Sunday, 25 October 2015 19:33

Butte Fire Debris Removal Update

Debris removal work continues in the western and central Jesus Maria areas as well as in the Old Gulch, Wendell, and Moke Hill areas. Twelve debris removal crews are now in the field. Seventeen sites of the 598 properties in the debris removal team have now been cleaned. Three erosion control crews are now engaged in actions to control erosion and runoff concerns, pre-debris removal.

State and Federal EPA representatives have reported the removal of household hazardous waste materials from 508 properties throughout the damaged areas. Air and soil continue to be sampled to ensure contaminants are contained, with no airborne contaminants detected to date. Residents and workers continue to be cautioned as to the traffic risks associated with the number and types of vehicles in these areas. Long range debris removal schedules are not yet available for specific properties, although more accurate estimates should be available in the coming weeks.

Residents are reminded that the deadline for signing up for the State/County debris removal program is November 6, 2015. Detailed information is now available for those interested in self-certification of the debris removal from their property if they are not participants in the State/County program. 

Have a good weekend.

Jason Boetzer, REHS
Environmental Management Agency Administrator
Director of Environmental Health/Air Pollution Control Officer
Calaveras County Environmental Health Department
891 Mountain Ranch Rd.
San Andreas, CA 95249

(209) 754-6399

I would have preferred to do this in a way that wouldn't create so much stir, but I suppose there is no way to accomplish that. I confided my leanings to a few people and given the leaks, it appears I should have chosen more wisely.

It is true that I have decided not to run for another term. A host of personal responsibilities, as well as a growing distaste for politics, have brought me to this decision. It is a decision that I do not take lightly, but feel should be made early enough in the election cycle to allow for interested candidates to participate. The selection of our representatives should not be a coronation by those with political influence, but instead a thoughtful and informed decision on the part of the electorate.

I am very thankful for all the support over the last seven years and will assure you that I will serve out the remainder of my term with dedication and dignity. It has been my pleasure to have served the citizens of Amador and I will look back over my time here with at least a little sense of accomplishment albeit far less tangible than I prefer."


- John Plasse, Amador County Supervisor, Dist. 1

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 00:20

Butte Fire Fundraiser Happening Oct. 22

On Thursday October 22 at the Kennedy Mine in Jackson, there will be a Music and Comedy event called Rock ‘N Relief to raise funds for the Butte Fire Fund, administered by the Amador Community Foundation.
The Jackson Lions Club, Amador County Association of Realtors and the Calaveras Association of Realtors have all endorsed this event.



Besides attendance at the event, we are seeking anyone that would like to volunteer in any way, donate funds or prizes, or simply pass the word.



Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the Valley Fire in Lake County or the Butte Fire in Calaveras County. President Obama’s federal disaster declaration of September 22 opens the way for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for people who were affected by the fires, but who do not qualify for regular UI benefits.


DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to jobless workers and the self-employed whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of the fires. Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA through the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The deadline for filing claims is Oct. 26, 2015.

“There are so many who have lost so much due to the fires,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning, Jr. “At EDD, we’re here to lend a helping hand to those individuals as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

DUA applies to losses beginning the week of Sept. 13, 2015, and benefits are up to $450 a week for up to 28 weeks.


The assistance will go to a wide range of people, including:

  •   The self-employed and business owners who cannot operate their businesses.


  •   Workers who have exhausted their regular UI benefits.


  •   People who cannot reach work because of the fire.


  •   People who suffered an injury in the fire that prevents them from working.


  •   Workers whose worksite was damaged or destroyed.


  •   Employees of a business that received most of its revenue from another entity that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster.


  •   Newly hired workers who were prevented from beginning work.


  •   People who became the head of their households because of a death

    caused by the disaster.


  •   Workers who did not earn enough money to qualify for regular benefits.


  •   People who were unable to qualify for a regular state funded unemployment



    Self-employed individuals filing DUA claims must provide evidence of self-employment, such as tax returns and business records which can be obtained from banks or government entities, or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their business.


    The fastest and easiest way for people to apply for DUA is to use EDD’s online application, "eApply4UI”, at The application is available in both English and Spanish.

English: 1-800-300-5616

The EDD administers the federal disaster-benefits program for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Claimants can also file for DUA by phone between 8 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday throughFriday:

CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital, Anne Platt talks about the hospital's role in the Butte-Amador Fire. 1 of 2

CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital, Anne Platt talks about the hospital's role in the Butte-Amador Fire. 2 of 2

(Sutter Creek)  The Amador Water Agency has notified proponents of a referendum of the legal insufficiency of their petition, according to a letter released yesterday from the Water Agency to the Ratepayers Protection Alliance (RPA). As a result, the Agency will not rescind recently-approved drought rates on water service, nor will it put the issue up for a county-wide vote.


            The letter formally denies certification of the referendum, advises the RPA that this referendum will not be placed on the ballot for a county-wide election, and states the reasons for rejection. The letter also makes clear that a referendum cannot require the AWA Board of Directors to rescind the temporary drought surcharge if doing so would cripple the Water Agency’s ability to collect sufficient revenues to provide water service to its 10,000 Amador County customers.


Since Governor Brown’s water conservation order went into effect, AWA has seen a 33 percent drop in water sales which translates into an estimated loss of over $1.2 million per year needed to provide safe, reliable water for homes, businesses and fire protection. 


The RPA has demanded that the Water Agency rescind a July 21, 2015 resolution that put the temporary drought surcharge and new water rate structure in place, and collected signatures on a petition for a county-wide vote on the matter.


            “Operating the county’s water systems with a 33 percent drop in sales is simply not sustainable. The temporary drought rates are helping to keep the systems maintained until the conservation order is lifted,” said AWA General Manager Gene Mancebo.


