Local Women Receive Grants from Loomis Soroptimist Club

By Soroptimist of Loomis Basin  |  2018-03-05

Teachers will use SI Loomis Grants for special classroom projects (L-R back row): Cynthia Buhler (wearing striped poncho), Tracey Curry, Katie Branzuela, Kelsie Dales, Hailey Crosta, Kathleen Bales, Carrie Marovich; (L-R front row): Jennifer Wood, Patty Sleizer, Claudia Diele, Susan Czapkay, Debra Brayfindley, Christy Aday. Photo courtesy Karen Fraser-Middleton

LOOMIS, CA (MPG) -The Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) recognized women and girls who are making a difference in the community through education and community service on February 28. The club provided nearly $10,000 in scholarships, teacher grants and support for the Senior L.I.F.E center.

Carol Braun, co-founder of the Cowpoke Fall Gathering in Loomis and Cowpoke Foundation was honored with the Ruby Award for Women Helping Women. The Soroptimist International award recognizes those who improve the lives of other women or girls through their professional or personal activities. Under Carol’s leadership, the Cowpoke Foundation preserves and promotes American cowboy heritage through poetry, music and storytelling; sponsors an educational program at local schools; and donates funds to organizations that benefit our community. For over 23 years, Carol has volunteered her time, given back to the community and been an inspiration to others.

Soroptimist International (SI) clubs have given the Live Your Dream Award and over $30 million to tens of thousands of women who have overcome poverty, divorce, domestic violence and other life challenges through education. The SI Loomis Basin club selected Ellen Robinson to receive this year’s $3000 award. Robinson has demonstrated great courage and determination to overcome many obstacles and pursue higher education to provide a better future for her family. She is currently enrolled at Sierra College pursuing an AS degree in Natural Sciences with plans to become a dental hygienist.

The Loomis Soroptimist Community Service Award recognized Katherine Hanson who has assumed several leadership roles in the Del Oro High School Women’s Athletic Club. She has been a powerful role model for younger girls, produced the club’s video that promotes women’s strength and unity, and organized the College Awareness for Rape Education program. Hansen indicated that she is excited to be contributing to girls’ success by getting them to believe in themselves.

SILB helped establish the Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis in 1978 and has continued to support this program that provides social and educational activities as well as nutritious lunches for seniors. Acsa and Fred Hitchen accepted the grant from SILB to continue to provide beneficial programs at the center.

The Loomis Soroptimist Teacher Grants are a signature program of the club developed to help instructors fund projects that will have lasting impact on students.

Tracey Curry, Ophir Elementary School first grade teacher, will use her grant for a hands-on educational system that fosters creativity and teaches problem solving skills through playing math, English and coding games.

Patty Sleizer and Jennifer Wood, both Kindergarten teachers at H. Clark Powers, received grants to purchase community helper dramatic play costumes and masks to learn social studies and language arts through play-based inquiry, role playing and storytelling.

Claudia Diele and Susan Czapkay, both 3rd grade teachers at H. Clark Powers, will purchase flexible seating to make it easier to instruct small groups of students.

Bria Johnson, H. Clark Powers first grade teacher, envisions using a multi-colored carpet with individual squares to make it easier to arrange students to sit in a specific order, enable student partners to work together and help students who struggle with staying within their own space.

Hailey Crosta, Transitional Kindergarten teacher at H. Clark Powers, will use the funds to supplement science materials, teaching the children about nutrition, magnets, seasons, weather, plants and the five senses using hands-on manipulatives.

Kelsie Dales, Placer Elementary, Transitional Kindergarten teacher, intends to use her grant to purchase headphones that can be used with iPads for daily math and language arts activities.

Christy Aday, Newcastle Elementary Charter, will use the grant to replace music stands that are over 30 years old for the band program that serves Kindergarten through 8th grade students.

Debra Brayfindley, Newcastle Elementary Resource Teacher, plans to use the funding to purchase a literacy intervention tool that will help struggling students learn to read.

Kathleen Bales, Newcastle Elementary Charter School 4th grade teacher, will use the grant to introduce robotics to fourth through six grade students by teaching them to program with Arduino and Scratch.

Carrie Marovich, Loomis Grammar School 8th grade teacher, will purchase headphones so students can listen to language arts reading selections on their Chromebooks, increasing comprehension and reading enjoyment.

