Archives for June 7, 2016

Charles A. Salter author of The Secret of Bald Rock Island (Kare Kids Adventures #1)

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ABOUT THE BOOK:
Years ago, Kelcie’s father disappeared at sea. Now that she’s ten, Kelcie wants some answers. With the help of her father’s lifelong best friend, Mr. Bartleby, Kelcie crosses the island in search of clues to what may have happened the night her father disappeared which seem strangely linked with the legend of The Bald Rock Monster. From learning how lobstering works to understanding Mr. Bartleby’s past, Kelcie pieces together the mystery and thinks she knows where she can find the ultimate answers: the forbidden area of the island, Bald Rock.

Q & A with the Author Of The Secret of Bald Rock Island!

Author Charles Salter in his basement office with shelves filled with books he has written over the years. Staff photo by Bill Green

Author Charles Salter in his basement office with shelves filled with books he has written over the years.
Staff photo by Bill Green

1. What inspired you to create this series?

A: For the past few years I have become increasingly concerned about the trend in our society to infantilize young people and make them dependent on the ‘nanny state’ rather than independent and mature adults who can help lead our society into the future. I hope my series will help young people realize they do possess heroic qualities and can make a difference by standing for what they believe and seeking to help others.

2. What is your writing process like? Did you plot the entire story of The Secret of Bald Rock Island before you began writing or did you come up with it as you wrote?

A: I know some people like to outline their entire novel before starting to write, but I like to begin by dreaming up imaginative new characters and putting them into an exciting new situation or crisis. They soon begin to take on a life of their own and seem almost real to me, and they’ll tell me how they want to resolve the problem. Early on they will tell me what the ending is, but it is always an exciting adventure for us to discover together how they will get there.

3. Who inspired the character of Kelcie?

A: Kelcie is a composite of my two daughters. Out of the entire series so far, volume #1 is the only one set in the past—about one generation ago. At that time, my now-adult daughters were children and we often went to Maine (the location for this novel). We saw and experienced the kinds of places described in the book!
4. What independent traits does Kelcie demonstrate that you would like young children to emulate?

A: Kelcie may be only ten years old, but she knows how to think for herself and decide how she can best help others. She is a true “Kare Kid” who not only has a caring attitude towards family, friends, animals, and the environment, but she translates that concern into real action to accomplish her goals. In the surprise ending of the book—when she finally confronts the mysterious island creature face to face—her beliefs and principles about life and nature lead her to suggest an amazing solution to the adults on the scene.

5. What do you hope both your young readers and the parents of those readers take away from the books?

A: Family and friends in this series clearly cherish and care for each other. I would hope these stories would encourage both parents and young readers to do the same. I would hope that young readers would learn the importance of going beyond having a good attitude about others and translating that into real action to help when needed. And I hope parents will learn the wisdom of sometimes stepping back and letting kids work through their own solutions to life’s problems and issues…yet also be available when those kids ask for help.

6. Independence is a huge theme in Kare Kids Adventures. To what extent did you or did you not experience independence as a child?
A: My parents were absolute models for fostering independence in me and my siblings…often to a degree which would be considered illegal these days! I had my first paying job when I was about age 5—babysitting the infant of neighbors who lived in the same apartment building where we did. My mother was in a nearby apartment in case a real problem developed, but I sat with this wonderful kid and read books and took care of him otherwise. Later that year I took sole care of my baby brother (about age three) when both my parents worked. I dressed and fed and entertained him when I was only 6 and my mother was at work for three hours each morning. A few years later, on non-school days I and my brother or friends would be on our own all day, playing in the woods or riding bikes or playing sports. No cell phones in those days, and we were on our own until meal times. By age 19, I went to England for my college junior-year-abroad and toured all of western Europe with just my friends. During that year I experienced the amazing adventure in Norway which lies at the heart of book #4—THE TRAVEL TWINS AND THE LOST SECRET OF THE VIKINGS.

