Benett Kessler, founder and owner of Sierra Wave Media, dies

Benett Kessler, one of the most recognized and trusted journalists in the Eastern Sierra for a generation, has died. She was 65.

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Kessler died Jan. 2 in Northern Inyo Hospital after battling cancer for more than three years, her close friend Scott Clark, a physician at the Bishop facility, said.

Kessler, the majority owner of Sierra Broadcasters, LLC in Independence, was a daily presence in Owens Valley and Mono County homes, delivering news  reports and opinion pieces on television, radio, online and in print for 38 years about the most controversial issues in the region.

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“Benett was the premier journalist in the Eastern Sierra,” said Bob Todd, operations manager at Sierra Wave Media, which is owned by Sierra Broadcasters. “She approached each day at work and every story with enthusiasm that we found amazing and contagious. It was an honor and privilege to work with her.”

Lone Pine environmentalist Michael Prather remembered Kessler as “an incredibly gutsy woman – she never took a step backward. All of us should feel grateful for her efforts to provide comprehensive daily coverage of our most pressing issues.”

John Heston and Benett Kessler, 1985

John Heston and Benett Kessler, 1985

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Owens Valley’s largest landlord and controller of most of its land and water, became her great subject. It was one she found inexhaustible.

“I started reporting in 1976, a year of a terrible drought and heavy groundwater pumping by the DWP,” Kessler recalled in a recent interview with Louis Sahagun, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. “Locals became outraged — and wanted to know more.”

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“Over the years, I produced so many DWP articles it’s hard to remember them all,” she added with a laugh. “But the work I’m most proud of shined a critical light on the suffering of people and the environment at the hands of bully officials and powerful vested interests.”

Friends and relatives remember Kessler as an indefatigable journalist and explorer of ideas and trends. She had a keen interest in spiritual teachings, as well as in the latest scientific breakthroughs. Her hobbies included painting and gardening. She also had a .38 Special handgun and knew how to use it.

Bob Todd and Benett Kessler, 2000

Bob Todd and Benett Kessler, 2000

Mary Roper, president of the Owens Valley Committee, a nonprofit dedicated to monitoring the region’s land and resources, remembered Kessler as “an investigative reporter of great courage and insight. People in positions of power had good reason to worry because she asked the right questions.”

Kessler was born on Feb. 3, 1949, the same day her father, Carl Kessler, started working as a lawyer in Dayton, Ohio. As a young girl she enjoyed attending social events with her father — a superior court judge at the time — writing poems and short stories and, as she put it, “flying down the highest hill in the neighborhood on my fun, cheap bike.”

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“There were sad times, too,” she recalled. “My parents divorced and my step-father committed suicide when I was 15 years old.”

Kessler was editor of the campus newspaper at Dayton’s Wilbur Wright High School, where she graduated in 1967. She attended the University of Chicago for three years, and in 1970 got married. “We split up a year later,” she said.

In 1972, Kessler and a friend hit the highway west. Her life would never be the same.

They ended up in San Diego, where Kessler rented an apartment and started taking yoga classes led by John Heston, an Owens Valley resident and student of comparative religion and the writings of Manly Palmer Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles.

In 1975 Kessler moved to the hacienda-style compound that Heston designed, built and shared with his loving companion, Kenny Scruggs, on the northern edge of the Owens Valley community of Independence off of Highway 395. The shady retreat of fountains, orchards and reflecting pools was the hub of Kessler’s life for the next 39 years.

Heston, a colorful jack-of-all-trades, also had a nose for news. In 1976 he created Eastern Sierra News Service, which he operated with Kessler out of his home. Their motto: “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

One night in the spring of 1976, someone tossed a pipe bomb at their newsroom. No one was injured in the blast. Kessler always assumed it was in response to their DWP reporting, which aired on Lone Pine radio station KINC.

Soon after, one of that radio station’s owners said that the DWP threatened to cancel their tower lease if Heston and Kessler were not let go. Their news show was cancelled on March 17, 1977.

