Nevada City commentator Chamba Lane dies at 70
May 26, 2011
Chamba Lane was as known for giving back to the community as he was for his sometimes controversial commentary.
The KVMR host succumbed to lung cancer Tuesday evening at his Nevada City home.
“He was a big proponent of independent thought,” KVMR program director Steve Baker said. “His show ranged from all sorts of conspiracy theories, very much a questioner of authority and a questioner of government.”
Lane hosted “Rabble Rousing” for about 15 years, Baker said. The show covered often controversial issues concerning the government and media.
“It could be an experience and a half,” Baker said. “He was indignant, opinionated. He was always saying to the caller, ‘get to the point.’ He didn’t want listeners on his talk show to ramble on.”
Lane was in Costa Rica earlier this year when a spot was discovered on his lung, Baker said. When he returned to Nevada County, the cancer had spread throughout his lungs, liver and bones.
A host of friends, including fellow KVMR hosts Cheri Snook and Dawn Fischer, cared for Lane during his last days, camping out at his house and bringing food. Pineapple and chocolate ice cream were favorites.
“Working with Chamba was always a delight,” Snook said. “We’d all brace ourselves to see what he was going to do that day to enlighten our minds with truth and justice.
“Chamba was a very giving man,” she continued.
The avid softball player was concerned with the county’s homeless population; on his deathbed, he worried about Mark Staneart, a fellow KVMR host who suffered a brain injury.
“He gave a lot financially to this community,” Snook said. “He gave to charities, he gave to a lot of nonprofits, he was a supporter of wonderful things that happened in our community.”
Lane was instrumental in bringing Title 25 to Nevada County, said acquaintance Betsy Lombard. The alternative building code allows people to construct a home who otherwise wouldn’t have the resources to do so.
“We wanted to build a house, but it seemed impossible financially,” Lombard, who heard of the program on KVMR, said. “Chamba was instrumental. He really made it happen in Nevada County. He made the building department accept it.
“He was definitely the kind of guy who got things done in life,” she added.
In addition to his beloved dog and cat, Lane, 70, is survived by brother John Howard. After 10 years, the two recently reconnected after a special on Lane ran on KVMR.
“The power of radio is a lifesaver, it saved their family,” Snook said.
Last week, some 250 people came to Lane’s living memorial, an event that was one of his first wishes after he received his diagnosis.
“He was still full of wit, whimsy and vinegar,” Baker said. “Really and truly, he was a wonderful human being. A real, true Nevada County character whose voice went far beyond Nevada County.”
Additional services are pending. Visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/chambalane
To contact Staff Writer Angela Diaz, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4203.