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If the CTA cared about students, things would be better

EDITOR: While the vast majority of teachers really care about student success the California Teachers Association cares only about political power. If the union leadership cared about students they might spend some of the millions of dollars they’re spending on scare tactic ads on improving the school districts. Why should us taxpayers continue to throw […]

Traffic laws: I’m not advocating civil disobedience

EDITOR: Our nation’s highways provide unique opportunities for we the people to play the primary role in how efficiently public sector assets are used. We often have little choice in the matter … the rest of the time our collective habits dictate the outcome. Brake lights are telling me there is room for improvement. Warning: […]

Join the food co-op, for health and value

EDITOR: I am happy to be a part of the growing number of people who are gathering to form the Placerville Natural Foods Co-op. The co-op idea was first seriously considered a couple of years ago and has been gaining momentum. Now, a strong foundation exists on which to actuate its operation. Offering locally produced, […]

Recorder ahead of the curve

El Dorado County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Bill Schultz is once again ahead of the curve on technology. His office is now set up for e-recordings. What are e-recordings? They are electronically transmitted recordings from title companies. Once a title company e-mails a PDF (portable document file) of a completed property transaction, the Recorder’s Office staff […]

Publisher’s ink: The naked truth about college orientations

College — the next chapter in your teenager’s life. When a co-worker recently informed me her son was contemplating attending college in Ohio, visions of what lay ahead flashed through my mind. There were no words I could offer to help this worrying mother about the fate she and her husband would soon experience. For […]

Cameron Park CSD: The king is out of control

EDITOR: The village idiot has taken control of the Cameron Park Community Services District. We have given him the title of “president” and he has run with it. He is out of control, making decisions that are not based on policy or articles of the CPCSD bylaws. When he is confronted, one of his answers is, […]

I feel validated

EDITOR: I often feel as though I’m banging my head against a concrete TeaParty/Republican wall in El Dorado County. The progressive/liberal voice seems to be lost in the wilderness — is there any reason to continue? Today, in a local store, the clerk mentioned she recognized my name and that I was the guy who writes letters […]

Mile markers article was a pleasant surprise

EDITOR: What a pleasant surprise it was to open the March 23 issue of the Mountain Democrat and see my great-great grandfather’s name in a headline. It is heartwarming to me to know that the residents of El Dorado County have not forgotten John Calhoun Johnson. He was one of the county’s earliest pioneers. He […]

Don’t try to define me

EDITOR: Open letter to letter writer James Longhofer: First, if you were right half the time you would be much more bearable. But sir, you’re not. I must warn you that you’re drastically approaching letter writer John Garon’s accuracy numbers. To clarify yet another inaccuracy, I’m not the chairman of the El Dorado Republican Party. […]

There’s a simple solution to Dante’s difficulties

EDITOR: Why doesn’t the owner of Dante’s restaurant realize that he could rent a “honey bucket” and put it in his parking lot to satisfy travelers who need relief along Highway 50? He could then put a sign on it, “Travelers Welcome,” and most people who need that service would be satisfied instead of infuriated. […]

Fannie Mae foreclosure mystery

EDITOR: What’s up with Fannie Mae? On Dec. 12, 2010, it foreclosed on a local home at 443 Canal St. in Placerville by bidding $312,916. This is a matter of public record. Less than two months later, it has listed that home for sale for $119,900. This is also a matter of public record. This […]

My turn: Lost, lonely and wretched in the county lockup

On Saturday, March 19, I was arrested and thrown into jail. I had spent the day at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and was on my way to the library. As I turned the corner from Forni Road onto Ray Lawyer Drive, the dreaded flashing lights appeared in my rear view mirror. Two officers approached me […]

Pleasant surprise

EDITOR: What a pleasant surprise to see a civilized letter from Mr. John Garon (“Call to abolish Department of Education dismally misguided,” March 21). I don’t agree with his position, particularly his attempt to compare apples with oranges in his final paragraph. But at least this time Mr. Garon didn’t hurl any libelous invective at anyone […]

On the right track

EDITOR: In response to your article on Feb. 28 about the Wine Train and the Western Railway Museum: I thought it was a really good story. I did like it a lot. I think you are on the right track when you said the El Dorado County Museum should look into this. I was over […]

