Nonprofit Childcare Opens Center to Support Families

By Jessica Keefe, Elevate Public Relations  |  2019-06-12

Single Mom Strong Founder Tara Taylor. Photo courtesy Elevate Public Relations

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Single Mom Strong, a nonprofit created to meet the unique needs of local single mothers and their families through support, education and events is expanding its mission by addressing the lack of affordable, quality childcare in the region. Its new Empowerment Center, where a Grand Opening is set for Saturday, June 15, 2019, will immediately offer value- and activity-based summer camps, addressing a great need for working families.

When the school year kicks off, the Center will offer preschool and childcare programs, including extended hours and drop-in care, in a co-operative style childcare where parents can volunteer in exchange for reduced rates.

In addition, the Center will offer a variety of personal and professional growth programs for single mothers, with a wide range of topics such as goal setting, budgeting and self-defense, as well as one-on-one coaching and mentoring.

“The cost of childcare is a significant strain on the family budget, particularly for single parents. The problem multiplies when school is not in session and full-day programs are needed such as during summer and winter breaks. We need to find better solutions to the childcare dilemma for families. Single Mom Strong’s new summer program is a great option. Then, when the EmpowerME preschool and co-op childcare programs open in the fall, families will have an affordable long-term care option with the opportunity to volunteer in the Center in exchange for reduced-cost care for their children,” said Founder Tara Taylor.

Taylor created Single Mom Strong as a response to her own challenges as a single mother. “I know from my own experience that it really does take a village to raise a child. I raised my daughter alone from the age of 6 months old without support from her father. It was the hardest, but most rewarding thing I have ever done. I wanted to make that path a bit easier for other single mothers, so I decided to create the “village” that every mom needs when raising a child and Single Mom Strong was born.”

Despite mothers’ best efforts, statistics show that children raised by single mothers suffer in a variety of ways: they are more likely to have educational deficiencies, engage in sex at a younger age, have lower occupational status and income as adults, and give birth outside of marriage themselves, among other issues. In fact, eighty-five percent of all children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes.

Meanwhile, single mothers are plagued with feelings of guilt and inadequacy and usually find themselves living at or below poverty level. Single Mom Strong is working with local single mothers to change these statistics.

Since its inception in Sacramento less than three years ago, Single Mom Strong has served over 400 mothers and children in the greater Sacramento area.

The interest list for Single Mom Strong’s EmpowerME summer program is open but space is limited. Interested parties are encouraged to learn more at and attend the Grand Opening hosted by Taylor and the Center’s new Childcare Director Le Taunya Terrell. The event will feature a ribbon cutting, facility tours, carnival games, silent auction, special guests and treats.

About Single Mom Strong
Based on the premise that a single mother can simultaneously be a professional success and a great parent, and the belief that neither the single mother nor her children are limited in any way by this circumstance, Single Mom Strong is:

A community, meeting the need for belonging and love for single mothers and their children; A place of empowerment: for single mothers, through education and opportunity for balance; for their children through education and positive relationships; A means for betterment: with their children in safe, quality child care, single mothers can better provide for their families and achieve personal goals

About The Empowerment Center
Located at 7525 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights, The Empowerment Center is the only resource of its kind in the area and the flagship program of Single Mom Strong.

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Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary Gives Back to Fathers on their Special Day

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary, a proud provider in the Dignity Memorial® network, will be giving away free hot dogs and Dad’s root beer floats beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Father’s Day, Sunday June 16th, and continuing until 2:00 p.m. We are thankful for the fathers in our community and want to honor them for their daily sacrifices and dedication to their families and community.

For any questions regarding this special event, please contact Lisa Goudy at 916-969-1251 or

Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary is located at 8201 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

About Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary

Mount Vernon Memorial Park & Mortuary is a proud member of the Dignity Memorial network in Fair Oaks. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 2,000 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, visit




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CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - At the Citrus Heights City Council meeting on May 23, the Council unanimously approved the purchase of the old Sylvan Middle School property, which is one quadrant of the Sylvan Corners intersection (Auburn Blvd. and Sylvan Rd.). City staff described the area as vital to Citrus Heights’ economic development. If a developer purchased the property, the City wouldn’t have much say in how the land is used. By purchasing the property now, the City will have better control over the land use and design of the site.

The San Juan Unified School District has agreed to sell the 11.44-acre surplus property to the City at the appraised value: $3.43 million ($299,825 per acre). After an initial deposit of $100,000, the City will have 60 days to review the property and conduct inspections. If for any reason the City chooses not to continue with the purchase, the agreement can be terminated during the 60-day “feasibility period” and the City’s deposit will be returned.

The Council recently approved a Revolving Line of Credit, which will be used for the purchase of the property. After the purchase, the City plans to partner with a developer and provide input and direction on plans for the property’s development. After the property is eventually sold to the chosen developer, the sale proceeds will be used to pay down the balance on the line of credit.

