Friday, 21 June 2024

News

LAKEPORT – November has been a month for burglaries in Lakeport, with more than a dozen break-ins at homes inside and outside of the city limits reported so far.


Over a three-day period last week, six homes were reported burglarized at Lakeport Lagoons and Pier 1900, two mobile home communities on S. Main Street, as Lake County News first reported Saturday.


On Saturday at just after 8 p.m., another burglary was reported to a residence on 15th Street, said Lt. Brad Rasmussen of Lakeport Police.


About an hour after the burglary was reported, a Lakeport Police officer recovered most of the property reported taken from the 15th Street residence, including electronics, jewelry and coins – the kinds of things take in the other robberies around the city, said Rasmussen.


Meanwhile, outside the city limits, mobile home parks also are being hit at a rapid pace, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


Since the start of November, Perk's Mobile Home Park has reported four burglaries and two attempted burglaries, while Lakeside Village and Northport – both off of Lakeshore Boulevard – and Sterling Shores off of Robin Hill have each reported a burglary in the past week, Bauman said.


Bauman said that, in two of the four burglaries reported at Perk's, vehicles were stolen. One, a 2002 PT Cruiser, was recovered in Nice the same day as it was reported taken. The other vehicle, a 2007 Buick Lucerne, was recovered several days after the burglary on Hickory Lane in Lakeport, less than a mile from Perk's.


In addition to the mobile home parks, Bauman said there have been five other burglaries reported at residences in the north Lakeport area since the beginning of the month.


The method of entry in all the burglaries has been pried windows or doors, said Bauman.


Because they appear similar, it's possible the crimes are related, but Bauman said that hasn't yet been proved.


Rasmussen said Lakeport Police has some leads on suspects who may have been involved in the burglaries in city limits.


As to whether they're connected to the burglaries outside the city limits, Rasmussen said, “We're looking into the possibility that they're related but right now we don't have enough information to prove that they're related.”


In the mean time, he urges anyone who sees suspicious activity in their neighborhood to call police immediately. Residents also are urged to keep residences locked and to put up security lighting to deter break-ins.


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


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SACRAMENTO – Given the serious threat of sea level rise to California’s water supply and coastal resources and the impact it would have on our state’s economy, population and natural resources, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday issued an executive order to enhance the state’s management of climate impacts from sea level rise, increased temperatures, shifting precipitation and extreme weather events.


“We have to adapt the way we work and plan in order to manage the impacts and challenges that California and our entire planet face from climate change,” Governor Schwarzenegger said in a written statement. “Given the serious threat of sea level rise to California’s water supply, population and our economy, it’s critically important that we make sure the state is prepared when heavy rains cause flooding and the potential for sea level rise increases in future years.”


There are four key actions in the executive order including:


  • Initiate California’s first statewide climate change adaptation strategy that will assess the state’s expected climate change impacts, identify where California is most vulnerable and recommend climate adaptation policies by early 2009;

  • Request the National Academy of Science establish an expert panel to report on sea level rise impacts in California to inform state planning and development efforts;

  • Issue interim guidance to state agencies for how to plan for sea level rise in designated coastal and floodplain areas for new projects; and

  • Initiate a report on critical existing and planned infrastructure projects vulnerable to sea level rise.


One key benefit that the executive order will facilitate is California’s first comprehensive climate adaptation strategy. This effort will improve coordination within state government and adapt the way work so that better planning can more effectively address climate impacts to human health, the environment, the state’s water supply and the economy.


The order also provides consistency and clarity to state agencies on how to address sea level rise in current planning efforts, reducing time and resources unnecessarily spent on developing different policies using different scientific information.


The executive order and its actions carry on the governor’s environmental leadership by continuing to address climate change adaptation in coordination with our climate change mitigation policies as outlined in AB 32. The states of Washington and Oregon, as well as Canada and Mexico, along with several global institutions have expressed interest in coordinating our climate change adaptation policies as outlined in this order.


California’s Energy Commission, the California Ocean Protection Council and Caltrans are conducting numerous scientific studies on the impact of climate change, including new sea level rise impact projections that are being used to develop the state’s climate change adaptation strategy.


