SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the first-year funding for the 2018-20 Cultural Arts Awards Program (CAA) in the amount $336,000. These funds will be distributed to the 59 local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that were selected as recipients of the CAA Program by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

Funded by Sacramento County and the City of Sacramento since 1991, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is a public agency devoted to supporting, promoting and advancing the arts in the region that also makes funding available to arts and nonprofit organizations with arts programming through the CAA Program that is offered every three years. 

The CAA Program grants assist with general operating expenses or project support to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, government arts agencies, arts service organizations and community organizations with arts programming. These grants are funded annually from County Transient Occupancy Tax to support and enhance the quality of life in Sacramento through the support of public performances, exhibitions, festivals and major outreach programs for youths and disadvantaged populations.  

Each of the 2018-20 CAA Program grantees conduct outreach programs targeting schools, senior citizens, and/or neighborhoods with limited cultural activities. For this cycle, the grantees include: theater, music, visual arts, dance, arts service, folk of traditional arts, media, literary, film, multi-disciplinary and community-based organizations; and multicultural and culturally specific groups such as Asian, Latino/ Hispanic, African-American and groups that serve disabled and economically disadvantaged communities.

The application process for the 2018-20 CAA grant cycle began in April 2017 during which the Arts Commission received a total of 66 applications and after a comprehensive review process, recipients were scored and selected. Funding for the second and third year of the cycle is contingent on several factors including the submittal of a Mid-Cycle report that the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission staff will use to determine additional funding.

For more information about the CAA Program contact the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – The most in-depth drowsy driving research ever conducted in the U.S. found that the percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The new research provides an unprecedented analysis of in-vehicle dashcam video from more than 700 crashes, confirming that the danger of drowsy driving soars above official estimates. The difficulty in detecting drowsiness following a crash makes drowsy driving one of the most under reported traffic safety issues, according to AAA.

“Drowsy driving is a bigger traffic safety issue than federal estimates show,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk. By conducting an in-depth analysis using video of everyday drivers, we can now better assess if a driver was fatigued in the moments leading up to a crash.”

In the study, researchers examined video of drivers’ faces in the three minutes leading up to a crash. Using a scientific measure linking the percentage of time a person’s eyes are closed to their level of drowsiness, the researchers determined that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved drowsiness. Federal estimates indicate drowsiness is a factor in only one to two percent of crashes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours daily. In a recent related AAA Foundation survey, 29 percent of drivers admitted to driving when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month.

“As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can seem harmless,” said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California. “But missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”

Knowing the warning signs of drowsiness can help drivers avoid dozing off behind the wheel. The most common symptoms include:

  • Having trouble keeping your eyes open

  • Drifting from your lane

  • Not remembering the last few miles driven

Short term tactics like drinking coffee, singing, rolling down the window will not work -- the only antidote for drowsiness is sleep. AAA recommends that drivers:

  • Travel at times of the day when they are normally awake

  • Avoid heavy foods

  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment

For longer trips, drivers should:

  • Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles

  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving

  • Do not underestimate the power of a quick nap. Pulling into a rest stop and taking a quick catnap -- at least 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes of sleep-- can help to keep you alert on the road.

To help drivers determine if their medications may cause drowsiness, AAA and the AAA Foundation developed Roadwise Rx, a free and confidential online tool that generates personalized feedback about how the interactions between prescription, over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements can affect safety behind the wheel.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s report, Prevalence of Drowsy Driving Crashes: Estimates from a Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study, is based on the analysis of in-vehicle video footage of crashes that occurred during the Second Strategic Highway Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP 2 NDS). The federally funded study recruited 3,593 drivers from six study sites across the U.S. The drivers were monitored continually using in-vehicle video and other data collection equipment while driving their personal vehicles for a period of several months.  

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit

About AAA
AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago. Visit

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Race for the Arts is Always More Than A Race

By Sally Rice  |  2018-02-07

Photo Credit Tia Gemmell / Caption:  Save the date, August 25 at Wm Land Park, and join the run as Race for the Arts celebrates 20 years!


SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Grab your running shoes, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and join the fun! Race for the Arts is for everyone the serious runners (5K timed by B-tag) and for the casual runner/walker.  Run, walk, jog or jeté along the racecourse in Sacramento's shady William Land Park. 

