Cook-off and Vintage Car Show Raises Funds

Story by Elise Spleiss  |  2016-10-21

Winners of the six unique car show trophies at the GFWC Citrus Heights Women's Club Chili Cook-off and Vintage Car Show on October 8 in Lowe's parking lot. --Photo by Tony Battaglia

Works to Brighten Christmas for Children Surviving Domestic Violence

Classic cars, tantalizing chili and plenty of outdoor shopping once again proved to be the perfect formula for fun for hundreds of attendees at the Citrus Height’s General Federation of Women’s Club’s (GFWC) annual Chili-Cook off and Vintage Car Show on October 8.

The event took place on at the Lowe’s parking lot, a venue popular for classic car shows. Attendees tasted and voted on 15 diverse chili recipes, and inspected 52 vintage cars compliments of the Nor Cal Cruisers Car Club. Funds raised from the rental fee for 45 vendor tables along with the $10 chili tasting fee will provide many children in Citrus Heights who are victims of domestic violence a happy holiday season this year. Proceeds from the event will be used for Christmas toys and other gifts, food, parties and other activities taking place at A Community for Peace (ACFP) and other organizations working with women and children.

Disc Jockey and local entertainer Mike Ely evoked memories of those raised with the “oldies but goodies” music of the 50’s and 60’s.

At the end of the day the difficult job of tasting and choosing only 3 winners from 15 chili entries came down to: third place, Glorian Martinelli, whose chili boasted fresh herbs, four kinds of hand ground chilies, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and a secret meat process. Martinelli claimed the lime added as the finishing touch made her chili “a party in your mouth”. Second place was awarded for the Hawaiian -Portuguese turkey sausage chili. First place was earned by Kristy Hernandez with a Chorizo with black bean chili.

Nor Cal Cruiser members, who work with city and community organizations to raise funds for their cause, voted on and awarded their 40 gold and red trophies to their winners. O’Reilly’s Auto Parts donated the trophies. Nor Cal’s Michael Sparman and Wally Schnierle also created five unique trophies from used car parts featuring a myriad of belts, gears, and other internal workings of a vehicle. Following the presentation of all the other awards, Nor Cal’s coveted “Best of Show” was awarded to Darla Buechner for her 1967 purple Camaro, which had just been lovingly restored in 4 weeks by Buechner’s husband, Matt. Daughter Mandy Buechner accepted the trophy on her behalf as she could not be present.

Citrus Heights Women’s Club members sponsored their own humorous categories including the Fred Flintstone award which went to the authentic replica of the Ghost Buster hearse, furnished by Michael Lee of the Ghost Buster Club of Sacramento. They also awarded the Bugs Bunny, Our Gang, Ladies Choice, Betty and Veronica, and People’s Choice award, the favorite of all attendees.

Trophy sponsors included Buechner Consulting Service, Hernandez Law, Bella Mane Salon Studio and Denise Jacks, Citrus Heights Curves.

A dozen volunteers from Citrus Heights Bayside Church also worked hard from set up, to helping wherever needed, to tear down. Children’s activities and generous raffle prizes rounded out the festivities. Participants and attendees alike left the event satisfied and knowing they had helped contribute to a worthy cause.

Senator Gaines Rips California’s Business Climate On Verizon Closure

Source: Office of Senator Gaines  |  2016-10-20

Senator Ted Gaines issued the following statement on the closure of the Verizon customer service center in Rancho Cordova and the 1,000 jobs lost as a result of that closure:

“Who can be surprised by this? California is doing everything it can to drive businesses out of the state. Sky-high workers’ compensation costs, painful energy costs driven by unchecked environmentalism, and now a minimum wage shooting up by 50-percent in the next few years, it’s little wonder that Verizon is packing up.

“A study this year showed 9,000 California businesses had relocated or expanded out of state recently. Sacramento recently lost Campbell’s, Waste Connections, and now Verizon. Those are more than statistics and stories; each one is a tragedy for families who are paying the price for California’s anti-business policies.

