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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 […]

My turn: More than a buzzword

I’m sure we have all had jobs working for a stern boss, or alongside an unpleasant coworker. If you haven’t ever encountered such a personality, I am interested to know where you have worked, and whether they are hiring. Even in the most polished of organizations, not everyone is friendly, or shares the same sense […]

My Turn: Technical education needed to fill high-demand jobs of tomorrow

Many complex problems are holding back the California economy. And one of the biggest reasons is the state’s shortage of high-skilled workers. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers predicts that, given the rates of retirement of current high-skill workers and the rebound of the manufacturing sector, the shortfall of skilled workers nationwide could increase to nearly […]

Building restored

Congratulations to the Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor No. 9. Your expert restoration of the exterior of the Greenwood Schoolhouse is an invaluable service to the community. Preserving both local history and a valuable community asset doubles the value of this project. An historical preservation fund from the statewide NSGW provided $6,500 to […]

Outstanding dog

Last week we were pleased to bring our readers the story of Cai the German Shepherd. Cai was trained by Noreen McClintok, a nurse and El Dorado Hills resident. The pair joined a group of Search and Rescue volunteers and trained dogs from throughout California to help search for victims of the slide in Oso, […]

Retain Joe Harn as auditor

Whether it’s $150 haircuts for welfare recipients or secret pay raises for some favored appointed department head, we have always counted on El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn to bring these government misdeeds to light. When Supervisor Charlie Paine disappeared from office, moving to Costa Rica with his girlfriend, Harn stopped his automatic check deposit […]

Belltower: El Niño or el nada?

As El Dorado Irrigation District Director George Osborne noted at the April 14 board meeting an El Niño could go south on us. Osborne, retired as a local commander of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, had a professional interest in the weather. Predictions that we might have an El Niño year in […]

The balancing act: Save the whales

About four months ago a movie called Blackfish was run on one of the cable channels. Perhaps it should have run on the propaganda channel. As I watch the film, it became more obvious that it had an ax to grind (like retribution against a former employer) other than the well-being of orcas and would […]

Something to think about: Teach your children well

And there we were again, listening to another horrific account of a school disaster, only this time it wasn’t a gun, it was two kitchen knives. And no one died. A quick thinking student pulled the fire alarm; another applied pressure to a wound; still another offered help to a wounded student and stayed with […]

The weekly Daley: ‘Everything’s coming up ruses’

With warm weather comes the growing season, and things are sprouting up everywhere. Green weeds along with green grass-like substances abound, and Iris plants are shooting up with their purple and root beer-hued crowns, while buds are turning to blossoms almost before our eyes. Pine pollen seems to have subsided, but something every bit as […]

Retain Bill Schultz as Recorder-Clerk

Periodically someone thinks it might be worth a shot at running for election against Recorder-Clerk Bill Schultz. As usual they waste their money paying the filing fee. This year’s competitor, who registered to vote in late February, was too busy to appear at the first candidates’ forum sponsored by the Tea Party in the Hills. […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Zombies and other myths (life lesson No. 2)

Zombies are issues that are considered resolved by law or fact but keep rising from the grave. The fact that many issues of public and social policy are never settled is what Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, calls “Zombies.” These issues are resurrected, albeit with different spins, often in spite of not being […]

My turn: A fair California flat income tax

Since 1935 California individuals and corporations have been paying a state income tax. The individual California income tax is considered progressive, meaning the more one earns the greater the “rate” imposed. California corporations pay a flat tax depending upon the industry classification. The personal California rates are divided into nine tax rate brackets from 1 […]

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