Bee in the Community

Follow Pam as she blogs on community events.

July 26, 2010
Young heart patients mingle with the pros

We had an amazing day on Saturday participating in the "When I Grow Up" event at UC Davis Children's Hospital. Sponsored by "Angels for Hearts," and the Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis, "When I Grow Up," gives children with pediatric heart issues the chance to mingle with professionals like, firefighters, police officers, dentists, teachers, soldiers, chefs and even journalists and community affairs directors.

The idea for "Angels for Hearts" came from Kimberly Kaufman, who is the heart (along with her family) and soul of the organization. She founded the group because in 2004 Kimberly - then 32-years-old - was diagnosed with a cronic - and life threatening - heart condition. She spent a lot of time at Stanford hospital and got to see first-had what life is like for young heart patients. Despite her condition, she wanted to give something to the kids.

"Angels for Hearts" organizes gift-giving for the young heart patients at the holidays and in the Summer, holds the "When I Grow Up" event.

On Saturday, the happy and healthy-looking children got High 5's from Dinger, the River Cats mascot, red fire hats from the UC Davis fire department, lunch from Panda Express and even learned a little about writing for a newspaper. They also received their own Junior Reporter Notebooks.

Ice cream from Burr's Fountain was served along with a lot of love from the grown-ups.

To learn more about Angels for Hearts, go to


July 23, 2010
Lisa Gardner wows Bee Book Club

Is New York Times best-selling author Lisa Gardner as funny as she is thrilling? Just ask the more than 200 fans who attended the SRO gathering at Borders Books Thursday evening. The author, who spoke without notes, entertained the Sacramento Bee Book Club audience with stories about how she got into the book biz - writing a novel one summer when she was 17; how she moved from romance to suspense and her passion for helping special needs children.

Gardner was really funny - the kind of person you'd want for a best friend. She counts among her BFFs, fellow authors and Bee Book Club alums Harlan Coben, Tess Gerritsen and Lee Child. She also had great things to say about The Bee's next Book Club author - Barry Eisler. (Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at Quarry Ponds in Granite Bay). Don't want to miss that one, she told the largely female crowd.

If you missed the event, but still want signed copies of "Live to Tell," check out Borders Books on Fair Oaks Boulevard. If you would like to hear an interview Lisa gave to Jeffrey Callison, host of Capital Public Radio's "Insight," go to and click on "Insight." The interview is listed under Recent Shows/July 21. Want to find out more about Lisa Gardner, go to her website,

And by all means, take her advice and come to the Aug. 26 Bee Book Club event featuring Barry Eisler at Quarry Ponds. See you there!


July 16, 2010
Students spend "Career Day" at The Bee

On Friday, we held a "Career Day" for nine students and three teachers from "Breakthrough Sacramento," a year-long program that provides college prep for motivated students from under-resourced schools in the Sacramento region.

It was a great day, beginning with an introduction to the newspaper then an hour-long tour conducted by Dave Wesley. The students were able to see everything from the newsroom to the pressroom. They learned about the history of The Bee and its founders.

After the tour, the students were treated to a talk by political cartoonist Rex Babin. He shared his passion for drawing and news with the 7th and 8th graders. He also gave them a peek at his cartoon for Sunday's paper.

Next stop, was Media in Education ( director Ron Brand. Ron went over the website with the students and showed them where to find practice SAT questions. He also showed them how to access all the great information on the M.I.E. site, including a place where students can explore life at colleges throughout the nation. They ended by creating a silly story and promising to get a library card.

Bee Columnist Marcos Breton talked about growing up in San Jose and how he came to be a journalist. He spoke about some of his favorite stories and how readers react to controversy.

Just before lunch, Ed de la Fuente, an online editor at The Bee, gave the students a view into the digital world and where the newspaper fits in the future of online media.

After numerous questions, a great lunch and lots of takeaways, the students headed back to campus. It was great to share our story with such bright, promising students.

 Breakthrough Sacramento is a member of the Breakthrough Collaborative, a group of 34 educational programs in the U.S. and Hong Kong. To learn more about the program, contact Adolfo R. Mercado or Marianne Ceballos. The summer program is sponsored by and held at Sacramento Country Day School. Contact number is 916-481-8811, extension 316.


July 14, 2010
Budget was talk of the town

More than 75 Sacramentans gathered last night in eight coffeehouses around town to discuss the budget woes facing our region. From Old Soul in Oak Park to It's a Grind in Del Paso, neighbors gathered to share their stories and try to come to terms with what to do about a reduction in services. The event was "Community Conversations" and it is sponsored by The Bee, Capital Public Radio and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

Tuesday evening's gathering was the second installment in the "Conversation" series. The first was held in May and the talk centered on the region's economic recovery. The budget topic had people talking about everything from the state prison system, to education and the upcoming ballot initiative on legalizing marijuana.

At Old Soul in Oak Park, the discussion was facilitated by Charles Mason, president and CEO of Ubuntu Green. The corner of Broadway and 34th Avenue was a great setting for the discussion, which was lively and diverse. At the other venues around town the experience was similar. To read about the discussions around town, go to

If you missed Tuesday night's gathering, mark your calendar for Sept. 14, the next date for our "Conversations." The topic is yet to be decided.

July 13, 2010
Join the 'Conversation' tonight

The Bee, Capital Public Radio and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation are teaming up tonight to present eight "Community Conversations." The topic of tonight's talk: Budget Cuts: What are we willing to do without? and What are we willing to do about the rest?

Join your friends and neighbors at 7 p.m. at 8 locations around the city. The conversations are designed to give Sacramentans a chance to listen to eachother and share ideas. The 8 locations are spread throughout the city from "It's a Grind" in Natomas to Old Soul in Oak Park.

The conversations will be facilitated by volunteers who will set the ground rules and keep the discussion lively. Plus, there's free coffee.

For more information and a list of locations, go to


July 9, 2010
Introducing: "Bee in the Community"
Welcome to "Bee in the Community," a new blog from The Bee's Public Affairs Department. Pam Dinsmore, community affairs director, and Cathy Rodriguez, public affairs manager, are The Bee's community representatives and they spend a lot of time out and about. They plan events, connect with non-profits and the community. In this blog, they are going to share their stories, tell you about events and help you connect with the community, too.