Antiques Roadshow Returned to Sacramento

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-05-29

Al and Virginia show off their treasures – a French doll that is actually German, a Jerry Crandall painting paid for legal services with a tiny pistol that Al said “allegedly a lawyer carried this with him.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Approximately 22,000 people sent emails in hopes that they would be selected to have their treasures appraised when Antiques Roadshow pulled into Sacramento and set up shop Monday, May 13th at Crocker Art Museum. Two thousand pairs of tickets were distributed to fans and casual viewers from the Sacramento area and far beyond. Each person was invited to bring two items for appraisal, along with the story behind each object.

This is the show’s second visit to Sacramento, and according to one lucky viewer and collector of treasures who won tickets both times, this visit was quite different. The first time, the event was held in the Convention Center nearly ten years ago and long lines were normal.

“This time, Antiques Roadshow was a well-oiled machine,” said Mattie, who has watched the show since its inception and followed its precursor, “The Collectors.”

“We didn’t have to search for parking because a parking lot was reserved for attendees and a shuttle bus took us to and from the Crocker.”

The show issued tickets with times spaced thirty minutes apart, which helped keep lines to a minimum, although some lines were definitely busier than others. The clock appraisers were hoping for people, while lines for Asian art, jewelry, and paintings were longer.

A triage appraisal area was set up in the Crocker’s dining area where preliminary appraisals determined which lines people needed to visit. A watch, it turns out, could end up in the collectibles line if it was a Mickey Mouse watch.

The show works regularly with 150 appraisers who volunteer their time, and KVIE’s marketing guru, Sarah, said that Sacramento’s event had about 70 appraisers on hand, including Brian Witherell, COO and Consignment Director of Witherell’s Auction House located in Sacramento.

The event also enlisted the help of 125 volunteers who performed an array of duties from greeting people to guiding them to their appropriate destinations. Some appraisers were in the courtyard and others were on the second floor in the Crocker ballroom and adjacent gallery rooms.

As fans of the show know, there is always a story behind the object and of the expected 4,000 attendees, 150 segments would be taped based on suggestions from the appraisers. Of those segments, the show hopes to pull together three one-hour episodes to air in 2020.

One of those stories was discovered near the feedback booth, something that was not available when the show visited in 2010. Al and Virginia brought in a doll that she believed to be French. It was German and the clothes were not original. She still loves the doll. Al discovered that his pistols are something that he needs to further pursue by contacting Smith and Wesson as suggested by his appraiser.

This couple did not win the lottery pull for tickets, but they were offered a second chance through a program called “Knock Our Socks Off.”

The painting Al carried was given to him by the artist, Jerry Crandall. Al explained that the painting was payment for his legal work for Crandall’s divorce.

“Allegedly a lawyer carried this with him,” he said about the tiny circa 1855 pistol pointed toward the painting.

Look for Al and Virginia when the credits run next year during one of the Sacramento episodes.

Sacramento police officers secured the street in front of the museum and manned a table in order to examine firearms which include pistols and rifles older than 1899 for the California visit.

Several attendees came in costumes ranging from top hats to Victorian Era dress.

Show fans might have recognized Leila Dunbar, the baseball expert, and Nicholas Lowry, the poster and print expert who looked dapper in his brown plaid suit and waxed mustache.

The consensus from attendees was that the event was fun, well organized, and everyone had a smile.

For additional information, visit:

...

Fundraising Gala to Aid Nature Center

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-29

A live auction of work by VIP and award-winning art is a highlight of the al-fresco event.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Now in its ninth year operating as a non-profit, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center is preparing for its Spring Gala and Auction fundraiser with new patronage. As honorary chair, Ed Goldman follows such luminaries as Magazine publisher Cecily Hastings, Marcy Friedman, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, the late Russ Solomon and Greg Kondos.

Administered by the American River Natural History Association, the facility and its preserve welcome almost 100,000 visitors per year. “The Center has a history in this community” notes retired Effie Yeaw executive Betty Cooper. “Caring supporters keep us open and available for future generations.” A portion of funds raised on June 8 will provide free nature enrichment programs for schools that could not otherwise afford them.

The Sacramento Fine Arts Center is a vital art show partner supporting the fundraiser with work by artists from all over the Sacramento region. Jurists are sculptor Gary Dinnen and KVIE auction curator D Neath.

