Tuesday, 23 July 2024


November skies at 8 p.m. on Nov. 15.


LAKE COUNTY – November brings thoughts of Thanksgiving, and that traditional entrée, turkey. So you would think there must be a turkey somewhere in the night sky to commemorate this important holiday.


Alas – there is no turkey. The patterns of stars we call constellations were decided centuries ago, long before we invented Thanksgiving. But there are a lot of other critters and people up there we can admire. They come from Greek mythology.

Let’s start with Pegasus, the great winged horse. Look toward the south, and high up in the night sky you will see a giant square. That is Pegasus.

Next to Pegasus is Andromeda, a beautiful princess. And next to Andromeda is the ancient Greek hero, Perseus.

These three characters provide the basis for a nice adventure story that has Andromeda chained to a rock, ready to be devoured by a dragon. Then along comes Perseus to the rescue, riding Pegasus, his great winged flying steed!

Look at the November star chart, then at the constellation artwork to identify these characters. On the November star chart you will note a constellation just south of Pegasus named Pisces. Pisces is a pair of fish. Rumor has it, if you fish at night on Clear Lake when Pisces is high in the night sky you will catch your limit and a whole lot more (and please don’t believe everything you read in this column!).


Constellation artwork courtesy of www.myth-and-fantasy.com.

Speaking of Perseus, there is a remarkable astronomical event occurring at the time of this writing. It’s a comet named Holmes (named after its discoverer, English amateur astronomer Edwin Holmes in 1892).

For reasons we don’t fully understand, this normally faint comet suddenly flared into a bright object on Oct. 25 in the constellation of Perseus. It can be seen with the naked eye, as shown on the Comet Holmes star chart below.

What’s curious about this comet is that we cannot see its tail. Instead, it gives the appearance of coming toward us, with the tail behind it. Through a telescope of moderate size it appears as a bright, yellowish-colored disk with a large halo around it. It remains to be seen if Comet Holmes will continue to be a bright object in November skies.


Location of Comet Holmes courtesy of Sky & Telescope.

The next public event at Taylor Observatory will be held from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. If you are able to attend, you might be able to see the comet through one of the observatory’s telescopes.


Photograph of Comet Holmes courtesy of Lorenzo Comolli, Italy.

For more information about astronomy and local astronomy-related events, visit the Taylor Observatory website at www.taylorobservatory.org.

John Zimmerman has been an amateur astronomer for 50 years. He is a member of the Taylor Observatory staff, where, among his many duties, he helps create planetarium shows.


UKIAH – A crash along Highway 20 near Ukiah that closed down the highway on Thursday afternoon left one man with major injuries and two others – one a Lake County resident – uninjured.

A report from the Ukiah California Highway Patrol office explained that the crash occurred at 4:19 p.m. on Highway 20 east of Road A.

Jeremy Jeffers, 20, of Talmage reportedly fell asleep at the wheel of his Ford, allowing the vehicle to drift off of the roadway, the CHP reported.

Jeffers woke up, attempted to correct his vehicle's course, which the CHP said caused the vehicle to veer out of control and into the opposing traffic lane, where it collided with a 1988 Mazda 323 driven by Vernon Ward, 69, of Round Valley.

Ward was not wearing his seat belt and was immediately ejected through the driver's door, which was torn open in the collision, according to the CHP.

While Ward was left lying in the westbound traffic lane, his car continued on to become involved in a secondary collision with a 2003 Chevy Tracker driven by 53-year-old Marilyn Saderlund of Kelseyville, the CHP reported.

Meanwhile, Jeffers' vehicle continued out of control and collided with an embankment bordering the roadway's south side, where it came to rest.

CHP began receiving 911 calls from cell phones around 4:20 p.m. regarding the collision, according to the CHP report.

CHP Sgt. Bill Holcomb arrived at the scene first, and found Ward lying in the roadway, “bleeding significantly,” according to the CHP report.

Holcomb began providing emergency medical care to Ward, the report stated. He was soon joined by additional CHP officers and Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies, who helped manage the collision scene, and emergency medical personnel from the Redwood Valley Fire Department.

Ward was airlifted by CalStar Air Ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he was treated for major injuries, including blunt force trauma he sustained to his head and upper torso.

The accident closed down traffic in both directions for at least 30 minutes, according to Lake County News correspondent Terre Logsdon, who was traveling through the area. She said the accident, which happened near Lake Mendocino, backed up traffic nearly to Highway 101 one way and past the bridge that crosses part of the lake in the other direction.

