Tuesday, 24 November 2020


Taira St. John has earned a PhD in psychology from Northcentral University. Courtesy photo.


LAKEPORT – Taira St. John, Ph.D., M.F.T., a resident of Lake County since 1993, presented her oral defense for her dissertation on domestic violence on March 4 and was approved by her committee, earning her a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology (PhD) degree.

Dr. St. John is the owner and clinical director of Clearlake Counseling Center. She has practiced Marriage and Family Therapy, first as a registered intern under the direction of Thomas D. Williams, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), then, after managing the agency in Clearlake and Lakeport for three years, she achieved licensure herself as an MFT, purchased Clearlake Counseling Center from Williams, and took over the clinical direction of the agency.

“Those three years as an intern were the best years of training a therapist could have,” said St. John. “I not only saw hundreds of medical and Victim Witness patients in Clearlake and Lakeport offices, but learned how to do the bookkeeping, scheduling, and maintenance of the agency, including,” she laughed, “cleaning the johns … I used to be there until 2 a.m. so that I could keep the billing and accounts in order before driving home to the Rivieras.”

Dr. St. John assumed the direction and facilitation of Alternatives to Violence, a 52-week program for men and women convicted of domestic violence offenses, where she has facilitated classes for the past 15 years in Lakeport first at St. John’s Episcopal Church (1190 N. Forbes) and Clearlake, formerly at Redbud Hospital, and now at the Mental Health Drop-In Center at 1149 Lakeshore Drive.

She was the mental health consultant to the Primary Intervention Program to establish play rooms and professional play counselors in each of the elementary schools to serve children at risk or in need. She also served on the executive committee of the Lake County Children’s Council and the Lake County Perinatal Substance Abuse Prevention Team, where she wrote and produced educational videos, the Lake County Mental Health Advisory Board, as an Advisor for the Teen Alcohol Prevention program and the Primary Intervention Program for the Lake County Office of Education.

Dr. St. John also served as manager of Family Court Services for five years for the Superior Court of California, County of Lake, helped launch the Domestic Violence Prevention Council under the leadership of the Honorable Robert L. Crone, Jr., then-presiding judge of the Superior Court, and represented Lake County at various statewide Judicial Council meetings, especially where they focussd on violence and the courts, family court services, mediation or dependency court issues.

She was invited to participate in the Trainer-for-Trainers Program in the California Attorney General’s Safe from the Start Program, where she studied under Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned child neurologist specializing in child trauma and speakers such as Drs. R. F. Ande and V. J. Felitti, principle researchers on the Adverse Child Experience study, a massive research project jointly sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Disease Control demonstrating the correlation between childhood trauma and adult mental and physical health conditions.

Other major influences in her work have been: Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., whose writings on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, repetition of the trauma and other stress disorders relate to the effects of child trauma on adult violence, and David E. Arredondo, M. D. on attachment, bonding and human relatedness.

St. John also served in PhD internships at the Napa Walk-In Center in Napa (formerly operated by Lutheran Social Services of Northern California), where she counseled at-risk elementary children and their families; at Los Guilucos (the Sonoma County Juvenile Hall), where she worked with high-risk boys 16 to 18 years of age in the DePaz Unit, in Petaluma where she co-facilitated a domestic violence program for men; and in Clearlake, where she counseled abused and neglected girls and boys in gender-specific groups.

She has served on the Lake County Mental Health Advisory Board, the Lake County Children’s Council, as Sonoma County’s representative with the California State Attorney General’s Program, Safe-from-the-Start and on the Family Service Board of Trustees.

St. John produces and hosts her own weekly talk-interview-call-in radio show, “Inside Out,” on KPFZ/88.1 FM in Lake County, and serves on the board of Lake County Community Radio. She also serves on the board of the Lake County Repertory Theater and on the fundraising and management committees of the renovated Soper-Reese Community Theater.

