Saturday, 13 July 2024


From left, Lake County Health Services Department and Veterans Service Officer Jim Brown, Congressman Mike Thompson and Lawrence Carroll, medical center director for the San Francisco VA Medical Center, cut the ribbon on the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake, Calif., on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.





CLEARLAKE, Calif. – As dozens of community members and local officials looked on, Congressman Mike Thompson took a large pair of ceremonial scissors and sliced through a blue ribbon strung across the front of the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a moment, according to Thompson and local leaders, that was more than a decade in the making.

The new clinic, located at at 15145 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake, will officially open for patient care on Nov. 1.

An estimated 10 percent of all Lake County residents are veterans from one branch of the military of the other, with every U.S. action and war since World War II represented. It's reported to be one of the largest per-capita veteran populations in the state.

Even so, it took years of lobbying by local veterans and leaders, and Thompson himself, to make the clinic a reality, a fact acknowledged in his opening remarks Wednesday by Lawrence Carroll, medical center director for the San Francisco VA Medical Center, which will oversee the Clearlake clinic's operations.




Lawrence Carroll, medical center director for the San Francisco VA Medical Center, speaks during the dedication ceremony for the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake, Calif., on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



The clinic's importance becomes even clearer when considering, as Carroll shared, that 40 percent of U.S. Veterans live in rural areas.

“The planning for this clinic has been a long time coming,” said Carroll, who thanked county Jim Brown, the county's Health Services Department director and veterans service officer, for his lobbying efforts.

The work of Brown and many others was necessary “to get us to this day,” said Carroll, who also thanked Thompson for his longtime support, noting that without it they wouldn't be standing there, opening the new clinic.

Carroll said the VA looked forward to serving local veterans with the dignity and honor they deserved.

District 1 Supervisor Jim Comstock, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, said watching the colors be presented at the start of the ceremony reminded him of his induction into the military 40 years previously.

He had dropped a college class which resulted in him becoming eligible for the draft. He recalled going into the induction center and having one side of the room be designated as Marines and the other Navy.




Dr. Mike Novak, left, introduces his children to Congressman Mike Thompson at the dedication ceremony for the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake, Calif., on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



“I remember that day,” another veteran, standing in the nearby crowd, said to this reporter.

Comstock thanked the veterans who served the country. “You are what this is all about,” he said.

He also thanked Brown, who he said helped get him into the VA health system 10 years ago. Comstock said the VA takes “fabulous care of us vets,” and he is looking forward to being able to go to the Clearlake clinic rather than having to go to Santa Rosa.

Comstock thanked Thompson and the VA staff, a sentiment that District 2 Supervisor Jeff Smith echoed in his comments.

Smith recalled talking to former Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Frank Cammarata and the late Bernie Edwards 12 years ago about getting a VA clinic in the community.

He called the clinic's opening the single greatest thing to happen in his district during his board tenure.

“We finally got what we've been fighting for for years,” Smith said.

Thompson, himself a Vietnam veteran wounded in combat, said the clinic was important for veterans.

“It's not so much they deserved it, they earned it,” he said.

He thanked the community of veterans and their families, a group whose importance he acknowledged. Like the others before him at the podium, he thanked Brown for his work.

Thompson also thanked the VA, who he said he appreciated despite occasionally having to shout and pound his fist on the desk to get things going.

He went on to recognize the efforts of local veterans in getting themselves a clinic. Thompson said 9,000 veterans signed petitions to let the VA know how important it was to have the facility.




The front desk of the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake, Calif., on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.




He said both the veterans community and the larger Lake County community are “wonderful.”

Thompson was then joined by Comstock, Smith, Jim Brown and Supervisor Rob Brown in cutting the ribbon.

Both before and after the ceremony, visitors toured the building, which the VA has on a 10-year lease, officials reported.

Renovations on the building – which formerly housed Lake County Mental Health and, before that, a bank – began earlier this year.

The newly outfitted clinic features earth tones in its spacious 8,600-square-foot interior.

A large waiting area leads down halls with numerous new examination rooms, conference rooms with large flat panel televisions for telemedicine, a laboratory and room for administrative offices.

Dr. Mike Novak, a doctor who has been in private practice in Clearlake for 10 years, brought his young family to see what will be his new professional home.

Novak has been hired as the clinic's medical director, and has closed his private practice to make the transition.

“I have a lot of vets in my private practice already,” he said, and many of them will be making the move with him.

He called the new facility “amazing.”




Visitor pass through the hallways of the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake, Calif., on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



As he was touring the clinic's halls, Thompson – who was peering into what will be the laboratory – was approached by an elderly couple, who thanked him for his help. They reminded Thompson that when their son, a veteran, was fighting throat cancer, he had helped them get their son's VA benefits going.

Thompson's district representative, Brad Onorato, also recalled when the clinic building had housed a bank many years ago. It had a conference room where – ironically – Thompson and local leaders had met to discuss bringing a VA clinic to Clearlake, he said.

Veterans can register at or or contact the VAMC Eligibility Office at 415-750-2015.

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A conference room at the new Veterans Affairs clinic in Clearlake, Calif. Doctors plan to use telemedicine to assist with treatments at the newly renovated facility. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The case against a local businessman alleging that he had raped his developmentally disabled stepdaughter has been dropped.

Prosecutor Ed Borg's decision to dismiss the case against 82-year-old Eugene Schwartz came at the end of a preliminary hearing held Oct. 7.

Schwartz had been charged with three counts – rape of a victim unable to give consent because of medical condition, forcible rape and abuse of a dependent adult – for one act alleged to have taken place in August 2009, Borg said.

Borg told Lake County News that although the 48-year-old alleged victim did well on the stand and showed “a lot of courage,” he said there were enough issues with her testimony that he determined that it was unlikely the case could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Schwartz, a business owner and resident in Clearlake since 1965, said he was relieved the ordeal was over.

“The only thing I can tell you about the case is, none of the things – and I mean none – are true,” he said.

Schwartz was arrested April 13, about seven months after his stepdaughter – who he's cared for for 40 years and who has an IQ of about 40 – first made the allegations of rape.

Borg said the offense was alleged to have occurred on Aug. 18, 2009, with Schwartz's stepdaughter making the first report about a month later to a mandated reporter at a program she attended.

Mitchell Hauptman, Schwartz's attorney, said the accusations started a few weeks after Schwartz's wife died.

Schwartz said his stepdaughter always complained about not having friends, and he believed she made the allegation in retaliation for his refusal to let her take part in some social activities.

Last summer, she left one day to go to People Services and didn't come back that night. Schwartz said he began calling around to try to find her. The police called him back and told him they had his stepdaughter in an undisclosed location.

The first Schwartz knew there was a case was when he was arrested April 13, he said.

This wasn't the first time his stepdaughter had made allegations of abuse. Schwartz said she had done so before out of retaliation for not getting her way – once claiming he had beaten her – and that the allegations and been found to be false.

“This last one was the third time that she had told stories,” he said.

