Celebrity bizarro

Japanese-taught martial arts expert Steven Seagal’s biggest role on the silver screen was the 1992 movie, “Under Siege,” in which he played a Navy Seal counterterrorism expert. His acting career went into decline from there. Now he has really entered celebrity Purgatory. Seagal apparently has a blues band and was reported by Russian news to […]

My turn: The paradox of gun control

Another shooting of innocent people by a mentally deranged youth seeking retribution for the way he perceived he’d been treated has brought emotionally charged demands for “sanity” in our gun laws. The father of one of the victims insists “not one more.” Of course, it’s an opportunity to play the “blame game.” The easy targets […]

Sand Fire benefit

Mark your calendar for Friday, Aug. 22. On that date from 5 to 10 p.m. there will be a pasta dinner and entertainment at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds to raise funds for the benefit of the victims of the 4,200-acre Sand Fire. What a great community effort put together in short order by community […]

Belltower: From aluminum to plastic

When I lived on Bernal Heights in San Francisco my landlord, who lived upstairs, was working on his Master of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco State. His oeuvre was using an airbrush to paint large oil paintings of Swanson TV dinner trays lit by colored lights. He held his master’s show at his house. […]

Low comedy

Low comedy is a “comedy bordering on farce,” according to Merriam-Webster. And that’s what we would call what went on at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors July 29 when one of four initiatives that passed muster with the county Elections Department got shunted off the Nov. 4 ballot. Not that we like any […]

The balancing act: Animals rule

Most El Dorado County residents know that our county’s “make shift” animal shelter needs to be replaced. It has been an issue for at least eight years. The Placerville Drive facility was much too small and ill equipped to do the job, but its dedicated staff made do anyway. Needing replacement because of the limited […]

The weekly Daley: Getting tough on immigration (that was then)

I wrote this piece back in October 2011. At the time, I assumed that by now, three years later, we would have seen some pretty substantial changes on the immigration issue. What was I thinking? My brother the conservative was all about Rick Perry until the Texas governor got caught having allowed children of undocumented […]

The serializer

By serializer, we are not talking about a cliff-hanger or a box of Cheerios. No, we are talking about who facilitated a serial meeting of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. It has been crystal clear to us that the Board of Supervisors violated the Brown Act when four members of the board approved […]

Something to think about: Slow boat to China

I am taking a slow boat to China — actually I’m taking a slow boat through China, part of it, at least. To prepare, my husband and I have gotten enough shots to feel like colanders, including a polio shot. Whatever happened to the sugar cubes? We now have visas — not Visas, but little […]

Penguins by the millions

Just because California had one of the hottest Januaries on record doesn’t mean the world’s going to Hades in a handbasket. It doesn’t mean even a smidgen of global warming. All it meant is a drought for California, while the East and the Midwest got hit by the Polar Vortex. January was also when a ship […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: How not to run for BOS

Well, I have suffered through the first candidate forum to determine someone to fill the vacant seat in the Board of Supervisors’ District 2. In a take-off from a Seinfeld episode, it was cringeworthy. Not one of the five candidates evidenced any real measure of preparation for the debate. The gaffs were, well, cringeworthy. With […]

Missing the point

July 18 we stated unequivocably that the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors violated the Brown Act. At issue was a My Turn column by all four members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors printed July 2. The violation came because there was no agenda item for the board members to approve the […]

Sand Fire reflections

The 4,200 acres burned in the Sand Fire wreaked devastation from the confluence of the South and Middle forks of the Cosumnes River west almost to Highway E-16. It razed 19 homes and 49 structures. From the topographic map provided by the command center it is clear that the steep canyons involved made containing and […]

California rambling: ‘Same Time, Next Year’

In the 1978 motion picture, “Same Time, Next Year,” actors Ellen Burstyn and Allen Alda return each year to the Heritage House Resort on the Mendocino Coast, where the movie was shot. For decades, they were not alone. Staying at the Heritage House Resort became an annual tradition for many of its guests. That’s because […]

The rural life: Walking — wowza!

