Local nonprofit raising money to give abandoned horse a second chance at a happy home

TEAM (Teaching Everyone Animals Matter), the nonprofit affiliate of the Sacramento County Animal Shelter, is raising funds to help cover the costs of an expensive surgery needed to give Pablo the Pinto horse a chance at finding his “forever home.”

Pablo arrived at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter on Bradshaw Road in mid-February. He was seized by Animal Care and Regulation officers, along with several other horses (including a very pregnant mare), because of severe malnutrition and neglect.

With lots of good food and attention, Pablo began to flourish at the shelter. But soon after his arrival, an equine veterinary exam revealed that Pablo was suffering from a relatively rare medical condition that would require extensive urogenital surgery. Without the surgery, his adoption and health prospects would be slim.

Pablo’s surgery on March 13 at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine was successful, but  some post-operative concerns required a longer stay for him at UC Davis, ultimately resulting in a substantially larger vet bill for the county shelter. TEAM’s Special Medical Needs Fund has helped defray some of the expenses relating to Pablo’s surgery, but additional funds are still needed .

Community donations are now being sought to help pay for Pablo’s remaining medical costs.
Anyone wishing to help can donate at  http://www.youcaring.com/pet-expenses/pablo-s-journey/50082.

For more information about TEAM and Pablo, call 916-876-7387 (PETS) or visit http://www.sacanimalshelter.org.

TEAM (Teaching Everyone Animals Matter) is the nonprofit support group for the Sacramento County Department of Animal Care and Regulation. TEAM assists the shelter with fundraising and community education, makes spay/neuter services available to the pets of low-income residents, and funds specialized veterinary care for shelter animals in need. For more information, visit  www.sacanimalshelter.org.

Swainson’s Hawk (hopefully) to return to Sutter’s Landing

 Swaison Hawks will hopefully put on a show for river visitors on Saturday, April 13. / Photos courtesy of Laurie Litman

Swaison Hawks will hopefully put on a show for river visitors on Saturday, April 13. / Photos courtesy of Laurie Litman

On Saturday, April 13, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk will celebrate the hopeful return of the Swainson’s Hawk to Sutter’s Landing. There will be a presentation with live birds, plus a walk along the river to look for the hawks, starting at 9 a.m. at the pavilion next to the skateboard park at the very end of 28th Street.

In past years, Swainson’s Hawks have come out on the day of this event and put on amazing displays, though organizers make no promises this year, or even that the hawks will be present, though they have nested along the river for the last five or six years. It’s thought that they haven’t successfully nested this year possibly due to the presence of Great Horned Owls who got to the nest first. No matter what, it’s always a treat to go out and see what’s happening at the river.

There will also be tables with information from the cosponsors of this event: Friends of the River Banks (FORB), Sacramento Audubon Society, Save the American River Association (SARA), and Raptors are the Solution (RATS). Organizers encourage people to walk, bike, or carpool if possible to save on carbon emissions. All ages are welcome (but leave dogs at home). Bring binoculars, sunblock, hats, water and snacks.

Debbie Eto named first Japanese-American Exalted Ruler of Elks No. 6

 It's of the new Elks Officers for the 2013-2014 year. From left to right it's Ron Domingos (Trustee), Tom Brunette (Leading Knight), Debbie Eto (Exalted Ruler), Gunner Lester (Loyal Knight), Michael Bates (Esquire), Larry Pilgrim (Loyal Knight), Becky Keyser (Inner Guard), Valerie Keyser (Chaplain).

It's of the new Elks Officers for the 2013-2014 year. From left to right it's Ron Domingos (Trustee), Tom Brunette (Leading Knight), Debbie Eto (Exalted Ruler), Gunner Lester (Loyal Knight), Michael Bates (Esquire), Larry Pilgrim (Loyal Knight), Becky Keyser (Inner Guard), Valerie Keyser (Chaplain).