The May 23 meeting was also the third of five public hearings about the City’s transition to district-based elections in order to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. National Demographics Corporation (NDC), which is assisting the City in the districting process, presented nine draft maps for review. Members of the public submitted six maps for consideration and NDC prepared three drafts maps. The goal of the hearing was to explain the specifics of each map and receive public input.

NDC aimed to create maps with compact districts that follow neighborhood boundaries and major roads while also respecting the will of the voters — drafting districts so only one current councilmember resides in each. Having districts that would put two or more members in direct competition in upcoming elections does not respect the choices voters made in prior elections.

NDC’s Map 109 successfully respects voter choice, but Maps 101 and 102 would both create one vacant district while putting Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey and Councilmember Bret Daniels in the same district — pitting them against each other in the 2020 election if both run for re-election.

Steve Demers, a GIS analyst with Sacramento County Elections Office and Department of Technology, submitted Maps 107 and 108, and members of the public submitted the remaining maps: Rodney Hart, Map 103; Steve Wiggington, Map 104; Albert Fox, Map 105; and Frances Phipps, Map 106. Of these maps, only 104 would put each councilmember in their own district. In Wiggington’s submitted comments, he stated that Map 104 has “a good mix of business and residential across all districts. It provides a relatively equal mix of schools, parks and open spaces across all districts. It takes into account a predicted population expansion of the Mitchell Farms residential development project by having a lower initial population in that district.”

During the hearing, the Council narrowed down the draft map options, selecting three focus maps (102, 104, and 109) that will receive further analysis. The Council generally favored Map 104 because it considered the expansion at Mitchell Farms and respected voter choice. There was some concern about the districts splitting some neighborhoods, so the Council asked NDC to create an alternate version of 104 that shifts the district lines to keep those neighborhoods together.

The Council is selecting the final district map this week. The public can view the maps online and submit feedback at


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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Old couches. Left-over lumber. One-legged chairs. Used laptops and TVs. Broken refrigerators. Beat-up mattresses. Does this sound like your backyard or garage? Did you know the Sacramento County Department of Waste Management and Recycling will come to your home and pick these items up from your curb at no charge?

One Bulky Waste Pick-Up per calendar year is included in your garbage rate. The no-charge pick- up is good for an 8’ x 4’ x 4’ pile, with a maximum material amount of 5 cubic yards – about the size of a pickup bed loaded to the top of the cab. Additional pickups are only $25!

Bulky Waste Pick-Up services are available by appointment only. To schedule your pick-up, call (916) 875-5555 or complete the Waste Management and Recycling form online.

Acceptable items include: Appliances, E-Waste (TVs and computer monitors), Universal Waste (household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs less than 4 feet, and cell phones), Furniture/Mattresses, Pipes, Lumber, Lawn/Tree/Shrub Trimmings.

Please use your green waste container as much as possible for leaves, grass, weeds and prunings. The more you use your green waste cart, the more space in your Bulk Waste Pick-Up for items that cannot go into a cart.

Place these items to the side of your pile: Tires (no rims; maximum of 5); Junk.

Lumber, pipes and trimmings should be no more than four inches in diameter and five feet long.

Unacceptable items include: Commercial Waste, Dirt, Rocks, and Bricks, Glass Panes, Concrete, Vehicle Batteries, Household Garbage, Hot Ashes, Heavy Materials (like auto bodies, engines, etc.), Hazardous Waste. This includes paint, oil and chemicals. This material may be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the North Area Recovery Station. Call (916) 875-5555 for hours.

Customers are asked to place the materials in front of their property and on the same side of the street 24 hours before scheduled pick-up.

The County offers this service to help customers keep their neighborhoods and homes tidy. It also helps reduce illegal dumping.

Sometimes, people without access to trucks or trailers will illegally dump unwanted items along roadsides or in rural areas of the county. This causes blight and costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars every year to address.

Ted Horton, superintendent of operations for the Department of Waste Management and Recycling, says that each year the county removes about 23 million pounds of household junk through the Bulky Waste Pick-Up program.

Couches, beds and wood are the most commonly disposed of items. “But we’ll even take old hot tubs, as long as they are cut in half,” said Horton.

Appointment availability varies. Depending on demand there may be a wait of up to 3-4 weeks.

If you’d like to get rid of household junk or have questions about the program, please email or call Customer Service at 916-875-5555, Monday – Friday,

8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

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SMUD and CDFW Stock Thousands of Trout in Reservoirs

SMUD Press Release  |  2019-06-12

SMUD and CDFW will be stocking three separate reservoirs for recreational fishing.

EL DORADO COUNTY, 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 into August with SMUD stocking 25,000 pounds of fish into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. This is the fifth consecutive summer SMUD and CDFW have combined efforts to stock the reservoirs.

The trout plants are intended to enhance angling opportunities for the public. Surveys say fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. On average, the stocked trout weigh one to two pounds each, including some trophy fish. SMUD, along with the owners of the Ice House Resort, have installed the “Crystal Basin Bragging Board” where anglers can post pictures of their catch from Crystal Basin reservoirs. There is also a scale available if anglers wish to weigh their catch and claim biggest-fish bragging rights. Anglers are also encouraged to tag SMUD on social media and show off their catch.

