Placer Vineyards, a 5,230-acre mixed use Master Planned Community including 14,132 homes, commercial centers, business parks, schools, recreational parks and large open space areas located just west of the City of Roseville in southern Placer County, was granted its Regional General Permit (RGP) by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

The Regional General Permit is the final plan-wide permit for Placer Vineyards, which clears the way for Placer Vineyards’ individual landowners and developers to permit and construct the initial phase of the new community in 2018.

“The Regional General Permit is an imperative step in advancing Placer Vineyards and provides the framework to begin implementing the construction of this Master Planned Community,” said Kent MacDiarmid, Project Manager of Placer Vineyards. “We look forward to continuing to work with Placer County to create an outstanding new community that stands the test of time and attracts homebuyers and new businesses for years to come.”

Placer Vineyards will contain single family homes with a range of sizes and price levels to provide exceptional housing in a suburban setting. The development will permanently preserve a minimum of 6,000 acres of open space and agricultural land in Placer County.

“We are pleased with the issuance of the Regional General Permit – a key milestone to breaking ground in the Placer Vineyards community,” said Supervisor Jack Duran, Placer County. “Placer Vineyards is the result of a long-term vision by the Board of Supervisors and the commitment of property owners. This permit is a significant step in making that vision a reality.”

Placer Vineyards is expected to create 7,600 jobs in the region.

For more information on Placer Vineyards, please visit:

Placer Vineyards includes 5,230 acres of land located approximately 15 miles north of the City of Sacramento in the southwest corner of Placer County. Placer Vineyards will be a new Master Planned Community with a mix of residential, employment, school and recreational uses. Placer Vineyards is a place where the natural and urban landscapes are woven together to create a distinct community. Development for the project will include the construction of over 14,000 homes and 7,600 new jobs.

Sierra Residents and Businesses Advised to Monitor Snow Loads on Roofs, Propane Tanks, Natural Gas Lines and Building Ventilation Systems

Source: Robert Miller, County of Placer  |  2017-01-18

With the potential for snow buildup on buildings and systems, Placer County public safety agencies are advising residents and businesses in the Sierra Nevada to monitor buildings, propane tanks and natural gas lines for signs of excessive loading due to heavy snow.

Residents and businesses should monitor roof vents, chimneys, and flues for blockages from to snow build-up. These systems need unobstructed access to outside air to properly ventilate. Blockages can lead to carbon monoxide build-up in buildings, creating a potentially unsafe interior environment. The heavy snow may also cause chimneys to shift creating potential falling hazards.

Particular attention should be paid to buildings constructed before Placer County adopted snow-load standards in the Sierra in the early 1960s. While construction standards since that time consider average snow accumulation, exceptional snow accumulation may exceed design limits creating a potential risk.

“When in doubt, have a qualified professional check it out,” said Chief Building Official, Tim Wegner.

Local agencies are reminding residents and businesses to properly care for propane tanks and natural gas lines because deep snowpack can damage pipes, valves, and tanks leading to leaks. A technical tidbit: propane is heavier than air and settles, while natural gas is lighter than air and rises.

Anyone who smells propane or natural gas inside or outside a building should call 911 immediately. They also should avoid smoking, starting engines or motors, turning on cooking appliances, using heating/air conditioning systems or using other ignition sources.

The Building Services Division of the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency says potential heavy snow danger signs include:

  • Visual deformation or sagging of beams and other parts of a building’s structural support system;
  • Newly developed cracks, particularly any which appear above windows or doors and where beams and other support structures are located. Minor cracks that expand or contract could be indications of building movement;
  • Doors and windows that suddenly become significantly harder to open or do not open at all, a sign that a building is potentially settling;
  • Water leakages inside buildings;
  • Recent buckling of interior or exterior siding and finishes, which may be a symptom of settling; and
  • Sprinkler heads being pushed down below ceiling levels.

Life safety is of the utmost importance. If there is any doubt about the integrity of a roof in extreme snow conditions, the building or area should be evacuated until professional advice can be sought.

Generally, residents and business owners are not encouraged to try to clear roofs with a heavy snow load. Potential dangers include injuries caused by falling snow; roof damage caused by removing snow from some areas, but leaving heavy snow loads in others; unbalanced unloading of the snow that can created unstable conditions and potential building collapse; and electrical hazards from coming into contact with overhead power lines and electrical service drops that are no longer visible or too close to the walking surface.

