Wednesday, 24 July 2024


LAKE COUNTY – Two men who violated the terms of their probation were arrested this past weekend as part of an enforcement operation checking on registered sex offenders' compliance with registration rules.

Chief Deputy James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported that on Saturday, July 26 the members of the Region II Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force conducted a compliance sweep of the registered sex offenders living in the communities of Lakeport, Upper Lake, Nice and Lucerne.

Three, two-officer teams, consisting of members of the sheriff’s office and the District Attorney’s Office spent the day conducting compliance checks on a total of 120 sex registrants throughout the north end of the county, Bauman reported.

The task force, led by Sheriff’s Det. Mike Curran, found approximately 95 percent of the registrants visited to be in compliance with the terms of their registration, and the terms of their probation or parole when applicable, according to Bauman.

Several, however, were found to be out of compliance with their registration requirements in some manner, said Bauman, and those cases will be referred to the District Attorney’s Office for complaints to be filed.

Bauman said two of the registrants, identified as 51-year-old Richard Allen Berry of Nice, and 32-year-old Logan Shane Sloan, also of Nice, were arrested for parole violations.

Berry had violated the terms of his parole by possessing pornographic material and Sloan’s parole violation was due to his consumption of alcohol. Bauman reported that both are being held at the Lake County Jail without bail.

The SAFE Task Force will continue its efforts to ensure sex registrant compliance with addition sweeps, parole searches and probation searches in other parts of the county in the months to come, Bauman reported.


LAKEPORT – The trial of a Carmichael man facing felony manslaughter in connection with a fatal April 2006 boating crash may take place next January.

Bismarck Dinius, 40, was in Lake County Superior Court Monday to find out possible court dates.

Dinius is charged with vehicle manslaughter involving a vessel and boating under the influence.

On April 29, 2006, he was steering a sailboat owned by Willows resident Mark Weber which was struck by a speedboat driven by Russell Perdock, a chief deputy with the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Weber's fiancee, 51-year-old Lynn Thornton, was fatally injured in the crash and died a few days later at UC Davis Medical Center.

The prosecution, led by Deputy District Attorney John Langan, asserts that the boat was under way without running lights and that Dinius had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 that night.

Dinius' Sacramento attorney, Victor Haltom, has argued that the crash, ultimately, was the fault of Perdock driving his speedboat too fast at about 9 p.m., and that the sailboat Dinius was steering did have working lights that were on.

Perdock has not been charged in the case, although he, Dinius, Weber and Thornton's son are involved in a civil suit over Thornton's death.

After a lengthy preliminary hearing that wrapped up in June, Judge Richard Martin ruled that Dinius would stand trial.

On Monday, Judge Robert Crone discussed with the prosecution and defense future court dates.

The parties will meet in November to enter motions in the case to be followed by a trial readiness conference in December.

Dinius' trial is tentatively set to begin on Jan. 13, 2009.

During Monday's proceedings, Haltom indicated he planned to file a motion requesting the charges be dismissed due to insufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing. Dinius also waived his right to a speedy trial.

After court, Dinius told Lake County News that he and Haltom are looking forward to the opportunity to confront and question the prosecution’s witnesses in the less restrictive forum that a full-blown jury trial offers.

Haltom indicated that his office would continue examining the activities of law enforcement personnel involved on the night of the incident as well as the investigation that followed.

Lake County News had no opportunity to speak with prosecutor Langan after the hearing.

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


UPPER LAKE – The Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake have received approval from the federal government to place land in trust, a decision tribal representatives say is a crucial step in moving forward with plans to build a $35 million casino.

The US Department of the Interior's Office of the Secretary has issued a “finding of no significant impact” – or FONSI – on the tribe's proposal to place an 11.24-acre site on Highway 20 in trust, said the tribe's attorney, Robert Rosette.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the finding based, it said, on analysis and recommended mitigation measures in a May 2007 draft environmental assessment, as well as comments from the public, responses to those comments, the tribe's request for a reduction in acreage and the development of a final environmental assessment.

