No Vet Left Behind

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2018-03-07

The Stand Down is expected to serve some 200 veterans and accompanying family members.

Veterans' Stand Down Calls for Donations

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - If you’ve vowed to serve local area veterans in some way but have not figured out how, the Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Recourse Team (HART), in partnership with HART of Carmichael are going to make that vow very easy for you to hold to.

The nonprofit organizations are calling for donations, volunteers and event sponsorships for the annual Citrus Heights Veterans Stand Down, set for Tuesday, April 3 at Holy Family Church.  

The Stand Down, says Citrus Heights HART board member Darlene Lyons, founder and owner of EZ Events in Auburn, is focused 100% on delivering food, clothing and other necessities to veterans in need, as well as their families, and, even their pets.

The original Stand Down concept is inextricably linked to veterans.  Its origins, says Lyons, are tied to the services and support offered to enlisted soldiers returning to their infantry camps after combat during the Vietnam War.  Secure “base camps” were set up where troops were offered access to personal hygiene products, medical and dental services, mail pick up, and a quiet, safe respite from combat where they could spend a day or so recovering from the trauma of font-line battle and reenergize their spirits, as well as their health.

The Citrus Heights model is held annually for veterans to check in with local service providers and obtain critical VA services, obtain food, clothing and donated hygiene products and enjoy meals prepared by volunteer organizations—all under one roof.

“That’s the key to this event,” said Lyons.  “We make it possible for our veterans to come in to a one-stop location for a wide range of support services, enjoy a great breakfast provided by the Knights of Columbus, have lunch and snacks, obtain referrals for critical services and replenish toiletry supplies, get clothing and socks and much more.”

The Way Ministries of Citrus Heights will be cooking lunch for all attendees, while the Retired Marines will oversee traffic and security for the Stand Down, Lyons said.

HART was formed to support the local homeless population with a centralized support network of services.  But, says Lyons, it was revealed that among that contingency was a growing number of veterans who were struggling with figuring out the often complicated process to accessing VA services and benefit programs, not to mention they needed food, clothing and other essentials. 

“We started out of course by forming the HART team to deal with homeless needs, but when we got more deeply involved in the community, we found out that there was a growing number of veterans among that group and we felt we had to do more,” Lyons said.

The Stand Down, which is expected to serve some 200 veterans and accompanying family members, goes well beyond delivering the basics.  Through the help of donations and support from community and corporate sponsors, the Stand Down will also offer veterans access to employment counseling, CalVet Benefit referrals, medical, vision and dental services, flu shots, eyeglasses, pet care, including microchipping, nail clipping and more, and even haircuts and supplies to keep healthy.

Many homeless and housed veterans alike are struggling with substance abuse.  For them, representatives from treatment facilities will be on hand to connect them with appropriate recover services if they want them.  If someone needs to renew their driver’s license or obtain a bus pass, there will be help on hand for that, too.  There will even be representative providing legal aid support to veterans who have legal issues to sort out but need help getting started.

“Essentially this is a day for veterans to join under one roof to get the help they need to live lives of dignity,” said Lyons.  “We have amazing volunteers, but we always need more of them.  And, we have wonderful community and corporate sponsors who support this event, as well.

Current corporate sponsors include Target, Quick Quack Car Wash, Dignity Health, Chase Bank and Stones Gambling Hall.  The Stand Down is also supported by a vast number of Citrus Heights-based organizations including Sunrise Marketplace, Inc., the Auburn Boulevard Business Association, Sylvan Ranch Community Garden, Sunrise Food Ministry and Francis House, and through key partnerships with the Citrus Heights Police Department and Sacramento elected officials, among others.

Socks, boots, T-shirts, warm jackets, shampoo, toothpaste, backpacks and pet food are at the top of the list of items needed for the veterans, said Lyons.  Volunteers are needed, as well, to help sort through donations and serve food.

“It takes an army,” said Lyons.  “We need supporters and volunteers to help us make this day of service for our veterans a successful one.”

Lyons said shuttle service to and from the Stand Down will also be available for those who do not have transportation.

Bright Shining Stars

Story and photos by Jacqueline Fox  |  2018-03-16

Third from left, front row, Janice Wagaman, Volunteer Director, Front Street Animal Shelter and 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Coordinator of the year joins members of the board of directors from DOVIA.

DOVIA Annual Awards Shines a Light on Outstanding Volunteers

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - How do you inspire a team of volunteers not to roll their eyes when asked to do perhaps the most humble of tasks - scooping up dog waste?

