sacramento connect sacramento blogs & community news around sacramento california Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:15:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Home is down by the river Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:15:00 +0000 0 Watson testifies about violent, beer-fueled encounter Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:13:00 +0000 0 Boots and Brews aids underprivileged children Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:11:00 +0000 0 DEA inspects Rideout pharmacy Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:09:00 +0000 0 Hindus, Sikhs celebrate Diwali in Yuba City Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:07:00 +0000 0 Gas drops below $3 a gallon Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:07:00 +0000 0 Costume run on Saturday Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:06:00 +0000 0 Around Yuba-Sutter: Halloween party today Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:05:00 +0000 0 Dredging permit OK’d for Beckwourth Riverfront Park Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:04:00 +0000 0 A Tale of Two Sacramento Restaurants Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:07:00 +0000 0 Still Time to Help ‘Fall Harvest Food and Clothing Drive’ For Elk Grove Food Bank Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:00:00 +0000

October 23, 2014 |

With the holiday's just around the corner, a food and clothing drive to replenish the shelves of the Elk Grove Food Bank is well underway.

Now through Monday, October 27, donations of non-perishable food item and clothes can be dropped off at several Elk Grove businesses listed here as well at the Elk Grove Food Bank

Requested food items include canned tuna, peanut butter, rice, beans, pasta and canned fruits and vegetables. Clothing items needed are gloves, socks (all sizes), hats, coats, scarves and sweatshirts. Personal hygiene items needed are toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors and shampoo & conditioners. 

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What does a middle of the road voter look like? Fri, 24 Oct 2014 04:44:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 Dining News: Catching Up on South Fri, 24 Oct 2014 04:15:00 +0000 0 Kings 2014-2015 position preview: Shooting guard Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:13:00 +0000 By  Tony Xypteras

The Kings were terrible at shooting guard last season. Marcus Thornton underperformed while he was still in Sacramento, and after he was traded, Ben McLemore was forced into a starting role that he probably wasn’t ready for.

We are about one week away from the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, and all signs point toward McLemore as the Kings starting shooting guard.

I’m concerned.

I don’t need to dive into how ineffective McLemore was last season. For a more in-depth look, you can check out the point-counterpoint column I did with fellow Bleed Black and Purple writer Dustin Bailey.

It was obvious. McLemore was in over his head, and it didn’t help that he played on a team with three 20-point scorers. He was the fourth or fifth option in the starting lineup every night, and the fourth or fifth option on last year’s Kings team is not equivalent to the fourth or fifth option on a balanced team. His offensive opportunities were limited, yes, but he never established himself as a player his teammates could trust, either. The whole situation was a mess. The one job the Kings really needed him to perform, and one I thought he could do, was stretch the floor with his three-point shot – especially after the Kings traded for Rudy Gay. They really needed their shooting guard to play a defensive-minded, three-point shooting role, and McLemore just couldn’t do it.

His defense was poor, but I can accept that to some degree because he was a 20-year-old rookie. Defense in the NBA isn’t easy, and that can take some time to learn. I can’t make any excuse for his poor shooting. McLemore was a .420 three-point shooter in college taking almost five three pointers per game. I thought that at the very least his three-point shooting would translate, and he’d be able to make open shots from the perimeter when the Kings needed him to. That didn’t happen. He shot .320 from three on almost four three-point attempts per game last season. It just wasn’t good enough.

Last year, the Kings had a starting shooting guard who couldn’t shoot, couldn’t defend and couldn’t find any other ways to contribute. They have the same player starting for them this season.
The worst part about this whole ordeal is that McLemore seems like a really good guy. Michael Malone consistently praises his work ethic, and I have never heard a bad word said about him. I just don’t know if he’ll ever put it all together. Despite his poor rookie season, you can see his potential. He is a great athlete, and beyond his general athleticism, I love the way he moves around the court. Everything looks really fluid. He’s smooth, but the production just hasn’t been there, and the Kings are going to need a lot more out him now than they did last season.

