Greatest Threat? Overly Powerful Government, Says Nielsen

Story and Photo by Margaret Snider  |  2017-07-26

California Senator Jim Nielsen spoke at the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on July 21 about issues of importance to citizens of the eight counties he represents.

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) California State Senator Jim Nielsen spoke frankly and with strength at the Rancho Cordova Luncheon on July 21.  He outlined many of the urgent issues California currently faces. 

Water has been a long time dilemma, and Nielsen looks to the Sites Reservoir, which may be built in the in Colusa County to at least make a start on the needs.  “We cannot conserve ourselves into the future for either energy or water,” Nielsen said.  “California has started no projects, no major dams or storage, since Lake Oroville, about 50 years ago.  No matter what kind of a storage facility that you have, if you don’t have it in advance, it’s not going to work.”

The recent extension of the cap-and-trade program will add around 70 cents a gallon in taxes to the cost of gas.  “It will probably approach a dollar before we’re done, at the gas pump,” Nielsen said.  While the gas tax was initially intended to fix streets, roads, and highways, legislators over the years have voted to redirect that money to other things.  There are two locks on the lockbox to lock money in for streets, roads, and highways.  One lock, Nielsen said, is to help control pollution.  But the other lock gives open door to polluters, by allowing them to “buy pollution credits.”

Homelessness is a problem even in the smallest towns such as Los Molinos and Gerber in Tehama County, where Nielsen lives with his wife.  The homeless population is growing, fed in addition by the early release of prisoners from custody.  Many of them have nowhere to go, and less access to treatment for mental or drug problems than when they were in prison.  This leads to more drug use and more crime on our streets, Nielsen said.

Making California a sanctuary state would invite “the worst of society into our communities.  I tell my colleagues when I debate, if you pass this, then it’s on you,” Nielsen said.  “You must accept the responsibility . . . You’re not going to like it, either.  Because some of the victims may be your family.”

Dominic Daniels, one of the patrons at the luncheon, differed with Nielsen with reference to the criminal context of the growing homeless population.  Quoting Elk Grove Run4Hunger statistics, he said that nearly 500 children in Elk Grove are homeless.  “Per national statistics 40% of homeless males are veterans,” Daniels said.  “So while I applaud the Senator’s concern for getting a handle on the criminal release program, care should be taken in understanding that many who have become homeless and labeled criminal are still very much American.”  Daniels is a member of Natomas Power Partners, and his business is financial services.

The greatest threat of all, Nielsen said, besides the criminals, is the power afforded our government, the California State legislative and administrative branches, including agency boards.  “They over the decades have gained these enormous powers over all of us.  And most of the complaints that we deal with on behalf of our constituents is about some agency of government that’s giving them some type of problem.  They are out of control.”  One of the latest developments is that of indexed fees that increase annually according to the inflation rate.

It’s not all gloom and doom, though, according to Nielsen.  “You never lose if you’re in the arena, speaking out,” Nielsen said.  “That’s what’s important.  Not just folks like me, elected representatives, but yourselves.”

Although the democrats and republicans are in opposition to each other on many things, at times they are able to come together.  Nielsen said a good example was the water bond and rainy day fund that he worked on with Governor Brown.  “That was a great example of working together,” Nielsen said.  “And on the budget this year, actually the democrats were more reserved than I thought they would be, so I’ll give them good grades for that.”

During his career, Nielsen has represented 19 California counties.  “Nobody’s even close to that,” Nielsen said.  I’m getting way high up in tenure, too, in the legislature.  Oh, and I have the scars to show for it.”

Rancho Cordova's History

Magical Moonshine Theatre Coming to RC Library

By Margaret Snider  |  2017-07-26

Three pigs set out to seek their fortunes with a bit of house building at the Rancho Cordova Library 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 9. Photo courtesy RC Library

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) Two entertaining shows will be coming to the Rancho Cordova Library in the second week of August.    

