Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy CHP
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – When they woke on the morning of Friday, November 16, the 46 men and women who arrived for final inspection spent their last morning as California Highway Patrol cadets. The class of 43 men and 3 women received their stars in a ceremony filled with pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun.
Poor air quality had cancelled the cadets’ run to the state capitol earlier in the week, and the final inspection had to be moved from the quad into the dining hall, and the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) demonstration was also cancelled, but none of those things dampened the spirit and the joy shared by cadets and their family and friends upon finishing a grueling six months at the state’s only CHP Academy.
Among the graduates was Margarito Meza, the first graduate in the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program at Sacramento State which began in 2017 to prepare college students from all disciplines for careers as sworn law enforcement officers at the local and state level. Program director Shelby Moffatt and a large group of LECS students were on hand to support Meza. Four are currently in the CHP Academy and are expected to graduate in 2019.
Early arrivals toured the Academy’s museum and learned the history of the CHP and its role in popular culture. Timelines, motorcycles, including a rare 1941 model, and communications equipment spanning several decades are on display in the museum which is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and is free of charge.
Not free were the hours of intense physical and mental training that cadets endured during their six months away from family and friends. Cadets live on the West Sacramento campus for the duration of their training and education which includes a host of courses from basic Spanish to marksmanship to how to perform field sobriety tests. They must pass the EVOC driver training, attain certification in arrest techniques, and keep on top of their physical training. During the ceremony, a short film created by the graduating class provided family and friends a glimpse of life during the past six months at the Academy.
Prior to the ceremony in which cadets received their badges, they underwent their final inspection. Photos were snapped and hugs were given to cadets for a few minutes before the inspection began. Commissioner Warren Stanley, Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, Assistant Commissioners Amanda Ray and Nick Norton, and Captain James Mann greeted each cadet, moving through the ranks, shaking hands, and providing encouraging words to each.
In that group was Erik Rodriguez of West Sacramento whose family was joined by several of his military buddies who had flown in from Texas for his special day. The 34-year old veteran was honored with a plaque for being the class’s most inspirational cadet, and he was recognized for his work as one of the company commanders. He will report to the San Francisco Bay Area for his first assignment as an officer.
Graduates are required to report to their first assignments within ten days and are sent where the greatest need is so many were sent to the southern part of the state. Cadets select up to three possible choices and are never first stationed in Sacramento.
Perhaps the brightest smiles to be found were from Cortez Sanders of Sacramento, his parents, and his extended family. His proud father, Bennett, was also recognized during the ceremony as he is a CHP employee. Sanders’ mother, Adrienne, said that she is very proud of her son and all the work he put into becoming an officer. It was his father who held the honor of pinning the badge on his son, one of the traditions that did occur outside as is custom.
Cortez will report to Redwood City for his first assignment and will be joined there by fellow Sacramentan David Waggoner who was honored as outstanding athlete. Also headed to Redwood City are Trevor Gossett of Sacramento and David Tran of Elk Grove.
For additional information, visit: https://www.chp.ca.gov/chp-careers/officer/life-in-the-academy. For additional information about the LECS program, visit: https://www.csus.edu/hhs/lecs/.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce has named SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton the 2019 Businessman of the Year.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award,” Dave Roughton said. “I love the Sacramento area, and I am proud to be able to contribute to Sacramento’s regional success by helping our members and small businesses gain financial wellness through products and services that put their needs first. I also believe it’s vitally important for local companies like SAFE to actively support Sacramento’s regional growth and prosperity through economic development and non-profit engagement.”
Dave was nominated by longtime Sacramento public relations and advertising executive Jane Einhorn. Her nomination reads in part: “Dave has led SAFE through tremendous growth, solidifying it as the second largest credit union in the Sacramento area. … Dave has been an active leader in the credit union industry for many years, having served on the California Credit Union League Board, Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy Committees, CO-OP Board of Directors, and as chair of the WesCorp Supervisory Committee. He’s also an engaged member of the Sacramento business community, serving on the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce board.
Within SAFE, Dave has set a course for his company that led to the credit union recently being named the No. 1 Best Place to Work by the Sacramento Business Journal. Dave’s business philosophy reflects the lessons he learned working with many great leaders throughout his career: to have happy and loyal members, you must first have happy and loyal employees; inspire employees to provide exceptional experiences; walk the talk on promoting work-life balance; and show you believe in your employees by providing career growth opportunities and celebrating their successes.”
