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William Peterson
6 days ago
William Peterson. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget was unveiled to the American public at the beginning of this month. This year’s version of the budget, as usual, included a number of provisions targeting retirement accounts. If these are approved by Congress and become law, your retirement plans could be affected greatly.

Create a 28 percent Maximum Tax Benefit for Contributions to Retirement Accounts: This proposes to change the law to cap the amount of the tax deduction you get on pre-tax retirement contributions to 28 percent....

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Via Press Release
6 days ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Freedom is a foundation of life. When freedom is compromised, suffering and misery follow. This indisputable fact has been demonstrated endlessly throughout history. Freedom compromised is freedom lost. In politics, compromise is touted as a requirement for progress. However, there is no legitimate justification to ever compromise freedom. Compromising freedom empowers the enemies of...

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Via Press Release
6 days ago
Courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Thank You Adam Dalton

During the recent heavy rain storms of February 5 – February 8, Amador County Road Crews responded to many emergency calls, at all hours of the days and nights to address localized flooding, downed trees and debris on the roadways in an effort to keep our roads clear and safe for drivers. On Monday morning February 9, when I got to the office a message was conveyed to me from Mr. Adam Dalton on behalf of the Jackson Rancheria, who generously offered volunteer crews to help clean up after the storms. Amador...

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David Sayen
2 weeks ago

Most people I know are looking forward to signing up for Medicare just as soon as they can.

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a seven-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare’s Part A and/or Part B benefits and services. Part A covers hospitalization and Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, and other medical goods and services.

Many people become eligible on their 65th birthday. Those folks can sign up during the seven-month period that begins three months before the month they turn 65,...

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Brent Parsons
2 weeks ago
I figured I wouldn’t be writing this week. Factors aligned to allow a two night camping trip. Some of the nicest days on our coast pop up in the winter. It’s an opportunity to pack minimally, but we won’t be wanting for anything. Better to have it than wish you did and unable to find a place to buy it. Making space in the truck before a short trip is much less challenging than packing for two weeks. Careless packing does lead to a jumbled mess, but I believe it is therapeutic to be semi-spontaneous. It is also educational. I’ll be... [Read more]
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Matthew Hedger
3 weeks ago
As my clients and listeners to my radio show will tell you, I am quite schizophrenic when it comes to long term care insurance. Now, I get the need. My mom needed long term care as did my dad, my step mom and, quite likely, my wife at some point. I see that statistically, about 42 percent of us will require some kind of long term care at some point in our lives. And I know that long term care is really expensive and the costs are rising at a much fast clip than inflation. So I really get the need for long term care insurance and I... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
3 weeks ago

We recently got a recliner, and it’s our new favorite toy. I know that some people get jet skis, or sports cars or quads. Don’t get me wrong: We’re a healthy, active family who exercise and eat right. However, like the Most Interesting Man in the World says, “I don’t always lie around, but when I do, it’s in a vegetative state.”

The chair was free, which makes it even more comfortable. My aunt bought it, used it for a short time, and then decided it wasn’t quite what she was looking for. I don’t know how long she had it, and it...

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Brent Parsons
3 weeks ago
My commute, like many others, passes the Pine Grove corner which will be, at the very least, the site of Dollar General’s 9,000 square foot concrete pad. The parcel had been a leveled empty lot for so long, I got used to it — a tiny bit of the barren desert near home. I did feel sorry for the developer who had made a considerable investment only to have nothing happen. The economy must have tanked at exactly the wrong times over the 30 years since a project was unveiled. Vigorous activity began last year and a tenant was announced,... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
4 weeks ago

The ladies of Liberty lifted the torch to victory recently when they won the tournament that brought down the curtain on the 7th annual Amador High School girls soccer 7v7 winter season.

Liberty emerged as the champions after beating Boudica by a score of 7-1 in the tourney played all day Dec. 20 at Amador High. Liberty led all the way in the final, with Alyssa Holmes notching both of her team’s first two goals 28 seconds apart in the fifth minute. That proved to be all the Dark Blues would need as they rolled to the win. Sammi...

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Via Press Release
02/05/2015 8:40 AM
In the California Board of Forestry’s chambers, January 28, 2015: (From left) Diane Dealey Neill, Forestry Challenge Founder & Coordinator, Lauren Struffenegger, Mikayla Haefele, Max Pruett, Kelsy Sozzi, Shelby Haefele, Dr. Keith Gilless, Board of Forestry Chairman. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

I accompanied the Amador High School “Forestry Challenge” team to the California Board of Forestry on January 28. Having recently won first place out of 69 teams statewide, the team was invited to address the Board of Forestry in Sacramento. They also addressed the Amador Board of Supervisors this past November.

