Sunday, 23 June 2024

News

LAKE COUNTY – On Monday, be sure to offer a handshake and a thank you to a Vietnam vet.


On March 24, the US House of Representatives approved House Resolution 234, which declares Monday, March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”


Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-Lakewood) introduced the legislation on March 3. Sixty-three members of the House of Representatives co-sponsored the bill.


In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Sánchez urged her colleagues to support the legislation (see her speech at www.youtube.com/user/LindaTSanchez).


“With this legislation, we can help provide Vietnam veterans the heroes’ welcome they deserve, but that too many never received,” Sánchez said in a written statement. “While today’s resolution may seem like a small gesture-and when compared to what our soldiers and their families sacrificed, it certainly is-it will serve to remind us of their service to our country.”


The March 30 date was chosen because it was on that date in 1973 that the US Armed Forces completed withdrawal of combat troops from Vietnam. The United States became involved in Vietnam in an advisory capacity in 1961 and began sending troops in 1965. More than 58,000 members of the US Armed Forces died in Vietnam, and more than 300,000 were wounded.


Sánchez became involved in the effort in 2003 after meeting Whittier resident Jose Ramos, an Army combat medic in Vietnam who has been advocating for the national recognition. Ramos founded the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day effort in 2000, according to the Web site www.whvvd.org.


Sánchez introduced the legislation in the 108th, 109th and 110th Congresses.


In 2007, Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced a bill in the Senate supporting the commemoration.


Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day was first commemorated last year, as Lake County News has reported.


Last year, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 951 held sales of commemorative clover sales – orange for Agent Orange victims and black for POW/MIAs – as part of a fundraising and education effort.


This year, however, the group didn't receive notice of the commemoration in time to organize an event, said Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 951 President Dean Gotham.


The commemoration has yet to be made into a national holiday, which is the ultimate goal for veterans.


Last December, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared Dec. 10 through 14 “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Week.” In his proclamation he noted that Dec. 10, 2008, was the date that the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated as a tribute to the 5,822 residents who died in the war.


“Although many years have passed since the war ended, it is never too late to thank our veterans for their outstanding service,” Schwarzenegger said.


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


{mos_sb_discuss:3}

COW MOUNTAIN – A motorcycle rider was injured in a Friday afternoon crash on Cow Mountain.

The California Highway Patrol reported that the man, whose name was not released, was in a collision that was reported at 3:18 p.m. on Main Road, a few miles from Mill Creek Road on Cow Mountain.

The lone rider had screamed “Help!” to a passerby and was said to be trying to get back up to the road, according to the CHP report.

He had landed near his bike off the road after the collision. His leg reportedly hit a tree after he slid off the roadway, the CHP reported. Initially neither he nor his bike could be seen from the roadway.

Cal Fire responded to the scene with resources that included a helicopter, the CHP said.

CHP reported that the rider was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center.

No further information was available late Friday.

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

{mos_sb_discuss:2}

SACRAMENTO – The State Senate voted Friday to approve two bipartisan bills that will provide additional federally funded unemployment insurance benefits to out-of-work Californians.


The action comes at a time when the state’s official unemployment rate currently stands at 10.5 percent.


Here in Lake County, an initial Employment Development Department report for February shows that the county's unemployment rate is 15.9 percent, as Lake County News as reported.


AB 23 X3, authored by Assemblyman Joe Coto (D-San Jose), will provide an additional 20 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to California workers who have already received benefits for the current maximum duration of 59 weeks.


The funding will come from federal stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.


“This legislation enables California to gain up to $3 billion from the federal government in 2009 without creating an additional cost burden for our state,” said Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa), who voted to pass AB 23 X3.


The bill, which was previously approved by the Assembly, cleared the Senate by a vote of 38-0, and now heads to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature.


The second bill, AB 29 X3 – co-authored Assemblyman Coto and Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad), establishes an “alternative base period” to determine if jobless individuals have earned sufficient wages to qualify for unemployment benefits.


The ARRA will provide California $839 million in federal funds to support the unemployment program if this bill is implemented.


California's existing base period excludes earnings in the last three to six months of employment. AB 29 X3 specifies that unemployed persons who fail to qualify for benefits under the existing base period would then have their eligibility determined under the alternative base period, in which earnings as recent as one to three months may be counted.


“AB 29 X3 is essential for the tens of thousands of seasonal workers who are currently unemployed in California,” Wiggins said.


AB 29 X3, which passed the Senate on a 31-7 vote, also includes efficiencies in the dispute resolution process between employers and workers by allowing for telephone participation during hearings of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.


The bill, which now heads to the Assembly for a final vote, also provides assurance that employers are notified when a former employee files for benefits.


“The most important thing we can do right now to help our economy and the day-to-day lives of Californians is to make sure those who are unemployed have the cash to pay their bills and feed their families,” said Senate President pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “The Legislature and the Schwarzenegger administration moved quickly and worked as a team to make the needed changes to guarantee these much needed federal funds. I look forward to continuing to build on this positive momentum.”


Last Saturday, the Employment Development Department began opening its unemployment insurance call centers on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in order to meet the higher demand.


