American Legion Has Its Day at the State Capitol

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-05-24

Photo courtesy Dana Nichol

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.

Mount Vernon Memorial Park to Host Memorial Day Service

By Dignity Memorial  |  2018-05-24

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Around 4,000 are expected to attend Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary’s Memorial Day Service at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 28, at the cemetery located at 8201 Greenback Lane in Fair Oaks. Community leaders and Veterans organizations join each year at this service to honor the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  

To properly honor those who fought and continue to fight for our country, Mount Vernon and volunteers have scheduled the following visuals and activities:

  • A 50 foot flag hung by the Sacramento Metro Fire Department
  • Performances from the Army Band
  • A flyover by two T-38 jets
  • Consolidated Drum Band
  • A few words from guest speakers from the California National Guard
  • Two skydivers will land in the cemetery with a 30 foot American flag and a POW/MIA

Mount Vernon will also have hundreds of flags displayed throughout the park courtesy of the local Boy Scouts, who very graciously post the flags each year.

“This Memorial Day event is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the men and women who have served and who have sacrificed,” said Lisa Goudy, general manager of Mount Vernon, an honored Dignity Memorial® provider. “It is our privilege to provide this service for our community and are looking forward to honoring our military for their service in defense of our freedom at this time-honored tradition.”

...

Maestro Kendrick Shares His Final Bow

By Anthony Barcellos  |  2018-05-24

SCSO Conductor led the 250-voice Chorus and Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of Dan Forrest

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.

...

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - As we head into fire season, Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks has a multi-pronged plan to reduce fire risk, defend wildlife habitat and protect our natural resources and neighborhoods adjacent to the parks.  

For its 2018 Fire Fuel Reduction Action Plan, the Department of Regional Parks has lined up sheep and goat grazing contracts, is maintaining firebreaks and has partnered with Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and Sacramento Fire Department for targeted range management burns with coordinated Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District permits. 

SMUD, Western Area Power Administration and PG&E are also working in concert with Regional Parks to reduce fuels where major transmission lines intersect the American River Parkway. The utilities have annually entered the site throughout fire season to address noxious weeds, fuels, and trees growing close enough to powerlines to pose a potential fire hazard.  

As the weather warms, the tall, dense grasses and vegetation will be drying out and creating extreme risk in many areas of the 23-mile American River Parkway, as well as Dry Creek Parkway, Mather Regional Park, and Rollingwood Open Space. 

“The range management burns will be highly coordinated and used when they allow for the best outcome in effectively reducing fuels. All of the Plan’s proactive measures will help reduce the number and severity of uncontrolled, catastrophic fires in our Regional Parks that threaten wildlife habitats, mature trees, riparian areas and public safety,” said Director Jeff Leatherman, Sacramento County Regional Parks.

To decrease the number and size potential of wildfires in our parks system, the techniques used will be applicable for each area and will include: 

  • Firebreaks – A combination of mowing, soil discing, and targeted herbicides will be used where appropriate to create perimeters around open fields, along fence lines and behind neighborhoods.  This work is scheduled to be completed by end of June. 
  • Ladder Fuel Hand-Crews – In limited, hard to reach areas, hand-crews will remove vegetation that allows the potential for a fire to climb up or move into urban areas. 
  • Grazing – There are hundreds of acres of undeveloped or protected land in our Regional Parks. This vegetation can be a costly and deadly fire hazard. Goats and sheep are ideal for vegetation management and make fast work of eating down weeds, bushes and grass. Grazing is expected to occur between May and the end of June, with roughly 5,000 sheep/goats grazing at various locations along our Parkways and open spaces. By the end of June, the sheep/goats are expected have grazed roughly 625 acres in Sacramento County.
  • Range Management Burns – In some areas, Range Management Burn are the most effective tool against catastrophic wildfires. The ability to burn certain areas under very controlled circumstances (low temperatures/wind, higher humidity, air quality monitoring) allows for the best outcome in effectively reducing fuels and continued fire danger. Along with closely monitoring the conditions, nesting bird surveys will be conducted in the areas of the pending range management burns. The burn permits outline specific weather and air conditions that must be met before the range management burns will be authorized. The burns should conclude by June 30, but may resume in fall, if necessary. 
  • Annual Encroachment Permits – Residents who live adjacent to Regional Parks properties are able to apply for free annual encroachment permits to maintain a fire break behind their property line. These allow residents to string-trim grass and weeds for up to 50 feet beyond their private property line. To request a permit, provide your name, address and contact information to Regional Parks at

Visit the Regional Parks website to learn more the 2018 Fire Fuel Reduction Action Plan for Sacramento County Parks.

