Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Publisher’s ink: What’s a parade without an ark?

By
From page A4 | December 12, 2012 | 3 Comments

This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. — Genesis 6:15

Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. — Genesis 6:16

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. — Genesis 6:17

(Everything on earth will perish … including this year’s Christmas Parade.)

Instead of the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, we endured just three. And with it came some downed trees, power lines and spotty power outages.

Before the Placerville ark could be constructed the rains ceased falling. But not before the community Christmas Parade was canceled. For 35 years the annual Christmas parade has captured the hearts of children and served as the impetus of collecting toys for under-privileged children.

According to past parade goers weather conditions of previous Christmas parades ranged from rain, snow, sleet and hail.

“One year the sleet was blowing sideways,” one parade judge informed me. “I lost the feeling in my hands and the paper ballots were soaking wet.”

Many in the community are still talking about the cancellation. Some are questioning why the parade wasn’t rescheduled for this past weekend when the weather was ideal. And speaking of weather conditions, how did all those Christmas trees lining Highway 50 get decorated during a Saturday morning deluge?

Placerville police Chief George Nielson made the ultimate decision to cancel this year’s parade. As rain continued the morning of Dec. 2, Chief Nielson deemed conditions were unsafe and made the unpopular call. The decision wasn’t an easy one. He waited until the last possible hour. For anyone in law enforcement and pubic safety — public safety always trumps risk.

But since this was the first year the city of Placerville took the reins of Santa’s sleigh — and decided to park it — many long-time parade goers and businesses are upset.

“This wouldn’t happen if the McIntire family was still in control,” one disgruntled parade participant informed me.

Of course the reason for canceling the parade boils down to liability. A high-ranking city official chastised me recently for accusing Placerville officials of being grinches.

“This is about liability!” he insisted while rearranging his ruffled feathers.

I know about liability. Every time we allow an organization use of the Mountain Democrat’s parking lot we require a minimum of $1 million of insurance coverage. And how much does the city carry for parades I wonder?

My coverage doesn’t include anything for people waiting in our parking lot the morning of the parade. Yes, we had folks standing around in the rain waiting to line up.

Of course, since the newspaper building was without power that morning, we were working our contingency back-up plan to produce the newspaper. The generator was operating, computers were in use, and our staff worked in limited lighting.

After 30 years in the publishing business I’ve never missed printing a scheduled edition of the newspaper. I had a newspaper building in Indiana struck by lightning, a tornado destroy part of our community in Missouri, and a tropical storm dump 22 inches of rain during a 48-hour period in Key West. Even with a foot of water in the newspaper office we still managed to print the newspaper.

Perhaps the biggest loss from the parade cancellation was the breaking of tradition.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has been a New York City tradition for 88 years. I was born in New York City, so in 2000 I decided it was time for my family to experience this national holiday tradition.

We stayed in a hotel a half block from Broadway, woke up early to the sound of pounding rain, and I informed my wife I was going to stake out a spot for us to watch the parade. So there I was standing three deep in line two hours beforehand wondering if I’d ever see my family again.

As Bullwinkle floated by and the sounds of marching bands filled the air some guy in the front row pushed his umbrella up. “Get that umbrella down!” a gruff New Yorker standing next to me shouted. The guy with the umbrella obviously didn’t realize New Yorkers aren’t wimpy. They don’t tolerate any obstructions at their parade, regardless of weather.

There’s no telling how many residents with children planned on attending this year’s Christmas parade. I’d venture to say many were waterlogged after three days of rain. But for those die-hard parade goers with kids longing to see Santa Claus the show must go on. Well … maybe next year. The ark should be completed by then.

Richard Esposito is publisher of the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Wednesday.

Richard Esposito

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

  • Tail Wags DogDecember 12, 2012 - 6:23 am

    Watch as a chief clears the Grinch of any wrongdoing http://youtu.be/zBXZxYjYonA

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Warren DavidDecember 12, 2012 - 8:42 am

    Richard, I welcome the day that you have something positive to say about our community. It's hard to believe your column is in our community paper. Iwas out in that weather that morning and unlike previous parades where the rain went sideways, we didn't have the inclement weather for 3 days prior. SAFETY was an issue and should always come first. Maybe your paper should take over the parade since you have such a history with dealing with disasters

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JohnDecember 12, 2012 - 8:07 pm

    Good column, but 'Tsk, tsk' on the proofreading. Santa guides his sleigh with "reins", not "reigns", which is reserved for kings and queens.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Heard over the back fence: Advice offered writers

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Big marijuana find in EDH

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Jury: Sanford guilty of murder

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Initiative seeks roundabout vote

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Sheriff cracking down on Tahoe pot grows

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3

 
Burn permits required May 1

By Cal Fire | From Page: A7

County backs task force to reduce human trafficking

By Chris Daley | From Page: A13

 
5 years prison for child porn

By News Release | From Page: A14

A victim tells her story

By Chris Daley | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

 
Income inequality

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Billingsley’s Bullets: Marriage makes me laugh

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

What happened to ‘fair and balanced?’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 14 Comments

 
Red tape

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Is Ukraine in Asia, Europe or Latin America?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

 
Vote for Parlin

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

County and ‘Miwoks’ getting together

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Ray Nutting’s donation for DA

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

.

Sports

 
Brown leads Golden Sierra

By Rebecca Reddish | From Page: A9

Cougars 1, Grizzlies 1

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9

 
Cougars capitalize against Union Mine

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Troy unpends Davis

By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
El Dorado wins tri-meet

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

D’backs drop the ‘Hammer’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9

 
El Dorado spikers blank D’backs

By Mike Bush | From Page: A10

Roundup: April 23, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
On tap

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

.

Prospecting

Amazing production brings the curtain down for Pete Miller

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Cool Beerwerks is very cool

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Placerville celebrates Earth Day

By News Release | From Page: B3

Handcar Derby to get pumping

By Folsom Handcar Derby | From Page: B3

 
IT presents a Reader’s Theater of ‘Our Town’

By Imagination Theater | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Enjoy spring with Steiner Road wineries

By Steiner Road Wineries | From Page: B4

 
Art and brew are a perfect pair

By News Release | From Page: B5

Spring cleaning is good

Press Release | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Pinewood Derby rolls at Kniesel’s

Press Release | From Page: B6

The Sacramento Music Festival celebrates world-class music

By Sacramento Music Festival | From Page: B12

 
Oak Ridge Boys come to TJ’s Corral

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B13

Folsom hosts Spring Antique Fair

By Folsom Historic District Association | From Page: B13

 
Viviana Guzman performs at Petroglyphe Gallery

By Petroglyphe Gallery | From Page: B13

Pioneer Jews of the Gold rush

By Folsom History | From Page: B14, 1 Comment

 
Time to join the El Dorado Community Concert Association

By El Dorado Community Concert Association | From Page: B14

.

Essentials

.

Obituaries

Frances Estelle Gilluly Fraulob

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Dorothy L. Irvin

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jeanine Rae Henderson-Hodges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Thomas David Ewing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

John Lawrence Olson

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jack O’Camb

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wesley M. Nyquist

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20

 
.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A11

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

Horoscope, Saturday, April 26, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
.

Home Source

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20