Friday, 19 July 2024


Hundreds of earthquakes rattled across California and Baja California this week, including a 3.3 near Oakland and a 3.0 near Los Angeles on Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake near Oakland was felt as far away as Ukiah, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Earthquakes and aftershocks continued to rock Baja and Southern California since the 7.2 magnitude temblor on April 4, with three out of the dozens of quakes recorded on Saturday above 3.0. The US Geological Survey said the strongest of those quakes was a 4.3-magnitude temblor near Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico.

Nearly two dozen earthquakes were recorded at The Geysers on Saturday; the largest being a 2.0 magnitude, which occurred at 10:11 a.m. and was felt as far away as Berkeley, according to the US Geological Survey.

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CLEARLAKE – A man whose body was pulled from Clear Lake early Thursday morning has been identified.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office identified the drowning victim as John Michael Hinman, 42, of Clearlake

Hinman's body was discovered in Clear Lake about 70 yards offshore after his roommates reported him missing, according to Sgt. Tim Hobbs of Clearlake Police.

Hobbs said Hinman lived with two roommates in the 13900 block of Lakeshore Drive who reported him missing shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday, after seeing him last just shortly after midnight.

They found a note in which Hinman stated he planned to swim to Kelseyville and which led them to believe he might try to take his own life.

Hobbs said there were no signs that Hinman died from any cause other than drowning.


Bauman said an autopsy is pending to determine Hinman's precise cause of death.

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Maria Lane officials became postmaster for Upper Lake, Calif., on April 10, 2010. Courtesy photo.

UPPER LAKE – On April 10, 2010 the U.S. Postal Service named Maria Lane as the new postmaster of Upper Lake, Calif.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Lane was a former Postal clerk in Upper Lake. She is returning to Upper Lake after a serving the community of Hopland as its postmaster.

“I love my job at the Post Office,” Lane said. “I’m extremely happy to be back here in the Upper Lake community with all of my customers and co-workers.”

She said the Post Office belongs to the community and is glad to be able to once again serve Upper Lake. Lane said her first priority as postmaster will be service.

“I plan to continue the long tradition of excellent customer service here at the Upper Lake Post Office,” Lane said.

Lane joined the Postal Service as a part-time letter carrier in Lakeport in 1995. After a brief break, she began her career in earnest as a full-time clerk in Clearlake Oaks in 1997.

Her first tour of duty in Upper Lake began in 2000 and continued until 2008 when she became the postmaster of Hopland. She returned to Upper Lake late last year to replace former postmaster Marilyn Bryant, who moved on to the Clearlake Oaks Post Office.

Lane jokingly said work is her hobby. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at various schools for children’s sports activities. She has also been a soccer coach and helped with many team-mom positions including snack shack worker, team videographer, team shuttle driver and “just about every other duty that goes with being involved with your children’s sports activities.” Lane has also been a Brownie leader.

Married to husband Randy, Lane has four children, two girls – Erin 23 and Jessie 19 – and two boys, Terry 17 and Ootie 14. She has been a resident of Lakeport for the past 18 years. She attended the College of San Mateo where she studied aeronautics.

Lane is responsible for 916 deliveries. With four employees she serves two carrier routes and 955 Post Office boxes.

The Upper Lake Post Office was established in 1858 and Lane is the 23rd postmaster to serve the community.

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MIDDLETOWN – Officials reported that a late Saturday afternoon crash resulted in major injuries.

The collision occurred shortly after 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Highway 29 just north of Twin Pine Casino near Middletown, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The vehicle involved – said to be a white pickup – had been reported all over the roadway about 15 minutes earlier and had nearly gone into oncoming traffic before traveling onto the side of the road, the CHP reported.

According to the report, the pickup then rolled over. A boulder was reported to be in the road and the pickup was on its side.

Major injuries were reported but additional details about the crash were not immediately available Saturday night.

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LAKE COUNTY – This week state and local authorities took part in a sweep to ensure convicted sex offenders are complying with registration, parole and probation requirements.