The agency's staff also will remain available to file unemployment insurance claims or assist customers in submitting questions online for response. Claims will be filed and issues resolved within five days.


Call center phone numbers are 800-300-5616 (English) or 800-326-8937 (Spanish).


{mos_sb_discus:3}

So you want to eat healthier but you want to remain a carnivore. You feel vegetables are for prey animals to eat or to decorate the side of your plate, not for you. Potatoes are the closest thing you get to eating a plant. Fine, I understand, I’m not here to judge. And I have a recommendation.


Take a look at buffalo meat. The bison, as they are truly called, are actually not related to buffalo.


Buffalo are native to Asia (the water buffalo) and Africa (the cape buffalo), and while bison are members of the bovine family they aren’t closely related to the Asian and African varieties.


There are many stories about how bison got the name “buffalo” but in my research I haven’t found a truly believable one. A popular Internet story tells of French explorers calling bison “les beoufs,” meaning oxen, but this doesn’t seem believable to me since Europe has a bison-like animal called a wisent. French immigrants would have been reminded of the wisent much more than of an ox, and it wouldn’t make sense that they would give it the name of something it doesn’t look like.


The French have a word for bison and it is ... drum roll please ... bison (pronounced bee-SOH). The Latin word for bison is bison, the Greek word for bison is bison, so the appearance of the word buffalo makes no sense since obviously Europeans knew the bison.


The wisent looks similar to the bison but isn’t as big and has a smaller head than the North American bison. There’s a fat, big-headed American joke in that last statement for all of you continentals reading this.


I asked my sister, who is getting her master’s degree in French studies, to see what she could find out. She confirmed that a lot of sources attribute the word “buffalo” to the French, which she said is “weird, because the French use the word 'bison,' so why should they be given credit for a name that they don't use?” She said that the only theory that makes sense is that they used the French words for “water cow” which are “boeuf à l'eau” – pronounced “buf-a-low.” My little sister, she’s so smart.


Everybody knows that you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, and I won’t go into the long, damning story most of us learned it in grade school of how they were almost wiped out, but in 1889 there were less than 1,000 head of bison left in the country.


But in 1905 The American Bison Society (ABS) was founded by pioneering conservationists and sportsmen including William T. Hornaday (the director of the Bronx Zoo) and President Theodore Roosevelt to help save the bison from extinction and raise public awareness about the species.


Through their efforts of creating wild bison reserves and stocking them with bison from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, current populations of the bison are closer to 600,000. More than 90 percent of these bison are being raised for meat in managed circumstances.


Male bison grow to be 1,500 to 2,000 pounds and females reach about 1,000. That makes bison the largest land animal native to North America.


There are three distinct types of bison: the American, the Canadian and the previously mentioned wisent. Bison would migrate from Canada across the Niagara and that is how Buffalo, N.Y. got its name. Shouldn’t we rename it Bison, N.Y.? One last quick fact: the plural for bison is still just bison.


Now I know that we’ve all been warned of the detriments of eating red meat, but there are people that just like it. Bison is a red meat, and it is far and away healthier than beef.


To give you a comparison per 100 grams of meat: Lower in fat, calories and cholesterol, yet higher in protein and iron. Let’s face it, bison is not only health food but also diet food for carnivores.


A visit to a local bison ranch


Lake County residents have the advantage of having two bison farms locally. Many people are familiar with the ranch on Highway 20 on the way out to Ukiah, and we also have one on Bottle Rock Road not far from Kelseyville.


Rob Brown was kind enough to give me a tour of his ranch “Buffalo Hills,” and we went out and looked at his herd of bison. I had never met him previous to this meeting so I felt privileged to be able to take up so much of his time.


Rob told me he has no problems with cougars or bears bothering his herd since the bison are so much larger than any predator in the area. Bison aren’t native to Lake County, but in their native areas such as Montana bison are preyed upon by packs of wolves and grizzly bears. If we ever experience a problem with either of them I think the least of our worries will be the bison losses; besides, bison are very good at protecting themselves.


I kept mentioning to Brown how shocked I was that the ranch doesn’t seem to have a lot of massive beast damage (not an actual technical term, but it gets my point across). The fence around the ranch is merely some low wire fencing with barbed wire at the top. How does such a flimsy thing keep the bison caged? Also, there aren’t any trees missing their bark or uprooted from rutting or rubbing. I mean, bison aren’t considered to be a domesticated creature, these are wild animals, so my comments kept returning to my surprise at how nice the ranch land was.


Brown revealed that the bison themselves are good stewards of the land. If you have ever visited a cattle or sheep ranch you would notice that the animals stomp across the countryside and eat the area bare. Bison, on the other hand, seem to tiptoe across the landscape. On occasion one will get loose and wander over to the neighbor’s, but otherwise they aren’t very bothersome.


