Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: Sac State converting calories to kilowatts at fitness center

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 - 7:54 am

The students, faculty, staff and alumni of Sacramento State can say that they literally power the region.

The WELL, Sac State's fitness and wellness center, has installed 19 elliptical fitness cross-trainers with small circuit boards that turn human workouts into energy that is fed back into the building's electrical grid.

"In the first two months after installation, we harnessed 105 kilowatt-hours, which is enough energy to power 30 homes for one hour," said assistant WELL director Kate Costello.

California State University, Sacramento, is the third university the state to acquire such machines for a campus fitness center. The other two are University of California, Irvine, and Chico State.

The elliptical machines have been working only since February, but Costello foresees a day when the campus will compete with Irvine and Chico for the title of most powerful university.

Costello said six treadmills will be added soon. The money to buy the machines came from $75,000 in rebates and other money the university earned from SMUD for the WELL's energy-efficient design and sustainable programs. The building qualified as a leader in energy and environmental design, earning the gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

It takes an average of 5,418 kilowatt-hours to power the WELL on a fall day and 4,963 a day in spring, so step on it, Sac State.

On the prowl in Davis

If you're looking for something to do after a good workout, you can crawl through downtown Davis with Julia Simpson.

Simpson will lead a Dishcrawl for the first time at 7 p.m. April 23, though she's been on several in her hometown of Long Beach. The Dishcrawl phenomenon, in which 25 to 40 diners pay $45 to indulge in small plates at four or more eateries in one evening, is spreading rapidly across the nation.

Simpson is the movement's Davis ambassador, but Dishcrawl founder Tracy Lee has more than 120 other ambassadors just like Simpson across the United States and Canada. That's four times the ambassadors the company had when 2012 ended.

That was about the time Lee decided to focus on what she was good at: marketing food events.

"After we decided, 'This is who we are,' we just exploded all over the place," Lee said. "Last year, we had part-time people who could just figure it out on their own time. Now we talk about what it means to do it full time."

Simpson represents Davis, and while she also works another job, she sees big potential in organizing food events. Dishcrawl splits receipts with the restaurants and the ambassador. Go to for information on the Davis Dishcrawl.

C'mon, this is big news

Sacramento resident Barbara Johnston headed over to Point West Plaza shopping center with her sister recently to check on construction of Hobby Lobby. When she saw nothing was happening, she was dismayed.

She called and asked me to find out whether the chain of arts and craft stores is still opening at 1841 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento.

The answer came via email from J. Scott Nelson, assistant vice president for real estate at Hobby Lobby Stores in Oklahoma City: "There was a minor (Sacramento) city approval that was delayed, but this has now been remedied and we are moving forward with construction. This won't delay our opening."

The opening date hasn't been released, but crafters are on pins and needles. Yet it was hard to tell whether Johnston, a dollhouse maker, was more enthused about the arrival of Hobby Lobby or the first weekend in May, when miniaturists like her gather for a workshop and a sale.

"There's the Elegant Dollhouse parking lot sale, and people come in from all over and sell dollhouse stuff and more," she said. "And the day prior to that, they have what they call Folsom Fiesta. That's when 75 to 100 people go in and spend the whole day working on themes and come home with supposedly a finished project. One time we made a miniature library in a 10-inch-by-10-inch box."

May 4 will mark the 28th year for the sold-out Folsom Fiesta workshop. Talk with Ethel Anderson (no relation to this columnist) at the Elegant Dollhouse to get on next year's waiting list. The Elegant Dollhouse, 1120 Fulton Ave., will have its 34th annual parking lot sale and flea market May 5.

Call The Bee's Cathie Anderson, (916) 321-1193.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Cathie Anderson

Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads


Price Range:
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older