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Past Events - June 2021 To October 2002

Events after June 2021 and upcoming events are listed here...

(Note, Locations, directions, cost and more can be found in the newsletters just preceding the date of the events. Annual meetings and Asilomars are not included)

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In light of the public health recommendations to increase social distancing and reduce the incidence and spread of COVID-19, Phi Beta Kappa Northern California is suspending all in-person events and meetings for the foreseeable future. 

We suggest you check out the Visiting Scholar virtual lectures through September 2021 that are listed on the National PBK website. Please go there for details. 

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. 

Please see the National PBK website for details

Book Clubs, Book Clubs, Book Clubs"

Learn how your PBKNCA book clubs are going, and what their experiences have been with doing a virtual book club. Meet the leaders, ask your questions, consider joining one. 

Date:  Saturday June 26th

Time:  11AM

Zoom Link:


Eoin Lyons graduated from Santa Clara University in 2019 with degrees in finance and political science. Eoin currently works in San Francisco as a Forensics Associate with KPMG, tasked with investigating domestic and international financial fraud. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Santa Clara's Alumni Association and the Advisory Board for San Francisco Youth Gaelic Athletic Association. 

Joanne Sandstrom - ΦBKNCA: Second Vice President, Scholarship, 2006 – present. A.A., Glendale Junior College, 1957; B.A. in English and teaching credential, UC Berkeley, 1959 and 1960, respectively; M.A. in English, Cal State Long Beach, 1968. Taught English at Costa Mesa High School, Saddleback College and Long Beach City College, 1969-1975.   In charge of the publications program for the Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, September 1980-2009   Retired and doing freelance editing. Joanne Resides in Oakland.

Elizabeth “Libby” Tyler, Ph.D., lives in Albany, California with her husband Rob Olshansky.  Libby was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1979, where she majored in Environmental Conservation.  Libby also earned a Master’s in Landscape Architecture (Environmental Planning) from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   Libby is the Community Development Director for the City of San Pablo and has worked for many years as a city planner and lecturer in planning.  She previously served as the Initiation Chair for the University of Illinois Chapter.  Libby and Rob have two sons, one of whom was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior at Haverford College. Her passions are reading, watching classic films, and travelling. 

We also suggest you check out the Visiting Scholar virtual lectures through October 2021 that are listed on the National PBK website. Please go there for details. 

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. 

Please see the National PBK website for details

Birder's Special

Thursday, April 8, 2021

12:00-1:30 PM (PDT)

a virtual nature journaling experience 
at the Palomarin Field Station of Point Blue

PBKNCA has visited Point Blue as part of our programming, and they welcome our participation in this virtual event, which is good also for kids and grandkids.

Whether a dedicated Birder, or interested in learning, this program will give you insight into the world of birding and the work that  one of the premier conservation organizations in the world has been doing, both locally and internationally, for over 50 years.

All ages and experience levels welcome.

Bird in the Hand
a virtual nature journaling experience 
at the Point Blue Palomarin Field Station

Thursday, April 8, 2021
12:00-1:30 PM 

Join Naturalist Artist Educator John Muir Laws on a virtual visit to our Palomarin Field Station, where Point Blue scientists have been banding birds and advancing conservation for more than 55 years. Explore drawing techniques, from fast sketching to vivid detail, to observe and appreciate the natural world around us. Get out "in the field" with Point Blue Avian Ecologist Renée Cormier to see how birds are captured, banded, measured, and released. Learn how long-term data sets inform conservation strategies. All ages and experience levels are welcome. Bring pencil, paper, and a sense of humor.

Please contact Ray Hendess, by April 3 for zoom link

Also checkout the Point Blue website at


"The Fight for Racial Justice, then and now”

A two-part series on Racial Justice.

March 13th and April 17th, 2021

  The Honorable Lise Pearlman, who is an award-winning author and documentary film producer.


This is a two-part presentation by PBKNCA members on the topical subject of Racial Justice.

“AMERICAN JUSTICE ON TRIAL: 1968,2020 AND BEYOND” The Honorable Lise Pearlman (ret.)

Lise Pearlman is an award-winning author and documentary film producer. She will speak from her work on a 2016 book “American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton.”

The outcome of this landmark trial has impacted the fight for racial justice in an ongoing way.

Topic: "The Fight For Racial Justice, Then and Now, #2"

Time: Apr 17, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 867 0122 9782, Passcode 495814

The Reverend Jim Richardson, the final speaker at Asilomar 2020, presented an updated and compelling view of Abolitionist times from his own family history.

Jim Richardson presented a history of his abolitionist family and their activities followed by Lise Pearlman, who will start with the Huey Newton trial’s groundbreaking results and bring us up to date on pivotal issues, and cases, affecting Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice system.

“THE ABOLITIONIST’S JOURNAL, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY FAMILY" James Richardson, PBK, M.Div. (Theology), Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento 

Methodist pastor George Richardson (1824-1911) left behind a 334-page journal richly detailing how he and his family used their home on the Underground Railroad to assist escaped slaves; his service as the white chaplain to an African American Union regiment in the Civil War; and then after the war, his family’s struggle to found a college for the formerly enslaved in Texas. The college was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan, chased out by the city of Dallas, and then reestablished in Austin where it thrives today as Huston-Tillotson University. His journal has prompted a decade-long search through family archives -- yet raises questions about how a family’s deep commitment to emancipation faded and disappeared in succeeding generations. 

James Richardson is a former senior writer with The Sacramento Bee and the author of several books on California politics, including an acclaimed biography of the politician Willie Brown, published by the University of California Press. His newest book project heads into a new direction, exploring his family roots in the anti-slavery abolitionist movement of the 19th century. Richardson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA and has a Master of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. He is an Episcopal Priest (ret) residing in Sacramento.

Topic: "The Fight For Racial Justice, Then and Now, #1"

Time: Mar 13, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 873 1462 3628

Passcode: 830391

YP Happy HourYoung Professionals Happy Hour
Wednesday, September 16
6:30–7:30 p.m.

Come join fellow Phi Beta Kappa members at a virtual happy hour where you'll have the opportunity to meet new PBK friends through introductions and icebreakers. To RSVP, please sign up on the event page. Feel free to bring a drink of choice and a smile! :) 

Please note: the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California book club is meeting at 7:30 p.m.—feel free to come by the virtual happy hour before joining the book club! E-mail O'Neil Dillon at if you'd like more information. This month's book is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

Image credit: Hans Vivek

Elaine RushingSaturday, August 22, 2020 10-11AM PBKNCA Member’s Stories #2 Judge Elaine Rushing will present “NEGOTIATION, MEDIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION PRINCIPLES 101

Judge Elaine Rushing, Mediator and Arbitrator with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), 2011- present
• Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Law (Negotiations), 2013- present
• Judge, Sonoma County Superior Court, 1992-2010
• Civil trial attorney, private practice, 1979-1992
• Graduate, Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, “Mediating the Litigated Case,” 2006
• J.D., Hastings College of Law, Order of the Coif, 1979 (Research Editor, Hastings Law Journal, 1978-1979)
• National Defense Fellow, University of Wisconsin, 1969-1970 (Ph.D. candidate in Geography)
• B.A., Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in German, Syracuse University, 1969


BromageImportant Science-Based Risk-Management Information to Protect Your Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Associate Professor Erin Bromage (Biology) created a blog to help friends and family understand the practical ways that the virus can spread through a community. On May 6, 2020, he posted “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them”, an explainer that showed how people breathing and talking spread particles in the air in common locations like restaurants, churches, and offices. As the world grapples with how to safely reopen society, Dr. Bromage’s post started to become widely shared on social media. Fast forward a week and the post has been viewed more than 13 million times and Bromage has become a fixture on national nightly news shows. Click here to read the post 


HomelessJuly 25th, 10 AM. Pacific Daylight Time we had a panel presentation titled “How the California Housing Shortage Developed, and What We Can Do About It”

Dr. Fred Collignon, and Dr Elizabeth Tyler will be our panelists. These expert Urban Planning panelists are members of PBKNCA. Questions for the panel can be addressed to O'Neil Dillon in advance. There will be time for questions as well after the presentation.

Join Zoom Meeting July 25th, a few minutes before 10 AM


“Member Stories” #1 - Zoom invitation Title: “Working to Improve the Health of The American Indian”
Presented by Elaine Brinn
IndianDate: Saturday June 20
Time: 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Length: 1 hour

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a little-known treaty obligation of the U.S. Government to provide health care to Native Americans. PBKNCA member Elaine Brinn will do a presentation based on her work in the IHS.

Join Zoom Meeting shortly before 10 AM Saturday June 20
Go to Asilomar 2020 34th Annual Asilomar Conference  the weekend of February 14 - 17, 2020 Go here

Saturday January 18, 2020, 11 AM, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Deadline Jan 15th

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

One of the world’s premier wildlife spectacles is to be experienced in the Central Valley, north of Sacramento.  30,000 acres of managed wildlife refuges provide habitat for the hundreds of thousands of waterfowl which are part of the great winter Pacific Migration. You do not need to be a dedicated birder to be inspired by this spectacle of nature. The Sacramento National Wildlife refuge consists of 11,000 of those acres. It has a 6-mile drive-through road with dedicated stops, as well as a viewing platform which is ADA accessible.

We start at the Visitor Center with a video and Ranger presentation before embarking on the driving tour of the refuge itself. We view wildlife from the vehicle and only get out of our cars at the dedicated stops. The wildlife is used to the cars moving and stopped along the roads, thus providing excellent viewing opportunities. However, they will scatter if a car stops and someone gets out.

We will have our picnic lunch at the observation platform. A picnic lunch can be purchased at Granzella’s Deli in Williams, before you get to the refuge or bring from home.

For those interested after the end of the refuge driving tour, there are self-guided wetland walks starting at the visitor center, one of which is ADA accessible. 

One option to deal with the long drive associated with this trip is to go up the night before and stay in Willows or Granzella’s Inn in Williams. They have a large Italian restaurant, deli, gift shop and sports bar. You can take a wetlands walking tour at the refuge that evening, or the next day prior to the tour. You could also see the "evening exodus" ½ hour after sunset, by driving the refuge road. At that time hundreds of thousands of waterfowl leave the refuge to fill the sky and to feed in adjoining fields, returning the next day.


Place: Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

Located 75 minutes north of Sacramento, adjacent to Interstate 5. Traveling north or south on I-5, exit at Rd 68 (#595, 9.1 miles north of Maxwell or 8.3 miles south of Willows) and turn east towards Hwy 99W (parallels I-5). Go north 1.7 miles on Hwy 99W, turn right into Refuge entrance. Pay $6 parking fee at kiosk on the right side of the road, or at the visitor center. Park and come into the visitor center.


Google “directions to Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge visitor's center” or

Click here for Google driving directions to the wildlife refuge


Google “directions to Granzella’s Inn” or

Click here for driving directions to Granzella’s Inn


Date: Saturday January 18, 2020

Time: 11AM -1PM (Arrive early) This is a 2.5-hour drive from the central Bay Area.  Google your directions to get your driving time estimate. Although arduous getting there, the experience is likely to be well worth it.

Cost: $10. Group size: minimum 10, maximum 40.

Weather: Rain cancels due to the long drive and less opportunity to see wildlife. Granzella’s Inn has a 24 hour cancellation policy.

What to bring: Binoculars, if you have them. The NWR does have some for loan. Bring sturdy shoes and lunch. 


Sunday, January 5, 2020, 2PM "THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND" Musical, Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma. Deadine December 11

The World Goes RoundCinnabar Theater“THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND” - Razzle-dazzle, show-stopping, famous melodies, hilarious lyrics, and all that jazz that celebrates the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. All your favorite hits from CABARET and CHICAGO plus lots of great songs from THE RINK, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, WOMAN OF THE YEAR and other musicals are spun into a delightful cabaret-style revue that has garnered loads of awards from coast to coast. The show was conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman & David Thompson, with Stage Direction by Clark Sterling and Music Direction by Mike Greensill.

Cinnabar Theater is a professional non-profit theater located in a quaint 1908 schoolhouse-turned-theater. It earns a 4.5/5 Google review rating.

Event: “THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND” musical.

Where:  Cinnabar Theatre 3333 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

Google map click here

When:   Sunday, January 5, 2020, 2 PM Matinee

Deadline: December 11; after that, only if tickets still available.

Cost:     $50

Maximum: 20

Accessibility: ADA accessible

Parking: Limited available, car pool if possible


Saturday November 23, 2019 The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, Deadline Nov 10

Asian Art MuseumThe Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture houses one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world, with more than 18,000 works of art in its permanent collection, some as much as 6,000 years old.

Enjoy a private docent-led tour through the newly re-opened 3rd floor galleries to discover the Asian’s rich collection in a new display. The Asian’s collection showcases diverse and intriguing cultures as well as sacred and secular art. The “Great Works” tour is the perfect introduction to the Asian Art Museum’s collection and a superb way to experience the collection over and over again in the future. This tour is crafted to focus (in depth) on a relatively small number of artistic masterpieces, which exemplify their particular aspect of asian art.

Visit the museum’s other exhibits on your own afterward, and enjoy a lunch in the museum restaurant. Special exhibits are available for an additional $10 at the time of the visit

Where: Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA

When: Saturday November 23, 2019
One hour tour starts 10 AM
Please arrive no later than 9:45AM

Cost: $20 for non-Museum members.

If you are a Museum member, you get free admission to the Museum for you and one guest. Bring your membership card! You need only pay $7 per person contribution to our PBK Scholarship Fund. If you have additional guests, they are must pay $13 for Museum admission plus $7 contribution to our PBK Scholarship Fund. Confusing, yes. But we are Phi Betes!

Limit: 20
Parking: There are two parking garages within one block of the museum: Civic Center Garage (355 McAllister St.) and UC Hastings Parking Garage (376 Larkin St.). Limited metered street parking is also available near the museum.
Deadline: November 10, 2019
Accessibility: ADA accessible, wheelchairs available.
Parking: There are two parking garages within one block of the museum: Civic Center Garage (355 McAllister St.) and UC Hastings Parking Garage (376 Larkin St.). Limited metered street parking is also available near the museum.

PBKNCA leader: O’Neil Dillon

Thursday, October 24, 2019. Giacomini Dairy Farm and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. Deadline October 14

Giacomini CheeseFind out why California cows are so happy!

The Giacomini Dairy Farm is an iconic, and picturesque, West Marin Dairy Farm on the East side overlooking Tomales Bay just North of Pt Reyes Station. It is a 1000-head dairy farm which makes some of its cheeses from milk produced on its farm, so can be called a" Farmstead “cheese company. The tour is of the dairy farm first, followed by a cheese tasting (wine extra) in the lovely patio next to its visitor center. The farm is an exemplar of sustainable, organic dairy farming with a technologically sophisticated methane recapture system powering 65% of the farm’s energy needs and is an example of land being protected in West Marin to sustain the agricultural heritage of the area close to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Website:

Key Connections

Key Connection events offer a great opportunity for all younger members of Phi Beta Kappa to get together, to share what you've learned, to network, and learn about sake-making at Takura Sake.  As a member of PBK, you're invited to PBK Northern California's Key Connections celebration.
Note, you must be a Phi Bete, but do not need to be a member of the Northern California Association to attend.
Join us at Takara Sake in Berkeley
Go to the one for which you signed-up. Both events are full, so you won't be able to get in the other!
Sunday, September 8, 2019, 12 noon.
Sunday, September 15, 2019, 12 noon.
for a seven-course sake wine tasting followed by a light lunch.
 There will be plenty of opportunities to network with your fellow Phi Betes.
Event: Sake tasting and Sake Museum (the only one of its kind in the U.S.), followed by a light lunch.
When: Sunday,September 8 or 15, 2019 Where: Takara Sake 708 Addison St Berkeley, CA Parking: On the streets close by.

Cost: $10 Limit: 20 Reservations are closed. Please indicate if you are vegetarian.
Time: 12 Noon to see the museum. The formal program starts at 12:30 PM with a video and then a seven-course sake tasting followed by a light lunch. On arrival, go up the stairs from the entrance to the main room and then into the conference room immediately on your right to check in and get your name tag.

Saturday, September 14, 2019. Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

Aftel Archive of Curious ScentsThe Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is not just the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to perfume, but more beguilingly, the first one dedicated to the experience of fragrance. This tiny museum manages to contain the olfactory history of the world: hundreds of natural essences, raw ingredients and antique tinctures gathered from every corner of the globe, and all available for visitors to smell. This small museum host 8 guests at a time for an hour’s tour, allowing visitors to experience many different fragrances as well as have three letter-press scent strips to dip in essences and take home.      Anyone having read “Moby Dick”  will know that a prized substance from sperm whales is Ambergris, used in perfumery and derived from the squid Sperm whales eat. It is, in essence, whale poop mostly found floating on the ocean’s surface..   Ever wonder what Ambergris fragrance is like?  Now is your chance!   Experience a 100 year old sample, as well as modern synthetic ones, and this is only one of hundreds of different fragrant substances at the Archive! Date-Saturday, September 14, 2019

Saturday, August 31, 2019: Chiura Obata exhibit, Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento, private guided tour. Deadline August 30

Chiura Obata paintingObataChiura Obata (1885-1975) is among the most significant California’s artists of the 20th Century. He immigrated from Japan in 1903, eventually becoming an art professor at the University of California, Berkeley. As a Japanese American, he and his family were imprisoned in World War II in the Topaz internment camp in Utah. Obata is best known for his iconic paintings of Yosemite and California landscapes, but his drawings and paintings during his imprisonment are haunting, raising deep questions about how immigrants are treated as “other” in American life.
This is the first major exhibit of Obata's art in nearly 20 years, and offers an unprecedented survey of Obata’s rich and varied body of work with more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and personal items, including from the Topaz internment camp. Much of the exhibit is from private collections and has never been on public display.
The exhibit closes in September and will be traveling to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Your admission will also allow you to explore the extraordinary Crocker Art Museum at your leisure. 
Location: Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street, Sacramento (corner of 3rd and O streets, downtown Sacramento near I-5 and Highway 50 exits)

Saturday, August 17, 2019. Guide Dogs for the Blind

Guide DogsGuide Dogs for Blind in San Rafael is the largest training center in North America. This tour comes highly recommended and will be a very poignant and moving experience for all. Don’t miss it! The morning tour at 11 AM is a docent-led walking tour of the campus with a video and information about the programs and blindness. No seating is available. Bring a picnic lunch to have on the reserved patio while waiting for the afternoon program. A gift shop is available to explore. The afternoon Graduation Ceremony at 1:30 PM consists of talks by the blind or visually-impaired, who have been at the Center for two weeks being matched with their Guide Dogs and trained how to work with their new Guide Dog. The trainers who trained them will also be in attendance. A brief video about the program will be shown. The people who raised the Guide Dog as a puppy from about 8 weeks to 15 months also come. Sometimes other members of their puppy-raising club attend. Both the graduate, (recipient of their new Guide Dog), and the puppy-raiser say a few words about their experiences. The graduate Guide Dog just gets to wag its tail. More info

