Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'...Into the future...

(Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle - 1976)


An "Almost Editorial" by Peter Kilkus


The next edition of the Lake Berryessa News (September 12, 2012) will be the final print edition I will publish. Iwill continue publishing my web site, Facebook page, and email newsletter - more on that later.


ItÕs been fifteen years since I bought my place at Steele Park. Great memories of family and friends enjoying the lake we loved until the local residential and recreational communities were destroyed by the Bureau of Reclamation and their sock puppet surrogates led by Carol Kunze. Kunze doesnÕt often get the credit she deserves for the present chaos at the lake.


Seven years since Imoved permanently the Berryessa Highlands. Seven years since Ijoined Shirl Katleba in editing and writing the Lake Berryessa News. Five years since Iwas forced to pay $3,500 to demolish my mobile home at Steele Park. Five years since Ifounded the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce.


Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’...I wish Icould say that time has been good to Lake Berryessa - but rather it has been a disaster. Reviewing seven years of Lake Berryessa News files brings with it quite a bit of nostalgia. You can see some of that on Page 10 with my first 2005 editorial.


I also found one of my favorite letters to the Register from local sock puppet for the radical exclusionist fringe, Wendy Wallin. I was reminded of it while reading her delusional letter (July 30, 2012) to the Register supporting the Berryessa Snow Mountain NCA. Here it is for old times’ sake. Inever realized I was so evil! Some people never learn, things never change.


Preserve lake beauty(Feb. 26, 2005)

by Wendy Wallin


I'm wondering if anyone else experienced a chill of dread reading about Peter Kilkus' plan to move to Berryessa. Granted, as a resident of the Berryessa area, I'm more likely to react with primal, territorial, sympathetic nervous system arousal than most residents of Napa County. But for anyone committed to preserving the natural beauty of the hills of east Napa County, or anyone interested in enhancing quiet, nature-based recreation possibilities at Lake Berryessa, this must at least have triggered some alarm.


Although I understood that Kilkus belonged to a small, special - interest group that wished to retain exclusive access to public land, and that he and others have been able to invest the financial resources necessary to hire lobbyists to further their cause, I was not aware of the extent of Kilkus' plans to perpetuate environmentally degrading activity at the lake. It's clear that his real interest lies not with the trailer owners, but with other special interest groups.


Kilkus' misguided assertion that Napa County fits his ATV and jet ski lifestyle reveals an underlying motivation for rallying trailer owners to challenge the Bureau of Reclamation's redevelopment plan for the lake. Attributing this lifestyle to Napa County (contrary to preferences stated in surveys for more nature-based recreation in the area) seems to be wishful thinking to counteract his concern that an increase in visitors who prefer nature over noise may affect his ability to enjoy jet skis on the lake.


The territorial hackles that were raised for me, however, were in response to the ATV part of that lifestyle. Although there are probably a few ATV areas in or around Napa County, that form of recreation is not compatible with the responsible land use ethic for which Napa County is known.

There are people out there who would like good land stewardship and preservation of nature extended to Lake Berryessa, and who would be more likely to visit the lake if it were more conducive to hiking, camping, non-motorized boating and other means of enjoying the natural surroundings rather than less amenable to such activities...


The Bureau's redevelopment plan is likely to bring higher quality businesses, better access to the lake, the availability of pleasant, year-round accommodations and a preponderance of safer and more wholesome activity which would draw larger groups of people, thereby generating income and transient occupancy tax. This would improve the economic status of the lake and the community.



My response (March, 2005)


Your reporter's use of some of the background comments I made about my love for Lake Berryessa and my desire to live within and contribute to that community was a bit narrow and obviously misunderstood by some folks. Yes, I enjoy riding my ATV in the beautiful - and legal - Napa County Knoxville OHV area, as well as farther north at Stonyford. Yes, I enjoy riding my California and Lake Tahoe-legal jet ski on Lake Berryessa. But my Berryessa "lifestyle" also includes my hiking shoes, my mountain bike, my kayak and my little electric motor inflatable boat. Napa County and Lake Berryessa are perfect for all of them.


What your article did not include is that I was senior trainer and board member for the Environmental Forum of Marin, and have been a sustainability advocate for more than a decade beginning with my service on the San Anselmo Solid Waste and Recycling Advisory Committee. I was also on the San Anselmo Town Council for five years and mayor for one. As councilmember I formed the Quality of Life Commission which is dedicated to fostering a sustainable San Anselmo. Contributing to my local community-environmentally, economically and politically - is a fundamental part of my lifestyle.


Those pseudo-environmentalists who attempt to demonize other community members out of some misplaced sense of their own moral superiority are doing a disservice to Napa County and to the whole Lake Berryessa community.


We all want Lake Berryessa to be accessible to the public, provide the infrastructure necessary to service a broad range of needs, and to the maximum extent possible, be economically self-sufficient. Lake Berryessa should be a sustainable community, which means a considered balance of environment, economics and social equity (or planet, pocketbook and people, if you prefer). The future of Lake Berryessa should be based on real needs and real data, not some economically-misguided, enviro-elitist model.