Saturday, 04 February 2023


CLEARLAKE – The Americana Dinner, planned for May 3 this year, is the main fundraiser for the Clearlake fireworks display. For this year’s fundraiser organizers have put together a fabulous evening of comedy by local comedian Marc Yaffee who is joined by Lynn Ruth Miller and Johnny Steele. Emcee for the evening will be Joey Luiz.

Chic le Chef will be catering the American feast including: Santa Maria tri-tip, Kansas City chicken, herb potato salad, corn salad, Boston baked beans, garlic bread, and finishing with a dessert of red, white and blue shortcakes.

Music will be provided by the Morgan Walker Band with Dennis Chrisp.

A live auction will be held during this event.

Remember, 100-percent of the proceeds from the Americana Dinner will go toward the fireworks display being held during Independence Day weekend. The Clearlake fireworks display is put together by the Clearlake Fire Department, the City of Clearlake, Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and the fireworks display company Pyro Spectacular.

Tickets are on sale now for $50 per person or a table of eight for $400. You can purchase tickets at the following locations:

Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce (accepts check and cash only)

4700 Golf Ave., Clearlake

Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Perfect Printers (accepts check, cash and credit cards)

14096 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


UKIAH – Duane Hill formally announced his retirement Wednesday after 32 years as chief executive officer of the Rural Communities Housing Development Corp. (RCHDC).

Bruce Alfano, former executive director of West County Community Services, a Sonoma County nonprofit human service organization, is replacing Hill.

This change in leadership comes after a yearlong executive search conducted by the RCHDC Board of Directors, in which more than 30 applicants from across the country were interviewed.

The directors culminated the search in December, when the top two candidates underwent a round of interviews with the RCHDC Board of Directors and staff members as well as local community leaders.

RCHDC is the winner of the 2006 Stars of Lake County “Organization of the Year” award has built six complexes for seniors, disabled individuals and most recently, farmworkers, in Lakeport, Kelseyville, Clearlake and Lucerne. The agency’s most recent effort is a 50-unit complex for low-income families in Nice, scheduled for a 2010 opening.

One of Lake and Mendocino counties’ more controversial figures, Hill is known for his flamboyant dress, his copious collection of hats and his agency’s affordable housing developments, which have been the subject of fierce debate at Board of Supervisors’ meetings for many years.

Born and raised in Red Bluff, Hill left his job at a lumber products firm in 1969 and took a position in the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas-Tehama Community Action Agency where he established a welfare-rights organization, created a housing authority and expanded the service menu of that agency to include a variety of services, including Tehama County’s first senior center.

Hill left Red Bluff to attend college in Mendocino County, eventually graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in psychology. During this time, he worked as housing specialist for Ukiah-based North Coast Opportunities.

This led to the formation of the Rural Communities Housing Development Corp., incorporated as a nonprofit organization in November 1975.

By 1978, RCHDC opened the Walnut Village senior housing complex in Ukiah and, in 1979, the Sunshine Manor development in Lakeport.

Over the course of his career Hill has maintained longstanding relationships “on both sides of the aisle” with politicians, financiers and policymakers in local, state and national arenas and has received a Congressional Certificate of Appreciation for his work in rural affordable housing. On April 2 Hill won the Lifetime Achievement Award from NeighborWorks, a national consortium of affordable housing developers.

New RCHDC chief executive officer Bruce Alfano graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in the mid-1970s before going on to receive a juris doctorate from the Howard University School of Law, where he was one of six white students in this traditionally African-American college.

Alfano moved to Northern California more than 30 years ago and, like Hill, worked at North Coast Opportunities. He was elected to Willits City Council in 1986, re-elected in 1990 and 1994, and served as mayor of Willits from 1990 to 1992. In 1997, Alfano accepted the position of executive director with West County Community Services in Guerneville and has worked there ever since.

“Duane’s achievements are amazing and it was difficult to fill his position. However, the Board of Directors is extremely confident in Bruce and believes him to be the best person to lead RCHDC into the future,” said RCHDC Board of Directors Chairperson and former Lake County Deputy Redevelopment Director Andy Peterson.

Alfano’s first day on the job was Monday, April 1, although Hill will continue to work for the organization in an advisory capacity until May 8. The RCHDC Board of Directors is hosting a dinner in Duane Hill’s honor on April 26 at the Ukiah Convention Center.