This past Wednesday, May 12, the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit coordinated a Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force compliance and enforcement operation in Lake County. The operation was countywide and included all Lake County cities and communities, according to Capt. James Bauman.

Wednesday’s operation was coordinated by Detective Mike Curran of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Bauman reported.

He said 45 law enforcement officers from 11 different federal, state and local public safety agencies formed seven teams of five to six officers each, to contact a total of 70 convicted sex offenders in the county who are either currently on California Department of Corrections parole or local probation. Ninety-eight percent of the target subjects were convicted felons.

During the day-long operation, a total of 15 arrests were made for a total of 10 parole violations, one felony probation violation, two misdemeanor probation violations and four served misdemeanor arrest warrants, said Bauman.

Several computers were seized for forensic examinations of suspected unlawful content and two new cases were opened to investigate suspected sex registrant violations, he said. Fresh charges are also anticipated on some of the arrests pending further investigation.

Wednesday’s operation included members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the Lake County District Attorney’s Office, Lake County Probation, and the Clear Lake office of the California Highway Patrol, Bauman reported.

Agencies outside Lake County assisting with Wednesday’s operation included California State Parole, the U.S. Marshall’s Service, and Region II SAFE Task Force members from Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties.

The Region II SAFE Task Force is charged with monitoring convicted sex offenders and enforcing the terms of sex registration, state parole, local probation and compliance with other state laws, Bauman said. The Region II SAFE Task Force is comprised of agents from Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Solano, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties.

SAFE Task Force operations are grant funded and include a public awareness component as part of the grant program, Bauman reported. Here in Lake County, public education presentations are available to any group or organization, particularly parent-teacher organizations, on Internet predator safety and can be arranged by contacting Detective Mike Curran at 707-262-4200.

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CLEARLAKE OAKS – The Clearlake Oaks/Glenhaven Business Association is sponsoring the 27th Annual Catfish Derby, from noon Friday, May 14, through noon Sunday, May 16, 2010.


Known by many as “the largest catfish derby west of the Mississippi,” the event features an Adult Derby and a Kids Derby for those under 16 years old. The grand prize winner of the Adult Derby will receive a new boat, motor, and trailer plus cash prizes and the winner of the Kids Derby will receive a Nintendo Wii System.


Derby headquarters will be located at the Clearlake Oaks Fire Station, 12655 East Highway 20, and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. No registrations will be accepted after 11 p.m. on Friday.


Registration for the Adult Derby is $45 ($40 for those who pre-register on Thursday). Registration for the Kids Derby is $10.


Barbecues will be held both Saturday and Sunday, with a Saturday breakfast planned. Sunday will feature live music. A Catfish Derby Cook-Off will be held on Saturday. The entry fee for the cook-off is $20, with prizes awarded.


Proceeds from the event benefit community projects.

For applications, call 888-CL-DERBY, 707-998-1006; for information, 707-998-9563,

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MIDDLETOWN – Students, parents and Middletown Unified School District personnel got a surprise Friday morning when most of the district's bus drivers took part in a sickout.

Four of the district's six drivers called in sick and didn't show up to drive children to school, said District Superintendent Dr. Korby Olson.

The timing appeared to be due to a specific reason. “Today is the day we were delivering classified layoff notices,” said Olson.

Olson delivered those 34 notices with the classified employees union president, who he said hadn't known anything about what appeared to be a unilateral action by the four bus drivers.

He said 17.5 full-time equivalent classified positions are being laid off as the district seeks ways of cutting $1.5 million from its $14 million budget.

Some of those employees who received layoff notices will maintain jobs because they have bumping rights into other positions, he said.

However, Olson noted that it was a lot of lost jobs for the district. “It's painful.”

The school district's board of trustees made the decision to give out the notices at its Wednesday meeting, which Olson said was long and difficult.

The Thursday notices followed the pink slips handed out to 12 teachers at the end of March. Of those, 11 will be reduced for a total of just over 9.5 full-time positions, Olson said.

