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Posted signs — take them down, already

EDITOR: I would like to know why no one does anything about the signs posted around the county that never get taken down. Well maybe I should rephrase that by saying the signs that get taken down only by time and the weather. Example: “Auburn Rodeo” and “Gold Prospecting Summit” … both events were held […]

Government auctions: Trust no one

EDITOR: Geez, Louise, as I stumble through this dog-eat-dog world, I swear I must be wearing Alpo underwear. Just the other day, I was in the market for a new pick-up truck, and like many other folks these days I was just trying save a buck. So, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to get […]

Something to think about: Do you believe?

There’s a part in “Peter Pan” where Tinkerbelle is dying and only belief in fairies can save her. “Do you believe?” Peter asks the children of the world. Somehow, I find it easier to believe in fairies than in what my government tells me and that saddens me. Whether the details of Osama bin Laden’s […]

Publisher’s ink: Shootout at El Dorado County’s OK Corral

By now thousands of El Dorado County residents have viewed the infamous “Shoot Out at the OK Corral” on mtdemocrat.com. It was posted shortly after one of the wildest El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meetings in recent memory. Not since the board’s Aug. 10, 1976, decision to pass an ordinance prohibiting rafting on the […]

My turn: A parent’s perspective on 4-H

Somebody pinch me. I can’t believe my kids are in college. It’s even harder to believe that both of them received large scholarships and are leading such happy, independent, productive lives. Yet, this has been my consistent amazement throughout their formative years. What happened? How does such sustained success get traced to one particular element, […]

Anti-business maneuver

The acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board is trying to stop Boeing from opening a second plane building site in South Carolina, one of 22 right-to-work states. Boeing, for its part, is not reducing plane manufacturing in Seattle. In fact, it has added 2,000 employees there. It manufactures seven 787 Dreamliners a […]

Flaming e-mails

Only in government do bigwigs write flaming e-mails. The rest of us in private industry are more careful about what we put in writing. Recently it came to light that Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Sean Smith of the Homeland Security Department once threatened to “f—ing decapitate” the press people at the immigration service. What […]

If we’re to eliminate corporate subsidies, let’s do it right

EDITOR: Recently some Democrat members of Congress have been blathering about eliminating the $4 billion federal subsidy annually provided to Big Oil. I am not sure where this figure comes from, but I do not doubt that there are federal subsidies to oil companies. But before we talk about eliminating a subsidy for one industry, […]

Why didn’t they tell us about the ‘pass permits?’

EDITOR: Open letter to Jody Jones, district director, Caltrans District 3: This morning I read an article in the Mountain Democrat (Wednesday, May 11) regarding the closure of Highway 50 at Echo Summit in which your photograph was included. A sentence in the article caught my eye: “Residents who travel the route for work purposes […]

Disappointed by event at Placerville Airport

On Saturday, May 14, we attended the family event at the Placerville Airport and were very disappointed by the price and lack of things for the children to participate in. We weren’t aware you needed to pay to get in, so the sign stating “donations” of $5 per person or $10 was a surprise to […]

Letter carrier food drive a huge success, thanks

EDITOR: I just had to write a letter to send a great big thank you to all of the generous mail customers who left food donations at their mailboxes on Saturday, May 14. I knew that I lived and worked in a wonderful community but once again, I was blown away with the true kindness […]

Raise the debt limit, Mr. President

EDITOR: The debt limit is in the news with the Congress seeming not to be able to reach agreement. May I suggest a solution? The president has unlimited wartime powers — given those powers he should issue a presidential directive raising the debt limit, with his order exempt from judicial review. If the Congress cannot do its […]

Make the right choice — reusable bags

EDITOR: I’m a sixth-grader at Miller’s Hill Middle School in Latrobe. I’d like to remind everyone how important it is to use reusable bags when you go shopping. As you probably know, plastic bags are the bag of choice for most people while grocery shopping. But did you know that the bags use up fossil […]

Poverty in El Dorado County: There but for the grace …

EDITOR: You open the fridge. Annoyed, you push aside the yogurts, soda and condiments to reach an item shoved in the back. It seems like such an inconvenience. Oh, but what a lovely inconvenience it is. Roughly 10 percent of people living in El Dorado County, and 14.3 percent of people in the U.S., are living […]

Redevelopment ‘My turn’ column didn’t give whole story

EDITOR: In his May 13 “My turn” column Placerville City Manager Cleve Morris wrote that redevelopment has been “given a bad reputation due to inaccurate information.” He asserts redevelopment’s virtues by quoting the California Redevelopment Association: “In the 2006-07 fiscal year, California redevelopment agencies generated $40.79 billion in total economic activity. This includes the direct […]