In addition to wild grazing, his bison eat an organic feed specifically formulated for bison with alfalfa, corn, wheat, rice and even almond hulls. He’s been raising bison for 12 years now and is looking to increase his steak in the herd (sorry, I know it should be “stake”; “steak” was a cheap shot but I had to do it). There are ponds on the property for the bison to drink from, and in addition Cole Creek runs through the ranch providing plenty of water. There are 300 acres to the family’s ranch and Brown is clearing more of the brush so he can increase the herd. Instead of burning all of this dead brush Brown is leaving it in piles to act as habitat for quail and other smaller critters.


Technically bison meat is kosher, but Lake County bison aren’t slaughtered in a kosher facility as of yet. Bison meat is also permitted by the Qur’an, but Lake County bison meat isn’t slaughtered in a halal fashion (for the curious, the person slaughtering an animal must do so in the name of Allah in order for it to be acceptable to Muslims; otherwise, from what I understand Lake County bison are handled in the method prescribed by Islam). For the vegetarians ... sorry, I can’t help you here, I wasn’t able to find any vegetarian version of bison at all.


A unique taste


It really bothers me when people say that something “tastes like chicken” or “tastes like beef.” To me, that is the last refuge of the lazy palate. You might as well say that all red wines taste alike and all white wines taste alike.


But I have to admit that when it came to describing the flavor of bison I ran into some problems. Bison is similar to beef in texture and taste, I’ll give you that much, but it’s not just like it. Because it is so much leaner than beef it has a different flavor. I purchased a bunch of bison meat and cooked up several cuts for my wife and asked her, “Describe its taste.”


We both hemmed and hawed for a while and surprised ourselves with our lack of perspicacity on the issue. We can taste wine and pick out subtle flavors all day long, but bison was giving us a problem. We said things like, “It’s beefy with a hint of duck or lamb.” But no, that’s not right. “It has a beef-like texture but an earthier flavor.” No, still not what I was looking for; I mean, what is “earthy” anyway? But the best we could do to describe bison is, “It tastes bisony.”


As I showed before, bison is very lean and a great way for people to drop beef from their diet but still eat a hearty red meat. Because it is so lean it is very unforgiving, and the one thing you have to watch for is over-cooking it. Fat makes meat forgiving.


To get around this issue, you should always brine bison meat before cooking. Not only does it add salt into the meat but the water that hitchhikes in with the salt adds a layer of protection from over-cooking. To brine meat, use a ratio of four cups water to 1 tablespoon salt. Marinade the meat in this for a couple hours; if you wish to marinade it overnight, use a ratio of four cups water and one teaspoon salt.


Don’t try to add herbs or spices to the brine. I don’t want to go into a long molecular explanation about how the electrically charged ions in salt and the electrical charge in the herbs are different, and the salt water can’t effectively carry the herbs into the cellular structure of the meat ... see what I mean? It’s all so complicated. Just stick to plain brine.


Some mythology with your dinner


As always I love to add a little mythology to any subject I’m discussing, but this time it very well could be fact. Turn down the lights and insert creepy music here ...


A long time ago there was a bird called Argentavis. It was 6 feet tall when standing on its feet and had a wingspan over 20 feet wide. It looked like a Goliath version of an eagle or vulture. Scientists have its skeleton; we know for a fact that at one time it existed.


Speculation goes that it lived in Argentina, but that in the springtime, when the thunderstorms roll across the Midwest of the United States, the young bison have been born, and the warm upwelling springtime air gave perfect flight conditions for the Argentavis to fly north it would appear in our skies.


They came north to feed on the thousands of young bison. The Plains tribespeople of the time knew that when the thunderstorms came in the spring they brought with them the giant bird that they named “Thunderbird.” Children were warned not to wander from the tribe at this time of year.


While most scientists and ornithologists say Argentavis is long extinct, there are some cryptozoologists that think Argentavis isn’t extinct, though very close. They believe Argentavis still haunt the skies, and every few years there is an alleged sighting of one of these giants in the U.S. Just in the past couple of years there have been alleged sightings in Pennsylvania, Alaska and Texas. Argentavis has become the bird version of Bigfoot, but it is doubtful if the bison population returns to its previous levels that the Argentavis would also return.


In my efforts to cook more healthy foods for my family we are currently in talks to switch completely away from beef to bison (though the petting zoo vegetarian in the family is holding onto her dissenting vote). Have I piqued your interest? Want to try some bison meat? You can call Buffalo Hills Bison Ranch at 707-279-2063.


Just a final note; I fully intended to include J bar S Bison Ranch located out on Highway 20 in the column, but after leaving numerous messages I never heard back from them. I always try to feature everyone relevant on a subject, but this time I wasn’t able to.


A recipe for bison


Now for the recipe of the day.


In the time since I purchased my bison meat I’ve made bison steaks, bison tacos (no need to drain the fat after browning the meat), chankonabe (a stew for sumo wrestlers), hamburgers (bisonburgers?) and I’m looking forward to experimenting with much more.


One of my favorites so far was the bison roast with my Cabernet cream sauce. I went with a Cabernet because it rolls off the tongue better than “Merlot Cream Sauce.” The Cabernet cream sauce is nice and simple and doesn’t overpower the bison, but you could jazz it up and make it your own by finishing it with a little bit of shaved chocolate, sautéed mushrooms, fresh thyme or garlic powder. My wife likes the sauce as is and would like it “in an I.V. pumping into my arm ... but then I couldn’t taste it. Maybe in one of those beer hats with the straw that just hangs down in your mouth.”


