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Last Updated: 11/30/2008 04:00PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

Christmas Music

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

I  can handle stores breaking out Christmas decorations in September. I’m okay with the crass commercialism that permeates the season like the over-scented candles at a holiday craft fair. I don’t mind trading paint with other shoppers in the crowded Galleria parking lot on random weekends in December. But the one thing I cannot stand at this time of year, that sets my teeth on edge and drops me to my knees begging for mercy from the sweet manger-baby Himself is…Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time.”Don’t get me wrong. I like Paul McCartney. I absolutely appreciate his place in the pantheon of popular music. His work with the Beatles is unassailable, as is much of his solo work (“Say, Say, Say” excluded). But, as sure as even supermodels pass gas, music geniuses too, are capable of occasional noxiousness and sometimes you have to crack a window. Just hearing those first cloying synthesizer notes… “bow-ow-ow-ow…dow-ow-ow-ow-ow,” makes me want to shake my fist at a mall Santa and kick his elves in the shins. Why? Let’s take a look.  The lyrics. “The moon is right, the spirits up, we’re here tonight and that’s enough, simply having a wonderful Christmas time.” Really? That’s the best you could do? You’re the guy who gave us, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make!” But these “Christmas” lyrics…they have all the depth of a wading pool. And notice, Sir Paul gets to the chorus so quickly, it’s as though he knew it was a dreadful plunge best taken as soon as possible. The lack of passion. McCartney wanders through the vocals like he’s talking to someone who he’s not quite interested in. I picture him thumbing through a Lands’ End catalog while he was recording this.  The melody. It’s catchy...kind of like pink eye. “Siiiimply…haaavving… awonderfulchristmastime,” is repeated over and over like there’s a terrible skip in the record. But there isn’t. He meant to do that to us. It worms its way into the living room of your brain, lays itself out on the couch and starts ordering movies.  The frequency of play. When the Muzak at Arden Fair or Sunrise Mall switches over to all-Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, the relentless onslaught begins. On soft rock radio stations around the country, “Wonderful Christmas Time” gets scheduled more often than commercials for the Shane Company. The disturbing fact is, it gets played a lot for a reason: there are those who walk among us who actually enjoy the song. I believe these are the same people who take an hour to back out of a space in a busy mall parking lot.  In the nearly four minutes that this song is allowed to breathe, I can completely understand John Lennon’s issues with Paul.For the record (no pun intended), I am not a Christmas music-hater. I love “The Christmas Song,” and “White Christmas.” I will hum, if not sing along to “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I think Martina Mcbride’s interpretation of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is among the most beautiful sounds ever offered to the human ear.  And that ultimately is the point. There are thousands of other songs more worthy, more deserving of a spin than “A Wonderful Christmas Time” – including the “Jingle Cats,” the “Barking Dogs,” and “Grandma Got Run Over by Reindeer” (but just barely). And so I beg the Chai-tea-sipping program directors of soft rock stations and Muzak to please, in this season of mercy, have a little on us. Help make it a truly wonderful Christmas time and stop playing that song. And when “those people” call to complain that it isn’t being played? Be polite, but please suggest that perhaps the best thing they could do is to simply hang up and finish backing out of their parking stall.Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.

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John Running

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

Throughout studios in New York, on the left bank of Paris, in the lofts of Los Angeles and even among the hills of northern California, artists struggle each and every day to pursue their passion and create great art – art that often does not sell. The story of the struggling artist is a common one, told even of the most celebrated artists of our time.But some artists, like John Running, share a rare story of success. Perhaps it’s because of his business savvy from spending 18 years working in the family business, his determination, or perhaps, it’s his ability to create relevant, appealing art that people want right when they see it. Whatever the reason, Running’s work sells. He spends many a day in the comfort of his studio overlooking the pine trees of Placerville, toiling away at his rock and metal creations and, to his great fortune, pursuing that which he loves. “I create art every day, and I enjoy it every day. To me, going to work is like vacation,” says Running, and adds that he’s been making art his whole life. “I grew up in a creative family with creative things always going on around me. My parents owned a screen printing business…eventually, though, I wanted to pursue art full time, so I bought my own studio,” he says.And in that studio, Running found great success through creating unique pieces made of rock and metal. He designs and creates small, affordable pieces so that everyone can appreciate his art, but he also makes large, one-of-a-kind pieces for those who want to make a bigger statement. And what’s the inspiration for his work? “Anything can spark inspiration…driving down the road, sitting on the beach; I like nature and creating pieces that reflect [it],” says Running. He also attributes some of his inspiration and success to the support of his wife and four children. “Thankfully, galleries just keep re-ordering what I make. I’ve had a good following, and I think that it’s due to the [my] business background – it helped me understand how to market my work,” he says. Local galleries featuring Running’s art include the James Harold Gallery in Tahoe City, Rocky’s in Placerville, Fine Eye Gallery in Sutter Creek, and Full Circle Gallery in Jackson. Now the question is: Does Running ever feels that his defining style will stifle further creativity? He says no. “I’m fortunate that I have a product, the rock and metal pieces, to keep me busy. While I’m in production with the daily pieces, my mind is free to be creative and I’m always developing new ideas. Then, when my work is complete, I can step away and work on a more inspired piece.”So what’s next for John Running? He’s decided to transition away from rocks and is beginning to work solely with metal. Whatever this artist gives us next, expect that the pieces will not only be distinctive, but they’ll likely be best sellers, too.

