As one year ends and another begins, I'm updating news on some of the business people I've featured in the past. This is the second of three columns using the economical dot-dot-dot format made famous by the late newspaper columnist Herb Caen.
Folsom adventurer Steven Moll will premiere the second season of his reality series, "Dangerous Waters," on March 1, a debut that was anything but certain last summer. Every step of Moll's thrill-seeking exploits is being filmed as he and his team try to navigate the globe by Sea-Doo personal watercraft one summer at a time. That includes their landing on Russian soil in July and the alarming greeting they received from a tank and armed troops.
Moll had planned the trip for six months, filing travel plans with Russian authorities and spending $5,000 for visas and special permits.
It was all for naught.
"They detained us for six days," he said. " We ended up coming back across the Bering Strait. We were escorted by a Russian helicopter as well as a nuclear submarine."
Moll still needed a Season 2; broadcasters in 70 countries had bought it. He hastily regrouped, planning a trip in two days that took him up the Alaskan coast and through the Northwest Passage. Season 2 will debut at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College at 7 p.m. March 11, and ticket proceeds will go to local schools and charities.
A Russian broadcaster has signed up to air both seasons. Because of sponsorship deals and sales of TV rights, Moll said, "Dangerous Waters" should break even within 18 months.
Sacramento author James Rollins sets out Monday on a nationwide book tour to promote his first collaborative work, "The Blood Gospel." He teamed up with award-winning mystery writer Rebecca Cantrell. She was once his student, back when he taught a writing class in Maui. The duo will appear together for the first time at 7 p.m. at the Roseville Barnes & Noble, 1256 Galleria Blvd. We checked in last summer with Rollins as his SIGMA squad, a team of government operatives, was getting an assist from former Army Ranger Captain Tucker Wayne in "Bloodline." Rollins credits that novel's rise to No. 3 on the New York Times best-seller list to a wave of military readers who became SIGMA followers.
HSN, formerly known as Home Shopping Network, and product developer Edison Nation will manufacture, distribute and sell the Frostingo motorized frosting dispenser invented by Sacramento's Tami Harris. She had entered contest after contest, hoping to get a deal. Harris told me last week that she was elated when she got the call telling her she had won the competition sponsored by Paramount Pictures as part of a promotion for its movie "The Guilt Trip." Her excitement was tempered a bit by thoughts of the other five finalists.
"I looked at my husband and said, 'You know, they're now going to get the call that we were dreading,' " Harris told me. The Frostingo lets cake decorators do their work with the press of a button rather than by squeezing bags.
UC Davis medical school graduate Howard Liu is training as a family physician at the White Memorial Medical Center family medicine residency program in Los Angeles. You may recall that Liu speaks English, Cantonese, Taishanese, Mandarin and German, but it's his fluency in Spanish that has served him best in East L.A.
"My faculty, my residents, my patients, my communities all around are teaching me," Liu told me. He hopes to one day start a school where children and adults study classic literature.
Sacramento's Dave and Amy Gull opened the New Helvetia Brewing Co. at 1730 Broadway last month. It's open 5-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. They're serving two beers made with local hops, but haven't yet christened one with the Buffalo Beer name from an earlier era in Sacramento.
"As we're ramping up and getting the rest of our beer into production, we want to slowly grow into the space and not overdo it with too big of a release," said Dave Gull, who said he'll expand operating hours when it feels right.
This column was updated Jan. 22 to correct the date of the "Dangerous Waters" premiere.