Homeless camp cleanup set for Oct. 12

Hospitality House has joined forces with County of Nevada, City of Grass Valley, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) and Grass Valley Police Department (GVPD) to offer the shelter’s most collective community cleanup effort to date.

On Saturday, Oct. 12, all parties will clean and beautify private land and abandoned homeless camps in the Brunswick Basin as well as mitigate for fire with support from volunteers in the community.  

“Collaboration is the backbone of our community and we are up for the challenge to tackle this problem together with our partners and community volunteers,” said Sheriff Shannan Moon of NCSO.

All parties agree that coming together to leverage resources will increase the success of the cleanup and will improve community vitality. Community safety is also at the forefront of the cleanup efforts planned.

“Through partnership with community members and local service providers such as Hospitality House, we can all play a role in keeping our community safe and vibrant,” explained Chief Alex Gammelgard of GVPD.

“The Grass Valley Police Department is excited to continue our history of working with community members to keep our forests, wildland, and streams clean from camp debris and litter. This is only one of a multifaceted approach to addressing the growing issue and concerns related to homelessness and its causes.”

Reducing the number of people camping in the forest and increasing the number of people utilizing emergency shelter or related services remains a common goal.

“It takes all of us to improve the lives of our homeless residents,” said Mike Dent, Director Department of Child Support, Collections, Housing and Community Services at County of Nevada.

“From initial Homeless Outreach and Medical Engagement (HOME) team staff making contacts in the field, to finding a livable place for our homeless to go to that they can afford, it takes the entire community to make a difference.” 

In addition to the HOME team, Hospitality House’s Outreach Team regularly disposes of garbage on rural properties and encourages people living in the forest to be fire-safe and remove debris.

To aid this endeavor, staff refrains from distributing tents or sleeping bags, and has an agreement with Nevada County Code Enforcement to immediately confiscate and dispose of any items discovered on county land that pose an immediate threat to community safety.

During the cleanup on Oct. 12, it’s estimated that approximately 150 volunteers will be needed, and the entire community is invited to participate.

Know and Go: 

When: Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: 900 Block of Plaza Drive

What to Bring: Work gloves; wear comfy clothes and closed-toed shoes

All volunteers are required to take safety training onsite and sign a waiver to participate. All volunteers will be provided breakfast burritos and bagged lunches.

Register Today:

To sign up, email Hospitality House Volunteer Manager Leah Farkas at lfarkas@hhshelter.org, or call 530-615-0805. Hospitality House hosts two major camp cleanups per year in addition to small cleanups at regular intervals. To learn more about this camp cleanup and future cleanups, visit hhshelter.org/camp-cleanups.

—Hospitality House

Send Your Name to Mars

It’s the final boarding call for you to stow your name on NASA’s Mars 2020 rover before it launches to the Red Planet. The Sept. 30 deadline for NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign gives the mission enough time to stencil the submitted names – over 9.4 million so far – on a chip that will be affixed to the Mars 2020 rover.

This rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020 and expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021. The Mars 2020 rover represents the initial leg of humanity’s first planned round trip to another planet.

With this robotic scientist weighing 2,300 pounds (1,040 kilograms), the Mars 2020 mission will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

“As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “It’s an exciting time for NASA as we embark on this voyage to answer profound questions about our neighboring planet, and even the origins of life itself.”

The opportunity to send your name to Mars, which opened on May 21, 2019, comes with a souvenir boarding pass and “frequent flyer” points. This is part of a public engagement campaign to highlight missions involved with NASA’s journey from the Moon to Mars. Miles (or kilometers) are awarded for each “flight,” with corresponding digital mission patches available for download. More than 2 million names flew on NASA’s InSight mission to Mars, giving each “flyer” about 300 million frequent flyer miles (nearly 500 million frequent flyer kilometers).

You can add your name to the list and obtain a souvenir boarding pass to Mars here

The Microdevices Laboratory at JPL will use an electron beam to stencil the submitted names onto a silicon chip with lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair (75 nanometers). At that size, millions of names can be written on a single dime-size chip. The chip will ride on the rover under a glass cover.

—JPL wrote this press release

Bochy gets 2,000-career win at Fenway Park

“Bruce Bochy admitted he hadn’t given much thought to joining one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs,” as the San Jose Mercury News is reporting.

