The Latest Issue Of The Lake Berryessa News, November 2019, Has Been Published And Is Available to Download. Click on image below.

LBNews Pg 8&1 Nov19


Remember Happy Days, Good Ole Days, 

Have Some Smiles For The Holidays!

(If you moved to Lake Berryessa after 2009, you really don’t understand the damage done to our local community by the Bureau of Reclamation and what you’ve been missing because of it. See my interview with Brian Hackney in 2010: https://youtu.be/nP9K8Ai0Lkc)


Steele Park restaurant
1.2 Steele Park Restaurant from lake before
3.0 Steele Park Marina before
Rancho store
boy dog jet ski edited-1
kids on tube edited-1
Fishermen celebrate edited-1
happy boaters edited-1
happy boaters1


The Turkey Popped Out of the Oven

The Turkey popped out of the oven

and rocketed in to the air;

It knocked every plate off the table

and partly demolished a chair.

It ricocheted into a corner

and burst with a deafening boom,

Then splattered all over the kitchen,

completely obscuring the room.

It stuck to the walls and the windows,

it totally coated the floor,

There was turkey attached to the ceiling,

where there had never been turkey before.

It blanketed every appliance,

it smeared every saucer and bowl;

There wasn't a way I could stop it;

that turkey was out of control.

I scraped and I scraped with displeasure

and thought with chagrin as I mopped,

That I would never again stuff a turkey

with popcorn that hadn't been popped.

Jack Prelutsky


Boat Repair 2019a


Petanque Comes to Lake Berryessa

Thanks to Spanish Flat renaissance man, Geoff Lake, many of us are learning to speak "Petanque." Petanque was invented by French Navy seamen, who used small cannon balls, and is played outdoors on any reasonably firm surface: your yard, the park, a field. Find a place that is open and fairly flat. Petanque is much like bocce without the walls.

French Petanque 1970's edited-1

You can play singles with one player on each side, doubles, or triples. Each team's boules will have groove patterns that distinguish them from the other side's boules.

The team that wins the coin toss chooses the starting location and then selects one of their players to throw out the jack. Once a circle is drawn, the player then stands with both feet inside the circle and throws the jack. The jack can be thrown in any direction.

The player attempts to throw the boule so that it lands as close to the jack as possible - it is okay to hit the jack. A player from the opposing team then steps into the circle and attempts to land his boule closer to the jack even if it means knocking his opponents out of the way. The other team must continue throwing boules until they take the lead or run out of boules. 

Once a team has used all its boules, the other side is allowed to throw the rest of its boules. When all boules are thrown, the points are counted. The team that has the boule closest to the jack wins the round. In addition, they also receive a point for each boule that is closer to the jack than their opponents closest boule. The first team to earn a total of agreed upon points wins the game. There is not a required number of rounds that must be played.

Petanque at Peter's 110319 names edited-2


New lower price for a great house with a fantastic view.

Check out the drone video at: https://youtu.be/VVal4ppnXFA

Sanderson November2019


Lake Berryessa Real Estate Review

Amber Payne

The current data in this article includes all of Lake Berryessa (but NOT Pope Valley) -  just the north end of the lake to the Berryessa Highlands and in between with a timeline of July 2018 to September 2019.

Currently there are eleven "Active" properties on the market ranging from $289K to $549. In addition to that there are six active "Acreage" properties ranging from $650K for 43 Acres to a compound listed at $1,602,276 with 42+ Acres.  

There are currently four properties under contract - two in the Berryessa Highlands and one in the Berryessa Pines plus one Acreage property. 

The Lake Berryessa area has had a great year on “solds”.  Sixteen properties have sold since May of this year.  Ranging from $285K to $480K, the latter being the highest most recent sale besides an acreage property that sold for $725K.

Amber address only

For the properties mentioned above:

Average Sold price:  $387,185 

Average price per sq. ft.: $303.82 

Average days on the market: 152 Days

There is now 23 months of inventory on hand which makes it a buyers market! 

I continue to be optimistic - if we continue to get rain and the lake is full we should see continued interest in lake properties.  With the resorts being fully booked for the summers that is good news for the Real Estate market. Of course we would love to see some movement soon on the Corners and the resort revitalizations. Next year is an election year so that always brings some uncertainty to the market, but interest rates are good and the job market is thriving. This is a great time to buy for first time home buyers and for second home buyers.  

Currently there are approximately 35 Active vacant land parcels on the market. - priced from $14K to $599K  - 11 of the 35 are "acreage" properties.  

There are currently two under contract  - both are in the Highlands

There are six recent Solds:

Four "lots" 

Two "Acreage" properties 

Average Days on the Market for vacant land is approximately 453 days.