Borg said Clearlake Police had interviewed Schwartz's stepdaughter a couple of times and she gave “consistent and credible accounts of what happened, and based on the recorded interviews the case was filed.”

Hauptman said he found it curious – although not uncommon – that it took so long to file the case. During the seven months between the allegation and Schwartz's arrest, “While there was an interview or two that occurred with the victim, nothing else appears to have happened.”

He said remarkably little was disclosed along with the interviews. “We don't know how the original complaint generated based on any of the information that we have, which is unusual.”

There also were not witnesses, Hauptman said, as well as no physical evidence.

Borg said the stepdaughter's testimony was the only evidence, which is why they did a live preliminary hearing, having her go on the stand instead of having the investigating Clearlake Police officer testify about interviewed with her.

Hauptman questioned why no search warrant was served at Schwartz's home, and no physical evidence – like sheets from the stepdaughter's bed – was taken for testing. Hauptman said he tried for months to get the sheets tested to see if there was any signs of DNA.

The reason for not pursuing that testing, said Borg, was that since the woman was removed from Schwartz's home, it was reasonable to infer that he knew she had made a report and he had access to the room in which the crime is alleged to have occurred.

“So even assuming that the sheets had not been changed in a month, by the time the police became involved the value of searching the room and seizing evidence was minimal,” Borg said.

Aside from serving a search warrant, Borg said he wasn't certain what else in the case could have been done that wasn't.

Schwartz was prepared to do a lie detector test, which Hauptman said isn't a practice he favors. He also called the mechanics of an alleged rape by an 80-year-old man on a 48-year-old woman “beyond improbable.”

Borg said the live preliminary hearing was meant to help evaluate if the case could be proven at trial. Hauptman credited Borg with trying to check the veracity of the case before pushing forward.

Borg in turn said Hauptman did a very good cross-examination, which Hauptman said focused on the woman's social problems that would have given her a reason to make the accusation.

He repeatedly asked her open-ended questions about her fear of returning to her stepfather's house. Hauptman said she should have said something about being afraid of being hurt or touched, but instead she said she felt trapped in the house and deprived of making phone calls and having a social life of some kind.

Hauptman said he felt her responses highlighted issues other than sexual misconduct. “Her concern appeared to be the unhappy changes following the death of her mother.”

The hour-and-a-half-long preliminary hearing took place in the Lake County Superior Court's Clearlake division before Judge Stephen Hedstrom, who Hauptman said also had concerns about the prosecution's ability to go forward.

Borg said that, in the end, the appropriate thing to do was dismiss the case. The woman's “substantial disability” really limited the scope of what was possible in the case, he added.

He said he spoke with the stepdaughter before dismissing the case and she agreed to the course of action.

Hauptman said the stepdaughter is both a vulnerable and appealing person who “simply incites a desire to help her,” which likely aided the case in its initial stages.

Schwartz, who maintains he has been an advocate for the developmentally disabled for decades – including serving with local nonprofits dedicated to that cause – said a protective order had been placed against him to keep him away from his stepdaughter. That order was dropped at the end of the preliminary hearing.

She won't be returning to live with him, he said.

“I think she is better in another home with more people that are in her level,” he said.

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 .

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the Department of Defense must immediately halt its enforcement of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy regarding gay and lesbian troops.

California-based U.S. Ninth Circuit District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips issued the injunction.

Her ruling stops the Department of Defense “from enforcing or applying the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act and implementing regulations, against any person under their jurisdiction or command.”

Phillips also ordered the Department of Defense “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act.”

“We have just learned of this ruling,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith. “We are now studying it and we will be in consultation with the Department of Justice.”

The case that won the injunction, Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States of America, was originally filed in 2004.

Last month Phillips had ruled after a two-week trial in the case that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was unconstitutional on First and Fifth Amendment grounds.

At that time Phillips also reportedly indicated her intent to issue an injunction barring further discharges in light of that finding.

Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, celebrated the decision.

“This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking,” said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans.

However, Nicholson added, “While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit.

“If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect,” Nicholson said.


A signed copy of the three-page injunction can be found at

The full text of the ruling follows.

United States District Court Central District of California

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS, a nonprofit corporation,




SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, in his official capacity,


Case No. CV 04-08425-VAP (Ex)



This action was tried by Judge Virginia A. Phillips without a jury on July 13-16 and 20-23, 2010. The Court filed a Memorandum Opinion on September 9, 2010 (Doc. 232), and an Amended & Final Memorandum Opinion, and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, on October 8, 2010. For all the reasons set forth therein, the Court:

(1) DECLARES that the act known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"* infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers and prospective servicemembers and violates (a) the substantive due process rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and (b) the rights to freedom of speech and to petition the Government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(2) PERMANENTLY ENJOINS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense, their agents, servants, officers, employees, and attorneys, and all persons acting in participation or concert with them or under their direction or command, from enforcing or applying the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act and implementing regulations, against any person under their jurisdiction or command;

(3) ORDERS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment.

(4) GRANTS Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans' request to apply for attorneys' fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. §2412; and

(5) GRANTS Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans' request to file a motion for costs of suit, to the extent allowed by law.


Dated: October 12, 2010


United States District Judge

*Codified in statute at 10 U.S.C. § 654 and implemented by regulations comprising Department of Defense Directives 1332.14 (1993), 1332.30 (1997), and 1304.26 (1993), as modified by Department of Defense Instructions 1332.14 (2008) (incorporating March 29, 2010 changes) and 1332.30 (2008) (incorporating March 29, 2010 changes).

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MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – State transportation officials got an unequivocal message from south county residents at a Tuesday meeting: Two area road projects simply aren't acceptable.

District 1 Supervisor Jim Comstock organized the two-hour meeting, which was attended by several officials from Caltrans, including District 1 Director Charlie Fielder and his staff who came down from Eureka to meet with residents to discuss two rubberized chip seal projects.

The projects, completed at a total cost of about $2.1 million by International Surfacing Systems of West Sacramento, stretch along 12 miles of Highway 29 from the Lake/Napa County lines to the Coyote Creek Bridge and 8.5 miles on Highway 175 from Cobb to Middletown. The projects used a larger, half-inch aggregate that officials said was recently approved for use.

Mark Suchanek, Caltrans deputy director for District 1, told the audience at one point that the road projects were completed with “the best of intentions.”

In turn, the group of about 70 area residents went on to share what to them were hellish consequences of the paving projects, from vehicles with thousands of dollars of damage due to flying rocks, to a road surface they insisted is dangerous and pulls vehicles toward the center lane, along with absent striping, uneven surfaces and loud road noise that affects not just drivers but residents of homes near the highway.

One woman summed it up by telling Caltrans that the roads were ugly, bad and noisy.

For an area that relies on tourism, the roads look and feel bad and are likely to discourage visitors, residents told Caltrans.

It grew heated enough at some points that Middletown Area Town Hall Chairman Joe Sullivan said he would shut down the questions if people couldn't calm down.