Prior to joining SAFE in 1999, Dave worked for Arthur Andersen LLP for more than seven years in its Business Consulting and Audit practices. Dave is a CPA; he earned an MBA from the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management and a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, Whittemore School of Business & Economics. In addition, Dave serves as the 2nd Vice Chair and Board Director for the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, serves as the Treasurer and Board Director for Align Capital Region and is a Board Director and Past Chairman of the Board for The First Tee of Greater Sacramento.
SAFE is federally insured by the NCUA. Find out more at www.safecu.org
Source: Marketing Department, SAFE Credit Union
Soil Born Farms Promotes Healthy Living
Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Soil Born Farms started as a small one-acre urban farm in Sacramento in 2000. Almost 20 years later, the non-profit farm is producing local organic food along the American River Parkway on the historic 55-acre American River Ranch, located at 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. The mission of Soil Born Farms is to empower people to participate in the local food system while connecting to the environment and creating deeper roots in the community.
Terese Hollander Esperas, Soil Born Farms project manager, explained that the urban agriculture and education project strives to promote healthy living and engage the community to “get back to the roots” through a variety of programs, classes, workshops, and events.
Some of Soil Born Farms’ upcoming classes include Winter One-Pot Meals, The Wonders of Fungi and Mushrooms, Cooking with Citrus, Growing Medicinal and Culinary Herbs, Raising Backyard Chickens, and Intermediate Urban Backyard Beekeeping. They also offer Bird Walks and a Spring Gardening Clinic. You can even attend a free Composting Workshop and a free Make Your Own Solar Cooker class. (For the dates and prices of classes, visit www.SoilBorn.org.)
Starting last month, Pop-Up Farmstand events give visitors the opportunity to purchase produce while enjoying tastings, live music, kids’ activities, and beverages and baked goods available for purchase. The Farmstand also features Millie’s Mercantile & Greenhouse Garden Gift Shop. Upcoming Pop-Up Farmstands will be held on March 9 and March 23.
Starting on April 6, the farm will begin hosting Saturday at the Farm, a weekly event featuring the American River Ranch Farmstand, open Saturdays through December 14. Visitors can meet the farmers who grow the food and enjoy the beautiful rural setting of the American River Ranch while listening to live music and purchasing produce fresh from the field. Magpie Café offers fair-trade coffee and pastries, and other hand-crafted items are also available for purchase.
Soil Born Farms’ biggest event is the Day on the Farm, a festival held every May. More than a thousand people attend each year, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for local families to experience all the farm has to offer. “It’s a really fun day. Many community groups come to the farm and lots of organizations come together. It’s a really fun way to experience the farm,” said Hollander Esperas. The American River Ranch Farmstand is open during Day on the Farm, in addition to various vendors, booths, gardening classes, cooking demonstrations, workshops, tours, nature walks, and draft horse demonstrations. The festival also features live music, games, a raffle, an array of delicious foods, face painting, and lots of activities for the kids. Day on the Farm will be held on May 19 this year, and there is a $5 suggested donation for attendance.
“We utilize these events to promote our mission. And the farm is a wonderful oasis for people to learn and to experience nature,” said Hollander Esperas.
Members of the community can support the farm and enjoy the bountiful harvests through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSA members purchase farm shares twice a year to help cover the farm’s costs. In return, members get to pick up boxes of fresh produce each week during the growing season.
Hollander Esperas said that Wellness Wednesdays are a great way to experience the beauty of the farm at the American River Ranch. During March through September, visitors can start their Wednesday with a morning yoga class on the farm at 8:00 AM for a $10 suggested donation. Hollander Esperas said, “It’s a great way to be outside experiencing nature…It’s very peaceful.”
Soil Born Farms’ year-round garden team welcomes volunteers every Wednesday to assist farm staff. Volunteers get the opportunity to learn about medicinal herbs as well as native plants, flowers, and trees. Volunteers also help with the greenhouses, plant sales, caring for the orchard, and planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables. Hollander Esperas said it’s a wonderful opportunity to “get exercise, fresh air, and sunshine while talking to the farmers, getting knowledge, and building skills.”
