Publisher’s Ink: Grave robbing — no shovels required

Victor Frankenstein, the young student of science portrayed in Mary Shelley’s novel, was on a quest to create life. The movie based on Shelley’s work depicts Frankenstein robbing graves in search of human body parts to use in his scientific experiment. The result of his endeavor was an 8-foot creature stalking the countryside and terrorizing […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Ideology-driven policy

What do you call a person who will not learn from experience? One who causes pain and suffering to others because of their indifference? Think drunk driver or the radical Republicans, who have raised indifference to an art form. When it comes to the minimum wage, conservatives have long advocated policies that treat companies’ employees […]

Charles Krauthammer: The price of fetal parts

“Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013 WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized for the “tone” of one of […]

The Balancing Act: Attack on a supervisor

Supervisor Ron “Mik” Mikulaco doesn’t always vote with the majority of the Board of Supervisors. His most important vote was a dissenting no vote on the last budget (FY 2014-15 that had a large structural deficit) which happened to be the last budget submitted by ex-CAO Terri Daly. Someone during this last Grand Jury term […]

Mark Shields: The trap of becoming only a congressional party

In five of the past six presidential elections, the Republican Party has lost the nation’s popular vote to the Democrats. In those same six presidential contests, 18 states and the District of Columbia, totaling among them 242 electoral votes (you need only 270 to win the White House), have voted every time for the Democratic […]

Belltower: Didn’t know that

It took an Associated Press story about drought in the desert to give me the tidbit that Joshua trees were named by the Mormon Battalion after heading back to Utah via the Cajun Pass in 1857. “They saw the trees as shaggy prophets stretching their limbs to point the way to their promised land,” AP […]

A rewarding experience for everyone involved

In June we published a three-part series about foster care in El Dorado County. We felt it was an important message for the county, and one that deserved more than just one article. Part 1, called “Superman was a foster child,” focused on a young man named Sirrele Steinfeld, who was in foster care for […]

The Weekly Daley: Trumping the chumps

“EARTHQUAKE virtually wipes California off the map. Oregon, Washington next?” “Yawn! Did you hear what Donald Trump called Lindsey Graham? A lightweight and an idiot who in the private sector would be a poor man.” “TERRORISTS blow up Switzerland’s cheese and chocolate reserves. Experts claim it will take 20 years to recover.” “Boring! Trump said […]

Something to think about: Wake up, sleepyhead

We woke up at 6:40 a.m., waited around for a bit and then walked downstairs. I made coffee and we let the dog out. We talked with our daughter. Something was wrong, very wrong. At 7:30 a.m. one of them appeared — a tousle-headed granddaughter with mischief in her eyes. This was more like it. […]

My Turn: Is it time for a new state?

While California government grows larger, so do debt obligations. Corporations and small business continue to move to other states, taking jobs and dollars with them. In its infinite wisdom, the state Legislature introduced more than 25 “Job Killer Bills” — deterring new business and infrastructure projects. Rural counties are hardest hit, with regulations and environmental […]

Charles Krauthammer: Worse than we could have imagined

When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history,” you don’t expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then last Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was wrong. Who would have imagined we […]

My Turn: Rate your public services

If you are like me, you are inundated with surveys and questionnaires from service providers or product manufacturers. The inevitable question and the one they most value is: “Will you recommend us to your friends?” I was even sent a two-page questionnaire after a recent colonoscopy. I checked the box “recommending our services to your […]

The Rural Life: Got groundwater?

I’ve been a dunce about groundwater. I’m embarrassed to say that, but it’s true. My family’s water needs are supplied by a water well. In fact, how we came by that well was the topic of my second-ever column — “Bewitched, bothered or befuddled?” — in September 2004. It recounted how, as we were preparing to build […]

California Rambling: Americans, ugly or not?

