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The Rising Voice Of The Sierra

Featured Artist Patti Borden

October 2011

The Murphys Historic Hotel Since 1856

Happenings at “The Hotel” October

Friday, October 28

CIOPPINO FEED in the dining room.

Monday, October 31

HALLOWEEN Costume party in the saloon. November

Saturday, November 5

WINEGRAPE GOURMET presented by the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance.

Thursday, November 24

THANKSGIVING DAY Dinner in the Murphys Historic Hotel dining room.

Friday, November 25

CIOPPINO FEED in the dining room. December

Friday, December 2

From the Kitchen:


Steamed Mussels Served in a Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce Served with House Made Garlic Bread

Saturday, December 3


From the Bar:

CHRISTMAS DAY Dinner at the Murphys Historic Hotel dining room.

Strawberry Lemonade

Friday, December 30 - CIOPPINO FEED in the dining room.

1 1/4 strawberry Vodka - 3/4oz Citrus Vodka 1/2 oz Triple Sec - 4 oz lemonade Serve in a chimney glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon.

Saturday, December 31 NEW YEAR'S EVE GALA

For More Information Call The Hotel’s Front Desk (209) 728-3444

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Broker Visit:

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Opinion & Other Important Matters

Volume 6, Number 10

Mountain Chronicle

October 2011 ● 6

The Brushwood Chronicles

P.O. Box 26 Avery, CA 95224 Phone: (209) 795-2222 E-mail:

Publisher ~Ross Alford

The Wild Bunch Jim Stearns • Peter Bartczak Joe Pescogniac • Michelle Plotnik Ted Denmark • Gabe Bridges C.S. Biggs Featuring Prince Hans-Adam II

By B.J. Smalling

Cartoons B. .J. Smalling

Features Editor Warren Alford

From the Publisher:

I will consider publishing “Letters To The Editor” of fewer than 300 words, which include a name, phone number and area of residence. If it’s really good we'll print more words! Send Submissions To: (subject line: “Letter”). If we don’t run your letter you can consider buying an ad!

The Mission:

Editor's Note:

This Issue is Dedicated to The Memory of Kurt Ericson 1961-2011

Facebook This: How do we get to a point where America can adopt Gene Roddenberry's "The Prime Directive?"

"Make it so Number One."

"The Mountain Chronicle" intends to let the facts tell the story in the news section of the paper and raise hell on the OP/ED page. If you exploit, degrade or injure the community, you’re fair game! Please remember we can only cover so many stories, so it helps if you send a photo and a few paragraphs of an event you attended. If “The Mountain Chronicle” publishes something under the name of an author, that’s their opinion.


"The more they over-tech the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." –Scotty

Please ask permission to use anything in the paper, and or, at least use the material in a contextually accurate manner. Lastly, we here at “The Mountain Chronicle” are trying to tell the story of our time. If we make mistakes, we will try to set the record straight.

"We have them just where they want us."

– James Tiberius Kirk

Breaking News:

Please phone the newsroom (209) 795-2222

Cover Art Patti Borden's

Amazing Oaks

"'Act, and you shall have dinner; wait, and you shall be dinner.' –Klingon proverb" Schlitz Malt Liquor my friend! –Prince Hans-Adam II Prince of Liechtenstein

I'm ready to start another political party Pragmatists For "The Prime Directive" - It's a "Trekkie" Thing


ragmatists For The Prime Directive have a small but varied platform: essentially it's all about how to conduct business efficiently with an eye on helping evolve society towards an enlightened state where people and the planet can live in harmony - like we're all spiritual Eagle Scouts. Or, if say a visitor from another planet happened by, they might not be so appalled. Some of this might sound like "Bleeding Heart liberalism," but it makes good business sense: Numero uno, we quit lynching and torturing. Number two, education is free. Number three health care is universal. Number four, we stop all unilateral military action outside of our county and participate in world governance. Number five, we stop aiding any outside government other than sending aid in the form of a revamped Peace Corps that employs our youth. In this we should engage our immediate neighbor to the south and send massive Peace Corp. assistance to Mexico. Number six, we engage in nation building here in America, we form an American jobs program that revitalizes our infrastructure, rebuilds our rail system and greens up America. Number seven, we conduct a second Manhattan project converging the best scientific minds of our time to develop and manufacture the most sophisticated green energy technology ever known to man. Número ocho, we quit manufacturing weapons. Número nueve, we revamp our tax code. No one pays taxes on their first $50K, anything over 50K you pay a flat tax of 25%. No sales tax, no loop holes, no tax deductions no nonprofits, no corporate tax advantages; everyone who is not in poverty pays the same. Number 10, we have an ass kicking free breakfast, lunch and after school snack program - no student ever worries about food. Number 11, we eliminate pollution. Number 12, all natural resources are administered to by the state so they are maintained in a sustainable and ecological manner. Number 13, we reduce the number of government officials by 50% while increasing the actual dollars spent by government in the field 150%. Number 14, we decriminalize Marijuana. The party platform list from here-on-out gets a bit more personal: Number 15, let winemakers print whatever they want on their labels (this is blatant pandering to the Pro Vinos). Number 16, we abolish Facebook. Number 17, all Caesar Salads come with an anchovy. Number 18, watching Star Trek is required of all latchkey kids. Number 19, The Calaveras Sushi Society allows me to join. Number 20, all Ironstone concerts go past midnight. Number 21, Emile plants flowers around his "Guns, Amo and Knives" sign. Number 22, last but not least, someone get me some damn internet speed! Well you get the idea; while not all of my ideas, are going to make it on to the Pragmatist for the Prime Directive's party platform, the point is that we as a society, humans in general, need a spiritual evolution-

The Mountain Chronicle

"Top of The News"

October 2011 ● 7

A Leap of Faith Friends of The Fair To Run the Big Show By Ross Alford One can only imagine how Mark Twain would have covered this story! Despite the exiting Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee's absence of any credible bookwork, The Friends of the Fair voted to move forward and take control of operating The Calaveras County Fair Grounds from the state. The state of California has said they no longer plan to allocate $210,0000 to the running of the facility. The only option for The Frog Jump to continue was for a non-profit organization to step up and take over operations from the governor-appointed Calaveras County Fair Board. As Friends of the Fair was originally formed to improve aspects of the fair without having to be immersed in the state bureaucracy, The Friends of the Fair was the logical choice to take over the operations. The Friends however wanted to see "the books" before they agreed to take over the responsibility of the operations - logically. Those books are essentially nonexistent. In what I can only describe as the most stunning lack of financial oversight I've ever witnesses in all my years as a journalist, and there are a couple of doozies that this has now eclipsed, the current management of the fair cannot produce a credible profit and loss statement for the fair grounds. They cannot provide accounting that shows how much a particular Frog Jump makes or loses, or for that matter any other subsequent event that occurs at the fairgrounds. When asked why the books that were presented to The Friends of the Fair were essentially, back of the napkin figures, and that is a discredit to napkins, management said they didn't know how to interpret the coding that the state wants for listing figures related to income and loss. They went on to further state that because they don't know how to send the figures to the state, the state can't send them the accounting figures back. Management also said somewhere in there that they didn't know the basics of accounting. There was a rather hushed silence in the crowd, with more than a few murmurs of, "really, that's what you're telling us?" Then at least one prominent board member tried to defend the concept that the state's process of book-keeping was too complicated and that it was the State's fault. Friends of the Fair board member, Leslie Davis, crushed this like Obama crushed Osama bin Laden stating unequivocally that what they were hearing in terms of accounting was a completely unacceptable explanation, leaving the implication that every existing Fair Board member was as culpable for the accounting woes as their manager because they had been letting the situation continue to exist year after year.

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Even the Friend's board-chair, Firman Brown, asked "why don't you run a separate set of books so you at least know where you stand? The reply "well to do that, it would take at least three hours," another hush . . . by this time everyone in the room had, I'm certain, reached some form of conclusion . . .

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Here is the leap of faith: Despite not having any credible bookwork presented to them, in fact having received bookwork that at face value appeared deceiving, in that a number of expenses didn't appear to be listed on the profit and loss statement, and a number of existing financial obligations that the fair has didn't appear to be listed, or that there is no agreement on what the lease for the fairgrounds might be, or what the costs that the infrastructure might need, to actually be able to run a fair. The Friends of the Fair took a leap of faith and agreed to run the fair if it got handed over to them with a balance of "0" on the books. If that happens, I want to know how it happened, because "0" is a very hard number to have randomly appear in nature. Some cultures like the Mayans didn't even have a word for zero! Meanwhile the existing staff is still working. One might think that The Friends of the Fair would want the existing management team to stop spending money right now. Especially as one of the fair's obligations that appeared on my napkin appears to be $28,000 of overtime pay or buy-out pay. Here is the dealio: You shouldn't need $200,000 to make a profit at the fair. You might want to know the terms of your lease, but I could pick any of at least 10 business folk who could turn a profit out there - Hell the kids that sell me candy bars to support Little Leagu could do it. So the Friend's "Take a Leap of Faith," but they will be wildly successful, if they move fast from the past.

