Roseville Rock Rollers 55th Annual Gem, Jewelry, Fossil, and Mineral Show will take place at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville March 25-26. Hosted by the Roseville Rock Rollers, also known as the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society, this year’s show features gemstones, jewelry, fossils and minerals and has something for the whole family.
The group was established in 1960 as a group of local “rockhounds,” according to show chair James Hutchings. That group, deeply interested in the science and art of the earths' natural beauty in rocks and minerals, first met in homes and then as their numbers grew, expanded to the use of a local school room.
This year’s show has dozens of exhibits for attendees, such as jewelry, metal, wire and glass beading arts, fossils, crystals and minerals, but that’s not all. So that attendees aren’t rushed, the show also provides a cafeteria. “A very fine hot lunch is available at our own kitchen in Johnson Hall,” states Hutchings. The group has put together a menu of very reasonably priced food and beverages will also be available at the show’s cafeteria, featuring burgers, philly steak cheesesteaks, chicken salad, baked potatoes pies, cakes and more.
In addition to exhibits, classes and demonstrations, show goers can pan for gold, purchase equipment, buy raffle tickets, have rocks, gems and mineral identified by experts or make purchases at a silent auction.
Wishing to share the art and science of the mineral world, in the tradition of gem and mineral shows around the world, the Roseville Rock Rollers established their own gem and mineral show around 1962. The society grew, the show grew, and the show and the Society moved to the Placer County Fairgrounds where it continues today.
“As the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society has expanded to just under 300 members, the show expanded to support the costs associated with its programs, such as the Rookie Rock Rollers, juniors program, the Annual Scholarship program to Geology Students at Sacramento State Geology Department, and our year round Lapidary shop on the fairgrounds,” said Hutchings. “The lapidary shop on the Fair Grounds is the heart and soul of our Society, where we teach lapidary arts, jewelry fabrication, conduct mineral identification and mini tail gate rock sales.”
Hutchings developed his love for “rockhounding” at an early age. “Personally, I as most young people, was fascinated with rocks minerals and crystals. My parents encouraged me with my first Golden Book of Rocks and Minerals, a book still in current print, and my first rock pick.”
At the age of 38, he became seriously interested in rockhounding and gold mining, attending a mineral identification course at Sierra College, next pursuing an in depth understanding the chemistry and physics that form “these miracles in the earth.” He has put that knowledge to good use today providing what he refers to as a “mini lab” during the show to test rocks, minerals, and gems to provide guest an idea of materials they have in their possession.
While the Rock Rollers must generate funds to keep their programs operating, the primary purpose of any Gem and Mineral Show is to promote the Art and Science of the mineral world, according to Hutchings.
Like many of the group members, an early exposure to rockhounding and lapidary arts often provides a genesis of interest that often blossoms later in life, Hutchings said. “We really work hard, to attract the parents who want to expose their children to the natural world and foster that spark.”
There are presentations and activities for youngsters on identifying and handling specimens of all kinds. Students and Scouts can reinforce their California Rock Cycle curriculum and merit badge information. Scouts can have their mineral finds evaluated for rock type or mineral and validated for their required collection.
Other interesting stops are featured at this year’s show. The Education Station is the place for the "learners,” said Hutchings, “and we are all learners. There [are] demonstrators showing you the actual arts of lapidary, faceting, wire wrapping, and other jewelry arts.” The Fossils for Fun booth encourages fossil hunters to view and purchase or bid on fossils from vendors. NorCal Bats brings a live bat to show how fascinating these mammals (often found in caves along with gems, stones and crystals) are. This year "Rocklin Bach to Rock" students will perform on stage to provide entertainment for the public.
Hutchings suggests visitors come early and plan on spending the day at the show. “We take over the entire fairgrounds with exhibits, demonstrators, and vendors.”
Not to be missed are real treasures the group will have on display. “Folks tend to walk by the display cases,” he says. “These simple, well lighted boxes contain the best of the best of personal collections of minerals in variety or by theme. The displays are, ‘literally’ miniature museums showcasing specimens in the possession of individuals who have spent a lifetime collecting the best of the best of their favorite species of rock or mineral,” said Hutchings.
“We are looking for the general public who are looking for gem stones, set and unset, handmade, and fine art jewelry, and mineral specimens from every corner of the world! We find the single most striking comment from folks who, by accident, end up at our show is, ‘I had no idea such things existed in the world!’”
