The Child Abuse Prevention Center and Bikers Against Child Abuse Put Safety First

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-07-11

Arwa Al-Rakabi – Presley Vasquez – Yesenia Mendoza present Safe Sleep Baby tips.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Children’s safety was the focus at this month’s Folsom Cordova Community Partnership’s Connections Café with presentations by Tim Libey of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) and Arwa Al-Rakabi, AmeriCorps Health Educator from The Child Abuse Prevention Center (The Cap Center).

Libey commanded the floor with his smile and stories. Retired from the Air Force, Libey works, he says, to pay the bills so he can do what he loves, what he is passionate about – being involved with B.A.C.A. and empowering children who have been abused.

Child abuse may be physical, sexual, or emotional. It is also neglect. According to statistics listed on The Child Abuse Prevention Center’s website, “half a million children are reported abused in California each year.”

B.A.C.A. “exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children.” The group makes itself available to children in several ways and works “in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children.”

The 5000 members of the international organization are volunteers and include men and women from all professions, including CEOs and moms. They are motorcycle enthusiasts who care deeply about children. Founded 25 years ago in Provo, Utah by a licensed child therapist, the organization has chapters throughout the United States, in Australia, Sweden, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Greece, and other countries.

Libey shared the founder’s story of bringing friends from his local motorcycle club to meet with a child after obtaining permission from the guardian and the child. They simply hung out with the child, gave rides on the bikes, and let the child know they were there. Prior to the meeting, the child feared going out. After the meeting, the child was able to venture into the world and hang out with friends.

The organization was born when the founder saw that abused children could be empowered by knowing they had people there for them. There is never a cost to the family, and each child receives a backpack with some tangible items to connect to the group. These items include a teddy bear, special nightlight, vest, and fleece blanket and are presented by the group.

Before a local chapter can respond, Libey explained that the abuse must have been reported to a mandated reporter.

Mandated reporters, established under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) passed in 1980, are required to report suspected abuse or neglect and normally have regular contact with children. These include child care workers, teachers, firefighters, clergy, public health employees, and a long list of others mandated in California. The list also includes psychological assistants; unlicensed marriage, family, and child therapist interns; and commercial film and photo processors.

If the legal guardian of the child has reported the abuse to a mandated reporter, B.A.C.A. will arrange, with the permission of both guardian and child, to meet the child. If no report was made, the guardian is advised to file one.

Children between three and eighteen are eligible, but they are part of B.A.C.A. for life. Libey shared that a young woman contacted them after she had finished college and met the man she would marry. She did not have anyone to walk her down the aisle. B.A.C.A. responded. They walked her down the aisle and filled her side of the church. She was part of their family.

B.A.C.A. will also, if necessary, escort the child to school or court and will, with the judge’s permission, sit in the court gallery in an effort to empower the child who must face the abuser.

Abuse, said Libey, steals two things from a child – power and choice. Both are given to the child by B.A.C.A., which is on call for the child around the clock, including Christmas mornings.

“These children have the strength in them,” said Libey. “We help them find it.”

He shared an informational video and passed out a copy of a study that had evaluated B.A.C.A.’s services. He also handed out a brochure and explained the symbols. White represents children’s innocence, and the fist represents B.A.C.A.’s commitment to stop child abuse.

Al-Rakabi’s organization also works to protect children. She presented information about a pilot program promoting dental hygiene which includes dental products packets and assistance to Medical recipients to access their Denti-Cal benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations for hygiene for infants, children, and pregnant women and suggests visiting a dentist by the child’s first birthday.

She also discussed The Cap Center’s Safe Sleep Baby program. From birth to one year, babies should sleep alone, in a crib, and on their backs. Toys and other items should be removed, smoking should never take place around the baby, and the baby should not be overdressed.

Home visits, workshops, and partnering with other agencies like Birth & Beyond are some of the myriad ways they reach families. According to the organization’s website, a baby dies while sleeping every other week in Sacramento County. Half of those babies are African American.