Parents’ Club Donates Picnic Tables To Hazel Fischer Tables Designed To Withstand Snow & Sticky Fingers

Arnold — Ten brand new tables have arrived at the Vallecito Union School District courtesy of the Hazel Fischer Parents’ Club which provided the bulk of the funds and volunteer labor to help install the tables. The tables are made from plastic-coated metal mesh and designed to stand-up to the deep snow Arnold receives and the sticky fingers that one would expect from elementary school kids. The tables will replace worn, wooden tables in the outdoor eating area of the school and should be a labor-saver for the district. In the past, the tables would have to be scraped and painted each summer to prepare for another season of chicken nuggets, cheese pizza and chocolate milk spills. The new tables should be washed-off easily and will not require annual maintenance. They cost approximately $600 apiece and are being installed by a crew of local parents. The Parents’ Club plans to install colorful umbrellas to help provide sun protection for the lunch area which has been exposed since a mature tree that provided shade was removed last year. All donations to the Hazel Fischer Parents Club help support projects like this that improve the schools for area kids.


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Great Wines & Extraordinary Meats Matt O'Donnell assembling the tables. The group’s primary fundraiser of the year is Mustang Bingo night in the spring. The new tables will be unveiled at the annual Fall Festival celebration on Sunday, October 16.

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The Mountain Chronicle

Local News

Gentlemen, Start Your Chainsaws Stanislaus To Harvest Capitol Christmas Tree By Warren Alford Sonora– When the Stanislaus National Forest was selected to provide a tree for the nation’s capitol, the tree that was requested was a good, old-fashioned Christmas Tree- straight and true. Now, my family’s Christmas tradition basically starts at the stockings and ends on the ski slopes (with a fair amount of stuffing in between), so I’m probably the last soldier to join in on the “War on Christmas” battle that seems to occur every year about this time when some folks declare that any greeting besides “Merry Christmas” is verboten. Keep your “Season’s Greetings”, hold your “Happy Holidays”… this baby is all about the reason for the season- a gianormous tree bedecked with gaudy baubles, burning fossil fuels for 30 days and 30 nights (or some such thing) at our nation’s capitol. I appreciate celebrating the many diverse traditions that flow throughout our country. Rather than stamping out religious observation from the public square, I say let’s celebrate ‘em all, early and often. I hope they have as many menorahs as mangers and as many kinaras as candy canes- times are tough, we may as well celebrate what we can. Known as "The People’s Tree," the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested on November 5th. According to Maria Benech, Christmas Tree Coordinator on the forest, the tree will be just the fourth tree from California chosen for the honor. The tradition, which began in 1970, has grown into an elaborate celebration. Area school children have been involved in making ornaments that will adorn the tree and a party and procession will follow the tree from the felling of the tree at its undisclosed location on the Summit District of the forest and the tree will be transported to an all-day celebration at the Sonora fairgrounds. The tree will spend seven days on an Olympic-like relay through California, traveling first to Oakdale and Manteca on its way to a ceremony in Sacramento and then to Merced, Fresno, Kingsberg, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga before kissing California goodbye in Barstow. The tree will make many interesting stops in the state including being the star of the Fresno Veteran’s Day Parade, the largest parade of its kind in the state and will visit the Central California Children’s Hospital.

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Photo Of "The Tree ' By Jim Junette, USFS

The forest began a search for the perfect tree in the springtime and selected ten trees for the Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds, Ted Bechtel, to choose from. “I don’t have a corner I can stick this thing in,” said Bechtel. “The tree has to be perfectly symmetrical so that it can be viewed from all sides.” In August Bechtel visited the forest and selected the 65 foot white fir that is at the center of all the attention. “I had hoped that we could have selected a red fir from the forest as there has never been a red fir for the Capitol Tree,” said Benech. “The white fir that ended up being chosen is a perfectly shaped Christmas tree though.” For our tea-partyin’ readers, you can rest somewhat easy as the bulk of the cost of the program is covered by donations of time and money to cut and haul the tree with just the time of existing forest staff to help manage the program falling on taxpayers. As for concerns that the tree may dry out on its journey east, and arriving in Washington Charlie Brown-style, the tree will be sporting a 60 gallon bladder that will be refilled every night- many of us could use one of those and I think would pay good money to get one- can someone spell fundraiser? On its way to Washington, the Forest Service is promoting a “Pay it Forward” food drive. Communities from around the State and food banks from those communities will be providing the people of Gallup, New Mexico 20 pallets of non-perishable food items as a gift this holiday season. Gallup is the 3rd poorest community in the country with an average per capita income of just $5,000 per year. Food donations will help local food banks that participate and help provide for those less fortunate in their own communities. Here’s to holiday traditions whatever they may be from our forest to the rest of the country— let me be the first to wish you Merry Holidays and Happy Greetings.

This little ad spot just opened up . . .

October 2011 ● 8

More information on the “Celebrating Gifts From Under Our Tree” event:

November 5, 2011 10am to 7pm At The Mother Lode Fairgrounds Tree Escort Through Sonora – 3pm. South Washington St & Stockton Road To Fairgrounds . For more information contact Karen Caldwell: 209.965.3434, Ext. 5317.

The Mountain Chronicle

News Items

Sunday, October 9th

October 2011 ● 9

Bill Welles Rocked "The Hermit"

The Mountain Chronicle Presents

In Conjunction With The Frog’s Tooth Tasting Room Art Gallery A Reception for Artist: Patti Borden

For the first time since the Mountain Chronicle started featuring local artists in the center section of the paper we are going to have a reception for the featured artist and give folks a chance to see the art and meet the artist in person. This is pretty exciting for us! We call the section of the paper where we feature the artists, La Galleria de Arte y Vino as 19 local winemakers have made the pages affordable. This month Frog’s Tooth is hosting our event, which give you another opportunity to come try some of their wonderful wines - they are the “old men in the business,” the only possible benefit to that could be contextual understanding! Please come by, there will be some music, and taste treats, and the “out of the box” art of Patti Borden! 3-5pm - Frog’s Tooth Tasting Room Gallery - 380 Main Street - Behind The Murphys Grill.

Theater Auditions Murphys Creek Theatre will be holding auditions for its Christmas production, "A Christmas Carol," on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 6pm. All roles are open. This is an updated version so there will be no accents. MCT is also looking for carolers to sing in the lobby before the show. Audition will consist of reading from the script or for carolers, a song. For more information please call (209) 728-8422 or visit our website at

Wines of The World

The Calaveras Winegrape Alliance will host its monthly Wines of the World Thursday, Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 7pm at Murphys Historic Hotel, 457 Main St., Murphys. Matt Hatcher, owner of Hatcher Winery, will pour a number of Bordeaux varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petite Verdot. Bordeaux varietals originate from the famous Bordeaux region in Northern France, considered the most important wine producing region in France and in the world. The region has been producing wines for more than 2,000 years. “We’ll be showcasing a number of Bordeaux varietals and blends made in Calaveras County,” he said. “We’ll be discussing why Calaveras Bordeaux varietals taste different from Napa or French Bordeaux wines. I look forward to pouring these rich wines and answering questions about this year’s harvest.” Hatcher Winery produces all of the Bordeaux varietals, which will be available for tasting at the event alongside a number of other Calaveras wines.

Gifts Accessories

425 Main Street Murphys There were a number of solid performance at The Hermit this year, but probably some of the most fun were the semiimprovisational tunes by Bell Welles!

In 2010, Dr. Chris Martenson delivered his celebrated "Crash Course" to a sellout crowd at Sonora's Opera Hall. That event launched a movement toward local sustainability and community cooperation in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties that has continued to grow. Now hundreds of local residents have taken the Crash Course from local presenters and joined in on projects from community gardens to kitchens and banking development. On October 14th, Dr. Martenson returns to Twain Harte in Tuolumne County for an interactive evening of exploration " Beyond the Crash Course," where families and businesses will learn how the next 20 years are likely to look very different from the last 20 years, and how we can be more prepared to thrive in the times ahead, whatever they may bring. Tickets are only $10 a person ($25 for a family of four) and no-one will be turned away for inability to pay. More details and ticket purchase available at

“Drop The Drugs” Day

10am-2pm, Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zucca Means Pumpkin In Italian

Narcotic officers will receive and dispose of prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, and any illicit drugs, with no questions asked.

A $25 tickets gets you a "Zucca," a glass of wine and a fine selection of carving tools to use for the evening. Come show off your skills. The "best in show" will go home with a bottle of their favorite vino.


With "Information You Can't Afford to Live Without"

Clean out your medicine cabinet and protect your loved ones! 70% of prescription drug abusers obtain drugs from a friend or relative. Teens abuse prescription drugs more than any other drugs except marijuana or alcohol as Teens mistakenly believe that prescription and over-the-counter medications are safer than illegal drugs.

Come on, you know you want to...Especially since there's wine involved (or hot cocoa for the kiddos).

Chris Martenson Returns to the Mother Lode

Cost is $15 for CWA members and $25 for non-members. Guests are welcomed to dine at the hotel afterward with a $5 discount on each entrée. For more information, call 728-9467 or visit online at www.

What better activity is there during Halloween than carving pumpkins? Join the Zucca team Saturday, October 29th at 6pm for an evening of pumpkin carving fun with your friends and family.

