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Building Character Through Football

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-06-27

Left to right: Playmakers founder Coach Roz, Harrison Phillips of the Buffalo Bills, and Jordan Richards of the Oakland Raiders use football to teach kids about character.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On June 15, The Playmakers Organization held a free one-day Football Camp at El Camino High School. The Playmakers Organization, founded by Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler, is a local non-profit that provides free “Character Academy” camps for local youth         

Joe Bodnar and Joe Simeone are long-time friends of Coach Roz, and they support the Playmakers mission by volunteering at the Character Academy Football Camps. Bodnar said, “It introduces the kids to the sport. It gives them a self-esteem boost; they get to be in the spotlight.”

Simeone explained, “The sport is the platform to talk about character. It provides an opportunity to ask kids, ‘What are you doing off the field? What are you doing in the classroom?’” The Playmakers’ programs focus on reaching at-risk and special needs kids, and Simeone said the kids often go on to become mentors to younger participants, taking on leadership roles in the program.

Playmakers board member Bill Hutto described why he got involved in the organization: “My heart is with at-risk youth, and Playmakers does a lot for these kids.” After retiring from a career in the California Department of Corrections, Hutto knows how important it is to provide at-risk kids with early intervention to keep them out of the prison system. “Giving them the opportunity to build their confidence and learn positive attitudes at a young age helps them become productive citizens,” said Hutto.

Harrison Phillips, NFL defensive tackle with the Buffalo Bills, helped host the football camp. “This is a really cool initiative,” said Phillips. “I’m happy to come out and unite a lot of different people through sports; it’s amazing the power of the sport to bring people together. It’s about teaching these kids character, team building, and working together — all the positive attributes of this sport that these kids might not get a chance to experience without this program.”

NFL player Jordan Richards played football at Folsom High School and college football at Stanford before playing with the New England Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons, and recently signing with the Oakland Raiders. Richards has been involved in Playmakers since he was 13, attending Playmakers football camps as a teen. “I didn’t know it at the time, but the lessons I learned here — who I am as I person, who I am as a man — I learned through the game. I’m so thankful for the time I had growing up with Coach Roz.”

Richards met Phillips at Stanford and recruited him to become a Playmakers sponsor. Richards said, “In a way, we grew up together — and we still encourage each other.” Richards spoke of the bonds of friendship created through football, explaining it as “the guys who helped build me, and I helped build them.”

Richards, Phillips, and numerous volunteers (including students from local high schools El Camino, Rio Americano, Western Sierra, and Mira Loma) ran a series of football drills with the Playmakers kids. Coach Roz is grateful to have the support of Richards and Phillips: “These guys contribute so much to the organization, not just financially, but by taking the time to show up.”

“The growth you get from this game really does last a lifetime,” said Richards. “Football taught me a lot about life, and a lot about myself. It takes a lot of people to make a team. It’s a family.” He urged the kids to take advantage of this opportunity: “Be a part of all this. It truly is special.”

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Anyone with ideas, suggestions, or concerns about the administration and oversight of California’s business taxes is invited to attend the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s (CDTFA) annual Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights meeting in Sacramento July 25, 2019.

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, 450 N Street, 1st Floor, Room 122, Sacramento, California 95814

The meeting will be held to receive public input regarding business taxes including sales and use taxes, and special taxes and fees such as fuel taxes, tobacco taxes, and cannabis taxes. Those interested in attending are invited to contact the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office by calling toll-free 1-888-324-2798, or by visiting us online.

Enacted in January 1989, the Harris-Katz California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights ensures that the rights of California Taxpayers are protected during the assessment and collection of sales taxes. The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights was expanded in 1993 to include special tax programs such as environmental fees, fuel taxes, and tobacco taxes.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers California’s sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, as well as a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs account for over 25 percent of all state revenue. California’s essential services, such as public safety, transportation, health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs, are directly supported by these taxes and fees.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Two Sacramento area STEM learning institutions, the Aerospace Museum of California and Powerhouse Science Center are coming together to bring guests Apollopalooza, a family-friendly event that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This special event will take place at the Aerospace Museum of California on Saturday, July 20 from 10:00AM-4:00PM.                               

