Len Kovar, author of "WWII Prisoner of War: How I Survived," will speak Saturday at the Sylvan Oaks Library about his experience as a bombardier and navigator who became a German prisoner of war for nine months. Brian Baer Special to The Bee

This Week: Keep your eye on area Olympians this week

Published: Monday, Jul. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 23, 2012 - 6:07 am

Keep your eye on area Olympians this week

Donning snappy blue blazers and matching berets, U.S. athletes on Friday will parade into London's Olympic Stadium for the festive Opening Ceremony.

Among the 530 U.S. athletes, there will be nearly 20 who have ties to the Sacramento region.

Some names may sound familiar. Stephanie Brown Trafton, a Galt native, made history at the 2008 Beijing Games, becoming the first American woman to win the Olympic gold medal in the discus since 1932.

Redding's Megan Rapinoe, one of the stars of the U.S. women's World Cup soccer team, will also compete in London. The team's first match, against France, is scheduled Wednesday.

In addition to The Bee's daily print coverage, sacbee.com will feature focused coverage of several area athletes competing in the Games. Individual pages will feature biographical information, story updates, photos, videos, schedules and medal counts, and more. The pages will roll out before the Games' Opening Ceremony.

To view a photo gallery of area athletes, go to www.sacbee.com/ 2012/07/11/4624396/ local-athletes- participating-in.html

– Anthony Sorci and Brian Blomster

Strauss Festival starts Thursday in Elk Grove

One of Elk Grove's trade-mark events, the Strauss Festival, begins its four-day run Thursday at Elk Grove Regional Park. The nightly presentation of elegant waltzes and polkas – performed by amateur dancers clad in 19th century costumes – gets under way each evening at 7:45 p.m. The dances are choreographed to music by the family of Austrian composer Johann Strauss.

Behind the news: Now in its 25th year, the Strauss Festival draws 30,000 spectators a year. The outdoor event is free except for a $10 parking charge. It got its start in 1987 when founders Iris and Arnie Zimbelman returned from Europe with a desire to bring a little of Vienna to Elk Grove.

Info: www.straussfestival.com

Show spotlights carnivorous plants

The words "carnivorous plant" often bring to mind the man-eating monster in the "Little Shop of Horrors" musical, but the Sacramento Bromeliad & Carnivorous Plant Society will display the real things – they mostly eat bugs – at its annual show and sale at McKinley Park's Garden and Art Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Behind the news: The free event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, will feature educational displays on carnivorous plants and bromeliads – large, colorful plants that have become popular in hotel and mall displays.

Info: Call (530) 273-9161

IN THE NEWS

Davis winery auction lasts through Thursday

Online bids for the assets of the Rominger West Winery in Davis continue through Thursday, when item bidding will close at a rate of three items per minute starting at 10:30 a.m. Under the auction format, a preview will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at 4602 Second St., in Davis. Checkout will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Inventory to be auctioned includes hundreds of wood and steel barrels, 2,900 empty wine bottles, wine glasses, barrel racks, restaurant equipment, computers, furniture, corks and seals. Wine resellers can bid on cases of bottled wine, with about 20,000 gallons of bulk-wine vintages and varietals available.

Info: The sale is being overseen by Tiger Remarketing Services at www.soldtiger.com

Sacramento libraries will be closed Saturday

As a result of furloughs, all Sacramento Public Library branches will be closed Saturday. Library telephone information will not be available; however, online services – including renewals, downloadable books, job search and homework requests – are available around the clock, seven days a week.

Info: www.saclibrary.org

CIVIC AFFAIRS

State agency to hold workshop on 'fracking'

On Wednesday, the state Department of Conservation will hold the last in a series of seven workshops on the practice of hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as "fracking" – in oil and gas production at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters at 10th and I streets in Sacramento. The two-hour workshop, beginning at 7 p.m., will provide an overview of oil and gas production in the state. The department, which is developing regulations to govern hydraulic fracturing, will take public comment at the gathering. Interested parties are invited to attend.

Info: www.conservation.ca.gov

DOE hosts workshop on nation's electric grid

The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting one of six workshops on efforts to secure and modernize the nation's electric grid on Thursday at the Sacramento Marriott, 11211 Point East Drive in Rancho Cordova. Local residents and other interested parties are invited to participate.

Info and registration:www.doewapajotfolsom. eventbrite.com

FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Ferris wheel record in peril at State Fair

If she's successful, Christina Lochmiller of Roseville will leave the State Fair on Tuesday morning with a new world record – and the satisfaction of raising money for children with congenital heart disease and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. Lochmiller will try to break the Guinness World Record for the longest Ferris wheel ride – currently 25 hours. Lochmiller will board the Eagle 16 at the State Fair midway at 5 a.m. today and finish her ride at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Info and donations:www.abbeyhelpsbrokenhearts.com

AROUND TOWN

HireLive hosts career fair at Embassy Suites

HireLive, a national recruiting company, is bringing its Northern California career fair to Sacramento's Embassy Suites hotel Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Some Fortune 500 companies and firms such as Verizon Wireless, Valley Yellow Pages, Aflac and New York Live will be interviewing for sales, retail and management positions.

Info: www.hirelive.com

Free concerts continue Sunday in Curtis Park

The Sierra Curtis Park Neighborhood Association's free summer music concert series continues at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with entertainment for kids and adults at the north end of Curtis Park. The feature band is the Cat Stevens Tribute Band while GWhiz will perform on the children's stage.

Info: www.sierra2.org

WWII prisoner, author will speak Saturday

Len Kovar, author of "WWII Prisoner of War: How I Survived," will speak Saturday at the Sylvan Oaks Library, 6700 Auburn Blvd., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. about his wartime experience. Now 88, Kovar was a bombardier and navigator stationed in Italy when his plane was shot down and he became a German prisoner of war for nine months.

Info:www.powhowisurvived.com

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