Friday, 23 February 2024

News

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED.

 

LAKEPORT – For the past several months, numerous sightings of mountain lions have been reported around Lake County, and now a new report has come from the Lakeport area.


Three separate witnesses reported seeing a mountain lion near the dumpster behind Kmart on S. Main Street on Wednesday, according to Lakeport Police Officer Jim Bell.


Bell said the people who reported seeing the big cat said it left northbound past a nearby office and went into a shrubbery south of the county's corporation yard. It was described as being 4 feet long, not counting its tail.


“I went over there and looked around and didn't see anything,” said Bell, who nonetheless said he isn't discounting the reports.


He went on to advise nearby businesses of the sighting.

 

Lake County Animal Care and Control first received the report and notified Fish and Game, which reportedly said they wouldn't respond unless the animal was being aggressive. The agency then contacted Lakeport Police, according to Animal Care and Control Deputy Director Bill Davidson.


Over the summer there were numerous reports around Lake County of lions, which were seen in areas including Kelseyville, Nice, Lucerne, Clearlake Oaks and Lakeport.


Lakeport has had several reports this summer, including in the north Lakeport area, where a woman and her dog confronted a cougar, and behind Burger King on Lakeport Boulevard. Bell said he previously responded to a report of a mountain lion on 20th Street.


Bell said he's noticed a large deer population this year. “It seems like there was a lot more this year than past years.”


Kyle Orr, a spokesman for California Fish and Game, said mountain lion sightings aren't always verified, so his agency doesn't have any statistics on whether or not mountain lion reports are up this year.


However, one of the primary factors used to estimate the mountain lion population in an area are deer populations, which fluctuate in regions, he said.


“As a rule of thumb, if you have a lot of deer in an area, you have mountain lions present,” said Orr.


Orr said estimates for the mountain lion population in California range between 4,000 and 6,000.


He said the animals have a huge territory; an adult male lion's range can exceed 100 square miles. That means if you see a mountain lion in the morning, it could be long gone by the end of the day.


Orr emphasized that mountain lion attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, with only 14 verified attacks and six fatalities on record since 1890.


In California mountain lions are a protected species that can only be hunted with a special depredation permit. Department of Fish and Game records show that 119 depredation permits have been issued in Lake County since 1972, with the largest number – 17 – issued in 1997. In 2008, two such permits were issued.


Neighboring Mendocino County has the larger number of depredation permits issued statewide since 1972 – 630, according to Department of Fish and Game records.


When the food and water sources for deer dry up, or when weather conditions worsen, the animals can be found moving into subdivisions and neighborhoods, said Orr. If mountain lions are seen in such an area, it's because they're tracking the deer and “just being mountain lions.”


Orr said seeing a mountain in an area where they're not normally seen isn't necessarily a cause for concern.


But the prey-predator relationship makes it all the more important that people not feed deer, said Orr.


“Not only is it illegal in California, it attracts mountain lions,” he said.


He suggested deer proofing and landscaping to keep the deer – and, therefore, mountain lions – away from homes. It's also important to trim brush to reduce places where the big cats can hide.


In rural areas, covered shelter is important to protect vulnerable livestock like goats and sheet. Horses also can be attacked but that's rare, said Orr.


He advised that people should not leave small children and pets unattended.


People shouldn't hike, bike or jog alone, especially in the early morning, at dusk or at night. If a person sees one, they should face the animal, make noise, wave their arms and throw rocks. If small children are nearby, they should be picked up.


And, in the rare case of an attack, Orr said it's critical to fight.


“The key with mountain lions is in fighting you're not acting like prey,” he said.


For more information visit the Department of Fish and Game's “Keep Me Wild” Web page at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/lion.html .


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Unified School District Board of Trustees is looking to the community for suggestions on how to trim expenses to meet more expected budget cuts.


The board will meet at 7 pm. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the district's multi-use building at 20932 Big Canyon Road.


With the district facing less state funding coupled with a continuing drop in enrollment, district Superintendent Dr. Korby Olson said that the board is beginning its discussion into how it can save on expenses.


They plan to look at several different areas, starting with a close consideration of transportation, which is both costly for the district and has a potentially large impact on families, he said.


“It's a place where we can make reductions that are not in the classroom,” Olson explained. “But it's only the beginning.”


Olson said no action will be taken at the Oct. 28 meeting, which is merely a starting point.


He said the district receives some funding from the state for transportation, but the district budgets another $270,000 out of its general fund to get students to and from school.


Last year the district held a meeting to begin talking about possible changes in transportation – including route changes and the possibility of charging, as Lake County News has reported.


However, Olson said hardly anyone showed up, so this time they gave parents plenty of notice, sending out a recent letter to families notifying them of the Wednesday meeting.


The letter notes that the district has had to cut nearly $2 million from its budget over the last two years. Olson said they anticipate another possible $1 million cut in the 2010-11 fiscal year. Federal stimulus funds have helped fill the gap that resulted from less state funding, but that money is a temporary fix.


Olson's letter to parents also invited them to participate in a survey about transportation options. The survey can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=A_2fDh9Xyue1OHFjomW_2ff3Cw_3d_3d .


The survey's first question is what Olson calls a “throwaway” item – it asks if transportation should be eliminated except as required by law, which it notes is “the most drastic step that could be taken” but which would result in a savings of $220,000, the equivalent of four teaching positions.


“I don't see that as a possibility for us,” nor is it an option the district would want to take, said Olson.


Other options include reducing routes or possibly charging a fee to families who use the services.


So far, the survey has shown that a few of the route plan reductions have some support, Olson said.


There's also a little support for charging fees, Olson added. While he could see charing a fee as being part of an overall strategy, it's not a solution all by itself, because the amount they would have to charge to make an impact would be too much.


Once they've gathered information on Wednesday, the board will look at some refined proposals at its Nov. 18 meeting. Then in January district administration will have some proposals for them to consider adopting, Olson said.


He said he doubts there is any resulting action the district can take this year, so changes may take place next year. But Olson said he can't yet say what's going to happen.


Visit the Middletown Unified School District's Web site at www.middletownusd.org .


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

COBB – County officials will host a meeting this Tuesday, Oct. 27, on the proposed expansion of a geothermal project on Cobb Mountain.


The meeting will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Little Red Schoolhouse, 15780 Bottle Rock Road, Cobb.


