Friday, 19 July 2024


CLEARLAKE – Grass mowing is believed to be the cause of a fire that broke out alone Dam Road Tuesday.

The vegetation fire, located in the 18000 block of Dam Road in Clearlake, was dispatched just after noon, according to radio reports.

Lake County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief George Murch said workers had been mowing the property since about 5 a.m. and were just finishing up with the fire occurred.

“They were mowing and had a rock strike of some kind,” he said.

Murch and firefighters from his district responded with a water tender and one engine, along with two Cal Fire engines and a helicopter crew, who worked together to knock out the blaze.

“It was threatening one residence and making a run for another residence,” he said.

Murch said it took about 20 minutes to contain the fire and 45 minutes to mop it up.

“It was pretty windy,” he said. “We had some gusts there about 10 miles per hour.”

With unseasonably high vegetation due to the late spring rains and the recent high winds, along with the upcoming holiday weekend, Murch urges everyone to be especially cautious.

Shortly before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, a man mowing in his backyard on Pine also sparked a small fire by using a weedeater.

For those planning to do yard work, Murch suggested completing mowing and weedeating before 10 a.m. on the hot summer days.

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GLENN COUNTY – A Glenn County Road was shut down for several hours Monday evening as officials there dealt with a pipe bomb.

County Road 48, between County Roads P and 47 near Willows, was closed for approximately four hours and the few residents in the area were asked to remain in their homes,as a pipe bomb was discovered on the south side of Road 48, Sheriff Larry Jones reported Tuesday.

Just after 7 p.m. Monday 23-year-old Hamilton City resident Trevor Dietle discovered what he felt to be a pipe bomb atop a metal gate post on the south side of County Road 48 north of Willows, according to Jones, who arrived on scene minute later.

The device, a piece of galvanized pipe, was approximately 6 to 7 inches in length with PVC type end caps, Jones said.

It appeared that a hole had been drilled in the center of the length of pipe and a fuse inserted. Jones said it looked like the fuse had been ignited, however, had it had not burned completely.

Jones ordered the immediate clearing of the area and requested the California Highway Patrol close Road 48 at Roads P and 47. Four fishermen, including two children, were instructed to leave the area.

A command post was established at the intersection of Roads 48 and 47, west of the device. Jones said Glenn County Public Works was asked to respond with road closure signs.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office interagency bomb squad was requested to respond, and Jones said members of the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue were called out to relieve the CHP at the traffic control points.

Just after 9:30 p.m. the four-man Butte County team arrived at the command post and were briefed on the situation. Jones said the team consisted of two Chico Police Department members and two members of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Rob Sheridan of Chico Police was the team leader.

After an assessment of the device it was rendered inert at 10:17 p.m., Jones said.

One of the PVC type end caps, which had been blown from the piece of pipe still contained granules of black powder, which confirmed the explosive element of the pipe bomb was black powder. Jones called it “a very lethal device.”

The scene was processed and Jones said a followup investigation will be conducted. County Road 48 was re-opened at 11:13 p.m. Monday.

Anyone with information regarding the pipe bomb is asked to call the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office at 707-934-6431.

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NORTH COAST – Cal Fire officials reported that the agency is suspending all permits for open burning within State Responsibility Area and Local Responsibility Areas effective 8 a.m. Thursday.

Unit Chief Tim Streblow of Cal Fire's Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit produced an official proclamation declaring a suspension of burn permits for the counties of Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo until the close of fire season.

The burn season for Lake County at large went into effect on May 1, as Lake County News has reported.

Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning in State Responsibility Areas may proceed only if a Cal Fire official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit, the agency reported.

Cal Fire said campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, or in established facilities on private property, with permission of the jurisdictional authority.

Persons doing burning under special permit also must check with their regional air quality management

district for addition regulations and requirements, Cal Fire said. The Lake County Air Quality Management District can be reached at 707-263-7000.

