Monday, 15 July 2024


An artist's concept of Solar Probe+. Courtesy of NASA.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's daring plan to visit the sun took a giant leap forward on Thursday with the selection of five key science investigations for the Solar Probe+ spacecraft.

Slated to launch no later than 2018, the smart car-sized spacecraft will plunge directly into the atmosphere of the sun, aiming to solve some of the biggest mysteries of solar physics.

Thursday's announcement means that researchers can begin building sensors for unprecedented in situ measurements of the solar system's innermost frontier.

“Solar Probe+ is going where no spacecraft has gone before,” said Lika Guhathakurta, Solar Probe+ program scientist at NASA headquarters. “For the first time, we'll be able to 'touch, taste and smell' the sun.”

Last year, NASA invited top researchers around the world to submit proposals detailing possible science investigations for the pioneering spacecraft.

Thirteen proposals were received and five have been selected:

– The Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons Investigation (SWEAP): The most abundant particles in the solar wind are electrons, protons and helium ions. SWEAP will count these particles and measure their properties, even "sweeping up" some of them in a special Solar Probe Cup for direct analysis. The principal investigator is Justin C. Kasper of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass.

– The Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe Plus (WISPR): WISPR is a telescope that will make 3D images of the sun's atmosphere similar to medical CAT scans. WISPR can actually see the solar wind, allowing it to image clouds and shock waves as they approach and pass the spacecraft. This telescope is an important complement to the spacecraft's in situ instruments, which sample the plasmas that WISPR images. The principal investigator is Russell Howard of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.

– The Fields Investigation for Solar Probe Plus (FIELDS): This instrument will make direct measurements of electric and magnetic fields, radio emissions, and shock waves which course through the sun's atmospheric plasma. FIELDS also turns Solar Probe Plus into a giant dust detector, registering voltage signatures when specks of space dust hit the spacecraft’s antenna. The principal investigator is Stuart Bale of the University of California in Berkeley.

– Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISIS): The ISIS EPI-Hi and EPI-Lo instruments will monitor electrons, protons and ions which are accelerated to high energies by shock waves in the sun's atmosphere. These are the very same particles that pose a threat to astronauts in space, disable satellites, and ionize Earth's upper atmosphere.

– Solar Probe+ Observatory Scientist: This was a proposal not for an instrument, but for a person. The principal investigator, Marco Velli, becomes the mission's observatory scientist. In the years ahead, he will become deeply familiar with the spacecraft and its construction, helping to ensure that adjacent in situ instruments do not interfere with one another as they sample the solar environment. He will also guide the mission's "big picture" science investigations after Solar Probe+ enters the sun's atmosphere.

“The sensors we've selected to ride aboard Solar Probe+ are designed to solve some of the biggest mysteries of solar physics,” said Dick Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division in Washington DC.

Why is the sun's atmosphere is so much hotter than its surface? And what propels the solar wind?

“We've been struggling with these questions for decades,” said Fisher. “Solar Probe+ should finally provide some answers.”

Solar Probe+ will likely discover new mysteries, too, in a realm that no other spacecraft has dared enter.

At closest approach, Solar Probe+ will be 7 million km or 9 solar radii from the sun. There, the spacecraft's carbon-composite heat shield must withstand temperatures as high as 2000 degrees C and survive blasts of radiation that would quickly disable other missions.

From these near distances inside the sun’s atmosphere, the solar disk will loom 23 times wider than it does in the skies of Earth.

“What will we find there?” wondered Guhathakurta. “This is truly unexplored territory.”

By design, Solar Probe's winning instruments are sufficiently versatile to investigate many different kinds of phenomena. Whatever comes along – be it electric or magnetic, high- or low-energy, wavy or turbulent – they should be able to measure it.

“The possibilities for discovery,” she said, “are off the charts.”

The Solar Probe Plus mission is part of NASA's Living with a Star Program. The program is designed to understand the aspects of the sun and the Earth's space environment that affect life and society.

The program is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., with oversight from NASA's Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., is the prime contractor for the spacecraft.

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LAKEPORT – The Lake County Respect For All Task Force will meet Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the board room at the Lake County Office of Education, 1152 S. Main St.

The meeting will focus on work of the group’s subcommittees.

The Lake County Respect For All Task Force, a group of local individuals, is striving to increase awareness about safe and inclusive learning environments.

