Fundraising Event for the Carmichael Elks Charities

A Free Electronic Waste Drop off will be held March 9. Participants won’t even have to get out of their cars. On site shredding will be done by Shred-It for $5 a box donation requested.

Elks National Foundation’s mission is to help the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks build stronger communities by offering college scholarships, funding programs that build the character and competence of youth, serving and honoring veterans.

For more information, call Diane at 916-955-4097

E-Waste Sponsored by CEAR, INC , California Electronic Asset Recovery, a California state approved electronic waste collector and recycler. www.cearinc.com

We will accept: monitors, televisions, desktop and notebook PCs, VCRs, stereo equipment, CD’s, speakers, keyboards, mice, PDAs, digital cameras, zip drives, telephones, cell phones, printers, copiers, laser and multifunction scanners and fax machines, microwaves, small household appliances such as toasters, mixers & blenders, vacuum cleaners with the dust bag removed

We cannot accept: Large Household Appliances (i.e. refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.)Furniture, Hazardous Household Waste including batteries, car batteries, paint, pesticides, used oil, cleaning supplies, fluorescent light bulbs, water heaters, tires etc.
For optimal security, CEAR INC shreds all computer hard drives. The secure facility is monitored 24/7 by surveillance cameras.

The Carmichael Elks lodge boasts a membership of over 1300 civic-minded citizens of Carmichael and adjoining communities. The Carmichael Elks has organized and funded the annual Carmichael Fourth of July Parade for the past 53 years.

The Elks provide annual award scholarships at the local, state, and national levels. The organization sponsors activities such as the Elks Hoop Shoot, drug awareness programs, Scouting, Little League, summer camps and in home treatment for children with disabilities.

Many of the Elks charitable programs are funded in part by the Elks National Foundation, a perpetual fund, having assets exceeding $600 million. Our Lodge collaborates with many local charities and service clubs that service similar clients, thereby increasing the benefits for the community.

The Carmichael Elks Lodge facilities sit on 9.8 acres that include some amenities such as a swimming pool, softball diamond, RV Facilities, two ballrooms, a dining room, a gazebo for weddings, wine tasting events or ice cream socials. We have banquet and conference room rentals available for parties and events with full catering available.

Join us for our Membership Drive Spaghetti Dinners every Monday night starting 5 p.m. until it’s gone! Bingo in our ballroom is open to the public every Monday night starting at 6:30 p.m.

Visit our lodge facility and ask for a tour. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office can be reached by calling 489-2103. For information on room and catering rentals call our Banquet Department at 916-484-7698.

If you go:
What: E-waste drive to benefit Carmichael Elks charities
Where: Carmichael Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Ave.
When: Saturday, March 9 from 9-1 p.m.
Cost: Free Drive through Drop off for E-Waste, Donation Requested for Shredded Materials

Carmichael Triplets Earn Eagle Scout Award

Sunday evening, February 10th Patrick, Sean and Kenneth Jagerson were awarded the Eagle Scout Award.  They are all members of Troop 376, located at the LDS Church at Garfield and Locust.  It is the highest award in Scouting and only about 4 percent of the Scouts who enter accomplish it.
The ceremony opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. They are administered the Eagle Scout Oath including all adults who have earned the rank, renewing their oath.  The Scouts each pin an “Eagle Pin” on their mother and she in turn pins the Eagle Badge on their uniform. In addition, they receive their Certificates, a Special Eagle Picture from the Troop and their names on the troops “Eagle Plaque”.
To earn the award, each had to advance through the Scouting Ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, a Minimum of 21 Merit Badges, several of which are required.  Five Merit Badges are for the Start Rank and Ten for the Life Rank.
They also must complete an approved Community Service Project. The projects varied from reconstructing and painting the Del Campo High School Football Stadium visitors bleachers to constructing infrastructure for rain collection barrels at Will Rogers Middle School to constructing a large covered kiosk sign at Will Rogers Middle School. Each Scouts Eagle Project called for various skills including ability, leadership, community service and more.
A reception followed the ceremony.

