Sacramento Area Cadets Become CHP Officers

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-22

Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy CHP

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – When they woke on the morning of Friday, November 16, the 46 men and women who arrived for final inspection spent their last morning as California Highway Patrol cadets. The class of 43 men and 3 women received their stars in a ceremony filled with pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun.

Poor air quality had cancelled the cadets’ run to the state capitol earlier in the week, and the final inspection had to be moved from the quad into the dining hall, and the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) demonstration was also cancelled, but none of those things dampened the spirit and the joy shared by cadets and their family and friends upon finishing a grueling six months at the state’s only CHP Academy.

Among the graduates was Margarito Meza, the first graduate in the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program at Sacramento State which began in 2017 to prepare college students from all disciplines for careers as sworn law enforcement officers at the local and state level. Program director Shelby Moffatt and a large group of LECS students were on hand to support Meza. Four are currently in the CHP Academy and are expected to graduate in 2019.

Early arrivals toured the Academy’s museum and learned the history of the CHP and its role in popular culture. Timelines, motorcycles, including a rare 1941 model, and communications equipment spanning several decades are on display in the museum which is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and is free of charge.

Not free were the hours of intense physical and mental training that cadets endured during their six months away from family and friends. Cadets live on the West Sacramento campus for the duration of their training and education which includes a host of courses from basic Spanish to marksmanship to how to perform field sobriety tests. They must pass the EVOC driver training, attain certification in arrest techniques, and keep on top of their physical training. During the ceremony, a short film created by the graduating class provided family and friends a glimpse of life during the past six months at the Academy.

Prior to the ceremony in which cadets received their badges, they underwent their final inspection. Photos were snapped and hugs were given to cadets for a few minutes before the inspection began. Commissioner Warren Stanley, Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, Assistant Commissioners Amanda Ray and Nick Norton, and Captain James Mann greeted each cadet, moving through the ranks, shaking hands, and providing encouraging words to each.

In that group was Erik Rodriguez of West Sacramento whose family was joined by several of his military buddies who had flown in from Texas for his special day. The 34-year old veteran was honored with a plaque for being the class’s most inspirational cadet, and he was recognized for his work as one of the company commanders. He will report to the San Francisco Bay Area for his first assignment as an officer.

Graduates are required to report to their first assignments within ten days and are sent where the greatest need is so many were sent to the southern part of the state. Cadets select up to three possible choices and are never first stationed in Sacramento.

Perhaps the brightest smiles to be found were from Cortez Sanders of Sacramento, his parents, and his extended family. His proud father, Bennett, was also recognized during the ceremony as he is a CHP employee. Sanders’ mother, Adrienne, said that she is very proud of her son and all the work he put into becoming an officer. It was his father who held the honor of pinning the badge on his son, one of the traditions that did occur outside as is custom.

Cortez will report to Redwood City for his first assignment and will be joined there by fellow Sacramentan David Waggoner who was honored as outstanding athlete. Also headed to Redwood City are Trevor Gossett of Sacramento and David Tran of Elk Grove.

                For additional information, visit: https://www.chp.ca.gov/chp-careers/officer/life-in-the-academy. For additional information about the LECS program, visit: https://www.csus.edu/hhs/lecs/.


Monster Jam Series Returns

By Heather Atherton  |  2019-01-09

All photos courtesy Atherton Public Relations

THE MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY, ACTION-PACKED MOTOR SPORT IN THE WORLD RACES BACK INTO SACRAMENTO

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable!  Monster Jam®, the most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today, returns to Sacramento with a new level of high-flying, four-wheel excitement!  Be prepared for another high-octane weekend of Monster Jam Triple Threat Series events featuring six different competitions of speed, racing and freestyle stunts at the Golden 1 Center from January 18–20, 2019.

Featuring eight of the most intense athletes of Monster Jam, Central Valley fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each Triple Threat Series competitor contending in customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and of course, the iconic Monster Jam trucks in six events sure to leave fans on the edge of their seats.

Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motor sports action seen around the world. Now across all Monster Jam events, fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the winner in the two-wheel and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones. 

Fans also have the unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal to their favorite Monster Jam trucks and drivers at the Monster Jam® Pit Party pre-show experience for photos & autographs.  

Tickets are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at just $20 each. Pit Passes available to purchase for $15 each.

Tickets and Pit Passes will be available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the Golden 1 Center Box Office. Ticket prices are subject to change, venue/ticketing fees may apply.

