Friday, 22 September 2023


From left, Clearlake Police Chief Allan McClain, NAACP Branch President Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit and NAACP member Anthony Anderson at the Aug. 9 raffle at the Clearlake City Hall. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



CLEARLAKE – The Lake County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held the drawing for its annual scholarship fundraiser raffle on Aug. 9.

The drawing was held at Clearlake City Hall, with Clearlake Police Chief Allan McClain pulling the winning ticket.

Kevin Ness of Clearlake won the three-wheeled electric mobility scooter, courtesy of North Valley Medical Supply in Las Vegas.

Funds raised during raffle will benefit the NAACP's high school scholarship program.

For information about the local NAACP branch and its programs, call Branch President Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit at 995-2545.



Kevin Ness, left, is presented with the winning raffle ticket by NAACP Branch President Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit following the Aug. 9 raffle. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



Deisy Castro has been named the 2008 recipient of the Mendocino College Foundation Hopland Elementary Achievement Award. Deisy, age 11, shares her goal of becoming a marine biologist with Donna Wilsey, Hopland Elementary School secretary and on-site administrator of the award. The foundation, in conjunction with certain strategic donors, is in the process of instituting Elementary Achievement Awards throughout the various elementary schools in the College district. The Hopland award has been generously underwritten by Wade and Mary Lou Koeninger. Courtesy photo.



UKIAH – Nineteen years ago Wade and Mary Lou Koeninger had an idea. They wanted to recognize the students’ achievements at Hopland Elementary School and motivate them to get their high school diploma.

Their idea addressed students who not only weren’t finishing high school but also didn’t have a vision or plan for their future.

“We created a scholarship program that was all about student success and encouraging them with recognition so they’d graduate with a high school diploma and a plan for their future,” said Wade Koeninger.

Today that scholarship program, which has been in place at the Hopland Elementary School since 1989, has joined forces with the Mendocino College Foundation.

“Wade is a familiar face at the Foundation,” said Kathy Lehner, Mendocino College superintendent/president. “He has actively served on the Mendocino College Board of Trustees for the past 16 years and we are very grateful for his generous donation as well as his vision to initiate this program.”

“It is the perfect partnership,” said Wilda Shock of Lakeport, immediate past president of the foundation and the person Wade credits as having inspired him to partner with the foundation. “By bringing the Koeninger Elementary School Achievement Award into the foundation, we hope to attract and inspire other philanthropists, so that eventually every elementary and middle school in the Mendocino-Lake Community College District will have a program that motivates its students to graduate from high school and attend college.”

Mark DeMeulenaere, foundation director of development explains the mechanics of the program.

“Each year Hopland Elementary School faculty and its staff select a motivated fifth grade student who has shown dedication and promise for completing high school and entering college. The Koeningers have created an endowment where the foundation awards a selected student with a check for $25 and a certificate stating that a scholarship for $1,000 is available providing the student obtains a high school diploma and enrolls for at least one full semester as a full-time student in Mendocino College. If the student completes high school but does not enroll in college, a prize of $500 is awarded.”

“First, you need to inspire them while they are young, so they see their path and stick to it,” observed Mary Lou Koeninger. “Second, money is important. Our vision was to empower the students and their parents to concentrate on the goal of graduating from high school.”

The Koeninger Elementary Achievement Awards have helped nearly 40 students over the past 18 years. Close to ninety percent of the students selected complete high school.

“It has been a wonderful program,” enthuses Donna Wilsey, Hopland Elementary School secretary and administrator for the Koeninger Achievement Awards program since its inception. “By choosing fifth graders, we give them a chance to think about their future, knowing that college is a real possibility. They leave Hopland Elementary as sixth graders and when they come back to visit after high school graduation, suddenly they’ve grown up and know what they want to do. It’s very rewarding to watch the recipients grow and mature.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring a similar Elementary Achievement Awards scholarship program is invited to contact the Mendocino College Foundation at 467-1018.

The Mendocino College Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation comprised of a dedicated team of volunteer community, education and business leaders who live and work in the Mendocino-Lake Community College District. Its mission is to cultivate support and raise funds for the benefit of the students of Mendocino College. These funds are used to support the College’s vision of delivering innovative educational programs, focusing on student success and contributing to the vitality of the region.



An additional Mendocino College Foundation Elementary Achievement Awards program has been initiated at the Frank Zeek Elementary School, Ukiah, through the generosity of donors who prefer to remain anonymous. Chris Carrigg, age 11, receives congratulations from Mendocino College Superintendent/President Kathy Lehner (left) and his mother Norka Ahlswede, who considers education to be a top priority in her son

Swimmers prepare to start their race at the Aug. 13 meeting. Photo by Craig Eve.


LAKE COUNTY – The Lake County Channel Cats invited the Hidden Valley Sharks to participate in their second annual Lake County Channel Cats Swim Meet on Aug. 13 at the Westshore Pool.

More than 200 swimmers and family members participated. The “unofficial” meet is used as a practice ground for swimmers to gain valuable experience that they can then use at official USA Swimming meets.

“Official swim meets can be a little intimidating for first-time swimmers,” said team Vice President Shelly Bell. “Our meet is designed to introduce swimmers to ideas such as starting blocks, heats, lane assignments and starting buzzers.”

The Channel Cats have grown to more than 150 swimmers this season and meet practice is critical to a competitive team.

Community interest in the Lake County Channel Cats is at an all-time high, bolstered by the amazing achievements of the United States swimmers at this summer’s Olympic Games.

