Fashion Sense For Crowded Summertime Lakes


Wow, the lake was crazy over the long Independence Day weekend, wasn’t it?

No, I don’t know which lake you went to, but I’m pretty sure you visited some body of water. I’m pretty sure everyone did last weekend.

The most popular corners of normally serene Trinity Lake were like a busy day at the YMCA swimming pool. Whiskeytown Lake? You may as well have parked in Old Shasta and hiked up the hill. Clear Creek? Definitely not clear of floaters, swimmers, waders and soaking wet dogs.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I look forward all year to summertime, I’m pleased that the lakes are full and creeks are running nicely, and it’s great to see people appreciating the outdoor wonders of our region. Plus, I know that the past weekend was probably the busiest we’ll see all year. Remember, there was pent up demand because unseasonably cold, damp weather kept many people at home over Memorial Day weekend. By Labor Day weekend, most kids will be back in school.

All of which is a rambling introduction to the Department of Boating and Waterways’ “Wear It California” program, which promotes life jacket usage. The program is aimed primarily at boaters in the Delta, but its message and fundamentals extend to people on the water anywhere. If you’re going to the lake or river, with or without a boat, kayak or raft, it’s worth reading up on activity-appropriate floatation devices, especially if you have children in your care.

Now quit splashing me.

On today’s A La Carte menu:

Whiskeytown for the wee ones … The National Park Service is offering a number of programs at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area on a weekly basis for children as young as three. These include a kayak program and nature education. Slightly older kids (six to 12) may take advantage of a different kayak program, as well as junior ranger and junior firefighter training. The programs are free and run throughout the summer, but some do require advance registration. Read up on these and other offerings on the Whiskeytown website.

Chat with the chief … Redding Police Chief Peter Hansen is the scheduled guest speaker at the NAACP fundraising barbecue and community forum set for 5 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 12, at the MLK Multicultural Center, 1815 Sheridan Street, in Redding. Hansen will talk about policing and other communities issues. Dinner tickets cost $8. Call (530) 776-8165 for more information.

Stockpile those cans … Shasta Food Group’s annual summer drive is scheduled for July 21. Six locations spread throughout Shasta County will be accepting donations of non-perishable food for local food banks and community organizations. We’ll have details as the date gets closer, but if you would like to assist with the food drive, call (530) 917-8008.

A reason to eat out … Becca’s Café in Anderson is hosting the next fund-raiser for Matt Farley, the Cottonwood 10-year-old who is suffering from a very rare form of bone marrow cancer, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13. The Balls Ferry Road restaurant will be serving dinner for no set price. Pay what you are able and know that all of the proceeds will go to Matt’s family to cover ongoing expenses. And here’s the really good news: A bone marrow match has been found for Matt, who is just beginning the long chemotherapy and transplant processes this month in San Francisco. I’m sure you’ll be able to learn all about it during the event, which also includes fund-raising haircuts by the neighboring Final Touch Salon and a raffle.

Healthy website … The public health promoters at Healthy Shasta have launched a revised website, and I have to say that the site is easier to navigate than the old one. The great maps of local recreation trails and the schedule for farmers markets are my favorite features. Visit the website and start clicking.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA, and paddles like a dog. He may be reached at

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.