Saturday, 13 July 2024


Altocumulus clouds form over Clear Lake, photographed from north Lakeport, Calif., near Rainbow Road at Lakeshore Boulevard, on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Photo by Terre Logsdon.


LAKE COUNTY – Strong winds kicked up around Lake County and much of Northern California on Tuesday afternoon, whittling mid-level clouds over the mountains in the Mendocino National Forest into beautiful sunset formations, while ushering in another low pressure weather system.

That system brings with it the possibility of more rain in the county on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, which forecast a 20 percent chance of rain, with the majority of the system to reach much further in Northern California.

High temperatures Wednesday are predicted to reach in to the mid- to upper-60s, with overnight lows in the mid- to upper-40s, according to the National Weather Service. That will be noticeably cooler than the upper 70s enjoyed throughout the county over the last few days.

According to both the National Weather Service and the Western Weather Group, which many Lake County Farmers subscribe to, temperatures will be cooler with breezy winds picking up again throughout the day.

Sunnier skies should return during the day on Thursday, but winds will continue to be breezy, according to the National Weather Service.

Breezy winds, with gusts up to 23 miles per hour, are expected overnight on Thursday, the National Weather Service predicts, while the chance for rain moves out of Lake County, with sunny and mild temperatures returning.

For up-to-the minute weather information, please visit the Lake County News home page.

E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

LAKEPORT – A Kelseyville man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly fled the scene of a crash that injured a Lakeport woman.

Thomas Anthony Mello, 40, was arrested for felony driving under the influence, felony hit and run, driving on a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance and an outstanding Lake County warrant, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.

At 1 p.m. Saturday Mello was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer eastbound on Soda Bay Road and was stopped at the intersection of Mission Rancheria Road preparing to make a left turn, Tanguay said.

Patricia McFarland, 63, of Lakeport, was driving a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser westbound on Soda Bay

Road at approximately 25 miles per hour approaching the intersection with Mission Rancheria Road, according to Tanguay's report.

Tanguay said Mello failed to yield the right of way to McFarland’s vehicle, and made a left turn directly into the path of the oncoming vehicle.

The front of the Explorer collided with the PT Cruiser, with McFarland sustaining major injuries in the crash. Tanguay said she was transported to Sutter-Lakeside Hospital by Lakeport Fire Department


Mello allegedly fled the collision scene on foot and was later located at Konocti Vista Casino by Officer Ericka Coddington and recent addition to the Clear Lake CHP area, Officer Matt Norton. Tanguay said Mello was identified by eye witnesses and other physical evidence located at the scene.

The involved vehicles remained in the intersection for approximately 30 minutes while traffic was routed onto the shoulders, Tanguay said.

This collision is still under investigation by CHP Officer Jake Bushey.

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LAKE COUNTY – An extended rainy season and better lake levels are allowing farmers in Yolo County to get needed water for irrigation this year.

Yolo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, based in Woodland, owns the water rights to Clear Lake, and began irrigation season last month.

Jennifer Reed, Yolo Flood's project manager, said the wet spring conditions pushed Clear Lake's level up high enough that the district was able to take its full allocation – or 150,000 acre feet – for the first time since 2006.

In 2009, because Clear Lake's level was so low – only at about 4.0 feet Rumsey on May 1 – Yolo Flood was only able to draw 21,767 acre feet from the lake, as Lake County News has reported.

“Last year we saw a lot of land fallowed,” said Reed, noting that there wasn't much of an irrigation season at all. Because of less available water, crops like rice were scaled back in favor of low water crops.

Early in May the water picture was strong enough that Reed said Yolo Flood began doing flood releases.

Lake County's Water Resources Department reported that the Solano Decree, which specifies how much water Yolo Flood and its customers can have during each summer month, requires that the lake be at 7.56 feet Rumsey or higher on May 1 for Yolo Flood to take the full allocation.

From that full level down, the amount of water available is staggered. If the lake is below 3.22 feet Rumsey on May 1, Yolo gets no water from the lake, Water Resources reported.

The county reported that on May 1, Clear Lake measured 7.77 feet Rumsey. On Sunday, the lake level had fallen to 6.92 feet Rumsey, based on the US Geological Survey lake level gauge.

According to Water Resources, 150,000 acre feet totals approximately 3 and a half feet of Clear Lake's depth. The lake reportedly loses another 3 feet each year due to surface evaporation.

Water Resources reported that an acre foot of water totals 326,000 gallons, meaning that Yolo Flood's total allocation in years with a full lake is approximately 48.9 billion gallons.

