this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
Christmas Day storm
travelers, closes Sequoia
When winter comes to the
Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park,
one of the best places to be is snug and
cozy in Wuksachi Lodge singing refrains
of “Let it snow, let it snow…”
But on this Christmas past, an intense
storm caused hundreds of park visitors
to sing another tune.
Christmas morning at Lodgepole
and nearby Wuksachi dawned like so many
other beautiful winter days in the high
country. It was snowing and most of Sequoia
National Park was being transformed into
a virtual winter wonderland.
That would have been just
what the 220 tourists staying at Wuksachi
ordered, many of whom had visions of snowshoes
and cross-country skiing dancing in their
heads. But the unexpected happened early
Christmas morning — high wind gusts
estimated at upwards of 75 mph knocked
the power out to all facilities at Wuksachi,
Lodgepole, Wolverton, and Giant Forest.
Snowed-in isn’t necessarily
a bad thing but it was snowing a blizzard
and for most of Christmas Day, nobody
could get in or out. While rangers dealt
with whiteout conditions and surveyed
the damage, portions of the Generals Highway,
the only road into the parks, had to be
Throughout Christmas Day,
guests with reservations at Wuksachi and
visitors who came for snow play were turned
away at the Ash Mountain entrance station.
The situation in the nearby mountains,
they were told, was currently just too
Meanwhile, back at Wuksachi
Lodge, Delaware North employees and the
throng of guests were making the best
of a difficult situation. All the power
was off in the 102 lodging rooms in the
village, but the main lodge and dining
room were being powered by a back-up generator.
Everyone gathered in the
lodge to wait out the storm. It snowed
for several hours, dumping 15 inches in
the area on Christmas Day.
“We treated everyone to a complimentary
Christmas dinner,” said Diane Mason,
Wuksachi’s general manager.
Later that afternoon, most
of the snow had been plowed from Generals
Highway so guests were able to leave.
The concessions company provided stranded
guests with room vouchers that many ended
up using in Three Rivers once they got
safely back down the mountain.
The Wuksachi Village remained
closed as did all the developed areas
in and around Giant Forest.
Dan Pontbriand, Sequoia district
ranger, reluctantly issued a statement
on Saturday, Dec. 27, closing the park
above Hospital Rock to all visitors.
“It is with deep regret that we
implement this closure. We know that this
is a very special time to visit and enjoy
the beauty of the parks in winter. However,
we have to ensure the safety of our employees
and visitors. We’re making every
effort to re-open the area at the earliest
All the developed areas of
the park from Giant Forest to Wuksachi
remained closed as park employees assisted
Southern California Edison employees in
locating the areas where the damage to
the system had occurred. Wolverton had
broken pipes, and the widespread power
outages affected the heating, water, and
sewer systems in all facilities.
Nighttime temperatures in
the single digits hampered repair efforts
but park officials allowed the SCE crews
to use snow-cats to access some of the
more remote facilities. Park road crews
plowed the Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock
roads to furnish access to those areas.
By Sunday afternoon, some
24 hours later, power had been restored
to most areas and the Generals Highway
was reopened above Hospital Rock. Power
was fully restored to all facilities at
Wuksachi Village and it reopened for business
as usual on Monday, December 29. The Wolverton
area reopened Tuesday, Dec. 30.
mark career milestones
Two former Sequoia and Kings
Canyon National Parks superintendents
— Mike Tollefson (1995-1999) and
Dick Martin (1999-2005) — marked
career milestones in 2008.
Tollefson, currently the
superintendent at Yosemite National Park,
announced his retirement earlier this
year and will officially step aside from
that post on Sunday, Jan. 4. Once Tollefson’s
retirement is official, he will become
president of the nonprofit Yosemite Fund.
On Thursday, Dec. 11, Dick Martin —
who retired from a 43-year National Park
Service career when he left his Sequoia
job — accepted the Henry Yount Award
for Lifetime Achievement in the art and
science of rangering.