Full text of executive order:


EXECUTIVE ORDER S-13-08


by the Governor of the State of California


WHEREAS climate change in California during the next century is expected to shift precipitation patterns, accelerate sea level rise and increase temperatures, thereby posing a serious threat to California’s economy, to the health and welfare of its population and to its natural resources; and


WHEREAS California is a leader in mitigating and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions with the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32), the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (Executive Order S-01-07), the 2008 Senate Bill 375 and the Renewable Portfolio Standard; and


WHEREAS these efforts, coupled with others around the world, will slow, but not stop all long-term climate impacts to California; and


WHEREAS California must begin now to adapt and build our resiliency to coming climate changes through a thoughtful and sensible approach with local, regional, state and federal government using the best available science; and


WHEREAS there is a need for statewide consistency in planning for sea level rise; and


WHEREAS California’s water supply and coastal resources, including valuable natural habitat areas, are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise over the next century and could suffer devastating consequences if adaptive measures are not taken; and


WHEREAS the country’s longest continuously operating gauge of sea level, at Fort Point in San Francisco Bay, recorded a seven-inch rise in sea level over the 20th century thereby demonstrating the vulnerability of infrastructure and resources within the Bay; and


WHEREAS global sea level rise for the next century is projected to rise faster than historical levels with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting that global sea levels will rise by between seven to 23 inches this century and some experts predicting even higher rises; and


WHEREAS while climate models predicting global sea level rise are generally understood and improving, less information is available for sea level rise projections specific to California that accounts for California’s topography, coastal erosion rates, varying land subsidence levels and tidal variations; and


WHEREAS billions of dollars in state funding for infrastructure and resource management projects are currently being encumbered in areas that are potentially vulnerable to future sea level rise; and


WHEREAS safety, maintenance and operational efforts on existing infrastructure projects are critical to public safety and the economy of the state; and


WHEREAS the longer that California delays planning and adapting to sea level rise the more expensive and difficult adaptation will be; and


WHEREAS the California Resources Agency is a member of the California Climate Action Team and is leading efforts to develop and implement policy solutions related to climate change adaptation regarding current and projected effects of climate change; and


WHEREAS the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for managing the state’s water resources to benefit the people of California, and to protect, restore and enhance the natural and human environments; and


WHEREAS California’s coastal management agencies such as the California Coastal Commission, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and California State Parks are charged with managing and protecting the ocean and coastal resources of the state; and


WHEREAS the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research Program has funded research on climate change since 2001 including funding the development of preliminary sea level rise projections for the San Francisco Bay area by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/University of California at San Diego.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby order effective immediately:


1. The California Resources Agency, in cooperation with DWR, CEC, California’s coastal management agencies, and the OPC, shall request that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) convene an independent panel to complete the first California Sea Level Rise Assessment Report and initiate, within 60 days after the signing of this Order, an independent sea level rise science and policy committee made up of state, national and international experts.


2. By March 31, 2009, the OPC, DWR and the CEC, in coordination with other state agencies, shall hold a public workshop to gather policy-relevant information specific to California for use in preparing the Sea Level Rise Assessment Report and to raise state awareness of sea level rise impacts.


3. The California Resources Agency shall request that the final Sea Level Rise Assessment Report be completed as soon as possible but no later than December 1, 2010. The final Sea Level Rise Assessment Report will advise how California should plan for future sea level rise. The report should include: (1) relative sea level rise projections specific to California, taking into account issues such as coastal erosion rates, tidal impacts, El Niño and La Niña events, storm surge and land subsidence rates; (2) the range of uncertainty in selected sea level rise projections; (3) a synthesis of existing information on projected sea level rise impacts to state infrastructure (such as roads, public facilities and beaches), natural areas, and coastal and marine ecosystems; and (4) a discussion of future research needs regarding sea level rise for California.


4. The OPC shall work with DWR, the CEC, California’s coastal management agencies and the State Water Resources Control Board to conduct a review of the NAS assessment every two years or as necessary.


5. I direct that, prior to release of the final Sea Level Rise Assessment Report from the NAS, all state agencies within my administration that are planning construction projects in areas vulnerable to future sea level rise shall, for the purposes of planning, consider a range of sea level rise scenarios for the years 2050 and 2100 in order to assess project vulnerability and, to the extent feasible, reduce expected risks and increase resiliency to sea level rise. However, all projects that have filed a Notice of Preparation, and/or are programmed for construction funding the next five years, or are routine maintenance projects as of the date of this Order may, but are not required to, account for these planning guidelines. Sea level rise estimates should also be used in conjunction with appropriate local information regarding local uplift and subsidence, coastal erosion rates, predicted higher high water levels, storm surge and storm wave data.


