Saturday, 01 October 2022


MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – The Mendocino National Forest last month received a national award for outstanding partnerships and collaboration on the Alder Springs hazardous fuel reduction and carbon sequestration research project.

The Two Chiefs' Partnership Awards honored five projects nationwide that "demonstrate successful collaboration in conservation and forest stewardship."

The award was announced in Washington, D.C., by Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Arlen Lancaster at a joint meeting of leaders from the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Association of State Foresters, and National Association of Conservation Districts.

Partners with the Mendocino National Forest on the Alder Springs project are California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Winrock International, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station and Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region State and Private Forestry.

In announcing the award, Chief Kimbell said, "This cutting edge partnership will result in improved forest health, fuel reduction and comprehensive insight into carbon sequestration (storage) methods."

Mendocino National Forest awarded a stewardship contract for the Alder Springs project to Sierra Pacific Industries of Anderson, CA, in July 2007 to thin trees and remove biomass in order to reduce the size and intensity of future wildfires while improving forest health. Sierra Pacific Industries began work in September and is transporting the biomass to Wheelabrator Shasta Energy Co. also of Anderson, CA, for conversion into electricity.

At the same time, Forest Service researchers are collaborating with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Winrock International to measure greenhouse gas emission reductions resulting from fuels and forest management treatments, evaluate and quantify potential revenues in current and future carbon markets, and evaluate the potential for renewable energy credits and incentives associated with biomass energy production.

Five individuals were specifically recognized by the Two Chiefs' Partnership Award for their work in carrying out the Alder Springs Project. They are:

  • Janet Flanagan, Mendocino National Forest Grindstone District Planning Officer/Alder Project Manager; she designed the Alder Springs hazardous fuels treatment project by working collaboratively with many stakeholders, initiated and organized the partnerships and is managing the completion of the project;

  • Doug Wickizer, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Department Chief for Environmental Protection, Regulations and Forest Product Utilization; he is writing the current forestry protocols for the California Climate Action Registry and represents the Department in climate change activities and initiatives;

  • Nick Martin, program officer in Forestry, Energy & Ecosystem Services for Winrock International/manages terrestrial carbon sequestration and emission reduction activities under the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, including reforestation, forest management, fire management and biomass energy;

  • Mark Nechodom, director of social and policy sciences at the Sierra Nevada Research Center, a multi-disciplinary research unit in Davis, CA, that is part of Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station/visiting scholar and lecturer at the University of California, Davis; and

  • Bruce Goines, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Biomass Utilization Specialist, serving as multi-program lead to increase utilization of woody biomass from forest health, fuels management, and timber stand improvement projects in California./Forest Service lead in working with the State of California in determining public lands role in California Climate Action Registry and Forest Service role participating in emerging carbon markets; Regional Forester's representative to the California Biomass Collaborative that developed a Biomass Utilization Roadmap for California.

Each Alder Springs project partner organization will receive an engraved wood plaque made from black cherry harvested from sustainably-managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and each individual will receive a certificate of appreciation from the two Chiefs.


LAKE COUNTY – As people purchase helium filled metallic Mylar balloons for their Valentine this Thursday, Pacific Gas and Electric Company urges customers to make sure that they are securely tied to a weight that will prevent them from floating away in the air.

Unsecured metallic balloons that contact overhead power lines can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and result in serious personal injuries.

Metallic balloons that drift into PG&E power lines cause between 100 to 150 outages each year, affecting electric service to thousands of PG&E customers throughout northern and central California. In the most dangerous circumstances, metallic balloons cause power lines to fall to the ground creating the potential for fires, property damage, injury and even death.

In order to significantly reduce these types of outages each year, and so everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine’s Day celebration, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:

  • “Look Up and Live!” – Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.

  • Make sure helium filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight!

  • Keep metallic balloons indoors and never release them outside.

  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together.

  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000 to report the problem.

  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assumed downed electric lines are live. Stay away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments.


LAKE COUNTY – Low-income singles, families and seniors are invited to apply to see if they are eligible to receive food stamps.

The Lake County Community Action Agency is conducting pre-screenings for individuals and families.

To set up an appointment, call Sarina Beckel at 995-0495.


KELSEYVILLE – The Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association (CLSPIA) held an indoor garage sale in the Kelseyville Senior Center on Feb. 9, an event made successful through donations and work of association board members, docents and friends of the park.

The one-day sale netted more than $1,500 for CLSPIA’s Education Pavilion Fund for construction of a year around facility in Clear Lake State Park.

Many benefited besides the pavilion fund.

All donated books went to the Kelseyville Senior Center’s book sale held in the annex at the same time.

Items not sold were distributed to the Lake Family Resource Center in Lakeport and Kelseyville Methodist Church Thrift Shop.

In addition, a petition in protest of closing the county's two state parks was available for signature with well more than 125 signatures. It also was signed by Congressman Mike Thompson, Mrs. Thompson and Thompson's district representative Brad Onorato, who stopped by during a tour of the county's senior centers.

