No Vet Left Behind

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2018-03-07

The Stand Down is expected to serve some 200 veterans and accompanying family members.

Veterans' Stand Down Calls for Donations

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - If you’ve vowed to serve local area veterans in some way but have not figured out how, the Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Recourse Team (HART), in partnership with HART of Carmichael are going to make that vow very easy for you to hold to.

The nonprofit organizations are calling for donations, volunteers and event sponsorships for the annual Citrus Heights Veterans Stand Down, set for Tuesday, April 3 at Holy Family Church.  

The Stand Down, says Citrus Heights HART board member Darlene Lyons, founder and owner of EZ Events in Auburn, is focused 100% on delivering food, clothing and other necessities to veterans in need, as well as their families, and, even their pets.

The original Stand Down concept is inextricably linked to veterans.  Its origins, says Lyons, are tied to the services and support offered to enlisted soldiers returning to their infantry camps after combat during the Vietnam War.  Secure “base camps” were set up where troops were offered access to personal hygiene products, medical and dental services, mail pick up, and a quiet, safe respite from combat where they could spend a day or so recovering from the trauma of font-line battle and reenergize their spirits, as well as their health.

The Citrus Heights model is held annually for veterans to check in with local service providers and obtain critical VA services, obtain food, clothing and donated hygiene products and enjoy meals prepared by volunteer organizations—all under one roof.

“That’s the key to this event,” said Lyons.  “We make it possible for our veterans to come in to a one-stop location for a wide range of support services, enjoy a great breakfast provided by the Knights of Columbus, have lunch and snacks, obtain referrals for critical services and replenish toiletry supplies, get clothing and socks and much more.”

The Way Ministries of Citrus Heights will be cooking lunch for all attendees, while the Retired Marines will oversee traffic and security for the Stand Down, Lyons said.

HART was formed to support the local homeless population with a centralized support network of services.  But, says Lyons, it was revealed that among that contingency was a growing number of veterans who were struggling with figuring out the often complicated process to accessing VA services and benefit programs, not to mention they needed food, clothing and other essentials. 

“We started out of course by forming the HART team to deal with homeless needs, but when we got more deeply involved in the community, we found out that there was a growing number of veterans among that group and we felt we had to do more,” Lyons said.

The Stand Down, which is expected to serve some 200 veterans and accompanying family members, goes well beyond delivering the basics.  Through the help of donations and support from community and corporate sponsors, the Stand Down will also offer veterans access to employment counseling, CalVet Benefit referrals, medical, vision and dental services, flu shots, eyeglasses, pet care, including microchipping, nail clipping and more, and even haircuts and supplies to keep healthy.

Many homeless and housed veterans alike are struggling with substance abuse.  For them, representatives from treatment facilities will be on hand to connect them with appropriate recover services if they want them.  If someone needs to renew their driver’s license or obtain a bus pass, there will be help on hand for that, too.  There will even be representative providing legal aid support to veterans who have legal issues to sort out but need help getting started.

“Essentially this is a day for veterans to join under one roof to get the help they need to live lives of dignity,” said Lyons.  “We have amazing volunteers, but we always need more of them.  And, we have wonderful community and corporate sponsors who support this event, as well.

Current corporate sponsors include Target, Quick Quack Car Wash, Dignity Health, Chase Bank and Stones Gambling Hall.  The Stand Down is also supported by a vast number of Citrus Heights-based organizations including Sunrise Marketplace, Inc., the Auburn Boulevard Business Association, Sylvan Ranch Community Garden, Sunrise Food Ministry and Francis House, and through key partnerships with the Citrus Heights Police Department and Sacramento elected officials, among others.

Socks, boots, T-shirts, warm jackets, shampoo, toothpaste, backpacks and pet food are at the top of the list of items needed for the veterans, said Lyons.  Volunteers are needed, as well, to help sort through donations and serve food.

“It takes an army,” said Lyons.  “We need supporters and volunteers to help us make this day of service for our veterans a successful one.”

