Delta Rat Scrapbook – by Bill Wells
Taste Of The Delta
The 20th Annual Taste of the Delta was a huge success thanks to a great team of volunteers and many local wineries, breweries, restaurants and businesses. The purpose of the Taste is to bring attention to local culinary delicacies. Vickie Baumann started the Taste 20 plus years ago. It was a spinoff of another event, “The Moo BQ,” that Vickie and Hal Schell spearheaded. The Taste is also the primary annual fundraiser for the California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau.
Over the years the event has rotated to various locations around the Delta. For 2023 it moved back to Windmill Cove where it was held ten or so years ago. The Taste committee, consisting of Ty Mellott, Blair Hake, Tressa Dahlburg and Gene Davis, worked for months with other people to ensure the success of the event. There are a host of great volunteers that come out to help at each event also.
It is a vast amount of work to set up for the event itself. The Korth family lent us their big tents and we had another ten or so pop ups. The Weibel Family Winery donated the monogrammed glasses and Jerry Wolfe donated the use of the Windmill Cove Bar & Grill and also paid for the band. Dave and Marsha Theis gave us the run of the resort and let us use many tables and chairs that we would otherwise have to rent. Freedom Boat Club helped with promotion, California Waste Recovery Systems provided the trash containers and pickup, J&H Marine provided plenty of drinking water and Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine donated a lot of advertising space and printed the hard copy posters as well as sponsored the wristbands which also helped sponsor the party.
The day of the event was perfect weatherwise and a slight Delta breeze cooled things off perfectly. A few hundred people came to enjoy the music, food and beverages. You can get to the cove by car or boat. From many places in the Delta, it is easier to get there by boat. If you come by car it is a few miles off of State Route 4 through the farmlands. You will think you are in the cornfields of Nebraska, and then voila you arrive at the resort. The cove can accommodate a lot of boats with good docks and a protected lagoon; many people took advantage and brought their vessels.
The Chamber is blessed with many supporters and volunteers who come out to help on the project. The front check-in desk is a crucial component of the entire operation. For years Jason and Sadie Freed have helped out at this important spot. Sadie is one of the best customer service people I have ever known; she can handle any challenge with a smile and is loved by the people that encounter her. We use point of sale terminals for walk-in traffic. They are great but not without an occasional bug. Jason is out of the high-tech industry and can quickly figure out and correct any problem that develops with the equipment. The two of them are indispensable in these roles. Sue Wells and yours truly rounded out the front desk crew.
So, Jason and Sadie got married at the beginning of the pandemic just when many government services collapsed and their paperwork got lost. Luckily Jerry Wolfe is an ordained minister and conducted a new marriage ceremony at the Taste, with proper paperwork and everything. So, there you go, romance celebrated at the event. Oh yeah, Liz and Ryan Gauger attended and it was great to see them. Liz used to hang out with us all the time until she met Ryan; they are married now. They had their first date at the Taste of the Delta several years back. Board member Colleen and her husband Joel had their first date at the event too. There you have it, if you are a single person Taste of the Delta is a great place to look for a spouse.
Becky Mellott, with help from Lisa Hallow, ran the silent auction keeping track of the bids and payments. There were many silent auction items donated by area businesses.
The layout is a strolling event with beverages and food alternately interspaced with selected vendors and craft booths. As is normal, the weather was quite warm but again, a slight Delta breeze was refreshing and kept things cool during the day.
The music was great, Dee Coco & Mixx Company bills themselves as “The Ultimate Party Band.” They were excellent and played throughout the day with hardly a break. Their tribute to Tina Turner was outstanding. Thanks again to Jerry Wolfe for picking up the tab for the group.
A special thanks goes to Greg Manov and his Point Weber Association Sea Scout ship. They provided a lot of help running errands, policing the area during the day and sticking around to help disassemble everything at the end.
Even though the Taste of the Delta is over for 2023 there is still plenty going on at Windmill Cove. Check it out at windmillcove.com and plan on attending some of the end-of-summer concerts. Jerry has saved some of the big names for the end of summer and I am confident you will not be disappointed.
We assembled at the Albert P. Lindley House at the Port of Stockton for a diversity mixer with all of the local chambers including the Central Valley Asian Chamber, African American Chamber, Stockton Chamber and Delta Chambers. Tim Quinn and Carolyn Gomes of the Stockton Chamber spearheaded this gathering.
Albert Lindley was a landowner on Rough and Ready Island starting in about 1913. He purchased the house and 950 acres of land from the Pierce Land & Stock Company that he grew alfalfa on. Lindley was a visionary and an early advocate for building the Deep Water channel; he was known as “the forefather of the port” when the Stockton Deep Water Channel was completed… The port opened in 1933 and the Navy bought the island in 1944 and allowed Lindley to live in the house until he died in 1948. After that, the house became “Quarters A,” the home of the base commander. Now it is referred to as “The Commander’s House.”
