Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Arts & Life

LAKE COUNTY – Lake County is unique; it is isolated by its volcanic mountainous surrounds and peaceful front. Within the county lies an often overseen culture that has a deep and rich heritage: that of the Native Americans. The Pomo is comprised of over 72 independent tribelets and date back over 12,000 years in the area.

In a brand new pictorial history book by Arcadia Publishing, local author K.C. Patrick sets out to portray the fascinating story of these tribes, through the stories, artifacts and images collected by its inhabitants.

Retiring journalist K. C. Patrick, a fourth-generation Californian, returned to her Lake County home only to find there were stories left to tell, and none too soon, as the living memories of an ancient culture were dying out amid the pressures of modern living and casino revenue sharing.

Highlights of The Pomo of Lake County:

  • Reveals numerous unseen vintage photographs from both public and private collections.

  • Features little told and unreported stories.

  • Shows how the Pomo lived a war-less culture, based on consensus and an almost pure democracy with leaders, not rulers.

  • Captures the impact that land-seeking Europeans had on the culture, and how the tribes survive today, mainly through casino revenue.

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or


LAKE COUNTY – On April 2 and 3, a first general gathering of California Poets Laureate was convened at the State Capitol.


The event was sponsored by the California Arts Council, California State Library, California Poets in the Schools, Poets and Writers, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and the Sacramento Poetry Center.


Both Sandra Wade (PL 2006-8) and her predecessor Carolyn Wing Greenlee were able to represent Lake County at this exciting event for sharing of experience, ideas and mutual encouragement.

At the evening reception in the Fragrance Garden (next to the New California State Library), current PL of California Al Young performed some of his work accompanied by Dan Robbins on jazz bass. Al is an accomplished jazz singer as well as an awe-inspiring poet.


Due to the chill air and encroaching darkness, each poet present read only one poem that evening, after a tasty barbecue. But on the next afternoon, by the Capitol Fountain in warm sunshine, each had five minutes to give a representative sample of hir work.


On Thursday morning Al Young gave an inspiring keynote address "Line Breaks and Tax Breaks: Poetry and Democracy." The PoetryOutLoud program was introduced by Chelsea Hunt of SMAC. Then three consecutive panels provided time for poets to discuss successful projects, challenges and opportunities they have had as laureates of their respective communities.


The first panel, moderated by Connie Post (first PL of Livermore, now in her second term), discussed how to get other organizations (schools, libraries, business) involved in poetry programs, and reported on some successful collaborations. Jack Hirschman, fourth PL for SF, Geri Digiorno of Petaluma, Garland Thompson of Pacific Grove, Velma Ginzberg of Healdsburg and Perie Longo of Santa Barbara were panelists.


Next, Sam Pierstorff of Modesto (first state city to have a PL) led the topic of funding, visibility and the most pressing needs of poetry and the poetry community. Panelists were Dorothy Lee Hansen of Napa, Joel Fallon of Benecia, Diane Lando of Brentwood, Martha Meltzer of Pleasanton and Carolyn Greenlee, PL of Lake County 2004-06.


Lake County was represented again, when Sandra Wade took part in the third panel with the topic, “What can poets laureate do to help each other? What tasks should we, as a group, focus on?” Julia Connor, fourth PL for the City and county of Sacramento (2005-09), officiated. Other panelists were Mary Rudge of Alameda, Rod Clark of Pacifica, Meredith Laskow or Placentia and David Smith-Ferri of Ukiah.


Some catchy phrases:

Random Acts of Poetry (in the library) Martha Meltzer

a library room to “commit poetry” Joel Fallon

“think postcard (DaDa-style)” Julia Connor

'Poets on deck' (of cards) Julia Connor.


LAKEPORT – At Cafe Victoria's first open mic of April, 35 people there for the entertainment, which was non-stop.

Host Phil Mathewson sang his song “Lilly Langtry” about the famous actress and the well-known local winery to open the show and then introduced Hamed, who tickled the ivories on the house piano. One guest suggested Hamed should study at Julliard after high school graduation since he is that good.

Then Craig H., also a high school student, did his comedy routine covering subjects from old movie stars to Viagra. Maybe we’ll see him on “Last Comic Standing” someday.

Robert Stark, songwriter/singer, did a rock song and a torch song, “9:30 at Night”, which he had performed previously at the Art Council’s Winterfest.

The dynamic duo of Tom Nixon and Doug Kaufman performed their original tunes including “Headin' up to Clearlake” and “29,” both songs about Lake County. They both perform in a local band, as does Chris, whose band “From the Ashes” has a musical video “I’m a Ghost” on Chris also performed “Smile” which will become a music video when he has a little more money.

Philip Martin changed the pace with his magic tricks which get better each time he performs. He always has different card tricks and this time he did tricks with cups and balls.

