Push-ups to Feed the Hungry: Sacramentan attempts to beat the world record for push-ups at the Run to Feed the Hungry

Sacramentan Maria Tobar is trying to break two world records – one for the most amount of push ups over 24 hours and one for the most in an hour, which she plans on starting 23 hours into the challenge. Currently, Eva Clarke from Australia holds the record, but Maria wants the record to be held here in the United States. The marathon of push-ups Maria is soon to undergo will take place just before the start of the annual Run to Feed the Hungry.

“We’re going to call it ‘Push Ups to Feed the Hungry,’” Maria said in a brief interview with the East Sacramento News. “Right now we are training. It’s going to be a very mindful challenge, but I want to give it a try,” she said.

And if that wasn’t enough, Maria plans on running the 10-K race after 24 hours of push-ups.
Working out with Savage Workouts, an independent trainer located at 1500 7th St., Maria said 16 people she trains with regularly are signed up for the race.

The current record for most push ups in an hour is 1206 and Maria’s best currently stands at 878 in an hour. Meanwhile, 9,241 is record for most amount of push ups over 24 hours.

She said a year and nine months ago, she couldn’t do 20 push ups, but now she is hitting 900. “I always liked to do exercises and all that, but the reason we are doing this is to break a record.”

As her trainer Chris Savage told Valley Community Newspapers, she just kept pushing and soon got over 550 without a break.

“We found out the world record was measured in one-hour increments and we attempted (to break) the world record (earlier this year). She performed 878. So we measured her 100 push-up time since she needed more speed. Now we have increased the workload a bit and she gets 614 in a half hour, just ahead of world record pace. We have her do total body training – so dead lifts, pull ups, burpies, sprints, etc. She is an Olympic level athlete and this takes awhile to build. In our personal trainer school, we focus on one month of stability, one month of muscle building, one month of max strength and then power workouts.

In addition, Maria had many corrective issues at the beginning (tight hip flexors, tight calves, asymmetrical weight shift). Maria spent her first year of training just realigning her body. She averaged eight hours of intense training per week since January 2013. After spending the first year realigning her body, 2014 has been all about performance enhancement. 
“Since she no longer had corrective issues, all of her workouts make her better. Sometimes people don’t spend the time to correct their posture and they end up injured or note being able to improve. Maria was a very receptive student and always did what she was told. Her diet is perfect and she had a positive mental attitude.”

Since the team is now in “power mode training,” a typical workout after 15 minutes of stretching, is as follows:

    Sprint one mile (at 7 minute pace)
    Do 100 pushups
    50 dead lifts (100 pounds)
    50 body weight pull ups
    Repeat three times in 45 minutes

Describing the dedication to complete the exercises, Chris said, “These workouts are extremely taxing, both mentally and physically. You always know when Maria is working hard because she starts giggling.”

And the results cannot be underestimated. Maria is now in the best shape of her life at 40 years old. She lost 40 pounds. She is the world record holder for consecutive pushups without leaving plank position. She can complete 14 dead hang pull ups.

Whoever wants to join Maria over the 24-hour marathon can, she said. “People will be taking naps but I will be push ups. We have been training a lot, getting upper body strength, working our shoulders and core. It’s a challenge but I think I can get it accomplished. Also we are doing it for a charity.”

People can donate to Push Ups to Feed the Hungry at www.gofundme.com/pushups4thehungry

Chautauqua Playhouse opens 37th season with west coast premiere

Scarface1
Scarface1
Chautauqua Playhouse will open its 37th season with the new comedy, “A Visit from Scarface”, by V. Cate and Duke Ernsberger. This is the West Coast Premiere of this funny new show.

“A Visit From Scarface” is an almost true story from the comedic duo who brought us “Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell”.

It’s 1930, and successful screenwriter Ben Hecht is in a pickle. He’s just written a script for the movie “Scarface”, inspired by real-life gangster Al Capone. It’s guaranteed to be a hit, if Capone’s hit-men don’t get him first! The jokes fly fast and thick in this hilarious new comedy as Hecht tries to duck gangsters on one hand and the Hollywood censors on the other.

The direction and set design are by Warren Harrison. The cast includes Jason Titus, Melissa Dixon, Karen Sandoval, Rodger Hoopman, Bob Gerould, Jerrold McFatter and Dave McHenry.

Now showing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Sept. 28, the performances are held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. General admission is $20, seniors and students and SARTA members are $18. For an additional dollar, SARTA members can have premium seating.

Information and tickets are available through the Chautauqua Playhouse website: www.cplayhouse.org or call the box office at 489-7529, during business hours.

Know your neighbor: Carmichael resident Daniel Grice brings love of Italian fare to Arden Fair

daniel grice
daniel grice
A 300-seat restaurant with an old Italian flair adorned with black and white photos and a mixture of rich mahogany and marble tables sets the stage for the newest addition at Arden Fair Mall, Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Touted in 2014 by Entrepreneur as “one of the next great restaurant brands,” Maggiano’s is bringing made-from-scratch, Italian-American menu, generous family style portions and distinct ambiance to its first ever location in the Sacramento area. Maggiano’s opens its doors to guests on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the Arden Fair Mall, marking the brand’s 48th location in the country, the fifth in California, and the first in Sacramento.

