Saturday, 13 July 2024


From left to right, Edge Wireless tower (cell phone lifeline of Lake County), Andy Weiss and Bill Rett (KPFZ's stalwart engineer), and to the right, the building which will house KPFZ's main transmitter, transmitter/receiver, and other audio gear. Between Andy and Bill, P&R roughnecks install KPFZ's antenna. Insert at bottom left, Weiss and Rett hold up parts of our hefty antenna system. Courtesy photo.

MT. KONOCTI – Rain, snow and ice couldn't prevent work from taking place on this past week on the tower for KPFZ's new high power station.

The community radio station's supporters hope to soon be broadcasting at full power from 88.1 FM.

Station Manager Andy Weiss reported that Mt. Konocti was muddy, cold and rather treacherous, but Bill Rett and Jack Olsen of P&R Tower in Sacramento made the trip for free to climb up the tower and install the antenna.

Weiss said it only took a couple of hours for the connection from the antenna and transmission line to be sealed, then the line pressurized with nitrogen, and checked for leaks. He said the pressurized nitrogen line keeps water from leaking into the cable “and water in the line is the death knell to a radio station.”

The next step up on the mountain is to install the transmitter, audio processor, and all the remote gear which controls the station's programming and transmitter from the studio in Lakeport, according to Weiss. That equipment is due to arrive shortly.

“But this was the completion of the biggest, hardest physical step in getting 88.1 going,” said Weiss. “Now, it's more brain than brawn.”

KPFZ is still in need of funds to complete its transition to high power. If you would like to help, contact Weiss at 274-2152 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


December skies at 9 p.m. on Dec. 15.

LAKE COUNTY – The planet Mars moves close to the Earth every two years. This is a function of its orbit around the sun.

“Close” is still pretty far away – about 55 million miles! When Mars is close, it provides an interesting object for telescope viewing.

This month, Mars will be close, and can be seen in the area of the sky shown in the December star chart. It will look like a bright star with a reddish hue.

Through a telescope, it is possible to see one of the polar caps and some dark markings on the planet’s surface. Here’s a picture of Mars I took through one of my telescopes when it was close in 2003.



Mars courtesy of John Zimmerman.


In December, there are some very beautiful constellations overhead.

There is Perseus, the hero in Greek mythology we spoke of last month.  That’s the constellation where comet Holmes appeared. Below Perseus is Taurus the bull. The brightest star in Taurus, Aldebaran, is reddish in color, and is sometimes called the “eye of the bull.”

Between Perseus and Taurus is the Pleiades, a small group of bright stars you can see with the naked eye. The Pleiades is sometimes called the “seven sisters.” An image of the Pleiades is shown below.


Pleiades courtesy of Andy Munro.

Finally, below Taurus, rising in the southeast is Orion, one of the most beautiful of all constellations.  Orion was a great hunter in Greek mythology. We’ll talk more about Orion in next month’s column.

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

On Dec. 15, starting at 8 p.m., the observatory will be open to the public, and Mars will be featured, both in a presentation and in telescope viewing.

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




USS Arizona (BB-39) sunk and burning furiously, 7 December 1941. Her forward magazines had exploded when she was hit by a Japanese bomb. At left, men on the stern of USS Tennessee (BB-43) are playing fire hoses on the water to force burning oil away from their ship. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.




0745 hours, Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941 

Shortly before 8 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, 16-year-old Jim Harris was standing on the quarter deck of the USS Dobbin AD3. 

Harris was part of the command allowance for the Com DES Flot 1 – which stands for Commander Destroyer Flotilla 1 – the group of men who traveled with the admiral.

The Dobbin was a repair ship and mother ship for destroyers. “We we would travel from ship to ship, as the flag travels,” he said.


As he stood on the Dobbin that morning, across the way a church service and flag-raising ceremony was about to take place on the deck of the USS Arizona.


“I had just eaten breakfast, I was standing on the quarter deck when the first flight of planes arrived,” he said.


“We thought they were from the USS Enterprise, which we knew was returning from Christmas Island and Wake Island,” said Harris, now 83.


There, the Enterprise had dropped off Marines and Marine aircraft, said Harris, and the ship was expected back. According to a Naval chronology of the day, the Enterprise was indeed en route to Pearl Harbor, and had launched scout planes at 6:18 a.m.