Olson notified parents via e-mail Friday morning that the school district planned to run all of its usual bus routes with only two buses, resulting in a 45-minute delay for Cobb Mountain Elementary and Coyote Valley Elementary School's buses. However, schools still began on time.

“We don't have backups, which is a problem,” said Olson, adding, “We were able to get them all to school.”

Later in the day, Olson reported to parents that the same two buses would take students home, with run expected to be up to 45 minutes late.

Incidentally, Friday also was the day that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's May Revise of his budget came out. The impacts on local schools won't be known until later this month, according to Lisa Cockerton, business manager for Lucerne Elementary School.

Middletown is not alone in its budget struggles. As school districts around Lake County struggle with declining enrollment and less funding, dozens of classified and certificated employees are facing the loss of their jobs.


Lake County News will present an overview of the present budget situation for the local districts and their proposed employee cuts once the effects of the May revise have been analyzed.


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LAKE COUNTY – A man who tried to kill his girlfriend 20 years ago was denied parole once again in a hearing that took place this past week.

Richard Dowdle, 55, was once again denied parole by the Board of Prison Terms, which held his parole hearing on Tuesday, May 11, at Corcoran State Prison.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff attended the parole hearing to argue against Dowdle’s release. It was the sixth parole hearing for Dowdle Hinchcliff has attended.

Dowdle was sentenced to life plus five years in August of 1990 for the attempted murder of his girlfriend at the time, according to Hinchcliff. Dowdle was sentenced by Judge Robert L. Crone and prosecuted by current Superior Court Judge Richard C. Martin. He initially became eligible for parole in May of 2000.

On January 17, 1990, Dowdle was released from the Hill Road Jail in Lakeport after serving jail time on a domestic violence offense against the same victim, according to the investigation.

Dowdle and the victim returned to their residence on Emerald Drive in Kelseyville that day, and Dowdle discovered that the victim had moved her 17-year-old son and a friend of his into the residence to help pay rent.

Dowdle, who worked in The Geysers steamfield as a driller, and who was a cross-dresser, was upset that there were “intruders” in the house. He stated that being a “roughneck” he would be too embarrassed to wear female clothing in front of the “intruders.”

He became angry and confronted his girlfriend while she was in the bedroom with their 11-month-old baby daughter. Dowdle punched the woman in the face, causing a fracture. He then went into the kitchen, retrieved a butcher knife, returned to the bedroom and stabbed the victim several times in the shoulder and abdomen.

When deputy sheriff’s arrived and entered the residence, they found that Dowdle had used the knife to cut his own throat and disembowel himself. Despite her injuries, the girlfriend survived.

At Dowdle's previous parole hearings, the Board of Parole Hearing Commissioners had denied parole but gave new parole hearing dates every two years.

Dowdle had been told numerous times by counselors, commissioners and psychiatrists that he needed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous classes to address alcohol issues and take domestic violence and anger management classes to address his domestic violence problems. However, he has not participated in the programs he has been told to participate in.

The parole commissioners agreed with Hinchcliff that it was clear Dowdle still presents a substantial risk of danger to women if he were released and he is unlikely to participate in the counseling he needs to get paroled.

They also concluded there was no point in continuing to set parole hearings every two years, which puts the victim through the ordeal of having to attend those hearings every two years.

The commissioners denied parole this time for 10 years, and his next hearing will be in 2020, Hinchcliff said.

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LAKE COUNTY – The deadline is fast approaching for those who want to vote to register with the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office.

Registrar of Voters Diane Fridley advised new residents of Lake County, and registered voters who have moved to a new address, changed their mailing address within the county, or changed their name, that they may need to re-register in order to be eligible to vote in the upcoming Statewide Direct Primary Election.

The last day to register to vote for the June 8 Statewide Direct Primary Election is Monday, May 24, Fridley said.

The completed voter registration form must be either personally delivered to the Registrar of Voters Office on or before May 24 or postmarked on or before May 24 and received by mail by the Registrar of Voters Office.

