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Terry Sanders
1 week ago

Facts: The veteran served in airborne units from 1975 to 2000, and during that time made numerous parachute jumps. He was seen in sick call several times because of rough landings, which left him limping painfully afterwards. Now he complains of chronic pain and stiffness in his back, hips, knees and ankles. He says that he has been diagnosed as having severe arthritis, and says he is a candidate for surgical replacement of his hips and knee.

Questions:

a. Can service connection be established for arthritis of the spine and...

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Brent Parsons
7 days ago

few years back, I wrote a letter to the Ledger Dispatch that was initiated by a counterfeit bill. A long-term customer who had made the paper before in the Arrest Log and had “turned it around” for his wife and child bought a few items, which, ironically, included a padlock. He apologized for having nothing smaller than a $100 bill for the $21 purchase — that was all his grandfather had. He frequently came in with or for his grandfather, who had a ranch nearby.

The bill looked pretty good and I would have not scrutinized it...

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William Peterson
7 days ago

“Hello Bill. There has been a lot in the news lately about the recent law changes in Social Security. I have heard that the law changes don’t go into effect right away and that there may be a way to take advantage before they do. Can you explain please? Thank you. Jerry.”

Hi, Jerry, and thanks for sending in your question. The law changes that I believe you are referring to have to deal with two Social Security claiming maneuvers, called “file and suspend” and “restricted claims.” These claiming strategies are two very prominent...

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Brent Parsons
2 weeks ago
Last week’s column was titled “Brent talks to incumber District II Supervisor Richard Forster.” “Mock journalist finally admits to mistakes and then proceeds to write about himself, again” would have been more fitting, but it would not have gotten the readers. I suggested to Jerry that I should write a “correction column” every month or so. It could become popular. He wasn’t thrilled. At the very least, last week’s title should have included Part 1. Here comes Forster part two and maybe three if Editor Budrick decides to split it.... [Read more]
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Eric Winslow
3 weeks ago
A small reminder from the January 26, 1906 edition of the Amador Ledger.
Glance at a newspaper, turn on the radio, peek at the TV or - as is more common today - click on the internet, and what you will inevitably find in this election year of 2016 will be some politician or another trying to curry your favor. Of course, none of them would be so crude as to attempt to bribe you with promises of free food and cash, would they? Nevertheless, many of their far-fetched promises of military muscle (carpet-bombing, anyone?) and architectonic arrogance (a Great Wall of Mexico, anyone?), along with socialist and... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
01/14/2016 12:18 PM

This will be the year that I qualify for what was always in the distant distance - Medicare. I remember the first time I first realized I was old - 39-and-a-half. Old enough to play with the 40-and-over softball guys and be the team kid. OMG! That was 25 years ago.

World War II was ancient history when I graduated from high school 25 years after it ended. Time, at least the passage of it, doesn’t make sense anymore. Maybe a defense or denial mechanism kicks in somewhere in midlife, whenever that is or was. Is life ever too long? My...

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Brent Parsons
01/14/2016 12:15 PM
Gwen Clayton. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Last week, we left Gwen in 2004, when she was hired by Amador County as an administrative assistant. In 2007, she moved to the planning department with a promotion to senior administrative assistant. The 2008 crash hit the public sector particularly hard as revenues linked to sales and property taxes, along with impact fees, plummeted. Gwen, a veteran of too many layoffs, avoided the first round by moving to fill a temporary opening in the elections department that became permanent. I asked what that office does in non-election... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
01/14/2016 11:55 AM
It’s a new year, and a whole new me, starting with this column. Welcome to it. I took a brief hiatus from submitting to the newspaper. I’ve been trying to figure out a new line of attack. You see, when I started this column in 2006, my kids were bitty. They could barely read, let alone get all annoyed with me for divulging some of the ridiculous things they said and did. So I wrote about them, and 99.9% of the time, the stories were true, like the time my daughter plopped her grubby little four-year old feet up on the kitchen table... [Read more]
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Eric Winslow
12/29/2015 12:23 PM

How was business this year? Back in the year 1904, Amador County seems to have suffered a slight setback in commercial activity, if this week’s edition of the Amador Ledger from 111 years ago is to be believed. That’s how things go in a market economy. The business cycle is the rule of the day - whether yesterday or today - and no two rural beasts are more familiar to some county residents than the bull of prosperity followed by the bear of downturn.

Throughout the years, the newspaper you hold in your hands has been good friends...

