Diana Lindsay takes FIRST PLACE Honors in Outdoor Writers Association of California Craft Awards 2017

Editors Diana Lindsay, Terri Vanrell, and Paula Knoll

From Outdoor Writers Association of California P.O. Box 50136, Oxnard, California 93031

May 3, 2017–

Founded in 1986, OWAC is a non-profit organization of more than 150 professional outdoor communicators from California and surrounding western states, including newspaper and magazine staffers, freelance writers, book authors, radio and television broadcasters, video producers, editors, photographers and artists.

Each year members of the organization meet to honor their finest professional work. At a banquet, held April 26, 2017 in Bishop, California, the OWAC Board of Directors presented awards to individuals whose work has been judged “Superior”.

OWAC’s 2017 Craft Awards Media Competition judging determined the work to be a premier example of professionalism and talented execution. By its superior form and creative style the entry was selected from among all submissions in its category and has been awarded First Place in the Best Outdoor Guidebook category.

Judges felt that the design and visual appeal of the entry, “Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors” was “Inspiring, intriguing and compelling.”

Exhibit Reveals The Art Of Former San Diego City Councilman Tom Hom

By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh

Source: KPBS Midday Edition, Tuesday, May 23, 2017\

Above: Watercolor painting by former San Diego City Councilman, Tom Hom.
Above: Watercolor painting by former San Diego City Councilman, Tom Hom.

Some say politics is an art.

So it might make sense that if a politician had a hobby, they might give traditional art, like painting, a try.

That is exactly how longtime Chinese-American leader Tom Hom has been spending his time.

In celebration of his 90th birthday, the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is unveiling paintings and drawings by Hom about the Chinese-American experience.

In 1963, Hom became the first minorit

y elected to the San Diego City Council. He later became the second Asian-American elected to the state legislature.

RELATED: San Diego Political Legend Tom Hom Talks About ‘Bumpy Road’ To American Dream

Hom and Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, executive director of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, discuss the exhibit “Unseen Portraint: The Art of Tom Hom,” Tuesday on Midday Edition.

 

She’s history: Iris Engstrand, the go-to source on San Diego’s past, retires from USD

Source: San Diego Union Tribune, May 23, 2017

By Peter Rowe

 

Iris Engstrand
Iris Engstrand signs copies of the second edition of “San Diego: California’s Cornerstone” at the San Diego History Center on November 29, 2016.

To Iris Engstrand, a neglected hillside plot above San Diego’s Mission Valley is the Jamestown of the Pacific.

Presidio Park is dominated by the Serra Museum, dedicated to missionary Junípero Serra. Plaques note that this is the site of the first permanent European settlement on the West Coast.

The park has seen lots of history.

It’s also seen better days.
“Look at the paint!” Engstrand said, gesturing at the museum’s flaking walls.

“You see the mold?” she pointed to black streaks on the museum’s white tower.

“That clump of trees?” she waved at a cluster of shaggy palms. “It blocks the view, it’s ugly and it’s half dead.”

These are not the ravings of a cranky tourist. Engstrand has a doctorate in history (University of Southern California, 1962) and has taught at the University of San Diego and its predecessor for 48 years. She literally wrote the book on local history — “San Diego: California’s Cornerstone” — and is cherished by a network of scholars as colleague, mentor and friend.

“She’s a real dynamo,” said M. Wayne Donaldson, chair of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “She’s probably one of the most influential people in my entire life.”

“Iris Engstrand,” said William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, “is a scholarly treasure.”

Now 82, Engstrand will teach her last class Tuesday. Don’t expect her to fade away. She’s helping design a virtual reality tour of the Presidio. Campaigning to win UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for El Camino Real. Co-editing The Journal of San Diego History. And insisting the Presidio gets the respect it deserves.

“San Diego,” she said, “just needs to get a little social consciousness about its past.”

Starting, perhaps, with a simple road sign noting the birthplace of California.

“It’s just ridiculous,” Engstrand said. “Here we are in San Diego, the second largest city in California, the eighth largest in the United States, and we can’t even have a sign here.”

Soaked in salt water

When questions arise about Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, Kate Sessions, Alonzo Horton or any other notable from San Diego’s past, Engstrand is the go-to source.

Not bad for an accidental historian.

Growing up in Laguna Beach, Iris Higbie loved to surf and swim. Her passion for the sea led her to enroll at the University of Southern California as a marine biology major. Even her love life was soaked in salt water. While still an undergraduate, she married Larry Wilson, an albacore fisherman.

