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Opinion

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Guest Commentator
3 days ago

To those people who believe that forming a new state made up of the rural northern California counties (the State of Jefferson), please note that I, and many others, don’t want our freedom to live in California taken away. I wish to remain a resident of this state for many reasons. Those who live in Amador (and several other rural counties) are recipients of many benefits provided by California.

According to a memo by Amador County Administrative Officer Chuck Iley to the Amador County Board of Supervisors dated January 20,...

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Guest Commentator
3 days ago

Writer was looking forward to voting on State of Jefferson

An open letter to the Amador County Board of Supervisors:

I was disappointed when reading the article in the Ledger Dispatch last week about the Board of Supervisors’ decision to take the State of Jefferson off of the voting agenda in the next primary election. I attended the board meeting the month before, when a vast majority of the attendees in the room were in support of the grass roots movement to remove Amador County from the State of California and join the...

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

Have you considered managing your own stock market investments instead of using a professional money manager? Self-management popularity has skyrocketed the last couple of years, with one statistic magnifying the situation. In 2014, Vanguard Mutual Funds, the most popular choice of self-managers, had an all-time record of investment inflows for one company: $216 billion. Final numbers for 2015 have not been released yet, but they are expected to be even more. There are three primary reasons driving the move to self-managing.

Reduced...

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Jerry Budrick
6 days ago

This is an open letter to the Board of Supervisors, Sen. Tom Berryhill, Rep. Frank Bigelow, other Amador County elected officials and employees, NPOs, vendors, contractors, and any others with a relationship with The Oaks Community Association (TOCA).

A State of Jefferson meeting is being held in TOCA’s clubhouse on Feb. 3. This event violates a long-standing policy of not using TOCA’s resources for political events. Without approval by the Board of Directors or the TOCA community as a whole, the current board president, Rickie...

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

By Gwendolyn K. Christeson

The best legal advice I can give you is to: “Put It In Writing.”

Not convinced? The longer you wait to do what you know you should do, the riskier your situation. You can save your family members and heirs a lot of time, money and heartache if you choose now to “Put It In Writing.” I have been practicing law, specializing in estate planning for over thirteen years. While working with families and sometimes litigating these issues, I have seen the heartache, fighting and destruction of relationships...

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Guest Commentator
1 week ago

Guest Commentary by the IRS

If someone helps you do your taxes, you’re not alone. The IRS asks you to choose your tax return preparer wisely – for good reason. You are responsible for the information on your income tax return. That’s true no matter who prepares your return. Here are ten tips to keep in mind when choosing a tax preparer:

Check the Preparer’s Qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications on IRS.gov. This tool can help you find a tax return preparer...

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Via Press Release
2 weeks ago

As I start leaving the silver years and head to the golden years of life, I find myself attending more funerals and taking the time to ponder life. I hear some great things about people at funerals that I never knew; things I wish I had known when they were alive. I also realize that there are a lot of wonderful people in Amador County that have many years ahead of them and have given me positive inspiration through their example.

One of those people is Johnny Vinciguerra. Most of us know his smiling face if we shopped at Safeway....

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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago
Having read about President Obama’s historic signing of the landmark K-12 education measure signed into law on December 10, my first speculation would be that “Every Student Succeeds Act” will have no effect here. This is because it largely implements and allows — on a national level — what California has already been pioneering in the last two to three years. California has reduced emphasis on testing, changed to tests that are meaningful to teachers, increased flexibility in classrooms, and increased vocational, arts and life... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago

In 2016, it is anticipated that there will be several competing propositions to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California. The proponents will tell you that too many people are going to jail for mere possession of small amounts of marijuana. The truth is that nobody goes to jail anymore for mere possession of marijuana for personal use, due to the impacts of Realignment and, more recently, Proposition 47.

Proponents will also tout the fiscal benefits to the state and local governments due to the taxation of...

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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago
have met thousands of people in my course of campaigning, and many have asked me about my political ideology. Am I conservative or liberal? I told them I am in the middle. I questioned them about their ideology. Some would state that they were very conservative. Then I would ask them, “Do you believe in women’s reproductive rights?” “Of course I do” was their response. I would scratch my head. “What about same sex marriage?” I would ask. “Every adult has the right to marry the person of their choice” they would say. I would scratch... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
3 weeks ago

If you’re not close to retirement age, it’s easy to ignore what Social Security is doing. However, some significant announcements late last year make now a very good time to pay attention.