In a world where health advice changes like the weather, there’s one prescription you can rely on: walking. I’ve quit trying to keep track of which foods are good and which are bad (they keep trading places), and instead just try to walk as much as I can. I’ve sung the virtues of walking before. […]

The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

The so-called border crisis doesn’t seem to be getting any better, fewer headlines maybe, but not measurably better. Our own Congressman Tom McClintock did what he could for the cause when he addressed his fellow representatives last week. Using the customary rhetoric and hyperbole about how it’s all the president’s fault, because he wants to […]

Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

When I visit my dental hygienist, Katrina, it feels like I am in a psychiatrist’s office. She has me lie down on a couch/chair that could fit well into any psychiatric office. Katrina then asks me if I have had any problems since I last visited her. Her soft, friendly voice relaxes me. Her counseling […]

My Turn: Privatization of public services

One of my concerns is the inefficacy in the way our public services are delivered to taxpayers. Let’s call them customers. There should be a California law that allows private companies to compete for delivery of public services to its customers. Whether it’s maintenance services, education, correctional institutions, revenue collection, emergency services and anything the […]

Policy book

We assume new members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors receive a copy of the board’s policy manual. It’s quite a bit to digest, having 89 sections. The section on ordinances is worth a book all by itself. There’s no qualification for running for the Board of Supervisors other than being a voter […]

My turn: Community College: What’s in it for students (and for citizens)?

California’s community college system enrolls more students (a total of about 2.1 million) and offers more programs (at least 175 different technical fields) than any other post-secondary education system in the U.S. In fact, one of every four community college students in the nation attends one of the 112 community college campuses in California. According […]

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

In late January of 2013 an e-mail was sent to many county employees by Kim Kerr who listed her title as ACAO (assistant chief administrative officer) and interim Department of Transportation Director. The body of the e-mail had three points, one about recruitment, and a series of bullet points about training opportunities. But it was […]

My turn: History of Crawford and East Diamond Ditch detailed

As a 40-year customer on the East Diamond Ditch, I read with interest your article entitled “EID ditch customers get relief,” which appeared on the front page of the Wednesday, July 23, 2014, issue of your paper. This story gloriously paints the staff and Board of Directors of EID as knights on white horses riding […]

Bee-ing silly

For the last few years there has been a constant buzz about bee “colony collapse disorder.” Collapse is not necessarily a bee die-off. It’s bees abandoning a hive. The bees don’t die; they just head somewhere else. Not that there isn’t a loss of bees over the winter. For reasons still unexplained, these over-winter losses […]

Belltower: Bring on the killer robots, but not grizzlies

The same people who brought us the Internet are now working on robots for the Army. I’m talking about the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known DARPA. While DARPA is working on killer robots, there are groups working to stop the Army robots, specifically Human Rights Watch. Look for the United Nations to next work […]

The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

Next time you’re planning a trip to San Sebastian on the northwest coast of Spain, I recommend timing your arrival to coincide with Pintxo Week. Pintxo Week began a day or two before we got to San Sebastian on June 9. As I recall, the week actually lasted more like 10 days or so. We […]

Something to think about: More than what you see

There are two old sayings that I have found to be absolutely true: “Never judge a book by its cover” and “There’s more than meets the eye.” In the course of the almost 10 years I have been a reporter, I have interviewed thousands of people in El Dorado County for a wide variety of reasons […]

Popular science

Science often comes down to a popularity contest. That’s what happened to global warming, especially after Al Gore began evangelizing through books and movies. Major metropolitan newspapers also accepted it as scientific fact as well as President Obama and California Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown. Here is the latest measure of the popularity of […]

Rock doc: A light fast twice per week

It certainly sounded like a fad to me. A while ago I caught a program on public television about a medical doctor in Great Britain. Dr. Michael Mosley, like millions in both that country and in the U.S., found that in middle age he needed to lose weight and lower his blood sugar and cholesterol […]

Rock doc: Have a cup of joe to help your eyes?