Cynthia Buhler, 4th Grade teacher, Penryn Elementary School, will use her award to select flexible seating such as bean bags, standing tables and low tables with cushions that will give students more choice in what kind of learning space works best for them.

Katie Branzuela, K-8 music teacher for both Franklin and Loomis Basin Charter School, is seeking a grant for headphones for middle school students to create a mash up of songs that represent who they are in music appreciation. Additionally, band students can use them to record and submit play tests.

About Soroptimist International Loomis Basin

Soroptimist (soroptimist.org) is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin is a 501(c)(3) organization.

To learn more about the club, join SI Loomis Basin for weekly club meetings at the Train Depot at Taylor Rd. and Horseshoe Bar Rd. in Loomis. Visitors are welcome to attend club meetings on the first and third Wednesday at 5:30 PM. Learn more at www.soroptimistloomis.com and find Soroptimist Loomis Basin on Facebook. Also plan to attend the Soroptimist Tostada Bingo on April 21; tickets available at the Loomis Chamber of Commerce.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - A two-year criminal investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Valley Division Investigative Services Unit, culminated yesterday in the arrests of five employees from Sacramento County-based Davis Tow Incorporated (Davis Tow), which included the owners. 

The investigation revealed Davis Tow developed business practices that involved the illegal towing of vehicles from commercial properties in the area of Sleep Train Arena in order to profit from the towing and impound fees. 

Davis Tow routinely failed to properly report private property tows resulting in increased storage fees and often the lien sale of the vehicles at a profit to Davis Tow.  Each of the individuals listed below were arrested and charged with 29 counts of auto theft (10851(a) V.C.) and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime (182(a)(1) P.C.).  Bail for each person has been set at $1,000,000. 


Scott Gordon Davis, 54 – Placerville                                                        

Christopher Gerald Davis, 46 – Antelope                                                                

Leslie James McKenzie, 50 – Chico                                                            


Andrew Robert Harless, 30 – Homewood

Erik Steven Dyer, 37 – Elverta                      

The investigation thus far has identified more than 250 victims resulting in approximately $100,000 in damages.  If you feel that you have been a victim of an unlawfully towed vehicle by Davis Tow, please go to http://www.chp.ca.gov/davis-tow-investigation, where you can complete an incident report or call the California Highway Patrol at (916) 731-6431.


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Wildlife Care Association's Bloom Boom Flower Power Planting Event Has Been Rained Out

By Rick Reed  |  2018-03-15

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Wildlife Care Association Bloom Boom Flower Power planting event set for Saturday March 17th has been rained out. Standing water, muddy soil and more rain forecast will make tilling and planting impossible.

The event is now rescheduled for Saturday, April 14th 12pm – 4 pm at Wildlife Care Association, 5211 Patrol Road, McClellan Park.

Wildlife Care Association of Sacramento is engaging ‘flower power’ to brighten the non-profit’s rehabilitation facility at McClellan Park. The state’s second largest volunteer wildlife rehab group is transforming the old USAF Radar dome it now calls home with the bright faces of sunflowers!

Volunteers are needed to help plant a sunflower garden with assistance from Woodland’s Dr. Tom Heaton, creator of fabulous hybrid sunflower seeds. His company Sunflower Selections will provide seed for their newest creation in White Sunflower hybrids and Yellow varieties to provide seeds for wildlife. Led by Sacramento’s own garden star, Plant Lady Marlene Simon and volunteer’s will create a sunflower line garden in a day!

The event is now set for Saturday April 14th and volunteers are needed to help create a burst of color with flower power. Volunteer@wildlifeassociation.com to take part in the Bloom Boom event this April.

If you find wildlife in distress call 916-965-WILD for help.

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SACRAMENT REGION, CA (MPG) - WHAT: As Toys “R” Us announces the closure of 800 U.S. stores affecting as many as 33,000 jobs, Thunder Valley Casino Resort seeks to immediately hire qualified Toys “R” Us employees at a Job Fair on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We have immediate openings for qualified candidates, with opportunities to advance,” said Debi Fetzner, Vice President of Human Resources. “Thunder Valley is one of the area’s premier places to work, with great benefits and supportive team environment. We look forward to meeting anyone interested in learning more about a career in the hospitality industry.”

