Monday, August 31, 2015

Will Durst Comedy Night - Sun Oct 11

The Amador Democrats are sponsoring a comedy night with political satirist Will Durst at the Volcano Union Inn on Sunday, Oct. 11.

Tickets are $52 (general seating) or $62 (priority seating). The ticket price includes a full dinner catered by the Volcano Union and the live comedy show.  Doors open at 5:00, dinner at 5:30, show at 6:30. The dinner and show is at the Volcano Armory Hall, which is next door to the Union Inn.

If you don't know Will Durst, visit:

For tickets, send a check to ACDCC, P.O. Box 924, Sutter Creek, CA 95685, mention the number of tickets and "Durst" in the memo line.  We will mail the tickets to you (be sure the mailing address is on your check or you include it with the check).

This should be a fun evening and it will benefit the Amador Democrats as we gear up for next year's elections.

Caryl Callsen, Chair
Amador Co. Dem. Central Comm.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Email Thread: Re: SR 16 relinquishment proposal : Request for Governor Brown's veto

Below is an email thread I've been tracking from John Gedney, Amador's Executive Director of the ACTC. In the spirit of community media and the principle of "Transparency", I wanted to publish this thread for Amador County voters:
Bold added for clarity.


Dear Mr. Martinez, 
Supervisor Richard Forster, Supervisor John Plasse, and I appreciate the opportunity to have met with you on July 31st regarding our concerns with AB 652. Unfortunately, as you are probably aware, the Bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday without amendments to protect interregional travel and will soon arrive at the Governor's desk for his signature.  Most disappointing was the fact that the action served to exclude from the formal record over 2,000 signatures and over 500 comments we received in opposition to AB 652.  

I am attaching those signatures and comments we have received to-date that testify to the interregional functionality of SR 16 and I urge you to ask Governor Brown to protect interregional travel on this life-line route and veto AB 652. 


John Gedney, Executive Director
Amador County Transportation Commission

On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 3:07 PM, John Gedney <> wrote:

Hi Matt,                                                                             

Thank you for continuing to keep Senator Berryhill informed of our concerns.  As you know, Supervisor John Plasse and Supervisor Richard Forster met with Michael Martinez from Governor Brown’s office last Friday.  We had a good discussion and provided copies of the on-line petition and comments we have received in opposition to the AB 652 proposal.  I hope you have had a chance to take a look at the signatures (sorted by address) and comments, as we feel this represents the best argument that SR 16 serves an important interregional functionality that should be preserved into the future. 
With Mr. Martinez, we reiterated our position that ACTC (and 33 other counties represented by RCRC) would drop our opposition to AB 652 if Assemblyman Cooley would include the word “interregional” as we proposed in the two (2) amendments regarding design standards and traffic studies.  This is the same request we made during testimony before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

We understand Senator Berryhill’s reluctance to intervene on this issue on our behalf, since some of his District includes portions of Sacramento County, but the vast majority (in area and population) of his District covers rural areas like Amador County – from Bear Valley south all the way through Yosemite to Death Valley.  Senator Berryhill should, if anyone, understand our concerns for interregional travel of goods and people from isolated rural areas into more urbanized areas. 

Senator Berryhill's District also covers Turlock and Fresno – like Sacramento – the only major urban areas that can be accessed by businesses and residents from places like Coarsegold and Oakhurst, Mariposa and El Portal, Groveland and Sonora.  If a similar proposal was made for a portion of SR 140 into Merced, how would Mariposa residents' livelihoods be affected?  What about a section of SR 108/120 into Oakdale and Modesto and interregional impacts to residents of Sonora?  The District also covers Angels Camp, Copperopolis, Murphys and Arnold, places where the closest route to an urban area is SR 4.  What if SR 4 was being relinquished in Farmington due to massive development plans there, wouldn't Calaveras County interregional travel be affected?  These hypotheticals could actually happen if the AB 652 precedent is enacted - even extending to the extreme scenario where developments could compel relinquishments along SR 140 in Merced and on SR 41 outside Fresno causing delays for trips to Yosemite.

We need Senator Berryhill's support now to preserve interregional travel on our lifeline for transit, commerce, tourism, and health issues and ensure this won't be replicated elsewhere.  We are concerned that the Senate Appropriations Committee may vote on August 27th like the Assembly Appropriations Committee did before – in unanimous support.  We ask Senator Berryhill to consider the precedent-setting nature of this proposal and ask that AB 652 be pulled from the Consent Agenda and placed under Regular Business in order that the 1500+ signatures and 500+ comments in opposition can be placed into the record.
Thank you,

On Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 12:30 PM, John Gedney <> wrote:
Hello Everyone,
We had a final tally at the Amador County Fair of 336 signatures. That number has been far surpassed by the on-line petition that began on Monday afternoon. As of this morning, in just a day and a half, we have received over 1,000 signatures and the number continues to grow.  Along with the signatures, people have also left hundreds of comments - all STRONGLY united against AB 652

These comments and signatures are not confined to residents of affected foothill communities, but are also coming from places beyond, including Rancho Murieta, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Galt, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, the City of Sacramento, and yes, from Wilton, Sloughhouse, Herald, Mather, and other communities in Sacramento County, too.  And, the comments are not confined to the Central California region, but are also coming in from concerned citizens throughout the U.S.

