PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Michael Raffety

Belltower: Didn’t know that

It took an Associated Press story about drought in the desert to give me the tidbit that Joshua trees were named by the Mormon Battalion after heading back to Utah via the Cajun Pass in 1857. “They saw the trees as shaggy prophets stretching their limbs to point the way to their promised land,” AP […]

Belltower: Some news that will give you fits

All the people running for president are being put on the spot when they come to Iowa. The big question is where they stand on ethanol. It is not ethyl and it is not high octane. And gas stations don’t give away glasses anymore. Ethanol is a worthless additive made from corn. It might as […]

England’s splashiest Victorian-era painter comes to de Young

J.M.W. Turner, as he is widely known, has been hailed as an artist with a special view of the world around him. Often he is cast as a precursor to the Impressionist painters of the late 19th century. Because he bequeathed 100 paintings to the state they have remained for later generations to study and […]

New contractor gives form to Camp 2 Bridge

Syblon Reid Construction is two-thirds complete with the concrete structure for the Camp 2 Bridge project. After pouring 50 yards of concrete June 4, SRC will have one section of retaining wall to complete.

The replacement contractor has even completed some of the forms for the cantilevered part of the bridge.

Project manager from the El Dorado Irrigation District is Jake Eymann, who said …

Belltower: Birds gone wild

Monday morning on my way to the weekly breakfast meeting of the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County I saw a crow pecking at French fries. Rather than interfere with the crow’s breakfast I parked in a non-French-fried space next to it. What resulted was a bird confrontation. Two starlings eyed the French fries and […]

Belltower: Rain records provide some optimism about next year

Season rainfall has gone over the 22-inch mark, according to the Mountain Democrat’s rainfall stats. That moves the current 2014-15 rain year into seventh place in the past 141 years of Mountain Democrat rainfall stats. Last year was the fourth lowest. The rain-year ends June 30. At this point it is a low-water year, but […]

Belltower: Rhubarb is more than an argument with the umpire

Here’s a bizarro item. A New York judge ordered a Long Island public university to explain why two chimpanzees it allegedly has been using for motion studies shouldn’t be transferred to an animal sanctuary — in Florida. The animal rights people are trying to confer human rights on primates. The lawsuit was brought by the […]

Belltower: Acrylics and the 4th Appeal

Facebook is not my thing. In spite of that, my son set up a Facebook account for me. I have trouble thinking of things to post, other than a photo of a boutique clothing store in Santa Barbara that has the same first name as my daughter. The second item posted was a 5×7 acrylic […]

Belltower: Rebate programs

Everyone in the El Dorado Irrigation District saved water during the 2013-14 drought — 24 percent. Now the governor has called for 25 percent conservation. Doable? Yes, but… The State Water Resources Control Board came up with some weirdo schedule claiming EID should save 35 percent on water consumption based on September 2014 consumption, even […]

Belltower: Art and water for a retired guy

“Michael Raffety is an arts writer for the Mountain Democrat, covering San Francisco events.” That’s what I’d like for a tag line when I write about major exhibitions at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums — the de Young and the Legion of Honor. I decided that after reading the review in the Wall Street […]

Exhibit is a walk through art 101

“Botticelli to Braque,” now showing at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is a selection of works by famous names. The pieces chosen by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco come from Scotland’s three national galleries. Leading off the show of old masters is a bright and colorful painting by […]

Belltower: A new adventure

This is my last column. Today is also my last day as editor of the Mountain Democrat. I am retiring. By the time you read this column I will have already left the building, so any calls will not be returned. I started my newspaper career late in life. I served four years in the […]

Lake levels 2-19-15

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Feb. 19, 2015 Elevation (feet) 422.73 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 550,600 56% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 1,986 Outflow 878 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Feb 19, 2015 Elevation (ft) 3,453.33 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 29,893 73% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 32.83 Outflow […]

Weather stats 2-17-15

Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date High Low Rain Feb. 1 76 41 0.00 Feb. 2 73 41 0.00 Feb. 3 75 45 0.00 Feb. 4 76 40 0.00 Feb. 5 75 42 0.00 Feb. 6 71 51 0.00 Feb. 7 68 50 2.50 Feb. […]