At 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 9, Magical Moonshine Theatre will present a traditional Bohemian style marionette show, The Three Little Pigs.  Three pigs set out to seek their fortunes with a bit of house building, but things don’t go as planned in this creative retelling of the traditional story.  Houses collapse, pigs and wolves play together, and audience members help the story along with lots of live music, singing, construction, and laughter.

Michael and Valerie Nelson have been puppeteers for nearly 35 years.  Back in 1979, Valerie was a teacher at a Montessori school and Michael was a cabinet maker.  “I just thought it would be fun to put on a show for all those cute kids she was working with,” Michael Nelson said.  “At first it was just for fun, but we started to meet other puppeteers and realized there were people who did this for a living, and we really enjoyed it.  So we decided to see if we could make that work, and we did.”  Information on Magical Moonshine Theatre can be seen at

Python Ron’s Reptile Kingdom will be at the library at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, August 10.  Ron McGee has been in the reptile business since he was a little kid.  “Typically, what would happen with my mom and dad, they’d hand me a jar, boot me out the door, and say ‘Come back when you’re tired,’” McGee said.  “I never grew out of it.”

Though it is too hot to transport a few of his friends, he will be bringing a 13-ft. green anaconda, an equally large albino Burmese python, a tortoise, a tegu, monitor lizards, and a ball python.  McGee said that kids are not usually afraid of the creatures.  “I tell everybody the reason why kids are not afraid of them, they’ve simply never been lied to yet,” McGee said.  “Their minds are open.”  Python Ron also presents private childrens’ shows on request.  His website is

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Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - With the approval of the recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 on June 14, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors highlighted the County’s commitment to addressing homeless initiatives with an additional $6.2 million directed toward those efforts.​

The enhanced funding comes on top of the already more than $40 million Sacramento County spends annually on homeless services.

“While the County addressed a number of service and program issues with enhanced funding for Fiscal Year 2017-18, our biggest additional investment overall was directed towards efforts to reduce homelessness,” said Board Chairman Don Nottoli, Supervisor, District 5.

As the major funder of homeless services—including shelters and transitional housing, re-housing assistance—as well as the largest provider of social services, Sacramento County has committed to working in partnership with government partners and community stakeholders to continue to develop and deliver the most impactful solutions to homelessness.

Following several public workshops in 2016 and 2017, the Board of Supervisors endorsed the following initiatives for FY 2017-18:

County Initiative #1: Improve Family Crisis Response and Shelters

  • This initiative seeks to shelter more families annually by helping them connect to assistance and return to housing more quickly. The new shelter system will prioritize unsheltered homeless families and improve access for all homeless families through reduced entry requirements and greater accommodation of families with complex needs (such as those with health or behavioral health needs). 
  • By using more flexible County general fund dollars, diversion services will be funded to help some families keep their existing housing and avoid a shelter stay altogether.  
  • Recognizing that some families may benefit from more long-term support, the County will also fund a small transitional housing program offering employment and recovery supports for 19 families experiencing homelessness. 

County Initiative #2: Preserve Mather Community Campus

  • ​Operating on a unique County-owned property, Mather Community Campus (MCC) has played an important role providing transitional housing, employment services, and recovery support for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Sacramento since 1996. 
  • In 2016, the Volunteers of America (VOA) served over 885 individuals, families, former foster youth, and veterans through eight residential (267 units) and nonresidential programs. In addition to offering life skills, employment preparation and vocational training, VOA currently engages with over 200 businesses in its job placement services. 
  • This initiative identifies funding to continue operations at MCC. 

County Initiative #3: Full Service Re-housing Shelter

  • ​This initiative seeks to reach persons experiencing homelessness who have complex behavioral and/or physical health issues that often prevent them from engaging in shelter services.
  • The shelter would include 24-hour dormitory accommodations for up to 75 individuals at a time, with consideration for partners, pets and possessions, and include meals, showers and laundry facilities.  
  • On-site case management would focus from day one on connecting participants to stable income, public benefits and permanent housing as well as to essential health services. 
  • As proposed, the Full Service Rehousing Shelter would serve up to 250 to 300 persons annually.

