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What about the parents, Mr. Smith?

EDITOR: I do not have children in the Placerville Union School District, but I know several families who do. I recently read “Panther Press,” the monthly newsletter put out at Markham Middle School and, specifically, the section titled “Sincerely, Mr. Smith” written by Principal Mr. Smith. He gave thanks to many, many local groups and individuals, two […]

Keep the tracks

Don’t say I never warned you when your train gets lost. — Bob Dylan from the song “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.” The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is about to make the blunder of the century by agreeing to rip up the railroad tracks from Shingle […]

California rambling: National Park Week

This week is National Park Week, a week to celebrate America’s natural and cultural heritage. In California there are 19 national park units, a lot to celebrate. Yosemite is the best known of our state’s national parks. It’s considered to be one of America’s crown jewels. There are 394 national park units, including such truly […]

The rural life: Gimme shelter

In a perfect world, there would be no need for  animal shelters. People would never abandon their animals, either from necessity or neglect. All pets would be neutered or spayed, to prevent indiscriminate breeding. And no one’s beloved companion animal would ever get lost. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so we do […]

A plan to deal with illegal immigrants

EDITOR: One of the alleged major issues the Paranoid Right likes to harp on is the dilemma of what to do about the undocumented immigrants that reside in this country. The paranoids have floated a number of remedies, but mostly they chatter a 10-word solution to a thousand-word problem. The latest mandate dictated by the incoming […]

Don’t ignore the Lions, please

EDITOR: The pictures that appeared on page A-2 of the Mountain Democrat on Monday, April 11, were great, showing the activities at Lumsden Park at the Kids’ Fishing  Derby held on Saturday, April 9. So what is the problem? Well, we like the Kiwanis Club very much and they contribute a lot of their time […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Sometimes it’s better to shut up and listen

During the last few months I have been teaching a class to help people avoid arguments at home, at work and at play. Some of the lessons include the following advice: When someone is angry with you, don’t react immediately. Let the language and the atmosphere simmer down. Don’t just count to 10 before you […]

The weekly Daley: Yeah, there’s a deficit

This country is suffering from a huge deficit, oh, and we’re up to our eyeballs in debt too. The deficit I’m thinking of doesn’t involve money. It involves candor, ethics, integrity, cooperation, accountability, leadership and self-sacrifice. There’s a whole nation of officials and regular folks out there, whom I like to call the “Ain’t it […]

Eminent domain is government at its worst

EDITOR: The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting of March 1 was continued until March 22 for approval of a rezoning application for the Harrington Business Park. The proposed industrial complex is to be located on both sides of Highway 49, in the vicinity of Tower Mart in Diamond Springs. The continuance was caused by […]

Winter homeless shelter closed — Thanks so much for the help

EDITOR: March 31 was the last night of our nomadic winter shelter for the homeless people in our community. The shelter provided a warm, dry, safe place of refuge for an average of 20 guests every night during the coldest months of the year. Our record was 32 people one very cold, stormy night. There were […]

Consolidation inevitable

While the El Dorado County superintendent of schools organizes studies about consolidating elementary school districts, some districts are already doing some sharing. Pioneer and Gold Oak union school districts share a principal. And Gold Oak and Pollock Pines school districts are sharing nurses, transportation supervisors and school psychologists. Pollock Pines provides administrative and food services […]

Another public burden

The State Water Resources Control Board is promulgating rules that will damage businesses, schools and other public agencies. It’s the Industrial Storm Water Permit regulatory process that will cost those affected hundreds of millions of dollars. A draft of the regulations governing storm water runoff was issued Jan. 28, but the state water board admitted […]

Europe is waiting for U.S. in climate change threat

EDITOR: In 2007, speaking in front of Congress, former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gordon Sullivan said of climate change: “We know we cannot wait for certainty.  Failure to act because a warning is not precise enough is unacceptable. If we wait, we might wait too long.” In May 2010, Sandia and Livermore National Laboratories published […]

Lower taxes again?

