Sunday, 14 July 2024


Cal Fire crews clear brush near the Black Forest. Photo by Joel Witherell.


BLACK FOREST – On Monday two Cal Fire work crews arrived to begin clearing dead trees and limbs along Soda Bay Road between Golf and Little Borax Road in preparation for a Bureau of Land Management-sponsored community participation on Earth Day, Saturday, April 21.

According to Pat Beedle, a nearby resident, volunteer for the Kelseyville Kids garden, avid golfer, and general advocate of the environment, "It is a about time.”

Beedle, who doesn't mince words, is loaning her golf cart to help distribute water and supplies. "That is the least I can do," Beedle said.

Rich Burns of BLM's Ukiah field office, who lives in Upper Lake, said the activities in the Black Forest this week are part of a fire prevention project. Brush, fallen trees and low limbs will be removed along a one-mile section of the forest bordering Soda Bay Road. That, he said, is meant to reduce the fuel load, or materials likely to burn in the event of a forest fire.

Burns is bringing his family and some staff members to help on Saturday.


On Wednesday and Thursday, Carle High School students along with their principal, Bill MacDougall, will arrive to move the materials cut by Cal Fire to a staging area, prepared by volunteer Bob Braito, at Golf Road and Soda Bay.

Local pastor Wayne Scott will hook up a trailer and will help the Carle students bring branches to be chipped (and logs to be given away) to the Golf Road "staging area."

On Saturday Ray Mostin and Adam Nichols will bring their chippers to begin reducing the limbs to chips. The chips will be available to the public at the Golf Road staging area. Logs for next year's winter fires also will be stacked there for anyone interested.


Soda Bay Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, from Little Borax to Crystal. Volunteers will gather at 8 a.m. at Soda Bay and Little Borax Road or near Madrone and Soda Bay to clear fuel back 100 feet from the road. Small trees will be removed and limbs trimmed up to 10 feet high.

These materials will be placed next to Soda Bay Road for the chipper operators to collect. The chips will be stored at the Golf Road staging area for the community to use in their gardens. Students from both Kelseyville High, Clear Lake High as well as Kelseyville Kids Garden and Riviera Elementary plan to help.


When the volunteers are exhausted, they will be treated to a pizza, salad and dessert lunch, at the Buckingham Clubhouse organized by Julie Berry, Buckingham Homes Association manager. The pizzas are being donated by DJ's piazza and Bruno's Market is providing drinks and desserts. Alhambra water is donating bottled water.

The estimated participation is between 75 and 100 on Saturday.

Volunteers can still join by calling Julie Berry at 279-0829 or Joel Witherell at 279-1124.

Volunteer, the pay is great.


Cal Fire trucks parked along Soda Bay Road on Monday. Photo by Joel Witherell.



LAKE PILLSBURY – National Forest and local law enforcement officials are increasing enforcement in the Lake Pillsbury area following recent accidents caused by drivers under the influence.

In the past month, three serious injuries and a fatality were caused by persons driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at Lake Pillsbury Basin on the Upper Lake Ranger District.

As reported here last month, an early-morning accident on March 11 that occurred along Elk Mountain Road claimed the life of a 19-year-old Santa Rosa man, who died after the pickup he was riding in went off the road, began to overturn and ejected him. A 17-year-old juvenile passenger also was injured in that accident, according to the CHP.

The CHP arrested the driver, Ryan White, 20, of Rohnert Park, on suspicion of driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing bodily injury.

A second early morning accident on March 24, also along Elk Mountain Road, injured both driver M. Seyms and passenger K. Nyholm. Seyms lost control of his pickup, went off the road and hit a dirt embankment, according to the CHP.

Seyms later was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, the CHP reported.

Mendocino National Forest spokesperson Phebe Brown reported that, in response to those accidents, a multi-agency task force conducted “Operation Safe Driving” over the last two weekends.

Forest Service law enforcement officers, Lake County Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the state Department of Fish & Game comprised the task force, Brown said.

