Tuesday, 23 July 2024


Bill Winter of Lower Lake says he takes his truck with a 300-gallon tank to the Lower Lake County Water Works standpipe, in the background, every other day to augment his wells. Winter was one of several community members who appealed a decision to shut off the standpipe to the water district board Monday night. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


LOWER LAKE – Families in Morgan Valley who draw extra water for their homes from a water standpipe owned by the Lower Lake County Water Works won a brief reprieve Monday night.

In an emergency meeting, the water district's board of directors voted 4-0 to rescind a decision from its June 12 meeting to shut off the standpipe on July 1. Board Chair Frank Haas said the board took the action due to dropping levels in the district's wells.

The board extended the shutoff notice to July 31, saying they'll reevaluate their water conditions at that time. They also urged out-of-district water users who rely on the standpipe to attend a Wednesday meeting of the Highlands Water Co. to see if that district might offer them water.

General Manager Al Tubbs explained that his first obligation, according to state water law, is to his in-district customers. The Morgan Valley residents who use the standpipe are outside of the district, he explained, and can only be sold water if the district has a surplus.

The district's eight wells are now running 16 hours a day to serve about 900 hookups. Water use in the district hasn't changed, he said, but the supply has, with wells that once produced more than 200 gallons a minute now producing just over 110 gallons a minute.

Of the roughly 20 people who crowded into the small board room Monday, most were Morgan Valley water users, who were concerned that they hadn't been notified that there was an issue and were finding out with little notice. They said they are paying customers, although they're not within the district proper.

Tubbs said there are standpipe users who are not reporting usage, to the tune of 10,000 gallons in May that can't be tracked. Community member Torrie Quintero said the amount of water all the residential users take out of the standpipe can't account for all of that missing water.

Tubbs said the district can't account for another 467,000 gallons in May throughout the rest of the district. That amounts to a loss of 28 percent of the water the district pumps from its wells.

A central issue for most of those in attendance was commercial and construction trucks being allowed to draw heavily from the standpipe, using the potable water for spraying down roads and dust control. One of the decisions that came out of the meeting was to cut off commercial access to the standpipe as of Friday, June 29.

The board agreed that there was an emergency, and that it should extend the deadline for shutting off the pipe until they've conferred with Highlands Water Co. and evaluated water supply. Morgan Valley resident Bernice Britt said she spoke with Highlands officials, who said they would need to put in a standpipe to serve the residents.

Board member Frances Ransley said she sympathized with the water users, but added “you are taking your chances” when you buy land with a well and no other water source.

“I realize you guys are between a rock and a hard place,” she said.

Britt said she and her neighbors would like to be annexed to the district and will pay to do so. Quintero, Jo Cunningham and Rebecca Barnes-Lipman said after the meeting that they're working on an annexation application to the Local Area Formation Commission.

Tubbs suggested also issuing new keys to the current standpipe users, which the board voted to do.

Originally, the district reported that 28 families used the standpipe. Upon further research, they found they only had 12 active residential accounts and four commercial accounts, which means that 12 keys are being used but not being paid for or logging water usage. The new keys will stop that, said Tubbs.

Tubbs said he very concerned for his wells, that if they run draw he's concerned they won't recharge. He warned water users that in a month's time they still may be cut off, and that they needed to find other water sources as a backup. In-district customers also are receiving a conservation notice in their next billing.

“This is the future,” said Ransley, noting that conservation was becoming an issue for everyone.

Ellen Hardenburger asked that the district notify standpipe users quickly if an emergency situation – like the wells running dry – looks imminent. Hardenburger said water users weren't notified properly of the possible shutoff being discussed at the June 12 meeting.

Quintero said there's state law – such as Tubbs noted in serving the in-district water users first – and there's real life, which includes longtime standpipe availability. She said real life leads to new laws, and that everyone needs to communicate and work together to find solutions to issues like water availability.

Supervisor Ed Robey sat in on the meeting, and advised the board that, procedurally, they should rescind the previous shutoff order and make separate motions to extend the deadline, which they did.

Separately, the board voted to end commercial trucks' access to the standpipe as of June 29, issue new keys and evaluate standpipe water usage after another month.

