Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - No Place Like Home (NPLH) is a new State program that will provide counties with grants in 2018 to provide critically needed housing for chronically homeless individuals who are also struggling with mental illness. Sacramento County​ will be applying for NPLH funding as an essential piece of our “housing first” approach to reducing homelessness.  

As a first step toward pursuing those funds​ Sacramento County will be working with a consultant to lay the groundwork for a plan that will align with No Place Like Home specifications.

“Permanent supportive housing options are critical to people experiencing homelessness and who are also in need of mental health services,” said Patrick Kennedy, Sacramento County District 2 Supervisor and Governor Brown’s appointee to the No Place Like Home Advisory Committee. “Securing these funds will be a critical component of success in addressing the needs of this vulnerable population in the Sacramento region.”

Paul Lake, Sacramento County’s Deputy County Executive for Social Services, worked to ensure collaboration with key stakeholders when the planning committees began to meet in late 2016. 

“Broad representation from advisory bodies, advocates and cities was essential for ensuring the appropriate people were sitting at the table,” Lake said. “Collaboration is imperative as we move forward to successfully address issues around homelessness in the Sacramento region.”

The NPLH Steering Committee includes Sacramento County’s Director of Homeless Initiatives as well as representatives from the County’s Departments of Human Assistance and Health and Human Services, the Mental Health Services Act Steering Committee and the City of Sacramento’s Mayor’s Office. 

Additionally, the NPLH Advisory Committee includes the County’s Homeless Services Manager, Veterans’ Services Officer, and Behavioral Health Director as well as representatives from Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Advisory Boards, the Homeless Continuum of Care Advisory Board, the Sacramento Housing Alliance, and the Steinberg Institute, among others.

Members on the Program Development Work Group include representatives from the Cities of Folsom, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Galt and Sacramento.

NPLH funding is vital for the County because in order to fund NPLH, the State will be withholding the County’s Mental Health Services Act growth revenues, which will create shortfalls in funding mental health programs. 

However, through prudent use of reserves, the County will continue to sustain those programs while pursuing new opportunities the NPLH grant will provide to address chronic homelessness in the Sacramento region.

The permanent housing would be linked to on- or off-site flexible, voluntary and individualized services to retain housing, improve health, and live and work in the community.

The county’s next step is submitting the grant application, due September​ 30. Project funding is anticipated to begin in 2018.

Source: Sacramento County Media

 

...Read More!  
  |  

Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department (Metro Fire) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is having an introductory (Basic) training open to the public this September.

Citizens may take the class just for their own information, they may also take the class as the first step in becoming a member of the Metro Fire CERT program. As a member, participants are eligible to attend additional training including: advanced Medical Training, Severe Weather / Downed Lines Training, and Sandbag Training; to name a few. Mentorship and support is provided throughout this process to help all interested volunteers become active members of the program.

Metro Fire CERT members have served in numerous capacities including staffing the Sacramento County Emergency Operation Center, Sacramento County Sand Bag Stations and deployment to areas impacted by wild fire. CERT members also volunteer numerous hours within local communities for events including but not limited to: Capital Air Show, Hot August Bites, Special Olympics Softball, Rancho Cordova 4th of July, and Eppie's Great Race. During all events CERT members serve as Outreach liaisons and Stand-By First Aid.

The Metro Fire CERT Basic Training Includes: What your local risks are and what you need to do to prepare; How to manage utilities, hazardous materials, and put out small fires using the appropriate Fire Extinguisher; How to use "START Triage" and how to treat the "Three Medical Killers" by: opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; How to provide basic medical aid; How to effectively search for and rescue victims safely; How to organize yourself and spontaneous volunteers to be effective as a team and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts; Disaster Psychology; Terrorism.

The dates are: Thursday September 21st,  Saturday September 23rd , Thursday September 28th,  Saturday September 30th. There is no cost for this training.

For more information about this program, please email metrofirecert@gmail.com.

