Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Orange County Register reports "Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge will host a public memorial Tuesday afternoon for longtime television personality Huell Howser at the Griffith Observatory. LaBonge invited friends and fans of the longtime host of KCET's "California's Gold" to gather at the landmark observatory at 3:30 p.m. for a sunset memorial. Howser died of natural causes at age 67 Jan. 7 at his Palm Springs home. The native Tennessean, who had been a feature reporter for television stations in Nashville, Tenn., and New York City before moving to Los Angeles, endeared himself to public television audiences, taking viewers on the road with him to explore little-known attractions across the state. His 'California's Gold' show ran for 19 years on KCET. 'Huell had a tremendous enthusiasm for California landmarks like the Griffith Observatory,' said LaBonge, who was sworn into office by Howser in 2001. 'And now we must say goodbye to our own California landmark, Huell Howser.' Howser was a U.S. Marine and an aide to former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker before starting his career in television. A shuttle to and from the observatory from the the Greek Theatre parking lot will be offered for overflow crowds, according to LaBonge's office. Sunset is at 5:07 p.m." . . And as a footnote, from OC Weekly in 2008: "The strangest part in my interview with Huell Howser this week was learning that the Transportation Corridor Authority tried to get his special on San Onofre State Beach delayed. I knew the TCA hated ol' Huell for his opposition to extending the 241 Toll Road through San Onofre State Park, further testimony that the TCA is the county's most-evil organization since the only people possible who'd rag on Huell are Nazis and Satanl, but to actually, actively try to fuck with Huell's scheduling? Not that we didn't believe Huell, but his claim was so outrageous that my jefe asked me to call the TCA to see what they had to say about it. TCA spokeshole Jennifer Seaton said they tried to rat out Huell to KCET-TV Channel 28 because they wanted to get 'their side of the story,' a strange position given Huell does specials on California treasures, not bloody freeways (at least, if they're not historic in some way). Seaton claimed they knew the San Onofre episode was going to be a 'one-sided look at the issue.' When I asked her how the TCA could have any idea about the content of an episode that hadn't even screened, Seaton responded by saying there was a "summary available' on Huell's website. Problem is, the summary gives no clue whatsoever about the show's content. . ."