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.


Qualifying Veterans and Japanese American Citizens May Receive Belated High School Diplomas

By Operation Recognition  |  2018-04-18

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) wants to honor the many contributions of those whose education was interrupted due to wartime circumstances. Current and former Sacramento County residents who left high school to serve in the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War, and received an honorable discharge, may contact SCOE to receive their high school diplomas. SCOE also presents diplomas to Japanese American citizens forced to leave high school due to WW II internment. Individuals may request diplomas on behalf of themselves or qualifying family members, including persons now deceased. Those who earned a G.E.D., or graduated from high school while in an internment camp, are still eligible for diplomas. To be considered for the spring 2017 awards ceremony, submit applications by April 26, 2017. Applications are available from the Sacramento County Office of Education by calling (916) 228-2416 or visiting scoe.net/or.


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Trump, Brown Tangle Over California State Border Control

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-18

Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - California Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, defending his sanctuary cities and claiming that the country’s immigration debate has become “an inflammatory football that very low-life politicians like to exploit.” He continued, “And I think it’s shocking, it’s despicable and it’s harmful to California, mostly to the people.”

Brown let it be known that he has no plans of changing his stance on the state’s immigration and sanctuary cities.

“We’re not backing off,” Brown said. “And I believe we have the legal horsepower to block the immediate legal moves by the Trump administration.”

The 80-year-old Brown, who is in the final months of his second term as California governor, proclaimed, “I’m not riding off into the sunset. You can be sure that you’ll hear from me.”

Just before Brown spoke on Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

Trump took to Twitter once again on Wednesday morning, saying that many parts of sanctuary cities throughout California want out of Jerry Brown’s control.

“There is a Revolution going on in California,” Trump tweeted. “Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!”


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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA - The Internal Revenue Service today offered taxpayers still working on their 2017 taxes a number of tips. These basic tips are designed to help people avoid common errors that could delay refunds or cause future tax problems. 

As the April 17 deadline approaches, the IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically. Doing so, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. Free File Fillable Forms means there is a free option for everyone.

Request extra time

Anyone who needs more time to file can get it. The easiest way to do so is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due.

Alternatively, people can complete a paper copy of Form 4868 and mail it to the IRS. The form must be mailed with a postmark on or before April 17. Download, print and file it anytime fromIRS.gov/forms.

Taxpayers are reminded, however, that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. Tax payments are generally due April 17, and taxpayers should pay as much as they can to avoid possible penalties and interest.

Make a payment, get an extension

In addition to using Free File to get a filing extension, taxpayers can pay all or part of their estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension when using IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or paying by a credit or debit card. By selecting “extension” as the reason for the payment, the IRS will also accept the payment as an extension – no need to separately file a Form 4868. Taxpayers will also receive a confirmation number after they submit their payment. When paying with Direct Pay and EFTPS taxpayers can sign up for email notifications.

Any payment made with an extension request will reduce or, if the balance is paid in full, eliminate interest and late-payment penalties that apply to payments made after April 17. The interest rate is currently 5 percent per year, compounded daily, and the late-payment penalty is normally 0.5 percent per month.

Refunds

The safest and fastest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to have it electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts. See Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, for details.

After filing, use “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go Mobile App to track the status of a refund. It provides the most up-to-date information. It’s updated once per day, usually overnight, so checking more often will not generate new information. Calling the IRS will not yield different results from those available online, nor will ordering a tax transcript.

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

Special instructions for paper filers

Math errors and other mistakes are common on paper returns, especially those prepared or filed in haste at the last minute. These tips may help those choosing this option:

  • Fill in all requested Taxpayer Identification Numbers, usually Social Security numbers, including all dependents claimed on the tax return. Check only one filing status and the appropriate exemption boxes.
  • When using the tax tables, be sure to use the correct row and column for the filing status claimed and taxable income amount shown.
  • Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign.
  • Attach all required forms and schedules.
  • Mail the return to the right address. Check Where to File on IRS.gov.    

 

Penalties and interest

 

By law, the IRS may assess penalties to taxpayers for both failing to file a tax return and for failing to pay taxes they owe by the deadline. Taxpayers who are thinking of missing the filing deadline because they can’t pay all of the taxes they owe should consider filing and paying what they can to lessen interest and penalties. Penalties for those who owe tax and fail to file either a tax return or an extension request by April 17 can be higher than if they had filed and not paid the taxes they owed.

The failure-to-file penalty is generally 5 percent per month and can be as much as 25 percent of the unpaid tax, depending on how late the taxpayer files. The failure-to-pay penalty, which is the penalty for any taxes not paid by the deadline, is 0.5 percent of the unpaid taxes per month.

