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News Archive

News Archive (6192)

Friday, 18 April 2008 01:17

You Have The Sticker… But Are You A Donor?

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slide13.jpgWe all remember the little pink dot on our driver’s license.  Historically, that little sticker signifies your intent to donate your organs upon death; however, placing the dot on your license does not place you on any donor registry.  Through the efforts of a local donor recipient, Judy Regnier, the City of Jackson has proclaimed April “DMV/Donate Life California Month.”  According to the proclamation, over 98,000 individuals nationwide and over 20,000 Californians are waiting for organ transplants.  Tragically, one-third of those will die waiting for a donation.  The proclamation provides statistics on how many lives can be saved by one single donation of blood, tissue, or organs, and encourages all Californians to register. 

Gisele Cangelosi, one of Jackson’s City Clerks, recently provided her brother, who has Leukemia, with a PBSC donation, which is a process similar to plasma donation, where the donor’s blood is filtered through a machine for several hours, to separate blood-forming cells.  Cangelosi says she “highly recommends” donating, and she “would do it again.” Anyone can sign up to donate when renewing their driver’s licenses or ID cards at the DMV, or at any time by going to  Signing up as an organ donor means that you are willing to donate your vital organs or tissue upon death to someone in need. The proclamation was accepted by employees of the Jackson DMV and will be placed on the wall for all citizens to view.

Friday, 18 April 2008 01:13

High Temperatures Come Early This Year

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slide16.jpgAfter a winter of erratic weather alternating between gusty breezes and heavy storms, this week signified the first signs of summer. Last weekend marked the first time the temperature has broken the 80 degree mark this year, noticeably early for Amador to start experiencing summer weather. Rainfall for the area is up from last year, but this season's total is well below the average. Nevertheless, officials had there doubts until recently that snowpack levels were high enough to properly fill Northern California’s Reservoirs. Along with the early onset of heat is an early fire season. Citizens are advised to pay special attention when starting controlled burns on their property.
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 02:34

Little Oaks Day Care Expansion

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slide25.jpgJackson Rancheria celebrated the expansion of its already-existing day care center last Friday. The “Little Oaks Learning Center” expansion doubles the existing square footage to 10,000 feet in order to accommodate a growing number of children the care center looks after. The center is “employee-based”, meaning that all of whom are related to employees of the Jackson Rancheria. According to Amy Hagood, manager for the center, children from 18 months to 13 years of age may attend. Even though many of the children attend school during the day, Little Oaks provides them with an after-school environment that encourages further education through social interaction, field trips and a special curriculum. “Teacher feedback tells us that they look forward to seeing Little Oaks children. Teachers are impressed with (many of the children’s) knowledge of letters and numbers, and their ability to work well in social groups,” says Hagood. The care center provides 5 buses to transport the kids back and forth. Hagood says that the Little Oaks of today was a dream of Margaret Dalton, founder of the Jackson Rancheria.
Monday, 07 April 2008 00:57

Home Schooling Controversy

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slide18.jpgA recent court ruling on home schooling has the state in an uproar.  On February 28th, a Los Angeles appellate court upheld a 1950’s law that says children age 6 to 18 must be enrolled in public or private school, or taught by a credentialed tutor.  This law was never really enforced until the recent ruling, which was in regards to a Los Angeles-area couple that home-school their eight children.  According to the Los Angeles Times, there were claims of abuse with two of the children, and their lawyers requested the court to rule that the two children physically attend school.  That request was denied, but upon being heard by the 2nd District Court of Appeal, the appellate panel decided to uphold the 1950’s law, apparently in order to force the children to attend school, where they could be monitored. 