Experience has shown that suspending open burning is an effective way of preventing fire escapes,

especially as California enters the summer season period of hotter and drier weather, the agency reported. Although all fires cannot be prevented through a burning suspension, their numbers can be significantly reduced.

Cal Fire reminds everyone that it is each individual’s responsibility to use fire safely and to prevent fires that destroy lives, property and or wildland.

The agency urges area residents to develop and maintain a 100-foot defensible space around structures.

In addition, people should use fire safe practices with mechanized equipment; Cal Fire noted that spark arrestors are required on exhaust producing tools (mowers, chain saws, etc.).

If dry grass needs to be cut, use a string trimmer and work in the early part of the day when temperatures are cool and humidity is higher. Officials warned to never cut dry grass with a metal blade.

For additional information contact Cal Fire,, or your local fire agency.

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LAKEPORT – Amateur winemakers entering their wines in Saturday's eighth annual Lake County Home Winemakers Festival took home a total of 35 ribbons for their entries in seven different wine classes, representing some two dozen varietals and blends.

A panel of six judges made their decisions based on standards developed by wine experts at the University of California, Davis.

The judges were Stephen Dilley, Tulip Hill Winery; Jeff Smith, Kelseyville Wine Co.; Pietro Buttitta, Rosa D'Oro Vineyards; Rodney Duncan, Duncan Vineyard; Jack Vos, Twin Pine Casino; and Jeanette Bartley.

Many of Lake County's leading commercial wineries also were on hand, pouring samples of an impressive number of Lake County wines, although they were not eligible for awards which were restricted to amateurs only.

Participating wineries were Rosa D'Oro, Robledo Family Winery, Shannon Ridge, Tulip Hill, Cougar's Leap, Steele Wines, Dusinberre Winery, Kelseyville Wine Company, Shed Horn Cellars, McDermaid Family Vineyard and Villa La Brenta winery.

In addition two dozen commercial vendors , including four food servers, lined Park Street, selling a wide range of arts, crafts and specialty items.

The winefest – as it's come to be called – is the major fundraiser for nonprofit Clear Lake Performing Arts (CLPA), and all proceeds go to support the group's music activities in Lake County including scholarships and other youth music programs, and the Lake County Symphony.

CLPA is the sole underwriter of the orchestra, whose director and conductor, John Parkinson, and wife Diane made an appearance.

This was the first year the event has been held in Lakeport's Library Park and participants agreed that the lakeside setting, the shade trees and lawns provided a first-class venue.

The women of the CLPA Auxiliary – the fundraising arm of the parent organization – had mounted a major raffle and silent auction, with contributions from dozens of Lake County's businesses.

According to CLPA president Paul Brewer, an estimated 600 people attended the winefest, not counting the 60 home and commercial winemakers and 50 vendor representatives. All of them were able to follow the awards presentations announced by event emcee Ed Patrick, punctuated by music from the David Neft Duo, made up of drummer Steve Dubois and popular keyboardist David Neft.

Home brewers, too, played a key role, with 14 home brewers pouring samples of a wide variety of beers and ales.

The beer competition was a sanctioned event with judging by five experts including one member of the Beer Judge Certification program of the of the American Home Brewers Association. They were Jerry Worswick from Chico, the certified judge; Stephen Brennan, owner of Molly Brennan's Irish Pub in Lakeport; Zack Simkover of San Diego; and Wayne Kurtz and Ron Chips, both of Kelseyville.

Attendees also were able to vote for their favorite beers and wines in the popular People's Choice balloting.

Winners in this category in wines were: best dry red, David Pretari, Foster City; best dry white, Conn Murray, Kelseyville; best fruit wine, Bruce Lightfoot, Cobb; best sparkling wine, Jack Morris, Lakeport; best aperitif/dessert wine, Greg and Jeff Conley, Middletown; best label design, the team of Jeff Buege, Rolf Kriken, and Pam and Rod Duncan, all of Kelseyville.

Best beer award went to Two Dudes Brew by Dan Wieman of Lower Lake and Joe Parker of Kelseyville.

