Friday, October 24, 2014

10-23-14 Partial solar eclipse photo by Jack Forkner

(Note the sun spots...not a dirty lens.)

Judge Hugh Swift for Superior Court Judge Dept 2

Judge Hugh Swift’s 29 year legal career includes a diverse background uniquely qualifying him for the position he currently holds – Calaveras County Superior Court Judge.  As recently noted by retired Judge Douglas Mewhinney, “Judge Swift’s breadth of experience is indispensable in a two-judge court.”
For the first 13 years of his career, Judge Swift practiced civil litigation in Southern California.  In 1999 he moved to Calaveras County and began his career with the California courts working as a research attorney for the Amador Superior Court, soon thereafter promoting to the position of Court Executive Officer.  In 2006 Judge Swift was appointed to serve as a Superior Court Commissioner. As a commissioner, Judge Swift presided over Child Support and Small Claims cases on a weekly basis. The decisions he made in those cases had the same legal force and effect as the decisions he currently makes as a judge. In December 2013, Judge Swift was appointed to the Calaveras Superior Court after a lengthy and thorough vetting process by the California State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE).  A process only judges who are appointed by the Governor are required to go through; which is designed to determine an applicant’s qualifications, character and judicial demeanor
Currently, Judge Swift hears criminal, civil, traffic, family law, probate, domestic violence and civil harassment cases.   Since taking the bench, Judge Swift has presided over felony and misdemeanor jury trials, in addition to civil, family law and probate court trials.
Judge Swift hears all Drug Court cases and is working with the Court’s justice partners and veteran’s advocates to establish a Veterans Treatment Court.  More than 20 Superior Court Judges, including Judge John Martin and retired Judge Mewhinney of the Calaveras Superior Court endorse Judge Swift.  In addition, he enjoys the support of educators, health care professionals, small business owners and members of the community.
Judge Hugh Swift has lived in Calaveras County for 15 years, where he is raising his children and is active in his community. Judge Swift was a partner in Newsome Harlow Wine and a member of the board of directors of Mind Matters Clinic in Murphys.  He enjoys spending time hiking, hunting, riding horses and watching his daughters dance and play soccer.
Judge Swift has not sought the endorsement of any political party for this non partisan position.

Board of Supervisors 10-28-14 meeting agenda

To view the 10-28-14 Board of Supervisors meeting agenda CLICK HERE

Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at Applebees

Possible rain Saturday

  • 10-24-14
  • Today Sunny, with a high near 82. East northeast wind 7 to 9 mph becoming south in the morning.
  • Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. Southeast wind around 9 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
  • Saturday A 40 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 71. South wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
  • Saturday Night A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light south southwest in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
  • Sunday A 20 percent chance of showers before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. Calm wind becoming west northwest 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.
  • Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 47.

Calaveras Planning Commission 10-23-14 meeting video

To view the 10-23-14 Planning commission meeting video CLICK HERE

Video of Calaveras Planning Commission, Calaveras County Water District, and Calaveras Board of Supervisor’s meetings graciously supplied by Calaveras Public Access TV and accessed through the Community Action Project.

Rancho Calaveras candidates night

Winning Ways advice column by Marge Powers

Stop Settling for Less and Upgrade Your Life!

Welcome to the next ‘New thought of the Week and Upgrade Your Life’ Series.  This 12 week series will give you valuable ‘New Thought’ Information and Advice that will help you learn how to enjoy the Holidays that are fast approaching.  We hope our advice will open you up to a new way of celebrating them.

Ah yes, the Holidays, they’re supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, and as you know they can have a way of turning into a very stressful time.  The holiday season can often bring unwelcome guests, an overwhelming array of demands, parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, socializing and entertaining to name just a few. Or perhaps you may be spending the Holidays alone and are feeling a little lonely or depressed.  But whatever the source of your angst, family dynamics, financing, lack of self-confidence, or painful memories, etc…you are certainly not alone and there ARE solutions.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

VFW Ladies Auxiliary collecting supplies for support the troops care packages

You may notice a very colorful and patriotic bucket placed just inside the door at Umpqua Bank.
This bucket was placed there by the VFW Post 12118 ladies auxiliary to collect donations for our Support the Troops care packages that we send out twice yearly.

Pleas stop by and check out the list of needs. We would appreciate your support.