The comments all share similar concerns.  No public input.  No appropriate planning process.  And, no proactive work on the part of elected representatives at the State level in recognition of the serious potential impacts to people's lives and livelihoods.

If you've already sent in a veto request letter from your agency - thank you !  If you haven't, there's still time.  We are currently trying to schedule a meeting with Governor Brown's staff - hopefully before the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing - sometime in mid-to-late August.  I would invite you to read some of the comments on-line from citizens who reside in your jurisdiction to glean additional content for your letters.

Please get in contact if we can help with anything and please keep getting the word out.

Thank you for your help !

On Jul 27, 2015, at 4:43 PM, John Gedney <> wrote:
Hello Everybody,
I'd like to give you an update on the signature drive petition requesting Governor Brown's veto of AB 652.  In just a few days, at last week's Amador County Fair, the petition drive easily garnered HUNDREDS of signatures from people voicing their opposition to the Caltrans plan to relinquish SR 16 to Sacramento County.

If you were unable to sign the petition during the Fair, we have uploaded an electronic version on the ACTC website and respectfully ask for your support (

We are hoping for the opportunity to meet with Governor Brown's legislative staff before AB 652 lands on his desk. We would be extremely grateful for your support if you could provide a letter asking for his veto - a sample letter is available on the ACTC website.  Also, anything you could do to get the word out to inform concerned citizens is greatly appreciated.
Thank you again for your support !

On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 9:41 AM, John Gedney <> wrote:
Hello Everyone,
Thank you for your support for the effort to amend the proposed SR 16 relinquishment legislation (AB 652-Cooley) as we attempt to protect interregional travel on this long-standing and historic highway.

Your past support and letters were helpful as the bill made its way through the legislative process.  Unfortunately, despite appeals from California assembly members and senators asking for collaboration, Sacramento County continues to refuse to engage in good-faith negotiations and refuses to consider impacts to interregional travel on this Interregional Roadway System (IRRS) route.  With plans for 55,000 new homes and 15 new traffic signals, it's obvious that there will be significantly more congestion and negative impacts to interregional travel time on this route.

The bill is now scheduled before the Senate Appropriations Committee in August and we expect it will pass.  At that point, it will land on the Governor's desk for his signature. 

We feel there is justification to ask for Governor Brown's veto of the bill in light of Sacramento County's intransigence in the face of numerous appeals for coordination and negotiation.  Further, we feel Caltrans has an obligation (as the only State agency vested with the responsibility) to protect interregional travel on legislatively-mandated IRRS routes.

In its decision to support relinquishment, Caltrans argued that the route "could be best managed at the local level".  But, at the local level, Sacramento County refused to include the word "interregional" in any of the bill's adopted amendments.  We feel that this refusal undermines and invalidates Caltrans argument for relinquishment.

During the Amador County Fair in the next few days, we will be asking fairgoers to support our effort by signing a petition requesting Governor Brown's veto.  Kamps Propane will have a booth on the main avenue and has generously offered to host our display and petition.  The veto request letter is attached below. 

We also respectfully would ask for your support again in the form of another letter from your agency/jurisdiction addressed specifically to Governor Brown asking for his veto.

Please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any concerns or questions.

Thank you for all of your support with this !

Friday, August 21, 2015

Amador residents speak out against AWA rate increase

The Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA) delivered over twice the signatures needed for a referendum requiring the Amador Water Agency (AWA) to rethink their latest water rate increase. This referendum will suspend the July 21st approved 56%-137% rate increase while the AWA board decides whether to rescind their decision or to let Amador voters decide whether the increase is fair.
RPA used no paid signature gatherers, instead organizing over 100 local volunteers from Ione to Buckhorn, some with their own teams of workers.

With the coordination of local businesses like WalMart, SaveMart, Ione Market, Pokerville Market and Grocery Outlet, RPA was allowed to table petitions, rate information and even offered voter registration or change of address forms. Over 2,600 concerned citizens signed the petition, including business owners, students, professionals, retirees, and several local elected officials.

