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Brent Parsons
1 week ago
The Knight Foundry, a Sutter Creek treasure
Frank, like other cabinetmakers, is also a contractor. He served ten years as a director and one as president of the Salinas Valley Builders’ Exchange. In 1996, he was honored as the valley’s “Construction Person of Year.” He served a similar stint on the Northern California Builders’ Exchange State Compensation Council. He was the president of a grass roots organization, the Rancho Buena Vista Coalition, which fought against and halted two controversial cogeneration plants. Two of the plant developers were convicted of fraud and... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
1 week ago

As I write this, it’s 11 a.m. So far, I’ve attacked the landfill that is my office desk and organized it into teetering piles, each with a different Post-it note on which I’ve written its category: filing (household); filing (medical); filing (project notes); crap to follow up on; and the dreaded, “To Do.”

This last category ranges from paying bills, emailing warranties, measuring windows for curtains, getting a stain out of a kid’s shirt that’s been in the laundry room “since forever,” to scheduling my son’s orientation day at...

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Lisa Lucke
3 weeks ago

When I was 20-something, I truly didn’t have a care in the world. I was easygoing to a fault. I didn’t care if people cut me off in traffic. I didn’t care if I waited in line for 15 minutes at the grocery store. In fact, I was so easygoing, and by easygoing, I mean devoid of both self-esteem and important things to do, I didn’t even care if a boy forgot to tell me he had another girlfriend. And when he finally did get around to telling me, I still didn’t seem to care.

Another thing I also couldn’t be bothered to care about a few...

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William Peterson
04/21/2016 1:14 PM

In February of this year, President Obama’s final budget proposal as President of the United States was unveiled to the American public. 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 greatly affected.

It’s no secret that our national debt continues to climb to astonishing levels, and that our nation’s spending is out of control. Combine that with several underfunded entitlement programs,...

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Lisa Lucke
04/21/2016 1:23 PM

We’re all busy in our own way. My way is work, four teenagers who play sports and a husband who coaches, so on any given weeknight, I may be in a neighboring county, or beyond, when you factor in pre-season tournaments. This presents a problem when it comes to meal preparation.

Since I work from home, on most days, I can make adjustments (work at night or weekends or early morning) in order to be where I need to be, including the kitchen. I can even work from a deck overlooking a lake, or poolside with an umbrella drink next to me...

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Lisa Lucke
04/14/2016 2:38 PM

here are a few reasons why I will never be president, even though I meet all of the official criteria as laid out in the U.S. Constitution:

1. I am over the age of 35 (barely).

2. I was born in the capital of a state.

3. My dad regularly burned things on the BBQ when I was growing up.

Even if I satisfied every legal-ish requirement, like having large hands, which I do not, it’s unlikely I could win even a single primary or cactus, although I’m not sure why it’s important to bring home succulents in some states. The...

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Lisa Lucke
04/07/2016 1:16 PM

When my kids were little, I steamed and pureed fresh vegetables and snuck them into their favorite crappy foods, like mac n’ cheese, or SpaghettiOs. I know, it’s hard to believe that a person like me, raised by fierce cooks, allowed canned spaghetti into her pantry, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do now and then, and back then, I had to do it. (Before Nona came to babysit, I always remembered to hide them behind a box of decoy Grape Nuts that was actually filled with gummy bears.)

As a grown-up, in most senses of the...

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Brent Parsons
03/31/2016 12:15 PM

I

heard from Editor Budrick a few weeks back that another candidate had joined the race for District 4 Supervisor. Louis Boitano now has two challengers trying to stop a seventh consecutive term: Gwen Clayton and Frank Axe. I got Frank Axe’s email address and asked for an interview before the “bleep” hit the fan in the Ledger’s March 11 edition. The Opinion section contained a letter from retiring District 1 Supervisor John Plasse, quoting Frank’s emailed response when notified of not being selected to join the Amador Community...

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Lisa Lucke
03/31/2016 12:05 PM

Ahh, nothing like a little Freddy Fender song to set the mood. And I’m in the mood for eggs. I love eggs.

When I am in a vegetarian phase, which typically lasts anywhere from 12 hours to two weeks, I still eat eggs, mostly from my backyard hens: Mutha Clucka, Pat Henatar, Stevie Chicks, Blackcock Down, Cleopecktra, Cupcake, Snowball and the Deviled Eggs, I and II. They lead a pretty cake life, roaming free all day and getting tucked in at night, which includes treats and pets from my husband, the chicken whisperer.

As an egg...

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Guest Commentator
03/24/2016 12:36 PM

There has always been an attraction for golfers towards the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. The Masters is one of the most unusual events in sports. It’s all about tradition, and it’s defined by a set of old rules and customs that just do not exist in other tournaments. To commemorate such an amazing place, I have collected some of the most interesting facts about Augusta National, that you can share with your friends.

1. In the Beginning

The Masters as we know it would never have been, if the USGA hadn’t turned down...