County Initiative 4: Flexible Supportive Re-Housing program

  • ​The County proposes a new Flexible Supportive Re-housing Program (FSRP) that would provide highly flexible re-housing and stabilization services to persons who have experienced long-term homelessness, who frequently utilize costly County services (such as behavioral health, emergency response, or jail), but who could, with the right assistance, stabilize in permanent supportive housing. 
  • The program would provide a highly flexible solution, employing proactive engagement, “whatever it takes services,” and ongoing housing subsidies to engage property owners and stably rehouse the target population.
  • As proposed, FSRP would re-house up to 250 individual and family households in the first year of the program.

Public Housing Authority Resources

In addition to these initiatives, the Board of Supervisors (acting as the Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento) directed SHRA to initiate the process to increase Public Housing resources for homelessness, including:

  • ​Limited Preference Allocation of 150 “turnover vouchers” annually (see #4 above);
  • Up to 375 project-based vouchers over three years to support new or existing permanent supportive housing; 
  • 50 vouchers over three years to help current supportive housing tenants “move on” to affordable housing and serve new families in need of the intensive services; and 
  • 100 vouchers for homeless youth participating in a new federal grant called “P3”.

Sacramento County’s Director of Homelessness Initiatives Cindy Cavanaugh said, “Over the past year, the County has worked with our partners and stakeholders to build on what’s working and to create new solutions and pathways out of homelessness.  This year, the Board of Supervisors made a significant investment to not only improve existing programs but to create new County programs that provide concrete support to families and individuals  in their transition to permanent homes, employment, and restored lives.  

For more information, visit the County’s Homeless Initiatives webpage.

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Taking Humans Beyond the Moon

By Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne  |  2017-07-26

Aerojet Rocketdyne tests the third RS-25 flight controller on a developmental engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center on July 25, 2017. Photo courtesy Aerojet

Aerojet Goes Three for Three in Testing for NASA’s Space Launch System

Stennis Space Center, MS (MPG) - Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), successfully tested its third RS-25 engine flight controller today at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The RS-25 engine will propel America’s next-generation heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), into space. The flight controller tested today is slated to fly on the inaugural mission of the SLS which will propel the Orion capsule around the Moon and safely return it back to Earth.

“The Space Launch System is the rocket that will take humans beyond the Moon, and ultimately to Mars,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “Evaluating the engine’s flight controller under multiple conditions is one way we are ensuring that we are providing a safe, reliable engine to the nation for its deep space exploration efforts.”

The flight controller translates the vehicle’s commands into action while monitoring the health of the engine by making real-time adjustments to the speed of the turbopumps, combustion pressures, as well as the engine’s thrust and propellant mixture ratios. Today’s test focused on the engine thrust and mixture ratio precision operation.

“Achieving the optimum thrust and mixture ratio is crucial for creating an extremely efficient rocket engine,” added Dan Adamski, RS-25 program director at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “The RS-25 is the most efficient booster engine in the world, which is why it is the right engine for human exploration of deep space.”

Four RS-25 engines power the core stage of the SLS for 8½ minutes to help the SLS during its climb to space; combined, the engines provide the rocket with more than two million pounds of thrust. The SLS rocket provides an unmatched capability to launch the heaviest and largest payloads faster to any destination when compared with other existing or proposed launch vehicles in development, making it the ideal rocket to explore deep space.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at and

Source Aerojet release from July 25, 2017 

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Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - Leadership Rancho Cordova (LRC) launches a new class on a year-long exploration of our city this fall, and the search is on for eager participants.  

In the spirit of developing community leaders the program, offered by the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce, LRC enters it twelfth year and now boasts more than 170 alumni – many currently serving in community leadership roles throughout the city and region.

