Recent graduate Cynthia Miller and her children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,503 homeless women and their children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training.

24 women once homeless graduate from the Sacramento job-readiness program

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Community members from across Sacramento witnessed Women’s Empowerment graduate its 1,500th formerly homeless woman, Cynthia Miller of Citrus Heights, in mid-March. Miller joined 23 other graduates as they completed the comprehensive nine-week job-readiness program for homeless women.

Miller was homeless with her three young children when she was accepted into  Women’s Empowerment’s job-readiness program.

“Women’s Empowerment truly gave me hope and it boosted my confidence. It was so empowering because it made me realize how much I have to offer our community.”

Miller’s immediate goal is to attend college in the fall to obtain her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate and begin working at a senior living facility.

“My ultimate goal is stop this cycle of homelessness so my children don’t have to grow up in it anymore. I plan on providing a stable home for them and enrolling them in a school where they can make friends for life. Having all of the support from Women’s Empowerment helped me discover that achieving my dreams is possible.”

Held at the VFW Post 67 in Sacramento, 100 graduation attendees heard each graduate’s story and future plans. Each woman accepted their certificates of achievement from Intel, the California Assembly and Women’s Empowerment. She received a new handbag filled with a day planner and other items designed to help her succeed from the generous employees of Dignity Health, and enjoyed a lovely reception sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Greater Sacramento.

 “Our graduation ceremonies are a unique community event where women like Cynthia can be celebrated for their accomplishments,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “At Women’s Empowerment, we know that employment and education are the most long-term solutions to truly ending homelessness. And today 24 formerly homeless women are re-joining our workforce, regaining safe housing and breaking the cycle of homelessness for themselves and their children. They are ready to achieve their dreams.”

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 1,503 homeless women and their children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 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: www.womens-empowerment.org.

 

A Clean Sweep for Creeks

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-04-20

Sacramento County youth organizations rallied to clean up waterways during Creek Week. Girl Scout Troops 333 (Antelope) and 890 (Foothill Farms) celebrated a job well done during festivities at Carmichael park.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A party celebrating Creek Week caused a big splash – and vital lessons in water conservation – last weekend at Carmichael Park.

Many sponsoring agencies sent an unfiltered message: everyone must do their bit to save and protect water. Early that morning, 2,000 volunteers from youth and neighborhood groups formed an army to scour 85 locations.  Creeks from the Delta to Folsom and from Elk Grove to Antelope benefited from the clean-up.

Four work areas within the Rancho Cordova community yielded 1,420 pounds of trash. City biologists also conducted a nature walk along the recently-restored banks of Cordova Creek.  The tour celebrated revitalization of a formerly barren channel; Cordova Creek Naturalization Project replaced decades-old concrete creek lining with tons of river rock. Achieved in partnership between city, Sacramento County and the non-profit Water Forum, the three-mile effort has recreated 10 acres of vegetated habitat.

Now 28 years old, Sacramento County’s Creek Week program aims to refresh dozens of waterways by removing garbage and invasive plants. The annual volunteer work force is swelled by the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, whose members recycle dumped rubber tires.

Beyond tires, mattresses and shopping carts, the 2018 junk-hunt gleaned many tons of smaller stuff alien to healthy arteries.  Sacramento Area Creeks Council President Alta Tura noted that high waters from recent rains washed much trash downstream into river flows.  “At the same time, more garbage entered our creeks and was trapped by vegetation,” she said. “Cigarette butts, plastic straws and fast food packaging are more damaging to wildlife than big stuff. Animals ingest plastic and can end up starving to death. Waterfowl can become entangled in discarded fishing lines. There’s no place in our waterways for plastic in any form, yet thousands of plastic items were among the tons of junk we bagged. The volunteers did a stellar job.”

