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RIP, Gene Wilder

American actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory', directed by Mel Stuart, 1971. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

American actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’, directed by Mel Stuart, 1971. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Gene Wilder, a two-time Oscar nominee and comedy star, has died at age 83,” as the L.A. Times is reporting. “Wilder appeared in some of the most enduring comedies of the modern era. He had an ability to capture a frazzled persona on the brink of meltdown, bringing audiences ongoing delight. His collaborations with Mel Brooks, on films ‘The Producers,’ ‘Blazing Saddles’ and ‘Young Frankenstein,’ are considered classics.

“’It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parent, and universal artist Gene Wilder, at his home in Stamford Connecticut,’ Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement. ‘It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him.’”

“Wilder died Sunday night from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. ‘The choice to keep this private was his choice, in talking with us and making a decision as a family,’ his nephew explained.

“It was Wilder’s memorable turn as the title character in the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ that spurred his decision to keep his condition private. ‘The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion,’ his nephew said. ‘He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.’”

The rest of the article is here.

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CNET, circa 2000

This is the CNET crew at our hip offices South of Market in San Francisco, when I was Editor, circa 2000. (I was fond of that pink couch). A successful “dot com” startup, we were the first online news publication to win a prestigious National Magazine Award. We collected the award at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. It was a hoot! Other nominees in the General Excellence Online category were Beliefnet, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Geographic Online, Sky &, and Slate. One of the staffers put this photo up on Facebook this week.


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FoodWineArt magazine Journalism/Media Scholarship

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

We are pleased to announce an annual Sierra FoodWineArt magazine Journalism/Media Scholarship for Nevada Joint Union High School District graduating seniors pursuing a journalism or media arts major at a college or university.

We enjoyed working with District Scholarship Fund Development Coordinator Barbara Ross and consulting other local businesses including Siteline Architecture about their scholarship.

We have enjoyed knowing Barbara since heading a committee for the “Gold Country Cal Berkeley Alumni” scholarship. In 2009, we awarded a Cal scholarship to Daniel Price from Bear River, who since was named a Rhodes Scholar.

The District scholarships continue to grow and now number more than 250, according to Barbara. A list of the scholarships is here.

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“Etiquette Primer for Trimmigrants” now circulating around our towns

“An Etiquette Primer for Trimmigrants” is now circulating around our towns, thanks to some locals concerned with responsible cultivation of pot. We saw one in downtown Nevada City. It reads in part: “Nevada County is a melting pot of liberal and conservative lifestyles. As visitors to Nevada County, respecting our community values is essential to fitting in and being mindful of others is an important staring [sic] point.” I wonder if the trimmigrants and “those who employ them” will read it. I’ve scanned the document here:


Trimmigrants back

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New, up to 1-gigabit internet for Placer County

“Next-generation Internet services, officially meaning up to 1 gigabit per second, are being expanded across Roseville, Rocklin and the greater Sacramento area by various providers, and area tech professionals say the change brings opportunity for business and education,” as the Roseville Press Tribune is reporting.

“One week after AT&T announced the new services, Consolidated Communications said Tuesday that Roseville would be its third market in the United States, and its first in California, to accommodate the network.

“’Being the first city in California where CCI deploys this speed of Internet connection is a strategic advantage for our city,’ Roseville Mayor Carol Garcia said. ‘Roseville’s been recognized by the Center for Digital Government as one of the top digital cities in the nation. We were also named one of the top 10 cities in California for young families, who appreciate the power of fast Internet connections, so we appreciate this significant enhancement to our technology infrastructure.’

“In addition to the entertainment value and convenience they bring to customers, the new services are likely to make South Placer a more attractive business climate for tech companies and big businesses that require faster connections for their operations, according to Michael Young, spokesperson for the city of Rocklin.

“‘The capacity for tech companies (will increase),’ Young said. ‘Employees are able to do their work faster, and able to add more efficiency that way. It is a perk if we were able to say that we have ‘GigaPower’ available in Rocklin. It would definitely be something we’d want to tell businesses about, along with the other benefits of relocating to our city.”

The rest of the article is here.

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Gold Miners Inn developer-operator plans boutique hotel in Placerville in expansion

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

The developer-operator behind the Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Grass Valley is proposing to build a 60-room boutique hotel, conference center and Park and Ride facility — with 70 covered parking spaces — in Placerville.

The Placerville City Council this week gave unanimous approval to leasing the city-owned site at Mosquito Road and City Street to Hallmark Development for the Ascend brand hotel, and construction could begin as early as next year. Hallmark Development’s Nick Hayhurst said the hotel would bring some 30,000 people a year to the area.

The hotel addresses a chronic problem in the Sierra Foothills — a lodging shortage. Hayhurst’s group also has proposed building an 80-room boutique hotel, conference center and parking garage for about 120 cars in Old Town Auburn.

In Placerville, “we identified the Mosquito Road Park and Ride as a potential site that could provide a dual purpose of a Park and Ride facility, and a hotel,” according to a city staff report. “Staff has been in discussions with Hallmark Development and Realty for several months now to negotiate an acceptable transient occupancy tax (TOT) sharing agreement.”

A 112-room Hampton Suites also is planned for Placerville.

The proposed Ascend brand hotel would feature an upscale, 60-room boutique hotel with conference center and meeting rooms, a business center, and a catering kitchen for meetings and conferences. The hotel also will have concierge service, and a marketing coordinator to bring corporate clients and conferences to the property, with shuttles available for local transport to the casino, Apple Hill and Ed Dorado County wineries.

(Photo: City of Placerville)

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