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Franckly speaking: I never knew poetry could make me sweat

“Poetry is a compressed way of expressing experience and that’s very powerful enlightenment.” — Ray Tatar, California Arts Council Talk about experience; Feb. 2 was the first time I got all nervous-sweaty about poetry. Normally, I receive a poem a day on my computer, but other than that, poetry is not a big part of […]

Redevelopment and our poor, blighted city

EDITOR: The Placerville Redevelopment Agency’s newly released “Report to the City Council” underscores the Project Area’s desperate state of blight. In fact, “blight” appears 190 times. Thumbing through the report’s pages one finds prominent businesses and historical buildings featured as evidence of blight. It turns out, blight can be found all over the place. Absent […]

Franckly speaking: On death bed, a woman of faith shows her heart

The most devout person I’ve ever known died two weeks ago in a home for the aged in Queens. Vera, who had a firecracker brain, a loving heart and a great New York accent, had been my mother’s friend and became mine about six years ago when I re-met her as an adult. Ninety-two years […]

Franckly speaking: Experiment reveals habits I didn’t know I had

I read newspapers in the day, but I only permit myself books in the evening. I’m not the only person like this. In fact, this phenomenon led my women’s group, for the first time in over 25 years together, to create an experiment. The idea was born after one woman asked about our reading habits. […]

Thieves are targeting Placerville

EDITOR: On March 2 sometime in the wee hours of the night, our vehicles were broken into as they were parked in our driveway at our residence on Clay Street, right off Main Street, in the heart of downtown Placerville. Our family of five had just moved here from Oregon in January, like so many, […]

Mountain lions and the state budget

EDITOR: The other day as I read news of Gov. Brown’s plans to cut our state budget to fill in the enormous gap, I watched a nice, healthy mountain lion stroll over 300 yards in the open through my neighbor’s cow pasture. It was no surprise, as the night before most neighborhood dogs were going […]

Publisher’s ink: A roundabout take on the roundabout

Realignment of Clay Street with Cedar Ravine at the juncture of Main Street in downtown Placerville has plenty of folks in a tizzy. So as not to throw any roadblocks in the way of progress I offer the following thoughts in a not so roundabout way. First off, change is always difficult to accept. And […]

What the president actually said

EDITOR: Letter writer Anthony J. Arjil (Mountain Democrat, March 7), says President Obama is using his “executive fiat” to subvert the will of the people by declaring he would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act because that violates his Constitutional oath to enforce the law. Mr. Arjil either does not listen very carefully […]

Rock Doc: Playing with Jello and deducing climate change

I hope you played with your food when you were young. Perhaps you experimented at some point with pushing a drinking straw through Jello. If you twisted the straw as you removed it from your food, you could sometimes trap a column of gelatin in the straw. You then had the choice of either blowing […]

Git-r-done

Signs have been pointing toward a plea bargain and the declaration that Philip Garrido is competent to stand trial for kidnapping and rape cleared the table for a new deal. Our suspicions were confirmed last week when Nancy Garrido’s attorney said both she and Phillip confessed. Defense attorney Steve Tapson said Nancy Garrido confessed to […]

Bad news

Here’s some news we could do without. Next Sunday it’s time again to move the clocks ahead for the spring time change. It’s a relic of President Woodrow Wilson and America’s entry into W0rld War I. Wilson seems to have been keeping up with the Germans, who imposed daylight saving time to conserve coal. President […]

Trees of El Dorado County: Should trees have standing in court?

In 1972 the Sierra Club sued the Disney Corp. to prevent the development of a ski resort in Mineral King Valley next to Sequoia National Park. The Supreme Court ruled that the club as a membership coporation lacked standing and could not bring the suit, thus ruling in favor of Disney. But the ruling opened […]

Don’t let them cram this development down our throats

EDITOR: Diamond Springs and El Dorado residents had better be ready to have yet another new development crammed down their throats. A plan for a 76-acre business park, on both sides of Highway 49, in the vicinity of Tower Mart and Enterprise Drive, was on the El Dorado County supervisors’ agenda for approval March 1. […]

Let Vern the guide dog stay at the mobile home park

EDITOR: I have read your story regarding Randy Cummings and his guide dog, Vern. This is a sad story. The story tells how Vern is retiring, but will have to relocate as Randy is getting another guide dog. I believe this is terrible. The mobile home park manager was very much aware of this and […]