& Apparel

Three Convenient Locations: Feeney Park parking lot Murphys Calaveras County Office of Education Angels Camp Toyon Middle School San Andreas For your safety, a marked Sheriff’s Department or Police Department vehicle and uniformed officers will be clearly visible at these locations at the times indicated. Sponsored by: Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention Angels Camp Police Department

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The Mountain Chronicle

Local News

October 2011 ● 10

Tennis Tournament To Celebrate New Murphys Courts By Bob Reagan The Murphys Area Community Tennis Association (MACTA) is staging an all-day tennis tournament on Saturday, October 8 to celebrate the restoration of Murphys much used public tennis courts located behind the historic schoolhouse on Jones St.

Murphys 728-8634

The tournament will also be a fundraiser to help MACTA finish the surrounding landscaping, build concrete bleachers, and sponsor youth and adult clinics to continue to promote tennis in Murphys and the surrounding communities. Beginning with an 8 a.m. check-in, mixed double matches will be scheduled at the Bret Harte High School and the new Murphys courts. Players at all levels of ability are encouraged to participate. At 3 p.m., following the final matches, the New Murphys Courts will be formally dedicated and attendees will enjoy a BBQ and social time. Entry fees are $25 per person, $35 for tourney and BBQ, or $15 for the BBQ alone. It is recommended that those interested in participating register as soon as possible. For further information and to sign-up call Jim Triolo at 728-2966 or Nancy Hutson at 728-9900. Their email addresses are and respectively. The Saviano Company of Mountain View began the restoration of the Murphys Courts in mid-July under a $47,800 contract. After filling cracks that had formed over many years and have made quality tennis impossible, the company laid down two and a half inches of asphalt. After four weeks of curing the company returned to do the necessary painting, striping, net placement and other finishing touches. MACTA was formed in the autumn of 2010 to channel the interests and efforts of the many tennis players in the greater Murphys area. It was incorporated as a California Public Benefit Corporation and received its 501(c) 3 non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service on March 8, 2011. It is a community tennis association affiliated with the

The Newly Refurbished Murphys Public Tennis Courts United States Tennis Association (USTA). It has a Joint Use Agreement with the Ebbetts Pass Veteran’s Memorial District that has jurisdiction over the courts and their surroundings. “The new courts have received rave reviews from everyone who has seen them,” states David Bowman, who along with his wife Gloria Miller, serves as Co-President of the association. “We have been able to make such speedy progress because of the enthusiasm and cooperation of everyone involved.” The completed courts continue to be open to the general public. MACTA is designed to welcome tennis players of all ages and all skill levels. Anyone wishing to join can do so by making an annual donation of at least $25. Contributions can be sent to PO Box 344, Murphys CA 95247. For further information, Bowman can be reached at

Murphys Just Got A New Lake !

Diane’s Frame Place

Taylor Plaza Murphys (209) 728-2955

Murphys Grille– Bartczak Strikes Again! Lake Como, which was in Italy, is now in Murphys – on the wall of the Murphys Grille on Main Street. A dazzling airbrushed 26’ x 8’ mural by our very own columnist and muralist Peter Bartczak. Bartczak also included six portraits of people who work in the restaurant as well as two other local personalities. The mural has been a brainchild collaboration between The Grille's Paula, and Peter. The mural depicts the beautiful mountains, villas, and rolling hills rimming the lake as well as a cast of local characters in cowboy garb, a Carman Miranda fruit head dress, and other zany goings-on. Peter, the Michelangelo of Murphys, has over thirty years experience as a muralist illustrator. His murals can be found in Sacramento, Morgan Hill, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Chico, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and now Murphys. He has been commissioned by the likes of Buck Owens, Disney, Universal Studio Tours, Dell Publishing, Atari, and many others. His murals are in private homes as well as businesses, community centers, libraries, and one day will grace the hallowed halls of the Command Center of The Mountain Chronicle! To see more of Peter's work, check out his website at Or call 209.728.1400 to see his portfolio. He is available for commissions.

Peter Bartczak Painting the Mural at The Murphys Grille.

The Mountain Chronicle

Special Report

October 2011 ● 11

AMA Football Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Some Question Focusing On The Cures Rather Than The Cause By Warren Alford Angels Camp- It was a typical fall scene at Dorroh Field where the AMA Football team prepared for a game- sun shining, kids in football uniforms playing, stretching, running, laughing- enjoying life. A closer look revealed the ubiquitous pink ribbons of the Susan Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness affixed to each of their helmets and clusters of pink and white balloons festooning the stands.

r a B & t n a r u in Street a t s e R 2-H Ma hys

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and according to Mark Twain St. Joseph's Hospital, a time to remember those living with breast cancer, their family and friends who provide them with love and support and to everyone that has been touched by the disease. The hospital is spreading the word that early detection of breast cancer, followed by prompt treatment, saves lives. The hospital contends that early and accurate diagnosis is the best tool for fighting this disease. The pink lights symbolize hope, and the Hospital hopes to make a difference in someone’s life. This event serves as a reminder to women that it is time to take charge of their own health. Women are encouraged to get an annual mammogram, do a monthly self-exam, or see a physician for a regular check-up. And perhaps support the future Women’s Health Center & Family Medical Center in Angels Camp. “Mark Twain Hospital approached us about joining in support of the effort a couple of years ago,” said Mike Zihlke, the commissioner of the AMA Football program. “My family has gone through dealing with cancer as has almost everyone in the community, so it seemed like a no-brainer for AMA to join in the effort to raise awareness for this cause.” Sadly, most of us have been touched by “the big casino”— cancer — whether breast or some other insidious form of the disease yet it was still uplifting to see the kids in our community participating in the masculine ritual of football proudly donning pink (PINK!) in support of this affliction that affects primarily women. Women-run breast cancer organizations have raised millions of dollars to fund effective treatments for various cancers and have led to dramatic improvements in the options available for women which in the past involve primarily radical mastectomy and inadequate survival rates. Treatment options now routinely involve case-specific surgery; sentinel (rather than multiple) lymph node sampling; and continually refined radiation and chemotherapy protocols. Public understanding and acceptance of the disease, as evidenced by the support of groups like AMA, has happened rapidly. The success of the pink ribbon campaign is not without detractors however. A number of organizations that are working to fight the root causes of cancer– environmental exposure to toxic chemicals and other pollutants– contend that the focus on detection and treatment once someone has the disease falls into the "pound of cure" category when we really need to mobilize around comprehensive prevention strategies including limiting our exposure to toxins in our food and the environment. Breast Cancer Action, a grassroots organization comprised of women with breast cancer and their supporters, even has a campaign called “Think Before You Pink” dedicated to exposing hypocritical corporate sponsors of pink ribbon promotions. Such groups contend that at best, the feel-good pink-ribbon movement channels research money to drug companies, whose focus remains on therapy, not prevention and at worst allow companies to “pink wash” by making a token donation to a breast cancer-related charity while exploiting consumers' fear of cancer and grief ofr people who have died to drive sales. These groups claim that some corporations create products with environmmental toxins that actually lead to increases in breast cancer, yet promote the pink ribbon campaign as a fig-leaf to hide behind while actively undermining attempts to regulate toxins in the environment.


p Mur 0107 . 8 2 7 209.

The issues being raised by BCA and other groups are challenging the status quo to direct research, education and policy discussions towards true prevention strategies, but they overlook the power that the pink symbols provide of solidarity and compassion. The effort to raise awareness and offer support for cancer survivors and their families that the pink ribbon campaign illustrates is deeply moving- these are our neighbors, mothers, daughters and friends. BCA’s tone-deaf campaign symbol is a stink-bomb- not really an image that raises spirits or rallies a cause even though their effort to expose hypocrisy is laudable. The Breast Cancer Fund ( recently launched a constructive campaign titled, “Prevention Is Power”, predicated on the idea that it is time we move beyond awareness and start focusing on why so many women—an alarming 1 in 8—are being diagnosed with this disease. Mounting scientific evidence shows that the risk of breast cancer is increased by exposures to chemicals in our everyday environment– chemicals in our food, our products, our air and our water– indicating that true prevention in the long-term demands attention to reducing toxins in the environment.

155 S. Main Street. Angels Camp Ca, 95221 209-736-4601 Making Families Feel at Home Mon-Fri 7am-6pm Sat 8am-5pm Sun 9am-4pm

The actions items listed in the Prevention Is Power campaign include the following topics: Choose Safe Cosmetics, Create A Healthy Home, Eat Better -Live Better, Protect Your Family, Share The Power Of Prevention and Ask President Obama To Make Prevention A Priority The Prevention Is Power campaign embraces the awareness campaign around breast cancer detection and treatment of the pink ribbons with simple, concrete actions that everyone can take to promote prevention including decreasing exposure to toxins. It is touching to see that we are raising a generation of children, both boys and girls, who are empathetic and engaged in supporting this effort- let’s hope they take the next giant leap to fighting the root causes of these diseases in the first place.

