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My turn: Tear down the El Dorado County Courthouse

Special to the Democrat If the county of El Dorado would tear down the historical Main Street, Placerville, Courthouse it could sell the building material and build a new trail. Does this sound crazy to you? Well Ñ this is essentially what a few well intended but misdirected individuals have proposed to the Board of […]

My turn: El Dorado County DUI Treatment Court fosters healthier and safer lives

By Salina Villa Drunk driving is the most frequently committed crime in the United States. In 2009, approximately 1.44 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or narcotics. It is estimated that alcohol and other drugs are a factor in 31 percent of all fatal automobile accidents. Drinking and driving, […]

February 01, 2012 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged | 2 Replies

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 […]

Heard over the back fence: Yell Bingo

GARDEN TOUR CANCELLED: 
The Placerville Shakespeare Club has made the difficult decision to cancel its June 6 Garden & Artists of the Sierra Foothills event. They regret any inconvenience that this may. FREE MOVIE PASS: On Monday, June 1, from 2-6 p.m., you can donate blood at Regal Cinema at 2101 Vine St., El Dorado […]

Brace yourselves … fire season is coming

Gov. Brown declared May 3-9 as Wildfire Awareness Week, and Cal Fire held a joint press conference on Monday in Pollock Pines to kick off the week and promote fire safety. It was the beginning of a strong message to the public about the severity of the upcoming fire season. It’s obvious everyone is on […]

Seniors are vibrant part of county

EDITOR: I just read the article by Larry Weitzman about Pamela Knorr’s and the BOS’ attitude toward seniors. I learned of the possible cuts a few weeks ago, and sent an e-mail to each member of the BOS asking them to put some real thought into the cuts being considered to the senior programs. I […]

Del Rio boots D’backs into playoffs

EL DORADO — At stake between host Union Mine and El Dorado in their Sierra Valley Conference/intracounty girls soccer finale was a playoff berth. Kinsey Del Rio’s two early goals stood as the host Diamondbacks posted the 2-1 win over the Cougars, who had one of their best seasons in many years. Union Mine’s victory earned […]

The balancing act: Pamela’s war on seniors

“We’ve got major budget issues. I’d feel much better getting all those other things to a committee and make sure we get multiple minds on this and develop a plan, a prioritized plan and the 15/16 (Fiscal Year budget) deficit is the target. And I understand it. I have seen deficits all my career tied […]

Supervisors vote 4-1 to OK EID election change: Mikulaco voices strong opinion against change

El Dorado Irrigation District’s Board of Directors recently voted to change its election cycle to coincide with the state’s even-year general elections. In doing so, the board added one year to each district director’s term of office. District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco of El Doardo County Board of Supervisors likened the EID board’s actions to […]

Beam’s laser wins it for El Dorado

Judging by the swarm of family and friends gathered around El Dorado’s Rachael Beam Tuesday, you’d think she just won the World Cup. Better yet, Beam’s first-half goal decided the outcome in the Cougars’ key inter-county clash with Union Mine — one the hosts took by a 1-nil score. Beam’s breakthrough 16 minutes into the […]

Veteran received well-deserved EDCAR scholarship

The El Dorado County Association of Realtors recently awarded a scholarship to local veteran Tyler Jones, who is pursuing a business management degree at California State University, Sacramento. Jones received the scholarship at a special event earlier this month. His wife Renee, daughter Isabella, 4, and son Bryce, 1 1/2, also attended. The funds come from EDCAR’s Honor […]

My turn: Yes, you can help make local government better

The annual opportunity for citizens to take part in the El Dorado County Grand Jury process is here. The Grand Jury is an excellent vehicle for committed men and women to keep government accountable to all of our county’s citizens. Applicants must be United States citizens, at least 18 years of age, have resided in […]

The courthouse ‘debate’

The community is up in arms about relocating the county courthouse away from Main Street. The ramifications are a legitimate concern, but at the end of the day, much of the focus has been on the wrong issue. Let’s face reality. The current courthouse is done. As much as the community would like to preserve […]

Passport elevates the tasting experience

The 24th annual Passport wine event in El Dorado County will present an elevated tasting experience for the wine aficionado and wine novice. Guests will be treated to the award-winning vintages crafted by nearly 30 members of the El Dorado Winery Association during the weekends of April 11 and 12 and April 18 and 19. The […]

Judge Sullivan aims to help community

Dylan Sullivan did not initially think of being a judge. She graduated from UC Davis in 1988 with a degree in physiology, landing a job with a medical devices company and eventually becoming the regional manager. “But I had a nagging feeling. I wanted to give back to the community,” she said, especially after the […]

Courthouse debate results in letter from city

The Placerville City Council voted unanimously at the March 24 meeting to send a letter to the California Judicial Council in support of relocating the courthouse within Placerville city limits and requesting assistance with mitigating the anticipated economic impact to the downtown area.

