This Sunday marks the 42nd annual observance of Earth Day, which debuted in San Francisco in the ecology-conscious 1970s and has since gone global.
Organizations in the Sacramento region will hold a variety of events this week and next to celebrate the planet. The Environmental Council of Sacramento expects 6,000 people at its sixth annual festival at Southside Park, at Eighth and T streets in Sacramento.
The free event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, will feature entertainment, food and booths run by organizations and businesses offering information and "green" products and services.
If you can't wait for the weekend, the city of Sacramento will hold its celebration Thursday. The free event, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall and Cesar Chavez Plaza, will include live enertainment by Radio Disney.
For those who want to take a more hands-on approach, the American River Parkway Foundation is hosting a spring cleanup Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at seven sites on the American River. To register as a volunteer, visit www.arpf.org or call (916) 486-2773.
Mary Lynne Vellinga
Janitor stands trial in principal's murder
Opening statements in the murder trial of elementary school janitor John Luebbers are scheduled to get under way this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday, at the El Dorado Superior Courthouse in Placerville.
Behind the news: Luebbers is accused of gunning down Louisiana Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara, who was shot in his office Feb. 2 last year. Luebbers and LaCara were friends and golfing buddies, but authorities have said they believe Luebbers shot LaCara after being fired.
Stay informed: Look for updates at www.sacbee.com
Sac State students hosts 'Pride Week'
Starting today, the California State University, Sacramento, Pride Center is hosting five days of events centered on gay and lesbian issues. "Pride Week" culminates with a presentation of "The Other Side of the Closet," a play by San Francisco's New Conservatory Theater about the fallout for five high school students when one of them is seen coming out of a gay bar. The play will be staged at 7 p.m. Friday at the Union Orchard Suite.
Behind the news: The week is a result of the Pride Center's mission to advocate on behalf of the gay and lesbian community. Among the events is a student-based "Gender Bender" performance that explores gender and sexuality through song, dance, poetry and drag.
Pepper spray task force sets Q&A meetings
The University of California task force that investigated November's pepper-spraying of UC Davis student demonstrators by university police is holding two question-and-answer sessions on its findings this week. The sessions are from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to noon Thursday in the multipurpose room of the Student Community Center on campus. The task force's report was released last week.
Stay informed: Watch for updates on www.sacbee.com
Rocklin police chief hosts community chat
Rocklin residents will have an opportunity to talk with members of the city's Police Department during the first of three "Chat with the Chief" meetings Wednesday. During the sessions, Chief Ron Lawrence and his staff will solicit public comment on designing the Police Department's strategic plan for fiscal 2012-13, and provide an overview of new police technology and offer strategies for reducing residential burglaries. The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Rocklin Police Department, 4080 Rocklin Road.
Sharks host playoff games this week
The San Jose Sharks will host games 3 and 4 this week in their first-round NHL playoff series against the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks will play home games at 7 p.m. today and 7:30 p.m. Thursday in their best-of-seven series.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Tickets available for Taste of Elk Grove
The Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise is hosting the annual Taste of Elk Grove on Saturday at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation, 9040 High Tech Court. The benefit featuring 40 area wineries and restaurants raises money for the Elk Grove Food Bank and Chicks in Crisis. General admission is $35.
Drive-in offers free movies on Thursday
Families can drive right in and catch a free movie three of them, actually Thursday evening at the West Wind Sacramento Drive-In at 9616 Oates Drive off of Highway 50 and Bradshaw Road. For the company's customer appreciation night, three of the drive-in's six screens will show pairings of recent movie blockbusters "The Lorax," "Journey 2" and "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol." Gates will open at 6 p.m. and movies will start at dusk.
Lecture on Pakistan's media, social change
The Bee's Stephen Magagnini, also a lecturer for UC Davis' writing program, will discuss his recent visit to Pakistan as part of a program by the International Committee for Journalists. The talk is noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, 126 Voorhies Hall on the UCD campus.
Big car, swap meet planned outside arena
The Sacramento Classic Car and Parts Swap Meet will take place from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the parking lots outside Power Balance Pavilion. Admission is $6; no charge for children 9 and younger. The meet is overseen by a partnership headed by longtime Sacramento car collector and radio host John Sweeney.
Stay informed: Call (916) 955-8777 or go to www.sacramentoswapmeet.com
Former White House aides to talk politics
Two former presidential advisers Democrat Paul Begala and Republican Ari Fleischer share the stage today at Sacramento's Scottish Rite Temple, 6151 H St., to offer their insights into the 2012 presidential election. The 8 p.m. event is the latest installment in the "Cultural Series" organized by Temple Or Rishon in Orangevale. Begala was a White House counselor to President Bill Clinton. Fleisher is a former press secretary and spokesman for President George W. Bush. Tickets to today's lecture are $55 for adults and $25 for students (ID required).
Info:www.CulturalSeries.com or call 916 988-4100.
Mosaic Law hosts Holocaust event
Two adult children of Holocaust survivors, Mike Prusak and Darrin Guttman, will speak Thursday at the Mosaic Law Congregation, 2300 Sierra Blvd., in Sacramento between 7 and 8:30 p.m. in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Disability issues focus of event at Sac City
Sacramento City College's Disability Awareness Day will feature speakers and informational booths on issues ranging from the Americans with Disability Act to adapative technology, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday on the campus' main quad, 3835 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. The event is free and open to the public.