A Safer Place for Vets

Story and Photo by Elise Spleiss  |  2016-07-15
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Three generations of vet center volunteers survey recently completed work. J.R.Evans, (right) who funded major pruning back of trees overhanging the property, with son Daniel Grant (left), and grandson Ryan Grant.

From the street there is little sign of the major renovations taking place at the Citrus Heights Veteran’s Community Center at the old Sylvan Schoolhouse at 6921 Sylvan Road. Yet work has been slow but steady since May of 2014 when a tournament ready horseshoe pit and a sturdy wooden walkway under the trees was installed by volunteers from Hewlett Packard.

Now, thanks to the hard work and other support of multiple individuals, businesses and even corporations, the most important phase in getting the center fully up and running is near completion with the construction of two American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant bathrooms and related work.

The center will then have full inside and outside access to these facilities along with 360-degree wheelchair and scooter access to the entire perimeter of the building and its new outside activity area. This area includes a new concrete viewing deck and permanent BBQ set up and additional patio tables along the wooden walkway. The property is shaded by a canopy of trees just pruned back to safely provide shade during all seasons.

New water and improved drainage systems are being completed, handicapped ramps with guard rails installed, new lighting and other safety and aesthetic features added to make the center as inviting to the veterans, volunteers and guests as possible.  It will be an inviting and comfortable setting for veterans and their guests to enjoy a myriad of day and evening outdoor activities and events.

This property was purchased by Jim and Jean Rounsavell to create the center for veterans to enjoy. Since then there have been thousands of hours donated by over 100 volunteers, both inside the center, including work on indoor and outdoor renovations and construction. Many volunteers have spent their own money for necessary projects.  A grand re-opening is planned for in the fall.

According to Jim Rounsavell, the main mission and purpose for all this work is to “make a location for local veterans to congregate, have a free cup of coffee, reminisce about the past and , last and not least, find aid in getting support from the federal government in procuring claims, aid in their search for additional benefits and to direct our veterans to various agencies that also are on board for bringing aid to our heroes, all the guys and gals that have served our country in the armed forces”. 

The names of all the center volunteers past and present are too numerous to list but special thank yous for the recent work being completed include Patty Henley of Livingston Concrete, Armstrong Plumbing, Brandon Mattes, general contractor, HD Supply, Mike Walker Lumber, Berko Lumber, Signs in 1 Day, Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers, Lord Roofing, and JR Evans, funding the pruning of the walnut the sycamore trees threatening the property.

A special thank you goes to the ladies from the United Methodist Church who show up every Thursday to prepare a delicious homemade lunch for the veterans, volunteers and guests.

Congressman Ami Bera continues to be a support since the center’s inception in 2013, including supporting and attending the annual Toys for Tots Christmas collection event.

More construction photos and center information at www.facebook.com/VeteransCommunityCenter. To volunteer or donate call 726-7876.


Local Craft Brewery Wins Back-to-Back California State Fair Gold

Source: Modular Marketing Agency  |  2016-07-22

Owner Dave Mathis and Head Brewer Andy Armstrong Celebrate.

“Coloma Brown Ale” Victorious for Third Time in Four Years

Since launching in 2012, Rancho Cordova craft brewery American River Brewing Company (ARBC) has won numerous awards for its beers, but none more so than its flagship brew, Coloma Brown American Ale.

For the second year in a row, Coloma Brown won first place in the Commercial Craft Brewing competition for the American Ale category at the California State Fair. Hosted by the Northern California Brewer’s Guild, the competition annually draws in excess of one thousand entries from more than three hundred craft breweries across the state.

The win for Coloma Brown comes on the heels of the California Small Business of the Year award for ARBC this past May.

California is a hotbed of the craft brewing industry. Since 2010 the number of craft breweries in the state has more than doubled to nearly 700. With such an immense amount of competition, ARBC founder David Mathis is justifiably pleased with the back-to-back win.

“With so many worthy competitors also brewing at such a high level, this win really validates all the hard work we’ve put into making truly great beer,” Mathis stated. “Plus, since this is our flagship beer, it means even more.”