Rosette said the FONSI is an important legal entitlement that will allow the 200-member tribe to proceed with building a casino on its land next to the Upper Lake County Park.

Tribal members were “elated” by the news that BIA was approving placing the land in trust, said Rosette.

“It's a significant victory in the grand scope of their project,” he said. “Emotionally, as well, it means an awful lot to this tribe to reestablish their land base.”

The last thing the tribe must do before it can break ground on the casino is to get an approved tribal gaming compact with the state, said Rosette. “That's certainly a priority now.”

Negotiating with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for that compact hinged on the FONSI, since Schwarzenegger has had a policy of not negotiating with tribes unless their land already was in trust, said Rosette. The federal government must then approve the compact.

Rosette said there's an outside chance the tribe – which already has had preliminary meetings with representatives from the governor's office – might be able to have a compact ready to be approved by the state Legislature before it adjourns for its fall break in mid-September.

That could put the tribe on track to break ground on the $35 million casino project in the first part of 2009, which Rosette called “a best-case scenario.”

He estimated construction will take between a year and 18 months to complete.

Once finished, the facility will create 250 jobs, said Rosette. One of the tribe's main reasons for pursuing the casino is to provide jobs for tribal members. However, most of the jobs will be available to Lake County residents, since many of the tribal members don't live in the area, he said.

Rosette said the tribe has entered into an agreement with Luna Gaming Upper Lake LLC, a Michigan-based gaming management company that is funding the project.

The company is involved with Indian casinos including Rolling Hills Casino in Corning and Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Mich., besides having commercial gaming interests in Detroit and operating Cal Neva Resort in Lake Tahoe, according to its Web site. Luna Gaming also is working on casino development projects with Oklahoma's Kiowa tribe and the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians in San Diego.

Rosette said the Habematolel casino will be a “class 3” Las Vegas-style establishment, with 20,000 square feet of gaming space featuring 349 slot machines as well as blackjack and other card games.

Phase one of the project also will include a restaurant and bar, said Rosette. Phase two of the project may include a small, 200-room hotel, which the tribe included in its environmental impact report and which the federal government approved.

To supply water to the casino, the tribe will dig its own well, said Rosette.

The tribe at one point had considered annexing to the Upper Lake County Water District, as Lake County News has reported. In October 2007, the tribe paid the district more than $7,700 for an engineering study that explored hooking the casino into the district as well as other alternatives

FONSI is a final step in tribe's restoration

Rosette said the FONSI finding is a final milestone for the tribe, which received its Restored Lands Determination last November in order to reestablish its reservation.

The Habematolel's lands in Lake County were lost in the 1950s under the federal “termination” policy, said Rosette.

A report from California Indian Legal Services said 38 California tribes lost their lands and federal recognition due to termination, with many of the tribes now seeking to have their status restored, some through litigation.

The Habematolel were among those tribes that took their battle to court, winning a lawsuit against the United States in US District Court in 1983, with the court finding the tribe's termination was unlawful, Rosette said.

Yet, while they won in court, it didn't mean they received their land back. So Rosette said the tribe has worked since then to acquire new land suitable for tribal government purposes.

It also took the Habematolel 20 years to receive Bureau of Indian Affairs approval on a tribal constitution, said Rosette, which wasn't complete until l2004.

The constitution was another in a series of necessary steps, as it made the tribe's government legitimate in the eyes of the federal government, said Rosette.

Once the constitution was accepted, said Rosette, the tribe moved quickly to reestablish their land base, working on their deed of trust application in late 2005. That resulted in this latest approval to place their acreage in trust as “Indian Lands.”

Forging relationships with the county

County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Cox is optimistic about the casino's possible benefits.

“Overall I suspect it will be a positive impact on the economy,” he said, with the casino creating jobs both during construction and once it's up and operating. He added that he hopes they add the hotel, because more lodging facilities are needed in Lake County.

Cox also praised the tribe for the way it reached out to the county to create a positive working relationship.