The concerns about the roads were such that in the audience were several local and state government officials, including Lake County Public Works Director Brent Siemer, Pollution Control Officer Doug Gearhart, CHP Area Commander Lt. Mark Loveless, Dave Miinch of South Lake County Fire and Ruth Valenzuela, district representative for Assemblyman Wes Chesbro.

At the meeting's start, Comstock told the group, “This is about our community.”

Then, true to his word, Comstock handed over to Caltrans two sets of petitions, one from Middletown residents and one from Hidden Valley Lake, with 1,176 and 53 signatures, respectively.

“I hear you. I understand that you're not happy with the work that was done out there,” said Fielder, who had toured the local chip seal projects with Comstock in the weeks leading up to the meeting.

Fielder said the work was not what he expected, calling the large aggregate chip seal an “aggressive type of treatment” seen more often in mountainous areas for its traction.

During the course of the meeting the south county residents in attendance bristled when Fielder and his staff stated that the chip seal was a good product that met state specifications, and there was louder grumbling when state officials guaranteed that the roads were safe.

Fielder emphasized that a followup project on Highway 29 and Highway 175 would take place, and it would be the same kind of smooth treatment recently completed on Highway 29 near Lakeport.

He said he and his staff went to Sacramento two weeks ago and made the case to get the funding for the followup paving project.

However, that work likely won't be done before next June or July, due to a variety of steps necessary beforehand – including engineering and design – in addition to the fact that the road construction season is nearly at an end.

It's also a “programmed” project, which Fielder said means the work must get the approval of the state's transportation commission. He said he expects a March vote, and hoped to see the time frame for starting the work moved forward to at least May.

“It takes time to develop a project, especially when you're talking a couple million dollars,” said Fielder.

Over the next hour and a half the Caltrans team fielded numerous questions from community members on nearly every aspect of the project.

Middletown resident Fletcher Thornton said he was concerned about the crosswalks. Good crosswalks had recently been done, but the project went over them, leaving only dull white marks.

Noting that drivers respond to visual slowdown signals like crosswalks, Thornton said, “Those big white crosswalks are not there.”

Suchanek said crosswalk restriping is a part of the project that hasn't yet been completed. Representatives from International Surfacing Systems of West Sacramento, said they expect to start the striping Oct. 19 and the work should be completed the following week.

There were asked about the larger aggregate, which Suchanek said is “a newer product for us” and one with which they weren't used to working.

A community member said he understood International Surfacing Systems hadn't gotten the necessary permits. Caltrans Area Construction Engineer Alan Escarda said the contractor had all the necessary construction permits, and the company's project manager, James Wilson, said they had applied for all the permits.

At Comstock's urging, Gearhart corrected those statements, saying the company had permits for their generators but not a portable chip seal plant. They were issued a notice of violation and continued to operate.

Fielder said Caltrans is responsible for making sure permits are in order.

Gearhart added that the company also had failed to get a permit for the plant site from the county Community Development Department. “That was a minor issue compared to our issue.”

Caltrans was asked who made the decision regarding the surfacing. Suchanek said Caltrans staff drives the highways and then works to come up with treatment strategies.

Another resident asked about doing something to deal with safety issues at the intersection of Highway 29 and Hartmann Road. Suchanek said the area's volumes are higher than those at the three-way stop at Highway 53 and Olympic Drive in Clearlake, so a signal wouldn't work well. Caltrans is planning a project that will including placing flashing beacons on either side of Hartmann Road.

Steve Massaro of Hidden Valley Lake said the contrast between the stretch of Highway 29 outside of Lakeport and that near Middletown is obvious to everyone, and he wanted to know the rationale behind the south county projects.

“It's unacceptable,” he said, adding, “Why was that decision made? Who made it?”

Suchanek said it was a decision made within the district leadership, and the chip seal is being used statewide. He said it's a method for stretching limited dollars further.

Michael van der Boon, another Hidden Valley Lake resident and District 1's representative on the Lake County Planning Commission, said a quarter-mile stretch of new asphalt in front of Hidden Valley Lake – which had been “smooth as glass” – was covered over by the rougher chip seal.

Responding to a comment earlier in the meeting that the road work had been done at night so they hadn't seen they were going over the nicer pavement, van der Boon asked, “Are you kidding me?” which got a laugh, even from Fielder.

Suchanek said they had covered those newer portions in an effort to make all surface areas consistent.

Judy Mirbegian of Hidden Valley Lake said the roads weren't safe at the current legal speed limit, and asked Caltrans representatives if they thought they should acknowledge that and lower the speed limit. “Our safety is your responsibility.”

After a pause, Suchanek said he would follow up on the speed limit issue, but said lowering a speed limit requires adherence to statutes and traffic laws. “You can't just arbitrarily lower it because you want people to go slower.”

She asked if speed limits correlated to road conditions. Suchanek said they are based on the free flow of traffic in good driving conditions. Caltrans can put up advisory signs, he said.

Wayne Nelson, Middletown's barber, asked Caltrans officials if one of them would go with him on a motorcycle ride over the roads. He added that if he cut hair like they did roads, he'd be out of business. Escarda agreed to go for the offered ride.

Tom and Linda Darms, who own Tom's Auto Dynamics in Middletown, insisted the road isn't safe. Linda Darms said she test drives vehicles and has noticed that cars of all kinds are thrown around on the roadway. They've also found rocks lodged in brake rotors.

“It's not right. It's serious,” she said. “We're frightened for people in our community.”

Attention in the meeting later shifted to Loveless, who had stood at the back of the room throughout the proceedings. Community members asked him about safety issues on the roads and if the CHP had recorded more crashes.

Loveless, who had anticipated such questions, said he had his staff do two analyses of the area, looking at crash statistics from 2005 through this year and also looking specifically at the August time frame for those five years. He said both evaluations showed that they were “dead on” for the statistical average.

The meeting ended at 7 p.m., with Comstock congratulating Caltrans and the contractor's representatives for being willing to come to “the belly of the beast.”

Many people stayed on afterwards to continue questioning Caltrans and International Surfacing Systems representatives and to get claim forms for vehicle damage from the contractor.

One Hidden Valley Man man showed officials a round scar on his knee he suffered from a rock hitting him while he was riding his motorcycle, which he said has now become a more dangerous proposition.

On Wednesday, after having time to consider the meeting, Massaro wasn't satisfied with the answers he got from Caltrans, noting that waiting eight to nine months to have the road fixed is “unacceptable.”

He also didn't feel Caltrans had taken responsibility for the projects' failure, noting, “not one iota of admission that a gross error in judgment had taken place was evident.”

Massaro wondered why Caltrans did not make an effort to test and refine the process using coarse 1/2-inch aggregate instead of using the Hidden Valley Lake/Middletown corridor as a test bed.

“Now we are stuck with this crude result of really very poor decision making based on an obvious lack of any critical thought,” he said. “In a word, it was stupid.”

Massaro said he'll be looking very closely at accident statistics on a monthly, not a yearly, basis as area residents wait for the millions more dollars needed “to cover up this fiasco.”

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 .