My day starts with coffee. I’m too cheap to buy it by the cup from baristas, so I just brew my own Folgers by the pot. I have a cup or two as I settle into work each morning, and another cup – sometimes two – in the early afternoon. That may not be wise […]

My turn: Special interests at EID

There are a lot of false rumors, innuendos and pseudo facts being generated by a small group of special interest folks, a couple of whom made a lot of noise recently. From false and misleading accusations, to demands that I recuse myself from voting … being on the EID board never gets dull. There’s a […]

Russian metastasis

Like cancer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB colonel, is spreading the Russian disease in Ukraine. Having already swallowed up the Crimean Peninsula with little push-back from the West, why wouldn’t he think he couldn’t infiltrate eastern Ukraine with his soldiers of misfortune? Who is stopping him? He already has taken a chunk out […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

There are lots of reasons why things do not get done: procrastination, timidity, lack of resources, contrary to policy or principles, or just plain resistance due to the uncertainty or discomfort of the new, that is a change to the status quo. All organizations face the unsettling aspects of change. And resistance shows up in […]

Different place, different priorities

While we await the various local anti-growth initiatives working their way through the system, we will take a moment to look at what a pro-growth policy does for an area. We are talking about Texas. An opinion piece opposite the editorial page of the July 15 Wall Street Journal highlighted some interesting facts. Naturally, the […]

The rural life: Save the day: Neuter and spay

My neighbor meant well. His e-mail, sent to everyone in our homeowners association, began, “Anyone need kittens? Of course you do!” He went on to explain that two strays at his friend’s house had produced litters that now needed homes. He pointed out that “kittens are great for all kinds of things out here in […]

California rambling: Giving cities a pass

What if a city’s best attractions were packaged like a theme park’s, with admission to all its best museums and sightseeing attractions on one pass? That’s the question theme park executive Mike Gallagher asked himself in 1996. He’d just left Marine World Africa USA in Vallejo and was out of work for the first time […]

Brown Act violated

Some of you may have noticed the My Turn column July 2 by all four members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. Unusual. Also, illegal. Yes, there was no regular item on the board’s agenda for them to approve whoever wrote this on their behalf. It’s been clear to us for a long […]

July 18, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

The weekly Daley: More travels in Iberia

Living as we do in a small town, we’re not real accustomed to traveling on big city public transportation. Barcelona is a big city by our standards, more than a million and a half inhabitants, and the city is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, a region with a population of about five […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Occasionally I am stupid

Ten days ago I went to see my doctor after several sleepless nights of coughing and hacking. X-rays revealed that I had pneumonia, an acute infection of the lungs. A fever accompanied the pneumonia, and my doctor said not to go to work the next day, and no strenuous activity, such as tennis, for a […]

Rock doc: What antibiotics may be doing to us

It’s astonishing to think about, but when my grandfather was born, tuberculosis was the No. 1 cause of death in our country. Worse still, one in five children didn’t live to see their 5th birthday, in large part due to endemic and epidemic diseases. Today that’s all changed. But although doctors can now often do […]

Publisher’s ink: Was this trial all for ‘Nutting?’

Now that the dust has settled following the trial of Supervisor Ray Nutting, many readers are wondering what cost to county taxpayers was spent on this losing endeavor? Losing you ask? Wasn’t Supervisor Nutting found guilty of something? Let’s see. District Attorney Vern Pierson charged Supervisor Nutting with four felonies and at the end of […]

Save the Druid Monument

The Cedar Ravine roundabout is a goner. The Placerville City Council, on a July 8 3-2 vote, ruled out a roundabout there. That leaves a real problem. How will the city create a four-way intersection when the Druid Monument is right smack dab in the middle of the intersection? It works now because it is […]

My turn: Protecting watersheds first step in water policy

Mountain watersheds can survive without the Delta, but the Delta cannot survive without the watersheds. The waters that form creeks and streams in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountains and join to create the great rivers that flow into the Central Valley provide water to more than two-thirds of the residents of the state and […]

The balancing act: Grand jury gobbledy-gook

Dysfunction is the key word within the title of the new Grand Jury report published on June 20 regarding the El Dorado County Charter. Most if not all Grand Juries are supposed to be fact-finders, and although I didn’t examine the entire report to see if other areas of the report had fact-finding or opinion, the […]

Belltower: Medals and belt buckles

One of our readers called to complain that it is incorrect to refer to the Medal of Honor as the “Congressional Medal of Honor.” Strictly speaking, he is correct, even though the medal was authorized by an act of Congress. And if Wikipedia is to believed, here is the wording: “The President may award, and […]

Fear and ‘visioning’

Fear and ‘visioning’ As the so-called “visioning” thing proceeds in community plans under the assistance of consultants, so far there is little actual feedback that has come back to the board other than a happy-talk “Community Planning Guide” that is sorely lacking in specifics. In a recent general presentation to the El Dorado County Board […]