Sunday, July 21, 2019: Oakland Museum focus on Architecture

Experience OMCA’s remarkable mid-century modernist landmark building with the guidance of the Museum’s expert members of the Council on Architecture. This tour shares with you a few of the highlights of the incredible building, including views of Lake Merritt and downtown Oakland from atop a three-tiered roof garden and the serene Koi Pond. It is a truly Californian indoor/outdoor landmark. Built in 1969 with a design by Kevin Roche and landscaping by Dan Kiley, the Museum recently completed a major renovation and expansion project overseen by San Francisco-based firm Mark Cavagnero Associates, which honors Roche and Kiley’s original vision of a vibrant urban park and public space. Learn about the social times and urban planning concepts the Architects (both structural and landscape architects) took into consideration when designing the museum, which is as interesting as the architecture itself. Website

June 14, 2019: UC Davis, World leading Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
(as well as the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, if you wish

As the top-ranked global leader in veterinary medicine, the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital treats more than 50,000 patients a year — from dogs and horses to mountain lions and iguanas. Their faculty, staff and students provide attentive and personalized care to each animal, understanding that they are valued members of the family. Their world-renowned specialists have access to leading-edge equipment and technology, and are equipped to handle 34 clinical specialties. These include 24/7 emergency and critical care, cardiology, internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmologyand surgery, among others.Our tour will be lead by students in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. We will see the world's Number 1 Veterinary Hospital in full operation.See: Date-  Friday, June 14, 2019vTime-  Arrive 2:30 PM, tour starts 3:00 PM  Deadline- Thursday, May 23rd. Limit- 22 Cost- $10 Location- UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital #1 Garrod Dr., Davis,CA Parking information to be sent to sign-ups later on For directions see:

Shrem MuseumThis is also an opportunity to visit the Manetti Shrem Art Museum at UC Davis, 254 Old Davis Rd, Davis, CA 95616 on your own after our tour.   There is no admission fee.  It is open 12 noon-6 PM on the date of our tour. See:  -especially for parking information

Bancroft HotelSunday, May 5, 2019: ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon

Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley, 12:00 Noon

We have decided to have a luncheon rather than dinner for several reasons including cost and daytime travel, As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission—the awarding of scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, fulfilling ΦBKNCA’s objective to enhance scholars’ educational and research activities and to honor those who are teaching our next generation. Menu: Spinach and strawberry salad Choice of entrée: sautéed chicken breast, halibut, or spring vegetable ragout Gluten free accompaniments available for each entrée choice
Mango guava cheesecake or chocolate torte Baskets of sliced vegan breads with sweet cream butter Beer, wine, and soft drinks are included Street parking is available for free on Sundays. A limited number of handicapped parking spots are available with advance notice.Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019 Deadline: April 25, 2019 Time: 12:00 Noon Cost: $45
Location: Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley Directions: click here

Friday, April 26, 2019: Birding as well as Climate Smart Conservation Science, Petaluma

Conservation Science*First, a guided birding tour of the nearby Petaluma Wetlands area. Binoculars and comfortable shoes recommended
*Then we will go to the nearby headquarters of Pt Blue Conservation Science where Dr. Grant Ballard, Chief Science Officer, will present some of their projects and the role a conservation organization like theirs plays in helping protect our world's biological systems.
*Finally, a light lunch will be served.

A complimentary one year's membership will be available for any member of PBKNCA.
For those unable to attend, the complimentary membership is available as well as live streaming of the scientific presentation via the internet. To get details on logging on, E-mail Questions are possible for those logged on.

Point Blue Conservation Science, with its 160 scientists, is one of the premier conservation science and climate solution organizations in America. Starting in Marin and the Farallon Islands, it has monitored biological systems there on a 24/7 basis for the last 50 years, building the Keystone Data Set, one of the longest biological data bases existing in science. Such “Big Data" is a powerful tool in understanding, and planning for, biological changes in our world. This organization uses science, partnership, and outreach to make a real-world impact on the some of the largest environmental challenges we face.

Point Blue Conservation Science has expanded their groundbreaking conservation science projects globally and is an important player in “Climate Smart” conservation science, helping policy makers address ecological issues (like climate change, habitat loss, sustainable agriculture, carbon sequestration and sea-level rise) facing us today. It was appointed an official UN observer NGO in 2017. Website Date- Friday, April 262019 Deadline for registration- April 24Time- 9:30AM (birding starts at 10:00 AM, scientific presentation at 11:00 AM Cost- $20 Minimum 10- Maximum 80 Place- Point Blue Conservation Science 3820 Cypress Drive, Suite 11, Petaluma, CA 94952 Click for Google Directions

Sunday, March 17, 2019: A Little Bit of India and Holla Mohalla, San Jose

The Gurdwara Sahib of San Jose is the largest Sikh temple in North America, serving the Sikh and larger community in the Santa Clara Valley.

Not only will we have a guided tour of the Temple itself, but be able to observe an important Sikh Festival on that day,"Hola Mohalla”. This will be a very crowded and colorful event, like India itself. The festival is a combination of exhibitions of martial arts, poetry and competitions.  The Sikhs have a proud history of militantly resisting, and freeing others, from oppression, and this festival celebrates that history.

Service to humanity is an important Sikh tenet and is reflected in Sikh temples being open to all as places of refuge and comfort.  All Sikh Temples have community kitchens (“Langar”), and we will share in a communal meal. For example, the Gurdwara in Old Delhi provides 60,000 meals a day all year round. This particular Gurdwara also provides no cost medical care as one of their programs in service to the community.

 We will need to remove our shoes and have head coverings (scarf, no hats) at one point in the tour.  Plain white head coverings are available for all, but best for women to bring head scarfs. Date-  Sunday March 17, 2019 Deadline for registration - March 15th Time-  10:00 AM tour starts 10:30 AM. Tour will be 1 and a half hours Cost $15 Minimum 10- Maximum 40 Place-  Gurdwara Sahib of San Jose 3636 Murillo Ave., San Jose, CA Meet outside of entrance to main lobby. Look for PBK sign Parking info Arrive by 10:00 AM (or earlier) especially for parking close to Temple.  Carpooling advised, as well as studying temple site and parking on satellite image  of Google Maps. 10,000 people attend over the course of a day so it will really be crowded and colorful, like India itself. Emergency Contact: cell is 510-207-8761 and should be available for unforeseen events (people get lost, arrive late and need direction for shuttle etc, etc,) Click for Google Directions

Asilomar 2019 33nd Annual Asilomar Conference The Weekend Of February 15 - 18, 2019. Go here

Saturday, February 2, 2019: American Bookbinders Museum tour

The American Bookbinders Museum is the only museum of its kind in North America, celebrating and exploring the history, tools and stories of bookbinders and bookbinding, from its earliest forms through the changes and innovations of the industrial revolution. In addition to the craft and artistry of binding, there is a focus on the stories of the men, women, and children who worked in the binderies. We will have a private, docent led tour of an hour and a half. Date- Saturday, Feb 2nd, 10:30AM-12:30PM Place- American Bookbinders Museum, San Francisco Cost- $20 Min 10 max 20 Deadline- January 19th. Location: 355 Clementina, a short walk down 5th from the Powell St. Bart station Click for Google Directions More directions and parking at Public Transportation:AC Transit/Golden Gate Transit/SamTransTransbay Terminal at First and Mission Streets Caltrain Fourth and Townsend St. station BART Montgomery or Powell St. station Muni Metro Mongtomery or Powell St. station serves J-Church, KT-Ingleside/Third St., L-Taraval, M-Oceanview and N-Judah lines Muni Bus Routes 8-Bayshore, 14-Mission, 27-Bryant, 30-Stockton, 45-Union/Stockton

Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma. Sunday matinee, December 16, 2018

Cinnabar Theater - Love, Linda

Love, Linda: The Life Of Mrs. Cole Porter is a theatrical and musical adventure about the life of Linda Lee Thomas, the socialite wife of composer Cole Porter, starring the acclaimed Maureen McVeery of San Francisco. The great songs of Cole Porter are ingeniously interwoven with captivating story-telling by his beautiful and glamorous wife. Though Cole Porter was gay, their companionship and love lasted through 35 years of marriage and together they lived a spectacular, glamour-filled life. Peek behind the glitter of her sensational life with her brilliant husband, to experience a unique, sometimes difficult but always love-filled marriage. As she tells us, “Just because a love between two people may be difficult to define, that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.”

Musical numbers include the hits So In Love, I Love Paris, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Night and Day, Wunderbar, and many more. Listen to excerpts from the original cast album here Date: Sunday, December 16, 2018 Deadline:  December 1 Time: 2:00 pm matinee (arrive by 1:30 pm) Minimum: 10, Maximum: 20  Cost:  $40.00 Directions:     3333 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma,

Key Connections
Two Special Events for younger Phi Betes
“Key Connections” The Entrepreneurial Spirit—“How To”.

PBK Special Event for Younger Phi Betes, Berkeley. September 5, 2018
6 to 7:30 pm, Sake tasting & snacks and get to meet fellow Phi Betes, too!
At Takara Sake USA, 708 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA See Here for directions


PBK Special Event for Younger Phi Betes, Menlo Park. September 6, 2018
5:30 to 7:00 pm. Snacks and drinks for all attendees.
At Coffeebar, 1149 Chestnut Street, Menlo Park, CA. See here

Jeremiah O'Brien All day cruise on the Jeremiah O'Brien, October 7, 2018

Launched June 19, 1943 the SS Jeremiah O'Brien is the last unaltered Liberty Ship; A veteran of the Normandy invasion, fully restored and maintained in her original condition.  The ship is a National Historic Landmark.  She and her triple expansion reciprocating steam engine are a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Visit us online at

In June 1943 the Liberty Ship S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien slid down the ways at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland, Maine. Shortly thereafter she entered service, operated by Grace Line for the War Shipping Administration. Named for the first American to capture a British naval vessel during the Revolutionary War, the O'Brien made seven World War II voyages, ranging from England and Northern Ireland to South America, to India, to Australia. She also made eleven crossings of the English Channel carrying personnel and supplies to the Normandy beaches in support of the D-Day invasion. After the war, she was "mothballed" and laid up in the Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, north of San Francisco.See the history

San Francisco Fleet Week is an annual public event that honors the contributions of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces while advancing cooperation and knowledge among civilian- and military-based Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response personnel. The O'Brien participates with the SF Fleet Week Cruise around San Francisco Bay, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge for amazing views of the San Francisco waterfront, the visiting Navy ships, and the air show featuring the US Navy Blue Angels. Includes food and drinks, starting at 9 am (boarding) and ending 5 pm.  Cost per person $150. Directions are here Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 Time: 9:00 am (plan to arrive no later 8:30 am for check-in before the tour begins) Minimum:10 Maximum: 20 Deadline: September 17 Fee: $150.00

NASA Ames Research Visitor Center September 22, 12:00 Noon NASA NASAMoffett Field, CA 94035 near Mountain View about one hour docent led tour (good for kids and grandkids as well) NASA’s Ames Research Center is a key facility for many of NASA’s missions and projects. In the Visitor center you can see and learn about:

1. A spherical projection system offers a new look at the planets in the Universe.
2. An actual piece of the moon brought back from the apollo 15 mission
3. The Mercury Redstone 1A capsule from the last unmanned test flight.
4. Living and working in space.
5. The Kepler Mission and the discovery of potential new planets.
6. The Sofia Infrared Astronomy project enhancing the space telescope system.
7. Other NASA projects and missions.
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018Time: 12:00 am (plan to arrive no later 11:30 am for check-in before the tour begins) Deadline: September 1, 2018 Fee:       $10.00

Bay ModelWe Visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model Visitor Center: Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Bay Model is a three-dimensional hydraulic model of San Francisco Bay and Delta areas capable of simulating tides and currents. It is over 1.5 acres in size and represents an area from the Pacific Ocean to Sacramento and Stockton, including: the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bays and a portion of the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta.  No longer doing active hydrological research, it has been developed as a permanent exhibit focusing on environmental issues relevant to the Bay and Delta regions with interpretive murals, interactive and tactile exhibits covering the entire watershed from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean.  Active tidal cycles can also be observed.

A ranger led tour lasts 1- 1.5 hours and has been tailored for our group’s interests in issues such as sea-level rise and other critical environmental questions of our time.

Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018 Time: 11:00 am (plan to arrive no later 10:30 am for check-in before the tour begins) Minimum: 10 Maximum: 20 Deadline: July 3, 2018 Fee:  $10.00

Are We in Provence?  No!  We’re Visiting PBKNCA Member Lynn Rossman’s Lavender Farm in Sebastopol:  Saturday, June 2, 2018

Lavender FarmAnd not just the glorious & blooming lavender fields, but the farm’s drying shed, production barn , and the Garden & Gift shop at Tanuda Ridge Vineyard.  Located at the corner of Graton and Tanuda Roads and a mile from the village of Occidental near Sebastopol, our member Lynn will be welcoming us to enjoy the lavender and imagine ourselves transported to Provence.  Bring your cameras!  And a bag lunch if you wish to picnic at the Lavender Farm/Vineyard.  Date:  Saturday, June 2, 2018Time: 11:30 am (plan to arrive no later 11:00 am for check-in) Minimum:  8 Maximum: 15Deadline:  May 25, 2018 Fee:  $8.00

Free HouseΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner - Sunday, May 6, 2018 New Location, right near the Hotel:Free House, 2700 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at The Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley, the same location as last year’s meeting.  As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission—the awarding of scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, fulfilling ΦBKNCA’s objective to enhance scholars’ educational and research activities and to honor those who are teaching our next generation.

Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018 Deadline: Friday, April 20, 2018 Time: 4-8 p.m. Cost: (per person including tax, gratuities):  $65.00

Silent Film San Francisco—We Tour the Locations Used in the Days before the “Talkies” Saturday, April 14, 2018

ChaplinDescription: Going back over 125 years, San Francisco provided the settings for hundreds of silent films & starring the Chaplins, Valentinos, Pickfords and more.  We will walk through the Barbary Coast, Chinatown and the Financial District and Union Square.  Along the way we’ll learn about the eccentrics, the stars, and the barriers filmmakers faced, and the greatest scandal of the silent era.
Note:  We will start at the southeast corner of Pacific Avenue and Kearny Street -- across from “The Station” cafe.

Visit to Takara Sake USA in Berkeley
SakeSaturday, March 17, 2018

This event is one that we’ve been trying for years to arrange, and finally, Takara is able to accommodate us.  Our visit will include Takara’s tasting room where we will learn about the different sakes; and also the Sake Museum which includes an exhibit of the historical sake-making process, sake artifacts and implements collected by Takara Sake USA, and a history of sake-making in America. The collection is the only one of its kind in the U.S.A.

The 32nd Annual Asilomar Conference Feb 16 – 19, 2018


“If western culture is shown to be rich, it is because… it has tried to ‘dissolve’ harmful simplifications through inquiry and the critical mind.” – Umberto Eco

We Visit Berkeley’s Kala Art Institute

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, 11:00 am to ?



The Kala Art Institute is located in the old Heinz factory at San Pablo and Ashby Ave. in Berkeley. A large non-profit institution providing space for artists to do their work, Kala is best known for print-making facilities, specializing in various forms of printmaking. They also provide art services to the public schools and summer art camps for kids, and they offer various art courses for the public. Showcasing the work of various artists in their exhibition space, Kala has a library of artworks demonstrating the techniques currently being used by artists these days as well as selling works of art by local artists. Our tour will last about an hour and will include the current exhibition and a demonstration of art done using different techniques. Kala occupies a large and interesting loft in the building, filled with a variety of print making devices, from digital printing and other printmaking techniques.


Optional demonstrations of different print making techniques are available at an additional cost of $10 per person. This, the first option, will involve having an artist demonstrate one of the following techniques: etching, screen printing, letterpress, woodcut or intaglio, and digital printing. Over and above that, if we want, for an additional $10 per attendee Kala will provide two demonstrations - screen printing and letterpress. The first option must be satisfied before we can move onto the second one.

The San Francisco Gourmet Chocolate Tour

Saturday, December 9, 2017, 11 a.m. Deadline November 10, 2017
Chocolate tour“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”
What a great excuse to eat chocolate and say you’re doing your Christmas shopping! If you love fine chocolate, join us in San Francisco for a private Chocolate Tour with Gourmet Walks! Our guides will take us on a delicious 2 ½-hour walking and tasting tour of the city's best chocolate makers. We'll learn about how fine chocolate is made, understand its health benefits and see the latest trends from bean to bar. We'll visit seven different gourmet chocolate boutiques in downtown San Francisco, and taste a variety of bars, bon-bons and hot chocolate. Since the days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco has had a love affair with chocolate and is now at the center of the new wave of artisan chocolatiers, experimenting with high quality beans, new production methods, exotic fillings and breathtaking packaging. Come find out why!

And, we will also get "Chocolate Lover Cards" to use on future chocolate shopping trips! Including Christmas shopping! What a sacrifice….

Our tour leaves at 11 am sharp. We will meet in front of the main entrance of Crystal Jade, 4 Embarcadero Center, Lobby Level (near the intersection of Drumm St. and Sacramento St. Look for the tour guide with her umbrella! If you have any problems finding us, please call Judy Hardardt at 707-696-9498.

The tour will last 2 ½  – 3 hours and will end at Westfield Centre. Parking is available in Embarcadero Center, as well as the Ferry Building parking lots. BART’s a good option as well! Consider bringing the following: comfortable walking shoes, umbrella, water, and an appetite – try not to eat too much before the tour! Optional: tote bag to carry extra chocolate

SHIPS AHOY! We Visit the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo Friday, October 27, 2017

Golden Bear- Maritime AcademyMost of us have been driving past CSUM for years but have never stopped. This is our chance to make up for that as we will be touring the Maritime Academy, founded in 1929 in Tiburon, including a visit to the ship Golden Bear. Our tour of the Academy, the only degree-granting maritime academy on the west coast of the U.S., will start with an orientation to the property and then we will be visiting key sites on the campus. Because our tour will include the Golden Bear, you will need to have some form of picture I.D. and you should wear shoes with rubber soles if possible. No open-toed sandals or high heels (we will be walking!) and equally important, there are steep stairways and high doorsills on the ship, so be prepared.
A campus map is available at the school’s web site:


Bread—the Staff of Life—Exclusive Class with an Extraordinary Master Bread Baker

Bread- The Staff of LifeSaturday, September 16, 2017 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

What an experience this will be for us! Starting bright and early, we will meet at Judy Hardardt’s home in Davis where we will have the chance to not just learn how to bake a loaf of bread, but to “hands-on” make and bake several different kinds of bread with master baker Chris Kenber. Lunch will include the pizza that we start making in the morning. By the end of the day, we’ll be going home with freshly baked souvenirs. What more could we possibly ask for other than freshly-churned butter to go with our breads? Come hungry!


Visit to San Francisco's KQED Radio and TV Education Network
Date:   Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  10 am to 12 noon

KQED's History

KQED auction cowCows in the KQED Studios? Take a nostalgic trip through KQED's history, starting in the 1950s.

1950-59  When KQED went on the air in 1954, it was one of a handful of stations in a new field referred to as the "educational TV movement." Conceived initially as a teaching tool, the station quickly broadened its scope to include entertainment and public affairs programming - designed to appeal, above all, to a viewer's intelligence.