Standpipe users are urged to attend the Highlands Water Co. meeting on Wednesday. For more information on time and location, call 994-2393.

Despite the sometime heated atmosphere of the meeting, residents thanked board members during and after the meeting for changing their mind. Outside the building after the meeting, Tubbs and Quintero even shared a hug.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


KELSEYVILLE At long last a park in the Clear Lake Riviera is coming closer to becoming a reality.

The four-acre parcel adjacent to the elementary school has been targeted for a community park.

A public meeting was held June 12 at the elementary school to get community input on the park design.

Some of the ideas that are being considered would be baseball diamonds, soccer fields, picnic tables and playground equipment. The cost of such a project is currently up in the air until the community expresses what it wants in a park.

“We have $300,000 to work with,” said Supervisor Rob Brown. “Obviously that won’t be enough but we are not sure how much more we will need. It all depends on what the community wants in a park.”

Brown said the community can help by giving the county as much input as early as possible about what they expect their community park to look like.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Brown. “I know there are a lot of people in the Riviera that have expressed interest in this and I’m glad it is this much closer to being a reality. We’ve had a very good conversation with Superintendent of Kelseyville School District Boyce McClain as well as Riviera Elementary School Principal Enrico Frediani to develop a relationship with them in order to make this happen.”

Presently the elementary school is being used after classes are out for recreation without the benefit of restroom facilities. The new park will create a new recreation area on property already owned by the county and provide much needed public restrooms.

Currently after school a gate is placed across the road into the school to keep vehicles out. In the summer and in the evenings one can see several cars parked in the entrance while the occupants continue to the elementary school on foot.

Plans are also on the horizon for a much larger park on the edge of the Clear Lake Riviera subdivision.

The owner of a large parcel of land to the south of the subdivision and east of Soda Bay Road is planning to submit a subdivision proposal for roughly 150 lots.

The developer has shown a willingness to work with the Clear Lake Riviera Board in order to make this subdivision palatable to the neighborhood. He has proposed donating roughly 250 acres of land for a large public park.

“Aside from the obvious recreational activities, this park would provide much needed wildlife corridors and the protection of the Thurston Creek watershed,” said Alan Siegel, president of the Clear Lake Riviera Home Owners Association. “The placement of a park legally usable by all of our residents would undoubtedly raise property values as well as offer myriad recreational activities. And while we are excited about this possibility we will bring every issue to the neighborhood for input.”

Realtor Ray Perry is a member of the CPS/Country Air Kelseyville office. Visit his Web site at www.rayperry.com.


BLUE LAKES – A collision that occurred early Friday afternoon resulted in minor injuries for the two drivers involved.

The accident occurred at 12:25 p.m. along Highway 20 near Blue Lakes, just east of Blue Lakes Road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Dye.

Claudia Vazquez, 34, of Lakeport was driving a 2004 Honda minivan westbound on Highway 20 behind 21-year-old Elizabeth Holcomb of Lucerne, who was in a 1995 Chevy S-10 Blazer, Dye reported.

Holcomb slowed to make a U-turn and was rear-ended by Vazquez, said Dye. The force of the collision caused Holcomb's Blazer to overturn but it came to rest with all of its wheels on the ground.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene. Dye said the women complained of pain but suffered no serious injuries.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A firefighter worked to stop the blaze as it moved along a neighborhood fence on Saturday. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – Fire officials are reporting that the cause of a fire that endangered a Lakeport neighborhood on Saturday was a lawnmower.

As Lake County News previously reported, the blaze broke out near a neighborhood on Alterra Drive and Crystal Lake Way shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday.

About 30 homes are located nearby, and fire personnel advised residents of numerous homes to evacuate their homes as they worked to control it.

The fire was contained later that afternoon, with mop-up operations continuing until late into the evening.

Lakeport Fire Protection District Chief Ken Wells said Monday that the 4.5-acre blaze was traced to an area resident mowing grass.

Wells said because the fire was accidental, charges won't be brought against the person doing the mowing.

Lawn mowing is a serious source of potential fires, said Wells, who urged people to mow early in the morning or late in the evening, when fire danger is much less.

