Coalition recognizes shining stars

The El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition gathered the brightest young stars Jan. 23 at the ninth annual Youth Star Awards. Thirty young people received awards for their community service. “These (youth) are our future,” said Glen Swedelson, coalition board member. “They will be the leaders, the innovators. It’s important to recognize what they’ve accomplished […]

Interns share lessons learned at Mountain Democrat

Jordan Freer Language, in my opinion, is the basis of humanity. The dawn of the universe was not the Big Bang, nor was it the meeting of hydrogen atoms. It was not the coming of the primal animal from water upon rocky shore, it was not the birth of the first mammal. The dawn of […]

Academic Decathlon students ready to show their stuff

Jeff Hassian had to keep handing off his 2-month-old baby boy as Hassian coached his very first El Dorado County Academic Decathlon team from Oak Ridge High School 15 years ago. Today that boy, Garrett Hassian, is on his dad’s 2016 team, hoping to perform well as an alternate in the scholastic category. Maybe Garrett […]

Interns share lessons learned at Mountain Democrat

Claire Baco California Montessori Project, my school, requires all seventh- and eighth-graders to go to a three-day internship at the end of January each year. I’m in seventh grade this year and was a bit worried about where to go when my teacher, Natasha Raffety, suggested the Mountain Democrat. I wasn’t really sure, but my […]

Alice Wallace combines country and Americana

Alice Wallace is playing at Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St. in Sutter Creek in Amador County on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. “Memories, Music & Pride,” the third album by Wallace, finds the Southern California-based Americana singer-songwriter exploring fresh musical terrain on striking self-penned material inspired by new emotional and geographical compass points. […]

Guitar masters play at Sutter Creek

Frank Vignola and Vinnie Raniolo bring their jaw-dropping guitar mastery to Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St. in Sutter Creek, Amador County, on Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. Calling Vignola a virtuoso is something of an understatement. Recognized primarily as a world-class jazz guitarist, but well versed in every genre, his résumé includes work […]

Grow For It! Planning this year’s veggie garden

Hello — this is your garden calling. Now is the time to dust off those seed catalogs and figure out what is going into the vegetable garden this spring. According to the UCCE Master Gardener Foothill Vegetable Planting Guide (available for $5 at the Master Gardeners office at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville), mid-February is […]

At a glance: Super time

Super Bowl 50 is set for Sunday, Feb. 7 with the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers facing off at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The National Football League has decided to sack the usual Roman numeral designation and go with the 50 because Super Bowl 50 has more pizzazz than Super Bowl L. Next year […]

St. Elias Orthodox Church presents special programs

Father Stephen Freeman is making a special appearance at St. Elias Orthodox Church, 4253 Fowler Lane in Diamond Springs, on Saturday, Feb. 6. The appearance is part of the Men in Black speaker series. His first presentation “Becoming Human in a Secular World” is from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. He will cover how the modern world has long […]

Exhibit brings a new dimension to familiar portraits

Two-dimensional classical portraits become physical, three-dimensional masks in “Traditions Transfigured: The Noh Masks of Bidou Yamaguchi,” a free exhibit running Feb. 11 through May 21 at California State University, Sacramento’s University Library Gallery. The exhibit opens with a special reception from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11 at the gallery. Noh is a form of Japanese […]

Sacramento State offers vibrant Black History Month events

California State University, Sacramento’s joyous celebration of Black History Month will fill February with a full slate of exciting, educational and inspiring events. One of the most anticipated is the Feb. 25 talk by President Barack Obama’s maternal half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, who is a faculty specialist with the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and […]

My Time group to meet in Placerville

My Time is a free support group for those who care for a relative or friend with a chronic health condition such as Alzheimer’s disease. Group members share information, coping strategies and options in a supportive and confidential setting. The My Time group meets the first Friday of the month and is facilitated by Ruth […]

Arts Council presents author reading

G. Weston DeWalt, who co-authored “The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest” with head expedition guide Anatoli Boukreev, will read from his New York Times bestseller at El Dorado Arts Council’s Fausel House Gallery on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The reading and Q&A are part of a speaker series to accompany the current gallery exhibition “Such Great […]

Join the Arbor Day Foundation and receive trees

Joining the Arbor Day Foundation is an ideal way to get in the mood for spring planting. Anyone from California who joins the foundation in February  will receive 10 free Eastern redbud trees to plant when the weather turns warm. The free trees are part of the nonprofit foundation’s Trees for America campaign. “Redbuds will […]

Poets to speak out

El Dorado Arts Council invites the public to its seventh Poetry Out Loud county finals. On Tuesday evening, Feb. 9, eight El Dorado County high school Poetry Out Loud winners will step into the Imagination Theater spotlight and vie for the title of Poetry Out Loud County Champion. The El Dorado Arts Council hopes everyone […]

