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Opinion

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

There’s no doubt that Hank Willy, recently profiled in this paper, has many years of experience in local water. He has made many contributions to our county, especially to Jackson Valley.

But it’s equally obvious that Mr. Willy has some real biases.

Mr. Willy disparages people who believe that rivers are important as more than water supply. He has long criticized those who work to protect the recreational, economic, environmental, habitat, cultural and social values of our local rivers and streams.

Rather than reinforce...

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Via Press Release
1 week ago

The Wood Angels are thankful for community support

The Wood Angels would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity in compiling, writing, ad space, etc., to allow us to share the plight of the Wood Angels organization. We were at a pivotal point a few weeks ago and because of your efforts to fund our ad and story, we feel that we are on our way to being recognized in the community as a full-fledged grass-roots organization that is truly needed in our small community of Amador. We hope to stay around for as...

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Eric Winslow
1 week ago
The U.S.A. is only as great as the God-given freedom and liberty that our unique and precious constitution protects. Your constitutional right to freely express your opinion about America is what makes America the singular and indispensable nation it is. Therefore, the more we express our liberty freedom of expression, the stronger and better we become. If concerned citizens and intelligent American patriots ever cease our vigilant and continual practice of constructive criticism and symbolic disagreement with what we see as the... [Read more]
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Eric Winslow
1 week ago
"Basket of Deplorables" cartoon by ALD staff artist Eric Winslow. [Read more]
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Via Press Release
2 weeks ago

As the former County Behavioral Health Director and a District 4 resident, I spoke before the Amador County Board of Supervisors on August 23. I voiced my disappointment and disgust about the board’s scathing, unfair criticism of this year’s Grand Jury (GJ) members. I also lamented the cuts in mental health services that were caused by the board’s approving overly expensive leases for the Health and Human Services Building on Ridge Road, which was much larger than the county needed.

The 2014­15 and 2013­14 Grand Juries also...

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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago

As a person with Medicare, you have important rights. One of them is the right to appeal.

An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or payment decision by Medicare or your Medicare health plan. For example, you can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies: a request for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug that you think you should get; a request for payment of a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug you already got; or, a request to reduce the amount you must pay...

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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago
San Francisco 49ers football player Colin Kaepernick created a firestorm recently when he refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. He added to the widespread outrage when he explained his action with this dilly: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago

On Tuesday evening, August 23, 2016, the long-awaited Amador County General Plan Update was forwarded by the Amador County Planning Commission to the Amador County Board of Supervisors for consideration. At the meeting, the public was informed that all items of concern could be found online and any more discussions would not be heard.

For the meeting, I had prepared a presentation on “water supply during drought,’ which I intended to make during the customary public comment period. Rather than allowing public comment, the Planning...

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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago
Early in 2014, Bill Retelle, of Seattle, Washington, called with an unusual request. He had just met with Kathleen Harmon, Executive Director of the Amador Community Foundation. To honor his mother, Rose Bird, born in Electra and a graduate of Jackson Union High School, Bill had decided to donate a portion of his estate when he passed away to the Community Foundation’s 501(c)(3) fund to award college scholarships to graduating Argonaut High School seniors. He requested that a committee be established to oversee the fund and choose... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago

The recent Ledger Dispatch article, “Amador County’s trees are in danger,” while well-intended and informative, contains several misstatements that need correction to avoid misleading the public about the current situation in the Sierras.

The article suggests that “control burns, watering the trees, chipping, clear-cutting and leaving the forest as it stands” are the only options for managing the forest under the current Western Pine Beetle epidemic, which is killing the Ponderosa Pine trees. It neglects to note that thinning...

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Via Press Release
08/25/2016 12:40 PM

General Plan Update has too many maps

The Amador County General Plan is moving toward adoption. As a California-licensed traffic engineer and former public works director, I have made several comments on the related Draft and Final Environmental Impact Reports. One of my concerns relates to the “Functional Classification” of state and county roads.

Roads are classified as Principal Arterial, Minor Arterial, Major Collector, Minor Collector and Local. The classifications are important to those who make decisions about road...

