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A dose of Dan: Industries consolidate, government agencies can too

Taxpayers are often left to marvel at how long it takes government to react to issues, particularly economic ones. Businesses don’t generally operate for very long without balanced budgets, but government agencies can stay in business, conduct exhaustive studies and even grant pay increases while running in the red for months or years at a […]

My turn: So much from so many

When a tragedy occurs, our community steps forward and envelopes those who have been impacted with strong, caring arms.  On Feb. 2 we in El Dorado County experienced such an event. When Sam LaCara died in a senseless shooting, we lost a wonderful husband, father, principal and community leader. Even though we may never understand […]

We need to implement Laura’s Law

EDITOR: El Dorado County is ahead of the curve with the Behavioral Health Court. The court has proven successful in helping people with mental illness to stabilize, find the right medication and work with a doctor and therapist to improve their living situation. We have a new sheriff who is energetic and deputies who have […]

Leash law good for everyone

EDITOR: While there is certainly room for debate on some points, I agree with several of the thoughtful comments in Tom Gillen’s letter (his response to Anthony Belli) regarding a dog’s natural instincts and suggested socialization techniques. However, I strongly disagree with his suggestion that dogs be allowed off-leash to “chase critters” and perhaps be […]

Belltower: What an all-star team

Orphie Tirapelle, El Dorado High School Class of 1939, brought in a clipping from the 1948 Mountain Democrat “Sport News.” It was a photo of the 1948 Caldor basketball team, which had just “dropped a powerful DeMolay” team in the 20-30 Club Basketball League. The players wearing the jerseys of the Caldor Lumber Co. are […]

This project will be dedicated to Sam LaCara

EDITOR: As the students and faculty of Schnell School begin the process of healing from the recent tragedy, Placerville has shown tremendous support. We are fortunate to have such strong community spirit and caring within our town. For the past few years I have been fortunate to work with a group of great volunteers on […]

Why can’t we get anyone to help us?

EDITOR: As enthused parents to the middle school scene, like many parents we were excited for our children to attend the school’s first overnight field trip to an Outdoor Science Camp. This camp was to be a week long and loaded with fun, adventure and lifelong memories. It seems that when our children reach these […]

Not impressed with Beth Gaines for Assembly

EDITOR: Clean hands, pure hearts… Integrity and accountability are primary considerations in choosing the best candidate to represent the voice of the people. All the dirt will eventually come out in the wash. Until then, “we the people” must hold all candidates’ feet to the fire. Beth Gaines was one of the five candidates for […]

Parole date denied for murderer — thank you

EDITOR: Dear friends and neighbors: Earlier this year we informed you that the man who murdered Ehren, our son and brother, had a parole hearing on Feb. 9. We attended the hearing and want to pass on the good news to you. Robert Kaser will not be eligible for parole for five more years. That […]

Trees of Placerville: Palm trees and beech trees

E.J. (Elizabeth) Pabst, a Tree of Life to clients at One Stop Employment, wrote a letter to the editor inquiring as to whether palm trees were “allowed” to grow in Placerville. Very funny, E.J. And, yes. Placerville Victorians in their travels brought palm trees back home. Charlene McCaslin has 200-year-old palms in her front yard […]

Something to think about: Community

I didn’t know Sam LaCara. I don’t know his wife, Lisa, or their three daughters, so why do I wake out of sleep each morning thinking about them, wondering how they are doing? Why do I find myself thinking about them at odd times during the day and sending thoughts of support? I didn’t know […]

Let’s plant a memory garden for Sam LaCara

EDITOR: I am not going to deny that I am not a well behaved woman. I don’t care to be. A well behaved woman doesn’t seem to get as much accomplished. I moved my store rapidly, and much to the chagrin of those who know exactly why I moved. In the midst of my move […]

This nation’s freedoms were won with guns

EDITOR: Nothing about attempts to limit my right to keep and bear arms is ever simple. The Supreme Court’s recent decision that the Second Amendment does refer to an individual’s right to keep and bear arms settles a very large part of the gun control issue. However, the SCOTUS decision did not address how far […]

