Grandparents Are Great!

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-09-12

Five-year-old Serenity shows off her wings at the Grandparents Day Butterfly Release.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Sunday, September 8, families from around the region celebrated Grandparents Day with a Butterfly Release at Sacramento Children’s Museum (SCM). The event, which was a collaboration between SCM and Snowline Hospice, honored grandparents’ significant impact on children’s lives.

Snowline development director Rene Hamlin said, “We wanted to do something together with the Sacramento Children’s Museum that celebrated grandparents because a lot of grandparents bring their grandkids here, and we take care of a lot of grandparents [at Snowline]. It’s Grandparents Day and releasing a butterfly in honor or in memory or with your grandparent is kind of a magical experience.”

Hamlin said that the butterflies signify “hope and renewal. Here’s something that starts out as a caterpillar, this worm thing with a lot of legs, that goes into a cocoon — and scientists have opened up the cocoon and it’s not like there’s a baby butterfly in there, it’s this goo, this primordial goo — and then it opens up to reveal this beautiful butterfly, so it’s a mystery. It’s amazing, it’s magical.”

To commence the Butterfly Release, Hamlin read a poem: “As you release this butterfly in honor of me, know that I am with you and will always be. … Now fly away, butterfly, as high as you can go. I’m right there with you more than you know,” (poem by Jill Haley). Participants warmed the butterflies in their hands to wake them from hibernation, and then released them in honor of their grandparents.


Rancho Cordova City Councilmember Linda Budge attended the Grandparents Day Butterfly Release and said, “I think this is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Standing here holding these little creatures…. I mean, who’s ever held a butterfly?”


Budge loves spending time with her 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: “As grandparents, it is such a treasure to have our grandchildren living here in the same area that we are. … I really appreciate everybody being here close to home. It gives us the opportunity to do mundane things like going to baseball games or to Back-to-School Night with the kids. There’s nothing better.”


The Butterfly Release celebration featured games, activities, face painting, and food vendors. Grandparents shared the day with their favorite tiny people and spoke about the importance of being intentionally active and present to make an impact on the lives of their grandchildren. One grandmother described it as the “consistency of family.” Others acknowledged the joy of getting to spoil the grandchildren and then give them back to the parents. Leslie Santana described the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren as “happiness.”


SCM’s director of museum advancement Meghan Toland said, “This is the first time the museum has ever been part of a Butterfly Release, and the reception was great. It was a really neat way to bring people of all ages to the museum. … It was really cool seeing people of all ages enjoying the event — and seeing all the butterflies released was so beautiful.” After such a successful event, Toland is hopeful that the Butterfly Release can become an annual event if there is continued community interest.


This year’s Butterfly Release was sponsored by Golden1 Credit Union, the City of Rancho Cordova, Republic Services, Oakmont of El Dorado Hills, and the Fernandez family. Proceeds from the event will benefit Snowline’s Healing All Together youth grief group and SCM’s educational programs.


Rancho Cordova's History

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Shawn Yadon, CEO of the California Trucking Association (CTA), issued the following statement in response to the decision by Governor Gavin Newsom to sign Assembly Bill 5 into law:

“In the wake of Governor Newsom signing AB 5, the California Trucking Association is exploring its options to ensure California’s more than 70,000 independent owner-operators do not lose the tens of thousands of dollars spent in purchasing and updating their trucks, and other assets they have invested in order to build their own businesses.

“In its current form, AB 5 denies a significant segment of the trucking industry the ability to continue operating as independent owner-operators, forcing them to abandon investments they’ve made in their trucks as well as taking away their flexibility to set their own schedule and determine their destiny regarding their businesses, which many have operated for more than three decades.

“We look forward to working with the Legislature and the Administration to develop a more workable solution to AB 5 that protects employees from misclassification without eliminating the independent owner-operator business model.”

Since 1934, the California Trucking Association has been serving the commercial motor carrier industry in California and the companies that provide products and services to the trucking industry. A critical and vital component of California’s economy, nearly 80 percent of California communities depend solely on trucks to deliver their goods. Our carrier membership ranges from individual owner-operators, to small for-hire fleets, to the largest national and international carriers. Allied members of the California Trucking Association range from businesses involved with truck and trailer sales, parts and service, insurance, legal services and all other businesses that support the trucking industry.

The California Trucking Association promotes leadership in the California motor carrier industry, advocates sound transportation policies to all levels of government, and works to maintain a safe, environmentally responsible and efficient California transportation goods movement system. 

