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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 […]

The Balancing Act: FOD (‘Friends of Daly’)

Strong rumor has it that the county’s Chief Administrator Officer spent the last week cleaning out her desk and office of everything personal. But it remains unknown whether any county property or, more important, any county records went with her. It is also unknown if she resigned or the reason for her sudden departure. I […]

Much ado about nothing

“His words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes.” —Benedick from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing That quote summarizes the discussion by two lawyers at the Oct. 14 meeting of the El Dorado Union High School Board of Trustees. One was the district’s lawyer who claimed some “emerging area of law” that […]

My turn: Update on the EID GM’s fifth anniversary

I want to take this opportunity on my five-year anniversary to let you know how much I have truly enjoyed my time as your general manager. My message below briefly reflects back to when I was a ratepayer in the 1990s reading about the trials and tribulations facing EID in fixing its infrastructure problems and […]

The balancing act: Arrogance, incompetence and abuse of power

This column’s theme for the last several months has been about mismanagement within the Chief Administrator’s Office and it goes right to the top. It all started with the climate of fear and the unfounded claims made by the county’s Chief Administrative Officer. Then it went into the CAO’s hiring practices in recruiting people who, […]

Our endorsements

Placerville City Council Patty Borelli, John Clerici, Wendy Thomas Supervisor District 4  Michael Ranalli Supervisor District 5  Sue Novasel Local measures Measure M-No This would give Caltrans the power to decide whether commute-hour traffic does or will in the future reach Level of Service F anywhere on Highway 50 west of Placerville. That decision or forecast will […]

The weekly Daley: Halloween vs. Ebola vs. ISIS vs. Election Day

Talk about scary. How about what’s going on today: Halloween. I’ve seen reports of people snapping up Ebola victim Haz-Mat type suits for costumes. That’s kind of funny in a creepy way. Surprisingly, I have not seen or heard of anyone proclaiming this or that costume to be un-American, anti-Christian or insensitive to one group […]

Retain appellate judges

Out of 10 justices on the Third Court of Appeals, seven are on the Nov. 4 ballot for confirmation. All but one who was appointed this year were appointed to this court by Republican governors. Should a majority of voters vote against confirmation, they will be casting a vote for Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint […]

Something to think about: Your three minutes are up

In the way, way back days, telephone operators used to tell pay phone users when the three minutes their dime paid for was up. In our cell phone-riddled lives, we don’t hear that phrase any more — unless we’re at a City Council meeting. I’ve been attending Placerville City Council meetings since 2005, unwillingly at […]

My turn: The history behind why Placerville business and property owners, along with local residents, support Measure K

A little background information may shed some light on the current controversy surrounding Measure K and why Placerville residents should care. The initial public meeting for the Cedar Ravine/Main Street Roundabout project was held in November 2007, and was well attended by community members, the majority of whom were strongly opposed to the roundabout project. […]

Rock doc: The start of a better trend for diabetes

“Eat right and exercise.” It’s good advice. But millions of us Americans struggle every day to live up to our hopes regarding diet and activity. Some of us are pretty good at one thing (for me, it’s exercise) but not good at the other (starch and sweets make up too much of my diet). It […]

My turn: Lies, damn lies and statistics

While driving through Coloma on my way to an appointment, I took notice of yet another modification on a Howard Penn for Supervisor sign. Penn’s first campaign signs during the primary simply read Howard Penn for Supervisor District Four. After the primary I noticed that his new signs included “Stop Developer Influence” and recently he […]

Yes to Prop. 1

After extensive negotiation between the governor and the Legislature, the voters are being asked to approve a $7.1 billion water bond. The governor wanted to keep it small and keep it focused. Past water bonds have been larded down with no-water-related pork to win votes in the Legislature and to win backing from various environmental […]

My turn: Voters guide for dummies

I have been on both sides of an election: a candidate for supervisor in my county of residence, Calaveras (1992), and Assembly member of the 5th California district (2012). I have voted in almost every election since the age of 18 here in California, Maryland and New York. Whether you’re a candidate or a constituent, […]

Rock doc: A better way to shine light in a dark world

Years ago I purchased a headlamp — a small flashlight that straps around your head to light your way. It’s really useful because it leaves both your hands free as you work or walk. I used my headlamp during the dark half of the year to exercise my dog in dark pastures and an undeveloped […]