The Rock Doc: A new slice out of the apple

I often eat without thinking, either while listening to the news or writing. It’s a poor habit for several reasons, one of which is my ever-growing waistline. But the next time you bite into an apple, I implore you to take just a moment to really savor its taste, aroma, and texture. Those characteristics vary […]

Don’t lump all pit bulls together

EDITOR: This letter is in response to Debbie Smith’s letter in the March 2 edition. To say that “it’s just how pits are” and “pit bulls are just bad news” is ignorant and adds to the negative opinion of this breed — who I feel have been given a bad rap. Any dog, no matter […]

My turn: In a California ruling, Ninth Circuit affirms EPA isn’t above the law

If the American concept of responsive, representative government means anything, it’s that bureaucracies don’t have unchecked power. Unelected regulators and administrators answer to the legislative branch, which enacts the laws that they administer. And they answer to the courts for how they interpret and apply those laws. It follows that average people who believe they […]

For planning purposes only

EDITOR: Mr. Longhofer’s letter, “Sharing in the glory” posted Feb. 23, states, “… the debate was whether there was a Japanese plan to invade Hawaii and then the coast of California. There was such a plan, so that debate is closed.” This was obviously written in Mr. Longhofer’s inimitable style, which has occurred in letters […]

Article misrepresented McClintock meeting

EDITOR: The context of the article, “We’re doing what doesn’t work” misrepresents what really transpired when Congressman Tom McClintock addressed the El Dorado Hills crowd on Feb. 23. As one individual commented, it appears McClintock paid for this “ad.” First let’s take a step back to the Jan. 19 Tea Party Patriots of El Dorado […]

Beth Gaines would be our conservative voice at the state Capitol

EDITOR: The Mountain Democrat’s endorsement of John Allard for the 4th Assembly Seat is a real disappointment to this El Dorado County conservative  woman. I have been to numerous debates and political meetings with all the candidates for the 4th Assembly District and Beth Gaines is by far the best candidate for this Assembly seat, […]

This is why we’re voting for Beth Gaines

EDITOR: My husband and I had no idea who to vote for, Mr. Allard or Mrs. Gaine. Dutifully, we sat down to read the literature sent by both candidates so we could debate. Ms. Gaines set forth her agenda and where she stood on issues. We liked that. On the first side of Mr. Allard’s […]

Healthcare: We still have checks

EDITOR: In a recent letter by Mr. Longhofer predicting higher healthcare costs he ends by suggesting that everybody be put in Medicare. In every discussion about our terrible debt situation, which is rapidly turning us into a has-been nation, the subject of entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid comes up. Both Democrats and […]

Save the oil subsidies

EDITOR: A total of 236 Republicans voted “no” to the effort to end public subsidies for oil companies. The $53 billion in subsidies would have made a nice start in reducing our deficit. I know that $53 billion is just a drop in the deficit bucket, but $53 billion here and $53 billion there and […]

Thank you, in the loss of our loved one

EDITOR: Our family would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to make the memorial service for our wife and mom, Bobbie Ceccarelli, such a touching, blessed event. While we know we are not the first family, nor will we be that last, to deal with the loss of a loved one, we do feel […]

We live in such a great neighborhood

EDITOR: My husband and I are handicapped. We are on oxygen 24/7 and he has to walk with crutches (he has no kneecap). This last snowstorm was so bad; El Dorado County crews piled a 4 foot berm in front of our house on Ridgeway Drive in Pollock Pines. Well, my husband worked for hours […]

High school librarians are essential

EDITOR: Lori Parlin made many significant points in her letter regarding the El Dorado Union High School District budget balancing act. Although in better shape than many districts in California, careful consideration still needs to be made on how those limited dollars are spent. The primary focus of such discussions needs to be “what are […]

Sensationalism in the media: Where do you stand?

