Terminally-Ill Man Receives NASCAR Dream

Special Dream Foundation Release  |  2019-04-08

Winston Cain (Dream Foundation Dreamer), Glory Ariche (Genentech), Rene Hamlin (Snowline Hospice), Jeremy Lansing (Snowline Hospice), and Janice Curtin (Snowline Hospice). Photo provided by Dream Foundation

Dream Foundation celebrates Winston Cain’s life with a final NASCAR Race

El Dorado Hills, California (MPG) - Despite being diagnosed with ALS, which has left him paralyzed from the neck down apart from the use of one arm and hand, 71-year-old El Dorado Hills resident, Winston Cain, hasn’t stopped dreaming.

Winston has always loved NASCAR and car racing, having attended many races throughout his life. Now bed bound, Winston watches NASCAR intently every Sunday. He loves to imagine himself as the announcer, “Start your engines!” and dreams of attending one final race with his family.  

With support from Autoclub Speedway and Homewood Suites, Dream Foundation fulfilled Winston’s final Dream. This past month, Winston, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law enjoyed VIP treatment and a special meet and greet with his favorite driver, Chase Elliot at the Fontana NASCAR race of March 16th. The foundation will also provide accommodations, a wheelchair accessible van rental and extra travel funds for the trip.

Glory Ariche from Genentech, one of Dream Foundation’s Mission Partners, served “Dream Host” at the intimate gathering of Thursday, March 14th delivering everything that Winston needed for his Dream journey. Also in attendance were Snowline Hospice’s Rene Hamlin, Jeremy Lansing, and Janice Curtin who referred Winston to the organization’s dream-granting program. Their commitment to Winston was instrumental in bringing his final Dream to life.

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 30,000 final Dreams over the last twenty-five years.

The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management, ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit: DreamFoundation.org/donate.

Snowline Hospice serves the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer Counties, delivering end of life care and support to patients and their families.  Since 1979, Snowline has been dedicated to meeting the unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are nearing the end of life's journey.  Our goal is to enhance living, comfort the dying and support the grieving with compassion and dignity.

 

Thousands of Distracted Drivers ‘Caught in the Act’

By Jaime Coffee, California Highway Patrol  |  2019-06-14

Citations are just one tool law enforcement has at its disposal for combating driver distraction. File Photo MPG

Results of Statewide Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign Released

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Despite a statewide public education campaign about the dangers of distracted driving, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued 19,850 citations during the month of April to drivers who violated California’s hands-free cell phone laws. This total represents a 3.6 percent increase from April 2018. As part of the campaign, the CHP identified two statewide, zero-tolerance enforcement days, April 4 and 19. During that time, the CHP issued 2,459 citations to drivers for violating the handsfree law.                                                           

The CHP, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), Impact Teen Drivers (ITD), local law enforcement, and other traffic safety partners worked together throughout Distracted Driving Awareness Month to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. Only statistics from the CHP were available for release.

In addition to phones, other serious distractions include eating, grooming, applying makeup, reaching for fallen objects, using a vehicle’s touchscreen, knobs, dials or buttons, changing clothes, or any other task that takes your eyes or mind off the road.

“Citations are just one tool law enforcement has at its disposal for combating driver distraction,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “Our ultimate goal is compliance with California’s handsfree law so that nothing diverts a driver’s attention or interferes with their ability to safely operate a vehicle.”

The OTS continued its “Go Safely, California” public awareness campaign for the month of April and early part of May with a focus on distracted driving. The education effort included TV and radio spots, social media posts, and outdoor billboards with messages encouraging Californians to put down the phone while driving.

“Drivers on their cell phone are a stubborn problem that will continue to require extensive education about the dangers and enforcement of laws against using cell phones behind the wheel,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “It is a bad habit that may be hard for some to break, but is something that far too often leads to tragic consequences,” she added

ITD, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that educates teens on the dangers of reckless and distracted driving, kicked off Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a Teen Safe Driving Roundtable at California State University, Sacramento. ITD hosted the event with the CHP and the National Transportation Safety Board to discuss ways to improve teen driver safety where driver distraction is the primary cause of crashes.

“Seventy-five percent of teen fatal car crashes do not involve drugs or alcohol but everyday behaviors become lethal when a new inexperienced driver chooses to engage in them behind the wheel,” said ITD Executive Director Dr. Kelly Browning.

The OTS hosted an event April 12 at Sacramento’s Inderkum High School to educate students on the importance of driving free of distractions. Students even had the chance to experience first-hand how distractions impact your driving ability through simulator goggles.

The OTS is holding a statewide distracted driving video and billboard contest for high school students, with $15,000 in total cash prizes. All California high school students ages 14 to 20 are eligible to participate. The OTS is still accepting entries through May 20. For details on rules and how to enter, visit gosafelyca.org.