Benefits for full-time employees include medical, dental, vision, and vacation. All Thunder Valley employees enjoy free parking, one free meal per shift, 401k matching funds, leadership development training, opportunity to advance, free health and wellness counseling, reward incentives, and discounts at Thunder Valley including 30% off at the Spa and Gift Shop, 10% off at restaurants and discounts for select concerts.

Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and successfully pass a drug and background check in order to work at Thunder Valley. To work in positions on the casino floor, candidates must be 21 years of age.

All candidates must be able to work weekends and holidays. Please apply online at www.thundervalleyresort.com/careers before attending the job fair.

WHEN:          Saturday, March 17    

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

WHERE:       Thunder Valley Casino Resort    

Employment Center

1200 Athens Avenue

Lincoln, CA 95648



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Annual Roseville Gem Show Rocks On for 2018

By MPG Staff  |  2018-03-15

Featured (above) a budding “rockhound” under supervision as she delicately sorts through a tray of semi -precious stones during the Gem Hunt event during the Gem Show. Photo courtesy Roseville Rock Rollers.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Roseville Rock Rollers 56th Annual Gem, Jewelry, Fossil, and Mineral Show will take place at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville March 24-25. Hosted by the Roseville Rock Rollers, also known as the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society, this year’s show features gemstones, jewelry, fossils and minerals and has something for the whole family.

The group was established in 1960 as a group of local “rockhounds,” according to show chair James Hutchings. That group, deeply interested in the science and art of the earths' natural beauty in rocks and minerals, first met in homes and then as their numbers grew, expanded to the use of a local school room.

This year’s show has dozens of exhibits for attendees, such as jewelry, metal, wire and glass beading arts, fossils, crystals and minerals, but that’s not all. So that attendees aren’t rushed, the show also provides a cafeteria. “A very fine hot lunch is available at our own kitchen in Johnson Hall,” states Hutchings. The group has put together a menu of very reasonably priced food and beverages will also be available at the show’s cafeteria.

In addition to exhibits, classes and demonstrations, show goers can pan for gold, purchase equipment, buy raffle tickets, have rocks, gems and mineral identified by experts or make purchases at a silent auction.

Wishing to share the art and science of the mineral world, in the tradition of gem and mineral shows around the world, the Roseville Rock Rollers established their own gem and mineral show around 1962. The society grew, the show grew, and the show and the Society moved to the Placer County Fairgrounds where it continues today.

“As the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society has expanded, the show expanded to support the costs associated with its programs, such as the Rookie Rock Rollers, juniors program, the Annual Scholarship program to Geology Students at Sacramento State Geology Department, and our year round Lapidary shop on the fairgrounds,” said Hutchings. “The lapidary shop on the Fair Grounds is the heart and soul of our Society, where we teach lapidary arts, jewelry fabrication, conduct mineral identification and mini tail gate rock sales.”

Hutchings developed his love for “rockhounding” at an early age. “Personally, I as most young people, was fascinated with rocks minerals and crystals. My parents encouraged me with my first Golden Book of Rocks and Minerals, a book still in current print, and my first rock pick.”

At the age of 38, he became seriously interested in rockhounding and gold mining, attending a mineral identification course at Sierra College, next pursuing an in depth understanding the chemistry and physics that form “these miracles in the earth.” He has put that knowledge to good use today providing what he refers to as a “mini lab” during the show to test rocks, minerals, and gems to provide guest an idea of materials they have in their possession.

While the Rock Rollers must generate funds to keep their programs operating, the primary purpose of any Gem and Mineral Show is to promote the Art and Science of the mineral world, according to Hutchings.

Like many of the group members, an early exposure to rockhounding and lapidary arts often provides a genesis of interest that often blossoms later in life, Hutchings said. “We really work hard, to attract the parents who want to expose their children to the natural world and foster that spark.”

There are presentations and activities for youngsters on identifying and handling specimens of all kinds. Students and Scouts can reinforce their California Rock Cycle curriculum and merit badge information. Scouts can have their mineral finds evaluated for rock type or mineral and validated for their required collection.

Hutchings suggests visitors come early and plan on spending the day at the show. “We take over the entire fairgrounds with exhibits, demonstrators, and vendors.” 