Something to Bark About: Carmichael Library Helps Kids Learn Reading Through “Read to a Dog” Programs

Eddy – therapy dog of Lend A Heart President Barbara Street – listens while a young reader practices their reading.

Eddy – therapy dog of Lend A Heart President Barbara Street – listens while a young reader practices their reading. // Photo courtesy of Maryann Farmar/Lend A Heart.

Every Tuesday, about 25 children ranging in ages from five to 10 come to the Carmichael Library after school to work on their reading skills.

They’re not reading to a librarian, or a tutor or a teacher. Instead, they’re reading to one of the trained therapy dogs that calmly sits for an hour and lets the children read to them.

“It’s really fun and the kids just love it,” says Shelley Andrews, branch supervisor for the Carmichael Library. “Everybody enjoys it – the kids love it, the staff loves it because we love to see the dogs, the owners of the dogs love it, and of course the dogs love it with all the attention they’re getting. It’s just really fantastic.”

Read to Rover

Carmichael Library began offering what they call the “Read to Rover” program back in 2007 when Carmichael resident Ellen Wildfeuer presented the idea to the library. A retired nurse, Wildfeuer knew of the benefits of pet therapy, and had a dog that had gone through the process of becoming a certified therapy dog.

To start the program, Wildfeuer used her connections to therapy dog associations to find other volunteers to bring their therapy dogs to the program. Currently they have 13 teams of therapy dogs and handlers that rotate coming to the library each week, with at least seven of those teams coming every single week, she says. “In 2011, we donated almost 2,000 hours of volunteer time,” Wildfeuer adds.

Carmichael Library is one of five branches of Sacramento Public Library that offers a “read to a dog” program. Another is Belle Cooledge Library in Land Park, which has been offering their “Read to a Dog” program for about three years and is currently held the last Tuesday evening of each month, according to Youth Services Librarian Donna Zick.

Zick says they can have upwards to 30 children at each monthly session, who have the opportunity to read to one of five to 10 therapy dogs. She says the focus is on kids in grades kindergarten through fourth grade, “because we know now that’s an important marker for kids’ reading levels and we want them to be reading at that stage and want them to be fluent and comfortable with reading.”

ReadToDog_Carmichael.jpg: “Read to Rover” volunteer Cathy French and her therapy dog, Kalie, listen to a young reader. // Photo courtesy of Ellen Wildfeuer.

ReadToDog_Carmichael.jpg: “Read to Rover” volunteer Cathy French and her therapy dog, Kalie, listen to a young reader. // Photo courtesy of Ellen Wildfeuer.

Belle Cooledge’s program is run by volunteers through Lend A Heart Lend A Hand Animal-Assisted Therapy. According to President Barbara Street, Lend A Heart began in 1987 and is an organization of volunteer therapy dogs, cats and rabbits and their handlers that serve hospitals, assisted living centers and memory care centers. Street says Lend A Heart had started a “Read to a Dog” program at Rancho Cordova Library nine years ago, and the success of that program caught the attention of Belle Cooledge Library, who then her to start the program at their library.

Relaxed & Fun

So how does a program like this work?

At Belle Cooledge Library, Street says the dogs are in large dog beds in a circle in the children’s corner of the library. She says the hour normally starts with the children petting the dogs, then they select a book they want to read and a dog they want to read it to. “Sometimes two children will read to the same dog, sometimes they’ll just rotate around the room or find the one dog that they really want to spend more time with,” she adds.

A similar situation happens at Carmichael Library, where the therapy dogs and their handlers are in the library’s community room. Andrews says once a child signs up for the session, they can select a book they would like to read or bring their own book, then sit down and read to a dog. Once they are finished, they can sign up again to read to another dog. “Many times they come in and read to two or three dogs,” she adds.

And during this time, Zick says parents are able to sit by to watch or visit with other parents while their child is practicing their reading. “It’s a very relaxed environment,” she adds.

A Lend A Heart volunteer and therapy dog work with a young reader at the “Read to a Dog” program at Belle Cooledge Library. // Photo courtesy of Maryann Farmar/Lend A Heart.

