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Guest Commentary

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Via Press Release
5 days ago
Back to school is upon us, and if you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to schedule your child’s annual school and sports physicals.

Routine physicals allow pediatricians to assess your child’s growth and development, which includes checking height and weight, blood pressure, vision, hearing and a complete physical exam. Pediatricians will also assess for other physical, emotional or social health concerns and perform any indicated or recommended laboratory testing.

“All of these assessments are very important and...

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Emma Flixton
5 days ago
On Monday, August 11, all of the children in Amador County (from toddlers in kindergarten to teenagers in 12th grade) returned to school. The back-to-school period is an exceptionally busy time for teachers, children and parents alike. During the weeks leading up to the return to school, life will have been a bustle of purchasing new school clothes and stationary, reading forgotten text books and packing sports kits. However, many parents forget about the importance of what happens in those few weeks after the return to school;... [Read more]
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David Sayen
2 weeks ago
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who recently obtained health coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance, here are some steps you can take to make the most of your new coverage.

Put your health first; staying healthy is important for you and your family; maintain a healthy lifestyle at home, at work and in the community; get your recommended health screenings and manage chronic conditions.

Keep all of your health information in one place.

Understand your...

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Ted Novelli
2 weeks ago
The Sand Fire has given us an all-too-vivid reminder that the Gold Country is in danger from catastrophic wildfire. In fact, Upcountry Amador County has been designated by CAL FIRE as a “Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.”

Most who have lived here for any good stretch of time have seen how fires have damaged rural communities throughout California. Any wildfire in our area could not only destroy private property, including homes, forest and farms, but it could severely damage our tourism and natural resource-based economy at a...

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Wendell Peart
3 weeks ago
paper, “Will California’s Drought Extend to 2015,” posted on June 16, on California Water Blog, by Jay Lund, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis, and UC Davis Professor Emeritus Jeffery Mount, suggests that next year may be even worse than 2014. On the blog, they state, “In all, there is a 71 percent chance that next year will be below normal or drier and only a 29 percent chance of experiencing an above-normal or wet year.”

Their grim analysis concluded...

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Mark Belden
3 weeks ago
Being a candidate for any elective office can be overwhelming, confusing and many times not worth the effort. From your locally elective offices to our state and federal offices, the process can be daunting and unthinkable to the faint of heart. Candidates, especially at the state and federal level, require nerves of steel, the patience of a saint, the omniscience of Oz and skin as thick as an elephant.

County election officials, like most county employees, come in a wide range of good to bad. In my case, the 5th Assembly District...

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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago
Our Board of Supervisors will be talking about Wild N Scenic for the Moke River next Tuesday July 29, at 6:00pm. It's a night meeting so that should help get folks there. I would love to hear any comments on SB1199. I know it's a confusing subject so please if you weigh in on this do your research first. We will be taking action! If you want to learn about it and how it affects you, please come to the meeting.

The reason I felt we needed to bring this to the public again is the first time we did not give the public a chance to weigh...

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Brian Oneto
4 weeks ago
I have read both the letter in the Ledger Dispatch that Penny Stone wrote in response to Supervisor Novelli’s letter concerning the HHS Building, as well as the second letter that was submitted to the Ledger Dispatch by Lori Jagoda, and I offer the following thoughts:

Ms. Stone indicates in her letter she believes the HHS building is “directly linked to the loss of half of our staff and reduction in PH services.” Public Health pays approximately $250,000 in rent per year. If this rental amount went to zero, there would still not...

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Jim Snoke & Georgann Wilmot
4 weeks ago
As homeowners, residents, and community-minded citizens of Pine Grove, Amador County and its surrounding areas, we do not want to see a Dollar General built in our neighborhood for the following reasons: we already have good, well-supported, community-based stores, including a grocery, banks, pharmacy, restaurants, hardware, convenience and other retail stores, each of which gives back to our community with their mutual support and community action; Dollar General has stated that they will not contribute to the support of our... [Read more]
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John Kingsbury
07/17/2014 12:13 PM
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
07/17/2014 12:29 PM
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
07/10/2014 2:58 PM
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
07/10/2014 2:19 PM
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
07/03/2014 11:06 AM
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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