Monday, 15 July 2024


I’m running for Congress as an independent in District 4 because business as usual politics are destroying us all and our planet, both parties are complicit, and we need to step up and change our leadership.

Every aspect of our system seems to be breaking down, and we need people to step up to change it.

We have been experiencing the worst economic inequality in almost 100 years. A handful of people own more wealth than half of the country combined. Poverty and homelessness have become widespread. Millions of people have been deprived of healthcare to enrich a for-profit healthcare system that ranks, globally, below dozens of universal healthcare systems that are not-for-proft. And that was BEFORE the pandemic.

When the pandemic hit, we were told to stay home and not to work. Many businesses closed. Some of us got a few small checks that added up to one tenth of what most of us needed to pay the rent for the last year. A lot of independent contractors and small business owners couldn't file for unemployment and didn't get a lot of help.

Meanwhile, every other developed country covered all or most of their worker's paychecks, which protected small businesses, jobs and families. Our Congress did not. They gave us crumbs while filming videos of expensive freezers filled with luxury ice cream and took vacations when no one else was allowed to.

Now our economic crisis is even worse. The stock market may be fine, but a lot of the rest of us are struggling. It turns out $250 per child per month didn't end childhood poverty. With the eviction moratorium long expired, people have been getting evicted because Congress took away their income and failed to help them survive. Those properties have been bought up by Blackrock and various shell corporations owned by multi-millionaires.

College education should be tuition free and student loans forgiven. Student loans hurt our children just when they are beginning to develop their lives and hurt our economy. Money in our children's pockets as they begin their lives will enable them to have greater success and will inject more money into our economy, rather than the pockets of bankers who will hoard that wealth.

We need to invest in tomorrow's doctors and engineers to ensure that the finest minds get to where we need them to be, instead of falling through cracks. We will pay for this with a 1% tax on Wall Street trading.

Tax rates on the most wealthy were between 70% and 95% from World War II until Ronald Reagan slashed that rate. Corporate tax rates, similarly, have been between 31% and 52% through the Clinton Administration. We need a 70% rate on the top tier and a 35% corporate rate.

But it's not good enough to increase these rates. We also have to tax money in tax havens, including Delaware, which has more corporations than people because of its tax rates. And we have to end the carried interest tax loophole and raise capital gains tax. It didn't increase investment in anything but stock buy-backs.

We do these things, in part, in order to provide tax relief to middle class families who need it. Placing an unfair tax burden on the middle class is class warfare.

Any immigrant who has been living in the United States for three years should be granted citizenship, not used as a political football while “a path to citizenship” is used like a carrot to get votes. If you live here, you're an American.

And if we're so concerned about immigrants from the south (a.k.a. refugees fleeing the violence of fascist dictatorships the United States supports) then how about if we help countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala develop their economy instead of trying to extract their wealth while underpaying their workers?

People don't pick up their families and move to foreign countries with different languages just because they heard it might be a little nicer. These are people who need our help, not to be locked in for-profit immigration prisons where they can be exploited as cheap labor anyway.

Do our “leaders” truly want to repair America's international reputation? They sure have a funny way of showing it, backing fascists, terrorists and extremists all over the world.

Why are we participating in genocide in Yemen? Or seizing money from Afghanis, after bombing them for 20 years? Why is the US occupying a third of Syria when we are not wanted? Or Iraq? Why do we have sanctions on free food programs in Cuba and Venezuela? Why did we destroy Libya and then leave it alone to fester in slave markets and violence? Our government cares about human rights? Really? I don't think so. They care about money.

We should be scaling back our military, if we're concerned about climate change. We have over 800 military bases all over the world, compared with Russia which has 18 and China which has just one.

The US military is the No. 1 polluter in the world, according to a Brown University study. So why are there US bases all over Africa and South America and Asia? To enforce cheap prices? American corporations couldn't get low enough prices, so the military was sent in? Or in some countries they are deployed in an effort to overthrow certain governments and force Americanism on other countries. What could be more authoritarian? Is that why you or your children served? I think not.

