Los Rios, WEAVE Launch New Confidential Reporting Partnership for Sexual Assaults

Source: Teri Winkley, Los Rios Community College District  |  2016-08-26
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The Los Rios Community College District today announced the launch of a new sexual assault awareness, education, confidential reporting and support program in partnership with WEAVE, the region’s widely respected provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of relationship violence and Sacramento County’s sole rape crisis center.

The Los Rios Colleges – American River, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City – have long-held procedures in place to support those who report sexual assault, which includes sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking.

Until today, those who wanted to report such assaults could make those reports to the Los Rios Police Department or any of the college’s designated Title IX officers. In addition, all college employees who receive information about sexual assaults are required to forward such reports to their college’s Title IX Officer. College Title IX officers are responsible for the coordination and administration of the District’s policies related to identifying, investigating and combating sex discrimination and sexual harassment.

But today’s announcement creates a third and confidential option: The District has contracted with Sacramento-based WEAVE to make available to the Los Rios Colleges community a trained advocate to provide a wide range of information, support and referrals to students, staff and faculty who want to report sexual assaults confidentially. In the months ahead, the WEAVE Confidential Advocate will also work with Los Rios personnel to prepare and present sexual assault awareness and prevention campaigns throughout the District.

“We are fortunate that few of these assaults and crimes are reported at the Los Rios Colleges, but even one occurrence is too many,” said Los Rios Chancellor Brian King. “With WEAVE as our partner, Los Rios will do a better job of educating our students, staff and faculty about this topic and about preventing such attacks, and we will do a better job of supporting members of the Los Rios community who are reporting them.”

Founded in 1978 as a non-profit, WEAVE is Sacramento County’s primary provider of crisis intervention services for all survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, regardless of gender identity. WEAVE provides 24/7 response, outreach and assistance to those survivors.  At the same time, the District – in coordination with WEAVE – is releasing a new comprehensive 33-page sexual assault education and resources guide for the Los Rios community. The guide is available online at http://losrios.edu/legal/sexualassaultguide.pdf

“We are thrilled to partner with the Los Rios Community College District to expand resources available to students who have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence,” said WEAVE CEO Beth Hassett. “We applaud Los Rios for creating an additional option for students in reporting a sexual assault and for being leaders in building a campus system that prioritizes the needs of survivors.”

Among other things, the WEAVE Confidential Advocate will:

  • Work a combined 20 hours a week from designated office space at each of the Los Rios Colleges, roving from college to college.  The WEAVE Confidential Advocate will also have an email address and cell phone number and be accessible 24/7. The email and phone number access were launched today. The on-campus office hours will begin on September 12.
  • Help those who have been sexually assaulted to report the assault to the police or appropriate college Title IX Officer, if the assistance is requested.
  • Help those individuals or third parties with information and referrals to medical and counseling services.
  • Accompany those individuals to any medical visits, court proceedings or college proceedings, as requested.
  • Engage with Los Rios students, faculty, staff and administrators to create and present educational and outreach programs regarding sexual assault and sexual assault prevention.

The WEAVE Confidential Advocate will keep the identity of the reporting party and the contents of the report confidential unless required to disclose it by law. Disclosure is required if the reporting party is a minor, the conduct occurred while he or she was a minor or if a court requires the WEAVE Confidential Advocate to testify.  The WEAVE Confidential Advocate will report anonymous data about the report to the college in a way that keeps names and other personal information of the reporting party confidential.

More than 75,000 students take classes at the four main Los Rios Colleges and six education centers.  For 2014, the last year for which statistics are available, a total of 23 sex-related crimes were reported on or near Los Rios’ 10 college and educational center campuses under the federal Clery Act: 2 forcible sex offenses; 4 non-forcible sex offenses (incest and statutory rape); 8 reports of domestic violence; 2 reports of dating violence; and 7 reports of stalking.

About WEAVE Confidential Advocates

California state law provides for a client confidentiality privilege or “confidential communication” between a certified sexual assault/domestic violence counselor/advocate and someone who has reported a sexual assault or domestic violence. To serve as a WEAVE Confidential Advocate assigned to Los Rios, a counselor/advocate must work in a rape crisis center, have completed a combined 68 hours of training in sexual assault and domestic violence and received certificates proving completion of both training programs.

