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Guest Commentary

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

In response to your commentary Aug. 12, please take my words in the spirit in which they were intended. I am not trying to berate or antagonize you. But I have some concerns that I want to address.

So far, what I’ve seen coming from your campaign is a bunch of promises to create a Utopian society, but no real plan to get there. You’re good about attacking the incumbent regarding the Grand Jury Report and the stonewalling of the general plan update, but I don’t see any reason why voters would have faith that you would be any...

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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago

(Editor’s note: Molly Taylor is a third-generation Amador County landowner studying Urban Development at New York University. She grew up roaming and riding on her family’s ranch outside Ione.)

I am writing as a member of a third-generation Amador County family and landowner. Presently a resident of New York City, I am struck by the critical nature of foresightful, in-depth civic planning and how deeply and permanently affected communities can be though poor, lopsided and superficial planning.

The stark contrast between the...

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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago

(This guest commentary first appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Upcountry News Vol. 15, No. 8, courtesy of Rick Torgerson, Publisher)

After reading Ruth Gottstein’s and Linda Toren’s articles in the July issue of the West Point News, I felt a sense of deep pride in our local community. In these troubled times, they reminded us not only to become well-informed and utilize our public libraries, but also to nurture and seek the best in ourselves, both personally and collectively. Rather than engaging in rancorous or hateful...

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Guest Commentator
07/28/2016 3:43 PM
John Plasse, District 1 Supervisor for Amador County.
When I first received an email from Amador Ledger Dispatch reporter Eric Winslow, I was curious as to why he was asking for my “personal but informed opinion” on issues surrounding the Grand Jury Report on the Health and Human Services building lease. I thought that maybe it was addressed just to me as Chairman of the Board. I conferred with County Counsel and our CAO as to the appropriateness of responding to issues raised in a Grand Jury Report prior to the Board meeting their statutory obligation to formally respond to Grand Jury... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
07/28/2016 3:19 PM

In response to the opinion piece written by Eric Winslow in the Friday, June 17, 2016 Ledger Dispatch — it refers to a syndrome called Myth of Redemptive Violence, Eric’s attempt to paint a narrative of American history that revels in violence, celebrates violence and finds that violence provides meaning to America’s existence or is, as he says, redemptive.

Violence is not redeeming. It is an ugly destructive act committed when a rational mind no longer functions or is necessary in response to violence when our lives are...

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Guest Commentator
07/14/2016 1:34 PM

By Susan Manning, Cecily Smith and Terrell Watt

Everyone who lives in or visits Amador County loves this place. It’s one of the most scenic counties in the state, with high quality of life, clean air and water, abundant wildlife, rich history, deep Native roots, beautiful rivers, authentic working ranches and true community character. But if the Amador County general plan update proceeds on its current path, we will lose much of what we love about our county today.

Next Tuesday, July 19, the Amador County Planning Commission...

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Guest Commentator
07/14/2016 1:30 PM

The Amador County Assessor’s Office has just finished the task of reviewing all of the assessments for 2016-2017 and the overall change in assessed value throughout the county was an increase of 3.86 percent.

Property values in Amador County have been increasing, as well as property values throughout the state. Even though the increase in assessments in the county is relatively modest, it is the largest increase in assessments in the past eight years. It is also the fourth straight year of increasing assessed property values...

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Guest Commentator
07/07/2016 1:53 PM
The Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility commends Governor Brown for signing a package of bills to tighten California’s gun contol laws, including bills to close the “bullet button loophole” in California’s assault weapons ban and a bill to ban magazines holding more than 10 rounds. PSR/Sacramento also recognizes the extraordinary amount of time and effort that legislators, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and members of civil society invested in getting these bills signed into law. This being... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
07/07/2016 1:22 PM

Although the Preamble to the Constitution is a statement of intent, not a codification of law, the Founders hoped to work toward cited objectives, one of which was to “establish justice.” Perhaps at no time in U.S. history have more people felt the effects of corruption of government and lack of established justice more than now. Some in high places act as though rules/laws are for others and that they can lie and potentially damage our national security without consequence, such as appears demonstrated now.

On July 5, FBI...

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Guest Commentator
07/07/2016 12:04 PM
Sadly, when we returned home from the family 4th of July cookout, I discovered Cher, one of my favorite laying hens, dead. She had been killed, we believe, by a raptor. Ursa, the German shepherd, led me to her body and stood over her, sniffing her, as if to confirm her death. From the scattering of feathers extending from the pond across the yard half way to the coop, it was apparent that she put up quite a battle for survival. But in the end, she was not able to fight off talons and the slashing beak of what I believe was one of our... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
06/23/2016 12:13 PM

The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento has received a Request for Dismissal of Appeal from the Ione Valley Land, Air & Water Defense Alliance. In December of 2015, the Amador County Superior Court ruled that LAWDA’s petition to submit the Newman Ridge Project to a referendum was illegal. Although LAWDA appealed that decision, it voluntarily filed this request to dismiss its lawsuit. That dismissal concedes that Amador County’s decision to keep LAWDA’s unlawful referendum off the ballot was the correct one.