6. The Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency shall work with the California Resources Agency and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to prepare a report within 90 days of release of this Order to assess vulnerability of transportation systems to sea level rise that will include provisions for investment critical to safety, maintenance and operational improvements of the system and economy of the state.


7. By June 30, 2009, the California Resources Agency, through the Climate Action Team, shall coordinate with local, regional, state and federal public and private entities to develop a state Climate Adaptation Strategy. The strategy will summarize the best known science on climate change impacts to California (led by CEC’s PIER program), assess California’s vulnerability to the identified impacts and then outline solutions that can be implemented within and across state agencies to promote resiliency. A water adaptation strategy will be coordinated by DWR with input from the State Water Resources Control Board, an ocean and coastal resources adaptation strategy will be coordinated by the OPC, an infrastructure adaptation strategy will be coordinated by the California Department of Transportation, a biodiversity adaptation strategy will be jointly coordinated by the California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks, a working landscapes adaptation strategy will be jointly coordinated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and a public health adaptation strategy will be jointly coordinated by the California Department of Public Health and the California Air Resources Board, all as part of the larger strategy. This strategy will be facilitated through the Climate Action Team and will be coordinated with California's climate change mitigation efforts.


8. By May 30, 2009, OPR, in cooperation with the California Resources Agency, shall provide state land-use planning guidance related to sea level rise and other climate change impacts.


This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.


I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 14th day of November 2008.


________________________________

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor of California


ATTEST:

________________________________

Debra Bowen

Secretary of State



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Sonoma County's Henry 1 helicopter assisted in the search. Hidden Valley Lake residents reported that the helicopter flew over the community for part of the morning, beginning at around 8 a.m. Photo by Eric Soderstrom.
 

 

 

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED.


HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – Following a day of searching, the second suspect in an early morning break-in on Noble Ranch Road was captured by officials late Thursday.


Malcolm Safa Brown, 40, of Santa Rosa was arrested shortly after 5 p.m. after one of two victims from the morning break-in and assault identified him, according to officials at the scene.


Earlier in the afternoon, Charles William Burk, 30, was arrested when deputies found him under the exterior deck of a residence in the 19000 block of Stonegate Drive of Hidden Valley Lake. He had been spotted running into the home's garage; 10 minutes later, the homeowner reported a water bowl was in an odd position in front of a small access door under their deck, and Burk was taken into custody.


The two men are alleged to have broken into a home on Noble Ranch Road at approximately 7:20 a.m., where they assaulted the residents before fleeing in a white pickup, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


The two men in the pickup collided with a sheriff's patrol car before abandoning their vehicle on Spruce Grove Road South and fleeing into Hidden Valley Lake on foot, said Bauman.


Bauman said the sheriff's office sent out a phone alert to residents in a three-mile perimeter of where the men were believed to be, in the Greenridge and Stonegate communities. However, many area residents reported to Lake County News that they did not receive the notice.


The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office's Henry 1 helicopter assisted with the search from the air for a few hours during the middle of the morning while local sheriff's investigators and deputies combed the area for the men. Area schools also kept children on campuses longer in order to keep them safe while the search went on.


Burk was arrested shortly after 2 p.m. not long after deputies spotted him on foot in the Greenridge area and stopped him for questioning. He attempted to flee behind some nearby residences and was arrested following a house-to-house search, said Bauman.


At about 4:30 p.m. Bauman told Lake County News that the sheriff's office was suspending the search for the second suspect, who hadn't yet been identified.


However, as sheriff's personnel were leaving leave Hidden Valley Lake, Hidden Valley Security was reporting receiving calls about a shirtless male with buzz cut hair running down Foothill Road just after 4 p.m., according to reports at the scene.


Deputies returned to Hidden Valley Lake, where a California Highway Patrol officer had detained Brown at Highway 29 and Arabian Lane.


One of the victims of the morning assault was brought to the scene, where she identified Brown as one of the men who had broken into her home earlier that morning.


Burk, who has addresses in both Clearlake Oaks and Santa Rosa, is listed as a cement mason on his booking sheet, which was posted late Thursday. Bauman confirmed that Burk had previous contact with local law enforcement but did not give specifics.


He is facing a battery of felony charges, including attempted murder, attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon (that is not a firearm) on a peace officer, assault with a firearm, another charge of assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm and first degree burglary. Bail is set at $575,000.


Brown, a carpenter, is charged with four felony counts – attempted murder, attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon that's not a firearm and first-degree burglary, with bail set at $535,000.


