Junior Tennis Fund Seeks a Match

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-07

JTFS members Joyce Williams (third from right) and Jolene Stinemetz (third from left) present the board members of Mission Oaks Recreation and Parks District with a donation.

“Bringing Tennis to Underserved Kids”

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Established at the end of 2014, the Junior Tennis Fund Sacramento has donated over $16,000 to the greater Sacramento Region over the years. Mainly donating to parks and recs, the goal of the organization is to bring tennis to kids who may not have ever had a chance to set foot on the court otherwise.

The JTFS is a collective giving organization that supports public youth tennis in the greater Sacramento area. They harness the power of collective giving to support community philanthropy and help create new tennis opportunities for all kids, especially the underserved, at public facilities, parks and schools.

Among the years of contributions, they have donated to the Carmichael Recreation and Park, South Gate Recreation and Park District, Rio Linda Recreation and Park District and the Mission Oaks Recreation and Parks District. Most recently they donated $1,800 to Woodland Park.

“We are a youth development program that helps with social skills and gets kids out of the house,” said Carol Rose, Founder and Director of JTFS. “Kids like tennis and enjoy getting out there and chasing the ball.” Rose explained the beauty of tennis entering these children’s lives. “Tennis is a sport that instills core values, teaches life skills and helps to develop productive citizens. It’s a sport that can be played for a lifetime.”

Expanding on that point, some kids pick up the sport and truly run with it, which led to the newest idea of JTFS. Beginning last year, the program, with the help of various coaches around the community, identify the kids that are working hard, taking the sport seriously and have the ability to take their skills to the next level. They award these kids scholarships for private lessons and then they automatically get signed up for an upcoming tournament through the Sacramento Area Tennis Association. SATA runs a series of tournaments throughout the year for all different age groups.

Upcoming for JTFS is one of the biggest fundraising days of the year, as they will once again be participating in the Big Day of Giving, the Sacramento Region’s annual 24-hour fundraising event and year-long capacity building program. The event takes place on Thursday, May 3 and this year JTFS will join powers with the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and The Wish List Project at The Patriot Restaurant located in the Milagro Centre in Carmichael.

These organizations are inviting friends and donors to stop by, say hello and enjoy some great food and drinks – all in the spirit of giving. Donors for any of the non-profits will be given a discount for dinner that evening at The Patriot. Last year the region raised nearly $7.2 million from tens of thousands of donors, according to the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

For more information on becoming a JTFS member or sponsor, visit www.juniortennisfund.org, e-mail juniortennisfund@gmail.com or call 916-359-3667.

AAA Tipsy Tow Service Across Northern California will Start 4:20 p.m. on Friday, April 20, and Continue Until 4:20 a.m. April 21.   

AAA Press Release  |  2018-04-20

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - AAA has provided free Tipsy Tow service for events and holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, the Super Bowl and New Year’s Eve since the 1990s, but this is the first campaign involving marijuana. Dispensaries in California began selling legal recreational marijuana on Jan. 1. The service is not offered in Southern California.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking alcohol or using recreational marijuana, there’s never an excuse to drive impaired,” said John Moreno, public policy manager for AAA Northern California and six other Western states. “You should always plan for a safe ride home, but if those plans fall through, AAA will get you and your vehicle home safely on 4/20. We want to keep intoxicated drivers off our roadways, which keeps all of us safer.” 

To take advantage of the service, drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers should call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) and state that they need a Tipsy Tow. Drivers should be prepared to provide their name, home address, phone number, location and vehicle description.

Tipsy Tow provides a free ride home and vehicle tow of up to 10 miles. For mileage beyond this, motorists are charged a standard towing rate. The service does not include roadside assistance. You do not have to be a AAA member to use the service.

AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost a motorist more than $10,000 in fines, penalties, legal fees and increased insurance costs.

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to its 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 117 years ago.  Visit AAA.com for more information. 

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Trump, Brown Tangle Over California State Border Control

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-18

Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - California Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, defending his sanctuary cities and claiming that the country’s immigration debate has become “an inflammatory football that very low-life politicians like to exploit.” He continued, “And I think it’s shocking, it’s despicable and it’s harmful to California, mostly to the people.”

Brown let it be known that he has no plans of changing his stance on the state’s immigration and sanctuary cities.