The doubt I have in McLemore is the only way I was able to rationalize the Kings drafting Nik Stauskas this summer. It’s hard to justify drafting the same position with top-10 picks in back-to-back years. As I’ve said numerous times, I’m not buying Stauskas and McLemore’s ability to play with each other. Could they play together in some sort of small-ball gimmick lineup? Sure, but that isn’t any kind of reasonable long-term strategy. One of them is going to play a lot, and the other one isn’t. One of them is going to get a chance to develop in Sacramento, and one of them isn’t. I just can’t see it going any other way.

McLemore is going to get the first opportunity this season. I have more faith in Stauskas, personally, but I can understand why Malone is going with Ben. The Kings have more time invested in McLemore’s development.

To McLemore’s credit, he has looked more confident with his shot this preseason. This is a simplistic way to look at it, but Ben is shooting .444 from three through six preseason games. If he can keep his three-point shooting percentage around .400, he’ll be fine. The Kings absolutely need their shooting guard to spread the floor by way of hitting open threes. If McLemore can do that, the Kings will be happy. If McLemore can’t do that, Stauskas is going to take his place.

An interesting trend I’ve noticed through six preseason games is Malone’s use of Ramon Sessions at shooting guard with Darren Collison at point. I thought we’d see it, but I didn’t think we’d see it this much. The two-point guard lineup is something we’ve seen more and more around the NBA over the last few seasons. I can see Malone going to Collison and Sessions in crunch time where steady ball handling and experience is key.

McLemore is the starter for now, Stauskas is the backup, and Sessions is the wild card. I have no idea exactly how the minutes will play out beyond the first few weeks of the season, and I could see this rotation flip-flopping multiple times before the Kings really figure out what they have here, but I expect the overall production from this position to be better than it was last season.
It just has to be. ]]> 0
Farewell Post… Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:58:48 +0000 0 Longtimers still haunted by “ghost towns” might also need to think like “flatlanders” Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:29:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 Find some great deals at the Nevada County Book Sale – Now through Nov. 7th Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:21:47 +0000 book_sale_edited2.jpg
October 23, 2014 - Nevada County is holding its 19th annual Book Sale at the Rood Government Center Lobby, located at 950 Maidu Ave in Nevada City. This annual Book Sale is happening now and runs through November 7th. The prices range from $.50 to $2 for books and $3 for DVDs.

The sale is open to the public; Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. For the best selection of books it’s best to shop early. Donations of books are still being accepted. There are a variety of books on hand, including children’s, cookbooks, fiction and non-fiction. All proceeds go to United Way of Nevada County and its partner agencies. October is the Nevada County United Way Campaign kick-off month. This event is just one of many events occurring throughout Nevada County to help benefit the community during the 2014 United Way Campaign season. For more information on the sale, please contact Lelia Loomis at 265-1498.

United Way of Nevada County is also holding a collection drive called Project Warmth. There is a collection box in the lobby during the Book Sale for donations of sleeping bags, warm socks and thermal underwear for those in need. Help United Way and the County keep those in need warm this winter.
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Halloween as a big kid Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:13:43 +0000 What age did you stop trick-or-treating? Honestly, I never wanted to stop. Well, I stopped when I was able to buy as much candy as I wanted to eat, but when I was a kid it was a different story. I don’t remember every single Halloween during my childhood. I do remember being in high school […]

The post Halloween as a big kid appeared first on Chronicles of Nothing.

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5 Ways to Make it a Halloween Night! Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:41:02 +0000 Halloween is just around the corner! Are you still searching for ways to fright and delight your friends and family? We've handpicked frighteningly fun attractions, along with nearby eats and drinks, so you can have a haunted night on the town! ...And even more thrills and chills can be found on our Holiday Events page!

With's " Make It a Night" map (below the ticketing section on event listings), you can always find restaurants, bars and hotels close events you want to attend so you can complete your evening plans.

Dress up and climb aboard a Halloween-themed cruise! Photo courtesy of Hornblower Old Sacramento.


