A Day of Respite

By Elise Spleiss - Photos Courtesy of The City of Citrus Heights  |  2016-05-31
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Dr. Melissa Noakes (left) shown here with technician Amanda Yarrington from the Citrus Heights Mercy Pet Hospital provided vaccines, booster shots, micro chipping and other pet supplies to help homeless veterans keep their best fur friends healthy.

Local Homeless Veterans Get a Day of Respite at Citrus Heights Stand Down

The Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART) in cooperation with American Legion Post 637 recently collaborated with the City of Citrus Heights and the surrounding community to hold the first annual Citrus Heights Veterans Stand Down at Holy Family Catholic Church on Auburn Blvd.

According to the Sacramento Stand Down Association, “Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s thousands of homeless veterans on any given night to “combat” life on the streets.”

At the Citrus Heights event HART provided wrap-around services to 67 in-need veterans including housing, employment, medical, legal, clothing and food for people who have served their country. A highlight of the day was the delicious breakfast and lunch prepared and served to their guests and event volunteers by the chefs and staff of the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln.  General Manager, Dawn Clayton said she “feels blessed to give back to the local community and to the veterans who have served their country.”

The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse or co-occurring disorders. Many of them are homeless, having served in one or more wars or conflicts from World War II to the present, including the military’s anti-cultivation efforts in South America.

Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.

The Citrus Heights Stand Down assisted homeless and struggling veterans along with their canine companions to get the services and help they need.  Animal care services were provided by the City of Citrus Heights Animal Control Service Officer Rueben Hernandez who partnered with Mercy Pet Hospital to provide vaccines, booster shots, micro chipping and other pet supplies.

Especially popular was the hygiene van provided by ‘The Way’ Riderz Motorcycle Ministry, where veterans were able to receive a shower and a haircut.  Volunteers handed out clothing including jeans, beanies, gloves, socks and jackets.  Veterans also received military grade sleeping bags and duffle bags.

Some of the twenty-eight service providers anxious to serve this day include the Salvation Army, Sacramento Food Bank, Northern California VA Healthcare System, the Social Security Administration, Sacramento County Veteran’s Service Office, Blue Star Moms of Northern California, Sacramento Veteran’s Center, Loaves and Fishes and more.

This public/private sector partnership was supported by Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Sacramento Self Help Housing, City of Citrus Heights, Citrus Heights Police, Holy Family Catholic Church, the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Sunrise Marketplace and several others.

Knowing that many Stand Downs cover two days or more, Duane Wright, Respite Program Manager for TLCS was especially impressed by all the providers who came out to help the veterans for just one day.

Of special note, 131 volunteers from the Citrus Heights community came out in force, particularly from the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.      

One event volunteer, Mrs. Martha Roth approached the Sacramento Self Help Housing table at the Stand Down to thank the organization and tell about her success. Mrs. Roth came back this year as a volunteer to show her support and gratitude. The following is her success story: “Thirteen years ago my husband, a Vietnam Veteran, and I were homeless. We felt hopeless and didn’t know where to turn. Another veteran we knew suggested we attend a Stand Down in Sacramento. At the Stand Down we were able to get help obtaining housing at a rent we could afford. If it had not been for this, I’m not sure where we would be today.”

For general information on Citrus Heights HART contact Kathilynn Carpenter at kathilynncarpenter@sunrisemarketplace.com or 916-769-5615.

Citrus Heights Radio

CDPH Reminds Californians to “Be Better” for Improved Health

Source: California Department of Public Health  |  2016-05-31

Dr. Smith (top right in photo) launched the “Be Better” campaign at the River Cats game.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith says you don’t have to be perfect to improve your health, but you can strive to be better. “Be Better” is the new CDPH “Champions for Change” campaign unveiled today during a Sacramento River Cats game at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

“‘Be Better’ is a reminder that even small steps can make a difference in improving your health,” said Dr. Smith. “Take the stairs, snack on fruits and veggies, and quench your thirst with water instead of soda – these are simple ways that we can all be better to enjoy better health.”

