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Playmakers to Host Annual Fundraising Dinner

By Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-13

(Left to right) San Juan Unified School District Athletics Director Ron Barney, Rio Head Coach Sam Stroughter, El Camino Head Coach JP Dolliver, Playmaker Founder Greg Roeszler, and Playmaker Director Phil Dubois plan to bring rival teams together through community service. Photo by Shaunna Boyd.

Proceeds Fund Free Summer Program for Local At-Risk Youth

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Playmakers Organization is a local non-profit that coaches character through leadership and provides free programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth. The Playmakers Organization is hosting their 10th annual fundraising dinner on Saturday, April 27 at Divine Savior Church, 9079 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.

Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler (known as Coach Roz) said the goal of the organization is “to serve extremely at-risk kids and support them in the development of character, academics, sports and recreation — and to create a bond that the kids and their families can depend on.”

Roeszler said the upcoming fundraiser dinner “is a very inspirational evening; it’s very kid-driven.” Roeszler explained that kids who are involved in the Playmakers program speak at the event and “they will bring you to happy tears.” The dinner is an opportunity for the kids “to tell their story.”

The event will honor Playmakers sponsor Harrison Phillips of the Buffalo Bills and will celebrate Playmakers civic group participants — Rotary, Optimists, and Lions. Playmakers will also be welcoming Stanford defensive linemen Michael Williams and Joe Swahn as honored guests. The keynote speaker will be Phil Oates, part-owner of the Sacramento Kings.

Players from the Rio Americano and El Camino football teams will be serving together at the dinner, helping to set up the event and serve food throughout the evening. Their service is part of an effort to reconcile the teams after a brawl last season that forced them to forfeit the final game.

 Food will be provided by Chicago Fire, which will be serving pizza, wings, and salads. The event includes a live auction, DJ, and no-host bar.

Proceeds from the event will fund the Playmakers Summer Academy, an all-day program that is completely free for families that can’t afford childcare during the summer months.

Tickets are $40 and are available for purchase at www.theplaymakers.org/tickets.

Lanterns Launch Peace, Love and Memories

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-09

Newly-wed Shivangi Dhaundiyal decorated her lantern in honor of a “perfectly imperfect” romance shared with her husband

Gibson Ranch Lantern Fest

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A Water Lantern Festival at Gibson Ranch last weekend launched thousands of hopes, dreams and memories on the reserve’s lake.

Organized by One World LLC, the event continued an international trend inspired by oriental tradition. At similar events hosted by hundreds of US locations, paying participants receive lanterns and marker pens. Sustainable rice paper is the canvas upon which messages of whimsy, emotion or hope are expressed. Illuminated by battery lights, the luminarias are then liberated to float in rose-hued armadas, carrying serenity and goodwill into the universe. The idea, say organizers, is to unite friends, families and strangers in celebrating life. For the Woodstock generation, it’s like attending a tamer, Max Yasgur’s Farm – with fairy lights and without mud.

Promoted largely by social media, the Gibson Ranch celebration drew almost 5000 participants. Some travelled from the Bay Area and Nevada. Indian-born newlyweds Shivangi and Bhasker Dhaundiyal heard about the karma-fest in their Sunnyvale suburb and trekked to Elverta. The couple celebrated the “perfect imperfection” of their marriage by lamplight.

Many luminarias were decorated with blessings of peace and serenity. Bereaved mom Ayrika Caeton dedicated her love-light to a lost infant son. Deceased pets, whales and unicorns were carefully drawn and launched. Before the launching ceremony, festival-goers were encouraged to meditate and share goodwill with fellow attendees. Music played, merchandise was sold, food trucks did brisk business and thousands of selfies were indulged. With as much serenity as is possible in a traffic jam, festival goers later departed amidst clouds of Gibson Ranch dust. Once the music ended, a chorus of perplexed goose-honking continued lakeside melodies.

Organizers spent the next day in rubber boots, clearing litter and lifting thousands of wood and paper craft from the lake.

Water Lantern Festival LLC is based in Utah and supports Water.org, an international nonprofit that promotes safe water in developing nations.

Learn about future water lantern events – including an October 6 festival at Lake Folsom at www.waterlanternfestival.com

 

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I’m Listening!

By Sal Arrigo, Jr.  |  2019-05-09

Suicide Prevention Awareness Program

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In the 1990’s there was a television sitcom named “Frasier” about a radio psychiatrist who greeted his callers with the phrase “I’m listening.” Although it was a comedy, the show did focus on real-life topics and relationships and often the discussions led to one question:  what is the root cause of your issue?