ARBC partner and Head Brewer, Andy Armstrong, agrees that the effort was worth the result. “We spent a great deal of time perfecting the recipe for Coloma Brown,” he said, “and that was no easy process. Getting recognition like this from a panel of expert judges two years running demonstrates that we’ve gotten it as close to perfection as it can be.”

Following a recent trend among craft breweries, ARBC has begun canning some of its brews and Coloma Brown may be added to the canning lineup. “So far we have our Lawn Jockey Session IPA, Fire Break Red Ale and Capitol Copper Amber Ale ready to begin canning,” Mathis noted, “It would be fantastic if we were to include Coloma Brown as well.”

American River Brewing Company is located at 11151 Trade Center Drive in Rancho Cordova. For more information and a complete list of awards, please visit their website at www.americanriverbrewco.com.


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Help Reduce the Use

Source: Sacramento Suburban Water District  |  2016-07-21

Rebates are available for water-efficient sprinkler heads, drip irrigation systems, pool covers and WaterSense-labeled weather-based irrigation controllers.

Sacramento Suburban Water District Asks Customers to Help Reduce Water Use by 10 Percent

Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) is asking its customers to keep up the great work this summer and voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 percent and to follow District’s recommended watering day schedule.

“Our customers did a fantastic job conserving water during the drought emergency, and reduced water use by nearly 30 percent from June 2015 to February 2016,”” said Greg Bundesen, SSWD Water Conservation Supervisor.  “We’re now asking them to continue their outstanding efforts by limiting landscape watering during the summer when water use is at its highest.”

The District is asking customers who have addresses that end in an even number (0,2,4,6,8) to water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and those with addresses that end in an odd number (1,3,5,7,9) to run their sprinklers on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Watering is only allowed before noon or after 8 p.m. through the end of September.

SSWD also has many rebates available for its customers to make conserving water even easier.  Rebates are available for water-efficient sprinkler heads, drip irrigation systems, pool covers and WaterSense-labeled weather-based irrigation controllers.  Weather-based irrigation controllers act like a thermostat for a sprinkler system, and use local weather and landscape conditions to run the sprinklers instead of running according to a preprogrammed schedule. 

Customers who install drip irrigation systems and register their WaterSense-labeled weather-based irrigation controllers with SSWD will not be subject to future watering restrictions.  Complete details and rebate applications are available on www.sswd.org.


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Raley’s Will Remove Artificially Flavored Private Label Brand Sodas

Source: Raley’s  |  2016-07-21

Where we have control over our product lines, we want to offer products that reflect our ongoing vision to infuse life with health and happiness.

Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has announced its decision to eliminate certain Raley’s private label brand soda to advance their vision of health and wellness. This includes all flavors containing high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors, including diet soda varieties.

“This is a bold first step towards improving our private label options for our customers,” said Kevin Curry, Raley’s Senior Vice President, Merchandising & Supply Chain. “Where we have control over our product lines, we want to offer products that reflect our ongoing vision to infuse life with health and happiness. Essentially, we want to make it easier for our customers to make healthier choices.”

A number of studies conducted over the past few decades suggest that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is connected with health concerns, including a significant risk of weight gain and obesity, an increased risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes, hypertension and elevated “bad” cholesterol levels and liver damage.  Raley’s vision is to infuse life with health and wellness. The company strives to educate customers and provide wholesome Raley’s brand options.

Raley’s has discontinued production of private label soda with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors and will phase-out remaining inventory over the next two-weeks. All Raley’s private label soda with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors will be out of stock by August 1st.

In another first step in providing healthier options to customers, Raley’s eliminated tobacco in 2015. For more information, visit www.raleys.com.


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FBI Seeking “Bandaged Bandit”

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2016-07-21

Suspect Wanted for Series of Four Bank Robberies in Nevada and Northern California

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking information to aid in the identification and apprehension of an individual suspected of robbing four banks. The young Caucasian male is suspected of the following robberies:

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016
    U.S. Bank located at 229 Kingsbury Grade Rd., Stateline, NV 89449
  • Friday, July 1, 2016
    Chase Bank located at 2215 Francisco Dr., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
  • Thursday, July 14, 2016
    Wells Fargo located at 3935 Park Dr., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
  • Friday, July 15, 2016
    U.S. Bank located at 1850 Prairie City Rd., Folsom, CA 95630.