“It was nice to see so many community members from around the county at the pool on Wednesday,” added Bell.

The Channel Cats are wrapping up their summer season next week with a “Fun Night” on Tuesday and their annual Awards barbecue on Wednesday, Aug. 27. The community is invited to this event and it is expected that some of the individuals running for City Council will also be in attendance.

The Channel Cats also are hosting their second annual Family Bingo Night on Sept. 5 at the Lakeport Senior Center to raise funds for the team. Businesses are encouraged to sponsor the Channel Cats and those doing so will have signage at the pool.

The Lake County Channel Cats will begin their fall season on Sept. 2. Registrations are now being accepted for the fall team. The team fills on a “first-come, first-serve” basis.

For questions regarding bingo night, awards night, sponsorships or fall swim, please call Jen Hanson at 263-3131.



Matteo Merodio performs the breast stroke. Photo by Craig Eve.



Shannon Fronsman puts on a good show at the meet. Photo by Craig Eve.



Shao Jia Chang took part in the Aug. 13 meet. Photo by Craig Eve.




HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – Lake County's annual holiday Toys for Kids Drive will official begin on Sunday, Aug. 24, with a benefit golf tournament at the Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course.

Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course is located at 19400 Hartmann Road.

Festivities will commence with a putting contest at 7:30 a.m., with the tournament to begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.

A barbecue, raffle and auction will follow the four-person scramble tournament.

A limited number of openings are still available to round out the field. Entry fees (including cart) are $60 for Hidden Valley Lakes Association (HVLA) golf members, $90 for HVLA property owners and $100 for guests.

For those players preferring to walk, entry fees are $50 for HVLA golf members, $77.50 for HVLA property owners and $85 for guests.

To sign up, donate an item or secure a sponsorship for the golf tournament, contact Tami Ipsen, 987-9201, or Brad Onorato, 695-4670.

The nonprofit Toys for Kids Drive organization was established 12 years ago by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), and community members in Clearlake.

The drive committee stages a holiday event during which toys are distributed and recipients and their families are treated to a holiday banquet and entertainment.

Since it was created, the Toys for Kids Drive has brought a bit of holiday cheer to more than 18,000 children in Lake County.


CLEARLAKE OAKS – Clay and Margarita Shannon of Shannon Ridge Vineyards and Winery in Lake County will host a charity barbecue to raise funds for the Discovery Center Project at Anderson Marsh State Park on Sept. 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The event will take place at the Shannon’s Rolling Knolls ranch in Lower Lake.

The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the Discovery Center Project at Anderson Marsh State Park, which will be built at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park within the next two to four years. The project is a joint venture between the Children’s Museum of Art and Science (CMAS) and the Anderson Marsh Interpretative Association (AMIA).

The concept for this 10,000 square foot facility, which will house a museum, classroom and outdoor amphitheater has already been approved in concept by the California Department of Parks.

“Funds from the benefit barbecue will be used for grant writing and other expenses directly related to the Discovery Center Project,” said Carolynn Jarrett, CMAS president. “CMAS and AMIA are deeply grateful to Clay and Margarita Shannon for providing us with this opportunity to share our vision and promote the Discovery Center Project.”

Tickets to the event can be purchased for $50 and include a barbecue dinner, silent auction, music by the “Hot Frittatas” and a VIP pass to the Lake County Old Time Blue Grass Festival, which takes place on Sept. 13 and 14 at the Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 995-2658.

Earlier this year, Clay Shannon acquired the Rolling Knolls vineyard from the Greer family, who owned the property since 1992. The vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Sauvignon Blanc, which Shannon will farm and plans to sell to selected wineries. Rolling Knolls vineyard will be sourced for future vintages of the Shannon Ridge wines.

The property backs up to the Anderson Marsh wetlands and park, which is public land owned by the state of California and accessible to visitors.

For more information, please visit or call 998-9656.


SPRING VALLEY – The Spring Valley Lakes Property Owners' Association will hold its next general meeting this Thursday at 7 p.m.

The meeting will take place at the community center, located at 3000 Wolf Creek Road, Clearlake Oaks

(take Highway 20 west, turn left on New Long Valley Road and right on Spring Valley Road, then right on Wolf Creek Road.

The meeting will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silence of Lance Corporal Ivan Wilson, a Clearlake Marine killed in Afghanistan last month, and a welcome of new members and visitors.

The agenda is as follows.

Reading of the minutes.


1. Treasurer: Win Cary

2. Building Coordinator: Helen Mitcham


1. Campground: Helen Mitcham

2. Pig Roast: Helen Mitcham

3. Sunshine Lady: Linda Mann

4. CSA2 (County Service Area District 2): Jim Hershey


1. Architectural Committee: Rob Christian

2. Bylaws Committee: Sonja Madden-Jones

3. CC & R Committee: Helen Mitcham


1. 2007 Star of the Valley volunteer awards

2. Community Center tables


1. Business Expo on Oct 25

2. Halloween Party on Oct 31

3. Alcohol sales procedures

4. Music system

Association officers include President Gayle Christian, Vice President Mark Currier, Secretary Win Cary, Treasurer Sonja Jones and Building Coordinator Helen Mitcham.


Upcoming Calendar

09.23.2023 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
California Coastal Cleanup Day
09.23.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Lakeport Splash-In at Clear Lake
09.23.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
09.23.2023 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Passion Play fundraiser
09.24.2023 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Acme Foundation 25th anniversary celebration
09.26.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
09.27.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Town hall on homelessness
09.28.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
09.30.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10.05.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center

Mini Calendar



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