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Guest Commentary

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John Kingsbury
1 week ago
John Kingsbury
Mountain watersheds can survive without the Delta, but the Delta cannot survive without the watersheds. The waters that form creeks and streams in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountains and join to create the great rivers that flow into the Central Valley provide water to more than two-thirds of the residents of the State and more than two million acres of productive farmland. Freshwater releases from upstream of the Delta help control salinity levels in the Delta for the benefit of fish and farming.

A mountain watershed is...

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Dave Kranz
1 week ago
As the height of California’s harvest season approaches, the full impact of water shortages on farms and ranches will become increasingly apparent—and a study released today by the University of California, Davis, estimated those impacts could include loss of 17,100 jobs and $2.2 billion in economic damage.

California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said the report underscores the need for the state to take swift, decisive action to address its long-term water problems.

“One of the saddest things about the losses...

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Wendell Peart
2 weeks ago
In drought discussions, it becomes apparent that “population growth” is a huge factor impacting the limited water supply caused by drought. Like it or not, this affects all of us and should be considered in the public discussion. However, almost no one is willing to offer solutions. Why is this?

Dan Walters, dean of the Capitol Press Corps and columnist for the Sacramento Bee, probably more than most reporters, reported accurately that one of the main problems for California’s water supply, exacerbated by drought, lies in the...

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Frank Bigelow
2 weeks ago
Summer has arrived, and that marks the official kickoff of fair season. Many of you and millions of others around our state will visit your local fairgrounds this year to participate in one of California’s longest-standing traditions. But in recent years, state funding for fairs has been all but eliminated, threatening their very existence.

In 2011, at the peak of California’s historic budget crisis, the Legislature completely eliminated the $32 million in funding to the California Division of Fairs and Expositions, which oversees...

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Patti Leary
3 weeks ago
We have lived in Amador County for over 30 years — raised our kids here, had a business here, made lots of friends here and totally enjoyed the togetherness of this small county.

In the last couple of months, we have had a double tragedy in our family — the loss of our son, Sean Leary, on March 13, and the loss of our daughter, Angela Schlegel, on May 4. Losing one child is devastating enough, but losing two is incomprehensible. Your mind goes numb and your body goes into wobble mode. To say nothing of the hurt, pain, agony and...

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Via Press Release
06/26/2014 7:55 PM
Summer has finally arrived, and that marks the official kickoff of fair season! Many of you and millions of others around our state will visit your local fairgrounds this year to participate in one of California’s longest-standing traditions. But in recent years, state funding for fairs has been all but eliminated, threatening their very existence.

In 2011, at the peak of California’s historic budget crisis, the Legislature completely eliminated the $32 million in funding to the California Division of Fairs and Expositions, which...

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Wendell Peart
06/26/2014 1:20 PM
s the hardship of the drought is begining to manifest its effect of less water for everyone, people are asking, “What are the workable solutions to the drought dilemma?” The short answer is — water conservation.

The San Francisco Chronicle, on June 17, ran a full-page artricle on drought, “Front yards are the front line in drought,” it began. The article was about what the City of Dublin was requiring as its solutions to minimize the waste of water. The green lawns of the residents became the first victims of the effort to save...

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Mark Belden
06/26/2014 1:14 PM
About 60 percent of California’s developed water sources come from the Sierra Nevada mountains, in the form of snow melt and rain runoff. One of the world’s largest fresh water reservoirs (in the form of snow pack) is right here in California. Snowmelt finds its way through mountain streams, tributaries and large river systems eventually making its way toward California’s delta. Much is expelled to the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, dams and reservoirs have been built to meet the state’s current and future drinking, industrial and... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
06/20/2014 11:55 AM
Guest Commentary With one in six Americans facing hunger, food insecurity is one of the most challenging issues facing our nation today. Not to mention that families in need are also substantially less likely to get enough of the healthy fruits and vegetables required for a balanced diet — but you can help. This month, Raley’s is launching a Summer Donation Drive. Raley’s will provide a matching donation of fresh produce for every dollar donated, up to $25,000, now through July 31.

We know that families facing hunger are also...

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David Sayen
06/20/2014 10:45 AM
One of Medicare’s most important benefits is helping to cover your expenses if you need to be hospitalized. But what exactly is covered, and how much do you pay?

Medicare helps cover certain services and supplies in hospitals. To get the full range of benefits, you must have both Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, which is medical insurance.

What you pay depends on whether you’re an inpatient or an outpatient. Staying overnight in a hospital doesn’t always mean you’re an inpatient. You’re an inpatient on...

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Jerry Budrick
06/12/2014 2:41 PM
have worked for Amador County over 28 years. In 1997, I came to Public Health. As Fiscal Officer, I work directly with Public Health’s budget, health realignment funds, and state/federal grants. I believe I have the knowledge to address Lori Jagoda’s guest commentary in the Dispatch on May 9, as well as Supervisor Novelli’s response to “unfounded criticisms” he said Ms. Jagoda was guilty of.

