Friday, April 25, 2014

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 […]

April 28, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged | 5 Replies

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 […]

Kids’ Expo

DSC_3956e DSC_3959e DSC_3940e DSC_3831e DSC_3908e DSC_3882e Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

Water Agency gives irrigation discharge program update

An update on the Long Term Irrigated Lands Program Waste Discharge Requirements was given at the April 9 Water Agency board meeting. Previously, the Water Agency board heard a presentation by the El Dorado County Agricultural Water Quality Corporation on the history and background of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and the Pilot Program that […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Zombies and other myths (life lesson number two)

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 […]

DA Pierson has been outstanding

The man with a last name for a first name and a first name for a last name will not be on the ballot. We are talking about Judson Henry, who showed up to register to vote two days before the deadline to file candidacy papers for the position of district attorney. An obvious stalking […]

Cancer center vital resource

April 8 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors was at loggerheads over whether to give $800,000 or $500,000 to Marshall Medical as it seeks tobacco settlement funds to help with its $8 million renovation and equipment upgrade for its cancer treatment center in Cameron Park. The county has $1.2 million of tobacco settlement funds […]

California rambling: Spring gardens

Spring reminds us of the beauty and delicacy of new life, especially in its gardens.  Across El Dorado County’s lush green hills, fields of bright orange and yellow poppies are in bloom, warming the heart and making us want to see more. Wildflower followers didn’t expect so beautiful a display this spring, considering the drought. […]

A water rights deal

Ever since the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors agreed in 1957 to let the Sacramento Municipal Utility District take possession of water rights to the Upper American River Project, El Dorado County has been trying to get that 40,000 acre-feet of water SMUD promised to us from the penstock of the White Rock Powerhouse. […]

My turn: Creating a sustainable fire service

Recently the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the allocation of funds to six rural fire districts in desperate need of additional staff and updated equipment. The decision was not easy. The truth is that county government has no legal requirement to financially partner with local fire districts. In addition, the same funds […]

My turn: El Dorado County’s Internet telecommunications problem

El Dorado County’s Internet telecommunications infrastructure has been lacking for the past decade, with about half of premises in the central portion of the county unable to obtain wireline premises Internet connections. As time goes on and more telecommunications and information services shift to the Internet, this problem will only grow worse and adversely affect […]

Belltower: ‘Intimate Impressionism’ at Legion of Honor

Sixty-eight impressionist and Nabi paintings are now on display at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. From the collection on the ground floor of the east wing of the National Gallery of Art, they will remain through Aug. 3 at the Legion of Art on 34th Avenue in Lincoln Park. There is always an […]

Drought lingers

Drought conditions still prevail, but it is not the killer drought of 1975-77. The real deficit was the warm December-January when short-sleeved shirts prevailed. In December 2013 the Mountain Democrat rain gauge measured 0.10 inch and the average daytime temperature was 67. In January, we measured 0.75 inch of rain and the average daytime temperature […]

The balancing act: Admitting the truth

Some people are so upset with countervailing opinions that they feel the only solution is to silence them. That was written by a Harvard Crimson biweekly columnist named Sandra Y.L. Korn, who said exactly that in her recent column “The Thin Red Line.” Korn wrote, “No academic question is ever ‘free’ from political realities. If […]

The weekly Daley: Free speech and other important stuff

First, I have to note that today being April 2, I am celebrating the 15th and 11th anniversaries, respectively, of my first and second heart attacks. It being only about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, however, technically I really should wait until after midnight before I get too sassy about it. Thursday April 3, 8:03 a.m. Yup, […]

Ashworth best for judge, Office 1

Having interviewed all three candidates for Superior Court Office 1, we are confident any one of them would make a good judge. But for the person who would make the best judge, we recommend Vicki Ashworth. Mrs. Ashworth, a deputy district attorney with 16 years experience as a prosecutor, handles a couple hundred cases at […]

Hoffman for judge, Office 5

There are two candidates for Superior Court Judge, Office 5. One is a court commissioner, primarily in South Lake Tahoe and apparently performing that function well. The other is attorney Joe Hoffman, 44, who in 2012 came very close to unseating a recently appointed judge. We endorsed Joe Hoffman then and we endorse Joe Hoffman […]

Something to think about: Fact or fiction?