On July 11, 2006, the county and the tribe entered into a detailed memorandum of understanding which Cox said covers everything from law enforcement and traffic control, to adhering to state building code requirements, air quality issues, fire and emergency services, the tribe's willingness to support agritourism and address the impacts of problem gaming.

All county department heads got together, discussed their concerns and included them in the lengthy agreement, said Cox. “It covers everything we can think of.”

In addition, the tribe agreed to pay revenue in lieu of property tax as though the land were privately owned, and will pay taxes and fees like any regular developer, Cox said. He thinks that, from the county government's standpoint, the result will be a plus on the revenue side.

“We had excellent negotiations with them,” he said. “They wanted to do the right thing, from day one.”

The county also wanted to do the right thing and not take unfair advantage of the situation, said Cox, which meant not taking the path of some other local governments that have tried to extract millions from tribes. Rather, the county simply asked the tribe for agreements and fees that would be expected of any developer.

“I think we came up with a good agreement,” he said. “Neither one of us were trying to harm each other.”

The tribe has already proved true to its word; Cox said the Habematolel have contributed $378,000 to the Lake County Sanitation District for improvements to the sewer system that the casino will necessitate.

The tribe also offered its support of the Middle Creek Restoration Project, despite the fact that it will put a large portion of the 60 acres the tribe owns under water, said Cox.

Originally, the tribe had intended to put all 60 acres in trust, but Tribal Chair Sherry Bridges said in a written statement that, based on local government's concerns and those of area residents, the tribe and its executive council made “a great sacrifice” and scaled back the amount to the 11.24 acres.

Cox said a separate agreement, reached between the tribe and the county in June of 2007, covers that reduction in acres for the restoration project.

“There's a strong level of trust and credibility that's been established by this tribe with local government, as well as state and federal,” said Rosette.

He said the tribe has chosen to exercise its sovereignty in a new way, by reaching out to the various levels of government and the community. “There are several projects around the state that are following the same processes that Upper Lake is, they're just not moving with the same efficiency as Upper Lake is.”

That's because some tribes try to circumvent parts of the process and it ends up in delays, said Rosette, an expert in Indian gaming law who has represented other tribes in casino projects, including previously working for the Elem Colony on their recent casino efforts.

He said the Habematolel Pomo are aiming to set up a strong, mutually beneficial relationship that will work out for everybody.

Rosette added that the Habematolel “hope to be an example to other tribes.”

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Officials survey the scene at the Tuesday afternoon rollover of a fully loaded lumber truck on the Hopland Grade. Photo by John Jensen.


HOPLAND GRADE – Highway 175 over the Hopland Grade was shut down for several hours Tuesday afternoon and into the evening as officials cleaned up the roadway following a loaded lumber truck tipping over.

The big rig had tipped over and gone down an embankment around 3 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. The two occupants of the vehicle escaped without serious harm.

CHP officers at the scene said the truck driver had been cited at around 2:30 p.m. for being on the winding highway, on which large semis are prohibited.

They were escorting the truck down the hill on the Lake County side when, about three quarters of a mile from the county line, the truck wasn't able to smoothly negotiate a turn and its back end dropped off the road. That caused the entire rig and trailer filled with lumber to flip over, the CHP reported.

Lake County Sheriff's deputies, emergency medical personnel and Caltrans – the latter taking control of closing the road – also responded to the scene.

The driver was uninjured although a juvenile in the truck's sleeper had a minor head injury, according to the CHP.

Willits Towing responded to remove the truck and to clean up the lumber spill, CHP reported.

CHP said the highway was closed from 3:45 p.m. until 8 p.m. to allow for the roadway to be cleared.

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KELSEYVILLE – Due to ballot errors, the Clear Lake Riviera Community Association will hold a new election to fill slots on its board.

The announcement was made at the association's July 15 meeting by President Alan Siegel.

The election will be limited to the original seven candidates and will be conducted in September, Siegel said. The ballots will be counted on Sept. 16 and the annual meeting will be conducted on Sept. 20.