Residents and businesses concerned about the snow loads on roofs are encouraged to seek the advice of California licensed roofing/general contractors or California registered engineers.

For homes at elevations above 5,000 feet, residents and businesses with questions about propane should contact either their propane suppliers or local fire agencies. For natural gas questions, contact suppliers or California licensed plumbing/mechanical contractors.

Safety tips for the proper care of propane tanks during severe weather are on the county website. The website also contains advice for natural gas users to follow when they smell gas odors.

Placer County recommends that property owners and managers keep contact information, including home and cell phone numbers, current with gas suppliers, homeowner associations, and neighbors. In a gas emergency, it is important that emergency personnel be able to contact affected property owners.

Operating generators during power outages and alternative heating can also create problems if not used properly. When using portable generators, keep them outdoors and far away from open doors, windows, and vents to avoid a buildup of toxic levels of carbon monoxide indoors.

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Assemblyman Bigelow Introduces Rural Transportation Measure with Bipartisan Coalition

Source: Kirk Kimmelshue, California State Assembly  |  2017-01-18

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, joined a bipartisan coalition of rural California legislators and introduced AB 174, which would require one sitting, voting member of the California Transportation Commission to reside in a county with a population of less than 100,000 people.

“Time and time again, rural California gets the short end of the stick. This bill will ensure the voices of small, rural California counties are heard,” Bigelow said. “This bill gives our communities a seat at the table that we desperately need.”

The bipartisan coalition comprised of rural California representatives who join Bigelow in co-authoring the bill include Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Plumas Lake), Assemblyman Dr. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) and Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia).

“California’s transportation issues are as diverse as its many communities. It is critical that our rural counties have a voice on the California Transportation Commission to ensure that the transportation system as a whole is as responsive to rural communities as it is to urban centers,” Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry said.

“I am proud to be a coauthor of Assemblyman Bigelow’s bill,” said Assembly Member Jim Wood, representing California’s North Coast. “I have traveled all over my district and access to well-maintained roads can actually be the difference between life and death for some of our residents.” 

The California Transportation Commission is comprised of eleven voting members and two non-voting ex-officio members with a mission to be a unified voice for California’s transportation policy.  Currently, every member of the Commission resides in a county with a population over a million.

 “Without rural representation on the Commission, it is impossible for the Commission to meet their mission as a unified voice for transportation issues in California. Our rural roads are crumbling and polka dotted with pot holes. Shovel-ready projects to update our infrastructure keep receiving the red line. The time has come to ensure our issues have a voice and a vote,” Bigelow said.

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, is a lifelong rancher who represents the 5th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes all or parts of Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera and Mono counties.

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'Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience' Coming to State Theatre in Auburn

Source: Lia Carotta, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center  |  2017-01-18

Billed as 'the one of the best Touring Shows in America Celebrating the Music of the Beatles,' the theatrical production of ‘Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience ' will be presented at Auburn's State Theatre on Saturday March 11, 2017 at 7:30pm.

During the show, over 35 Beatles hits are performed, “She Loves You" "All My Lovin" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" "I Saw Her Standing There" and many more. There will also be a special tribute to John Lennon.

"From their explosive debut on the Ed Sullivan Show and their meteoric ascent to the 'Top of the Pops’ through the colorful Sergeant Pepper era and beyond – we strive for realism in the show,” says Jeremy Dawson, who plays George Harrison in the production.

“This is the music that represents how The Beatles transcended their own myth and crafted a musical legacy that continues to inspire and captivate the world's imagination," Dawson says, who also happens to be a longtime Auburn resident.

“Come experience the Beatles like you've never seen them before,” Dawson promises, “it's a show the whole family will enjoy.”


Event:       Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience
Date/Time:       Sat. March 11, 2017 Showtime 7:30pm
Where:     State Theatre
                985 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603
Tickets at: or (530) 885-0156

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City Open for Comprehensive Transit Plan Bids

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-13

Citrus Heights is ready to revisit its Comprehensive Transit Plan and will now be taking bids from interested companies. According to the city’s Transit Plan, qualified firms can register with the city online or through the General Services Department.

