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My turn: Closing waters to recreational fishing senseless

It took a change of leadership in Australia to bring some sense to marine reserves off their coastline, and it will take the same thing here in California before intelligent, science-based decisions can be made about our own Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). A newly-elected leadership in Australia’s government has announced it will repeal the management […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: The opt-out syndrome

One of the most sacred rights we have as Americans is the right to vote. Yet citizens are opting out of the political system and not exercising this right in alarming numbers. In the last presidential election, 42.5 percent didn’t bother. No one expects a midterm turnout to approach that of a presidential year. For […]

Water politics

Make no mistake, there is a drought on. The rainfall season that began July 1, 2013, and ended June 30, 2014 was the fourth driest on record. Our rainfall records go back to the 1873-74 rain season. We remain optimistic that this is a one-off year like 1986-87 that recorded 19.42 inches and was followed […]

My turn: SAGE urges ‘no’ vote on Measure K

The El Dorado County Association of Surveyors, Architects, Geologists, and Engineers (SAGE) — a local group of professionals made up of land surveyors, architects, geologists and engineers who are passionate about serving the community and have been providing technical review, input and support on El Dorado County local issues for over 30 years — is […]

The balancing act: Is it incompetence or arrogance?

As the investigation grows it becomes apparent that the chief administrative officer, her assistant and most of the office is in trouble. An El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 9 revealed a new scandal could be happening and it involves a simple snowplow. It seems the CAO’s office can’t even buy equipment […]

Discouraging fire

As of Sunday morning the King Fire had gone up to just over 82,000 acres and was still 10 percent contained. Its continued march northeast is discouraging. We have faith in the expertise of the fire management. They are calling in as many resources as they can and area parking lots are filling with fire […]

Invaluable donation

Marshall Hospital has not one, but two hyperbaric chambers. Only a few hospitals in Northern California have these specialized wound healing chambers. At a cost of $80,000 each, the Marshall Hospital Auxiliary provided $56,000 last year for the purchase of these oxygen-enriched chambers that arrived five months ago. As detailed in a report by Mountain Democrat […]

Something to think about: Not so fast lane

On a slivered moon night last month, I stood outside with a few thousand other people, singing along with the Eagles, one of the three best bands of my lifetime. While I sang, fortunately drowned out by my fellow Eagles enthusiasts, I realized I was paying more attention to the meaning of the lyrics than […]

Rock doc: How hard is that?

A good friend of mine checks each morning on the web for the final “Jeopardy” question. It’s the last question on the taped “Jeopardy” program to be broadcast later that day. I don’t go to movies or follow sports, so I’m often at a loss when it comes to many quiz show questions. But recently […]

Thoroughly modern

Placerville’s new police chief, Scott Heller, is bringing the Police Department into the high-tech age in the way it connects to the public. Now the Police Department has its own phone app. (Sheriff, take note!) By going to the Apple Store or Google Play Store and searching for Placerville Police you can download an app […]

My turn: Small businesses deserve more from healthcare reform

President Obama marked the recent conclusion of open enrollment in the federal healthcare law’s insurance exchanges with a celebration at the White House. The administration exceeded its goal of signing 7 million Americans up for insurance coverage. Many small business owners are in a less festive mood. They’re dealing with burdensome new rules, taxes, and […]

My turn: Watershed issues and natural resource management

When James Marshall knelt by the tailrace of his lumber mill on the bank of the American River in El Dorado County 150 years ago, the riches foretold by the nugget of gold he had found consumed his thoughts. Today, Californians understand the true, lasting riches around him were the renewable resources: the trees on […]

Keep saving water

Remember to reset your automatic irrigation systems from three days a week to twice a week as of Tuesday, Sept. 16. If your address is an even one, your watering days are Wednesdays and Sundays, according to the El Dorado Irrigation District. Odd numbered addresses water on Tuesdays and Saturdays. All watering should be done […]

California Rambling: Taking notice of autumn

Next week, California changes seasons, but most Californians won’t even notice. September 23 is the first day of autumn, though it’s a day largely ignored by Californians, most of whom have never considered that the state has any other season than summer. What a shame, for California’s other seasons are truly glorious. Winter glistens with […]

The weekly Daley: War on terrorism, round 347 or so

Beginning 13 years ago today, America’s War on Terror continues apace with no end in sight. That’s probably because there will always be someone or many someones who will engage in what we would consider to be terrorism. With relatively few exceptions, those people are mostly, justifiably mad at their own governments or circumstances and […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Don’t become a full-time victim

