Thursday, 01 December 2022

News

LAKE COUNTY – For those looking forward to celebrating Halloween, there are events around the county for ghosts and goblins of all ages.


Here is a roundup of Halloween happenings from around the county. {sidebar id=20}


Spooky story time


Wild About Books in Clearlake will host a day of Halloween stories on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Stories will include a mix of the scary and the funny, according to Lori Peters of Wild About Books.


Those who come in costume will receive a treat, Peters reported.


Wild About Books is located at 14290 Olympic Drive, Clearlake; telephone, 707-994-9453. Visit the store online at www.wildaboutbooks.net.


Popular children's parade returns


In Lakeport, the Lakeport Elementary School Halloween Parade will take place beginning at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, said Trish Wiggs, the school secretary.


Lakeport Police will close off a portion of Main Street, allowing first, second and third graders to parade from Natural High School down to Museum Park and back down the other side of the street to their starting point, said Wiggs.


The parade should last about a half hour, Wiggs said.


Leading off the parade will be the Clear Lake High School Marching Band, followed by the school children in their costumes, said Wiggs.


“This has been a tradition for years and years,” she said.


The parade, which Wiggs said has been taking place for more than three decades, draws a lot of people from around the community, and is an annual favorite.


“People really look forward to it in the community,” she said, noting that the school starts getting calls in the weeks before the parade from people making sure it's taking place.


Following the parade, the children will return to the school where their classrooms will hold Halloween parties, said Wiggs.


Halloween party in Clearlake City Hall


Clearlake City Hall is once again extending an invitation to children and parents to come and visit its Halloween party, scheduled from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.


Mayor Judy Thein reported that city hall's corridors will be transformed with decorations for the occasion, with city staff dressed in costume.


The event will feature tasty goodies conjured up by city staff, and children will receive reflective trick or treat bags featuring the words “Don't be tricked – drugs are no treat!” to help celebrate Red Ribbon month in conjunction with local schools, Thein said.


Clearlake City Hall is located at 14050 Olympic Drive. For more information call 707-994-8201.


Other happenings in Clearlake include a haunted house at the Lake County Fire Protection District Fire House, 14815 Olympic Drive.


Church hosts harvest party in Hidden Valley


Hidden Valley Lake Community Church has a fun evening planned for the whole family on Wednesday.


The church's 17th annual Harvest Party will feature lots of games, candy, a fun mystery house, contests, puppet show, chili cookoff, raffle prizes (including a new bicycle) and more, according to church member and Lamar Morgan.


Visitors can come in costume or regular clothes, according to Morgan.


The party begins at 6 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m., said Morgan. It's free and open to the general public, and families with small children are encouraged to attend.


People interested in attending this party are encouraged to RSVP by going to www.squidoo.com/HVCC, clicking on the Evite invitation and following the instructions, Morgan reported.


The church is located at 18160 Spruce Grove Rd. Ext., across from the Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course.


For more information call the church office, 707-987-3510.


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


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The Sixth Street home is a complete loss, according to fire officials. A car nearby also was damaged. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

 

LAKEPORT – Two people escaped a fire that completely destroyed their house Saturday morning.


Lakeport Fire Protection District Chief Ken Wells said the fire was reported at about 5:45 a.m. at a Sixth Street home.


Two people in the rented single-story home woke up to find it fully involved in fire, said Wells, and were able to escape.


Wells said 10 firefighters from Lakeport Fire, two from Kelseyville Fire Protection District and a total of three engines responded to the fire.


Firefighters were on scene until about 11:30 a.m., Wells said.


The cause of the fire, said Wells, is a cigarette. One of the home's residents had fallen asleep while smoking.


The home is a complete loss, Wells 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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KELSEYVILLE – Caltrans reported Thursday that it has completed the signalization project at the intersection of Route 29/281 (Kit’s Corner).


The traffic signal will be activated on Thursday, Nov. 1, according to a report from Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie Jr.


Caltrans reminded motorists to always drive cautiously and courteously, especially while motorists become accustomed to the new signal.


The operational project will improve the movement of traffic through the intersection of Route 29, Route 281 (Soda Bay Road) and Red Hills Road, according to Caltrans.


In addition, officials expect a reduction in the number of collisions involving turning vehicles at the intersection.


The contractor, Steiny and Co. Inc. of Vallejo, began construction on Aug. 30, Frisbie reported.


