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Guest Commentary

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David Sayen
1 week 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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William Peterson
1 week ago

When you retire, will you have a pension coming? This can be a puzzling question as many of don’t know exactly what a pension is. Quite often we confuse the word pension with our 401(k), IRA, or other retirement savings. A pension is an income or annuity that guarantees us income for a period of time or the remainder of our lives. So, for example, you work 30 years at ABC incorporated and when you retire, they guaranty you an income of, say, $2,000 per month. This is a pension.

Now, I realize that many of us will not have access to...

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Matthew Hedger
2 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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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago

After years of debt, deficits and budget cuts, it may come as a surprise to learn that our state government is flush with cash. But you wouldn’t know it by the talk of tax increases coming out of Sacramento.

First the facts:

California is outspending other states — As the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters recently reported, census data shows California state spending jumped 7.5 percent last fiscal year and is well above average when compared to other states.

The Governor’s proposed budget is huge – In January, Governor Jerry Brown...

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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just announced its latest nuclear Doomsday Clock moving ahead the minute hand to three minutes till midnight. The clock represents the count down to zero in minutes to nuclear apocalypse - midnight. This significant move of two minutes is the 22nd time since its inception in 1947 that the time has been changed.

In moving the hand to three minutes to midnight, Kennette Benedict, the Executive Director of the Bulletin, identified in his comments, “The probability of global catastrophe is very...

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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago

You probably didn’t notice, but the Senate passed a milestone a couple of weeks back. Before 2015 was a month old, senators had already had a chance to vote up-or-down on more amendments than they did in all of 2014.

This is a promising sign that new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might have meant it when he declared last year that he wants the Senate to return to the “regular order” of debate and amendments. For the last few weeks, a favorite inside-the-Beltway guessing game has been whether he’d be willing to stick with it in the...

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Guest Commentator
01/29/2015 7:15 AM

About the attack on the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo: yes, they had a right to free speech. I have a right to free speech too, but if I insult my neighbor’s deepest religious beliefs, do I expect him to stand by and do nothing? The prophet Mohammed is as sacred to him as Jesus is to Christians.

I am not excusing the vengeful murders that followed, but the tragedy in Paris calls us to look at ourselves: When we mock the deepest beliefs of others, they will strike back, even if they die for it. Mockery is a form of contempt. The...

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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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Guest Commentator
01/22/2015 6:29 AM

Last year’s Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic bill, state Senate Bill 1199, was a major story in Amador County, regardless of a reader’s position on the issue. Unfortunately, the paper’s coverage was incomplete and highly biased.

The paper is again failing its readers on this issue. In an end-of-year news summary in last week’s paper, the ALD claimed that the battle over SB 1199 was between local officials and “a small group of mostly out-of-area environmentalists” who “claimed” to have local support.

The ALD’s spin on the story is...

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Guest Commentator
01/16/2015 10:27 AM

The recent murders in France by terrorists that killed 12 newspaper persons, one police officer and four Jews have united the peoples of France and Europe like no other event since World War II. This was vividly demonstrated by the unity of Europe’s leaders as they joined hands together in their march down one of Paris’s crowded Avenues. The estimated crowd for this stunning show of unity was to be one million.

The president of the United States, a leader of the free world, was nowhere to be found. Why was this? Would it not have...

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Guest Commentator
01/16/2015 10:25 AM

The cycle of violence: When will it be interrupted? The attack on Charlie Hebdo was another incident of “Terror in [fill in the blank]… attackers part of [fill in name of terror network].” It was an incident of home-grown terror, since the attackers were French-born second-generation immigrants. It is time to shift away from ineffective, reactive tactics and strategies of dealing with this kind of terror toward conflict transformation, by transforming the structures leading to terrorism.

Let’s be clear. The assassins in Paris did...

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Guest Commentator
01/10/2015 8:10 AM
I recently read an extremely impassioned guest commentary written by a cancer patient’s sister who chronicled the tremendous suffering her sister endured during her dying process. It was heartbreaking to hear about the pain and suffering the patient, Elizabeth, had to endure. In the article the sister of the patient talked about how hospice was unable to manage the pain and because I am the Executive Director of Hospice of Amador & Calaveras I was very concerned. I could not remember this particular patient or this particular... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
01/02/2015 10:59 AM

A number of bills sponsored by the California State Board of Equalization have been signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and will take effect January 1, 2015.

“The new year brings a number of new laws, including those I sponsored to help small business owners and veterans,” said Board of Equalization Member George Runner. “We want taxpayers to be aware of these new laws so they can receive all the benefits they’re entitled to.”

They include: Two BOE-sponsored bills will assist veterans. Vets whose 100 percent disability...

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Guest Commentator
01/02/2015 10:54 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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David Sayen
12/19/2014 10:47 AM

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
12/19/2014 10:36 AM

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
12/19/2014 10:19 AM

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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Guest Commentator
12/12/2014 9:32 AM

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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