For the next six years, she’d bunk aboard fishing boats. Life at sea was an adventure, but marriage also meant new financial pressures. Her parents stopped paying her tuition, so the undergraduate landed a job as a legal secretary.

Her work hours, though, conflicted with the marine biology lab schedule.

A professor noted that Iris had gobs of history units. Why not make that her major, marine biology her minor?

She did, becoming so immersed in this field that she pursued it for a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate, all at USC.

Fascinated by Southern California’s Iberian roots, she also won a fellowship that sent her to Spain. In Madrid, she spent two years researching Spanish scientists who had explored the New World.

Her own expedition had touches of glamour, thanks to a roommate’s ties to the crew filming Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren in “El Cid.” The women roamed the Spanish capital in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce, borrowed from a studio executive.

Young and bilingual, Engstrand was invited to parties at the U.S. embassy, mingling with actors and visiting dignitaries, including Nelson Rockefeller, then the governor of New York.

Back in the U.S., the freshly minted Ph.D. taught at USC and Long Beach City College. In 1968, she joined the faculty at the San Diego College for Men.

Soon, this L.A. native was synonymous with San Diego history.

Hidden messages

Despite her devotion to USC, Iris Wilson was happy to leave Los Angeles. Her marriage had fizzled out. Moreover, she was impressed by Old Town and other efforts to preserve San Diego’s heritage.

On paper, though, she looked like a bad fit at her new school. The College for Men was a private Catholic institution that in 1972 would merge with the College for Women, becoming the University of San Diego.

“I was not only not Catholic, I was divorced,” Engstrand said, “and at the College for Men. But they didn’t care.”

She shook up a small school’s little History Department.

“In many ways, it is her department,” said Colin Fisher, USD’s current History Department chairman. “She created it. She played a role in hiring every faculty member.”

In the classroom, she had a talent for resuscitating the past. Instead of memorizing dates, she urged students to examine the raw materials of life — food, fashion, music, relationships, tragedies, triumphs.

For instance, a lecture on Spanish royalty includes a vivid account of the hidden political and cultural messages in the canvases of Francisco Goya.

“She always stresses the ‘lived experience’ of the people and societies we study,” said Andres Meza, a senior in Engstrand’s course on the history of Spain.

Donaldson, an architect, worked on historic preservation campaigns in the Gaslamp Quarter. Engstrand urged him to investigate the people who built and inhabited those buildings.

“Where did they come from? Why did they come to what was to become the Gaslamp Quarter? What were their families like?” Donaldson said.

“She’s the one who turned me on to really look at the people and their character, and not just to rewrite old history.”

Right place, right time

Credit this rich, multi-disciplinary style to a rich, multi-faceted life. Engstrand’s interest in Spanish scientists, surveying a strange land’s flora and fauna, never faded. In 1999, she wrote “Inspired by Nature,” a history of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

A fascination with the region’s arid climate led her to the San Diego Water Authority’s lawyer, Paul Engstrand. They were married 45 years, until his death in 2015.

An aunt who was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ office manager led to a friendship with the team’s general manager, Buzzie Bavasi. After he became the San Diego Padres’ president in 1968, Bavasi often called on his fellow L.A. transplant.

“My life,” Engstrand said, “has been a series of unusual coincidences, of being in the right place at the right time.”

Coincidence may have been one factor behind Engstrand’s success. Others see a rigorous work ethic and ever-expanding social network.

About 11 years ago, The Journal of San Diego History had lost its editor. Engstrand agreed to become co-editor with another USD history professor, Molly McClain.

“It’s an enormous amount of work but incredibly interesting,” said McClain. “Iris makes everything really fun.”

Wendy Kramer agreed. A historian who lives in Toronto, Kramer found documents proving Cabrillo was born in Spain — unwelcome news to San Diego’s Portuguese community, which long had claimed the 16th century explorer as one of their own.

When Kramer flew here in 2015 to meet local historians, she was uncertain about the reception she’d receive.

Her fears quickly vanished. Engstrand picked her up at the airport, took her out to restaurants, put her up in a bayside condo.

“One of the most lovely things about finding those documents,” Kramer said, “was meeting people like Iris.”

‘Plymouth Rock’

The University of San Diego has never been without an Engstrand, and even after this month’s retirement, the Engstrand Era will continue. Iris’ daughter, Kristin Moran, is an associate dean; a grandson, Tanner Engstrand, is the football team’s assistant head coach.

