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Something to think about: Signs of spring

Robins in the bird bath, blossoms on the trees, Zsa Zsa Gabor becoming a mother again at 94 — all the signs of spring. Tales of the bizarre and miraculous always show up in spring. When Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ninth husband announced in April that he wanted her to have a child to carry on […]

Suicide prevention group appreciative

EDITOR: I want to thank your wonderful staff for supporting our Health Awareness event on Saturday, April 30; it was truly a huge success. Mimi Escabar, Bob Billingsley and Pat Lakey have been here for my organization. We truly appreciate the work they have done on our behalf. They are truly an asset to your […]

Sophistry and an insult

EDITOR: “Defense underfunded” is the title of a recent editorial in the Mountain Democrat. To support its headline, the paper quotes a retired “Admiral Roughead” who, in a lecture given to a gathering — no doubt consisting mostly of defense contractors — compared the puny size of today’s Navy (286 ships) to the Navy of 1916 […]

Choose existence

EDITOR: Last summer we had the Gulf oil spill that reminded us that there is a price to pay with our consumption of oil. They said drilling was safe, but it wasn’t. Now we are looking at the possibility of a nuclear meltdown at not just one reactor, but four of them. This won’t be easily […]

Franckly speaking: Live the moment — consider the birds in the air

I thought the birds were my unique guilty pleasure. Then, about a month ago, we had new friends over for dinner at our place in Lotus. I know they participate in more overtly spiritual activities than I do — at church and elsewhere — but I was surprised, nevertheless, when Marsha said, “I just sit […]

When you object to Obama’s policies …

EDITOR: I’ve heard some interesting points raised about President Obama and anyone who objects to his policies. It seems there is an unassailable notion among his supporters that if you oppose him, it’s not policy driven, but based on racism. So please allow me, a conservative member of the Tea Party, to share my views […]

They weren’t allowed a kiss good-bye

EDITOR: Dale Shafer and Mollie Fry were taken into custody at the federal courthouse on the same day that the White House announced the killing of Osama bin laden. Ironically it was in the shadow of bin Laden’s attack on the World Trade Center, nearly 10 years ago, that this whole fiasco started. There were about […]

Mortgage interest rates: Do the math

EDITOR: In Ken Calhoon’s column published on April 29 he states that “Typically, interest rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have been 1.5 percent higher than the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury bond.” This sounds fishy. Let’s go back to grade school and do the math. If we assume the interest rate on a […]

I look forward to rally to save our schools

EDITOR: I write to you as a native Californian, educated in California public schools and universities. I graduated in the top 1 percent from Mission San Jose High School, which has been ranked among the Top 100 High Schools in the nation, cum laude from California State University at Hayward, and received my teaching credential from […]

Want to see the pictures?

EDITOR: What are you willing to pay? One innocent life? Two innocent lives? How many U.S. service people? I’m shocked to see how many people demand to see the evidence of Osama bin Laden’s death. They want to see the photos. Those photos aren’t worth risking one life. The are not even worth hiring extra […]

Placer canal crisis a lesson

Some may grouse about the cost of upgrading the 22.5-mile El Dorado Canal, but the price of deferred maintenance or doing things on the cheap is on display in Placer County. A 40-foot section of a PG&E-owned Bear River Canal was wiped out April 19 by a landslide under the canal. The immediate impact from […]

Rock doc: Living on a different clock

It’s obvious that miners focus on the highest concentration of gold or copper they can find. And geologists like me are always on the lookout for unusually high concentrations of metals in veins and rocks. We go where the best stuff is, and make a living helping to bring it to where it’s used in […]

Bill would water down grand jury effectiveness

EDITOR: The El Dorado County Grand Jurors Association strongly opposes Assembly Bill 622 … a bill, that if passed, would be very detrimental to the grand jury process: to represent our citizens in reviewing public entity activities, while ensuring anonymity in conducting investigations. Without an assurance of confidentiality and secrecy (which AB 622 takes away), […]

Deny, deny, deny

EDITOR: Recently my granddaughter was denied a Section 8 Housing Voucher by the El Dorado County Housing Authority due to her criminal history. The law states: HUD permits, but does not require, the Public Housing Authority to deny assistance if the PHA determines that any household member is currently engaged in, or has engaged in […]