Avg price per sqft edited-1
Days on market
for sale sold edited-1


What is Haiku?

Spanish Flat poet and chef, Geoff Lake,  sent me this haiku when power was finally restored at Lake Berryessa after four days last week.

Five days without heat or hot water

how beautiful

the wildflower, blossom, blooms

Traditional Haiku

A haiku is traditionally a Japanese poem consisting of three short lines that do not rhyme. In Japanese, there are five "moras" in the first and third line, and seven in the second, following the standard 5-7-5 structure of haiku.

A haiku is considered to be more than a type of poem; it is a way of looking at the physical world and seeing something deeper, like the very nature of existence. It should leave the reader with a strong feeling or impression. 

An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

A summer river being crossed
how pleasing
with sandals in my hands!

Light of the moon
Moves west, flowers' shadows
Creep eastward.

The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame.

Modern Haiku

Many modern western poets do not subscribe to the 5-7-5 pattern. The Academy of American Poets recognizes this evolution, but maintains that several core principles remain woven into the tapestry of modern haiku. That is, a haiku still focuses on one brief moment in time, employs provocative, colorful imagery, and provides a sudden moment of illumination.

More recently, poets like Jack Kerouac paved the way for a freer rhythm in haiku. However, the same tiny moments in time are still captured in a very colorful and enlightened manner. A haiku remains reserved for those special moments in life when you want to examine the very nature of existence, from a church bell ringing out in the night to the staggering moment you realize he loves you.

From across the lake,
Past the black winter trees,
Faint sounds of a flute.

Too dark to read the page
Too cold.
- Jack Kerouac

Insects on a bough

floating downriver,

still singing


Spring passes

And the birds cry out-

Tears in the eyes of fishes


On New Year's Day

I long to meet my parents

as they were before my birth.


A giant firefly:

that way, this way, that way, this -

and it passes by.


The haiku doesn't have to be serious. It can be funny- for example:


My life is Jello

Sitting and waiting in the bowl

Patiently to gel


And of course there are Cat Haiku poems:


You never feed me

Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.

That will sure show you.


You must scratch me there!

Yes, above my tail! 

Behold,"Elevator butt."


The rule for today

Touch my tail, I shred your hand

New rule tomorrow


Grace personified,

I leap into the window.

I meant to do that. 


My small cardboard box.

You cannot see me if I

can just hide my head.


America’s Defining Divide Isn’t 

Left vs. Right. It’s Old vs. Young.

Voters over retirement age will continue to dominate U.S. politics until at least 2060. Due to increasing life expectancy, falling birth rates and the sheer size of the baby boom generation, today’s older voters have held on to political power longer than any previous generation in history.  The U.S. electorate is the oldest it’s ever been and will keep getting older for at least four more decades.

Researchers call it the “demographic transition.” Americans over 65 are now the fastest-growing age group in the country. The U.S. Census projects that by 2035, the population past retirement age will outnumber the population under 18 for the first time in history. While younger, more diverse generations have captured the media narrative about U.S. politics, its defining feature in the future may be its oldest participants. 

“As much as diversity is growing in the U.S., the baby boomer generation still has a lot of financial power, political power and consumer power,” said William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “There’s a lot of focus in the media on the younger generations, but in fact, the younger population is growing more slowly than seniors.”

America’s current demographic makeup, Frey said, is unprecedented. Due to rising longevity, falling birth rates and the sheer number of baby boomers (currently between 55 and 73 years old), today’s older Americans have held onto power longer than any previous generation. In 1950, as the boom began, just 8 percent of Americans were over 65; the United States had more people under 25 than over 45. By 2010, when the boomers began to retire, those numbers had flipped and the share of the population over retirement age had increased by 50 percent. 

Their power goes beyond raw numbers. Older Americans are more likely to vote than millennials and Gen Xers, particularly in midterm and primary elections. They are three times more likely to donate to political campaigns. Plus, they are clustered in rural and sparsely populated states, giving them disproportionately large Senate and Electoral College representation. 

This partly explains why the average member of Congress is now 58.6 years old, roughly a decade older than they were in 1981 and two decades older than the population at large.  

Without a dramatic increase in immigration or a sudden doubling of the birth rate, this is likely to be a permanent shift. The elderly population will continue to grow until at least 2026⁠. By 2050, demographers expect the number of Americans over 65 to roughly triple and the number of Americans in their 20s to decline.

Between 2016 and 2036, Americans over 65 are the only age group expected to increase in numbers. This trend has profound implications for every American institution, but perhaps none more so than politics itself. Older voters have unique characteristics and specific interests that transcend the Democratic-Republican divide. From their economic circumstances to their demographic makeup, the concerns of older voters are only going to become more prominent as the baby boom generation enters retirement.