Description:   This docent-led tour will take us through the KQED facility and includes the history of public radio and television and the current challenges they face, such as funding, political and other external pressures.  Our tour will include the FM Master Control Room and a "working" studio, the videotape library, TV Facility (Studios A & B, Production Control Room, Equipment Rack Room, Edit Suite, the suite to ingest audio feeds, and Master Control Room.  In addition, we will visit KQED Interactive and have an overview of their Web Site and the KQED Education Network.  Special surprises anticipated as well!

There is a parking garage located at the back of the KQED building on York Street.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing: Saturday, June 3, 2017 

Dorothea LangeFew 20th Century photographers have produced such instantly recognizable and iconic works as Dorothea Lange. Gain a new understanding of this beloved American photographer when we visit the Oakland Museum for our docent-led look at their exhibition –Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing.

Through the lens of her camera, Lange documented American life with riveting, intimate photographs that showed the major issues of the times. This spring, view the emotional and political impact of her works in this major exhibition, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s gift of her personal archive to the Oakland Museum of California. From documenting the plight of Dust Bowl migrants during the Great Depression to magnifying the grim conditions of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II, Lange’s photographs demonstrate how empathy and compassion—focused through art—can trigger political action. View approximately 100 photographs, including vintage prints, unedited proof sheets, personal memorabilia, and historic objects. Examine how Lange’s artistry and advocacy swayed minds and prompted significant change in this nation’s history. Discover how her work continues to resonate with millions, illustrating the power of photography as a form of social activism.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner - Sunday, May 7, 2017

Annual MeetingGet out your calendars!  It’s time to make sure that you have this year’s ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner blocked out!

Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at The Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley, the same location as last year’s meeting.  As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission—the awarding of scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, fulfilling ΦBKNCA’s objective to enhance scholars’ educational and research activities and to honor those who are teaching our next generation.

For those of you who have not been able to come to the Annual Dinner before, we encourage you to do so.  In meeting some of these outstanding honorees and learning about their academic interests (as well as renewing old friendships and perhaps getting more involved in our vibrant organization, ΦBKNCA), you will be able to more fully appreciate the value of the programs we offer throughout the year: the funds generated through the Asilomar conference, the many monthly events and the direct contributions you make!  

Enjoy the food, wine and, best of all, wonderful fellowship of kindred spirits.

Social hour begins at 4:00 p.m. with a cash bar; dinner, including your choice of entrées (seafood, chicken, vegetarian), white or red house wine, will be served at 5:00 p.m.  Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.

The Spirit of the Old West—at The Blackhawk Museum, Saturday, March 18, 2017. “You come here to tell us lies, but we don’t want to hear them.”  Sitting Bull We return to the Blackhawk Museum in Danville for a very special Docent-led tour of Kenneth Behring’s collection of Western Memorabilia.  The collection started when Behring was only 12 years old and found an arrowhead at his home in Pennsylvania.  He eventually made his way “out west” as an adult, discovering in Cody, Wyoming a collection that more than seeded what is now comprised of over 9000 pieces.  This is a very special exhibit at a very special museum; after the tour, consider having lunch (not included in cost) as you can return to the museum afterward – our admission covers the entire day’s visit, not just the Behring exhibit

ΦBKNCA 31st Annual Asilomar Conference – A great success! Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 10-13, 2017.

Visit to SF MOMA for Saturday, January 14, 2017. We will determine which of the tours as we get closer to the date. The SFMOMA website has ample information and by January some new exhibits may be available for us to choose. See

Thursday, November 17, 2016. Cline Cellars, Mission Models Tour and Wine Tasting. A historic display of all 21 California missions, built to scale in 1939 for the California Pacific Exhibition. The building was designed and constructed specifically to house these models. Website: The tour will be followed by a wine tasting.
In 1939, the California Mission Models made their debut at the World’s Fair at Treasure Island. Their construction was based upon two years of research and was completed by a team of German cabinetmakers under the direction of Italian artist Leon Bayard de Volo. All were designed to scale, are faithful representations of the original missions, and are finely detailed down to the shrubbery and the figures utilized. Materials used in their construction include wood, clay, glass, cast iron, paperboard, and real plant material. As a collection, the models are acclaimed as an extraordinary and accurate depiction of California history.

In 1998, the Cline Family saved the models from being auctioned off individually, and in 2005 created the museum as a fitting showcase for these historical treasures. In addition to the models, the museum also features a life-size figure of Father Junipero Serra, mission paintings by artists Robert Morris and Henry Nelson, and two stained-glass panels originally housed in Mission Dolores prior to the 1906 earthquake.

Visit Ramini Mozzarella. Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm Ramini Mozzarella of Tomales, CA was founded in 2009 by Craig Ramini and Audrey Hitchcock, with a dream of raising Italian water buffalo and becoming the only Americans currently making authentic, artisan buffalo mozzarella. Audrey says “We love animals and wanted to spend our days with these amazing, exotic creatures. We'd learned they could be as loving as dogs if treated with affection and care. We also learned no one at that time was producing buffalo mozzarella in the US. We knew the cheese was incredible, and thought: Americans should have this cheese produced domestically and experience what the Italians have discovered in these rich, porcelain white, creamy balls of fresh cheese. Its shelf life, if made as the Italians do, should be only three days. Importing it from Italy means we are getting it, more than likely, past its prime or previously frozen. The challenge was on and we were ready!”

Audrey will give a 45 minute talk followed by a tasting surrounded by buffalo and a chance to pet the babies. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic and beverage of their choice which can be eaten during the tasting in our picnic area.

Tour the Opera San José. Saturday August 20, 2016 at 11:30 amOpera San José is the professional opera company in San Jose, California, founded in 1984 by Irene Dalis. In 1988, it formed a resident company of principal artists, for which it has purchased fourteen apartment units to provide rent-free accommodation. Until 2004, the company performed in the Montgomery Theater in San Jose's Civic Auditorium complex, but since then it has performed in the remodeled California Theatre, now a performing arts venue in the city.

We will have a backstage visit to see how Opera San José prepares for their productions. Our guide will be Larry Hancock, who assumed the role of General Director of OSJ in June 2014. We will have a brief site visit of the workshop and watch a bit of staging rehearsal. The shops will be empty, but Larry will orient us to how and what they are preparing, there will be no technical staff there on a Saturday.

Visit to the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA - Sunday, July 30, 2016, 11:00 a.m. Docent led tour of the “Great Works” of Asian Art. A premier city center location for a day visiting the area and time afterward to find lunch at one of the many restaurants in that region of the city. This is one of the largest collections and a jewel in the region’s resources for the appreciation and study of the world-wide development of art and culture.

Cruising the Bay from Alameda - Sunday, June 11, 2016, 10 a.m. Starting at the Grand Street Marina in Alameda, we will cruise San Francisco Bay in the comfort of a launch that will take us through the bridges and around the islands and inlets. Here is our chance to get a new angle on familiar surroundings from a convenient starting spot. June 11, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Bring water and snacks and then enjoy one of Alameda’s highly varied spots for exotic cuisine.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner - Saturday, May 7, 2016
It is time for you to put this year’s ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on your calendars!

Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at The Bancroft Hotel on Bancroft Ave. next to the campus of UC Berkeley. As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission and award scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, with the objectives of enhancing the scholars’ educational and research activities and honoring those in their teaching of our next generation.

For those of you who have not been able to come to the Annual Dinner before, we encourage you to do so. In meeting some of these outstanding honorees and learning about their academic interests (as well as renewing old friendships and perhaps getting more involved in our vibrant organization, ΦBKNCA), you will be able to more fully appreciate the value of the programs we offer throughout the year – the funds generated through the Asilomar conference, the many monthly events, and the direct contributions you make!
Enjoy the food, wine and, best of all, wonderful fellowship of kindred spirits.

Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Deadline: Monday, April 16, 2016
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Cost: (per person including tax, gratuities is less than last year!): $60.00
Parking is available across the street from the Bancroft Hotel and is open to the public on Saturday afternoon.

Social hour begins at 4:00 p.m. with a cash bar; dinner, including your choice of entrées (Halibut, or braised beef, or vegetarian-spinach and pine nut ravioli), white or red house wine, will be served at 5:00 p.m. Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.

Saturday, May 7, 2016, 4 p.m. ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner. Deadline: April 16, 2016

It is time for you to put this year’s ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on your calendars! Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at The Bancroft Hotel on Bancroft Ave. next to the campus of UC Berkeley. As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission and award scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, with the objectives of enhancing the scholars’ educational and research activities and honoring those in their teaching of our next generation.

For those of you who have not been able to come to the Annual Dinner before, we encourage you to do so. In meeting some of these outstanding honorees and learning about their academic interests (as well as renewing old friendships and perhaps getting more involved in our vibrant organization, ΦBKNCA), you will be able to more fully appreciate the value of the programs we offer throughout the year – the funds generated through the Asilomar conference, the many monthly events, and the direct contributions you make!
Enjoy the food, wine and, best of all, wonderful fellowship of kindred spirits.

Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016 Time: 4-8 p.m.
Deadline: Monday, April 16, 2016
Cost: (per person including tax, gratuities is less than last year!): $60.00

Fremont Patterson House Friday, April 8, 2016 The 16 room Victorian-era Queen Anne mansion is seated on 205 acres in the heart of Silicon Valley. Filled with original furnishings, it is operated as a museum offering a multitude of events and programming for the community.
The earliest parts of the house date to approximately 1857. The original house was a relatively simple, with only 5 rooms; a parlor, a dining room, two bedrooms upstairs, with a shed style addition containing the kitchen on the rear of the building. It is still a part of the Queen Anne addition!

In 1889 George and Clara Patterson, after 12 years of marriage, added the grand Queen Anne addition. The addition was spectacular, and featured all of the elements which identify a building as a Queen Anne, including the tower, the interesting variety of windows, and the mix of shingles, siding and carvings. The entrance arch design was repeated in the interior.

Elephant Seal guided tour, in Año Nuevo State Park Friday, March 11, 2016,These popular three mile walks over rolling sand dunes last about three and a half hours and are considered moderately strenuous. They operate daily, rain or shine.  No cancellations.  A unique feature of the Central California Coast, Año Nuevo State Park is breathtaking in every season as the elephant seals can be viewed year-round. Pups are born between December and February during the “Breeding Season.” During the spring and summer months, elephant seals come ashore to shed their fur during the “Molting Season.” Each fall, yearling seals “hang out” on the beaches during the “Fall Haul-Out Season.”  Dec-Mar Access limited to guided walks only. A Natural Preserve is designated at Año Nuevo Point to provide wildlife viewing opportunities and minimize disturbance to the animals in their natural habitat.

Don’t Miss the 30th Asilomar Conference, February 12-15, 2016Deadline December 15, 2015
“A faithful study of liberal arts humanizes character, and allows it not to be cruel.”  -- Ovid

Spring is on the horizon, and with it our annual Asilomar adventure! This year’s conference will explore a full array of cultural expressions – international learning, literature, marine biology, opera, neuropsychology, philosophy, world politics, and modern design.  Once again we are fortunate to host outstanding speakers, including several of international stature – as well as two of our own 2015 scholarship awardees.

The Esterházy Quartet Friday, January 8, 2016, Enjoy the sounds of Early Music from the Middle Ages through Late Classical in this thrilling new series featuring some of the hottest period-instrument ensembles in the Bay Area. Experience classical like you’ve rarely heard or seen before in the close-up, intimate theater setting with lush acoustics.Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave, Alameda

Bancroft Rare Book Library Tuesday, December 1, 2015. We will have a presentation by the Bancroft Library staff of their unique collections of manuscripts ranging from Egyptian papyri to the works of Mark Twain and Jack London.
The University Library's Rare Book Collection was founded in 1954 and transferred to The Bancroft Library in 1970. It is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible old, rare, fragile, and sensitive materials over the entire range of the Library of Congress classification scheme. As it is impossible to collect actively in all fields, certain collections are more significant than others. As a rule, the Rare Book Collections avoid the subject areas of law, medicine, music, and East Asian languages, since other campus libraries specialize in these areas. Genealogy and military science are also not collected. An overview of collections provides a brief overview of some of the more important rare book collections available for use at The Bancroft Library.

The Walt Disney Family Museum Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 From Mickey Mouse to Snow White, from Mary Poppins to Disneyland, Walt Disney’s artistry and imagination helped define 20th-century America. The Walt Disney Family Museum brings his legacy to life and invites viewers to find their own creative inspiration in his story.
The museum illuminates Walt’s fascinating life: his tremendous successes as well as his disappointments, and his unyielding optimism as he worked tirelessly to advance the art of animation. Walt was a risk-taker who influenced popular culture through pioneering animated and live-action films, television programs, theme parks, and other new technologies. His story is told through innovative, interactive galleries. Visitors get to know Walt through early drawings and animation, movies, music, and listening stations featuring his own voice, among others. A 13-foot model of Disneyland as Walt originally envisioned it is a perennial favorite with museumgoers.

Located in a historic brick building on the main post of San Francisco’s Presidio, the 40,000-square-foot museum melds history with state-of-the-art technology, including more than 200 video screens sprinkled throughout our galleries. Visitors can also enjoy the Museum Store, Learning Center, and Fantasia-themed theater, which shows Disney classics six days a week.

Chabot Space Center Saturday, October 10, 2015 The mission of Chabot Space & Science Center is to be a place for students of all ages to learn and be inspired about the Universe and our Planet Earth.Founded as an observatory in 1883, today Chabot offers visitors the very latest in hands-on interactive exhibits, displays, and Planetarium shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and of life here on earth. Set amid beautiful redwood parkland in the hills above Oakland, yet just 2.5 miles off the freeway, Chabot is also home to Nellie, Rachel and Leah - their three magnificent telescopes and the largest on the west coast open weekly to the public (shown above is Leah, Chabot's historic 8" Alvan Clark refractor telescope. It is the original 1883 instrument donated by founder Anthony Chabot.). Here visitors of all ages can experience for themselves the wonders of the cosmos as they gaze through the telescopes at distant stars and planets.

California Historical Society on the Anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition Sept. 19, 2015 In the early twentieth century, a splendid walled city of domed palaces, palm-lined courts, and monumental statuary arose on San Francisco's northern shore. The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), a world's fair commemorating the opening of the Panama Canal just nine years after the devastating earthquake and fires of 1906, emerged on 635 acres of land previously underwater. In celebration of the PPIE's centennial, the California Historical Society presents an exhibition exploring the PPIE as a critical event that shaped the San Francisco we know today—a city undaunted by tragedy, audaciously innovative, rising to meet the challenges of the day.

We invite you to take a journey inside the exposition to see what fairgoers would have encountered 100 years ago in the grand palaces, exotic foreign pavilions, and the amusement midway known as the Joy Zone.

Visit to Tara Firma Farms (between Novato and Petaluma) August 13, 2015 After an inspiring talk by Tara, the owner, we will tour the farm (a bit of hill climbing required, this is Petaluma, after all), see pigs in the field without nose-rings, chickens (really free-range) and cows (grass fed, not corn). They rotate the animals from one pasture to another on a daily basis to conserve the land. Tara will tell us about a natural process to raise chickens, pigs and cows - Cage Free, Free Range, and Pasture Raised, and why you might care. Also, how soil/grasses rely on grazing of chickens, pigs and cows; life cycles connecting animals, plants and soils; and how grazing cows can help to solve global warming. After the tour we will have lunch provided by Tara. A bonus for this visit is membership in the farm, normally a $15.00 charge.

Anything Goes! We Celebrate Summer at The Lesher Theater Saturday, June 20, 2015 You will absolutely love this show at the Lesher Theater in Walnut Creek. Winner of the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival, Anything Goes begins with the SS American heading out to sea with two unlikely pairs off on the course to true love, proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Peppering this hilariously bumpy ride are some of Cole Porter’s most memorable standards, including “I Get a Kick out of You”, “It’s Delovely”, and of course, “Anything Goes”.
Some basics: Presented by Center REPertory Company; Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter; Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse; New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman; Directed by Michael Butler.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner - Sunday, May 3, 2015
It is time for you to put this year’s ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on your cal-endars!
Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at The Faculty Club on the campus of UC Berkeley. As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission and award scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, with the objec-tives of enhancing the scholars’ educational and re-search activities and honoring those in their teaching of our next generation.
For those of you who have not been able to come to the Annual Dinner before, we encourage you to do so. In meeting some of these outstanding honorees and learning about their academic interests (as well as renewing old friendships and perhaps getting more involved in our vibrant organization, ΦBKNCA), you will be able to more fully appreciate the value of the programs we offer throughout the year – the funds generated through the Asilomar conference, the many monthly events, and the direct contribu-tions you make!
Enjoy the food, wine and, best of all, wonderful fel-lowship of kindred spirits.
Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015
Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2015
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Cost: (per person including tax, gratuities, parking): $65.00
Social hour begins at 4:00 p.m. with a cash bar; din-ner, including your choice of entrées (seafood, chicken, vegetarian), white or red house wine, will be served at 5:00 p.m. Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.

Historic Stroll through Suisun City with Gary Holloway: Early Days, Refuge for Earthquake Victims, Today. Saturday, April 18, 2015  Suisun City is a small suburban city set amidst the bulrushes and marshes of Solano County. It is one of the oldest cities in California, having been established shortly after the Gold Rush as a port to handle agricultural and timber products for this newly settled part of our state. This area was inhabited for over ten thousand years by the Suisunes, a branch of the Patwin tribe. The name Suisunes means the "west wind". This small city of just a few hundred people became a backwater area, even though it is located on the main transcontinental railroad line, due to the establishment and growth of other nearby better-located places such as Vallejo, Benicia and Fairfield. On our stroll, we will walk Main Street, and find that the three famous large hotels there are all gone, having burned down. And the tallest building in the city, the Masonic Lodge, was pulled down many years ago. From Main Street, we will go through the City Plaza, along the waterfront promenade and through the historic small back residential streets that still contain post-1906 Earthquake housing, all of which capture the unique flavor of this very special place.

Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California - Saturday, March 21, 2015 Our visit to the Oakland Museum is for a special docent-led tour of works from both the museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Illuminating local histories and social forces that changed the face of art in and beyond the Golden State, the exhibition tells the stories of four creative communities at decisive moments in the history of California art: the circle of artists who worked with, influenced, and were influenced by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in San Francisco in the 1930s; the legendary painters and photographers associated with the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s and 1950s, including Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Minor White, and Imogen Cunningham; the free-spirited faculty and students at UC Davis in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley, and Bruce Nauman; and the streetwise, uncompromisingly idealistic artists at the center of a vibrant new Mission scene that took root in the 1990s through the present, including Barry McGee, Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Amy Franceschini, Ruby Neri, Alicia McCarthy, and Rigo 23, along with many others.