But the planes that Harris saw come in over the 'Aiea Hills weren't from the Enterprise.


When the planes banked, Harris said, “We could see the red meatball.”


The “meatball” was a sailor's term for the red sun, the imperial seal of the Empire of Japan.


“After a few cuss words we identified them,” he said.


0750 hours


Seaman First Class Walt Urmann, 18, was on watch on the destroyer USS Blue DD387.


He had taken the flag from the quarter deck to the stern, where he was waiting for the ship's whistle to blow, the signal to raise the flag.


“At about seven minutes to eight I heard a horrible explosion over on Ford Island,” he said.


He looked up to see a Japanese plane, flying so low over the Blue's deck that he could see the pilot waving at him, and the big red suns on the side of the plane.


“I knew we were at war,” he said.


The pilot that waved at him had just dropped a torpedo that hit the USS Utah, said Urmann.


On the USS West Virginia, 23-year-old Fire Controllman Dean Darrow was getting ready to go on liberty in Honolulu, recalls his widow, Alice. Standing at his locker, he looked up and saw planes coming over, and heard the alarm sounded over the radio.


He later said that if he'd had a rock he could have thrown one and hit one of the Japanese planes, they were so close, Alice Darrow said.


Dean Darrow and his shipmates ran to get ammunition to return fire, only to discover the ammunition was locked up.


Seventeen-year-old WK Slater had joined the USS Pennsylvania in October 1941. On Dec. 7, the ship was in drydock. Slater, who said he was “just a deckhand,” was below decks when the bombs started.


At first he thought it was battle exercises, but that seemed unusual because it was Sunday.


Back aboard the Dobbin, Harris said the officer of the deck hit the alarm for general quarters and called all boats away, because many of the battleships had smaller boats tied to their sides, and couldn't move or do combat until those boats had moved off.


“We all got on the admiral's barge and came around to the ship's landing and took orders from the flag officer,” Harris said.


The admiral's barge moved around the USS Solace, a hospital ship anchored off the Dobbin, as well as two destroyers and the old Spanish American War battle cruiser Baltimore, which had been set to become scrap metal. The USS Nevada was tied at Ford Island, he said.


By 7:55 a.m. the Naval chronology said that the attack was well under way, with most of the ships having sounded general quarters.


0756 hours


On the Blue, Urmann said he and the other sailors rushed to their battle stations, and, like Darrow and those aboard the West Virginia, found the magazines locked. Urmann said they had to break the locks to get at the ammunition for the Blue's anti-aircraft guns.


Heavy shocks hit the West Virginia at 7:56 a.m.; Darrow said her husband's ship had been torpedoed. Naval records report that the West Virginia listed rapidly to its port side. That's when Dean Darrow went into the water.


He swam under the burning layer of oil on the water's surface, and came up on the other side. As he was being pulled from the water and into a boat by a group of rescuers, the Japanese planes began strafing the water's surface, Alice Darrow explained. A machine gun bullet struck him in the back and he was taken to the hospital.


0806 hours


Urmann said the Blue's guns got going at five minutes after 8 a.m.


Harris said the USS Vestal, a repair ship, had been moored to the port side of Arizona and was pulling away when both ships were struck. Naval records showed they were hit at 8:06 a.m.


The Vestal's captain was blown off the ship's bridge, said Harris. “We were in shock.”


As the admiral's barge made its way toward the captain, the man – still alive and swimming – waved them off toward the Arizona, said Harris.


“Stranger things happened,” he said.


0808 hours


“We started toward the Arizona to pick up survivors, and that's when she exploded,” said Harris.


The ship's two magazines ignited, creating what Urmann called a “horrible explosion.”


While Slater didn't see the Arizona blow up, “you couldn't miss it otherwise,” because it blew up for quite a while, he Slater.


By the time they got to the Arizona, “There were no survivors to pick up as far as we could find,” said Harris.


Most of those who survived the Arizona explosion were on liberty, Harris said.


Harris and his comrades made a number of trips, hauling survivors back to 'Aiea. At first, they had tried to take the men to the hospital ship Solace, but the men were covered with oil and couldn't get up the ship's polished staircase.