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William Peterson
12/22/2015 12:14 PM
“Hi Bill. I need your help as I cannot find or get a straight answer on my situation from anywhere or anyone. I am 70 years old (born February of 1945) and still working. I have two traditional IRAs, a Roth IRA, an old 401k account from a previous employer and a 401k plan from my current employer. My wife, who is 65, just inherited an IRA from her mother who passed away this year at the age of 95. What specific requirements, if any, do I have to meet by the end of this year? I do not want to get hit with penalties. Please help.... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
12/22/2015 11:56 AM
I’m somewhat insulated from column feedback and more importantly, blowback. Most readers that recognize me in public either pretend they don’t, or tell me they like one type of column and not another - e.g. “I learned something about Joe Blow from your interview I didn’t know but, no offense, I know more about your dogs than I would ever want to know even if I liked dogs.” Or, “I find your camping stories interesting in a primitive sort of way but your political ones, excuse the expression, suck big time.” I also receive suggestions... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
12/17/2015 11:36 AM
Sutter Amador CEO Anne Platt. ALD photo by Brent Parsons
Amador is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Amador is also a challenging place to find a career. Many suffer a long commute as the price for a quality of life. The lack of employment opportunities helps keep us rural which contributes to the quality. Amador is aging not only because retirees migrate here but young people move away. Subdivisions die on the drawing board locally but are booming again 25 miles closer to employers. Student projections made in the early 1990’s proved inflated. Passionate year round and... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
12/10/2015 12:55 PM
Parker and Bella look curiously at the camera. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
It has been a couple of months since Parker’s first camping trip. He’s adjusted back to life in a house but gets excited when he sees a tarp and a tent might send him into a frenzy. We received replacement poles from the factory and hope to re-erect the tent on the coast a few times this winter. Parker will run figure eights on a beach and learn that the ocean moves, knocks puppies over and doesn’t taste good. He started climbing into Leslie’s half barrels after she removed summer flowers to lay on simulated desert soil with his back... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
11/24/2015 11:20 AM
Ambrose Brustori. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons

Young army Private Ambrose Brusatori was shipped to the Philippines in October of 1944. He was assigned to ordinance and maintained jeeps and trucks. MacArthur had waded back ashore and the Japanese were starting a slow bloody retreat.

Ambrose was behind the front line but heard war and witnessed brutal consequences. He described incidents when train cars of prisoners were “unloaded on” by Allied troops. We talked a little about the Bataan Death March and other POW horrors that motivated revenge on captives. My father’s WWII...

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Guest Commentator
11/19/2015 12:06 PM

Paris, the city of light, was rocked by deadly terrorist attacks. And don’t say the same thing can’t happen in America; We have our own homegrown terrorists.

If you keep up with the news, you know the main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from militias, anti-government ‘Patriot’ organizations, neo-Nazi white supremacists and Christian Identity groups. At latest count, there are over a thousand of these types of hate groups operating in the United States.

According to counter-terrorism...

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Guest Commentator
11/19/2015 12:12 PM

By Wyman and Karen Dickerson

Amador Community College Foundation’s (ACCF) Learning Centers for Higher Education are on the cutting edge of delivering higher education to rural areas. The community college districts of California teamed up a couple of years ago to develop the Online Education Initiative in order to fill the needs of those not living close to a brick and mortar school for higher education. Upon explaining the methodology of ACCF’s delivery at the State Superintendent’s office in Sacramento at that time, we were told...

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Guest Commentator
11/19/2015 12:07 PM

By Wendell G. Peart

In our last issue, we called attention to a statement made by Bob Reeb, 1990 General Manager of the El Dorado County Water Agency that appeared in the UC Davis Magazine’s July-August 1990 issue. “There is a limit to the number of people California’s water resources can support. No one has quantified that limit. Perhaps someone should.”

The purpose of this paper is to review those factors that will be a help to those who control the water spigot so as to balance the supply of water and the demand for that water...

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Brent Parsons
11/19/2015 11:26 AM
Ambrose Brustori. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
I rode the school bus for eight years. The elementary school within walking distance was K-3 when I moved to El Granada in 4th grade and K-6 when I was in 7th grade. My younger brother had a hot lunch daily while I could only look forward to the monthly school hot dog day when I’d eat three and feel sick. My cafeteria-less high school installed state of the art vending machines that dispensed cans of warm Spaghetti O’s, and other gross stuff unless it ate your money which was a blessing in aggravating disguise. The drink machine... [Read more]
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David Sayen
11/19/2015 12:09 PM

It’s an unfortunate truth, but health care fraud drives up costs for everyone in the health care system.

Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting hold of people’s Medicare numbers. So guard your Medicare number. Treat it as you would a credit card.

What can you do to protect yourself from health care fraud? Here are some tips:

Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance....

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Guest Commentator
11/12/2015 12:44 PM

By Ryan Bailey

Nearly half of Americans describe themselves as “good savers,” according to the TD Bank Saving and Spending Survey, and Millennials are leading the charge. Fifty-six percent of Millennials report they are good savers, compared with 43 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of Baby Boomers.

Although encouraging, there is always room for improvement. Ryan Bailey, Head of Deposit Products, Payments and Non-Real Estate Lending at TD Bank, recommends the following smart saving tips for Millennials:

• Nearly seven in 10...

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