“We try to fight infant sleep related disorders,” said Al-Rakabi.

For additional information, visit www.TheFCCP.org. For additional information about Child Abuse Prevention Council, visit http://www.thecapcenter.org/who/agencies/child-abuse-prevention-council-of-sacramento. For additional information about Bikers Against Child Abuse, visit https://bacaworld.org/ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuF3WqJUMKc.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - An accident involving the collision of two Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) light rail trains occurred on Thursday, August 22. At around 9:38 p.m., a passenger light rail train rear-ended a stopped light rail train undergoing maintenance testing. The incident occurred on the Blue Line in between the Roseville Road and Marconi/Arcade light rail stations. It is a standard safety practice for maintenance personnel to test trains that have been repaired on the main line with revenue service trains. This is required by the Federal Transit Administration to ensure mechanical issues have been repaired correctly prior to the train being placed back in revenue service.

There were a total of 27 people onboard, 24 on the passenger train and three on the train conducting routine maintenance testing. A total of 13 people were sent to area hospitals, 12 with minor injuries and one person with moderate injuries. Everyone else was released at the scene. SacRT is saddened for all that were impacted by the accident, but grateful that there were no serious injuries. The cause of the incident is still under investigation at this time. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the California Public Utilities Commission and SacRT are conducting independent investigations to make a final determination. The City of Sacramento Police are on scene to help keep the area secure during the investigation.

A bus bridge was immediately put in place and is expected to continue for the remainder of Friday, August 23, between the Roseville Road Station and the Marconi/Arcade Station to transport light rail riders to and from stations. Although a small section of light rail is impacted, SacRT staff is on site to provide assistance and guide riders to the special service buses. SacRT personnel are doing everything they can to minimize the impact to our customers.

Safety and security remains a top priority for SacRT. This is only the second time within a 32-year period that this type of accident has occurred. Our safety and security record remains one of the top in the transportation industry.

SacRT is the 2019 national TSA Gold Standard Security Award recipient for the highest standard of excellence. We operate approximately 70 bus routes (fixed-route, dial-a-ride and microtransit), 43 miles of light rail and 52 stations, and ADA paratransit services all within a 400-square mile service area throughout Sacramento County, which includes service in the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove.

...Read More!  
  |  

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A celebration 90 years in the making has been underway at the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Through legislation, on August 14, 1929, California witnessed the evolution of traffic enforcement with the creation of a statewide law enforcement agency known today as the CHP. The purpose of creating the CHP was to provide uniform traffic law enforcement throughout the state. To this day, assuring the safe and efficient transportation of people and goods on our highway system remains our primary purpose.

“The history of the CHP is storied tapestry,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “We, as an organization, celebrate 90 years of serving the people of this great state, which is possible because of the dedicated women and men who make up the CHP and the support of the public and our traffic safety partners.”

As California continues to grow and change, so does the span of enforcement responsibility of the CHP. When the organization began in 1929 with its 285 personnel, California had a population of roughly 5.6 million people and 2.1 million registered vehicles. Today, the CHP is comprised of nearly 11,000 dedicated professionals, uniformed and non-uniformed; California’s population has dramatically increased to nearly 40 million people, with more than 35 million registered vehicles.

The size and responsibilities of the patrol have not been the only changes through the decades. Women joined the ranks for the first time in 1974, and various types of patrol vehicles have been implemented – including aircraft, horses, and bicycles. Tragically, in the CHP’s 90 years, 231 officers have laid down their lives in service to the public. For more on the history of the Department, take a virtual tour of the CHP Museum located at http://chpmuseum.org/.

