The thermometer still screams summer, but vacation ends this week for thousands of students in the Sacramento area.
School starts today in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. Those in Natomas Unified go back Wednesday, with San Juan following Thursday. And at Elk Grove Unified, traditional-calendar schools also begin this week.
The Sacramento City Unified School District stands out in the region with its post-Labor Day start, which this year falls on Sept. 4. In 2010, the district looked at whether to move the start date up to allow middle and high school students to finish their first semester before going on winter break. The district said it found many parents preferred the existing schedule.
When students return to class, they may find some of their former teachers gone, having lost jobs due to budget cuts. There will be fewer librarians and other support staff members. At Sacramento City Unified, fewer janitors will keep schools clean.
If voters don't approve taxes on the ballot in November, some districts plan to shorten their school year. The prospect dismays education advocates, though it may prompt a cheer from some students.
Mary Lynne Vellinga
William Jessup library debuts Lincoln exhibit
William Jessup University's Paul Nystrom Library in Rocklin will debut a traveling museum exhibit Thursday on President Abraham Lincoln called "Lincoln, the Constitution, and the Civil War." The exhibit looks at how Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three Civil War crises the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.
Behind the news: The exhibit is composed of panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln's first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment.
Indie films spotlighted in Nevada City event
The Nevada City Film Festival kicks off its 12th year Thursday with its four-day run of short and feature-length independent films. Held in two downtown locations, the festival will screen 100 films selected from more than 400 submissions. General admission costs $9; students and seniors, $7. A $99 festival pass is available.
Behind the news: Films include award-winners from the United States and 16 other countries that have appeared in prominent festivals nationwide. Films from emerging local and regional filmmakers are also represented.
AAA will issue new survey of state's gas prices
California gasoline prices have been on the rise for several weeks, and last week's fire at a major Chevron refinery in Richmond is expected to send at-the-pump costs even higher. AAA Northern California will serve up the latest on gasoline prices in jurisdictions throughout the Golden State on Tuesday with the release of its monthly gas price survey.
Stay informed: Check www.sacbee.com for results
FPPC to vote on whether to fine Prop. 8 committee
The Fair Political Practices Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve the proposed $49,000 fine against the Proposition 8 campaign for violating campaign-disclosure laws during the 2008 election.
Panel will discuss social media in reporting
The Social Media Club of Sacramento and the Sacramento chapter of the Public Relations Society of America are presenting a panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on the effect of social media on journalism. The two-hour event is at the Urban Hive, 1913 H St. A $5 to $10 donation is requested, but not required.
Info: The event will be streamed live on ustream, www.ustream.tv/user/ smc-sac starting at 7 p.m.
Going bananas again at William Land Park
The Banana Festival returns to Sacramento's William Land Park with banana-themed family fun, including local entertainment, music, food, art, dance and films. Cost is $5 per person; free for children 7 and younger.
Info: www.sojoarts.net (click on "Events") or (916) 320-9573.
All-genre film fest featured at Crest Theatre
The Sacramento Film and Music Festival begins a five-day run Wednesday at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St. in Sacramento. The all-genre international film festival also features Sac Music Seen, a program that pairs local filmmakers and musicians to make music videos. Cost is $2-$15 (most screenings are $10).
Benefit showcases wine, food at Cal Expo
California's Grape and Gourmet presents more than 200 wineries pouring award-winning selections from the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. Guests at Saturday's fundraiser at Cal Expo's buildings A and B can also sample award-winning microbrews and cheeses featured at the 2012 California State Fair, and fine foods from several of Northern California's most popular restaurants. Cost is $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Event proceeds will benefit youth scholarships and education.
Stay informed: (916) 263-3636 or www.calexpo.com/events
Nighttime gala will open five-day Yolo County Fair
The Yolo County Fair's five-day run kicks off Wednesday with an opening-night gala in the fairground's Agriculture Building from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. The fairgrounds are at 1250 E. Gum Ave. in Woodland. Parking is $5 a day.
UCD Health System offers free Mercy Me! concert
The public is invited to the UC Davis Health System's sixth annual outdoor concert featuring the dance band Mercy Me! on Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on the lawn next to Shriners Hospital for Children at 45th and X streets in Sacramento. Attendees should bring blankets or lawn chairs and are welcome to pack picnic baskets. The event is alcohol- and smoke-free and includes a kids' zone with games, bounce houses, crafts and other fun activities.
Info: www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/ healthconsumers/calendar
Screen on the Green shows 'Wizard of Oz'
The Judy Garland classic "The Wizard of Oz," will be shown Saturday at Glenn Hall Park, at Sandburg and Carlson drives in Sacramento, as part of the Screen on the Green series. The movie, which starts at sunset, around 8 p.m., is free.