My entire second grade year was an exercise in extemporaneous fiction. We had “show and tell” every day after lunch. Since I rarely had anything amazing to show, I took the “tell” part literally. Each day, I told an installment of fiction loosely based on events and characters in my family, fleshed out by my […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Things I have learned

Over a lifetime spanning many decades, I believe that I have learned many life lessons. Saying no to everything will simply make a child stop listening; God invented Darwin; Francesco Geminiani is the most underrated Baroque composer. And a Smith and Wesson beats four aces. Even more obvious in the world of politics, especially the […]

April 02, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

Shock in Frisco

Doing a bill search for Sen. Leland Yee and typing in guns or weapons doesn’t turn up a lot. He had a bill that proposed expanding the definition of assault-style rifles already banned in California. Included in this definition are replaceable magazines for both rifles and pistols that hold more than 10 rounds. The legislation […]

April 02, 2014 | Posted in Opinion | Tagged ,

Publisher’s ink: In search of another parking space

There are approximately 2,038 road miles between Placerville and Chicago. When you factor in four miles needed to locate the historical Wyoming Frontier Prison at Rawlins, Wyo., five miles searching for an Outback Steakhouse in Cheyenne, and two extra miles including an illegal u-turn at Gallally, Neb. (missed the exit for the motel), the total […]

A great achievement

Many of our readers may know about Independence High School in Diamond Springs. It is accessed through the same driveway as the Mother Lode Lions Hall off of Missouri Flat Road. Its campus is situated along Pleasant Valley Road. Independence High is a place where students go who may have missed some school because of […]

California rambling: Mountain music

The hills are alive with the sound of music, at least in the Sierra Nevada.  Several music festivals will bring bluegrass, Beethoven and Lady Gaga to our hills.  Beginning on Saturday, Sierra at Tahoe in Twin Bridges “celebrates spring in the Sierra,” during the ski area’s second Equinox Spring Festival.  Sierra spokesman Steven Hemphill  said […]

The rural life: Kafkaesque

I knew I was in trouble the first time I saw it, in my kitchen. It looked and acted like no insect I’d seen before. It seemed almost to gasp when it saw — or sensed — me. Then it whirled crazily for an instant before scurrying to the edge of the counter and disappearing. […]

The weekly Daley: Really?

I’ll confess at the outset that I have not personally, actually seen 99.9 percent of the so-called “reality” shows available on television these days. But I have seen numerous ads or trailers for a number of them. The two that come immediately to mind are “Storage Wars” and “Naked and Afraid.” Good grief! Until I […]

EDUHSD evolving

El Dorado Union High School District isn’t standing pat. The latest advance by the district with four comprehensive high schools is to add an engineering curriculum to Union Mine High School in El Dorado. It is a gradual process in completing the curriculum. It started by applying for and being accepted to Project Lead the […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: You decide how old you feel

Somewhere along the line, when you are in your 60s, you have to decide if the aging process will send you backwards or forwards; or will you be content to stay where you are physically and mentally? In the 60s it becomes clear that you are not as fast or as strong as you would […]

Take my word for it: I don’t know everything

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. — Socrates Contrary to what I believed as a teenager, I’ve realized that I don’t know everything. Shoot, I don’t even know much of anything, really. In fact, the more I learn, the more I see how much I don’t know. Some say that ignorance […]

Courts complimented

We were impressed to hear that the Superior Court of El Dorado County has worked out a joint court with the tribal judge from the Shingle Springs Rancheria. One judge from each jurisdiction will sit together for child welfare, family court, domestic violence, juvenile matters and substance abuse issues concerning tribal members. The two judges […]

Measure G supported

Measure G is for Georgetown. More precisely, it is for the Georgetown Library. And we support libraries. So has the Georgetown Divide. Twenty years ago, two-thirds of the Divide residents voted in favor of a parcel tax that kept the Georgetown Library open five days a week. It is strictly used on the Georgetown Library […]

Keep the rails

A March 10 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court may have a profound effect on the 26-mile railroad corridor El Dorado County owns jointly with Folsom. The 8-1 decision essentially confirmed what the U.S. government had argued 70 years earlier. That argument, which the government recently tried to weasel out of, was that the General […]

The balancing act: Inequality

Income inequality is all the rage and it has become the latest assault on our freedom. Although it has been mentioned before, it became more prominent when President Obama made the point to reduce income inequality in his State of the Union speech recently. The idea that everyone is created equal did not mean that […]

Something to think about: Sour grapes

I’ve noticed that some people appear to focus their energy in plucking sour grapes from every bunch that presents itself, no matter how sweet. It’s a common phenomenon, but it’s particularly evident in comments people make online. Two recent examples from our newspaper follow, but there are millions more all over the Internet commenting about […]

The weekly Daley: The president’s speech to Putin, early efforts

The following partial drafts were found in the White House speech writers’ wastebasket. As usual, they came to me in a plain brown wrapper and otherwise would never have seen the light of day. More’s the pity. “We’re the Y-A-NKS with the T-A-NKS and the B-A-NKS. We’re the Yanks with the Tanks and the Yanks […]