Suicide is a very real issue in this country. We hear that a person “seemed just fine to me,” but that was only on the surface. To be quite frank on why I am writing about this subject is easy – I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I can relate to all the buildup and emotions on why someone would take their life.

Suicide, the act of intentionally causing your own death, is listed as a top ten cause of death in the United States, according to a 2017 Center for Disease Control report. So, I ask, are you listening when the person who committed suicide remained silent up to the end?

Recently, California State University, Sacramento hosted the Send Silence Packing national tour, a program of the Active Minds organization that brings awareness to college students who take their own lives. Founded by Alison Malmon when she was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania after the suicide of her older brother, and only sibling, Brian, she started the Active Minds organization. According to the organization’s website, Active Mind’s purpose is “to reflect the organization’s focus on action and student advocacy in mental health.” They have been doing this since 2003.

Each year, as stated on the Active Minds website, Send Silence Packing visits 30-40 schools and communities. The all-day exhibit raises mental health awareness, inspires action for suicide prevention, connects viewers to mental health resources, and jump starts action.

Send Silence Packing catalyzes conversations in a way that contributes to a community’s overall positive climate for mental health. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. The Active Minds website, www.activeminds.org has a simple, and yet very powerful message: “Are you listening?”

I spoke with Barbara Gillogly Ph.D., a Developmental Psychologist and licensed Family Therapist, about her experiences with clients who discussed suicide. “I cannot tell them not to do it (suicide), but I can listen and validate their feelings.” Dr. Gillogly continued, “People just want to vent and be heard, and not be judged. I listen to the emotion behind the words and find people just want to talk.”
I asked Dr. Gillogly what she tells someone who has lost a loved one or friend to suicide. “Go to a support group because they have been there.” It is not pretty to go through the grieving process regarding suicide as this is the toughest guilt for the survivors: could I have done something to help?”

I asked Barbara if there are any signs that are tipping points to someone taking their own life. “A person may start to give away their personal items, or they slowly start retreating from life in general” she said. My initial thought after interviewing Dr. Gillogy was that I wanted to find out more about local support groups. As it turned out, I found a person who has actually been to one, and provided me with a personal and tragic story. Sharon Ruffner lost her brother Eddie to suicide many years ago. Sharon told me that Eddie struggled with his addiction to prescription drugs and had been in some trouble with the law. Sharon told me, “Eddie was brilliant; he was a gifted pianist, artist and scientist.”

Although Eddie struggled in his life, his sister never stopped loving him and when Eddie would call and blame Sharon for an array of problems she did not create, Sharon always told her brother, “I love you and if you need help I am here for you.” It was soon after that Eddie overdosed on the prescription drugs. One question haunts Sharon: “Did Eddie really mean to do this or just happened to take extra pills by mistake?” As with my interview with Dr. Gillogly, Sharon agreed that when a family member or friend commits suicide it is difficult to comprehend. “What signs did I not recognize?” is a question that Sharon replays over and over. One piece of advice Sharon gives to other people in a similar situation is that you “never get over it; you just travel through the grief.” Eddie’s mother, Norma, went into a deep depression which Sharon described as “having her right arm cut off.” Although her Mom felt this way, Sharon said to me “I never felt devastation; I just tried to help my Mom.”

I asked Sharon what kept her going after Eddie took his life. “I kept myself busy by taking some classes and learning some professional skills. It eventually led to a career position with the San Juan Unified School District.” Sharon did tell me, “you need to allow people to help you, and that grief is an incredible personal journey. You do need to take your time to grieve.” In order to help ease the pain, Sharon said that she copes to this day by taking piano lessons to honor her brother. She also goes to Pacifica Beach in the San Francisco Bay Area and throws a rose into the water because “it was one of Eddie’s favorite places to go.”

Sharon presented me with a newsletter from the Friends for Survival, a nationwide non-profit organization with a Sacramento chapter. The mission statement says, “We are dedicated to providing a variety of peer support services that comfort those in grief, suicide grief support, encourage healing and growth, foster the development of skills to cope with a loss and educate the community regarding the impact of suicide.” In addition, the organization states, “The loving outreach of Friends for Survival can bridge the gap between despair and renewed hope. Those whose loss is recent can lean upon the shoulders of those who have made progress in the difficult task of working through grief after a suicide death.”

