Sunday, 17 January 2021


MIDDLETOWN – Technological innovation is on the rise in Middletown and hopefully throughout Lake County.

For months, the Economic Development Committee for the Middletown Area Town Hall has been discussing ways to possibly move the community forward.

Last year, Althea Garner, a native of South Africa who recently had become an American citizen, donated a Ryze Business Network to the town. The purpose of the network was not only to better connect the merchants in the town to one another, but to interested parties around the world. The network is free for anyone to join. Just visit and sign up.

Ever since Althea Garner visited Middletown back in 2005 and conducted a business networking seminar for the Middletown Merchants at the Calpine Visitor Center the weekend of Middletown Days, people around the world on her Ryze network have been talking about Middletown.

In fact, when Langtry Estates and Tri Counties Bank teamed up to host a business mixer at Langty's Wine Tasting Room last August, three Ryzers – Scott Allen (a best-selling author in Texas), Kathleen Smart (a talkshow host in Atlanta) and John Stepen Veitch (an international business consultant in New Zealand) – requested to be virtual guests via The Internet at the mixer.

This past Christmas, Ryzers once again came forward and sent Middletown "Merry Christmas wishes" in the form of audio clips. You can hear those clips by visiting

In September of last year, three high profile individuals came to Middletown for a very special Middletown Merchants Mixer held at the local high school. Joel A. Moss, supervisory special agent for the FBI, John Schumann, senior worldwide evangelist for Adobe Systems and Kevin Comora, president of Vizicast Multimedia, all gave enlightening presentations to help move Middletown forward. Admittedly, it was the digital signage presentation by Comora that garnered the greatest amount of interest.

And, that is why Comora is scheduled to return to Middletown and meet with Lake County Administrator Kelly Cox at the Feb. 21st meeting of MATH. Digital signage may indeed be a major component to the economic revitalization of not just Middletown, but all of Lake County. Not only can it help encourage traffic to "stop and shop" in Middletown, it can transform Lake County's own media press kits. With digital signage software the press kits can include a dynamic, professional-quality video DVD. That should put an exciting face on the county to the world.

More effective use of the Internet is another major component which may help Middletown. The WiFi Company of Denver is currently promoting the use of FREE WiFi hot spots in Lake County – complete with an advertising splash page. The Greenview Restaurant may be among the first in the county to take advantage of this wonderful resourse.

There are already two free WiFi locations in Middletown – Store 24 Express and Joan's Java. Will more be coming? Free WiFi allows people on-the-go to use mobile wireless devices to check email, make FREE VOIP phone calls and surf the Web. Since the Greenview Restaurant already includes HDTV's connected to cable, the possibility for Wifi conferences with people around the world for business and educational purposes exists. For more about this wifi/splash page innovation, visit

For several years, Ernesto Sirolli, who runs the world-famous Sirolli Institute, has been a big fan of a free phone service via the Internet called Skype. This service allows people not only to talk with folks around the world for free, but to text chat, conference call, and send files of any size. With Skype, you can even video conference. Skype greatly reduces Sirolli's costs in running his institute. No wonder his affiliates around the world eagerly embrace it ... with one exception – Sirolli affiliate Mount Konocti Facilitation. But, that too should be changing as Kenny Parlet, who was recently elected president of the Lakeport Regional Chamber of Commerce, has become an avid Skype fan.

Last year, the Hidden Valley Community Church held two Internet training seminars. The church is actually a state-of-art multimedia conference facility. The church pastor, Rev. Walt Trumbo, is a big fan of technological innovation. The two church seminars showed audiences how the Internet can be harnessed by local businesses to promote products and services - not just to people locally, but to folks around the world as well. Jott was just one of many FREE tools demonstrated at the seminars.

Thanks to Jott, it is actually possible to use any phone to send email and voice mail at the same time to a large list of people via a single toll-free call. Jott is a great productive tool for people involved in sales or community services. Make no mistake, The Internet, if used properly, can enhance the life of small business rather than reduce it. Middletown can certainly use the help as three local business closed their doors within a two-week period just last month. If you would like to see Hidden Valley Community Church offer more Internet training seminars, please call 707-709-8605 and voice your interest.

Melody Campbell, a resident of Salem, Ore., is well-known on the Ryze Business Network as the "Small Business Guru." She has decided to team up with a local resident of Hidden Valley Lake to produce an online talk show on The show is called, "The Small Business Guru and The Gadget Guy." The show will focus on strategies and tools available to small businesses to help them succeed. The show can be accessed with only a phone or only a computer that is connected to the Internet. However, the best way is to proceed is to use the computer with a speaker phone that uses Skype.

