March 10, 97

Vol. 12 , No. 08   

The Improbable Saving of Mono Lake: Implications for Environmental Problem Solving
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 1997

A lifetime resident of the San Francisco Bay area, John Hart might aptly be described as a true lover of California. Indeed, his long list of writings as a freelance writer focus on California, and on water issues in particular.

Hart's latest book, Storm Over Mono: The Mono Lake Battle and the California Water Future (1996), describes the intense controversy over saving Mono Lake. Located on the far side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains opposite Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake and its unique calcium carbonate tufa sculptures is a California treasure. In the past, Los Angeles found Mono to be a water treasure and piped water out of the lake to slake the thirst of its burgeoning population. The drain on the lake and its streams was severe.

The campaign to save Mono, executed in great part by students, has been successful in recent years. In 1994 the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power surrendered after a long fight, now restricting water use from Mono Lake.

Storm Over Mono is the most recent of 10 books Hart has written. Included among Hart's other works are the poetry collection The Climbers (1978), Farming on the Edge: Saving Family Farms in Marin County, California (1991); and the instructional book Walking Softly in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking (1982). He also contributes to the periodical Cry California.

Hart's lecture is third in the Athenaeum's series on the environment and economics.

Cowboy Poetry and Song

Ten years ago, Merrily Wright had never even been to a ranch. Now this poet and singer lives "on the range" in Nevada, 20 miles by dirt road from her nearest neighbor and without the distractions of television or even a reliable phone.

While ranch life might be new to Wright, music is not. She has played the piano for most of her life and studied music at Cottey College in Missouri. She composed her first cowboy poem, My Husband Went Out Riding, in 1994 and by 1995 was accepted to read at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.

Merrily Wright's authentic Western poetry, sometimes funny, often poignant, has been compiled in her first book, The Lowly Cowchip and Other Pungent Poetry (1995). Her verses cover an assortment of topics from the spirituality of life on a cattle ranch to the attributes of a cowchip. Wright has made a recording of her music and readings entitled Sage of the Sage (1997).

Please join the Athenaeum for a dramatic performance of poetry and song by Merrily Wright.

The Traditional Cahuilla Bird Singers

Born in Los Angeles of Navajo, Mexican, and Spanish heritage, Paul Apodaca could have taken his talent and energies in any one of a number of directions. He has taken them all, becoming actively involved in the Native American, Hispanic, and arts communities on a state and national level.

Apodaca is a professor at Chapman College; visiting professor at UCLA, where he is also a Ph.D. candidate; consultant to the Smithsonian; and board member of the California Council for the Humanitites and the California Arts Council. He wrote and performed the musical score for the feature documentary, Broken Rainbow (1986), which won an Oscar and also helped to stop a planned government relocation of 12,000 Navajo from their reservation in Arizona. For the Athenaeum he adds yet another role as cultural emissary for a performance of the Traditional Cahuilla Bird Singers.

Alvina Siva is the leader of the Traditional Cahuilla Bird Singers and has trained a number of young men with support from the California Arts Council Folk Art program. The Cahuilla Bird Song tradition is an example of a southern California song-cycle that conveys a myth, song by song, so that a complete telling of the myth is an all-night performance. In their mythical tradition the Cahuilla state that they traveled along the world three times before settling into the hillside and desert communities of southern California.

You are welcome to join the Athenaeum for an evening of music and story-telling from the tradition of California's earliest settlers.

New Environmentalism: Integrating Economics, Science, and Values
MONDAY, MARCH 24, 1997

Lynn Scarlett is vice president of research at the Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based public policy think tank. Scarlett's primary focus is on environmental policy, including especially issues pertaining to vehicle emissions and air quality, solid waste, and environmental policy reform.

In 1994 Governor Pete Wilson appointed Scarlett to chair California's Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee, which was charged with making policy recommendations regarding the state's smog-check program. She currently serves as chair of the "How Clean is Clean" working group sponsored by the Washington, DC-based National Environmental Policy Institute.

In 1996 former EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus appointed Scarlett to serve on the Enterprise for Environment Task Force, a year-long project exploring environmental policy reform options.

Scarlett has published in both popular media and academic journals, including The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Roll Call. She has also appeared as a guest to discuss environmental issues on ABC's Good Morning America and CNN's Crossfire.

Lynn Scarlett is the final speaker in the Athenaeum series, The Environment and Economics.

Cowboy Poetry and Song

For most people, the cowboy life is something to be read about in history texts and old western novels. The romanticized range life is an archetypical image of American culture on the new frontier, where ranchers lassoed errant calves and spent nights around the campfire. For Buck Ramsey, however, cowboys are not just a part of his country's past, but his personal past as well.

