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Brent Parsons
1 week ago
Jean Pinotti was ready for me the morning of our meeting. She had Aldo’s bridge file on the dining room table. It’s been a decade since I last reviewed its contents. The bulging manila folder was the backbone of his Sutter Creek City Council presentations. Before she opened it, I asked her about herself. She responded like I had gained access under false pretenses, “No one is interested in me, I thought this was about dad and the bridge.” I took a strategic gamble, “Sure they are. You grew up here and taught in our schools.” That... [Read more]
Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Mike Sweeney
2 weeks ago
Gold Rush era church on the loop walk. ALD photo by Mike Sweeney
Over the years, Outdoor Amador has covered kayak trips, bike rides, triathlons, swimming, tennis, golf, and Sierra Nevada hikes. There are so many outdoor options when you live in Northern California, it can be hard to decide what to do when you have time and energy for outdoor adventure. But sometimes, you just want to go outside and take a simple walk. Maybe you don’t have much time. Maybe you don’t have much energy. Some days your life is such that you just want to stay close to home and not load up a lot of gear. On days like... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
2 weeks ago
Fun on the courts. Photo courtesy to the ALD
I hoped to escape my store this year and catch part of the 17th Michael Neville 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament last Saturday, but it turned out to be a busy day. About 2:30, I received a call from courtside, Ledger Dispatch Editor Jerry Budrick letting me know the championship game was about 20 minutes from tip-off. And, in case I was interested, my son’s team was going up against his son’s for the championship trophy. I was interested and I ducked out, leaving Jack to deal with whatever might happen in the next hour. He encouraged me... [Read more]
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Mike Sweeney
3 weeks ago
Mule Ears with yellow flowers. ALD photo by Mike Sweeney
Last week, we chronicled our trip east up Highway 88 while investigating historical landmarks and points of interest along the way. We ended at Mile 48, the turnoff to Tragedy Springs Road. We referenced the book “Melissa’s Journey with the Mormon Battalion” which details Melissa Coray’s 3,000 mile adventure from Kansas to California and back east to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the three years prior to the Gold Rush. This week we wrap up our tour of Highway 88, covering landmarks from Tragedy Springs to the Red Lake Vista Point.... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
06/30/2016 12:29 PM
Michael Neville as he appeared on the Amador High School basketball team. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
You may notice that I have two 30-something interviews in this week’s paper. Let me explain why: I excitedly set up interviews with six Amador County Fair Destruction Derby drivers and wanted to fit them all into the paper before the fair. Luckily, there were exactly six weeks until the fair, if I started running the derby drivers last week. But, then I bumped into Adam Giurlani, who went to Amador High School with me, and he asked me if I could interview him and some of the other guys involved in the Michael Neville 3-on-3 Basketball... [Read more]
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Mike Sweeney
06/30/2016 12:26 PM
One of the most scenic and breathtaking areas to hike — Highway 88. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

We have been getting up into the Sierras more this year, but too often our forays are mad dashes to Carson Pass or Lake Tahoe without taking time to appreciate the trip up Highway 88. There is much to see and learn along this spectacular road, and the other day I finally decided to slow down and check out the many points of interest and historical markers along the way. Distances noted in this column are eastbound from Jackson and Sutter Creek.

Highway 88 overview

At Mile 9, a historical marker placed during Amador County’s...

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Brent Parsons
06/16/2016 11:46 AM
Motivate Personal Fitness Academy crowned ACRA Men’s Basketball A League Champions. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
The Amador adult men”s basketball leagues that were popular 25 years ago under the late Ernie Cain have been resurrected by the Amador County Recreation Agency’’s John Williamson. It wasn’t easy. The leagues actually died a few years back and several attempts by various organizers to restart their pulses failed. Finance, facility, administrative and officiating challenges clogged the arteries. The players lost interest and went back to more traditional, more boring and probably less healthy Sunday evenings. All that changed because... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
06/09/2016 10:25 AM

Stand proud you noble swingers of clubs and losers of balls, a recent study found the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found golfers drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon.

Kind of makes you proud, almost feel like a hybrid.

The Golfer’s Poem

In my hand I hold a ball, white and dimpled, rather small.

Oh, how bland it does appear, this harmless looking little sphere.

By its size I could not guess, the awesome strength it...

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Donna Kelley
05/26/2016 11:28 AM
So, how important is water? Our very existence and life depend on it. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
There are many elements to living an active, healthy lifestyle; and one of them is clean, purified water. Have you ever noticed what happens when you water a plant that looks droopy and wilted? It perks up, comes back to life, and looks great. Well, that is what water does for us also. The human body cannot live more than 3-5 days without water. The human adult body is composed of about 60 percent water. Our muscles and kidneys are made up of 79 percent water. Our lungs are composed of 83 percent water. Our brain and heart contain... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
05/19/2016 12:37 PM

How far does the average golfer hit the ball? Actually not as far as you may think. Distance will vary a bit with the size and age of the golfer. The averages don’t vary much from year to year even with new equipment. Why? Because most golfers do not have a good golf swing.

Some of you young pups can whack the ball 300 plus yards so these yardage charts look out of line.