The Arden-Carmichael News caught up with Executive Chef Daniel Grice, a Carmichael resident to talk about his background and his excitement for Maggiano’s.

Asked about his first experiences with Maggiano’s, Daniel said he dined at one of the locations in Orlando where he “fell in love with their food.” After moving to San Jose, he applied with that location and was fortunate enough to join the team.

Daniel attended culinary school at Paul Smith’s college outside of Lake Placid, New York and started in the restaurant business as a dishwasher in Mama’s Café, an Italian restaurant, in Pennsylvania. He tells the Arden-Carmichael News: “I loved the energy of the kitchen and have been doing living my passion and my dream ever since.”

Describing his love for Italian food, Daniel said Italian cooking is as much about the experience of friends and family as it is about the food. “Huge portions, great wine and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s easy to get hooked on Italian style dining.”

When Daniel stepped in the San Jose location in 2009 as the sous chef, it was a difficult time for restaurants. After two months, he was promoted to the executive chef position with the goal of driving everyday traffic, a new idea for a restaurant generally known for special occasions like anniversaries and weddings. That strategy proved successful, as during that time, sales grew.

Daniel was promoted to run the Chicago location, which had been running for 22 years, but which needed “fresh leadership.” He said he ran that for the last three years, up until he saw opportunity in Sacramento. “My second home has been Northern California.”

For the last two months, he’s come to appreciate the good food in this “smaller city,” adding his appreciation of the city’s surroundings. “I love the fact Sacramento is centrally located,” he said.

With “quite a few wines from California” on the wine list, he’s made time to visit Sonoma twice and Napa once.

While the management team transferred from other locations, and aside from one bartender and a cook, Maggiano’s at Arden Fair has hired 159 people, from servers to bartenders, cooks and dishwashers. Even though the company, Daniel said, prides itself in low turnover, “we’re always hiring. As people are promoted, were always looking for more people to back-fill other positions.”

Located right near main entrance of the mall, Maggiano’s is near Season’s 52 and BJ’s, 1689 Arden Way, Ste. 1148.

Previously occupying the space was Forever 21 before the clothing store moved to its current location inside the mall. “It took quite a bit of time to convert” the space from a clothing store to a full-scale restaurant, but it’s another occupied spot in a small that is now 98 percent full, he said.

Some additional highlights of what Sacramento guests can expect at Maggiano’s:

Sacramento location is set to feature the brand’s new ‘Lighter Take’ menu before national roll out.

“We’re thrilled to be part of Sacramento’s thriving dining landscape. We invite our friends and neighbors in the community to enjoy classic Italian-American food made with care and served in an atmosphere reminiscent of authentic Little Italy,” said Mike Sellmeyer, general manager of Maggiano’s Little Italy in Sacramento. “Our talented chefs and teammates bring established traditions of generosity and making people feel special to the communities we serve. Whether guests are looking to celebrate a special occasion or just let our chefs do the cooking on a weeknight, Maggiano’s will deliver a memorable dining experience.”

Lighter Take Menu: The Sacramento restaurant is one of the first to offer the brand’s new ‘Lighter Take’ menu, which features new preparations of classic dishes including Chicken Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo, delivering the same flavors and generous portions with at least one-third fewer calories.

On the House Classic Pastas: In the spirit of generosity and family that originated in Little Italy neighborhoods more than 100 years ago, guests that order a Classic Pasta get another classic pasta to take home, compliments of the chef. Classic Pasta dishes start at just $12.95. Since launching this guest favorite in 2009, the brand has given away more than 11 million Classic Pastas.

Exclusive Wine Pairings: Wine enthusiasts will enjoy pairing authentic Italian-American dishes with varietals they cherish or newly discovered favorites from a selection of more than 50 acclaimed wines including Salute Amico, an exclusive partnership with world-renowned Ruffino winery.

Carmichael yoga studio to participate in free yoga day on Labor Day

On Monday, Sept. 1, people of every age and fitness levels are invited to take off their shoes, roll out their mat and pose like a warrior for the third annual Free Day of Yoga. Whether new to the trend and trying yoga for the first time or an experienced yogi exploring a new style, more than 38 free classes will be offered by 17 studios across town.

“Saha is excited to be participating in Sacramento Free Day of Yoga and offering a unique opportunity for anyone in Carmichael to experience yoga for the first time, no matter your age or limitations,” says Dr. Katherine Bisharat, MD. “It will be a lot of fun with a few different styles of yoga to choose from. Our focus is to meet you where you are and support your path with a healthy body, quiet mind and peaceful heart. Come visit us and bring a friend!”

More than 1,700 students got their Namaste on during last year’s Sacramento Free Day of Yoga. This year organizers hope for 2,000 participants to share in the event and yoga’s many health benefits — increased flexibility, strength, stamina and balance, as well as reduced stress and improved concentration.