Faith Episcopal youth to hold food drive

As many Americans anticipate the golden anniversary of the big game on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, Faith Episcopal Church’s youth group is gearing up for a different kind of drive — not toward the end zone but to help battle hunger in El Dorado County. The JCrew (Jesus Crew) will celebrate Youth Sunday by […]

El Dorado Camera Club to hold print competition

A photography print competition will be held at the El Dorado Camera Club’s monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. This judged competition is open to members and non-members for a small entry fee. There are multiple categories for color, monochrome and alternative images. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third […]

Foothill dining: Salute to Robert Burns

Scotch lovers around the world can honor the life of Robert Burns with Scotland’s flagship spirit. Scotland’s famed poet penned “Scotch Drink” and wrote, “Oh thou, my Muse! Guid auld Scotch drink!!” A toast to Burns can be made with Scotland’s own Johnnie Walker Double Black, Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky and Lagavulin 16 Year Old […]

Town remembers Jet, star of Wiser Stage Line

Davey Wiser had planned to have his big, beloved black horse Jet walk down Placerville’s Main Street one last time — but the beautiful boy died Dec. 29, before that could happen. It’s probably just as well, since that would have been one tough walk to watch for most local folks who grew to love […]

As we were: A dam site

25 Years ago Feb. 1, 1991 Texas Hill Reservoir not just a pipe dream, county’s land buyer says By JOHN SAMMON If you’re planning on building that dream house in the Texas Hill area — be informed — the county is serious about constructing a dam and reservoir there. That’s what Rich Buchanan said. He’s managing the […]

Duty: U.S. Air Force Airman Talon R. Green

U.S. Air Force Airman Talon R. Green graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits […]

Break a leg … a crab leg, that is

What: Annual Crab & Tri Tip Feed Who: Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills Where: Lakehills Church, 7000 Rossmore Lane in El Dorado Hills When: Saturday, Jan. 30, doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 7 p.m. Cost: $55 per person Information: When is a dinner with friends, where laughter freely flows and hot butter steadily drips, […]

Food, wine and intrigue pair up at Cielo

What: “Murder by the Glass” Who: Cordelia Smythe Mysteries Where: Cielo Estate Winery, 3040 Ponderosa Road in Shingle Springs When: Saturday, Jan. 30, 6-9 p.m. Cost: $85 per person Information: or  (530) 672-8575   Wine connoisseurs and masters of murder plots will love this one. Set in the elegant yet cozy Cielo Estate Winery, 3040 Ponderosa Road in […]

Sierra Health Foundation launches Responsive Grants Program for 2016

Sierra Health Foundation brings back its Responsive Grants Program in 2016, with $500,000 committed for nonprofit organizations and public agencies in its 26-county funding region. Grants up to $15,000 each will support projects that improve health and quality of life in Northern California by addressing health equity and the social factors that influence health, such […]

Good Living: Medicare can help you stay healthy

The best way to stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle. You can live a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease by exercising, eating well, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking. Medicare can help. Medicare pays for many preventive services to keep you healthy. Preventive services can find health problems early, when treatment works […]

Friends of the State Fair offer scholarships

Friends of the California State Fair is accepting scholarship applications for the 2016-17 academic school year. The application is available at Scholarships will be awarded in the following areas: agriculture, animal science, arts, business, culinary, education, enology, event planning, fair industry management, international studies, teaching and viticulture. This program seeks to motivate well-rounded, high academic […]

Send a singing Valentine

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and Sierra Gold Chorus, the Auburn Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, has something unique and different to give friends and loved ones this year. Candy and flowers are nice but they disappear or wilt. A singing Valentine will create a lasting memory. Sierra Gold Chorus, the Auburn Chapter of Sweet […]

‘Citizenfour’ shows at Cozmic Café

On Wednesday, Feb. 10 the Oscar-winning documentary on Edward Snowden, “Citizenfour,” screens at the Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville. “Citizenfour” is a behind the scenes look at Snowden as he hands over classified documents that provide evidence of mass, indiscriminate and illegal invasion of privacy by the National Security Agency. In the film, […]

Eskaton residents honor Placerville employee

The nonprofit Eskaton celebrates employees who go above and beyond with a Guardian Angel program. Employees receiving five Guardian Angel pins in recognition of their hard work were treated to lunch with Eskaton president and CEO Todd Murch and president of the Eskaton Foundation Kim Rhinehelder. Evelyn McGrath, executive director at Eskaton Village Placerville is […]

Arts bring spring to life at Sacramento State

Classic art portraits transformed into three-D masks, the return of a renowned music concert series, a festival of all things arts and the greatest scam ever to hit Broadway — all are part of California State University, Sacramento’s Arts Experience for Spring 2016.   Festival events Festival of the Arts tickets, where required, are available […]

