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Guest Commentary

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Guest Commentator
2 days ago

Sheriff Ryan’s Thoughtful Donation Brings in Substantial Monies for the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Foundation.

Sheriff Martin Ryan, a true friend of the Legion, has always shown much interest in the welfare of veterans. His concern for the betterment of our deserving California Veterans comes from his rich history with the American Legion, such as playing American Legion Baseball and participating in Boys State.

American Legion Baseball strives to teach young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good health and...

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David Sayen
2 days ago

Good news for people with Medicare in 2015: Part B costs will remain the same as in 2014.

Medicare Part B helps pay for doctor bills, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and other items. It requires a monthly premium and an annual deductible. I’m happy to report that Part B costs for 2015 will be identical to 2014: $104.90 a month for the premium (for most beneficiaries), and $147 for the deductible.

Most people with Medicare don’t pay any premium for Part A, which helps covers hospital care. But for those who do, the 2015...

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Guest Commentator
2 days ago

The community Christmas party was only a few days away when the woman in charge called and asked, “Daris, would you be willing to be Santa at our Christmas party this year?” I taught the children music at church and knew them well. I love children and thought this would be a fun thing to do. I have also done a lot of acting and felt I could disguise my voice enough that they wouldn’t recognize me, so I accepted.

The night came, and after the community dinner, I dressed in the red garb, black boots, and fake beard and wig. At the...

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

Like most Americans, I believed modern medicine could relieve the most severe pain imaginable. I discovered I was terribly wrong after witnessing the excruciatingly painful, five-week dying process of my younger, 66-year-old sister Elizabeth Martin.

Elizabeth originally received a colon cancer diagnosis four years ago. Then in June, she learned she had Stage 4 liver cancer that had spread to her lungs, spine, kidneys and adrenal glands. She was taken to an emergency room and opted for hospice care after she received a terminal...

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

The ancient scriptures tell us the story of a census, a time for everyone to register with the government and enroll with the powers that ruled over them. A young carpenter took his wife to Bethlehem because that was the City of David, and the story tells us, that is where the Roman ruler required them to go so they could be taxed.

Bethlehem was known as the City of David because it was from there that Israel’s greatest king had come. Joseph the carpenter was of the lineage of David. And so, says scripture, was Mary his betrothed...

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Wendell Peart
1 week ago
Environmentalists time and time again wailed at the 1991 Drought Hearings held in Sacramento about the deteriorating condition of the Bay Delta Area and still do. These grown up people choose to ignore that California, much less the nation, is experiencing a growth in population, now exacerbated by immigration. This was very evident in Southern California. Southern California needed water in order to continue its growth and sustain their economy. The environmentalists, on other hand, ignored the needs for water for home owners in the... [Read more]
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Mark Belden
2 weeks ago
The Affordable Care Act, the ACA, known to just about everybody as Obamacare is about half implemented. I always refer to it as the Affordable Care Act, and I wish others would also. Each state may administer their form of the ACA, and incorporate health care for low income folks (an extension of Medicaid) not eligible for ACA benefits using federal funds (for a limited number of years). Many states have chosen not to participate (in the ACA), and several have refused federal funding to residents of their state not qualified for the... [Read more]
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Wendell Peart
2 weeks ago

In California’s on going search for more and more water, the question comes to mind what has happened that has caused California so much grief now that the state is experiencing a drought that is causing so much hardship. There are those who would point to Representative Charlie Halleck, a Republican from Indiana, as one who triggered a chain of events in 1963 that is still having an effect on the United States, particularly California.

The event in question was the Civil Rights movement in 1963 and the civil rights legislation...

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John Tuttle
3 weeks ago

The first Thanksgiving in the New World was celebrated in 1621, nearly a year after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1789, George Washington became the first of many US presidents to formally proclaim a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer”:

I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then...

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Matthew Hedger
3 weeks ago

By Seth Lipsky

Because America is crackling with constitutional cases over religious freedom, let us begin Thanksgiving morning with a reflection on the object of all this gratitude: Whom do we thank?

Is it the Indians? The Pilgrims? Nature? Fortune?

It turns out that the record is long, clear and official. It goes back to George Washington’s first Thanksgiving proclamation, issued on Oct. 3, 1789, in New York. He called for a day of public prayer and thanksgiving — to God.

Congress, Washington noted, had requested that he...

