Thursday, 30 May 2024

News

UPPER LAKE – Summer's hot temperatures have hit Lake County, but area residents can get out and enjoy shopping in the cooler evening hours during Upper Lake's Thursday night markets.


The markets will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday beginning this week and continuing through Aug. 19, according to Debbie Hablutzel, president of the Upper Lake Community Council, which is sponsoring the weekly events.


“It is not exactly a farmers' market,” said Hablutzel. “We welcome arts, crafts, produce, plants and more – it’s just a fun thing.”


Hablutzel says event-goers will have between 10 and 20 vendors to visit. Expect the same pleasant yet festive atmosphere that recently kicked off the summer spirit during Upper Lake's Wild West Day.


Like Wild West Day, Main Street will be blocked off so shoppers can browse safely, Hablutzel said. Admission is free.


Singers and songwriters from around Lake County will have a chance to perform at the market, Hablutzel said.


The lineup of performers begins with Dave Hendricks this week, to be followed on July 22 by Lonnie Caldwell, Angelina & Ian on July 29, Stephen Holland & Friends on Aug. 5, Michael Barrish on Aug. 12 and on Aug. 19 by Hilarie, Milton & Moe.


Those interested about vendor space are encouraged to call Hablutzel at 707-275-2000 or Byron Green, a member of the Upper Lake Community Council, at 707-275-9515.


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

LAYTONVILLE – Authorities made several drug-related arrests on Friday during a Laytonville concert.


Those arrested in connection to the “Stilldream” event included Ted Muth, 18, of Santa Cruz; Jethro Lloyd, 38, of Humboldt County; TiaMaria Boxberger, a 28-year-old transient; and Jordan Irwin, 18, of Sacramento, according to a report from Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

 

Smallcomb reported that on July 5 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received information regarding the concert, which takes place at a location known as “Area 101,” approximately 10 miles north of Laytonville.


The event, according to Smallcomb, was a rave concert, where he said designer-type drugs, such as Ecstacy (MDMA), psilocybin mushrooms and LSD, or acid, are commonly found.


MDMA is a purely chemical substance which causes hallucinations. Smallcomb said other common street names for MDMA include “Molly,” “Ex” and “Thizz.”


MDMA causes an increased heart rate, severe dehydration, increased blood pressure and hallucinations. Several Northern California counties have reported numerous deaths associated with the use of Ecstacy, Smallcomb said.


When the original information was provided to the sheriff's office, Smallcomb said it was learned that workers at the event were known to sell and use drugs during the event. Approximately 700 people were attending the 10th annual concert.


Agents from the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force were assisted by agents from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control and performed an undercover investigation during the evening on Friday, Smallcomb said.


During the investigation, undercover agents purchased Ecstacy from Lloyd, a staff worker, and Boxberger, an attendee, Smallcomb said.


At the time of the purchase, Smallcomb said Boxberger offered the agent psilocybin mushrooms. During Lloyd's arrest, agents located 15 individual baggies of MDMA totaling an ounce. With MDMA having a street value of $100 a gram, Lloyd possessed $1,200 worth of the drug.


Free marijuana was given to the undercover agent by another staff worker, the 18-year-old Muth, who Smallcomb said was wearing a wrist band which identified him as being 21 years old. Muth stated that another staff worker, who knew he was only 18 years old, issued him the wrist band. Additional marijuana was found on Muth at the time of his arrest.


While agents were inside the dance area, another subject, Irwin, was extremely intoxicated and was staggering and was arrested for public intoxication, Smallcomb said.


The investigation into the promoters and staff workers will continue.


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

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Northshore Fire Protection District firefighters put out a vehicle fire on Country Club Drive in Lucerne, Calif., on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.





LAKE COUNTY – Several fires were reported around the county late Friday and throughout the day Saturday, resulting in damages including burned vegetation, a destroyed shed and a charred car.


Following two vegetation fires earlier in the week, another similar fire was reported in Clearlake Oaks late Friday.


The fire, which was reported just after 9 p.m., occurred on the Elem Colony, according to Northshore Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Pat Brown.


The blazes that occurred earlier last week were attributed to fireworks, but Brown said they couldn't be certain of the cause of Friday's fire.


Brown said the Friday fire had three different start points spread about 75 feet apart, with about an acre of land being burned.


Three engines responded, Brown said, with the fire being quickly contained. Reports from the scene indicated engines were released at about 9:40 p.m.


