Key Sacramento panel to mull plastic-bag ban
A Sacramento City Council subcommittee this week is poised to press ahead with a plan to ban single-use plastic shopping bags at large grocery and convenience stores in the city.
The proposed ordinance, which will come before the Law and Legislation Committee at its meeting Tuesday at 3 p.m., also would impose a charge of at least 10 cents on paper bags.
City staff recommends the city hire a consultant to study the draft ordinance and evaluate its effect on the environment, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.
More than 50 local governments in California already have adopted bag bans in recent years, starting with San Francisco's ordinance in 2007.
SB 405, a bill to ban single-use plastic bags on a statewide level, is pending in the Legislature. Sacramento has submitted a letter supporting the measure.
According to a city staff report, California retailers distribute 19 billion single-use plastic bags every year or about 522 bags per person in the state.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to ban plastic bags in 2009, and none of the jurisdictions bordering the city restrict them. Mary Lynne Vellinga
Elite speedboat racing comes to Folsom Lake
Speedboat racing is the main attraction of a giant beach party to take place Friday through Sunday at Granite Bay in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. The Big Wake Weekend, sponsored by Toyota, features H1 unlimited hydroplane speedboats capable of jetting more than 200 mph on straightaways.
Behind the news: Organizers expect more than 30,000 people for the three-day event, which includes live music, a beer garden and picnic areas. Tickets can be bought online, or in person at 7165 Douglas Blvd., Granite Bay. Check the website for ticket costs. Info and ticket prices: www.bigwakeweekend.com
Sacramento Co-op offers grilling class
Today's Memorial Day holiday marks the unofficial start of summer, and the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op can help you gear up with its "Back to Basics: Essential Grilling" class Tuesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the co-op's Community Learning Center, 1914 Alhambra Blvd. The cost is $45; co-op owners, $35.
Behind the news: The co-op website says Chef Dionisio Esperas will discuss the merits of charcoal vs. gas grilling as he prepares various dishes, including a spice-rubbed skirt steak and wild salmon with dill yogurt sauce.
IN THE NEWS
SMUD workshop on proposed rate hike
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will host a public workshop Tuesday on the utility general manager's recommendation to raise residential and commercial electricity rates by 2.5 percent in 2014 and 2015. It has also been recommended that SMUD change its tiered rate structure to one flat rate by 2017, with a goal of moving all residential customers to time-of-use rates by 2018. The recommendations must still be approved by the SMUD board.
Info: The workshop is scheduled for 6 p.m. at SMUD headquarters, 6201 S St., Sacramento. Also see www.smud.org.
Consulate offers HIV testing, health fair
The Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, 2093 Arena Blvd., is offering free HIV testing (no needles, with results in 20 minutes) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a health fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday that will offer dental screenings and glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
Info: (916) 329-3502