But, you have to remember, that the average male golfer can’t even hit the ball 200 yards and that will lower the overall averages as shown in the charts....

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Rene Burton
05/19/2016 1:08 PM

Regular physical activity helps keep your heart, lungs and muscles in shape and can stave off the effects of aging. In much the same way, exercising your brain can help keep your mind sharp and your memory intact. Here are several ways to activate your brain.

KEEP BUSY AND ENGAGED

The MacArthur Foundation Study on Successful Aging, a long-term study of aging in America, found that the education level was the strongest predictor of mental capacity as people aged. The more education, the more likely an individual was to maintain...

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Donna Kelley
05/19/2016 12:33 PM

Question from M. in Jackson: I replaced my refined ionized salt with sea salt. I could not find a sea salt that had iodine in it. What can I consume to replace this?

Answer: That is a great question and thank you for asking.

Many people are replacing refined salt with real sea salt, Himalayan salts or Celtic Salt. They realized that refined salt is lacking in about 75 to 80 crucial minerals that the body needs to function properly and optimally. Sea salt is created through the evaporation of seawater, whereas, refined salt or...

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Carey Erichson
05/12/2016 12:30 PM

Reasons Why Golf Is Better Than Sex

1 - You don’t have to sneak your golf magazines into the house.

2 - If you are having trouble with golf, it is perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to show you how to improve your technique.

3 - The Ten Commandments don’t say anything about golf.

4 - If your partner takes pictures or videotapes of you golfing, you don’t have to worry about them showing up on the Internet when you become famous.

5 - Your golf partner won’t keep asking questions about other partners you’ve...

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Donna Kelley
05/12/2016 12:21 PM

Physical exercise is one of the greatest stress management tools at our fingertips. Are you using it to diminish your stress load? If you are a caregiver, are you getting enough physical activity that will help to keep you strong so that you can lift or carry your loved one when necessary? Also, are you getting quality sleep to prevent exhaustion? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, please pay heed to the following suggestions to help prevent chronic-stress signs or symptoms from slowing creeping up on you.

Get...

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Carey Erichson
05/05/2016 2:39 PM

For years I used to buy old sets of clubs, clean them up and resale the set. I made a pretty good income off this business. My Junior golf clubs would stay in my inventory three days at the most, if I could find them.

The secret to doing this is to buy only complete sets and a good bag with all zippers working. Don’t worry about the club conditions unless they were really really beat up. Rust is never a problem with all of the modern cleaning agents we have available. Try and get used clubs with fairly good gripes. You can’t...

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Donna Kelley
05/05/2016 2:25 PM

Are “you” eating and drinking an optimal diet to keep your body and brain working at optimal levels? My focus will be on nutrition and diet to calm the body and relieve stress.

There are many luscious whole foods that are calming and relaxing in the body, where as, there are degrading and harmful foods that actually create stress in the body, thereby producing feelings of anxiety, exhaustion and depression.

Dr. Elson Haas, who has written several books on staying healthy, states that refined sugar, refined white flour,...

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Mike Sweeney
04/28/2016 1:09 PM
The Howard Park Vernal Pool Trail is an experience you do not want to miss. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
On previous visits to Rancho Seco Park, we had somehow failed to take the trail through Howard Ranch that leads to the vernal pools with the spectacular wildflowers that people come from all over the world to photograph. This month we finally remedied this, and now we can’t wait to get back there. The vistas, wildflowers, bird watching, and solitude were simply amazing. The trail starts out at the north end of Rancho Seco Lake and winds through a riparian marsh habitat filled with scrub oaks, wild roses, and willows. As the trail... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
04/28/2016 12:58 PM
The 2016 Castle Oaks Junior Golf registration is now open for youth interested in learning everything they need to know to become a golfer. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

When I was a kid there was no such thing as junior golfing programs. Now there is one at every golf course in the country. The number one organization of Junior Golf is the First Tee.

They not only instruct youngsters on golf and golf etiquette, but set standards to make our young children better citizens.

A lot of kids are just kids and don’t want to learn from a grownup. My theory on this is to take them to the driving range and let them rip the ball. Don’t worry about where it goes, just let them rip it. Sooner or later they...

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Donna Kelley
04/28/2016 12:20 PM
Relaxation is one stress management tool that we can practice to strengthen and improve our own stress-coping skills. Sometimes the demand of a job, traffic jams, juggling errands (literally, running here and there) and being a caregiver may be putting undue stress on the body several times a day, creating the possible hazardous changes within the body mentioned in last weeks’ article. By developing and growing your own coping skills, you may not be putting your body into that fight or flight mode so often, especially not every day.... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
04/21/2016 12:09 PM
Golf legend Moe Norman. Photo courtesy to the ALD

There is no way in the world I can describe Natural Golf in this column. There is also no way I can describe Moe Norman. He was an eccentric individual who was struggling with his golf game. He designed a golf swing called a “Single Plane Golf Swing.” It is used by several pros on the tour, but not accepted by most.

He could hit the ball straight as an arrow every time. He did it 1,540 times in a demonstration one day spanning 7 hours. All of his 1,540 shots landed within 15 yards of each other. He could aim at a small walking...

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