Just before 4 p.m. Saturday a structure fire was reported on Lakeshore Boulevard in Nice, according to Northshore Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Steve Hart.


The structure in question was a shed attached to a residence, Hart said.


A witness reported three neighbors helped keep the flames down with hoses until the firefighters arrived on the scene.


Five engines – three from Northshore Fire, one from Lakeport Fire and one from Cal Fire – responded to the blaze, which consumed the shed, according to Hart.


Hart said the fire was contained in about seven minutes. The shed was destroyed, with damages estimated at $10,000. The residence was saved, he added.


The fire, according to Hart, was “suspicious in nature.”


In Lakeport at about 6:10 p.m. firefighters responded to a barbecue fire at the Driftwood Apartments at 975 Forbes St., according to Lakeport Fire Protection District Capt. Bob Ray.


Ray said the teenage daughter of the residents in one of the upstairs apartments lit a propane-fired barbecue, which was sitting against a metal railing about 8 feet from the building, and went back inside the apartment.


About a minute later the apartment's residents reported hearing what sounded like an explosion and, when they looked out they saw a fireball, with the barbecue throwing flames out over the railing, Ray said.


“Another neighbor showed up with a garden hose prior to us arriving and partially extinguished it,” said Ray.


An engine from Lakeport Fire responded, with a second engine from Kelseyville Fire canceled before arriving on scene. Ray said the fire was contained within about three to four minutes.


Nobody was injured, Ray said.


He said a 10 foot by 15 foot area of fiberglass roofing covering a storage area was damaged, as was about an 8 foot by 6 foot area of the deck under the barbecue, which was itself destroyed.


Ray said the building itself was not damaged, and that the people involved were “very fortunate.”


He said there appeared to have been a fuel leak between the propane tank and the barbecue itself.


In Lucerne, a vehicle fire was reported just after 7 p.m. at the corner of Country Club and 14th Avenue.


Hart and two Northshore Fire engines responded to the fires, which destroyed the small blue Honda.


Firefighters pried open the trunk and pulled out what appeared to be a baby stroller and some cardboard.


Hart said the driver reported the car had started sputtering, so she pulled over and left the vehicle, returning a short time later to find it fully involved.


He said the fire appeared to have started in the Honda's power distribution system near the firewall.


Hart was concerned that the fire slightly damaged utility lines directly above where the car sat, parked partially on the sidewalk.


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

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Hallie Sullivan of Lower Lake High School in Lower Lake, Calif., submitted this winning entry, chosen by the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association's 2010 Old Time Bluegrass Festival Logo Contest.

 

 


LOWER LAKE – A Lower Lake High School student has been named the winner of this year's Old Time Bluegrass Festival Logo Contest.


The Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association (AMIA) announced that Hallie Sullivan submitted the winning entry.


The bluegrass festival is the major fundraiser for AMIA and its preservation/educational work at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park.


The event also raises funds for the Children’s Museum of Art & Science, supports local schools and service groups who participate, provides a venue for local craft and food vendors, advertises individual sponsors and “markets” Lake County.


The festival is held at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park on the second Saturday in September.


This year’s festival will be Saturday, Sept. 11, and will also honor and raise funds for Lake County’s first responders.


Sullivan received $100 and her logo will be used for the 2010 Bluegrass Festival posters, t-shirts and other merchandise and promotional materials.


All logo entrants will receive tickets to the festival, a recognition certificate and their original art will be framed and on display at this year’s festival.


“We also plan to continue last year’s practice of making postcards of all of logo entries, adding them to a group of Bluegrass postcards made from all the 2009 entries,” said Gae Henry, who coordinated the logo contest. “AMIA sells these postcards as part of their fundraising for the park.”


Help to support activities such as the Old Time Bluegrass Festival by coming and enjoying the music, and set into motion the recycling of dollars and energy back into our wonderful community.


Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is located on Highway 53, between Lower Lake and Clearlake.


For more information about the festival, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 707-995-2658.


For more information about the park, visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=483.


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


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The wind often blows algae into inland harbor areas in Clearlake, where the algae builds up. Photo courtesy of Lake County Water Resources Department.
 

 

 


LAKE COUNTY – With higher water levels and strong clarity, Clear Lake is looking much better than it did last year, and to keep it that way the Water Resources Department is urging people to do their part to help prevent algae mats.