The next class of approximately 25 will be selected to represent a broad mix of backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and employment – a key ingredient to a successful leadership program, said Steve Millner, Chair of the program’s governing board.

“Community leadership and engagement can be complex, and we want to encourage and support a pool of local people who have taken the time to dig deep and study the many layers of Rancho Cordova.” he added.

Class XII begins in October with a kick-off reception at City Hall, followed by a two-day retreat up in Truckee to immerse themselves in leadership fundamentals and begin the process of team-building.

In November, the class begins monthly “modules” and explores topics such as the state of volunteerism, local government, arts, history and culture, education, economic development, recreation and tourism and public safety in Rancho Cordova, along with leadership lessons that pertain to each sector.

The group will also develop and execute a class project ~ the signature of their class. Past class projects have included the design and installation of artistic bike racks placed around the city, a photographic history of Rancho Cordova, a summer family film series and refurbishing the dog park at Hagen Park.

There is a fee to participate and there is a significant time commitments for modules, project development and execution. But organizers believe the effort is worthwhile.

“LRC provides graduates who make a difference in the economic health and quality of life in our community through active community engagement,” said Diann Rogers, CEO and President of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. “Leadership Rancho Cordova provides graduates with the tools necessary to be an effective leader in their community, business or elected office.”

Leadership graduates agree.

“LRC is a wonderful experience for those who want to get connected with the community and learn how to make a phenomenal difference in the lives of the citizens in Rancho Cordova” said Laurel Bane, alumnus of the program.  “If you want to make an impact and have fun doing it, this program is for you.”

Recruitment is currently under way, and deadline for applications is July 31st.  

For more information about Leadership Rancho Cordova, visit  Call 916-273.5700.  Or you can email us at


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 Two Mather Soil Vapor Extraction Units Achieve Cleanup Goals

By Alex Grotewohl, AFCEC Public Affairs  |  2017-07-25


Air Force cleanup program takes another step toward completion

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The Air Force’s remediation program at the former Mather Air Force Base took another major step forward this summer when two Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) units were found to have achieved their cleanup goals.

Late June, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center announced that two of the three remaining Soil Vapor Extraction systems accomplished their mission, a major step towards completion of the soil cleanup process at Mather.

Although the base closed in 1993 and all related military operations departed, the Air Force remained responsible for Mather’s environmental cleanup. Since then, Air Force soil and groundwater cleanup activities have proceeded alongside community redevelopment efforts and the restoration work has provided a successful platform for Mather’s redevelopment.

Today, all 5,718 acres of the former base have been transferred to local control for reuse. Mather has become a hub of general aviation and industry; approximately 6,600 people work on-base, employed by more than 60 individual businesses.

Historically, the military used chemicals, including fuels, solvents and oils at Mather in support of national defense from 1918 to 1993, although there were several breaks in service. In 1979, contamination was detected in water supply wells. Environmental cleanup began in the 1980s, years before Mather closed.

The cleanup primarily includes removing contaminants from the soil and groundwater beneath the land surface. Currently, the Air Force uses Soil Vapor Extraction to remove contaminants from the soil before they can reach the groundwater.

The treatment systems have removed over 1 million pounds of volatile organic compounds and petroleum products from the ground and treated over 12 billion gallons of groundwater.

Douglas Self, AFCEC Base Environmental Coordinator at Mather, stated the closing of these two units marks a major milestone in the Air Force’s effort to complete the cleanup and make way for successful reuse.

“The Air Force is committed to completing the last remaining activities necessary for the environment restoration at Mather,” Self said. “Being able to shut these systems down means we are getting closer to achieving that goal.”

The two Soil Vapor Extraction units operated since 1998. One was installed near an old wash rack, where airplane parts were cleaned and degreased. Contaminants at this site included jet fuels and trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent used as a degreaser at many Air Force installations. The second unit was located near an oil-water separator. Both units have been switched off since 2015 while the Air Force confirmed that cleanup was complete in those areas.

