Media Life: “Supernanny” on hunt for out-of-control Placer County kids

Oakland Raiders on Auburn radio; Kurt Barton’s scarecrows at California State Fair; Weimar man’s bear woes continue; Ron Montana on sci-fi writers’ committee; Auburn ex-pat musician in L.A. swing again
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County’s most dysfunctional families are wanted in a casting call for TV’s “Supernanny” that lands Aug. 23 in Roseville. The ABC reality show is on the hunt for all shapes and sizes of families: Blended households, siblings raising siblings, grandparents raising grandchildren, teen moms, parents with mean girls. You get the picture. Just make sure the kids are out of control, say its producers. Families have a chance to appear on national TV to learn tips and techniques from America’s No. 1 television nanny, Jo Frost. The site for the Aug. 23 event is inflatable party zone Pump It Up at 10556 Industrial Avenue in Roseville. The casting call will coincide with a free open house from noon to 5 p.m. so the little ones can burn off some of that out-of-control energy. They’ll need socks to start bouncing on the plastic. And if you can’t make the event, here are a couple of contact points: E-mail Or phone 1-877-626-6984. The “Supernanny” team will be in town until the 27th interviewing prospective families. DA RAIDERS Auburn’s one and only radio station has hauled in a touchdown reception from the Bay Area. Host Dave Rosenthal announced at the tail end of last Friday’s “Afternoon Report” that the Voice of the Foothills will be broadcasting Oakland Raiders football this coming season. The Huffelpuff House of the NFL over the last few years, the Raiders have been entrenched in football’s version of the Hogwarts basement, never getting into the big quidditch matches. Could this be the season they break out and go all the way? Follow the drama at 950 AM and see if the Silver and Black can improve on last year’s five-win, 11-loss season. SCARECROW SHOW Meadow Vista’s Kurt Barton will be getting a much bigger audience for his unique and, frankly, amazing scarecrow creations. A multiple winner at past Auburn Community Festivals for both best of show and people’s choice with scarecrows crafted out of found objects ranging from cast-off clothing found at thrift stores to barnyard equipment, Barton will be displaying nine of his finest at the California State Fair. The Sacramento fair’s theme this year is “The Weird, Wild and Wacky West.” Barton’s scarecrows will be part of an exhibit that offers a number of offbeat collections. With names like Barb Wired, Sugar Punkin’ Fairies and Pop Rivets, they’re on display in Expo Center, Building 3 from Aug. 21 through Sept. 7. ZOPPO LIVES Auburn’s Jimmy Gimelli – it doesn’t seem like a decade ago that his retro swing band Zoppo & The Truetones was making waves in the Auburn area – sends word from Los Angeles that he’s married and back from Italy. He’s reestablished Subway to Venus and introduced some new timbres into the band’s mix of soul, funk, Cuban and dance music, courtesy of a deejay. They play Hollywood Boulevard’s Blu Monkey on Sunday. BEAR OF A STORY Gus Hetland reports getting his 15 minutes of fame from last month’s story on him waking up to find a bear had broken into his kitchen while he was sleeping. The Journal story was picked up by Sacramento’s FOX40 as well as Yahoo’s news wire on the Web, resulting in calls from friends from Washington State to San Diego letting him know that his story had spread far and wide. He also did a live spot with a Chicago radio station. And the burglarizing bruin did return – although it steered clear of Hetland’s Weimar house. Instead it tore out a fence around his peach tree and feasted on the fruit. Hetland’s reaction? He’s going to get that bear. POETIC JUSTICE Nearly 20 years after Auburn writer Ron Montana found justice in a sticky plagiarism case, he’s getting some poetic justice. After finding that one of his novels had been plagiarized by a San Jose State University English professor, Montana sought help in 1989 from the Science Fiction Writers Association Grievance Committee. News accounts of the time told how the professional writers’ organization’s committee immediately recognized that a wrong needed to be righted and provided Montana with funding for the ensuing court action. The team included committee member and science fiction legend Harlan Ellison’s personal lawyer. The long story shortened is that Montana won his case and the professor was fired. The settlement also included a requirement that Montana’s name go on new copies of the book as its author. The title of the tome is “Death in the Spirit House.” The poetic justice? Montana was recently asked to serve as chairman of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association Grievance Committee for Media. “It would have been extremely difficult for me to refuse the honor – so I didn’t,” Montana said. With his own wealth of experience, he’ll be helping authors of stage plays, films and TV scripts sort out their grievances. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at