CRUSH LIFE: Inspiration From the Field

Story and Photos by Ethan Van Horn (Age 13)  |  2017-05-25

Our Wounded Warriors can still take a big swing at life.

I have been playing America’s game ever since I was 3 years old. I love the smell of a stadium hot dog, fresh cut grass, and the sound of a ball when it hits the bat. Baseball is my sport. I enjoy it on and off the field, and I can truly say it is the most beautiful sport around. I’ve been blessed with the speed to run from home to first base in under 4.5 seconds; that’s 90 feet! While I feel lucky to have such talent, I must admit I rarely consider what it would be like not to have these abilities.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day with the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team who is made up of some incredibly brave people…true heroes! Not just because they served in the United States military, but because they are amazing, inspiring, and all around brave souls. These men and women were wounded in combat; some lost their arms, some lost their legs… but they never lost their will to succeed!

My dad has been active duty for over ten years now, and I have watched him deploy twice and come back home safely. I never once thought about my dad losing an arm or a leg. I admit feeling like he is indestructible, sort of assuming he would be okay. But the truth is, when a soldier goes to war they are risking their life: there is no guarantee they will be safe.

These warriors went to war just like my dad but they were injured, injured bad. I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into meeting this team. I had never met anyone who lost an arm or leg, and I was a little nervous at first. I kept thinking to myself “What if I offend them with my questions?” I sure didn’t want to do that.

But as I watched these men and women play ball, I realized we share a love of the game. Their bases may not be 90 feet apart, but who cares?! These athletes are doing exactly what I do when I lace up my cleats and hit the field: they are playing the best game around: baseball!

I sat down with two of the players, Cody and Josh, to ask them some questions about their past, and I as in awe by their stories. These athletes were just doing their job, the job they were trained to do, and then the unthinkable happened. They could have given up, but instead they found the courage and the drive to keep on going. They found a new cause to fight for, and refused to let anything get in their way.

Whether they believe it or not they are still heroes, every time they take the field or saddle up to the plate. These athletes get out on that ball field and run, dive for balls, scale the wall for that winning catch, and play their hearts out over and over again. I am sure they must be in pain from time to time, must occasionally stumble on their new legs, but they never give up. By refusing to drop their glove to the ground and quit a game, they send a powerful message about never giving up in life.

I will leave you with something one of the players, Nick, told me, something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Nick is amazing, his story is so inspiring—this hero has been through more than most of us will ever go through in our lifetime, and he still carries a smile on his face and lives life to the fullest. I asked all the players to sign my jersey, and along with his signature Nick added something special: his personal motto.

I hope it will inspire you as it does me, “Crush Life!”

First printed in MILITARY KIDS' LIFE magazine. Reprinted by permission.

State Theatre Presents James McMurtry

Source: Lia Carotta, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center  |  2017-05-25

On Stage at the State Theatre in Auburn

James McMurtry

Sunday, August 6, 2017 ~ 7:30 pm

James McMurtry is an acclaimed rock and folk/Americana singer. His latest release, Complicated Game, spotlights a craftsman in absolutely peak form as he turns from political toward personal “The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” McMurtry says. “It’s also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman”.

The New York Times Magazine’s “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going” features  James McMurtry, “Copper Canteen,” the opening track on his 2015 album, “Complicated Game,” is the song I’ve returned to most since Election Day. The narrator is a hunter, a fisherman and a small-business owner. He doesn’t go to church, but his wife does. Although retirement is in sight, and he has a pension, he hasn’t been able to save as much money as he would like, in part because the store he owns is getting squeezed by “the big boxes out on the bypass.”

Complicated Game delivers McMurtry’s trademark story songs time and again, but the record brings a new (and certainly no less energetic) sonic approach. First, recall blistering beats and gnashing guitars from his magnum opus Just Us Kids (2008). Now, unplug. “The label head wanted more acoustic,” McMurtry explains. “We built everything as we went so we ended up with more acoustic guitar as we went. We just played whatever sounded right for a given song, but we weren’t necessarily saying this is an acoustic record.” Complicated Game doubles down on literate storytelling longtime enthusiasts expect.

John Mellencamp served as co-producer on McMurtry's critically lauded debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland, marking the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill Records. McMurtry has worked with Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely, and Dwight Yoakam.

In 2004, McMurtry released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three. The following year, Childish Things notched arguably his most critical praise, spending six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, Childish Things and single We Can’t Make It Here won the Americana Music Awards for Album and Song of the Year, respectively. McMurtry received more Americana Music Award nominations for 2008’s Just Us Kids.

Date and Time: Sunday, August 6 2017 ~ 7:30 pm

Run Time: 2 hours with intermission

General Admission: $30 Advance, $32 Day of Show

Location: 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn CA

Box Office: or 530-885-0156

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Sierra College Wins National Award

Source: Sierra College  |  2017-05-24

The Sierra College Marketing Department staff are the proud recipients of two Paragon awards from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations. The two Bronze awards were awarded for Sierra College’s 80th Anniversary logo design and the 80th Anniversary Microsite.

