Monday, 22 July 2024

Arts & Life

Michael John Poirier has been singing publicly since age 14. Courtesy photo.

LAKEPORT – Christian recording artist Michael John Poirier will present a concert at St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Lakeport at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

The concert is open to all ages and is a great opportunity for families to enjoy an uplifting evening together of songs and stories for the soul.

Singing publicly since the age of 14, Poirier pursued a career in pop music for several years before God's gentle nudging to return to prayer became a burning desire to put his “gut” prayers to music.

Poirier has spent the past 20 years spreading the message of God's infinite love and timeless mercy, recording 13 CDs and offering church missions and concerts.

His latest CD, Be With Us Today, was released in January 2006 and was recently honored with a Unity Award as Devotional Album of the Year.

“Michael’s natural sense of melody and his insightful, thought-provoking words shine through here, touching the heart and raising the spirit,” said Be With Us Today Project Manager Ron Rendek of World Library Publications.

A free will offering in support of Poirier’s mission will be taken in lieu of admission. CDs will be available for sale after the concert.

St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church is located at 801 N. Main St. in Lakeport, on Clear Lake right off State Highway 29.

For more information about the concert, contact the parish office, 707-263-4401, or Linda Hedstrom, 707-263-3684.

To learn more about Michael John Poirier and his ministry, Holy Family Apostolate, visit


Tom Rigney worked the crowd with his matchless showmanship at Friday night's concert. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – Friday in the park: For 10 weeks straight it meant music, good company and – for many of the regulars with a sense of humor – "stupid stuff" and sponsor-donated prizes for the correct answers to the stupid stuff questions.


For those who may have answered those challenges incorrectly, you're gonna have to wait 42 weeks for your next question. The jumbo crowd that showed up last Friday night will pass each week much more easily with the memories of this summer's series firmly in their minds and hearts.


Closing out the series, and doing it with a healthy dose of style and flair, were the flamboyant Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau.

From first note to last, there was plenty of volume, plenty of Cajun-style spice and all of it served up via a violin! A smoken hot violin! Not to discount the four other talented musicians – each one with solid pro-music histories, each given more than one opportunity to show off their individual talents. But for just plain showmanship, Tom Rigney has written his own book.


The only band to be invited back for three consecutive years, Rigney's Flambeau played flawlewsly despite the higher-than-expected breezes and much cooler temperatures.

The music was hot enough to encourage the masses to the dance lawn in droves. Maybe it was the allure of the last chance to dance, maybe it was the band, or maybe it was the skillful planning and production skills of the crew at BiCoastal Media that brought these elements together at just the right time.


Stay tuned ... only 42 weeks to go until the concerts return!

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




Annie Perez and Erin Call won awards at the recent Redwood Empire Fair Fiddle Contest. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – several Lake County fiddlers brought home cash awards and medals from the Redwood Empire Fair Fiddle Contest last weekend.

Annie Perez and Erin Call won first place in the Twin Fiddle class; Erin Call won first place in the Junior class; Annie Perez won fifth in the Open class; Clayton Rudiger came in second in the Junior-Junior class; and Mollie Bainbridge, 6 years old, won second in the Amateur Class.

In the Adult Class, Greg Bushta won third and Debbie Bainbridge won fifth place. Bushta and Andi Skelton won prizes in the accompanist class also.

The contestants are all members of the Konocti Fiddle Club, which entertained the crowd between contest divisions.

They were joined by additional Konocti Fiddle Club members Aaron Bielenberg, Jennifer Cox and Debbie Bielenberg.

Be sure to see the Konocti Fiddle Club perform at the upcoming Old-Time Bluegrass Festival at Anderson Marsh, and the Kelseyville Pear Festival in September.

For information about the Konocti Fiddle Club call 279-4336.




As a film critic, I find it helpful to enjoy as many cinematic genres as possible. The attraction of horror and science fiction often eludes me, and films of this type rank near the bottom of my interest, though they are still more appealing than anything starring Barbra Streisand or Ben Affleck.

One of the well-recognized great science fiction films is “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” released in 1956, one year after publication of Jack Finney’s classic “The Body Snatchers,” the novel which launched a franchise of several movies on the same theme.

The latest version is simply named “The Invasion,” and it may or may not prove of interest to audiences who have enjoyed the earlier films.

For reasons alluded to above, this review of “The Invasion” avoids comparative analysis to any of its predecessors. Then again, looking to the past is unnecessary. After all, why shouldn’t a film stand on its own merits?

