Thursday, 25 July 2024

News

Image
Local Pearl Harbor survivors were featured in the Memorial Day weekend parade in Lakeport, Calif., on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.


 


 



LAKEPORT – Perfect parade weather graced Lakeport just in time for its Memorial Day parade on Saturday.


The streets filed quickly and people parked many blocks away to get a spot on Main Street in their lawn chairs for the sunny 11:00 a.m. start time.


This year’s theme was “Celebrate America,” and all participants showed their patriotism in red, white and blue. The American flag marked many of the goodies thrown from the parade’s theme contestants, like tiny toy beach balls and foam airplane gliders.


Candy was hurled from high and low, aimed at friends and family all the while people were waving and smiling. Kids filled their pockets, and mouths, full of candy and yet still screamed and waved for more.


“Kids are candy magnets,” said one woman, although she did not have hers with her at the time.


Those who wished to enter their floats into the competition had four categories to go for: grand sweepstakes, judge’s favorite, theme awards and best of division.

 

 

 

Image
The revving engines of the Corvettes of Lake County were a favorite during the Memorial Day weekend parade in Lakeport, Calif., on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

 

 


Amidst the array of political displays, there were some fun ones, like Uncle Sam – portrayed once again by Clearlake Oaks resident Ronnie Bogner – with members of the local Pearl Harbor Survivors chapter.


The revving engines of the Corvettes of Lake County were a big hit with the kids, many of whom preferred purring motors over the blaring fire trucks towards the end.


The equestrians also appealed to the many little kids running up and down the sidewalks to get a better look.


Once the last fire engine honked its horn, the crowd dispersed, mostly to the craft fair held afterward at Natural High. The fun faire had the essential food, music and cool crafts to have a good time on such a gorgeous day.


More fun is ahead this weekend, as on Sunday Lower Lake will host its annual Memorial Day weekend parade and activities from noon to 4 p.m.


The festivities will include fun for children – a petting zoo, face painting, games and pony rides – plus activities for adults, including food and craft vendors, a barbecue, music during the afternoon and a raffle.


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 .

 

 

 

Image
The Clear Lake High School marching band made its way through the streets of Lakeport, Calif., during the city's annual Memorial Day weekend celebration on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

 

 

 

Image
The Patriot Guard Riders make their way along Main Street in Lakeport, Calif., during the Memorial Day weekend parade on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.
 

CLEARLAKE – A local man on trial this month in a domestic violence case was acquitted Thursday.


Jubal Ray Massie, 39, a caregiver from Clearlake, went on trial May 11, charged with felony domestic violence and felony assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury, according to his attorney, Stephen Carter of the Law Offices of Carter & Carter in Lower Lake.


Massie was arrested by Clearlake Police on June 26, 2008, according to sheriff's records.


At the conclusion of prosecutor Susan Krones' evidence, Judge Stephen Hedstrom granted Carter’s motion to dismiss the assault charge.


Massie was facing eight years in state prison if convicted, Carter reported.


Carter said that on Thursday, following an hour of deliberation, the jury returned the not guilty verdict.


“This is a fantastic result for Mr. Massie and we are thrilled that the jury saw through the prosecution’s weak evidence,” said Carter.


Krones said she didn't speak with the jurors afterward but noted that the alleged victim in the case – who originally told police that Massie had kicked her in the head repeatedly – had stated in the preliminary hearing last year that she couldn't remember what happened, testimony she gave again in the trial.


Judge Hedstrom had allowed in the previous statements about the assault in the case the woman was purposefully changing her testimony, said Krones.


The alleged victim also testified that she was under the influence of various substances, including alcohol, Krones said.


“It's difficult to establish to a jury what happened when the victim is there saying, 'I don't remember,'” Krones said.


Carter called witnesses including an individual who testified that the alleged victim was the one attacking Massie, and that the alleged victim yelled at Massie that she was going to make sure he went to jail before she reportedly threw herself on the ground.


The defense argued that the alleged victim caused injuries to herself, and that Massie was defending himself against an extremely intoxicated and enraged woman.


However, Krones said the alleged victim in the case had significant facial injuries – including a black eye and abrasions. “That was not something she would have received unless she was hit in some way,” Krones said.