Cell tower should not be placed by Sierra School

EDITOR: I am writing to express my opposition to the proposal by AT&T to place a cell tower near Sierra School in Placerville. As Raymand Sarlatte expressed in his letter,there are significant health concerns that must be considered. Parents, as well as school staff, have begun to compile research on the implications of a cell phone […]

Gold Bug Mine a delightful site

EDITOR: What a great experience visiting the Gold Bug Mine in Placerville for the family. An old mine but nicely manicured, clean and safe (No bugs, spiders, bats). Kudos to Placerville for maintaining history and the Gold Rush and not turning the site into a trashy place like Old Sacramento (the next site on our […]

Don’t cast aside the rail users

EDITOR: I am writing this in hopes that someone can help us “Save the Rails.” The “Friends of the El Dorado Trail,” along with four of the five El Dorado County supervisors, wants to “section” the Sacramento/Placerville Rail Corridor into thee sections. One for bicycles, one for the El Dorado County Museum and one for trains. However, […]

Rail fans just beating a dead horse

EDITOR: The Mountain Democrat has published several letters from rail fans recently that criticized the El Dorado County supervisors’ Trail Committee for voting 4-1 to remove the rails from the Southern Pacific right-of-way between Shingle Springs and the county line. What these letters don’t make clear, however, is that all of the rail fans’ arguments […]

Citizens’ Academy was great, thanks

EDITOR: I just completed the 15 week El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department Citizens’ Academy classes. Not only do I have a new, profound respect for the officers of El Dorado County, but now I have some insight of what the Sheriff’s Office and the deputies do for us daily. It is utterly remarkable what these men […]

An open letter to Michelle Obama …

EDITOR: I applaud the concept of the “Let’s Move” ideology. However, I question its overall effectiveness. First and foremost … It is without question that I acknowledge that kids today are more obese then they were 20 years ago. The childhood obesity issue has garnered national attention. Schools are trying to make some changes to […]

Police and sheriff uniforms remind me of storm troopers

EDITOR: I can understand back problems related to wearing a police utility belt, however, it appears police agencies across the country are dressing their cops like storm troopers and taking on a more military look. If I didn’t know any better it would appear our police agencies are preparing for social unrest — just an […]

Do we really need another high school administrator?

EDITOR: Open letter to the El Dorado Union High School District board: First off I want to begin by saying I have children, grandchildren and now a great-grandson who are products of El Dorado County elementary, middle and high school system. It is recognized as one of the better in this state and has been fairly […]

Pollock Pines Visitors Center has moved — come on up

EDITOR: This to inform your readers that the Pollock Pines Visitors Center, previously located at ERA/Century 21 Real Estate office on Sly Park Road, has moved to the Pony Express Plaza on the corner of Sly Park Road and Pony Express Trail.  Tourist information may be found inside Skeeter’s Hot Dogs & Yogurt Shoppe, but the […]

Redevelopment column: My take on the issue

EDITOR: On Friday the 13th our Placerville city manager contributed a “My turn” column in the Mountain Democrat in which he pleaded for accuracy in the discussion of the Redevelopment Plan adopted by the City Council. Using figures apparently provided by the California Redevelopment Association, a Sacramento based lobby, he extolled the merits of redevelopment. The […]

Cell towers and Judgment Day

EDITOR: Where is it safe to build cellular towers? AT&T feels that the answer should be, “Anywhere.” Despite ongoing research that shows increasing health risk of radiation exposure through cell towers they are now planning to expand their sites next to our schoolyards. All throughout our country we are seeing the attempts of cellular companies […]

California Rambling: A family affair in the air

As Rick Indrebo banked his German-built Grob 103 glider toward the landing strip at Crazy Creek Air Adventures in Middletown, a pair of turkey vultures turned similarly, gliding on air currents above Lake County.  The Cameron Park pilot is ranked among the nation’s best competition glider pilots, though on this trip – as on many […]

Stop prisoner pampering

We have to credit the Sacramento Bee for bringing the following strange prison “health” story to our attention. A man who killed a woman with a shotgun in a dispute over clothes now wants the state to pay for a sex-change operation and be transferred to a women’s prison. Apparently the prison system is already […]

Democratic time warp

It is almost as if the Democrats in the state Legislature want to warp the space-time continuum. Senate Bill 94 proposes to stop the DMV from issuing license plate renewal notices and stop issuing new license plate tags until the Democrats can figure out a way to prevent the vehicle license fee rates from dropping. […]

