Sunday, 01 August 2021

Arts & Life

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) has announced the start of his 2021 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition and encouraged local high school students to submit their artwork.

Each year, this competition allows the chance for students to have their art displayed in the United States Capitol for an entire year.

“Each year, the Congressional Art Competition is one of my favorite ways to connect with our local students and showcase their incredible artwork to our district and our nation. The grand prize winner will have their artwork displayed in the United States Capitol for one year, an example of our local talent to the nation,” said Thompson. “Particularly in this virtual environment, I am looking forward to the excitement of this competition and encourage all our local young artists to participate.”

The 2021 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition is open to all high school students in Thompson’s district.

Artwork must be submitted by Monday, April 19, and must be submitted virtually via a high-resolution photograph of the artwork to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Submissions must include this completed form.

Please find the 2021 Rules for Students and Teachers by clicking here and the guide to copyright and plagiarism here.

Thompson represents California’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Ted Kooser. Photo credit: UNL Publications and Photography.

Li-Young Lee is an important American poet of Chinese parentage who lives in Chicago.

Much of his poetry is marked by unabashed tenderness, and this poem is a good example of that.

Editor’s Note: This column is a reprint from the American Life in Poetry archive as we bid farewell to Ted Kooser, and work to finalize the new website and forthcoming columns curated by Kwame Dawes.

I Ask My Mother to Sing

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.

I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.

But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.

Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©1986 by Li-Young Lee. Poem reprinted by permission of Li-Young Lee and the publisher. Introduction copyright @2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

Youngsters and parents are invited to a “clay date” event at the Middletown Art Center in Middletown, California, on Saturday, March 13, 2021. Photo by Jacque Adams.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – Families are invited to join Middletown Art Center artists for “clay date” and guided exhibit tours on Saturday, March 13, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The tours will be guided by artist and art educator Lisa Kaplan in the gallery, and the clay date will be facilitated outdoors (inside if raining) by ceramic artist Jacque Adams.

All ages are welcome. Social distancing and masking will be observed.

Visitors will be guided through gallery exhibits and learn about the making and meaning of art through an interactive tour. Exhibits on view are “Home,” as well as a mini-exhibit, “Being Leonardo,” composed of a selection of work made by Middletown Unified students grades third through 12, created prior to the pandemic, as part of an Artists in School project.

All of the exhibits close Sunday, March 14, to make room for new exhibits opening March 20.

After the tour, visitors are invited to create and become inspired at the clay table.

“Participants will have 30 minutes to become familiar with the material, and build from their imaginations,” explained Adams, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Cobb Mountain Art and Ecology Project. “They will be guided through basic clay construction, and introduced to the positive outlets clay making offers, including: tactile gratification, creative engagement, spatial recognition, fine-tuned motor skills, meditation and calmness, and the reward of creating.”

Activities are designed for parents and children to engage and enjoy visual arts together. together. Work made at this event will not be fired, but can be taken home.

Those interested in exploring working with clay more extensively, including firing and glazing, are encouraged to enroll in a clay class offered for children and youth at MAC this April, and ask Adams about classes for adults.

“We really miss hosting student field trips in the gallery and studio, and families are looking for things to do,” said Kaplan, who is also the director of MAC. “We have enough space in the gallery, studio and outdoors to provide an enriching afternoon of engagement with art, and art making for family pods and friends. We encourage people to pre-register and select a time to visit – there are four options – so we can ensure social distancing.”

Please register at The suggested donation is $5 per person, no one turned away for lack of funds.

Preregistration is not required, but will help ensure social distancing. You may also call 707-809-8118 to reserve a spot.

The MAC continues to adjust and adapt its programming during the pandemic. The gallery is open Thursday through Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment.

You also can visit the show virtually at

Find out more about events, programs, opportunities, and ways to support the MAC’s efforts to weave the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County at

The theme of the eighth annual California Invasive Species Youth Art Contest is “Be An Invasive Species Detective.” Pictured is one of 2020’s winning submissions.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is pleased to announce the eighth annual California Invasive Species Youth Art Contest.

