A Taste of Carmichael Thank You

By Linda Martin, President, Kiwanis Club of Carmichael  |  2017-05-24
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The Raleys’ team always steps up with a full spread of delicious items. -- All photos by Paul Scholl

On behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Carmichael, we would like to thank everyone who attended the 15th annual “Taste of Carmichael” event for your generous support. We also want to thank all the many fabulous sponsors. This year’s event was the best ever! It was a wonderful celebration of our incredible community coming together to make Carmichael a better place to live and to work.

It is through the generosity and dedication of supporters like you that we are able to positively impact the lives of children and families in our community. The theme of the Kiwanis organization is “Serving the Children of the World” and to this end we support many critical services for families.  It is our dream that all children will wake up in a community that believes in them, nurtures them and supports them to thrive and succeed.

One of the recipients of our Foundation is the Kiwanis Family House, which provides temporary shelter for individuals who have a seriously ill family member in the UCD Medical Facility or Shriner’s Children's Hospital in Sacramento. Other recipients are San Juan School District Visual and Performing Arts and their Academic Incentive Programs, college scholarships for local high school students, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Community Impact Program, and others.

We make these contributions and provide services through our partnerships and the dedicated work of our members. Your partnership with our club helps us achieve this goal. We thank you for your tremendous commitment and contributions to this community.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of so many families and residents throughout the area. To find out more about the Kiwanis Club of Carmichael go to www.CarmichaelKiwanis.org.


Five Local “Blue Star Museums” Offer Free Admission to Military Personnel and Their Families This Summer

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-05-26

Five Sacramento area museums will participate in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day (May 29) through Labor Day (September 4), 2017. The five local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following:  California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town and the Sacramento History Museum.

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. The participating museums represent the fine arts, science, history, Native centers, children’s museums and more. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.

Before planning a visit, please contact the individual museums for hours of operation and note some are normally closed on Mondays and in observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information or a complete list of participating Blue Star museums, please visit www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums. For more information about SAM or upcoming activities offered by local museums, “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Twitter at @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 through Labor Day, September 5, 2016. For more information, visit www.SacMuseums.org


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SMUD and GRID Alternatives Partner

Source: SMUD Media  |  2017-05-26

Provide Solar Panels and Energy Efficiency Upgrades to Low-Income Customers

GRID Alternatives is a national nonprofit focused on making renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. SMUD has worked closely with GRID Alternatives to help them find candidates eligible to receive free solar electricity systems in SMUD’s service territory. SMUD reaches out directly to customers who are currently enrolled in SMUD’s Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR). Interested customers contact GRID Alternatives directly to continue the process and potentially receive a free solar electricity system. The systems are funded by California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

SMUD energy experts also work with the selected customers to perform complete energy audits of their homes and determine the most effective ways to improve each home’s energy efficiency. Contractors then install multiple efficiency measures, which can include upgrades to insulation, lighting, weather-stripping and more. All of these upgrades are done at no cost to the customer.

“We’re committed to helping all of our customers save energy and money,” said SMUD’s Chief Customer Officer Nicole Howard. “Partnering with GRID Alternatives to provide free solar electricity systems along with energy efficiency upgrades is a win-win for our underserved communities.”

SMUD and GRID Alternatives have completed upgrades to approximately 50 homes in Sacramento County to date. SMUD expects to complete upgrades to another approximately 150 homes over the next 18 months.

“For over a decade, GRID Alternatives has been on the leading edge of creating access to solar and solar technology for low-income communities,” said GRID Alternatives North Valley Executive Director Bob Gragson. “In Sacramento County, SMUD’s leadership has helped us to deliver services to families in the greatest need through our program.”

SMUD is also working to provide energy efficiency upgrades to low-income customers beyond the scope of the GRID Alternatives partnership. SMUD currently has three additional programs—Deep Home Energy Saver, Energy Saver Home Bundle and Energy Saver Apartment Bundle—that are designed to provide SMUD’s EAPR customers with energy efficiency upgrades. SMUD’s Board of Directors has approved the allocation of more than $10 million to these programs over the next several years above and beyond the current program’s budget.

To learn more about SMUD’s programs for low-income customers, visit smud.org. To learn more about GRID Alternatives, visit www.gridalternatives.org/smud.