For more information, tickets and coupons, visit the group’s website at www.rockrollers.com
With many houses and buildings in Placer County’s high country still covered in huge amounts of snow, potential damage from the heavy snow load may still be hidden. Damage to roofs, decks, out buildings, garages and other structures will become visible as the snow melts. Property owners will be making repairs, many of which will require building permits.
To accommodate the anticipated increase in permit applications and speed the repairs, Placer County Building Services is offering same-day permit services every Tuesday in the Tahoe City office, 775 North Lake Blvd.
Tuesday services available include permits for repairs, decks, patio covers, signs, pools, minor interior alterations, reroofs, electrical repair, HVAC change-outs, solar panel installation, window and door change-outs and other minor building, electrical, mechanical or plumbing permits.
Because many Tahoe homeowners may live outside of the area, the Auburn Building Services office is also available to serve them with same day permit services five days a week, 3091 County Center Drive. In addition, online permit submittals are available with a one to three-day turnaround for solar, reroof, water heaters, HVAC, and minor electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits. Online permits are available at permits.placer.ca.gov. For assistance, contact the Tahoe City Building Services office at 530-581-6200.
Have you ever thought about serving on a Grand Jury? The Superior Court of California, County of Placer, is seeking applications from Placer County citizens interested in an opportunity to serve on the 2017-2018 Grand Jury for a term of one year beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018.
The Grand Jury is an investigative body with the authority to act as a watchdog on local government, investigate citizen complaints, and assist in criminal matters at the request of the district attorney. In order to meet the minimum qualifications for service on the Grand Jury, applicants must be United States citizens who are 18 years of age or older and must reside in Placer County for a minimum of one year immediately prior to becoming a grand juror. Service on the Grand Jury requires a substantial investment of time, usually 40-50 hours per month.
If you are interested in obtaining more information, the current Grand Jury is sponsoring a meet and greet session to discuss the workings of the Grand Jury April 20, 2017 at 1:30 PM at the Grand Jury’s Office at 11532 B Avenue in Auburn, California. Additional information and applications for Grand Jury service are available by contacting the Court Executive Office at 916-408-6186, or by visiting the court’s website at www.placer.courts.ca.gov. Application Deadline is Friday May 12, 2017.
The Sierra College Music Department is proud to present a Jazz Recital on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 7:30pm in the Music Recital Hall, Room D-12, in Walker Hall (Music Building) on the Sierra College Rocklin Campus.
Professor Greg McLaughlin and the Sierra College Jazz Combos will present an intimate evening of jazz and popular music from the American Songbook and beyond. Pieces to be performed include “In a Mellow Tone”, by Duke Ellington, “Song For My Father”, by Horace Silver, “Moondance”, by Van Morrison, “Red Clay”, by Freddie Hubbard, and Sting’s “La Belle Dame Sans Regrets”.
The Sierra College Rocklin Campus is located at 5100 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin CA. Admission for this concert is $6 student/senior and $10 general. Tickets are available at the door. All proceeds benefit the Sierra College Music Department.
For directions to the Music Building or more information about this concert and other events at Sierra College, call the Sierra College Music Department at (916) 660-8054 or log on to our website at www.sierracollege.edu. Click on the Events tab at the top of the home page, then choose Music/Drama from the right side Event Categories.
About Sierra College
Sierra College District is rising to meet the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at https://www.sierracollege.edu/.
On April 8 and 9 more than a thousand high school mountain bikers will be riding the course around Folsom Lake in Granite Bay for their fourth official race of the season, first of the year in Placer Valley. Dubbed the Granite Bay Grinder, this race course is known for having it all: scores of singletrack, several technical sections, mud, sand, big beautiful oak trees, tall grass and a gorgeous view of the now full Folsom Lake.
Placer Valley Tourism in conjunction with the NorCal High School Cycling League are thrilled to be teaming up to bring this race back to Placer Valley where the riders and spectators alike always have a blast.
Executive Director for the NorCal League Vanessa Hauswald elaborated, “We are really excited to get back to Granite Bay for our annual high school mountain bike race; the community here is incredibly supportive of youth cycling and in so many ways it feels like we are coming home when we are at Granite Bay for our event.”
They are expecting 1,100 student-athletes to race over the course of this two-day event. With numbers that large they have the races broken down into 11 categories of competition which include freshman girls, sophomore girls, JV girls, varsity girls, freshman D1 and D2 boys, sophomore D1 and D2 boys, JV D1 and D2 boys and varsity boys.
