The pink-clad crowd of runners and walkers planning to gather Saturday at Cal Expo for the Komen Race for the Cure looks to be considerably smaller than last year's.
As of Thursday, 8,031 had registered to participate 38 percent lower than the 12,963 who had signed up last year by the same time, local Susan G. Komen officials said.
Those numbers actually please Sylvia Ramirez, events manager for the group's Sacramento Valley affiliate. At one point, she said, registration was down 45 percent.
"It was getting worse and worse every day, and now it's getting better," she said.
Local race officials attribute the drop-off at least in part to controversy that engulfed the national Komen organization when it decided in December to stop financing Planned Parenthood. The move drew widespread objections, including from California Komen officials. The national group later reversed itself.
Those who still want to sign up for the race can visit www.komensacramento.org for details. Race-day events kick off with a 6 a.m. tailgate party for teams. The race begins at 7:45 a.m. for runners and 8:05 a.m. for walkers.
Mary Lynne Vellinga
Dixon May Fair opens four-day run Thursday
The Dixon May Fair will open on Thursday and run through Mother's Day. Highlights include musical acts (Snoop Dogg, the English Beat, Kellie Pickler), a traveling science exhibit, the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs and a pedal tractor pull for children.
Behind the news: This is the 137th staging of the Dixon May Fair, the longest continually running fair in California. While Dixon prides itself on being a Solano County farming town, the fair features a mix of cutting-edge musical acts and traditional offerings that range from art shows to carnival rides and animal auctions.
'Bankers' Dozen' to appear in court
The "Bankers' Dozen" the 11 UC Davis students and a faculty member facing charges in connection with their protest of a U.S. Bank branch on campus are scheduled to appear for an arraignment Thursday in Yolo Superior Court. The defendants are charged with misdemeanor complaints of conspiracy and blocking the bank's entrance.
Behind the news: The group was the Occupy UC Davis demonstrators who blocked the bank's entrance over several weeks to protest its presence on campus and what they said was the continuing privatization of the university. U.S. Bank decided to close the branch in March.
Stay informed: Watch for updates at www.sacbee.com
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
National food drive
The 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, sponsored by Campbell Soup Co. and the National Association of Letter Carriers, takes place Saturday. Last year in Sacramento, more than 260,000 pounds of food were collected for local food banks and hunger relief organizations, according to event organizers. Campbell Soup Co. and its partners are producing postcards and shopping bags that will be delivered to more than 90 million homes across the country as a reminder to participate in the drive. Residents are asked to place non-perishable foods next to the mailbox before the time of regular mail delivery Saturday. Local letter carriers will pick up the donated items and bring them to a local food bank.
IN THE NEWS
AAA gas price survey for April likely shows decline
Gasoline prices in California have been slowly edging downward for weeks, but they've remained above $4 a gallon thanks to steep surges in February and early March. On Tuesday, AAA will release its monthly gas prices survey, breaking down average pump costs in jurisdictions throughout the state.
Stay informed: Check www.sacbee.com for results.
Can state continue its hot export streak?
Coming off an all-time record year in 2011, California businesses exported merchandise valued at $12.85 billion in February. That marked the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. On Thursday, Bay Area consulting firm Beacon Economics will release California export trade numbers for March, based on U.S. Commerce Department trade figures.
Stay informed: Check www.sacbee.com for details.
Ed Asner to perform at Orangevale temple
Stage and screen actor Ed Asner will perform an evening of stories, music and fun for people of all ages tonight in Orangevale. Asner will perform at 8 p.m. at Temple Or Rishon, 7755 Hazel Ave. The event is part of the Cultural Series, which is organized by Temple Or Rishon. Asner is best known for his award-winning role as Lou Grant on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show." General admission tickets for the event cost $55, and are $50 for seniors (65 and older).
Info: www.culturalseries.com or (916) 988-4100.
Art, movie on display at Fremont Park
Friends of Fremont Park and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission are dedicating the park's installation of new, 8-foot sculptures "Confluence," at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Artist Stephanie Taylor will discuss the background and historic elements of her creations. At 7:45 p.m., Friends of Fremont Park will show the film "Kung Fu Panda 2" for its Family Movie Night.
Cycling club hosts foothills bike ride
The Sierra Foothills Cycling Club is hosting its second annual Gold Country Century and Family Bike Festival on Saturday. People are invited to join the club at Auburn Recreation Park at 7 a.m. for 33-mile or 68-mile bike rides through the rolling Sierra foothills. Costs of the rides are $45 and $55. Lunch is included. A three-mile bike ride for the entire family in the streets of Old Town Auburn starts at 11 am.
Gay & lesbian center offers health fair
The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center is sponsoring a community health fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 1927 L St., Sacramento. Free vision screenings, fitness demonstrations and HIV/AIDS testing, as well as connections to low-cost and free women's health services, will be offered.
It's deals by the day at Sacramento SPCA
The Sacramento SPCA is celebrating national Be Kind to Animals Week by offering daily specials on critters at the shelter. Specials will run Tuesday through Sunday.
Info: Visit the shelter at 6201 Florin Perkins Road, go to www.sspca.org or call (916) 383-7387.