Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, Inc.

September 2005 Newsletter

PBKNCA home page

From the President

Dear Fellow Phi Betes:

The Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner in May provided a gratifying culmination to the year of effort on the part of our Board and participating members. We were fortunate to have most of the Teaching Excellence and Scholarship awardees present. As usual we were impressed and humbled by the accomplishments, originality, and dedication their records and their presentations demonstrated. We returned to the UC Berkeley Faculty Club for the dinner, which we have found offers the best combination of cost, ambiance, and location of the places we have tried in recent years. We are willing to consider alternatives, however, so if you know of other suitable venues, please let a member of the Board know.

During the business part of the meeting, the members present approved the dues increase necessitated by the increase in the dues per member we must pay National, and the slate of officers proposed by the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Marvin Richards. The departure of three hard-working members of the Board—Julia Antoniades, Chapter Liaison; Jennifer Jones, Program Chair; and Maria Norall, Recording Secretary—left the Board with three vacancies, and three large pairs of shoes to fill. As reported elsewhere in this newsletter, we succeeded in finding two excellent replacements but still lack a Program Chair. The Program Chair organizes the events (except for Asilomar) from which we generate modest profits that amount roughly to one Scholarship per year and provide the main way members get to know one another and pursue the kinds of cultural activities most Phi Betes enjoy. We realize that in this age of universal busyness the job of Program Chair may be daunting for one person to take on and are willing to consider having two or three co-chairs who can share responsibilities, either by region, by program type, or by season. If you are interested in exploring this possibility, please contact me, .

The summer brings with it travel to distant places, visits with family and old friends, and for those of us with gardens to tend, a constant struggle to keep them from becoming impenetrable jungles. I hope you have enjoyed a fair share of these pleasures over the summer and hope to see you at one of our events this fall.

Respectfully submitted,

President top

Upcoming Events

Person making a reservation MUST BE a Phi Beta Kappa Member, but need not be a member of the Northern California Association.

If you plan to attend any of the PBKNCA events, please clip or copy the appropriate coupon in the hard copy of the Newsletter, fill it out and mail it, with your check, to the address indicated. No confirmations or additional details will be sent; be sure to save this web address or the Newsletter!

First Vice President - Programs

Historic Cinnabar Theater
Petaluma's Historic Cinnabar Theater

See Historic Petaluma! 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.

Date: Saturday, September 24, 2005
Time: 10:00am – 11:30 for the walking tour,
11:30am – 12:30 for the home tour.
Deadline: September 15, 2005

Price: $25.00 per person

Directions to Start of Walking Tour – Petaluma Museum, 20 Fourth Street, Petaluma, CA 94952. Phone 707-778-4398. Website

From South of Petaluma: Take 101 North to Petaluma Boulevard South ramp – go 0.1 miles. Continue on Petaluma Boulevard South – go 2.3 miles. Turn left at B Street – go 0.1 miles. Turn right at Fourth Street.

From North of Petaluma: Take 101 South to Petaluma Boulevard North ramp – turn right at the light – go about 3.2 miles. Turn right at B Street – go 0.1 miles. Turn right at Fourth Street.

Parking: There is an enforced 2 hour street-parking time-limit in downtown Petaluma, so be careful where you park. The parking lots in the city are free and have 2, 4, and 8-hour limits – look for posted signs. There is a parking lot just beyond the museum if street parking is not available.

Directions from Petaluma Museum to Julia Morgan private residence will be given to attendees. Please contact

Useto get specific directions from your location:
Address or Intersection:
ZIP Code:

Picking apples in Sebastopol

Sebastopol Apple Farm Tour (no worms allowed!)

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!).

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2005
Time: Tour 1: 9:30am – 10:15am. Limited to 15
participants. A second tour may be added at 10:15am if enough people sign up.
Deadline: October 1, 2005

Price: $10.00 per person

Directions to Walker Apple Farm, 10955 Upp Road, Sebastopol: From SF and South: Take 101 North to Highway 116 – turn left towards Sebastopol. Go through Sebastopol (North) and continue on 116 for three to four miles after leaving Sebastopol to Graton Road. Turn left on Graton Road (at the stoplight). Follow Graton Road for about two miles and then there will be Walker Apple signs to the Farm.

Note: the Farm is at the end of ½ mile scenic dirt road.


Hawk files awayEye Hawks on Hawk Hill website

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.

