PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Larry Weitzman

Goodyear Blimp flies over Sacramento, Senior Open

Fresh from Chambers Bay, Wash., where it covered the biggest golf tournament of the year, the U.S. Open, the soon-to-be-retired Goodyear Blimp Spirit of America stopped in the Sacramento area for aerial coverage of the U.S. Senior Open played at the Del Paso Country Club. When not flying, the 192-foot-long and 50-foot-wide in diameter Spirit of America […]

The balancing act: The transparency of the opaque

It’s been about three months since former Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr obligated the taxpayers to a contract for legal services, except it appears the contract was for investigatory services. The contract, executed by Knorr and County Counsel Robyn Drivon, had a spending limit of $50,000. A$15,627 bill for services has already been received. It’s not […]

The balancing act: Sneaking a raise?

On June 2 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors did the right thing and saved the county from a mini debacle that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars annually starting in about two weeks. Since the Board of Supervisors’ agenda is prepared by the CAO’s office at the direction of the chief administrative officer, […]

The balancing act: CAO Knorr’s questionable dealing

El Dorado County Interim Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr, with a sign-off from the new county counsel Robyn Truitt-Drivon, has hired a private investigator, the Balancing Act has learned. The PI contract was hidden under a “consultant” contract with a law firm that Knorr has dealt with before when she was CAO of Alpine County. […]

2016 Hyundai Elantra GT: Significant refinement

While not much has changed mechanically with the 2016 Elantra GT, with most every technical specification remaining the same, sometimes just small changes can make huge differences. In this case, besides the improvements in next-gen NAV and Blue Link connectively, the most notable is the new GT front end and it is a doozy. Most […]

The balancing act: The Veerkamp deficit

Having deficit budgets are commonplace in the federal government. They just effectively print more money to cover it. (They do it by borrowing money such as selling T-bills.) But in subordinate governments, while borrowing is sometimes done and some jurisdictions even end up going bankrupt (making future borrowing even more expensive and many times next […]

2015 Lexus IS 350: A true sports sedan

It’s been five long years since I last tested the Lexus IS 350 and not much has changed my opinion that the IS is dollar for dollar the best ride in the Lexus line up and perhaps the best Lexus model although I haven’t tested the new RC coupe yet. As far as Lexus sedans […]

The balancing act: The Blacklock connection

Patrick Blacklock is the current CAO of Yolo County, and it would take some explaining to understand that his influence and impact on our county has been more significant than any of our current members of the Board of Supervisors. Blacklock started his employment by government bodies in May of 2001 as the Administrator Officer […]

The balancing act: Pamela’s war on seniors

“We’ve got major budget issues. I’d feel much better getting all those other things to a committee and make sure we get multiple minds on this and develop a plan, a prioritized plan and the 15/16 (Fiscal Year budget) deficit is the target. And I understand it. I have seen deficits all my career tied […]

The balancing act: The elephant in the room

At the April 15 Board of Supervisors special meeting, whose main purpose was a CAO budget update presentation to address the continuing county annual deficits, the operative word was “bloated.” During the meeting CAO Pamela Knorr admitted that the budget was bloated and she said it more than once. While Knorr admits the problem, she […]

2015 Toyota Camry V-6: A Camry with World Class Performance

While Toyota claims the new 2015 Camry is an all new ride, examination of the specs shows us that its wheelbase remains the same (109.3 inches) as is the width (71.7 inches), to the tenth of an inch. Even the body retains the same almost identical shape with the biggest change coming in a new […]

The balancing act: Water, water everywhere, but here

Let’s get one thing straight: Droughts are caused by nature, water shortages are caused by humans. While this has been another below-average year for California, it seems the rest of the United States received massive amounts of water, especially many areas east of the Rockies recording record rain and snowfall, with Boston setting a new […]

The balancing act: How to balance the budget

Public Safety is the primary function of county governments. Before the expansion of governments 60-70 years ago, the sheriff was the majority of county spending. Currently in EDC, the sheriff is about 20 percent of General Fund spending. Other departments directly related to public safety are the District Attorney, the Public Defender and the Probation […]

2015 Toyota Yaris: Effective, economical, efficient, energetic

Yaris has been in the Toyota stable since 1999 starting as the egg shaped Echo, not exactly the most attractive car in Toyota history but it was quite a performer knocking off 0-60 mph times in the eights and easily achieving 30 mpg plus. Now in its third generation (since 2011) and the second generation […]

Danny Popp, your average American

Danny Popp’s life resume would read like most anyone. He’s 44 years old, a father of three children — one daughter already at the University of Kentucky, a son 15 and another younger child. He spends his days working for McCluskey Chevrolet in Cincinnati as a Corvette technician but most of his weekends are spent […]