“Just today, Silicon Valley legend Hewlett Packard announced that it would be laying off 4,000 employees. How legislators can push for the expensive and useless high speed rail or keep pushing for ever higher taxes while workers are being pink-slipped by the thousands is amazing to me and needs to stop. Lower taxes and smarter regulations would show businesses that California is not a place to leave, but a place to grow and invest. I’d rather see that than Verizon’s tail lights.”

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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#Rethink Your Yard This Fall With a Visit to Antelope Gardens

Source: Original Communications  |  2016-10-20

Experts say that planting in the fall gives your plants a great opportunity to set down some roots, get well established, and helps you conserve water.

Plants require less water in the fall because the days are cooler and soil stays wet longer than it does during the warmer days of spring and summer.

And there’s no better way to get started on rethinking your yard than by visiting Antelope Gardens for plant ideas and irrigation systems to install.

The two-acre Antelope Gardens contains hundreds of species, of plants—both California native and low-water non-native plants—including Aleppo Pine, Autumn Sage, Blue Grama grass, Butterfly Bush and California White Sage.

The garden is located at 7800 Antelope North Road and is open until the end of October, Monday- Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Learn more about Antelope Gardens at

What is River-Friendly Landscaping?

River-Friendly Landscaping is a way to have a beautiful yard that also benefits the Sacramento region. It’s an integrated approach to landscape design that focuses on conserving and protecting natural resources, and encompasses seven basic principles:

  • Landscaping Locally: Using plants that are native to Sacramento and therefore require less water, fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Landscape for Less to Landfill: Using grass clippings and plant debris as mulch, and reusing building materials for landscape features.
  • Nurturing the Soil: Adding compost and mulch to have a healthier soil for your plants in which to grow.
  • Conserving Water: Designing a landscape that features native and low-water use plants and minimizes the amount of turf grass.
  • Creating A Wildlife Habitat: Using native plants to provide food for birds and beneficial insect species.
  • Reducing Energy Use: Planting trees to shade your home and air conditioner reducing the amount of energy needed to cool it.
  • Protecting Air & Water Quality: Reducing the use of fertilizer and pesticides, and keeping them out of the air and waterways.

You can find out more about River-Friendly Landscaping by visiting

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100,000 “Gently Used” Books Available

Submitted by Friends of Sacramento Public Library  |  2016-10-20

An ever-changing inventory of more than 100,000 “gently used” books, videos, and audio books will be offered for prices from fifty cents to $2 at the Saturday November 5 sale at the warehouse of the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.

Sale hours on Saturday, November 5th, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a preview and sale on Friday November 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Friends members only.

(You can join at the door for $20).

The warehouse is at the rear of the Friends’ store at Suite E, 8250 Belvedere Avenue, just south of 14th Ave. between Power Inn Rd. and Florin-Perkins Rd.

Plenty of parking is available, but visitors should be careful not to park between the “No Parking” signs on the south side of Belvedere.

Income from the sale helps pay for programs, equipment, and materials local libraries need but can’t afford.

With more books constantly needed, the Friends will be glad to have yours, too. See a staff member on how to donate.

The book store is open weekly on Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as during the sale. Items there are priced from $1 up. For more information, call (916) 731-8493 or go to

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Dr. Johnson Chosen to Head National Plastic Surgery Association

Source: Steve LaRosa Media  |  2016-10-20

Among her duties, Johnson will serve as leader of the 12-member physician executive committee, which sets policy for ASPS, and will also be the chief spokesperson dealing with media and regulatory agencies.

Sacramento plastic surgeon, Dr. Debra J. Johnson of The Plastic Surgery Center has begun her tenure as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Johnson is only the second female physician to be chosen president of ASPS, which was founded in 1931.

Among her duties, Johnson will serve as leader of the 12-member physician executive committee, which sets policy for ASPS, and will also be the chief spokesperson dealing with media and regulatory agencies. Her position will require extensive travel, representing ASPS within the United States and at various international plastic surgical meetings.

