Home coutry: Paying it forward

Windy had sent off for a doo-dad for his small kitchen, and that’s why he checked the mailbox. If you’re Alphonse “Windy” Wilson, and you’re long-in-the-tooth and single, you find yourself not checking the mailbox very often unless there’s a reason. It saves the disappointment of finding it empty, you see. But there was something […]

Home country: A time of sweetness

There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year here at home. This is a time for summing up and looking ahead … and a time for dreams. And at night… ah, that’s the time, isn’t it? Outside it’s dark, December dark, and we’re inside and warm and cocooned […]

Home country: Knowing what she wants

When it comes to romance, it’s hard to beat ol’ Dud. He and Anita have been married now for several years, but we’ve never really understood why she puts up with him. “Dud Campbell,” Anita said the other night, “what are you getting me for Christmas?” “Now Honey, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I […]

Sympathy for the Devil

So if you meet me Have some courtesy Have some sympathy, and some taste Use all your well-learned politesse Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, um yeah Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed my name, um yeah. Sympathy for the Devil, the Rolling Stones Hillary Clinton seems to have a political tin ear. […]

Home country: Santa is everywhere

For years now, Herb Collins has been helping Santa by donning the red and the beard and the tassels and waving to passing cars on Christmas Eve out at the Old Fort Road crossing. He takes a bag of candy along, in case anyone cares to stop, and he also takes his daughter Cindy along, […]

California rambling: Bracebridge Dinner

Beginning Saturday and continuing for 13 nights, California’s most storied holiday pageant and its associated free concerts will fill the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park with music and pageantry as sublime as the natural beauty surrounding the hotel. Bracebridge Dinner is a holiday event unlike any other. It is a three-hour performance and banquet at […]

The 13th Amendment

Amendment XIII Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Children’s eyes are teachers

Children’s first teachers about marriage and love are their parents. For about 18 years, the kids watch their parents in action. How the parents react to each other is a very important lesson and may determine what they expect from marriage. It may determine what type of person they decide to marry. • I was […]

Rock doc: Wake up and smell the genes

Like millions of Americans, my day starts by plugging in the coffeepot. In my case, it’s an old fashion percolator. It clears its throat and brews my coffee while I rub sleep out of my eyes and brush my teeth. My habit of starting my day with coffee — and following that initial cup with […]

The tax theory of everything

The government of Democrats by the Democrats for the Democrats is a government that believes its sole purpose is to find new ways to tax us and new ways to waste all that money. Take, for example, the Federal Communications Commission. Its chairman, Tom Wheeler, appointed by President Obama, wants to add another tax to […]

My turn: In memory of Deputy Danny Oliver and Det. Michael Davis

On Oct. 24, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Detective Michael David Davis were wantonly gunned down in one of the most cold-blooded rampages in the history of either county. By all accounts, these were exemplary law enforcement officers, fathers, husbands, sons and neighbors. Deputy Oliver spoke his last words as he […]

My turn: Let’s have a party!

Why don’t all of you come to my party? It will be efficient, fair and one that everyone can join. This party will be different than the parties you are used to. Our party goers don’t harbor special interests; base most of their beliefs on their political party ideology, religious beliefs, feel entitled or join […]

Restore the 40-hour week

While California’s unemployment rate is 7 percent, that is just an average. There are parts of the state where unemployment is as high as 22 percent. Of course, 7 percent is nothing to brag about. The national unemployment rate is 5.5 percent. The real question is how many people have checked out of the job […]

Belltower: Time, time

Time, time is on our side, as the Rolling Stones sang. Not the way our government runs it. Whether it is fall-back or spring forward, changing one’s sleep rhythm is just plain unhealthy. And none of these time changes saves a lick of money. When Daylight Saving Time is forced upon us it runs up […]

Something to think about: Glitter and attitude

I do not believe that little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails; neither do I believe that little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. I know better, being a girl myself. I do know what princesses are made of:  glitter and attitude. I know this because we have […]

The weekly Daley: Life: Thanks for everything

Assuming that I’m still here today, I will be 70 years and one day old. Seventy, count ‘em. The big seven-zero. That was my Thanksgiving gift yesterday, and I trust that it will keep on giving for at least the next 365 days, or so. Way back in 1944, as the legend goes, I was […]

