Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun and the third largest by diameter, was discovered by Sir William Hershel on March 13, 1781. The planet is named after the ancient Greek deity of the heavens. Herschel made the discovery while systematically searching the sky with his telescope. It had actually been seen many times before but thought of as a star. Herschel named it “the Georgium Sidus” to honor his patron King George III of England. The mythological name came into common use in 1850.
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Pluto, the only major planet to be changed to a member of the Kuiper Belt, was also officially noted on March 13 but in 1930. Once considered the ninth planet and the one most distant from the sun, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. American astronomer Percival Lowell first mentioned the possibility of Pluto’s existence in 1905 but died before finding it. In 1930 Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory, used Lowell’s predictions to find Pluto. Venetia Burney, 11 of Oxford, England, suggested the name of the Roman god of the underworld to her grandfather and he passed it on to Lowell Observatory. The name also honors Percival Lowell, whose initials are the first two letters of Pluto.
Maybe the graduates from the Ponderosa High School senior class will make another big discovery because they had a chance to attend a safe graduation celebration. To help fund that party the Ponderosa High School Sober Grad Night committee is having a Dine Out at Kobe Surf and Turf in Burke Junction, 3300 Coach Lane in Cameron Park. Visit Kobe Surf and Turf on Wednesday, March 13 for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or for dinner between 5 and 9 p.m. and a portion of your purchase goes directly to supporting the Ponderosa High School Sober Grad Night. Top off dinner by joining in a little bit of salsa dancing. Salsa lessons are at 7:30 p.m. and then dancing from 8 to 10 p.m. Remember to tell your server you are there for the fundraiser on both dine in and take out orders. For more details about the sober grad night visit phsSoberGradNight.org.
Wednesday nights at the Brick Oven Pub, 2875 Ray Lawyer Drive in Placerville, are fun, too. Jonny Mojo is playing acoustic Americana music from 6 to 9 p.m. Count on hearing a variety of his own original tunes, blues, rock, bluegrass and, of course, some Grateful Dead tunes. The Brick Oven Pub has a super selection of brews on tap, wine and great food. For more information visit jonnymojo.com or call 530-622-7420.
Placerville Art on Parade is seeking artists to submit their designs for the painted banners that are displayed on the light poles on Main Street from June to October. Artists, designers, architects and art students (individually or as a group) are invited to submit designs for the Banners on Parade community art exhibit. Artist entries must be submitted by March 15 and will be evaluated by the Placerville Art on Parade Committee for selection. To submit a design download both the artist application and artist invitation forms from placerville-downtown.org or call 916-985-8996 for more information.
Holly’s Hill Vineyards, 3680 Leisure Lane in the Pleasant Valley area, is having a Viognier Celebration on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17. There will be three new wines for spring: 2012 Viognier, 2012 Grenache Rosé and 2011 Estate Mourvedre and a lovely menu of chicken pillared, grilled calamari on black rice and a beef rosemary burger. For tickets and more information visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-344-0227.
Oakstone Winery, 6470 Irish Acres Road in Fair Play, is having a 16th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the barrel room. There is a new “Wine Wheel of Fortune” to spin, some wines from 2010 through 2012 and new releases of the long-awaited Phoenix Rising Red, Lot No. 1, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2010 Zinfandel, and two new white wines — a 2012 Pinot Grigio and a 2012 Torrontes. There will be wonderful snacks to complement the wines. There is no charge and no reservations are needed to attend this big party. For more information call 530-620-5303.
Single Leaf Vineyards and Winery, 7480 Fairplay Road in Fair Play, is starting its 20th anniversary celebration with a “Sweet Emotions” weekend, March 16 and 17. Enjoy port, chocolate, nuts and cheese featuring a vertical tasting of Single Leaf’s port wines from 1992 – the first wine ever made at Single Leaf – through the 2011 vintage. Come celebrate “Livin’ on the Edge” since 1993. For more details call 530-620-3545.
It is the third Saturday of the month and that means Third Saturday Art Walk at the Main Street galleries and businesses in Placerville. Visit Main Street for art shows, late night shopping, demonstrations, refreshments, music and more from 5 to 9 p.m. The Wine Smith is having an artist reception for Joey Cattone during the art walk. Her art features many wine related subjects and is a perfect pairing for the Wine Smith. For more information on the March 16 reception contact The Wine Smith at 530-622-0516.
Hartwick House, 6237 Pleasant Valley Road in Historic El Dorado, is showcasing the beautiful handcrafted fine jewelry from vintage pieces and found objects by Leslie Fryer. Stop by on Sunday, March 17 from 2 to 6 p.m. to meet this gifted local artist. To learn more call 530-622-2840.
For a fun St. Patrick’s Day think about stopping by the Placerville Brewing Company, 155 Placerville Drive in Placerville, on Sunday, March 17. There will be wonderful hand-crafted beers and ales and some great corned beef and cabbage. At 5 p.m. the Celtic duo the Method will be presenting a blend of high energy Celtic, folk and acoustic rock. There is no cover charge.
Fenton Herriott Vineyards, 120 Jacquier Court in Placerville, is starting its Bocce Ball League on Friday. March 29. It is a fun with play from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Team members can bring food for the potluck and there is wine available for purchase. League play goes to May 24 with the top four teams playing in a single elimination play-off to determine the champions. The winning team will earn a case of Fenton Herriott wines. Cost is $60 per team. To play e-mail team information to email@example.com or call 530-642-2021.