Correction

A story Feb. 11 about removing two sewer lift stations in the Mormon Island area contained an incomplete figure for the length of new sewer line that will be added. The 40-foot figure cited only accounted for the amount of line needed to bypass the Lakeridge Oaks sewer lift station. The total linear feet of […]

Correction

A story on page 14 Friday about EID’s Water Resources and Service Reliability report said El Dorado Hills residents use 0.5 acre-feet of water. The correct figure for El Dorado Hills should be 0.74, while the figure for the rest of the county is 0.5 acre-feet annually.

Lake levels 2-13-15

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Feb. 13, 2015 Elevation (feet) 420.47 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 531,900 54% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 4,050 Outflow 928 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Feb 12, 2015 Elevation (ft) 3,452.30 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 29,893 73% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 106.43 Outflow […]

EID reports water reliability

Customers of the El Dorado Irrigation District can expect water supplies to meet demand 95 percent of the time. The remaining 5 percent is when drought occurs, such as last year, during which customers will be asked to conserve. In a report issued by the district last month, EID reported its firm yield at 63,500 […]

Building permits 2/2-6/2015

Permits issued: 2/02 to 02/06/2015 Qty PType Val SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT: 1 2 BUILDG – NEW – 1-FMLY $1,700,395 1 BUILDG – NEW – ACCSTR $53,739 2 BUILDG – NEW – DECK $28,462 2 BUILDG – NEW – M1FMLY $1,248,000 1 BUILDG – NEW – STORAG $4,681 1 BUILDG – REPAIR – 1-FMLY $46,000 17 ELCTRC […]

EID switches to even-year elections

After three hours of testimony and three alternative motions, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors voted 3-2 Monday to switch to an even-year election cycle. To accomplish that, three directors whose terms would have ended this year instead will have their terms end in 2016. Two whose terms would have ended in 2017 […]

EID to bypass 2 sewer lift stations

Th El Dorado Irrigation District will save about $2 million by eliminating two sewer lift stations in El Dorado Hills. Replacing sewer lift stations has generally cost $1 million each. After doing an engineering study, EID staff concluded it could bypass the Lakeridge Oaks Lift Station at the corner of Lakeridge Oaks Drive and Green […]

Weather stats 2-10-15

Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date High Low Rain Feb. 1 76 41 0.00 Feb. 2 73 41 0.00 Feb. 3 75 45 0.00 Feb. 4 76 40 0.00 Feb. 5 75 42 0.00 Feb. 6 71 51 0.00 Feb. 7 68 50 2.50 Feb. […]

State info order affects EID

The State Water Resources Control Board has demanded information on “persons claiming senior water rights in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed.” That broad brush order directly affects the El Dorado Irrigation District. The order follows complaints that senior water rights holders in the Delta were diverting water released from reservoirs by the state and the […]

Belltower: So long to a hot year

At the end of each calendar year, we total up the average monthly temperatures to see what the overall average daytime and overnight temperatures for the year are. As most of you might have guessed, after the fourth driest rainfall year on record here (Jul, 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) the year was generally warm. Totaling […]

Lake levels 2-5-15

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Feb. 5, 2015 Elevation (feet) 409.62 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 447,000 46% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 1,107 Outflow 959 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Feb 5, 2015 Elevation (ft) 3,448.12 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 27,682 67% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 4.63 Outflow […]

January 2015 weather stats

Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date High Low Rain Jan. 1 58 36 0.00 Jan. 2 50 26 0.00 Jan. 3 58 30 0.00 Jan. 4 58 31 0.00 Jan. 5 59 33 0.00 Jan. 6 65 38 0.00 Jan. 7 76 38 0.00 Jan. […]

Lake levels 1-29-15

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Jan. 29, 2015 Elevation (feet) 409.75 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 448,000 46% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 965 Outflow 918 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Jan 29, 2015 Elevation (ft) 3,448.41 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 27,833 68% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 5.41 Outflow […]