The group is working to identify possible actions to help the Lake County community. Subcommittees are working on outreach projects, gathering information for a list of community resources, providing training and awareness for school personnel and administrators, strengthening policies and procedures for use in the schools, and helping campuses with their efforts for student activities, including upcoming Challenge Days at two Lake County high schools.

The Respect For All Project is a program of GroundSpark. More information about the project is available on the GroundSpark Web site,

A proposal for the Lake County project explains that GroundSpark, The Respect for All Project “is a non-profit organization that seeks to create safe, hate-free schools and communities by providing youth and the adults who guide their development the tools they need to talk openly about diversity in all of its forms.”

As part of its work toward safe and inclusive learning environments, task force members identified a list of goals and split up responsibilities. The goals include identifying community resources, networking and expanding the task force, pursuing support for gay/straight alliances, developing and fundraising for Challenge Day events at schools, and reviewing policies and implementation strategies.

Challenge Days are planned at both Lower Lake High School and Clear Lake High School (Lakeport).

The task force supports the goal of the presentations to eliminate bullying, violence and other forms of oppression. According to the Challenge Day website (, the mission of Challenge Day is “to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.”

Clear Lake High School’s Challenge Day event is scheduled for Sept. 20 and 21; Lower Lake will hold its event Sept. 22 and 23.

The Lake County Respect For All Task Force welcomes participation by new members. Individuals interested in helping the task force in its efforts to assist youth and their families in assuring safe and inclusive learning environments are invited to attend the meetings.

In Lake County, the Respect For All Project, in cooperation with Lake County Healthy Start and Lake County Family Resource Center, is collaborating with local educators, high school students, community leaders, and representatives from a variety of organizations.

Lake County was chosen as one of three California counties for the pilot project through GroundSpark. The task force has been meeting periodically over the last 18 months.

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LOWER LAKE, Calif. – The union representing Lake County's transit workers has reached a tentative employee contract agreement with the company that operates the county's transit contract.

Teamsters Local 624 and Paratransit Services went back to the table on Wednesday at the request of a federal mediator, and the two sides reported that an initial agreement on a three-year contract resulted.

Paratransit Services operates the county's public transportation services for Lake Transit Authority.

Concerns had arisen over the past month that a strike might result if the two sides couldn't settle a contract, potentially affecting thousands of riders and the 35 workers represented by the union, as Lake County News has reported.

A statement from Randy Grove, Paratransit Services' director of operations and human resources, said the negotiations had focused on wages and working conditions for employees.

Ralph Miranda, the union spokesman in the matter, said an agreement had been reached by about 2 p.m. Wednesday. That was about four hours after the meeting started.

“The successful conclusion of these negotiations reaffirms the track record of commitment both parties have demonstrated in working together in continuing to provide safe, efficient, rider-friendly transportation services for the citizens of Lake County,” Grove's statement said.

Miranda said both sides agreed to hold off on releasing the specific terms of the agreement until the union's membership has a chance to vote on it on Sept. 12.

However, he said many of the details resemble those that were included in the discussions the two sides had on Aug. 12. As previously reported, those talks included Paratransit's offer of a 1-percent wage increase across the board and a three-year package including wage increases of between 10 and 18 percent.

“I'm very confident it's going to be ratified,” Miranda said.

He credited the work of federal mediator David Weinberg with being instrumental in bringing the contract discussions to a successful conclusion.

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

LOWER LAKE, Calif. – The Lake County Winery Association will host the second-annual People’s Choice Wine Awards on Sunday, Sept. 26, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The awards event will be held at Six Sigma Ranch & Winery located at 13372 Spruce Grove Road in Lower Lake.



Kaj Ahlman, chairman of the Lake County Winery Association, described last year’s People’s Choice Wine Awards as an event where “consumers were able to experience first hand the depth and breadth of the quality wines being produced from Lake County fruit and by Lake County wineries.”



Great wines, music, and delectable food bites will be offered, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet and chat with many Lake County winemakers.


Attendees will have the opportunity to taste and vote on their favorite wines with results tallied and announced at the conclusion of the event.



Admission to the event is $25 per person in advance, $35 per person at the door. Please visit or call 707-274-9373, ext. 100, for more information.



