PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Placer Valley Tourism is thrilled to be teaming up with Capital Thunder Youth Hockey to bring the inaugural Capital Classic Hockey Tournament to Skatetown Ice Arena in Roseville over Memorial Day Weekend.
Youth hockey teams from throughout the state will be coming to compete from May 26 to 28. The tournament has a four game guarantee for all teams and will showcase four age divisions for players 9 to 18 years old.
"Visiting teams from a number of different cities in California including Santa Rosa, Fresno and Lake Tahoe as well as our local teams will be participate in our first ever Capital Classic," explained Capital Thunder's Tournament Director Frank Ligas.
"We are so excited to be hosting this tournament at Skatetown," added Ligas. "Ice Hockey is one of the fastest growing youth sports in the country and Capital Thunder would like to invite anyone who is interested in learning more about the game to come see these kids play over Memorial Day Weekend."
Games will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26 and continue throughout the day. Sunday, May 27 teams will return to the ice at 9 a.m. and battle it out all day again. The top two high school teams will play the championship game at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, May 28 to see who gets crowned champion of the Capital Classic!
There is no fee for spectators and concessions are available to purchase on-site. Mark your calendars and come on down to Skatetown at 1009 Orlando Ave in Roseville to catch the intense action on the ice!
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On April 25 more than 70 members of American Legion posts throughout the state of California, along with members of the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion, spent an informative and interactive day meeting their legislators and sharing their concerns for the future of the more than 1.7 million veterans living in the Golden State.
The American Legion is one of the largest veteran advocates in the United States. Sons of the American Legion (SAL) also exists to honor the services and sacrifices of those who served their country.
Veterans Legislative Advocate Seth Reeb welcomed attendees with an explanation of the day’s events and kept the program moving as Assembly members and Senators from El Dorado Hills, Napa, Merced, Thousand Oaks, Riverside, Fullerton, Dana Point (Orange County), and Oceanside, many of them veterans themselves, explained the legislation they are sponsoring.
Dr. Vito Imbasciani M.D., secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and head of the CalVet Leadership Team, spoke of the tragic killing of three staffers by a former patient at the Yountville Veterans Home on March 10, 2018. The patient was in a special program for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. SB1314 has been introduced to prevent this from happening again.
Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) each received the Department’s 2017 Leo P. Burke Legislator of the Year Award for their leadership, support and dedication to the veterans and service members of California.
Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) is working on Senate Bill SB 1375 that would reinstate the “VETERAN” license plate, which will be available only to veterans. Gaines spoke of his father who at 18 years joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving on a tail gunner on a bomber in Germany.
Assemblyman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs described AB 2325, which would protect an eligible veteran’s ability to access county mental or behavioral health services.
Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, explained his Bill, SB 1080, which would streamline the state’s driver licensing requirements for active duty military and their families so they can begin earning extra income from ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber without unnecessary fees and delays.
Other examples of bills included AB 2394, which exempts military retirement pay from California state income tax, AB 2801, which addresses the problem of veteran and law enforcement memorials being vandalized, and SB 1452, which would establish the War on Terror Memorial Committee to look into the feasibility of the construction of a memorial in or around the State Capitol Park.
Other proposed legislation addresses veteran housing, homelessness, issues with disabled veterans, and more funding for county veterans service officers from the current $5.6 million to $7 million.
Elizabeth Perez-Halperin, a U.S. Navy veteran, was recently named Deputy Secretary of Minority Veterans at the California Department of Veteran Affairs. She gave a presentation of her work with minority and unrepresented veterans including African American, Latino, Native American, LGBT, and the homeless. In a recent issue of CalVet Connect, she describes her work, “To help immigrant veterans become naturalized citizens.” Herself a member of the Native American community, she said, “I am committed to ensuring that we actively identify and address any challenges in serving ALL veterans.”
The American Legion (AL) and American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), both founded in 1919, exist to help veterans and their families. The AL is active in supporting the interests of veterans and representing on their behalf. According to the ALA, they are the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. Working side-by-side with their American Legion posts, members volunteer tens of thousands of hours in their communities and raise millions of dollars to support its programs.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - When a distinguished professor retires into emeritus status, we expect him to be taking a bow at his retirement party. However, Don Kendrick of Sacramento State found a way to have his students take a bow with him. And he did it simply by including them in the public performance celebrating his retirement.
