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Where’s Windfall – February 2014

Written on February 27, 2014 at 11:17 am, by


Smit’s Solar Heating and Air

Written on August 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm, by


Owner Tim Murphy and his team, are the local experts for your home or business solar energy systems.  Imagine saving over two thousand dollars per year on your energy costs.

2nd Annual Open House

Written on August 9, 2013 at 7:46 am, by


2nd Annual Open House! Live Music! Car Show!  Food & Fun! Raffle Prizes! Face Painting!

New Morning Youth and Family Services

Written on August 2, 2013 at 8:38 am, by


Founded in 1970 to address the growing drug epidemic affecting the community and its youth, New Morning is now the longest serving nonprofit in El Dorado County.

Metal Mart

Written on July 26, 2013 at 7:17 pm, by


Although located in Rancho Cordova near Sunrise and Hwy 50, Metal Mart has its roots in El Dorado County.  Bud and Jan Lindau have lived in Placerville since 1989, back when they started Budget Fence here in the county.

Maverick Real Estate Services

Written on July 21, 2013 at 11:14 pm, by

Maverick Real Estate Services

Nancy and Jeff moved to El Dorado County back in the late 1990s but did not know each other at the time.  They both started families then (with other spouses) and had moved to the county to start and rase families.

Diamond Central Building Materials

Written on July 12, 2013 at 7:32 am, by


Owned and operated by local residents Ken and Heidi Drury, Diamond Central Building Materials is a masonry, concrete and landscape material yard for professional and do-it-yourselfer.

‘Home Grown’ by Terri Scott/Paradise Plants. Call to order your plants/produce! 530-295-8137 or email

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm, by

So many Heirlooms to choose from!
When planning my garden, one of my primary goals is to plant a good variety of tomatoes. I love a large, sweet, juicy tomato slice placed on my hamburger right off the BBQ. I use a ton of paste type tomatoes for the spaghetti sauce, tomato soup and tortilla soup I preserve each year. For my salsa, I have to have plenty of purple, orange, red, pink and yellow tomatoes for a beautiful and colorful result.  Then of course right by the garden gate, a nice cherry tomato plant (or two) to nibble on while I wander through the paths enjoying my summer garden. Here are some of my favorites:

Paste Type:

Purple Russian – This Russian heirloom produces huge amounts of purple-red 6 oz. plum to egg shaped tomatoes. The skin is blemish free, it hold up well and the meaty flesh has a sweet flavor.

Black Pear – This Russian heirloom produces a large amount of dark mahogany-brown tomatoes with dark green shoulders. The fruits are 6-8 oz. and shaped like miniature pears, and has a sweet flavor. These do very well in a cool climate.

Japanese Black Trifele – This beautiful tomato is a heavy producer, the fruits are a purplish brick color, smooth and shaped like a Barlett pear. The flavor is absolutely amazing. It is believed to have come from Russia.

Baller – Heavy producer, Roma type tomato. Mild flavor with meaty flesh which is great to add to sauces.

Black Plum – This produces a long steady crop of 2″ plum shaped fruit. Very unique sweet tangy flavor. My all time favorite to skin for sauce making. Quick hot water bath, pinch and the whole tomato pops out of its skin.

Large Tomatoes:
Copia -This is a red and yellow striped slicer, was named in honor of the American Center for Food, Wine, and the Arts, of Napa CA. Its stripes of glowing gold and neon red make it a must have in the garden and its flavorful mix of  red and yellow flesh make it a must have on your summer sandwiches.

Brandywine – This popular heirloom is a favorite for its exceptionally rich tomato flavor. Fruits grow from 12 oz. to 2 lbs. This is a pink tomato with a potato leaf plant. An Amish variety from the 1880’s.

Paul Robeson – This has almost a cult following among seed collectors. (I have been saving these seeds for over 10 years). These 10 oz. fruits have a sweet smokey flavor and are black brick color. A longer (90 day) variety but well worth the wait.

My Beauties:
Violet Jasper – I chose these little oriental jewels for their looks, but continue to grow them for their wonderful taste and high yields. These 3 oz little beauties have violet purple fruit with iridescent green streaks! The flesh is dark purplish red, and a beautiful in a green salad.

Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge – The name intrigued me to buy seed the first year. The second year I wouldn’t even sell these, because I wanted them all for myself. Didn’t even share with the family. This year I started enough to share. This stunning tangerine orange tomato with shocking true purple smudges on the shoulders, have a nice sweet fruit like taste. They are amazing for snaking and great in fresh salsa. I add them to my sauces as well. Fruits are 6-10 oz. and abundant.

Wapsipinicon Peach – This wispy leafed plant produces a tremendous amount of delicate fuzzy-like-a-peach pale yellow tomatoes with little tinges of pink. They are juicy and sweet all the way till’ frost.

Just a reminder: Please check your weather regularly. It looks like we are going to have quite a variety of weather conditions this May. Protect plants you have set out when the temperature is expected to drop.

Call out: Paradise Plants is have a Plant Sale Mother’s Day weekend:  4′ pots are on sale 2 for $5  Gallons are 2 for $10

‘Home Grown’ by Terri Scott/Paradise Plants. Call to order your plants/produce! 530-295-8137 or email

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm, by

Timing Is Everything

Well timing may not literally be everything, but it is very important when it comes to gardening. Different  plants should be set out adifferent times, when the weather is suitable for the plants specificneeds. Some plants are considered cold hardy while others are tenderand can not tolerate any cool temperatures. Plants that aresusceptible to chilling injury should be set out after all risk offrost has past and for some plants waiting until the soil has warmedis needed. Chilling injuries include stunted growth, wilting, surfacepitting, and an increase susceptibility to disease. Low soiltemperatures actually prevent root development. Low temperaturesduring flowering can interfere with pollination. Since there is noreal benefit to rushing the plants into the garden, I highly recommendwaiting for the proper time for your location. For me at my 3000’elevation, I plant all tender and very tender plants after Mothers Daythru June 1st. You can adjust this time frame as needed for your area.

Can tolerate light frosts and the seeds will germinate at fairly low temperatures. Some cold hardy vegetables are onion sets, cabbageplants, asparagus, and rhubarb.

May be injured by even a light frost. The seeds will germinate at lowtemperatures. If setting out early, offer some protection from frost.This group includes lettuce, beets, carrots, chard, parsley, peas,
artichoke and cauliflower.TENDER VEGETABLE PLANTS
Will be injured by light frost and will not thrive at low tempertures. The seeds need warm tempertures to germinate. These should not be set out too early. Snap beans, tomato, sweet corn and sweet potato are
considered to be tender vegetable plants.

Will be easily damaged by low temperatures. The seeds will rot if planted in cool soil. Very tender vegetable seeds and plants should beplanted after the soil has warmed. A good test that I use is to sit down right in your garder plot, if the soil feel comfortable and warm to your fanny, then it will feel good to these very tender plants and seeds as well. Very tender vegetable plants are eggplant, peppers, dry beans, cucumber, watermelon, squash and pumpkin.

Here at Paradise Plants, our tender plants are still in the greenhouse. We are taking them in and out daily to harden them off, so theywill  be ready for planting time.

Order your plants today so that you will be ready for planting when the time is right!
Tomato and pepper plants in 4″ pots are $3.00 ea.
Variety of vegetables in 6 packs are $4.00 ea.
Other individual vegetables and herbs are $2.00 ea.
Gallon container plants are $6.00 ea.

2013 Plant List – Ready for purchase!  Call Paradise Plants today, 530-295-8137 before we sell out!
Peppers: Jalapeno, Cayenne, Purple Tiger, Yellow Schotch Bonnet, Hot Banana, Sweet Banana, Anaheim, Serrano, Santa Fe, Poblano, Pasilla Bajio, El Chaco, Habanero, California Red and Green Bell, Large Yellow Bell, Canary Bell, Orange Sun, Lipstick

Tomatoes: Purple Russian, Copia, Henderson’s Pink Ponderosa, Orange
Strawberry, HillBilly, Amana Orange, Cherokee Purple, Wapsipinicon
Peach, Roma Rio Grande, Abe Lincoln, Cour di Bue, Black Krim, Violet
Jasper, Mountain Princess, Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge, Ethel Watkins
Best, Rutgers, Brandywine, Carbon, Sub Artic Plenty, Siberia, Oregon
Spring, Prudence Purple, Bleck Pear, Hawaiian Pinapple, First Pick,
Black Brandywine, Jefferson Giant, Big White Pink Stripes, Lucky
Leprachaun, Trip-L-Crop, Lime Green Salad, Black Plum, Sausage, Cow’s
Teat, Amish Paste, Baller, Brown Berry, Pink Brandywine, Constaluto
Genevese, Besser, San Marzano, Paul Robeson, Natures Riddle, Italian
Roma, Silvery Fir Tree, Garden Peach, Italian Heirloom, Aunt Ginny’s
Purple, Pink Fuzzy Boar, Red Zebra, Striped Cavern, Blue Angel,
Berkely Tie Dye, Hippie Zebra, Cherokee Chocolate, Japanese Black
Trifle, Red Brandywine, Homestead 2, Cambell 33, Yellow Pear, Indigo
Apple, Roma, Heinz 2274, Black Prince, Martino’s Roma, Jubilee, New
Yorker, Chocolate Stripes, Red Striped Furry Hog, Indigo Rose, Polish,
Sungold Select II, Manitoba, Northern Delight, Striped Roman, Black
Ethiopian, Russian Black, Hawaiian Currant, Tangerine, Picardy,
Tennessee Surprise, Hezhou, Precher, Pineapple, Azoychoka, Omar’s
Lebanese, Box Car Willie, Plum Lemon, Truly Orange, Pink Oxheart,
Nyagoous, Lil’ Pumpkin, Weeping Charley, Reisetomate, Money Maker,
Aunt Ginny’s Yellow Cherry, Banana Legs, Jaune Cour de Pigeon, German
Red Strawberry

Squash: Zucchini, Baby Round Zucchini, Crookneck, Scallop, Acorn,
Butterbush, Butternut, Spaghetti, Lakota, Delicata Honey Boat,
Jarrahdale Pumpkin, Musque de Provence Pumpkin, Jack-O-Lantern
Pumpkin, Sugar Pie Pumpkin, Knuckle Head Pumpkin

Melon: Cantaloup, Moon and Stars Watermelon, Osh Kirgizia Watermelon,
Charleston Gray Watermelon, Jubilee Watermelon, White Fleshed
Watermelon, Royal Golden Watermelon

Cucumber: Lemon, Pickling, Straight 8, Burpless, Armenian Burpless

Tomatillo: Green, Purple, Pineapple

Corn: Jubilee, Honey and Cream, Early Sunglow, Farm fresh, Silver
Choice, Golden Cross Bantam

Herbs: Dark Opal Basil, Sweet Basil, Lemon Basil, Siam Basil, Chives,
Oregano, Cilantro

Beans: Snap Trionfo Violetto, Contender, Pencil Pod Yellow Wax, Blue
Lake Heirloom, Dry Calypso, Pinto, Anasazi

‘Home Grown’ by Terri Scott/Paradise Plants. Call to order your plants/produce! 530-295-8137 or email

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm, by


Before you begin to plant your garden, its a good idea to make a plan ahead of time. Which vegetables do you want to grow? How much of each one will you need to plant in order to yield enough for your family? When is the best time to plant in your area? Where is the best place to plant them within your garden location? It may help to make a sketch on paper. Here are some points to consider as well:

  •  Plant perennials off to one side of your garden, so that they won’t be disturbed when preparing the the soil for the rest the garden.
  • Plan to place taller plants so they won’t shade the smaller plants. It helps to go into your garden area at different times of the day to determine the direction of the sun.
  • Allow enough space between rows and plants to access for watering, weeding, and harvesting. Consider the expected size of the mature plant.
  •   Plan to make succession plantings of crops like sweet corn, snap beans, and radishes, to provide a steady supply over the season.
  •   If you have the space, plant extra for canning, freezing or drying.
  •   Vine crops, such as cucumbers,cantaloupe, pumpkins and squash are usually planted on hills, but may be trained to grow up a trellis to save space.
  •   Set plants out in late afternoon, or on a cloudy day. Plants set out in the heat of the day may wilt. Shading the plant during the hottest part of the day can help a new transplant to get established. Plants set out in early Spring may need protecting for the cold with the use of hot caps, plastic row covers or a basket. (These should be removed during sunny days).
  • Consider arranging your planting to create winding pathways versus straight rows, and adding flowers such as marigolds. Your garden can provide a beautiful landscape as well as fresh produce for your table.

Here at Paradise Plants, we know first hand that a good garden plan can provide fresh vegetables over a long period of time. When early crops are harvested, plan to prepare the soil again, and plant others to mature in the fall. Remember to place your orders from now for our Heirloom plants, they go quickly and we don’t want your garden to be without them! Recently, we have added the very rare Indigo Apple and Indigo Rose, Yellow Pear, Campbell 33, Constaluto Genevese, Jefferson Giant, Homestead 24, Red Brandy Wine, Japanese Black Trifle, Cherokee Chocolate, Hippie Zebra, Berkeley Tie Dye, Blue Angel, Striped Cavern, Red Zebra, Pink Fuzzy Boar, Natures Riddle, Garden Peach, and Paul Robeson.

There is nothing better then to be seated at a table, surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the fruits and vegetables, from your very own garden! Call Paradise Plants today, and get your garden growing tomorrow!

‘Home Grown’ by Terri Scott/Paradise Plants. Call to order your plants/produce! 530-295-8137 or email Terri :

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm, by

Container Gardening
If you do not have space for a vegetable garden or if your present site is too small, consider raising fresh, nutritious, homegrown vegetables in containers. A windowsill, patio, balcony or doorstep can provide sufficient space for a productive container garden. Problems with soil borne diseases, nematodes or poor soil can also be overcome by switching to container gardening.

Grow vegetables that take up little space – such as carrots, radishes, and lettuce – or crops that bear fruit over a period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers. Dwarf or miniature varieties often mature and bear fruit early, but most do not produce as well overall compared to standard varieties. The amount of sunlight that your container garden receives may determine which crops can be grown. Generally, root crops and leaf crops can tolerate partial shade. Vegetables grown for their fruits generally need at least five hours of full, direct sunlight each day, but perform better with eight to 10 hours.

There are many possible containers for gardening. Clay, wood, plastic and metal are some of the suitable materials. Containers for vegetable plants must: (1) be big enough to support plants when they are fully grown, (2) hold soil without spilling, (3) have adequate drainage, and (4) never have held products that would be toxic to plants or people. Whatever type of container you use, be sure that there are holes in the bottom for drainage so that plant roots do not stand in water. Most plants need containers at least 6 to 8 inches deep for adequate rooting.

Soil Medium
A fairly lightweight potting mix is needed for container vegetable gardening. Soil straight from the garden cannot be used.
Container medium needs to be porous because roots require both air and water. Packaged potting soil available at local garden centers is relatively lightweight and may make a good container medium.

Plant container crops at the same time you would if you were planting a regular garden. Fill a clean container to within one-half inch of the top with the slightly damp soil mixture. Peat moss in the mix will absorb water and mix much more readily if soaked in water before putting the mix in the container. Sow the seeds or set transplants according to instructions on the seed package. Put a label with the name, variety and date of planting on or in each container. After planting, gently soak the soil with water, being careful not to wash out or displace seeds. Thin seedlings to obtain proper spacing when the plants have two or three leaves. If cages, stakes, or other supports are needed, provide them when the plants are very small to avoid later root damage.

Pay particular attention to watering container plants. Because the volume of soil is relatively small, containers can dry out very quickly, especially on a concrete patio in full sun. Daily or even twice-daily watering may be necessary. However, the soil should never be soggy or have water standing on top of it. Check containers at least once a day and twice on hot, dry or windy days. Feel the soil to determine whether or not it is damp.

If you use a soil mix with fertilizer added, then your plants will have enough nutrients for eight to 10 weeks. If plants are grown longer than this, add a water-soluble fertilizer at the recommended rate. Repeat every two to three weeks. An occasional dose of fish emulsion or compost will add trace elements to the soil. Do not add more than the recommended rate of any fertilizer, since this may cause fertilizer burn and kill the plants. Container plants do not have the buffer of large volumes of soil and humus to protect them from over fertilizing or over liming. Just because a little is good for the plant does not guarantee that a lot will be better.

Need pepper plants? At Paradise Plants we’ve got ’em! Jalapeno, Cayenne, Purple Tiger, Yellow Scotch Bonnet, Hot and Sweet Banana, Anaheim, Serrano, Sante Fe, Poblano, Basilla Bajio, El Chaco, and Habanero Peppers, as well as red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers are available for purchase. Our list of available Heirloom tomatoes is growing!  Currently available at Paradise Plants we have Trip-L-Crop, Lucky Leprachaun, Orange fleshed Purple Smudge, Jefferson Giant, Carbon, Black Brandywine, First Pick, Hawaiian Pineapple, Black Plum, Prudence Purple, Oregon Spring, Siberia, Sub Arctic Plenty, Brandywine, Rutgers, Ethel Watkins Best, Mountain Princess, Violet Jasper, Black Krim, Cour di Bue, Abe Lincoln, Roma Rio Grande, Wapsipinicon Peach, Cherokee Purple and many more.

Call to order your plants! 530-295-8137 or email Terri Scott at Paradise Plants:

I remember when my boys went joy riding in Placerville…

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm, by

I remember when…years ago we were living in Swansboro and I was driving “to town” to get my hair done. Back in those days it was a pretty big deal to make that long drive and getting your hair done took 3 times as long as it does now. Anyway, both of my boys, ages 8 and 4, had fallen asleep on the trip to town,  and in those days, you could park the car, leave the keys in the ignition and let the kids sleep unattended, which is just what I did.
I will never forget being under that big hair dryer and seeing my car zooming down the hill in front of the beauty parlor with my boys “driving.” They had woken up, released the emergency brake and decided to go for a spin. The ladies in the beauty salon began to laugh, as soon as the boys passed back by, in reverse, waving to me with huge smiles on their faces. My husband remembers that story, too. Just not as fondly.
~Elaine Wright, Camino

I remember U.B.R.

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm, by

Back in the early 1970s, I attended El Dorado Union High School. Myself and many of my fellow Alumni are proud of our rich heritage here in El Dorado County, so much so that we decided to stay right here after graduation to continue our education, find work and settle down. We had a popular program in school that was called ROP (Regional Occupation Placement). Us kids loved it because we were able to leave campus during school hours and go to local businesses to work, learn a trade, and develop skills to eventually acquire a job. This practice was a benefit to the owners of the businesses too, not only did they get their work done but they got a sneak peak at our potential to be hired after graduation. For some of us, we made plans to attend a 4 year College, but learned real quick that it would be very expensive. The alternative was a 2 year college that was right here in Placerville. Some of us started there at the portables located behind Raley’s, which became known as U.B.R. or University Behind Raleys. Most who graduated with me from EDUHS wanted out of Placerville and into that 4 year College, as it was the only way to leave our small town and see the world. For those of us who stayed behind it was U.B.R.(Consumnes River College). U.B.R. eventually moved to it’s present site on Green Valley Road and now is a great place of learning, but those who attended U.B.R. will never forget the portables and the sounds of our footsteps on the wooden walkways and ramps leading us to our next class. Much like the present day Los Rios Community College, we were introduced to “Night Classes”, which helped all of us who had gotten jobs through the ROP Program in High School, and only had our nights free, the solution was UBR. Soon the Alumni of EDUHS will have their sixty year reunion and I will have U.B.R. tank tops and T’s available for those who attended. The portables are still used for schooling today. As for me, it’s my memories of past school days that hold some of my fondest memories… Larry Hennick, Placerville

Mike Speegle remembers Kay Kirkland

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm, by

Within the walk of life, we have rare opportunities to meet people who give 100% of their heart and souls to others, always reaching out with a helping hand, full of strength and understanding and asking little in return. My opportunity to meet on of these ‘Earthbound Angels’ was in Kay Kirkland. Many of my decisions are influenced by the ideals given to me by Kay.

Sometimes weeks would sneak by without hearing from Kay or her husband, Howard. Then, one day the phone would ring. It would be Kay asking, “How are You?”, followed by, “Are you doing anything Sunday? Can you come over for waffles?” Now, I’m not talking your everyday common waffles, these are the famous Kay Kirkland waffles! She would make the batter the night before and at 9am Sunday morning, the feast would begin. Kay would say,  “Mike, there’s enough batter for one more. If you don’t want it, the cat will get it.” I ate as many as 14 waffles and that poor cat…not a bite!

In 1997, I was elected to organize the Sunshine Committee for the El Dorado Community Hall. The purpose of the Committee was to send cards, flowers, etc., to people within the community who experienced unusual hardships. In order to raise funds to support the cause, we created the Kay Kirkland Memorial Waffle Brunch Fundraiser. Kay’s hardship was battling cancer for years, but she still found time to donate herself to others. We can now share this opportunity to taste these famous waffles and give people a chance to donate to a worthy cause. June 16th, 8am – 11am, the El Dorado Community Hall, in honor of Fathers day, presents the Kay Kirkland Famous Waffle Brunch.
~Mike Speegle

My generation did not have a “green” thing?

Written on June 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm, by

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling’s. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.

Crossroads Veterinary Hospital

Written on June 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm, by


Crossroads Veterinary Hospital is an AAHA Accredited Small Animal practice that provides exceptional care for dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets.


Written on June 14, 2013 at 7:23 am, by


On June 12th the Windfall family had a wonderful time at the V.I.P/Media Fair Preview Night hosted by the El Dorado County Fair Board of Directors.

El Dorado Naturopathic Medicine

Written on June 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm, by


Dr. Kristi Tompkins, a board certified Naturopathic Doctor, holding professional licenses in both California and Washington State, and a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and the California Naturopathic Doctors Asociation.

2013 El Dorado County Fair

Written on May 31, 2013 at 9:12 am, by


June 13-16, 2013, get your official Fair Guide only at the Windfall.


2013 El Dorado County Fair

Written on May 31, 2013 at 8:45 am, by


June 13-16, 2013, get your official Fair Guide only at the Windfall.


Minuteman Press

Written on May 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm, by


In 2000, with an extensive background in Printing, the opportunity arose for John Zachry to purchase Minuteman Press in Placerville.  He has never looked back. But it’s his generous spirit and passionate commitment to our community that people admire him most for.

Olde Coloma Theatre

Written on May 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm, by


The OCT is one of a small handful of Melodrama houses still left in the United States.  Melodrama is so fitting here in our area that was born in the Gold Rush era; it’s a casual, campy and boisterous form of entertainment that suited folks like miners well.

Gulartes’ Great Diamond Deli & Pizza

Written on May 3, 2013 at 5:10 am, by


In these times of change and uncertainty, it is an honor to feature this local gem in our spotlight this week.  It isn’t often we hear about someone celebrating their 30th year in business, and Gulartes’ Great Diamond Deli & Pizza are doing just that!

Central Payment Corporation

Written on April 26, 2013 at 11:09 am, by


Running a business, whether it is large or small, can be an all-consuming proposition.  Business owners multi-task with the best of them, oftentimes working nights and weekends to accomplish everything and keep business running smoothly and efficiently.

Cameron Park Community Foundation Youth Scholarships available

Written on April 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm, by

Press Release

Contact: Cameron Park Community Foundation: Mark Harris (530) 677-2113

For Immediate Release

Cameron Park Community Foundation Youth Scholarships available

The Cameron Park Community Foundation is offering $1,200 in Summer Activity
Scholarships to the residents of Cameron Park. For more details please contact or call (530) 677-2231

The Community Foundation mission is to provide close support for CSD and
offer opportunities for the people, parks and programs of Cameron Park. The
Foundation established in 2010 by dedicated member of the community who are
passionate about the quality of life in our area. The purpose of the Foundation
is to build upon what has been created through community awareness and fund
raising efforts.

The Foundation has opportunities to get involved with your community by
volunteering with your time and/or resources.

Upcoming events

Capital Pop Concert May 18th 7:00pm

Foothill Cruiser Car Show June 8th 10:00 – 4:00pm

Summer Spectacular June 29th 2:00 – 9:00pm

The Wineries of the Fair Play Winery Association are hosting the 32 Annual Festival

Written on April 25, 2013 at 9:19 am, by

The Wineries of Fair Play – Wines with an altitude

The Wineries of the Fair Play Winery Association are hosting the 32 Annual Festival. This event is among the longest running Wine Festivals in all of California.

Don’t miss out on meeting the wine makers and in many cases they are also Winery owners. The Fair Play appellation hosts dozens of Wineries, comprised of family-owned wineries that take pride in their vineyards, their wines and their customers.

Located between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe and just a short drive from San Francisco, Fair Play is the ideal destination to take in spectacular views and beautiful scenery while enjoying highly flavorful mountain-grown wines.

Purchase your tickets online at:

~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!

Older American’s Month 2013 Unleash the Power of Age

Written on April 25, 2013 at 9:15 am, by

Older American’s Month 2013
Unleash the Power of Age
Every year since 1963, May has been the month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions and achievements. It is a proud tradition that shows are nation’s commitment to honor the value that elders continue to contribute to our communities.
This year’s Older American’s month theme—“Unleash the Power of Age! —Emphasizes the important role of older adults. This May, communities across the nation will recognize older American’s as productive, active, and influential members of society. Older American’s Month celebrations will acknowledge the value that older adults continue to bring to our communities by making an effort to applaud recent achievements of local elders and inviting them to share the activities they do to unleash the power of age.
El Dorado County Health and Human Services encourages you to take part in the celebration by sharing your Older American’s Month resolutions with the U.S. Administration on Aging. Post what you will do this month to unleash the power of age on the AoA Facebook page, and follow up by sharing a picture or story about the experience later in the year. While, El Dorado County Health and Human Services provides services, support, and resources to older adults year round, Older American’s Month is a great opportunity to show special appreciation! We will continue to provide opportunities for elders to come together and share their experiences with one another, as well as with the individuals of other generations.
This year we are celebrating our nation’s older adult population by hosting Older American’s Day luncheons at all of the El Dorado County Senior Nutrition sites on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013, lunch is served at Noon. Nutrition sites are located in Placerville, El Dorado Hills, Greenwood, Pioneer Park, Diamond Springs, Pollock Pines, and South Lake Tahoe. Everyone is encouraged to wear a crazy shirt or your favorite Hawaiian attire as this year’s theme is “Crazy for Hawaii.” A special roast beef luncheon will be served at Noon. The cost is $3.00 for anyone over the age of 60 and $5.00 for all other ages. Reservations are not necessary. However come early, as many sites have limited seating. For more information, please call 621-6255.
Nominate a Senior for the Annual Senior of the Year Award 2013
Do you know an outstanding older adult or married couple 60 years or older who have performed exemplary work in El Dorado County as a volunteer?  Consider nominating them for the Senior of the Year Award. The annual “Senior of the Year” award will be presented by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on May 21, 2013, at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 330 Fair Lane, Placerville, hosted by the El Dorado County Area Agency on Aging and the Commission on Aging.   Nominees must be an El Dorado County resident with active community service within the last two years.  Nomination forms are available at the Placerville Senior Center or on-line at For more information, please call 530-621-6255 or you can e-mail Submissions must be received by May 3, 2013.

YANA-You Are Not Alone

Being alone is one of the greatest fears older adults have as they grow older. The You Are Not Alone (YANA) Program has been credited with saving the lives of many older adults. This FREE service allows older adults to find comfort and security knowing that someone will be checking in on them on a daily basis and in the event something does happen, family or friends will be notified. The enrollment process is easy and it provides the senior with two-morning flexible calling schedules and multiple contacts in the event of an emergency.  To learn more about this service, please call the YANA Program at 530-621-6255. This program is made possible by a coordinated effort between the EDC Department of Human Services and the EDC Sheriffs Department STAR Volunteers.


Star Walker

El Dorado County
Health and Human Services Agency
Area Agency on Aging PSA 29
Tele: 530-621-6255
Fax: 530-295-2581
Visit our Website at:

Where’s the Windfall

Written on April 19, 2013 at 7:09 am, by


Here, there, everywhere!

Bellas Plumbing

Written on April 12, 2013 at 7:02 am, by


Since 1952 Bellas Plumbing has been family owned and operated, Bill being the 3rd Generation to continue in the business.bellas_plumbing


Written on April 11, 2013 at 10:07 am, by

Press Release

Contact: Cameron Park Community Services District, Cameron Park, CA (530) 677-2231


MEET Clean up Day Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8:00am – 2:00pm. Bins will be set up at Christa
McAuliffe Park (across the street) and Camerado Springs Middle School parking lot at 2480 Merrychase
Drive. Use this day to clean unwanted junk out of garages, to clean yards of unwanted clippings & tree
trimmings and to properly dispose of bulk items. This FREE service will be available at Camerado Springs
Middle School Parking Lot at 2480 Merrychase Drive and Christa McAuliffe Park (across the street) – for
residents to drop off items from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. Snowline Hospice will be at Camerado Middle
School to accept tax-deductible donations of gently used items. No commercial waste please. Members of
the Cameron Park Fire Explorers Program will be volunteering at this event and collecting tax deductable
donations. This is a FREE SERVICE FOR ALL CAMERON PARK RESIDENTS. For more information
and a list of prohibited items call (530) 677-2231 or visit us online at

CAMERON PARK SWAP MEET (rain or shine) Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8:00am –12:00pm, Cameron
Park Community Center; 2502 Country Club Drive. Free Admission! Bargain hunters join us for this
event. Prepare for a day of fun either selling your treasures or hunting for new finds. Sellers sign up now
for your space at the Community Center parking lot! Advance vendors fee $15/space; Day of event $30
space (if available) .Must set up by 7:30am. Event opens at 8:00am. Vendor booth fees and applications
are available at the Cameron Park Community Center office located at 2502 Country Club Drive and
online. For more information call (530)677-2231 or visit us at

SPRING ANTIQUE, CRAFT, AND GARDEN SHOW, Saturday, May 4 from 9:00am – 3:00pm at
Cameron Park Community Center;. Free Admission! On the hunt for antiques, hand crafted items or
garden accessories? This large, indoor, outdoor show features antiques, hand-made crafts, specific for the
spring season and garden accessories! Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Wine tasting
fund raiser sponsored by EDDOG. $55 for vendor space; $10 extra for electricity. For more information
please call (530) 677-2231 or visit us online at

from 6:00 – 9:00pm at the Cameron Park Community Center Gymnasium;. The Capitol Pops symphony
has been performing since 1977. The concert band has provided high quality music for thousands of
concert-goers throughout Northern California. Based in Citrus Heights, the band has been under the
leadership of Jerry Lopes since its inception, 71 musicians represent a cross section of the area ranging
from high school to age 99. Food and beverages available. Advance tickets $10 / $18 for 2 $12 at the door.
Tickets are available at the Cameron Park CSD office, Fire Station 89, Walgreens, Bel Air and the Shingle
Springs/Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce and online at

WELCOME TO SUMMER! Saturday, May 25 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm at the Cameron Park
Community and Aquatic Center. This is a Free Swim Day! And lots of activities! Cameron Park
Community Services District will feature the Cameron Park Community and Aquatic Center with a free
swim day. Plan your summer at this event and register for a variety of new summer adventures including
pool passes, swim lessons, summer camps, summer programs, special events and more. Save your spot
and purchase your Summer Spectacular wrist bands! Also, enjoy food and vendor booths, giveaways, and
a thank you to our community sponsors. For more information please call (530) 677-2231 or visit us online


Written on April 11, 2013 at 9:55 am, by

Press Release


Contact: Cameron Park Community Services District
(530) 677-2231

Calling all Bridge Players.  Cameron Park CSD host Bridge every Monday from 1:30-3:30pm and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30am at the Community Center.  We are looking for more players to come and participate in this activity.  Want to play Mahjong – learn to play on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 1-3 pm.