CPCSD meeting: Audience disrespectful

EDITOR: “Cameron Park — A Special Place to Live.” It didn’t seem very special last night. Last night we attended our first and probably last Cameron Park Community Services District meeting. The format is such that the better part of the first hour was spent on open forum, which is an opportunity for the community to […]

Obama gets Osama

President Barack Obama deserves credit for a successful operation to kill al Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan and burying his body at sea. It is fitting that bin Laden was buried at sea from a U.S. aircraft carrier. The CIA and Navy Seals carried out the operation, losing only one […]

Good work by police

Kudos to the Placerville Police Department for tracking down a couple of punk kids who are suspected of mugging a man downtown at midnight April 25. And we might add the Belgian Malinois police dog and his handler to the praise list for nabbing one of the suspects. We haven’t seen this blatant a crime […]

Publisher’s ink: Cancer Resource Center starts the journey

When Grace walked into the Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., she carried her newest hard cover puzzle book featuring an assortment of mind benders and Sodukos. Working crossword puzzles helped pass the time and at age 69 Grace’s skill level was ranked somewhere close to professional. On that particular day, Grace […]

My turn: Wild salmon? Only difference is political

Enough is enough. I am absolutely sick and tired of hearing all this BS about how wild salmon are so much better than hatchery salmon, and how we need to try and keep our wild salmon runs alive to the detriment of hatchery-raised fish. First, let’s get this straight: Of course, there is no question […]

Thank you, to hard-working teachers

EDITOR: As the Day of the Teacher approaches, I’d like to thank the talented, dedicated, hard-working teachers of the Gold Trail Union School District. These teachers go above and beyond the call of duty to provide a topnotch education for their students. I am delighted that two of my grandchildren live in the district. One attends […]

Placerville Redevelopment Plan — Yes, let’s keep moving in the right direction

EDITOR: Bernard Carlson concluded his recent letter to this paper with an interesting question. Regarding the proposed Redevelopment Plan for our city, he asked, “Is this what the majority of Placerville property owners want for their future?” My answer is, “Yes, Mr. Carlson. This is what we want.” We want our town to retain its historical […]

Ron Briggs, John D’Agostini … let’s move on

EDITOR: In regard to the turmoil revolving around the Briggs/D’Agostini “blow up” I always say “there are two sides to every story.” Supporters of the sheriff see it one way; supporters of Supervisor Briggs see it another. As far as I am concerned, these are two very dedicated public servants who had a difference of […]

Fire Safe Council’s demise: We need the truth

EDITOR: ON March 14 the Mountain Democrat published statements by Ken Hasse and Richard Englefield concerning the current funding troubles of the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council. In my March 16 letter to the editor I said that Messrs. Hasse and Englefield failed to properly meet their responsibilities as the managing members of the EDCFSC […]

National Day of Prayer unconstitutional

EDITOR: Americans who care about their Constitution should be deeply offended by the upcoming National Day of Prayer, a shameful violation of the separation of church and state that set our country apart, and took it out of the dark ages of religious oppression. A law that Billy Graham lobbied the Congress for, during the […]

Local prayer gatherings set for Thursday

EDITOR: It’s that time again. The first Thursday of the month is National Day of Prayer as recognized throughout America by our president and Congress. This 60th year of NDP the theme is “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” from Psalm 91:2, which reads: “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My […]

Not impressed with sheriff’s presentation

EDITOR: Open letter to El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini: I would like to open my letter by stating that I voted for you. I did so because you campaigned on a platform of reform — more specifically a promise to disband what some outside of the Sheriff’s Department call the “good ol’ boys club.” […]

Rock doc: Giving you more time to eat your potatoes

One of my mother’s friends was raised decades ago on a few acres at the end of gravel road in Idaho. As she puts it, her family’s basic challenge was eating what it produced before other critters did. In other words, it was useful to consume the eggs in the henhouse before the foxes got […]

California Rambling: Sacred Stones

“Actually, what matters about the monastery is precisely that it is radically different from the world. The apparent pointlessness of the monastery in the eyes of the world is exactly what gives it a real reason for existing. In a world of noise, confusion and conflict, it is necessary that there be a place of […]

The rural life: The bully that neighed

Bullying is in the news these days. Experts caution us to teach our kids how to avoid being a bully, or the victim of one. Bullies get their power from the negative emotions they cause. So the less you react to their taunts, the less likely they are to persist. Animals can be bullies, too. […]