While leaving a university, she’s not leaving scholarship. She may have another book or five in her — Engstrand estimates she’s already penned 25 volumes — and a course to team-teach (with Derrick Cartwright) on art and architecture.

She’ll also have more time to devote to a bedraggled park.

“She’s particularly keen on the Presidio project,” McClain said. “To see the Plymouth Rock of California being neglected, she is very keen to set that to rights.”

On July 16, a plaque will be unveiled in the park. The inscription honors “the soldiers, missionaries and natives of the Portola Expedition that founded San Diego de Alcalá and gave birth to Spanish Alta California.”

Engstrand was one of the plaque’s backers. Just like she’s pushing for fresh paint, signs, pruned trees and a new banner to join the flags waving outside the Serra Museum.

“The Kumeyaay flag should be first,” she said, “then the Spanish, the Mexican and the United States, if you are going in chronological order.”

History, like a certain historian, never rests.

NATURE ADVENTURES! IS PART SONGBOOK, PART NATURE GUIDEBOOK FOR KIDS

San Diego County’s beloved teacher from the “Nature Adventures!” program at Mission Trails Regional Park brings her songs and extensive knowledge to young readers countywide.

Linda Gallo HawleySan Diego, CA–She’s not originally from around here, but New York transplant and lifelong educator, Linda Gallo Hawley, can school most San Diegans on the region’s native flora, fauna and even cultural history. In fact, she’s made her own mark on the culture of the region through her monthly “Nature Adventures!” programs at Mission Trails Regional Park, where she guides primary school children through the park’s many trails, pointing out unique and interesting plants and signs of wildlife along the way, all while singing catchy tunes like “The Ecosystem Song” and the “Big Brown Bats Song” (with lyrics self-written and set to popular tunes like “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush” and “This Old Man.”)

Now with the publication of Nature Adventures! children of all ages can enjoy her extensive knowledge of San Diego’s biodiverse region. The book includes facts about the habitats and wildlife of this region—featuring animals big and small from spiders to shrews, flying bats to big cats, and even smelly skunks. What do they eat? Where do they live? Who are their predators? And what do their tracks and scat look like? Hawley explains it all in this fun text complete with delightful illustrations from artist and former fellow trail guide, Linda Gilbreath.

Originally called “Ant-Sized Adventures” for the preschoolers she initially taught (hence the “marching ants” illustration on the cover and throughout), Hawley decided to make the book appealing to nature lovers of all ages, by adding information pertinent to more advanced learners, including scientific terms, their meanings, and track-size measurements. Hawley is confident that children young and old, as well as parents and teachers, will have fun singing her songs about local wildlife.

Nature Adventures!“My granddaughter and I attended Linda Hawley’s “Nature Adventures!” program at Mission Trails Regional Park,” says former San Diego Mayor and current Mission Trails Regional Park board member, Dick Murphy. “Her classes and trail walks were a perfect introduction to the flora, fauna, and habitats in this park. Those lessons are now in her book for all.”

In addition to her already packed schedule of imparting a love for nature at the park and neighborhood libraries, Hawley now plans to make appearances throughout San Diego County to help promote her new book. If kids and parents react to the new release the same way they do her nature programs, it’s safe to say the book will be irresistible.

 

BAJA’S WILD SIDE – A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH BAJA CALIFORNIA’S PACIFIC COAST REGION

 

Most Californians are unaware of the natural beauty that exists just south of the Mexican border. Just how remote, untouched, and wild is Baja California? 

Baja's Wild Side

San Diego, CA—Shark biologist Daniel Cartamil, PhD, of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, hopes to take some of the bite out of encroaching human threats to the untamed Pacific Coast region of Baja California by showcasing the region’s beauty in a stunning new work of photography called Baja’s Wild Side.  The book, published by Sunbelt Publications, releases this summer in conjunction with an exhibit by the same name featuring Cartamil’s photography at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

 

Dan Cartamil Cartamil began visiting and working in many of the small coastal fishing villages that still exist in this area while researching ways to protect sharks that migrate through the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Mexico’s Baja California coast. The raw landscapes and untouched beauty of the region inspired the avid photographer to document the wild and vulnerable peninsula. His relationships with academics, locals, and artisanal fisherman resulted in unparalleled access to remote and spectacular areas. For more than a decade, he ventured off the beaten path and captured what he saw for others, from ancient rock art and mystical boojum trees to the endangered condors of the high sierra.