0840 hours


Urmann said it was close to 8:40 a.m. when the Blue got under way, after returning fire on the Japanese and shooting down two planes.


As the Blue moved out of the harbor, “They tried to bomb us all the way out,” said Urmann.


0906 hours


Shortly after 9 a.m., the Japanese launched a second attack, this time aiming for the ships in drydock, according to Naval records.


Aboard the Pennsylvania, Slater and his fellows were busy returning fire.


“My battle station was to take shells from a locker and bring them out to guys that were loading the gun,” he said.


A hoist used to bring the shells to the deck had broken down, so Slater said it forced he and other ammunition handlers to bring the shells up manually.


“When we were down getting those shells manually the one bomb that hit the ship went right through where my battle station was,” he said.


Naval records show a bomb hit the destroyer USS Downes in dock ahead of Pennsylvania. Another bomb then hit Pennsylvania's boat deck, a few feet from gun No. 7. The bomb passed through the boat deck and detonated near the No. 5 gun and the No. 9 casement. Pennsylvania still managed to hit two Japanese planes.


Slater said a number of men were killed by the bomb; had he still been on deck, he was sure that he would have been hit as well. “That's the most harrowing thing that happened to me that day,” he said.


Explaining how he felt, Slater said, “Frightened isn't the word.”


As he came up from below, Slater also saw that the Oklahoma had already rolled over.


Meanwhile, after 20 minutes, the USS Blue had managed to get out of Pearl Harbor, starting on patrol around the time the Pennsylvania was hit.


While on patrol, they got an underwater sound contact on a full-sized Japanese submarine, Urmann said and began dropping depth charges.


“We sunk that submarine but we never got credit for it,” he said.


However, they saw the oil and debris come to the surface.


Said Harris, “The whole attack must have gone over an hour and 20 minutes.”


1005 hours


A still-shaken Slater watches as the USS Shaw, also in drydock, explodes after it was first hit with a bomb at 8:15 a.m., according to Navy records.


While on patrol Urmann said the Blue met up with the USS St. Louis, the USS Helena and three other destroyers.


“We looked all the rest of that day for the Japanese,” said Urmann, who turned 84 on Nov. 27. “Luckily, we never found them.”


The aftermath of the attack


The following day, Monday, Dec. 8, the Blue linked up with the USS Enterprise, arriving back from Wake Island.


By 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 the Blue was back in Pearl Harbor. “We couldn't believe the damage that we saw,” said Urmann. “It was a mess.”


Naval records report that the Arizona, California and West Virginia were sunk at berth; the Oklahoma capsized, the Oglala was sunk by an aircraft torpedo, the Utah capsized and sank. Also damaged were the Maryland, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Helena, Honolulu, Raleigh, Shaw, Curtiss and Vestal.


The bomb that hit the Cassin in drydock caused it to fall off its blocks and onto the Downes.


The human toll was extreme. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, according to US Navy records.


Slater, who had gone to get something to eat at the enlisted club, was given a rifle and two bandoliers of shells by a big Marine and told to patrol the area around the hospital.


He said until that day he had felt safe amidst the might of the US Navy, but the “mouth dropping” effects of the attack changed his mind in a hurry.


As many as 24 men on the Pennsylvania were killed, said Slater.


After the attack, Slater said an officer gave him a pan with a pair of boots in it and told him to take it down and dump it in a trash receptacle off the ship. He said he looked down at the boots and realized a man's feet were still in them.


That night, three US planes came in were shot down by friendly fire, said Slater.


Wires had been put up to keep people off the lawns, said Slater. As he was patrolling that night he tripped over a wire, his rifle went up in the air and came down, hitting him on the head.


“The Japanese didn't get me that day but I did a pretty good job on myself,” he laughed.


Tomorrow, where they went after the attack and where they are today.


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











The wrecked destroyers USS Downes (DD-375) and USS Cassin (DD-372) in Drydock One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, soon after the end of the Japanese air attack. Cassin has capsized against Downes.






Poster designed by Allen Sandburg, issued by the Office of War Information, Washington, D.C., in 1942, in remembrance of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The poster also features a quotation from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:












LAKE COUNTY – A man being held for a November murder has been indicted by the US Attorney's Office for allegedly dumping hazardous waste in a 2005 incident in San Diego County.

Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, is charged with the Nov. 20 murder of 67-year-old Michael Dodele.

Oliver's legal problems have grown since the alleged attack.

A week after Oliver is alleged to have stabbed Dodele to death in his trailer at the Western Hills Mobile Home Park in Lakeport, the US Department of Justice indicted Oliver, according to court documents obtained by Lake County News.

Charges filed against Oliver include conspiracy and aiding and abetting co-defendant Guillermo Garcia of El Cajon in dumping hazardous wastes in San Diego County, court records show. In addition, Garcia is facing a charge for failing to report a release of a hazardous substance.

Shortly after Oliver was arrested for Dodele's murder, the Lake County Sheriff's Office discovered that Oliver was on parole out of San Diego County, as Lake County News previously reported.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff told Lake County News that Oliver has been on parole since February of 2005 on a charge of assault with force causing great bodily injury. He had not been legally cleared to be out of San Diego County, officials reported.

According to the indictment, Garcia and Oliver allegedly agreed on March 30, 2005, to dispose of Plasti-Kote acrylic paint by dumping the contents of five 55-gallon drums into Slaughterhouse Canyon Creek in San Diego County.

The paint the men allegedly dumped contained toluene, a highly toxic petroleum-based solvent used in manufacturing paints that's also used as paint thinner, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Short-term exposure to toluene can cause minor nervous system disorders, while long-term exposure can result in conditions including speech and sight impairment, and liver and kidney damage, according to the EPA.

A statement from the US Attorney of the California Southern District alleges that the two men dumped the hazardous materials into the creek and onto the ground near it at night “in order to save the time and money required by lawful disposal.”

The US Attorney's Office alleges that Garcia lied to authorities responding to the incident on March 31, 2005, telling them there ha been an accidental spill of between 20 and 30 gallons.

Garcia was arraigned Nov. 29 in federal court in San Diego before Magistrate Judge Anthony J. Battaglia, at which time he pleaded not guilty to the charges, the US Attorney's Office reported. He's next scheduled to appear in court before Judge Irma E. Gonzalez on Jan. 7, 2008.

If convicted of all charges, Garcia could face maximum fines and penalties of more than $500,000, plus as much as 16 years in prison. He has been released on $20,000 bail.

Meanwhile, the US Attorney's Office has applied for a writ of habeas corpus to have Oliver brought from the Lake County Jail to San Diego for a court appearance later this month.

A federal judge signed the writ, filed Dec. 5, which orders the warden of the Lake County Jail and the US Marshal for the district to have Oliver in court for arraignment before Magistrate Judge Leo S. Papas at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21.

The writ calls for Oliver to be returned to Lake County after the arraignment is held.

That should put him back in Lake County in time for a Jan. 7, 2008 court appearance he is scheduled to make in the Dodele murder, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

Hinchcliff said he expects a date for a preliminary hearing to be set at that Jan. 7 hearing for Oliver, who was last in Lake County Superior Court on the Dodele case on Nov. 30.

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


LAKE COUNTY – A workshop on the requirements of the Air Toxic Control Measure for Stationary CI Engines used in agricultural operations and the approach to implement the program in Lake County will be held this month.

The Lake County Air Quality Management District, Lake County Farm Bureau, the Lake County Winegrape Commission and other interested parties will hold the workshop on Dec. 14 at 10 a.m., at the agricultural center conference room.

Tiny particles in diesel engine exhaust have increasingly been regulated by the state as a cancer-causing health risk. The Lake County Air Quality Management District is required to enforce the Air Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) enacted by the CARB for all stationary sources within the Lake County air basin.

CARB recently amended the ATCM to require Stationary Agricultural Compression Ignition Engines (engines using diesel or similar fuel) to be permitted / registered in local air districts statewide. The changes will implement a regulation to control particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions from stationary agricultural diesel engines (not tractors or other motive powered equipment).

All stationary engines larger than 50 horsepower are required to be permitted by the LCAQMD by March 1, 2008. Full compliance with the various emission requirements will be phased in over several years, starting on January 1, 2011, but requirements are already in effect for engines purchased or installed after January 1, 2005.