A Lend A Heart volunteer and therapy dog work with a young reader at the “Read to a Dog” program at Belle Cooledge Library. // Photo courtesy of Maryann Farmar/Lend A Heart.

Learning Curve

Many parents may be asking how can a child improve their reading skills by reading to a dog?

First off, Street says it gives children an opportunity to practice their reading in a relaxed, non-classroom environment with a non-judgmental companion. “It’s more of building that really good feeling about reading and then being able to sit there and read out loud to a dog that doesn’t care if you mispronounce word or is not judging you if you’re reading too slow,” she explains.

Wildfeuer agrees, and says this is a fun way for children who have difficulty reading to gain personal confidence. “It’s an enhancement of how the children are learning to read in school in a less structured, more fun, atmosphere,” she adds.

Zick says she has seen the positive impact of the program through a seven year old boy who when he came to his first program did not want to participate, saying he didn’t feel he could read well and didn’t like to read. “He was there the whole hour reading to the dogs, just completely engrossed in it,” she recalls. “He had convinced himself he wasn’t a good reader. Reading is just practice, so this is just another way to practice.”

Although the children are there to read to the dogs, Wildfeuer says the dog handlers are there to help if a child asks for it. “We’ll tell the kids if they need help, let us know and we’ll help them sound out a word,” she adds.

Plus children who participate in the Read to a Dog program can also learn about how to properly behave around animals and how to be more comfortable around dogs, says Andrews. She says the therapy dogs range in sizes from little lap dogs to Great Pyrenees, so for some kids it takes a while for them to be comfortable around the larger dogs. “But they’re all learning after they come for a while and they start feeling comfortable reading to the big dogs, so that’s also a very positive part of it,” Andrews says.

The Read to Rover program at Carmichael Library is held every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30pm. The Read to a Dog program at Belle Cooledge Library is held the fourth Tuesday of each month from 6:30-7:30pm. For more information on these programs, visit www.saclibrary.org.

Chautauqua Playhouse to open ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ Jan. 18

Chautauqua Playhouse in Carmichael announces the opening of "Driving Miss Daisy" by Alfred Uhry.  The show opens on January 18th and runs for 6 weeks at the Playhouse. – From the left, Janice Reade Hoberg, James Wheatley

Chautauqua Playhouse in Carmichael announces the opening of "Driving Miss Daisy" by Alfred Uhry. The show opens on January 18th and runs for 6 weeks at the Playhouse. – From the left, Janice Reade Hoberg, James Wheatley

Chautauqua Playhouse, in association with Celebration Arts, announces its production of “Driving Miss Daisy” by Alfred Uhry, opening on January 18th at the Playhouse.  The show will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 23. There will be an additional Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. on Feb. 23.  All performances will be held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Rd. in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael.  Admission is $19 general and $17 students, seniors, children and SARTA members.

Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize, Driving Miss Daisy tells the post-World War II story of a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow who meets her new black chauffeur. Over a series of absorbing scenes spanning 25 years, the two grow to have one of theatre’s most unlikely friendships. This classic is filled with wit and wisdom, and explores the importance of tolerance and love. The show is produced in association with Celebration Arts and features James Wheatley as “Hoke”, Janice Reade-Hoberg as “Miss Daisy” and Chris Lamb as “Booley”.

The production is directed by James Wheatley.  Set design is by Rodger Hoopman with lighting design by Don Myers.

The Chautauqua Playhouse is located at 5325 Engle Rd., Carmichael.

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

American Watercolor Traveling Watercolor Exhibit now showing at Sacramento Fine Arts Center

Judi Betts, "Hat Dance"

Judi Betts, "Hat Dance"

The American Watercolor Society Traveling Exhibition has made its way from New York to Carmichael at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, the only venue on the West Coast.

World class artists, Vangeli, Wiegardt, Birnbaum and California’s own Frank Eber, whose brushes pirouette, spiral and leap across the canvas as they fence and feint with paint, flowing and splattering, opaque and transparent, create breathtaking visions of life through the magic of light and color.

