Sunday, 02 April 2023


MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – The U.S. Forest Service surplus vehicle and equipment sale previously scheduled for next week has been postponed because of heavy involvement by all personnel in the fire fighting activities currently underway on all four national forests.

The surplus sale for items on the Klamath, Mendocino, Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests will be rescheduled for later this year.

An announcement will be made when the sale is scheduled. For additional information please contact the Mendocino National Forest, 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Willows, telephone 530-934-1119.


KELSEYVILLE – Smoke in the air did not discourage attendance at this year's Home Wine Makers Festival on Saturday, June 28, according to Paul Brewer, president of Clear Lake Performing Arts, primary sponsor of the event.

Brewer said that attendance exceeded last year's figures, and participation by both amateur and professional wine makers increased substantially.

He added that the introduction of a system of discounted advance ticket sales also helped to stimulate attendance

It is anticipated that, for the first time in its six-year history, Winefest revenues will top $10,000.

The festival, which is co-sponsored by the Kelseyville Business Association and the Lake County Wine Growers Association, is CLPA's major fundraiser with all net proceeds going to support the local symphony, its youth orchestra, scholarships and a regular concert series. Other major supporters are Sears, Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Westamerica Bank, the Specialty Care and Surgery Center and Nestegg Investment Consulting.

Suzanne Tunzi, chair of the judges panel, said that there was universal agreement among the seven experts tasting and rating the homemade wines, that quality is improving each year, and that different varietals are adding to the experience of attendees.

"Our visitors had the chance to taste wines like Monvedre and Columbard that we've not had in prior winefests, and we also saw quite a number of interesting blends," she said.

Craig Renaud, nationally known wine critic and broker and author of "Great American Wines: The Wine Rebel's Manual" joined a panel of local experts in judging 76 entries from some two dozen home wine makers. One of the chapters in his book notes that traditional wine judging is far too complicated, and outlined a simplified method.

The judges, consisting of Charley Hassom of Snows Lake Vineyard, Jack Vos of Rob Roy restaurant, Rodney Duncan of Duncan Vineyard, Stephanie Cruz-Green of Focus on Wine, Valerie Ramirez of Wildhurst Vineyards and Eric Stine of Langtry Estate and Vineyard all agreed to adopt Renaud's method.

Once initial judging was completed, winning entries were re-tasted in order to decide which wines were best in show in red and white categories.

Winner of the former was Dennis and Marisa Koenig of San Mateo for their 2006 Merlot; for the whites, Bill and Susan Laymon of Lower Lake won for a 2007 French Columbard.

There were a number of multiple winners, led by Kelseyville's Tom and Nancy Harty, with three – two silvers and a bronze. One silver was for their 2006 Merlot, with fruit from Snows Lake Vineyard, while the second was for a 2006 Italian blend utilizing grapes from DeVoto vineyards. The bronze was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Snows Lake Vineyard and Zinfandel from Beringer.

Many of the winemakers rely on donations of winegrapes from local growers, who participate in order to support CLPA's music activities in Lake County.

Other multiple winners were Renee Miller of San Bruno, San Mateo County, who took a gold for her 2006 Merlot, and a silver for a 2004 Syrah; Paul Spillane of Clearlake Highlands, with a gold for his 2006 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Beringer Vineyards and Syrah from Paul Smith Vineyard, and a bronze for his 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon also from Beringer. Kelseyville's June and Conn Murray won gold for their 2006 Sangiovese donated by DeVoto Vineyards, and a silver for an 2006 Merlot made from fruit contributed by Honeycutt Vineyard.

Single ribbons were awarded to David and Cheryl Lucido, who took a gold ribbon for their 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and to Kirk DeAlba, Dean Whitecotton and Gerich Fellerman of St. Helena who won the silver for their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The popular Peoples Choice award, voted on by all attendees, was won in a complete sweep by the "Howling Coyote" home winery of the Robert Greco family of Kelseyville. Their lavishly outfitted booth, complete with comfortable furniture, an ornate bar, a multicolored Harley Davidson motorcycle and a metal-sculptured howling coyote, was hands-down winner in the Best Booth category, while their colorful labels depicting their howling signature mascot was judged best label.

The festival goers disagreed with the judges "Best in Show" decision and named Howling Coyote's Syrah as the event's best wine.

Vicky Maley, chair of the silent auction and raffle committee, said nearly $5,000 was generated from the many prizes awarded by some 70 Lake County businesses and individuals.


SPRING VALLEY – On Saturday, June 21 the residents of the Spring Valley area of Clearlake Oaks had a fun activity day including cleaning up their roads, having a rubber duck race in Cache Creek and an ice cream social.

The road clean up started at 9:30 a.m. with volunteers meeting at the Spring Valley Community Center, 3000 Wolf Creek Road, to organize and collect trash bags.

The five major roads in the subdivision were clean by 10:30 a.m. thanks to Bettie Conner, Mary Barnett, Crystal Kinder, Rob Christian, Jim Fluker, Jim Kinder, Flo Kinder, Linda Mann and her granddaughter Katarina, Sandra Bagdonov, Katie Johnson, Randy Vess and Paula Vess and their son-in-law Nate Barker and grandson Aidan Barker, Win Cary and Kyle Valenzuela who helped with the roadside cleanup. Also, thanks to ALL the valley residents who are helping to keep our roadways cleaner!

