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Heard over the back fence: Take a swing

CONGRATULATIONS: Sky Divinagracia, freshman, elementary education and Jess Hanson, sophomore, interdisciplinary studies are on the Dean’s List at George Fox University of Newberg, Ore. for fall 2015. Both honor students are from El Dorado Hills. BATTER UP: The Placerville senior softball league is looking for a few good folks to play in the senior softball league on […]

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 […]

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 […]

Heard over the back fence: Nice work

GOOD DEED: Lyle Raty is a steady customer at the Greenwood Senior Nutrition Lunch. He has lived on the Georgetown Divide for more than 85 years. While dining he observed one of the doors was sticking so he fixed it. Now the door operates nicely which is a benefit to all who enter or exit the dining room. […]

Heard over the back fence: Remembering Dan Ferrier

NEVER FORGET: It has been three years since Daniel Allen “Dan” Ferrier was killed breaking up a bar fight in Old Town Sacramento on New Year’s Eve. Greatly missed by his many friends, family and clients, Dan inspired many people with learning challenges when he made a major lifestyle change at age 16. After serving two […]

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 […]

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: cieloestate.com/tasting-room-events 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 […]

Heard over the back fence: Sunday breakfast

DON’T GIVE UP: “Never give up no matter what is going on. Never give up. Develop the heart. Too much energy in your country is spent developing the mind instead of the heart.” — His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. SUNDAY BREAKFAST: Placerville Elks Lodge  No. 1712, 3821 Quest Court, Shingle Springs, will serve breakfast on Sunday, Jan. […]

Experts address local nonprofit needs

What do El Dorado County nonprofits need in order to survive and thrive in today’s challenging environment? While financial support is an obvious answer — one noted by 75 percent of local nonprofits surveyed by Women’s Fund El Dorado (WFED) — panelists at its annual Community Needs Forum on Jan. 21 advanced a variety of […]

Heard over the back fence: Summer Jobs

STUDENTS HONORED: Bailey Ashlyn Eastman, college of arts and sciences and Jennifer Lynn Orr, Louise Herrington School of Nursing have been named to the Dean’s Academic Honor Roll at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Both are from El Dorado Hills. To be named to the dean’s list a student must be an undergraduate with a minimum grade-point […]

Volunteers find happiness monitoring bluebirds

Don’t tell the folks at New York’s Cornell University, but American River Conservancy volunteer Trevor Whiffin of Kelsey has been known to pick up a baby bluebird that has fallen out of its nest and return it to its mom. “We try not to intervene with nature but if a baby bird falls out of its […]

Heard over the back fence: Jewel Show

MOVIE DAY: Enjoy popcorn and a movie at the Placerville Senior Center, 937 Spring St., Placerville, every Friday. Movies start after lunch at 1:30 p.m. in the dining room. All-you-can-eat complimentary popcorn is provided. “A Walk in the Woods” is about Bill Bryson, returning home after two decades in England, where he decides to connect with […]

They’ll be bringing out the big gun at Marshall Gold Discovery park

What: Living History Day and Gold Discovery Day Who: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and the Marshall Gold Discovery Park Association Where:  Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Highway 49 in Coloma When: Saturday Jan. 23 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: The event is free, parking $8 per car Information: marshallgold.org or (530) 622-3470   Well, shoot […]

Heard over the back fence: Crab Feed

A CHOCOLATE AFFAIR: A Chocolate Affair will be presented Saturday, Feb. 13 by Soroptimist International of Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills and Soroptimist International of Placerville at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. For additional information call (530) 344-1476. CRAB FEED: The El Dorado Hills Rotary’s 23rd annual Crab and Tri-tip Feed is on Saturday, Jan. 30 from […]

Stopping wildland weeds of the foothills

Yellow starthistle (Centaurea sostitialis) is the poster child of a wildland weed, covering both pastures and wild meadows with spiny yellow flowers in the summer. The wide-scale expansion of yellow starthistle occurred during the 1920s and was due to the development of the tractor, according to Dr. Joe DiTomaso, University of California wildland weed specialist. […]

Heard over the back fence: Soothing Music

WAKAMATSU HISTORICAL TOURS: Docents are giving a tour from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Jan. 23 of this historical farm that boasts a rich tapestry of wildlife habitat, diverse cultural history, productive farming soils and educational opportunities. The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can visit Okei San’s […]

Heard over the back fence: Calling Bunco Players

HOLIDAY: Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is celebrated today. Many businesses and services will be closed. Call first to see what’s open before planing a trip. WISDOM: “No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens CALLING BUNCO PLAYERS: A bunco night fundraiser will take place at the Shingle […]

Artists primed to paint Something MORE

What: Art and Wine With Something MORE Who: Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises Inc. Where: El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville When: Saturday, Jan. 16, 6-9 p.m. Cost: $30 each, $50 per couple Information: (530) 622-4848   Randy loves to mug for the camera as he draws his brightly colored cartoon characters, called Uncle […]