Not to be missed are real treasures the group will have on display. “Folks tend to walk by the display cases,” he said. “These simple, well lighted boxes contain the best of the best of personal collections of minerals in variety or by theme. The displays are, ‘literally’ miniature museums showcasing specimens in the possession of individuals who have spent a lifetime collecting the best of the best of their favorite species of rock or mineral,” said Hutchings.

“We are looking for the general public who are looking for gem stones, set and unset, handmade, and fine art jewelry, and mineral specimens from every corner of the world! We find the single most striking comment from folks who, by accident, end up at our show is, “I had no idea such things existed in the world!’’

For more information, tickets and coupons, visit the group’s website at www.rockrollers.com

Contributed by James Hutchings, Roseville Rock Rollers Show Chair


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Trump: Gov. Brown Doing “Very Poor Job” Running State

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-14

President Donald Trump expressed his feelings towards Governor Jerry Brown during his California visit.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - President Donald Trump visited the great state of California to inspect border types near San Diego on Tuesday. He took time out of his visit to express his feelings regarding Governor Jerry Brown’s lack of control over the state.

“Governor Brown does a very poor job running California,” Trump said. “They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living.”

Trump’s long-awaited, highly anticipated visit to California did not come without a firestorm of adolescent tweets from state leaders in attempt to retaliate against the president’s claims.

Brown responded by tweeting, “Thanks for the shout-out, @realDonaldTrump. But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts”

#Facts or not, Trump still claims that political leaders in California are actually in favor of walls, saying, “The state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas, they don’t tell you that.”

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom responded with a tweet of his own: “California is not "begging" you for this wall. Your wall is a waste of money and is literally impossible to complete. It will look more like a piece of swiss cheese than an insurmountable barrier. It's nothing more than a 6th century solution to a 21st century problem.”

Despite all of the animosity, Trump’s visit to California lasted just one day. After spending time inspecting wall prototypes built to his specs, he later spoke at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar before traveling to a Beverly Hills fundraiser that was expected to raise $5 million for the Republican National Committee.

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Sacramento County Probation Officers Endorse Scott Jones for Sheriff 

Press Release  |  2018-03-14

Sheriff Scott Jones

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Today the Sacramento County Probation Association announced their unanimous endorsement of Scott Jones for Sheriff.  SCPA represents Sacramento County Probation Officers in the Youth Detention Facility, Adult & Juvenile Field Supervision, Community Corrections, and the Adult & Juvenile Court Services.

“Jones dedication and commitment to holding offenders accountable for their crimes, while at the same time enacting restorative justice for victims, is exactly what the citizens of Sacramento County need and deserve,” said SCPA President Greg Stuber.  “We strongly believe in his ability to make the Sacramento area a better place to live and look forward to working with him to achieve this outcome.”

Sacramento County Probation Officers joins the Sacramento Police Officers and Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ which announced endorsements earlier.

Under Jones’ leadership, crime in the unincorporated area has dropped over 20% - more than any jurisdiction in the region.  The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department has been rebuilt into a modern police force that has become among the most diverse and technologically advanced agencies in the region.  

Jones is running for a final term to complete several initiatives he launched, including implementing a new body-camera program to increase trust and accountability, expanding the youth outreach efforts he started, enhancing coordination between county and city law enforcement and other public safety agencies, and improving recruitment and leadership development for veterans, women and minority officers.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Did you know that household leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in the United States? That’s enough water to take 24 billion baths or fill up 40 million swimming pools!

That little drip from the kitchen faucet might not seem like much, but it can add up to a lot of water wasted. A faucet leaking just 10 drips per minute can waste up to 526 gallons of water a year. And a toilet that is constantly running can waste hundreds of gallons of water each day. In fact, the average American household loses 10,000 gallons a year to leaks – more than enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool.

So get ready to be a leak detective and discover the hidden leaks in your home. Here's what you need to do:

  • Examine your water bill for clues. If you see an unusual spike in your water usage from one month to next, it’s likely you have a leak.
  • Check all your faucets and showerheads for leaks and loose connections.
  • Look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks for pools of water and rusty pipes.
  • Patrol your yard and be on the look out for soggy spots.
  • Open toilet tank and check the water level it should be ½” to 1” below the over-fill tube. If it is higher, then adjust the float arm to lower the water level. If that is okay, add some drops of food coloring or a toilet dye tab to the tank of your toilet. If the colored water appears in the bowl within 15 minutes, you have a leak in the toilet flapper.
  • If you want some help in sleuthing out leaks, set up a Water Wise House Call. One of Sacramento Suburban Water District’s water conservation professionals will do a complete survey of your home and recommend other ways you can use water efficiently.