Heartstoppers Haunted House
Mine Shaft Building
Now - Until 11/1

Ready for a scare? You'll find spooks around every corner at this haunted warehouse. To fuel up to outrun the undead, stop by the OldSpaghetti Factory and Samurai Sushi - both less than a minute away. If you survive, laugh your worries away at Tommy T's Comedy Club.

Spooky Halloween River Cruise
L Street Dock
Now - Until 10/31
Fun for little and big ghouls alike, families can sail down the Sacramento River with Hornblower! Before embarking on your voyage, feast on the seafood delights at Joe's Crab Shack or the upscale American eats found at Ten 22. Ashore, adults can wet their whistle at River City Saloon.

With six haunts and three killer dance floors, The Gravedigger's Ball is your one-stop-shop of horrors. Photo courtesy of CBS Local.


Zombie the Musical
The Sacramento Comedy Spot
Fri 10/31

Get your night started by watching a musical about zombies - from the undead perspective! Before you hang with the flesh-eaters, dine al fresco at neighboring LowBrau or Azul Mexican Food. Let the laughs continue on the bar stools of The Depot or Head Hunters across the street.

Sacramento Halloween Bar Hop
Old Sacramento
Fri 10/31

When the little ones go to bed, the party in Old Sacramento begins! Fanny Ann's Saloon, O'Mally’s, La Terraza and plenty of other Old Sacramento bars and restaurants will offer drink and food specials throughout the night. Best part: There's no cover charge!

The Gravedigger's Ball
Sacramento Convention Center
Fri 10/31

Get ready for a party of epic proportions! With three different dance floors and a haunted house, this will be the Halloween you won't forget. After eating and drinking the night away, play it safe and book a room at the Sheraton Grand or the Hyatt Regency.


Find more events this week and every day of the year at
Keep up with

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USDA Releases New “Made in Rural America” Report for California Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:41:01 +0000 CaliforniaRuralMade.jpg
DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 23, 2014 - On behalf of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) commitment to strengthening rural economies, USDA Rural Development State Director for California Glenda Humiston announced new data highlighting USDA investments in rural California. This data summarizes specific USDA investments in rural California's businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development. It also outlines how USDA is helping rural California attract businesses and families by investing in housing and broadband. This information is part of USDA’s national "Made in Rural America" report illustrating the impact of USDA investments in rural America.

"Supporting our rural communities benefits all Californians," said Humiston. "USDA has made dedicated investments in manufacturing, energy and small businesses in rural California. At the same time, we are bringing reliable services like water, housing and broadband to make these same communities attract and retain a talented workforce. This data shows that the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in rural California."

In California, USDA has made investments to help 411 rural businesses thrive and grow, including $85.9 million investment in rural manufacturing alone. Rural manufacturing supports 17,577 jobs in California. In addition, USDA has helped 27,895 families purchase or repair homes and has invested $325.8 million to support efficient water support, treatment and storage facilities, and wastewater treatment systems. This investment has improved the health of thousands of rural Californians who now have access to clean water and reliable sanitation.

More information is available at

The “Made in Rural America” report reflects USDA’s efforts to strengthen the "four pillars" of a new economy in rural America by developing a robust bio-based economy; promoting exports and production agriculture fueled by increased productivity and research; encouraging conservation including land management, stewardship and outdoor recreational opportunities; and building a strong local and regional food system to harness entrepreneurial innovation and help small and medium-sized family farms succeed in rural America.
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NID Limits Sale of Irrigation Water Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:05:12 +0000
Drought and water supply updates were presented as part of Wednesday’s (Oct. 22) meeting of the NID Board of Directors.

The NID summer irrigation season closed on schedule Oct. 14, said Water Operations Manager Chip Close. In most years, the district offers fall sales, but this is dependent upon water storage and availability. When available, fall water can be made available to customers who, depending on weather, may need irrigation water and stock water during the six weeks from Oct. 15 to Dec. 1.