...Read More!  
  |  

Rising Star Jennifer Reason Performs at Pioneer Church

By Vi McNally  |  2017-09-08

Pianist Jennifer Reason, Photo courtesy Pioneer Church

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Jennifer Reason, concert pianist, will perform at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, September 17, at Pioneer Congregational Church, 2700 L Street, across from Sutter’s Fort.

This is the first concert in the 2017-2018 Sacramento Community Concert Association series. Hailed by German critics as a pianist "in the league of Carnegie Hall," a "rising star" whose playing is "lush, sensual and colorful: like a painting" (Sulzbach-Rosenberger),

Reason is a vibrant young performer. Recently she completed her 8th international tour, including twice appearing as a soloist to critical acclaim at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Germany, as well as at the Schlern and Orfeo International Music Festivals in Italy. She has also twice appeared in an ensemble setting at Carnegie Hall, as well as the Vatican, the Liszt Academy in Hungary, and the International Festival of Peace and Brotherhood in Italy.

Reason is a versatile performer of various styles of music from Classical New Music, Jazz to Pop, and Broadway to Gospel. Tickets at the door $25, students $13, subscriptions available by calling the Sacramento Community Concert Association at 916-400-4634.

...Read More!  
  |  

Gourd Festival Comes Home

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-09-07

Colleen Ballard and Barbara Rippetoe show off some of the fine gourd art to be presented at the festival. Photo by MPG staff

Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - The Gourd is Back. The Northern California Gourd Art Competition and Gourd Exhibit is returning to Orangevale this September, roughly 14 years since it was moved from its original location in Folsom, due to construction of a new shopping center.

The gourd competition and festival, co-hosted by the Folsom and Amador Gourd Artists associations will make its return to Orangevale September 30 at the Orangevale Community Center, where organizers are hoping to keep the festival moving forward, as it has moved more than four times in the last decade.

“We are really thrilled to be able to have the festival back in Orangevale,” said newly installed chairman of the event, Barbara Rippetoe, an accomplished gourd artist and member of both the Folsom and Amador associations, which have a combined membership of 80 gourd artists.  “I really wanted to help move the festival back to Orangevale and after a lot of discussion and investigating, we finally found a new home and are very excited to be coming back.”

The original festival, known as the West Coast Gourd Festival, was launched at Zittel Farm in 1996 in Orangevale. It was held at the farm annually through 2003 with solid attendance and a strong following of some of the region’s most renowned gourd artists, Rippetoe said.  But in 2004, a shopping center was built adjacent to the original location at Zittel Farm, forcing a move to Greg Leiser Farms in Knights Landing, followed by another move to Folsom Park until 2009.  Complications with the Folsom Park location forced another move, this time to Davis Ranch Slough House, where the festival ran through 2015.  It did not run in 2016, said Rippetoe.

Now, with a permanent spot back in Orangevale, says Rippetoe, expectations are high for a large turn-out, both by local gourd artists and novice competitors alike, as well as locals who just want to witness firsthand how many different ways there are to create art from a gourd, typically the dried, hard shell of any one of the countless plants belonging to the cucuritaceae (pronounced kyoo-kur-bi-tey-shuh) family of squash or a pumpkin.

The festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 29 with gourd art classes taught by several well-known gourd artists, including Toni Best, Joyce Campbell, Vickie Echols and Bettie Lake. Classes are open to all.  Then, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, gourd artists will compete in several design categories and divisions, including a novice category for student entries from the classes held prior to the launch of the competition.

Competition divisions will be available for youth, novice, intermediate, advanced and master level gourd art makers. Gourds will be scored using a point system and judging will consider originality, quality of craftsmanship, creativity and artistry, color and use of accessories, as well as overall decorative work.  These can range from pyrography (burning in designs and shapes) and carving gourds, to those embellished with a vast array of mediums, including paint, fiber art, jewelry, beads, feathers and more.

You don’t have to be a gourd artist to get in on the action. The event is free and, in addition to the competitions, classes and even a gourd hat parade, individual artists will be selling their wares, which may include everything from purses, dolls, jewelry, drums and other items, all made from gourds, of course. 

For more information, please visit: www.californiagourdsociety.com.

