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Dedication on Wheels: What it Takes to be a Derby Girl

Skill on wheels. That’s how I described women’s roller derby in an article written in February about Sacramento’s women’s roller derby team, the Sac City Rollers. But in meeting up with them again, I learned that being a derby girl—or derby athlete as they call themselves—requires much more than just skill. “I look for the fight, that desire, that want to be able to do this,” Motormouth, a Coach of the Sac City Rollers, said of what he looks for in his skaters. “We can eventually teach skating skills, the game, and the strategy, but if you don’t have that burning fire? You can’t teach that. The mental game is what he calls it, and it’s rooted, he says, in dedication. “It all boils down to dedication,” Motormouth said. “I tell them to look at all the time and dedication they put in week in and week out—time away from family, or the birthday party they missed, or the gas money they spent to drive to and from practice…[and] use that as a fuel.” Respect for the sport is hard earned, but they still have to fight the old school stereotype of show-pleasing, senseless-hitting antics. What we see today is the new era of derby, complete with game-play regulations and players as physically and emotionally dedicated as any athlete. Derby skaters, at least those playing […]

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Non-profit Improves Lives Through Youth and Senior Programs

The Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center quietly works its mission of aiding women, children and families in North Sacramento. Since moving to the Gardenland area in 1963, the organization has worked to improve the lives and hopes of the area residents. Originally founded by the Sisters of Social Service (SSS) in 1936 and at that time housed in the Stanford Mansion located at 8th and N Streets in Downtown Sacramento, Stanford Settlement was a residential program for teens who were unable to live in their own homes and it provided a place for young people in that neighborhood as well. The move to North Sacramento was at the invitation of area residents who were badly in need of innovative social service programs. With the aid of the United Way and the Sacramento Diocese, the Stanford Settlement started its ongoing relationship with the area. In 1975, the organization formally separated from the Diocese and became an independent 501(c)(3) so it could be deeded the former Gardenland Elementary School by Sacramento County. Since then, periodic expansion has happened. Today, the mission of the Stanford Settlement is to help build healthy communities through individual, family, and neighborhood services, with a focus on people whose opportunities and capabilities are limited by personal, social, or economic circumstances.  They run an after-school program for elementary age students, a comprehensive Senior Center, Summer […]

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Healing and State-of-the-Art Technology the Focus of Mercy General’s New Spanos Heart & Vascular Center

After more than 12 years of development, Mercy General’s Alex G. Spanos Heart and Vascular Center opened Monday, bringing to Sacramento state-of-the-art medical technology and healing spaces in a modern, patient-centered facility that already provides nationally acclaimed care. Conceptualized in 2001 with a $15 million seed-money donation by Alex G. Spanos, who received cardiac treatment at the hospital, the 123,000 square foot, $170 million expansion in East Sacramento has a long list of impressive features. There are four cutting edge cardiac surgery operating rooms with a progressive hybrid suite, a modern 20-bed cardiac surgery Intensive Care Unity, a 35-bed Progressive Care Unit, a Healing Garden, and 71 private family-friendly rooms. All operating and care units were designed with the capacity to integrate new technologies as they change and to utilize now today’s most innovative technology—which has come a long way even since development began in 2001. “It’s a great testament to Sacramento,” said Doris Frazier, Vice President of Cardiovascular Services. “It’s a premiere cardiovascular center in a wonderful neighborhood, and the reputation for Mercy General is very stellar…We’re rated in the top 50 cardiac vascular hospitals in the nation [and] now we have a place that looks like we are.” Adding to a technology-centric design is a healing-centric environment. Over 220 flora and fauna art pieces are in rooms and throughout the center. Both the […]

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Local Make-A-Wish children lead 15th Annual Walk for Wishes May 17 at the Capitol

Join Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada as they walk for wishes to be granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in our community. The 15th Annual Walk for Wishes is Saturday, May 17 beginning at the south steps of the state capitol building on N Street. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m.  All proceeds from the event will enable Make-A-Wish to grant wishes to local children like Will, 6 and Erica, 7, the official Wish Ambassadors for this year’s walk. Will, who battles a congenital heart condition, had his wish granted to go to Kennedy Space Center last summer. Among his favorite things about his experience, was dining with a real astronaut! “The smile on his face couldn’t have been any bigger, the joy in his eyes brought out a side of Will that we haven’t seen in a long time,” said Ella Tomlin, Will’s mom. Erica was diagnosed with leukemia at four months old and underwent a bone marrow transplant at 17 months old. Despite having to endure intense medical treatment at such a young age, Erica is a happy little girl who loves life. She’s completely comfortable in the water and dreamed someday of going to a resort that had water slides. Disney Aulani in Hawaii had just the perfect sized water slides for Erica, so her wish was to go there with her […]

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Opening Night!