This year’s theme, “Be An Invasive Species Detective,” encourages students to think about how paying attention to their surroundings can protect against the spread of invasive species.

“Detectives look for clues and use observation to solve crimes,” said Elizabeth Brusati, an environmental scientist with CDFW’s Invasive Species Program. “We want young people to look for ways to stop the spread of invasive species. Helpful actions could include choosing native plants for landscaping, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild, reporting invasive species sightings, and taking precautions to clean, drain and dry gear after visiting water bodies.”

The contest is offered by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of California Invasive Species Action Week, June 5 to 13.

There are three age divisions for youths in grades 2 to 4, 5 to 8 and 9 to 12.

All types of media are welcome and encouraged, including (but not limited to) drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos and public service announcements.

Entries should reflect the 2021 theme: “Be An Invasive Species Detective.”

The top three winners in each division will receive awards and have their entries announced on CDFW’s Facebook page.

The deadline for art contest entries is May 5. Completed entries and entry forms should be submitted electronically. Submission instructions can be found on the CDFW website.

The goal of California Invasive Species Action Week is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Please visit CDFW online for details about the 2021 contest and information on how to participate in Action Week.

The mission of CDFW’s Invasive Species Program is to reduce the impacts of invasive species on the wildlands and waterways of California.

The program is involved in efforts to prevent the introduction of these species into the state, detect and respond to introductions when they occur, and prevent the spread of those species that have been established.


In New Orleans, the culinary capital of America, “debris” is a very tasty shredded roast beef that’s been moistened with pan drippings, resulting in tender, falling-apart meat with lots of juicy flavor.

When visiting the Crescent City, have lunch at Mother’s Restaurant, a veritable institution dishing out the gustatory delights of the most delicious debris Po’boy sandwich.

“Debris,” the new series on NBC, is nothing at all about food, but the mere hint of that New Orleans specialty is making me hungry.

The show’s title refers to a traditional understanding of the word, in this case being the detritus from a spaceship.

Similar in a few ways to “The X-Files,” this science-fiction series features two agents investigating the unexplained phenomena of shards of a wrecked spacecraft passing through our solar system that get scattered across the Western Hemisphere.

CIA operative Brian Beneventi (Jonathan Tucker) and British MI6 agent Finola Jones (Riann Steele) are teamed in a top-secret mission to track down the alien wreckage before it falls into the wrong hands.

The opening scene takes place in a high-end New York hotel where a black market deal involving a piece of metal is about to be closed with Anson Ash (Scroobius Pip) and his henchman, when the American and British agents arrive in time to give chase.

Contact with the debris poses dangerous risks. When a maid touches a shard, she plummets through the interior of the hotel to her death on the ground floor ballroom. Others may bleed through their eyes or have visions of a dead relative.

Though Brian and Finola engage in the type of banter to be expected of their disparate backgrounds, they bring dissimilar approaches to their investigative work, ostensibly designed to draw the audience deeper into a supernatural drama.

Strange happenings are convoluted and puzzling. A woman’s body levitates off the ground and floats away. A young boy possessed by an alien convinces women he’s their son before they meet a terrible fate.

Early on, it seems evident that catching up with the black marketeer Anson Ash and his crew will be no easy task. After all, they elude capture very easily by popping pills that allow them to vanish into thin air.

With only the pilot episode available for review, the jury is out on whether the mysteries that unfold in “Debris” will be sustained over time. On another level, interest in this series may hinge on one’s proclivity for alien intrigue.

During the NBC press tour, Jonathan Tucker revealed that each week a piece of debris is discovered and “it allows us, as partners and the audience, to discover the capabilities....that this debris has to offer.” We’ll see how this goes.