The objective of the Department of Regional Parks is to provide safe, accessible and clean recreational facilities for park users while maintaining more than 15,000 acres of parks throughout Sacramento County. ​

...

Citrus Heights Student of the Month: Izabel Kirk

By Brett Tujague and Heather Berkness  |  2018-05-24

Izabel is an outstanding student at Mesa Verde high school. She has been very dedicated to her academics over her four years in High School and has worked hard to graduate in the top 10% of her class.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - The Citrus Heights Chamber’s Education Committee honored Izabel Kirk, a senior at Mesa Verde High School, as the May 2018 Student of the Month. The award was presented at the Chamber’s May 8, 2018 luncheon held at the North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks.

Mesa Verde vice principal and school counselor provided the following to illustrates Izabel’s strengths and achievements and why she was selected for this honor.

Vice Principal Brett Tujague (Izabel’s former English teacher) wrote: “Izabel Kirk is one of the best students I ever had as a teacher at Mesa. Her attention to detail and confidence as a student leader is something that all students should strive to achieve. She is a steady and committed student who takes pride in the small details day in and day out. Izabel’s individual determination and mindset of success are her strongest attributes as a student. She is a natural, independent thinker and has the skills to break down ambiguous content into comprehensible pieces; a skill that she will undoubtedly utilize in her collegiate career.

Some of her more memorable moments from my class came from comments she made in Socratic Seminars, which she frequently contributed in. Her comments in discussions from texts by Bacon, Voltaire, Boethius and other novels students read and discussed were deep with meaningful insight. She is respectful of her peers’ opinions and confident in her own. She consistently used diplomacy and tact when working with various groups, which I appreciated during our discussions related to provocative issues.

Perhaps, even above all these fine attributes is Izabel’s positive, enthusiastic spirit; I enjoyed this part of her the most. Izabel has always worked very hard for her academic success and will continue her stride as a Hornet starting next fall at Sac State. Great Job Izabel!”

Counselor Heather Berkness wrote: “Izabel is an outstanding student at Mesa Verde high school. She has been very dedicated to her academics over her four years in High School and has worked hard to graduate in the top 10% of her class. She continues to challenge herself by taking honors and AP coursework into her senior year. Most recently, Izabel has earned the Seal of biliteracy in French. She will be attending Sacramento state in the fall and is interested in pursuing a career in Accounting.”

Local businesses sponsor the lunches for the student of the month and their guests. The Education Committee thanks Sides & Ferkovich Accountancy Corp., courtesy of Mike Sides, as this month’s Student of the Month lunch sponsor and Stones Gambling Hall for providing a gift certificate to Sammy’s Restaurant for the Student of the Month.

...

Togo's Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary Ribbon Cutting

By Citrus Heights Chamber  |  2018-05-24

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Togo’s Greenback Square held their 15 year anniversary ribbon cutting on Friday, May 11.  They are located at 8053 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights.  Owners Keith and Victoria Ridge cut the ribbon along with assistant manager Cameron Herman.  Attendees included City of Citrus Heights Council Member Al Fox, Jonathan Glatz of Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s office, Vance Jarrard of Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost’s office, Citrus Heights Chamber Executive Director Cendrinne DeMattei, Citrus Heights Chamber Board Members John Casey and Rosa Umbach, Citrus Heights Chamber Ambassadors, and Communications and Outreach Associate Breanna Niekamp of Sunrise MarketPlace. Photo courtesy Citrus Heights Chamber

...

Bumgarner Expected to Make Rehab Start Saturday in Sacramento

By Sacramento River Cats  |  2018-05-23

Photo by Barry Sibert

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 For more information, please call 916.371.HITS (4487) or visit

...

SMUD, CDFW Stock Thousands of Trout in Reservoirs

By SMUD  |  2018-05-22

Some of the 10,000 pounds of trout being delivered to Union Valley Reservoir while a television news photographer shoots video. This is the fourth of 50 summers SMUD and CDFW will stock three Crystal Basin Recreation Area reservoirs with at least 25,000 pounds of fish. The fish stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its federal license to operate its Upper American River Project hydroelectric facilities. Photo courtesy SMUD

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

For more information about UARP and associated projects as well as current reservoir and stream release conditions, please visit and the Community and Recreational Areas Web pages.

