Saturday, 13 July 2024


LAKE COUNTY – With just five days left for households to mail back their 2010 Census forms, the U.S. Census Bureau wants to remind people that it's not too late to return their completed questionnaires and be counted.

Personal visits to nonresponding households begin May 1.

Households have until April 16 to mail back their form, as the Census Bureau must begin preparing to train temporary census workers to gather census responses in person from households that did not mail back their forms.

In Lake County, some areas – notably Clearlake – have not received US Census forms yet. To find out where to pick up a 2010 Census form, click here: Census 2010: Local questionnaire assistance centers open .

As of Sunday, April 11, the national mail back participation rate was 65 percent. California was slightly behind the national average with 63 percent.

The Northern California counties with the highest participation rates were San Mateo, Santa Clara and Shasta counties, which each were at 68 percent. Lagging behind were Mono County, with 25 percent, and Alpine County, with 20 percent.

Lake County remained at 53 percent on Sunday, just one percentage point below its 2000 mail back participation rate, according to US Census data.

The Census Bureau’s Northern California region stretches from Santa Cruz County, to the south, and the Oregon border, to the north.

For the first time, the Census Bureau has mailed replacement forms to areas with historically lower mail-response rates. Research shows that the replacement forms will help increase mail response in those areas, which will save a significant amount of money.

The Census Bureau saves about $85 million in operational costs for every percentage point increase in the nation's mail-participation rate. It costs the government just the price of a postage stamp when a household mails back the form. However, it costs the Census Bureau $57 to follow up with a non-responsive household.

If you did not receive a Census form or have misplaced it, visit to find a “Be Counted” or questionnaire assistance center site in your neighborhood, where forms are available.

Both the questionnaire assistance centers and the “Be Counted” sites are operational until April 19 and can be found in public areas, such as libraries and community centers donated by businesses and organizations.

Or, call the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center hotlines for assistance seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time. The phone numbers are: English: 1-866-872-6868, Spanish: 1-866-928-2010, Chinese: 1-866-935-2010, Korean: 1-866-955-2010, Russian: 1-866-965-2010, Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010, TDD (hearing impaired): 1-866-783-2010.

All US Census responses are confidential. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' individually identifiable answers with anyone, including tribal housing authorities, other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.

The Census Bureau also has created tools to help communities track their census participation.

The Take 10 Challenge Map shows the latest participation rates, giving users the option to download and embed a local rate tracker “widget” on their own Web site.

The participation rates are posted at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time each weekday. Anyone can visit the 2010 Census Web site at to track their state, county or neighborhood's progress.

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make decisions about what community services to provide.

The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about 10 minutes to complete.

Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.

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It’s been suggested to me that I should write an in-depth book about Lake County and its wine industry. I’m very interested in the subject and the idea of taking on the project excited me.

The idea was placed in my head over a year ago, and I just haven't been able to act on it. The problem with getting started on it is that I spend so much time on the Foodie Freak columns that I don’t have time to write anything else.

I literally spend almost the same amount of time as a full-time job researching for my columns. At this moment I have about 40 columns in different levels of completion on my computer.

I’m also working on my own signature line of specialty foods, made locally with local ingredients, and hopefully you will see them in stores soon.

While juggling all of these projects keeps me busy and provides me with a steady stream of things to do, I can’t possibly work on a book at the same time.

Since this is what I’d like to do, I’ve decided that I am going to take what I’ll call “a sabbatical” from the Foodie Freak columns, to pursue writing a book about the Lake County wine industry.

I want to chronicle everything anyone could ever want to know about wine in Lake County. I’m going to find the ruins of old wineries, discover lost vineyards and define who currently owns what vineyard

where. This book will eventually be available on Lake County News.

When I am finished writing the book, my wife and I will look into continuing the Foodie Freak series. In the mean time, you will most likely still see my name pop up in Lake County News if and when I report on an events I attend, if a new food venue opens or telling about a class I’ll be teaching, but the weekly columns will be on hold until further notice.

In the event that I do decide to continue the Foodie Freak columns at a later time, I don’t believe I’ll continue doing restaurant reviews anymore. I have become too widely recognized around the community to conduct the reviews anonymously.

