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Chris Daley

The Weekly Daley: And the beat(ing) goes on

We’re kind of inured to hearing about the fate of journalists in war zones, political hotspots, places where vast numbers of people are enduring some traumatic upheaval. More than a thousand journalists have been killed in the Middle East, Africa, many countries in Asia, Mexico, Central and South America over the past several years. But […]

Rails to trails path still unclear

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors kicked the proverbial can down the proverbial track at the end of its Aug. 25 meeting. Writ large, the can is the Rails to Trails program and the track at issue is a 2.5-mile stretch of rails between Missouri Flat Road and El Dorado Road along what is formally […]

StemExpress counters CMP video and court ruling

StemExpress responded to last Friday’s ruling denying the firm’s request for a court order preventing the distribution of another surreptitious video by the anti-abortion group, Center for Medical Progress. Judge Joanne O’Donnell with the Los Angeles District Superior Court ruled that CMP’s right to distribute trumped StemExpress’s contention that the video was obtained illegally and […]

StemExpress video released; more details emerge

Friday Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell lifted a temporary restraining order blocking anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress from releasing another video, this time featuring StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer, ruling that free speech prevails over the fact that the footage was illegally recorded at an El Dorado Hills restaurant. In excerpts released by CMP the same day, […]


The Aug. 14 Mountain Democrat story titled “‘Jeffersons’ explain why they want their own state” incorrectly reported that Lake County is one of a half-dozen Northern California counties whose boards of supervisors have signed a “declaration of support” for “secession from the State of California and the formation of State of Jefferson.” A June 28, 2015, […]

The Weekly Daley: In favor of human rights

We really like human rights here in the ol’ U.S. of A. Human rights is a cornerstone of our Constitution, our values both spiritual and secular, our morals and ethics — pretty much some of the time. We count among our friends lots of nations who also treasure human rights as written into their own constitutions […]

StemExpress cuts cord to Planned Parenthood

StemExpress, the Placerville biomedical supply firm, announced Saturday it is disassociating itself from Planned Parenthood, the nationwide women’s health organization. Under increasing scrutiny due to graphic undercover videos made by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood and tangentially StemExpress have recently faced a tide of both public and official opposition. The videos by […]

Supervisors use rare eminent domain

El Dorado County supervisors voted unanimously Aug. 11 to begin condemnation proceedings in order to acquire by eminent domain two small parcels of land needed for rights of way on two bridge projects. Each action required a separate hearing recommended by the Community Development Agency’s Transportation Division. The first item involved an eight-tenths of an acre […]

Public comment weighted toward State of Jefferson

Two opposing groups — proponents of the State of Jefferson movement and opponents represented by the relatively new organization called Keep It California — presented their platforms and after each presentation it was the public’s turn at the microphone. El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian Veerkamp said the board’s general guidelines, calling for […]

‘Jeffersons’ explain why they want their own state

Sheriff John D’Agostini as the first speaker on behalf of, if not directly for, the State of Jefferson.

“It is only an issue of representation,” D’Agostini began. “Our representatives have no voice in (state government). We have two representatives, and Los Angeles County has 22. How do we fix the issue of rural representation? We need to ask to be at the table.”

Later, citing a familiar maxim introduced to supervisors years ago by former District 5 Supervisor Norma Santiago, he got a laugh noting, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

SOJ opponents: Seceding would leave county ‘cash poor’

Though a majority attending Tuesday evening’s meeting supported the State of Jefferson movement, the event actually began with speakers from the Keep It California group who “advocate for rural California but oppose breaking away.” Citing common cause on “several issues,” and fully acknowledging that rural representation is a real problem, KIC representatives said, “We’d like to work […]

The Weekly Daley: A GOP debate preview

If you’ve been around this space for a few years, you may have noticed that before almost every big presidential debate, I receive (in a plain brown wrapper) a copy of unofficial transcripts of debate preparations. My working title is: “What you should see but won’t in the next debate.” And while there is an […]

Youth services getting closer look

After decades of granting significant funding to local agencies New Morning and Tahoe Youth and Family Services for the treatment, counseling and protective programs, El Dorado County Supervisors nearly closed the door on what has been considered a long and successful community partnership. Health and Human Services Agency Director Don Ashton recommended the county approve contracts […]

Board OKs sign update

El Dorado County Supervisors adopted a new update to the county’s Sign Ordinance July 28 after a wide-ranging discussion of billboards, digital displays, sign twirlers and signs on scenic corridors. The unanimous vote generally followed the recommendations of the Planning Commission and implements updated regulations and standards along with amendments to the General Plan regarding […]