“It is an honor to serve as president of the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Plastic surgery is known for its creativity and innovation: from surgery on children for birth defects, to face and hand transplants, to fine cosmetic surgery. ASPS is a trusted resource regarding patient education and surgical safety and we strive to keep our members up-to-date on the latest procedures” said Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson became involved as a member of ASPS in 1991, and soon volunteered to serve on committees within the organization. Her strong volunteerism and performance were rewarded as she served as committee chair, and then member of the Board of Directors. She was elected Vice president 4 years ago, and served as president- elect this year. Johnson will take over the reins from David Song MD, professor and chief of plastic surgery at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Johnson joined The Plastic Surgery Center in 1989 as the first female plastic surgeon in Sacramento. She received both her M.D. degree and her plastic surgery training at Stanford University. She took additional training at Clinica Planas in Barcelona, and the Institut Francais de la Main in Paris.

ASPS has over 8000 members, represents 95% of all board- certified plastic surgeons in the United States and is committed to patient safety and education.

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Water Conservation Drops Below 18 Percent

Source: State Water Resources Board  |  2016-10-14

Many communities who certified that they didn’t need to conserve are still conserving up a storm, while others have slipped.

The State Water Resources Control Board recently announced that urban Californians’ monthly water conservation declined to 17.7 percent in August, down from 27 percent savings in August 2015, raising concerns that some water suppliers are abandoning their focus on conservation as California heads into a possible sixth drought year.

Californians continue to conserve water in significant amounts even in the absence of state-mandated conservation targets. The cumulative average savings from June 2015 through August 2016 was 23.3 percent, compared with the same months in 2013.  Since June 2015, two million acre-feet of water has been saved — enough water to supply 10 million people, more than one-quarter the state’s 38 million population, for a year.

Water conservation has dropped steeply among some local water suppliers. These declines highlight the need for continued education and dialogue with customers on the importance of conserving and using water as efficiently as possible. As the State Water Board continues to monitor conservation levels, a return to state-mandated conservation may be necessary beginning next year.

“The statewide August conservation results raise questions, and we are examining the data to understand why some areas slipped more than others,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “Are we seeing relaxation of conservation messaging and programs, or are we seeing abandonment of programs?  One may be appropriate, the other is not.  It’s a mixed picture.  Many communities who certified that they didn’t ‘need’ to conserve are still conserving up a storm, while others have slipped more than seems prudent.”

Conservation levels have remained significant for many communities that had certified that they did not need top down mandates to keep conserving.

While some local water suppliers may have relaxed water use restrictions from those that were in place last summer, most agencies have kept up locally mandated restrictions and targets, which is appropriate and which the state strongly encourages.  Regardless of a supplier’s individual conservation requirement, the statewide prohibitions on specific wasteful practices such as fountains without recirculating pumps, or irrigation of turf in street medians, remain in place.

“Percentages alone tell only part of the story, because a 15 percent reduction by someone using under 100 gallons per person a day can be more challenging than a 30 percent reduction by someone using 250 or 300 gallons a day,” Marcus said.  “That’s true of agencies and it is true for individuals.  In particular, we urge suppliers where conservation levels have dropped steeply to reach out to high use customers to find ways to conserve, and to join their community’s conservation efforts.  The legislature’s passage and Governor’s signing of SB 814 will help water suppliers send monetary signals to their highest users about the need to keep conserving while the drought continues. Most important, it sends a signal that all Californians are in this together and that fairness includes those who use the most doing their part along with the rest of us.”

SB 814 (Hill) requires urban water suppliers to establish financial penalties for excess water use during droughts. Suppliers can either create excess-use ordinances with defined penalty amounts, or they can adopt rate structures that charge their highest users more during drought emergencies.