Close said that no fall sales are being offered this year but the district remains hopeful that fall rains continue to move in and help the region. Customers with concerns about service are encouraged to contact the district.

Winter water supplies are being made available this year, but only to customers who purchased winter water last year and in amounts no larger than supplied last year.

Close said the supply limitations are being implemented as the district works to preserve adequate water storage while complying with temporary state regulations that limit the district’s ability to divert water into its reservoirs.

General Manager Rem Scherzinger said NID is moving into the 2014-15 rainfall season with more water in storage than was anticipated earlier this year. He credited district staff for doing “a fantastic job” and the community for stepping up and saving water during the continuing drought.

NID is currently holding about 140,000 acre-feet of water in storage. District officials were concerned earlier this year that storage may dip as low as 110,000 acre-feet.

The district operates 10 reservoirs with a water storage capacity of 280,380 acre-feet. One acre-foot of water equals one acre of land covered one foot deep.

NID customers who receive piped, treated water are not affected by the water sale limitations but are encouraged to continue reducing water use by 20 percent until the drought is over.

For water conservation information, see For more information, call NID at (530) 273-6185.]]> 0
Sawmill Peak Lookout Restoration Completed Through Cooperative Effort Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:00:08 +0000 2014-08-13_10_20_59.jpg
Butte County October 23, 2014 - Over the past several months, a cooperative effort between Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Butte County Fire Safe Council and CAL FIRE has enabled significant restoration work to be completed on the Sawmill Peak lookout. The lookout had suffered vandalism in the past, including damage to the interior and exterior of the lookout and grounds.

This summer, in response to severe drought conditions, Pacific Gas and Electric Company stepped forward to provide funding of $56,000 to not only staff the lookout, but to also provide for maintenance and restoration of the lookout tower. This partnership, along with the Butte County Fire Safe Council, enabled CAL FIRE to provide consistent staffing and complete the much needed maintenance and repairs, including maintenance of appliances, exterior paint, grounds and site security.

“This project exemplifies how communities and allied agencies can join together to provide additional layers of fire prevention and protection in our rural surroundings”, stated Butte Unit Chief Greg McFadden. “We are all stakeholders in public safety.”

“PG&E is the community’s partner in safety,” said Lia White, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley division leadership team. “We are pleased to collaborate with the Butte County Fire Safe Council and CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire to fund these ongoing projects to help reduce the risk of wildfire in the communities we serve and where we work and live.”
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This is Where I Leave You Arrives on Blu-ray, Digital HD, and DVD on December 16th Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:45:00 +0000
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.
Read more »
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Six Months After Standoff with Armed Militia in Nevada, the Federal Government Has Not Yet Responded Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:42:03 +0000
For weeks prior, the antigovernment right had been portraying a federal court order to remove Bundy’s herd from public lands as a prime example of federal overreach – even though Bundy had refused to pay more than $1 million in accumulated grazing fees and fines because he said he didn’t recognize the government’s legitimacy.

Militias from around the country responded to Bundy’s plight, hoping that in that tiny corner of the desert they could make a stand against the government they see as the enemy. And when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) abandoned the operation to avoid a bloody shootout, they declared victory.

Government officials promised accountability for those who broke the law by taking up arms against federal agents. It seems unfathomable, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Justice would allow a mob of antigovernment zealots to get away with using the threat of violence to block the enforcement of the law.

But, as the months have dragged on, there has been no response. Not an arrest. Not an indictment. Nothing.

Speaking with National Public Radio a month after the standoff, BLM Director Neil Kornze promised the agency would work through the legal system. “I can’t say a lot because there’s an active investigation going on, but we are working hard to ensure that those who did break the law are held accountable,” Kornze said.

The Clark County, Nevada, Sheriff’s Department has said an investigation is under way, as has the FBI. But as that investigation drags on, militias have turned the Bundy family ranch into an armed compound ready for a ground war with the Feds, and Bundy has gone on the lecture circuit to claim victory against the government.