Recent concern expressed by downtown business owners prompted both the letter and a special community meeting on March 22 with City Council members and members of the community to talk about the courthouse, both the Main Street courthouse and …

New court date for alleged King Fire arsonist

The man accused of causing the King Fire appeared briefly in court Monday to receive new court dates. Wayne Allen Huntsman appeared with his attorney, Bob Banning, for a blink-and-miss-it hearing following a short meeting in the judge’s chambers. Banning noted that there was a significant amount of investigation left to do and requested a new […]

Interest lags on future of courthouse

What to do with the historic county courthouse on Main Street in Placerville has been a hot and cold topic among locals for years. The Superior Court, a division of the state’s judicial system, has used the building since it was built in 1913. Now, however, due to the facility’s many antiquated features and amenities, […]

Supervisors adopt new vision for how to govern county

El Dorado County Supervisors agreed to disagree, a bit, over the exact wording, grammar and punctuation of their new “vision statement.” In their March 3, regular meeting, supervisors kicked around variations of the vision they created during several leadership and governance training sessions in January and February. Chairman Brian Veerkamp introduced the agenda item as […]

Gangs planted in El Dorado County

When Carol Edwards was enlisted to the developing gang unit of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office 23 years ago, the officials were unaware that gangs were already firmly represented in the county. As they did not know how to validate gang members, they had no list of suspects. “We had no clue … no idea […]

HOG ride to help CASA

Abused and neglected children need help. These children need someone who will advocate for them in court and consistently guide them as a positive adult influence during a very difficult time in their lives. Three years ago, Folsom Harley Owners Group (HOG) contacted the El Dorado County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and organized an annual poker […]

Project 44 helps find more foster homes

Two inspiring parents, 44 foster homes needed and a mission to help every one of those kids. That’s what Jo Herrera, 18, thought about when starting “Project 44.” Every day is a normal day for most of us, but it’s never a normal day for abused and neglected kids. They didn’t ask to be born into […]

City of SLT wins case in federal court

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — South Lake Tahoe’s City Attorney Tom Watson announced that a case in the Federal Court’s Eastern Division presided by the Honorable Garland Burrell resulted in a defense verdict by jury. The case of Patrick Solomon vs. the City of South Lake Tahoe was a complaint of a false arrest when the […]

Innovative tribal court

Sometimes the wheels of justice all point in the same direction. That happened earlier this month when all the county’s judges were sworn in by Miwok Tribal Chairman Nick Fonseca to preside over cases involving tribal members. Conversely, a tribal judge was sworn in by Superior Court Presiding Judge Suzanne Kingsbury to preside in Superior […]

Weitzman’s ‘well done’ editorial

EDITOR: The Mountain Democrat’s self-congratulatory end-of-year editorial gave an effusive pat on the back to columnist Larry Weitzman for exposing the alleged incompetence of our former county CEO Terri Daly and her deputy. Of course, Larry was a natural for ferreting out misdeeds, malfeasance, misfeasance, improprieties, misconduct and wrongdoing. Nothing beats personal experience when you’re […]

County accepting Sign Ordinance comments

The El Dorado County Community Development Agency has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a comprehensive update to the Sign Ordinance. The standard review period for a Draft EIR submitted to the State Clearinghouse is 45 calendar days. This DEIR is available for public review now through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17. A meeting to accept comments […]

Community groups file court petition against BOS

Citizens for Sensible Development in El Dorado Hills in partnership with Save Our County has filed a petition with the El Dorado County Superior Court to reverse the decision by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to approve the El Dorado Hills Town Center Apartments. The petition stems from the board’s approval of the […]

County, tribe join cross-jurisdictional courts

The judges of the Superior Court of El Dorado County were cross-sworn in to the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Tribal Court while the chief judge of the Tribal Court was cross-sworn in to Superior Court, a first in American history. At about 12:30 p.m. at Henry’s Steakhouse in Red Hawk Casino, the ceremony […]

El Dorado County officials to be sworn into office

Two El Dorado County Supervisors and eight other elected officials will be sworn into office Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 at 10 a.m. Supervisors taking the oath of office will be: Michael Ranalli, newly elected to District 4, and Sue Novasel, newly elected to District 5. Elected Officials taking the oath of office are: Rich Briner […]

El Dorado County elected officials to be sworn into office Jan. 5

Two El Dorado County Supervisors and eight other elected officials will be sworn into office Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 at 10 a.m. Supervisors taking the oath of office will be: Michael Ranalli, newly elected to District 4, and Sue Novasel, newly elected to District 5. Elected Officials taking the oath of office are: Rich Briner […]

Campbell Outstanding Player in Optimist contest

North teams post split SACRAMENTO — Union Mine’s Kara Campbell had a stellar performance in the 31st annual High School Optimist Girls’ Volleyball All-Star Game at El Camino High last Thursday. The Lady Diamondback was one of three El Dorado County volleyball players on the North small school squad coached by El Dorado’s Shelley Bishop. Cougar […]

Ponderosa FFA celebrates 50 years

It’s less about cattle than it is about leadership now, but the Ponderosa High School Future Farmers of America club is celebrating its 50th anniversary and there are still cows, lambs, turkeys, pigs and gardens on the Shingle Springs campus. FFA advisor Andrea Adams doesn’t have to explain much about the program; enthusiastic student members […]