EDITOR: In my recent letter “Are we really broke?” I noted the Tea/Republican Party is using scare tactics to convince us we shouldn’t raise taxes on the rich and corporations, while it’s imperative we eliminate government programs immediately. Well, like clockwork comes Representative Dave Camp, R-Mich., who now wants to cut the tax rate for […]

January 18, 2012 | Posted in Letters | Tagged | 19 Replies

Publisher’s ink: No taunting allowed for freedom’s sake

A new rule regarding taunting was approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently. It stipulates a college football player on his way to scoring a touchdown will be penalized for taunting an opponent. The play will be nullified if the player holds the football out in a taunting manner, does a somersault or […]

Oil, not biofuels

Gasoline around these parts just zoomed past $4 and is heading for $4.25. We wouldn’t bet against gas being between $4.50 and $5 this summer. While gas is driving up the price of everything that is delivered by trucks and vans President Obama is saying the country can cut by a third the 11 million […]

Moral of the story

One has to admire the wily negotiating skills of the Tea/Republican Party (TRP) in their dealings with the Democratic Party (DP): TRP: Today we announce our plan to reduce the deficit by destroying Medicare. DP: Your plan is irrational, but we will give 25 percent toward your position. TRP: No, we want 50 percent. DP: […]

Our sheriff sure impressed me

EDITOR: Last week Sheriff John D’ Agostini stopped by our office driving his personal vehicle on his own time, dressed in full uniform to say thank you for supporting him in his race for sheriff. I was so impressed with his action it put faith back in my heart for political officials. He said, “Please […]

Government officials cease to listen to the people

EDITOR: There seems to be a disease of terminal ignorance labeled for the high muckety-mucks in government. It is not only reserved for federal government but state and county as well. This contagious disease is likened to an epidemic, for which there is no antidote and when left unchecked can run rampant, leading to graft […]

Kindly deny these easements, supervisors

EDITOR: Open letter to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors: I am asking the Board of Supervisors to deny the two easements proposed across the Sacramento Placerville Transportation Corridor in Shingle Springs (Item 27 on your April 12 agenda). Shingle Springs needs a transportation plan for businesses in the area and this proposal demonstrates […]

Placerville police, or freeway bullies?

EDITOR: On Saturday evening around 5 p.m., I observed a Placerville Police Department canine SUV merge onto Highway 50 from the Courthouse and speed ahead of another car in the merge lane and cut him off. He then promptly pulled into the passing lane right on the tail of another vehicle until he moved into […]

The grand jurors’ view: What is a grand jury?

El Dorado County Grand Jury. Where did it come from, what does it do and how does it work?  Many citizens have a limited understanding of their county grand jury. Hopefully, you will find this introductory article about your county grand jury informative. It was prepared by members of the El Dorado County Grand Jurors […]

What American Dream? More like the Socialist Dream

EDITOR: Letter writer Ms. Farrell. you are so misguided. You are in lockstep with the unions and the socialist agenda. They do not care about you. The unions bought off the politicians in California years ago, forcing workers to join or lose their jobs. They don’t care about the people; all they care about is […]

A director’s job is to question expenses

EDITOR: I have seen several letters in the paper from former Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Director JoAnn Shepherd questioning the new Director Bonnie McLane’s actions, and it is very concerning. Director McLane’s job is to make sure that the water purveyor serves the community’s interest. One of those “interests” includes — where is the […]

Trees of El Dorado County: Consider the American chestnut

Once upon a time there was a tree growing in the Southern Appalachians, sometimes comprising 80 percent of the forest canopy. The tree produced a reliable annual crop of nuts, a cash crop for humans and an important source of food for them, their farm animals, and for wildlife. This was the American chestnut tree. About […]

A dose of Dan: A Cub Scout adventure with a military connection

I always thought I wasn’t cut out for the Navy, and a recent unique opportunity to tour and spend the night on the USS Pampanito, a World War II submarine docked off San Francisco’s Pier 45, confirmed my suspicions. In fact, I confirmed my suspicions the minute I stepped into the submarine and smacked my […]

Government waste

As of press time Friday it is unknown whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and President Obama reached a deal with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the 2010-11 budget. Without a deal the federal government was due to shut down at midnight Friday. The House of Representatives, with a Republican majority, has been […]

Government monopoly

Is the El Dorado County ambulance service a government monopoly or a bully? It might be both. Besides getting $25 charged on property tax bills, it also fights against any private ambulance service that might be more affordable. TLC Ambulance out of Sacramento has filed an application to put one of its ambulances in service […]

Don’t fall for this telephone scam

EDITOR: This morning I received my second “Grandma, I’m in trouble” scam telephone call. The first call I received was because my “grandson” had gotten into an automobile accident in Canada and needed money, $2,500, to get the charges dropped so that he could get out of jail. I had not heard of this scam […]

Supervisors managed to kill important history

EDITOR: It appears that the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has issued a death warrant for an important piece of county history. The Placerville, Sacramento Valley Railroad constructed the section of railroad between Folsom and Shingle Springs at the same time that the Central Pacific Railroad was constructing the first transcontinental railroad from Sacramento […]