To Debbie Eto, being the first Japanese-American Exalted Ruler of Sacramento Elks No. 6 is an honor. Unlike most previous exalted rulers who have gone “through the chairs” to the highest position, Eto became the Lecturing Knight in December 2012, only holding a Chair for a couple of months before being elected to the position.

“I was honored when I found out Marilyn Facha, who has raised thousands of dollars for Elks charities, nominated me. Even more surprising was being elected. I admit it’s overwhelming, but with this great crew of officers, help from friends, and the Past Exalted Rulers, like Jerry Landreth-Brusato, Ron Brusato, Jack Lewis, Richard Cherry, Bruce Synhorst, John Henmen and Steve Clazie, (who have volunteered to mentor the Officers) we’ll have a great year!” Eto said.

Every Exalted Ruler has a pin for their year and Eto chose the word “kanji” or benevolence in Japanese (kanji) to be written on hers. “It was important to honor my Japanese heritage and the Elks, who are known for being the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,” she said.

As exalted ruler, Eto will be expected to oversee what goes on in the Lodge, appoint the committees, represent the Lodge at clinics and conventions, and most generally supervise all matters with Sacramento Elks Lodge No. 6.

Eto said tough economic times have hit the Lodge and so some of the challenges she foresees will be trying to increase membership. “I think Fraternal Clubs overall are facing lower numbers in membership than normal. It’s definitely a concern and a challenge. We will be implementing an exciting, fun membership drive and plan to be more visible in the community,” she said.

Since the building is set back from Riverside Boulevard, many people don’t even know the facility is there.

As the facility boasts a gym, with the heated indoor pool, handball courts, weight room equipped with numerous exercise machines, wet steam, dry sauna, jacuzzi, ballroom, professional kitchen, game room, and bar, those amenities alone would be reasons to join.

But to Eto the Elks Lodge is more than all of that; it’s about the people, the heart of Sacramento. “Elks Lodge No. 6 is the people. Most possess a deep sense of patriotism, fairness, chivalry, and dedication to helping others,” she said.

Over the years, Eto has met some amazing people at the Elks. “Elks want to help each other. They go out of their way to assist, to volunteer, to serve rather than be served,” she said.

One group within the Elks is the PM Crew (Preventative Maintenance), retired people who meet and do repairs on the building. “They are the heart and soul of the lodge … We’re not talking about just changing a light bulb either. These guys install solar panels, repair fire hydrants, build walls, put down floors; there is nothing they can’t handle and they work tirelessly for the lodge,” she said.

Eto wants people to know how much the Elks do for the community and charities.

joined the Elks in 2008.

The Youth Activities Chair, Michael Bates is overseeing the upcoming Soccer and Hoop Shoots. Loyal Knight Larry Pilgrim is in charge of the Essay Contests, PER Steve Clazie is the Chair for the Dictionary Program and Scholarships. Marilyn Hooten is our Elks National Foundation Chair. The Elks National Foundation is a perpetual fund with assets exceeding $400 million that provides millions each year for college scholarships, grants for higher education to children of deceased Elks and other charitable, benevolent endeavors. Bob Van Gundy is the Veteran’s Chair and has much planned for honoring Veterans.

The list goes on, Eto says, but don’t get her wrong. The Elks do have some great social events ahead. They have a Birthday Night every other month, a big Father’s Day barbecue manned by grill-master Ron Domingos. “It will be a day of games, contests, prizes and fun,” Eto said. And The Fourth of July party is not to be missed. Of course we have the weekly Sunday Morning Breakfast and Spaghetti Mondays.

“I would like to extend an invitation to the readers – the next time you find yourself where Riverside meets Florin, stop by and join us. I think you’ll be impressed with the people, the facilities and what Elks do,” Eto said.


Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 – 5:30
Thursday and Friday 8:00 – 4:00
Closed Saturday and Sunday
Phone: 916-422-6666
Email: contact@elks6.com

Jane Gallagher, Events Coordinator
Office Hours:
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat 9:00 – 5:00
Phone: 916-607-8347
Email: events@elks6.com

Carmichael Park pool: 1955-2013

This proposed aquatic center was presented to the district in 2007. Photo by Lance Armstrong

This proposed aquatic center was presented to the district in 2007. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a series regarding the old Carmichael Park pool, which was recently demolished.

Carmichael Park’s public swimming pool, which provided recreation and relief from the summer heat for thousands upon thousands of people for nearly a half-century, is now nothing more than a memory.
As of last week, the only dominant sign that the pool was ever present at the site was a large hole in the ground.
The demolition of the pool and its accompanying building was far from a surprising event, when considering that the pool had not been used for nearly nine years.
In explaining the closure of the pool, Carmichael Recreation and Park District Administrator Jack Harrison said, “The pool was no longer meeting codes – state codes, county codes. It didn’t meet requirements for disabilities. The liner had been replaced and (the pool) was leaking again. So, structurally, it was failing and couldn’t be maintained. The cost to maintain it (was high). It had limped along. They had done repairs and tried to keep it open for a few years, actually. It just got to the point where it couldn’t be repaired any longer.”
Tracy Kerth, the district’s recreation services manager and the supervisor of the pool for its last 17 years, recalled the final closure of the pool.
“It was sad when we had to close it,” Kerth said. “It closed for the regular season (in 2004) and then we went to the board that fall and announced that we wouldn’t be opened the next year. There was just no way (to continue operating the pool). We did some research on it. The infrastructure was shot. A lot of people said, ‘Are you sure you can’t remodel?’ Everything was wrong with it. We didn’t meet any of the requirements for ADA. It would have been cheaper to build an entire new building. The vessel itself was failing. The pipes were leaking. There was just no way that we could resurrect it.”
Kerth added that even after the closure of the pool, a final study was performed to determine if the pool could be saved.

A large hole in the ground is all that remains of the old Carmichael Park swimming pool. Photo by Lance Armstrong

A large hole in the ground is all that remains of the old Carmichael Park swimming pool. Photo by Lance Armstrong

“The (study) came back that (upgrading the pool and its building to current standards) wasn’t feasible,” Kerth said.
In further pondering the decline of the pool, Kerth recalled that a renovation of the pool was completed in the 1980s. And she noted that the project was a failure in one particular aspect.
“They didn’t do (upgrades to) the infrastructure, and that was a mistake,” Kerth said.
In 2007, Aquatic Design Group of Carlsbad, Calif. performed an analysis of the pool site and then provided their recommendations for an aquatic center that would replace the then-52-year-old pool and its building, which included dressing rooms, a staff room, a first aid room, a pump room, an equipment room and the old snack bar. The original snack bar was later used as a day camp room when a new snack bar opened in a different area in order to save on costs.
The firm’s report was paid for by the Kiwanis Club of Carmichael.
Harrison said that after the report was completed, the district surveyed the community regarding its support of several park projects, including the construction of an aquatics center.
“(The tax assessment) was going to be $48 a year for single family homes and a lesser amount for apartments and commercial and that kind of stuff,” Harrison said. “The results came back that 62 percent of the people said, ‘Yeah, we value our parks.’ The pool – the aquatics center idea – (received) 44 percent. So, it was clear that the community supported the parks’ redevelopment maintenance more than building an aquatics center. So, that kind of killed the idea of going forward with an idea of some kind of a ballot.”
In response to the inquiry of whether any efforts are presently being made toward having an aquatics center constructed at the park, Harrison said, “Currently the (Carmichael Recreation and Park District) Foundation is talking to people about major donations, with the idea being that ‘Is it possible to raise $5 million of private money?’ So, we’ll see. The results of that are expected to be in by the end of April.”
Certainly many people in the community would welcome a new aquatics center, and with a review of the old pool’s history, one can visualize such a center’s potential for both the community and the district.
The pool was one of the earlier features of the park, which was established in 1949.
In July 1953, the Business and Professional Women’s Club acquired sufficient signatures from Carmichael area citizens to indicate the community’s strong desire for a public swimming pool.
It was also during the same month that the Carmichael Park’s board of directors voiced their approval for such a project at Carmichael Park.
A fundraising program was then initiated for the pool, which would be built at a cost of $38,000.
The pool was eventually paid for through funding from door-to-door solicitations ($12,500), an embossed bronze memorial plaque ($10,500), the park board’s budget ($10,000) and special events ($5,000).
Individual donors for the plaque, which would be mounted on an ornate fieldstone near the pool, paid a minimum of $500 each.
The committee in charge of the swimming pool fundraising project consisted of Elmer C. Juergenson (general chairman), Laural C. Ruff (vice chairman), Helen Moody (secretary), Frank J. Hahn (treasurer), Connie Ryan, Walter Lage, Ida Ball, Wim C. Schoof, Gene Lynch and Edna Clark.
Commencement on the construction of the 50-foot by 100-foot blue granite pool, which represented $30,000 of the project, began during the summer of 1954.
The park’s swimming pool, which was once accompanied by a wading pool, was opened in time for the following year’s swim season.

