Mountain Mandarin Festival is Friday-Sunday in Auburn

From the current issue of Sierra FoodWine Art magazine:

WHEN ORGANIZERS IN NEWCASTLE — nestled in the foothills near Auburn — held their first Mountain Mandarin Festival 26 years ago, they never imagined that it would grow to a three-day event that now attracts up to 35,000 people from throughout the West.

Visitors to the Mountain Mandarin Festival — held on the weekend of November 22-24 — are greeted with an abundance of the tasty citrus, ranging from fresh fruit samples offered by local growers to food products featuring Mandarins.

The Festival takes place under the autumn-leaved trees of the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, where the gold, rust and burgundy colors of fall are punctuated with the bright orange globes of Mountain Mandarins everywhere you turn.

Thousands of filled orange mesh bags await, and jams, jellies, infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars, barbeque sauces and body care products all are available for purchase.

Visitors are delighted to discover that the food vendors menus include Mandarin pizza to Mandarin
glazed chicken wings, Mandarin donuts and Mandarin pulled pork, just to name a few.

The annual event includes a cooking stage with chef demonstrations and a popular recipe contest. Over 200 vendors on the grounds and in five buildings offer Mandarin products, gifts, holiday items, home décor, jewelry and handicrafts.

The atmosphere is lively with music, magic, street entertainers, dance, children’s activities and a free train ride around the grounds.

The Run for the Mandarins 5K Fun Run kicks off from the Festival on Sunday morning. But for most, meeting all the local growers and tasting their fresh Mandarins is the highlight of one of the foothill’s marquee events.

Proceeds benefit the Newcastle Area Business Association and other community projects. The Festival has raised more than $550,000 for the community, including funds for several scholarships each year
through the Association.
— Karen Spencer

Mandarins have been grown in the foothills surrounding Newcastle since the late 1800s. The first commercial Mandarin endeavors were started in the 1950s by Frank Aguilar, Ed Pilz and Harold Struble, and there are now over 75 growers in Placer County. For more information visit MandarinFestival.com.

(Photo: Wayde Carroll)

Restocking our magazine in the region as Thanksgiving draws closer

We are restocking the current issue of our Sierra FoodWineArt magazine this week ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday. This afternoon we restocked the magazine at Whole Foods Market in Roseville and Total Wine & More in Roseville, among other locations. We aim to draw visitors “up the hill” with our publication. This issue focuses on Fall Colors, the Mountain Mandarin festival, holiday fairs and festivals, the Center for the Arts’ renovation, among other topics. A digital version is at digital.sierraculture.com.

Sacramento Bee confirms plans to drop its Saturday print edition starting Feb. 22

“To our readers:

“The Sacramento Bee is changing to meet the needs of our readers and the communities we serve long into the future. Providing the news that’s essential to your life, be it breaking news, coverage of our local governments and schools, sports and watchdog journalism that holds public officials accountable, remains our mission.

“While that mission hasn’t changed, we are seeing shifts in how our readers are engaging with this valued content.  More and more of our customers are engaging with our local journalism online. This is not only a trend in the Sacramento region, it is a media industry trend, and in fact, all industries.

“To support these shifts, starting on Feb. 22, we will no longer produce a printed newspaper on Saturday and will launch with a Weekend Edition that includes expanded newspapers on Fridays and Sundays.  Many of the features that you enjoy on Saturday such as comics, puzzles, TV listings, real estate, home and garden and local sports coverage will now appear in expanded editions in print on Friday and Sunday. On Saturdays, we will continue to publish breaking local news to our website and social media platforms and we invite you to visit our website or eEdition, which replicates the experience of a printed newspaper online.

“While a printed newspaper once was the sole means of accessing news and information, we now offer many different ways to connect with The Sacramento Bee beyond print – on our sacbee.com website, on mobile apps, on social media sites such as  FacebookTwitterInstagram and through video, Google Home, Amazon Alexa and newsletters. These digital platforms are accessible wherever you go and whenever you want.

“We also have an additional challenge in California. With the recent passage of AB 5, delivery costs for the printed newspaper will increase dramatically by 2021. We are making this strategic change to invest in our future and to continue to be your source of news and information on all the platforms you choose.

“As we make this transition together we want to thank you again for your loyalty and investment in The Sacramento Bee. We are dedicated to providing this community, one we care deeply about, with independent, fact-based news and solutions for local businesses that help us all thrive and grow for many years to come. This is another step to make progress towards this goal.

“Thank you.

Gary Wortel is the President and Publisher of The Sacramento Bee
Read more here
.

Nevada City Council hits a new low in considering removal of Mayor Senum

Though I don’t always agree with Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum, I appreciate all that she’s done for the city. Reinette is a co-founder and former manager of the popular Nevada City Farmers Market, organizer of community-wide cleanings, advocate of the Commercial Street Boardwalk, and farm-to-table events.

Reinette’s “Goat Fund Me” campaign was cited as a “novel idea to fight the increasing threat of wildfires” in the Los Angeles Times.