There are many opportunities for kids to enjoy the farm. Each year almost 3,000 students visit Soil Born Farms on field trips. “There’s a bus at the farm almost every day,” said Hollander Esperas. Students get to take a tour of the farm and then participate in a variety of activities, such as working in the Youth Garden, playing an educational game, or creating a craft project inspired by nature. And no visit to the farm would be complete without tasting foods fresh from the gardens.
There is a lot for kids to explore at Soil Born Farms. And there are lots of animals to see, including cows, horses, chickens, and pigs. A play structure and a discovery area allow kids of all ages to learn and play. The farm also offers summer camps and afterschool programs.
Soil Born Farms is open to the public Monday through Saturday, and visitors can explore the rural setting through self-guided tours. Hollander Esperas said, “The farm is special because it’s a peaceful, serene place where people can come to get away from the busy, technologically driven world and reconnect with the land and get back to basics. It’s an environment that makes people feel connected and like a part of the community.”
Created & Designed by Sac State Students
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to announce an all-new exhibit titled “Farm-to-Fork: A Public History” which is the creation of graduate students of the Capital Campus Public History Program at California State University, Sacramento. The team of dedicated history students conducted the bulk of the research, image search, and approved the design concepts under the direction of California State Railroad Museum Director and Professor, Dr. Ty O. Smith, and Interpretation & Education Manager, Kimberly Whitfield. The curriculum put into action the philosophy that the Museum’s highest calling is to be a laboratory of learning.
The focus of the new exhibit is to relate the multi-faceted story about the critical role the railroad played in transporting the Central Valley’s agricultural bounty to the surrounding region, state and nation. In short, the railroad helped to create the very foundation for the global success known today as farm-to-fork. This new exhibit provides Railroad Museum visitors with the opportunity to gain a more complete understanding about the production and delivery of goods, appreciate the deep history of the people and lives behind the foods we purchase, and learn how railroads played an integral role in that history.
As background, not long after California’s Gold Rush in the 1850s and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, many early Californians turned to farming the fertile Delta. The bounty of high-quality fruit and produce grown locally was loaded into ice-cooled railroad cars. Locomotives then pulled the refrigerated freight cars through the Sierra to eager buyers farther east and beyond. This agricultural success was made possible by opportunity, new technology and hard-working people coming together at the right place at the right time in history.
Available now for public viewing, the “Farm-to Fork: A Public History” exhibit is located in the Museum’s Roundhouse inside and surrounding the popular “reefer” car (also known as the refrigerator car) and will remain on display permanently. Viewing the exhibit is included in Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about the exhibit or the California State Railroad Museum or Foundation, please call 916-323-9280 or visit https://www.californiarailroad.museum/.
California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.
The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.
Source: T-Rock Communications
FOREIGNER, the classic British-American rock band is donating its hit song I Want to Know What Love Is to Shriners Hospitals for Children. FOREIGNER recently recorded a special version of the song with Kelly Hansen as lead vocalist and created a new music video featuring Shriners Hospitals for Children patients.
The new release of I Want to Know What Love Is now is available for download on Google Play and iTunes. FOREIGNER is donating all sales proceeds to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The Mick Jones composition I Want to Know What Love Is hit the top of the charts all over the world when it was released in 1984, and is FOREIGNER’s biggest hit to date. It remains one of the band's best-known songs and is listed as one of Rolling Stone Magazine's greatest songs of all time.
“There is a spiritual undertone to I Want to Know What Love Is, and when you apply the lyrics to a cause like Shriners Hospitals for Children, it brings a whole new meaning to the song,” said FOREIGNER lead guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones.
“It’s hard to put a dollar amount on the value of this gift, but this is truly a monumental donation in our mind,” said John McCabe, executive vice president of Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Participating in the music video will be an invaluable experience for our patients. The fact that sales proceeds from the download of this song will go to Shriners Hospitals for Children is a wonderful bonus.”
“FOREIGNER has been involved with Shriners Hospitals for 10 years, and we’ve been looking for a way to make a more meaningful impact,” said lead singer Kelly Hansen. “The lyrics of this song really speak to the qualities we’ve observed in the children here at Shriners Hospitals. The kids show this amazing resilience and happiness that really makes one think how powerful love is.”