Heard over the back fence: Random Acts of Kindness

JANUARY LUNCHEON PROGRAM: Placerville Fellowship and Newcomer’s Club’s January lunch program is an important and informational presentation. Attorney Al Hamilton, legal advisor for the Placerville Senior Center, will talk about the latest scams and fraudulent schemes being perpetuated against senior citizens. He’ll share how to avoid these problems and offer help in senior estate planning. All this information will […]

Tibetan Cultural Night

IMG_9842 ec Main speaker Geshe Lama Phuntsho, talks about Tibetan culture and monk ideals. Democrat photo by Jackie Penn IMG_9828 ec The presentation starts with a documentary about the Gaden Shartse Monastery. Democrat photo by Jackie Penn IMG_9831 ec On the left, Tripp Mikich an organizer from the Placerville friends of Tibet, introduces Geshe Phuntsho […]

Traditional Tibetan Meal

IMG_8413e Lobsang Jigdal, Konchok Jampa and Geshe Karma Yeshi, left to right, work on the momos. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene IMG_8429e Konchok Jampa, left, and Geshe Karma Yeshi, right, prepare meat and vegetable filled Momos (dumplings) at Federated Church in Placerville on Jan. 7th. The well-attended meal consisted of soup, salad, steamed rice, chili […]

Ched Drol Healing Ritual

IMG_8617e Placerville Friends of Tibet member Tripp Mikich, of Placerville, center, welcomes participants to the Ched Drol Healing Ritual at the Cozmic Cafe on Jan 8. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene IMG_8619e Konchok Jampa separates small black cloths to be used in the Ched Drol Healing Ritual at the Cozmic Cafe on Jan 8. Democrat […]

Heard over the back fence: Purple Pig Races

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE: Regina Stephens writes in the Placerville Emblem Club, No. 287 “Nugget” president’s message, “I’m starting the New Year with several New Year’s resolutions, the most important one being to actively recruit new members. Please join me on this quest and spread the word that we really need more good people to […]

Dynamic four-hands jazz piano concert

On Thursday, Jan. 14 El Dorado County Community Concert Association members will be treated to a four-hands jazz piano concert by Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi. Trick and Alderighi, award-winning pianists in their solo work, have combined their love of jazz and their talents to create a dynamic program of four-handed piano duets. The four-handed […]

Needs of nonprofits focus of Women’s Fund Forum

For nearly a decade nonprofits on El Dorado County’s West Slope have benefited from Women’s Fund El Dorado (WFED), a collective giving organization that to date has pooled members’ donations to award more than $350,000 in grants. On Jan. 21, members and the general public are invited to attend the WFED Community Needs Forum to […]

Heard over the back fence: Take control

YOUR MIND DETERMINES YOUR FUTURE: At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the El Dorado Hills Community Center Mountain Democrat columnist Bob Billingsley will be guest speaker. His encouraging remarks suggest the mind, not the body, determines age. Do you have an optimistic or a doomsday attitude about the aging process. It’s possible, but not easy to […]

Union Mine grad filming documentaries around the globe

Union Mine High School graduate Spencer Bruttig has found his passion in filmmaking and it is taking him throughout the world — to the California coastline where sea otters and fishermen clash, to the jungles of Belize where an ancient Maya ruin has set his imagination afire, to the African country of Ghana where an […]

Heard over the back fence: Poetry Sunday

POETRY READING: Live poetry comes to the Nello Olivo Tasting Room, located at 643 Bee St., Placerville, on Jan. 17 from 2-4 p.m. This is a free event (not including wine). Monthly poetry Sunday Live is presented every third Sunday by Nello Olivo Wines with production help from Lara Gularte. At this month’s open mic, poets are […]

Legal issues focus of Divide Women’s Club talk

Diana Steele from El Dorado County Senior Legal Services will be the speaker at the next meeting of the Divide Women’s Club on Thursday, Jan. 21. Steele will provide information on legal matters such as estate planning, public benefits, consumer issues, health care, real property and abuse and exploitation. DWC meetings start at 12:30 p.m. with […]

Heard over the back fence: Learn about Technology

iPAD KNOW HOW: Join AT&T and Friends of Seniors for the Technology Training Workshop Introduction to iPads. Intended for beginners, the course teaches the basics of using an iPad. The next class will be conducted at the Cameron Park Library, 2500 Country Club Drive, Wednesday, Jan. 13 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. iPads are provided for a hands-on practice […]

Where there’s a Willow, there’s a way … to find joy

With her platinum hair and shapely long legs, not to mention her incredibly long eyelashes, Willow Mae is the type of gal who can light up a room just by walking in. That’s what happened Monday when the 4-year-old poodle-golden retriever cross — called a “golden doodle” by her pal, Betsy Christ — walked into […]