Weather stats 1-27-15

Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date High Low Rain Jan. 1 58 36 0.00 Jan. 2 50 26 0.00 Jan. 3 58 30 0.00 Jan. 4 58 31 0.00 Jan. 5 59 33 0.00 Jan. 6 65 38 0.00 Jan. 7 76 38 0.00 Jan. […]

Esmeralda Tunnel work on schedule

Work on the Esmeralda tunnel is on schedule to start water flowing through it March 1, project engineer Daryl Noel told the El Dorado Irrigation District board on Jan. 26. Right now the mining crews on the upstream end of the tunnel has 6 feet of debris left to excavate. As described by Noel, the […]

EID insurance bill shrinks

Insurance premiums for the El Dorado Irrigation District this year will be nearly $64,000 less than they were last year. Effective Jan. 1 EID got a 9 percent cut in its rates. The insurance coverage includes property/inland marine/crime, general liability, public officials and management liability, automobile and excess liability insurance. General Manager Jim Abercrombie was […]

Awards for innovative EID workers

Awards ranging from $50 to $100 were made to three employees of the El Dorado Irrigation District who invented ways to more safely operate sewer and water plants. Called the H.R. Bounty Safety Awards, they came from the California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority for promoting safety in the workplace, and were announced at […]

Employment percentages improve locally

The unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville MSA was 6.2 percent in December 2014, down from a revised 6.7 percent in November 2014, and below the year-ago estimate of 7.5 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for California and 5.4 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment rate […]

Belltower: New York impressions

How we came to travel to New York on Christmas Day began a couple of months before when I read that Nathan Lane was starring in “It’s Only a Play.” Nathan Lane just lights up the stage. But the real decision point was that his last appearance in the play would be Dec. 31. As […]

Building permits 1/12-1/16/2015

Permits issued 01/12 to 01/16/2015 Qty PType Val SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT: 1 2 BUILDG – NEW – 1-FMLY $1,574,105 1 BUILDG – REPAIR – 1-FMLY $17,500 1 BUILDG – REPLAC – ROOF $17,000 8 ELCTRC – NEW – SOLAR $187,218 2 GRADNG – NEW – GRADNG $0 7 MECHAN – NEW – 1-FMLY $66,725 8 PLUMBG […]

Water savings continue as expenses mount

El Dorado Irrigation District customers continue to save water, aided by nearly 3 inches of rain in November and nearly 9 inches in December. General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported at the Jan. 12 meeting that district customers had reduced potable water consumption 24 percent between Dec. 24 and Dec. 31; 17 percent between Jan. 1, […]

Lake levels 1-22-15

Folsom Lake (USBR) 12 a.m. Jan. 22, 2015 Elevation (feet) 409.67 maximum 466 Storage (acre-feet) 447,400 46% of maximum 976,965 Inflow (cubic ft/sec) 1,402 Outflow 935 at Nimbus Dam Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake (EID) 8 a.m. Jan 22, 2015 Elevation (ft) 3,448.68 maximum 3,471 Storage (af) 27,973 68% of maximum 41033 Inflow (cfs) 5.81 Outflow […]

Weather stats 1-20-15

Placerville weather statistics reported by the Mountain Democrat at 8:30 a.m. on last date listed. Date High Low Rain Jan. 1 58 36 0.00 Jan. 2 50 26 0.00 Jan. 3 58 30 0.00 Jan. 4 58 31 0.00 Jan. 5 59 33 0.00 Jan. 6 65 38 0.00 Jan. 7 76 38 0.00 Jan. […]

Building permits 12/29/14-1/2-15

Permits issued: 12/29/2014 to: 01/02/2015 Qty PType Val SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT: 1 1 BUILDG – NEW – GARAGE $45,639 3 BUILDG – REPLAC – ROOF $54,675 1 ELCTRC – NEW – 1-FMLY $2,500 9 ELCTRC – NEW – SOLAR $237,164 5 MECHAN – NEW – 1-FMLY 432,766 3 PLUMBG – NEW – 1-FMLY $7,891 1 POOLSP […]

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