There was plenty of food at the mixer with each Chamber bringing a delicacy or two. Lisa Hallow, the Delta Chamber’s godmother made some delicious chicken and pasta that was a huge hit with the attendees. Many folks came back for seconds and thirds.
We all had a great time and it is always good to find out what other organizations have going on in the region.
Meals On Wheels
This is the 35th anniversary of San Joaquin Yacht Club (SJYC) supporting the East Contra Costa County Meals on Wheels program. Katie Senior advises me that the San Joaquin Yacht Club and volunteers are supporting fundraising efforts for Meals on Wheels of East Contra Costa County. “After a successful golf tournament in May, they invite participation by the Delta community in their upcoming fundraiser: Oct. 22, an Oktoberfest at Delta Sport Sports Bar on Bethel Island. Contact Patricia Atkins at 510-396-6937 or MOWFESTSJYC@GMAILDD.COM
“If you cannot participate, consider sponsoring or donating with all proceeds benefitting our home-bound seniors. The brainchild of Jeanne (Pee Wee) Krumlinde, in 1989 she saw the need to support our local elderly and homebound. So, she approached our Board of Directors with the idea to host a golf tournament and donate all the proceeds to Meals on Wheels. The Board and the Membership wholeheartedly joined together with the local community to build the tournament and create many other wonderful events to generate funds that are donated during the November general membership meeting.
“Participants fly in from out of state and drive in from all over the Bay Area to join local residents and members to be part of two annual fund raisers, the golf tournament and the bowling tournament. An awards dinner at SJYC following the tournaments brings together participants, along with club and community members for camaraderie, fun and fellowship.
“Other memorable fundraising events have included dinners aboard the 138-foot 1936 motor yacht Starfjord (Al Capone’s former yacht), a Bachelor Auction, Poker Runs and several elegant dinners at SJYC where the club was transformed into a spring garden, theatrical stage and other themes. The always popular Champagne Cruise, a Fuzzy Sleeveless Run and a Feeding Grandma and Grampa campaign. We are always recruiting volunteers, participants, donors and sponsors. Our fundraisers are not limited to SJYC members, we welcome all. If you have been a part of the team in previous years, your knowledge is priceless and your efforts make the difference. Make this the year you join the small army of volunteers that staff these events.
“Initially the club donated $4,000 in 1989, which has grown to total $558,520.55 as of 2022. Thank you, San Joaquin Yacht Club members and volunteers, for your continued efforts & support for the last 34 years and counting.”
Antique & Classic Boat Society (ACBS)
Katie Senior further advises us about the ACBS October Delta Cruise based at B&W Resort, Isleton, Oct. 6-8. “The Northern California Lake Tahoe ACBS Chapter wants to welcome you to join us in the California Delta for the 2023 Delta Cruise. The first weekend in October has a permanent place on many ACBS members’ calendars reserved for the ACBS Delta Cruise.
“Come and explore the many Delta waterways, winding along fields of crops or sheep. Reminisce with old friends. If this is your first time, then come and introduce yourself. Meet friends that you’ll have for the rest of your lifetime and bring your families. The San Joaquin Delta has literally thousands of miles to explore and the opportunity to experience this magical area is right around the corner! So, please complete and return the attached signup sheet as soon as possible. Or sign up online at acbs-tahoe.org
“This is a fun weekend that starts with a traditional potluck on Friday night. Saturday morning is a fun cruise to our lunch destination at Grindstone Joe’s, a private island and club that has become a tradition at this event. After returning to B&W Resort, prepare yourself for a catered BBQ feast prepared on site with our same caterer from last year. Again, don’t forget your favorite libations.”
Gerry and Nancy Goodie hosted the Delta Chambers Mixer at their outpost on the river. They keep improving this iconic resort and the people are flocking there on weekends to enjoy the live music, great food and fun.
They went all out for this party, the lower-level outdoor bar was open and the drinks were cold and plentiful. Anna Swenson was there and gave us an update on Wade Crowfoot’s Natural Resources Agencies latest attack on the Delta. Robie Ann Murphree who spends her time between Baja California and the Delta was there. It is always great to see her and hear her talk of her latest adventures. John Bento was recently back from Madeira, and judging by his photos on social media it has to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Presently, the food came out, our hosts outdid themselves and the highlight was bacon wrapped shrimp accompanied by stuffed roasted peppers, fruit and melons. The shrimp were the size of small lobster tails and just as succulent. Luckily, I was one of the first in line as the food went quickly.