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William Peterson
03/24/2016 1:46 PM

The month of March is basketball tournament time, and the theme for this time in the season is ‘Survive and Advance.’ In order to continue playing and prevent the season from being over, you have to win to move on to the next round. In today’s ever-changing and volatile financial world, your retirement plan has to be set up to survive and advance as well.

During the regular season of basketball, most teams go through high and low periods, getting some wins and taking some losses. Losses during the season can hurt, but they...

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Lisa Lucke
03/24/2016 1:59 PM

Call us crazy, but this year we decided to combine two of our favorite things, backpacking and the Lion’s Club Dandelion Days event, into one, glorious, 22-hour excursion into the wild. So we made our reservation at the National Hotel for Saturday night (thanks, Serbian crab feed silent auction winners and generous people [my parents]).

When the big day arrived, we kissed our kids, packed our backpacks and set off. The grueling one-mile hike downhill to base camp was mostly uneventful, save for the treacherous crossing of Highway...

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Guest Commentator
03/17/2016 12:02 PM
Almost every investment advisor, stock broker, New York cab driver or hotel doorman on Park Avenue has a favorite saying about Wall Street that is designed to make themselves appear to be knowledgeable about investing. Just five weeks ago, when some financial papers were advising investors to find the nearest, highest bridge, a popular saying was, “Cash is King,” meaning that mutual fund managers who were holding substantial amounts of cash under their management allowed their fund to minimize losses during the market downfall. After... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
03/10/2016 1:12 PM
Amber Hoiska. Photo by Brent Parsons

Three of five Amador County supervisors’ seats are up for election on June 7. District 1 remains uncontested, as only Pat Crew has filed for the seat John Plasse is vacating. Two candidates, Gwen Clayton and Frank Axe, are challenging 24-year incumbent Louis Boitano in District 4. Ione resident Amber Hoiska is vying for the District 2 seat Richard Forster has held since 2000. I have offered to talk to all candidates and five of the six have agreed. I’ll be sitting down with Frank Axe next.

Amber and I exchanged a few emails in...

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Lisa Lucke
03/10/2016 12:47 PM

Just the other day, I was scanning the Internet for a recipe to make for my book club. I wanted a one-dish meal that would be delicious and easy to serve. I stumbled upon Martha Stewart’s site, and I realized that I sort of miss her. In fact, after perusing the site for a few minutes, I was practically sobbing. Where is Martha Stewart?

What we need in this country is less Donald and more Martha.

The air waves are filled with squabbling faces who all seem to be arguing about Donald Trump. Is he evil? He professes to be the...

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Guest Commentator
03/03/2016 12:31 PM
U.S. Small Cap Indexes, either the “RUT” (Russell 2000) or “IWM” (small cap U.S. ETF index) are my favorite way to monitor the direction of our economy. Both of these indexes were in Bear Market classification, down over 20 since their high in late June of 2015. Actually, they were both off more than 25 percent before this two-week rally of almost nine percent. However, in the last two weeks, volume in both indexes was not nearly as high as it was during their slide. This type of rally can be more of an indication of bottom-feeding,... [Read more]
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William Peterson
03/03/2016 10:48 AM

Tax season is here. This is the time of the year when people are working hard on getting their taxes done for year 2015. It is also the time of year when many people consider making or maxing out contributions to their retirement accounts for the prior year. To do this properly, you have to know the rules. You also need to figure out the proper strategy as to when, where and how to get the most out of your contribution.

The very first thing you need to fully understand are the rules. Not only are there contribution limits,...

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Brent Parsons
03/03/2016 10:46 AM
Since I didn’t have time to get this week’s interview proofed and written by the publishing deadline, I have written this. Interviews entail a lot more time than making up stuff. And another person has an interest and the knowledge to refute assertions which might have gone unchallenged if I left them out of it. On the plus side, most people are a lot more interesting than I am, even the ones that rework my drafts. In the following assemblage, I will attempt to bore you with items or issues that have some relevance to previous... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
02/25/2016 12:50 PM

Even non-Obama fans have to admit that he can speak. They might not like what he says, but he says it well. For me, an orator was a welcome relief after eight years of Bush-speak. One might have liked what Bush 43 meant, but I find it difficult to believe that many were proud of the way he often said it.

This election presents a speaker spectrum. I haven’t identified a candidate with Obama’s skill. Hillary grates when she projects and Bernie’s delivery resembles a classroom lecture from an old professor with tenure. The Republican...

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Donna Kelley
02/25/2016 11:32 AM
Wild artichokes are a wonderful liver-cleansing food. Photo courtesy to the ALD
Liver support is essential to the human race if we are going to survive the 21st century. Since World War II, 80,000 different toxic chemicals have been manufactured and still exist in our environment today — and will probably be lingering around for another 100 years or more. To maintain optimal health and wellness, we need to try our best to limit our intake of toxic materials because “the liver’s job is to detoxify every chemical, pollutant, and medicine that we’re exposed to,” according to Dr. Jonny Bowden. The liver needs to... [Read more]
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