Kendrick is the founder of the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, which honored their creator with an event on May 12 at the Community Center Theater. The performers included 280 singers, 3 soloists, and an orchestra of 52 professional musicians. The huge force was assembled by combining the musicians of the SCSO with Sacramento State’s three choirs — the Women's Chorus, the Men's Chorus, and the University Chorus — and the Sacramento Children’s Chorus.
The concert comprised three works: Ottorino Respighi’s Suite No. 2 of “Ancient Airs and Dances,” Antonín Dvorák’s “Te Deum,” and the West Coast premiere of Dan Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo.” The Respighi work is a purely orchestral composition, so the tiers of seats for the singers were empty as Kendrick launched the performance with a sense of anticipation. As SCSO president Jim McCormick noted in his pre-performance presentation, Respighi “gets the endorphins flowing!”
The singers filed in and filled the performance space to capacity for Dvorák’s “Te Deum,” an ancient hymn of praise in Latin. With a text derived from the Book of Psalms, the “Te Deum” was a joyous foreshadowing of the new work constituting the evening’s concluding work, which was also derived from the Psalms. Supertitles helpfully provided both Latin text and English translation.
After the intermission, Maestro Kendrick led the ensemble in Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo” (Be joyful in the Lord), a cosmopolitan composition comprising seven world languages in seven movements. The boisterous first segment in Latin cites passages from Psalm 100 and exhorts the entire world (“omnis terra”) to celebrate. The second movement is an ethereal exchange of statements and echoes in Hebrew and Arabic, a plaintive call for unity.
The third movement incorporated the Chinese two-stringed fiddle, played with bow by guest performer David An. The Mandarin text derived from Psalm 23’s invocation of the Good Shepherd, and the music was a tranquil meditation highlighted by a soprano soloist.
After being lulled into a sense of peaceful serenity by two movements, the audience was jolted into full wakefulness with the percussion-driven opening of the fourth movement, as the chorus sang out a Zulu text calling for enthusiastic celebration. The kinetic impact of the movement was felt throughout the theater, and the singers were swaying to the music’s dance impulse.
The fifth movement offers a lyrical respite, “Bendecid su nombre” (Bless his name), with Spanish-language text and a mood of contemplation. Strings are prominent, with both harp and guitar accompaniment.
The title of the sixth movement is “Song of the Earth,” but it is not evocative of Mahler. Rather, it is a wordless celebration of the entire world, until eventually the singing of the performers resolves into one word: Alleluia!
The finale encompasses all that went before in recapitulation and closes the circle of life with evocations of the opening bars, particularly the “jubilate” (celebrate) theme. The title is “Omnis Terra” (the whole world), and it builds to a dramatic climax full of excitement and drama. The audience, full of pent-up energy because of the frequent reminders to be quiet as the performance was being recorded, finally burst into explosive applause and shouts of approval. Kendrick took his bows, as did his students and all the other performers with him.
San Francisco Giants’ Ace is Scheduled to Begin Rehabbing His Broken Left Pinky Finger
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Four-time All-Star, three-time World Champion, and 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner is expected join the Sacramento River Cats Saturday, May 26 as he begins his Major League rehab assignment. The Giants’ ace is scheduled to start Saturday night as the River Cats host the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Bumgarner is rehabbing a broken pinky finger on his left hand, an injury he sustained when he was struck by a comebacker in a Spring Training game on March 23. As part of his rehab, Bumgarner threw a batting practice session this weekend at AT&T Park in San Francisco and threw a simulated game to Giants hitters on Tuesday in Houston. The lefty is expected throw about 45 pitches on Saturday, and make at least two starts before rejoining the Giants’ rotation.
The 28-year-old was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (10th overall) of the MLB June Amateur Draft in 2007. He made his Major League debut on September 8, 2009 and was a key contributor in the Giants’ 2010 Postseason run. Bumgarner made history during the 2014 Postseason, throwing a record-setting 52.2 innings, including a historic five-inning save in Game 7 to clinch the Championship for San Francisco.
