My turn: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

About 60 percent of all developed water sources come from the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the form of snowmelt and rain runoff. The world’s largest fresh water reservoir (in the form of snow pack) is right here in California. Snow melt finds its way through mountain streams, tributaries and large river systems eventually making […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Other things I have learned

The following are some life lessons I have stumbled across. I hope I have avoided platitudes, empty pieties, self-evident propositions, commencement oratory and anything that sounds like it may have come from the inside of a fortune cookie. But then again… 1. If someone says, “It’s too complicated for me to explain it to you,” […]

The rural life: Cloud watching

“Not a cloud in the sky.” Sound like a perfect day? Not to me. I think a sky without a single cloud is like a table without flowers, or a neck without pearls. It’s missing the adornment that sets off its true beauty. I’ve always loved clouds. I love gazing at them to see what […]

California rambling: Wonderful Wawona

Miwok Indians named it “Pallahchun,” meaning “a good place to stay.” Settlers later named it after the Miwok name for “big tree,” wawō’na. Though, to many, it is Yosemite National Park’s “best-kept secret.”  With its historical hotel, golf course, history center, artist studio and nearby attractions, Wawona is where people who live in Yosemite Valley […]

Wanted by the U.S.

It may seem like spitting in the wind, but we’ll give credit to Attorney General Eric Holder, obviously with the support of President Obama, for exposing the Chinese cyber thieves. Part of a military unit, the pictures published Tuesday show at least two of them in uniform. With names like Wang Dong aka Ugly Gorilla, […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: I am a tad weird

It seems that I notice things that other people do not notice. Recently I concluded that most right-handed people pick their noses with their left hand and that the nostrils of right-handed people are a little wider on the right side as you look at them. • Keeping in mind the above information — never […]

Memorial Day

Memorial Day traditionally marks the start of the summer vacation season. Nothing like a three-day weekend to bring out all the amateur drivers and keep the CHP busy with those who imbibed too much before heading back home. Originally Memorial Day was called Decoration Day to honor those who died in the Civil War — […]

Take my word for it: Summer ‘break’

I try not to be jealous of my kids, but this time I cannot resist. Summer is coming and I can’t help but miss my youth the most this time of the year. My eldest daughter “graduates” kindergarten next week. Then she’ll escape the grasp of the educational system and be released back into the […]

Poor choice

Regular readers of Mountain Democrat editorials know we take strong positions and don’t expect 100 percent agreement on those from our readers. We tackle the issues locally, statewide and nationally, undaunted by whatever power may feel offended. One thing we never do is comment on pending court cases. Our staff provides detailed and unbiased coverage […]

My turn: Barton helping beyond the hospital Walls

It takes collaboration and action to meet a community’s needs. In March 2012, Barton Health engaged with South Lake Tahoe residents to complete a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment. In the Affordable Care Act, all nonprofit hospitals must identify health needs for vulnerable, often under-served, populations within their community and create an action plan to […]

Rock doc: Major shaking on the horizon

I once experienced a small earthquake when I was visiting the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The natives thought little of the temblor but I was impressed that the ground beneath my feet could suddenly and without warning start to shake. Later, when I majored in geology in college, I learned that my native […]

Whistleblower or mole?

What are we to make of Edward Snowden, now under the protection of Russian president-for-life Vladimir Putin? Snowden fancies himself a whistleblower saving us from a vast domestic surveillance program by the National Security Agency. That’s the view of Sen. Rand Paul. His father, Ron Paul, is organizing a clemency petition for Snowden. That viewpoint won […]

Belltower: Saratoga a lost opportunity

When I flew to Munich, Germany, in 1966 I had already been in the Navy a year. That included nine weeks of boot camp in San Diego (now closed), a summer of working in the Marine scullery in Memphis, Tenn., until my billet for eight months of avionics school came through. Then I spent another […]

The balancing act: Being nonpartisan doesn’t stop politics

Running for office in El Dorado County, as non partisan as it is supposed to be (no party affiliations), is still loaded with plenty of dirty politics. And it looks like there is a need of a large laundromat to clean up the schmutz being hurled by some members of the Board of Supervisors and […]

The weekly Daley: Good news, bad news or not even news?