No to Prop. 48

California already has 60 Indian casinos. Compare that to Reno, Nev., which has 16 and La Vegas, Nev., which has 108. What happens in Las Vegas should stay there. We don’t need Las Vegas in California. What Proposition 48 seeks is to ratify a deal to let the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians build […]

California rambling: Skiing and snowboarding with benefits

Being loyal has benefits, particularly when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. Ski areas used to compete with one another for a skiing and riding public that was expanding, but for the last few decades skier and snowboarder visits have been declining. Last winter, 56.2 million skier visits occurred at U.S. ski areas, according to […]

The rural life: Beastly crimes

Change is in the air. Starting next year, the FBI will begin tracking animal cruelty as a top-tier offense, categorizing it individually in the agency’s uniform reporting system. Traditionally, animal abuse has been lumped with smaller crimes under a generic “other” category, lessening its priority and making it difficult to find, count and track. Now, […]

No to Prop. 47

One thing we can say for sure about Proposition 47 is that it will increase burglaries. That is guaranteed. Proposition 47 seeks to downgrade certain felonies to misdemeanors. Our No. 1 gripe about this ballot box tinkering with the criminal law statutes is that it changes possession of stolen property from a felony to a […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Start your day with thankfulness

How does your day normally start? I start each day with a short meditation that basically gives thanks to the Great Spirit for my many blessings. After giving thanks, I turn on the coffee pot and enjoy the comforting coffee aroma and taste while I read the newspaper. No negative thinking allowed in my first […]

My turn: Hangtown Ball = economic development

Placerville Mayor Carl Hagen knows more about the economics of festival tourism than he does about the jam music scene. No matter — he’ll be on stage at the fairgrounds this weekend as a guest of the Hangtown Halloween Ball, welcoming the music festival crowd and introducing one of the headliners. “Leftover Salmon,” in this […]

My turn: Are the local ballot measures really ‘good’ for agriculture?

Our mission statement at the El Dorado County Farm Bureau is simply “To protect, promote and enhance economic opportunities and long-term viability for El Dorado County farmers, ranchers and foresters.” Recently, a young woman commented to me that she felt the family farm was an indicator of the health of a community. Prosperous farms meant […]

No to Prop. 46

Proposition 46 is nothing but a trial lawyers’ scam. Called “Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute,” the real purpose of this initiative is to quadruple the cap on non-economic damage awards from $250,000 to $1.1 million. And make lawyers rich. To disguise the money grab by the personal injury bar, […]

The balancing act: Figuring out the ballot

During a presentation at the always spunky Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County meeting, District 4 supervisorial candidate Howard Penn said he believed in a “free market.” But when asked to explain that philosophy with his contradictory support of Proposition M, Penn said something to the effect that he was not “that free market.” A […]

Belltower: Oakland Aviation Museum

Recently I had occasion to visit the Oakland Aviation Museum, located at 8252 Earhart Road in Oakland. It’s not on the level of the March Air Force Base Museum in Riverside or the Pima Air and Space Museum in the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscon, Ariz. But it has one airplane none of the […]

No to Prop. 45

Proposition 45 will just drive up insurance rates by making it more complicated, more difficult and way longer for health insurers to adjust their rates when the cost of medical care rises. Not only that, this measure guarantees that the state will load more costs onto health insurers. Here are two ways this initiative that […]

The weekly Daley: What are the odds?

While my brother the conservative doesn’t completely blame the president for allowing the Ebola virus to wipe out all of Africa, most of everywhere else and at least one or two people in this country, he’s pretty sure Barack Obama missed the boat or dropped the ball or stuck his head in the sand trap instead […]

Something to think about: Then the Wi-Fi died

What is it that pushes one over the edge? How much frustration can you take and when do you decide that the universe wants you to do something else for the day, the month or the rest of your life? Some people deal with frustration the same way they did when they were 18 months […]

Yes to Prop. 2

Proposition 2 on the state ballot is a simple concept, but includes some complexities in its execution. It seems nothing the state does can be neatly wrapped up in a bow, but we will try. Proposition 2 is a “rainy day fund” for the state budget — a reserve fund. It actually replaces a current […]

Novasel for District 5

Meeting with both candidates seeking to represent South Lake Tahoe on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, we found two candidates extremely knowledgeable about the area east of Echo Summit. But District 5 now includes Pollock Pines. This is where the two candidates begin to separate. We found Novasel not just knowledgeable about Meyers, […]