“We’re not backing off,” Brown said. “And I believe we have the legal horsepower to block the immediate legal moves by the Trump administration.”

The 80-year-old Brown, who is in the final months of his second term as California governor, proclaimed, “I’m not riding off into the sunset. You can be sure that you’ll hear from me.”

Just before Brown spoke on Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

Trump took to Twitter once again on Wednesday morning, saying that many parts of sanctuary cities throughout California want out of Jerry Brown’s control.

“There is a Revolution going on in California,” Trump tweeted. “Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!”

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA - The Internal Revenue Service today offered taxpayers still working on their 2017 taxes a number of tips. These basic tips are designed to help people avoid common errors that could delay refunds or cause future tax problems. 

As the April 17 deadline approaches, the IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically. Doing so, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. Free File Fillable Forms means there is a free option for everyone.

Request extra time

Anyone who needs more time to file can get it. The easiest way to do so is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due.

Alternatively, people can complete a paper copy of Form 4868 and mail it to the IRS. The form must be mailed with a postmark on or before April 17. Download, print and file it anytime fromIRS.gov/forms.

Taxpayers are reminded, however, that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. Tax payments are generally due April 17, and taxpayers should pay as much as they can to avoid possible penalties and interest.

Make a payment, get an extension

In addition to using Free File to get a filing extension, taxpayers can pay all or part of their estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension when using IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or paying by a credit or debit card. By selecting “extension” as the reason for the payment, the IRS will also accept the payment as an extension – no need to separately file a Form 4868. Taxpayers will also receive a confirmation number after they submit their payment. When paying with Direct Pay and EFTPS taxpayers can sign up for email notifications.

Any payment made with an extension request will reduce or, if the balance is paid in full, eliminate interest and late-payment penalties that apply to payments made after April 17. The interest rate is currently 5 percent per year, compounded daily, and the late-payment penalty is normally 0.5 percent per month.

Refunds

The safest and fastest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to have it electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts. See Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, for details.

After filing, use “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go Mobile App to track the status of a refund. It provides the most up-to-date information. It’s updated once per day, usually overnight, so checking more often will not generate new information. Calling the IRS will not yield different results from those available online, nor will ordering a tax transcript.

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

Special instructions for paper filers

Math errors and other mistakes are common on paper returns, especially those prepared or filed in haste at the last minute. These tips may help those choosing this option:

  • Fill in all requested Taxpayer Identification Numbers, usually Social Security numbers, including all dependents claimed on the tax return. Check only one filing status and the appropriate exemption boxes.
  • When using the tax tables, be sure to use the correct row and column for the filing status claimed and taxable income amount shown.
  • Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign.
  • Attach all required forms and schedules.
  • Mail the return to the right address. Check Where to File on IRS.gov.    

 

Penalties and interest

 

By law, the IRS may assess penalties to taxpayers for both failing to file a tax return and for failing to pay taxes they owe by the deadline. Taxpayers who are thinking of missing the filing deadline because they can’t pay all of the taxes they owe should consider filing and paying what they can to lessen interest and penalties. Penalties for those who owe tax and fail to file either a tax return or an extension request by April 17 can be higher than if they had filed and not paid the taxes they owed.

The failure-to-file penalty is generally 5 percent per month and can be as much as 25 percent of the unpaid tax, depending on how late the taxpayer files. The failure-to-pay penalty, which is the penalty for any taxes not paid by the deadline, is 0.5 percent of the unpaid taxes per month.

Installment agreements

Qualified taxpayers can choose to pay any taxes owed over time through an installment agreement. An online payment plan can be set up in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement application to set up a short-term payment plan of 120-days or less, or a monthly agreement for up to 72 months.

Alternatively, taxpayers can request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. This form can be downloaded from IRS.gov/forms and should be mailed to the IRS along with a tax return, IRS bill or notice.

Owe tax?

Taxpayers who owe taxes can use IRS Direct Pay or any of several other electronic payment options. They are secure and easy and taxpayers receive immediate confirmation when they submit their payment. Or, mail a check or money order payable to the “United States Treasury” along with a Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher.

For further help and resources, check out the IRS Services Guide.

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Brennan Named President of Landmark Construction

By Karen Fraser-Middleton  |  2018-04-16

Kevin Brennan

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Landmark Construction has named Kevin Brennan, Nevada City resident, as president of the $75 million privately owned, public works general contracting company based in Loomis, CA.  Joe Bittaker, former president, is now chairman of Landmark Construction as of April 1, 2018.