Distracted driving remains a top concern for California drivers. According to a 2018 public opinion survey conducted by University of California, Berkeley, nearly half of all drivers surveyed listed distracted driving because of texting or talking on a cell phone as their biggest safety concern on roads.

“Many drivers understand the risks they take looking at or using their phone, but do it anyway,” Director Craft said. “Drivers must use self-discipline and make it a habit to stay off the phone.”

California has had distracted driving laws since 2008. The CHP, the OTS, and ITD remind drivers that under the handsfree cell phone law, drivers are not allowed to hold a wireless telephone or electronic communications device while operating a vehicle. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a cell phone for any reason, including hands-free.

...Read More!  
  |  

Tips to Keep Teen Drivers Safe While Driving

By Michael Blasky, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety  |  2019-06-14

Talk with teens about the dangers of risky situations, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving. File Photo MPG

WALNUT CREEK, CA (MPG) The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are considered the most dangerous for teen drivers. In the past five years, during that time, nearly 3,500 people across the country were killed in crashes involving teen drivers.

New data analyzed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that the three most common behaviors that contribute to the spike in teen crashes during the summer months are speed, impaired driving, and distracted driving.

Following are some impressive facts on the issue:

More than a quarter (28%) of teen crashes involve speeding; One in six (17%) teen drivers test positive for alcohol in fatal crashes; More than half (60%) of teen crashes involve distraction.

“As an advocate for safe roads, AAA wants parents and guardians to be concerned about scary, but true, teen driving statistics,” said Michael Blasky, spokesperson for AAA Northern California. “Through education, training, and parental involvement, we can help young drivers become better and safer drivers. This in turn, can help make the roads safer for everyone.”

To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents and guardians to:

Lead by example and minimize your own risky behavior when driving; Talk with teens about the dangers of risky driving situations, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving; Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers; Become familiar with resources like TeenDriving.AAA.com, which can help prepare families and teens for the summer driving season.

“Not only do teen drivers pose a risk to themselves, they’re also a risk for their passengers and others they share the road with,” Blasky said. “We want parents and guardians to take this rite of passage seriously by setting and consistently enforcing rules for teen drivers this summer.”

In addition to TeenDriving.AAA.com, the AAA StartSmart program can help parents and guardians become more effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

About AAA Northern California
AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, and extraordinary travel services. According to Via Magazine's Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at AAA.com.

...Read More!  
  |  

‘Blue Star Museums’ Free to Military Personnel and Families

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-06-13

A U.S. Air Force F-4 McDonnell Douglas Phantom II at the Aerospace Museum of California. Photo courtesy of the Aerospace Museum of California.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Seven Sacramento area museums are participating in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America by offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families now through Labor Day (September 2), 2019.

The seven local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, Powerhouse Science Center and the Sacramento History Museum.

First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019. This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military –

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.

Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Before planning a visit, guests are encouraged to 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 https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums. For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.

About the Sacramento Area Museums (SAM)
Comprised of 30 greater Sacramento area museums working in partnership with Visit Sacramento, SAM’s mission is to raise awareness of local museums by giving the community the opportunity to discover California’s fine art, history, science and wildlife treasures. SAM achieves its mission through implementing cooperative promotions and developing strategic marketing alliances, by encouraging sharing of knowledge and resources among its partner institutions. For more information, visit
www.SacMuseums.org.

*Some museums closed on Memorial Day (Mon., May 27, 2019) and Labor Day (Mon., Sept. 2, 2019); please check participating venues for holidays and hours.

...Read More!  
  |  

Sierra Nevada Conservancy Governing Board Awards for Restoration Projects

By Brittany Covich, Sierra Nevada Conservancy  |  2019-06-13

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - At its quarterly meeting, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Governing Board approved a total of $3,122,551 in funds for five different projects focused on improving watershed and forest health throughout the Sierra Nevada.

Each of the selected projects strike at the heart of the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), SNC’s large-scale restoration initiative designed to improve ecosystem and community resilience in the Region.

“The projects authorized for funding by our board today will provide community protection and improve forest and watershed health more broadly,” said Sierra Nevada Conservancy Executive Officer, Angela Avery. “These are great examples of the type and kind of work that the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program is focused on implementing with our partners across the region.”

Four of the approved projects are specifically forest health grants funded through Proposition 1 (The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014) and Proposition 68 (The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018). The Yuba Watershed Institute was awarded $300,000 for its ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Project – Phase 1 to aid in forest restoration and watershed health in Nevada County. Sagehen Creek Field Station, a research and teaching facility of the University of California at Berkeley located in the Tahoe National Forest, was awarded $1 million for its Pushing the Larger Landscape Into Resiliency Through Fire project. An additional $721,487 was authorized to the Sierra Foothill Conservancy in Mariposa County for the Von Der Ahe Forest Enhancement Project and $506,714 went to the Plumas Audubon Society for its efforts to improve the health of the forests in the Genesee Valley, a significant tributary to the north fork of the Feather River.

