NorCal Rapist Arrested

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-09-21

Suspected NorCal rapist Roy Charles Waller, 58, was arrested in Berkeley this week.

Answer in DNA

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It was an eerie, familiar feeling as Sacramento District Attorney stood alongside state law enforcement agents and in front of media members, announcing the arrest of yet another notorious California serial rapist.

58-year-old Roy Charles Waller of Benicia was linked through DNA to the heinous NorCal Rapist crimes committed on at least 12 victims that date back beginning 27 years ago and took place across six counties.

“The answer has always been in the DNA,” said Schubert, coincidentally in the midst of National Forensic Science Week. She explained the partnership of tireless science and police work that led to a breakthrough over the past 10 days, eventually leading to the arrest.

“Today we can bring some closure to the victim in Contra Costa County who was attacked on Halloween in 1996,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.

Waller was arrested in Berkeley near the U.C. Berkeley campus. He has been a U.C. Berkeley employee for the past 25 years. The Sacramento Police Department and the Berkeley Police Department made the arrest.

The suspect has been charged with 12 counts of force-able sexual assault, plus enhancements. There are also allegations that he used a gun. He’s been awarded no bail and his arraignment is set for Monday in Sacramento.


“Teacher Night” a First at Aerospace Museum

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-10-05

From preschool to high school, teachers inside and outside of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields came together to learn what the museum has to offer their students and discover new ways to integrate STEM learning in the classroom.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - After a full day of teaching school, instructors came from as far away as El Dorado Hills to attend the Aerospace Museum of California’s first Teacher Night on September 27. From preschool to high school, teachers inside and outside of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields came together to learn what the museum has to offer their students and discover new ways to integrate STEM learning in the classroom. Refreshments and a sneak peek at the museum’s new exhibit, “Our Solar System: an interactive journey,” including a teacher’s exhibit guide, were part of the evening’s curriculum.

The museum is located on McClellan Air Force base where it began in 1986 as McClellan Aviation Museum. Director Tom Jones, who has held the position since March, says that the museum is committed to STEM education for students of all ages and to becoming the best on the West Coast. As a Smithsonian Air and Space Museum affiliate, exhibits like the 2018 “Art of the Airport Tower” and 2017 “DaVinci Inventions” can be brought to Sacramento.

On the main floor, nestled between airplanes, an SR71 jet propulsion engine, and a history of space exploration, were activities for children of all ages, and the teachers took full advantage by seeing how parachutes function or engineering with marbles. Others learned why the moon turns blue and viewed photos of nebulae on one of the many monitors that will accompany the exhibit. Each visitor was treated to a docent led tour of the museum and its grounds.

Upstairs, at the far end, tucked in a hallway, teachers made their way to the Flyers Flight Zone to experience simulated flying on one of the six high-end gaming machines. Museum volunteers, led by Flyers Flight Zone Director Warren Searls, educated the educators and allowed each some hands-on flight time.

“There is a huge shortage of pilots worldwide,” Searls said, adding that the Flight Zone is a way to interest fifth through twelfth grade students in flight and perhaps becoming pilots. In 2017, 10,000 students visited the Flight Zone, and many from Title 1 schools received scholarships for the flight simulations. He wants teachers to encourage students to remain in school and consider taking those STEM classes.

Miss Naomi Endsley, from Orangevale’s Almondale Academy, was one of the first teachers to try the simulator.

“I didn’t crash,” she said, a sentiment echoed by other teachers who took turns at flying to New Zealand, Switzerland, and San Francisco.

Endlsey teaches second and third grades and said that she definitely picked up new ideas for her students. Like many others that evening, she had never been to the museum. She said that she’ll bring her students and let them have the chance to see a piece of history and what technology really is. She engaged in conversation with Karen Jones, the museum’s development director and Tom Jones, museum director, about what technology holds in store for the future.

Twin Rivers Unified School District teachers agreed that they would definitely bring their students, one of several school districts the museum currently facilitates STEM, history, and art learning opportunities with. San Juan Unified School District, UC Davis, Sacramento State University, American River College, University of the Pacific, and charter schools are others.

Director Jones said that the museum has a formal mentorship program with the UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  Sacramento State undergraduate history students are conducting research on the museum’s airplanes and will create videos that may be accessed with QR codes to enhance the static exhibits. At least one Sacramento State graduate student is working on his master’s thesis by building an upcoming exhibit about Bob Hoover who, among other things, was a revolutionary in aerobatic flying. Sacramento City College owns the Fed Ex jet parked in the outside exhibition area and uses it as its classroom.

Even the youngest students can benefit from STEM learning as Kimberly Dillon, preschool teacher at Discovery Learning Center in Fair Oaks, said. She has brought her students to the museum for several trips and said that they really enjoy climbing the planes. Her guest that evening was her son, Anthony.