Pursuant to Section 2101 of the California Elections Code: “A person entitled to register to vote shall be a United States citizen, a resident of California, not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election.”

Residents may register to vote at the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office, Room 209, Courthouse, Lakeport or may phone the Registrar's Office at 263-2372 for information.

Registration forms also are available at most local post offices, libraries, senior centers, city offices, and chamber of commerce offices, Fridley reported.


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CLEARLAKE – A parolee was arrested Friday afternoon after police say he ran another man down with his vehicle.

Arturo Lopez, 52, was arrested on charges of attempted murder, giving false identification to an officer and a parole violation, according to Sgt. Tim Hobbs of the Clearlake Police Department.

At 1:45 p.m. Friday police and Lake County Fire Protection District medical personnel were dispatched to Safeway in Clearlake for a reported hit-and-run with an injured pedestrian, Hobbs said.

When they arrived, police and paramedics found an unconscious male in his 50s lying on Burns Valley Road, just outside of the Safeway parking lot entrance. Hobbs said REACH air ambulance was called to transport the man to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for life-threatening head injuries.

Hobbs said police learned during their investigation that Lopez, a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parolee, was the alleged driver in the incident.

Lopez had allegedly been in an altercation with the victim before the incident. Hobbs said witnesses and evidence at the scene led to the conclusion that Lopez had intentionally hit the other man with his vehicle.

Shortly after processing the scene, Clearlake Police officers located Lopez's vehicle, which Hobbs said was towed and stored for evidence.

A short time later, just after 4 p.m., police found Lopez and arrested him, Hobbs said.

Following Lopez's arrest, he was taken to St. Helena Hospital Clearlake for medical clearance, according to Sgt. Rodd Joseph.

While Lopez was being examined it was discovered that he had pre-existing medical issues that required emergency treatment, Joseph said. Lopez subsequently was released from custody and transported to another hospital in Napa County.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call the Clearlake Police Department at 707-994-8251.

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LAKEPORT – The owner of Rattlesnake Island may have to wait at least another year before moving forward with building plans on the island.

On Thursday, following a four-and-a-half-hour hearing, the Lake County Planing Commission voted to require John Nady of Emeryville to conduct a focused environmental impact report (EIR) to look specifically at cultural and archaeological resources.

Nady, who has owned the island since 2003, said he already has done significant study in order to build a 2,930-square-foot residence, 1,258-square-foot caretaker's cabin, standalone bathroom and utility trenching on the 57-acre island off Clearlake Oaks.

With much of the public comment coming from concerned local tribal members – especially the Elem Colony – Nady maintained that no amount of study would ever satisfy the project's opponents, and he suggested that the EIR was just a matter of “kicking the can down the road.”

But Commissioner Cliff Swetnam said that an EIR was one way to answer concerns about the project and protect Nady if he or his family ever wanted to sell the property or were taken to court.

The discussion about the island illustrated the persistent, centuries-old conflicts between the western and American Indian philosophies of land ownership, private property rights and sacred space.

As Jim Brown of the Elem Indian Colony would explain, Rattlesnake Island is “the aboriginal pre-historic tribal township” of the Elem tribe, a place that he said possessed the tribe's “traditions, beliefs, religious practices, life ways, arts, crafts, social and community historical events.”

Brown and other community members – both tribal and nontribal – would appeal to the commission to keep the site's cultural significance in mind as they approached the project. While the commissioners said they were sympathetic to those concerns, they emphasized that they were limited in what they could consider.

Swetnam recalled his visit to the island several years ago, when the caretaker gave him a tour. He said he saw round impressions in the ground in places that had been identified as village areas, that there were grinding stones, and a lot of obsidian flakes and arrowheads on the ground.

Chair Clelia Baur visited the site 10 days before the hearing with the caretaker. She saw a new dock, a lawn, some small structures and outbuildings, large oak trees and the biggest buckeye tree she's seen in Lake County.