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Boys and Girls Club

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

The Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope (BGCE), a nonprofit affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club of America, offers area youth a safe and encouraging after-school environment, in turn extending them an opportunity to become civically involved in their communities and their futures, which might be considerably less bright without the support that the organization provides.With a mission “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens,” BGCE opened its first club in 1999, five years after the idea was first hatched by a group of concerned community members. Using the template for policy creation architected by the national Boys and Girls Club, BGCE is partially funded with federal, state and/or private foundation grants, but the majority of monies is received through fund-raising events, individual and corporate contributions.Duane Wallace, executive director of BGCE, says that by helping to prevent juvenile crime, the organization provides a cost and societal benefit to the community. “It costs in excess of $50,000 per year to have a juvenile in the justice system,” he says. “The numbers tell the story. Forty percent of our club members live in economically disadvantaged circumstances and qualify for free or reduced lunch programs at school. Well over 50 percent live in single parent households. The isolation some kids feel can have tragic results when they are exposed to drugs, gangs and violence.”Since its formation, BGCE, which serves children ages 6-18, has established clubs in Cameron Park at Pleasant Grove Middle School, in Pollock Pines at Emigrant Trail School and in Placerville at the Armory, where there is also a teen center. A fourth site in Georgetown is slated to open soon, and possibly, a future teen center. All facilities implement a “Youth Development Strategy,” which, according to Wallace, is a program created to “actively engage youth in positive activities and programs that build friendships, character, life skills and leadership.”  BGCE also offers programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development, Education and Career Development, Health and Life Skills, Arts, and Sports/Fitness and Recreation. In addition, gender specific and excursion programs are offered as well as a “Power Hour,” during which time club members are required to complete one hour of homework. “Grades are significantly improved as a result of our emphasis on homework,” Wallace says. “The reported graduation rate in California overall is 70 percent. [The] Boys and Girls Club, nationally, has a 90 percent graduation rate.” Membership dues for these trailblazing programs are just $12 per year. During summer, however, when the club is opened from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily programs are offered on a sliding scale, up to $10 daily.    “We are your community club for kids,” Wallace says. “It just takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child.For more information or to get involved, call the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western slope at 530-295-8019, or visit bgce.org.