Garon’s resolution

EDITOR: I see in Mr. Garon’s latest letter his usual name calling where he calls the Tea Party racists, unreconstructed segregationists and unrepentant bigots. Name calling is, as we know, the last resort of the intellectually bankrupt. There are many names that Mr. Garon could be called but there’s no point in joining him in […]

A good start

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers Wednesday announced a partial list of 70 spending cuts that total $74 billion for the remainder of the budget year that ends Sept. 30. Non-security cuts are $58 billion of that $74 billion total. Rogers is quoted as saying, “These cuts are not low hanging fruit.” We think Rogers is […]

Tom McClintock: What are we getting for your high paycheck?

EDITOR: Congressman Tom McClintock left his Elk Grove home (he never moved into the district) to attend a couple of meetings with his constituents last week, none of whom included El Dorado County people. I guess he doesn’t feel he needs our input. It’s not like he has a tough work schedule. He did the […]

Its about criminals, not guns

EDITOR: In response to John Garon’s letter, how is it you feel the root of all evil and the end of society as we know it can be attributed to guns? Anyone with ill intentions will use anything they can get their hands on to hurt, maim, rob and kill with. You may as well […]

Rebuttal to letter writer John Garon

EDITOR: In regard to Mr. Garon’s New Year’s resolution. I have attended many Tea Party meetings in the past and I take great exception to be referred to as a racist. Mr. Garon, you do not know me, so please do not speak of what you do not know. I voted for Mr. Obama. I […]

Response to Jim Riordan

EDITOR: Jim. I read your letter submission of Feb. 8 with some interest and much confusion. On the one hand, I think I agree with much you have to say. On the other? Well, your tone is a bit rambling and unnecessarily derogatory in your tone. I refer to your use of the word “stupid” […]

Rethink state parks

Persistent budget cuts to state parks during the multi-year recession and proposals for further cuts mean the state is going to have to rethink how it manages state parks and even how many it should have. Who knew there was a 16,000-acre Great Valley Grasslands State Park near Merced? That is among the least visited […]

Publisher’s ink: Senseless … just senseless

Senseless. That sums up the tragic event one week ago today. Our community continues to reel from the aftermath of the shooting death of Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara and ponders the motive why custodian John Luebbers allegedly murdered him. The chaos that ensued from Mr. Luebbers’ reported actions last Wednesday was all too frightening […]

World War II Japan’s war plans for Southeast Pacific…

EDITOR: When exceptionally important questions were to be discussed, the emperor would attend a meeting known as the “Privy Council.” The emperor along with his military staff did review the war plan, dated Sept. 6, 1941, that defined the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy  operational goals in Southeast Asia and the Central […]

My turn: New approaches to funding state parks

The prospect of California State Park closures is again in the news as the state of California deals with its continuing budget crisis. There are, however, private alternatives that should be considered before closing the parks. Increased public funding is no longer an option. The failure of Proposition 21 last November made that clear. Voters […]

News media hardly professional when they chase people in parking lots

EDITOR: I work for the El Dorado County Department of Transportation in Building C in Placerville. Arraignments for Superior Court are also in the same building downstairs. As a friend and I were returning to work from lunch on Friday, we were witness to the media chasing some people across the parking lot. We figured it […]

Regarding letter writer, a couple of points

EDITOR: After reading Monday’s letter from Jim Riordan, two thoughts came to mind: 1. I am very grateful that he has nothing directly to do with the education of our children. 2. If he were in my English class, my first comment about his letter would be that he needs to work on being more […]

Untruths being circulated on the Georgetown Divide

EDITOR: The Georgetown Public Utility District is continually attacked by the e-blast,  an electronic notice that is put out by Divide Citizens for Water (Bonnie McLane). Everyone knows that during an election many things are circulated that are somewhat less than honest but what is the responsibility of a sitting director after they are elected? The […]

Grand Jury Report: Tahoe jail roof issue not fully explained

EDITOR: One of the items published in the El Dorado County Grand Jury Report from the Friday edition of the Mountain Democrat was related to the often leaking condition of the county jail in South Lake Tahoe. As one of the previous “county architects,” I can tell you the cause of the leaks without having […]