The grass was high so she couldn't see the native sites, although the caretaker pointed out a depression where one of the sites was. She also could see obsidian flakes, and there was a small solar panel array and small water treatment plant.

The island is home to a flock of sheep and some peacocks, and Baur said she also saw turtles and water birds. The caretaker told her that Nady has instructed him to keep the land as natural as possible, but they've had periodic trespassing and vandalism.

Commissioner Bob Malley said he visited the island Wednesday. “It's a well preserved piece of land right now, the way it sits.”

Community Development Director Rick Coel told the commission that Nady's current application was a new one. The last issue that the commission heard regarding the island, which took place at a January 2005 hearing, was an appeal of the Planning Division's denial of a zoning clearance permit for construction.

Staff was directed at that point to prepare a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the proposed construction, which Coel said they did. As part of that, they hired archaeologist Dr. Thomas Gates, who prepared a project specific archaeological survey.

Gates said they dug 61 test holes and screened the soil to look for artifacts. They didn't have the authority to remove the items in order to take them for lab analysis, meaning they were limited to what they could analyze on the spot.

They found limited obsidian flake material and charcoal on the surface, the latter which he determined to be from brush burning.

Gates also found obsidian flakes – not tools or broken tools, which he said surprised him – as well as a silver dollar-sized area of finely crushed abalone and some clam shells. That was the extent of what the shovel test units discovered.

“In my opinion what we found in those 61 test units did not have much further information potential,” said Gates, with “information potential” being an archaeological term for the information that can add to a site's understanding.

Gates said the land is on the Native American Heritage Commission's sacred lands inventory. “In my opinion, one unanswered question here is what is the nature of that sacredness.”

He added, “I would recommend it's wise to find that answer.”

Gates suggested that if the project went forward, both archaeological and Indian monitors should be on site during excavation.

His report offered a list of items and what would result from finding them. He said leaf-shaped points or beads indicative of burials could result in a temporary work stoppage, burials could result in a full stoppage.

Gates told the commission that the island, which is eligible for the National Historic Register, is an archaeological district.

Community members testify to island's cultural importance

During several hours of public testimony, the commission would hear from numerous people asking for the EIR, and some asking for no project at all.

Nancy Kaymen, vice chair of the Lake County Heritage Commission, said the proposed mitigated negative declaration on the project didn't meet CEQA requirements.

Geraldine Johnson, chair for Elem Indian Colony, submitted a folder of letters from local tribal leaders asking that an EIR be completed.

Local archaeologist Dr. John Parker, who had submitted an eight-page letter outlining his concerns on the proposed mitigated negative declaration, summarized the main problems with the archaeological survey, including not determining the integrity of the cultural items within the project area. Nor was Gates able to wash the materials or sort, identify and classify them into meaningful categories, Parker said.

A mitigation plan for the site can't be developed if it hasn't been determined if the site is intact or not, Parker said.

He also emphasized, “Monitoring is not mitigation.”

Parker added, “If approved, you're telling the landowner and the Lake County community that we don't value even our most significant historical resources.”

He pointed out that Gates' report has three pages that outline what he would have done if he had been allowed to collect cultural materials. Parker said there was no part of the island that isn't culturally sensitive.

Victoria Brandon, representing the Sierra Club Lake Group, also pointed to the archaeological study's inadequacy, noting a biological study also was needed. The island is the center point of the first of the county's new water trails, she added.

Suggesting there should be a voluntary conservation easement over the rest of the island that's not included in the building project, Brandon said there were ways of redesigning the project to minimize the impacts on the area and its ancient cultural heritage.

“It's a really precious place,” she said, noting that it should be developed in the most sensitive way possible.

Reno Franklin, a member of the Kashia Band of Pomo from Sonoma County and chairman of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, shared with the commission the island's wider cultural significance. “It's not limited to just the Lake County tribes in the importance of it,” he said.

In the 1800s, runners were sent to other tribes to announce ceremonies on Rattlesnake Island. Franklin said the Kashia Band made the long trip from Stewart's Point on the coast – through territory filled with people hostile to natives – to the island, where they would spend nearly a year.