And yes, I do catch the humor of taking a healthful, low-calorie meat like bison and covering it in heavy cream, but you have to have some fun once in a while. I won’t tell you how to cook your roast, everyone has their own way of doing that, but here’s the sauce to serve it with. It would also go well with bison steaks if you choose.


Cabernet cream sauce


You’ll need the pan the bison roast cooked in with the all the leftover bits still attached (the French call this “fond”).


¾ cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup heavy or whipping cream

1/3 cup shallot, shredded (onions will work fine)

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter


Salt and black pepper to taste


While the roast cooks, sauté the shallots in one tablespoon of the butter (reserve the other one tablespoon for later) in a medium-sized saucepan until translucent. Leaving the shallots in the pan, add the other tablespoon of butter. Stir in all of the flour and cook for one minute on medium heat, stirring constantly until fully combined. Remove this shallot roux from the pan and set aside. Turn off the heat and leave pan for later use.


When the roast is finished cooking, remove from the oven and immediately remove it from the pan and set it on a plate to rest. Pour the Cabernet Sauvignon into the pan and stir to deglaze (remove all of the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan).


When the bottom of the pan is clean of all of the fond, pour the wine into the saucepan that the shallots and butter were cooked in, and cook on high heat for one to two minutes until the alcohol is cooked out of the wine (when it doesn’t taste “winey” it’s ready). Then add the shallot roux to the wine and whisk constantly, until the mixture is combined and thickens to look like chocolate pudding. At that point add the cream and continue to whisk until completely combined. Turn off the heat and return to the roast.


Pour any juices that have escaped from the roast as it rested into the sauce and whisk in. Add plenty of black pepper to taste and then finish with salt. Add any personal additions at this time. Pour over the slices of roast bison and serve.


Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community.


{mos_sb_discuss:2}

SACRAMENTO – To underscore the message that seat belts save lives, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers statewide plan a one-day campaign to focus their attention on people who do not buckle up when riding in a vehicle.


March 31 has been designated by the CHP as a “Vehicle Occupant Restraint Day.”


“The goal of this campaign is to stress that seat belts save lives,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.


“More than 30 percent of all vehicle passengers killed statewide in 2007 and 2008 were not buckled up at the time of the collision,” Farrow explained. “We hope people will learn from it and take the extra seconds to put on their seat belt or properly restrain their child. There's no do over for someone killed because they failed to buckle up.”


CHP officers on grant-funded overtime, provided by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), will take to the road specifically looking for violations of seat belt and child safety restraint laws.


According to OTS, seat belt usage by California motorists is at a record high 95.7 percent. One of the CHP’s primary goals is to raise that number even higher, an effort that will require the public’s

cooperation.


Officer Steve Tanguay of the Clear Lake CHP office said the county had a 94.5 percent occupant restraint compliance in 2008.


In 2008, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued 204,187 citations to drivers and passengers who failed to buckle up.


That figure does not include the 17,076 tickets issued for child safety seat violations. California law requires children younger than age 6 or weighing less than 60 pounds to be properly secured in the back seat. Free child safety seat inspections and installation is provided at CHP offices throughout the state.


Locally, Tanguay said CHP issued 683 occupant restraint citations in 2008.


“We all need to have reminders,” said Farrow. “By having the black-and-whites out on the road, we want to educate the public to remind them to wear their seat belts. We all get a little careless sometimes, but in this case, carelessness can be deadly.”


{mos_sb_discuss:2}

Image
Former local prosecutor David Moranda has been named a judge in Merced County. Courtesy photo.
 

 

 


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday announced the appointment of a former Lake County prosecutor to a judgeship in Merced County Superior Court.


David Moranda, 56, of Merced, has served as chief deputy district attorney and previously deputy district attorney for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office since 1993.


Prior to that, he served as a deputy district attorney for the Lake County District Attorney’s Office from 1987 to 1993, the Solano County District Attorney’s Office from 1985 to 1986 and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in 1981.


Moranda earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on Dec. 26, 2008.


Moranda is a Democrat.


{mos_sb_discuss:2}

LAKE COUNTY – Here are some cool events to watch for in April.


April 2: Monday Blues, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Blues Farm with Dave Broida will perform. 707-275-2244.


April 3: Girls Just Wanna Have Wine, Wildhurst Vineyards Tasting Room, Kelseyville. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $5, women only. Theme for the evening is “The Best Eyewear,” come with your fanciest glasses on. 707-279-4302.


April 3: Wine tasting and photography art show. Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dusinberre wines will be poured by winemaker Jeff Smith and the photography of Jim Warren will be on display.


April 3: Meet the Winemaker, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mike and Adawn Wood will be pouring Shed Horn Wines.


April 3: Fondue Fridays, Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake. Begins at 6 p.m. Cheese fondue available with wine. 707-275-8030.


April 4: Wine tasting and photography art show. Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dusinberre wines will be poured by winemaker Jeff Smith and the photography of Jim Warren will be on display.