Both Burk and Brown are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 17, according to their booking sheets.


Harold LaBonte and Aimee Gonsalves contributed to this report.


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


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HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – The deaths of four Pacific Union College students in a crash over the weekend has devastated fellow students and led to public tributes in their honor.


Boaz Joshua Pak, 20, and Simon Chulmin Son, 19, both of Hidden Valley Lake; Luke Kotaro Nishikawa, 22, of Honolulu, Hawaii; and Chong Whon Shin, 20, of Aloha, Ore., were killed in a crash that occurred on Deer Park Road east of the Silverado Trail in Napa County at about 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, according to the California Highway Patrol's Napa office.


"The PUC community mourns the loss of four wonderful young men who were already giving service back to the community," said College President Richard Osborn in a statement released Sunday. "Our entire campus is grieving along with their families. But as a faith-based college, we have hope that springs from our beliefs as we celebrate all these young men accomplished in their brief lives."


CHP Officer Jaret Paulson said that while it's early in the investigation, investigators believe speed was a factor.


The college reported Sunday that the students had just finished playing basketball at the college gym and were on their way to Safeway in St. Helena to get something to eat when the crash took place.


Pak was driving a 2003 Honda Civic westbound on Deer Park Road when the crash occurred on one of the last curves heading down toward Silverado Trail, according to Paulson.


“It appears the vehicle lost control and actually slid sideways into opposing traffic,” Paulson said.


Pak's Honda collided broadside in the eastbound lane with a 1993 Toyota pickup driven by 28-year-old Sandalio Martinez of Angwin.


Carlos Rio Ortiz, 20, also of Angwin, was traveling eastbound in a 1993 Honda Civic behind Martinez. Following the first collision, Ortiz hit the back of Martinez's pickup.


The four students were declared dead at the scene, according to the CHP.


Martinez sustained major injuries and was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment, the CHP reported.


Ortiz, who suffered minor injuries, was booked into the Napa County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, Paulson reported.


Paulson added that the CHP also is investigating the possibility that Martinez may have been driving under the influence.


The students, he added, did not appear to have been drinking.


Three of the men were wearing their seat belts, while Shin was not, according to the CHP.


Paulson said the CHP is not saying driving under the influence caused the crash, “but DUI was there.”


Pak's vehicle suffered “significant” damage, said Paulson. It took emergency personnel a few hours to remove the young mens' bodies from the vehicle.


The investigation, evidence collection and scene measurements and cleanup took a long time, said Paulson. “We were there a good nine hours.”


While CHP was processing the scene, Deer Park Road was closed and Sanitarium Road was used as a detour around the collision scene.


“It's a tragedy, it's a huge loss to our community,” said Paulson. “It's a great reminder to everyone to slow down and buckle up their seat belts.”


On Sunday, Pacific Union College – the Angwin-based liberal arts college of 1,400 students that is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church – held a prayer meeting in honor of the four young men, with counselors and pastors available to students afterward.


Pak, Son, Shin and Nishikawa “were well known and liked on campus,” the college reported.


The college said that Pak was a biology and pre-pharmacy major, while Nishikawa was studying American history. Shin was involved in youth ministry at the Rohnert Park Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church and studied business administration and pre-dentistry.


Son was involved in a campus outreach program called Homeless Ministries, according to the college statement. On Saturday morning, students said that Son had gone to the Bay Area with a group of students to feed the homeless. He was majoring in nursing.


The college reported that grief counselors, residence hall deans, and the campus chaplain began working with students during Saturday night as news of an accident involving fellow students spread around campus. On Sunday, the college offered support groups and one-on-one counseling for the campus community.


The college's Web site is offering a message board at www.puc.edu/news/memorial for students, friends and family to post their tributes to the students.


Messages have been coming in from around the country and around the world in memory of the young men, with one poster sending condolences from the United Kingdom.


On Thursday at 10 a.m., Pacific Union College will hold a memorial service for the young men during their weekly colloquy in the college church.


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


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LAKE COUNTY – Autumn is deer mating season, which means deer are on the move and less cautious about darting out into the road, which means drivers should be extra vigilant to be safe on the roads at this time of year.


The California Department of Transportation suggests drivers follow the following tips for driving in deer country.


  • 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.


These tips are used with permission from the National Park Service.


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HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – The Lake County Sheriff's Office has released the name of a man arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with a break-in and assault on Noble Ranch Road.