NPS Deputy Director Dan Wenk
and Associate Director Karen Taylor-Goodrich
presented the award at Ranger Rendezvous,
a meeting of the Association of National
Park Rangers in Santa Fe, N.M.
“Dick Martin is truly the quintessential
ranger,” said Mary Bomar, director
of the National Park Service. “His
selfless service over four decades to
the profession of rangering continues
to inspire the people who are following
in his footsteps as 21st-century rangers.”
Martin started his career
in 1962 as a ranger at Olympic National
Park. Aside from a few years in the NPS
Washington office, Dick patrolled and
helped manage some of the most spectacular
parks in the system.
The consummate ranger served
two tours at Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks — first as a backcountry
ranger and, three decades later, as superintendent.
On one occasion, when he
was briefing a Commonwealth reporter on
snow conditions at one of the chain-up
areas, a visitor who was having difficulty
with his tire chains asked Dick for assistance.
The skilled public servant that he was,
Dick crawled under the visitor’s
vehicle and gave a hands-on demonstration
on how to install chains.
The visitor was astounded
to learn later that he was assisted by
the park superintendent. But to all who
knew him, Dick dedicated his career to
maintaining NPS values and placed a premium
on the service.
In his career, Mike Tollefson
is credited with moving some major parks
public works projects to completion like
the relocation of visitor facilities out
of Giant Forest and, more recently, at
Yosemite National Park, the rehabilitation
of the Yosemite Falls area and Tunnel
View at the valley’s west entrance.
Dave Uberuaga will serve
as acting superintendent of Yosemite until
a permanent successor to Tollefson is
named. Uberuaga is currently the superintendent
at Mount Rainier National Park and is
a 24-year NPS veteran.
California film festival
For the seventh year, the Wild and Scenic
Environmental Film Festival will kick
off the New Year. The Festival is the
largest of its kind in the U.S. with 128
films (from two minutes in length to over
two hours), 40 premieres, 100 speakers,
opening receptions, free workshops, “chat
with the filmmaker” discussions,
wine stroll, live music, art shows, and
The Festival is an important
event in both the film festival and environmental
activism worlds and draws filmmakers,
activists, and attendees from throughout
the nation. It will be held this year
from Friday to Sunday, Jan. 9, 10, and
11 with tickets ranging in price from
$5 to $325 (proceeds benefit SYRCL mission
of protecting and restoring the Yuba River).
The Wild & Scenic Environmental
Film Festival is sponsored by the South
Yuba River Citizens League and presented
by Patagonia and many other national and
local sponsors. Rick Ridgeway, renowned
mountaineer, author, and Patagonia’s
Vice President for the Environment will
be a featured speaker.
The film festival takes place
throughout historic downtown Nevada City,
which is in Gold Country, at the junction
of Highways 49 and 20, about 65 miles
northeast of Sacramento.
Tickets may be purchased
online at: www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org
or by phone Monday through Friday, 1 to
5 p.m., at (530) 265-5961.
Audubon bird count
held in Sequoia
On Sunday, Dec. 14, more
than a dozen volunteers spent a stunning
winter day counting a total of 4,400 birds
(65 species) during Sequoia National Park’s
ninth annual Christmas Bird Count. Despite
a relatively low birder turnout, this
was our highest count total to date. The
only new species was a Townsend’s
warbler. It was a big year for band-tailed
pigeons and varied thrushes.
Summary— Total Species:
65. Total Birds: 4,400. Total Participants:
14. Total Count Hours: 36.50 on foot and
skis; 5.30 by car. Total Count Miles:
40.20 on foot/ski; 33.50 by car.
Three Rivers Players
present holiday show
Those wacky Little Sisters
of Hoboken are back at the Three Rivers
Arts Center, and this time, they’re
celebrating the holidays (better late
than never!). NUNCRACKERS: THE NUNSENSE
CHRISTMAS MUSICAL opens Thursday, Jan.