Ramsey spent much of his young life as a cowboy before turning his experiences into music and poetry. He is now among the most famous of all cowboy poets, and he has been featured in most major gatherings for the genre. He has also received the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest award given for folk art.

Buck Ramsey has recorded two albums, Rollin' Uphill from Texas (1992) and My Home was in Texas (1994), and each has received the Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He will be performing works from his album at the Athenaeum as part of the series entitled Moving West.

Stable Money and Global Free Trade

In 1989 Judy Shelton published The Coming Soviet Crash: Gorbachev's Desperate Pursuit of Credit in Western Financial Markets, in 1991 she went to Moscow and observed how true her predictions had proved to be. Now this extraordinarily talented economist argues that without a stable international monetary arrangement, free trade will never be fully realized. Only time will tell how well her theories will be borne out.

A world-renowned writer, Judy Shelton has influenced politicians and entire governments in America and abroad. Her work in Russia, where she met with Yeltsin's economic team and addressed the Russian Federation Parliament, is just one example of Shelton's widespread reputation as a domestic and international economist of the finest caliber.

Shelton served as an economic advisor to the Dole-Kemp presidential campaign and was a staff economist for the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform, better known as the Kemp Commission. She currently sits on the board of directors of Empower America in Washington and the board of advisors of the Committee for Free Trade and Economic Growth.

Judy Shelton has been a frequent guest on the Jim Lehrer News Hour and CNBC's Inside Opinion, as well as a commentator for NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio. Her other works include her second book, Money Meltdown: Restoring Order to the Global Currency System (1994), and articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

Cold War Stories

A look at Professor Gaines Post's professional biography leaves no doubt that he has devoted his working life to academia, specifically in the humanities. He says that he has devoted his private life to his family, wine tasting, and backpacking-the latter two not simultaneously.

After a stint in the United States Army, Post followed up his Cornell degree in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar from 1961 to 1963, and he received his Ph.D. in modern European history at Stanford University in 1969. After leaving Stanford, where he was an instructor in the western civilization program, he taught at the University of Texas in Austin until 1983.

Leadership positions are not foreign to Post, who was dean of faculty and senior vice president at Claremont McKenna College from 1983 to 1988. From 1978 to 1981 he served as executive director of the Commission on the Humanities, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. He currently chairs the history department at CMC.

Post has served on various educational committees at both the national and local level, including the Community College Humanities Association and the California Council for the Humanities.

His course repertoire includes topics on modern Europe and Germany, European diplomacy and civil-military relations, the World Wars through fiction and memoirs, and historical biography. He is currently writing a book on the Cold War in Europe during the 1950s.

Post will read passages from his new book during his Athenaeum talk. The subject of his Athenaeum presentation-and the book-is the affect of memory and personal experience on an understanding of history.

You are welcome to join the Athenaeum for an evening with one of CMC's most distinguished and respected professors.

The Kravis Leadership Conference

Leadership Lite: Winning Formula for Investment Banking
THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1997 12:30 p.m.

In 1985 the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology was established with a gift from Henry Kravis '67. Soon after, because of his interest in expanding the college's leadership studies, Kravis made it possible through a generous gift to create the Kravis Leadership Institute. In 1994 the institute office and staff took shape and the institute's programs began. Professor Ron Riggio took over as institute director in July 1996.

The Kravis Leadership Institute sponsors leadership studies at Claremont McKenna College. The institute hosts conferences, workshops, speaker series, and conducts research on leadership applications, contributing to the growing body of knowledge in the field. Through fellowships and internships and independent studies, the institute involves a number of undergraduate students in institute programs, which include education, research, and community outreach.

Harry McMahon currently serves as a trustee of Claremont McKenna College, where he is also a member of the board of governors of the Henry Kravis Leadership Institute. He earned his M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago in 1980 and his B.A. in economics and international relations from Claremont McKenna College in 1975.

McMahon is currently responsible for the corporate investment banking activities for Merrill Lynch in their western region and has been instrumental in leading over 100 corporate finance, strategic advisory, or merger and acquisition projects. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1983 and prior to his move to Los Angeles held positions in both capital markets and corporate finance.

Henry Kravis will greet attendees and introduce Harry McMahon. Please join the institute staff and the board of governors for what will be an informative program and discussion led by this CMC alumnus and leader in the field of investment banking.

Due to limited seating, this event is open to CMC persons only. Lunch is served at 12:00 p.m. Henry Kravis will introduce Harry McMahon at 12:30 p.m.


Application forms for the position of Athenaeum Fellow for the 1997-98 academic year will be available in the Athenaeum office on Monday, March 10. Completed applications must be returned by Friday, March 28, at 5:00 p.m.

Students desiring to be considered for the following year (1998-99) but who will be away from campus during the next year's selection process may submit their application now in order to be considered for the future position.