Monday, October 29, 2012

Natina Reed, singer and star of 'Bring It On', dead at 32

Blaque's Natina Reed died tragically in a hit-and-run accident early Saturday morning in Atlanta, but the singer is being remembered fondly by Kurupt, the father of her son.

Though they never married, Tha Dogg Pound rapper and Reed were engaged in the early 2000s and have a 10-year-old son, Tren Brown, together. Reed, who was crossing a street when she was struck, died two days shy of her 33rd birthday. On Sunday evening (October 28), Kurupt (born Ricardo Emmanuel Brown) expressed his profound loss and extended his gratitude for the outpouring of well-wishes in a statement to MTV News.

"Myself and Tren, Natina's son, would like to thank everyone for their love and support during this tragic time," he said. "This is a tremendous loss to our family. Natina was a great person and I wish everyone had the opportunity to meet her and know her as I did."

Blaque were among a string of girl groups, including 702 and 3LW, that dominated the charts in the late 1990s. But Reed and her groupmates Brandi Williams and Shamari Fears had something of a fairy R&B godmother in TLC megastar Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who mentored the group and even made cameos in their videos until her own tragic death in April 2002 at age 30. (In an eerie turn, the energetic femcees known to have shared a close bond, fell a decade apart, both in car accidents and right around the same age.)

The trio enjoyed music industry success with singles like the aforementioned "808" and "Bring It All to Me"; their videos are a veritable time capsule of pre-millennium urban sounds and styles, from mid-riff-baring metallic jumpsuits to platform sneakers. They even took their act to the big screen, playing Compton, California-bred cheerleaders in the 2000 classic "Bring It On."

Reed's death prompted eulogizing as news made its way to the Net over the weekend. A distraught Williams posted this message on Twitter: "Last night the world was changed forever, life will never be the same....she was my sister."

Meanwhile, the trio's "Bring It On" co-star Grabielle Union was brief but equally poignant, writing, "#RIP #Sad #BringItOn."

Although earlier reports cited an unidentified hit-and-run driver as culpable in Reed's death, a Gwinnett County police spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that "as of right now, it does not appear that the driver has any fault in this event," adding that it he actually contacted police about the accident and wasn't expected to face any charges. Reed was apparently standing a roadway late Friday night, and officials are seeking assistance from "anyone who might have information about anything that could help us determine why she was there."

The R&B musician died after being struck by a car on Saturday. She was 32.

Natina Reed, an R&B singer with the girls’ band Blaque, died early Saturday after being struck by a car just north of Lillburn, Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Authorities reportedly ruled out a hit-and-run contrary to earlier online reports. Reed would have turned 33 on Sunday.

Reed was a rapper-singer for Blaque, an R&B group from the late-90s, with a number of hits including “808” and “Bring It All To Me.” She also had a brief acting career including a role as a member of the East Compton Clovers cheerleading squad in the movie “Bring It On.”

Reed was engaged at one-time to rapper Kurupt. She gave birth to their son, Tren Brown, in 2002.
She was reportedly working on a solo rap album and a potential reunion with Blaque at the time of her death.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Apple deal with labels might include sharing ad revenue