Just last month, speaking at a gathering billed as “An Evening with Cliven Bundy” in Nevada, the embattled rancher, now a hero to the radical right, again reiterated his defiance and disdain for the federal government.

“I was really surprised that they would go this far to put their guns down we the people’s throat and try to show the public, the world, the federal government has unlimited power over we the people of the state of Nevada. That isn’t right, and that’s not ever going to happen again in America or in the state of Nevada,” a television station quoted Bundy saying.

Bundy’s confidence has risen no doubt because there have been no consequences for his actions or for those who came to his defense.

What has been equally surprising, however, is just how deeply the Bundy family has become part of the radical fringe since the April 12 standoff.

Bundy abandoned the GOP in favor of the Independent American Party of Nevada, which champions the idea of returning to the gold standard and frequently offers conspiracy theories about the United Nations and its Agenda 21. He has spoken to numerous far-right media outlets, touting his success in turning back the federal government as a victory for what the radical right frequently calls the “cause of liberty.” Members of his family have even become lifetime members of antigovernment groups like the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack’s conspiracy-minded group composed of right-wing sheriffs who promise to keep federal aggressions at bay.

In recent months, Bundy himself has burrowed much deeper into the radical right than that even.

Hatewatch has learned that Bundy, alongside Mack, participated in a conference call with the Republic for the united States of America (RuSA), a “sovereign citizen” group whose members believe the federal government is an illegal corporation designed to enslave citizens. Its members have been involved in violent interactions with police, run-ins with the Internal Revenue Service and widespread harassment of law enforcement.

As the Southern Poverty Law Center reported this summer, the government’s slow response and apparent reluctance or inability to hold Bundy accountable led to more potentially violent, antigovernment confrontations in Utah, Texas, Idaho, New Mexico and elsewhere.

And, in a July report, the Department of Homeland Security described a recent spike in antigovernment violence and noted that the “perceived success” of militias at the Bundy ranch “likely will embolden other militia extremists and like-minded lone offenders to attempt to replicate these confrontational tactics and force future armed standoffs.”

The truth of the matter is that until there is action holding those who broke the law accountable, it is likely that the current wave of antigovernment extremism will only continue to pick up speed.

The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.]]> 0
Arts Week Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:24:47 +0000 0 Solano County Leaders Unite Behind Bill Dodd For Assembly Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:10:35 +0000 0 dots, stripes, wave and duck footprints Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:00:00 +0000 A few days after I ordered my new iPhone 6 for delivery, I commissioned Miss L to create a case for my new phone. She had done such a great job with the last case (and got so much pride from it as well) that I knew she’d love to contribute to a new one. So […]  Read more...

The post dots, stripes, wave and duck footprints appeared first on KimberlyMichelle.

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Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series Will Travel to Blu-ray and DVD on December 9th! Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:34:00 +0000
The new era of Doctor Who starring Peter Capaldi delivered the highest rated season premiere ever on BBC AMERICA. In the feature-length premiere, the new Doctor crash-lands in Victorian London. As Clara (Jenna Coleman, Dancing on the Edge) struggles to recognize the man she thought she knew so well, killers are stalking the capital. A slaughterhouse restaurant and a buried spaceship lead the Doctor into a confrontation with a long forgotten foe… but how far is this new man ready to go to protect his friends? The new season sees the Doctor and Clara encounter wonders and horrors. They meet a fleet of Daleks as they attempt to rescue a stranded ship of human survivors, face ranks of Cybermen stalking the Earth, go back in time and join Robin Hood in a fight with killer robots in Sherwood Forest, become bank robbers when they break into the deadliest bank in the cosmos, face a mummy on the Orient Express, discover a deadly horror dwelling on the Moon, and come to know the last man standing at the end of the Universe. And as Clara falls for handsome fellow teacher, Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson, The History Boys), can she keep her two extraordinary lives going?
Read more »
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Today’s California Stem Cell Meeting Concludes Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:09:00 +0000 0 Three juveniles charged with burglarizing, vandalizing Auburn Valley Country Club Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:44:58 +0000 A Placer County Sheriff’s detective apprehended three juveniles Thursday in connection with recent burglaries and acts of vandalism at the Auburn Valley Country Club. Twice in August, the golf course’s clubhouse and restaurant, as well as the golf cart maintenance building, were broken into. Alcohol was taken, and golf carts were taken out on the course for […]

The post Three juveniles charged with burglarizing, vandalizing Auburn Valley Country Club appeared first on Placer County Online.