I’m not a lawyer or an executive. I’m a pissed-off voter, just like you. And I’m stepping up to do something about it. It’s time to dump the corporate employees in our government and elect everyday people, with common sense.

Our current Congressperson is coasting along, not challenging the establishment, just voting the party line. But the party line is corporate-owned and never going to favor YOU.

After decades upon decades of death and destruction for profit, it’s time to do something different. Let’s build a better world where we strive for the greater good, not the lesser evil.

Jason Kishineff lives in American Canyon, Calif.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Spring is finally here!

Everywhere we see growth, rebirth, vitality and renewal. Like the leaves bursting out of the trees, Spring energy encourages us to move “upwards and outwards” and grow!

What's the best way to move forward? We can look to the wood element to guide us in our vision for this spring.

The wood element has two organs: the liver and the gallbladder.

The liver is called the official of strategic planning, the grand architect for our vision of the future; this official sees the directions we must take to live our lives in harmony with nature.

The gallbladder is the official of decision making, granting us the ability to make decisions and have wise judgment. It is associated with qualities of benevolence, generosity and idealism for the highest good. It is the leader within us that can take charge and determine a plan of action.

Making a decision is not always a matter of choosing between equal alternatives. Through these officials we have perspective. We can see new possibilities along with the wisdom of the past, to see clearly and plan the most benevolent course to take.

Without wood's vision, a plan, decision and direction, no movement is possible — and there is often frustration.

The wood element governs our sense of vision, the emotion of anger, and the sound of shouting. When our vision is stifled, we may feel anger: we've made our plan, decided to act, and suddenly our plans are thwarted. We may feel anger and frustration and want to shout.

We may feel irritable, depressed, and lose focus or hope for the future. Sometimes when we are out of balance, we identify with only one position and become attached to it. We may lose our wise judgment.

When our wood energy is healthy, we can take a step back, be flexible, adapt, change direction, stay hopeful, readjust our plans and begin again. We are positive leaders, and give directions for the highest good. We can forgive ourselves and each other and not become too rigid or unyielding.

Like a tree that bends in the wind, a balanced wood energy is well rooted and can adapt to change and find a new path to express itself in a strong and healthy way.

Healthy wood energy acknowledges the inherent self-esteem in ourselves and each other. It honors the spirit of each person’s inherent need to be who they are.

The wood element grants us the space and the vision for each person to grow and become their unique self — to be the “tree” you are meant to be. We can see this wisdom in the harmony of all things within Nature, that includes the coexistence of every living unique being.

When wood is unbalanced, you may experience symptoms such as:

• Feeling irritable or angry.
• Headache, migraine or high blood pressure.
• Rib pain: The liver meridian runs along the rib area. A liver energy stagnation will be reflected in a distending discomfort around the ribs.
• Itchy, dry eyes: The liver rules the eyes. A deficiency in liver blood may lead to eye issues like floaters or myopia. If there is excess liver heat this can cause red, bloodshot or painful eyes.
• Spasms: The liver nourishes the tendons and ligaments and the smooth flow of energy to allow free movement. When the liver energy isn't moving, we can experience cramps, spasms, or numbness.
• Brittle nails: The quality of the liver energy is seen in the nails. If there is a deficiency, you may have dry brittle nails, with ridges or spots on the nails.

Here are some ways to move your wood energy and stay balanced in the spring.