Join us Tuesday, April 28 for Senior Game day from 10am to 12 noon in the social room of the Community Center.  This is sponsored by the Cameron Park Newcomers Club.  Enjoy the morning playing a variety of games including but not limited to – Mexican train, Crown 5, Yahtzee, Pinochle and more!!  All seniors are welcome to join us for two hours of coffee, tea and games.  Come and learn new games or play familiar games.  Games are supplied or you may bring your own to share.

Ongoing classes:

Ping pong – Are you looking for a fun way to exercise, improve balance and hand eye coordination and make some new friends?? Well come and join the Table Tennis Club at the Community Center.  If not experienced, each participant will be provided a paddle and a ball, basic instruction on the sport of Table Tennis exercises to warm up and gain skills for the sport, assistance with open play and opportunity to participate in tournaments.  For interested seniors, this program can include a baseline and monthly assessment of participant’s physical condition based on a selection of physical tests.   ** Please bring own equipment. One beginner table tennis paddle and ball can be purchased for $10.  This meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10am-12pm.  Monthly fee is $44 – $49.

For more information, please contact Cameron Park Community Services District at 530-677-2231, or via email at

Sierra Landscaping Material, Inc.

Written on April 5, 2013 at 7:07 am, by


Sierra Landscaping Material, Inc., a company that has been serving the El Dorado County community for the past 34 years.  Since 1979, owner Tim Smith has provided quality landscape material to complete these projects, no matter the size.

The Davies Family Inn

Written on March 29, 2013 at 7:13 am, by


Located just five miles east of the Gold Rush Town of Placerville, the Davies Family Inn rests deep in the heart of the Motherlode on the old stage route to “Newtown.”

Commission on aging seeks new member

Written on March 27, 2013 at 10:07 am, by

March 25, 2013



There is currently one vacancy on the Commission on Aging.  The Commission plays a very important advisory role in the provision of services to El Dorado County seniors, acting in an advisory capacity to both the Area Agency on Aging and the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, on matters concerning senior residents.  The Commission focuses its efforts on such issues as the following:

  • Development of community centers in strategic areas of the County to ensure provision of accessible services to all senior residents.
  • Promotion of services that enable seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
  • Identification and prevention of elder abuse.


The Commission strives to attain a balanced geographic representation.  Applicants are being sought from all areas of the County, including South Lake Tahoe.  Preference will be given to those applicants who are 60 years and older.

The deadline for submitting an application is May 10, 2013.  For additional information, and/or to obtain a membership application, contact:

Janice Haney

El Dorado County

Area Agency on Aging

3057 A Briw Road

Placerville, CA  95667

Phone:  530-642-7276


Home Grown…by Terri Scott of Paradise Plants

Written on March 27, 2013 at 9:56 am, by

It’s planting time again! At Paradise Plants we are busy starting our peppers and heirloom tomatoes (indoors of course). If you plan on starting seeds yourself, here are some useful tips: Always use sterile seed-starting mix; not potting mixes. Soil needs to to be light for good aeration, water retention and drainage. Pepper and tomato seeds germinate best at about 75 degrees F so use a heat mat under your seed starting tray. Or you can simply start them in a warm room like I do. I put one seed in each cell, then cover lightly with seed starter mix. Then water gently with a spray bottle. Do not over water, but keep the soil moist. I bag the entire tray in a new trash bag, which acts as a mini green house. (Check often and remove the bag as soon as the first seed sprouts). The seedlings will need approx. 16 hours of light or they will become tall and leggy. A sunny window may not be adequate. I use fluorescent lights hung a few inches above the sprouts. Plants propagated indoors will need to be hardened off. Bring plants out doors in a sheltered location for a few hours a day gradually increasing the amount of time prior to planting. Plant outdoors only after all danger of frost has past.

Of course, if you would rather not mess with seeds, me and the boys have been busy starting several varieties of sweet and hot peppers and heirloom tomatoes at Paradise Plants, so give me a call and let me know what you need for your garden!


This weekly feature is contributed by Terri Scott, owner of Paradise Plants in Somerset. Call her at 530-295-8137 or email


Home Grown…by Terri Scott of Paradise Plants

Written on March 27, 2013 at 9:54 am, by

  • Springtime is a busy time here at Paradise Plants! With all of our seed starting and transplanting going on indoors, it sure is nice to be able to go outside and start working the soil! I just set out my Artichoke plants and Asparagus roots. You can do the same in your garden, and these tips should help: With Artichokes, be careful not to set the plant too deep. Set the crown just above the soil line, so that they don’t rot. Set Asparagus roots in a 8″ to 10″ deep and 1′ wide trench, on top of loose, manure enriched soil. Cover with 2″ of soil, then soak. As the Asparagus grow, gradually add soil and water, but remember not to cover the tips. Don’t expect to harvest the first year, they need time to establish roots, so be patient!  There is still time to plant cool season seedlings like cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce and peas. Plant radish, beet, carrot and onion seeds directly in your prepared beds. Potatoes planted now should be ready for your 4th of July potato salad! Potatoes should be planted in full sun, in a well drained compost rich soil. Cut potato into chunks with 2 or more eyes per chunk. Place 8″ apart. Cover lightly with soil. As the potatoes grow, cover with more soil and then cover with straw or mulch. Harvest ‘new potatoes’ when the tops flower, or wait to harvest mature potatoes about 2 weeks after the plant has died and the skins have set.

  •  At Paradise Plants we have artichokes, peas and lettuce available for purchase now, and we are taking orders for summer vegetables. Next week be sure to check out “Home Grown” here in The Windfall for a list of peppers and Heirloom Tomatoes available from Paradise Plants!


This weekly feature is contributed by Terri Scott, owner of Paradise Plants in Somerset. Call her at 530-295-8137 or email

Home Grown…by Terri Scott of Paradise Plants

Written on March 27, 2013 at 9:52 am, by


Well, let’s start with what an heirloom is. Heirloom plant species are vegetables, flowers, and fruits grown from seeds that are passed down from generation to generation. Experts in the field say that heirloom vegetables are old, open-pollinated cultivars, they just don’t agree on how old the cultivar has to be. 1951 is a popular cut off date.

What draws me to heirlooms is flavor. I want a tomato that tastes like a real tomato. Also, Heirloom seeds breed true (if handled properly), so if you take the seeds from your heirloom tomatoes, plant them in the spring, the tomatoes you pick from the vines in late summer will taste just like their parents tasted. That means we won’t have to rush out and purchase new seeds every spring! Most importantly, Heirlooms have not been genetically modified. GMO “genetically modified organism’”, is a new organism, not found in nature. They are created by scientists when they genetically modify or engineer food plants. Health and environmental risks with genetically modified foods have been identified, and I prefer to steer away from them.

At Paradise Plants, we have been seed saving for over 10 years now, so many of the varieties we offer come from plants we are very familiar with and can’t go a season without. In addition, we also obtain new varieties to try each year. This year we are excited to offer around 100 different varieties of Tomatoes alone. Some are well known, others are rare and hard to find. I have chosen many ‘paste’ type tomatoes because I make a lot of my own sauces. I like the flavor of the darker tomatoes, so I have a lot of those as well. But sometimes I choose a new Tomato seed to try just because of the name, like “Jaune Coeur di Pigeon” which I am told means lil’ pigeon heart. It’s a Beautiful French 1 1/2″ yellow pear tomato with great flavor. “Henderson’s Pink Ponderosa”, is one I purchased because Robert and Tina Henderson and their family are very special to me. Turns out this huge pink red, beefsteak style tomato is one of our favorites. It was introduced by Peter Henderson and Co. in 1891, and was their most famous variety.

The first tomato varieties we will have available for purchase at Paradise Plants include: Henderson’s Pink Ponderosa, Purple Russian, Hillbilly, Copia, Abe Lincoln, Coure di Bue, Amana Orange, Cherokee Purple, Red Zebra, Wapsipincon Peach, Paul Robeson, Mountain Princess, Black Krim, Orange Strawberry, Hawaiian Pineapple, Ethel Watkins Best, Brandywine, and Roma Rio Grande.

Give us a call here at Paradise Plants, we are happy to provide you with a complete list of our Heirloom tomatoes and a detailed description of each of them. We also have sweet and hot peppers, strawberry plants, artichoke plants, and peas available. We always sell out, so don’t wait to get yours!

This weekly feature is contributed by Terri Scott, owner of Paradise Plants in Somerset. Call her at 530-295-8137 or email


Steppin’ Out – Pizza Plus

Written on March 27, 2013 at 9:04 am, by

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”  ~Yogi Berra

When I arrived at Pizza Plus, which is located in Depot Junction, at 4615 Missouri Flat Road, I was given a friendly greeting by the owner, Chris Mackey, the same person who greeted me the same way, 20 years ago when I first wrote about this very clean and friendly restaurant.

The secret to the success of this independent pizza restaurant is good food, made with good ingredients and sold at reasonable prices in a friendly atmosphere. And, more importantly, community involvement.

“We are very involved with the schools,” said Mackey. My kids went to El Dorado High School, but we not only support their activities, but those at Indian Creek, Independence and Union Mine. Union Mine has been especially good to us.”

“We are also involved with several other youth organizations, help sponsor Scott Russell Racing and want to get involved in Gold Rush Little League. We are a part of the community and want to help where we can.  After all, these people are our loyal customers and we want them to know that we appreciate them. They are a lot of good people that come in and continue to come in, which is one of the reasons we have been here for over 20 years.”

While talking with Mackey, we were constantly interrupted as more and more people and families came in to eat or pick up baked or even ready to bake pizza. Every one of them said, “Hi Chris,” as they walked in, some even stopping to chat for a second or two. Any children in a group were dancing in the door. Pizza and children just seem to go together.

“We buy the best ingredients,” continued Mackey, “We don’t have the buying power of the chains, but we are still able to keep our prices on the same level with them. There is cheaper pizza available, but when a pizza costs more to make than theirs sells for, you know which is better.

“We make our own dough for the crust and then age it for a day. That makes it easier to stretch to the proper size. We spin them to size two or three times a day. We have also just added a gluten free dough at no extra charge.”

“By the way, we still cook in the same brick ovens we started with 20 years ago. I still think it makes the best pizza.”

Mackey offered to make me a pizza to try and as I looked over the menu he mentioned that one of their regular customers, a retired wrestling coach, had come up with the ultimate. “It is a combination of two, the Big “R” and the Super Plus Special,” he said, “it comes with salami, pepperoni, ham, bacon, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, onions and green peppers.” There was nothing there I didn’t like, so I said, “Okay.”

While they were making my pizza, I sampled from the spotless salad bar which has the normal lettuce, spinach, beans, garbanzos, little ears of corn, beets, and more, including potato salad and cottage cheese. It also has sliced green olives, one of my favorites. “People come in and buy whole jars of those from us,” said Mackey.

I put together a small salad and, from their four dressings, selected 1000 island, something I love, but only eat out. Theirs is very good.

“Our salad bar is not big enough for everything,” said Mackey, “so we also offer other things from the kitchen, like onions and tomatoes if you want them.”

When my pizza arrived it was beautiful and I ate almost half of it before deciding to take the rest home. The crust stayed crisp, in spite of being loaded down with toppings, all of which were delicious. The next day it was very good, as leftover pizza should be.

To accompany it I had a Shock Top from one of the beer taps. “That seems to be the favorite with pizza,” said Mackey,” as he dropped off some ranch dressing for crust dipping .

The pizza menu at Pizza Plus includes almost anything and everything you could want on a pizza, and they range in size from an eight inch personal pizza to a 16 inch giant.

The also serve several hot or cold delicious looking sandwiches, garlic bread, pizza bread, bread sticks, pasta and wings, along with ice cream and root beer floats. Mackey offered me a root beer float for dessert, but I just didn’t have the room (I wonder if I could have gotten it to go?).

Weekdays, from 11 until 2, they feature a number of lunch specials. These vary from a half sandwich, chips and a small drink to the newest thing on the menu, all you can eat salad and pizza, and a drink. Prices for the specials vary from $5 to $7.99, plus tax. In today’s economy that is a good deal.

“For the “all you can eat” people and those who just want a slice, we make up several pizzas from our menu, including something vegetarian, slice them and keep them warm in a display case,” said Mackey. “If they sit there too long, we replace them with fresh pizza. I hate to throw them away, but have to control myself from eating the leftover slices,” adding with a bigger smile than normal, “ I’ve gained a little weight over the years because of that.”

To accompany your pizza they have lots to drink, including soda, beer (on tap and bottled) and wine.

Pizza Plus is open Monday through Thursday from 11 until 9, on Friday and Saturday until 10 and on Sunday from 4 until 9.

“I have great employees and they are important to me,” added Mackey. “We open late on Sunday morning  so they can attend church if they like and we close on major holidays, like Christmas and Easter, so that they can spend time with their friends and families. We will stay open on Christmas Eve, but only if the employees volunteer to do so.”

For more information or to place your order for pick-up,  call 530-626-9200. ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!

Bingham Law

Written on March 22, 2013 at 7:13 am, by


Bingham Law is a client focused law firm which Kim founded to help families save for the future and protect their present.

El Dorado Weed Control Inc

Written on March 15, 2013 at 7:13 am, by


El Dorado Weed Control, Inc. is a family owned business that specializes in the control of noxious weeds and reducing the fire hazards that may be present around your home or business.

J & J Auto Care

Written on March 8, 2013 at 7:12 am, by


A family business, with strong ties to each other and deeply rooted here in El Dorado County.  J & J Auto Care is indeed a family friendly, full service auto shop,  locally owned and operated by Josh Nisbet and James Willis.

The Windfall – 4th Anniversary

Written on March 1, 2013 at 6:48 am, by

4th Anniversary

Celebrating our 4th Anniversary.  Thank you to our wonderful Readers, Advertisers, Friends and Family!

Robert & Tina Henderson

The Skin Studio

Written on February 22, 2013 at 7:07 am, by

The Skin Studio

Let us introduce you to Laurie Storey, Owner and Head Esthetician. Laurie established The Skin Studio in Cameron Park in July 2002.

Missouri Flat Pet Clinic

Written on February 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm, by


At Missouri Flat Pet Clinic, they love pets! WHich means their entire staff is compassionate about caring for yours.  They provide a complete veterinary clinic with medical, surgical, and rehabilitation services for pets of all ages.

Pirates of the Caribbean – Update on Haiti

Written on February 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm, by

Free event, public invited! Saturday February 16th, 1-3pm, at Federated Church. “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Ever wonder what’s happening in Haiti since their devastating earthquake? Ever wonder where your money went or what’s being done with it? Want to hear from someone who’s been there from the beginning? Leisa Faulkner and Paule Burke –  founders of Childrens’ Hope – offer a historical overview of Haiti and bring folks up-to-date on conditions on the ground. They focus on their work in Haiti’s poorest slum, Cite Soleil. Presented by Placerville’s 9th Annual Season for Non-violence. For more info, contact or check   ~Tell ‘em The Windfall sent you!

Kids say the darndest things!

Written on February 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm, by

In the 60’s The Art Linkletter Show had a segment with children; Kids Say The Darndest Things. It was so popular it was later remade by Bill Cosby. It was all in good fun but at times it brought to light some interesting situations. As a single dad raising my daughter it was easy to reflect on the similarities from the show I watched as a child. At the time of my own revelations it was sometimes awkward and other times amusing. In any event the forthrightness of my child created permanent memories. I remember when I took my daughter with me to the Laundromat. A necessary chore on a busy weekend. We were to go boating later that day. As I was transferring loads there was a woman next to us doing her folding. Being single I did notice her and also noticed mens clothes hanging there.  Without hesitation my daughter went up to the lady and invited her to go boating with us and told her she would have a lot of fun. We exchanged nods and smiled at the innocence. My daughter Phyllis was 6 years old. Another time a girlfriend and I had just decided to stop seeing each other. That week I was a volunteer parent for Living History Day at Phyllis’s school. I was a mountain man fur trapper who would start fires for the kids with no matches while talking about trapping. I had period clothes as well as a buffalo robe and bear trap with an authentic buffalo rifle. I had invited a woman to share the experience with the children. Unknown to me was that Phyllis had invited the girlfriend I was no longer seeing. I thought the bear trap was going to be used on me. Phyllis was 10. When she was 13 we were making the joint custody exchange trip so she could be with her mom. Half way there we stopped at a burger joint for lunch. After eating I was at the register paying the bill while Phyllis started for the door. A young man at a pool table approached her. I overheard him ask if she went there often. She said yes, every once in a while. I was besides myself, she was never there before! She now has her own children. Her own remember when’s are in the works. Some of them will always be remembered. ~Nick Pesola, Placerville

2013 El Dorado County Fair Guide

Written on February 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm, by


Be a part of the 2013 El Dorado County Fair.  Build your business by advertising in the 2013 El Dorado County Fair Guide, Circulation is 20,000+ copies.

The Folsom Thrift Store hosts “A Prom Dress to Remember” Saturday, February 23rd

Written on February 8, 2013 at 10:50 am, by

With high school proms just around the corner and everyone looking for a bargain, the

Folsom  Thrift  Store,  at  616  East  Bidwell  Street,  is  hosting  their  annual  event  “A  Prom

Dress  to  Remember”  on  Saturday,  February  23rd  from  9  a.m.  to  6  p.m.    Between  the

beautiful  prom  dress  donations  that  are  still  coming  in  from  the  community  and  the

elegant gowns that have been saved all year at Snowline’s six thrift stores, there will be

a selection grand enough to make every girl’s prom dream come true!  Each prom dress

at this event will be offered at a bargain price of only $20 with a Student ID card and $25

without.  Shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories will also be available to complete an

evening ensemble.

This highly popular  once‐a‐year event  is  not  to be missed, even  if a prom  isn’t  in your

future.    From  graduation  to  an  evening  on  the  town,  elegant  dresses  in  many  styles,

colors and sizes will be waiting to be found.   Come early and get the best deal in town!

Folsom Thrift Store

616 E. Bidwell Street


Saturday, February 23rd

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Forming Teams of Super Heroes for Annual Bowl-For-Kids’ Event

Written on February 8, 2013 at 10:46 am, by


Jodie Snyder
Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County
(530) 626-1222

Big Brothers Big Sisters Forming Teams of Super Heroes for Annual
Bowl-For-Kids’ Event

Whether you bowl strikes or gutter balls, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) wants you on
their team for this year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake – a community challenge to support at-
risk youth and families in El Dorado County. This family-friendly event takes place on
Saturday, March 9th at Folsom Bowl, 511 East Bidwell Street, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m. and on March 16th at Knotty Pines Lanes, 2667 Sanders Drive, Pollock Pines, from
10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Bowling teams generally consist of groups of 4-6 friends, family, co-workers or
neighbors. Each team aims to raise $500.00 (or more) and take home a trophy for the
most pledges collected and other fun awards. This year’s Super Hero themed event (come
dressed as your favorite super hero!) will include two games of bowling for each team,
all-you-can-eat pizza and nonalcoholic beverages for bowlers, and plenty of music to get
the ball rolling!

“This is a BBBS signature fundraiser and one of our most important events of the year,”
says Judy Knapp, Executive Director of BBBS of El Dorado County. “Because 100%
of the proceeds go directly to our agency, bowlers can take joy in knowing they are
directly supporting a Big/Little match right here in our community. Plus, it’s a fun and
friendly way to promote community connections and jointly support our important
mentoring programs, while enjoying some spirited competition.” It also provides a
great opportunity for companies to foster co-worker team-building, for families to spend
quality time together, and for new and old friends to strengthen their relationships – all
while support a great cause. This is an event where everyone wins!

Bowling teams are forming now and signing up is easy! Call BBBS of El Dorado County
at (530) 626-1222 or e-mail: to learn how you can be a part of
this life-changing event!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County receives no federal, state, or county funds
or any monies from our National organization. We rely 100% on our community to help
at-risk youth and families. Through one-to-one mentoring relationships, youth are given
support and opportunities that help them grow into confident, competent and caring

Cash 4 Gold B&T Metals

Written on February 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm, by


Are you in need of a little extra spending money?  Cash 4 Gold B&T Metals located in Diamond Springs is here to help!  This friendly, family run business is the focus of our Business Spotlight this week.

Written on January 26, 2013 at 9:41 am, by


The focus of our business spotlight this week is, a subsidiary of Affordable Furniture and Blinds located in Placerville and co-owned by Paul and Bridgett Hartshorn and their warehouse manager, Joe Garrison.

Yellow Starthistle Control and Preventing the Spread of Invasive Weeds Workshop!

Written on January 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm, by


January 22, 2013

Yellow Starthistle Control and
Preventing the Spread of Invasive Weeds Workshop

The University of California Cooperative Extension in cooperation with other local
agencies will be hosting a series of workshop on yellow starthistle management.
According to Scott Oneto, UC Farm Advisor and speaker, “Yellow starthistle is a
noxious weed that infests over 15 million acres in California. We have had a number
of bad years and this year is projected to be a really bad weed year. The rainfall
patterns have been ideal for yellow starthistle germination and we are encouraging
everyone to work diligently to control invasive weeds this spring”. The workshop will
cover the different management strategies for yellow starthistle ranging from
biological, mechanical, and chemical control. Other topics include sprayer calibration
and pesticide safety. The workshop will be held on the following dates and locations
throughout the region.

February 13th
Murphys: 9:00am-11:00am: Murphys Library, 480 Park Lane
San Andreas: 3:00pm-5:00pm: San Andreas Library, 891 Mountain Ranch Rd

February 22nd
Sonora: 9:00am-11:00am: Ambulance Training Room, 18440 Striker Ct
Groveland: 3:00pm-5:00pm: Groveland Community Hall, State Highway 120

February 26th
Jackson: 9:00am-11:00am: Amador UCCE Office, 12200B Airport Rd
Plymouth: 3:00pm-5:00pm: Shenandoah Schoolhouse, Shenandoah School Rd

February 28th
El Dorado Hills: 9:00am-11:00am: Fire Station #85, 1050 Wilson Blvd
Placerville: 3:00pm-5:00pm: El Dorado Main Library, 345 Fair Lane

All workshops are free and cover the same topics. Register at: or call UC Cooperative Extension (209)
533-5695. Two hours of continuing education with the California Department of
Pesticide Regulation are pending.          ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!

Celebrating January as National Mentoring Month

Written on January 18, 2013 at 9:36 am, by


Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County & County Fair Shopping Center present Family Fun Day January 26th, 2013 – 10:00am to 3:00pm  Carnival Games! Cake Walk! Face Painting! Food! Dinosaur Dig!

The Cameron Park CSD presents “A Wedding Affair”

Written on January 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm, by

Press Release

Contact: Cameron Park Community Services District
(530) 677-2231


The Cameron Park CSD presents A Wedding Affair

Cameron Park, CA – February 17, 2013 – On Sunday, February 13th the Cameron Park Community
Services District will host the 2nd Annual “It’s A Wedding Affair”. A special wedding affair designed for
brides of every style. This event will be held at the Cameron Park Community Center; 2502 Country Club
Drive, Cameron Park, CA 95682 from 10am to 3pm. Admission is FREE!!

Meet the area’s most experienced wedding professionals. View, shop and buy everything you need for
your wedding from bridal gowns, florists, honeymoons, MC/DJs, and party rentals to photographers,
videographers, caterers, dessert tastings and more! Pre-register online to be entered in the special “wedding

For more information, please contact the Cameron Park Community Services District at (530)677-2231 or
visit us online at

Free tax service to low and middle income families with special attention to Seniors!

Written on January 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm, by

Starting January 22, 2013, we will be taking appointments for our free tax service to low and middle income families, with special attention to Seniors.  Volunteer income tax counselors will be available at various locations throughout El Dorado County from February 1st thru April 15th.  The American Association of Retired Persons, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service and the Franchise Tax Board provide this service.  All returns are filed electronically to ensure that they are processed faster and with fewer errors, providing for quicker refunds.  Those desiring to use the service of the Tax-Aide program are encouraged to make appointments, in order to secure a date, time and location convenient for them.  Appointments are available Monday thru Saturday at the following locations:  for Gold Country Retirement Center, in Placerville and Lake Oaks Mobile Park, in Diamond Springs call 530-402-9840; for Placerville Senior Center and Pollock Pines Community Church call 530-303-8115; for Cameron Park Branch Library and Cameron Park Community Services District call 530-303-7046; for El Dorado Hills Senior Center call 916-740-7746 and for locations not listed here call 1-888-227-7669.  The phone hours are 10:30am to 4:30pm. ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!


Written on January 16, 2013 at 11:55 am, by

January 9, 2013


Media Contact:
Dan Lorain
(661) 752-5233


On Saturday, February 2, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sacramento-based shear company, Hattori

Hanzo Shears will host a benefit concert featuring local musician, Melissa Lingo, at the Mercedes Benz

dealership of El Dorado Hills. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Trade, a non-profit organization

dedicated to preventing global sex trafficking by training at-risk women in the art of cosmetology.

“We exist to help women in poverty stricken countries leave behind lives of prostitution and

human trafficking by providing them training in the art and science of hair dressing,” said Chris

McCarley, chief executive officer of Hattori Hanzo Shears and co-founder of The Trade. “In addition to

hair and makeup instruction, we train the women in simple business practices so that they are able to

use the skills they acquire as a means to provide for themselves and their families.”

In 2011, The Trade sent a team of stylists and guidance counselors to the favelas of Rio de

Janeiro, Brazil, where they provided instruction to twenty women and helped them open their own

salon. Benefit concert featured musician, Melissa Lingo, attended that trip providing counseling and

music therapy for the women and their families.

“I’m so thankful to have been a part of the The Trade’s mission to Brazil,” said Lingo. “It was

extremely rewarding to see the impact we made on the women’s lives, and it gave me an opportunity to

connect my two passions; music and community work.”

“The Trade is an amazing organization that I wholeheartedly believe in and I’m happy to help

them raise money for their next sponsored trip by performing at their benefit concert in November,”

she said.

Since its establishment in 2010, The Trade has sent teams to Nicaragua, Brazil and Africa. In all,

the organization has helped more than 100 victims improve their social and economic statuses, and has

provided a platform for them to tell their stories and raise awareness.

With a goal of raising the funds necessary to send another team to Brazil in early March, The

Trade is accepting donations and seeking sponsors for the benefit concert in February. The event will

feature acoustic performances by Melissa Lingo, Stephan Hogan and Brandon Neal, a silent auction,

heavy appetizers courtesy of Kenko Sushi, cocktails and dancing. Tickets are $50 per person, which

includes food and entertainment, and may be purchased at, or thru participating


Sponsorship packages ranging from $500 to $5,000 are available through The Trade. Premier

sponsors will receive VIP seating and beverage service for up to ten guests, and a full-page color

advertisement in the upcoming Trade Magazine, in addition to sponsorship terms.

For more information on The Trade or sponsorship packages, visit or

contact Melissa Lingo at (661) 752-5234.

Complete Personal Training

Written on January 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm, by


Complete Personal Training provides exciting, personalized and professional fitness training on an individual and group basis. They provide innovative fitness solutions in a comfortable, safe and positive environment using science based evidence for all program design and strive to make each workout challenging, effective and fun.

Big Brothers Big Sisters and Inter-cal Real Estate to Honor National Mentoring Month at Family Fun Day Carnival

Written on January 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm, by

January 11, 2013

Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County
Cathie Byrd, Case Manager

Big Brothers Big Sisters and Inter-cal Real Estate to Honor National Mentoring Month at
Family Fun Day Carnival

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of El Dorado County and Inter-cal Real Estate will join
together for a FREE Family Fun Carnival on Saturday, January 26th, from 10:00 a.m. to
3:00 p.m. at the County Fair Shopping Center, located on the corner of Fair Lane and
Placerville Drive. Enjoy free food, games, and even a bike rodeo!

January 2013 marks the 12th anniversary of National Mentoring Month and this event,
generously sponsored by Inter-cal Real Estate, provides BBBS of El Dorado County with
a wonderful opportunity, as the largest mentoring organization in the country, to attract
attention to the value of mentoring, recruit mentors and generate contributions.

“We are looking for volunteers from all walks of life,” says Judy Knapp, Executive
Director of BBBS of El Dorado County. “Right now, there is an urgent need for men, as
we have 36 young boys anxiously awaiting a Big Brother. Being a “Big” takes only a few
hours a month and every Big and Little match has professional support from our agency.”

“Every day, mentors help young Americans face the challenges of growing into
adulthood,” President Barak Obama proclaims. “By seeing a positive example and
sharing their time, knowledge and experience, mentors play an essential role in preparing
our Nation’s youth for a bright future.”

BBBS invites everyone to join in this Family Fun Day Carnival and to learn more about
ways to help the young people of our community achieve their full potential, thanks to
the good folks at Inter-Cal Real Estate.

For more information the carnival or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, please email
us at or call Cathie at (530) 626-1222.

BBBS of El Dorado County is a prevention-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization
receiving no federal or state monies and relies on the community to continues its
programs. Monetary donations are extremely appreciated to help children and families
reach their full potential. Independent research confirms that professionally supported,
one-to-one relationships between young people and their Big Brothers or Big Sisters
have a direct, measurable and lasting impact. Children in the program are more likely to
graduate from high school and less likely to use drugs be involved in violence.

The El Dorado County Fair Association partners with The Windfall to produce the 2013 Fair Guide!

Written on January 10, 2013 at 10:15 am, by

El Dorado County Fair Association, Inc.
A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization
P.O. Box 1537 Placerville, CA 95667
Fax 530-295-2566

January 10, 2013

Local Businesses:

The El Dorado County Fair Association is very excited to partner with Windfall again this year. The last two
years were such a success; we are thrilled to work with them again. Not only was the Fair Tab distributed to the community well, it was a piece of art, even winning an award from the Western Fairs Association, where fairs from all over the Western United States and Canada vie for recognition.

We feel that this avenue is a perfect fit for the Fair, as the Fair is entertaining, fun, family oriented and offers a great opportunity to sell and to get exposure. The Windfall is all about that as well as we both are an avenue for the local Service Clubs and non-profits to create awareness and fundraise. There is no other advertising venue that can offer this same positive match.

The exposure that the El Dorado County Fair has in our community is amazing, as the largest event, we don’t want you to miss it. Please join us with the Windfall this year.


Jody W. Gray
CEO, El Dorado County Fair
The Fairgrounds in Placerville – Providing Services to our Community

Now is the Time to Control Yellow Starthistle and Prevent Spread!

Written on January 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm, by


January 8, 2013

Contact: Wendy

(530) 621 -5533

Now is the Time to Control Yellow Starthistle and Prevent Spread!

