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Guest Commentary

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William Peterson
2 weeks ago

Sunday is Father’s Day. Hopefully you will be able to spend some quality time with (or remembering) your father, and thank him for the good advice and wisdom that you may have received from him over your lifetime. Advice from your father and all his experiences could be very valuable, especially with his experiences on money matters. With that being said, it may be time to consider some of that wisdom and advice for your own good.

I have had the great fortune of obtaining many fathers as clients. Over these years, I have asked some...

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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago

There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress’s long slide into irrelevance may be slowing.

Agreements on Medicare reimbursements in both houses, and on Iran, No Child Left Behind, Pacific trade and other issues in various committees led last month to a chorus of relieved approval both in Washington and in the press. Less noticed, but equally important, a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center found that Congress worked more during the first quarter of this year than the past few years, and that the...

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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago

Reform disabled Social Security. Don’t ask the government to give you money every month if you are not truly disabled from making an income. You can receive it at age 62 or 66 like most other Americans. Reports of crooked attorneys, doctors and even judges abound when it comes to abusing the Social Security system.

Cut the corporate tax rate and give our lost jobs an incentive to come home.

Tax all imports from Mexico, China, Vietnam and other countries up to 20 percent to level the playing field. Corporations have gone to...

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William Peterson
4 weeks ago
William Peterson

“I have been retired for several years and I am receiving a monthly pension from my employer. However, I just recently received a letter in the mail offering me an opportunity to exchange my monthly pension check for an immediate lump sum. Should I accept this lump sum pension cash out?” Thank you. Fred

Thank you for your question; it is a fairly common one that I get a lot. The answer as to whether you should take a lump sum offer or keep your current pension really depends on many factors that must be considered very...

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Via Press Release
4 weeks ago
Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Bill Lavallie
One of my sons recently came home from a twelve month military deployment. My wife and I took a couple of days and flew to welcome him at his stateside arrival airport. We watched soldier after soldier pick up his or her duffel bag and other luggage in baggage claims. We didn’t see families or friends hugging them and welcoming them home. My son turned the corner and came into the area and I was so delighted to see him. For the first time in one year I heard his voice and hugged him. I’m sure I was missing something. Surely there... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
4 weeks ago
John Gedney is the new director of Amador’s Transportation Commission, ACTC. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
One of my first stories was on Charles Field. He was the long time director of Amador’s Transportation Commission, ACTC, and given credit for not only his competent management but for two impressive transportation projects: the transit complex on Sutter Hill’s Valley Drive and the highway cutting below it, the 49 Bypass which diverts traffic around Sutter Creek and Amador City. Charles was able to get four neighbor counties to pool funding, find an affordable but effective route, acquire the right of way, and build what after 40... [Read more]
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Terry Sanders
05/28/2015 10:29 AM

Unless your aunt died in service to our country, Memorial Day is not about her. Or any of your other dearly departed. While it is always appropriate to honor our loved ones, remember them and even visit their final resting places, this is not the point of Memorial Day.

This one day of the year, we are all asked to stop and reflect on the sacrifices of those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our nation; during a time of war, one would think this is not something that needs to be explained. Sadly, it does.

“Memorial...

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Gary Dorall
05/21/2015 10:19 AM

Water is one of the two most important compounds needed for man’s and animal’s existence. Obviously, air is the other. Without either we would not exist. Water is so important, but we have taken it for granted. We need it to drink, cook, bathe, sanitation, irrigate our crops and provide for our animal herds and fire suppression. With 70 percent of the earth covered in water, only 3 percent is potable.

The use and consumption of water in California has been distorted and misrepresented way too much. Of the potable/fresh water we...

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Via Press Release
05/21/2015 10:21 AM

Teenagers spend a good chunk of their learning time immersed in such subjects as algebra, history, biology and geography.

But the march toward a successful and satisfying adulthood involves more than the ability to add numbers or read and analyze complex material.

Equally vital are skills that help young people develop character and give them the courage and fortitude to deal with the many challenges life will throw at them, says Linda Mornell, founder of the nonprofit organization Summer Search (summersearch.org), which...

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Via Press Release
05/14/2015 10:42 AM

I am writing because I find it ridiculous that the “Keep it California” folks claim to have a “non-partisan political action committee.” Per Cindy Ellsmore, their PAC was formed to represent the interests of “all Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters.”

The reality is that at least five of their six board members are Democrats, and some of them think they have more to lose while standing in line for the California tax dollars. Those folks definitely DO NOT represent me or the millions of other Independents and Republicans!...

