Local Artist Sparks the Creative Process in Fairgoers

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-08-23

Chris Thompson, clay artist extraordinaire, behind his “ArtValanche” at the Valley Sculpture Artist’s booth at the California State Fair. Thousands of tiny clay sculptures were created by over 18,000 fairgoers and added to the booth he manned for 19 days. Photo by Sue Anne Foster

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - While visiting the Fine Art Exhibition at the California State Fair this year people were gathering around a man tossing clay into the crowd, telling them to, “Make something.” He let participants know that it was a judgement free zone. Chris Thompson volunteered every day of the fair, inviting young and old to join in the act of creating something from a lump of clay.  Thompson was the featured representative of a local sculpture group, Valley Sculpture Artists (VSA), which promotes three-dimensional art. 

He shared how his own love of making things with clay began at the age of nine when his mother tossed him a hunk of porcelain clay. He was hooked.

“People return year after year to see Chris in action,” said Sue Foster, President of VSA, the sponsor of the booth showcasing a variety of sculptures created by members.  “Chris has the gift of engaging people in the creative process.  He tosses a small piece of clay to onlookers with an invitation to make something; and they do.”

Surprising numbers of children and adults lingered while working their clay - some for up to 20 minutes. When they finished, Thompson invited them to keep it or add their sculpture to what has become known as the “ArtValanche.”  It is art until the time a portion crashes to the ground (which it did at least 40 times), then it is an avalanche. He carefully retrieves each piece and places it back on the mountain of creations, some intricately crafted with striking detail. 

Thompson estimated approximately 18,000 fairgoers had accepted his ‘clay experience’ during his 19 days at the fair, turning over 1,000 pounds of clay (donated by Alpha Ceramics) into their own works of art. He noted the incredible amount of energy put into each piece.           

He also noticed that many of those who seemed the least excited to accept his challenge, claiming that they weren’t artists, produced some of the best tiny sculptures.   

Thompson is not new to sharing his love for art with his community.  He received the Artist of the Year Award from the Sacramento Arts and Business Council after facilitating a five county project creating “A Thousand Bowls to Feed the Hungry” in 2013. He tossed and shaped the bowls and local art organizations volunteered to glaze and sell them.  This project helped to raise awareness for the arts while yielding over $42,000, which was donated to local non-profits.  In addition, Thompson recently received the prestigious 2018 Don Herberholz Award for Sculpture.

When not creating and exhibiting his own ceramic art, Thompson teaches classes to children and adults at A.C.A.I., an up and coming gallery in Fair Oaks. He is a celebrated ceramic artist and member of Valley Sculpture Artists.  

Visitors are welcome to visit Allied Ceramics Art Institute and Gallery (ACAI) located at 7425 Winding Way in Fair Oaks. A new show of exciting pieces begins each third Saturday of the month with an artist reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hours are Wednesday-Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

For more details visit websites: www.sacramento365.com and www.acaistudios.com or email: information@acaistudios.com.

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Chicken Festival Returns to Fair Oaks

By Mary Cattolica, FORPD  |  2018-08-23

The 13th Annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival is fun for the whole family. In the heart of Fair Oaks, the festivities take place on Saturday, September 15 from 10AM to 6PM.

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - The time has come for the 13th Annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival on September 15 from 10AM-6PM.  In the heart of the Fair Oaks Village, you’ll find the community coming together for a day FULL of live music, food, festivities, and fun.  With free general admission and parking, you won’t want to miss it.  The streets are lined with craft vendors, community groups, food trucks, and much more.  Throughout the festival, you’ll hear live music at the Chicken Stock main stage from bands Keep on Truckin’, FBI, and Take the Money and Run.  The headlining band, Take the Money and Run, features a rockin’ tribute to the Steve Miller Band.

The Chicken Festival is a great event for the whole family to enjoy.  We start out with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Fair Oaks and Orangevale Grange #354 from 8AM-10:30AM.  The festivities kick-off at 10AM, including our Rocky’s Roost Kid’s Park.  For just $5, your kids can have access to unlimited carnival games and inflatables.  It also features kid-friendly entertainment, euro-bungee, face-painting, air brush tattoos and much more.  Looking to shop?  We have dozens of craft and company vendors lining the streets with all sorts of things to buy for someone else or for yourself.