Per the city of Citrus Heights, “This project is federally funded and is subject to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy.” At this juncture, the city is searching for professional consulting services to “develop a Comprehensive Transit Plan and recommendations for the City.”

The General Services Department selection process begins with Requests for Proposals (RFP) and then evaluates the proposals and creates consultant teams to determine which companies to interview.

Part of the city’s requirements is ongoing collaboration with city staff and “significant outreach with Citrus Heights residents and community stakeholders” via surveys, open houses, focus groups and personal as well as group interviews.

According to the city, “Engagement shall be designed to obtain feedback on current services, and assess demand, preferences and community priorities for public transportations services.” The chosen consultant must, according to Citrus Heights, “ensure all public outreach events are publicly noticed to promote maximum attendance.” This will include website, media releases, public notices and surveys and more. Media and translation for Spanish-speaking residents is also required.

The ability work well with other local transit entities is also a stated necessity. According to the City’s current documentation, “The Project includes ongoing and regular coordination with RT (Regional Transit) as one of the Project partners. In addition, the Consultant shall coordinate as appropriate with other local agencies… potentially impacting Citrus Heights transit users, including Roseville Transit, Placer County Transit Authority, Folsom Transit services and the City of Rancho Cordova’s Transit Division.”

The selected consulting firm must show Scope of Work, Project Management, Personnel and Staffing, Qualifications, Experience and References, Federal/State Funded Project Experience and Quality and Responsiveness of the Proposal. Interested parties can contact the city at or 916 727 4770. Proposals are due by 2 pm January 20, 2017.

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Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game Coming to Bonney Field in 2017

Source: Cal Expo  |  2017-01-13

Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits.

The world's best lacrosse players are coming to Sacramento, CA. Major League Lacrosse has chosen Bonney Field at Cal Expo as the site for the 16th All-Star Game in 2017. The MLL All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, July 8 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits. The All-Star Shootout Tournament presented by ADVNC Lacrosse and the All-Star Skills Competition will take place at Cherry Island Sports Complex in Rio Linda, CA. More information about those events can be found at

MLL chose to host the 2017 All-Star Game in northern California because it is the epicenter of lacrosse in the state of California and arguably, the Pacific Coast. According to US Lacrosse, there are more youth lacrosse players registered with US Lacrosse in the Northern California region than in greater Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego combined. Also, the region played host to the San Francisco Dragons, an MLL franchise that played from 2006-08.

This top-caliber event is just the latest addition to hit the pitch of Bonney Field, which is also home to the Sacramento Republic FC and PRO Rugby Sacramento. For more information about the MLL All-Star Game excitement see

Cal Expo is home to the California State Fair and plays host to hundreds of other signature events each year. The Cal Expo property is home to Bonney Field, a premier sports and entertainment venue with seating of 11,000.

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North Tahoe In Storm Recovery Mode; Bracing for Holiday Weekend Challenges

Source: Chris Gray-Garcia, County of Placer  |  2017-01-13

There is light at the end of the snow tunnel in eastern Placer County including Donner Summit and the Tahoe area, with snow expected to taper off Thursday night.  The forecast shows several dry days ahead for residents and visitors over the holiday weekend. However, as businesses and residents continue to dig out from nearly 12 feet of snow over the last 10 days, the challenges are far from over.

Placer County officials say they welcome visitors to Lake Tahoe for what is surely going to be a beautiful holiday weekend, but that guests should come with plenty of patience and an expectation that challenges remain. Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Jennifer Montgomery, whose 5th District includes eastern Placer County, is encouraging people to come up and play, but only if they come prepared. “With some remaining power outages and deep snow,” she said, “visitors should come with an expectation that in some cases it might be like camping out in your own home.”

Many areas are still without power and there are downed power lines and trees scattered throughout the region. As snow continues to fall, county Public Works crews are continuously plowing the 150 miles of streets that fall within their area of responsibility. Caltrans is responsible for plowing the highways.

A considerable avalanche danger remains in effect in many parts of the Sierra, and those considering traveling into the backcountry are strongly advised to check the Sierra Avalanche Center daily report ( before traveling into uncontrolled areas.

