As one of eight survivors of a platoon of 48; a Silver Star awardee from an encounter in the Hurtgen Forest where Allies were surrounded for 21 hard winter days; being wounded three times; a participant in the battle of the bridge at Remagen; successful in the career he loved and the husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather of large and loving family; Tom Vano considers himself to be a lucky man.
Vano, 88, of Cameron Park, gave his Silver Star to a family member, but he really didn’t want it to begin with. It was a symbol of things he wanted to forget and reminder of brave men who died.
He grew up in Astoria, Long Island, and was friends, classmates and bandmates with the singer Tony Bennett, whose family had come from the same part of Italy, Calabria, as Vano’s parents.
It was October and my Cameron Park sale was progressing as expected. The termite inspection revealed some dry rot issues that the sellers agreed to repair and my clients waived a few issues pointed out during the home inspection. It was all normal stuff that I had seen a hundred times before. Most property issues […]
STRANGE FUTURE WISH: John Chapman gave me the following T-shirt statement: “I hope one day to have a psychiatric disorder named after me.” John Chapman said he thought of me when he saw this statement. FISHERMEN UNITE: The El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited will hold its monthly meeting at the Veterans Memorial Building at 130 Placerville […]
More and more we have become a society with an obscene gap between rich and poor. We are also a society more socially and politically divided than ever before. And everything in our technical infrastructure and popular culture encourages and exacerbates these trends. And when an approach is developed to teach critical thinking in our […]
LEFTIES PREVAIL: John Chapman dropped off the following T-shirt statement: “I’m left handed — What’s your super power?” PARADE HELICOPTER: The Sons of the American Legion, Post 119, El Dorado and Placerville, are sponsoring a 1966 Huey Vietnam Helicopter for the parade, scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at on BVroadway and Main Street, Placerville. Veterans and […]
The Todd Winkler murder trial Oct. 2 featured a doctor with a specialty of allergies explaining anaphylaxis, a Department of Justice criminalist examining blood on clothing and the lover of Rachel Winkler coming face to face with the man who admitted to killing her.
Before the first witness testified, a stipulation was entered by the prosecution and defense from Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Mike Roberts. If called to testify, the stipulation read, Roberts would say that, after the car wreck that claimed Cathy Winkler’s life, Todd Winkler had injuries to his left knee and left hand, a torn jacket, a scrape and bruise on …
There’s got to be a thousand Julie Clarks in the world, but when you do an Internet search on the name, the first one that pops up is Cameron Park’s own Julie Clark, world-famous acrobatic pilot and adventurer. Clark is a veteran pilot with 40 years flight experience and 30,000 accident-free hours whose distinctive airplanes […]
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors effectively quashed a citizen initiative related to land development July 29. Without killing it directly, the board sent it for a “30-day review” specifically for analysis of its potential economic impact to the county. That process would extend beyond the statewide deadline of Aug. 8, after which time […]
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, reading what seems like a million words, hearing endless debates in Congress and a seeing flood of television horror stories, America cannot seem to bring a modicum of sanity to the issue of gun control. The killings go on, absolutely nothing has changed and I am puzzled and […]
A new ballot initiative that would quash the anti-growth initiatives currently being circulated in the county is now making the rounds in search of signatures. Sponsored by Region Builders, a Sacramento-based group of commercial builders, architects and engineers, the initiative is called Control Growth to Fix Our Local Roads. According to Joshua Wood, who is the […]
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office released crime statistics for 2013 showing that while most class 1 crimes are down, rape and car thefts increased from 2012. Homicide in the area of the county covered by EDSO was down 60 percent, from five murders in 2012 to two in 2013. There were 17 robberies as […]
A trial date was assigned in a Friday hearing for a man accused of killing his wife. After a discussion in Judge Daniel B. Proud’s chambers, a trial date of Sept. 9, 2014 was decided for Todd Winkler. It is possible, hinging on whether the Colleen Harris case, another murder case David Weiner is the […]
As the body ages, it becomes tougher and tougher to keep the pounds where they belong and many find their waists expanding exponentially with the passing of the years. One of life’s biggest challenges, for some, is maintaining a healthy weight that keeps the body functioning at maximum benefit throughout a lifetime. But there’s hope […]
As El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Roberts and three other deputies approached 3450 Santos Circle in Cameron Park to do a mental health check and investigate alleged criminal threats, they noticed a rifle barrel sticking out of the bed of a red Toyota truck parked there. Roberts checked for occupants, but only found what […]
EDITOR: The following comments are my personal beliefs. The National Security Agency (NSA) metadata collection program called PRISM should be promptly stopped. Gathering all wireless telephone calls, e-mails, credit card transactions, etc. originating in the United States is a gross violation of our rights enshrined in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin said […]
EDITOR: In the wake of the unspeakable events that transpired during the Boston Marathon one has to wonder why the outcry for common sense is going unheard by our politicians. The knee-jerk reaction coming out of the mainstream media was the accusations of a “terrorist,” al-Qaeda related, then quickly it switched to right-wing radicals and […]
25 Years ago March 11, 1988 Huge softball tournament coming to Placerville area El Dorado County’s Western Slope has been chosen as one of 12 sites for the first leg of a national slow-pitch softball tournament that will conclude with the championship in Steamboat Springs, CO. Tournaments will be held here and in nine other states […]
EDITOR: If you are a devoted gun owner who is frightened that the government will take your guns away, you should enter the sane debate on “gun safety.” If you believe that we are going to ignore the frequent killings of children and adults, you are deceiving yourself. President Obama has been too tolerant of the […]
Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck gathered Sunday, Jan. 13, for a reunion to remember what happened a year ago when the passenger ship they were on struck a reef and capsized off the coast of Italy, killing 32 people.