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It’s a Girl! No Wait… a Boy! Bakery’s Mistake Leads to Gender Confusion Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:22:40 +0000 ]]> 0 Serial Pizzeria Robber? Elk Grove Store Robbed At Gunpoint Again Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:20:00 +0000

October 23, 2014 |

Shortly after 7 p.m. yesterday, another armed robbery of an Elk Grove pizzeria occurred. 

According to Elk Grove Police, an unknown suspect entered the Little Ceasers on Laguna Boulevard and confronted a store employee with a handgun. The suspect reached into a cash register and stole money while a second employee opened another cash register and gave the gunman the cash. 

Responding  officer were unable to locate  the suspect who fled on foot in an unknown direction. The gunman was described as a black male adult, 5'8" to 6'0", skinny, wearing a dark colored ski mask, gray hooded sweatshirt and dark colored pants. 

This store was also robbed at gunpoint on Tuesday, September 30 by a similarly described suspect. Two days following that incident, a nearby Papa John's, also on Laguna Boulevard, was subjected to an armed robbery.

Elk Grove Police are investigating the possibility that these incidents, along with three recent yogurt shop robberies, are related. 

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RED LABEL: Blue October Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:20:00 +0000 0 More than $9 Million Approved for California Stem Cell Training Programs Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:08:00 +0000 Directors of the California stem cell agency today approved $9 million to continue its state and community college training program after supporters  hailed it as “truly transformative” and a valuable addition to the research field.

The agency extended the effort for one year, which has cost the state $51 million already. The college program has trained 782 young people.

The agency also approved $550,000 for a one-year extension of its high school internship program, which has involved 200 persons over the years.

The actions came despite increasing financial sensitivity on the part of directors of the $3 billion research enterprise as the program nears its 10 thanniversary. It faces increasing expenses because of its desire to become more heavily involved in the costly clinical trials that are needed to actual put stem cell treatments into the clinic. Its cash is dwindling at the same time.

Susan Fisher, director of the human embryonic stem cell program at UC San Francisco, told the board in a letter that the state college training program  “offers unprecedented value in terms of the dollars that are spent.”

She said,
“It is very hard for me to put into words the transformative experience that the Bridges Program provides to trainees. They enter UCSF very uncertain of their place in a major research enterprise. To a person, they leave with boundless enthusiasm for a career dedicated to advancing the goals of the CIRM research agenda. Moreover, this life-changing experience is being offered to students who have traditionally not had these sorts of opportunities, making the program even more valuable.”
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Time for some R&R (refreshing and rejuvenating) Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:00:00 +0000 R&R is always a good thing. At least that’s what I think. In this case R&R stands for refreshing and rejuvenating, and that’s exactly what I did to several areas in the front yard this past weekend.

Since gardens are a living thing, plants sometimes outgrow their allotted space, they die, or the gardener’s preferences change. There are so many movable parts that the overall balance frequently gets out of whack. That’s what happened in the spots featured in this post. I simply wasn’t happy with them, and instead of continuing to grumble passively, I decided to take action.

This isn’t “pretty” post, like this one, but it’s necessary if this blog is to be a record of my garden activities—my successes and failures alike.

The first section I started to redo is inside the front yard fence. This entire planting strip is dedicated to perennials. There isn’t a single succulent in sight (not counting the potted succulents on top of the fence). Two plants were getting out hand here: globemallow ( Sphaeralcea ‘Newleaze Coral’) and northern sea oats ( Chasmanthium latifolium).