Prior to becoming a therapist, St. John served in the White House Press Corps for eight years, writing on the president, arms control and the federal budget, edited the 450-page U. S. Agricultural Handbook for World Perspectives Inc., and served on the Foreign Service Journal Editorial Board, publisher of articles for U.S. embassies throughout the world.

She was also a communications and entertainment executive in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C., where she directed theaters and a performing arts school, produced marketing campaigns and educational videos for Fortune100 corporations, assistant-produced a documentary film, "Yates Center, U.S.A." for U.S. Postal Service and other major organizations, and wrote and produced entertainment extravaganzas for the National Education Association, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the cities of Raleigh, NC and Washington, D.C.

St. John received her bachelor’s degree in literature and political philosophy from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont in 1971, her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria in 1992, and her PhD from Northcentral University (NCU) in Prescott Valley, Ariz., in 2008.

Dr. St. John has writing projects in development and is working on a screenplay about Lake County. She has three grown children who love and practice arts in various media, and a granddaughter who dances.

Clearlake Counseling Center is located at 149 N. Main St., No. 210, Lakeport, and is open only by advance appointment, telephone 707-262-0400.


SACRAMENTO Standing in front of Eureka High School Friday, Assemblywoman Patty Berg called for a tax on oil production in California that could raise $1.2 billion a year and prevent school districts from laying off thousands of teachers across the state.

“We’re the only oil-producing state in the nation that doesn’t tax oil extraction,” said Berg, D-Eureka. “That doesn’t make sense. And it’s especially obscene at a time that districts around the state are sending pink slips to teachers.”

Berg called on Republicans to rethink their opposition to Assembly Bill 9XXX, which would impose a 6 percent tax on oil pumped from California land or coastal waters.

It also would impose a windfall profits tax on oil company revenues. All totaled the tax package would raise about $1.2 billion, all of which would be dedicated to California’s schools.

Before supporting the bill, Berg and fellow Democrats insisted it include a clause that would forbid oil companies from passing the tax on to consumers.

The measure gives the state’s tax agencies the power to scrutinize oil company expenses to look for evidence of price gouging.

California, pummeled by a collapsed housing market and soft economy, is in the midst of a serious budget crisis. The Legislature and the governor already have cut a $16 billion deficit in half, but they now face a series of bad choices to close the remaining $8 billion gap.

The governor has proposed massive reductions to state spending, including cuts to schools, healthcare, public safety. He even plans to close state parks to save money. Cities and counties, also reeling from lost revenue, also will have to make unpopular decisions about parks and recreation, library hours, police patrols and reductions of a whole range of services.

“The money from this oil tax won’t solve all our problems,” said Berg. “But it’s a good start. Not only does this get us past all that no-tax rhetoric, it puts these petro-dollars to work, educating a generation of children who will be called upon to build a cleaner, brighter and better future.”

Nationwide, 21 other states impose a similar tax – including Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Tennessee, West Virginia – virtually all of which enjoy lower gas prices than California

“Tell the governor and the Republicans we want schools and healthcare,” said Berg. “Tell them we don’t need right-wing doubletalk about strangling government. We need to work together. The old partisan gridlock, business-as-usual approach won’t cut it this year.”

Assembly Bill 9xxx was heard on the Assembly floor, but failed due to Republicans not supporting the measure.


The historical conditions of Middle Creek will be discussed Thursday. Photo by Linda Juntunen.


UPPER LAKE – Historical conditions in the Middle Creek watershed will be the topic of a special Middle Creek CRMP meeting on Thursday.

The meeting will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 13 at the Upper Lake Oddfellows' Hall, 9408 Main St., Upper Lake.

Longtime and multi-generation residents of the watershed will share their memories and experiences of past watershed conditions and changes.

The evening will include refreshments and panel discussion by these longtime residents.

The event is free of charge and watershed residents (those living in the vicinity of Clover Creek, Sam Alley Creek, the town of Upper Lake, or the areas near the East Fork and West Fork of Middle Creek to Rodman Slough) are especially encouraged to attend.