At Carmichael Park, rewards for the weary army included clean tee shirts and hot dogs dished up by Carmichael Chamber of Commerce and Mission Oaks Park District volunteers.  “The party celebrates everyone’s hard work,” said Tura.  “It also teaches people about nature; how to save water and be better stewards of our environment.”

Learn more about the annual creek cleanup at www.creekweek.net

To report illegally dumped tires to the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, call (916) 792-0429.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day, an annual event created to raise awareness and inspire people everywhere to be better stewards of the environment and our natural resources. 

At Sacramento Suburban Water District we can help make it easy to protect the Earth’s fresh water, one of our most precious resources.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

  • Keep your sprinklers tuned up

Walk your yard, checking sprinklers one zone at a time. Look for broken and clogged sprinklers, or ones that have been misdirected and are watering your car instead of your yard.

  • Check before you water

Use a moisture meter to determine how dry, wet or moist the soil is.You can get a free one from bewatersmart.info (while supplies last).

You can also a screwdriver to check. Stick an eight-inch screwdriver into the soil. If you can push it in more than three inches below the surface, you don’t need to water.

  • Add plenty of mulch around your plants and trees

Mulch helps to regulate the temperature of the soil and reduce water loss to evaporation. Be sure to add two to three inches around plants and four to six inches around trees (taking care to keep mulch away from the base of trees).

  • Set up a Water-Wise House Call

During this one-hour complementary service, SSWD’s water-efficiency experts will check for leaks inside and outside of your home, check the flow rates on your faucets and showerheads and make recommendations on ways you can use water wisely. http://www.sswd.org/customers/water-wise-house-call

  • Apply for rebates.

SSWD has rebates available for its customers for irrigation system upgrades, WaterSense-labeled weather-based sprinkler controllers, pool covers, and even high-efficiency toilets. Complete details are available at http://www.sswd.org/departments/conservation/rebates

And remember, caring for the environment shouldn’t be limited to just one day. It’s important to make every day, Earth Day.

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2018-19 Watershed Stewardship and Education Grant

Sac County News  |  2018-04-19

Photo courtesy Sac County News

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - ​The Sacramento County Stormwater Quality Program is accepting applications for the 2018-19 Watershed Stewardship and Education Grant.  Each year,​ the Stormwater Quality Program offers schools, non-profit, and community organizations up to $2,500 for projects to help students understand the importance of keeping local creeks and rivers clean and healthy.

This is the 13th year the County is offering grants to help raise awareness about the need for protecting creeks and rivers.  By collaborating with schools over the years, the County has seen positive results from students who participate in the program and show a better understanding of stormwater pollution.  Expanding this program to non-profits and community groups offers another avenue to increase education.
Thirty-five schools have participated in the program.  Will Rogers Middle School is one of the original participants and has taken part in the program every year since it launched in 2005. 

Over the years, grant winners have completed 85 projects like creek clean ups; hands on education about Sacramento’s watershed, creeks, or rivers; eco-friendly gardens; water quality experiments to assess the health of a creek/river; and school-wide campaigns to increase awareness about stormwater pollution.  Each year, grant winners submit a report to the County on their projects shows many of the students in the program gaining a better understanding of stormwater pollution and the environment.
Eligible projects must in some way protect or enhance local creeks, rivers, or watersheds.  Projects will generally fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Educational Projects - Projects that inform or instruct about the aquatic ecosystem, watersheds, or stormwater pollution prevention
  • School/Club Projects - Projects that can be organized by teachers, classrooms, or clubs
  • Community Outreach Projects - Projects that involve and inspire the community
  • Monitoring Project - Projects that measure water quality, species, or habitat
  • Restoration Projects - Projects that restore or enhance riparian habitats, wetlands, creeks, or rivers

Eligible projects must be implemented within the Stormwater Utility boundaries of Sacramento County or directly affect the residents of these areas.  The application for the 2018-19 Watershed Stewardship and Education Grant is available on the Stormwater Quality Program webpage.


The application deadline is July 1, and the grants are awarded in August.

