Wednesday, 24 July 2024

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The 2010 Census emphasizes that the success of the count is in everyone's hands. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

 

 

 

CLEARLAKE – With the 2010 Census now in full swing, the Lake County Complete Count Committee hosted the “March to the Mailbox” event Saturday to encourage participation in the national population count.


The event drew a large crowd at Clearlake’s Austin Park.


This year the Lake County Complete Count Committee is going all out in an effort to get everyone counted in this decade’s US Census.


“With this event, we’re trying to reach those who didn’t get forms in the mail or don’t know how to fill it out,” said Melissa Swanson, Clearlake's city clerk, a Complete Count Committee member and the event's key organizer.


April 17 was the very last day to mail 2010 Census forms in order to be counted by mail.


Census forms were available but were not being accepted at the event; the forms still needed to make their way to the post office.


It costs taxpayers only 42 cents to mail back the postage-paid census form, but it costs $57 to recruit, hire, train and send a census worker out to collect information from the same 10-simple questions for each and every non-responding household, as Lake County News has reported.


The event was intended to bolster Lake County’s current participation rate, which was 57 percent over the weekend, according to the US Census Bureau. That's up three percentage points over 2000.


The city of Clearlake has 58 percent of its population counted thus far, according to the US Census Bureau, while California is currently at 67 percent participation, trailing behind the national average of 69 percent.


The March to the Mailbox event attracted a variety of people, from those who did not get a census form in the mail to dignitaries and those running for office. Lake County sheriff candidate Deputy Francisco Rivero was there speaking with individuals.


Swanson advised citizens that the US Census Bureau doesn’t send forms to post office boxes, so all houses in the community were mapped onto GPS.


However, this year many Clearlake residents reported not receiving their forms in time to return them by mail.


“I didn’t get a form and I’ve been here in Clearlake for 35 years,” said city resident Joan Moore.


“It’s the first year we haven’t gotten a form,” added Clearlake resident Harold West, “and we have been here for 27 years.”


“I’ve heard there seems to be a glitch in the Census Bureau’s forms,” said Swanson.

 

 

 

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Community members stopped to fill out 2010 Census forms at the March to the Mailbox event at Austin Park in Clearlake, Calif., on Saturday, April 17, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

 

 


Lower Lake High School’s Jazz band and show choir performed at the event. But before the music started, several public speakers had a few words for the event-goers.


Clearlake Mayor Judy Thein issued a proclamation designating April 17 as March to the Mailbox Day and encouraging Clearlake residents to mail their census forms.


“By doing so, our community will receive its fair share of federal funds, census jobs and congressional representation,” the proclamation read.


After the proclamation, District 2 Supervisor Jeff Smith encouraged everyone to fill their forms out and ask their friends to do the same. He emphasized that getting counted saves everyone money.


County Superintendent of Schools Dave Geck offered a few words for the Spanish-speaking community and helped with translations during the event.


Elaine Dempsey of the US Census Bureau had a statement regarding the fact that many people did not get their forms in the mail this year.


“On behalf of the Census Bureau, we must have slipped up somewhere,” she said.


She continued on to explain that on May 1 people should be expecting a knock on their doors in an ongoing effort to reach everyone in the county.


Fred Hebert, assistant manager for recruiting for the Census Bureau, said a few words about how a county’s counted population affects it residents.


Each person counted equals $15,000 per years in funding, he said.


After the speakers delivered their messages, event-goers were treated to music and a show from Lower Lake High School's musician, as well as numerous tables of informational resources.


Groups represented at the event or who supported it with donations included the Lake County Fire Protection District, the city of Clearlake, Lake County Office of Education, Lower Lake Fire Department VIPs, Healthy Start, Soroptimist International, Ray’s Food Place, Safeway and Clearlake Chamber of Commerce.


For more information about this year’s Census, visit www.2010census.gov.

 

 

E-mail Tera deVroede at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

 

 

 

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Lake County Superintendent of Schools Dave Geck and Clearlake City Clerk Melissa Swanson are members of the Lake County Complete Count Committee. Swanson and Geck were among the organizers of the March to the Mailbox event at Austin Park in Clearlake, Calif., on Saturday, April 17, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

 

CLEARLAKE – A crash on Old Highway 53 in Clearlake on Friday afternoon killed one man and injured two other people.