Click the picture to see pictures taken on our visit!

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).
Date: Saturday, October 22, 2005
Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm, banding demonstration at 12:30 or 1pm.
Deadline: October 1, 2005

Price: $20.00 per person

PLEASE NOTE: In order for this tour to happen, we have a minimum required participation of 10, and are limited to a maximum of 25. So, sign up early!

Directions to Start of Tour – Hawk Hill - Marin Headlands: From SF and South: Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and take the second exit, Alexander Avenue. Get in the left lane following signs that read "101 San Francisco". Turn left at the stop sign and cross under the freeway. Turn right onto Conzelman Road and drive 1.8 miles to Hawk Hill. Park alongside the road before it becomes one way and then walk up the west side of Hawk Hill past the locked gate. It's just a few hundred feet to the summit. From the North: From the north, after going through the Waldo Tunnel, take the last Sausalito exit to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (the signs read Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Sausalito). Stay to the left. Turn left at the stop sign then right up the hill onto Conzelman Road. Stay on Conzelman Road for 1.8 miles. You will see a sign for Hawk Hill. Parking: Please note that parking is limited and carpooling is the best option.


San Francisco Holiday Walk

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.

Date: Friday, December 2, 2005
Time: 10:00 am
Deadline: November 15, 2005 (limited to 30 participants)

Price: $20.00 per person

Directions: Ferry Building Clock Tower, Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street, San Francisco. The Ferry Building is best reached using public transportation. Marinites can take the 9:15 Larkspur Ferry. Those with access to BART or MUNI can take either to the Embarcadero Station. The historic trolley cars (Line F Market) stop directly in front of the Ferry Building. If you must drive, there are parking lots at the north end of the Ferry Building at Pier ½ and the Pier 3 Washington at Embarcadero Lot. There is limited metered parking on area surface streets. There is also a reasonably priced parking lot at Bay and Embarcadero near Pier 33 but you will have a bit of a hike to the Ferry Building.

Links to:

General Directions
Golden Gate Transit

Larkspur Ferry
Others top

Asilomar 2006: Twentieth Anniversary Celebration.

Administration building at Asilomar

About the Asilomar Conference Center

Asilomar was designed by Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle
Read more about Julia Morgan

Note that our Asilomar Conference now has a special URL

"2006 Program: The Best of the Monterey Bay Area"

Don’t forget our twentieth anniversary! But instead of buying china (traditional) or platinum (modern), all you have to do is mark your calendars now and plan to spend Presidents' Day Weekend 2006 with Phi Beta Kappa at lovely Asilomar in Pacific Grove. We start our retreat on Friday, February 17, and end on Monday, February 20. If you've never heard of Asilomar, or have never been there before, Asilomar is a state conference center in Pacific Grove, a small enclave between Monterey and Carmel. And those of you who are concerned about the weather, you have no cause for worry. The weather in February along the coast is usually better than it is in summer. Instead of that season’s cold and fog, we usually enjoy sunshine. And even if it does storm, temporary inclement weather does little to mar Asilomar’s beauty, and takes nothing at all away from the excellent company of fellow Phi Betes.

Our retreat / conference always begins with dinner Friday evening and ends with lunch on Monday. During the long weekend, we provide a mix of interesting, thought-provoking speakers and activities, as well as ample free time to enjoy the lovely seaside atmosphere. People who work sometimes come late and leave early. It is even possible to "skip" some programs, as no one takes attendance or gives exams. And because some of you wanted to know: Dress is very casual.

The main goal of our conference is for us to enjoy ourselves in a beautiful setting, but our secondary goal is to raise money for scholarships. The $100 per person registration fee is used to cover conference costs (speakers' expenses, a.v. equipment rental, wine with Sunday dinner, postage, duplicating, office supplies, etc.). This past year's profits enabled us to fund two of our $4,000 graduate scholarships. (And for those of you who attended in 2005 and missed this information in the April newsletter, $90.31 of the 2005 $100 registration fee – which most of you paid in 2004 - is fully tax deductible.)

How much does Asilomar cost? The Asilomar fees for 2006 are: $336.55 per adult, double occupancy; single occupancy, $541.15; youth (ages 3-17), $196.57. This includes three nights' lodging and all meals, beginning with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Monday. Asilomar Conference Center handles all room reservations.

