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Ledger Editorials

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Jack Mitchell
06/03/2014 10:23 AM

With regards to the upcoming elections on June 3rd, while I certainly applaud all the candidates for “putting themselves out there,” so to speak, we are continuing to follow our editorial policy of not publishing letters regarding campaigns and candidates in the Ledger Dispatch in the issue just prior to the election (today’s publication, for example).

The solid reasoning behind this policy is that it is unfair to a candidate, or incumbent in office, to have letters published prior to an election knowing that due to our publishing...

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Matthew Hedger
01/31/2014 9:15 PM

The opinion page is an interesting piece of the newspaper. First, because I often find myself defending opinions I totally disagree with, and second, because the content of letters and commentaries can be very questionable.

Let’s review a few items that may need to be answered or clarified. If you see my ugly mug (like the one here on the right) it means I am the author of the piece you are reading. Other letters are submitted by readers.

I took over the layout and design of the Opinion pages. In the past, I heard that if the...

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Matthew Hedger
01/10/2014 5:00 PM

It’s amazing to me how a small group of people can repeatedly create unneccesary and costly chaos in local government.

Take, for instance, the latest from our friends at the Ratepayer Protection Alliance – they have convinced the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that the City of Sutter Creek improperly notified city residents about a garbage rate increase. Never mind that the city did exactly what it agreed to do in a 2012 settlement agreement stemming from another RPA-backed lawsuit — that is, put any garbage rate increases...

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Matthew Hedger
12/06/2013 4:12 PM

Mobile sales roared, and the day widely regarded as the Super Bowl of online sales “ca-chinged” as reported by USA Today yesterday, marking an increase of 17.5 percent as of 6 p.m. Eastern time compared to last year and as much as 19 percent for the entire day as reported by Custora Pulse.

This year, “Cyber Monday is well on its way to being the biggest online shopping day in history,” said Custora CEO Corey Pierson. Custora Pulse is an e-commerce research company.

Smartphones and tablets reportedly drove nearly a third of...

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Matthew Hedger
11/15/2013 3:57 PM

Sometimes news stories are difficult and hard to manage, and take more time to work out. At other times, they just seem to write themselves, with tidbits and pieces that are so obvious, easy to use and just plain fun.

While not a very funny story, I find it interesting that not one media outlet, or anyone covering the National Football League has made any comment about the Miami Dolphins football player’s name being Incognito.

In Hawaii, we have Chinese troops (with American troops) working on disaster relief exercises. Really,...

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Matthew Hedger
10/25/2013 4:10 PM

I hope you have enjoyed some of the recent changes we have been making to your hometown newspaper. We’ve certainly tripped and stumbled along the way, but I sincerely appreciate the input.

A long time ago a publisher said to me, “Good newspapers reflect the communities they serve, but great newspapers actively involve themselves in the communities they serve to make them stronger.”

For whatever reason, that comment stuck with me and has been something I have tried to aspire to. At times, I feel the Amador Ledger Dispatch has...

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Matthew Hedger
10/18/2013 4:31 PM

So we are in week three of the new look and feel of the Amador Ledger Dispatch. We’ve added additional color pages and higher quality newsprint to make the newspaper “pop,” for lack of a better word. It’s part of our reinvestment into Amador County in covering and representing what is happening in our little corner of the world.

We’ve set up rules, just like the Letters Policy that you see published every week on the Opinion Page.

I’ll be the first to say, we’ve broken those rules many times. This occurs as an effort to give...

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Matthew Hedger
10/04/2013 1:34 PM

A few weeks ago, we ran an editorial in the Ledger Dispatch discussing the changes and reinvestment we are going to make into Amador County. It was expanded distribution, new internal systems, a shout out for writers and other changes I promised would come.

The October 4 print edition of the Amador Ledger Dispatch is a physical manifestation of how we are reinvesting in our newspaper, and the communities we serve.

If you're reading this online, you can't get the gist of it unless you get a printed copy of the paper so you can...

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Jack Mitchell
09/27/2013 5:20 PM

Another year, another lawsuit filed against the Amador Water Agency. It’s a mirror of what we’re being shown by our leaders at the highest level of the Federal Government: no matter what the majority of constituents and voters say, let’s make sure we cater to the special interests of the few.

We saw it this week, as Texas Senator Ted Cruz filibustered overnight in a pathetic attempt to avert a vote designed to stave off a government shutdown by attaching a defunding mechanism to gut Obamacare. And then claiming it will be the...

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Jack Mitchell
09/20/2013 4:40 PM

On September 6, the Ledger Dispatch ran an article on the Amador County Unified School District the Reconfiguration Committee and the options being considered as to what may or may not happen with regards to the reconfiguration of our schools.

I applaud the 35 individuals, representing each school and community, as they work diligently drafting possible solutions to the district’s enrollment and financial problems. Especially considering that at the end of the day — when the vote is in and a decision has been made — you are...