Dr. Smith launched the campaign at the River Cats game as fans took part in an attempt to break the world record for the most people running in place at the same time. The traditional seventh-inning stretch turned into the “seventh-inning flex,” when fans twisted and stretched in a two-minute workout led by Dinger, the team’s mascot, and local “Champions for Change.”

“There’s no greater way to celebrate the launch of this important campaign than by showing how even the seventh-inning stretch is an opportunity to be better,” said River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson. “Our players were happy to join ‘Champions for Change’ in coming up with this fun activity for our fans and creating a new healthy baseball tradition right here at Raley Field.”

The “Be Better” campaign promotes new federal dietary guidelines that recommend Americans focus on making small shifts in what they eat and drink to prevent chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Having a normal weight reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 70 percent.

The “Be Better” campaign will include English and Spanish ads on television and radio stations, billboards and Web banners. There will also be community-level promotions coordinated with local health departments. The ads will feature “Champions for Change” – real people who have committed to be better for themselves and their families by being more active, drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and eating more fruits and vegetables.

More information about how you can become a “Champion for Change,” including how you can “Be Better”, is available on the “Champions for Change” website.

Source: www.cdph.ca.gov


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Women’s Empowerment Receives $25,000 Grant

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2016-05-31

Grant will help Sacramento women and children break the cycle of homelessness.

Women’s Empowerment has received two grants totaling $25,000 from Union Pacific and Nationwide to help homeless women in Sacramento find homes and jobs that support their families through the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area specifically designed for homeless women. Union Pacific provided $10,000, and Nationwide provided $15,000.

“Although the economy is improving, finding work when a woman is homeless can be nearly impossible without the right tools,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “The situation of homeless families in our community is dire – the Sacramento County Office of Education reports nearly 12,000 students are experiencing homelessness. We are grateful to Union Pacific and Nationwide for providing funding that will break the cycle of homelessness for many of these families.”

Women’s Empowerment’s initial eight-week program for women who are homeless in Sacramento provides women with free onsite child care in the group’s child development center and transportation assistance. Each woman works with a master’s level social worker to address her root causes of homelessness, attending classes on job-readiness, confidence and empowerment. She receives health services, focuses on job readiness with her employment specialist and volunteer career mentor, and learns financial literacy. When she graduates after eight weeks, she can access Women’s Empowerment’s graduate services at any point in her life, which include certifications, counseling, GED preparation, access to a professional clothing closet, financial literacy, and paid job training through the group’s Get A Job Kit Training and small business.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Women’s Empowerment was recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show and on CNN.com 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 1,322 homeless women and their 3,000 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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Governor Brown Appointments Snow and Naungayan

Source: Office of Governor Brown  |  2016-05-31

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently announced the following appointments:

Karen Naungayan, 46, of Fair Oaks, has been appointed assistant director of external affairs at the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Naungayan has been communications director at Housing California since 2006. She was marketing programs and events manager at Inventures Alliance Management from 2002 to 2006 and managing editor at Fatbrain.com Inc. from 2000 to 2002. Naungayan was senior project editor at Ten Speed Press from 1999 to 2000 and a project editor at Prima Publishing from 1997 to 1999. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $92,004. Naungayan is a Democrat.

Lester Snow, 64, of Fair Oaks, has been appointed to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors. Snow has been executive director at the Resources Legacy Fund’s Water Foundation since 2011. He served as secretary at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2010 to 2011 and as director at the California Department of Water Resources from 2004 to 2010. Snow is a member of the Water Education Foundation Board of Directors and the Public Policy Institute of California Advisory Committee. Snow earned a Master of Science degree in water resources administration from the University of Arizona. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Snow is a Democrat.


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Sylvan Cemetery Memorial Service Remembers Its Heroes

Story by Elise Spleiss - Photos by Jack Mintz  |  2016-05-31

Many stories of great service and of bravery in death by our country’s military since the Civil War were shared by family members and read
from accounts in history since the Civil War.

A slight delta breeze helped to stave off the already 83-degree temperature as this year’s Memorial Day service at Sylvan Cemetery in Citrus Heights commenced following the traditional procession. The barbershop music of Harmony Express again set a patriotic tone entertaining early arrivals, and performing throughout the morning, including the mandatory Armed Forces Medley.  There was a noticeable rise in attendance by women veterans standing during the medley this year.

