Casa Roble Football Preview

By Michael Cella  |  2018-08-09

Justin Hulshoff, Kyle Karras, Tristan Lange, Camren Gates, Riley Mazyk, Jesse Scobee, Raymond Perez, Nick Balcita, Andrew Wyandt, Dylan Boucher, Kolton Gratias, Dustin Simpliciano, Austin Ehinger, Illya Vavrenchuk. Pablo Perry, Will Turner, Robbie Squire, Elijah Johnson, Peter Povey, Jack Johnson, Connor Erickson, Gabe Williams, Logan Candido, Ryan Engle, Ruben Voznyuk, Devin Carmona.

New Field, Familiar Faces

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - It’s their first year on a brand new field, but there are plenty of familiar faces at Casa Roble, who will return seventeen starters from a team that went 5-5 last year, losing in the second round of the playoffs by a single point.

All of this has varsity head coach Chris Horner feeling poised about their prospects. “We’re a football school,” says Horner of Casa, which has a student body of nearly 1300. “When our football team’s good, it just changes the feeling on campus.” After over a dozen years of experience coaching football at various other levels, this is Horner’s second year as varsity head coach.

So far, his goals for the team have extended beyond the gridiron. “I try to not just teach X’s and O’s, but make better individuals,” Horner explains. He tried to accomplish this by bringing in motivational speakers, alumni, and area college coaches every few weeks to lend a fresh perspective, as well as frequent community service activities.

Casa moves from Division 3 to Division 4 this year and will this be playing in a new league, beginning August 17 against Bella Vista, one of the most talented opponents they’ll see on the schedule. The wealth of senior leadership in the locker room has the team confident, but they know nothing is earned. They may be returning seventeen starters, but all 22 positions are always up for grabs. “Competition brings out the best,” says Horner.

To this end, Casa will bring up several sophomore standouts from a junior varsity team that went 6-3-1 last year who will challenge the upperclassmen in vying for playing time. All-conference stars Ruben Bonyz, Devin Carmona, Jack Johnson, Luke Triplett, Elijah Johnson and Connor Ericksen are all pegged as team leaders, but Casa is always looking for new talent.

The defense returns nine starters, led by a stout linebacking corps, which Horner sees as the strength of the team. But with the offense returning eight starters, the team can lean on a balanced approach without any glaring weaknesses.

This being Horner’s second year at coach, it’s the first year he’s been able to implement an offseason training program, which has him feeling good about his team’s physicality. “Our linemen are starting to look really strong,” Horner stated.

Whatever their prospects, Horner is most proud of the dynamic he’s already seen in his locker room. “I think we’ve created an environment where these guys all genuinely like each other,” says Horner. “There aren’t a lot of cliques, everyone just gets along.” They’ve already cut the roster from 62 to 48 and making the team has as much to do with attitude as it does with talent. “We get rid of cool guys,” Horner says. “We keep team guys. My guys are integral members of the campus but we try to bring them down a notch, hold them accountable, and make them better young men.”

Alice Cooper: Rock’s Super Villain

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-08-09

Alice Cooper recently kicked off his “Paranormal Evening” tour. He is set to play locally at Jackson Rancheria on Wednesday, August 15 and his new live album A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper at the Olympia Paris drops on August 31.

A Paranormal Evening with the Godfather of Shock Rock

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “You can’t shock an audience anymore - that died a long time ago,” said Alice Cooper. One of the originators of shock rock, Cooper understands that times have indeed changed since he spearheaded a movement in the early 70s but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to embrace his role as the bad guy.

Rock’s villain began playing out his own dark vaudeville in the earliest days of his career. “That started from the very beginning; that was always with us,” said Cooper. “I think because we were art students and that was something I saw as being essential for rock and roll. I would see all these bands - that were great bands - and they were all heroes and I just kept thinking, ‘Where’s the villain?’”

That’s when Cooper took it upon himself to become that villain and change rock and roll forever. “Every parent in America did not want their children to see this character,” said Cooper. “People would make things up…by the time you got into town you were the worst person ever. We found that funny.”