The operation, Brown reported, resulted in 19 arrests for driving under the influence, public intoxication, evading and other drug-related crimes.

“This task force really made a difference,” said Matt Knudson, a Forest Service law enforcement officer. “Not a single vehicle accident occurred during the periods of 'Operation Safe Driving.'”

In addition to the arrests, task force members shut down a “minors-in-possession” party with more than 75 people in attendance, Brown said.

Seven vehicles were towed and 25 “Notices to Appear” were issued for violations, including possession of controlled substances, minor in possession of alcohol, Fish & Game violations and possession of fireworks, added Brown.

“Operation Safe Driving will continue in the Lake Pillsbury Basin until we see a drastic decrease in DUIs and other driving habits,” said Knudson. “Drinking and driving do not mix; the National Forest is no exception.”

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


MIDDLETOWN – An Alameda County man convicted of stalking the governor and possessing drugs was arrested Wednesday on a probation violation.

Lt. Patrick McMahon of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported that Jeffrey Miller, 45, of Oakland was arrested Wednesday after voluntarily leaving a drug treatment program that was part of his probation.

LCSO Deputies Mike Morshed and Brian Martin responded to a call from a Middletown resident that Miller was at her residence after having left the Personal Support Group facility near Anderson Springs, McMahon reported.

The deputies subsequently arrested him, according to McMahon. Miller was booked at the Lake County Jail and is being held on a no-bail probation violation charge.

Miller was sentenced in Alameda County Superior Court to complete a drug program with PSG after being convicted in that county for drug possession and stalking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to McMahon.

The Associated Press reported last month that an Alameda County court ordered Miller to stay away from Schwarzenegger and his family for 10 years, undergo psychiatric treatment for substance abusers and serve three years' probation due to his repeated threats to kill the governor and First Lady Maria Shriver. Miller had pleaded no contest to the charges.

Miller crashed through the gates at a Coast Guard station in Alameda in February 2006, made threats against Schwarzenegger and was arrested, according to the Associated Press. Miller, who reportedly suffers from mental illness and addiction to methamphetamine, later was released to his father's custody.

However, he was back in custody last June, after he turned himself in to authorities, telling them he had drugs and he wanted to kill Schwarzenegger, according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reported that the California Highway Patrol which is responsible for providing the governor's security considered Miller a real security concern.

McMahon reported that Miller also is on misdemeanor probation out of Marin County on stalking charges. Those charges, the Associated Press reported, arose from Miller's 2005 conviction for stalking two women.

Authorities from Alameda and Marin County, and CHP's Protective Services Division were notified of Miller’s arrest and are working cooperatively to determine a resolution of his custodial status, McMahon reported.

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


LAKE PILLSBURY – A 3.1 earthquake shook the Lake Pillsbury area Sunday morning.

The US Geological Survey reported the quake took place at 7:27 a.m.

The temblor's epicenter was 9 miles west north west of Lake Pillsbury at a depth of 2 miles.

A second quake occurred at 7:53 a.m., its epicenter in the same location as the first, with its depth at 2.5 miles, the US Geological Survey reported.

There has appeared to be an increase in seismic activity in the Lake Pillsbury area in recent weeks, according to US Geological Survey records.

On April 11, two microearthquakes were recorded at the same epicenter as Sunday's quakes. The first, measuring 2.4, occurred at 6:20 p.m. at a depth of 2.1 miles. The second, smaller quake, measuring 1.7, took place at 7:28 p.m. at a depth of 1.6 miles. A small quake registering 1.6 was recorded in the same area near Pillsbury on April 6.

Much of the county's seismic activity remains centered around The Geysers, Anderson Springs and Cobb.

In the past week, 30 small earthquakes have been recorded in those areas, the largest – a 2.7 quake four miles west north west of The Geysers – occurring at 5:23 p.m. Sunday, the US Geological Survey reported.

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



SACRAMENTO – Ensuring that elderly and disabled persons receive medically necessary prescription drugs is the objective of state Sen. Patricia Wiggins' SB 623, which passed the Senate Health Committee today on a bipartisan 7-3 vote Wednesday.