Loose cannon at Cameron Park CSD

EDITOR: Cameron Park Community Services District Board President Scott McNeil is a loose cannon and should be removed from our board. At a March 29 special meeting the board was in closed session for so long that the public went home before they reported back to open session. An interesting discussion ensued during the final moments […]

Pirate lawyers still crossing swords

The California Sport Fishing Alliance, or CalSPA, is a high-falutin’ name for a group of pirate lawyers. The El Dorado Irrigation District paid a $240,000 tribute last August to CalSPA after it self-reported too many small sewer overflows, mostly on the homeowner’s portion of the sewer line. Half of that payout went to lawyers’ fees […]

Something to think about: Not again

A few days before President Obama’s televised speech on March 28, I heard a news reporter say that the rebels in Libya didn’t seem to know how to use their weaponry. They weren’t sure who their leader was and they seemed disorganized. The news showed rebels who had been taking action and moving forward in previous days, […]

May the angels be with you

EDITOR: Thank you to the driver of the Suburban on Cambridge Road April 5 who was driving defensively and was able to stop suddenly when my daughter darted out in front of them. I am so grateful for your ability to stop so quickly! May your guardian angels always be with you as your family […]

AB885: They want your septic system

EDITOR: This letter is in response to the petition for input regarding Assembly Bill 885, the proposal to bascially control and tax privately owned septic systems in California. I have reviewed the OWTS Scoping Policy Document, and while it is quite exhaustive in many ways, what it fails to address is what the real, functional […]

Don’t railroad us into a roundabout

EDITOR: As stated in the PR Pond Newswire March 19, there will be a lawsuit filed by business/property owners and community members over the proposed roundabout at Cedar Ravine and Main Street in Placerville. As of this day, April 6, it has been filed. There is a donation account set up called Friends of Historical […]

State’s educational standing is disgraceful

EDITOR: A recent article in a regional newspaper focused on Sen. Ted Gaines’ opposition to using taxes to help solve California’s fiscal crisis. He and his fellow Republicans are holding up Gov. Brown’s and Democratic legislators’ proposal to solve the budget deficit with a combination of funding cuts and tax extensions. In reality these are […]

It would better serve to rescind the teachers’ pink slips

EDITOR: Mr. Garon recently in his letter called the editorial calling for the abolition of the Department of Education dismally misguided. Let’s compare his reasons with the facts. The main reasons he supports the Department of Education are Head Start, school lunch program, civil rights defense, and funding for schools in poor areas of the […]

Divide residents, this is your water

EDITOR: There was another full house at the March meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. Patty Smith sent a letter in strong support of the water district. The board reaffirmed that Hank White does not and never did receive free personal use of a pick-up truck or a credit card. Two of the new […]

Federal budget problem: Cocaine and hookers

EDITOR: As always, the current Grand Old Party is lying. We have a budget crunch, so they go after the pennies that support the weakest of us instead of the wasted, Fat-Cat $100 bills. It’s like a family budget — the family is going broke and Dad says we kids have to cut back on […]

Medicare privatized?

EDITOR: The Tea/Republican Party has announced its new plan to reduce entitlements and taxes. It’s entitled “The Path to Prosperity — Restoring America’s Promise” and available in its entirety on the Internet. Get ready to spend some time reading it as it’s about 75 pages. In addition to lowering taxes for individuals and corporations to […]

Bad laws need to be written off the books

EDITOR: Economy in government is a goal we all wish for. Getting rid of the unenforceable, useless and downright wrong laws would save an untold amount of money. The first wrong law that comes to mind ins the Building Code requiring a permit to change your hot water heater. It’s so bad that 95 percent […]

City redevelopment: We need balanced information

EDITOR: For the past months I have been attending Placerville City Council meetings after I, quite by chance, learned that my property is in the “sphere of influence” of the city’s proposed Redevelopment Plan. During the meetings and workshops where redevelopment has been discussed, the lack of a balanced presentation by the City Council has […]

Last names are so important

EDITOR: I am a volunteer at our El Dorado County Museum and I archive, among other things, the births, deaths and social news for future research. Occasionally someone will submit a tribute to a deceased family member or friend of a happy birthday  or anniversary wish and they just mention a first name, excluding the […]

Publisher’s ink: More supply and less demand for political rhetoric

“What goes up must come down.” The price we pay at the pump for gas is a constant reminder of that adage. California gas prices now exceed $4 a gallon with some analysts projecting five bucks a gallon by mid-summer. So when, according to this idiom, can we expect prices to fall back to Earth? […]

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