LAKEPORT, Calif. – A Clearlake Oaks man received a 12-year prison sentence on Tuesday for a number of offenses he was convicted of committing over a four-year period.

Retired Judge Arthur Mann sentenced Guy Robert Archini, 58, to the prison term for 10 felony offenses committed between 2004 and 2008, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

Hinchcliff said numerous delays caused by defense attorneys leaving the public defender contract or being relieved at Archini’s request, and other issues involving Archini resulted in his trials and sentencing being delayed numerous times.

Over the course of the judicial proceedings Archini was represented by nine different public defenders, Hinchcliff said.

According to evidence presented at trial, on May 28, 2004, Archini discharged a rifle at his residence in Clearlake Oaks on Pine Street in the presence of a deputy sheriff. When confronted by the deputy, Archini threatened to kill the deputy before fleeing the scene.

About a half-hour later Archini confronted an acquaintance, claiming he needed some things to get out of town. When the female acquaintance threatened to call 911, Archini brandished a handgun and threatened to shoot her.

Archini reportedly was found the following day by deputy sheriffs hiding in his residence in a closet under a pile of clothes. Archini bailed out of jail after his arrest.

Then on Oct. 12, 2005, Archini was arrested by sheriff's deputies for falsely reporting that someone had committed a crime. While being transported to jail, Archini threatened the deputy with death, and told the deputy he knew where the deputy’s family lived and that he knew the deputy had children.

Hinchcliff prosecuted Archini in a jury trial for the May 2004 and October 2005 offenses, and on Oct. 8, 2009, a jury found Archini guilty of six felonies, including threatening deputies, threatening a witness and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Archini was represented at trial by defense attorney Jeremy Dzubay.

On Aug. 12, 2008, while Archini was still out on bail and before the trial in the prior cases, Archini was arrested for felony threats and assault with a shotgun, Hinchcliff said.

According to trial testimony, Archini threatened a male and female who had been living at his residence in Clearlake Oaks by brandishing a shotgun and threatening to kill them. During a struggle for control of the gun, the shotgun discharged.

Deputy District Attorney Dan Moffatt prosecuted Archini for the August 2008 incident, and a jury convicted Archini of four felony counts. Archini was represented in that trial by defense attorney William Conwell.

On Tuesday, Archini was represented by defense counsel Jacob Zamora for sentencing, and Hinchcliff argued the case for the District Attorney's Office.

Mann, who was the judge in the October 2009 trial, sentenced Archini to 12 years in prison and ordered Archini to pay a $2,400 restitution fine.

Because one of the felonies was termed a “violent” felony for sentencing purposes, Hinchcliff said Archini will only receive a 15-percent reduction for good behavior, rather than the usual 50-percent credits.

With 791 days already served in the county jail, Archini won’t be eligible for parole until 2018, Hinchcliff said.


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The woman and child riding in this Pontiac escaped injury on the night of Monday, October 11, 2010, when the vehicle went off Highway 29 and 250 feet down an embankment near Upper Lake, Calif. Photo by Gary McAuley.

UPPER LAKE, Calif. – A young woman and a toddler escaped injury Monday night when the vehicle in which they were riding went off the highway and down an embankment.

The crash occurred at around 7:15 p.m. Monday on Highway 29 between Highway 20 and Mockingbird Lane, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver told officials at the scene that she swerved to avoid a deer, which resulted in her two-door Pontiac Sunfire going off the roadway and 250 feet off the roadway, coming to rest about 35 feet below Highway 20.

The car didn't overturn and missed a tree before a fence post punctured its oil pan, officials reported.

Both airbags deployed and the 16-month-old child, riding in a safety seat in the rear of the car, was kept safe.

The woman and child were reportedly transported from the scene by a family member. Neither were hurt, the CHP reported.

One engine, a medic unit and Battalion Chief Ken Petz from Northshore Fire responded to the scene, along with the CHP.

Firefighters worked to salvage the driver's license, registration and other personal items before A1 Towing came to remove the vehicle from the scene.

Additional information about the driver and the child was not available late Monday.

Another crash that occurred about a half hour later near Middletown also involved a vehicle going off Highway 29, this time an SUV that rolled over while going into a ravine, the CHP reported.

The two people in the SUV were able to get out. The CHP reported they had minor injuries.

Gary McAuley contributed to this report.

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Firefighters investigate the scene of a crash on Monday, October 11, 2010, near Upper Lake, Calif. Photo by Gary McAuley.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Autumn is deer mating season – which means deer are on the move and less cautious about darting out into the road.

Caltrans is urging drivers to be careful at this time of year, when collisions between deer and vehicles can multiply.

Drivers should be extra vigilant this time of year and follow these tips for driving in deer country, courtesy of the National Park Service:

  • Be particularly attentive between sunset and midnight, during the hours shortly before and after sunrise, and in foggy conditions. Most deer-vehicle collisions occur during those times.

  • Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields or streams from forestland are particularly dangerous.

  • If you see a deer, slow down. Others are probably nearby.

  • Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams can reflect off their eyes and warn you of their presence.

  • If a deer is in your lane, brake firmly but stay in the lane. The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve.

  • Don't rely on deer whistles, deer fences, or reflectors to deter deer.

  • Wear seat belts.

  • If your car strikes a deer, don't touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call 911.

“Please use extra caution when driving and make the end of the day a good one,” said Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder.

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MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – A Middletown man was taken into custody late last week after he allegedly brandished a rifle and fired it while attempting to detain three men he believed were going to steal his marijuana.

Twenty-five-year-old Joshua Jay Paulick was arrested on Oct. 8 and booked at the Lake County Jail on felony charges of discharging his weapon in a negligent manner, assault with a firearm and making criminal threats, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Bauman said Paulick also faces misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment and brandishing a firearm. Paulick posted a $15,000 bail the night following his arrest and was released.

At about 7:40 p.m. Oct. 8 the Lake County Sheriff's Dispatch received a call from Paulick who reported a vehicle and several subjects had trespassed on his property on Grange Road in Middletown and that he was detaining the men with a rifle, Bauman said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and found Paulick standing in the road in front of his property holding a rifle, according to Bauman.

Two other men, later identified as 21-year-old Trenton Reid and 47-year-old Lewis Reid, both of Clearlake Oaks, were parked nearby in their vehicle, Bauman said. Paulick surrendered his rifle without incident and deputies investigated.

Paulick told deputies that had been in the backyard of his property when he saw the Reids’ vehicle drive down Grange Road and stop near his property. Bauman said Paulick reported getting his rifle and going to confront the men as he allegedly thought they were trying to steal his marijuana.

According to the men in the car, however, they were on their way home from Santa Rosa and had to urinate so they pulled off of Highway 29 onto Grange Road to relieve themselves, Bauman reported.

All accounts indicated that when Paulick approached the men, he is alleged to have ordered them to stop and then fired one round from his rifle into the dirt. Bauman said Paulick is alleged to have ordered a third man, identified only as Thomas Rannie, to run away and Rannie ran into a nearby field.