The attending candidates at the meeting agreed to the new election. Until a new board is elected the current board will remain in office.

The errors that were brought to the attention of the association office by several residents were twofold.

In the instructions on the ballot it said to vote for four of the candidates, however it also said in another part of the ballot to vote for only two.

The ballot also called for a signature so it was no longer considered a secret ballot as required by state law.

In an attempt to remedy the situation the association office sent out an additional mailer to clarify the ballot. However, because the ballot required a signature it was conceded to be invalid by the board and a new election was called.

Lynn Farmer suggested at the meeting that the association should look into using a mediator to help resolve some of the issues between property owners and the association.

“We can use all the help we can get and it is something that we should look into,” said Siegel.

During the president's comments near the end of the meeting, tempers began to flare with over half the audience on their feet because of a heckler who was disrupting the meeting. Two people left the meeting during Siegel's remarks.

“There are about six to eight people who are very vocal against the association,” said Siegel. “They have conducted a letter writing campaign and some were given guest commentaries in the Record-Bee. They are bullies that are mean to the association, they are mean to the secretaries, they are mean to everybody and they need to be stood up to.”

He continued, “There are less than 30 violations that are currently going on and these people want to disband the association. The association is working hard to protect the property owners rights … they would have to be incredibly stupid to do away with the association.”

At the end of his speech Siegel got a round of applause from many of the 35 or so who attended.

Siegel later remarked that his life was threatened in an online forum by one of the dissenters. “If they are such a large group, why didn’t they all show up?” he asked.

Much of the current controversy in the association stems from conflicting acceptance of its covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) which can be viewed on the association's Web site,

Darrell Watkins, a candidate for the association board, stated, “When CC&Rs have not been amended according to the governing document and the association says they have, that's fraud. They're deceiving the homeowners.”

According to the state, the current CC&Rs and bylaws are outdated and require new ones to be drafted and approved. This needs a majority of a quorum to ratify.

The current CC&Rs state that, “Approval by written ballot is valid when the number of approvals equals or exceeds a majority of the ballot votes cast, and the number of ballot votes cast equals or exceeds ten percent (10%) of the membership eligible to vote.”

Watkins, John Stoddard and others insist that the quorum needed is 50 percent of the votes plus one to ratify. They hold that there never has been a quorum reached so the current CC&Rs are invalid.

The association has spent thousands of dollars to write new documents and made several attempts to get them ratified but fell short of 50 percent plus one.

“This is the same problem that the Mt. Konocti Water Co. has,” said Siegel. “They can’t reach this quorum to change from being a ‘for profit’ to a ‘not for profit company.’”


Lance Corporal Ivan Wilson, 22, who died July 21, 2008 in Afghanistan's Helmand province, will be remembered at a special public memorial opening Monday. Courtesy photo.


LOWER LAKE – On Monday a public memorial will open to the public in honor of a local Marine killed in Afghanistan last week.

Lance Corporal Ivan Wilson, 22, died July 21 after being fatally injured by an improvised explosive device while supporting combat operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan's Helmand province, as Lake County News has reported.

A memorial site where the community may pay its respects and offer tributes to the young Marine will open Monday at Jones and Lewis Clear Lake Memorial Chapel, located at 16140 Main St. in Lower Lake, Wilson family friend Ginny Craven reported.

Wilson's family in Clearlake has not yet announced details of his funeral or other final arrangements.

Wilson joined the Marines on Sept. 11, 2005, a year after graduating from Clearlake Community School. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps, based in Twentynine Palms.

Prior to serving in Afghanistan, Wilson had served a tour in Iraq in 2007.

County offices are keeping flags at half-staff in Wilson's memory through Monday.

Flags in Sacramento also were flown at half-staff late last week in Sacramento by order of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Private First Class Ivan Wilson, who dedicated his life to protecting the liberty of his fellow citizens and Marines,” Schwarzenegger said in a written statement. “Californians are forever indebted to Ivan’s unwavering courage and service. Maria and I send our deepest condolences to Ivan’s family and friends.”