CLSPIA sincerely thanks the entire community for supporting this project, especially those who purchased items and the Kelseyville Senior Center for their wonderful cooperation and use of their great facility.

Leona M. Butts is a Clear Lake State Park Interpretive Association board member.


LAKE COUNTY – What if Lake County Animal Services earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our cause? Well, now it can! is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up! is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause! Hundreds of great stores including Target, Gap, Best Buy, Ebay, Macy's and Barnes and Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you’ll be supporting your favorite cause.

Just go to and be sure to enter Lake County Animal Services as the charity you want to support. And, be sure to spread the word!

Visit Lake County Animal Services online at


MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Area Town Hall meeting in the Middletown High School's Multi-Use Room at 7 p.m. on February 21 is likely to be "buzzing."

There is a lot on the town hall's plate this month proposed bylaw amendments, a petition to improve air quality, a presentation by Lake County County Counsel Anita Grant on the state's open meeting laws, the need to discuss local business support especially in light of the fact three prominent businesses shut down last month within a two-week period.

But, it will be the presentation on "Tools and Strategies to Move MATH Forward" that will likely draw out-of-towners to this Middletown meeting.

People like Lake County Administrator Kelly Cox from Lakeport and Kevin Comora, president of Vizicast Multimedia in Cotarie are likely to attend. Members of Lake County's media establishment have also expressed an interest in attending. Why? The need for progress in Middletown.

According to Martha Webster, who works with the Middletown Times Star, Middletown has been trying to get a viable town hall up and going for more than 20 years. Last year, it looked as though Middletown had finally arrived. The town was granted status for a municipal advisory council (MAC) in compliance with the Brown Act. Funds were also provided by the county for new lights in the downtown area.

But, neither MAC status nor new lights will help generate more revenue for the local small business merchants. Something still needs to be done to entice the sizable traffic traveling through Middletown on State Highway 29 to "stop and shop." Otherwise, more local businesses may be closing their doors as well.

One problem for Middletown may be its perception as the "Gateway to Lake County." The town is not perceived as a destination, but rather as a pass-through to somewhere else in the county. While it might help if Caltrans were to alter the way traffic approaches and passes through Middletown, that would be a very expensive undertaking.

Given California's current economy, it is doubtful Caltrans will be altering the way Highway 29 approaches Middletown any time soon.

What is feasible is for Lake County to introduce much-needed technological innovation to the area beginning with Middletown. In particular, digital signage.

While Lake County currently has a ban on billboard signage because area residents desire to hold fast to the natural beauty here, the introduction of digital signage can actually reduce the number of billboards and at the same time help small businesses to flourish. This is done by dynamically advertising their message changing multimedia messages on the big screen rather having a painted display.

Dynamic digital signage would also help promote community service. It can even transform the Lake County press kit from a CD with nothing but stagnant PDFs to a vibrant DVD with documentary-style multimedia presentations.

What can you do when you walk into any of the three visitor centers in Lake County right now? Can you walk over to a kiosk, press a button on the screen and find out information about what Lake County has to offer?

No, there are no kiosks. Instead, you have to sort through printed material and decide what you want provided you can find it. A digital signage kiosk can deliver what you need at the click of an on-screen button.

Every visitor center in Florida has for years had a kiosk to accommodate its tourist trade. You will find San Francisco has been putting digital signage to work both out on Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39 and within 19 of its hotels for 15 years.

Well, the tourist trade is supposed to be one of the major draws of Lake County. Perhaps the time has indeed come for Lake County to start implementing digital signage?

Kevin Comora is the person responsible for much of the digital signage currently being used in San Francisco. In fact, even the digital signage being used on the USS Ronald Reagan battleship is his responsibility. He came to Middletown back in September of last year and demonstrated to the Middletown Merchants what digital signage might do for the town by showcasing a presentation that included Langtry Estates, Sylvie's and Fergusson Cutlery. This presentation can still be seen online at Just be sure to look through the Web site and download the Scala plug-in before viewing.

While technological innovation is a partial solution, it is not the only need Lake County has. Even according to the county's own marketing research, the area has a poor attitude toward itself. Perhaps this is to be expected when you have a bedroom community, like Hidden Valley Lake. A great many of the residents there are forced to work outside the county to be able to afford the lifestyle provided by this gated residential community. Obviously, the need for long commutes can make involvement in local community activities difficult.

Nevertheless, it really is important people CARE about one another, CONNECT with their community and have a DESIGN to move the area forward. This upcoming MATH meeting will hopefully be a step in that direction.

If you would like to attend this meeting, please take time to RSVP. Visit for more information.


Upcoming Calendar

10.01.2022 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship annual walk and run
10.01.2022 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Konocti Challenge
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
20th annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show
10.01.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
10.01.2022 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Lakeport Harvest Festival
10.01.2022 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction
Peace and Plenty Farm
10.01.2022 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Luau on the Creek

Mini Calendar



Responsible local journalism on the shores of Clear Lake.





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