The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which went into effect in January 2006, resulted in the biggest change to the Medicare program since its inception roughly 40 years ago. A new component, Part D, gives beneficiaries the option to sign up for a drug plan to help cover a portion of their prescriptions.

Prior to 2006, there were over a million low-income elderly and disabled Californians who received drug coverage from both Medi-Cal and Medicare. These people were automatically shifted into the Medicare Part D program and were required to begin making co-payments for their drugs for the first time.

As a result of the change, dual eligibles are now required to do something that no other Medi-Cal beneficiaries are required to do – make co-payments to receive medically necessary drugs ranging from $1 to $5 for each prescription filled.

While the co-payments may seem small, they can add up to a significant monthly cost for people on limited incomes (the 100,000 dual eligible beneficiaries in California nursing homes are not required to make co-pays, thus creating a financial incentive for institutionalization).

“By definition,” Wiggins says, “dual eligibles are low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities who are among the most vulnerable populations in the state and have the least amount of disposable income. In spite of this, these individuals must now pay a substantial amount of their fixed income for live-saving medications.

“Even minimal co-payments are unaffordable for most of these beneficiaries and therefore serve as a barrier to obtaining medically necessary mediations,” she adds. “This group is very low income, sick and frail. They are all elderly or significantly disabled and are among the highest users of prescription drugs because many suffer from chronic illnesses.”

The average number of medications for this population frequently ranges to 10 to 12 per month, but may be many more to treat certain conditions.

“These individuals are being forced to choose between rent, utilities, food and medicines,” Wiggins says. Many are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and have a total monthly income of $901 or less. Tens of thousands live in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) and assign their entire monthly SSI check to the RCFE for room and board.

“This leaves them with virtually no cash income to pay drug co-pays,” she adds. “One result is that this frail, vulnerable population may choose to not take medicine putting them at risk for hospitalization or long-term institutionalization.”

Until May 16, 2006, California’s emergency Medicare Part D backup program covered co-payments for dual eligible beneficiaries. DHS estimates that the annual cost of covering co-pays to be $75 million, while the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, a group of state and federally funded agencies advising seniors on Medicare issues, believes that the cost would be lower.

The HICAP estimate is based on the fact that the state’s obligation to cover co-pays will be capped at $5,100 annually for total prescription costs, even though many seniors would easily exceed the limit.

SB 623 is backed by numerous individuals and organizations, including the Congress of California Seniors (sponsor), Health Access, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Western Center on Law and Poverty, Alliance for Retired Americans, Gray Panthers, National Health Law Program, Older Women’s League of California, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

Wiggins' district includes Lake County. For more about her, including legislation and other issues, visit her Web site at


CLEARLAKE – Clearlake's City Council has a full slate of issues tonight, which run the gamut from medical marijuana to city development agreements.

One of the first items listed under “Business” on the council's lengthy agenda includes a public hearing regarding the consideration of adopting an interim urgency ordinance to extend a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana.

City Administrator Dale Neiman said the ordinance went into effect last year. This urgency ordinance, drafted by the city attorney, would extend the temporary moratorium for one more year.

The reason for taking that action, said Neiman, is because of lawsuits under way around the state involving medical marijuana and its regulation by cities.

“We want to wait until that litigation is resolved,” said Neiman, before the city makes a decision on how to approach the issue.

Council looks at Lake Glenn Subdivision

One issue scheduled for this evening's meeting that's expected to draw a lot of attention is consideration of a final map for the Lake Glenn Subdivision, which is near the senior center and borders Rumsey Road, Neiman said.

The 32-lot subdivision is in the second of its three phases, said Neiman.

Neighbors have voiced concerns aimed primarily at making sure the subdivision's future homes are of comparable quality to those built earlier by Bay Area developer Robert Adelman, said Neiman.

Neiman said he's talked to about half a dozen neighbors, who also have wanted the minimum house sizes in the subdivision to stay at 1,200 square feet.