About 1% of AWA customers objected to the drought charge and new water rate structure under the state’s Prop. 218 notification process. The drought rate is structured so that customers who conserve water will have very little increase in their monthly water cost over pre-drought water bills.


            Today’s letter to the RPA from AWA Clerk of the Board Cris Thompson rejects the RPA’s petition due to legal errors but Mancebo says the question goes beyond legal details.


“AWA has a responsibility to provide essential health and safety services to the community – and we will fight anything that jeopardizes our ability to serve our customers with clean, safe water and provide fire protection,” Mancebo said.

Looking for Craft Booths and Chowder Entries for this year’s Volcano Chowda Chomp!

Come to Volcano’s Armory Hall on Sunday, November 1st for the Fourth Annual Chowda Chomp. Private and commercial competitors from local homes and restaurants will serve up their favorite chowder for tasting and voting.

The Chomp begins at 11 a.m. and the tasting (and eating) continues until 2 p.m., with awards announced at 3 p.m. Last year, the Chowda Chomp attracted more than 500 people who enjoyed great chowder, good fellowship, great music and an all-around fine afternoon.

This year promises the same: crisp fall weather, incredible chowders of all kinds, local arts and crafts vendors, good fellowship and a delightful day at Armory Hall. The event is sponsored by the Volcano Community Association and the Volcano Union Inn + Pub.  The cost is $5 per person. For questions, please call 209-296-7711.

The weather is predicted to be bright and dry, and this year several tasting stations and local arts and crafts vendors will set up inside the Armory Hall. Chowders of all kinds will be available for tasting: clam chowder of course can be expected, but corn chowder, seafood chowders, and recipes of all kinds will be there for tasting.

Proceeds support the Volcano Community Association Scholarship Fund, which every year provides financial support the Volcano high school graduates who will continue their education at an accredited university, college or trade school, or in military service.

In nearly 20 years of service, more than a dozen young women and men from Volcano have received support for their education beyond high school from the VCA Scholarship Fund. Several yearly community events provide financial support for the fund.

Armory Hall is located in the center of Volcano, on the corner of Consolation and Emigrant streets, just across from the Union Inn + Pub. It is a century-old community hall that was completely renovated four years ago into a 21st-century facility designed to serve hundreds of guests at a time. Armory Hall is fully ADA compliant and ADA parking is provided.

For more information, call the Ed Tracey at Volcano Union Inn + Pub at 209-296-7711.

“What a fabulous night for Hospice!” said Dan Riordan, Executive Director and “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the sponsors, artists, volunteers, merchants and everyone in attendance who helped make the 17th Annual Art on the Lawn “Celebrate Life” fundraiser such an enormous success for our agency.  With outstanding support by our community we were successful raising over $50k for the first time ever! As I announced the night of the event, Hospice will be allocating 50% of the proceeds to aid our hospice patients, families, staff members & volunteers who have been displaced and affected by the Butte Fire.  On behalf of the entire Hospice of Amador & Calaveras family, the Board of Directors, our patients and families, thank you for your overwhelmingly generous support this year for our hospice mission as well as for our hospice family affected by this devastating wildfire”.

The ultra elegant event was held for the third time at the gorgeous, Tuscan inspired Karmѐre Winery, thanks to Todd Pickens, Marilyn Hoopes and Hayley Hoopes, who once again generously offered and donated the use of their stunning venue for our event. “This kind of generosity allows us to provide an exceptionally special event for our community and also allows us the opportunity to raise the most money for our mission”.  Dan adds, “We were thrilled to once again have sold out the venue and we were truly overwhelmed by the level of participation and generosity shown to Hospice”.  


The champagne and local wine flowed, the sunset and weather cooperated beautifully, the authentic Italian cuisine generously donated by Teresa’s Place was outstanding and everyone enjoyed Jack Riordan & Ellen Edwards’s special live jazz musical performance. We appreciate the local artists who again generously supported this event with their donations of original artwork ranging from visual arts to ceramics, welded lawn art, photography, rich textiles and more! 


Our “Amore Major Sponsors” of the 17th Annual Art on the Lawn event included the Jackson Rancheria, Karmѐre Winery, Sutter Amador Hospital, and Teresa’s Place and our “Bella Major Sponsors” included the American Legion Ambulance Service, Assistcare Communities of Amador, Mark Twain Medical Center and Thomi’s Café.  Special thanks also to the following fine businesses who donated their time, expertise and/or business to support this year’s event: Karmѐre Winery – event venue; Ledger Dispatch - graphic design & layout; Teresa’s Place – catering; Thomi’s Café – rentals; G.E.M. Electric - lighting and electrical, Bill Cruit - web design, KVGC 1340 AM Radio - PA system, Dave Hammond –auctioneer and to Larry Angier for donating the usage of his beautiful sunset Cooper Hill sunset photo for the event materials.  


We will post the event program on our website at soon and are making people aware of sponsorship through Facebook and other channels. We are encouraging people to shop locally and use local services whenever possible as we are deeply indebted to our loyal sponsors who continue to support us year after year. 


Hospice has been providing quality end of-life care to patients and families to Amador and Calaveras Counties for over 30 years. Each year more and more patients and families rely on Hospice for care and support during this extraordinary time. The Art on the Lawn fundraiser is the largest of the year and enables Hospice to meet its mission of providing end-of-life care to everyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay.

Reminder: the free Flu Mist clinics will be conducted at all Amador County Schools throughout the month of October. The first clinic will be held on October 5th at Jackson Junior High School and Jackson Elementary School.

Only those students with signed parent permission slips will be given the Flu Mist. The flu clinic schedule and forms are available on the individual school websites, or the district website at Once you have filled out the forms, please have your student turn them into their school office as soon as possible. Thank you.

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