“Very cool for kids,” was the phrase most often heard from teachers.

For additional information, visit www.aerospaceca.org. If you go: 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan, CA.


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Staffing Placer County’s polling sites each election takes more than 1,300 poll workers, and the county Elections Office is now accepting applications for all positions for the Nov. 6 general election. It’s a great chance to give back to the community and be a part of the excitement of our democratic process. This year’s volunteer stipend includes a pay increase of up to $40.

“Poll workers are essential to ensuring that elections are a success, while serving our community,” said Ryan Ronco, Placer County clerk-recorder-registrar of voters. “Poll workers get a unique front row seat to see our American electoral process in action.”

Poll workers must be at least 18 years old (unless participating in the student poll worker program), be registered to vote in California or a permanent legal resident of the United States, provide their own transportation and be able to work from 6 a.m. to around 9 p.m. on the day of the election.

Poll worker duties include opening and closing polling sites, verifying voter names on election rosters and issuing and collecting ballots. Pay ranges from $100 to $135. Volunteers earn an additional $25 for attending poll worker training, required for certain positions.

Volunteering can be a great fundraising opportunity for service clubs or community organizations. Staffing an entire precinct can earn a group up to $900.

For more information or to apply online, visit the Placer County elections website or call the Elections Office at 530-886-5650 or 1-800-824-8683.


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Superheroes Descend Upon Sacramento

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2018-09-28

Wonder Woman poses with three-year-olds Roxy (left) and Isla (right).

DC Wonder Woman Run Series Brings Out the Hero in Everyone

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento was overrun by superheroes on Saturday, September 22 when the DC Wonder Woman Run Series hosted its inaugural event with a 5K and 10K run through Capitol Mall. Sacramento was the first city in the United States to participate in this race.

The event was produced by SON Events in conjunction with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Sarah Ratzlaff, director of marketing for SON Events, said, “The race has a strong overall theme of women’s empowerment. Wonder Woman embodies strength, bravery, and power. The goal of the event is to show that there’s a Wonder Woman in all of us. That’s why we’re using the hashtag #IAmWonderWoman.”

The festival area was decorated with giant balloons and lined with an array of fluttering Wonder Woman flags. Area streets were blocked off by police cars, flashing their red and blue lights. Approximately 1,300 people participated in the 5K and 10K runs. The first-place finishers were Sandra Khounvichai with a time of 20:26 in the 5K and Stephen Harms with a time of 48:43 in the 10K.

The DC Wonder Woman Run Series is designed to empower the Superhero in everyone, so runners and walkers of all ability levels were encouraged to participate, regardless of their athletic abilities. Many participants had never run or walked in a 5K before this event. After completing the course, each participant was given a Wonder Woman medal. The festivities continued after the race, with a celebration featuring food trucks, a beer tent, face painting, official Wonder Woman merchandise, and a main stage with live musical entertainment.

Race participant Christie Pierce said he was persuaded to join the race just the evening before: “I decided to tag along. I said, ‘Sure, I’ll wear a skirt, I’ll do it.’ But more importantly, I decided to do it because I support strong, independent women.”

Theresa Ivaldi, Karli Cisneros, and Christina Mundy entered the race together. They thought it would be more fun to run together in a group of friends. This was Ivaldi’s first run, and she thought the Wonder Woman run was a fun way to start. Cisneros said, “I love running and love spending time with my friends, so I figured why not combine the two.” Mundy said, “What better way to run a 5K with friends and family than a Wonder Woman run that represents women’s power?” Mundy’s kids, Isabella (10) and Jackson (8), and their friend Sophie Carr (10), all love Wonder Woman. They enjoyed the race and especially loved getting a shiny medal to commemorate their accomplishment of crossing the finish line.

The DC Wonder Woman Run Series will be hosted in Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles this fall. The Los Angeles run, as the flagship run, will be the largest in the series with 7,000 – 8,000 participants expected. If you would like to participate in one of the upcoming runs, or for more information on the DC Wonder Woman Run Series, please visit the website at www.dcwonderwomanrun.com.


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Sacramento CERT Needs You

Story by Trina L. Drotar; Photos courtesy Sacramento CERT  |  2018-09-28

The Basic CERT course, Level 3, is sanctioned by FEMA and was developed by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) after the Mexico City and Kobe earthquakes.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento’s California Emergency Response Team’s (CERT’s) graduation drill took place on Saturday, September 1 from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Northern California Regional Public Safety Academy in McClellan Park. The community participated and explored their inner actors as volunteer victims with broken arms or legs or other injuries for the day’s free event.