Adelman received permission from a previous Community Development director to reduce the minimum square footage to 1,000 square feet, said Neiman, who added Adelman has agreed to return to the 1,200 square foot size.

Homes built in the subdivision between 2002 and 2006 ranged between $118 and $220 per square foot in price, Neiman said. The minimum sales price for future homes would be at $200 per square foot, or $240,000.

Neiman said he hopes the council will be able to address the neighbors' concerns and clear up misinformation that he said exists about the development.

Business park development on the agenda

In other development news, in January the city began negotiating with Katz Kirkpatrick Properties of Roseville regarding an exclusive negotiation agreement for developing the 26-acre Clearlake Commercial Development Site – also known as the Clearlake Business Park – near the Outrageous Waters location.

This evening, the council will consider entering into that agreement, said Neiman.

Katz Kirkpatrick has developed close to 50 shopping centers, many in Northern California, with clients including Kohl's, Home Depot, Target, Raley's and Wal-Mart, according to a company background.

As part of the agreement, Katz Kirkpatrick would submit a conceptual plan, there would be an environmental study and appraisal, eventually leading to the city selling the developer the property, said Neiman.

“When we enter into this agreement, it basically establishes a process for working though all those details,” Neiman explained.

If the agreement stays on schedule, Neiman said, in two years a development plan and sale could be completed.

The council will hold a closed session on the business park agreement and negotiations on the Austin Resort property.

Neiman said the city continues to discuss a possible development at the old Austin Resort with the firm Income Property Specialists.

“I'm optimistic we'll reach an agreement,” he said.

The process to complete the agreement would take another year, said Neiman. Necessary steps would include an environmental review, permitting, and a disposition and development agreement that would include what project would be developed and a purchase price for the developer.

“We're trying to negotiate the best project we can for the community,” said Neiman.

He added that there will be “plenty of public review” through that process.

Lots of applicants for Vision Task Force

Also on the agenda, the council will make appointments to its Vision Task Force, which officials hope will help chart a course for the city's future.

Neiman said the city has received 50 applications for membership, which the council opened last month to local business and property owners.

As a result of the interest, the main task force is being split into two, one dealing with social issues, the other infrastructure and planning. Neiman said he expects all applicants will be appointed to serve on one of those committees.

Before the regular council meeting at 6 p.m., the council will hold a special meeting at 2:30 p.m. for a study session followed by a closed session discussion of litigation against the city by RMM Environmental.

The council meets at 6 p.m. Clearlake City Hall, 14050 Olympic Drive.

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


Erik Harms works on the osprey nest from a PG&E truck's bucket. Photo by Judy Barnes.

CLEARLAKE OAKS – It all started a couple years ago when I noticed some ospreys (large fish hawks with wing spans of 54 inches) building a nest on the cross arms of a Pacific Gas &Electric power pole in our neighborhood on Widgeon Way.

I had seen bird platforms put up near power poles in other locations around the lake so I thought I could just call PG&E, explain the situation and get a platform put up. What happened was a crew came out that day, but they just knocked down the nest and left.

What I didn’t know is that the nests can cause power outages, fires, and even death to the birds when their nesting materials span two or more lines and the nest gets wet in the rain.

This year the ospreys were back and I decided to go higher up in the PG&E hierarchy. After a few phone calls by me I received a call back from Rick Trimble, Clearlake PG&E electric supervisor. He came out to my house that day to look at the nest in progress and promised to do what he could to help solve the problem.

True to his promise, he and his crew – Erik Harms, electric crew foreman and lineman Gerardo Pena (a.k.a. “Bird Man”) – were on the scene Thursday morning, April 12, with a nesting platform built by Bird Man the evening before to mount on an existing PG&E guy pole in the vicinity. The result is pictured.

Contrary to what I and some others may have thought, many of PG&E’s electrical crews do care about birds. They may even have a passion for them – enough so to dedicate their own unpaid time to helping find solutions to nests on power lines.

Harms told me that they often transport osprey eggs from nests that have to be removed to Lake County Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Loch Lomond for incubation. Now that is dedication!