“Sacramento Free Day of Yoga gives the entire community a chance to try yoga for the first time, explore a new style and check out a new studio or teacher,” says event founder and It’s All Yoga studio owner Michelle Marlahan. “It’s the perfect time to try out a class if you’re new to yoga, because the vibe of the day is incredibly fun, and you have such a range of classes to choose from! We’re proud to have brought Free Day of Yoga to Sacramento,” she said.

Marlahan brought the Free Day of Yoga to Sacramento in 2012 after a visit to Austin, Texas, where the event started in 1999. Now a worldwide affair, Sacramento celebrates the Free Day of Yoga with other yogis and participants in locations from Virginia to L.A. and Victoria to Guam. Sacramento studios offering free classes include It’s All Yoga, Ananda Yoga, Asha Yoga, Bikram Yoga in Granite Bay and Sacramento, CenterShape Yoga and Pilates, Leap Yoga, Radiant Yoga, Rise Yoga, Saha Wellness and Yoga Center, Solfire Yoga, Veera Yoga, The Yoga Seed Collective, The Yoga Solution, The Yoga Workshop and Zuda Yoga (all locations).

For the 2014 Free Day of Yoga schedule, visit www.sacramentofreedayofyoga.com.

SAHA Wellness and Yoga Center is located at 5931 Stanley Ave. Suite 7 in Carmichael.

Where’s the 1968 Yorozu sign?

Editor’s Note: A follow up about the old 1968 Yorozu sign will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Land Park News.

Photo by Monica Stark

Photo by Monica Stark

As demolition is underway over at the old Yorozu Oriental Gifts shop on Riverside Boulevard, so are efforts to preserve the two business signs.

Gretchen Steinberg, a South Land Park resident and president of SacMod (a non-profit association dedicated to promoting, preserving and protecting modern art, architecture and design), has been working with Center for Sacramento History and Pacific Neon to remove the signs, crate them, and donate them to CSH as they are expected to join other historic signs, which are stored at McClellan Air Force Base with the hope to someday be displayed again.

Unfortunately, however, the 1968 sign that reads “The Yorozu Oriental Gifts” actually had been removed prior to Gretchen’s knowledge. “Dunno where it went,” she told the Land Park News. “These signs each could use a case worker. Each set of circumstances is unique and complex.”

Asked what she thought has been amongst the most “unique” sign cases, Gretchen said: “It’s all new and we have several signs in the line of fire right now.”

The earlier “blade” sign, that reads, “Yorozu Gifts,” is “super historic,” she said, and was still hanging on the backside of the building as of press time.

The Yorozu closed after the death of longtime owner Eugene Hirohisa Okada who died in his sleep after battling prostate cancer on Sept. 21, 2012. The Yorozu store was the place in town to buy Japanese gifts, be it magazines, dishware, or origami. The store remained open until all items had been sold and proceeds gone to his estate: Okada’s older sister, Agnes.

It’s still unknown what the business will become, since it property had been sold to an anonymous businessman.

editor@valcomnews.com

Rotary Club of South Sacramento president’s first meeting was a memorial for herself

Editor’s note: This is the first story in this publication about South Land Park resident Andrea Picot, the new president of the Rotary Club of South Sacramento and the current manager and funeral director at Klumpp’s Funeral Home, a Land Park landmark.

Andrea Picot, the new president of the Rotary Club of South Sacramento, shows the urn that was used at her funeral, which was held on Thursday, July 10 at Iron Grill (formerly Iron Steaks). Iron Grill is the location of the weekly Rotary meetings, which are held Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. / Photo by Monica Stark

Andrea Picot, the new president of the Rotary Club of South Sacramento, shows the urn that was used at her funeral, which was held on Thursday, July 10 at Iron Grill (formerly Iron Steaks). Iron Grill is the location of the weekly Rotary meetings, which are held Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. / Photo by Monica Stark

Friends and family of Andrea C. Picot entered Iron Grill (formerly known as Iron Steaks) restaurant on Thursday, June 10 to the scene of a funeral. Photos of Andrea with her daughter, Olivia Rose, sat alongside an empty blue urn borrowed from Klumpp’s Funeral Home and a bouquet of pink and white flowers from Balshor’s Florist, as the first song, Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole’s ukulele version of “Over the Rainbow” set the stage for a unique first meeting organized by the youngest female president of the Rotary Club of South Sacramento. Andrea, 33, even created a memorial service program with the cover photo of herself on a fishing trip on the Sacramento River.

There were some tears in the room, some laughter, some nods of approval and some whispers of discomfort.

Describing how she came up with the idea to have a funeral service for her first Rotary Club meeting as president, Andrea said: “I had this idea and decided to go ahead and go for it. It was really hard because I was super particular and picky about finding the perfect pictures, the perfect quote to put inside the memorial folder, and I feel like I have a better understanding of my high maintenance family because you want it to be perfect and you want it to completely portray you and you only have a certain amount of time to squeeze in a certain amount of years. I had Ollie pick my urn.”