Lake County is part of the North Coast AVA, which also encompasses Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino counties. Within Lake County, five other AVAs exist – Clear Lake AVA, Benmore Valley AVA, Guenoc AVA, Red Hills AVA and High Valley AVA.

For visitor information, contact the Lake County Visitor Information Center at 800-525-3743 or



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This article discusses the basic rules regarding the inheritance rights of adopted children, foster children and stepchildren as heirs under the California Probate Code. That is, when such persons may inherit from a deceased adoptive parent, step-parent, and foster parent; when they may inherit through a deceased adoptive parent; when they may inherit with respect to a gift left to “my children,” “my heirs,” or “my kindred”; and when they may inherit in the context of intestacy as one of the decedent’s surviving heirs.

Generally, adopted children are treated like natural born children. Issues can arise, however, regarding whether an adoptive may inherit from the estate of the natural (blood) parents, whose relationship was severed by the adoption; and also in regards whether the child may inherit (through the adoptive parent) from the adoptive parent’s own family (such as inheriting from the parents of a deceased adoptive parent).

Usually, adoption severs the rights of the adopted child from the natural born parents (i.e., the adopted out family). There are important exceptions.

First, if the adopted child both lived with the natural parent and he or she either was adopted by a spouse of either natural parent or was adopted after the death of either natural parent, it follows that the adopted child still inherits from the natural parent.

For example, consider a child whose parents get divorced, remarry, and who is then adopted by the stepparent. That child can still inherit from his natural parent’s estate provided the child lived with that natural parent.

Likewise, if a natural parent dies before the child was born and the child is later adopted by a spouse of either natural parent, the child can still inherit.

Whether an adopted child may inherit through his or her adopted parents and receive an inheritance from the adoptive parent’s own family is contentious.

For example, if the adoptee was adopted as an adult and did not live in his adoptive parent’s household as a minor, then it is very unlikely that the adopted child would be treated as a child for purposes of inheriting under the trust or will of the “adoptive” grandparents. Likewise, if the grandparent’s trust or will was signed after the adoption by their child, then the adoptive child is unlikely to be treated as a child.

Next, generally, unlike an adopted child, a stepchild and a foster child are not treated as children unless the relationship began while the child was a minor (i.e., growing up); continued throughout the lifetimes of parent and child; and there is clear and convincing evidence to show that the parent figure would have adopted the child except for a legal impediment that existed until the non-biological parent died. The objection of the natural parent to an adoption is an example of such a legal impediment, but only until the child becomes an adult at age 18.

In limited cases, a stepchild or foster child who is unable to meet the foregoing standard may still inherit under a theory of equitable adoption. That is, if there was an adoption agreement between the stepparent or foster parent and the child and the parties both faithfully observed the agreement, the child may be entitled to inherit a share of the parent’s estate.

Lastly, the foregoing discussion is not relevant where the deceased person’s estate planning documents expressly deals with the issue of whether or not the adopted child, step child or foster child inherits. That is, if the trust or will expressly disinherits an adopted child, or expressly defines the terms “child” or “issue” not to include step children or foster children, then the legal document controls.

Editor’s Note: Attorney Dennis A. Fordham is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Fordham concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and various aspects of elder law, including Medi-Cal benefits. Mr. Fordham was qualified as a Certified Specialist in 2009 by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and is licensed to practice law in California and New York. He earned his BA at Columbia University, his JD at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his LLM in Taxation at New York University. His office is located on the 2nd Floor at 55 First Street, Lakeport, California and he can be reached by calling 707-263-3235 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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UPPER LAKE, Calif. – The Wednesday arrest of an Upper Lake man already facing federal prosecution in a marijuana case stemmed from a violation of his release terms, according to a federal official.

Thomas Lee Carter, 59, was arrested by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Wednesday, as Lake County News has reported.

Carter and several co-defendants were arrested in August of 2009 and later indicted for charges stemming from the government's allegations that they conspired to sell marijuana locally and through medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego and Los Angeles, according to court documents.

From that initial indictment Carter was charged with a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and two counts of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana.

According to DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry, Carter was arrested on Wednesday and charged with another count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

McEnry said the new charge stems from Carter's alleged violation of his pretrial release terms for the August 2009 case.

Those release terms, she said, prohibit Carter from, among other things, committing any federal, state or local crimes.