It’s prom season and the prom fashion police appear to be out in force. Reports abound that this girl or that boy has been denied entrance to the prom because she or he was wearing an outfit that didn’t suit those in power in their school or school district. CNN online gives a brief history […]

Fracking the economy

Count on one thing. The Obama administration dislikes oil. Though it touted the increased domestic oil production while President Obama ran for reelection, it will do everything it can behind the scenes to hinder it. Witness two years-going on three years of delay of the Keystone XL Pipeline to bring Canadian oil to the Gulf […]

Something to think about: Clueless about country

I am not a country music fan. When I was a child, it was called country western and there was a lot of twang in it. The men’s voices all seemed to have gotten stuck in adolescence as they semi-yodeled mournful words. There was that old joke that if you played country music backwards you […]

My turn: Public comment period for the Delta Plan’s EIR/EIS

Finally, the taxpayers will have a chance to go on record about the state’s plan to build two-story-high twin tunnels, so they can capture fresh water just below the city of Sacramento to be piped away from the San Francisco Bay-Delta and shipped down to the 40 or 50 corporate farmers, who happen to receive […]

Help Ukrainian Army

With three helicopters shot down in eastern Ukraine, two by hand-held anti-aircraft missiles, it is clear the Ukrainian Army is outgunned. The professional Russian provocateurs who organized the takeover of public buildings in several east Ukrainian cities have even stolen armored vehicles away from the poorly trained Ukrainian Army. And the Ukrainian Army has been […]

Internet confusion

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Everyone understands the logic of that aphorism. Everyone but the Obama administration. From claiming the Polar Vortex is the fault of “global warming” to claiming requiring dead voters or multi-state voters to show their ID is “supressing minority voters,” the Obama administration is spending our tax dollars fixing […]

The balancing act: Shortchanging El Dorado County

About six months ago certain county official(s), including at least one member of the Board of Supervisors, had a meeting to start or investigate a program to raise short-term money for the county by selling off its delinquent tax rolls shortly after the property tax payment deadlines of Dec. 10 and April 10 of each year. On […]

California rambling: Iris Hill

In October, the area surrounding Camino is rightly named Apple Hill. Though, in May, it should be called Iris Hill.  That’s because during May, Nancy and Mike Visman’s “High Sierra Iris and Wedding Gardens” at 3170 Hassler Road is a riot of blooming irises. There, on one hillside acre, 1,100 varieties of colorful irises emit […]

The weekly Daley: It’s too hot not to handle

Well, it’s now officially official. Climate change is not just coming, it’s already upon us, according to the president and the United Nations and a whole slew of climate scientists. The president of course didn’t do the heavy lifting on the science, but he brought it to our attention, again, this week and is pushing […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Do not collect anger IOUs

Most of us collect anger IOU’s that have a tendency to accumulate and fester in our unconscious. More often than not, these anger IOUs are created by other people, including loved ones and good friends, too. Sometimes a neighbor, a boss or an acquaintance creates these IOUs, and we begin to resent these people; and […]

Where’s the beef?

For a couple of months we have been treated to a dog and pony show at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, as a person who hasn’t worked for the county in about five years made repeat appearances to make scurrilously made-up claims about the county auditor, for whose office this person was never […]

Take my word for it: Words are weapons nowadays

You have to be careful what you say nowadays. A playful word here and there can turn into something much different when taken out of context and in the wrong setting. My kids always seem to be listening. Even when they can’t hear a word of instruction I give, somehow they can repeat every single […]

Lost pivot

President Obama just completed a swing through Asia, assuring allies that he had their backs against China’s aggressive moves to take over the whole South China Sea. It’s part of his so-called “pivot” to the Pacific. The countries bordering the South China Sea have cause to worry. China’s territorial claims take it way beyond the […]

The balancing act: Sterling is not golden

By now everyone knows about billionaire Donald Sterling. He doesn’t appear to be a very nice guy. I knew that fact over 40 years ago as we both had offices on the same floor in a Beverly Hills office building on the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive. What I remember most about […]