• Get moving: Moving helps to keep your energy flowing properly. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, or stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments. All of these will help to support your wood element in the springtime.
• Get creative: Take time to really think and feel about what you want to be, and what direction you want your life to go.
• Write down your vision, intention and dreams for your future. Take time to make a plan so you can make the right decisions to realize your goals.
• Maybe you need someone’s help to achieve your goals. Maybe you are the leader that wants to offer help for someone else to realize their dreams.
• Try essential oils: Lavender, peppermint, camomile, lemon, and bergamot essential oils help to move the energy in the liver and gallbladder channels. Sandalwood oil is especially nourishing and grounding.
• Focusing of food: Drinking herbal teas like lemon, peppermint or camomile can help to support the liver and gallbladder channels.
• The wood element likes sour food (like kimchi and yogurt), light meals with lots of greens (the color of the wood element). Bitter greens like dandelion, nettles, and arugula can be helpful to cleanse the liver and gallbladder and promote better digestion.
• Avoid too many rich, heavy, greasy foods, or too much alcohol as that may congest the liver and gallbladder. This can also lead to inflammation and other diseases.
• Spring is also a good time to try a liver or gallbladder cleanse, or adapt to a healthier diet.
• Sleep is essential: Sleep is the time for replenishing the liver and gallbladder to recover from the stresses of the day. The spirit aspect of the liver is called the “hun.” The hun grants us the capacity for dreams, imagination, inner vision for creativity and clear direction for our goals. It maintains peaceful sleep so we can have clear dreams that are beneficial to our soul. Certain types of insomnia are signs of a liver imbalance.

These are all ways to support your wood energy and stay balanced and healthy in the spring.

This spring, support your wood element to nourish your vision and to continue to grow. Make plans and decisions that align with who you are.

Stay flexible, creative and hopeful so you can achieve your goals!

Wendy Weiss has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for 30 years. She can be reached for more information on her website or call her at 707-277-0891.

Kelseyville Unified Superintendent Dave McQueen. Courtesy photo.

While the pandemic keeps grabbing all the headlines, many educators throughout Lake County are quietly doing inspiring work with local students, helping them build resilience while also teaching them the academic skills they need to be successful.

We also have many unsung heroes who do not work directly with students, but who nonetheless make sure students and staff have the resources they need to keep moving forward.

Collecting cans to help others

Kelseyville High School teacher Mr. Bailey recently congratulated his first-period class with breakfast at Woody's for collecting 600 cans of food during the Thanksgiving food drive.

Mr. Bailey’s students’ efforts amounted to 40%t of the whole KHS collection effort! Every donation counts and I'm proud of all the KHS first-period classes who participated. Together, they donated 1,500 cans to people in our community.

Big thanks to Freaky Fast Oil Change

Sometimes teachers, coaches, and athletic directors reach out in the community to help students. Big thanks to Freaky Fast Oil Change in Lakeport for supporting KHS Athletics. Owners Brian and Marilee Manson donated a dollar for each oil change in the month of December, which added up to $333!

Helping students who need a little extra structure

Our new Kelseyville Elementary School counselor, Nicole Sherrell, implemented a check-in/check-out system. CICO provides more structure, accountability, and motivation to help students improve behaviors. Most students on CICO have been demonstrating big improvements so far.

Working hard behind the scenes

Sometimes our less visible employees make huge contributions. At Kelseyville, we have a tech team of two — and they keep the entire district running.

It is truly incredible not only the volume of work they have taken on during this whole COVID mess, it is also impressive how they continually seek ways to help us use technology to make us more efficient and provide better quality results.

Recently, Bill Grossner figured out how to connect data from two different systems, saving our team countless hours of input by hand.

Testing, testing and more testing

Another team that deserves high praise is our nursing and district staff who have administered hundreds of COVID tests.

As you probably know, public school districts must comply with guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health and this includes a whole bunch of testing. To keep teachers in the classroom, testing staff have come in early and stayed late.

To make it more convenient for staff and students, nursing staff have traveled to school sites rather than requiring folks to come to a central testing location.

Modeling great attitudes

Some of the most impressive staff are those who continually share their positive attitudes with colleagues, students, and families. When the rest of us are at the end of our ropes, these folks give us the warm smile and words of encouragement that help us turn our day around.

Guy Fieri Foundation grant for KHS Culinary Program

Finally, in case you missed it, our culinary arts teacher Tami Cramer reached out to the Guy Fieri Foundation and, wow, did that make a difference in the lives of our students!

