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

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, 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.” 


Notre-Dame’s toxic fallout

“The April fire that engulfed Notre-Dame contaminated the cathedral site with clouds of toxic dust and exposed nearby schools, day care centers, public parks and other parts of Paris to alarming levels of lead,” The New York Times is reporting.

“The lead came from the cathedral’s incinerated roof and spire, and it created a public health threat that stirred increasing anxiety in Paris throughout the summer.

“Five months after the fire, the French authorities have refused to fully disclose the results of their testing for lead contamination, sowing public confusion, while issuing reassuring statements intended to play down the risks.

“Their delays and denials have opened the authorities to accusations that they put reconstruction of the cathedral — which President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to complete in five years — ahead of the health of thousands of people.

“A comprehensive investigation by The New York Times has helped fill out an emerging picture of a failed official response. It found significant lapses by the French authorities in alerting the public to health risks, even as their understanding of the danger became clearer.”

The rest of the article is here.