The archaeological resources survey is the science side of the equation; Franklin asked the commission to consider also the cultural side. He said there is no other place in California like Rattlesnake Island, where tribal peoples voluntarily traveled for worship.

“To explain this to you, it would be like the Muslims and Catholic and Jehovah's Witnesses all going to one place to worship together,” he said.

Franklin said he has not been on the island, since his tribe isn't now allowed there, and to go he would first need clearance from Elem members.

Baur asked him how he felt about the building project. Franklin said it was a tough question for a traditional Indian man. He deferred to what the Elem tribe believes is best. “I would hate to see it happen if it wasn't done properly.”

Clayton Duncan of Robinson Rancheria said he wanted to see both Rattlesnake Island and the Bloody Island area – the latter near Nice – given back to local tribes.

“You have the power to stop development on sacred land,” he told the commission, adding that local Indians were asking for their help in getting their lands back.

Deputy County Counsel Bob Bridges noted that the commission was tackling issues that touch on very sincere and long-held beliefs. However, he said the commission administers the county's zoning and grading ordinance and, as such, “Your ability is pretty limited in the whole spectrum of things.”

Big Valley Rancheria's environmental director, Sarah Ryan, said the project required a full archaeological study, and she went on to allege that Nady previously had acted in bad faith with regard to environmental laws, and had attempted to interfere with the consultant selection process.

“You have an opportunity to be strict with this person,” Ryan urged the commission.

“I hope he does sell it,” she said. “I hope that the tribe is able to purchase it back, because it is their land.”

Rose Brown, an Elem tribal member, said the project has a physical, mental and spiritual impact on her people, who can access very few of their sacred areas locally.

“We want to go back to our sacred site,” she said. “This place has been sacred to our heart.”

She said the planning commission could change the bad affects on the tribe by denying the plan.

Batsulwin Brown, vice chair of the Elem Colony, said the people of Elem haven't been considered in the process. The tribe, who can look out across to the island, which isn't far from the rancheria, used to have a tradition of swimming to the island during the summer, a practice that is no longer safe because of boat traffic.

“None of this is a joke to us,” he said.

He added, “Every single town in this county is built on our bones, our ashes, our blood.”

Baur asked him what he wanted to see happen with the island. Brown said he didn't want to see any development. “The Elem people did not abandon that land,” he said, pointing out that it was in continual use until the people were forced from the island to the mainland by government policies.

Nady: More study won't end opposition

Nady, who spoke toward the end of the hearing, said he has been a part-time county resident for 21 years, and he and his family consider themselves a part of the community.

He said prior to his 2003 purchase of the island, the previous owner made him aware of past controversies with the Elem people. He said he spoke to county officials about his plans before the purchase and only bought the land following a thorough title search that went back about 150 years.

Nady said he's been through numerous delays, including the stoppage of work on a septic system several years ago. He said he's cooperated continuously with the county, and that the commission could count on his continued cooperation.

But he doubted further study would satisfy the project's opponents. “You could do 10 EIRs, it would still have the same opposition.”

He said he's well aware of the island's historical and cultural significance, and the project won't harm the cultural resources.

When he bought the land it was overgrown and strewn with trash. Since then, he's cleaned it up, including clearing underbrush. “We've always strived to preserve the natural beauty of this property.”

Nady's wife, Toby, said she and her family have loved the island since first stepping foot on it.

“When you love something or someone, you do what's best for them,” and don't try to turn them into something they're not, she said.

Noting that the island – with its grassy hills, open fields and craggy coves – is “easy to love,” Toby Nady said a person didn't need to be of Indian heritage to care deeply about “this extraordinary and beautiful land.”

She and her family had no idea how long and difficult the project process would be, but they want to be part of the preservation going forward, she said.

Swetnam, noting the island's significant artifacts and history, said, “This controversy will never go away if an environmental impact report is not done on this property.”