What follows is a summary of notable changes to Social Security at the start of 2016 and ways to ensure you’re making the right retirement planning and claiming (consumerfinance.gov/retirement/before-you-claim/) decisions based on what’s ahead:

1. 2016 Social Security payments won’t increase. In late October, Social Security (ssa.gov/myaccount...

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Guest Commentator
01/07/2016 11:13 AM

Six weeks ago, while foothill state legislators Senator Tom Berryhill and Assemblymember Frank Bigelow were staying in a luxurious Maui hotel at a private conference bankrolled by lobbyists and special interest groups, many Butte Fire survivors were still homeless and scrambling for assistance in the aftermath of the seventh most destructive wildfire in state history.

One week before the two foothill legislators departed to Maui, Katie Clark, whose parents lost everything in the fire, wrote to both lawmakers urgently requesting...

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Guest Commentator
01/07/2016 11:16 AM

The Desert Independent

Californians have a bad habit of merely paying traffic tickets, then paying even more for traffic school. California courts report that fewer than 10% of those with traffic tickets choose to go to trial.

In May, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court ordered a change. She demanded “a court rule that makes it clear that Californians do not have to pay for a traffic infraction before being able to appear in court.” She described the problem as “an access to justice issue.” Anyone who has tried to...

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Guest Commentator
12/29/2015 12:52 PM

In Response to Nora Coryell’s Dec. 18, 2015 Letter

Why would a person blame a lawful organization for such malice with absolutely no facts, let alone information, to back up the article (...NRA must be very proud)? The NRA did not sell those weapons to the deranged individuals. However, the law was followed in their purchase. Admittedly, all purchasers of firearms don’t undergo training on the proper handling of their purchase, but another very large group of law-abiding citizens and NRA supporters do, including me. The criminal...

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Guest Commentator
12/29/2015 12:28 PM

Is beauty a real thing, or does it exist only in the eye of the beholder?

As an idea, beauty can take many forms: people, places, things, ideas, words. All of the aforementioned have beauty that eyes can behold.

The Mona Lisa, family bonding, the Great Outback of Australia, the harmonic sound of a violin – these are only a few examples of what someone might consider beautiful. What some see as beautiful, others do not. For example, a tornado may be a beautiful and astounding sight from a safe distance, but you wouldn’t feel the...

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Guest Commentator
12/29/2015 12:43 PM

The biggest news in Medicare for 2016 is the Part B premium. I’m happy to report that for most people with Medicare, the premium will stay the same as it was in 2015: $104.90 per month.

In fact, Part B premiums – which pay for doctor services, outpatient care, and preventive health benefits, among other things – haven’t changed for the last three years (2013, 2014 and 2015).

That’s because of slow growth in medical costs and inflation.

Since there’s no Social Security cost-of-living increase for 2016, the law requires that...

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Guest Commentator
12/22/2015 12:11 PM

We are writing to commend Volcano Telephone Service Center Manager David Dobbie. His actions during the Butte Fire truly exemplify the words from that company’s Mission statement: “passion for excellence in all we do…” and “contributing to our community…”

On September 9, 2015, my husband and I packed our belongings and pets and prepared to evacuate our Glencoe home. With flames in view out our front windows, in the dark, in the 100 degree heat, under a heavy layer of choking smoke, we literally kissed our beloved home of 20 years a...

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Guest Commentator
12/22/2015 12:06 PM

Why Christmas is important to all, not just believers but other religions and even people that don’t believe in God or any faith or religion.

By Father Roger Riggsby

As not only a Christian and a Minister, my life is dedicated to Jesus as my Savior and constant guide to all that I am and strive to be through his words and actions.

I would propose that the birth of Jesus and his life and times were and are still relevant to our culture and societies today. Of course to me Jesus is the Lord and central focus of who I am, but...

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Guest Commentator
12/17/2015 12:58 PM

A couple of months back, it was announced that we’d be getting a Han Solo-centric Star Wars Anthology film in 2018 to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“21 Jump Street,” “The Lego Movie”) and scripted by screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan (“The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) and his son Jon Kasdan.

For whatever reason, I find myself thinking about this Star Wars film more than any of the others in development with the exception of the imminent “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”...

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Via Press Release
12/17/2015 12:55 PM

Well Folks, we’ve finally surpassed the incredible standard of having an average of at least one mass shooting a day in 2015. Logical perhaps, since we now have more firearms than we have people. The NRA must be so proud, not to mention rich. These two facts taken together do certainly give the lie to the nonsense that more guns make us safer, and still the dumb party continues to deny that gun violence and guns are related. After all, it’s not the gun’s fault, right?

According to them, absolutely everyone should have some, and...

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