Come check out these fearless high school mountain bikers as they rip through the course in hopes of making it to the podium. Folsom Lake State Recreation area does charge a $12 fee per vehicle at the gate; however, admission to the race is free. There will be food trucks and merchandise booths on site. We hope to see you there!
About Placer Valley Tourism
Placer Valley Tourism (PVT) is made up for the 23 hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, California. PVT recruits and supports hundreds of annual events with grants, marketing, volunteers and other services as needed. To learn more about how PVT can help bring your event here, visit www.playplacer.com or call 916-773-5400.
Picture putting a paper bag over your head and trying to land a C-124, four-engine cargo plane in Iceland, in the middle of winter, with two engines down.
“It’s called ‘zero-zero visibility,’ said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert J. McMurry, 96, who actually pulled off that landing and many other nail-biting missions during his 24-year career as an enlisted aviator.
McMurry and his daughter, Gail Spelis have co-authored his memoir, Proud Pilot: A True Story of Family, Wartime and Survival Against the Odds, which traverses his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska, the middle and teenage years in the Bay Area, the events that led to in his enlistment and all things in between. Several chapters are devoted to the many white-knuckle experiences McMurry endured while serving in the air force, including that 1956 mission to an Icelandic refueling station, which he calls “the most harrowing of all.”
Seven years in the making, Spelis says the decision to help co-author her father’s memoir was divinely inspired, but as is the case with many of the close-call stories in the book, its fruition also had a lot to do with timing.
“I had heard my dad tell stories all my life about being a service pilot and I’d always wanted to write this book,” Spelis said. When the economy soured in 2008, her family real estate company took a heavy blow, which put her at a personal crossroads. “The recession came along and I did not know which direction to turn. I was at my desk, praying for guidance and I asked God to show me what he wanted me to do next.”
The creative spirit, says Spelis, came to her almost immediately, however, she began writing a very different book. “It was flowing out of me faster than I could keep up with,” she said. A short time later, as her father was recounting stories during a family reunion, it hit her: “dad’s memoir” was the book she needed to be working on.
“I knew that was it,” said Spelis. “I had my direction and I wanted to honor dad by writing this book to help give his life meaning and purpose,” Spelis said.
More than 50 years had lapsed between the military and the memoir, published in 2015. McMurry was 87 when they began the writing. Between the air force and civilian pilot employment, he clocked some 33,000 hours in the air. He’d survived cancer and other illnesses, and experienced the death of his wife, Jeanne in 2012 after 69 years of marriage.
But memory had a will, and through it all McMurry’s memory had a mission of its own. He is, after all, a member Mensa and, to keep his mind sharp, he works the crossword puzzle every morning. In ink.
“There’s nothing wrong with his memory,” said Spelis, who says she wrote as her father dictated. “I’d ask dad to start in and remember the next thing, and he’d just sit back, close his eyes, put his fingers on his forehead and he’d go right there.”
As a young man, McMurry wanted to be a professional trumpet player. In high school he had his own band, which even backed up a fledgling entertainer and former Burlingame High School alum, singer, TV personality and media mogul, Merv Griffin. “I was never really great at it,” recalls McMurry. “It was frustrating. All artists want to be great at what they do.”
Then, World War II broke out and, as an enlisted member of the National Guard, McMurry was called to active duty on March 3, 1941. Two months in, he found the hours of pulling army caissons and cannons over unforgiving terrain on horseback and sleeping on the ground nothing short of miserable. When a notice was posted announcing pilot training exams, McMurry jumped at the opportunity. He was the only member of his company to pass.
“World War II changed everything for me,” McMurry said.
Spelis said the core of the book was “on paper” in about six months, however, the collection of photos, editing and other finishing touches took seven years. Her passion for her father’s work and their unshakable bond, they both agree, made this “labor of love” a reality.”
“I could not be more proud of Gail, and I enjoyed the whole process,” said McMurry. “We worked for hours every day. We would get tired, and sometimes we’d even forget to eat.”
Proud Pilot, a True Store of Family, Wartime and survival against the Odds, is available online at: www.gailspelisauthor.com/product-page/book
The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved Placer Valley Tourism, a private nonprofit organization, as the new operator of the Placer County Fairgrounds and approved a budget revision appropriating $2 million for fairgrounds repairs.