Breast Cancer Action When we know that 90–95 percent of women who develop breast cancer do not have a genetic predisposition to the disease. We must take action against environmental toxins. In doing so, we recognize that each one of us does not have the same access to clean water, foods without pesticides, or nontoxic personal care products. We shouldn’t have to choose between toxic and nontoxic products. BCA is committed to holding corporations accountable for their products and practices because individual behavior alone can only reduce — not eliminate — exposures to toxins in the environment. We advocate for just systems and policies that ensure the protection of everyone’s health. Visit:


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“Grape Reportage”

La Chronicle de la Montagne

Octobre MMXI ● XII

Exploring the Wines of Calaveras Locals Flail At the Stomp! No Street Creds!


really sweet couple from Los Gatos came to the Grape Stomp and kicked our ass! The Powerful Mountain Chronicle could only muster a puny fifth place in our respective heat. It was like going to the park for a pick-up basketball game and a couple of school girls start draining threes on you! What in the wild world of sports is going on here? Where was Matt Hatcher? Hatcher is spending too much time in dancing tights, when he should be crushing grapes and defending our honor! Where was Scott Klann, that dude looks like he should be able win a Grape Stomp. Or the Oliveto Bros. Or if I were the Frog's Tooth guys, who may be a little long in the Tooth for such activity, I put Rose in the barrel! Or Chloe and Burch, Or Elli and Staria, Where was Chuck Hovey - I bet Jan could swab! J & J from Val du Vino– No street creds!

C e n t r a l

Aeolian Harp OLD ANGELS CAMP Music Gallery Instruments & Accessories Thoughtful Gifts & Artful Things


S i e r r a


o street creds! Doc Renner? The girls from Black Sheep Broll, the dudes from Indian Rock, Sierra from Metate, Lori from Chatom? Now that I'm thinking about, as we may have the foxiest women of the wine world, I'm going to quite worrying about this and get rich making a calender– but that's another story. Where was Dorian's team? Or SNAC's team, those guys are supposed to be athletic! Steven Kautz missing in action! Jeff Stai has stomppers on his staff, but no street creds! We should probably just hold a little Grape Stomp so we can win. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! That's like valley frogs winning the Frog Jump! Or Angelo and Marlene, or the ladies at Aria or how about the hotties from Ovo? No Plotnik, I bet she and her squeeze could put a crush on a few grapes! I know we've got team out there, but no win this year! Jen Wren, missing. Gateway, no show. How about a Cactus Jack's team – we've got to want it bad!



A Full-Year . Shamanic Studies. Program .

I'm going to call Mike Nash, I saw him in the crowd, Nash is like that, he sits in the stands for a few years and then says something to someone like a Kitchell brother, "you know, I think we can win this thing," and then does it!


Starts October 2011

The core of this program is learning the shamanic approach, for spiritual power, knowledge, and healing. We’ll introduce the ancient method that is called shamanic S journeywork. Sessions will include song, h movement, inner prayer, and outward a creative expression. m a Enrollment is limited to about 12 students n who will form a supportive community with i each other for the year. A commitment to c attend all sessions is expected. S o c i Murphys, CA 209.736.7797 e t y

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The Mountain Chronicle’s “Galería de Arte y Vino”

Featuring Patti Borden

Open Daily 11 to 5pm 634 French Gulch Road-Murphys Phone 209-728-9911

Hatcher Winery

Main Street - Murphys


La Galeria’s Disclaimer: Translation, as they say, is at best an echo - You should see this art for yourself!

La Galería Continued→


403 MAIN STREET • MURPHYS Lounge Hours Monday thru Thursday: 12-5 Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 11-5:30


Lavender Ridge

La GalerĂ­a


11am to 5pm

Tasting Room

425 A Main Street Murphys

(209) 728-2441 www.Lavender Ridge


Tasting Room Hours 7-Days 12 to 5pm


Tasting Room

448-C Main Street Murphys

La Galería Tasting Room Open 7 Days Murphys

Call 209.728.2314

Impeccable Wines by Chuck Hovey

Available at: Big Trees Market Sierra Hills Market Angels Food Market or at

La Galería Continued

The Mountain Chronicle Editor's Note: I'd like everyone to know that these local winemaker are supporting local artists.

Highway 4 4 Miles East of Murphys

This spot is going to be filled by Indian Rock, but we're still working on their art.


Phone: 209.728.9893

(209) 601- 8814



Art helps us interpret life!

Also, I'd like to thank Albeno Munari for all his support despite tough times.




25th Anniversary Celebration! Public invited November 14, 4 to 6 pm at Tasting Room in Murphys

Open Daily 11 - 5 located in the historic Yellow Cottage near Tasting Alchemy RoomRestaurant Open Daily 11-5 Gold Medal Big Zins, 221 Main Street, Murphys Sauvignon Blanc, Cinsault, The Historic Yellow Cottage Raspberry Sparkling Wine, Rose and more. 209.728.2157 221 Main Street Murphys, CA


La GalerĂ­a

Open Seven Days 11 - 5 380 Main St. Ste 5, Murphys Phone 209.728.2700

Cute Name, Serious Award Winning Wines.

Vallecito & Murphys

209-736-9080 Patti Borden In Profile Born in Portland Oregon, Patti Borden grew up in a family of artists, writers, and musicians. At age 10 she began capturing visual images in oil colors under the tutelage of her grandmother, an accomplished artist and teacher. Patti continued her education in the arts throughout college and in private studies with a variety of artists. She has won awards for her work in watercolor and ceramics and designed and created stained glass installations for corporate and private clients.

458 Main Street #3 Murphys Tasting Room Hours 11 to 5 Daily 209.728.3485

Since her move to the Sierra foothills 16 years ago Patti has devoted her time to painting. In her abstract and contemporary images she challenges the viewer with her color choices and with her unique style of playing with paint. "My preference is to express myself through color. While all the elements of design play a role in my abstract and contemporary paintings, I usually start and end with color."

The End

The Mountain Chronicle

“The Galley Slave”

October 2011 ● 17

The Spice Tin Murphys - Behind SNAC

The Hotel Knocked My Socks Off By Ross Alford

Over 187 Spices

wren for mt chron 2.5w x 4h

Open 7 Days A Week 11 am to 5 pm

Chef Joel Lacititnolo I'm up against deadline here so I have to toss in a few photos and push the print button; but take my word for it, in my entire life The Hotel is running at its best ever! c r e at i v e f o o d

c r e at i v e f o o d

— catering on another level —

— catering on another level —

Smashing Good Grape Stomp

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- Catering On Another Level POB 1291 Murphys CA 95247

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Bistro Espresso 6p m POB 1291 Murphys CA 95247


In any event, Chef Joel is a Black Belt. We were going for the Lamb, and it was perfect, the creamy polenta was outstanding, but the thing that really blew my mind was that after just serving over 150 meals the vegetables were al dente. Unbelievable and everything was piping hot, I mean piping hot - killer!


6a m


few of us went to The Murphys Hotel the night of the Grape Stomp, a crew of four. They were packed. Almost every table was full. They had just served over 150 meals and there were still people waiting to be seated. This was not the best time to go to a restaurant and expect to get great treatment, far from fair to write a review! And, I wouldn't, except that they knocked the ball out of the park. The Hotel has got team! Andrea sat us down and Brian was phenomenal. While all of this is going on, he had the presence of mined to recognize the Grape Stomp winners and introduce them to the patrons of the dining room - I'd just interviewed them and didn't recognize them, although they had cleaned up.

Meadowmont Shopping Center

The Mountain Chronicle

“Long Strange Trip"

October 2011 ● 18

Regarding Kurt's Passing By Ross Alford We will say goodbye to one of my long standing friends Monday in a church in Danville. How odd it feels that he has passed on. I've written a few notes over the last few days - this one probably conveys what I'd like my Mountain Chronicle friends and readers to know:


I hope this note finds you in good spirits – I have some bad news. I don’t know if you heard, but our friend Kurt Ericson, as his brother Nels wrote, "chose to be with our Lord Jesus." I hadn’t seen that much of him over the years, but in the most recent years we had, to some extent, reconnected. A bunch of the guys from our class get together and go fishing each summer. Kurt in his usual way sort of orchestrated the thing, then this year at the last moment he didn’t show up. Then two months later he apparently took his life near Mt. Diablo. I don't know why. He’d been troubled for some time, he had some medical issues, his dad had just had to be put in a care facility, and he'd been divorced; which, I know caused him some anxiety; but these are just the incidental matters of the living; like I said, I don't know why– but it has caused me to reflect.



Kurt Ericson 1961-2011

It’s been weirdly emotional for me, maybe like one of the pack when a straggling Wildebeest gets taken down by a lion. The Kurt I knew loved life and particularly loved his friends, he liked to josh and kid and really loved it when he could provoke you into light-hearted banter. Interestingly we had very different political views, yet he reminded me on a number of occasions that our views had nothing to do with our underlying friendship. Our friend Kurt had a pretty clean soul. Anyway, I’m trying to heighten my appreciation and enjoyment for living – in the greater scheme of things, that is all we have – friends, family and the beauty of living each day.

Wildwood Baru

Hand Crafted Log Furniture Expert At Custom Specifications

I thought you might want to know. I'll miss Kurt a lot– Vaya con Dios, my friend.