The officiant for the service and author of “The Power of a Broken-Open Heart: Life-Affirming Wisdom from the Dying,” Julie Interrante, spoke positively of Andrea’s approach to her first Rotary meeting. Having planned services and working in “end-of-life care” for 25 years, Julie said the following about Andrea’s funeral: “I thought it was really wonderful Andrea decided to do her own memorial service.”

One of the Rotary Club members, Anne Hasbrook Smith, complimented Andrea while acknowledging her odd approach: “Obviously, this is very weird, but we appreciate Andrea’s sense of humor. I attend a lot of funerals, and the last one I went to was one that she did. It’s nice to be able to have a sense of humor about things.”

Craig Stevenson, past president, said with a chuckle, Andrea’s service was “very moving. I was in tears from the beginning to the end of it. I could hardly control my emotions.”

Toward the end of the service, Andrea’s father, donated $100 in Andrea’s name toward the $1,000 needed for his daughter to become a Paul Harris Fellow. (Harris founded Rotary in 1905 and those who have contributed more than $1,000 to the Annual Program Fund, the Polio Plus Fund or the Humanitarian Grants Program of the Rotary Foundation are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows.)

The following day inside a conference room at Klumpp’s, Andrea spoke with this publication about the previous day’s events and her goals for the Rotary Club of South Sacramento.

“I was expecting a few people who were ‘weirded’ out by it and a few who were intrigued by it. It was a different group because there were some widows and widowers, so, I was nervous because I didn’t want to offend anybody, but at the same time, it was my own type of a thing. So, I thought, this can’t be offensive to anybody because I am putting this all about myself right now, and this is kind of about me right now. Sorry, sometimes things make people uncomfortable.”

Every new Rotarian who starts his or her residency as president has “some sort of theme and they have some kind of crazy kick off,” Andrea said, adding: “I didn’t know what to do because I plan funerals every day, so I thought well, I should just play on my own and reverse the role. One thing we do is vocational talks. I’ve had Rotarians here for a tour and it’s always turned out really well. It’s always been well (received). I got really picky, getting stressed about the memorial folder, I took it kind of seriously because I do this for a living.”

While she’s not attempting to reinvent the wheel, Andrea said she wants to add a little more fun, and a little more of a spark to the club. She wants to plan a few more social events. She also wants to change how fundraisers are organized. “For one thing, we’ll focus on the crab feed, a major fundraiser. A lot of that money you donate to people – we’re going to have different organizations fill out an application for a majority of those proceeds. So we’re still going to be donating to those organizations we have in the past, but will do things a little bit differently. We’ll have applicants apply on a need basis and then donate a larger percentage. So it’s not like a $1,000 here or $1,000 there. It’ll be like $5,000 to $10,000 (to an organization).”

Also, in the future, she’s looking to put together another memorial service, but for the Rotarians that have passed away or for those in the club who may have lost a spouse or significant other. Describing her inspiration in that regard, Andrea said: “A lot of funeral homes do that. They’ll send out a letter saying, ‘thinking of you during the holidays,’ if it’s the first (holiday) without their loved ones. So it’s kind of nice to do something like that.”

According to the eulogy she wrote and read aloud on Thursday, Andrea was born on July 12, 1981 in Eureka to John and Dana Picot. Since the very early age, she was creative, active, and loved animals. She grew up throughout northern California, living in Red Bluff, Concord, Turlock, Sonora and back to Red Bluff where she graduated from Mercy High School. She danced and was an equestrian horse rider.

Andrea attended Southern Oregon University, Chico State and California College of the Arts where she obtained her bachelor’s of fine arts degree. She realized that being a starving artist wasn’t the path she wanted to take, so in 2006, she moved to Sacramento to attend mortuary school at American River College.

While going to school, she landed a job at George L. Klumpp where she received her apprenticeship and where she continued to work as a funeral director up until her death.

In 2010, she gave birth to her only daughter and love of her life, Olivia Rose. Together, Jeff and Andrea co-parented with love and respect. Olivia brought her love, joy and purpose. On July 28, 2013, she met her soulmate, Aaron, at the state fair and they have been together ever since.

Andrea has been compassionate toward animals, teaching as an adjunct professor at American River College in the funeral service program, being a South Sacramento Rotarian and enjoying her time with family and friends. She will always be remembered for her wit, dedication to hard work, caring, feistiness and beautiful personality.

editor@valcomnews.com

Faces and Places: Hollywood Park Neighborhood 4th of July Parade

The annual 4th of July Hollywood Park Neighborhood Parade featured a vintage 1920s fire truck, which led the parade through the streets. Dressed in red, white and blue, some residents and their families marched the parade route, while neighbors cheered them on from their front yards. Along the parade route, there was a lemonade stand, a mimosa stop, and a World War II veteran who waved the flag at the parade goers. Like every year, snacks and refreshments were served at the end of the parade at Leonardi DaVinci School.

Sacramento’s first commercial radio station established in 1922

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series about the history of broadcasting in the Sacramento area. This series was inspired by readers’ positive responses to previous articles about local television history in this publication and several requests to feature histories of local radio stations.