Installment agreements

Qualified taxpayers can choose to pay any taxes owed over time through an installment agreement. An online payment plan can be set up in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement application to set up a short-term payment plan of 120-days or less, or a monthly agreement for up to 72 months.

Alternatively, taxpayers can request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. This form can be downloaded from IRS.gov/forms and should be mailed to the IRS along with a tax return, IRS bill or notice.

Owe tax?

Taxpayers who owe taxes can use IRS Direct Pay or any of several other electronic payment options. They are secure and easy and taxpayers receive immediate confirmation when they submit their payment. Or, mail a check or money order payable to the “United States Treasury” along with a Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher.

For further help and resources, check out the IRS Services Guide.


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Williamson, Naile Secure Season's First Awards

Sacramento River Cats News Release  |  2018-04-16

Photo by Barry Sibert

Mac Williamson piles up stats in numerous categories to claim his second career Player of the Week award

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Pacific Coast League announced Monday that Sacramento River Cats outfielder Mac Williamson and Nashville Sounds right-hander James Naile have been named the Player and Pitcher of the Week for the extended season-opening period of April 5-15. 

Williamson entered play today at or near the top of the PCL in every major offensive category, including batting average (.548, 1st), home runs (five, 1st), hits (17, t-1st), total bases (35, t-1st), RBI (14, t-1st) and extra-base hits (eight, t-2nd). Additionally, the outfielder leads all full-season Minor League players in slugging percentage (1.129), on-base percentage (.659) and OPS (1.788).

The 27-year-old recorded a hit in all nine games, a stretch that featured seven consecutive contests with at least one hit, one run scored and one RBI. Williamson’s first homer of the season came as part of a three-hit, three-RBI effort in an April 6 win at Tacoma. After a pair of games in which he combined for five hits, including his only three doubles, he began a streak of four consecutive games with a home run, from April 10 through April 14. The last of those games, Williamson contributed two hits, three RBI and two runs scored as part of the River Cats’ 12-run attack on April 14 against Tacoma. He capped his week by reaching base a season-best five times, three via hits and two via walks, on April 15, also versus the Rainiers.

The Wake Forest University product has been in the Giants organization for his entire seven-year career after San Francisco selected him in third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Williamson has spent parts of each of the last four seasons in Sacramento, hitting .264 (206-for-780) with 38 home runs and 137 RBI in 211 games. The Florida native has also appeared in 92 career Major League contests, all coming over the 2015-17 seasons, hitting .226 (48-for-212) with nine homers and 22 RBI. This is his second career Player of the Week award, having previously been honored by the California League in 2013 with Single-A San Jose.

Naile made three starts and did not allow a run over 17.2 innings, walking only two batters and striking out 15. He is the only pitcher in Minor League Baseball to have begun the season with more than 15 innings of shutout ball. Naile’s season began on Opening Day in New Orleans; he went five shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and striking out five. Naile picked up where he left off in his next outing, shutting out the Iowa Cubs over 5.2 innings, while striking out three on April 10 in Nashville. The 25-year-old saved his best effort for last, tossing a seven-inning complete game shutout against Omaha on April 15 – the first complete game in the PCL this year. Naile fanned seven, allowed only five hits (all singles) and a walk.

The right-hander was selected by the Athletics in the 20th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to this campaign, Naile made only two other Triple-A starts, both in 2016. He spent last year at Double-A Midland but missed nearly two months of the season with injuries. When healthy, Naile appeared in 14 games (10 starts) and pitched to a 3.21 ERA (61.2 IP, 22 ER). He entered this season tabbed by Baseball America as Oakland’s No. 26 prospect. In his professional career, Naile has gone 17-14 with a 3.00 ERA (273.1 IP, 91 ER), 64 walks and 215 strikeouts. This is his first career Pitcher of the Week.


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Brennan Named President of Landmark Construction

By Karen Fraser-Middleton  |  2018-04-16

Kevin Brennan

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Landmark Construction has named Kevin Brennan, Nevada City resident, as president of the $75 million privately owned, public works general contracting company based in Loomis, CA.  Joe Bittaker, former president, is now chairman of Landmark Construction as of April 1, 2018.

Brennan joined Landmark Construction in 2006 as Senior Project Manager and Estimator and was promoted to the role of Vice President of Preconstruction, and then Vice President of Operations, during his tenure.  He has served as Project Executive for many of Landmark’s most important projects, recently completing The Bayshore School’s new $30m two-story urban campus in Daly City.

Bittaker announced the transition to employees at Landmark’s monthly management meeting on March 26. “I have confidence that Kevin will be an exceptional President as he carries on the customer-centric culture and can-do attitude which are fundamental to Landmark Construction,” said Bittaker. “He brings the energy, drive and motivation to take Landmark to the next level.”

Prior to joining Landmark Construction, Brennan worked in the industry for 16 years managing multiple large public works projects such as the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Expansion in Arlington, Virginia.