With an agreement now in place, Placer Valley Tourism will be obligated to complete at least $6 million in repairs to the fairgrounds, with the county paying a $2 million share of that amount. The county’s agreement with PVT covers the All-American Speedway from July 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2032, and the remainder of the fairgrounds property from July 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2052.
“We understand we are accepting a trust and responsibility here,” said Placer Valley Tourism Chief Executive Officer David Attaway. “We’ve learned how important this is in shaping those future generations through great programs like 4-H Club and FFA and other activities that happen in this space.”
Placer Valley Tourism’s plan for operating the fairgrounds includes the repair and updating of existing buildings and parking lots, and overall facility maintenance. PVT is also exploring the potential for building a possible future new indoor sports and events center and other amenities.
“I am excited about this opportunity and what it means to Placer County and the City of Roseville,” said District 1 Supervisor Jack Duran. “In order for the fairgrounds to be a win for everybody, the county, city and residents must work together. I am confident that we will be able to achieve success with flying colors.”
Placer County Fairgrounds operations are improving and will continue as the fair looks to celebrate its 80th year June 22-25.
The fairgrounds began operating in 1937 on about 61 acres within the City of Roseville. Operation and management of the fairgrounds have been handled by the Placer County Fair Association since that time. All the state’s 78 fairgrounds historically received fiscal support from the state. In 2010, the fairgrounds received about $350,000 from the state for operations, improvements and maintenance. However, that support dried up with the recession and the fairgrounds stopped receiving state assistance. When it resumed in 2013, state support dropped precipitously.
With the reduction in state assistance, the association has struggled financially and has been forced to reduce staffing levels, which affected facility maintenance and administration. The funding loss caused fairgrounds operations to suffer and the county stepped in, allocating $200,000 in 2015 to deal with deferred maintenance. Representatives from the association expressed support for the transition at today’s board meeting.
Realizing a need for new ideas and input, the board of supervisors created the Fairgrounds Revitalization Committee in 2015. The committee has been charged with assisting staff in developing ideas and refining concepts for fairgrounds repair and operations, and helping define a vision for the fairgrounds’ future.
After considerable analysis, stakeholder engagement, design and planning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors today were presented a plan for a re-envisioned Placer County Government Center and expressed general support for the direction of the master plan.
County staff narrowed three draft site plan options developed in recent months with community and employee input to a single recommended version for the board’s consideration, which envisions brand new campus amenities like an event center; consolidation of county buildings to provide an intuitive navigational experience for visitors; a wellness-oriented work environment for employees to promote walkability; open space to help preserve the area’s natural foothill esthetic; a DeWitt heritage district to honor the campus’s rich history; and non-county land use opportunities such as mixed-use residential housing, hotel and commercial retailers. Under the plan, the county’s executive office and board of supervisors’ chambers, along with related offices, would move from their current location in Auburn and join other county services at the PCGC campus.
“We’re really trying to create a new and exciting environment that brings together county services and community amenities, all in one vibrant area,” said Paul Breckenridge, senior architect for Placer County and project manager for the master plan update.
The master plan for the 200-acre campus was last updated in 1993. The campus was originally the site of a World War II-era U.S. Army hospital complex that was in use for two years before the end of the war. It was then used as a state psychiatric hospital, and eventually deeded to Placer County by the State of California in the early 1970s. Since then, the county has striven to be a good steward of the campus, using the buildings to provide county services, and replacing a number of them over the years with more modern facilities. A portion of the campus has also been leased for private use by Home Depot.
Evaluating future county space needs, potential relocation of county staff currently housed off-campus in Auburn and the cultural legacy of the campus are significant areas of study for the master plan update.
The importance of prioritizing various types of housing was a strong theme throughout the board’s discussion today.
“The potential for mixed-use commercial and residential is extremely promising,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “It is important to me that we get workforce and affordable housing and more small, single-family units as there is such a great need in our community.”
“Affordable housing is always at the top of my list of concerns for the county,” said Chairwoman and District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “I am very pleased this proposal offers a broad spectrum of housing opportunities. This is not just a government center, this is the heart of Placer County and it’s the heart of this area.”
Upgrading the campus’s aging infrastructure to improve energy and resource efficiency is another high priority. Project planners have also sought broad public input on new potential uses for the campus, including possible commercial and residential development, as well as a potential multi-age community center, currently being studied in a separate feasibility study.
Watch a short video explaining the need and purpose for the Placer County Government Center master plan update here. More information on the master plan update is available on the project website here.