Being Ready For An Uncertain Future

Four Monday Evenings: October 24 & 31, November 7 & 14, 2011 Facilitated by John Adams World Mercantile & Gallery of Arts - Angels Camp 5:30 if you want to buy dinner; 6pm – 9pm Seminar

209 The 795 Brian Leslie 7450 Family

There is no way to be certain how the future will unfold, but there is growing concern in many quarters that the next 20 years won’t be anything like the last 20 years! This seminar is presented in a four part series and extends the work of Jared Diamond (Collapse), Richard Heinberg (The End of Growth), Chris Martenson (The Crash Course), Cam Mather (The Upside of Down) and others, in exploring the inner workings of our society’s prevailing ways of thinking and behaving. These four evenings will help you understand the nature and interrelationships of some extremely serious risks to our familiar way of life and our future prosperity. It weaves together some of the most likely reasons we may experience significant challenges to “life as usual” – exploring the interactions of how the economy; cheap, abundant energy; and essential resource availability

affect our everyday lives. Our goal will be to interconnect the various challenges and make them understandable. Each of the first two sessions of the course, which will be held on consecutive Monday evenings, will open with dialogue on some provocative questions, then involve a video presentation, and wind up with Q & A and further dialogue on items of interest. The third and fourth sessions are devoted to exploring our readiness to change and the possibilities for preparation, both as families and as a community, for an uncertain future. People will leave with a clearer sense of their own needed next steps for being building family and community resilience. Come and extend your network. One of the enduring outcomes of past offerings is the opportunity to join in a growing community of local folks who are helping each other to build resilience and are sharing ideas and resources on an on-going basis. Great sandwiches and other goodies are available at the “Merc”!!!

“Stearns’ Page”

The Mountain Chronicle

October 2011 ● 19


“Every Little Step” By Jim Stearns


ost of us have had to deal with the inevitable gulf between how we want it to be and how it is. Wild and perhaps unrealistic youthful aspirations have been set aside as the often harsh light of reality has forced us down the road of obligation, responsibility and survival. Call it compromise, surrender or maturity, call it the wisdom of aging; it is part of the reconciliation process of growing up. Still, through the many seasons of life, the ebbs and flows, the contractions and expansions, we keep trying, in our own way, to bridge that gap. We vow to eat better, exercise more, be kinder and more communicative to our loved ones and maybe take another shot at a seemingly unrealistic dream. Hopefully the world and humanity itself go through similar phases. If that is true, it is hard to deny that we are, collectively, in an ebb and contraction phase. We seem to be descending into a darker and more dangerous place. From a personal sense, when we are at our lowest it is hard to be optimistic. It is difficult to see a way out of the hole we find ourselves in. A sense of hopelessness, and even desperation, can invade the psyche and leave us paralyzed. So it is for the world mind-set. It seems hard to argue that the people and the planet are together in such a phase. Wars, starvation, disease and malaise seem to be thriving like no other period, at least in my lifetime. Every week somebody seems to snap and take out their family and/or their coworkers and strangers and then usually themselves. Even the usually placid seemingly sane country of Norway finds itself dealing with some nutcase who snapped and systematically took the lives of 75 completely innocent young people. There was a time when seeing a dead cat or dog on the side of the road could evoke a sense of emotion in me and now, after years of watching the world unravel, it takes something of that magnitude to bring tears to my eyes. I love the bumper sticker, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Yes sadness turned inside out becomes at its ultimate level, rage. When you can't cry anymore you get angry. After watching so much tragedy, death and destruction, the heart has a tendency to get numb. And there are so many other issues that keep the mind reeling; its like one of those whacko games where as soon as your attention goes to one thing, three or four more things pop up until you become so weary you just want to put the mallet down and give up.

Species extinction, elimination of ground water, third world access to clean water, fossil fuel dependence and depletion, the continual global spread and ravaging of HIV/AIDS, the spread and utter lack of accountability of nuclear weapons and other Jim Stearns arms, the unparalleled disparity, Always on Location between rich and poor, the homeless, rainforest annihilation, racism, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse and the vitriolic relationships between political parties. Shall I go on? I could probably continue this list for another paragraph, but what's the point? We’re in a rough spot. Anyone whose even slightly paying attention knows that. But just as we know we need to fight our own demons and find our way out of our own holes, so we must, as part of humanity continue the fight in whatever way we can, with whatever resources we can muster. Sometimes, both personally and collectively, it can come in only one tiny step at a time. It might seem like ‘pissing in the wind’ or spitting into the ocean, trying to change the level– but what choice do we have? Just like when we face the darkest moments of our own lives and somehow, someway, find the strength within us to carry on, so we too have to play our hand in this club called humanity. It doesn’t matter whether we want to be in or even want to admit that we're in; we're in. Maybe it might be smiling a little bit more to strangers, or sticking the 16 cents worth of change in one of the little non-profit cans on the checkout stand. Maybe its giving a buck to a homeless guy who we might usually pass on the street or stopping on the side of the road to help a fellow traveler.

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It never comes easy, either personally or collectively, but as long as we have the will to go on and the strength to get up and get through another day, we owe it to ourselves, those that we love, and those that we don’t even know, to at least up the ante in whatever way we can and try to make our own lives and those around us a little bit better each day. And maybe, at some point, those tiny little steps might sound like giant stomps. ■

e s u

Global warming and climate change, along with the absurd deniers has reached levels unimaginable even a few years ago.

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“In The Garden”

The Mountain Chronicle

Permaculture Perspectives

boxes and pots to protect them. They are beginning to send out their flower heads and I’ve eaten a couple so far. Perhaps the most delicious artichoke I’ve ever had. Smaller than the Globe artichoke but the flavor is far superior. Look for artichokes at your local grocer or farmer’s market. Once the weather gets even colder frost kissed artichokes will arrive. A light frost will sweeten the flavor of the artichoke so don’t be afraid of their appearance.

By Gabe Bridges

Fall Plant Profile

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Gabe in the Sierra

October 2011 ● 20

his season’s plant profile features the artichoke. Essentially a giant thistle, artichokes grow well where many weedy thistles grow. Many of the nation’s artichokes come from the Central Coast in California. The very mild, coastal climate creates the perfect condition for artichokes to thrive. But artichokes do well even in the heat of the central valley, as well as the foothills and lower mountains of California.

Each plant can produce anywhere from 12 to 20 artichokes. A perennial that can grow up to 8 feet wide and 6 feet tall, this plant fits well in a humid cool to cold climate. They will not always survive perennially below zone 6, although there are some varieties that have been known to survive sub-zero temperatures. Some varieties are grown as annuals in colder climates. Propagation is achieved through dividing mature roots or started from seed. Divisions will be uniform, while plants started from seed will have subtle differences, even within a particular variety. Artichokes fit well into an orchard system and can help cycle nutrients and build soil. Their deep spiked roots can pull minerals up from deep in the soil and deposit them on the surface as their plant parts die back after their growing season. The giant leaves can be used as mulch to keep weeds back or build compost piles. The leaf stalks can also be eaten like their closely related cousin, the cardoon, blanched and steamed, sautéed, boiled, braised, etc. But the most sought after part for dining is the immature flower head. The flower, can be used as a substitute for rennet in making cheeses. The most common variety we see in the grocery store is the globe artichoke, and improved varieties, but there are many other types of artichokes. Many smaller varieties have a superior flavor to globe artichokes but you might not be able to find them anywhere. You’re best bet might be to grow them yourself. I planted about 50 Violet de Provence artichokes this year. Gophers like them a lot so I’ve planted them in gopher-proof planter

While on the subject of seasonality I’ll continue on with another possible candidate for the fall plant profile. While not a plant at all and actually more closely related to mammals than plants, mushrooms are beginning to pop up all over. The cooler temperatures and recent rains I don’t recommend just going out and picking mushrooms to eat. There is a bit of learning that is required before stepping over that line. I’ve spent decades learning about wild mushrooms and after spending so much time wandering through the forest and either finding nothing or walking for miles with dozens of pounds strapped to my back, I figured it might be more worth my while to cultivate my own. Growing mushrooms on wood is the easiest way to grow mushrooms at home. I threw all of my shitake logs in the pond for two days and now they are fruiting heavily. The following three photos were taken between September 25th and September 27th. All three are edible mushrooms that grow on wood, all fruiting at the same time within a few hundred yards of each other. The first one, shitake, I cultivated myself, while the following two, chicken of the woods and oyster mushrooms both sprouted up on their own. All three mushrooms can easily be grown on fresh cut hardwood logs. The fact that chicken of the woods and oyster mushrooms are naturalized here tells me I should also cultivate them. I’ve harvested some of my own oyster logs but am still waiting for my chicken of the woods logs to produce. I think I’ll throw my chicken of the woods logs in the pond to see if I can coax them out. Once more rains come, you might find me in the forest picking porcinis.

Happy Fall!

Vegetable Highlights at Outer Aisle "Being Ready For An Uncertain Future" Monthly Permaculture Gathering Interested in learning about sustainability? Come out to our monthly gathering. Last Wednesday of each month, 7PM Cooper Kessel Architects Office 13949 Mono Way, Sonora Creating new educational opportunities for self-reliance in Calaveras and Tuolumne.

We have four different kinds of Sweet Potatoes from AV Thomas in Livingston, Butternut Squash and Spaghetti Squash from Coke Farms, San Juan Bautista and Potatoes from us.

Douglas Flat Store Hours Tuesdays, 11 to 6pm Thursdays, 11 to 7pm Friday, 11 to 7pm Saturdays, 11 to 4pm


We spent the days digging potatoes before the rains and now have a wonderful selection of Russets, Fingerlings, Alby's Gold, Desiree and Yellow Finns. We'll be having bag specials too - time to stock up. Sweet Basil, Eggplants (see recipe below), Lettuce, Salad Greens, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Watermelon Radish, Leeks and more. FRUIT HIGHLIGHTS: Grapes: Flames, Thompson Seedless, Black Monuuka - Middle Eastern heirloom. Angelino and Late Santa Rosa Plums, Pears - red and green, avocadoes and Asian Pears.

