Career Waitress Serves Community for 35 Years

Story and photos by Steve Liddick  |  2016-04-18
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Jean Payne (center) has worked at Rudy’s Hideaway restaurant in Rancho Cordova for 35 years. Ron Radford (at left) has been a waiter at Rudy’s for 18 years. Owner Steve Ryan (at right) says it would be a very different place without them.

If you stop off for dinner some evening at Rudy’s Hideaway, Lobsterhouse and Grill, on Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, chances are excellent you will run into Jean Payne. In fact, if you had gone to Rudy’s anytime in the last three-and-a-half decades it is likely you would have seen the friendly British import.

“It will be 35 years in April,” the Citrus Heights resident and career waitress said. Long ago it was common to have the same job for a working lifetime. In this era of job insecurity, 35-years of continuous employment is a newsworthy span of time. Most people today either leave the job for another one or—more likely—their job leaves them.

“Too lazy to look for another job,” she said with a chuckle.

Absolutely no one would describe Payne as “lazy,” least of all her employer. She has been at Rudy’s through two ownerships and three managers, including the original owner, the late Rupert “Rudy” Rudis, then his son, Rich, and the current owner, Steve Ryan, who can’t say enough good things about Jean.

“She’s always here early,” Ryan said. “If we’re real busy, Jean never complains if she is assigned extra tables.”

The admiration is mutual. Payne said she and Steve have a great employee-employer relationship.

“I could have retired years ago, but they treat me good,” Payne said, traces of her British accent still present.

She came to the U.S. as a nanny in 1962. She stayed in that job for just two years and has been in this country ever since. “I wanted to travel,” Payne said. America is as far as she got.

Her work at Rudy’s is hard sometimes, but it is also recreational because of her relationship with customers. “I enjoy the job. I go down to socialize more than anything else.”

Ron Radford is also a long-time Rudy’s waiter. “Eighteen year May First,” Ron said. “It’s a pleasant place to work.” Most of the other employees have also been there for a long time, although Payne holds the record. Especially unique when you realize that personnel turnover is estimated at 200-percent in the food service industry.

Some of the regulars ask to be seated in Payne’s service area. “People seek her out,” Steve Ryan said. “Same with Ron.” Ron Radford has been a waiter at Rudy’s for 18 years. “We know people who don’t come in if Ron isn’t here. Both are very good at remembering customers’ names, their kids, their parents, their dogs.”

Steve Ryan was asked what life would be like for him if Jean and Ron suddenly left Rudy’s. He looked as though he had been struck by lightning and could not immediately come up with the words. When he did, it was clear that such a loss would seriously impact business.

Payne has served some of her regulars scores of times over the many years she has worked at Rudy’s and has gotten to know many of them very well. “I know their grandchildren,” she said.

Before moving to northern California all those years ago, she held the same job in Laguna Beach and in celebrity-packed Newport Beach. Her customers there included John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Rose Marie, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and gravel-voiced actor Andy Devine, about whom she says, “he was such a nice man.”

Her husband, Robert, is also retired. That is another reason she continues to work. “We can’t be home at the same time,” she said with a laugh. “You wouldn’t want to be together 24/seven.”

Don’t expect to find Jean Payne at work on Sundays, Mondays, or Thursdays. “Those are my days off,” she said.

Even a career girl who loves her job has to have some time off.

Citrus Heights Radio

Leanne M. Wheeler, 47, of Citrus Heights, has been appointed to the California Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention. Wheeler has been an education programs consultant at the California Department of Education since 2001. She was an administrative assistant and grant coordinator liaison at the San Juan Unified School District’s Education for Homeless Children and Youths program from 1999 to 2001 and a teacher at Dyer-Kelly Elementary School from 1994 to 1999. Wheeler earned a Master of Arts degree in education administration from Chapman University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Wheeler is registered without party preference.


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Public Library to Shake Taboo on Death

Source: Sacramento Public Library  |  2016-04-29

In her memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Doughty helps to demystify death by sharing her experience working in a Bay Area crematorium. Photo courtesy The Order of the Good Death

Sacramento Public Library will shake the taboo off of death during the second session of its new community discussion series called “Let’s Talk About.”