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River Cats are Triple-A National Champions

Special from Sacramento River Cats  |  2019-09-19

Memphis, TN  (MPG) -  The Sacramento River are the Triple-A National Champions after shutting out the International League Champion Columbus Clippers by a score of 4-0 on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park in Memphis, TN. Behind a stellar outing from left-hander, and eventual Most Valuable Player Caleb Baragar, the River Cats became the first franchise to take home their third Triple-A National Championship.

Baragar was nothing short of magnificent for a second straight time this postseason, compiling a combined 2-0 record with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings, and dominating the Clippers’ offense over his five frames on Tuesday night. Baragar gave up just two hits while fanning five batters to earn MVP honors.

The River Cats jumped on the Clippers early, knocking out Columbus starter Kyle Dowdy in the first inning and tagging the right-hander for three runs. Francisco Peña delivered an RBI-groundout, then a couple batters later Jacob Heyward delivered a two-RBI single to right field.

Peter Maris would add a solo blast in the sixth inning to expand the lead to four. The swing of the bat was his second home run of this postseason. Levi Michael and Abiatal Avelino would finish the night with three hits apiece to pace the Sacramento offense from the top of the order.

The Sacramento bullpen was nearly perfect on their way to the first shutout of the playoffs from the River Cats. Right-hander Ricardo Pinto delivered two perfect innings while striking out four. Flame-throwing righty Melvin Adon contributed a scoreless inning, allowing one hit to start the ninth. Then lefty Steven Okert would come on to induce a double play and strikeout the final batter to clinch the Championship for the River Cats.

The Sacramento River Cats finished off their 2019 regular season with a 73-67 record – the first winning record since becoming a San Francisco Giants’ affiliate in 2015. The club won their first Pacific Northern division title since 2012, and became the first Giants Triple-A club to win their division since 1998. The River Cats went on defeat to defeat the Las Vegas Aviators in five games, then the Round Rock Express in a sweep to claim their first Pacific Coast League crown since 2008. In a year in which 85 players appeared Sacramento, the River Cats 20th season came to an end on September 17 with a Triple-A National Championship.

The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion -San Francisco Giants.  Find out more at

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – The Sacramento River Cats and Sutter Health announced a multi-year agreement that names the integrated healthcare network, headquartered in Sacramento and serving more than 100 Northern California communities, as the team’s lead community partner. As part of the new agreement that will take effect after the 2019 season, the home of the Sacramento River Cats will be known as Sutter Health Park, and the team and Sutter Health will collaborate on a variety of community-focused projects to improve the total health and wellness of the Sacramento region.

“Sutter Health has been a long-time partner to the Sacramento River Cats–whether it was their network doctors serving as team physicians or through their sponsorship of our Saturday night fireworks,” said River Cats General Manager, Chip Maxson. “We are excited about this new opportunity where we can concentrate on a variety of community-focused projects on and off the field, while also lending the Sutter Health name to the home of the River Cats, a premier venue for fun, affordable and family-friendly entertainment in the Sacramento region.”

As part of its collaboration, the River Cats and Sutter Health will together expand its support of youth physical and mental health, as well as access to play and the outdoors across the region. Plans include providing field makeovers for youth baseball and softball fields and promotion of youth mental health awareness. 

“Sutter Health is excited to expand our nearly 20-year community partnership with the River Cats. The organization is a fun, affordable and family-friendly community asset that we are proud to support,” said Sutter Health Chief Operating Officer James Conforti. “Together we call this region home, and we are passionate about supporting our vibrant community. Communities are stronger when there is greater access to sports, athletics and outdoor activities, which are powerful ways to improve individual health and wellness.”

As part of the transition, the home of the Sacramento River Cats will become Sutter Health Park. It will serve as a community gathering space that actively promotes health and wellness beginning with the 2020 baseball season and throughout the year, and plans include health and wellness programming and local events from walks and runs, to health screenings, flu immunization clinics and more. During the season, attendees will see additional cause-related nights and non-profit community partners featured and supported in their community-related activities and programs.

Raley’s, the inaugural community sponsor that made its commitment to support the tradition of local baseball with the Sacramento River Cats, will transition out of its role at the conclusion of the 2019 season. Like Raley’s, Sutter Health is one of the Sacramento region’s largest private employers, and both are proud to call the Sacramento region home.

“Twenty years ago, Raley’s made a commitment to support our local baseball club, which was a defining moment for our region,” said River Cats President Jeff Savage. “We are very grateful for their partnership over the years and all that we have accomplished together in support of our organization, our players and the larger community.”

“The Sacramento River Cats and Raley’s have made a special imprint in our community. They are a part of our city’s history and will continue to shape our future,” said City of West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “We welcome Sutter Health into their new role with the River Cats and all the different ways it will champion greater community health.”