In a life well before the internet and social media, the stories took on lives of their own. “The more of the misinformation, the bigger we got. The parents hated us so much that the kids liked us.”

From guillotines and blood to the black attire and mascara, it was all about giving the crowd something that they had never experienced before. “And if you really look at it, it was just really a lot of fun,” recalled Cooper. “The audience was really having fun with us. There was nothing satanic about it.”

Times may have changed, the stage antics may be a little less shocking, and the internet may have depleted art, but that won’t stop the Godfather of his craft from putting on a vintage performance. “It will be a very similar show (tonight) to the one in the 70s except now it will be accepted a little more as excitement and entertainment more than just shock value.”

One way that Cooper has been able to continue performing at a high level for the better part of five decades is by interjecting his band with youth and energy. He prides himself not only on theatrics but on the quality musicianship that got him there to begin with.

“Everybody in my band is top of the line,” he boasted. “Glen Sobel, our drummer, just got voted best drummer in rock and roll. Nita (Strauss) just got voted best female guitar player. So I’ve kind of got a premier band. That makes such a big difference to me when I get on stage that my band can blow just about anybody off the stage.”

Cooper recently kicked off his “Paranormal Evening” tour. He is set to play locally at Jackson Rancheria on Wednesday, August 15 and his new live album A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper at the Olympia Paris drops on August 31. For more information visit www.alicecooper.com.

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2018 California State Fair Celebrates Many First-Ever Moments

California State Fair Release  |  2018-08-09

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top enjoying the wildlife. They headlined the fair playing at Papa Murphy’s Park in front of a packed crowd.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair has wrapped up our 2018 season, which featured the theme “Don't Miss A Moment.” As we reflect upon the 17 days of the Fair, which ran from July 13-29, we celebrated many first-ever moments that happened on the CA State Fairgrounds. The California State Fair is a place where memories are made which represents the best of what California has to offer; both nationally and globally.

“The CA State Fair has enormous roots as a beacon of the achievements of Californians and our multicultural threads,” said Rick Pickering, CEO of the California State Fair. “We measure success by the many positive experiences of our fairgoers and our competitors.” Judging by all of the experiences listed below, the 2018 California State Fair was a huge success.

When it comes to competitions, the CA State Fair was proud to showcase culture and host its inaugural statewide youth mariachi competition. Ten ensembles throughout the state were invited to compete, ranging from first graders to college students, and our judges represented some of the strongest mariachi talent in California, including celebrity judge, Anthony Gonzalez, the voice behind Miguel in Disney’s Coco. In the end, Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando (Los Angeles County) won first place and as part of their reward they played on stage with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán to a sold out crowd. For a complete list of the winners, prizes, and competitors click here.

One heartwarming first, that we are especially proud of, was the SMUD Cares at the Fair Giving Monday. The CA State Fair partnered with local utility company SMUD and the Elk Grove Food Bank, each Monday of the Fair, to restock the empty food shelves that are common during the summer months. Fairgoers donated nearly 29,000 lbs. of food to help feed hungry families served by the Elk Grove Food Bank. In exchange for the food items the Fair provided free admission to the donors.

There were plenty of first-ever exhibits as well. Silent Disco was a popular “Cool Spot” to visit in Expo Center. Over 26,000 fairgoers danced with headphones to the songs of their choice, creating memories, and taking lots of selfies in the process. Tiny Homes were showcased during the first weekend at the Fair to a large, interested crowd. In the California Building, fairgoers enjoyed the new Life’s Big Ag-Venture game and the National Geographic exhibit, The Future of Food, which visually explained how California helps feed the world. Also sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds were selfie stations for guests to capture their best pics for social media.

Other firsts happened over at Papa Murphy’s Park, which included concerts and being the new home of the CA State Fair Cornhole Championship on the final day of Fair. The S.M.O. Tour, Kidz Bop Live 2018 and ZZ Top with special guest George Thorogood and The Destroyers were the first three concerts held on the sports field during the CA State Fair's 17 day run. Before his July 26 performance, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons toured the fairgrounds and got up-close to some of the CA State Fair's furriest animals.