The Sacramento chapter of Friends for Survival can be reached at 916-392-0664 or 800-646-7322. Their website is www.ffs@truevine.net.

Personally, I came away from this story not with an ending, but a beginning. There is so much the general public needs to understand about this very real societal issue. I intend to continue writing more about this subject in the future with the goal of helping one person or one family. It is that important!

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7) at 1-800-273-8255 or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

 

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Lions Donate $150k to Society for the Blind

By Kristin Thébaud, Marketing for a Better World  |  2019-05-09

Members of the Northern California Lions Sight Association join Lions District 4-C5’s Doug Wight and Sheri Retzlaff to present a check to Society for the Blind’s Shari Roeseler.

Funds to be Used to Expand the Low Vision Clinic

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Society for the Blind recently received a Vision 2020 campaign donation of $150,000 from the Northern California Lions Sight Association (NCLSA) and the Lions Clubs International (LCIF) to support the expansion of the group’s Low Vision Clinic and training space for people who are blind or have low vision.

NCLSA donated $75,000 to purchase equipment and vision testing devices for the clinic and secured an additional matching grant of $75,000 from LCIF to add an indoor orientation and mobility course.

“Lions Clubs across the world have a long history of supporting organizations that help people with vision loss, so we are deeply honored that the Lions chose to invest in Society for the Blind here in Sacramento,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. Roeseler continued:
“As the only comprehensive vision rehabilitation center in the Sacramento region, Society for the Blind is a critical resource for people who are blind or have low vision. The generosity of the regional and international Lions means that more people across California who are experiencing vision loss will have access to critical assessment and treatment.”

Society for the Blind’s Low Vision Clinic is one of the longest running community-based clinics in the region. The Low Vision Clinic provides care, vision rehabilitation, low vision devices and transportation assistance to more than 375 people each year.

Clinics are staffed by three optometrists with special training in low vision eye care and serve patients with cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other congenital and degenerative eye diseases.

Clinic staff includes a vision rehabilitation therapist who works with patients with some functional vision, teaching them techniques to use their remaining vision safely and effectively and providing training on assistive devices.

“It’s in our Lions Club DNA to help organizations like Society for the Blind,” said Douglas Wight, governor, Lions District 4-C5. “Across the world, we work to bring greater stability and independence to people with vision loss by providing services and supporting organizations that do this work.”

Celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential.

Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for more than 5,000 youth, working-age adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation, visit
SocietyfortheBlind.org.

Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world with more than 1.4 million members. The organization’s mission is to support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners in serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service projects and grants. For more information, visit
LionsClubs.org.

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Mentors Make a Difference

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-05-06

Retired Oakland Raider and NFL Hall of Fame player Tim Brown sponsored the Tim Brown 9-1-1 Playmakers Camp. Photo by Roger Riggsby.

Playmakers Football Camp Serves At-Risk Youth

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On April 19, more than 100 young men participated in the Tim Brown 9-1-1 Playmakers Camp, sponsored by retired Oakland Raider and NFL Hall of Fame player Tim Brown and the 9-1-1 for Kids Foundation. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) hosts the annual event at their training academy in West Sacramento, and CHP officers serve as some of the mentors to the youth as they interact through football training drills.


Tim Brown explained to the participating kids that football was just a disguise for what they were really teaching at this camp. Brown said, “I want you to walk away with some sense of hope. Whatever your situation is right now, it can change.”


Brown explained that his father was not involved in his life for many years while he was growing up, and that caused him a lot of pain. “If not for the teachers, coaches, and mentors who were around me at that time, especially when I was in high school … I don’t know what would have happened to me.”
“You have people here who care about you,” said Brown. “I think that’s something that’s very important. Because sometimes in this world we can think, ‘Oh, no one cares about me’… But people do care.”


The Playmakers Organization, founded by Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler, is a local non-profit that coaches character through leadership. Working together with Tim Brown, the 9-1-1 Playmakers Camp provides an opportunity for mentors to encourage and support at-risk kids.


“What we’re doing here today with Tim Brown is a Playmakers activity fun day for at-risk and special needs kids — just providing for them a great day that’s all based around character and doing the right thing and serving others in the community,” said Coach Roz. “It’s just a wonderful day of character and football.”


Coach Shannon Sauers coached with Coach Roz right out of college and, years later, he is still incorporating what he learned from Coach Roz in his own coaching: “He was the first one who taught me that character was the most important aspect of coaching. He taught me that it’s really about developing young men.”