Lyons said shuttle service to and from the Stand Down will also be available for those who do not have transportation.

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A Final Tribute Honoring a Special Lady During Women’s History Month

By Sheila LaPolla  |  2018-03-02

Lt. Balmer holds a plaque recognizing her as the oldest living female member of the American Legion at 108 years old. Photo courtesy of Brenda Sheriff

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Women’s History Month celebrates the vital role of women in American history.  The vibrancy and legacy of women past and present unifies and nourishes our collective whole as we march onward towards fundamental human equality.

Lieutenant Lynn Balmer, born September 12, 1907, on the family homestead in Plumas, California, saw history unfold before her eyes and created a bit of history herself. On her 108th birthday, she was recognized by American Legion Post 709, Rancho Cordova, California, as the oldest living female member of the American Legion.

However, now this special lady has been called to Post Everlasting.  Lynn Balmer died peacefully at her home at Country Village in Chico, California, on December 9, 2017, at the vintage age of 110.  

She was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 709, Rancho Cordova, California, where her nephew, Sgt. Ken Hicks, U.S. Air force veteran, was Historian. He is currently an active member of Post 709. 

She was also a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637, Citrus Heights, California.

After WWII started, Lynn Balmer joined the military, “to free a man for active duty.”  She served in the U.S. Coast Guard and achieved the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) LTJG.  Lt. Balmer secured a top secret clearance and worked in Military Intelligence. Using her keen mathematical abilities, she read and interpreted weather maps and charts and used Morse code to help ships navigate through dangerous waters and adverse weather conditions between the United States and England.

Prior to her military service, Lt. Balmer was an elementary school teacher, teaching her first class in 1927.  She later taught mathematics to high school students.  In 1943, her passion for teaching and love for her students, (having no children, she treated each and every child as her own) gave way to her patriotism and love of country when she enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard.

Yes, Lt. Balmer entered two noble professions and gave of her immense talents whole heartedly.

Between the years of 1946 and 1967 she attended the University of Washington part time, taught mathematics to junior high school students, volunteered at a children’s orthopedic hospital, and was a professional skater to boot.  She retired and moved to Chico, California in the late 1990s with her husband, Charles.

Lynn Balmer’s passion for life lives on.  She told stories about living through World War 1, living through the nationwide flu epidemic in 1918 by wearing bags of asafetida around her neck to school, living through the Great Depression, and when there were shortages of grain and sugar, feeling very lucky that her father had bees so their family of nine children had honey.

Her nephew, Sgt. Hicks, and her extended family and friends continue to carry on Lt. Balmer’s storytelling to the delight of young and old alike.

The Women’s Suffrage movement was going strong in her childhood and when Lynn was 18 years old, she recalled that her mother got to vote for the first time in her life during the 1920 election.  When Lynn became of legal age, she, too, proudly exercised her right to vote and encouraged all women, young and old, to exercise their hard-earned right to vote.

Lt. Balmer died at 110 years old leaving a personal legacy of a life well lived.  She did not let life pass her by.  Her deep love of country and patriotism ignited her commitment to help protect our democracy and way of life. That love still flourishes in the lives she touched personally and by the sheer power of her being. 

She had richness of character, strength, gentleness, and a pioneer spirit exemplifying qualities of our American Legion veterans.

During Women’s History Month, it is only fitting we pay special tribute to Lt. Balmer and reflect upon and celebrate the lives of famous women pioneers and leaders in our history, as well as celebrate the unsung women heroes of our daily lives.    

ARTICLE written by:  Sheila LaPolla Historian, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 383, Fair Oaks, California and Historian, American Legion Riders Chapter 383, Fair Oaks, California

Membership #301190393

(916) 715-3046

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CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - The City of Citrus Heights is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) to obtain
proposals for providing graffiti removal and abatement services for City facilities and
property in the public right-of-way such as bridges, stop signs, signal lights, utility boxes,
and trees. This does not include graffiti removal on property belonging to other public agencies or
entities such as SMUD, PG&E, etc. or on private property, unless authorized by the
General Services Director or their designee.