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CRUSH LIFE: Inspiration From the Field

Story and Photos by Ethan Van Horn (Age 13)  |  2017-05-25

Our Wounded Warriors can still take a big swing at life.

I have been playing America’s game ever since I was 3 years old. I love the smell of a stadium hot dog, fresh cut grass, and the sound of a ball when it hits the bat. Baseball is my sport. I enjoy it on and off the field, and I can truly say it is the most beautiful sport around. I’ve been blessed with the speed to run from home to first base in under 4.5 seconds; that’s 90 feet! While I feel lucky to have such talent, I must admit I rarely consider what it would be like not to have these abilities.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day with the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team who is made up of some incredibly brave people…true heroes! Not just because they served in the United States military, but because they are amazing, inspiring, and all around brave souls. These men and women were wounded in combat; some lost their arms, some lost their legs… but they never lost their will to succeed!

My dad has been active duty for over ten years now, and I have watched him deploy twice and come back home safely. I never once thought about my dad losing an arm or a leg. I admit feeling like he is indestructible, sort of assuming he would be okay. But the truth is, when a soldier goes to war they are risking their life: there is no guarantee they will be safe.

These warriors went to war just like my dad but they were injured, injured bad. I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into meeting this team. I had never met anyone who lost an arm or leg, and I was a little nervous at first. I kept thinking to myself “What if I offend them with my questions?” I sure didn’t want to do that.

But as I watched these men and women play ball, I realized we share a love of the game. Their bases may not be 90 feet apart, but who cares?! These athletes are doing exactly what I do when I lace up my cleats and hit the field: they are playing the best game around: baseball!

I sat down with two of the players, Cody and Josh, to ask them some questions about their past, and I as in awe by their stories. These athletes were just doing their job, the job they were trained to do, and then the unthinkable happened. They could have given up, but instead they found the courage and the drive to keep on going. They found a new cause to fight for, and refused to let anything get in their way.

Whether they believe it or not they are still heroes, every time they take the field or saddle up to the plate. These athletes get out on that ball field and run, dive for balls, scale the wall for that winning catch, and play their hearts out over and over again. I am sure they must be in pain from time to time, must occasionally stumble on their new legs, but they never give up. By refusing to drop their glove to the ground and quit a game, they send a powerful message about never giving up in life.

I will leave you with something one of the players, Nick, told me, something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Nick is amazing, his story is so inspiring—this hero has been through more than most of us will ever go through in our lifetime, and he still carries a smile on his face and lives life to the fullest. I asked all the players to sign my jersey, and along with his signature Nick added something special: his personal motto.

I hope it will inspire you as it does me, “Crush Life!”

First printed in MILITARY KIDS' LIFE magazine. Reprinted by permission.


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Register for “Criminal Justice Shadow Day”

Source: Sacramento County Media  |  2017-05-24

Sacramento County high school students are encouraged to register for the 3rd Annual “Criminal Justice Shadow Day.” This unique program gives high school students an opportunity to job shadow professionals from various criminal justice agencies.

Based on the area of interest, students will be paired with prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, probation officers, law enforcement officers, investigators and judges to get a first-hand look at the criminal justice process and the different roles within the system. There will also be a presentation on crime scene investigations (CSI), evidence collection, and forensic science used to solve crimes.

This year’s Criminal Justice Shadow Day will be held from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Friday, June 16, at the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers in the Sacramento County Administration Building located at 700 H Street, Sacramento.

The program is open to current Sacramento County high school students (incoming 9th graders through 12th graders). Students will need to submit completed registration forms and a signed permission slip, which can be downloaded at www.sacda.org. The deadline to register is June 9, 2017.

Space is limited and on a first come, first served basis.

DA Anne Marie Schubert states, “Since its launch in 2015, close to 200 students from 56 schools across Sacramento County have participated in the Criminal Justice Shadow Day. The success of the program is a result of the partnerships we have with our criminal justice colleagues, and our shared commitment to engage with our youth and inspire them to pursue careers in the justice system.”

The Criminal Justice Shadow Day is one of several DA youth programs designed to increase understanding and build positive relationships between youth and members of the criminal justice system.