“Our region becomes more dynamic as we create stronger connections between community health and well-being, economic development, and sports and entertainment,” said City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “By teaming up together, the Sacramento River Cats and Sutter Health will support new opportunities for our communities—from youth physical and mental health to education and wellness programs—that will have a lasting impact.”

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The Nature of Things Speaker Series Featuring Obi Kaufmann

By Tova Fleming, Effie Yeaw Nature Center  |  2019-09-19

Best-selling artist, naturalist, and poet Obi Kaufmann. Courtesy Effie Yeaw Nature Center

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Best-selling artist, naturalist, and poet Obi Kaufmann is coming to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael on October 8, 2019, 6:30 – 8:30pm.

Kaufmann’s first book the California Field Atlas (Heyday Books 2017) quickly became a best seller, spending two months in the number one spot for non-fiction in the San Francisco Chronicle.  The California Field Atlas blends science and art to illuminate the vast array of the natural world in California.  In the book, Obi Kaufmann provides a narrative of the shaping forces of earth, air, fire and water along with exquisite hand-painted maps, and spirited illustrations of wildlife.  The book has won awards from the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. 

For his second book, The State of Water, Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource, Kaufmann turns his artful yet analytical attention to the Golden State’s most complex and controversial resource:  water. In The State of Water, Kaufmann reveals pragmatic yet inspiring solutions to how water in the West can continue to support agriculture, municipalities, and the environment.  The book is interspersed throughout with hand painted maps, and trail paintings of animals that might survive under a careful water ethic. Kaufmann shows how California can usher in a new era of responsible water conservation, and — perhaps most importantly — how we may do so together.

Please join us October 8 from 6:30 - 8:30pm.  As artist, poet and naturalist Obi Kaufmann brings his best-selling CALIFORNIA FIELD ATLAS and THE STATE OF WATER to the EFFIE YEAW NATURE CENTER (2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael, CA 95608).  

Obi will be giving a presentation on conservation, art and restoring California’s natural world, followed by a Q&A session.  Obi will be signing copies of his books, and offering exclusive prints of his watercolor trail-paintings for sale.

Desserts and beverages will be available for purchase.
Tickets can be purchased on-line: $12 for members, and $17 for non-members

Follow the Nature Center @EffieYeawNC, and follow Obi on Instagram @coyotethunder.

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Watch Historic Recreation of 1869 Baseball Game

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-09-19

Promotional image of a Sacramento History Museum 1869 Baseball Postcard. Courtesy Sacramento History Museum

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento History Museum & Alliance invites the community to watch a special and spirited historic baseball game recreation when the Central Valley Vintage Base Ball’s Sacramento Base Ball Club takes on the Cincinnati Red Stockings on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The fun, free and family-friendly community event starts amid fanfare in front of the Sacramento History Museum (101 I Street) on the Old Sacramento Waterfront at 1 p.m., where the players will sign autographs, talk about their journey, tour the district then head over to Doc Oliver Baseball Field at William Land Park (1500 11th Avenue). Complete with period baseball uniforms and equipment – before gloves, catchers gear or even overhand pitching was introduced – the spirited 1869 baseball game recreation will begin at 3 p.m.

As background, the Cincinnati Red Stockings traveled to Sacramento on the newly completed Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 to play a historic game against the Sacramento Base Ball Club. During the historically significant time in history after the nation was connected by the railroad, the Cincinnati Red Stockings identified themselves as a professional club and went on to defeat every single club they played against, including the local Sacramento team by a score of 50-6.

To find out more the historic recreation event that celebrates America’s favorite pastime and/or the Sacramento History Museum & Alliance in general, please visit  


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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - “We commend Governor Gavin Newsom for signing into law SB 419, which will ban California’s administrators from suspending students in grades 4-8 for “willful defiance.” With his signature, the governor is acknowledging the overuse of school suspensions for minor or subjective reasons as well as school suspensions’ role in the crisis of school pushout among students of color.

“Willful defiance is an undefined provision of the state education code that accounts for 16% of out of school suspensions statewide. Black students are much more likely than their white peers to be suspended for disruption or defiance for the same offenses, causing them to miss critical learning time and opportunities to grow. Disabled students and students experiencing trauma are also more likely to be suspended,” said Ross.

“Punitive discipline doesn’t work. Research shows that suspended students are often pushed into dropping out of school and are more likely to be locked up in youth prisons. We need to put student’s health and academic outcomes first. Following the success of 2014 legislation that prevented more than 15,000 suspensions of K-3 students in the ‘14-‘15 school year alone, SB 419 will help even more students benefit from research-based discipline practices that keep them in the classroom, create a welcoming school culture, improve behavior, and build resilience.

