Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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 […]

Time to get real

It’s time for President Obama to stop putzing around and take Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously. Stop the silly talk about seizing the Crimea being a 19th century action. It happened. Russia took it and now Putin is calling Kiev “the mother of all Russian cities.” “We are one nation,” Putin said Tuesday. Putin also […]

Income matters

On March 10, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors, on a split vote, approved a power connection agreement with PG&E for a mini-hydro project that will substitute a generator for a pump in a pipeline serving Water Tank 7. The net income from the project will depend on which method of power sale […]

My turn: Civil Grand Jury 101

Amid much speculation of the highly publicized news that last year’s El Dorado County Civil Grand Jury (2012-2013) was disbanded before its term ended, the members of this year’s jury (2013-2014), now half way through our term, felt the time is right to provide insight into our progress, our goals and objectives and how the […]

My turn: Dispelling the stigma and myths about mental illness

Chances are you know someone with mental illness. It could be a friend, family member, neighbor or acquaintance. Studies show that about one in four people will experience some kind of mental health issue in their lifetime. Mental illness is actually quite common, and yet we as a society seem to be uncomfortable even discussing […]

A dry year

So far the rain year that began July 1, 2013, and will end June 30 is looking like a year for the record books. The most recent rainfall figures from the Mountain Democrat rain gauge show 14.46 inches. Keep in mind, that up till now the lowest annual rainfall in 139 years of Mountain Democrat […]

California rambling: Politics aside

Congress has the opportunity to put politics aside and recognize a woman who, 150-years ago, advocated an extraordinary concept… that Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias be protected in their natural state as a public park for all time. The Yosemite Grant, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in June 1864 at the […]

The rural life: Friends with roots

I hear the eucalyptus trees first. On a morning walk, I’ve gone beyond the range of the mockingbird that’s been mesmerizing me; this allows me to notice the whispering of the eucalyptus trees planted along either side of my neighbor’s driveway. The breeze is just enough to set their papery leaves rustling. Now that I’m […]

The weekly Daley: We say what?

Not long ago I had an interesting conversation with a former colleague I met when I was a teacher years ago. She said she had recently told a group of students that a particular performance number they were rehearsing looked like a “Chinese Fire Drill.”” “I’m not even sure they knew what I meant, but […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Is periodic blindness normal?

Recently I ended up in the hospital emergency room with a swollen hand, forearm and elbow. The culture they took showed a staph infection in the bursal fluid. One of the people who was very helpful and nice in the emergency room was Mo Brutko. She quickly deduced that the reason I was there was […]

DST a menace to society

We blame Richard Nixon. The president who brought us the Endangered Species Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, wage and price controls as well as Daylight Saving Time. He also darned near brought us a health care law similar to Obamacare. He used the IRS to […]

My turn: The federal fight over California’s water

Northern California Congressman Tom McClintock is determined to find a way to get the Central Valley’s land and water barons priority over California’s water rights. What is so odd is that these mega-agricultural corporations are downstream, and this bill would only harm the congressional district he represents. This is the second bill that McClintock has […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: What is wrong with us?

Every generation bemoans the fact that the new generation has no sense of purpose or work ethic and lacks respect for its elders. Additionally, I see a generation self-isolating into relationships with their inorganic electronic devices (smart phones and tablets), unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions and seriously lacking the ability to think critically […]

Innovation vs. inanity

Four elected department heads are facing challengers in the June 3 primary and four are unopposed. However the election turns out, one thing remains constant for us. Elected department heads remain more responsive to the public, do a better job of adhering to their budgets and are leaders in innovation. For budgeting we particularly cite […]