A fire damaged building in Lucerne. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – One of the worst nightmares is a home damaged or destroyed by fire. Possibly, the structure has been only partially damaged but fire often results in the complete loss of a dwelling or structure.

Just as traumatic can be the loss of household possessions and heirlooms. This is one of the reasons to have remodels, additions and electrical work done by licensed contractors with permits, providing protection to the property owner.

County and state codes require a structure damaged by fire be examined by a competent building inspector before the removal of any fire-damaged materials. The inspector will determine the extent of damage, and if repair or removal is appropriate.

In some cases the owner or occupant is anxious to immediately commence work and secure the structure from further damage by weather, or vandalism. However, there is often an insurance adjuster who must check the damage and provide an assessment prior to repairs.

Additional concerns exist because it is possible that the supporting structure is burned to a point where the structural integrity of the building is jeopardized and can not be repaired. Also, electrical wiring may appear to be in good condition, however, close inspection may reveal serious hazards which could create another fire.

It is imperative that property owners in the unincorporated areas of Lake County or their contractor contact the County Building and Safety Division and obtain the necessary permits to either repair, replace or demolish the structures or dwelling after a fire.

If you are unsure of how to proceed or require additional information please contact one of the Building and Safety Division offices: Lakeport office, for areas of central to northern Lake County at 263-2382; or Lower Lake office, areas of central to southern Lake County at 994-6285.

Code Corner is a series of informational articles relating to Lake County Codes enforced by the Lake County Code Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department.

Information can also be obtained from the county's Web site at www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/DepartmentDirectory/Code_Enforcement.htm.

Often County codes are similar to those in the incorporated cities. If you live in one of Lake County’s two incorporated cities and have questions, check with their Code Enforcement: City of Clearlake Code Enforcement at 994-8201, Extension 115 or 118; City of Lakeport Code Enforcement at 263-3056, Extension 7.


LAKE COUNTY – The Lake County/City of Clearlake Joint Powers Board for the Public Access Television Channel 8 is seeking a part-time PEG operations manager.

Duties include, but are not limited to, providing support to the PEG Board and Committee, maintaining and updating the PEG reader board, scheduling and providing for programming and broadcasting on TV8, providing technical support as requested, and maintaining studio equipment.

The salary is $20 per hour at four hours per week.

Applications will be accepted until March 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the City of Clearlake, Personnel Department, 14050 Olympic Drive, Clearlake, CA 95422.

For an application packet, call 994-8201, Extension 103.


LOWER LAKE – Members of the Lake County Genealogical Society have been visiting various pioneer cemeteries to test the validity of “grave Dowsing,” a way to find old graves.

Those taking part report it has been quite a rewarding experience and very successful. No scientific explanation of this technique has been offered but from their experience it really works.

It is said that 90 percent of humans have the capability to perform this type of divining. Even the novice dowsers have had great success. Some of the group's more experienced dowsers can even determine depth and gender and will demonstrate their techniques.

It is known that several unmarked graves exist in the historic Herndon Pioneer Cemetery, therefore this location makes for the perfect setting to continue this project.

The group plans to meet at the Herndon Cemetery on Saturday, March 15 at noon to try this out.

Member of the Genealogical Society, the Historical Society, the media and a few experienced dowsers have promised to attend. Join them in this unusual and interesting experience. All are welcome.

If you need direction please contact me. Several people will be meeting at the Lower Lake Brick Hall around 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and then will caravan to the site.

The grass, weeds and wild flowers were cut last year by the county and so now they are low but boots are recommended as the vegetation may be moist. They may be there for an hour or two so bring your own refreshments. Dowsing rods for those who do not have any will be provided.


Upcoming Calendar

11.25.2020 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Library hosts ‘Zoom with the Director’ 
11.25.2020 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Drive-up flu vaccine event
Thanksgiving Day
11.28.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
12.01.2020 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mendocino College Symposium
12.05.2020 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Gallery Open Reception: Home
Middletown Art Center
12.12.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
12.19.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
Christmas Eve

Mini Calendar



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