ON MUDDY POND – Folsom Lake (or should it be renamed “pond”?) has dropped to dangerously low levels and the city is looking to declare a stage three water alert, but they haven’t done it yet. Why? They need to work the kinks out of how to go about enforcing such a maneuver. Last year, the city council passed an emergency ordinance giving the city more enforcement powers for water conservation alerts. The problem? It was an “emergency” ordinance that expired 120 days after it was enacted in September 2008. On Tuesday night, well after the Telegraph is getting ink splashed on its pages, the city council will do a first reading to change the municipal code permanently. The “replacement” code will stiffen penalties for noncompliance during droughts and clearly define what can and can’t be done by homeowners and businesses during these times. I applaud the council for taking this step. The ongoing drought, coupled with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s penchant for releasing water to improve the health of the Delta for some fish, needs to be dealt with and since the council has control over neither of the other factors, they are doing what they can to preserve water for this summer. I also thought City Councilman Ernie Sheldon’s water conservation idea deserves consideration by homeowners. “Do we buy bottled water (instead of turning on the tap)?” he asked. “I don’t know. It’s going to be tough.” ... * * * NEW WORLD OF FUNDRAISING – With every nonprofit group hosting a flapjack breakfast or crab feed, one local group is trying something different. According to Gloryvette Lichtman, of the Folsom High PTSA, the group is forgoing their usual big party and silent auction for a slightly more modest affair. “Every year we’ve done the Bulldog Bash,” she tells me. “It’s the big annual there where all the money goes to the academics. This year, we’re taking the entire silent auction and running it through a professional company.” That’s right, she said “professional.” Dubbed eBash, the auction will work like e-Bay with the highest bidders taking home their items. Items on the Web site will also feature links back to the businesses who donated the items, she said. “It’s something we’re doing at a time when everybody needs this,” Lichtman said. “It helps promote Folsom businesses. Everything from Empire Ranch Golf to Stage Nine Theater to restaurants (are featured). I don’t think it’s ever been done in Folsom.” The auction will run through Feb. 25. You can access it at www.bulldogebash.cmarket.com, she said. For those itching to party, the Bulldog Bash will be held Feb. 27 at the Folsom Community Center, 52 Natoma St. The event will feature dinner, a live auction and dancing to local band Azuar. J.D. Maher, Fox40 meteorologist, will act as emcee for the evening’s festivities. ... * * * FILM BUFFS – Sue Ryan, Folsom’s public information officer, tells me there will be a free Folsom Bike Film Festival to kick off the local cycling season on Friday evening, Feb. 13. Cycling enthusiasts are invited meet with local bike organizations beginning at 5 p.m. at 48 Natoma Street. That will be followed by a screening of the feature film, “Breaking Away,” at 7 p.m. “We hope the film festival generates excitement about cycling and spreads the word about the opportunity to see some of the best cyclists in the world as they participate in the Amgen Bike Race in Sacramento on Feb. 14,” said Jim Konopka, Folsom’s Senior Trails Planner. “That race is the largest professional bike race in Northern California.” Organizers hope this is the first of an annual festival sponsored by the Folsom Area Bicycle Advocates in coordination with the city of Folsom. For more information, contact Jim at 351-3516 or e-mail email@example.com. … * * * COLLEGE NEWS – Scott Crow, with Folsom Lake College, tells me student Shauna McElroy has been selected to receive a $500 Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award from Soroptimist International of Folsom-Orangevale. A single mother of two who is attending Folsom Lake College to pursue a degree in business, Shauna is president of the college’s chapter of the international Phi Theta Kappa honor society. This is not Shauna’s first prestigious scholarship. In 2008, she was one of 80 women chosen from 600 applicants to receive a $2,000 Jeannette Rankin Foundation (JRF) scholarship making her the first-ever Folsom Lake College student to that scholarship. … * * * ODDS & ENDS – Annette DuPont, a 2006 Folsom High grad, is heading to Australia on Feb. 15 to study marketing and international business at Griffith University Gold Coast for a year. Annette was the captain of the 2006 girls soccer team and received the Marty Parachou women’s soccer scholarship when she graduated high school. She credits her soccer coach, Mark McBride, with helping her develop leadership skills and building her self confidence. At Chico State, she managed to get herself on the dean’s list (in a good way, of course) and was selected as the only student from that school to participate in the California State University International Program to represent them in the Land Down Under. Her mother, Monica, couldn’t be more proud. Congratulations, Annette. I’m sure you’ll do great. … Don Chaddock may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.