For all the latest news, announcements and updates, be sure to watch the Monster Jam 2019 Season Kickoff Show live streaming on www.MonsterJam.com


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Society for the Blind Members to Join National Fitness Challenge

By Kristin Thebaud  |  2019-01-04

Society for the Blind members join the challenge. Photo courtesy Society for the Blind.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Society for the Blind, a Sacramento-based nonprofit serving blind and low vision people in Northern California, has received a grant from Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore Foundations to create opportunities for individuals to participate in the National Fitness Challenge, an initiative founded by the United States Association of Blind Athletes and the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore. Society for the Blind is one of 17 organizations across the nation that is participating in the National Fitness Challenge and is using grant funding to offer adaptive yoga classes, walking groups, running clinics and other sports and fitness activities that can help people who are blind or low-vision to maximize healthy lifestyles. These activities will be offered over the course of eight months to help hundreds of youth and adults to increase physical fitness levels and live healthier lives.

“The goal of the National Fitness Challenge is to help people with visual disabilities to live more active lifestyles,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “The program launched during Blindness Awareness Month in October, and through May 31, 2019, will highlight what people with visual disabilities can do, rather than what they cannot do. We are lucky to live in an age where a person with vision loss can achieve most anything they set their mind to doing, and we are grateful to Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and CareMore Foundation for helping us to empower this year’s participants.”

This year’s challenge integrates technology and social media to inspire participants to set goals, create team environments and encourage leadership. Each participant has been provided with a Fitbit Flex 2 wearable – a universal way to measure activities, calories burned and number of steps taken. Participants also have the opportunity to utilize Fitbit Coach, which is a personalized training app that provides adaptive video workouts and audio coaching. Foundation grant funding is being used to provide Fitbits, fitness and nutritional instruction, performance prizes as well as technical and financial support for all participants.

“Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety,” said Ricardo Young, CareMore Health Medical Director. “We are proud to support members of the Society for the Blind through our collaboration with the National Fitness Challenge, and to create access to activities supporting healthier individuals and stronger communities.”

More than half of those who are blind or low vision in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical fitness routine, mostly due to barriers to accessible fitness or misconceptions about their abilities. Individuals of all abilities should have equal opportunities to engage in activities that improve health outcomes, so the National Fitness Challenge aims to increase access to fitness and health for blind and low vision people. 

“Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is committed to removing barriers and increasing access to critical programs and services that help individuals and communities to lead healthier lives,” said Dr. Barsam Kasravi, Interim Anthem Blue Cross Medicaid Plan President. “We are proud of our Foundation’s ongoing support of people with visual disabilities and are confident that this support will go a long way in helping Californians to improve their overall wellness while enjoying the physical and emotional benefits of exercise and group sports.”

Since 2011, the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore has provided $1.3 million in grant funding to U.S. Association of Blind Athletes for the National Fitness Challenge initiative and has impacted thousands of Americans with visual disabilities by partnering with 40 different agencies across the country. To learn more about the National Fitness Challenge, visit www.usaba.org/NationalFitnessChallenge

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for more than 5,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information: SocietyfortheBlind.org


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AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in California!

By Emily Chafetz, CINEFLIXUSA  |  2019-01-04

Photos courtesy AMERICAN PICKERS

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to California! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in March 2019!

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST.

facebook: @GotAPick


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Placer County Department of Public Works announced they will be hosting a series of workshops intended to engage residents and business owners on desired improvements related to transportation programs and systems in Granite Bay. 

Workshops will be held at the Eureka School district offices on Eureka Road on Jan. 9, Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20 at 6:00 p.m.  

“Our county transportation systems are integral to a good quality of life for residents, visitors, and our local business owners,” stated Ken Grehm, Director of Public Works. “These workshops are intended to provide key stakeholders in our community an opportunity to learn, discuss, and provide feedback on policies that affect them every day.”

The initial meeting will provide an overview of the circulation element of the community plan, outline community discussion topics and provide an initial overview of vehicle-related traffic volumes.  The following subsequent workshops will provide an opportunity for County engineers and planners to engage with community members interested in effecting transportation systems and policies for the future. 

The Placer County Department of Public Works provides a wide range of public services outside of city limits such as road maintenance, bus service, public works engineering, and more. You can visit their website here.


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ROSEVILLE, CA (MPG) - Over 400 acres of wildlife habitat and fertile rice land in Lincoln are set to be conserved in perpetuity with the Placer County Board of Supervisors today approving $1,380,500 in Placer Legacy open space funds to buy an agricultural conservation easement on the land. 