After the county Elections Department certifies the referendum by verifying the adequate number of signatures, AWA must follow the voters’ request to either eliminate the rate increase altogether or to send the increase to the ballot for Amador voters to decide.
Although not required, the AWA directors could decide to hold a special election at a greatly increased and unnecessary cost to ratepayers. Action could be taken at the 8/27 AWA meeting.
RPA is encouraged to see Amador residents actively protecting their rights. Amador voters still have the right to change or stop elected officials when they feel they are wrong or unfair.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Amador GOP presents Author Loren Spivack, "Free Market Warrior" - Tues Aug 25

Amador County Republicans are pleased to announce:
 Loren Spivack ​- Free Market Warrior  - Author THE NEW DEMOCRAT and THE GORAX
 Amador County Republican
  Event will be August 25th at  6:30 PM
  12275 Martell Road
  Jackson CA.
 A captivating speaker who has educated and entertained Tea Party,
Republican Party and all others who wish to learn more about Free Market.

You will:
Fast-track your economic literacy:
Discover what most citizens and politicians alike don’t know about Free Market Economics.

The Free Market Warrior Economic Literacy
  1. Can you explain why some tax cuts (Bush’s second term, Obama’s proposed) do absolutely nothing to stimulate the economy, while others (Reagan’s, Bush’s first term) provide a great stimulus?
  2. Were you taught in High School that the federal government needs to protect consumers from corporate monopolies that would otherwise be able to charge whatever they wanted?
  3. Were you taught that Roosevelt’s New Deal saved the country by intervening in the economy and “stimulating” demand?
  4. 4.  Did you know that the biggest problem with American healthcare (one that is financially hurting us all) is that there is far too much insurance coverage?
  5. Would you be surprised to learn that the economic theories espoused by the current administration and congressional leaders were conclusively disproved more than 100 years ago?

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Message from Arlo "Chip" Lusby (host of Motherlode Ragtime and other music events in Amador)

Dear Ragtime Friends;

For the last 16 years I have had the pleasure of supporting the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival -- and the wonderful, talented performers who attend this joyous gathering -- by providing housing and at times tuning five vintage pianos for practice in my Skunk Hollow Victorian Gardens home.  I take much joy offering the venue for our celebratory after-glo parties and, in the past few years, hosting our Thursday night pre-event party.

I've purchased countless CDs and folios, and have been gifted several more from many of you.

Last night, while researching a possible missing page from Tom Brier's  composition, "Skunk Hollow Rag", I turned to my copy of his folio for information.

I couldn't find it!

Nor could I find any of his other folios or, for that matter, any of my treasured folios of friends who have performed here.

Hannon Book of Scales is missing, too.

Somebody wants to study and build skills.

It is my fervent hope that these mementos will be returned to me this Ragtime Festival, or that someone can shed some light on who the "perp(s)" is/are. It would restore faith in welcoming my Ragtime friends back into my home.

Perhaps they were "borrowed" to make copies, or some such. If not, I'll have to replace them and remove my home from any future use as a venue for what everyone says is terrific for our after-glo gettogethers. It would be a shame to do this, but I feel that I have to protect my heart and hearth and home from such nefarious acts.

Who are my real friends? The answer will come from the Ragtime community.

Best .... Arlo Lusby

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

America Turned a Big Page of History on June 26, 2015

By Ruth Gottstein, Publisher Emerita, Volcano Press
One Senior’s Views Column, Upcountry News, August 2015
Published by permission of the Author
From the early morning news of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, to President Obama singing Amazing Grace at the funeral honoring nine people murdered at the church in Charlotte, South Carolina, the day of June 26, 2015, had me in tears.

The Supreme Court announcement that all citizens are equal in their pursuit of happiness and the U.S. President sharing national sadness with the whole world was releasing—thereby enabling us to move on.

I say this because my adult life of activism so often focused on the rights of women, minorities, gays and lesbians, La Raza, and more.   I was the publisher of Glide Publications in San Francisco until 1973.  Glide Publications later became Volcano Press when I moved the company to Volcano in 1984.

When I worked in 1972 to publish Lesbian/Women by Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, then in 1976 to publish Battered Wives by Del Martin, both books covered topics which had barely been addressed in book form.

As a native of San Francisco, I moved to Amador County full time in the early 1980s, although we had vacationed here as a family since the early 1950s. Eventually, we bought property in 1964.  I traveled globally, both from our home in San Francisco, as well as from Amador, which contributed to my personal growth and sense of adventure.
During this lifetime, I have been very fortunate.  I was married to a supportive man who always encouraged what I was doing.  Together we raised three wonderful kids.  Last, but not least, I have enjoyed numerous adventure trips with my four grandkids, and the activities of four great-grandkids.

Publishing has provided me the good fortune to attend national and international book festivals and conferences.  My husband and I were able to travel to places about which we had only heard or read.  Today I am publisher emerita of Volcano Press, which continues to thrive.

In my 93 years, I have seen and experienced many changes, but it was incredible to wake up on the morning of June 26, 2015, and read about the momentous decision by the Supreme Court, and later that day, to hear our president sing Amazing Grace.

As always, I welcome feedback from any and all of you!  Please contact me by email at

Ruth Gottstein