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Stories written by Julie Samrick
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Pride can only be earned

Can you tell what this is? It’s a clay gorilla, created in its entirety by my 7-year-old daughter. The school assignment was to create a rain forest animal at home and to search for facts for their first little research report. It was a great idea. I loved watching her learn how to take simple […]

Comments Off / July 03, 2013 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Pump problem closes pool

A sign tells hopeful swimmers to head to Cameron Park. THe EDHCSD pool closed down Friday due to a pool pump problem. Swimmers retured on Sunday after everything was fixed. Photo by Julie Samrick

Record-high temperatures across the region beckoned crowds to local pools but no swimmers enjoyed the El Dorado Hills Community Services District’s pool last Friday and Saturday due to a broken pump. Just before noon on Friday, as public pool hours were to begin, staff discovered that the primary pool pump and motor were not functioning […]

Comments Off / June 10, 2013 | Posted in Feature Photos,News | Read More »

ADHD only getting worse here

“Mom, I need to read two chapters for a test tomorrow,” your eighth-grader declares. He shuts the door to his bedroom and for the next 45 minutes at least three different technology devices compete for his attention as he bounces between texts, music and stops to look things up on the web “real quick.” Media […]

2 Comments / June 06, 2013 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Film not quite “Epic” but good

“Epic” is a mixture of several stories we’ve seen before — “The Littles,” “Avatar,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Honey I Shrunk The Kids.” Teenager Mary Katherine (aka M.K., played by Amanda Seyfried) goes to live with her eccentric father (Jason Sudeikis) after her mother dies (which is barely mentioned so it will go right over most […]

Comments Off / June 02, 2013 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Only lovers of the book will love “The Great Gatsby”

It’s evident why 16-year-olds throughout America’s classrooms continue to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic “The Great Gatsby” nearly a century after it was written. The slim novel is packed with meaningful symbols surrounding themes of class, excess, pretense and loneliness, which are as applicable today as ever. Director Baz Luhrmann’s new movie version does a great […]

Comments Off / May 23, 2013 | Posted in Entertainment | Read More »

Students live like pioneers for a day

Parent Deb Dean shows third graders Grace Goins, center, and Gabriela Marsh how to churn butter during Pioneer Day at Lake Forest Elementary. Photo by Julie Samrick

Lake Forest continued its annual tradition of holding Pioneer Day for its third and fourth graders last Thursday. It’s a day set aside to remember the region’s rich history as students travel back in time. With the help of many parents and teachers, Principal Bruce Peters arranges the day each year, calling on experts in […]

Comments Off / May 19, 2013 | Posted in Feature Photos,News | Read More »

Stellar spellers compete and w-i-n

The Marina Village sixth-grade team won the Division 3 El Dorado County Spelling Bee, mastering words like c-h-a-o-s and t-e-c-h-n-i-q-u-e. Front row, left to right: Ben Fox, Ryann Fox, Ethan Huang and Leyla Soltani; Back row, left to right: Laura Nepo, teacher/coach Amy Trexler and Jacob Crannell. Photo by Peggy Soltani

Oak Meadow Elementary and Marina Village Middle School dominated the competition at last Friday’s 33rd annual El Dorado County Spelling Bee in Pollock Pines.  Students representing 25 schools from as far as Lake Tahoe competed in each of four divisions. Oak Meadow students placed first in the Division 1 competition of first- and second-grade teams. […]

Comments Off / May 19, 2013 | Posted in Feature Photos,News | Read More »