Monday, 15 July 2024


LUCERNE - A creek by any other name would still have some fool throw garbage or a junk car in it. While that is the woeful fate of every stream/creek formed in our watershed, it is not today’s topic.

LAKEPORT – Lakeport's longtime fire chief has announced plans to retire, and the district's board has offered the chief position to a local fire captain.

Chief Al Moorhead has served 47 and a half years with Lakeport Fire – 36 of them as a volunteer. He joined the department in June 1959 and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually being named acting chief in 1995 before he was offered the spot on a permanent basis in 1996. While he held down the chief's position, he and his brother have managed the family's Big Valley ranch, where he grows grapes and walnuts.

Moorhead said Thursday his retirement is tentatively scheduled to go into effect Dec. 31. A closed session meeting with the fire district board was to have taken place Thursday evening, he said. “There's a few loose ends that have to be picked up.”

The department has offered the chief's spot to Kenneth Wells, a captain with the Kelseyville Fire Protection District.

Jim Dowdy, an engineer/paramedic with Kelseyville Fire, said Wells teaches an emergency medical technician class for Mendocino College. He called Wells a “great guy and a good fireman.”

“He's well-known in this county for his fire experience as well as his personality,” said Dowdy.

Wells confirmed Thursday that he has been offered the position but that there are still some procedures to follow before it becomes official.

He's been with Kelseyville Fire for 36 years, he explained, 26 of those years in a paid position.

In size, Kelseyville and Lakeport are quite similar; Kelseyville has 16 total personnel, he said, while Moorhead reported Lakeport's staff numbers 15.

Wells' family has a history of public service. Dowdy noted that Wells' father served on the Kelseyville Fire board of directors, and Wells noted that his brother, Lloyd, is a retired Lakeport Police officer.

When the chance came around for a chief position, Wells said he went for it. “I've been going through lots of training to prepare for this job because it's an advancement.”

He's not a stranger to Lakeport Fire, having spent the last three to four years working there as a part-time paramedic, so he feels comfortable with the department, he said.

Moorhead said that after retirement he plans to remain involved in the department.

“We still need to figure out how to get a new fire station,” he said, saying that he would like to be a part of the process.

“Right now we have to finish with our land swap with the City of Lakeport,” he said.

Lakeport Fire wants to swap a parcel on Bevins Court for a more suitable location on Larrecou Lane, Moorhead said.

“The next thing would be to sit down and get the property to where a firehouse could be built and then we've got to look at the design of a firehouse and how we're going to finance it, because they don't come cheap,” he said.

It's the kind of project that Wells is familiar with, after having gone through Kelseyville Fire's recent building project in the city's downtown. He said he was the department's liaison with the contractor, and also did the purchasing for the building's furniture and appliances.

The process, which lasted eight months from breaking ground to moving in, “seemed like forever,” he said.

But Wells said he's prepared for a new project. “We have a lot of work to do. We have some property we need to secure, then we need to make sure the finances are going to be available.”

He added, “It's quite a process just to get started.”

What's next for Moorhead? There's still the ranch in Big Valley to take care of, he said.

And there may be another assignment soon. After lots of years of hard work, “My wife wants to go places,” he said.

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




SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company has reportedly paid property tax payments totaling nearly $97 million to the 49 counties in which it operates. This amount represents full and timely payment of property taxes due for the period from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2006.

LAKE COUNTY – Overnight storms – with high winds and heavy precipitation – have resulted in trees down around the county, hitting power, cable and phone lines in some cases and blocking roadways.

LAKEPORT - The Lake County Administrative Office, in conjunction with the Lake County Historical Society, has scheduled a public meeting to assist in the planning and development of the Lake County Agricultural History and Farm Equipment Museum, near the former Ely Stage Stop in Kelseyville.

Video Update - {playerflv}jhopkinsqualityoflife.flv|210|150|#000000|false{/playerflv} 


LAKEPORT - Deuces.

That's what California law enforcement calls drunk driving arrests, because over time all of the state's traffic codes covering the illegality have ended with the digit 2. These include 2152, 502, 23102 and the present 23152.

KELSEYVILLE - The Big Valley Coordinated Resource Management and Planning (CRMP) group will serve as this year's host to Lake County's watershed groups for a celebration of their activities and achievements.

Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Board of Supervisors
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.16.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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