Heston and Kessler responded with sharp-worded flyers they tacked to bulletin boards and telephone poles from Mammoth to Olancha. Their dispute with Los Angeles was chronicled by premier news outlets including the Los Angeles Times.

The same year they began publishing the Inyo County Newsletter: Heston did the writing, layout and photography; Kessler reported the news and ran the printing press and darkroom.

“Almost immediately, we were swamped with advertising,” Kessler recalled. “The ambience was electric.”

In 1982, with the backing of local investors, Heston and Kessler formed Sierra East Television, Inc., and leased cable channel 12 in Bishop to launch the Owens Valley’s first local television station.

In 1996, again with funds from local investors, Heston and Kessler obtained a federal license to establish KDAY-FM radio. Four years later, they founded a television station and the radio and TV operations had grown into Mammoth Lakes and Mono County. Those radio and television stations are now known as the Sierra Wave.

Heston, who had been a politically active presence in Owens Valley since the 1960s, died in 2007. Scruggs, a Bishop attorney and civic activist who became a voice in court for children trapped in their parents’ custody battles, died in 2012.

In a recent interview, Kessler said she hoped that her beloved hacienda and Sierra Wave Media, which includes KSRW-FM, KSRW-TV and sierrawave.net, would “remain in operation as they are.”

Kessler is survived by her mother, Carolyn Husco.

 

 

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89 Responses to Benett Kessler, founder and owner of Sierra Wave Media, dies

  1. Stacy Corless January 2, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    This is sad news. Thank you, Benett, for your dedication to the Eastern Sierra. You are always an inspiration.

     
  2. average citizen January 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    I miss you already Benett.

    You were among the few voices in Owens Valley willing to risk speaking truths about our LA overloads and weak local representation.

    May new voices take courage in your legacy!

     
  3. Paul S January 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

    God’s Speed Benett…you will be greatly missed. Rest peacefully.

     
  4. Russ Monroe January 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Safe passage friend!

     
  5. Nancy Baker January 2, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    The Eastern Sierra will miss Benett Kessler. She was the only truly independent source for local news. Her devotion to uncovering the truths behind “Press Releases” from groups such as the DWP was a rarity in this day and age. It was a privilege to work with her for many years. I respected her as a person, a woman, and a colleague.
    I hope her family and close friends realize what a difference she made to our local communities.

     
  6. Bishop Native January 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    What a loss for our community. To a life well lived.

     
  7. SierraFan January 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    WOW!!! I had no idea she was fighting cancer! She was a true warrior if she was fighting this for this long and still watching our P’s and Q’s here on this blog. She was extremely fair and impartial here. She will be sorely missed!!! To you Bennett!

     
  8. Jennifer Fenton January 2, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    An amazing woman and journalist! These words just don’t seem to express what an inspiration Benett was to me. I remember watching the local news as a child with Benetts and was fascinated by her beautiful long hair. In my adult life, I will always remember her as a force.

     
  9. Eastside Bum January 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    How sad for all of us, and her family & friends! The Eastern Sierra has lost a great voice. I believe many did not know of her illness. Many deeply felt sympathies and condolences to those closest to her, and Sierra Wave staff.

     
  10. erik simpson January 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    A big loss to everyone on the East side. RIP, Bennett. We’ll all miss you.

     
  11. Sierra Lady January 2, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    So very saddened about this news. I knew Benett was ill, but wasn’t aware of the extent. My heart goes out to her mother and the entire Sierra Wave staff during this terribly difficult time.

    I hope that Sierra Wave Media and KSRW Radio will be able to continue on.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Benett’s family, co-workers and friends everywhere. 🙁

    B. Richter

     
  12. RandyKeller January 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    I will miss Benett Kessler. Condolences to her friends and family and to us all.

     
  13. Laudine Borges January 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Bennett Kessler was an iconic presence in the Sierra. She chose to be a force for good. Her efforts will radiate out like ripples from a rock falling into water. Travel well Bennett

     
  14. Sydney Quinn January 2, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    Wishing a blessed passing into the the Great Blue for a wonderful soul and champion for us all.
    I cannot imagine the Sierra Wave and OV news without Bennett, an amazing woman who spoke many truths with academic and courageous prowess. She will be missed.

