If passed, Bill 825 will have punishing effect on women-owned companies, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA(MPG) - A committee of the State Senate will this week consider a dual-action bill that would simultaneously prohibit most construction companies from competing on Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation projects for 10 years and eliminate pre-apprenticeship curricula that has facilitated employment opportunities for thousands of men and women in California.

A hearing on Senate Bill 825 will be held by the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee in Room 2040 of the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 11, at 9:30 a.m. The hearing can be viewed live on the California Senate website.

Section 2 of Senate Bill 825 would erect a barrier against smaller construction companies, including those owned by women and minorities, by requiring CDCR to sign a 10-year community workforce agreement (Project Labor Agreement) for all construction of $500,000 or more. 

Community workforce agreements, or PLAs, are exclusive construction contracts between public agencies and labor unions for projects such as prisons, schools, hospitals, and police and fire stations.  While well-intended, the exclusive nature of these PLA/CWA contracts prevent local contractors and small-business owners from competing for projects.

Traditionally, PLAs require the use of union labor, even if the successful bidding company is non-union. So, when a non-union company is granted the contract, it must perform the work using union workers rather than their own skilled and trained employees. Therefore, a company may not hire its own employees for a particular job, including workers who were formerly incarcerated. 

Additionally, SB 825 would prohibit use of the National Center for Construction Education and Research’s (NCCER) CORE curriculum, a curriculum that 18,000 individuals have completed in the past 10 years at one of 108 locations throughout California. The California Department of Education, the state Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California State University system, and the state’s community college system have all partnered with NCCER. Instead, SB 825 would turn all pre-apprentice training over to labor organizations. 

“The community workforce agreement contained in Senate Bill 825 would discourage nearly 82 percent of California’s construction workforce from competing for and winning construction contracts,” said Michele Daugherty, President and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California. “Furthermore, limiting inmates to just union labor when 80 percent of construction jobs in California are provided by contractors not signed to a collective bargaining agreement, severely hampers their pursuit of a construction career. We should keep every possible door of opportunity open for those who served time and now seek a new chapter in their life.”

Testifying in opposition to SB 825 will be:

  • Christine Leone of San Jose, who started her own electrical contracting company, Leone Electric, 1993
  • Jay Hanicek, owner of American Plumbing Systems in Rancho Cordova, who started his business as a single dad
  • Robert Stewart, a superintendent for Oakland-based Helix Electric, who is a graduate of a prison training program.

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Velvety and Breathless

By Orchestra Media  |  2018-04-04

American River College Orchestra presents Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony and Soloist Irina Samarina playing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Moving from velvety and smooth to turbulent and breathless, Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor is considered one of the great Romantic concertos and soloist Irina Samarina has the credentials to tackle the work. This concerto and Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony round out ARC Orchestra’s program on May 2nd at 7:30 pm at the ARC Theater.

The Romantic period is characterized by expanded orchestras and powerful expressions of emotions. The violin concerto is no exception.

“Sibelius’ concerto is full of images of Finland’s nature, cold as fire, dark emotional plains, dramatic melodies, and a lot of lyricism,” explained Samarina. “I love playing this concerto because it gives the soloist an opportunity to shine and gives the orchestra a strong role. The most challenging thing is to blend and balance all the emotions as an ensemble and a soloist.”

Samarina has been playing the violin since she was seven years old. She has a doctorate in musical arts and has traveled as a soloist in Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Israel, and the United States. She is currently playing in Stockton Symphony Orchestra, teaching, and is an active member of Music Teachers’ Association of California.

This will be the first time Samarina has collaborated with the ARC Orchestra.

“It is such wonderful experience,” she said. “I love how the orchestra brings melodies that the soloist is trying to stay on top of. It is great to share and put all thoughts into the music, music that brings a message of light and hope.”

The orchestra is also performing Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, one that reveals the composer’s virtuosity as well as the tragedy of his time. The first movement opens with the brooding bassoon echoed by dark notes coming from the strings before lightening up with a quicker theme from the winds. The second movement proceeds gracefully into the third which is the emotional highpoint of the work. The symphony is groundbreaking in its ending. Tchaikovsky chooses an adagio lamentoso, as slow and melancholy as the words suggest and then the entire work ends in a minor key.

“Some feel that the sixth symphony is Tchaikovsky’s suicide letter to the world,” said

Steven Thompson, ARC Orchestra director. “His death occurred nine days after the scores’ completion in what we now know was a coerced poisoning by a circle of Tchaikovsky’s former law school classmates. Their concern was that Tchaikovsky was about to be outed for being gay (in a severely homophobic Czarist Russia) which they felt would bring dishonor to their alma mater. They convinced him to take his own life through a dosing of arsenic...a horrible and painful death. The events leading up to his decision to end his life seem to have happened after the symphony’s completion date, but the story persists. At times melancholy and emotional and at other times triumphant and heroic, Tchaikovsky wrote that this symphony was the best of his works.”

For more information on the American River College Orchestra and these concerts, contact Dr. Steven Thompson at (916) 484-8433 or visit the ARCO website. General information can also be found at the ARCO Facebook page.