Finally, $594,350 was allotted for the Blacksmith Project, an undertaking by the El Dorado National Forest to aid in landscape resilience and improve growing conditions for trees in a 6,000-acre area east of Georgetown, Ca. Funding for this project came from CAL FIRE’s California Climate Investments (CCI) grant program, which puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work throughout the state to help improve public health, the environment, and the economy by reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs).

Additional information about these projects and the programs that fund them can be found at www.sierranevada.ca.gov in the June 2019 Board Meeting materials.

About the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) is a state agency whose mission is to improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the 25-million-acre Sierra Nevada Region. The SNC leads the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), a large-scale restoration program designed to restore the health of California’s primary watershed and create resilient Sierra Nevada Communities. Additional information about the SNC and the WIP can be found atwww.sierranevada.ca.gov.

 

 

...Read More!  
  |  

“You’re a Grand Old Rag: George M. Cohan’s Broadway”

By Janis Wikoff, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center  |  2019-06-13

Image of Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. Courtesy APPAC

On Stage at the State Presenting Theatrical

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - For over a century, the name George M. Cohan has conjured the rollicking magic that is Broadway. As America’s beloved tunesmith and original “Song & Dance Man,” he was the father of modern musical theater.

You’re a Grand Old Rag, played from the showman’s original 1900s Broadway orchestrations, offers a stirring look at George M. Cohan’s amazing life and music – Give My Regards to Broadway, The Yankee Doodle Boy, Over There!, and all the rest. A tap-dancing bravura performance that brings audiences to their feet!

Based on the Orchestra’s BILLBOARD-charted “Top Classical Album” of the same name, this celebration of early American musical theater stars modern-day Broadway song & dance man, Colin Pritchard.

Now enjoying its 33nd season, The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble specializing in the authentic recreation of “America’s Original Music” – the sounds of early theater, “silent” cinema, and vintage dance.

PRO has acquired a considerable following both here and abroad through its radio programs on National Public Radio, New York Times' WQXR, and the BBC. Since 1989 more than 600,000,000 people have enjoyed the Orchestra’s recorded area music on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland, Disney World, and Disneyland Paris.

Date and time: Saturday, June 29, 2019~ 7:30 PM

Run Time: 2 hours with intermission

Reserved Seating: $30, $25 Groups of 6 or more

Location: State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn CA

Box Office: www.livefromauburn.com or 530-885-0156

 

...Read More!  
  |  

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Board of Supervisors of Placer County will move forward in developing a 2-1-1 information and referral system.

2-1-1 provides free online and telephone support to community members to connect them with resources ranging from disaster aid to health and human services. Nationwide, 2-1-1 is found in all 50 states and in 38 California counties. Placer had previously been the largest county in the state without 2-1-1 service.

Supervisors directed staff to move forward with 2-1-1 implementation, while asking staff to look for cost-saving opportunities and additional financial partners to support the effort.

“I think it's evident that we need this system. Hopefully we can continue to work together with partners on this project,” said District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “It's clear we need to move forward.”

County staff will be formalizing contracts in the coming months and hope to see the system begin to roll out sometime in the next year.

2-1-1 systems have proved beneficial in emergencies, like the wildfires that have ravaged California in recent years. The systems allow for the quick dissemination of information regarding evacuations, shelters, road closures and aid without the need to create and staff a separate call center, all while reducing call volume to 9-1-1.
 
“Having a 2-1-1 system better positions us for future disasters and will help us keep the public up-to-date and safe,” said Office of Emergency Services Assistant Director Holly Powers. “We are looking forward to having Placer residents join the millions of Americans served by 2-1-1.”
 
2-1-1 also provides a 24/7, one-stop shop — whether online or by phone — for referrals to community and health services including senior care, employment services, housing assistance, medical providers and much more.

“Rather than having to spend time searching out and remembering phone numbers, residents will be able to simply dial 2-1-1 and have all sorts of resources at their fingertips,” said Health and Human Services Director Jeff Brown. “It will be quick and much less hassle, where folks won’t be forced to navigate through a maze of programs.”

The proposal for a new 2-1-1 system arose out of conversations with community groups, law enforcement and other local leaders. Financial partners in the current effort include First 5 Placer and the Placer County Office of Education. The system will cost up to $250,000 annually after initial startup costs.

Information about the 2-1-1 launch can be found at placer.ca.gov as it becomes available.