RAIN 10/26: Apple Net radio could launch in early 2013, says Bloomberg

Paul Maloney
Bloomberg News reported late yesterday that Apple's rumored negotiations with record labels (first reported in RAIN here) "have intensified," and that negotiators could reach a settlement by the middle of next month. That would pave the way for Apple's own ad-supported Internet radio service to launch in early 2013.
Early last monthThe New York Times andThe Wall Street Journal broke the story that Apple had been in talks with major record labels for its own webcast service. Following the publication of the Bloomberg story, Pandora's stock price fell 12%, to an all-time low of $7.97 this morning, valuing the company at about $1.3 billion.
The negotiations reportedly involve record labels getting a share of advertising revenues and inventory. "In addition to an upfront fee, record companies are seeking a percentage of ad sales and the ability to insert their own commercials for artists," Bloomberg reports.
In exchange for sharing ad income and space, Apple would presumably be allowed to stream music without the same constraints with which other webcasters do (the technical term for these constraints is the "sound performance complement" of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Apple "wants listeners to be able to buy tracks as music streams or revisit what they’ve heard in auto-generated playlists."
"If Apple offers a radio product, it will be far superior to anything else on the market," Rich Greenfield, a New York analyst with BTIG, told Bloomberg. "They’re seeking direct licenses to avoid all the restrictions that come with a compulsory license." 
The story also reported that Apple's Internet radio service would be mobile-focused, "tailored for its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch" devices. In other words, if sources are correct, the servicewon’t be focused on delivering music through a Web browser.
Bloomberg attributes all of these details to "people with knowledge of the talks."
Read Bloomberg News here.
Paul Maloney
Two noted technology writers today consider the likelihood of Apple launching an Internet radio service, and challenge the notion that it would mean death to competitors like Pandora.
Peter Kafka writes for All Things D, the tech blog of The Wall Street Journal. He suggests that because Apple can create great devices doesn't mean it'll be a slam-dunk for it to own the ad-supported Internet radio space.
"Selling Internet ads turns out to be a difficult, labor-intensive process — maybe even more so for Internet radio ads, which require lots of face time with local buyers," Kafka reminds us. "Pandora has been plodding away at this for years, with some success. But it seems hard to imagine Apple spending the same kind of effort."
Bloomberg's sources report that record labels want a cut of that ad revenue, and even some of the ad inventory itself to promote their artists (read more in our original coverage here). But Greg Sandoval at CNet spoke with other unnamed sources that say the labels aren't yet satisfied with what Apple's offering, which makes an Apple "iRadio" launch (that's the shorthand we've been seeing) anything but a done deal.
"Some decision makers at the big record companies want Apple to sweeten the offer," as Sandoval paraphrases the "music executives" with whom he spoke. "CNET's sources say that some of the sector's leaders don't believe the cut Apple put on the table is big enough."
Part of the problem may be that Apple expects not only relaxed restrictions on how it can use the music (see "sound performance complement" note in our Bloomberg coverage here), but also wants a discount on royalties.
"Sources said Apple has offered to pay a lower royalty rate than Pandora pays even though it wants to provide iTunes users with the ability to do more with the music than Pandora's customers enjoy," wrote Sandoval.
And even if Apple were to launch its own streaming radio, Kafka thinks keeping it within the Apple-verse leaves ample listening opportunities on other platforms for Pandora.
"It’s unlikely that (Apple's) going to make that one available for Android users. Which means Pandora will still have plenty of room to play."
Read Kafka in All Things D here and Sandoval in CNet here.
An interesting footnote: Regarding yesterday's news of the official launch of the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition to support the Internet Radio Fairness Act, Sandoval in CNet says "CNET has learned that the top record companies plan to quietly gather next week to discuss their strategy for fighting the legislation. In addition to the representatives from the top three labels, invitations were sent this week to some of the music industry's top music managers."
Paul Maloney
Both of Internet radio's leading stream aggregation services, TuneIn and iHeartRadio, have created specially-designed apps for Microsoft's brand new Windows 8 operating system.
Kristin George, Director of Product, TuneIn noted, "Not only did Windows 8 give us the canvas to create a beautiful interface that works with keyboard, mouse, and touch, but it also helped us showcase how TuneIn can easily deliver listeners’ favorite stations by providing the ability to pin them directly to their Start screen."
"iHeartRadio worked closely with Microsoft during the Windows 8 preview phase to develop the app to be available across a broad range of Windows 8 devices," read the iHeartRadio newsletter.
Both apps are available in the Windows 8 app store. Read more about Windows 8 here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Paper attributes drop in sales of radios to growth of online/mobile radio listening