While it's getting its full measure of water this year, Yolo Flood reported that the late spring rains had another effect – they resulted in planting delays and suppressed demand for water.

With planting decisions needing to be made months in advance, the late rains left some growers uncertain of how to proceed. Reed said they still don't know what the fallout from the rain will be on the district's crops.

“It was looking pretty grim there for a long time,” she said.

The district, which has an average of 60,000 irrigated acres, won't have a normal year, despite the available water, according to Reed.

“We're going to be having a shortened irrigation system because of the late spring rains and also because of construction that has to happen downstream on the Capay diversion dam,” Reed said.

The district isn't putting into effect any water allotments for growers this year, because Reed said they believe they can meet the demand based on their current water supplies.

Besides Clear Lake, the district also owns the water in Indian Valley Reservoir, which is part of its water supply equation, said Reed.

The district reported that on Friday Indian Valley Reservoir had nearly 99,000 acre feet in storage, more than twice its level last year. While that's better than it was, Reed said it's still slimmer than the district would like.

She explained that the Clear Lake watershed is much bigger than the reservoir's.

“This year is a really great example of how well Clear Lake can respond to the storms that come in,” said Reed.

Indian Valley's watershed requires a much bigger rain year to fill up, she added. In 2006 the reservoir was “filled to the brim.”

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 and on Facebook at .

Austin Resort with a new coat of paint and some new windows, a project made possible through the sponsorship of local businesses and community members. Photo by Rick Mayo.



CLEARLAKE – A number of community members came out to the old Austin Resort last weekend, rolled up their sleeves and got to work in giving the city-owned building a fresh look.

Jeri Spittler, who organized the June 5 effort, called it a “fantastic success.”

In recent years the building has run into disrepair, but the paint job gave the building a boost just in time for the summer season.

City officials, local businesses and residents pitched in to give the building its tidy new look, Spittler said.

For a full list of sponsors and participants, see Spittler's thank you letter (Spittler: Thanks for making grassroots redevelopment project possible).

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City Public Works Director Doug Herren, on the ladder covered with paint, supervised the work and ran a paint sprayer, while City Clerk Melissa Swanson (right) came to sign up volunteers on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo by Rick Mayo.




The Austin Resort property in Clearlake, Calif., as it's being painted and cleaned up on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo by Rick Mayo.

LAKE COUNTY – Lake County's business community is saying farewell to a few of its well-known members and preparing to welcome a few new ones.

Several local businesses have closed their doors recently for a variety of reasons. Business owners and local officials explained that the current economy isn't always the main factor in their decisions to open or close.

“It is really normal for transition to occur within a community in terms of businesses relocating, closing and new businesses coming in the door,” said Richard Knoll, redevelopment director for the city of Lakeport.

One of the businesses taking part in the local transition is Jack’s Gaslight Grill on Main Street in Lakeport, which recently closed. The owner couldn't be reached for comment.

Knoll suspected the eatery closed not due to a financial situation but because of a desire for change. The restaurant will most likely reopen with a different concept and angle on food service, he said.

He reported that there are numerous improvement projects happening all over the lake, such as a building façade enhancement program. Thanks to the program, the Campos Casuals storefront on Main Street has a fresh look.

Knoll also noted that several businesses have remodeled or expanded, such as Grocery Outlet in Lakeport, North Lake Pharmacy, Jimmy’s Deli, Lee’s Sporting Goods and the Tower Mart on Lakeport Boulevard.

Grocery Outlet Inc. also is opening a completely new store in Clearlake, according to the company’s spokesperson Sheena Stevens.


Although some recent closures come as a surprise to many, money is not always the issue.

On the other side of the lake in Clearlake, Wild About Books is closing, but founders Ellen Lundquist and daughter Lori Peters find that caring for Lundquist’s elderly mother is their main priority.

“I’m not going to have her around much longer,” said Lundquist.

The store has been closed since May 24 but will reopen June 16 for the blowout sale, which will last until June 30. After June, Wild About Books will be closed, but perhaps not permanently.

“Thank you ladies for bettering our community through reading,” said one reader in a comment on a previous Lake County News article announcing the store’s closure. “You and your services and products will be sorely missed.”

“I just thank all of the people, from the bottom of my heart, for all their support,” Lundquist said.

She said she is trying to sell the store to keep it open, but family comes first.

Another family-owned business that has had to close one of its stores is Curry’s Furniture.