The blaze destroyed one barn, one playhouse, neighborhood fences and numerous junker vehicles, said Wells.

Putting out the fire relied on the efforts of agencies around the lake and beyond, said Wells.

A total of 36 firefighters from Lakeport Fire Protection District; Northshore Fire, including engines from its Upper Lake, Lucerne and Nice fire stations; Kelseyville Fire; the U.S. Forest Service; and Lake County Fire Protection in Clearlake fought the fire, said Wells. Another 30 hand crew members came from Cal Fire.

A total of 10 engines came from all of those agencies, plus a bull dozer and helicopters from Cal Fire and a Forest Service water tender, said Wells. Both Cal Fire and the Lake County Fire Protection District also sent battalion chiefs to assist Wells.

Wells added that there were no injuries, either to residents or firefighters.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A playhouse burns in Alterra Drive resident Mike Hampton's backyard. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



LAKEPORT – A grass fire that broke out Saturday afternoon endangered numerous homes, caused firefighters to evacuate residents, and burned at least one outbuilding and several vehicles.

The fire occurred in the area of Crystal Lake Way and Alterra Drive in north Lakeport, bordering a neighborhood of about 30 homes.

Keith Hill of Cal Fire's incident center reported that they received a call for mutual aid at 2:56 p.m.

Mike Hampton, who lives along the south side of Alterra Drive, said his wife called to tell him about the fire at 2:45 p.m. while he was still at work for AT&T in Ukiah. Hampton said his wife reported hearing sirens at that point.

At 2:51 p.m., with the fire spreading quickly, Hampton's wife called 911 and and was told to evacuate her home immediately. Hampton said his wife immediately took their children and did just that, calling him as she did so, and he immediately left Ukiah.

Emergency personnel told the other residents to evacuate their homes as well, as high winds pushed the fire down the hill and in the direction of the homes with smoke so thick that visibility on the ground was down to 80 feet.

Panicked people were running down the streets carrying their children, pets and their possessions.

Many also stayed behind, using shovels and buckets of water from swimming pools to build defense lines between the fire and their homes.

About a dozen engines were on scene, coming from agencies including Lakeport Fire Protection District, Northshore Fire, Kelseyville Fire, U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire. The Lake County Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol also were on scene, with CHP directing homeowners to move their vehicles to a safe area behind a local gas station.

Cal Fire sent two engines, one dozer, two hand crews, a battalion chief, one air attack, one helicopter and two air tankers. The specifics of how many personnel and engines from other agencies was not available Saturday evening.

The Cal Fire air tankers proved critical to the firefighting effort. Firefighters at the scene noted trouble getting enough pressure from the neighborhood's fire hydrants. Hampton confirmed that the homes in the area have struggled with water pressure for some time.

Cal Fire personnel on the radio could be heard pinpointing the precise area to drop water on the fire, with officials making efforts not to drop it too heavily on the area's homes.

The grass fire which emergency personnel indicated may have begun when a resident was mowing grass with a lawnmower burned trees, hundreds of feet of a shared neighborhood fence and then followed side fences closer to residence.

Estimates on the fire ranged from four to eight acres is size, with a definite size not yet confirmed from Lakeport Fire.

As many as 50 firefighters were still at the scene later into the evening after 6 p.m., mopping up and putting out hot spots.

Hampton and his family were safely back in their home on Saturday night, although they were shaken by the experience. One of the buildings to burn that day was his children's playhouse in the backyard. The heat from the fire was so intense that it caused some windows in his home to break.

Several cars and a sailboat also were lost in the fire, with further building losses unconfirmed Saturday evening.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Neighborhood residents were told to evacuate. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


One of two Cal Fire helicopters dropped water on the fire. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


A firefighter works on a shared back fence along which the fire traveled. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


A view of several acres burned on Saturday. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


Some of the losses in Saturday's fire included several vehicles and a sailboat. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



WASHINGTON Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) has introduced a bill that will permanently prohibit oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

The Northern California Ocean and Coastal Protection Act (H.R. 2758) provides protection to the unique and productive marine environment along Northern California's outer continental shelf.