Further details on the case and the basis of the allegations were not immediately available on Thursday.

McEnry said Carter – who had been booked into the Sonoma County Jail and held overnight Wednesday – made an initial appearance in San Francisco federal court on Thursday in answer to the charge.

She said Carter's next scheduled hearing in the case is Sept. 7, also in San Francisco.

Court documents show that the case in chief against Carter and his co-defendants – Brett Bassignani, Scott and Diana Feil, Steven Swanson and Mark Garcia – is scheduled to continue in January.

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

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – Sheriff's officials are investigating a pharmacy break-in reported last week that resulted in the theft of prescription drugs.

Middletown Pharmacy, located at 21373 Highway 175, was broken into sometime between the evening of Aug. 21 and the morning of Aug. 23, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Bauman said a sheriff's deputy responded to the pharmacy shortly before 9 a.m. Aug. 23, when the owner of the neighboring business, T&J Automotive, called to report the phone lines to the business had been cut and the front door to the pharmacy appeared to be open.

The last time the pharmacy had been open was 5 p.m. Aug. 21, Bauman said.

He said all phone and cable lines to the pharmacy had been cut at the junction box, presumably rendering the alarm system useless.

The suspects had pried open the pharmacy's front door and inside had kicked in the inner door separating the customer area from the location where the medications were kept, Bauman said.

Bauman said that in the pharmacy's secure area, drawers and cabinets were found opened and a locked cabinet securing all the controlled substances had been pried open.

He said an unknown amount of controlled substances, other medications and a money bag were taken from the secure area. Among the medications taken were unknown amounts of Oxycodone, Norco, Vicodin, Percocet and other substances.

The case is pending further investigation, said Bauman.

The pharmacy had previously been hit by an attempted armed robbery in August of 2006, when Middletown resident Roy Johns came in demanding Oxycontin and pulled a handgun on a store employee before staff was able to close themselves in a back room. He later was captured, tried and sentenced to 12 years in prison, as Lake County News has reported.

Ralph Larssen, pharmacist and owner of Middletown Pharmacy, said it's difficult to say if the recent incident was random or not. However, he suspected it was “somebody familiar with our setup here.”

He added, “They did a lot of damage to the building so it had to be repaired before we could do much,” with it taking them until middle of the afternoon on Aug. 23 to get ready to reopen for business.

Larssen said it also took a few days to get their stock restored.

He said the federal government has established more stringent laws for the prescription drug industry, with the Drug Enforcement Administration trying to make it harder for people to get the kinds of controlled substances stolen from his pharmacy.

“In a way that kind of drives them to this type of activity because they're less likely to get the prescriptions that they were getting,” he said.

Larssen said it seems like there is an ongoing trend of hitting pharmacies.

In late February, a man armed with a kitchen knife demanded OxyContin at Kelseyville Pharmacy before allegedly escaping with several bottles of the prescription painkiller, as Lake County News has reported.

Also earlier this year the national media reported on a theft of $75 million in prescription drugs from an Eli Lilly & Co. warehouse in Connecticut, with pharmaceutical thefts reportedly on the rise around the country over the last decade. A Newsweek article said the drugs often are shipped to black markets in the United States and abroad.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the nonmedical use or abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Prescription drugs also are said to be the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.

Larssen said he's taken what measures he can to prevent thefts, including having less stock on hand. He said his regular customers know they usually have to wait a day or two to get some prescriptions.

With times being hard, Larssen said the stolen drugs are likely being used as an income source by somebody.

“It just goes with the territory,” Larssen said. “It's something we have to deal with.”

He added, “It's good that people are aware of what's happening so they can be a little more watchful.”

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

UKIAH, Calif. – A Ukiah man was sentenced to jail, probation and other conditions this week as the result of a misdemeanor conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Judge Richard Henderson sentenced Upton Adams, 22, to three years of probation, 30 days in the county jail, mandatory counseling and will be subject to a three-year criminal protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox prosecuted Adams, who was represented by Deputy Public Defender Eric Rennert, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

According to the investigation, on July 22, 2009, Adams – 21 years old at the time – was working part-time as a teacher’s assistant at Mendocino College in a summer school class attended by high school students. On that date, he and a 15-year-old student engaged in a single act of sexual intercourse.