April 5: Wine and cheese open house at the Villa Andrea, Clearlake. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come visit the newest addition to Lake County’s wine industry. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 707-994-4000.


April 5: Sunday Brunch in the Garden, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. Brunch served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Colby Houston on guitar and vocals, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 707-275-2244.


April 5: All About Shrimp, Chic Le Chef, Hidden Valley Lake. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Demonstration class. RSVP or for more information: 707-987-9664.


April 6: Monday Blues, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Will Seigel & Friends will perform. 707-275-2244.


April 8: Spring Salad Bar Luncheon. Park Study Clubhouse, Clearlake. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Benefit for Park Study Club. Admission is $60. Info: 707-995-1807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


April 10: Fondue Fridays, Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake. Begins at 6 p.m. Cheese fondue available with wine. 707-275-8030.


April 12: Sunday Brunch in the Garden, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. A special Easter brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Front Porch Blues with Ed Hance, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 707-275-2244.


April 13: Monday Blues, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Blues Farm with Dave Broida will perform. 707-275-2244.


April 15: A Wine Adventure Dinner, The Saw Shop, Kelseyville. Begins at 6 p.m. A six-course meal featuring wine pairings with sommelier Stephanie Green, owner of Focused On Wine. A fun, informative evening. $60 per person, tax and tip are included. 707-278-0129.


April 17: Fondue Fridays, Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake. Begins at 6 p.m. Cheese fondue available with wine. 707-275-8030.


April 19: Sunday Brunch in the Garden, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. Brunch served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Michael Barrish on guitar and vocals, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 707-275-2244.


April 20: Monday Blues, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Memphis Exchange with Randy McGowen will perform. 707-275-2244.


April 24: Concerts with conversations, Tallman Hotel, Upper Lake. Wendy DeWitt and her boogie woogie piano style. Appetizers, dessert, coffee will be served, in addition Joey Luiz will pour wines from Shannon Ridge Vineyards. $40 Tickets to this event can be obtained by calling the Tallman Hotel reception desk at 707-275-2244.


April 24: Fondue Fridays, Lake County Wine Studio, Upper Lake. Begins at 6 p.m. Cheese fondue available with wine. 707-275-8030.


April 25: Spring Wildflower Brunch, Clearlake State Park, Kelseyville, 9 a.m. to noon. RSVP requested, 800-525-3743. Fill-your-own omelet brunch and pastries is the opening part of the annual Blue Heron Festival. The festival continues throughout the weekend.


April 25: Oregon Chai Tea Contest, Chic Le Chef, Hidden Valley Lake. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entries accepted through April 15, call store for details and entry forms. Finalists will prepare their various recipes containing Oregon Chai Tea and present for judging. 707-987-9664.


April 26: Sunday Brunch in the Garden, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. Brunch served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sarah Tichava on guitar and vocals, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 707-275-2244.


April 27: Monday Blues, The Blue Wing, Upper Lake. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bottle Rock Blues Band with Mike Wilhelm will perform. 707-275-2244.


Ongoing activities


The New Cool at Konocti Harbor featuring David Neft

Konocti Harbor hosts “The Piano Man” David Neft, playing the grand piano from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., every Friday and Saturday in the relaunched dining room. www.konoctiharbor.com


Langtry Estate and Vineyard Tours, Middletown

Langtry Estate and Vineyard is offering exciting and innovative tour programs. Guests ride in battery-operated Global Electric Motorcars. Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday. The Tephra Vineyard Lunch Tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. $40 per person includes lunch and wine tasting. 21000 Butts Canyon Road. Reservations required 24 hours in advance. Info: 707-987-2385.


Tuscan Village Friday Concert Series, Main Street, Lower Lake

Live music, food, wine tasting. Presented by 2Goombas and Terrill Cellars. 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Info: 707-994-3354.


Beer Master Dinner Series

Molly Brennan’s 175 N. Main St., Lakeport. Second Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Different brewery featured each month, with beers paired with each course of a five-course meal including dessert. Advance reservations required. Info: 707-262-1600.


If you have a food or wine related event and would like to have it listed in the coming months, call Ross Christensen at 707-998-9550.


{mos_sb_discuss:2}



LAKE COUNTY – The Census Bureau will soon launch a massive address canvassing operation to verify and update more than 145 million addresses as it prepares to conduct the 2010 Census.

The first publicly visible activity of the 2010 Census is ahead of schedule, officials reported this week.

The address canvassing operation will be conducted out of 151 local census offices across the U.S., including Northern California offices in Oakland, Stockton, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa.

Address canvassing operations will run from April 6 through June 12 in Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco and Stockton.

Later, address canvassing operations will run April 20 through June 26 in Santa Rosa.

In most cases, census workers will knock on residents’ doors to verify addresses and inquire about additional living quarters on the premises.

Nationwide, more than 140,000 census workers will participate in the address canvassing operation; a critically important first step in assuring that every housing unit receives a census questionnaire in March 2010.

In Northern California, approximately 5,400 people will carry out the address canvassing operation.

The countdown to the 2010 Census is officially one year out on April 1.