Several times now when I have walked into a restaurant, I see the staff group together, start whispering

and pointing at me, and I just know I will be getting special treatment. If I can’t get treated like the general public then I can’t do an accurate review.

So if anyone wants to take those reins and try to keep their anonymity they are welcome to it. Contact Elizabeth Larson, editor of and discuss your interest with her.

Thank you to everyone who tells me how much they enjoy my writing. Please feel free to introduce yourself if you see me around the county. Also, if you have any information about old wineries, new

wineries, lost vineyards, and Lake County history, I would love to hear from you. I’ll be spending the next month at the museum.

Good Things,

Ross A. Christensen “The Foodie Freak”

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community. Follow him on Twitter, .

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An investigator looks over a white minivan which hit another vehicle head-on, killing one of that second vehicle's passengers, in a collision that took place on Highway 20 on Friday, April 9, 2010, just east of Nice, Calif. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.




NICE – A crash just outside of Nice on Friday afternoon claimed one life and resulted in several other injuries along with a lengthy blockage on Highway 20.

The two-car, head-on collision occurred on a curve just west of Tulip Hill Winery on the eastern outskirts of the town of Nice just after 2:30 p.m.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Moorhouse said a white minivan driven by an as-yet unnamed female driver was traveling westbound along Highway 20 when it collided with the front driver side of a second vehicle that was traveling east.

That second vehicle, which appeared to be a green Jeep Cherokee, had several passengers inside, one of which was killed in the crash, Moorhouse said.

For a reason that Moorhouse said investigators haven't yet determined, the minivan's driver had drifted off the side of the road, where her tire tracks could clearly be seen in the gravel on the shoulder.

She then traveled back onto the highway and collided with the second vehicle, Moorhouse said.

“We're still trying to piece it all together as to why it happened,” Moorhouse said.

A female passenger seated behind the driver of the second vehicle was the fatality, according to Moorhouse.

Sgt. Gary Basor of the Lake County Sheriff's Office was on scene acting as deputy coroner, and was assisted by mortuary technicians in removing the woman's body from the scene.




Firefighters and paramedics struggled to extricate a victim at the scene of a collision just east of the town of Nice, Calif., on Friday, April 9, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



The victim's identity was not immediately available, which is customary pending the notification process.

The driver of the white minivan did not appear to be under the influence, said Moorhouse. She was uninjured, and had been traveling alone.

He said CHP was continuing to investigate her situation. Another CHP officer took the woman from the scene of the crash in the front passenger seat of his patrol car.

Northshore Fire Protection District firefighters spent about an hour and a half extricating the victims from the wreckage of the second vehicle.

Fire officials at the scene reported two subjects from that vehicle had major injuries and two others were “walking wounded.”

One of the victims was screaming as they tried to pull her out of the vehicle, the top of which firefighters had to slice off in order to get to the injured.

A Northshore Fire ambulance ferried the crash victims to nearby Ceago Vinegarden, which had a field that REACH Air Ambulance was using as a landing zone.

Moorhouse said three victims were transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The remaining crash victims were taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, the CHP reported.

Highway 20 was completely blocked – with traffic stretching at least two miles from the scene – as rescuers and tow companies came and went from the crash site. Accident warning signs were posted to warn drivers about the closure.

The highway remained closed just after 5 p.m. About a half hour later, one-way traffic was opened up, and the roadway was fully reopened at 6 p.m.

CHP reported receiving calls about people parking their vehicles alongside of the road east of the crash scene and leaving them.


Late Friday, the CHP reported that a child riding in the vehicle had been transported to the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland for treatment, and was in critical condition.


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The tire tracks from a white minivan which is believed to have gone off of Highway 20 near Nice, Calif., on Friday, April 9, 2010, before veering back onto the roadway and hitting another vehicle, killing one of its passengers. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

LAKE COUNTY – An Indiana woman who was traveling with her family to the Sacramento airport to fly home was the victim of a fatal two-car collision outside of Nice on Friday.

The California Highway Patrol reported Saturday that the investigation is continuing into the cause of the crash, which claimed the life of the 65-year-old woman from Noblesville, Ind., and injured six of her family members when they were hit head-on by another vehicle driven by a local woman.