He said it was the best course of action for the sake of the tribe, potential artifacts and the island's history, as well as helping protect Nady's interests. Doing the study doesn't mean Nady won't be able to build a house, but the study, Swetnam suggested, would help put an end to the controversy.

Malley, who said he knows Elem tribal members like Jim Brown, said he understood how deeply concerns about the island run in their community. “I agree that it's an unfortunate situation that title to this piece of property ever was taken away from the tribe,” he said.

He questioned why the tribe hasn't pursued a remedy through the courts, and said he understands how concern for the land “shines in their hearts.”

Like Swetnam, he believed the EIR was necessary, but added, “I don't think that it will ever be settled as long as Elem does not have control of that property.”

Kelseyville resident Anna Ravenwoode asked that the commission require Nady do a full EIR on the entire island, but Coel said he didn't believe they could do that, as the project area took up less than one-tenth of the entire island area.

Nady's attorney, Frederic Schrag, challenged the idea that there was such a thing as a focused EIR, and said the commission needed to consider the cost of an EIR versus the two single-family residences proposed for construction. He said one previous quote for the study had been $250,000.

Swetnam said they were asking for a focused study, not traffic studies and other considerations that would make it more expensive.

“You're wrong, counsel, there is such a thing as a focused EIR, we've done it several times,” said Swetnam. “You need to get your facts straight before you come up here and tell the commission what we can and cannot do.”

Bridges said what the commission proposed for the focused EIR was envisioned by CEQA, and added that a photo simulation requested of the project was not an onerous requirement.

Returning to the microphone, Nady told the commission, “This project is on an endless delay. It should be obvious to anyone.”

He said the goal was to continually delay the project so he gives up, which he said he wouldn't do. Nady suggested that requiring the additional study was a taking of his property rights, and asked why the tribe had passed on a chance to buy the land for $10,000 in 1978.

Swetnam told Nady he's done a good job of taking care of the island, but he needed to understand that the commission's decision goes with the land, not the owner. As such, who owns the land doesn't matter in relation to the decision.

Before the commission took the vote, Coel said they were realistically looking at a year to complete the EIR process, which would include a request for proposals and consultant selection.

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Miss Lake County 2009 Taylor Paige Butler. Photo by Diane Davis.


LAKE COUNTY – The Miss Lake County Scholarship Program and Pageant, an official preliminary pageant to Miss California and Miss America, is in the process of recruiting contestants to participate in the upcoming pageant.

This year the pageant will be held on Saturday, Aug. 7, in the showroom at Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino in Nice.

The scholarship program is open to all young women who live, work or attend school in Lake County.

The teen program is open to ages 13 to 16 and the Miss Lake County program is open to ages 17 to 24.

They also have a Princess Program for girls ages 6 to 12, which introduces the girls to the Miss America program. The young contestants participate in community events with the teen and miss contestants and will be introduced and “crowned” on stage at the August pageant.




Miss Lake County Outstanding Teen Katherine Murphy. Photo by Diane Davis.



Two orientation sessions are scheduled this month.

The first will be held on Saturday, May 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Konocti Dance Academy, located at 4274 Old Highway 53 in Clearlake.

The second will take place on Sunday, May 23, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Mendo-Lake Credit Union meeting room, 963 11th St. in Lakeport.

Prospective contestants need only attend one session.

Parents are invited to attend the orientation sessions with their daughters. All areas of the competition will be covered, including talent, lifestyle and fitness, evening wear, on-stage question and private interview. Academic achievement and community service also are considered in a contestant’s overall evaluation.

Rehearsals will start in early June and are usually held once a week. In addition to the regular rehearsals, they are offering, for the first time, yoga classes to all participants.

Even if this is their first year competing, young women will have a lot of fun and meet great girls. The volunteer committee members are there to support and mentor contestants throughout the program.

Organizers also are looking for community members who would like to join the program.

For more information, contact Executive Director Sandra Orchid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at 707-277-0707.

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Upcoming Calendar

07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

Mini Calendar



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