Celebrity artists contributing this year include Pat Mahony, David Peterson, Gregory Kondos, Maria Winkler and Paula Bellacera. Keith McLane of KLM Auctions will wield the auction gavel and KCRA’s Eileen Javora will emcee.

Silent and live auctions will offer other award-winning work. Travel and other lifestyle experience will also be up for bids. From May 14, the art can be viewed in an “Art Where the Wild Things Are” exhibition at the Fine Arts Center (Gibbons Drive), Carmichael. The exhibition will include photographic entries.

A sunset supper and beverages are part of the $100 per person admission for the June 8 gala.

Art Where Wild Things Are runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nature Center in Ancil Hoffman Park. Valet parking is free. Table sponsors are welcome. For information on the event, visit

To learn about the Sacramento Fine Arts exhibition, visit


...

Plant Fans Pack Cactus Festival

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-29

Grower and artist Merlyn Lenear was among vendors at the two-day show. His customer was Fair Oaks succulent fan Barbi Brown.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Despite weekend-long deluges, the recent Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society’s 43rd annual festival drew record numbers.

“We had our best-ever show,” reported society member Gerri Wigglesworth. “Cacti are trendy at the moment but people are also more conscious of drought-tolerant plants for their gardens. In recent years, our society’s numbers have exploded. We now have about 150 members; more than we’ve had in 50 years.”

Rain storms scarcely deterred festival goers. “It was too wet for people to get out and garden,” considered Wigglesworth. “So they came to the show instead.” In a two-day crush, more than 800 visitors lined up to view succulent exhibits and to purchase thousands of potted specimens.

Festival proceeds support society activities; members also donate to plant-related programs at UC Davis. Annual membership dues are $10 per year or $15 per family. Anyone may attend Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society meetings. These convene at 10 am on the first Friday of each month in Carmichael Park Clubhouse. For information, visit

...

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - At the Citrus Heights City Council meeting on May 9, staff recommended that the City enter into a contract with Lance, Soll and Lunghad, LLP (LSL) for independent audit services. The City of Citrus Heights retains an outside audit firm to perform a complete audit on the City’s financial transactions and activities each year. Richardson and Company has performed the audits since 2014.

In February 2019, the City requested new proposals from independent audit firms, and five proposals were received. City staff evaluated the proposals for technical experience and staff qualifications, training, and education. LSL was determined to be the best choice for the new contract.

The contract with LSL is for a three-year period, with the option of adding two additional years. The cost of the yearly audit services will be included in the City’s budget. For fiscal year 2018-2019, the cost is budgeted at $40,765.

The Council voted unanimously to approve the proposal and authorized the City Manager to execute the contract with LSL.

James Boyle, director of planning for Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT), provided the Council with an update about the SacRT Forward project and its upcoming launch of the new network. SacRT Forward, essentially a redesign of the entire bus network, was a two-year process involving analysis of route productivity and extensive public outreach.

SacRT operates every day of the year, including on holidays. Throughout Sacramento County, there are 3,500 bus stops and an average of 36,000 passengers board SacRT each day.

The goal of SacRT Forward is to improve the frequency and reliability of the bus system, so adjustments have been made to almost every route. The new network will provide longer service hours, more frequent stops, and more weekend service.

After examining ridership patterns, SacRT determined that many of the low-productivity routes are being utilized only during the peak hours of morning and evening commutes. These will be converted to “peak hour routes.”

Other low-productivity routes will be merged together to increase the frequency of stops. To best allocate resources, some routes will be discontinued due to very low ridership.

Currently, more than half of the routes do not run on weekends, but when SacRT Forward launches, all but one of the routes (Route 33) will run seven days a week.

The redesigned network will be simpler and easier for riders to use, and the routes will all have a frequency of 45 minutes or better (except Route 19). The new route schedules will also complement the new 15-minute frequency of weekend light rail.

Jessica Gonzalez, SacRT director of marketing and communications, explained the comprehensive plan for educating riders about the new route system. SacRT staff will conduct direct outreach on each of the routes, riding the routes and talking to the riders. They will explain the changes and help riders understand how the upcoming changes will affect them.

