s director of communications and community relations sat down with EID Engineering Director Brian Mueller to talk about the CIP. What is a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and why is it necessary? “A  CIP is a five-year plan that is updated each year to identify and plan for necessary improvements that ensure […]

Tahoe officials set up marijuana reporting system

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — South Lake Tahoe has set up an online system to report suspected marijuana grows in residences, according to a recent announcement from the city. Residents can submit the information online and anonymously at, said city spokeswoman Nancy Kerry in a statement. They can also call 530-542-6043. The city will investigate all […]

October 28, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 8 Replies

Somerset man indicted on federal marijuana charge

A Somerset man and four co-conspirators were indicted Wednesday by federal prosecutors for their alleged roles in a large scale drug trafficking ring. Eddy Arevalo, 29, of Somerset, was indicted by a federal grand jury along with West Sacramento men Thomas Holzmann, 24; Peter Holzmann, 23; and Joseph Andrade, 24; as well as Jonathan Sherman, […]

October 28, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Replies