The Citrus Heights Police Department motorcycle brigade escort followed by the Color Guard and the Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Civil War, members of the American Legion Post 637, Boy Scout troop 228 and members of the public wound around parts of the cemetery. Words of explanation with a prayer were said over each plot of ground where those from different wars are buried.

The American Legion Color Guard presented arms, a prayer was said by AL chaplain Jerry Smith, and the MIA/POW flags posted.

American Legion Post 637 Commander Paul Reyes called for a moment of silence for George Marks, who passed away on May 24 at the age of 94. His presence among his fellow veterans and dedication to his country has encouraged and brightened the lives of all who knew him.

Many stories of great service and of bravery in death by our country’s military since the Civil War were shared by family members and read from accounts in history since the Civil War. 

Karen Barr Escobar with the CA Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs presented a proclamation of thanks for our veteran’s from Governor Jerry Brown.

A special thank you was given to Boy Scout Troop 228 for decorating the hundreds of veteran’s graves.

One of the highlights of the day was the reading of a poem, “The Flag Speaks”, by Sacramento County Board of Supervisor’s Roberta MacGlashan.

MacGlashan wrote her poem in the 6th grade. It was published in the Santa Barbara News Press in 1963 as the winning entry in the 1963 AmVet’s Post 55 poetry contest in Goleta, CA. The contest still takes place as part of their Americanism program.  The poem reminds readers of a youth’s simple and true understanding of what our flag stands for, with a call to all to never forget its meaning!


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New Queens of Citrus Heights Crowned

By Tamara Barbu-Brown  |  2016-05-31

Your new Young Miss Citrus Heights is Makenzie Brookshire, Ms. Citrus Heights is Marianna Klironomos, Mrs. Citrus Heights Is Kristen Weiland-Horton, Jr., Miss Citrus Heights is Alana Mills and Court Keegan Carnahan and Tesla Thurman, Teen Miss Citrus Heights is Ellena Negrete, and your new Queen of Citrus Heights, representing Miss Citrus Heights (now for ladies age 18 and over) is Lucinda Maria Witte. 
--Photo courtesy Tamara Barbu-Brown

In honor or the late great Ms. Mary Purvis Friday night May 20th, 2016 was the crowning event of the 2016 Citrus Heights Queens and Court. Your new Young Miss Citrus Heights is Makenzie Brookshire, Ms. Citrus Heights is Marianna Klironomos, Mrs. Citrus Heights Is Kristen Weiland- Horton, Jr. Miss Citrus Heights is Alana Mills and Court Keegan Carnahan and Tesla Thurman, Teen Miss Citrus Heights is Ellena Negrete, and your new Queen of Citrus Heights, representing Miss Citrus Heights (now for ladies age 18 and over) is Lucinda Maria Witte. Look for the new Queens to be in the 2016 Citrus Heights Red, White and Blue Parade on June 25th and at many other local area events.

Mary Purvis ran the Miss Citrus Heights Pageant and other local city pageant titles since 1973, and passed away in March of 2014 at age 86. She was planning the 2014 Miss Citrus Heights Pageant when she passed. Her long-time Queen and right hand girl Tamara ‘Tami’ Barbu-Brown now owns and operates the Miss Citrus Heights titles. There are new ways to being Miss Citrus Heights as Tamara tells in in her own words:

“I want to keep Mary’s royal ambassador passion and dream alive by continuing the Miss Citrus Heights Queen tradition and I now call us the Class of Queens. I myself, as Mary did, live in Citrus Heights and just love this City! I was Ms. Citrus Heights of 1997 and helped celebrate the town of Citrus Heights become a City. I Grand-Opened many Citrus Heights businesses over the last 25 years and even rode in the very first Citrus Heights Red, White and Blue Parade. I am thrilled, proud and honored to be what I call the “new Mary Purvis”, and now direct many of her Queen titles. We Class of Queens attend local fairs in the park with make and take crafts, face-painting, serve snow cones and hot dogs, costume parties, and even formal symphony concerts, charity dinners and parades. With me you can earn a title or win one; to earn a title all you have to do is prove yourself worthy of a crown and do the community work alongside of us, just hang with us and do as we do!