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Music Industry Event Coming to Tim’s Music

By Tad Frease  |  2018-04-04

Group to perform ‘Where the Rivers Meet.’ Photo courtesy The Sacramento Valley Music Industry

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Valley Music Industry Forum “mini” will be held this year at Tim's Music located in Carmichael at 6118 Fair Oaks Blvd. on Saturday, April 14 from 12-4 p.m. 

This event will feature many activities pertaining to the music community and will be an important and informative event for musicians as well as other artists.  There will be a songwriter showcase highlighting original music now being created in our community and an industry consultation table will be accessible to discuss the needs of local musicians.

There will also be industry professionals in attendance.  The industry series panel will include Brian McKenna (Abstract), Danielle Vincent (1st Fest), Jim Hart (promotional advisor with Tim's Music), Scott Tei and Angela (Nicholson's Music). They will be discussing venues, festivals and events in the Sacramento Valley region as well as changing issues and supporting arts in our community.

An artist series panel discussion will also be held with Myki Angeline, Julian Mendoza, Michael Lorda and Ben McClara (Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy). They will all be discussing emerging trends and changes currently in the music industry.

A red carpet media opportunity is available for photos and videos to support emerging artists.

This will be a good chance for musicians to network with other artists as well as learning about the changing landscape of the industry.

Creative Edge, Mayor Steinberg’s arts consultation group, will be in attendance willing to hear comments and suggestions posed by artists. There will also be a “buzzboard” for any comments or statements by the attendees. California Lawyers for the Arts will also be represented for industry legal questions and information on becoming a C.L.A. member.

“Anyone involved in a musical endeavor shouldn't miss this event,” said Eric Chun, organizer and director of the SVMI Forum.  Eric, who is also a professor of music at American River College and formerly with Warner Bros. calls this event the “mini” because it is a pre-cursor to a larger event in Sacramento this Fall. “Anyone in a band, writing or recording music or making films or music videos should put this on their calendar,” he said. “This will be a fun and productive day for everyone.”

Even those who are not musicians but want to contribute in some way to the music community are welcome and encouraged to attend. Admission is only $5.00 (kids under 12 are free) and a portion of the proceeds go to Girls Rock Sacramento and the NAMM foundation.

For more information, go to the Sac Valley Music Industry Forum Facebook page or contact Creative Music Services at CMS@wizwire.com.

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Women’s Empowerment Graduates 1,500th Formerly Homeless Woman

By Kate Towson  |  2018-04-04

Recent graduate Cynthia Miller and her children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,503 homeless women and their children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training.

24 women once homeless graduate from the Sacramento job-readiness program

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Community members from across Sacramento witnessed Women’s Empowerment graduate its 1,500th formerly homeless woman, Cynthia Miller of Citrus Heights, in mid-March. Miller joined 23 other graduates as they completed the comprehensive nine-week job-readiness program for homeless women.

Miller was homeless with her three young children when she was accepted into  Women’s Empowerment’s job-readiness program.

“Women’s Empowerment truly gave me hope and it boosted my confidence. It was so empowering because it made me realize how much I have to offer our community.”

Miller’s immediate goal is to attend college in the fall to obtain her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate and begin working at a senior living facility.

“My ultimate goal is stop this cycle of homelessness so my children don’t have to grow up in it anymore. I plan on providing a stable home for them and enrolling them in a school where they can make friends for life. Having all of the support from Women’s Empowerment helped me discover that achieving my dreams is possible.”

Held at the VFW Post 67 in Sacramento, 100 graduation attendees heard each graduate’s story and future plans. Each woman accepted their certificates of achievement from Intel, the California Assembly and Women’s Empowerment. She received a new handbag filled with a day planner and other items designed to help her succeed from the generous employees of Dignity Health, and enjoyed a lovely reception sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Greater Sacramento.

 “Our graduation ceremonies are a unique community event where women like Cynthia can be celebrated for their accomplishments,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “At Women’s Empowerment, we know that employment and education are the most long-term solutions to truly ending homelessness. And today 24 formerly homeless women are re-joining our workforce, regaining safe housing and breaking the cycle of homelessness for themselves and their children. They are ready to achieve their dreams.”

Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,503 homeless women and their children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org.


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Local Ford Dealer Steve Pleau Inducted into Ford’s Dealership Hall of Fame

By Rachael DiCicco  |  2018-04-03

Steve Pleau, President of Future Automotive Group in Roseville, was inducted into the Ford Dealership Hall of Fame. Rachael DiCicco

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Steve Pleau, President of Future Automotive Group in Roseville, was inducted into the Ford Dealership Hall of Fame last week at the Top 100 Volume Summit in Laguna Beach. Pleau was the sixth inductee and one of five other dealers who joined the prestigious group including previous winners Bert Boeckmann, Vince Sheehy, Bill Brown, Sam Pack and Brad Adkins.

“This has been the highlight of my career,” Pleau said. “It is truly an honor. As a small business owner, being inducted into Ford’s Hall of Fame could not have happened without the hard work of our entire team. The success of Future Ford is not the accomplishment of one person, it is the hard work of our entire staff that makes us all so successful.”