This creates a paradox for the candidates vying for the presidential nomination in 2020 and beyond. Though the most high-profile policy ideas ― subsidized childcare, paid leave, universal health care ― address the concerns of younger generations, the election itself may be determined by voters unlikely to reap  benefits and wary of paying the costs.

Older voters have strikingly different wealth and income profiles than younger voters. Four out of five older families own homes, compared to just one in four younger families. Most own stocks and a large plurality are business owners. Nearly 1 in 9 older households are millionaires and, according to a 2015 study, are the only age group in America whose net worth has increased since 1989. 


Why Third Parties Undermine Democracy: Duverger’s Law

 The “Duverger” in Duverger’s Law is Maurice Duverger, a French scholar and former member of the European Parliament who died in 2014. He is best known for his analysis of what happens in states that use first-past-the-post electoral systems — that is, a system that awards victory to whichever candidate receives a plurality of the state’s popular vote, regardless of how small that plurality may be.

Duverger’s Law provides that “single-member plurality districts produce two-party systems.” That is, when multiple candidates compete for a single job, and the job goes to whoever gets a plurality of the votes, the candidates will tend to sort into exactly two political parties. Third parties will vanish.

According to Duverger, this sorting happens because “the brutal finality of a majority vote on a single ballot forces parties with similar tendencies to regroup their forces at the risk of being overwhelmingly defeated.”

Consider, he wrote, “an election district in which 100,000 voters with moderate views are opposed by 80,000 communist voters.” In a two-party race between the Moderate Party and the Communist Party, Moderates will prevail, and the winner of the election will reflect the preferences of a majority of the district’s voters.

Now imagine that a second moderate candidate (perhaps motivated by the fact that they disagree with the Moderate Party’s position on taxation) decides to jump into the race as a third-party candidate. This candidate may have some disagreements with the Moderate Party, but they still hold moderate views on most issues. Thus, they will be likely to draw votes away from the Moderate Party’s candidate — and if they draw enough votes, they will wind up electing a Communist.

Duverger’s insight is that similarly-minded candidates have no choice but to join together into one of two parties, lest they wind up being divided and conquered. Similarly, third parties wind up undermining democracy because they often cause the candidate who is least preferred by a majority of the electorate to win the election.


Concession Areas

Markley Cove Resort, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Putah Canyon, and Spanish Flat offer a variety of recreation services, including boat launch ramps, and are great alternatives to Oak Shores and Capell Cove. For information regarding services offered at concession-operated facilities, please call or visit their websites:

Markley Cove- 707-966-2134, www.markleycove.com
Pleasure Cove Marina- 707-966-9600, www.goberryessa.com
Steele Canyon Recreation Area- 707-966-9179, www.goberryessa.com/campground-at-steele-canyon
Spanish Flat Recreation Area- 707-966-0200, www.spanishflatcamping.com
Putah Canyon Recreation Area- 707-966-9051, 

For more information, call the Lake Berryessa Administration office at 707-966-2111, ext. 113 or visit the website at:  http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/index.html    


See my detailed report on how Lake Berryessa and Monticello Dam function at:



Special Release: New combined report for those who want to know almost everything about how Lake Berryessa works!

As Lake Berryessa Flows:

A Combination of Science, Engineering, and Natural Beauty

by Peter Kilkus

The Science and Engineering Elements of a Major Natural Resource

Download Full Report PDF Here...


Welcome to the best map of Lake Berryessa you’ll ever find!

Click on the map to see a larger version.

Click here to download a pdf copy.

1 Lake Map Base 082317


Lake Berryessa Fills and Glory Hole Spills: The Video History

This amazing series of Lake Berryessa News Drone videos by Evan Kilkus documents the 45 foot rise of Lake Berryessa in 2017.



Full lake level history 2015
Lake Levels 2006 to 031217 edited-1
Lake Levels 1990 2017



Berryessa Valley and the Town of Monticello Historical Photos and Videos from before Lake Berryessa covered it.

Berryessa Valley photo

Thanks to Carol Fitzpatrick for creating the Berryessa Valley Exhibit at the Spanish Flat Village Center described in the first video.




1958 - 2018

by Peter Kilkus


What Happened At Lake Berryessa? The Book! 

(Click to Download the PDF here)

Table Of Contents


Without THE LAKE BERRYESSA NEWS there would be no Lake Berryessa News…and finally there would be no definitive history of what happened at Lake Berryessa. Having participated directly for more than twenty years as an advocate for the lake in the fiasco that was the Bureau of Reclamation’s Visitor Services Plan, its farcical but tragic outcome, and the process of rebuilding, I have very strong views of the causes and results - supported by facts and data which were mostly obfuscated by the proponents of the destruction of the lake’s residential and business community.