Planning proceeds for future county building investments, funding
In a workshop later in the meeting, the board weighed in on five requests by county departments to build new facilities, with a few of them to be located at the Placer County Government Center campus. The board voted unanimously to allow all five to move forward in the planning process, including a new administrative and field services building for the county’s Department of Health and Human Services, a new coroner’s facility, a new crime lab, a storage facility for the Clerk-Recorder-Elections Office and a retrofit to inmate housing facilities at the Auburn Justice Center.
With the board’s direction to continue development of the PCGC master plan update, environmental planning for the projects sited on the campus would proceed cooperatively with planning for the broader campus.
County staff is expected to return to the board this summer with a five-year, detailed capital financing plan to guide when the county will build and how it will be paid for. The board also approved the development of a long-range capital projects list and a plan for facility maintenance. As longer-term plans and priorities are developed, the board strongly encouraged county staff to facilitate a comprehensive public outreach effort to solicit input into those priorities.
Assemblyman James Gallagher (R – Yuba City) successfully passed Assembly Bill 270 through the Assembly Public Safety Committee. This bill would protect witnesses of domestic violence by including them within the coverage of post-conviction domestic violence restraining orders.
“Witnesses of domestic violence, in most cases children, must have protections from domestic abusers. It is imperative we protect these people from continuing emotional, psychological, and even physical harm. When it comes to domestic violence, we must do everything to end the silence,” stated Gallagher.
Currently, if a defendant is convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, the Court can only issue a post-conviction restraining order restraining the offender from any contact with the “victim”. This fails to protect witnesses of domestic violence, who are in most cases minors. These witnesses could still be endangered, and a minor who is physically present during an act of domestic violence still suffers significant harm. AB 270 closes this gap.
This bill passed Public Safety Committee with unanimous support and now heads to the Appropriations Committee.
For more information on Assemblyman Gallagher, and to track legislation visit www.assembly.ca.gov/Gallagher
The Sierra College Patrons, a support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invite the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization to attend their April 3 meeting which will feature an exploration of antiques and vintage goods. Two local experts will present information, answer questions and offer opinions on a variety of items including porcelain, glass, jewelry, photographs, and all things vintage.
Betty Gadberry, a long-time antique dealer in the Auburn area and Sandy Bryan, owner of Tumbleweeds Vintage Shop in Roseville and proprietor of The Olive and the Rose, a presenter of Vintage shows throughout the area, will give a presentation to members and guests helping to clarify what makes something an antique and what delineates Vintage. Meeting attendees are invited to bring favorite items from their collections for evaluation by our two guest “experts”. Evaluations are not intended to be formal appraisals and no value will be attached or implied to any item. This is intended to be a fun exchange of information.
Sierra College Patrons Spring Fundraiser, The Vintage Marketplace will feature more than 30 vendors of antique, vintage, and vintage inspired items. The Marketplace will be held on Saturday, June 10 on the campus of Sierra College. Furniture, jewelry, garden accents, glassware and ephemera will be on sale. Hours are 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00. In addition to the goods on sale, Cousins Lobster Rolls, Chandos Tacos, Cowtown Creamery and An Honest Pie will park their catering trucks on campus offering delicious food when you need a break from shopping!
The Patrons meeting will be held on Monday, April 3 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at the student center. Lunch, which is optional, will be served at 12:30 p.m. The cost of the lunch is $11 and requires an RSVP. Please call Joan Edwards at 916-663-3408 by March 29th.
About the Sierra College Patrons
Formed in 1984, the Patrons provide financial support to the Arts and Humanities departments at Sierra College providing more than $5000 in grants each year. Grants are designed to directly affect students as much as possible. In addition, a $500 scholarship is awarded annually to a student in the arts including Music, Art and Drama. Four small awards of $100 each recognize outstanding students competing in the annual student art show. Further grants may be awarded during the year to enhance the services offered by academic departments. Since its inception, the Patrons have donated more than $350,000 to Sierra College affecting and improving all aspects of campus life.
About Sierra College
Sierra College District is rising to meet the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at www.sierracollege.edu.
Sierra College Rocklin Campus is located at 5100 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, California 95677. There is a $3 parking fee on campus. Parking permits are available at machines located in each parking lot.
For more information about the Patrons, the Sierra College Foundation, and upcoming events at Sierra College, please visit our website at: www.sierracollege.edu