Lorenzo Walsh, one of the Playmakers mentors, has 15 years of coaching experience, and he strives to get underprivileged kids fed, educated, and involved in youth football. Walsh said he knows all too well how difficult it is to grow up without the support and encouragement of a male role model, so he wants to provide that support to as many kids as possible.


Walsh said that bringing kids to participate in Playmakers is a way to “expose these kids to experiences and people they’d never have otherwise. I want to let them know that big dreams can be achievable.”


Football players from Rio Americano and El Camino — high school teams whose bitter rivalry ended last season with a brawl — served together at the camp as coach’s helpers, supporting the kids through the sports drills while teaching about character development.


When asked how his players were feeling about working with the rival team, El Camino Head Coach JP Dolliver said, “At the end of the day… they’re just kids playing football.… They shook hands. And this year’s going to be a different experience because of it.”


“I think it’s just a great experience for the kids to give back to the younger kids.… It shows the importance of the leadership aspect of being a student athlete,” said Dolliver. “It’s good to bring them out here, and I think it’s going to make them better football players themselves.”

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - According to the U.S. Small Business Association, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. To recognize the entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region, Sacramento County is celebrating Capital Region Small Business Week from May 5 through May 11, 2019.
Small businesses play a vital role in stimulating economic growth and creating jobs, which is why Sacramento County offers several incentives to help these businesses meet their start-up or expansion goals. The Capitol Region Small Business Week will feature a series of seven events throughout the week including:
Monday, May 6, 2019
Capital Region Small Business Week Multi-Chamber Mixer - Hosted by COWO, network with other small businesses in the Capital Region!
Event Details: 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the COWO Campus, 1507 21st Street, Suite 200, Sacramento CA 95811. Participating chambers that pay $100 fee, tickets are free and all others, including non-chamber members, admission is $20. Appetizers and a drink ticket included in admission!
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
BizX: “Leading Like a Boss” – Hosted by Sacramento County, BERC, the City of Sacramento, CSUS and Uptown Studios, join entrepreneurs, small businesses, and industry leaders for storytelling designed to energize, motivate, and give you practical tips to lead business growth, talent development, and competitive advantage.
Event Details: The program will go from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Golden 1 Center. Tickets are $10.
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Capital Connection - Hosted by the Capital Region SBDC, learn how to bridge that gap, and get your small business the capital you need. Come hear from and meet with banks, credit unions and other lending institutions.
Event Details: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the West Sacramento City Hall Galleria, free admission.
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Small Business Awards Lunch - The Sacramento Business Journal and U.S. Small Business Administration are hosting the annual Small Business Awards to celebrate the small businesses that drive our economy.
Event Details: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Double Tree Hotel 2001 Point W Way, Sacramento, CA 95815. Admission is $60.
May Marketplace – Hosted by the California Capital FDC, this annual event focuses on supporting small businesses within the Capitol Region! Shop with 70 small businesses and learn about the latest products and services local vendors have to offer.
Event Details: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, free admission.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Small Business Start-Up-Guide: Things to Consider When Starting a Business – The City of Elk Grove is ready to help those looking to start a business. Come learn about business fundamentals from a panel of experts. Topics addresses include: creating a business plan, business organization structure, taxes, permits and business licensing and hiring employees.
Event Details: 9:30 – 12:00 p.m. at the Laguna Town Hall, free admission.
Mark Tank Pitch Event - HaneyBiz is hosting Friday's final event in conjunction with Placer Business Resource Center and Hackerlab. Join us for high energy networking, happy hour with plenty of food and drinks, and the opportunity to watch four startups pitch to Mark Haney, his investment team, and select angel investors at our first "Mark Tank" pitch event.
Event Details: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. workshop at Placer Business Resource Center, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. mentor sessions at HackerLab, Rocklin and 6:00 p.m. happy hour, networking and Mark Tank pitch event at HaneyBiz, free admission.
To learn more about the programs and resources available to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Sacramento County, visit the Office of Economic and Development’s website.

 

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Carmichael Elks Lodge Presents 7th Annual Classic Car and Motorcycle Show

By Patrick Larenas  |  2019-04-26

One of the many great cars on display at last year

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The Carmichael Elks Lodge will be hosting its 7th annual Classic Car and Motorcycle Show on Saturday, May 4 with free admission to the public from 8am to 2pm. Filled with DJ music and Hot Wheel games for the kids, the show will be hosted in the Elks Lodge’s Shady Backyard. Breakfast and lunch will be available to purchase in case you feel like tasting various foods.


