Saturday, 13 July 2024


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 .

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

MIDDLETOWN – An eighth grade science teacher has been named Lake County's 2010-11 Teacher of the Year.

Jennifer Kelly, who teaches at Middletown Middle School, will represent Lake County in the upcoming California Teacher of the Year competition, according to Lake County Deputy Superintendent of Schools Chris Thomas.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from University of the Pacific and UC Davis, and holds a teaching credential in life science, and a supplementary authorization in chemistry and multiple subjects.

This is her 11th year with Middletown Unified School District. During her years at Middletown Middle School she has taught science, public speaking, leadership, animal science and AVID.

Prior to coming to Lake County, Kelly was an instructor of chemistry at Carlmont High in Belmont and then a substitute teacher in Marin County. It was during her subsequent five-year stint as a seventh and eighth grade science teacher at White Hill Middle School where she realized the enthusiasm and energy of middle school aged students was her niche.

“Teaching is both a career and a passion,” Kelly said. “Students inspire me to inspire them.”

Dan Morgan, principal at Middletown Middle School, offered high praise for Kelly.

“In her 11 years at Middletown Middle School, Mrs. Kelly has impacted a generation of students,” Morgan said. “She relates to them as a caring instructor, and as a fixture in the community. She shares her passion for life and learning in ways that can’t be quantified and measured. Jennifer Kelly is an outstanding educator deserving of recognition for her contributions to the profession and her influence on the students she teaches.”

Each year the school districts in the county select one exemplary teacher as their district teacher of the year, Thomas reported. A blue ribbon committee of community leaders then interviews these candidates.

The criteria for selection of the county teacher of the year is based upon the state and national requirements, which include professional development activities, commitment to the improvement of the educational system, personal attributes, creativity and ability to communicate ideas effectively, and professional skills in delivering curriculum and instruction to students, according to Thomas.

This year’s committee members were Byron Bell, Arlene Carter, Madelene Lyon, and Barbara Molini. Thomas chaired the committee.

The outstanding district teachers of the year for 2010-11 are Brian Claiche, Konocti Unified School District; Lloyd Coatney, Upper Lake Union High School District; Shelly Lawson, Lakeport Unified School District; and Tavis Perkins, Kelseyville Unified School District; and Linda Sheffert, Upper Lake Union Elementary District.

Kelly, along with the district teachers of the year, will be honored for their exceptional achievement at a dinner this fall.

For more information on the upcoming award dinner, please contact Janice Bailey at the Lake County Office of Education, 707-262-4102.

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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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Pictured, from left to right, are Larry Durnil, president of Corvettes of Lake County; Gloria Flaherty, executive director of the Lake Family Resource Center; artist and fundraiser Gail Salituri and Kathy Fowler, Lake Family Resource Center board member. Courtesy photo.



LAKEPORT – In an afternoon ceremony this past Sunday in Lakeport's Library Park, a community group made a sizable donation to benefit the county's domestic violence shelter.

Corvettes of Lake County President Larry Durnil presented a check for $3,000 to Gloria Flaherty, executive director of the Lake Family Resource Center, during the club's “2010 Run to the Lake.”

The funds will benefit the center's Freedom House shelter, which opened late last year.

“Lake Family Resource Center is deeply appreciative of the generous donation made by the Corvette club and facilitated by Gail Salituri,” said Flaherty. “The funds are very much needed and will allow specific projects at Freedom House domestic violence shelter to move forward.”

In January, the club's members unanimously chose the Barbara LaForge Memorial Fund – which benefits Freedom House – as its charity to support this year, as Lake County News has reported.

The fund was created by Corvette club member Gail Salituri, a local artist and owner of Inspirations Gallery and Frame Shop located at 165 N. Main St., Lakeport.

Salituri started the fund in memory of her friend and fellow businesswoman, Barbara LaForge, who was murdered in her downtown frame shop in October 2002. LaForge's murder remains unsolved.

Many local businesses have donated raffle prizes for the fundraiser, with Salituri also creating several new paintings to raffle for the cause.

During the Sunday presentation Durnil thanked each and every business for their support and contributions.

The 2010 Run to the Lake is a yearly event for the Corvette club. Parade, wine and poker run, with a dinner for members and guests on Saturday, along with the “Park and Show” on Sunday at Library Park.

Under the gazebo, just prior to the car awards ceremony, the club presented a poster-sized check to Lake Family Resource Center. Flaherty was surprised by the amount.


Prior to the Corvette club donation the LaForge Memorial donations had grown to $4,770, just slightly under its $5,000 goal, said Salituri. However, the large donation raised the total funds for Freedom House to $7,770.

“I have said this before, the members are not just about having fun with their cars, they are very aware of the community needs and never lose sight of those who are less fortunate I am so proud of all of our members,” Salituri said.

The Corvettes of Lake County has approximately 40 members and is a member of the Western States Corvette Council. For more information on the Corvettes of Lake County please check out their Web site,

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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 .

LAKEPORT – The winemaking efforts of more than 30 talented home winemakers from Lake County and across California will be available for tasting at the eighth-annual Home Winemakers Festival on Saturday, June 26.

The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Library Park, 225 Park St., in downtown Lakeport.