“The 2010 Census will be the largest peacetime mobilization in our nation’s history,” said Ralph Lee, Seattle Regional Director at the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Seattle Regional Census Center is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., and coordinates census operations for the five-state territory of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

The Northern California area includes Watsonville along the coast as well as Stockton in the Central Valley.

The US Constitution requires that everyone living in the United States be counted every 10 years.

“The goal of the census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” Lee said.

The census is used for reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the distribution of more than $300 billion in federal dollars every year to state and local governments.

Over the last several years, the Census Bureau has been actively working on updating its geographic databases and master address files.

From implementing the Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) program where more than 11,500 tribal, state and local governments participated in a review of the Census Bureau’s address list for their area, to increasing the precision of the GPS mapping, many advances have been made to compile the most comprehensive listing of addresses in the nation.

The operation will use new hand held computers equipped with GPS to increase geographic accuracy. The ability to capture GPS coordinates for most of the nation’s housing units will greatly reduce the number of geographic coding errors caused by using paper maps in previous counts.

This is the first census to include group quarters (such as dormitories, group homes, prisons and homeless shelters) in the address canvassing operation, which should improve both the accuracy and coverage of the final count.

There will be one final opportunity to add new home construction in early 2010 prior to the mailing of the census questionnaires.

Census workers can be identified by the official Census Bureau badge they carry. During the address canvassing operation, census workers may ask to verify a housing structure’s address and whether there are additional living quarters on the property.

Census workers will never ask for bank or social security information. All census information collected, including addresses, is confidential and protected by law. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with the FBI, the IRS, CIA, Welfare, Immigration, or any other government agency. No court of law or law enforcement agency can find out respondents’ answers.

All Census Bureau employees — including temporary employees — take an oath for life to keep census information confidential. Any violation of that oath is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.

{mos_sb_discuss:2}

CLEARLAKE – A man currently on leave from his duties as a Clearlake Police officer was arrested earlier this week on charges of driving under the influence and possession of a firearm.

 

Michael William Hansen, 24, of Oroville was arrested Monday following a traffic stop on Highway 20, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol's Williams office.

 

Just before midnight on Monday the Colusa County Sheriff's Office notified Williams CHP officers of a possible drunk driver on Highway 20 west of King Road near Williams, the CHP reported.

 

CHP officers responded from Williams and arrived on scene to find a Colusa County Sheriff's deputy had stopped Hansen, who had been traveling westbound, because his vehicle didn't have a rear license plate light.

 

The CHP report said that, after making the stop, the deputy contacted Hansen and observed signs of alleged alcohol intoxication.

 

CHP officers subsequently conducted field sobriety tests on Hansen and arrested him for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

 

The sheriff's deputy who pulled Hansen over searched the vehicle and found several firearms and a small amount of marijuana, according to the report. Hansen had a prescription from his doctor for the marijuana.

 

Hansen was transported to the Colusa County Jail, where he was booked on charges of driving under the influence and possession of a firearm, the CHP reported.

 

Jail records indicated that Hansen was released on his own recognizance following his booking, and was not required to post bail.

 

Clearlake Police Chief Allan McClain said Hansen is a city employee, but “has no peace officer standing at this point.”

 

McClain, who said he was limited by what he could say because of personnel matters, said Hansen had been on leave for some time prior to the arrest on Monday.

 

Hansen, who has commuted to his Clearlake job from his home in Oroville, was involved in a fatal shooting last June, as Lake County News has reported.

 

He shot 63-year-old David Vestal to death after Vestal allegedly confronted Hansen and other police officers with a .410 shotgun. Police were responding to a report of a fight at York's Mobile Home Park.

 

A District Attorney's Office report issued in February concluded that Hansen's actions were justified.

 

In February, Vestal's daughter, Shavon, filed a $32 million lawsuit in federal court over the shooting. The suit names Hansen, McClain, the city of Clearlake and Clearlake Police.

 

Shavon Vestal's attorney, Don Anderson of Lakeport, said he hasn't yet received the district attorney's report on the shooting. The case alleges that David Vestal had no shotgun based on four independent witness statements, as well as statements from Shavon Vestal and her boyfriend.

 

Anderson said he understands a shotgun was recovered at the scene, “somewhere near” David Vestal's body.

 

He said he doesn't anticipate Hansen's arrest becoming an issue in the civil lawsuit, “but strange things happen so you never know.”

 

District Attorney Jon Hopkins confirmed officials found a shotgun at the scene.

 

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

 

{mos_sb_discuss:2}

LAKE COUNTY – Fresh off a well-attended telephone town hall in which thousands of First Congressional District constituents dialed in, Congressman Mike Thompson will visit Lake County this weekend for his annual ravioli feed fundraiser.


The Mike Thompson for Congress Committee will host the fundraiser from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Lewis Hall at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 401 Martin St., Lakeport.


In November, Thompson elected to his sixth term in Congress with 68 percent of the vote.


The annual fundraiser will once again take electronics for recycling, and this year for the first time will donate reconditioned computers to local nonprofits, according to Thompson's staff.