This cleanup collected about 100 pounds of litter and one tire. There were no “white metal” items (which means small appliances). This is a very large reduction in the amount of litter that has been collected in previous years. The Lake County Road Department will pick up the collection of litter.

During the month of June the Spring Valley Property Owners Association sold sponsorship tickets for rubber ducks to be released in Cache Creek. Three hundred sponsorships were sold, and the duck race began at noon in the Helen Mitcham Park campground on Wolf Creek Road. It was great fun as the ducks spread out in the current, and the group of “duck catchers” waited at the finish line. First place winner was Bucky Clark, second place went to Kathy Vogen and third place went to Gayle Christian.

While the duck race was happening, the Property Owners Association sold ice cream to the spectators and volunteers to help them cool off. It was a busy day of fun, and many of the residents of Spring Valley came out to enjoy themselves, as well as help.

Win Cary lives in Spring Valley.


SACRAMENTO – The State Assembly voted 43-28 Monday to approve Senate Bill 1431, legislation by Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) to enable the state Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to expand the use of conservation easements to protect state parklands.

The Senate approved SB 1431 in April, meaning the bill has been sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his consideration.

SB 1431 clarifies that DPR is allowed to acquire a conservation easement if DPR determines that it is necessary to protect a unit of the state park system from an incompatible use or to preserve and enhance the natural resource, cultural, or historic value of a state park unit.

The Wiggins bill would also enable DPR to make grants to a state or local government agency, or a nonprofit, to purchase and hold a conservation easement with funds that have been appropriated to the department for land acquisitions. Grant recipients would be required to monitor and enforce the easement and agree to restrict the use of the land in perpetuity.

“As the population of our state continues to grow, and urban growth expands into previously undeveloped areas, additional pressures are being placed on the resources of the State Parks and Recreation system,” Wiggins said.

“DPR is authorized to purchase land for the purpose of protecting parks from development and other impending threats, but this solution is not always economically feasible,” Wiggins added. “An easement is a good tool for the department to use to preserve the state park system; it costs less, and also allows the land to remain in the hands of the private land owner. Further, it defends the land from incompatible use issues, and it relieves the department from incurring maintenance costs."


CLEARLAKE –With the upcoming 41st Annual International Worm Races quickly approaching on Saturday, July 5 following the parade, Police Chief Allan McClain conducted drug tests ordered by the International Olympic Council to drug test all worms participating in this year’s event.

There have been worms that have tested positive to steroid use. When Chief McClain was asked who tested positive, he said he could not comment at this time.

Amy Reyes from Cactus Grill has been a worm sponsor for the past six years. When asked for her thoughts on worms testing positive for the upcoming race, she replied, “There is no chance that our worm tested positive; he is on a strict diet and exercise program, he eats several fish tacos a day. Maybe he skinny dips in tequila once in a while – but that's it. I bet it is that worm sponsored by Food’s Etc. I have heard some fishy stuff has been going on over there in the past few weeks.”

Lamont Kucer, store manager at Foods Etc., jabbed his finger in the air for emphasis and raised his voice with all the indignation of a man falsely accused. "I have never sponsored a worm on steroids. Period," he told a news reporter on the steps of City Hall. “Our worms are fine men and women who have been training for this event. They would never take steroids intentionally. I insist on an immediate re-test, using the 'B' sample. I am prepared to testify that to the best of my knowledge, only the legal substance Miracle Grow was applied to the surface of the soil which contained the worms in question.”

The City Council announced Tuesday they were shocked and dismayed at the allegations of drug use by the worms. Mayor Curt Giambruno said, “What has the world come to, when we have to worry about our worms taking steroids?”

City Council member Judy Thein agreed. “There is a special place in our heart for these worms. Team DUI will work with Chief of Police Allan McClain to see that these worms get the help they need.”

Bob Rider, owner of Lakeshore Bait and Tackle responded on the scene to inspect boats and asked if anyone needed a quagga mussel boating sticker? One worm did take a boating sticker.

With the chief of police’s recommendation that all worms stay close to Clearlake, we are not sure what the need for a boating sticker was to the worm. The worm, whose name is being held at this time, only said that the boating stickers will cost $10 after July 1; all local boaters should get their boating stickers while they are still free.


LAKE COUNTY – All branches of the Lake County Library system will be closed Friday, July 4 to observe Independence Day.

Normal hours at all branches will resume on Saturday, July 5. Call your local branch if you have any questions.

Lakeport Library, located at 1425 N. High St., is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m., telephone 263-8817.

Redbud Library, 14785 Burns Valley Road, Clearlake, is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m., telephone 994-5115.

Middletown Library, 21267 Calistoga Road, is open Tuesday through Friday, 1 p.m to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., telephone 987-3674.

Upper Lake Library, 310 Second St., is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., telephone 275-2049.


Upcoming Calendar

04.03.2023 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Courting The Muse~Mixed Media Art Class
04.06.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
04.06.2023 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Character Design~Art Class for Teens
04.08.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
04.08.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Easter Sunday
04.09.2023 1:15 pm - 2:00 pm
Lakeport Rotary Club Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Monday
04.10.2023 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Courting The Muse~Mixed Media Art Class

Mini Calendar



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