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.

SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2014 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 water year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

SMUD will coordinate six separate trout plantings starting in early June and continuing into early August. Union Valley, the largest of the three reservoirs, will get 9,600 pounds; Loon Lake, 7,750 pounds; and Ice House, 7,650. 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.


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Optimists Hold High School Boys Volleyball All-Star Games

John Yoshikawa, Optimist Sports Director  |  2019-06-06

Volleyball players Matthew Yovzhiy and Jordan Tobey. Photo courtesy Optimist

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The 22nd Annual Optimist High School Boys’ Volleyball All Star games were held on June 2, 2019 at Capital Christian High School, 9470 Micron Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95827.

The Small Schools North team won after playing four (4) sets; 25 – 21; 14 – 25; 25 – 19; and 25 – 17. The North Team Outstanding Player was Matthew Yovzhiy from Mira Loma High School. The South Team Outstanding Player was Jordan Tobey from Vacaville Christian High School.

The Large Schools North Team won the 2nd match after playing five (5) sets, 25 – 20; 20 – 25; 21 – 25; 25 – 21; and 15 – 11.The North Team Outstanding Player was Griffin Walters from El Camino High School. The South Outstanding Player was Miles Judd from Roseville High School.

The Small Schools North Team team was coached by Kay Tindelll from Mira Loma High School and Bill Evans from Wheatland High School. They were assisted by Marissa Tindell from Mira Loma High School. The Small Schools South Team was coached by Bryson Grant and Greg Grant from Capital Christian High School, and Carla Borges from Vacaville Christian High School. They were assisted by Alicia Borges from Vacaville Christian High School. The Large Schools North Team was coached by Winston Prather from Granite Bay High School, and assisted by Brian Jew from Woodcreek High School and Jamie Mathias from Del Oro High School. The Large Schools South Team was coached Dave Amituanai from Laguna Creek High School, and assisted by Theresa Dark from Oakmont High School, and Jill Smith from Elk Grove High School.


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Cordova Recreation & Park District Honored with Awards

By Cady Nagy-Chow  |  2019-06-06

From left to right: Mark Johnson, past President of CARPD Board of Directors, together with CRPD Board members Vice Chair Brian Danzl, General Manager Patrick Larkin, CRPD Board Chair Michael Yearwood and 
CRPD Secretary Rick Sloan. Photo courtesy of CRPD

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Cordova Recreation & Park District (CRPD) received two large district Awards of Distinction at the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts’ (CARPD) Annual Awards of Distinction Banquet on May 24, 2019. In addition, two of CRPD’s Board of Directors members were sworn in to hold positions within the association.

CRPD’s Mather Sports Center received the nod for Outstanding Renovated Facility for the newly-refinished, Sacramento Kings-branded gymnasium. A project made possible by multiple partnerships, CRPD identified an opportunity for Mather Sports Center that would increase the facility’s sustainability and aesthetic. The upgrades, which included a refinished gymnasium floor, new lighting, new bleachers and new basketball hoops, benefitted not only CRPD’s youth sports programming (i.e. adding the Youth Jr. Kings Basketball League) but also enticed local sports clubs to rent the facility, increased open gym attendance, improved energy usage and enhanced the safety of all visitors.

Throughout the project, CRPD worked closely with the County of Sacramento, the Good Tidings Foundation, the Sacramento Kings Community Impact team, Kaiser Permanente and SMUD to uplift this accessible, sustainable and safe community athletic space.

Furthermore, Lincoln Village Community Park’s Fitness Course was the recipient of the Outstanding New Facility award from CARPD. This course demonstrates a 21st century ethic of resource allocation, providing a myriad of opportunities that serve the needs of a diverse and growing community. CRPD’s Park Planning & Development team demonstrated outstanding design and cost efficiency in this project, essential criteria for the award.

Since the fitness course opened in early 2018, it has been praised by community members and professional associations alike. Resident Google postings on the park give it a score of 4 out of 5 stars and members of the Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center claim it’s their favorite way to exercise outside of the instructed programs CRPD offers.

Some of those who praise these projects include CARPD’s Board of Directors. As individuals who represent faithful and honorable service to the park and recreation field, CRPD’s Board Secretary, Rick Sloan, who served as President-Elect for CARPD’s Board during the 2018-2019 year, was sworn in as President of the Board for 2019-2020, while Vice-chair for CRPD’s Board, Brian Danzl, was elected to the CARPD Board of Directors.

Both Sloan and Danzl were honored and delighted to receive these nominations and look forward to further serving the recreation and parks industry.

The California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD) is a 501(c)(6), nonprofit whose goals include providing support and education to recreation and park districts throughout the state of California. This association uses its annual banquet to recognize excellence in the field and acknowledges achievements of leaders in the industry.

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