The Mountain Chronicle

“The Zone”

The ASTRO-LOGGER “We do our logging in the stars…”

By AEons Astrology (Ted Denmark) Dowd’s Hill at Avery Contact:


ets turn the calendar page to October for the main outcome in Libra, we can note a long fortnight (two week) lead up to the other shoe dropping: Sol’s heavy conjunction with Saturn on the 13th, just after the Full Moon in Aries (!). Here the lunation again occurs in and around the Cardinal Climax making for the release of powerful force fields that will bear down on events. Whether it’s to be seen as good or bad, as usual, will be very various, depending on one’s mood and attitude, whether one is a hopeful moralist, an affected principal, a serious partisan in the politically ballyhooed “class war” or … a resident in a house on a street. We Americans have been experiencing high levels of cognitive dissonance and emotional distress with these levels of conflict already for some time and must continue to develop strategies for coping with new outlooks, perhaps for lowered societal expectations—at least in some ways, even if we are apparently doing well enough ourselves. The self-help section of the book store will be getting a lot of attention (if the store is still there), entertainment and lower-risk education programs will seem the alluring alternative to ambitious work careers for many, possibly younger folk, and chemical escapism via pill, drink and smoke will continue to be legion for Americans seeking satisfaction. Of course, be on the lookout for too-goodto-be-true offers of every type and stripe, I write this kind of teeing off on ebay which is scam town’s biggest discount mall spelled maul.

Several other hardware manufacturers have also gone bust recently. And the housing market is the worst it has ever been since records began to be kept. This is all prime Prometheus/Pluto territory in the Cardinal clash of the “new normal.” Many of us here in the Mother Lode are older retired or semi-retired folk on the “sunset” side of life and existence, who may have spent earlier years on career The Astro-Logger ladders of various kinds, and were perhaps successful enough to have summer homes or to be able to retire with sufficient income, a solution that may be less available to future generations as middle incomes plateau, as they have in the last decade and as many middle class jobs themselves have disappeared into structural unemployment, even in the Bay Area dynamo. Our average income is still up around $50,000, and that ain’t so bad, compared to almost any other less “exceptional” place than the American arena. But the combination of peaking oil prices, climate extremes, off shoring of jobs, political deadlock, and a thousand and one unknown factors that may also be less than optimal means we will all have to be more cautious with our more extravagant ambitions and hold back on the impulse to keep “swinging for the fences.” It is nonetheless a great time of year with 70 degrees showing on my outside thermometer at three in the afternoon of a sunny sky with white puffy clouds floating on the high ridges … looking for all Creation like another perfect day in paradise (and any attempt to dispute that will be met with all options on the table ...). But really, we do have to enjoy life while we cultivate our own vegetable and tree gardens and keep them from being trampled and purloined by naughty deer, gophers and skunks—without ordering an assault rifle—and get the ripe pickin’s before the black bears come back down to crash the fences and garbage cans after the balmy weather gives way. The rumor is that the coming Winter will be an early repeat of ‘010. I think I’m going to stow the snow shovel and hit the hot springs this year … and learn how to get some laid-back Libran relaxation myself with my dear sweet beautiful Venusian lady!

Your Screen Printing Embroidery & Engraving Specialist & Providing Other The Mountain Chronicle’s “Black Belt Award” Cool Stuff! For Coolness


Editor's Note: The Astro-Logger is going on hiatus from The Mountain Chronicle for a while, perhaps until late Spring, as it is evident that he has something of great importance on his mind. None-the-less Ted's run as a columnist of 47 straight issues is quite remarkable. It has always been a pleasure to be the first to read and have my hand in on a few edits - I offer my humblest thanks and sincere desire that his travels yield results!

386 N. Main Street • Altaville

s w rve Ne rese hP

s Fre

So these are big hijinks times, and we would expect things to be hopping and popping … and it looks to me like they already are (!). You may have heard of all the shenanigans going down at the United Nations with Israel and the Palestinians struggling with a two-state solution to their intractable misery (so what else is new?), the addition of Turkey’s ambitious Erdogan to the Arab Spring and Ahmadinejad’s tweaking of the American nose in his annual address at the same forum—don’t worry if you didn’t hear about it, very little of substance is allowed to be reported about those on the national enemies list by the mainstream media (unless they bring their own self-induced bad publicity). The rumblings of both the American and European financial crises are still on orange alert, along with the accompanying volatile equity and metals markets, and the political fight leading into the 2012 election cycle is getting more potent with a continuously weakening Baracko and an opposition that thinks it can smell victory. A much hoped for revival in American manufacturing with a green solar electric production build-out has also been … largely crushed by Chinese low-balling and nearly terminated by the bankruptcy of Bay Area hopeful Solyndra, going down with a thousand jobs and a half billion dollar federally guaranteed loan.

October 2011 ● 21

The Red Apple Home Made Pies • Pastries • Donuts • Cider Fruits • Nuts • Veggies • Honey And so much more !


The Mountain Chronicle

“Mysteries Revealed”

October 2011 ● 22

LEO Everything you know is wrong and being you is like having bees living in your head. Too many layers, too many choices, too little time, too many players, and still not enough information. What to do? Time to get off the carousel and sit under a tree and contemplate your navel. The answer lies in stillness. VIRGO The chameleon has nothing on you. The way your emotions and your ideas change from minute to minute is vertigo inducing, yet you seem to be taking it in stride, Or else your well-developed mask is hiding the worst of it. Maybe that’s for the best - you need to do the work yourself.

GENERAL FORECAST don’t believe it but I read and reread the charts and it can’t be denied. The cosmos is about to pull a nasty joke on us and it won’t be funny for a while. Halloween is all month long this year and the costumes won’t come from Walmart. No one is going to get hurt, but it’s the closest call imaginable and the miracles that abound will be necessary to keep the peace. Let’s all hold hands and get through this together.


ARIES Would you trade a headache for an upset stomach? Lose a bad habit or gain a new insight? These are the types of impossible choices that lie ahead. No guide will help you and there’ll be no grade. It’s all a bit frustrating and the outcome will never be known, but its effects will last a long time. TAURUS To put it kindly – YOU’RE FIRED! Now go and do what you really want to do. You’ve been too responsible, too goody two shoes, and it’s wearing you down. Maybe it makes your parents proud, but it doesn’t do much for your ailing spirit. Spoil yourself and let tomorrow take care of itself. GEMINI What’s the sound of two heads butting against each other? Our dear twins are in each other’s way and neither is winning. Of course it’s a Mexican standoff, but neither side is willing to admit defeat. If this goes on any longer, something important will get damaged and then there will be trouble. CANCER You’re real edgy and unpredictable and nothing is how you want it. Is it just your perception or is your dissatisfaction justified? Are you a caterpillar about to become a butterfly or a spoiled child breaking a toy that no longer amuses it? There are arguments to be made for either case.

Enjoy a Slice of Local Color

Tom’s Automotive (209)795-2778 Avery Auto Center Moran Road Avery

Mike’s Pizza 294 South Main Street

Angels Camp 736-9246

LIBRA Someone is trying to woo you and they’re doing everything wrong. Is it the person or the screw ups that upset you? You are too harsh on them for the right reason, but does it really make any sense? In the end, everyone is playing it safe and hoping the other takes the big chance and makes it happen. SCORPIO Look who’s playing it safe now. After bragging about your exploits and taking ridiculous risks, now you’re pretending to be as safe as milk. You’re hiding something, as usual, and are willing to keep the rest of us in the dark until all the danger is gone. Include your friends for a change. SAGITTARIUS Who else but you would know what’s right and what’s wrong in this situation? Yet you deny your personal power and pretend to be helpless while things spin out of control. What will it take for you to pull your share of the weight? Patience will turn to resentment if you delay any longer. CAPRICORN Pain is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you have to dive right in with such enthusiasm. I know you’re not a masochist, but I have my doubts sometimes. We don’t become immune to hurting by torturing ourselves and we don’t learn to love ourselves by cherry picking our attributes. AQUARIUS For once your crazy wisdom is right on the mark. You’re the most surprised of all – you got used to being the flake and doubted whatever truth was still in you. Don’t promote yourself beyond your abilities –even though the excitement is intoxicating, you can lose all your gains by moving too fast. PISCES All bets are off – Pisces is out of the game. For some cosmic reason, you’re grounded and nothing you can do will change the situation. Subconscious accounts are being balanced deep inside your psyche and the results will become clear in several weeks. It’s only a fall cleaning.