The collision occurred at 1:15 p.m. on Old Highway 53 north of Konocti View Road, according to Clearlake Police Sgt. Tim Hobbs.


Hobbs said a Hyundai Tiburon driven by a male subject was traveling north on Old Highway 53 when he crossed over the double-yellow lines into the southbound lane and hit head-on a Ford Explorer with two elderly people riding in it.


The Hyundai's driver died at the scene, while the Ford Explorer's occupants were taken to St. Helena Hospital Clearlake with minor to moderate injuries, Hobbs said.


Clearlake Police and the Lake County Fire Protection District responded to the scene, where Hobbs said the roadway was shut down until about 4 p.m. The Lake County Sheriff's Office also sent a deputy for coroner duties.


Hobbs said the speed limit through that stretch of road is 30 miles per hour, however due to the damage sustained by both vehicles – which he said looked more like what would be seen in a highway crash – he believed that the Tiburon's driver was likely traveling much faster. He said the Explorer was probably traveling slower than the speed limit.


“At this point we can't say he died as a result of this collision,” Hobbs said of the Hyundai's driver.


On Saturday Hobbs didn't release the identities of those involved, as he said he had been unable to verify that family members had been notified of the incident.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LUCERNE – California Water Service Co. and the California Department of Public Health are advising customers served by the Lucerne water system to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking until further notice.


The company and the agency issued the advisory on Friday as a precautionary measure because the water was not properly disinfected due to a mechanical failure at the treatment plant on Thursday evening, April 15, through Friday morning.


Officials reported that, although the water has been filtered, chlorine was not added for a period of 12 hours.


Plant operators have increased disinfection at our storage tank and resumed normal operation of the treatment plant.


All tap water used for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation should be boiled rapidly for at least one minute. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms and is the preferred method to assure that the water is safe to drink.


Customers also should discard ice cubes made from tap water or their refrigerators' water lines and boil water given to pets to drink. Tap water is safe for showering, bathing and other non-consumption use.


The notice said officials are collecting water samples for water quality testing and will notify residents as soon as test results confirm that the water meets all federal and state water quality standards.


If water quality was affected by this incident, failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness. Results are expected to be available by Monday, April 19.


Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headaches. However, these symptoms can be caused not only by organisms in inadequately treated water, but from other sources as well.


Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms on a persistent basis may want to seek medical advice. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.


If you choose to purchase and use bottled water during this advisory, you may save your receipts for reimbursement by Cal Water.


For reimbursement, please bring your receipts to our office, located at 6125 East Highway 20, Lucerne, CA 95458, or mail them to P.O. Box 1133, Lucerne, CA 95458, to the attention of Gay Guidotti.


The company apologized for the inconvenience.


Customers needing more information can call California Water Service Co. at 707-274-6624 or watch www.calwater.com for updates.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKE COUNTY – After the first sunny weekend with warm daytime temperatures in several weeks, beginning on Monday a cooling trend returns once again, with a winter storm watch issued for parts of Lake County.


According to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, a wintry storm will begin to move over the North Coast and into northern Lake County overnight and during the day on Tuesday, bringing with it the potential for moderate amounts of snow above 4,000 feet, with some snow mixed with rain down to 3,000 feet.


During the day on Tuesday, the National Weather Service predicts a chance of thunderstorms that may produce periods of heavy rains, gusty winds and small hail.


Monday's high temperatures are expected to warm once again to the high 60s, but as the colder and unstable system moves in overnight, the National Weather Services predicts a 70-percent chance of rain and temperatures lowering to the low 40s.


On Tuesday, the National Weather Service expects daytime temperatures to be 10 to 15 degrees cooler, with highs only in the low 50s or upper 40s in Lake County, with a 60-percent chance of rain with periods of heavy rain and the possibility of hail and a mix of rain and snow.


As the system moves out of Lake County, the National Weather Service forecasts a slight chance of rain on Wednesday, with daytime temperatures remaining cool and in the low 50s.