An Oft-told Tale of Main Street

EDITOR:  Once upon a time, not many days ago, five lovely maidens met to dine on Main Street, in the hamlet of Placerville. They feasted and talked and laughed, then decided to visit some purveyors of fine goods nearby. But alas and alack — a maiden spied a ferocious dragon putting license numbers of coaches […]

Letter writer John Garon’s sophistry

EDITOR: Phil Messina (NYPD Ret’d) is a highly decorated and respected trainer of both law enforcement officers and civilians. I met Messina at a number of training seminars over the years. Having experience as a trainer in a number of martial arts disciplines, Messina long ago pointed out one of the things that many martial […]

Roc Doc: Fear and four lab explosions

On a couple of occasions in graduate school I stupidly miscalculated the effects of mixing strong acid and water  and then adding heat. Theres nothing like the resulting exploding acid droplets quite near your face to give you pause. The second time I managed to make the same, simple error I walked home, a […]

Opposed to cell tower near Sierra School

EDITOR: I am writing to you today as very concerned parent. I became aware that the Placerville Union School District has been approached by AT&T and is seriously considering leasing land to them for the purpose of a cell tower located between Federated Church Preschool and Sierra Elementary School. This proposal deeply concerns me. Since first […]

Majority of county residents being neglected

EDITOR: Is this possible? Surely it is an oversight? It would appear that the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is neglecting representation for 66 percent of El Dorado County’s population to be found in El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park. The combined population of El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park represents the largest portion of […]

Yikes, Board of Supervisors loses 60,330 people

EDITOR: At issue, on May 17 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will hear comments and take action on a proposal initiated by the El Dorado County Mental Health Division titled the “The Innovation Work Plan.” Unfortunately, El Dorado Hills, with the highest population in the county, is not included. The proposal provides funding for […]

Agriculture needs water

Created in 1925 by a group of farmers, the El Dorado Irrigation District has done more to save farming in this county than any zoning laws or tax incentives. Make no mistake, it is farming that creates the ambience and lifestyle we all associate with El Dorado County. Even those living in the more intensely […]

My turn: Redevelopment given bad reputation due to inaccurate information

  Over the past year, the city of Placerville has been studying and preparing plans to adopt a Redevelopment Plan. The city formed a Redevelopment Agency (RDA) in 1983. However, due to opposition at that time, a Redevelopment Plan was never adopted. Redevelopment has been in the news a lot lately, due to a proposal […]

Billingsley’s bullets: What do they know?

In his book, “Everyday Wisdom,” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer states the following: “Your limits are defined by the agreement you’ve made about what’s possible. Change that agreement and you can dissolve all limits.” I suspect Wayne is correct. If you grew up in a family that decided you were the dumb kid in the family, […]

Thank you, friends

EDITOR: This is a letter to thank all of the wonderful people of Placerville, the people who cared for a stranger, my daughter, on Jan. 7 of this year. She encountered black ice and hit a big tree on Highway 49 and I never got to thank you properly. From the kind person who called […]

Family’s generosity greatly appreciated

EDITOR: On behalf of the El Dorado County Office of Education and the El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College, we are writing to extend our thanks to the friends and family of Mr. Don McMullen, and especially Ms. Marsha McMullen, for their generous donations to the Cameron Park Rotary Community Observatory in Don’s memory. Don […]

Get ready for music to fill the pines

EDITOR: Beginning on June 4, Pollock Pines will kick off its second year of Concerts In The Pines located in the Pony Express Plaza at the corner of Sly Park Road and Pony Express Trail. The purpose of the concerts, besides the obvious fun in the sun allure, is its economic impact for the businesses of […]

Republican ‘debate’ totally lame

EDITOR: Just a brief comment about the “debate,” Faux hosted the other night. What debate? Candidates were never asked the same question amongst them. What kind of a debate is it where the participants are not required to point/counterpoint? All I saw was a format specifically designed to allow each an opportunity to put their […]

Stop — and balance the budget

EDITOR: If we raise taxes but continue to deficit spend, then nothing is solved and deficits continue. Raise taxes, and continue current spending increases, and we still have deficits. Raise taxes and keep spending flat and we have smaller deficits (if we taxed all our income 100 percent, we still could not balance the budget). […]

Health care and lunacy

EDITOR: Recently a friend of mine became very ill while vacationing in Mexico and was hospitalized for three days. The Mexican government would not allow him to leave the hospital for a return to California until his $23,000 bill was paid in full, in cash. If this situation occurred in the USA and the patient […]

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