Former supervisor Briggs wants back pay

Former two-term District 4 El Dorado County Supervisor Ron Briggs is contemplating suing El Dorado County if he doesn’t get back pay he says the county owes him. The issue first surfaced in February when Briggs submitted a claim through his legal counsel to the Board of Supervisors. Citing a number of different legal precedents […]

Hidahl announces for District 1

John Hidahl, an El Dorado Hills community service veteran, has announced his intention to run for the District 1 seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors next June. In a prepared statement, the candidate said his four decades in the aerospace industry as a program manager and chief systems engineer provided valuable private sector […]

New video targets StemExpress

A small movement is building in El Dorado County to shut down StemExpress after a series of videos were released alleging that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal body parts and tissues to the Placerville biomedical company. Mark E. Smith from Garden Valley demanded that the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors “revoke the firm’s business license” during […]

Order blocks secret StemExpress video

 Los Angeles District Court Judge Joanne O’Donnel signed a temporary restraining order July 28 that prevents the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress from releasing an undercover video of a dinner meeting between StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer, other company officials and people pretending to be prospective customers from a biological materials procurement firm. The meeting […]

Top state official meets with anti-secession group

Keep it California, the organization formed to combat a move to secede from California by proponents of the so-called State of Jefferson, met with the California State Senate’s President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon earlier this month. Local KIC activists were invited to meet privately with de Leon to share concerns and offer recommendations that […]

County to buy more land for rare plants

Pronouncing the names of El Dorado County’s rare plant species almost requires a degree in Latin and botany. Found in the county’s Pine Hill Preserve, several of the species are considered rare because they are only found in a very specific and ancient kind of environment known as gabbro soil. Eight of them, in fact, […]

County updating General Plan’s biological policies

Public hearings will be set El Dorado County’s 2006 Oak Woodlands Management Plan, newly re-christened as the Oak Resources Management Plan, is once again getting a makeover. Developed by the Long Range Planning Division of the Community Development Agency, the biological policy update project’s new resolution of intention was presented by Principal Planner Shawna Purvines at the […]

The Weekly Daley: Trumping the chumps

“EARTHQUAKE virtually wipes California off the map. Oregon, Washington next?” “Yawn! Did you hear what Donald Trump called Lindsey Graham? A lightweight and an idiot who in the private sector would be a poor man.” “TERRORISTS blow up Switzerland’s cheese and chocolate reserves. Experts claim it will take 20 years to recover.” “Boring! Trump said […]

StemExpress responds to backlash

Between last week’s and this week’s “video revelations” about the sale of aborted fetal body parts by Planned Parenthood, Placerville’s StemExpress founder and CEO Cate Dyer forwarded her company’s prepared statement on the issue to the Mountain Democrat. Dyer prefaced the statement by noting that, “StemExpress has never worked with Deborah Nucatola or the Planned […]


Monday’s article about the county’s new “early separation incentive” failed to include one department’s roster of early retirees. The Board of Supervisors approved one of its own staff members among the 16 who will receive the incentive.

RCRC backs biomass industry revival

The July 2 edition of Rural County Representatives of California’s newsletter, The Barbed Wire, notes that the current chair of the organization, Sierra County Supervisor Lee Adams, recently testified for RCRC in support of Assembly Bill 590, which would tap into state Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund monies to help revive California’s biomass industry infrastructure. The […]

16 county employees retire early

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal that allows 16 employees to take an “early separation incentive” to leave county service earlier than they might have otherwise. The early separation program, similar to those in other jurisdictions, was devised by the Chief Administrative Office, Risk Management Division, and County Counsel as a […]

StemExpress takes heat from video

Local biotech firm StemExpress based in Placerville is at the center of a firestorm since the release of allegations that it and similar research companies have been buying aborted fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood affiliates. The charges were publicized by an undercover video allegedly showing a luncheon conversation between Planned Parenthood Head of Medical […]

The Weekly Daley: The Iran deal makes for strange bedfellows

Saudi Arabia, one of our staunchest allies in the Middle East, doesn’t like the deal the United States and other world powers have cooked up with Iran. Many on the right bitterly complain that we have poked the Saudis in the eye with a sharp stick just as we’ve done to our other staunchest Middle East […]

Looks like Gaines in District 1 race

California Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, currently representing District 6 has not officially announced that she will seek the District 1 seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors; however, a marquee announcement in downtown Placerville and the fact that Gaines has changed her address strongly indicate Supervisor Ron Mikulaco will have some competition next year. Her Assembly Chief […]

New grand jury sworn in

The Honorable Dylan Sullivan presided over the swearing in of El Dorado County’s 2015-16 Grand Jury and filed the formal notice June 25. This year’s jury includes the following, plus several alternate members: Kenneth Cater, Richard Coffin, Hal Erpenbeck, Dan Kelly, James Kern, Peter Marty, Thomas Orth, Jeanne Ott, Roger Pickler, Rodney Pimental, Debbie Rice, Julie Ryan, Jan Sawyer, Thomas Simpson, George Turnboo, Richard White, Gatha Willyard, Laura Anne Winston and Colleen […]