Don’t Miss the 29th Asilomar Conference, February 13-16, 2015
Deadline December 15, 2014

Blu Homes Factory Tour: These Are Anything But Ticky-Tacky Boxes! Saturday, January 24, 2015 We return to Mare Island to go behind the scenes and see first-hand the design, engineering and construction of the extraordinary prefab homes being built by this innovative company. Located on Mare Island, Blu Homes has focused its efforts on designing not just “green” but architecturally appealing and surprisingly priced pre-fabricated homes – really eye-opening, modern and efficient, all in a single package. While the Mare Island facility is Blu Homes’ headquarters and design center, their houses are already found across the U.S. from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast.

Due to limitations at this location, we will be touring in groups of 6 with the first group starting at 10 am, the second at 12 noon and the third at 2 pm.

The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 1:00 PM Our final event for this year takes us to see  the California Revels at the Scottish Rite Theater on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Since 1986, California Revels have brought their unique theatrical, participatory arts form to audiences in the Bay Area. Founded by singer, author and music educator John Langstaff in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1971, The Christmas Revels crosses religious and ethnic boundaries and appeals to young and old alike. The Christmas Revels blends traditional music, dance, ritual and folk plays from many different cultures, presented by a large volunteer chorus of children and adults drawn from the community, accompanied by highly talented professional actors, musicians, artists, directors and “bearers of tradition.”
Our show opens in 1930s Appalachia and then goes westward through the bayous of Louisiana and on to the Pacific Coast. And what a trip it will be! We have arranged for great seats in the first 3 rows of the center dress circle at the theater so sign up quickly to secure your places.

Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California Davis Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM Carpooling is strongly recommended for our November event which is a docent-led visit to the Bodega Marine Laboratory. Our day will begin at the BML’s west wing where we will see a 24-foot-long display of many local fish and invertebrates as well as a kelp forest. Beyond the display is a harbor aquarium with anemones and other sub-tidal shore organisms. Other aquaria include local and some unique marine creatures, a tidepool display and much more. For more information and to prepare for this important event, see BML’s website at

The Presidio from Earthquake Refuge to Part of the National Park System Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM We will visit the Presidio to learn about its critical role in the 1906 earthquake to its current transition from a military base to a crown jewel in the National Park System. Our docent-led walking tour will commence at the parade ground flag pole near the Officers’ Club and will allow us to better understand the Presidio’s role while a U.S. Army Post (1846-1994), as a refuge after the earthquake to the present day.

Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection Saturday, September 6, 2014 We return to the de Young Museum today for a docent-led tour of this exceptional collection of indigenous arts from the American Southwest. Over 1000 years’ worth of ceramics, weavings and drawings from both the Weisel collection and the de Young’s permanent collection will be exhibited. Included will be work from Navajo artisans and Hano Pueblo and also Northwest Coast and Plains artists.

Herb Caen Dash with Gary Holloway Saturday, July 26, 2014 For over 50 years, newspaper columnist Herb Caen was the poet and chronicler of San Francisco, working for both the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner.  Herb’s daily column was the most read part of these newspapers and his wit and wordsmithing were legendary in the Bay Area.  Over the years and especially during wet-weather periods, Caen developed a route from his office south of Market Street to his favorite restaurant, Le Central, on Bush Street near Grant Avenue.  He proudly called this route the “Herb Caen Dash.”  To honor Caen, we are going to replicate his Dash route on this walk.  This is a fun and level walk which starts at the main front door entrance to the Chronicle building at the southwest corner of 5th and Mission Streets.

The tour will end at Le Central, 453 Bush Street, and if you are interested in staying there for lunch, indicate this when you sign up for this event.  Certain San Francisco VIPs often lunch there as they did when Herb was still with us.

Visit to the Computer History Museum Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:30 am Here’s our chance to find out why computers go back an estimated 2000 years. Our Docent-Led visit to Mountain View’s Computer History Museum will include the exhibit “The First 2000 Years of Computing,” and the IBM Watson exhibit. We will see and hear the pioneers in computing telling their personal stories and so much more. Our docent will be waiting for us at the museum to introduce us to the fantastic exhibits the museum has organized for us. We will be encouraged to do some “hands-on” games, take pictures (no flashes) and really get involved in the computing

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Berkeley faculty Club
It is time to put this coming year’s ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on your calendars!

Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at The Faculty Club on the campus of UC Berkeley.  The annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission and award scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, with the objectives of enhancing the scholars’ educational and research activities and honoring those in their teaching of our next generation.

If you have not come to the Annual Dinner before, we encourage you to do so.  In meeting some of these outstanding honorees and learning about their academic interests (as well as renewing old friendships and perhaps getting more involved in our vibrant organization, ΦBKNCA), you will be able to more fully appreciate the value of the programs we offer throughout the year, the funds generated through the Asilomar conference, the many monthly events and the direct contributions you make! 
Enjoy the food, wine and, best of all, wonderful fellowship of kindred spirits. Social hour begins at 4:00 pm with a cash bar; dinner, including your choice of entrées (seafood, chicken, vegetarian), white or red house wine, will be served at 5:00 p.m.  Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.

Date:               Sunday, May 4, 2014
Deadline:        Monday, April 14, 2014
Time:              4-8 pm
Fee: $65.00 per person incl. tax, gratuities, parking

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men - Sunday, March 30, 2014 “got you to look after me…and you got me to look after you.” We return to the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma for Steinbeck’s masterpiece.  Directed by Sheri Lee Miller, the play is a bittersweet tale about friendship and hope. Lenny and George can’t count on anything except each other. Working on a ranch, they save their dimes and dream of buying their own farm… but the boss and his flirtatious wife could spoil it all. Don’t miss joining us for this touching portrait of two underdogs in pursuit of the American dream. “Painfully honest… Of Mice and Men packs a punch!” – Back Stage

ΦBKNCA 28th Annual Asilomar Conference – A great success!
Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 14-17, 2014.
$73 of the $100 deposit you paid in 2013 for this Asilomar conference is tax deductible on your 2013 taxes.

Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour Announcement follow-up; in January, date TBA If you remain interested in the tour of the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve in January, please email or call Judy Hardardt ( or 707-696-9498) before November 8.  The tour will take place in mid-January but sign-ups with the California Fish and Wildlife Department cannot be done until the middle of November.  Once I’ve been able to get us signed up, you will be emailed (and an announcement posted on the ΦBKNCA web site) so that you can confirm you’ll be able to attend.  No information as to cost per person is available so far.

A Grand Night for Singing: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Music Saturday, December 7, 2013 This is our “must see” event for this year! A Grand Night for US! The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein in revue at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek will include something from every R&H Broadway musical, including Carousel, Oklahoma!, The King and I, South Pacific, Cinderella, and The Sound of Music.
We have 20 seats blocked out and may not be able to get more so call or email right away if you want to be part of our kick-off to this year’s holidays.

Our Halloween Special Tradition Returns! We visit Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco on Saturday, October 26, 2013 The Master of Suspense loved San Francisco and used its beauty, elegance and mystery to great effect in several films. From Nob Hill to Union Square, we will see some of the hotels, clubs, retail stores and other locations featured in Vertigo and other Hitchcock classics. We'll learn why Hitchcock chose these locations and how he filmed them. And we'll learn about their history, architecture, and the stories they tell about San Francisco fifty years ago and today.
We will meet at the fountain in Huntington Park, off Sacramento Street between Taylor and Mason. The tour ends in Union Square and includes a steep downhill walk. And a steep walk uphill back to your car (or take a cab).

We Will Tour Oakland’s Paramount Theater Saturday, September 21, 2013! The San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Carroll described the Paramount as the world’s best haunted house with its “tunnels, trapdoors, secret doors, crawl spaces” to quote part of his article on the theater. We will visit this gem of old time movie theaters with its gaudy, rococo, ornate, not-long-ago restored interior including the definitely working Wurlitzer organ. This is a not-to-be-missed event.

Pirates of Penzance at Santa Rosa Junior College Summer Rep – Sunday, August 4, 2013 Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance has been enjoyed by audiences worldwide ever since 1879. Pirates of Penzance was the fifth of the collaborations by G&S and includes the much-parodied “Major-General” song. We will be attending the final matinee performance of the SRJC Summer Rep, and for those  interested, we will stay afterward for an early dinner at one of the many superb Santa Rosa area restaurants.

All Aboard for the Western Railway Museum! Sunday, July 7, 2013 We will be experiencing California as it was 100 years ago, taking a 10-mile electrically powered train trip through the peaceful, picturesque Montezuma Hills over the original historic main line of the Sacramento Northern Railway. As a living history museum, the Western Railway Museum gives visitors the opportunity to ride authentic historic streetcars and interurban electric trains from all over California and the western United States. After our train ride, we will tour Car House 3 to see the train cars and trolley cars that have been restored, are in the process of restoration or waiting patiently for the volunteer hands that will skillfully bring them back to life.

Tour of the Stanford University Campus – Saturday, June 8, 2013 Mission accomplished! We will meet at the oval east of the quad (Palm Drive) where we can find parking and begin our tour of the Stanford University campus, focusing on the historic architecture from the early days to the present. Our tour will be led by Gary Holloway, tour guide extraordinaire, and will include historic buildings and their stories, the chapel, the rose garden and will end at the Hoover Institution, hopefully with a great overview from the top of the tower.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner –  Sunday, May 5, 2013

We Return to Mare Island – Wednesday, March 27, 2013 At the special request by many ΦBKNCA mem­bers, we will be returning to his­toric Mare Island for a docent-led visit. Our tour will include St. Peter’s Chapel with its Tiffany stained glass windows, the Mare Island Artifact Museum, the Admiral’s mansion, and the Colonial Revival era Officers’ Row mansions. We will also be able to check out the dry docks along the waterfront of Mare Island Strait.

A bit of history: David Glasgow Farragut founded the Mare Island Shipyard in 1854 and the Navy closed the yard in 1996. During the active period, over 500 ships, including nuclear submarines, were built at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

ΦBKNCA 27th Annual Asilomar Conference – A great success! Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 15-18, 2013.

Tour of the Oakland Aviation Museum – Saturday, January 19, 2013 From the early days of aviation until the start of World War II, the Oakland Airport was one of America’s most significant airports. The Aviation Museum includes in its displays aircraft from the Wright Brothers Model EX to the Short Brothers Solent MKIII, the “flying boat”. We will enjoy a docent-led tour of the Museum and learn the ins and outs of these early days of aviation. We will get a chance to appreciate where we started and how our aircraft developed over the years.

Hallowe’en at Cypress Lawn Cemetery: The High Society Tomb Walk. Saturday, October 27, 2012, 1:30 pm   Our annual Hallowe’en Special this year will focus on the famous California pioneers interred at Cypress Lawn Cemetery. These people played important roles in the development of San Francisco and the Golden State itself. Our docent is a local historian who has written numerous articles on California pioneers as well as several books on Peninsula history. Don’t miss this very special event! Boo!

Take me out to Ball Park: A Player’s Eye View of Baseball’s Perfect Address! Saturday, August 18, 2012. It’s the ballpark where home runs can be “splash hits” and the breathtaking Bay view rivals the action on the field. It’s where one of baseball’s most hallowed franchises plays inside an architectural landmark.

Our behind the scenes visit to AT&T Park will start with a private tour taking us to places only the players and staff go and includes the field warning track, a dugout, the visitor’s indoor batting cage, the visitor’s clubhouse, the press box and a luxury suite. Following the tour, we will enjoy lunch at the park that includes sandwiches, chips, bottled water & dessert prepared by Boudin Bakery.

San Mateo County History Museum, Redwood City - Saturday, July 21, 2012, 11 AM. The San Mateo County History Museum is an innovative regional history center located in the Old County Courthouse in Redwood City. Featuring interactive experiences, the History Museum's long-term exhibits are the place where we can explore San Mateo County’s rich and colorful history. On the National Register of Historic Places, the 1910 courthouse features a stained-glass dome and mosaic tile floor. Glenn Allen designed the building to look as impressive as San Francisco City Hall.

Born Yesterday at the Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma - Sunday, June 3, 2012, 2 PM. Garson Kanin’s wonderful comedy, so appropriate in the 2012 election year filled as it is with tales of Washington political insiders, greed and government cover-ups, will be our treat of the month in June. Sign up early as these tickets will be going faster than Emma 'Billie' Dawn – live on stage – can answer the phone.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

San Francisco Palace Hotel—Historic Tour - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 Majestic. Spectacular. Words fail to convey the extraordinary beauty of the elegantly restored Palace. See this 1909 Beaux Arts gem for yourself, and discover why it's consistently ranked as one of the top luxury hotels in the world! We will meet our tour guide on the right side of the hotel lobby at approximately 10:45am. Consider staying for lunch at the hotel after the tour is completed. Be ready to learn lots of history! Enjoy checking out this site:

The 27th Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

You Say “En-dive” and I Say “On-deev” -Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Remind you of a song? But let’s not call the whole thing off. This is a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the only place in the US where Belgian-style Endive is grown/produced. And it’s in our backyard. We will visit California Vegetable Specialties in Rio Vista to learn all about endive from Richard Collins, the UC Davis grad who started the business. After our visit, we will adjourn to The Point Restaurant ( for a special luncheon with lots of ways to continue learning about endive and to enjoy a very special surprise guest.

Holiday Traditions at Filoli Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Our visit to Filoli two years ago for their “Holiday Traditions” was such a success that we are doing it again! Come and enjoy the excitement of Filoli’s spectacular nine-day Holiday Traditions event. Shop the Holiday Boutique, with its wide range of unique holiday gifts to be found throughout the house, while performers sing and play seasonal melodies. Filoli will be decorated for the holidays from top to bottom, both inside and out. Weather permitting, we will be able to explore the gardens as well as doing some Holiday shopping. We will stay at Filoli for lunch as well (reservations will be made for all of us) and if we are as lucky as we were at our last visit, we will leave feeling totally spoiled!

Physicians: Saints or Scoundrels and Millionaires Row at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland—Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Close enough to Hallowe’en for our visit to the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland’s answer to Pere Lachaise in Paris. We will enjoy a guided introduction to the final resting places of Charles Crocker, Julia Morgan, Thomas Hill and more. The cemetery was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and its spectacular vistas of the Bay Area are in themselves worth the visit. Our visit will involve using cars to take us to the various points of interest to save us time and energy and to allow us to focus on the stories shared by our docent.

Private Docent-Led Tour: Marine Mammal (Rescue) Center – Friday, September 23, 2011 The mission to expand knowledge of marine mammals—of their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation, is the overriding objective for the hard-working people at the Marine Mammal Center. Their core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers and an engaged community.

We will have a docent-led tour of the facility, escorted through this unique outdoor animal rehabilitation hospital, have our questions answered, and learn the stories of the current patients. We will view seal and sea lion patients and learn how the hospital functions, look into key areas such as the fish kitchen, chart room, laboratory, and post-mortem area (optional). Depending on the number and type of patients they have onsite, we may be able to watch animal-care crews in action preparing and offering food, cleaning pens, and helping with medical procedures, as well as observe technicians doing laboratory analyses. Hands-on experiences with rescue equipment and touching pelts enhance the tour and highlight the characteristics, behavior, and adaptations of the seal and sea lion patients.

Visit to Cheese Country – Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company – Saturday, August 27, 2011  “Our cows eat local grasses all year long. The milk is consistent in our stable coastal climate. The salty, Pacific breezes help cure and age our cheese and we don't rely on milk from any other farm. This allows us the ability to guarantee consistent, supreme quality all year long.” Bob Giacomini, owner.

Thanks to the recent article in Sunset Magazine, it was really difficult to get a good date to visit the Giacomini Family Farm in Point Reyes, especially since we wanted it on a Saturday so that all members could sign on. Our visit to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and their new cooking school, The Fork, will start with a one-hour tour of the farm, possibly led by owner Bob Giacomini. Following the tour, we will enjoy a cheese presentation with a 1½ hour focused tasting of 5 cheeses paired with accompaniments and two wines. We will also have the opportunity to sample cheeses not yet on the market from the private cheese cellar. For more information about this Giacomini Family venture, visit their website at

Southwestern Banded Blankets: Three Cultures, One Horizon – San Jose Quilt Museum – Thursday, July 21, 2011 After a hiatus of several years, we are visiting the San Jose Quilt Museum once again. This time we will enjoy a docent-led tour of a unique exhibit and the first of its type to focus exclusively on banded blankets by Native American weavers. These utilitarian and simple striped blankets showcase the rich cultural tradition of the Pueblo, the Navajo, and the Spanish Colonial Rio Grande blankets of the “Four Corners” area of the American Southwest. United by common elements of stripes and indigo coloration, these blankets are elegant in their design composition, sophisticated balance, and amazing variety.

Southwestern Banded Blankets provides a special opportunity to examine the austere beauty and subtle variations of three traditions of these rare, well used textiles. A catalog of the exhibition will be available.

Ruth Bancroft Garden Tour, Walnut Creek — Saturday, June 4, 2011 – Deadline May 28 We’re having a docent-led tour of the famous Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. Learn all about how the garden was created, about the plant collection and about water-wise gardening. Our tour will last about 1½ hours, after which we are free to explore at will, check out the plants for sale and learn about the many programs offered at the garden. If you receive this before May 28 and are interested, call Judy Hardardt (707) 696-9498.

Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest The Arts of the Missions of Northern New Spain: 1600-1821 at the Oakland Museum of California Thursday, April 14, 2011
This exhibition, which originated at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (Mexico City), explores the rich artistic legacy of the Franciscan and Jesuit mission churches in northern Mexico and the American Southwest. Many of the missions were exuberantly decorated with lavish paintings, sculpture, furniture, and liturgical objects and vestments. The exhibition will showcase 125 objects from collections in Mexico, the US, and Europe, including many from the missions themselves. OMCA is the only California venue for this traveling exhibition and one of only two in the United States. Website

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

VIP Visit to Michael Mondavi’s Folio Winery in Napa. Saturday, March 26, 2011 It amazes me that it’s just seven years ago that the Michael Mondavi family purchased the property that has become the home to both Folio Winemaker’s Studio and Folio Fine Wine Partners. The former produces such wines as I’M (Isabel Mondavi) Wines, Oberon, Hangtime, Spellbound, Medusa and Mahoney Vineyards. The latter represents wines from California, Argentina, Italy, Austria, Spain and New Zealand.

I first became aware of Folio when I was in of all places, Lincoln, Nebraska. Seeing wines by Frescobaldi on a restaurant wine list, and being a fan of that particular winery which is a centuries old family operation outside Florence, Italy, I bought a bottle to enjoy with dinner. Checking the label to find out who was importing it, I discovered Folio in the Carneros district of Napa listed as the importer. I’d never heard of Folio, but as a former Napa resident, I contacted them as soon as I was back home. Needless to say, that Folio was the creation of Michael Mondavi made me more interested.

Twenty of us will have the very pleasant experience of visiting the Folio Winemaker’s Studio and enjoying a VIP introduction to Folio in its many “iterations.” Included will be tasting of Private Cellars wines – some from the Frescobaldi Family – all complemented by a selection of cheeses for pairing with the wines. A vineyard tour and more are included. Our group size is limited so as to maximize the quality of our experience.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

Docent-Led Tour of the Charles Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, Thursday, January 20, 2011 Our docent-led tour of the Charles Schulz Museum is built around the museum’s mission to preserve, display and interpret Schulz’s art. The Peanuts Cartoon Strip collection of over 7000 drawings is the heart and soul of the collection and spans Schulz’s work from 1950 to 2000. The tour will last about 45 to 60 minutes after which we can explore the permanent and special exhibit galleries on our own and/or enjoy lunch in the “Warm Puppy Café.”