When is the best time to control yellow starthistle? What other invasive weeds should I be looking for on my property or on public lands? How can I stop new weed infestations and spread? These are just a few of
the question that will be addressed at the “Yellow Starthistle Control and Preventing the Spread of Invasive Weeds” workshop scheduled for Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The training session will be conducted at the El Dorado County Administrative Building A in the Board of Supervisor’s Chambers, 330 Fair Lane, Placerville. The training is geared toward homeowners, farmers, ranchers and land managers to assist them to understand invasive weed biology plus specific control measures and the correct timing of each method. Winter and early spring are the perfect times to prepare a yellow starthistle control plan and apply chemical treatments, since several herbicides are most effective when used at the early stages of plant development. Workshop participants will also learn how to prevent the further spread of yellow starthistle and other invasive weeds on their property, to help protect uninfested and high-value areas. There is a $5 fee for this workshop. Registration is recommended and available online at: or by calling Nancy Starr at University of California Cooperative Extension (530) 621-5503. Walk-in registration will be available, on a space available basis. This workshop is presented by the El Dorado County Invasive Weeds Management Group, University of California Cooperative Extension and the El Dorado County Agriculture Department.

Crazy but true!

Written on January 8, 2013 at 9:24 am, by

Only a few days after ringing in the New Year in 1975, I remember it would prove to be an interesting and eventful day.  My 3 siblings and I were busy playing outside, trying out our new Christmas toys in the foothills of Santa Cruz. Our house was at the top of a very steep driveway. Our neighbors across the street had a very steep gravel driveway going down hill. My brother dared my older sister to ride her new bike from our garage door down to the neighbors garage door without using her brakes. She accepted, and after the crash, off we went to the hospital. With Dad at work, Mom had to wrangle us into the waiting room and asked us to behave and watch after my 4 year old sister, while my older sister’s foot was placed in a cast. My brother was 8 and I was 6, no problem! The nurses had just filled up the coffee cart with fresh coffee and left us alone, without shutting the doors to the big cart. My younger sister thought it would be great fun to swing on the open doors of the cart and we agreed since it kept her happy and quiet. Until the big urn of coffee tipped over and poured out onto her chest, scalding her. My little sister was rushed into the Emergency room, right next door to my other sister. Over the loud speaker, they kept paging my mom to please come immediately to room 7. She could not understand it, since she was already there in room 6. Next thing you know, my brother and I are helping clean up the spilled coffee cart contents and I slip and fall onto the lobby table, taking out my 2 front teeth and bleeding all over. Over the loud speaker, they paged my mom to please come immediately to room 8. She thought it must be a joke!  By the end of the morning, we left the hospital with 1 in a cast, 1 with 2nd degree burns and I had stitches and no front teeth. My brother, who started this whole chain of events, made it home without a scratch. That is until my Dad got home that night! ~T. Henderson, Placerville


Written on January 7, 2013 at 9:22 am, by


Motifs carries unique home decor items, both new and slightly used, as well as new furniture directly from the importer at fantastic prices, gift items and gift baskets for all occasions, framed art and accessories, and also provides full service interior design.

Community Action Council Seeks New Member

Written on December 28, 2012 at 11:18 am, by

Community Action Council Seeks New Member

The El Dorado County Community Action Council is seeking to fill a one (1) vacancy representing the Community Member Sector. Community Agencies that serve El Dorado County residents, in areas such as shelter, food, medical, counseling, etc. are encouraged to apply for membership.

The purpose of the El Dorado County Community Action Council is to act in an advisory capacity to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and the County Health and Human Services Agency about the needs of the community on issues relating to human services for low-income residents of El Dorado County.  The Council provides an avenue for collaborative participation of local government, private organizations and private citizens of the community in serving the most vulnerable populations.

The deadline for submitting an application is January 18, 2013. For additional information and to obtain a membership application form, please contact Star Walker, 937 Spring Street, Placerville, CA  95667; telephone – (530) 621-6255 or e-mail –


Keller & D’Agostini Real Estate

Written on December 28, 2012 at 7:27 am, by

Keller & D'Agostini Real Estate
With offices located in two appellations, they have highly skilled agents who have experience in very specialized properties, such as wineries/vineyards, commercial properties, bare land, horse properties, cottages and custom homes as well as properties that are short sales and bank owned.

The El Dorado Drive-In

Written on December 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm, by

I remember when El Dorado County had our very own drive in theater! The El Dorado Drive-In opened in December of 1949. Actually it was originally called the SE Rancho and the posters for it were all over town as I recall. By the time my kids were going there with their buddies, it had changed ownership and renamed The El Dorado. This was real first class let me tell you and unheard of to folks who lived in the country. It had in-car heaters and a snack bar! I have fond memories of dating my wife and taking her there on Friday or Saturday nights. After we married, we took our kids there too. They loved going in their pajamas and falling asleep in the back of my old Cadillac convertible, with the stars as their nightlight and the glow of the big projection screen filling up the car. When it closed in the mid 1980s, we all felt a loss as a community. It was one of those places that was sort of a rite of passage for many of us who grew up there on the weekends. Those were the days! ~ Barry Talbot, Pollock Pines

No Senior Ditch Day for this scholar…

Written on December 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm, by

In an update to a previous column, I finished my second to last semester of high school last week. In a couple of old columns from October and November, I expressed my concern about Senioritis taking me over, and it sort of did. I was still able to pull out a respectable GPA, and I didn’t fail any classes, so I guess one could say it was a successful semester. But now I have new problem.

When we return from this much needed Winter Break on January 15th, my problems multiply. I’ll still be fighting Senioritis, with graduation getting even closer every day. But now I have a whole new issue. A few weeks ago, after I had decided on where I’ll be attending college next year (Arizona State University for those who didn’t already know), I got a letter in the mail. It was a scholarship offer from ASU for $42,000, or $10,500 a year. Obviously, I jumped for joy, thinking of how much money that actually was and how relieved my parents would be.

But as the day went on, I became sort of paranoid. There was no sort of specification of what qualifications I have to meet to keep the scholarship, so I’m left to imagine on my own. So now, headed into second semester, I have to do my best to maintain the GPA I worked hard for, and that’s really going to impede on the “senior experience.” I can’t participate in Senior Ditch Day anymore, instead I’ll be one of the two kids actually in class. When you’re not a senior, you think of all the great things that are going to happen senior year, but when you actually get there, it’s not what you think. I no longer can frolic around and enjoy myself, because how I perform this year will affect whether I keep my scholarship or not. $42,000 is a lot of money, and while I’ll reap the benefits over the next four years, it’s kind of ruining my last year of high school!

Shane Theodore, Student Writer at Ponderosa High School, Class of 2013

The Windfall Wishes you a Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year

Written on December 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm, by

Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!  The Christmas Season Arrives By Doug Noble
Our household, like most others on our street, consisted of three generations.  It was a result of the Great Depression, where people in my parents generation were not able to afford their own home and with children in tow, simply moved in with their parents.

Ask The Auto Tech feat. Terry Rogers of Kniesel’s Collission Centers/Shingle Springs

Written on December 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm, by

Q: Why should I choose Kniesel’s Collision Centers?
A: The most important reason you should bring your vehicle to Kniesel’s Collision Centers is our reputation for quality and customer service. We’ve been a trusted member of the Sacramento community since 1968. After more than 40 years, we’re known throughout the community for our exacting craftsmanship and our time-tested integrity.
Our quality comes not only from our experience, we also continually invest in our people and our equipment. We keep our staff factory-trained in the latest systems and technologies, including hybrids. Our modern, clean facilities house state-of-the-art equipment that enable us to correct frames and perform repairs with exacting precision. Our paint system uses higher quality products and a more thorough process to ensure a perfect paint finish. Plus, we back it all up with a lifetime warranty on paintwork and labor.
We know that you’re busy, so customer care and convenience are a top priority as well. We offer mobile estimators, free shuttle service, comfortable waiting rooms, and of course, courteous staff to help get you back on the road with minimal hassle. We also work with all major insurance companies, and coordinate with them throughout the process so you don’t have to. 
Quality, integrity, customer service—that’s what makes us the best choice.
Each month I’ll be answering a question, so send yours in today!

Do you have questions needing answers? Don’t miss an issue of The Windfall! Once a month I will be answering a question in their Ask The Auto Tech feature . Submit your questions by posting them online at or contact me at: or call me at 530-676-1888.  ~Terry Rogers, General Manager

Where’s Windfall?

Written on December 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm, by

WheresWindfall102612_4web WheresWindfall113012_4web WheresWindfall120712_4web WheresWindfall121412_4web

Twas’ the night before Christmas in El Dorado County! 2012

Written on December 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm, by

Twas’ the night before Christmas, when all through our town,
Not a creature was stirring, not even downtown.
The store lights were off, the doors locked with care,
Each shelf was now empty, every store was left bare.
Imagine the delight on the shop owners faces,
so grateful for you who shopped at these local places…

Breaker Glass fixed our windshields that once were cracked;
Cool Feed and Ranch Supply sold us pet food and tack.
Proline Carpet Cleaning freed our carpet from spills and mud,
Brick Oven Pub sold pizza, hot wings and ‘suds’.

Spot-on-Signs promoted us with banners and signs;
Camino Outdoor Power provided generators…just in time!
Yummy brownies and cupcakes thanks to Sugar Lillie Bakery;
Dr. Ward and Linda Lee helped with our stress and anxiety.

Eskaton provided seniors with a safe home of their own;
thanks to Union Bank in Placerville who had money to loan.
D’Agostini Delights baked us cakes and pies;
The Shoestring on Broadway served up chili cheese fries.

Mr. Pickles kept us fed with sandwiches and more;
Dramatics Hair Salon in Pollock provided haircuts galore.
Fresh ‘ink’ was a hit, thanks to John’s Old School Tattoo;
Bones Roadhouse cooked up burgers and mixed drinks too!

Cash for Gold filled your pockets, turning gold into cash;
Kniesel’s Collision helped fix our cars that were smashed.
Dr. Deb eased our ailments with herbal tinctures and teas;
Becky’s Dog and Cat grooming got rid of the fleas!

Bergsma and Bellas Plumbing helped with clogged sinks,
Powell’s Steamer thrilled us all with seafood and drinks.
The Habitat ReStore recycled cabinets and doors;
Dandelions sold strollers, kids clothing and more.

Bowman & Associates provided relief from your worries;
Auto Tech did smog checks, use their coupon and hurry!
Pursuit Dynamics came through with car audio needs;
Landscaper’s Greenfield and Chima took care of the weeds.

Color copies and more supplied by Minuteman Press;
The Barn sold vintage decor to ‘feather your nest’.
Diamond Central sold quality landscape material;
The Food Bank assisted with milk, bread and cereal.

Cablin’ Casey and The Computer Guy, well they saved us all;
with networking, repairs and virus removal.
Eagle Truck and Auto sold many a quality car;
Precision Eye Care helped those who see near but not far.

The list of small businesses who make a difference in our lives could go on and on. All are equally as important! Remember to shop local year round whenever possible as it really makes a difference. The Windfall would like to thank our readers and advertisers for it is your support that is our greatest gift!



The greatest gift of all is family

Written on December 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm, by

My father hated Christmas. The overspending and the frantic last minute frenzy of people buying meaningless gifts that they cannot afford. Don’t misunderstand, he appreciated the meaning of Christmas, just not the commercialization of it. He grew up very poor and was taught to value people rather than possessions. He really cherished his memories of growing up with 14 brothers and sisters during the depression. As a young child, I remember that he would make his feelings very clear to everyone during the holidays with explicit instructions not to buy him anything. This inspired us to really work hard at finding him a special gift each year. Eventually, we outgrew making artwork or crafts for him, so my mother came up with the idea of writing down our favorite memories from the past year and place them in my fathers stocking on the fireplace mantle.

Since 1959, my aunts and uncles, my siblings, my mother and I would slip these notes in on Christmas Eve and look forward to the next morning when my father would read them. This simple gift of words would light up my fathers face. With every note, the smile would get bigger and sometimes he would even laugh out loud over a particularly funny one. After reading all of his notes, he would place them in the fireplace. At first we were hurt by this action, as if the notes we had given him were not worth keeping. That was until he explained his reasoning behind it. You see, he was simply making room for new memories that were sure to come in the new year. No sense in living in the past after all!

My father passed away this past summer so it was with a heavy heart that we hung up his stocking without him this holiday season. To our surprise, he had one note left over from last year, still inside. He must have known he would not make it to this day, because the note was addressed to his family. In his handwriting the note read, “You have been my greatest gift of all.” ~ Mona Gephardt, Lotus

Nancy Levin remembers the kindness of strangers at Christmas

Written on December 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm, by

 I remember when I was seven years old I overheard my mother crying to someone on the phone about Santa not coming to our house that year. I didn’t understand. So far, it had been my experience that Santa comes every year without fail. Rich or poor, California or China; except if you are on the naughty list. I automatically assumed it was my fault Santa was skipping our house.

 I had three brothers and two sisters, so I shared a room with my mother which was just a small garage converted into a bedroom. The door to the bedroom was near the front door. On Christmas Eve I went to bed just like it was any other night. We had no tree up, no presents, no lights. The only decorations depicting the season were made by me and my siblings at school.

 I heard a knock on the front door, and snuck out of bed to watch my mother open the door and let some people in. There were five strangers, each carrying two black plastic garbage bags. My mother headed toward me to pull my door closed all the way, and I high-tailed it back to my bed. I fell asleep to muted whispers, and the subtle footsteps going in and out of my house.

Christmas morning, I was the first awake and went to see if my dollhouse was under the tree. I had asked Santa for one when I saw him at Woolworths. I was thrilled to see that it was! Sitting right outside its box, all set up for me to play with. I was oblivious to the fact that the dollhouse was among many other gifts, and sitting under a fully lighted, decorated Christmas tree! I did not even notice all of the boxes of food littering the kitchen floor. I didn’t ponder at all… Santa did it and I knew it!

I am now over forty, and have children of my own. I have since talked to my mother about that Christmas, and she told me those strangers were from either United Way or the Salvation Army, she couldn’t remember which. This photo is that very same dollhouse. I treasured it so much that I still have the original box in which it came. Whenever I come across it, I open it up and thank God for those who gave of themselves, for a family they didn’t know. “Give” if you can this holiday season and all year long. You never know whose life you will change with just simple kindness.




Written on December 26, 2012 at 10:02 am, by

E-mail Address:
Organization: Sierra Wildlife Rescue
Contact: Nan Powers
Phone Number: (530) 647-1089


Start the New Year by learning more about all of your wild neighbors, and how to rehabilitate
orphaned or injured wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels, foxes, skunk babies, fawns, coyotes,
raccoons, opossums, hawks, owls, and numerous species of songbirds and other birds. Sierra
Wildlife Rescue’s January class, Are you Ready to Rehab? for prospective rehabbers will be
held on January 19, from 10:00 a.m. – noon. The class will introduce you to what rehabbing
wildlife is all about, with examples of rehabbing a variety of mammals and birds.
If you decide to try rehabbing, you can follow up with classes on specific species, taught by
experienced rehabbers, beginning in February. No prior experience is necessary. You will need
to attend one two-hour class taught by an experienced rehabber, and then be given hands-on
training by a mentor for as long as you need. All that’s required is love and concern for animals
and the willingness to learn. SWR supplies all necessary formulas and medications, and you can
be reimbursed for any other supplies needed. You will find that rehabbing wild babies is more
fulfilling and exciting than you can imagine!
All classes are held at SWR’s Wildlife Center, 3030 Newtown Rd, Placerville. Parking
is limited, so please make reservations by contacting Barbara Barker at 530-621-2650, or at Classes are free to SWR Members; a $5.00 donation is requested from the
general public.

Healing Principles of Herbs with Dr. Deb Prock

Written on December 26, 2012 at 10:01 am, by

Healing Principles of Herbs with Deborahe (Dr Deb) Prock. Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Class: $35 Book: $15 book purchase not required. Reservations must be made in advance – Contact Dr Deb at 530-622-1124 or Pizza lunch provided. Learn: How local plants may be used to heal. The different forms herbs may be used for healing: teas, tinctures, creams, capsules. To read the energy of the palm to determine the body’s weaknesses and select the appropriate healing herb. Herbs that may help with weight loss. Demonstrations: Tea, it’s not just for drinking. Making tinctures. Making herbal oil to use in creams, salves and cooking. Compounding formulas for capsules. Tasty lip balms, easy herbal creams. Making Glycerin soap. Herbal Energetics – muscle testing. **Of course everyone goes home with samples of cream, salve and soap. Journey Center 3976 Durock Rd., Ste 106 Shingle Springs. ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!

Elite Solutions

Written on December 14, 2012 at 7:11 am, by

Elite Solutions
Elite solutions is a complete hair restoration clinic providing non-surgical hair restoration solutions, beautiful customized wigs, Great Lengths and Elite Strands human hair extensions, laser hair therapy, and anti-aging treatments.

Free Caregiver Support Group

Written on December 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm, by



December 12, 2012


Naomie Harris
(530) 621-6251

Free Caregiver Support Group

Caregiving is a difficult and often challenging role. Caregiver Support groups
provide an outlet to share information and feel connected to others who
are also providing care. Take the opportunity to become connected and
rejuvenated at your local support group:

The 2nd Tuesday of every month at 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm at the
Greenwood Community Center 4401 HWY 193, Greenwood, CA
The 2nd Thursday of every month at 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the South
Lake Tahoe Senior Center 3050 Hwy 50, South Lake Tahoe, CA
The 3rd Tuesday of every month at 5:30pm to 7:00pm, sponsored by
Alzheimer’s Association, at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center 990
Lassen Ln, El Dorado Hills, CA

Refreshments will be served. Free respite care is available to qualified
caregivers. Pre-Authorization is required for respite services. Questions?
Please contact the Family Caregiver Support Program at (530) 621-6151.

PG&E Partners with Food Bank to make Christmas a little brighter this year

Written on December 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm, by

Contact: Bill Sullivan

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                

(530) 621-9950

December 10, 2012                                                                     


PG&E Partners with Food Bank to make Christmas a little brighter this year

CAMERON PARK, CA – At Christmas time many of us take for granted some of the simple things that come with the season such as a decorated tree for our family home. For many, the cost of a Christmas tree could mean sacrificing paying a utility bill or buying enough food to feed their family for the month. Thanks to a recent partnership between Pacific Gas and Electric and the Food Bank of El Dorado County, several less fortunate residents will be enjoying a brighter holiday this year.

“PG&E has been a longtime supporter of the Food Bank of El Dorado County in various events and as annual community partner,” said Mike Sproull, Founder of the Food Bank. “I am glad that by working together we were able to provide 60 trees and lights for members of our less fortunate population who may have otherwise gone without this holiday season.”

Pacific Gas and Electric donated 120 four to five foot tall Noble Fir Trees and Led Lights to El Dorado and Yolo County Food Banks to benefit local families in need this holiday season. PG&E Employees also donated their time to participate in the local outreach, personally delivering the fresh trees to local agencies and personalizing the gift with  a special tag for the recipients.

“PG&E is committed to serving the communities in which we live and work every day. This donation is just one of many ways our employees continuously give back in their local areas throughout the year, said Brandi Ehlers, External Communications Representative from PG&E. “We are please to partner with the Food Bank of El Dorado County and be able to brighten the holidays for some local families in need.”

On Monday morning, PG&E rolled into Light of the Hills Church in Cameron Park, one of the Food Bank’s partner charities and distribution sites. A total of 33 trees were distributed to at risk individuals that turned out for the outreach at the longtime partner of the Food Bank. Later in the morning, the crew rolled up the highway to Foothill Indian Education Alliance where another 27 trees were distributed.

“The current state of the economy has hit Native Families especially hard Many will have to do without the things that were taken for granted during the past holiday season,” said James Marquez, Director of Foothill Indian Education Alliance. “Thanks to the generosity of of PG&E and the Food Bank of El Dorado, several Native families will have a Christmas tree to brighten their homes and their lives.”

The Food Bank of El Dorado County was founded in 2000 and is the largest collaborative charity in El Dorado County. The Food Bank is in partnership with over 30  local emergency food response sites provides assistance on a daily basis from distribution centers that are strategically placed throughout El Dorado County.  For further information, please visit their web site,  or call them at (530) 621-9950.


El Dorado County Board of Realtors supports Food Bank with annual Can Tree

Written on December 11, 2012 at 11:36 am, by

Contact: Bill Sullivan

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                

(530) 621-9950

December 10, 2012                                                                     


El Dorado County Board of Realtors supports Food Bank with annual Can Tree

PLACERVILLE, CA – The Bell Tower on Main Street in Placerville was a busy place in the early morning hours of Monday, December 10, as members of the El Dorado County Board of Realtors gathered to construct the annual Christmas Can Tree.

The El Dorado County Association of Realtors (EDCAR), became involved with a program called the Can Tree back in 1984. At that time there was a statewide project taking place that was started in Modesto in which Realtors and their affiliates became involved with a friendly competition by building a tree made of stacked canned goods to raise awareness and funds in the fight against local hunger.

As the Christmas Holiday nears, the large Can Tree built by our local realtors is a common sight, sparkling with colored lights and garland in the center of historic Main Street. Prior to the construction of this annual holiday icon, the local realtors work hard to raise funds through various raffles and donations at their regular MLS meeting. Over the years, EDCAR has raised thousands of dollars for the Food Bank of El Dorado County.

“This is our largest fund raising event each year, raising several thousand dollars,” said Steve Cockerell, Branch Manager of Vitek Mortgage who is instrumental in the annual Can Tree event. “In 2000 we began partnering with the Food Bank who has always provided our supplies for our contests and to create the Can Tree at the Bell Tower since that time.”

In 2011, EDCAR raised $5000 for the Food Bank of El Dorado County. Such funds were utilized wisely by El Dorado County’s largest collaborative charity that can transform monetary donations from the community at a rate of nearly five to one to purchase nutritious foods that supplement El Dorado County’s at risk seniors, families and children by the thousands each month in communities from El Dorado Hills to South Lake Tahoe.

“Many people are struggling in our current economic times, including Realtors and their affiliates” said Mike Sproull, Founder of the Food Bank of El Dorado County. “Even in these tough times the Realtors keep their commitment to El Dorado County’s most at risk population. For more than 25 years they have made a difference and I’m proud of this relationship that guarantees a safety net for our neighbors in need.”

The Food Bank was founded in 2000 and is the largest collaborative charity in El Dorado County. The Food Bank is in partnership with over 30  local emergency food response sites provides assistance on a daily basis from distribution centers that are strategically placed throughout El Dorado County.  For further information, please visit their web site,  or call them at (530) 621-9950.

For more information on the El Dorado County Association of Realtors Can Tree please visit their website at

Placerville Kiwanis Club partner with Food Bank to feed local families in need

Written on December 10, 2012 at 9:54 am, by

Food Bank of El Dorado County

Contact: Bill Sullivan

For Immediate Release

(530) 621-9950

December 7. 2012                                                                      


Placerville Kiwanis Club partner with Food Bank to feed local families in need

DIAMOND SPRINGS, CA – The Food Bank of El Dorado County’s warehouse was filled with activity last Wednesday afternoon  as members of the Placerville Kiwanis gathered to provide holiday food baskets to local families.  This event  is an annual project organized by the local service club in collaboration with the Food Bank.

The Kiwanis Holiday Basket program started several years ago as an effort by club members to help the families with children struggling during the holidays, Kiwanis Club members and local community participants individually sponsor the cost of each of the 55 baskets which are built in collaboration with the Food Bank which provides the food for the project.  The recipients for the Kiwanis holiday baskets are named by various non-profit agencies including New Morning, The Center and Family Connections.

“The partnership between Kiwanis and the Food Bank creates this very successful way for Kiwanis to support our community,” said Kiwanis Project Chairman Karl Weiland.“Working with the Food Bank is way to really leverage our dollars.”

The Placerville Kiwanis Club is an active part of life in El Dorado County whose members support and participate in a wide variety of activities serving the children and the community. The meets for lunch every Wednesday at Cold Springs Country Club. For more information on the Placerville Kiwanis, visit their website at or by calling President Lori Warden at 530-722-7897.

“The Kiwanis event at the Food Bank was so fast paced and efficient that at the end of the day our warehouse worker jokingly asked who was going to stick around and help clean up,” said Bill Sullivan of the Food Bank of El Dorado County. “Supervisor elect Brian Veerkamp and County Assessor Karl Weiland then stuck around and accepted the duties. Now that there is a true partnership.”

The Food Bank was founded in 2000 and is the largest collaborative charity in El Dorado County. The Food Bank is in partnership with over 30  local emergency food response sites provides assistance on a daily basis from distribution centers that are strategically placed throughout El Dorado County.  For further information, please contact our web site,  or call us them (530) 621-9950.

Food Bank Founder takes to the airwaves of Georgetown’s KFOK Radio

Written on December 10, 2012 at 9:54 am, by

Food Bank of El Dorado County

Contact: Bill Sullivan

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                

(530) 621-9950

December 7. 2012                                                                      



Food Bank Founder takes to the airwaves of Georgetown’s KFOK Radio

GEORGETOWN , CA – Food Bank Founder and Executive Director Mike Sproull took to the airwaves Friday afternoon in the Georgetown Divide.  Sproull was the featured guest on KFOK  Radio’s “El Dorado Hour,” a weekly radio program that features interviews representatives from local organizations and government agencies about their programs and services.

During the hour long interview, Sproull joined program host and program director Mark Nichol in the small studio location on Main Street in Georgetown an discussed hunger both locally and abroad. The program was an upbeat interview that broadcast many facts and statistics on the Food Bank of El Dorado County.

Sproull explained in detail how the Food Bank came about in El Dorado County and how it operates today with an Emergency Food Assistance Network of more than 30 different charities. He commended the agencies in the Georgetown area include the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the House of Prayer to their partnership and service to the at risk community on the Divide.

“It was an honor to be a featured guest on KFOK Radio,” said Sproull. “This non-profit community radio station provides a great service to El Dorado County on both FM Radio and streaming internet. Sometimes we forget that Georgetown is a part of El Dorado County. We are dedicated to that population in El Dorado County.”

KFOK Radio broadcast on FM station 95.1. The community radio station is operated by the American Folk Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the education of contemporary, traditional and multicultural folk music, folklore and folk dance in the Sierra Foothills centered around the Georgetown Divide. For more information visit their website at or give them a call at 530-333-4335.

The Food Bank was founded in 2000 and is the largest collaborative charity in El Dorado County. The Food Bank is in partnership with over 30  local emergency food response sites provides assistance on a daily basis from distribution centers that are strategically placed throughout El Dorado County.  For further information, please contact our web site,  or call us them (530) 621-9950.

Appetite Control and Smoking Abatement

Written on December 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm, by

This information courtesy of :

Chap. Dr. Richard Ward., JCD., PHD
Holistic Medical Hypnoanalyst
Mediator & NLP Professional


A Brief Explanation of NLP.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, (NLP) is a study of human excellent. By identifying in others the essential
characteristics of exceptional talent, successful attitudes and empowering beliefs, you can learn them yourself.

NLP is the study of the structure of subjective experience. NLP holds that people think and act based on their internal representations of the world and not on the world itself. Once we understand specifically, how we create and maintain our inner thoughts and feelings, it is a simple matter for us to change them to more useful ones.

NLP was first developed in the early 1970s by an information scientist, Richard Bandler and a linguistics professor, John Grinder. From their studies of successful people, they created a way to analyze and transfer human excellent, resulting in the most powerful, practical psychology ever developed.

NLP is a practical application of how people think, Described as “soft for your brain” it allows you to automatically tap into the kinds of experiences you want to have.

You can create your own future, and you can have choices about your feelings, especially when it matters most. A state-of–the art communications method for nurturing personal and professional growth. NLP creates an environment for graceful personal change.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming Sessions for “SMOKING ABATEMENT”

Why Smoke? Do you have enough willpower to stop smoking? No! You don’t! Like moods and emotions,
willpower fluctuates. On a down day you will go back to the habit which in the past you thought made you feel better. It didn’t and it won’t. Its most positive contribution may be to help your heirs collect your life insurance earlier, if it isn’t needed to pay heavy hospital coasts.

“After having worked with literally thousands of smokers, I can say that there is a physical addiction to
cigarettes, and it is so minute and so small that it can be discounted completely”

Effecting a cure
A. “The willingness and true desire to quit is essential. One must decide to quit now and throw cigarettes away along with lighters and all smoking accessories. Tapering off rarely works! Quitting is just a decision!”

B. “Utilize Neuro-Linguistic Programming to create positive mental attitudes and eliminate the tension that causes the oral cravings.”

C. “Disassociate the habit from the activities and locations that stimulate it thru NLP.”

Below is a letter to Physician on his Patient’s Progress Tells the story, (names have been changed due to confidentiality)  Neuro-Linguistic Programming Sessions for “APPETTITE CONTROL”

John Doe, M.D.
29 Medical Lane
Sacramento, California, 94285

Dear Dr. Doe,

I have been working with your patient per your referral for appetite control and would like to advise you of
your patient’s progress. On our initial consultation John reported general feelings of anxiety which caused him to feel uncomfortable and made it difficult to fall asleep. In addition, his appetite was out of control and he was binging on sweets and snack foods between meals.

I began our Neuro-Linguistic Programming sessions by age regressing John to an earlier time in his life
where he first learned to respond to stress by eating. In addition I learned that eating excessively offers your patient several other secondary gains (positive outcomes). John was helped to make a subjective change to past learning’s with a technique called a change of history. I then helped John to alter thoughts and memories that have been creating anxiety for him so that he could feel more relaxed. On subsequent sessions I helped to reprogram stimulus response patterns so that repeated experiences that were causing anxiety now trigger relaxation instead. John also learned to use this technique to change his response to food from one of compulsion to one of rejection.

At this point John reports that he feels much more relaxed and as a result is sleeping much better. He no longer has feelings of hunger or any compulsion to eat. He has eliminated between meal snacks and says he feels full on much less food. Your patient has begun an exercise program and his weight has gone from 200 lbs. to 181 in the past month.

Thank you for allowing me to participate in your patient’s health care.


Chap. Dr. Richard Ward, J.C.D., PH.D
St. John’s Management Group, PI 19688
A Business and Industrial Chaplaincy
Post Office Drawer 1200, Pollock Pines, CA 95726, USA

530-644-4588 or 916-812-9706

Lorine Cosens Petty shares her memories of Caldor

Written on December 4, 2012 at 11:23 am, by

I graduated from El Dorado High School on June 12, 1952. Wanting to further my education, I decided to go to Sacramento Junior College that fall. However, being a country girl, I did not like Sacramento or the fog. So after the first semester I decided to move back home. My Dad worked at Caldor Lumber Company and one day he came home and said, “Why don’t you go down to Caldor and talk to Mr. Price? They are looking for a part-time girl to work in the sales office.” So, the very next day I did just that. Mr. Price who was the General Manager interviewed me and said, “Can you come to work Monday  morning?” That was the end of March 1953 and from that day on I worked steady, my part-time job turned into a full time job. My salary was $232.00 per month, which seemed like a lot of money back then.

I worked in the sales office, which as an office on the south side of the building. Mr. Loren Hall was my boss,  his right hand lady was Mrs. Josephine Sammer. She showed me how to figure the lumber tallies and I did most of the invoicing. I remember the calculator that we used was a big cumbersome thing, far different than those of today. Two of Caldor’s biggest customers were McIlvain & McIlvain Lumber Company in New York, their lumber was shipped by rail. The J.E.Higgins Lumber Company in Los Angeles was the second most valued customer, their lumber was shipped by truck.

