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Guest Commentary

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David Sayen
4 days ago

Medicare’s annual open enrollment season is underway, and I want to encourage everyone with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage.

Open enrollment began October 15 and runs through December 7. If you want to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, this is the time of year to do it. Any new coverage you select will take effect January 1, 2015.

If you have Original (traditional) Medicare and you’re satisfied with it, you don’t need to do anything during open...

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Mark Gebhardt
2 weeks ago
It is high time someone exposed the inflammatory deceptions and half-truths being spread by Sondra West-Moore about the proposed Newman Ridge Project, west of Ione. I have no relation with the proponents of the quarry and industrial center. My sole interest is in the welfare of the county and the people who live in and around Ione. I attended the court hearing in 2013 that Ms. West-Moore claims she won. I have read her factually challenged diatribes in the Ledger Dispatch that go under the guise of “press releases.” I have heard her... [Read more]
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Kelly Trottier
2 weeks ago

The recent tragic suicide of actor-comedian Robin Williams turned the spotlight on many issues surrounding major depression. People asked, “How could someone who has everything commit suicide?” Depression is only one of the many acute brain disorders that should be treated exactly the same as other long-term illness, such as diabetes, epilepsy and heart disease.

Mental illness takes no prisoners and knows no boundaries. Mental illnesses are brain disorders that can affect anyone. They can cross all the socio-economic strata....

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Martin Ryan
3 weeks ago

Law enforcement, business leaders and crime victim advocates are united in their opposition to Proposition 47, a dangerous initiative that will endanger all Californians.

Prop 47 presents a classic bait and switch that lures voters in by the promise of creating safe neighborhoods and schools, while in reality exposing Californians to significant harm by making 10,000 felons eligible for early release. According to an independent analysis, the vast majority of these felons have violent criminal histories for crimes such as armed...

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George Runner
3 weeks ago

If you recently purchased a car from a private party, you may have paid too much tax to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. I’ve been hearing complaints from constituents that DMV charged them a higher city tax rate when they don’t actually live within city boundaries. These constituents were forced to jump through hoops to prove they didn’t owe the higher tax. As their elected representative, I was happy to assist them in obtaining refunds, but DMV should have never overcharged them in the first place.

What’s worse is...

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Jerry Trottier
4 weeks 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
09/18/2014 1:26 PM

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
09/18/2014 1:25 PM

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
09/18/2014 1:13 PM

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
09/11/2014 12:52 PM

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
09/11/2014 12:27 PM

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
09/04/2014 11:02 AM
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
09/04/2014 10:54 AM
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
09/04/2014 10:59 AM
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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