As the two Reids tried to get back into their car, Paulick allegedly ran up to them, pointed the gun at the car and ordered Lewis Reid to give him the keys, Bauman said. Paulick then allegedly fired another shot down the road and apparently held them at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

While no one happened to be injured, Bauman said the incident serve as yet another public reminder of the potential dangers associated with the cultivation of marijuana, whether legally or illegally grown.

The sheriff’s office reminds people to show due caution when venturing onto unfamiliar or sparsely populated areas that may be host to marijuana grow. Bauman said it is not uncommon for growers to resort to the use of firearms to protect their crop and the end result may not always be as fortunate as last Friday’s incident.

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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Candidates for county offices have kept busy over the summer raising funds, according to the latest campaign financial reports filed with the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office.

The most recent financial reports, which candidates had to file last week, covered the period of July 1 through Sept. 30.

The reports show that, altogether, candidates in the races for district attorney and sheriff have raised $139,937.54. A committee supporting incumbent Sheriff Rod Mitchell raised another $1,300, bringing the full campaign fundraising total for the two races to $141,237.54.

The candidate who has raised the largest amount of money so far this year was Mitchell, with $56,442.

Mitchell also raised the most of any candidate in the three-month reporting period, $27,333, of which $26,933 was cash contributions. That's more than the combined total raised by Mitchell's opponent, Francisco Rivero, and the two district attorney candidates, combined.

Rivero brought in $10,058 in contributions for the period, of which $5,000 was a loan to himself. So far this year, Rivero has loaned himself $35,000 of the $48,700.22 in contributions he has reported.

From July 1 to Sept. 30, Mitchell spent $14,292.56 and Rivero $9,454.46; for the year, expenditures for Mitchell totaled $47,077.95, with Rivero spending a total of $37,742.27 so far.

In support of the two sheriff candidates, two committees have formed: Family & Friends of Lake County Law Enforcement in Support of Sheriff Rod Mitchell-2010, which qualified as a committee on Sept. 1, and Families and Friends for Democracy & Justice in Lake County, which has not yet qualified, according to statements of organization.

In the district attorney's race, Doug Rhoades raised more than his opponent, Don Anderson, in the latest finance reporting period, raising $7,927 compared to Anderson's $6,426.

However, Anderson edged past Rhoades in the total contributions for the campaign so far, with $17,603.32 to $17,192 for Rhoades.

For expenditures, Anderson reported $5,779.45 for the reporting period and $17,978.45 year-to-date, with Rhoades reporting $7,158 and $16,631, respectively, for the two time periods.

The full details of the financial statements follow.


Don Anderson

Total contributions received this period: $6,436

Monetary contributions: $3,399.50

Nonmonetary contributions: $3,036.50

Itemized contributions: $2,661

Unitemized contributions: $738.50

Loans: $0

Expenditures: $5,779.45

Itemized expenditures: $2,643.88

Unitemized expenditures: $99.07

Beginning cash balance: $39

Total cash ending balance: $695.55

Outstanding debts: $0

Total contributions received year-to-date: $17,603.32

Total loans received year-to-date: $0

Total expenditures year-to-date: $17,978.45

Itemized contributions: $2,661

Law Office of Bill Feeney, Lakeport, attorney; $500 ($700 year-to-date)

R.H. Henning, Kelseyville, retired; $250 ($450 year-to-date)

L.R. Russ Addiss, Kelseyville, self-employed accountant; $500 ($1,125 year-to-date)

Donald Anderson, Lakeport, attorney and candidate; $300 ($1,062.54 year-to-date)

Robert Riggs, Kelseyville, attorney; $250

Robert Bridges, Lakeport, deputy county counsel; $100

Olga Martin-Steele, Clearlake Oaks, retired; $110 ($235 year-to-date)

Barbara Galvan, Huntington Beach, retired; $175 ($320 year-to-date)

First Pick Builders, Lakeport, self-employed general contractor, $106

Mary Ann Schmid, Upper Lake, owner of Lodge at Blue Lakes; $170

Norman J. Valdez Jr., Witter Springs, disabled/unemployed; $100

Janina and Mike Hoskins, Hidden Valley Lake, contractor, Hoskins & Sons; $100

Itemized nonmonetary contributions: $2,610.50

Maurice Kemp, Hidden Valley Lake, attorney, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $251

Barbara Galvan, Huntington Beach, retired, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $434

Ceago Winery, Nice, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $192

Jim and Olga Steele, Clearlake Oaks, retired, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $289

Colleen Chatoff, Glenhaven, Realtor, Chatoff Realty, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $250

Jody Galvan, Middletown, office manager, Storybook Mountain Vineyards, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $470

Colleen Williams, Calistoga, vice president, Storybook Mountain Vineyards, wine for silent auction at fundraiser; $100

Donald Anderson, Lakeport, attorney and candidate, silent auction gifts; $624.50

Itemized expenditures: $2,643.88

Lake County Fair, Lakeport, booth; $350

UCC Rentals, Lakeport, tank for balloons; $140.22

Mary Ann Schmid, Upper Lake, food and venue; $928.22

Lake County Registrar of Voters, Lakeport, filing fees; $276.43

Lake County Registrar of Voters, Lakeport, filing fees; $812.83

Wildhurst Winery, Kelseyville, wine for fundraiser; $136.40

Douglas Rhoades

Total contributions received this period: $7,927

Monetary contributions: $5,869

Nonmonetary contributions: $2,058

Itemized contributions: $4,787

Unitemized contributions: $1,082

Loans: $0

Expenditures: $7,158

Itemized expenditures: $4,980.54

Beginning cash balance: $1,303

Total cash ending balance: $2,055

Outstanding debts: $0

Total contributions received year-to-date: $17,192

Total loans received year-to-date: $0

Total expenditures year-to-date: $16,631

Itemized contributions: $4,787

Laurel Groshong, Lakeport, retired state administrator; $50 ($325 year-to-date)

Nancy Rhoades, Kelseyville, educator, Lake County Probation Department; $500 ($1,390 year-to-date)

Ron Green, Lower Lake, attorney; $100 ($250 year-to-date)

Bill Wolfe, Kelseyville, retired tire salesman; $100 ($200 year-to-date)

Gary Hill Investigations, Finley, investigations; $50 ($150 year-to-date)

Lake County Democratic Central Committee, Clearlake; $500 ($700 year-to-date)

Douglas Rhoades, Kelseyville, attorney; $1,100 ($2,600 year-to-date)

Lowell Grant, Lakeport, Realtor; $50 ($150 year-to-date)

Dana Kearney, Kelseyville, pharmacy tech; $100 ($250 year-to-date)

Jim and Susan Herrmann, Kelseyville, retired utility/nurse; $250 ($350 year-to-date)

Judy Conard, Lakeport, attorney; $100

Wally Holbrook, Kelseyville, Lake County superintendent of schools; $205

Susanne La Faver, Hidden Valley Lake, retired; $100

Bob Borghesani, Kelseyville, lumber company owner; $160

Barry Parkinson, Lakeport, attorney; $300

Lake County Stonewall Club, Clearlake; $200

John Norcio, Lakeport, retired restaurateur; $100

Steve Davis, Lakeport, retired California Highway Patrol commander; $200

Robert Chalk, Kelseyville, retired law enforcement; $200

Dan Christensen, Lakeport, retired businessman; $100 ($199 year-to-date)

