Saturday, 25 June 2022

News

Image

LAKEPORT — While the building gives off only dim lighting to passersby, Molly Brennans has actually been glowing brightly on Main Street in downtown Lakeport since its opening in October.
 
Lakeport's one-and-only Irish pub, Molly Brennans doubles as a family-friendly restaurant that welcomes music, noise, laughter, and the people who provide it. The only policy? "Everyone is welcome," says Stephen Brennan, co-owner of the pub and originally from Dublin.
 

Image
Musicians perform 'The Lucerne Water Blues' at the town hall meeting. Left to right, Craig Bach, who wrote the song, Paul Frindt and Dave Gilmore. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

LUCERNE – A capacity crowd gathered at the Lucerne Senior Center Saturday afternoon for a town hall meeting hosted by District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing.

Image
Mike Thompson, center, speaks with Kelseyville resident Steve DeVoto at the Napa event. Photo by Nina Marino.

LAKE COUNTY – An event last Sunday celebrated last year's passage of Congressman Mike Thompson's  Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, which passed last fall.

LAKEPORT — A Monday meeting to discuss the proposed sale of Konocti Harbor and Spa between Kenwood Investments, the buyer, and Lake County government officials was called off by Kenwood.

 

District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown said a message received at county offices from Kenwood on Friday said only, "'Due to unforeseen circumstances we will not be able to attend the meeting,'" said Brown.

 

Brown was to be joined by County Counsel Anita Grant, County Administrative Executive Kelly Cox and board chair Jeff Smith in representing the county. He said he had assumed that Darius Anderson, lobbyist and owner of Kenwood Investments, would be accompanied by executives Brad Welch and Joe Wallace.

 

Welch represented Kenwood a week earlier when the Lake County board voted 5-0 against Kenwood's establishing a gambling casino at Konocti Harbor upon purchasing the resort from UA Local Convalescent Fund; he left that meeting without comment.

 

Considering that circumstance, Brown was asked what he thought the abrupt cancellation of Monday's meeting indicated.

 

"They didn't show up. I don't know what it means," he said.

 

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

 

{mos_sb_discuss:2} 

UPPER LAKE – Officials hope to get help from lawmakers in moving forward on the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project.

 

The county's Water Resource division reports that the project is located at the north end of Clear Lake in the area bounded by State Highway 20 and Rodman Slough, and would improve watershed health and Clear Lake's water quality. The project would eliminate flood risk to 18 residential structures, numerous outbuildings and approximately 1,280 acres of agricultural land, which originally was reclaimed from the lake between 1900 and 1940 through levee construction.

 

Later, in 1958, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased the size of the levee system and added another 200 acres of agriculture lands. Levees in the area are in settling and are believed to be prone to failure during a major flood event, say county officials.

 

The total cost for the project is $37.4 million, with $24.4 million coming from federal funds. Bob Lossius, Lake County's assistant director of Public Works, said most of those funds would come through the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

 

The House version of the WRDA, HR 2864, passed in 2005, he said, with the Senate's version, S728, passing last year. Lossius said the two bills were to be taken into a joint Senate and House conference to come out with a version that was acceptable in both houses. “They never did come together and resolve that before the end of the last Congress,” he said.

 

One of the issues that may have hung the bill up, said Lossius, is a land transfer between the county and Robinson Rancheria. Thirty acres of Robinson's land, which is held in trust, would be flooded in the restoration project, said Lossius. He said the county is attempting to have included in the legislation a transfer agreement in which other land Robinson already owns – located a mile from the project area – could be transferred into trust to replace the flooded land.

 

Both the tribe and the county have agreed to the plan, Lossius said. Lossius said the trust transfer has been a “political hot potato,” with some lawmakers concerned that it's a matter of “trust hunting,” or allowing tribes to add off-reservation lands into tribal holdings. Lossius said this is only a matter of helping reimburse a landholder for lands that would go underwater. “This has been an ongoing issue for a number of years,” he said.

 

Now, the county is making an effort to get the stalled effort back on course. On Feb. 5, Lossius sent a letter to Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and Rep. Mike Thompson asking for their help in moving the project forward. Lossius said the Water Resources Division is working with the Lake County Land Trust to put together an information booklet on the project. The full text of Lossius' letter to Boxer, Feinstein and Thompson is below:

 

Dear Sen. Boxer: Congratulations on your selection as Chairperson for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works. I look forward to your continued support of the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project (Project).

 

As you are aware, the purpose of the Project, located in Lake County, CA, is to restore the Middle Creek flood plain to its natural wetland ecosystem and provide flood damage reduction for certain areas in the flood plain. The Project will cause the urgently needed removal of an aging and failure-prone levee system, built in the mid-1900’s, that poses significant risk of harm to life and property. The Project will require an exchange of like-title for replacement lands for property owners within the Project area.

 

Furthermore, the Project has two primary benefits that are significant from both a public safety and environmental perspective. First, it will eliminate the current flood risk by relocating the property owners and removing substandard levees.

 

These levees were never constructed to proper standards and are the most prone to failure during a major flood event. The area was evacuated in 1983, 1986, and 1998, with evacuation imminent in 1995. It is in the interest of the County, and those living behind the levees, to have the Project moved forward without delay. Second, it will allow the Project area to be reclaimed as a functional wetland, thereby improving the watershed health and the water quality of Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California.

 

The restored wetland will also increase habitat for fish and wildlife, greatly improving the bird nesting habitat and increasing the available spawning habitat for native and non-native fish. The Project has secured an authorization in both the House-passed Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), H.R. 2864, and the Senate committee passed WRDA legislation, S. 728. However, missing from these authorizations is a critical mitigation factor. Several parcels in the Project area are held by the United States in trust status for the Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians (“Tribe”).

 

A County-led effort has identified a plan to allow the trust title to be transferred to other similarly sized parcels owned by the Tribe located just a mile from the Project area. This is a mutually agreeable plan for all parties and we are seeking language in WRDA to allow for this exchange. The County is seeking your assistance in securing this language. For your information, I have included a booklet that describes the Project and its benefits. If you or your staff have any questions please contact me at (707) 263-2341. Thank you for your leadership and assistance.

 

Upcoming Calendar

25Jun
25Jun
06.25.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Water cycle
25Jun
06.25.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
25Jun
06.25.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
27Jun
06.27.2022 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Scotts Valley Advisory Council
28Jun
06.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
28Jun
06.28.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
30Jun
06.30.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
2Jul
2Jul
07.02.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Lake ecology

Mini Calendar

loader

LCNews

Responsible local journalism on the shores of Clear Lake.

 

Memberships:

 

Newsletter

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.
Cookies!

lakeconews.com uses cookies for statistical information and to improve the site.