 

Now Cartamil continues his conservation work professionally, as well as through lectures, photography, and guided tours of Baja California, Mexico.  For more information visit bajaswildside.com.

 

 

 

 

AWARDS SEASON HEATS UP FOR SUNBELT PUBLICATIONS

San Diego, CA—In the world of independent publishing, spring is the start of award season as finalists are announced in anticipation of summer book fairs. Two of the most reputable independent publishing award programs announced finalists this week and, once again, works by Sunbelt Publications feature prominently, with Coast to Cactus, Gulf of California Coastal Ecology, and Virginia City collectively advancing in five categories.

2017-BFA-banner-Finalists

The Independent Book Publisher Association’s (IPBA’s) Benjamin Franklin Book Awards have been administered since 1985 and are some of the most well respected awards in the industry.  Only 3-4 books make the finalist round in any given category in this nation-wide competition, and while only one book ultimately takes the gold, all finalists are awarded silver medals.  This year’s finalist is the best-selling Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors written by San Diego’s own Canyoneer trail guides from the San Diego Natural History Museum.  The book is being recognized for its outstanding interior design with the final verdict announced on April 7, 2017, in Portland, OR, as part of IBPA’s Publishing University conference.

 

The INDIES Book of thINDIES BotYAe Year Awards proctored by Foreword Reviews, the go-to resource for librarians, booksellers, industry professionals, and book lovers, is similarly competitive.  In a deeply appreciated gesture of recognition, the reviewers at Foreword advanced Sunbelt Publications’ entries to the finals for all four categories submitted.  Coast to Cactus reigns again as a finalist in both the “Nature” and “Regional” categories, while Gulf of California Coastal Ecology: Insights from the Present and Patterns from the Past and Virginia City: To Dance with the Devil made the final round in the categories of “Science” and “Regional” respectively (that’s right—two Sunbelt titles vying for the gold in regional!).

 

In a press release from Foreword Reviews, publisher Victoria Sutherland commented, “Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the choice was more difficult this time around due to the high quality of submissions.”

 

The INDIES Book of the Year winners will be announced in Chicago during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference on June 24, 2017.

THE REBIRTH OF “A FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY BAD PLACE”


A stunning new work revives the history America’s favorite ghost town: Bodie, California

Bodie: Good Times and Bad

San Diego, CA – Called “A fearfully and wonderfully bad place,” by Bodie Daily Free Press on January 7, 1880, the Bodie of yesteryear had as notorious a reputation then as its remnant ghost town does today, drawing in roughly 200,000 visitors annually as a California State Historic Park.  A stunning new publication entitled Bodie: Good Times and Bad rekindles the life into the historic settlement through the masterful storytelling of writer Nicholas Clapp with plentiful reproductions of historic documents, images, and accounts. The text combined with the powerful images of present-day Bodie from photographer Will Furman has resulted in a work that is sure to please.

Many of Furman’s photos might be mistaken for double exposures.  That’s because he uses a technique he’s dubbed “inside-out” photography, in which he captures scenes at just the right angle, and in just the right lighting, so that the scene inside a window blends perfectly with the scene outside.  The result is a hauntingly beautiful composite that speaks to past and present.

Clapp’s storytelling lends its own special magic.

“Bodie State Historic Park is a very special place and this is a very special book,” says Brian Cahill, Acting Chief of the Interpretation and Education Division for California State Parks. “Will Furman’s captivating photos tell a powerful story on their own, but accompanied by Nick Clapp’s compelling narrative, the place truly comes alive.”

The pair plan to promote the book through a series of signings and presentations throughout California—Clapp handling the southern half of the state, and Furman the north.  Readership, on the other hand, is expected to expand far beyond state lines, with Clapp already giving consideration to October’s annual Frankfurt Book Fair, noting that “Both Germans and the French love the American West, and its frontier lore.”

Visit Bodie: Good Times and Bad on our product page.

 

ILLUSTRATED BEDTIME STORY DELIGHTS IN DESERT LIFE

San Diego, CA

Who-o-o's Awake in the DesertThe desert animals scurry about to get everything done,

Trying to beat the desert sun.

Owl prepares to go out into the night,

To ensure all the animals are tucked in tight.

So begins the charming new illustrated bedtime story, Who-o-o’s Awake in the Desert, the debut work of Tucson-based writer Jenny Holt. Featuring a beautifully illustrated cast of Sonoran desert animals, the story includes the coyote, Gila monster, hummingbird, javelina, and of course, the infamous Western Diamondback to name a few.  The book takes early readers on an aerial journey with owl as the warm sun of a desert afternoon melts into cool darkness.