Do you enjoy a nice cold brew?  The Rotary Club of Fair Oaks’ Craft Brew tasting begins at 11:30AM and serves until 5:30pm.  Only $3 per taste.  Feeling hungry?  The SactoMoFo Feed Court will be stocked with tons of delicious eats and treats, and each vendor will have their own special menu item for the day.

If you’re in the moo d for a good laugh, head to the main stage at 12PM for the 5th Annual Cluck ‘n Crow contest.  Community members are welcome to try their luck and cluck away for a cash prize of $100.  The Chicken Stock Plaza Park area is also home to the Great Chicken Contest, featuring the creative chicken creations of people in your community.

The Fair Oaks Chicken Festival is presented by the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District and is sponsored by SMUD, Scooter’s Coffee, Oak Leaf Dental, K-Love Radio, SactoMoFo, Raley’s, Imagine Real Estate, and Central Valley Community Bank.  For more information, visit www.forpd.org.

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Six DAs Unite to Consolidate Golden State Killer Case in Sacramento County

Sacramento District Attorney Special Release  |  2018-08-23

Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo

13 Additional Charges Filed

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced today that the case against Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, Citrus Heights, will be prosecuted jointly in Sacramento County, where the defendant is being housed after his arrest on April 24, 2018. This joint prosecution will involve Contra Costa, Orange, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties. An amended complaint charging all crimes together in one case, as well as 13 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery, was filed today in Sacramento Superior Court.

DeAngelo now faces 13 felony counts of murder with special circumstances allegations of multiple murders, murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary. DeAngelo was charged today in an amended complaint with 13 felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife during the commission of the offenses. He faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. DeAngelo is expected to appear in Sacramento County for arraignment on Thursday, August 23rd at 1:30 p.m. in Department 61.

In announcing this decision, District Attorney Schubert stated, “The joining of this case in one county is in the best interest of victims, the efficiency of the case and the fair administration of justice.  I look forward to all counties working together collaboratively in seeking justice in this case.”

Circumstances of the Case

Contra Costa County – District Attorney Diana Becton

Four felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife.

  • Between Oct. 7, 1978, and June 11, 1979, DeAngelo is accused of kidnapping and carrying away four women to commit robbery.

Tulare County – District Attorney Tim Ward

One felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a firearm

  • On Sept. 11, 1975, DeAngelo is accused of murdering Claude Snelling during an attempted kidnapping of the victim’s daughter from their home.

Sacramento County – District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert

Two felony counts of murder with a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders and personal use of a firearm

  • On Feb. 2, 1978, DeAngelo is accused of murdering Kate Maggoire, 20, and Brian Maggoire, 21 as they walked their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood.

Nine felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife.

  • Between Sept. 4, 1976, and Oct. 21, 1977, DeAngelo is accused of kidnapping and carrying away nine women to commit robbery.

Santa Barbara County – District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley

Four felony counts of murder with a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders, personal use of a firearm, and special circumstances sentencing enhancements for murder during rape, and murder during burglary

  • On Dec. 30, 1979, DeAngelo is accused of raping and murdering Debra Manning, 35, and Robert Offerman, 44, of Goleta.
  • July 27, 1981, DeAngelo is accused of murdering Gregory Sanchez, 27, and Cheri Domingo, 35, of Goleta.

Ventura County – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten

Two felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during rape, and murder during robbery

  • On March 13 to 16, 1980, DeAngelo is accused of raping and murdering Charlene Smith, 33, and murdering Lyman Smith, 43, of Ventura.

Orange County – District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

Four felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary.

  • On Aug. 21, 1980, DeAngelo is accused of murdering Keith Harrington, 24, and raping and murdering Patrice Harrington, 27, of Dana Point.
  • On Feb. 6, 1981, DeAngelo is accused of raping and murdering Manuela Witthuhn, 28, of Irvine.
  • On May 5, 1986, DeAngelo is accused of raping and murdering Janelle Cruz, 18, of Irvine.