Judy Barnes lives in Clearlake Oaks.


From left to right are PG&E Electric Supervisor Rick Trimble, Electric Crew Foreman Erik Harms and Gerardo Pena, a PG&E lineman called

Jennifer Martin's Super Cub taxis up on the Clear Lake Avenue boat ramp for a trip through town. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – There are many great ways to see Lake County, and arguably one of the very best is from a seaplane.

Martin expertly guided the bright yellow plane onto the lake, taxing across the surface before leaping from the water and soaring over the lake and along the edges of the city before smoothly gliding back down onto the water. The views of the city, the lake and the mountains were stunning.


Last year, Martin started Delta Seaplanes, giving seaplane tours of the Delta area. She owns two seaplanes: the Super Cub and a green and white Cessna 172, also on amphibious floats. The planes themselves are beautiful, trim and sleek, with shiny paint jobs and throaty engines.

She brought her two seaplanes to Lakeport Thursday, where they skipped and glided around the lake before rolling down Park Street and Main Street. The effort was a practice run for an appearance in August at Taste of Lakeport, which will promote the Seaplane Splash-In – known officially these days as the Western States Seaplane Festival.

The Seaplane Splash-In will take place Sept. 21-23 in Lakeport. It's the 28th year for the event, which organizers like to say is the West's oldest and largest seaplane splash-in event.

Nancy Brier of Solo Flight School, who recently joined the effort as its marketing person, said the group putting on the event has been meeting for several months on a regular basis.

She said this year the event will add a new element – a public festival that will be based in Library Park.

The planes themselves, as in years past, will land and park at Natural High School.

"The pilots have their own series of events," she said, which will include skill building activities and exercises.

The splash-in's new features this year will likely draw even bigger crowds to the event. Brier said the community's support for the event has been incredible.

Certainly, the sight of the planes garnered plenty of attention, with many people following the planes with digital and cell phone cameras as they progressed through the streets.

Part of that festival will include the chance to take a ride in one of Martin's seaplanes. She requests reservations ahead of time; for more information, visit her Web site,

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


The Cessna 172 travels down First Street Thursday. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


SACRAMENTO The State Senate Committee on Transportation & Housing on Tuesday passed three bills by Sen. Patricia Wiggins: SB 735 (CalTrans tracking of recycled materials), SB 773 (vehicle length exemptions for livestock carriers), and SB 861 (North Coast Railroad Authority).

A fourth measure, SJR 4 (Klamath River salmon), was also approved today by the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee.

Following are brief summaries of each of the Wiggins bills approved in their respective committees:

– SB 735, to require the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to establish a system for tracking the amount of recycled aggregated materials used in highway construction projects and report the information to the Legislature every two years (the Senator’s goal is to help divert usable materials such as recycled asphalt and crushed concrete away from landfills and toward road construction).

– SB 773, to waive trucking restrictions on U.S. Highway 101 for local cattle ranchers (the restrictions have forced many North Coast ranchers to ship their livestock out of the area and then re-load them on to bigger trucks elsewhere, increasing costs).

– SB 861, to enable the North Coast Railroad Authority to reallocate $5.5 million of Traffic Congestion Relief Program revenues toward environmental cleanup.

– SJR4, to declare Legislative support for efforts in Congress to provide assistance to fishing communities, businesses and individuals to mitigate the economic losses caused by declining populations of Klamath River fall chinook salmon.

Patricia Wiggins represents California’s 2nd Senate District, which includes part of Solano County plus all of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa & Sonoma counties.

To read committee analysis of the first three bills visit the following links.




A nuthatch perched on a log. Photo by Ian Markham.


“Whi-Whi-Whi!” the agitated trilling, followed by the vehement hammering of a tiny beak, jolted me from my near-comatose stupor. I yanked my eyes from their vacant staring at the math book in front of me to discover the source of that startling noise which had erupted from just above my head.