The discussion will focus on why our society doesn’t openly talk about death. Facilitating the discussion will be author Caitlin Doughty and local law enforcement Chaplain Jenny Ebinger.

In her memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Doughty helps to demystify death by sharing her experience working in a Bay Area crematorium. Today, as a modern mortician, she has founded the death acceptance collective, The Order of the Good Death, and reaches nearly 75,000 people with her “Ask a Mortician” YouTube series.

Chaplain Jenny Ebinger helps local families to acknowledge and cope with death. As an active law enforcement chaplain volunteer, she supports local officials, families and victims as they deal with death.

The discussion takes place on Sunday, May 15th from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria located at 828 I Street in Sacramento. Seating is limited. Register for the event at www.letstalksacramento.org.

Sacramento Public Library’s new discussion series called, “Let’s Talk About” is designed to engage the local community in the lost art of conversation. It’s a meetup for your mind.

The series addresses topics society doesn’t often discuss and provides resources for people to educate themselves on those topics.

Sacramento Public Library will provide a respectful environment for the discussions to take place. The community is invited to join the discussion as an observer or a thoughtful contributor.

For more information, visit www.letstalksacramento.org.


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Superheroes Walk for Life

Source: Sacramento Life Center  |  2016-04-29

Local residents are invited to dress up as their favorite superheroes and join Sacramento Life Center’s Heroes Walk for Life on May 14th at Maidu Park in Roseville from 8:30 to 12:30 p.m. The 2K and 5K walk and fun run will raise funds for free pregnancy services at the Sacramento Life Center, benefiting low-income pregnant women and teens. The family-friendly event will include a rally, toddler dash, costume contest, bounce houses, a carnival and more. Registration is $25, but free for kids ages 12 and under. For more information, to sign up or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org or www.walkingheroes.org.

“This is a great opportunity for families, individuals and teams to be heroes for mothers and babies in need of care," said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “This will be a fun day celebrating the amazing work being done in our community to ensure low-income pregnant women and teens are well cared for.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy testing, STI testing, ultrasounds, advocacy for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.


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Boating Scheduled to Resume at Pyramid Lake on May 2

Source: DWR Public Affairs Office  |  2016-04-28

Water Level Was Lowered to Allow Maintenance at Nearby Castaic Powerplant

Pyramid Lake’s water level will have risen enough following a planned drawdown over the past week that boating on the lake will resume on May 2, the Department of Water Resources announced today.

Boating was suspended on Friday April 22 as the water level was lowered to facilitate maintenance work at the nearby Castaic Powerplant. The drawdown lowered Pyramid Lake’s level from 2,571 feet to 2,563 feet and made the boat ramp unusable.

Boating was suspended to ensure boaters would not be left without an ability to remove their boats from the lake once the boat ramp became inoperable. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cleared the lake of boats on April 22, and the ramp was barricaded and the boating concession closed.

Inflows from the State Water Project to Pyramid Lake have slowly increased the lake’s storage in the past week, and the boat ramp will be available for use once again on Monday morning.

Scheduled water deliveries to Southern California customers continued without interruption during the Castaic Powerplant work.


California has been dealing with the effects of drought for five years. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.


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Each year, the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. If you receive correspondence from them:

Don’t panic. You can usually deal with a notice simply by responding to it.

Most IRS notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice has specific instructions, so read your notice carefully because it will tell you what you need to do.

Your notice will likely be about changes to your account, taxes you owe or a payment request. However, your notice may ask you for more information about a specific issue.

If your notice says that the IRS changed or corrected your tax return, review the information and compare it with your original return.

If you agree with the notice, you usually don’t need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment.

If you don’t agree with the notice, you need to respond. Write a letter that explains why you disagree, and include information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your response with the contact stub at the bottom of the notice to the address on the contact stub. Allow at least 30 days for a response.

For most notices, you won’t need to call or visit a walk-in center. If you have questions, call the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Be sure to have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call.

Always keep copies of any notices you receive with your tax records.