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Via Press Release
05/14/2015 10:41 AM

The United States must accept responsibility for the damage its military actions have caused and recognize there are alternatives for the future.

In the nearly decade and a half since the September 11th, 2001 attacks, the United States has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, carried out bombing campaigns throughout the Middle East, and launched special operations strikes throughout the world.

These policies are non-partisan. Many military actions begun under George W. Bush have continued and intensified under Barack Obama. The CIA-led...

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Via Press Release
05/14/2015 10:39 AM

Although the “buzz” about bee declines makes headlines, excites public concern and warrants a White House Task Force on the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, bees are still in jeopardy.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have failed to act with force on one of the key causes of pollinator declines: neonicotinoid pesticides.

As the time approaches for the White House Task Force to announce its decision, it’s more important than ever that the EPA and USDA act...

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William Peterson
05/14/2015 10:35 AM
William Peterson. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that most Americans lack proper retirement education. With 10,000 baby boomers turning age 65 everyday between now and the year 2030, there will millions of people retiring over the next several years. So, it is time to get prepared, America.

Everyone’s goal is to retire comfortably one day. Obviously, the word ‘comfortably’ means different things to different people. However, for everyone to get to their own ‘comfortable’ position and stay there in retirement, several areas of planning...

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Via Press Release
05/07/2015 10:03 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Americans hoard too much stuff. Everywhere I go in small or large towns I see storage facilities being built. Americans have “stuff” and we need more storage space. We spend most of our lives wanting stuff and then we have to worry about keeping or maintaining what we have accumulated.

My wife and I cleaned out a bedroom closet recently. I looked through my clothes and saw too much I had not worn in the last year. I bagged it and carried it off to the local charity pickup truck. I realize they will sell it but they will sell it...

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George Runner
05/07/2015 10:01 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

The last thing overtaxed Californians need is another tax. Yet the Legislature continues to churn out new taxes that, once enacted, rarely go away.

Our economy has been transitioning to a greater reliance on services. As a result, some tax reform groups have argued for expanding the sales tax to include services. On its own, a sales tax on services—like Senate Bill 8 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg—is a terrible idea. It would impose a massive, complicated tax increase on both businesses and consumers. In fact, a recent study found that...

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Via Press Release
05/07/2015 9:59 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Campus sexual violence has been the subject of an intense national conversation recently, but that dialogue often lacks critical input from schools that are already taking steps to improve their campus climates. Colleges and universities, it’s time for you to lead on this issue.

So far, and with good reason, most of the attention has focused on schools that are under investigation for violating federal laws about sexual violence and on the survivors bravely sharing their stories and calling for action. Yet there are a number of...

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Mark Bennett
05/07/2015 9:57 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Political speech in the United States is wide open as it should be and while I cannot render a legal judgment, I believe that freedom hinges on responsibility. So when I read the No Newman Ridge quarry petition on Moveon.org I questioned how much imaginative argument we can tolerate and strive to be civil at the same time. Every one of their negative contentions have been completely refuted by extremely knowledgeable testimony at the Board of Supervisors, the Ione City Council and in the local media. The project has been subject to... [Read more]
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George Runner
04/30/2015 9:45 AM

Democrats in the California Legislature seem to be facing the reality that the fire tax they passed with the Governor’s help in 2011 is unfair. Californians who live in rural areas rely on a range of public services from multiple levels of government to combat fires. These residents already pay taxes to fund essential fire services.

The original fire fee was a scheme Governor Brown came up with after diverting about $90 million a year in fire prevention funds to help “balance” the state budget. Residents have gained nothing...

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Terry Sanders
04/30/2015 9:43 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
The VA Fiduciary Program provides oversight of VA’s most vulnerable beneficiaries who are unable to manage their VA benefits because of injury, disease, advanced age or are under 18 years of age. This most commonly happens when the VA approves NSC Pension with Aid and Attendance. A fiduciary is an individual or entity who has been appointed by the VA to receive VA benefits on behalf of a beneficiary for the use and benefit of the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s dependents. The VA appoints fiduciaries who manage VA benefits for... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
04/30/2015 9:42 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

California is now in its fourth year of the worst drought on record. Hydrologists estimate it is the worst drought in 1,200 years. The Sierra Snowpack today is just six percent of normal. Many of our reservoirs are nearly empty. One of our largest, the New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River, is at just 22 percent of its capacity – with the rainy season now officially over.

Water rationing is now in effect in many communities. Many Californians face $500 fines if they take too long in the shower or spill a gallon of water on...

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