8, and plays through Saturday, Jan. 10.
It stars the nuns you love,
plus Father Virgil, Brother Jim, and the
newest recruit, Maria. Featuring all new
songs, this show is filled with Nunsense-style
humor, some of your favorite carols, and
a Secret Santa audience participation.
NUNCRACKERS will make you
laugh and maybe even tug at your heartstrings.
It’s the perfect way to ensure that
your holiday season ends merry and bright.
Produced by the Three Rivers
Players, this hilarious show features:
Georgia Harris as Reverend Mother Superior;
Tracy LaMar as Sister Robert Anne; Ariane
Sarzotti as Sister Julia, Child of God;
Elizabeth LaMar as Sister Amnesia; Amberly
Quillen as Maria; Jim LaMar as Father
Virgil; and Arlin Talley as Brother Jim.
As NUNCRACKERS opens, we
find the sisters taping their first cable
TV special of their annual Christmas show
in a makeshift studio in the basement
of their convent. As the broadcast unfolds,
the nuns and some of their convent school
students gather together to spread as
much holiday cheer as they can muster
— and perhaps learn the true meaning
As part of the broadcast,
they plan to stage a ballet based on The
Nutcracker, starring the dancing Sister
Mary Leo as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Meanwhile,
Sister Julia, the convent’s cook,
and Father Virgil struggle with a holiday
fruitcake recipe — and things get
really interesting when it comes time
to add the brandy…
NUNCRACKERS will take to
the stage on Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m.;
Friday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday,
Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Performances will be held
at the Three Rivers Arts Center. Tickets
are $10 for adults and $5 for students
and may be purchased at the door.
For more information, call
OF FAME 2008
— PART TWO —
This is the second installment featuring
biographies on the 2008 inductees to the
California Museum’s Hall of Fame.
Part One appeared in the December
26, 2008, issue.
Dorothea Lange’s photographs
and photo journalism have etched the faces
of the poor and downtrodden into American
consciousness. Her compassionate
images of the disadvantaged — Native
Americans, displaced families of the Great
Depression, and the interned Japanese
Americans during World War II —
helped shape the field of documentary
photography as we know it today.
Born in Hoboken, N.J., in
1895, she was stricken with polio at age
seven and was left with a lifelong limp.
Dorothea studied photography at Columbia
University and worked at a New York portrait
studio until 1918 when she began to travel.
Stranded in San Francisco,
she opened her own portrait studio. Dorothea
made her living by taking photos of the
city’s wealthier families, but she
began to focus her own images on the plight
of the unemployed and street people that
she saw all around her.
In the 1920s, with her husband,
painter Maynard Dixon, she traveled the
Southwest photographing the plight of
Native Americans. She was a firm believer
that the camera could teach people “how
to see without a camera.”
Amidst the Great Depression,
she documented the sufferings of the dispossessed.
In breadlines and labor strikes, her images
captured the wrenching drama of waiting.
In 1935, with her second
husband, Paul Taylor, a labor economist,
Lange was employed by the California and
Federal Resettlement Administration to
record the desperation of Dust Bowl families
forced to move west to look for work.
Her signature photo, “Migrant Mother,
Nipomo, California, 1936” now in
the Library of Congress, was taken during
During World War II, Dorothea
documented the internment of Japanese
Americans and then turned her cameras
on women and minorities working side by
side in the California shipyards. She
said of her work: “The good photograph
is not the object; the consequences of
the photograph are the objects.”
After the war, she covered
the founding of the United Nations in
San Francisco. Dorothea was the first
woman to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship
though because of illness she could not
complete her project.
In 1952, with Ansel Adams
and others, she founded the Aperture Foundation,
a nonprofit organization dedicated to
fine-art photography. Throughout the 1950s
and ‘60s, she traveled widely and
published numerous features in Life magazine.