Voting for best decorated booth resulted in a tie between Sheila Honeycutt of Kelseyville, and Dennis and Marisa Koenig of San Mateo.

The two top awards – best in show – went to Scott and Sue Simkover of Kelseyville's Smiling Dogs Ranch for their 2009 Merlot and to Greg Conley of Conley Wines in Middletown for his 2002 Port.

There were numerous multiple winners. The Simkovers and Conley also won golds for their wines. Other golds went to Buege and Kriken for their Glory Hole red blend and to John McCarthy of Red Hills Vineyard for his 2008 Petite Syrah.

Phil and Jean Owenby and Cheryl Lucido of Wild Diamond Vineyard scored a gold for their 2007 Mouevdre, while Neil Peaty took gold for his Chef Neil Creations 2009 Guava.

Conn Murray and the late June Murray took three silvers for their 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 Merlot and 08 Mouevedre, while Wild Diamond took silver for a 2007 Petite Syrah, and Buege and Kriken captured one for their 2008 Pinot Noir.

Danny Morrow's Eastside Winery won silver for a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ownbey-Lucido team won it for an 2007 Sangiovese. Lucido also won silver with her husband David for their Laujor Estates 2007 Petite Syrah.

Other silver winners were Luciano Meconi of the Toffoli Remembrance Wine Group of Finley for a 2009 Syrah and Bruce Lightfoot for an 2009 peach wine under his Bruceskis label.

Bronze medals were awarded to the Murrays for a 2009 Semillon, Paul Spillane and Troy Shankles for their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wild Diamond Vineyard for a 2007 Barbera, and Eastside Winery for a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Koenigs won again for the Gangster-Koenig Family Cellars for their 2009 Merlot while David Pretari won for a 2009 Zinfandel.

Amanda Esteban of the Remembrance Group also won bronze for her 2008 Syrah which she entitled Syrah Sonata.

The Laujor Estate winery picked up a second medal for a 2007 Malbec while Neil Peaty's Chef Neil Creations won another for an unusual 2010 Blueberry Vinaccia. The Remembrance Vineyard Group won a final bronze for Michelle Schultz's 2007 Port.

Best of show in the beer category went to Dwight Mulcahy for his Weizenbock. He also took a gold for wheat beer and another for specialty fruit and spiced beers.

Gold also went to Greg Nylen and Dave Chapman for Belgian and strong ales, to Rick White for American and English Ales, to Matt Ridge for stouts and porters, Two Dudes Brew for India pale ales and to Aaron Callahan for the lager and hybrids class.

Silver medals were won by Paul Lew, Two Dudes Brew, Nylen and Chapman, Rick White, Tony Buffa and Frank Rone.

Bronze medals went to Two Dudes, Frank Rone, Tony Buffa, Rick White and Sean O'Brien.

Lake County Home Brewers, under the direction of Paul Lew and Ron Chips, also offered demonstrations of home brewing techniques and equipment.

Next year's winefest is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 25, again at Library Park in Lakeport.

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Firefighters mop up after containing a fire that destroyed a singlewide trailer at the Country Club Mobile Home Park in Lucerne, Calif. The fire began late Monday, June 28, and continued until early Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



LUCERNE – A trailer was destroyed during a late-night fire that may have been caused by smoking.

The fire was reported at about 11:40 p.m. Monday in space No. 59 at the Country Club Mobile Home Park, 3630 Country Club Drive.

Initial reports from the scene indicated that numerous 911 calls had been made to report explosions, thought to be from propane tanks.

Thick, throat- and eye-stinging smoke hung in the air throughout the park, extending a few blocks down Country Club Drive.

Four Lake County Sheriff's units oversaw the scene and the entrance to the park in order to keep people out of harm's way and allow firefighters to access the trailer.

The singlewide structure quickly burned into a twisted metal wreck, with some charred, rib-like wooden studs still left standing. Also destroyed was a small storage building situated behind the trailer.