 Richard Anderson, the Administrator of Mountain Oaks Charter School in Calaveras County, suggests that the appellate court upheld the ruling as a means to protect the children, a move he claims is “in the wrong direction.” Indeed, the ruling initially sent a wave of unease and confusion throughout California, and prompted a flurry of  online blogs and backlash from the home schooling community. According to Anderson, this ruling does not affect charter schools, as students meet with a credentialed teacher on a regular basis.  A local Pioneer mother who home schools her nine-year old daughter through Mountain Oaks charter school wasn’t worried about the ruling.  Her daughter meets with a credentialed teacher on a regular basis and participates in standardized testing.  The local mom says that she prefers home schooling because “I can design her education around her learning style” and “focus on areas that she enjoys.”  As part of her education, her daughter attends workshops and field trips, and is also involved in extra-curricular sports.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008 00:02

Drug And Alcohol Recovery Center Approved

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slide20.pngA Planned Development Amendment for a not-for-profit drug and alcohol recovery center sponsored by the Jackson Rancheria was approved Monday night at the Jackson Planning Commission meeting. The center will be located at 975 Broadway, which had previously been used as the Emmanuel Baptist Church. The center will be operational during the day and evening hours so that those who work or have other obligations can attend a meeting at their convenience, however, it is not an overnight facility. The intended purpose of the center is to focus on maintaining sobriety, and it will host 12-Step meetings, vocational skills and development, daycare, community workshops, and will rent out rooms for programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Alateen.

Tslide22.pngony Capasso, Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities for the Rancheria, was on hand to answer questions from the Commission and from the public. The biggest concern from the public seemed to be the location of the facility, which is directly across from a large scale apartment complex and is bordered by residential communities.  Other concerned citizens questioned a potential increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. But supporters of the center, including Kathy DuBois, reminded the public that drug and alcohol abuse is a “very serious problem here in the county,” and cited the rise in substance use in the high schools. 

Supporters argued that the facility would be centrally located to support a number of alcoholics who have lost driving privileges as a result of DUI’s. Commissioner Dave Butow stated that “people get caught up in the fear of the unknown”, but also explained that he thought the Rancheria should have done a “much better job of telling the surrounding community” of the center. The Commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the amendment, with Commissioners Devlin and Butow opposing.

Monday, 17 March 2008 01:53

Sutter Creek Planning Commission Talks Ordinances

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slide15.pngAt the Sutter Creek Planning Commission Meeting, Commissioners talked about upcoming revisions to the city’s sign and tree ordinances. Early in the meeting, the commission tabled a motion for a sign permit at the new Ridge Business Park on Ridge Road. The commissioners felt it necessary to fix some inconsistencies in the city’s multiple sign ordinances before they approved the permit, in order to avoid piecemeal signage at the site. Chairman Robin Peters stated that he thought that the sign ordinances could be brought into step in a couple of months, and he and fellow commissioner Cort Strandberg volunteered to be a part of a review committee. The discussion then turned to the city’s tree ordinance, which is also up for review. Recent complaints to city officials about a property owner cutting down an excessive number of trees have led to the realization that more “teeth” are needed in the city’s tree ordinance. The planning commission decided that it will begin review of that ordinance once the sign ordinance update is underway.

slide31.pngWayne T. Garibaldi has been named Regional President of Bank of Amador after Larry Standing announced his retirement on March 7, 2008. Larry Standing is the founding president and CEO of Bank of Amador, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this November. He helped facilitate the merger of Bank of Amador into American River Bank in 2004, creating a $574 million regional community bank.

Bank of Amador has three branches in Jackson, Ione and Buckhorn. Wayne T. Garibaldi has been named Regional will be responsible for the continued success of the Bank. Mr. Garibaldi has been with Bank of Amador since their doors opened in November 1983. He was previously Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of the Jackson Office. In addition to his responsibilities at the Bank, he is a Jackson City Councilman, Board Member of the Amador Economic Development Committee, Board Member of the Amador Community Foundation, Board Member of Hospice of Amador, Treasurer of the Italian Benevolent Society and Member of the Jackson Lions Club and Native Sons.