A $7,270 grant from the Guy Fieri Foundation has paved the way for KHS culinary arts students to fully participate in a newly formed local chapter of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, or FCCLA, a national career and technical student organization.

So, I guess I just want to say thank you. Thank you to our wonderful staff. Thank you to all the families who’ve been patient when we’re under pressure to perform in ways we couldn’t have predicted before the pandemic. Thank you to our wonderful community supporters for their financial contributions that make new opportunities available to our students.

From little things like warm smiles to big things like donations to the day-in, day-out dedication of people who continue to give when they don’t have much left in the way of emotional reserves, it all counts. It all makes a difference.

Let’s keep helping each other and helping our students.

Dave McQueen is superintendent of Kelseyville Unified School District.

Kelseyville Unified Superintendent Dave McQueen. Courtesy photo.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. — If your child turns 5 years old between Sept. 2, 2022, and Feb. 2, 2023, now is the time to enroll them in Transitional Kindergarten, or TK.

TK is the first year of a two-year Kindergarten program, designed to help our youngest students learn to play with others and get used to school.

Year two of Kindergarten continues this play-based learning, plus it introduces foundational skills for reading, writing, and mathematics to prepare students for first grade.

TK is not required, but it is a wonderful opportunity for children to meet new friends and learn important skills like listening to directions and taking turns.

Student enrollment process

If you’ve never enrolled a student in school before, allow me to walk you through the process.

At Kelseyville Unified, new-student registration starts online. You’ll need to provide some basic information, like your name and contact information as well as your student’s name and birth date.

As soon as we receive this information, we’ll get in touch to provide you with all the forms you need.

We’ll also pass your name on to Kelseyville Elementary School, so they can schedule your child’s assessment sometime between April 12 to 14.

For the 2022-23 school year, all Transitional Kindergarten classes will be held at Kelseyville Elementary. If you live in the Riviera Elementary School area, your child can transfer to Riviera school for year two of Kindergarten.

Although we can send you the required forms via email, you’ll need to bring the completed forms and other documents to the district office to complete the enrollment process.

To register a student for school in Lake County, you’ll need to provide:

• A copy of your child’s birth certificate;
• A copy of your child’s immunization record (visit to see what’s required);
• A copy of your child’s medical and dental exam form signed by the provider;
• Proof of residency in the district (most folks use utility bill or property tax bill).

Student enrollment support

We understand that not everyone has access to a computer and/or the internet, so you are welcome to call or text our Welcome Center at 707-245-4061 to schedule a time that is convenient for you to come on down. We can walk you through the whole process.

We also understand that English is not everyone’s first language. For families who need support in Spanish, Adriana Flores Ponce is the local Migrant Education liaison from the Butte County Office of Education. She serves the parents and students of Kelseyville Unified (as well as Lakeport and Upper Lake). She has offered to help Spanish-speaking families through the school enrollment process. She can be reached at 707-245-1407 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Just so you know, over the next four years, the age of students eligible for TK changes. By 2025, there will be universal TK for all four-year-olds thanks to changes in the California Education Code. If you’re interested in more details, you can visit the Lake County Office of Education’s website and type Transitional Kindergarten in the search bar.

Also, in case you were wondering, enrollment for returning students begins after July 1.

At Kelseyville Unified, we’re excited to welcome our youngest students. We know it will be a big step — for parents and students alike.

We are here to support you from that first school drop-off to that final triumphant moment when they accept their diploma and launch into the world.

Dave McQueen is superintendent of Kelseyville Unified School District.

I recently read the well-scripted and polished press release issued by Anthony Farrington, in which he stated that he is running for Lake County district attorney.

While I am happy with my retirement from politics, and really have no interest to jump back in, I feel the safety of Lake County is not something that should be allowed to be politicized.

I worked with Anthony for 16 years, as did many other past and present county supervisors, city council members, and state and federal officials. I believe that the perspective many of us have to offer is something the public should be made aware of.

