Media Life: Placer ag gets cooking on new TV food show

Mysterious lights seen by several people but could be radio-controlled gadget
By: Gus Thomson/Media Life
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AUBURN CA - Placer County’s farm bounty could soon be getting some wider exposure if Auburn’s leading locavore has her way. Joanne Neft took the opportunity this week during a Board of Supervisors session at the Domes decreeing Oct. 8 through 14 as Celebrate PlacerGrown Week to share some plans to develop a new TV cooking show with Sacramento’s KVIE. Working with an as-yet unnamed co-sponsor, Neft said that the show would be a regional cooking program that connects people more closely to the food they eat and where it comes from. Citing a study that indicates 85 percent of Americans don’t know how to cook from scratch, Neft said the program’s vision would be to show people where their food comes from and how to make it into a meal. That would mean picking the fruits and vegetables on camera and then quickly taking the produce to a nearby, modern kitchen to prepare some health-filled recipes, Neft said. Lights update Those lights in the sky over the Foresthill Bridge were no secret to plenty of foothills folk. The Media Life callout for other sightings of the mysterious light display on Monday, Sept. 17 at about 7:30 p.m. resulted in descriptions from several people that matched the description provided by Cool’s Joseph Jasso. The lights were changing colors and moving soundlessly in what Jasso described were “impossible ways.” While Media Life has done some digging the past week, there has been no definite answer on the sightings. But a theory has emerged. And it’s best put forward by reader Tom Swick. Provided with photos taken by one person who spotted lights in the Colfax area, Swock said that the shape of the lights in one of them suggests a radio-controlled plane known as the Wild Hawk. The plane doesn’t have lights, although many radio-controlled airplanes do, but could be painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. That would cut down on the need for bigger batteries and more weight on the airplane, he said. Giant spud rolling into Loomis While we’re on the topic of food, fans of the French fry may want to hustle their taters over to Loomis this coming Wednesday to get a gander at one of the biggest fake potatoes this side of Pocatello. Celebrating 75 years, the Idaho Potato Commission is wheeling a giant, 28-foot-long, 12-foot-wide monster of a spud around the county on a seven month jaunt. It will be parked at the Raleys lot in the town from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday. While the potato is a realistic fake it does get the mind wandering. The commission estimates that if it were the real thing, it could produce 1.4 million French fries. Eagle has landed Gray Listen for a familiar voice starting Oct. 22 on Sacramento’s 96.9 FM The Eagle. Walt Gray, TV news and sports anchor over the past 24 years at KCRA-3 is moving on to a new morning show that will run weekdays on The Eagle. Gray, known in Auburn for the times he has started his charity Make-A-Wish motorcycle run from the city, will be co-hosting with Kat Maudra. But his name is up on the marquee, making no mistake about the reputation as a sometimes funny, sometimes-tough TV newsguy. It’s “The Walt Gray Show,” with a smattering of the station’s classic rock providing musical interludes between the patter. Maudra’s been with The Eagle since the station switched over from its more free-form KZAP days. Eagle station manager Curtiss Johnson said that the music will continue to be part of the morning message. “We heard two constant themes from listeners,” Johnson said. “Local, local, local – make it about where we live our lives … and play music in the mornings.” Big-screen breakthrough The Eagle played a big role in bringing Sammy Hagar to Roseville two weeks ago and last week, the Auburn business behind putting up a big screen and producing a simulcast view of the rocker’s show was at it again for an even bigger event. Brian Roat of AboutHere.TV was contacted by the organizers of Sacramento’s Monster Aftershock rock festival held last Sunday at Discovery Park. The daylong fest featured an eclectic list of bands, including Chevelle, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots and Bush, attracting 14,000 people to the outdoor venue. Roat said AboutHere and its 16-by-9-foot screen was called in at the eleventh hour when festival promoters realized they needed the visual kick of video. “It was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat,” Roat said. He quickly assembled five camera operators and an engineer for what turned out to be a very successful, but long day on the green. “It’s the biggest event I’ve ever done and to reach this level and step up was really satisfying,” Roat said. 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. And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.