The RFP is for a three-year contract with opportunities for two, one year extensions,
commencing on the date that the contract is awarded to the successful bidder. 
All questions regarding this RFP shall be directed to Mary Poole at
or 916.727.4770.

Proposed Selection Schedule
March 1, 2018 Notice inviting proposals sent out
March 15, 2018 Due date for Requests for Information
March 22, 2018 Proposals Due by 3:00 PM
March 29 – 30, 2018 Interviews and Selection of Contractor
April 12, 2018 Contract Award & Notice to Proceed (NTP)
April 13, 2018 NTP issued
May 1, 2018 Service Begins
Publication Date/Time:
3/1/2018 12:00 AM
Closing Date/Time:
3/22/2018 3:00 PM
Submittal Information:
General Services Department, City of Citrus Heights
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NorCal Auto Racing to Hold Hall of Fame Fundraiser Dinner

By Roy Wilhite, NCAR  |  2018-03-01

Rick Scribner poses with his #15. Photo courtesy NCAR

Gary Gerould to MC "Dinner with the Champions”  event with Racing’s Stars

​Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Rick Scribner, NCAR’s Vice-president, has been involved in Auto Racing for most of his life.  He even met his wife, Janet, in turn #4 at West Capital Raceway. 

Rick has raced Sprint Cars, Super Modified and Cup Cars on asphalt and dirt.  He has a passion for auto racing (like most race car owners and drivers).  His son Chris currently races the family owned #5 Late Model.

Rick is on the founding Board of Directors of Northern California Auto Racing, Inc., (NCAR).  Rick and his company Scribner Plastics, Inc. is a strong supporter of NCAR's drive to acquire a "Hall of Fame and Museum" for Northern California Auto racing’s large following of enthusiasts.

Like most racing individual's, Rick is looking forward to the NCAR'S "Dinner with Champions" with Gary Gerould

as Master of Ceremonies interviewing Super Stars Rico Abreu and Jack Hewitt on March 18th at the Dante Club  in Sacramento.

The Dante Club is located at 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento, California 95825.

To purchase tickets online go to

You can also purchase your tickets by mail. Make  your check payable to NCAR and send it to 9456 Greenback Lane, Orangevale, California 95662.  For more information call 1-916-709-8400.

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Spring Fling, Bloom Boom Flower Power Planting at Wildlife Care Association of Sacramento

By Rick Reed  |  2018-03-01

Visit to learn more or donate.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Wildlife Care Association of Sacramento is engaging ‘flower power’ to brighten the non-profit’s rehabilitation facility at McClellan Park. The state’s second largest volunteer wildlife rehab group is transforming the old USAF Radar dome it now calls home with the bright faces of sunflowers!

Volunteers are needed to help plant a sunflower garden as part of the WCA’s regular Spruce UP Saturday on March 17. With assistance from Woodland’s Tom Heaton, creator of fabulous hybrid seeds, his company Sunflower Selections will provide seed for the newest creation in White Sunflower hybrids and Yellow varieties to provide seeds for wildlife. Led by Sacramento’s own garden star, Plant Lady Marlene Simon will create a sunflower line garden in a day.

Spruce UP Saturday is the third Saturday of each month when volunteers join forces to build, repair and maintain the two and a half acre Wildlife Care Association site at 5211 Patrol Road, McClellan Park.  The Bloom Boom flower power event will take place 12noon to 4pm on Saturday March 17 and volunteers can sign up at

Saving thousands of birds and small animals each year since 1975, the volunteer non-profit wildlife rehabilitation group depends on community support and care. 98% of wildlife given a second chance to live comes from caring hearts and willing hands of volunteers from across the region. These heroes of nature safeguard the environmental balance in returning birds and small animals to the Sacramento region to balance our quality of life. Injured, orphan and creatures displaced by human activity are brought to the facility each year to heal, grow and be released back to the wild. Visit to learn more or donate.