Homes on either side were not damaged, said Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Pat Brown.

Smoke continued to billow out of a front window as firefighters doused the trailer and continued mop up operations until early in the morning.

At the scene there were reports of a water main break, which was being attended to by Cal Water.

Brown said he believed the fire may have been caused by the trailer's resident smoking.

The man was safely evacuated and transported to an area hospital, Brown said.

As firefighters were working on the trailer, neighbors in the space next door were allowed to go in and remove some clothes and other belongings. A man walked out with two small dogs under each arm.

In all, four Northshore Fire engines, three medic units, and Brown and another battalion chief responded, along with two Cal Fire engines, Brown said.

Because the trailer park backs up to an undeveloped area that leads into wildlands with high fire potential, Brown said he initially asked for more fire resources, which later were canceled.


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UKIAH – Mendocino County officials are investigating an incident in which a window of a truck driven by a deputy sheriff was shot out following marijuana raids on Tuesday.

The incident occurred shortly before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on Orr Springs Road near Ukiah, according to a report from Lt. Rusty Noe of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies assigned to the county of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, along with Team One with the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) were conducting marijuana eradication raids on corporate timber lands north of Comptche, Noe said.

During the raids 22,000 marijuana plants were seized out of five sites in the area. Noe said that in one of the camps a .22-caliber pistol was seized along with evidence that the garden was being tended by Hispanics.

After the raids the teams were returning to Ukiah on Orr Springs Road when the lead truck, driven by Deputy James Wells, had the rear window shot out, Noe said.

The team secured the area and a search for a suspect or suspects was conducted. Noe said no responsible person was located during the search.

Residents were contacted in the area and no one reported seeing anything, according to Noe.

The case remains under investigation, Noe said. No one was injured during the incident.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives are asking anyone with information about the incident please contact the tip line at 707-467-9159.

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SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Debra Bowen this week announced the proposition numbers for the 10 measures set to appear on the Nov. 2 Statewide General Election ballot and invited interested Californians to submit arguments to be included in the Secretary’s Official Voter Information Guide.

The guide, also known as the ballot pamphlet, is mailed to every voting household in California.

The 10 propositions on the Nov. 2 ballot are listed below, along with the Legislative Counsel’s digest or the Attorney General’s title and summary.

Proposition 18: SBx7 2. Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010.

Under existing law, various measures have been approved by the voters to provide funds for water supply and protection facilities and programs.

This bill would enact the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $11,140,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a safe drinking water and water supply reliability program.

The bill would provide for the submission of the bond act to the voters at the Nov. 2, 2010, statewide general election.

This bill would take effect only if SB 1 of the 2009-10 7th Extraordinary Session is enacted and becomes effective.

This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Proposition 19: Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to be Regulated and Taxed. Initiative Statute.

Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older.

Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.

Proposition 20: Redistricting of Congressional Districts.

Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Removes elected representatives from the process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to the recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission.

Redistricting commission is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four voters registered with neither party.

Requires that any newly-proposed district lines be approved by nine commissioners including three Democrats, three Republicans, and three from neither party.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably no significant change in state redistricting costs.

Proposition 21: Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs and Grants Free Admission to All State Parks to Surcharged Vehicles. Initiative Statute.

Establishes an $18 annual state vehicle license surcharge and grants free admission to all state parks to surcharged vehicles. Requires deposit of surcharge revenue in a new trust fund.

Requires that trust funds be used solely to operate, maintain and repair the state park system, and to protect wildlife and natural resources. Exempts commercial vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches from the surcharge.

Requires annual independent audit and review by citizen's oversight committee.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues of about $500 million annually from the imposition of a surcharge on the VLF to be used mainly to fund state parks and wildlife conservation programs.

Potential state savings of up to approximately $200 million annually to the extent that the VLF surcharge revenues were used to reduce support from the General Fund and other special funds for parks and wildlife conservation programs.