Charles William Burk, 30, was arrested in Hidden Valley Lake just after 2 p.m. Thursday after he attempted to flee from deputies who had stopped him for questioning, reported Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


Burk, who has addresses in both Santa Rosa and Clearlake Oaks, is believed to have been one of two men who broke into a Noble Ranch Road home shortly before 7:30 a.m., where they allegedly assaulted two occupants of the home, according to Bauman.


Burk and his accomplice, who remains at large and who has not been identified, then fled in a white pickup which collided with a sheriff's patrol car, Bauman said. The two suspects then abandoned their vehicle on Spruce Grove Road South and fled on foot into Hidden Valley Lake.


Much of the day's search, according to Hidden Valley Lake and sheriff's officials, had focused on the Greenridge and Stonegate sections of the community.


Burk was located, said Bauman, while deputies were in the process of clearing some houses in the Greenridge area.


Bauman said two deputies began to question Burk, who took off on foot behind some nearby residences.


“They conducted a house-to-house search,” said Bauman.


Burk was found under an exterior deck of a home on Coyle Springs Road and arrested, Bauman said.


The sheriff's office has had some previous contact with Burk, but Bauman did not specify what those contacts may have been about.


Bauman said the sheriff's office was preparing to issue another Citywatch phone alert to community residents to let them know of Burk's capture.


There is currently not an active search under way for the second man, whom Burk has so far not provided information about, according to Bauman.


The Hidden Valley Lake community has been on alert since two residents of Park Point Court were robbed at gunpoint in their home on the night of Oct. 28, as Lake County News has reported.


The suspect in that robbery, a white male adult wearing a ski mask and dressed from head to toe in black, remains at large.


Is that robbery connected to the break-in and assault Thursday morning?


“We have no reason to believe that they are,” Bauman said.


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


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LAKE COUNTY – A strike team of local firefighters is in Southern California assisting with the efforts to fight wildfires that have claimed hundreds of homes and burned tens of thousands of acres.


Five engines – one each from Lake County Fire Protection, Kelseyville Fire, Northshore Fire, Anderson Valley and Hopland – left on Sunday, said Lake County Fire Protection Battalion Chief Willie Sapeta.


The group included three firefighters per engine, said Sapeta.


Chief Jim Robbins of Northshore Fire said his district sent two battalion chiefs, Jamie Crabtree and Pat Brown, to serve as strike team leaders.


Capt. Dave Bosserman of Kelseyville Fire said their three firefighters got the call to go at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. They took with them a type-three fire engine, which he described as a four-wheel-drive truck with a pump system on it, which is good for wildland firefighting.


Sapeta said his firefighters pulled out at 7:15 a.m. Sunday.


The firefighters got to their destination in Southern California last night at about 10 p.m., said Robbins.


Robbins said they were assigned to the nearly 29,000-acre Freeway Complex, which Cal Fire reports includes the Freeway and Landfill fires. Nearly 3,700 firefighters are currently assigned to that complex.


The fires started in Riverside County and are now burning through rugged terrain in Orange County. Cal Fire says the complex is 40-percent contained.


The local strike team was assigned to a 24-hour rotation to work the fires, said Robbins. Sapeta added that the firefighters were due to be on the fireline first thing Monday.


“They were going with five other strike teams to the head of the fire,” said Robbins. “They know the Lake County boys can put the fire out.”


He spoke with firefighters Monday morning after their briefing. Brown told him about the eerie experience of driving down Highway 71, the Chino Valley Freeway, and finding its eight lanes barricaded and empty of all but fire traffic.


Over the weekend Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed a state of emergency in Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles counties due to a devastating series of wildland fires that have hit the area beginning Nov. 14. Santa Ana winds have assisted in fueling and moving the fires, according to officials.


A day earlier, Santa Barbara County was hit with the Tea Fire, now at 95-percent containment, with an estimated 210 homes destroyed, Cal Fire reported.


Sapeta said they have no idea how long the local firefighters will be needed in Southern California, although they have a seven-day minimum and 14-day maximum commitment period, after which they'll be switched out if more help is needed.


Local firefighters have ventured out of the county to offer assistance on fires in other regions several times this year, said Sapeta.


In May, a strike team was sent to the Summit Fire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains, then the Humboldt Fire in Butte County and the Mendocino Lightning Complex in June, and to Santa Clara County in July. Local fire districts sent nine ambulances to Colusa County in October when a bus crash occurred, killing several people.


