Free Clinic, Free Fishing Day at Mather Regional Park

By Bruce Forman, CDFW   |  2017-08-15

The entire family can enjoy the free fishing day. Photo courtesy CDFW

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) “Fishing in the City” Program, in partnership with the County of Sacramento, are sponsoring an introductory fishing clinic on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at Mather Regional Park in Rancho Cordova.   The County of Sacramento is waiving the $5 parking fee prior to 1:00 pm. 

The CDFW provides free equipment loan plus tackle and bait, following a 30 minute clinic.  The clinic is scheduled at 8:15 with equipment loan from 9 a.m. to noon.  As this day is CDFW’s statewide free fishing day, anglers are not required to possess a fishing license; however, all fishing regulations are otherwise still in effect.

Mather Lake will be stocked just prior to this date with catfish. For other information, call (916) 358-1644. The phone is staffed only on Thursdays.

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August 21 event will cause solar production to dip but with no SMUD grid impact

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The morning forecast for August 21 calls for darker skies in Northern California and across the country. That’s when a near-total solar eclipse will occur—from about 9 about 11:30 a.m. for our region—during which time the sun will be obscured by up to 76 percent.

Given the growing penetration of solar energy in California, the electric utility industry and  other energy stakeholders have considered the potential impacts of  such a significant solar event.

SMUD has secured additional reserve power to ensure it’s able to meet the increased demand when the availability of solar reduces because of the eclipse. SMUD does not anticipate any problems meeting the Sacramento-area community’s demand for electricity.

SMUD, for its part, has almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power in its service territory. Approximately 140 MW is utility-connected solar generation and about 150 MW is “behind the meter”, customer-owned solar generation.

The timing of the eclipse is fortuitous for SMUD and for California in general as demand on the grid during those hours can be considerably lower than in the late afternoon hours.

Typically, solar production can be impacted by everyday weather events like cloud cover, which is why SMUD’s energy portfolio, including its renewable generation resources, is very diverse. By going the extra step and securing additional reserves, SMUD has the flexibility to manage the increased demand on the grid during the eclipse and the drop off in demand during the transition out of the eclipse.

For more information about SMUD and its award-winning renewable and energy efficiency programs, visit

Source: SMUD Media

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Cooley Honors Local Organizer as Veteran of the Year

Office of Ken Cooley  |  2017-08-15


Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) recently honored Jim Rounsavell as the 8th Assembly District’s 2017 Veteran of the Year.

Each year, the Assembly Veterans Committee hosts the Veteran of the Year Awards to recognize veterans with distinguished military careers or those who have continued to serve by making significant contributions to their communities.

“Jim’s drive to give back to veterans in his community of Citrus Heights, and his tenacity to pursue a life of service truly shines as a stellar guide that we may all follow,” said Cooley. 

Jim served in the US Army Air Corps from 1947-1948, transitioning to the US Air Force from 1950-1954.  He started in the infantry and finished with religious chaplain duties as an Airman First Class.  During his service he was stationed in Panama.  For his service, Jim received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Service Defense Medal.  Jim and his wife Jeanne orchestrated the transformation of a building they acquired in 2013 into the Citrus Heights Veterans Community Center, a place where all veterans are welcome to visit with others and enjoy a cup of coffee. 

“There are so many people that do so much for the veterans; I’m just one of many.  It certainly is an honor,” said Jim Rounsavell.  "I want to honor our police for protecting us daily and our firefighters that protect our property.  These heroes and our veterans sign up to guard and protect us, and if necessary give their lives to protect our freedom.  If we can repay them, it makes what we do worthwhile.”

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit

Source: Office of Ken Cooley

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One Family’s Journey Out of Homelessness

Sacramento County Media  |  2017-08-15

Jessica Hodges smiles in front of her place of employment. Photo courtesy Sacramento County Media

​​Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - The path to self-s​ufficiency was not an easy or quick road. B​​ut today, Jessica Hodges, her husband, and their three children (ages six, eight and 10) are living the life they dreamed of, thanks to the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, the Mustard Seed School and Mary House​.

Three years ago, their youngest child developed a cough that required two surgeries and resulted in scarred lungs.  Upon discovering that the cause was mold inside the walls, the family moved out of their apartment in a hurry.  This sudden move impacted their credit, which ultimately prevented them from finding permanent housing.  And, because the mold had contaminated all of their belongings—including clothes, photos and furniture—everything had to be abandoned.    

Around the same time, Jessica graduated from Kaplan College but was laid off from her job as a medical assistant for a local doctor.  

Jessica expressed her dismay at her living conditions and at the circular challenges—securing a job without a permanent address was an uphill battle, while finding a home without a job and with damaged credit was nearly impossible.

County Director of the Department of Human Assistance (DHA) Ann Edwards, confirmed the currently rental housing landscape is bleak for struggling families. Low vacancy rates and escalating rents - far above what many residents can afford, make finding housing difficult.

In November, County DHA Social Worker Samantha Sween partnered with Mustard Seed School Director Casey Knittel to stabilize the Hodges and to develop a plan. 

As the children attended the Mustard Seed School, County DHA staff and Mary House staff were assisting the family with services and supplies. 

The group effort paid off a few days before Christmas.  After three long years of sleeping on couches, in hotels and in their van, the Hodges—with only sleeping bags and pillows—finally moved into an apartment where they could start over. 

Much to their surprise, staff from the Mustard Seed School brought gifts for the children, ranging from clothes to iPads.  

“We didn’t have any furniture,” Jessica expressed with a smile, “But it was the most touching Christmas ever because I did not have anything to give them [until these gifts arrived]. They even brought a Christmas tree.” 