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Wyman Dickerson
11/20/2014 10:10 AM

The Amador Community College Foundation hosted our second annual gala, “A Night In Paris,” Saturday night, November 15, at the Jackson Rancheria Casino & Resort. It was well attended and supported by, not only the attendees, but also the community at large.

First, we’d like to thank our major underwriters, Jackson Rancheria and Volcano Communications, for their generous sponsorships. Secondly, we’d like to thank to all donors of product or experience packages to make the live and silent auctions a success. We realize that our...

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Craig Burman
11/20/2014 10:14 AM

Dollar General just flexed its muscles to limit or exclude competition from the new PIne Grove Commercial Center where they plan to open their first store in Amador County. After much debate from all sides, DG filed (recorded) an agreement with Del Rapini Construction containing covenants and restrictions to limit the construction of any business by name and by function, as defined in the recorded document.

The list of businesses excluded is extensive, including every dollar store you have ever heard of and also including CVS,...

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William Peterson
11/13/2014 11:39 AM

IRAs and other types of retire­ment accounts are perceived by many people as pretty simple plans. But, as we have discussed in the past, there are many complexities to IRAs that can cause big problems. When it comes to inheriting an IRA, the rules and guidelines are more complicated than most people realize. Without the proper understanding, an IRA inheritance could spell disaster.

It is not unusual for IRA heirs to not know about or misunder­stand some key rules and guide­lines. A wrong move can often cause much of the inherited...

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David Sayen
11/13/2014 11:37 AM

You may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to receive your Medicare benefits.

The best-known way is Original Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider directly.

The other way is Medicare Advantage, which is a form of managed care, like an HMO or PPO. Medicare Advantage is provided by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you’re in...

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Mark Belden
11/13/2014 11:47 AM

Why don’t all of you come to my party. It will be efficient, fair and one that everyone can join. This party will be different than the parties you are used to. Our party-goers don’t harbor special interests, base most of their beliefs on their political party ideology, religious beliefs, feel entitled or join because there is some financial gain to be had.

Like birthday parties, Christmas parties and other get-togethers, we celebrate what we all have in common, not what we don’t. Collectively, we have fun, put aside our very...

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Via Press Release
11/06/2014 12:49 PM

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, we have one of the most noble and inspiring missions in government. I accepted this job and joined this mission to better serve you — our Veterans — and improve the delivery of the care and benefits you have earned. It is our privilege to serve you, and I have made clear that as we move forward as a Department, we will judge the success of all our efforts against a single metric — the outcomes we provide for Veterans.

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, enacted less...

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William Peterson
11/06/2014 1:01 PM

“Hi Bill. Recently, on your radio show, you mentioned something about special favorable tax treatment for employer stock held inside of a retirement plan. I am retiring this year, at the age of 67, and part of the investments inside my 401(k) plan is employer stock. Can you explain what this special tax treatment is and how I can take advantage of it? Thank you. Larry.”

Hi, Larry. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. Your question is a very good one that is on a tremendously valuable, but not well-known, tax strategy. What...

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William Peterson
10/30/2014 12:48 PM

It is Halloween week, the time of year for scary stories, haunts, fears and illusions. Fortunately, all of these things are just make-believe for just a few days each year. Unfortunately though, there are many scary issues going on in the economic, retirement, tax and investment world right now that are not make-believe, and many people are fearing the worst and are downright worried. Are you scared?

Last week, I addressed the trick-and-treat part of the Halloween season by writing about some financial tools, where we can use some...

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Ron Smylie
10/30/2014 12:20 PM

I am writing this in response to Jack Brotherton’s Letter to the Editor of October 24, 2014. Mr. Brotherton would like the citizens of Ione to believe that only two candidates are capable and talented or care enough to hold the position of city council. With his statements, he totally disrespects the people of Ione.

In regards to the Voter Pamphlets’ candidate statements, Mr. Brotherton neglects to inform you, the readers, that there is a $300 fee attached. There is also quite an expense for mailers, door hangers, signs and...

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Dan Traxler
10/23/2014 11:55 AM

Letter to the Editor, from Dan Traxler

In the past year, many more people have been able to receive health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. This article is not about whether or not this is a good or bad thing. That is for another discussion. This article concerns the consequences that are now faced on the Federal Income Tax side.

If you are one of those that has been enrolled in the ACA through Covered California or through the Federal website and have been able to have your monthly payment of premiums reduced by...

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