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Longtime Cambrian reporter, columnist Kathe Tanner to serve as Pinedorado grand marshal

Kathe Tanner
Kathe Tanner

The Lions Club of Cambria is honored to announce that Cambrian reporter and columnist Kathe Tanner will be grand marshal for the 70th annual Pinedorado.

Kathe’s selection recognizes her many achievements in journalism, business and as a community volunteer. As grand marshal, she will lead the Pinedorado parade on Saturday, Sept. 1, followed by greeting guests at the Pinedorado grounds after the parade ends. Our suspicion is that she will make guest appearances thereafter.

Kathe is a storyteller who loves to write and learn, know what is happening and share information.

Most Cambrians know her for her ubiquitous reporting; the weekly Cambrian is usually filled with articles under Kathe’s byline. Her first columns debuted in The Cambrian and Tribune in 1981; a decade later, she was hired as a reporter for the Cambria weekly paper. In years since, the winner of many journalism awards has covered the North Coast from Villa Creek to the Monterey County line (and beyond when there’s a landslide or the like).

Kathe has seen lots of Pinedorados since moving here in 1971 and passionately attacks all she does. With husband Richard, she operated the Upper Crust Bakery and Tearoom (now the French Corner Bakery) for 11 years. Among many memorable experiences was in 1984, making a 350-pound 52-foot-long carrot cake in the shape of a ribbon and bow. The cake — a centerpiece of the ribbon cutting ceremony officially reopening Highway 1 near Lucia after a 13-month closure due to a massive landslide — was served to 1,000-plus attendees, including representatives of national and foreign media. Richard baked the cake; Kathe and her team decorated it.

Kathe’s multifaceted role that year included being co-chair with Caltrans of the complex Highway 1 reopening ceremony, vice president of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce and program chairwoman for the national Retail Bakers of America association convention.

As a founding member of the Cambria Historical Society, Kathe served as board of directors’ president several times and contributed to many key accomplishments. For instance, she wrote a grant application that helped the society buy the future museum property and was an instigator and very involved in the first public tour of the Piedras Blancas Light Station in decades. The tour and reports she prepared helped facilitate the Bureau of Land Management’s takeover of the historic lighthouse and station.

Among the long list of Kathe’s many journalism honors are a coveted first-place award for best writing in the state and the CNPA General Excellence Award, the most prestigious statewide newspaper award, which she shares with former Cambrian editor Bert Etling.

She’s also a recipient of the 2009 National Marine Sanctuaries’ Citizen Award from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

On top of awards and accolades, Kathe has served her community in ways unseen by most, for instance serving for years on the Cambria Chamber of Commerce board and as a founder of the Friends of Hearst Castle.

And the list goes on.

But, you don’t have to look at the accomplishments and awards to know Kathe’s impact on our community.

Just ask any Cambrian, anyone, about Kathe. She will get each person’s praise.

Michael Broadhurst is the Cambria Lions Club president.