For more information, contact Jeanette Huddleston at 916-​874‐4711 or huddlestonj@saccounty.net.

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Qualifying Veterans and Japanese American Citizens May Receive Belated High School Diplomas

By Operation Recognition  |  2018-04-18

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) wants to honor the many contributions of those whose education was interrupted due to wartime circumstances. Current and former Sacramento County residents who left high school to serve in the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War, and received an honorable discharge, may contact SCOE to receive their high school diplomas. SCOE also presents diplomas to Japanese American citizens forced to leave high school due to WW II internment. Individuals may request diplomas on behalf of themselves or qualifying family members, including persons now deceased. Those who earned a G.E.D., or graduated from high school while in an internment camp, are still eligible for diplomas. To be considered for the spring 2017 awards ceremony, submit applications by April 26, 2017. Applications are available from the Sacramento County Office of Education by calling (916) 228-2416 or visiting scoe.net/or.

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Trump, Brown Tangle Over California State Border Control

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-18

Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - California Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, defending his sanctuary cities and claiming that the country’s immigration debate has become “an inflammatory football that very low-life politicians like to exploit.” He continued, “And I think it’s shocking, it’s despicable and it’s harmful to California, mostly to the people.”

Brown let it be known that he has no plans of changing his stance on the state’s immigration and sanctuary cities.

“We’re not backing off,” Brown said. “And I believe we have the legal horsepower to block the immediate legal moves by the Trump administration.”

The 80-year-old Brown, who is in the final months of his second term as California governor, proclaimed, “I’m not riding off into the sunset. You can be sure that you’ll hear from me.”

Just before Brown spoke on Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

Trump took to Twitter once again on Wednesday morning, saying that many parts of sanctuary cities throughout California want out of Jerry Brown’s control.

“There is a Revolution going on in California,” Trump tweeted. “Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!”

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Coach Guy Anderson Honored by the ABCA

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-13

Recipients of the 2018 ABCA Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award: Longtime Stanford Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess (left) and Guy Anderson (right) with award committee chair Tom O’Connell. Photo courtesy American Baseball Coaches Association

Discusses Storied Career and the Current State of Baseball

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “I’ve been accused of being old school; which I am,” professed legendary baseball coach Guy Anderson.

I sat down with the winner of 927 high school ballgames for a cup of coffee in Gold River on what was a perfect day for baseball. I showed up early, but Anderson was already there, sitting outside. Meeting with him for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only heard stories.

Despite the crowded patio, I knew exactly who Anderson was. You can always tell with baseball guys. We quickly jumped into conversation, as if we’d picked right back up from our last one. The spry, 85-year-old had freshly returned from a Spring Break tournament in Anaheim. Now the assistant coach for Capital Christian High School, Anderson led the Cordova Lancers program for 45 years, winning 17 league titles, five section titles and coaching 24 players who would eventually be drafted by Major League organizations.

Earlier this year he received the American Baseball Coaches Association Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award. He attended the awards ceremony at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to accept the award last January. Anderson told me what an honor the award was and how much it meant to him, but also how fortunate he is to have been able to coach such great players throughout the years.

“I compare coaching a little bit to being a jockey,” he explained. “You don’t win on a donkey; you’ve got to have a stallion to win the big ones. I’ve had some pretty good guys that could play the game very well.”

For a man who has dedicated much of his life to coaching and teaching others, he has enjoyed the fact that this award is not just about him, but a recognition of who he is and what he so proudly stands for. “This award was outstanding for me, I’ve been fortunate to be put in a few Hall of Fames. Like I said, you’ve got to have the stallions - it’s important to have the players - but this one here was more, to me, about who I am.”

I asked the self-proclaimed “old school” coach how the game has evolved over the many decades of ballgames that he has taken part of. “If you start at the Major League level, it’s the money. The money is a big difference now and it’s an entertainment rather than a sport.”