Copper Grille specials for 10-24-14 and 10-25-14

Grilled Angus Flat Iron
Smoked Cheddar Polenta Cake, Mixed Squash, Sweet Corn, Avocado Salsa Verde, Pepitas, Cilantro, Feta      18 

Butter Crumb Alaskan Halibut
Pearl Couscous, Lemon Crème, Dill, Tomato-Caper Confit, Lemon Vinaigrette, Garlic Spinach    24.5

Jumbo Prawn Risotto
Caramelized Fennel, Sautéed Sunchokes, Applewood Bacon, Micro Herbs, Smoked Tomato Beurre Blanc 18.5

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Buttermilk-Chive Mashed Potatoes, Spiced Apple Chutney, Sautéed Red Chard   16.5

Cedar Planked Salmon             
Maple Chili Glaze, Rosemary Butter, Roasted Root Vegetable Hash, Sautéed Brussels Sprouts    18      

Braised Lamb Shanks
Served with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Sautéed Broccoli, Herb Gremolata    18

Certified Angus Prime Rib
Seasonal Vegetables and choice of Baked Potato, Yukon Gold
Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes          
Petite     19    Regular   23    Large 32

Pasta of the Moment
Butternut Ravioli, Roasted Squash, Pumpkin Coulis, Toasted Walnuts, Sage Cream, Shaved Parmesan      14.5

Thank you from the Copperopolis Parent Teacher Club


Copperopolis Elementary School Parent Teacher Club would like to extend our appreciation to all who attended, donated to, and volunteered at the Steak & Shrimp Fest this year.  This fundraiser gives us the funds needed to pay for educational supplies, field trips, assemblies, art and music programs, and much more to ensure that our Copper students have the best education possible. 
First and foremost, we would like to thank Young’s Payless IGA and Kevin Young for your generosity in sponsoring and hosting this great event for our school.  We would also like to recognize and show our appreciation to the following businesses and individuals that donated to the event:


        Thank you again for your support. It was wonderful to see the community come together to support our school and students.   GO COPPER COUGARS!!!

Decoding Prop 47, “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” by DA Barbara Yook

Prop 47 reduces some felonies to misdemeanors but assures us the public will remain safe because no dangerous offenders will benefit.  Once the clever language of Prop 47 is decoded however, the impacts of Prop 47 are opposite its assurance and title.

Domestic violence, child abuse, stalking, involuntary manslaughter, and resisting an officer causing death are already considered “non-serious” and “non-violent” crimes under the law.  Residential burglary, carjacking, robbery, and arson are considered “serious” or “violent” crimes under the law and these are commonly called “strikes”.  Under Prop 47, none of the above crimes will be considered a “danger” to public safety.

Prop 47 limits “dangerous” to a short list of “super strikes” in Penal Code Section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) which includes murder and certain types of child molestation.  No question that the “super strikes” are dangerous crimes.  However, there should also be no question that crimes such as arson, burglary, child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and exploding a device with intent to injure or terrify, to name but a few, pose a danger to public safety.  Prop 47 says otherwise.

Prop 47 re-defines petty theft to include all theft as long as the value of the item does not exceed $950.  Theft of a handgun, theft of livestock, and purse snatching, as long as the value does not exceed $950, will be misdemeanors unless the thief has one of the specific “super strikes” or is a sex offender registrant.  Under Prop 47, it won’t matter if the thief is a career criminal with multiple burglary convictions or even multiple serious or violent “strike” convictions, the thief can only be charged with a misdemeanor in the same manner as a first time offender.

Under Prop 47, possession of methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin, are also mandated misdemeanors for offenders without a “super strike” or sex offender status.   It won’t matter if this was the tenth time the offender was caught or the tenth failed rehab, or if the offender has a history of committing violence while on drugs with multiple violent “strike” convictions, the offense is exactly the same as if it is the first time.  Significantly, Prop 47’s mandate for misdemeanors undercuts incentives for rehabilitation and will likely end successful rehabilitation programs such as Drug Court.

Dog Day Afternoon 10-25-14

VA Mobile vet van rolled into town to reach out to rural veterans

On Saturday the VA Rural Health Mobile Medical Outreach Clinic Team headed by Dr. Doral Gonzales visited Copperopolis and set up at the CFPD Fire Station on Main Street from 10 to 2pm.

The mobile team was set up for enrollment, assessment, vitals, claims and physical exams. They also facilitated hearing appointments and access of prescriptions through the mail.