Handouts specifying the changes to the particular route will be provided, and letters or door hangers will be delivered to the public in areas near new bus stops and discontinued bus stops.

The public outreach campaign will also include new signs on all the buses and updates on social media. SacRT staff is receiving extensive training on the new route system so that all employees will be able to answer questions from the public.

The SacRT website will also feature a “future trip planner” that will allow riders to input the date, time, and location of their destination and receive route options to help plan their trip.

Since the frequency of service is increasing under SacRT Forward, new bus drivers are needed. Gonzales said the jobs offer great benefits, an excellent pension plan, and opportunities for promotion. To apply, visit or call (916) 556-0298.

SacRT Forward will launch on September 8, 2019, and SacRT plans to invest up to $3 million in additional funds to retain and improve service.

Mayor Jeannie Bruins said, “It sounds like you put a tremendous amount of work into this, and I think it will pay dividends.”

Councilmember Steve Miller, a member of the SacRT Board of Directors, said he is excited about this change: “This redesign is long overdue.”

He acknowledged that change can be difficult and that there may be some problems initially, “but we’re committed to solving them. … We’re building a network for future expansion, so as funding becomes available we can build upon what we’re doing.”

...

World Class Equestrian Show at Orangevale Town Fair

By MaryAnne Povey  |  2019-05-23

Nu Balance Vaulters prepare for upcoming performances at the Orangevale Town Fair June 1 & 2 featuring The Mane Event: The Greatest Showman and other Five-Star performances! Photo courtesy of Michelle Solorzano

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - What do you get when you put beautiful horses together with some talented, nimble, acrobatic horse-lovin’ riders? The Nu Balance Vaulters! This fabulous group came together in 1990 right here in our own hometown of Orangevale when club founder Michelle Solorzano decided to start a horse camp for kids.

What started out as a group of 21 kids and their ponies, has blossomed into a full-fledged unique acrobatic riding/performing club of nearly 50 performers ages 4 to 37, that have traveled the world dazzling audiences in Germany, Holland, Austria, Hungary and London performing for Queen Elizabeth herself!

“This all started out with a horse and a passion to perform,” said Nu Balance founder and trainer, Michelle Solorzano. “With my daughter’s encouragement, we decided, “let’s do this” and haven’t looked back since”.

Locally the Nu Balance team performs at the California State Fair and other county fairs, but this is the first time the team will be participating in the Orangevale Town Fair - A Pow Wow Days Tradition, in the parade, June 1, 2019 at 9 am on Greenback Lane starting at Main and traveling west to Filbert. Their FREE shows will be held in the Orangevale Community Park arena June 1 & 2 starting at 1 pm each day.

The fabulous line-up of performers and shows includes: The Greatest Showman, Boots & Bling Drill Team/Acrobats, Pair Riders, Aerial and Silks, Carriage and Buggy and Pair and Trick Riders. Then, a long line up of Disney favorites like Captain Jack, Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast, Moana and much, much more!

“Our kids love to perform and connect with the audience,” Michelle reflected, “At the end of our show, we do a meet and greet so everyone can see the performers up close, say hi and get a photo. Don’t forget your camera!” she added.

If you needed a reason to come to the fair, this is it! Come see great entertainment for FREE!!

For more information about all the fun, FREE entertainment coming to the Orangevale Town Fair go to See ya there!

...

Earlier this year, Governor Newsom announced that he was going to make housing his top priority, and called for 3.5 million new homes to be built in California within six years.  I believe this is a laudable top priority, and have previously written about the great need in our region for more housing. To start with, Governor Newsom wisely announced $500 million in awards to cities and counties that meet new, short-term housing goals.  I believe the enticement of these funds can propel real change, and I hope Sacramento County will win some of this money.

Unfortunately, Governor Newsom coupled this “carrot” with an extremely dangerous “stick”, in the form of withholding gas tax money from cities and counties that don’t meet the regional housing targets set by the state.  This has shaken virtually the entire state, as 97% of California cities and counties (including Sacramento County) are not hitting their housing targets.

This plan has a fundamental flaw in logic because it ties gas tax money to production goals, when counties are only accountable for planning.  We should, and do, encourage housing through the land use process, but the decision whether to build more housing comes largely from factors outside our control.  We cannot force builders to build, nor can we force financial institutions to lend the builders money.