The US Marine Corps told Lake County News that Wilson received a posthumous promotion from private first class to lance corporal.

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


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with his fellow West Coast governors announces the plan's release. Photo courtesy of the governor's office.


The Governors of California, Oregon and Washington on Tuesday joined together via satellite to launch a historic action plan to address challenging ocean and coastal management issues along the West Coast.

The West Coast Governors' Ocean Action Plan is the result of a 2006 agreement signed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The regional agreement, known as the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health, forged a long-term partnership to tackle obstacles facing the Pacific Ocean and its coastal communities.

To support the states' agreement, a Federal Working Group, co-led by the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been established and will work with the states in implementing the actions.

The action plan is the result of our three states working side-by-side to identify problems and develop a comprehensive action plan to solve them. It commits our three states to collaborate closely with each other and our federal partners on seven priority areas related to ocean protection:

  • Ensuring clean coastal waters and beaches;

  • Protecting and restoring healthy ocean and coastal habitats;

  • Promoting the effective implementation of ecosystem-based management of our ocean and coastal resources;

  • Reducing adverse impacts of offshore development;

  • Increasing ocean awareness and literacy among our citizens;

  • Expanding ocean and coastal scientific information, research and monitoring; and

  • Fostering sustainable economic development throughout our diverse coastal communities.

As part of the plan, California, Oregon and Washington will work together, along with the Federal Working Group, on 26 bold actions to help combat polluted runoff and reduce marine garbage, advocate for stricter ocean going vessel emission standards, prevent the introduction of invasive species, explore the feasibility of offshore alternative ocean energy development, improve ocean research, increase ocean education and prevent and respond to offshore oil spills, among others.

Each action within the plan contains benchmarks and a timeframe for action. The governors have formally committed to report on the status of actions at the end of two years.

"This agreement is another key step in our aggressive efforts to maintain clean water and beaches along our coast," said Gov. Schwarzenegger. "I believe our commitment to working together and putting this plan into action will help effectively tackle critical issues up and down the West Coast-ensuring a healthy ocean environment for current and future generations."

Gov. Kulongoski heralded the effort as one more successful regional compact. "Just as we've seen with the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, collaboration on complex natural resource issues leads to improved management, inspires innovation and ensures a healthier environment. Together, we can sustain our marine resources and the communities that depend upon them."

"While Washington is making significant strides with state initiatives such as the Puget Sound Partnership, the crisis facing salmon this year is an example of why we must address these issues together as a region," Gov. Gregoire said. "Our waters know no boundaries. This plan commits us to combining our resources and ideas, and prioritizes restoring and maintaining the health of our marine and coastal waters to ensure a sustainable future."

California, Oregon and Washington have worked closely with key federal agencies as well as ocean users, academic institutions, the public, tribes, and other state and regional entities to develop the plan and will continue to collaborate with these groups to accomplish the tasks identified in the plan.

Also today, the three governors sent a joint letter to Congress asking for $5 million in federal support for implementation of the action plan. Congress has provided funding and support for similar regional ocean initiatives, such as the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.

To learn more about the West Coast Governors' actions and to read the action plan in its entirety, go to


THE GEYSERS – A 3.1-magnitude earthquake shook The Geysers late Sunday night, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake was reported at 10:33 p.m. two miles east southeast of The Geysers, four miles southwest of Cobb and four miles west northwest of Anderson Springs, the US Geological Survey reported.

The depth of the quake was 2.1 miles, officials reported.

The US Geological Survey received 20 reports from people in eight zip codes who reported feeling the quake.

Only one person in Lake County – in Middletown – reported feeling the shaking, while the most reports, 13, came from Healdsburg.

The last quake larger than a 3.0 in magnitude to occur in Lake County took place May 29 when a 4.1-magnitude quake was recorded three miles southeast of The Geysers, according to Lake County News records.

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MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – After five weeks and millions of dollars in firefighting costs, the Soda Complex has reached full containment, the US Forest Service reported Sunday.