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Tada! Students Soon to Get Trained Dance and Theatre Teachers

Source: CA Alliance for Arts Education  |  2016-10-14

TADA! made it through both houses of the legislature, buoyed by the support of the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Dance Education Association and California Educational Theatre Association. This effort picked up many vocal allies along the way, including actress Annette Bening (shown above), who testified on behalf of the bill in the Senate Education Committee.

California students, living in the arts and entertainment capital of the country, will now be provided education by credentialed Theatre and Dance educators. The Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!), authored by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) and supported by a coalition of advocates led by the California Alliance for Arts Education, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown today.

“Up until now, dance teachers had to get a PE credential to teach dance in California,” says Jessy Kronenberg, Co-President of California Dance Education Association. “PE dance is beneficial for coordination and team-building, but dance as art fosters the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.”

Twice before, legislative efforts to create these credentials were vetoed by the governor at that time.

“This is an issue that has burned in the hearts and minds of arts education advocates since 1970, when dance and theatre credentials were eliminated by the Ryan Act” says California Alliance for Arts Education Executive Director, Joe Landon. “Over a thousand advocates responded to our action alerts and sent messages of support to their elected officials in Sacramento”

But, TADA! made it through both houses of the legislature without a single negative vote, buoyed by the support of the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Dance Education Association and California Educational Theatre Association. This effort picked up many vocal allies along the way, including actress Annette Bening, who testified on behalf of the bill in the Senate Education Committee.

“I think it’s the right thing; it serves students, it dignifies our teachers, and it will uplift our community,” said Ms. Bening.

 “California is the arts and entertainment capital of the world, yet we are one of only two states in the country that does not authorize teaching credentials in theatre or dance,” Allen said.  “I am so pleased that we have finally elevated these two important disciplines to the stature they deserve,” he added.

“The next generation of theatre and dance teachers will be the proud bearers of theatre and dance credentials ensuring that California pre-K-12 students are instructed with sound pedagogy in a standards-based curriculum.,” said CETA President Carol Hovey.

At the same time, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 2862 (O’Donnell) into law enabling California to finally update its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) content standards incorporate new practices and technologies to arts curriculum, instruction, and instructional materials

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Small Businesses Praise Senator Nielsen’s Voting Record

Source: Office of Senator Nielsen  |  2016-10-13

Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber)

Citing his experience and strong advocacy of small businesses, the National Federation of Independent Business/California (NFIB) awarded Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) a perfect score of 100 percent.

“California continues to be a difficult place to do business – from the burdensome regulations to the out-of-control lawsuits,” said Senator Nielsen. “Elected leaders must do all we can to hold the line and help small businesses thrive. I am humbled to have received such an honor from NFIB.”

“Senator Nielsen is a leader we turn to in our efforts to support small businesses. We applaud his dedication and passion in supporting small businesses and protecting them from additional taxes, mandates, and complex regulations,” added Tom Scott, NFIB/CA State Executive Director.

NFIB assessed lawmakers on 12 bills vital to the health of small business in California. Twenty-nine lawmakers out of 120 had impressive 100 percent scores; however, 62 legislators failed small business this year with scores ranging from 27 percent to just eight percent.

Lawmakers’ voting records are compiled and scored annually to provide Californians with a valuable tool to determine how state legislators acted on major mandates, regulations and tax legislation, and to hold elected officials accountable for anti-small business votes.

Established in 1946, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures.

NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationally, with over 22,000 in California. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival, and as they are America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs, the growth of the American economy.

Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba.

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United Way: Square One Project Helping Kids Succeed In School

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2016-10-13

United Way announced the launch of its Square One Project through a Facebook Live event at Main Avenue Elementary School in Sacramento.

Through a Facebook Live video this morning, United Way California Capital Region announced that all of its work for the next 20 years will focus on ending poverty by increasing the number of local kids who graduate from high school prepared for success in college and beyond. United Way’s Square One Project will bring together the organization’s work over the last decade as the project focuses on educational milestones for children and the resources they need to succeed in school, including early literacy support, access to nutritious food, stable homes, support systems and more.