Anderson then addressed the collegiate level, summarizing a recent game that he and his Capital Christian team attended when they were in Southern California for their tournament. “The college level is still good baseball and I’ll give you an example. The leadoff batter gets a base hit and the next guy lays down a sacrifice bunt. Early in the game, go get that first run.”

What Anderson stressed throughout our conversation about today’s game was that sacrifice bunting, or any sort of personal sacrifice at all, is a dying art – especially at the pro level. In last year’s 2017 MLB season, a record 6,105 home runs were hit, topping the 5,963 belted in 2000 at the height of the Steroid Era. Strikeouts set a record for the 10th straight season at 40,104 and sacrifice bunts fell to their lowest level since the year 1900 at 925. To put that last number into perspective, there were only eight teams in 1900 and they played anywhere between 140 and 146 games compared to the 30 teams and 162 game schedule in today’s game.

But individual numbers can mean a lot more than team wins and the kind of contributions that won’t show up in the box score to today’s young players. The pressures to perform at a high level have trickled down to a lower age group, making the game a more individualistic sport. Whereas only seniors used to worry about playing at the college level, now underclassmen are receiving recruitment letters and are forced to think about the future rather than living in the moment.

“Play now, play the best you can and good things will happen,” said Anderson. “Don’t worry about next year or you may not get there.” From early recruitment to travel ball to personal coaches and trainers, there are new politics in the game of baseball.

But Anderson also understands that when you’re in the game as long as he has been, things are bound to take on a different shape over time. That’s part of life. “We lost one thing in basketball a few years ago, and we’re losing it in baseball now, and that’s the same color shoes,” Anderson joked. “You go back to the military. You’re a team when you all look alike. And that’s why I’ve always liked the Yankees; they never put the name on the back.”

Coach Guy Anderson is the very embodiment of America’s pastime - a true throwback in every sense of the word; rich in history and accolades, but willing to accept the evolution of the game, whether he fully agrees with it or not. And that’s what great coaches do. They lay down a stern foundation of the history and fundamentals of the game, and the rest, the improvisation, is up to you. And when it comes right down to it, Anderson and the game of baseball may have evolved, but they’ll never truly change.

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Center for Freedom and Flight to host event honoring the Legendary Tuskegee Airmen

By the Center for Freedom and Flight  |  2018-04-12

About the Center for Freedom and Flight:  Our mission is to honor America’s aviation heroes and technology of the past, present, and future. By providing impactful experiences through compelling exhibits, we provide a unique environment to cultivate interest and education to further the aviation industry.

A First of Its Kind Event on the West Coast

VACAVILLE, CA (MPG) - Heritage, The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is a first of its kind event in Northern California on Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd-3rd, 2018. The inaugural weekend long event will be held at the world-famous Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville, CA at the Center for Freedom and Flight. The purpose of this event is to honor the members and their families of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, educate today’s youth, and inspire future leaders in aviation.

Hosted by The Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapters of Greater Sacramento and Lee Archer Jr. (Travis AFB), Center for Freedom and Flight, Unsung Heroes: A Living History Project and EAA Chapter 1230 Nut Tree Airport.

Event highlights include Tuskegee Airmen and Heritage families in attendance, mobile Tuskegee Airmen museum, fly in with historically significant aircraft.

A fun-filled dinner and dance will be hosted on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The dinner dance will include a VIP cocktail hour, dinner, a hosted bar and music provided by the Harley White Jr. Orchestra. A free Community Open House will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heritage-swing-under-the-wings-tickets-44894283009?aff=erelpanelorg

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SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today responded to the federal government’s request for additional California National Guard personnel with the following letter. The accompanying agreement, submitted this afternoon for review and approval by the federal government, can be found here.

April 11, 2018

Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis:

Pursuant to your request, the California National Guard will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime. This program is currently staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border.

Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats. That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.

Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).

I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should “work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.”

I look forward to working with you on this important effort.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

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