In March, bolstered by her degree, Jessica was hired by SMPP Rehab as a Medical Office Specialist. Her husband is attending school to develop new skills while caring for their children.  

Their three children miss their teachers and friends at Mustard Seed School, but are grateful they no longer need the assistance and for the first time in years, the family is doing great.​

Find out more about assistance programs available through the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance.

To apply for medical, food and cash assistance programs online please visit CalWIN.

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Robinson’s Announces National Champions

By Rick Reed  |  2017-08-08

Sacramento’s Black Belt Gold Medalist Phillip El Chemali on the mat in Detroit at the USAT Nationals.  Photo courtesy Robinson’s Taekwondo.

Five National Champions Bring Gold, Silver and Bronze to Sacramento TKD Glory

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - They are outstanding young students in school and their local Taekwondo training ‘dojang’ or gym. In mat competitions with Black Belts from across the USA Sacramento’s Phillip El Chemali was triumphant in winning the Gold Medal at the USAT Nationals in Detroit, MI this July. The win places him on the United States Association of Taekwondo National Team for a second consecutive year!

Elk Grove’s Cassie Berger also won Gold in the USAT Women’s Division, as this CA State Champion won another top honor in the Korean-based martial art. Women’s Bronze came home with Black Belt student Maria Lopez from the world’s largest TKD tournament held in Detroit, MI.  Less than one week later, at the Amateur Athletic Association TKD National competition in Broward Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Maria Lopez fought again, again winning the AAU Bronze Medal this July.  

At this same Florida tournament event Robinson’s Taekwondo Black Belt student Lorenzo Ortega battled thru top national TKD fighters to win the AAU Gold Medal. The Women’s Silver Medal came back to Northern California as North Highland’s Natalie Velasquez stepped up to the podium as winner.

Rarely in history has one American city claimed so many top TKD medals and five US National Champions in its ranks.

Founded in 1975 in Sacramento, Robinson’s Taekwondo has locations throughout the region training athletes of all ages in the world’s most taught martial art – Taekwondo! To find out more visit

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Chamber Appoints DeMattei

By Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce  |  2017-08-08

Cendrinne DeMattei, photo courtesy Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce

Will Serve as Interim Executive Director

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - The Citrus Heights Chamber welcomes former Board member and Education Chair, Cendrinne DeMattei as Interim Executive Director.  Cendrinne will take the place of Mark Creffield, who relocated to southern California in May.  As a long-time resident in the greater Sacramento area, Cendrinne has watched the growth and development of the City of Citrus Heights. 

Past work experiences in the banking, telecommunications and residential real estate industries, gives her the ability to utilize best practices in the work she does.  Cendrinne understands the challenges of being a small business owner and is able to bring innovative ideas for marketing, networking and thriving in adverse business climates.  Her experience in large corporations allows her to bring leadership and administrative skills to the Chamber office.

As past Education Chair for the Chamber, Cendrinne initiated the Mini-Career Day for local 4th-5th graders.  Guest speakers visited the classrooms to share job knowledge in the fields of engineering, fire- fighting and food service.  The C.H. READS program, which she helped initiate with the Rotary Club of Citrus Heights, provides K-3rd grade students with volunteers from the community who come in and help struggling students read.  Cendrinne looks forward to continuing to support  local schools through the annual School Supply Drive taking place each July and August.

Cendrinne will support the Board of Directors’ mission and goals to ensure the Chamber members are provided tangible benefits from their membership.  She looks forward to working with the City and with community leaders to ensure the best quality of life and business environment for the citizens of Citrus Heights.  Cendrinne can be reached at(916)722-4545 Ext. 25 or email:

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Red Light Camera Warning!

Source: City of Citrus Heights  |  2017-08-08

Be sure to come to a full stop before turning right! Stock image.

New Cameras Begin Operation on Greenback Lane

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - In an effort to reduce collisions and make City streets safer, Citrus Heights implemented a red light photo enforcement program in May 2008. On July 28, 2017 the City of Citrus Heights will expand their program to include two new locations. Cameras and violation sensors will monitor two more of the city’s highest-risk intersection approaches – starting with the intersection(s) of Greenback Lane and Auburn Boulevard as well as Greenback Lane and Parkoaks Dr. 

The program is seen by City officials as an important step to improve the safety and flow of local traffic. However, by law drivers who live, work, or travel through Citrus Heights are granted a 30-day grace period before actual citations are issued.

“Photo enforcement has a greater deterrent effect if drivers are aware it’s out there, ” said Sergeant Kris Frey, Program Manager. “It is important to us that all Citrus Heights drivers know we are using photo enforcement and that they have time to learn about this safety program.” 

For the first thirty days when Citrus Heights starts using the red light enforcement cameras, only Warning Notices will be issued. The Notices will explain that beginning (August 26, 2017), actual citations will be sent to violators, who will then be responsible for paying the $481 fine. It should be noted that right turns on a red light, without stopping, is also a violation. Drivers must come to a complete stop behind the limit line to make sure the intersection is clear of traffic and pedestrians, before continuing with the right turn. 

“Though we are committed to improving the safety of our streets, we want to be as fair as possible to motorist travelling in our city.” Chief Ron Lawrence confirmed. “This is a thirty-day grace period, but motorists should take note that in 30 days the citations and the fines will be real. An Officer can still stop and issue a citation if they observe the violation.” 

“We want to make our intersections and roadways in Citrus Heights as safe as possible with the goal of reducing traffic collisions and saving lives.” the Chief added.

Citrus Heights’ red light enforcement program will be administered by Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., an Arizona-based provider of traffic safety photo enforcement. 

Source: City of Citrus Heights

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