The CHP did not release the crash victim's name, however, a neighbor from Indiana confirmed to Lake County News that the person in question was Sandra K. Thomas.

She and her husband, James G. Thomas, 64, were returning home to Noblesville, located north of Indianapolis, according to family and friends.

The Thomases were riding with their daughter, 33-year-old Sarah Noguera of Ukiah, and her husband, Adonis Noguera, 37, in the Nogueras' 2001 Ford Escape.

The CHP said Sarah Noguera was driving, James Thomas was sitting in the front passenger seat, with the Nogueras' 5-year-old daughter riding in the right rear passenger seat, Sandra Thomas sitting in the center of the rear passenger seat, the Nogueras' 4-year-old son in the left rear passenger seat and Adonis Noguera seated in the vehicle's cargo compartment.

The CHP said Sarah Noguera was traveling at an undetermined speed eastbound on Highway 20, west of Bartlett Springs Road at the Tulip Hill Winery, when the collision occurred at 2:35 p.m. Friday. Conditions at the time of the crash were clear and dry.

Driving westbound in a 2005 Dodge Caravan was Maria Felix Prado, 47, of Clearlake, according to the CHP.

The CHP said Prado, who also was driving at a speed investigators haven't determined, went off the roadway's north edge and up an embankment before veering back to the left and traveling back onto the roadway, where it entered the eastbound lane.

Prado's minivan hit the Nogueras' vehicle head-on, causing major damage to the vehicles, both of which came to rest off the highway's south edge, the CHP reported.

The front of Prado's minivan was caved in following the crash, but the CHP said she was able to get out of her vehicle unaided.

Adonis Noguera was able to get out of the Escape, the CHP said; he also was able to take his two young children out of the wreckage.

Sandra Thomas, who the CHP said was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, was declared dead at the scene by deputy coroner Sgt. Gary Basor of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Northshore Fire paramedics had to extricate Sarah Noguera and James Thomas, both of whom where driven by ambulance to nearby Ceago Vinegarden, where REACH Air Ambulance picked them up for transport. Both were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries, the CHP reported.

Cal-Star Air Ambulance transported the Nogueras' 4-year-old son to Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland for treatment of major injuries, according to the report. Adonis Noguera and his 5-year-old daughter were taken by Northshore Fire ambulance to Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport with moderate injuries.

The CHP said Prado was treated and released at the scene, and a CHP officer later transported her to St. Helena Hospital Clearlake as a precaution for minor injuries.

CHP Officer Jake Bushey is leading the investigation into the incident.

Alcohol and drugs aren't considered contributing factors to the crash, the CHP said.

Both vehicles had extensive damage and were retained by the CHP pending comprehensive inspections.

The roadway remained closed between the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff and Foothill Drive in Lucerne for two hours and 40 minutes, reopening to one-way traffic at 5:30 p.m. with both lanes reopened at 6 p.m., the CHP said.

During that time, emergency personnel tended to the injured, investigators reviewed the scene and tow companies removed the vehicles.

In addition to the CHP, Lake County Sheriff's Office and Northshore Fire, Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Game also were involved in handling the scene.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

Work on the Clear Lake State Park Education Pavilion is under way, and expected to be completed sometime in the summer of 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


KELSEYVILL E – The new education pavilion going up in Clear Lake State Park will aid the Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association in their goal to educate the public about the valuable natural and cultural resources surrounding beautiful Clear Lake.

Ground was broken on the project at the park, located at 5300 Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville, on Oct. 4, 2008, as Lake County News has reported.

A lot of fundraising effort was needed for the education pavilion, which will provide a year-round sheltered area for nature related studies and activities for students of all ages, the Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association (CLSPIA) reported.

“We give full praise and appreciation to the entire community for its help, financially and emotionally,” said CLSPIA Chair Madelene Lyon. “Without this wonderful support, construction would not be under way. We are also grateful for the hours and funds provided by California State Parks to assist with the project.”

The pavilion will be located next to the visitor’s center.

“It is amazing what lives in the water here,” said Lyon. “We have over a thousand kids that come here on school field trips. They gather mud samples and water samples.”

Equipment such as microscopes will be available for studying the nature Lake County has to offer; a WiFi connection also is currently in the works for college-level studies, Lyon said. Such a facility is not available elsewhere in Lake County.