KVQ, Sacramento’s first commercial radio station, made its debut in this building at 711-715 7th St. in 1922. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

KVQ, Sacramento’s first commercial radio station, made its debut in this building at 711-715 7th St. in 1922. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

For many years prior to the widespread introduction of television, Sacramentans were very much in the practice of utilizing their own blank canvases to paint mental pictures through the sound of radio.

Although there are still many locals who love listening to the radio today, pre-television days in the capital city were obviously much different times when it comes to the topic of broadcasting.

An early reference to radio appeared in the Jan. 27, 1922 edition of The Sacramento Bee.

In that report, it was mentioned that the Sacramento Valley Radio Club would be presenting a free “wireless concert” that evening at the YMCA building at 5th and J streets.

The club, which then consisted of more than 600 amateur wireless operators from Sacramento and its vicinity, designed the event “for the benefit of all interested in the study of wireless and those wishing to join the club.”

On Feb. 2, 1922 – just 15 months after the Westinghouse Electric Co. became recognized as opening the world’s first permanent radio station, KDKA, of East Pittsburgh, Pa. – Sacramento’s first commercial radio station, KVQ 833 AM, with a power of only five watts, went on the air.

The station was originally co-owned by The Bee, making it the state’s first newspaper-owned radio station.

As the story goes, Carlos McClatchy (1891-1933) had been introduced to radio during the previous year through a friend on the East Coast and Carlos’ enthusiasm led him to convince his father, Bee editor Charles Kenny “C.K.” McClatchy, to contribute toward the establishment of KVQ.

Also co-owning KVQ was the local, German-born electrician Joseph Charles Hobrecht (1876-1953), who along with his brother, Philip J. Hobrecht, then-owned the lighting fixture business, J.C. Hobrecht Co., at 1014 6th St.

According to the 1913 book, “History of Sacramento County, California,” the Hobrecht brothers first opened their business at 1012 10th St. on Sept. 20, 1909. They relocated their establishment to its 6th Street location about four years later.

The book also notes that Joseph previously worked in Montana as an electrician, then came to California in 1900. He continued to work in the same profession and eventually spent at least four years employed with the Electrical Supply Co. at 815 J St.

Joseph’s interest in co-founding a commercial radio station in Sacramento was influenced by the fact that J.C. Hobrecht Co. had already gained experience as a radio parts dealer in the capital city.

The inaugural day’s program for KVQ included news and weather reports and music performed by eight Victor recording artists in an office on the second floor of The Bee building at 911-15 7th St.

In its following day report regarding KVQ’s debut, The Bee noted that the station’s inaugural concert was presented from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The station officially began when the following words were spoken into a microphone: “KVQ, KVQ, KVQ, Sacramento Bee calling. Hello, hello.”

It was also noted in The Bee’s Feb. 3, 1922 report that the aforementioned eight recording artists had their part in the concert shortened by 30 minutes due to the late arrival of their train from San Francisco.

The Victor singers who performed for KVQ’s first concert were Frank Banta, Henry Burr, Albert Campbell, Frank Croxton, Fred Van Eps, John Meyer, Billy Murray and Monroe Silver.

These artists, who were referred to in the article as the “Victor eight,” performed five numbers.

The program began with a piano piece by Banta, who was well-known for his abilities as a skillful jazz pianist.

The next number featured Billy Murray, who sang, “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.”

One of the more lively numbers was a banjo solo by Van Eps.

In a special Bee report from Roseville, it was noted: “All of the Victor artists could be heard plainly (in Roseville) and the banjo solo by Fred Van Eps was interesting, because every stroke that Van Eps used on his banjo could be heard and every trill and run of his masterful touch could be heard as if he were playing in the next room.”

Another one of the pieces of the evening highlighted the vocal talents of Burr, a tenor, who was accompanied by Banta at the piano.

In addition to KVQ’s inaugural radio performances, a concert featuring the same artists was held later that evening at the Clunie Theatre at 809 K St.

An advertisement in the aforementioned edition of The Bee noted that phonograph records featuring recordings of those artists could then be purchased at the John Breuner Co., the well-known general home furnishings business at 600-608 K St.

The initial venture of KVQ was considered a success, as The Bee estimated that about 1,000 wireless set operators in Central and Superior California tuned into that evening’s broadcast, and among the listeners of that program were hundreds of amateur wireless receiving set operators in Sacramento.

Furthermore, in taking into account that many neighbors and friends of those particular operators joined them in listening to that now-historic program, The Bee noted that “thousands of Bee readers” heard that first broadcast.

Following the station’s first day of operation, it continued with a program schedule of 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. each day, except for Sundays, and Wednesday and Saturday nights, when the station broadcast from 8 to 9 p.m.

Those programs included daily local and Superior California news, market exchanges, weather reports, music from phonograph records and occasional live music performances.

In order to attract additional listeners to its radio station, The Bee, in its Feb. 4, 1922 edition, ran an article and diagram directing its readers how to make a wireless receiving set.