The balancing act: More county mischief

On Feb. 10, a rather innocuous item was on the Board of Supervisors consent calendar agenda. It was item No. 5 and its purpose was to receive and file a development impact mitigation fee report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014 and authorize reimbursement to the El Dorado Hills County Water (Fire) […]

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage: Saving money made easy

Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning; the Mitsubishi Mirage makes gas stations a mere mirage as it is the highest mileage conventional car for sale in the United States. EPA rates the Mirage at 37/44/40 mpg and in fact it does a bit better in my testing. It also has one of the […]

The balancing act: ‘Climate change’ is killing us

Climate change, a term used in place of anthropogenic global warming (AGW, meaning human produced carbon dioxide is causing the world to warm which will cause disastrous effects to the Earth) has come to the forefront of California politics again, like it wasn’t already every other word out of a liberal politician’s mouth already. It seems […]

2015 Mazda5, a real minivan

In this day and age, about every minivan in the U.S. market has a footprint the size of a full size SUV. Length and width average about 202 inches and about 78 inches, respectively. They even stand about 68 inches tall or more. Who’s kidding who? The age of the minivan is gone, except for […]

2015 Hyundai Sonata: the consummate family sedan

Hyundai claims the 2015 Sonata is all new. While every body panel has changed and more than a facelift has occurred, the resemblance to the prior generation is remarkable. Even the chassis dimensions have changed marginally all in the name of refinement and polish. In that respect Hyundai has accomplished its goal of a vehicle […]

The balancing act: Doing their homework

Jorge Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat.” It seems the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is again guilty of violating this basic principle of leadership. At the Jan. 27 board meeting there was a small, seemingly innocuous item on the consent calendar agenda. The consent calendar is supposed to […]

2015 Mazda 3 I Touring Sedan: Your exceptional basic compact

A few months ago the Road Beat had a chance to test the best compact car in current production, the Mazda 3 2.5-liter hatchback, a virtual econo-rocket that combines excellent performance with phenomenal fuel economy plus near-sports car handling coupled with good ride quality. But that was a fully loaded Mazda 3 that stickered at […]

Hyundai Elantra Coupe: affordable sport

Hyundai has refreshed the Elantra Coupe and simplified the acquisition process. It boasts a new, more powerful engine, sportier suspenders and quicker, refined steering to enhance the driving experience. Outside, the slick body has a new, more integrated spoiler and a blacked out grille unique to the Coupe, adding a bit of aggression. And now […]

Toyota Tundra a real competitor

Toyota’s new third generation 2014 Tundra has finally got it right (keep reading and you will understand). Toyota has been making trucks for decades, with the Tacoma owning the mid-size class for years and one of its biggest competitors, the Ford Ranger no longer in production. In the full size realm, Toyota started with the […]

Toyota 4Runner matching the image

Now in its fifth year of the fifth generation (The 4Runner started production in 1984), the 4Runner continues to be a solid, consistent seller for Toyota averaging about 50,000 units a year, despite sales being stolen by its similarly sized CUV sibling, the Highlander. They are totally different vehicles with no relationship between them and […]

2015 Mazda Miata MX-5: Nearly a million buyers couldn’t be wrong

When the first Miata hit our shores in 1990, dealers were commanding price premiums of thousands of dollars. The rumor was they were only going to make 3,000. Yeah, sure. That was then and Miata production is now in its 25-year life with over 900,000 built, the most produced two-seat sports car ever. It is […]

2015 Hyundai Elantra GT: The improvements never stop

You may think a Hyundai Elantra is a middle-of-the-road compact sedan that competes for one of the largest segments in the auto market, compact cars, which include the likes of Corolla, Civic, Cruze, Mazda 3, Sentra and several more. It’s heady competition, so you must offer something a bit unique with special qualities. Hyundai Elantra […]

2015 Kia Soul: Fit for humans who even think they are hip hamsters

All new in 2015, the new Soul while maintaining the character and appearance of the original has received significant improvements that actually enhanced its uniqueness. More interesting is the fact that while a younger, hip generation is its prime customer, because of its remarkable utility, the Soul is very appealing your everyday compact buyer that […]

Lexus GX460 — sophistication abounds

Most motorheads know that the majority of Lexuses are clean sheet of paper designs. However, there are a couple of SUVs that are heavily revised versions of a Toyota chassised vehicles. The LX 570 tested recently and the GX460 tested here. Starting with the 4Runner chassis, the GX460 begins its re-creation. Its body is completely […]

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