7. How did your experience as a parent and grandparent influence The Secret of Bald Rock Island?

A: I have always tried to encourage my own children and grandchildren to become independent and make their own decisions about which sports, activities, and careers to choose. I taught them to stand up for what they believe. And this is exactly what Kelcie’s mother and dear family friend, Mr. Bartleby, do for her in this book. As Kelcie comes to grips with the loss of her father years earlier, both adults encourage and help her to work through that process in a mature way.

8. Did you pull from your background in psychology when writing this series? If so, in what way?

A: As everyone knows, much of psychology focuses on mental illness and other pathological conditions. But part of the field focuses instead on fostering close and healthy relationships, particularly among parents and children. One area of thought and research in psychology which has always interested me is that about not simply telling kids what to do, but rather encouraging them to think through problems and issues so they can come up with their own insights and solutions. And that is exactly how the adults in this book handle Kelcie’s quest to solve the mysteries of Bald Rock Island.
9. How do you think technology and the age of the helicopter parent have influenced independence in children today?
A: Everything seems different these days compared to when my generation was growing up. Technology certainly has its advantages, but it can also isolate children from healthy and beneficial social relationships. If you’ve ever seen a bunch of kids sitting together, but with each one lost and alone in his/her own electronic device and virtual world, you can sense the downside of technology. Doing things by oneself is not the same as independence. True independence does not imply social isolation but rather the ability to think for oneself and play a leadership role in a social situation.

Parents who want the best for their children will not become over-protective and smother their development by always being present and doing everything for them. Children need to mature by becoming self-reliant and capable of doing things on their own, but they can’t accomplish that if a helicopter parent is always hovering around and making all the decisions.
10. The Secret of Bald Rock Island is the first of the Kare Kids Adventures Series. When will the next installment come out?

A: In book #2, CHARLOTTE AND THE MYSTERIOUS VANISHING PLACE, Kelcie is now grown up and her 9-year-old daughter is the star. Charlotte discovers a serious environmental danger in the woods and does everything she can to alert authorities and rescue two trapped puppies. This book is due out on July 1 of this year. In book #3, HOW THREE BROTHERS SAVED THE NAVY, Charlotte’s three cousins uncover a terrorist plot to destroy their navy father’s ship. They show great courage and ingenuity in ferreting out the details and then thwarting the plot. That book is due out in early August. Charlotte’s twin brother and sister should be coming along some time in early fall in book #4, in THE TRAVEL TWINS AND THE LOST SECRET OF THE VIKINGS. This book’s plot unfolds on a scary (but real) train winding its way high in the beautiful mountains of Norway. Felons with mysterious motives have stolen the famed Leif Erikson Sunstone from their uncle’s Viking museum in Oslo, and the twins decide to get it back.

In all of these books, the Kare Kids can’t rely on magic or super powers to solve their problems. They are realistic kids who live in the real world…BUT they know how to act independently and to translate caring from a mere attitude into genuine action to solve the problems they encounter.

Look for the book! You can find it on Amazon.com.

Author website:

https://www.facebook.com/CharlesASalter

 

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! To win a copy of the book, leave a comment below. Deadline to enter is June 10th, 2016 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via Random.org.

Self Disclosure: I participated in a Book Blog Tour. No compensation was received. 

 

Mack & Moxy: The Great Helpee Heroes – Fun and educational while teaching about humanitarian causes and beliefs.

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This all new TV show, being simultaneously released on DVD features Mack, a lovable, moose-like lummox, and Moxy, a feisty whirlwind of a raccoon/fox go-getter, on four exciting adventures! Together with a helpful Trooper, Mack & Moxy set out to rescue another Great Helpee in a far off mystical place called HelpeeLand. Along the way, Mack & Moxy meet a new Friend in Need who ends up teaching us a new important cause. Guest celebrity, Josh Duhamel (Transformers, All My Children), helps the Heroes’ mission in support of Save the Children, providing quality preschool programs to underserved children around the world since 1932. In this DVD, Mack & Moxy introduce us to Save the Children, American Red Cross, Feeding America and World Wildlife Fund. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “I learned a lot about different ways to care for others, compassion, important causes and the joy of helping others. In short, I learned what it is to be a humanitarian.” See her full review below.
MACK & MOXY: The Great Helpee Heroes
By Abigail Zoe Lewis, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