About Los Rios

The Los Rios Community College District is one of the nation’s most respected learning institutions and the second-largest community college district in California, serving the greater Sacramento region. Los Rios includes: American River, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City colleges; six major education and outreach centers; and specialized workforce and economic development programs, for regional businesses, governments and organizations. Los Rios colleges offer AA/AS degrees, certificates and transfer-education opportunities in more than 70 career fields. The District’s 2,400 square-mile service area includes all of Sacramento County, most of El Dorado County and parts of Yolo, Placer and Solano counties. More than 75,000 students are enrolled in the four Los Rios Colleges. For more information, go to www.losrios.edu.


Sacramento County Seeks Poll Workers for Election

Source: Sacramento County  |  2016-08-26

Sacramento County’s Office of Voter Registration and Elections is calling upon civic-minded citizens to work at polling places for the upcoming November election.

No prior experience is necessary, and training will be provided. Workers will be provided a stipend for their training and service on Election Day.

Citizens that are fluent in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean and Japanese are strongly encouraged to apply as poll workers.

“We are grateful for the poll workers who serve their communities on Election Day,” said Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine. “It’s a rewarding experience, and the work they do is vital to the integrity of the election process.”

Poll workers must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or be a high school student that is at least 16 years of age and in good academic standing
  • A resident of the State of California
  • Be able to read and write in fluent English
  • Available to work on Election Day from 6:00 a.m. until all duties are completed (approximately 10:00 p.m.)
  • Attend a mandatory training class prior to each election (approximately 2½ hours)
  • Have transportation to and from the training class and to the polling place on Election Day

With their supervisors’ permission, County and State employees can work on Election Day while still earning their regular salary, plus earn the stipend from volunteering at the polling place.

Poll worker applications, stipend information and more are available at the Voter Registration and Elections Poll Workers website.


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IRS Warns of Back-to-School Scams

Source: Internal Revenue Service  |  2016-08-25

People should be on the lookout for IRS impersonators calling students and demanding that they wire money immediately to pay a fake “federal student tax.”

The Internal Revenue Service recently warned taxpayers against telephone scammers targeting students and parents during the back-to-school season and demanding payments for non-existent taxes, such as the “Federal Student Tax.”

People should be on the lookout for IRS impersonators calling students and demanding that they wire money immediately to pay a fake “federal student tax.” If the person does not comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens to report the student to the police to be arrested. As schools around the nation prepare to re-open, it is important for taxpayers to be particularly aware of this scheme going after students and parents.    

“Although variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round, they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike”, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As students and parents enter the new school year, they should remain alert to bogus calls, including those demanding fake tax payments from students.”

The IRS encourages college and school communities to share this information so that students, parents and their families are aware of these scams.

Scammers are constantly identifying new tactics to carry out their crimes in new and unsuspecting ways. This year, the IRS has seen scammers use a variety of schemes to fool taxpayers into paying money or giving up personal information. Some of these include: Altering the caller ID on incoming phone calls in a “spoofing” attempt to make it seem like the IRS, the local police or another agency is calling; Imitating software providers to trick tax professionals--IR-2016-103; Demanding fake tax payments using iTunes gift cards--IR-2016-99; Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals--IR-2016-34; “Verifying” tax return information over the phone--IR-2016-40; Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry--IR-2016-28

If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here are some of the telltale signs to help protect yourself.

The IRS Will Never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do: 1) Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately. 2) Search the web for telephone numbers scammers leave in your voicemail asking you to call back. Some of the phone numbers may be published online and linked to criminal activity. 3) Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484. 4) Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes. 5) If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.


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Volunteers Age 50+ Needed by September to Help Sacramento Area Kids Learn to Read

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2016-08-25

Local residents ages 50 and up are needed by September to help kids read, as part of United Way California Capital Region’s partnership with AARP Foundation’s Experience Corps. Volunteers will be placed in Sacramento-area schools and will partner with small groups of students in kindergarten through third grade to help them improve their reading. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/experience-corps-literacy-program to sign up for an upcoming information session.

“We know that improving children’s early literacy has a direct impact on their success in higher education, and we know that higher education is the equalizer that breaks the cycle of poverty,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “As adults, we can give back by helping many more children grow up prepared for success.”

The program will take place in Center Joint Unified, Elk Grove Unified, Robla and Washington Unified school districts. Volunteers will spend two to three hours a day in the classroom two days a week helping students read at grade level and beyond, and providing consistent support to the same teacher and students over the course of the school year. Volunteers receive 25 hours of training in literacy and classroom management.