Some local residents have stated that they plan to attend the fundraiser in protest as part of a series of tea parties that are springing up across the nation, targeting members of Congress as a sign of discontent with government performance and proposed new taxes. A nationwide demonstration is being organized for April 15.


The appearance locally follows Thompson's live telephone town hall for his constituents, which took place Wednesday.


More than 9,100 people participated in the call, according to Thompson's office. Thompson called the turnout for the meeting “inspiring.”


Because of high call volume, Thompson will respond in writing to the 200 voice mails left after the call by constituents.


Thompson told listeners on the call, “We're facing some of the toughest challenges that I've ever seen in my lifetime.”


California's unemployment is 10.5 percent, with many areas of his district surpassing that number.


Thompson assured North Coast residents that Washington is working to turn things around with the stimulus legislation, which he said is meant to add 3.5 million jobs to the nation's economy.


The stimulus funds have started to come in, with more than $32 million slated for education in the district, with $30 million set aside for transportation on the North Coast.


“Turning things around is going to be a big lift,” he said.


Thompson took questions from 11 constituents during the hour-long call.


Roberta from Kelseyville was unhappy that AIG's co-insurers were made whole on their investments. “I just feel that Congress has taken care of the wealthiest people in the world.”


She also asked about prosecutions of people who violated the US Constitution during the Bush administration. “We're still waiting.”


Thompson said he understands her frustration, but didn't believe just the rich are being helped.


If the economy had been allowed go go “over the cliff,” the recession would have turned into a depression, he said. AIG's situation is particularly galling due to the millions paid in retention bonuses. “That wasn't the intention,” said Thompson, adding that the government has received back between $50 million and $80 million of the bonus money.


Thompson said he believes the country is starting to see a return on its investment, with housing sales up and other signs of recovery appearing.


During the call Thompson also was confronted by a caller, who identified himself as James from Eureka, who challenged the congressman's votes for Israel, and asked when he was going to put America first rather than Israel.


“I put our district first, I put our country first, and I vote the best that I can” to help the district, state and the world, Thompson responded.


Thompson also was asked about health care – he said he supports affordable, universal health care – and addressing climate change. On the latter subject, Thompson said the stimulus bill has a number of provisions to move the country toward renewable energy. He said if climate change continues, the planet could see increases of between 3 and 10 degrees in temperature, which would lead to the death of three out of every five species, rising oceans, massive floods and dangers to water supply.


Pam from Humboldt said education is suffering, with so many teachers getting pink slips. “It's just devastating,” she said. “What can Congress do to help us?”


Thompson said $8 billion in the federal stimulus bill is meant to help education in California, including the $32 million headed for the First Congressional District. The California Congressional Delegation wrote Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to release the money quickly.


Sheila of Redwood Valley asked Thompson – a member of the Blue Dog Democrats, a coalition of fiscally responsible party members – what he thinks of President Barack Obama's budget.


Thompson said the budget has some things “that worry the heck out of me” but many thing he also supports.


“It's one of the first honest budgets I've seen in many years,” said Thompson, explaining that past budgets have excluded funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, instead tacking on the costs of those operations as emergency funding.


Obama promises that his budget will cut the deficit in half in four years, but Thompson said he's concerned about what happens after that.


John from Trinidad asked Thompson how he justified his vote for the TARP bailout, saying the congressman was in the same boat as the “drunken sailors” who got the country into its current mess.


“I didn't want to vote for that bill” Thompson said, adding that he didn't think anyone else wanted to, either.


At 6 p.m. on a Thursday last fall then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke came to Congress and said, “We have a problem,” Thompson recalled.


The men told Congress that the economy was getting ready to implode and the only way to stop it was to give Paulsen $700 billion, with no strings attached and no oversight, to begin the fix.


Congress came back the next week and started assessing the problem. The alternative to the action Congress ultimately took was to let the entire economy crash, which Thompson said would have been irresponsible.


He voted against the initial bill that would have given Paulsen the money with no oversight. The rewritten bill, for which Thompson voted, has increased FDIC insurance. Thompson said he also received letters of commitment from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and then-Sen. Obama that they would address the greater oversight issues.


Thompson said he met with experts from across the country in making his decision on the bill. “I don't think there was any other choice at the time, as terrible as it seems.”


He said that he's seeing positive signs in the current economy.


The state of California just sold $6.5 billion in government bonds, which is a pretty serious reversal from where the state was last fall, he said.


John from Davis asked how much of the president's budget will help small business, which has historically been shown to be a main creator of jobs.


Thompson said the Obama administration has proposals that would benefit small business, including making the research and development tax credit permanent, billions of funds to be distributed through the Small Business Administration, special funding for rural businesses and allowances that would give small business the ability to write off capital expenses in the same year as purchase.


“As tough as things may be right now, we're going to recover from this and we're going to do great things as we've always done,” Thompson said in concluding the call.


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


{mos_sb_discuss:3}








Image
An official leads Robert Davison from his Cobb home on February 12, 2009. Davison was arrested on a federal warrant for allegedly luring a 13-year-old girl to his home. Photo courtesy of Centerville Police Department, Centerville, Utah.
 