Entertainment throughout the racecourse and a FREE Arts Festival – What's not to love?  Come out for the Race and stay for the Free Arts Festival with food, hands-on booths and plenty of entertainment.  Visit Sacramento's restaurants and attractions – for hotel specials, go to

Race for the Arts raises funds and awareness for ALL California nonprofit visual, performing, cultural, literary and culinary arts organizations, and school music, drama, literary, art and culinary arts programs.  They receive 100% of Pledges designated to them.

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Citrus Heights Police Target Human Trafficking in Multi-Agency Operation

By Sgt. Chad Morris, Citrus Heights Police Department  |  2018-02-07

39 year old Hamel Yan of Elk Grove, 19 year old Darrick Chavis of Vacaville, 42 year old Steven Birdsong of Antelope, and 57 year old Daniel Pellissier of Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Citrus Heights Police

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Citrus Heights Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit conducted multiple sting operations last week as part of the 4th Annual Reclaim and Rebuild Enforcement Operation. This operation was in coordination with the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force in an effort to identify and rescue commercially, sexually exploited victims of human trafficking and to disrupt the demand of prostitution by targeting the people who seek to victimize others through either soliciting or requesting services of prostitution.

Our efforts were focused on identifying and arresting the “Pimps” (those who were coordinating the services of victims) and “Johns” (those seeking to take advantage of those victims) and rescuing the victims of human trafficking. Using the internet and various other tactics including undercover operations, the Citrus Heights Police Department made (10) arrests. These arrests included prostitution, probation violations, as well as felony and misdemeanor warrant arrests.

The City of Citrus Heights and the community of Citrus Heights do not tolerate human trafficking and will continue to detect, deter, and hold those accountable for their involvement in prostitution and victimizing others. If you or someone you know needs help or you suspect human trafficking may be occurring, please contact the Citrus Heights Police Department to help us stop human trafficking and rescue those who are victimized.

The arrested “Johns” were identified (pictured below from left to right) as 39 year old Hamel Yan of Elk Grove, 19 year old Darrick Chavis of Vacaville, 42 year old Steven Birdsong of Antelope, and 57 year old Daniel Pellissier of Sacramento. See Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Official Press Release video regarding Operation Reclaim and Rebuild

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The Lion in Winter

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-02-07

Gulp. Below the out-flow from Nimbus Dam, salmon, trout and even waterfowl provided a banquet for a sea lion visitor.  Over a period of two weeks, the marine mammal twice visited Nimbus to feast.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - American River Nature watchers recently beheld hungry sea lions swimming through Arcade, Carmichael and Fair Oaks. Winter visits by the species are not uncommon but the recent sightings were considered rare for the distances the mammals had traveled inland.

In the space of two weeks, there were two separate sightings - thought to be the same individual - at Nimbus Dam. The 90ft high concrete wall stopped his migration and hours of happy hunting followed. “You could hear him before you saw him,” said a transfixed angler. “He was roaring like an elephant. I saw him surface with a fish trashing in his mouth. He swallowed it whole - head-first.”

Battling against the dam’s white-water outflow, the muscular visitor gorged. When exhaustion took over, he slipped briefly back toward the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, only to return to the floodgate again and again.  After a day, he vanished downstream but likely spread the word among fellows nearer Sacramento. Last Friday, not one but three of his species were seen laboring upstream near Watt Avenue. The trailblazer alone returned to feast at Nimbus. Here, angler Jason Nicholas put down his rod to watch a large steelhead being devoured. “In 30 years that I’ve fished here,” he observed, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Around 6ft long (weighing perhaps 400 pounds) this adult had journeyed more than 130 river miles from the Pacific Ocean. Though quite a feat, his trek is not a record. Another sea lion reached the Woodbridge Dam near Lodi in 1997. “They’re salt-water animals but they follow the fish,” explained California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan. “They come inland from the (San Francisco) Bay for late salmon and steelhead. They like the fish that are rich in meat and fat.”

The mammals frustrate anglers and have occasionally provoked violence from some who regard them as poachers. “They’re the dogs of the ocean,” says Hughan. “They’re curious and friendly; they’ll steal fish, but they won’t hurt anyone.