The California Hall of Fame
exhibit contains her “Migrant Mother”
photo and two of her cameras. Her largest
body of work is housed at the Oakland
Dorothea died in 1965 and
though she did not consider herself an
artist, she said: “To live a visual
life is an enormous undertaking, practically
unattainable… But I have only touched
it, just touched it.”
touch all who see her images. Her passion
for people and the art of photography
will continue to shape and define a nation’s
perception of the 20th century.
On her path to becoming the
first female architect in California,
Julia Morgan designed the glass ceiling,
and then shattered it. During a career
that spanned nearly 50 years, she designed
more than 700 buildings.
Julia Morgan was born in
San Francisco and raised in Oakland. She
attended the University of California
at Berkeley where, in 1894, she was the
first woman graduate of Cal’s civil
Upon receiving her degree,
she was off to Paris, where she applied
to the renowned Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School
of Fine Arts). The school did not accept
women, so it took Julia two years of persistence
before she was admitted. In 1902, she
became the first female to graduate from
the prestigious school with a degree in
She returned to California
and was hired by San Francisco architect
John Galen Howard, who was supervising
the University of California’s master
plan. She was draftsperson for the Hearst
Mining Building and supervising architect
for the Greek Theatre, both on the Berkeley
In 1904, she opened her own
office in San Francisco, taking with her
a Howard staff member. Howard never forgave
Julia for this defection, so it wasn’t
until the 1920s that she again had the
opportunity to design buildings on the
In 1906, her career became
secure following the San Francisco earthquake
and fire. Her civil engineering degree
proved she was up to this challenge.
She received many commissions
from throughout the Bay Area, gaining
her notoriety and guaranteeing financial
success. Most notable was the restoration
and major repairs of the Fairmont Hotel,
located at the summit of Nob Hill, which
reopened within a year.
Phoebe Apperson Hearst was one of Morgan’s
first clients. In 1912, the women collaborated
to design and build the YWCA conference
facility, today the Asilomar Conference
Grounds near Monterey, managed by Delaware
North Companies (Sequoia National Park’s
concessioner). All 14 of her original
structures there have been listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Julia Morgan’s most
famous association was with William Randolph
Hearst, the San Francisco newspaper magnate.
In 1919, Hearst selected Morgan as the
architect for what would become known
as Hearst Castle, in the hills overlooking
California’s Central Coast on what
was previously a Hearst family campsite.
For nearly 30 years, she
worked on this project — her most
magnificent and most well-known. Hearst
Castle has been managed by the State of
California since 1958 and is open for
Her building projects also
included private residents, schools, churches,
stores, hospitals, gymnasiums, theaters,
and numerous YWCA facilities. For the
rest of her career, Morgan was Hearst’s
principal architect, producing the designs
for dozens of buildings from the Mount
Shasta area to the Grand Canyon to Mexico
and throughout the Bay Area.
regarding her work was, “architecture
is a visual art, and the buildings speak
for themselves.” She evaded publicity,
did not have her work published in architectural
publications, and would not allow signs
bearing her name at construction sites.
Julia closed her offices
in 1951. She died in 1957 at the age of
85 and is buried in Oakland’s Mountain
In her display at the California
Hall of Fame is a replica of the blue-and-gold
mosaic tile from the Roman pool at Hearst
Castle (the indoor pool under the tennis
courts); hand-drawn designs, plans, and
blueprints; her UC Berkeley commencement
hood; a drafting table from her San Francisco
office; her certificate to practice architecture;
and a scale model of Hearst Castle. Her
great-niece, Ellen North,
accepted the Spirit of California award
on Julia’s behalf from Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger at the induction
ceremony held Monday evening, Dec. 15.
With his Cheshire-cat-like
grin, devil-may-care attitude, and powerful
charisma, Jack has seen his star rise
in five decades to become the most popular
and celebrated actor of his generation.
A classic anti-hero, he was among the
first of Hollywood’s new breed of
leading men — rebellious, contentious,
and defiantly non-conformist.