In Eugene Burdick’s 1958 novel, “The Ugly American,” a fictitious Burmese journalist says, “For some reason, the (American) people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves […]

John Stossel: Progress

Obamacare! The War on Drugs! A War on Poverty! Prohibition! The idea that government will bring social progress isn’t new. Europe’s monarchs believed in big government long before there was a Soviet Union or a welfare state. Eighteenth-century philosopher Voltaire praised “enlightened” monarchs like Prussia’s Frederick the Great. Since the nineteenth century, so-called “progressives” have […]

Minimum wage hike proposal a new low for California

Senate Bill No. 3 introduced on Dec. 1, 2014 has employers and business owners shaking in their boots for good reason. The bill, which revolves around raising the minimum wage in the state ultimately to $13 an hour, is aimed at helping young and under-skilled workers earn a “fair” living. Unfortunately, it’s only going to […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Avoid letting pain define you

Do not allow pain or illness to define who you are. You are more than the pain or illness that attacks you. My current dealing with my stroke is quite an education. I feel like I am earning a PhD on who I am. When the stroke hit me on Nov. 20, 2014, it felt […]

The Weekly Daley: The Iran deal makes for strange bedfellows

Saudi Arabia, one of our staunchest allies in the Middle East, doesn’t like the deal the United States and other world powers have cooked up with Iran. Many on the right bitterly complain that we have poked the Saudis in the eye with a sharp stick just as we’ve done to our other staunchest Middle East […]

My Turn: Bad policies fuel California’s drought crisis

We are currently in the midst of the fourth year of serious drought in California. Our politicians have worsened the crisis associated with this drought through bad policies for decades. Our state population has nearly doubled since 1979 but not a single storage reservoir has been built since then because of environmental opposition and lack […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Understanding SCOTUS

In the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court rulings on Marriage Equality and the Affordable Care Act, liberals are almost giddy and vibrating with joy in the afterglow. For those on the right, there is a palpable sense of sadness, resignation and, for a defiant few, a refusal to follow the law of the land. […]

Charles Krauthammer: Pluto and us

We need a pick me up. Amid the vandalizing of Palmyra, the imminent extinction of the northern white rhino, the disarray threatening Europe’s most ambitious attempt ever at peaceful unification — amid plague and pestilence and, by God, in the middle of Shark Week — where can humanity turn for uplift? Meet New Horizons, arriving at Pluto […]

Mark Shields: Donald Trump: In the ‘American’ tradition

Lately, blows have been dealt to the conventional wisdom surrounding billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. First, the smart money told us that Mr. Trump just enjoyed all the media attention a potential White House run brought his way, that he would never actually become a real candidate. Then after Trump’s rambling announcement speech […]

Something to think about: ISIS and the bird wars

An unidentified gray bird with a long tail we’ve named ISIS for her irrational, self-destructive behavior has been attacking our black 4Runner and, like the United States, while we’re bigger and have more resources at our disposal, we don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. Day one — I’m writing in the office and […]

More grand jury gobbledy-gook

While the precursor of the grand jury system dates back beyond the Magna Carta (which just had its 800-year anniversary on June 15), after reading the political claptrap from the 2014-15 El Dorado County Grand Jury it appears that its usefulness has passed. One of the 2014-15 reports, “Time to Admit & Correct a Mistake,” […]

The Weekly Daley: Terror on the 4th of July

The terror that wasn’t became the terror that was. We were warned well in advance that the 4th of July was a prime time for prospective terrorists to do their evil works. The FBI, law enforcement and emergency agencies were told to be on highest alert before and during the holiday. The Department of Homeland Security described […]

Welcome back, Friday

Starting this month, all Placerville city offices are open until 5 p.m. on Fridays. Big deal, you scoff? We surely think so. Restoring Friday services was a sign, and a welcome one at that. In a time when city and county budgets are constantly scrutinized with doom and gloom, we were happy to see the City Council […]

My Turn: Protecting privacy rights

Technology’s miraculous leaps forward bring unimaginable benefits to us all. Life-saving medical procedures, limitless entertainment options, wealth building productivity tools and more change our lives for the better. But as with all tools, their benefit — or harm — depends on the intent of the user. That is why this legislative session I’m paying special attention to […]

Charles Krauthammer: The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history

WASHINGTON — The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence. In pursuit of […]

John Stossel: Heroes, villians

Have you seen the new Jurassic Park movie, “Jurassic World?” It had the biggest opening of any movie in history. The movie tells how a reckless biotech company releases dinosaurs that kill its customers. Its tale of heroes vs. villains made me think about how America has changed since our independence, the anniversary of which […]