Lyon had the idea for the project on her trip to a state park luncheon at Patrick’s Point State Park, just north of Eureka. The facility they dined in influenced the education pavilion.

Work began on the pavilion Dec. 14, 2009, but fundraising and brainstorming efforts began much earlier.

From initial blueprint drafts through review by many departments within the State Department of Parks and Recreation, including local park staff, all had to be followed closely until the bid for construction was let, the agency reported.

The California Conservation Corps received the bid for construction in March 2007 for $165,250.




The foundation has been poured for the education pavilion. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



“We raised nearly $107,000 as a result of the wonderful response we got from the community, and the California State Parks Foundation gave $60,000 in funding,” said Lyon.

Completion of Clear Lake State Park’s education pavilion does not have a definite date.

“We have to roll with the punches,” said Lyon. “I’m guessing the opening will be early to mid-summer.”

The education pavilion will most likely be available for reservations to host other community and private events, said Lyon, but she stresses that they have not yet reached a point where that is relevant to discuss.

To find out how to donate to CLSPIA, call Lyon at 707-279-4395 or visit for more information. There is also a podcast about the park available at .

For a map of Clear Lake State Park, visit

E-mail Tera deVroede at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

Upper Lake, Calif., resident Gary Lewis, who served as District 3 supervisor for eight years, ending in 2006, is back in the race in 2010. Lewis said he enjoys helping people solve problems. Courtesy photo.

UPPER LAKE – A former county supervisor says he's back in the race this year.

Gary Lewis, 66, of Upper Lake has joined the race for District 3 supervisor, a seat he won in 1998 and held through 2006.

In the race along with Lewis are two other Upper Lake residents – the incumbent, Denise Rushing, who defeated Lewis in a hotly contested 2006 race, and Robert Hesterberg.

Although the 2010 race for District 3 supervisor has three candidates as it did in 2006 race – Shalean Smith, another Upper Lake resident, was the third person in the 2006 election – the two races are notably different in tone and the amounts of money raised so far.

In 2006, Lewis and Rushing ran to November in a campaign that saw more than $100,000 raised between the two top candidates, which Lewis said is a county record.

That campaign had not just cash but rhetoric, as the two campaigns battled over the Northshore, how it had been led and its hopes for the future. Lewis also was criticized for using a county cell phone to make personal calls, which he said totaled $150 over several years and which he repaid.

“That's what happens when you don't pay attention,” he said.

This year, Lewis said he's taking a far different, more “subdued” approach. “I'm not running against Denise, I'm running for Gary. So I don't have any bad things to say about anybody,” he said.

He also doesn't plan to raise anywhere near what he did in 2006, when the county had a different economy,he said. Lewis in fact filed a form with the Registrar of Voters Office saying that he does not expect to raise more than $1,000.

Explaining that decision, he said that, considering the economy currently, it would be hypocritical to ask people for money. Instead, he's taking a word-of-mouth approach.

“If people want to elect me, that's fine, if not, that's OK,” he said.

Lewis purchased land in Lake County in 1968 and moved here permanently in 1974. He and wife, Darla, live on a 20-acre property next door to the Mendocino National Forest and bordered by Salt and Middle creeks.

Noting that he believes in taking care of one's land, he said he's kept the property native, with its big pines, Douglas fir and madrone trees. He said bears, turkeys, foxes and other wild critters make their home there as well.

In the nearly four decades that he's lived in the county, Lewis said he's seen the population grow form about 26,000 to nearly 68,000 now. He favors incremental growth.

“I wouldn't want to see it just get paved over,” he said. “None of us want to see that.”

He's owned a hardware store in Upper Lake which he later sold – and which he said he wished he hadn't, as it later closed – before running a business selling pumps and water systems that he also later sold and now is operated at AAA Pumps.

From there he went into financial planning, a job that took him away from Lake County too much. So he came home and applied for a job in the county's Code Compliance Division, where he worked from 1993 to 1997. He said it was an interesting job and he learned a lot doing it.

When he heard that then-Supervisor Louise Talley wasn't going to seek reelection, he decided to run, and took office in 1999.