Holiday Tour of Dunsmuir Mansion, Oakland – Saturday, December 4, 2010 Our holiday tour is to one of the gems of the Bay Area. Dunsmuir's volunteers will have worked more than 5,000 hours to transform this 16,000 sq.ft. mansion into a magnificent masterpiece of an Edwardian holiday display. Each room will be decorated with elegant holiday trees, garlands, antique furnishings, and festive decorations. Our visit is a self-guided tour of approximately 45 minutes, and while the grounds are open from 11 am to 5 pm, our actual tour of the mansion will begin promptly at 1 pm. Our tickets include the scheduled mansion visit, access to the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate grounds and activities, and the gift shop. Note: carpooling suggested; limited parking on street or possibly on the grounds for a fee.

Customized Wine Tasting Event at Thomas Fogarty Winery--Saturday, November 6, 2010 What began as a pastime is today the Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyard, one of the San Francisco Peninsula's most respected wineries. A Stanford Cardiovascular Surgeon and world-renowned inventor, Thomas Fogarty took up home-winemaking in the early 1970's in a small cabin on the current winery site. He planted his first grapes in 1978, and in 1981 established a commercial winery in the historic grape growing region of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Twenty-five acres of Burgundian-style varietals are planted on the 325 acre estate, focusing on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and small lots of Merlot and Sangiovese. The winery property, located directly west of Palo Alto and Stanford University, sits on Skyline Blvd. at a 2000-foot elevation. The long, cool growing season and excellent sun exposure provide an ideal climate for these grape varieties. Dr. Fogarty's vision is to produce high quality, character-filled wines which take full advantage of the unique soil and climate of this appellation.

Our visit to the winery is customized for Phi Beta Kappa members and their guests and will include a more detailed and in-depth wine-tasting experience with wines specially selected to accompany the program which explores the history and operation of this extraordinary winery.

Chocolate Fest! Saturday – October 9, 2010 Chocoholics beware! This event is being held on Saturday so that those of us still gainfully employed can participate. The Chocolate Tour we did last year in San Francisco was great and we're hoping to top that this year when we visit the Belmont Congregational Church where we will be able to sample the wares of some 20 different vendors of chocolate, including their ice cream, gelato, brownies, cakes, cookies, truffles & candy of every sort as well as chunks of pure chocolate. And, in addition to all the chocolate, we'll enjoy free champagne and coffee, plus the atmosphere provided by the Michael Medwid Jazz Trio. There are also a chocolate boutique and prizes. This is a charitable event benefiting community programs such as Samaritan House, Second Harvest Food Bank, Interfaith Hospitality Network.

Rosie the Riveter & WWII Home Front National Historical Park – Thursday, September 16, 2010 One of America's newest historical parks, Rosie the Riveter & WWII Home Front National Historical Park is right in our own backyard. While we all know the stories about Rosie, our visit to and ranger-led tour of the park will give us the "nuts and bolts" (pun intended) behind the myths and legends of this fascinating effort which took place during World War II.
The Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Richmond's Marina Bay Park is fully accessible and open year round, dawn to dusk, as are the other Richmond city parks within the National Park's boundaries. The SS Red Oak Victory Ship was built in the Kaiser Shipyards and is located in Historic Shipyard #3 in the Port of Richmond. For those of us who collect them, a National Park PASSPORT STAMP STATION is on the Ship. Be aware that the ship has a steep gangplank, and is not fully accessible.

Walt Disney Family Museum – Wednesday, August 18, 2010 When you wish upon a star…the Walt Disney Family Museum, recently opened on the grounds of the Presidio, will allow us a peek into the life of this fascinating and creative man, his achievements, his stories, and his entrepreneurship. The 10 interactive galleries in the museum, its theater, the models of Disneyland and more, illuminate Disney's successes, disappointments, and never-ending optimism. The creator of Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disneyland, and the global yet distinctly American company that bears his name, Disney was a risk-taker who started his first business at the age of 19 and worked tirelessly to elevate animation to an art form.

Tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco - Thursday, June 3, 2010 One of the world's foremost collections of historic United States currency can be found at the San Francisco Fed.  Our 90 minute-long pri-vate tour of the Fed will include the Currency Pro-cessing oper-ation areas, the cash vault, the interactive lobby exhibit and the historical currency collection. Be prepared for a unique experience! No souvenirs or samples will be available, however.

NOTE: We are required to provide the Fed with the names of everyone in our group two weeks prior to our visit. Please bring a form of identification (passport, driver's license, or state-issued identification card) with you. The name on your ID must match the name on the list we will be providing them prior to our visit.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Enjoy Brunch and Theater with Mark Twain! at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma Sunday, April 11, 2010, Time 11:30 am to about 4 pm Is He Dead? by Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives.

After his obituary was mistakenly published in the American press, Mark Twain sent a cable from London stating "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Unlike what appeared in the newspapers, rumors of this play were not exaggerated - it received its world premiere on Broadway in 2006 - and it’s a live one! Jean-François Millet, a brilliant but unrecognized painter, can’t sell a landscape to save his life (literally). His wacky bohemian friends convince him that faking his death is just the ticket for raising his stock. So Jean-François disappears from life and re-emerges as his imaginary twin sister, a widow both mad and madcap. Here’s gold dust in your eyes, as extended horseplay involving the stench of Limburger cheese and the deconstruction of a woman of “artificial parts” will make you howl for more.

Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of The Pharaohs, de Young Museum, San Francisco Wednesday, March 3, 2010 Here is a great chance to see the updated "King Tut" exhibition, especially for those of us who missed the one back in the 1970s.
More than 3,000 years after his reign, and 30 years after the original exhibition opened in San Francisco, Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt’s celebrated “boy king,” returns to the de Young Museum. It is a glorious exhibition of over 130 outstanding works from the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as those of his royal predecessors, his family, and court officials.

Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period of Egyptian history. The boy king died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 18 or 19, in the ninth year of his reign (1322 BC). Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings was filled with magnificent treasures meant to ensure his divine immortality. Many objects belonging to the young king—exquisite personal items used in his daily life—were placed in it.

All of the treasures in the exhibition are more than 3,000 years old. Note that this is not a docent-led tour as they are available only at 8 or 8:30am (before the museum opens). Audio guides will be available at additional cost.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

San Francisco's KQED Radio and TV Education Network Thursday, January 21, 2010, Cows in the KQED Studios? Take a nostalgic trip through KQED's history, starting in the 1950s. This docent-led tour will take us through the KQED facility and includes the history of public radio and television and the current challenges they face, such as funding, political and other external pressures. Our tour will include the FM Master Control Room and a "working" studio, the videotape library, TV Facility (Studios A & B, Production Control Room, Equipment Rack Room, Edit Suite, Ingest Suites and Master Control Room). In addition, we will visit KQED Interactive and have an overview of their Web Site and the KQED Education Network.

The San Francisco Gourmet Chocolate Tour Saturday, November 7, 2009 “Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”  

Do you love fine chocolate? Join us in San Francisco for a private Chocolate Tour with Gourmet Walks! Our guides will take us on a delicious three-hour walking and tasting tour of the city's best chocolate makers. We'll learn about how fine chocolate is made, understand its health benefits and see the latest trends from bean to bar. We'll visit seven different gourmet chocolate boutiques in downtown San Francisco, and taste a variety of bars, bon-bons and hot chocolate. Since the days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco has had a love affair with chocolate and is now at the center of the new wave of artisan chocolatiers, experimenting with high quality beans, new production methods, exotic fillings and breathtaking packaging. Come find out why! 

And, we will also get "Chocolate Lover Cards" to use on future chocolate shopping trips! 

Our tour leaves at 2:30 pm sharp from Justin Herman Plaza, located at the foot of Market Street and the Embarcadero. Our group will meet at the base of the AMERICAN FLAGPOLE at 2:20 pm, close to the Hyatt and the entrance to Embarcadero Center. Look for the tour guide with her umbrella!

Tour of Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, including Tao House- Saturday, September 19, 2009.  Deadline: September 1, 2009 "I will always be a stranger who never feels at home…who must always be a little in love with death." The Long Day’s Journey of Eugene O'Neill began in New York City where he was born in 1888. It encompassed infancy in hotel rooms and theater wings, Catholic boarding schools, Princeton University, Honduras, South America, flop houses, a TB sanitarium and so much more.
One of America’s most prominent playwrights, Eugene O’Neill won four Pulitzer Prizes and the Nobel Prize for Literature for his playwriting. He is often thought of as the father of modern American drama for the new, uniquely American style of tragedy he created. Eugene wrote what he considered, and what many critics consider, his best work while living at Tao House.
During our tour, we will no doubt learn some tidbits about O'Neill's family and background, such as the fact that his father was the famous late 19th Century actor James O’Neill who is best known for playing the Count of Monte Cristo over 6,000 times. Or, that Greta Garbo made her talking picture debut in the 1930 MGM version of O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “Anna Christie.”
Accessibility: Transportation is accessible to wheelchair users with advanced notice. The first floor of Tao House is accessible. A media presentation of the second floor guided tour is available.

Historic Tour of the Presidio of San Francisco-Tuesday, July 14, 2009.  Deadline: July 1, 2009

Did you Know? In the three days following the 1906 earthquake, the Army's refugee camps at the Presidio issued 3,000 tents, 12,000 shelter halves, 13,000 ponchos, 58,000 pairs of shoes, and 24,000 regulation blue shirts.

Did You Know? In 1915, a tragic fire at the Presidio claimed the lives of General Pershing’s wife and his three daughters. Pershing's son, Francis Warren, survived the blaze and chose to enlist in the army as a private during World War II. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of major.

Did You Know? The Presidio has a rich cultural history spanning back to the time of the native Ohlone people. The Spanish arrived in 1776 to establish the northernmost outpost of their empire in western North America. The Presidio then fell under Mexican rule for 24 years before the U.S. Army took control of it in 1846. Over 148 years, the U.S. Army transformed the Presidio grounds from mostly empty windswept dunes and scrub to a verdant, preeminent military post. Since 1994, the Presidio has been a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Our tour of portions of the Presidio by one of City Guides’ docents will cover the extensive history of the Presidio while we explore its historic places.

A Visit to Bay Area Turtle and Tortoise Rescue- Saturday, June 6, 2009 Lewis Carroll: "We called him Tortoise because he taught us…Achilles had overtaken the Tortoise, and had seated himself comfortably on its back... 'You flatter me - flatten, I mean, said the Tortoise; for you are a heavy weight, and no mistake! Well now, would you like to hear of a race-course, that most people fancy they can get to the end of in two or three steps, while it really consists of an infinite number of distances, each one longer than the previous one?' "
The largest tortoise refuge in northern California is in our own backyard, where Ginger & Gary Wilfong care for hundreds of injured, threatened, and unwanted tortoises and turtles at their home in Castro Valley. We will visit the refuge and learn how this dedicated couple found their mission in life, rehabilitating and releasing back into the wild when they can, and how they care for the tortoises and turtles when release is not possible.

The Bay Area Turtle and Tortoise Rescue doesn’t have a website, but some articles have been written. For links to some great pictures and more information, see the ΦBKNCA online newsletter at

Quarryhill Botanical Garden Highway 12, Glen Ellen, CA - Saturday, May 16, 2009 Quarryhill Asian Botanical Garden, a world-renowned botanical institution with living examples of the beautiful and threatened temperate flora of East Asia, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2007. Home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented wild-source Asian plants in North America and Europe, Quarryhill Garden covers 20 acres of land in the Mayacamus Mountains of eastern Sonoma County. Our docent-led visit to Quarryhill is the first for ΦBKNCA and we will have the opportunity to see rare and endangered species from both China and Japan which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world.

Following the tour, we will be able to picnic at the garden's lovely picnic area, so bring your lunch with you or stop at the Glen Ellen Village Market (707-996-6728, ext. 16) to pick up your box lunch that you can order ahead.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Private Docent-Led Tour of "The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan"- Wednesday, April 22, 2009 The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan. Asian Art Museum We will enjoy a private docent-led tour of this exceptional exhibit, com-prised of more than 100 works of art dating from the eighth to the twentieth centuries, including thangkas (paintings on cloth), gilt bronze sculp-tures, and ritual objects.

Located in the Himalayas to the east of Mount Everest and Nepal, Bhutan is unique as a sovereign nation that has maintained its culture, arts, and religious and political traditions intact. It is one of the few countries in Asia that was never colonized by its neighbors or by Western powers. The first exhibition of its kind to focus on the Himalayan nation's Buddhist culture, The Dragon's Gift provides an exceptionally rare opportunity to view some of the most sacred and beloved Buddhist arts of Bhutan. Many of the objects remain in ritual use in temples and monasteries and have never before been accessible to a Western audience. In an unprecedented effort, the exhibition also documents ritual Buddhist dance forms through video footage that will be shown on monitors situated in the galleries.

Note: The Café Asia at the museum will be available to us for lunch. If you are interested in lunch at the café, please include that information when you send in your reservation coupon and payment for the event.

Treasures of the San Francisco Mission District, Thursday, March 19, 2009. The largest collection of Hispanic murals in the world outside of Mexico are found in San Francisco's Mission District. We will see approximately 80 of the almost 200 murals chronicling Latino history in a tour led by Gary Holloway, Bay area walking tour guide extraordinaire.

Included in our visit to the Mission District will be a stop at the Precita Eyes Mural Center, home of Mujeres Muralistas, where about 90% of the murals are created by women and where we will also have a chance to learn about their educational programs and community outreach efforts.

In addition, the tour includes a visit the Cesar Chavez School and Balmy Alley, both displaying a collection of extraordinary murals. Our visit will culminate in a stop at San Francisco's oldest ice cream parlor, the "St. Francis", complete with its original soda fountain, where we may enjoy lunch or some good ice cream concoctions.

The New California Academy of Sciences! Friday, February 27, 2009.    In September 2008 the new Renzo Piano- designed academy opened its doors to rave reviews. Blending seamlessly into the landscape of Golden Gate Park, this architectural gem is an epitome of energy efficient design, topped with a 2.5 acre living roof of native plants.
   As we tour the Rainforests of the World exhibits, the Philippine Coral Reef, have a virtual African safari, visit the Morrison Planetarium and enjoy the Academy Gardens and the Living Roof, we will have Docents and Academy staff available at each point to help us get the most out of our visit. In addition, if you so choose, Audio Tours are available for $7.00 each. We will end our visit at approximately 1 PM with "Dutch Treat" lunch at the Academy Café. After lunch, you will be on your own to continue your visit or to go home for a nap.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

Blackhawk Automotive Museum - Saturday, January 17, 2009. Deadline December 17, 2008.   The Blackhawk Museum, opened in 1988, showcases about 90 cars, many of which are on loan from Museum friends worldwide. These automotive treasures are a carlover's dream, blending art, technology, culture and history, including a treasure of coach-built cars.
   Cars frequently arrive at the Museum after they have been exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance each August. Thus, at Blackhawk, these same cars can then be seen all year long. This concept keeps Blackhawk's exhibition diverse and ever-changing; in recent years Museum visitors have seen such spectacular Pebble Beach entrants as a 1903 Mors J. Rothschild & Fils limousine, a 1909 Winton Touring Model 17, a 1911 Mercedes Labourdette Skiff, a 1936 M.G. PB Airline Coupe, a 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 S.I. Spyder, and the 1937 Figoni et Falaschi Delahaye 135 that received Best of Show during the Pebble Beach Concours' 50th anniversary in 2000.  

We will enjoy a docent-led tour of the museum which will take approximately one hour; you will be free to enjoy the museum following the tour. The museum is located at the end of the Blackhawk shopping plaza, which includes an assortment of boutiques, restaurants, galleries and many other shops. With a stream running through its manicured landscaping, from the fountain atop the Museum's plaza to the outdoor terrace of the Blackhawk Grille, the Plaza provides a unique shopping experience as well as lunch. For more information on the plaza

Tour of John Muir Home and Historic Site: Saturday, November 16, 2008. My life these days is like the life of a glacier…one eternal grind…soon I'll throw down my pen and take up my heels and go mountaineering once more. So said John Muir on one of those days we all have now and then. But for Muir, this was not a fanciful dream but a definite reality, for Muir was to many of us the original mountain man. He was famous as a preservationist and as a naturalist - if it hadn't been for John Muir, Yosemite National Park might never have been created. Muir was also personally involved in the creation of the Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Mt. Rainier National Parks. Muir is also credited with the founding of the Sierra Club (with William Colby) in 1892 and served as the Club's president until his death in 1914.
   The John Muir National Historic Site is located in Martinez. Our tour will include a docent-led tour of Muir's home and the property that surrounds it.

History Cruise on the USS Potomac: Thursday, October 2, 2008. The USS Potomac was first commissioned "The Coast Guard Cutter Electra" on June 30, 1934. She was subsequently re-commissioned "The USS Potomac" in 1936, after being chosen to become the Presidential Yacht, enjoyed by then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his "Floating White House". The Potomac is docked in Jack London Square. The history tour will include the story of the ups and downs (literally) of the ship and how she was adapted to serve the needs of a physically handicapped President, and all the while we will be enjoying the very special views one can only get from the waters of the San Francisco Bay.
Be sure to bring sunglasses, a jacket and a cap or hat that will not blow off and land in the water. Binoculars and cameras are also a good idea. We will meet at the dock at Jack London Square no later than 10:30 AM as the ship leaves the dock at 11 AM. We will complete the tour at approximately 1 PM. Lunch will be available at area restaurants of your choice.
Access: The Presidential Yacht Potomac does not fully comply with the facility access standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The facility allows limited access for the mobility impaired. Potomac docents or staff are available to provide access assistance to mobility-impaired.

Jack London State Historic Park – Friday, September 19, 2008. I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. Jack London (1876 - 1916)
Once known as Jack London's "Beauty Ranch," the park's 1400 acres include the Beauty Ranch, Museum, Wolf House ruins and more than 10 miles of trails. Our visit to the park will include a docent-guided tour that will include the House of Happy Walls, the Londons' gravesites and the ruins of the Wolf House. A service is available for members needing assistance getting to the Museum and the Wolf House. We will enjoy a picnic at the park after the tour, so bring a brown-bag lunch. After lunch, you are free to explore other areas of this fascinating facility. For those with ambulation problems, a cane may be useful, since some of the paths are a little narrow. For additional information, including a video

Repeat Tour of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory – Thursday, September 11, 2008, 10 AM  We are providing this tour again; last year we were obliged to turn some prospective attendees down because the Lab bus, which transports us from downtown Berkeley to the Lab, seats only 20 people.
  You will recall that the Laboratory was founded many years ago by late Berkeley professor Earnest Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron. Dr. Lawrence was the first member of the UC Berkeley Faculty to win a Nobel prize. Since then, this same research facility has received at least ten more Nobel awards. Owned by the United States Department of Energy but operated by the University of California, its research facilities are available to any qualified scientist in this country, and possibly from other countries as well. We have been promised guides who will discuss topics of research at the Lab different from those that were discussed on the prior tour.