     
  15. My Info January 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    R.I.P.

     
  16. Jane McDonald January 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    Thank you for such a perfect tribute…..I am thankful there are so many ways Benett is imprinted on this valley, reminding us how to carry on in her spirit.

     
  17. Robin Roberts January 2, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    Thank you for maintaining independent media for the eastern Sierra. We are all the better for it.
    Rest easy.

     
  18. Jane Hatter January 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    What a terrible loss to our community. So many things will never be the same. Thank you Benett for your beautiful message and the strength of your voice. We must all keep seeking truth in honor of your memory.

     
  19. Tracy January 2, 2015 at 11:17 pm #

    I will always be grateful for what her and kenny stood for, they were truly the Real Deal and Truth in this Community…. Im so sorry for our lose, but so grateful for knowing them as we all are. I think in life we take a bit of something from good people and was Thankful for that.

    Thank You and as your looking down on us in the Eastern Sierra,

    With much admiration

     
  20. Alocal January 2, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

    I remember Bennett in her early days in Mammoth reporting the news with Marilyn Fischer. She came so far since then! Her impartial reporting is a great example of professional journalism, some of the only, in the Eastern Sierra! Her absence will be great! She kept DWP Iin check and accountabable. My fear is who will be such a huge advocate for the Owens Valley in her absence? RIP Bennett!

     
  21. Nicole January 2, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    This is such sad news. What a wonderful woman. Thank you for all of your insightful reporting, Benett.

     
  22. Rusty Gregory January 2, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    I will miss my friend Benett, an honest woman and a kind soul. My heartfelt condolences to her team at Sierra Wave. I hope the pain of Benett’s loss will soon be washed away by warm memories of time working together to tell the daily story of the people and land of Eastern Sierra.

     
  23. Sylvia Cortez January 3, 2015 at 12:32 am #

    This is truly upsetting news. Bennett was invaluable as an investigative journalist, she was an independent spirit who could be counted on to speak up about important issues while others would remain quiet out of fear of offending those in power. Although we often had opposing views, she assisted me in my days as a social activist, letting me know how and where to get information which should be public, and telling me that if I had difficulty getting information, she would help me fight for it. I will miss her greatly! My condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

     
  24. Marilyn Fisher Smith January 3, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    Benett was a true force, completely dedicated to journalism. It was an honor to know her and to work with her in the 1980s. She and John literally built a TV station from nothing. It was wild, seat-of-our-pants journalism unlike anything I’d ever experienced in college. I never worked harder or had more fun. Rest in peace, old friend.

     
    • Jon Levin January 3, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

      You weren’t too bad yourself Marilyn!!!

       
    • Wally Hofmann January 3, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

      Good to see your name again, Marilyn. You weren’t in the spotlight, but you were a major player behind Owens Valley radio’s early reputation for quality reportage. Hope you’re well.

       
  25. Philip Anaya January 3, 2015 at 6:29 am #

    Your life of grace , dignity and purpose , Benett will guide us all into eternity. We will never forget you and the lessons shared . Rest in peace, Ms. Kessler.

     
  26. Dennis Mattinson January 3, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    A truly inspired person. Every project I suggested to her, she enthusiastically agreed and supported. She was a visionary and my heart is heavy at the news. My eyes are filled with tears. May good weather go with her always.

     
  27. Ted Reynolds January 3, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    As a visitor to the Eastern Sierra I recieved the Sierra Wave by e-mail and deeply appreciated Bennett’s reporting, I will miss her greatly. She gave me an understanding of the scene like no other source.
    Bennett, Dza Devlesa!

     
  28. Ingrid Braun January 3, 2015 at 7:49 am #

    We have lost a champion for the truth. Thank you Bennett for dedicating yourself to making the Eastern Sierra a better place. I will miss you.

     
  29. earl duran January 3, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    What sad news for Inyo county, who will carry the torch for the good people in Inyo?