...Read More!  
  |  

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Local residents are stepping up in support of strengthening fire services in Placer County by approving increased assessment fees for their fire protection districts.

Two ballot measures aimed at improving local fire services in the Foresthill and Placer Hills service areas received the two-thirds majority vote required to pass.

The Placer County Registrar of Voters recently certified the results of the May 7 special elections for the Placer Hills and Foresthill fire protection districts.

The additional revenue will enable Foresthill to reopen and staff its previously closed fire station and increase employee salaries to reduce attrition and improve the ability to attract and recruit personnel.

For Placer Hills, the assessment increase will enable fire officials to maintain current staffing levels, prevent significant cutbacks and provide the appropriate level of fire protection and emergency medical response services to the communities they serve, which includes Applegate, Clipper Gap, Eden Valley, Meadow Vista and Weimar.

“We are thankful that our communities support the need for additional funding and are looking forward to a brighter future for our residents,” said Fire Chief Kirk Kushen, chief for the Placer Hills, Foresthill and Newcastle fire districts. “The additional revenue will provide us the ability to continue to serve our communities with the stability of service.”

The Foresthill and Placer Hills fire protection districts will reimburse the county for the cost of their respective elections.

...Read More!  
  |  

 

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - A workforce housing proposal in North Auburn got a boost today with the Placer County Board of Supervisors voting to contribute assets valued at nearly $8 million toward the $37.7 million project.

The 79-unit development is planned at the Placer County Government Center campus on county-owned land. In June 2018, the board approved an agreement with Mercy Housing California to develop the project, including an option for Mercy to lease the land - valued at $1.98 million - for 99 years at a cost of $1 a year.

“It really is difficult and expensive to build housing projects like this,” said District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “It takes all of us working together to find and provide funding to make them feasible and meet housing needs in our community.”

Placer’s $7.95 million contribution is a critical measure of support for Mercy’s pending application for low-income housing tax credits to help fund the project. More than $706,000 would come from the Placer County Housing Trust Fund to cover the cost of development and processing fee offsets and credits, with the rest comprised of non-cash contributions including land, housing vouchers and funding from two pending grant applications with the state totaling more than $4.5 million. The state is scheduled to announce both grant awards in June.

While Placer’s support is a major milestone for the housing project, a lawsuit filed last month by Concerned Citizens for Community and Public Lands against the county’s Placer County Government Center Master Plan update threatens to halt its construction.

Concerned Citizens states in the filing that its intent is not to target the housing project with the litigation. But because the project relies on the development standards and environmental analysis approved in the master plan update, financing and construction of the project are threatened unless the lawsuit is resolved.

The suit challenges the adequacy of the master plan’s environmental impact report, focusing on demolition of the DeWitt Theater, which the plan could eventually allow. Though the master plan update could allow for the theater’s demolition, the board’s approval of the master plan in April included a provision that allows community members up to two years to organize funding to rehabilitate the theater before the county would make any decisions about its future.

“We’re disappointed by this legal roadblock to such a critical, needed housing project, but we need to continue to do everything we can to keep it moving while we defend ourselves against this wasteful and costly litigation,” said Board Chair Kirk Uhler.

The county’s contribution to the project will only be applied if Mercy’s low-income housing tax credits and state grants are awarded, required project approvals are obtained and the project is built.

...Read More!  
  |  

SMUD and CDFW Stock Thousands of Trout in Reservoirs

SMUD Press Release  |  2019-06-12

SMUD and CDFW will be stocking three separate reservoirs for recreational fishing.

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - SMUD and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting will run into August with SMUD stocking 25,000 pounds of fish into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. This is the fifth consecutive summer SMUD and CDFW have combined efforts to stock the reservoirs.

The trout plants are intended to enhance angling opportunities for the public. Surveys say fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. On average, the stocked trout weigh one to two pounds each, including some trophy fish. SMUD, along with the owners of the Ice House Resort, have installed the “Crystal Basin Bragging Board” where anglers can post pictures of their catch from Crystal Basin reservoirs. There is also a scale available if anglers wish to weigh their catch and claim biggest-fish bragging rights. Anglers are also encouraged to tag SMUD on social media and show off their catch.

SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where many SMUD employees call home and work, and where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities.

SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2014 to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydro power, enough to provide about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average water year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

SMUD will coordinate six separate trout plantings starting in early June and continuing into early August. Union Valley, the largest of the three reservoirs, will get 9,600 pounds; Loon Lake, 7,750 pounds; and Ice House, 7,650. The fish provided by SMUD will come from Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts the very popular Trout Derby.

Fishing licenses are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

For more information about UARP and associated projects, as well as current reservoir and stream release conditions, please visit smud.org and the Community and Recreational Areas Web pages.

 

...Read More!  
  |