The Mack & Moxy: The Great Helpee Heroes DVD is great! It is as entertaining as it is educational. I learned a lot about different ways to care for others, compassion, important causes and the joy of helping others. In short, I learned what it is to be a humanitarian.
This DVD features four different episodes from the new children’s TV show, Mack & Moxy. In each episode the main characters go to HelpeeLand to save a “Great Helpee” from evil Shelfish Sheldon. This greedy character wants to steal all the happiness in the world just for himself.
On their journey, they always meet a friend in need who introduces them to a new and important cause. For example, in “Feeding Rainbow” we learn about the charity organization, “Feeding America” that provides hunger-relief through food banks/pantries for those who can’t afford to purchase their own food. In the episode “Always be Prepared,” we learn the importance of Emergency Preparedness and about the American Red Cross organization. Basically, we learn things about what to do in scary situations such as, if there is a fire, we should not grab a thing, “get low and go” and have a plan of action.
My favorite episode is a “Ty-Grrrr’s Tale” because it is about saving tigers and I love animals. We also learn about the World Wildlife Fund that helps raise awareness and money to help and protect animals.
I love that each episode has a special celebrity guest. My favorite actor on this DVD is, Josh Duhamel who plays the Admirable in the episode, “Save The Children.” He reminds us the importance of early education. I really like Josh because he’s funny and entertaining.
The message of this DVD, like the show, is about inspiring children to become great humanitarians.
I actually had an opportunity to visit a live taping of the show and interview both the creator of the show, Brahm Wenger and Kelly McQuinn, the Co-Executive Producer. One of the things they shared was that the show teaches children in the language that they know. They explained that this is done with the show’s bright colored characters, fun music, songs, dance and awesome stories that teach humanitarian lessons. They also shared how excited they are to be part of America’s first kid’s TV show about causes.
I believe 3 to 8-year-olds will really like this DVD and TV show with its adventurous stories, fun music and lively characters. I give the show five out of five stars, or should I say humanitarian stars. Finally, I hope that you too will find a cause from this DVD or in your own life that inspires you to become one of the next generation’s great humanitarians. This DVD is available in stores on May 24, 2016 so be sure to check it out.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Grand Performances Fun Upcoming Family Events!

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A series of free, family shows has been announced for the Watercourt stage at Grand Performances in downtown Los Angeles this summer. The stage is built into a giant water fountain on California Plaza which is next to the MOCA and Broad Museums, and Pershing Square. There is seating on a first-come, first-served basis or audiences can bring blankets and low-back chairs. Free interactive workshops begin 30 minutes before each show time and are themed to the performance. Shows include:

Cinderella by Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater (June 12 @3:00pm & 4:30pm) – Dress in your favorite fairytale garb and join the magically and musically reimagined telling of Cinderella in the style of a television situation comedy…with sock puppets.

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Flutes Across the World (June 19 @ 3:00pm) – Award-winning film and theater composer and children’s performer John Zeretzke leads a flute-making workshop and an all-out, interactive jam session for kids to celebrate music of the world’s indigenous cultures.

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José-Luis Orozco ¡Come Bien! Eat Right! (June 26 @ 3:00pm)The beloved children’s entertainer leads an interactive musical feast of rhythm, rhyme, and culture blended with a bilingual message to eat right and live life to the fullest.

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Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (July 3 @ 3:00pm)Known as the face of kindie music, these Latin Grammy and Emmy winners bring smart, bilingual, crafty lyrics with irresistibly fresh pop beats.

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The free and open to the public performances are presented at California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Avenue. For more information on seating, amenities, public transportation, parking, and more, visit www.grandperformances.org or call 213-687-2190.