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Eric Winslow
08/25/2016 1:08 PM

California’s groundwater may contain naturally occurring radioactivity. Radioactive minerals occur irregularly in California’s bedrock, and when dissolved in water, radionuclides are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Unlike community water systems, private wells in California are not routinely regulated or monitored for contaminants like radionuclides. As a result, well owners are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe.

In some well water, the concentrations of radionuclides exceed public drinking water standards,...

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Guest Commentator
08/25/2016 12:44 PM

Amador County deserves politics that are as good as its people.

I am responding to the unfortunate personal attack levied on me by former District 4 Supervisor Candidate Gwen Clayton in last week’s paper. I was saddened and dismayed to see Ms. Clayton bring to Amador County the worst kind of political rhetoric we are seeing in the presidential race today. Instead of focusing on what we can do together to make our county prosper or explain why she prefers the incumbent in the election, she chose to attack me.

I think we...

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Guest Commentator
08/18/2016 2:44 PM

In response to your commentary Aug. 12, please take my words in the spirit in which they were intended. I am not trying to berate or antagonize you. But I have some concerns that I want to address.

So far, what I’ve seen coming from your campaign is a bunch of promises to create a Utopian society, but no real plan to get there. You’re good about attacking the incumbent regarding the Grand Jury Report and the stonewalling of the general plan update, but I don’t see any reason why voters would have faith that you would be any...

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Via Press Release
08/11/2016 2:27 PM

Frank Axe offers to debate Louis Boitano

This fall’s District 4 supervisor election is critical for Amador County’s future. As I talk to the voters in Sutter Creek, rural Jackson and Pine Grove, it’s clear they deserve a full and robust debate on the issues facing our county today.

Those issues include building a stronger economy with family-wage jobs; protecting local community character, quality of life and scenic beauty; protecting local residents from wildland fire; the Grand Jury special reports on the Health and Human...

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Guest Commentator
08/11/2016 2:20 PM

(Editor’s note: Molly Taylor is a third-generation Amador County landowner studying Urban Development at New York University. She grew up roaming and riding on her family’s ranch outside Ione.)

I am writing as a member of a third-generation Amador County family and landowner. Presently a resident of New York City, I am struck by the critical nature of foresightful, in-depth civic planning and how deeply and permanently affected communities can be though poor, lopsided and superficial planning.

The stark contrast between the...

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Guest Commentator
08/11/2016 2:24 PM

(This guest commentary first appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Upcountry News Vol. 15, No. 8, courtesy of Rick Torgerson, Publisher)

After reading Ruth Gottstein’s and Linda Toren’s articles in the July issue of the West Point News, I felt a sense of deep pride in our local community. In these troubled times, they reminded us not only to become well-informed and utilize our public libraries, but also to nurture and seek the best in ourselves, both personally and collectively. Rather than engaging in rancorous or hateful...

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Jerry Budrick
08/09/2016 2:15 PM

In Brent Parsons’s recent column, Amador Water Agency General Manager Gene Mancebo said that in another 20 years or so, “…we will need to complete conservation projects like the small-diameter pipeline and possibly new supply projects.”

Mr. Mancebo is right that the county has large surpluses of water today. And the AWA’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan update, completed in June, does not project a need for new water supplies in the foreseeable future.

The water plan includes forecasts of supply and demand. Table 7-4:...

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Eric Winslow
08/03/2016 7:22 PM
Solar carports and canopies are a win-win for drivers and businesses.
Everybody likes to win. So, when there is chance to get a win-win, that's doubly great, right? Since win-win situations appear so rarely in our world of conflict and strife, we would be smart to take full advantage of one when it does pop up. Happily, foothill folk are fortunate to have the kind of sunny climate that would make the spread of the solar carports the kind of win-win that keeps on winning for multiple companies, organizations and groups in our County, year after year. By building solar carports and canopies, we can all... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
07/28/2016 3:37 PM
Thank you for your article on the Scouts from Troop 159. It was very intertaining, as well as encouraging. I am a member of Troop 477 in Ione and live out side of Plymouth. I am currently working on my Eagle. It was encouraging to hear about these men and their experiences they had as Scouts and how they continue to reflect on them even now, as senior citizens. Now I know all this time I’ve spent in Scouts will not be a waste, but a blessing that I will have something to look back on and remember all the fun and hardships through the... [Read more]
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