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Ledger Editorials

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Jack Mitchell
07/23/2015 10:35 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch/Kit Carson Mountain Men

We are in danger of losing our history. Newspapers have been published since 1855 under different mastheads. And for years, folks looking to dig into history have ventured to the Amador County Public Library to seek information on microfilm.

The problem – microfilm has a life cycle.

In fact, one of the machines used to search past publications is one that no longer has parts made for it or can be serviced. Thankfully, a second machine was graciously donated to assist the public. But even with that amazing gift, the microfilm...

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Jack Mitchell
05/28/2015 10:28 AM

The advice “Don’t shoot the messenger” was expressed by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra. When told Antony has married another, Cleopatra threatens to treat the messenger’s eyes as balls, eliciting the response “Gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match.” Prior to that, a related sentiment was expressed in Antigone by Sophocles as, “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.”

An analogy of the phrase can come from the breaching of an unwritten code of conduct in war, in which a commanding officer was...

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Brent Parsons
05/21/2015 10:03 AM
The Clown Motel, "Cheap, dog-friendly and clean enough for us." Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
Leslie and I set out on a trip back in June of 1979. In those days we traveled light. Her Honda Civic couldn’t carry much and my Datsun pickup was broken. I had my 450 Honda bike which I commuted on but had little cargo capacity. Leslie was a new flight attendant for Hughes Air West, or Worst, depending on how your trip went. The yellow planes were the Flying Bananas. I was an eighth grade teacher who was burned out and looking for a change. We could survive on her salary as I figured out a direction. The rent for our tiny house on... [Read more]
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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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1 0
Brent Parsons
05/07/2015 9:52 AM
From left: Wood Angels Jim McCarthy, John Dunn, Nancy Fort and Ralph Vogel. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
When I was 9 years old, my family moved from a new Eichler subdivision on what was once an orchard in Mountain View to what was then a thinly populated, semi-isolated, usually cold and relatively inexpensive agricultural stretch of coast on the San Francisco peninsula. A half century later, even the shabby homes of my youth are subject to a bidding war. The hills above my boyhood town were covered with imported eucalyptus forests which thrived and marched until they reached the shore or met a man who decided to stand and fight with a... [Read more]
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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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1 0
Eric Winslow
04/16/2015 11:44 AM
Students at the Amador Learning Center. Photo by Wyman Dickerson

Part 3. Choose From Dozens of Degrees

Getting a college degree no longer takes a trip out of the county, thanks to a high technology and a lot of hard work on the part of the Amador County College Foundation. The ACCF was founded in 2009 to “advocate, facilitate, and support sustainable higher education in Amador County,” according the ACCF Board of Directors’ mission statement. In 2013, the Learning Center was finally opened to fulfill and further that mission. Local residents, who would otherwise have to commute for over an...

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Brent Parsons
04/16/2015 11:29 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
My “Too Old to Die Young” column a couple of weeks ago contained little to smile about. I apologize, especially to those who feel like life has become a series of pummeling interrupted less frequently by shorter respites. I do not hear from readers very often, but a few after that one expressed there were enough “Debbie Downers” knocking at the door without one sneaking in via the newspaper. That column was stimulated by a recent Alzheimer diagnosis. Not on me, but a sibling. The disease took my mom five years ago. The similarities... [Read more]
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William Peterson
04/09/2015 10:56 AM
William Peterson. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

There are many different types of effective trusts to accomplish specific things in retirement and estate planning. Unfortunately though, many people don’t ever consider the use of trusts because of the perception that they are only for the ultra wealthy. Actually, trusts are used by millions of people who just simply care about what happens to their wealth once they pass away.

The fact is that simple wills are highly exposed to contest. That leads to probate and, typically, large amounts of time and expense. Quite often, taking...

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John Tuttle
04/02/2015 10:48 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Californians around the state can now use an online tool to report incidents of fish and wildlife mortality directly to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. By contributing to CDFW’s growing database, citizens can help state environmental scientists gather important information necessary to monitor and evaluate wildlife populations and help prevent and control emerging diseases.

“The CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab is asking for this information so we can be one step ahead of a potential disease outbreak or other...

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Brent Parsons
04/02/2015 10:43 AM
Brent Parsons. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
We try to sweep death under the rug and youth is a good broom. That future extended out of sight, and death, a surreal threat, lurked far beyond the horizon. There was much to discover and do: find a companion, a career, a home, travel, raise kids and pets, and find joy or peace from pursuit and accomplishment. There is a point in life’s journey when a crest is crossed and a descent begins. Gravity can be a friend, but not always. That benchmark passes without celebration or sadness because it is impossible to identify. Except... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
03/26/2015 10:48 AM
Maureen Funk. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
Sutter Creek was a pretty cool little city back in 1993. All of Highway 49’s traffic came right down its center. Making a left turn onto Main from Spanish or visa-versa often took a while, but it was still less congested on a bad day than Santa Cruz on any day. We had lived in this town and worked a block away for four years. I was a new councilman. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could pull off the finances of survival but it was a pretty place even to go broke. My gallery business was very sensitive to the economic ebbs and the... [Read more]
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Jack Mitchell
01/22/2015 6:31 AM

The Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic bill, State Senate Bill 1199, was a major story in Amador County, regardless of your position on the issue, just as Cecily Smith the Executive Director for the Foothill Conservancy has stated in her guest commentary today. I don’t recall ever running an editorial for, or against, the Mokelumne Wild and Scenic bill — in fact I never have.

You are correct in our bias, however. I failed to hold the Foothill Conservancy responsible for their lack of information when we first requested many items to...

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Jack Mitchell
12/19/2014 10:11 AM

So, we’ve been a little crazy up here at the Amador Ledger Dispatch. The holiday season is definitely a test of strength and courage as a limited staff tries to cover and get to all the happenings without letting anyone down. And in Amador County, it’s impossible. Everyone has great stuff and great things going on. Out and about, a lot of the businesses I visit get to talking about stories they’d like to see, or things we need to cover — and yes, things we didn’t necessarily knock out of the park the first go round.

And so it was,...

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1 0
Jack Mitchell
12/05/2014 7:51 AM

If you have ever worked at a newspaper, you come to dislike the holidays. Early deadlines, timing of coverages, even schedules of cartoons and other pieces you may not think about, become a headache.

This year, the Thanksgiving holiday also happened to be the same week as a family wedding in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so I knew it was going to be a barn-burner to get finished with what I could and out the door.

As I plotted and planned for my family vacation/wedding trip, I got, what I refer to as, the “double-smacker” as the Editor of...

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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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