Credit: Grand Performances.

World Ocean Day (6/8) and National Campaign to Help Save the Vaquita (whale) AQUARIUMS AND ZOOS ASK PUBLIC TO JOIN EFFORTS TO HELP SAVE THE WORLD’S MOST ENDANGERED MARINE MAMMAL—THE VAQUITA

 

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Tomorrow, on World Ocean Day, the Aquarium of the Pacific and a team of aquariums and zoos across the country are asking the public to get involved in a campaign to help the smallest cetacean (whale, dolphin, or porpoise) on the planet. Found only in the northern part of the Gulf of California, Mexico, the vaquita porpoise is the world’s most endangered marine mammal. Only about sixty vaquitas remain, according to a report by the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) that was presented recently to Mexico’s Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources and the governor of Baja California. This represents a decline of more than 92 percent since 1997. Unless Mexico extends the gillnet ban enacted in 2015 and enforces regulations to stop illegal fishing, the vaquita will be driven to extinction within five years, according to CIRVA.

 

WHAT IS THE RISK?

For decades, the vaquita population has been declining due to accidental entanglement and drowning in gillnets used to catch fish (sold primarily domestically) and shrimp (primarily imported into the United States). However, since 2011, there has been a catastrophic decline of vaquitas amid a resurgence of illegal gillnetting for another endangered species, the totoaba.  Air bladders from these fish are prized in the illegal wildlife trade in China, selling for thousands of dollars per kilo.

 

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO SAVE THE VAQUITA?

The government of Mexico is taking unprecedented conservation actions to stop the impact of both illegal totoaba fishing and legal gillnetting by local fishermen.  The President of Mexico imposed an emergency two-year ban on gillnets throughout the range of the vaquita in May 2015. The Mexican Navy oversees enforcement and local fishing communities are receiving millions of dollars of compensation for lost income. However, the ban must become permanent if the species is to survive and recover. Importantly, new methods of legal fishing are also being developed. A handful of fishermen working alongside gear experts, government scientists, and nongovernmental organizations, are designing, testing, and implementing innovative new fishing gears that do not use the entangling nets  to legally catch fish and shrimp without endangering vaquitas.

 

The United States is the largest importer of shrimp and seafood products harvested legally in the Gulf of California and seafood consumers can make a difference by purchasing responsibly-sourced seafood – wherever they shop.  The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future partners—Kings Seafood, Santa Monica Seafood, and Catalina Offshore Products—have agreed to purchase the vaquita-friendly seafood for sale in the U.S. when it becomes available.

 

“Seafood that is produced using the best available science, management, and technologies can be one of the most environmentally friendly sources of animal protein. We need to eat more seafood to support a healthy and sustainable food supply, but we must do so responsibly,” said Kim Thompson, Aquarium of the Pacific Seafood for the Future program manager. “In the case of the vaquita, that means buying the shrimp and seafood fishermen harvest with the alternative fishing gear, thereby supporting those who are working hard to implement the necessary conservation measures to save a species while sustaining their livelihoods.”

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

It is vital that consumers support the “Vaquita-Friendly” labeled seafood when it comes to the U.S. market. In the meantime, here’s what consumers can do to support conservation efforts for the vaquita and other species that may be impacted by unsustainable fishing practices:

  1. Ask where your seafood comes from and how it was caught.
  2. You can support fishermen who are working with government and nongovernment organizations to reach conservation goals while sustaining their livelihoods. Some examples and reference sites for these efforts are included below:

 

  1. You can also support businesses and restaurants that sell seafood from environmentally responsible sources. Find businesses and restaurants participating in responsible seafood sourcing programs at:
  • FishChoice.com

o   Restaurants: www.fishchoice.com/sustainable-seafood-restaurant-finder

o   Businesses: http://www.fishchoice.com/supplier_map

  1. Build awareness within your social networks about the vaquita and environmentally responsible seafood and use the hashtags #4aPorpoise and #SavingSpecies.

