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 […]

The weekly Daley: What is up with…?

Geez, I leave home and go to Spain for a while only to come back to a country that seems to have gone off the rails. Now, corporations have souls and religious rights to deny certain elements of health care, particularly to women. Five guys in black robes determined that a company can pick and […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

Something to think about: Déjà vu

It’s déjà vu all over again as Iraq once again erupts into turmoil and the U.S. is being drawn in, sending advisors and boots on the ground to Iraq. The phrase “sending advisors,” makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. “Sending advisors” happened in the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

Grading problems

One element of this year’s Grand Jury report provided a valuable highlight on some issues that need correction — enforcing the grading ordinance. There are several sections dealing with what has been the lack of enforcement of the county’s Grading Ordinance, but the key issue is the site of the old Diamond Lime Plant. Lime […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

My turn: EPA’s new carbon standards — CO2 fix or another tax?

If you have an extra minute, take a look around you. How many people do you know react to facts with a psychodynamic response — an automatic, partly unconscious act of tuning out at the first hint of anything counter to their predisposed ideas? Or if they do choose to engage, it is through the […]

Train upgrading

We’re glad to hear the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation is closer to having a regular engine restored for use on the eight-mile segment the board granted it to use for rail passenger service. With the small A Cars it currently has in operation, the El Dorado Western Railway transported 2,200 people last year between […]

July 09, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

Rock doc: An ancient American woman buried by the sea

I need to get a cap on my front tooth redone — it has a significant chip in it. Luckily I live at a time in which dentists are in every city and town, plying their trade in ways that can help us each day. A young woman who scientists are calling Naia was not […]

July 08, 2014 | Posted in Opinion

The balancing act: Questionable dealing

El Dorado County’s chief administrative officer, Terri Daly, has a history. Before she came to El Dorado County, she was the CAO of Amador County from 2007 to 2010. Prior to that she was the assistant CAO of Amador County for about a year and a half, and before assuming that post she was originally […]

California rambling: Vagabondizing at Mono Lake

Mark Twain was, in his own word, “vagabondizing,” when he visited Mono Lake in California’s eastern Sierra in 1862 and wrote about in “Roughing It.” Twain’s descriptions of Mono Lake, as read by Stuart Wilkinson of Caldera Kayaks at the end of one of his guided kayak tours of the lake 152 years later, remain […]

Clearly a conflict

One of the strangest sections of this year’s Grand Jury Report is the one dealing with radio purchases by the Lake Valley Fire Protection District in Meyers at Tahoe. The report discusses the case of Gareth Harris, who owned a retail store in Marin County, which he closed in 2002, but continued to operate as […]

The weekly Daley: On being secure

While I’ve noted that traveling is good for the body and mind and maybe especially the soul, there is an aspect to modern travel that can drain the life and spirit right out of you. The security checks at airports, and in Europe the train stations as well, are positively inhumane. Our own are bad […]

A document for all time

Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago today, the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and its king was signed, even though leading churches in Philadelphia already had a copy on July 2. The key phrase for us is the beginning of the second paragraph: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: To learn, you need to keep your mouth shut!

Father’s Day always takes me back to my life lessons learned from my dad. • Dad often told me, “Be careful of any free lunch offer. There isn’t such a thing as a free lunch.” He recommended that I step back and count to 50 when an offer that seemed “too good to be true” […]

My turn: MCWRA opposes SB 1199

Mountain Counties Water Resources Association advocates for the water interests of its members in the Sierra Nevada mountain communities. We have significant concerns about Senate Bill 1199, “Wild and scenic rivers: Mokelumne River.” SB 1199, authored by Oakland Senator Loni Hancock, designates almost 37 miles of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras and Amador counties as […]

Secret science

We are totally stumped. Until it was pointed out by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, we had no idea there was a government agency that sponsored research and kept it secret. The Environmental Protection Agency funds research to support its regulations and even picks its own […]

My turn: El Dorado County on the move to drive innovation

We ask the public to join the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in our commitment to create a renaissance regarding the county’s reputation. For starters, Terri Daly has been working at our direction for almost four years and we want you to know that we support our chief administrative officer (CAO) who is working […]

Economic opportunity

The University of California at Davis is planning to open a satellite campus. The general outlines are for a campus focusing on food, health and the environment. Sacramento thinks it will get the campus for the rail yard, but that is a long way off from development. El Dorado County should organize a delegation of […]

Belltower: Honor and duty

“Honor and distinction.” That’s how National Security Advisor Susan Rice described Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who by all accounts of his platoon mates abandoned his post. You think she would have learned better after being laughed at for saying the four Americans who died in the Benghazi Consulate were killed by rioters incensed by a video […]

Neutering the board

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. — Lord Acton The El Dorado County 2013-14 Grand Jury’s attack on elected officials, as detailed in a news story Monday, also contains a multi-page effort to turn the members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors into factotums for the chief administrative officer, the […]

The weekly Daley: Getting out of town

There’s nothing like travel to perk up the senses, grow some new dendrites, eat something you never thought you’d eat and meet someone you never would otherwise have met. Travel consistently gives me a laugh. T-shirts, funny signs, foreign words that are awkwardly translated or words that in their own language are just plain funny. […]

Something to think about: A day to celebrate

Today is June 27, which may not mean much to you unless it’s your birthday or anniversary. It doesn’t mean much to me, either, but if you’re looking for something to celebrate, here are a few choices: This is the 178th day of the year with 187 days remaining, which means there are plenty of […]

The balancing act: Jan. 30, 1933

There is a movement in El Dorado County that could be called a coup d’county, a takeover of county government under the absolute rule of the county chief administrative officer. And it looks like this movement is led by the county CAO, Terri Daly, her followers and minions. Maybe EDC executives will become like those […]

My turn: GDPUD’s caliber of leadership

I had the distinct displeasure of attending a Georgetown Divide Public Utilities District Board meeting in June. I have had some concerns about this board for a while and wanted to bring that forth directly to the board. I wrote a statement to make sure that I could deliver my message in a concise and […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Drowning in their Tea Pee 838

In one of the biggest primary election upsets ever, the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, lost his bid to a virtual unknown. While every pundit worth their salt has weighted in on the underlying meaning of this, two things occur to me. First, this election was Cantor’s to lose. And lose it he did. It […]

A confused report

Multiplication… that’s the name of the game! And every generation… you know they play the same! — Bobby Darin, from the 1960 Movie “Come September” The 2013-2014 Grand Jury must have been watching Turner Classic Movies when they wrote in their report about the “proliferation of elected officials in El Dorado County.” There are seven […]

Rock doc: Behind the hum of electrical power

Think about the most complicated machine you’ve dealt with in the past year. Was it a beeping monitor tethered to a high-tech device in an emergency room? Or was it a superfast computer you used at work? Actually, the most complicated machine you’ve interacted with was the one you used this morning when you switched […]

College debt

It seems like millions of college students have decided to dive off the high board with little or no experience at swimming. Metaphorically, we are talking about the $1.2 trillion in student loan debt as of March. This year 70 percent of the undergraduates have loans. To to put that in perspective, in 2004 total […]

California rambling: Responsibility at sea

For several hours each day, the lives of 5,000 men and women depend on the decisions of a 25-year-old Somerset man. That’s a lot of responsibility for someone so young, but as Ensign Dominic Montez explains, the U.S. Navy expects a lot from its sailors. The 26-year-old naval officer is the only Surface Warfare Officer […]