Things to do: Jan. 29, 2016

ONGOING Gold Country Artists Gallery, 379 Main St. in Placerville, through Jan. 31 is featuring Boni Canning, whose fine art photography is characterized by romantic scenes from her travels in Southern Europe and also of local towns and gardens. Also featured is Craig Koski’s colorful dramatic photographs, the result of combining digital photography and post […]

Musical comedy is back with a bang

A playwright who needs someone to back his next show. A mobster who needs some way to please his showgirl girlfriend. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship — or a brand new musical comedy. Loaded with big laughs, colorful characters and the songs that made the ’20s roar, “Bullets Over Broadway” brings […]

The Motet makes a stop in Tahoe

Progressive funk collective the Motet is appearing at the Crystal Bay Club Casino, 14 State Highway 28 in Crystal Bay, Nev., on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 9 p.m.  Doors open at 8 p.m. Plans for 2016 Winter Tour include a selection of vocalist friends, old and new, joining the band. On the list of special guests are Tanya Shylock, LaDamion […]

Classical music comes to the Sutter Creek Theatre

The Mother Lode Friends of Music, the classical music performance society serving the central region of the Sierra foothills, presents its first concert of the new year on Sunday, Jan. 31 starting at 3 p.m. The concert will be held at the Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St. in Sutter Creek, Amador County. The concert […]

‘The Little Mermaid’ makes a splash in Sac

Take a trip under the sea with “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” This fun-filled, timeless tale makes its Broadway Sacramento debut in a limited engagement at Sacramento Community Center Theater from Feb. 2 through 7. The production is presented by McCoy Rigby Entertainment in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and Mt. Beacon […]

Special party to release Amador Four Fires Wine Festival tickets

Tickets for the Amador Four Fires wine event officially go on sale Feb. 1, but the Amador Four Fires Ticket Release Party at wineries in Sutter Creek and in Shenandoah Valley on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30 and 31, is a great excuse to go to Amador County and secure tickets early at deeply discounted prices. […]

Learn about blending at Madroña Vineyards

For those looking for a more in-depth way of learning about wine and seeking a hands-on experience that will help explain what you are actually tasting, Madroña Vineyards is offering a special event. Paul Bush, winemaker, is conducting two sessions of Quintet Blending Classes on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30 and 31 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. both […]

More gold to be discovered in Shingle Springs

Like many towns in California’s Mother Lode, Shingle Springs grew on the site of a mining camp set up by gold miners during the California Gold Rush. The area took its name from a horse-drawn shingle machine capable of producing 16,000 shingles a day. The machine was located near the springs at the western edge of […]

Winter Funtastic: 2015-16 Calendar

Winter Funtastic 2015-16 Calendar December PHOTOS WITH SANTA Santa Claus will be spreading cheer while spending time in El Dorado Hills Town Center to Dec. 24. Families are invited to visit with Santa to share wish lists and to take purchased photos. Meet Santa at the California Welcome Center on Post Street next to Cold […]

At a glance: See Jupitor

It is supposed to be clear this week so when Jupiter rises before midnight on the Leo and Virgo borders it will make a bright statement as it hangs out above the Moon on Jan. 27.   Down to Earth After checking out the sky take some time to check out the Earth at “300 […]

Moscow Festival Ballet brings two classics to Harris Center

The renowned Moscow Festival Ballet returns to the Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway in Folsom, to perform two of the most popular classical ballets of all time — “Swan Lake,” a ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and “Cinderella,” the classic fairytale of the cinder girl and her stepsisters, featuring Prokofiev’s exuberant […]

Amador fair to salute local heroes

In the aftermath of the Butte Fire that devastated many communities of Amador and Calaveras counties in 2015, many of the heroes that stepped forward were friends and neighbors. They rescued and housed animals, drove stock trucks into burning areas to retrieve horses and cattle, they fed the multitudes of firefighters, first responders and volunteers, […]

Women’s Fund annual report celebrates giving

Women’s Fund El Dorado (WFED) celebrates “the power of collective giving” in its 2015 annual report, recently mailed to the membership and available to the public. Collective giving is at the heart of the organization, which pools members’ donations of $200 a year or more and leverages them in the form of grants. The grants […]

CCAC announces new mini-grants for Camino

The Camino Community Action Committee (CCAC) announces its second CCAC Mini-Grants for Camino. Thanks to the generosity of the community and the success of the annual Barn Dance, the committee is now in a position to assist local non-profits, through a program of mini-grants for projects based in Camino. Applicants must be nonprofits or not-for-profit […]

Big rewards for Gold Bug Park volunteers

A “wanted” poster is tacked to the door at Placerville’s Gold Bug Park and Mine. It’s not bank robbers or horse thieves city officials are looking for. They’re hoping to capture a few new volunteers for the upcoming school tour and summer tourist season at the historical park. “We had a tremendous visitor season last […]