Reduction of about $50 million annually in state and local revenues from state park day-use fees. These revenue losses could potentially be offset by increases in other types of state park user fees and revenues.

Proposition 22: Prohibits the State from Taking Funds Used for Transportation or Local Government Projects and Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Prohibits the state from shifting, taking, borrowing, or restricting the use of tax revenues dedicated by law to fund local government services, community redevelopment projects, or transportation projects and services.

Prohibits the state from delaying the distribution of tax revenues for these purposes even when the Governor deems it necessary due to a severe state fiscal hardship.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Significant constraints on state authority over city, county, special district, and redevelopment agency funds.

As a result, higher and more stable local resources, potentially affecting billions of dollars in some years. Commensurate reductions in state resources, resulting in major decreases in state spending and/or increases in state revenues.

Proposition 23: Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year. Initiative Statute.

Suspends state laws requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters.

Requires state to abandon implementation of comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries, until suspension is lifted.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential positive, short-term impacts on state and local government revenues from the suspension of regulatory activity, with uncertain longer-run impacts.

Potential foregone state revenues from the auctioning of emission allowances by state government, by suspending the future implementation of cap-and-trade regulations.

Proposition 24: Repeals Recent Legislation that Would Allow Businesses to Carry Back Losses, Share Tax Credits, and Use a Sales-Based Income Calculation to Lower Taxable Income. Initiative Statute.

Repeals recent legislation that would allow businesses to shift operating losses to prior tax years and that would extend the period permitted to shift operating losses to future tax years.

Repeals recent legislation that would allow corporations to share tax credits with affiliated corporations. Repeals recent legislation that would allow multistate businesses to use a sales-based income calculation, rather than a combination property-, payroll- and sales-based income calculation.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Annual state revenue increase from business taxes of about $1.7 billion when fully phased in, beginning in 2011-12.

Proposition 25: Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass a Budget from Two-Thirds to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Changes the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. Provides that if the Legislature fails to pass a budget bill by June 15, all members of the Legislature will permanently forfeit any reimbursement for salary and expenses for every day until the day the Legislature passes a budget bill.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown changes in the content of the state budget from lowering the legislative vote requirement for passage.

Fiscal impact would depend on the composition and actions of future Legislatures. Minor reduction in state costs related to compensation of legislators in years when the budget bill is passed after June 15.

Proposition 26: Increases Legislative Vote Requirement to Two-Thirds for State Levies and Charges. Imposes Additional Requirement for Voters to Approve Local Levies and Charges with Limited Exceptions. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Increases legislative vote requirement to two-thirds for state levies and charges, with limited exceptions, and for certain taxes currently subject to majority vote. Changes Constitution to require voters to approve, either by two-thirds or majority, local levies and charges with limited exceptions.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potentially major decrease in state and local revenues and spending, depending upon future actions of the Legislature, local governing bodies, and local voters.

Proposition 27: Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority for Redistricting with Elected Representatives. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Eliminates 14-member redistricting commission selected from applicant pool picked by government auditors. Consolidates authority for establishing state Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district boundaries with elected state representatives responsible for drawing congressional districts.

Reduces budget, and imposes limit on amount Legislature may spend, for redistricting. Provides that voters will have the authority to reject district boundary maps approved by the Legislature. Requires populations of all districts for the same office to be exactly the same.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Likely decrease in state redistricting costs totaling several million dollars every 10 years.

People may submit arguments for or against any measure. Arguments selected for the Official Voter Information Guide will be on public display between July 20 and Aug. 9.

If multiple arguments are submitted for one proposition, state law gives first priority to arguments written by legislators in the case of a legislative measure, and first priority to arguments written by the proponents of an initiative in the case of an initiative measure.

Subsequent priority for all measures goes to bona fide citizen associations and then to individuals. No more than three signers are allowed to appear with an argument or rebuttal to an argument.

Ballot arguments cannot exceed 500 words and rebuttals to ballot arguments cannot exceed 250 words. All submissions should be typed and double-spaced.