Jeffers and Saderlund both escaped uninjured, the CHP reported. Both of them were wearing their seat belts.

CHP Officer Terry Munoz is leading the continuing investigation into the collision's cause.

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


The site of the most recent fire at Bartlett Springs, which occurred Sunday. Photo courtesy of Tobie Edmonds.




BARTLETT SPRINGS – An investigation into a series of fires in the Bartlett Springs is under way, as officials look at the possibility of arson.

Structure fires have besieged the area in recent months, with the most recent – a quarter-acre fire that burned a building – occurring Sunday, as Lake County News previously reported.

“There have been four or five fires over the last three or four months and the cause is still under investigation for each one of them,” said Tobie Edmonds, the Northshore Fire Protection District representative on the Lake County Arson Task Force.

Edmonds said the task force includes an investigator from each fire district in the county, the sheriff's department, Lakeport Police and Clearlake Police, the District Attorney's Office, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Lake County Probation and local juvenile authorities.

Because the investigation is still under way, Edmonds said he couldn't further discuss the circumstances of the particular cases.

The fires that have burned in the Bartlett Springs area have resulted in a lot of lost history.

On July 28, the Bartlett Springs Resort Lodge burned to the ground, as Lake County News previously reported. It was the third lodge at the once-famed resort.

The resort's nearby gazebo barely escaped the July 28 fire, but a fire on Sept. 11 destroyed it as well.

Zane Gray, the resort's caretaker, said he believes the fires are the result of arson, and said ignition devices were found at both sites.

Gray had helped rebuild both the gazebo and the lodge during his more than 20 years of caring for the nearly 2,000-acre resort property, which today is owned by Nestle.

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



The quarter-acre fire burned a building and is one of several fires currently under investigation. Photo courtesy of Tobie Edmonds.




HOPLAND – Caltrans has announced the completion of the Hopland Roundabout project at the intersection of Route 175 and Old River Road in Mendocino County.

This modern roundabout, the first to be built in Mendocino County, is scheduled to be open to traffic beginning Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 6, weather permitting.

A traffic signal could have been used for this safety project, but a roundabout has numerous advantages at this location, according to Caltrans. Those include:

  • A smaller footprint than a signalized intersection with left-turn lanes, so less new right-of-way was required.

  • Providing traffic calming, resulting in reduced speeds.

  • Requiring less maintenance, lower yearly operational costs, and a longer service life.

  • Providing a safe place for large trucks to safely turn around.

  • Enhancing the roundabout with landscaping will create an aesthetic gateway to the community.

For more information on the advantages of roundabouts, and how to navigate them, see http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/roundabout.htm.


City crews are busy at work rebuilding parts of South Main Street. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

LAKEPORT – A street reconstruction project may slower drivers for the next few days.

Reconstruction of South Main Street between Lakeport Boulevard and the Social Security Office has drivers enduring lane closures as well as rough road surfaces.

A supervisor from Pavement Engineering Inc. indicated that the project is slated for completion early next week.

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



Drivers will experience some delays until the project is complete next week. Photo by Harold LaBonte.




LAKE COUNTY – The arrival of Halloween brings with it talk of ghosts and spooky stories.

Lake County has, over the years, accumulated its fair share of stories regarding the supernatural.

Here are just a few of the county's more well-known ghost stories.

Middletown: The Stone House hosts a ghost

Hidden Valley Lake's Stone House, built in 1854, is believed to be one of the oldest houses built in Lake County.

And, over the years, it hasn't been left untouched by the supernatural.

Members of the Stone House Historical Society, who helped save the home from demolition in the 1980s, have reported encountering a ghost that smells like camphor, which was used as a liniment.

Camphor, as they eventually dubbed the ghost, would swing lamps, remove Christmas decorations “she” didn't like and, in general, gently make her presence known.

Historical society members told this reporter that a clairvoyant described Camphor to them as a small, stout woman, her hair in a bun, wearing wire-rimmed glasses, and a long calico dress and an apron. The friendly ghost may have been that of a woman who died in the house, but who the clairvoyant said was happy to welcome visitors.

Lakeport: Myrtle returns to the inn

Karan and Hugh Mackey's Lakeport English Inn, built in 1875, is a wonderful place to visit, and it's also reportedly a favorite stopping place for a ghost.

As Karan Mackey told this reporter, she was restoring the inn's main house that sits on Main Street, and while doing so she found a writing primer from the late 19th century that belonged to a girl named Myrtle Hobbs.