Thursday is expected to be clear and warmer once again, as temperatures inch back up in to the 60s, according to the National Weather Service, with sun and clear skies continuing through the weekend.

 

For up-to-the-minute weather information, please check the home page.


E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

CACHE CREEK – May is California’s Watershed Awareness Month, designated to promote watershed education and stewardship activities at the local community level.


The public is invited to attend Cache Creek Discovery Day, a free, family-friendly outdoor event on Saturday, May 1, at the Bureau of Land Management's Cowboy Camp Equestrian Campground, on Highway 16 just one mile south of Highway 20 in Colusa County, along the Bear Creek tributary to Cache Creek.


The event is geared toward all ages, with special emphasis on youth outdoor-learning about a broad range of topics relevant to the watershed.

Guided hikes along the High Bridge Trail, wildlife viewing, Native American basketry, and displays highlighting stream ecology, local fish, wildlife tracks and signs, native plants, habitat restoration, native pollinators and local agriculture are among the planned activities.


The Cache Creek watershed, which includes the entire Clear Lake basin, encompasses rugged, forested mountains and lakesides in Colusa and Lake counties, ranches and organic farming in Capay Valley, extensive agricultural lands on the valley floor, and the seasonal wetlands of the Yolo Bypass.


It provides a diverse array of functions including winter foraging territory for wildlife such as Bald Eagles, and recreational opportunities for boaters, kayakers and white-water rafters.


Cache Creek Discovery Day is free to the public, and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A barbecue lunch will be available for purchase at the noon hour (accompanied by live music), or visitors are welcome to bring a picnic.


Cowboy Camp hosts wildlife viewing platforms, creek access, and regular visits by local Tule elk herds. Just up the road are the renowned wildflower fields of Bear Valley, and just downstream is Cache Canyon Park, where rafters find white-water creek access.


This event is sponsored by the Cache Creek Watershed Forum, a tri-county group of natural resource, agricultural, and educational partners, including the following stakeholders: US Bureau of Land Management; Colusa, Yolo, East Lake and West Lake RCDs; the Counties of Lake and Yolo; Cache Creek Conservancy; Tuleyome; Sierra Club Lake Group; UC Davis; and Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.


For more information please contact Greg Dills at the East and West Lake Resource Conservation District, 707 263-4180, or download a flyer at www.lakelive.info/ccwf/CCDD10flyer.pdf.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

MENDOCINO COUNTY – A Daly City man died Friday morning while driving for abalone near Pt. Arena.


The body of Raymond Chin Pang Shue, 33, a commercial truck driver up from the city to go diving, was recovered from the ocean on Friday morning, according to Lt. Dennis Bushnell of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.


At 8:30 a.m. Friday Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Moat Creek at Point Arena regarding a diver in distress, Bushnell said.


On arrival fire and rescue personnel recovered Shue's body from the ocean with the assistance of US Coast Guard and Sonoma County Sheriff's helicopter, according to the report.


Bushnell said that a witness at the scene reported that Shue was diving when he was struck by a large wave, and that he began to struggle.


The witness couldn't get to Shue and called 911 for assistance, Bushnell said.


Bushnell said the the Mendocino County Coroner's Office is investigating Shue's death.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

MIDDLETOWN – A collision that occurred late in the afternoon on Sunday resulted in major injuries.


It was reported at about 4:45 p.m. Sunday at 24606 Highway 29 at Bradford Road near Middletown, according to the California Highway Patrol.


Two motorcycles were down blocking the roadway. The CHP report noted that another vehicle may have contributed to or caused the crash, but additional details weren't available late Sunday.


The highway was blocked until shortly before 5:30 p.m., when the CHP reported both lanes had been reopened.


The crash victims were reportedly transferred to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, but their identities and the extent of their injuries was not available from the CHP Sunday.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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Larry Graham at the San Francisco Regency Ballroom on Friday, April 2, 2010. Photo courtesy of www.larrygraham.com.

 


 

It was another Good Friday for the Funk. I remember in about 1970 when Larry Graham premiered the original version of Graham Central Station at the long-gone Keystone Berkeley. It was an Easter weekend then as well. Mr. Graham must feel his element ‘round this time of year.