Food and drinks saw their share of firsts too. There were six new food vendors for Fairgoers to enjoy. The Speakeasy Whiskey Lounge was a new site that was home to live music and a chance to use a secret word (hence the term “speakeasy”) to get a special drink made. Over in the California Building, The Taste of California Experience Classes expanded to give fairgoers knowledge about wine, cheese, olive oil, and honey.

To help battle the heat of July, the CA State Fair made a conscious effort to help our guests find relief by creating 20 "Cool Spots." These were either air conditioned buildings, fans with misters, full body misters, and shaded areas where a mobile device could be charged. As another way to stay cool and pay homage to the Oscar-nominated film “Lady Bird,” the Fair offered the “Lady Bird Experience Package” which was admission and unlimited rides on the “Log Ride.”

 The Carnival area, which is operated by Butler Amusements, had some firsts of its own. The CA State Fair held its first-ever “Gender Reveal” on the giant Ferris Wheel (It was a girl!). Butler Amusements was also excited to announce it had its three largest ride days ever (including all the fairs and festivals they attend) during the last two Saturdays and final Sunday of the CA State Fair.

There were other great community outreach firsts too. The Rescue Dog Dive Day with Splash Dogs had 39 rescue dog participants; with the prize money being donated to a local animal shelter and two dogs adopted. Out At The Fair also became an official CA State Fair event this summer for the final day; featuring Out At The Races and a Diva Drop bungee-jump.

During Sacramento Navy Week, Admiral Scott Jones and CEO Pickering joined together in a touching wreath laying at Cal Expo's 9/11 Memorial. This was even more significant because Admiral Jones grew up in Sacramento. The Cal Expo Police Department also connected with the CA State Fair community in a new and unique way. Most nights of the Fair, the public was able to feed the police horse and canines, or sit on one of the police motorcycles.

The 2018 California State Fair becomes a mini-city each day, and highlights the best of what California has to offer. Attendance ranged from 20,000 to 60,000 a day for a total of 572,250 this year. Extreme heat for 9 days of the CA State Fair contributed to a decrease overall in attendance; with guests spending over $8.5 million in food and drink purchases. While county fairs celebrate their local communities, the CA State Fair showcases the achievements of people state-wide. This year competitors entered the Fair from 57 of California's 58 counties. Since many of the young competitors and exhibitors at the Fair can only travel to Sacramento in the summer, when they are not in school, the CA State Fair is held in July. We want to thank everyone who attended this year and extend an invitation to come out to the 2019 California State Fair.

Source: California State Fair

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - As many as 17 large wildfires are burning in California, destroying homes and other structures, forcing thousands of people from their homes. The American Red Cross is on the ground, providing shelter, relief supplies and comfort for those affected.

Over the weekend the Mendocino Complex Fire grew to 267,000 acres and is only 33 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 130 structures, including 67 homes. It is now the fourth largest wildfire in state history. The Carr Fire has burned 160,000 acres and is 43 percent contained. The sixth most destructive fire in California history, the fire has destroyed more than 1,500 structures, including 1,080 homes. The Ferguson Fire, which has closed Yosemite National Park, has burned more than 89,000 acres.

Large wildfires are also burning in Washington and Oregon where Red Cross disaster workers are providing shelter for those affected.

In California, more than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers and nine emergency response vehicles are responding to the fires. The Red Cross has more than 20 shelters open and has provided more than 6,700 overnight shelter stays. Red Cross workers have also provided more than 73,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 18,200 relief items. Health and mental health disaster workers have provided more than 6,100 services and caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to assist them in getting the help they need.

As evacuation orders are lifted in some areas and people return home, the Red Cross will continue working closely with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.

STAY IN TOUCH People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand including shelter locations and severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crisis by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37864, Boone, IA 50037-0864.

You can also help people affected by the California wildfires. Donors can designate their donation to the California wildfires relief efforts and the Red Cross will honor donor intent. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all donations earmarked for California wildfires will be used for our work to support these disasters.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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Former Athletics and Giants pitcher to make an appearance for River Cats game on August 10

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Former Sacramento River Cats, Oakland Athletics, and San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito will be at Raley Field on Friday, August 10, 2018 to sign autographs for fans and throw the ceremonial first pitch.