"Northern California's coast brings biological and economic benefits to the entire country," said Thompson. "It's critical that we permanently protect this unique area from the environmental hazards of off-shore drilling."

The West Coast is one of four major upwelling regions in the world. Upwelling regions are coastal areas that support extremely abundant and productive marine life. This is because an upwelling brings cold, nutrient-rich waters up from the ocean depths that, when combined with sunlight, enhance seaweed and phytoplankton growth. The seaweed and phytoplankton provide energy for some of the most productive ecosystems in the world, including many of the world's most important fisheries, such as the North Coast fisheries.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, while upwelling regions make up only one percent of the world's oceans, they contribute to approximately half of the world's fish catch.

Drilling for gas and oil off the Northern Coast of California could cause serious harm to the unique and productive ecosystem and abundant marine life found off the coast, including the fish many local North Coast economies depend on.

"I've been working with Congressman Thompson to protect Northern California's coast from oil and gas development since he was elected to the State Senate in 1990," said Rachel Binah, former chair, Environmental Caucus, California Democratic Party Democratic National Committeewoman. "I'm proud that he continues to show his leadership by providing permanent protection to some of the world's most beautiful coastline."

"For years, I've been working with local environmentalists, businesses, fishing communities and public officials to provide our coast with the protection it needs," added Thompson. "Like me, they believe that permanent federal protection is the only way to ensure the North Coast's marine life is just as bountiful decades from now as it is today."


Bugler Pete Esterbrook of Santa Rosa performs a call to post during the dedication of a Seabiscuit Statue at Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, Calif. Saturday, June 23. Esterbrook is the only racetrack bugler in Northern California. Photos by Suzette Cook/seabiscuitheritage.org.



WILLITS – Former Vice President Walter Mondale and his wife Joan, celebrated throroughbred racehorse owner Harry Aleo, and descendants of the owner, trainer, and jockey of Seabiscuit on Saturday paid tribute to the legendary American racehorse as a classic, life-sized bronze sculpture of the equestrian giant was unveiled and formally dedicated at Ridgewood Ranch in Willits.

The private ceremony took place more than 55 years after a Seabiscuit statue had been removed from the ranch where the horse legend spent his final racing and retirement years, died, and was buried.

"Seabiscuit was a most unlikely champion – a down-on-his-luck horse whose looks didn't inspire confidence in anyone – except for the people who mattered most – his owner Charles Howard, his jockey Red Pollard, and his trainer Tom Smith," said Mrs. Mondale, official representative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "They were an amazing team, this horse and these three men. They worked miracles and in the depths of the Depression that seemed to go on and on, they gave people something to feel good about."

Retired Marine Col. Michael Howard, great grandson of Charles Howard, read a statement from Laura Hillenbrand whose best-selling book rekindled national interest and led to an Academy Award-nominated film about the great horse and the remarkable team who owned, trained, and raced him.

"I can say with perfect certainty that nothing could have thrilled (Charles Howard) more than to see people gather here at his beloved ranch to dedicate a statue crafted to celebrate Seabiscuit and to carry the horse's legend forward to new generations," said Hillenbrand. "May the world never forget the magnificent Seabiscuit."

Besides Mrs. Mondale and Col. Howard, other speakers at Saturday's event were Aleo, owner of Lost in the Fog, the most popular San Francisco Bay Area horse since Seabiscuit; John Pollard Sr., nephew of Seabiscuit jockey Red Pollard; Anthea Hartig, Western Director, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Jani Buron, former ranch resident and author of "The Spirit of Seabiscuit"; and Bill Nichols, former ranch hand and author of "Seabiscuit-The Rest of the Story". Dashing Lil'Biscuit, a Seabiscuit descendant, made a brief appearance.

Representing the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation were the emcee, Jacqueline Cooper, owner and breeder of the American Legend Horse Farm which is raising Seabiscuit's descendants at Ridgewood, and Foundation President Tracy Livingston.

The foundation is a nonprofit group formed to protect and preserve the historic buildings and natural resources of the remaining 5,000 acres of the Howard Ranch. "The return of the statue marks the start of a new era at the ranch, one which ultimately will see the completion and execution of a full-blown restoration and preservation plan," commented Livingston.