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Local Area Tidbits

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

If you’re looking for something to do indoors this winter, check out the Folsom History Museum’s fall exhibit, “From Garden to Jar,” (a partnership with the UC Davis Cooperative Extension) will run through January 4, 2009.  Artifacts, photos and information will be available on a variety of subjects relating to the life and benefits of locally grown foods...And while you’re there, stop in the Museum Gift Shop for that perfect gift or stocking stuffer. The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m...Or, if you’re thinking of becoming more active in the community, sign up for docent training and volunteer as an educational museum docent. Call Gaynell Wald at 916-985-2707 or email education@folsomhistorymuseum.org for more information...The El Dorado Hills Library is launching new adult programs! A speaker, demonstration, music or dance will be featured on the first Wednesday of every month. Call 916-358-3503 for more information...December 5 is the Folsom Community Holiday Tree Lighting, and this year there will be an ice skating rink!..Congratulations to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in El Dorado Hills on receiving the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2008 Torchbearer Award – a prestigious industry award...Purchase your Christmas tree and celebrate the holiday season with goodies, wreaths, poinsettias and free hot apple cider at Green Valley Nursery, 334 Green Valley Road in El Dorado Hills. Kids can decorate and take home their own potted mini-Christmas tree! Call 916-941-0401 for more information...Tune in to ABC TV on Christmas Day where you’ll see Center Stage Dance Academy of El Dorado Hills’ Compani Danzerz performing in the Disney Holiday Spectacular Parade...The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Sacramento and Northeastern California broke ground on November 10 for one of the nation’s first “Wishing Places.” The building will provide Wish children with a place to plan and celebrate their wishes, and will serve as the central location for staff, volunteers, children and their families to convene...The Folsom Garden Club recently changed its meeting place to the Elks’ Lodge on Reading Street in Folsom. They meet on the first Thursday of the month at 10 a.m., although in lieu of December’s meeting, they will be having a Christmas Party; January’s meeting has been moved to the second Thursday. Visit freewebs.com/folsomgarden for more information...And last but certainly lost least, since we love getting feedback from our readers, we would like to invite you to a Reader’s Appreciation Lunch to discuss your likes and dislikes. Send an email to desiree@sierrastyle.com and let us know if you’d like to join us for good food and conversation in the near future...Check back next month for our annual Health & Wellness feature!Send your news to info@sierrastyle.com.

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Reflections

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

If I had just one day to spend in your town, what should I do?” This has become one of my favorites questions. I ask it in restaurants and hotels. It’s fun in supermarkets too. Gas stations. Parties. Wherever locals gather, there my question goes. I asked it of a table server in Loomis. She couldn’t think of anything to do in her town. I asked it in my own town, which is filled with fun things to do. “Go to the movies,” I was told.A few years ago I attended the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee. Each October 10,000 people spend a weekend in this small town listening to professional storytellers. But when I posed "the question" to a clerk at the grocery store there, she was stumped. (Pause. Frown.) “I’d go to a different town.”Last spring while in Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, a melting pot and perfect place for my question,  I saw a friendly-looking Frenchman in front of the replica of the Pont Neuf bridge. I asked, “If I was in Paris for one day, what should I do?” He lost his friendly look. What kind of idiot goes to Paris and only spends one day? (He didn’t say this, but I know he thought it.) What he said was, “How can you go to Paris and only spend one day? That’s impossible.” When I agreed it was truly impossible, he relented too. He said, “I’d go to the Champs Elysees.” I was making progress. So I extended the time frame, “What if I actually had two days?” He thought and replied, “I’d do the Champs Elysees again!” Thank you, Mister Creativity.All right, now, bring it home. What if I asked my question of you? If I had one day in our town, what should I do? Do you know? Do you have an answer? Very often I hear from teenage kids that there is nothing to do in their home city. Their town is boring. Their town might not be the dark edge of the universe, but you can see it from there. Somehow we’re not helping our kids to be creative, or think creatively. Now, it might be too late to inspire the teenagers. But what could be done to help our younger children to think creatively about their hometown? I’d start by asking them my question. And keep on asking it until they grow up into creative, visionary human beings who love living on this fascinating planet. This question also opens the door for family experiences, getting out together and experiencing what is taken for granted in our backyards.Brad Franklin is the founding pastor at  Lakeside Church in Folsom. To contact him visit lakesidechurch.com, or check out his blog at bradsblog.typepad.com.

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Jeannette Maynard

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

Jeannette Maynard is proud to be founding member of the California Rhythm Riders, an all female equestrian drill team located in the Placerville area. The riders are all ages 17 and up and perform locally to raise funds for non-profit organizations as well as compete at drill team competitions and appear at shows, rodeos, schools and parades. When asked what her favorite part of the group is, she responded, “Seeing the team go out there and ride their hearts out with big smiles on their faces after working many months to perfect choreography and timing.” Maynard describes the riders as a committed group. “They’ve driven through many storms then tacked up in the rain to practice one maneuver over and over until it comes together. We work hard, we laugh hard, it’s often frustrating, but I love seeing the team work together and support each other through good times and bad." The team lives by two mottos – “Friendship First,” and “It’s a Thrill To Drill.” Watch the riders perform at the Placerville Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 7.To learn more about the Rhythm Riders and the great things they are doing in the community, visit geocities.com/carhythmriders@sbcglobal.net.For more on Jeannette Maynard be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Local Area Tidbits