The Lincoln property, owned by Kirk and Michelle Scilacci, represents a unique opportunity to preserve a piece of land that has multiple benefits for agricultural preservation, floodwater retention and habitat conservation. The property holds 350 acres of rice production and approximately 50 acres is used for dryland farming. While the land will remain in private ownership, Placer County would retain the rights through the easement to use the rice fields as floodwater storage from Nov. 15 to March 31 of each year. Storing floodwater on the property also provides migratory bird and salmon habitat. 

“Projects such as this are a perfect example of the benefits of private-public partnerships in land conservation,” said District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “This land offers benefits to the community, to agriculture and to the surrounding ecosystem. In their decision to partner with the Placer Legacy Program, the Scilaccis are permanently protecting a wildlife habitat, conserving the many natural resource benefits and safeguarding beautiful open space here in Placer County for generations to come.”

The board’s decision is contingent upon the receipt of $990,000 from the state's Department of Conservation Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program.

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.

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


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Members of the community are invited to give feedback on draft environmental impact report for the proposed Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan through Feb. 22, 2019, as Placer County moves forward with its vision for south Placer to create a vibrant new community and promote economic development and job growth in the region.

The Sunset Area is an 8,497-acre area in unincorporated Placer County between the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln. Placer Ranch is 2,213 acres of land, located entirely within the Sunset Area Plan.

The goal of the Sunset Area Plan is to re-envision and re-brand the Sunset Area to create a unique employment, entertainment and education center that would provide regional benefit and create high-wage jobs for residents of nearby cities and unincorporated areas.

Placer County’s role is to create a zoning ordinance for the Sunset Area Plan, which includes new use allowances and flexible development standards.

The proposed plan includes 300 acres of land to be dedicated to California State University, Sacramento for a possible satellite campus. At build-out, the school may support as many as 25,000 Sac State students. Sierra College plans to locate a transfer center on the site to serve an additional 5,000 students. Ultimately, it’s envisioned that students will be able to begin their studies at Sierra College and complete four-year degrees at the same Placer campus.

The Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan are intended to create a major job center, catalyzed by proximity to the university campus.

“This area of south Placer County has the potential to serve as a beacon of economic prosperity and higher education for the entire region,” said District 1 Supervisor Jack Duran.

The Sunset Area Plan is a county regulatory document that establishes new land use designations and zoning districts that provide a framework for future land development. It includes land use and zoning changes that would allow land use types including innovation center, general commercial, entertainment mixed-use, business park, eco-industrial and light industrial. Land use and zoning changes proposed in the Sunset Area Plan would also allow for workforce housing aimed at supporting the employment-generating uses.

The Placer Ranch Specific Plan is a development project that includes approximately 8.5 million square feet of commercial, employment and university-related, non-residential use; of which 4.5 million square feet would be located in a campus park district that would include office, research and development, light industrial and commercial uses.

It also proposes about 5,600 homes in a variety of density ranges; elementary and middle schools; approximately 330 acres of open space and parks; a town center with a vibrant, high-density residential and commercial, mixed-use area; and a bike and trail network that ties into existing trails and connects the university campus with the schools, parks and neighborhoods.

Draft environmental impact reports for the Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan will be available for review until Feb. 22. The draft environmental impact reports provide a program-level analysis of the Sunset Area Plan and a project-level analysis of the Placer Ranch Specific Plan.

The Placer County Planning Commission will conduct a public meeting on the draft EIR Feb. 14 at the Placer County Community Development Resources Agency, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, in Auburn. The planning commission agenda will be available online beginning Feb. 7 here.

The public meeting will include a presentation by county planning staff, who will provide the Planning Commission and community members with an overview of the plans and the draft EIR and an opportunity to offer input.

The draft EIR is available for public review during normal business hours at the Placer County Libraries in Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln; the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency offices at 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn; and at the Placer County Clerk’s Office at 2954 Richardson Drive, Auburn. It’s also available online at https://www.placer.ca.gov/departments/communitydevelopment/envcoordsvcs/eir/sunsetarea-placerranch

For comments and questions regarding the project, please contact principal planner Crystal Jacobsen at cjacobsen@placer.ca.gov or call 530-745-3000.


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ROSEVILLE, CA (MPG) - The Placer County Board of Supervisors today (December 18, 2018) unanimously voted to approve the Placer County Sports and Event Complex project @the Grounds in Roseville.

The project is a collaboration between Placer Valley Sports Complex, City of Roseville and Placer County. The initial phase will see construction of a 160,000-square-foot sports and event complex, with the potential for adding a 30,000-square-foot expansion and a 6,000-square-foot culinary building later.