Sacramento Zoo has history of inspiring appreciation for wildlife, nature

This unique-looking, early 1960s structure is located at the entrance of the Sacramento Zoo. Photo by Lance Armstrong

This unique-looking, early 1960s structure is located at the entrance of the Sacramento Zoo. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Note: This is part three in a series regarding past and present details about the Sacramento Zoo.

As referred to in the last article of this series, the Sacramento Zoo has experienced many changes throughout the years.
The zoo became a much different looking place in the 1960s.
On July 26, 1960, The Sacramento Bee presented a proposed layout of the zoo under a major modernization and expansion project that had been then-recently approved by the city council.
The 21 sections shown on the illustrated layout were birds, aquatic birds, seals, small animals, otter, orangutan and gorilla, monkeys, gibbons, chimpanzee, open air grottos for tigers, lions and bears, cat cages, monkey island, field animals, alligators, reptile house, penguins, flamingos and non-flying tropical birds, bird house, entrance and concessions and new rose garden.
The initial phase of the zoo’s building project included the entrance structure and concessions building, a flamingo pond, five moat enclosed animal confinement areas and new animal cages.
The project’s second phase, which would be completed at a cost of about $90,000, included confinement areas for penguins and alligators and cages for monkeys, gorillas, reptiles and small animals.
Prior to the 1960-61 project, many animals were housed in wooden cages that had been constructed by Works Progress Administration laborers during the Depression.
Assisting with the reptile house, which would exhibit the zoo’s first snakes, was Kenneth C. Johnson.
In addition to serving as the director of the Sacramento Civil Defense Area, Johnson was one of the region’s most notable reptile experts and owned one of Northern California’s most extensive private collections of snakes.
The monkey island exhibit, which would be constructed by John F. Otto, Inc. (today’s Otto Construction), would allow zoo visitors to obtain a full view of its monkeys.
Among the monkeys that were transferred to monkey island upon its completion was Spooky, who had been a resident of the zoo since its opening in 1927.
In an update about the project, The Bee reported on Aug. 7, 1960 that $200,000 had been allocated by the city, while an additional $100,000 in contributions was being sought from the public. The latter sum would be used to modernize the old portion of the zoo.
It was also mentioned in the same Bee article that Emil A. Bahnfleth, president of the Sacramento Zoological Society at that time, announced that individuals donating $100 or more would have their names placed on special donors plaques at the zoo’s entrance.
Anyone donating $5 to $99 would receive an Honorary Z-B (“Zoo Builder”) certificate.
As for Bahnfleth, whose name was later memorialized through the naming of Emil Bahnfleth Park at 950 Seamas Ave., he never witnessed the opening of the expanded zoo, as he died at the age of 70 on March 30, 1961.
With the new, spacious zoo only two months away from the completion of its initial phase, The Sacramento Union, on April 9, 1961, ran an article, which included the following words: “The sumptuous new quarters are designed with an eye to convenience and animal comfort, and are a combination of sweeping, curved architectural lines, sharp, straight lines and blended landscaping that brings the creatures virtually into their natural setting and provides zoo visitors with a walk through the park.”