Mr. Chalmers G. Price, the General Manager had his office just off the big front office. In the front office was Miss Adele Landis, Mr. Price’s Secretary; Bron Smith, the Office Manager; Miss Josephine Tirepelle, Payroll Clerk and Bookkeeper; Mr. William T. Henderson, the Plant Supervisor. In the winter time Elvis Ferguson had a desk in the front office, he was the dispatcher fro the trains.

The trains were very much a part of Caldor’s operation and had been for many years. However, the trains quit running in the spring of 1953. Trucks now did what the trains did for many years. John S. Hocking was the main guy. He had a few trucks of his own, and the rest he sublet.

I was always very sorry that I didn’t get to see more of the train activity. I remember when we were in high school waiting for the bus at the corner of Oak Hill and Pleasant Valley Roads, and the trains coming by and we would wave  and the engineer would blow the whistle. I was trying to remember recently how many time the trains crossed Pleasant Valley Road on the way to the Mill. I believe there were 3 crossings and then they crossed Highway 49. Sure wouldn’t be fitting with the traffic on Pleasant Valley Road and Highway 49 today! My Dad, Ralph Cosens worked in the car shop (rail cars) from 1934 until 1956. Arlie Smith was his boss. Mr. Smith was the Master Mechanic in charge of the engines and rail cars. I suppose one of Dad’s finest accomplishments was when he and Howard Wider, under the supervision of Arlie Smith, built a switch engine. It was a beauty.

I worked for Caldor until they sold to Winton Lumber Company in the winter of 1956. Caldor was a wonderful place to work and the people were all so nice.      ~Lorene Cosens Petty, Placerville



Healing Principles of Herbs with Dr. Deb Saturday January 12, 2013

Written on December 4, 2012 at 10:53 am, by

Healing Principles of Herbs with Deborahe (Dr Deb) Prock. Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Class: $35 Book: $15 book purchase not required. Reservations must be made in advance – Contact Dr Deb at 530-622-1124 or Pizza lunch provided. Learn: How local plants may be used to heal. The different forms herbs may be used for healing: teas, tinctures, creams, capsules. To read the energy of the palm to determine the body’s weaknesses and select the appropriate healing herb. Herbs that may help with weight loss. Demonstrations: Tea, it’s not just for drinking. Making tinctures. Making herbal oil to use in creams, salves and cooking. Compounding formulas for capsules. Tasty lip balms, easy herbal creams. Making Glycerin soap. Herbal Energetics – muscle testing. **Of course everyone goes home with samples of cream, salve and soap. Journey Center 3976 Durock Rd., Ste 106 Shingle Springs. ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!

Attention Seniors!

Written on December 4, 2012 at 10:50 am, by

Emergency Heating and Cooling Services

The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Home Energy Assistance Program has emergency heating and cooling (ECHS) funding available to assist eligible El Dorado and Alpine County households with the emergency repair, replacement and new installation for certain heating and cooling appliances and water heating appliances.

To qualify for EHCS services, households must meet program eligibility guidelines and meet specific program income criteria.

To learn more about the El Dorado County Health and Human Services ECHS Program or to see if you qualify, please call 530-621-6333.

Get Informed, Get the Senior Times

The Senior Times contains information about health and wellness, nutrition news, articles on Medicare and Social Security, and events being held around the community. If you are over 55, this is the newspaper for you! The Senior Times also includes a calendar of weekly activities, announcements on one day and overnight trips and wonderful vacation getaways to destinations all over the world. We would like to invite you to enjoy a complimentary copy of the Senior Times. Please call the El Dorado County Department of Human Services, Senior Times Program at (530) 621-6255 to receive your free copy. Yearly subscriptions are also available for a $5.00 donation, please send your name, address and $5 to: Senior Times, 937 Spring Street, Placerville, CA 95667.

YANA-You Are Not Alone

Being alone is one of the greatest fears older adults have as they grow older. The You Are Not Alone (YANA) Program has been credited with saving the lives of many older adults. This FREE service allows older adults to find comfort and security knowing that someone will be checking in on them on a daily basis and in the event something does happen, family or friends will be notified. The enrollment process is easy and it provides the senior with two-morning flexible calling schedules and multiple contacts in the event of an emergency.  To learn more about this service, please call the YANA Program at 530-621-6255. This program is made possible by a coordinated effort between the EDC Department of Human Services and the EDC Sheriffs Department STAR Volunteers.

 Blackhawk Museum

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

The El Dorado County Senior Activities Program announces Blackhawk Museum on Wednesday, January 9th 2013. Travel by charted motorcoach to Walnut Creek and enjoy lunch at Northern Italian inspired, Massimo Ristorante.  After lunch, visit the Blackhawk Museum, a spectacular 70,000 square foot, three story architectural masterpiece showcasing rolling sculptures in a unique “jewel box” setting. The museum houses around ninety classic cars and features a 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C made of tulipwood, a 1962 JFK limousine and a Chinese Hongqi as well as to cars designed to suit the Maharajah.  Cost is $89 per person.  For more information, please call Star Walker at 621-6255 or e-mail at


Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The El Dorado County Senior Activities Program announces Esquire Imax Theatre on Wednesday, January 9th 2013. Travel by charted motorcoach to Sacramento and have lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  After lunch, enjoy two performances at the Esquire IMAX Theatre.  See “Born to be Wild” an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals.  This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them. Next is “To the Artic”, an extraordinary journey to a place of extremes that few ever dare go. In this film, you’ll venture across floating ice with a mother polar bear and cubs, travel with a herd of caribou, plunge underwater with walruses and gaze across snow-bound peaks. Cost is $60 per person. For more information, please call Star Walker at 621-6255 or e-mail at

 Star Walker
El Dorado County
Health and Human Services Agency
Area Agency on Aging PSA 29
Tele: 530-621-6255
Fax: 530-295-2581

Visit our Website at:

Friendship Cards…’old school’ social media

Written on December 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm, by

My grandmother passed away last year and until recently I did not have the time to go through a box of keepsakes that I inherited from her. Last weekend, while digging in the garage to find Christmas decorations, I stumbled upon it. With a fresh cup of hot coffee, I sat down and opened the dusty old box. It was like stepping back in time. Inside I found an old red velvet album with brass-bound corners and a beautiful clasp. As I opened the album, I found a colorful collection of little cards that did not belong to my grandmother, but my great grandmother who was born in 1900. I discovered that these cards were called “friendship cards”, little colorful greetings once exchanged among family and friends. Before texting and Facebook, this was how you expressed your friendship. Many of them had little handwritten notes on them describing who gave them to her and for what occasion. She had a lot of friends! Birthday wishes, Christmas wishes, get well wishes and some of them were for no occasion at all. Some of them were from beau’s. They had dainty artwork, beautiful embossing and a few had ribbon attached. All of them were brightly colored and very detailed. I had such a wonderful time going through these keepsakes that my coffee went cold. It was fun discovering these treasures and I am grateful my grandmother chose me as the recipient of these memories she cherished too. ~Rosie Baxter, Cool Ca.

Ocean’s of Suds…thank you, no!

Written on December 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm, by

I was 6 in 1946 and I remember this story as told to me by my grandmother Bitsy, who attended church in Placerville. The church was heated by a coal furnace and the coal was stored in the church basement. Needless to say, when the coal was placed down the chute, the dust from it went everywhere. So the ladies of the parish, including my grandmother, would gather every spring to do “spring cleaning” and get rid of the mess. Believe it or not, the church did not have running water at that time so the men of the parish had to bring in big buckets of water. The ladies gathered and Bitsy started spreading an entire box of soap flakes all over the floor, a brand new product on the market. They started scrubbing away and as the water was added, the suds from the soap flakes grew, and grew and grew. The ladies frantically tried adding more water to wash it all down the drain, and as they added more water, the soaps grew even higher! Pretty soon they were covered in suds up to their knees. Finally they looked at the box of soap flakes…it was a new product called Tide. In fact, it promised, “Oceans of Suds”!  It was meant for use in washing machines for clothing. After the laughter died down, the ocean subsided, Bitsy’s face turned a little less red from embarrassment and she promised to go back to good ole’ fashioned lye soap or cake soap to do the job next time. That basement was never cleaner though!  ~Frederick Murphy, Diamond Springs

I survived Black Friday…

Written on December 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm, by

About this time last week, I was preparing to head off for a night of camping outside of my local Target store for my first Black Friday experience. Everything went as planned, and I left Target minus$260.00, but infinitely happier nonetheless. And I made a few friends along the way. Or so I thought. Here is the rundown:

I expected hoards of people, camping out in the parking lot in anticipation of this big sale. After all, the news coverage told me it would be total mayhemI got there Wednesday night, preparing for the 9pm Thursday opening. Needless to say, I was the first person there. I set up “camp” at the head of the line. As the night drew on, the few people that were as crazy as I was began to arrive. Most of them were young couples, living on a small budget, looking to find a huge TV at a bargain price, and I can’t blame them. I myself, was after a PS3. I think one of my mistakes was not bringing enough to entertain myself with while I waited, but thankfully these couples brought plenty of stuff to keep us all busy. During the night, I got to know Austin and Haley, John and Sabrina, and a couple others pretty well. Austin brought his iPad, with which we watched The Hangover 1 and 2. Sabrina brought Monopoly, and thanks to the vast amount of time we got to spend together, we actually had enough time to finish a whole game. We also played poker and blackjack thanks to someone in line that brought cards and poker chips. The time passed rather quickly, and before we all knew it, it was 9pm Thursday. Time for the store to open, open, open!

Because I was in front of the line, I had no people to push through as I entered the store. But, the people behind me sure tried to push through me. The same young couples I had just spent the past 18 hours with raced by me as they ran search of their desires in the electronic department. We were all strangers again. And yet, I still had a really good time. I got the item I wanted at a price that isn’t available the rest of the year, and I can officially say I’ve done Black Friday shopping. Although, I do not recommend seeing the Hangover 2. It was terrible.

Where’s Windfall? Here, There, Everywhere

Written on November 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm, by

Here, There, Everwhere!
2012 Crab and Chowder Gala, Grand Opening of the El Dorado County Food Bank Administration Facility, Crocker Art Museum – Celebrating Annual CARE Reception with Wells Fargo, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the U.S. 50 Missouri Flat Rd Interchange Project and U.S. 50 HOV Lanes Project completion, EDC Chamber Mixer at David Girard Vineyards.

Pursuit Dynamics, LLC

Written on November 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm, by

Pursuit Dynamics
Pursuit Dynamics LLC., offers competitive pricing on a full range of emergency and agency vehicle outfitting, including light bars, sirens, prisoner restraint, communications and collision repair.

I’m on a mission…

Written on November 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm, by

                As a teen, I don’t have an abundance of spending money. What money  I do earn either goes into my gas tank or my savings account for college. I usually give myself about a budget of 30% from what I make in a month for spending, so I have to be careful. Normally the spending money goes towards food (I’m an In N’ Out addict) or clothing (sweat pants are my favorite garment), but this month is different.

                In September, I decided I no longer wanted to spend all of my money on food and clothing. I thought about Black Friday, and started to save my money. And as I’m writing this on Wednesday, the 21st, I’m preparing for my 1st camp out.

                I’ve saved up about $250 for spending, and over the past week or so, I’ve been scouting out the best places for savings. I’ve settled upon the Best Buy in Folsom. Because they only carry electronics, they cater to a certain demographic, and thus they’ll have less people in line. The item I’m looking for is also being offered at Target and Walmart, so I think Best Buy gives me the best shot of getting it. So tonight (Wednesday), I’m embarking on a trek I’ve never experienced before.

                I’m packing right now. I won’t be bringing that much with me. Pretty much all I’ll be bringing along is a sleeping bag, pillow, a cooler with some sodas and food. I stocked up on Twinkies and Ho Ho’s, so I’ll be utilizing a large percentage of those. So from about midnight tonight to 9 P.M. on Thursday, when Best Buy opens, I’ll be withstanding the weather or whatever the world brings me, for that one item.

                I will report on Mission Black next week. Until then, wish me luck.

Invitation to Bid 11/21/12

Written on November 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm, by


Sealed Bid Proposals will be received at the Food Bank of El Dorado County, 3291
Coach Lane, Cameron Park, California until 3:00 p.m. local time on December 21, 2012, or such
later date as may be set by addendum, for the construction of the following:

Design and Construction (design-build) services for the new El Dorado County Food
Bank Warehouse facility located on Business Drive in Shingle Springs, CA. The Owner
will retain one firm to complete the design and construction of the project. The project
design is approximately 25% complete.

The Contract Documents, including the Project Requirements and the plans and specifications,
for the work, may be examined at the Food Bank office, 3291 Coach Lane, Cameron Park,
California. Up to 2 sets of Bid Documents can be obtained (for a non-refundable fee of $50)
from the Food Bank. Additional sets may be purchased directly through the Food Bank’s
Printer. This information shall be furnished upon request. The Bidder’s attention is directed to
the Project Requirements for complete instructions regarding submission of a bid. The plans and
Documents will be available by November 30, 2012.

Each Bid must be submitted on the prescribed forms and accompanied by cash, a cashier’s check,
certified check or bid bond executed on the prescribed form payable to the District in an amount
not less than 10 percent of the amount bid.

The successful bidder will be required to furnish a payment bond and faithful performance bond
each in the full amount of the Contract price, and insurance with certificates of insurance, as
provided in the Contract Documents. The required bonds must be provided only by a surety
insurer that is duly admitted by the Insurance Commissioner of the State of California.

The successful bidder must possess the following classification or type of contractor’s license
issued by the State Contractor’s License Board: Class ‘B’.

The Food Bank reserves the right to reject all bids. Any bid not conforming to the intent and
purpose of the Contract Documents may be rejected. The District may extend the time to award
the Contract for a period of time which shall not extend beyond 60 days from the bid opening

Dated this 21st day of November, 2012.

Hundreds Show Support of the Food Bank of El Dorado County in Grand Opening Gala

Written on November 19, 2012 at 11:18 am, by


Food Bank of El Dorado County 

  Contact: Bill Sullivan

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                

(530) 621-9950

November 16, 2012                                                                       

Hundreds Show Support of the Food Bank of El Dorado County in Grand Opening Gala

 CAMERON PARK  (11-16-12) – Just a few months ago, the Food Bank of El Dorado County was facing certain challenges in its current facility and Food Bank Founder Mike Sproull reached out to one of organization’s community partners, Wells Fargo to inquire if the large banker would be willing to donate its vacant facility to the Food Bank’s administrative offices.

Thursday night, clearly illustrated the what the Food Bank means to El Dorado County as members of the community turned out in mass to witness of Wells Fargo Bank joined the Food Bank staff and Board of Directors to celebrate the grand opening of the Food Bank’s new administrative offices in Cameron Park and recognize Wells Fargo Bank for their generous donation of the facility for the next four years.

The grand opening was a collaborative effort between Wells Fargo and the Food Bank. The event began with a heartfelt speech by Ray Nutting, District Two Supervisor Mr. Nutting spoke in depth about the success of the Food Bank and the commitment of its Executive Director, staff and volunteers over the years and stressed how vital the organization is to the community and then passes the microphone over to Mike Sproull.

“This Food Bank belongs to you, the community and we can’t thank Wells Fargo enough for their donation,” said Sproull. “At this time the Food Bank of El Dorado County is in a very positive light and that is accredited to a great deal of hard work and strategic planning. While many charities have been struggling the Food Bank has been conservative and now we are in a good position to reach out to our at risk population at a time when it is needed most.”

Sproull was joined by Lia Rodriguez, Community Banking District Manager, and Kevin Barri, President of Wells Fargo Community Foothills Market, to join with the Shingle Springs-Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce and the El Dorado Rose Court for Thursday’s official ribbon cutting. Barri was instrumental in securing the once vacant Wells Fargo building for the Food Bank.

“A lot of people ask us why we reach out to the community like we do,” said Barri. “Wells Fargo understands that families are struggling during these tough economic times. Investing in this organization will ensure that crucial services continue for the people in our communities.”

Once doors opened, the crowd entered the new Food Bank office and enjoyed catering provided by Applebee’s and Wells Fargo, cocktails provided by Motherlode Rehabilitation Enterprises, Starbucks Coffee and the music provided by both DJ Ted Robertson and singer Bob Rawleigh. The large crowd gathered to enjoy a true community event that showcased a culmination of hard work resulting in an efficient and effective facility that provides an emergency food assistance safety net as a whole.

If you missed the grand opening stop by and visit the Food Bank’s new administrative offices at 3291 B Coach Lane in Cameron Park and check it out. Watch for the Food Bank’s Newsletter in your mailbox for more information or you can call them at (530) 621-9950 or visit

Walk for Life – West Coast 2013

Written on November 19, 2012 at 9:27 am, by

Walk for Life—West Coast 2013

Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 26, 2013. Holy Trinity Knights of
Columbus, located at 3111 Tierra de Dios Drive in El Dorado Hills, will join more
than 50,000 pro-lifers for the 9th Annual “Walk for Life” in San Francisco, as we
peacefully proclaim our message that abortion hurts women and we all deserve
better than abortion. It is a 2.07 mile casual & healthy walk along the scenic
downtown Market Street. The walk begins at Civic Center Plaza and ends at
Justin Herman Plaza (Ferry Terminal). Enjoy the camaraderie of other walkers
who participate from various cities/towns in Northern California. The “WALK” is
open to the public and all faiths. We plan on 3 buses departing Holy Trinity Parish
and we need your RSVP as soon as possible to order additional buses, if needed, by
January 10, 2013. Bus fare is $25.00 pp round trip. Credit cards, AE, Visa, Master
Card and Debit cards accepted. The Bus boarding will begin at 7:30AM at the
rear roadway behind the Social Hall. Buses will depart at 9:30 AM and return to
Holy Trinity between 5:30 & 6:00 PM. There will be shuttle bus availability in San
Francisco for Handicap and Elderly.

The “Walk” is a great example of natural and manmade beauty, as we
demonstrate for that most beautiful gift–LIFE! As we hear that call to speak up for
those who cannot speak for themselves, we have a decision to make. Will we ignore
the call and pretend it didn’t happen, or will we say YES?! What are you going to
say today?! We call upon all people of good will to join us!

For more info, visit our website at or contact Gene Savage

Moore Chiropractic

Written on November 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm, by

Moore Chiropractic
With two clinics in El Dorado County, and one in the Bay Area, Dennis J Moore, B.A., D.C. is passionate about providing chiropractic to his patients both far and wide. He is at the EL Dorado Hills office from 11am to 1pm on Mondays and Fridays and the Placerville Office on Mondays and Fridays from 3pm to 5pm.

Alternative Medicine – Do you understand the difference between a Doctor and Practitioner?

Written on November 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm, by

Alternative Medicine – Do you understand the difference between a Doctor and Practitioner?

I will be the first to tell you that I love Alternative Medicine, at the end of the day we
are talking “Prevention”. I firmly believe that we no longer live in a world where we can
be holistic all the time; we need to integrate traditional medicine and a licensed MD and
compliment with some alternative care.

There are many different “natural modalities” that can compliment your health but it is
important to understand the “scope of practice” that goes with those modalities. I will use
myself as an example.

Dr. Deb is mainly a nickname that comes from the early 1990’s when I began using herbs
for animals it was Dr. Deb Doolittle. I do have a degree as “Doctor of Naturopathy” which
means I have completed 4 years of natural medicine studies. At my office, I work as
a “Naturopathic Practitioner”. A naturopath is an educator, one that can guide you to better
health by suggesting diet and lifestyle changes, understand the physiology (the way the body
works) to help you understand in simple terms. It is important to know that a practitioner
does not diagnose, nor do they prescribe traditional medications, and they are not licensed by
the State.

Additionally, I have completed a 2-year program for herbal medicine in addition to the 4
years for naturopathy, and have certification as a Master Herbologist. Many natural medicine
people recommend herbs and supplements, so it is important to find out some background
on the person recommending this type of treatment. “All natural does NOT mean safe” herbs
are medicine as are over the counter supplements. Many may interact with the way your
traditional medicines are working, as will many vitamins. So be sure that the person who is
recommending natural supplements has sufficient training and experience to ‘educate’ you in
the proper use. For myself I spend many hours every year studying possible interactions and
learning how new medications work so that herbs can be used safely, over the years I have
made many changes in my recommendations based on what works with my clients as well as
the hours of studying. When in doubt, I will in fact suggest that you speak with a physician.

I have a lot of people call looking for a “natural doctor” and I explain the difference. The
natural doctors that carry the initials, N.D. Are in fact Physicians (M.D.) that have achieved
additional training in natural medicine and nutrition, they are licensed by the State, and can
order lab testing, prescribe traditional medications as well as suggest supplements for you.
This type of doctor can be located by going to the website: and click
on find Physicians.

Other wonderful natural modalities include Chiropractors or Acupuncturists; these are
licensed doctors that manipulate the body. They have specialized training to help with injury
and good health.

Massage therapy and Bowen therapy are complimentary to chiropractics. These people
should carry a license by the State to be sure that they have proper training to work with
the body. Any time you manipulate the body it can improve your health. The alignment of

the body can affect the organs and internal working you want to be sure that this type of
practitioner is qualified and licensed.

The list of natural healers could go on for pages, one good resource to look at is: (Foothill Health and Wellness Network). This is a group of local healers
that come together to learn and share information with each other the website not only lists a
lot of wonderful, serious minded healers but is also a good resource to read and understand
what each person does, look at their qualifications, etc.

Just remember good health starts at home, even better when you are taking some
responsibility to address those health issues you empower yourself to be healthy. If you
have questions about natural health or practitioners, I am happy to educate and answer those
questions for you at or (530) 622-1124 or visit

The biggest mudslide ever!

Written on November 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm, by

I remember when Highway 50 was closed for the biggest mud slide ever. The locals couldn’t get home for days without going the back way to get to Kyburz. The night was a torrent of rain and the roadway was quickly slipping away. The mud slide was so large that we thought there might have been travelers buried beneath it all. Large boulders were rolling down the hill as the river kept rising. People actually saw homes floating under the Coloma Bridge. It had rained so hard it was hard to imagine when it would stop. When it did stop, no one would believe the extent of the damage or just how many homes were actually lost. Thankfully no one perished. It was not until the following day that we awoke to see just how bad it was.  As I recall, it was the worst site imaginable and the county faced the most daunting clean up ever witnessed in our local history. Now several years later it’s hard to remember just where that stretch of highway was, except that when traveling Highway 50 today you can still see a little of the hillside slippage and the old section of highway laying alongside the new bridges. The most shocking site to me was that an entire house and its foundation fell into the river below Kyburz. It was completely swallowed up by the powerful force of the river that day, having been built too close to the water’s edge. One thing I know for sure, Mother Nature has always shown us just how she can change the country in a single event and just how much force she holds!  I take pleasure in knowing that we have examples such as this in our own local history and that we have learned and continue to learn from them. So much history is right here in our own backyards, go check it out!

~Larry Hennick, Pollock Pines

Lumber was our mainstay…

Written on November 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm, by

I remember when El Dorado County was small! Lumber was our mainstay and everything revolved around its production and the forest was the best resource we had. I was taught that lumber was our way of life and living in Camino, we only had to take in that deep breath of air each day and throughout the day to let the smell of fresh cut trees and the mill’s production to feed our soul. My grandfather would give me a history lesson at a moments notice and the town was alive with all those who lived off of lumber. My Grandmother ran the local restaurant and Grandfather ran the bar that my Uncle owned, both of which served the people who worked at the mill. The days were long and the production at the mill could be heard around town by the mill horn, indicating the start, middle and end of the work day. It also sounded when an injury happened and we all held our breath or ran to assist as it was most often a serious one. The life we had was a great one and the long history of families who worked there have faded now with time. Stop in at the County Museum here in Placerville and see the wonderful pictures of the lumber production of days gone by. Remember the life blood of this great area, as I do when I see the logging trucks roll towards the final stop in lumber production, a mill that is now outside of our County.

~Larry Hennick, Pollock Pines

Braided rugs bring back memories of my Grandmother…

Written on November 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm, by

My grandmother grew up in The Great Depression. Needless to say, she was very thrifty, saving every bit of old clothing, sheets and bedding or her sewing scraps. Why you ask? To make braided scatter rugs. Year round she would save these strips of fabric. No matter the color. No matter the pattern. Back in those days, there was no indoor carpeting. Hardwood floors were the norm. So these braided rugs were not only a hobby to pass time, but a necessity! When she had enough fabric, she and her sisters would sit down and start sewing the fabric end to end and roll them into big balls. Once they had enough, they would start braiding them together, round and round and round to fit the dimensions you needed. All of the colors and patterns and textures created an eye catching effect. When I was a child, visiting my grandparents home was a real treat because after the end of a day, dinner dishes done, we would lie down on one of these scatter rugs and listen to their stories. Grandma would point out her own fathers pants suit, her old curtains, her old prom dress and her mama’s apron…seamlessly blended together within the rugs we laid upon. When I see a braided scatter rug in antique stores now, I smile and know what a treasure they are. Imagine if grandmother could have made money for her rugs! She would never believe it so!

~ Emmy Gould, El Dorado Hills

Happy Thanksgiving! This kid is on break…

Written on November 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm, by

Hallelujah. It’s Thanksgiving break at Oak Ridge next week and I am pumped. We’ve only had a couple days off prior to this week, so I’m going to live it up. Here’s what I have on my calendar:
Saturday/Sunday: This is the same as every weekend. I sleep in and watch football. So nothing new here.
Monday: This is the first day of the actual break, so I have to sleep all day. I’ll probably wake up around ten, then I’ll put on some sweatpants and eat, then go back to sleep. I’ll awake again around 1, and will watch some TV, and then sleep again till 5, when Monday Night Football airs. After that’s over, I’ll sleep.
Tuesday: I’ve been waiting for snow season all year, so I’m going to drive up with some friends to Sierra at Tahoe and snowboard all day. I’ll be rusty, but it will be worth it.
Wednesday: Snowboarding is very taxing, so I’ll probably have to rest and recover on Wednesday. Easy Mac, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and my computer will be my best friend that day.
Thursday: It’s Turkey Day, which means it is a perfect day for some more snowboarding. Ever go up on a holiday? The places are empty! It’s perfect.
Friday: Sleep, and do more of the same that I did on Wednesday.
Saturday: This will be a different Saturday from what I usually do. I do have homework over the break, and then is the time that I’ll have to do it.
Sunday: Sleep, wonder where the break went, and watch football.

The Monday afterwards: Start counting down the days till’ Christmas Break.

Oh…the life of a teenager!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Dollar Plus Outlet

Written on November 10, 2012 at 2:00 am, by

Dollar Plus Outlet, Grand Opening Celebration!
Saturday, November 10th – 10am – 4pm

I remember…Armistice Day 1945

Written on November 9, 2012 at 10:00 am, by

I remember…Armistice Day 1945                                                                                      

            I was seven and my grandfather held my hand as we walked the few blocks to Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, CA, the city were I grew up. I believe it was Armistice Day (now Veteran’s Day) in 1945, but because that is the year that World War II ended, it may well have been one of many celebrations of victory that happened following the defeat first of Germany and then Japan.

            Pasadena loved parades and every Armistice Day and Memorial Day there was one. I went to many of them, but this parade was like none other I can remember. It was made up of bands, color guards and hundreds and hundreds of soldiers and veterans.

            My grandfather had told me, as we walked from our house, that like I had learned to do while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, it was proper to stand tall, take off my hat if I had one and place my right hand over my heart as the American Flag passed by. And there were many that passed by that day.

            I can even recall at a later date my grandfather doing that in a movie theater when our National Anthem was played and an American Flag showed on the screen. As he pulled me up to stand beside him in that darkened theater, I remember that slowly others stood to join us. It was a different era.

            The first soldiers to march by in the parade that day were young American men fully outfitted in the uniforms of World War II, all in neat rows and marching proudly in precise step.

            They were the heros of the hour, part of the 16.5 million Americans we now call the Greatest Generation. At great cost they, and millions of others like them, had brought freedom to the world.

            Following a bit behind them were some men and women I now know were in their late forties and early fifties at the time. Some were dressed in a different uniform, a uniform that on many didn’t quite fit. They were American veterans of an earlier war, World War I, the “Great War,” the “War to End All Wars.” Some marched, some walked and some were helped along by others.

            They were less organized than the first group and appeared to be having a great time. One man, I recall, drove a motorcycle with a sidecar that was a relic from that war. To the delight of the crowds gathered along the street, especially this seven year old, he would tip the motorcycle so that the sidecar was in the air and drive circles in and around his group of scattering comrades.

            Later in the parade were a group of men mostly in their sixties and seventies. They, like my grandfather, were American veterans of the Spanish-American war. There were not so many of them as were in the preceding groups and some rode in cars. But those that walked stood just as proud as the others and my grandfather, also standing a tall and proud as they walked by, saluted them over and over.

            Toward the end of the parade was a single car in the back seat of which sat either one or two men, but the number is not important. I remember very distinctly an old man waving to me and my grandfather saluting him. I asked, “Grandpa, who is that man?” Somewhat emotionally he replied, “A Union veteran of the Civil War.” His father, who had died in 1908, had been one of them.

            At seven I didn’t know much about the wars, other than World War II, which I had lived through, collecting aluminum, old tires and bacon fat and buying saving stamps and war bonds for the “war effort.” And on the day it ended, my brother and I, donning cooking pots as helmets, carried our American Flag as we marched up and down the street while church bells rang and car horns honked all over America.

            As I grew up I learned  that in the 1940s veterans of both sides of the Civil War were still annually gathering together, the Union soldiers calling their gatherings  “The National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic” and the Confederate soldiers calling theirs  “The Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans.” Mostly they had separate gatherings, but 24 times they held met jointly, once even at Gettysburg, on the 50th anniversary of that battle.

            1949 was the year the Union soldiers held their last one and 1951 the year the Confederate soldiers held their last. There were just too few of them left.

            Recently, as I thought about those men that I watched march by that day in 1945, I wondered what happened to them.

            Albert Woolson, a drummer boy and the last surviving Union veteran, died in 1956. He is considered by many to be the last authenticated survivor of that war. John Sailing, who died in 1958, and Walter Williams, who died in 1959, are both claimed to be the last surviving Confederate soldier. Unfortunately, birth and military records being what they were in those times, scholars will probably continue forever to disagree on who was the last surviving veteran.

            Nathan Edward Cook, a sailor who died in 1993, is considered by many to have been the last remaining American veteran of the Spanish-American War, although Jones Morgan, an African-American soldier during that period, who died in 1992, may also hold that title. Again, birth and military record issues.

            Frank Woodruff Buckles was the last living American veteran of World War I. He entered the U.S. Army at 16, but claiming to be 18 as his state of birth, Missouri, did not issue birth certificates. He resided in Charles Town, West Virginia until passing away on February 20, 2011 at the age of 110.

            The Department of Veteran’s Affairs estimated that in November of 2011 there were 1.7  million surviving American veterans of World War II. With about 700 passing away each day, way too soon they too will be reduced to only a few and then there will be none.