COBB – A local man is in custody in Utah, where he's facing federal prosecution for allegedly attempted to lure a 13-year-old Utah girl to travel to his home and have sex with him.

Robert Laverne Davison, 40, of Cobb was in federal court in Salt Lake City on Monday for his first appearance in the case before Judge Magistrate David Nuffer. At that time Davison pleaded not guilty.

A 12-week investigation conducted by the Centerville, Utah Police Department, the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations led to an indictment, issued Feb. 4, against Davison alleging the one count of coercion and enticement that took place between June 1 and Nov. 13, 2008.

If convicted, Davison faces a potential maximum penalty of life in federal prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, according to the US Attorney's Office in Utah.

The investigation began last November when the Centerville Police Department was contacted regarding a missing 13-year-old girl, the agency reported.

Law enforcement found the girl at a Salt Lake City bus station the same evening as she was reported missing. Officials reported the girl was waiting to board a Greyhound bus to California. The case alleges that Davison persuaded a third party to use a credit card to purchase the bus ticket in this state.

Officials found that the girl had been in contact with a man she knew only as “Bear” – alleged to be Davison – while playing an Internet game, “World of Warcraft.” The teen and Davison allegedly began chatting through instant messaging, and officials believed he convinced the girl to meet him in California.

The Centerville Police Department contacted the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to assist in the investigation, which the FBI also joined.

Task force agents performed forensic scans on computers at the girl’s home and her cell phone. The information on the computers led investigators to believe that Davison was engaging in sexually explicit conversations and intended to have the girl travel to California for sexually related purposes.

The investigation led to the Feb. 4 indictment and a subsequent arrest warrant issued for Davison.

On Feb. 12, the FBI went to Cobb, where they arrested Davison.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said sheriff's deputies assisted the FBI in the arrest and search warrant service.

During the search of Davison's house officials found two firearms, Bauman said.

Bauman said that Davison is a convicted felon and is not allowed to have firearms. He did not have information on Davison's previous conviction.

The FBI chose not to file charges against Davison for the firearms, but the sheriff's office plans to pursue it. “We have submitted a complaint to our local district attorney,” Bauman said.

Local officials have had two previous contacts with Davison, said Bauman, but neither involved him being charged with a crime. In a June of 2007 contact Davison reported being the victim of domestic violence.

Davison remained in custody in California for more than a month before being transported by the US Marshal's Office to his Utah court appearances, according to a March 17 letter to Kevin Barry, assistant US attorney for the Northern District of California, from Barry J. Portman, a federal public defender for the district.

In that letter, Portman also called attention to a large and inoperable hernia that Davison has “that could burst at any time, resulting in a life threatening situation.”

During the court appearance Monday, Judge Nuffer ruled that Davison will stay in the custody of the US Marshal's Service pending his trial due to concerns of flight risk, previous history and the discovery of the firearms. Nuffer also ordered that Davison been seen by Davis County, Utah medical staff.

U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett L. Tolman called the Davison case “another graphic reminder of the threats we continue to face in protecting our children from Internet predators.”

Davison is scheduled to go on trial June 1 before Judge Dale A. Kimball.

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

{mos_sb_discuss:2}

Image
Stoney Prior is believed to be in northern Nevada. Courtesy photo.
 

 

 

 

CLEARLAKE – A high-risk sex offender being sought by local officials appears to have fled to Nevada.

 

Stoney Martin Prior, 31, is being sought in Humboldt County, Nev., according to the county's sheriff's office, based in Winnemuca.

 

Authorities there received information that led them to believe that Prior may be in the McDermitt, Nev. Area – on the Nevada-Oregon border – after leaving California earlier this month.

 

Officials reported that a blue van that Prior may have left California in was located last week in McDermitt on the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, home to the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe.

 

Prior was released from state prison on March 12 and returned to the south Lake County area, as Lake County News has reported.

 

The day after his release, he allegedly removed a GPS ankle bracelet being used to track his movements. Clearlake Police said he was on Main Street in Lower Lake when the bracelet was cut off.

 

A Clearlake citizen reported seeing Prior in a gold 1980s sedan on 40th and highway 53 in Clearlake on March 17, according to a police log entry from that date.

 

The California Attorney General's Megan's Law Web site reported that Prior was incarcerated for “assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy or oral copulation.”

 

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was not able to furnish Lake County News with specifics about Prior's conviction or the terms of his release before the end of the day on Wednesday.

 

Prior is an American Indian, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He has his name, “Prior,” tattooed on both his left and right arms.

 

Law enforcement urges anyone who sees Prior not to approach him.

 

Instead call 911 or, if it's not an immediate emergency, Humboldt County, Nev., Undersheriff Curtiss C. Kull at 775-623-6419 or Clearlake Police at 994-8251.

 

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

 

{mos_sb_discuss:2}

Upcoming Calendar

25Jun
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
29Jun
06.29.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
2Jul
07.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
4Jul
07.04.2024
Independence Day
6Jul
07.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
9Jul
07.09.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
13Jul
07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
16Jul
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
20Jul
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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.