Miss Citrus Heights is not a ‘beauty pageant’, it is an ‘Opportunity Program’ – an opportunity to represent a great city and be a given a chance to serve through volunteer Community Service work all year which can be used as community service credit and on job resumes. Here is where you can learn to be an outgoing, brave and charitable giving person, learn social skills and how to work as a Team. And, you can make lifelong friends. Mary Purvis is surely smiling down happy that her queen dream is still active and well and ever growing and changing to fit the modern times. “Let me give you the opportunity to go out there in all your glory and be Amazing!”

Tamara ‘Tami’ Barbu-Brown Owner and Director of Miss Citrus Heights and Miss Citrus Heights City, Miss Greater & Metro Sacramento, email: queentamara2000@gmail.com.


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13 Graduate from “My Life,” Through Citrus Heights Police Department's Youth Leadership Academy

By Linda Harper  |  2016-05-31

Along with the support and involvement of local agencies and businesses, The Citrus Heights Police Department Activity League created an eight week comprehensive course to launch leadership abilities in area students. 
--Photo courtesy of Citrus Heights Police Department

During a speech to constituents in 1862, Abraham Lincoln stated, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” His words still ring true today, especially for young people who are just beginning to navigate school, home, relationships and their community. Looking forward, our nation is depending on this group of open minded students to become future leaders; to take the initiative to form new businesses, blaze political trails that create growth and strength in our communities, command a military to protect our way of life and, to influence a general well-being. It's a tall order, but middle and High school aged students in our community are up for the challenge.

The Citrus Heights Police Department Activity League realized a need for young people to acquire the skills to be good leaders. Along with the support and involvement of local agencies and businesses, they created an eight-week comprehensive course to launch leadership abilities in area students. The program is named “My Life,” presented through the Youth Leadership Academy. On May 24, 2016, thirteen graduates from the eight-week class gave individual speeches, outlining what they had learned during their time in the program. Detective Dave Jones, Youth and Family Services Division, handed out certificates of completion while family and friends looked on with pride. Also awarded to each participant was a yellow Taekwondo belt by Professor C of Family Taekwondo Plus. Police Chief Christopher gave a statement; “Investing in kids is the best path to community safety and future leaders.” He went on to say when business leaders and citizens partner with public safety, everyone discovers the power of community.

Professor C, owner of Family Taekwondo, and member of the Taekwondo Hall of Fame, is an integral part of the Youth Leadership Academy. He is dedicated to helping kids see their potential by reinforcing core values they learn at home; courtesy, respect for all people, integrity for one's self, perseverance in order to reach goals, and self-control which instills thinking before reacting. Students who participate in the Youth Leadership Academy also go to class where Professor C teaches team building and leadership. Professor C and his instructors have also created “Bully Defense,” a course to help kids of all ages combat bullying. This negative phenomenon occurs all over the nation through Social Media and in person at school. There is an unprecedented number of young people who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying. At Family Taekwondo and Plus, kids achieve self-esteem, practice discipline and respect diversity. Having these qualities makes them strong and less apt to be bullied. Several graduates from the Youth Leadership Academy have signed up to mentor younger participants attending Family Taekwondo and Plus' summer camp. Others have committed to help the Police Activities League with a variety of summer projects and events.

Plans are underway for a second Youth Leadership Academy course for kids age 12-17. For more information, visit www.citrusheightspal.com or call (916) 727-5500. To know more about Family Taekwondo visit www.familytaekwondoplus.com or call (916) 725-3200. Both the Police Department and Family Taekwondo Plus are on Facebook.


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Boy Scout Troop One to Celebrate 100 Years

Source: Boy Scout Troop One  |  2016-05-27

Sacramento’s Boy Scout Troop One will be holding its 100-year anniversary, known as the 100ofOne Celebration, this June. Popularly believed to be the oldest, continuously running Boy Scout troop west of the Mississippi River, Troop One is currently reaching out to alumni to attend its 100-year celebration.