Mackey took the book to the Lake County Historical Society, who related that Hobbs lived her whole life in Lake County.

As Mackey added the Sayre House, built in 1898 and located on Forbes, to the inn property, she also began a major restoration of that building. While the house was being lifted up in preparation for a new foundation, Mackey went underneath to look for treasures, and found an envelope with an 1897 date addressed to Hobbs.

Mackey said when strange things have happened around the inn, either lights acting strangely or doors closing with no one around, she and her staff have jokingly attributed it to Myrtle Hobbs.

Lower Lake: The schoolhouse and Mrs. Lee

The Lower Lake Schoolhouse Museum, built in 1877, once housed many schoolchildren, was almost demolished and finally renovated to its present glory.

The 130-year-old building has its own spirit, which is spirit believed to be responsible for the footsteps sometimes heard traveling across the museum's restored Weaver Auditorium.

Museum Curator Linda Lake has reported hearing the ghost, who she calls “Bella,” walking from the auditorium's northeast to southeast corner.

Bella is believed to be Mrs. Isabella Lee. According to Lake, Lee was the wife of a piano tuner who sometimes worked at the schoolhouse, and whose tools are on display there. Isabelle Lee died in 1967.

Jane Weaver, who led the effort to restore the museum, told this reporter in a 2004 interview that a museum worker encountered Bella in October 1995. As the man was walking through the auditorium, he looked toward the piano and saw a music book sitting on the piano close suddenly and fall off the instrument.

The graduation ghost

The following story is written by Marilyn Eachus Johnson and excerpted from Mauldin's "History of Lake County.”

In the good old days, school learning wasn't as easily acquired as it is today, or as lightly taken for granted. What's more, an eighth grade education was an occasion of importance. In Lower Lake's first school house, there were children from a family who had recently migrated from Germany. In Germany, they had been peasants, working the land for a family of the old aristocracy. In their native village, only the priest, the doctor and the burgermeister had been able to read.

One of the dreams of the grandmother of the family had been that all of her children be able to read and write. After coming to live in the United States, she had to a certain extent achieved her ambition. Her children were educated to the point they could read and write, but none of them as yet achieved the dignity of any kind of diploma.

You can imagine her joy when her daughter, who lived in one of the pioneer homes in Lower Lake, sent word that their eldest girl, her granddaughter, was to receive her certificate of graduation from the eighth grade.

Even though the old woman was far from well, she was determined to witness this great event; and so that she would not disgrace her family, she took her best gray shawl and knit a fringed border of black upon it to dress it up.

The idea that the old woman would come to the graduation was debated back and forth by all members of the family. They wanted her to go but she was old and in poor health and travel in those days was trying to even a young person. Nevertheless, she prevailed and set out one morning by stagecoach, her precious shawl tucked inside a suitcase for safekeeping.

It was hot that day, and the graduation exercises were held outside the school grounds in the shade of some big trees. The event was well attended; people sat on makeshift benches while they listened to the speeches. On trestle tables at one side, the boards groaned with homemade pickles, jams, cakes, fried chicken, pies, salads, fancy breads, plain breads, baked hams, and mounds of cold sliced beef.

One of the neighbors, a close friend of the family, was delighted to see them seated to one side with a little white-haired lady in a gray shawl trimmed in black. After the ceremony she went over and said, "Well, I see your mother made it."

The mother of the family shook her head. "No, she didn't. We received word this morning. My mother became very ill when they reached the tollhouse at the top of the mountain, and died there. I haven't told my daughter yet, so as not to ruin the day for her."

"Then who was that little old lady sitting with you?" the neighbor asked.

"I don't know." The woman wiped a tear away. "I don't remember any little old lady, but then, I might not have noticed."

Her friend nodded, accepting the explanation, until three days later, when she attended the funeral of her friend's mother.

There, tucked inside the wooden casket, was the little white-haired lady she had seen at the graduation, wearing a gray shawl trimmed in black fringe.

It was the old European peasant woman, who had been determined no matter what, to witness the eighth grade graduation of her granddaughter.

Lakeport: A not-so-friendly ghost

A story told by Paki Stedwell of her encounter with a ghost in Lakeport is a more frightening tale.

Stedwell and her family moved to Lake County in 1972 and purchased an old Victorian church on North Forbes Street which, in recent years, has been fully restored.