The requirements will apply to most stationary agricultural diesel engines now in use, although most were previously unregulated. Some engine use may be exempt from the emissions reduction requirements, but still must be permitted by the LCAQMD, and their use reported annually.

Engines that do not meet the new requirements must be upgraded to conform or be replaced with compliant equipment. Upgrade options include replacement with electrical service motor/engines, add-on particulate control devices, newer cleaner diesel engines, or gasoline or propane spark-ignition engines.

The CARB has estimated that 21 to 29 affected engines exist in Lake County. Further constraints may apply if the engine is located within 1,000 feet of a school or hospital.

Currently there are no state regulations that place requirements on agricultural tractors, spray rigs, harvesters, or other mobile farm equipment.

Further information about the new ATCM requirements is available by contacting Barbara Cook of the CARB at (916) 323-0440 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A fact sheet is available on the Web at


SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded the Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor to 31 state employees who have demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism, one of them an Upper Lake resident.

Caltrans employee Timothy Mooney of Upper Lake was honored for rescuing a severely injured man trapped in the trunk of a car in January, according to a report from Schwarzenegger's office.

In the early morning on Jan. 13, Mooney, an equipment operator, was sanding the icy areas of the roadway between Hopland and Lakeport on Highway 175 when he noticed a vehicle located approximately 50 to 80 feet down a steep slope.


Mooney got his flashlight and climbed down the hill in the dark to investigate. While at the scene he heard a noise coming from the trunk of the vehicle. He opened the trunk and discovered an injured man with severe head lacerations.

Not knowing if the perpetrators were still in the area, Mooney contacted the California Highway Patrol, and then assisted the man to a sitting position. The temperature was 17 degrees; to protect the man from the cold Mooney gave him his raincoat.

The Hopland Fire Department responded to the scene and airlifted the victim to the hospital, where he was hospitalized for a month for treatment of head trauma and hypothermia. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident as a kidnapping and an attempted murder case.

Along with Mooney, Schwarzenegger honored four other state employees who hail from the North Coast counties of Mendocino, Napa and Humboldt: Department of Conservation – Dave Longstreth of Ukiah rescued two passengers from a car that was sinking 100 feet offshore in Lake Mendocino on April 28, 2006; Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – David Shew of St. Helena stopped a suicidal man from jumping off a freeway overpass on April 27, 2007; California Highway Patrol – Brent Weese of Crescent City rescued a woman from a fast-moving grass fire on July 3, 2006; Department of Mental Health – Phillip Scott Nixon of Napa prevented an attempted carjacking and robbery on Jan. 22, 2007.

State Sen. Patricia Wiggins offered up her own praise for the five state workers from her district.

"These people are real heroes,” Wiggins said. “Through their bravery and their willingness to get involved, they made a difference to the lives of others, and they offer proud examples of the remarkable kinds of people that work for our state government.”

The Medal of Valor, which started in 1959, is the highest honor that California bestows on its public servants and is awarded to California state employees who have performed an extraordinary act of heroism above and beyond the normal call of duty, at great risk to their own personal safety or life, to save the life of another. Award nominations are made by the employee's department.


MIDDLE CREEK – A head-on collision between two motorcycles resulted in major injuries Sunday afternoon.

The California Highway Patrol's incident logs reported that the off-road crash occurred in the Middle Creek area near Deer Valley Road just after 3 p.m. Sunday.

At least one of the riders had suffered major injuries, including a broken bone.

On Sunday evening, the CHP's Ukiah Dispatch Center has no further information on the crash or the individuals involved.

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


LOWER LAKE – A man who allegedly hit a child with his car and fled the scene was arrested this morning.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Francisco Javier Olivarez-Zuniga, 19, of Clearlake on a felony charge of hit and run causing injury following the Friday morning collision, according to CHP Officer Adam Garcia.

At 7:50 a.m. Friday Olivarez-Zuniga was allegedly driving a 2007 Hyundai at about 10 miles per hour on Lake Street just north of Lower Lake Elementary when a 9-year-old boy entered the roadway from the left shoulder, Garcia reported.

Olivarez-Zuniga allegedly hit the boy with his vehicle and fled the scene, according to Garcia.