The complex of four fires, touched off June 21 by a dry lightning storm, has burned approximately 8,652 in an area 15 miles northwest of Upper Lake and in the vicinity of Lake Pillsbury on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District.

The last of the fires to be contained was the Mill Fire, totaling 3,043 acres, which also was the complex's largest blaze. Other fires previously contained included the Monkey Rock, 1,829 acres; Big, 2,193 acres; and Back, 1,567 acres.

Forest Service spokesman Marc Peebles said the fire has cost an estimated $17,156,942 to suppress, although he added that isn't a final tally, as not all of the costs have been finalized.

Although the fire is contained, the work for firefighters is far from over. Peebles said fire crews are conducting fire line rehabilitation. “They're also still in somewhat of a mop up and control status.”

On Sunday there were still 655 fire personnel, eight crews, nine engines, one dozer, 10 water tenders and two helicopters assigned to the fire, according to Peebles.

Many of those firefighters are now being sent to other National Forest fires, including the Iron and Yolla Bolly complexes, Peebles said. However, fire crews who have been on the fire lines in excess of 14 days are being given a few days off before being reassigned.

Peebles is part of Dave Fiorella's Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team No. 3, which has been managing the fire from its headquarters at Upper Lake High School. Other agencies involved in the firefighting effort include Cal Fire; Bureau of Indian Affairs; Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the National Park service; and private entities.

On Monday at 7 a.m. the team is due to return management of the Soda Complex to the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District, Peebles said.

A scaled-down firefighting crew will be maintained on the complex for mop up and patrol, Peebles said. He reported that some smoke from the interior of the fire area may be seen for a period of time, but should not threaten the containment lines.

Peebles said he's not sure which fire the incident management team will be heading to next, although they're likely to head home to Southern California for some rest first, since they've reached their mandatory 21-day time out on assignment.

He said the team thanked the various agencies and the town of Upper Lake for their continued support and assistance during this incident.

The team is one of three from Southern California, Peebles said. Although they often stay in their home territory, they've been spending more time in recent years in Northern California, he said.

“In the last couple of years this has been a very, very busy place,” he said.

Northern California incident teams also have helped out in Southern California when it's been needed, he said. “Firefighters go where the fires are.”

He added, “California has one of the absolute best master mutual aid systems in the nation,” which is how local, state and federal firefighters can mobilize so quickly.

Most of the fires burning around California now are on National Forests, Peebles said.

The National Interagency Fire Center reported Sunday that 14 active fire complexes are still burning on National Forests, and have scorched approximately 617,918 acres.

The June 21 lightning storm that touched off the Soda Complex ignited as many as 50 fires on the Mendocino National Forest. Included among those is the Vinegar Fire, a portion of which is on the forest and which has burned 38,160-acres. It's 10-percent contained.

That fire is being managed as part of the Yolla Bolly Complex, which was placed for a time under the same supervision as the Lime Complex. However, the Yolla Bolly Complex – located in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness – has grown to approximately 64,615 acres in Mendocino, Tehama and Trinity counties, the Forest Service reported. That complex is 20-percent contained.

The Yolla Bolly and Lime complexes are sources of smoke that could end up in Lake County's air basin should the winds shift.

However, on Sunday, Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds said the blue skies that had appeared over the weekend are likely to continue, with west to northwest winds expected to prevail through Tuesday. Those winds will carry smoke from the major wildland fires to the north and east of the county's air basin, Reynolds said.

With the Soda Complex's full containment, Peebles reported that Pogie Point and Navy Campgrounds at Lake Pillsbury are now reopened to the public and no longer being used as sleeping areas for firefighters. The temporary flight restriction over the complex also has been lifted.

The public is cautioned to be very careful with fire and smoking in the area, where Peebles said fire danger is – and will remain – very high.

The Sanhedrin Wilderness and the southern portion of the Yuki Wilderness in the Upper Lake Ranger District will remain closed until further notice, according to Peebles.

