Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015

Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015/ Photos by Monica Stark
Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015/ Photos by Monica Stark

Animals of all sorts ran wild at this year’s Zoo Zoom on Sunday, April 19. Donned in lion, monkey and giraffe costumes, many runners got into the spirit of the event, which raised money for animal care and enrichment at the Sacramento Zoo. After all, feeding animals and keeping them occupied can be a difficult and expensive task. In order to keep their minds and skills sharp, a variety of enrichments need to be made daily. More than 450 animals call the Sacramento Zoo home. Besides boasting funds for the zoo, the race also had some fast times. For the 5-kilometer race, Jedidiah Soliz of Carmichael ran a time of 16:05.4. (That’s a 5:11 minute per mile pace!) In the same race, Natalee Harper was the fastest female, clocking in at 19:02.2, or a 6:08 minute per mile pace. For the 10-kilometer race, Camron Shahmirzadi of Folsom ran a time of 15:44.6, which is a 5:05 minute per mile pace. In the same race, first place female Heather Tiska of Sacramento ran a time of 19:05.3 (a 6:09 minute per mile pace). Good job, runners!

editor@valcomnews.com

Land Park Pacific Little League kicked off season, new president speaks about recent developments

Photos by Monica Stark
Photos by Monica Stark

Little League Parade / by Monica Stark
Little League Parade / by Monica Stark

The Land Park Pacific Little League season kicked off Saturday, March 14 with the annual parade, which began bright and early in William Land Park and ended at the beautifully revamped Dooley Fields.
Opening day ceremonies were spectacular and emcee’d by the league’s very own parent, coach and local celebrity, News10 Anchor, Walt Gray. Notable attendees were Councilman Steve Hansen who threw out the first pitch, as well as Kevin Schanz, whose father Charles Schanz was the original groundskeeper for Dooley Field. Several past LPPLL alum were in attendance as well. This past season 2014, LPPLL sent teams of All-Stars on to play District-Wide and 2 came out District championship winners, the 9-10 and 11-12 teams. This year, there is a total of 43 baseball and five softball teams and 587 players.
Dedicated to promoting and embracing the partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance, the league’s new president Karen Leon thanks numbers people in the community for their dedication in making the LPPLL experience “the best it can be. Parents, community members, the board of directors, businesses, and residents all are willing to lend a hand whenever and wherever needed.”
Karen has one son, Jax Leon, age 9 who, she said, enjoys playing for his AA Hooks Team this season. “He looks forward to the comraderie, meeting new teammates and the great french fries at the snack shack.”
To Karen, youth sports are such an incredible time for kids and families. They provide so many opportunities to learn valuable life lessons, she said. Unfortunately, more and more kids are quitting sports, and particularly baseball because they aren’t having fun and that, she said, “is a trend that needs to stop.”
“Our culture has become one that is focused on the final scoreboard and that winning is all that matters. Unfortunately, this is a shortsighted view that can rob kids and adults from having the opportunity to become better athletes and better people.
“(The LPPLL has) partnered with PCA because we believe that kids deserve an opportunity to play the game for the love of the game and to continue to learn and develop not only as players, but as people. If we can all work together to create a culture at Land Park Pacific Little League that is all about the kids and their development, we will help these kids have fun, become better ball players, continue to come back to play again, and develop the skills to thrive in life. I want to do my best to ensure that we have an outstanding 2015 season and do my part in making The LPPLL Experience a fun and positive learning and development zone for our kids and parents,” Karen said.
“One of PCA’s philosophies is that coaches coach, players play, parents cheer and officials officiate,” she added.
After 10 years, Dooley Fields have been re-done to grand measures that LPPLL folks are proud of.
Karen discussed the recent work that has been done to revamp Dooley Fields as follows: “The fields have been re-done over the last 10 years, but never to the extent that we just completed. This field project started last off season in September with over a month of researching, planning, and carefully choosing turf and dirt. The real work began in October when both fields were scraped down and about 12 inches of dirt was removed due to years of field chalk buildup underneath (We now have switched to water base field paint only). Next, 280 yards of custom mix infield dirt composed of a 60/40 blend was carefully chosen to not include any foreign debris or excess rock. Each field was professionally laser leveled for the exact dimensions and specifications recommended by Little League International in Williamsport. The infield dirt was also applied using a special tractor drag that was remotely laser operated to spread the dirt to make sure it was leveled evenly. We also dug up, repaired and moved our irrigation patterns (field sprinklers) to ensure that they were placed evenly to cover/water efficiently without waste or over coverage to areas not needed.
“On Nov. 21, the turf/grass that was grown specifically for this project was cut and installed, and is a Bermuda overseeded with Rye. It was chosen to be best for our Land Park specific Dooley facility grounds conditions. It is hardy, sturdy and classic. The Bermuda is hardy and sturdy and the Rye pops up and through the Bermuda and gives it the perfect green blades that can be mowed to a specific 1 inch hight with a greens mower. It is the same blend from the same grower as River Cats, and Dooley’s pitching mounds were also designed and built by the same crew that has done work for the River Cats.
“I was blessed to have found the masters at their crafts for each category of tasks for this project, who were willing to provide labor and materials at a fraction of the regular cost. I couldnt be happier with the outcome. With proper care and maintenance, these fields will last another 20 years or more.
“I am extremely excited about this season at our own little field of dreams!”
LPPLL is host to the District 7 Challenger Games on April 26 with games being played from 12:30-3 p.m. This year’s annual pancake breakfast fundraiser will be held on May 2 from 8 to 11 a.m. For only $5 a plate, you get fresh, hot-off-the-griddle pancakes, sausages, fruit, coffee, juice served up at Dooley Field Snack Shack with plenty of extra seating for the event. The highlight is always the raffle. Creative raffle baskets donated by LPPLL teams always are a hit with each individual teams uniquely chosen themed items. The home run derby is May 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. The Dooley Championship Series begins May 16-30 with LPPLL Majors and AAA Teams vying for a spot to represent the league in the 2015 District level TOCs. LPPLL will host the District 7 9-10 All Stars Tournament June 27.