With a lot of patience and a willingness to meet them where they are at, says Janice Wagaman, who was selected by the Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) March 8 as the agency’s 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Coordinator of the Year.  

DOVIA Sacramento is a non-profit organization providing support, workshops and trainings for professional volunteer managers at agencies across the county.

For the last five and a half years, Wagaman has served as the director of volunteers at the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento.  Wagaman is tasked with the job of overseeing roughly 2,400 volunteers at the shelter, which range from high school students to elderly adults with retirement time on their hands - all of whom come in with various levels of passion and commitment for service and, of course, an unwavering dedication to helping animals.

“It’s a tough job, lots of passion there, and often it is very emotional,” said Wagaman.  “But I absolutely would not have any other job in the world,” said Wagaman.  “In my case, one of the biggest challenges is inspiring new volunteers who are starting out at the first level to understand the importance of some of the more menial tasks we have to get done, which is go and pick up poop.  And the other challenge is that, with so many people and so many different levels of compassion and passion for being of service at the shelter, I don’t always have the time I would like to have to get to know all of my volunteers on a personal level.”

Under her directorship, Wagaman has created a new volunteer program called “SMART (Sacramento Missing Animal Response Team) Pet Alert, which has played an instrumental role in helping to boost the number of the shelter’s lost animals who are returned to their owners from 23 percent to nearly 30 percent. 

“My volunteers are really pushing this at an amazing level,” said Wagaman, one of three volunteers nominated for the award. “They are using social media aps and programs, like Next Door and Facebook to help reconnect lost animals with their owners and it is having a huge impact.  I’m super proud of them and this program.”

In addition, the shelter’s overall “Leave Live Rate” under Wagaman’s direction is at 87 percent - that means 87 percent of the animals brought in to the shelter due to separation from their owners, abandonment or other reasons, are being rehomed each year.

“That’s a good number,” said Wagaman.  “Of course, we’d love to see 100 percent, but we are proud and always working toward the goal.”

The annual awards also include recognition for Outstanding Youth Volunteers.  Taking that award for 2018 was Janae Bonnell, 18, a senior at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills.  Bonnell has worked as a volunteer at Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento since 2016.  One of 14 young volunteers nominated for the 2018 award, she plans on a career in pre-med.  She has clocked hundreds of hours as a volunteer working in, among other places, the hospital’s pre-operation unit, post-anesthesia care unit, operating rooms and admissions department.

“Really, this is amazing, but I am very impressed with all of the other nominees who are volunteering out there like me,” said Bonnell, as she posed for photos alongside her parents and sister.  “I love working with people and of course being at Shriners gives me valuable experience that goes along with what I want to do, which is pre-med.”

Bonnell took home a scholarship for $500 as part of her award.

Included among the list of nominees for the Outstanding Youth Volunteers is Carmichael resident and El Camino High School senior, Konark Mangudkar, honored for his volunteer work at Eskaton Village Carmichael since 2016.  He is interested in a career in neuroscience and technology and has an infinity for working with seniors and in the arena of memory care.

“I get a lot out of working with the elderly, especially those with memory loss issues,” said Mangudkar.  “I know they often don’t know who I am, but sometimes they do. It’s a very rewarding place to help out.  I know I am getting more out of this than I expected at first.”

The other nominees in the Outstanding Youth Volunteers category were Ivori White, with the Sacramento Public Library, North Natomas branch; Adrian McCauley, Sacramento Public Library; Rachel Neches, Reading Partners Sacramento; Cassandra Ng, City of Sacramento Volunteer Program; Cassidy Schreiner Girl Scouts, Friends of Meals on Wheels; Jihad “Gigi” Hamid, Sacramento Public Library, Arden Dimick; Cecilia Uribe-Smith, Sacramento Public Library-Arden Dimick; Celio Gonzalez, Sacramento Public Library, Galt; Isabel Nguyen, Kaiser South Sacramento; Hadley Nevin, Fairytale Town; Isabel Gatdula, Angelique Ashby’s Youth Action Corps and Emily Chin-Ito, ACC Senior Services.

The two other nominees for Outstanding Volunteer Coordinators adult category are Jordon Powell, American River Parkway Foundation and Katie Curler, Alzheimer’s Association.

...

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - A two-year criminal investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Valley Division Investigative Services Unit, culminated yesterday in the arrests of five employees from Sacramento County-based Davis Tow Incorporated (Davis Tow), which included the owners. 

The investigation revealed Davis Tow developed business practices that involved the illegal towing of vehicles from commercial properties in the area of Sleep Train Arena in order to profit from the towing and impound fees. 