And if you are replacing old fixtures or decide to upgrade your toilet, washing machine or dishwasher, make sure to look for a WaterSense- labeled one. SSWD has rebates available to help pay for the cost of some of these upgrades.

SSWD’s Leak Detection Team

Each year, SSWD surveys 60 miles of our water system for leaks with the latest acoustic leak detection technology. These devices can “listen” for vibrations from large or small leaks by placing a microphone against a copper service line, fire hydrant or valve. Once the location of the leak is determined, our team gets to work replacing the line or repairing the break.

If you think you see a sign of a leak in your area, such as water bubbling up out of the street or sidewalk, please contact the SSWD administrative office at 916.972.7171 to let us know, and we’ll have a team out there right away to investigate.

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United Way Launches Read to Succeed Campaign

By Kate Towson  |  2018-03-09

Students from the Robla School District receive book donations from United Way. Photo courtesy United Way

Community Members Encouraged to Donate Books and Volunteer to Install Little Librarie

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In celebration of National Literacy Month, United Way is launching the Read to Succeed campaign which promotes literacy in students and families in the Sacramento community. During the month of March, community members are encouraged to participate in the campaign by donating books, volunteering and sponsoring the installation of eight Little Libraries that will be placed in four Sacramento school districts. The Read to Succeed campaign is part of United Way’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond.

 “We know that when children in our schools are reading at grade level, they are four times more likely to graduate from high school,” said Stephanie Bray, United Way California Capital Region president and CEO. “Read to Succeed focuses on literacy because it directly impacts a child’s ability to reach their full potential. When we are able to encourage children to begin reading from an early age, we are laying a foundation for a lifetime of success.”

Community members who are interested in supporting literacy can donate to the Read to Succeed Virtual Book Drive, sponsor a Little Library, or volunteer to install the libraries. For more information visit:  http://www.yourlocalunitedway.org/united-way-event/read-succeed.

“It’s never too early to help a child start reading,” Bray said. “And with the help of our community, we can truly make a difference in the lives of children.”

The Read to Succeed campaign is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college or career. To donate or volunteer: www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

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Attention Anglers! Hook a Trophy Trout at Rancho Seco

By SMUD  |  2018-03-09

SMUD’s Annual Trout Derby is March 17 and 18

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Thousands of pounds of trout are up for grabs at SMUD’s annual trout derby at Rancho Seco Recreational Area. Anglers reeling in the heaviest catches will win cash and prizes, including an adult and youth grand prize awarded each day for the heaviest trout caught.

Adult grand prizes: Aluminum boat, trailer and electric motor packages

Youth grand prizes: Fishing kayaks

Grand prizes are provided by Elk Grove Ram, Angler’s Press and The Fish Sniffer magazine. The fishing event has become a tradition for many and has attracted thousands of local participants since it began in 1993.


Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18,

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (rain or shine)


Rancho Seco Recreational Area

14960 Twin Cities Road

Herald, CA 95638

Background: Anglers can cast a line into the 160-acre lake from the shoreline or one of six fishing piers. Small boats with electric motors are also allowed (no gas motors). In addition to trout, the freshwater lake is home to bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, crappie and catfish. In preparation for the derby, Rancho Seco Lake was recently stocked with thousands of pounds of catchable trout.

Registration takes place on both days of the derby between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., rain or shine. Derby tickets are $5 per person plus a daily park fee available at the park gate. A valid California state fishing license is required for those 16 years of age or older. Anglers hoping to win a prize must weigh their fish at the official weigh station between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the catch. For complete rules, visitsmud.org/RanchoSeco.

The 400-acre Rancho Seco Recreational Area offers more than just fishing. The full-service facility offers picnic areas, RV and tent camping sites, a beach and swimming spots. Kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards and fishing boats are available to rent.

Rancho Seco Recreational Area is 25 miles south of Sacramento, approximately 15 minutes east of Highway 99 on Twin Cities Road. Admission to the park is $12 per car. For more information about the derby or camping, visit smud.org/RanchoSecoor call (209) 748-2318.

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