Job Opening - Local - Marine Repair Tech Wanted

Berryessa Boat - Jet Ski - UTV - ATV - RV Repair and Storage is gearing up for another busy repair season and is looking to hire another repair technician. If you have repair experience give us a call. Looking to fill a position as Marine Technician or an Entry Level position. Experience in marine and/or automotive repair a plus! Willing to train the right person. 

Call and talk to Jerry at the shop for more information: 707-966-9954 

or Marty cell: 707-480-4157. 

Or pass this along if you know someone who may be interested.



Senior Center St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Was Another Success


March 10, 2018

Shepherd’s Pie & Scones with Spring Greens Salad

March Cooks Debbie Plunkett & Geoffrey Lake

Thank you everybody who participated in this dinner! A special shout out to Debbie Plunkett and her Shepherd's Pie authenticated by a guest from Britain! Thank you all; a community is not of one but all!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Photo Album (Click here…)

Carol wins
Marty wins1


Former Napa County Supervisor Harold Moskowite dies at age 91


Harold Moskowite was a great person who helped build the original resorts at Lake Berryessa. As a County Supervisor he accomplished too much to list. Our thoughts are with his family.

"It is with tremendous sadness I announce the passing of my father Harold Moskowite. He was blessed to have spent his final days at home surrounded by the love of family and friends.

At 91 years old he truly was of “The Greatest Generation”, a life long Napa Valley rancher, WWII veteran, County Supervisor, Volunteer Firefighter, loving husband and family patriarch who served his community throughout his life.

In the end there are no words to convey the greatness of this man I loved and the influence he had on my life. RIP Dad."

George Moskowite



Lake Level as of 3/15/18

Lake Berryessa remained essentially stable at 431 feet - 9 feet below Glory Hole - from January 25 to March 1. With 2.44 inches of rain recorded at Monticello Dam in the last two weeks, the rainfall total is now at 10.05 inches and the lake has risen about 6 inches to 431.5 feet - 8.5 feet below Glory Hole.

Last year at this time the lake was at 440.7 feet - 8.4 inches above Glory Hole - and slowly dropping from its high of 443.59 feet on 2/21/17. Rainfall was at 41.5 inches heading up to 47+ inches by 4/20/17.

If the lake level is above 430 feet, most people consider the lake "full" (only 2.2% low), providing thousands of surface acres to play on and miles and miles of beaches on which to relax. 


2018: A Summer of Anticipation

Oncce again the Lake Berryessa community is holding its breath in a spirit of cautious optimism. Nine companies have reponded to Napa County's Request for Information and Interest. These companies are now eligible to respond to the RFP due to be released in May. 

The RFP will be preceded by the Managing Partner Agreement between Napa County and Reclamation to be completed in April. Summer 2018 should see concessionaire selection and contract negotiations proceeding.

Whatever the RFP outcomes, we are still in a "what you see is what you get" pattern. There will continue to be two full service resorts open: Markley Cove Resort and Pleasure Cove Marina. Three recreation areas will be open for camping and launching: Steele Canyon RecArea, Spanish Flat RecArea, and Putah Canyon RecArea. Monticello Shores RecArea and Berryessa Point RecArea remain closed.

If the lake level is above 430 feet, most people consider the lake "full" (only 2.2% low), providing thousands of surface acres to play on and miles and miles of  beaches on which to relax.

Summer Elections Affect Lake Berryessa

Farmer Cio Perez pulled papers and paid his candidate’s fee for the 3rd District supervisor race, which would pit him against incumbent Supervisor Diane Dillon, who represents the northern half of the Lake Berryessa region. Dillon has been a supervisor since 2003. She is running for a fifth term.

Napa County supervisors placed the Oak Woodland Initiative on June ballot, naming the initiative Measure C. “I fully support, as I did with every other citizen-driven initiative, putting it on the ballot,” Supervisor Diane Dillon said.


New Interim Lake Berryessa Park Manager

Jerome L. Jackson

Interim Period: February 18th through April 8th.

Mr. Jackson is a graduate of Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, CA, in 2008. He has law degree with an emphasis on Natural Resources Law. His regular position title is Recreation Program Manager, Policy and Administration, Denver Office.



1085 Headlands Mar2018


CeCe Mar2018


1021 Arroy Linda Ct Feb2018


Napa County Leaders Share “Lessons Learned from the October Fires and HOW TO PREPARE”

The Angwin Fire Safe Council hosted a meeting for residents with a line-up of presenters that had recent experience to share.  Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson, Napa County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Kevin Twohey, and Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon each spoke briefly about their experience during the Atlas Fire. This was followed by a presentation by Angwin Volunteer Fire Chief JR Rogers, discussing the “Ready? Set? Go!” wildfire preparedness principals, as they relate to the residents of the Angwin and Deer Park neighborhoods.


Angwin Fire Chief Rogers made it clear that creating defensible space and hardening your home with fire resistant building material are two steps that are must do’s for all Napa County residents that live in the forest. This especially is needed in the Angwin area, which hasn’t had a fire since the 1940’s.


Napa County Fire Chief Biermann advised residents that “I would do whatever I can do to make my home a stand-alone-property”, meaning one that has so much defensible space, and is properly hardened, so a fire would move past the home without any fire personnel on scene.  CAL Fire successfully accomplishes their mission of containing 90% of fires at 10 acres or less, cases in which firefighters and fire engines are able to get to the scene to help, but the Atlas Fire was “so far out of the box…with winds in excess of 70 MPH, that the “priority was to save lives”.