Last year, an outbreak of Lyngbya birgei resulted in serious issues for the lake, with the large, rotting mats keeping visitors away and causing alarm amongst residents, as Lake County News has reported.


Water Resources Program Coordinator Pamela Francis said some short-duration blooms have already occurred in the waters off of Clearlake and Clearlake Park, but the department has been monitoring the blooms.


To date, Francis said they haven't observed high quantities of Lyngbya birgei, the bottom-dwelling type of blue-green algae that created the problems last summer.


Nevertheless, officials are on the watch because of what Francis called “exceptional” water clarity, especially in the lake's upper arm.


That clarity, while considered by many to be a positive quality for the lake, is problematic because it gives algae the sunlight needed to grow, Francis explained.


“We certainly don't want it to happen like it did last year,” she said.


Since 1988, the county has only seen lyngbya four times, showing up for the first time in 1997, with instances also reported in 1998, 2001 and 2003, said Francis.


But she said those occurrences were orders of magnitude less than the 2009 outbreak.


In previous years, the cells per liter had measured between 100 and 100,000, said Francis.


“What we saw last year was millions of cells per liter in all arms” – the upper, Oaks and lower arms, according to Francis.


She said algae moves throughout the water column, and when it floats to the surface and is pushed by the wind, it can't go back down the water column as it normally would do.


When it stays on the surface, the sun hits it and it dies, which she said results in the kind of mats and stench that were reported last year.


Water Resources reported that there are four nuisance blue-green algae families in Clear Lake, which – with its watershed, relatively shallow depth and warm climate – is an ideal environment for the algae growth.


Clear Lake is a eutrophic lake – meaning it's rich in the kind of nutrients that feed algae that can become a nuisance when they form mats and die, according to a Water Resources report.


Francis said there are things county residents can do to help mitigate algae growth and prevent it from becoming a nuisance.


That includes keeping algae alive and moving it through its natural daily cycle of rising and falling, and breaking up mats that begin to form by using boats and spray systems, said Francis, who compared it to pool maintenance.


She said the county has a volunteer network, along with pontoon boats purchased last year, to help prevent algae nuisance issues.


Water Resources' tips to keep algae problems from developing begin with being proactive, and not waiting for algae build up.


To dissipate algae slicks, agitate the water daily through spray systems, which can be installed along the shoreline and on docks and piers. Such a system requires a pump, pipe and nozzles that spray the algae with water to sink it. For plans and part lists, see the Water Resources Web site at www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/Directory/Water_Resources.htm.


Officials also suggested that garden hoses can be used, but people are urged to avoid using treated drinking water if possible. Instead, use irrigation pumps drawing from the lake with screens protecting the water intake.


In places where algae has built up, boats and jet skis can be used to dissipate the algae into the water column, according to Water Resources.


For more information call the Lake County Water Resources Department, 707-263-2344.


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

 

 

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A closeup of algae from Clear Lake. Photo courtesy of Lake County Water Resources Department.
 

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Greg Dills of the East Lake and West Lake Resource Conservation District and Katherine Blyleven of the Lake County Department of Agriculture with the 2009 Invasive Weed Awareness Week display board. The display board can be viewed during the week of July 19 to 23, 2010, at the Lake County Agricultural building in Lakeport, Calif. Courtesy photo.
 

 


LAKE COUNTY – Mark your calendar – the Lake County Weed Management Area is hosting its fifth annual invasive weeds tour on Thursday, July 22.


The tour is free and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.


The third week of July is California’s annual “Invasive Weed Awareness Week.”


This statewide program is designed to educate citizens about the undesirable effects and impacts of non-native invasive weeds.


The self-driving tour is a fun and informative event that gives participants the chance to view and learn about several species of invasive weeds.


The tour will begin in Lakeport, proceed to Nice and Kelseyville, and end at Lakeside Park with a discussion and samples of aquatic weeds followed by lunch.


This year’s tour includes revisiting some of the same sites as last year to observe the progress in controlling the invasive weeds and, in some cases, to see how rapidly the unattended invasive weeds have spread.


Participants will see a demonstration area where goats have been used to control Spanish broom. The tour will also highlight weeds such as Arundo donax, tamarisk, tree of heaven, skeleton weed, water primrose and various other aquatic weeds.


Passenger vans with limited seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All other participants will need to provide their own transportation and carpooling is encouraged.