The theme for this year’s twentieth anniversary program is the "Best of the Monterey Bay Area." To achieve this goal, we have enlisted the help of one of PBKNCA’s best, Bob Baronian and his lovely wife DeeDee who live in Carmel Valley, to provide us with invaluable suggestions for topics and speakers. Although there are still some refinements to be made to the Asilomar 2006 plans, thanks to the Baronians, we already have a remarkably strong program lined up. Dr. William Gilley, a marine biologist from Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Lab, will speak to us about the journey John Steinbeck and his good friend Doc Ricketts took to the Sea of Cortez. Another Baronian find, Dr. Gary Glatzmaier from UC Santa Cruz, will do a presentation on his area of expertise: the earth’s inner construction from its mantle to its core. In addition, the Baronians persuaded Grant Voth, professor emeritus of Monterey Peninsula College, to enlighten us concerning the Bach-Beethoven connection.

But, that’s not all. After trying for a number of years, we have finally convinced our own Masako Miura’s good friend (and frequently voted best college teacher in Santa Cruz) Sandy Lydon to speak to us. He is keeping to our conference theme with the topic "The Ten Worst Things That Ever Happened to the Best Place on Earth." And Monterey Bay Aquarium Senior Marine Biologist (retired) Steve Webster has agreed to lead us on a tide pool walk, although the tides that weekend will not be really at an optimum low.

We are still working on some other great ideas, so be sure to check the November newsletter for Asilomar 2006’s final program. But as those of you know who have attended Asilomar in the past, it really does not matter who the speakers are. The lovely setting and the extremely interesting attendees are what make our retreat truly special.

Now that you know about Asilomar in general and this year in particular, we hope that you will mark your calendars and join us for our special anniversary celebration, which will begin on Friday, February 17. If you attended Asilomar 2005 (or any other of our Asilomar conferences) and enjoyed yourself, please let your fellow Phi Betes know and encourage them to join us in 2006. (Guests are also welcome.) Just fill out the coupon and send me your registration fee; as soon as I receive your check, I will send you the Asilomar housing form. (Again, Asilomar handles all room reservations.)

For those of you who very generously gave me your deposit in February, you do not need to fill out the coupon. By the time you receive this newsletter, you should have already received the Asilomar housing forms. If you have not (or cannot remember if you have) given me a deposit, please call or email me.


, Asilomar Chair

Useto get specific directions from your location:
Address or Intersection:
ZIP Code:
Teaching Excellence Call for Nominees

Scholarship and teaching go hand in hand. Nearly everyone who cares about the life of the mind can remember at least one teacher, and perhaps many more, who made a special contribution to his or her development. And experts are never quite sure of their expertise until they have tried teaching what they know to others. For these reasons, among others, F B K NCA vigorously encourages excellence in teaching. In pursuit of this principle, F B K NCA has for many years made annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. Each award consists of a handsome certificate and a $500 honorarium. Any member of PBK may make nominations. Eligible nominees are faculty members of the seven universities and colleges in Northern California that harbor PBK Chapters.

Please make a nomination for a 2006 Teaching Award. The application form is available here, is printed on page 2 of this newsletter, or it may be obtained by contacting me. Applications are due late fall, but please make them now while memory is fresh. To nominate a teacher, fill out the form including an account of why you think your nominee deserves recognition as an outstanding teacher. Mail the form to me.

Chairman, Teaching Excellence Committee

2005 Scholarship Winners

At our Annual Meeting at the Berkeley Faculty Club, PBK NCA awarded nine $4000 scholarships to the outstanding graduate students listed below:

Catherine Becker Art History UC Berkeley

Ayelet Ben-Yishai Comparative Literature UC Berkeley

Michael Cohen Chemistry and Chemical Biology UC SF

Sarah Eyerly (Elizabeth Reed Awardee) Musicology and Criticism UC Davis

Laura Hubbard Anthropology UC Berkeley

Ray Nigatani, Jr. Pharmaceutical UC SF Science

Mary Elizabeth Paster Linguistics UC Berkeley

Matthew Schlesinger Ecology UC Davis

Laura Steele Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology UC Berkeley

Submitted on behalf of the scholarship committee,

Gerald T. Richards, Committee Member

Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, Inc.

Copyright of event images resides with the originator of those images.
Copyright © 1997-2007 Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, Inc.
All rights reserved
Web Design by Ray Hendess