See more at: http://www.saccounty.net/news/latest-news


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Vettes & Vets: The American Muscle Car Show

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-05-24

The Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show is being held Monday, May 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento. 
-- Photo courtesy of the California Automobile Museum

Hit the road to the California Automobile Museum on Memorial Day for the 8th Annual Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show sponsored by Performance Chevrolet. The popular annual event celebrates America’s love for the automobile while honoring our country’s brave veterans and active duty military. All car owners and enthusiasts are encouraged to enter their vehicles – especially Corvettes, American “muscle cars” and military vehicles – in the show that takes place in a parking lot behind the Museum. At noon, the amazing cars on display will be judged in a variety of categories including a best-in-division award for each generation of Corvette.

In addition to the eye-catching automobiles, attendees will be treated to a DJ spinning some classic summer tunes, military color guard and national anthem along with a barbecue lunch available for purchase.

Car show guests are encouraged to visit the California Automobile Museum that has a world-class and ever-changing collection of vintage and classic vehicles on display. Plus, this is a great opportunity to catch the last weekend of the special “To the Rescue: Fire Trucks and People that Saved Our Cities” exhibit. Lastly, military veterans and active duty military (and their families) will receive FREE museum admission all day on Memorial Day in recognition of their service.

The car show is FREE for spectators. To register a vehicle, pre-registration cost is $30 (includes free admission to the museum for driver and one guest). Museum admission is $10 for Adults, $9 for Vintage (ages 65+), $5 Youth (ages 6-18), FREE for children 5 and under. On 5/29, Veterans and Active Duty Military and their families get in FREE.

The Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show is being held Monday, May 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. *Gates open at 8 a.m. for show vehicles at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento.

For More information: 916-442-6802 or www.calautomuseum.org


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Sacramento nonprofit Society for the Blind is one of 13 groups across the nation – and one of only three in California – that are competing in the United States Association of Blind Athletes’ and Anthem Blue Cross Foundation’s fifth annual National Fitness Challenge. Society for the Blind and its competitors will provide more than 300 blind and visually impaired youth and adults with an opportunity to increase their physical fitness levels and live healthier, more active lives. Other California participants are Junior Blind in Los Angeles and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the Bay Area.

“We are pleased to again partner with USABA to help break down barriers, and leverage technology to help those with vision impairments enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of exercise,” said Brian Ternan, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “Together, we want to ensure that those with visual impairments are not denied the opportunity to lead an active life and have the opportunity to avoid the health risks that come from a sedentary lifestyle.”

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 children and youth who are blind and visually impaired in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum.

When the National Fitness Challenge kicked off in Sacramento this spring, participants who signed up with Society for the Blind had a number of physically challenging activities to look forward to. In efforts to increase participants’ levels and step counts, staff at Society for the Blind will be working with dance instructors, personal trainers, judo instructors and more. In addition to raising their overall physical activity, participants will also become more aware of opportunities in their community.

“Society for the Blind is honored and excited to again be a part of the National Fitness Challenge,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director. “This partnership with USABA and Anthem raises awareness and, more importantly, participation of people with vision loss in health and fitness activities. We look forward to friendly challenges among our fellow participating agencies as we increase the physical fitness and overall health and wellness of our participants.”

For more than 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 comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-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: www.SocietyfortheBlind.org.

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind with a mission to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information: www.usaba.org, www.twitter.com/USABA or on Facebook as United States Association of Blind Athletes.

In addition to grant funding, Anthem Blue Cross Foundation will provide volunteers at events across the state during the nine-month program. Local employees will have the opportunity to meet participants and help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges.

®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. For more information: www.twitter.com/AskAnthem,  www.twitter.com/AnthemBC_News or www.facebook.com/AskAnthem.


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Raise Your Glass! Celebrating Their First Year

Story and Photo courtesy Al Esquivel and Rick Oster  |  2017-05-18

(From L to R) Ben Barker(Brewmaster), Daniel Biro, Steve Cuneo, Beth Ayres-Biro invite you to visit and celebrate their anniversary in Carmichael.

River City Brewing Company celebrates the one-year anniversary of its move to Carmichael this Saturday, May 20th. An exciting day is planned to commemorate this chapter for RCBC, which first opened in Downtown Sacramento in 1993 and is the second longest brewpub still operating in Sacramento.

“It has been an exciting year and we are so happy that we made the move here” said Beth Ayres-Biro, Co-owner and General Manager at River City Brewing Company. “Carmichael has welcomed us with open arms and we have enjoyed getting to know the people in our community.”