One hundred years ago

EDITOR: Sunday was Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. A couple of human interest items: The first is his fondness for earlobes. I just read his son, in a book recently published, noted his father’s interest in touching earlobes. From the fog of memory, I realized I knew this about him way back in the 1960s. A […]

In the wake of the shooting, some thanks …

EDITOR: I am a parent of a child who attends Schnell School and I wanted to take the time to say thank you to a few people and companies in our community. While waiting to pick our daughter up at the Fairgrounds, Raley’s grocery store took the time to drag pallets of water over to […]

Qualifications, ethics, honesty say it all about candidate

EDITOR: I have known John Allard for 15 years. John was Assemblyman/state Sen. Tim Leslie’s chief of staff for 12 years. He was the chief legislative officer for Cal Fire, is serving his second term as Roseville city councilman and he and his wife Lisa own a small but growing business. John has publicly stated […]

Forced arbitration … heaven help us

EDITOR: We should all be concerned about forced arbitration, a practice commonly used by corporations to evade accountability and take advantage of employees and consumers. Anyone who has insurance, a credit card, a cell phone, cable service, a retirement account, a student loan, or a loved one in a nursing home has likely been forced […]

From a student

EDITOR: For Sam LaCara: Tragedy pains our lives, a death felt strongly and deep. For he who was lost, we reflect upon his life. For him, we remember and weep. ZACH SOMERS, age 16 Placerville

It’s about guns, pure and simple

EDITOR: All the prayers, thoughts and other forms of grief expressed at the shooting of Mr. Sam LaCara won’t help him, his wife, his three kids or his parents, one single iota.  I suggest that all those expressing grief’ at Mr. LaCara’s death put action behind their words. In the mid-60s, the American Medical Association […]

Unsustainable is unsustainable

EDITOR: I see Mr. Longhofer who never misses a chance to reiterate liberal talking points is again putting forth the class warfare issue of tax the rich. Well, bad news for those of you reading his letter who thought his point might lead to a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you […]

Put the plaques back

It seems like we have been writing about this for more than a decade. Still the city stands paralyzed with inaction. The late Carl Borelli installed small plaques along Placerville’s Main Street with the name of each of the 28 young men from El Dorado County who died serving their country in the Vietnam War. […]

Disappointed in our senators

EDITOR: I am totally shocked and ashamed that our senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, did not support the repeal of this anti-American piece of legislation. We Are Americans, not socialist Europeans. These two, who are in the back pockets of the unions, have once again gone against the will of the people. The big […]

What a waste of America’s time

EDITOR: The House of Representatives successfully wasted theirs and America’s time in voting for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and, as predicted, the Senate then wasted more time in voting it down. The Republicans have been sounding off since November (and before) on how jobs are one of the most important issues facing America […]

Animal Shelter defended

EDITOR: I take profound exception to your front-page article regarding the El Dorado County Animal Shelter. Was your point to accuse the shelter of fraud? Was your point to paint Ms. Gratteau as a loving, caring individual? Neither is the case. I have had the pleasure to volunteer some of my time working with the […]

We will miss Sam LaCara

EDITOR: The community has lost a great friend and principal. Louisiana Schnell School’s principal, Mr. LaCara, was the best principal anyone could ever have. He would always be at the drop-off line in the morning to greet you, and he would always be there in the afternoon and wish you a good day. Mr. LaCara […]

California Rambling: Tea party

There’s been a lot of talk in California about tea parties of late, but not the political kind. Tea is experiencing growing popularity across California as the bicentennial of the War of 1812 approaches, whose most lasting effect — some claim — was to have coffee overtake tea as the national hot beverage. Tea rooms […]

The rural life: A nest’s edge

I thought I was prepared for this day. When it arrives, however, I discover I am not. My only child now has her driver’s license, and I must stand back and watch as she pulls away, alone, for the first time. It isn’t as bad as the dream I had, years ago, of sending her […]

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