RAIN 10/18: Almost 30% of UK radio listening now on digital platforms

Paul Maloney
Ofcom -- the UK government's counterpart to the FCC in the U.S. -- has published its third "Digital Radio Report" as it anticipates an eventual nationwide "switchover" of all radio to digital platforms.
Ofcom would like the switchover to happen in 2015 -- but they're waiting for 50% of all radio listening to be via digital platforms, and national DAB coverage to be comparable to that of FM (and local DAB to reach 90% of the population and all major roads). (DAB is the UK's digital radio system, along the same lines as, but significantly different than, HD Radio in the U.S.)
For the 12 months ending in June 2012, data from RAJAR show 29.5% "of all radio listening hours were to services delivered over a digital platform."
Listening on a DAB digital radio set was the most widely-used method, accounting for just under 65% of all digital listening hours. Digitaltelevision was almost 16%, and Internet radioaccounted for over 13%. The most-listened-to "digital only" stations were BBC Radio 4 Extra, 6 Music, and Five Live Sports Extra (all with over a million average weekly listeners).
Interestingly -- and The Telegraph points this out -- just 6.7 million radio sets were sold in this time period, which is an 18.3% drop from the same period last year. The paper attributes this to "radio listening (that) is now online or via apps, and new apps such as the iPlayer and Radioplayer (that) have encouraged more users to listen via their mobiles."
Read the summary of Ofcom's report here; and coverage from The Telegraph here.
Paul Maloney
Logitech this week began the digital marketing campaign to support its new line of streaming music devices and accessories. The Logitech UE line includes two boom boxes, a smart radio that plays Internet radio, online music services and music on acomputer, noise-isolating earphones, and three styles of headphones (coverage in RAINis here). The ad campaign was spotlighted inThe New York Times' Media & Advertising section.
The campaign is three different videos depicting "real-life situations where music played a vital role" (a Christmas Eve cease-fire on the Western Front during World War I,pirate radio off the coast of Britain, andastronauts on the International Space Station listening to music).  
Logitech, incidentally, raised the ire of the Squeezebox user community (of which your humble correspondent is/was an avid participant) when it became apparent that the company will (at some point) discontinue support for the platform in favor of UE line. CNet explained (here), "The Squeezebox network audio streamers weren't typical products; owners were buying into an ecosystem of products. The ability to add more Squeezebox products to your network was a major selling point, making Squeezebox owners more invested in the platform than you'd be with another gadget. The Squeezebox ecosystem also includes software, and now there's aserious question as to how long the now-discontinued products will continue to work at full functionality. Squeezebox products rely on the server to access streaming services like Rhapsody, Spotify, Pandora, and Internet radio."
Logitech did eventually state that it intends to "actively support the (Squeezebox) service," but hasn't not indicated how long that support will last.
Webcasters Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker are running the campaign in the United States (it's also on Vevo, Myspace, YouTube, and Spotify). Logitech is also running banner ads with links to the videos on hundreds of web sites in the U.S., Britain, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Logitech's new UE products are currently available only at Apple retail locations and on the Web sites of Apple and Logitech. Beginning October 21, they will be available online and offline through BestBuy and at, while select products will also be available at Verizon stores in November.
Read The New York Times' campaign spotlight here.
Paul Maloney
Today Songza has announced that since its August launch in Canada (here), they've exceeded 900,000 iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad installsin Canada, accounting for the majority of the over 160,000,000 streams served so far to one million registered users there. And, according to company metrics, the average time per visit for Canadians is 3.66% longer than that of U.S. listeners.
Songza is the webcaster known for its "music concierge" interface that offers playlists based on the time of day and a listener's likely activities.
Songza reveals that when listeners browse by "Mood," "Mellow" is the top choice on both sides of the 49th Parallel. (Americans’ next most-popular mood category is "Happy," while Canadians’ is "Sexual.") The top "Activity" stations for both Americans and Canadians are Working- and studying-related; but the third most popular for Canadians is "Cardio Workouts" while it's "Partying" in the U.S.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Assaults on ADAPT members by the Police in Harrisburg

See the assaults on ADAPT members by the police in Harrisburg at the
Pennsylvania Department of Public Work as we try to get the message across
that My Medicaid Matters!