The River Cats will host a pregame VIP meet and greet with Zito, which will include those who have purchased a Giant Pack. He will also be available for autographs on the concourse after throwing out the first pitch.

Barry Zito began the 2000 season with the River Cats, the franchise's first year in Sacramento, and made his Major League debut that same year with the Oakland Athletics. Zito spent seven seasons with the Athletics before signing with the San Francisco Giants after the 2006 season. Two World Championships highlighted his seven seasons with the Giants. Zito was a member of the Nashville (Triple-A Oakland) roster in 2015 and pitched six shutout innings at Raley Field during the team's series against Sacramento that year.

The fan-favorite Giant Pack includes a Senate level seat for each of the 13 biggest River Cats games of 2018 and is available for just $299 (an $800 value). Fans who purchase the package are also guaranteed premium giveaway items for the 2018 season, including a limited edition Madison Bumgarner Sactown jersey t-shirt. A full list of included game dates is available online at rivercats.com.

Giant Pack buyers will also receive exclusive access to a presale for the 2018 exhibition game on March 24 at Raley Field between the Sacramento River Cats and the San Francisco Giants. Presale date has not yet been determined.

For more information, please call the River Cats ticket hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487) or email tickets@rivercats.com.

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Coast is Clear in Mendocino County

By Visit Mendocino   |  2018-08-08

Celebrate National Motorcycle Week (August 14-20, 2018) on Mendocino’s scenic Highway 1. Photo courtesy Visit Mendocino County

MENDOCINCO, CA (MPG) - Tourism to Mendocino County remains 100 percent operational with all major highways, lodging and attractions unaffected despite the flank of wildfires located in the region’s wilderness areas, according to Visit Mendocino County.  As of August 8, 2018 only six percent (6%) of the Ranch Fire is located within Mendocino County.  www.VisitMendocino.com.

Northern California’s crown jewel, comprising 4,000 sq., miles -- roughly the size of Delaware, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia combined – reports that its 90 miles of Pacific coastline, 11 wine appellations and inland tourism areas are open for business.  The Mendocino Complex Fire remains in a remote wilderness region 60+ miles east of the coastal destinations of Fort Bragg and Mendocino.  

California Scenic Highway 1 and Mendocino’s “Inspiration Highway” 101 welcome visitors, along with the county’s 450+ hotel properties and 90+ wine tasting venues.  Key tourism sites including the cities of Ukiah, Hopland and Willits as well as the nearby attractions of the City of 10,000 Buddhas, Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit), the Skunk Train, Vichy and Orr Hot Springs and the ancient redwood forests of Montgomery Woods State Reserve remain untouched.  

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Two fireworks nights and an appearance from Barry Zito highlight quick homestand

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento River Cats will welcome the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres) to Raley Field this weekend (August 9 – August 12) for the final time this season. The season’s tenth homestand is presented by Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, and includes Thirsty Thursday, Orange Friday fireworks featuring an appearance by former San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics pitcher Barry Zito, Sutter Health Fireworks Saturday to go along with Faith & Family Night, as well as and K-LOVE Sunday Funday.

Thursday, August 9 – River Cats vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

·         Game Time: First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Raley Field gates will open to all fans at 6:00 p.m. 

·         Broadcast: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live online at rivercats.com and on the River Cats radio affiliate Money 105.5 FM.

·         Thirsty Thursday – Craft Beer Edition: 12-oz craft beers are just $5 in the beer garden, and 12-oz beers are just $2 in the Sactown Smokehouse BBQ area!

·         Tito’s Shuttle: A free shuttle service, courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Part of the Spare The Air Road Relief Program, the shuttle makes stops at deVere’s, Punch Bowl Social, and Sauced before arriving at Raley Field for the game. More route information, including times, available at rivercats.com/parking.

·         Canned Food Drive: Supported by Bush’s Baked Beans, donate canned goods at the ballpark which will benefit local Sacramento area food banks.