IF YOU GO:
The Northern Gourd Art Competition and Gourd Exhibit
Sept. 30 to Oct. 1
Orangevale Community Center
6826 Hazel Ave.
Competition Entry Fee: $6.00 for members, $10.00 for all others
Deadline for entries: Friday, Sept. 29 

...Read More!  
  |  

Airshow Special for Kids

By MPG Staff  |  2017-09-07

California Army National Guard and California Air National Guard personnel gave inspirational talks about their careers before presenting students with free tickets to the California Capital Airshow. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) – The California Capital Airshow takes off this weekend! If ever there was a family fun event to see, this is it. With many changes being made to make it even more friendly for the entire family, this weekend-long show of amazing displays, acrobatics and learning opportunities makes it a perfect event to get the kids excited about the world of aeronautics.

The Airshow performances begin at noon each day, Saturday and Sunday, and run to 4:00 pm. Gates open at 9:00. Come early to get a great view.

The CCA has worked hard to make the airshow more family friendly every year. New for 2017, each Adult General Admission ticket includes 4 FREE Youth/Children (ages 15 and under) tickets. Also, children 5 years old and under are free for General Admission tickets only. If more children are attending than what is covered with purchased Adult General Tickets, you will need to purchase Youth/Child’s tickets. For all other ticket options (Mather Club (formerly Shaded Seating), Flight Line Club, Capital Club) a ticket is required for ages 2 and up. Please check https://californiacapitalairshow.com/buytickets/ for additional information and current ticket prices.

Seating is not included with General Admission tickets so please feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on. Parking is $10. Only cash will be accepted for parking. The fee for each vehicle does not include exit and re-entry.

Small strollers and wagons are permitted. However, they will be subject to search. Due to security concerns, large coolers (exceeding 9 Quarts and/or 10in. x 12in. x 11in.) and large bags are not permitted on the show site. Small coolers (smaller than 9 Quarts / 10in. x 12in. x 11in.) are permitted. Baby food, pre-packaged/sealed snack food and whole fruit are allowed into the Airshow. Homemade items, such as sandwiches, are not permitted.

All personal handbags, totes, diaper bags, etc. are subject to search at the entry gates.

For the safety of attendees and the animals, pets are not allowed on show grounds. Certified service animals are permitted, this does not include companion animals.

Multiple ATMs are available throughout the Airshow.

And be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen!

...Read More!  
  |  

Support Our Sisters Delivers Bras to Women In Need

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-09-01

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Lynne Shelton and Sheryl Smith are busy stuffing suit case after suit case with vacuum packed bundles of support bound for underserved women on farms in South Africa.

Mesh bags of bras, yes, that kind of support, adorned in pink polka dots, purple lace, black on black, white, leopard print, red satin, padded, non-padded, wired and soft framed, are strewn across the entryway and much of the dining room in Shelton’s Rancho Cordova home. Bras are pretty much everywhere.

By late August, Shelton and Smith, with the help of a few other volunteers, will board a plane on Emirates Airlines with roughly 1,000 donated bras bound for four different farms in Mokipane, roughly two hours from Johannesburg, where shopping can cost a woman roughly nine month’s wages, not mention prove an aggravating experience for many there who are well-endowed and know only the pains of wearing bras that are as much as two or three sizes too small for them, that is if they have ever even owned one.

“You would be surprised by the number of women working on these farms that either have never worn a bra, or are wearing bras that are too small for them,” says Shelton, founder of Support Our Sisters™ (SOS), which delivered 522 donated new and gently used bras to South African women in need in August of 2016.  “It’s something that we take for granted here, but getting a bra for the first time, to these women, is a huge deal.”

This year, the number of bras being packed into air tight packages and stuffed into roll on suitcases is nearly double the year prior, which is a good thing, because this year SOS will be serving roughly 400 women on four different farms, nearly double the number of women served in 2016.

“That’s how fast this is taking off,” says Shelton, a business attorney and owner of Shelton Law & Associates in Gold River.  She launched SOS in 2015 as an initiative of her foundation Raising a Nation (RAN), which she also founded in 2015 to provide support to the Institute For Ministry Development (IMD) South Africa chapter, with which she got involved through a member of her church, Lakeside, Folsom.