During his eight years in office he said he took more than 8,000 calls and was proud of the fact that he always returned them and tried to help people.

He said he never dreamed he would be in government, but he enjoyed the work. “I really have a passion for just solving problems,” he said, noting that's one of the reasons he jumped into this year's race.

“I didn't join in because I have animosity or anger. I am perfectly content in my lifestyle,” he said.

Today, he works in sales and marketing for Mendo Mill, chairs the Northshore Business Association, takes part in activities with Upper Lake's town council and is chair of the local Resource Advisory Committee, which helps determine projects paid for by funds received the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, which distributes money to areas based on historic timber receipts.

He's also a member of an advisory commission that makes recommendations to the federal government regarding best usages for lands on the coast. “It's been a lot of fun,” he said of working with the group.

Lewis, who was treated for prostate cancer several years ago, said he's doing well, with no signs of the cancer's recurrence, and he's taking care of himself, exercising and eating right to stay healthy.

A low key campaign

He said he's doing his campaign work on evenings and weekends, speaking to people about their concerns, many of which center around the economy. However, Lewis said he has no keys issues or platforms.

He said he's looking at the total picture of tourism, agriculture, seniors needs and young kids “and how it all comes together.”

Lewis sees the county's fiscal challenges, and how county government will need to tighten its belt and possibly lay off people at a time when unemployment locally is higher than he's ever seen it.

At his church, Upper Lake United Methodist, where he's chair of the board of trustees, they're seeing more people seeking help, with church members donating canned food and clothing to help community members in need. Increasingly, neighbors are going to have to help neighbors, he said.

Regarding the economy, Lewis said the issue will be how to get things moving. “We're never going to be an industrial or commercial hub, nor do I think anybody wants it that way.”

He said the county needs to maintain its agriculture and tourism industries, and he said it needs to be made more tourism friendly.

That's one of the reasons he said he spoke in favor of the Cristallago resort and housing project, proposed to be located in north Lakeport. He said the project will be a good use for the land, and will offer a “phenomenal” resort aspect.

“That's the kind of thing that will make Lake County survive, is the resort tourism industry,” he said.

Other issues Lewis is hearing about from community members are marijuana growing and its impacts on the local economy, the rising costs of needed services – like water in Lucerne – and parents' worries that their children won't be able to stay in the county due to lack of jobs, which he said always has been a concern. There also are challenges for businesses, which he said don't need increasing mandates from government.

He points out that local government can do a lot for the community. Redevelopment on the Northshore has been a big success, he said, and downtown Upper Lake looks “beautiful” in the wake of a project there.

The Upper Lake project has had some community members up in arms because of the changes to the streets, but, he added, “I think people are starting to appreciate it.”

The changes to the downtown are attracting visitors, he said.

“Economically, I think it's a real plus for our whole community,” said Lewis, pointing to the work of local businesses like the Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Saloon and Cafe, and antique store owner Tony Oliveira, who are boosting the boutique aspects of the town.

He said he would like to see the county take a more active role in helping businesses deal with regulations – such as those enforced by Environmental Health – and assisting people in staying in their homes during the foreclosure crisis.

“The county needs to be proactive, I believe, in trying to work with banks,” he said, suggesting they could convince the banks to renegotiate mortgages and put people on rental agreements so homes don't degenerate.

“There's nothing worse than desperate people,” he said. “They do desperate things.”

Lake County is increasingly going to have to fend for itself, said Lewis, with the state wanting more of its money. “We're really going to have to watch and help one another,” he said.

He said he's not making any promises, but has pledged to work with people on their concerns, as long as they understand that everyone has to work as a team.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

LAKE COUNTY – Lake County is invited to join KPFZ, 88.1 FM on Saturday, April 24, to celebrate the station’s second year of being a full-power station on the air – and to raise funds for tripling the power of the station’s signal.

The public is invited to come to the studio at 149 S. Main St., where hot dogs and other refreshments will be available, along with opportunities for new and current members to purchase CDs, KPFZ baseball hats and other premiums.

Listeners who tune in from their living rooms and cars will enjoy a 17-hour membership drive – from 7 a.m. to midnight – an on-air party when programmers will share stories, play music, jockey with each other and solicit memberships; and volunteers will answer the phones.