Well, that may not be entirely helpful to “The Invasion,” a science fiction thriller that heavily mixes in other elements, including action befitting a “Die Hard” film and horror that belongs in a film geared to more visceral thrills than psychological drama. The film is at its best when the mysterious alien invasion strikes a creepy note of psychological paralysis, as more people succumb to an epidemic of soul-snatching transformation.

“The Invasion” begins when a space shuttle explodes upon descent, scattering pieces across rural Virginia. While authorities seize quick control of the situation, stories emerge about a strange substance found clinging to the wreckage – something that withstood the extreme cold of space and searing heat of reentry.

Those exposed to the substance are quickly transformed, and one of the first officials on the scene is Tucker Kaufman (Jeremy Northam) from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. His estranged wife is Washington, DC psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman), who begins to notice even more bizarre behavior in some of her patients, particularly the frightened Wendy Lenk (Veronica Cartwright).

As government officials declare that a new form of flu is gripping the nation, Carol is disturbed that many strange things are happening, such as more people on the streets acting like zombies and Oliver coming home with Halloween candy that contains a very strange substance. She’s even more apprehensive about her estranged husband’s sudden desire to exercise his rarely used visitation rights with their young son Oliver (Jackson Bond).

Confiding to best friend and fellow doctor Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) that something is wrong, she finds it hard to accept reassurances that everything is OK. Soon enough, her suspicions are confirmed by another colleague, Dr. Stephen Galeano (Jeffrey Wright), who is working with other scientists in an underground effort to find a cure to the insidious alien substance.

Meanwhile, humans are being transformed rapidly by the alien invasion into pacified zombies who wander aimlessly and quietly like automatons. The disease is transmitted easily by a sneeze or other bodily discharges. The only way to fight the infection is to stay awake, because apparently it only takes hold when a person succumbs to REM sleep.

Carol gets infected and has to go on a desperate chase to find Oliver, who conveniently enough suffered some sort of childhood malady that now makes him immune to the alien contagion. Of course, this is where the film veers off into the action territory, with Carol driving in a high speed chase with the type of skill that you would expect from Matt Damon in one of his “Bourne” movies.

Much of the screen time is consumed by Carol searching for her missing son, with some tender moments spent with Ben in a relationship that could soon move beyond the platonic stage.

Through most of the film, Nicole Kidman, looking particularly radiant and beautiful, keeps herself together well enough to look like she could be shooting a fashion spread in a women’s magazine. Befitting the requirements of the storyline, Kidman is appropriately down and dirty when necessary. Nevertheless, there’s a nagging feeling that the actress is out of place in this misguided adventure.

Far from being a lost cause, “The Invasion” is at its best when exploring the psychological dimensions of rampant paranoia. The best scenes involve attempts to fool the authorities during routine encounters. To update the action to the present, “The Invasion” tosses in random newscast references to political hotspots around the world, suggesting the alien transformation’s effect indeed has a global reach.

Tim Riley reviews films for Lake County News.


LOWER LAKE The music group Hot Frittatas will kick off its tour of the Northwest on Tuesday, Aug. 21 in Lower Lake.

2Goombas Deli and Tuscan Village Winery will host a concert by the Hot Frittatas in the orchard on Main Street. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m.; a $10 donation is suggested. 2Goombas also will serve a  pasta dinner at $12 for adults and $7 for children.

The Hot Frittatas are Northern California's most exciting international ensemble performing Italian, French and European musette music.

Their music has been featured on the ABC television show "Bachelor Rome" and in the independent film, "Favorite Color Pink."

The group consists of Don Coffin on guitar, Gus Garelick on fiddle and mandolin, and Dennis Hadley on accordion.


Tom Rigney and Flambeau play at tonight's Summer Concert in the Park. Courtesy photo.


LAKEPORT – As the summer starts to wane, so does the 19th year of our free concerts in the park.

Tonight's performance marks the end of the 2007 season of Summer Concerts in the Park, which has become more than just a tradition for Lake County residents and their guests. And there's no better performers to take it out on a high note than violinist Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau as they return to Library Park for the season finale.



A very popular and busy group, Rigney and his mates travel and perform extensively throughout the Western states and will add a trip to Alaska to their resume later this month.



This evening should please everyone with tons of energy and mounds of original music. Expect pleasant mid-80s temperatures, light winds and goofy half-time giveaways; we will have more memories and reasons to look forward to next year's series.

Once again KNTI DJ Eric Patrick and the crew from Bi-Coastal Media will host the festivities.


Upcoming Calendar

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
08.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



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