An Eggstravaganza of Delicate Art

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-19
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Sacramento’s 27th Annual Northern California Eggstravaganza is just around the corner. The yearly event features free admission in addition to shopping, a raffle and seminars taught by egg artists from around the globe. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Sacramento Shriners Hospital for Children.

“Egg artists from around the world will be teaching seminars, exhibiting and selling artwork created from real eggshells: ostrich, rhea, emu, goose – as small as finch eggs,” according to Show Director Diana Macias.

The seminars are February 23-26. Times and fees vary. Pre-registration is required. The exact schedule can be found online at the show website. The artists giving the seminars hail from the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

“Styles of artwork will include Fabergé, pysanka, etched, jeweled, beaded, painted, diorama, jewelry boxes and wearable art to name a few. Vendors will be selling supplies used to create artwork and miniatures,” said Macias.

Visit www.norcaleggart.com or email leggantdesigns@frontier.net for more information.

Photos courtesy of NorCal Egg Artists, artwork by Rosalie Juarez


Unsung Heroines Soar in Uplifting ‘Hidden Figures’

By David Dickstein  |  2017-01-19

Set at NASA during America

The movie’s opening scene is a white cop harassing three black women on the side of a road with a broken-down car. Later, white colleagues of these ladies will refuse their using the same coffee pots, water fountains and toilets at work. Career advancement for these blacks and others working at NASA? Not with the policies set by their white superiors. The movie also throws in a couple of civil rights protests to stress the segregated and prejudiced South of the 1960s. And, yet, in the entire 2-hour-plus movie, not a single “N word” is heard or a drop of blood seen.

What is this, “Cool Runnings?”

While both movies address how unfairly and disgustingly bigotry oppresses black people’s dreams for greatness, a PG rating, mainstream marketing and sanitized storytelling do repress their potential to deliver indelible messages for civil rights, and in the case of “Hidden Figures,” equal rights as well. Picture “Schindler’s List” without Jews being killed or dialogue free of anti-Semitic slurs. But like the aforementioned 1993 comedy about the Jamaican bobsled team hoping to make the Olympics, “Hidden Figures” still inspires. Big time.

Set at NASA during America's space race with the Soviets, the Hollywoodized, yet effecting biopic follows three brilliant black female employees who, despite obstacles placed by mostly male and lily-white superiors at Langley Research Center, make significant contributions while shooting for the stars. Thanks to the movie and the book on which it’s based, by Margot Lee Shetterly, these amazing women are unsung heroines no more.

Each lady gets her day in the sun, but at center is NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson). Without her, John Glenn wouldn’t have been the first American in space, and man might not have landed on the moon as early as we did. Computer scientist Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) does the work of a supervisor at Langley, but the glass ceiling is lowered for blacks, especially those who are also women. Engineer hopeful Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) also is hampered by a system that will require miracles and, like NASA’s space program desperately trying to catch up with the Soviets, a series of firsts. The main actresses make the most of their roles, but only one, Henson, gets the stand-taking moment that both audiences and Oscar voters love.

The mostly white supporting cast includes Kevin Costner as a driven, compassionate NASA chief and Kirsten Dunst as Dorothy’s snippy quasi-racist boss. Both are fine, which can’t be said of a lackluster Jim Parsons as NASA’s chief engineer. Haven’t seen a key role performed so flatly since Wile E. Coyote got road-killed.

Flaws notwithstanding, and they really are just nits, “Hidden Figures” blends emotion, heart, drive and even humor to engaging effect. Its Disney-like approach, where hardly a discouraging word is heard or physical struggle shown, does allow for younger audiences. With STEM and equality so key to our country’s future, maybe a movie like this being PG isn’t so bad. 4 of 5 Stars


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Sacramento FBI Teen Academy Applications Available Online

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2017-01-19

Class Offers Information, Experiences, and More to High School Juniors

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento field office is accepting applications for the Spring 2017 FBI Teen Academy. This unique opportunity is open to all high school juniors attending any school—public, private, and home school—in the 34-counties the field office serves. The application package is available for download now.

Students selected to participate will spend an entire day at FBI Sacramento field office headquarters in Roseville on Friday, April 7, 2017. Applying and attending the FBI Teen Academy program is free; however, families are responsible for travel to and from the class.

The FBI Teen Academy is a unique opportunity for any student—regardless of career interest—who is curious about the FBI, what the FBI investigates, and how it serves the community. FBI Teen Academy participants engage in activities and discussions about what the FBI does and current topics relative to FBI investigations. Activities may include discussions about cyber safety, terrorism, active shooter situations, and color of law and civil rights investigations; participation in simulated evidence response team and bomb techs scenarios; and frank conversations about online communication and staying safe in an always-connected world.