 

The main floor of the Regency Ballroom is near capacity at three minutes before show time on April 2. The balcony is sparse but starting to fill rapidly also. An exciting buzz fills the crowd.

 

The DJ is spinning mad R&B, the Isley Bros., Esquires, Teddy P., Rick James, etc.

 

It’s 9 p.m. The lights dim. There’s a band up there tuning up. Must be Slave. They look too young to be Slave. The lead singer is Mr. Donny P. The rhythm section is male. A woman on keys. Two women background singers.

 

The original version of Slave recorded a large catalog of music for the Cotillion, Atlantic and Ichiban labels from 1977 through 1995.

 

The band kicks of a slew of hits and riffs that tantalize the funky nostalgia cortex in the brain. Pleasure central of the auditory realm. “Watching You.” “Just A Touch Of Love.”

 

The band performs a medley of hits, some originally by Slave, some not, culminating with the monster hit “Slide.” People are up dancing. The bass player is really bringing it, knowing that the King of the Funky Bass is up next.

 

Just before 10:30 p.m. the lights again dim, eliciting a roar of approval from the assembled.

 

Suddenly a marching tempo of snare, tom and bass drum is heard from the rear of the room. Led and punctuated by new GCS member and seeming Drillmaster Ashley Cole, the new Graham Central Station marches toward the stage in cadenced precision, chanting the GCS cheer, “Gee, cess ess, the baddest band from east to west ...”

 

As the crowd gradually becomes aware of what’s really happening, the roar of approval transcends into a deafening, sonic, out-of-many one voice.

 

When they reached the stage, the group reprised the anthemic a capella “Entrow,” from their first self-titled album:

 

“We been waiting for so long, waiting to play for you some of our songs

cuz we been waiting …”

 

The band launches into the frenetic crowd pleasers “Ain’t No Fun To Me” followed by “It’s Alright.”

 

At the end of the opening two-song medley – which really had the folks dancin’, sangin’ and swayin’ – Larry attempted to address the crowd. They would not let him. They were already overcome.

 

The crowd’s out-of-many one voice returned in pure, uncut, unadulterated adulation. The true original sound of San Francisco Bay Area Funk had returned. It was truly a magic, emotional moment.

 

The King of the Funky Bass pounds his chest and points to the crowd, silently speaking volumes over the seismic ovation. It goes on for a good five minutes, a grateful crowd, thankful for being itself again and unspoken, heartfelt, telepathic ebb and flow of love from the Bass master.

 

And so it went. Song after song. Much of the Graham Central catalog as well as the baritone hits of Larry Graham as vocalist. An arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” lifted the whole room.

 

They graced the staged fully for two and a half hours, proving fully that they are not only fit to tour Europe, but fully poised to introduce the Funk to the legions some three generations later.

 

For those of you who weren’t born when it happened, Larry Graham, before Gee Cee Ess, was the original bass player for the much-heralded co-creators of Funk, Sly & The Family Stone. Graham invented the slapping or thump and pluck method of bass playing which has influenced legions of bass players in his wake.

 

This group broke so much new ground with its hybrid mix of Church of God In Christ Holy Ghost rhythms, psychedelic rock, Stax/Motown altered offerings that, not only made Sly a favorite musician of Jazzster Miles Davis, the group heavily influenced Herbie Hancock as well.

 

The testimony to that is the Funk friendly fusion period of the 70’s that pointed toward the Family Stone as the source of inspiration.

 

In 1969, at the mother of all Rock Festivals, Woodstock, was held in upstate New York in front of more that a quarter of a million folks. Carlos Santana, whose band also played wonderfully at Woodstock, is quoted as saying “Sly & The Family Stone outplayed them all.”

 

Since the dissolutions of the original incarnations of Sly & The Family Stone and Graham Central Station, Larry has stayed busy. He reinvented himself as a soulful balladeer in 1979 with the album and single “One In A Million You” which was nominated for Best R&B Performance, Male.

 

Throughout the 80s he released a string of successful albums as well as a duet with Lady Soul Aretha Franklin.