“I have been to the Car Show just about every year and I am glad to see that it’s growing thanks to friends and family,” said Diane Bristow of the Elk’s Car and Motorcycle Show committee.
The annual show features classic vehicles from 1975 and older. “This year we’ve added the new category of motorcycles to the show,” added Bristow.


Trophies and plaques will be awarded for the following vehicle categories:
Best Mopar; Best GM; Best Ford; Best Rat Rod; Best Orphan; Best Engine; Best Under Construction; Best Long Roof; Best Exalted; Best of Show; and Best Motorcycle.
Registration for those who want to enter a vehicle will be $19.95; And, for those who want to use the occasion to display their products, the fee for vendors will also be $19.95.

The Carmichael Elks Lodge #2103 is located at 5631 Cypress Ave. Carmichael, CA 95608.
Interested in joining the Elks? If you join in this month of April only, the regular $49 application fee will be reduced to only $1.

For more information visit our website at www.carmichaelelks2103.org

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May the 4th Be With You

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-04-26

Stage Nine Cosplayers starring a series of imperial troopers led by Darth Vader, alien creatures from the planet Tatooine and a few rebel Jedi with Chewbacca. Photo courtesy T-Rock Communications

Star Wars-Themed Scavenger Hunt

OLD SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Located along the historic waterfront in the heart of Old Sacramento, Stage Nine Entertainment and Evangeline’s costume mansion invite the community to experience a special “May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Day” scavenger hunt on Saturday, May 4, 2019.


With fun and FREE activities available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., each location will have clues at four stations that lead participants to the next. The first part of the family-friendly scavenger hunt will start at Evangeline’s (113 K Street) which will lead guests to Stage Nine Entertainment (102 K Street).
Along the way, the experience will be complete with blue milk tasting (the galaxy’s most famous beverage), Wookie Cookie sampling, and an interactive Star Wars video game. Those who stay on target and finish – after solving all the clues – will be treated to a special password to gain them access to a Secret Rebel Base 9 room filled with Star Wars memorabilia, fan-made art, and more.
In addition to the Star Wars-themed scavenger hunt, entertaining cosplayers in Star Wars apparel will be roaming about plus an 8’ tall Star Wars TIE fighter ship will tower over K Street on the balcony above the Stage 9 Entertainment store.


All fun, FREE and appropriate for all ages, more information about the “May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Day” scavenger hunt in Old Sacramento is available at www.facebook.com/events/2658454517538765/. For more information about Stage Nine Entertainment, please call 916-447-3623 or visit www.stagenine.com; and for more information about Evangeline’s, please call 916-443-2181 or visit www.evangelines.com.

About Stage Nine Entertainment, Inc.
Focused on the world of fun, creativity, and entertainment, Stage Nine Entertainment, Inc. consists of a collection of stores and business entities based in Old Sacramento, California. The retail stores, Stage Nine Entertainment Store, G! Willikers Toy Emporium, The Vault, The Old Fashioned Candy and Confectionery Store, and California Clothiers offer the ultimate destinations for items related to pop culture, movies, television, nostalgia, animation and clothing along with thousands of other unique memorabilia items. Collectively, the retail stores carry more than 30,000 unique and nostalgic collectibles and gift items. For more information about Stage Nine Entertainment, Inc. or Stage Nine Family of Specialty Retail Stores, please call 916-447-3623 or visit www.stagenine.com.
Evangeline’s 4,800-square foot costume mansion is housed in the upper floors of two historic buildings in Old Sacramento’s historic district: The Lady Adams Building and The Howard House. Shoppers can explore and browse through various rooms filled with thousands of costumes and accessories, including the Gothic Chamber, Lab, Jungle, Saloon, Renaissance Room, Storybook Land, Disco and Circus. For more, please call 916-443-2181 or visit www.evangelines.com.

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SacRT General Manager Awarded for Defending Taxpayer Funds

By Jessica Gonzalez, Sacramento Regional Transit District  |  2019-04-23

General Manager/CEO Henry Li receives the Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpapers Association. Image of the Good Governance Award for 2019. Photo provided by SacRT

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) recently  announced that General Manager/CEO Henry Li received the first annual Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpayers Association for Outstanding Leadership in Defending Taxpayer Funds.


