New Editor-Publisher for Yosemite Gazette
Author, freelance writer, development director, marketing and
advertising professional, college
and high school instructor and former weekly newspaper editor and
publisher, Michael Gahagan has
assumed the position of Editor and
Publisher of the Yosemite Gazette.
“I have absolutely come full
circle,” Gahagan said. “My very
first publishing effort began with
purchasing the Point Reyes Light,
a Marin County weekly, in 1970. It
was 16 pages.”
“The Yosemite Gazette is currently 16 pages also, but the way
we printed the Point Reyes Light
nearly a half century ago and the
way the Yosemite Gazette is printed
is about five technological ‘generations’ from when I first started creating publications from scratch.
“Four and half decades ago I
was setting headlines by hand, the
larger with wood type and the text
was set by a linotype operator who
made lines of types from hot lead.
“I wrote copy, to be set by the
linotype operator, on my Royal
No. 1 typewriter. You could have
used this typewriter as an anchor, it
weighed so much.
“I picked up the Fishin’ Column
hand-printed by the butcher of the
local store on a roll of butcher paper (I am not making this up) and
often there were stains of some unknown fish or deboned animal on
the paper I translated to the typewritten article.
“We printed the paper on a 1910
Goss flatbed press and were only
one of two newspaper in California that were printed this way in the
70s. It took about three hours to print
3,000 copies once I could crank the
press up to top speed.
“When I sold the Point Reyes
Light in 1975, I swore I would never
have to deal with deadlines again
but all the sweat and tears was well
worth it when the newspaper won a
Pulitzer Prize, a few years later, for
a series of investigative reports that
actually started on my watch.
“But, of course I have had to adhere to deadlines ever since then: as a
high school faculty member where a
bell was sounded every 50 minutes;
as a freelance writer-columnist for
the Santa Barbara News Press; as
the Education and Sports Editor, St.
Helena Star; and columnist for the Sonora Union Democrat.”
Prior to Gahagan’s first venture
in publishing, his academic experience included attending Carmel
High School, Carmel, California; an
exchange student in Spain and graduation from the Overseas School of
He attended Occidental College
and graduated with a bachelor’s
degree (Communications) and a
masters degree (Journalism) from
He has, along with his wife Connie, settled in their “forever” home
base just outside of the historic gold
rush town of Columbia.
“But we still have moving boxes
of nearly 50 years of our collective
stuff to be emptied.”
“I am propagating two small
surrounding meadows with native
high Sierra trees, wildflowers and
bulbs,” Gahagan said. “Over the
last five years, I have planted close
to 1,000 bulbs.”
Gahagan has long been involved
in community organizations serving
either as a board member, director,
treasurer or development director
of some 20 non-profits including
the Coastal Parks Association, the
California Friends of Robert Frost,
the Friends of the Channel Islands
National Park, the Santa Barbara
County Arts Council, and president
of the Santa Barbara County Stanford Alumni.
His wife Connie, within the past
year, has become the Executive
Director of the Central Sierra Arts
Gahagan has a keen interest in
historic and architectural preservation and has been a member of the
National Trust for Historic Preservation and locally was a member of
the board of the Tuolumne County
“I wrote an historic archival photographic book entitled “Sonora,”
the Tuolumne county seat, in 2007
and it is in its third printing.
“In 2010, I organized, the first
Annual California Senior Winter
Games, a series of ski races (slalom,
giant slalom, dual slalom, cross country) for men and women over 50 years
of age, held at Dodge Ridge.
Gahagan was in junior racing
The Yosemite Gazette is a publishing throwback, a vanishing
“breed.” How do we/you save it
First, the editorial “we” thanks
Marv Dealy for starting and shepherding the Yosemite Gazette
through the first five years.
And, also we thank Marv for being helpful in the transitory period
econdly, I am a traditionalist
and an historian. The printed word
is fast disappearing as a standard of
communications and I plan for the
Yosemite Gazette to be a bridge over
current waters of digital keyboard
chatter and a page of printed text.
There will be no dramatic changes
in reflecting the past, present and
future balance of content covering
the greater Yosemite region.
There will additions in the scope
and diversity of contributions— this
issue features a “heritage” poem and
a gritty hand-me-down 49er recipe.
n addition, we will strive to
publish vintage and contemporary
photographs (see p. 16), never before
published gold rush music song
sheets, feature articles and vernacular art that has never been seen
before in these parts of the woods.
I am excited about the challenges
of preserving a traditional publishing
format and expanding it across the
colorful internet spectrum.
Please stay tuned!
Gahagan was born in Berkeley,
California, and has lived in: Hanover,
New Hampshire; Boulder and Denver,
Colorado; Rome, Italy; San Francisco,
Santa Barbara, Solvang, Woodside,
St. Helena and Point Reyes Station
within his native state of California.
Signing his “Sonora” book at Legends
Bookstore and Soda Fountain, Sonora.
programs in New Hampshire and
Colorado 60 years ago and resumed
skiing in earnest in his late 60s.
“Our ski club at Carmel High
used to come annually to Badger
Pass in the late 50s. We stayed in
the tents at Camp Curry, skated on
the rink and watched the fire fall.
It was memorable. The legendary,
Nic Fiore was the head of the ski
school at Badger.
“My love of the winter season is
reflected in this issue and we will
be celebrating the four distinct seasons in the Sierra Yosemite region
in each of our quarterly Yosemite
“Actually, over the course of my
eleven years here, at the advent of
each season, I declare ‘this is my
favorite season’ and I still haven’t
made up my mind.
“It is my hope that with the circulation of each new issue of the
Yosemite Gazette, across the spectacularly seasonal palette of the Sierra
Yosemite region, you’ll be remarking ‘this is my favorite issue.’”
Published quarterly by
the Yosemite Publishing Company
P. O. Box 5227
Sonora, California 95370
Editor and Publisher
Assistant to the Editor
Marc Fossum, Rick Deutsch,
Tom Gardner, Debbie Adams,
Renny Avey, David Lukas,
John Carroll O’Neill, Peter Hoss,
Elizabeth Stone O’Neill,
Michael Elsohn Ross.
Foothill Printing & Graphics