The drills tested the program’s graduates on practical skills including sizing up a building to determine if it is safe to enter; search and rescue; transport; and triage and treatment. They assessed situations simulating burning buildings and locating victims in dense smoke and at night. Graduates radioed transport crews, practiced victim transport before another group assessed injuries, bandaged, and prepared victims for transport to a medical facility said Robert Ross, Chief, Operations, Sacramento CERT, CERT 22.

“Watching, you don’t get to see as much,” he said, adding that the role of victim teaches more to the community who wants to understand what happens during an emergency such as a fire.

Ross explained that most people see only the end result.

“It’s a good way to see them in action and experience it without being in a collapsed building,” he said.

The Basic CERT course, Level 3, is sanctioned by FEMA and was developed by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) after the Mexico City and Kobe earthquakes. The course, Ross explained, is for everyday citizens with no previous training or particular skills who want to learn how to prepare for a disaster and is offered at no charge.

“Civilians will be on their own for the first 72 hours,” said Ross, and will learn about disaster psychology and how to prepare bags with the necessities to assist in their immediate neighborhoods. Ross said that people don’t often think about bringing items like pet toys when they need to evacuate. Trained civilians can put out small fires and even triage in their neighborhoods if the need arises, but they need to practice, and that’s where the graduation drill comes in.

Graduates learn about fire behavior, which has been especially bad in California this summer, identification of hazardous materials, including those being transported, and terrorism. Upon graduation, CERT trained civilians can assist locally and can transfer their CERT training to other cities or states if they move. Since the Sacramento region is prone to flooding, this would also be covered in local training.

This level is required in order to continue with advanced courses to be certified as a Disaster Service Worker or a First Responder. Additionally, graduates may pursue training to join one of the special teams – Urban Search & Rescue, Animal Response, or Radio Communications.

“During a disaster cell phones won’t work, satellite phones are few and far between,” said Ross. “Ham operators during Hurricane Katrina passed messages. We can talk to Japan if we need to,” he said.

One legally blind team member who used a motorized wheelchair ran the ham radio and was one of the best in Sacramento.

“There are no limitations on who can participate. There are many ways to be involved, with a job for everyone.”

For additional information, visit www.sfdcert.org. Look for them at many local public events. The next academy will be held in spring of 2019.


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Memorial Service for Deputy Mark Stasyuk

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Rancho Cordova Police Department Release  |  2018-09-28

Deputy Mark Stasyuk

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The memorial service for Deputy Mark Stasyuk is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville, located at 6401 Stanford Ranch Road in Roseville.  A multi-agency fly-over will take place at the conclusion of the memorial service. All other law enforcement honors will be performed at a private graveside service.

Stasyuk was shot and killed in the line of duty on September 17 after responding to a call in Rancho Cordova. He leaves behind a wife, mother, father and sister.

Source: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Rancho Cordova Police Department


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Big John Enos, River Salmon Fishing Extraordinaire

By Rooster Tails Fishing Club  |  2018-09-28

Big John’s ‘Klingon’ Lure (2 modified Kwikfish).

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge at 195 Pine Street in Auburn on Friday, October 19th.  This free event is open to club members, spouses, and non-member guests.  Doors to the Lodge open at 7:00 a.m. to share fresh brewed coffee.  A fantastic $15 wide-selection buffet breakfast is served at 8:00 am followed at 9:00 am with special guest speaker, Big John Enos, owner of Big John’s Guide Service.  John will explain how to score quality salmon in his secret river holes and other hot spots on Central Valley Rivers.  Reservations are not required, but breakfast attendees are encouraged to arrive early for best parking and seminar seating.
John has 14 years of river salmon fishing experience, especially on the upper Sacramento River, and finds that sharing his non-traditional fishing secrets has made him in high demand.  Some angler’s have found many of John’s unorthodox, but legal, tackle modifications and fishing techniques a little different and maybe even strange, until they experience jarring explosion of monster salmon they catch.  Interested salmon fishermen and women anglers are encouraged to arrive early to meet John and to secure a good seat for his presentation. 

John owns a custom twenty-foot guide boat that comfortably accommodates four guests. Although John’s specialty is fishing for river salmon, he also does guided trips for land-locked salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, striped bass, shad, and bass.  He provides all species-specific tackle, including his custom lures, to make his guided fishing trips memorable.

 The 30 year old, 200+ members Rooster Tails Fishing Club of Northern California, Inc. is a non-profit organization that meets the third Friday of each month to educate, entertain, and enhance fishing experience.  Unlike many bass and fly fishing clubs that concentrate on very specific types of fishing, the Rooster Tails Fishing Club provides a balanced mix of fishing techniques presented by fishing experts targeting a variety of fish species on multiple types of waters. For more information contact Jim, Club Chairman, 530-887-0479, or visit the club’s web site at www.roostertailsfishingclub.org.