I am very familiar with the political tactics of Anthony Farrington and I can predict many things, including his whining about this letter being “mudslinging.” It is not mudslinging, but facts that people should have in order to weigh their decision in this very important race.

Additionally, it’s important to note that our current district attorney, Susan Krones, has nothing to do with my opinion or this letter as a whole. In fact, she will be reading it for the first time just like anyone else.

Anthony is a very polished politician and, like many of our modern career politicians, he comes across as very smooth and knowledgeable. He was able to fake his way through 16 years as a county board member, but I don’t think he would be able to fake his way through the highest level of law enforcement in our county.

As anyone who has worked in the legal system in Lake County will attest, Anthony has very little experience, if any, in criminal cases.

I think it is worth noting that not one single board member who he worked with is willing to support him. This indicates that there must be a concrete reason behind their collective aversion to him. I will also predict that his response to this statement will be to claim that he has been a lone fighter for the “will of the people." This is the kind of political rhetoric that you can expect from Anthony.

Many of those who worked with him, myself included, were forced to deal with his nonattendance to many of the committees that he now brags about being on. I remember once bringing a photo of Anthony to show the other members of the Public Defender Oversight Committee what he looked like in case they had forgotten.

I can’t recall him ever attending even one single meeting during the entire time that the Public Defender Oversight Committee was active. In fact, according to one representative of
the California State Association of Counties, his attendance record was less than 20%. When he was there, it was for less than an hour and he would make minimal and insignificant

The other board members and I (not to mention dozens of county support staff) were all forced to pick up the slack for him while he was attending his online law school for three years.

Although his law school was completely online, it still seemed to take a tremendous amount of time away from his job as supervisor, for which he was being well paid by the taxpayers of this county.

Additionally, all of the time that he spent studying for the bar exam also took his time and focus away from attending to important county business. He had to take the bar exam an inordinate number of times before he finally managed to pass. In all fairness to Anthony, it may have only been four times, but it was still a significant amount of time taken away from the job that he was being paid to do by the taxpayers of this county.

As with his previous political campaigns, his contribution to committees and policies is heavily embellished. His involvement in locking up cough syrup at Kmart was something that was being worked on by state officials long before he hurried the ordinance through in order to try and take credit for being first. The real issue here is his ignorance of the actual root of the methamphetamine problem. How did locking up NyQuil work out for us, Tony?

Further, I might be misunderstanding him, but it looks as if he is also making a feeble attempt to convince the voting public that he can take sole credit for the Megan's Law website
that has actually been implemented in all counties in California for years. It is hard to determine if this is Anthony’s ignorance or arrogance, but either way, the public should be leery.

His claim of having a 100% success rate in civil protective orders is also a substantial exaggeration. He has used his position as a supervisor to try to manipulate law enforcement into making arrests of members of the other side in his family law cases. He has done this in order to gain leverage in civil matters. Several members of law enforcement officers can attest to this.

I personally heard a dispatch tape in which Anthony identified himself as “Supervisor Farrington” in a custody battle that he was involved in. In the recording, he falsely accused the other parent of kidnapping. Law enforcement rightfully dismissed his attempts at coercion as a civil matter.

We had this kind of conflict with our last district attorney and it is highly inappropriate and unethical.

He also claims that his purpose for running is that he has been a victim and has felt as if he didn’t have a voice. While I am sincerely sorry for the loss of his father who died while he was an inmate in a Texas jail in December of 1979, I don’t see that having any impact or reflecting on our current DA. It clearly did not impact Anthony’s career choices, as he has no experience in criminal cases worth mentioning.

Additionally, I am amused by his newfound manliness as he talks about shooting at the range, working on cars, working at his ranch (hobby farm) and fishing. Not only is he attempting to pander to a male conservative voter block, but I believe this to be a subtle reminder from him to all of us that he is a man, and that his opponent is not. I find it offensive.