            I have ancestors who fought and died, sometimes on both sides, in wars as far back as the American Revolution, and maybe even further. I am sure all of us have similar connections with ancestors, relatives and friends who have fought for their country or are doing so in wars today.

            We should take the opportunity of Veteran’s Day to personally thank the living and remember the brave millions of others who fought and died, for the freedom we hold so precious. ~Doug Noble, Placerville

Why don’t we just use a popular vote?

Written on November 9, 2012 at 9:54 am, by

Well, thank goodness that’s over. The Election is finished and I am so glad to not have to watch another political ad until 2014. And yet one thing about the election still makes me very curious, which is, Why don’t we just use a popular vote?

I mean, think about it. Utilizing a popular vote would make things so much easier! Instead of worrying about getting to 270, the candidates are only concerned with getting more national votes than the other guy. We would avoid another controversy like in 2000, where George Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore, but won the Electoral College because a few hundred votes win in Florida. Getting rid of the Electoral College would ensure that America’s President would win, not the guy who won a couple swing states. If this past election was just based off a popular vote, the result would be the same, but it wouldn’t be because of Ohio or Virginia, it would be all of America.

Also, just over 100,000,000 people voted. There are roughly 300,000,000 million people in America. Take away about a third of those who aren’t eligible, and that leaves you with half of the eligible voters choosing not to take part in the election. And can you really blame them? Does a liberal in Alabama or a conservative in California really have much of a say? A popular vote would change that. Instead of campaigning for swing states, the candidates would try to suck every last vote from every state. Romney would have campaigned in California further, as would Obama in Texas. It would give everyone who votes the chance to say, “I actually made a difference.”

I’m not the first, and definitely not the last to argue for a popular vote, but the reality is that unless we can piece together a Constitutional Amendment to change it, we’re stuck with the Electoral College. However, if we really want to make that change, we can. It’s all about how badly you want it.

2013 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program

Written on November 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm, by

2013 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program
16 Fridays, March 1-June 28, 9am-3pm, Jackson, California                              

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) invites adults interested in helping others learn about gardening and landscaping to apply to train as a Master Gardener volunteer. UCCE Master Gardener volunteers learn University-based scientific information and then share that knowledge with the gardening community. Master Gardener volunteers are people of all ages and from all walks of life with a common desire to help others learn about gardening and landscaping.

 Who Can Apply?
  • Any resident of Amador or El Dorado County for the 24 available openings in the training program.  First priority is for Amador County residents.
  • Residents of El Dorado County will train in Amador County but will be El Dorado County Master Gardeners.
  • Applicants need internet access. Most communication will be through email and websites.  Weekly class quizzes and homework will be online.
  • Sign up on our MG Training interest list at
  • Attend one of our two Master Gardener orientation meetings to learn about the Master Gardener Program, our community involvement, and your participation requirements.  These meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, November 28 and Friday, November 30, from 9-11am at the GSA Building, 12200-B Airport Road in Jackson. Please RSVP to 530-621-5528.
  • Schedule an interview at the orientation meeting and get the link to the online application.
  • Complete and submit the online application by Friday, December 14, 2012.
  • Review applicants.  Main criteria for acceptance: 1) prior community service, 2) experience teaching others, either by giving presentations, writing, or in one-to-one situations, 3) passion for helping home gardeners, 4) experience successfully gardening.
  • Conduct interviews during January.  We will contact you within a week after the interview with your acceptance status.
  • If you are accepted, we will email you a Live Scan form and list of Live Scan locations. A background check, including fingerprinting, is required to become a Master Gardener.  We will also offer a Live Scan session at the Amador UCCE office in February.
  • Teach you how to garden successfully. Topics and activities will cover basic plant science, propagation, fertilization, irrigation, soil, compost, vegetable and fruit gardening, trees, Integrated Pest Management (diseases, weeds, insects, small animals), research tools, and outreach techniques.
  • Provide you with plenty of Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities.
  • By January 25, 2013 pay course fee of $185 online or mail a check made payable to “UC Regents” to Robin Cleveland, UC Cooperative Extension, 311 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA 95667.
  • By February 22, mail the Live Scan form completed by the Live Scan operator to Robin Cleveland at the above address.
  • Attend 16 classes on Wednesday, February 27 and most Fridays, March 1 through June 28, 2013, from 9am-3pm in Jackson.  Only one class may be missed.
  • Answer gardening questions at farmers markets, at the county fair and other local events, at the Master Gardener office, at the upcoming Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, or at public classes.  Help with program activities offered through a variety of internal committees.
  • Complete 50 volunteer hours your first year, then 25 volunteer and 12 continuing education hours annually.
  • Post your volunteer and continuing education hours on our online Statewide MG Volunteer Management System. (We provide instructions).
  • Attend your county’s monthly MG Continuing Education meetings as often as possible.
  • Five University of California publications including the California Master Gardener Handbook; discounts on other UC publications.
  • Certificate of Completion of Class Instruction after completing the 16-week training program and passing the take-home, open-book examination.
  • Monthly Continuing Education meetings with speakers and activities on in-depth gardening topics.
  • Frequent notifications of Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities and other program information.
  • Annual recertification as an active MG after you post online at least 50 Volunteer hours by June 30, 2014.  (Future years’ annual requirements are 25 Volunteer and 12 Continuing Education hours.)
  • Joy and satisfaction that you’re helping other gardeners grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits, you’re making new friends, and working with others to help create a more sustainable environment.

For more information, contact Robin Cleveland at 530-621-5528 or

 The University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person in any of its programs or activities. (Complete nondiscrimination policy statement can be found at   Should you need assistance or require special accommodations for any of our educational programs, please contact us at 530-621-5502.

“Hot Dish” visits Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. in El Dorado Hills

Written on November 5, 2012 at 8:56 am, by

Welcome to The Windfall’s new feature – Hot Dish! The idea for this supper club came about last summer while I was dining with a few friends one lazy evening. It was a rare opportunity to collectively step away from our busy schedules filled with work obligations and family commitments. By the end of the night, we came to the conclusion that all work and no play makes for a very dull girl!  Since September 2011, we have shared some great meals at local restaurants and enjoyed lots of ‘hot dish’!  Let’s be honest, none of us in the group claim to be formal food critics by any means! However as everyday consumers we do know how to judge good food, good value and good service! In this economy it is a real treat to eat out, so the challenge is to find places that everyone can afford and enjoy! So here it is…our first review. We will spare you the table talk! ~ Tina Henderson, Editor/The Windfall

RUFFHAUS Hot Dog Co  4355 Town Center Blvd. #114 El Dorado Hills, Ca 95762

Many of you may not even consider the ‘hot dog’ a food worth eating, let alone worth talking about. At Judy’s suggestion, we visited Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. and all of us were pleasantly surprised and glad we did! Located in the El Dorado Hills Town Center, Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. is the brainchild of brothers and chefs Frederick and Charles Knight. With a combined experience of over 50 years they offer creatively prepared, classic American fare presented in a trendy yet laid back atmosphere. Catering is available too. We visited Ruffhaus at dinner time, midweek and without a reservation (which is not necessary). We immediately found a table that could seat us all and before we sat down, we were greeted by Grace who was our hostess/waitress/server. She was sweet, attentive and appeared genuinely happy to see us while explaining how ordering works. Fountain drinks are self serve and they have a great variety of beer on tap, by the bottle and wine by the glass. They even have a small bar with a handful of seats for those stopping in for happy hour and appetizers. The menu is big, but not too overwhelming and includes specialty dogs, sausages and make your own hot dogs with endless topping choices. They also have ‘non dogs’ which consisted of fish and chips, philly’s, pita’s and a vegetarian option. Jodie pointed out that the music playing in the background was really good and we all agreed Ruffhaus had a great vibe with lots to look at while waiting for our food. The wait was short by the way, and before we knew it our table was filled with appetizers! You only live once, so we tried the deep fried pickles, a scotch egg (hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried), garlic and sweet potato fries. Everything arrived hot and surprisingly not at as greasy as you would expect. As we sampled each item, all of us agreed – Yum! Grace returned within 15 minutes and served our dinners. The portions were very generous and priced just right. The Montecris Dog was the overall favorite of the group and budget friendly at just $5.95.  A battered turkey frank, apple wood smoked bacon, melted monterey jack and blackberry jam, dusted with powdered sugar. Dawn said, “Who would of thought that jam on a hotdog would taste this good?” A more traditional choice was The Chicago Dog  priced at $5.45 which placed 2nd. The Big Tex, a hot link with bacon, grilled onions, bbq sauce, white cheddar and jalapenos placed 3rd at just $5.95. The non-dog top choice of the evening was the fish and chips priced at $9.95. Bass Ale battered fillets, hand cut fries and house made tartar – and we all shouted – Yum again! For dessert we tried Dog Balls. Laugh if you must, I admit we all were howling! Battered vanilla ice cream deep fried, drizzled in chocolate and powdered sugar. Dorothea and Linda in our group pointed out that they were undercooked and not as good as we hoped.  We ordered a back-up dessert and were quite pleased we did…Warm Brownie Sundae. It was a perfect ending to a fun night out! The ladies of “Hot Dish” gave Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. a score of 9 (10 being the highest rating possible). Plenty of parking, clean facility, great atmosphere, friendly customer service, fair pricing, ample menu. It just might change the way you think of hot dogs!  ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!

Phone (916) 941-DogS  View their menu online:

Written on November 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm, by

Visit our newly revised website. FREE UNLIMITED ONLINE Classified Ads and up to 5 pictures per post!

Lotus-Coloma Certified Farmers’ Market

Written on November 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm, by

Lotus-Coloma Certified Farmers’ Market
Inside the Grange in Coloma Sundays new hours 10am to 2pm
Local produce, live music through Dec 16th 2012  at 319 Hwy 49 Coloma
Deb Mason
LoCol Farmers’ Market Manager

Ask the Auto Tech feat. Terry Rogers of Kneisel’s Collision Centers/Shingle Springs

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:59 am, by

Q: What kind of warranty can I expect from Kniesel’s Collision Centers? By John A.

A: Thanks for your question, John. At Kniesel’s we stand by our workmanship 100%.
We have a long history of quality that stands the test of time; but if you experience an
issue with our paint or bodywork, we’ll make it right. We offer a full warranty on all paint
and body work for as long as you own the vehicle.

Integrity is important to us, so I’ll note a couple exceptions that alter the terms of
the warranty. The warranty covers normal vehicle use and does not apply to work
performed on vehicles used for racing, off road activities, or any unusual purpose. Also
new issues, like a subsequent accident, and normal paint deterioration due to exposure
are not covered.

At Kniesel’s we believe in making repairs the right way, so we don’t provide a warranty
for work requested by the customer that is, in our opinion, unsafe or sub-standard. We’ll
be sure to discuss that before we begin the work. We also insist on using quality, new
and used parts and honor the warranty that the parts vendor & manufacturer offers.

Basically, if you are using the vehicle under normal conditions and you’ve agreed to our
quality standards, then you are covered. We guarantee our work 100% for as long as
you own the vehicle.

Do you have questions needing answers? Don’t miss an issue of The Windfall! Once a month I will be answering a question in their Ask The Auto Tech feature . Submit your questions by posting them online at or contact me at: or call me at 530-676-1888.  ~Terry Rogers, General Manager 

Ask the Auto Tech feat. Seth Hensley at The Auto Analyst/Placerville

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:52 am, by

Q: Why is my “check engine” light on?

A. The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some  and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most  drivers.

Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your family car’s check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe engine damage. Naturally, drivers should get that taken care of right away at The Auto Analyst.

If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your service center.

If the light is glowing steadily, auto owners should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with The Auto Analyst to get it checked out.

An explanation on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative. Most of your family car engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The family car’s computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light. If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your family car looked at at The Auto Analyst.

Your  Auto Analyst technician will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the AutoAnalyst technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

Do you have questions needing answers? Don’t miss an issue of The Windfall! Once a month I will be answering a question in their Ask The Auto Tech feature . Submit your questions by posting them online at or contact:  Seth Hensley at The Auto Analyst  530-621-4591 

Ask the Auto Tech feat. Terry Rogers of Kniesel’s Collision Centers/Shingle Springs

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:45 am, by

Q:  Do you do complete paint jobs? -Robert W.

A: Thanks for your question, Robert.

We deliver superior paint jobs on vehicles, but compared to many “complete paint job” outlets, our
approach is a bit different. We break the job into more steps and use superior paint products that help
ensure a perfect finish while protecting our environment.

First, we always disassemble all the exterior parts that don’t get painted, such as mirrors, lights, and
door handles. “Complete paint job” outlets just tape over them which can impact the final finish.

Next, we paint the vehicle using a two-step process. First we apply a low VOC (Volatile Organic
Compounds) waterborne basecoat. Compared to conventional solvent-based paint finish systems, our
waterborne system reduces basecoat-sourced VOCs by up to 80%, decreasing ozone pollution and
smog. Then we apply a high-gloss clear coat that adds shine and extends the life of the paint. Complete
paint job outlets skip this step, which impacts the quality and durability of the paint finish. Finally, we
reassemble mirrors, door handles, and other external parts.

Our higher-quality paint, environmentally conscious products, and two-step process make our complete
paint jobs truly superior.

Do you have questions needing answers? Don’t miss an issue of The Windfall! Once a month I will be answering a question in their Ask The Auto Tech feature . Submit your questions by posting them online at or contact me at: or call me at 530-676-1888.  ~Terry Rogers, General Manager 



Amador County Women’s Network Fundraiser November 3rd!

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:31 am, by

Press Release

Contact:  Allison Wright

Phone:    (209) 559-5606



October 29, 2012



Amador County Women’s Network is raising funds to help the young women entering the workforce get started by providing Scholarships to each of the local High Schools. One of our projects is a Craft/Vendor Show on November 3rd from 9am to 3pm. at the Large Building at the Italian Picnic Grounds.  There’s still time for YOU to have a booth and promote your business with us, while we raise funds through raffle prizes and donations. Our hopes are high for a fantastic turn out.

Vendor or not, we hope you will visit the show and support our local businesses as well as help support a local service program that benefits our county residents!

For more information and to apply for a table, contact BETH PLATZ, Tel:  877-942-4111

 November is the start of the Holiday Shopping season – Here’s a great way to get a head start! Please share with your friends, family and local business people. 

See you Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 9am to 3pm. at The Italian Picnic Grounds, 581 S Hwy 49 Sutter Creek CA 95685 

 Submitted by Beth Platz

Event Coordinator

Amador County Womens Network

Snowline Hospice Thrift Store Holiday Spectacular!

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:28 am, by

Contact: Laurine Burns Estreito
Retail Operations
Phone: (530) 344‐4416
Fax: (530) 621‐4503

Weekend of Discovery Shopping at the 9th Annual
Snowline Hospice Thrift Store Holiday Spectacular!
Imagine the doors of Santa’s Workshop opening for an extraordinary day of holiday
shopping – aisles brimming over with holiday décor, a vast assortment of collectibles, musical
instruments, cozy coats, tempting toys, fine and vintage jewelry, themed merchandise and
other like‐new and gently used items. That’s what you’ll find at our 9th Annual Holiday
Spectacular which will be held at each of our six stores the weekend of November 9th – 11th.
It’s the highly‐anticipated social and shopping extravaganza of the year!
Make plans to come to each store, and enjoy socializing and shopping! We’ll have
holiday treats and music to usher in the season. You might even meet a couple of Santa’s elves
rushing around to assist you.
Times and locations of the events are as follows:
Placerville 455 Placerville Dr. 530‐621‐1802 Fri, 11/9 3pm – 10pm
Placerville “Just off 50” 3961 El Dorado Rd. 530‐622‐1710 Sat, 11/10 10am – 8pm
Cameron Park 3300 Coach Ln. 530‐676‐8708 Sat, 11/10 11am – 6pm
Cameron Park Green Valley 2650 Cameron Park Dr. 530‐344‐4480 Sat, 11/10 10am – 4pm
Folsom 616 East Bidwell St. 916‐984‐5853 Sat, 11/10 10am – 6pm
Camino 3550 Carson Rd. 530‐647‐2703 Sun, 11/11 10am – 5pm
If you cannot attend these events, rest assured we will be replenishing the stores with
holiday merchandise daily through the end of November and as long as it lasts into December
for your shopping enjoyment! Mark your calendars, come celebrate the season with us, and
“Discover the Good!”

Cameron Park Community Services District

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:24 am, by

Press Release

Contact: Cameron Park Community Services District
(530) 677-2231

Old Fashioned Christmas Craft Faire: Saturday, November 17, 10 am to 4 pm. Cameron ParkCommunity Center; 2502 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park, CA Over 52 vendors will be in attendancefor this spectacular event! Join us to look for that perfectly unique holiday gift. Everything is handmadeand the best part is entrance into the event is FREE to the public! Please call (530) 677-2231 for moreinformation or visit our website at

Holiday Kick-Off: December 1 Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club
Drive, Cameron Park, CA.

On Saturday December 1 the Cameron Park Community Services District along with
Marshall Medical are sponsoring a Santa Run. The 5 K run/walk starts at the Community
Center and will travel along the neighborhood streets near the community center, by
Christa McAuliffe Park, Blue Oak School then onto Bass Lake Road and back to the
Community Center. The fee for the run is $25 for adults and $15 for children 17 and
under – includes breakfast. After the run participants will enjoy a pancake breakfast
hosted by Cameron Park Explorer Post 89. Breakfast includes pancakes, bacon, eggs,
orange juice, coffee and raffle prizes. $5 per person. Register now!! First 50 runners
will receive Santa hats provided by Marshall Medical. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be
here to help kick off the holiday season. Please Call (530) 677-2231 to register or visit
our website at

Youth Basketball
Cameron Park Recreation Department is offering its Youth Basketball League. Sign ups
have begun. The league is open to grades 1st to 12th grades. The 1st & 2nd grade is an
instructional league and will consist of one hour games on Saturdays. There is no practice
for this league. Fee is $95 resident, $100 non-resident. Price includes t-shirt Registration
deadline for 1st/2nd grade is December 5. The 3rd through 12th grades have practices once
a week and games. Registration is being accepted. Limited weekday practices will begin
the week of December 10. Registration deadline is November 9. High School registration
deadline is November 20 with their skills clinic TBA. Games are scheduled to begin
in January 19. The registration fee for grades 3rd – 12th is $105 and $110 non-resident
fee. Price includes jersey. We are also looking for volunteer coaches. Pre-registration is
required and can be done online at or at the Cameron Park CSD
Office at 2502 Country Club Drive. For more information please (530) 677-2231.

Tribute to our Veterans Sunday November 11th EDC Veterans Monument

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:19 am, by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Tribute to our Veterans

CONTACT: Richard W. Buchanan, NC, (530) 626-7762

The Friends of the El Dorado County Veterans Monument will host the 7th
Annual Veterans Day ceremony in celebration of our Nation’s Veterans

WHEN: Sunday, November 11, 2012 11:00 AM

WHERE: The El Dorado County Veterans Monument
360 Fair Lane (El Dorado County Government Center) Placerville, CA 95667

Friends of the Veterans Monument will sponsor the annual El Dorado County
(EDC) Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11th at the El Dorado County
Veterans Monument, 360 Fair Lane, Placerville. The ceremony commences
precisely at 11:00 am with the call to order and present colors. The singing
of our National Anthem follows, during which the distant rumbling of vintage
radial engines will be heard as a flight of WWII-era war birds approaches the
monument. Their radial engines become a thundering sound – felt as much as
heard – as they soar over the monument in a fly-by salute to those who have
served the cause of freedom.

As part of a special tribute on Veterans Day, two engraved granite benches will
be dedicated and placed in the EDC Veterans Monument Plaza:

One honors SSgt. Sky Mote USMC who was mortally wounded August 10,
2012 while serving as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician in support
of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. SSgt. Mote served as a member of the
Marine Special Operations Team 8133 in Company C of the 1st Marine Special
Operations Battalion. Marine Special Operations Company teammate Sgt. Brian
Jaques will assist the Mote family in the dedication of the bench.

El Dorado Community Foundation Executive Director William “Bill” Roby will
officiate over the dedication of the second engraved granite bench which honors
those who served in the Korean War. Former Lt. Larry Hyder USA, a Korean
War veteran and owner of the Indian Creek Tree Farm, will accept the bench on
behalf of all who served in the Korean War. The bench was designed and funded
by Hayden Cooksy, Eagle Scout hopeful, as a project for his Eagle Scout badge.

Highlights of this year’s tribute include:
• Special guest speaker and guest of honor, Lt. Colonel Richard Crevier
USMC, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines.
• Presentation of a bronze plaque, donated by Carl Hagen USAF, paying
tribute to those who were lost in the Vietnam War.
• The T-6 aircraft fly-by salute honoring all EDC Veterans
• California Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Counsel Richard Irby,
former USAF, presenting Governor Brown’s Veterans Day Proclamation

•Participation by local Girl Scout, Cub Scout, and Boy Scout troops as well as veteran service organizations.

Announcement and presentation of the El Dorado County Veterans
Monument “Veteran of the Year Award.”
The Foothills Women’s Chorus singing of the National Anthem.

Many generations of veterans and their families will attend this event at the
picturesque El Dorado County Veterans Monument which will include military
regalia, patriotic songs, bagpipes, buglers and a 21-gun salute to all veterans.

Thank you for your support El Dorado County

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:16 am, by

Letter to the Editor / TheWindfall print date 11/2/12

Ref; Staff Sergeant Sky Mote USMC KIA Afghanistan

One evening two months ago my family received word that my son was killed in
combat. A group of Marines stood on our porch and in the dim light I didn’t know
which branch of the service they were from. I didn’t know which son I had lost.
Since that confusing moment one thing became clear: people in this community
care. They care not only for those who have given their lives but also for those
who have and continue to serve this country.

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank everyone for all the support. I have
not had a chance or forum yet to do that. I would like to thank all the members of
this community that have been a part of Sky’s life….his friends and their parents,
his teachers at Silva Valley, Rolling Hills, and Union Mine High School; his cub
scout, 4-H, and Civil Air Patrol leaders, his cross country, track, soccer, baseball,
and Jr. Trojan football camp coaches. You know who you are. You did a great
job. Thank you.

I would like to thank everyone in this community who sent my sons letters and
packages during their deployments. This includes students and teachers of the
Buckeye Union School District, the El Dorado County Board of Realtors, the Blue
Star Mothers, Golden Spoke bike shop, Beretta Physical Therapy, many friends
and individuals, and the El Dorado group that even sent Christmas trees abroad.
Your packages of drink mixes, socks, jerky, etc. were greatly appreciated.

Additionally, I would like to add a thank you for all the law enforcement, fire,
EOD, and other emergency services that participated in Sky’s arrival home. A
special thank you to the Friends of the EDC Veterans Monument and the pilots of
the fly-by salute lead by flight leader Chuck Wahl in honor of my son.

I would like to personally encourage the community to come out to the Veterans
Day celebration at the El Dorado County Veterans Monument on November
11 th at 11:00am. We will honor those from our community who currently serve
the cause of freedom and those who have in the past, including Sky. He will be
honored with a dedication of a granite bench that will forever stand as a reminder
of his sacrifice.

Russell and Marcia Mote and family

Team Toys for Tots 2012

Written on November 2, 2012 at 11:12 am, by


All prospective volunteers for El Dorado County’s 32nd Annual 2012 Toys for Tots – Toy

For more info:

Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Hansen (530) 622-8229
Coordinators: Sue & Hollis Henderson (530) 344-9384 Chris Landry

Our LOCATION is Indian Creek Elementary School, 6701 Green Valley Rd, Placerville

Please come celebrate the holiday season by organizing a group of friends, businesses, scout troop,
school group and family to share good cheer and bring hope to young hearts! Gather together and join other volunteers in bringing “renewed hope to young hearts: our children!” Making a difference in a child’s life, one toy at a time!

Please contact Nancy Hansen (Volunteer coordinator) and let her know, to COUNT YOU IN! Indicate
to her, if you are coming in as a group so we can properly assign you to a time slot, yet please keep in
mind if your desired slot is “booked,” then please consider another available time slot (we need people
in ALL time slots, particularly Sunday!) Call early since there’s a better opportunity for you to get your
desired time slot.

1. Arrive at the time indicated on the chart for the shift(s) you have chosen.
2. We will provide some snacks, coffee, water and other refreshments. We can’t let you go hungry
and have low energy, so please help yourself. You may bring a snack to share, and if you
wish to donate a few dollars towards refreshments, there will be a donation container at our
3. Please leave valuables at home or locked (hidden) inside your vehicle.
5. BRING your signed release form! (Gratuitous Service Agreement)
6. SHARE your good cheer, your loving heart and beautiful smile!
7. IMPORTANT! If you come in as a group or business, consider wearing your colors! What a
terrific way to let other volunteers know that your business CARES!
8. Feel free to BRING A TOY, if you wish! Let’s make this a Christmas our children will
9. Wear comfortable shoes.

The Toys for Tots Foundation, Marine Corp Detachment 697, El Dorado Hills Fire Department,
Rotarians of El Dorado County, Placerville Kiwanis, Mother Lode Lions, Christian Motorcycle
Association, Georgetown Native Sons, and American Legion believe that every child deserves the
very BEST CHRISTMAS! All of us will be taking time for our children, uplifting their spirits by giving,
so they too can know the full meaning of the JOY of CHRISTMAS! It’s our passion. We are working
to create a more meaningful, beautiful world, since these children are our future. What more perfect
way, than to give your time so our children receive our love and a new toy!

“Hot Dish” visits Selland’s Market Cafe in El Dorado Hills

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:35 am, by

It’s time again for some “Hot Dish!” The idea for this supper club came about last summer while dining with a few friends one lazy evening. It was a rare opportunity to collectively step away from our busy schedules of work obligations and family commitments. By the end of the night, we came to the conclusion that all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl! So as often as possible, we get together for a meal and some “Hot Dish”. We do not claim to be food critics by any means, however, as consumers we do know all about good food, good value and good service! Here is our latest review, we will spare you the table talk! ~Tina Henderson, Editor/TheWindfall

Established in Sacramento in 2001, Selland’s Market Café is a family restaurant owned and operated by Selland Family Restaurants co-founders and owners – Randall Selland and Nancy Zimmer – and their grown children, Josh Nelson and Tamera Baker. The Sellands have been providing high quality dining experiences in the Sacramento region, using products andingredients sourced largely from local producers and the area’s farmers markets, for over 20 years.

Last month at the request of Hot Dish member Judy Onorato, we headed to the newly opened Selland’s Market Café in El Dorado Hills at Town Center. She had recently been there for the ‘$25 Dinner for Two’ special, which changes weekly andincludes a bottle of wine. Although none of us ordered the special while we visited, we found plenty to eat and the prices were more than reasonable. Immediately upon entering the restaurant, we noticed how clean it was. The light and bright décor appealed to all of us and the staff welcomed us to our table without delay. Jared and Mickey, our waiters, explained the ordering process. All menu items are available at the counter, a’ la carte for dine in or take out. With everything on display in a deli case, it is easy to see what you are ordering and reminiscent of a buffet. The kitchen is located beyond the counter and in full view of the guests. All the members of our group loved it, and as Hot Dish member Dawn Durrett pointed out, it was fun to see the food being prepared right before you. The kitchen was sparkling clean too. Wine is available by the glass or by the bottle, however, there wasn’t any El Dorado County wine for sale. As you can imagine, we were all disappointed when these local girls heard that and quickly pointed it out to the manager Ryan. He responded with, “We’re working on it.” We replied by ordering iced tea, water and soda…subtle, right?

As a group, we ordered a little bit of everything to sample together. We tasted salmon, prime rib, meatloaf, chicken, carnitasand brisket. Hands down, the salmon filet and the beef brisket were our favorites. For our side dishes, we ordered a few different cold salads, potatoes au gratin, roasted vegetables and mac and cheese. Do yourself a favor folks…order the potatoes au gratin! One word to describe them: Amazing. The roasted veggies were delicious as well, especially the brussel sprouts. For dessert, we ordered the fruit basket cake, chocolate mousse, and a dream bar. In the words of one of our members, the chocolate mousse was ‘orgasmic.’ Enough said!

Overall, we rated our experience at Selland’s a 9 out of 10. Food was great. Service was great. Not offering El Dorado County wine for sale, not so great. Lack of air conditioning that day was not so great either, considering it was 105 outside and we sat under a broken vent. Otherwise, we highly recommend you visit Selland’s Market Café and experience it for yourself! to view their menu online or call 916-932-5025.  ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you!


“Hot Dish” visits Los Hermanos…

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:31 am, by

It’s time again for some “Hot Dish!” The idea for this supper club came about last summer while dining with a few friends one lazy evening. It was a rare opportunity to collectively step away from our busy schedules of work obligations and family commitments. By the end of the night, we came to the conclusion that all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl! So about once a month or so, we get together for a meal and some “Hot Dish”. We do not claim to be food critics by any means! However, as consumers, we do know how to judge good food, good value and good service! Here is our latest review, we will spare you the table talk! ~ Tina Henderson, Editor/The Windfall

Statistics show that millions of families every week sit down at the dinner table to enjoy homemade Taco’s or “Taco Night” as we call it. In fact, there are several local cafe’s and bistro’s promoting Taco’s on various days of the week, inviting us all in for this yummy and inexpensive favorite. Last month, while in Pollock Pines to visit another restaurant, we learned that their hours had changed and on that particular day and time, they were closed. We quickly decided on our back up plan, and headed on over to Los Hermanos Mexican Restaurant and Cantina for a cold drink and Taco’s!

We were greeted at the door by the hostess who immediately welcomed us to our table. There was no wait and not a whole lot of people eating dinner at that time, which was about 6:15 on a Wednesday. The Bar on the other hand, was quite busy. Our hostess informed us that they host Karaoke and live music on most weekends. Los Hermanos is really quite charming in decor, you can follow the foot prints in the sand-like flooring as you walk to your table and you feel like you are on a beach somewhere in Paradise. We liked the sound of the indoor fountain during our visit and the tropical fish tank in the lobby was a nice touch. The restrooms, lobby and dining room were well kept and pleasant. Our servers name was Tim and we were all in agreement that he was a charmer. Attentive, polite and very sweet, he swiftly took our beverage and appetizer orders and before we knew it, returned to serve us all. By the end of the night, we all agreed that Tim earned a 10 out of 10 overall for his level of customer service and patience with our separate tabs.

Our appetizers consisted of Jalepeno Popper’s, a Steak Quesadilla and the usual chips and salsa. The chips were fresh andhot, the consistency of the salsa was too blended for our liking but the flavor wasn’t bad. The poppers were prepackaged, frozen and heated, so nothing special. The Quesadilla seemed to be everyone’s favorite although there was more cheese in them then steak. Prices seemed reasonable and overall, we gave that round a 6 out of 10.

Judy ordered the Tortilla Soup and a Beef Taco and was quite pleased with her choice. Tina ordered the Chile Verde dinner plate and found it to be tender and tasty but too salty for her liking. In fact all of us felt our rice and beans that accompanied our meals were too salty. Between Dawn, Dori; Linda and Jodie, they shared Fish Taco’s, Carnitas Taco’s, an Enchilada and a Shredded Beef Burrito. Other then the salty beans and rice,  we collectively gave our dinner choices a 7 out of 10. Prices seemed fair for the portion sizes, and our entrees ranged from $8 to $12. Check out their menu and specials online at

Dessert was a Churro and a few slices of previously frozen cheese cake. Nothing to write home about. A few of the ladies just plain like dessert so they gave it a 5 out of 10. 