The Weekly Daley: Terror on the 4th of July

The terror that wasn’t became the terror that was. We were warned well in advance that the 4th of July was a prime time for prospective terrorists to do their evil works. The FBI, law enforcement and emergency agencies were told to be on highest alert before and during the holiday. The Department of Homeland Security described […]

County’s roads crumble

Supes support SB 16 Anticipating a flow of new money for road repair and past-due maintenance over the next five years, El Dorado County’s Board of Supervisors signed and sent a letter to State Sen. Jim Beall in support of his Senate Bill 16. The bill is intended to particularly address a chronic and severe […]

Holiday terror alert: Law enforcement always prepared

No increased threat for El Dorado county Security agencies all around the country are in a heightened state of alert as the July 4th holiday approaches. A number of news organizations report that their sources have described a high, even the “highest ever terror alert,” since 9/11. The FBI has set up command posts throughout the nation […]

The Weekly Daley: Ain’t love grand!

“I’m in love with at least one if not two or more convicted murderers. He and/or they are who I want to spend the rest of my life with, maybe have his/their baby or babies one day. We’ll be so happy. Ain’t love grand! But first I have to help them bust out of prison, […]

Anti-terrorism authority renewed

Supervisors renewed a 2003 authorization to create an Anti-Terrorism Approval Body (Approval Authority) during their June 23 meeting. The entity, whose purpose is to distribute Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funds, includes representatives from five county emergency response agencies. In addition to the Sheriff’s Department, the approval body includes Placerville and South Lake Tahoe police […]

The weekly Daley: Excuse me! What?

Think you’ve heard it all? I kind of thought I’d heard it all until Wednesday morning. While driving to work I heard on NPR that state Attorney General Kamala Harris was hoping not to have to deal with a proposition titled the “Sodomite Suppression Act.” Excuse me! What? She was hoping a judge would grant […]

El Dorado County fee structure debate begins

El Dorado County supervisors got a first look at the county’s fee structure and policies study at their June 23 meeting. Prepared and presented by staff from the Community Development Agency, the fee study draft recommends a number of changes and perhaps consolidations of current fees for services. Cost for service lies at the heart […]

Grand Jury calls for familiar charter reforms

The El Dorado County Charter should be scrapped at best or substantially amended, according to the Grand Jury report issued June 16. Tacking on to Grand Jury recommendations from 2008-09 and 2013-14 reports, the latest report recommends in even stronger language the repeal or heavy amending of the charter. “The Grand Jury found that the structure of government […]

Supervisor Novasel responds to conflict questions

El Dorado County District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel responded to allegations contained in a letter to the editor in the June 12 Mountain Democrat. Following a truncated Board of Supervisors meeting June 16, Novasel said that at the beginning of her term, she gave County Counsel Robyn Drivon an extensive list of items that could […]

The weekly Daley: More nuts with guns

Like clockwork, yet another young man turns up with a gun and a killer agenda, and another nine people are dead because they went to an event at their church in Charleston, S.C. Wednesday night. Dylann Roof allegedly went to the same event and while there, it is alleged that he shot and killed nine […]

Knorr out as CAO

Interim El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr will no longer hold the  CAO title, effective June 29, and will return to her original appointment as the county’s full-time Human Resources director. The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to move Knorr back to her HR position and announced the appointment of Larry T. Combs […]

County tries to woo UC Davis; no first date pending

El Dorado County Treasurer-Tax Collector Cherie Raffety pitched an idea to the Board of Supervisors back in March. How about initiating a plan to convince a four-year college, public or private, to locate a campus in the county? Raffety said she had been working on the idea for some time and thought it was a […]

Supervisors set priorities for public parks

Recognizing parks as an asset to the community, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors last week directed staff to establish a parks capital improvement program and begin an annual campgrounds inspection program. El Dorado County owns and maintains four developed parks for the public’s recreational use — Henningsen-Lotus Park in the Coloma-Lotus valley, Pioneer Park in the Fair Play-Somerset […]

The Weekly Daley: Funny you should say that

“Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay established absolute dominance as they racked up 239 without loss for India against Bangladesh on day one of the lone test on Wednesday. Dhawan was not out on 150 and Vijay on 89 when bails were drawn for bad light, after 34 overs were lost after lunch to heavy […]

BOS marathon ends with 4-1 vote for budget

El Dorado County Supervisors started early and stayed late last week during four days of hearings, revisions and recalculations to the “Recommended Budget” presented by Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr. State law requires that the county approve a recommended budget on or before June 30 each year, and a final or “Adopted Budget” on or […]

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