The child was taken to Redbud Hospital and treated for minor injuries, Garcia reported.

CHP Officer Steve Curtis, with the help of witness information, found and arrested Olivarez-Zuniga in Clearlake an hour after the collision, according to Garcia.

Olivarez-Zuniga remained in the Lake County Jail on Friday night, held on $10,000 bail.

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


LAKE COUNTY – Vehicle accidents were reported around Lake County on Thursday as wet rainy conditions prevailed throughout the day.

On Thursday morning, traffic issues started with the report of traffic signal problems at Highway 29 and Soda Bay Road. Caltrans was called to fix the problem.

A vehicle versus pedestrian crash was reported in front of the Nice Market at 2:40 p.m., with a male subject injured. No further information was available Thursday.

Other collisions reported Thursday:

4:37 p.m. – Two-vehicle collision resulting in major injuries on Highway 20 in front of Sentry Market.

5:48 p.m. – A solo vehicle spin out on Highway 20 just east of Red Hill Lane. No injuries.

6:14 p.m. – A collision with one victim trapped and expected to be transported to the hospital. The crash occurred on Highway 29 at mile marker 15.

6:27 p.m. – A crash with no injuries on Highway 20 in front of the Lake Marina Motel. The vehicle reportedly went between 40 and 50 feet off the roadway.

7:33 p.m. – Traffic collision with no injuries on Tenaya at Soda Bay Road.

No further information on the crashes was available Thursday evening.

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


Faded at Four lead singers Jon Foutch entertains the crowd at the Boodog Battle of The Bands. Photo by Brett Behrens.




SAN FRANCISCO – Faded At Four, a progressive rock band from Lake County, was among three bands selected Wednesday night in a preliminary round of competition in the Booodog Battle of the Bands.

The five-member band wowed the Bay Area crowd as the group had just 30 minutes in its alloted time slot to impress the judges as well as the patrons. The competition was held at 12 Galaxies, a club in the Mission District.

Opening the evening with “Awakening,” Faded flew through three more numbers before leaving the stage with the standing-room-only throng wanting more. Included in their performance was "Awakening," “They” and “Unhero” and "Denied."

The group also had a major advantage as a tour bus was chartered by local music enthusiasts wanting to attend the event. Nearly 50 fans made the three hour by bus trek to the southern part of San Francisco.

The winner of the competition will received a $1 million recording contract.

Faded at Four’s next step in the competition is Jan. 13, 2008, when they will once again take the stage.

The next round is scheduled for the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.


Faded at Four

LAKE COUNTY – Following a 13-month multi-agency investigation authorities have arrested a man charged with an alleged armed robbery of Middletown's Twin Pine Casino last year.

On Tuesday John Alan Gillies, 43, of Clearlake was arrested for the Nov. 6, 2006 robbery, according to statements issued this week by the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control.

The sheriff's office Enforcement and Investigations Divisions conducted the initial investigation into the robbery, which later was turned over to the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control, according to the sheriff's statement.

Department of Justice Special Agenty Marty Horan reported that the Bureau of Gambling Control obtained an arrest warrant for Gillies on charges of carjacking/kidnapping, kidnapping and robbery on Tuesday.

“We coordinated with Mr. Gillies to turn himself in to the sheriff's department,” Horan told Lake County News Friday.

A Bureau of Gambling Control agent contacted Gillies via phone, according to Horan, to set up the surrender.

Gillies turned himself in to the sheriff's office on Martin Street at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Horan reported.

Horan reported that the robbery suspect, wearing gloves and a mask, had carjacked an individual at gunpoint in Middletown on Nov. 6, 2006, forcing the victim to drive the vehicle toward Twin Pine Casino. The suspect then ordered the driver out of the vehicle, leaving the person on the side of the road as he drove to the casino.

According to the investigation, the suspect parked the stolen vehicle in the casino parking lot and rushed inside, running up to the cashier cage and demanding money while holding the cashier clerk at gunpoint, Horan reported.

After obtaining the cash, the suspect ran back out to the parking lot, jumped in the stolen vehicle and sped away, according to Horan's report.