Allen Markowski sang “25 Years Ago” and ‘The Shoemaker” which had the audience joining in on the chorus. Allen was in charge of filming the performances for Channel 8 so everyone can see the open mic eventually. He has big plans for the Channel to make it more accessible to the public.

Dennis Crisp, who also assisted with the filming, came on stage to sing his songs about playing cards with the devil and a black widow spider.

Donavon, one of our regular performers, did two of his original tunes “ When I Come Home” and “Amnesia” in a forceful performance.

Greg Bloom, first-time performer, sang a two of his favorite songs.

Lourdes, as one of two poets, did three original poems. Her poems such as “Reflections on a Sunset” and “Homer” have great visual qualities. Dick Flowers recited two of his poems, “Liverwurst for Wear” and “G.W” which reflected his political views. Neon Napalm, which is her real name, did a great rap song that could rival any of the top rappers today.

The open mic went into extended time to have encores of Hamed’s piano genius, Tom and Doug’s road songs, and Philip Martin’s magic tricks. Philip’s tricks included card cutting and four aces which were inspired by Dennis Crisp’s "If You Cut Cards with the Devil” song.

We had 13 performers and an appreciative audience of many more at our biggest open mic ever. Next month should be even bigger so come early for a good seat and look for us on Channel 8. Last month’s open mic will not be televised due to technical difficulties with the equipment but this month’s filming went well.

The cafe is located at 301 Main St., Lakeport and welcomes drop in performers.


Author William Edmunds. Courtesy photo.


CLEARLAKE Wild About Books welcomes author William Edmunds to talk about “All Roads Lead to Zion” by Paracletus Press, on Saturday, April 26, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

A story that provides an intricate picture of the events that surrounded the time preceding and following the day when a young Galilean rabbi was executed from a unique point of view that of the Roman Commander of Fort Antonio in Jerusalem.

“Rome would not have sat on its hands,” Edmunds speculated. “A Roman seal had been broken and the unit charged to guard the tomb upon which it had been placed was compromised. What would Rome have done?”

“All Roads Lead to Zion” is his answer to that question.

“Restore order and keep the peace ...” So read the orders of Emperor Tiberius to a veteran Roman officer assigned to the rebellious nation of Judea.

More than 1,400 miles from the seat of government, undermanned and under financed, Centurion Gaius Julius Cominus struggles to maintain order. As tens of thousands of Jews gather in Jerusalem for Passover, a madman haunts the roads to Zion bent on the murder and plunder of Roman citizens, while a young rabbi, heralded by many as the Messiah, spurs political intrigue and mutterings of rebellion. Peace is not going to come easy.

William (Bill) Edmunds, a retired police command officer and freelance Christian author has done an extensive study on the Passover traditions practiced at the time of Christ. Bill and his wife Joan lead the Healing Rooms of Lake County each Thursday evening at the Neighborhood Christian Fellowship in Clearlake and every first and third Monday at the New Life Foursquare Church in Lakeport.

Wild About Books is located at 14290 Olympic Drive in Clearlake, next door to Lisa's clothing store.

For an updated list of times and dates for upcoming events, stop by and call the story today at 994-WILD (9453).



The baseball season has just gotten under way, but George Clooney, as the director and star, is tossing his best pitch for the football-themed screwball comedy “Leatherheads.”

Should we view this movie as brilliant counter-programming or an elusive “Hail Mary” attempt to score at the box office? Upon closer inspection, for a sports story written by veteran “Sports Illustrated” writers Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, “Leatherheads” comes up short on even the most basic insights into the early days of pro football.

The premise of the comedy is ripe with possibilities. Set in 1925, “Leatherheads” develops its story amidst the struggling efforts to turn football into a professional sport.

The nation was riveted by the allure of college football. The men who played football as adults were mostly crude, rough, and foul-mouthed farmers, factory workers and coal miners, playing at nearly empty venues in front of loud, drunk fans who could not conceive of paying top dollar to attend an event.

George Clooney’s Dodge Connelly is the aging player-coach of the Duluth Bulldogs, a ragtag bunch who have to forfeit a game when their only pigskin turns up missing. Even worse, the team is so cheap the players have to shower in their uniforms to save on laundry bills.

After the Bulldogs lose their sponsor and the entire league faces collapse, Dodge convinces agent CC Frazier (Jonathan Pryce) to secure his rising college football star, Carter “The Bullet” Rutherford (John Krasinski), in order to rejuvenate pro football. A dashing war hero who mythically managed to force a platoon of German soldiers to surrender in World War I, Carter is a photogenic charmer whose handsome mug adorns advertisements everywhere. A deal with the golden-boy football star seems a sure bet to lift everyone’s fortunes.

The football champ looks almost too good to be true, and spitfire journalist Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger) snags a big assignment from her editor at the Chicago Tribune to dig deep into the Carter Rutherford legend.