County Community Development Department staff and and staff from the California Energy Commission will also be present at the scoping meeting, to answer questions concerning the petition to amend the Energy Commission Decision for the Bottle Rock Power Geothermal Power Plant.


The county is preparing an environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed Bottle Rock Power Steam Project.


The project's owner, Bottle Rock Power GeoResource, has filed an application with the county for a conditional use permit, requiring the county to conduct an environmental review of the steam project, which would involve construction of two new well pads near the existing Bottle Rock Power generating facility, each with 11 production wells and one injection well, as well as associated access roads and pipelines.


County officials are cooperating with the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the preparation of the EIR.


The Energy Commission has jurisdiction over the licensing of the Bottle Rock plant, but the production and injection wells and associated infrastructure, including pipelines and access roads, are exempt from the Energy Commission’s process and instead fall under the jurisdiction of the county.


BLM well permits are required because the new steam field is on private land with federal mineral rights. BRP GeoResource has already been issued a geothermal lease by BLM. Both the Energy Commission and BLM will issue separate noticing for this project to meet those agencies obligations under the Warren-Alquist Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), respectively.


The county, the Energy Commission and BLM will coordinate their processes and documents to the extent feasible. The county has contracted with a consultant company, EDAW, to prepare the EIR, with direction from the county and input and review by the Energy Commission and BLM.


The following information details the site, location and scope of the project.


LOCATION


The project is located within a leasehold of approximately 350 acres known as the Francisco Leasehold on High Valley Road, Glenbrook Area, Lake County, California, within the Geysers Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA).


PROJECT DESCRIPTION – LEASEHOLD AREAS AND WELL FIELDS


The existing steam field providing resource to Bottle Rock Power (BRP) is located on the Francisco Leasehold, held by Bottle Rock Power, and consists of nine active production wells, two active injection wells and four suspended production/injection wells. The proposed well pads would be located on the BRP GeoResource Leasehold located just north of the Francisco Leasehold. Two well pads would be constructed on the BRP GeoResource Leasehold (well pads 1-31 and 2-31). Well pad 1-31 (West pad) would be located approximately 0.5 miles west of High Valley Road. Well pad 2-31 (East pad) would be located immediately west of and adjacent to High Valley Road.


DESCRIPTION OF SITE CONDITIONS


The general locations for the two well pads were originally identified during the mid1980s when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) held the geothermal rights (then known as the Binkley Leasehold) and planned to develop the geothermal resources. The well pads were never constructed although the East pad was permitted. DWR maintained ownership until the mid 1990’s until a decision was made to relinquish the rights to the geothermal resource. At that time mineral ownership reverted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).


BRP completed an analysis of potential sites for well pads throughout the leasehold, when it became apparent that the BLM intended to offer the lease for competitive bidding under the newly promulgated 2005 Energy Policy Act regulations. The analysis concluded that the two original locations still represented the most appropriate locations for drilling. The primary criteria for selecting well pad locations in The Geysers have been:


  • Absence of any landslide potential – any small mass movement could impact the integrity of shallow well casings;

  • Minimizing total area of disturbance;

  • Anticipation of major environmental constraints prior to detailed environmental analysis;

  • Ability to access all major geothermal resource targets within the lease using currently available directional drilling technologies.


The well pads do not appear to be located in areas with the potential for landslides, although all geotechnical evaluations for the West pad are not yet complete. Surface disturbance for both well pads was minimized by the placement of the pads in topographic areas that would require grading without extensive use of spoils areas.


Analysis completed by BRP GeoResource indicated only one previously known, specific, environmental constraint. The original location for the DWR West pad was close to an identified archaeological site, CA-LAK-1180. The West pad for the BRP Steam Project was re-positioned to the west-southwest of the original DWR location in order to avoid impacts to this archaeological site.


The two selected well pads will allow drilling access to most of the lease with ease. Directional drilling techniques allow well targets to be tested, not only at the correct location and depth, but also from wells drilled in the most appropriate direction with respect to regional stress fields.


WELL PADS


The sites for the proposed well pads were originally determined during the mid-1980s when DWR held the geothermal rights and planned to develop the geothermal resource. The well pads were never constructed but later analysis by BRP confirmed these sites were still the most appropriate for drilling. The well pad locations appear to be located away from areas with landslide potential and surface disturbance would be minimized by their placement in topographic areas that would require grading without extensive use of spoils. Well pad placement was also determined by the anticipation of other environmental constraints (e.g., noise, geology, and water resources) and ability to access all major geothermal resource targets within the leasehold using directional drilling technologies.


The operational area of each well pad would be approximately 3.2 acres in size but construction of the pads would disturb an area of approximately 8.3 acres for the West pad and 8 acres for the East pad. Access to the East pad would disturb approximately 5.2 acres. Actual dimensions of each well pad would be modified to best match the specific physical and environmental characteristics of the project area to minimize cut and fill and ground disturbance. A geotechnical study would be completed prior to construction for slope stability analysis to minimize the chances of landslides and other geologic hazards.


Well pad preparation activities would include clearing, earthwork, drainage, and other improvements necessary for efficient and safe operation as well as for fire prevention. The Lake County Grading Ordinance provides restrictions on grading activities between October 15 and April 15; grading during these restricted months requires a mitigation plan approved by Lake County prior to grading activities. All vegetation would be removed from the area of construction. Clearing would include removal of organic material, stumps, brush, and slash. One of the goals of site selection has been to balance the amount of cut and fill required for each well pad. Current estimates of cut and fill for the West pad is 55,000 cubic yards of cut and 95,000 cubic yards of fill. For the East pad a balanced cut and fill of 175,000 cubic yards is proposed. An additional 40,000 cubic yards of cut is proposed for the access road between the two pads.


Topsoil and other cut materials created during the construction of the well pads and access road would be used for fill purposes elsewhere on the two well pad sites. The marketable timber would be cut and stacked. The brush and stumps would be removed, stockpiled and burned or buried in spoil areas. Topsoil would be stockpiled for use in final soiling of fill areas. The stockpile areas would be in areas that are disturbed during the cut and fill process. Brush would be mulched and used in revegetation.