I had the pleasure of working with Lori Jagoda for 15 years. She was the catalyst of the Public Health Department for many years. As...

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Wendell Peart
06/12/2014 2:36 PM
The recent bombshell announcement by the State Water Resource Board that “2,648 water agencies, farms, cities and other property owners with so-called ‘junior’ water rights, or those issued by the state after 1914, in the Sacramento River and its tributaries, will be subject to curtailment,” sent shock waves throughout the state.

The severity of this drought is just beginning to take hold. It underscores the lack of preparedness and the dumb, blind belief that water availabilty is no problem. This was best expressed by General...

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Jerry Budrick
06/12/2014 2:15 PM
Drastic reconfiguration changes are being proposed to our schools. Superintendent Dick Glock and the school board are considering options ranging from having one large high school and one large junior high school to leaving everything as status quo. Every option except leaving as status quo will result in the closure of a school(s).

Of the various options, the one that seems to be getting the most laser-like focus is combining both high schools into one, with Amador being the designated campus, and combining Ione Junior High and...

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Jerry Budrick
06/12/2014 3:29 PM
It is no secret in this county that the cities of Jackson and Ione hold the largest populations, enroll the most children, and provide the most funding to the ACUSD. It is also no secret that three decades ago, Ione high school was closed, and all the students were forced to leave their community high school for a 20-minute bus ride up Highway 88 to Jackson/Argonaut high. Thirty years later, Jackson and Ione are being pushed into the middle of yet another reconfiguration that will:

1. Close Ione Junior High School and bus the...

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Wendell Peart
06/05/2014 2:39 PM
istory has shown that, in times of drought, water agencies ultimately have to resort to some sort of water restriction. This is what the Amador Water Agency, like so many water agencies in California, is having to confront with: the problem of not enough water to satisfy demand.

Significantly, Peter Rogers, Chief of the Office of Drinking Water, stated at the 1991 Drought Hearings that the average household in California, “utilizes anywhere from 500 to perhaps 900 gallons a day.” Amador County, on the other hand, has a much...

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Rich Farrington
06/06/2014 2:22 PM
Designation of the Mokelumne River as a Wild & Scenic River by SB 1199 (newly amended May 28) places unnecessary obstacles in Amador Water Agency’s ability to serve the County’s needs. Here’s how:

1) Free-Flowing — SB 1199 would prevent adding water storage capacity to any of seven existing high country reservoirs because of the restriction that taking water “shall avoid an adverse effect on the free-flowing condition” of the downstream designated river segments.

2) County of Origin Water Rights — SB 1199 severely jeopardize...

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Jerry Budrick
06/05/2014 2:29 PM
I felt that I needed to respond to some of the concerns raised by Lori Jagoda in her recent letter to the Ledger Dispatch with regard to the Health and Human Services Building, as there are certainly some valid criticisms in there, and some that are unfounded.

Let me say that I am extremely sad to see Dr. Hartmann leave as the County Health Officer. He has been a true asset to our Health Department, and he will be sorely missed. If he were to change his mind and decide to stay, I am sure that the board of supervisors would extend...

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Wendell Peart
05/29/2014 1:11 PM
Whenever there is an extensive period of drought, those in charge of our water resources begin discussing mandatory transfers of water. A recent decision by 9th Circut Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson ruled that California’s “Area-of-Origin” water rights do not require the Bureau of Reclamation to prioritize the allocation of federally appropriated California Valley Project water to the Sacramento Valley. Does this mean that, in times of drought, owners of “Origin Water Rights” may be forced to give up some water?

Insight into this...

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Jerry Budrick
05/23/2014 10:08 AM
I

n last week’s Opinion, Stephen Curtis demonstrated a lack of awareness of our local history and totally got it wrong when he stated, “D’Agostini, on the other hand, chose to spend his life building his prosperity outside of the county. Now, after 30 years, he has returned to retire in his childhood home to realize his dreams of small town living.” This is misleading to the community and insulting to me.

The facts, are I stopped teaching in Dixon in 1978, and in 1979, moved back to Amador County and began working at my...

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Jerry Budrick
05/16/2014 6:35 PM
Daniel D’Agostini’s core criticism of incumbent Amador County District 5 Supervisor Brian Oneto is actually a criticism of himself in more than one way. In a recent mailer, the entire case he made against Oneto was that, due to Oneto owning ranch land in District 5, he has had to recuse himself on votes that could present a potential conflict of interest. In characterizing this as a criticism, D’Agostini leaves out quite a bit of relevant information and misleads the voters.

All of the supervisors have, at one time or another,...

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