Late Breaking News and Photos / Video Clips / Old News

Despite some last minute cancellations by key personnel, we had a beautiful little video shoot on Sunday October 1st, 2000 and now we have completed the distribution to our supporters listed on the endorsements page. When we're done filming this summer we'll be taking the finished miniDV master to a commercial studio for transfer to SVHS video cassettes. We'll also make a whole bunch of them ourselves on VHS tapes. 

The goal of our work has been to create a ten minute demo tape for inclusion with a grant proposal. If this demo video helps convince the members of the advisory committee with the Sacramento Regional Foundation, the staffers at the Pacific Research Institute, a foundation in San Francisco, or a local foundation, to fund the San Mateo County version of The Cannonball Express, then during the Fall of 2005 we'll film the pilot version of the video at Yerba Buena Nursery, courtesy of the endlessly patient Kathy & David Crane. The general idea is to showcase the project, to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have the organizational, technical and artistic skills to pull this off. A watchable demo tape with music and titling will prove that this is a bankable enterprise and a viable project. In short, if we can pull this thing off then we get to play the game again next summer and get paid for our work. Until then, my most profound appreciation goes to...

Mara Luthy-Actress "Karen the Botanist"

Jenny Rae-Actress "Claudia the Customer"

Sara Betts-Actress "Helen the Customer"

and to our screenwriters

Christine Blai, Jason Walsh, Michael Fasman & Courtney Cliff

I do have some more good news to report. California State Senator Jackie Speier just endorsed the video project and State Senator Dennis Cardoza was just elected to replace Gary Condit in Washington. 

Moving right along, my luck on current endeavors seems to oscillate between the sublime and the nonexistent. The author noticed some kind of film circus in the parking lot of the neighborhood Supermercado one day in mid-November of '97 and was curious enough to say hello to a stage hand. After some chit chat the author was directed to the line producer.

Of course, the author volunteered his services, handed this gentleman a business card and....out of the blue, a call came in on November 19th at 11:15 AM from the Associate Producer, asking the author if he'd like to fill in for a woman who was sick. The author was on location across the bay in Newark in less than half an hour sitting down to a catered lunch with the crew.

Now, it wasn't a glamorous job....just keeping an eye on the crew when the cameras were rolling and occasionally announcing, "All quiet on the set! They're rolling!" and that sort of thing. Still, it was my big break and I made the best of it. The movie, entitled "Dumbarton Bridge", could be in the theater soon, assuming the movie gets good reviews by the critics and does well at independent film festivals.

It is not only politicians, firemen and environmentalists that have procrastinated and fumbled the ball on this issue. I have let some great opportunities for advancing this video project slip through my fingers this past year. I botched an opportunity to get an endorsement from the Board of Directors of the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District.

And for reasons I can't quite explain, I bumped into San Mateo County Supervisor Ruben Barrales at Fry's Electronics some time ago and froze when I had the chance to point out Supervisor and Earth goddess Claudia Roberson. It was Claudia's sweetly feminine persona I had in mind when I wrote the scene for the native plant nursery and it was Ruben who got me started on this project.

I also said a quick hello in passing to billionaire film maker Steve Jobs of Apple Computer fame at Fry's Palo Alto and didn't think to hand him my business card. There's a lot to be said for chutzpah and I wish I had a lot more of it.

Achievements since the video committee's last private correspondence we can point to with pride include a still larger base of political support from an even wider cross section of society. (See "Endorsements") One of the more valuable missives was written by Charlie West, the project manager for the former Oakland Fire Prevention and Suppression Assessment District (which lost their mandate in the election mentioned above).

I should also mention that two more San Mateo County Supervisors have recently signed on; Jerry Hill and Richard Gordon, giving us support from 5 of 5 members of the Board. Another good letter was signed by Gil Murphy, chairman of the Marin County Wildlife & Fisheries Advisory Committee. I hate to be cynical, but that last letter probably would never have been drafted, much less approved, had it not been for the $45 million Mount Vision Fire outside of Inverness. It was just fortuitous timing, although I was very relieved when the youths who accidentally started the fire came forward.