Thumb on business

Although there are hundreds of American accounting firms listed as having conducted at least one audit, there are only four qualified to do accounting for large publicly traded corporations. The “A” list of accounting firms, primarily locally based, comes from the official Website of the Public Accounting Oversight Board. We counted 50 and only got […]

The first Thanksgiving proclamation

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation City of New York, Oct. 3, 1789 Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested […]

My turn: Prevent the holiday bulge — 10 healthy eating tips

By Lynn Norton, MS, RD The holidays and their food celebrations are almost here! Sound wonderful? Many love the holidays, but dread the annual resolution to lose weight. Consider this: if you eat 500 extra calories a day for two months, you could gain nearly 10 pounds. Limit holiday weight gain with the following tips. […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Poor, poor Mr. Alger

The reason some people don’t want to hear the truth is because it will destroy their delusions. — paraphrasing Friedrich Nietzsche Thank you for your recent letter to the editor of Nov. 17 expressing concern at how misguided and misinformed I am. While I do not expect to change your mind one wit, I wanted […]

Eisenhower memorial

In May, architect Frank Gehry pared his 8-story high 447-foot-long metal tapestries down from facing screens to one background screen for the proposed President Eisenhower Memorial. He also changed stone relief images to several statues. The real problem with the transparent metal screens is they all concentrate on Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower’s youth in Kansas. […]

The rural life : Forever young…and deluded

Recently I read something about Taylor Swift that amazed me. It wasn’t that she’s “America’s most important musician,” as this week’s Time magazine cover story calls her. Or that her last tour grossed a record-setting $150 million, or that her new album, “1989,” had the biggest week of sales since “The Eminem Show” in 2002. […]

Masters of disaster

El Dorado County’s leaders have a habit of tripping over their own shoelaces on their way to the water spigot. The result is they keep dispensing sand from the spigot. The six-point motion from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Oct. 14 regarding its membership in the El Dorado County Water and Power Authority […]

The weekly Daley: New words

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island lately, you will know that “vape” beat out “bae” as the Oxford English Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” this year. Based on some recent personal experience, I’m familiar with “vape,” although I had no idea it would be in the running for top honors with the Oxford […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Words that scare me

There are a few words that my wife, Monika, uses that scare me. When she says, “What did you just say to me?” I know instantly that I should not have said what I said. My first impulse is to pretend I can’t recall what I said, but she doesn’t buy my response. My next […]

California rambling: Cooking the bird

You would think that 393 years after the first Thanksgiving dinner was held, Americans would know the best way to prepare turkey. Though each year it seems a new method is announced with its inventor declaring it to be the best way yet to cook a turkey. We all know the traditional roast turkey. It’s […]

Rock doc: How ‘bout them apples?

Do you have a good gut feeling about apples? Your body may — and that could be important to your overall health. Some of the components of apples survive their trip through the upper part of the human digestive tract. Non-digestible compounds, including fiber and substances called polyphenols, stand up to chewing and the effects […]

My turn: Censuring will not censor me

As headlined Wednesday in the Mountain Democrat, the EID Board of Directors voted 3-2 to censure me in its Nov. 10 board meeting. Censure has no impact other than an attempt by three special interest board members to unjustly inflict public disgrace upon me. The real reason for the censure attack against me is that […]

My turn: Toys for Tots

Christmas comes just once a year, and as we usher in the start of the Christmas season, we are fortunate to live in a community that is ever mindful of those children among us who are in need. This year marks a significant event for Toys for Tots as our Marine Corps League 697 and […]

Save and cut

Human Resources Director Pam Knorr was chosen by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to sit in as interim county chief administrative officer. It is somewhat early to give her a rating, but from all accounts she is filling the bill and may even be exceeding the deposed CAO. Knorr did have previous experience as […]

Where’s the boom?

