He was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who was injured during the Northridge earthquake. He worked for Gov. Jerry Brown, and he took transportation and environmental issues seriously.
Ken Gosting, 62, was found dead in Mariposa Creek near Mariposa on Saturday. Sheriff's deputies had been contacted by Gosting's friend Barron Brouillette when Gosting wasn't at his residence.
Mariposa Sheriff Brian Muller said the cause of death was drowning, and suicide will be listed on the death certificate.
Dick Whittington, the transit manager for Yosemite Area Rapid Transit System, said Gosting had clear ideas about keeping buses safe.
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"There was a bad bus accident down south, and Gosting brought up the idea of seat belts in buses," Whittington said.
The YARTS board did research on the possibility of using seat belts, then established a policy that any new vehicles had to have seat belts.
"Our first bus with three-point seat belts will be here in April," Whittington said. "That's Ken's legacy to us."
Leroy Radanovich, a former Mariposa County supervisor and longtime resident of the area, said he first met Gosting in the 1980s.
"He worked hard on the promotion of Mariposa County," Radanovich said. "He enjoyed helping the merchants of Mariposa get in contact with news organizations."
Radanovich said Gosting also helped when Radanovich was tourism director for the county. "I had no experience, and he helped me greatly by introducing me to the right people."
According to Radanovich, Gosting worked for the Los Angeles Times and was injured during the Northridge earthquake. "The serious injuries to his back plagued him from that point on," Radanovich said. Gosting also covered the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. and worked on the staff of Gov. Jerry Brown.
He had also been a part-time correspondent for the Sun-Star.
"He seemed to know some of the top people in the news business," Radanovich said. "He worked behind the scenes to get events in Mariposa in the spotlight."
Radanovich said that with Gosting's help, Mariposa County got a seat on the Central Valley Rail Authority. Gosting was also the executive director of the organization, Transportation Involves Everyone.
Because of his disabilities, Radanovich said Gosting had to use public transportation to get around. "There are people in Mariposa who very quietly looked after him, and he certainly repaid them many times over. He will be missed by many people here."
Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.