MARS, VENUS & FOLSOM – John Gray, the author of the hugely popular book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” will be in Folsom on Dec. 13. Linda Moeller, of Core Links Jewelry and Completely Fit 4 Life, tells me Gray will be at the Folsom Wellness Center at 990 Riley Street from 2 to 4 p.m. There is limited seating. Gray will be discussing a variety of topics including nutrition, stress and the physiological differences between men and women. Those attending will also receive a copy of Gray’s latest book. For more info, call Linda at 747-0806 or visit corelinksjewelry.com/drgray.htm. … * * * ARTISTIC LICENSE – Luke Hawkins, a 24-year-old Folsom native, has secured one of six male roles in the newest Cirque do Soleil tentatively titled “New York 2010.” He spent three days auditioning, one of those in The Big Apple and the other two in Montreal where the show is headquartered. He’s slated to be one of the lead dancers in the show opening next year on Broadway. While he’s been home visiting his mother, Deidre Hawkins of Hawkins School of Performing Arts in Folsom, he has agreed to perform in the local production “The Rhythms of Christmas – A City Celebration” running Dec. 5-7 at Whitney High School in Rocklin. If you’d like to catch the show, put on by the nonprofit group Sound Out Tap Company based in Folsom, tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for children. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit www.stages-performingarts.org. … * * * CHRISTMAS BASKET TIME – The Folsom Police Department and the Twin Lakes Food Bank are joining forces once again to collect food and toys for families in need. Last year, more than 550 families received baskets. Organizers say that with the increasing number of families requesting baskets, the help of local businesses, community organizations, schools, and residents are needed now more than ever. Non-perishable foods and/or new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Folsom Police Department. To adopt a local family, call the Twin Lakes Food Bank at 985-6232. To make a monetary donation, send your check to the “Christmas Basket,” c/o Folsom Police Department, 46 Natoma St., Folsom, CA 95630. Residents needing a food and/or toy basket will have an opportunity to apply at the Police Department and at Twin Lakes Food Bank beginning Dec. 1. Donation will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 19. Baskets will be distributed on Dec. 22. For more information, call 492-8607. … * * * READER MAIL BAG – A reader, who asked to remain anonymous, writes: “Has anyone from The Telegraph questioned the city as to why they are spending millions of dollars to remove the landfill at the corporation yard when we are in an $8 million deficit? Why is this project a priority right now? Couldn’t they save jobs and then worry about a landfill that has been there for over a decade already?” Thanks for your letter. I could ask but I already know the answer. Covering cities for almost two decades, they will tell me the funds for employee salaries and projects such as the one you mentioned come from different pots of money. One is labeled “general fund” while the other is a “capital improvement project” pot and never the two shall meet (or mix and mingle). Municipalities can only spend capital project funds on what they are designated for and cannot use them to balance budgets. All cities are going through this in the current economic environment. Ah, government. … Bruce Cline is not pleased with our choice of photograph for the front page of last week’s Telegraph. He writes, “I’m very disappointed in the Telegraph’s selection of the photo of the young Bulldog player after the Napa game that the Telegraph chose to run on the front. I am glad that was not my son, but I would urge you to think through the pictures you choose to run. I generally am very happy to see the pictures of our young athletes, but in this case I am sure that young man was not happy to see his picture on the front page of the newspaper. Both my wife and I had the same reaction. I am sure the Telegraph could have chosen a different picture to capture the disappointment that the team naturally felt at the end of the tough game. Thanks for thinking about this in the future and the impact you might have on someone in this situation.” We carefully consider every photograph, Bruce. If you felt a gut reaction to that emotional photograph, then the photographer did his job. … * * * TELEGRAPH HAPPENINGS – Check out Philip Wood’s “Inside the Telegraph” blog this week. He explains how he shoots the photographs we publish each week. On Sunday, check back on the Web site for my turn at the typewriter. … * * * ODDS AND ENDS – While sitting at the counter at Sutter Street Grill the day before Thanksgiving, I met longtime Folsom resident Gary Beermann. The economy was top of the list of chit chat between bites. Gary surmised folks are tightening their belts and clinging to their wallets, making it tough all around, including the city since they rely on sales tax revenue. Nice to meet you, Gary. … Don Chaddock is the editor of The Telegraph and his column publishes weekly. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.