The California Forestry Challenge is a competitive event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry issues. The four-day event is held at five locations throughout California.

Amador High School’s...

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Brent Parsons
02/05/2015 8:35 AM

Grapes have changed not only the economy of Amador, but also its image. This is a rural county, but without the vineyards, commercial agriculture production is not much. In 2011 the value of grapes almost doubled second place cattle - $15,383,000 to $7,804,000. The once mighty timber industry tallied $2,122,000, an 80 percent drop in a decade. But with the grape boom, I wondered if the county was in danger of producing too much of a good thing. I asked a young man who would know: Isy Borjon.

His parents have been in the business...

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Brent Parsons
01/29/2015 7:29 AM

Judge Susan C. Harlan officially retired on January 16 after serving 23 years on the Amador Superior Court Bench. Her retirement fully vested in 2012, but she stayed on because she felt there was still so much that needed to be done.

I had been trying to get an interview with her for months, not until January 14 did an opening appear on her calendar. She called and after clearing security at the courthouse which took some time, I was escorted through some locked doors to her office. She welcomed me in and I sat down across her big...

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Lisa Lucke
01/29/2015 7:26 AM

We are just past one semester into what will be a two-year deployment of all four kids in high school. This year, we have two freshmen, one sophomore and one junior. After the junior graduates in 2016, we’ll have three (all girls) in high school for two years. Then, two girls in high school for two more years. Then, we’ll have tapioca for brains. When all is said and done (hopefully more “said” than “done,”) we will have lived through seven straight years of having kids in high school; six of those years with multiple kids.

Let’s...

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Brent Parsons
01/29/2015 7:03 AM
Our old house on Spanish Street came with the appropriate white picket fence around most of the front yard. It was more for decoration than security. One could just walk around it if they chose not to enter the gate. Most of my neighbors have a similar fence although some of the versions are not quite authentic and they require less upkeep. The short white fences establish a cohesive historical appearance on segments of a pretty street. Our fence ended at the front yard and for a decade that was fine. And then Bella came into my... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
01/22/2015 7:12 AM
We caught up with Maxine and John Kirkpatrick at the 140 acre Kirkpatrick Ranch. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
County officials, once elected, usually hold the office for years. Occasionally there is a challenger, or the office holder screws up, but normally, unless the official decides to step away, he doesn’t have to. Qualified “would-be contenders” wait, hoping they outlive the person they want to replace. Incumbents rarely lose. Whether secure longevity is good for the system depends who you ask. Term limits exist, but not here. And there is something to be said for continuity unless things could be better. John Kirkpatrick was the... [Read more]
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John Tuttle
01/22/2015 6:53 AM

Spring 2015 Sacramento FBI Teen Academy Application Available Online Now

Have you wondered if the TV shows featuring the Federal Bureau of Investigation are realistic? Are you curious about what it takes to be an FBI agent or member of the FBI’s professional staff? Do you wonder what case work is like? If you are a high school junior in the area served by the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office, a perfect opportunity to discover the answers awaits: The Spring 2015 Sacramento FBI Teen Academy.

The Spring 2015 Sacramento FBI Teen Academy...

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John Tuttle
01/22/2015 6:50 AM

Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed decrypt them.

These scenarios are examples of ransomware scams, which involve a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users’ access to their files or threatens the permanent...

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John Tuttle
01/22/2015 6:41 AM

A common over-the-counter drug that tackles pain and fever may also hold keys to a longer, healthier life, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

Regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of multiple species, according to research published in the journal Public Library of Science-Genetics.

“We first used baker’s yeast, which is an established aging model, and noticed that the yeast treated with ibuprofen lived longer,” said Dr. Michael Polymenis, an AgriLife Research biochemist in College Station. “Then we...

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Terry Sanders
01/22/2015 6:38 AM

With Amador County being a high concentration of retired age residents, it is no surprise that I get a lot of questions concerning VA Long-Term Care.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a spectrum of geriatric and extended care services to veterans enrolled in its health care system. More than 90 percent of VA’s medical centers provide home- and community-based outpatient long-term care programs. This patient-focused approach supports the wishes of most patients to live at home in their own communities for as long as...

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William Peterson
01/22/2015 6:35 AM

The financial world has changed dramatically over the last several years and many more dramatic changes are expected. All of these changes have caused questions, concerns and uncertainties for many. With the complexities of retirement planning these days, many people have turned to professional help. So, when we are looking for some help or a change, how do we find the right financial advisor for out specific situation?

Choosing a financial advisor may be one of the most important financial decisions that we will ever make. The...

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