Friday, August 10 – River Cats vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

·         Game Time: First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Raley Field gates will open to all fans at 6:00 p.m. 

·         Broadcast: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live online at rivercats.com and on the River Cats radio affiliate Money 105.5 FM.

  • Food Trucks: It’s Nacho Truck food truck will be on the Toyota Home Run Hill.
  • Barry Zito Appearance: San Francisco Giants postseason hero Barry Zito will be at the ballpark to throw out the first pitch and sign autographs from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

·         #OrangeFridayLive music from Robby James and the Streets of Bakersfield and $2 off craft beers in the Knee Deep Alley from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., postgame fireworks, and of course, orange Sactown jerseys.

Saturday, August 11 – River Cats vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

·         Game Time: First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. Raley Field gates will open to all fans at 6:00 p.m. 

·         Television Broadcast: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on CW31/KMAX. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m.

·         Radio Broadcast: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live online at rivercats.com and on the River Cats radio affiliate Money 105.5 FM.

·         Faith & Family Night supported by K-LOVE: Live pregame music in the beer garden from Thrive Worship of Bayside Church, and a Q&A with River Cats players who will discuss how their faith has impacted their baseball career.

  • Food Trucks: Drewski’s and Bacon Mania food trucks will be on the Toyota Home Run Hill.

·         Saturday Night Fireworks: Enjoy themed fireworks shows after every Saturday game, courtesy of Sutter Health.

Sunday, August 12 – River Cats vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

·         Game Time: First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. Raley Field gates will open to all fans at 12:00 p.m. 

·         Radio Broadcast: Today’s game will be broadcast live online at rivercats.com, and on the River Cats radio affiliate Money 105.5 FM.

·         Sunday Funday: K-LOVE Sunday Funday features pregame player autographs and Kids Run the Bases after the game.

Tickets are still available for all games and can be purchased online at rivercats.com, over the phone by calling (916) 371-HITS (4487), emailing tickets@rivercats.com, or by visiting the Round Table Pizza Box Office at Raley Field.

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Grants Fund Tahoe-Central Sierra Forest Health Projects

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Today, CAL FIRE awarded four grants totaling $27.5 million to fund high-priority forest health projects designed to combat climate change and reduce the risk of wildfires.

Awarded to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, California Tahoe Conservancy, National Forest Foundation, and American River Conservancy, the grants fund forest health projects in Placer, Nevada, Sierra, and El Dorado counties. The grants provide significant investment in the 2.4-million-acre Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative area where state, federal, environmental, industry and research representatives are working together to restore the resilience of forests and watersheds. The U.S. Forest Service Tahoe National Forest, Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit serve as the critical federal counterparts in this work.

“With much of the state battling large, damaging wildfires, it’s more important than ever to make long-term investments that reduce wildfire risk and protect carbon storage,” says Jim Branham, Executive Officer of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. “These grants show a real commitment on behalf of the state of California to improving forest health and carbon sequestration in the Sierra Nevada.”

The grants, funded by CAL FIRE’s California Climate Investments Forest Health Grant Program, use proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program to combat climate change. Through the California Climate Investments Grant Program, CAL FIRE and other state agencies are investing in projects that directly reduce greenhouse gases while providing a wide range of additional benefits – such as prevention and reduction of wildfires -- for California communities.

“Healthy forests are one of our best climate regulators,” says Mary Mitsos, president and CEO of the National Forest Foundation. “However, the forests surrounding the greater Tahoe area, like much of the Sierra Nevada region, need significant restoration if they are going to withstand wildfires, insects and disease and continue to provide the myriad benefits we rely on them to provide.”

The four grants awarded fund projects that are part of an all-lands regional restoration program and will be implemented by a collaborative of national forests, state agencies, nonprofits, and private land owners. The USDA Forest Service manages a large portion of the landscape within the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative area and will complete much of the work. The lands draw visitors from around the world and restoring their resilience will ensure that they continue to be an asset for the public.

“By protecting and restoring the health of our headwaters, we are also protecting the many benefits that flow from them,” says Alan Ehrgott, Executive Director for the American River Conservancy. “This work is important both to those of us that live and work in the headwaters, and to the state as a whole.”

