United Way to Hold Trivia Night Fundraiser

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2019-02-06

Teams of young professionals works together to solve a round of trivia over beers and dinner at United Way’s Young Leaders Society’s Brews & Brains fundraiser. Photo courtesy Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento-area young professionals can show off their knowledge of early 2000s trivia while raising funds to help local kindergarteners save for college at United Way’s Young Leaders Society’s annual Brews & Brains trivia night on Feb. 8 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Sacramento Masonic Temple, 1123 J Street. Guests, who must be age 21 or older, will enjoy beer, food and chances to win prizes. Guests who register as a team of six by Jan. 28 will receive the early bird rate of $135, which includes a Brews & Brains pint glass, and food and drink tickets for each team member. Individuals and couples can register for $25 each to be placed on a team and receive food and a drink ticket. To learn more: www.yourlocalunitedway.org/brewsandbrains2019

“Whether you want to show off your useless knowledge, enjoy beer, help kids or all of the above, this is the event for you,” said Creston Whiting-Casey, chair of United Way’s Young Leaders Society. “The energy in the room is always a lot of fun as we tackle questions ranging from pop culture to politics – all to help kids in our region get excited early about going to college.”

Research shows that children with even modestly funded college savings accounts are three times more likely to attend college – and four times more likely to complete college – than those without a college savings account. Parents and guardians who attend two free financial education and empowerment courses earn a $200 college savings account for their kindergartener. Parents, relatives and friends may make additional contributions to help grow the student’s account. The program recognizes that early intervention and continued parental involvement dramatically increase the probability that children will achieve higher education.

“We want to create the expectation very early in every child’s life that higher education is both a desirable and achievable goal,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “It’s fantastic to see young professionals coming together to make sure all kids have the same access to education beyond high school.”

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending generational poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: www.yourlocalunitedway.org

Source: Thébaud Communications

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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) - Placer County Health Officer Dr. Robert Oldham has been reappointed to California’s Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, where he has served since 2015.

The legislatively-mandated advisory committee is charged with overseeing the use of Proposition 99 and Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues for tobacco research, control and prevention education. Oldham and other members provide advice to the Department of Public Health, the University of California and the state Department of Education. The committee also publishes and periodically updates a state master plan for tobacco control and research.

“I am privileged to continue to serve in this role, and there is important work ahead,” Oldham said. “Use of e-cigarettes is on the rise nationally and locally among youth, and we need to be vigilant to protect our young people.”

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that use of e-cigarettes among high school students nationwide skyrocketed in just the last year, spurring an advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General this week. The percentage of high-school-aged children who reported using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days rose by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018, and use among middle-school-aged children increased nearly 50 percent.

In Placer County, nearly a quarter of 11th graders reported having used an e-cigarette in 2018 — significantly higher than the number smoking whole cigarettes. But teens who smoke e-cigarettes are statistically much more likely to start smoking cigarettes, also.

E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales, or “vapes.” They are unsafe for children and young adults, as most contain nicotine, which is addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.

“There is a misperception out there that e-cigs are harmless water vapor, and this is absolutely untrue,” Oldham said.

Parents and community members can find more information and tools to use with children and teens online at e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov.

Additionally, Placer County was recently awarded a U.S. Department of Justice grant to increase tobacco enforcement in schools. Those interested in learning more about tobacco prevention and control efforts in the county are encouraged to contact the Tobacco Prevention Program at 530-889-7161.

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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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