RCHDC is the largest affordable housing developer in rural Northern California. The agency serves between 1,500 and 2,000 seniors, low-income families, farm workers and the physically and mentally disabled people annually and controls 10 limited liability corporations in five counties, which together manage more than $200 million in assets.

The agency employs more than 80 individuals, has an annual budget of $2.3 million and either owns or manages over 1,000 affordable housing units throughout Northern California and western Nevada.

In addition to winning a 2005 Stars of Lake County award, RCHDC is an inaugural member of the California Housing Consortium’s “Affordable Housing Hall of Fame” and a charter member of NeighborWorks, the nation’s largest affiliation of nonprofit housing development organizations.


SACRAMENTO – The State Senate gave final approval on Tuesday to Senate Bill 562, legislation by North Coast Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) to designate nearly $5.3 million in urgent funding for coastal salmon and steelhead fisheries restoration projects.

The Assembly approved SB 562 on March 24, so Tuesday's 27-10 Senate vote means the bill will soon be on the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his consideration. SB 562 is an urgency measure, meaning the bill will take effect immediately upon signing by the governor.

If signed into law, the Wiggins bill would allocate $5.293 million in Proposition 84 funds to the state Department of Fish and Game, which would use the funding for its coastal salmon and steelhead fishery restoration efforts. Voters approved Prop. 84 - the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act in 2006.

In addition, Wiggins said that enactment of SB 562 will allow the state to leverage up to $20 million federal dollars for salmon this spring.

"Every week adds a new development to our burgeoning salmon crisis," Wiggins noted after today's Senate floor vote.

In presenting SB 562 before her colleagues, she said that "we have all seen the recent headlines regarding salmon in California: 'Fishermen fear lost salmon season'; 'Officials warn of salmon population collapse'; 'Regulators Could Close West Coast Salmon Fishing This Year.'

"This is bill is about this legislature taking action to protect California's $100 million dollar salmon industry," Wiggins added. She later stressed that the industry extends beyond fishermen to include tackle shops, processors, ice suppliers, restaurants and tourism.

SB 562 is supported by a diverse group, including the California Farm Bureau Federation, Association of California Water Agencies, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishmen, the Karuk Tribe, CalTrout, the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sierra Club.


LAKEPORT – The Lakeport City Council will look at further updates of its business plan on a meeting April 8.

The council adjourned its regular April 1 meeting until April 8, for the purpose of reviewing, adjusting and updating the city's business plan.

The meeting will take place at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Lakeport City Hall, 225 Park St., Lakeport.


KELSEYVILLE – The next meeting of the Sierra Club Lake Group will feature a presentation by county Public Services Director Kim Clymire about the county's proposed acquisition of 1,500 acres of magnificent open space on the heights of Mt. Konocti.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Kelseyville High School Library, 5480 Main St.

This very special land, which includes all the major peaks, some remarkable biological resources, and views to die for, has been offered to the County of Lake for the comparatively meager sum of $2.6 million, and the Board of Supervisors has indicated their strong support for moving ahead with the purchase, which must be completed by the end of September, 2009.

Clymire will discuss the nuts and bolts of the purchase (options, escrows, federal, state, and local funding sources), describe plans for developing the land for recreational use by hikers, bikers, and equestrians, and – best of all – show photographs of the property and the breathtaking views from the heights.

Although the bulk of the purchase price is expected to come from state and federal grants, local participation by individuals and organizations will also play an essential part in bringing this endeavor – a pivotal accomplishment for our community – to a successful conclusion.

The meeting is free and open to the public: please join us to learn more about this momentous opportunity, including the ways that we can all work together to make it a reality.

For more information, call Victoria Brandon at 994-1931.


LUCERNE – The Lucerne Community Water Organization is continuing to collect signatures to submit to the California Public Utilities Commission in protest of a new water rate hike and in an effort to bring the commission to Lucerne for a hearing.

California Water Service Co., which owns Lucerne's water system, is proposing a rate increase that would take effect later this year after the town's water plant upgrades are completed.

The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Lucerne Senior Center, 10th and Country Club, according to Lucerne Community Water Organization President Craig Bach.

To sign a petition contact Bach, 274-3346. Visit the group's Web site at


Upcoming Calendar

02.07.2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Area Agency on Aging
02.08.2023 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
100+ Women Strong in Lake County
02.09.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
02.11.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
02.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Valentine's Day
02.16.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Presidents' Day

Mini Calendar



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