United Way California Capital Region is leading the program in the Sacramento region through a four-year grant from AARP Foundation, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). In August 2015, AARP Foundation received $3 million from SIF, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. The SIF fosters public and private collaborations to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions that work. In just five years, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than $876 million in compelling community solutions. As a result of $295 million in federal grants and more than $581 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has made grants to 39 institutions and 353 nonprofits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia. This subgrant award is the result of an open competition held by AARP Foundation to identify and select promising organizations in high need communities to implement and rigorously evaluate the Experience Corps model.

The local program is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way now believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college. To donate or volunteer, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.


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Farm Laborers Will Bear the Brunt of Agriculture Overtime Changes

Source: The Office of Tom Berryhill  |  2016-08-25

Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte)

Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), who is also a lifelong farmer, issued the following statement upon Senate passage of Assembly Bill 1066 (Gonzalez D-San Diego), legislation to change California's agriculture overtime rules:

“Today's vote underscores how out of touch urban elites are about farming and the farming economy. The ebb and flow of work hours on a farm goes with the territory.  These big city elitists haven't the slightest clue about growing seasons and the urgency required to get crops in on time. The laborer that currently works 10 hours will only get 5. The work still needs to be done but it will now be done with two 5 hour workers.”

“Farming is a business like no other, and California is the agricultural engine of this country. Today folks who've never set foot on a farm, who think food comes from the grocery store, are telling us how it should be done.  Very sad to see an ignorant and arrogant policy devastate the very people it hoped to help.”

Senator Berryhill represents Rancho Cordova, the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and parts of Fresno, Madera, Sacramento and Tulare. For more information, see www.senate.ca.gov/berryhill


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A Grand Night for Singing

Source: Fair Oaks Theatre Festival Photos by Brian Williams  |  2016-08-19

Corey D. Winfield, Dan Slauson.

The Fair Oaks Theatre Festival continues its summer season of melodies, mischief and theatre under the stars with a feast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s delectable music! “A Grand Night for Singing,” a fully staged musical revue, celebrates the last three decades of the magical R&H collaboration. Nominated for two Tony awards, and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue, the show features numbers from well-known and lesser-known Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musicals including “Cinderella,” “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music,” “State Fair,” “Allegro,” “Pipe Dream,” “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” and more!

Directed by Bob Irvin and Karen Bombardier, “Grand Night” features spectacular theatre veterans Deane Calvin, Joe Hart, Corey D. Winfield and vocal director Jonathan Blum, as well as sparkling newcomers Zane Boyer, Leah Fraizer, and Brittni Proffit. On Broadway, the show garnered enthusiastic reviews for its innovative musical arrangements and delightful re-imaginings of songs like “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair” (now a sultry Andrew Sisters-esque tune), and “Stepsisters Lament” as a hilarious male duet. GMT writes “This exhilarating revue leaves no question about how terrifically up-to-date the remarkable songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein remain.”

“A Grand Night for Singing” runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through September 18, at 8pm. All performances take place at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre under the stars in Fair Oaks Village (7991 California Avenue, Fair Oaks). Tickets range from $12/general and $6/children (all Sundays), to $18/general, $15/student/senior and $10/children on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit the website www.FairOaksTheatreFestival.com or call (916) 966-3683.


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Society for the Blind Named Rehab Organization of the Year

Source: Kristin Thebeaud Communications  |  2016-08-19

Society for the Blind staff members accept the award for Rehabilitation Organization of the Year from the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Society for the Blind in Sacramento recently accepted the award for Rehabilitation Organization of the Year by the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. The award is given each year to an organization that has demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to the field, as well as leadership in working with students, families, colleagues and businesses.

"While there are so many strong organizations in this region, we find Society's expansion of services through the development of partnerships over the past few years to be an exemplary model of the standard all such organizations should follow," said Richard Rueda, president of the Northern California chapter of the association. “This organization is distinguished by its ability to dream big, allow partnerships to emerge, and sponsor and underwrite large portions of programming that ultimately benefit people with vision loss in Sacramento and throughout Northern California.”

Society for the Blind received the award for its expansion efforts, including its onsite Low Vision Clinic that now offers occupational therapy and services for young children, its peer and support group programming for parents of children with vision challenges, and its new partnerships with groups like UC Davis Eye Center and Junior Blind.

“This is an enormous honor, and we are grateful for this recognition as we continue to find new ways to empower people of all ages living with vision challenges,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind.

For 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 rehabilitative teaching center for a 26-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 www.societyfortheblind.org.


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IHOP Teams Up to Fight Childhood Hunger

Source: Wills Communications  |  2016-08-19

IHOP and No Kid Hungry will come together again in the fight against child hood hunger. IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer a short stack of their world-famous buttermilk pancakes for just $1 with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting No Kid Hungry. Please help IHOP, the pioneer of breakfast all day, every day, reach its goal of serving one million pancakes to make an impact in the lives of hungry children across America.