Call 916-965-WILD for assistance if you find injured, orphaned or displaced wildlife.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is busy preparing for the expected winter storm forecasted for this week.

SMUD has a full complement of customer service representatives are ready to answer customer calls reporting outages, and SMUD line repair crews, troubleshooters and other personnel ready to respond to and restore power to customers who may experience outages caused by storm activity. Forecasts indicate significant precipitation and gusty winds.

When outages occur, SMUD works around-the-clock to restore electric service as safely and as quickly as possible. SMUD has additional crews on call that can be brought in if necessary.

SMUD is providing a list of tips below to help customers deal with any outages that may occur during this storm. Please provide them to your readers, listeners and viewers.

Preparing for a storm:

Prepare a simple emergency kit and store in an accessible place. Be sure to include:

  • fully charged cell phone and/or laptop
  • flashlight
  • battery operated clock
  • extra batteries          
  • manual can opener              
  • supply of bottled water                  
  • a battery operated radio to get relevant news reports

If the power goes out...

  • Check to see if the lights are out in neighboring homes -- if they are, chances are that you’re a part of a larger outage.
  • Call SMUD’s toll free outage line at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683).
  • If asked to report an outage, be prepared to give:
    • your phone number with area code. 
    • your address.
    • a description of the problem.    
  • And, if yours is the only home on the street without power, the problem may be in your service panel.
    • Check to see if the main circuit breaker switch has flipped to the “off” or “trip” position.
    • If it has, and you are standing on dry ground and have dry hands, firmly push the switch to the “off” position and then to the “on” position.
  • Turn off all electric appliances except one light while waiting for electricity to be restored.  This lowers the initial demand for electricity and makes it easier for SMUD crews to restore electric service. The light will signify when power has been restored.

If stormy weather knocks down a power line…

  • call SMUD at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683) or 911 immediately.
  • assume the line is “energized” and stay away and warn others to do the same.
  • do not remove fallen tree limbs or other debris from power lines. Tree limbs and other objects can conduct electricity that can shock anyone coming in contact with them.

The following priorities are used to determine where crews will be sent during a storm:

  • public safety hazards (power lines down, poles down)
  • hospitals and critical flood control pumps
  • areas with large numbers of customers out of power
  • scattered, smaller outages
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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On Monday, March 5, Sacramento County’s Department of Voter Registration and Electionswill be hosting an open house where Sacramento County residents are invited to learn about the available voting options and experience the new voting system technology that will be implemented with the June 2018 Primary Election. 

“With the passage of the California Voter’s Choice Act, all registered voters will receive a ballot in the mail and Vote Centers will be offered in place of traditional polling places,” said Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, Jill LaVine. “We wanted to take this opportunity to educate members of the community on the upcoming changes so they are prepared in advance of the election.”

Sacramento County residents are invited to the New Voting System Demonstration:

When: Monday, March 5 from 2-7 p.m.

Where: Department of Voter Registration and Elections
              7000 65th Street, Suite A
              Sacramento, CA 95823

Department representatives will be available to discuss the key features of the following voting options;

• Vote By Mail (VBM): Materials such as a VBM ballot, drop box will be on display
• Accessible Vote By Mail System: Available to voters with accessibility needs, providing an accessible and secure website where voters can use their own computer to download, mark and print their ballot which is then returned by mail.
• Vote Centers: A simulated Vote Center will be set up where attendees will get a firsthand experience of the new Accessible Ballot Marking Devices including the activation process, touchscreen device interface; and a Ballot on Demand station where voters can request paper ballots.

Additionally, the Department of Voter Registration and Elections will be offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Election Management System which includes the ImageCast Central Tabulator used to scan and count ballots and the ImageCast Adjudication Workstation that is used in instances where a ballot requires additional review to determine voter intent.

Sacramento County is one of five counties in California to implement the Voter’s Choice Act. For additional information about the June 2018 Primary Election, the Voter’s Choice Act and to learn more about how voting is changing in Sacramento County, visit the Department of Voter Registration and Elections website.

...Read More!