The Bureau of Reclamation and their supporters destroyed family recreation at Lake Berryessa for a generation of families, children, and friends. Many people ask me about the history of the process that led to the present situation at Lake Berryessa. When I explain what happened most become incredulous and can't believe the government could have done something so stupid. "How could they have gotten away with that?" they exclaim.

The goal of this book is to provide the history and the context within which such an incredibly destructive course of action took place.

The initial timeline shows a condensed history of the process. The next section tells the story through the eyes of Lake Berryessa News articles. With the permission of the Napa Register, a parallel history is presented through contemporaneous editorials, articles, and letters to the editor from the Napa Register.

This book is not a traditional academic exercise in historical exposition. Academic historians define history as presenting facts without expressing any opinion or analysis of the events whereas memories are comprised of emotions that can have a great influence on the perception of an actual event. Critical historians live by the old saying of "there are two sides to every story and then there is the truth."

I’m more interested in the narrative approach to defining this history. Almost two decades have passed since this story began, and Lake Berryessa history has been created with every day of that twenty years.

This book is the raw, as-it-happened, unfiltered picture of what many of us lived through. It is organized chronologically; focused on a single coherent story; primarily descriptive but also analytical; primarily concerned with people but also the abstract circumstances in which they find themselves. To me a big part of the fascination with any history is trying to discover what was going on inside people's heads in the past, and what it was like to live in that past.

The future may finally looking brighter for Lake Berryessa or does it? History continues to unfold.

Peter Kilkus, Lake Beryessa, 2018


Here's an interview I did in 2010, three years after the interview below with Pat Monaghan and just after Pensus had been given the contract for 5 resorts. As we all know Pensus was subsequently kicked out in 2012.        

Here's a 2007 TV interview with Pat Monaghan, cofounder of Task Force 7 at Lake Berryessa, to give you some historical insight. Those of you who remember Pete Lucero will recognize his description of what we called "The Big Lie" - which turned into the "Epic Fail".

How It All Began: The Origins of the “Big Lie”

Lake Berryessa History Timeline: 1958 - 2018

Click here for PDF version

Lake Berryessa News (2010 - 2018): A VERY SLOW MOTION Disaster! 

Click here for PDF version


Some Interesting Past Stories

Lake Berryessa Glory Hole Swallows Senior Center Gambling Bus

Bird Goes Over the Glory Hole Waterfall Without A Barrel

Glory Hole: Awesome, Frightening, But Dangerous?

February 2019: 2nd Anniversary of Glory Hole Spilling

My First Fishing Trip on Lake Berryessa

Analysis of the Creation of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument - the Dumbest National Monument in the United States

Rattlesnakes: Friend or Enemy – or just a primal fear?


Special Publications (PDF)

As Lake Berryessa Flows:

The Science and Engineering Elements of a Major Natural Resource (Combined Reports)

Combined Report Title Page and Index


As Lake Berryessa Flows: 

A Combination of Science, Engineering, and Natural Beauty 

(Single Report)


As Lake Berryessa Turns!

Temperature and Fishing in a Warm, Monomictic Lake 

(Single Report)  


Seeing Underwater at Lake Berryessa 

(Single Report)


Silly Septic System Standards Harm Rural Napa


The History of the Creation of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument: The Ultimate Political Perversion of the Antiquities Act

By Peter Kilkus (6/20/17)

The Twisted Ten-Year Political Path From a Modest Nature Area Partnership to a Local Blue Ridge Berryessa National Conservation Area to a Large Disjointed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area to an Incoherent Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

Is it the “Dumbest National Monument in the United States”? An objective review of the process by which it was created and the final formal designation suggests the answer is YES. I personally support the creation of legitimate national monuments, but this is not that. Being part of the ten year political process that led to its creation convinced me that in many situations the Antiquities Act is being abused. The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument is a perfect case study of this abuse. 

Read the full report here.


Conspiracy Theory Or Automatic Pilot: The Economic Roots Of Environmental Destruction        

By Peter F. Kilkus 

Download PDF of this report (2 MB)


The Amazing Foods of Chef Neiman Marxist

Chef Neiman Marxist French


Winters Express logo

The Winters Express


Peter’s 75th Birthday Video (Hirez, 3m22s, 203MB )

Peter’s 75th Birthday Video (Lorez, 72MB)

Bill Scholer Birthday Band raw (1:37, 101 Mb, Lorez)

Bird video

ACDC Intros mix


Glory Hole Overflows


Hot Tramp 1000 Video

Caymans Dive Video Short - Peter Only (1 minute)

Caymans Dive Video Long - People and Fish Life (7 minutes)

pKilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2018