Larry Juchert, Lakeport, flooring installer; $120 ($219 year-to-date)

Pam Cochrane, Kelseyville, county auditor; $200 ($299 year-to-date)

Wanda Harris, Hidden Valley Lake, retired; $102 ($127 year-to-date)

Itemized nonmonetary contributions: $1,978

Lakeport English Inn, Lakeport, one night's lodging; $150

Villa La Brenta, Lakeport, wine reception event; $100

Tallman Hotel, Upper Lake, gift certificate; $100

Wildhurst Winery, one case premium wines; $120 ($340 year-to-date)

Doug Rhoades, Kelseyville, attorney and candidate, various items for silent auction; $220

Doug Rhoades, Kelseyville, attorney and candidate, campaign brochures – advertising; $499 ($3,457 year-to-date)

Doug Rhoades, Kelseyville, attorney and candidate, fair booth and worker passes; $560

Doug Rhoades, Kelseyville, attorney and candidate, additional large campaign signs; $239

Itemized expenditures: $4,980.54

Lake County Registrar of Voters, Lakeport, candidate's statement of qualifications for the ballot )June and November), copes of other candidate's 460s; $1,089

Lake County Record-Bee, Lakeport, eight advertisements in newspaper; $467

Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, Kelseyville, candidate fundraiser on Aug. 13; $537

Voter Information Guide G10, Sherman Oaks, slate mailer, full feature listing on Voter Information Guide; $940

American Button Machines, Plano, TX, 1,000 campaign buttons; $103.94

Direct Image Printing, New Hope, MN, campaign material leadership brochures, $243.60

Digital Printing Services, New Hope, MN, 12 4-foot by 8-foot campaign signs, $265

Election Education Guide, Reseda, slate mailer, full feature listing on Election Education Guide, $1,335


Rodney Mitchell

Total contributions received this period: $27,333

Monetary contributions: $26,933

Nonmonetary contributions: $400

Itemized contributions: $19,318

Unitemized contributions: $7,615

Loans: $0

Expenditures: $14,292.56

Itemized expenditures: $12,890.58

Beginning cash balance: $134.04

Total cash ending balance: $13,700.93

Outstanding debts: $0

Accrued expenses: $926.45

Total contributions received year-to-date: $56,442

Total loans received year-to-date: $0

Total expenditures year-to-date: $47,077.95

Itemized contributions: $19,318

Ken Parlet, Lakeport, Lakeview Market; $100

Helen Behn, Middletown, retired; $200 ($400 year-to-date)

Carl Braito, Kelseyville, Braito's Marina; $150

Frank Grossman, San Carlos, retired; $100

Jessie and Shirley Head, Hidden Valley Lake, retired; $100

Tom Marshall, Hidden Valley Lake, retired; $100 ($200 year-to-date)

James and Hettie Hendrickson, Middletown, Clover Dairy; $50 ($350 year-to-date)

Greg Scott, Lakeport, retired; $100 ($200 year-to-date)

Pamela Irwin, Lakeport, assistant, Wildhurst Vineyards; $100

Denise Hinchcliff, county of Lake investigator; $10 ($109 year-to-date)

Lake County Deputy Sheriff's Association, Lakeport; $500

Toni Scully, Lakeport, Scully Packing Co.; $75 ($175 year-to-date)

Robert and Jeanette Bartley, Lakeport, Bartley Pumps; $100 ($200 year-to-date)

Dave and Gerri Brown, Kelseyville, retired; $100 ($150 year-to-date)

Debbie Burnett, Middletown, Lake County sheriff/coroner assistant; $370

Mike and Denise Curran, Kelseyville; county of Lake investigator; $100 ($128 year-to-date)

Steve Davis, Lakeport, retired; $100

Wally Holbrook, Kelseyville, Lake County superintendent of schools; $100

Tom and Ruth Lincoln, Lakeport, Lincoln-Leavitt Insurance; $250 ($450 year-to-date)

Jacob and Lynda Steely, Kelseyville, county of Lake law enforcement; $120

Lloyd and Carol Stottsberry, Cobb, retired; $100

Mark Borghesani, Kelseyville, Kelseyville Lumber; $90 ($189 year-to-date)

Joseph Dutra, Kelseyville, county of Lake law enforcement; $90 ($189 year-to-date)

Kathy Fowler, Lakeport, Fowler Chevrolet; $100

Bill and Dana Kearney, Kelseyville, Northlake Pharmacy; $430 ($630 year-to-date)

Amelia Lincoln, Berkeley, student; $205

Calvin and Irene McCarley, Lower Lake, retired; $70 ($170 year-to-date)

Jerry and MaryAnn McQueen, Lakeport, Northport Trailer Resort; $100

Gil Schoux Sr., Kelseyville, retired; $170

Paul and Lisa Vartabedian, Lakeport, Vartabedian, DDS; $200

Terry and Linda Stewart, Clearlake, Discount Shades and Blinds; $100

Bill Brunetti, Lakeport, Bruno's Property Management; $500

Andrew and Maxine Peterson, Lucerne, retired; $300

Rick Kemp, Kelseyville, retired; $100

Lake Elephants, Lucerne; $1,500

Scott and Nathalie Anthus, Clearlake, survey party chief, DK Consulting; $130

Dorothy Emerson, Cobb, retired; $200

Robert Malley Sr., Clearlake, retired; $50 ($149 year-to-date)

Patricia Moshell-Johnson, San Mateo, retired; $100

Chris Vallerga, Lower Lake, Vallerga Fire Investigations; $100

Carl Webb, Clearlake, retired; $120 ($219 year-to-date)

Ken and Joann Avila, Kelseyville, retired; $100 ($200 year-to-date)

Richard Gorman, Clearlake Oaks, retired; $300 ($500 year-to-date)

Anthony and Claudia Marchese, Lucerne, retired; $50 ($150 year-to-date)

Robert and Patricia Sullivan, Lucerne, Sullivan Termite Control; $170

Bob Borghesani, Kelseyville, Kelseyville Lumber; $50 ($150 year-to-date)

Judy Conard, Lakeport, Conard law office; $100

Gary Hill, Lakeport, Gary Hill Investigations; $100

MaryGrace McMahon, Middletown, not employed; $271

Ron Minudri, Middletown, Minudri Insurance; $590 ($740 year-to-date)

Barry Parkinson, Lakeport, Parkinson law office; $200

Armand and Trena Pauley, Kelseyville, Polestar Computers; $300

Joe and Marian Sanfilippo, Lucerne, retired; $100

Peter and Mary Ann Schmid, Upper Lake, the Lodge at Blue Lakes; $300

Roland Nell Shaul, Kelseyville, retired; $150 ($350 year-to-date)