A third unit, also offline since 2015, is located near a former dry-cleaning facility where tetrachloroethene (PCE) was used. Removing vaporized contaminants from the deep soil in this area has been completed and the Air Force is working with regulatory agencies to achieve site closure.

Demolition of the unit near the oil-water separator is tentatively scheduled for this summer. The unit near the wash rack may be put back into service to treat a newly discovered site requiring additional remediation. TCE was recently found in the soil near an airplane hangar currently used by Mather Aviation.

Ongoing testing of the soil at this site will assist the Air Force and regulators with determining whether to use the already-standing unit for this cleanup process or construct a newer, more cost-effective unit.

Institutional controls (ICs) will be used at each site to ensure inadvertent exposure to contamination does not take place. The ICs require future developers to take steps to prevent human exposure to any remaining contaminants in the shallow soil and gives regulatory agencies the ability to ensure these steps are taken.

“The Mather cleanup program is progressing very well,” Self said. “Our state-of-the-art soil and groundwater remedial systems are in place and running smoothly. The Air Force has completed the cleanup process at nearly 90 percent of contaminated sites and we will be here until the cleanup job is finished.”

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Honoring 100 Years of Service

Bill Bird, Executive Director  |  2017-07-24

Receiving the award from L-R: Mark Nelson, Chair, California State Fair Board of Directors; Tim Neuharth, Sacramento County Farm Bureau; Ken Oneto, Sacramento County Farm Bureau; Cornelius Gallagher, member, California State Fair Board of Directors (he’s behind the big golden bear); Rina V. DiMare, member, California State Fair Board of Directors; Rick K. Pickering, Chief Executive Officer, California State Fair; Jim Vietheer, Sacramento County Farm Bureau. Photo courtesy SCFB

Sacramento County Farm Bureau Organization Honored for Service to Local Communities

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Farm Bureau is celebrating 100-years of service to local communities after receiving special recognition at the 2017 California Agricultural Heritage Club Ceremony held at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento. Membership in the Agricultural Heritage Club is a prestigious award, which is only given to farms, ranches, organizations and agribusinesses that have maintained a fiscal responsibility in the state for at least one full century. The California State Fair is the sanctioned body that holds these records and facilitates the recognition process.

"Only a handful of county farm bureaus have been honored with this kind of designation and Sacramento County is now a part of that exclusive club," said Sacramento County Farm Bureau Executive Director Bill Bird. "It's a special recognition of what several generations of farming families have built in Sacramento County. Farm Bureau members do more than just grow the food that all families rely upon, they also work to educate others about the important work that the agricultural community does.

The award was accepted by three lifetime Sacramento County Farm Bureau members, who also operate ranches and farms in the local community. They include Ken Oneto, who grows cherries, walnuts, grapes, tomatoes and wheat on KLM Ranches in Elk Grove, Tim Neuharth, who grows certified organic pears and cherries on Steamboat Acres in the Delta and Jim Vietheer, who raises angus seed stock and cattle on the Have Angus Ranch in Wilton.

The Sacramento County Farm Bureau works to protect and promote agricultural interests throughout Sacramento County and to find solutions to the problems of the farm, the farm home, and the rural community. The membership-driven organization strives to protect and improve the ability of farmers and ranchers engaged in production agriculture to provide a reliable supply of food and fiber through responsible stewardship of California's resources.

Sacramento County is the 25th largest agriculture producing county in California with total agricultural production approaching $500 million. The top five county crops include wine grapes, poultry, grain corn, milk and Bartlett pears.

Sacramento County farmers put food on your fork.  Our agricultural operations and products are as diverse as the lands we carefully manage.  We are proud to provide healthy, fresh food for your family and ours.  We invite you to join our efforts to protect Sacramento County's agriculture, rural character, and our ability to produce local, high-quality food for your table.