“We don’t monitor sea lions or do anything about them unless they’re distressed. A marine mammal inland is a naturally-occurring phenomenon. If you see one, don’t feed it. They need to be left alone to catch fish. It’s a cool sight. People should just stand back and enjoy the moment.”

Footnote: sea lions are Federally protected. Anyone seeing harassment or injury toward the species should call the police or a park ranger.

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Sacramento's Society for the Blind Expands Onsite Retail Store Through Partnership with North State Assistive Technology

By Kristin Thebaud  |  2018-02-07

Shirley Garrett receives help from Cory Hanosh at the expanded onsite retail store at Society for the Blind in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of the Society for the Blind

Expanded hours, products and training will benefit local residents with vision loss

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – Sacramento region residents with vision loss will have greater access to low-vision and blindness technology and products thanks to a new partnership between Sacramento nonprofit Society for the Blind and North State Assistive Technology in Chico that began Feb. 1. Through the partnership, Society for the Blind’s onsite retail store at 1238 S Street in Sacramento is now open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and will include weekend and evening appointments. The store, now called North State Assistive Technology at Society for the Blind, offers an expanded collection of assistive technology products with better pricing, in-home delivery and set-up, training and online shopping. For more information, visit

“This partnership ensures a one-of-a-kind retail store for our region that continues to offer products and devices for people with vision loss while also expanding to provide even better service to the many Sacramento region residents who are learning how to achieve fulfilling lives with vision loss,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind.

The expanded store features products and devices for people with low vision and those with no functional vision, including canes, talking clocks and calculators, kitchen products, and various video imaging and optical reader devices.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring more products and services to people living with low vision and blindness throughout all of Northern California,” said Cory Hanosh, owner, North State Assistive Technology. 

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation, visit

North State Assistive Technology is an industry leader and statewide resource for products, technology assessments and training on devices for people living with vision loss. For more information, visit

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Recycling Through Art

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-02-06

Winners of the Republic Services 2017/2018 Recycle Poster Contest pose with the Citrus Heights City Council at their January 25, 2018 council meeting. A presentation was made announcing the winners and presenting them with certificates and gift cards to Barnes and Noble. Photo Courtesy of City of Citrus Heights

Hundreds of Students Participate in the Recycle Poser Contest

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Six hundred Citrus Heights elementary school students recently took on the challenge of participating in the 2017/2018 Recycle Poster Drawing Contest, hosted by the City of Citrus Heights and its residential trash and recycling service provider, Republic Services.

Student artists from 11 schools in grades kindergarten through 8th grade took on the contest question, “Which of the 4 R’s (Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, Rot) are your favorite?” as inspiration for their artwork. This year had the most schools participating, with Arlington Heights Elementary submitting the most entries.

The purpose of the contest, now in its fifth year, is to increase awareness of and promote the 4 R’s of recycling to students. Through their artwork, they pass on what they have learned to fellow students and the public. 

Many thoughtful, creative and educational entries were submitted.  The winners were honored at the January 25, 2018 City Council meeting where their winning posters were featured on the big screen. Each winner was called up to receive their certificate and a gift card to Barnes and Noble and to have their photo taken with the mayor and other members of city council.

Scarlett Bonifacio, a 6th grader at Sylvan Middle School, took 1st place honors with her detailed poster portraying the art of composting.

          A brainstorming session in June to choose the theme for the 2018 calendar began the contest process. An outreach program to the elementary schools explained the 4 R’s to students. City council members and staff, as well as the staff at Republic, took on the daunting task of honing down 600 entries to the winning 13.  Winners from each of the 11 schools and each grade were voted on separately then the top 13 entries were chosen.   

          In an e-mail, Mayor Steve Miller said, “I would like to congratulate not only these budding young artists and their beautiful job winning this contest and being memorialized on a calendar, I want to thank you (Johnnise Downs) and Republic Services in general for all you do for us.”

          The winning posters are now featured in the 2018 Republic Services Citrus Heights Customer Service Calendar and are available at City Hall in the General Services Department.

Republic Services serves 40,000 households in Citrus Heights. Along with the city, they have an aggressive recycling program including education and incentive programs. Among other information, the calendar gives information on their medical sharps disposal program, the Neighborhood Association contest and free neighborhoods cleanups, plus what to do with your motor oil, batteries, leaves and Christmas trees.

Source: Republic Services

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