Famed Western artist and sculptor Hughlette "Tex" Wheeler cast two statues from Seabiscuit in 1940-41 while the horseracing legend was still alive.

About a decade ago, the Howard family donated one of the sculptures to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. In February 1941, Seabiscuit himself helped unveil the second statue at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California where it remains in the garden paddock area.

Custom design statue makers, Icon Bronze of Anchorage, Alaska and its affiliate, Atlas Bronze Casting of Salt Lake City, crafted the replica unveiled today from a new rubber and fiberglass mold of the original in Saratoga Springs. V. Fontana, a family-owned fine granite and marble products manufacturer near San Francisco that made the original five-ton dark diamond gray granite pedestal, used the same polishing equipment to produce the new base. The inscription is the same: "Biscuit's courage, honesty, and physical prowess definitely place him among the thoroughbred immortals of turf history. He had intelligence and understanding almost spiritual in quality."

Chris and Anita Lowe of Bishopstone, Wiltshire U.K., foundation benefactors and collectors of Seabiscuit memorabilia, generously provided funding for the monument. The Lowes were made honorary citizens and given a key to the city of Willits by Mayor Tami Jorgensen. "There have been countless famous racehorses throughout the ages from all over the world," said Chris Lowe. "But few if any have captured the imagination and inspired an entire nation as Seabiscuit."

Nestled in the oak and redwood-studded ranchlands and mountains of northern California, Ridgewood Ranch was where Seabiscuit was nursed back to health after a serious injury. Seabiscuit's recuperation set the stage for an electrifying blaze-of-glory career finish at Santa Anita Park that captivated Depression-era America.

Still a working ranch, Ridgewood has been designated one of America's most threatened historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The current owner, Christ's Church of the Golden Rule, has endeavored to be a model steward of the ranch by keeping developers at bay and by permanently protecting the historic structures that constitute Seabiscuit's legacy. The church has worked toward restoring several historic buildings and has joined the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, the National Trust, and others to develop an overall preservation and resource management plan and identify necessary funding sources for the effort.

For more information, contact the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, Ridgewood Ranch, 16200 Highway 101, Willits, CA 95460, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The foundation Web site address is www.seabiscuitheritage.org.

For a full gallery of picture from the Seabiscuit statue unveiling, go to http://lakeconews.com/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,37/.




From left, Nick, Lorine and Leo of D'Agostino Vineyard & Winery in Hidden Lake Valley won top honors for their Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Photo by Terre Logsdon.


KELSEYVILLE Lovely downtown Kelseyville was the site of the fifth annual Home Winemakers Festival.

The temperate and breezy Saturday afternoon coaxed amateur winemakers to pour the fruit of many vines into the glasses of Clear Lake Performing Arts (CLPA) supporters.

Many gifted home winemakers from Lake County and surrounding areas poured their home-crafted wines at the festival, co-sponsored by the CLPA Auxiliary and the Kelseyville Business Association.

The early judging determined that the D'Agostino Vineyard & Winery in Hidden Lake Valley produced the No. 1 Sauvignon Blanc and No. 1 Merlot.

Funds from the festival support CLPA programs such as the Lake County Youth Orchestra, Financial Assistance Program, Elementary School and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.

E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


District 1 Supervisor Ed Robey poured Mireya Turner's 2005 Syrah to a captive audience. Photo by Terre Logsdon.




LAKE COUNTY Caltrans' future plans to widen the Highway 29 in the area of Kit's Corner have led to a chain of events that will see the creation of a museum to showcase our local history.

Located near Kit's Corner, the Ely Stagestop House was built about 1860. It's one of Lake County's oldest buildings. Early on in the history of this historic structure it was used as a stopover for travelers riding the stagecoach from Calistoga to Lakeport.

This fine example of pioneer architecture would have likely been demolished due to future plans to widen Highway 29 until the owners of the Ely house admirably offered it to our county government. The Beckstoffer family, who are the building's owners, also offered a five-acre parcel of land on Soda Bay Road to become the new home of the Ely House.