It was mentioned in that edition that with such a set, KVQ’s broadcasts could be heard by those living in the city and residents of places within an eight to 12-mile radius of Sacramento.

The popularity of KVQ and radio, in general, continued to increase, as The Bee received hundreds of letters praising its decision to enter the radio broadcasting world.

It was also learned through those letters that thousands of receiving sets had been constructed in Sacramento since KVQ had gone on the air.

As radio was becoming one of the nation’s largest industries, KVQ made advancements of its own.

Its improvements included expanding to 50 watts in August 1922 and constructing a soundproof studio in The Bee building. And as a result of its wattage increase, the station could be heard as far away as Canada, Alaska, Pennsylvania and New York.

Despite its many successes, KVQ was discontinued following its evening program of Dec. 20, 1922 due to most local listeners’ preference to tune into stations from other areas.

The Bee, in its Dec. 20, 1922, edition noted that radio fans found “more pleasure and greater opportunity for development in increasing the efficiency of (their sets) to include the detection of waves from stations hundreds or thousands of miles away.”

Unfortunately for wireless operators who were continuously seeking a greater variety of listening options, during KVQ’s broadcast hours, the station drowned out the reception of all of the otherwise obtainable radio stations.

After explaining its desire to “enable those interested in radio to get the most out of their sets,” The Bee concluded its aforementioned Dec. 20, 1922 article with the following send off: “Hello, Hello! KVQ calling. The Sacramento Bee. Adieu, radio fans; KVQ gives way to your interests and a greater radio.”

lance@valcomnews.com

Know your neighbor: Linda Hayward, solar cooking extraordinaire

“Who knew, we, modern advanced societies, could cook with free abundant clean energy from the sun? It seems like going backward is the answer to moving forward as we respond to the demands of our changing world. (Solar cooking) is one fun, gratifying way to do that.”
– Linda Hayward, Land Park resident

Shown here is Linda Hayward of Land Park from about four years ago, before the addition of her SunOven cooker. / Photo courtesy

Shown here is Linda Hayward of Land Park from about four years ago, before the addition of her SunOven cooker. / Photo courtesy

To Land Park resident Linda Hayward, the joy of solar cooking lies in the thrill of cooking in a sustainable way. The retired Lisbon Elementary School teacher first became aware of solar cooking about 21 years ago by attending a workshop where the class made a box cooker from scratch, which included cardboard and newspaper for insulation.

When she needed to be away all day at work, Linda would put a meal in her cooker and aim it in the direction of where the sun would be at midday. “I knew nothing would burn and the food was still warm for dinner or needing only minimal heating,” Linda said.

And, back then, when she taught at Lisbon, Linda regularly cooked with her class. In an interview with the Land Park News, Linda explained her work with the now-closed Pocket area school. “We would put a Cook-it (panel cooker) in the middle of the quad at Lisbon School. We had a ‘Solar Cake Lottery’ until each classroom in the school had won one of our cakes, eagerly delivered by the students,” she explained.

Just recently, a former student found Linda again by searching her name along with Solar Cookers International on the Internet, leading to their happy reunion. “We now correspond about cooking and other things. How rewarding is that,” Linda said.

As a retiree, Linda now has time to use her cooker almost every day during the summer. “I have minimal air-conditioning in my house, and letting the sun provide the energy keeps my kitchen cool,” she said.

Speaking on the environmental movement and popularization of solar cooking, Linda said people seem to be fascinated with the concept of solar cooking but few make the leap to “own” it. “I think we’re getting close to a time when many people see it as an alternative to wood, gas or electric cooking to minimize carbon output. Now that there are spiffy, efficient cookers available that are being sold in environmentally-savvy stores, it may catch on. I feel that the global impetus is gaining momentum and will show the way with positive results in desperate communities. Perhaps there is local appeal for learning the skill and having equipment available for disaster relief,” she said.

At home, she has four cookers, each she uses with a distinct purpose – her original box, which holds a big pan of lasagna; the simple, easy-to-take-along Cook-it; the SOS sport cooker, which is made from recycled plastic and holds two round black pots; and her most-used Sun Oven, which holds one pot, but can be tilted to capture the angles of the sun in the morning and earlier and later seasons of the year, and reaches temperatures slightly more than 300 degrees.

Rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, potatoes and hard-cooked eggs for potato salad, summer squash, green beans, chili beans, pea soup, lasagna, steel cut oats, corn bread, spare ribs, chicken wings, chicken thighs, whole chicken, chicken broth from the bones, meatloaf, pot roast, pork shoulder for sliders, pasta sauce, taco filling, apple sauce, peach galette, cookies, and cake are all regular solar cooking menu items.

Linda has been involved with Solar Cooking International for more than 20 years. She remembers fondly the big cook-out she participated in on the west side of the Capitol many years ago with cookers covering the whole lawn. “It’s amazing how many box cookers were active in those days. Being a demonstrator at the California State Fair year after year was another highlight. For several years, I served as a volunteer coordinator for demonstration requests and bonded with many like-minded friends who were willing to give their time, often in full-sun, that way. We went to Earth Day events, the (Sacramento) Zoo, Davis Whole Earth Festival, SNFC (Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op), downtown businesses and state buildings, school campuses, etc. During these last few years, I helped by hosting gatherings in my backyard for the SCI family and making donations.”