Brennan earned his BS in Civil Engineering at The George Washington University and a BA in Physics from East Stroudsburg University.  “I look forward to contributing to the advancement of the company through the next generation,” said Brennan. “I really appreciate the support and mentoring I’ve had along the way that has brought me to this exciting time as president of Landmark Construction.”

As a multiple Ironman Triathlete, serious backcountry skier, competitive mountain biker and avid kayaker, Brennan will continue the Landmark Construction culture that celebrates adventure while meeting challenges and offers employees many opportunities to build comradery as they challenge themselves athletically and enjoy the outdoors.


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Coach Guy Anderson Honored by the ABCA

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-13

Recipients of the 2018 ABCA Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award: Longtime Stanford Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess (left) and Guy Anderson (right) with award committee chair Tom O’Connell. Photo courtesy American Baseball Coaches Association

Discusses Storied Career and the Current State of Baseball

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “I’ve been accused of being old school; which I am,” professed legendary baseball coach Guy Anderson.

I sat down with the winner of 927 high school ballgames for a cup of coffee in Gold River on what was a perfect day for baseball. I showed up early, but Anderson was already there, sitting outside. Meeting with him for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only heard stories.

Despite the crowded patio, I knew exactly who Anderson was. You can always tell with baseball guys. We quickly jumped into conversation, as if we’d picked right back up from our last one. The spry, 85-year-old had freshly returned from a Spring Break tournament in Anaheim. Now the assistant coach for Capital Christian High School, Anderson led the Cordova Lancers program for 45 years, winning 17 league titles, five section titles and coaching 24 players who would eventually be drafted by Major League organizations.

Earlier this year he received the American Baseball Coaches Association Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award. He attended the awards ceremony at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to accept the award last January. Anderson told me what an honor the award was and how much it meant to him, but also how fortunate he is to have been able to coach such great players throughout the years.

“I compare coaching a little bit to being a jockey,” he explained. “You don’t win on a donkey; you’ve got to have a stallion to win the big ones. I’ve had some pretty good guys that could play the game very well.”

For a man who has dedicated much of his life to coaching and teaching others, he has enjoyed the fact that this award is not just about him, but a recognition of who he is and what he so proudly stands for. “This award was outstanding for me, I’ve been fortunate to be put in a few Hall of Fames. Like I said, you’ve got to have the stallions - it’s important to have the players - but this one here was more, to me, about who I am.”

I asked the self-proclaimed “old school” coach how the game has evolved over the many decades of ballgames that he has taken part of. “If you start at the Major League level, it’s the money. The money is a big difference now and it’s an entertainment rather than a sport.”

Anderson then addressed the collegiate level, summarizing a recent game that he and his Capital Christian team attended when they were in Southern California for their tournament. “The college level is still good baseball and I’ll give you an example. The leadoff batter gets a base hit and the next guy lays down a sacrifice bunt. Early in the game, go get that first run.”

What Anderson stressed throughout our conversation about today’s game was that sacrifice bunting, or any sort of personal sacrifice at all, is a dying art – especially at the pro level. In last year’s 2017 MLB season, a record 6,105 home runs were hit, topping the 5,963 belted in 2000 at the height of the Steroid Era. Strikeouts set a record for the 10th straight season at 40,104 and sacrifice bunts fell to their lowest level since the year 1900 at 925. To put that last number into perspective, there were only eight teams in 1900 and they played anywhere between 140 and 146 games compared to the 30 teams and 162 game schedule in today’s game.

But individual numbers can mean a lot more than team wins and the kind of contributions that won’t show up in the box score to today’s young players. The pressures to perform at a high level have trickled down to a lower age group, making the game a more individualistic sport. Whereas only seniors used to worry about playing at the college level, now underclassmen are receiving recruitment letters and are forced to think about the future rather than living in the moment.

“Play now, play the best you can and good things will happen,” said Anderson. “Don’t worry about next year or you may not get there.” From early recruitment to travel ball to personal coaches and trainers, there are new politics in the game of baseball.

But Anderson also understands that when you’re in the game as long as he has been, things are bound to take on a different shape over time. That’s part of life. “We lost one thing in basketball a few years ago, and we’re losing it in baseball now, and that’s the same color shoes,” Anderson joked. “You go back to the military. You’re a team when you all look alike. And that’s why I’ve always liked the Yankees; they never put the name on the back.”

Coach Guy Anderson is the very embodiment of America’s pastime - a true throwback in every sense of the word; rich in history and accolades, but willing to accept the evolution of the game, whether he fully agrees with it or not. And that’s what great coaches do. They lay down a stern foundation of the history and fundamentals of the game, and the rest, the improvisation, is up to you. And when it comes right down to it, Anderson and the game of baseball may have evolved, but they’ll never truly change.