Carter said the officer who arrested Massie and investigated the case – who was with the agency for seven months before the incident –is no longer employed by Clearlake Police Department, having left for reasons unrelated to this case.


Krones said she believed that, in the end, the jurors just couldn't get enough detail from the victim to make a conviction, and they couldn't base a verdict on her past statements.


In the domestic violence cases she handles, Krones said she sees a lot of victims who recant or say they can't remember.


“Depending on the situation, I cannot just drop a case like that because it's going to continue,” she said of the abuse.


If she drops a case and someone ends up getting hurt, the blame would likely come back on the District Attorney's Office, Krones said.


Krones added that the District Attorney's Office has to pursue cases that are best for the victims and society. But one of the goals, she added, is to get help for alleged offenders, including counseling.


“I take it to trial, I present what evidence I have to the jury and they decide, that's all I can do,” 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 http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKE COUNTY – Residents of Lake County wished for the end of the three-year drought, hoping winter and then spring rains would fill Clear Lake once again – and it filled, then filled again.


Now residents are wondering when spring will arrive for longer than a few days as the “summer season” – Memorial Day weekend – arrives Saturday.


Clear Lake was officially full on April 12 as reported by Lake County News. As of Thursday evening, Clear Lake was hovering around 7.13 Rumsey.


A full lake is 7.56 feet Rumsey, according to Lake County's Water Resources Division.


Lake County, and all of Northern California, has been experiencing the coldest spring on record according to several news reports, with daytime highs and overnight lows 10 to 20 degrees or more cooler than the normal average of 80-degree highs and lows in the mid-40s, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.


The pattern of unsettled weather continued Thursday, with heavy rains locally and episodes of hail reported around the county and much of Northern California.


Winter weather advisories were issued for the Sierra Nevada mountain range on Thursday, where enough snow fell with lower-than-average temperatures that several resorts, including Squaw Valley and Sierra-At-Tahoe, will reopen for skiing this Memorial Day weekend.


Here in Lake County, the National Weather Service in Sacramento predicted that the weather Friday will remain slightly unsettled with a 30-percent chance of rain before 11 a.m., with clearing throughout the day and daytime highs in the 60s.


On Saturday, the warming trend ramps up, with highs reaching in to the 70s – still 10 degrees below average – but a welcome change from the damp, gray days earlier in the week, with mostly clear skies forecast, according to the National Weather Service.


Sunday will approach average temperatures near 80 with sunny skies, forecasters predicted, with overnight lows near 50.


A cooling trend returns on Memorial Day when high temperatures are forecast to be in the low 70s, which the National Weather Services said will continue through early next week.


For up-to-the-minute weather information, please visit 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 .

NORTH COAST – Dozens of North Coast residents reported feeling an earthquake that occurred near Talmage in Mendocino County on Friday morning.


The 3.2-magnitude quake occurred at 8:22 a.m. seven miles northeast of Talmage, eight miles northeast of Ukiah and 11 miles west northwest of Upper Lake, according to the US Geological Survey.


It occurred at a depth of 4.8 miles, the agency reported.


The US Geological Survey received 39 shake reports from eight zip codes, including Witter Springs, Upper Lake, Lucerne, Lakeport, Ukiah, Redwood Valley and Pottery Valley.


One shake report came from nearly 900 miles away, from Sunburst, Montana, according to the survey data.


At 11:41 a.m. Friday, a 2.1-magnitude quake took place in about the same location near Talmage as the larger quake, only at a depth of 4.3 miles, the US Geological Survey reported. Two shake reports – one from Redwood Valley, one from Ukiah – were made on that second quake.


A 3.3-magnitude quake last September, which had its epicenter 2.8 miles deep and eight miles south southeast of Talmage, also was felt locally, as Lake County News has reported.


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 .

LAKEPORT – Wild horses and burros from the ranges of Northern California and Nevada will be offered to the public for adoption when the Bureau of Land Management brings them to the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport on Saturday, June 5.


“We will offer 30 mustangs ranging in age from yearlings to 5-year-olds, and 10 burros of all ages,” said Pardee Bardwell of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. “They have been dewormed and vaccinated against diseases including West Nile virus. They are ready to train.”


The adoption gates open at 9 a.m., for an hour of silent bidding. Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee through the rest of the day.


