SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Exactly one year ago today, hundreds of thousands of North Sacramento Valley residents were forced to evacuate their homes as the result of the spillway failures at the Oroville Dam.  Today, on the one year anniversary of this mass evacuation, the legislature passed Assemblyman Gallagher’s (R-Yuba City) dam safety legislation, AB 1270.

On February 7th, after releasing water from series of heavy storms, the spillway at Oroville dam collapsed.  Authorities were forced to use the untested emergency spillway, which also eroded, forcing the evacuation of almost 200,000 people.  Had the emergency spillway broken, a three-story wall of water would have come down the Feather River, causing unimaginable destruction to communities downstream. 

“The Oroville disaster jeopardized lives, property, and California’s water supply and conveyance system.  The silver lining is that the crisis highlighted that we must do more to ensure we are taking care of vital infrastructure, like the levees and dams that protect our communities.  AB 1270 will help us do this by ensuring that California leads national and global efforts to update and modernize dam safety requirements,” said Gallagher.

AB 1270 will require the Department of Water resources to work with independent dam safety and risk management organizations to update dam safety protocols.  These protocols must include things identified the by the forensic team as contributing to the spillway failure, like the review of the original design and construction of dams and auxiliary structures like spillways. 

“Most of our dams are over fifty years old, and many are considered high-risk.  We must do the necessary work to identify deficiencies and correct them,” added Senator Nielsen, a co-author of the bill.

AB 1270 now heads to the Governor’s desk where, if signed, it would take effect immediately.

For more information on Assemblyman Gallagher, and to track legislation visit www.assembly.ca.gov/Gallagher

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is alerting customers in the Central Valley to be aware of scam activity with criminals posing as PG&E workers. 

Law enforcement officials in the area have received reports of individuals claiming to work for PG&E going door to door to investigate outages of electric and phone service but refusing to show identification. There have also been new reports of phone scams with callers demanding payments immediately.

These recent reports of imposters have come from the Fresno area but past history indicates that scammers move throughout the region. In the greater Sacramento area, recent reports of scam phone calls related to service shut off and bill payment have been received.

PG&E reminds customers that its representatives will always carry identification and will never ask for immediate payment with a prepaid cash card over the phone or in person.

PG&E offers the following tips to help protect customers from all types of potential scams:

·         PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone.  Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.

·         Customers with concerns about the legitimacy of a call about a past due bill, service request or request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

·         Customers should always ask to see identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are willing to show it to you.

·         If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in the community.  If you feel threatened in any way, notify local law enforcement immediately.

·         Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.

PG&E takes security seriously and will actively work with law enforcement to help stop any scam victimizing customers. Anyone who has received such a call can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

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Sutter’s Fort Presents “Hands on History: By Land and By Sea”

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2018-02-08

Fort guests will also hear the amazing tales of adventure and survival these nomads experienced on the journeys. Photo courtesy The Friends of Sutter’s Fort

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – Sutter’s Fort visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1840s to understand the two different ways emigrants originally came to California – by land or by sea – while sharing the unique challenges they faced and what daily life was like during their journeys. As background, Sutter’s Fort was once home to sailors who “jumped ship,” trappers who became overland trail guides because of the failing fur trade, wagon train parties looking for a new life, and soldiers who served in the Mexican-American War and whose services were terminated in California – 3,000 miles from their homes in the east. 

California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present an interactive and fun “Hands on History: By Land and By Sea” event on Saturday, February 17, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. With interpretive themes that change monthly, the popular and interactive “Hands on History” events typically happen on the third Saturday all year long.

As an event highlight, some of the special hands-on activities awaiting Fort visitors include helping to pack a wagon while making choices about what to bring along for their journey of a lifetime, determining latitude with a sailing sextant, hoisting a laden barrel, weaving rope, learning simple knots, creating maps with available resources, and even marching to the beat of a military drum. And, of course, popular demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon. Fort guests will also hear the amazing tales of adventure and survival these nomads experienced on the journeys, including from reenactors of the Mormon Battalion who will talk about the perils of their overland journey to California and their role in the Mexican-American War.

Admission to Sutter’s Fort SHP costs during “Hands on History” days is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under (regular admission pricing is $5 per adult, $3 for youth).  For more information, call 916-445-4422 or visit www.suttersfort.org.

The Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a nonprofit 501 c 3 organization dedicated to the enhancement, preservation and protection of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, and educational and interpretive programs at the park. Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a Cooperating Association for California State Parks since 2006. Friends of Sutter’s Fort is the major funder of both restoration work and programs at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Through the generosity of our donors, in the past 3 years alone, we have funded several major projects including the painting of the exterior walls, the restoration of the blacksmith shop and the painting of the interior walls (currently underway). In addition, we are proud to provide funding to support the educational programs at the park.  For more information, please visit www.suttersfort.org

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Four Scholarship Awards Offered to Sacramento County Students

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Farm Bureau (SCFB) Foundation for Agricultural Education and Sacramento County Young Farmers & Ranchers are pleased to once again offer scholarships to deserving students who are pursuing college degrees or careers in technical fields that are related to agriculture or food production or preparation. This financial award is based upon scholastic achievement, leadership experiences, career goals and agricultural and community involvement.

"This is a significant investment in the education of Sacramento County students who are pursuing degrees that are either directly related to agriculture or a field that supports agriculture," said SCFB Executive Director Bill Bird. "The Foundation for Agricultural Education has awarded nearly $150,000 worth of scholarships to deserving students since it was formed in 2000."

Four scholarship programs are offered:

Scholastic Scholarship: Applicants must be a current or former student of Sacramento County schools (or students who have a permanent residence in Sacramento County) who plan to pursue (or are currently pursuing) a post-secondary education. High school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores or juniors are eligible to apply.

Child of an Agricultural Employee Scholarship: Available to high school seniors whose parents or guardians are non-owner/operators, employed within production agriculture in Sacramento County. It is not intended for children of farmowners or ag related business owners.

Career Technical Scholarship: Career technical fields considered under this application should be in an agricultural related or food related field. This may include, but is not limited to, careers in: Baking and Pastry, Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, Diesel, Heavy Equipment, Vet Tech, Welding, and much more.

Young Farmers & Ranchers Agricultural Scholarship: This financial award is based on agricultural involvement, leadership skills, scholastic achievement, career goals, and a personal interview. The ideal candidate for this scholarship is a well-rounded student who has a genuine passion for agriculture.

More detailed eligibility requirements and application instructions are available on the SCFB website at the Foundation for for Agricultural Education page and Young Farmers and Ranchers page. Applications may be submitted online. Questions can also be directed to the Farm Bureau office (916) 685 6958 or staff@sacfarmbureau.org. All applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2018 or submitted online by 5:00 PM on April 1, 2018.

Sacramento County farmers put food on your fork.  Our agricultural operations and products are as diverse as the lands we carefully manage.  We are proud to provide healthy, fresh food for your family and ours.  We invite you to join our efforts to protect Sacramento County's agriculture, rural character, and our ability to produce local, high-quality food for your table.

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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 AAAFoundation.org.

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 AAA.com.

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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!

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS BENEFITING CALIFORNIA ARTS

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 https://www.visitsacramento.com/hotels/race-for-the-arts/

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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