While witness interviews provided little information that could tie a specific suspect to the crime, Horan reported that evidence was collected at the scene that eventually would link Gillies to the crime.

Last April, while the investigation was still under way, a Bureau of Gambling Control received information that Gillies was allegedly planning to rob Colusa Casino Resort.

The Bureau of Gambling Control investigated the report and worked with the Colusa County Sheriff's Office to coordinate a traffic stop on Gillies on April 16 as he was allegedly was on his way to rob the Colusa casino, Horan reported.

While searching his vehicle following the stop deputies found evidence including gloves, a mask and a firearm, according to Horan. Deputies subsequently arrested Gillies for attempted robbery, possession of stolen property and felon in possession of a firearm and booked him into the Colusa County Jail.

Following Gillies' April arrest, the Bureau of Gambling Control continued investigating Gillies as a suspect in connection with the Twin Pine robbery last year, according to Horan.

The investigation involved numerous interviews, review of numerous casino video surveillance tapes, and the service of numerous search warrants, Horan reported.

One of the search warrants obtained by the bureau included a saliva sample from Gillies that Horan said investigators submitted to the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services for DNA comparison with evidence recovered at the Twin Pine Casino.

In September, according to Horan, investigators received word that the saliva samples matched. That confirmation, in addition to “a mounting list of existing evidence,” led to Gillies' arrest on Tuesday. He was reportedly arraigned on Thursday.

Horan reported that the investigation relied on extensive coordination and cooperation from the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Colusa County Sheriff's Office, Twin Pine Casino (Middletown Tribal Gaming Regulatory Agency), Colusa Casino (Colusa Indian Gaming Commission) and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services.

Gillies remains in custody on $750,000 bail.

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


WASHINGTON – On Friday, the House of Representatives passed landmark legislation to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and reduce our emission of greenhouse gases.

In addition, the Energy Independence and Security Act (H.R. 6) is poised to reduce energy and gas prices, create new jobs and strengthen national security. It also provides historic tax incentives for businesses and homes that become more energy efficient or switch to clean, renewable energy sources.

“The steps we took today to promote energy independence and the protection of our natural resources will improve the lives of generations of Americans,” said Congressman Mike Thompson, who voted in favor of the bill. “Our dependence on foreign oil has serious consequences for our economy and national security. And our dependence on greenhouse-gas-emitting energy sources is putting the health of the entire planet at risk. This Congress has made an historic commitment to redefining American energy consumption, and this legislation is a large step toward achieving that goal.”

One of the bill’s most groundbreaking provisions would increase fuel economy standards (also known as CAFE standards) to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 for new cars and trucks, which will save Americans money at the pump.

In addition, it will reduce oil consumption by 1.1 million gallons per day in 2020 (one-half of what we currently import from the Persian Gulf) and reduce greenhouse gases equal to taking 28 million of today’s average cars and trucks off the road. This is the first increase in CAFE standards by Congress since 1975.

The legislation would also make a robust investment in American biofuel production. This includes a focus on diversifying the crops used in biofuels so that states from coast to coast will benefit from the provision.

It would require utility companies to generate 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources, such as wind, solar, ocean tides and geothermal.

It would also strengthen and extend renewable energy tax credits, which Congressman Thompson championed as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. These include a long-term extension of tax credits for businesses and homes that use solar power, as well as other improvements to make the tax credit a better value for homeowners.

In addition, there is a four-year extension of the production tax credit for other forms of renewable energy, including many forms which are produced in the 1st Congressional District such as biomass and geothermal.

Other incentives include:

  • A tax incentive for the installation of energy management devices known as smart meters, which give consumers near real-time access to their energy usage information;

  • An extension of a tax credit for homes that make energy-efficient improvements or purchase energy-efficient devices;

  • A new tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles; and

  • Allowing employers to include the cost of employees commuting by bike in any transportation benefits they may provide.

“With the way energy costs are skyrocketing, we need to do everything we can to make energy-efficient homes, businesses and vehicles more available and affordable,” said Thompson. “Investments in renewable energy not only improve our environment – they will create more American jobs and help us to better control our country’s future.”

The measure also repeals about $21 billion in tax subsidies for Big Oil, which is similar to provisions included in H.R. 6 when it was passed by the House in January.


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