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The Mountain Chronicle

“Bartczak's Bully Pulpit”

"Children of the Corn?" By Peter Bartczak


ne of the more amazing experiences I’ve had in Murphys was a New Year’s Eve party at an old hotel on a ranch a few miles outside of town. I had just moved to Murphys the month before and only had an inkling of how special this area is. The whole hotel was completely available to all of the revelers – open bar full of liquor, a totally functioning kitchen filled with delicious food, and rooms upstairs with beds for anyone who wanted to spend the night. Everything was free. For those who couldn’t navigate the stairs, there was a flotilla of funky couches and overstuffed chairs on the main floor to crash on, clustered around a wood burning stove. A wide variety of humanity paraded through the doors – a tattooed muscle man ripping a phone book in half, a TV show producer, Frank Sinatra’s ex body guard (who had passed out upstairs and never made an appearance), musicians, artists, story tellers, braggarts, bullies, hippies, bikers, vegans, conspiracy buffs, cowboys – you name it, they were there. There were no drunken brawls, no arguments, nothing was stolen (the hotel was full of all sorts of historical artifacts as well as many musical instruments), or anyone trying to lay a trip on anyone else. All of us got along as we embibed, and an amazing, unforced camaraderie, joy, and acceptance filled the air as well as the loud buzz of excited conversations and live music. It had been a long time since I was part of such a scene and I was filled with wonder and gratitude to be there. The head honcho of it all sat in his chair, glowing with satisfaction and appreciation, but not acting important or pulling rank. It was just enough for him to provide the soil for this wonderful plant to blossom in any way it wanted. This was his art and he practiced it well. At one point in the evening, I turned to him and said that it was a pleasure and an honor to be part of such a wacky, vibrant scene. He turned to me, addressing me by my name, and said that it was he who was honored that I was there. I thought – what’s this, Children of the Corn? Are they going to kill me and then eat me? Was he playing me for a fool or thinking that I was rich and trying to get something from me? But I didn’t hear any sarcasm or irony in his voice or see it in his face. He was for real. It put a serious dent in what was left of my east coast cynicism. After several hours of non-stop laughing and talking, I escaped the delightful madness and went outside for a bit of fresh air and a little peace and quiet to savor what was going on. I wasn’t used to having so much fun and needed a break. I leaned out over the balcony, elbows on the railing, and watched the snowflakes gracefully flutter to the ground, outlining the tree branches in white. My heart and mind were at peace. Below me, cars and trucks were parked helter skelter and swarms of people were arriving and leaving, laughing and shouting to the sound of engines starting and car doors slamming. It was a perfect moment and I didn’t want to be anywhere else. A young and beautiful teenage girl in rainbow striped knee socks, and a t-shirt was leaning against the balcony next to me and we struck up a casual conversation about the snow and the party. I was amazed at how at ease she was with talking to an older man whom she didn’t know. After a while, both of us were getting chilled, so we moved into the living room, where a changing crowd of wanderers staggered through the collection of couches. Some laid down and slept for a while, some sat and stared into space, and a few put a log or two onto the fire, stirring the embers back into life. A couple of folks joined in on the conversation and then drifted off. A communal guitar was picked up and played on and off by random musicians of various skill levels. It all ebbed and flowed pleasantly. A number of regulars checked me out, being very protective of my new friend, making sure that I wasn’t trying to pull anything funny with her. No words of warning were spoken to me, but I knew from the looks on their faces that they would have given me the "old heave-ho" if I had misbehaved. The girl and I talked all through the night until dawn. She had been hanging out here since she was a baby. Her parents would drop her off for the day after making sure that there was an adult around

to watch out over her. Sometimes parents give their children freedom because it’s more convenient for them and the kids feel unloved. In fact, she felt very much loved and respected because her parents trusted her. Even though the flow of people was random and there were often strangers in the crowd, everyone looked out after her. In her entire time at the hotel, there had only been one weird incident, nothing bad had happened, but one guy got "the grand heave ho" and has never been allowed back.

October 2011 ● 23

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She says she has never been tempted to party like many of the visitorsany of the hotel, having seen the disastrous results of substance abuse through first hand experience. What happened right in front of her made a deeper, more lasting impression than any abstract warning or lecture ever could. Her contemporaries in the outside world were fascinated by these forbidden fruits and wouldn’t listen to her warnings. This was one of many gulfs that separated her from her teen friends. Their day to day concerns didn’t interest her as much as the goings on at the old hotel. Unfortunately, regular life paled in comparison and repeated exposure to this "other reality" made her grow up differently than the kids her age. She said she sometimes feels isolated and a bit of a freek, yet it is obvious that the whole thing has enriched her foever as a person.

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As we talked, there were other kids of all ages running around but most of her friends were people her parents’ age. Everyone pitched in without being asked. People cooked, cleaned, made food runs, and did what was necessary to keep the scene happening. Through some natural screening process, the parasites and the people who didn’t belong there never found out about the parties. My new friend finnally fell asleep on one of the couches to the crackling of the fire, the buzz of conversation, and the sweet strains of music. At the hotel, she felt safe and accepted for who she was and the swirl of creativity and enthusiasm was food for her soul. Her only fear was of going upstairs and accidentally meeting the alleged hotel ghost. There were occasional unexplained noises and bumps in the night, but no spectral visitor ever made an appearance. The old hotel has been doing its thing for almost forty years and very little has changed with only a few less children in the mix. Usually, it's been my experience in most scenes like this, parasites and onlookers enjoy the fruit of the party, but contribute very little, even if they promise to, and slowly they outnumber and overwhelm the small core group that silently does all of the work. Eventually what was good implodes from this imbalance and the good folks move on to start over somewhere else. This doesn’t seem to be the case at the old hotel or in the town of Murphys. I’m glad I live in an area that’s an exception to the norm and is exceptional. ᴥ

415 Main Street Murphys 209.728.9771

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The Mountain Chronicle

“The Scene”

October 2011 ● 24

The Turn of the Screw Murphys Creek Theatre will be presenting Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of, “The Turn of the Screw," beginning September 30th. Based on the provocative Henry James novella of suspense, horror and repressed sexuality, this adaptation gives the famous story yet another turn of its own. Mr. Hatcher has transformed the novella to a riveting stage play filled with terrifying and beautiful imagery weaving a tapestry of fear and uncertainty. A young governess journeys to a lonely English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children. But she is not their first governess. Her predecessor, Miss Jessel, drowned herself when she became pregnant by the sadistic valet, Peter Quint, who was himself found dead soon after under mysterious circumstances. Now the new governess has begun to see the specters of Quint and Jessel haunting the children, and she must find a way to stop the fiends before it is too late. But one frightening question tortures the wouldbe heroine: Are the ghosts real, or are they the product of her own fevered imagination? The two person cast consists of MCT favorite Sean Lewis, last seen as Octave in, “Scapin." New to MCT is Amelia Van Brunt, a veteran of the Sacramento theatre scene. Amelia recently completed a year long internship at the world renowned D'ell Arte Players. “The Turn of the Screw," will play Friday and Saturdays at 8pm September 30th through October 30th. Sunday matinees will play on October 23rd and 30th at 2pm.

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The Kitchen at Newsome-Harlow Now Serving Dinner

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Murphys– The Kitchen at Newsome-Harlow is now open for dinner. The Kitchen has been serving lunches since June and is now serving dinners 6 nights a week. It is located adjacent to the Newsome-Harlow Tasting Lounge at 403 Main Street, downtown Murphys.

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The Kitchen at Newsome-Harlow is a natural extension of the food and wine experience owners Scott and Melanie Klann have been creating in their tasting room and at private events for the past 20 years. Lunch is served 11:30 to 3pm, Dinner 5 to 9pm, and Apps and Aperitifs from 3 to 5pm. Open Daily, except Wednesdays. Reservations for dinner are recommended, but not required. Call: 209-728-9817. The Kitchen’s chef, Melanie Klann, has employed a “slow food” philosophy at Dragonlady Catering and Alchemy Gourmet Market. She opened Biga Murphys in 1996, the first fresh bread bakery in Murphys in nearly 100 years. “I am dedicated to sustainable practices and green living, I source food from local farmers and suppliers wherever and whenever possible,” Melanie said.

The Kitchen at Newsome-Harlow Sample Dinner Menu Items Cedar Plank Wild King Salmon – with balsamic/soy glaze, fruit salsa & coconut red rice

Breads, Desserts, Pastries, Espresso 458-B Main Street - Murphys Wed.-Sun. 6am to 4pm 728-9250

Slow-Roasted Creekside Farms Baby Back Ribs – with mushroom bourguinon reduction over creamy white polenta. Charcuterie plates and artisanal cheeses are served all day long, as are salads and soups.

It is not unusual for her to make an early morning run to Tyson Farms in Oakdale in order to serve fresh fruit for lunch. The interplay between food and wine is supremely important to both partners — Scott focusing on the grapes, and Melanie is the "foodie." After two decades in the winery and food business, dedicated to sustainable practices and their respective crafts, the couple is helping put Calaveras County on the map. Editor's Note: I've not been in yet; I intend to soon - although, I've looked at a few plates on the table as I've been passing by, I keep hoping to see someone I know so I can try a bite; anyway, it looks pretty good. I guess I'm going to have to order my own food!

“Laissez le bon temps rouler”

The Mountain Chronicle

October 2011 ● 25

The Day of The Dead Dia de los Muertos

Historic Murphys

By Michelle Plotnik Murphys Businesses Honor the Dead in the Land of the Skulls on Dia de los Muertos Murphys merchants and tasting rooms will be celebrating the Second Annual Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, on October 29th and 30th from 12-5 pm. Participating businesses will be offering authentic cultural art, food, sugar skulls, face painting and live music as well as displaying altars celebrating the lives of those who have passed on but are with us in heart and spirit on the Day of the Dead.

Celebrates Dia de los Muertos

Celebrating the lives of people who have passed & are with us in heart and spirit on the Day of Dead.