Campbell's program will likely be using a Skype-certified product called, "Yugma." This is a desktop sharing software that allows your computer screen to be controlled so that while listening to the talk show you can actually view a slide show or even a video. In fact, the president of Yugma, Karel Lukas, is scheduled to be a guest on the program, February 20th at 9 p.m. For more about "The Small Business Guru and The Gadget Guy," visit

When The Foundation Center comes to Lake County on March 3 for its "Grantseeking Basics" presentation at the Greenview Restaurant in Hidden Valley Lake at 7 p.m., Scott Ullman will be teaching the crowd via a slide show presentation. He is bringing all the tools to make that happen with him – laptop, screen and projector. For more information about the presentation, visit

Hopefully, the day will soon come when Middletown will have all the technology tools it needs and know how to use them.


LAKE COUNTY – Nonprofit organizations and agencies in Lake County are invited to apply for proceeds from the 2008 Lake County Wine Auction.

The ninth annual event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20, at Buckingham Golf & Country Club.

The Lake County Wine Alliance, presenters of the gala, has contributed $621,502 in proceeds from the charity benefit held annually since 2000.

The charter of the Wine Alliance directs its efforts to foster the arts, benefit health services, and support the community, while promoting Lake County as premier grape growing and fine wine region.

The deadline to apply for funds is March 1.

A total of $91,500 from the 2007 Wine Auction was presented to 16 nonprofit organizations, high schools and senior centers, recognizing programs that benefit the arts, health, and community of Lake County.

Congressman Mike Thompson will chair this year’s gala, with assistance from Archie McLaren and Jed Steele as auctioneers.

McLaren, founder and chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic, made his debut last year at the local event. Steele, owner and winemaker for Steele Wines of Kelseyville, is a favorite wine authority at the event.

The Wine Alliance board of directors has confirmed the participation of Chef John Ash to present a cooking demonstration with lunch on Friday, Sept. 19, preceding the auction itself.

Several Lake County wineries are being invited to host winemaker dinners that evening. Other special activities are being added to the popular fundraising event.

Members of the Wine Alliance board include Margaret Walker, president; Marie Beery, vice president; Pamela Shine-Duncan, secretary; Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer; and Jim Fetzer, Judy Luchsinger, Wilda Shock, and Janet Thompson.

Prospective applicants may secure forms from Judy Luchsinger, chair of the Beneficiaries committee, via email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or telephone, 263-3280. The Wine Alliance may be contacted by phone, 866-279-WINE, or by mail to P.O. Box 530, Kelseyville, CA 95451.


KELSEYVILLE – The Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association (CLSPIA) held an indoor garage sale in the Kelseyville Senior Center on Feb. 9, an event made successful through donations and work of association board members, docents and friends of the park.

The one-day sale netted more than $1,500 for CLSPIA’s Education Pavilion Fund for construction of a year around facility in Clear Lake State Park.

Many benefited besides the pavilion fund.

All donated books went to the Kelseyville Senior Center’s book sale held in the annex at the same time.

Items not sold were distributed to the Lake Family Resource Center in Lakeport and Kelseyville Methodist Church Thrift Shop.

In addition, a petition in protest of closing the county's two state parks was available for signature with well more than 125 signatures. It also was signed by Congressman Mike Thompson, Mrs. Thompson and Thompson's district representative Brad Onorato, who stopped by during a tour of the county's senior centers.

CLSPIA sincerely thanks the entire community for supporting this project, especially those who purchased items and the Kelseyville Senior Center for their wonderful cooperation and use of their great facility.

Leona M. Butts is a Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association board member.


MIDDLETOWN – A talking animation, called an avatar, is being used to draw attention to an upcoming meeting of the Middletown Area Town Hall (MATH) meeting.

This avatar is being used to help draw a good crowd for the upcoming MATH meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21, because this meeting is important.


The agenda includes an explanation of the Brown Act by County Counsel Anita Grant and how that relates to changes in MATH's bylaws. There are procedural questions that need to be resolved.

Langtry Estates will make a presentation regarding its use permit for a golf course on its property.

There also will be a special presentation on "Tools and Strategies to Move MATH Forward."

It is important to connect this community with resources who can assist them. Consequently, special guests have been invited to attend this meeting – including young people who helped draw Fox News to Middletown back in 2006 for the Middletown Days Festival and garnered the interest of KRON 4 TV's "Bay Area Backroads" in 2007.

Kevin Comora, president of Vizicast Multimedia, who introduced the Middletown Merchants to the wonders of digital signage last September is also expected to attend, among others.