The sports and event complex facility will be designed for hosting various sports events and tournaments such as volleyball, basketball, martial arts, dance and cheer competitions. The culinary building would include a demonstration kitchen, food storage area, meeting rooms, banquet rooms and offices.

“I am extremely proud to have this exciting and unique project be part of the fabric of the Roseville community and serve the entire region,” said District 1 Supervisor Jack Duran. “The complex will be a tremendous venue offering multifaceted experiences for people of all ages.”

“We greatly appreciate the county’s support for @the Grounds to develop a much-needed and one-of-a-kind events complex to meet the community’s needs,” said Placer Valley Sports Complex Chief Executive Officer David Attaway.

The board took several actions today, including approval of a ground lease agreement with Placer Valley Sports Complex, to operate a portion of the fairgrounds at a cost of $4 million for the period from Jan. 2, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2052.

The board also approved a series of real property transactions with the City of Roseville, including a purchase and sale agreement for 3.4 acres of county property for $1.3 million. Roseville intends to use the land to accommodate potential future city facilities.

“This project would not be possible without the collaborative effort between the City of Roseville and Placer County,” said Placer County Public Works and Facilities Deputy Director Mark Rideout.

In May, Placer Valley Tourism unveiled its $10 million renovation of @the Grounds, at the venue formerly known as the Placer County Fairgrounds.

The project, a collaboration of Placer County and Placer Valley Tourism, improved facilities across the property to better suit today's gathering and meeting space needs, and restores many of @the Grounds' original, unique architectural features.


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival on January 26, 2019 is a free community event bringing together storytellers from all over the state.  The all-day event is at General Gomez Art Center, 808 Lincoln Way, Auburn, California 95603.

children’s hour with stories and music for families starts off the day at 10:30 am. Ed Lewis and Joan McCammon keep the little ones entertained with songs, stories and maybe even a parade.

After a lunch break a free workshop titled “Story Play”  taught by Joan Stockbridge will share tips and techniques to improve or even just began your own storytelling journey.

Open Telling starts at 2:45. Anyone in the audience and tell a story. Rules are that the story must be no more than five minutes, must be family friendly, and told with no notes or props. Sign-up forms are available at the welcome desk.

Who is the biggest liar in the neighborhood? The Liar’s Contest starts at 4:30 pm and gives tall tale tellers a chance to lay it on thick. Again, rules are a five-minute limit, family friendly and told with no notes or props. Tellers are asked to sign-up earlier in the day.

At 6:30 pm six regional storytellers perform stories for a grown-up audience.  Here is where you will hear about the lovely heifer taken to be serviced by a big ugly Brahma bull, or the holiday pie lost off the top of Dad’s car, or flapjacks that saved a family’s fortune in gold dust or…what will this year’s stories be?

The entire day is FREE to the public made possible by sponsors that include the Auburn Arts Commission and the Arts Council of Placer County. This is the fourth Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival presented by the Foothill Storytelling Guild, an eclectic group of foothill people interested in keeping alive the art of telling stories aloud. AWSF is planned and executed by dozens of volunteers.

 For more information: www.auburnwinterstorytellingfestival.com or email info@auburnwinterstorytellingfestival.com

Check out several 2018 tellers at Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival You Tube


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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Placer Community Foundation invites local high school seniors and current college students to apply for scholarship awards for the 2019-2020 year. The Community Foundation is utilizing an online system, Smarter Select, for most of the applications. Eligibility criteria vary for each scholarship award and may include financial need, merit, geographic area or field of study. Students may read requirements and access application links here (http://placercf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2019-Master-Scholarship-Info.pdf). Deadlines are in March for all programs. Please note late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you are having trouble accessing the online application or you would like more information about the scholarships, please contact Eileen Speaker at program@placercf.org or 530.885.4920. There are seven opportunities this year:

Placer High School students only:

Ken and Janice Forbes Geil Scholarship

Larry D. Mitchell Memorial Scholarship

Al Saladana Scholarship

Carmen Wilson Scholarship

Placer High School, Del Oro High School, Foresthill High School and Colfax High School:

John G. & Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship

 

Lincoln High School students only:

Ben Parra Scholarship

Former Newcastle Elementary School students:

Richard and Doris Sayles Family Scholarship

 

About Placer Community Foundation

Placer Community Foundation (PCF) grows local giving to strengthen our community by connecting donors who care with causes that matter. Known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation continually monitors the region to better understand the nature of local needs, so that it can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, animals and the environment. To learn more about establishing charitable funds during your lifetime or through your estate plan, visit PLACERGIVES.ORG, contact Jessica Hubbard at jhubbard@placercf.org, or call (530) 885-4920.


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