This generous Beckstoffer donation proposal and ensuing negotiations with county officials became the catalyst for the Lake County Historical Society (LCHS) plans to develop the new site on Soda Bay Road as a "country museum."

LCHS will showcase Lake County history on a grand scale at the Soda Bay location for the enjoyment and education of the local population and visitors alike.

The Beckstoffer donations includes a stipulation that the main focus of the museum contain an agricultural theme. This original concept is right in line with the LCHS goals, as the group already has a collection of unique antique farm tractors and implements stored at various locations in the area.

Recently, three well-preserved old barns have been acquired by Ely Stagestop Committee Chair Greg Dills. LCHS plans to house antique agricultural equipment in these grand old barns once the barns are moved and rebuilt on the Soda Bay site. The group will need volunteers to help complete this task. How about an old-fashioned barn-raising event, neighbors?

County Deputy Redevelopment Director Eric Seely is the county's liaison for this project. Seely has painstakingly prepared the Ely House for its move to the new location on Soda Bay Road and is now in the process of sending out bid packages to contractors interested in moving the building.

LCHS anticipates that the Ely House will be moved this summer. Once the building is in place, the county will turn over the museum to LCHS. Seely has also held two well-attended public meetings to garner public input on the museum concepts. A third and final meeting is planned but the date is yet to be announced.

The additional museum concepts offered by the public and the historical society have been very interesting. Permanent exhibit concepts offered include a print shop, a blacksmith shop, an exhibit of old mining equipment and the re-creation of one of local 19th century saw mills. Several mining equipment donations have already been offered by the Wilder family. Various other rare artifacts have been offered by other locals, too.

In addition, an amphitheater for living history presentations and folk music events has also been called for as well as a general store that would feature goods provided by local farmers, ranchers, artists craftsmen and craftswomen.

The Lake County Historical Society is currently engaged in fundraising efforts to help make the previously mentioned conceptual exhibits a reality. The next general meeting of the Historical Society will be the summer picnic on June 24.

Monies collected from the group's 50/50 fundraiser raffle will help to start the project off on the right footing specifically, the footing and floor slabs for the first exhibit barns is the group's main priority at this time. Local contractors are asked to volunteer their time and purveyors of construction materials to volunteer construction goods to assist LCHS in this 2007 summer project.

The LCHS summer picnic will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 24, at the Kelseyville County Park, located on Park Street off Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville (not to be confused with the state park). The guest speaker will be Bill Brunetti who will share insight into the interesting geology of Lake County.

The historical society will furnish hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks. Please bring a dish to share and a comfortable chair. All are invited to join in this celebration of Lake County history.

For information and reservations for the Lake County Historical Society summer picnic contact Randy Ridgel, 279-4602.

If you would like to help with renovation of the barn project, contact Greg Dills at 263-0295, Extension 12. LCHS is a tax-deductible organization.


CLEARLAKE – Clearlake Police are stepping up patrol of the Austin Skate Park after a large Sunday evening fight involving as many as eight people left five injured.

A report from Clearlake Police Lt. Mike Hermann noted that Clearlake Police officers responded to the fight at 630 p.m. Sunday.

When they got to the park, Hermann reported officers found three victims, including a 28-year-old male who was on the ground and unconscious. Two more victims also were found.

Police determined that the fight started when one male subject looked at another male's girlfriend. Hermann said several other subjects joined the fight, with as many as eight people becoming involved, ranging in ages from teens to young adults in their mid-20s.

Although police have indications that some of those involved with the fight may have been wearing gang-related attire, Hermann's report stated that there is currently no evidence to prove the fight was “gang provoked.”

Hermann said that none of the subjects involved in the fight were previously known to police.

The 28-year-old male victim was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for neck injuries that authorities later determined weren't life-threatening, Hermann reported. No actual weapon was used on the victim, who mostly suffered from bruising to the throat, said Hermann.

Two other victims, ages 20 and 17, were treated and released for minor injuries, Hermann reported.

Police contacted a witness to the fight and obtained pictures of some of the individuals involved that had been taken with a cell phone, according to Hermann.

The main subject in the case, said Hermann, has been identified but has not yet been arrested.

Because of the incident Hermann said Clearlake Police will be stepping up law enforcement in that area, aggressively patrolling the skate park during the summer months.