“While the CHP continues to evolve as a law enforcement agency, the priority of the Department and its personnel remains constant - fulfilling our mission while maintaining public trust,” added Commissioner Stanley.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

...Read More!  
  |  

Honoring Grandparents With Butterfly Release

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-08-15

Participants will release Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies in honor of Grandparents

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sunday, September 8 is national Grandparents Day, and two local non-profits are observing the day with a Grandparents Day Butterfly Release. Sacramento Children’s Museum (SCM) and Snowline Hospice are hosting the Butterfly Release ceremony at 11:30 am at the museum, which is located at 2701 Prospect Park in Rancho Cordova.

 SCM’s mission is to inspire a love of life-long learning by providing a space for children to play, create, and explore. Snowline’s mission is to help patients through end-of-life care and support their families through the grieving process. The Grandparents Day Butterfly Release is a way to support two great causes at the same time while also recognizing the vital role grandparents play in children’s lives.

SCM’s director of museum advancement Meghan Toland said, “We chose Grandparents Day because grandparents are so important to us at the museum — we see them bringing kids in every day. … Celebrating grandparents is a great way to bring awareness to Snowline and the Sacramento Children’s Museum.”

Participants can dedicate a butterfly in name of a beloved grandparent. “You can reserve as many butterflies as you want,” said Toland. The event will include Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies — both beautiful options to honor grandparents’ significant impact on our lives.

The butterflies are locally and sustainably sourced, and they will be transported to the museum on ice — putting them into a temporary hibernation until they are woken up at the event. Participants will wake the butterflies by warming them in their hands during the dedication, and then the butterflies will be ready for release after the ceremony.

Grandparents are an important part of all our lives, so Toland explained that the event is not just for children — all ages are encouraged to attend. She also emphasized that the dedications do not have to be in remembrance: “It’s to remember those we don’t have any more and also to celebrate those still in our lives every day.”

Toland said they expect to release 400 butterflies, so they are anticipating a large turnout at the event. After the Butterfly Release, a celebration will feature games, activities, face painting, and food vendors.

Proceeds from the event will benefit SCM’s educational programs and Snowline’s Healing All Together (HAT) grief group, which helps children and their families deal with grief after losing a loved one. Because it can be difficult for kids to verbalize their emotions, HAT helps kids express their grief through art, motion, music, and play. SCM works in partnership with Snowline, which hosts the HAT program at the museum twice a month.

Butterflies for the event must be reserved in advance on the website, and people are already signing up. The deadline to reserve a butterfly is Friday, September 6 and the cost is $10 per butterfly, or $15 for a butterfly and admission to the museum. To reserve a butterfly — or to sign up as a vendor or sponsor — visit www.sackids.org.

...Read More!  
  |  

Sunrise Waffle Celebrates Grand Opening

MPG Staff  |  2019-08-15

Michael Munareh cuts the ribbon to celebrate his grand opening. Photo by Paul Scholl

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) – Owner Michael Muhareh, along with his family, friends and restaurant staff recently celebrated their grand opening and move to their new location at 10433 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.

Sunrise Waffle has been a part of the community for many years and the move to the new home was long in the planning. “Thank you to everyone for coming today. We have had great support from the city and the community. We are so grateful to be in Rancho Cordova, said Michael.

Attending were member of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce and city staff. Mayor Bob McGarvey presented a special proclamation. The restaurant treated everyone to waffle and breakfast samples. Best of Luck Michael!

...Read More!  
  |  

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The annual Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing will be held by the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) on August 27, 2019. The hearing provides taxpayers, assessors, and other local agencies the opportunity to provide comment on any items discussed in the State Board of Equalization’s 2017-18 Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate’s Annual Report for the purposes of correcting any problems described in the report. Taxpayers may also comment on BOE-administered programs or local property tax issues.

Individuals may also present their concerns regarding agency services or other issues related to the administration of its tax programs, including state and county property taxes, alcoholic beverage tax, and tax on insurers. With respect to the alcoholic beverage tax, individuals may present their ideas and recommendations regarding legislation which may further improve voluntary compliance and the relationship between taxpayers and government.