“As of Thursday, there are still significant safety issues remaining in Tahoe,” said Jennifer Merchant, Placer County’s deputy county executive officer for Lake Tahoe. “But it’s also access challenges that people should be aware of. Many residential streets have limited access. With 10 feet of snow plowed up on either side, many roads are down to one lane. It will be a beautiful holiday weekend, but it may take us a few days to truly dig ourselves out of this storm and get back to normal.”

Area businesses – retail, restaurants and even resorts – may be challenged to be fully operational as their employees may still be struggling to get to work.

Merchant recommends that anyone planning to stay in vacation rentals in the residential neighborhoods should check with their host or rental company in advance to ensure the home has power and is accessible. She also advises checking resort websites prior to driving there to learn whether they are open and fully operational, in order to minimize unnecessary travel.

To be prepared for whatever might await you, officials recommend driving a four-wheel drive vehicle and carrying chains (cables are not recommended), and have water, food, blankets and extra clothing in your car. Additionally, to ensure the power is on in the community where you are planning to stay, please check Liberty Utilities website ( before you travel.

“Undoubtedly, for those who are able to come up and enjoy the weekend here, it will be great skiing, snowboarding or whatever your favorite snow-play activity might be,” said Merchant. “But please understand that we’ve basically been sheltering in place for three days, and we’ve got a lot of catch-up to do before the next storm comes in next week.”

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Local Sailor Participates in Pacific Partnership

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach  |  2017-01-12

Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams (shown above), from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 U.S. 
--Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Kohl-rus/Released

Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams, from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, prepares to jump into the water during a rehearsal for a Pacific Partnership 2016 search and rescue drill.

During the drill, aviation rescue swimmers hoisted simulated casualties from the water into an MH-60S helicopter for medical evacuation to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). The Pacific Partnership search and rescue field training exercise spanned across three locations in Padang and included a water rescue, a field hospital for patient triage and transport, and a mass casualty at a local soccer field.

The day's events were facilitated by Tentara Nasional Indonesia, local first responders and the Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance and disaster relief team. This is the fifth time Pacific Partnership has visited Indonesia. Partner nations are working side-by-side with local organizations during disaster response training, civil engineering projects, Women, Peace, and Security seminars, medical subject matter expert exchanges and a live field training exercise aimed at improving the capacity of local government, civilian agencies and partner militaries to collectively respond in crisis.

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Girl Scout Cookies: 100 years, 9 Cookies, 5 Skills, One Purpose!

Source: Girl Scouts Heart of Central California  |  2017-01-12

The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. 
--Photo courtesy of Girls Scouts of America

Building Girl Leaders One Package at a Time

This year marks the 100th year since Girl Scouts first started selling cookies. The cookie sale teaches valuable life skills and the proceeds, which all stay local, support their adventures and community service projects all year long!

Girl Scouts nationwide are celebrating this 100th cookie-versary with a brand new S’mores Cookie and you’re among the first in the country to try it! The cookies are available to order starting January 13. Look for Girl Scouts with order forms! For the third year running, the cost of Girl Scout Cookies is $5 per package.

The cookies arrive in Sacramento on February 18 at the Girl Scout Cookie MegaDrop at Raley Field. They are expecting to distribute more than 100,000 cases of cookies to Girl Scout troops throughout Northern and Central California. Cookies will be available through booth sales starting February 24.

The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Girl Scouts is the world’s most successful organization dedicated to creating girl leaders, with 3.2 million active members and more than 59 million alumnae. Since its founding in 1912, women have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills and developed strong core values through Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout organization has shaped the lives of the majority of female senior executives and business owners, two-thirds of women in Congress, and virtually every female astronaut.

The national organization is Girl Scouts of the USA; the local council is Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC). GSHCC is devoted to building Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders (G.I.R.L.s) in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.

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Tax Filing Season Begins January 23

Source: Internal Revenue Service  |  2017-01-12

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.

The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software.

Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 23 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. In addition, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS cautions that many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.

“For this tax season, it’s more important than ever for taxpayers to plan ahead,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “People should make sure they have their year-end tax statements in hand, and we encourage people to file as they normally would, including those claiming the credits affected by the refund delay. Even with these significant changes, IRS employees and the entire tax community will be working hard to make this a smooth filing season for taxpayers.”

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are changing tax software products this filing season will need their adjusted gross income from their 2015 tax return in order to file electronically. The Electronic Filing Pin is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.Gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2016 tax return.

The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 17. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.

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