She is a recipient of a prestigious Lambert Award: “Her list of community accomplishments is long and growing longer each year. She has helped transform our historic community in ways that have put Nevada City on the cutting edge of the 21st Century,” said David “Sparky” Parker at the time. “The Famous Marching Presidents are proud to honor Reinette with our 25th annual Lambert Award.”

But at last night’s City Council meeting Vice Mayor Erin Minett requested that Council put an item on the agenda at the December 10 council meeting for the possible “sanctioning” or “removal of the current mayor,” effectively demoting Reinette to a Council member if it were to pass.

Erin cited “a number of things that have occurred over the past month that have been kind of upsetting … in the city.”

She cited examples such as Reinette speaking out about the recent PG&E power outages and not clarifying that the views were her own, comments about the “ready, set, go” wildfire evacuation plan, as well as her opposition to the 5G wireless ordinance. Erin read from a prepared statement.

Council member Valerie Moberg said she had some questions as to what the legalities are for such an action but was assured that the issue was just being explored. Valerie seconded the motion and it passed.

We can expect a circus at the December 10 meeting. Fans and foes of Reinette will fill up the room — western Nevada County public theater “at its finest.” In 2016, she apologized in this well-publicized case involving the Dallas police.

The more things change, the more they stay the same in Nevada City. But this is one of the most counterproductive attempts I’ve seen. I don’t think it will be successful, either, but it will further polarize the town.

Reinette Senum 

Erin Minett (Photo credit: City of Nevada City website)

 

 

McClatchy’s financial distress has the company exploring options — including a sale

“McClatchy [the Sacramento Bee’s owner] reported a series of financial reverses Wednesday so severe that it may not be able to meet its obligations in 2020. Specifically it has a $120 million pension funding payment due in the spring,” as the Poynter Institute is reporting.

“That ‘greatly exceeds the company’s anticipated cash balances and cash flow’ it said in a press release. An appeal to federal pension guaranty authorities for relief may not be successful.

“Given that possibility, the company has retained financial and legal advisers to explore options. Typically that is a first step toward a company exploring the possibility of a sale.

“The publicly traded McClatchy newspaper chain, with 30 outlets including the [Sacramento Bee], Miami Herald and Kansas City Star, still gives the McClatchy family voting control. Those directors, to date, have fiercely resisted seeking bankruptcy protection or selling.

“However, as I reported 14 months ago, Chatham Asset Management, a hedge fund, is both McClatchy’s biggest lender and biggest stockholder. Thus Chatham is well positioned to acquire the company or influence a choice of other refinancing options.

“Chatham is no stranger to operating newspaper companies, with a controlling interest in a large Canadian chain and the parent company of the National Enquirer.

“The alert on severe ‘liquidity pressures’ came as McClatchy reported third quarter financial results. Its revenue losses continue to be worst among publicly traded news companies — 12.4% overall compared to the same period a year ago, and 19.3% in total digital and print advertising.

“The company posted a $304 million loss for the quarter — though that figure is misleading. All but $9.5 million of that was from a markdown of assets, as accounting regulations require periodically.

“The reevaluation reflects the plummeting value of McClatchy’s papers but does not require any outlay of cash.

“In a conference call with analysts, chief financial officer Elaine Lintecum said the company is ‘early in these negotiations’ and therefore declined to comment beyond the press release.

“CEO Craig Forman said the goal is to restructure outstanding debt, including the pension payment, but ‘we cannot assure you these efforts will be successful.’

“McClatchy has had several rounds of layoffs and buyouts this year, and this fall eliminated Saturday print editions in 12 of its markets. It plans to do the same in the other 18 in 2020.”

The rest of the article is here.

Here’s how PG&E’s outages are disrupting local students

NJUHSD Family,

This is a follow up communication to our stakeholders to share the adjustments the high school district has made following the Public Safety Power Shut Offs this Fall.  We want to thank you again for your patience during this unprecedented Fall season. While we certainly hope this is not the “new normal” across the region, we do anticipate, and will plan for, continued PSPS scenarios in the short term future.  

The following modifications have been made and agreed upon for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

  1. The end of the 1st semester has been pushed back to after Winter Break (January 17th).
  2. The minimum days calendared for December 18, 19, and 20 will be converted to regular school days.
  3. January 15, 16, and 17 will now become minimum days to accommodate final exams.
  4. The calendared “Snow Day Make-up Days”, March 25 & May 2, will be regular school attendance days.
  5. The district will be filing J-13A waivers with the state.  Should these waivers be granted, students would be exempted from making up the additional school days missed due to power outages.
  6. Graduation dates will remain the same as originally scheduled, regardless of whether or not the J-13A waivers are granted.
  7. In an effort to mitigate school closures this Winter season, we have developed delayed start bell schedules, which would allow us to start school at 11:00 on days when we anticipate inclement weather to dissipate by mid-morning.
  8. Lastly, we are working with our labor unions to negotiate additional “Emergency School Closure Days” into our future school calendar.  This would mean an increase to the number of currently scheduled “Snow Days” in the future.

Thank you again for your patience and support.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you much!

Dan Frisella

Assistant Superintendent

Nevada Joint Union High School District   

530.273.3351 ext. 206