The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing is held in accordance with The Morgan Property Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights provisions. The BOE has a Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate to ensure taxpayers’ rights are protected and to facilitate resolution of property tax problems. More information on the BOE’s Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office (TRA Office) and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Hearing is available at http://www.boe.ca.gov/tra/

Taxpayers are invited to share their experiences with problems encountered to bring it to the attention of the BOE and TRA Office for assistance with resolution.

The Board of Equalization is the only elected tax board in the country. Its five members include four equalization district members, and the State Controller. Under its constitutional mandate, the BOE oversees the assessment practices of the state’s 58 county assessors, who are charged with establishing values for approximately 12.8 million assessments each year. In addition, the BOE assesses the property of regulated railroads and specific public utilities and assesses and collects the private railroad car tax. The BOE's monthly meetings offer taxpayers and other interested parties opportunities to participate in the formulation of rules and regulations adopted by the Board. For more information on the BOE, visit www.boe.ca.gov.

...Read More!  
  |  

Music Store Shows Sweet Charity

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-08-15

Tim’s Music owner Scott Mandeville (back, center) and staff show the results of a food drive conducted in their Carmichael store. Donations assist local food banks.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Tim's Music Store in Carmichael has broken its own philanthropic record by gathering 670 pounds of food to donate to local food closets.

Established in its Carmichael location two years ago, the instrument sales and repair shop boasts its own recital hall. For the past two years, visitors have been encouraged to bring non-perishable groceries in lieu of admission for clinics and performances. Tim’s staffers also kick in a few dollars a day for snacks in their break room. Their cash adds to an in-house fund to buy more food. In seven months since the 2019 drive began, the food has stacked up. Owner Scott Mandeville’s staff recently delivered the collection – 70 pounds greater than the 2018 yield – to Sunrise Food Bank, a Citrus Heights agency that aids the homeless and families in need.

The store’s stated mission is to promote “wellness in society through music education and performance.” Sales Director Jim Hart feels this vision fits the staff’s humanitarian efforts. “Artists tend to be compassionate people,” he considers. “We’re delighted at the support this food drive has received from the musical community, as well as from our clients and employees.”

Store staffers hope to assemble more food bank donations before the 2019 Christmas holidays. Anyone may assist the effort by taking non-perishable items to Tim’s Music, at 6818-B Fair Oaks Boulevard.

...Read More!  
  |  

Park Tree Honors Band Leader John Skinner

Staff Report  |  2019-08-15

The John Skinner Band will present music for all ages during a Carmichael Park concert on Saturday, August 17. Photo courtesy John Skinner Band.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The 44th Carmichael Park summer concert season continues. The John Skinner Band presents a Saturday, August 17 show. In memory of the band’s late leader John Skinner, the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce and the Carmichael Park District will dedicate a new tree during the performance.

Larger-than-life community figure Skinner died two years ago. He played his final solo – one week before his death – in Carmichael Park. A new oak tree will grow near the spot. “John was an oak to the music business and to our community,” said his widow, singer Susan Skinner. “This memorial will enhance the park and provide shade for many future concert-goers. John helped sponsor our summer music. He and our band also performed more than 50 concerts here over the years. He really cared about his audiences and loved to see them enjoying music and dancing. I know he’d be honored by this tribute.”

To cater to fans of all ages, the Skinner Band will present an August 17 program that ranges from classic rock to swing and Latin numbers. Instrumentation will include trumpet, sax, trombone, bass, keyboard, guitar and drums. Susan Skinner is the featured vocalist. For information, call (916) 483-7826.

...Read More!  
  |  

Aquatic Center Teaches Kids Water Wisdom

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-08-14

Rowing is among the skills taught at the Aquatic Center.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “Hey, my little girl can drive a boat,” shouted a dad as his teenager confidently trimmed sailboat sheets on Lake Natoma.