Thursday, 13 March 2008 10:36

Buena Vista Casino Responds To Board’s Decision

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Buena Vista CasinoRepresentatives of the Me-Wuk Indians and the proposed Buena Vista Casino released a statement yesterday outlining the Tribe’s position now that the Board of Supervisor’s did not approve the Intergovernmental Services Agreement. “We’re surprised Supervisors Forster and Boitano voted against the ISA after we agreed to their requested changes. We all saw Supervisor Forster’s comments in the press that he intended to vote for the agreement. We are not sure what happened between then and now to change his mind, but it’s clear that the decision now belongs to an arbitrator,” says John Tang, CEO of the Buena Vista Rancheria. Indeed, Supervisor Forster’s position is a surprise to many who expected him to vote in approval of the revised ISA he had proposed in a counter offer last week.

Buena Vista CasinoForster told the press that the position he conveyed publicly was a tactical part of the negotiation process, and that it was necessary to vote no and hold on to the county’s rights without giving the tribe a foothold. According with the Tribal Compact signed by the Buena Vista Tribe and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, each side will now present its best proposal to an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator must pick what they consider to be the better of the two proposals. This "baseball style" arbitration process is intended to force each side to present a fair and reasonable proposal. The compact states that the Tribe need not address alternatives that would cause it to forgo its right to engage in Gaming Activities authorized by the gaming compact.

Thursday, 13 March 2008 10:29

Local Business Unhappy With Hospice Of Amador Decision

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HospiceHospice of Amador is now working with a bay area healthcare services provider, sparking protest from a Jackson provider who feels the move betrays the organization’s duty to local service. Superior Healthcare, based in Martinez, is now on contract to provide many of Hospice of Amador’s services, including equipment, beds, and healthcare assistance. Hospice of Amador’s Executive Director Dan Riordan explained that the move will save a minimum of 22,000 dollars a year, and potentially larger amounts up to 45,000. “A business has to make good decisions.

HospiceIf I didn’t find ways to maximize services, the future of Hospice could be at risk. My job is to make sure we are doing the best for Hospice,” says Riordan. Vince DeStigter, CEO of Western Healthcare, a locally based company that has worked with Hospice of Amador since its inception in 1982, says the move is a betrayal to his company and other localities that have always supported Hospice. “When you garner donations from your community, these donations need to be spent back into the community,” says DeStigter. He believes Riordan’s decision is an example of poor business ethics. Riordan countered that, with an annual budget of 2 and a half million dollars, 75 percent is spent locally to support services ranging from system support to property taxes to payroll. “I want to make sure Hospice is here to stay,” says Riordan.

Riordan says he used extreme due diligence in researching Superior Healthcare, which included contacting four other Hospice organizations that work with the company. “However, if I can save 20,000 dollars but would potentially be putting people at risk, I won’t do it,” says Riordan. “We’re a local company and Hospice of Amador was founded locally,” says DeStigter. “I’ve worked with local families. I know them personally.”

Monday, 10 March 2008 00:17

New Report On Gold Rush Mines And Contamination

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Sierra Fund Gold Mine ReportsThe Sierra Fund, a non-profit foundation focusing on environmental conservation in the Sierra Nevada region, has just released a report addressing Gold Rush-era mining contamination of California's land and water. The Fund presented its findings to scientists and experts from state, local and federal agencies at the State Capitol last Tuesday. The presentation included an overview of health and environmental concerns caused by toxins such as mercury and lay out future strategies for cleanup.

Sierra Fund Gold Mine ReportsThe Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee and the Natural Resources Committee have legal jurisdiction over land and water in California, said Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin, chief executive officer of the Sierra Fund.  Gold miners used mercury to extract gold from mined materials and then discharged the waste into streams, where it accumulated in the sediment. Many bodies of water in Gold Mining regions – including areas of Amador County - contain high amounts of mercury. Though elemental mercury poses little risk to humans, excessive can cause damage to the nervous system of developing children, according to health experts. The report is now available to the public. For more on the Sierra Fund’s findings, visit their website at