River Cats’ 15th Opener in Sacramento Starts Season Strong

It’s hard to believe that before 2000, professional baseball had been absent in California’s State Capitol for 23 long years. Those days of having to travel to Lodi, Stockton or Fresno to see the pros, however, are today just a bad memory for fans of the Sacramento River Cats, arguably the most successful franchise in the minor leagues. The River Cats average more than 10,000 fans a game – best in the minor leagues – and have won 11 Pacific Coast League division titles since 2000. Twice Sacramento won the Triple A Championship. With all that success in the rear view mirror, baseball returned to Raley Field last Friday night, and fans were treated to a night of quiet celebration that focused on the game. The faithful were justly rewarded with a thrilling, 8th-inning grand slam by first baseman Nate Freiman that gave the River Cats a come-from-behind 7-6 victory. The baseball gods aren’t usually so accommodating. The opener was a long one, clocking in at more than 3 ½ hours, but the 12,142 fans in attendance didn’t seem to mind, as most seemed to be thankful April was finally here, and with it, the dawn of a fresh season. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch was Sacramento native Jerry Manuel and his grandson, Malachi. Manuel graduated from Cordova High School in 1972 and was […]

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Ask the County Law Librarian–Sacramento County Court’s Public Case Access System new and improved!

Q. What’s the deal with the Sacramento County Court’s Case Look-up System? I tried to look up my case the other day, to see if the other person had answered so I could file for a default judgment if they hadn’t, and the interface is all new and different!  It says I have to have an account now, and that they are going to charge me? Can I still look at my case for free at the Law Library? Larry A. Yes, the Sacramento County Court’s Public Case Access System  is new and improved, and you can still use it for free until July 1, 2014. You need to register with the court, but all they ask for is your first and last names, an email address, and a password you create. On July 1, you will need a credit card to pay for access. You can search for cases by name, case number, or filing date. Be aware, however, that the most current filings may or may not be in the system. The filing date of documents currently being processed in civil cases is listed on the Court’s website at http://saccourt.ca.gov/civil/civil.aspx. Only name searches will incur a fee: $1.00 for one (1) name search $3.50 for five (5) name searches $25.00 for 75 name searches $250.00 for 30 consecutive days of unlimited name searches […]

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Dedication on Wheels: What it Takes to be a Derby Girl

Skill on wheels. That’s how I described women’s roller derby in an article written in February about Sacramento’s women’s roller derby team, the Sac City Rollers. But in meeting up with them again, I learned that being a derby girl—or derby athlete as they call themselves—requires much more than just skill. “I look for the fight, that desire, that want to be able to do this,” Motormouth, a Coach of the Sac City Rollers, said of what he looks for in his skaters. “We can eventually teach skating skills, the game, and the strategy, but if you don’t have that burning fire? You can’t teach that. The mental game is what he calls it, and it’s rooted, he says, in dedication. “It all boils down to dedication,” Motormouth said. “I tell them to look at all the time and dedication they put in week in and week out—time away from family, or the birthday party they missed, or the gas money they spent to drive to and from practice…[and] use that as a fuel.” Respect for the sport is hard earned, but they still have to fight the old school stereotype of show-pleasing, senseless-hitting antics. What we see today is the new era of derby, complete with game-play regulations and players as physically and emotionally dedicated as any athlete. Derby skaters, at least those playing […]

continue reading

Non-profit Improves Lives Through Youth and Senior Programs

The Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center quietly works its mission of aiding women, children and families in North Sacramento. Since moving to the Gardenland area in 1963, the organization has worked to improve the lives and hopes of the area residents. Originally founded by the Sisters of Social Service (SSS) in 1936 and at that time housed in the Stanford Mansion located at 8th and N Streets in Downtown Sacramento, Stanford Settlement was a residential program for teens who were unable to live in their own homes and it provided a place for young people in that neighborhood as well. The move to North Sacramento was at the invitation of area residents who were badly in need of innovative social service programs. With the aid of the United Way and the Sacramento Diocese, the Stanford Settlement started its ongoing relationship with the area. In 1975, the organization formally separated from the Diocese and became an independent 501(c)(3) so it could be deeded the former Gardenland Elementary School by Sacramento County. Since then, periodic expansion has happened. Today, the mission of the Stanford Settlement is to help build healthy communities through individual, family, and neighborhood services, with a focus on people whose opportunities and capabilities are limited by personal, social, or economic circumstances.  They run an after-school program for elementary age students, a comprehensive Senior Center, Summer […]

continue reading

Healing and State-of-the-Art Technology the Focus of Mercy General’s New Spanos Heart & Vascular Center