They have three branches – one in Lakeport, Ukiah and Clearlake. The Clearlake location, which opened in 1986, is the one closing its doors.

In 1984, owner George Kilker began running the family business, which was started by his grandfather, James Curry, in Lakeport in 1912, said his daughter and employee, Kristi Domagalski.

Kilker and his wife, Nanette, live in Ukiah and were finding the distance to Clearlake more and more difficult to contend with over the years, she said. The Clearlake store will close its doors Saturday, June 19.

“We very much appreciate our customers’ loyal support these past years,” said Domagalski. “Please come and see us in the Lakeport and Ukiah stores.”

Despite the recent closures, Knoll is optimistic about what's ahead.

“Businesses have been pretty resilient,” said Knoll. “With nice water conditions and water levels we expect a good tourist season to benefit the local economy. We look forward to summer time and better things to come.”

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 and on Facebook at .

Posted at 9:17 p.m.


LAKEPORT – The Lake County Registrar of Voters office has released the count of absentee ballots in countywide races.

For countywide races including district attorney, sheriff and superintendent of schools, no results had yet been posted for the 53 county precincts.

The absentee results, posted shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, are as follows.

District attorney

Don Anderson, 2,138 votes, 40.8 percent;

Jon Hopkins, 1,572 votes, 30 percent;

Doug Rhoades, 1,524 votes, 29.1 percent.


Francisco Rivero, 2,063 votes, 38.3 percent;

Rod Mitchell, 1,896 votes, 35.2 percent;

Jack Baxter, 1,430 votes, 26.5 percent.

Superintendent of schools

Wally Holbrook, 2,956 votes, 56.2 percent;

Judy Luchsinger, 2,307 votes; 43.8 percent.

District 2 supervisor

Jeff Smith, 469 votes, 62.3 percent;

Joyce Overton, 284 votes, 37.7 percent.

District 3 supervisor

Denise Rushing, 631 votes, 52.4 percent;

Gary Lewis, 310 votes, 25.7 percent;

Robert Hesterberg, 263 votes, 21.8 percent.

Stay posted for further updates as they become available.

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Firefighter Keith Leffler carries the fire helmet for his friend, Franklin Toney Jr., during Toney's memorial service at the Lower Lake High School gym on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Photo by Miguel Lanigan.








LOWER LAKE – Hundreds of people from around Lake County and beyond gathered on Sunday to remember one of life's greatest gifts – a true friend – and also to mourn just such a friend who was taken from them too young and too soon.

Franklin Toney Jr., 44, who died last Sunday, was memorialized in a two-hour service in the new gym at his alma mater, Lower Lake High School, on Sunday afternoon.

The afternoon service was preceded by a nearly hour-long procession from the Northshore Fire Protection District's Clearlake Oaks Fire Station, where Toney had been a volunteer firefighter beginning as a teenager.




The procession to Frank Toney's memorial service leaves the Clearlake Oaks Fire Station for Lower Lake on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Photo by Mike Benjamin.



There, his firefighting gear and the gear he used more recently as a Caltrans worker were loaded into an antique firetruck that, along with fire trucks from around the county, sheriff's and California Highway Patrol cruisers, and Cal Fire equipment made the trip to Lower Lake.

A REACH helicopter hovered over the high school gym before the event, and a bagpiper led in Toney's friends and colleagues who carried his gear.

During the service – led by firefighter and friend Keith Leffler – friends and family paid tribute to Toney's great generosity, unconditional kindness and the ability to see the good in everyone.

“How do you sum up a man's life on a piece of paper?” asked his longtime friend and fellow firefighter, Charlie Diener.




Frank Toney's last call

Veggie Girl Esther Oertel looks at onions this week and their value in cooking. Courtesy photo.







I spent a good chunk of Friday afternoon in Sky Hoyt’s Kelseyville onion field. The weather changed minute by minute as we discussed the wonders of the pungent bulb.

This member of the genus Allium evokes strong feelings in me.

I love it for its flavor, its many culinary uses and the delicious scent it emits when cooked; however, I hate my violent reaction to the sulfenic acids released when onions are cut.

I have tried various kitchen tricks to alleviate my eye irritation to no avail. One day, in desperation, I wore my son’s dive mask while I made French onion soup. I may have looked ridiculous, but it was the happiest onion slicing experience I’ve ever had.

The onion has been long thought to have powerful medicinal qualities. They contain chemical compounds believed to have properties that fight various conditions such as inflammation, high cholesterol and cancer; however, such claims have not been conclusively demonstrated.

