Friday, July 25, 2014

History of charter counties shows limits on terms limits

A state law, put into effect after two court cases, prevents the El Dorado County Charter Review Committee, and by extension the Board of Supervisors, from limiting terms for elected department heads. This was the conclusion of previous committee Chairperson Cris Alarcon in his published notes from 2010. “The Supreme Court of California has ruled […]

Charter group makes final Nov. 4 ballot recommendation

The El Dorado County Charter Review Committee made two final recommendations for the Board of Supervisors to consider including in the upcoming election, Nov. 4. The committee made recommendations for deleting a section of the charter that had repealed itself in 2005 and clarifying the positions of the Board of Supervisors using common parlance. The […]

Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

A request from Tim and Sue Taylor, who are renovating the buildings at 301 and 305 Main Street, for a 30-day extension of their encroachment permit brought out a plethora of supporters, some of whom took the opportunity to take pot shots at the Placerville City Council during the July 8 meeting. The encroachment permit was set to […]

District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

Economic development, jobs and preserving El Dorado County’s rural nature were the major themes of the evening as the first candidates forum for those running for the District 2 Supervisor took place Wednesday night.

Sponsored by the Shingle Springs-Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce, all of the candidates were present with the exception of Jennifer Nutting.

Using a format in which the candidates spent the bulk of their time responding to written questions from the audience, the snappy one-hour forum still gave everyone an idea of which way the candidates would …

Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

A 25-year-old man accidentally shot himself and a friend on Ice House Road in Ice House on July 12. Kao Veng, 23, of Sacramento, was putting an unknown caliber handgun in a box at about 4:35 a.m., El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Felton said. The gun discharged, hitting Veng in the left hand and Cheng […]

Appeal goes well for Cairns: All but one charge reversed

The Third District Court of Appeals reversed all but one conviction in a 2012 case of a restaurateur encountering multiple incidents of people vomiting in his parking lot. The appellate court found that the trial court erred in failing to instruct on self-defense and not allowing evidence of previous assaults on the defendant, Kevin Cairns. […]

Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

Jerry Pasto and his neighbors have a problem.

They want the county to take something off their hands that the county really doesn’t want — namely a few roads.

A story that spans more than 25 years, since 1988 Pasto and his neighbors have been paying into a Zone Of Benefit (ZOB) that maintains six and a half miles of roads in River Pines Estates, a development in Mt. Aukum.

The ZOB includes parts of Bertone Drive, Flat Creek Drive, Jessica Court, Rabbit Ridge, Squirrel Hollow and …

Six file for Dist. 2

With last Friday the deadline for those planning to run for the District 2 seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, the race is now down to six as Janet Saitman has dropped out. Still in the running is El Dorado Hills resident Chris Amaral. Amaral previously ran unsuccessfully against Bill Schultz for the position […]

Charter review committee makes first recommendation

The El Dorado County Charter Review Committee made its first recommendation — changing the upper limit to begin a special election following the vacancy of a supervisor in an effort to consolidate with possible scheduled elections from 120 days to 180 days — to the Board of Supervisors in a meeting Monday evening. The meeting, […]

Highway 50 collision fatal

A woman died and two men were injured in a collision on Highway 50 Thursday afternoon. Wesley Rickard, 79, of Rancho Murieta, was driving his silver 2014 Honda Civic in the No. 3 lane westbound on Highway 50 east of El Dorado Hills Boulevard in El Dorado Hills at about 25 mph with his hazard lights […]

EDH community unites to patch up historic barn

El Dorado County is a place defined by its history. Members of it embrace the past and nearly anything that reflects it.

Don’t believe it? Take a drive. The back roads are altars to the past. Communities revere old stone buildings. Rusty farm implements are proudly displayed for passersby. Sepia-toned hay barns topped with corrugated steel roofs glow in the afternoon light.

Visitors pull over and take pictures. The past also fuels a lively tourism economy.