EID water rights safe

Jan. 17 the State Water Resources Control Board issued a “Notice of Surface Water Shortage and Potential for Curtailment of Water Rights.” Thursday the Sacramento Bee in a front page story warned that the water board is within days of issuing that curtailment order. It could potentially affect pre-1914 riparian water right holders who are […]

C.L. Raffety for Treasurer-Tax Collector

Sometimes, in choosing a political candidate to vote for, it’s really as simple as voting for the one most qualified for the position. In the race for Treasurer-Tax Collector, it is obvious that it is C.L. Raffety. In the position since 1985, Raffety obviously has the experience necessary for the job. In her first term, […]

The weekly Daley: Bundys and billionaires behaving badly

It’s been a rough several days for Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. The Bundy and the billionaire opened their mouths and got caught with their ignorance and foolishness on full display. Bundy at least was man enough to shout out his garbage in public knowing he was being recorded. Sterling, evidently, didn’t know his girlfriend […]

Something to think about: The full monty

I love living in a place with four seasons — seasons that announce themselves each year in spectacular ways. In winter, I love the hours after a heavy snow when the sun comes out and the thaw begins: the soft “flump” of snow as it drops from the trees, the liquid bubbling of snow melt […]

The balancing act: All the colors are taken

Nineteen hundred and three was a remarkable year. Not only did the first powered flight by a human take place by the Wright Brothers, but our country was introduced to the Crayola. Crayola became one of those marketing miracle words like Kleenex, Thermos, and Frigidaire in which a brand name was used to describe a […]

Rock doc: From shopping bags to diesel fuel

My household accumulates quite a number of plastic shopping bags. Most come home with me from the grocery store. I use them to line the little garbage pail that sits under the kitchen sink and the wastebasket that’s in the bathroom. I also have the joy of using them to pick up poop deposited by […]

My turn: Give Where You Live

As the director of your community foundation, I see daily the worth of our community giving on a daily basis. Together we enhance the experiences of education, we embrace the arts, we nurture our environment and we support myriad services and programs that benefit our older adults and our young adults. The entire spectrum of […]

Stuck in a rut

How lame is this? The group of less than a dozen that keeps suing to keep the city from replacing the one-lane Clay Street Bridge with federal bridge money is too lazy to seek petition signatures out on the street. Instead it is mailing petitions to city voters and hoping they will mail them back […]

The pot of gold

Though it is still legally questionable because it wasn’t passed with a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, California’s Air Resources Board has launched cap-and-trade rules. The so-called carbon generating auction is expected to rake in $1.5 billion next year when it is applied to fuel sellers. The real pot of gold is expected by 2020 […]

California rambling: Float your boat

Boating has the ability to reanimate primal sensations. Floating on a calm body of water can be like being immersed again inside the womb. All sense of time and place are washed away by the comforting rise and fall of swells. For many, boating isn’t a journey, race or thrill. It is simply a moment.  […]

The rural life: Keeping it rural

Do you appreciate the rural nature of western El Dorado County? If so, I hope you’re aware of the brawl taking place right now over the future of our neck of the woods. The battle lines are complicated, but in this column I hope to encourage you to learn more about what’s going on. I […]

The weekly Daley: Welcome to Georgia and have a nice day

If you’re going to Georgia this summer, you might want to do a little research before going into a bar, a church, a school or even an airport. According to a new law just passed by the Georgia legislature, (if you’re a Georgia resident) you will be able to carry your gun in the open […]

Income inequality

While our president is complaining about what he claims is income inequality, his government is handing out bonuses to various and sundry government bureaucrats. The most egregious bonuses are those given to employees of the Internal Revenue Service. We object to government handing out bonuses in the first place. In the 1980s, the El Dorado […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Marriage makes me laugh

I am going to be speaking to a couple of groups about “The Fun of Being Married.” While researching the subject, I ran across some funny comments regarding marriage, such as the following. Danny Archuleta provided the following “Men Are Just Happier People” quotes: • “When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each […]