Heard over the back fence: Help sponsor the Food Bank

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael Raffety, [email protected] Use the subject lines “back fence item.”  THE VANISHING BRAIN: Jewel […]

CASA receives important gift from Wells Fargo

Every day is a normal day for most of us, but it’s never a “normal” day for abused and neglected kids. They didn’t ask to be born into the mess they find themselves in and they desperately need help. These children need a CASA who will advocate for them in court and consistently guide them […]

Sue Hegarty rides life’s carousel

If you sometimes think of life as being a merry-go-round that you want to get off … then you’re definitely not Sue Hegarty of Placerville. Hegarty, 78, has embraced the merry-go-round of her existence, going so far as to collect carousel horses that date back to the 1880s. And wonderful creations they are, hand-carved of […]

Vera Gwendolyn Howell

Sept. 12, 1914 — Dec. 5, 2014 Vera Gwendolyn Howell, born to Mittie Etta (Rounsaville) and Paul Eldredge Jones on Sept. 12, 1914, in the area of Wapanucka, Okla., passed peacefully on Dec. 5, 2014. She was a sister to Jean; mother to Nan (Glen) and Jon (Julie); grandmother to Paige, Julie, Jesse, Matthew and […]

County resident is nation’s fastest

EL DORADO HILLS — El Dorado Hills fourth-grader William McCoy won the 2014 All-American National Cross Country Championship in his age division Saturday. He ran a 3K, or 1.86 miles, in 11 minutes and 20 seconds. Remarkably, his parents Allen and Rochelle McCoy didn’t know they had a super runner until recently. “We knew he was […]

William F. Howell

June 25, 1924  –  November 21, 2014 William F. Howell passed away at home surrounded by his family and loving wife of 61 years, Nancy.  Beloved father of David Charles Howell and Christine Dugger;  devoted grandfather of 3, step-grandfather of 1 and great grandfather of 1. Bill was born in San Francisco on June 25, […]

Deputy’s murder suspect moved to county

The man accused of shooting and killing a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy and a Placer County sheriff’s detective was moved from Sacramento County to El Dorado County on Wednesday, Nov. 5. The decision to move Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamontes (aka Marcelo Marquez) to the Placerville jail was made by Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who said he decided […]

As we were: Business needs help

25 Years ago Nov. 10, 1989 Cab company says it’s fighting for its survival By JOHN SAMMON A local cab company is faced with going out of business unless support and donations came from members of the community, according to a citizen’s group. A Placerville Planning Commission decision requires Yellow Cab owner Dan Larkin to make […]

Retain appellate judges

Out of 10 justices on the Third Court of Appeals, seven are on the Nov. 4 ballot for confirmation. All but one who was appointed this year were appointed to this court by Republican governors. Should a majority of voters vote against confirmation, they will be casting a vote for Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint […]

Volleyball: Bruins handle El Dorado

While prep sports turned its attention to Friday football, the Ponderosa and El Dorado girls volleyball teams clashed in an intra-county, nonleague match — won by the visiting Lady Bruins 25-16, 25-21, 25-17 at L.A. Brown Gym. Both came in after mid-week losses — Ponderosa the previous evening to league-leading Oakmont and the Cougars last Wednesday at […]

As we were: Prints to help raise funds

25 Years Ago Oct. 27, 1989 Limited edition signed prints to be released “Christmas at the Courthouse” will be unveiled by artist Thomas Kinkade 5-9 p.m. Nov. 2 at Placerville Inn, announced Mountain Democrat Editor Michael Raffety. Signed and certified limited edition prints of the new oil painting by Placerville’s nationally-known artist will be offered […]

Unintended local election consequences

EDITOR: Thank you Gene Altshuler for your timely and well-written column, “How not to run for BOS,” Aug. 6. In the private sector, boards of directors of public corporations consist of very experienced executives. They have learned long ago that the “hey-Joe” methods of management that they so successfully employed as small business owners or […]

The power of collective giving celebrated

El Dorado County “has plenty of positive news to share” when it comes to charitable giving, noted philanthropist and publisher Winnie Comstock-Carlson to a sold-out audience at the Women’s Fund El Dorado’s annual celebration dinner on Oct. 2. The festive event at David Girard Vineyards in Placerville, was attended by nearly 300 women and men […]

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Remembering Dennis

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Vet recalls operation that saved 37,000 Haitians

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Heard over the back fence: Yell Bingo

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Home country: Car computers mean confusion

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Slow and stupid, Mr. Daley?

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A very successful spring plant sale

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No. 1 Oak Ridge exits playoffs

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Schedule: May 25-31, 2015

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Mefford dual state champ

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Troy shines at Divisionals

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Under the Scoreboard: May 24, 2015

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Robert Holloway wins D-II/III championship

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Bruin boys swept by Rio

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Cougar girls win section title

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Roundup: May 24, 2015

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Ponderosa team riders finish second in state

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Prospecting »

Maria Adams runs with a purpose

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Scout Jacob Lacy helps spirits soar at Eskaton Lodge

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Contestants invited to run for Miss Pollock Pines

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Rare plant treasure hunting

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As we were: Transportation needs more funding

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Crime Log: April 27-April 30

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Weather Stats: May 21

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April Divorces

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