Another treat was the classic boat MOJO. Terry and Judy Robinson have put her into charter service. She is capable of carrying six passengers at a time. And they are basing her out of Wimpy’s.
MOJO is literally one of the coolest boats in the Delta. She is powered by a primitive 1912 Hicks four-liter single-cylinder gasoline engine. The engine is from the era when gasoline engines were starting to replace steam power in boats and were powering automobiles and airplanes. I first saw her at the B&W steamboat meet at least a decade ago. Indeed, at first glance I thought she had a steam engine, but as I got closer I wondered where the boiler was. You start her by spinning the giant non-skid covered flywheel with your foot. She has a gravity feed 18-gallon fuel system, no fuel pump to worry about. The fuel reaches the cylinder via a Model T carburetor. The boat itself is a 26-foot 1919 Navy liberty launch. When you first hear MOJO coming you think she has a steam engine as the Hicks makes a similar sound and runs at a few hundred rpm. She is certainly from the era, but is definitely not a steamboat. I think in 1912 the motors were built at the Hicks Ironworks in San Francisco. James Lee Hicks invented the motor and refined it over the years. In the early 1920s he retired and Yuba Manufacturing Company of Benicia took over manufacture and built them until the late 1940s. These were used in many of the Monterey fishing boats based at Fisherman’s Wharf and I think there is still one on display at the Hyde Street pier in San Francisco. They are brutes of motors weighing around 1,700 pounds. They run from 350 to 500 RPM and I suspect they will last forever.
Village West Yacht Club (VWYC) Transports Guests To Egypt
The VWYC threw a fantastic party. Maggie Azer and others were definitely walking like Egyptians at a recent gathering for a Night in the Nile Delta. “On the evening of Saturday the 19th of August, the Village West Yacht Club transformed into a magical realm reminiscent of ancient Egypt on the Nile. The night was filled with authentic Egyptian flavors, mesmerizing belly dance performances and a lively atmosphere that left guests enthralled. The culinary highlight of the night was an authentic Egyptian dinner, curated and cooked to perfection by native chef, Maggie Azer. With every bite, guests were transported to the heart of Egypt, experiencing a gastronomic journey that few outside of the North African nation get to savor. The menu, an amalgamation of traditional recipes and modern twists, left an indelible mark on the palates of those fortunate enough to partake. But it wasn’t just the food that dazzled.
“The attendees were treated to a show that captivated the heart and soul. A troupe of talented belly dancers took the stage, swaying and shimmering under the ambient lights. Their performances were met with robust applause, shouts of encouragement and admiration. Every twirl, every beat, and every rhythm told a story, making the night unforgettable. A notable figure of the evening was the event’s host, Maggie Azer. Not only did she ensure the night ran seamlessly, but she also graced the stage with her own dance performance. Her passion and dedication to sharing her culture was palpable, making her both an exceptional host and performer.
“The ‘Egyptian Night’ at Village West Yacht Club wasn’t just an event; it was an experience, a journey through time and space. The success of the evening was evident in the smiles of the attendees and the echoes of their applause. One can only hope that such nights of cultural immersion become a tradition at the club, offering locals a passport to the world without ever leaving their hometown. For those who missed out, here’s hoping there’s another Egyptian night on the horizon. One thing is for certain – with the allure of authentic food and dance, it promises to be an event not to be missed.” If you have not met Maggie Azer you are missing out. She is a compact hand grenade of a person with an amazing energy level and a constant smile that attracts other people like a magnet. She lives on her yacht in the Delta. Thanks to Maggie, Lisa Hallow and others for this input. Don’t miss this event next time.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the California State Water Resources Control Board because of a civil rights complaint filed by a coalition of state indigenous tribes and environmentalists who allege that the state discriminated against the tribes and people of color. They allege that the out-of-date water quality standards in the Delta have led to the collapse of fish populations and toxic algae blooms that harm the tribes who have lived in proximity to the waterways for millennia and leave residents in Stockton and other areas in the Delta with waterways that are choked with algae and other invasive plants.