Atlas Peak FireSafe

Chief Biermann also noted that he “truly believes the Fire Safe Council work saved lives”. By clearing brush from along Atlas Peak Road it made it safer to access in and out. As the chief drove up Atlas Peak Road into the fire, he felt it was a “really reassuring thing…I knew I could get out.”

Sheriff  Robertson said his take-away after the wildfire was that “We do very well in a disaster. When I say we, I mean you all.” While phone service was down and things happened very fast in the first hours of the disaster, he noted that neighbors helping neighbors clearly saved lives. “First responders are not always going to be able to get to you. It’s time to get to know each other”.

nixle sign

Napa County OES Coordinator Twohey added that his office has been “very busy with four disasters in 40 months, and they have learned from each one”. During Lake County’s Valley Fire, Napa County opened a shelter for evacuees at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga, which took in 1,000 people and their small pets.  When the October fires started, they were immediately able to set up the same shelter and offer a place for evacuees and their pets. Additionally, they had plans in place to evacuate large animals, which helped them to “successfully rescue and evacuate over 700 horses.” 


Twohey reiterated “Everybody should be prepared to be on their own for 72 hours.  Have a disaster kit ready.  The government can’t always be there, residents have to be self-sufficient, help your neighbors, know your evacuation routes, and have a contact person and place if you get separated from your family”. 




CeCe furniture ad


March, 2018

LBNews Pg 8&1 Mar18

Click above to download this issue…


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



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

How Could the Government Have Done Something So Stupid?

Download a PDF of the first 180 pages of the book here....



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 is finally looking brighter for Lake Berryessa. History continues to unfold.

Peter Kilkus, Lake Beryessa, 2018


Table Of Contents

Lake Berryessa History Timeline

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

Will History Repeat Itself In Reverse? What Happened in 1975?

Notice of Intent: Solano Project--Lake Berryessa; Napa, California

The “Big Lie” Continues: Task Force 7 Protests Reclamation’s Unjustified Negative Propaganda

The Facts Fight Back: What You Need to Know About the Battle for Berryessa

Local Businesses Fight Back: Chamber of Commerce Critique of Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Residents Fight Back: More Than 900 Unleash Scorn on Reclamation Plan

The Perversiopn of Public Law 96-375: Demolition Hardball by the Bureau of Reclamation

Reclamation Defends Unjust Requirement to Demolish ALL Existing Facilities At Lake Berryessa

The Pensus Years: The Lake Berryessa News View

Pensus: The Short Story That Was Actually A Fantasy

Pensus Signs Berryessa Contract – Begins Facilities Development – Announces Resort Openings

Springtime at Lake Berryessa: Pensus in Bloom?

They’re Off Like a Herd of Turtles! Bureaucracy at Berryessa

Lake Berryessa: When Do Past Memories Actually Become “HISTORY”?

Goodbye 2011: Another Year of Process Without Progress! Will 2012 Be Any Better?

A Lake Berryessa Midsummer Night’s Dream (With Apologies to William Shakespeare)

Applehood and Mother Pie! What’s Right, What’s Wrong, and Why

Catch-22: The Bureaucratic Double Bind Theory in Practice

Seasons, Cycles, and Radical Change: Chaos Theory - Lake Berryessa Style

Floundering About at Lake Berryessa (This is not a fishing story.)

SNAFU, FUBAR and BOHICA: Deciphering Berryessa’s Ancient Rock Sculpture at Steele Park

Feds Final Folly: The Destruction of Steele Park - Public Law 96-375’s Unintended Consequence

A Modest Radical Proposal: Transfer Management of Lake Berryessa to Napa County

A Path Forward To Revitalize Lake Berryessa: Fire The Feds!

Open Letter to the Federal Government: Get Out of Lake Berryessa!

Napa County and the Bureau of Reclamation: Working Together to Rebuild Lake Berryessa?

Will 2017 Be Lake Berryessa's Lucky Year?

Milestone Achieved! A Positive Report on the Potential Future Rebirth of Lake Berryessa!

The Future of Lake Berryessa Looks Brighter, But The Sun Also Rises A Bit Slowly

Napa County Releases Lake Berryessa Request For Information & Interest

Lake Berryessa History Through Napa Register Articles    

Lake Berryessa History Through Napa Register Editorials

Dueling Napa Register Letters To The Editor 


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".


Some Interesting Past Stories

Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Assessment (EA) For Lake Berryessa Recreation Areas Development

"Holes In History" at Lake Berryessa: Simple Incompetence, Fervent Ignorance, Malicious Arrogance

Who Will Run The New Lake Berryessa Resorts?

2017: The Year In Review Through Lake Berryessa News Headlines

Christmas Calls To Action For The Survival 

Of The Human Race

The Great Lake Berryessa (Atlas) Fire of 2017

Atlas Fire Timeline From The Berryessa Highlands

What Is That Red Stuff Falling From The Sky?

Circle Oaks Fire - The Great Escape

Lake Berryessa Boater Outreach Program: Summer 2017

Download full report pdf here...

Lake Berryessa 1971: Controversy Begins (Oakland Tribune)

My First Fishing Trip on Lake Berryessa

The Destruction of Steele Park Resort

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

Napa County Wildfire Awareness Resources

Lake Berryessa History: The Summer of Love (1967) versus The Summers of Chaos (1998-1999) 

Exciting New Game Fishing Opportunity at Lake Berryessa

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


Special Publications

Final Ragatz Report (75MB PDF)

Ragatz Summary Recommendations (75 KB PDF)


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 rev1


Winters Express logo

The Winters Express




pkilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2017