The suspect—believed to be in his 20s or 30s—has blonde hair and stands 5’8”-5’10” tall with a large build. He has made an effort to conceal his face by affixing bandages to his nose, chin, and other areas of his face and arms. During the commission of the robberies, the man approached the tellers and either presented a demand note or made a verbal demand for cash while threatening that he had a weapon. After receiving undisclosed amounts of money, the subject fled the locations on foot. Photos of the suspect are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robber website: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2016-07-15.6450756429.

The robberies are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, and Folsom Police Department.

Individuals with information about this man may call their local FBI office or 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-885-5984). Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. If the subject is spotted in the community, the public is urged to call 911 and not approach the individual. For more information about individuals wanted for bank robberies in your area, please visit https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov


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Women’s Empowerment Graduates 27 Formerly Homeless Women

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2016-07-15

Derkisha Wofford performs at her graduation from Women’s Empowerment’s job readiness program for homeless women as executive director and founder Lisa Culp holds her microphone. 
--Photo courtesy Kristin Thébaud Communications

Nearly 100 community members from across Sacramento witnessed Women’s Empowerment graduate 27 formerly homeless women from the comprehensive eight-week job-readiness program at the end of June. The graduates each shared their stories of their rise from homelessness, some through poetry, some through song and some through prose – all wearing tiaras to match their chosen theme “Queens Uplift Queens.”

“I want to talk to the queens,” sang Derkisha Wofford, a graduate. “Whatever you set your heart to, just believe. Don’t give up on yourself. I love you all.”

From graduates’ mentors, families and children, to organization supporters, graduation attendees heard each graduate’s story and future plans. Each woman accepted a certificate of achievement, received a new handbag filled with a day planner and other items designed to help her succeed, and enjoyed a reception, all sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Carmichael.

“Each of our 27 graduates has made incredible strides in just eight weeks,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “Though each woman’s story of homelessness is as unique as her fingerprint, they all joined together to create a sisterhood that helped them rise from poverty to self-reliance. Their value is priceless and their potential is limitless.”

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Women’s Empowerment was recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show and CNN’s Impact Your World for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The 2014 Organization of the Year has graduated 1,349 homeless women and their 3,500 children. Last year, 93 percent of graduates found homes and 83 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 solely through private donations from the community. To donate online: www.womens-empowerment.org.


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Bera Applauds Passage of Legislation on Safe Prescription Drug Disposal

Source: Office of Ami Bera  |  2016-07-13

Congressman Ami Bera, (D), California

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-7) announced last week that his bipartisan legislation to fund prescription drug disposal across the country, the Dispose Responsibly Of Pills (DROP) Act, has passed the House toady 407-6 as part of the Comprehensive Opioid Reduction Act of 2016. The bill will move on to the Senate and then be signed into law. Congressman Bera first introduced this bill in May 2015 and has been working across the aisle with colleagues like Dr. Phil Roe (TN-1) to enact a solution to curb opioid abuse.

Research shows that more than half of nonmedical users of prescription medications got them from people they know. Safely disposing of old or unused prescription medications can curb prescription drug abuse that can lead to addiction and overdose. In the United States, prescription drug abuse impacts people of all ages, across all socioeconomic backgrounds, and in all kinds of communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more people died in 2014 from drug overdoses than in any year before.

“As a doctor, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact prescription drug abuse has had on families,” said Congressman Bera. “I’m pleased that members from both sides of the aisle in the House voted to help combat prescription drug abuse and make it easier to dispose of unused prescription drugs by passing my legislation. Making safe and secure prescription disposal more available, and educating people on the importance of appropriately getting rid of unused medications are simple steps we can take to keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands and prevent addiction. This solution is an easy fix to a problem that is too serious to ignore.”


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Gov. Brown Approves $5M for California Nutrition Incentives Act

Source: Ecology Center  |  2016-07-13

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

After three years of tireless advocacy, the healthy food incentive program Market Match got a boost yesterday as Governor Jerry Brown approved a state budget that includes $5 million for the California Nutrition Incentives Act. The Act is modeled after Market Match, which is increasing access to fresh produce among Californians who are struggling to feed their families, while giving an economic boost to the state’s embattled farm communities.