Lake County has received its fair share of help this year. Cal Fire, the US Forest Services and fire agencies from around the state converged in Lake County in June to fight the 14,500 Walker Fire east of Clearlake Oaks and the 8,652-acre Soda Complex burned from June to July in the Mendocino National Forest.


While it was very busy in the beginning of the fire season, until recently it had quieted down, said Sapeta.


Sapeta said there have been some years where local strike teams have been called out during the winter months of January and February in response to Southern California wildfires fueled by those devastating Santa Ana winds, which can make a fire deadly at any time of year.


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


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HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – South county schools were on the alert and keeping children on school grounds late Thursday as the search for a suspect alleged to have been involved in a break-in and assault on Noble Ranch Road continued.


At least one of two men who allegedly broke into the home early Tuesday morning, and subsequently fled into Hidden Valley Lake, had been caught shortly after 2 p.m. according to a radio report from the scene.


No further information about the captured suspect has so far been released.


However, both he and his alleged accomplice were considered armed and dangerous, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. That had led officials earlier in the day to caution residents to stay in their homes with their doors and windows locked.


Middletown Unified School District Superintendent Korby Olson said the district had been communicating with the Lake County Sheriff's Office throughout the day to keep apprised of the situation.


“We decided it would be best to keep the kids in school where it was safe,” he said.


Middle school students were being held, and at Middletown High School the day was extended until 3:30 p.m., Olson said.


Children who lived in Cobb and other communities outside of Middletown were being released first, but children who school officials knew lived in the Greenridge and Stonegate areas of Hidden Valley Lake – where the search was most active – were being held until the district had more information, said Olson.


As the buses began to take children home late Thursday, Olson said bus drivers had been instructed to communicate with any parents they saw waiting along the way to let them know the situation.


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


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Carol Kesey with some of the chrysanthemums grown in her Lakeport garden. The flowers were on display at the Clear Lake Trowel and Trellis Club's Dance of the Mums show on Friday, November 14, 2008. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 

LAKEPORT, Calif. – The chrysanthemum – it's the flower of November, and is beloved in China and Japan. {sidebar id=105}

The beautiful fall flower with dozens of variations and colors was featured at a special show in Lakeport Friday afternoon.

The Dance of the Mums flower show, hosted by the Clear Lake Trowel and Trellis Club at the Lakeport Yacht Club, gave mum enthusiasts their first chance in several years to concentrate on the special flower, said club member Jo Jameson.

Another club member, June Beto, said the show – which also featured one of the biggest and tastiest selections of homemade goodies around – had many visitors, which may lead to future shows.

Lakeport resident and club Carol Kesey is considered by many to be the local expert on chrysanthemums. 

 

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A delicate and exotic-looking Seatons' Galaxy spider, one of the many variations of chrysanthemum. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 

Kesey, who will be 91 in December, started growing chrysanthemums in the 1950s, when she moved to her home on Ninth and High streets. She still lives there, with a yard that's a veritable flower showcase.

“I just love them all,” Kesey said of flowers.

Mums generally are in season September through November, said Kesey. That means the flowers arrive in time for the Lake County Fair, where Kesey has won many show ribbons. But she hasn't been of a mind to brave the late summer heat to show her flowers at the California State Fair in Sacramento.

Jameson said Kesey has encouraged other club members to enter their flowers in the fair. She added that Kesey also is incredibly generous, and shares her flower starts with anyone who drops by and asks for some.

Kesey, who comes from a family of people with “green thumbs and muddy hands,” said growing chrysanthemums is addictive. “You just can't stop.”

Mums also have taken over her yard, forcing her to grow vegetables in pots rather than the ground.

Getting the big, lush flowers requires a lot of work, including a process called “disbudding,” which Kesey said involves breaking the flowers down a few times.

Many of the chrysanthemums at the show were grown by Kesey, with numerous arrangements crafted by her friend, Shirley Estrem. Not one to play favorites, Kesey said she couldn't pick any one in particular that she liked the best.

Each day Kesey spends three to four hours outside working in her garden. Kesey, who could easily pass for about 20 years younger than her 90 years, credits her garden and working in it for her youthful outlook and good health.

Growing mums, like life, take some time to get right, according to Kesey, who has a sparkling wit.

“In about 50 years you usually get it all figured out,” she said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at [email protected]. 