Also remaining closed at this time are portions of the M1 road are closed between the intersections of the M1 with the M6 and M61, Peebles reported. The access road to the Mill Fire, Road 20N04, is closed to the general public to provide firefighting personnel safety, but is open to property owners and residents.


For information on forest road closures call the Upper Lake Ranger District, 275-2361.

For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at or For information about other fires around the state, visit

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LAKE COUNTY – The county's air quality is continuing to get better as more of the state's wildland fires are contained.

Lake County Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer Doug Gearhart reported Tuesday that Lake County’s air has improved this week and is expected to continue through Wednesday.

Gearhart said no exceed of a health-based State or Federal Air Quality Standard is expected through Wednesday.

Based on the Federal Air Quality Index (AQI) for particulate matter, Lake County’s air quality is expected to be in the good range, he said. The AQI for particulate is expected to remain well below 101 where an unhealthy alert is given.

Smoke intrusions into the Lake County Air Basin last week resulted primarily from the Yolla Bolly (25 percent contained) complex and remainder of the Lime complex (74 percent contained), Gearhart said.

Several uncontained wildfires continue to burn in Northern California resulting in occasional smoke, haze and degraded air quality. And while progress has been made on wildfires remaining on federal land, much of the Lime and Yolla Bolly complexes are in rugged and remote areas and are unlikely to be extinguished soon, he said.

No uncontained fires remain in Lake County since the Soda Complex was controlled on Sunday, as Lake County News has reported.

Gearhart said winds are expected to be west to northwest and should continue through Wednesday, which should keep smoke from these ongoing wildfires to the north and east of the Lake County Air Basin.


LAKE COUNTY – Monday brought with it a beautiful blue sky, and clearer skies and air are expected to continue in through Tuesday.

Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds said no exceed of a health-based state or federal air quality standard is expected through Tuesday.

Using the Federal Air Quality Index (AQI) for particulate matter, Lake County’s air quality is expected to be in the good range but may reach moderate range, Reynolds said. The AQI for particulate is expected to remain well below 101 where an unhealthy alert is given.

Smoke intrusions into the Lake County Air Basin last week resulted primarily from the Yolla Bolly complex and remainder of the Lime complex which remain largely uncontained, Reynolds said. Several uncontained wildfires continue to burn in Northern California resulting in occasions of smoke, haze and degraded air quality.

Though progress has been made on wildfires remaining on federal land, much of the Lime Complex area is rugged and remote and is unlikely to be completely controlled soon, he said.

The Soda Complex wildfire was reported contained as of Sunday, and no uncontained fires remain in Lake County, as Lake County News has reported.

Winds are expected to predominantly be west through northwest and prevail through Tuesday, Reynolds said. This should keep smoke from these major ongoing wildfires to the north and east of the Lake County Air Basin.

He said moderate air quality conditions may develop overnight, if east or north winds occur, but at a much reduced smoke impact as compared to last Thursday should they occur.

Presently, the skies are blue and winds are expected to keep the smoke generated by the Yolla Bolly and Lime Complex wildfires out of Lake County through Tuesday, Reynolds said.

Residual smoke can be expected to remain throughout all areas of Northern California, including Lake County until the numerous lightning caused wildfires are out. Reynolds said all fires are presently dispersing smoke to a higher height and diluting more during transport, partially mitigating any transport of smoke from distant fires.


HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – Even though it looks to be a tight budget year for the Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District, ratepayers won't have to worry about paying higher rates.

Last week the district's board of directors approved a tight budget with no rate increases for the fiscal year 2008-2009.

The budget reflects less revenue from the prior year due to the forecast of foreclosures and the economy, which in return gives the district a slim operating budget, according to a report from the board.

The district reported that it is able to sustain its operations by pumping during off-peak hours to obtain the lowest power costs, and running an effective, efficient water and sewer system through the water infrastructure project and the sewer system projects.

The district also continues to operate with the same number of employees as in 1992, the board reported.

The last rate increases were in August 2007, according to the district.


Upcoming Calendar

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
08.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.24.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



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