Today also marks the one-year anniversary of the creation of the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative. The partnership was launched at the 2017 Tahoe Summit, and to date has secured nearly $32.5 million in grant funds and $3.5 million in investments from water agencies and beverage companies to restore forest and watershed resilience.

“We are thrilled that our efforts to coordinate federal, state and private projects across a 2.4-million-acre landscape are paying off,” said Patrick Wright, Executive Director of the California Tahoe Conservancy. “These large-scale efforts are essential to effectively manage our forests in the face of rising temperatures and increasing megafires.”

In additional to the grants awarded within the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative area, several grants were also awarded for similar work throughout the Sierra Nevada region.  Information about the focus of each of the grants awarded and the dollar amounts awarded is available on CAL FIRE’s website: http://www.fire.ca.gov/grants/downloads/ForestHealth/17-18_CCI_FH_Grant_Awardees_Web.pdf

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The largest wildfire burning in California has now claimed the lives of seven Redding residents, with a dozen or more missing. More than 38,000 Shasta County residents have been evacuated because of the Carr Fire.

Cal Fire estimates there are more than 300 fires burning across California as of Sunday morning. But the current CalFiremap shows 18 active fires burning and five contained.

"Since 2012, according to state emergency management officials, there has not been a month without awildfire burning — a stark contrast to previous decades, when fire officials saw the fall and winter as a time to plan and regroup," the New York Times reported about California's wildfires.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, and requested help from the federal government. President Trump and Federal Emergency Management Agency granted California's request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to provide extra support.

Many are asking why there are so many fires burning again in California.

I am a California native. In my five decades in this state, wildfire "season" was limited to summer into fall, and the raging, violent explosive infernos were rare.

What's the significance of 2012? It is interesting that the New York Times mentioned the 2012 date, but only attributed the wildfire increases to "the recent historic drought," and "rising temperatures," caused by... Climate Change. Nothing could be further from the truth.

California wildfires are historically either natural occurrences, accidental equipment or auto spark started, or arson. Many Californians have been asking why the increase in wildfires in the last five years. And as the NYT pointed out, there is no longer a "wildfire season;" rather the wildfire season never seems to end. Today's non-stop wildfires are government created.

Obama-Era Eco-Terrorism Enviro Regs

Under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, "The Obama administration finalized a rule governing the management of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands, establishing a new blueprint to guide everything from logging to recreation and renewable energy development," the Washington Post reported in 2012. "The rule will serve as the guiding document for individual forest plans, which spell out exactly how these lands can be used."

And that's exactly what happened. The Obama-era regulations introduced excessive layers of bureaucracy that blocked proper forest management and increased environmentalist litigation and costs. This is the result of far too many radical environmentalists, government bureaucrats, leftist politicians and judicial activists who would rather let forests burn, than let anyone thin out overgrown trees, or let professional loggers harvest usable timber left from beetle kills, or even selectively cut timber. Forests are the ultimate natural renewable resource.

But now California burns 12 months of the year. If you wanted to tear a state down economically, what better way than to burn it down?

In a 2016 Townhall column, Paul Driessen explains:

"Eco-purists want no cutting, no thinning – no using fire retardants in "sensitive" areas because the chemicals might get into streams that will be boiled away by conflagrations. They prevent homeowners from clearing brush around their homes, because it might provide cover or habitat for endangered species and other critters that will get incinerated or lose their forage, prey and habitats in the next blaze. They rarely alter their policies during drought years."

"The resulting fires are not the "forest-rejuvenating" blazes of environmentalist lore. They are cauldron-hot conflagrations that exterminate wildlife habitats, roast bald eagle and spotted owl fledglings alive in their nests, boil away trout and trout streams, leave surviving animals to starve, and incinerate every living organism in already thin soils ... that then get washed away during future downpours and snow melts. Areas incinerated by such fires don't recover their arboreal biodiversity for decades."

