Saturday, October 13, 2012

Middle Schoolers to Receive a Headstart on Career Planning

Some 250 sixth-graders will receive real-world insights into finding that all-important career path when representatives of the El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College, the El Dorado County Office of Education, and the El Dorado Union High School District present a “You’re Hired” career-awareness event Friday, Oct. 26.

Hosted by the El Dorado Center in Placerville, the lunchtime presentation will feature mock interviews with area companies, as well as the chance to meet with more than 20 exhibitors who will be on hand to raise the students’ awareness of technical career and job-skill development opportunities.

Organized by current and former teachers Julie Donner, Michelle Bliss, and Azar Sadrian – all experts in what motivates and excites middle-school students – the mock job interviews have been thoughtfully designed into group situations (with as many as five students per team) to avoid putting a single student “on the spot.” Those teams of middle school students who excel in their oral interviews will be “hired” in a lunchtime ceremony and have the opportunity to win career-exploration software for their school.

The interviewing teams will use their creativity to create a “model job candidate,” or avatar – a concept very familiar to young, video-game-savvy students.  The interview teams/avatars will be provided with interview questions in advance, and know with which companies they’ll be interviewing, so they have the time to research the company, job description, and required job skills ahead of time.

“This is the third time we’ve held a ‘You’re Hired’ event at the El Dorado Center,” said Dale van Dam, dean of instruction at the El Dorado Center. “We’ve tried other career exposition formats and had good response, but our experience tells us that events like these are even more engaging for student participants. The students will be responsible for their own learning to prepare for the interview experience, and it provides a familiarity with the local college campus.”

Jeremy Meyers, deputy superintendent of the El Dorado County Office of Education, said, “We believe this event is a great opportunity for students to practice many of the skills they’re learning as part of their regular curriculum. They’ll be writing resumes, doing applied research, practicing their verbal presentation skills, and learning about local employers.  It is a great way for them to get a glimpse of what life is like after school.”

Chris Moore, assistant superintendent of the El Dorado Union High School District, noted, “The organizers are especially grateful to local employers for their participation; without them, the event could not happen.”

Teachers Donner, Bliss, and Sadrian have been instrumental in recruiting middle-school classes to participate, training teachers, working with interviewers and exhibitors, and making sure that the event is fun and challenging, without being overwhelming, for middle school students. “Without their guidance, we would have an event that adults might like, but that might not appeal to students,” said Meyers.

“You’re Hired” is funded by the Governor’s Career Technical Education Initiative, a grant intended to promote career technical education awareness for middle school, high school and post-secondary students in El Dorado County. For more information, please contact Shannon Clark at (530) 642-5624 or

A member of the Los Rios Community College District, Folsom Lake College serves approximately 8,700 students at the main Folsom campus, El Dorado Center and Rancho Cordova Center. For more information on Folsom Lake College, please visit

Blog Post information and picture courtesy of Folsom Lake College.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

El Dorado Wine Harvest

It’s that magic time of year in the foothills of El Dorado County. The wineries and vineyards have begun their harvest and the air has the heady smells of green leaves, fresh-turned dirt and tons of just-crushed grapes.

And this year, winemakers and vineyard managers are cheering. The growing season has been near ideal in both length and temperatures, the fruit is ready to pick on schedule, and not only are the yields healthy, the grapes had plenty of time to grow and now have layers of intense flavors.

“Everything is looking great,” says Josh Bendick, co-winemaker at Holly’s Hill Vineyards. “After the last two years, we all learned a lot about dealing with rough weather, so this year should be a special one. I’m really excited about it.”

Wineries throughout the region – in Fairplay, in Pleasant Valley, in the Apple Hill/Camino area, and in the gentle foothills west of Placerville known as Greater El Dorado County – are all busy harvesting grapes off vines, hauling them to crush pads, loading them into crushers, and putting juice into fermentation tanks and barrels.

That’s why crush is such a great time to visit wine country. There’s so much to see and, of course, smell. Plus it’s an especially great time to visit the rolling hillsides of El Dorado County, where the sweeping views and the steep, undulating vineyards offer ringside seats to the harvest.

Right now, the vines are heavy with big, purple grape clusters. There’s a lushness of the still resilient summer, and the green vineyards are just starting to streak with the golds of fall. But those colors will come in a rush, and because of the high altitudes and brisk nights of El Dorado County, the leaves are headed for some of the brightest reds, golds and yellows in California wine country.

Crush will continue through October, and in some spots, even into early November. Vineyard workers are picking mostly whites now, though some reds have been coming in, too.  Other reds, including many rows of cabernet, could still be on the vines for weeks.

But because of the unique hillsides of El Dorado County, where lots of vineyards are on steep and angled slopes, the ripening progress of the grapes often depends less on the varietals than on the location of vines on a hill. Grapes tend to harvest from the hilltops down – because cold air sinks – and some vineyards can have a 10-degree difference in temperatures from top to bottom.

For visitors, that means that throughout the season, they can experience a variety of grapes being picked and crushed. And the mostly smaller wineries of El Dorado County are extremely accessible, so people can watch the entire harvest process anywhere they go, and often even get a taste of the just-made wines as they go into barrels.

The magic of crush and autumn in these foothills is so strong, it captivates locals just as much as it does visitors.

“I love walking through the vineyards in the evening, sometimes just with my dogs, sometimes with visitors along. We pull grapes and they’re so tasty and sweet,” said Alanna Taff, who owns Windwalker Winery and Vineyards with her husband, Jim. “I’ve been watching the beautiful sunsets and thinking that we’re so lucky to be in this wonderful countryside.”