These town hall meetings are always free and open to the general public. They are held in the Multi-Use Room of the Middletown High School, off Highway 29 in downtown Middletown at 7 p.m.

While there is no requirement that people RSVP, special handouts are going to be given out at the Feb. 21st meeting. It would be nice to have a count as to how many people plan to show up so as not to run short on handout material. Plus, you might enjoy seeing what the online avatar has to say.

Therefore, you are invited to RSVP by going to and following the instructions.


MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – The Mendocino National Forest last month received a national award for outstanding partnerships and collaboration on the Alder Springs hazardous fuel reduction and carbon sequestration research project.

The Two Chiefs' Partnership Awards honored five projects nationwide that "demonstrate successful collaboration in conservation and forest stewardship."

The award was announced in Washington, D.C., by Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Arlen Lancaster at a joint meeting of leaders from the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Association of State Foresters, and National Association of Conservation Districts.

Partners with the Mendocino National Forest on the Alder Springs project are California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Winrock International, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station and Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region State and Private Forestry.

In announcing the award, Chief Kimbell said, "This cutting edge partnership will result in improved forest health, fuel reduction and comprehensive insight into carbon sequestration (storage) methods."

Mendocino National Forest awarded a stewardship contract for the Alder Springs project to Sierra Pacific Industries of Anderson, CA, in July 2007 to thin trees and remove biomass in order to reduce the size and intensity of future wildfires while improving forest health. Sierra Pacific Industries began work in September and is transporting the biomass to Wheelabrator Shasta Energy Co. also of Anderson, CA, for conversion into electricity.

At the same time, Forest Service researchers are collaborating with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Winrock International to measure greenhouse gas emission reductions resulting from fuels and forest management treatments, evaluate and quantify potential revenues in current and future carbon markets, and evaluate the potential for renewable energy credits and incentives associated with biomass energy production.

Five individuals were specifically recognized by the Two Chiefs' Partnership Award for their work in carrying out the Alder Springs Project. They are:

  • Janet Flanagan, Mendocino National Forest Grindstone District Planning Officer/Alder Project Manager; she designed the Alder Springs hazardous fuels treatment project by working collaboratively with many stakeholders, initiated and organized the partnerships and is managing the completion of the project;

  • Doug Wickizer, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Department Chief for Environmental Protection, Regulations and Forest Product Utilization; he is writing the current forestry protocols for the California Climate Action Registry and represents the Department in climate change activities and initiatives;

  • Nick Martin, program officer in Forestry, Energy & Ecosystem Services for Winrock International/manages terrestrial carbon sequestration and emission reduction activities under the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, including reforestation, forest management, fire management and biomass energy;

  • Mark Nechodom, director of social and policy sciences at the Sierra Nevada Research Center, a multi-disciplinary research unit in Davis, CA, that is part of Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station/visiting scholar and lecturer at the University of California, Davis; and

  • Bruce Goines, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Biomass Utilization Specialist, serving as multi-program lead to increase utilization of woody biomass from forest health, fuels management, and timber stand improvement projects in California./Forest Service lead in working with the State of California in determining public lands role in California Climate Action Registry and Forest Service role participating in emerging carbon markets; Regional Forester's representative to the California Biomass Collaborative that developed a Biomass Utilization Roadmap for California.

Each Alder Springs project partner organization will receive an engraved wood plaque made from black cherry harvested from sustainably-managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and each individual will receive a certificate of appreciation from the two Chiefs.


LAKE COUNTY – As people purchase helium filled metallic Mylar balloons for their Valentine this Thursday, Pacific Gas and Electric Company urges customers to make sure that they are securely tied to a weight that will prevent them from floating away in the air.

Unsecured metallic balloons that contact overhead power lines can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and result in serious personal injuries.

Metallic balloons that drift into PG&E power lines cause between 100 to 150 outages each year, affecting electric service to thousands of PG&E customers throughout northern and central California. In the most dangerous circumstances, metallic balloons cause power lines to fall to the ground creating the potential for fires, property damage, injury and even death.

In order to significantly reduce these types of outages each year, and so everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine’s Day celebration, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:

  • “Look Up and Live!” – Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.

  • Make sure helium filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight!

  • Keep metallic balloons indoors and never release them outside.

  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together.

  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000 to report the problem.

  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assumed downed electric lines are live. Stay away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments.


Upcoming Calendar

01.23.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
01.30.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
02.06.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
02.13.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
Valentine's Day
02.20.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
02.27.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market

Mini Calendar



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