 

The vaquita is just one of many species impacted by human activities. Ten years ago, the Baiji river dolphin in China became the first known cetacean (whale, dolphin, or porpoise) to go extinct, likely due to unsustainable fishing practices. Humans have been responsible for many extinctions on land, but surprisingly few in the sea. Despite this, humans have impacted virtually all major marine ecosystems. But all hope is not lost, and it is not too late to change the fate of ocean-dwelling animals facing extinction, such as the vaquita. Such efforts require collaborative solutions designed to ensure the health and well-being of the World Ocean and its inhabitants while sustaining livelihoods for those who depend on the local ecosystem services the ocean provides.

 

Last year, the Mexican government instituted a two-year ban on all gillnet fishing within the vaquita’s range, but illegal fishing for totoaba, a large croaker (also endangered) continues. The totoaba is fished to meet the black market demand for its swim bladder, which is highly prized for its perceived medicinal attributes overseas. “If Mexico managed to solve this problem for vaquitas, it would set an example for other nations, showing that fishermen can fish sustainably and coexist with porpoises, dolphins, and other sea mammals,” says Barbara Taylor, co-chief scientist of the vaquita survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries biologist.

 

The Aquarium of the Pacific has been a leader in educating the public about the plight of the vaquita and is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to amplify conservation efforts for the vaquita among its more than 230 members through SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). The goal of SAFE is to combine the power of AZA’s 183 million annual visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA members and partners to save animals, like the vaquita, from extinction. Learn more at:https://www.aza.org/SAFE/.

 

WORLD OCEAN DAY AT THE AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC

The Aquarium of the Pacific celebrates World Ocean Day with programs that allow visitors to learn more about the ways we rely on the ocean, how human activity impacts ocean life, and  the current state of ocean exploration. On June 8, World Ocean Day, guests are learning about ocean conservation issues at special educational tables throughout the Aquarium. Visitors can learn about the endangered vaquita porpoise, conserving sea turtle populations by reducing single-use plastics, and how the Aquarium is working to recover endangered abalone and Guam Kingfisher populations.

 

The Aquarium’s Seafood for the Future (SFF) program provides science-based information about seafood and its role in the global food supply to help businesses make informed seafood choices that benefit the health and well-being of fish, people, and the planet. Learn more at www.seafoodforthefuture.org. Facebook.com/SeafoodfortheFuture/ Twitter @seafoodfuture/ YouTube.com/SeafoodfortheFuture.

 

The nonprofit Aquarium is a place where important topics facing the planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. Home to more than 11,000 animals, the Aquarium features a variety of programs to engage the public in ocean conservation and environmental education. For more information, visit www.aquariumofpacific.org or call 562-590-3100

 

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

10 Free Concerts Bring JR JR, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Grizfolk, The Fenians and Matt Costa to the OC Parks Stage

The County of Orange and OC Parks welcome back the annual outdoor summer concert series with 10 free concerts at Craig Regional Park, Tri-City Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park and Salt Creek Beach. Each concert event will offer free live music under the summer sky on Thursday evenings June 30 through September 1.

 

The series kicks off on Thursday, June 30 at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton with swing revival sensation Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing with Kris Bradley. Then the concert series moves on to Tri-City Park in Placentia with Neil Diamond tribute Diamonds Are Forever and Vic Lazar performing on Thursday, July 7.

 

The concerts continue at Mason Regional Park in Irvine with the “Lounge King” Phil Shane performing with a full band and Hawkline Monster opening the show on Thursday, July 14. Favorite ‘80s tribute band Flashback Heart Attack returns to the OC Parks concert series performing at Mason Park on Thursday, July 21 with Well Hung Heart performing as an acoustic duo to open the show.

 

The series will then move to Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley with LA alternative rock group Grizfolkperforming with Robert John and the Wreck on Thursday, July 28. The traditional and contemporary sounds of Ireland will pour through Mile Square Park on August 4 with The Fenians performing live joined by Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Show.