editor@valcomnews.com

Faces and Places: Food Truck Mania at McKinley Park

Photos by Monica Stark
Photos by Monica Stark

SactoMoFo is back every second Friday of the month for Food Truck Mania at McKinley Park.
March’s lineup on Friday, March 13 included Krush Burger, Bacon Mania Truck Sacramento, Gameday Grill, Drewski’s, Smokers Wild BBQ, Cruzin Crustacean, La Mex Taqueria, Green Papaya Food Truck, Smokin Hot Pizza, Happy Cow Ice Cream, The Sweet Spot, and Frenchy’s Waffles. Live music was provided by Jimmy Ashley and proceeds from the beer garden benefited the Front Street Animal Shelter. Boy, there were a lot of dogs at the park!

editor@valcomnews.com

Heart Kids Rock

Photos by Stephen Crowley
Photos by Stephen Crowley

A rockin’ evening for heart kids and their immediate family members with dinner, dancing and entertainment was put on by non-profit Angels for Hearts on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Sutter Cancer Center.

photosbycrowley@yahoo.com

Faces and Places: American Heritage Festival

American Heritage Festival / Photos by Monica Stark
American Heritage Festival / Photos by Monica Stark

People enjoyed the annual American Heritage Day Celebration at Mount Vernon Memorial Park on Monday, Feb. 16. There were musket firings; some were dressed in Colonial time period costumes, some were in Native American wear. There were many vintage cars on display too.

editor@valcomnews.com

Faces and Places: Donut Dash

Faces and Places
Faces and Places

The Seventh Annual Donut Dash, in support of Child Life Program at Sutter Children’s Center, was held on Saturday, March 7. The four-mile race started and ended in William Land Park with Marie’s Donuts as a turnaround spot, where runners will got a bag of four doughnuts.

Stephen@valcomnews.com

Dog Faces and Places

Photos by Monica Stark
Photos by Monica Stark

Despite the postponed grand opening celebration for the Lynn Robie Dog Park, dogs (and their owners) have opened the gates and have enjoyed the beautiful facility, located at 7895 Freeport Blvd. at the Bill Conlin Sports Complex. The celebration has been postponed to March 21 at noon and will include a best dressed dog contest at 12:30 p.m. There will a prize for the first place winner.

editor@valcomnews.com

Faces and Places: Neighborhood smoke detector installation

Photos by Stephen Crowley
Photos by Stephen Crowley

Thanks to efforts by the Sacramento Fire Department, John F. Kennedy High School’s Interact Club and the Rotary Club of Pocket/Greenhaven, happy were residents to receive new batteries for their smoke detectors on Saturday, March 7. The Sacramento Fire Department has once again generously donated 200-plus batteries for Rotary and Interact volunteers to distribute and install them free of charge for Pocket/Greenhaven and neighboring community residents who need assistance. Many people who die in fires die from inhaling poisonous gases and smoke. A working smoke detector provides a warning signal to allow escape. Smoke detectors are the single most important means of preventing residential fire deaths and are one of the best safety features to protect yourself and your family.

photosbycrowley@yahoo.com

Faces and Places: Community flow jam at McKinley Park

Photos by Stephen Crowley
Photos by Stephen Crowley

Colors caught on camera: About a dozen folks came to McKinley Park on Saturday, Feb. 21 for a community flow jam as the sun set. With glowing hula hoops and other glow-in-the-dark toys, the folks have a great time each month as they watch colors spiral from their finger tips out into the air. Everyone is welcome to these monthly gatherings held each third Saturday of the month. Details on the group can be found at photosbycrowley@yahoo.com

Faces and Places: Undy Run 5K

Faces and Places: Undy Run 5K Photos by Stephen Crowley
Faces and Places: Undy Run 5K Photos by Stephen Crowley

Runners came out in their underwear to race a 5K through Land Park on Feb. 28. The Undy 5000 is an annual family-friendly event created by the Colon Cancer Alliance. It is unique because participants were encouraged to run in their boxers to bring attention to the area affected by colon cancer. The Alliance found that by getting people talking about this disease, they can save lives. Over running gear, attendees sported everything from their favorite underwear to tutus, capes and costumes, with some even coming fully dressed as superheroes or ninja turtles. Whatever your style, the Undy took on colon cancer in a fun and exciting way.

stephen@valcomnews.com