Both well pad sites would be prepared to create a level pad for the drill rig and a graded surface for the support equipment. The fill area would be keyed into undisturbed ground. The fill would be placed in 6 to 8 inch lifts and compacted using generally approved compaction equipment to 90 percent of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 1557 - 70 and the top two feet compacted to 95 percent. Cut slopes higher than thirty feet would be benched unless authorized by a registered civil engineer. The cut slope would be cut with a slope bar. A drainage system would be provided to carry away the water collected on the upper slopes and natural drainage systems. The drainage system would consist of ditches on the upslope perimeter of the well pads. These ditches would be sloped to drain at a gradient of 2 percent. Energy dissipaters would be installed where required. All machinery, drilling platforms, and oil and fuel storage would be in contained areas to prevent direct runoff. Fluids from these areas would be fully contained.


Well pad cut and fill slopes exposed by grading would be re-vegetated with approved grasses and/or woody plants and trees. The revegetation would be done the first fall after completion of construction prior to the start of the growing seasons in late summer or early fall in order to utilize the first light rains to germinate grass seeds. All seeds and propagules (such as tubers, offsets, or runners) used in revegetation of disturbed lands would be native species. A Seed Mix and Specifications Plan is proposed.


Well pad facilities would include the drill rig, water storage truck or tank, mud and water mixing tanks, an above ground diesel fuel storage tank, pipe rack, and drillers/geologist trailers.


WELL DRILLING


The wells would be drilled with a rotary drilling rig similar to those used throughout The Geysers. The drill rig would extend as much as 178 feet above the ground surface (depending on the type of rig used). Rig masts are made of a metal lattice and are painted red and white at the top and include flashing lights to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.


Directional drilling may be conducted based on the location and extent of geothermal resources in proximity to the well site. Geothermal drilling permit applications would be submitted to the BLM for the drilling of these wells. A Drilling Plan would be prepared prior to drilling each well. The Drilling Plan would detail the drilling sequence of operations, the rig well pad layout, a well completion schematic, and a description and specification of the temporary noise barriers that are used for drilling.


The drilling program involves drilling a borehole to the reservoir formation at a measured depth of about 10,000 to 12,000 feet. The wells would be completed with a slotted liner through the production zone with a continuous string of production casing from the top of the production zone to the surface.


Wells would be drilled using a combination of bentonite-based mud and air drilling methods. The upper portion of the wells would be drilled using conventional mud drilling with surface casing set and cemented to approximately 3,000 feet and production casing set and cemented to between 6,000 to 7,000 feet, based on depth to the geothermal reservoir in the BRP GeoResource wells. Below the production casing, and through the steam reservoir, it is standard practice in The Geysers KGRA to drill with air in order to prevent damage to the reservoir by drilling muds migrating into the formation and reducing reservoir permeability.


A sumpless drilling process would be used to drill the borehole. A closed loop, mud circulating system, is being proposed for the project to eliminate the dumping of solids or liquids into the sump. The system would minimize the liquid and solid waste streams during the drilling operation by separation and drying of the solids and reclaiming water. During drilling operations a standard compartmentalized series of tanks, or mud pit system, would be used for solids processing as the drill cutting are brought to surface by the circulation of the drilling fluid. Using the surface tanks, mechanical solids removal equipment, chemical treatment and transfer pumps, the drilling fluid would be continuously circulated and processed in a closed loop system.


Drilling operations would be carried out 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until total depth is reached. An estimated 60 to 90 days would be required to drill and test each well, and approximately 12 to 15 field personnel would be working on each drilling operation at any one time. No camp sites or air strips would be required on the lease site. All support facilities for drilling operations would be located on the well pads. Drilling supervision would also be on site in trailers 24 hours a day.


STEAM AND INJECTION PIPELINES


The proposed steam pipeline would extend from the existing Francisco well pad (the closest location to interconnect to the existing steam pipeline to the power plant) and parallel High Valley Road to the west, and then parallel Saw Mill Road to the northwest. The steam pipeline would then bifurcate, with one segment paralleling a new access road to the west across High Valley Creek and up to the West pad, and the second segment extending north and then northeast to the East pad. A second steam pipeline eventually would be required to parallel the existing pipeline from the Francisco well pad to the main tie-in to the plant, and would be constructed parallel and adjacent to the existing steam pipeline from the Francisco pad to the tie-in for BRPP as steam volumes require. Pipelines, including insulation, are anticipated to be 30 inches in diameter, depending upon well productivity, and would be located above ground. Horizontal expansion loops (typically a square bend in the pipeline approximately 30 feet by 30 feet, would be constructed every 300 to 450 feet along the pipeline route to allow for thermal expansion. Depending on final steam pipeline alignment, some of the horizontal expansion loops may be eliminated as vertical road crossing loops may provide sufficient flexibility.


The project includes construction of an approximately 1.2-mile long, 4 to 6-inch diameter injection pipeline, to be located on stanchions with the steam pipeline, extending from the Francisco pad to the new well pads. An additional injection pipeline would be built on stanchions with the new steam pipeline from the main injection-tie in to the Francisco pad.


PROPOSED EQUIPMENT AND FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS


The project would contain the following features:


  • Addition of the West pad with up to 11 production wells and one injection well;

  • Addition of the East pad with up to 11 production wells and 1 injection well;

  • Construction of a new access road between well pads;

  • Addition of approximately 1.2 miles of insulated steam pipeline from the new well pads to the Francisco well pad header;

  • Addition of approximately 0.7 mile of new insulated steam pipeline from the Francisco pad parallel to the existing steam pipeline, to the tie-in point to the main steam pipeline line once sufficient steam is developed on the BRP GeoResource Leasehold;

  • Addition of an approximately 2-mile long, 4 to 6-inch diameter injection pipeline, to be located within the same corridor as the steam pipeline, extending from the main injection tie in at the plant to the new wells;

  • Addition of a remote telemetry and control building on each pad as well as distributed control systems at each site;

  • Backup standby power generation equipment to allow for well field control in the event of utility power failure;

  • Corrosion mitigation equipment and chemical storage facilities;

  • Minor power plant modifications to accommodate control and monitoring of the new steam field.


ACCESS ROADS


The West pad would be accessed via a new road to be constructed between the pads. The location of the access roads are shown in Figure 1.3.2. Access to both well pads for construction and post construction operation would be primarily along paved High Valley Road. High Valley Road will be maintained, as it already is, by Bottle Rock Power.