 NOTE: Los Hermanos Cantina has closed since the date of this review.

“Hot Dish” visits Bones Roadhouse in Placerville

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:25 am, by

It’s time again for some “Hot Dish!” The idea for this supper club came about last summer while
dining with a few friends one lazy evening. It was a rare opportunity to collectively step away from our
busy schedules of work obligations and family commitments. By the end of the night, we came to the
conclusion that all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl! So about once a month or so, we get
together for a meal and some “Hot Dish”. We do not claim to be food critics by any means, however, as
consumers we do know all about good food, good value and good service! Here is our latest review, we
will spare you the table talk! ~Tina Henderson, Editor/The Windfall

This past month we headed out to Bones Roadhouse in pursuit of their famous cheeseburger and an ice
cold adult beverage. A few of our members were on vacation or could not attend, but let’s just say they
missed out! We picked up a stray a long the way, Tina’s husband Robert, who filled in for the missing
ladies and was a great addition to the mix! Too bad he did not fit in the customary Hot Dish t-shirt!

Every Monday night at 5:30, Bones Roadhouse hosts Trivia Night with Jessica the bartender in charge
of the game. We dropped in about 6:00 and were able to find a table near the action. Jessica greeted
us with a welcoming smile, an invitation to join the game and an explanation of how to play. Basically,
your name gets written down on your beverage receipt and then placed into a jar. If your name gets
pulled, the trivia question is yours to answer. If you answer correctly, your next drink is on the house.
Needless to say, this is a popular night to visit Bones. Second only to Karaoke on Friday, although I
must say the wonderful smells coming from the grill convinced us that ANY day is a good day to visit
Bones! Felicia was our server and was very friendly. Everyone loved her and both she and Jessica
were given a 10 out of 10 for customer service.

The menu is pretty straight forward with burgers and sandwiches. You have your choice of cheese, raw
or grilled onions, bacon and avocado to top your burger. We ordered cheeseburgers with the works and
a philly and pastrami sandwich to sample as well. We added onion rings and garlic fries as our sides.
Bones offers a full bar and a few of us ordered well drinks, but I opted for a beer on tap which was
served in a very chilled mug and ice cold. Our dinners were served within minutes it seemed, and just
as we had ordered. With our very first bites, talking ceased. Indeed, this was one of the best burgers
any of us have enjoyed; flavorful, juicy and just damned good! The same could be said for the pastrami
and the philly. In between bites, we all mumbled, “This could be addicting!” Needless to say, 10 out of
10 was the unanimous vote for the food and reasonably priced at under $10 per meal, we are sure you
will be very satisfied with the generous portions.

Don’t let the word “Bones” or “Roadhouse” intimidate you. Although Bones is a bar and grill,
complete with big screen t.v.’s and a pool table, this place is clean inside and out with plenty of parking
for cars and steel horses! The owners and staff make every effort to make your visit a great one. Bones
Roadhouse is the perfect destination for lunch or dinner, or, just a pit stop on your journey through the
foothills. Call them for upcoming specials, events and directions.  ~Tell ’em The Windfall sent you! (530) 644-4301  4430 Pleasant Valley Rd. Placerville

Just the right fit…

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:10 am, by

Nowadays in the job market you always hear “not a good fit” if the employer doesn’t want you. Now with 60 on the horizon I wonder if age has something to do with that “fit”. There will always be job jargon to go with the times. I remember when I was looking for work as a teenager, it was a different world. The signs said, “Help Wanted, Experience Required.” It was a Catch 22. If you don’t have a job how do you get experience?

Still wet behind the ears I walked into Denny’s restaurant when it was in downtown Placerville looking for a job. No experience.  I asked the manager for work and she asked what I wanted to do. I said anything. She told me to get a haircut and she would hire me. I got a hair cut and was back in less than an hour. She knew I really wanted a job. She gave me the graveyard shift. I went in and the first task I was given was to scrape the bubblegum off the bottoms of the tables. Didn’t need much experience for that. When things slowed at about 3am I was told to go clean the parking lot. There were no leaf blowers back then. It was swept by hand. I know what your thinking, “Yeah sure you walked to school 5 miles in the snow uphill both ways.” Not quite. It was the experience of learning to be subservient.

I worked my way up to busing tables, dish washing, and finally cooking and continued to learn along the way. Vacuuming the seating area I noticed a homeless man who was younger than I am now sit on the stool at the counter. He asked for a cup of hot water. He then added some ketchup. I learned compassion. One night someone brought in a paper bag. It had a rattlesnake in it. The restaurant was in a panic. I learned about human nature. When I was allowed in the kitchen the head cook taught me how to flip eggs. I flipped a piece of bread for a while before I was allowed to do eggs. I learned to have patience and to be humble. On another occasion that same cook who taught me to flip eggs went after four customers who ran out on their bill. I learned to do the right thing no matter what perils lurk. That cook and I are still friends. I learned how to maintain friendships.  When I left that job I had gained a lot of knowledge; not just restaurant work, it was a life lesson. Quite an experience. It fit well. ~NickPesola, Placerville

Best seat in OR on the house!

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:07 am, by

Other than Christmas and Easter, my favorite holiday of the year is Independence Day. It just so happens that my birthday is on July 1st…and back in 1977 I turned 10. My favorite song was Dancing Queen by ABBA and my friends and I played it over and over on my 8-track while we roller skated in the driveway. My siblings and I lived for Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley on the T.V.  I remember that particular birthday in 1977 because my party was held on July 4th. Back in those days, the neighbors all knew each other. Everyone got together for a “block party” each Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The streets were barricaded with coolers and bikes, and slip n’ slides were on every lawn. It was the one time of year you could get away with things like running in the streets, swimming right after eating and lighting things on fire (fireworks). We were walking on the ‘wild side’ I tell you but no one ever got hurt! My favorite part of that day was when my Dad let us kids climb up on the roof of our two story house to watch the sunset and to see the neighbors fireworks display. It was the best seat on the block! I cannot imagine that happening these days, I am sure there are rules against it now. I realize that times of changed since way back then…but I remember when!  ~Tina Henderson, Placerville

I remember “King Cocka-Doodle-Do”

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:01 am, by

I was 9 years old in 1946 and my entire family lived in an old 1 ½ room home without indoor plumbing. The rent was $10 per month, a lot of money in those days. My Dad was Cherokee and he had a strong belief in earth, god and animal spirit. My story is about his pet rooster. Dad would sit and talk to it every chance he could, I mean he loved this rooster and Dad was the only one of us that could stand him! When my Grandmother would visit us, she would take over the chore of feeding the chickens. Well she walked into the chicken coop one morning and the rooster attacked her from behind with his 3” spurs and really injured her. My Mama was furious! A few days later, Mama was wearing her brand new pant suit (fancy stuff because dresses were the style for women) and went to feed the chickens for Grandma. The rooster caught her off guard and attacked her, ripping holes and drawing blood onto her new suit. You can bet between the tears of anger she and my Dad exchanged some loud words about that rooster. Dad refused to kill him, the rooster never bothered him none. The final straw for Mama was when I came home from school the next day and walked up the lawn to my front door. That crazy rooster had gotten out of the pen and caught site of me. I ran as fast as I could to the front porch with my heart pounding out of my chest and what do you know? Mr. King Cocka-Doodle-Do attacked the back of my leg and shredded it to down to the bone. I am 74 years old now and still have the scars!That night my Dad got home from work and sat down for our family dinner. My brother and I did not know whether to laugh or cry when he told Mama “Faye, this is the best tastin’ chicken you have ever made!” It was then she told Dad about his Rooster. He grieved for years over it. I still giggle a little when I hear the sound of a rooster crowing!

~Etta Carlson, Camino

I remember…The Pit

Written on November 2, 2012 at 9:48 am, by

I grew up in Pasadena, CA, on a residential quarter acre lot that had on it two houses and a three-car garage. The houses had been built out of redwood around 1900 and over the years had been occupied by my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin, my great aunt and uncle and my father, brother and myself, sometimes all at once.

The garage, which was about 35 feet wide, and had swinging doors that never closed easily, was made from new and old wood, the main beam coming from a barn that had been torn down on the property.

Most of the inside space was occupied by old furniture, car parts and the such, including odd jars and cans of mysterious chemicals my uncle had accumulated when he was studying chemistry in college. One bay of the garage had a pit in the floor so you could work on cars from underneath.

The pit was about three by four feet wide, around three feet deep and had concrete walls and a dirt floor. It was covered, when not in use, by creosoted two by eight planks that protected us from falling in and from the Black Widow spiders that lived there. No matter how often we cleared the pit of them, the next time they were back in numbers. Apparently it was their ancestral home, or at least we thought so.

If you wanted to work on a car you had to go through a careful process. First, using something like a tire iron or crowbar,  you lifted the planks, one at a time, turned them over and with a hammer dispatched any spiders and egg sacs you came across, and there were always lots of them.

Once the planks were off, you poured a little gasoline into the pit and threw in a lit match to get rid of those you missed. That made it safe.

One afternoon a friend of my older brother brought his car over to work on it. My brother, with an audience of friends, got a hammer and dramatically went through the process of clearing the spiders from the boards. Then he poured some gasoline into the pit, waited a bit and then threw in a lit match. It went out.

Puzzled, he poured in some more gasoline and threw in another match. It too went out.

We all believed that more gasoline was needed but apparently there was now so much gasoline in the pit that the fumes had pushed out all of the oxygen.

Well, you know what happened next, in went more gasoline and another match that went out. Then my brother rolled up a newspaper, and I think dipped it in gasoline. I don’t know this for sure because by that time I was facing the other way while  running up the driveway away from the garage.

He lit his “torch” and the next thing I remember is a very loud roar as the pit ignited. Stopping and turning, I saw everyone else now running away and a column of flame emanating from the pit, spreading about two feet deep on the ceiling throughout the garage and leaping out the open door and through a window.

Needless to say I had visions of the neighborhood in flames and the police department hauling us off to jail. And then it stopped as fast as it started. Apparently in this great imitation of Mt. Vesuvius all the the gasoline had been consumed. The garage had not caught fire, nothing in the mysterious jars had exploded and, on a brighter side, all the dust and cobwebs were gone.

Fortunately, no one was hurt and no one else in the family realized what had happened. And, we never told them. ~ Doug Noble, Placerville




I remember Jan’s Frosty in El Dorado…

Written on November 2, 2012 at 9:43 am, by

I was in grade school back in the 1970s. My family and I lived out on Hwy 49 at the Amador/El Dorado County line. My parents used to have an old Chrysler convertible at that time and for some silly reason we named our cars.  We called that car, “Junior Bonner”.  It was named after an old western movie of the same title and featured the actor Steve McQueen. Junior was the cowboy in the movie and he drove an old beat up white and red Chrysler convertible that looked just like ours. My three siblings and I loved that car! Well, that is until it caught fire on the railroad tracks in downtown Placerville…As I recall, my mom was on crutches and she would tuck them on the floorboard in the back seat while driving. She was yelling at us kids to hurry up and get out of the car to get to safety. Unbeknownst to her, one of the crutches was stuck on my brothers pant leg.  As she was pulling on her crutches to get them out of the car, it kept pulling my brother back in the car…and my mom kept yelling at him, “Stop kidding around and get out of the car!”

Before that crazy day, ever so often my parents would pile us in Junior Bonner and head to town for a day of shopping. It was a great day for us all if they would stop at Jan’s Frosty for a treat. Jan’s Frosty was one of our favorite places to go for a great hamburger, fries and a milkshake back then.
Of course you had to have a frosty for dessert! Jan’s was owned and operated by Jan and Hank Bott who were well loved in the area.  Even though it was a small little place tucked back in the corner beside George’s Pit Stop in El Dorado, everyone knew where it was and loved it!

One of my favorite and funniest memories from that old convertible was when we would stop at Jan’s to get our frosty and then pile in the back seat of Junior Bonner for the long windy ride home. At that time my sister and I had very long hair. Once we were on Hwy 49 and we started picking up speed,  the wind would start blowing our hair around. It used to make our brothers mad because it was flying in their ice cream cones. Well, it was flying in ours too! Aside from that, if you weren’t quick enough when licking the ice cream, it would blow off your tongue! So, once you licked the ice cream you had to close your mouth FAST. To be honest, every now and then we would let it fly off our tongue on purpose just to watch it fly! Needless to say, by the time we got home, me and my sisters hair was an absolute mess! Not only was it tangled and matted from the wind, but hard and sticky from all the ice cream in it.  This happened EVERY time we got to stop for a frosty, but we did not care! Jan’s Frosty and Junior Bonner are long gone now, but I remember when! ~ Dawn Durrett, Placerville

I remember Oak Hill Grammar School

Written on November 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm, by

The year is 1940, and I am starting first grade at Oak Hill Grammar School. This year there are 10 students (Grades 1 – 8). Our teacher is Miss Ruth Jones. District Trustees are: Anton Walker, Helen Cosens, and Ramona Donn. Kenneth W. McCoy is El Dorado Superintendent of Schools. Back then Miss Jones was not only our teacher, but the school nurse, play ground supervisor, and she played many other roles too. She was a wonderful person and a great teacher. In 1940 there was no electricity in the Oak Hill area. The school house had many windows on the East and West sides of the building, but on rainy, dark days the kerosene chandeliers were lit. This was always a real treat for us kids. Didi Waggoner lived not far from the school, she was the janitor. For heat there was a pot bellied wood stove. Fathers of the students supplied the wood. Didi would come early every morning and start the fire, so it would be warm by the time we arrived. Either Miss Jones or one of the older boys would keep the fire stoked. Didi also packed water in galvanzied buckets from the school well. These buckets were placed in the anti-room (one side for boys and one side for girls). Each bucket had a tin dipper, each child had a “cheese” glass with their name on it. This water was used for drinking and washing hands. It was mandatory, hands were washed after each recess and before lunch. Today, I wonder if kids ever wash their hands. Of course, there was no indoor plumbing, so there were two out houses (boys and girls). Most of the students walked to school, some as many as 3.5 or 4 miles! I believe John Donn had the greatest distance to walk. His father built a corral at the school, and that year John started riding his horse. Some of the fathers, including mine, got together that summer and built a garage for Miss Jones’ 1937 Chevrolet Coupe. Each year before school started in the fall, a couple of fathers would come and oil the wood floors, and mothers and children would come and clean all of the desks and polish them with Old English scratch remover. They would wash the windows and have everything spic and span for opening day of school. Certain duties were assigned to the students. It was always an honor whenit was your turn to raise and lower the flag. An older student would assist the younger ones with this, or any other chores, if need be.  I was always fascinated by this funny glass bulb filled with red liquid, that hung on the wall above one of the blackboards. We were told it was a fire extinguisher. Thank goodness we never had to use it, but to this day I question whether it would have worked. In 1940 I can recall there being only 18 homes in the Oak Hill area. Today we have in excess of 255 and new ones springing up every few weeks. I have so many wonderful memories of my eight years at Oak Hill School. It was a time when drugs, gangs, and even T.V. were unheard of. I only wish we could roll back time for a month, and my grandchildren could live a month not in “Outer Space” but “Back Then” in 1940. ~ Lorine (Cosens) Petty

I remember “Work Experience” at EDH

Written on November 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm, by


I remember when high school students participated in the “Work Experience Program”. I attended El Dorado High School but the surrounding high schools offered the program as well. The students, myself included, were allowed to work at various businesses in El Dorado County and were given credit for the work we performed. We were given the chance to fit into the work place and establish a work ethic that as far as I am concerned, has lasted my lifetime. Quite often we were hired by that business afterwards or even during our school year. All the businesses who did this got a special look at a great number of young workers and were able to showcase their business in our school yearbook. We all looked forward to showing the business off in the pages of our newsletter and in turn, the population in our County would respond by using that business. It was a great opportunity to see what you wanted to be in life and to ‘try out’ a job before you applied there, a win win situation for everyone. Throughout our four years of high school there were hundreds of students who took part in this great program. I also remember when we had a local newspaper that offered free press to benefit those businesses that supported our local youth, back when we also had our own radio station and local DJ! ~ Larry Hennick, Pollock Pines


Wendy Mattson remembers Almie

Written on November 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm, by

My great grandmother, Elma Wilhemina Bosquit (I called her Almie) was a beautiful woman. She passed away at the age of 92. She was gracious, intelligent and in all the time I knew her, I never heard her utter a negative word about anyone. Not once. She was born in Placerville and attended high school here in town. In 1909, she entered a popularity and beauty contest put on by the local newspaper, The Nugget. She was visiting friends in Sacramento when her father called her to tell her that she won! The prize was a 1909 REO Automobile, making her the very first woman to own and drive a car in Placerville. At the time, homes did not have a ‘garage’ and very few people even knew how to operate a car! Almie learned to drive her ‘prize’ in her backyard with her father reading the instruction manual that came with the car. The next year, she was selected to serve as the “Goddess of Liberty” in the annual 4th of July celebration. For her costume, she was given a whole bolt of beautiful white satin to be used for herself and two friends that served as maids. This was the first time that an automobile was used in a parade down Main Street. An interesting side note: While my great grandmother was beautiful and captivating, the purpose of the newspaper contest had more to do with who could sell the most subscriptions and less to do with beauty and popularity. We recently learned that Almie’s father had actually called the newspaper to see how many subscriptions were needed to win. He made sure the winds of fortune blew her way! ~ Wendy Mattson, Vice Mayor of Placerville

Robert Henderson remembers

Written on November 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm, by

Recently I drove down the old street that my wife and I lived on when we were young parents. As I caught a glimpse of the little house in front of me, I was transported back in time. The house was built in 1929, and we bought it in 1992 when it was well worn from others living in it. She and I had remodeled the old front porch so that we could sit together and watch the kids grow up. We lived there about 4 years until moving to El Dorado County. Never the less, it still looked the same. I remember when…my kids were little and I would arrive home from work everyday to chaos. All of my kids would burst out of the house onto that porch (kind of like Dino would get Fred Flintstone) and run up to tackle me, telling me about their day. Of course they would all talk at the same time! I would stumble into the house, with one or two kids in my arms and usually one still wrapped around my legs. As I attempted to give my wife a hug and a kiss hello, there would always be a child stuck between us looking up. It was then that one of them would say, “Mom’s got a surprise for you!” Within seconds they were all blurting out that Mom had baked a cake or cookies for dessert that night. So much for surprises! Now I am a Grandpa and I can only hope my children get to make as many wonderful memories with their kids as I did with them. Funny how it’s the simple things like this that bring back those memories, not the great vacations or big things, but the little things day to day that stick with you. Happy Anniversary Tina Henderson, “We’ve not missed you and I, we’ve not missed that many splendored thing.” ~Robert Henderson, Placerville

Nick Pesola remembers and relives days gone by

Written on November 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm, by

Although the calendar says fall, summer still hangs on. Now days the seasons seem to be just a measure of time but in days gone by summer was a special time. As a youngster it lasted forever. It was an innocent affair; seeking out fun as that was always the ultimate goal to achieve.
Many summers came and went. Things changed over time but I’ve recently learned the warmth is forever in the air. It was when my wife and I went for a drive and we passed  Happy Valley Rd.. I reminisced sharing my thoughts about spending all available time as a teenager at swimming holes like the one we just drove by, Jericho, Rising Hill, etc..
She was curious so we turned around, negotiated the switchbacks and wound up on the wood planked bridge looking down at the swirling water over the many smooth contours of shinning granite with the calming sound of the water heading downstream. Looking up the river I mentioned I had not been to my favorite spot in over 36 yrs..
She wanted us to hike in but I was reluctant as her physical condition did not favor such a trek. In the day I would run the mile in knowing where every step would land reaching the boulder hanging over the waterfall good and warm from the run and dive in. From the car to being in the river took about 10+ minutes.
Now it was different. With caution and perseverance I was able to walk her in. It took 2 1/2 hrs.. She was hurting but was awed by the beauty of it all. I did a very slow 360 degree scan absorbing it all again. I then shimmied over the boulder to the other side. I wanted to dive in but it wasn’t meant to be. I lied down with my head hanging over the edge enjoying the mist and crashing sound of the waterfall. When I got up I took a long deep breath and my wife said you look so happy. She was so right.
The peace of the place, the happiness felt, the memories of those summers, and the people in it came flooding back. It was a poignant moment to cherish forever. There was just one thing missing. The care free kid. That’s where responsibility filled the void. That’s OK. I was able to share what it meant this summer.
We made the journey back to today’s reality. Next summer we will be there again. More memories to be made.

Tina Henderson remembers her childhood

Written on November 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm, by

My story is about my Great Nana, Esther. She was a glamorous woman who was married seven times. She loved the thrill of change I guess and no one was able to keep her satisfied until Jack Appleby, husband number seven came along. Born in 1900, she hit her stride in the 20’s and 30’s. Back in her day, you always dressed up for any and all occasions. The simple task of stepping out to greet the postman at your door required perfume, lipstick and pearls. I remember in 1972, just five years old, I stayed with Nana and Jack for a week in the summertime. Her bedroom had a vanity and a fur covered seat. She would set my hair in rollers, powder puff my face and let me choose the color of lipstick I would wear that day. For breakfast, she made me coffee with cream and sliced cling peaches with peanut butter toast. In the background, not a t.v. but an old fashioned Zenith radio that maybe got 6 stations. I fell in love with the sounds of Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. I grew up and when she passed away a box arrived in the mail from her son, my grandfather. Inside it was her string of pearls, a mirrored compact with a powder puff and a tube of lipstick in a jeweled case. A small note read: The love of a good man will make you a good woman, always dress for dinner and stand up straight! ~Tina Henderson, Placerville

Richard Barb remembers his Dad

Written on November 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm, by

I remember many times while growing up my dad wasn’t able to be with our family at special events, church or just at home on regular school nights. It was simply the way things were. My dad, Captain Ross Hartsel Barb, was a firefighter and he was out doing his job.  Once in a while, when he had to go on a call, he’d say, “Wanna come with me?” I loved it! My dad would take me in his “red car” and off we’d go with the lights flashing and the siren blaring.

I remember watching a wild fire in Tujunga Canyon when I was about 17 years old; the whole side of the mountain was on fire…everything on it was burning. The burning heads of huge yucca plants would topple free, roll down the steep slope and then crash into fences or the backs of houses like wild wrecking balls. All the while we were being pelted with burning embers in the back-draft wind created by the inferno. Another time, in downtown Los Angeles, the Crayola Crayon Factory was burning and I remember standing on the sidewalk watching streams of colored wax flowing down the street.

My dad often delivered food and drinks to the firefighters who’d been working long hours without a break as they battled blazes and I liked helping him do that.

One afternoon, when we were at Department Headquarters, the senior pilot needed to move a helicopter to another location. He invited my dad and our family to join him for the flight. My dad worked it out for me to sit in the co-pilot seat while he rode in the back. He was that kind of dad.

For the last 18 years of his firefighter career, my dad was Chaplain with Los Angeles County Fire Dept….in fact he was instrumental in setting up the Department’s Chaplaincy Program and in the early 70’s he helped establish the Burn Treatment Program at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

My father was a great dad and I am proud to be his son. By example, my dad taught me a strong work ethic, self-sacrifice, diligence, kindness, compassion, integrity & mercy. My father, the firefighter, also impacted the life of Daniel, my first born son who at 18 became one the youngest ever volunteer firefighters at Placerville’s Station 25. My father had tears in his eyes the day Daniel visited him, dressed in his “turn-out” gear and helmet.

After my dad retired, he continued to serve “his men”…the firefighters he’d worked alongside for 30 years. He’d get calls when they were sick, hospitalized or dying.  I went on many visits with him and learned a lot about my dad as I watched him interact with a hurting friend. He performed many memorial services long after he retired.  He always rose to his duty.  Many years later, at his own memorial service, my dad was highly honored for his career in fire service. My dad was a great man and I am honored to be his son.

~Richard Barb, Placerville

Lori Veerkamp remembers growing up in Placerville

Written on November 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm, by


Placerville in the 1960s was the hub of activity and shopping for El Dorado County families. There were many family run businesses at that time, including my families and my husbands; Chuck’s Pancake House, Chuck’s Frosty and Pino Vista Dairy.  Many of the other local businesses that were certainly a presence were Robinson’s, Placerville News Stand, Bluebell Café, P & M Market, Florence’s, Cash Mercantile, Ben Franklin’s, House Shop, Dillinger’s, King Fong’s, The Donut Hut, Mac’s Jumbo, Empire Theatre, Vesuvio’s, Combellack’s, The Purity Store, Randloph’s and many more.  During that era, there wasn’t a time that you would be on Main Street and not know everyone.  As a child, this wasn’t something you relished, but now as an adult, it is certainly a presence that I miss.  I remember Florence Sweeney, Don & Dean Robinson, The Randolph’s, The Raffetto’s, Bud Garlic, Owen Murray, The McKee’s, Joe Vicini, Carl Borelli, The Combellack’s and who could forget George Duffy.  I remember, The Wagon Train festivities that seemed to last a week with so much community pride and involvement. It was always so exciting to figure out what you would wear for the parade and it was as though the whole county came out to participate in this annual event.  Florence’s was a great place to visit as a child.  Mom could shop, while the kids got to play in the kids play area that Florence created to keep busy children content.  Looking back, what kid would ever forget their visits to the Ben Franklin Five and Dime store? I remember many gifts for family members purchased there. Visits to Wally & Dot Davis’s Donut Hut, was another great place to visit as a kid. What kid doesn’t like donuts, but it was more than that.  The Davis’s as well as others in the Placerville area made all of our experiences at their establishments the reason we shopped locally and supported each other. I yearn for one of those greasy Vesuvio pizzas, a movie at Empire Theatre and curly fries at the Mac’s Jumbo.  It certainly was a great time to be a kid growing up in El Dorado County. My memories of life here in El Dorado County during this era, will last a life time. ~Lori Bach Veerkamp


Rebelling Against Low Expectations!

Written on November 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm, by

Hi, my name is Julianne M. Barb. I am 13 years old and my family says I am very energetic. The other day I was reading a book called, “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris about rebelling against low expectations for teenagers. As I was reading, I realized that our whole country, schools, homes, any place you can think of, (and us) have all lowered our expectations disgustingly! What I mean is this: Our culture treats us like 4 year olds. I tried researching “Teenagers and Expectations”, and as I was typing it in, google came up with suggestions like “Teenagers and Drugs”, T.s and Depression, T.s and alcohol, abortion, sexuality, and several others. And when I found what I was looking for, I found a site that looked promising, but as I started reading, it gave age level suggestions such as simple household chores once a day for my age group, but my 3 year old nephew does way more than that, and he loves it! We all have to work to keep our country together! We don’t want to be cry-babies. If we aren’t trained and trusted, we will never learn. The best way to learn is to do! If we don’t know how to do things, we can’t do them unless we are shown the way and taught physically. In 1813, 12 year old David Farragut was put in charge of a ship that had been captured in battle, and he was supposed to take it back to the USA. On the way home, the captured British captain got mad for being ordered around by a twelve year old and announced that he was going below to get his pistols (out of respect for his position, he had been allowed to keep them). David promptly sent him word that if he set foot on deck with his pistols, he would be shot and thrown overboard. The captain decided to stay below. I could tell you so many stories, but that would be pages and pages! If you raise your expectations of teenagers, teens will rise to meet them. The word “teenager” has been around for less than 70 years. The first time it was written, it was for a Readers Digest issue in 1941! Isn’t that amazing?! Before that, people were either children or adults. I am proud to call myself a Rebelutionary! I rebel against low expectations! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story!
~Julianne M. Barb, Placerville

Writer’s Block – 10/31/2012

Written on October 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm, by

Every year, at this time, straddling the line between fall and winter, the United States participates in a grand celebration of superstition and the beauty of life and death. Each and every October, Americans across the country put up scary decorations and dress up in silly costumes on the 31st. Then they wander throughout their respective neighborhoods, knocking at each door and requesting candy, or else. I’ve always found Halloween to be an extremely enjoyable holiday, as I can express myself in a creative way. Halloween is the only time of year where men can dress up as sexy policewomen and not have to think twice about it. Personally, I’m going as Dolly Parton. So, with the clock ticking down, here are some ideas of costumes that you can put together from your own home.

  1. The Quarterback. You don’t have to be the athletic football player to pull this off. Simply find about 50 quarters, give or take, and tape them to your back. Pun pulled off.
  2. The Caution Tape Monster. Fairly self-explanatory. Proud to say my sister went as this a couple years back.
  3. The Lost TV Remote. Affix two couch cushions to you, one on front, other on back.
  4. Pop Quiz. Wear a T-Shirt with a large question mark on it, and attach popcorn. Ah, I remember middle school.
  5. The Patriot. Simply wear red, white, and blue from top to bottom. Instant American flag.
  6. The Game Show contestant. Make a large, colorful, name tag. Walk around using terms such as “I would like to buy a vowel” or “What is the United Nations?”
  7. Static Cling. Dress normally, but pin some socks, dryer sheets, and hand towels to your clothing.
  8. Cross Dresser. Put crosses on all of your articles of clothing.
  9. Ceiling Fan. Put a sign that says “Go Ceilings!!” on your shirt. Cheer for added effect.
  10. Or if you just don’t want to go, simply tell your friends you were the cable-guy, because you didn’t show up.


Have a fun and safe Halloween!!

28th Annual Auction Gala ‘Celebrating El Dorado County’

Written on October 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm, by

El Dorado County’s premier food, wine and auction event. This is a fundraiser for The Center for Violence-free Relationships. The Center is dedicated to building healthy relationships, families, and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence through education, advocacy and services in western El Dorado County.

The event will be held at Mercedes-Benz of El Dorado Hills. 6:00 pm

Tickets $75 per person or $125 for two tickets.

The Center for Violence-free relationships
For more information, please contact Julie Sena at 530-626-1450 or 916-939-4464 x238

Writer’s Block

Written on October 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm, by

Fall is the greatest time of year. At least for me! Leaves are falling, there’s no birds chirping, and girls are finally wearing high school appropriate clothing. But the best part about Fall is that it’s the start of a holiday season. Where I live, in El Dorado Hills, we don’t really have four seasons. For us it goes Summer, Fall, two weeks of Spring, then Summer again. Winter is a rarity. We’ve had snow once in the past ten years, and that was barely enough to cancel school. My favorite holiday, Halloween, is here, and just as I did last year, here are some easy to make costumes for those who forgot:

1.  Walking Resume:  It’s a tough time to find a job, so why not wear all the clothing you got from previous jobs to show potential employers the places you worked at! Don’t mention how you ceased to work there….

2.  NFL Replacement Ref: Wear a striped shirt, some sunglasses, and bring a cane! How could this go wrong?

3.  Nudist on Strike: Wear normal clothing, and tape a piece on paper on your chest saying “Nudist On Strike.”

4. Fried Egg: Wear all white, color in a yellow circle on your chest. For sunny-side up, color in yellow on your rear end, and when people ask what you are, show them your buttocks and promptly say “Sunny Side Up!” Almost too clever.