Instinctively brushing aside my books and reaching for my camera, I turned and followed the tiny shower of bark that alighted upon my head to find myself face-to-face with a jittery and insolent little bird. It became abundantly clear in that brief period as we blinked at each other in bewilderment that the little nuthatch had chosen this precise moment to dislodge her prize from the tree branch above me, and was offended by my intrusion into what she undoubtedly saw as more meaningful work.

In one deliberate motion I leveled the camera at my harasser and broke my gaze for just a moment to peer down into the viewfinder. “NOOOO!” a voice inside of me screamed as I realized I had done it again. Rather than finding the beautiful image I had meant to capture, my eyes were greeted by the abysmal darkness of the inside of my lens cap.

By the time I had looked up and removed the cover, the little bird was flitting triumphantly across Lake Solano, taunting me audibly around the hefty seed lodged in its bill. I couldn’t resist. The bird had vanquished all hope of returning to my neglected math homework so I grabbed my binoculars and prepared for pursuit.

This marked the end of yet another misguided attempt to multi-task and study for a math test in the great outdoors, but was the beginning of a chase that resulted in my eventually getting the picture of the nuthatch, with a bonus opportunity to watch a red-shouldered hawk devour a red-shafted flicker.

So what’s it like to be a young naturalist these days balancing the commitments of high school with a commitment to nature? With fistfuls of anecdotes like this to draw from, you can probably see why I’d answer the question offhand with the curt response, “frustrating!”

In a life burdened with innumerable obligations, constantly torn between finishing homework, studying for tests, preparing for SATs, researching colleges, carousing with friends and running to rugby practice, at times it seems scarcely possible to pay homage to my true passion.

My frequent attempts to enjoy Mother Nature in convenient conjunction with other necessary tasks like rushing through the Yolo Basin on the way to rugby in Sacramento or heading down to Lake Solano to study for an impending math test most often end fruitlessly. You can only enjoy yourself so much with deadlines nipping at your heels and distracted study time is often more harm than help. So why do it then? Why make the sacrifices to scrape together a few hours and go hiking every other weekend?

In truth, there was a time I had no answer for these questions and that bit of my life withered and wasted away with neglect. I ignored my impulses to escape into nature and they became muffled in the back of my mind. Yet, inevitably, I suffered for that denial of my true self. My mind became fraught with a listless urge to escape and get away. Finally I did.

I fled school for a summer abroad in the jungles of Southeastern Peru researching rain forest fish beside my brother, and was overawed by those wonders we found. I lived, for two months, a blissful life exploring the amazing intricacies of Amazonian ecology and was reinvigorated by the experience. I had found the contentment that had so often eluded me, and as the summer came to a close I refused to let it dissipate.

Seizing upon the spark of ornithological fascination I had acquired in one of the best birding hot spots in the world, I kindled it into a fully-fledged love of bird watching to bring home with me. Upon arrival in San Francisco, I bought myself a copy of The Sibley Field Guide to Birds and began to fervently familiarize myself with those creatures whom I had ignored most my life but had now resolved to befriend.

Soon I was hopelessly hooked, dashing about between the many spectacular natural areas in our region from the Yolo Basin to Grey Lodge Wildlife Refuge, from trails high up Cache Creek to the Stebbin’s Cold Canyon reserve below Monticello Dam in pursuit of my feathered friends. Stalking about with camera and binoculars I became intimately acquainted with the land’s winged residents.

Even the onset of school couldn’t stop my expeditions to the beautiful wildlife habitats of the region. I discovered that I simply couldn’t deny the important facet of my life which exploring nature has always been. I realized that it was television shows and lethargy that could be sacrificed to make room for better entertainment and more soothing relaxation.

My hikes, birding expeditions, and even my simple sorties about my own country property have yielded a consummate satisfaction without parallel. While they do add extra time commitments to an already full schedule, their cathartic influence more than makes up for lost time by boosting my productivity.

The only real burden that my nature going has placed on my life remains the sadness I feel when reflecting on how few of my peers appear to share my same love. Or maybe, like me, it is in them waiting to be discovered.