As the family prepared to turn the church into a commercial space – it had been desanctified years before – they began finding out the unusual history of the church, which was finally constructed in 1888 after the building's first two frames burned down. There also was the story of a man who fell while painting the steeple and died.

Working on the building late at night, Stedwell's husband heard footsteps across the ceiling and pounding on the attic wall. Weeks later, the couple was awakened by a crash in the upstairs, but found nothing there.

They started to talk about a ghost, who they called “Elijah.” Other people familiar with the church also shared stories of hearing the spirit pounding in the attic, near the belfry.

Early one Halloween morning, Stedwell – who was staying with her family in the building – was awakened by a loud knock on her bedroom door. The ghost had come downstairs after having been confined to the attic and other upstairs regions.

As she tried to get back to sleep, she happened to look into the living room. “There, shimmering on one of the walls, was a translucent mass of white, undulating slowly and opening and closing its mouth. I must have stared at it, frozen with terror, for fully three or four seconds ... I shut my eyes and shook my head ... When I looked again, Elijah was gone. I decided I definitely did not like him. He was not friendly, all he was trying to do was give me a head of white hair."

Within minutes, Stedwell heard breathing and creaking floorboards outside of her bedroom. She finally jumped up, ran to the door, opened it and yelled, “OK, you, what the hell do you want? Come on, you're such a brave one, show yourself.”

That seemed to do the trick, and the sounds stopped.

A group of psychics Stedwell called on for help located the ghost in the belfry, and said he did of natural causes on the site 150 years earlier, long before the church was constructed.

The psychics also helped Elijah move on to the next world, according to Stedwell's account.

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


HIDDEN VALLEY – Area residents are invited to learn how to prepare for, and survive, a natural disaster at a special event Saturday.

The Family Disaster Preparedness Fair will take place from 9:30 a.m to 3 p.m. today, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Coyote Elementary School, 18950 Coyote Valley Road, off Hartmann Road.

Organizer George Lehne said 15 groups will be on hand to share information about disaster preparedness, including Cal Fire, the Office of Emergency Services, South County Fire Protection District, Lake County's Health Department, Lake County Social Services, Lake Transit, Animal Care and Control, Red Cross, Hidden Valley officials, water providers, schools and senior centers.

A focal point of the event is a question-and-answer session for residents to information them about how to protect themselves against fires, floods, pandemics and earthquakes, Lehne said.

In addition, Lehne said there will be displays and demonstrations of disaster equipment, information for seniors, activities for children and pet protection tips, along with food and drink.

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


LUCERNE – The Lake County Planning Commission has given the go ahead for California Water Service to move forward on a project to add a new water tank to its Lucerne system.

On Oct. 18 the Planning Commission held a public hearing and accepted a use permit and a mitigated negative declaration on Cal Water's proposed 300,000-gallon water storage tank, according to Melissa Floyd, the special products consultant working on the project for the Community Development Department.

The project, located at 5717 Fennel Drive, 4942 and 4963 Utopia Trail in Lucerne, also includes moving 1,200 cubic yards of fill, according to planning documents.

Floyd said the new tank will be next to the company’s existing 200,000-gallon tank on Utopia Trail, located on a hillside above Lucerne.

Floyd said the county is requiring Cal Water to get a use permit for the water tank.

The county also felt the tank needed oversight due to the significant grading that will be done, said Floyd. “There was not going to be anyone else looking at it.”

The use permit and the removal of the fill dirt triggers the California Environmental Quality Act, said Floyd, under which the county is the lead agency for the tank project.

Floyd said with the building plan they have, there is nothing to indicate there will be stability issues. Plans include contouring and possibly adding a retaining wall.

The next step in the process for the company is construction, said Floyd.

“They’re hoping they can do it this winter,” said Floyd, which would make it subject to winter grade provisions under the grading ordinance.

Tony Carrasco – Cal Water's Oroville district manager who has been overseeing Lucerne, which has been without a district manager since Bill Koehler left earlier this year – confirmed that the company wants to break ground on the tank this month.

However, breaking ground will be dependent on satisfying the increased requirements that come with winter grading, said Floyd.

Those include very strict erosion control and protecting the site from rain.

“They need to be able to button up the site at the end of any work day,” she said.

Ultimately, said Floyd, Community Development Director Rick Coel must give the go-ahead for winter grading work.

The water tank is separate from Cal Water’s plant update, said Floyd.

“Because it’s a semi-public utility the county does not have jurisdiction to permit the plant itself,” she said. “We only have jurisdiction for the water tank.”