Davis Tow routinely failed to properly report private property tows resulting in increased storage fees and often the lien sale of the vehicles at a profit to Davis Tow.  Each of the individuals listed below were arrested and charged with 29 counts of auto theft (10851(a) V.C.) and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime (182(a)(1) P.C.).  Bail for each person has been set at $1,000,000. 


Scott Gordon Davis, 54 – Placerville                                                        

Christopher Gerald Davis, 46 – Antelope                                                                

Leslie James McKenzie, 50 – Chico                                                            


Andrew Robert Harless, 30 – Homewood

Erik Steven Dyer, 37 – Elverta                      

The investigation thus far has identified more than 250 victims resulting in approximately $100,000 in damages.  If you feel that you have been a victim of an unlawfully towed vehicle by Davis Tow, please go to, where you can complete an incident report or call the California Highway Patrol at (916) 731-6431.


...

Wildlife Care Association's Bloom Boom Flower Power Planting Event Has Been Rained Out

By Rick Reed  |  2018-03-15

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Wildlife Care Association Bloom Boom Flower Power planting event set for Saturday March 17th has been rained out. Standing water, muddy soil and more rain forecast will make tilling and planting impossible.

The event is now rescheduled for Saturday, April 14th 12pm – 4 pm at Wildlife Care Association, 5211 Patrol Road, McClellan Park.

Wildlife Care Association of Sacramento is engaging ‘flower power’ to brighten the non-profit’s rehabilitation facility at McClellan Park. The state’s second largest volunteer wildlife rehab group is transforming the old USAF Radar dome it now calls home with the bright faces of sunflowers!

Volunteers are needed to help plant a sunflower garden with assistance from Woodland’s Dr. Tom Heaton, creator of fabulous hybrid sunflower seeds. His company Sunflower Selections will provide seed for their newest creation in White Sunflower hybrids and Yellow varieties to provide seeds for wildlife. Led by Sacramento’s own garden star, Plant Lady Marlene Simon and volunteer’s will create a sunflower line garden in a day!

The event is now set for Saturday April 14th and volunteers are needed to help create a burst of color with flower power. to take part in the Bloom Boom event this April.

If you find wildlife in distress call 916-965-WILD for help.

...

SACRAMENT REGION, CA (MPG) - WHAT: As Toys “R” Us announces the closure of 800 U.S. stores affecting as many as 33,000 jobs, Thunder Valley Casino Resort seeks to immediately hire qualified Toys “R” Us employees at a Job Fair on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We have immediate openings for qualified candidates, with opportunities to advance,” said Debi Fetzner, Vice President of Human Resources. “Thunder Valley is one of the area’s premier places to work, with great benefits and supportive team environment. We look forward to meeting anyone interested in learning more about a career in the hospitality industry.”

Benefits for full-time employees include medical, dental, vision, and vacation. All Thunder Valley employees enjoy free parking, one free meal per shift, 401k matching funds, leadership development training, opportunity to advance, free health and wellness counseling, reward incentives, and discounts at Thunder Valley including 30% off at the Spa and Gift Shop, 10% off at restaurants and discounts for select concerts.

Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and successfully pass a drug and background check in order to work at Thunder Valley. To work in positions on the casino floor, candidates must be 21 years of age.

All candidates must be able to work weekends and holidays. Please apply online at before attending the job fair.

WHEN:          Saturday, March 17    

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

WHERE:       Thunder Valley Casino Resort    

Employment Center

1200 Athens Avenue

Lincoln, CA 95648



...

Annual Roseville Gem Show Rocks On for 2018

By MPG Staff  |  2018-03-15

Featured (above) a budding “rockhound” under supervision as she delicately sorts through a tray of semi -precious stones during the Gem Hunt event during the Gem Show. Photo courtesy Roseville Rock Rollers.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Roseville Rock Rollers 56th Annual Gem, Jewelry, Fossil, and Mineral Show will take place at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville March 24-25. Hosted by the Roseville Rock Rollers, also known as the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society, this year’s show features gemstones, jewelry, fossils and minerals and has something for the whole family.

The group was established in 1960 as a group of local “rockhounds,” according to show chair James Hutchings. That group, deeply interested in the science and art of the earths' natural beauty in rocks and minerals, first met in homes and then as their numbers grew, expanded to the use of a local school room.

This year’s show has dozens of exhibits for attendees, such as jewelry, metal, wire and glass beading arts, fossils, crystals and minerals, but that’s not all. So that attendees aren’t rushed, the show also provides a cafeteria. “A very fine hot lunch is available at our own kitchen in Johnson Hall,” states Hutchings. The group has put together a menu of very reasonably priced food and beverages will also be available at the show’s cafeteria.