The Nov. 1 completion date is about one month ahead of schedule, according to Caltrans.


Caltrans previously reported that the stoplight was installed at a cost of just under $500,000.


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MIDDLETOWN – A traffic collision Monday evening claimed a single fatality – a cow that had wandered into the road.


The Clearlake Highway Patrol's incident logs reported that the vehicle-versus-cow collision occurred at 7:32 p.m. on southbound Highway 29, two miles north of Middletown.


The black cow was reportedly dead at the scene, found on the road's west shoulder, according to the CHP.


A rancher who may have owned the cow and Caltrans were reportedly on their way to the scene to remove the animal, CHP reported.


No information was available about the vehicle involved.


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


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A Kelseyville firefighter works at the scene of Bob Roy's home, which burned Friday evening. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH LOCATION INFORMATION. 

 

KELSEYVILLE – An older model single-wide mobile home was gutted Friday night after a fire broke out in the living room area.


The fire broke out at about 8:10 p.m. in the trailer, situated in Space 50 at Live Oak Trailer Park at 5935 Live Oak Drive. The trailer was the home of Bob Roy, who neighbors at the park said is in his 80s.


A neighbor’s Ford Bronco, parked in Roy’s driveway as a courtesy to discourage strangers from parking there, suffered moderate damages in the blaze.


The neighbor and owner of the restored Bronco, Linda Cole, said she has known Roy since 1998, the year she first moved to the park.


Roy had not been able to afford regular propane deliveries and just recently purchased a second portable electric heater which he frequently moved about the home as needed, said Cole.


Kelseyville Fire Protection District Chief Howard Strickler would not speculate nor offer any theory as to the cause of the fire.


Strickler indicated that the fire crew would remain on scene for at least one hour after the blaze was extinguished.


There was no word on the condition of Roy, who was reportedly in the home when the fire started.


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

 

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The fire, which started just after 8 p.m., began in the trailer's living room. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

 

 

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A friend's Bronco parked near the trailer also was damaged. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, the House of Representatives again passed a bipartisan bill to provide health coverage to more than 10 million children.


HR 3963, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (SCHIP) was introduced Oct. 24 following President Bush's veto earlier this month of a previous version of the bill, HR 976.


Last week Congress failed to override the president's veto.


The new bill passed in the House in a Thursday evening vote.


Congressman Mike Thompson, who has been a strong supporter of the SCHIP legislation, issued a statement Thursday afternoon in which he said the new bill strengthens language that the president claimed to be problematic in the previous version.

 

“The president alleged that the first bill covered illegal immigrants, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Thompson (D-St. Helena), who voted in favor of the bill. “However, the new bill clearly spells out the process by which states must verify citizenship before enrolling new beneficiaries, ensuring that the SCHIP program only serves U.S. citizens.”


President Bush also had opposed the previous version of the bill because he said it added as much as $50 million in additional spending and that it would cover children living in households with incomes as high as $83,000.


In response to the latter concern, Thompson said the new bill specifically prohibits the administration from issuing waivers that allow children in families with income over 300 percent of the poverty level to enroll in SCHIP.


The bill still continues coverage for the 6.6 million children currently enrolled in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), including more than 1,600 children in Lake County, according to Thompson's office. It also extends coverage to 4 million uninsured children who qualify for the program, but aren’t currently enrolled.


“We’ll do whatever it takes to get these 10 million kids covered,” said Thompson.


Thompson maintained that this version and its predecessor were both “born out of bipartisan compromise,” adding, “today’s bill is a further gesture that we are committed to working across the aisle to create strong, effective policy.”


“There is simply no room for playing politics when it comes to the health of our kids,” Thompson said. “This bill passed with an overwhelming bipartisan vote and is supported by 43 governors and the vast majority of Americans. We cannot and will not give up on the health and the future of our children.”


However, the bill is far from being out of the woods.


Republicans decried the vote's timing, with President Bush and some top Republican lawmakers coming to California to assess the wildfire damage.


Thirteen Southern California Republicans sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asking for the vote to be rescheduled until after they could return from offering assistance to their constituents.


Congressman Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), the House Republican Whip, issued a statement Thursday criticizing Pelosi's decision not to reschedule the vote while the Southern California House members were away.


That move, Blount said, disenfranchised “a large segment of the most populous state in the union” and throws the vote's integrity into doubt.