Steve is a legacy, having started working at his father’s dealership, Downtown Ford, in the finance and insurance department in 1969 before working his way up to sales manager. He opened his own dealership, Future Ford of Roseville, in 1981 and has expanded that into Future Automotive Group. They are now on their third generation of Pleau’s selling Fords in the Northern California market, with Pleau’s son, Geoff, working alongside him.

Future Automotive Group is comprised of eight dealerships, 12 franchises and two commercial service centers throughout Northern California. Future Automotive Group has proceeded to earn Ford Motor Company’s most distinguished awards, including winning the Ford Distinguished Achievement Award nine times, receiving the President’s Award 17 times, being awarded the One Hundred Club 12 times and being the #1 Volume Dealer in Northern California in Retail Sales for 18 years. A Sacramento native, Steve is very involved in the community, including being big supporter of Sacramento State, of which he is an alumnus, Sutter Health and numerous other charities. 


“We are extremely excited to include Steve Pleau in the Ford Dealership Hall of Fame,” said Rob Kaffl, Ford General Manager of Marketing, Sales & Service. “His hard work for over 35 years has made him a friend to customers, a mentor to employees and an inspiration to other dealers. He truly deserves this honor and we are lucky to have such an outstanding dealer representing Ford.”

In order to be inducted into the Ford Dealership Hall of Fame, the honoree must be regarded as a true hero/heroine. That includes being loved by their customers, revered by their employees, engrained in their community and respected by the 3,000 Ford dealers nationwide who are inspired by and learn from their success. In addition, they must also have demonstrated leadership as Dealer Principal for 25 or more years.

Market Area General Managers must nominate candidates for consideration from each of their respective Market Areas.  Dianne Craig, U.S. Director of Sales, and Mark LaNeve, Vice President, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, make the final determination and approval of who will be inducted.

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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The number of homeless individuals in Placer County decreased slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to county results from the annual point-in-time count published today by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras. HRCS is the lead agency in the region's Homeless Continuum of Care, composed of numerous local government and nonprofit agency partners.

A total of 584 homeless individuals were counted across the county, from Roseville to North Lake Tahoe. The count surveyed both unsheltered and sheltered individuals and was conducted by volunteers and county staff for the night of Jan. 24. By comparison, 663 homeless individuals were identified in the 2017 count.

“We are encouraged to see signs that the efforts we’ve made around housing, along with comprehensive services to address barriers from mental health challenges to substance use, appear to be bearing fruit,” said Leslie Brewer, board president of the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras.

In the last year alone, Placer County’s Health and Human Services Department has worked with community partners including the Sutter Health Foundation and AMI Housing to purchase and open three buildings offering more than 30 units of permanent housing for homeless individuals.

More than 100 people have been enrolled in intensive case management through the county’s Whole Person Care pilot program. The county has also invested in housing coordinators and in emergency shelter services in North Auburn and south Placer. January marked the launch of the Homeless Resource Helpline (1-833-3PLACER), a telephone gateway to housing resources for homeless people.

Of adults who responded to detailed survey questions, 39 percent were chronically homeless. Forty-one percent reported having a serious mental illness, and 23 percent had a substance use disorder.

Point-in-time counts are not a comprehensive measure of an area's homeless population, but rather snapshots from a single day that can be used to approximate broad trends. Typically, they are viewed as undercounts for a community's yearly overall homeless population because many people may move in and out of homelessness throughout the year.

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River Cats to Partner with CW31 to Broadcast Nine Games During the 2018 Season

By Sacramento River Cats  |  2018-04-02

The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants.  The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2018 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com. Photo by Barry Sibert

Local CW affiliate will broadcast nine River Cats home games during the 2018 regular season

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento River Cats and CBS13/CW31 have announced that they will partner to broadcast nine Saturday home games during the 2018 regular season. The games will be available locally in the Sacramento market on CW31, home of Good Day Sacramento.

After a successful broadcast of the 2018 Exhibition Game between the Sacramento River Cats and San Francisco Giants on CW31, the partnership has been extended for 2018 to include games on April 28, May 12, May 26, June 9, June 23, July 14,July 28, August 11, and August 25. Each game is scheduled to begin at 7:07 p.m. and coverage on CW31 will begin at 7:00 p.m.

“We are thrilled to expand on our relationship with KMAX-TV to bring even more River Cats baseball to those in the Sacramento Region,” says Chip Maxson, General Manager of the River Cats. “This new partnership will go far beyond a broadcast as we hope to bring our fans closer than ever to the action, introduce them to the personal side of players and coaches, while also working to impact our community in new and exciting ways.”

“CBS13/CW31 are proud to be the official Sacramento stations of the San Francisco Giants, and now the Sacramento River Cats.  The River Cats are a great source of local sports entertainment and we are looking forward to televising their games, while also featuring the team’s players and coaches on Good Day Sacramento and CBS13 Sports Xtra.” says Jay Howell, Vice President and General Manager of KOVR and KMAX-TV.

Ticket plans and single-game tickets are available now for the 2018 season. For more information, please visit rivercats.com, email tickets@rivercats.com, or call the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487).

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