Members accepted into the prestigious American Watercolor Society in New York represent the most highly technical and experimental watercolor painters in the world. California master artist Frank Eber’s “Dordongne River Valley View” dreams of Shangrila, Australian artist Joseph Zbukvic’s misty “Morning Gallop” delights of races not yet won, and China’s Zhou Tianya’s “St. Temple” beckons momentary meditation.

These masters of light and color will dazzle your pleasure now until Jan. 26 at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exhibit ticket donation $10..

A Second Saturday Reception will be held Jan. 12, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Sacramento Fine Arts Center is located at 5330B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608. For more information, call 704-8611 or Visit: www.sacfinearts.org

Volunteers work to restore Jensen Botanical Garden

The volunteer group Friends of Jensen Botanical Garden was asked by the Carmichael Recreation and Park District to restore/rejuvenate Charles C. Jensen Botanical Garden and since January 2004, when FJBG went into action, the volunteers have logged more than 6,051 hours clearing ivy, privets and bramble, replanting existing beds, adding a few new beds, installing 11 new metal benches and two wheelchair accessible picnic tables. Since December 2005, they have planted more than 6,000 tulip bulbs.

In 2013 FJBG will switch from development to maintenance mode, say volunteers. The primary tasks will be mulching, pruning, weeding and always planting more tulips.

Instead of the previous years’ monthly work days, FJBG will host quarterly work days on the second Saturday in March, June, September and December.  A fund raising plant sale will be held on the last Saturday in March.  The annual October plant sale is canceled. All funds raised/donated are used strictly in and for Jensen Garden.

Volunteer Pat Rhine said the reason for the cancellation is because gathering and nurturing plants to sell is a lot of work and the two people providing most of the plants for sale are minimally available beginning in 2013.  Based on previous sales, the spring sale should cover the annual maintenance budget for fertilizer, replacement plants, deer repellent, tulips, and more.

To Rhine, Jensen Garden is “a peaceful, lovely place that many can enjoy.”

Rhine said there are 20 names on the volunteer list and anywhere from four to 12 people show up on a given work day. Several may show up randomly to pull weeds, etc. FJBG has an annual project list to keep things on track, which you can see on www.carmichaelpark.com/jensen.htm

Rhine said plants were chosen to augment what survived from Mr. Jensen’s time and to add to what CRPD has planted over the years. Then there’s the ‘wow’ factor of 6,000 tulips that compliment the design of each bed. Other plants are chosen for their yearlong color and others for their more tactile and fragrant attributes. All, in all, it goes back to keeping with the rustic tradition set by Mr. Jensen.

The History of Charles C. Jensen

According to the website, the  3-and- a-half-acre garden was, from 1958 until 1976, the property and master work of Charles C. Jensen.  Shortly after his retirement as a produce buyer, Mr. and Mrs. Jensen moved from their home in Oakland to their property in Carmichael.

According to the website, they made many trips to Oakland to bring back plants and trees.  The property already had Oaks and Coast Redwoods and blackberry brambles.  He gradually cleared the brambles. Then he began planting the many Magnolias, Azaleas, Dogwoods and Japanese Maples, which were some of the first plants brought from Oakland.  Hybridizing, grafting and acquiring new varieties of plants, he built a garden that caught the eye of passersby.  He especially enjoyed showing visitors around his garden and opened it to parties and weddings.  He also sold plants from his lath house that was located near the Coast Redwoods.  Many of his neighbors built their gardens with plants from Mr. Jensen.

After his death, a group of friends and fellow garden club members formed the Charles C. Jensen Botanical Garden, Inc. Committee to preserve the garden.  Their fund raising efforts were successful and the garden became the property of the Carmichael Recreation and Park District in 1976.

In January, 2004, the Carmichael Recreation and Park District called for volunteers to restore/rejuvenate the botanical garden.  First that required removing knee deep ivy and unwanted tree seedlings. Each December, the Friends of Jensen Botanical Garden develops a project list for the coming year and works one Saturday a month to complete the projects.  Every year one of the projects is to plant more tulips around the large Valley Oak at the entrance to the garden. Since most of the garden’s 19 beds are completed and will only require ongoing maintenance, future projects will focus on developing formal beds of California native plants in the undeveloped area immediately behind Jensen Garden.