El Dorado’s wineries beckon visitors with a wide diversity of award winning wines, friendly tasting room staffs, and idyllic views of hillside vineyards, snow-capped mountains and oak-studded foothills. Their wineries are renowned for making vibrant, distinct, delicious wines, grown in the dramatic elevations of the Sierra Nevada.  For more information, visit
 Blog Post information and picture courtesy of El Dorado Winery Association.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Artist Reception for Kay de Lange

The Art on the Divide Gallery invites you to view the ceramic vessels of Kay de Lange during the month of October, and to meet the featured artist at the reception held on October 14th from 2:00 to 5:00p.m. 

Please join them for Kay’s reception, and have some refreshments as you browse through the gallery and enjoy the fine art of more than 12 local artists.

Kay’s art education started in 1956 when she majored in Art Education at Miami University of Ohio.  She later transferred to Cleveland Institute of Art.  For two years she worked hard at learning her craft under an internationally acclaimed Japanese American potter, Toshiko Takaezu.   Kay’s work is very much influenced by Tochiko, and Japanese pottery. 

In 1960, Kay left for the Philippines to marry Al, a Filipino Industrial Designer.  They founded a furniture factory, and raised a family.  While in the Philippines, Kay was involved with the Potters’ Guild and Craft Council.  Nearly 28 years later, Kay moved to the house that they built in Garden Valley. 

Kay continued her art education taking workshops at Cosumnes River College, graduated with a BA in Ceramics and Sculpture from CSU Sacramento and then a double master in Counseling and Art Therapy in 1994.  She worked in the schools, at EDC Mental Health and private practice, using art as a modality to help her clients.

Now, Kay’s focus is on hand building vessel forms that are more sculptural than utilitarian.  She uses pinch, coil and paddle to shape the pots, and then tries to finish them in ways that will enhance rather than detract from the form.  Some pieces are burnished and sawdust fired and others are coated first with oxides.  Her most recent vessels are glazed inside but only partially on the outside.

Kay says that “working with clay is a combination of technique, technology and artistic talent. However, the final product is always a result of the fire Gods.  This is what makes the art form so challenging.”

Please join the Art on the Divide Gallery in celebrating Kay’s accomplishments.   They also invite local artists who may be interested in joining Art on the Divide's cooperative to stop in and pick up an application. The gallery is located in one of Georgetown’s historic buildings at 6295 Main Street. Additional information is available at, or 530-333-2787.  October hours are 10-5, Friday-Sunday.    

 Blog Post information and picture courtesy of Art on the Divide Gallery.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Honor Our Troops Fundraiser Tomorrow

The Honor Our Troops fundraiser is tomorrow, October 11th, from 4:00 – 8:00p.m.

The Spaghetti Feed will be at the Firemen’s Memorial Hall located behind the Diamond Springs Fire Station (501 Pleasant Valley Road).

  • Adults - $7.00, Children - $5.00 & Beer/Wine - $3.00
  • Call Cyndi Romano at 916-207-4194 for ticket locations or purchase tickets at the door!
  • Beer & Wine donated by several local wineries/breweries.

“Drive-thru” spaghetti dinners available or stay for the live entertainment by Carole Perusse and a raffle drawing.

All proceeds fund the care packages sent to the soldiers in the war zones who are from El Dorado County or have family members in El Dorado County. The care packages are sent three times a year. Sponsored by El Dorado County Association of Realtors and the Honor Our Troops Committee.

For more information, visit

Blog Post information and picture courtesy of Honor Our Troops.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

THE STUDIO Martial Arts & Fitness Swap Meet for Charity this Saturday

Please join The Studio Martial Arts & Fitness on Saturday, October 13, for a swap meet featuring a great assortment of gently-used items!

Come browse goods suck as skis ans ski accessories, clothing, toys, kitchen and bath wares, household goods, sporting goods, office equipment and supplies, electronics and much more!

All vendor registration fees plus a percentage of proceeds from the items sold by THE STUDIO will be donated to STOP (Stop Trafficking of People), a Granite Bay High School club committed to raising awareness about the injustice of human trafficking and contributing funds to help victims of this epidemic.

Please come out and help and support a local organization doing important work both globally and in our own community.

Date and Time:
Saturday, October 13
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

THE STUDIO Martial Arts & Fitness Parking Lot
4130 Douglas Blvd. Granite Bay

For more information about THE STUDIO or the swap meet, please visit them at Don't forget to "like" them on Facebook at

Blog Post information and picture courtesy of THE STUDIO Martial Arts & Fitness.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Student Art Display at AODC Gallery

During the month of October, the Art on the Divide Cooperative Gallery will be displaying the artwork of several young artists from the community. The artwork on display was produced during a series of summer art classes hosted by the Georgetown Library in collaboration with artists from the AODC Gallery.

During the three 3-week sessions, students learned many skills including watercolor, clay sculpture, printmaking, and using lines and color.

They were encouraged to incorporate objects they are familiar with into their artwork while they were drawing and painting houses and buildings from their community. They also learned the value of making commemorative artwork while they explored using watercolor pencils on their drawings of the No Hands Bridge.

Students and teachers alike had a great time during the art classes, and a lot of quality artwork was produced!

The gallery is very pleased to be able to showcase the talent of these young artists, and invites the public to visit the gallery in October to help them celebrate the youth of the community. The gallery is located in one of Georgetown’s historic buildings at 6295 Main Street.October hours are 10-5, Friday-Sunday.  Local artists who may be interested in joining their cooperative are invited to stop in and pick up an application. Additional information is available at, or 530-333-2787.

Blog Post information and picture courtesy of AODC Gallery.

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