EID ditch customers get relief

Seeking to preserve enough water in Sly Park to carry over to a possible second year of drought, the El Dorado Irrigation District cut its releases into Clear Creek from 3 cubic feet per second to 1 cfs May 27 when the State Water Resources Control Board issued a water rights curtailment order. That order […]

Bird tests positive for West Nile

The El Dorado County Environmental Management Division of the Community Development Agency and Health and Human Services Agency received confirmation July 11 that West Nile virus has been detected in one bird found in the El Dorado Hills area; the first confirmed positive results for 2014 in the County of El Dorado. The bird, a […]

DA clarifies lime plant issues report

El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson and deputy DA Jim Clinchard emphasized that their department should not be tarred with the same brush as the county’s Transportation Division and Community Development Agency with respect to the recent Grand Jury report. A July 6 Mountain Democrat article about the report lumped the DA’s Office in […]

Nutting: Halt election; Supes: No

El Dorado County Supervisors held firm against a challenge to their authority to hold a special election to fill the District 2 Supervisor’s seat in September. Shortly before the public portion of the July 15 meeting was adjourned, County Counsel Ed Knapp announced that he had just received a copy of a writ of mandate […]

Sierra Ridge: Full circle for principal

Education was the last career field 18-year-old Kim Little planned to enter. The El Dorado High School graduate didn’t know what she wanted to do, so she went to community college for a while. Then she needed a job and answered an ad in the Mountain Democrat for an instructional aide position for a special needs student at Camino School. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ve done some babysitting so…’” she said.

She got the job and 20 years later, Little has been an instructional aide, a bus driver, a custodian, a volleyball coach, classroom teacher and Title I Reading Specialist. This school year, Little, 38, begins her first year as the new principal of Sierra Ridge Middle School, a school she attended as a …

District 2: Clerk candidate seeks supe seat

With Friday, July 18 being the deadline to file, one more candidate has indicated he will run for the District 2 seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. Chris Amaral, the El Dorado Hills resident who ran unsuccessfully against Bill Schultz for the position of County Recorder-Clerk, has opened a committee and signaled […]

State OKs water fines

In response to the ongoing drought in California, on Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board approved an emergency regulation that requires customers and water agencies to conserve water or face possible fines or other enforcement actions. One part of the new regulation addresses reducing outdoor urban water use, with all Californians expected to stop washing down […]

Rail and trail combo plan gets on track with grant

Plans to bring back to life an old transportation corridor that stretches from Folsom to Placerville were discussed at a workshop on July 10.

Held at the Cameron Park Community Center, some 140 residents, property owners and trails and rails people showed up to listen and ask questions.

Aimed at kicking off a year-long planning process, the workshop gave the audience a big picture view of what the organizers want to accomplish. The end result of the project will be a rail and trail plan that offers different scenarios for how …

Small Farms unchanged: Livestock added to rate criteria

The criteria to qualify for the Small Farm rate remained unchanged Monday, except for the addition of “qualified livestock” and a minor tweak. The 1:30 p.m. hearing concluded by 4 p.m. with a 3-2 vote of the El Dorado Irrigation District board and applause from an audience of mostly small farmers. “I find it ironic […]

HJTA not backing Prada

El Dorado Irrigation District Director Greg Prada has been accused of using the Howard Jarvis Tax Association’s name to back his arguments against the rate structure of EID; HJTA, however, is not backing Prada. In a letter to Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Tax Association, Tom Heflin and Doug Leisz — who have […]

ALT plans under further review

Work continues on plans for the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant (ALT) according to updates provide to the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. At its meeting on July 8, Interim General Manager George Sanders informed the board that the plans for the plant had been reviewed by the El Dorado County Fire […]

Air Force sgt. helps sexual assault victims

For former Placerville resident Carly Smith, living at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska normally means putting together bombs and missiles in various configurations. But for the past five years, the Air Force staff sergeant has taken on a second job — volunteering to help military-associated victims of sexual assault become survivors. Every year, Smith […]

Water saver shares tips on conservation

Don’t hate her because her lawn is beautiful.

When most homeowners have accepted dry, brown lawns due to enforced watering restrictions, El Dorado Hills resident Marie Levy’s grass is vibrant and her water bill is 60 percent less than it used to be.