...

County Fair, Sutter Health to Make-A-Wish Come True!

Sacramento County Fair Release  |  2018-05-21

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Terrell, 14, who battles leukemia, wished to have his very own carnival and thanks to his Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors, Sutter Health, his wish is coming true! This year, the Sacramento County Fair will be powering up their rides one day early for Terrell to experience the magic of his own carnival.

“Terrell is one brave young man. He is an inspiration. We are proud to open our fair a day early to make his wish come true,” says Pamela Fyock, CEO of the Sacramento County Fair.

Not only does Terrell show bravery by fighting his critical illness, but he recently saved his neighbors in their apartment building after it caught on fire in Stockton. At his carnival, Sutter employees will be there to support him in his wish coming true as well as the Stockton Fire Department to recognize him as a local hero.

“Wishes would not be possible without the collective support of our local community,” said Jennifer Stolo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. “Because of Adopt-A-Wish sponsors like Sutter Health and lending lands from the Sacramento County Fair, Terrell’s wish is going to be a magical experience for him and his family.”

Make-A-Wish® creates life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses and are on a quest to bring every eligible local child’s wish to life. Research has shown that a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada was established in 1983 as one of the early local chapters of Make-A-Wish® America. For more information, call 916.437.0206 or visit

Doors to the Sacramento County Fair are open to the public May 24-28. Tickets are available for purchase online at or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Adult tickets are only $6.00, kids 12-and-under are FREE, and select events are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit and #ShareTheFair on Facebook:, Twitter:, and on Instagram:

...

Monster Trucks are BACK, Bigger Than Ever at the Fair!

Sacramento County State Fair Release  |  2018-05-21

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) -  If you haven’t already, you will soon feel the rumblings of the Toughest Monster Truck Tour making its way to the Sacramento County Fairgrounds. On Friday, May 25that 7 p.m., some of California’s quickest Pro-Arena Trucks will take over the Grand Stand to give fairgoers a non-stop thrill ride. That's right, real, full-sized 1,500 horsepower monster trucks are back at the Sacramento County Fair!

Fairgoers will witness iconic monster trucks go head-to-head as they battle through obstacle courses, ramp over cars, perform freestyle stunts, and much more! Guests will not want to miss the main attraction, legendary DRAGON SLAYER, driven by Kreg Christensen as he takes on Quad Chaos, Dirt Crew, and Kamikaze! Not to mention all of the other Toughest Monster Trucks in the lineup: Wrong Way Rick, driven by Rick Swanson, Obsessed, with Eric Swanson behind the wheel, and Joe Cypher driving Airborne Ranger.

“The big boys are back,” says Brian Manson, owner of MTX Event Production, the production company for Toughest Monster Truck Tour events. Pamela Fyock, CEO of the Sacramento County Fair is just as eager to have these ‘big boys’ return to the Fair. “What better way to kick off Memorial Day weekend than with the Toughest Monster Truck Tour at the Sacramento County Fair? Trucks are louder and bigger than ever, bringing kids of all ages the classic Fairground entertainment that we all crave,” says Fyock.

Guests will get the chance to meet the drivers, get autographs, take photos, and even touch the trucks during the Pit Party from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.! The Pit Party is FREE with event admission. Tickets for the Fair and Grandstand events will be available for purchase online at or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Kids 12-and-under are FREE every day of the Fair, and adult tickets are just $6.00! Be sure to check out the select events that are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

As an added bonus this year, the Sacramento County Fair is partnering with Make-A-Wish® Foundation to host Terrell and his Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors, Sutter Health. Terrell, 14, who battles leukemia, wishes to have his very own carnival, so the Sacramento County Fairgrounds will open one day early so Terrell’s wish can come true.

Not only has Terrell has shown bravery by fighting his critical illness, but recently he was recognized as a local hero for saving neighbors in their apartment building after it caught on fire in Stockton. At his carnival, Sutter employees will be there to support him in his wish coming true as well the Stockton Fire Department to recognize him as a local hero.

“Wishes would not be possible without the collective support of our local community,” said Jennifer Stolo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. “Because of Adopt-A-Wish sponsors like Sutter Health and lending lands from the Sacramento County Fair, Terrell’s wish is going to be a magical experience for him and his family.”

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit and #ShareTheFair on Facebook:, Twitter:, and on Instagram:

...Read More!