After more than 12 years of development, Mercy General’s Alex G. Spanos Heart and Vascular Center opened Monday, bringing to Sacramento state-of-the-art medical technology and healing spaces in a modern, patient-centered facility that already provides nationally acclaimed care. Conceptualized in 2001 with a $15 million seed-money donation by Alex G. Spanos, who received cardiac treatment at the hospital, the 123,000 square foot, $170 million expansion in East Sacramento has a long list of impressive features. There are four cutting edge cardiac surgery operating rooms with a progressive hybrid suite, a modern 20-bed cardiac surgery Intensive Care Unity, a 35-bed Progressive Care Unit, a Healing Garden, and 71 private family-friendly rooms. All operating and care units were designed with the capacity to integrate new technologies as they change and to utilize now today’s most innovative technology—which has come a long way even since development began in 2001. “It’s a great testament to Sacramento,” said Doris Frazier, Vice President of Cardiovascular Services. “It’s a premiere cardiovascular center in a wonderful neighborhood, and the reputation for Mercy General is very stellar…We’re rated in the top 50 cardiac vascular hospitals in the nation [and] now we have a place that looks like we are.” Adding to a technology-centric design is a healing-centric environment. Over 220 flora and fauna art pieces are in rooms and throughout the center. Both the […]

continue reading

River Cats’ 15th Opener in Sacramento Starts Season Strong

It’s hard to believe that before 2000, professional baseball had been absent in California’s State Capitol for 23 long years. Those days of having to travel to Lodi, Stockton or Fresno to see the pros, however, are today just a bad memory for fans of the Sacramento River Cats, arguably the most successful franchise in the minor leagues. The River Cats average more than 10,000 fans a game – best in the minor leagues – and have won 11 Pacific Coast League division titles since 2000. Twice Sacramento won the Triple A Championship. With all that success in the rear view mirror, baseball returned to Raley Field last Friday night, and fans were treated to a night of quiet celebration that focused on the game. The faithful were justly rewarded with a thrilling, 8th-inning grand slam by first baseman Nate Freiman that gave the River Cats a come-from-behind 7-6 victory. The baseball gods aren’t usually so accommodating. The opener was a long one, clocking in at more than 3 ½ hours, but the 12,142 fans in attendance didn’t seem to mind, as most seemed to be thankful April was finally here, and with it, the dawn of a fresh season. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch was Sacramento native Jerry Manuel and his grandson, Malachi. Manuel graduated from Cordova High School in 1972 and was […]

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Local Make-A-Wish children lead 15th Annual Walk for Wishes May 17 at the Capitol

Join Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada as they walk for wishes to be granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in our community. The 15th Annual Walk for Wishes is Saturday, May 17 beginning at the south steps of the state capitol building on N Street. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m.  All proceeds from the event will enable Make-A-Wish to grant wishes to local children like Will, 6 and Erica, 7, the official Wish Ambassadors for this year’s walk. Will, who battles a congenital heart condition, had his wish granted to go to Kennedy Space Center last summer. Among his favorite things about his experience, was dining with a real astronaut! “The smile on his face couldn’t have been any bigger, the joy in his eyes brought out a side of Will that we haven’t seen in a long time,” said Ella Tomlin, Will’s mom. Erica was diagnosed with leukemia at four months old and underwent a bone marrow transplant at 17 months old. Despite having to endure intense medical treatment at such a young age, Erica is a happy little girl who loves life. She’s completely comfortable in the water and dreamed someday of going to a resort that had water slides. Disney Aulani in Hawaii had just the perfect sized water slides for Erica, so her wish was to go there with her […]

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New films: Draft Day and Oculus

Draft Day Directed by Ivan Reitman OK, I’ll admit it again – I have a soft spot for Kevin Costner. Despite one or two stinkers on his resume (don’t we all?), he’s been delivering solid performances for decades and on the one occasion I interviewed him, he couldn’t have been nicer. I’m predisposed, not to like his films, but to want to like them. So it was with some trepidation that I attended “Draft Day” because Costner’s been making a bit of a comeback of late, but his last film “3 Days to Kill” was pretty awful (albeit not because of him). “Draft Day” starts a little slowly and I wasn’t quite feeling it at first, as Costner’s Sonny Weaver Jr. has an awkward morning encounter with his girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner), as they walk outside into what felt like a low budget General Motors commercial. But the movie picks up pretty nicely after that and kept me both entertained and absorbed throughout. It’s fair to say this is probably the movie that has left me with the biggest positive buzz of the year so far – which surprised me given its subject matter and style. Sonny is the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns and he’s trying to secure the team’s future on the National Football League’s draft day – the day that teams […]

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Ask the County Law Librarian–Sacramento County Court’s Public Case Access System new and improved!