We’re in an illegal war

EDITOR: Our presidential pretender has involved America in another war in the Muslim world based on a U.N. resolution. The other countries involved with enforcing this resolution had legislative votes to authorize the action. Mr. Obama didn’t. We are in an illegal war our elected representatives weren’t consulted about, nor authorized. There is precedent for this illegality. Clinton involved America in Kosovo […]

Hoist on their own petard

EDITOR: Through his letter to President Obama, Congressman Tom McClintock had an opportunity to engage his constituents in a teaching moment on the dangerous imbalance of power that exists between the executive and legislative branches. He could have framed this vital constitutional issue with concerns, logic, historical perspective and his own recommendations on what ought to […]

I lost … it was great, thanks!

EDITOR: I am writing to express my sincere thanks to all of the voters, volunteers, donors, endorsers and others who supported my campaign for the 4th Assembly District. Their tremendous work and dedication were second to none. I am especially grateful to my family for their continued encouragement and support throughout the entire process. While we […]

El Dorado Hills Fire Department: Clarifying some details

EDITOR: I’d like to point out a couple of inaccurate statements and incomplete explanations published in your recent article on the state of fire service in our county, specifically in El Dorado Hills. First, regarding firefighter wages and benefits: An El Dorado Hills firefighter/paramedic with five years’ experience earns a base annual income of about […]

Government involvement: scary words

EDITOR: The Kanaka Valley article brings to mind what is considered some of the most frightening words in the English language. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” It is obvious that the callow and uncaring Bureau of Land Management biologist, Lauren Fety, is single-minded in creating “her” project as she envisions it, the […]

Opposed to closing Cameron Park Skatepark

EDITOR: Cameron Park Skatepark is closed after the community spent $300,000 to build it. Ten short years ago, Cameron Park welcomed a new addition to the community and on April 21, 2001, opened the Cameron Park Skatepark. Two weeks ago the Cameron Park Community Services District Board voted to close the Cameron Park Skatepark based on a continual complaint, […]

New oil shale field

Previously we have pointed out the incredible potential for oil in our own country. New technology has enabled small companies to succeed in cheaply extracting oil from the Bakken shale formation that covers the Dakotas, Montana and part of Canada. The big oil companies had given up. It’s part of what makes this economic system […]

We’re No. 5

We may not have fog in the summer, but El Dorado County beat out San Francisco for median income, putting the city by the bay at No. 6. El Dorado County’s median income, according to new figures from the state Franchise Tax Board, is $43,180, putting us at No. 5. San Francisco’s median income was […]

Roadwork: We could learn from Japan

EDITOR: I just saw a piece on one of the national networks regarding a road that was split down the middle by the devastating earthquake in Japan. One side of the road was about 10 feet higher than the others with the fissure running what looks to be several hundred feet in length. A very awesome […]

Japan and U.S. deficit spending

EDITOR: By now I would guess that most of you have seen videos of the massive destruction ravaged on Japan recently. Recalling the moving images of walls of water and mud inundating, lifting and smashing homes, buildings and anything else in the way and ultimately washing the debris out to sea were, like Indonesia, surreal. The […]

Rep. McClintock’s Fukushima

EDITOR: It is hard to imagine a bigger buster in Congress for the nuclear and oil industries than Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Roseville. At a town hall meeting in El Dorado Hills last month, I heard him vigorously echo the view that atomic reactors produce “clean, cheap and abundant power.” But that was a month before […]

Belltower: 1920s were a time of optimism here

Recently I had occasion to research the 1920s and discovered  a campaign to create an irrigation district. Our paper was at the center of promoting it. Then retired communication chief for the El Dorado Irrigation District, Deanne Kloepfer, contacted me to find out what date the irrigation district vote was reported in the paper. She […]

Are we broke? Financial tsunami looms

EDITOR: Mr. Longhofer in a recent letter says that we are not really broke. Well if you were borrowing over 40 cents of every dollar you spent to live, how would you describe your situation? Our debt is huge, over $14 trillion and increasing at a stratospheric pace. We are only maintaining ourselves by borrowing […]

My gratitude goes to Marshall Medical

EDITOR: I recently spent some time at Marshall Medical as a patient. After that I was an outpatient for four weeks. I would like to thank everyone from Emergency to ICU to the regular two bedrooms. Thanks to all the doctors, nurses, aides, all the medical staff, food staff, janitorial staff and everyone else who […]

The weekly Daley: What next?