Bumgarner’s rehab assignment in Sacramento is scheduled to begin this Saturday, May 26 as the River Cats host the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes at Raley Field. First pitch is 7:07 p.m. and gates will open at 5:00 p.m. Tickets and ticket packages are still available at rivercats.com. For more information, please call 916.371.HITS (4487) or visit rivercats.com.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting will run through August with 25,000 pounds of fish stocked into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. The amount of fish stocked can number as high as 50,000 pounds in a given year, depending on matched stocking by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is the fourth consecutive summer SMUD and CDFW have combined efforts to stock the reservoirs.
The trout planting is intended to enhance angling opportunities for the public. According to surveys, fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. On average, the stocked trout weigh one to two pounds each, with a handful of trophy fish included. This year SMUD is working with the owners of the Ice House Resort to install a board where anglers can post pictures of their catch from Crystal Basin reservoirs. The “Crystal Basin Bragging Board” will offer anglers the opportunity to show off a photo of any catch they think is worthy. A scale will be made available as well if anglers wish to weigh their catch and claim biggest fish bragging rights.
SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where many SMUD employees call home and work, and where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities.
In 2014, SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydro power, enough to provide about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.
SMUD will coordinate six separate trout plantings from June through August. Union Valley, the largest of the three reservoirs, will get 10,000 pounds; Ice House, 8,750 pounds; and, Loon Lake, 6,250 pounds. The fish provided by SMUD will come from Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts the very popular Trout Derby.
Fishing licenses are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.
For more information about UARP and associated projects as well as current reservoir and stream release conditions, please visit smud.org and the Community and Recreational Areas Web pages.
PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Last week was National Infrastructure Week, but there were no parades or celebrations of America’s infrastructure system this year. The truth is, we’re lagging far behind where we should be, and we must do something about it. Rural America faces many unique infrastructure challenges. Dilapidated roads, crumbling bridges, and battered levees and dams litter the country from coast to coast, and Northern California is no exception.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States “infrastructure gap,” which refers to the amount of money required to meet our nation’s infrastructure needs, is estimated to be above $2 trillion. This gap is even more exaggerated in rural areas, like Northern California, where funding is much more difficult to come by.
Urban areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco will always be able to find additional funding from a variety of sources. In Modoc or Siskiyou County, where 50,000 people live in an area the size of Massachusetts, it’s not enough to simply pump more money into the system. We also need to stretch every dollar as far as possible.
California has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the country – far stricter than federal laws, in fact. While I’ve questioned the necessity for many of these laws, that’s a conversation for another day. In order to receive authorization to proceed with a project, counties must jump through numerous, duplicative regulatory hoops from multiple agencies on both the federal and state level. That makes no sense.
Let’s put it this way – if California requires you to run at least 70 yards, and the federal government requires you to run at least 50 yards, wouldn’t it make the most sense to run just the 70 yards and call it a day? Under our current process, we’re running 120 yards, wasting time and money with no benefit to the environment.
Smaller, rural counties don’t have the financial flexibility to navigate the maze of federal bureaucracies and red tape. Local agencies have also proven to be far more efficient with these projects, saving both time and money compared to federal estimates.
Take the example of the Feather River West Levee Project in my district. The original total cost was estimated to be $689 million – $255 million from the federal government and $434 million from the state. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowed our local agency, the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency, to complete the project mostly on their own, and the savings were massive. The project is set to be completed 6 years ahead of schedule for a total cost of only $376 million – nearly half the price. Despite the local government taking on a higher percentage of the total cost, they still saved $107 million, while the federal government saved $206 million. These results speak for themselves.
There are solutions we can and should pursue. In 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, gave states more authority to conduct their own environmental reviews for highway and transit projects. The President’s own infrastructure proposal seeks to broaden this same authority for all infrastructure projects. Not only would this significantly speed up the permitting process, but it entrusts states to make decisions that are in their own best interests.