Interested adopters can preview the animals when they arrive at the fairgrounds at about 2 p.m. Friday, June 4.


To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 years old and residents of the United States. Adopted animals must be kept in corrals that offer at least 400 square feet per animal and are surrounded by 6-foot pipe or board fences (5 and a half-foot fences are allowed for horses under 2 years old; 4-foot fences are allowed for burros). Two-sided roofed shelters are required.


Title to adopted animals initially remains with the U. S. government, but after providing a year of good care, adopters can receive title.


Horses and burros coming to Lakeport were captured from wild herds whose populations exceeded the carrying capacity of their ranges.


Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.


The law requires the BLM to maintain wild populations in balance with other range users, including wildlife and domestic livestock, so that food and water sources are sustained.


More information on wild horse management can be found online at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.


Adoption information is available by calling 866-4MUSTANGS.


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 .

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – A California interagency taskforce battling the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels urges boaters to remain especially vigilant this Memorial Day weekend.


Anyone who launches their vessel at any body of water must clean, drain, and dry their boats, personal watercraft, and any equipment that comes in contact with the water-both before arrival and after leaving the waterway.


“Quagga and zebra mussels are a serious threat to our aquatic environment and fisheries,” Director of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) John McCamman said. “It’s crucial that everyone who uses public waters takes the time to make sure they’re not moving these mussels from place to place. It only takes a few mussels to infest an entire waterway and destroy the ecosystem there.”


Quagga and zebra mussels are non-native, fast-reproducing invasive species that will cause serious problems for boaters and water enthusiasts. Mussels spread from one body of water to another by attaching themselves to nearly anything that’s in the water for more than a few minutes. Water in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets can carry tiny mussel larvae (called veligers) to other waterways, as well.


“Boat trailers are often overlooked as an avenue for the spread of quagga and zebra mussels and many other aquatic invasive species,” Department of Boating and Waterways Acting Director Lucia Becerra said. “About 85 percent of boaters trailer their boats, so it is critical for them to clean, drain and dry their vessels.”


To help prevent the spread of mussels, boaters must inspect all exposed surfaces, wash boat hulls thoroughly, remove all plants from the boat and trailer, drain all water, including that in lower outboard units, clean, and dry live-wells and bait buckets, and dispose of baitfish in the trash.


Watercraft should be kept dry for at least five days in warm weather and up to 30 days in cool weather between launches in different bodies of fresh water. These measures are essential to safeguard boats and preserve California waterways.


An excellent guide to cleaning vessels of invasive mussels is available on the Web site: www.dbw.ca.gov/PDF/BoatingQuaggaGuide.pdf.


Travelers are also advised to contact their destination waterway before leaving home, to learn what restrictions or inspection requirements are in place.


For information about Lake County's mussel prevention rules, visit http://www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/Directory/Water_Resources/Mussel_Prevention.htm.


Inspections, which can also be conducted by DFG and the Department of Parks and Recreation, include not only a check of boats and personal watercraft, but also trailers and all onboard items. Contaminated vessels and equipment are subject to quarantine or impoundment.


Quagga mussels were first detected in the Colorado River system in January 2007 and were later found in San Diego and Riverside counties. They are now known to be in 21 waters in the Golden State, all in Southern California. Zebra mussels were discovered in San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County in January 2008.


Both mollusks can attach to and damage almost any submerged surface. They can ruin a boat engine by blocking the cooling system and causing it to overheat; increase drag on the bottom of a boat, reducing speed and wasting fuel; jam a boat’s steering equipment, putting occupants and others at risk; require frequent scraping and repainting of boat hulls; colonize all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces, causing them to require constant cleaning; cost the owners of these items a great deal of money.


A toll-free hotline at 1-866-440-9530 is available for anyone involved in activities on lakes and rivers seeking information on quagga or zebra mussels.


A multi-agency taskforce that includes the California Department of Fish and Game, Department of Boating and Waterways, Department of Water Resources, and State Parks has been leading an outreach campaign to alert boaters and the public to the quagga and zebra mussel threats.


For more information about quagga and zebra mussels, the state’s response activities, and what you can do to help prevent their spread in California, visit the DFG Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel.


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 – On Memorial Day – Monday, May 31 – the flags of our fallen veterans will fly in display at cemeteries throughout Lake County.