The left does not care that homes and businesses burn down, or that people die. They do not care that deer, bunnies, snakes, raptors, bears, squirrels, bluejays, coyotes, mountain lions or wolves are incinerated by wildfires. If they did care, proper forest management would be the priority.

Government Intervention

In the early 1990's the Clinton administration embraced the Forest Stewardship Council following the Rio Earth Summit. The FSC was created "to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests."

Yale 360 contributor Richard Conniff explained: FSC was to work with the timber industry "to set standards covering the conservation and restoration of forests, indigenous rights, and the economic and social well-being of workers, among other criteria. For industry, FSC certification promised not just a better way of doing business, but also higher prices for wood products carrying the FSC seal of environmental friendliness."

It was an epic fail. All industries using timber-related products were extorted into becoming "FSC Certified." Paper products, furniture, construction, cabinets, power poles, and hundreds of industries use timber. At the time I worked as the Human Resources Director for my husband's large commercial printing company. We bought a lot of paper – $10 million worth each year –  and found ourselves under pressure to achieve FSC Certification, which I knew was a scam. It was also very expensive, which made it clear that it was extortion. When my BS meter goes off, it's like a small atomic bomb.

"A quarter-century later, frustrated supporters of FSC say it hasn't worked out as planned, except maybe for the higher prices: FSC reports that tropical forest timber carrying its label brings 15 to 25 percent more at auction," Conniff reported. "But environmental critics and some academic researchers say FSC has had little or no effect on tropical deforestation."

Prior to FSC Certification, environmentalists and eco-crooks refused to acknowledge that for millennia, timber had been prized as a renewable, recyclable natural resource, and the timber industry prioritized proper care of forests.

Fast forward to the George W. Bush administration: "In June 2009, a federal judge sided with environmentalists and threw out the Bush planning rule that determines how 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands develop individual forest plans, governing activities from timber harvests to recreation and protecting endangered plants and animals. Clinton appointee, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Forest Service had failed to analyze the effects of removing requirements guaranteeing viable wildlife populations (Greenwire, July 1)."

By 2012, the Obama administration issued a major rewrite of all of the country's forest rules and guidelines.

In 2015, Washington D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee, rejected claims from a coalition of timber, livestock, and off-highway vehicle organizations that the Obama sustainability provisions in the 2012 Planning Rule would cause an economically harmful reduction in timber harvest and land use and an increase in forest fires. "Defendants Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Oregon Wild, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, as well as The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife, represented by Earthjustice, argued that existing federal law provided ample authority for the Forest Service to promulgate the Planning Rule provisions, which place emphasis on ecologically sustainable forest management," Earthjustice reported.

"'Hotter, drier, longer' forest fires we are witnessing today have nothing to do with 'dangerous manmade climate change,'" Driessen said. "They have a lot to do with idiotic forestmismanagement policies and practices."

As with the Clinton administration in the 1990's, the Obama administration worked against all drilling, mining, ranching, farming, property ownership, and made it happen through the 2012 eco-terrorism regulations.

So-called environmentalists have a very narrow view of nature, not recognizing that without management, which means an appreciable amount of logging, they are actually hurting wildlife and the long term health of the forest. And now California is on fire.

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Smoke-Related Health Statement

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, in consultation with Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, is issuing a Smoke-Related Health Statement. Residents are advised to continue to take precautions and minimize outdoor activities from Monday, August 6, through Friday, August 10, due to smoke being transported into Sacramento County from fires in Northern California. 

If you smell or see smoke, take the following actions:

•      Everyone should minimize outdoor activities if you can see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy  

•      Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure when air quality is poor  

•      Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible  

•      Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan  

•      Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke  

•      Those with heart disease should especially limit their exposure since particulate pollution from smoke can cause heart attacks  

“Smoke in the air from wildfires can aggravate pre-existing conditions for those with respiratory issues,” says Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “Older adults, people with chronic diseases and young children are most at risk and should avoid outside activities if they see or smell smoke.”

Check current conditions for the Sacramento region at www.SpareTheAir.com/wildfire.cfm. 

To know what you’re breathing, download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app or sign up for Air Alert emails at www.SpareTheAir.com.

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