Survey Finds Water-Rich Snowpack

Source: CA Department of Water Resources  |  2017-05-04

The recent manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada found a Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) of 27.8 inches, 190 percent of the May 1 long-term average there (14.6 inches).

Electronic measurements indicate the water content of the statewide snowpack today is 42.5 inches, 196 percent of the May 1 average. The SWE of the northern Sierra snowpack is 39.9 inches (199 percent of average); the central and southern Sierra readings are 47.1 inches (202 percent of average) and 37.6 inches (180 percent of average), respectively.

Today’s readings will help hydrologists forecast spring and summer snowmelt runoff into rivers and reservoirs. The melting snow supplies approximately one-third of the water used by Californians.

“California’s cities and farms can expect good water supplies this summer,” said DWR Acting Director Bill Croyle. “But this ample snowpack should not wash away memories of the intense drought of 2012-2016. California’s precipitation is the most variable in the nation, and we cannot afford to stop conserving water.”

Snowpack water content is measured manually on or near the first of the month from January to May. The Phillips snow course, near the intersection of Highway 50 and Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, is one of hundreds surveyed manually throughout the winter. Manual measurements augment the electronic readings from about 100 sensors in the state’s mountains that provide a current snapshot of the snowpack’s water content.

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, conducted DWR’s survey today at Phillips and said of his findings, 2017 has been “an extremely good year in terms of the snowpack.”

Gehrke said the snowpack is encouraging in terms of surface water supplies. “The thing we’re looking out for is primarily the southern Sierra, where we have full reservoirs and in some cases a huge snowpack,” he said. “We want to make sure that we prudently manage that so we don’t cause any downstream issues.”

California’s reservoirs are fed both by rain and snowpack runoff. A majority of the state’s major reservoirs are above normal storage levels.

Earlier this month, DWR increased its estimate of this year’s SWP supply to 100 percent of requests for contractors north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and 85 percent of requests for other contractors, the highest since the 100-percent allocation in 2006.

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Formerly Homeless Women to be Celebrated at Women's Empowerment's Gala

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2017-05-04

Women’s Empowerment graduates celebrate with Eileen Javora from KCRA3 at the organization’s 15th Anniversary Gala last year. The event raised $200,000 to help Sacramento homeless women find homes and jobs. 
-- Photo by Dylan Tyagi

Community members are invited to the 16th Annual Celebration of Independence Gala that benefits Women’s Empowerment, a local nonprofit job training and empowerment program for women who are homeless and their children. The event, which raises funds for the organization and honors the group’s 1,411 graduates, will take place 5:30-8:45 p.m. on May 17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento. Guests will mingle with graduates from the program and enjoy a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and presentations from the graduates.

Tickets are $125. Those who cannot attend, or wish to contribute more, can sponsor a graduate to attend the event. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call (916) 669-2307 or visit

“This event is like no other in Sacramento,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “Rarely will you attend a fundraiser where donors and community members have the chance to meet and talk with women who have overcome homelessness. It’s our largest fundraiser of the year, but it’s also a night filled with laughter, tears and joy as we celebrate the incredible women who have shared their journeys with us.”

Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,411 homeless women and their children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 81 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation:

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It’s Spare the Air Season

Source: Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD  |  2017-05-03

The Sacramento region’s 23rd Spare The Air season starts May 1. Each summer, the Spare The Air campaign educates the public about the health effects of air pollution and asks residents to drive less when a Spare The Air alert is issued due to poor air quality.

Residents in the Sacramento region are urged to pay attention to the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) by downloading the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app. It’s available in iOS, Android and Windows app stores. Users get the daily air quality forecast, current air pollution readings for Sacramento, Placer, Yolo-Solano and El Dorado counties, as well as Spare The Air alerts and wildfire smoke advisories when issued.

The AQI keeps the public informed about how clean or polluted the air is in their communities. The chart has six categories: Good (green), Moderate (yellow), Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange), Unhealthy (red), Very Unhealthy (purple), and Hazardous (maroon).

Some people are more vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution, including children, because their lungs are still developing; older adults and the elderly; pregnant women; and individuals with heart or lung disease, especially asthma. Even if you are healthy, air pollution can cause respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities.

Follow these tips to help reduce air pollution and protect your health this summer:

  • Reduce your driving – postpone at least one trip, especially on a Spare The Air day.
  • Garden green – avoid using gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other garden equipment.
  • Link your errands into one big trip to lower pollution by reducing cold starts of your car engine.
  • Work from home – get employer permission in advance
  • Bring your lunch to work.
  • Use an electric starter or chimney briquette starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid to start your barbecue.
  • Postpone outings on gas or diesel-powered boats, trail bikes or all-terrain vehicles because they are high pollution sources.
  • Take public transit, walk or bike for commute, errands and recreation.


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Regional Transit Launches Survey to Engage Community

Source: Sacramento Regional Transit  |  2017-05-03

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (Sac RT) is undergoing a major transformation to enhance service, to improve agency operations and bring greater value to the region. An important part of this effort is community engagement and Sac RT has launched an online survey ( to gather feedback from Sacramento County residents about their priorities and vision for the future of public transit.

The survey asks residents what they think about the current Sac RT bus and light rail system, why they ride public transit in Sacramento or other cities, and what changes would bring the most value to their daily lives. Sac RT is calling on residents, businesses, educational institutions, community leaders and other stakeholders to provide their feedback so the agency can fully understand the mobility needs and desires of the region.

“Sac RT is focused on greater community engagement and that means listening to what residents want and need our public transit system to be,” said Henry Li, General Manager and CEO of Sac RT. “The Sacramento region is growing and we have new activity centers for housing, employment, shopping and entertainment as well as changing traffic patterns. Our public transit system needs to adapt to these changes and we are excited to work with community partners to develop a more valuable transit service.”