ADAPT is trying to get Pennsylvania to take advantage of 185 million dollars
to rebalance long term services and supports and help balance the budget.

Learn more about the action:

Call PA Governor Corbett
and tell him to work with PA ADAPT to implement
Community First Choice

NATIONAL ADAPT MAILING LIST - Adapt Community Choice Act List



Cassie James Holdsworth, 215 219 0694 Philadelphia PA
Pam Auer, 717 798 2807 Harrisburg PA
Kathleen Kleinmann, 412 916 3135 Washington PA
Bruce Darling, 585 370 6690 Rochester NY

WHO: ADAPT, a national disability rights group is hosting the rally with several partner organizations at the national, state 
and local levels. Partner organizations currently include: statewide groups such as the Disability Rights Network of 
Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Independent Living Council, the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association, Visions for 
Equality, as well as national groups like TASH.

WHAT: A National Rally on Medicaid home and community based services for people with disabilities and seniors. A simultaneous 
rally is also being held in Olympia, Washington.

WHEN: 1 pm EST

WHERE:  Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg, PA. The rally will be on the fountain side of the Capitol on Commonwealth 

WHY:  Governor Corbett's rollback policies on Medicaid home and community based living are damaging years of careful program 
building for people with disabilities, as well as children and seniors.  Pennsylvania is just one of many states experiencing a 
severe crisis in Medicaid home and community based services funding.  Advocates from across the nation are joining together 
today in Harrisburg to send a message to all state governments, Congress and the White House that Medicaid is critical to 
independence.  Medicaid is a hot button issue during this election season; over 50 million Americans use Medicaid services.  
ADAPT's lead campaign is called My Medicaid Matters, to

About ADAPT:  ADAPT is a national grassroots disability rights group dedicated to fighting for the right of people with 
disabilities to live in their own homes, not nursing homes or institutions.  ADAPT's hosting of this rally builds on three days 
of direct action in Harrisburg focusing on Governor Tom Corbett and Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander.  For 
more information, see

Rally Emcees:

Linda Anthony, Rally Coordinator- NATIONAL AND PA ADAPT Member (Harrisburg)
Cassie James-Holdsworth-NATIONAL AND PA ADAPT Member (Philadelphia)

Opening remarks: Linda and Cassie

Speakers Confirmed at this Point:

Kathy Brill
Parent to Parent

Colleen Tomko
Kids Together Inc.

Jean Searle
President of TASH

State Representative Gene DiGeralamo

State Representative Vanessa Lowery-Brown

Judy Banks
Disability Rights Network of PA

Lynn Keltz
PA Mental Health Consumer Association

Mike Eakin
Erie, PA Consumer---uses Medicaid funded home services

Dee Coccia
Visions for Equality

Pam Auer
Not Dead Yet

Daniel Curcio
Direct Care Worker, Consumer Workforce Council

German Parodi
Chairperson Consumer Workforce Council

Cathy Cranston
Direct Care Worker, Advocate

Neal Bisno
President of SEIU Healthcare PA

Josue Rodriguez
National ADAPT Youth Committee Chairperson

Cassie James-Holdsworth
ADAPT Pre-Closing Summary on Needed Action for Medicaid in Pennsylvania

Bruce Darling of Rochester, New York
National ADAPT, will introduce the My Medicaid Matters Campaign

Bob Kafka of Austin, Texas
National ADAPT, My Medicaid Matters Campaign and the Future

FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at

South Korean Indie Music - there is no real profit to be found from rock festivals

South Korean indie bands, looking indie. Probably because they can't afford anything.
A poorer cousin of K-pop, the Korean indie scene is apparently not the place to make money, as the below article reports, arguing that even bands who have had some measure of success can rarely make ends meet. Some cite the amount of “idol” bands filling the charts in as the cause of this, whilst others point to the ‘mercenary’ nature of the Hongdae club scene.

Some netizens are saying the fans themselves are to blame for not spending enough on their favourite artists, others argue its just the bands that need to raise their own profiles, and the rest say it’s the Chaebols that have spoilt the music scene for new bands.