Access to the West pad would be along a new road that would run along the south side of the East pad and west to the West pad. The road would be approximately 20 feet wide and would require grading and removal of about 40,000 cubic yards of material in order to make the road safe and usable for transport of heavy equipment. Topsoil would be salvaged and stored at a designated staging area on the pads. Removed fill material would be properly disposed of or reused. This new road would have a maximum slope of about 15 percent. The access road would cross High Valley Creek at one location with a proposed culvert crossing. Installation of the culvert would include some excavation, if necessary, into the creek to clear vegetation and grading as necessary to install the new culvert. Bedding material would then be placed in the bottom of the excavation. The new culvert would be lowered in place over the bedding material with a backhoe that is staged along the existing roadway. The culvert would then be backfilled with soil and compacted as required by the project specifications. Alternately, culverts may be backfilled with concrete slurry. After culverts are backfilled, either sacked concrete or concrete headwalls would be installed at the inlet and outlet of the culvert. Concrete headwalls would be poured in place.


POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT


Based on the project description and the Lead Agency’s understanding of the environmental issues associated with the project, the following topics will be analyzed in detail in the EIR:


  • Aesthetics;

  • Air quality;

  • Biological resources;

  • Cultural resources;

  • Geology / soils and seismicity;

  • Hazards and hazardous materials;

  • Hydrology / water quality;

  • Land use/planning;

  • Noise;

  • Population/housing;

  • Public services/recreation;

  • Transportation / traffic;

  • Utilities / service systems.


For more information contact Lake County Community Development, 255 N. Forbes St., Lakeport, telephone 707-263-2221 or e-mail Community Development Director Rick Coel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

LAKE COUNTY – Lake County is going to be chock full of fun events for Halloween this weekend.


With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, many groups and businesses are joining together to create safe and fun events for the whole family, giving parents some additional options for enjoying the holiday with their children.


The following is a list of fun events planned for Friday and Saturday around Lake County.


CLEARLAKE


  • Orchard Park Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, 14789 Burns Valley Road, will host free Halloween festivities starting at 3 p.m. Saturday. Featured will be a ghost and goblin parade, costume contest, prizes and refreshments. For information call 707-995-1900.

  • The city of Clearlake will host its fourth annual Halloween Trick-Or-Treat Party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Clearlake City Hall, 14050 Olympic Drive. City staff and police officers will volunteer their time to dress up and hand out goodies and reflective treat bags to community children as a safe alternative to trick-or-treating in unknown neighborhoods. Refreshments also will be available for children and parents to enjoy. Cameras are welcome. For more information call 707-994-8201, Extension 106.

  • The Lake County Area of Narcotics Anonymous will host a Halloween dance and speaker meeting from 6 p.m. to midnight on Halloween at the Clear Lake/Callayomi Masonic Lodge at 7100 S. Center Drive, Clearlake. The evening features a speaker meeting and dinner to be followed by a DJ dance. The suggested donation is $10 for adults, but no one will be turned away. Please bring a potluck dessert to share. Children are welcome at this event. For more information visit www.lakecountyna.org .


HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE


  • Hidden Valley Pet Palace, 18983 Hartmann Road, will host its second annual pet costume party at 1 p.m. Saturday. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Everyone is welcome. For information call 707-987-1981.

  • The Hidden Valley Community Church Harvest Party, 18160 Spruce Grove Extension, will take place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The theme for the free family event is “Blast From the Past.” There will be a wide array of contests – involving costumes, hula hoops, Bazooka Bubble Gum Blowing and pumpkin carving. There will be two grand prize raffle drawings, plus drawings for bikes, gift certificates, movie tickets, an art basket and lots of candy for the kids. The Beaudettes will provide musical entertainment. For more information visit www.hvcchurch.com or call 707-987-3510.


KELSEYVILLE


  • The Kelseyville Sunrise Rotary Club and the Kelseyville Business Association will present their “Oldies But Ghoulies” gala costume ball to benefit the Kelseyville K-12 Schools Foundation beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday at Big Valley Grange Haunted Hall, 1510 Big Valley Road, Finley. There will be evil spirits, monster munchies and prizes for costumes. Live music will be provided by Without a Net. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. To get your tickets visit one of the following Kelseyville merchants: Riviera Foods, 9730 Soda Bay Road; Polestar Computers, 3930 Main St.; Kelseyville Lumber, 3555 N. Main St.; Studebakers, 3990 Main St.; or Lyndall's Sports Stop Grill, 4220 Main St.


LAKEPORT


  • Lakeport Elementary School's annual Halloween parade will take place from noon to 12:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Lakeport. The parade will begin at Natural High School in the 800 block of N. Main Street and travel down to Second Street. Spectators are welcome.

  • Clear Lake High School will hold its annual homecoming parade from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Lakeport. The parade will travel from Clearlake Avenue to Martin Street.

  • Lakeport Kiwanis will host a Halloween party for the county's children from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Clear Lake High School gym, 350 Lange St. The free event is open to children of all ages and their families. There will be game booths, all with candy prizes, and a costume contest starting at 7:15 p.m.

  • Faded At Four will host its own Halloween Eve Frightfest beginning at 9:30 p.m. Friday at TJ's Downtown Bar and Grill, 370 S. Main St., Lakeport. Get out your costume, dress up and go rock with the group. There will be a costume contest, drawings and great music. The event is limited to those aged 21 and over. There will be a $5 cover charge.

  • The Lakeport Main Street Association is hosting a downtown trick or treat event from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Visit the businesses displaying orange and black balloons. Play games at C&G Enterprises and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies at Angelina's Bakery. There will be candy, goodies and a costume contest in three age groups – 6 years old and under, 7 to 12, and 13 years and older. Prizes will be awarded in front of Museum Square at 5 p.m. For more information call 707-263-8843.


LOWER LAKE


  • Downtown merchants are hosting the second annual “Lower Lake Safe Halloween” from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. There will be fun for the whole family, including goodies and prizes on top of free fun and entertainment, plus a magic show.

  • The “Lake County Has Talent” contest will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lower Lake High School Auditorium, 9430 Lake St. Admission costs $20 for a family, $10 per adults and $5 per student. Admission to the Halloween carnival is free although there are ticket fees for individual carnival events. Proceeds go for the Lower Lake High School Music Program and TV PEG Channel 8. For more information visit www.talentcontest.wikispaces.com or call Barbara Christwitz at 707-995-0940.