By the way, if you're in Portola Valley, or just need an excuse to shop, please buy your plants and flowers at Al's Nursery Inc. and mention the Cannonball Express. The nursery is located at

900 Portola Road in Portola Valley, CA

More information about the nursery is available on the internet in the May 24th, 2000 issue of the Almanac. Click on Back Issues, select the correct date, and scroll down to the Opinion section. The story about Al's Nursery is the third entry down.

To get there, take the Sandhill Road exit Westbound off of Hwy 280. A country mile after Sand Hill Road becomes Portola Road and Westbound Portola Road becomes Southbound Portola Road, look for the Nursery on the West side of Portola Road between Valley Presbyterian Church and the Village Square mini-mall. Al's Nursery Inc. is located 7 miles West of Stanford Shopping Center- If you get seriously lost then call the Nursery at


Next Year @ Yerba Buena Nursery
directions and map

Route 84 Woodside exit off 280 heading west
Park at "Park and Ride" lot for shuttle to location

Volunteers: please read the location rules carefully to insure our shoot complies with this contractual obligation with the Nursery. You will be asked to sign this agreement on arrival.

Plan for the day follows.

In response to your request to film on /  /  / 2005 at Yerba Buena Nursery, we would ask that the following rules be agreed to:

1) All vehicles must be parked in designated area above greenhouse, not in customer parking lot.

2) NO SMOKING on this property. NO EXCEPTIONS

3) All equipment/supplies are to be hand carried, as no vehicles are allowed past parking area.

4) Food may be eaten at picnic tables by stream ONLY, never in Nursery or Gardens.

5) Nursery plants/property are not to be moved.

6) Please stay on PATHS and never inside flower beds/planted areas. This includes all crew and actors.

7) All debris (including lunch garbage) is to be removed from the property, not placed in Nursery garbage containers.

8) Any damage to plants/nursery property or required clean-up will be billed to Production Company.

9) "Hold Harmless" agreement to be signed by Producer and Crew, accepting financial responsibility for any accidents.

10) Production hours will start at 8:30 a.m. with all work finished and cars removed from the property by 4:30 p.m.

11) Failure to adhere to any of the above rules will be grounds for immediate suspension/cessation of filming work.

Provided these rules are followed, you may film your Cannonball Express production at Yerba Buena Nursery without charge in 2005.


Steven P. Kennedy

Executive Producer, The Cannonball Express.

(your signature)

Production Volunteer, The Cannonball Express. Dated October 24th, 2002

Hold Harmless Agreement

In signing this agreement, I agree to accept any and all responsibility for damage to property or person which may occur as a direct or indirect result of activity held on Yerba Buena Nursery property or person which may occur as a direct or indirect result of activity held on Yerba Buena Nursery property regarding filming of Cannonball Express. Additionally, I agree to hold Kathy & David Crane, Yerba Buena Nursery and their employees harmless from any litigation which may occur directly or indirectly as a result of filming of Cannonball Express.

Plan for the Day

Call time 8:00 am at "Ride & Park"

Allow plenty of time for driving.

Please call cell Saturday night for last minute status of the shoot!

Upon arrival at the Nursery, park in the lot above the greenhouse and then unload any supplies, passengers or equipment. We will provide coffee, hot chocolate, herb tea, bagels & cream cheese, and donuts for you. You will be greeted by our production team who will answer any questions you might have and hand you a liability form and release statement for your signature. We'll start shooting as soon as possible. A lunch will be served at 1 PM although shooting may continue more or less non-stop until 4:00.

Please do not bring your dog along as several cats roam the nursery freely. Please do not bring guests. Yerba Buena Nursery will remain open all day for regular business and we will adjust our activities accordingly.

If you have any one or five gallon black plastic pots please bring these for donation to the nursery. Stack them with the others along the side of the barn.

This is the culmination of over nine years of non-stop effort. Our labor of love will help us produce something unique and special that shows our concern for the people and environment of the mid-Peninsula. Our deepest appreciation goes to our donors and to Kathy Crane of the Nursery for their generosity that has made this shoot possible.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Steven P. Kennedy Executive Producer

Our Next Shoot:
To be arranged in 2005

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