“On the brink of earning his 2,000th career victory as a major league manager, Bochy sat in the visitor’s dugout at Fenway Park before Wednesday’s game and downplayed what reaching the milestone would mean to him.

‘“I’ll be honest, that’s not a number I’ve ever thought about,’ Bochy said. ‘I know it’s a possibility it could happen this year.’

“When Bochy’s San Francisco Giants put the finishing touches on an 11-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, the possibility became a reality and he could no longer ignore the significance of the accomplishment.

“Fans gathered behind the visitor’s dugout to chant Bochy’s name while Red Sox manager Alex Cora and his staff came out of the home dugout to acknowledge a manager who broke into an exclusive club with 10 games to spare.

“’I had some emotions going through me during that,’ Bochy said. ‘I’m just really overwhelmed by it to be honest.’

“With 11 days remaining until Bochy steps away from the dugout and rides off into retirement, he became the 11th manager in Major League history to record 2,000 wins. The 10 who joined the club before him are all in the Hall of Fame.”

The rest of the article is here.

Trump’s Silicon Valley fundraiser: salmon, Stanford — and silliness

Editor’s note: “President Trump held his first Silicon Valley fundraiser on Tuesday, at Sun co-founder Scott McNealy’s house,” as CNBC reported. “A giant inflatable baby Trump was not far behind. The details of the $1,000 to $50,000-per-plate event were held quite tightly by local GOP officials.” Here’s the press pool report:

“From: Brett Samuels
Date: September 17, 2019 at 2:34:44 PM PDT
Subject: Out of town pool report #7: Leaving fundraiser

“Motorcade is rolling from the fundraiser site at 2:32 p.m. local time.

The fundraiser remained closed press and pool did not get much of a view of the residence, which was located atop a hill.

Attendees were served salmon and vegetables, and pool spotted what appeared to be a golf hole in the backyard that featured a flag with a Stanford logo. At one point your pooler heard a cheer go up from the house, but it’s unclear why.

Your pooler will inquire with the White House for additional details.”

(Photo: NBC News Bay Area)

“Slow boat to China?” Nope.

Small towns are a hoot, but I like to hit the road now and then to keep the world in perspective, as regular readers know. Later this fall, I’m returning to China for a week — this time to visit Beijing. I’m also going to visit Chengdu, home of the famous Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Most of these trips are spontaneous, thanks to fare wars. The unrest in Hong Kong and ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute — now in its 18th month — has dampened travel, leading to some deep discounts. (Hong Kong Airport, for example, suffered its biggest monthly drop in travelers in a decade in August, the South China Morning Post is reporting).

The trade war is hurting the tourism business between China and the U.S. after years of booming growth. The weak demand has led to lower airfares. “Been considering a trip to China? Now’s the time, because we’re seeing some amazing deals out of west coast airports to China, with nonstop flights going for a low as $283 round-trip,” reports The Points Guy, one of my favorite airline travel websites.

I found and booked a roundtrip ticket to Beijing (with stops in Chengdu on the flight out and in Changsha on the return) on Hainan Airlines — one of only 10 airlines to receive a five-star rating by Skytrax. I scored a business class ticket (with lie-flat seats for the nearly 15-hour journey) for less than $1,500.

Hainan flies the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft on this route, one of my favorites for long-haul flights (AKA “all jet, no lag”). “The two most progressive planes to combat jet lag are the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These planes pump the highest pressure, which actually makes conditions on the plane feel more like those found on the ground – on earth,” as one travel website explains.

A Chinese airline’s classical music concert at 30,000 feet

Hainan gets high marks. It even hosted a classical music concert at 30,000 feet. “On the 21st of January 2016, Hainan Airline was the first airline to ever introduce scheduled flights between the Californian city of Los Angeles and the historic city of Changsha in the Hunan Province.

“To celebrate this historic event, Hainan Airlines came up with a brilliant idea to host the first-ever concert in the skies. The world-famous Chinese Pianist and Grammy Award winner Lang Lang played his piano at the altitude of 30,000 feet. The passengers loved it and turned into an unforgettable experience for everyone aboard.”