Carrasco said the company currently has 624,000 gallons of storage. The new tank will allow the company to produce “a little more” water, Carrasco added.

“It’s going to serve for several different purposes,” said Carrasco, including meeting peak demand during summer months, having enough water for fire prevention and allowing a moratorium on hookups to Lucerne's system to be lifted.

Ultimately, Carrasco said the additional storage will allow the company to add more customers to its Lucerne base of 1,200 hookups.

Carrasco said Cal Water hopes to have the tank completed by the early summer of 2008, in conjunction with the completion of the new treatment plant.

The company also is working on pipe replacement, said Carrasco. Cal Water currently is looking at areas with histories of leaks and major veins in the system – Country Club, Highway 20 and Foothill – and replacing between 500 and 750 feet of main pipe annually.

“That's going to be an ongoing capital improvement into the future,” said Carrasco.

The design of the treatment plant is 100-percent complete and has been awarded to a contractor, said Carrasco. Construction on the plant also is scheduled to begin this month.

The plant is contingent on approval by the state Department of Health Services, which so far has not returned calls from Lake County News seeking the status of Cal Water's plant application.

The new plant will include an ultraviolet system and microfiltration, which will be placed within the footprint of the existing building on Highway 20, said Carrasco. The plant design utilizes former storage areas for buildout, in order to cut down on costs.

Carrasco said the cost to build the new tank is still being estimated; the plant will cost $2.8 million to construct, an amount that doesn’t include engineering or new equipment.

Earlier this year the company scaled back its plans for the new plant, saving a reported $1 million, as Lake County News previously reported.

The new plant will allow the water system to keep up with community demands as well as those of visitors.

Carrasco said they’re planning to have the same capacity for the new plant; the difference is, the new plant shouldn’t have water quality issues, he said.

“The plant controls will adjust to the water quality,” said Carrasco, and changing conditions won’t result in boil order conditions.

Over the last several years Cal Water's Lucerne system has had many boil water notices, the most recent, lasting for four days, was issued in late September.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Carrasco, who added that the completed plant will be a “great thing for the community.”

Dealing with community moratorium

Both Floyd and Carrasco said that Lucerne currently is under a water hookup moratorium imposed by the state Department of Health Services.

Additional hookup requests have to be authorized through the Department of Health Services, Carrasco said, which looks at the requests on a case-by-case basis.

Floyd said that, generally, Community Development doesn’t issue building permits for  homes unless the builder can prove they have a water source.

“It’s taken pretty seriously at the Community Development Department level,” said Floyd.

The decision to lift the moratorium, Floyd added, must come from the state.

Lake County News has not received return calls from state officials in the Department of Health Services on the status of the hookup moratorium and when it might be lifted.

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


LAKEPORT – At a sparsely attended afternoon meeting at Lakeport City Hall Tuesday, city staff, councilmen and a few members of the public took part in setting up goals for the city’s future. {sidebar id=21}

City Manager Jerry Gillham led the two-and-a-half-hour session, which he said would help drive city priorities.

The Tuesday meeting was a continuation of a brainstorming session held for  councilmembers and staffer on Oct. 2 workshop, said Gillham.

Gillham also presented the group with a draft Lakeport Business Plan that drew from the ideas brought forth at the Oct. 2 session (see sidebar, “City of Lakeport Business Plan”).

All five City Councilmen attended, along with nine city staffers and five members of the public.

The group was broken up into smaller groups, which took turns discussing topics including economic prosperity, special projects, effective governance, infrastructure and livability.

At the end of the meeting, participants took colored sticky dots and placed them next to projects they felt are important, with red and orange dots denoting urgency and higher priority, and yellow and green dots for marking lower-priority items.

Issues like adding eminent domain to the city’s redevelopment powers and transparency of government made their way into the conversation, as they were added on various lists of top priorities.

The following is a brief synopsis of the top items chosen on each list.

Economic Prosperity
  • Amend the Redevelopment Agency to incorporate eminent domain.
  • Retain/assist small businesses.
Special Projects
  • Complete one “green” project for the city, which could include a solar or other environmental project.
  • Forming a plan for Bevins Court.
  • Consider possible opportunities for Green Ranch, the location of many of the city’s water wells.
Effective Governance
  • Reexamine existing franchises and contracts; consider amendments to benefit Lakeport, especially those using city facilities and assets.
  • Establish new contracting procedures to ensure compliance and fiscal accountability.
  • Update city personnel rules.
  • Transparency of government.
  • Follow chain of command.
  • Update water and wastewater master plans.
  • Continue the chip/seal program on city streets.
  • Examine alternative funding for parks and grounds ongoing maintenance, to include Westside Park and Westshore Swimming Pool.
  • Paving streets and roads.