While this is rare, some people claim to have wild dreams after consuming large quantities of onions. It is theorized that those who experience this are hypersensitive to the compounds in some onions that are similar to those in opium, but in a much milder form.




Red onions grown by local farmer Sky Hoyt, offered at Tuesday's Hidden Valley Lake farmers' market. Photo by Star Laurence.



Onions have been used around the world for ailments as diverse as blisters, bee stings, scars, and sea urchin wounds. The Egyptians worshipped them and certain sects in India avoid eating them because they believe them to be aphrodisiacs.

Man’s relationship with the onion is longstanding. There is evidence they were consumed as early as 7,000 years ago during the Bronze Age. They were probably first cultivated about 2,000 years later.

I just love their flavor. Caramelized onions are like candy to me. On Friday night we grilled onions outdoors and on Saturday morning I caramelized the leftovers and used them in scrambled eggs.

Patience wins all when caramelizing onions. They can’t be rushed, so start them well in advance of when they’re needed. Depending on the recipe, you may wish your onions to be completely brown (and greatly reduced), or you may wish for the lightest touch of color.

I find that onions with the greatest pungency provide the best caramelized flavor.

To caramelize them, slice the onions in rings or dice them. Throw them in a sauté or sauce pan with a generous amount of butter or olive oil, turn on the heat and let them cook. (And cook. And cook some more.)

Start with medium-high heat, and once they get going, reduce the heat a bit. They’ll need an occasional stir and your watchful eye so they don’t burn.

When they’ve softened and have started to develop a brown color, the caramelization process has begun. It’s up to you to decide how far you’d like them to go in the process.




The white

Horses made their way along Main Street in Upper Lake, Calif., during the annual Wild West Day celebration on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo by Tera DeVroede.

UPPER LAKE – Main Street in Upper Lake was transformed into a bustling western scene this last Saturday.

The Wild West lived again, and has every year for the past 17 years, thanks to the hard work of Upper Lake’s Wild West Day founders Jill Perry of the Upper Lake Community Council and Debbie Hablutzel, president of the council.

The all-day, family-friendly event has grown to include an auxiliary breakfast, barbecue tri-tip dinner, street faire, theme contests, a parade, skits, a bull ride, kids’ inflatable jumpers and more.

New this year was a mechanical bull, thanks to Mobile Rock out of Auburn. For a small extra charge, those who dared took a seat and held on. Joe Fernandez got a special thanks for helping the community council with bull ride ticket sales all day long – and for donating all the wood for the mouth-watering tri-tip grill.

Another cool attraction was the booth set up by the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch no. 31. They had an old motor that people, back in the olden days, used to pump water or power their home appliances such as a washing machine.

“It was the iPod of its day,” said representative Carl Righetti.

The Upper Lake Community and Northshore Fire Protection District benefits from this event, as all profits go back into the community, said Perry. The event stays true to its purpose of helping the local economy. It has provided funds for a variety of uses, including beautification and historical preservation.

First place in the tractor competition was Floyd Hammack of Santa Rosa, Calif., with a 1956 Bolen with a 1934 Maytag and gas motor. Photo by Tera DeVroede.

The idea for the annual celebration came from former Upper Lake Postmaster Willie Guluarte when he and the original council were brainstorming on ways to attract more people to the historic town. Both Hablutzel and her husband, Brent, have a local business, as did Perry at the time. Both women, and the postmaster, knew Upper Lake needed something to bring more people into town.

At the first Wild West Day, the event was put on with only $100, said Perry.

Hablutzel said she thinks that this year's event was the best so far.

“I thought last year was it, but it definitely grew again,” she said. “This year’s was the biggest Wild West Day yet.”

A lot goes on behind the scenes – a lot of volunteer work, that is. The ladies originally handled the whole event by themselves, waking at 5:30 a.m. for the set up and cleaning up after through 8:00 p.m. Now, Perry has a crew of volunteers to aid them in the effort.

“They have been a big help for us,” said Perry.

Bales of hay dotted the street and nearly every hour the crowd was treated to a comical skit by the Blue Canyon Gang. Whether it was over money, or money, the gun-slinging cowboys and their women, threw down in a smoky bullet exchange, ending up with several of the actors playing dead – and pretty well, too. The actual boom from real guns loaded with blanks did make a few ears rings and babies cry. But, it was all for an authentic western experience.