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


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Cal Fire firefighters on their way up to a fire off of Ridge Road on Cobb. Photo by Liam and Robert Lynch.

 

LAKE COUNTY – Two fires on different ends of the county called on local, state and federal firefighters Sunday.


Two small fires along Ridge Road on Cobb ignited just after 2:30 p.m., according to Cal Fire.


Engineer Brion Borba of South Lake County Fire Protection District's Cobb Fire Station said the Ridge Road fires were caused when a tree came down into some power lines, causing them to arc.


The biggest of the two fires burned about an acre, said Borba.


Cal Fire reported that the second fire was about a quarter-acre in size.


The fires threatened two structures in the immediate area, said Borba. One fire backed up to one of the homes and was headed toward another.


Borba said South Lake Fire sent three fire engines and a bulldozer to the fire. Cal Fire also sent three engines, a hand crew and a helicopter, which was canceled but sent its crew anyway to help on the ground.


Between the two agencies there were a total of between 15 and 20 firefighters on scene, added Borba.


Borba said the last engine left the scene at 7:30 p.m.


He said conditions on Cobb are very dry.


“It's burning just like it would in the summertime,” he said. “If we had had wind on this fire it would have been a lot worse.”


South Lake Fire encourages people to be careful due to the dry conditions.


Another fire hits Bartlett Springs


Cal Fire reported that a structure fire on Bartlett Springs was reported at 5:53 p.m.


The fire, according to Cal Fire, was on Mendocino National Forest land, with the US Forest Service as the lead responder. Cal Fire sent one engine, and firefighters remained on scene until Sunday evening.


Mendocino Forest officials could not be reached Sunday for more information on the fire.


Over the summer, Bartlett Springs was the site of two other structure fires, both believed to be arson, as Lake County News previously reported. A fire in late July claimed the third Bartlett Springs Resort Lodge, while a September fire destroyed the rebuilt Bartlett Springs Resort gazebo.


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 – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) hopes to scare motorists away from the idea of drunk driving this Halloween.


Last year, the weekend prior to Halloween, CHP officers arrested 1,258 people throughout the state for driving under the influence (DUI).


“If you’re caught driving under the influence, officers will be treating you to time in the local jail,” said CHP Lt. Dane Hayward of the Clear Lake Area office.


In addition to possible jail time, DUI violators face loss of their driver’s license, alcohol-treatment classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.


“One way to help keep your good time this Halloween from becoming a drunk driving nightmare is to designate a sober driver before the drinking begins,” said Hayward.


However, the problem of drunk driving is not just seasonal in California.


DUI is the leading cause of fatal traffic collisions in California. In 2006, 1,597 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes; they represent 38 percent of the overall total. Another sobering statistic, 14 percent of victims killed in alcohol-involved collisions were under age 21.


The CHP encourages motorists to call 9-1-1 to report suspected drunk drivers. Be ready to provide the vehicle’s license plate number, make and model, and location.


In addition to keeping an eye on the road, pedestrian safety is also of paramount concern for the CHP. Last Halloween there were 57 collisions in California involving pedestrians, two were fatal.


“Helping to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters will take a combined effort from both motorists and parents,” said Hayward. “By taking a few extra precautions, everyone can have a safe and fun Halloween.”


Motorists should watch for children darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways. Also, when driving, be sure to enter and exit driveways carefully. Parents make sure your child can be seen, especially when it gets dark. Remind the kids to look both ways before crossing the street and to use the crosswalks at intersections.


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LAKE COUNTY – Local firefighters remain at work in Southern California as fires continue to wreak havoc in the region.


On Monday, four Lake County fire agencies – Lakeport Fire Protection District, Northshore Fire Protection District, Lake County Fire Protection District and South County Fire Protection District – each sent an engine and a total of 14 firefighting personnel to Southern California, as Lake County News reported Tuesday.


An engine and three firefighters from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County accompanied the Lake County contingent, according to Lakeport Fire Protection District Chief Ken Wells.


On Wednesday Wells reported that the local firefighters are working shifts of 24 hours with 24 hours off. Wednesday was a day for them to rest, he said.


“They're all safe and sound,” Wells said. “They were involved with some structure protection last night.”


Wells said the Lake County firefighters are working with a division assigned to the Lake Arrowhead area. On Tuesday night the division had eight structure fires but managed to save 75 homes, he said.


So far, local agencies haven't had to send any more firefighters, said Wells.