You may donate or download FOREIGNER music online.
Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children has provided pediatric specialty care to children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals has treated more than 1.3 million children from more than 180 countries over the last 95 years.
Shriners Hospitals for Children has locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, and is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. All care is provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
FOREIGNER is responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including Juke Box Hero, Cold as Ice, Hot Blooded, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Feels Like The First Time, Urgent, and the worldwide No. 1 hit, I Want to Know What Love Is. More than 40 years into the game, FOREIGNER continues to rock the charts with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. FOREIGNER also features strongly in every category in Billboard’s Greatest of All Time listing. The band is consistently in the Top 20 on classic rock radio. As a result of the depth of the catalogue, the band gets more airplay at the format than Eric Clapton, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, U2, Bad Company and many of their peers.
Funds will provide job skills training and financial literacy for homeless women
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Women’s Empowerment has received a $25,000 grant from U.S. Bank Foundation’s Community Possible program. The grant will fund job skills training, career-readiness classes and financial literacy programs for Sacramento women experiencing homelessness.
“U.S. Bank continues to invest in the bright futures of homeless women through its generous donations to our job-readiness programs,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Our partnership with U.S. Bank ensures women can break the cycle of homelessness by gaining the skills needed to secure employment, regain a home and manage finances. When our mothers become financially self-sufficient, they create a better life for their children.”
Since 2001, Women’s Empowerment has been working to break the cycle of homelessness for women and children in Sacramento. In the initial nine-week program, women who are homeless receive free onsite child care in the group’s child development center and transportation assistance. Each woman works with a master’s level social worker to address her root causes of homelessness. She attends classes on job-readiness, confidence building, health and empowerment, as well as support groups for domestic violence and substance abuse. Financial empowerment courses are provided, including budgeting, improving credit score and second chance checking. With the help of volunteer teachers, women unlearn financial habits and create a step-by-step action plan for achieving their financial goals. Women then focus on job placement with their employment specialist and volunteer career mentor.
Women who have graduated from the nine-week program can enroll in the group’s graduate services at any point when they need assistance. Services include paid job training, vocational certifications, counseling with a social worker and employment specialist, access to a professional clothing closet, and job retention services for employer and employee.
“At U.S. Bank, we invest in and support programs and organizations that help people succeed in the workforce and gain greater financial literacy,” said Jessica Cook, assistant vice president at U.S. Bank. “Through our Community Possible giving and engagement platform we are working to close the gaps between people and possibility. Our partnership with Women’s Empowerment is doing just that.”
Women’s Empowerment is an award-winning organization that has graduated 1,554 homeless women and their 3,738 children. Last year, 82 percent of graduates found homes and 76 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org.
Community Possible is the corporate giving and volunteer program at U.S. Bank, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play. The company invests in programs that provide stable employment, a safe place to call home and a community connected through arts, culture, recreation and play. For more information: www.usbank.com/community.
Source: Thébaud Communications
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Valentine's Day is almost here! You can give that special someone an unforgettable gift! Candy, cards and flowers are nice, but adding a Singing Valentine will create a lasting memory! Quartets from Sacramento Valley Chorus will deliver Singing Valentines on Thursday, February 14. Your sweetheart, family member or good friend will be surprised and thrilled when a quartet delivers two songs, a rose, candy and a beautiful card to him or her. The package is only $40, and can be delivered to the home or business of your choice in the greater Sacramento area, including Placer, El Dorado and Nevada County. Singing Valentines are popular, so call early to ensure availability. Call 916-761-2998, to arrange for delivery.
The award winning Sacramento Valley Chorus, under the direction of Master Director, Dede Nibler, has approximately 90 members. The Chorus is preparing to compete Internationally in New Orleans in September.
Ladies from the community are invited to attend rehearsals any Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. For more information, visit SacramentoValleyChorus.com.
The Latest Job demand and hiring trends
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Employers are downshifting in the hiring race as 2019 begins. One regional company is reducing workforce by more than fifty percent (50%) as tariff related contract losses impact Sacramento area employment. In direct contacts with regional employers between November 19th and December 17th, Pacific Staffing discovered fifty-six percent (56%) of companies are hiring in the First Quarter of 2019.