Be alert for tax scams. The IRS sends letters and notices by mail. They don’t contact people by email or social media to ask for personal or financial information. If you owe tax, you have several payment options. The IRS won’t demand that you pay a certain way, such as prepaid debit or credit card.

For more on this topic, visit www.IRS.gov. Click on the link ‘Responding to a Notice’ at the bottom center of the home page. Also, see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. You can get it on www.IRS.gov/forms at any time.

If you need to make a payment visit www.IRS.gov/payments or use the IRS2Go app to make payment with Direct Pay for free, or by debit or credit card through an approved payment processor for a fee.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on www.IRS.gov.


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The American Lung Association State of the Air 2016 released recently found that the Sacramento region continues to make significant gains in reducing pollution, reporting fewer particle pollution days and the lowest ever unhealthy ozone days.

“The State of the Air 2016 report shows us that our clean air laws are working but we must increase our efforts to cut pollution that puts lives in our community at risk,” said Olivia J. (Gertz) Diaz-Lapham, President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California. “Pollution from petroleum fuels and other sources is harming our residents, contributing to the incidence of asthma and other chronic lung conditions. Air pollution costs our communities in health care spending, lost productivity, reduced quality and length of life.”

Covering air pollution data collected in 2012 to 2014, the report measures the two most widespread pollutants, ozone and particle pollution, which are dangerous to public health and can be deadly. Unhealthy ozone days have fallen by 53 percent, and unhealthy spikes in particle pollution have fallen by 76 percent over the course of the State of the Air.

Moreover, annual particle pollution levels have dropped by 23 percent. These improvements were driven by passenger vehicle and diesel emission controls, along with strong local wood burning restrictions. The Sacramento metropolitan region includes El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

Despite these improvements, more still needs to be done as all counties in the region except Yolo County received a failing grade for ozone pollution, and both Placer and Sacramento failed for daily particle pollution. Drought weather conditions, combined with ongoing traffic, diesel and wood smoke pollution contribute to high levels of pollution in the region.

Climate change is a growing threat to air quality in California. Drought weather conditions and wildfires related to climate change are contributing to elevated levels of particle pollution in the San Joaquin Valley and other areas of the state. Key sources of soot include wood burning devices, transportation sources such as diesel engines in trucks, buses and freight, and smoke from wildfires. These soot particles are so small that they can lodge deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, and can even be lethal. In the Sacramento region, more than 200,000 residents have asthma, including 52,000 children.

“Sacramento continues to have air quality challenges but we are making progress in cleaning up the air. We know that climate change factors are contributing to increased levels of ozone and particle pollution, and will make it harder to meet federal health-based standards,” said David Tom Cooke, MD, Head of the UC Davis Section of General Thoracic Surgery and member of the Lung Association’s volunteer governing board. “Our most vulnerable loved ones, including children and seniors and those battling lung diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema, suffer the greatest. We must redouble our efforts to transition off of fossil fuels for transportation and energy generation by investing in zero emissions solutions.”

To address the challenge of air pollution and climate change, the American Lung Association in California and major health and medical organizations urge the public and policy leaders to strongly support the federal Clean Air Act and the federal Clean Power Plan as well as California’s strong clean energy and clean air policies.  This year the lung association is also calling for support of Senate Bill 1383 (Lara) to set clear targets for reducing “super pollutants” like black carbon from diesel exhaust and wood burning that threaten public health locally and are accelerating climate change. 

For more information on the State of the Air 2016 report, the public should visit: www.stateoftheair.org/california2016.

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting For Air” through research, education, and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org/california.


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SCSO Caps 20th Season with European Masterworks and New CD Release

Source: SCSO  |  2016-04-21

The Sacramento Community Center Theater will cap their 20th season with a performance featuring three contrasting choral orchestral works by Haydn, Vaughan Williams, and Dvoràk. Photo courtesy SCSO

Conductor Donald Kendrick and the SCSO plan to cap their landmark 20th season on May 14th at 8 p.m. at the Sacramento Community Center Theater with a performance featuring three contrasting choral orchestral works by Haydn, Vaughan Williams, and Dvoràk. But the celebration doesn’t end there! The evening will also serve as a huge CD release party as the SCSO plans to unveil its 9th professionally mastered CD — Carmina Burana II — at this year-end performance.