Earlier this year, the President also published a Memorandum of Understanding that would implement what’s called the “One Federal Decision” policy. This means instead of requiring each relevant agency to publish their own statements and reviews, it would identify one lead agency to coordinate the project and consolidate these steps. It’s about time. This is a common sense initiative that gives our rural counties a map for the labyrinth of federal regulations.
These are basic, bipartisan reforms that we need to make in order to truly modernize America’s infrastructure. For rural communities across America, streamlining this overcomplicated permitting process can stretch our dollars further, and it can help bring our infrastructure up to date in a timely manner that meets the expectations of the people.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has awarded Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services more than $2 million dollars in grant funding as part of Senate Bill (SB) 82 Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act third round crisis triage grant funds.
Sacramento is one of 11 counties to receive this third round grant funding aimed at increasing mental health services in schools for youth ages 11-14 years.
“As we continue to build out our services continuum, we are including more services targeted at youth,” says Uma Zykofsky, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director.
This funding will allow Sacramento County to position three, two-person mental health service teams in three targeted middle school campuses within Sacramento County. Sacramento County’s Children and Youth Crisis Service Needs Assessment revealed gaps in the existing service continuum on school campuses for students, including a lack of awareness of mental health issues for children and crisis services. This program aims to close these identified gaps.
The new program, Safe Zone Squad, will consist of a Youth Advocate Mental Health Worker and a Mental Health Counselor. Each team will have designated and consistent office hours to support walk-in crisis needs and to create a dependable presence. Each middle school campus will have a dedicated team so that students see the same team members throughout their days. The teams will work with students, faculty and parents to help demystify and destigmatize mental illness, provide education on managing escalating stress and learning how to identify and help someone who is distressed.
"This grant is very important to Sacramento County. We are making great strides in creating a more complete responsive continuum of care for our community,” adds Zykofsky. “This grant helps bring education and behavioral health services together."
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Animal abuse, neglect and cruelty is more prevalent in our region than most people know. Local animal regulation agencies work cases every day, pulling animals out of precarious living conditions or caring for animals that were victims of abuse or neglect.
One of the most popular recent situations was the puppy Thomas, found on the side of the road – clearly injured. X-rays showed he had been struck in the skull with a blunt object, shattering his skull causing severe injury to his head and eyes.
The Bradshaw Animal Shelter, where Thomas was brought by a kind citizen after finding him, immediately began lifesaving treatment to manage his pain and treat the infection spreading in his body. Meanwhile, the shelter went public with Thomas’s story – asking for any information about Thomas. No one came forward with information and Thomas’s abuse/cruelty case is still unsolved.
The good news is that through the generosity of the shelter’s non-profit, T.E.A.M. (Teaching everyone Animals Matter), Thomas was able to get brain surgery and is now living a nearly normal life.
Thomas is just one example of hundreds the area animal shelters see every year. Because of the serious nature of the crimes seen, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office launched an Animal Cruelty Task Force – comprised of representatives from each animal shelter in Sacramento County and the Sheriff and Police Departments.
Together, these agencies are working to identify, investigate and prosecute those responsible for abuse, neglect and cruelty to animals. Research shows that the link between animal abuse and crimes committed against persons is strong. Often, animal abuse is a gateway to crimes against humanity. With the help of the task force, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley is looking to put a stop to this progressively violent behavior.
Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley on why she felt this task force collaborative was critical:
“For too many years in Sacramento it has been the worst of scenarios for animals. Prosecution relies on both law enforcement and animal control to make animal abuse investigation more of a priority within their agencies.
Law Enforcement more often than not, doesn’t receive training in animal abuse. Like any other crime, animal abuse constitutes violations of the Penal Code and law enforcement is responsible for investigating them.
At the same time Animal Control agencies have lacked training their officers as investigators. The officers all need to develop the ability to take statements, write reports and understand their responsibilities to develop and investigate cases. Our community expects that both animal care and law enforcement officers are performing their duties so that violators are accountable.
We have formed the task force to unite these agencies, share successes and learn from failures. Many on the force share an affinity for animals. We can only improve by communication, working together and joining all forces.”
The Animal Cruelty Task Force is just one example of progressive collaboration efforts across County agencies and across jurisdictional lines – all with the goal of creating a Sacramento Countywe all love.