Brennan joined Landmark Construction in 2006 as Senior Project Manager and Estimator and was promoted to the role of Vice President of Preconstruction, and then Vice President of Operations, during his tenure.  He has served as Project Executive for many of Landmark’s most important projects, recently completing The Bayshore School’s new $30m two-story urban campus in Daly City.

Bittaker announced the transition to employees at Landmark’s monthly management meeting on March 26. “I have confidence that Kevin will be an exceptional President as he carries on the customer-centric culture and can-do attitude which are fundamental to Landmark Construction,” said Bittaker. “He brings the energy, drive and motivation to take Landmark to the next level.”

Prior to joining Landmark Construction, Brennan worked in the industry for 16 years managing multiple large public works projects such as the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Expansion in Arlington, Virginia.

Brennan earned his BS in Civil Engineering at The George Washington University and a BA in Physics from East Stroudsburg University.  “I look forward to contributing to the advancement of the company through the next generation,” said Brennan. “I really appreciate the support and mentoring I’ve had along the way that has brought me to this exciting time as president of Landmark Construction.”

As a multiple Ironman Triathlete, serious backcountry skier, competitive mountain biker and avid kayaker, Brennan will continue the Landmark Construction culture that celebrates adventure while meeting challenges and offers employees many opportunities to build comradery as they challenge themselves athletically and enjoy the outdoors.

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Center for Freedom and Flight to host event honoring the Legendary Tuskegee Airmen

By the Center for Freedom and Flight  |  2018-04-12

About the Center for Freedom and Flight:  Our mission is to honor America’s aviation heroes and technology of the past, present, and future. By providing impactful experiences through compelling exhibits, we provide a unique environment to cultivate interest and education to further the aviation industry.

A First of Its Kind Event on the West Coast

VACAVILLE, CA (MPG) - Heritage, The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is a first of its kind event in Northern California on Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd-3rd, 2018. The inaugural weekend long event will be held at the world-famous Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville, CA at the Center for Freedom and Flight. The purpose of this event is to honor the members and their families of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, educate today’s youth, and inspire future leaders in aviation.

Hosted by The Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapters of Greater Sacramento and Lee Archer Jr. (Travis AFB), Center for Freedom and Flight, Unsung Heroes: A Living History Project and EAA Chapter 1230 Nut Tree Airport.

Event highlights include Tuskegee Airmen and Heritage families in attendance, mobile Tuskegee Airmen museum, fly in with historically significant aircraft.

A fun-filled dinner and dance will be hosted on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The dinner dance will include a VIP cocktail hour, dinner, a hosted bar and music provided by the Harley White Jr. Orchestra. A free Community Open House will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heritage-swing-under-the-wings-tickets-44894283009?aff=erelpanelorg

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SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today responded to the federal government’s request for additional California National Guard personnel with the following letter. The accompanying agreement, submitted this afternoon for review and approval by the federal government, can be found here.

April 11, 2018

Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis:

Pursuant to your request, the California National Guard will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime. This program is currently staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border.

Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats. That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.

Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).

I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should “work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.”

I look forward to working with you on this important effort.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Fair is on the lookout for the next generation of farmers to exhibit their livestock this Memorial Day Weekend! FFA and 4H members of all classes are invited to enter their livestock in a competitive and fun-filled weekend of competition at Cal Expo. With over 5,000 entrants expected for 2018, it’s never been a better time to get involved!

With 4 days of competition ranging from 4-H novices exhibiting for the first time to FFA Advanced competing for best in show, there’s something for every level and animal exhibitor at the Fair! And don’t miss out on the junior livestock auction on Sunday, May 27th! Over 600 local youth involved in 4-H and FFA will raise and sell livestock and eggs at the at the Cal Expo Livestock Pavilion. In 2017, over $500,000 was generated at the sale thanks to the generosity of our auction buyers.

To sign up to exhibit or find out more visit http://www.sacfair.com/competitions-contests.html. Paper entries must be postmarked or hand-delivered before close of business by Friday, April 13 and online entries must be submitted by close of business Friday, April 20. Don’t miss out!