Vietnam Veterans of America-Chapter 951, with the help of local volunteers, will install the flag poles and mount the large flags along the avenues of Hartley Cemetery in Lakeport.


These flags once draped the casket of a fallen veteran. Once the veteran is laid to rest, the family has the option of donating the veterans’ burial flag to the Lake County Veterans Memorial Avenue of Flags Association.


On Memorial Day and Veterans Day the flags are flown to commemorate the memory of veterans who defended our country.


Hartley Cemetery is located north of Lakeport, off the Hill Road exit from Highway 29. At the intersection of Hill Road East and Park Way, turn right. Follow Hill Road East as it parallels Highway 29. Just before Hill Road East crosses over Highway 29 turn left on Shady Lane. Hartley Cemetery is located at the end of Shady Lane.


Hartley Cemetery can be accessed from Scott’s Valley Road by turning onto Hill Road and crossing over Highway 29 and turning right onto Shady Lane at the end of the overpass.


Installation of flagpoles and flags will begin at 7 a.m., weather permitting. Takedown of flagpoles and flags will occur at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be available.


Avenue of Flags will, also, be presented at the following cemeteries in Lake County: Upper Lake, Lower Lake and Kelseyville.


Volunteers would be appreciated at all locations. Further information is available from the following representatives: Upper Lake, Joel Moore, 707-272-1136; Lower Lake, Dave Shober, 707-671-3509; Kelseyville, Paul Harris, 707-279-1115 or Mike Powers, 707-279-2709; and Hartley Cemetery-Lakeport (Dean Gotham, 707-350-1159.


Express your respect for our fallen veterans and experience the pride of the magnificence display of our veterans flags.


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 .

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


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


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


The group is working to identify possible actions to help the Lake County community.


Subcommittees are working on outreach projects, gathering information for a list of community resources, providing training and awareness for school personnel and administrators, strengthening policies and procedures for use in the schools, and helping campuses with their efforts for student activities.


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


More information about the Respect For All Task Force is available on the GroundSpark Web site, www.groundspark.org.


The Respect For All Project, a program of GroundSpark (www.groundspark.org), in cooperation with Lake County Healthy Start and Lake County Family Resource Center, is collaborating with local educators, high school students, community leaders, and representatives from a variety of organizations.


Lake County was chosen as one of three California counties for the pilot project. The task force has been meeting periodically over the last 15 months.


Respect For All Project coordinators Chung and Barry Chersky have traveled from the Bay Area on several occasions to facilitate meetings of the group. However, cuts in funding have now prohibited the two from continuing their visits to Lake County. The group of local volunteers has pledged to continue the work started by the committee.


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


As part of its work toward safe and inclusive learning environments, task force members identified a list of goals and split up responsibilities.


The goals include identifying community resources, networking and expanding the task force, pursuing support for gay/straight alliances, developing and fundraising for Challenge Day events at schools, and reviewing policies and implementation strategies.


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 .

WASHINGTON, DC – With British Petroleum (BP) officials saying Saturday that their efforts have failed to stem the flow of oil from a deep sea oil well, federal officials said they will be heading back to the Gulf region next week.


At the direction of the President Barack Obama, Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco will continue responding to the BP oil spill, the EPA reported Saturday.

 

These officials' actions on scene will be coordinated by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the administration-wide response and directing all interagency activities.


The Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and burned on April 20, with about a dozen people missing and another 126 people rescued, according to the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command.


Last Wednesday, BP started “top kill” operations, intended to stop the flow of oil and gas into the ocean. The procedure was intended to ultimately kill the well by injecting heavy drilling fluids through the blow-out preventer on the seabed, down into the well.


Despite successfully pumping a total of over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud, in three attempts at rates of up to 80 barrels a minute, and deploying a wide range of different bridging materials, the operation did not overcome the flow from the well, officials reported.


The government, together with BP, have therefore decided to move to the next step in the subsea operations, the deployment of the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap Containment System.


The operational plan first involves cutting and then removing the damaged riser from the top of the failed blow-out preventer (BOP) to leave a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the BOP’s LMRP. The cap is designed to be connected to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and placed over the LMRP with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well. The LMRP cap is already on site and it is currently anticipated that it will be connected in about four days.