 

LUCERNE


  • Lucerne FLOW will hold a fundraising dinner and dance from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center, 10th and Country Club. Music will be provided by Blue Moon. The dinner will be moussaka (with and without meat) and salad. Wine and beer will be available. Costumes are encouraged, and there will be a prize for best costume as well as a raffle. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. For tickets or more information call 707-739-6788 and leave a message.


MIDDLETOWN


  • Wiloth Equine Therapy and Riding Center is hosting a pumpkin patch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. There will be hay rides, horse rides, jump houses, baked goods, vendors and pumpkins. The pumpkin patch is located at 20740 Butts Canyon Road, at the corner of Butts Canyon Road and Highway 29 in Middletown. For more information call 707-355-1280.

  • Expressive Motion Dance Studio, 21720 Highway 29, will host a Halloween haunted house from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The suggested donation is $2. For more information call 707-987-8197.


NICE


  • The Sons of Italy will host a Halloween dinner and dance on Saturday at the club hall, 2817 E. Highway 20. Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory. There will be a contest for anyone who comes dressed up. Enjoy a buffet meal of roasted Cornish hens, wild rice, vegetables, green salad and rolls, which then will be topped off with yummy cake for dessert. The bar is open for socializing at 5 p.m. then dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Enjoy dancing to the music of John Zimmerman right after the meal. All tickets cost $14 at the door. For more information call 707-274-9952.


For those adults enjoying themselves on Halloween, be sure to designate a driver if planning on drinking alcohol during the fall festivities.


If anyone finds that they're unable to drive and need a tow, AAA of Northern California will offer its free “Tipsy Tow” program to everyone. From 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to five miles.

 

The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver’s home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver’s home as long is there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck.


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that more than $2.5 million was awarded to the state of California to help defray costs associated with reviewing of cases where DNA testing and evidence may prove actual innocence.


The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will administer the grant through the Postconviction Testing Program.


“Earlier this year, our nationwide symposium on post conviction DNA issues received overwhelming response from prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, crime laboratory personnel, advocates, victims and law enforcement personnel from nearly all the 50 states,” said OJP Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary. “We look forward to continue working with California to use DNA technology to protect the innocent and bring the guilty to justice.”


The California Innocence Project, a program of California Western School of Law, and the Northern California Innocence Project, a program of Santa Clara University which recently was involved in assisting the defense in the Bismarck Dinius trial, plan to utilize grant funds to assist defense lawyers and law students seek the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners in the state of California.


The DNA Initiative, Advancing Justice through DNA Technology, provides funding, training, and assistance to ensure that forensic DNA reaches its full potential to solve crimes, protect the innocent, and identify missing persons.


DNA testing is not only a predominant forensic technique for identifying criminals, but has become a method of post-conviction exoneration of the innocent. DNA testing makes it possible to obtain conclusive results in cases in which previous testing had been inconclusive or non-existent.


In January, NIJ held a national symposium to allow states to share information and ideas that could improve processes related to post-conviction DNA cases. The symposium also provided an opportunity for networking among key people from around the country.


Approximately 300 attendees – prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement agencies and crime laboratories representing 46 states and one territory – were able to attend the symposium. Also in attendance were representatives from the five states – Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, Virginia and Washington – to which NIJ awarded nearly $8 million in postconviction funding in 2008.


Additional awards were provided to Colorado ($1.1 million), Connecticut ($1.4 million), Louisiana ($1.3 million), Maryland ($307,000), New Mexico ($924,000), Minnesota ($859,000), North Carolina ($566,000) and Wisconsin ($647,000) totaling $9.8 million.


More information on the DNA Initiative is available at www.dna.gov .

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Molasses is underrated and underused, at least in my kitchen. If I really think about it, to date I’ve used it four times in my life. Recently I have discovered some wonderful recipes that will certainly give it more prominence in my kitchen from now on.


I remember my grandmother having molasses in her kitchen. She used it frequently enough that I think of my grandmother every time I see a jar of molasses. My grandmother lived in “The South” where it is considerably more popular than this area, which might explain the prominence in her cooking.


Molasses is the byproduct of making sugar from either sugar canes or sugar beets. The sugar canes are ground up and squeezed, and then juice is boiled. All of the pure sugar is removed and what is left is molasses.


Young sugarcane doesn’t yield as much sugar unless sulfur is added to the processing, while older sugarcane doesn’t require the addition of sulfur which results in the end product being “unsulfured” molasses.


The first boiling and removal of sugar crystals produces the by product called “first” or “mild” molasses, and the second boiling and sugar extraction results in “second” molasses which is darker in color. A third boiling finally creates blackstrap molasses. Sugar beet molasses is the byproduct of a one-time boiling process and is not as intensive a flavor as from sugar cane.


“Treacle” is a product popular in the United Kingdom and is processed similarly to molasses, but can be the byproduct of the manufacture of other sugars like carob, dates, grapes, mulberries, and pomegranate. It is also called golden syrup.


The root word for molasses is the Latin “mel,” meaning honey. The Portuguese word “melaco” is the first known reference to molasses and is the basis for our English word molasses.


In the 1600s molasses was the standard payment for slaves in a hugely profitable market system that was called “The Trianglar Trade” of slaves, molasses and rum. Slaves were purchased in West Africa, transported to the Caribbean where they were often sent to work in the sugarcane fields, molasses were then shipped wither to New England or Europe where it was distilled into rum.


The British crown wanted a piece of the action and enacted a stiff tax on molasses, a tax which was largely ignored by the colonies and was a contributing factor in the American Revolution.


In an effort to “sweeten the deal” Parliament lowered the tax in 1763 hoping that the lower tax would encourage colonists to pay it. We know how that turned out for them (not well; they lost and we became the United States).


Growing up in the United States when I did molasses popped up in my Saturday morning cartoons, accompanied by heavy racist comedy that passed by most people. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized what was being said. Looking back at these cartoons nowadays can be quite shocking compared to today’s pablum flavored animation.


The Uncle Remus tales told of Brer Rabbit, and he used molasses in his stories. To this day Brer Rabbit is still a brand name and his picture is found on bottles of molasses. Bugs Bunny would often say “What a maroon!” about Elmer Fudd, which, although it could be a play on the word “moron,” is actually a reference to freed blacks that established communities throughout the South and the Caribbean islands.