It is worth noting that in Korean that the use of the word “indie” does not refer to a specific genre in the way it might to our English-speaking readers. It is used here to refer to Korean punk acts of renown like Crying Nut and No Brain, as well as more commercial pop-rock artists like CNBLUE.

From Naver:

‘Almost No Bands Make A Living Through Music.’

’1 million won a month is practically nothing. Music is my dream but as you get older, it gets harder to stand.’ A (38), runs a bar in at Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, in Seoul. He was, 3 months ago, a guitarist in an active and successful indie band, that once topped the indie charts, and made their way into the public eye by writing music for dramas. However, despite being ‘on a roll’ they never earnt more than a million won a month. ‘In the indie world establishing yourself financially is not easy even if you have a following. There are nearly no bands making enough to get by through music.’ The members of A’s band have moved on to managing cafes, bars and schools, or just drifting between different jobs. But, this is not to say he’s given up music, he dreams of rekindling his love for music once he has raised enough money. 

Three of the few bands able to make a living from their music in the Korean indie scene, (L-R) Crying Nut, No Brain, and Nell.
Of the roughly 500 bands native to the Hongdae club scene, there are only around 10, including Crying Nut, No Brain and Nell(Pictured, L-R), who are able to make a living. Many have pointed out that in order to help diversify Korean music, indie bands would have to have been able to perform steadily for 20-30 years.
There are currently around 500 bands native to the Hongdae area, and this estimate is separate from the one given by the Record Label Industry Association of Korea. Of the roughly 100 bands playing this year’s rock festivals, the bands able to make a living amounts to less than 10, and they tend to be well known acts such as Crying Nut, No Brain and Nell
In the year 2000, rookie indie bands made their way into the public eye, and began to be paid on a monthly basis. Popularity was rewarded with the assurance of Korean releases, and pay was around a million won each. These despotic ‘slave contracts’ are greatly praised amongst business circles. 

The number of indie bands playing at rock festivals who are capable of earning the minimum cost of living (in 2012 around 55 million won) is estimated to be around 100. This is because, outside of business events, there is no real profit to be found from rock festivals. Album sales are only a publicity issue and, the truth is, the sales market has sort of died, with digital recording sales returning a mere 5% to each singer. 

According to high-ranking fan club members, we are fast approaching the ‘free stage’. More than ten venues, such as Club FF, Evans, Hauter, Jammers, Spat, Ta, Drug, GoGoS2, and others, are holding animated concerts in the Hongdae area, but the earnings from these events are extremely poor. Most clubs will only start paying the artists money from the admission fee if the audience has more than 10 people. The effect of this is a B-list band getting 12 people to come would then have to split the profit from those two people 5 ways. So it is common for bands to be playing a venue that’s getting 2-3 million won without receiving a penny.

Korean indie music agencies have said ‘Clubs are looking for an audience of 5-30 people on weekdays and 70-100 on the weekend, this is not easy and every club has the same requirements.’ adding ‘Club management won’t see profit from ticket sales and whilst they make a little money on selling booze, recently the sums haven’t added up at closing time.’

In their late 30s the young artists who determined to ‘make a living with music they like’ will start working in bars or cafes, teaching at schools, working as private tutors, or any job which will help them avoid joining the ranks of office workers.

An indie agency representative has pointed out ‘People may have formed programmes like EBS’s Hello Rookie, KBS Top Band, and KOCCA’s K-rookies, but there’s no real public interest. In order to help diversify Korean music, indie bands would have to have been able to perform steadily for 20-30 years.’
Cultural Critic Jeong Teokhyeon has said ‘The world of indie plays an important role in nourishing Korean music.’ and ‘This market needs help if it is to develop. Band must be increasingly and regularly invited on shows such as ‘I’m a singer’(KBS) and ‘Immortal Classic’(MBC)’

Lee Hyun

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Reclused Huguette Clark - 104 Year Old Copper Queen with $500 Million Estate Made Howard Hughes Look Like a Party Going Playboy

Deceased--Huguette Clark

Huguette Clark
June 9th, 1906 to May 24th, 2011
This is a photo from 1917 of mister Clark and his daughters Andrée and Huguette visiting Columbia Gardens, which he built in Butte. Huguette is on the right.