 

In the 90s he collaborated musically with Eddie Murphy followed by an evolved unit of Gee Cee Ess featuring former Sly band mates Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini.

 

Incidentally Larry was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 as a member of Sly & The Family Stone and received a Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer award in 2001 as well. He has also become affiliated with Prince and remains in constant collaboration with him musically.

 

Currently, in April of 2010, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station are touring Europe since the aforementioned April 2 debut in San Francisco. Early press reports indicated that Gee Cee Ess is killing them with the Funk.

 

New U.S. dates have are being added to their itinerary for the month of June including New York, D.C. and Minneapolis. Additionally, a new CD is in the works.

 

For more information on Larry Graham including an audio interview done on April 12 go to www.larrygraham.com. There will be rebroadcast on In The Free Zone at KPFZ 88.1 FM on April 23 at 3 p.m.

Keep prayin’, keep thinkin’ those kind thoughts!

 

T. Watts is a writer, radio host and music critic. 

 

Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

SANTA ROSA – This week a Santa Rosa man was sentenced to six years in prison for the rape of an elderly woman in a nursing facility.


Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua announced today that on Wednesday Humberto Carrizales Rodriguez, 50, was sentenced by Judge Arthur Wick for the crime. Rodriguez also was convicted of elder abuse of an individual under his care.


Rodriguez had previously pleaded guilty to these charges on Sept. 17, 2009.


“The forced rape of a woman is always a heinous, callous and cruel crime,” Passalacqua said. “The fact that this was also committed against an elderly woman living at a residential care facility makes it even more atrocious. We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who abuse seniors.”


Rodriguez was a caretaker at the Wild Rose Living Facility in Santa Rosa and the victim, Jane Doe, was an 88-year-old resident living at the facility.


On August 7, 2009, after the victim had gone to bed, the defendant forcefully had sexual intercourse with her while she repeatedly told him to stop.


Two of the victim’s children addressed Judge Wick at the sentencing hearing and explained how the crime has impacted not only their mother’s life, but their lives as well.


The victim’s children spoke about how their mother’s condition has worsened, mentally and physically, since the night of the assault. They find her crying for no reason at all and stated that, since the attack, she is now frightened of other males who work and live at her facility.


Deputy District Attorney Tania Partida argued that no one should go through life only to reach the age of 88 and become a victim of a sexual assault.


Partida also noted that at no time during the defendant’s interview with the probation department, or his letter to the court, did he express any remorse for his actions. Instead he blamed the victim, in essence stating that she enticed him into bed.


The lead detective was Joel Pederson of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

CLEARLAKE – Two drivers escaped serious injury on Sunday when they collided at the intersection of Highway 53 and Olympic Drive in Clearlake.


Clearlake Police officers were dispatched to the scene at approximately 2:21 p.m., according to Officer Lauren Vance.


Vance said a pickup traveling southbound on Highway 53 failed to stop and hit another pickup that was traveling northbound and making a lefthand turn onto Olympic Drive.


She said neither of the drivers involved sustained major injuries.


Due to a high number of collisions at the site, Caltrans installed stop signs at the intersection in February, with a view to installing a traffic signal in 2012, as Lake County News has reported.


There have been some crashes there since the stop signs went in, but Vance said the number of incidents hasn't been high.


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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

Dissolving one’s marriage creates many complications, including the need to change one’s estate plan to make it current.


This should not be neglected because should one die during the divorce proceedings the surviving spouse can still inherit under the deceased spouse’s will, if named as a beneficiary.


Likewise, the surviving spouse may still inherit if named as a designated death beneficiary on any pay-on-death policy – such as life insurance, retirement plans, etc. – notwithstanding a decree of legal separation; the decree does not terminate the marital status.


Filing the dissolution petition, however, limits each spouse’s ability to change their estate plan.


Prior to filing, a married person can unilaterally control the disposition on death of their one-half share of any community property assets and all of their separate property assets.


Upon filing the dissolution petition and issuance of a summons, however, the automatic temporary restraining order (“ATRO”) immediately imposes four different rules. Let us examine these rules.