“We’re always having a drought here in California so I’m always thinking of ways to conserve water,” Levy said of her habit that began years ago. “It’s really easy, actually. It’s just figuring out the plumbing.”

By creating her home’s water-saving infrastructure with support from her father, husband and adult son, Levy says she “can water her lawn every day as long as there’s laundry water in the tank.”

That laundry water is stored in two 1,000-gallon tanks in her side-yard, the key component …

Harris case: Weiner to remain counsel

A court order denied the prosecution’s motion to recuse attorney David Weiner in the Colleen Harris murder case. In an order dated July 3, Judge Daniel B. Proud denied Deputy District Attorney Joe Alexander’s motion to recuse Weiner as Harris’ attorney. Alexander claimed in a previous hearing that Weiner is “as close to an accessory after […]

Firefighters save Somerset church

A fire burned 23 acres in Somerset Wednesday afternoon.

The fire began near the Pioneer Bible Church around 2:30 p.m., said Robert Little of Cal Fire. It ultimately burned 23 acres before being contained at 4:21 p.m.

The fire was believed to begin at a farmhouse near the church. A PG&E worker confirmed there were power lines to the farmhouse and that power had been swiftly turned off. Though the fire came within feet of other power lines, they were …

Warm winter caused cherry crop to nearly disappear

If you were salivating for rich, sweet cherries of El Dorado County, you might have to wait until next year. “We lost our whole crop,” said Connie Smith of Hooverville Orchards. “We just didn’t get the chill they needed.” Fausel Ranch closed out their cherry sales in mid-June, much earlier than usual. “We had a […]

State water board to restrict lawn watering; add fines

Potential cuts in water use to residential customers will be considered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) when it meets July 15 to consider new emergency conservation regulations. With nearly 80 percent of the state in extreme drought, the new regulations, if adopted, would require individuals to cut back on residential irrigation. According to the […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

1/2% sales tax goes to ballot

The Placerville City Council unanimously sent a general tax increase of 1/2 percent to the Nov. 4 ballot at the July 8 meeting. The measure was accompanied by a resolution declaring the intent that 75 percent of the revenue generated by the tax increase will be directed toward road improvements and 25 percent toward roads […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

Roundabout voted out

A proposal by City Councilwoman Wendy Thomas to either eliminate a roundabout as an option for the intersection of Cedar Ravine, Main and Clay streets or to put it to a vote of the public on the November ballot was the subject of much discussion at the July 8 Placerville City Council meeting. The City […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

Local named chief deputy director

El Dorado resident, Tracy Rhine, 42, has been appointed chief deputy director at the California Department of Consumer Affairs by Gov. Jerry Brown. Rhine has served as deputy director of legislative and policy review since 2012. Rhine worked in multiple positions at the California Board of Behavioral Sciences from 2008 to 2012, including assistant executive officer […]

Cycle crash fatal: Holiday keeps officers busy

A man died July 6 after his motorcycle hit a brick light post in Placerville. John R. Boyd of Placerville was riding his 2007 Triumph northbound on Countryside Drive, approaching Outrider Drive, at an unknown speed at 6 a.m., a CHP press release noted. He failed to make the curve and left the west side […]

July 09, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

Confab July 10 on rail route

The El Dorado County Transportation Commission will host a community meeting for the Sacramento Placerville Transportation Corridor (SPTC) Alternatives Analysis at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, July 10, at the Cameron Park Community Center Auditorium, 2502 Country Club Drive in Cameron Park. The SPTC is comprised of the former 53-mile Southern Pacific Placerville Branch Railroad right of […]

July 09, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

Crash hurts deputy

An El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputy was injured in a collision in El Dorado Hills on July 5. The deputy, in a 2009 Crown Victoria, was turning left from southbound Latrobe Road onto eastbound Highway 50 at about 11:15 p.m. when a silver 2007 Nissan Altima traveling northbound on Latrobe entered the intersection and collided […]

July 09, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,