According to the park’s website, the Carmichael Recreation and Park District recently opened a new feature to the garden. The Nature Path for the blind and visually impaired is open to the public. “By feeling the different textures and experiencing the unique fragrances of the various plants the pathway appeals to the visually impaired and those with physical challenges,” states the site. The project was inspired by a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Jacqueline Coffroth.

Planning meetings for the Friends of Jensen Botanical Garden take place the first Thursday of each month at 8516 Fair Oaks Boulevard, 7 pm.  Anyone interested in participating in the care of this community resource is welcome to attend.  Work days are held the Saturday following the planning meeting each month from 9 am to 1 pm.

Donations for the restoration of the garden may be made to CRPD, Attn: Jensen Garden.  Funds donated for the garden will be limited to use at the garden and will not be used for other District programs or facilities.  Donations of plants may be brought to any work day.

Here are a few basic rules for visitors:  Stay on pathways, no amplified music, no bikes or sports activities allowed.

Jensen Garden is open from 8 a.m. to dusk, weather permitting, since the parking lot can flood. The garden is located at 8520 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael. Photographers are required to buy a $15 photo permit at the District Office, 5750 Grant Ave., Carmichael.

For more information, visit www.carmichaelpark.com/jensen.htm

Jack’s House of Music served local musical needs for multiple generations

Longtime local musician Eddie Lovato was a Jack’s House of Music customer from the mid-1950s until 2002, when this popular business closed. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Longtime local musician Eddie Lovato was a Jack’s House of Music customer from the mid-1950s until 2002, when this popular business closed. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s note: This is the eighth part of a series regarding the history of the “four corners” of Watt and El Camino avenues.

The northwest corner of Watt and El Camino avenues has for many years included a wide variety of businesses that serve the community.
This corner, which extends north along El Camino Avenue to Yorktown Avenue, is divided into six separate business sections.
The first of these sections, when heading eastward along El Camino Avenue, features the Farmer’s Daughter local specialty foods and café at 3405 El Camino Ave.
Located within the corner’s second section are Country Club Food & Liquor (3407), Capital City Loan & Jewelry (3409) and a store space recently vacated by Esoteric Records.
Continuing eastward is the corner’s third section, which is home to the following businesses: Pied Piper tavern (3415), Domino’s Pizza (3417), Teriyaki to Go (3419) and India Fiji Food & Fashion (3421).
The corner’s fourth business section heading eastward along El Camino Avenue is A Vicky Beauty Salon (3423), Massage Therapy (3425), Alterations to Go (3427) and Dan’s Vacuums & Sewing Machines (3429).
The final two business sections are occupied by a single business per section.
One of these businesses is J.R.’s Texas Bar-B-Que at 3435 El Camino Ave.
And sitting at the most extreme part of this corner is a Valero service station at 3449 El Camino Ave.
This area has also included businesses with Yorktown Avenue addresses.
One of the north area’s more notable businesses of the past, Jack’s House of Music, was operated for many years at 2528 Yorktown Ave.
The business was opened in about 1956 by E. Norton “Jack” Hyde (1916-2006), who resided for many years at 4512 Argonaut Way, near El Camino and Mission avenues.
For Jack, opening his own music store made perfect sense, considering his background as a musician and his employment history.
While growing up in Kansas, Jack began playing the saxophone and for some time during that era, he was a member of a traveling band.
Eventually, Jack, who also later learned to play the clarinet and piano, was on the road again, as he spent time as a traveling salesman for the band instruments company, C.G. Conn Ltd.