Tour of the Buck Institute on Aging - July 17, 2008   While the process of aging is one which none of us can escape, as Winston Churchill once remarked, “It’s better than the alternative!” As those years roll by at an ever-speedier pace, we all recognize the problems that arise with aging. Some of us may have already experienced these in our parents: alterations in physical status, cognition and memory, ability to carry on the activities of daily living, (the ADL’s of the geriatrician), medical care including medications, boredom and in some instances, especially in women who tend to live about five years longer than men, loneliness.
   The problems bear especial relevance in the US with the aging of the baby boomer generation. As a result of a number of factors, the percentage of our elderly population, as in all developed countries, is increasing rapidly. It is estimated that by 2050, one third of the US population will be elderly.
   The Buck Institute, located in Novato, California and funded by the Buck Trust, was established to approach aging problems through research and education.
   Dr. Leonard Buck was a pathologist on the staff of University of California Medical Center; his wife was trained as a nurse. Prior to Mrs. Buck’s death, she wisely asked that part of the estate be used to “extend help toward the problems of the aged.”
   Located on approximately 488 acres on Mount Burdell in Novato, The Buck Trust opened its research Institute in 1999. To learn about some of its research projects, as well as its facilities for education, visit where a wealth of information on the nature of the Institute’s priorities and programs may be found. Better still, visit the Institute in person by filling out the coupon for our private, pre-arranged tour, and mailing it with payment as indicated on the coupon in the next newsletter.

Tour of the Audubon Canyon Ranch: The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve - Saturday, May 17, 2008   This past July our members enjoyed a tour to a remarkable area, the Bolinas Lagoon of the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Marin. Because of its enthusiastic reception by the attendees, we have scheduled a second tour on Saturday, May 17, 2008.
   This delightful site consisting of hillsides, coastal scrub, redwoods, chaparral and many hiking trails was saved in 1962 for posterity. The dedication of private individuals made possible its purchase and donation to the Audubon Society.
   Webster’s Dictionary defines a lagoon as a “shallow sound...or pond communicating with a larger body of water.” The Bolinas Lagoon is much more than just a body of water, however. In addition to providing a major nesting colony for The Great Blue Heron and the Great Snowy Egret, it attracts a wide variety of ducks and other birds as well. Our tour is scheduled for a time when the chicks will be hatching and visible.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Tour of UC Berkeley Botanical Garden - Saturday, April 12, 2008   There is a fabulous garden in Berkeley covering 34 acres. The Garden, a part of UC Berkeley, boasts a scientific collection of over 13,000 plants from all over the planet arranged in geographic order. Nine major regions are represented, including a Mediterranean garden, an Asian garden, a Southern African garden, a “New World Desert”, a South American garden, a garden representing Australasia, a Mexico/Central American garden, an Eastern North American garden, and, of course, a California garden. Since picnic tables are available, bring a brown bag lunch. After completion of the guided tour, visitors are free to explore other areas of this beautiful facility. For those with ambulation problems, a cane may be useful, since some of the paths are a little narrow.

San Francisco Civic Center Tour, March 13, 2008 Most of us have been in the vicinity of the San Francisco Civic Center on one occasion or another. One of our most popular mentors, fellow Phi Bete Paul Cooney, will be our guide. Although the tour is listed as the Civic Center Tour, Paul assures me that his emphasis will be  on City Hall, one of the most impressive municipal halls in the United States.  Paul has selected  Thursday because on Thursdays, some of the sessions in progress are open to the public. The tour will also include the San Francisco Public Library. Tour lasts about two hours, and should conclude by noon.
For those who may wish to have lunch in the area afterwards, there are many good restaurants, including Citizen Cake at 399 Grove where lunch is available until 2:30 PM. Some members have expressed interest in having lunch after the tour at the Carème Room, sponsored by the California Culinary Academy, located at 625 Polk Street near Turk. For more information and reservations call (415) 771-3500, or reservations may be made online at, specifying Carème Room. Lunch there is available between 11:30 and 12:45 by advance reservation. Our guide, Paul Cooney, may have additional suggestions for lunch in the Civic Center area.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

Anchor Brewery Tour January 11, 2008 Over the past two years, one tour has out-subscribed all others in popularity, the tour to San Francisco’s beloved brewery, founded in the late nineteenth century. We’ve been most fortunate in obtaining permission to schedule another tour of the Brewery this coming January 11, 2008, Friday, at 2:00 PM. The tour might be entitled Brewing 101.
Our guide, an employee of the Brewery, is most knowledgeable about the wide variety of ales and other brews created at this immaculate, state-of-the-art institution. The tour lasts about two hours, and involves some walking up and down stairs. Tasting of a number of samples is offered. One caveat. Be cautious about just tasting a very small amount  if you are the one who drives home!

deYoung - Tour of the Louise Nevelson sculpture exhibit - Saturday, November 3, 2007 Come join us for a guided tour of an exhibit of one of the most innovative and ingenious American artists of the twentieth century. No ordinary artist, Louise Nevelson was a pioneer in the art of transforming found objects into fascinating works of art. The de Young Museum of San Francisco has mounted an exhibition of more than seventy examples of her craftsmanship. Her art is unique in the true sense of the word. As mentioned by the Museum, her work is a not only a story in sculpture, but also the autobiographical statement of a gifted woman artist. The exhibit is drawn from many public and private collections and comprises both sculpture and works in paper. The Whitney Museum in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Walker Art Center and the Jewish Museum of New York have all participated in loaning examples of her work.

Filoli Tour in the autumn - Friday, September 28, 2007 Because of its beauty and the diversity of its plantings, Filoli has always been a popular destination for lovers of flowers, the out-of-doors, and the green world in general. While many of us have had the pleasure of visiting Filoli in the past, to fully appreciate its beauty, one should visit it in the different seasons of the year. A guided tour is being arranged for us in late September. Here’s our opportunity to visit Filoli in the autumn. Granted, it is not identical to fall New England foliage, but it certainly is still a glorious experience. For visitors in wheelchairs, certain paths of the garden are accessible. For more detailed information, consult Filoli’s website:

Tour of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory September 7, 2007 Come visit a world famous scientific and historic landmark, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Berkeley Lab is the home of the first cyclotron, invented by the Laboratory’s founding father and UC Berkeley’s first Nobel Laureate, Ernest O. Lawrence. Discover how the Laboratory, founded in the depths of the Great Depression, initially in a small wooden building, went on “from typewriter to cyclotron” to win a total of eleven Nobel prizes for its distinguished and brilliant staff. High on the hill overlooking the UC Berkeley campus (the view of the Bay is great), the Laboratory is the oldest of the US Department of Energy’s laboratories. Its annual budget exceeds 500 million dollars, and it employs 3,800 persons, including over 500 students. It is organized into a multitude of scientific disciplines. Next best to visiting the Lab in person, one may appreciate the full extent of its scope by pulling up its website at One of California’s most innovative and prestigious scientific institutions, it is well worth a visit.  A two-hour guided tour of the Berkeley Laboratory has been arranged for us on Friday, September 7. We are to meet in downtown Berkeley and will be transported by bus as a group to the Laboratory.

Tour of the Audubon Canyon Ranch: The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve, Saturday, July 7, 2007 The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve is a thousand acre sanctuary located on the lower portion of the Marin peninsula, above Stinson Beach. It consists of open hillsides, coastal scrub, grassland and chaparral, redwoods, stream ponds and freshwater march habitats. The Preserve supports a major nesting ground for herons and egrets, particularly the Great Blue Heroin and the Great and Snowy Egret. The Preserve is a part of the Audubon Canyon Ranch, founded in 1962 to save the nesting colony of egrets and herons. These beautiful birds nest each spring in the tops of tall redwood trees in Picher Canyon. In the nearby Lagoon and tidelands, they find food for their young and themselves. All sorts of wildlife in addition to the herons and egrets abound in the area. Although eight miles of hiking trails are available, facilities are also available for the less ambulatory among us. There are picnic tables; bring your brown bag lunch with you, and your camera and binoculars. It’s an opportunity to enjoy a charming area of our state; don’t miss it! Website:

Nob Hill Walking Tour - Saturday, June 23, 2007 Come join our expert City Guide, and fellow Phi Bete, Paul Cooney, on a tour of San Francisco’s legendary site, Nob Hill. Famous hotels are to be found here, including the luxurious Huntington, the Fairmont, the Mark Hopkins, and the Stanford Court. Learn about the background of the men behind these institutions who amassed the wealth that enabled them to build these magnificent facilities. Other features include a great cathedral, the Pacific Club, and many other points of interest. Paul is a walking encyclopedia on the subject of San Francisco. He assures me that most of the walk is on a level surface, although it does involve one moderate grade. We will meet in front of the entrance to the Stanford Court Hotel. The hotel is on the corner of Powell and California, and the address is 905 California Street.

Chinatown Walking Tour, Saturday May 19, 2007 What could be more San Franciscan than its Chinatown, the largest enclave of its kind outside of Asia? Come join us for a walking tour, led by a City Guide expert. We will visit the side streets and alleys of this colorful section of the City.

Learn about the family associations, the sewing shops, and other community organizations. Visit the live markets with their chickens and turtles, and the produce markets; view the famous Chinatown Gate, and check into some of the art galleries. Inquire of your guide regarding the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, and such fascinating Chinese style buildings as the Bank of America and the Bank of Canton. Explore the shops offering a multitude of Chinese products. Check into the wide variety of Churches, and the better restaurants. City Guides are very well informed and welcome questions.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

RAILROAD MUSEUM TOUR IN OLD SACRAMENTO - Friday, April 20, 2007 All Aboard for the Railroad Museum! History buffs, and non-history buffs, you're all welcome! Come visit one of the renowned Museums in all of California, the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. Even those of you who have never experienced the fun of traveling on a Pullman car as a youngster, hauled by a steam locomotive chugging away, punctuated by the lonesome and haunting warning of the train as it approached automobile intersections, you'll love this visit to California's and America's past. With the advent of the transcontinental railroad, following the Gold Rush, the trials and tribulations of crossing the continent in a covered wagon became a thing of the past. The transcontinental railroad project took place largely during President Lincoln's administration, but the event was clearly overshadowed by the Civil War. (Lincoln, himself, had been an attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad).

The construction of the railroad was accompanied by many collateral events, including the importation of Chinese workers who played a vital and valuable road in its construction, the development of locomotives powerful enough to scale the mountain ranges of the great west, and the culmination of the joining of the two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, with the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah in 1869. (The Golden Spike National Historic Site is now part of the National Park Service).

Our tour begins with a movie, followed by a tour of the exhibits. The great locomotives of the past have been lovingly restored. Special features are the Pullman dining car and the Pullman sleeping car. Don't miss this tour!

Stanford Mansion Tour - Saturday, March 3, 2007 website One of the truly historic sites of California history is located in the former home of Leland and Jane Stanford. As a result of the efforts of a foundation, formed to restore the home as it was in the 1860's and 1870's, we now have an opportunity to experience the home as the Stanfords knew it in their lifetime. Interactive exhibits, artifacts and an orientation film are part of the visitors' legacy. One may observe many of the original furnishings of the Stanfords, the polished wood paneling, gilded mirrors, and crystal chandeliers. Visitors are also welcome to stroll through the Victorian Garden surrounding the Mansion.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

San Francisco Bay Area Model Tour - February 6, 2007 Come join us in exploring the Model of the San Francisco Bay Area. We have arranged for a guided tour in early February. The Bay Model is a most remarkable learning facility dedicated to explaining the geography, the ecology and the human and natural history of the San Francisco Bay and Delta around which we live and probably largely take for granted.

The Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for most of the dredging and filling projects around the Bay, maintains the Bay Model in one of the original Marinship warehouses. The model is a two acre functional scale model of the entire Bay and Delta region, built originally to test bay fill projects, such as the Reber Plan, and which is now used primarily as an educational display. It is the only remaining, intact, and functioning hydraulic model of this size in America, and it shows the whole of the Bay and Delta region, surrounded by displays and kiosks.

Explanation of the tidal action, and the currents and eddies become more relevant as we recall the disastrous Tsunami which occurred in Asia recently. The Model provides a dynamic example of the various natural phenomena affecting our coastline. The Model is located close to Sausalito, and is best reached by automobile. After visiting the Model, we will have a much better appreciation of the unique area in which we live.

Anchor Brewing Company Tour - Thursday, January 11, 2007 Website Come sign up for what has been one of our most enjoyable and informative tours , the venerable (1896) Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco. Although limited to a maximum of twenty persons, and to weekdays, since the Brewery is closed on weekends, the popularity of the tour was self evident. Accordingly, we decided to repeat the tour this year.

The tour is conducted by a member of the Brewery staff, who is most knowledgeable, which is fortunate since beer making is a very old industry.. One soon learns that there are a multitude of varieties of beers and ales. The facility is spotless and immaculate, and most impressive.

The tour lasts about two hours, involves some walking, and tasting of the various beverages is offered

San Francisco Holiday Walk - Friday, December 8, 2006 This is the fourth year of one of our most popular programs.
In describing the details of the walk, with Jean James’ permission, I’m going to repeat, with some personal modifications, part of her enthusiastic description of this highly successful event!
Are you under the impression that Christmas decorations are just a few features of Macy’s window? Bestir yourself! Come join us for a guided tour of the uncommon holiday decorations in San Francisco. Our guide again will be Tom Filcich, an experienced tour guide for the College of Marin. We’ll visit many sites not usually included in ones daily routine. The artistry and design of many of these decorations demonstrate the virtuosity of their creators, and truly constitute a visual feast. Like Cleopatra, they are “of infinite variety.” In addition to the buoyant spirit of the holiday season, the walk enables one to become acquainted with a number of the major buildings and institutions, which play so vital a role in the life and commerce of San Francisco. The history of the individuals who inspired and built some of them will be mentioned. Be on the lookout for the portraits of two famous nineteenth century gentlemen, magnificent in their bearded state, Mr. Wells and Mr. Fargo, adorning the wall of the institution which they founded. Tom is very well informed, and welcomes questions.

We will meet in the atrium of the Ferry Building, near the Peet’s Coffee location, at 10:00 A.M., and make our way to Union Square. At the conclusion of the walk, those who wish to do so may dine at one of the many restaurants in the area, or do some holiday shopping. Lunch is not included in the fee.

Hawk Hill Tour-Saturday, October 28, 2006 California Wildlife viewed from Hawk Hill in the Marin headlands, is one of our most popular tours and for good reason. At this location, very close to the northern exit of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a remarkable opportunity to personally witness the fall migration of raptors (birds of prey). Among the birds that fly over this area, depending on the time of year, are: Ospreys, white-tailed kites, Northern harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, Golden eagles, and American Kestrels to mention just a few.

Ranger\Naturalist Phil Johnson will be our guide as we ascend Hawk Hill, where some of these remarkable birds can be observed during their fall migration. We may also have the chance to witness some captured birds and observe the banding process. There will also be a talk on the subject of avian raptors. Interested members are urged to obtain a wealth of more detailed information available at the very informative Golden Gate Raptor Observatory website:

Dress warmly, since this is scheduled for late October. Bring sunscreen just in case the sun shines, binoculars if you have them, and your own lunch and water, since there are no food facilities. Although there is no picnic area, one may sit anywhere while watching the birds. All trash must be packed and removed from the headlands. Portable restrooms are available.

Walking Tour of the Landmark Victorians - Saturday, October 14, 2006 View some of the most colorful and famous Victorian homes of Alamo Square in San Francisco with a member of Phi Beta Kappa as our personal guide! The Painted Ladies include the world famous Postcard Row. The walk does entail some upgrade, but our guide has promised to be considerate of the physical limits of our group. PBK member David Paul Cooney will meet us in front of 824 Grove Street.

Mission Murals- Saturday, October 7, 2006 Treat yourself to an artistic display of world famous, fabulous, colorful murals in the Mission District of San Francisco. City Guides provides a walking tour, complete with personal guide, through a most unusual collection of decorated buildings in an unforgettable display of people’s art. Some of the murals depict historical, Latino legendary figures. Meet at Precita and Harrison behind Flynn Elementary School. Some murals may be view here

ALERT ALL ART LOVERS! READ THIS NOW!- Friday, September 15, 2006 Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco exhibit entitled “Monet in Normandy” For art lovers among our membership, and for fans of French Impressionism, in particular, we have the opportunity of a lifetime! The Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco has just announced a forthcoming exhibit entitled “Monet in Normandy”. This is a traveling exhibit and will be on display only three months, from June 17 to September 17, at the Museum. We have arranged to have a guided tour, just before the exhibit leaves San Francisco, of 50 magnificent paintings by the celebrated French painter whose painting “Impression of the Rising Sun” gave its name to the Impressionist School. (We don’t expect that painting to be on display, but if you look to your left, there it is!) Some of his works will include his paintings of Rouen Cathedral, the seaside at Trouville, and the beautiful water garden he created at his home in Giverny. We fully realize that the September Newsletter will barely have arrived in your home before the date of our tour, September 15! Nevertheless, after consultation with other members of our Board, we have decided that this is too outstanding an opportunity to forego. Please spread the good word to other members of our organization about this epic event.

Computer History Museum Tour, 1401 North Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA Website Saturday, July 15, 2006 Looking back over the years, there was that new medium, radio. The early radios had huge speakers and earphones, and squawked with static a good deal. Then television came along with initial black and white screens not much larger than an unabridged dictionary in diameter. After an interval, color television arrived on the scene. Now, we are immersed in the computer age, the latest development in telecommunication. Computers are still relatively “new” in that all of the technical bugs haven’t been eliminated. What could be more timely than to visit the Computer History Museum in the heart of Silicon Valley? Some of the earliest computers models are on display: Eeniac, Johnniac, Cray 1, Apple 1, among many of the earliest prototypes.

Tour of Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex The San Francisco Opera House and Veterans Building\ Herbst Theatre Monday, June 19, 2006 We shall have an opportunity to tour three of the major centers of the performing arts in San Francisco, as well as review some local and world history. Davies Hall is celebrating its twenty-fifth birthday, which makes this a timely opportunity to review the features of Davies Hall. Because of their proximity, we shall also have the opportunity to visit its two historic neighbors on Van Ness Avenue in the Civic Center. The three structures face San Francisco City Hall. For the curious, we’ll find out who Ms. Davies was; learn about the construction of the War Memorial Complex, and its historic role as the birthplace of the United Nations. We’ll also note the site in the Opera House where the United Nations Charter was signed by President Truman and other world leaders on June 26, 1945. We’ll have an opportunity to view some of the glorious features that characterize both the Opera House and the Herbst Theatre. Also of historic interest in the Herbst Theatre are the famous murals originally commissioned for the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, and executed by Frank Brangwyn, a famous Belgian muralist. The tour will take only an hour or two, and will be geared to the walking limitations of the tour group.

Note: Ms. Virginia Miller, the person in charge of the tour of the three performance halls at the Civic Center telephoned me after receiving my letter confirming our "Backstage Tour". She corrected the misimpression I was given that this was a Backstage Tour. It is a "Front Hall Tour" of all three buildings, as advertised, Davies, Opera House, and the War Memorial including Herbst Hall.

