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Guest Commentary

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Jerry Trottier
7 days ago
This year, more men are forecast to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Men have a higher death rate from prostate cancer than women from breast cancer. In the average American family, the husband has a greater risk of developing prostate cancer than the wife has of developing breast cancer.

Prostate cancer in men is the most diagnosed, second only to non-fatal skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind only lung cancer. The American Cancer...

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David Sayen
2 weeks ago
As a person with Medicare, do you have any rights and protections? You certainly do!

You have rights whether you’re enrolled in Original Medicare — in which you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare — or Medicare Advantage, in which you get care within a network of health care providers.

Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with...

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Bethany Anne Renfree
2 weeks ago
Editor’s note: guest commentary writer Renfree’s daughter attends high school in Amador County, where two recent incidents involving her school’s dress code policy resulted in the loss of class time for the college prep student.

Our daughters have disruptive bodies. Their hazardous midriffs and dangerous cleavage threaten the well-being of everyone around them. In a country where one in five high school girls is a victim of physical and/or sexual abuse by a dating partner (U.S. Department of Justice); in a public school system...

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Craig Burman
2 weeks ago
Guest Commentary on Dollar General, planned to be built in Pine Grove

My initial response when I heard Dollar General was coming to Pine Grove was, “This is not Appalachia and we don’t need a billboard for poverty hurting the saleability of our homes and further depressing housing values.” Now that I have been doing some research, I’ve found that there are many more aspects to the problems this company brings.

Rather than just relying on Wikipedia for information, I decided to visit a couple of DG stores — one in North...

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Terry Sanders
3 weeks ago
Family caregivers provide crucial support in caring for our Nation’s Veterans by allowing them to stay in the homes and communities they defended, surrounded by the loved ones they fought for. Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers allows VA to provide additional supports and services to family caregivers of eligible Veterans injured in the line of duty.

In order to be eligible, the Veteran must have incurred...

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Mark Belden
3 weeks ago
I have been on both sides of an election, as a candidate for supervisor in my county of residence, Calaveras (1992), and for the California Assembly 5th District (2012). I have voted in almost every election since the age of 18 here in California, Maryland and New York. Whether you’re a candidate or a constituent, I can tell you the system is not effective unless voters fully understand their own political ideology, the initiatives or the candidates’ platforms and actually participate in the election process.

The first (and, in my...

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Mark Bennett
4 weeks ago
Dollar General was started as the depression ended in a little town in Tennessee by several individuals. They risked everything they had, which wasn’t very much, to create stores that gave ordinary people the best quality at the lowest prices. To this day, they uphold their origins by operating with lower profit margins than their competitors. When greeting cards were vastly overpriced, with few suppliers, Dollar General searched until they found a provider with prices more related to the cost of production than the preservation of a... [Read more]
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Sondra West-Moore
4 weeks ago
The “Newman Ridge Quarry and Edwin Center North” project is an unapproved 50-year plan for a huge new strip-mine quarry and hot asphalt plant less than three miles from Ione. Despite public and Caltrans objections against the project based on serious environmental reasons, the Amador County Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2012. The Ione Valley Land, Air and Water Defense Alliance, a group of local ranchers, farmers and citizens concerned about water, wastewater, air pollution, health dangers and heavy truck congestion in... [Read more]
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Wendell Peart
4 weeks ago
The recent action of California’s lawmakers to place a water bond in the amount of $7.5 billion on the November ballot for voter approval will help diminish the ongoing water crisis now gripping the state. However, say what you will, judging from the past history of procrastination, fault-finding with other stakeholders and continual threats of new lawsuits from those desiring to protect their turf — such as senior water rights holders — the future doesn’t appear to offer much hope of finding a satisfying water course to the Promised... [Read more]
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David Sayen
08/28/2014 11:33 AM
Medicare will help pay for a wide variety of medical services and goods in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other healthcare settings. But it doesn’t cover everything, and it’s useful to know what is and isn’t included.

Services are covered either under Medicare Part A or Part B. If you have both Part A and Part B, you can get many Medicare?covered services whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare health plan.

Part A is hospital Insurance and it helps pay for: Inpatient care in hospitals; Inpatient care in a skilled...

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Mark Belden
08/28/2014 11:32 AM
As many of you know, one of my concerns is the inefficacy in the way our public services are delivered to taxpayers. Let’s call them customers. There should be a California law that allows private companies to compete for delivery of public services to its customers. Whether it’s maintenance services, education, correctional institutions, revenue collection, emergency services or anything else the taxpayer funds and expects prompt and accurate service for, a private sector company should be allowed to provide that service. This is... [Read more]
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Jerry Budrick
08/28/2014 11:27 AM
Samuel Trowbridge lives in Ione and is a sophomore at University Prep Charter School, in Placerville. Last winter, he was one of many students to enter the 2014 Americanism-Patriotism National Essay Contest, which is sponsored by members of the USA Fleet Reserve Association (comprised of veterans from the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard).

His essay, titled, “The Bill of Rights and Me,” was judged by the Fleet Reserve Association’s essay review committee as the first-place essay for 9th-grade student submissions for the...

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Via Press Release
08/21/2014 1:06 PM
The Mokelumne River also serves as the political dividing line between Amador and Calaveras County. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Sierra Nevada rivers — the source of much of California’s water supply — must be thoughtfully and locally managed, Amador Water Agency leaders said today, after a bill to designate 37 miles of the Mokelumne River as Wild & Scenic, which AWA opposed, died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week.

The current historic drought brought into focus that State Senate Bill 1199 as written would have jeopardized the ability of Mokelumne River water managers to meet the water needs of local residents now and in the future,...

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Via Press Release
08/21/2014 1:02 PM
The Mokelumne River also serves as the political boundary between Amador County and Calaveras County. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
On Thursday, August 14, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee failed to act on Senate Bill 1199, which would have protected about 37 miles of the North Fork and main stem Mokelumne River with state Wild and Scenic River designation. Due to a legislative deadline, the committee’s inaction effectively kills the bill’s chances for being enacted this year by stopping it from progressing to a vote of the full Assembly. The bill was authored by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and co-sponsored by Friends of the River and the... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
08/14/2014 4:13 PM
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
08/14/2014 4:05 PM
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
08/07/2014 2:00 PM
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
08/07/2014 1:42 PM
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
07/31/2014 11:24 AM
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
07/31/2014 11:19 AM
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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