Heard over the back fence: Be happy

TWICE THE HAPPINESS: “When someone does something good applaud. You will make two people happy.” — Samuel Goldwyn HONOR ROLL STUDENTS: Oregon State University announced the following local students made the honor roll for the fall term with a GPA of 3.5 or better. From Cameron Park: Holly A. Clauson, junior, digital communications arts; Hannah G. […]

Tibetan monks return to El Dorado County

One of the most anticipated events at the beginning of each new year in El Dorado County is the annual visit by the Tibetan Buddhist monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery in India. From Jan. 1 through 14 the monks take up residence upstairs in the Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville. The stay includes […]

Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Phukhang Monastery schedule

The Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse Phukhang Monastery are in El Dorado County from Jan. 1 through 14. Opening ceremony — Green Tara Sand Mandala with the Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Phukhang Monastery: Jan. 1 from 4-5 p.m., Cozmic Café, 594 Main St., Placerville. The ceremony’s purpose is to purify negative forces in the environment and prepare the […]

Heard over the back fence: Dance the night away

DANCE NIGHT: The Shingle Springs Community Center will be hosting its monthly dance night on Jan. 1 from 7-9 p.m. Music is by DJ Jamie Faw and light refreshments will be provided. Join the fun at 4440 South Shingle Road in Shingle Springs. A $5 donation is welcome. Call Maria Brugger at (530) 306-4614 for […]

Montessori students share wishes for the New Year

Youngsters from kindergarten to age 10 at the California Montessori School Project in Shingle Springs were asked to tell Mountain Democrat readers what they wish for the New Year and to mention any resolutions they might make. Their answers ranged from the very sweet to the very silly to the very puzzling. But they are […]

Heard over the back fence: Boxing for Women

BOXING FOR WOMEN: Boxing for Women classes are offered at 2222 Francisco Drive, El Dorado Hills, from Jan. 7 to 28 or from Feb. 4 to 25 from 5:30-6:55 p.m. These classes are for ages 16 and up. Boxing is a complete workout for the cardiovascular and endurance systems as well as training upper body, lower body […]

Heard over the back fence: Paint a Masterpiece

LEARN HEALTHY EATING:
 A series of classes is offered at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Drive, for those who simply want to learn a new way of healthy, clean eating without dieting, depriving yourself or counting calories and losing weight along the way. The first class in this series will be Tuesday, […]

Celebrate and donate on New Year’s Eve

What: Benefit fundraiser for the Sierra Nevada House staff Who: The Coloma Lotus community, the Gold Trail Grange and the Random Strangers Band Where: Gold Trail Grange, 319 Highway 49, in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma When: Thursday, Dec. 31, doors open at 8 p.m. and music from 9 p.m.-midnight Cost: $10 donation Information: coloma.com/snh-benefit or (530) 622-4914   […]

Heard over the back fence: Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Today is the perfect day to hug, kiss or telephone those you love. Monika and I appreciate the great love given to us from friends, relatives, neighbors and the Mountain Democrat readers. We wish you a Christmas filled with great joy and lots of family and friends. Love is always the best present! CHRISTMAS […]

Happy Holly days

The residents on Holly Hills Drive in Cameron Park get into the Holly days with a commitment to dazzle and amaze visitors to the street and with a commitment to make the season brighter in more than one way. Not only do the lights and decorations bring joy to the community, the food drive conducted […]

The lights are brightly shining

Christmas lights seem to have magical powers. They not only light up a dark winter night but put smiles on faces and prompt positive comments. A drive around El Dorado County to see the creativity of Christmas light aficionados is a fun outing. There are simple elegant displays, some with multiple styles of lights, others […]

Heard over the back fence: Senior Help Numbers

LIBRARY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS:
 The Placerville Library needs volunteers to help stack and sell used books on the first Saturday of each month. If interested in volunteering, call Barbara Parmenter at (530) 621-2439. SENIOR HELP NUMBERS:
 The following area code 530 information numbers are helpful: -
Information & Assistance, 621-6369 -
Legal Assistance, 621-6154 -Long Term Care Ombudsman, […]

31st Nature Bowl semi-finals returns to American River Nature Center

For more than 25 years the American River Conservancy (ARC) has been preserving rivers and land and the life they support. As a nonprofit community organization in the central Sierra Nevada foothills, ARC works to preserve natural areas through land conservation, stewardship and education. Since 1995 the American River Conservancy has hosted the semi-final program […]

Love is a warm prayer shawl

Marcie Butler thinks God caused her to sleep momentarily, for her own protection, as her best friend Tina Jones was killed in a terrible vehicle accident near Coloma in August that found Butler in the passenger seat of the tragedy-bound car. “I felt like the Lord let me go to sleep so I wouldn’t remember […]

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