Actually, there’s a third one: California gray rush ( Juncuspatens). You can see it merging with the sea oats in the next set of photos. I’d cut it back last year, which left a huge depression in the middle, with new growth along the perimeter—ugly!

Read more »

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Adopt A Pet: Alfie & Chanel Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:53:06 +0000 0 Hit The Links On A Golf Board Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:51:40 +0000 0 Red Flags Your Teen May be Dating the Wrong Person Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:50:42 +0000 ]]> 0 Soul Line Dancing Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:50:26 +0000 0 $34 Million Stem Cell Effort: California Kicks Off Its Alpha Clinic Global Leadership Plan Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:49:00 +0000 Directors of the California stem cell today launched a $34 million effort to create a string of Alpha stem cell clinics intended to make the Golden State the leading spot globally for stem treatments and research.

The winners of $8 million grants each were the City of Hopein Duarte, Ca.; the University of California, San Diego, and UCLA, whose proposal included  UC Irvine.  Three applications were rejected including those from Cedars-Sinai and UC Davis, which appealed an earlier negative reviewer decision. Action on a fourth application was delayed because of an unspecified allegation of a conflict-of-interest during the closed-door review process.

Upcoming in a grant round next year will be creation of a related, $10 million Alpha data and information center that would be both a central repository for research and an education/marketing effort for patients and the public.

The concept for the one-stop centers was first offered in 2011 by former agency PresidentAlan Trounson, who resigned earlier this year to return to Australia.  Nature Medicine reported that the Alpha clinics would be the first-ever  “clinical trials network focused around a broad therapeutic platform.”

 The Alpha proposal was originally budgeted at $70 million with up to five Alpha clinics including a $15 million information center.  However, there was no requirement that all five awards be made.

Earlier this year, Randy Mills, the new president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known, successfully recommended slicing $5 million from the data center. The proposal is now being recast. 

Each of the winners is contributing considerable resources to the Alpha plan along with two clinical trials. The nature of those contributions and their size was not disclosed to the public or the directors. Seven applications were considered by reviewers with some including more than one major institution.

Afflictions targeted by the winning institutions range from cancer and heart disease to diabetes and spinal cord injury.  The effort is part of CIRM’s push to fulfill the promises of the ballot campaign of 2004 that created the agency.

The drive to produce actual treatments is also critical to generating fresh financial support for CIRM, which is expected to run out of cash in about 2020. It currently relies on money that the state is borrowing and that flows directly to the agency without going through the normal budgetary process.

Today’s action included cuts in the research budgets proposed by the winners, who sought $11 million to $11.7 million each. Instead the board put a cap of $8 million on the grants. The cuts came after concerns were raised about duplication of costs and inclusion of expenses related to the proposed data/information center.

The nature of each grant’s budget changes will be subject to negotiations with members of the agency’s team.

Here are links to selected, previous items on the Alpha clinic plan:
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013
Alan Trounson, president of the California stem cell agency, this summer plans to seek $70 million for creation of what he calls  Alpha Clinics, high-powered organizations that will fast-track stem cell therapies to patients.
In addition to the comments filed online in connection with  the $70 million proposal to create Alpha Clinics in California for stem cell treatments,  two other readers commented privately in emails. 

One came from a close observer of the stem cell agency who said, “If done right -- and I'm sure you and I agree that is a big 'if' – it could be an outstanding legacy.”

The other comment came from a physician-researcher at a major California institution and was longer and more critical.
MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013
Want to know more about the business aspects of a $70 million proposal to create a chain of “Alpha” stem cell clinics in California?

More details can be found in a report from the California stem cell agency titled  “Alpha Stem Cell Clinics: Delivering a New Kind of Medicine.”
California's $70 million plan for a chain of “Alpha” stem cell clinics today received its first major attention from the mainstream media. 
A $70 million race was kicked off last month as the California stem cell agency invited eight institutions to compete to create  what it calls Alpha Clinics, enterprises that would attract patients from throughout the world for stem cell therapies.
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