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Media Life: Things could get complicated for Auburn’s football-game streaker

Wes Woodward juggles “Dr. Phil,” Alaska and rural Auburn; National Geographic plea ends with happy home for magazine collection
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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One fleet-footed spectator stole a page out of the 1970s playbook during last Friday’s Placer-Calaveras football game. For the first time in a long time, Auburn was streaked. Wearing what appeared to be a long, black wig and nothing else, the male streaker raced along the artificial track surface to the eastern end of LeFebvre Stadium. The third-quarter scamper elicited a smattering of applause from some on the Placer side and a ripple of embarrassed laughter in the stands. The streaker escaped into a waiting vehicle and the Media Life odds are long that he won’t return. The shock value is off and the chance of him being caught on a second run have increased tangibly. Streaking was huge from about 1973 to 1975. But times have changed quite a bit from a period when, in short order, a streaker ran across the stage at the Oscars telecast, the University of Georgia established a record with a throng of 1,543 simultaneous streakers, and Ray Stevens had a No. 1 hit with his song “The Streak.” Even Snoopy streaked in one Peanuts strip. These days, a streaker caught in the act could be facing far more serious consequences than being let go with a warning. Aside from any disciplinary action the school could mete out, if the streaker turns out to be a student, a check with Auburn Police Capt. John Ruffcorn confirms that criminal charges could be in the offing. Streaking falls under the Penal Code’s “lewd and lascivious” section and is categorized as a misdemeanor. It could also result in the streaker ending up required to register as a sex offender. Auburn Police normally has two officers at Placer games but the stands on both sides of the field should contain a fair contingent of members of the community who are in law enforcement. Ruffcorn, for instance, said he’s thinking of taking in the game. All being said, the smart money is on a family-friendly game Friday with all eyes concentrating on the onfield action. And no streaker. PLACER GRAD GIVES BACK Wes Woodland, Placer High Class of 1986, may be solidly entrenched as a key member of the “Dr. Phil” TV production team in Los Angeles but he hasn’t forgotten his rural Auburn roots. Woodland, part of the “Dr. Phil” team for the past four years as an editor, recently returned to Auburn to film and produce a video project to help with Placer Land Trust’s efforts to raise funds to acquire Bruin Ranch. The trust is working with the Nevada County Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land to buy the 2,300-acre ranch north of Auburn for $12.7 million. With a deadline to buy the ranch of next August, Woodland was encouraged by fellow Class of 1986 member Jeff Darlington to lend a hand. Darlington, executive director of the land trust, visited the site for a day’s worth of filming. Also in tow was J. D. Richey, an Auburn-based fishing guide and writer, who also graduated from Placer in 1986. Woodland did the work for free and is finishing completion of a presentation intended to show off the land and talk about the land trust vision for it. The working cattle ranch has more than 3 miles of Bear River frontage. While the “Dr. Phil” work has meant a steady job, Woodland is also moving toward a goal of becoming an executive producer. With that in mind, he recently traveled to Alaska for filming of a pilot for a reality series on bush pilots. It’s moving through the development stage with interest from a cable TV network. Woodland has several other credits under his belt since graduating from UC Davis and moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. He spent four years writing and producing on-air promotions for Fox Kids and Fox Family. For another five seasons, he wrote, produced and edited the hit dating show “Blind Date.” With two youngsters under the age of 4, Woodland said the work he is doing to help save land from development could reap personal rewards for him later on. “Ultimately, I want to move back,” he said. HAPPY ENDING A postscript to a story a couple of weeks ago in the Journal about Weimar’s Cathryn Rogers and her attempts to find a good home for a ton (literally and figuratively) of National Geographics she had collected that go back more than a century: Rogers said that she received four responses and was fortunate enough to have a man who collects them take the entire collection at a modest price. “The best part to me was his assurances that they were going to a good place where they would be appreciated and he would probably sell some of them on line to other collectors,” Rogers said. “I am so glad that I did not have to throw them out.” Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com or at 530-852-0232.