C-SPAN Came, Saw, and Was Conquered by Pasadena

The cable TV network presents its video tableaux about Pasadena this weekend

Published : Friday, March 1, 2019 | 5:54 AM

Last month, a crew from C-SPAN, the Washington D.C.-based political cable television network, came Pasadena way to interview local luminaries and survey homegrown treasures and left wanting more.

“We just have a lot of really great content,” said the network’s coordinating producer Debbie Lamb. “I think when folks think of Pasadena, they think of the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade, but there’s so much there.”

Pasadena, said Lamb, is larger than the typical town the network hopes to share with its audience when it leaves the cozy confines of the Beltway.

“But the bottom line is,” she stated, “for as large as the town seemed, everyone we came in contact with was helping us either find a nice restaurant, or get images, or get us on properties, and still in the final stages, as we are putting the pieces together.”

As to the upcoming viewing, Mayor Terry Tornek kicked things off with an appearance March 1 on “Washington Journal.” That ran on the regular C-SPAN (Spectrum channel 173) between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., Pacific Time.

On Saturday, the action moves from the main cable channel to C-SPAN2 where “Book TV” will present its dissection of the local, nonfiction literary scene.

And no literary presentation of Pasadena, nonfiction or otherwise, would be complete without a tour of Vroman’s Bookstore with president and chief executive officer Allison Hill.

Michael Alvarez, author of “Nonpartisan Primary Election Reform: Mitigating Mischief,” will be interviewed, presumably on mitigating primary election mischief, through reform.

Writer Chip Jacobs, he of “Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles” fame will also have his brain picked by media types from our nation’s capital.

Colleen Dunn Bates, publisher of Prospect Park Books and author of “Hometown Pasadena” will share her perspective on the City of Roses.

And also Roberta H. Martínez, author of “Latinos in Pasadena,” who will be featured on the Book Channel.

Diana Buchwald, director and general editor of the Einstein Papers Project, will shed light on Caltech’s ambitious effort to disseminate the famed physicist’s literary legacy.

No trip to Pasadena, whatever the angle, would be complete without a visit to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Exhibition Hall, and C-SPAN enjoyed a tour with Sandra Brooke.

“She takes us around and you see these collections of the Gutenberg, and Shakespeare, and a burned manuscript of Jack London’s,” Lamb explained. “When you can see history, look at it and have folks talk to you about it, I think that’s the biggest value this project can offer our national audience.”

All of the above will air (Spectrum channel 174) March 2, in one big, long block starting at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, March 3, the action unfolds at C-SPAN3, where the cable provider does its history programming on a production, aptly named, “American History TV” (Spectrum Channel 175). Viewing begins at 11 a.m.

Charlie Wood, Laura Farber and David Eads will review the Tournament of Roses Parade history, and other stuff, too.

“I had no idea how many volunteers it takes to keep that thing going every year,” said Lamb. “We went inside there and saw all the tradition and how it’s put together. You see the parade, but you don’t understand the behind-the-scene aspect.”

Jennifer Trotoux, interim director and curator at the Gamble House will provide a televised tour for America of that unique destination. Blaine Baggett, one-time director of communications and education at Jet Propulsion Laboratory will guide a filmed expedition of his old workplace.

Kenny James, supervisor, human services and recreation, City of Pasadena will discuss the black community’s ebullient Black History celebration.

And there are few better sources for things both Pasadena and historical than Anuja Navare, curator, Pasadena Museum of History.

“She talked with us about the beginnings of Pasadena and how it got started with folks coming out from the midwest for the climate,” said Lamb. “Here I am an Indianan and Pasadena was founded by two Indianans, so we do some things right.”

Finally, Rep. Judy Chu (D) will step under the klieg lights for a discussion focused on immigration, the opioid crisis, and her 27 Congressional District’s diversity.

“I have to say that I understand why people want to live there,” Lamb concluded. “I mean, it’s beautiful.”

Schedule for Pasadena Weekend on C-SPAN2′s Book TV and C-SPAN3′s American History TV
March 2-3

The C-SPAN Cities Tour explores the American story – this weekend taking Book TV (on C-SPAN2) and American History TV (on C-SPAN3) to Pasadena, California as we highlight the history and literary life of this city.

C-SPAN is available in Pasadena on Spectrum channel 173.

On Saturday, March 2nd, Book TV (C-SPAN2) non-fiction literary offerings from the city will air together in one block beginning at 4:30 pm PT (on Spectrum channel 174), including interviews with area writers…

Einstein Papers Project with Diana Buchwald, director and general editor
Tour Vroman’s Bookstore with Allison Hill, president and CEO
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Exhibition Hall with Sandra Brooke, Avery Director
Author Michael Alvarez, Nonpartisan Primary Election Reform: Mitigating Mischief
Author Chip Jacobs, Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles
Author and Publisher Colleen Dunn Bates, Hometown Pasadena and Prospects Park Books

And on Sunday, March 3rd, history programming from the city will air on American History TV (C-SPAN3) beginning at 11 am PT (on Spectrum channel 175), among the programs…

History of the Tournament of Roses Parade with David Eads, Charlie Wood and Laura Farber.
Tour of the Gamble House with Jennifer Trotoux, interim director and curator
Visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Blaine Baggett, former director of communications & education
Learn about Pasadena’s Black History Celebrations with Kenny James, City of Pasadena, supervisor of human services & recreation
Hear about the Founding of Pasadena with Anjua Navare curator, Pasadena Museum of History
Interview with Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) on California’s 27th District, immigration, the opioid crisis, and her district’s diversity.

In addition to the individual segments airing on their respective networks, they will also air together during the following dates and times:

Book TV (on C-SPAN2) block: Saturday, March 2nd, 4:30 pm PT
(Spectrum channels 174)

American History TV (on C-SPAN3) block: Sunday, March 3rd, 11 am PT
(Spectrum channels 175)

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