Ghost town to get a facelift in time for party

By: Don Chaddock
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PICK PIC — It seems Thelma Scott-Skillman, PhD, is quite a lady. So much, in fact, that Assemblyman Roger Niello (R-Fair Oaks) honored the president of Folsom Lake College as the 2009 Woman of the Year for the 5th Assembly District during a special ceremony at the State Capitol last week. “Thelma has significant vision, of the grandest nature,” Niello said. “Her dedication and intestinal fortitude was witnessed as the school broke ground last year on a performing arts center of a truly regional nature.”  Since 2001, she has served as the founding president of the college and saw the instution through its first accreditation process. “She is truly passionate about community, education, and the arts — in addition to being just an all-around wonderful woman. Thelma’s strength of character is unparalleled, and I’m proud to have selected her for this award,” Niello said. Thelma said she was “humbled and inspired” to receive the award. * * * TOP CHEF — I’m told that Folsom’s Bidwell Street Bistro Chef Wendi Mentink will head to Seattle to compete for the “Chef of the Year” title. She’s turning up the heat April 4-6 at the American Culinary Federation’s Western Regional Conference. This live cooking competition features three other chefs from California, Colorado and Utah. The winner will go on to represent the region in the national competition in Orlando, Fla., in July. In the February 2008 issue of Sacramento Magazine, Mentink was named one of the area’s top 20 chefs. She has worked at Bidwell Street Bistro since it opened in 2000. At the restaurant she has a seven-person staff, prepares seasonal menus and handles food costs, ordering and inventory for the $1-million-per-year in revenue establishment. Good luck, Wendi. We’re all rooting for you. * * * ARTISTIC LICENSE—Lori Anderson tells me that artists from Folsom and El Dorado Hills are hosting a “Paint Out” starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 28. They’ll be around Sutter Street and other spots around town. If you’d like to meet some of the artists, they will be available for a reception from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Procissi Wine Gallery at 627 Sutter Street in Folsom. Thanks for passing along the information, Lori. * * * GOOD NEWS FOR GARBEAU’S — Well, it looks like Garbeau’s Theater raised enough moolah to get themselves a seat at the negotiating table. Mark Ferreira, one of the theater’s owners, said they have a shot at least of talking to the landlords about lowering the rent during the economic downturn. We’ll see how it goes and keep you informed. * * * CLARKSVILLE CHATTER — Betty January says her group, the Clarksville Region Historical Society, will learn about the Lincoln Highway at their next gathering at 6:30 p.m. today (March 25) at the El Dorado Hills Library on Silva Valley Parkway. “The Lincoln Highway Association will give a presentation on the highway,” she said. “Clarksville has a very long stretch of the original Highway through the town and north of Highway 50 out to Bass Lake Road.” Admission is free, so truck on over to learn about the roadway. … Clarksville Day, slated for 10 a.m. on May 9, will take place at the historic town site near Highway 50 and White Rock Road. January took the Telegraph to the town a few months ago and the story on our Web site,, racked up more than 1,200 views. Our staff blogs and online photo galleries on the subject went even higher. If you’d like to help clean up the town in anticipation of its big bash, contact Betty at 933-3173. You’ll need to bring heavy gloves and wear tough trousers and sturdy shoes. Clarksville is a virtual ghost town boasting just one family still residing there. The event will have all sorts of family oriented things to do, according to organizers. To learn more about Clarksville Day, visit * * * STUDENT KUDOS — A Rolling Hills Middle School student has been accepted into the Eisenhower Foundation’s People to People World Leadership Forum. Nathan Somavarapu will join other students from around the world in Washington, D.C. from March 30 to April 4 to study leadership and exlore the nation’s capital. He was accepted based on outstanding scholastic achievement, civic involvement and “leadership potential,” according to his mother, Rupa. To lear more about the program, visit * * * GETTING OUT OF THE OFFICE — Assemblywoman Alyson Huber will hold a series of town hall meetings throughout the 10th Assembly District. She expects to not only introduce herself to her constituents, but also listen to what they have to say. She will also educate residents on what resources are available to them through her office. There will be a question and answer session at the end. The first of the meetings will be in Jackson at the Amador County Board of Supervisors chambers at 6:30 p.m. on April 1.   For more information, call her capital office at 319-2010 or the district office at (209) 333-5330. * * * AROUND TOWN — The Folsom History Museum celebrated the opening of their latest exhibit, “Celebrating Folsom’s Bridges,” Friday evening with wine, food and plenty of chit chat. Ray Helm and Lee Holifield, of Apple Hill, donated their Lincoln Highway marker to the museum. They were recognized by the Lincoln Highway Association at the event. The association’s Bob Dieterich presented them with a nice plaque. Later, at the Gallery at 48 Natoma, many of the same faces turned up for a reception honoring the opening of their new show. Don Chaddock may be reached at