His daughter was among more than 2000 children who recently mastered maritime skills during camps at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center. Straddling Gold River, Fair Oaks and Orangevale borders, the facility is jointly run by Associated Students Inc. and CSUS, in association with the California State Parks Department. With Lake Natoma’s 449 placid acres as a playground, the center has hosted children’s courses for 30 summers.

Week-long classes include stand-up paddling, canoeing and rowing. Water-skiing and wake-boarding classes are run on nearby Folsom Lake. Bathed by sun and cool American River water, the students are seldom out of swimsuits and flotation vests. On designated parent nights, moms and dads are invited to share the sport and marvel at their kids’ new skills. “Teaching safe watersports is the center’s aim,” says center director Brian Dulgar. “We want everyone to enjoy our incredible Californian resources and be responsible aquatic enthusiasts.”

Most center instructors are college students, also on summer break. First aid, CPR and lifeguard certification are hiring prerequisites but a love for sport is the major qualification. “Some staff come back year after year until they graduate from college,” says the boss. “Many came through here first as campers, so they’ve seen how all students are different. Some are super-athletic; some are fearful. You adjust teaching styles for each personality. But my staffers are big kids at heart. They keep things fun and exciting. They also supervise plenty of goof-off time on water slides and swings.”

Overnight camps are an option on alternate weeks. “We go out for a sunset paddle,” explains Dulgar. “Then we have a Spaghetti Factory dinner and toast s’mores on the barbecue. Campers and counsellors sleep in the open. After a pancake breakfast, we get back to more aquatic fun. By the end of the week, the kids are all pretty exhausted and so is the staff.”

S.S.A.C. courses run from early June to mid-August and cost between $350 and $450 per student. Beyond summer, the facility is open for equipment rentals all year. It also hosts rowing championships at regional and national levels. “Lake Natoma is a Gold Field District jewel,” considers Dulgar. “Just 25 minutes from the center of Sacramento, we have a unique rural environment that’s also a wildlife habitat. From the water, we see animals and some pretty exciting birds. Speed limitations on the lake make it really safe for water sports – that’s why people come here from all over the USA. We feel pretty lucky to be here.”

The Sacramento State Aquatic Center is located at 1901 Hazel Avenue, Gold River. Summer session bookings for 7 to 16-year-olds open in March 2020. For more information, visit www.sacstateaquaticcenter.com/

 

...Read More!  
  |  

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is alerting the community of a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) that may be placed in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights neighborhood. A hearing is scheduled for public comment on the release of SVP, Dariel Morrise Shazier. A Santa Clara judge will consider placing Shazier at an address in Del Paso Heights even though Shazier has no ties to Sacramento.

Notice of hearing: August 26, 2019, starting at 9:00 a.m. Santa Clara Superior Court, Hall of Justice – Department 32, 191 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

Shazier was convicted in Santa Clara County in 1989 and 1994 in multiple cases of: Sodomy of a Person Under 14 by Force; Annoy/Molest a Child; Sexual Battery; Sodomy of a Drugged Victim (Under 18); Oral Copulation of a Drugged Victim (Under 18).

After serving his 17-year sentence, a jury determined Shazier to be a Sexually Violent Predator under the Welfare and Institutions Code §6604. If approved, Shazier will live in Del Paso Heights and only be monitored for one year. He would then be eligible for full release from supervision to live unmonitored in the community.

How the community can voice their opposition: If community members want to voice their opposition, notify the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to: Be heard in person at the hearing being held at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice; Be heard by teleconference call at the Greater Sacramento Urban League (3725 Marysville Blvd., Sacramento CA 95838); Submit a letter or message by email to: SVPShazier@sacda.org; Or, mail a letter to: District Attorney’s Office, ATTN: SVP Shazier, 901 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Shazier is the first of three out-of-county Sexually Violent Predators the Department of State Hospitals has notified us about that they intend to place in Sacramento County. For more information, visit: www.sacda.org/SVP

...Read More!  
  |