Holy Trinity Cathedral Saturday, May 13, 2006 We Americans pride ourselves on the diversity of our population. Except for native Americans, we are all either immigrants or descendants of immigrants.One of the most remarkable examples of our diversity is the Holy Trinity Cathedral, located in San Francisco. The congregation which first engendered the Cathedral traces its roots to December 1857 with the founding of the Greek Russian Slavonian Orthodox Eastern Church and Benevolent Society.

At first, chaplains from Russian Navy ships visiting San Francisco Bay served the spiritual and sacramental needs of the congregation. In 1868, an Orthodox Priest from Alaska was sent to conduct services during Holy Week. In 1878, another Alaskan missionary became the first Rector of the San Francisco parish. Over the years, many distinguished pastors served the congregation on a regular, full time basis.

The bell tower of the Cathedral contains five wonderful bells donated by the Emperor Alexander III in 1888. The temple itself is illuminated by a grand chandelier donated by the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. Tradition has it that he also donated a beautifully decorated icon of his patron saint, Nicholas of Myra and Lycia to the Cathedral. Many other highly valued objects as well as gorgeous icons are features of the Cathedral. Today, the Holy Trinity Cathedral is a multinational American Orthodox community, and the only one in San Francisco which conducts its services in English.

Join us in visiting this remarkable institution in the heart of San Francisco. The Right Reverend Benjamin, Bishop of Berkeley has kindly agreed to serve as our guide.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Architectural Tour of the New de Young Museum Saturday, April 1 at 9:30 AM Note: While the tour is over (and we had a great time), we strongly recommend that you go visit the Arts and Crafts Exhibit entitled "International Arts and Crafts: William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright" at the Museum from 18 March 2006 —18 June 2006. For more information, see the website at

The de Young Museum has been a beloved feature of the Bay Area dating back to the late nineteenth century. For the past several years it has been closed during construction of its beautiful new home. The new “state of the art” de Young Museum is now a reality! It’s here, awaiting our critical inspection.
Located in the heart of Golden Gate Park at 50 Hagiawara Tea Garden Drive, the museum is once again available as a favorite center for art appreciation and edification Our docent guided tour, will last about an hour, emphasizing the art and architecture of the Museum. You are free to inspect any other collections of special interest to you following the guided tour. Lunch, not included in the price of the tour, may be obtained afterwards at the Museum Cafe.

Centennial Exhibit of the San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco MOMA Saturday, March 25, 2006 It was on the eighteenth of April, not in “75" (1775) but in 1906. Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House; Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton had flown their Wright flyer less than three years before at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and a young Swiss patent clerk had just published some obscure physical theories a year earlier. Although sliding tectonic plates were unheard of then, the young City of San Francisco was suddenly torn asunder by one of the most devastating, destructive earthquakes in human history. Commemorating the centennial of that tragic episode, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has mounted a magnificent exhibition of photographs not only from its existing collection but also from privately held pictures of the event as well. Our personally guided tour of this exhibit, the opportunity of a lifetime, indeed of a century, is scheduled for Saturday, March 25 at 11:15 A.M. at the Museum, 151 Third Street in San Francisco.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

The Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room Thursday, January 19, 2006. Plan to visit the beautiful Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room. The Institute, a genuine treasure of San Francisco, is currently celebrating its 150th year of existence. Located downtown within one block of Market Street at 57 Post Street, the Institute is indeed a remarkable and unusual organization. First established in 1854 by tradesmen and engineers, a subscription library was soon organized which now encompasses the humanities and the arts as well as technologic subjects. In addition to serving as venue for a series of monthly lectures, the Institute also serves as the home of the Chess Club, the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States. The current photographic exhibit covers 150 years of San Francisco history as well as that of the Institute in those formative years. We will assemble in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the library.

San Francisco Holiday Walk Friday, December 2, 2005 This walk was so popular the last two years that we are re-running it…. Do you think of Christmas decorations in San Francisco as Macy's windows and Union Square? Are you suburban types longing for an adventure? Then you are in for a treat. Please plan to join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco holiday scene you have probably never before experienced. Tom Filcich, who regularly leads walking tours of San Francisco for the College of Marin, will be our guide to places most of us never see - at least not during the holidays. We plan to meet at Peets Coffee in the Ferry Building Lobby at 10 a.m. During our three-hour walking tour, we will explore the new Ferry Building, visit hotel lobbies, and see business decorations that you never dreamed existed. We will end our tour with lunch, at your own expense, at the San Francisco center, which offers a variety of choices and prices - not to mention shopping opportunities. After that, you are on your own to shop or return home at your leisure. The cost is $20 per person and our group is limited to 30 people. Dust off your comfortable walking shoes and plan to join us on Friday, December 2, 2005 for a holiday experience you will not soon forget.

Eye Hawks on Hawk Hill Saturday, October 22, 2005 Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands is one of the best places in the U.S. to witness the fall migration of birds of prey. Join Ranger / Naturalist Phil Johnson as we trek up Hawk Hill looking for HAWKS, FALCONS, EAGLES, HARRIERS, AND OSPREY. During the right conditions, this spot can produce over 100 HPH (hawks per hour). There will be a raptor talk, and we may be able to see the captured birds and a banding demonstration. We may also be able to see the raptors released into the wild while we are there (depending on if (awkward construction??) they catch the birds, of course).

Special Notes: Bring binoculars, snacks, sunscreen and water. All trash must be packed out of the headlands. There is no picnic area on Hawk Hill, but you can sit down anywhere on the Headlands to eat and enjoy the view. There are portable restrooms at the location. Meeting Place: We will meet at the restrooms at the entrance of the tunnel before the short walk up to Hawk Hill (about 500 yards).

Sebastopol Apple Farm Tour (no worms allowed!) Saturday, October 15, 2005 Sebastopol used to ship thousands of tons of apples all across the country. But, the success of the wine industry has led to most of the apple orchards being replaced by wine grape vineyards. Even those who continued in the apple business saw the focus move from fruit to juice. Then, the competition came from Washington State, and now China dominates the apple juice producing market. However, there are a few hardy survivors, like Lee Walker, who are determined to preserve the heritage of apple production in Sebastopol. The Walker family currently grows 25 varieties of fruit annually. Lee Walker sees the future of local farms in specialty and heritage apple crops.

Join us for a tour of the operations of this family business. Due to the nature of this family owned and operated business, we will be starting early for our tour to avoid interfering with business operations, and will not have access to the entire property. However, the family has graciously allowed us to visit, and will share a 45 minute tour covering the history of the business, how it is run, the types of apples grown, and answer questions about their apple growing operation.

During our tour, we will be allowed to taste up to 15 varieties of specialty apples grown on the farm. At the end of the tour, you will have an opportunity to purchase the apples you have tasted (and can’t live without!).

See Historic Petaluma! Saturday, September 24, 2005 Few cities in America have earned the reputation that Petaluma can claim. From one of California’s largest cities (1860s) to the "World's Egg Basket" (early 1900s) to Telecom Valley, Petaluma is an economically thriving and progressive community.

From the 1880s through the 1940s, Petaluma became famous as a poultry town and was known as the "World's Egg Basket". Petaluma was home to the world's only Chicken Pharmacy (as featured in National Geographic and Ripley's Believe It or Not). Great wealth was accrued during this period and is still evident in commercial buildings and homes from that time. Come join us for a docent-led walking tour of the historic "A" Street District, including the Old Palms B&B, the St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, and many Victorian-era homes. Following the docent portion of the tour, we will be touring a Julia Morgan private home, where we will also enjoy light refreshments. You can drive, or take a 10-minute walk, from the walking-tour location to the Julia Morgan home.

Special Notes: The Julia Morgan home we will be touring is a currently occupied residence. Attendees are requested and cautioned to respect the privacy of the occupants, and not open closets or drawers, or go beyond the bounds of the tour.

Opera House Backstage Tour Tuesday, June 14, 2005 Attention Opera Lovers! Have you ever wanted to know more about the architecture and construction of the Opera House? Have you wondered about its colorful history? Have you always yearned to travel through the auditorium and behind the footlights to the artist dressing rooms, back stage area, and Wig and Make-up Department? If so, this is the tour for you! We will meet at 10:15 am at the Groves Street entrance (opposite Davies entrance) for an Opera Guild docent-led tour beginning at 10:30am.

Treasure Island Walking Tour and Three Course Lunch at the Treasure Island Fine Dining Restaurant Wednesday, April 20, 2005 Treasure Island!! Brainchild of the City of San Francisco - to build a complete island on “shoals” in 1940 to be the official airport. First, however, it would be used for the Golden Gate exposition in 1939, honoring the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, both of which were just completed. Then the Second World War erupted, and the Navy took the island. Let’s meet at the main gate to Treasure Island to see the remnants of the past, the activities of the present, and the projects of the future during a two hour walk. An all-inclusive three course lunch, prepared by students of one of the vocational training programs on the island, will follow our walk. Tom Filcich, who led the Holiday walk, will also be leading this tour.

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Sunday, April 3, 2005 Put your hiking boots on and come join us for a hike of Jasper Ridge during wildflower season. The 1,189 acre preserve is a natural laboratory for researchers, students, and visitors located near the Stanford University campus. It is also a refuge to native plants and animals. The Bay Checkerspot butterfly was studied at Jasper Ridge, demonstrating the value of long-term research in ecology and attracting federal funding of such studies. One monitoring project that hits close to home for many of us has mapped the invasion of Argentine ants and studied their impact on the ecological communities in the path of the invasion. The studies at Jasper Ridge highlight the importance of correlating research and conservation efforts. Come and see the remarkable diversity of the Preserve with us!

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Whale and Bird Watching Saturday, March 19, 2005 Did you know that Gray Whales migrate between the North Pacific and Baja California? This 12,000 mile journey may be the longest migration of any mammal on Earth. Come join us for whale and bird watching out of Half Moon Bay/El Granada as we try to spot the whales on their return trip to Alaska and the Arctic. Other species of whales seen off the California coast include Humpback whales, Minke whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Killer whales. Various porpoises, dolphins and sea birds may also been seen.

Special Notes: Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed as feed, weather patterns, and individuality affect the timing. Please dress in layers and consider if seasickness medication is appropriate. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and of course, your camera.

UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory Saturday, March 5, 2005 Have you ever been in an Earthquake? Did you know that the U.C. Berkeley Seismological Laboratory works with the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor earthquakes in Northern California? On our private tour of the laboratory, we will learn about the history of the lab, and the role it has played in monitoring earthquakes. We will see live displays of seismic data and will have a tour of the engineering lab. There is a seismometer there, so if anyone wants to try making a little earthquake, go ahead and see what happens! At the end of the tour, we will learn the steps that we can take to help prepare for an earthquake.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

Scharffen Berger Factory Tour Sunday, February 6, 2005 Do you need to buy any chocolate for Valentine’s Day? With our tour, each participant will be given a $1 gift certificate that is redeemable in the gift shop after the tour. Scharffen Berger specializes in dark chocolate. They make five types of dark chocolate: semisweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, extra dark chocolate, mint chocolate, and mocha chocolate. They also make milk chocolate and have just debuted a line of confections and truffles. On our tour, we will learn about the history of the company and the history of chocolate. There will also be a chocolate tasting, and a tour through the factory.

After the tour, if you would like to have lunch, there is a restaurant called Café Cacao, and you can try some of the Scharffen Berger chocolate in the desserts. Their phone number is 510-843-6000, and their website is

Special Notes: For safety reasons, closed-toed shoes are required on the tour. There is also an age limit for children. They must be at least 10 years of age to join us on the tour.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum Saturday, January 22, 2005 Come join us for a private tour of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. The museum has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in the western United States, with more than 4,000 artifacts! The museum and collection are owned by the Rosicrucian Order. This fraternal, philosophical organization offers the museum as a gift to the City of San Jose, and the region.

Our docent will provide an introduction to Egyptian history and the museum collection. We will also learn about the kings and queens and the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, the mummification process, the mysteries of the hieroglyphs, and tour a replica rock-cut tomb. There are six mummies on display, and they are all authentic (not replicas). After the tour, feel free to browse around the museum or go to one of the Planetarium Shows. Or, just stroll the grounds with papyrus-lined paths, elaborate fountains, and colossal statues of Egyptian gods.

Special Notes: Picnicking is not allowed on museum grounds. Backpacks and large bags are not permitted inside the museum. No video, tripod or flash photography is permitted inside the museum.

San Francisco Christmas Walk: Friday, December 10, 2004 Do you think of Christmas decorations in San Francisco as Macy's windows and Union Square? Are you suburban types longing for an adventure? Then you are in for a treat. Please plan to join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco holiday scene you have probably never before experienced. Tom Filcich, who regularly leads walking tours of San Francisco for the College of Marin, will be our guide to places most of us never see - at least not during the holidays. We plan to meet under the clock tower at the Ferry Building at 10 a.m. During our three-hour walking tour, we will explore the new Ferry Building, visit hotel lobbies, and see business decorations that you never dreamed existed. We will end our tour with lunch, at your own expense, at the San Francisco center, which offers a variety of choices and prices - not to mention shopping opportunities. After that, you are on your own to shop or return home at your leisure. The cost is $18 per person and our group is limited to 30 people. Dust off your comfortable walking shoes and plan to join us on Friday, December 10, 2004 for a holiday experience you will not soon forget.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum Saturday, November 6, 2004 Come join us for a private tour of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. The museum is dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation and has one of the oldest and largest wildlife hospitals in the country, treating more than 6,000 injured and orphaned animals each year. The museum is also home to the animals that can not be released back into the wild. On our private tour, we will meet many of these animals, and our tour will finish just in time to see the eagle feeding. After our tour, feel free to explore the learning theatre, discovery room, the gardens, and other animal presentations throughout the day.

Tule Elk Walk Saturday, October 16, 2004 Put on your hiking boots and plan to join us for a naturalist-led walk to see the beautiful and regal Tule Elk at Tomales Point near Pt. Reyes. The elk, which used to be abundant in Central and Northern California, were brought to the brink of extinction by hunting and habitat loss. They currently live on approximately 22 preserves around the state. The largest herd of elk can be found on the grasslands of Tomales Point. They received their name because they used to graze on Tule, a kind of sedge or bulrush. They are also known as dwarf elk or “Wapiti” and are the smallest of the elk. Their Shawnee name “Wapiti” means white rump. The Tule Elk have light bodies and dark heads.

The elk’s mating season (also known as “rutting”) begins in July and continues through the middle of October. During this time, the male elk compete with other males. The winning bull gets the harem. Occasionally, bugling, a clear whistle, is heard as part of the mating process.

Dress in layers, as it can be chilly and windy, or warm and sunny. Don’t forget your binoculars (if you have them), and a sack lunch or visit Tomales Bay Foods at 80 Fourth Street. There are also places to pick up a sandwich in Inverness or Olema. Please also be prepared for ticks in the area. There is no restroom at the Tomales Point trailhead. You could stop at the parking lot for the Abbott’s Lagoon trailhead, a couple of miles before the end of Pierce Point Road, and use the facilities there.

After our walk, you may want to stop at one of the three local oyster companies: Hog Island Oyster Company (415.663.9218), Johnston’s Oyster Farm (415.669.1149) and Tomales Bay Oyster Company (415.663.1242). If you visit one of the local beaches afterwards, please note that they have strong currents, and there have been shark sightings.

Our instructor will be the personable and knowledgeable Wendy Dreskin, a naturalist who teaches the popular Meandering in Marin class for adults at College of Marin, as well as conducting weekly nature education classes at various elementary schools around Marin County. She is the winner of the 2003 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

Calling All Olive and Olive Oil Lovers Saturday, October 2, 2004 Do you long for the taste and beauty of Tuscany? Then mark your calendars now and plan to join us on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004, when PBK NCA will have the rare opportunity to visit Nan McEvoy's 550-acre organic olive ranch located at 5935 Red Hill Rd. (between Novato and Petaluma). The McEvoy Ranch features 18,000 olive trees thriving in a spectacular valley near the Marin-Sonoma border.

During the tour, we will visit one of the orchards and discuss the horticulture of growing olive trees, McEvoy’s certified organic practices, and their harvest techniques. (Ours is one of the last public tours before the harvest, so it should be quite impressive.) We will then proceed to the frantoio, or olive milling room, to discuss the McEvoy process of extracting olive oil. The visit concludes with a sensory evaluation, tasting, and discussion of the culinary uses of olive oil.

The tour starts promptly at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. At the end of the tour, there will be time available for shopping in the McEvoy Ranch retail store where you may purchase olive oil, olive trees, other olive oil related products, as well as fresh items produced at the ranch.

Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the tour just a few miles south of the McEvoy Ranch at the Rouge et Noir Cheese Factory (where you may also buy your picnic items), or travel on to Pt. Reyes Station which offers a variety of luncheon opportunities.

Gold Ridge: Luther Burbank's Experiment Farm Saturday, June 26, 2004 You've heard of the man; you may have visited his house and gardens in Santa Rosa. Now plan to join us at his experiment farm in Sebastopol. In 1885 Luther Burbank purchased a cottage and ten acres of farmland west of Sebastopol where he conducted most of his plant breeding experiments and frequently stayed in the cottage overnight instead of making the hour and a half drive to his home in Santa Rosa. After Burbank's death in 1926, his farm and cottage gradually deteriorated until the Western Sonoma County Historical Society began restoration in 1980. The refurbished cottage and remaining three acres of Gold Ridge Farm are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We will have a master gardener demonstration and an approximately hour long docent-led tour of the farm where we will see hybrid chestnuts, walnuts, and quince, as well as many other Burbank plants. In addition to the cottage garden, there are plants for purchase and a small gift shop. Bring a lunch and plan to picnic on the grounds, or explore Sebastopol and the nearby wine country on your own.

Audubon Canyon Ranch Saturday, June 5, 2004 Founded in 1962, this nature preserve is one of the major west coast nesting colonies of great blue herons and snowy egrets. We won't tour all 2,000 acres but we will observe these magnificent birds and their nesting sites and will hear from our naturalist about the native plants and the other animals that find sanctuary at the preserve. We will meet our naturalist at the picnic area, behind the bookstore; for those who would like to come early, we are unable to reserve picnic tables in advance but we will meet at noon. When we visited the Audubon Ranch in 1997, there was no way for those with impaired mobility to view the birds; now the Ranch provides tablescopes at the picnic area for those who cannot manage the walk to the overlook. If you're able, though, be prepared for a moderate, half-mile walk, as we ascend a hill to the Henderson Overlook. Once there, we will have a bird's-eye view (sorry, I couldn't resist!) of the nesting area through powerful telescopes.

San Francisco Pacific Heights Walk Saturday, May 22, 2004 We are extremely fortunate to be able to offer an historical/architectural walk in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco with noted author and historian Professor Charles A. Fracchia. Professor Fracchia teaches at City College of San Francisco and the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and is a founder of the San Francisco Historical Society. Professor Fracchia knows San Francisco intimately and is hugely popular with students for his well researched knowledge of San Francisco and delightful sense of humor. The walk will be a very special treat!