Guests are invited to come out and enjoy craft beer and locally sourced food from River City’s patio. They will be firing up the grill starting at 1 pm, with live music from 1-3 and 6-8. RCBC will also be releasing a new pale ale they’re calling 1909. The name pays tribute to a significant milestone for the community; Carmichael was founded in the year 1909.

River City Brewing Company is located at 6241 Fair Oaks Blvd in Carmichael, in the Milagro Center. For more information call (916) 550-5093, or visit www.rivercitybrewing.net.


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Eastern Oak Park’s Expansion has Broken Ground

Source: Mission Oaks Recreation & Park District  |  2017-05-17

County Supervisor Susan Peters (center), who once lived adjacent to Eastern Oak Park, helped break ground on May 6.  With her are MORPD Advisory Board members Barney Donnelly, Jerry Ontiveros, Nghia Nguyen, Rick Morin and Jana Saastad along with District Administrator Daniel Barton. 
-- Photo courtesy of MORPD.

The Mission Oaks Recreation & Park District is excited to expand and renovate its oldest park.  Eastern Oak Park, located at 3127 Eastern Ave. (just north of Robertson Ave.), was the first developed park when Mission Oaks became a special district in 1975.  The park itself was not easily seen by passers-by along Eastern Ave. because it was set back behind the Eastern YMCA.

When the YMCA property was listed for sale in 2014, the MORPD became very interested in the possibilities of expanding Eastern Oak Park.  After seeking feedback from those living in close proximity to the park, MORPD received overwhelming support of the plan to expand the park.  The purchase was successful and that was followed by community planning meetings with valuable public participation. 

The old and outdated YMCA buildings and swimming pool were determined to be too costly to save and refurbish, so those were removed in 2015.  The grounds were excavated and left in safe condition while the architectural work was being done, and the scope of work was being finalized.  Fast forward to Saturday, May 6 and we have shovels in the soil to signify the official ground breaking of this long anticipated project.

The entire park will be closed until the project is complete.  There are many variables that can change the completion date, but we are targeting October 21 for the official Grand Opening of the park.  Once confirmed, MORPD will make an announcement.  The park will have several new features including:  A plaza to be named after fallen officer Danny Oliver; an off-leash dog area; a 6-court pickleball facility; a futsol court; a basketball half-court; a walking trail that loops around the perimeter of the park; a new playground; picnic shelters; improved irrigation; a restroom building; improved parking.


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Regional Parks Deploys Park Resource Team

Source: Sacramento County Media  |  2017-05-17

In order to tackle the impacts of illegal camping and other crime within County Parks and the American River Parkway, Sacramento County Regional Parks introduced the Park Resource Team in January 2017. The Park Resource Team (PRT), consists of a dedicated crew of five park rangers and four maintenance staff focusing primarily on the impacts of illegal camping, crime, and trash removal.

“Regional Parks deployed the Park Resource Team in January to areas hardest hit by recent flooding and illegal camping trash,” said Jeff Leatherman, Director, Sacramento County Regional Parks. “Through the work of the team, we’ve been able to improve our response and cleaning up areas impacted by illegal camping, making our parks and Parkway a better place for visitors to recreate.”

Since January, the PRT has made 65 arrests and issued 150 citations.

While the rangers continue their law enforcement efforts, County Parks maintenance staff work to remove debris accumulated from illegal dumping and flooding. This year, the maintenance team received the addition of a lightweight tractor and the support of a debris transfer vehicle—both courtesy of the County’s Department of Waste Management and Recycling.

With the addition of the tractor, maintenance staff can remove more debris than was previously removed with hand crews. The equipment also ensures maintenance staff safety by minimizing the amount of trash staff have to hand load into trucks for transport to the dumpsters or landfill. The machinery also assists staff in collecting heavy debris such as mattresses, couches, and large containers, in hard-to-reach places along the Parkway.

Additionally, trash dumpsters are emptied daily, minimizing the re-depositing of trash back into the park system from the dumpsters. Between January-May, the maintenance team has removed 165.5 tons of garbage from the Regional Park system.

For more information about Sacramento County Regional Parks, see more at: http://www.saccounty.net/news/latest-news.


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