     
  30. Wally Hofmann January 3, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    Benett Kessler brought a passion for the truth, uncommon journalistic class, a disarming whit, integrity, and ceaseless charm with her to work every single day. I’ve been greatly blessed to have known her as a friend and worked alongside her in the news business. Without a doubt, Bennett was the Owens Valley’s most courageous, smartest and entrepreneurial reporters this beautiful land has ever seen. She gave her all to the people, the news-gathering process, and this place she loved. Some shoes can’t be filled. Rest well, Bennett, you’ve earned it.

     
  31. Alice Chan January 3, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    I’m in shock. It never occurred to me that Benett wouldn’t live forever. She was the voice of truth in local news in my ear during the two decades I lived in the Owens Valley, 1969-1989.
    Benett’s family and friends are in my heart now.

     
  32. Kammi Foote January 3, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    Rest in Peace Benett Kessler. Your investigative reporting has helped keep government in the Eastern Sierra honest for many years and I will miss your watchful eye.

     
  33. Charles O. Jones January 3, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    Sad to hear. I wasn’t even aware she was ill. I always appreciated her perspective and level headed reporting.

    My heart goes out to her friends, family and coworkers. May she rest in peace.

     
  34. Heidi January 3, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Thank You Bennett for all your effort to make the world and the Eastern Sierras a Better Place. You did make a difference. Namaste Dear One !

     
  35. Ken Warner January 3, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    Sadness. Emptiness. Gratefulness.

     
  36. Jeffrey Wenger January 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    RIP Bennett.. A huge loss to our community. Her courage to investigate stories will surely be missed.. Prayers to all from us..

     
  37. chris January 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    Such sad news. Benett’s passing leaves a huge hole in the Owens Valley. Reading the article made me realize that she is who I would have liked to have become. She was my hero. May she rest in peace and keep watch of us, and LADWP, from above,

     
  38. Dan Watson January 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    Bennett’s passing creates a huge void in the Eastern Sierra that will never be filled. I enjoyed getting to know her over the past few years. I admired her journalistic integrity and efforts to keep the public informed of what was going on behind the scenes. She always tried to get it right. I will miss her gentle yet determined spirit.

     
  39. Wayne Deja January 3, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    I never met Benett,but felt like I knew her well….RIP…She will be missed.

     
  40. Tom Woods January 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    Benett was one of a kind. It takes a lot of willpower to run a TV and Radio station in a small community like ours. I have always been in awe of her determination to do so. How do you report the news without eventually alienating everybody in the Eastern Sierra, even advertisers? Yet she never hesitated to say something if it was true.

    When I was learning the business, I went in to ask her about running a story that might be negative toward an advertiser. Again-no hesitation. Is it true? Then run it.

    Benett always stuck to her principles in the news. She was also ahead of her time on the business side of the news. We were all lucky to have someone like her reporting the news here in Eastern Sierra.

     
  41. Karen Ferrell-Ingram January 3, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you, Bennett, for your long-time coverage and quest for understanding of the real Eastern Sierra. I always appreciated your thoughtful reporting on the wildlife, open spaces, waterways, and rural aspects of this beautiful place where we live. We were lucky to have your voice in our lives.

     
  42. Hans Laetz January 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Benett was a journalist with a capital J. I cannot tell you how well-respected she was here in the world of Los Angeles journalism. You folks in the Eastern Sierra clearly know what I mean.

    She entered the world of news to report, to make things clear, to shadow and expose DWP dealings and to “beat” on bureaucrats. The Eastern Sierra found its voice through John and Benett — and through their creation of Sierra Wave Media, Bob Todd and the Sierra Wave staff will continue this work.

    I can think of no small town blessed with a more-vibrant, accurate, smart and feisty reporter/videoographer/editor/anchor/bureaucrat beat journalist than Benett. You were so lucky, we were so lucky, to have her.

     
  43. Trouble January 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    I’ll miss ya, rest in peace!

     
  44. Thom Heller January 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Bennett, you will be sorely missed. A woman with class and what a impact you had on this land that we call home. Your seat at the front of every Town Council meeting has never been filled and fearfully may never be. You were a leader in your profession and someone that I looked forward to watch every weekday evening, to the point that I was upset at myself if not home from work on time. When asked, much of the time I enjoyed answering your questions, but some of them were extremely probing. Such a loss.