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Takara Sake House, Berkeley Saturday, May 1, 2004 Why is dubbing sake a "rice wine" not quite right? How does the Japanese ceremonial beverage differ from wine? From beer? What is the brewing process? What is a Toji? What ceremonial purpose does sake serve? Why are some types of sake served warm, while others are served chilled? For the answers to these and many more questions (and perhaps to get in the mood for sushi), join us at the Takara Sake House, where our tour guide, Yuka, will lead us through the sake museum and enlighten us. But experience is the best teacher, so we won't leave it at that; we'll hit the tasting bar to truly appreciate the difference between the nation's bestselling sake, Sho Chiku Bai, and, say, Ginjo sake.

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles: Saturday, May 15, 2004 PBK NCA Treasurer, Mary Turner Gilliland, is also President of the Board of Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Mary has arranged a very special private tour for us. Our guide through the exhibits will be both a Phi Bete and the Executive Director of the Museum - Jane Przybysz. The featured exhibit when we visit will be "A Generation Apart: Mothers & Daughters & Art" which highlights the work of three mothers and their daughters. All six women are renowned textile artists. One mother and daughter pair is the Romanian tapestry artists, Lucia and Celina Grigore. Although both make large-scale, hand woven tapestries, the subjects they depict are vastly different. Another of the mother and daughter pairs is art quilters Shirley Tyler and Evelyn Wasson. Though both are deeply rooted in the traditions of American quilt design and construction, Shirley Tyler, the daughter, tends to sensibilities that are more contemporary through her use of scale, bold graphics and strong colors. Finally, the mother and daughter pair Rusty Cantor and Leslie Cantor Fallihee are fiber sculptors. The mother's work suggests the mystery of the cosmos and outer space while the daughter's work is much more minimalist and evocative of inner space. The museum and this exhibit in particular will expand your awareness of what textile art can be.

After our tour, don't miss the Museum's gift shop with its unique, handmade textiles and jewelry. Jane will also offer suggestions for lunch at some of San Jose's excellent downtown restaurants or direct you to other venues to explore while you are in San Jose.

Buck Institute for Age Research Thursday, April 8, 2004 What is the nature of aging? What factors trigger the chronic diseases associated with age? Join us on Thursday, April 8, in Novato to find out the answers to these and other questions. The nonprofit Buck Institute, named for Leonard and Beryl Buck, whose estate has funded its generous endowment, opened in 1999. The 488 acre site has 238 acres dedicated to permanent agricultural use, 70 acres deeded as public open space, and a campus designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei. During our hour and a half tour, we will explore the biological mysteries of aging, experience Pei's architecture, and discover what scientists are learning about Alzheimer's, stroke, and other age-related diseases. Plan to be in the lobby of the building at 9:45 for our tour, which begins at 10:00. Preceding our tour, Dr. Christopher Benz, the Director of the Cancer and Developmental Therapeutics Program, will join us; Dr. Birgit Shilling, staff scientist, plans to join us afterward.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center Saturday, April 3, 2004 The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is part of the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory, a research and education facility of UC Santa Cruz. The laboratory serves as a base for field research in Monterey Bay and the ocean beyond. The Seymour Center reflects the world of the scientist. Rather than the polished, nicely finished look of most museums and aquariums, the interior portrays the labs and seawater aquaria where scientists spend their days. The Seymour Center is organized around the process of how scientists do their work - looking, testing, puzzling and questioning. We arranged a private 45-minute docent-led tour for our group. This will include a tour of the outside grounds with background on the design of the landscaping. We will hear about projects at the adjacent Center for Ocean Health. When we reach the overlook above the dolphin and sea lion pools, we will learn about a current UCSC research project pertaining to these two marine animals. The tour will conclude with advice on highlights to look for when we return to tour the inside exhibits on our own.

Chimney Rock Wildflower Walk Saturday, March 20, 2004 Put on your hiking boots and plan to join us for a naturalist-led wildflower walk at Chimney Rock near Pt. Reyes. In case you have never heard of it, Chimney Rock has one of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in the Bay Area, with 237 recorded species. On the walk we should see mission bells, pussy ears, goldfields, three species of Indian paintbrush, and many, many more. On inaccessible beaches below, we may see elephant seal weaners, pups left alone when their mothers returned to the sea. Perhaps some harbor seals will be swimming in Drake's Bay, and there is always a chance of a northbound gray whale returning from the breeding grounds in Baja. Bring your binoculars (or share our leader's) to spy on birds like cormorants, surf scooters and brown pelicans. The three-mile walk will take approximately three hours, and has some not-strenuous up-hill parts. Bring a bag lunch to enjoy after our return to the picnic area at Drakes Beach. After lunch, you are on your own to explore Inverness, Pt. Reyes Station, the Bear Valley Visitor's Center, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Our instructor will be the personable and knowledgeable Wendy Dreskin, a naturalist who teaches the popular Meandering in Marin class for adults at College of Marin, as well as conducts weekly nature education classes at various elementary schools around Marin County. She is the winner of the 2003 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site Tour & Picnic Saturday, March 6, 2004 Participants at our Asilomar Conference this year will have the pleasure of seeing a one-man show on Eugene O'Neill performed by actor/scholar Kurt Gravenhorst. Visiting the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site would make a perfect follow-up to that program. O'Neill, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes, and the only Nobel Prize-winning playwright from the United States, lived at Tao House in the hills above Danville from 1937 to 1944. O'Neill's interest in Eastern thought and his wife Carlotta's passion for Asian art and décor inspired the name Tao House. It was at this site that he wrote his final and most successful plays: "The Iceman Cometh"; "Long Days Journey into Night", and "A Moon for the Misbegotten". At this 13-acre site, the National Park Service has been restoring and preserving Tao House, plus its courtyard and orchards, and telling the story of O'Neill, his work and his influence on American theater.

Access to the property is limited. Visitors who are part of a pre-arranged tour group are transported to this Historic Site by Park Service mini-bus from a Park & Ride Lot in Danville. So, here is a rare opportunity for a 3-½ hour visit to the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site. The visit will include a guided tour of Tao House, a self-guided walk around the grounds, a chance to shop at the bookstore featuring writings by and about O'Neill, and time to socialize over a picnic lunch with your fellow Phi Betes. Bring along your own beverage and bag or box lunch since food is not sold on the property

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

Auguste Rodin Tour of Cantor Arts Center January 11, 2004 The Bay Area community is very fortunate that Stanford University graciously opens one of its greatest treasures, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts to the public. The Cantor Center owns and exhibits some remarkable pieces of art from several continents and cultures but it is best known for its superb Auguste Rodin indoor galleries and outdoor sculpture garden. Stanford, in fact, owns the largest group of Rodin sculptures outside of the Musee Rodin in Paris. A private 65-minute guided tour of the indoor and outdoor Rodin collections has been arranged for us. You can expect to come away with a greater knowledge of Rodin's life and times and his legacy to the art of sculpture. After our private tour of the Rodin galleries, you have the option of taking a free 2 PM public tour of a special exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center that is on loan only through January 18th. This exhibition titled, "Hudson River School: Masterworks from the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art", features a selection of 55 paintings by some of the world's foremost painters of the Hudson River School, artists who painted magnificent scenes of America's untamed wilderness. Among the painters represented in this exhibition are Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church. Other options include lunching on a gourmet salad or sandwich at the Museum's 'Cool Café', checking out the Museum's delightful gift shop and bookstore, or just wandering the campus where one can't go far without admiring a lovely building or spying an intriguing piece of public art.

San Francisco Christmas Walk Friday, December 5, 2003 Do you think of Christmas decorations in San Francisco as Macy's windows and Union Square? Are you suburban types longing for an adventure? Then you are in for a treat. Please plan to join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco holiday scene you have probably never before experienced. Tom Filcich, who regularly leads walking tours of San Francisco for the College of Marin, will be our guide to places most of us never see - at least not during the holidays. We plan to meet under the clock tower at the Ferry Building at 10 a.m. During our three-hour walking tour, we will explore the new Ferry Building, visit hotel lobbies, and see business decorations that you never dreamed existed. We will end our tour with lunch, at your own expense, at the San Francisco center, which offers a variety of choices and prices - not to mention shopping opportunities. After that, you are on your own to shop or return home at your leisure. The cost is $18 per person and our group is limited to 30 people. Dust off your comfortable walking shoes and plan to join us on Friday, December 5, 2003 for a holiday experience you will not soon forget.

COPIA Saturday, November 8, 2003 In 1988, legendary vintner Robert Mondavi, with his wife Margrit Biever Mondavi and other leaders in the wine community, began to explore the idea of creating a small institution to celebrate American achievements in the culinary and winemaking arts. The idea attracted others, including key institutions involved in wine and food excellence, and soon the University of California at Davis, the Cornell University School of Restaurant and Hotel Administration and The American Institute of Wine & Food were lending their vision and resources as partners. The result is COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. Located on 12 beautiful acres along the Napa River, COPIA is a major non-profit cultural institution devoted to exploring the interrelationships of food, wine and the arts.

San Mateo County History Museum Saturday, November 1, 2003 The San Mateo County Historical Association houses its unique collections in the Old County Courthouse in Redwood City. The building boasts beautiful interiors with a mosaic tile floor, a grand stairway, rotunda, and a jewel-like, stained glass dome. This stained glass dome is the largest of its kind in a public building on the West Coast. Our group will enjoy a private 60-minute tour of the building and its collections. Following are examples of the exhibits we will tour. "Nature's Bounty" tells the story of the Ohlone Indians and how subsequent settlers have used natural resources. "Journey to Work" exhibits the vehicles and modes of transportation used on the peninsula and in travel to San Francisco. "Ships of the World" showcases about 20 model ships, from California's Spanish era through World War II, all painstakingly handcrafted from the actual historic plans of the ships by Charles Parsons, who now lives in San Carlos. In historic "Courtroom A", we will learn about early judges and famous cases that made headlines on the peninsula and in San Francisco.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Saturday, October 11, 2003 Art lovers agree that the treasures of the Asian Art Museum now have a fitting home in The City's former Main Library which has been handsomely renovated. The Museum's collection spans over 6,000 years of history and is comprised of nearly 15,000 treasures. Please join us for a private guided tour of the Museum's permanent collection on October 11, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. After our tour, you will be free to explore the Museum in greater depth on your own. The cost for the Asian Art adventure is $16.00 per person. We must receive your reservations by October 4, 2003.

Guide Dogs Graduation Saturday, July 26, 2003 Guide Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit, charitable organization with a mission to provide Guide Dogs and training in their use to visually impaired people throughout the United States and Canada. The dogs and services are free to those served, thanks to the generosity of donors and the support of volunteers. Guide dog puppies are born of the finest breeding stock, cared for by a devoted kennel staff, and placed in the homes of 4-H families at the age of 2 to 3 months. Later, after the dogs return to the center, professional instructors train them to be guide dogs and teach the class of blind men and women who receive those dogs as guides. To learn more about this fascinating work, join us for a tour of the San Rafael Campus followed by the heartwarming guide dog graduation ceremony.

Our docent-led tour begins at 12 noon, so we need to meet at the Administration Building at 11:55. This tour involves an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes of flat walking and standing. The graduation takes place at 1:30 pM and is held outside. The weather can be very hot and sunny (or cold and foggy), so be prepared to cope with the conditions that day. Also, plan to eat lunch beforehand or afterwards, as no picnics are permitted on the Campus. Cameras are welcome.

Napa Valley Wine Train Saturday, June 21, 2003 Join us at the McKinstry Street Depot in Napa on Saturday, June 21, at 11:30 a.m., for a return to the gracious era of elegant rail travel, gourmet food, and distinguished service. You will enjoy a unique dining experience while traveling through the heart of the Napa Valley in a train the interior of which is reminiscent of the famed Orient Express. Besides marveling at the scenery during the three-hour trip up and down the Napa Valley in the company of fellow Phi Betes, the staff will treat you to a three-course gourmet luncheon, starting with your choice of salad (baby spinach with fresh beets, endive, and candied walnuts laced with smoked goat cheese in honey cider vinaigrette) or soup du jour. Then you choose one of the five entrees (to be served with chef’s accompaniments): either roasted Angus tenderloin in red wine-shallot reduction sauce and fried onion ribbons; or pork tenderloin stuffed with gorgonzola cheese over a potato pancake with mushroom cabernet sauce; or smoked chicken pasta (egg and spinach linguine with onions and mushrooms in roasted garlic cream sauce with artichokes and parmesan cheese; or grilled cedar board salmon over cucumber, jicama and arugula with garlic aioli; or stuffed gypsy pepper (a vegetarian selection of wild rice cake, grilled asparagus and roasted gypsy pepper stuffed with sautéed baby spinach and shallots, with fresh steamed vegetables in a tomato coulis). Meals end with freshly created Wine Train desserts, coffee, or tea.

Winchester Mystery House Saturday, June 14, 2003 The Winchester Mystery House is a registered California Historical Landmark. Both the house and Sarah Winchester, the woman who built it, are intriguing. Born in 1837, Sarah Pardee married William Winchester during the Civil War in 1862 at a time when his father’s "Winchester Repeating Arms Company" was making a fortune producing rifles for the government. Sarah was devastated when her infant daughter died in 1866. 15 years later her husband died of tuberculosis. After that, legend and mystery surround her life. Either friends or a spiritualist urged her to move to California for her health and take up a hobby to distract her from her grief. The hobby she chose was architecture. She bought a house in San Jose and for the next 38 years until her death in 1922, she kept workers busy 24 hours a day building onto it. Legend says she was building all those rooms and odd features like stairways leading nowhere to confuse the ghosts of those killed by the Winchester rifle. Despite the many oddities of the mansion, it includes many outstanding elements of Victorian architecture, beautiful Tiffany glass windows, many touches of fine craftsmanship, and innovative plumbing features.

We arranged a private docent-led tour for our group. The 65-minute tour will take us through 110 of the mansion’s 160 rooms. After the tour, your admission includes admittance to the House’s magnificent gardens filled with fountains and European statuary plus admission to two museums on the estate. One of the museums tells the story of the Winchester Rifle, the "Gun that Won the West". After World War I, the Winchester Company diversified into manufacturing products other than guns. The second museum, "The Winchester Antique products Museum" displays items produced in the 1920s ranging from Winchester cutlery, flashlights, lawn-mowers, boys’ wagons, fishing tackle and roller skates, to food choppers, electric irons, and farm and garden tools.

Luther Burbank Home & Gardens Saturday, May 17, 2003 Luther Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1849. The inspiration for his career as a plant breeder came from his New England farm boyhood and from reading works on plant domestication by Charles Darwin. His first significant "new plant creation", the Burbank potato, provided the income for his move to Santa Rosa, California in 1875 where he lived for the next 50 years until his death in 1926. During his career, Burbank became world famous, introducing more than 800 new varieties of plants including numerous varieties of plums, prunes, nuts and vegetables and hundreds of ornamental flowers including the Shasta daisy and several varieties of roses and lilies. Among the famous people who visited his Santa Rosa home were Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

We arranged a private docent-led tour for our group. Our "deluxe combo tour" will allow us to explore both the Burbank Home and its varied and fascinating gardens, fully.

ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Angel Island Excursion March 22, 2003 Angel Island is the jewel of the San Francisco Bay with lovely views of San Francisco, the East Bay and Marin County. On a clear day you can see . . . well, just about everything in the Bay Area. There is more to Angel Island, however, than meets the eye and we invite you to explore the scenic and historic island with us on Saturday, March 22, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. We will depart from Tiburon aboard the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry for the quick trip to the island. Once there, we will hear a brief history of Angel Island and you will be free to explore at your leisure. While there is some walking involved, this trip will be suitable for children and grandchildren who wish to explore the jewel of the Bay

Filoli Historical House and Gardens March 8, 2003 Located on a stunning 654-acre property in the picturesque Town of Woodside, Filoli features a grand Georgian mansion nestled in sixteen acres of formal gardens. The estate was designed by prominent San Francisco architect Willis Polk and built in 1915 for the Bourn family. It is now a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Please join us Saturday, March 8, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. for a special Phi Beta Kappa visit to Filoli. We will begin with a guided tour of the property and will have time after the tour for a visit to The Garden Shop at Filoli or, if you prefer, a snack at the Quail’s Nest Café, which is located on the property.

Annual Asilomar Conference is coming Feb

Chabot Space & Science Center Saturday, December 7, 2002 The Chabot Space & Science Center offers a wide variety of exhibits, shows and films exploring space and science at its state-of-the-art facility in the Oakland Hills. The Center offers a hands-on glimpse into the sights, sounds and sensations of space and science and its major attractions include the Center's Planetarium featuring laser technology and the MegaDome Theater which has the Bay Area's only 70 mm, 8-perf, projection system. Please join us on Saturday, December 7, 2002 at 1:00 p.m. for an afternoon of fun and learning at the Center. Our visit will begin with a brief welcome/orientation to the Center's exhibits and facilities and will include general admission to the Center. Also included in our visit will be admission to the Center's Planetarium and admission to a film at the MegaDome Theater. The Center has agreed to permit individual guests in our group to view the Center's exhibits, the Planetarium and MegaDome Theater in the sequence that they prefer and shows will be available throughout the afternoon. The Center's Celestial Cafe will be open and the Center also has a gift shop with fun and educational items.

COPIA November 2, 2002 Years in the making and located on the banks of the Napa river in downtown Napa, COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts opened to the public on November 18, 2001 and is already viewed as one of the world's leading cultural centers. COPIA was conceived of in 1988 by the legendary vintner Robert Mondavi and his wife Margrit Biever Mondavi together with other leaders in the wine-making community. Its trustees and honorary trustees include luminaries from the world of wine, food and art such as Julia Child, R.W. Apple, Jr., Eleanor Coppola, Hugh Johnson, Robert Parker, Jr., Martha Stewart, Alice Waters and Wayne Thiebaud. COPIA features demonstrations, exhibits and performances that integrate the arts with the pleasures of food and wines.

Please join us for a very special visit to COPIA on Saturday, November 2, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. The visit will begin with a one-hour, private, guided tour of COPIA which will include an overview of the facilities, the current exhibitions and the 16 different organic gardens that together comprise the 3.5 acres of gardens at COPIA. Our visit will include general admission to COPIA and, following the private tour, you will be free to explore the grounds and exhibits in more depth. Also open to the public is COPIA's special gift shop, Cornucopia, which offers autographed cookbooks, garden implements, and artwork. In addition to all of the dining options located in the surrounding Napa Valley, you also may choose to visit Julia's Kitchen or the American Market Cafe which are located on-site at COPIA.

Marine Mammal Center October 19, 2002 Located in lovely Sausalito, the Marine Mammal Center (MMC) is nationally recognized as a leading rescue and rehabilitation center for marine mammals. The MMC's specially-trained crews rescue more marine mammals in distress -- including seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins and sea otters -- than any other organization in the world. This experience places MMC at the forefront of marine mammal rehabilitation, scientific inquiry and education. Please join your fellow Phi Betes (and guests) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2002 for an informative and educational hour-long lecture on the MMC's work and a tour of the MMC facility. Allow some extra time after the lecture to visit the MMC gift shop or to walk along the scenic Rodeo lagoon which is located across the road from the MMC.

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