After completing the class, participants better understand the FBI’s role in their communities, grasp the complexity of FBI investigations, can make lifestyle choices to be safer in their day-to-day lives, and what FBI career paths are available. FBI Teen Academy students often remain connected with the field office to facilitate presentations, mentorship, and more.

Each spring and fall, the FBI Sacramento field office hosts the FBI Teen Academy for 20-36 students who spend a day in FBI facilities to learn about the agency, what it investigates, how it serves its community, how students can make wise lifestyle choices to be safer in their day-to-day lives, and what FBI career paths are available. The opportunity is available to any high school junior in the region the field office serves and can create a lasting connection between the students and the FBI. More than 250 students have attended the FBI Teen Academy in Sacramento to date.

To find the application see www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/sacramento/community-outreach-1


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Celebrate the New Year with Free Flowering Trees

Source: Arbor Day Foundation  |  2017-01-19

Residents in your state can ring in the New Year with 10 free flowering trees by joining the Arbor Day Foundation any time during January 2017.

By becoming a part of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation, new members will receive two Sargent crabapples, three American redbuds, two Washington hawthorns, and three white flowering dogwoods.

“These beautiful trees will beautify your home with lovely flowers of pink, yellow and white colors,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “These trees are perfect for large and small spaces, and they will provide food and habitat for songbirds.”

The free trees are part of the Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between February 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch tall trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

Members will also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care.

To become a member of the Foundation and to receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE FLOWERING TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by January 31, 2017.

Residents can also join online at www.arborday.org/january.


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Placer County and Tahoe Partners Preparing for Storms Hitting the Area This Week

Source: Robert Miller, County of Placer  |  2017-01-19

In preparation for a series of fast moving storms expected to affect Placer County through the coming weekend, the county and its partners in the North Lake Tahoe area are making plans to keep residents and visitors warm and informed.

The National Weather Service’s forecast for this week’s storms predicts typical winter storms with rain, wet snow and winds. However, these storms, on the heels of last week’s major storms, will affect an area that has already suffered from widespread power outages, flooding and downed trees. Additional snowfall on trees already full of snow from previous storms, coupled with saturated ground and winds, can lead to downed trees, which can then potentially take down power lines.

“We’d like to err on the side of caution for these storms,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Jennifer Montgomery, whose fifth district includes the eastern portion of the county and the North Lake Tahoe area. “We had people without power for many days with the last storms and we want to ensure if something similar happens that we can direct them to the appropriate places to get warm and get information.”

Should power be knocked out again for an extended period, residents can expect to find warming centers open during the day at:

  • Tahoe City Public Utility District, 221 Fairway Drive in Tahoe City, and
  • North Tahoe Public Utility District, 875 National Avenue in Tahoe Vista

These centers will offer people a place to stay warm, charge communications devices and get the latest information on changing weather conditions and storm-related news or advisories.


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William Jessup Baseball Opening Day January 28

Source: Amy Looney, Placer Valley Tourism  |  2017-01-19

McBean Park Stadium Renovations Bring Baseball Back to Lincoln

**** UPDATE ****

Due to inclement weather in the forecast for this weekend, the Opening Day festivities have been rescheduled for Saturday, January 28th.

On Saturday, January 28 the McBean Park Stadium will officially become home to the William Jessup University (WJU) Warriors Baseball team as they kick-off their season with an opening day pre-game celebration as well as a double header. With phase one of the renovations on the historic McBean Park Stadium complete it is time to play some ball!

The City of Lincoln, WJU and Placer Valley Tourism (PVT) joined forces in 2015 and have been instrumental in the revitalization of the stadium with their significant financial contributions to the project.

Improvements that have been completed include irrigation and renovation of the natural grass outfield, synthetic turf infield, fencing of the entire perimeter of the field, extension of dugouts, electrical scoreboards and removal of the chain link backstop that was replaced with nylon netting to enhance the view for spectators.

The tailgate-style opening day celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a fun kids zone, BBQ and more. Gates open at 10 a.m. with the Warriors first game of the double header starting at 11:05 a.m. against Oregon Tech.

Heather Hilton, PVT’s Board Chair and Senior Director of Sales for the Larkspur Landing in Roseville, will be throwing out the first pitch to get the crowd going and the competition started.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see that first pitch at McBean Park,” said Lance Von Vogt, WJU Athletic Director. “The excitement on campus and in the community is palpable; I mean you can really feel it.”

Von Vogt also commented on the preparation the WJU baseball team and Coach Hankins have been putting in to build that strong foundation that will undoubtedly lead them to becoming a nationally recognized collegiate baseball program.