This operation has not been previously carried out in 5,000 feet of water and the successful deployment of the containment system cannot be assured, BP said.


Drilling of the first relief well continues and is currently at 12,090 feet. BP reported that drilling of the second relief well is temporarily suspended and is expected to recommence shortly from 8,576 feet.

 

Administrator Jackson will make her fourth trip to the Gulf Coast to inspect coastline protection and cleanup activities and meet with community members to discuss ongoing efforts to mitigate the oil's impacts on public health and the environment.


A native of the Gulf region, Administrator Jackson will spend a total of six days on the ground, visiting Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to review plans for cleanup of oil-impacted wetlands and marshes, analyze scientific monitoring of dispersant use, and ensure that recovery and cleanup plans are proceeding quickly.

 

Secretary Salazar will make his eighth trip to the area to meet with top BP officials, federal personnel and government scientists in Houston to get a firsthand account of the on-scene direction and oversight of BP's efforts to cap the leaking well. He will also participate in discussions with state, local and business leaders to discuss the ways the administration is supporting their communities during this catastrophe.

 

Administrator Lubchenco will make her third visit to the affected area to meet with top government and independent scientists and engineers who are working with BP and coordinating efforts across the federal government to ensure the best science is used to assess and mitigate the BP oil spill’s impacts to the environment.

 

President Obama visited the affected area for the second time Friday to view the administration's all-hands-on-deck response to this unprecedented disaster.


He spoke to the frustration felt by those in the local community and across America and discussed extensively what he saw touring the tragedy this morning. The president also commended those in the area who have “rolled up their sleeves” to help with the clean up, saying that “we’re in this together.”

 

In total, senior administration officials have visited the region 28 times since BP's oil rig exploded on April 20 – including trips by the president, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, Interior Secretary Salazar, EPA Administrator Jackson, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, NOAA Administrator Lubchenco and SBA Administrator Karen Mills.


Learn more about the response to the spill at www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/.


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 – This Memorial Day weekend, Californians everywhere will be recreating in the majestic outdoor areas of the Golden State.


In anticipation of the increased outdoor activities, Cal Fire officials are urging everyone to exercise caution and emphasize safety this holiday weekend.


“The heavy rainfall this past winter and spring has led to abundant growth of grass and brush,” said Chief Del Walters, director of Cal Fire. “Despite the recent wet weather, this weekend’s warmer temperatures will dry out the vegetation, contributing to California's elevated risk of wildfires."


Thousands of acres of wildland have already burned this year in California, and the potential for even large, more destructive fires will increase as the state enters the summer and fall months.


Wildfires are not the only danger posed by the outdoors; drownings also dramatically increase during the Memorial Day weekend.


In California, drowning is the leading cause of deaths among children under 14, and every year Cal Fire responds to water rescues all across the state, many of which tragically claim the lives of both adults and children.


“Memorial Day is a great time to get together with friends and family to enjoy the outdoors,” said Chief Walters. “But it is important that everyone understands the dangers that the outdoors pose, and take steps to stay safe and prevent tragedy.”


CAL FIRE would like everyone to remember these important steps this holiday:


Camping:


  • Obtain necessary permits needed for campfires.

  • Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire.

  • Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.

  • Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.

  • When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended.


In the water:


  • Always wear a life jacket!

  • Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult.

  • Never swim alone.

  • Swimming and alcohol don't mix. Alcohol can impair your ability to under estimate the water and overestimate your abilities.


For more ways to be safe during the Memorial Day Weekend visit the Cal Fire Web site at www.fire.ca.gov.


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 .

Image
The new 1 megawatt solar array at the Middletown Treatment Plant in Middletown, Calif., will provide power to pump treated wastewater to The Geysers geothermal steamfield, where two Northern California Power Agency geothermal plants operate. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



 


MIDDLETOWN – At the site of its newest solar array, the Northern California Power Agency celebrated its renewable energy efforts as well as The Geysers' 50 years of producing clean energy for California.


About 50 people – including NCPA representatives, and local and state officials – gathered at the site of a new 1-megawatt solar array at the Lake County Sanitation District's Middletown Treatment Plant on Highway 175.


The array's dedication – delayed from last fall due to weather – coincided with the 50th anniversary of geothermal production at The Geysers steamfield.