A supremely versatile talent,
he established himself as Hollywood’s
dominant screen presence in the 1970s
with films like Five Easy Pieces, Carnal
Knowledge, Chinatown, and One Flew Over
the Cuckoo’s Nest that won critical
acclaim and also were box office hits.
Since that enormously successful decade,
Jack has remained an enduring counterculture
icon throughout his long and distinguished
Born in Neptune, N.J., Jack
was raised by his mother and grandmother.
After graduating from high school, Jack
visited California, intending to return
to attend college on an engineering scholarship.
It never happened. Jack became
so caught up in the West Coast lifestyle
that he stayed, landing a job as an office
boy in MGM’s animation department.
It wasn’t long before he was studying
acting and performing with the Players
During these early years
he landed some bit parts on television
and acted in local stage productions.
While acting in one of the latter, Jack
was spotted by B-movie producer and director
In 1958, Corman cast Jack
in the lead role of The Cry Baby Killer,
in which he played a troubled teen. That
type of role kept Jack busy for nearly
a decade while he waited for a chance
to land a mainstream Hollywood movie.
His first collaboration with
actors Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda came
in The Trip, an acid-culture drama produced
from Jack’s screenplay. After he
rejected a role in Bonnie and Clyde, Hopper
and Fonda asked Jack to co-star in Easy
As an ill-fated, alcoholic,
civil-rights lawyer in that counter-culture
epic, Jack’s career was catapulted
to stardom. For his efforts, he received
a nomination for Best Supporting Actor,
his first such recognition by his peers.
From that time on, he garnered
Oscar nominations in every decade. In
2002, he received his 12th for his performance
in the lead role of About Schmidt, making
him the most nominated actor in the history
of the Oscars.
Jack has won Academy Awards
three times, twice for Best Actor for
his work in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
Nest (1975) and for As Good as it Gets
(1997), and once for Best Supporting Actor
for his role in Terms of Endearment (1983).
Among his other outstanding awards are
numerous Golden Globe Awards, a Lifetime
Achievement Award from the American Film
Institute, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award
from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Jack also has a colorful association with
the town of Three Rivers. He was
the on-again, off-again companion of Anjelica
Huston from 1973 until 1990 and once made
an offer to purchase the 2,500-acre Thorn
During the recent Hall of
Fame induction ceremony, after accepting
his own award, Dave Brubeck was provided
a script to introduce Nicholson. But rather
than read the lengthy list of the actor’s
awards and films, Brubeck told a personal
story about when he first crossed paths
with Nicholson nearly 50 years ago.
Brubeck recalled that famous
stare, which is a Nicholson signature.
And one night he said that gaze fell upon
him as he seated himself on a bar stool
next to this as-yet unidentified fellow
whose company of actors had taken over
a motel and lounge somewhere in the Southwest.
Supposedly, they were in
town to shoot a movie. At least that’s
what they told the owner of the motel
The owner asked Dave Brubeck,
who was playing jazz at the place, to
check out the movie-making troupe to see
if they could be trusted to pay their
“I went back and told the owner,
if you want a motel tomorrow, just let
these guys do what they want,” Dave
After receiving his Spirit
of California medal and arriving at the
podium to pay tribute to Dr. Seuss, Jack
quipped: “While everyone else discovers
molecules, I’m drunk in a bar.”
“He had the ability to comprehend
the incomprehensible,” is what was
said of Dr. Linus Pauling during his posthumous
introduction at the California Hall of
Fame induction ceremony. This may have
been the understatement of the evening,
of which there were many as attempts were
made to describe the Hall of Famers’
indescribable feats and accomplishments.
Dr. Linus Pauling is one
of a small number of individuals to have
been awarded more than one Nobel Prize,
one of only two people to receive them
in different fields (the other was Marie
Curie), and the only person to have been
awarded each of his prizes without sharing
it with another recipient. Dr. Pauling
was a chemist, professor at California
Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) from
1927 to 1964, and humanitarian.