From September through Nov. 7 permits for single-family home construction totaled 19. That’s less than 10 per month. Not exactly a boom. Ditto for August, which saw eight single-family home permits taken out. The small number of new building permits indicate resale homes are still low enough to attract most buyers. On Sept. 26 Mountain […]

Belltower: Ground squirrels aren’t chipmunks

Reader Bruce Long of El Dorado Hills sent me an essay from the Marin Independent Journal that was published in the 1980s. Bruce moved here from there and likes getting the Mountain Democrat in the mail. It’s a nice sketch about someone who has a summer cabin along the South Fork of the American River. […]

The balancing act: Misplaced priorities

After at least a dozen Balancing Act columns describing the mismanagement of El Dorado County business by the county Chief Administrative Officer Terri Daly, the CAO resigned under pressure from the Board of Supervisors, who finally recognized that an immediate change was necessary. The light bulbs finally went off when the BOS recognized that because […]

Parallel universes

Last month the chairman of the French oil company Total SA was killed when his business jet hit a snow-removal truck when taking off from Moscow Airport. At first the Russians accused the driver of being drunk. The driver denied it and said he was sober and dispatched to the runway. Count on the Russians […]

Something to think about: Petrichor and other signs of fall

My favorite day every fall is the first day it really rains. This year, with the drought and the fires, everybody was waiting for that day. But what I wait for is the smell of rain after it hits the dust of summer — that rich, warm smell of wet earth and leaves. If it […]

My turn: Barton Health implements preventative measures against Ebola

Barton Health is committed to the safety of our patients, visitors, staff and physicians. After receiving several confirmed cases of the Ebola virus disease in the United States, Barton Health is prepared to care for and respond to suspected Ebola cases. Though the Ebola virus has not reached California or Nevada and the risk is […]

EPA waters

Nov. 14 is the latest deadline to submit comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft rules defining “waters of the United States.” In a memo summarizing what the EPA is seeking, El Dorado County Water Agency Manager Dave Eggerton told his board, “The proposed rule would dramatically expand the definition of waters of the U.S. […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Why are we different?

What makes a person a conservative or a liberal? Is it nature or nurture — or some combination? Recently social science has evolved to where it has begun providing answers. Research, based on hard science not speculation, presented in such books as “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt; “Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political […]

Rock doc: Bones can tell quite a story

His teeth had no cavities, but they were heavily worn. He was about my height — some 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He wasn’t petite, likely weighing around 160 pounds. Well before his death, he broke six of his ribs. Five of them never healed, but he kept going nevertheless. A recent article in “The […]

California rambling: Playland-Not-At-The-Beach

Amusement Parks were not places for children in the early 1950s. At least, that’s what my mother believed. On trips to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, my sisters and I would stare out the window as mom’s Oldsmobile would roll slowly past Whitney’s Playland-At-The-Beach. We were seduced by the cackling of Laffing Sal, an animated papier […]

The rural life : Monica Joy — believe!

I remember her first gig. A fourth-grader who had barely begun piano lessons, she played “Spanish Dancer” flawlessly as her younger sister danced. The venue was the Miller’s Hill School 2007 talent show. Decked out in Spanish vests and wide-brimmed, tasseled sombreros, the girls performed like pros. So much so that theirs is the only […]

Domicile vs. residence

In September, state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, was sentenced to a 90-day jail term, which he was due to begin serving on Halloween. A jury in Los Angeles had convicted him of perjury and voter fraud. His crime was living in one place, Baldwin Hills, outside the boundaries of his senate District but claiming a […]


When the Mountain Democrat editorial board decides whom to endorse for political office after talking to all the candidates, we make our decisions based on the interviews and our decision about who would be the best person for the office. We don’t make our decisions on who is most likely to win. However, we will […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Never quit exercising

On Oct. 17, my doctor, Susan Shiells, e-mailed me that I no longer had pneumonia after she reviewed my follow-up x-rays. During the last five months, I have had pneumonia twice. The first time around, I did not follow Dr. Shiells advice, which may have contributed to my second bout with pneumonia, which occurred six […]

The weekly Daley: Armageddon all over again

I called my brother the conservative right after election results showed the GOP had captured the U.S. Senate Tuesday night. His main source of glee was that %$#&&*& Harry Reid would no longer be the Senate Majority Leader. I didn’t even know he knew Harry Reid, let alone %$#&&*& Harry Reid. But no matter. What […]