They may be hand-delivered to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 1500 11th Street, 5th Floor, Sacramento, California 95814 or faxed to 916-653-3214. If faxed, the original copies must be received within 72 hours.

The deadline to submit ballot arguments is July 6 by 5 p.m. and the deadline to submit rebuttals to the ballot arguments is July 15 by 5 p.m.

For more information on ballot measures and the Nov. 2 election, go to

To view past state voter guides, go to

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Peter Ventura, an auctioneer for 2010 Lake County Wine Auction, lives in Hidden Valley Lake, Calif. Courtesy photo.




LAKE COUNTY – Five nonprofit organizations, five high schools, five senior centers and two health programs have been selected as beneficiaries of this year’s Lake County Wine Auction.

The event is put on by the Wine Alliance, a nonprofit organization of wineries, winegrape growers, vineyard owners, related businesses and community supporters.

The Wine Alliance, founded in 2000, has contributed more than $771,000 to foster the arts, benefit health services, and support the community while promoting Lake County as a premier growing region for fine wine grapes.

An all-volunteer board of directors and an auction committee plan and direct the annual charity event.

The year’s Wine Auction, the 11th annual, will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Ceago Vinegarden, between Nice and Lucerne.

Many organizations, agencies and programs submitted their funding requests to the Wine Alliance, demonstrating the number of programs in Lake County seeking financial assistance.

The recipient organizations will use their grants for the following projects.

The Arts: The fine arts programs at each of the five high schools in Lake County (Clear Lake High, Kelseyville High, Lower Lake High, Middletown High, and Upper Lake High) will share the funds in this category.

Health: Funds in this category will be shared equally by the Hilltop Recovery program, the St. Helena Hospital Clearlake Emergency Department and the Lake County Children’s Dental Disease Prevention Program.

Community: The Lake County Channel Cats will receive $1,500 and Operation Tango Mike will receive $3,500. The remaining funds in this category will be shared by the Lake County Community Action Agency for its Safe House, the Friends of the Lake County Library and the five senior centers that provide Meals on Wheels and nutrition programs.

Each of the beneficiary organizations will have a display at the Wine Auction, describing their programs and services, and encouraging additional support and participation by attendees.

Additional funds to be donated to the beneficiaries will be raised through the sale of limited edition fine arts posters reproduced from an original painting by John R. Clarke of Lake County.

Clarke has once again painted a signature work of art, using his unique style of watercolor-on-silk, to depict a view of the host venue.

The original painting, entitled “Beautiful Lake County – Ceago Vinegarden,” is on display at the Saw Shop Gallery Bistro in Kelseyville and will be among the special items up for bid during the live auction portion of the gala event.

The posters sell for $20 each and are available for purchase at the tasting rooms of Steele Wines and Wildhurst Vineyards in Kelseyville, and Ceago Vinegarden and Tulip Hill Winery in Nice.

Additional locations to buy the poster include Focused on Wine in Kelseyville, and Inspirations Gallery by Salituri in Lakeport. Clarke will attend several community events during the summer to sell and sign posters.

Ceago Vinegarden, with its early California architecture and landscaping, will showcase fine foods and wines from Lake County restaurateurs, caterers and over 25 wineries at the annual event.

Live and silent auction items will include weekend and extended vacation getaways, wine packages, wine tasting events, local art, and a variety of goods and services, including fine dining opportunities.




Local sommelier Stephanie Green also will serve as an auctioneer at the 2010 Lake County Wine Auction. Courtesy photo.



The ticket price is $125 per person and includes participation in the auctions and dancing to the music of the LC Diamonds.

A special area to taste reserve wines from selected Lake County wineries will be offered for an additional fee collected at the event. A limited number of tickets is available by calling the Wine Alliance at 866-279-WINE (9463) or purchases may be made online at

Ceago Vinegarden is owned by Jim Fetzer, whose dream is to create a balanced and beautiful biodynamic farm and winery estate on the Northshore of Clear Lake.