Haydn’s Harmonimesse will serve as the evening’s main musical fare, complemented by Vaughan Williams’ An Oxford Elegy, and Dvoràk’s Psalm 149 on the first half of the concert.

“The Harmoniemesse will bring back so many warm memories as this was the amazing work that we featured during our first self-funded European tour to Munich, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in 2004,” said Conductor Donald Kendrick. Four outstanding soloists and narrator Phillip Rider will join the SCSO Team on stage for this performance.

“A post concert reception, projected supertitle translations, and Don Kendrick’s electric and educational pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. will enhance the evening’s enjoyment for our concert attendees,” added SCSO Board Member Charlene Black.

According to SCSO President James McCormick, “Our new CD is a live recording of our very well-received Carmina Burana performance on March 5th, 2016 at the Community Center Theater. We’re thrilled that the CD will also showcase the American première of English composer Jonathan Dove’s Psalms for Leo. The amazing 12-page color CD insert promises to add great value to the CD itself.”

SCSO European Masterworks tickets are $30 to $45 with a 50 percent discount for students. For tickets, call the Sacramento Community Center Box Office at (916) 808-5181 or visit sacramentochoral.com for both tickets and information.

For more information about this press release, please contact Jeannie Brown, Director of Marketing at (916) 496-0175 or President, James McCormick at (916) 536-9065.


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Senator Gaines’ Classic Car Collector Bill Passes

Source: Office of Senator Gaines  |  2016-04-20

Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) recently announced that his Senate Bill 1239, which would exempt collector vehicles manufactured prior to the 1981 model year from biennial smog-check inspections, passed out of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing with bipartisan support and is now on its way to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

“Collector cars and trucks are a unique and important part of California history and need to be preserved,” said Senator Gaines. “Extending the exemption to 1981 is a common-sense way to encourage that these vehicles remain on display for all to see, drive and enjoy.”

Current law allows smog-check exemptions for classic or collector cars for vehicles model year 1975 or older. However, there are many vehicles that were built after 1975 that are currently owned and operated as collector cars, such as late seventies and early eighties Corvettes, Mustangs and Mopars. Many of these vehicles are featured in classic car shows and community parades and events throughout California that help support the economy.

In order to qualify for the exemption, owners of classic and collector vehicles must insure their cars with collector car insurance. Collector car insurance places specific mileage restrictions on the vehicles, as dictated by the insurance company. Vehicles are often limited to a usage cap of around 5,000 miles in a year. This ensures the integrity of the vehicle stays intact, as well as minimizes the environmental impact that the smog check regulates.

According to the Association of California Car Clubs, there are approximately 162,000 vehicles with model years covered by this bill. Compared to the approximately 27 million motor vehicles in California, this bill will provide an exemption to just over one half of one percent of vehicles on the road today.

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


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Sacramento Life Center Receives $12.5k From American River Bank to Care for Low-Income Pregnant Women

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2016-04-20

Marie Leatherby of Sacramento Life Center accepts a check from American River Bank to help low-income pregnant women. Photo courtesy Kristin Thébaud Communications

American River Bank has awarded a $12,500 grant to Sacramento Life Center for the nonprofit’s Mobile Medical Clinics that provide free medical services to low-income pregnant women, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling, education and resource referrals.

“This grant from American River Bank will almost fully cover the costs of having one of our Mobile Medical Clinics on the road one day a week for a year,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are grateful to American River Bank for supporting low-income pregnant women in our community and understanding the importance of women receiving care in their own neighborhood so transportation isn’t a barrier.”

For a schedule for the Mobile Medical Clinics, visit www.svpclinic.com.

“The Sacramento Life Center does amazing work coming alongside and supporting young women in need,” said David Taber, president and CEO, American River Bank. “This organization is truly a lifesaver.”

The Sacramento Life Center's mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.


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