You have to wonder about Huguette Clark's life: She had so much and so little.

"Huguette Clark: New York's billionaire recluse dies, aged 104"
Manhattan heiress to copper fortune 'made Howard Hughes seem outgoing'


Ed Pilkington

May 25th, 2011

For 80 years her life was set in aspic, preserved as if in a time warp in an ever-shrinking social world that ended with her death this week aged 104 in a hospital room accompanied only by the nursescaring for her and her beloved French dolls.

But Huguette Clark leaves behind her a fortune estimated as at least $500m (£307m) and a story of eccentricity and loss anchored in another age.

For the past 22 years or more, she has lived under a false name in a hospital room, most recently in the Beth Israel Medical Centre, New York, where she died on Tuesday, with no one other than herlawyer allowed to visit her. The last known photograph of her shows her standing on a steamship swaddled in furs; it was taken in 1930.

As MSNBC's investigative reporter Bill Dedman, who has written the definitive work on Clark and last year tracked her down to a bustling corridor in the hospital, has put it: "She wasn't sick. She was reclusive. She made Howard Hughes seem outgoing."

By choosing to closet herself away at Beth Israel, Clark deprived herself of fabulous riches. Her inheritance included Bellosguardo, a mansion worth $100m overlooking the Pacific in Santa Barbara, California, which she last visited 50 years ago, as well as the $24m Le Beau Chateau, tucked among 21 hectares (52 acres) of land in Connecticut, which she bought in 1952 and expanded with an artist's loft but never occupied.

Above all, there was the Fifth Avenue apartment, distinguished by being the largest at that illustrious Manhattan address, with 42 rooms over one and a half floors of an entire block. She was last spotted there at least 22 years ago.

If Clark sounds a little irregular, then consider the source of her wondrous wealth – her father, William Clark. He was a copper tycoon from Montana, second in riches only to the oil magnate John Rockefeller.

Notorious for his curmudgeonly ways and temper, Clark is still remembered in Montana as the man who stripped the state of its natural wealth. He was seminal in the founding of Las Vegas, which he established as a maintenance base for one of his railway lines. He also has the dubious distinction of having inspired the 17th amendment to the American constitution which provides for direct elections for US senators – it was introduced after he tried to buy a seat.

Clark built a house on Fifth Avenue a few blocks from where Huguette eventually moved. It had 121 rooms and four art galleries, with electricity powered by a daily load of seven tons of coal brought to the house via his own subway line.

Huguette was brought up in that house and in Paris, where she had been born on 9 June 1906. She is said to have spoken English with a French accent to the day she died. She spent much of her time, both as a child and adult, with her prized collection of dolls, playing music – she owned four Stradivari including The Virgin, one of the most sought-after violins, made in 1709, given by her mother for her 50th birthday and later sold for $6m – and watching the Flintstones and other TV cartoons.

Why she became a recluse is not known. It could have been the bereavement of losing her elder sister, Andrée, who died in 1919 of meningitis, or of her mother in 1963, or it could have been related to divorcing her husband, William Gower, after just two years' marriage in 1930. Perhaps it was a reaction to her huge wealth. She once called money "a menace to happiness".

It is unclear what will happen to her fortune; it is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney.

She had no children and had not seen any relatives for decades. Her only visitors were her lawyer, Wallace Bock, and accountant, Irving Kamsler, each the subject of the attorney's attention after Clark's relatives complained a couple of years ago that her affairs were being mismanaged. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

"Huguette Clark dies at 104; reclusive heiress"

Huguette Clark, a copper tycoon's daughter, preferred to be known as Madame Clark and to be surrounded by her expensive French dolls. Relatives accuse her lawyer and accountant of mishandling her massive estate.