Sponsored by the Clear Lake Performing Arts, the event is a benefit for Lake County symphony and music programs and the purchase of a commemorative glass will allow event goers to taste any or all of the wines from the amateur winemakers and brews from the amateur brew makers.


In the morning before the festival begins, a professional judging panel will choose winners in several categories. Craig Renaud, one of the top wine brokers in California, wine critic, and author of “Great American Wine: The Wine Rebel's Manual,” has provided signed copies of his book to sell at the event. The proceeds will benefit the Clear Lake Performing Arts.


During the festival, guests vote on their favorite wines, brews, and other categories, and People’s Choice awards will be presented at the end of the day.


Local commercial wineries, including Rosa d’Oro Vineyards, Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Tulip Hill Winery & Vineyards, Moore Family Vineyard, and the Robledo Family Winery & Vineyards will be present to support the event, and some will even pour their wines for tasting.

In addition to wine, several home-brewed beers also will be available for sampling. Local purveyors will be selling food during the festival, including Basq Barbeque, Main Street Pizza, Lulu’s Ice Cream, and St. Peter’s Catholic Church serving Mexican food and more.


A silent auction will take place during the festival with many donated items – including a timeshare stay in Hawaii, some overnight stays, wines from commercial wineries in attendance, and wine-related items. The David Neft Duo will perform during the festival. The sounds of the day will include light jazz, bluegrass, folk, and similar genres.


The Home Winemakers Festival is sponsored by Clear Lake Performing Arts. For more information on the Lake County Home Winemakers Festival or to register as an amateur winemaker, contact Conn Murray, 707-277-7076.


Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15 from Catfish Books, 1013 11th St. in Lakeport; the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, 875 Lakeport Boulevard, Lakeport; Clearlake Chamber of Commerce, 3425 Bowers Ave., Clearlake; Watershed Books, 305 N. Main St., Lakeport; Lake County Wine Studio, 9505 Main St., Upper Lake; Shari’s Secret Garden, 240 N. Main St., Lakeport; and most all Lake County wineries. Tickets will be $20 on the day of the event.


Lake County is part of the North Coast AVA, which also encompasses Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. Within Lake County, five other AVAs exist – Clear Lake AVA, Benmore Valley AVA, Guenoc AVA, and the recently approved Red Hills AVA and High Valley AVA.


For visitor information, contact the Lake County Visitor Information Center at 800-525-3743 or

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YUBA CITY – California Department of Justice narcotics agents and local law enforcement officers have arrested 59 gang members in a series of sweeps around Sacramento Valley counties that began earlier this year.

Those arrested included one gang member who bootstrapped his way from foot soldier to local commander by committing or ordering murders, according to a report from Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr.'s office.

In January, agents from the DOJ's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and a task force of local law enforcement officials initiated Operation Crimson Tide by targeting gangs in and around Yuba and Sutter counties.

On Thursday alone, agents arrested 33 gang members and seized 24 firearms in five Northern California counties as part of “Operation Crimson Tide,” the DOJ reported.

The Thursday sweeps involved more than 300 law enforcement agents in Sacramento, Sutter, Yuba, Colusa and Stanislaus counties and involved more than 30 search warrants, according to the DOJ.

“Tragically, those arrested today chose to join dangerous gangs that deal in meth and murder,” Brown said Thursday. “By removing them from society, we are disrupting their criminal activities and making the people of Northern California safer.”

After extensive investigative work, DOJ said its agents and task force members uncovered a well-organized methamphetamine distribution network, involving large amounts of methamphetamine smuggled into the United States from Mexico.

Officials said the investigation also helped solve four homicides of Sureños gang members and resulted in the earlier arrests of 26 Norteños gang members and several associates.

Last month, agents arrested Robert Juan Salazar, 24, for the March 2004 murder of a Sureños gang leader as he sat in his car with his six-year-old nephew.

In the view of law enforcement, that began Salazar's climb up the organizational ladder of the local Norteños gang, which included ordering murders of rival gang members in April and December 2004 and July 2005. Salazar is being held without bail in Sutter County Jail on murder charges.

Over the course of the operation, the DOJ reported that its agents and task force members were able to prevent one murder, two stabbings and two shootings, as well as arrest two wanted fugitive gang members and two gang members on murder charges.

Prior to Thursday's enforcement action, Operation Crimson Tide led to the seizure of more than 17 pounds of methamphetamine, two handguns and two sawed-off shotguns. An additional 24 weapons and more than 11 pounds of illegal drugs were seized.

All 59 arrestees – including the 33 arrested Thursdasy – will be prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office in one comprehensive gang prosecution case, the DOJ reported.

All 30 search warrants were issued by the Sacramento County Superior Court, according to the DOJ. The cold-case homicide cases are being prosecuted by the Sutter County District Attorney's Office.

Charges include distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, firearms violations and murder.

The California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and the Yuba/Sutter Narcotic and Gang Enforcement Team led Thursday's operation.

Participating agencies included the Butte County Sheriff's Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Highway Patrol, Colusa County Sheriff's Department, Marysville Police Department, Modesto Police Department, Nevada County Sheriff's Department, Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Sacramento Police Department, Sutter County Probation Department, Sutter County Sheriff's Department, Yuba City Police Department, Yuba County Probation Department and Yuba County Sheriff's Department.

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Upcoming Calendar

07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Library Bookmobile special stop
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

Mini Calendar



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