Highlights of Apollopalooza include the premiere of the Aerospace Museum of California’s new Moon Mission Virtual Reality Experience, exclusive Apollo artifact tours, a NASA Mad Science show, and several activities hosted by both the Museum and Powerhouse Science Center in the exhibit hall. A Smithsonian affiliate, the Aerospace Museum of California will also feature exclusive Smithsonian programming and NASA films in the Museum’s theater.

Michael Galane, Executive Director for the Powerhouse Science Center stated, “We’re excited to partner with the Aerospace Museum of California and SAFE Credit Union to bring this one-of-a-kind event to the Sacramento area. Tom Jones, Executive Director for the Aerospace Museum of California noted: “Northern California has a rich aerospace heritage and having these two STEM learning centers collaborate together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing will make this a memorable event for the greater Sacramento community.”

Members of both Aerospace and Powerhouse are offered deeply discounted tickets to the event. Community partner SAFE Credit Union is also offering a special discount to their members. Tickets to the event are available for purchase online at aerospaceca.org/tickets.

Apollo 11 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on July 16th, 1969 with a crew of three astronauts: Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins. Four days later, on July 20th, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon were broadcast worldwide on live television. Armstrong’s quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he stepped on the surface for the first time is remembered as one of the most iconic moments in NASA history. The crew landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th, 1969, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s national goal: to land a man on the moon and safely return him before 1970.

About the Aerospace Museum of California: Experience aviation history and aerospace potential in an interactive setting. With a 4-acre air park and rotating exhibits, families can engage with our STEM activities for all ages and let their imagination soar. Learn more at aerospaceca.org


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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The Regional Solid Waste Authority (SWA) will be holding a workshop on Tuesday, August 13, to seek input on code changes intended to increase generator waste compliance levels in accordance with mandates required by the State of California.  These mandates will affect all businesses that generate four or more cubic yards per week of all solid waste (including trash, recycling and organics).

The SWA needs business engagement and consensus on developing workable solutions to be successful in meeting these state mandates.  Both Sacramento County and the City of Sacramento are under intense compliance pressure from the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle) to achieve greater compliance with existing commercial sector recycling regulations as a result of the Mandatory Commercial Recycling Act (AB 341) adopted by the California Legislature and implemented by CalRecycle.  It requires recycling by all businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week.  In addition, AB 1826 requires businesses generating 4 or more cubic yards of trash and recycling to recycle their organic waste.

Currently, SWA code allows businesses to decline recycling services from their trash service provider and seek those services elsewhere.  The proposed plan would require SWA franchisees to provide recycling and organics services to a business unless that business provides documentation their recycling services are provided by another recycler or by self-hauling.

The workshop on requiring businesses to subscribe to services for trash, recycling and organics will held at 1 pm in the County Board Chambers, 700 I Street, in downtown Sacramento.  If you have questions, please email SWAInfo@saccounty.net.



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Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive at Leatherby’s Supports Life Center

By Kristin Thébaud, Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2019-07-18

Natalie Corral receives a box of diapers from the Sacramento Life Center. Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive will provide more diapers for low-income pregnant moms in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Kristin Thébaud Communications

Donate Unopened Pack of Diapers and Get Free Scoop of Ice Cream 

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local residents who bring an unopened pack of diapers to any Leatherby’s Family Creamery location on July 20 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. will receive a free scoop of ice cream as part of Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive, benefiting the Sacramento Life Center. The drive, which takes place during National Ice Cream Month, will provide diapers for low-income moms in the Sacramento area and honor the life of the ice cream shop’s founder Dave Leatherby Sr. who passed away earlier this year and supported the Sacramento Life Center for decades.