George and Anita Speake Jr., Kelseyville, retired; $100

John and Joanne VanEck, Kelseyville, VanEck Equestrian Center; $100

William Wolfe, Kelseyville, retired; $100

Mount St. Helena Vineyard, Middletown; $100

Larry and Carolyn Boardman, Finley, retired; $300 ($800 year-to-date)

Patrick Buckley, Lakeport, county of Lake law enforcement; $134

Robert Stack, San Anselmo, retired; $310

Gene Renner, Kelseyville, Tire Pros, $100 ($150 year-to-date)

Marie Ady, Clearlake, Lakeshore Feed & Grain; $220

Ronnie and Janeane Bogner, Clearlake Oaks, Weed Tech; $410

John J. Candido, Lakeport, retired; $170

Susan Constable, Lower Lake, Wynacht Memorials and Monuments; $170 ($220 year-to-date)

Karen Detweiler, Lower Lake; controller, Fowler Chevrolet; $210

Phil Garner, Clearlake Oaks, retired; $75 ($175 year-to-date)

Anne Garner-Austin, Clearlake Oaks, registered nurse, Sutter Lakeside Hospital; $135

Thomas Hewlett, Clearlake, Cooper & Hewlett Dentistry; $100 ($300 year-to-date)

Hedy Montoya, Hidden Valley Lake, director of Catholic Charities; $230

James and Frances Peretti, Lucerne, retired; $50 ($150 year-to-date)

Jim and Teddi Walker, Kelseyville, county of Sonoma electrician; $70 ($170 year-to-date)

Doug and Arlene Carter, Clearlake, retired; $100

John and Pat Norcio, Lakeport, McDonald's; $170 ($320 year-to-date)

Chris and Teena Macedo, Kelseyville; county of Lake law enforcement; $150

Jim and Carolyn Bolander, Middletown, retired; $100

Rodney and Charla Field, Hidden Valley Lake, site manager, Ledcor Construction Co.; $115

Craig Flynn, Cotati, Windsor Holdings and Windsor One; $1,500 ($4,000 year-to-date)

Richard Kuehn, Lucerne, Copper Cross Vineyards; $250 ($500 year-to-date)

George Lafave, Hidden Valley Lake, Lafave Construction; $390

Kristina Ryan-Rockwell, Hidden Valley Lake, not employed; $100

Charles and Kathleen Sloan, Hidden Valley Lake, Kann Du Construction; $225

James Totten, Hidden Valley Lake, JT Auto Glass, $1,003

Ben Lawson, Clearlake Oaks, Island Park Resort; $100

Cindy Radoumis, Kelseyville; county of Lake law enforcement; $100

Dennis Pluth, Clearlake Oaks, retired; $100 ($199 year-to-date)

Ed and Michelle Lavelle, Middletown, Crump, Bruchler & Lavelle Law Office; $174

Bob and Paula Piveronas, Lakeport, retired; $111

Mike and Ramona McKell, Middletown, retired; $1,000 ($1,500 year-to-date)

Thomas Moore, Kelseyville, retired; $175

Itemized nonmonetary contributions: $400

Albert H. League III, West Sacramento, Mentor Research, research time; $400

Itemized expenditures: $12,890.58

Kelseyville Lumber, Kelseyville, miscellaneous supplies for outdoor signage; $937.25

Lee's Sporting Goods, Lakeport, embroidered shirts; $365.40

Lake County Rodeo Association, Lakeport, advertising at rodeo event; $250

Lake County Registrar of Voters, Lakeport, balance for candidate's statement, candidate's statement, voter file; $1,311.72

Lake County Fair, Lakeport, fair booth fee, admission tickets and parking passes; $677

Chris Jones, Newcastle, consultant fee; $1,500

Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Lakeport, event admission and booth fee; $129

Lake County Welders Supply, Lakeport, helium tanks; $373.04

Computel Computer Systems, Waltham, MA, document research and retrieval; $116.50

Displays 2 Go, Bristol, RI, display items; $451.99

Banners on the Cheap, Austin, TX, printed banners; $2,330.03

Signs on the Cheap, Austin, TX, printed lawn signs; $1,868.14

Vistaprint, Lexington, MA, campaign literature and T-shirts; $1,480.19

Lake County Wine Alliance, Kelseyville, event admission; $125

Loeb's Ink Spot, Lakeport, printing; $134.85

Next Day Flyers, Rancho Dominguez, literature; $679.94

The Flag Co., Acworth, GA, American flags; $160.53

Accrued expenses: $926.45

Kelseyville Lumber, Kelseyville; $926.45

Payments made by an agent or independent contractor: $2,514.63

Bill and Dana Kearney, Kelseyville, fundraiser expenses; $1,436.55

Jessie and Shirley Head, Hidden Valley Lake, fundraiser expenses; $116.33

Ron Minudri, Middletown, fundraiser expenses; $675.36

Rob Brown, Kelseyville, fundraiser expenses, $286.38

Francisco Rivero

Total contributions received this period: $10,058

Monetary contributions: $5,058

Nonmonetary contributions: $0

Itemized contributions: $700

Unitemized contributions: $4,358

Loans: $5,000 (from self)

Expenditures: $9,454.46

Itemized expenditures: $7,673.53

Beginning cash balance: $10,316.39

Total cash ending balance: $10,919.93

Outstanding debts: $35,000

Total contributions received year-to-date: $48,700.22

Total loans received year-to-date: $35,000 (from self)

Total expenditures year-to-date: $37,742.27

Itemized contributions: $700

Patricia Meyer, Cobb, self-employed, Patricia Meyer & Associates; $200 ($290 year-to-date)

Lake County Democratic Club, Kelseyville, $500 ($700 year-to-date)

Itemized expenditures: $7,673.53

Lake County Registrar of Voters, Lakeport, fee for candidate's statement on ballot; $812.83

Perfect Painters, Clearlake, campaign literature; $278.51

Election Guide, Sherman Oaks, advertisement; $2,275

R.A. Hamilton, Hidden Valley Lake, signs and banners; $989.19

Middletown Times Star, Middletown, advertising; $750

The Outlook, Clearlake Oaks, advertising; $556

Rosemary Martin, Kelseyville, catering; $770

Watercolors Restaurant, Kelseyville, catering; $370

Lake County News, Lucerne, advertising; $872

Family & Friends of Lake County Law Enforcement in support of Sheriff Rod Mitchell - 2010

Date qualified as committee: Sept. 1, 2010

Treasurer: Jillian Burnett, Lower Lake

Total contributions received this period: $1,300

Monetary contributions: $1,300

Nonmonetary contributions: $0

Itemized contributions: $1,100

Unitemized contributions: $200

Loans: $0

Expenditures: $1,188

Itemized expenditures: $1,188

Beginning cash balance: $0

Total cash ending balance: $112

Outstanding debts: $0

Total contributions received year-to-date: $1,300

Total loans received year-to-date: $0

Total expenditures year-to-date: $1,188

Itemized contributions: $1,100

David Michel Jr., Kelseyville, retired; $1,000

Robert Jordan, Kelseyville, county of Lake law enforcement; $100

Itemized expenditures: $1,188

Lake County Publishing, Lakeport, newspaper advertisement; $1,188

Families and Friends for Democracy & Justice in Lake County

Date qualified as committee: Not yet qualified

Treasurer: Lawrence Ross, Kelseyville

Total contributions received this period: $0

Monetary contributions: $0

Nonmonetary contributions: $0

Itemized contributions: $0

Unitemized contributions: $0

Loans: $0

Expenditures: $0

Itemized expenditures: $0

Beginning cash balance: $0

Total cash ending balance: $0

Outstanding debts: $00

Total contributions received year-to-date: $0

Total loans received year-to-date: $0

Total expenditures year-to-date: $0

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – The California Attorney General's Office on Wednesday filed criminal charges against three men who stole more than $150,000 from about 200 people by creating fake credit and debit cards from banking information they skimmed from ATM and credit cards through devices placed inside gas station pumps in Northern California.