“I was asked by the IMD to go to Bad Se Loop to speak at a conference and I learned about what they were doing and I decided to start a foundation to support them,” Shelton said.

IMD International is headquartered in Denver and has chapters around the globe.  IMD, South Africa, under the direction of Koos Basson and his wife, Jenny, is amidst building ministries in the townships near Mokipane, which will offer educational classes, as well as vocational and goal setting workshops, weekend camps and other resources for youth ages fourth grade and up to 30.

“The goal is to help these people learn about how their government works, how to advance their skills and better their lives,” Shelton says. “You have to think about South Africa, or villages and farms outside of the major cities, as just coming out of a third-world scenario,” she adds. “It has only been just a little over a couple of decades since the end of Apartheid and they don’t have the kind of access to governmental information and education that we have.”

An older, South African woman and farmworker was introduced to Shelton on that trip and, when it was learned she’d been suffering from severe pain a little investigation proved the culprit to be the size of the woman’s bra.

“When she bent over she’d wince in this terrible pain,” says Shelton. “We learned that she’d been wearing a bra that was way too small for her. But that’s how it is there. If you can get the money for a bra, you’re lucky. These women often can’t even afford one, let alone get their hands on the size they need because the sizes available to them are limited.”

With Raising a Nation barely off the ground, Shelton decided to launch its first initiative, Support Our Sisters™, with a mission to bring donated bras to these women. And it turns out there is a lot of support out there for the cause.

“These women have little money and they are often living in the kind of bunkers you’d associate with plantations or farms of the south decades ago,” Shelton says. “Also, because a lot of these women are mothers who have had several children, they are very well-endowed. Our largest size was a 54 DDD. The smallest was 28DDD.”

SOS accepts new and gently used maternity and sports bras, as well as regular ladies bras. There is a high demand for sizes 32, 34 and 36 B or larger, Shelton said.

SOS had hoped to use a cargo liner for the 2017 shipment of bras, but that plan was derailed when the tanker hit a snag that would delay it for weeks. Shipping the bras via air is not cheap: Emirates charges $175 for each suitcase, but offers SOS a discounted price of $158 and donates the full cost of carrying five suitcases.

Sheryl Smith, a broker and owner of Smith Real Estate Services, Inc., also in Gold River, got involved through the same congregation. She serves as treasure for SOS. She says the growth of the initiative is supported by pure, grass roots energy.

“This is very close to my heart,” says Smith. “I’ve always been drawn to helping women in crisis of some kind, so I love what I’m doing. And by no means are we doing this alone. It’s a pure grass roots effort. I’m even calling up my clients and saying ‘Hey, I’m doing this. Would you like to be involved?’ And they are all in.’

Some are jumping in via the SOS Facebook page, coming on board to help with little or no connection to the group but the simple urge to help.  And, it’s not just women.

“We had a male donor find us on Facebook who asked us what we needed,” says Smith. “We said we needed money to ship the bras overseas on the plane. He asked how much. We told him and he just said ‘done.’”

Employees at Harrah’s Casino in Reno took up a collected and recently donated 100 bras to the cause and family and friends of SOS volunteers are making donations from as far away as Kansas.

SOS has also donated bras to local groups helping women in need, including 75 bras to WEAVE, a provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking in Sacramento County, and the Twin Lakes Food Bank.

For more information, call Sheryl Smith, (916) 472-0103, or visit www.raisinganations.org

...Read More!  
  |  

Memorial Concert to Celebrate Life, Music of John Skinner

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2017-08-30

Man with a horn. John Skinner provided music for thousands of Sacramento area celebrations. Skinner family photo.

Carmichael, CA (MPG) - Musicians who worked for bandleader John Skinner will offer a memorial celebration of his life on Sunday, September 17 at Carmichael’s La Sierra Community Center. The tribute reflects Skinner’s life-long philosophy. “Happy crowds remind me why I started playing in the first place,” said the music man. He died recently at the age of 71.