The other night, just after I finished an intense hour of boycotting Arizona, I thought to myself, “What next?” I meant, what can I do that will have some measurable benefit to the world, society, humanity or just the neighborhood? For several years CNN has held an annual “CNN Heroes” contest. Viewers vote for their […]

A press release blizzard

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” — Oscar Wilde We seem to get a press release a day from Kamala Harris, California’s new attorney general. It’s not difficult to figure out she is hoping to press-release her way into another job. Some of her early actions remind us of the second […]

A solid bank

Another year without a foreclosure. El Dorado Savings Bank recently reported its 22nd year without a foreclosure. Not only that, it increased after tax earnings 2 percent in 2010 over 2009. El Dorado Savings assures itself steady income by keeping its loans on its books and not selling them to one of the government agencies […]

Something to think about: Burn, baby, burn

I’ve discovered some fundamental differences between men and women that have nothing to do with body parts or football/shopping minutes. Women enjoy heated seats and men enjoy burning things outdoors; women need more than one pair of black shoes and men need the Weather Channel. These are not differences that are always true, but they […]

We need some clarity on ambulance services

EDITOR: We need some clarity here. In 2006 the Diamond Springs Community Facilities District (CFD) was formed to defray the cost of community services in Diamond Springs. It was done by referendum (vote), and added a fee to the property tax of each property in the district. Diamond Springs Fire Department does not charge anyone […]

Let’s show some flower power, Placerville

EDITOR: Over the past several years many downtown Placerville merchants have worked very hard to create a beautiful scape on Main Street hanging flower baskets on the lamp posts. Each year a fundraiser is held to add more baskets with the objective to have two on every lamp post. MORE rehabilitation center has watered the […]

Taxes are never ‘temporary’

EDITOR: Somebody clear this up for me. Our Democrat politicians want to “extend temporary” taxes for five years. What will change in five years to eliminate these “temporary taxes?” The Dems don’t want a cap on spending or a cap on pensions so in five years spending will continue to climb and we will have […]

Everybody can vote, but not everybody pays taxes

EDITOR: While campaigning for governor, Jerry Brown promised that he would not raise taxes but would rather seek voter approval for any new taxes. He wanted to have a Special Election in June for this purpose. Most often, Special Elections rally special interest groups to get out the vote in support of tax increases. Special […]

Authorities overbearing as 8-year-old unfairly singled out

EDITOR: Imagine a child age 8 assigned a school project, excited and eager to please. The project assigned is to collect pennies, quarters or any other kind of money and then to bring it in to school the next day. So each child is given a box to bring home and fill with monies for […]

I think we can vote on Placerville city redevelopment

EDITOR: Here is something that people need to be aware of that has not been mentioned during the Placerville city redevelopment process. I looked up the redevelopment laws, California Department of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Safety (Redevelopment Law). Looks to me like redevelopment can be put up for a vote by city of […]

Fire departments preying on the elderly

EDITOR: The articles in your paper on March 21 regarding our local fire departments and the desire of an outside emergency transportation company to offer services in the county fail to mention a very imporant fact. The fire department is now charging the elderly, who are calling Gold Country Retirement Community home, a not inconsiderable […]

What’s up with the freeway construction?

EDITOR: Why has no work been done for what seems like over a year on the Highway 50 project at El Dorado Hills Boulevard? The traffic is jammed up there all the time and there are extra lanes in both directions that could be opened up with minimal effort. It looks like most of the […]

Lily-white Republicans

EDITOR: The House Republican leadership has decided that the previous Democrats’ administration of the House cafeteria was too “green.” Out went recyclable and compostable utensils, and back came cardboard containers and non-recyclable forks and knives. Goaded by the Tea Party, the GOP chose to bring back the Styrofoam cup, the perfect metaphor for the Tea […]

Kevin Cairns jailed: Shame on you

EDITOR: Shame on you, Judge Douglas C. Phimister. Shame on you, deputy distict attorney Dale Gomes. We were sickened to read the Mountain Democrat headline that Highway 50 Dante’s restaurant owner, Kevin Cairns, was ordered to jail for … defending his personal and constitutional right to protect his own private property. Since there is no […]

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