“I have always liked working in
some scientific direction that nobody
else is working in,” Linus Pauling
once said. Thus his groundbreaking career
as a scientist, his history-making efforts
as an ardent peace activist, and his breakthroughs
on health, the benefits of vitamins, the
dangers of smoking, and fighting disease.
Linus Pauling was born in
Portland Ore., and received his Bachelor
of Science degree at Oregon State University.
He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Chemistry
at Cal Tech.
As a young scientist, Pauling
first made his mark in the world of chemistry.
His research knew no bounds as he also
made breakthroughs in physics, biology,
and medical research, which included discovering
treatments for and prevention of diseases
while laying the groundwork for the later
discovery of DNA. He was awarded the Nobel
Prize for Chemistry in 1954.
As early as 1950, Dr. Pauling
recognized that air pollution posed a
health threat. He also realized that it
was automobiles, not factories that were
the primary source of air pollution.
He was undeniably one of
the most brilliant scientists of the 20th
century, but also was destined to become
one of the most controversial individuals,
which would cost him friends, research
funding, and his job at Cal Tech. In 1945,
after the first detonation of the atomic
bomb, Pauling began studying the effects
of radiation and discovered that these
weapons would cause irreparable damage
to the environment and humans.
Pauling believed that the
government was attempting to conceal the
dangers of nuclear testing from the public,
so he felt it was his duty to speak out.
In books, interviews, and press conferences,
he told about the hazards of radiation
and campaigned for peace, disarmament,
and the end of nuclear testing.
Many Americans viewed such dissent as
treason during these first years of the
Cold War. As a result, the State Department
revoked Pauling’s passport and he
was vilified by the press and investigated
by the FBI.
Pauling drafted a petition
calling for an end to the atmospheric
testing of nuclear weapons. On display
at the California Hall of Fame is the
petition with more than 11,000 signatures
of scientists from throughout the world
that he personally delivered to the United
Nations in 1958.
This campaign led to a Nobel
Peace Prize for Pauling in 1962. It also
led to the first Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
For the rest of his life,
he remained active in anti-war movements,
but he also turned his attention to the
role of nutrition in fighting disease.
In his 1970 book, Vitamin C and the Common
Cold, Pauling recommended megadoses of
vitamin C to ward off colds and lessen
their symptoms, advice to which millions
Dr. Linus Pauling died at his home in
Big Sur in 1994 at the age of 93.
Besides the anti-nuclear
petition, other items on display at the
California Hall of Fame include molecular
models designed and used by Pauling (among
the first ever constructed); a first-edition
copy of his famous 1939 textbook based
on his chemical-bonding research; his
anti-war button collection; and a 1961
Henney Kilowatt Electric Car, the first
modern electric car, which Pauling is
credited with helping to develop.
His eldest son, Linus Pauling
Jr., accepted the Spirit of California
award on his father’s behalf.
“So think for a moment,” said
Maria Shriver at the 2006 inaugural California
Hall of Fame ceremony. “What would
you do to stand out in the history of
a state with 37 million people?”
As governor, senator, university
founder, and especially as a driving force
behind the construction of the nation’s
first transcontinental railroad, the accomplishments
of Leland Stanford in the latter half
of the 19th century are unparalleled.
Leland was born in 1824 into
a well-off farming family in Watervliet,
N.Y. After receiving an excellent education,
he entered an elite law office to prepare
for a career as an attorney, passing the
bar exam in 1848.
Leland moved to Wisconsin
where he opened his own law office. After
three years, he made the journey with
his new wife to California where Stanford’s
brothers had already found success as
Leland joined them in 1852
and began making enormous sums of money
selling supplies and equipment to gold
miners. He operated a general store first
in Cold Springs and, in 1855, moved to
Sacramento where he parlayed his wealth
and influence into political pursuits.