This 1961 Jack’s House of Music advertisement summarizes the offerings of the business’s Arden area and Carmichael stores at that time. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

This 1961 Jack’s House of Music advertisement summarizes the offerings of the business’s Arden area and Carmichael stores at that time. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

Jack later moved to San Diego with his first wife, Betty, and their son, Larry.
And while living in San Diego, Jack supported his family with his earnings from his employment as an employee at Thearle’s Music.
But it was in Sacramento where Jack spent the majority of his years as a salesman of musical instruments.
Among the earlier customers of Jack’s House of Music was the longtime local guitarist Eddie Lovato, who performs with his current band every week at senior dances held at the Mission Oaks Community Center in Carmichael.
“(Jack’s House of Music) is where I bought my first Stratocaster guitar,” said Lovato, who remained a customer of the store throughout the existence of this business. “That was back in either 1956 or 1957. I think it was 1957. Back then, there was hardly any traffic (in the area). At the time, I was playing at a little joint called the J & T (Club) at Franklin Boulevard and Fruitridge Road, right on the corner. I was playing with a trio. There were two guitarists (in the trio). I was one of the guitarists and Roy Haynes was the other guitarist. The drummer was Mel Stitt. Every club in Sacramento had a trio or quartet playing and we were the (house band) at the J & T (which was then owned by Joseph Morelli). (Haynes and Stitt) also went to Jack’s. I used to buy all my guitar strings there and all my (sheet) music. (Jack) was a beautiful person to deal with. He had all types of sheet music there, musical instruments, anything you wanted in music, he had it. Overall, I think (Jack’s) was a super music store.”
Another longtime local musician, Paul Narloch, who is the drummer of the local surf band, The VibroCounts, remembers visiting Jack’s House of Music and the nearby Sherman Clay & Co. at 2536 Watt Avenue, between Tower Records and Sam’s Plaza Hof Brau, during the 1960s.
“Those were the two big music stores in Sacramento at the time – Jack’s House and Sherman Clay,” Narloch said. “Jack’s House of Music was real popular and a little more high priced. That’s the first time I saw a Fender Telecaster (and a) Fender Esquire (was in the 1960s at Jack’s). (Jack) would have real high priced stuff and we were like, ‘Wow, look at that. That’s not a Stratocaster. That’s an Esquire or that’s a Telecaster.’ Surf bands would come in. They had Fender Stratocasters, Ludwig drums, Slingerland (drums). Sherman Clay, which is where I got my early drums, they were still known as a piano store and gave classical music lessons. When The (Rolling) Stones and The Beatles and all that came out, (Sherman Clay) started doing like a rock thing. People would come in with their old drums sets and guitars. They were still doing the classic piano thing at Sherman Clay, but they had all kinds of guitars and amps. That’s where the hip musicians and the surf people would hang out.”
Other early north area music stores included the California School Music Service and Ye Music Shoppe, which were both located at various times in Town and Country Village.
A 1971 advertisement for Jack’s House of Music included the following words: “Jack’s House of Music. For quality instruments and all musical needs, band instruments and accessories, pianos, radios, TV(s) and phonographs, records and sheet music, instrument repairing.”
The store was also renowned for renting out many musical instruments, mainly to young music students of area schools or for private instruction.
Jack, who was a member of local Elks and Masonic lodges, also enjoyed playing music with other musicians. His musical resume included performing in a Shriners band.
Some longtime local residents may recall that other Jack’s House of Music locations were established in the 1960s – first at 3251 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Sacramento (1961-1962) and then at 6749 Fair Oaks Blvd., near Carmichael Park (1962-1964).
Much later during the history of his business, Jack opened another Jack’s House of Music store in Roseville.
In 2002, to the disappointment of generations of Sacramentans, Jack, who outlived his second wife, Mae, closed his longtime popular north area store.
Although Jack’s House of Music ceased existing a decade ago, the memories of this business remain strong in the minds of many people who fell in love with this store at some point during its nearly half-century of serving the musical needs of its customers.

33 years of Scrooge at the Chautauqua Playhouse

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Northern California’s favorite holiday musical, Scrooge, will be presented at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Rd. in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. This is the 33rd year that Scrooge will be presented during the holiday season. Scrooge opened with a performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 and will continue to play on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 23. An additional performance will be held on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. Admission is $17 general and $10 for children age 12 and under. The Dec. 22 show will include an optional bus tour of Holiday Lights on All West Bus Lines (additional cost). Visit the theatre website at www.cplayhouse.org for ticket information and reservations or call the Chautauqua Playhouse at 489-7529.  Group rates are available.