Over the past year, Sac RT has improved its financial stability, attracted new riders and strengthened its commitment to clean, safe and convenient transit service. Additionally, in February 2017, Sac RT released its new Strategic Vision, a multi-year plan that prioritizes a  customer-first agency culture as well as a route optimization study to analyze how to best serve different parts of the region.

RT operates approximately 69 fixed routes and 43 miles of light rail that covers a 418 square-mile service area. Buses and light rail trains operate 365 days a year. RT's entire bus and light rail system is accessible to the disabled community.

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Catfisher Uses Sacramento Businesses to Lure Victims

Source: Sacramento Better Business Bureau  |  2017-05-03

Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning social media users of an Internet criminal who is using four Sacramento businesses as a front in order to scheme innocent people into sending him money.

The alleged businesses include: Brad Computers Co., Bran Computers Co., B & M Computers Co., and J&M Computers Co.

According to their websites, three of the four businesses sell computers and computer accessories. Each lists a different physical address as their location, all in Sacramento. However, BBB has been unable to confirm any of these locations, or the legitimacy of the businesses. All currently have an ‘F’ rating.

Victims were typically contacted by the alleged business owner on dating and travel websites. He uses different variations of the names Brad, Michael, James, and Brandon. Most victims say they talked to the owner over email, one victim by phone. In some instances he waited months before asking for money, but others say that he asked for money just a few short days after initiating a conversation.

When he does ask for money, he claims he needs it to help pay for tariffs to receive international goods for his business. Once the money is sent, typically via wire transfer, he stops responding. Victims are both female and male.

Better Business Bureau urges consumers to remember not to send money or personal information to people you do not know, and to report scams at

How to avoid a romance scam:

  • ● Ask them to video chat. Ask the person to chat over a live video connection such as Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout. If they avoid you, or claim they’re too busy, this is a red flag and you’re probably dealing with a catfish.
  • ● Do a reverse image search. An Internet criminal never uses their own picture, but what can be more surprising is that they often use a picture of a famous model or singer. Do a reverse image search on your Internet browser by uploading the picture directly, or by providing a link if the image is online.
  • ● Do a web search for the business. If the person you’re talking to claims to own a business, verify the business at Look for any alerts, complaints, or reviews.
  • ● Copy and paste their email into your web browser. Many scam artists do not take the time to write original emails to each of their victims, and often use the same sob story every time. Copy and paste some of the email into your web browser - you may be surprised by what you find.
  • ● Don’t be ashamed to report the scammer. If you are the victim of a romance scam, come forward and share your story with others. Report it to your local Better Business Bureau and learn more about romance scams at

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ALS Association Chapter Adds First Development Director

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2017-04-28

Trish Ellis joins the staff of the local organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease. 
-- Photo courtesy of

Trish Ellis of Yuba City has been hired as The ALS Association Greater Sacramento Chapter’s first director of development, overseeing the local chapter’s fundraising efforts to find a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in the greater Sacramento region.

“I’ve always been involved with nonprofit organizations and fundraising – my mom ran her own organization while I was growing up, so it’s in my blood,” Ellis said. “I fell into development work through volunteering, and while I will always be a volunteer at heart, I love being on staff to fundraise professionally. The opportunity to work with The ALS Association’s local team to create a world without ALS is a dream job for me.”

Ellis is a United States Air Force veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandman University, based in Irvine, Calif. Prior to her work at The ALS Association, Ellis served as senior development officer with the California Waterfowl Association in Roseville.

The ALS Association is leading the fight to treat and cure ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with the disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. The local chapter of the organization best known for its Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser serves 24 Northern California counties and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. For more information or to make a donation, visit

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County Supervisors Honor Volunteers

Source: Sacramento County Media Dept.  |  2017-04-28

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors recognize the 2016 volun-teer/student intern contributions of 381,333 hours and $10,699,076.32 worth of service.

Sacramento County is proud to announce and recognize the 9,346 volunteers/student interns who contributed 381,333 hours to County programs in 2016, which calculates to $10,699,076.32 worth of service; the quality of life in our region has been thereby enhanced for our residents.

Departments served by these individuals and groups include Airports, Animal Care and Regulation, Health and Human Services, Parks, Probation, Sheriff and Waste Management and Recycling.

Multiple examples of contributions roused a full range of emotions during a recognition ceremony today, from compassion to concern.

One volunteer group that was recognized was Sacramento Teen/Animal Membership program (S.T.A.M.P.). S.T.A.M.P. consists of 12-18 year-old participants and meets every other Saturday and Sunday at the Bradshaw Animal Shelter. They happily complete basic shelter cleaning tasks and creative projects, alike, and play with the shelter animals. Their very successful pet reading program was recognized nationally with inclusion in the PBS documentary series, “Shelter Me” which spotlights unique and innovative programs that have a direct and positive impact on the animals within municipal shelters.

Like myriad counties across the country, Sacramento is experiencing an increase in opioid addiction and accidental overdoses. Megan Key was honored for donating 300 hours over a six-month period to Sacramento County Public Health in its work toward reducing opioid abuse, overdoses and deaths in Sacramento County. Megan Key is the primary author of the “Sacramento Prescription Drug Surveillance Report, 2015.” She helped the Epidemiology Unit to provide insightful interpretation of trends in opioid prescribing, develop recommended actions, and establish concrete goals for the County and Sacramento Area Opioid Taskforce.

If you would like to volunteer for the County of Sacramento, please visit:


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