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Mountain Democrat Newspaper Archive: August 17, 2000 - Page 1

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Publication: Mountain Democrat

Location: Placerville, California

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   Mountain Democrat (Newspaper) - August 17, 2000, Placerville, California                               See below A veteran with a mission How to manage a River Cat Auto B-1 Shockingly good news Jtonmtmn www.mtdemocrat.com THURSDAY AUGUST 17, 2000 Vol. 149 No. 131 20 Pages 2 Sections 1 Supplement I rotifnrnia'soldest newspaper.' H< -i< 4< ii- i lication since 1851." r. 604 BAY AREG MICRFLf-VW SMITH 1115 E Ara'UEZ AVE SUNhJYVALE CA 94086-3904 50c includes tax Dazzling dahlias Democrat photo by Joanne McCubrey THE ROADSIDE stand at Tomary's Tomatoes on Pleasant Valley Road east of Diamond Springs is virtually hidden in an ocean of color. Owners Mary and Tom Dohnke grow col- orful dahlias and other flowers as well as their vast variety of gourmet tomatoes. Former CDF captain held to answer on terrorist threats By MKGAN MAKSHACK Staff riler CAMERON PARK A former cap- tain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been held to answer on three felony counts of making terrorist ihteals against fellow employees. That means he'll face trial on the felonies. The El Dorado County District Attorney's office filed charges after Michael S. Pittman. 44. a resident of Cool, who worked as a duty captain at the Camilla Communications Center, was reported to have made a variety of threats over the course of months last year. The chaiges stem from an internal investigation originally conducted to dis- cover whether Pittman was inappropri- ately using his department computer. In the course of the investigation. Capt, Michael Wcger testified, several employ- ees revealed their concerns about Pittman's state of mind and allegedly aggressive remarks about taking up "to lethal action against colleagues. Pittman attorney told El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Thomas-A. Smith Monday that his client was in a bad way emotionally at the time. I see THREATS, page A-10 Rancheria plans new access road By KKICA BROOKS Staff writer Tensions between the Shingle Springs Rancheria and neaiby homeowners over road use issues could be at leasi partial- ly resolved if the uihe follows thiough on plans to build a new access road from Highway 50 to the reservation. The project would include new on and off ramps at Highway 50 and a road leading directly to the lanchena. elimi- nating the need for rancheria lesidents to drive through the Grassy Run subdivi- "We arc working with Caltrans on a pioject study repot t." said tribe spokesperson Dick Moody. MOody said the project could be com- pleted in as little as six months, although Caltr.ms spokesman Maik Dinger said a year would be the best case scenario. Use of the residential roads through Giassy Run has become an issue over the past year as the ranclieria has seen diastic gumth with the promise of a new casino. The effoit to build a casino on reservation properly has caused a lift to form between the tribe and nearby resi- dents, in a controversy that has been ongoing foryeais. I; Tuesday, workers from the tribe struggled to bring two mobile homes onto the reservation across the only road leading in or out of the community, under the strict guidelines set down by local homeowners. "The residents of El Dorado County have clearly expressed their desire to be as isolated as possible from any gaming see ACCESS ROAD, page A-10 Abstention in ED Hills creates deadlock on sales tax measure By HKATHKK LAKE Staff writer EL DORADO HILI S Folks here could not even agree to disagree on whether to support county Supervisor Sam Bradley's ballot measure seeking to use sales tax from new development to fund road capacity improvements. The board of directors of (he HI Dorado Hills Community Services District met foi an hour Monday in .1 special meeting, and were equally split, half in support and the other half abstain- ing. "li is not our job to ballot measures and give advisory opinions." said board member Connie Hastings, who abstained from voting. "1 think it is something that each individual voter needs to decide on their own, "There arc too many unanswered questions." she added. There seemed to be a lot of ambiguity amongst the board and the audience regarding the el feels that the measure would or would not have on El Dorado Hills. Norb Witt, board member, indicated that using sales tax revenue from new development, that would depend of road improvements to develop in El Dorado County in the first place, is an illogical see SALES TAX, page A-10 State mapping out mineral zones for Ei Dorado County By HEATHER LAKE Staff writer Even though there were extreme amounts of ore taken from El Dorado County during the Gold Rush, there is still an untapped supply of other valuable mineral deposits scattered about the county, experts say. Those untapped minerals are now the focus of the state Department of Conservation and its Division of Mines and Geology. Officials have mapped the sites of minerals, categorizing them in terms of economic viability, and these maps were on display Aug. 9 at a work- shop held in Placcrvillc. The maps and report were preliminary drafts, subject to change pending addi- tional information; however, the work- shop was the only opportunity for public comment. "These are scientific reports and not said John Parrish, executive officer with the State Mining and Geology board. "The public review is held in order to sec whether there is any- thing significant that is being left out. This is kind of a public proofreading ses- sion once the report is done it is done." State mining officials say they are con- cerned that with growth in El Dorado County large subdivisions or buildings such as schools and hospitals could hin- der or thwart the mining potential of land areas with concentrated mineral deposits. Once the study and reports are com- plete, the information will go to the state Mining and Geology board and then to El Dorado County so that it can incorporate the findings into its General Plan, using it in the decision-making process regarding building permits and other land-use activ- see MINERAL ZONES, page A-10 Local vet fighting to preserve memory of Vietnam sacrifices .VIETNAM VETERAN RICHARD bms works to preserve memorials Sacramento and Angel Fire, N.M. "But we didn't just stop the vandalism. We 1 significantly increased public awareness of the memorial's importance with the publicity our work generated from local and national media. During the six month watch, over two' million dollars poured 'into the memorial Richard Ottis By GEORGE LLOYD Staff writer A 1989 visit to the uncom- pleted Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento to confirm the death of his child- hood friend led Pollock Pines resi- dent Richard Ottis on a mission. "When I learned of the combat death of my boyhood friend Peter, I couldn't believe it, so I went looking for his name on the memorial. I found it and discov- ered at the same time that the memorial was being regularly vandalized." Ottis, 52, who served as a hel- icopter door gunner in South Vietnam's Quan Tri Province dur- ing 1970 went on to organize the California Vietnam Vets Memorial Watch Association, a group of 450 men and women, veterans and non-veterans, to pro- vide around-the-clock security at the memorial site. "We had two-person teams, working four-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, from June 17th through November 4th. The vandalism stopped." Ottis said Placervillc Post 2680 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars provided his group with invalu- able assistance. "To keep watch at the site we had to come up with a half-mil- lion dollars worth of liabili- ty insurance. Post 2680 extended their million dollar policy to cover us, and for their help they received the Thomas Jefferson Award for community involvement." For his orga- nization's efforts, Ottis received a cer- tificate of recog- nition for com- munity involve- ment from the Human Housing Commission of the city and county of Sacramento. "But we didn't just stop the van- said Ottis. "We signifi- cantly increased public awareness of the memorial's importance with the publicity our work generated from local and national media. During the six month watch, over two million dollars poured into the memorial fund." But Ottis' connection with the memorial didn't stop with the ces- sation of vandalism. Three years ago, Ottis had a run-in with then Gov. Pete Wilson, when the memorial need- ed some repairs. "I got a call from the artist telling me that the needed for repairs to the memorial was not available. We had earlier set sea MEMORIAL, page A-10 VIETNAM MEMORIALS In Sacramento, toft, and Angel Firt, N.M., right, have benefited from the work of Richard Ottis and his organizations.   

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