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Matthew Hedger
08/30/2013 5:06 PM

Some of you may have noticed the recent obituary for Anthony Allegretti — and many of you probably skimmed past it, as you probably did not know he was a principal owner of the Ledger Dispatch over the last decade. He didn’t live in Amador County, he just happened to own its newspaper with partners.

For my part, working with Allegretti was always challenging as we did not see eye-to-eye on many items concerning the operation of the Ledger Dispatch. With his passing, a few readers have been concerned with the future of their...

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Jack Mitchell
06/28/2013 6:02 PM

With parts of California burnt and still burning, an annual ritual held over from a simpler time is about to unfold as we head into our national July 4 Independence Day Celebrations — the sale of “safe and sane” fireworks.

We don’t think there is anything safe and sane about allowing people to buy flammable devices designed to give off sparks during what is shaping up to possibly be the worst fire season in recent memory.

Although local regulations clearly state the consumer fireworks sold at the booths which have popped up in...

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Jack Mitchell
05/10/2013 3:59 PM

For over a decade I have had the opportunity to be the Publisher of the Ledger Dispatch. In that time, I have taken on the duties of compiling and publishing these Opinion Pages.

I took on the task of the Opinion Pages fairly early in my employment here at the Ledger Dispatch when I learned that previous leadership, Editors and Publishers, were deciding what letters and opinions would run and which ones would never see the light of day based solely on whether they agreed with the opinion that was being expressed.

I have very...

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Matthew Hedger
04/19/2013 3:21 PM

Along with the beauty of first love and learning about relationships, a scary realization may rear it’s ugly head. While it may seem like a myth, teen dating violence is a very common issue that needs to be addressed. With these researched facts from domesticpeace.com, we as teenagers can help ourselves and each other from the demonic force of dating violence.

-About one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.

- 40 percent of teenage girls, ages 14 to 17 years, say they know...

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Matthew Hedger
04/19/2013 3:18 PM

Growing up is a short journey down the road of maturity. The teenage years are full of anxiety, stress, and overwhelming beauty; but one of the most stressful, yet precious things a teenager can face is the coming of age and the coming of new love.

Since we were little, we have always dreamed of finding the one person who would makes us feel happier than ever before. During the teenage years, hormones are raging and the prospect of love is naturally present. Therefore, we begin the search for the other half. A few find it, some...

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Jack Mitchell
03/28/2013 11:33 PM

This issue marks a milestone in the 157-year history of our beloved newspaper. We’re local again. The Gilroy-based corporate parent which owned us has sold us to locally based investors.

We’re busy finalizing all of the many details that come along with setting up a new company, in our case, Amador Hometown Media.

Our goal here has always been, and will remain the same — to provide you with local stories that are relevant and that you won’t find anywhere else.

Although the right to a free press is guaranteed under the United...

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Jack Mitchell
03/14/2013 7:21 PM

It’s now been three weeks and counting — 16 business days — since the Ledger Dispatch asked the leaders of Ione for information about their finances we were assured could be obtained with a “simple phone call.”

For those of you in Ione that implored us to ask these questions, as well as the list of questions we ourselves asked, sadly — there has been no response.

Regular readers of this newspaper will recall an in-depth article published Feb. 8 about an independent auditor’s findings that millions of dollars of taxpayer money...

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Jack Mitchell
02/28/2013 11:47 PM

The City of Plymouth, working with Caltrans, has been looking into traffic mitigation with regards to the intersection at the corner of Shenandoah Road and Highway 49 for years.

And now, it seems, the Plymouth City Council decided to vote on their choice of signalization, a roundabout, or just leaving the intersection as it is on Feb. 28. Keep in mind, the public at this point can only comment to Caltrans in writing on their Draft Environmental Document. The public input must be submitted in writing to Caltrans by March 8....

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Jack Mitchell
02/21/2013 9:50 PM

I was looking for a name to associate with the guest commentary belittling the Ledger Dispatch and Matthew Hedger’s story on all the unreconciled funds in Ione, I got instead, visitors in my office.

While Ione City Manager Ed Pattison assured me that he was more than willing to work with the Ledger Dispatch to get all the correct information on what is actually going on with the city of Ione, Councilman Lloyd Oneto decided to ride along and chimed in as to why the Ledger was suddenly so involved with the ongoings of Ione, going so...

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Jack Mitchell
02/13/2013 5:25 PM

I recently received an autobiography, of John Edmonson, written by John Fletcher and Holliday Edmonson in the year 1919. The Edmonsons were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. He is the great-grandfather of one of our local citizens.

I found this letter the other day and couldn’t help but reflect on the differences a hundred and fifty years have made on this country. I, like so many others, have been guilty of speaking about the “simpler times” in America. I suppose in some ways it was simpler; however, in many ways, it...

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