 

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Jo Jameson's arrangement, titled "Let's Swing." Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 

 

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Claire Grieve created this arrangement, titled "Chinese Checkers" with a mum grown by Carol Kesey. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 

 

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Carol Kesey grew the mums for this arrangement, created by Nancy Benkelman, titled "Gold Miner's Find." Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 

 

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Chrysanthemums feature many different shapes and colors. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

 

 

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Heidi Thomason's arrangement, "Reaching for the Moon," with mums grown by Carol Kesey. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

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SACRAMENTO – California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists on Friday began a comprehensive three-month study of salmon migration through the Bay-Delta.


This new study comes in the wake of a salmon population crash which resulted in the state and federal government closing the commercial salmon fishing season off the coast of California and part of Oregon this spring.


Data gathered from the study will help agencies better manage the Bay-Delta ecosystem while enhancing habitat for salmon and other protected species and providing a scientific foundation for water policy, ecosystem and salmon fishery decision makers.


“Ultimately, with the data collected from this study, we hope to find ways to improve Delta water quality and water supply reliability for the State Water Project while protecting the salmon out-migrant population,” said Jim Wilde, DWR Senior Engineer coordinating the study for DWR.


Over the course of the study, scientists will release 6,000 tagged juvenile salmon into the Sacramento River to track their migration to the ocean.


Released salmon are implanted with acoustic transmitters that allow scientists to monitor their movements at junctions of waterways and throughout the Delta.


The transmitters are uniquely programmed for immediate detection and identification by an array of unmanned, robotic boats and electronic gear.


The high-tech experiment continues for the next three months between Sacramento and Pittsburg and will gather data on route selection and survival of the Sacramento River winter run of juvenile salmon.


Every year thousands of juvenile Chinook salmon migrate out of streams in the Central Valley and move through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on their way to the Pacific Ocean. How young salmon move through the Delta, however, is not well understood.


“This is an evolving story. We don’t have the answers, but we are using the latest science and technology to find them,” said USGS hydrologist Jon Burau, one of the study’s lead scientists. “This is an example of interagency cooperation across many scientific disciplines and offices. Scientists will be putting in thousands of hours over the next few months to understand how juvenile salmon migrate through the Delta.”


Collected data will be used to develop management tools capable of estimating how current operations and potential new projects may impact out-migrating juvenile salmon.


The field experiment will involve many scientific disciplines and the use of emerging technologies in fisheries science and hydrodynamic measurement.


Clear Lake also is connected to the Bay-Delta, which it empties into via Cache and Putah creeks, and the Yolo Bypass in the Sacramento Valley.


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THE TOTAL NUMBER OF FORECLOSURES IN SEPTEMBER 2008 HAS BEEN CORRECTED.

 

LAKE COUNTY – As the economy has continued to struggle, foreclosure rates across the nation and the state have risen and, at the same time, the number of homes in peril in Lake County has grown.


RealtyTrac's last US foreclosure report for the third quarter shows a 3-percent increase in foreclosure activity over the second quarter of 2008.


Overall, foreclosures filings – including default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – have risen by 71 percent over 2007's third quarter, the company reported.


Lake County had 470 properties affected by some kind of foreclosure action in the third quarter, a 658-percent rise over the third quarter of 2007, which gives it a rank of No. 12 among the state's 58 counties for most foreclosures per capita, RealtyTrac reported.


Nationwide, in September, foreclosures dropped by 12 percent from August, but were still up 21 percent over September 2007.


Lake County's foreclosures in September numbered 253 – or one for every 136 households – which was 14 percent above its August rate, and a stunning 3,514-percent above September of 2007, when only seven county properties were in some phase of foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac statistics.


The company reported that one in every 475 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in September.


"Much of the 12 percent decrease in September can be attributed to changes in state laws that have at least temporarily slowed down the pace at which lenders are moving forward with foreclosures," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.


He noted that SB 1137 in California took effect in early September and requires lenders to make contact with borrowers at least 30 days before filing a Notice of Default.


As a result, in September California's Notices of Default dropped 51 percent from the previous month, which significantly impacted national numbers because California accounts for close to one-third of the nation's foreclosure activity each month.


In the third quarter, there were foreclosure filings reported on 765,558 U.S. Properties. Nevada continued to lead the nation in the most foreclosures, followed by Florida, Arizona and California, which is now in fourth place for the quarter.


Foreclosure filings were reported on 69,548 California properties in September, a 32-percent decrease from the previous month but still up 36 percent from September 2007, according to RealtyTrac. One in every 189 housing units in California received a foreclosure filing during September.