 

Next stop is in Orange for Saved by the 90s and Gardeners Logic at Irvine Regional Park on Thursday, August 11. Local folk indie favorite, Matt Costa will perform at Irvine Regional Park with David Rosales opening on Thursday, August 18.

 

The summer concert series wraps up on a high note with two dates at Bluff Park overlooking Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. Tijuana Dogs and Family Style will take the stage on Thursday, August 25. Indie pop sensation JR JR (formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) will take the stage with their hit song “Gone” on September 1 with Big Monsta opening the show.

 

“This year’s Summer Concert Series promises to be the best one yet,” Lisa Bartlett, Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, said. “These concerts provide a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to come enjoy the sounds of summer in a beautiful, outdoor setting. And best of all, it’s free.”

 

All of the OC Parks Summer Concert Series events take place from 6 to 8 p.m., are free to attend, with free parking and open to the public of all ages. Food trucks will be serving on-site at each location. Guests may bring their own food, and alcohol consumption by those 21 and over is permitted for the concerts Friends and families are invited to come out, bring a blanket and a beach chair and enjoy great local live music under the stars at OC Parks this summer season.

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​Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs FREE at Craig Regional Park on June 30

2016 OC Parks Summer Concert Series Schedule

(All shows 6-8 p.m., free admission with free parking)

 

Craig Regional Park

Location: 3300 State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92835

Contact: (714) 973-3180, craigpark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, June 30

Artist: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with Kris Bradley

 

Tri-City Regional Park

Location: 2301 N. Kraemer Blvd., Placentia, CA 92870

Contact: (714) 973-3180, craigpark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, July 7

Artist: Diamonds Are Forever with Vic Lazar

 

Mason Regional Park

Location: 18712 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Contact: (949) 923-2220, masonpark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, July 14

Artist: Phil Shane with Hawkline Monster

Date: Thursday, July 21

Artist: Flashback Heart Attack with Well Hung Heart

 

Mile Square Regional Park

Location: 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Contact: (714) 973-6600, milesquare@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, July 28

Artist: Grizfolk with Robert John and the Wreck

Date: Thursday, August 4

Artist: The Fenians with Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Show

 

Irvine Regional Park

Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA, 92869

Contact: (714) 973,6835, irvinepark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, August 11

Artist: Saved by the 90s with Gardeners Logic

Date: Thursday, August 18

Artist: Matt Costa with David Rosales

 

Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach

Location: 33333 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, CA 92629

Contact: (949) 923-2280

Date: Thursday, August 25

Artist: Tijuana Dogs and Family Style

Date: Thursday, September 1

Artist: JR JR with Big Monsta

Credit:

OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal facilities and open space for the County of Orange as part of OC Community Resources.

http://www.ocparks.com

It’s Harvesting Season On The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks Join Volunteers at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy Native Seed Farm

It’s harvesting season on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and time to collect seeds from native spring wildflowers found on the land like arroyo lupines and cobweb thistle. Join Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers to collect wildflower seeds at the Native Seed Farm in Irvine any Wednesday or Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 

The variety of plant species in the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks is incredibly diverse, and so are the ways in which these native plants disperse their seed. Arroyo lupine’s seed pods buckle and twist as they dry out in the sun, eventually popping open and sending seeds flying. Cobweb thistle have pappus that have tufts of hair on their seeds that resemble parachutes and help their seed glide along with the wind. Other flowers such as dandelions use this method as well, but cobweb thistle pappus is much larger in size so it can catch enough of a breeze to carry the plant’s bulky seeds.

 

Many of the native plants found out in the Landmarks are also grown at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy Native Seed Farm in Irvine. Volunteers help harvest thousands of seeds from the nearly 15,000 native seedlings that were successfully planted at the farm this winter. Seeds from these plants and wildflowers at the farm are used to regrow native species in habitat restoration sites throughout the Landmarks. Seeds are collected and laid out to dry, and any additional materials collected such as leaves, stems and petals are repurposed as a natural mulch to fertilize soil on the Landmarks. Since nothing goes to waste, everything volunteers collect during harvesting season on the Native Seed Farm has a huge impact on future successful habitat restoration.