Due to the extreme fire conditions in Southern California, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) reopened Northern California's fire season, which was to have officially closed on Monday.


The change, Cal Fire officials reported, allowed Cal Fire to retain seasonal employees to help fight the Southern California fires while keeping Northern California stations adequately staffed.


Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit Battalion Chief Redhawk Palleson said the unit already had laid off about half of the seasonal personnel it employs, but kept the rest.


Information provided by Fire Prevention Specialist Suzie Blankenship shows that Cal Fire employs about 400 seasonal fire personnel.


Palleson said the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit has sent 150 personnel – including firefighters and command personnel – along with 15 engines and three bulldozers to Southern California. “We've sent just about as many people as we can right now.”


Monday was the big push to send firefighters, said Palleson, with requests for additional help slowing since then.


Wells said it's still not clear when Lake County's firefighters will come home.


Generally, when they begin releasing equipment on large fires, Wells said officials send those from farthest away home first, which in this case could include Lake County's contingent.


Earlier this summer Lake County firefighters were away for three days to help fight the Lick Fire near Morgan Hill, said Wells.


The longest out-of-county assignment they had previous to that was in 1993, when they spent eight days fighting a fire in Malibu.


Cal Fire's Wednesday evening report stated that 461,587 acres had burned across San Diego, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Santa Barbara, Riverside and Ventura counties.


The acreage burned in Southern California so far is nearly six times the size of the land scorched by the 1996 Forks Fire. That fire burned 83,000 acres in the Mendocino National Forest and on private property in parts of Lake County.


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 – Mendocino College officials are working on locating a permanent site for the college's Lake Center, with a focus on a Lakeport location.


The college is considering a 31-acre parcel located at 2565 Parallel Drive in Lakeport and owned by Tom Adamson, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based developer who has proposed building a 130-lot subdivision on the site, as Lake County News reported in July.


In July, College Superintendent and President Kathy Lehner wrote to Adamson to express interest in the site.


Lehner told Lake County News in a recent interview that the college is still talking to Adamson about the land. In addition, the college's Board of Trustees held a closed session discussion on the property at its Oct. 10 meeting.


The immediate concern, said Lehner, is getting a new appraisal on the property, which Lake County Assessor's Records value at $1.5 million.


Lehner said the college's board wants to get to a point where they can agree to a price and make an offer.


The purchase process, which would be supervised by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, will be conditional upon a California Environmental Quality Act review and seismic testing, said Lehner.


Earlier this month, Mendocino College officials met with Lakeport City Manager Jerry Gillham to identify alternate Lake Center sites in case the Parallel Drive location doesn't work out, Lehner said.


“My intent is to identify something by the end of the year, Dec. 31, because we would like to get the final project proposal done by next July, and in order to do that we have to have the site,” said Lehner.


Measure W, passed last year by voters, gave the college $67.5 million in bond funding for 30 construction and renovation projects, including a permanent Lake Center.


The first Measure W Bond Program Quarterly Status Report, issued earlier this month, reported that, with the addition of state and other matching funds, the Measure W program has a total projected budget of $97.4 million.

 

Mendocino College's current Lake Center is located at a rented facility at 1005 Parallel drive.


The center serves about 300 “full-time equivalents,” which translates into more than 300 students when counting part-time enrollees, said Lehner.


The enrollment, she said, includes a “big mix” of adults seeking additional education and first-time college students.


Lehner said the bond measure sets aside $15 million for the land purchase, improvements and the start of building for the Lake Center.


“We may not be able to get everything we want at Lake in our first go around,” said Lehner.


If the land is secured, Lehner said the college will put up the buildings it can afford, which could include portables.


Lehner said the new center will allow the college to fulfill its plans of expanding services to Lake County.


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


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UKIAH – Mendocino College’s Bond Implementation Planning Committee has issued its first “Measure W Bond Program Quarterly Status Report – October 2007,” detailing financial and other information regarding the College’s $67.5 million construction and renovation bond.


With the addition of state and other matching funds, the Measure W program has a total projected budget of $97.4 million.

 

A presentation of the report was given to the Measure W Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and to the Mendocino-Lake Community College Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

 

The report provides a summary of the 30 construction and renovation projects listed under the bond, and provides 16 separate summary sheets for projects in progress. As of August 2007, $1,165,746 has been expended and $677,053 has been encumbered.