On July 24, 2009, officials at the college were notified of this behavior via an anonymous email, officials reported.

As a result, college officials immediately terminated Adams from his position and notified the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, which interviewed both the victim and Adams. Officials said both acknowledged the encounter and both described it as consensual.

Adams allegedly acknowledged his wrongdoing to the deputy and, after conducting its investigation, the sheriff’s office forwarded its report to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.

The District Attorney’s Office initially filed a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor as a felony. However, after consulting with the victim and the victim’s mother, it was determined that a misdemeanor plea was an appropriate resolution of the case, officials reported.

Factors considered included that Adams had no criminal history, it was an isolated incident, there was no threat of force, and Adams admitted his wrongdoing at the earliest possible stage to both law enforcement and the court, according to the report.

During sentencing, Cox argued that Adams should receive a sentence of county jail, stressing the need to send a message to Adams and the community that this type of behavior will not go unpunished.

Henderson handed down the sentence based on the position of trust Adams held as a teacher’s assistant and also taking into account the age disparity between Adams and the victim, the District Attorney's Office reported.

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LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management will hold public meetings in September to gather input on issues that should be addressed in environmental documents for the proposed Walker Ridge Wind Project in Lake and Colusa counties.

Public scoping meetings for the environmental impact statement (EIS) will be held Sept. 9 in Lakeport at the Lake County Supervisors chamber at the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N. Forbes St., and Sept. 10 in Colusa at the Natural Resources Conservation Service office, 100 Sunrise Blvd.

Both meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“We are holding the meetings to gather public comment on issues, concerns and opportunities that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action,” said Rich Burns, BLM Ukiah Field Office manager.

“In order to provide time for the public to develop comments following the scoping meetings, we are extending the public comment period 30 days to Sept. 28,” he said.

AltaGas Renewable Energy Pacific Inc. has applied for a right-of-way (ROW) authorization covering 8,157 acres on public lands for a 70-megawatt wind energy project with an interconnection to the Pacific Gas & Electric's 115-kilovolt (kV) distribution system.

As proposed by the company, the wind project could include 29 to 42 wind turbine generators, an underground electrical collection system, a substation, a 115-kV overhead transmission line, an interconnect station, an operations and maintenance building, and access roads.

Information on the status of the proposal is available at

Additional opportunities for public participation and formal comment will occur when the draft EIS is issued.

BLM has started a potential list of issues to be addressed in the analysis at a minimum, including social and economic impacts; traffic impacts; ground and surface water quantity and quality impacts; plant and animal species impacts, including special status species; impacts to cultural resources; and visual resource impacts.

For further information and/or to have your name added to the mailing list, contact Bethney Lefebvre, Ukiah Field Office, 2550 North State St., Ukiah, Calif., 95482, phone 707-468-4000, fax 707-468-4027, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Veterans and service members eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill already have an outstanding education benefit. But it soon could become even more valuable and easier to use.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has released details of the GI Bill reform package it approved last month. It includes almost every change sought by veterans’ service organizations, institutes of higher learning, trade unions, vocational schools and VA administrators.

The only two key elements missing are an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office on what these reforms will cost, and a plan to pay for them as worries over deficit spending mounts in Washington D.C.

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (S 3447) would expand education options beyond the pursuit of a college degree and into almost any type of training a veteran might want.

At the same time, S 3447 would enhance and simplify the payment formula, ease confusion for students and pare administrative headaches for schools.

The new GI Bill also would be opened to at least 80,000 National Guard members mobilized since 9-11 who previously were denied coverage. And its monthly living allowance would be used in a special way to support enrollment in apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs.

These are just some of the highlights. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), committee chairman, is leading the reform effort and drawing bipartisan support. The CBO cost estimate should be known before Congress returns in September when attention will turn to finding ways to pay for the bill.

Rep. Walter Minnick (D-Idaho) has introduced a near identical bill in the House (HR 5933). Among its early co-sponsors is Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. His committee plans its own hearing on GI Bill reform Sept. 16, a move that raises hope among veterans’ groups and educators that a final bill could be passed this year, even with elections in November and a lameduck Congress thereafter.

At the Senate’s GI Bill reform hearing in July, senior officials with the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense expressed support for most changes in Akaka’s bill. But at the urging of VA officials most provisions wouldn’t take effect until Aug. 1, 2011, to allow sufficient time to implement.

Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), ranking Republican on the committee, made clear in July he was miffed at Akaka for introducing S 3447 alone, in May, after calling in April for bipartisan cooperation on GI Bill reform. At the markup hearing Aug. 5, however, Burr praised the bill and the many changes Akaka accepted on feedback from veteran groups, educators and colleagues.

The bill, Burr said, “would help create a program that will be fair and generous, no matter where a veteran lives or chooses to go to school.” By covering vocational training, it “would allow more veterans and their families to pursue educational programs that best meet their needs.”

Akaka’s original bill “was good,” said Eric Hilleman, national legislative director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The one he’s put out [of committee] is outstanding. We’re super-excited about it.”

Here are more details:

– The revised GI bill would fully cover tuition and fees for all in-state degree programs including doctorates or graduate degrees. Removed would be a cap tied to the most costly in-state under graduate degree program.

– Payments to private or non-state colleges would be simplified using an identical $20,000 cap across all states. Private college payments no longer would capped at the highest priced in-state school. This would raise veterans’ assistance in 45 states and clarify for private colleges the point at which standard GI Bill coverage stops and the new for additional assistance using the Yellow-Ribbon feature starts. The $20,000 ceiling would be adjusted every Aug. 1 to reflect changes in education costs nationwide.

– Veterans who take enough online classes to exceed “half-time” student status could receive 50 percent of the GI Bill’s monthly living allowance. Currently they don’t qualify for any of this payment which is based on local military housing allowance rates for married E-5s.

– Post-9/11 students on active duty, or their enrolled spouses, would qualify for the $1,000 annual book allowance.

– Any guard member called to active duty since 9/11 by the president or secretary of defense under Title 32, used often for domestic emergencies or homeland security missions, or to serve full-time under the Active Guard and Reserve program, would be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

– Veterans enrolled in a qualified on-the-job or apprenticeship training would be paid 100 percent of the applicable living allowance for the first six months, 80 percent for the second six months, 60 percent for the third, 40 percent for the fourth, and 20 percent for any subsequent periods of training. This would be in addition to their GI Bill benefit, to be set for vocational training at the lesser of $20,000 a year or actual tuition and fees.

Hilleman said VFW and other veterans groups lobbied hard to correct the eligibility inequity for Guard members and to extend coverage to OJT and vocational training, a “huge benefit for many veterans.”

Tim Embree with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America agreed, saying, “These are the folks starting small businesses back in their home towns. It’s so vital to get them included.”

The big hurdle to passage would seem to be the cost. But Embree said he is confident that won’t derail the effort.

“We’ve been working very closely with Congress on identifying ways to pay for these reforms,” he said. And “the GI Bill, more than any other, ends up paying for itself” as shown following World War II. “We’re just finishing the job on the Post-9/11 GI bill. And this will prove to be the shrewdest investment made in this generation of veterans.”

To comment, send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120-1111.

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Ruby Glebe, center, the grand marshal of the 2010 Lake County Fair cuts the ribbon signifying the fair's opening on Thursday, September 2, 2010, in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Terre Logsdon.




LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Lake County Fair officially opened on Thursday evening.

Following a parade through Lakeport, fair Grand Marshal Ruby Glebe and a group of local dignitaries took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony that officially kicked off the annual end-of-summer event.

The fair runs through Sunday evening.

The theme of this year's fair is “Fun for the Whole Herd,” with a variety of entertainment, food, exhibits, a carnival, livestock shows and a tuff truck competition in store.


On Friday evening, the fair will host the Miss Lake County Pageant and the annual demolition derby.

Fair Chief Executive Officer Richard Persons said that, with both of those events going on, they expect Friday to be a busy night.

Person said the fair board decided to offer a special “party with your whole herd” ticket package available only on Friday night of the event.

Beginning at 8:30 p.m., the fair will offer a packaged admission of four tickets for $20. Regular ticket prices are $9 for full price admission for ages 12 through 60, $6 for seniors 60 and up, and $5 for kids ages 6 through 11. Children under age 6 are free every day of the fair. Ticket sales stop at 9 p.m. each day of the fair.

Unlimited ride wristbands cost $25 per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wristbands are purchased in the carnival.