As an added bonus, Midway of Fun is proud to once again offer a special unlimited ride wristband good for all 5 days of the fair for junior livestock exhibitors for one low price—only $29.50! That’s any ride in the entire midway—any day of the Fair during midway hours! Restrictions apply. Limit one wristband per junior entrant. Visit the Sacramento County Fair website for more details.

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit www.sacfair.com and #ShareTheFair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/, Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

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Sierra Nevada Winds Perform at Sierra College Dietrich Theatre

Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra Press Release  |  2018-04-10

The Winds, with Dr. Robert Halseth conducting, will present their annual spring concert on Saturday, April 28th, 7:30 pm at Dietrich Theatre, Sierra College, 5000 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, CA. Photo courtesy Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Now celebrating their 28th season of performances, who would have foreseen in 1990 the amazing transformation of the Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra. Membership has grown from 15 talented musicians to the current wind ensemble numbering 50+. 

Merridee Smith, piccolo/flute musician with the Winds and a founding member commented, “The Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra is truly a community ensemble; the musicians are your local civic leaders, teachers, band directors, scientists, health professionals, business professionals and more.”

The group played its first concert, conducted by David Coe, principal clarinetist, at the Lake of the Pines Clubhouse in Nevada County. Since that time they have performed throughout the Sacramento region, as well as in Victoria, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and in London and Cornwall, England.

In 2015, the Sierra Nevada Winds and Conductor Dr. Robert Halseth were awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The award is a coveted honor. In the 28 years since its inception only two other California concert bands have received the honor, “North America’s Most Prestigious Award for Community Concert Bands.”

The Winds, with Dr. Robert Halseth conducting, will present their annual spring concert on Saturday, April 28th, 7:30 pm at Dietrich Theatre, Sierra College, 5000 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, CA.

The program will provide the audience with a gripping, spellbinding, and highly entertaining selection of music.  The first half presents Wine-Dark Sea, John Mackey’s dynamic Symphony for Band, composed in 2014. It is based on Homer’s epic and ancient Greek tale, musically portraying the arduous and perilous journey of King Odysseus back home after leading the Greek army to victory in the Trojan War. The three powerful movements take him through a shipwreck, a rescue on an exotic island by Kalypso, and a trip to the end of the Earth, searching for the lights of home.

The second half presents Thornton B. Boyer’s 1881 classic American march Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment, written and named for one of the premier New York military bands of the century. Other program selections include Alfred Reed’s fiery and beautiful El Camino Real; Malcolm Arnold’s stirring Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo; and an opportunity for some member of the audience to actually conduct the band before the evening is over. The concert concludes with Frank Ticheli’s beautiful message of hope in An American Elegy, written in memory of the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings and to honor the survivors.

Dr. Halseth, an accomplished trombonist, was Professor of Conducting and Director of Bands Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento and co-founder and co-clinician of the Northern California Wind Conducting Symposium. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in music from California State University, Fresno, and a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado, where his primary professor was Eugene Migliaro Corporon. He has conducted instrumental music at all levels - elementary through professional - including more than a hundred honor bands in the United States and abroad. Dr. Halseth has been Music Director and Conductor with the Winds since 2011.

The concert is sponsored by Sierra College Friends of the Library. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for general admission and $7 for seniors and students. For additional information check www.sierranevadawinds.org or call (530) 923-0151.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The leading cause of death for our nation's 15-20 year old drivers is motor vehicle collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

In our effort to help reduce motor vehicle collisions, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), East Sacramento Area Office is offering two Start Smart Classes in March. The CHP's Start Smart Program is a driver safety education class which targets new and future licensed teenage drivers between the age of 15-19, and their parents or guardians.

The class covers California’s Graduated Driver License Program, collision trends and avoidance techniques, distracted driving laws, and alcohol related driving laws. The program also offers an opportunity for new drivers and their parents or guardians to ask CHP officers clarifying questions. The class runs for approximately two hours. We encouraged parents or guardians to attend the class with their teen driver.

WHEN: April 30, 2018 (Monday) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm May 14, 2018 (Monday) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm May 28, 2018 (Monday) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

WHERE: CHP East Sacramento, 11336 Trade Center Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

If you are interested in signing up for the class, or need additional information, please contact the CHP’s East Sacramento Area Office at (916) 464-1450, or at triggin@chp.ca.gov.

Funding for CHP’s Start Smart program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Administration.

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