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

December is National Read-a-New-Book Month, so check out your local library and pick up a new read...Apple Hill season is not over! Madrona Vineyards in Apple Hill invites the public to kick off the holiday season with “Christmas in the Cellar,” wine sipping, food sampling and holiday shopping included, on December 6. Special wines will be available! Email karenthomas@madronavineyards.com for more information...On December 5, David Girard Vineyards will host its Repeal of Prohibition event from 4 to 8 p.m. Visit davidgirardvineyards.com for a list of participating Speakeasies to visit to get the secret password for entrance to the party; $15 per person, $20 per couple, or $5 for a designated driver. Proceeds will be donated to Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprise of Placerville...The annual Christmas Parade in Historic Downtown Placerville will take place December 7 at 1 p.m., rain or shine, starting at the Mountain Democrat parking lot and heading west on Main Street...Habitat for Humanity of El Dorado County holds board meetings the second Tuesday of every month in Placerville. Contact Candy Alexander at 916-718-5565 or candyalex@aol.com for information...The Gold Country Woodworkers meet the first Monday of the month at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Shingle Springs. Call John Brideson at 916-933-0488 to get involved...Join area women at a designated session to create Quilts of Love for needy children this Christmas. Call 530-672-2223 or e-mail sothus@sbcglobal.net for meeting times and location...Cantare Chorale, sponsored by the El Dorado Community Concert Association, will present an annual Christmas concert series December 10. For location and ticket information, call 530-622-4218...The Cameron Park Rotary Community Observatory offers a heavenly view of the winter night sky. Visit communityobservatory.com for viewing conditions and special events...Remember Red Hawk Casino’s grand opening is expected this month! Exciting property details include 2,000 slot machines, 75 table games, six restaurants,  and more than 3,000 lighted and covered parking spaces. Visit redhawkcasino.com for more information...Sierra Vista Bank also welcomes a new face. Lourdes Lewis joined the Cameron Park branch November 3, as the AVP Business Banking Specialist...Reader Appreciation Lunches...We love getting feedback from our readers, so FoothillStyle invites you to a Reader’s Appreciation Lunch (date TBA) to discuss your likes and dislikes; there will be good conversation and good food! Send our editor an email at desiree@sierrastyle.com and let us know if you’d like to join us for lunch in the near future!Send your news to: info@sierrastyle.com.

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Holiday Time

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

Here come the Holidays! Are you psyched? The Christmas décor came out even earlier than usual in the department stores this year. In the middle of October, one friend said he saw a Santa in a store holding a pumpkin. I also received my Cabela’s Christmas 2008 catalog, and do you know that inside they gave me a coupon for 20 percent off if I place an order of $150 dollars or more? Wow, I was tempted to look for things in the catalog that I didn’t need just to save money and get a jump on my Christmas list and my holiday shopping!  For many of you, the demands and obligations of the holiday season propel you into a pace of life that is often fun, but also fast and furious. The parties, the shopping, the meals and the gatherings seem to subtly grow in magnitude each year. There is a part of us that looks forward to all of the frenetic festivity, but after all is said and done and another January rolls around, we often look back with tired bodies, depleted spirits and souls that replace “ho, ho, ho” with a sighing “ho, ho, hum.”   I think we have all wondered at one time or another, “Is it all necessary?” Moreover, have we celebrated the holidays with all the American gusto we can muster? Perhaps, but did we truly experience a spirit of gratitude during Thanksgiving and well up with the joy of Christmas? Are holidays hopelessly harried? I want to encourage you to be intentional, be courageous and do some things differently this year to fight that trend.  Start now and get out a piece of paper. Make a list of words that describe what you want your holidays to be like.  Brainstorm with your spouse and kids and get their desires down on the list. You might want to make a list of what you liked best about some of your past holidays, and what you liked least. Next, jot down some ideas about what you can intentionally do less of, or more of this year to get you closer to the holiday experience reflected in your list. Now, get out your calendar. Here’s where you will need the courage that I mentioned earlier. Block time out (or block time in) for the things that will help you to have the holiday season you are longing for. I hope you will take time to slow down, linger with your spouse and loiter with your kids. Making time to be fully present with your closest circle of family and friends is one of the most important gifts you can give and receive.    Finally, in the midst of all the demands of Christmas, don’t forget to reflect on the stunning reality of what the holiday means to you, whatever that may be. Here comes Christmas! Enjoy it to the fullest.Brian Long is senior pastor at the Church of the Foothills in Cameron Park. To reach Pastor Long, call 530-677-3057.