Currently, Linda is gearing up for Solar Cooking International’s convention in Sacramento during the week of July 13. “The guests are from different parts of Africa. I’m looking forward to hearing about their African projects. Knowing that solar cooking can make a big impact on communities where fuel is scarce and water can be made safe for drinking by pasteurizing with the sun, is the biggest positive outcome for this simple low-technology of passive solar cooking,” she said.

The convention culminates in a daylong festival in William Land Park on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be solar cooking demonstrations by local and international chefs, solar cooking classes, a solar chef picnic, and kids’ activities. For more information, visit www.solarcookers.org/events/festival

editor@valcomnews.com

Long-time C.K. McClatchy metal shop teacher leaves legacy

Sad news hit the C.K. McClatchy community of latter years on May 7 with the passing of long-time metal shop teacher, Ray Allinger, who many described as a good-natured, happy individual who enjoyed his retirement with a zest of life and adventure.

Preceded in death by his first wife Mary and his brother Doug, Ray is survived by his wife Bonnie, son Chris (Patti), daughter Carla (Jason), brother Grant, grandsons Joshua, Lauren, Nathaniel, Luke, Nicholas, Alexander and Matthew.

Richard, as his family called him, was born in Berkeley on May 20, 1931, and spent a great deal of time when he was young with his beloved cousins, hunting in the fields and mountains and fishing in the creeks of Butte County. He fondly remembered going to the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island. While he was only 8 years old, he was allowed to go unsupervised with friends, just as young as he was with only 50 cents in his pockets, 10 cents for the train to get there and back and 40 cents to spend on food or whatever he wanted.

He proudly earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1947 with six other friends in Troop 24. Ray graduated from Berkeley High School in 1950 and Chico State University in 1957. With the generous help of friends and his brother Doug, Ray built an adobe brick house with a red tile roof on 10 acres in Wilton in 1967 and lived there until his death.

One June 1, hundreds of former students, friends and family gathered at Ray’s adobe home for his celebration of life service.

Ray’s wife, Bonnie, spoke with Valley Community Newspapers about the ceremony and about her and her late-husband’s many years together.

“It was a gratifying (turnout at the ceremony),” Bonnie said. “(Ray) had a huge diversity of interests we were involved in. He was a very, very wonderful, giving person in that he was always willing to help people,” she said.

Sadly, Bonnie explained that while over the last eight to 10 years, Ray suffered from many different health issues, involving various kinds of operations, he continued to persevere with a hopeful attitude. “We had many, many years of happy times. We were together for 28 years. It was a nice, wonderful relationship. As he started going downhill, we had to alter our lives, but he still remained happy and he did a good job with that. In the latter years, he was in quite a bit of pain. We have to look at the fact he’s gone but that he’s not in any more pain. He was very positive in his approach of getting over stuff and trying to get back to a normal life where he could still work in his shop and do his iron work and participate in his social activities he enjoyed. He was a happy person.”

Recalling how they met, Bonnie explained it all happened in “1986 or 1987” during an educational trip to visit a vocational school in Arizona.

“Three of us went down there from the Sacramento area. I had seen him in other vocational department affairs. He and the other industrial education teacher were both really nice guys. We had a lot of fun. We learned a lot. We discovered we enjoyed similar interests. That was the beginning. But, we all came back to our regular jobs and came back to work. We didn’t get married until 1992. We just meshed beautifully. We enjoyed each other. He had a lot of diverse interests. I enjoyed them. He enjoyed mine. He was a friendly person. He enjoyed people. He loved kids. He was good at relating with students,” Bonnie said.

During his teaching career, Ray taught at Stanford Jr. High School, part time at Sacramento City College and metal shop at C.K. McClatchy High School until his retirement. Ray was an active member of the Wilton community. He and Mary took square dancing lessons at the Alta Mesa Community Center and he thoroughly enjoyed being the auctioneer at the annual Box Social dinner. He was also very active in the Wilton 4-H Club. Ray took great pleasure in being Master of Ceremonies and planning and participating in evening entertainment at the annual Alta Mesa Fair. Many Wilton kids will remember sitting on the floor in his house stamping, carving, stitching and dying their various leather projects in the leather craft class he taught in 4-H. Ray also made a hand-engraved wood sign for each child that showed an animal at the County Fair. Each sign had the children’s name on top and their show animals’ names below, attached with two chains, to be hung outside the pen or stall. In addition to 4-H, Ray was a valued member of the Western Festival Committee and an active member of the Elk Grove Optimists. Ray loved the Alta Mesa Gun Club. He helped organize and also participated in the shoots, and he held the positions of treasurer and president over his many years of involvement. Ray and Bonnie also enjoyed jazz and assisted for many years for the setup of the jazz festival in Old Sacramento.

