Around the Region


TRAVEL AS LEWIS AND CLARK: The Traveleers' Travel Club will set out on July 13, down the Columbia and Snake rivers for an eight-day cruise that includes airfare to Portland, Ore., taxes, transfers to airport, meals and tours while in port. Fare is $3,155 per person. Call Ann at 529-5896.

FOR CIVIL WAR BUFFS: The Stanislaus Civil War Association will hold its monthly meeting today at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall behind St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Oakdale Road and Briggsmore Avenue. There will be a concert of period music by Tina Louise Barr and her husband, John Gwinner.

COLLEGE RECRUITMENT: The fourth annual Historically Black College and Hispanic-Serving Institution Recruitment Fair will be held today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Davis High School, 1200 W. Rumble Road. The event will be sponsored by the United College Action Network, Modesto City Schools, the Stanislaus County Office of Education, the Hispanic Leadership Council and the King-Kennedy Memorial Center board of directors. Representatives from more than 25 of the country's leading historically black colleges and Latino-serving universities will be recruiting college-bound students on-site during the fair. Interested high school and college students will have the opportunity to receive preliminary on-the-spot admissions, scholarships, financial aid information and face-to-face exposure to people from those universities. The event will be free and open to all students and their parents. Students who wish to apply and qualify for on-the-spot admissions and scholarships must bring an official transcript and a copy of their ACT or SAT test scores, if taken. They will need one set of documents for each college application they plan to complete. For more information, contact John Ervin at 576-4178, or Alan H. Rowe at 916-921-8226 or ucangotocollege@comcast.net.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH LUNCHEON: The American Association of Women in Community Colleges' Black History luncheon, themed "Remembering the Differences Made," will be held Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Modesto Junior College West Campus. Call Geri Wend at 575-6277 to purchase tickets and reserve your table.

ACTIVITY DIRECTOR TRAINING: Miller's Place, a program of the Doctors Medical Center Foundation, is offering an activity director training course for people interested in becoming a state-certified activity director. This is the only certified activity director's training course in the Central Valley. Classes meet weekly on Thursdays, starting this week through May 22, from 6 to 9 p.m., and attendance is mandatory at all sessions. Some clinical hours will be assigned. Course cost is $300 per student and is held at DMC Foundation, Miller's Place, 730 McHenry Ave. Registration will continue through Thursday. Space is reserved with payment. For more information and to register, call 521-0507.

SWIM LESSON SIGN-UPS: The Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department is accepting registrations for spring swim lessons. Levels 1 and 2, and private and semiprivate classes, along with classes for adults and children together are available. Swim lessons begin Feb. 13 and continue through March 20. Classes are Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Susan Burris Indoor Pool, 1325 Sonoma Ave., at Sonoma Elementary School. For more information, look at the winter-spring activity guide at www.modestogov.com/prnd/activityguide or call 577-5344. Register at the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department office at 1010 10th St., Suite 4400, or at www.modestogov.com/econnect.


CENTRAL VALLEY GROWTH TOPIC OF MEETING: The Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon branch of the American Association of University Women has invited Carol Whiteside to speak on "Growth in the Central Valley." Whiteside is a former Modesto mayor and is the founder of the Great Valley Center. The dinner and talk will be held Thursday at the Garlic House Restaurant, 1505 W. F St. The AAUW promotes equity for women and girls, lifelong education and positive societal change. To purchase tickets for the dinner or for information about membership, call Judy at 847-4439.

TABLE SETTING LUNCHEON: The Oakdale Community Garden Club will hold its annual Table Setting Luncheon on Feb. 12 at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave. Doors will open at 11 a.m. for table viewing with lunch served at 12:15 p.m. The lunch menu will feature apricot-pineapple glazed pork loin, catered by Medlen's House of Beef. If you would like to participate and receive a free lunch by setting a table, call President Pauline Ward at 848-2835 or Vice President Barbara Borland at 847-6651. For reservations, send a check payable to OCGC for $30 per person or $240 for a table of eight to OCGC, P.O. Box 975, Oakdale 95361.


ROMANTIC STROLL: Discover the romance of a changing downtown Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Merchants will host the Sweetheart Stroll and serve a variety of drinks and other goodies. There will be a drawing for those who have their cards validated by each participating business. The winner will receive a basket full of Valentine treats.

Stanislaus County

POET LAUREATE CONTEST: The 2008 Poet Laureate Competition, sponsored by the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department and the Culture Commission, is under way for residents of Stanislaus County. In 1993, the Culture Commission and the Modesto City Council established this nonsalaried honorary position for the purpose of presenting original poems at various official occasions. Those nominated should have reputations within the community as creators and lovers of poetry, possess some public speaking abilities and be published authors. The normal term of office is two years starting July 1, although a poet may serve as many as four consecutive years if approved by the Culture Commission and City Council. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 28 and must include three original poems. The poet laureate will be selected by the City Council at its June 24 meeting. Copies of the contest application-nomination form and policy are available at www.modestogov.com/prnd, or at any of these locations:

Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department, 1010 10th St., Suite 4400

King-Kennedy Memorial Center, 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive

McHenry Museum, 14th and I streets

McHenry Mansion, 15th and I streets

Stanislaus County Library, 1500 I St.

Entries must be mailed or delivered to Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department, P.O. Box 642, Modesto 95353, or the McHenry Museum, Tuesdays through Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.

Send Region items to Region, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; call 578-2330; fax 578-2207; or e-mail region@modbee.com.