During the 2017-18 school year, more than 20,000 students in grades four through eight were suspended for defiance or disruption. While this bill ensures grades K-8 can benefit, there are still nearly 19,000 high school students who were suspended for defiance in the 2017-2018 school year who will not have these protections. These students also have a right to an education.

“Across California, there is growing momentum to prioritize supportive, healing alternatives to suspensions in schools including restorative practices, positive behavioral intervention, and social emotional learning. This legislation would not have been possible without the tireless work of students and community leaders who fought to protect the education of students of color. We appreciate Gov. Newsom’s leadership in listening to them and working to keep kids in school where they can learn and thrive,” Ross concluded.


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Volunteer Drivers Needed for Meals on Wheels

Photo and story by Margaret Snider  |  2019-09-19

Thelma Wiltscire, just turned 100, poses with Meals on Wheels driver Patrick Quinn.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Starting out from Neal Orchard Senior Activities Center, volunteer Meals on Wheels driver Patrick Quinn picked up his hot pack and his cold pack for the nine senior participants to whom he would deliver that day. While the senior center serves hot meals on weekdays every week, patrons using Meals on Wheels are generally homebound. “I’ve worked a lot of volunteer places,” Quinn said. “It’s worth doing.”

Most of Quinn’s stops are fairly uneventful, but each is important. He gets out the individual hot meal and takes it along with a few grocery items to the door of the home. There he hands over the meal or takes it to the table for the participant. “For many of the seniors who rely on Meals on Wheels,” said marketing and outreach coordinator Angela Roberts, “receiving their lunch from a volunteer is their only social contact for the whole day.” Meals on Wheels participants in Carmichael are served out of the Rosemont facility, with the same standard of excellence. Participation is not income based, but primarily based on a person’s home and health needs.

Roberts joined Quinn at the home of Meals on Wheels participant Thelma Wiltscire, who reached 100 years of age on September 13. Wiltscire looks forward to receiving her main meal every week day. She knows each of the drivers who come to deliver. “We have flowers and a card signed by all of us at Meals on Wheels for her,” Roberts said. After accepting the birthday greetings, Wiltscire sat down with her dachshund, Dixie, on her lap.

Oldest of three siblings, Wiltscire passes the time by reading and doing puzzles. She attributes reaching 100 to taking care of herself, and to genetics. “Both our parents were almost 100 years old when they passed away,” Wiltscire said. “And I have Dixie, my baby. She’s a good little one.” Meals on Wheels also may provide food, called Ani-Meals, for participants’ pets. This ensures that participants will not need to feed pets from their own meals.

Another of Quinn’s deliveries was June Merowitz, 92. She said she has been receiving the hot meals for considerably more than a year. “That way I don’t have to cook it myself, they bring it to me,” Merowitz said. “I sit down and eat it and that’s my main meal for the day. The food is delightful, the people who serve it are delightful, so I have nothing but compliments for it.”

For seniors who are able to travel to senior centers, the All Seasons Café is open for lunch at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, at the Neil Orchard Senior Center, 3480 Routier Rd. in Sacramento – phone (916) 366-3133. The Mission Oaks Community Center, 4701 Gibbons Dr., Carmichael, also has a café with weekday meals at 11:40 a.m.; phone (916) 359-1192. Everyone over 60 can receive a hot lunch at no fee, but must call in advance to ensure there will be enough meals.

“We always need volunteer drivers, especially since many volunteer drivers only drive once a week.” Roberts said. “They are the direct contact between isolated seniors and the program. In addition to delivering nutritious meals, they can meet and socialize with seniors, brightening their day and helping them feel connected to their communities.” Volunteer drivers drive their own vehicles and receive mileage reimbursement. For more information on volunteering, please contact Volunteer Services Specialist Victoria Cristobal at (916) 444-9533 or email

For general questions about Meals on Wheels by ACC, or to learn more about applying for the Home-Delivered Meal Program, please call the Meals on Wheels by ACC office at (916) 444-9533, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The City of Rancho Cordova, in partnership with the California Capital Airshow, announced that up to 21,000 students and 3,500 parents in the City are heading to the California Capital Airshow free of charge! All 19 Rancho Cordova public elementary, middle and high schools received exclusive “Operation Inspire the Future” student and parent Airshow tickets – worth a total of $140,000. Each ticket admits one parent and up to six students. This is a unique opportunity provided only to Rancho Cordova students!

