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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 […]

Franckly speaking: Today I write in praise of … pausing

This is a column in praise of the pause. I’ve been pausing for things all my life, but I recently realized that some pauses — not the traffic signal type — contain hidden wealth. The other day I was trying to remember who sang “If You Could Read My Mind.” I pictured the singer’s face […]

The weekly Daley: Archnemeses

“USA to confront archnemesis,” the headline blared. I just don’t remember where I saw it, whether on Sunday or Monday. Having been traveling from San Sebastian, Spain to San Francisco all day Sunday and then some and being out of the news loop, I was a little punchy by the time I saw the headline. […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Don’t allow the past to own you

It’s amazing how one episode can affect you, sometimes for years, sometimes for a lifetime. I remember once, when I was 8 or 9 years old, that I saw a relative of mine drunk. He was crawling across a lawn to his apartment in the Richmond Housing Projects. A small crowd started to gather to […]

Hot June

The bad news from the El Dorado Irrigation District is during the week of June 4-10 ratepayers only used 3 percent less water than the three-year average. The good news is EID customers conserved 3 percent during a week that was hotter than blazes. Here are the daytime temperature reading from the Mountain Democrat for […]

Bass Lake transfer

June 9 the El Dorado Irrigation District finally concluded a sales agreement with the Rescue Union School District for 58 acres adjacent to Bass Lake. The school district also gets the lake. For the record, EID discontinued using the lake in 2009 and in October 2011 declared it surplus property. EID had most recently used […]

My turn: Micro Farms preserve our ‘quality of life’

People move to El Dorado County for the “quality of life” created by our open spaces and rural lifestyle. They move here to get out of the city, away with the rooftops and crowded freeways to the country to improve their “quality of life.” Our rural lifestyle did not happen by accident; it is the […]

Winners pick winners

Every coach wants to pick a winner at draft time. Some coaches seem to be better at picking winners, but it isn’t all 40-yard dashes and game film. It isn’t all intuition. Some football coaches have a formula for picking winners. They pick only college graduates. That is also a way to choose football players […]

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