5.  Work-Out Paul Ryan: Doesn’t matter who you’re voting for, those pictures of the VP nominee pumping iron are hilarious. Just wear a backwards baseball cap, a t-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers, and bring along a free weight to lift while flashing that great Jim from The Office smile.

6.  Wrong Holiday: Wear all your Christmas clothing, and go caroling. After a few seconds of singing Christmas carols, answer a pretend phone call, and act out a sequence in which the imaginary person on the phone tells you it’s not Christmas.

7.  50 Shades of “Gray”: Wear an outfit comprised of different shades of gray.

8.  Leaf Blower. Dress normal, but wear hat with leaf taped to brim. When people ask what you are, blow on the leaf.

9.  Killer/Spelling Bee: Buy a bee costume, and depending on variation, attach either fake blood and carry a fake weapon or attach letters to costume.

Whatever you do this season, be safe, keep sane and Trick or Treat!

Joseph Hoffman for Judge

Written on October 27, 2012 at 10:52 am, by

Hon. Douglas Phimister
Hon. Daniel Proud
Hon. Thomas Smith (Ret.)
Hon. Eddie Keller (Ret.)
Hon. Matthew Gary
Hon. Peter McBrien
Cyndi Ruelas
Sonal Patel
Anna Ballestreos
Peggy Allen
Sheriff Hal Barker (Ret.)
Sergeant Mike Cook
Sergeant Edward Falkenstein
Detective Kevin Pebley
Detective Jason Bloxsom
Detective Dave Stevenson
Deputy David Cook
Deputy Ross Pettit (Ret.)
Deputy Byron Mays (Ret.)
James Clark, Attorney, Placerville
Marianne Mahoney, Attorney, Placerville
Ron Dosh, Attorney, Placerville
Aaron Dosh, Attorney, Placerville
David Becker, Attorney, Placerville
Sue Gellman, Attorney, Placerville
Roger Runkle, Attorney, Placerville
Renee Day, Attorney, Placerville
Stephen Valentine, Attorney, Cameron Park
Jeff Smith, Attorney, Placerville
Bill Sardam, Attorney, Placerville
Myrlys Stockdale, Attorney, El Dorado Hills
Mark Cudney, Attorney, Cameron Park
Julie Tingler, Attorney, Placerville
Brad Clark, Attorney, Placerville

Please Vote November 6th

Pamela Roberts, Attorney, Cameron Park
Jon Zitomer, Attorney, Cameron Park
Diane Foos, Attorney, Placerville
John Hughes, Attorney, Placerville
Lauren Craig, Attorney, Placerville
Abigail Roseman, Attorney, Georgetown
Rob Sanders, Attorney, El Dorado Hills
Maury Lieberman, Attorney, Placerville
James Gwinup, Attorney, Cameron Park
Mary Muse, Attorney, El Dorado Hills
Tom Van Noord, Attorney, Placerville
Douglas Roeca, Attorney, Placerville
Natalia Jeffs, Attorney, El Dorado Hills
Brian Briggs, Attorney, Placerville

District Attorney Vern Pierson
Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Clark
Deputy District Attorney Joe Alexander
Deputy District Attorney Vicki Ashworth
Deputy District Attorney Worth Dikeman, Jr
Deputy District Attorney Anthony Garilli
Deputy District Attorney Dale Gomes
Deputy District Attorney Michael Pizzuti
Deputy District Attorney Lisette Suder
Deputy District Attorney Jamie Verwayen
Chief Investigator Robert Cosley
Special Investigator Cheryl Warchol
Investigator Bob Luca
Investigator Richard Pesce
Probation Department Chief Joe Warchol (Ret.)
Deputy County Counsel Lesley Gomes
Auditor-Controller Joe Harn
Supervisor Rusty Dupray (Ret.)
Supervisor Sam Bradley (Ret.)
Ellen Driscoll, President, Rescue Union School District
Kim White, Rescue Union School District
Kevin Brown, El Dorado Union High School District
Todd White, El Dorado Union High School District
City of Placerville Vice Mayor Wendy Mattson
Captain Greg Ferrero, El Dorado Hills
Former U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott, El Dorado Hills
Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness (Ret.)
Officer Kevin Dougherty (Ret.)
Mountain Democrat
Crime Victims Action Alliance
Citizens for Law and Order

Writer’s Block

Written on October 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm, by

I really should change the name of my column to “Shane’s Worthless Political Banter,” because that’s pretty much the majority of what I’ve talked about for the last few articles. Yet, here I go again…

I have often criticized our society for the way we choose our candidates, but not this time. Fast forward if you will to November 7th, the day after the election. Nearly 50% of America is going to be mad their guy didn’t win, right? Well, more like 47%, when factoring in the independents. By the way, did you know Roseanne Barr is running? Anyway, I digress. Why we haven’t been able to bring back all the glory we’ve had in the past is because the party lines are so finite. If Obama wins, then the Romney voters won’t give Obama any support, and vice versa. That’s why regardless of who wins, we won’t make any progress.

No machine can operate efficiently with only 51% of its parts working. America the machine is the same way. The only candidate that can make a positive change is someone who will unite us as a whole. And we need some actual bi-partisan work. I mean, nowadays if a member of Congress wants a filibuster, he doesn’t even have to talk, he just declares a filibuster and that’s that. No progress is made if we base our decisions simply on our political affiliation. There is no magic solution that can emerge from half of
America hating the other half.

If we as Americans consciously want to make a positive change, we need to rally around whoever wins next month and give him the most support we can, even if he wasn’t the man whose name we selected on our ballot. He’s going to run the country for the next four years, and there’s no point in simply looking forward to 2016, hoping you win this time. We’ll never make any progress that way. We’re simply circling down the drain. Am I the only one who sees it this way?

Shane Theodore is a Senior at Oakridge High School Class of 2013.
To contact Shane, email or call 530-621-1698.

Joke of the Week – 10/20/2012

Written on October 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm, by

Distracted from fighting with my other half all morning, I guess I wasn’t paying too much
attention to the t.v. when a special report came on the afternoon news. Evidently there was a
recent outbreak of mad cow disease in the mid-west. That evening, trying to make peace with
my wife, I took her out to eat at a local Restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order
first. “I’ll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.” He asked, “Aren’t you worried about the
mad cow?” “Nah, she can order for herself.” And that’s when the fight started…again.

Foster Awareness Network

Written on October 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm, by

3987 Missouri Flat Rd, Suite 340 PMB 346, Placerville, CA 95667
FAX & MESSAGE: 530-626-0444 CELL PHONE: 530-748-9835

Our Mission

Our Mission is to collaborate with community groups to help foster kids succeed.

Our Vision

To change the dynamic in America from a pool of waiting children, to a pool of waiting parents.

You Can Help…

Upcoming FAN Events:
Foster Recruitment Fair

October 27, 2012
at M.O.R.E (399 Placerville Dr.)
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Stop by and learn about all the ways WE can expand opportunities to help foster kids beyond being a foster parent.

Evening of Entertainment:

Join us for an evening out with dinner and entertainment featuring performances by Union Mine High School’s award winning Jazz Band & “Crooner” Bob Rawleigh.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

from 6-9pm
Cameron Park Community Center
(2502 Country Club Dr., Cameron Park).
Tickets are $45 per person or $80 for a couple.

For Tickets (530) 626-0444 or (530) 748-9835, or order online at

Foster youth facts…

El Dorado County has on average around 50 foster children, and often, there are not enough foster homes for placement.

Foster Awareness Network’s (FAN) vision is to change the dynamic in America, and El Dorado County, from a pool of waiting children to a pool of waiting parents. Our mission is to collaborate with community groups to help foster kids succeed in life, during and after foster care. Foster Awareness Network wishes to change statistics for El Dorado County’s foster children. We believe, working together, the future can be better than these statistics for foster kids.

How can you get involved in making a difference in the lives of the foster youth in this country? There are many ways to make a difference: donating to an organization, providing transportation, mentoring or becoming a foster parent. Come to one of the upcoming events, or contact us, to find out more.

FAN Projects…

California Youth Connection (CYC) – We are currently working to reestablish this program with an El Dorado Chapter.

National Adoption Month – FAN is working to raise awareness of foster care needs in El Dorado County and promote adoption.

Foster Parent(s) of the Month Program – Working with The Windfall, FAN’s column provides recognition to local Foster parents and Foster agencies for their extraordinary contributions to the foster community.

Did you know?


  • 100,00 foster youth live in California?
  • In California, 65% of youth leaving foster care do so without a place to live.
  • 46% of foster youth will not complete highschool.
  • 27% of persons at a homeless shelter spent time in foster care.
  • The average age of a foster child is 10 years old.
  • Less than half of former foster care youth are employed 2.5 years to 4 years after leaving foster care, and only 38% maintained employment for at least 1 year.
  • Over 70% of all state penitentiary inmates spent time in foster care.

Writer’s Block – 10/19/2012

Written on October 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm, by

I really should change the name of my column to “Shane’s Worthless Political Banter,” because that’s pretty much the majority of what I’ve talked about for the last few articles. Yet, here I go again…

I have often criticized our society for the way we choose our candidates, but not this time. Fast forward if you will to November 7th, the day after the election. Nearly 50% of America is going to be mad their guy didn’t win, right? Well, more like 47%, when factoring in the independents. By the way, did you know Roseanne Barr is running? Anyway, I digress. Why we haven’t been able to bring back all the glory we’ve had in the past is because the party lines are so finite. If Obama wins, then the Romney voters won’t give Obama any support, and vice versa. That’s why regardless of who wins, we won’t make any progress.

No machine can operate efficiently with only 51% of its parts working. America the machine is the same way. The only candidate that can make a positive change is someone who will unite us as a whole. And we need some actual bi-partisan work. I mean, nowadays if a member of Congress wants a filibuster, he doesn’t even have to talk, he just declares a filibuster and that’s that. No progress is made if we base our decisions simply on our political affiliation. There is no magic solution that can emerge from half of America hating the other half.

If we as Americans consciously want to make a positive change, we need to rally around whoever wins next month and give him the most support we can, even if he wasn’t the man whose name we selected on our ballot. He’s going to run the country for the next four years, and there’s no point in simply looking forward to 2016, hoping you win this time. We’ll never make any progress that way. We’re simply circling down the drain. Am I the only one who sees it this way?


Writer’s Block – 10/12/2012

Written on October 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm, by

Watching the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, I realized something very disturbing. No, not Mitt’s “zingers” or the way he stepped on poor Jim Lehrer, and not even Obama’s seeming lack of preparedness, but something else.

In my Expository Reading and Writing class with Ms. Sayles at Oak Ridge High School, we learn a lot about rhetoric. We learn about how people use different fallacies consisting of logos, ethos, and pathos to persuade someone of their side. And it’s absolutely amazing how much both candidates utilize pathos. Pathos is the worst but most effective of the three, and in summation, it consists of using emotional appeals to persuade. Those Sarah McLachlan commercials with “In the Arms of an Angel” playing in the background as you see a bunch of homeless cats and dogs is a perfect example. Lacking logic or reason, but instead tugging on the heart strings of viewers is pathos at its finest.

But when I was watching this debate, I was appalled by the lack of factual evidence used. By factual, I mean numbers that weren’t skewed to fit what the candidate is saying. And the speeches these guys gave, at the debate, and before at their conventions, were littered with emotional tugs. I’m not going to share who I support, mostly because I’m only 17 and my vote neither matters or counts, but here’s an example. At the RNC, Paul Ryan depicted some of the promises Obama made, including one where he said that a factory in Wisconsin that was under threats to be shut down was going to stay open. Ryan continued to say, with great authority, that the plant did shut down, leading the viewer to believe that Obama didn’t come through on his promises.But in reality, the plant closed before Obama entered office. It goes both ways, too, but that one stood out.

So I think what I’m saying overall is that if you’re still on the fence, or even if you’ve chosen your candidate, do some research! Don’t watch them try to convince you with words! Find out their policies (or lack there of) and evaluate them without any bias. Make an informed decision. Whichever way you choose, I respect your choice. However, neither candidate deserves an uneducated vote.



Writer’s Block – 10/05/2012

Written on October 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm, by

I should warn you. Normally I like to write on what I find interesting in life, mine or otherwise. But this week I’m discussing a much deeper issue.

Last week, my home phone rang. Odd that we even have a “home phone” these days, but that is beside the point. I was sitting near the phone at the kitchen table, so I got up and answered it. As I said “Hello?”, I was quickly interrupted by an automated message from my school’s principal, Mr. Wehr. He called to inform all students that an Oak Ridge senior had committed suicide the day before.

I did not know the student who took his own life, never even heard his name before, although he was a fellow senior at my school. Nevertheless, the news of his passing really saddened me. This is the third student from Oak Ridge, and the second from my class, to commit suicide in 2012. So in the aftermath, while my classmates argued over Facebook that the possible cause was ‘bullying’, I sat back and tried to come up with a logical explanation as to why this could happen. Why would our school, the school that so many generations of successful individuals graduated from, have what I see as a suicide problem? Why would people who live in such a high socio-economic area do this? And while I can’t give a definite answer, I have a pretty good opinion as to what it may be. It’s not bullying, or depression. It’s pride.

All three of the suicides were male. Neither of the first two, and from what I’ve heard on the third, told anyone they were contemplating suicide. I knew the first one personally, and knew the second one to a degree. Both were proud individuals who I know would have had trouble asking for help. How many of us, including myself, have been raised to think that it’s okay to have problems, but unmanly to voice them? So when things get tough, whatever the issue, we tend to bottle up our emotions. Eventually, we can’t hide it anymore and can’t admit it to anyone, so in desperation, we turn to self-destruction.

I say enough! Enough already! There’s a negative stigma surrounding being open and honest, as if it were a sign of weakness. That needs to change. Suicide is not the solution, and to me, not an option. What’s happened to the students at my school in the past year is beyond acceptable, and something has to change. That much I know. Any suggestions?


Writer’s Block 09-28-2012

Written on September 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm, by

How early is too early? That’s the question I’m proposing. How early is too early for one to be concerned about their mortality?

Last week, while daydreaming in school I pondered this very question. You can’t blame me for drifting off into my own world, you would too if you had to sit through a boring moving during English class. I thought about where I would be 10-20-30 years from now. Would I have a family? Would I be a homeowner? Would I be working at a job or career that I love? All these questions raced through my head. And when I emerged from the daydream, I think I actually just realized I am mortal. Time is passing me by and I just turned 17 years old. Heck, I haven’t even graduated high school yet.

Why so serious you ask? As a senior in high school, I am reminded daily that time is ticking. I am asked, “What do you want to be? Where do you plan to live?” I respond with, “What is the hurry?”

I think that most of us feel some sort of an obligation to get a job, buy a home, and start a family. Tick-tock, tick-tock. And while I’ll probably end up doing that same thing, I don’t get it. When you put time in perspective, we as humans have so much little time on this Earth, and once it’s over, that’s it. We can speculate about the afterlife, but the best we can hope for is 70-80 years in this reality and that’s all he, or she wrote. So why is it that I waste my time learning about the Periodic Table of the Elements when there are so many other things I would rather do with my precious time? There’s nothing I’d love more than to let go of all my worries about school, work, and money and just slow life down and enjoy the moment. Yet tomorrow I’ll wake up, put on my clothes, and waste another day of the only life I have. After all, the clock is ticking!

Slammin’ Shane’s Picks: Only two picks this week. First I have Chicago (+3.5) beating the spread against Dallas. Second, I have Washington (+3) beating Tampa Bay.

Writer’s Block – 09/21/2012

Written on September 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm, by

Twitter’s a great thing. On Tuesday, I was scrolling through my homepage, trying to pass the time in class when I stumbled upon what every Twitter or Facebook user lives for: The arguments. I found an argument between a girl who attends my school, and a man who graduated from my school last year. What ensued was top-notch entertainment.

This religious and very conservative girl tweeted, “Democracy will lead us to Tyranny, that is why we were founded as a republic.” The man responds, sparks an argument, and to sum up the “conversation” without the explicit content included, they began arguing about church and state. It ended ugly, as you can imagine.

As I’ve grown older and more politically aware, I realize how hypocritical we Americans are becoming. I do think faith is important to many of us, young and old, myself included. However, when it comes to politics, I find it absurd that people are basing their vote solely on a candidates faith and religion. I have heard many people actually state, “I’m voting for so-and-so because he is a Christian.” Am I the only person who sees how society is being played by politicians? They rely on emotional arguments, either tearing down their opponent or building themselves up, instead of logical arguments related to policy. After all, America was not founded upon religion!

Recently, I was walking to my car which was parked literally ten feet from my high school campus, when a middle aged man thrust a mini bible in my hand. I was offended, but everyone else just walked by like it was nothing. Here is this man, ten feet away from a high school campus, giving away mini bibles to teenagers. Why is it that people are so compelled to ‘push’ their beliefs and ideals on others without solicitation or request to do so? The USA is not a religiously-affiliated country, and in my opinion, the fact that society is trying to push religion in schools and government, we are losing sight of what America was started for in the first place. And to be honest, if it keeps going, I’m moving to Canada.

Writer’s Block – 09/14/2012

Written on September 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm, by

This past week, I turned 17 years old. Friends and family gave me birthday wishes, and I woke up on that day to a rare home cooked breakfast thanks to my parents. It was neat. But two people that wished me a happy birthday really got me thinking. One of them said to me, “Happy Birthday Shane, you are one year closer to having rights.” The other person said to me, “Happy Birthday Shane, you one year closer till you have responsibilities.”

So turning 16 was a big deal for me. Getting my license, hold a job, drink in Russia, etc. The only benefit I could see about turning 17 is getting to legally watch R-Rated movies. I mean, it didn’t really stop me before, no concessions worker at the theater stopped me to ask how old I was. But I can’t help but look at next year, when I’ll be off at college, and turn 18. As an adult I will have the right to vote, buy lottery tickets, and cigarettes, the latter of which I have no interest in. But with that comes being eligible for the draft, having to pay income taxes, be charged as an adult, and I can’t date a 17 year old, even though my parents are three years apart. Oh, and I can sign a legally binding contract. Glorious.

I think my main concern about heading into my last year as a minor is that I don’t know if I’ll be ready. If I was turning 18 this week, I don’t feel I would be mature or responsible enough. Maybe I am ready, and am just clinging on to the little of my adolescence I have left, but I definitely don’t feel ready. I still have a year to go, and it’s great. But in the meantime, I would actually consider giving up those new rights just to avoid some of those responsibilities.

Slammin’ Shane’s Picks: Last week I got 2 out of my three picks right, and if Kansas City hadn’t laid an egg, I would have gotten all three. This week I have three more games, starting with Philadelphia, who’s favored by 2.5 points, against Baltimore. Philly looked shaky last week against Cleveland, a bad team, and Baltimore crushed Cinci, a good team. Take Baltimore. Next, I think the home team Indianapolis will beat the spread, as they’re a 1.5 point underdog against Buffalo. Finally, to the disappointment of many 49er fans, I have the Detroit Lions going into SF and beating the 6.5 point spread.  Have a great weekend everyone!



Writer’s Block – 09/08/2012

Written on September 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm, by

It’s September, and I’m already eating the Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. I am just that thankful. I mean, I’m always thankful, but especially this week. Not because of my birthday, or I finally get the ACT out of the way, but NFL football is back! The Cowboys and Giants kicked off on Wednesday, and we are officially out of the gates. Now, every year my family does Super Bowl picks, and every year I pick my beloved Chargers, which never gets me far. Can’t fault me for being loyal. But this year, I won’t tell you how my Bolts are going to shock the world and win it all. I’m gonna start a new weekly feature, called Slammin’ Shane’s Picks. It will go right at the bottom of Writer’s Block, and will give you three games from that week’s NFL season that I think the underdog will pull through.

For my first picks, I think these are a sure thing. Firstly, the over/under on Patrick Peterson’s interceptions is 4. I say, take the over! This kid is a rising star in the league, and with the Cardinals playing pass-happy teams such as the Patriots, Packers, and Lions, he’ll have plenty of opportunity. Take the over.

Secondly, the over/under on starts Tim Tebow makes this year is 1 ½. Once again, TAKE THE OVER. This kid is some sort of a phenomenon, and with all the pressure on Mark Sanchez this year, I’m more than sure that after a slow start to the season for the Jets, Rex Ryan will put in the Wonder-Tebow. I’d say he starts at least 5.

Lastly, the over/under on how many wins for Tebow’s Jets get this year is 8 ½. I say take the under. This team is in such disarray I have them unraveling in Week 5 and handing off to Tebow, who will continue to run the team into the ground. I think the Jets win 6 games this year.

Here are my spread picks for the week: Kansas City is getting 3 points against Atlanta. Take the points, and the home team, and run. I have the Chiefs winning. Next, take Washington to beat the spread and while I still think they’ll lose, it won’t be by more than the 7 point spread. And finally, take Arizona and the 2 ½ points against Seattle. The Cardinals host, and that’s a big plus. And Seattle is starting a rookie quarterback.


Writer’s Block – 08/31/2012

Written on August 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm, by

There’s been a lot in the news this past week. The ever-entertaining Republican National Convention has kicked off in Tampa, a 15 year old student sadly opened fire on the first day of school at a high school in Baltimore, and college football kicks off. But as it is every year, there is another tropical storm turned hurricane raging in the Atlantic. Now, apparently Tropical Storm Isaac somehow became Hurricane Isaac in a matter of minutes. The criteria for the change in classification is odd to me. Did you know that until the winds hit the magic number 74 mph, it’s classified as a tropical storm? Yeah, news to me too. But then again, we’re also the country using miles instead of kilometers, so I’m not surprised. What does interest me when it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes is their names.


Back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, I was in fifth grade, and was still very unaware when it came to worldly affairs. When I heard about all the destruction, I was convinced that the person who named the hurricane must have had a violent ex, or something like that. I never really bothered to find out the actual origin of these names, until today. While completely off-topic in AP Economics, my teacher told us.


Supposedly, in 1953 the National Hurricane Center decided, “Hey, let’s start assigning names to tropical storms and hurricanes! It’ll be fun!” And thus a system was formed. There are six alphabetized lists of names, and each one is assigned to a year, with them rotating every six years. 21 names are chosen in all, with no Q,U,X,Y, or Z names included. Once the storm hits, NHC designates a name for it. That explains everything right?


What I find interesting is the name selection. The NHC says they chose names based on how easy they are to pronounce and how common they are. Wow, how funny, that’s how we also name people. So I feel bad for those of you who because of your name, will be forever associated with the destruction of a natural disaster. How would someone named Katrina feel about this? Innocent one day and now she’s identified as a storm.  Or poor Kirk, who had been called Captain his entire life, now he finds out he wasn’t good enough to have a hurricane named after him. I’m just glad that Shane isn’t on the schedule for names. Take that Sandy Cheeks.


Writer’s Block – 08/24/2012

Written on August 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm, by

It’s always amazing looking back at how you’ve gotten to where you are today. And I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I enjoy writing this column so much. It’s not because I get to work with the Henderson’s here at The Windfall (Even though that’s pretty awesome), it’s not because I have nothing else to do, and it’s not because I have to. It’s because I genuinely love writing. Let me explain…

My entire life, I’ve loved literature. My parents read to me every night before bed when I was an infant, I read my first book to them at 3 years old and was writing short stories with my family members as characters when I was 8. As I grew, I was consistently fascinated with our language and words in general. Connotation versus denotation. How the tone of a word can completely change its meaning. As my mind developed, my passion for writing did too. I found that I was able to express myself in a way that wasn’t possible in spoken form. I was able to put the chaos and complexities of my life down onto paper, when I couldn’t manage to otherwise.

There’s something amazing about writing that just appeals to me so much. There are so many different forms of I love. For instance, I love haikus. You know the 5-7-5 Japanese poems? They are so easy.

“I like tomatoes

They are very healthy

I want to eat one.”

You see what I mean? And that’s just one form of poetry, which is just one form of creative writing, which is just one form of writing. Another kind of writing I love is what I like to call “mirror writing.” It may have a technical term, but I do not know it. But it’s a poem, with each line starting with the last word in the previous line. There’s so much you can do with it. Another one of my favorites is taking different phrases from a book and making a poem out of them.

As I said earlier, I love short story writing. I never really had the patience to write something novel length, but I’d love to one day just to see how it goes. But I’ve written at least 30 short stories, each with their own plots and resolutions, and each representing a different part of my life. Because writing captures life so delicately. I think, above all, literature’s ability to freeze the writer’s thoughts, feelings, actions, and put them into words is what keeps me coming back.


Writer’s Block – 08/17/2012

Written on August 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm, by

I just had the worst headache. It wasn’t a “You’re giving me headaches” kind of pain, nor was it a illness-traced headache. I call it “The Over-Thinking Headache”. And I am sure that you, at one time or another, have had it too.


You don’t just have this kind of head pain without being really bored before. So, on Tuesday, while in AP Microeconomics, I took a short mental nap. Instead of taking notes on Opportunity Cost and other terms, I leaned my head to the left a little bit and drifted away. First I thought about what I wanted to eat when I got home. Thoughts of Lucky Charms and Hot Pockets ran through my mind. Then my daydream warped from unhealthy food to where I’ll be at this time next year. Will I be away at college, will I be taking community college classes, or will I immediately join the work force? The three scenarios played out, and I winced a little, thinking that was almost too much to contemplate right now.


So I moved on to something less stressful, like how awesome it would be if we lived with dinosaurs. You know, walk outside to get your newspaper, wave hello to your neighbor Tom, and run inside as he’s ripped apart by a T-Rex. And this thinking of pre-historic animals kept my mind running backwards through time, going back to the first animals on land, then the first multi-cellular organisms, and eventually, even though I’ve learned all of this in science class, I came to an abrupt stop.


After mentally tracing back through time, I came to a point where I saw nothing but black. An empty abyss. Instead of taking my notes like a good student, I was off trying to wrap my head around the beginning of all existence. Something had to be created out of nothing. So everyone and their sister tries to explain why, whether it was by a higher power or scientifically. But in the end, it doesn’t matter. So all of this questioning what is a reality or illusion, and how everything always has something before it led me to my headache. I woke from my mental snooze, gathered myself, and started my notes.


But the idea remained for the rest of the day. And when I got home, I revisited it. And I found the answer that will work for me. Everyone can try to explain it with either science or faith, but the truth is that nobody knows. No matter how confident you are in something, you never truly know. And I think it’s meant to be that way. We are always searching for something that we can’t find, and that’s what makes the chase interesting.



Writer’s Block – 08/10/2012

Written on August 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm, by

So, I have officially started my senior year of high school at Oak Ridge. Summer has ended, I’m back to waking up at the ungodly time of 5:45 in the morning, and going to sleep at midnight after hours of homework teachers assigned for the hell of it. I’m working on college applications, working a job, and still trying to find time to spend with friends and family. After 12 years, one would think I’d have this figured out by now, right? Wrong. For years I’ve been complaining about how much time students have to invest in school, and how it hinders other aspects of their life, but I’ve never been able to really provide a solution. Until now. Turns out, the best system has been there all along.


Just about every student will groan at this notion, but when I bring up the idea of having school year-round, it’s a very pragmatic solution. Think about it. You know the old joke where high school students can pick two of the following: Enough sleep, good grades, or a social life? For a long time I’ve been the enough sleep and good grades type of guy, which really made keeping up a social life nearly impossible. So with a year-round schedule, I think we could fix that. Because normal school years have to cram the required time before summer, school hours are long. So if we cut out summer to maybe just July, we could stretch out the days students attend school, resulting in shorter school days. The student who now goes to school from 7:30 in the morning to 3:00 in the afternoon can go to school at 9:00 and go home at 1:00. That would result in higher student morale and better performance. Not to mention the social life benefits it would have.


There are already plenty of schools that use this system, and I love it. I don’t understand why more school districts are converting over to the same. I mean, the reason schools initially had a “summer” was so that the kids could help their families on the farm. Most of America doesn’t live on a farm, so that reasoning is obsolete. If we limit summer to July and have the regular Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Breaks we would have ourselves a much more efficient education system, and we could really use some good news on the education front.





Writer’s Block – 07/30/2012

Written on July 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm, by

Curse my parents for putting me in kindergarten when I was still 3 years old. While it may have seemed inconsequential at the time, it really has had a large effect on me. Those who are my age are a grade below me, and one thinks I may have done better if I stayed in the same grade as my age. But regardless, I’m now a 16 year old senior, fairly indifferent to my parents decision to throw me into a desk back in 1999. But the biggest consequence I think it has had on me thus far is the fact that many of my classmates will be allowed to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, while I’ll be sitting at home, hoping my candidate will be elected. And what makes that frustrating, is because my classmates are not going to make the right choice. No, I’m not saying the right choice based on my personal preferences, although I feel many will indeed make what I see as a “naive” choice, but what really irks me about my peers voting is that they don’t have enough political perspective. They simply haven’t been around long enough to make an informed decision for themselves.


I haven’t exactly been around a real long time either, but I consider myself a history buff and went back through the election records, economy trends, and other unbiased statistics prior to selecting who I wanted for the 2008 election (Maybe this is why I don’t have many friends). But what I see in my peers and classmates who will be voting for the first time is they take what their parents believe and exaggerate on that without conducting research. The anti-Obama voter will reference the rising gas prices, while the anti-Romney voter will pull the same-sex marriage card, which I see as a sham, but that’s next weeks topic. Everyone seems to find facts from a vacuum that support their candidate and blow it way out of proportion instead of taking an unbiased approach, and arriving at an intelligent conclusion. That’s where I benefited. I never really knew of my parents political, or religious for that matter, affiliations until I was about 15, and by then I had developed my own opinion.

Overall, what really bothers me is people have tunnel vision. Nobody cares what the situation the incumbent inherited, or even the situation the previous president inherited. All they care about is “What have you done for my lately,” and this philosophy extends further than new voters. Our own system betrays us. Our craving of something the complete reverse of what we’ve had the past four or eight years prevents us from making any real headway towards what we want.




Writer’s Block – 07/20/2012

Written on July 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm, by

Curse my parents for putting me in kindergarten when I was still 3 years old. While it may have seemed inconsequential at the time, it really has had a large effect on me. Those who are my age are a grade below me, and one thinks I may have done better if I stayed in the same grade as my age. But regardless, I’m now a 16 year old senior, fairly indifferent to my parents decision to throw me into a desk back in 1999. But the biggest consequence I think it has had on me thus far is the fact that many of my classmates will be allowed to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, while I’ll be sitting at home, hoping my candidate will be elected. And what makes that frustrating, is because my classmates are not going to make the right choice. No, I’m not saying the right choice based on my personal preferences, although I feel many will indeed make what I see as a “naive” choice, but what really irks me about my peers voting is that they don’t have enough political perspective. They simply haven’t been around long enough to make an informed decision for themselves.


I haven’t exactly been around a real long time either, but I consider myself a history buff and went back through the election records, economy trends, and other unbiased statistics prior to selecting who I wanted for the 2008 election (Maybe this is why I don’t have many friends). But what I see in my peers and classmates who will be voting for the first time is they take what their parents believe and exaggerate on that without conducting research. The anti-Obama voter will reference the rising gas prices, while the anti-Romney voter will pull the same-sex marriage card, which I see as a sham, but that’s next weeks topic. Everyone seems to find facts from a vacuum that support their candidate and blow it way out of proportion instead of taking an unbiased approach, and arriving at an intelligent conclusion. That’s where I benefited. I never really knew of my parents political, or religious for that matter, affiliations until I was about 15, and by then I had developed my own opinion.

