This Week: Downtown ice skating rink opens despite warm weather

Never mind the bright sunshine and the 70-degree temperatures – it’s time to strap on ice skates and wobble around in circles. The ice rink at 7th and K streets in downtown Sacramento opened Friday and will operate until Jan. 20 during weekday evenings and all day on weekends.

Today’s skating hours are from 2 to 8 p.m.

Each skating session lasts two hours and costs $8 for admission and $2 to rent skates. There’s no admission charge for kids 4 and under, though skate rental fees apply.

Ice skating has been a tradition at the St. Rose of Lima Park on K Street since the city first opened the rink in 1991. The Sacramento Downtown Partnership operates the attraction.

Downtown Sacramento isn’t the only place with a holiday ice rink. Another opened Friday in the heart of Old Folsom. Skaters there circle the historic railroad turntable.

The Folsom rink is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sessions are 11/2hours long. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for kids 12 and under. Skate rental is $2.

– Mary Lynne Vellinga


NPR science reporter to talk shop at UC Davis

Joe Palca, National Public Radio's science correspondent, will deliver a free lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday at UC Davis' Social Sciences and Humanities Building. In a speech entitled "Science and news: A marriage of convenience," Palca will discuss his work for NPR - the stories behind the stories and the research that goes in to the production of a science story for an audience of nonscientists.

Behind the news: Palca, who sometimes fills in as host of "Talk of the Nation: Science Friday," earned a doctorate in psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He started his journalism career in 1982, working as a health producer for the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. He's also worked as a print journalist for Nature and Science Magazine. His visit to UCD is sponsored by various campus departments, including the UC Davis Coastal Marine Sciences Institute.

Info and registration: joepalcaatucdavis.eventbrite.com

Quilting show takes stage at Scottish Rite Temple

The River City Quilters' Guild hosts its annual three-day show this weekend at the Scottish Rite Temple, 6151 H St. in Sacramento. Hundreds of traditional and contemporary quilts will be on display. Show attendees may cast their votes for the Viewers' Choice award. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 per day. Children 12 and younger are admitted free if accompanied by an adult. Proceeds go to support guild activities.

Behind the news: The guild's purpose is promote quilting, the use of textiles, quilting techniques and history in the Sacramento community. A highlight of the show - which includes a country store, a silent auction and demonstrations - is the "Opportunity Quilt," which serves as a fundraising vehicle for the organization and was made by 25 different applique artists.

Info: www.rivercityquilters.org

AAA to release statewide gas-price survey

Motorists in the Sacramento area and throughout California have been catching a break at the gas pumps this fall. Prices have been on a steady decline for about a month. On Tuesday, the monthly AAA gas price survey will break down gasoline prices in jurisdictions statewide.

Info: Check details at www.sacbee.com.

U.S., state trade figures coming Thursday

U.S. Commerce Department officials are still scrambling to catch up after the recent 16-day federal government shutdown. On Thursday, the department is scheduled to release U.S. trade figures for September. The Beacon Economics consultancy will break down those numbers for California, revealing the all-important value of merchandise shipped abroad by California businesses in September.

Info: Check details at www.sacbee.com.


Silent auction to raise funds for open space

Habitat 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento and the California Heartland project are holding a silent auction to benefit open space and habitat conservation in the Sacramento region. Original artwork by local artists and photographers will be up for bid from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sierra 2 Community Center, 2791 24th St. in Sacramento. A $10 donation at the door is suggested.

Info: www.ecosacramento.net.


Art Service Group hosts evaluation day at the Crocker

The Art Service Group is sponsoring an evaluation day at the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday. Sylvia Fitzgerald will focus on paintings, art glass, pottery sculpture and old costume jewelry. Charles Gray will evaluate paintings, prints, lithographs and antique maps. The informal, verbal appraisals are $10 per item or $45 for five items. Appointments are required.

Info: Call (916) 808-7752 for an appointment.

Workshop to focus on social media for nonprofits

The Social Media Club of Sacramento is hosting a workshop, "Social Media for Nonprofits: How to Get It All Done," at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Urban Hive, 1931 H St. in Sacramento. Jessica Steimer and Laura Good will offer a framework for participants to evaluate different channels of communication and their effectiveness. The workshop is free, but donations of $5 to $10 are encouraged. Tips for using social-media tools and time-management strategies also will be presented.

Info: socialmediaclub.org/chapter/sacramento-ca.

Yale autism expert to speak at MIND Institute

The UC Davis MIND Institute's Distinguished Lecture Series continues Wednesday with a speech by James C. McPartland, director of the Developmental Disabilities Clinic at the Child Study Center at Yale University. McPartland will discuss "Motivated for Change: Rethinking Models of Social Brain Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder." The free event starts at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the MIND Institute, 2825 50th St., Sacramento.

Info: www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute.

Live reading to mark magazine's 2nd year

Under the Gum Tree, a literary arts "micro-magazine," celebrates its two-year anniversary with a live online reading at Bows & Arrows, 1815 19th St. in Sacramento. Contributors from Sacramento and other areas of the country will read their pieces. The event, to be broadcast live via Google+ Hangout, takes place at 6 p.m. Friday.

Info: underthegumtree.com.