There’s reason to believe that Carter’s war heroics aren’t nearly in the same league with Sergeant York’s daring exploits. So Lexie hooks up with the Duluth Bulldogs to follow the team on the road, and promptly ends up in an odd romantic triangle with Carter and Dodge. That may be overstating the case, because Lexie snuggles up to Carter in pursuit of her story, while Dodge is the one she clashes with in the kind of sharp banter that recalls screwball comedies of the 1930s.

For a sports-oriented movie, “Leatherheads” spends too much time focused on the romantic comedy angle, tossing in plenty of slapstick and screwball antics that have little to do with football. However, Dodge, Lexie and Carter are interesting characters in the give-and-take of their own agendas.

Regrettably, the film glosses over the origins of pro football and virtually ignores the scandalous nature of how the game was once played. On more than one occasion, there are references to colorful yet questionable football plays, but the audience is left wondering what exactly will be banned when a new commissioner of football establishes a set of well-defined rules.

Nicely photographed and evocative of a bygone era, “Leatherheads” is a pleasure to watch, and not just for the scenery. Maybe the film doesn’t score a touchdown, but George Clooney and Renee Zellweger make excellent combatants in the screwball comedy department. The breezy dialogue is a real treat.

By the way, it’s troubling that John Krasinski’s war hero is still in college about seven years after World War I ended. Despite some grievous flaws in logic, the film still delivers plenty of laughs and an enjoyable entertainment.


Keeping up with your favorite TV series when episodes are released on DVD is an exercise in a serious financial commitment. If a popular program runs for a decade, it becomes pricey to buy each season separately.

“Perry Mason” aired for nine seasons, followed by many years in syndication. Fortunately, the release of “Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition” allows for an affordable viewing of 12 exceptional episodes of Raymond Burr in the title role of defense attorney Perry Mason, assisted by Barbara Hale as his beautiful and trusted secretary Della Street and debonair William Hopper as detective Paul Drake.

This four-disc collection follows the amazing trio as they crack impossible cases and uncover the truth every time. Great guest stars include Robert Redford, James Coburn, Adam West, Burt Reynolds, Leonard Nimoy, Dick Clark and Ryan O’Neill.

As to be expected, there are plenty of bonus features, including cast interviews and Raymond Burr’s initial screen tests.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.


CLEARLAKE – "Everything's Cool" will be Second Sunday Cinema's free film for April 13.

"Everything's Cool," says the White House. Go on, buy that big, bad SUV (you know you want it!). Buy those expensive gallons of gas to get that SUV from Point A to Point B. (If you don't, that SUV won't budge.) Besides, Fox News knows a scientist or two still declaring that global warming is a harmless prank played from time to time by a feckless Mother Nature.

However, most scientists and many others, including government experts, have known the facts about climate change (far more complex than mere "warming") for decades. Why didn't we, the people, hear about its reality and its effects back in 1987? After all, we would have had a 20-year head start on making the many changes needed to prevent climate change's worst extremes.

The inspiring documentary "Everything's Cool" chronicles the history of efforts by big media and the White House to completely suppress, distort, and misrepresent the science and the facts. Along the way we get to know some of the quiet heroes whose determination to get the facts out have resulted in our current knowledge – however tardy.

One is Bill McKibben, environmental activist and author of the seminal 1987 book, "The End of Nature." Another is the self-effacing, Pulitzer-Prize-winning NYT journalist Ross Gelbspan. Both have fought the good fight for over 20 years, even though they often felt despair in the face of the facts on the one hand, and censorship and lies on the other.

And this is the other really good reason to come to see this free movie: In the face of a scary reality, these and the other quirky heroes in this lively, fascinating film find the courage and heart to remain optimistic while working every day to be as effective as they can be in their self-appointed jobs. They make inspiring role models.

"Everything's Cool" will be screened on Sunday, April 13. As always, Second Sunday Cinema's films are free.

The much-appreciated venue is the Clearlake United Methodist Church at 14521 Pearl Ave., in Clearlake.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for early birds who want to grab a good seat, a snack, perhaps, and a chat with an acquaintance. (We encourage this friendly behavior!) There's also time for discussion or schmoozing after the film. More information is available at 279-2957. We hope to see you there!


Upcoming Calendar

04.18.2024 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Earth Day celebration
04.20.2024 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Earth Day Celebration
Calpine Geothermal Visitor Center
04.20.2024 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Boatique Wines Stand-up Comedy Night
04.25.2024 1:30 pm - 7:30 pm
FireScape Mendocino workshop
04.27.2024 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Northshore Ready Fest
04.27.2024 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Prescription Drug Take Back Day
04.27.2024 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Inaugural Team Trivia Challenge
Cinco de Mayo
05.06.2024 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Senior Summit

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



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