In addition to exhibits, classes and demonstrations, show goers can pan for gold, purchase equipment, buy raffle tickets, have rocks, gems and mineral identified by experts or make purchases at a silent auction.

Wishing to share the art and science of the mineral world, in the tradition of gem and mineral shows around the world, the Roseville Rock Rollers established their own gem and mineral show around 1962. The society grew, the show grew, and the show and the Society moved to the Placer County Fairgrounds where it continues today.

“As the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society has expanded, the show expanded to support the costs associated with its programs, such as the Rookie Rock Rollers, juniors program, the Annual Scholarship program to Geology Students at Sacramento State Geology Department, and our year round Lapidary shop on the fairgrounds,” said Hutchings. “The lapidary shop on the Fair Grounds is the heart and soul of our Society, where we teach lapidary arts, jewelry fabrication, conduct mineral identification and mini tail gate rock sales.”

Hutchings developed his love for “rockhounding” at an early age. “Personally, I as most young people, was fascinated with rocks minerals and crystals. My parents encouraged me with my first Golden Book of Rocks and Minerals, a book still in current print, and my first rock pick.”

At the age of 38, he became seriously interested in rockhounding and gold mining, attending a mineral identification course at Sierra College, next pursuing an in depth understanding the chemistry and physics that form “these miracles in the earth.” He has put that knowledge to good use today providing what he refers to as a “mini lab” during the show to test rocks, minerals, and gems to provide guest an idea of materials they have in their possession.

While the Rock Rollers must generate funds to keep their programs operating, the primary purpose of any Gem and Mineral Show is to promote the Art and Science of the mineral world, according to Hutchings.

Like many of the group members, an early exposure to rockhounding and lapidary arts often provides a genesis of interest that often blossoms later in life, Hutchings said. “We really work hard, to attract the parents who want to expose their children to the natural world and foster that spark.”

There are presentations and activities for youngsters on identifying and handling specimens of all kinds. Students and Scouts can reinforce their California Rock Cycle curriculum and merit badge information. Scouts can have their mineral finds evaluated for rock type or mineral and validated for their required collection.

Hutchings suggests visitors come early and plan on spending the day at the show. “We take over the entire fairgrounds with exhibits, demonstrators, and vendors.” 

Not to be missed are real treasures the group will have on display. “Folks tend to walk by the display cases,” he said. “These simple, well lighted boxes contain the best of the best of personal collections of minerals in variety or by theme. The displays are, ‘literally’ miniature museums showcasing specimens in the possession of individuals who have spent a lifetime collecting the best of the best of their favorite species of rock or mineral,” said Hutchings.

“We are looking for the general public who are looking for gem stones, set and unset, handmade, and fine art jewelry, and mineral specimens from every corner of the world! We find the single most striking comment from folks who, by accident, end up at our show is, “I had no idea such things existed in the world!’’

For more information, tickets and coupons, visit the group’s website at

Contributed by James Hutchings, Roseville Rock Rollers Show Chair


...

Trump: Gov. Brown Doing “Very Poor Job” Running State

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-14

President Donald Trump expressed his feelings towards Governor Jerry Brown during his California visit.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - President Donald Trump visited the great state of California to inspect border types near San Diego on Tuesday. He took time out of his visit to express his feelings regarding Governor Jerry Brown’s lack of control over the state.

“Governor Brown does a very poor job running California,” Trump said. “They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living.”

Trump’s long-awaited, highly anticipated visit to California did not come without a firestorm of adolescent tweets from state leaders in attempt to retaliate against the president’s claims.

Brown responded by tweeting, “Thanks for the shout-out, @realDonaldTrump. But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts”

#Facts or not, Trump still claims that political leaders in California are actually in favor of walls, saying, “The state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas, they don’t tell you that.”

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom responded with a tweet of his own: “California is not "begging" you for this wall. Your wall is a waste of money and is literally impossible to complete. It will look more like a piece of swiss cheese than an insurmountable barrier. It's nothing more than a 6th century solution to a 21st century problem.”

Despite all of the animosity, Trump’s visit to California lasted just one day. After spending time inspecting wall prototypes built to his specs, he later spoke at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar before traveling to a Beverly Hills fundraiser that was expected to raise $5 million for the Republican National Committee.

...