My turn: Steamrolling SMUD’s Iowa Hill Project

Note: This article was written and sent to the Mountain Democrat on Aug. 29, two weeks before the King Fire erupted in our community, burning over 97,000 acres and destroying 80 structures. As a Camino resident, it is very disappointing to see SMUD steamrolling their $800-plus million Iowa Hill project (adjacent to Slab Creek Reservoir […]

My turn: Measures M and O could be bad for family farms as well as residents

El Dorado County agriculture and our family farms could be adversely impacted by passage of Measures M and O. This would happen because the voter-approved 2004 General Plan would be partially invalidated, thus undermining the efforts by El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) and the El Dorado County Water Agency to obtain additional water supplies for […]

Roc doc: Triggering the ice age

From time to time I give public talks on climate change — those large scale changes geologists have been studying since the 1830s. At those talks I’m often asked a basic question about climate that, until now, has stumped scientists. Here’s the background. In the 1830s a Swiss naturalist named Louis Agassiz started promoting the […]

Ranalli endorsed

Mike Ranalli is our choice for Supervisor, District 4. The voters in the primary whittled things down to the top two candidates. Having interviewed both candidates, we feel confident Ranalli is the best choice for the voters of District 4. We consider him the most knowledgeable about county government by virtue of the number of […]

The rural life: Having info? Good. Using it? Better!

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m going to do that,” in response to a good idea you’d seen or heard? Then you got busy or distracted, and you wound up not doing it, after all. Which meant something that might have had a positive influence on your life was lost instead. This happens to […]

California rambling: Discovering Iceland’s Westfjords

Iceland’s Westfjords, an area of mythic beauty discovered by Norse settlers 1,140 years ago, is now just being rediscovered by leisure travelers. Until two years ago, this remote, northwest edge of Iceland, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus of land and populated by small fishing villages, lonely sheep farms and millions of nesting […]

The weekly Daley: Spittin’ image

If you are a baseball fan, you’ve no doubt watched games in which players, sometimes all of them, spit repeatedly — on camera — into their hands, onto the area around home plate, into the dirt at first, second and third bases, onto the dirt area of the pitcher’s mound. Often a batter reaches down […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Quiet people learn more

I guess all of us have two or three friends who love to talk. The heavyweight, champion talkers love to have quiet friends and spouses who appear to be good listeners. Marcel Achard said, “Women like silent men. They think they’re listening.” • Actually, the silent ones may not be listening. They are being quiet […]

Yes to Measure I

Measure I asks city voters to approve adding a half cent to the sales tax. The measure will bring in approximately $1.8 million a year to repair city streets. Currently the city receives about $200,000 a year for that. The city’s capital spending needs are $21 million just for streets. The City Council has proposed […]

No to Measure K

Some folks may have enough property to have a circular driveway, meaning two entrance points so a friend can drive to your front door to pick you up and exit out the other street access point without having to do a three-point turnaround maneuver or back out a driveway into the street. Anyone who has […]

My turn: The wrong advice

Recently Ellen Van Dyke and Richard Boylan published letters in this newspaper regarding the Planning Commission’s review of the Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) Targeted General Plan Amendments and Zoning Ordinance Updates (TGPA/ZOUs). Both letters were so filled with misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric that it is difficult to determine where to begin a […]

Borelli, Clerici, Thomas endorsed

While sometimes county supervisors have won reelection without opposition, we are pleased to see a competitive election in Placerville. In fact, we can’t recall there ever being a non-competitive election for the Placerville City Council. Five candidates are seeking election to three open seats on the City Council. All five met with our editorial board. […]

Belltower: Lessons from SEAL training

I only volunteered for two things before getting married. No. 1, I enlisted in the Navy. The draft was on then and I didn’t want to be an Army draftee. No. 2, I volunteered for Antarctic duty. The back of the Antarctic Service Medal says, “Courage, Sacrifice and Devotion.” Everybody called it “Courage, Sacrifice and […]

The balancing act: The budget debacle

With winter coming it was a good thing that Supervisor Ron Mikulaco and Auditor Joe Harn came up with a plan to pay for the second snowplow and saved the county $50,000 interest instead of following the Community Development Agency’s plan to lease it, which is usually the most expensive way to acquire anything. It […]

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