     
  45. Jim Ellis January 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

    In my 4 years on the Bishop City Council, Benett was always fair and respectful towards me. I truly appreciated that, and she was always easy to speak to during interviews. Even when she wanted to push, she also knew the lines I couldn’t cross and was respectful of those. Thank you Benett, may the gates of Heaven welcome you.

     
  46. Jon Levin January 3, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    I worked with Benett and John from 1978 to 1982 when I was Sales Manager at the old KIOQ-FM. There were time when we really went head to head because we disagreed with each other but the respect I had for Benett Kessler was immeasurable. She was a passionate fighter for fairness and a staunch defender of the Owens Valley and it wonderful people.

    I am crushed and saddened by this news. Rest in peace Benett. If anyone deserves it, you do.

    Jon Levin
    Naples, Florida

     
  47. upthecreek January 3, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    RIP Benett

    ” There’ll be two dates on your tombstone
    everyone will read them..but the only thing that matters
    is the little [ dash between them ]”
    and you truly made it matter.

    Thank You my friend

     
  48. Kyleanne January 3, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

    Benett you were one of a kind, so true & honest so blessed to know such a good soul. Truly the Real Deal and Truth in this Community.
    Namaste
    Kyleanne

     
  49. Rodney January 3, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    Thank you to Benett Kessler.
    As a regular visitor to the Owens Valley each fall for more than 30 years, I have always looked forward to hearing her ‘Bureaucrat Beat’ reports on the local radio. They were truly unique – unforgettable.

     
  50. Riccardo January 4, 2015 at 12:18 am #

    I am a fanatic of the Owens Valley, and go up as much as I can, while back in Southern California I check everyday with the Sierra Wave Media, never met her, but reading all the articles and comments about her, I have nothing but respect for her sadness for her passing.

     
  51. Michael B January 4, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    RIP Benett Kessler.

     
  52. Jenifer Castaneda January 4, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    Bennet, You were my hero!

     
  53. Steve Taylor January 4, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    RIP…. Thanks for giving me a chance to work with your News Team in the past. Seeing my videos and reports on your stations kept me going all these years. Thanks again and we will continue to be a voice of truth here in Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra!

     
  54. John H. January 4, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    As a frequent visitor to the Eastern Sierra I often read the Sierra Wave news and appreciated Benett’s independent style of journalism. She will truly be missed. Prayers for her friends and family. May she rest in peace. Hopefully her journalistic spirit and activism will be continued by others.

     
  55. Charles O. Jones January 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    I hope she’s reading this and sees how many lives she’s touched.

     
  56. Darla H. January 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    Sad news. My condolences to Bennett’s loved ones, both family & friends. She will be greatly missed.

     
  57. Tom O January 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    RIP friend.

     
  58. MK January 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    It was always a pleasure to speak with Bennett. I was fortunate to chat with her in person. She always seemed to try to get it right. She looked out for community. You will be missed and your legacy will live on.

     
  59. Jarod W. January 4, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Benett led the charge to speak the truth and ask the hard questions. It’s our responsibility now to honor her by stepping up and carrying on her fearless!, and open discussions.

    The powers that be are all more aware because of her; the powers that aren’t are grateful.

    Thank you Bennet, you blessed this beautiful Owens Valley like no one else could. We will miss you dearly. Please keep a watchful eye on us and give us a nudge when we need it.

     
  60. Rick O'Brien January 5, 2015 at 12:00 am #

    I JUST returned home from spending New years at Topaz and couldn’t believe it, and am so truly saddened. Without Benett’s tireless reporting, A LOT of issues in the Eastern Sierra would have never been brought to light. The good residents of Mono and Inyo counties owe her a great debt for telling it like it is (was) . Her shoes can never be filled, but I hope that somebody can carry on with her legacy.