Sacramento County Probation Officers Endorse Scott Jones for Sheriff 

Press Release  |  2018-03-14

Sheriff Scott Jones

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Today the Sacramento County Probation Association announced their unanimous endorsement of Scott Jones for Sheriff.  SCPA represents Sacramento County Probation Officers in the Youth Detention Facility, Adult & Juvenile Field Supervision, Community Corrections, and the Adult & Juvenile Court Services.

“Jones dedication and commitment to holding offenders accountable for their crimes, while at the same time enacting restorative justice for victims, is exactly what the citizens of Sacramento County need and deserve,” said SCPA President Greg Stuber.  “We strongly believe in his ability to make the Sacramento area a better place to live and look forward to working with him to achieve this outcome.”

Sacramento County Probation Officers joins the Sacramento Police Officers and Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ which announced endorsements earlier.

Under Jones’ leadership, crime in the unincorporated area has dropped over 20% - more than any jurisdiction in the region.  The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department has been rebuilt into a modern police force that has become among the most diverse and technologically advanced agencies in the region.  

Jones is running for a final term to complete several initiatives he launched, including implementing a new body-camera program to increase trust and accountability, expanding the youth outreach efforts he started, enhancing coordination between county and city law enforcement and other public safety agencies, and improving recruitment and leadership development for veterans, women and minority officers.

...

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Did you know that household leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in the United States? That’s enough water to take 24 billion baths or fill up 40 million swimming pools!

That little drip from the kitchen faucet might not seem like much, but it can add up to a lot of water wasted. A faucet leaking just 10 drips per minute can waste up to 526 gallons of water a year. And a toilet that is constantly running can waste hundreds of gallons of water each day. In fact, the average American household loses 10,000 gallons a year to leaks – more than enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool.

So get ready to be a leak detective and discover the hidden leaks in your home. Here's what you need to do:

  • Examine your water bill for clues. If you see an unusual spike in your water usage from one month to next, it’s likely you have a leak.
  • Check all your faucets and showerheads for leaks and loose connections.
  • Look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks for pools of water and rusty pipes.
  • Patrol your yard and be on the look out for soggy spots.
  • Open toilet tank and check the water level it should be ½” to 1” below the over-fill tube. If it is higher, then adjust the float arm to lower the water level. If that is okay, add some drops of food coloring or a toilet dye tab to the tank of your toilet. If the colored water appears in the bowl within 15 minutes, you have a leak in the toilet flapper.
  • If you want some help in sleuthing out leaks, set up a Water Wise House Call. One of Sacramento Suburban Water District’s water conservation professionals will do a complete survey of your home and recommend other ways you can use water efficiently.

And if you are replacing old fixtures or decide to upgrade your toilet, washing machine or dishwasher, make sure to look for a WaterSense- labeled one. SSWD has rebates available to help pay for the cost of some of these upgrades.

SSWD’s Leak Detection Team

Each year, SSWD surveys 60 miles of our water system for leaks with the latest acoustic leak detection technology. These devices can “listen” for vibrations from large or small leaks by placing a microphone against a copper service line, fire hydrant or valve. Once the location of the leak is determined, our team gets to work replacing the line or repairing the break.

If you think you see a sign of a leak in your area, such as water bubbling up out of the street or sidewalk, please contact the SSWD administrative office at 916.972.7171 to let us know, and we’ll have a team out there right away to investigate.

...

United Way Launches Read to Succeed Campaign

By Kate Towson  |  2018-03-09

Students from the Robla School District receive book donations from United Way. Photo courtesy United Way

Community Members Encouraged to Donate Books and Volunteer to Install Little Librarie

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In celebration of National Literacy Month, United Way is launching the Read to Succeed campaign which promotes literacy in students and families in the Sacramento community. During the month of March, community members are encouraged to participate in the campaign by donating books, volunteering and sponsoring the installation of eight Little Libraries that will be placed in four Sacramento school districts. The Read to Succeed campaign is part of United Way’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond.

 “We know that when children in our schools are reading at grade level, they are four times more likely to graduate from high school,” said Stephanie Bray, United Way California Capital Region president and CEO. “Read to Succeed focuses on literacy because it directly impacts a child’s ability to reach their full potential. When we are able to encourage children to begin reading from an early age, we are laying a foundation for a lifetime of success.”

Community members who are interested in supporting literacy can donate to the Read to Succeed Virtual Book Drive, sponsor a Little Library, or volunteer to install the libraries. For more information visit:

“It’s never too early to help a child start reading,” Bray said. “And with the help of our community, we can truly make a difference in the lives of children.”

The Read to Succeed campaign is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college or career. To donate or volunteer:

...Read More!