“These thieves broke into gas station pumps and installed devices that collected customers' debit and credit card numbers and ATM PINs,” Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said, “and later they used that stolen information to create fraudulent cards, make purchases and withdraw thousands of dollars from victims' accounts.”

David Karapetyan, 32, Zhirayr Zamanyan, 30, and Edwin Hamazaspyan, 31, all of Los Angeles, were scheduled to appear on Wednesday in Contra Costa County Superior Court to face charges. The complaint against them includes 42 counts of felony identity theft and one count of conspiracy.

If convicted on all charges, the three could each face up to 31 years in prison.

In March, the Attorney General's office took over prosecution of the case from the Contra Costa District Attorney's office because the crimes occurred in multiple jurisdictions throughout Northern California. An amended complaint was filed today.

In their high-tech crime spree, the three traveled to gas stations and banks across the Bay Area in a rented Cadillac Escalade. From November 2009 to February 2010, they are believed to have stolen $158,800 from 196 people.

They acquired keys to unlock various kinds of gas station pumps. Once they opened the pumps, they were able to connect two cables inside to their two-inch electronic device, which looked like a circuit board encased in electrical tape, and recorded ATM and credit card data as well as victims' PINs. No tampering was visible on the outside of the pumps.

The trio would later return to retrieve the skimmers, which took less than 20 seconds.

The investigation began in February when police in Solano and Contra Costa counties reported an increase in identity theft and a 7-11 Store employee in Martinez noticed a skimming device inside a gas pump.

Police removed the device, replaced it with a mock device and conducted 24-hour surveillance. Karapetyan and Zamanyan were arrested when they arrived to remove the device. In total, seven devices were found inside gas pumps in Martinez, Benicia, Livermore, Hayward, Oakland, San Mateo and Sacramento.

Banks have reimbursed the victims.

The Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force, a partnership of 17 local, state and federal agencies, led the investigation with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service, Martinez Police Department and the Glendale Police Department.

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HOPLAND, Calif. – An investigation into narcotics trafficking conducted by the Hopland Police Department and state officials resulted in the arrests of three Hopland residents Tuesday.

Arrested were Diana Elliott, 35; Orval Elliott, 48; and Vernon Abella, 51, according to California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control Special Agent in Charge Alan Hatano.

In June the specially commissioned Bureau of Indian Affairs officers employed by the Hopland Police Department requested assistance from the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control, according to a report from Hatano and Hopland Police Chief Brett Rhodes.

The two agencies reported working together to conduct surveillance at Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino, where they identified drug dealers selling methamphetamine at the casino.

During July, August and September, an undercover Bureau of Gambling Control agent purchased methamphetamine from the suspected drug dealers on the casino property. Hopland Police and the state agents conducted surveillance during the transactions and identified a possible source of supply.

On Tuesday, the agents and officers – assisted by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force – arrested the suspects and executed two search warrants at 3401 Shanel Road and 3406 Shanel Road, both located on tribal property in Hopland California.

The agencies reported that the search warrants resulted in the seizure of additional items of evidence indicating drug sales; however they did not locate any additional methamphetamine.

Diana Elliott was arrested at the casino after she attempted to deliver a small quantity of methamphetamine to the undercover state agent. Officials said she also was arrested for her involvement in several prior sales of methamphetamine to the undercover agent.


Orval Elliott was arrested while walking to the casino for one previous sale of methamphetamine to the undercover agent and for conspiracy.

Vernon Abella also was arrested while walking to the casino on charges of two previous sales of methamphetamine to the undercover agent and conspiracy.

All three suspects were booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

Bureau of Gambling Control agents will conduct further investigation to identify any additional suspects, Hatano reported.

Prior to this case, Hatano said the agency's most recent investigation at the casino was a fraud case over the summer that resulted in several arrests, as Lake County News has reported.

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Dr. Shermain Hardesty of the University of California, Davis, will discuss the economic and social benefits generated by a regional food system and the history of food production in Lake County at a workshop on Thursday, October 21, 2010, in Lakeport, Calif. Courtesy photo.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – As a follow up to the Local Foods Forum held in March of this year, the Health Leadership Network (HLN) and Lake County’s UC Cooperative Extension Office are organizing an afternoon workshop on Thursday, Oct. 21, entitled: “Growing Our Local Food Economy.”

The workshop is sponsored by a grant from the California Department of Food & Agriculture and Lake County Public Health Department.

The workshop will focus on post-harvest considerations including food processing, storage, distribution and markets.

The afternoon will open with demonstrations by the Lake County Community Co-Op ( and the Lake County Farm Bureau ( of their respective online food ordering systems.

Ted Herrera and Maria Giovanni, of Local Added Value Agriculture (LAVA), also will talk briefly about the products they are currently making and selling in Lake County.

As a follow up to her March 2010 presentation at the Local Foods Forum, Dr. Shermain Hardesty, extension economist, agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis, will review the economic and social benefits generated by a regional food system and the history of food production in Lake County.

Her October presentation, entitled “Building the Nuts & Bolts of Local Food Systems,” will be participatory, asking those in attendance to help identify core infrastructure components needed for a regional food system and determine which already exist in Lake County.

That step will be followed by an exercise to estimate total food demand in the county, brainstorm a list of the specific crops and processed foods that have the potential to be produced in Lake County, and prioritize the top ten crops/products on the list.

Next, attendees will help Dr. Hardesty compare the infrastructure needed to produce and market those products highlighting critical missing components. The final step will be to outline the next steps to move forward with the development process, emphasizing partnerships, utilizing existing resources and/or rebuilding those that existed in the past.

Workshop participants will also hear from Ben Ratto about how the Bay Area Collaborative’s food distribution system works as well as from Colleen Rentsch and Michelle Malm about the Farm-to-School program they’ve created for students of the Kelseyville Unified School District.

Colleen Rentsch is a local farmer and operator of Seely’s Farm Stand; Michelle Malm is Kelseyville Unified’s Director of Food Services.




California Farm-to-School expert Gail Feenstra will present

Upcoming Calendar

07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Library Bookmobile special stop
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
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

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