The end-of-tour lunch is free but donations to offset the costs of lunch and refreshments will be greatly appreciated and cheerfully accepted.


Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Lake County Department of Agriculture, located at 883 Lakeport

Blvd. The tour will depart from the parking lot at 8:45 a.m.


Please RSVP with Kristi at 707-263-0217 by July 19 if you plan on attending and indicate if you would like a seat on one of the vans.


The tour is sponsored by Lake County Department of Agriculture, the Lake County Department of Public Works, and the East Lake and West Lake Resource Conservation Districts.


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

ANDERSON SPRINGS – A 3.0-magnitude earthquake was reported near Anderson Springs early Friday morning.


The quake was reported at 1:42 a.m. Friday, according to the US Geological Survey.


It was centered two miles south southwest of Anderson Springs, 15 miles south southwest of Clearlake and 20 miles north of Santa Rosa, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake was recorded at a depth of 1.3 miles.


The survey received four shake reports – from Guerneville, Richmond, La Habra and Buckeye, Ariz., approximately 1,075 miles away.


A 3.3-magnitude quake was reported at The Geysers geothermal steamfield and six miles west of Anderson Springs on July 4, as Lake County News has reported.


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

ESPARTO – A 3.0-magnitude earthquake was reported near the Yolo County community of Esparto Thursday evening.


The quake occurred at 5:57 p.m. at a depth of 43.7 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.


It was centered 12 miles west of Esparto, 25 miles southeast of Clearlake, 30 miles north of Napa and 30 miles west northwest of Davids, the survey reported.


The US Geological Survey received two shake reports on the quake – one from Santa Rosa and one from Fort Bragg.


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

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A bee enjoys lavender at the home of Lisa Cole in Clearlake, Calif., on the morning of Saturday, July 10, 2010. Photo by Esther Oertel.




I’m sitting outdoors in Petaluma as I write this, the sun on my back and lush fields of blooming lavender in view. I didn’t plan this happy coincidence. It just so happens that my in-laws, whom I’m visiting, live next door to the Lavender Bee Farm, a fixture on the Sonoma County Farm Trails map.


A stone’s throw away, hundreds of stalks with their deep purple blooms wave gently in the breeze. They’re planted row upon row, filling nearly every inch of the neighbor’s several acre plot, reminiscent of photos of lavender fields in France.


It’s interesting that the stalks, though loosely splayed, retain the integrity of the rotund shape of the shrub, almost like neat rows of aromatic sea urchins. The deep green foliage at each shrub’s base makes for a striking contrast of color.


What’s planted next door is English lavender, from which the lavender used in potpourris and cuisine comes. There are well over 25 species of lavender, including Spanish, Dutch, Mexican and French, but it’s English lavender that has become famous in the French countryside.


The name lavender is derived from the Latin word lavare, which means to wash. Lavender has long been used as a fragrance in soaps and shampoos, extending back to ancient Rome, where lavender was used to scent Roman baths.


So valuable was lavender in ancient Rome, a pound of the harvested flowers sold for the equivalent of a month’s wages. The Romans thought lavender was important enough to take with them when they conquered southern Britain, thus becoming the ancestor of the many varieties of English lavender we know today.


Though lavender is most widely known in the sunny Mediterranean region, it is speculated that this member of the mint family originated in Asia. It’s grown in gardens throughout the world, and since lavender cross-pollinates easily, there are countless variations within each species.


There is recorded evidence going back 2,500 years showing lavender’s use as a stewing herb, a mood tonic, a fragrance, an insect repellent and a food flavoring.


The distinctively pungent aroma of lavender is used in aromatherapy as a calming influence; in fact, scientific studies confirm that the scent of lavender produces calming, soothing and sedative effects. The ancient Greeks crushed and burned it to create a relaxing fume.


Lavender-filled pillows are a common folk remedy for insomnia – my neighbor told me just this morning that she sleeps with a small bag of lavender under her pillow – and modern research suggests that this may be an effective remedy. It has been found that the scent of lavender slows the activity of the nervous system and improves sleep quality.


A few evenings ago, I had the privilege of cutting lavender from the abundant bushes of a generous friend. It was a calm, quiet dusk, and a lone bumblebee was my companion as I inhaled deeply of the fragrant blossoms while trimming the stalks. I went away calmer than I had arrived, and I credit the lavender for the quieting of my spirit.