NCPA is a nonprofit joint powers agency, established in 1968 to generate, transmit and distribute electric power.


Its members agencies include the cities of Alameda, Biggs, Gridley, Healdsburg, Lodi, Lompoc, Palo Alto, Redding, Roseville, Santa Clara and Ukiah; the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the Port of Oakland, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District, and TID; and two associate members, Placer County Water Agency, and the Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative serving more than 700,000 electric consumers in Central and Northern California.


In 1983, NCPA got into the geothermal business, and since then have been operating two geothermal power plants at The Geysers, each with a rated capacity of 110 megawatts.


Participants in NCPA's geothermal project include Alameda Municipal Power, the cities of Biggs, Gridley, Healdsburg, Lodi, Lompoc and Ukiah, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, Roseville Electric, Silicon Valley Power and TID.


Larry Hansen, NCPA's chair and a Lodi City Council member, said that 10 percent of Lodi's energy portfolio comes from The Geysers, which is one of the reasons that Lodi currently exceeds the state's Renewables Portfolio Standards requirements.


Statewide, 600,000 residents receive “green energy they can depend on” from The Geysers.


The Geysers is the largest geothermal field in the world, covering 30 square miles in the northern mountains of Sonoma and Lake counties, NCPA reported.


The agency said that the steamfield currently supplies more than 5 percent of the state’s electricity needs, and generates an amount of electricity equivalent to more than 60 percent of the electrical needs of the entire northern coastal region, stretching from San Francisco to Oregon.


Hansen said NCPA has at its disposal something that is unique not just to California but the nation, a “trifecta” of green energy, including reused wastewater – pumped to The Geysers for injection in the geothermal steamfields, which is a way of extending the life of the resources – along with the solar array and The Geysers itself.


Jim Pope, NCPA's general manager, said NCPA partnered with the Lake County Sanitation District in 1997 to begin the world's first wastewater geothermal injection project.


He said 6,000 gallons a minute is pumped 26 miles to The Geysers, where it's used to create renewable energy.


“Pumping all that water up the hill takes a lot of energy,” he said, and that's where the solar array comes in.


Pope said that NCPA has pioneered a novel down-hole turbine technology in partnership with the State of California and the California Energy Commission. The turbine is essentially a small hydroelectric generator. As the wastewater is injected back into the steam field, it generates additional electricity to power the plant’s operations.


Pope noted, “We were green before it was cool.”


District 1 Supervisor Jim Comstock said the public-private marriage between Lake County and NCPA is “a wonderful marriage.”


He said the geothermal industry provides tremendous jobs and economic support for Lake County.


“I can't thank you enough for your commitment to the renewable energy sources,” he said.


Comstock recognized Lake County Sanitation District Administrator Mark Dellinger for his work on the renewables projects.


“I want us to be an energy independent nation, and this is a big part of that,” Comstock said.


Dan Pellissier, deputy cabinet secretary for resources in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office, also spoke, noting that, “The Geysers is one of California's energy crown jewels.”


He said he spoke to Schwarzenegger about NCPA and its recent projects, and said the governor was “amazed and impressed” by what has been accomplished.


Pellissier said the push for renewable energy has been very effective, and many small solar installations are going in around the state.


He said that photovoltaics are dropping to the point that they will be cost effective on their own within five to 10 years.


“Eventually our push for renewable energy has to pencil out on its own, without subsidies,” he said.


Brian Bottari of Congressman Mike Thompson's office noted that renewable energy is particularly important now, as the world wrestles with climate change.


He said the need to break the nation's dependency on fossil fuels is not only a national security issue but an environmental concern, citing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Representatives of state Sen. Patricia Wiggins and Assembly member Noreen Evans' offices also presented a resolution congratulating NCPA on its efforts.


Hansen told the group in closing, “What we do matters.”


For more information, visit www.ncpa.com.


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 .

 

 

 

Image
The Northern California Power Agency hosted a dedication ceremony for its new solar array on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

Upcoming Calendar

27Jul
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
30Jul
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
3Aug
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
6Aug
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
10Aug
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
13Aug
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
17Aug
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
20Aug
08.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
24Aug
08.24.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
27Aug
08.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar

loader

LCNews

Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 

 

Newsletter

Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.