For close to six decades, IHOP has been the leader in bringing guests a freshly made breakfast served any time of day, every day ― but at least one in every five children across the U.S. struggles to get the food they need to grow and thrive. No Kid Hungry works to connect our future leaders with a healthy breakfast by delivering food to where kids live, learn and play.

You can participate on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at any IHOP in the United States.

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at www.NoKidHungry.org.

Please support your local IHOP on this fundraising event and tell them you read about it in your local newspaper. We support great local fundraising causes and hope you will too.

For more than 58 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service.


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Mom Pays it Forward after Son’s Transplant

By Margaret Snider  |  2016-08-19

Riggs’s dad, Mark Grassinger, fully supported his wife’s decision to donate a kidney, which Sarah did in November of 2015.  “It’s like for us everything has come full circle,” Sarah said. 
--Photo by Noah Berger

Riggs Grassinger of Citrus Heights was a happy and healthy infant and toddler. Then, at the age of 17 ½ months he went into acute liver failure without any discernible reason.

He was officially listed for a transplant on a Wednesday.  “He was status 1A when he was listed,” Riggs’ mom Sarah Grassinger said, “which meant that his life expectancy at that point was measured in hours to days.” A potential donor was located on Wednesday evening and the transplant took place on a Thursday morning in September 2012, at University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital. The procedure was a success, and Riggs is now an active five-year-old.

Riggs’s brother, 14-year-old Simon, said he was too young at the time to fully realize the significance of his little brother’s illness. “But at the same time I was also terrified,” Simon said.

The liver came from a teen girl who had died. Sarah said, “My heart just broke for some family out there that lost their child, yet in their worst moment decided to save mine.” She sent a letter to the grieving parents via a third party, but never received a response and never felt fully at peace with their sacrifice.

That wasn’t the end of the story.  Sarah was in a wedding and another woman in the wedding was listed for a kidney transplant. “She’s a mom and she has 2 kids and so I just knew I wanted to do it,” Sarah said. “I think the reality of it is I couldn’t be in the presence of somebody that needed in the way that we needed, and not do something about it.”

Riggs’s dad, Mark Grassinger, fully supported his wife’s decision to donate a kidney, which Sarah did in November of 2015.  “It’s like for us everything has come full circle,” Sarah said.  “I feel like this says thank you as well as I can say it.”

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital began pediatric kidney transplants in 1964 and pediatric liver transplants in 1989, making it one of the oldest children’s transplant services in the country, according to Suzanne Leigh, Senior Public Information Representative at UCSF.


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Hot August Bites Sizzles in Citrus Heights

Story and Photo by Elise Spleiss  |  2016-08-19

Sister and brother, Hannah R. (left) and Jacob R.(right) with friend Hannah W. (center) pause for some shaved ice at the 3rd annual Hot August Bites on August 9. Brother and sister Hannah and Jacob attend St. Marks Lutheran School. Hannah W. graduated from St. Marks earlier in 2016.

It was a family affair with parents pushing strollers with toddlers in tow, dogs enjoying all the smells and sights, music, classic cars, swimming and good food and drink.  According to Kevin Donnelly with the Sunrise Recreation and Park District the 3rd annual Citrus Heights Hot August Bites brought out over 1,400 people despite the 100-degree temperature.

The Rusch Park swimming pool’s seven lifeguards were kept busy keeping watch over 270 swimmers who took advantage of the three-hour free swim during the final day of operation for the year.

Young and old alike moved to the classic rock sound of the 8-Tracks.

The “Bites” part of the event offered something for everyone with cuisine from It’s Nacho Truck, Good Dog hot dogs, the Cowtown Creamery, Ohana Shave Ice and the famous Squeeze Inn Roseville.

Dozens of classic cars, presented by Autos for Alzheimer’s dotted the hills above the party area. New this year was a beer garden available for adults to relax and enjoy the good food, music and a brew.

Over 50 local vendors, City and community booths participated in the event. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) reported only one minor injury; it was not heat related. Metro Fire and the Citrus Heights Police Department also mingled among participants during the afternoon.

This year’s sponsors helping to make the event a success were the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Recreation and Park District, Sunrise Marketplace, Republic Services, Consolidated Communications, Hot 103.5, and 101.9 The Wolf.

Plans for 2017 Hot August Bites will begin in January and promises to be even more tasty and entertaining.


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