The California Capital Airshow will roar into Rancho Cordova on October 5-6, 2019 at Mather Airport, attracting over 100,000 spectators to the City for a heart-pounding lineup of performances and entertainment for the whole family. These free tickets will “Inspire the Future” of 21,000 students by enhancing education outside the classroom.

“The City of Rancho Cordova values educational opportunities for our students and wants to see them succeed,” said Rancho Cordova Mayor Robert J. McGarvey. “The City, in partnership with the California Capital Airshow, dreamed up Operation Inspire the Future four years ago to provide a hands-on learning experience in science, technology, engineering and math to inspire students to make a difference in Rancho Cordova and beyond!”

Attending the Airshow will introduce students to Rancho Cordova’s military history, enhance STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) through interactive exhibits, provide an up-close opportunity to experience the thrill of flight, and inspire students to pursue careers in the STEM fields.

“Whether you’re a thrill seeker, history buff, a student interested in STEM or an aviation enthusiast, the 2019 California Capital Airshow offers a vast mix of family-friendly entertainment amid a massive aviation-themed festival,” said Darcy Brewer, Executive Director, California Capital Airshow. “With literally miles of aircraft to explore, live music, interactive exhibits, youth activities and virtual reality experiences designed to captivate future aviators and innovators – there is something for everyone and all ages!”

Visit to purchase discount tickets and for more information on Airshow performers, including the world-famous United States Navy Blue Angels.

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Soldiers Need Care Too

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-09-19

The care packages include food, personal care items, and messages of gratitude for active-duty soldiers deployed on the front lines. Photo by Shaunna Boyd.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Wednesday, September 11, Move America Forward (with support from the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce) held its second annual Packathon to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the terror attack on September 11, 2001. The event was held at Move America Forward’s Rancho Cordova headquarters, where volunteers worked together with veterans, active-duty military members, and Gold Star parents to assemble care packages for soldiers serving on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The organization shipped 911 care packages — which included letters of support along with food and personal care items — and volunteers packed approximately 500 additional boxes. Danny Gonzalez, director of communications for Move America Forward, said, “I ask that everyone do something nice for a soldier, even if it’s just thanking them for their service. … Let’s make 9/11 a day when Americans come together and really unify as one people and make it a day of service.”

The Packathon’s Master of Ceremonies was former Sacramento Sheriff John McGinness, a decorated veteran with more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement. McGinness said that many servicemembers “answered the call” to join the military because of the events of 9/11: “It’s extraordinary and it speaks to the character, the courage, the valor, the selflessness that really truly is abundant in our society and in our great nation.”

McGinness introduced Sergeant First Class Jeff Raver of the Northern California Recruiting Battalion, who enlisted in the army at the age of 21 because of the attack on 9/11. Sergeant Raver described the event as “one of the tragic stories for all of us, but something to remember.” He said that just a month earlier he had taken a trip to the east coast with his brothers and they had “stood on top of those towers. So, a month later when that happened, it really hit home. That’s why I serve.” Sergeant Raver enlisted the very next day, September 12, 2001, and chose to ship out just 72 hours later. After getting through basic training, Sergeant Raver was deployed on his first tour in Afghanistan. “I was able and willing, and I decided to make that commitment.”

The event’s featured speaker was Colonel Stephanie Williams, Commander of the 940th Air Refueling Wing at Beale Air Force Base. Colonel Williams is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and she also commanded the 385th Air Expeditionary Group at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Colonel Williams was an active-duty international guard pilot starting “a normal day, I thought.” After watching news footage of the airplanes crashing into the towers, she experienced “disbelief, shock. … Ultimately seeing the towers collapse … was very, very surreal. Even having served in active duty in the military for 10 years, it was surreal to see something like that.”

At the time of the 9/11 attack, Colonel Williams said many members of the military had “served through mostly a peaceful period, but 9/11 was the start of something new to us. Think about the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen today. … The vast majority joined after September 11, 2001.” Colonel Williams said that our nation responded to the terror attack with “strength, honor, resilience, dedication, [and] focus.”

To the Gold Star Families, Colonel Williams expressed gratitude: “[I’m] grateful to those who gave all to defend our freedom. … Thank you for your family’s sacrifice and service to our nation. … Thank you for raising a hero.”

Colonel Williams also thanked Move America Forward for hosting the event: “Having been deployed myself, it meant a lot to know that fellow Americans at home were thinking about me and were behind me and my teammates in what we were doing to defend freedom worldwide. … Thank you for your tireless support of our military members.”

If you are interested in sponsoring a care package or volunteering your time, visit

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