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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? […]

In defense of Dante’s

EDITOR: I have been dining at Dante’s on the River since they opened. Kevin and Nancy Cairns have always been courteous, caring people and wonderful hosts.  Besides providing an outstanding dining experience, they also generate tax revenue and good-will for our county. It is sad that the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department cannot at least […]

My turn: Animal shelter or animal services?

It has come to the attention of the taxpayers of El Dorado County that there is a need to identify budgetary relief within the county departments. Today’s exploration shall be in the Animal Services Department — well, not really a full department in that they work for the ag commissioner. (For purposes of discussion I […]

Bad neighbor policy

Instead of cutting spending that is putting us into debt the Obama administration is looking for ways to increase revenue instead. One of the most insensitive plans is to charge Canadians a $5.50 entry fee if they land in the U.S. by boat or plane. It’s a one-way tax since Canadians don’t charge us an […]

Something’s rotten in Cameron Park

As Marcellus said to Horatio, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Something is amiss if not downright rotten in the Cameron Park Community Services District. The CSD board seems to chew up and spit out managers like a watermelon eating contestant. Though we’ll grant that the turnover turmoil is less exciting than the […]

The day the music died

EDITOR: It is with regret that I let Placerville know of the closing of Sierra Music Center. This store opened as “Eberle’s Music” in 1963. Mel Eberle was quite a musical character and he sold the store in 1983 to Dave Smythe. I worked with Dave for many years and he retired in 1999, leaving […]

Burn day, yes … but wait …

EDITOR: The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors routinely pontificates on being stewards of the land. We must reduce fire danger, clean up, protect and improve the forests. This has been the wettest winter in years and the trees are still dormant. This past week has been perfect to burn brush, fallen trees and wood […]

We don’t want a hotbed of suburban sprawl

EDITOR: Open letter to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, regarding the April 4 special meeting of the board, agenda Item 3: I write to protest the proposed Resolution of Intention in Item 3 “to amend the General Plan as recommended by EDAC to address findings from the General Plan Five-Year Monitoring and Review […]

This newspaper encourages fight for freedom

EDITOR: My friend Ahnmad Rezaei has been a freedom fighter both in his country of birth, Iran, and from his adopted home here. With the arrest and torture and even execution of members of the opposition in Iran, it is difficult for him to feel optimistic. He told me, however, that this paper’s policy of […]

Jury duty incompetence rampant

EDITOR: Time for reform in the Jury Duty Department. I moved to El Dorado County in 1991 and I could not believe how often I received a jury summons.  Because I made my living in the healthcare field and my job required travel, I was unable to schedule any business out of town every time […]

Veto the renewable energy boondoggle

It may be spitting into a windmill, but we urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto state Sen. Joe Simitian’s latest renewable energy bill. The Palo Alto Democrat’s bill had previously been vetoed by Gov.Schwarzenegger. But that didn’t discourage the unrealistic ideologue from submitting it again. He also got a powerful coauthor with Senate President Pro […]

Road construction: Let’s get the job done

EDITOR: Thanks for the article on the “DOT reorganization back to square 1.” We do not need a reorganization, we simply need them to shut down, have them go away and contract with CC Myers, Veerkamp or another reputable outfit that can get jobs completed on time and in budget, without five people standing around […]

The ‘Party of Jobs’ not living up to its billing

EDITOR: Before the recent election, Mr. Boehner continually requested of the president: Where are the jobs, where are the jobs? It was a good question, as high unemployment is destructive of our economy (which requires ever increasing demand of goods and services). Mr. Boehner then told America his party was the party of jobs because […]

Tax the rich?

EDITOR: Last year the U.S. took in taxes totaling $2 trillion. The U.S. spent $3.4 trillion. Letter wrietr James Longhofer continually chides, ad nauseum, to tax the rich. He’s stated the top 2 percent of Americans are “mega rich” and to tax them at 100 percent  to balance the budget. Really? Problem one is reality. […]

California Rambling: The Bilbao effect

It was late in the day when the phone rang in Switzerland. The only person in the office picked it up; he happened to be world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. The caller, unaware of the time difference, explained that Redding was searching for someone to design a footbridge. Despite his celebrity, Calatrava was not put off […]

The rural life: Dog on a mission

Animals generally come into our lives by design, but not always. Sometimes they turn up on their own, and in those instances it can almost seem as if they’re on a mission. Such was the case with a lab-shepherd mix that arrived at our doorstep one day in the early 1990s. He was an unneutered […]

Pollock Pines businesses are digging out

EDITOR: Pollock Pines merchants and businesses are still here, still exhibiting a can-do attitude, and still offering locals and visitors a place to live, eat and play. We got quite a wallop from the weather this winter, more snow than many have seen in a long time. Early in the season came snow and wind, […]

A sad day for Cameron Park

EDITOR: Scott McNeil and Greg Stanton, did you not run for the Cameron Park Community Services District board in order to serve our community? Yet in only three months you have done more harm and disservice to the community than most directors are able to do in several terms in office. Your vote to dismiss Fred […]

The weekly Daley: I love taxtime

Taxtime? That’s way next year. Taxtime? That’s months from now. I got my tax packet from my tax professional weeks and weeks ago. Therefore, taxtime was still weeks and weeks away. Then I decided to go away for part of next week. And that meant I would have to do something about my taxes this […]

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