     
  61. stan eller January 5, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    I truly admired Benet’s tenacity, honesty and straight forward approach to reporting. I could always trust her. I will always miss her.

     
  62. Rosie Dominguez January 5, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    I am also truly saddened to hear about Benett’s passing. When ever we hear Bob say………, this is Bob Todd sitting in for Benett Kessler, I will smile and think maybe Bennet is too, from somewhere. RIP Bennet. You beautiful person. Rosie D.

     
  63. Chris Plakos January 5, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    So sad. In the 35+ years I knew Benett, I had a deep respect for her intelligence and journalistic ability, and I always considered her a very good friend. We talked often and had many interesting and stimulating conversations, all of which I treasured greatly. Her service to the Eastern Sierra knew no bounds and her legacy and impact will remain forever. She will be missed by all. Rest in peace, Benett.

    Chris Plakos

     
  64. Sue Hutson January 5, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    A big thank you to Bob Todd for this morning’s moving musical tribute to this amazing lady already horribly missed by the community.

     
  65. David Baumwohl January 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    Sad news for our community. Benett was one of the first people I met when I came to the Eastern Sierra in 1980 as a young attorney. She welcomed me, and we maintained an excellent professional relationship through all these years. She was most gracious and professional in contacting me about news items, and very respectful when I could not provide information on client matters. I remained a fan of her broadcasting from the early Mammoth Cable TV days up through her current ventures. Her integrity and truthfulness were never in question with me.

     
  66. Jim Gustafson January 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    29 years ago Bennett interviewed me when I started working at the new MLPD. I still have a copy of the factual, humorous and informative article she wrote. Over the years I was in constant contact with her regarding PD news releases and she always got them right and spot on. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. A professional all the way. RIP Bennett.

     
    • Linda January 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

      I am not of your community, but do not understand how any dislike could be checked on a personal tribute that was so positive towards Anne Benett Kessler. To each their own though. Anne must know what this was about and is smiling.

       
  67. Barbara Laughon January 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    I count myself lucky that two years ago I was able to tell Benett what she meant to me. She was one of a kind and will hold a warm spot in my heart for the remainder of my life. My condolences to her family, friends and all those at Sierra Wave Media.

     
  68. Dee Younger January 5, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    Most of you knew Benett much better than I did, So I will forego with the tributes. It should only be appropriate that this be the most commented on story in the history of Sierra Wave Media. Keep it going people.

     
  69. Sheryl Saari January 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    Benett was a woman of principle who never turned away from controversy. She was smart as a whip and she used her wit to remind many a bureaucrat of whom they served. Her voice and delivery brought the deeds of LADWP to light and I’m sure they were not pleased about that!
    She was one of a kind and her death is a huge loss for the people of the Eastern Sierra. RIP Benett.

     
  70. Marc Margulies January 5, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    It was with deep sadness to hear of Benetts passing. We will miss her and until we see her again, in a better place. It was great to remember the times we visited for work or a story. Benett was always interested in what was going on in and around my families lives. Meeting Benett many years back to re lite the studio for her was a pleasure I will always remember. Melissa Margulies my daughter interned many years back and edited some work for Benett one summer. Benett was always interested in Melissa’s accomplishments in Womens Football LFL and would show highlights from here games in one of the fastest growing women’s sports at the time. Its sad to know Benett has moved on miss you Benett RIP Marc and the Margulies family

     
  71. Eastern Sierra Local January 6, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    Bennett Kessler is a local legend, I’m still shocked and saddened by the loss. While we didn’t agree on issues all the time I always appreciated her insight and contrary views. She strived to make the Owens Valley a better place against huge obstacles; with the passing of John Heston, Kenny Scruggs, and now Bennett I feel that an age has come to an end in the Owens Valley and that there will be some big shoes to fill.
    Love you and miss you already Ms. Kessler!

     
  72. William Kahrl January 6, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    Benett was enormously helpful while I was writing Water and Power. I wonder if the book could have been completed without her insights and, more important, her example. To me she has always been a model of what journalism at its best can achieve. She was both an occasional scourge and constant inspiration to her community. And she was one of the most courageous people I’ve ever known.