I’ve spent some time in recent weeks researching the many culinary uses of lavender and have been surprised to find just how extensively lavender can be used in a wide swath of culinary genres, both sweet and savory.


It can be made into vinegars, salad dressings, flavored oils, and rubs for fish and meat. It flavors whipped cream and chocolate, is baked into scones and is added to lemonade. It’s added to stews, sauces and ice cream, makes a fragrant aioli, and is delicious when paired with goat cheese. It’s steeped for tea, flavors coffee and adds an aromatic element to spiced teas, such as lavender chai.


The real question is whether there’s a way lavender CAN’T be used in cuisine.

 

 

 

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Veggie Girl Esther Oertel harvested a little lavender from the garden of Lisa Cole in Clearlake, Calif., on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Photo by Esther Oertel.
 

 

 


If you’re lucky enough to have a lavender bush on your property or, like me, have generous friends who allow you to harvest their crop, there are endless ways to make use of it.


Lavender should be harvested in the early blossom stage, before they are fully open. Do this early in the day, after the dew has dried. Moisture impedes the drying process, so harvest your lavender on a dry day.


I find that bees are less abundant in the early morning and in the dim light of evening, which makes harvesting a bit easier.


Use rubber bands to tie the lavender stalks into small bunches, and hang them upside down in a dry (and, ideally, dark) place. It doesn’t take long for the buds to dry, perhaps one or two weeks.


Depending on the location, place a clean sheet under the lavender to trap falling blossoms, or loosely tie a paper bag under each hanging bundle.


When dry, shake the lavender into a paper bag, or wrap each bundle in a clean pillow case and roll it as you would a rolling pin. Gather the dried buds from the bag or pillow case and pick or sieve out the larger bits of plant. The remaining dry stems can be used to toss into a fireplace for aroma or into a barbecue for flavor.


The recipe I offer here is a rather exotic one, perfect for a light summertime meal. If needed, culinary lavender can be purchased at gourmet shops. Enjoy!



Seared ahi tuna with lavender-pepper crust


Mustard seed dressing (recipe follows)

1 1/2 pounds center-cut ahi tuna or four (4- to 6-ounce) 1-inch thick sushi quality tuna steaks

1 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

1 teaspoon white peppercorns

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender flowers

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups savory mixed fresh greens and herbs


Prepare mustard seed dressing; set aside.


If using the center-cut ahi tuna, trim and cut the tuna into a block approximately 2 inches across; then cut into 1-inch steaks.


Crush the salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and lavender with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. Lightly oil the tuna with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil; evenly coat the tuna with the lavender-pepper mixture, patting off any excess.


In a heavy bottomed sauté pan or a cast-iron pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Increase the heat to high and place the tuna in the pan. Sear for 1 minutes, then turn over carefully, reducing the heat to medium. Sear the other side for 1 more minutes until medium rare. Remove from heat and immediately refrigerate the tuna for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours.


To serve, arrange the greens on chilled individual serving plates. Drizzle with mustard seed dressing. Thinly slice the tuna and arrange on top of the dressed greens.


Makes 8 servings.



Mustard seed dressing


4 tablespoons prepared whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons toasted mustard seed

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons vegetable stock or water

1 teaspoon honey (or to taste)

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place mustard seeds in a baking pan. Place in oven and roast for a couple of minutes (watch carefully so the seeds don't burn). Remove from oven and let cool. Whisk all the ingredients together and season to taste.


Esther Oertel, the "Veggie Girl," is a personal chef and culinary coach and is passionate about local produce. Oertel owns The SageCoach Personal Chef Service and teaches culinary classes at Chic Le Chef in Hidden Valley Lake. She welcomes your questions and comments; e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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

FORT BRAGG – An Oregon man has been sentenced to jail time and restitution of $200,000 for a timber theft.


On Thursday, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Richard Henderson ordered Edward Colombi Jr., 60, of Salem to pay $200,000 in restitution and serve 180 days in county jail for the theft of timber belonging to David McCutcheon.


“Justice for our citizens requires that property crimes be treated seriously,” said Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott. “These crimes include timber thefts, and our office remains committed to prosecuting them. I am grateful for the just resolution of this case against Mr. Colombi.”


Colombi had entered a no contest plea to felony grand theft of timber. He has been ordered to appear on Oct. 12 to make sure he has paid the full $200,000 and to turn himself into the Mendocino County Jail, according to Lintott's office.