S a tu rda y & S u n da y

October 29-30,12-5pm

Par t i c i p at i n g Me rch an t s:

T he S p i ce Tin

A widely held belief is that the souls of children (angelitos) return first so food and gifts appealing to children are set out for them. The adult dead are said to return a day or two later and their favorite items as well as elaborate food and drink are set out for them as well. It is believed that candle light as well as the scent of marigolds and copal incense will help the ghosts find their way back home. The Bodega del Sur Winery, Creative Cookware, Domain Becquet Winery, Frogs Tooth Vineyards, Marisolio Tasting Bar, Muir's Legacy Tasting Room, Murphys Nursery, Next!, The Spice Tin, Sustenance Books, Tanner Vineyards Tasting Room, and Teaan-Tiques will all have altars honoring the dead. In addition, Aria Bakery and Alchemy Wine Bar and Restaurant will have traditional Mexican and Day of the Dead foods available. Pick up a map at any of the participating businesses and spend some time seeing how the Day of the Dead is being celebrated here in Calaveras County, the Land of the Skulls.

crew S e h t f no The Tuphrys Creek Theatre Mur October h g u o r Th

This Mexican holiday traces it's roots back to the indigenous cultures of Mexico and Latin America but has become inextricably interAuthentic cultural art and food twined with the Catholic observance of All Sugar skulls and face painting Pan de muerto & Hot Chocolate Saints Day and All Souls Day over time. Allive music though this celebration is associated with the Walking Tour Exhibit dead, it is not a morbid or depressing time, but rather a period full of life, happiness, color, food, family and fun. In Mexico, there is excitement everywhere on the Day of the Dead. Outdoor markets display and sell symbolic items like special breads, pottery, baskets, Visit for more information and to see a list candles, paper puppets, candy skulls and flowers. Skeletons are an of altars and locations. The public is welcome to participate in the important symbol of this day and they are displayed hugging, dancing remembrance of loved ones by contributing items to the altars. Please and laughing in shop windows and on street corners. contact the business owner first though to make sure there is an appropriate space for your item. Additional information on the history, Traditional activities are believed to "welcome the souls of the dead." traditions and beliefs associated with the Day of the Dead can be found The souls are said to return each year to enjoy the pleasures of the life at that they once had. These souls are thought to return as spirits from another world to be with their loved ones for a few brief hours.

Allegorie Has It Going On

By Peter Bartczak


f you missed the art opening at Allegorie (Allegorie is the elegant combination wine tasting room and art gallery on Main Street in Murphys) the beginning of September, make a point of dropping by before the exhibit changes mid-November. The jewelry by Elie and Florent and the ceramic art by Staria Stine are not to be missed, nor are the special wines that Val du Vino Winery produces exclusively for Allegorie.

Elie and her husband Florent ("Flo") have created unusual and beguiling miniature pieces of art posing as necklaces and pendants that incorporate many different technical processes such as soldering, engraving, pierce-work, and forging, as well as wild imaginations and leaps of fancy. Beautiful and unique, each is a one of a kind experience for the eye. Elie learned the old-fashioned way, apprenticing herself full-time to a master jeweler in Montana for three years and has been plying her craft for almost a decade. Her work has been featured for years at the Renaissance Faire.

Staria, on the other hand, came up the academic route, graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA, teaching ceramics at several universities as well as exhibiting in many galleries across the U.S. since 1998. Her ceramic sculptures look like living creatures grown by mother nature and defy description. Using local clay from Quyle Kilns, her work is endlessly inventive and unlike anything you’ve seen. She is fearless in her use of different materials, not to mention the life-like forms she creates, and even her more conventional ceramic tiles featuring insects have a distinct feel to them. Staria is not just limited to sculpture, her mural graces the outside wall of the building. Allegorie has more in store for us in the upcoming months, including a masked Halloween ball. Keep your eyes peeled for their posters.


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The Mountain Chronicle

“Out & About in Calaveras”

October 2011

Thursday, October 13th

Wines of the World, 7pm at The Murphys Historic Hotel. Matt Hatcher, owner of Hatcher Winery, will pour a number of Bordeaux varietals.

Friday, October 7th

Black Bart Playhouse The Turn of the Screw at Black Bart Theatre. “A dazzling act of the imagination. Mr. Hatcher has pushed Henry James’ clever turn to its furthest degree.” —NY Times. September 30 - October 30, Fridays and Saturdays 8pm, Two Sunday Matinees, October 23/30 at, 2pm. Call or visit for more information and tickets. Zucca After Hours Wine Bar 5-8pm for Wine Bar service “al’Italiano.” Pick your favorite seat and enjoy our wines by the glass and a small bread plate, or choose your own flight of wines. Live music on select nights.

Saturday, October 8th

Tennis Tournament Angels Camp and Murphys A celebration of the new Murphys Courts! 8am check-in, mixed double matches at Bret Harte High School and the new Murphys Courts. Players of all levels of ability are encouraged to participate. 3pm, following the final matches, the New Murphys Courts will be formally dedicated and attendees will enjoy a BBQ. $35 for tourney and BBQ or $15 for the BBQ alone. Register as soon as possible. Call or email; 209-728-9900. Calaveras Home and Lifestyle Show At the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. Featuring products and Services for Home, Garden and Leisure Time. Kids crafts offered by Home Depot. Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. Call for more information or visit 209-245-6973. Dancing with the Sierra Stars At Ironstone Vineyards 5:30pm. Champagne Reception, Hors d’ oeuvres, Dinner, Dance Competition, Live Auction. $125 per person. Call or visit or call 209-754-2603. Black Bart Theatre The Turn of the Screw Fridays and Saturdays 8pm Visit Cactus Jack’s Family Karaoke at Cactus Jack’s - Starting at 8pm. Zucca After Hours Wine Bar 5-8pm for Wine Bar service “al’Italiano.” Pick your favorite seat and enjoy our wines by the glass and a small bread plate, or choose your own flight of wines. Live music on select nights.

7 7am -Day to s 8p m

Sunday, October 9th

The Mountain Chronicle Presents In Conjunction with The Frog’s Tooth Tasting Room Art Gallery– A Reception for Artist: Patti Borden Please come by, there will be some music, and taste treats, and the “out of the box” art of Patti Borden! 3-5pm - Frog’s Tooth Tasting Room Gallery - 380 Main Street. Behind The Murphys Grill. Murphys Creek Theater Presents Coco Montoya - Come see Blues legend Coco Montoya at 3:30pm at the Black Bart Playhouse. Tickets are $25 and are available online, at Sustenance Books or at the door. Visit for more information.

1308 Oak Circle Arnold, California


October 2011 ● 26

For Weekly Updates Visit

Saturday, October 15th

Dam Overlook Hike Peoria Wildlife Area -Join a ranger to discuss the past, present and future of the Stanislaus River. Hike up to the overlook for a close-up view of the Dam and River Canyon. Along the way, learn the history of New Melones Lake and how the reservoir came to be. This is a moderate to strenuous 3 mile hike. Bring water, snacks and wear shoes appropriate for hiking. Meet at the Equestrian Staging Area off of Peoria Flat Road at 10 am. Free, no registration required. Call 209-536-9543 PAWS Elephant Grape Stomp and Chomp San Andreas, ARK 2000 Sanctuary. 11:30am to 3pm. For more information about the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and their sanctuaries, go to

Sunday, October 16th

Joie de Vie (“joy for life”) Gala The 11th annual benefit for Sonora Regional Medical Center’s Cancer Patient Support Fund, will be held at Ironstone Vineyards. The Gala will include a dinner, entertainment and a silent auction featuring items such as art, dinners, services and vacation opportunities. Call: 209-536-5029.

October, 21st to 23rd October

Mountain Heirloom Quilt Faire Ironstone Vineyards – Quilts, wall hangings, wearable art, dolls ,needle art, exhibits.

Saturday, October 22nd

Frogtoberfest, 12pm-6pm at the Fairgrounds in Angels Camp there will be a fall fun celebration for the whole family. Admission is free! There will be a pumpkin patch, carnival rides, a costume contest, a haunted house, hay rides, entertainment, German sausages, beer, and more. Call 209-736-2561 or check out

Friday, October 28th

Cioppino Feast - Murphys Historic Hotel The feast is back! The All You Can Eat Cioppino Feed is $22.95 per person, and comes with fresh green salad and baskets of garlic bread. Reservations are recommend, service starts at 5pm and goes until it's run out, or 9pm.

October, 29th to 30th

Day of the Dead Celebration in Murphys Dia de los Muertos Honor the Dead in the Land of the Skulls - Murphys businesses and tasting rooms will be celebrating the Day of the Dead on October 29th and 30th with traditional decorations, treats and celebrations. Watch here for more information.

Saturday, October 29th

Halloween Party Costume Contest At the Murphys Historic Hotel. Wear your best costume! Costume Contest with Live Music and spooky drinks, what could be better! The Fabulous Off-Brothers play in the saloon from 9pm until about 1am with a costume contest at about midnight for prizes. Call for more information. Renner Harvest and Halloween! Join us on Saturday 29th October from 5.30pm - 10pm for a combined celebration bash!





elebrating Gifts From Under Our Tree

NOVEMBER 5, 2011 ∙ 10 AM - 7 PM AT THE





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