Events in the grandstand arena include the demolition derby on Friday evening, open mud drag races on Saturday evening, and the California State Finals of the WGAS Motorsports Tuff Truck and Buggy Races on Sunday evening.




Lake County Fair Grand Marshal Ruby Glebe rides in the parade that preceded the official opening of the fair in Lakeport, Calif., on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.


All grandstand shows start at 7:30 p.m., and are sponsored by Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino. Local participants are also encouraged in the truck pulls, mud drag races and the tuff truck races, and entry forms are available at the fairgrounds office.

Live local entertainment occurs continuously on two stages. The Enhance H2O Main Stage will host the likes of the Lost Boys, LC Diamonds, Bill Noteman and the Rockets, and the Mark Weston Band, among others.

The Gazebo Stage will host a variety of acts including Mike Wilhelm and Hired Guns, Travis Rinker, Sax-O-Rama and the Kustom Cuts.


The annual Junior Livestock Auction takes place on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m. in the Baldwin Pavilion.

Businesses and individuals are invited to bid on the prize-winning livestock raised and exhibited by local youth. Various livestock species are displayed throughout the fair, including swine, beef, sheep, goat and horse exhibits from local 4-H and FFA exhibitors.

Small animals are represented as well, with chickens, turkeys, rabbits and cavies all residing in the barn areas.

The Lake County Fair takes place at the fairgrounds, 401 Martin St., Lakeport.

Visit the fair online at




Clear Lake High School athletes and cheerleaders paraded through Lakeport on the way to the opening of the 2010 Lake County Fair in Lakeport, Calif., on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The Kelseyville Waterworks System is undergoing a series of upgrades to the water system which will result in more reliable service with fewer leaks and water outages, officials reported Wednesday.

This planned maintenance revealed the fragile state of portions of the pipe in the water system, according to Lake County Special Districts, which oversees the Kelseyville water system.

Recently, while working on aged and fragile pipes in the distribution system, the system experienced an interruption of water service and pressure in parts of Kelseyville and Finley, as Lake County News has reported.

On Aug. 12, low pressure started early in the morning and the full extent of the water shortage was realized later that morning.

In an effort assure the health and safety of affected customers, Lake County Special Districts and other agencies coordinated emergency response measures to safely mitigate the problem.

“In cases like this, standard procedures include notifying the California Department of Public Health which mandates specific precautionary steps be taken to ensure the safety of the water once it is restored,” said Peter Preciado, Special Districts deputy administrator.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s reverse 911 provided notifications to the affected customers along with posting boil water notices on affected homes by 7 p.m. that evening,” said Preciado.

Emergency procedures and notification are required including boil water notices any time system water pressure drops below 20 psi. When pressure is too low or less than surrounding water sources, there is a possibility that those sources – wells, groundwater – might “backflow/siphon” and enter the system, Special Districts reported.

Systems checks such as flushing lines, confirming appropriate pressure and verifying chlorine residuals are standard emergency procedures after low water pressure is experienced. The chlorine residual is an indicator that the water is adequately disinfected and there is some chlorine remaining. Laboratory analysis for bacterial contamination confirms that the water is safe to drink.

Test results take about 24 hours and the California Department of Public Health requires two tests completed consecutively with both results absent of bacterial contamination before the boil water order can be lifted. Notices in the recent situation were lifted by Saturday afternoon.

The water pipes in the area of State Street to Second Street along Main have been the source of maintenance issues and were the cause of the recent leaks and loss of pressure, the county reported. Special Districts utility workers were closing water valves in the area to isolate the water pipe to allow RAD Construction to connect a new 10-inch PVC water pipe.

“Unfortunately, the remaining pipes in their fragile state began to fail under the increased water flow as Main Street between State Street and Konocti Road was now being bypassed,” said Preciado.

He said system pressure also began to drop. The efforts and professional expertise of RAD Construction, a local contractor, assisted in restoring water service by bringing the new water main into operation ahead of time.

“We want to thank the community for their patience and cooperation during this recent water emergency,” said Preciado.

He said Special Districts recognized the precautionary measures required by the California Department of Public Health following an interruption of water service due to low pressure are inconvenient and frustrating for customers.

Every effort was made in the most recent incident to have service restored as quickly as possible, he said.

For more information about the Kelseyville Waterworks upgrades call Lake County Special Districts administrative office at 707-263-0119.

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