In 1998 McCutcheon, a commercial fisherman residing in Elk, began storing sinker logs and cut lumber on property in Fort Bragg rented from Edward Colombi Sr., according to Lintott's report.


On March 26, 2006, McCutcheon visited the property and saw that all of his logs and lumber were present. On May 26 he telephoned the new owner, Edward Colombi Jr., and informed him he would pick up the logs and lumber between June 13 and 15.


On June 15, when McCutcheon returned to the property to pick up the logs and lumber, he discovered that “all my wood was gone,” Lintott's office reported. McCutcheon then undertook his own investigation, and discovered a small portion of the sinker logs in the possession of a Fort Bragg resident that had been sold to him for $3,200 by Robert Russell.


Russell later plead to petty theft, was ordered to pay $3,200 in restitution to McCutcheon and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office reported.


Officials said that except for a couple logs he found in Westport, McCutcheon he was unable to find what had happened to the remainder of his wood.


On Sept. 14, 2007, prosecutor Tim Stoen filed felony grand theft charges against Colombi and Russell. On March 17, 2008, Mr. Stoen presented evidence at a preliminary hearing before Judge Clay Brennan, who held both Colombi and Russell to stand trial.


Lintott's office said the case was then transferred to Ukiah because of the number of witnesses. After the defense filed a “995” motion to set aside the Judge Brennan's holding order, Deputy District Attorney Heidi Larson successfully defended the ruling.


This past Jan. 7, Colombi entered a no contest plea based on a promise of probation, with “no state prison at the outset.” Lintott's office said the main issue then became restitution, because the prosecution and defense counsel were "miles apart" on the number of logs, the amount of board footage, and the fair market value of the sinker logs.


Beginning on June 11, Judge Henderson held a restitution hearing that took place on five separate days. Stoen presented evidence, by testimony or declarations, through David McCutcheon, Stuart Beck, Lloyd Livingston, Fred Struthers and Darlene Letner.


Defense attorneys Richard Petersen and Justin Petersen called 10 witnesses, including a timber mill owner, and also a botanist who analyzed the “growth rings” of weeds on the issue of the size of the two sinker log piles claimed by McCutcheon.


After the evidence Judge Henderson made a tentative ruling in which he found that McCutcheon was “generally credible,” and that there was a theft of 65 to 70 logs at a fair market value of $4 per board foot. Following his ruling, Judge Henderson encouraged the prosecution and the defense to try to negotiate a restitution amount.


Based on Judge Henderson's ruling the prosecution and the defense entered a series of negotiations leading to a stipulation for Colombi's sentence that included $200,000 as restitution payable to McCutcheon, with $150,000 within 30 days, and the remaining $50,000 within 60 days thereafter, along with three years probation and a jail term of 180 days, or 90 days actual as a condition of probation.


Judge Henderson then approved the sentence stipulation, and gave Colombi time to return to his home in Oregon to get his affairs in order before turning himself in.


“I want to thank Judge Henderson for his careful attention to the conflicting evidence in this case, and for his ability to penetrate to the truth,” said Stoen. “Without his tentative ruling and analysis of the evidence, the prosecution and the defense would not have had a sufficient framework for a meeting of the minds as to a fair sentence. I am hopeful that Mr. McCutcheon will use this restitution money to fulfill his dream of building a custom house on the Mendocino Coast."


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

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Lake County Parks maintenance workers install the town clock in Clearlake Oaks, Calif. Bill Chapin manned the forklift and Ryan McArthur put the clock in place on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Photo by Miguel Lanigan.


 

 

 

 

CLEARLAKE OAKS – County parks staff installed the new Clearlake Oaks town clock on Wednesday.


The $17,973 time piece was manufactured by Electric Time Co. of Medfield, Mass., as was the town clock installed June 29 in Upper Lake, as Lake County News has reported.


The new clock is located on the western side of Nylander Park on Highway 20, where visitors and residents alike can see it as they pass through town.


The Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association partnered with the county to raise the funds for the clock, according to county officials.


On June 24, Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association President Margaret Medeiros presented a check for $14,350 to County Administrative Officer and Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Kelly Cox, as Lake County News has reported.


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

 

 

 

 

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Lake County Parks Department maintenance workers Bill Chapin (left) and Ryan McArthur installed the new clock in Nylander Park in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Photo by Miguel Lanigan.
 

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Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
16Jun
06.16.2024
Father's Day
18Jun
06.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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