Lake Avenues is restructuring a…

The world has been turned upside down in what is left of my neck of the woods, due to the #ValleyFire. Many people have lost their homes in many communities. No matter how great or small the losses to each, our community will never be the same. The current restructure of this site reflects the unfolding of this process for me, based on feedback from the group at

While the URL for this page has been around for a while, the page was largely inactive, until the #RockyFire. Right on the heels of that one was the #JerusalemFire. I did not suffer losses anywhere close to that of countless others who have nothing to return to, but more than one childhood home was lost, as well as many of the places where most of my memories have been created.

Stay tuned for more on the recovery and stay #LakeCountyStrong!

Forum + resouces site is under construction.



Lake Avenues Update 9-20-2015

Lake avenues basic header forum 2

This is basically a test post, so that I can explore the features of this theme. I like the idea of having a blog, as well as a forum, but it seems a bit distracting, even when considering that everybody has their preferences for sites. The FB group most likely will remain the primary site, but I am exploring options for extended posting/comments. It may not fly, but I am trying to meet people where they are.

Stay tuned


Lake Avenues: Residents Relieved As Rocky Fire Is Held Back

Within hours, this blog went from sitting in idle, to averaging 45 hits per hour, simply because of the Rocky Fire. This site is just part of an idea that I had a few months ago. I had no idea that the spotlight was going to be turned on Clearlake (specifically The Avenues), so brightly.

Oh, well. Whatever the story of Lake Avenues, it is rooted firmly in the shared experience and lessons of the fire, and it takes fire to start fire, so…

The good news!

They did an incredible job of holding back the fire, last night, and it’s 40% contained. It did not advance in acreage.

There certainly will be a lot of stories coming out of this, and perhaps I shall add some of my own, as well as those of others up here in The Avenues (#AveNews). For now, some highlights off of the top of my head:

The week is a blur, as far as what happened and when, exactly. A few days ago it seemed this area was in big trouble, as the smoked billowed up from east to north. It seemed as if the mandatory evacuation call was about to come in at any second. Then the heavy aircraft came in. I guess I should call it what it is: “very large air tanker” or “VLAT”, which were DC-10s, in this case.

Rocky threatens the avenues, just moments before a impressive air assault. In fact, it was so impressive that I did not take picures.

Rocky threatens the avenues, just moments before a impressive air assault. In fact, it was so impressive that I did not take pictures.

Zoom! Roar! 

The sights and sounds of the aircraft gave us hope and boosted our spirits. On top of that, everybody (well, at least the men) were thrilled when they flew directly over the neighborhood, like rock stars:

“They flew right over my street”!


It seemed at that point that we had turned a corner and would be fine. Of course, we learned later that it was not the end of our risk. There were more close calls.

Another comforting moment came two days ago. Engines from San Francisco had been canvassing the neighborhood all day, and when it was clear that they were staying at one point for a while, I decided to ask them what was going on.

It seems that the day before, Clearlake/The Avenues were right back in harms way, as the fire changed direction. Not wanting to be 45 minutes out of the area if something happened quickly again, these men were sent here to be on guard. It’s mostly dirt roads up here, with many of them having dead ends, and they needed to be prepared.

I was told that there were 10 engines up here. Five of them were from San Francisco: SFR71, 72, 73, 74, and 75. Many thanks to these gentleman for being here. It was reassuring and many of us had a fair amount of sleep that night for the first time in nearly a week.

SFR71 and crew. The bicycle belonged to a resident - it's not part of the approach ...

SFR71 and crew. The bicycle belonged to a resident – it’s not part of the approach …

That’s all for the moment. I managed to get some good sleep last night, but I am still spent. As I was jotting down my two cents, word came in that Phase 1 of repopulation for the area has begun.


Thank you so much to the world for tuning in and caring about us. Words cannot express our gratitude. It’s still not over… this has been surreal. The fire seemed supernatural, but that’s a story for another time.

#lakeaves, #rockyfire, #socialwork

The #RockyFire And The Avenues

The Rocky Fire has been dancing on the ridge just over my head for three days. The Avenues of Clearlake were placed on a voluntary evacuation advisory, yesterday afternoon. Just a few minutes ago, mandatory evacuations were announced for Highway 20, east of Cache Creek, and up to/including Walker Ridge Road.