EDITOR: Daily we are bombarded with news on current trends, foreign affairs, personal triumphs and tragedies. As it relates to the media, these professionals live by the credo that they are delivering the news in a fair and impartial manner: They gather and share the information they have discovered in order to help their communities […]

Thank you, Sierra Ridge coaches

EDITOR: I am writing this letter to publicly thank the coaches of the Sierra Ridge Middle School sixth- and seventh-grade basketball team, coach Karen Bouey and assistant coach Ted Hargon. The county championship win was just a bonus! What I thank them for is for teaching the girls the true meaning of sportsmanship and teamwork. […]

McClintock isn’t listening to us

EDITOR: I just talked with Congressman Tom McClintock’s office in Washington, D.C. I asked why did he vote against a bill that would stop taxpayer dollars going to oil companies in the name of subsidies when he says in the next breath that our country is on the verge of destruction and we have gas […]

Crazy town budget

President Obama’s budget for 2011-2012 must have been made by someone taking Lunestra. It’s full of beautiful butterflies, but it’s really just another Washington, D.C., con job. It assumes unbelievable economic growth levels of 5 percent. It also claims a $1.1 trillion deficit reduction, which is really $1.6 trillion in tax hikes plus what looks […]

Economy of scale

Every resident of western El Dorado County has to appreciate the efforts under way to take a serious look at consolidation. The schools, led by El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Vicki Barber, are studying consolidation. Certain school district combinations could actually lead to an increase in school revenue on the order of more than […]

California Rambling: Alternative camping

As disposable income and time became available to Americans in the 1920s, camping became established as part of our collective leisure experience. At first people packed into the backcountry by horse or foot or camped in tents or trailers. Today new forms of alternative camping are gaining popularity, all with economy, comfort and character in […]

Franckly speaking: Tiger mom pounces on American parents

The 15 minutes of fame seized by Yale Law professor Amy Chua have ended — but what has she left in her wake? Something that disturbs me. Chua’s story first broke in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 8 with an article she wrote provocatively titled, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.”  It was an excerpt […]

There are angels

EDITOR: While walking the Missouri Flat section of the El Dorado Trail on the 24th or 25th of February, my dog got spooked or saw something and jerked the leash out of my hand and disappeared from sight. A neighbor driving along the road stopped to help me look and I would like to thank […]

A thank you to the American Legion

EDITOR: One night each year, the American Legion organizes a dinner to recognize the “Officer of the Year” from the Placerville Police Department, California Highway Patrol and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. I had the pleasure of attending the dinner for the first time this year. It was an honor to be able to share […]

Vicious attacks unwarranted

EDITOR: Once again Mr. John “Kneejerk” Garon has displayed his penchant for making vicious, ad hominem attacks on persons he disagrees with politically (“Wisconsin’s governer and Mussolini,” March 1). Mr. Garon’s current victim is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who Mr. Garon likens to mass murderers Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler. I’m surprised Mr. Garon did not […]

John Allard endorsed

Only one of the eight candidates for the 4th Assembly District can hit the ground running. Our support goes to the person who fits that description — John Allard. Allard served as chief of staff 12 years for Tim Leslie, both in the Assembly and Senate. He then did a stint as chief spokesman for […]

Loved the story on my boy

EDITOR: The write-up on Feb. 18 in the Weekender section on hip-hop artist-producer Alex McDonald (Opti-miztic) was great. A talented young man receives a great glance into what will be an “optimiztic” career. From a very proud mom … PAULA McDONALD Placerville

The weekly Daley: Been there, done that

PS to: Marcia Kernan – In fact, I have owned two small businesses right here in El Dorado County, and while each had multiple challenges, high taxes was not one of them. It wasn’t even an issue. PS to: Mike Huckabee – Obama was raised in Kenya? People revolting against foreign imperialistic rule was – […]

Frustrated with county bureaucracy

EDITOR: I had a court case where I was given till March 1 to find other homes for all but twoof my German shepherds. I found out the hard way that when the “minute order” was typed up and sent to El Dorado County Animal Services the specific date of March 1 was not there, […]

Is this how to balance a high school district budget?

EDITOR: As Popeye used to say, “That’s all I can stand, I can’t stands no more!” Who are these people at the El Dorado Union High School District Office? Why do they feel they don’t have to follow the same rules they impose on the staff and faculty who work with our youth? I have […]

Letter writer simply spreading incorrect numbers

EDITOR: In response to Dink Lane’s letter, “McClintock needs to look at the facts.” I believe Mr. Lane’s numbers stem from a media firestorm caused in 2008 by a report from the GAO entitled “Comparison of the Reported Tax Liabilities of Foreign- and U.S.-Controlled Corporations, 1998-2005.” The media — led primarily by The New York […]

Abortion: We’re stuck on two choices

EDITOR: Let’s face reality: Every time an abortion is prevented, an unwanted child is born to a woman from our poor or middle class. Women in our upper class have always had easy access to safe abortions. We know that unwanted children flood our social services, prisons, mental health facilities, addiction treatment programs, welfare rolls, […]

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