In his book, “Earn It – Empower Yourself for Love,” Bob Quinlan states, “Victims, who feel others are responsible for everything that happens to them, will not assume responsibility. Fatalists, who believe their failures are pre-determined, do not understand the power of their ability to make decisions. Self-absorbed individuals will not care how their behavior […]

Congratulations, Shiva

Shiva Frentzen was the clear winner of the Sept. 9 special election to fill the District 2 supervisor seat for the next couple of years. She was far ahead of the pack with 30.96 percent of the vote. It is also clear that she picked up the votes of those with whom she is in […]

The balancing act: What to do when global warming fizzles

First it was global warming, it caught people’s attention, but concern soon waned especially when people realized it was going to cost them freedom and money. More important, when it stopped warming in the mid-1990s, it soon ranked at the bottom of world problems in most polls. So what did the activists and marketers of […]

Rock doc: Smarter than your average bear

Alex Waroff had a fantastic summer job this year. The veterinary student at Washington State University worked with faculty members as they tested just how clever grizzly bears are. What’s at issue is the use of tools. “Besides primates, scientists know that certain birds, dolphins, elephants and some other animals use tools,” Waroff told me. […]

Winds of war

We have to ask, how much different is Russia under Putinocracy than Germany under Hitlerism? The decades may be different, but the similarities are too close. Let’s begin with Putin’s beginning as he is tabbed to take over as premier from the ailing Boris Yeltsin. In September 1999, three apartment blocks were blown up by […]

My turn: Thinking about tossing your hat into the ring?

Being a candidate for any elective office can be overwhelming, confusing and many times not worth the effort. From your locally elective offices to our state and federal offices, the process can be daunting and unthinkable to the faint of heart. Candidates, especially at the state and federal level requires nerves of steel, the patience […]

The balancing act: Is noise the real fear?

Mather Airport is working to upgrade its instrument landing system from a current standard Instrument Landing System to an improved system. What that means is to reduce the minimum visibility requirements from a ceiling of 200 feet and a visibility of one half mile to something a bit less. With reduced minimums required for landing […]

Where the money goes

While the defense budget is expected to decline from 4.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product as of the 2010 budget to 4.6 percent by 2015, federal medical expenditures will rise from 4.9 percent of GDP now to 5.9 percent 10 years from now. That is the forecast from the Congressional Budget Office updated Aug. 27. […]

Pratt best choice

Last month we recommended El Dorado County Planning Commissioner David Pratt for District 2 Supervisor. For those going to the polls tomorrow, here is a brief reminder of why we are urging that you vote for David Pratt. Pratt is the only person on the ballot with 10 years experience in county government. Before his […]

Belltower: Echo Summit

Recently I received a book called “Echo Summit.” It’s 126 pages of historical pictures and captions. The cover is a photo of a huge snow bank left near the summit that had been cut through to allow freight wagons to pass through. The snow bank was higher than the wagons. The book’s intro notes that […]

The weekly Daley: What the…?

I had to pinch myself to see if I was awake the other day when I glanced at a headline saying that Newt Gingrich was kudoing Barack Obama for his current lack of an ISIS strategy. “Can’t be,” I thought. “Gotta be a typo or a joke or a play on words, otherwise it’s a […]

Something to think about: Slow boat returns

Vast. Magical. Beautiful. Ugly. Amazing. Superstitious. All of those words describe China for me. It was so different from what I expected — so much easier; so much better. Vast — with 1.35 billion people and a land mass just a bit smaller than the United States, everything in China except the food and the […]

Legislators want your guns

California’s Democrat-controlled Legislature keeps coming up with ways to take away Californians’ right to bear arms. It keeps finding insidious ways of chipping away at that. The latest attack is on the purchase of ammunition. Already, there are laws on the books that prevent the insane, the violent and convicted felons from owning weapons. There […]

Rock doc: A wolf in other clothing

I was hospitalized for 10 days in late July. In August, to rebuild my strength, I took my dog on increasingly long walks around town. We went virtually every day; the exercise was good for both Buster Brown and me. Buster is such a mongrel it’s hard to be sure what breeds have contributed to […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Chicken Little and the Sky is Falling