Reluctant to talk to the media until now, the group of El Dorado County residents — Joanna and Adam Lynch, Phyllis Eggan, and Brenda Miller — recalled what happened that day and afterwards. Their story is a tale of survival, kindness, friendship and faith.
Walt Grace loves working with his hands. He loves to serve his customers. He has been in business in Placerville for 40 years. Repairing shoes is not a skill learned in school or an apprentice program. When Grace was a teenager growing up in Sacramento, his father bought a shoe repair business. The previous owner […]
EDITOR: To me gun control consists of proper pre-purchase screening, proper training, a proper stance, proper grip, and holding a proper sight picture when confronted by a bad guy. No one in this great country will ever be able to effectively implement “gun control” by eliminating firearms. It is not going to be possible. In […]
EDITOR: With all respect to my friend George Sabato, listing the ways that he believes he is “better off than four years ago…” Am I, are we, better off? For crying out loud — no! Gee, what does it take? George’s points were all about his own wallet and family pocketbook issues, so let’s start there: […]
Cameron Park’s new creperia, Crepe Town Café, perched behind the gazebo in Burke Junction is quickly gaining a reputation for delicious European café fare. Owner Alma Zildzo and her daughter Mirha Maslic can also serve up some abject lessons in recent European history. They fled from their native Bosnia at the onset of the Bosnian […]
Candidates were invited to the El Dorado West Republican Women Federated meeting at Denny’s restaurant in Cameron Park on May 14 to share their political views before the upcoming elections in June. Les Baugh, running for District 1 State Senate, joined Frank Bigelow, running for District 5 Assembly, as the only two candidates in attendance. […]
Todd Winkler had a short court appearance Monday morning. Winkler, who is accused of killing his wife, Rachel, in their Cameron Airpark home on Feb. 27, was escorted into the courtroom to sit among other inmates for about five minutes, just long enough for his hearing to be continued. After briefly conferring at the bench […]
AVOID LOUDMOUTHS: The following truth appears in the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar: “The truth is, if you really want someone to listen to you, the best thing you could possibly do is to soften your voice. You’ll be surprised at how attentive and respectful your audience will become.” • • • HUG THE EASTER BUNNIE: […]
Todd Winkler, the man accused of killing his wife in their Cameron Airpark home, had a brief appearance in court Wednesday. Winkler, who appeared with his attorney, David Weiner, was in court only long enough to see his arraignment continued to April 16 and for El Dorado Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister to grant […]
The jury trial of Kevin Cairns, owner of Dante’s On the River, continued Thursday with witnesses being brought forth by the people. The first witness of the day was Joseph Goodrich, a contractor, who had been snowboarding with friends at Heavenly Ski Resort on Nov. 28, 2010. While on their way back home, one of […]
Todd Winkler, the man accused of killing his wife in their Cameron Airpark home on Feb. 28 appeared in court for an arraignment and bail hearing on Friday amidst more information being brought forth about the case. Claiming self-defense, he was neverthelss denied bail. Winkler was represented by attorney David Weiner, who described the defendant […]
EDITOR: Nancy Pelosi, when asked about the Tea Party, called it AstroTurf. Not a real grass roots movement. Then she praises the Occupy Wall Street crowd as beautiful young people expressing their First Amendment constitutional rights. Hypocrite. Later she cries alligator tears when comparing the Willie Musconi murder with the anger of the Tea Party […]
Steven Howard Mittelman always wanted to be a father. Wife Valerie, already with children from a previous relationship, was against the idea of starting a family with a husband eight years her junior. Only several years after the fact did Mittelman learn that Valerie, in 1979, had an abortion while they were still a couple. […]
EDITOR: Open letter to House Speaker John Boehner: I have written to you and several of your leadership cadre before, offering suggestions for bold and aggressive action. Aggressive action orientated leadership is needed to save our country from the clutches of the socialistic regime of Barack Hussein Obama. I consider myself a conservative more than […]