 

“Since last November a great deal of work has gone into program planning, establishing numerous project committees and a Facilities Planning office, setting up financial reporting, and starting projects such as re-roofing, procurement of a new computer system and submitting the Final Plan Proposal for our new Library/Learning Resource Center,” said Superintendent/President Kathy Lehner. “We believe Measure W will open more doors, literally, for student success, and we are very excited about the numerous projects we have moving forward. We will continue to keep the public informed about our activities, through media, our website and the quarterly reports.”

 

A copy of the report, along with other bond information, is available online at www.mendocino.edu/bond or by contacting the Public Information Office at 468-3012.

 

Also posted at the same web address are the agendas and minutes for the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee’s quarterly meetings, which are open to the public.

 

Their next meeting will be held at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, at the Mendocino College Willits Center, 11 Marin St.

 

The voters, authorizing $67.5 million of facilities bond funds, passed measure W on Nov. 7, 2006.


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LAKE COUNTY – On Oct. 25, many restaurants in Lake County will help open the dialogue on how to end domestic violence in our communities by participating in the “Empty Place at the Table” project.


Participating restaurants will be displaying placemats designed by the Lake Family Resource Center Domestic Violence Assistance Program to raise awareness of the issues surrounding DV and ways individuals can help victims of this crime.


“An Empty Place” is a living memorial to women, children and men who have died as a result of domestic violence. The Women’s Resource Center in Scranton, Penn., a center for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, began the project after a string of domestic violence related murders in 1993.


In Lake County there have been at least six domestic violence-related homicides within the last 24 months.


The idea behind the project is to illustrate the void in the lives of surviving families that domestic violence leaves behind an empty place at the table. A sister who won’t celebrate another birthday, a mother missing from the Thanksgiving dinner table, or a child who will never graduate from high school.


Because everyone gathers at a table sometime, the meaning transcends ethnicity, race, class and age. Through “An Empty Place,” each victim is recognized for their individuality, while at the same time allowing viewers to view the problem universally; because domestic violence is not limited to any one group.


To mark the day, Lake Family Resource Center and restaurants throughout Lake County are encouraging everyone to call their friends and families to meet for lunch and talk about domestic violence.


The restaurants will have the placemats on the table where you can get information regarding local services for victims and ideas on how you can support friends and living with violence.


Participating restaurants are:


  • Clearlake – Main Street Bar & Grill, Cactus Grill, and Kathie’s Inn;

  • Lakeport – Tacos El Rey, Mollie Brennan’s, Ku-Hú-Guí Café at Konocti Vista Casino, and Angelina’s Bakery;

  • Kelseyville – Classic Rock Café at Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa, Live Oak Grill, and Saw Shop Gallery Bistro;

  • Upper Lake – Judy’s Junction and Blue Wing Saloon & Cafe;

  • Cobb – Brick Oven Pizza and Rob Roy Creekside Restaurant;

  • Nice – Rancheria Grill at Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino;

  • Middletown – Brian’s Pizza.


In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the placemats were used at October program meetings.


Working together, our communities can assure that on this day Lake County residents will be talking in classrooms, offices, homes, and coffeehouses, about the fact that nearly one in three women will be abused in her lifetime. We will tell our daughters that a boy should never hit them, or isolate them from others. We will open a new conversation with an acquaintance we suspect might be suffering in silence.


Law enforcement, women's shelters and government officials alone cannot prevent men from abusing the women they claim to love (or, in statistically fewer cases, women from abusing the men they claim to love). But everyone can take this initiative and make it their own - helping to reach the people whose lives you touch who are victims of family violence.


You can make a difference on Oct. 19. Talk to someone in your life about domestic violence. If you're not sure how to get the conversation started call Lake Family Resource Center to request resource materials – or to talk with a domestic violence family advocate.


Now imagine a day when we won't need to talk about domestic violence ever again.


Please join Lake Family Resource Center in making this dream a reality.


For information about the many family resources at Lake FRC, please call 707-262-1611 or 1-888-775-4336.


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Upcoming Calendar

1Dec
12.01.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
1Dec
12.01.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake City Council
2Dec
12.02.2022 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Christmas in the Country
3Dec
12.03.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
3Dec
12.03.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
6Dec
12.06.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
8Dec
12.08.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
8Dec
12.08.2022 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Adult Literacy Program in-person tutor training
9Dec
12.09.2022 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hometown Christmas in Lower Lake
10Dec
12.10.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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