“This is a really special drive, as it not only fills an important need, but honors my late father who was so beloved in this community and who had such a heart for helping low-income pregnant women and teens in the Sacramento area,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We hope everyone comes out on July 20 to help women in need and enjoy a free scoop of Leatherby’s ice cream in honor of my dad.”

According to The Nation, a third of American families struggle to afford enough diapers. The 2018 article quoted a study that found families would leave a child in a diaper too long, risking diaper rash and urinary tract infections, and others would bleach a wet diaper, dry it and reuse it. The Sacramento Life Center’s diaper drive will ensure that every mother who walks into its main clinic can receive free, clean diapers for her children.

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women experiencing reproductive grief. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (MPG) - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is sending postcards to more than 240,000 customers encouraging them to update their mobile number, email and other key information so the company can contact them in advance should it become necessary to temporarily turn off power for safety this fire season.

These customers, who live throughout PG&E’s service area, have incomplete or no contact information on file.

It is important that all customer information is up to date so PG&E can share important wildfire safety alerts. In addition to notifying customers directly, PG&E also will provide outage updates and information through channels such as social media, local news, radio and the pge.com website.

“With the 2019 wildfire season now upon us, we all need to be better prepared to stay emergency-ready and to keep our families and friends safe,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E’s senior vice president and chief customer officer. “We are asking our customers to be sure we have their latest contact information so we can do our best to reach them in advance of a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff event.”

The Public Safety Power Shutoff program is one of many additional precautionary safety measures in response to the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that the company is putting in place as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program intended to reduce wildfire threats and strengthen communities for the future.

Extreme weather threats can change quickly. PG&E’s goal, dependent on weather and other factors, is to send customer alerts through automated calls, texts and emails at 48 hours, again at 24 hours, and again just prior to shutting off power.

Besides updating their contact information to prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, PG&E encourages customers to do the following:
Have an emergency plan for wildfires and discuss it with your friends, family and neighbors; Update or create a go bag or 72-hour kit that can be used if you need to evacuate; and clear defensible space around your home or business.

PG&E thanks the over 390,000 customers who have taken action to ensure they will receive its wildfire safety alerts since June 1, 2018. For customers who have not yet confirmed or updated their contact information, PG&E strongly encourages everyone to do so by visiting www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling the PG&E contact center at 1-866-743-6589.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Thanks to Democrats’ latest gas tax increase, Californians filling up their gas tanks are noticing some extra pain at the pump. With this 6 cent per gallon increase, our state is now home to highest gas taxes in the country.

You’d expect that with all that extra tax revenue, Californians would be driving on some of the best roads in America.

You’d be wrong.                                                                         

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave California roads a “D” on its most recent infrastructure report card, while Transportation for America called California’s roads the second-worst in the nation.

Weeks ago, Assembly Republicans called for a one-year delay in the tax increase.

Not a single Democrat supported the proposal. Instead they doubled down on a regressive tax that’s not delivering results.

This is an ongoing effort to deliver accurate and factual information about the activities of your local representatives in Sacramento, and how their votes either improve or negatively impact the lives of Californians. For more information, please contact Jim Stanley at (916) 319-2075 or Jim.Stanley@asm.ca.gov.


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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (Sac Metro Air District) has successfully obtained millions of dollars through the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Cap-and-Trade program for fiscal year 2018/2019, which will be used to meet the goals of AB617, the Community Air Protection Plan. This plan seeks to reduce emissions in low-income, disadvantaged communities, whose residents are disproportionally affected by air pollution.

The Sac Metro Air District pioneered mobile source incentive programs, which create innovative and creative approaches for deployment of lower-emitting vehicle and equipment technologies and are now duplicated throughout the United States. “With this latest round of funding, the District will use its expertise to build upon its successes identifying and tailoring programs that assist businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, schools and other entities with zero emission incentive projects,” said Sacramento County Supervisor and California Air Resources Board member Phil Serna who also serves on the District’s Board.