     
  73. The Aggressive Progressive January 6, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    How fortunate the valley has been to have Benett Kessler speaking truth to power, the heart, the courage, the drive and determination, the trials and tribulations that had taken place to allow us to have a platform such as this website to connect and share.. I can’t find the words to express my gratitude to all the creators, sponsors and advocates that made Sierra Wave media a reality.
    Benett and the emergence of Sierra Wave Media truly is a inspiring story, and a prime example of the priceless gifts we often take for granted..Thank You Benett! Thank You Sierra Wave Media Crew!

    Jeremiah Joseph.
    LP

     
  74. Brenda Burt January 6, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Benett was such a joy to work with. She always took care of business and was so nice to me whenever I called. I wish I had known her better – she seems like a kindred soul. May she be dancing in the sky and know now how much she meant to so many. I know her staff will miss her terribly. RIP my friend.

     
  75. Erich W January 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    It is sad to hear that Benett has passed away. She is the definition of a hero in every sense of the word. Condolences to all her family and friends.

     
  76. Wondering January 6, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    In reading the above, I swear I heard her “laugh” when I read “she added with a laugh”…..made me smile, and cry…love you my dear friend..until we meet again I will keep you close in my thoughts daily, with a smile and a quick laugh. <3 <3 <3

     
  77. Jackie January 7, 2015 at 12:06 am #

    R.I.P.

     
  78. Shelby Schneider January 7, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    I join those so saddened and shocked by this news. Benett was such a strong, kind, forceful supportive person! She frequented Java Jive and Juice; and I got to know her through my husbands work with her station. I had the feeling and desire to contact her this past year during my trips to Bishop; I am so sorry I did not make the connection. Yes, her spirit is “here” and lives on. Thank you Benett for always speaking your mind,and being so supportive of me in my efforts and endeavors.

     
  79. Allen Berrey January 7, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    My heart is heavy. We have lost a great friend and champion.

    For decades, Benett was the best, truest, and most dependable “public servant” around.

    I could write pages and still not fully express my admiration, respect, and affection for her.

    To sum it all up, though, I would simply say that Benett Kessler was one darn good American.

     
  80. Phil Tevlin January 7, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    The world is a better place since Benett Kessler trod its paths, and I’m a better person for knowing her. She was a good friend to me. Rest in peace, Ms. Benett, you’ve earned it.

     
  81. Jack Pound January 8, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    BK – Be Knowing

    Knowing you – knowing why,
    Searching for the many secrets.
    Always hidden behind the veil,
    Truths are hard to find.

    Rise up, O ye people,
    Cherish the truth you know.
    Be knowing sublime grace,
    Empowered balance within.

    Mystery surrounds us all
    On the journey of truth.
    Asking nothing in return,
    The path’s light forever shines.

    Rest in peace, old soul;
    The journey is complete.
    Truth at last prevails,
    Spirit and Source live on.

     
  82. Curious January 9, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    I often wondered what it would be like to get the final word in one our verbal judo exchanges.

    The best I can come up with is, your words will live in my mind just as long as mine do.

    Thank You Bennet on many levels!

     
  83. Elizabeth Glazner January 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    I had huge respect for Benett Kessler, and regret I never got to meet her during the few years I got to live in Bishop (some of which I spent as a newsgatherer). Her reporting was The Record. The Eastern Sierra needed her and is no doubt better for all her contributions over the years. This is very sad news.

     
  84. Linda January 30, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    I am so glad I found this page. I knew Anne Benett Kessler when we were students at the University of Chicago. I am saddened to hear she has died. My condolences to all of her friends and her surviving mother. I admire her and what she accomplished. She became a part of a community and seems to have accomplished a great deal and lived a good life. Wishing you all the best who knew her recently.

    Linda Richter
    New York City

     
    • Linda January 30, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

      And what a wonderful tribute all your comments are to her! Wow. She did well in her life! Hugs to you Anne.

       
  85. mongo April 2, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    The greatest legacies I have ever seen have been those left in the souls of friends and acquaintances.

     

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