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Center for Freedom and Flight to host event honoring the Legendary Tuskegee Airmen

By the Center for Freedom and Flight  |  2018-04-12

About the Center for Freedom and Flight:  Our mission is to honor America’s aviation heroes and technology of the past, present, and future. By providing impactful experiences through compelling exhibits, we provide a unique environment to cultivate interest and education to further the aviation industry.

A First of Its Kind Event on the West Coast

VACAVILLE, CA (MPG) - Heritage, The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is a first of its kind event in Northern California on Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd-3rd, 2018. The inaugural weekend long event will be held at the world-famous Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville, CA at the Center for Freedom and Flight. The purpose of this event is to honor the members and their families of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, educate today’s youth, and inspire future leaders in aviation.

Hosted by The Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapters of Greater Sacramento and Lee Archer Jr. (Travis AFB), Center for Freedom and Flight, Unsung Heroes: A Living History Project and EAA Chapter 1230 Nut Tree Airport.

Event highlights include Tuskegee Airmen and Heritage families in attendance, mobile Tuskegee Airmen museum, fly in with historically significant aircraft.

A fun-filled dinner and dance will be hosted on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The dinner dance will include a VIP cocktail hour, dinner, a hosted bar and music provided by the Harley White Jr. Orchestra. A free Community Open House will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heritage-swing-under-the-wings-tickets-44894283009?aff=erelpanelorg


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SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today responded to the federal government’s request for additional California National Guard personnel with the following letter. The accompanying agreement, submitted this afternoon for review and approval by the federal government, can be found here.

April 11, 2018

Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis:

Pursuant to your request, the California National Guard will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime. This program is currently staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border.

Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats. That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.

Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).

I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should “work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.”

I look forward to working with you on this important effort.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.


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Sierra Nevada Winds Perform at Sierra College Dietrich Theatre

Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra Press Release  |  2018-04-10

The Winds, with Dr. Robert Halseth conducting, will present their annual spring concert on Saturday, April 28th, 7:30 pm at Dietrich Theatre, Sierra College, 5000 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, CA. Photo courtesy Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Now celebrating their 28th season of performances, who would have foreseen in 1990 the amazing transformation of the Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra. Membership has grown from 15 talented musicians to the current wind ensemble numbering 50+. 

Merridee Smith, piccolo/flute musician with the Winds and a founding member commented, “The Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra is truly a community ensemble; the musicians are your local civic leaders, teachers, band directors, scientists, health professionals, business professionals and more.”

The group played its first concert, conducted by David Coe, principal clarinetist, at the Lake of the Pines Clubhouse in Nevada County. Since that time they have performed throughout the Sacramento region, as well as in Victoria, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and in London and Cornwall, England.

In 2015, the Sierra Nevada Winds and Conductor Dr. Robert Halseth were awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The award is a coveted honor. In the 28 years since its inception only two other California concert bands have received the honor, “North America’s Most Prestigious Award for Community Concert Bands.”

The Winds, with Dr. Robert Halseth conducting, will present their annual spring concert on Saturday, April 28th, 7:30 pm at Dietrich Theatre, Sierra College, 5000 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, CA.

The program will provide the audience with a gripping, spellbinding, and highly entertaining selection of music.  The first half presents Wine-Dark Sea, John Mackey’s dynamic Symphony for Band, composed in 2014. It is based on Homer’s epic and ancient Greek tale, musically portraying the arduous and perilous journey of King Odysseus back home after leading the Greek army to victory in the Trojan War. The three powerful movements take him through a shipwreck, a rescue on an exotic island by Kalypso, and a trip to the end of the Earth, searching for the lights of home.

The second half presents Thornton B. Boyer’s 1881 classic American march Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment, written and named for one of the premier New York military bands of the century. Other program selections include Alfred Reed’s fiery and beautiful El Camino Real; Malcolm Arnold’s stirring Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo; and an opportunity for some member of the audience to actually conduct the band before the evening is over. The concert concludes with Frank Ticheli’s beautiful message of hope in An American Elegy, written in memory of the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings and to honor the survivors.

Dr. Halseth, an accomplished trombonist, was Professor of Conducting and Director of Bands Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento and co-founder and co-clinician of the Northern California Wind Conducting Symposium. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in music from California State University, Fresno, and a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado, where his primary professor was Eugene Migliaro Corporon. He has conducted instrumental music at all levels - elementary through professional - including more than a hundred honor bands in the United States and abroad. Dr. Halseth has been Music Director and Conductor with the Winds since 2011.

The concert is sponsored by Sierra College Friends of the Library. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for general admission and $7 for seniors and students. For additional information check www.sierranevadawinds.org or call (530) 923-0151.


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