In a letter to Eileen Sobeck, the executive director of the California State Water Resources Control Board, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights Office of External Civil Rights Compliance (OECRC), are accepting for investigation the referenced administrative complaint which was filed against the California State Water Resources Control Board on Dec. 16, 2022. “The complaint alleges that the Board discriminated on the basis of race, color and national origin, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000(d) et seq., and EPA’s nondiscrimination regulation, at 40 C.F.R. Part 7. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Board’s failure to update Bay-Delta water quality standards discriminates against members of Native tribes and black, Asian and Latino people residing in and around the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed (Bay-Delta Region), particularly the South Stockton community. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the Board has intentionally excluded local native tribes and black, Asian and Latino residents from participation in the policymaking process associated with the Bay-Delta Plan.” There is a lot more legal mumbo jumbo in the letter that I will not bore you with but these are serious charges and bear a thorough investigation. Here is more: “EPA’s regulation prohibits applicants, recipients and other persons from intimidating, threatening, coercing or engaging in other discriminatory conduct against anyone because they have either taken action or participated in an action to secure rights protected by the civil rights requirements that we enforce. See 40 C.F.R. § 7.100. Any individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a complaint with OECRC.” Anhthu Hoang ,the Acting Director Office of External Civil Rights Compliance, signed the letter.
Dan Bacher reports that “An analysis sponsored by the California Water Impact Network confirms the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) – the federal agency that controls flows from Shasta Dam down the Sacramento River – is violating its own policies to maximize water deliveries to corporate farms at the expense of California’s once mighty salmon runs.
“The study by estuarine fisheries ecologist and biostatistician Tom Cannon shows that BoR consistently ignores its own plan and state and federal law requiring the release of salmon-sustaining cold water from Shasta Reservoir. The practice continues today, even though 2023 was one of California’s wettest years on record, with plenty of water available for the fish. While the agency has justified these actions during droughts as a needed water conservation measure, it has refused to increase fishery flows even during years of abundant precipitation and maximum reservoir storage.”
You have certainly heard of the terrible tragedy that has struck Maui and wiped out the town of Lahaina. I still can’t grasp what happened. I lived in Wailuku, Maui with my family from 1970 to 1975. I would visit Lahaina at least once a week and would generally have lunch at the Pioneer Inn right by the yacht harbor and the giant Banyan tree covering almost two acres. When I lived there the population of the island was about 38,000, mostly concentrated in the existing towns. Now the population of the island is around 120,000 with a couple of million visitors coming every year.
In the 70’s there was a drought on the eastern part of the island. It was so bad that my friends would come to their offices in Kahuli and Wailuku to take a shower. We even loaned our shower to friends a few times. Even with the drought I can recall no major fires on the island. Lahaina at the time was a ramshackle little town, tourism was just developing on the island. There was an art gallery and dive shop that I remember. The police station was there and the Lahaina Yacht Club was there near the Pioneer Inn. I can’t imagine what circumstances came together to cause such a devastating fire. The area has always been windy and a couple of hurricanes approached the island when I lived there; they were always accompanied by torrential rain. Stay tuned, I think there are many facts regarding this disaster that will be coming out soon. If you are so inclined, there are plenty of charities you can donate to and help these poor souls.
Richard Mielbrecht has crossed over the bar. He was a lifelong sailor, racing in the Bay and cruising in the Delta. Richard was on the faculty of Delta College where he taught astronomy and physics. One time he took a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad to observe an eclipse of the sun. He is survived by his wife Marie and his two children Lisa and Eric.
When I was a young lad in high school, for summer entertainment my pals and I would hire someone to drive us to the American River below Nimbus Dam and we would float down to my friend’s house in Carmichael on air mattresses (the only rafts available then were military surplus that we could not afford.) The trip was a few miles with a couple of mild rapids. There were always rope swings along the way and we would stop and swing out over the river. Later, when my children were little we would get together with other families and using inflatable rafts we would float from Fair Oaks down to around Arden Way. Part of the fun again was the rope swings. Some of them were in tall trees looming over the river. You would swing off the bank and when you hit the end of travel on the rope you might be 25 feet over the river. It was great fun and I don’t remember anyone getting hurt. Unfortunately, recently a young lady was killed when she fell from a swing to dry land. At some point Sacramento County made the swings illegal and a spokesperson reminds us: “Swinging from a rope swing is dangerous and can result in serious injury or death.”
Tropical storm Hilary made its way up the West Coast starting in Mexico. Jim Kroeger, skipper of the classic Stephens Brothers yacht Sea Boarder checked in and said he spent ten hours aboard her during the storm at her berth in Alamitos Bay Marina. He says she survived her first hurricane without a problem.
Special note from Erlyn Lucas: Looks like the Burning Man Festival in Nevada might be delayed because of rain(!) Well, that should help keep the dust down.
Don’t miss Ebony Boat Club’s annual White Party on the weekend of Oct. 20-22 at their clubhouse in Stockton. The event is to support their scholarship program. Now I know they will be breaking protocol by wearing white after Labor Day but don’t worry, I don’t think the uniform police will show up to the event. Get more information at firstname.lastname@example.org