Hiring has pulled back from this same time one year ago when sixty-five percent (65%) planned to hire in January, February and March. While the pace of hiring among top Sacramento regional employers has fallen throughout 2018 companies report finding applicants and specific skilled workers remain a top challenge in the new year.
While not a single company surveyed planned first quarter layoffs in 2018, in the first three months of 2019 seven percent (7%) are reducing workforces. Staff reductions are attributed to seasonal change and slower demand for products and services. Forty-four percent (44%) of hiring in the first quarter is for attrition, or replacements, among existing workforces while employers seek just forty-two percent (42%) for growth.
By talking to top regional firms each quarter since 1992, Pacific Staffing has learned there are always hiring challenges for employers, regardless of economic direction. In this first quarter of the new year seventeen percent (17%) of employers also report a continuing challenge with finding enough applicants, despite the slowdown. Others also citing increased minimum wage and hiring specific skilled trades as workplace concerns.
Sales, customer service, accounting/finance, technical, warehouse and shipping experience is in high demand through March. Drivers for route and delivery remain scarce.
The most active sector is Service companies with Manufacturers second, followed by Construction and Retail through January, February and March of 2019.
Sacramento Regional Top Companies Polled by Industry were Service (54%), Manufacturers (25%), Construction (19%) and Retail (2%)
For more information, employment blogs & market surveys go to www.pacificstaffing.com.
Source: Pacific Staffing
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD’s Board of Directors recently recognized the 21 college students who have been awarded Powering Futures scholarships for the 2018/19 academic year. All students received scholarships between $1,500 and $5,000, and the opportunity to work at SMUD as a paid intern.
The awards were based on academic merit and financial need, and preference was given to students who have declared a major relevant to SMUD.
Most of the students who receive a scholarship also accept paid summer internships in a variety of SMUD departments, including Grid Operations, Customer Operations, Geographical Information Systems, Warehouse and Fleet Operations among others. The internships provide students with excellent opportunities to learn practical skills and help launch themselves into future careers.
“The Powering Futures scholarship program helps us strengthen our talent pipeline and meet our future workforce needs,” said SMUDHuman Resources, Diversity & Inclusion Director Laurie Rodriguez. “We’re proud to support such an exceptional group of Sacramento students this year, and we look forward to seeing them back in the summer for their internships. They’ll have a great chance to learn about working in the energy industry and gain real-world experience that will help them in all of their future endeavors.”
The 2019/20 scholarship application period began on January 7 and will close on February 24. For those interested in applying, please visit,smud.org/Scholarships.
Senator Gaines Sworn in as Board of Equalization Member
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) was sworn in as an elected Member of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) during a ceremony held at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building in Downtown Sacramento. The oath of office was administered by Governor Gavin Newsom.
“I am excited to continue serving Californians as a taxpayer advocate,” said Senator Gaines. “My new role as a BOE Member comes with different challenges and opportunities, but my number one priority is to ensure hardworking Californians are allowed fair tax policies that create jobs and grow our economy.”
Senator Gaines will represent more than nine million California residents living in the 1st Equalization District, which spans inland California from San Bernardino County to the Oregon border. The five-member BOE is a publicly elected tax board responsible for administering Property Tax, Alcoholic Beverage Tax, and Tax on Insurers programs.
“Californians should be treated with respect and fairness when it comes to tax administration. They are tired of being over-taxed, and over-regulated. I pledge to fight on their behalf,” said Senator Gaines.
Prior to being elected to the BOE, Senator Gaines served 12 years in the State Legislature as a tireless advocate for California’s taxpayers, ratepayers, businesses and families. He fought to protect citizen privacy and led major efforts to bring thousands of new jobs to the state, as well as support critical legislation to strengthen and expand California’s infrastructure.
In addition to his life in public service, Senator Gaines is a successful small business owner, having owned Gaines Insurance for more than 30 years. He has been married to his wife Beth since 1986 and together they reside in El Dorado County and are blessed with six children and two grandchildren.
As a constitutional officer, Senator Gaines is currently the highest-ranking elected Republican state official in California.
Source: Office of Ted Gaines