Never patriotic: The real meaning of the Confederate flag

By Joe Conason In the intensifying debate over the Confederate flag, important clues about the true meaning of this seditious symbol are staring us in the face. Dozens of those clues were posted by an angry, glaring Dylann Storm Roof on the “Last Rhodesian,” website, where the confessed Charleston killer pays homage to certain flags […]

California Rambling: Southern California’s Lake Tahoe

Northern California has Tahoe, and Southern California has Big Bear. Though Big Bear Lake is a reservoir (created in 1884 by damming seven-miles of the San Bernardino Mountains’ Bear Valley) and Lake Tahoe is a natural Sierra Nevada basin, the two mountain lakes and their resort communities have much in common to compare and study. […]

The Weekly Daley: Ain’t love grand!

“I’m in love with at least one if not two or more convicted murderers. He and/or they are who I want to spend the rest of my life with, maybe have his/their baby or babies one day. We’ll be so happy. Ain’t love grand! But first I have to help them bust out of prison, […]

Weeds and a bad ‘welcome sign’ of the times

No one likes to pull weeds, and it’s apparent as the city of Placerville’s entrance is overrun. Someone needs to do something about this. Unfortunately, those who can are not, and those who can’t aren’t doing enough to get them to. The Placerville Rotary Club did a fine job repainting the landmark caboose at the […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Will my marriage survive?

My Nov. 20, 2014, stroke resulted in my driving privileges being taken away until I can convince DMV that I am ready to safely drive on the roads again. This suspension resulted in my wife, Monika, taking over as my unpaid chauffeur. “Unpaid” does not mean she hasn’t paid an awful price for the “privilege” […]

Charles Krauthammer: On lowering the flag

After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control. It’s the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the massacre, President Obama was lamenting the absence of progress on gun control. A […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Moral myopia

Wanton killing always causes me to think about morality, or the lack of it. There is a belief, by some, that without religion there is no morality. And whether as self-justification or sincere belief, many, if not most, people of faith hold that their own religion is the foundation of morality. Much as I hate […]

Publisher’s Ink: To the back of the bill Mr. Hamilton!

It’s nice to see our federal government hard at work tackling worrisome financial issues. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is soliciting public feedback to determine which woman to place on the $10 bill. An election year is just around the corner. From 1886-1891 Martha Washington’s portrait appeared on the $1 silver certificate. A picture […]

Mark Shields: Marco Rubio vs. The New York Times

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who, according to polls of Republican voters nationally, wins higher favorable and lower unfavorable ratings than any of the potential 2016 presidential candidates has shown some real nerve and more than a little brass. After The New York Times reported on Rubio’s unorthodox personal finances — including his use, as speaker of […]

The balancing act: The transparency of the opaque

It’s been about three months since former Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr obligated the taxpayers to a contract for legal services, except it appears the contract was for investigatory services. The contract, executed by Knorr and County Counsel Robyn Drivon, had a spending limit of $50,000. A$15,627 bill for services has already been received. It’s not […]

Belltower: Some news that will give you fits

All the people running for president are being put on the spot when they come to Iowa. The big question is where they stand on ethanol. It is not ethyl and it is not high octane. And gas stations don’t give away glasses anymore. Ethanol is a worthless additive made from corn. It might as […]

Something to think about: Summer freedom

The longest day of the year has come and gone; the hottest temperature of the year has yet to be. The county fair was last week; the state fair is next month. For children, summer is ripe — most of the summer possibilities are still waiting and boredom has yet to set in. School is still […]

GDPUD getting it together

Despite the criticism the new Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors may be receiving from some members of the public, we believe that GDPUD is finally getting its act together, and it’s about time. At the June 9 board meeting, difficult decisions were made surrounding the Auburn Lake Trails water treatment plant. The […]

The weekly Daley: Excuse me! What?

Think you’ve heard it all? I kind of thought I’d heard it all until Wednesday morning. While driving to work I heard on NPR that state Attorney General Kamala Harris was hoping not to have to deal with a proposition titled the “Sodomite Suppression Act.” Excuse me! What? She was hoping a judge would grant […]