I’m looking forward to visiting the giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base, home to about 50 pandas. In Beijing, I plan to visit the Forbidden City,  Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, the Great Wall and other sites. I also plan to attend a classical music concert and enjoy the local cuisine.

For a trip that’s 5,873 miles from Nevada City, it’s not an expensive journey. But I know it will be an entertaining and educational one.

The Center for the Arts announces inaugural season lineup for “The New Center”

The Center for the Arts announced its inaugural 2019/2020 season lineup on Monday — the first time The Center announced a full season at once. Other shows could be added later, however.

Putting together an annual season of performance and visual arts can be likened to preparing a 10-course meal for royalty. Every detail must be carefully considered, every ingredient carefully selected, and every course and dish strategically placed on the menu. Each course, from appetizer to dessert, must be prepared using the finest ingredients and perfectly seasoned to create a heavenly blend of flavors that thrill the palate.

The seasoning that goes into creating an annual season for The Center for the Arts is passion, creativity, dedication, collaboration, negotiation, hard work, excitement, joy, and a generous pinch of magic. We are looking forward to our upcoming season—which promises to thrill your palate! While a full season runs from September through June, this year’s season will begin in December, to coincide with the Grand Opening of The New Center, and run through June 2020.

The inaugural season includes musical performances by Storm Large, The Mother Hips, Terry Riley, Gyan Riley, and Kronos Quartet, Riders in the Sky, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, Masters of Hawaiian Music, DakhaBrakha, Arlo Guthrie, and Marc Cohn.

The Center is bringing back comics Paula Poundstone and The Second City, as well as Tom Papa in a special show presented by Sirius XM. The circus comes to town with Latvia’s B – The Underwater Bubble Show for a cirque du soleil style performance. And, there is a series of three holiday shows including, Irish Christmas in America, Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice and Mark O’ Connor Band – An Appalachian Christmas.

Family Fun Days continue to happen quarterly and The Briarpatch is sponsoring the first in a series of student matinee performances with Call of the Wild, Illustrated Edition – a multimedia experience.

The new gallery will feature a show from Nancy Mintz, a display of The Greenberg Collection, women artists for the Yuba Lands Biennale, and Off The Wall a contemporary fiber art exhibition.

Season announcements provide more advance notice for buying tickets. You can get the best seats by purchasing early, and The Center is making it easier for everyone to purchase discounted tickets to their favorite shows with new “Choose Your Own” ticket packages at https://thecenterforthearts.org/event/choose-your-own-ticket-packages/.

Members also receive extra discounts, access to member only tickets, reserved seating and ticket exchange benefits.

Get your tickets to the new season, become a member of The Center for the Arts, or learn more about the shows at The New Center on their website thecenterforthearts.org, on Facebook/thecenterforthearts and at the temporary box office at 998 Plaza Drive in Grass Valley.

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming. Typically, the Center presents more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley.

The Center is currently underway in a major renovation of its multiuse 21,000 square foot facility in downtown Grass Valley. After the renovation, the Center will have a 490 seat main theater, a large visual art gallery, classroom space, and a 90-seat black box theater. For more information about the renovation, please reach out to The Center’s Executive Director, Amber Jo Manuel.

—The Center for the Arts

(Photo of Storm Large by John Taber)

Another dyed-in-the-wool partisan running for District 1 Supe race

The supes are supposed to be nonpartisan. Not around here.

In the latest example of bald political partisanship,  Republican Deborah Wilder — who has been active as a GOP state and local officer for a long, long time— is running for District 1 Supervisor. “The State of the State of the California GOP” was one of her speeches. You get the point.

The Union — often criticized as a mouthpiece for the right — got to break the news of this dyed-in-the-wool partisan running for the nonpartisan seat. “Wilder has been a labor and employment attorney representing management for more than 30 years. She was formerly the mayor of Foster City, was previously the secretary of the California Republican Party and is currently California Republican Party North Region vice chair,” it dutifully reported.

At some point, it would good to hear what makes Deborah qualified for the post of being a supe in a rural area within the blue state of California. (And that requires building —not burning — bridges with Sacramento).

Along with District 1, Districts 2 and 5 will also be up for grabs in the March 2020 elections.

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”