The $5 million in state funds will attract federal matching dollars through the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program (FINI) and double the impact of the state’s investment.

A broad coalition of over 200 non-profit organizations and individuals including Roots of Change, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, American Heart Association, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Hunger Action Los Angeles and the Ecology Center, which administers Market Match statewide, worked over a three-year period to secure the funding. In 2014, the coalition’s first attempt didn’t make it out of the appropriations committee. Last year, the legislature passed the California Nutrition Incentives Act, which Gov. Brown signed, but he then axed the $2.5 million in funding that the legislature proposed for the program.

“With this funding, the state of California has put its money where its mouth is in terms of supporting healthy eating for low-income families,” says Ecology Center Executive Director Martin Bourque. “The demand for Market Match has consistently outstripped the supply of funds. The additional $5 million will allow us to expand the program towards our goal of offering Market Match at every farmers’ market in the state,” he said.

Established in 2009, by Roots of Change, Market Match works by providing CalFresh customers with matching funds when they spend their CalFresh benefits (i.e. food stamps) on fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. So a shopper who spends $10 of CalFresh benefits at the farmers’ market gets an extra $10 to spend on fresh produce. Participants in the program, both small farmers and low-income shoppers, strongly support the program.

Among low-income customers, 70% report that they are buying more fruits and vegetable, and nearly 80% report that their family's health has improved. 81% of farmers report increased sales and 74% report increased income, thanks to Market Match.

Founded in 1969, the Ecology Center is a nonprofit organization located in Berkeley, California that is actively working to create and promote an alternative food system based on the values of environmental protection, justice, and access to healthy, sustainably produced food for all.


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USTA Names Sacramento's Alan Criswell a Local Hero

Source: Steve Pratt  |  2016-07-13

The Sacramento Community Tennis Association, founded in 1999 by Alan Criswell, offers affordable junior tennis programs to more than 300 young-sters in the Sacramento area. 
--Photo courtesy of Sacramento CTA

The United States Tennis Association recently named Sacramento resident Alan Criswell as the USTA Northern California Local Hero.

The Sacramento Community Tennis Association, founded in 1999 by Criswell, offers affordable junior tennis programs to more than 300 youngsters in the Sacramento area, with a focus on underserved kids. Criswell’s work continues to boost the sport in Northern California, and in 2015, the Sacramento Community Tennis Association was named the section’s Outstanding Community Tennis Association.

Criswell focuses on all players. In 2010, he was awarded the Wheelchair Tennis Outstanding Volunteer, which goes to an individual that has gone above and beyond in providing outstanding service to the wheelchair tennis community.


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It’s No Scam! State of CA Has Changed Its Electronic Payment Process!

Source: BOE Office of Public Affairs  |  2016-07-12

As of July 1, 2016, the bank that processes electronic fund transfer (EFT) payments for several state agencies has changed from Citibank to Union Bank.  This change impacts all California businesses that make electronic payments to the various agencies, including to tax or fee accounts with the State Board of Equalization (BOE).

In addition to the Board of Equalization, the impacted agencies include the Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Insurance, State Controller’s Office, Department of Health Care Services, State Teachers Retirement System, State Water Resources Control Board, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Department of Industrial Relations, and the Public Utilities Commission.

If you use the BOE’s online payment system to make your payment, no change is required on your part.

However, if you make Automated Clearing House (ACH) Debit payments through the EFT payment processor, visit our new bank and payment processor webpage for instructions. If you pay by ACH Credit, you must notify your financial institution of the new bank information to ensure the correct bank is credited.

ACH Credit transactions with a settlement date on or after July 1, 2016, using incorrect banking information will be returned and may be subject to penalty and interest charges. In addition, any payments that were made to Union Bank prior to July 1, 2016, will also be returned and may be subject to penalty and interest charges.

For more information on EFT payments, visit the BOE’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage. If you have questions about Sales and Use Tax accounts, call our EFT helpline: 1-916-327-4229. For questions about Special Taxes and Fees accounts, call 1-800-400-7115. Additional information is available at www.boe.ca.gov.


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