Scouts, scouters, Eagle Scouts and anyone that has ever been associated with Troop One are invited to attend the celebration at The Center at Twenty-Three Hundred located at 2300 Sierra Blvd in Sacramento on Sat. June 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. Interested alumni are encouraged to join the troop’s mailing list to receive invitation information and updates on the event.

Throughout Midtown Sacramento’s many recent changes, Troop One is one of the few institutions that have endured. The troop held its first meeting in 1916 at the First United Methodist Church on the corner of 21st and J streets, where its meetings are still held today. In 1955, Troop One nearly folded as membership dipped to only nine scouts. However, by 1976, the troop was back to making history, as Eagle Scouts H.J. and Robert McCurry became the first pair of brothers in the nation to win the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Today, Troop One alumni make up some of Sacramento’s most successful business and community leaders. The troop typically rosters 70 registered Boy Scouts from all over Sacramento and the surrounding areas and its Alumni Club boasts 170 former Troop One scouts, comprised of members from as far back as the 1930s.

To be added to the mailing list and for more information on the event, please visit www.Troop-1.com/100ofOne.


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Remembering All of Them

Commentary by Paul V. Scholl, Publisher  |  2016-05-27

We can all wonder why wars happen, but we can also stop long enough to honor the sacrifice given for what others believed in. They believed in us.

On one sacred day each year we stop and honor all those who have gone before us to secure our freedoms and our way of life. War is ugly. It is a tragedy. It is far too often unavoidable.

The common men and women who gave their lives for the good of our country became great to each of us through their sacrifice. There is no greater deed than to give your life for your fellow man.

In my own family I have three brothers who have served in the military. There are many uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces who have also served. Each of them is a part of a larger community that the rest of us will never really understand. But we can honor their service.

I remember the funeral I went to as a young school boy for my cousin Michael Borges. I remember seeing him in the casket, and that it didn’t look anything like him. He was killed in Vietnam when his Jeep ran over a land mine. It was the first time that I remember seeing anyone that I had known dead. Wasn’t it just a few short years ago I stood safely by him in the big family Christmas photograph?

My cousin’s name is engraved in the Vietnam Memorial at the Sacramento Capital.  When my son was a young boy I took him there to see the name, tell him the story and to talk about war. Hopefully it had an impact and someday he will return, and remember.

Another cousin, Leroy Kramer, was one of the greatest guys you would ever want to meet. He was always funny, loud, and enjoyed life to its fullest. He served in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine, and in later years suffered horribly from a neurological disease from the effects of agent orange. He passed away a few years ago, but over many of his last years while suffering from the disease he became a huge fundraiser for other veterans need. Lee was on a mission to help as many of his fellow veterans as he could.

On Memorial Day, I remember these two men especially. Both of their examples changed my life in way that is difficult to explain.  I think of all the families that have similar stories and how our nation is full of heroes lost. We must honor them all.

This Memorial Day enjoy the BBQ, the parties, the day to relax. But most of all remember why the sacred and historical day exists. We can all wonder why wars happen, but we can also stop long enough to honor the sacrifice given for what others believed in. They believed in us.


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Two Vehicle Collision Results in Fatal Injuries

Source: CHP North Sacramento  |  2016-05-26

On May 18, 2016, at approximately 2:30 pm, Marcus Ashford (22), was driving a 1998 Dodge Neon southbound Walnut Ave., north of Cypress Ave., in the #1 lane.  Nikolaus Berzins (34), was driving a 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck northbound Walnut Ave., north of Cypress Ave., in the #1 lane. 

For an unknown reason, the Dodge Neon swerved into the two-way left turn lane toward the F-150 pickup truck.  Mr. Berzins was unable to avoid a collision with the Dodge Neon as the Dodge Neon entered the #1 northbound lane.  The Dodge Neon and the Ford F-150 collided head-on in the northbound lanes.  The right front passenger of the Dodge Neon, an unidentified adult female, was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.  Mr. Ashford was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital with moderate injuries. 

Mr. Berzins sustained minor injuries, but was not transported from the collision scene.

The collision is still under investigation.

Any additional information about this news release should be directed to Officer Berry who will be available at the CHP North Sacramento Area business phone number: (916) 348-2317, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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