But I’ve never been one to wallow. I’m taking the torch and attempting to pass on my love of the natural world to anyone I can. In my school’s environmental club I am spearheading the movement to make regular club field trips to wildlife areas and I try to volunteer with the Yolo Audubon Society’s Education program for school kids in Esparto, when I can.

For those of you who already share my passion, I encourage you to do what you can to pass it on. For those of you who don’t, I suggest giving it a try. The wonders of the natural world have brought me an endless source of entertainment and satisfaction as I have never known before, and they are right here in front of our faces.

Ian Markham is a Yolo County resident and a Junior at Christian Brothers High School. He frequently enjoys the Cache Creek area. Tuleyome Tales is made possible by Tuleyome, a nonprofit working to protect both our wild heritage and our agricultural heritage for future generations. Visit them online at



A red shouldered hawk devours a flicker. Photo by Ian Markham.




The Westshore Pool, pictured this week with work nearing completion. Photo by Scott Harter.


LAKEPORT – Lakeport's Westshore Pool renovation is nearing completion this week, as the contractor begins testing the pool's mechanical equipment.

Lakeport City Engineer Scott Harter reported Thursday that Pool Time, the company which has conducted the pool renovations, filled up the pool on Wednesday.

For the past few months, the pool has been undergoing a complete renovation. Pool Time stripped off its plaster to expose the underlying structure in order to repair and, in some cases, completely replace its plumbing. The company then put a fresh layer of plaster on its surface.

On Thursday tests were under way on the pool's mechanical system, including its pump, filters and skimmers, to see if everything was working properly, Harter said.

The project has suffered some delays due to weather and unforeseen repairs, Bob Dwyer, Pool Time's project manager, reported.

Many of the repair issues required Dwyer going back to the City Council for change orders. The initial bid rewarded to Pool Time on the project was $313,370; that amount later grew to $370,515 to cover additional repairs. Harter estimates another $10,000 will cover the cost for additional work on the pool outside of the initial project scope.

The pool's repair has been covered mostly by Measure I sales tax funds, with $168,000 come from a state grant.

In recent weeks, said Dwyer, work has gone smoothly since they were past the “discovery phase” of finding more problems in the 4,300 square foot pool.

“In roughly about a week we should be signed off,” said Dwyer.

Still to be done, he said, is filtering out the plaster dust in the pool that resulted from the new plastering on its surface.

Even with the extra work, Dwyer said they came close to meeting their initial completion date of April 13.

As to when the pool will be ready for swimming, Harter said, “I don't have an idea on that yet.”

Before the pool goes back into service, said Harter, the Channel Cats swim team has volunteered to do work on the pool's picnic area and bathrooms, which they'll be assisted in doing by the city's park crew.

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


BLUE LAKES – A motorcycle rider involved in a multi-vehicle accident near Blue Lakes on Friday was seriously hurt, losing his foot and suffering other major injuries.

California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Dye reported Monday that the Friday accident, which closed down Highway 20 for about 45 minutes, involved a motorcycle and three cars.

Stephanie Fauerberg, 22, of Sun Valley, Nev., was driving a black Hyundai Elantra eastbound on Highway 20 east of Blue Lakes when she collided with 27-year-old Raul Garcia of Santa Rosa, driving a Chevy S-10 pickup, said Dye.

The pickup, said Dye, overturned in the highway's eastbound lane, directly in the path of a motorcycle driven by Eric Talley, 26, of Davis.

Dye said Talley swerved to the left to avoid Garcia's pickup, and hit a 2006 Honda minivan driven by Diane Foppoli, 61, of Rohnert Park.

Talley was flown by REACH helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, said Dye, while the other accident victims were taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital. In addition to CHP, Northshore Fire and the Lake County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, Dye said.

As a result of the accident Talley, who Dye said he spoke with earlier Monday, lost his left foot, suffered a broken back and a broken right knee, along with having all of the major bones in his left left shattered.

Fauerberg was found to be the driver at fault in the accident, Dye said.

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


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