“Baseball has a long history in Lincoln,” stated Matt Brower, City Manager for the City of Lincoln. “January 21, 2017 will mark the return of this great tradition to Downtown Lincoln.”

About Placer Valley Tourism
Placer Valley Tourism (PVT) is made up for the 23 hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, California. PVT recruits and supports hundreds of annual events with grants, marketing, volunteers and other services as needed. To learn more about how PVT can help bring your event here, visit www.playplacer.com or call 916-773-5400.


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Draft Site Plan Options for Future of Placer County Government Center the Focus of January 31 Community Meeting

Source: Chris Gray-Garcia, County of Placer  |  2017-01-19

As work continues on an update of the Placer County Government Center master plan, county staff will host a community meeting January 31 in North Auburn to present draft site plan options for the campus.

The meeting - open to the public as well as county staff - is scheduled for January 31 at 5:30 p.m., at the Community Development Resource Center’s Planning Commission Room, 3091 County Center Drive in North Auburn. The options are shaped in part by input from earlier community meetings in April and August, as well as by a recently-completed assessment of Placer County’s needs for the campus to accommodate employees and services for the next 25 years.

Placer County is updating the 200-acre campus’s master plan, last updated in 1993. The campus was originally the site of a World War II U.S. Army hospital complex that was in use for two years before the end of the war. It was then used as a state psychiatric hospital, and eventually deeded to Placer County by the State of California in the early 1970s. Since then, the county has striven to be a good steward of the campus, using the buildings to provide county services, and replacing a number of them over the years with more modern facilities. A portion of the campus has also been leased for private use by Home Depot.

Evaluating future county space needs, potential relocation of county staff currently housed off-campus in Auburn and the cultural legacy of the campus are significant areas of study for the update.

Upgrading the campus’s aging infrastructure to improve energy and resource efficiency is another high priority. Project planners also hope to get public input on new potential uses for the campus, including possible commercial and residential development, as well as a potential multi-age community center, currently being studied in a separate feasibility study.

The county will host additional public meetings as the plan and associated environmental documents are developed and finalized, anticipated in 2018.

Watch a short video explaining the need and purpose for the Placer County Government Center master plan update here.


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Placer County Steps Up Transient Occupancy Tax Audit and Compliance Efforts

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2017-01-19

Airbnb, Vacation Rentals By Owner, inns or hotels. If you provide lodging in Placer County, you’re required to collect Transient Occupancy Tax from your guests. In an effort to ensure compliance with its TOT ordinance, the county is launching an initiative this month to ensure lodging operators are registered with the county and following the rules for TOT collection and remittance.

The goal of this initiative is to identify and notify non-compliant lodging providers of the county’s TOT ordinance requirements, ensure compliance and extend assistance in completing the registration process. In addition, inspections of existing operators’ records will be conducted on a more frequent basis, including field inspections and desk audits.

In October, the county contracted with Host Compliance to assist with its effort in identifying, in real-time, internet-based rental companies operating out of compliance in the unincorporated areas of Placer County. Services provided under the contract include trend monitoring, address identification, compliance monitoring and rental activity monitoring.

Last June, the county also initiated a contact with MuniServices to assist with conducting more frequent inspections of records, ensuring lodging providers are complying with the requirements.

“I’m encouraged to see the county stepping up its efforts to work with our hotel and rental property community to help ensure everyone is following the rules,” said Placer County Administrative Services Director Jerry Gamez. “TOT is an important source of funding to balance the costs and benefits of tourism and is essential to the preservation of our community and quality of life.”

Registered lodging operators will receive letters in the coming weeks alerting them of these new initiatives, with several of them planned to be selected for a review of their TOT collection records. Property managers will be asked to provide a list of their properties being leased as short-term or vacation rentals for a future compliance review.

Taxes paid by visitors help fund services benefitting the entire county including public infrastructure projects and tourism marketing and promotion, but are also used for public safety, transportation, libraries, parks and historical and environmental preservation projects. TOT must be collected not just by traditional lodging providers like hotels but also by those who provide lodging through internet-based services.


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Placer Vineyards Granted Regional General Permit Allowing for Construction of Roads and Utilities

Source: Placer Vineyards  |  2017-01-18

Placer Vineyards, a 5,230-acre mixed use Master Planned Community including 14,132 homes, commercial centers, business parks, schools, recreational parks and large open space areas located just west of the City of Roseville in southern Placer County, was granted its Regional General Permit (RGP) by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

The Regional General Permit is the final plan-wide permit for Placer Vineyards, which clears the way for Placer Vineyards’ individual landowners and developers to permit and construct the initial phase of the new community in 2018.