Q. What’s the deal with the Sacramento County Court’s Case Look-up System? I tried to look up my case the other day, to see if the other person had answered so I could file for a default judgment if they hadn’t, and the interface is all new and different!  It says I have to have an account now, and that they are going to charge me? Can I still look at my case for free at the Law Library? Larry A. Yes, the Sacramento County Court’s Public Case Access System  is new and improved, and you can still use it for free until July 1, 2014. You need to register with the court, but all they ask for is your first and last names, an email address, and a password you create. On July 1, you will need a credit card to pay for access. You can search for cases by name, case number, or filing date. Be aware, however, that the most current filings may or may not be in the system. The filing date of documents currently being processed in civil cases is listed on the Court’s website at http://saccourt.ca.gov/civil/civil.aspx. Only name searches will incur a fee: $1.00 for one (1) name search $3.50 for five (5) name searches $25.00 for 75 name searches $250.00 for 30 consecutive days of unlimited name searches […]

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SPCA Pet of the Week – Cisco

Originally brought in with a bad case of demodectic mange, little Cisco has had quite the 8-month adventure. He is now 11-months-old and is out of foster care, but looking for a home to call his very own! Cisco was previously adopted, but returned for having a bit too much energy for his last household. It’s important that we find Cisco a family that understands he is still a puppy, and will require a decent amount of behavior and training classes. He is a sweet heart that truly enjoys people and other dogs, but we ask that there are no cats in his future home, as he will likely chase them! Cisco is an American Staffy mix and should be a good fit for an active family with older children. He is available at the Sacramento SPCA and the adoption fee is $100. This fee includes vaccines, microchip, license and he is already neutered. For more information visit www.sspca.org.

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New Drought-Tolerant Garden Spouts at the Sacramento Zoo

The plant life at the Sacramento Zoo offers visitors natural and pleasant scenery to enjoy as they observe animals from around the world. Nestled in the historic Land Park, both native and non-native plant species can be found throughout the Zoo’s 14-acre grounds. A team works together to maintain the grounds and also to grow browse (non-toxic plants) for the animals to eat. Describing how plants add to visitor experience, Horticulturist Michaele Bergera states, “There’s a peaceful retreat feeling when you’re here and it adds to the park setting with shade and beautiful things to look at.” It was the plant life at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago that inspired Bergera’s career. During her visit in Chicago, it was the plants, rather than the animals, that commanded her attention. Though she had a BA in English from Humboldt State University, Bergera pursed her renewed passion for plants and began working toward an associate’s degree in science in horticulture at Cosumnes River College. As part of the curriculum, she had to intern for 240 hours. She had a connection at the Zoo and was a welcomed volunteer. Shortly after, Bergera was hired full-time and has been thriving since. “Everything worked out. I got inspired at a zoo and now I get to work at one.” In the midst of California’s drought, an area in the Zoo needed attention as […]

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Lodi Wine Stroll Offers Award-Winning Wine and Specials for Sac Residents

Take a stroll through the quaint streets of historic Lodi while sipping wine from among the area’s best vineyards at the Lodi Wine Stroll this Saturday evening, April 12. More than 25 wineries will be present at the Wine Stroll and winemakers will be on hand to pour their newest vintages and discuss their wines, the region, and a their wineries. Attendees will also have the chance to stroll through School Street’s various shops and boutiques, who will be offering tasty appetizers and special sales. In the spirit of spring and Easter, there will be an Easter parade where guests can come dressed in their favorite Easter attire. Plastic eggs filled with goodies such as candy or tickets to the next Wine Stroll in October will also be hidden in places throughout the event. Sacramento residents are encouraged to make the short trek to Lodi to take part in this event that highlights an award-winning wine growing region that is closer to the city than Napa. Visitors from Sacramento can travel by train for just $20 with a travel time just over 30 minutes. It’s a great option for those not wishing to drive and the Amtrak train arrives just a half-block away from the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, where the event starts off, and heads back to Sacramento at 10:30 pm. “It’s a really […]

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