First, the ATRO absolutely prohibits each spouse from cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health, auto or disability, held for the benefit of the spouses and their children for whom support may be ordered. This is to prevent either spouse or their children from being harmed from any detrimental changes to insurance.


Second, the ATRO also restrains each spouse (1) from transferring any property, real or personal (except in the usual course of business or for necessities of life); and (2) from changing the death beneficiaries named on any nonprobate asset (such as retirement plans, annuities and revocable living trusts).


Either the prior written consent of the other spouse or a court order is needed to accomplish any changes.


Third, the ATRO, however, still allows each spouse to revoke a revocable living trust, or other nonprobate transfer, and also to sever a joint tenancy, provided that notice of any such change is filed with the court and is served on the other spouse before the change takes effect.


Severing the joint tenancy, and thereby creating a co-equal tenancy in common, is important to prevent the other spouse from inheriting the entire joint tenancy estate should one spouse die while the joint tenancy remains in effect.


Fourth, the ATRO also allows each spouse, without notice or permission, to create, modify or revoke a will; create an unfunded revocable or irrevocable trust; and otherwise modify a nonprobate transfer, such as a trust, in a manner that does not affect the disposition of the property – for example, changing the designated successor trustee of an existing trust.


Thus, either spouse – without the permission of the other spouse or a court order – can create an unfunded living trust that would be funded on death by way of a pour-over will in order to effectuate estate planning changes.


The drawback is that a probate of the pour-over will is needed in order to transfer assets into the trust.


In summary, persons getting divorced are well advised to update their estate plan in case they should die prior to the decree of dissolution of marriage, and their existing estate plan in favor of the estranged spouse be given effect.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKE COUNTY – While there are several highly contested local races on this year's ballot, voter registration numbers in Lake County don't appear to show any big changes, unlike previous election years.


Races for sheriff, district attorney, superintendent of schools, and District 2 and 3 supervisorial seats all are contested in 2010. In 2006, the sheriff and district attorney's races were single-candidate races.


Locally, voter registration has grown modestly since 2006, with a notable spike in 2008, which Lake County Registrar of Voters Diane Fridley said is common during presidential election years.


As of April 15, Lake County had 32,215 registered voters, Fridley said. That number is up only slightly from voter registration numbers four years ago.


For the primary election on June 6, 2006, the county had 32,005 citizens registered to vote, according to numbers Fridley provided.


Five months later, for the general election on Nov. 7, 2006, voter registration numbers actually edged down, to 31,564, she said.


During 2008, there were 33,143 registered voters for the June 3 primary and 35,154 for the Nov. 4 presidential election, according to Fridley.


Since then, Lake County has lost about 3,000 voter registrations. Fridley said the only reason to remove voters from the rolls is when they move or when they're deceased.


“We don't have very many people who just cancel the registration,” Fridley said.


The number of registered voters is fluid and continues to change. Fridley said that on Wednesday her office received 125 new registrations, which she believes is because of the ongoing initiative drives for the November ballot.


Absentee – or vote by mail – ballots in recent years have shown more significant growth and interesting changes, with more Lake County voters casting ballots by mail than showing up in person at polling places.


Of the ballots cast in June 2006, 23.8 percent were absentee, versus 18.2 percent at voter precincts. By November 2006, the vote by mail numbers had grown to 32.7 percent of the total votes cast, with precinct votes totaling 29.9 percent, Fridley said.


The percentage of votes cast by mail slid backward in June 2008, when Fridley said 22.4 percent of all ballots were cast via vote by mail and 11.6 percent of votes were cast at precincts.


However, for the November 2008 presidential election, absentee voters cast 39.2 percent of all ballots, with 34.4 percent of votes cast at precincts, Fridley reported.


While absentee voters have been responsible for a larger response during recent elections, they still trail the numbers of those registered to vote at precincts, according to Registrar of Voters records.


Of the people currently registered to vote in Lake County, Fridley said those who have signed up to vote at precincts total 51.2 percent, versus 48.7 percent who are enrolled for voting by mail.


Some of those registered to vote by mail include 62 people are in the military and stationed in the United States, 36 who are active military personnel stationed overseas and 118 civilians living in other countries, Fridley 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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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