“Since I began with SacRT three years ago, I have pushed to get the district back on track financially and provide a cleaner and safer environment for our riders,” said GM/CEO Henry Li. “Being recognized with this coveted award is reflective of our efforts to cut our debt and provide the community with better public transit choices.”


SacRT Cost Cutting Initiatives Implemented under Henry Li include: Reducing fare evasion from over 15% three years ago to below 4% today; Lowering fares for the first time in the agency's 47-year history; Implementing business process optimization policies that led to more than $6.5 million annually in cost reductions through debt restructuring and renegotiating vendor contracts; Cutting debt by $45 million and cost avoidance of $75 million in five years; Building up reserves to nearly $20 million; Reformed retirement benefits program and reduced 20% retirement costs by converting a defined benefit plan to a contribution plan for hires dedicated to new services.


SacRT is currently seeking public comment in the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating and Capital Budget. The SacRT Board of Directors is expected to adopt the budget on June 10.


The Good Governance Award was presented during the Sacramento Taxpayers Association annual member meeting on April 15.

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California’s Rich Pioneer History Will Be Celebrated May 4 in Coloma

By Gary Zavoral  |  2019-04-23

Free wagon rides will be offered in Coloma during the Pioneer History Day May 4. Photos provided by PHD

Family Activities, Stage Shows and Historical Reenactments Highlight Third California Pioneer History Day

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Before the famed California Gold Rush brought tens of thousands of gold seekers and others to Northern California, there were hundreds of pioneers who paved the way for them to arrive, already having constructed homes and businesses, started farms and even began building cities.
On Saturday, May 4, area residents can learn more about how they lived and their accomplishments during the California Pioneer History Day at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma.
This free family event features historic reenactments and displays, a parade with descendants of early California pioneers, stage shows and musical entertainment, and many activities for families and children, including a cannon that shoots candy, free wagon rides, pioneer games and children’s crafts.
“Few Californians know about the rich early history of our state,” said Michelle Jones of Placerville, who is heading the effort along with Robert and Peni Frew from Auburn. “The California Pioneer History Day will give them the opportunity to discover this inspiring heritage in a fun and interactive way.”
The event will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with the parade at 10 a.m. and an opening ceremony following. This is the third California Pioneer History Day, which is sponsored by the California Pioneer Heritage Foundation and organized by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills. While the event is free, the state parking fee is $8. Food concessions will be available, or attendees can bring their own lunch.
During the Pioneer History Day, three-dozen interactive exhibits and activities organized into two “tent towns” will straddle Highway 49, the main thoroughfare into Coloma. Among the many historical exhibits are:
· The Buffalo Soldiers, an African American Army infantry unit that served in the West.
· The Pony Express, whose Western hub was Sacramento.
· Gold Rush Jewish Communities, highlighting the accomplishments of this minority group during the Gold Rush.
· Demonstrations with a sacred Indian grinding rock.
· Pioneer United Methodist Church, which had its start in Auburn in 1851.
· Chinese Cultural Club, exhibiting the culture and achievements of the many Asian men and women who traveled to the gold fields.
· The Ship Brooklyn exhibit, which recreates the cramped quarters of the Latter-day Saints who sailed in 1846 around Cape Horn to Northern California to escape religious persecution.
· Bear Flag Revolt, celebrating a small group of American settlers who, in 1846, rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California an independent republic.
Tents will also feature many family-friendly activities that will give attendees a taste of pioneer life. These include:
· Brick, rope and candle making.
· Making and playing with pioneer toys.
· Pioneer doll making.
· Biscuit baking.
· Dutch oven cooking.
Among the reenactments will be cannon and musket firing, giving a detailed demonstration of how they were loaded and the safety precautions taken before firing. These will be held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30.p.m. The Pony Express will also recreate a mail hand-off during those same times, and free wagon rides will be available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition, there will be historical demonstrations on pioneer medicine, frontier justice, blacksmithing, wood carving, and free old-time photos with pioneer garb will be available.
On the main stage will be crowd-pleasing musical acts as well as old-time stage musical shows.
The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma features a museum and visitors center, a replica of John Sutter’s sawmill where gold was discovered in 1848, and many other buildings that recreate the town of Coloma during the Gold Rush.
It is located off Highway 49 between Auburn and Placerville; the museum address is 310 Back St., Coloma. For more information, go to www.californiapioneer.com/cphd/ or call the Gold Discovery park museum at (530) 622-3470.

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