During these years, he helped
organize the Republican Party, served
as a justice of the peace, and ran unsuccessfully
for state treasurer (1857) and governor
(1859). In 1861, Stanford was finally
elected governor — California’s
eighth governor and first Republican governor
— when the Civil War split the Democratic
vote, and he was instrumental in keeping
California loyal to the Union.
As governor, Leland secured
massive state investment and land grants
to ensure the success of the eastbound
section of the transcontinental railroad.
With his “Big Four” counterparts
— Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington,
and the Civil War split the Democratic
As governor, Leland secured
massive state investment and land grants
to ensure the success of the eastbound
section of the transcontinental railroad.
With his “Big Four” counterparts
— Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington,
and Charles Crocker — he pledged
to complete the railroad, and his contribution
came largely in the form of political
When his term ended in 1863,
Leland declined to run again and instead
became president of the Central Pacific,
a post he held more than three decades.
He also served as president of the Southern
Pacific and owned many of the construction
companies that built the railroads.
In 1869, Leland drove the
famous “Golden Spike” at Promontory
Point, Utah, linking the east and west
coasts of North America. From the immense
wealth he acquired from railroad building,
he maintained large vineyards and owned
a huge horse ranch near Palo Alto.
In 1885, as a memorial to
their son who died of typhoid at the age
of 16, the Stanfords founded and endowed
Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo
Alto. One of the first students was Herbert
Hoover, who would later become a U.S.
In 1885, Leland was appointed
to the U.S. Senate where he served until
his death in 1893.
Leland Stanford is interred
in a mausoleum on the grounds of Stanford
When Alice Waters made her
way west from New Jersey to attend the
University of California at Berkeley,
that city was destined to become home
to a delectable, mouthwatering, scrumptious,
groundbreaking, world-renowned culinary
revolution. But Berkeley would have to
wait until Alice returned from France,
where her life changed in one meal.
“I’ve remembered this dinner
a thousand times,” she said. “The
chef, a woman, announced the menu: cured
ham and melon, trout with almonds, and
raspberry tart. The trout had just come
from the stream and the raspberries from
the garden. It was this immediacy that
made those dishes so special.”
Waters received her BA degree
in French Cultural Studies in 1967 from
the University of California, Berkeley.
She then trained at the Montessori School
in London, followed by a year traveling
In 1971, she co-founded Chez
Panisse, named for a character in Marcel
Pagnol’s 1930s Marseilles movies.
To this day, the dining room features
a single, fixed-price menu that changes
daily based on the availability of pure
and fresh ingredients from a network of
farmers and ranchers who practice sustainable
agriculture. In 1980, an informal upstairs
café was opened at Chez Panisse
that features an à la carte menu.
In 1984, Alice opened Café
Fanny in Berkeley, named for her daughter
who was born the year before and who was
also named for a Marcel Pagnol film. This
restaurant, where orders are taken at
the food bar, serves breakfast and lunch,
still adheres to the Waters philosophy
of supporting family businesses by serving
meat and produce from local ranches and
farms practicing ecologically sound and
Alice, who is currently the
sole owner of Chez Panisse, has jumpstarted
many a culinary career while also on a
mission to change the way we eat with
her internationally-renowned California
To commemorate Chez Pannise’s
25th anniversary in 1996, the Chez Panisse
Foundation was formed with the vision
of ultimately developing a nationwide
public school curriculum that includes
hands-on experiences in school kitchens,
gardens, and cafeterias.
The Foundation also supports
providing healthy and freshly-prepared
meals to all schoolchildren that not only
offer them with proper nutrition but the
education that healthy food that is freshly
prepared tastes good, is good for the
environment, and can reduce diet-related
diseases and obesity.
Two Foundation programs have
been in effect for more than 10 years
in the Berkeley Unified School District:
the Edible Schoolyard, which teaches students
to grow, cook, and share food; and the
School Lunch Initiative, which has eliminated
the highly-processed, high-fat foods from
the lunch tray and replaced them with
locally-grown, natural foods.