Chicken Little was hit on the head by an acorn and believed that the sky was falling. Our politically conservative Chicken Littles are now eerily quiet on what were sky-is-falling rants. Here are just a few that we no longer hear about because, wait for it … they are simply are not true. The Affordable […]

‘Kid Obama’ down three rounds — world title fight continues

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. — William Shakespeare To Shakespeare the world was a stage. Today, in the throes of war and terrorism, it resembles one […]

No ‘strateegery’

“Strateegery” is how we always seem to remember President George W. Bush pronouncing it, although that may be just an exaggeration promoted by the wags at Saturday Night Live. However he may have fractured some pronunciations, one could never accuse Bush 43 of lacking a strategy. As this is being written before the Labor Day […]

The balancing act: More county shenanigans

Item No. 3 on the consent calendar at the Aug. 26 El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting demonstrates why the county needs new top management. It was a small item asking for three $20,000 checks: one to the city of Placerville, one to the Cameron Park CSD and a third to the El Dorado Hills […]

Labor Day

Labor Day always marks the last hurrah of summer and the transition to fall. For most students, except here in El Dorado County, the day after Labor Day is the start of school. It’s a long weekend and here it is noteworthy for the Highway 50 traffic of hippie-like people returning from the Burning Man […]

California rambling: Surprising Santa Clara

“Everyone claims to be Silicon Valley,” David Andre of the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau said of the many cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond that identify themselves as a center of high technology, “but Santa Clara is where Silicon Valley began, and it’s still its heart.” Nowhere is Silicon Valley’s […]

Keep Kaser in prison

Twenty-nine years ago Robert Kaser tried to kill his estranged wife and two step-children. He shot all three with a .45-caliber pistol and succeeded in killing one — 14-year-old Ehren Dixon, who died three days later because a bullet knicked his liver and doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding. His doctor was amazed he lived three […]

The weekly Daley: A little potpourri for a change

I hardly ever delve into local government or political issues in this space, because next week I may have to be strictly impartial in my coverage of said issues. But last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors took an action that I think is just wrong. The four county leaders voted unanimously to contract out the […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Upbeat is always better

Who is in charge of the mornings in your home? If you have an upbeat person in charge in the morning, the rest of the day will probably be enjoyable. Upbeat people start the day with a “good morning” salutation, often accompanied by a hug or a kiss or both. • My upbeat wife, Monika, […]

Success turns golden

It is always remarkable when a couple stays married for 50 years. Even more remarkable are a bunch of independent farmers working together for mutual success for 50 years. We are talking about the Apple Hill Growers Association. This year is its 50th anniversary. The formation of the association and its shift from wholesale to […]

My turn: Conservatism vs. the GOP: Setting the record straight

Many thanks to Gene Altshuler for being such a shining beacon of radical lib-think, with his recent tome, “The Democratic-Chronicles: Drowning in their Tea Pee 838.” It offers so much material with which to debunk liberal propaganda and set the record straight. And such a cute title! Since Mr. Altshuler is hopelessly misguided in his […]

My turn: How Obamacare will kill job-based plans

Americans aren’t all that optimistic about Obamacare, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll: Fifty-seven percent say the law isn’t working as planned. That number will shoot even higher if employer health insurance vanishes, as an S&P Capital IQ report predicts. The financial-research firm forecasts that 90 percent of Americans who now have employer-sponsored […]

The balancing act: Poor sport

Some people take their losses and move on; others are vindictive. Sometimes when you want retribution and revenge after a loss, your actions are not only spiteful and selfish, but costly. That can be said for termed-out El Dorado County Board of Supervisors member Ron Briggs who will lose his $77,000-a-year job at the end […]

Iowa Hill update

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has contracted with Jacob Associates to do core drilling, underground design and “rock engineering” for the district’s Iowa Hill pumped-storage project, according to SMUD’s summer report, the “Confluence.” The data collection was completed in May and the contractor “found rock at the planned location of the powerhouse to be suitably […]

Mystery savings

The members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors must have chosen “mystery meat” when they went through the high school cafeteria line in their younger years. That’s what they seem to be putting on their budgetary trays these days. The mystery meat is the chief administrative officer’s “investment strategy savings.” The CAO pegs […]

The weekly Daley: Unintended consequences, a true story

Although I don’t barbecue all that often, when I do I like to be able to leave a platter of meat or oiled vegetables outside for a minute or two while I check the coals or do a last scrape of the grill. Too often though, in those couple of moments, meat bees or yellow […]

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