This could be a big day in the eight-month-long labor negotiations in the Northern California supermarket industry.
Contracts expire at midnight tonight between Raley's and the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The agreements have been extended several times, but Raley's officials say they're pushing for a resolution tonight.
"We fully expect this will be fully resolved," said John Segale, a spokesman for West Sacramento-based Raley's.
It's not clear what will happen if there's no deal tonight. The contracts could expire, but that wouldn't necessarily translate into a strike right away.
Raley's, like Safeway and Save Mart, is pushing for big labor savings in order to compete more effectively with non-union grocers such as Wal-Mart. The talks cover 60,000 workers.
Of the three chains, Raley's appears to be pressing the hardest for savings. Its sales fell 8 percent between 2008 and 2010, according to Stores magazine, and the company has announced the shutdown of four stores this year.
At the end of March, Raley's and Save Mart agreed to a union demand to let a third party review the grocers' financial results.
Dale KaslerDr. Oz visits capital to push HealthCorps
Be on the lookout for star sightings today as television's Dr. Oz and his wife Liza Oz, a New York Times bestselling author, come to town with talk show host Montel Williams in tow. The trio will be guest judges at a healthy-breakfast competition at Hiram Johnson High School in the morning and at a fundraising gala for the HealthCorps at Memorial Auditorium in the evening.
Behind the news: Dr. Oz and his wife co-founded HealthCorps to encourage healthy living among the young, basing its West Coast office in Sacramento. It has been established at Hiram Johnson, Sacramento Charter and Luther Burbank highs locally and 53 high schools nationally.
Gran Fondo cycling event is region's first
The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis is bringing the "gran fondo" to the Sacramento region for the first time with Sunday's Legends Gran Fondo, a cycling race that allows everyday cycling enthusiasts to pedal alongside megastars such as Greg LeMond, Ruthie Matthes and Nelson Vails.
Behind the news: With origins in Italy, gran fondos, or big rides, are a new type of mass-start cycling event in the United States. Sunday's 7:30 a.m. race will begin and end at the corner of C and Third streets in Davis. Registration is $95 or $135.
IN THE NEWS
CSU faculty to unveil results of strike vote
The California Faculty Association, which represents faculty, librarians, counselors and coaches in the California State University system, on Wednesday will announce the results of a vote to authorize a fall strike after labor negotiations end. CSU faculty want a 1 percent raise and more job security for temporary faculty, but CSU administrators have said that is not feasible considering that the system has lost $970 million in state funding since 2008.
Stay informed: Watch for updates on www.sacbee.com
Gingrich is expected to end presidential run
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has signaled he'll halt his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination this week after failing in key state primaries last Tuesday. With Gingrich's exit, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, would remain as the sole legitimate challenger to presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.
Stay informed: Watch for updates at www.sacbee.com
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Donors sought for Gay and Lesbian Center
The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center this week is launching a May effort to raise $10,000 and add 40 people to its list of monthly donors. The money will help support various center activities, including HIV testing, the prom, a May 12 health fair and annual gay pride events. To become a monthly donor, visit the center's website at www.saccenter.org and click the "donate now" button.
Elk Grove debuts eco-friendly garden
Elk Grove will open a new rain garden Tuesday that will be used to help educate the public about water conservation and eco-friendly landscaping. The Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza which includes a canopied picnic area, fitness equipment, educational components, and local artwork was formerly a weedy, vacant lot at 9385 Laguna Springs Drive. The dedication ceremony is at 10 a.m.
Stay informed: Watch for updates at www.sacbee.com
AROUND THE AREA
Cactus and succulent show at McKinley Park
The 52nd Annual Cactus and Succulent Show comes to McKinley Park's Shepard Garden and Art Center on Saturday and Sunday, with a free plant being given away to the first 100 guests on both days. Organizers will be offering suggestions for low-water, easy-care plants that thrive in Sacramento's Mediterranean climate. Plant collections by professionals and amateurs will be on display. Parking and admission are free.
Sacramento-Galt transit service will begin today
Starting today, South County Transit will launch direct, two-way public transit service between downtown Sacramento and Galt. The "Commuter Express" service also includes various stops in midtown Sacramento. Morning, midday and evening Galt-Sacramento connections are offered weekdays. Buses feature free Wi-Fi and reclining seats. One-way fares are $4; the fare is $2 for seniors and disabled persons. Ten-ride ($35) and monthly passes ($120) also are available.
Stay informed: Click on the "New Sacramento Express" link on www.sctlink.com.
Sacramento Valley Coin Club presents spring show
More than 45 dealers will be on hand to buy and sell coins, currency, gold and silver at the Sacramento Valley Coin Club's 55th Anniversary Spring Show. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge No. 6, 6446 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento. Admission is $2, free for those 17 and younger. There will also be free parking.
Stay informed: www.sacvalcc.org
Tractors to pull in crowds at Oregon House farm
Billed as the biggest vintage agricultural event in the north state, Vintage Tractor Days will take place this weekend in the Yuba County community of Oregon House. Tractor games, parades, driver competitions and hayrides are some of the activities planned for the fundraising weekend at Eventful Acres farm, 9454 Yuba Ranch Way. Entrance is free; suggested parking donation, including shuttle service, is $5. All proceeds will benefit the Alcouffe Community Center.
Stay informed: Call (530) 632-6416 or go to www.alcouffecenter.org
Bee's Magagnini to talk about recent Pakistan trip Stephen Magagnini, The Bee's immigration reporter and a lecturer at UC Davis, will discuss his recent trip to Pakistan at the Sun City Roseville Veterans Club at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the development's Timber Creek Ballroom, 7050 Del Webb Blvd., Roseville. The public is welcome.