This money will supplement current funding that protects the health of regional residents by reducing air pollution emissions and greenhouse gases through incentive programs.

“With the help of our regional partners, and under the leadership of Supervisor Serna who represents us on the CARB Board, the District has been successful in advocating for Cap-and-Trade funds for the Sacramento region,” said District Board Chair and City of Sacramento Vice-Mayor Eric Guerra. “Projects that were implemented with Cap-and-Trade money such as electric school buses and Our Community CarShare reduce emissions, protect public health and expand the growing number of clean mobility options in the region, particularly for underserved communities.”

The over $14 million dollars that will be administered by the Sac Metro Air District will result in hundreds of projects, which will protect public health and improve regional air quality by reducing emissions in the Sacramento region. The District has also asked CARB to add flexibility to its existing program guidelines in an effort to expand funding opportunities to those that do not currently qualify.

“It is important to me that we put these funds to good use,” said District Board Vice-Chair and Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost. “By working with CARB to expand the guidelines, we can aid businesses in taking on the costly burden of upgrading equipment that is less harmful to our air quality.”

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SAN DIEGO AND LOS ANGELES, CA (MPG) - Leading experts in public health and vector pest control released an explosive report showing an explosion in the rodent population in California cities across the state and a spike in dangerous diseases such as Typhus. 

"California is being overrun by rodents – and without immediate emergency action by state and local government, we face significant economic costs and risk a public health crisis," said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Among the findings:

California is experiencing a massive spike in its rodent population that is both measured by available data sets and observed by field personnel;

The increase in California’s rodent population is not explained by environmental factors – but is directly related to the decision by some government officials to ban effective rodent control methods and a spike in the state’s homeless population;

Rodent infestations are fueling an increase in reported cases of dangerous diseases such as Typhus – current rate of increase in cases raises concern regarding possible public health epidemic.

The report also outlines 4 recommendations for remediation framed by the expert panel, including:

Declare a Public Health Emergency, Work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and require local governments conduct immediate assessments;

Require remediation plans be formulated and executed by local governments;

Launch a public education campaign for businesses and residents to mitigate risk factors;

Oppose and reject Assembly Bill 1788 – a misguided attempt to ban best practice pest control tools that will be needed to fight the rodent infestation

"Instead of acting to address this developing crisis, California state lawmakers are just days away from passing legislation (AB1788) to ban the best rodent control tools and methods available and would require use of less effective so-called green alternatives. It’s madness!” DeMaio concluded.

Formed in 2003 by former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable and fighting costly and unfair taxes, mandates, and fees because working families cannot afford a higher cost of living — and state and local politicians already have enough of our money. For more information, visit reformcalifornia.org

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Donate Three, Non-Perishable Food Items and Get in for Free

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of its ongoing community giving efforts, SMUD is sponsoring Giving Mondays at the Fair, an effort to collect needed items for the Elk Grove Food Bank. SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will accept three non-perishable, non-expired items per person in exchange for a free ticket into the California State Fair before 3 p.m. The first 5,000 people in the gates will also receive a free drawstring backpack.

“This partnership is a great way to give back to those in our community who need it most,” said Rhonda Staley-Brooks, SMUD’s community development manager. “Last year, this effort collected 28,000 pounds of food, and this year we hope to surpass that. It’s these types of community efforts that help lift up our entire community and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will be on Monday, July 15th and Monday, July 22nd. Visit the booth by the Blue Gate to drop off your food items and receive a free ticket to the Fair.

The Elk Grove Food Bank is in need of the following items: Canned Meat (Chicken or Tuna), Peanut Butter, Disposable Adult Briefs, Ensure, Baby Diapers, Socks – All Sizes, Canned Fruit, Canned Veggies, Soup, Beans, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, Packaged Rice, Top Ramen and Cereal.

For more information about SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair, visitcastatefair.org/smudgivingmonday, and to learn more about SMUD’s community giving, visit smud.org/en/in-our-community.

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit SMUD.org.

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