Margaret and David Retherford were among the costume winners at this year's Wild West Day in Upper Lake, Calif., on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo courtesy of Phil Smoley.

The West was not complete without horses – and the parade had a herd of beautiful horses along with classic cars, old tractors and western dress themes.

More than 50 vendors lined the street with their goods while people walked up and down, enjoying the parade, costumed event-goers, beautiful weather and well-planned activities.

Below are the results of the event's contests and parade.

Parade results

Grand Prize: 1927 Mercedes Roadster from Les Jardins du Bateau

Special Award: Rooster Lord as Black Bart

Floats: First place – The purple train from Olivia’s Organics; second place – ER Energy.

Music/marching groups: First place – Upper Lake High School Band; second place – United Veterans Council Color Guard.

Equestrian: First place – Back Country Horsemen of California, Lake-Mendocino Unit and the Clearlake Horse Club; second place – Lacy Villines and her miniature horse Rosie; third place – Nancy Williams of Williams Equine Enterprises.

Tractors: First place – 1956 Bolen with a 1934 Maytag and gas motor from owner Floyd Hammack of Santa Rosa and member of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch no. 31; second place – 1951 Ford Tractor from owner Carl Peterson; third place – 1941 Ford Tractor from owner Teresa Petersen.

Vehicles: First place – 1947 Ford pickup truck from owner Bernie Butcher of the Blue Wing Café and Tallman Hotel; second place – 1948 Dodge fire truck from owner Jamie Crabtree; third place – 1941 Dodge pick-up truck from owner Don Smith.

Other: First place – Wiley Kirk; second place – Lake County Wine Studio; third place – an old Ford EU from owner Jeff Tarpley.

Contestant Norma Clay shows off her 19th century costume at the annual Wild West Day celebration on Saturday, June 5, 2010, in Upper Lake, Calif. Photo courtesy of Phil Smoley.

Beard and bonnet contest winners

Female costume: First place – Judy Pinto; second place – Sherry Fitch; third place – Laura Lamar.

Male costume: First place – David Retherford; second place – Matt Seabaugh; third place: Rooster Lord.

Mustache: First place – Jim Huddleson; second place – Lloyd Stottsberry; third place – Rooster Lord.

Beard: First place – Joe Schuster; second place – Buck Bonker; third place – Leroy Harris.

Bonnet: First place – Margaret Retherford; second place – Doris Harville; third place – Laura Lamar.

The Northshore Fire Protection District and the Upper Lake community council sponsored the event, along with the following local businesses and organizations: Bachelor Valley Grange, Nor Cal Motor & Speed Equipment, Finnish Line Coffee, Joe’s Place Automotive, The Virtuous Woman, Judy’s Junction, Hi-Way Grocery, Lastmile Auto Wreckers, Treasure Cove Pizza, Country Carpets, Westamerica Bank, Woody’s Gas Station, Dr. Milan Hopkins Alternative Medicine and Spa, Noble Realty, The Elegant Bowl, Blue Wing Saloon, Tallman Hotel, Pivniska Trucking, Northshore Business Association, MJ’s Place and Mountain High Coffee and Books.

Visit for more information about Upper Lake.

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 and on Facebook at .

Jim Hudelson was the winner of the contest for best mustache at this year's Wild West Day in Upper Lake, Calif., on Saturday, June 5, 2010. Photo courtesy of Phil Smoley.

Local veterans, including several of Lake County's Pearl Harbor survivors, gather on Sunday, June 6, 2010, in Library Park in Lakeport, Calif., for the commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Photo by Ginny Craven.




LAKEPORT – Veterans and friends gathered on Sunday morning to remember the 66th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of France, which turned the tide of World War II.

All soldiers involved in D-Day – which occurred on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 – and World War II were honored on Sunday at the Pearl Harbor Survivors' memorial flag mast in Lakeport's Library Park.

Vanya Leighton, widow of Pearl Harbor veteran Fred Leighton; Bill Slater; Alice Darrow, widow of Pearl Harbor veteran Dean Darrow; Walter Urmann; Jim Harris, who was at both Pearl Harbor and D-Day; Bob White, an honorary Pearl Harbor Survivor; Jean Kyle; Bob Tucker; Gordon Craig; and Harry Graves were all honored as World War II veterans. Local pilot Paul “Bud” Roe also was in attendance.

Those who attended the ceremony sat under the summer sun listening to an Armed Forces medley album of music before the ceremony began. Everyone bowed for a prayer and stood for the pledge of allegiance, led by Sheriff Rod Mitchell.