While Bugs Bunny starred in cartoons mocking the Japanese, Nazis and American Indians, the majority of his humor was at the expense of American and African blacks. Bugs Bunny would even wear black face in numerous skits. I also don’t understand Bugs Bunny’s constant cross-dressing – not that it bothered me, but he looked so hot as a woman. What’s that say about my psyche?


A bit more history: On Jan. 15, 1919, a 2,300,000 gallon tank full of molasses burst at the Purity Distilling Co. in Boston. The massive wave of molasses ended up killing 21 people, several horses and injuring 150 people. Some of the dead weren’t found for several days due to the thick brown syrup coating everything. It is said that to this day when conditions are right you can still smell the molasses in the air.


It has been unofficially called “The Boston Molassacre.” Bugs Bunny, in his unapologetic genre of humor, made reference to this event: When Elmer shot holes in Bugs’s mug full of molasses he looked at the viewer and said, “Funny. I never thought molasses would run in January.”


Blackstrap molasses is mostly used in industrial uses (the manufacturing of methanol, curing tobacco, and revitalization of soil and cattle feed for instance) although it is used as a panacea by some people due to its high manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium and low sugar content. It has been reported that blackstrap molasses can cure everything from acne to cancer. This homeopathic remedy hasn’t been proven but it evidently has strong proponents, strong enough to where I won’t make fun of them here. They get really touchy about it.


Molasses was the primary sweetener for the United States until the 20th century when the refining process made plain white sugar dirt cheap and affordable to everyone. Today it is used infrequently and usually only for its unique flavor. My wife uses molasses in a traditional Christmas cookie recipe, which is the only reason it has been in my kitchen until now.


My interest in molasses was piqued when I was at the Twin Pine Casino restaurant Manzanita, where I ordered the buffalo and mahogany wings appetizer. I never had mahogany wings before and thought that they were fantastic. They were so good that I just had to learn to make them at home.


Of the recipes I found and tested this one is what I found to be the best. Some recipes were mild and some were very hot, but everything is better with sriracha sauce! Adjust the hot sauce to your own taste.


Mahogany wings


½ cup soy sauce

½ cup honey

¼ cup molasses

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp ginger, crushed

1 tsp sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)

10 cooked chicken wings (deep fried is best).


Mix the first six ingredients and heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes so the flavors can meld. Pour the sauce in a bowl and add the chicken wings. Toss until well coated and serve.


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, http://twitter.com/Foodiefreak .

LAKE COUNTY – Autumn is deer mating season, which means deer are on the move and less cautious about darting out into the road.


The California Highway Patrol has reported numerous collisions between vehicles and deer in recent weeks, and official are urging drivers to be particularly cautious at this time of year.


Drivers should be extra vigilant and follow these tips for driving in deer country, which were compiled by the National Park Service:


  • Be particularly attentive between sunset and midnight, during the hours shortly before and after sunrise, and in foggy conditions. Most deer-vehicle collisions occur during those times.

  • Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields or streams from forestland are particularly dangerous.

  • If you see a deer, slow down. Others are probably nearby.

  • Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams can reflect off their eyes and warn you of their presence.

  • If a deer is in your lane, brake firmly but stay in the lane. The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve.

  • Don't rely on deer whistles, deer fences, or reflectors to deter deer.

  • Wear seat belts.

  • If your car strikes a deer, don't touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call 911.


“Please use extra caution when driving and make the end of the day a good one,” said Charlie Fielder, director of Caltrans' District 1, which includes Lake County.

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Sugar Pie DeSanto at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant on Monday, Oct. 12, 2009. Photo by T. Watts.

 

 

 

… I’m not tall like a model

I’m just so high

but if you know how to use what you got

it doesn’t matter ‘bout your size …

Sugar Pie DeSanto


As I reported last week, I road managed the Sugar Pie DeSanto show into Minneapolis, Minn., for four shows, this past Oct. 12 and 13.


On Monday, Oct. 12, I was scheduled to call Ms. DeSanto’s room for an 8 a.m. wake up, but my phone was ringing at 7:55 a.m. It was the Sugar. She hit’s the ground running upon awakening, kinda like the way she takes the stage in performance, by storm.


Speaking of storms, outside in Minneapolis it was snowing. Now, your CyberSoulMan is not a big fan of snow, never has been, probably never will be. But those folks in Minneapolis have the cure. The Skyway allows you to walk for miles over the downtown area without having to go outside. The elements – snow, ice, hail, rain, sleet and the almighty hawk – can be totally avoided if one chooses.


When I first viewed the Skyway from my hotel room, my perception was way off base. I thought it was a huge annex to a parking garage. But after Ms. DeSanto and I overdressed and got in it, the deal was very surreal. It felt like being in a Jetsons movie or something. OK, CyberSoulChildren, I’m dating myself. That’s what I do.


Sugar Pie and I found a cool little joint for breakfast, a half-mile by Skyway from our hotel. It was so good we ate their three days in a row.


Back at the hotel we chilled awaiting a phone call from Curtis Obeda, bandleader for the Butanes. Now the Butanes are no slouchy joke of a lounge act. They are authentic, real deal cats. If you go to their Web site, www.thebutanes.com , you will see that they have played behind many including Little Johnny Taylor, Hubert Sumlin, Percy Sledge, Fenton Robinson, Tommy Ridgely, Pinetop Perkins, The Memphis Horns, Mighty Sam McClain, Betty LaVette, Lady Bianca, Ben E. King, Mable John, John Lee Hooker, King Floyd, Bo Diddley, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Otis Clay, Gene Chandler and James Carr. That, CyberSoulPeople, is a fraction of the partial list. They are funkily fully accredited.


I got the call from Curtis about 1 p.m. We hailed a cab from the hotel and had lunch while the band sauntered in and set up.


A word about the venue here. The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant is touted as one of Playboy Magazine's A-List upscale Jazz Club and restaurants. On any given night, Chef Jack Riebel’s five-star menus might include chicken dumplings with smoked chicken, truffle dumplings and matsutake mushroom broth. Or pan seared hamachi featuring kalua pork and shrimp pot stickers with papaya ginger sauce, and out of this world desserts like warm yucca cake with caramelized bananas and rum raisin ice cream. Park me under the yummy yucca tree!