The original production of Scrooge opened in 1978 in Cal Expo’s Golden Bear Playhouse, directed by Gary McFadyen and featuring Rodger Hoopman as Scrooge. Since then, Scrooge has played each holiday season to enthusiastic audiences throughout Northern California.

With Rodger Hoopman in the title role for his 33nd year, the current production of Scrooge, directed by Warren Harrison, will feature a company of local favorites including Salina Donek, Warren Harrison (who has performed the role of Bob Cratchit for the past 18 years), Chris Lamb, Karen Sandoval and many other local actors.

The production includes an original musical score by Hoopman and Rob Knable and it will also include a new opening number written by director Harrison.

For additional information contact the Chautauqua Playhouse at www.cplayhouse.org or call the theatre at 489-7529.

Carmichael Landscape Professionals Learn New Niche Through Green Gardener Program

Green Gardener graduates included Brandon Hurd of ASustainableGarden.com in Marysville (left), Carmichael-based Rebecca Wright and Steve Hauser of o2ocompost and Deborah Kruse a landscape architect based in Fresno. // Photo courtesy

Green Gardener graduates included Brandon Hurd of ASustainableGarden.com in Marysville (left), Carmichael-based Rebecca Wright and Steve Hauser of o2ocompost and Deborah Kruse a landscape architect based in Fresno. // Photo courtesy

Top names in the sustainable landscaping industry recently gathered to celebrate new Green Gardener graduates, including Carmichael-based Rebecca Wright and Steve Hauser of o2ocompost.

Green Gardeners are landscape professionals that undergo an intensive, 10-week training course in sustainable, River-Friendly landscaping. During the course, participants learn principles and practices that can help reduce urban runoff and conserve water.

“The Green Gardener program is important to the Sacramento region because it trains landscaping professionals to garden responsibly and to protect our resources, especially our waterways,” said Debbie Flower, Horticulture Professor at American River College and one of the industry leaders who attended the graduation. “The program also provides a niche for professionals to market their services, which can be especially important in this economic environment.”

More and more homeowners are asking their landscapers for safer, healthier gardening products and methods, said Kellogg Garden Products Manager Rex Lamb, another industry leader who attended the event.

“Homeowners are catching on that they gotta be green. They want to landscape organically, in a way that’s healthier for their family,” Lamb said, adding that Kellogg now sells more organic fertilizers than synthetic fertilizers 10 to one in Northern California.

The graduation honored 72 Green Gardener graduates. Since the program launched in fall 2009, more than 200 landscape professionals have attended Green Gardener classes, and nearly 150 have graduated. Graduates include contractors, designers, arborists, irrigation experts and maintenance professionals.

Among the 16 special industry guests who attended the event were:
•Farmer Fred Hoffman (Keynote Speaker), lifetime Master Gardener and host of the “KFBK Garden Show” on NewsTalk 1530
•John Perrino, Co-founder and Chief Operation Officer of Vermicrop Organics
•Dave Phelps, Sustainability Manager for Cagwin & Dorward landscape contractors

“Considering that more than 65 percent of a household’s water use typically goes toward landscape irrigation, and that more than 30 percent of that is lost to overwatering and evaporation, Green Gardeners provide in important service,” said RWA Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot. “They are a great resource for residents looking to create a beautiful, sustainable landscape but don’t know where to begin.”

The Green Gardener training program is sponsored by the Regional Water Authority and River-Friendly Landscaping Coalition. A list of qualified Green Gardeners can be found at www.BeWaterSmart.info.

About the Regional Water Authority: RWA is a joint powers authority representing 25 water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento area. Its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources.

Faces and Places: 6th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

The Fulton Avenue Association decked the halls and brought good cheer to families on a wet and cold Christmas tree lighting ceremony, held annually for the sixth time on Saturday, Saturday, Dec. 1. Santa was there taking notes from children for gifts. And of course children sat in awe looking at the beautifully decorate tree on Fulton Avenue.

bill@valcomnews.com