During the most recent Skinner concert, fans witnessed a final performance from the group’s famous leader. From his seat in the audience, his solo from Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful Word” rang clear and vibrant. Aware of Skinner’s health challenges, teary-eyed fans stood and applauded. His last solo was also a last post.

Self-dubbed “Johnny Trumpet” grew up in Orland CA. His pianist mom provided a trumpet and a teacher for her musical son. When Mexican trumpeter Raphael Mendez visited town, the 10 -year-old cajoled a lesson from his idol. “Mendez lit a fire under me,” he explained. “From that day, I spent every spare minute practicing.”

He turned pro at 16. Recruiting school friends, Skinner formed a big band while still an Orland High School junior. “We called ourselves the Crescents,” he recalled. “A resort hotel gave us a gig. We finished newspaper runs, grabbed white jackets and were paid for music. We all got our first union cards.”

In summers, Eagle Scout Skinner trekked to Cazadero Music Camp in Sonoma’s redwood glades. A Utah music professor discovered the lanky prodigy and Skinner advanced his pro-career at USU Logan. “I taught 30 students a week,” he said. “I led the school’s jazz and pep bands. I also played for a theater orchestra in Salt Lake City.  I still managed to graduate.” The 6 ft. 4 ins Big Man on Campus also managed to fall in love. He and fellow USU student Susan Stoddard married with the ink still wet on their Bachelor degrees.

The Vietnam War draft was looming and Skinner volunteered for Air Force service. Deploying from Travis (CA), Captain Skinner flew the C-141 Starlifter for more than 5000 warzone hours in four years. When peace came, he piloted the massive C-5 Galaxy all over the world as a reservist. Moving his wife and daughter Kathryn to Sacramento, he began his namesake big band. Skinner also started a long haul with the Flying Tiger freight airline. “I scheduled my trips around music gigs,” he admitted. “My band worked every weekend. One December, we had 15 big-band jobs.”

Skinner music found favor with Governor Peter Wilson, who hired the band for many gubernatorial events. For seven summer seasons, Skinner performances lured thousands to Town and Country Village Friday dances. “We were paid well,” recalls longtime drummer Dan Kassis. “John never missed a detail, never got a location wrong. He was endlessly loyal to his musicians and gracious to our families.”

The leader wed a second Susan Skinner in 1986 and continued his international career juggle. He played gigs in Japan, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Hong Kong – and in many US states. He contracted musicians for circuses, ice shows and for stars like Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole and Luciano Pavarotti. After a 2015 Don Rickles show, Skinner was summoned to the star’s dressing room. The bandleader was relieved to learn “Mr. Warmth” merely wanted a picture with “that big trumpet guy, Skinner.”

The big guy practiced his horn every day. He graced any number of volunteer ensembles and was a stalwart of the Capitol Pops Concert band. But the dynamo slowed down eventually. Taxed by mobility issues, Skinner hired fellow trumpeter Rick Baker to front Skinner band performances. The boss still contracted, hired and cracked a whip from the sidelines. At his last Carmichael Park appearance, he was greeted by scores of fans. “My favorite gigs are park concerts,” he told them. “It’s great to see people dancing from our first song to our encore.”

Front man Rick Baker recalls the concert. “I’m happy we all got to hear John play one more time,” he reflects. “He was like a big brother to me. Talking to him nearly every day was a centering part of my life.”

Skinner championed music education. He regularly drove for many hours to applaud young musicians on his beloved Cazadero Music Camp stage. When boxes rattled, he opened his wallet for countless performing art causes. Fair Oaks and Carmichael Park concert seasons benefited from his sponsorship. He gave dozens of musicians their first professional break; ongoing gigs helped support families for decades.

The benefactor loaned money to musicians down on their luck. He also stacked performers’ tip jars.  “Music’s been good to me,” declared my husband, Johnny Trumpet. “Anything to keep the music playing.”

The La Sierra Center concert venue is at 5325 Engle Rd, Carmichael. Anyone may attend the September 17 memorial. Light refreshments will be served. Downbeat is 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cazadero Music Camp: PO Box 7908 Berkeley, CA 94707.

...Read More!  
  |