Illustrations from H.M. are colorful and charming, sure to induce the same awe and appreciation for southwest wildlife conveyed in the author’s rhymes. Holt, a Tucson native, spent much of her childhood hiking and exploring the lush Sonoran desert surrounding her hometown and has long loved the desert landscape and its unique wildlife. She obtained her pharmacy doctorate from the University of Arizona and still lives in the desert with her husband, three children, dog, bearded dragon, and a small herd of desert tortoises. She wrote this book both as bedtime story and as a way to share her passion for the desert with children everywhere.

Holt will sign copies of the book on April first at Mildred and Dildred in La Encantada shopping center in Tucson from 9:30-10:30 am.

Author Jenny Holt
Author Jenny Holt

Book Details

Author Jenny Holt with Illustrations by H.M.
ISBN: 978-1-941384-31-2
Publication: Feb 2017
Format: 8.5 x 11 in.
Hardcover
Retail price: $12.95
Page count: 32
Press materials: https://goo.gl/qHLJex

 

 

 

 

HOW TO HELP KIDS REACH FITNESS RESOLUTIONS

color-me-fit_frontSan Diego, CA – The season of resolutions for a great new year is upon us and a new book for kids provides a fun, informative, and interactive introduction to the six functional movements for daily exercise anytime, anywhere. Color Me Fit: You Can Do It, written by Nick North for the non-profit North American Fitness and Health (NAFH), features a cast of cartoon animals demonstrating a variety of simple fitness movements that encourage healthy living.

In addition to the 30+ coloring pages of stretching, lifting, and running animals, Color Me Fit includes an introduction to basic fitness equipment, step-by-step instructions for each exercise, a weekly log for tracking fitness progress, and an overview of the functional movement patterns of the human body.

NAFH was formed based on the concern about juvenile obesity and the diseases that stem from it. Developed by retired U.S. Navy Seal, Certified Personal Trainer, and CEO of NAFH Nick North, with contributions from General Manager Patricia Brown and North’s granddaughters, Taylor and Madeline, Color Me Fit is proof that fitness can be fun. The improved academic performance, increased self-esteem, and improved cardiovascular health attributed to exercise can start with this book.

To meet the NAFH team in person, visit the Santee Active Lifestyle Expo on January 28th where Nick North will be introducing kids to a fun and active game based on functional movement patterns. The event is held from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Santee Trolley Square where visitors can stop into Barnes and Noble booksellers to purchase a copy of Color Me Fit.

Event Details

 

SOLANA BEACH SUCCULENT SPECIALIST EXPANDS REACH

jeff-headshotSan Diego, CA – Jeff Moore, owner and specialist at Solana Succulents, produced two stunning compilations of photographs and information on succulent plants: Under the Spell of Succulents in 2014 and more recently Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation.  The books have been available locally sold through a few bookstores and nurseries in addition to Solana Succulents’ store and website.  Now partnered with Sunbelt Publications for distribution, these jaw-dropingly beautiful works are available to retailers and consumers nation-wide through wholesalers, big box stores, and online retailers.
“We would have loved to have published both of Jeff’s books,” says Sunbelt’s Production Manager, Debi Young.  “The timing and finances just didn’t line up.  We’re extremely impressed with what Moore has accomplished on his own and are pleased to be able to offer these works to the many wholesalers and retailers we work with.”


Under the Spell of Succulents: A Sampler of the Diversity of Succulents in Cultivation
is filled with information on the “fascinating botanical subculture,” major succulent categories, and the many ways to interact with these wonderful plants.  Its biggest selling point is the stunning photographs of the beautiful and bizarre plants, taken mostly by the author.


Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation
, which Moore released in May of this year, tackles the specific subject of using these plants in Mediterranean landscaping, with most examples coming from California landscapes.  With even more photographs than its predecessor, it certainly rivals that book in beauty.  Moore advises his distributor, “Show people the book.  They’ll buy it.”

Both books are now available through sources locally and nationally in time for holiday shopping.

Book Details

Under the Spell of Succulents

Author: Jeff Moore

Format: Softcover w/flaps

Pages: 244

Dimensions: 9.5 x 10

ISBN: 978-0-9915846-0-4

Year Published: 2014

Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation

Author: Jeff Moore

Format: Softcover w/flaps

Pages: 335

Dimensions: 9.5 x 10

ISBN: 978-0-9915846-1-1

Year Published: 2016