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Japanese TV crew films Casa Grande's United Anglers

"In Japan, the work of our group is covered in textbooks, so students there are well aware of what we've been doing," said Tom Furrer, who also is a wildlife biology teacher at Casa Grande. "But I don't know who in Japan first became aware of us. I asked Carl Wong (the Sonoma County superintendent of schools) about it, and he told me, &‘What's going on here is that you have the eye of someone very high in the Japanese culture.'"

A crew from Fuji Television in Japan was in Petaluma from Jan. 24 to 27 to conduct interviews about the way in which Furrer inspires students to build a better world, through the Adobe Creek Restoration Project. Since 1983, United Anglers have planted 1,200 trees each year to rebuild Adobe Creek's wildlife habitat and have raised more than $500,000 to build a state-of-the-art fish facility on the Casa Grande campus.

Furrer was interviewed for the segment, along with two former students —?Anna Kastner, who runs the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville, and Julie Lambert, who works at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato.

"The crew also went to the Boulevard in Petaluma, and asked people what they think about United Anglers. They got a tremendous response, 100 percent positive," Furrer said.

After the footage is edited, it will appear as a segment on nationwide television.

"It's a show comparable to &‘60 Minutes,' and is scheduled to broadcast at the end of February or the beginning of March," Furrer said.

Apparently, this is only a preliminary step in Fuji Television's involvement with United Anglers.

"Kenji Hayasaki, the production coordinator, who works out of New York, told me, &‘Tom, we're just opening up doors. I'm sure you'll be hearing from them very soon,'" Furrer said. "I hope so: I would enjoy doing more with them. I hope to go to Japan."

(Contact Dan Johnson at dan.johnson@arguscourier.com)


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