According to Dr GOnzales, the van will be making a concerted effor to reach all veterans in Calaveras County with multiple stops scheduled throughout the county in the upcoming months.
Glencoe - 11-20-14
Valley Springs American Legion - 11-21-14
Murphys - 12-18-14
Arnold - 1-15-15

Kendall Morlan for MTUESD School Board

My name is Kendall Morlan and I am running for a board position for Mark Twain Union Elementary School District.  Both my children are products of MTUESD.  My daughter is now a sophomore at Davidson College in North Carolina, and my son is a 7th grader at Mark Twain Elementary.  I have been closely involved in their educational experience.  I served on the Copperopolis Elementary School Site Council for 4 years, and I volunteer in the after-school Homework Club.  I am the community leader for Copper Hills 4-H Club and have been involved with 4-H for 10 years.  

I believe that I am uniquely qualified to serve on the board of Mark Twain Union Elementary School District.    My parents are retired educators.  My mother was a top-level district administrator and my father was a high school teacher and coach. Their views were often in conflict, and I learned how to appreciate both sides of an issue.  Additionally, my sister was a special needs student, and my daughter was a GATE student.  I believe this diverse experience will help me to bring people together to accomplish the goal of preparing our children to be successful in a challenging world.

"Striving for Excellence "

Sports Pub Halloween Party 10-25-14

Prime Rib at the Old Corner

Wines on Main

Rehorse Rescue Fall Open House 11-1-14

Letter to the Editor re: Allegations against Tim Healy are unwarranted from Tom Cole

I’m amazed at the completely unwarranted “piling on” of false allegations against Tim Healy, because he dared to correctly point out his opponent’s weaknesses!
Contrary to allegations from Hugh Swift’s ex-wife (Kristy Slocum), Tim Healy has made no false or misleading statements about his opponent!  Just visit Swift’s own website. Healy is telling the truth! Healy did not “imply” his opponent has no college education he simply stated that Swift’s job description as Court Executive Officer, when he was “appointed” by Jerry Brown, did not require a four year college degree – which it doesn’t!  And everyone already knows aspiring lawyers cannot even be admitted to the bar without appropriate credentials. Furthermore it was not necessary to mention what Swift is doing now, because he advertises it in all of his campaign materials.

The most outrageous and unbelievably shameless of all ironies was during Swift’s interview by the Copper Gazette on Oct 16th for “What is your greatest strength?” Swift blatantly exaggerates his credentials, and thereby violates the Judicial Ethics Code by saying: “I am the only candidate with experience in Civil and Family Law.” He says this despite knowing that Healy himself is the Head of the San Joaquin County Child Abduction Unit and practices Family, Civil and International Law! Most important, Swift KNEW this and has known it since Healy announced his candidacy months ago!!
Is this really what we want from a JUDGE who, in listing his “greatest strengths” so openly misrepresents his qualifications?!! How can we then believe Swift to have any integrity or expect him to be Fair and Impartial with us?!? 
Join me in voting for true Courtroom Experience Practicing Law! That’s TIM HEALY!!
   Tom Cole                

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CalFire reminds us 'No Burning'

Reminder: Burning is suspended within the Tuolumne-Calaveras unit of CAL FIRE.

Letter to the Editor re: Support for Judge Hugh Swift from Mary Beth Todd

To the Voters of Calaveras County,

I am writing in support of Judge Hugh Swift for Judge of the Calaveras County Superior Court. With almost 30 years of experience working in the trial courts of California, 11 of those years as the Court Executive Officer in Calaveras County (2000-2011), I have worked with dozens of judges, both inside and outside the courtroom, worked with hundreds of defendants, attorneys and court litigants and I know first hand the attributes that make the ideal judge. Judge Hugh Swift has those attributes.

As the current Superior Court Judge, and with five years of experience as a Court Commissioner in Amador County, Judge Swift has proven experience as a judicial officer. You don’t have to guess what his judicial demeanor will be; he has demonstrated it. He is fair, impartial, patient, courteous, prepared, and provides litigants appearing before him the opportunity to be heard. He appropriately considers each case based on its merits and does not allow any bias, political position or preconceived notion to influence his decision-making.

Judge Swift has experience and training in all case types coming before the superior court. With 5 years of experience as a court research attorney, he has read, reviewed and researched some of the most complex legal issues and has reviewed thousands of cases.  Judge Swift’s opponent would lead you to believe that the superior court only hears criminal cases; however the informed voter knows that is not the case.  While the superior court has jurisdiction over felonies, misdemeanors and infractions, it also has jurisdiction over many other case types. The proceedings in these case types are equally important to a civil society and the outcomes of these proceedings may have a profound effect over the individuals involved, their families and the community at large. These case types include but are not limited to:  juvenile proceedings essential for the protection of the community’s children whose parents are unable or not suitable to care for them; domestic violence; child custody/visitation disputes; child support matters; probate/estate proceedings; small claims court where individual citizens can bring disputes of a limited amount for resolution without an attorney; and civil proceedings which include claims for money damages, personal injury, construction defect, contract disputes, and writ proceedings essential to ensuring governmental agencies are properly applying the law. Persons involved in criminal and civil proceedings deserve to have an experienced and knowledgeable judge who can determine the issues fairly and in accordance with the law.  Judge Hugh Swift has that experience and knowledge.