 

Join the Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers at the Native Seed Farm at harvesting activities on Wednesday and Saturday mornings by clicking here. All tools and training are provided. Volunteering at the Farm is an ideal way to connect with the outdoors as summer temperatures heat up. No hiking is required and activities are family friendly and free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m.the day prior to each event. Children 8 years old and up are welcome to volunteer on the farm, and must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For more details on programs at the Native Seed Farm, click here or visit LetsGoOutside.org/activities.

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Irvine Ranch Conservancy

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization created in 2005 to help preserve and support the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, enhancing the public’s connection to the land while helping partners and landowners with all aspects of stewardship. The Conservancy offers a variety of free, guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more. For more information, visit www.letsgooutside.org.

 

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions

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Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions announces Los Angeles concert. After sold out performances in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, PA and selling 5,000 tickets in Philadelphia, fans in Los Angeles will soon get the opportunity to see and hear Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions at Microsoft Theater on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. More information can be found at PokemonSymphony.com.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is the must-see video game concert of the year, giving fans and newcomers of all ages the chance to experience the evolution of the Pokémon franchise like never before. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to meet up with friends of all ages to catch, battle and trade Pokémon from your favorite games. All-new orchestral arrangements and carefully timed visuals draw from recent and classic Pokémon video games, including:

• Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue
• Pokémon Yellow
• Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver
• Pokémon Crystal
• Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire
• Pokémon Emerald
• Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl
• Pokémon Platinum
• Pokémon Black and Pokémon White
• Pokémon X and Pokémon Y

“Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is a spectacular showcase of the memorable music that has been a hallmark of the Pokémon franchise for nearly 20 years,” said J.C. Smith, director of Consumer Marketing at The Pokémon Company International. “The concert series serves as a thank you to fans and an invitation to share our passion for Pokémon by reliving some of our fondest memories with the brand. We look forward to seeing fans of all ages enjoying this very special Pokémon orchestral event together.”

Tickets on sale to the public at axs.com or by calling
1 888.929.7849

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About Pokémon

The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.

About Princeton Entertainment

Princeton Entertainment has earned an international reputation as a premier producer of concerts combining orchestras with popular recording artists and other elements. Princeton’s productions have set the bar for exciting, new, and creative performances with stars as varied as James Taylor, Idina Menzel, Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin, and Trey Anastasio; its orchestra partners include the New York Philharmonic, The Royal Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and its own American Festival Orchestra. Last year, after signing and completing a touring agreement for The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, two of its key creators, Jeron Moore and Chad Seiter, joined Princeton Entertainment. Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is the first production from this exciting new creative team. Current touring plans call for the production to reach five continents.

Self Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I will be receiving media comps to review and feature. No other compensation was received. SoCal City Kids attended one of their events last year and am excited to be featuring again this year!

 

Rubio’s® Celebrates World Oceans Day With Free Reusable Tote Bag Giveaway Encouraging Guests to Be a Friend of the Ocean and Help Reduce Plastic Waste! We are also having a Giveaway!

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Rubio’s Restaurants, the brand that has counted the ocean as a source of inspiration since its founding more than 30 years ago, is continuing its efforts to be a friend of the ocean with its 7th annual World Oceans Day reusable tote bag giveaway. Beginning on June 8 (World Oceans Day) and running through June 9, Rubio’s is inviting fans, friends and ocean enthusiasts to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean by visiting a Rubio’s Coastal Grill location to receive a complimentary, specially designed reusable tote bag.