“The Regional General Permit is an imperative step in advancing Placer Vineyards and provides the framework to begin implementing the construction of this Master Planned Community,” said Kent MacDiarmid, Project Manager of Placer Vineyards. “We look forward to continuing to work with Placer County to create an outstanding new community that stands the test of time and attracts homebuyers and new businesses for years to come.”

Placer Vineyards will contain single family homes with a range of sizes and price levels to provide exceptional housing in a suburban setting. The development will permanently preserve a minimum of 6,000 acres of open space and agricultural land in Placer County.

“We are pleased with the issuance of the Regional General Permit – a key milestone to breaking ground in the Placer Vineyards community,” said Supervisor Jack Duran, Placer County. “Placer Vineyards is the result of a long-term vision by the Board of Supervisors and the commitment of property owners. This permit is a significant step in making that vision a reality.”

Placer Vineyards is expected to create 7,600 jobs in the region.

For more information on Placer Vineyards, please visit: www.placervineyards.com.

Placer Vineyards includes 5,230 acres of land located approximately 15 miles north of the City of Sacramento in the southwest corner of Placer County. Placer Vineyards will be a new Master Planned Community with a mix of residential, employment, school and recreational uses. Placer Vineyards is a place where the natural and urban landscapes are woven together to create a distinct community. Development for the project will include the construction of over 14,000 homes and 7,600 new jobs.


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Sierra Residents and Businesses Advised to Monitor Snow Loads on Roofs, Propane Tanks, Natural Gas Lines and Building Ventilation Systems

Source: Robert Miller, County of Placer  |  2017-01-18

With the potential for snow buildup on buildings and systems, Placer County public safety agencies are advising residents and businesses in the Sierra Nevada to monitor buildings, propane tanks and natural gas lines for signs of excessive loading due to heavy snow.

Residents and businesses should monitor roof vents, chimneys, and flues for blockages from to snow build-up. These systems need unobstructed access to outside air to properly ventilate. Blockages can lead to carbon monoxide build-up in buildings, creating a potentially unsafe interior environment. The heavy snow may also cause chimneys to shift creating potential falling hazards.

Particular attention should be paid to buildings constructed before Placer County adopted snow-load standards in the Sierra in the early 1960s. While construction standards since that time consider average snow accumulation, exceptional snow accumulation may exceed design limits creating a potential risk.

“When in doubt, have a qualified professional check it out,” said Chief Building Official, Tim Wegner.

Local agencies are reminding residents and businesses to properly care for propane tanks and natural gas lines because deep snowpack can damage pipes, valves, and tanks leading to leaks. A technical tidbit: propane is heavier than air and settles, while natural gas is lighter than air and rises.

Anyone who smells propane or natural gas inside or outside a building should call 911 immediately. They also should avoid smoking, starting engines or motors, turning on cooking appliances, using heating/air conditioning systems or using other ignition sources.

The Building Services Division of the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency says potential heavy snow danger signs include:

  • Visual deformation or sagging of beams and other parts of a building’s structural support system;
  • Newly developed cracks, particularly any which appear above windows or doors and where beams and other support structures are located. Minor cracks that expand or contract could be indications of building movement;
  • Doors and windows that suddenly become significantly harder to open or do not open at all, a sign that a building is potentially settling;
  • Water leakages inside buildings;
  • Recent buckling of interior or exterior siding and finishes, which may be a symptom of settling; and
  • Sprinkler heads being pushed down below ceiling levels.

Life safety is of the utmost importance. If there is any doubt about the integrity of a roof in extreme snow conditions, the building or area should be evacuated until professional advice can be sought.

Generally, residents and business owners are not encouraged to try to clear roofs with a heavy snow load. Potential dangers include injuries caused by falling snow; roof damage caused by removing snow from some areas, but leaving heavy snow loads in others; unbalanced unloading of the snow that can created unstable conditions and potential building collapse; and electrical hazards from coming into contact with overhead power lines and electrical service drops that are no longer visible or too close to the walking surface.

Residents and businesses concerned about the snow loads on roofs are encouraged to seek the advice of California licensed roofing/general contractors or California registered engineers.

For homes at elevations above 5,000 feet, residents and businesses with questions about propane should contact either their propane suppliers or local fire agencies. For natural gas questions, contact suppliers or California licensed plumbing/mechanical contractors.

Safety tips for the proper care of propane tanks during severe weather are on the county website. The website also contains advice for natural gas users to follow when they smell gas odors.

Placer County recommends that property owners and managers keep contact information, including home and cell phone numbers, current with gas suppliers, homeowner associations, and neighbors. In a gas emergency, it is important that emergency personnel be able to contact affected property owners.

Operating generators during power outages and alternative heating can also create problems if not used properly. When using portable generators, keep them outdoors and far away from open doors, windows, and vents to avoid a buildup of toxic levels of carbon monoxide indoors.


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