Source: Sacramento District Attorney

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Landscape Expert and Educator to Host Workshop

Special Release  |  2018-08-21

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - Cheryl Buckwalter is dedicated to helping usher California into a new age of sustainable, regenerative landscapes and landscape practices. During her 15-year career, Cheryl has been a consultant, educator, residential landscape designer, and Principle of Landscape Liaisons. Credentials include, a degree in Environmental Horticulture, Qualified water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL), and Qualified River Friendly Landscaping (RFL), Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA), Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL), and Qualified River-Friendly Landscaping (RFL) Green Gardener, as well as an instructor and curriculum developer of the Program. Board of Directors member for ReScape California.

To help bring about a balance between urban landscapes and the environment, Cheryl has been a principle developer and project manager for numerous public-sector programs, and for resources and learning tools for landscape professionals and residents. Cheryl’s commitment is demonstrated through her design projects, teaching experiences, professional affiliations, and volunteer service.

Sign up for this informative, Free Water Smart Landscape Workshop at Orange Vale Water Company on Wednesday, August 29th – (6:00 – 8:00 pm).


(916) 988-1693

(Orange Vale Water Company)

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Produce Festivals Hot Stuff for Markets

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-08-16

Peachy keen market visitors Isabella and Matthew Ramirez sampled fruit at the Carmichael Peach Festival.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - With summer harvests falling from branches, farmers markets are celebrating local growers. Carmichael and Folsom markets recently hosted peach festivals. Historic Folsom will host its annual “Tomato Taste Off” on Saturday, August 18. A similar festival is scheduled for Sunrise Mall (Citrus Heights) on Saturday, September 8.

Dozens of tomato varieties are grown in Sacramento and surrounding counties. At the Folsom taste Off, vendors will present cherry, beef steak, zebra and heirloom specimens.  Customer votes decide winners for categories such as most beautiful, meatiest, sweetest and best-tasting. Patron-participation contests, explains Living Smart Farmers Markets founder Marie Hall, aim to educate buyers on the many types of tomatoes available. “We set up stations with sliced samples,” she says. “People get to taste and vote for their favorites.”

Hall’s recent peach festival brought 3000 people to Carmichael Park. In addition to the fresh fruit, vendors offered peach-flavored treats, including ice creams, gelatos, cookies, cobblers, cakes and ever-popular peach pies. Thirteen chefs presented dishes for the annual dessert bakeoff. A cheesecake-in-a-jar won first prize for Dr Sarah Astarte; second place winner was Rhonda Mohr's deep-dish peach pie; third prize went to Kathleen Quinones for a platter of peach and basil tartlets.

“These festivals are a great way to bring attention to our local farmers,” approves Marie Hall. “Shopping for food shouldn’t just be a chore, it should be fun.” 

Historic Folsom Farmers Market is located at 915 Sutter Street, Folsom. Sunrise Mall Farmers Market is at 6196 Sunrise Mall, Citrus Heights.

Learn about the produce festivals at www.ILoveMyFarmersMarket.com

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Western Wildfires Continue to Burn

By American Red Cross  |  2018-08-16

Red Cross Working to Help Those in Need. You Can Help and Donate.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Conditions are slowly improving in California as thousands of firefighters gain more ground on containing the large wildfires which have charred hundreds of thousands of acres. The American Red Cross is there, providing shelter, relief supplies and comfort for those affected.

In California, more than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers and multiple emergency response vehicles are responding to the fires. The Red Cross opened more than 20 shelters since the fires began and has provided more than 8,600 overnight shelter stays. Red Cross workers have also provided more than 102,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 25,000 relief items. Health and mental health disaster workers have provided more than 11,600 services and caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to assist them in getting the help they need.

As evacuation orders are lifted in some areas and people return home, the Red Cross will continue working closely with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.

STAY IN TOUCH People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand including shelter locations and severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crisis by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37864, Boone, IA 50037-0864.

You can also help people affected by the California wildfires. Donors can designate their donation to the California wildfires relief efforts and the Red Cross will honor donor intent. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all donations earmarked for California wildfires will be used for our work to support these disasters.

Source: American Red Cross

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