Sgt. Brett Rhodes is leading the investigation into the fight incident, Hermann reported. Anyone with information about the fight is asked to call Rhodes at 994-8251.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Jim Walton of Alamo, Calif., won Best of Show honors for his 1953 Nash Healy at the second annual Kulture Shock Car Show. The show was held at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport on Saturday, June 23. Lakeport's Rick and Martha Rose headed up this year's event. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



LAKEPORT – Hot rods and roadsters were the order of the day at the second annual Kulture Shock Car Show held Saturday at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

Rick and Martha Rose of Lakeport oversaw the Kulture Shock Car Club's second show, an all-day event which featured 108 vehicles on display and three live bands.

The show offered another side to car collecting, with 50s and 60s hot rods on display that the kid next door could afford to buy and build up into something special.

Best of Show honors went to a 1953 Nash Healy owned by Jim Walton of Alamo.

The show's best hot rod was a 1929 Ford Roadster owned by Buck Buckner.

Art Miller of Lucerne won the Best Custom award for his 1940 Ford Deluxe.

The Best Motor Award went to a 1963 Dodge 440 owned by Kelseyville's Lauren Snider.

For a gallery of show pictures, go to the Kulture Shock Car Show album at http://lakeconews.com/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,37/.


From left, CHP Officer Craig Barnes, his father Officer Mark Barnes, and Mark Barnes' younger son and newly sworn CHP Officer Orrin Barnes. CHP service has become a family affair for the Lower Lake family. Photo courtesy of the Clear Lake CHP office.


LOWER LAKE – A young Lower Lake man, a set of identical twin brothers and a female Army helicopter pilot who served in Iraq were among the 131 new officers sworn in during graduation ceremonies Friday at the California Highway Patrol’s Academy in West Sacramento.

A report from the CHP noted that this class of cadets represents the second wave of the first major expansion of the CHP in decades.

CHP Deputy Commissioner Joe Farrow and Will Kempton, the director of Caltrans, addressed the graduates, and family members pinned badges on the new officers.

The Barnes family of Lower Lake added another CHP officer to its ranks at the Friday ceremony, according to Officer Josh Dye of the Clear Lake CHP office.

Orrin Barnes, son of Officer Mark Barnes, a longtime member of the Clear Lake office, was among Friday's graduates, said Dye. Mark Barnes has served in road patrol, the Lake County Narcotics Task Force and in the CHP's Investigative Services Unit as an auto theft investigator, among various other assignments.

Orrin's older brother, Craig, graduated last year from the CHP Academy, said Dye, and is serving in the Hollister-Gilroy CHP office.

CHP service is “a whole family affair” for the Barneses, said Dye.

Officer Orrin Barnes is slated to join the Mojave CHP office, according to Dye.

None of the graduates, said Dye, are headed for the Clear Lake office.

“We don't have anyone coming here right now,” Dye said.

Clear Lake is part of the CHP's Northern Division, which Dye said includes Mendocino, Williams and Colusa, and stretches north to the Oregon border. There are eight CHP divisions statewide.

The entire Northern Division is having staff shortages, said Dye, but some places are worse off than others, and that's usually where the newer officers are sent.

The CHP has a rigorous recruitment process, according to recruitment information on the CHP's Web site.

Candidates go through a written exam, physical ability test, psychological written exam and interviews, with tests scheduled across a five-week period. Those candidates selected also must undergo a background investigation and a medical exam.

The academy lasts six months, during which cadets receive a salary, the CHP reported.

Upon graduation, new officers receive an annual base salary of $56,880, with annual 5-percent base salary increases annually until they reach the top salary step of $69,144. But shift pay differentials and other pay incentives raise an officer's potential top step annual income to $90,552.50.

Many may think only of patrol officers when they consider the CHP, but there are many other positions as well, from academy staff members to canine officers, mounted police, air operations, background investigator, Capitol Protective Services, field training officer, auto theft investigator and more.

For more information visit the CHP online at www.chp.ca.gov/recruiting/html/officer.html.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Upcoming Calendar

07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.23.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake Planning Commission
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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