Be prepared for a lot of gloss and promises that he cannot keep and has no intention of keeping. He displayed the same tactics during every previous election cycle when he promised to get water rights back from Yolo County, while knowing full well that such a feat was legally impossible. He then dropped the issue immediately upon getting reelected.

In another example of him doing and saying anything that might benefit his addiction to political expediency, he registered as a Republican during his first campaign for office. He then found it to be strategically advantageous to register as a Democrat when he made a feeble yet brief attempt at running for State Assembly. That ambition was annihilated when the State party informed him that they had a better candidate in mind and kicked him to the curb.

It is not necessary to take my word for the truth of the above statements. Further confirmation can be found by speaking to other supervisors and elected officials who have worked with Anthony over the years and listening to their perspectives. While they may be less blunt than I am, their lack of support for him will likely be the same and speak volumes.

Do not let Anthony trick you into thinking his family law practice qualifies him for district attorney. I challenge Anthony to provide a list of his criminal law jury trial experience
(excluding being a spectator or a witness, of course). It should not take him long.

I guarantee that list does not qualify him to be an entry-level deputy DA, let alone lead the entire office.

My advice to Anthony is to put back the Lakeport billboard he conveniently removed of late and to continue chasing his personal injury and family law practice and face the reality that he lacks the experience needed to be a minimally competent entry-level deputy DA.

Rob Brown is a retired Lake County supervisor. He lives in Kelseyville, California.

Kelseyville Unified Superintendent Dave McQueen. Courtesy photo.

What do you do when one of your favorite colleagues tells you they’ve been offered a wonderful job somewhere else? You congratulate them and wish them well with all your heart, even though you’ll miss them.

That’s what we did when our assistant superintendent, Tim Gill, shared the news that Middletown Unified asked him to become their district superintendent. We were sad to see him go, but happy that his skill and experience will be put to good use in another Lake County school district.

The vacancy created by Mr. Gill’s departure gave us a chance to see whether we had people in our district ready for new challenges. Turns out, we did!

Dr. Nicki Thomas has moved from being principal at Mountain Vista Middle School, or MVMS, to becoming our new assistant district superintendent.

Scott Conrad has moved from being the vice principal at Kelseyville High School, or KHS, to becoming the principal at MVMS.

And Adriana Macias has moved from teaching English language development at MVMS to becoming the assistant principal at KHS.

Whenever we can promote qualified candidates from within our district, that’s what we do. Ms. Macias is not only a qualified candidate who is ready to put her administrative credential to good use, she is also a 2002 KHS graduate. So, the silver lining of Mr. Gill leaving is that Middletown gains a great administrator and we get to welcome Ms. Macias to our leadership team.

In other good news, we’re making it easier for people to support their favorite Kelseyville schools and projects. We’ve partnered with DonorsChoose, an online fundraising platform that makes it easy for people to help our teachers on projects that require extra support.

DonorsChoose was started in 2000, when a high school history teacher from the Bronx in New York looked at all the money he and his colleagues were spending on books, art supplies and other materials for their students. He figured there were people out there who'd want to help as long as they could see where their money was going, so he developed a website where teachers could request support for their classroom projects, and donors could support the ones they liked best. Now, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to schools across the country.

If you would like to support a classroom project at Kelseyville Unified, visit

As one year ends and another begins, it’s a great time to appreciate the blessings in our lives. Some are big and some are small, but they all make our lives better.

I’m really sad to see Tim Gill go, but I’m grateful to have a bilingual, bicultural administrator who knows our students and can step into leadership at the high school. So, even when life seems to be throwing you a rotten tomato, sometimes good can come of it.

The more you look for the positive, the easier it is to find. And the more you find it, the happier you’re likely to be.

I’m not just making this up. Harvard Medical School says, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

I am grateful that I work in a wonderful school district with wonderful staff, parents and students. I wish you a happy new year!

Dave McQueen is superintendent of Kelseyville Unified School District.


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