In the display created in
honor of Alice Waters at the California
Hall of Fame are cookbooks, of which she
has written eight; Chez Panisse posters
commemorating the restaurant’s anniversaries;
special-event menus; and an attractive,
colorful Edible Schoolyard setting.
Chez Panisse is located at
1517 Shattuck in Berkeley. Café
Fanny is at 1603 San Pablo at Cedar in
In keeping with the California
Hall of Fame theme, this Healthy Living
tip is courtesy Alice Waters. She writes
that it is easy to eat wonderfully well
if you cook, eat, and live by these fundamental
Eat locally and sustainably
Shop at farmers’ markets
Plant a garden
Conserve, compost and recycle
Remember food is precious
Rueben ‘Nip’ Vane:
in Three Rivers for 43 years
1923 ~ 2008
Reuben “Nip” Vane of Visalia
died Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. He was
Nip was born Feb. 25, 1923,
to Tilla and Jalmer Vane in Dawson, Minn.,
where he was raised and educated. He was
a standout athlete in high school and
college, where he lettered in three sports.
During World War II, Nip
was stationed in China where he served
in the Army Air Forces and Signal Corps.
Nip met his future wife,
Jean, while they were both attending Augsburg
College in Minneapolis, Minn. They married
in 1950, shortly after their college graduations.
Nip’s career paths
led him in many professional directions,
including teacher and principal, real
estate speculator, farmer, and hotel owner.
In 1964, Nip accepted a teaching position
at College of the Sequoias in Visalia,
so he, Jean, and their three children
relocated to Three Rivers from Costa Mesa.
Nip and Jean lived in Three
Rivers for more than 40 years before moving
to Visalia in early 2007. The couple spent
the summer months in South Dakota near
Nip sang barbershop quartet
music and was a former member of the Mighty
Oak Chorus, based in Visalia. He was also
an avid golfer.
In addition to Jean, his
wife of 58 years, Nip is survived by his
three children, Bette and husband Alan
Crawford of Exeter; Tracy and husband
Steve Jolly of Friant; and Scott Vane
and wife Wendy of South Lake Tahoe; seven
grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Private family services will
be held. Interment will be at the Visalia
In lieu of flowers, remembrances
may be made to the Salvation Army, 1501
W. Main St., Visalia, CA 93291 (phone
1938 ~ 2008
In last week’s issue of THE KAWEAH
26), a brief biography of Robert Graham
was published as part of the California
Hall of Fame coverage. Graham was selected
as a 2008 inductee to the Hall of Fame,
but was unable to attend the induction
ceremony due to illness.
Robert died Saturday, Dec.
27, 2008, at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical
Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. He was
Robert was born in 1938 in
Mexico City. He was educated at San Jose
State College (today CSU San Jose) and
the San Francisco Art Institute.
He lived in London prior
to settling in the Los Angeles area in
the early 1970s. In 1992, he married Academy
Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston.
Robert had ties to Three
Rivers as his wife, Anjelica, has owned
a ranch here since the 1980s. The sculptor
was last in Three Rivers during the Fourth
of July holiday.
“Robert was an amazing sculptor
who forever shaped the presence of sculpture
art throughout California and the world,”
said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “His
work was truly influential, and he will
forever remain an icon in this state.”
He said he and his wife,
Maria, are deeply saddened by Graham’s
death. Robert and California’s First
Lady were friends, and he designed the
“Spirit of California” medals
that have been presented to each year’s
12 California Hall of Fame inductees since
2006, when Maria Shriver first conceived
and organized the event.
Robert’s massive bronze sculptures
mark civic monuments across the United
States, including the Franklin Delano
Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.
A life-size, bronze figure of FDR in his
wheelchair marks the entrance to the memorial
and bronze panels symbolize the 54 social
programs that were initiated under the
president’s New Deal.
Graham is survived by his
wife of 16 years, Anjelica Huston, and
his son, Steven.
These stories and so
much more in the weekly print edition
of The Kaweah Commonwealth.