KPFZ’S goal for the day is to sign up 100 new listener-members, as well as to renew the current members.

Memberships will support the costs of running the station as well as building a tower and purchasing equipment for a new signal.

The new tower will triple the power of the station’s signal.

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KELSEYVILLE – Two local residents were hurt in a Friday morning head-on collision near Kelseyville.

Carrie Hanks, 52, and Justin Barber, 53, both of Kelseyville, were hurt in the crash, which occurred at 9:30 a.m. on Highway 29 near Kelseyville, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.

Tanguay said that Hanks was driving her 1992 Pontiac Bonneville southbound on Highway 29, south of Cruickshank Road.

For an unknown reason, witnesses reported that Hanks' car went to the left and crossed over the painted solid double-yellow lines and entered the northbound lane of traffic directly in front of Barber's 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, Tanguay said.

The two vehicles collided head-on and came to rest blocking both lanes of traffic, he said.

Hanks was transported by REACH to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for major injuries to her head, chest and legs. Tanguay said Barber was transported by the Kelseyville Fire Department to Sutter-Lakeside Hospital for moderate injuries to his head, neck and chest.

The road remained blocked for approximately 90 minutes, according to Tanguay's report.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in this collision, said Tanguay. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and both vehicles had air bags that deployed.

There were two dogs in Hanks' Pontiac at the time of this collision that sustained injuries. Tanguay said Lake County Animal Care and Control immediately arrived on the scene of the collision and provided emergency care for the dogs.

This collision is still under investigation by Officer G. Buchholz.

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The Andy Johnson Memorial Skate Park will be the site for the third annual "Andy Day" on Saturday, April 10, 2010, in Clearlake, California. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

CLEARLAKE – Help keep Clearlake Skate Park open while enjoying live music and a barbecue lunch at the third annual Andy Day at the Andy Johnson Memorial Skate Park Saturday.

The event will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at 14077 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake.

In addition to lunch there will be t-shirts and a raffle drawing.

The park, open to both skateboards and BMX bikes, was closed for repairs due to broken and cracked surface panels, specifically a big hole in one of the ramps, said Ken Savin, a member of the Clearlake Skate Park Committee.

“The city has been good about using the materials that were purchased in the summer of 2008 by a grant from the Redbud Health Care District,” said Savin.

However, those parts were used up and, due to liability concerns, the park had to be closed until funds could be secured for new material to do repairs, Savin explained.

Savin said he and some of the other skate park committee members put together another grant proposal to Redbud Health Care District to receive funds for repairs.

Last November the Redbud Health Care District responded to the grant proposal with another $3,500, Savin reported. Aside from ramp repairs, that donation also helped purchase helmets for kids who use the park.

The park was reopened Feb. 24, Savin said.

Repairs have been, and will most likely continue to be, ongoing – especially since the riding surface is not concrete but Skatelite, he said.

Skatelite is the industry standard used for ramps at the XGames and Dew Action Tour, Savin said. It is expensive, running around $200 or so a sheet, so the group only orders it when we can get a larger order to help reduce the price by quantity.

Pouring concrete ramps and walls would be the ideal solution for the park, as concrete requires much less maintenance, Savin explained.

“We hope to maybe raise some money to make some real changes or improvements to the park, but that is far down the road, I think,” said Savin.

He said the city of Ukiah is in the process of beginning a cement park. They have been raising money for the last 20 years, with the cost projected to be over $1 million.

Other options for Clearlake might include an indoor location to reduce the impact of the weather and elements on the ramps. Savin said that would require money to purchase or rent, or someone willing to donate property.

The Andy Johnson Memorial Skate Park was named after young skateboarder and BMX rider, Andy Johnson, who died in a car crash at the young age of 18 in 2006, as Lake County News has reported.

Savin said then that there used to be animosity between skateboarders and BMX riders, but Johnson – who participated in both sports – helped those two groups to unite.

Pictures of the park along with short descriptions are available at and

E-mail Tera deVroede at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .








THE GEYSERS – A 3.1-magnitude earthquake was reported near The Geysers geothermal steamfield early Saturday.

The quake, which was reported at 5:26 a.m., occurred at a depth of 1.8 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was located two miles north of The Geysers, four miles west of Cobb and seven miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, the agency reported.