“This is our most ambitious project in our 90-year-history,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “If we want to see real change happen in our community, we have to break the cycle of poverty that’s passed down from one generation to another. There is one place in the community where we can do that best – and that’s school.”

Sacramento-area kids who graduate from college are 62 percent less likely to live in poverty than those who drop out of high school, according to United Way and the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development. United Way’s Square One Project is bringing together community leaders, schools, government, nonprofits, volunteers and donors across five counties to make sure kids stay in school, stay on track, have high expectations for what they can achieve, and have strong support systems.

United Way is launching the Square One Project through a partnership with Robla School District in Sacramento. To make sure kids can come to school every day, United Way and Robla School District are providing case managers at schools through a grant to help the 500 homeless families in the district secure stable housing and other support. United Way’s Healthy Meals ensures kids have enough to eat in their after-school programs so they have fuel for their brains. United Way also is providing tutors to help kids meet reading and math milestones so they stay on track. United Way’s Young Leaders Society is helping families start saving for higher education by raising matching funds for college savings accounts so that kids have high expectations of continuing school.

“We’re excited to be one of the first school districts where the Square One Project has launched,” said Ruben Reyes, superintendent, Robla School District. “This is a district with a lot of need, but a lot of awesome kids who are going to do amazing things in our community, thanks to our work with United Way.”

Through the Square One Project, United Way also will work with school districts throughout Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties to fill gaps in resources so kids have the best chance at success.

“We know ending poverty starts in school, but it’s going to take whole communities to make this happen across our region,” Bray said. “I hope everyone will find their way to join us at Square One so kids can create a better life for themselves, their community and the next generation.”

To donate or volunteer for United Way’s Square One Project, visit

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Flick or Treat Returns to Raley Field for 2016

Source: Sacramento River Cats  |  2016-10-13

Pre-movie trick-or-treating on October 15 will occur from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis before the movie screening begins.

Annual Community Halloween Event Features On-Field Movie Screening and Clothing and Food Drive

Flick Or Treat is back for its third year at Raley Field. The community trick-or-treat event, presented by California Family Fitness, will feature a special screening of Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 on the ballpark videoboard on Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. Flick Or Treat is also a part of Dinger's Drive In, a three-part movie series on the field at Raley Field.

Pre-movie trick-or-treating on October 15 will occur from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis before the movie screening begins. Various local partners and organizations, including California Family Fitness, Blue Star Moms, Yolo County Library, and more will be in attendance, handing out treats and other goodies. Local media, including KCRA, The Sacramento Bee, K-LOVE, and 107.9 The End will also be participating. The Yolo Basin Foundation is bringing live Mexican Free Tailed bats. Additional pre-movie activities include a costume contest, corn hole, candy corn counting, Dinger coloring, and much more.

Also new this year at Flick Or Treat is Dinger's Goods Drive. Starting Saturday, October 15th Dinger will be collecting household goods, canned and dry goods, baby supplies, and new and gently used clothing to give back to those in need. Those who donate will receive a discount coupon to be used at the River Cats On Deck Shop at Raley Field. The drive begins at Flick Or Treat and will last through Friday, November 4.

Hotel Transylvania 2, Sony's ghoul-filled animated adventure - featuring the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez - was released in 2015. The family-friendly comedy about Dracula's "monsters-only" resort and his half-human, half-vampire grandson is rated PG.

To ensure the best viewing of the videoboard, families and movie lovers of all ages in attendance will be seated in the lower seating bowl or on the field under the stars. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring a blanket when sitting on the field (no chairs are permitted).

The screening is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. Trick-or-treating and family-friendly activities will begin when gates open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for all children are $6 while adults are $8. Season Passes for Dinger's Drive In are still available for just $10. Tickets can be purchased online or by visiting the Round Table Ticket Office at Raley Field. This event is rain or shine.

The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants. For more information about the River Cats, visit For information on other events at Raley Field, visit

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