The annual ZooZoom 5k and 10k run fundraiser is featured in this 1987 advertisement. This year, the event will be held at William Land Park on April 14. Photo courtesy of Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room

The annual ZooZoom 5k and 10k run fundraiser is featured in this 1987 advertisement. This year, the event will be held at William Land Park on April 14. Photo courtesy of Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room

The article also noted that the society’s campaign to raise $100,000 had reached the $41,000 mark.
While anticipating the opening of the newly improved zoo, which was designed by architect Douglas M. Kelt, the zoo’s superintendent, Anthony A. “Hank” Spencer said, “People don’t know what this means to me. I’m the kind of guy who is lucky enough to have his hobby and his work all wrapped up in one job. And think what it will mean to the animals. Oh, it’s a wonderful thing.”
In preparation for its reopening, the zoo was closed for the 10 days prior to its June 11, 1961 dedication, which would be directed by the city and the zoological society.
During that time, the animals were moved to their new locations.
The reopening of the zoo was a grand occasion that drew thousands of people, including special guests, state Senator Albert S. Rodda; Assemblymen W. A. “Jimmie” Hicks and Edwin L. Z’berg; Leslie E. Wood, chairman of the county board of supervisors; Milton Schwartz, chairman of the city board of education; Maj. Gen. Robert B. Landry, commander of the Sacramento Air Materiel Area at McClellan Air Force Base; Brig. Gen. Norman Callish, commander of Mather Air Force Base; and Col. Leo Tamamian of the Sacramento Signal Depot (later renamed the Sacramento Army Depot).
To present more people with the opportunity to visit the zoo during its reopening week and to bring awareness to the $100,000 Zoo Builders campaign, Mayor James B. McKinney proclaimed the week as Zoo Builders Week, and the zoo maintained longer hours, as it remained open until 7 p.m.
Later changes for the zoo during the 1960s included the redesigning and rearranging of animal enclosures.
A new master plan for continued improvements and another expansion of the zoo was approved by the city council on July 9, 1970. The master plan was the first of its kind in the zoo’s then-43-year-history.
A month later, the Sacramento Zoological Society adopted its docent program. The program has since grown to include about 1,400 volunteers, who donate about 34,000 hours of their time to the zoo each year.
In September 1971, the zoo experienced a major change, as William “Bill” Meeker replaced Spencer as the zoo’s superintendent.
Four years later, the zoo received accreditation by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums – today’s Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo became a participant in the International Species Inventory System in 1979. The mission of ISIS is “to facilitate international collaboration in the collection and sharing of knowledge on animals and their environments for zoos, aquariums and related conservation organizations to serve institutional, regional and global animal management and conservation goals.”
The first ZooZoom, the zoo’s annual 5k and 10k run fundraiser, was held at William Land Park in October 1980. This year, the event will be held at the park on April 14.
Other events that have attracted visitors to the zoo during its history include the California Celebration multicultural day (May), the King of Feasts food and wine luau (June), Zoo Camp (June through August), the “Boo at the Zoo” Halloween event (October) and Holiday Magic (December).
Another highlight of the zoo occurred in 1983, when the zoo became involved with AAZPA’s Species Survival Plan for Siberian tigers, Asian lions and Sumatran orangutans.
In 1987, the zoo celebrated its 60th anniversary and zoo guests, 60 years old or older, were admitted into the zoo free of charge for the entire month of March.
During the 1990s, the zoo opened its Lake Victoria exhibit, Rare Feline Center, gift shop and office space structure and concessions and conference facility.
It was also in the 1990s when the Sacramento Zoological Society assumed complete financial and daily operational management of the zoo.
Zoo highlights of this new century have included the opening of the on-site Murray E. Fowler Veterinary Hospital and the Red Panda Forest, Australian Outback and Tall Wonders giraffe exhibits, the debut of the Conservation Carousel, and the zoo’s first Sumatran tiger birth.
In its 85th year, the now 14.3-acre zoo continues to serve its visitors through its mission to “(inspire) appreciation, respect and a connection with wildlife and nature through education, recreation and conservation.”

