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Acme celebrates 35 years on the stage

At first glance, the Birch Lane Elementary School campus seems deserted during the summertime.

Inside the small multipurpose room, however, a barefoot Camila Ortiz delivers a soliloquy to perhaps 20 high school and college students, occasionally calling for a line.

Ortiz will play Medea in Acme Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Argonautika,” which opens Friday at the Brunelle Performance Hall at Davis High School, 315 W. 14th St.

Cal Fire, allied agencies gain upper hand on fire

WINTERS — State and regional fire officials stopped short of a victory dance Saturday during a town hall meeting as firefighters from across the state gained the upper hand on a massive wildfire.

Instead, they took the opportunity to address a group made up primarily of people evacuated as a result of the Wragg fire to explain their progress and confidence that they are making good headway in battling the blaze.

Less algae key to keeping Tahoe blue

Lake Tahoe’s iconic blueness is most strongly related to algae, not clarity, according to research released today by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

In their report, “Tahoe: State of the Lake Report 2015,” researchers found the lower the algal concentration, the bluer the lake.

The report also includes updates related to clarity, climate change, drought and new research at Lake Tahoe.

The assumption that lake clarity is tied to blueness has driven …

Crews battle Wragg fire near Lake Berryessa

The Wragg fire near Lake Berryessa grew aggressively overnight, burning more than 6,000 acres and threatening 200 structures as hundreds of firefighters struggled to gain control of the blaze.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said while the cause of the fire remains under investigation, a vehicle accident in the area — Highway 128 near Wragg Canyon Road — may have been what started the incident shortly before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

It remained only 5-percent contained as of this morning …

Davisite makes it to the X-Alps raft, at last!

“This moment has been eight years and five X-Alps races in the making,” said Honza Rejmanek of Davis, as he neared the victory raft in the Mediterranean Sea near Monaco.

It was the end of two long weeks of paragliding and hiking 1,068 kilometers (663 miles) across the Alps from Salzburg, Austria, to the raft — the fifth time that Rejmanek has competed in the X-Alps race sponsored by RedBull.

He finished third in 2011 but did not make it to the raft.

An international paraglider pilot and an atmospheric scientist by day, Rejmanek stays in shape and trains constantly for the race, both to hone flying skills and improve walking skills …

Dan Wolk announces Assembly run; Dodd declares for Senate

Davis Mayor Dan Wolk is putting the band back together.

After Wolk’s unsuccessful bid for state Assembly in 2014 resulted in a third-place finish in the primary and ultimate victory for former Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd, Dodd’s announcement Monday morning that he would run for state Senate opened up his Assembly seat for other candidates, including Wolk.

Wolk declared his candidacy for Assembly on Monday afternoon, saying it was an “exciting and unexpected opportunity to make a difference …” for the district and the state. Assembly District 4 consists of Napa and Lake counties, most of Yolo County and portions of Sonoma, Solano and Colusa counties.

Tomato harvester changed an industry

When you think of California cuisine, do you imagine baby lettuces doused in olive oil, and carefully arranged on white plates?

If you’ve ever driven down the Highway 99 corridor, which cuts through California’s Central Valley, you might have a different sense of the state’s contributions to global food culture.

Driving 99 any hour of the day or night, from July through September …

The bicycle and the ride to modern America

On May 10, 1884, midway through his 48th year, Samuel L. Clemens reluctantly “confessed to age” by wearing glasses for the first time. That same day, the celebrated writer better known as Mark Twain sought to reclaim his youth by mounting a bicycle for the first time.

Only one of these first tries succeeded. “The spectacles,” Twain later recalled, “stayed on.”

Bodily contusions notwithstanding, Twain promoted the new sport of cycling with characteristic rhubarb tartness …

Public health hero keeps students well

The war between health authorities and dangerous infectious disease extends far beyond the developing world. In fact, battles are waged rather close to home — on college campuses. There, close quarters in dorms, unprotected sex and a number of other conditions facilitate the spread of bacteria and viruses.

Dr. Tom Ferguson and his team at the UC Davis Student Health and Wellness Center have found themselves on the front lines, confronting tuberculosis, measles and a host of other maladies.

Donors can help raptors get new enclosures

The California Raptor Center at UC Davis is updating two cages that have housed non-releasable golden eagles and other smaller raptors for the past 25 years. The center is raising $35,000 to make these long-overdue improvements.

The CRC, which has been a sanctuary for rescued and rehabilitated raptors since 1972, receives administrative support from the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine. But donations are necessary to help fund rehabilitation and facilities maintenance.

All of the cages are old (some more than 25 years old), with the exception of the …

High schoolers bring Quiz Bowl to younger kids

Sitting in a classroom answering questions. Recalling obscure facts about literature, philosophy and science. Studying hard.

Sounds like a typical day of high school, right?

Actually, it’s the routine of Davis High School’s Quiz Bowl team at one of its many practices. Throughout the school year, devoted club members study up on a variety of academic subjects and meet at lunchtime to read packets of questions and buzz in with their answers.

Berryessa Snow Mountain gets federal protection

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mammoth bones, prehistoric rock carvings and more than a million acres of wilderness will be protected as part of three new national monuments that President Barack Obama is creating in California, Nevada and Texas.

The presidential move, announced by the White House early Friday, brings to 19 the number of monuments that Obama has created or expanded since taking office. Environmental advocates hailed the new monuments as bringing sorely needed protection to natural American treasures, even as Republicans in Congress were pursuing legislation to stop the president.

Tourists and nature lovers in California will see more …

Mediation offers alternative way

Imagine a world where disputes between neighbors over the construction of a fence, a barking dog or a parking space are resolved during a simple conversation on the front porch.

Where divorced parents work out minor changes to a custody plan between themselves, without having to call the lawyers.

Or even where disagreements between landlords and tenants don’t end up in small claims court.

Sidewalk Sale goes along with ArtAbout

Locals can get into the summer groove with hot sales, great art and live music at the Second Friday ArtAbout and Downtown Summer Sidewalk Sale.

The three-day, outdoor sale, which starts Friday, features 32 sizzling block of bargains, piggybacking on the monthly artwalk sponsored by Davis Downtown.

This month’s ArtAbout will feature 24 galleries and businesses that will host a variety of pop-up art shows, artist’s receptions, live music and performances. E Street Plaza will be loud and rockin’ with live music by RockBand University’s Summer Rock Band Camp youth bands.

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