Cool bike path needs adjusting

A planned two-mile Class 1 bike path from Auburn Lake Trails on Highway 193 to Northside School on Highway 49 bike path is paved with good intentions. But its effect upon the small Georgetown Divide Public Utility District is out of proportion. The approximately $2 million grant-funded project will create a paved bike path that […]

More than appalled

EDITOR: Open letter to members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors: I, unlike the current sheriff, was more than appalled as I watched the YouTube video of Tuesday’s board meeting. It is for that reason I did not address you as Honorable Sirs and Madam and I apologize to the members who did act […]

Arrogance far exceeds abilities

EDITOR: Open letter to El Dorado County Board of Supervisors: First, to the Mountain Democrat, thanks for placing the photo of Herb Blossom directly over the front page sheriff’s budget proposal story — he appears to be cheering the sheriff on, as many of us are. Sheriff John D’Agostini is not alone in being appalled at […]

The weekly Daley: The president’s birth certif …

Who will ever forget where they were Wednesday when it was announced that the White House had authorized release of the president’s original birth certificate — that is, the so-called long form document that preceded the now more-official short form document for the state of Hawaii. I was sitting at my kitchen table eating a […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Doughnuts inspire glory

Long distance runners need rewards before the race is finished … way before the finish line. I finally found a race I would consider running in. Sacramento offers a “Donut Dash.” After you run two miles, you are treated to four doughnuts at Marie’s Donut shop. After the doughnuts disappear, you are expected to finish […]

Obama’s promise for ‘change’

EDITOR: After just a little over two years, Obama’s administration, along with liberal cohorts like Pelosi and Reid, have been successful in accomplishing Obama’s “promise for change,” leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans jobless, homeless, with no green in their wallets and a little “change” in their pockets. Now that Gov. “Terminator” has joined Obama’s Environmental […]

To Tom McClintock

EDITOR: Open letter to Congressman Tom McClintock: I am writing to you because I am concerned ahout my country, your country, our country. America has become cynical and divided and I believe I know a way we can get everyone on the same page. Red states, blue states, politicians, blue collar, white collar, homemakers, clerical, virtually […]

A letter to Bank of America from a homeowner

EDITOR: Open letter to Bank of America: This letter is in response to an e-mail sent by you, Bank of America, requiring further personal and financial information to qualify for a short sale. It is also indicated in your correspondence that we have a choice of which short sale program we choose. At the expense of […]

Shame on you, Supervisor Ron Briggs

EDITOR: I attended the special budget session El Dorado County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Monday morning, only to witness an immature and childish display by Supervisor Ron Briggs as he turned his microphone on and loudly shuffled papers while pretending to speed-read, as the sheriff spoke — after standing for three hours waiting for […]

Easter Egg Hunt thank you

EDITOR: The Cameron Park Recreation Department would like to thank all the children and their parents who participated at our Annual Easter Egg Hunt held Saturday, April 23. We had an excellent turnout this year, with lots of families enjoying the day. There were numerous prizes that were given away along with the Golden Egg. Thank […]

Save our historical Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad

EDITOR: The Sacramento Valley Railroad ran the first train into Folsom on Feb. 22, 1856. The route through White Rock to Latrobe opened in 1864 and in 1865 Shingle Springs became the end of the line. The railroad brought prosperity to the region and after much financial, political and legal drama, finally reached Placerville in […]

What medical marijuana dispensaries?

EDITOR: In regard to the letter to the editor by Jack King in the Mountain Democrat on Friday, April 22, about medical marijuana being sold in four places in Cameron Park: If they need a license to sell, and don’t have a license, how can they sell the product? How come the El Dorado County […]

Don’t blame the principal

EDITOR: I am writing in response to the letter written by Kathy Lyman concerning Mr. Jason Harm, principal at Herbert Green Elementary School. I have a sixth-grader at Hebert Green. We were all disappointed that the Greek Faire was rescheduled, but understood that the weather report forecast bad weather, and indeed it hailed that day. The […]

Rude behavior by county supervisor

EDITOR: I attended the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Monday (my first time to do so) and was appalled at the verbal and rude comments made by Supervisor Ron Briggs toward our new sheriff, John D’Agostini. The sheriff was attempting to address the board at about noon after waiting his turn from around 9 a.m. […]

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