The United Veterans Council's Military Funeral Honors Team was in attendance. Master of Ceremonies Ronnie Bogner announced that they have helped with 675 funerals to date since 2002.




The United Veterans Council's Military Funeral Honors Team was on hand to offer a rifle volley during the Sunday ceremony. Photo by Ginny Craven.



The ceremony began as Bogner summarized some of the most important moments in the invasion of Normandy. Then, he told of his experience visiting the beaches where it all happened.

Last September, Bogner and friend Bill Brunetti visited Normandy. Knowing what the soldiers accomplished on that day, and actually seeing where it all took place, really put it into perspective for them, both men said.

“I decided to walk out on Omaha beach by myself. It was a solemn experience,” said Bogner.

While walking along the different beaches, Bogner collected several souvenirs – whole shells. He then framed the shells with a note of tribute to present to Jim Harris of Lucerne, who served aboard the USS McCook at the invasion.

Harris was grateful for such a meaningful gift, adding that both Bogner and his wife, Janeane – both honorary Pearl Harbor Survivors – “have extended beyond what most people would do.”

During the ceremony, Harris shared memories of Pearl Harbor.

“We at Pearl Harbor had no idea we were going to be a part of history,” he said. “We were just scared – caught us with our pants down!”




Master of Ceremonies Ronnie Bogner presents some souvenirs he brought back from Normandy, France, in September 2009 to Pearl Harbor and D-Day veteran, Jim Harris of Lucerne, Calif., on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Photo by Ginny Craven.



County resident Bob Bartley was at the ceremony, in authentic World War II combat gear, to illustrate what kind of feat it was for the soldiers who were deployed amphibiously to reach the shore and continue on.

"I’d hate to be dropped into the water wearing this,” he said of his heavy clothing and pack, noting that many troops drowned because of the weight of their gear.

Once on those shores, the soldiers were flooded with crossfire from all over. Brunetti said he stood on the edge of the top of a cliff some of the soldiers had to scale to move forward, and he was baffled by the sheer size of that endeavor.

“How impossible it looked – I can’t imagine looking up from those guys’ perspectives on that day,” said Brunetti.




Bob Bartley was on hand in an authentic World War II uniform complete with gear and rifle. Photo by Ginny Craven.



He also attributed much of America’s success to a unique military procedure – field expediency.

Whereas many countries forbade action without an order from a superior, the American military had permission to think for themselves if they were separated from their leader – or if the leader was killed, he explained.

“When I got back, I was so very proud to be an American,” said Brunetti.

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 and on Facebook at .




Bill Brunetti recounts his trip to Normandy, France, in September 2009 on Sunday, June 6, 2010, in Library Park in Lakeport, Calif., during the commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Photo by Ginny Craven.

SACRAMENTO – Memorial Day weekend 2010 saw a dramatic decrease from the previous year in the number of people killed on state roadways.

Final statistics released by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) show 17 people were killed in collisions throughout the state during the 78-hour Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) which began May 25 at 6 p.m. and continued through May 31.

In Lake County, one fatality was reported – a May 29 crash near Middletown fatally injured a Rodeo woman who later died at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, as Lake County News has reported.

CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow attributed the more than 62-percent decrease in fatalities from last year’s Memorial Day weekend to the increased enforcement and awareness.

“It’s encouraging news, but the motoring public should remember that safety never takes a holiday.” said Commissioner Farrow. “Always wear your seat belt, watch your speed and never drink and


For the second year in a row, arrests by CHP officers during the Memorial Day weekend were up slightly from 1,465 in 2009 to 1,541 this year.

In addition, one-third of the vehicle occupants killed in CHP jurisdiction were properly restrained at the time of the crash.

“Wearing a seat belt or using a child safety seat is not a choice, it’s the law,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Not only will it save you from a citation with a hefty fine, but it may save your life or the life of someone you love.”

The 2010 Click It or Ticket mobilization continues through June 6. This year, fines and fees have increased from $132 to $142 for first time adult seat belt violations. For children under 16, the fine is now $445 for a first time offense.

Before you buckle up, the CHP also encourages motorists who are planning a summer getaway to make sure their vehicle is ready to roll before hitting the road.

In addition to checking underneath the hood of the vehicle, always maintain proper pressure in your tires. Check them when the tires and the outside air are cool. Don't forget the spare tire. And finally, inspect tire treads for wear. National Tire Safety Week is June 6-12.

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Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.27.2024 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

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