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1-800 Water Damage Holds Grand Opening

By Megan McMonagle  |  2017-07-24

(l-r) Jeremy Shelton, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce; Ester Lee, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce; Melanie Uhrenholt, BELFOR Property Restoration; Jacquelyn Burns holding 9-month-old Aurora Burns; William Burns, Owner of 1-800 WATER DAMAGE of NE Sacramento-Folsom; 2-year-old Everest Burns; 7-year-old Savannah Burns; Denise Brandt, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce; Fara Kharazmi; and Ellie Witt, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. Photos courtesy

Celebrates with Business Ribbon Cutting

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) -  On Thursday, June 29, 2017, 1-800 WATER DAMAGE® celebrated its newest location in Rancho Cordova, CA with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Owner Bill Burns was joined by friends, family and representatives from the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce for the grand opening event. 

“Our number one priority is providing world-class service to satisfied customers,” said Burns. “Our team of professionally-trained technicians is ready 24/7 to serve the Sacramento community and their water damage and property restoration needs.”

1-800 WATER DAMAGE of NE Sacramento-Folsom offers 24/7 residential and commercial services, including water and flood damage restoration, mold remediation and removal, fire and smoke damage restoration, sewage cleanup, and expert carpet cleaning in the Sacramento community and surrounding areas.

1-800 WATER DAMAGE® is a national leader in the property restoration and water damage remediation industry. With locations from coast-to-coast, dedicated experts are ready to help 24/7 with emergency mitigation, carpet cleaning, and mold remediation. For more information, please visit


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Leaders of Tomorrow

City of Rancho Cordova Staff  |  2017-07-24

Pictured left to right: Interns Shushanik Paskevichyan, Max Vityk, Zoey Gabay, Code Enforcement Officer Keith Boucher, Management Technician Jessica Crone, and Animal Services Officer Krystle Judish. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova.

Students Experience Civics Lessons at City Hall 

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - Eighteen high school students are experiencing "Summer at City Hall," a 4-week program funded by the City's Community Enhancement Fund. This professional development program gives students hands-on experience and education regarding how local government works.

Non-profit organization PRO Youth and Families organized the program for incoming high school juniors and seniors who live within the City of Rancho Cordova.

“We are grateful to see the City of Rancho Cordova provide these important opportunities for our youth. If we teach our youth how to be civically engaged residents and to work on their professional skills today, we are preparing them to be Rancho Cordova’s leaders in the future,” said Andrea Tafolla, the Youth Engagement Coordinator for PRO Youth and Families.

Students attend sessions taught by PRO Youth and Families staff twice a week at City Hall to learn professional and personal skills, such as communicating effectively and dressing professionally. City Hall staff as well as Council Member Linda Budge are participating as guest speakers in the local government and civic engagement portion of the sessions, which teaches students the history, structure, and functions of the City.

Eleven of the students are also working as paid part-time interns in different departments at City Hall.

Jessica Crone, Management Technician for the City of Rancho Cordova’s Neighborhood Services Division and one of the City staff members involved in the program said, "Summer at City Hall has been a great experience for students as well as City employees. The program gives students valuable professional skills, and hopefully they will be inspired to work in public service in the future."

Source: City of Rancho Cordova



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Backpacks to be provided by New Hearts Baptist Church

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, August 19th, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Pastor Mac Arthur Weatherspoon and members of the New Hearts Baptist Church will host their 7th Annual "FREE Backpack Give-Away."

This one-day event is specifically targeted to those students and parents who need a helping hand in acquiring backpacks.

The FREE give-away will be held on the grounds of the church at 9219 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento.

Students from elementary grades through college level are invited to attend. However, students 13 years of age and younger MUST be accompanied by a parent.

 Students desiring a backpack must be present at the event in order to receive a backpack. Parents will not be allowed to take backpacks from the event to give to students not attending.

A week prior to the event flyers will be randomly distributed to neighborhoods within the vicinity of the church. For those who do not receive a flyer at their home one will be posted at the church.

For more information contact, or email to

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