The Newman...

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Guest Commentator
06/23/2016 12:06 PM

The Ione Valley Land, Air & Water Alliance is a grass-roots group challenging the Newman Ridge Quarry, a 278-acre fifty-year mine, and Edwin Center North, a 114-acre hot-batch asphalt plant, both planned to be just one mile from the town of Ione. These changes would forever alter the local landscape and rural quality of life by altering zoning from agriculture to zoning that would open the door to unimpeded and super-polluting heavy industry.

The Sierra Fund (sierrafund.org) took interest in LAWDA’s fight as a case study to shed...

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Guest Commentator
06/09/2016 12:17 PM
The 2016 presidential race, like all presidential races, has raised questions and controversies regarding the religious faiths of the candidates. Donald Trump’s beliefs have been questioned, as were Ted Cruz’s. And trying to pin down Bernie Sanders’ views on God is very difficult. But that said, recent developments just occurred with the United Methodist Church that should focus the spotlight on Hillary Clinton’s religious thinking. They constitute two crucial moves that stand in direct opposition to Clinton’s longtime militancy for... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
06/09/2016 12:22 PM

Adulthood brings certain financial responsibilities like the building of budgets, bank accounts and proper insurance. It’s surprising how few consider a proper estate plan part of that essential mix.

To read this whole guest commentary, see the June 10 print edition of the Amador Ledger Dispatch

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Guest Commentator
06/02/2016 1:21 PM

In the last few days, Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016. A few remaining unpledged delegates pushed him over that threshold.

You would think that would be cause for celebration. In many camps it may be, but then it also gives rise to panic. Donald Trump’s wife has been claiming “My husband’s not Hitler.” Many in the media claim Trump will become an authoritarian figure if elected president — that quite literally scares a few folks. That would explain where...

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Guest Commentator
06/02/2016 1:19 PM

Do this. Be here. Listen to me.

Any good parent wants to raise happy, well-adjusted children, but the way they go about often undermines that goal.

“As a rabbi, I’ve watched a lot of parents over the years,” says Rabbi Roger Herst, author of “A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children” (www.rogerherst.com). “Many of them don’t seem to be achieving what they want for their children. They try hard, they mean well, yet they still miss the mark.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way, he says.

“For one thing, parents who think...

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George Runner
05/26/2016 1:11 PM

Blink and you’ll miss it. Special interests have struck a backroom deal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour in just six years. The deal was rushed through the Democrat-controlled Legislature—with little public input—and signed into law by the governor in less than a week. It’s almost as if no one wanted to take the time to stop and listen; if they had, they might realize they’re making a huge mistake.

While a $15 per hour minimum wage may seem like a good deal for workers, it will cost many their jobs and raise the...

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Guest Commentator
05/19/2016 3:15 PM

You’ve seen or heard them — television, billboard and radio ads offering to file lawsuits for medical patients who have been diagnosed, treated and/or prescribed medication by a doctor.

The ads allege that the doctor may have treated your ailment improperly or prescribed unnecessary or even harmful medication. Not only do these ads unfairly demonize doctors, they prey upon unsuspecting patients.

These ads are not about protecting patients and other medical consumers. They are recruitment tools for unscrupulous personal injury...

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Guest Commentator
05/19/2016 3:02 PM
Gene Mancebo of the Amador Water Agency. ALD file photo by Eric Winslow

The Water Agency has undertaken several conservation projects over the past decade to conserve precious water, which in turn helps maintain water rights for the future of Amador County.

The Agency’s latest project would put water currently flowing in the mostly earthen Amador Canal into a pipeline. Less than half of the water put into the beginning of the canal makes it down the entire 18-mile canal to the New York Ranch Reservoir. Leakage and evaporation claim an estimated 1,800 acre-feet — about half-a-billion gallons of water...

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Guest Commentator
05/19/2016 2:34 PM
As we drive about the county, specifically in the area from Pine Grove and to the east, we see those dense bushes with the bright yellow flowers alongside the roads. You see them in Pine Grove east of the elementary school, in Volcano on Ram’s Horn Grade, on Shake Ridge Road and in Pioneer and Buckhorn. They are also frequent on the Community Leach Field property owned by the Amador Water Agency and land administered by the BLM. The flowers and the green foliage of the plant present a beautiful contrast of colors, but don’t be... [Read more]
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