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Fast Fixes?

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

Detox diets are also referred to as fasting and cleansing, but are they safe? Detox diets are designed to help rid the body of toxins by fasting with juices or water and slowly reintroducing foods. There are conflicting opinions from experts regarding the effects that detoxification has on the body. Proponents believe the body should be occasionally cleansed to rid it from the toxins in the vegetables we eat, the air we breathe and water we drink. They claim detox diets help with weight loss, increase energy, assist with clarity of thought, and aid in disease prevention. Author of the book Detoxification and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, Linda Page, N.D. (naturopathic doctor), Ph.D., believes that the modern day toxins we are exposed to are more than the average body can handle, even though our bodies naturally eliminate toxins that we ingest or inhale. Detoxification is a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, glands and skin. Dr. Page says, “The body doesn’t know what to do with foreign substances, so it will store them outside of the regular elimination system in our fat, so we don’t get poisoned.” Her detox program involves drinking fruit juice, taking cleansing boosters such as herbal laxatives and colonics, as well as probiotics, which replenish healthy bacteria and antioxidants during the weekend-long program. Richard DeAndreas, M.D., N.D., believes in a 21-day detox program during which you follow a strict plant-based diet, which means no meat and no dairy. However, Chris Strychacz, Ph.D., a research psychologist believes that a once-a-year, week-long water fast is the answer.  However, Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., Director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson says, “There is no scientific evidence to support claims made for detox diets.” He believes [that] the best thing you can do is [to] stop putting harmful toxins into your system, eat organic foods, drink purified water and avoid second-hand smoke. ...For more about safely detoxing and cleansing, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Strokes of Genius

11/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

Award-winning local artist Barry Jamison, a Bay Area native and Folsom gallery owner, colors his world in bold shades of ambition. Not bad for someone who started drawing “all kinds of stuff,” testing oils and acrylics, and imitating rock ‘n roll poster art before finding his creative niche with pastels – the artistic medium that he currently favors. Largely self-taught, Jamison has occasionally studied with various nationally known artists throughout his 50-year career, but credits his longevity and success to keeping an open mind. Today he draws inspiration from the local landscape, which he describes as, artistically, a “limitless possibility.” He refers specifically to the region’s open vistas, uncrowded backroads and underdeveloped natural spaces. The area surroundings complement Jamison’s affinity for pastels, a medium that allows him to explore color more conveniently. “Some artists will use an inordinate amount of intense colors in a work, which a lot of time, confuses the viewer as to what is the most important thing [the artist] wants them to see,” he explains. “I like to downplay surrounding areas of color while keeping the center of interest most vivid.”  In addition to painting striking pieces of locally-inspired art, Jamison teaches classes at his Folsom-based gallery/studio, Sutter Street Pastels, which opened in 2002. The studio’s small-sized classes are open to the public and its students are given carte blanche to work on individual projects. During these sessions, master instruction is a given but also is fun. “Most people who join my classes prefer them to be relaxing,” Jamison says.  “When I can schedule it, I’m going to incorporate extended Saturday sessions where we’ll work on location. I’ll teach it like a mini-workshop, starting with a demonstration.”Jamison currently has 16 different pieces of artwork on display at the Holbrooke Hotel in neighboring Grass Valley, and also displays a number of paintings at Edward Jones Financial Services in Folsom. This coming May he will host a one-man art show in Auburn. And somewhere during his packed schedule, he finds time to complete commissioned artwork.In the future, Jamison plans to experiment with three-dimensional work and murals. He also envisions participating in invitational events around the country, such as plein air competitions and exhibitions, and would also like to see a “bona fide” juried art and wine festival in Folsom’s Historic District, complete with “minstrels, jugglers, and street theater.” He hasn’t ruled out starting an artists’ cooperative either.Continual attempts by Jamison to evolve artistically are not surprising, given the fact that the artist says, “I believe my art to be evolutionary; I enjoy challenging myself with subjects that are interesting to me. The key is to be open to happy accidents that may occur and take a painting in a whole new direction.”Discover more about Barry Jamison and Sutter Street Pastels online at pastelpainter.com.

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