New Caiman at the Sacramento Zoo

The Reptile House at the Sacramento Zoo is now home to a Smooth-fronted Caiman, a crocodile species native to South Africa. This youngster is only two years old but, as an adult, he will reach between 4- and 5-feet long. Caiman Fun Fact: Smooth-fronted Caiman have 78-82 teeth!

Photo courtesy of Tonja Swank, Sac Zoo

Photo courtesy of Tonja Swank, Sac Zoo

Faces and Places: Free Museum Day at The Aerospace Museum of California

Children were able to climb inside old airplanes on Feb. 2, as families enjoyed Free Museum Day at The Aerospace Museum of California. The museum is open six days a week excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday. Tuesday through Saturday, the museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sundays, the museum is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The museum is located at 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan.

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East Sacramentans gather unwanted citrus for Harvest Sacramento

Every winter, starting in late November and early December, massive amounts of citrus fruit begin to show themselves on front yard and backyard trees throughout Sacramento.  Lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges and kumquats all begin turning from their “hidden” dark green color towards ripeness.  For most people in our area, even with the color change, this amazing food source is still hidden in plain sight—grocery stores and farmers markets sell massive amounts of this same fruit, while our truly “local” fruit falls to the ground to rot.

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more randy photos 119
Soil Born Farms’ Harvest Sacramento has been organizing neighborhood residents for the past four years to not only help people see this fruit, but to harvest the fruit and distribute it to local food assistance agencies like Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.

In 2012 alone, over 53,000 pounds of fruit was harvested and donated with the help of 800-plus volunteers.

Mary McGrath, one of the East Sacramento home owners who initially started the project idea mentions,  “When I went to the gym, I got some exercise, but when I went out to pick, I got some exercise, and a huge pile of oranges to share, plus the good smell of oranges on my hands.”
One of the goals for this coming citrus season is to have neighborhood-based teams help coordinate the harvesting activities in the areas where they live.  Harvest Sacramento received a large donation of harvesting tools, so teams can have access to their own set.  In addition to tools, Harvest Sacramento will provide training, outreach materials and staffing support to help get teams started.  “This can start with one motivated individual, a student community service project, a family or a neighborhood association and at any scale.  There is no one right way to do it.  It is easy, fun and has tangible results” said Randy Stannard, Harvest Sacramento Project Coordinator.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities can provide meaningful contributions.  Harvest Sacramento is as interested in bringing people together and building community relationships as they are in harvesting fruit.

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Personal Camera Photos 2-24-12 043
Randy Stannard added, “We don’t just need people to get up on ladders and pick fruit.   We can always use volunteers who like to enter data, organize and help with the coordination efforts via computer and phone.  We need people to walk neighborhoods and find trees to harvest, photographers, videographers, bloggers, and cooks to make food for post-event meals.  Young kids can help move buckets and sort fruit…we need people to drive vehicles.  Everybody can help—that is the beauty of it!”

In addition to volunteers, the project is still looking for more fruit trees to harvest.  Harvests take place year-round, so while they are looking for citrus to harvest this winter, they are also looking for stone fruit, apples, pears, figs, pomegranates, and persimmons.  They are willing to pick up pre-harvested fruit and vegetables as well.  It is easy to offer fruit from your tree or garden—they have an online form on their website or give a phone call or email to Harvest Sacramento.