Sound check and rehearsal were a labor of love. Although Jim Moore had sent charts of Sugar Pie’s material ahead, the band rehearsed them for three days in keys that the Sugar Pie DeSanto of yesteryear sang in. I think bandleader Curtis Obeda had kept Ms. DeSanto’s charts from when they last gigged 12 years ago and accidentally rehearsed the band with those instead of the recent ones. No matter. Pros that the all were, it was just a matter of dropping it down an octave and working on the subtle nuances of timing. Yeah. Timing is the thing.


Sugar Pie worked them at rehearsal a good 90 minutes. Rarely during rehearsal did she actually sing. Saving her voice she softly spoke the words or lip synched them.


“Watch me,” she’d admonish them. “Pick it up.” Or, “do it again and play it right this time.” What a lesson in craftswomanship and artistic expression she gave to all her were paying attention.


After rehearsal it was back to the hotel. The Sugar did two shows each night – 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


Monday evening we headed back to the venue at 6 p.m. Despite the chill factor, the Minnesotans did turn out in respectable numbers. Sugar Pie astonished the crowd with sets that included “Black Rat,” “Blues Hall of Fame,” “It’s Your Thing,” “In The Basement,” “I Want To Know,” “Slip In Mules” and others.


Sugar Pie DeSanto does things stage that no one that I’ve seen has done. I won’t tell it all (seeing is believing) but being 4 feet 10 inches tall and all of 100 pounds allows her so much flexibility on stage it’s hard to believe she is now 74 years of age. She is so energy efficient.


As an added treat each night, she pulled out all the stops for the late show. I actually got worried on Tuesday night that her voice was tired during the early show. Silly me went to the very capable sound engineer Craig Eichorn and asked him to either pump up Sugar’s audio or diminish the band slightly. He seemingly obliged my whimsical request. During the late show I was astonished that Sugar Pie had craftily saved enough to simply blow the socks off those in attendance.


Indeed venue owner Lowell Pickett (who treated us wonderfully) seemed similarly impressed. “What a great performer you are,” he told her after her performance. “We’d love to have you back.”


Sugar Pie quipped, “As longs as it’s in the spring or summer, I’m cool.”


We got back to our respective rooms about 1 a.m. and breakfasted at our cool little Skyway joint. The son of Johannes picked us up at 10 a.m. and dropped up off in plenty of time for our 11:50 a.m. flight. The only bummer was the flight was delayed two hours in Minneapolis. When we reached San Francisco Airport, we circled the airport for an extra hour for some strange reason.


Sugar Pie DeSanto’s first hit record was in 1959. Here we are 50 years later and she’s still cooking. What a story. I’m sticking to it.


Keep prayin’, keep thinkin’ those kind thoughts.


*****


Upcoming cool events:


Monday, Oct. 26


Twice As Good with Paul Steward. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Café, 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or www.bluewingsaloon.com .


Tuesday, Oct. 27

 

Charito, 8 p.m., at Yoshi’s Oakland, 510 Embarcadero West. Telephone 510-238-9200.


Thursday, Oct. 29


Open mike night, 6 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Café, 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or www.bluewingsaloon.com .


Sunday, Nov. 1


Sunday brunch at the Blue Wing Saloon & Café from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. MisDemeanors of Jazz featuring Dan Meyer performs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or www.bluewingsaloon.com .


T. Watts is a writer, radio host and music critic. Visit his Web site at www.teewatts.biz.

UPPER LAKE – The Upper Lake Elementary Teachers' Association and the Upper Lake Teachers' Association are jointly sponsoring a school board candidates' forum on Monday, Oct. 26.


The forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Upper Lake High School cafeteria, 675 Clover Valley Road.


The forum will be divided into two parts, with candidates for the Upper Lake Elementary School District Board of Trustees from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the Upper Lake Union High School District Board of Trustees candidates from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Candidates appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot for the two districts include the following:


  • Upper Lake Union Elementary School District – Matt Barnes, Joanne Breton (incumbent), Don Meri (incumbent), Nicole Miller and Marilyn Pivniska (incumbent). Frank Hodge is a write-in candidate whose name will not appear on the ballot, according to the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office.

  • Upper Lake Union High School District – Valerie Duncan (incumbent), Glenn Koeppel, Claudine Pedroncelli and Ron Raetz (incumbent).


Interested citizens may submit questions for the high school candidates in advance to ULTA President Alex Stabiner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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Ron Keas photographed these pelicans on Clear Lake on Monday, October 26, 2009.

 

 



NORTHSHORE – Lake County is home to an amazing array of birds and wildlife, and on Monday a large group of pelicans created quite a show on Clear Lake.


Local photographer Ron Keas caught hundreds of the big white birds on film.


Keas estimated about 200 pelicans flew across the lake and landed near Lucerne, swimming silently along as Keas followed from a distance on the lakeshore.


“Along the way they kept posing for pictures,” he said.


Keas added, “I love this lake.”


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

 

 

 

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Members of the newly formed committee that will assist with fundraising and projects walk around the Ely Stage Stop during an informal tour on Friday, October 23, 2009. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

 

 



KELSEYVILLE – A committee of community members has formed to help support the museum that will be centered around the historic Ely Stage Stop.


The group, led by project coordinator Greg Dills, will lead fundraising efforts and coordinate with officials to get to the next phase of the project, including erecting historic barns and other educational features at the Ely Stage Stop Country Museum's five-acre location.


The new committee includes Dills, Wilda Shock, Marilyn Holdenried, Broc Zoller, Keith Petterson, Jim Bengard and Syd Stokes.


Shock and Holdenried said the group started as an extension of the pear pavilion committee for the Kelseyville Pear Festival. Dills said he also put out a call for assistance, and the members responded.


Most of the committee members gathered for an informal tour on Friday, along with retired county Public Works director, Gerald Shaul, and Ted Kirby, an architect and draftsman who has volunteered his time to work with Eric Seely, the county's deputy redevelopment director, on plans for the building, including its current layout.


The original structure was built around 1856, and is believed to be one of the oldest – if not the oldest – stick-built structure in the county. Originally, it housed a stage stop and hotel, said Seely, who has worked on the project for several years in a variety of capacities.