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Nearly 315 acres of oak woodlands just north of Auburn will be permanently conserved with the Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approving $496,200 in Placer Legacy open space funds to buy three agricultural conservation easements over the land. District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt was absent from the meeting.

Known as the Oest Ranch, the property will continue its 150-year legacy of cattle ranching on land that is rich with biological resources, protecting in perpetuity these properties’ open space, biological, cultural, historical and agricultural values.

The board’s decision authorizes the Placer County Department of Public Works and Facilities to execute a funding agreement to facilitate the Placer Land Trust’s acquisition of three agricultural conservation easements from the Oest Family Trust. The easements are located along state Route 49 just north of Lorenson Road and Florence Lane and north and south of Lone Star Road.

The county’s funding leverages funding from the state’s Department of Conservation Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation program in the amount of $1,402,500.

With the board’s action to approve the funding agreement with Placer Land Trust, three conservation easements will be acquired over 314 acres, which will complement two other prior easements acquired in 2015 and 2016 over the Oest Ranch covering 113 additional acres. With the approval, conservation of the entire 427-acre ranch is assured.

Contributing to the placement of an agricultural conservation easement over the property helps accomplish the Placer Legacy Program’s open space conservation goals and complements the Placer County Conservation Program.

The PCCP is a progressive and proactive strategy for identifying where development should occur in western Placer County while preserving important natural and agricultural resources. If approved, it would streamline the federal, state and local permitting process. The PCCP would also ensure up to 47,000 acres of permanent land conservation in Placer County, required as mitigation for that development.

“I am so delighted to see the Oest Ranch being incorporated into our overall Placer County Conservation Program,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “This is a prime example of Placer Legacy and Placer Land Trust working in tandem to protect valuable agricultural lands.”

Last week, the PCCP was granted a waiver from the secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, which had limited complex environmental impact statements to 300 pages or less. Since the PCCP is a joint federal Habitat Conservation Plan and California Natural Communities Conservation Plan, and includes a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers streamlined process for permitting wetlands, it is necessarily detailed and must analyze all of the required elements of both state and federal regulations. The granting of the waiver is anticipated to allow public review of the program and the environmental impact report later this fall.

More information about Placer Legacy is available by calling the Planning Services Division at 530-745-3000 or visiting the Placer Legacy website, here.

Learn more about the Placer Land Trust, here.


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved the county’s final 2018-19 budget of $970.9 million, an increase of 12.1 percent from the previous year’s budget of $866.2 million. 

The board adopted a proposed budget of $939.6 million June 26 for the county’s fiscal year beginning July 1. The final budget reflects updated revenues and costs.

Property taxes, the county’s largest revenue source, continue to trend upwards as property values increase. Sales taxes, transient occupancy taxes and other revenue sources also continue to improve; however, growth from those revenues is expected to soften as financial experts contemplate the potential for an economic slowdown.

One-time budget adjustments for several critical areas were delayed until now to ensure a clear picture of final balances from the last fiscal year. Some of those items included in the final budget are:

$2.5 million in funding for the approved Placer County Sheriff’s Office's new coroner facility as part of the Criminal Justice Master Plan
$3.1 million to streamline the county’s personnel and financial systems as part of the Workday project
Nearly $1 million toward contingency reserves
$500,000 to fund open space acquisition in support of the Placer Legacy Program
$500,000 in funding for the county’s Elections Office warehouse.
This budget includes $7.3 million in road maintenance projects funded by revenues from Senate Bill 1. Additionally, the elimination of the In-Home Support Services maintenance effort by California lawmakers has continued to increase the county’s share of the program’s operational costs. 

“In the last 10 years, the county’s population has increased 19 percent, our revenues have increased 11 percent and our employee workforce has only increased 2 percent,” said District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler. “Clearly our county is trending in the right direction in terms of fiscal responsibility.”

Placer County’s operating budget can be seen anytime here.


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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Utility poles covered with signs and notices for political candidates, lost animals, yard sales and events present serious hazards for utility workers. This is a particular problem during election season.

Nails, staples, tacks, and screws used to post signs can cause serious injury to lineworkers who climb the wooden utility power poles every day. These items are especially hazardous when the poles are climbed during bad weather to restore power during storms and at night.

When the signs fall off or are removed, the fasteners often remain in the pole, causing lineworkers to get cut or injured. Nails and staples can obstruct climbing gear, which can cause workers to slip or fall as they climb. Even the tiniest puncture in lineworkers’ rubber gloves can expose them to severe shock from power lines.

When advertising for a political candidate, lost pet, garage sale or other event, please do not post signs on utility poles.


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