Shake reports were made to the US Geological Survey from seven zip codes, ranging from Calistoga to Fortuna and even to distant San Jacinto, 761 miles away.

A 3.7-magnitude earthquake occurred near The Geysers on March 28, as Lake County News has reported.

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The body of Donald Scott Williams, 38, of Red Bluff was found in a burned residence on County Road 25 in Orland, Calif., on Sunday, April 4, 2010. Photo courtesy of the Glenn County Sheriff's Office.



GLENN COUNTY, Calif. – A man whose body was found earlier this week in a burned out residence owned by a Glenn County supervisor has been identified, and he appears to have been the victim of foul play.

Donald Scott Williams, 38, of Red Bluff was identified Thursday following an autopsy that had to use dental x-rays to confirm the identify of his burned body, according to Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones.

Authorities found Williams' body last Sunday in the rubble of an uninhabited residence that's owned by Glenn County Supervisor Leigh McDaniel. The home is located on a farming property that McDaniel owns near Orland.

The home burned Sunday evening, and Jones said the fire is being investigated by the Glenn County Arson/Bomb Task Force.

McDaniel, who is not believed to be involved in any way with the incident, told investigators previously that he had left the residence uninhabited, and that it was burglarized two years ago for its copper plumbing and wiring.

Det. Kelly Knight of the Glenn County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit attended the autopsy, conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Thomas Resk, Jones reported. Knight had obtained Williams' dental x-rays – he was suspected of being the victim – and gave them to forensic odontologist Dr. Robert Kearby, who was able to identify Williams.

Jones said the autopsy's preliminary results confirmed investigators' original assumptions that Williams died at the hands of another.

In order to protect the integrity of the investigation, Jones said his office won't release the means by which Williams was killed, or any further details regarding the death itself, at this time.

Sheriff’s detectives notified Williams' next of kin, including an 18-year-old daughter who resides with Williams' former spouse. Williams' parents resident outside of California and in separate states, but Jones said William's mother came to Glenn County and met with investigators in Willows on Friday morning.

Williams was released from state prison to supervised parole on Dec. 2, 2009. Jones said Williams was on active California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole at the time of his death, and listed his address as Red Bluff at the time of his last booking into the Glenn County Jail, which was on December 20, 2007, Jones said.

The state parole officer assigned to Williams – who was known to frequent the Orland area – also been notified of his death, according to Jones.

Jones said the investigation is continuing, and investigators were back at the scene on Thursday, along with fire investigators, to gather further evidence.

Authorities are still trying to locate a vehicle belonging to Williams, a red 1995 Geo with California license plates with the number 5AZB659, Jones said.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of this vehicle, or who has any information regarding the death of Williams, is asked to call Det. Kelly Knight or Sgt. Sean Arlin at 707-934-6431, or the Sheriff’s Secret Witness number at 707-934-6627.

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KELSEYVILLE – A Kelseyville woman has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving following an early morning crash on Wednesday.

Yesenia Lopez, 25, was injured in the crash, as was her 15-year-old female passenger from Santa Rosa, according to Officer Steve Tanguay of the California Highway Patrol.

At about 1:17 a.m. Wednesday Lopez was driving her 1990 Toyota Corolla westbound on Bell Hill Road, east of Boggs Lane, Tanguay reported.

While negotiating a righthand turn in the roadway, Lopez lost control of her vehicle. The CHP report said that Lopez's Toyota traveled to the left and crossed the eastbound lane of traffic and went off of the road into a dirt and grass field.

The Toyota then came back to the right and back onto the road, crossed both lanes of traffic and went off of the road north of the roadway and struck a tree, Tanguay reported.

He said Lopez and the teenage passenger were not wearing their seat belts and were thrown forward into the windshield.

Lopez sustained injuries to her pelvis and was transported by REACH to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Tanguay reported. The juvenile passenger sustained injuries to her head, hands and hip, and was transported to Sutter-Lakeside Hospital before being transferred to UC Davis Medical Center.

Lopez was placed under arrest for felony DUI due to the injuries sustained by her passenger, said Tanguay.

He said the collision is being investigated by Officer Korey Reynolds.

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