During the winter press tour for television critics came the announcement from the FOX network that it has renewed its animated program “The Simpsons” for its 33rd and 34th seasons.

Even now, “The Simpsons” is already the longest-running primetime scripted show in television history, and Homer Simpson weighed in with the observation that “with any luck the show will soon be older than I am.”

This brings up the interesting point of what this series would be like if the characters had aged according to the number of years that series has been on the air.

For one thing, instead of being a 10-year-old kid, Bart Simpson would be a middle-aged man, presumably married and very likely to have kids of his own that turned to be juvenile delinquents.

Homer would be collecting Social Security and either living in a rest home and annoying the other residents or he may have contracted coronavirus, which would be worrisome, given that his lifestyle would likely have resulted in dreaded comorbidities.

Exploding into popular culture in 1990, “The Simpsons” remains not only groundbreaking entertainment, but recognizable throughout the world. One has to marvel at the talent to keep a franchise going this long.

The voice actors are immediately identifiable television icons. Who doesn’t know the voices of family members Homer (Dan Castellaneta), Bart (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (Yeardley Smith), and Marge (Julie Kavner)? In person, you wouldn’t recognize them.

Creator and executive producer Matt Groening added his perspective by noting that “Everyone at ‘The Simpsons’ is thrilled to be renewed once more, and we are planning lots of big surprises. Homer will lose a hair and Bart will celebrate his 10th birthday for the thirty-third time.”

It’s also reassuring to know that beloved Springfield residents like Hank Azaria’s tavern proprietor Moe Szyslak and Harry Shearer’s nuclear power plant owner Mr. Burns still remain comic foils.

As Bart would say, “Don’t Have a Cow, Man!” if you don’t appreciate the show’s satirical parody of everyday life and cultural references. The ratings prove that “The Simpsons” has incredible staying power.

“It’s a sincere pleasure to announce the Season 33 and 34 pick-ups for ‘The Simpsons.’ We keep hoping that eventually they’ll get it right,” said Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment.

For devoted fans, it’s safe to say mission accomplished.

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

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife invites artists to submit their original artwork to the 2021-2022 California Duck Stamp Art Contest.

Submissions will be accepted April 26 through June 4.

The artwork must depict the species selected by the California Fish and Game Commission, which for the 2021-2022 hunting season is the gadwall.

These common dabbling ducks are similar in size and shape to a mallard, with both males and females donning somewhat muted coloring.

Despite lacking the bright colors typical of other male ducks, male gadwalls exhibit intricate feather patterns with subtle yet striking color variations of brown and gray ending in a black patch at the tail.

The winning artwork will be reproduced on the 2021-2022 California Duck Stamp.

The top submissions are traditionally showcased at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s art show in July, but this year’s show status is pending due to COVID-19.

The design is to be in full color and in the medium (or combination of mediums) of the artist’s choosing, except that no photographic process, digital art, metallic paints or fluorescent paints may be used in the finished design.

Photographs, computer-generated art, art produced from a computer printer or other computer/mechanical output device (air brush method excepted) are not eligible for entry and will be disqualified.

The design must be the contestant’s original hand-drawn creation. The entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.

The contest is open to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older as of March 8, 2021.

Entrants need not reside in California. All entries must be accompanied by a completed participation agreement and entry form. These forms and the official rules are available online at

Entries will be judged in June. The judges’ panel, which will consist of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, and art and printing, will choose first, second and third-place winners, as well as honorable mention.

Since 1971, CDFW’s annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country. All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California. In past years, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting license.

Now California has moved to an automated licensing system and hunters are no longer required to carry the physical stamps in the field (proof of purchase prints directly onto the license).

However, CDFW will still produce the stamps, which can be requested by interested individuals at

Upcoming Calendar

08.03.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
08.07.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
08.07.2021 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Grillin’ on the Green
08.10.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
08.14.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
08.17.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
08.21.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
08.24.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
08.28.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market

Mini Calendar



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