NCMPR’s prestigious Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication at community and technical colleges. It’s the only national competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges. There were nearly 1,750 entries from 247 colleges in this year’s Paragon Awards competition Nearly 80 judges from across the country in the marketing and PR industry reviewed and scored the entries. Altogether, 92 colleges came up winners.

Multimedia and Web Specialist Tosh Campanella received word from NCMPR stating, “On behalf of the NCMPR District 6 Executive Team, I’d like to thank you for participating in the NCMPR District 6 Medallion Awards. This year’s contest was full of great work done by great college communicators. Congratulations on your successful projects!”

Campanella worked with the Marketing team to create the Sierra College 80th Anniversary Microsite. The web address is Marketing is in the process of editing additional videos that will be loaded to the site. Community members are encouraged to load their own Sierra College stories onto the website.

About Sierra College
Sierra College District is rising to meet the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at

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Renovations Rev Up Oak Creek BMX Track

Source: Amy Looney, Placer Valley Tourism  |  2017-05-24

Number One BMX Track Builder in the Nation Works his Magic in Roseville

Oak Creek BMX is currently undergoing a major track rebuild that was primarily funded by a $10,000 capital improvement grant from Placer Valley Tourism (PVT). The last track rebuild took place back in 2011 and with the recent rain and normal wear and tear this type of track experiences a rebuild was necessary in order for Oak Creek to stay competitive.

Since 1985 Oak Creek BMX has been making dreams come true for riders young and old, all which has been made possible because of the dedication of track owners and operators, Bruce and Linda Minton. Their BMX facility has continually been ranked the No. 1 track in Northern California.

As a consistent partner to PVT, Oak Creek BMX brings in weekly events as well as several major events throughout the year and this track rebuild will put them back on the USA BMX map and in contention to host a national event in the near future.

USA BMX rider and Oak Creek BMX spokesperson Kent Elliot explained that they have Billy Allen heading up the rebuild who is nationally known as the best in the track rebuild business. “Billy wants the top BMX Olympians to be able to come back to Roseville and hit the rack at nearly 40 mph at a national event very soon,” stated Kent. “His goal was to have the track ready for that event when it comes and so far that is exactly what is unfolding.”

“We have a great group of volunteers who are helping finish this out and we fully expect to be back to operating and racing this Saturday night,” added Kent. “Thank you to everyone at PVT for helping put Roseville back on the map with a national caliber BMX track!”

Oak Creek BMX is located at 648 Riverside Ave in Roseville. Come check out the races and the beautiful newly rebuilt track this weekend! Races are tentatively scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

About Placer Valley Tourism
Placer Valley Tourism (PVT) is made up for the 23 hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, California. PVT recruits and supports hundreds of annual events with grants, marketing, volunteers and other services as needed. To learn more about how PVT can help bring your event here, visit or call 916-773-5400.

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Come Check out the Foresthill Creative Arts Center

Source: Foresthill Creative Arts Center  |  2017-05-17

Our Open House is Friday, May 19 & Saturday, May 20

Vendors and Artists Registration Extended to Thursday, May 18th!

This is the Tenth Annual Foresthill Community Art Show and we would love for you to participate. You can scan and email in your Artist or Vendor application to us at: or bring it in person during our office hours (8.a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Foresthill Creative Arts Center, 24750 Main Street. Foresthill artists will set up in the gym Friday morning between 9 and 1 p.m. and our out-of-town artists will be shown in various rooms throughout the Center.

Booth space is available for $20 per day. We are offering a discount of $10 per day for non-profit groups. Set up is available in classroom spaces on the lower campus, as well as on the grass in front.

About Us
Nestled among the trees at the edge of town, the former Foresthill Elementary School is being refreshed to serve as the Foresthill Creative Arts Center. Natural light pours into spacious rooms, inspiring creativity. Come check out the beautiful spaces available for studios, classes, workshops, and other cultural activities. As we develop FHCAC we are focused on creating a place where artists and artisans can explore their own work, teach others, and be part of a community of creative minds.

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Mural Design Contest for Foresthill Creative Arts Center

Source: Foresthill Creative Arts Center  |  2017-05-17

$500 First Place Award

Foresthill Union School District is looking for a talented artist to create mural designs for the front of the Foresthill Creative Arts Center. The mural will be located at the front of the building and may extend 40 feet - in the area between the office and down to the gym entrance.

Design themes should include: Foresthill, Art, & Education.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, June 20 at noon to the District Office at 24750 Main Street.

A panel will review the designs and select a winner. The winner will be contacted by July 3rd, with the announcement to be made at the 4th of July community celebration at Memorial Park. We are hoping for work to begin in July so that the mural can be ready for our Grand Opening, Saturday September 9th.