Gillham said city staff will now tabulate the results into a spreadsheet which he’ll bring back to the council.

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


LAKE COUNTY – It's the only weekend of the year where you gain an hour, but you have to remember to turn your clocks back.

Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday morning at 2 a.m. At that time – or before going to bed Saturday night – turn back the clock one hour.

Fire officials remind people that when you go to turn your clock back this weekend it's also a good time to remember to check batteries in smoke alarms.

Beginning this year, the dates for the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time changed thanks to the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, according to a report from the California Energy Commission.

The new energy act caused Daylight Savings Time to start on the second Sunday in March, three weeks earlier than it did previously, the California Energy Commission reported. It also extended Daylight Savings Time by one week, to the first Sunday in November.

Originally, the act suggested adding two full months to Daylight Savings Time, one in spring and one in fall, according to the California Energy Commission. However, that proposal raised concerns for farmers who were concerned about the impact on livestock, and airline officials who argued that the extension could cause problems with international flight scheduling.

Part of the reason given for the time change was energy savings. However, the California Energy Commission's Demand Analysis Office published a report in May titled “The Effect of Early Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Consumption: A Statistical Analysis.”

The report stated: "The extension of Daylight Saving Time (DST) to March 2007 had little or no effect on energy consumption in California, according to a statistical analysis. The most likely approximation is a 0.2 percent decrease during these three weeks. Given the natural variation in consumption, however, the margin of electricity use change associated with early DST could have been one and a half percent of increase or decrease without such effects showing up statistically. Formally, weather- and lighting-corrected savings from DST were estimated at 0.18 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval ranging from 1.5 percent savings to a 1.4 percent increase."

So, remember to set your clocks to the right time this weekend. That way, you won't show up for work too early on Monday.

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


CLEARLAKE – A Clearlake man was arrested Halloween night after he was caught allegedly drunk driving recklessly near a holiday event where children were present.

A report from Clearlake Police Sgt. Tim Celli explained that at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday Clearlake Police officers responded to a reported reckless driver at the Lake County Fire Protection District's Parker Station on Olympic Drive.

At the time, fire department personnel were busy hosting their annual haunted house, according to Celli, and there were several hundred children in the area.

While Clearlake Police volunteers were directing traffic near the fire station, Celli reported that they saw a 1988 Mazda sedan driving into the area at an unsafe speed and making unsafe turns while children were present.

The vehicle was reportedly driving on the grass in front of the fire department building, eventually stopping in front of the fire department's garage doors, Celli reported.

The Clearlake Police volunteers radioed the police department, who dispatched officers to the scene. In the meantime, Celli said Lakeshore Fire personnel contacted the vehicle's driver, 59-year-old Freddie Williams, who appeared to be intoxicated.

Clearlake Police Officer Todd Miller arrived at the scene and conducted a drunk driver investigation, which Celli said resulted in Williams' arrest for driving while intoxicated.

During a police search of the Williams' person and his vehicle, they found open alcohol containers, Celli reported.

A preliminary examination found that Williams had a blood alcohol content of .23, nearly three times the legal limit, according to Celli.

Celli said Williams was booked into the Lake County Jail for charges of driving under the influence.

The Lake County District Attorney's Office also will be requested to review the case for child endangerment charges due the large number of children in the area at the time of the incident, Celli reported.

Celli said the teamwork demonstrated by the Lake County Fire Protection personnel, Clearlake Police Volunteers in Policing and Clearlake Police officers resulted in a safe, successful Halloween.

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


LAKEPORT – The largest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989 hit the San Jose area Tuesday evening, and was reportedly felt by some county residents.

The 5.6-magnitude quake occurred at 8:04 p.m., according to the US Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was five miles north northeast of Alum Rock, approximately 9 miles northeast of San Jose City Hall, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake occurred at a depth of 5.7 miles.

The US Geological Survey had received 47,715 reports from people in 461 zip codes around the state who felt the quake.

Two reports were filed by Lakeport residents who felt the quake, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was reportedly felt in other areas of the North Coast, including Santa Rosa, Windsor, Guerneville Ukiah, Arcata and Eureka.

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


Upcoming Calendar

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

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.