One week after learning she had been indicted by a grand jury, manslaughter suspect Theresa Ghersanich pleaded not guilty Friday during her arraignment in an El Dorado County courthouse. Ghersanich, 55, is accused of killing Orangevale man Bruce Bone in April 2010 after she allegedly hit Bone’s vehicle with her own while driving drunk and […]
Two weeks after manslaughter suspect Theresa Lee Ghersanich was ruled unfit for trial by an El Dorado County Superior Court judge, attorneys in the case are now preparing for a jury trial to determine her mental competency. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon from deputy district attorney Vicki Ashworth during a brief pre-preliminary hearing before Judge […]
The court-appointed expert tasked with evaluating manslaughter suspect Theresa Lee Ghersanich has found her mentally unfit to stand trial, an El Dorado County judge said Friday. During a brief hearing Friday afternoon, Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister announced that Dr. Charles Schaffer’s evaluation of Ghersanich, 55, found the suspect is not mentally competent. Ghersanich […]
A second mental evaluation for the woman suspected of crashing into and killing a newlywed Orangevale man was ordered Monday afternoon. El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister ordered Theresa Lee Ghersanich, 55, be evaluated by another court-appointed expert after reading through her first mental competency report, which was received by the court […]
Democrat staff writer The criminal proceedings against the woman accused of killing a newlywed Orangevale man in April were suspended Monday. John Brennan, attorney for Theresa Lee Ghersanich, 55, told visiting judge Eddie T. Keller he doubted his clientÕs mental ability to stand trial. As a result, the case against Ghersanich was put on hold […]
Democrat staff writer A Placerville woman accused of killing a newlywed Orangevale man near the Red Hawk Parkway exit appeared in court Monday. Theresa Lee Ghersanich, 55, attended a brief pre-trial hearing at an El Dorado County courthouse Monday afternoon, but the matter was continued to Sept. 27. She is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter […]
CA Households Could Save $6,400 per Year from Better Community Planning New Report Shows Economic and Environmental Benefits of Reduced Sprawl These are the headlines from a press release last month from some outfit called Vision California. Oh, stop the presses. We canÕt wait to tell you the exciting news that Òsmart growthÓ is going […]
CA Households Could Save $6,400 per Year from Better Community Planning New Report Shows Economic and Environmental Benefits of Reduced Sprawl These are the headlines from a press release last month from some outfit called Vision California. Oh, stop the presses. We can’t wait to tell you the exciting news that “smart growth” is going […]
Village Life staff writer When you flush the toilet, do you think about where it goes? If youÕd like to find out Ñ possibly in greater detail than you expected Ñ the El Dorado Irrigation District is offering clothes pin optional tours that explain how they turn the brown stuff into the clear stuff, and […]
Mother Lode News When you flush the toilet, do you think about where it goes? If youÕd like to find out Ñ possibly in greater detail than you expected, the El Dorado Irrigation District is offering cloths pin-optional tours that will explain how they turn the brown stuff into the clear stuff, and why bristleworm […]
EID just tripled its sewer sucking power. Monday the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors OKÕd spending $319,000 to buy a third hyrdo-vac cleaning truck. This third truck is slightly smaller and $20,000 cheaper than the first two trucks. The trucks are used to clean out sewer lines and sewer lift stations. The hydro-vac […]
Two people have been added to the Mountain Democrat readers panel: Bill Heyman from Pollock Pines and Kathye Russell, who works for an engineering firm in Cameron Park. Heyman originally enlisted in the Army, but was accepted into officer candidate school. His commission led him to become an artillery officer, eventually commanding two artillery batteries […]
Democrat columnist Continuing with the Seventh-Fifth Anniversary Souvenir Review Edition of the ÒMountain Democrat,Ó published on Jan. 6, 1928, we find more crimes under the title, ÒOperations of VigilantesÓ and in other areas of this historical newspaper. ÒBand Escorts Scarlet Ladies ÒThe next vigilance committee was in 1854, organized for the purpose more particularly, of […]