Even if this information finds you too late for this emergency, perhaps it will be helpful in the future. This can also serve of a record of the event for the archives.

The love, support, and kindness from the community has been outstanding, and it’s something I’d like to come back to in the future. One thought that stuck in my mind: “Homelessness is year-round, and not everybody had their reasons in a headline.” Of course those of us in harm’s way need help right now, but it’s easy to walk away from others when the trauma that led to their circumstances was not experienced personally.


#RockyFire tag on Twitter

Lake Avenues on Twitter

CalFire On FB (their updates are quick)

CalFire News on Twitter

Lake County Office of Emergency Services

CalFire Home

Lake County News

Lake County Record Bee

Real Time fire map

A real time map of the Rocky Fire from 7-3-2015. The Avenues are in the blue oval

A real time map of the Rocky Fire from 7-3-2015

Be safe, everybody. Let this be a reminder about the value of being prepared. It’s also a reminder of what it takes in resources to get prepared. All of this stuff is great topics for future discussion and action, as we continue to reach out to one another and provide neighborly solutions for system failure.

For now, BIG THANKS! to all of the firefighters and safety folks who are working so hard to keep us from burning up. Check the links for how to be of service. Someday soon, hopefully, this will be a good place to stop for such things. It’s a vision. If it’s meant to be, it will be. This catastrophe has certainly lit a fire under … uh, it motivated me.

Stay tuned. This is not over yet.

Big hugs and much love!

Sepia tone dominate the skies over The Avenues, as a voluntary evacuation notice is given, 7-31-2015

Sepia tone dominate the skies over The Avenues, as a voluntary evacuation notice is given, 7-31-2015

Color changes meaning in smoke. Trees started turning white from ash in  The Avenues

Color changes meaning in smoke. Trees started turning white from ash in The Avenues

The Avenues just before the voluntary evacuation notice was given

The Avenues just before the voluntary evacuation notice was given

Tiny houses, big hearts and plenty of food

Some things just blow my mind and melt my heart. At such moments, I do not have words, but it’s okay because sometimes a person has something that they want to say and somebody else just says it better.

Lake Avenues News (AviNews?)

Lake Avenues News (AviNews?)

Home Petite Home

In the Pacific Northwest, people with nowhere else to go are forming micro-communities with communal kitchens and toilets but teeny, individual sleeping units. Could tiny homes, once the provenance of design blogs, help curb homelessness nationwide?

The above link was brought to my attention via a post on the Lake Avenues’ Facebook Page, courtesy of LC Tiny Home Village on Facebook.

A group of us are going to do that here in Clearlake, just looking for some land, an acre or so, on which to build. Perfect solution for transitional housing for the homeless. See our LC Tiny Home Village page/ Open meetings every week.

A little bit of land would go a long way.

This is the URL provided on the GB home page of LC Tiny Home:

village collaborative

Collaborative community approaches, folks. My best to the wonderful beings here in Clearlake who are doing such a fine job. I’ll come back to this. I need to learn more, but this was too cool to put on the back burner.

Aside from having shelter there is no other as basic a need than for food. Our natural right to forage for food (to eat) has been stripped from us. Somehow these basic survival needs – food and shelter – have been equated with money, which is taxed and regulated. Nobody questions the tenet of “having to earn a living.” There is value in hard work, but food should not be something that anybody should ever have to fight for. Food should not be currency. From the moment we are born we are regarded as another mouth to feed, and already behind on seeing whether or not we can finance our existence.

Liam Scheff is sounding the alarm for the need for us not only to invest in our communities, but also what to do to get the most out of the investment. I should warn you that he frank. He’s also pretty silly, so be sure to capture one of his radio shows:

Be prepared to grow food: This Moment In Oil and Cultural Decline

Liam advice

It can be uncomfortable to think about being on the edge of a precarious slope, but I’d rather know about it so that I could take a step back away from it.
Imagine what things would be like if we all grew food and provided shelter for one another? … Tiny houses, big hearts and plenty of food … ?

Cheers! for now, everybody. You rock.
As for whatever I’m doing, thanks for all of your support while I figure it out. Until next time,