Even when projects have been approved, lately we are seeing production slowed down because the builders cannot find enough carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. to do the work, in part because the state has seemingly abandoned vocational education.  Too few schools have a “shop class”, and too many children have been told that college was the only route to success, when in reality jobs working in the trades can often pay more than jobs that require a college education.

Beyond that, I believe it’s wrong to threaten our gas tax road funding, especially after voters went to the polls last November and voted to keep the gas tax.  I’m not sure the gas tax repeal would have failed, had voters known the funding could be taken away for something entirely out of their control.

Our roads cannot bear even a small reduction in funding.  As I wrote about earlier this year, even with the gas tax in place, the County needs an additional $15-20 million yearly just to maintain the roads at the current level, or an additional $50 million yearly to get them to a standard people would describe as “good”.  

If Governor Newsom is serious about wanting to build 3.5 million new homes in California, beyond incentives he needs to look at the high cost of construction.  It is extremely expensive for a builder in California to conform to the unique regulations contained within the California Environmental Quality Act, and the enormous California Building Code grows larger each year.  These regulations are part of the reason that a home in California is 2.4 times more expensive than a comparable home in Texas.

There are potential solutions to this housing crisis, but threatening counties like Sacramento for a problem out of our control ignores the root of the problem, and is ultimately doomed to fail.

Thank you for reading – and as always, if you want to contact me call me at 916-874-5491, or e-mail me at

...

Volunteers Pack 75,000 Meals to Feed the Hungry

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-05-22

Rotary members stack boxes of packaged meals onto a shipping pallet for distribution to developing countries. Photo by Shaunna Boyd

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rotary District 5180 has 41 clubs in the Sacramento Region that collaborated on a district-wide meal-packaging event on May 17 at Rusch Park Community Center in Citrus Heights. More than 250 volunteers worked in shifts to bag over 75,000 meals, which will be distributed by Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit international hunger relief organization.

Music blasted through the gymnasium as hundreds of volunteers enthusiastically worked their stations, filling buckets with ingredients, bagging, sealing, packing the finished meals into boxes, and stacking boxes onto shipping pallets. Youth exchange students from Rotary International, players from the Casa Robles High School football team, members of local churches, and rotary members from throughout the District all worked together to package meals for those in need.

The meal bags include a nutrient package, a scoop of dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, and rice. One meal package boiled in a gallon and half of water will feed six people. Rich Hale, president of the Citrus Heights Rotary Club, said the meals are sent to developing countries: “They go all over the world, wherever the need is.”

“There’s a lot of starving people in the world, and you cannot function in society if you’re hungry. That’s why this is so important,” said Hale. “One bag can feed a family of six, so you can see the impact. That’s why we do it.”

District 5180 held a Poker Night fundraiser in April to raise $20,000 for the meal-packing event, and Heinz donated an additional $3,000. With a total of $23,000, the District was able to set the goal of more 75,000 meals.

Hale said, “We’ve been wanting to have a big District event, so this was very successful.… Hopefully this gives us momentum for years to come and we can do this again.” Hale said that next year they’d like to fill a shipping container, which holds 289,000 meals.

Hale said Rise Against Hunger is “a very well-organized company.… They bring all the materials and all the equipment we need.”

“This is an amazing undertaking,” said Pete Schroeder of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club. “It’s just incredible when people get together and it’s organized and they know what they’re doing.”

Jim Quinney, Rise Against Hunger community engagement manager for the Sacramento territory, said, “We started working with the Rotary in Citrus Heights four years ago for the 10,000-meal event, and it’s grown and now we’re collaborating with other clubs.… It’s just been wonderful to see the spirit of collaboration, and all these people are true advocates working to end hunger by 2030.”

Quinney described the Rise Against Hunger meal-packing events as “scalable turn-key operations.” They have the resources to organize events of any size, from large work parties to small team-building events.

Quinney said, “We want to engage as many people as possible. Every day we want people thinking about hunger and how they can help.”

“Helping others is a big part of who we are, and who the club is,” said Fair Oaks Rotary Club member Joe Arguelles. “It’s important to come and stand by your fellow man and help other people, help those who need help, so you can really feel like you’ve done something good for somebody.”

...Read More!