Overall, what really bothers me is people have tunnel vision. Nobody cares what the situation the incumbent inherited, or even the situation the previous president inherited. All they care about is “What have you done for my lately,” and this philosophy extends further than new voters. Our own system betrays us. Our craving of something the complete reverse of what we’ve had the past four or eight years prevents us from making any real headway towards what we want.




Writer’s Block – 07/13/2012

Written on July 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm, by



Sorry, legalities. Seriously, if you’re not into sports, specifically baseball, I’d turn the page. Now to the real issue. This past week, Major League Baseball celebrated their “half-way point” All Star Festivities that concluded with the 84th All Star Game between the National and American Leagues. The National League won 8-0. But what casts a shadow of sorts over what is supposed to be a celebration is what I’m discussing here this week.


Prior to the All Star Game, the game’s best sluggers gather for a Home Run Derby, with a player from each league choosing three other men to compete for their league. The AL’s Robinson Cano, the 2011 champ, angered the host Kansas City fans by not choosing Royal Billy Butler to compete in the Derby. So the night of the Derby, when it was Cano’s turn to take his hacks at baseballs thrown in a batting practice manner by his own father, the fans teed off on him. In between pitches, the booing was relentless, and when Cano made an out by failing to homer, they cheered. Cano, obviously rattled, left without one home run, which made the KC fans night even better.


So, two things to address here. First, the booing. Personally, I thought it was a demonstration of lack of class by the hometown fans. Cano only was able to choose three other players to represent the AL with him, and the player who was seen as the most controversial pick, Prince Fielder, ended up winning the whole thing. Which leads me to the second part, which is the idea that a hometown player should be in the Derby. Now, I’m a San Diego Padres fan, and while I love my team to death, would I rather see a Friar hit two or three home runs and be the hometown player, or a big time slugger from a different team crush 450 foot bombs? Obviously the latter. And on a separate note, the woeful Pad’s won 6 of their last 9 before the break! Whoo hoo!


Regarding the actual game, every team in the league is represented, leading to plenty of controversy. Because they’re the Padres, people like to pick on them, so they pinpointed our only All Star as unworthy, and said that not every team needs to be represented. For this, I disagree. What’s the appeal to me of the All Star Game if my lowly Padres don’t have a player in there? I might as well watch the Bachlorette. And then there’s the significance of the game. Since the tie in 2001, the winning league of the game earns home field advantage for the World Series, which is pivotal. Now this, I love. What separates the MLB All Star Game from the NBA’s and the NFL Pro Bowl is there is actual competition. It’s no longer just an exhibition.


Email me what YOU think. I’m curious to see where my readers stand on this. And to those who didn’t heed my warning, I told you so. 




Writer’s Block – 07/06/2012

Written on July 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm, by

We’ve passed the halfway mark of 2012. It’s fairly dumbfounding, considering it feels like just yesterday I woke up and found coal in my stocking. Time is cruel that way, how the tough times seem to drag on, whilst the happy ones fly by. 2012 for me has absolutely zipped by, so that’s a bittersweet sign. But as we cross from the first half of 2012 to the second half, let me wrap up what has happened in the world thus far, and what’s happened in my life (like you care).


Nationally, 2012 has not been lacking drama. The Republican candidate to oppose the incumbent Barack Obama for the presidency has taken shape in Mitt Romney, both camps utilizing smear tactics to try to gain an advantage. The integrity of the NFL has come under question with the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, where coaches and players chipped in money for “big hits”, or injuries to players on the opposing team. Whitney Houston passed, showing us how such talent can be wasted. LeBron finally wrestled the gorilla from his back and won a title, leaving NBA fans with nobody to make fun of. In my life, I got my driver’s license and finished my junior year of high school. SO that’s 2012 in a nutshell, now comes the fun part.


Looking forward to the rest of the year, there is a lot of fun to be had. Personally, I’ll be entering my final year of grade school, and will be returning to Oak Ridge. Besides taking AP Government and Economics, English 4, Chemistry, and French 3, I’ll be up to my ears in college applications, trying to figure out what’s best for my future while still working on my present. I’ll turn 17 in September, so I won’t be able to vote, but you can be sure I’ll support my candidate in November. Which brings me to the national spectrum. The presidential election in 2012 will either reinstate my faith in America, or further convince me to move to Canada. In December, we will all witness the farce that is the supposed end of the world. Millions of paranoid morons will go crazy, either convinced we’re going to meet our maker or just rioting for the sake of rioting. As for myself, I’m going sit back, relax and watch it all unfold on television. Take that Mayans.


Writer’s Block – 06/29/2012

Written on June 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm, by

A few weeks ago, authorities discovered a dead body in a trash enclosure located behind a business in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. According to the police, the woman had apparently committed suicide. In the aftermath, it was reported that she had been struggling with mental illness and was extremely unstable. The woman’s dog was found at the scene of the suicide, eerily ‘standing guard’ outside of the enclosure. The dog was unharmed, and was returned to the woman’s family. However, on the various news websites where the suicide had been reported, some readers commented as to whether the dog was up for adoption, while others argued with them saying that they shouldn’t be worrying about the dog, but the woman. I quote one reader who stated,  “Way to express callousness and insensitivity! What’s happening to our culture, when the very first comment places regard for a healthy canine above regret and dismay at the loss of a human life?”  Being a very outspoken person myself, I would like to express my opinion on this matter and extend my deepest condolences to the woman’s family in their time of grief. I can only imagine how devastating an event like this would be on a family, and I send my prayers. Now, regarding those who commented on the dogs well being, let me point something out. There is nothing that could be done for the woman now, she has passed. The dog is alive and well, and those who care about the welfare of an animal have every right to inquire regarding the dog’s future, not knowing if the woman had a family or not at the time this tragedy occurred.  As for what the reader I quoted said, even though we all feel sad for the woman and her family, the concern of another life is a completely reasonable feeling to have. While everyone has sorrow for the woman and her family, a safe home for her loyal animal is what she would have ultimately wanted, is it not? Hearing news such as this should make us all realize just how fragile life really is.

Writer’s Block – 06/22/2012

Written on June 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm, by

You know, there are a lot of things in life we don’t seem to appreciate as much as we should. Nerf guns encourage violence without actual danger, our pinkies are great for making promises, and deep down we all know that the extra pillow you stuff in between your legs is the difference between staying awake and falling asleep. There are a plenty of things we grossly under appreciate, but this one takes the cake: Sports. Think about it, most of us from a very young age are taught life lessons simply by participating in sports. I’ll explain why.


In our capitalist, dog eat dog country that rewards profit motive, it takes quite a bit of competitiveness to make it, and sports instill that in a child very early on. Whether it’s winning the Pee Wee championship and having all the parents take the team out to pizza, or wanting to win just for the sake of winning, the idea of competing directly or indirectly against someone in order to achieve a common goal sticks with a child for life. While I’m sure there are exceptions, just about every student I’ve met that doesn’t succeed, academically and socially, never participated in a sport early in their childhood. And you can’t teach them that now.


Another thing that sports teaches a child is teamwork. Sure your child may think they do better work individually, and that’s fine, but it takes skill to work as a team towards a collective goal. It’s not about choosing to either work alone on a project, or together, but the ability to do both. Where someone who works exclusively alone runs into issues is when they are forced to work in a group and don’t know how to. Either they end up doing all the work, or none.


Probably what I would consider the biggest of all the life skills that sporting teaches a youngster is discipline. The ability to block out all the screaming fans waving foam noodles at you, and knock down two clutch free throws to win a basketball game is equivalent to giving a big presentation in front of a prospective client. The in-the-moment skill to keep your cool in a big spot and come through big will get you far in life.


Recently, the idea of involving your kid in a sport at a young age has come under fire. If you’re on the fence about this, I agree that it’s absolutely your decision to make as a parent. However, let me say that in my opinion, the benefits gained and permanent life skills learned through participating in sports, far exceed the potential health risks or problems they may pose.



Writer’s Block – 06/08/2012

Written on June 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm, by

It happened when I was at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Just a normal day to that point, I guess. I had taken the car and ran a few errands. You know, gas, groceries, the usual. I was craving some KFC, so I drove up the hill to Cameron Park to get some, and that is where it happened. I was enjoying the extra crispy chicken and devouring the Colonel’s gravy when a very thought provoking question popped into my head. Would our founding fathers (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, etc.) be happy with the present day United States? I initially scoffed at this question and thought “Of course not, look at everything that’s wrong here” and went on eating my chicken. But as I drove home, the question continued to nag at me.


The first thing that is a major factor in whether our founding fathers would be satisfied with the direction America has gone is technology. Obviously, personal technology has boomed, with all our iPhones and Androids, but I don’t think the pioneer of electricity, Franklin, would care about that. What would sway him in either direction is whether or not we used technology for the good of humanity. And while America has definitely misused technology many, many times, I think how we have used it for good outweighs the bad, so I give America a narrow yes for technology.


The second major factor is our government. Have the ideals of an indirect democracy that our founding fathers set down been maintained and remained pure? Well, yes and no. Technically, we still operate under an indirect democracy, but it is well known that big corporations looking for more dollar signs have a larger impact on our government than they should. I’m not trying to start a conspiracy or anything, but the idea of the public having all the influence is blasphemy.


Finally, what the founding fathers were really trying to uphold in America was the idea of freedom. Our Natural Rights, and what not. This is modern day America’s greatest claim to upholding the original America. Regardless of censorship, the unfortunate cases of racism and sexism we still see, I believe we have actually furthered the founding fathers in this factor. Slavery is a thing of the past, and women have made long strides for equal rights. There are a lot of imperfections in our country, and we seem to complain about it a lot. But if given the chance, I would never, ever leave America for a different country. Of course, barring the expansion of Jersey Shore.


Writer’s Block – 05/25/2012

Written on May 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm, by

Today, I have broken free of the shackles. I have dug a hole from the prison to China and followed the path. I have outrun the prison warden and his goons. Yes, I have made it to summer. This is going to be my last summer in highschool, so I have to make it one to remember. So, as a public service to all of my lovely readers, I’m going to share my agenda for the summer, starting with this upcoming Monday. Cue the Phineas and Ferb music…

May 28th-June 3rd: Learn to hula hoop. Perfect the paper airplane. Work on my auto-biography. Wear a Speedo. Eat some falafel.

June 4th-June 10th: Tie-Dye my bed sheets. Make a virgin Mojito. Ambush my neighbors with water balloons. Create a make-shift Slip ‘N’ Slide with a tarp and some soap. Go watch the Avengers alone…for the third time.

June 11th-June 17th: Grill myself a pizza. Take my mom to the drive-in. Get a patent on Pelly, a blend of peanut butter and jelly. Go camping with my cats. Learn the “Thriller” dance. Eat a fried Twinkie at the fair.

June 18th-June 24th: Make friendship bracelets for my cats. Read Twilight (I’m running out of ideas already). Start using MySpace again. Try to get on America’s Got Talent for my crazy harmonica skills. Throw toilet paper all over my ex’s house.

June 25th-July 1st: Pull an all-nighter then sleep all day. Dye my hair purple for the week. Visit “Gravity Hill” in Sonoma. Host a neighborhood Yo-yo tournament. Win my neighborhood Yo-yo tournament. Eat a thin crust pizza for breakfast, a normal pizza for lunch, and a deep dish pizza for dinner.

July 2nd-July 8th: Go a whole week without showering. Write a memorial to Whitney Houston. Make a card tower. Make a Facebook page for my cats. Write and perform a one man play. Give myself a roast.

July 9th-July 15th: Write an angry letter to whoever comes up with those bogus, vague horoscopes you see everywhere. Watch every episode of Glee. Start a band, and then abruptly quit it. Try to swim from one side of Folsom Lake to the other.

July 16th-July 22nd: Use food coloring as paint to make my cat look like Pikachu. Bet on a winning horse. Bench press my exact weight. Win a goldfish then resell it for a profit.

July 23rd-August 13th (Day we return to school): Try to do all of the previous things I never got around to doing.

Whatever you have planned…be sure and have a cool summer!


Writer’s Block – 05/12/2012

Written on May 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm, by

Is it really May already? Whoa, that went by fast! I am coming to grips with the fact that I am almost a senior. Ever since my early childhood, high school seemed like the distant future, and throughout high school so far, I’ve looked at the seniors and wanted to be like them. And now, I’m just about there. Needless to say, I am excited. See, I’m one of those people that don’t necessarily focus on the present, sometimes to a fault. I’m looking ahead and wanting to take advantage of everything I see. And senior year of high school is where it starts! Change is in the air. Everything in my life is up for grabs. Now it’s my time to make my mark.

Senior year of high school is kind of the last little look back before you walk out the door. It will be a year spent reflecting on what I’ve accomplished, and looking forward to accomplish more. The college applications and SAT results are flowing, and I’m really getting ready for my encore, or victory lap. Everyone knows just how tough high school can be and it’s been incredibly so for me. Changing schools, leaving behind friends, family changes, etc. Pretty much high school has been tumultuous from the beginning. But senior year is when I circle the track of adolescence, and bid farewell.

I’ve been told all too many times, that the future isn’t always as great as it seems. But the idea of senior year in itself is amazing. What other time in your life is it okay to attend Senior Ditch Day, or the Senior Picnic, or the privilege of an actual photographer taking your Senior Portrait instead of the cafeteria lady with the button and the huge flash? Senior Year is just….better. Choosing what college I want to attend, or coming down with severe Senioritis and not doing any homework, senior year is the pinnacle of high school.  Senior year is symbolic of the star players last season before riding off into the sunset and I am so ready to do great things in this world. Let’s ride!


Writer’s Block – 05/04/2012

Written on May 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm, by

“The Odor”

You know, it’s fairly ironic. A website where a 12 year old can virtually ‘poke’ another, can also be one of the greatest catalysts for social change. Another website where I can follow the Kardashian’s shenanigans (Kourtney is my favorite) can also be the same venue where current events can turn into worldwide news. We all love our Facebook and Twitter (Follow my journalism career @shane_writes), but for years we’ve only viewed it as a recreational way of socializing. Facebook’s for catching up with old friends from high school, or in my case, my old middle school friends, and Twitter’s for getting an inside peek into the lives of our favorite celebrities. But not until now have we really used our statuses and Tweets as an outlet for change.

For instance, let me bring up Joseph Kony. This man has been running a rebellion group in Uganda since 1988. He uses Guerilla Warfare and kidnaps children to use them as soldiers in his effort to overthrow the Ugandan government. Now, I don’t mean to be that guy, but I’ve known about the atrocities he’s committing since 2009. But just recently, an activist put up a video on YouTube describing exactly what he was doing, and within two days, it had 10 million views. Along with these views came the reaction. I can’t tell you just how clogged my Facebook News Feed and Twitter Timeline was with the new slogans of “Kony 2012” and “Stop Kony.” America was going crazy over something that had been occurring for 24 years because of a YouTube video. The government, days later, sent a special task force team in to hunt him down. If that’s doesn’t demonstrate the power of social media, I don’t know what is…

While not to the magnitude of “Kony 2012”, the Trayvon Martin case has exploded too. If you weren’t aware, an innocent black teenager was murdered by a white neighborhood watchman, and it’s taken the attention of the country. Facebook and Twitter have all been sporting the “RIP Trayvon” motto, and now any news on the murderer’s trial goes viral nearly immediately.

So, what do I take away from all of this? It’s pretty simple. If Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and whatever other social media outlets are what it takes to popularize these events, then so be it! There’s still going to be that guy or gal saying that “I get all my news from the newspaper”, and that’s understandable, considering I write for one, but we must evolve as well. The world is going online, and if we don’t embrace that, we’ll be left behind. Anyways, it’s much better than hearing about Britney Spears shaving her head again.


Writer’s Block 04-27-2012

Written on April 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm, by

What is this world coming to? Recently, I was on Yahoo catching up on national headlines, when one of the top stories caught my eye. Apparently, a 19 year old girl in Texas was named the queen of her prom after telling all her classmates that she was dying from leukemia.  Her classmates donated over 50,000 dollars to a charity that she founded, named “Achieve the Dream”, and gave her 17,000 dollars worth of gifts. She missed the original prom due to her illness, so the school set up her own prom for her.  Now, here is the twist: She wasn’t ill.  Through an investigation, police have declared that she has allegedly been scamming her teachers, classmates and their parents for money.

Now, when I first read this, I wasn’t really sure what to think about it. Should I laugh, and say “Kudos”, or should I lose all hope for my generation? After letting it settle in for a while, I have determined it to be pathetic. The simple fact that someone has the audacity to do this, to guilt trip people at her school into naming her the prom queen, and donating money to a charity that she made up, makes me guffaw. What makes me sad is that this is not a huge surprise.  I mean, have you heard of 419 scam?  This elaborate plan is, in a nutshell, insane.  First world country citizens receive emails from some “Prince” in Nigeria or another impoverished country, and says that there is a large sum of money that is rightfully theirs, but that a dictators rules prevent them from accessing it.  So what they try to con you to do is advance sums of money in the hopes that you will receive a larger sum once the scammer receives his “rightful” money.  Eventually, you get nada, and they end up with your money.  Big surprise, right?

Overall, while this story gave me a good chuckle, I feel that old fashioned ambition has been tainted.  Whatever happened to the idea that you get out of it what you put into it? Seems no one can be trusted anymore, which saddens me since there are so many honest and worthwhile causes in the world today.  I hope the girl from Texas likes orange jumpsuits…


Writer’s Block 04-20-2012

Written on April 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm, by

Writer’s Block

                So, I got my drivers license last Thursday. I know, it’s pretty great huh? Well, in this mere week since I was recognized by the State of California as a licensed driver, more then just my means of transportation has changed. My family and friends seem to have less patience with me. It’s not that they just want me to drive more places for them, it’s that they seem to expect more from me. I have less of a leash, and their tolerance for my juvenile mistakes seems to have evaporated. And I’ve finally figured out why.  It’s not because of my license, but instead it serves as the icing on the hard to swallow cake of my maturation. I’m no longer a boy, people are going to be looking at me as a man.

“With great power comes great responsibility”-Uncle Ben from Spiderman. I have realized that I can no longer dream about what I want to be when I grow up, I have to know. I will be a senior in a matter of weeks, and it’s a harsh reality I have to face. I just want to know where my childhood meant. Nearly everyone reading this will have been an adult for over a decade, at least, but you must understand my position. I’m eager to get myself out in the world, to make my mark, but it’s coming so fast. What happened to the days where 20 dollars could buy me all the candy a boy could have wanted? Now all of my hard earned money goes towards gasoline, groceries, and school supplies. Right about now is the time where I look myself in the mirror, and truly understand the meaning of “Time Flies.” No longer can I just wake up, care-free, go outside and let the day take its course. Now everything seems to be moving at a lightning quick pace, with an agenda to fulfill.

All in all, I’m not trying to lament. I’m just wondering where all the time went. I only have a short time on this Earth, and it’s amazing how quickly it’s flying by. I want to make a difference in this world, and now’s my time to shine.


Writer’s Block 04-12-2012

Written on April 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm, by

You are not alone if you are filled with “fear and dread” each time Friday the 13th rolls around.

Here are some rituals that may keep you safe. . .

1.Walk around your house 13 times on Friday the 13th.

2.Hang your shoes out the window. (The stink will keep evil at bay).

3.Sleep with a mirror under your pillow for the first 3 Fridays before Friday the 13th comes.

4.Walk around the block with your mouth full of water. If you do not swallow it, you will be 100% safe on Friday the 13th.

5. Wear and/or eat garlic!


 Some trivia to at least make you laugh the day away…

1. According to Smithsonian Magazine “fear of the #13 costs American a billion dollars per year in absenteeism, train and plane cancellations, and reduced commerce on the 13th of the month.”

2. Fear of Friday the 13th dates back to Nordic Mythology. Many of their thirteenth Gods met with violent deaths, such as Loki, the trickster.

3. Airplanes do not have a 13th aisle.

4. Lizzy Borden uttered a total of 13 words at her trial.

5. Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.

6. Hotels rarely have a room number 13. Usually it is called 12a or 14. Same with floors of high rise buildings. Many elevators are without a #13 button. Highways sometimes will skip exit 13 altogether also.

7. The driver of Princess Diana hit pillar #13 at Place de l’Alma when she was killed in Paris, France.

8. Certain ocean liners will be held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger’s fears on Friday the 13th.

9. Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.

10. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck . Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names.



Writer’s Block – 03/30/2012

Written on March 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm, by

Most of us are fortunate enough to be passionate about something. Some people are wine connoisseurs, others live to ski.  I am a sports fanatic. My mother is an animal nut. She supports rescue groups in the US and Mexico. For my mom, I’m going to highlight two of these in my column this week.

The first one is local, but most people I talk to have never heard of them. The El Dorado County Humane Society is practically across the street from The Windfall, at 777 Pleasant Valley Road in Diamond Springs. Located in a former house, they are a combined cat rescue shelter and thrift store. I became familiar with them when I adopted my two kittens from a litter they saved. According to their Facebook page, EDCHS “… rescue and re-home cats, provide adoption services to the cats in our care, and provide help with low-cost spaying and neutering for both cats and dogs. Our long-term goal is to add back into our daily activities the rescue and re-homing of dogs.” Please stop by, visit their cats and kittens, and buy something from the Thrift Store to save lives.

Another group worth a shout-out is based in Cancun, Mexico. Tierra de Animales (or Help Mexican Dogs on Facebook) is a sanctuary for abused, sick and starving dogs in a most needy part of Mexico. Per founder and resident dog rescuer Ricardo Pimental, “Dogs in Mexico are not regarded highly, but for some reason, in Cancun, the abuse and neglect is the worst I’ve seen”. Ricardo and volunteers currently house over 170 dogs – some chained for so long they never learned to walk, others with treatable but painful diseases. They also host spay/neuter clinics and provide humane education in a part of the world where that’s rare. My family visited the sanctuary and of course, brought home a Meximutt who thinks he’s gone to heaven in his new life. Tierra de Animales has a few “hub” cities in the US and Canada where they send dogs to foster and adoptive homes. It would be a dream to develop a foster/adoption hub in El Dorado County.

Are you able to help save the life of a Mexican street dog? Could you help animals in our own community? Adoption, donation, volunteering or just spreading the word –  “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa


Writer’s Block – 03/22/2012

Written on March 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm, by

Many call it an art form. Many call it fighting a losing battle. But the majority of people call it simply “Hell”. Yes, this week, I’ll be talking about the dreaded job interview. Ever since we started working in cubicles, employers have been doing their best to filter through potential employees, and find the one candidate that will perform the job best. Even as a 16 year old, I’ve had job interviews of sorts, where making a good first impression is key to getting what I want. And especially in this economy, when there is a job opportunity, one must pull out all of their tricks from up their sleeve to nab the position. So, I compiled some little tips that you may not have heard that employers will love about you.

In nearly every first meeting between two people, a shaking of hands is in order. When you walk into the interview room and introduce yourself, you will more than likely shake the hand of the employer. Thus my first tip. Don’t ask me how, but scientists have somehow proven that a dry, firm handshake is subconsciously wanted by the employer. Instead of walking in and shaking their hand all sweaty, dry your hands, and hold a firm handshake, and the interview is off to good start.

Second, look like you belong. If the current employees wear suits, then don’t walk in wearing a polo and khakis.  Don’t stay up late watching television, and come into your interview with red, droopy eyes. Make sure you’re shaved and groomed. That goes for women too (chuckle). Arrive early, and know where you’re going to meet for the interview. Employers want to feel comfortable with the person they are interviewing, and these little things will help ease any awkwardness.

Lastly, act like you want to be there long term. Whether you just need the job to get back on your feet, always give off the impression that you are there for the long haul. Ask questions about who you will be working with, and how much room for growth there is. Employers will want to see they may have found a diamond in the rough with you.

Job interviews, especially in today’s economy, are tricky. There is so much competition for so little opportunities, so you must take advantage of the few chances you have. What I’ve always tried to remember when it comes to job interviews is pretty simple: You must go out of your way to get the job, the company isn’t going to go out of their way to find you. Be proactive. Make a great first impression, it could be your last!

Writer’s Block – 03/14/2012

Written on March 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm, by

Congratulations to all the contestants in our Writer’s Block challenge! Our second selection was contributed by local resident Karen Barb

Regulations, Regulations, Regulations!!!

“It’s annoying isn’t it? Oh, sorry, maybe I should introduce myself first, I am Karen Barb, and I would love to see our government listen to REAL people, like you and me, who actually believe that the Constitution is supposed to be followed. Sometimes I feel like the politicians would love to stick the Constitution in a museum, and say that it is too old to be relevant to today’s laws, such as the second amendment, and the need to have a search warrant in order to search your property. Other times, I feel like they want to burn the Constitution, and remove all remembrance of the freedoms we once had. Now, I am not saying that all regulations are bad, because that is not true, what I am saying is that we have to many. One such area is the area of housing regulations. One contractor told my father that he went to look at a foreclosed home that had a very low price. He was going to purchase and fix it, but when he looked at all the fees and regulations, he discovered that he would lose money on the home. I think that it is really sad when the fees cost more than the house and materials put together. One way to combat this is to elect responsible men and women to office, because they will make wise decisions. I hope that this article helped you learn some new aspects to this issue, because it is a very important issue to me.” ~Karen Barb

To Karen, you bring up a good point. A lot of why America started in the first place is to rebel against a corrupt government. But it seems that we’ve gotten away from that in recent decades. With so many Presidential scandals, it seems the responsibilities of being in government aren’t being taken seriously anymore. Most people think that a complete overhaul of government is the only solution. While removing our current government and starting anew sounds great, it’s not very pragmatic. So we only can make tweaks to our current system and hope it works.

Thank you! ~Shane Theodore

Writer’s Block – Taking Charge

Written on March 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm, by

Congratulations to all the contestants in our Writer’s Block challenge! Our first selection was contributed by local resident Mary Barb.

“Taking Charge”

   The first thing that a person should do when he/she is given a job or duty is to make sure that he/she understands the job and knows the expectations.  In order to be productive and meet those expectations, they must know the objectives. Without a goal or target, how is someone going to make it to the goal or hit the target?

To prepare for the new job or assignment, he/she should gather support by finding out who their boss is going to be and who will be their followers. The first question that they should ask themselves and their boss is, “How much authority I have in this position?”  They will need to consider their role models. “What have they done to become effective and successful? What about those leaders has made who they are in my eyes? What makes me want to be like them?” Those are the questions they should be asking themselves. Asking leaders is a good way to get insight. Something they will have to keep in mind is, what their experience is and what the area is that they need to grow the most, in.  Knowing how to delegate is essential because if they do not remember to delegate, they may wear themselves out and not be as productive.

  To be more effective, he/she as the leader must set goals. Without goals, they can not measure their successes or take notes on where improvement can be made.  There must be something to strive for before they can get their team working hard.  A leader must step back and look at the big picture. Understanding their purpose will help them be a more dynamic leader.  One of the most important things to keep in mind as a leader is, “if you don’t know, ask!” ~Mary Barb

Thanks Mary! Yes, I absolutely agree. One of the things that our society lacks is strong leadership, locally and nationally. Without a strong leader, all we have is a a bunch of followers, not knowing what to do in crisis situations. Just like in sports, few have ice water in their veins when crunch time rolls around. We need more leaders that step up to the task instead of shrinking away. ~ShaneTheodore



Writer’s Block – 02/24/2012

Written on February 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm, by

I have discovered the greatest medicine in the world. Now, we all have different ways of coping with things, right? When tragedy strikes, or when you’re just feeling kind of down, life has its ways of getting to you. So, what is this medicine I speak of? Its music. Music is greatest invention that man has ever created. I don’t need sliced bread, I don’t need a car, I don’t need a cell phone, just give me my iPod and some headphones and off I go.

When you plug in those headphones and press play, everything else fades away. You close your eyes, and disappear to an alternate universe. Every thought is clear, and every problem begins to sort itself out. I don’t know what it is, but music has that quality about it that everyone can appreciate. No matter whether you’re into country (gross), rap (gross), or rock and roll (ideal), it has the same effect. Music helps you block every problem that everyday life throws at you, and relaxes your brain. But that’s not the only benefit.

While I’d rather not, eventually we all have to take the headphones out, and the real world comes back. But you’re a different person now.  All of a sudden, all of your problems seem to be miniscule. You can now focus, get down to brass tax, and take care of the issues in your life. Simply by going to your happy place for a little while.

I’m just one person, but I know this for a fact: Without music, our lives would be so much less enjoyable. The simple beauty of harmony helps get us through the everyday troubles of life. So, if you’re stressed about a deadline (straddling the line of mine right now), calm down! Life is too short to waste it stressing. Go to a quiet place, put in those headphones, start tapping your foot, and drift away. Once you take them out, you will feel refreshed, and you will have gained some perspective. Now, excuse me while I get ready for my math test by listening to some good ole’ Led Zeppelin. Rock on.



Writer’s Block – 02/03/2012

Written on February 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm, by

Attention: Please put your cell phones on vibrate for the remainder of this column.
Ok, so now that we have that out of the way, let our feature presentation begin.

Close your eyes, and imagine a world where there are countless innovations, where the consumers every command is carried out by artificial intelligence. Now open your eyes. The world you imagined has appeared. But, “everything’s the same!”, you say. Yes, what was once seen as a fairytale is now reality. Technology has turned our society in a complete 180, and who knows what’s next. Sure, I could talk about hoverboards, flying cars, and maybe even someone creating the Fountain of Youth. But, what we may not realize, is that we have technology today that, used correctly, can fulfill more than just your grandfathers dream to quarterback his high school team again. We have access to technology that is changing the future as we know it, but you may not realize it. Let me highlight a just a few.

First, we have online learning. Online learning has been around has long as the Internet has, but never to this extent. Now, students can take accredited courses on the internet, and the amount of courses trumps that of any high school. A student who is unable to attend traditional classes due to personal or medical issues, can maintain their education by taking classes online, and that’s just the beginning. Mostly, online learning has been used as an alternative to direct instruction, but no longer. El Dorado Union High School District just recently unveiled their new school, the EDUHSD Virtual Academy at Shenandoah. This takes the idea of online learning and turns it into a full-time endeavor, where students can enjoy the full experience of school from their home. Through use of webcams for teacher-student interaction, and for teacher-class instruction, a student is never disconnected.

Then, we have the advancements in the health industry. From Louis Washkansky, the first heart transplant recipient, to Connie Culp, the first face transplant recipient, transplanting from the deceased to save lives is commonplace. But now, scientists have been able to perform brain transplants. No, you won’t get your whole brain removed and have another one popped in, but for those who have mental disabilities, scientists can put the parts of two brains together and, after recovery, they can function as one healthy brain. Amazing, right? Other advancements include bionic eyeballs, a pill containing a camera so that doctors can see inside the body without operating, and an anti-smoking vaccine.

So, while some of the things that we see in movies may not be invented in our lifetimes, we can enjoy what we do have right now. From changing the way our future generations learn, to helping keep their elders alive and well, technology has by no means hit a drought. I do want a lightsaber, though…