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Since its first official World Oceans Day celebration seven years ago, Rubio’s has given away more than 90,000 free reusable tote bags. Reusable bags are a great alternative to plastic bags, which persist in the ocean for decades and endanger fish, turtles and other marine life. To get your complimentary World Oceans Day tote bag, simply download the coupon from https://www.rubios.com/coupons/world-oceans-day and bring it to any Rubio’s Coastal Grill location June 8-9 (while supplies last).

“Since much of our menu includes seafood, we are passionate about helping educate the public about how important it is to maintain healthy marine ecosystems,” said Ralph Rubio, co-founder of Rubio’s Coastal Grill. “We are committed to supporting initiatives that help preserve our healthy oceans, and World Oceans Day is a great way for us to help raise awareness for clean water. We look forward to celebrating World Oceans Day and hope to see our guests in our restaurants on June 8-9.”

Rubio’s works to be a friend to the ocean year-round with a majority of its seafood being sourced from sustainable fisheries, recycling plastic and glass bottles in restaurants whenever possible, and using eco-friendly plates and to-go containers. These efforts help reduce the amounts of trash that can end up on beaches and the coastline. The company also supports several ocean-focused causes throughout the year, including coastal cleanups, river cleanups and Rubio’s annual CoastFest event, which takes place this year on July 16, 2016.

Additionally, Rubio’s recently joined the Blue Business Council, a network of business partners who are actively engaged to protect California’s ocean, bays and rivers. California Coastkeeper Alliance and California Waterkeepers launched the Blue Business Council in 2014 based on the belief that a healthy ocean and coast and clean water is vital to California’s economy, public health, and way of life. Council membership is by invitation only, and Rubio’s is now a part of the network of nearly one hundred companies, including global brands such as Patagonia, REI, Clif Bar, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Paul Mitchell and more.

Rubio’s passion for creating delicious coastal cuisine began when the first Rubio’s opened in 1983. To date, Rubio’s has sold more than 200 million Original Fish Tacos® and uses sustainable seafood in nearly all of its seafood menu items. The brand continues to expand its menu with new, innovative recipes, ranging from Chimichurri Salmon Tacos and Burritos, and sustainable Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Tacos to a California Bowl made with wild Alaska Coho Salmon and a Chipotle Orange Salad with Wild Pacific Mahi Mahi.

I recently had the opportunity to try the New Wild Alaska Coho Salmon Burrito and absolutely loved it! You don’t want to miss trying this one and the Wild Alaska Coho Salmon Tacos! I plan to try the Tacos soon!

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We have teamed up with Rubio’s® Restaurants for a Giveaway!

Two winners will win a Reusable Tote Bag! To enter, leave a comment below with a tip on how to take care of our Ocean! Deadline to enter is June 9th, 2016 at noon PST. Two winners will randomly  be selected via Random.org. U.S. Residents only please.

For more information about Rubio’s commitment to the ocean or its coastal cuisine, please visit https://www.rubios.com. Guests can also join the conversation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RubioTweets, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/rubios.

About Rubio’s® Restaurants:

Rubio’s first opened in 1983, in the San Diego neighborhood of Mission Bay. Today, counting the ocean as a source of inspiration, Rubio’suses sustainable seafood in nearly all of its seafood dishes, and continues to expand its menu with innovative recipes ranging from seafood tacos and burritos to California Bowls and crisp, fresh salads. In addition, Rubio’s offers grilled marinated chicken and steak, “no fried” pinto beans, handmade guacamole, a variety of proprietary salsas, and craft beer and sangria beverage options. The award-winning restaurant regularly receives accolades for its famous Original Fish Taco®. It was also recently ranked as one of Fast Casual’s ‘Top 50 Movers and Shakers’ as well as one of its ‘Top Five Most Loved Fast Casual Chains’. Rubio’s participates in a variety of community partnership efforts throughout the year including its annual CoastFest celebration and beach cleanup. Rubio’s is headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., has over 4,000 employees and currently operates nearly 200 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. For more information, visit https://www.rubios.com.

Self Disclosure: I received free coupons to try the new Entrees at Rubio’s® Restaurants and visited the one in Long Beach.