For more information visit www.soilborn.org/harvestsacramento or contact Randy Stannard, stannard@soilborn.org or (530) 204-8082.

Sing-Along Messiah Tradition Returns; Community Invited to Free Christmas Concert on Dec. 9

A free Christmas “Sing-Along Messiah” concert will take place Sunday, Dec. 9, starting at 4 p.m. at Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5625-24th Street, Sacramento (off Fruitridge Road between I-5 and Highway 99, just 10 minutes south of downtown Sacramento). Free parking is available.  Donations of canned or packaged goods for the local food closet will be accepted at the door. Map and driving directions: www.bethpres.com.
There is no charge to participate as a singer or audience member, and free refreshments will be served following the concert. A goodwill offering midway through the concert. Chief beneficiary of the offering is the South Sacramento Interfaith Partnership Food Closet, which is struggling to provide emergency supplies of groceries to thousands of in-need area residents this holiday season. In the month of October 2012 alone, food was provided to more than 7,000 individuals.
Everyone is invited to join in the volunteer choir, which will be led by choral conductors from area colleges and churches.  Last year’s combined choir and audience totaled more than 200 people.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own musical scores; a limited quantity of Messiah scores will be available for purchase (just $10) at the door.
“To make this truly a participatory event, we are repeating our custom of not using professional soloists,” says Dr. May Tuan Tucker, Bethany Presbyterian Church Music Director. “Solos will be performed in group fashion at the front by anyone and everyone who desires to sing them.” This special feature is not offered at most Sing-Along Messiah events.
Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend an informal public rehearsal on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. at Bethany Church. For more details, contact event coordinator Dr. May Tucker at 428-5281 or e-mail maytucker@mac.com.
The Messiah, composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is based on bible passages that tell the story of Christ. This musical celebration has since become a Christmas tradition in many parts of the world. The December 9 concert will feature primarily the Christmas portions of the Messiah, concluding with the triumphant “Hallelujah Chorus.”
A downloadable Sing-Along Messiah flyer is available at www.bethpres.com.
The Sing-Along Messiah is presented by Bethany Presbyterian Church in partnership with local congregations and schools.

Atrium resident shows proof of her Mayflower lineage

Shirley Ruth Payne // Photo by Monica Stark

Shirley Ruth Payne // Photo by Monica Stark

Shirley Ruth Payne is proud of her heritage. Tracing back her ancestry, the 86-year-old Atrium resident has come to find out she is a descendant of Mayflower boarders.

After many trips to the San Francisco Genealogy Family History Library, Payne said she found seven ancestors, some on double genealogy lines tracing back to the 1620 Mayflower voyage to the New World.

An up-to-date member of the Mother Lode Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, Payne said she hasn’t gone to many of the Folsom-based meetings, but she is proud.

Hanging on her wall, are a few framed certifications verifying her lineage: one from The General Society of Mayflower Descendants and another from the Alden Kindred of America.

Payne has even been to Plymouth a few times to visit relatives who live in nearby Carver. Excited as she was to tell them about their heritage, she said not many were interested. She said her son is not too impressed either, but she’s hoping to encourage her granddaughter to take some interest.

“I wish I would have known in school, because I was interested anyhow. I like to read. I used to go to the library and check out as many as they would allow,” she said.

Dressed as a Pilgrim and holding a model of the Mayflower during the photo shoot, Payne described her outfit as a “big long-sleeve Moo Moo” with a bonnet and cuffs.

Born in Somerville, Mass., Payne had a troubling childhood. Her mother died when she was 2 years old and later the impressionable girl ran away from home to live with her father’s relative. Intent on earning her high school diploma, she arranged with the superintendent of schools to work half a day and go to school the other half.

Those survival skills Payne learned as a young child arguably have helped her today. She now spends her day taking care of herself – mending clothes she once sewed herself, reading magazines, keeping her apartment tidy and keeping in touch with her only living son who lives in Las Vegas.