Later in its life it was a post office and general store, he said.


The building originally sat a few miles away, at 7909 Highway 29, a short distance from the highway's intersection with Highway 281, which becomes Soda Bay Road.


In 1999, the Lake County Historical Society requested surplus county property for a museum site. About that time, the late Bob Roumiguiere, a winegrape grower and community leader interested in preserving the building, contacted Andy Beckstoffer, a winery and vineyard owner with extensive landholdings in Lake County, about donating the structure.

 

 

 

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The committee gathers in the upstairs of the Ely Stage Stop building on Friday, October 23, 2009. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

 

 


Beckstoffer not only donated the building to the county, but gave a five-acre parcel on Soda Bay Road for the museum location, which was finalized in a June 2005 agreement, according to a time line provided by Seely, who at that time worked for Beckstoffer. It was six months after the agreement was signed that Seely joined the county.


A series of public meetings were held around that time to discuss a museum master plan; there also were improvements to the five-acre property to be made, including fence construction and grading.


In April of 2007, the county signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lake County Historical Society, which is tasked with raising funds for the museum as well as seeking the donations of equipment and barns.


The group also assumes the responsibility for running the museum and maintaining the property, according to the terms of the agreement.


In turn, the county took responsibility for, among other things, maintaining major features of the building after remodeling is completed, assisting in seeking grants and moving the building.


In July of 2007, during a daylong operation, the building was moved over land to its current location, at 9921 Highway 281, as Lake County News has reported.


Over this past summer, a 10-foot wide wraparound porch was completed at a cost of around $30,000, said Seely.


The Kettenhoffen Family Foundation donated $100,000 to the museum effort, said Dills. Of that amount, $50,000 was to be set aside for future development.


That left $50,000 available for current projects. Shock said an additional $4,600 was raised at September's Wine Auction to benefit the museum.


Much of the building has changed over the years. Dills and Seely said that the floors and ceilings remain the same, and the original square nails can still be seen – Zoller pointed out some out as the committee explored the upstairs on Friday. But mostly it's the thought of the house that survives, as committee members noted during the informal tour.


As was common in the 1800s, the original building didn't have a bathroom or a kitchen; cooking usually was done outside of the main home.


Walking into it today, one is greeted on the first floor by a large room that moves into two smaller rooms that were used as pantry space, Seely said.


Up a narrow flight of stairs is the second floor, where there are three bedrooms, with small closets and high ceilings.


Seely said it's believed that the house is built from local materials – wood that was cut and milled close by, including pine, Douglas fir and cedar.


He said the wood probably came from a nearby ridge owned by Beckstoffer to the south of the building's current location. Seely, who was raised in Lake County and has extensive knowledge of the land, said a walk on that nearby ridge can lead to discoveries of the stumps of trees that were cut down with axes.

 

 

 

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The stage stop's new location has a great view of nearby Mt. Konocti. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

 

 


The building came with two of its original windows, said Seely. All of the windows now installed in the building – which are boarded over for protection during renovations – are replicas of the originals.


In February of 2008 the building was set on its new foundation on a little hilltop with a breathtaking view of Mountain Konocti.


September of 2008 saw the walls rebuilt, with new siding and the replicated windows installed. A well was drilled last December.


The vision for the Ely Stage Stop Country Museum includes the restored stage stop, the downstairs of which will feature displays and museum information, with the upstairs serving as the administrative offices for the Lake County Historical Society, Seely said.


Over the grounds the vision includes an amphitheater and, possibly, a reconstruction of an Indian village; the group currently is approaching tribes to determine interest in participating in that project.


There also will be five barns to house historical farming implements and equipment. Dills said they already have two and a half barns that have been donated that currently are disassembled and in storage.


There also are plans for a working blacksmith's shop. Dills said he has the necessary equipment for the shop, including a recently donated forge.


Dills hopes to get one of the barns erected over the winter; he said most should have been up by now. But the project has been slowed by a variety of factors, including the voluminous regulations governing today's buildings.


While the barns – many dating back to the 1800s – withstood weather and even the 1906 earthquake, which was felt in the county, once they're moved they have to be re-erected under current standards.


Dills said that includes having to have them engineered, which means some of the handhewn beams from the 1800s that helped hold up the barns can't be used for that purpose any longer. However, the beams will be part of displays, he added.


Dills hopes to get one of the barns built over the coming winter.


Building the first barn will help fulfill one of the required milestones with Beckstoffer, said Dills.


“We're a little behind,” Dills said, noting that they had expected to have all five of the barns up by now.


However, the last few years have been filled with plenty to do, from disassembling donated barns to moving farming equipment from the fairgrounds and putting it into storage offered by local residents.


He said the Lake County Sheriff's Office has committed inmate crews to assist with projects around the grounds once the group is ready to move forward.


Dills said they're always looking for volunteers and for donations.


Anyone interested in donating time or money should contact Lake County Historical Society President

Randy Ridgel at 707-279-4062 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Visit the group's Web site at http://lakecountyhistoricalsociety.net/ .


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

 

 

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County Deputy Redevelopment Director Eric Seely (left) discusses plans for the museum property with group members including Jim Bengard and Broc Zoller on Friday, October 23, 2009. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

THE GEYSERS – A 3.1-magnitude earthquake and several smaller aftershocks rocked The Geysers area late Thursday and into Friday.


The 3.1 quake occurred at 11:46 p.m. Thursday, according to US Geological Survey records.


It was centered three miles east of The Geysers, three miles south southwest of Cobb and four miles west northwest of Anderson Springs at a depth of 2.5 miles, the US Geological Survey reported.


It was followed by 14 smaller earthquakes, ranging between magnitude 1.0 and 2.0, over the next 24 hours, according to the report.


Shake reports came in on the quake from Clearlake, Middletown, Kelseyville, as well as Healdsburg and Geyserville. The US Geological Survey also reported receiving a report from as far away as Salinas.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

Upcoming Calendar

24Feb
02.24.2024 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lake County Theatre Co. lip sync event
28Feb
2Mar
03.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Special Olympics Polar Plunge
10Mar
17Mar
03.17.2024
St. Patrick's Day
31Mar
03.31.2024
Easter Sunday
1Apr
04.01.2024
Easter Monday
15Apr
04.15.2024
Tax Day

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