Ray loved to fish. Family vacations often revolved around locations with a lake or creek that he could put a line in. These included places like Butte Meadows where his Aunt Grace had a cabin, Weed to visit Father Mellow and Jackson Meadows with Wilton friends.

Several years after his first wife Mary passed away, Ray met Bonnie and began a second, happy chapter in his life. They enjoyed being a part of a dinner group and traveling to their their travel trailer (and later their motor home) and overseas. He also loved the fishing trips he took to Alaska and Mexico. After retirement, Ray continued to work with ornamental iron, creating beautiful railings and gates for the custom brick homes his brother Doug built as well as for the homes of many neighbors and friends. In later years, his iron work drifted to creating bells from oxygen tanks, each one with a unique hanging attachment. He sold some of the bells and also enjoyed donating one each year for the Optimist crab feed.

In the late 1970s, Ray’s close cousin Fred introduced him to diving for abalone in Fort Bragg and he was hooked. This was the beginning of many cherished family trips to the coast. Ray loved diving, spearing fish and just sitting around camp visiting, and the evening sing-alongs where he would play his banjo. Throughout the years, additional family and friends would come along and soon become part of the annual group.
Retired McClatchy teacher and counselor Jim Coombs said Ray was one of his favorite teachers to work with. “We had lots of laughs together. He was truly one of the best educators I met in my 38 years as a teacher/counselor, definitely in my top 10. He was so good with the kids and made a major impact on many hundreds of lives. I never saw him give up on a kid, no matter how big an asshole the kid was. Today our schools miss the likes of Ray and Chuck Warner (print shop teacher) who gave those non-academic kids a chance to succeed.”

Jim shared two quick stories that came to mind in regard to Ray.

As the Vietnamese immigrants became more integrated into school life, Jim would call them in and ask them if they would like an American first name to go by, which would end up on their transcripts.

Jim did this for many kids and it became a joke around the lunchroom. But one day, Ray sends this poor kid who is not Jim’s counselee in with a sealed note. The incident is still clear as crystal in Jim’s memory. “The kid stands there while I read (the note). In huge letters Ray has written his name: FU KING YU. In quotes, he says, ‘NEEDS A NAME CHANGE.’ I asked the boy about doing this and his response was ‘FU KING YU is bad name.’ So in less than one minute, FU KING YU became KENNY YU and life was much better for him thanks to Ray. From then on, I was Kenny’s counselor whenever he had a problem even though I wasn’t his counselor.”
The other story had to do with Ceila “BOOM BOOM” Boomhower, who was Ray’s sixth period teacher’s assistant. “BOOM BOOM was pretty accurate in describing her and all of the boys loved having Ceila in sixth period as she never wore a bra, and, boy were they big,” recalled Coombs.

“(Celia’s) fifth period teacher was an old biddy who still lived in the 1930s and every day she would send Ceila out of fifth period with a note that said, ‘Needs a bra.’ She wanted Ceila suspended for violating the dress code. After this had happened about five times, Ceila and I made a deal that would get me fired today. Ceila brought in a bra and put it in a drawer in the back of the guidance clinic. After 4th period she would pop in and put on her bra. After fifth period, she would pop back in again and take it off for Ray and the sixth period class. Ray and I had many laughs over Ceila and the bra story.”

Joking aside, Ray clearly made a difference in many students’ lives.

Starting high school averaging C and D grades, one of Ray’s former students, Kerry McColloch, said things turned around because of his metal shop teacher. “(Ray) was the dad I never had. That’s saying it mildly,” Kerry said. “He set me on a path that straightened me out. Ray had a knack and ability to get through hard-headed, dumb kids our age when we thought we knew everything. He put the fear of God in you. He had a way to teach you without you knowing it.”

While Kerry excelled in metal shop and continued his studies in college, he followed his then-new-found dream of opening a RV trailer repair and storage business (McColloch’s Rv Repair & Storage, 2420 Harvard St.) and hasn’t looked back. That motivation and courage to start the business on his own volition, Kerry said, was inspired by Ray. “It’s a good feeling to have. I put my two kids through college. And this all goes back to Ray. Three years ago, I told him all of this and it made him cry.”

Bob Sertich, a college-bound 1967 McClatchy graduate, said Ray was his class’s sponsor. “I was a class officer and Ray would always encourage us to do stuff we didn’t think we could do. I remember him saying, ‘Bob, you can do this.’ He was really positive and encouraging. I had lost my dad a few years before I started at McClatchy. There were male teachers and the principal who took care of me. There weren’t that many people who didn’t have a father. It’s not like today with divorces. (Ray) was one of the males who filled the void.”
As Jim Coombs stated: “Even as his health began to fail in recent years, Ray kept an optimistic attitude and stayed as active as his health would allow. Ray will be remembered for his positive outgoing personality, his willingness to help a friend, soup parties, tool loan cards, horseshoes, his beautiful iron work and his love of playing the banjo and ukulele. In addition to his family, Ray leaves behind many dear friends from Wilton, people he met during his teaching years and from traveling and the industrial education guys he befriended.”

editor@valcomnews.com