At Ceago, Fetzer has taken everything he learned from his family’s success in building Fetzer wines into an internationally recognized and respected winery, along with his own forty years in the wine business, to develop a new level of farming. He concentrates on sound farming practices using biodynamic and organic methods to produce quality grapes and fine wines.

The auctioneer will be Peter Ventura of Hidden Valley Lake, assisted by Stephanie Green of Kelseyville. Ventura has conducted over a dozen charity auctions, each raising between $100,000 and $600,000.

Although retired from the wine business, his biography includes being a member of the famed Mondavi family of the Napa Valley and working for several years as a lab tech and assistant winemaker while in high school and college, prior to law school and becoming a practicing attorney.

Ventura moved to Lake County from St. Helena and has joined the Rotary Club of Clearlake and is a volunteer driver for the Middletown Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels program.

Green is a certified sommelier through the Court of Masters Sommeliers who owns and operates Focused on Wine, a wine bar and tasting room in downtown Kelseyville. She is a wine educator, a private wine consultant, and noted cellar master of wines, on both the domestic and international wine scene.

She recently completed her first year with the Institute of the Masters of Wine and is locally recognized as a wine expert. Green is member of the Rotary Club of Lakeport, the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, and the Kelseyville Business Association.

Budge Brown, owner of Tulip Hill Winery and the Cleavage Creek wine label, is the honorary chair of the Wine Auction. Brown, a graduate of UC Davis, has been farming in California for more than 50 years.

With his daughter, Kristi, he opened Tulip Hill Winery at its location on Clear Lake’s Northshore in 2004, at the site of the historic Bartlett Springs water bottling plant. The facility features a unique tasting room, special event area and seasonal gardens that include 30,000 tulips.

Brown’s newest cause is his label, Cleavage Creek, which, in memory of his late wife, honors breast cancer survivors on every bottle, donating 10 percent of the gross proceeds to fund breast cancer research and offering medical support to those stricken with the disease. Brown also is an entrepreneur who invented the water slide and has traveled the world teaching others how to build them.




Budge Brown is honorary chair of this year's Lake County Wine Auction. Courtesy photo.



Rob Roumiguiere, partner in Roumiguiere Vineyards and Wine Alliance treasurer, is the master of ceremonies. The Lake County Military Funeral Honors Team will open the event with the traditional presentation of colors.

Special guests are Congressman Mike Thompson, co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus, and Jed Steele, owner and winemaker for Steele Wines.

Steele will be honored with a Congressional resolution for his many contributions to the California wine industry and, in particular, for his pioneering work in establishing the fine quality of Lake County wines.

Joy Merrilees, assistant winemaker for Steele Wines, will craft the special cuvee blends from juice donated by Lake County wineries.

Contributing to the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon are Steele Wines, Moore Family Winery, Robledo Family Winery, Wildhurst Vineyards, and Noggle Vineyards and Winery.

Wineries donating to the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc are Steele Wines, Wildhurst Vineyards, Robledo Family Winery, Moore Family Winery, and Shed Horn Cellars. Major donors and special guests at the Wine Auction will receive a 750 milliliter bottle of each blend.

Additionally, the cuvees will be bottled in one 9-liter Salmanazar each, hand-etched and hand-painted with a mirror image of this year’s painting depicting Ceago Vinegarden, and offered in one lot during the live auction.

Major sponsors this year include Mendo Lake Credit Union and St. Helena Hospital Clearlake.

Members of the Wine Alliance board of directors include President Margaret Walker-Stimmel, Vice President Marie Beery and Treasurer Rob Roumiguiere, all of Kelseyville; Secretary Pamela Shine-Duncan and directors Judy Luchsinger and Wilda Shock, all of Lakeport; and directors Janet Thompson of St. Helena and Kaj Ahlmann of Lower Lake.

Additional sponsorship opportunities and group tables for $2,000 and $1,000 are available by contacting Marie Beery, co-chair, at 707-278-0129.

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Upcoming Calendar

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

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