Steve Chawkins

May 26th, 2011

Los Angeles Times

Huguette Clark, a copper tycoon's daughter with a taste for exquisite French dolls, baronial homes and solitude, has died. She was 104.

Clark, who preferred to be known as Madame Clark, died Tuesday at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. She had resided at the hospital for more than 20 years, leaving vacant but meticulously tended her grand homes in Santa Barbara, New Canaan, Conn., and New York City.

Increasingly reclusive as she grew older, she would summon an antiques dealer to her palatial Fifth Avenue apartment and bargain with him only through a closed door. As her long life drew to an end, her cherished dolls are reported to have been her constant companions.

Her New York attorney, Wallace Bock, is one of the few people with whom she is known to have had regular contact. However, New York prosecutors are investigating whether he and accountant Irving H. Kamsler exploited the frail Clark, whose estate is valued at $500 million.

Bock's spokesman issued a brief comment on her death: "Madame Clark's passing is a sad event for everyone who loved and respected her over the years. She died as she wanted, with dignity and privacy. We intend to continue to respect her wishes for privacy."

Born into opulence in Paris on June 9, 1906, Huguette Marcelle Clark was the daughter of William Andrews Clark, a mine owner and railroad baron whose fortune rivaled John D. Rockefeller's. Huguette's mother, Anna LaChappelle, was 17 and portraying Lady Liberty in a Fourth of July pageant when the 56-year-old Clark, later a U.S. senator from Montana, saw her and was smitten.

Clark's father — who built a whistle-stop called Las Vegas in what is now Clark County, Nev. — was unashamed to display his wealth. Huguette grew up in a 121-room Manhattan mansion so over-the-top that New Yorkers called it "Clark's Folly." It included Turkish baths, galleries for an extensive art collection and a railroad spur for coal cars.

Huguette Clark was educated at Miss Spence's School for Girls in New York and took extended vacations in France.

When she was a teenager, her father acquired a Santa Barbara estate called Bellosguardo, an elegant home perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean. A private rail car would deposit the family at Bellosguardo every winter and Huguette would return there over the years. By all accounts, she had not set foot on her 23-acre property for at least half a century before her death.

Barbara Hoelscher Doran, the manager of a Montecito interior design business, grew up at Bellosguardo, where her father supervised the staff. When invited from her family's cottage to the estate's main house, she would don surgical-style slippers to avoid marring the parquet floors. As a young girl she was fond of Huguette, who would ask her to tea and give her children's books in French.

"She was a wonderful, kind, giving lady," Doran said. "I feel really saddened that it's the end of an era."

While William Andrews Clark was open to a fault, bragging that as a politician he "never bought a man who wasn't for sale," Huguette shunned the spotlight. In Santa Barbara, she was little known. She donated land and money for a 42-acre bird refuge near her estate and named it after Andree Clark, a sister who died of meningitis in 1919.

In her younger days, Huguette Clark was mentioned in society columns but soon faded from public view. She became a public figure — unwillingly — at the age of 103.

It was then that reports by raised questions about the handling of her estate.

Prompted by the news stories, three distant relatives told a New York judge that Clark's advisors had exerted "improper influence" over her. They pointed to a $1.5-million donation she made to an Israeli settlement in the disputed West Bank, where her attorney's daughter lived with her family. They also expressed concern over her accountant's guilty plea to charges that he had emailed pornography to teenage girls.

The judge denied their request for a guardian. Bock and Kamsler, who have not been charged with any crimes, denied any wrongdoing, including accusations that they tried to get themselves named in her will. In court papers, Bock cast the family members as opportunists.

None of the relatives, he said, had any contact with Huguette Clark until she was 95 — and that was only to seek funds for upkeep of a family mausoleum.

They were "officious interlopers," he wrote, "virtual strangers … with whom Ms. Clark has knowingly and assiduously avoided contact for decades."

Clark was married in 1928 to William MacDonald Gower, a son of one of her father's business associates. They divorced in 1930. She had no children and outlived her six brothers and sisters.

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