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Guest Commentary

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Via Press Release
1 week ago

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
1 week ago

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
1 week ago

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
1 week ago
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
2 weeks ago
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
2 weeks ago
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
2 weeks ago
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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
2 weeks ago
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
3 weeks ago

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
3 weeks ago
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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
3 weeks ago
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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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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
The long history of California is embattled with disputes over water diversions for export to other regions. The US Army ran out the Paiutes from the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra Nevada region that destroyed the Paiutes quality of life and largely destroyed the environment. The battle over the O’Shaughnessy Dam that flooded the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park facilitated water conveyance transportation from Yosemite to San Francisco and its suburbs. This came after a failed attempt at the targeted Lake Tahoe.... [Read more]
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0 4
Via Press Release
04/23/2015 10:56 AM

I was really surprised that recreation releases from our rivers were not included in your recent mandated water cut back orders of 25 percent along with the curtailment notices for Jr. Water Rights and some possible Senior Water Right users.

Perhaps you are unaware of how much water is released for the pleasure of whitewater rafting and kayaking. The Mokelumne River FERC License 137 for PG&E. requires a minimum of 700cfs units of recreation water for boating flows to be released 9 times a year. All this recreational water is let...

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Via Press Release
04/23/2015 10:54 AM
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Federal programs rarely come in under budget. Consider Medicare, which will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary. In 1967, lawmakers projected annual spending in the program would reach $12 billion in 1990. The actual tab that year? A cool $110 billion.

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says that Obamacare will buck the trend.

The CBO has lowered its projections for the cost of the president’s healthcare law by $142 billion over the coming decade, from $1.35 trillion to $1.2 trillion.

Obamacare may cost the feds...

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Via Press Release
04/23/2015 10:51 AM
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John Tuttle’s article regarding the fire fee in last Friday’s edition coincided with an article in Sacramento Bee the same day about almond growers planting more water thirsty trees during a drought. The Bee article stated that 40 to 80 percent of potable water is used by agriculture. To understand the connection between these two articles, one must understand the fundamental mission of CAL FIRE. Public Resources Code 4126 states CAL FIRE’s mission is to protect forests and trees capable of producing forest products, “...if such... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
04/16/2015 12:04 PM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
It may seem hard to believe that an underground utility line—such as a gas pipe or a water line— is damaged every six minutes in America because someone didn’t take the time to call 8-1-1. Last year, there were 67 instances of such damage to PG&E facilities throughout the Stockton Division, which includes San Joaquin, Amador, Calaveras and Alpine Counties. And with spring well upon us and green thumbs around the Central Valley and Sierra Foothills mapping out their flower beds, we want to remind our customers of the importance of... [Read more]
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Wendell Peart
04/16/2015 11:57 AM
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The current drought has brought into focus the roles of the environmentalists and senior water rights holders and the impact their respective interests are having on the diminished water supply.

So what do both have in common? Each of them feel they have a prior right to water over the rest of us. Environmentalists, for instance, would put animal needs for water, like fish, ahead of human needs. Senior water right holders, on the other hand, declare their senior water rights trump every body else’s needs for water because they...

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John Kingsbury
04/16/2015 12:02 PM

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board released a proposed framework for meeting the statewide 25 percent water conservation target announced by Gov. Jerry Brown on April 1. The state board identified specific reduction standards for water agencies across California.

Under the proposal, water purveyor members in the 15 counties represented by Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) were given water-use reduction targets of 25 percent or 35 percent without consideration for past conservation...

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George Runner
04/09/2015 10:54 AM

If high taxes guaranteed results, then California should have some of the best roads in the nation. For years we’ve had one of the highest gas taxes, yet our freeways consistently receive failing grades.

It makes no sense unless you admit that high taxes don’t guarantee good roads. That’s one of many reasons I had no trouble voting with my State Board of Equalization colleagues to approve a 6 cent cut to the state’s gas tax. Under a confusing and complicated law commonly known as the “gas tax swap,” the state has been overcollect...

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0 0
Via Press Release
04/09/2015 10:53 AM

Mr. Atlan, as someone who campaigned for a seat on the Ione City Council on a platform which included fighting misinformation, I was surprised at some of the many allegations which you leveled against various governmental leaders in your Amador Ledger Dispatch guest commentary of April 3.

Let’s address a few of these canards. For starters, you say “The Amador Regional Sanitation Authority (ARSA) in a closed session meeting ordered their staff to shut off the water supply.” Quite the contrary Mr. Atlan, the issue was both...

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