California alone accounted for more than 27 percent of the nation's foreclosure activity, with 210,845 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the third quarter – up 4 percent from the previous quarter and up more than 122 percent from the third quarter of 2007, RealtyTrac's report noted.


The state also accounted for six of the top 10 US metro areas for foreclosures, with Stockton at No. 1, Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 3, Bakersfield at No. 4, Sacramento at No. 7, Fresno at No. 9 and Oakland at No. 10.


Foreclosures have continued to hit record levels all year long, according to RealtyTrac and to DataQuick Information Services, another company that reports on foreclosure activity.


In quarters one and two of 2008, DataQuick said most of the at-risk mortgages – which Marshall Prentice, DataQuick's president, called “loans-gone-wild” activity – originated in 2005 and 2006. The concern, he added, was that if the economy went into recession the problems might spread beyond the “dicey” mortgage categories and into mainstream home loans.


Andrew LePage, a DataQuick spokesman, said foreclosures aren't showing any sign of slowing down.


What analysts are looking for, said LePage, is the sign that notices of default, the first step in the foreclosure process, have peaked.


Lake County numbers rise

In Lake County, foreclosure filings have grown over the past year, according to data provided by RealtyTrack to Lake County News.


In 2007, total foreclosure filings reached 105 in the first quarter, 72 in the second, 62 in the third and 358 in the fourth, RealtyTrac reported.


While 2007 set records for foreclosures, 2008 broke those records by leaps and bounds.


For 2008, first quarter filings totaled 318 and 411 in the second quarter, rising up to 470 in the third quarter.


Doug Wacker, the county assessor, said his office has been reassessing the value of thousands of homes due to the market changes and foreclosures. He also tracks foreclosures, and notes that the Hidden Valley Lake area is one of the worst hit in the county.


Lake County's state and federal lawmakers are offering information to help local homeowners.


Sen. Patricia Wiggin's Web site offers homeowners assistance at http://dist02.casen.govoffice.com/; click on “Home mortgage assistance.”


Wiggins also co-authored SB 1055 with Sen. Michael Machado, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in September. SB 1055 offers state income tax relief to borrowers whose mortgage debt has been forgiven by their lender.


Congressman Mike Thompson also offers information about legislative relief at his Web site, http://mikethompson.house.gov/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=259.


The House of Representatives in July passed the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act, which established the HOPE for Homeowners Program, Thompson's office reported.


The program will help 400,000 families keep their homes by allowing borrowers in danger of losing their homes to refinance into a government backed, fixed-rate mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration.


Information on the program can be found at www.hud.gov/hopeforhomeowners/consumerfactsheet.cfm; those who need assistance on mortgage or related housing issues, can visit the Hope for Homeowners Web page at www.hud.gov/hopeforhomeowners/index.cfm.


The California Bar Foundation also has a Web site offering information for people trying to avoid foreclosure which is available in both English and Spanish at www.foreclosureinfoca.org/.


State seeks to help homeowners


Gov. Schwarzenegger announced last week his plans to call a special session to work on both immediate foreclosure relief and long-term mortgage reform in order to stabilize the state's teetering economy.


“The single most powerful action our state can take to shore up its economy is to help Californians stay in their homes – and I am presenting a plan to do just that,” Schwarzenegger said. “Curtailing foreclosures will stop the downward spiral of home prices, free up needed cash for homeowners, help save jobs and make an immediate positive impact on our economy.”


Schwarzenegger's proposals include:


  • A 90-day stay of the foreclosure processes for each owner-occupied home subject to a first mortgage on which a notice of default has been filed;

  • A “safe harbor” under which lenders will be able to exempt themselves from the 90-day stay procedure altogether if they provide evidence to the state official that the lenders have an aggressive modification program in place to keep borrowers in their homes;

  • A loan modification model to make loans more sustainable for homeowners.

     

Looking forward, in order to prevent future mortgage meltdowns, the governor is proposing that the Department of Real Estate and Department of Corporations be able to enforce federal laws and regulations such as the Truth in Lending Act and others, and discipline real estate licensees who violate those laws and regulations.


He also proposes to reform lending practices and licensing requirements and standards for loan originators, require pre-counseling interviews for borrowers entering into risky “non-traditional” mortgages, and urging the federal government to require loan originators to retain a portion of the loan risk to encourage sound underwriting of loans.


During this year's legislative session, Schwarzenegger signed into law several bills from the state Legislature that seek to give relief to homeowners facing financial difficulties. For more on those bills

see http://lakeconews.com/content/view/5729/764/.


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


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