The artist will also be responsible for overseeing a team of volunteers to complete the project. An addition $500 award will be payable at the completion of the project.

We welcome you to make a lasting and beautiful mark on our community.

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Save a Trip to South Lake Tahoe

Source: Robert Miller, County of Placer   |  2017-05-17

Placer County Can Now Sign Off On Eastern County Grading Permits

Placer County continually strives to make permitting easier. Now, through an agreement with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, the county can sign off on grading permits for residents of eastern Placer County that previously required a trip to water board offices in South Lake Tahoe.

The agreement offers a simpler, more efficient permitting process for applicants by allowing the county to review and permit small construction projects that disturb less an acre of land. Previously, those projects required applicants to file directly with the water board.

This new service applies to projects in the eastern portion of the county, but not those in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Approval for residential projects in the basin that need Tahoe Regional Planning Agency signoff can also be done by the county at its offices at 775 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City.

The new water board agreement will apply to most residential projects, and a majority of commercial projects, in the Truckee River watershed. Any projects that may disturb surface waters or wetlands, or are within the 100-year floodplain of the Truckee River or its tributaries, still need an exemption from the water board.

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Bill Giving Tax Relief to Homeowners and Renters Passes First Hurdle

Source: Office of Assemblyman Matthew Harper  |  2017-05-17

On May 16th, Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) and Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R- Diamond Bar) announced the passage of their “American Dream” bill which increases the existing homeowners’ exemption on their property tax from $7,000 to $25,000, giving relief to homeowners, renters and those aspiring to own a home.

“Homeowners and renters in California are paying some of the highest overall taxes in the nation,” Assemblyman Harper said. “It’s about time that the size of the homeowner’s property tax exemption kept up with the increases in cost of living. Also, I want to thank Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish for working with me to bring this bill forward.”

“High property taxes are making it impossible for too many Californians, who spent their lifetime living and working here, to stay”, said Assemblyman Phillip Chen. This bill would provide immediate relief for millions of homeowners with an emphasis on helping those whose taxes far exceed their ability to pay.”

The homeowner’s exemption hasn’t been increased in 40 years. Meanwhile, the cost of a median priced house has increased from $21,000 to over $450,000, and represents a home that only 30 percent of Californians can afford to purchase. California has a housing crisis and providing tax relief for homeowners and renters will unquestionably lead to enhanced economic stability,” said David Wolfe, Legislative Director with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

The “American Dream” bill will also adjust the renter’s credit by a corresponding amount.

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Senator Gaines Issues Statement on Governor’s Budget Revise

Source: Office of Senator Ted Gaines  |  2017-05-16

Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) issued the following statement regarding Governor Brown’s revised 2017-18 state budget proposal:

“I demand a full and complete explanation as to why Californians’ truck weight fees have been diverted from their true purpose over the past five years and why our sky high gas taxes have not been enough to pay for our roads. Instead, we’re now forced to pay $5 billion more per year for increased gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads.

“California's income tax collections were nearly $1 billion short of projections during the month of April. I know the legislature will be tempted to sink every last dollar into new and ongoing spending programs at a time when we should heed State Controller Betty Yee’s warning that we may be ‘inching towards an economic downturn’ and that we must ‘tailor our spending accordingly.’

“Brown continues to sound all the right notes about fiscal discipline and debt reduction, but has the largest ever state spending plan, out of whack spending priorities and little accountability. Overtaxed Californians need relief, not a continuation of the government’s never ending tax and spend cycle that makes California so unaffordable.”

To view the entire revised budget, visit

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

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2017 Is Officially Wettest Year on Record

Source: Placer County Water Agency  |  2017-05-11

At its April 20 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors received news that April showers have boosted Northern California precipitation totals to record levels. At Lake Spaulding, PCWA’s primary water source, cumulative rainfall measured 125.8 inches.

“This matches the wettest water year on record with still more than 5 months remaining in the water year. Any additional precipitation this year will add to the wettest record in more than a century,” stated Darin Reintjes, PCWA’s Power Scheduling Manager.

The American River Basin snow sensors report almost 2 times the normal amount of water in snowpack storage. PCWA’s Middle Fork Project reservoirs remain full and hydro generators are running at maximum capacity. The reservoirs are expected to remain full and spill excess runoff that the generators cannot pass from melting snowpack as temperatures continue to increase. Above normal flows of water can be expected through the American River into mid to late summer. Recreation opportunities will be limited during the runoff and spilling period until flows recede later in the summer.

The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2:00 PM at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn. PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

For information on PCWA board meetings, please contact the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

About PCWA
Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) is the primary water resource agency for Placer County, California, with a broad range of responsibilities including water resource planning and management, retail and wholesale supply of drinking water and irrigation water, and production of hydroelectric energy.

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