Media Life: Auburn’s WWII POW camp gets spotlight

By: Gus Thomson/Media Life
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AUBURN CA - The effort to give Camp Flint in Auburn some recognition is ramping up, with a plaque dedication scheduled for noon this Saturday in front of the Gold Country Museum at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

Clamper Kristian Grasberger says the good folks at the Lord Sholto Douglas Chapter of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus will be leading a ceremony and inviting one and all to help mark the dedication of the first of what the group plans to be several plaques in the vicinity telling the rich history of Camp Flint.

The richest vein of lore comes from the World War II period when it first served as a military base for guarding the Southern Pacific railroad tracks over the Sierra and later, as a camp for German and Italian prisoners of war. Plenty of history is slated to be retold during the ceremony.


Living chess legend in Auburn

The fledgling Auburn Chess Club has snagged a major player for its tournament this weekend. Slated to put on a clinic and then take part is Grandmaster Walter Browne.

A living legend in chess circles for his high-profile wins in a decidedly low-profile sport, Browne will be traveling from his Bay Area home to show off skills that helped make him U.S. chess champion six times between 1974 and 1983. During those years, he dominated the game nationally in a way the great Bobby Fischer did before him. He’s one of 50 grandmasters in the U.S. Chess Federation and was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2003. More than 100 chess players are expected for the weekend tournament hosted by the Auburn Chess Club at the Powers Mansion Inn Complex, 195 Harrison Ave.

Full information on times is available at Brian Lee Morris, director of the local club, said spectators are welcome.


Geodesic connection

Squaw Valley and The North Face have announced a multi-year partnership that allows the Alameda-based outdoor-sports-apparel business to attire employees of the Olympic Valley resort in its garb over three years. Starting in the winter of 2013-14, The North Face will be the official uniform-maker at Squaw Valley.

What does this have to do with Auburn, you might wonder? Well not much – other than the Placer County connection – except …. that The North Face and the Placer County Administrative Center on Fulweiler Avenue have a 20th century visionary in common.

The North Face was founded in 1968 and one of its most famous products owes some of that fame to a quirky design characteristic promoted and made famous by Buckminster Fuller. Fuller started touting the wonders of geodesic dome architecture in 1948 and the whole geodesic building boom probably reached its zenith in the 1960s.

The North Face made a lasting impact on geodesic creativity – and on camping in general – when it marketed and manufactured the first geodesic dome for backpackers. It essentially spelled the end of the tent pole.

As for Auburn, the city was on the cutting edge in 1968 when Placer County supervisors gave “Bucky” Fuller a nod and constructed the geodesic-dome topped Administrative Center. Fuller even stopped in for the groundbreaking.


Tax talkers on the move

Radio listeners tuning into what could be the nation’s only local tax advice show – “Tax $ense : Keeping What’s Yours” on Sacramento’s KHTK 1140 AM – will be moving to the right of the dial starting Saturday on KTKZ AM 1380. The new time slot kicks off at noon and expands to two hours.

Special features covered in recent weeks by co-hosts Owen Arnoff and Randy Roth include “Is It Really True That You Can Settle With the IRS for Pennies on the Dollar?” and “The 10 Most Expensive Tax Mistakes Nearly Every Business Owner Makes.” The program focuses its attention on tax strategies for individuals, small business owners and real-estate investors. Find out more about the show at


Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at Also hear Thomson most Fridays at 6 p.m. on Dave Rosenthal’s drive-time radio show on KAHI 950 AM. He’s also a regular guest on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight,” with Beth Ruyak. And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.