As a court executive officer for 20 years, I am troubled by Judge Swift’s opponent’s trivialization of Judge Swift’s experience as a court executive officer. The court’s executive officer works at the appointment of the judges’ of the superior court and is responsible, under the direction of the presiding judge for the administration of the court’s budget, human resources, and programs to ensure equal access to justice for the citizens of the community it serves. The position requires knowledge of the law, principals of due process, case flow management, public administration and strategic planning. The position oversees the delivery of direct services to the public, works collaboratively with county agencies and justice partners to reduce the number of criminal defendants who reoffend, ensure domestic violence victims can get the orders of protection they require and that citizens have access to dispute resolution forums and options. Many of the court executive officers throughout the State of California are attorneys. Service in this position only gives Judge Swift an even greater perspective from which to approach his judicial duties and to be a leader in the community. This experience is even more important and valuable to the court and community since Judge Swift will assume the duties of the presiding judge with the retirement of Judge John Martin at the end of this year.

The Calaveras County Superior Court has a history of dedication to the mission of providing equal access to justice for all. Judge Hugh Swift will continue this mission and is the best candidate to serve as the judge of your superior court. I strongly encourage you to vote to retain and elect Hugh Swift for Judge of the Superior Court.

Your Friend and former Court Executive Officer,

Mary Beth Todd

Angels Camp Police Dept receives grant for bi-county DUI enforcement campaign


Drunk and drugged driving remains the number one killer on our roadways, with 802 DUI deaths and nearly 24,000 Alcohol Involved Injuries reported statewide. The “Avoid the 2” DUI Task Force will be combating this deadly problem through DUI enforcement efforts in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties. The Angels Camp Police Department will be administering a recent $119,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for the cities of Angels Camp and Sonora. 

“Despite our aggressive, proactive enforcement efforts related to DUI, there are still folks out there that make the bad choice to get behind the wheel. Prescription, narcotic, and marijuana drug abuse are on the rise, and anyone that makes the decision to drive while impaired has the potential to affect the entire community. This grant will help us deal with those issues.” –Angels Camp Police Chief Todd Fordahl.

Soroptimist Internation Teddy Bear Tea

Seventeen years a tradition in Calaveras County, Soroptimist International of Calaveras County is hosting their annual Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday November 16 at Mark Twain Hall at Frogtown in Angels Camp. This is a great event for the family, with crafts, entertainment, and formal high tea. For all those who have attended in the past, continue the tradition; or for those who have never attended, what a great new tradition to enjoy with your children and/or grandchildren.
Reservations are required.  Call 209-753-9700 to make yours.  Adults are $27.00, and children are $15.00.  The deadline to make your reservations is November 7.

Wound Care Center Raises Awareness of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

October 17, 2014 (Sonora, CA) — The Center for Hyperbaric Wound Care at Sonora Regional Medical Center is participating in the Healogics National Diabetes Campaign from October 27 to October 31. The Center is a member of Healogics’ network of nearly 600 wound care clinics, offering advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers. Healogics program directors across the nation are dedicating the entire week to providing education to help physicians and their staffs identify diabetic patients with or at risk of developing ulcers of the lower extremity. 

Letter to the Editor re: Vote Courtroom Experience from Gene and Shellie Cervantes

As local business owners in Murphys and Victim Advocates for Citizens Against Homicide, we endorse Tim Healy for Superior Court Judge in Department 2.  Tim is the only candidate for Department 2, who has practiced law in the courtroom within the past 15 years.  He is the only candidate for Department 2, who has EVER practiced criminal law in the courtroom.  Experience is so important when considering who to vote for Superior Court Judge in this year's election. You want the candidate who has the most experience practicing law in the courtroom. Judges run the courtroom, not the courthouse. Tim’s opponent spent 13 years in private practice and was the attorney of record in over 100 cases.  In contrast, in 14 years as a criminal prosecutor, Tim has been lead prosecutor in over 1000 cases and was assistant prosecutor in over 30,000 more! Tim’s experience practicing law in the courtroom is truly extensive and clearly unmatched by his opponent!