California State Parks Hosts Aquatic Emergency Response Demonstration

Story and photos by Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-06-22

Surrounded by Lifeguards and Cordova High students, (L-R) Chris Dargan of Metro Fire and State Park Peace Officer Josh Neff explained the importance of water safety.

Cordova High Students Participate at Lake Natoma

LAKE NATOMA, CA (MPG) - A bus full of Cordova High School students took a trip to the Nimbus Flat Recreation Area this week to take part in an important demonstration of water safety as we head into the summer months.

Hosted by California State Parks Peace Officers, Rangers and Lifeguards, and facilitated by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, Metro Fire and the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, the students were both educated and entertained during a nice, sunny day out of the classroom.

This team of public servants taught drowning prevention techniques, familiarized students with local public safety agencies and educated them about the high-quality outdoor recreational opportunities available at State Parks.

“It’s important to teach them how to be safe on the water,” said Paris Shaw of the Division of Boating and Waterways.

Each student who attended received their very own lifejacket to keep and hopefully use this summer and beyond with the good intention that they will pass their knowledge of water safety onto others.

Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide and the second leading cause among children ages one to 14, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization. There are an estimated 360,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide.

Beyond teaching the students, each agency was able to learn from the demonstration as well as they all bonded and familiarized themselves with working together, preparing for the upcoming months.

Chris Dargan of Metro Fire was excited to be a part of the day. “This is our first year. Metro Fire was invited to participate and in addition to showing off the importance of water safety it allows inner agencies to practice working together.”

Some of the activities and visuals on display for the students were:

  • Mock Rescue involving a distressed and overturned kayaker.
  • Life Jacket Station – Each student learned about the proper fitting and laws of life jackets and received a new jacked courtesy of the Division of Boating and Waterways.
  • Self-Rescue and Rescue Station – Students learned how to reach a paddle or pole, throw a rope, row or paddleboard to the victim and swim out.
  • Basic Heat and Cold Related Emergency Response Station – Students learned how to identify, treat and respond to emergency situations.
  • Sacramento State Aquatic Center Inflatable Slide – Students were able to climb and slide off of a 20 foot slide into the water and/or use a hydrobike.

For more information visit

Rancho Cordova's History

Sacramento Children’s Museum Hosts Annual Cupcake Ball

By Sharon Stone Smith, SCM Executive Director; Photos by Jose Lopez  |  2018-06-22

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova is home to the region's only children's museum. The Sacramento Children's Museum brings in 100,000 guests each year.  The Museum regularly hosts special events and activities.  Most recently, the 7th annual Cupcake Ball was held at the Museum. This annual event celebrates Father's Day with a princess themed ball. Guests danced the night away with a DJ, Mulan and royal guests Princess Belle and Princess Poppy.

Our Mission is to spark a passion for life-long learning. We will accomplish our mission by providing a place where children are encouraged to think for themselves, expand their problem-solving abilities through creative exploration, and exercise both their bodies and their minds.

The museum is located at 2701 Prospect Park, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670. Call 916-638-7225 or visit for more information.

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Rancho Cordova Student Awarded Scholarship from City Employees

By Russell Hartley, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2018-06-22

George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science student Sorina Munteanu received the Community PRIDE Scholarship from the City of Rancho Cordova.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The City of Rancho Cordova congratulates George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science student Sorina Munteanu on receiving the Community PRIDE Scholarship.

The Community PRIDE Scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior living in Rancho Cordova who demonstrates pride in our community, volunteers and works hard to succeed. The $500 scholarship was developed and is funded annually by city employees through fundraising efforts and donations.

Sorina received the scholarship not only due to her academic achievements, but also for her commitment to giving back to her community through extraordinary acts of kindness.

“I’ve always felt most happy when I was able to serve others because that’s where I receive the most joy,” said Sorina. “My mother really pushed that what you have is really not as important as what you can do for others because doing that improves your own life as well.”

Sorina will be graduating this month with plans to attend UC Merced to pursue bio engineering. “I really want to be able to make bio-technology that is affordable to those who need it. Just a way that I can help others,” she said.

The City of Rancho Cordova and its staff are extremely proud of Sorina, and we are excited to see her continue to make an impact in her community as she heads off to college.

“When we see our young people going above and beyond and getting involved in our community, it serves as a reminder that those who are often referred to as ‘the future’ are making a difference right now,” said City of Rancho Cordova City Manager, Cyrus Abhar. “It is also a labor of love from our City employees, who got together to raise money to support our youth in their pursuit of higher education, so they can continue to work to achieve their dreams.”

The Community PRIDE Scholarship has supported the city’s high school students for the past ten years and applications will open again in 2019 as the City of Rancho Cordova and its employees continue their efforts in providing financial assistance to exemplary students.

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RCPD Creates New Youth Services Unit

By Ashley Downton, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2018-06-22

Our School Resource Officers partner with all 19 schools in Rancho Cordova to continue to improve safety for students, teachers and administrators.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Meet the Rancho Cordova Police Department’s (RCPD) Youth Services Unit. RCPD created a Youth Services Unit to enhance our efforts to build relationships with local schools and youth through youth-focused programs.

The Unit is comprised of a Sergeant, two School Resource Officers, a Youth Services Officer and a Rancho Cordova Police Activities League (PAL) Coordinator.

“The goal of the Youth Services Unit is to create positive interactions with youth in the Rancho Cordova community,” said Sergeant Mark Hatzenbuhler, who oversees the Unit. “We want to connect with youth through mentoring and by being a positive influence on their lives.”

The Unit manages three primary programs: School Resource Officer program, Rancho Cordova PAL, and Adopt-a-School program. In this edition, we are introducing you to our School Resource Officer program.

Our School Resource Officers partner with all 19 schools in Rancho Cordova to continue to improve safety for students, teachers and administrators. Officers proactively visit the schools to check on them and interact with students; respond to calls for service, issues or concerns; provide training and education for administrators and teachers; and more.

RCPD will soon expand the program with a third School Resource Officer who will be assigned to Cordova High School and Mills Middle School. The addition of an officer will give RCPD the opportunity to connect with students even more frequently and further respond to the needs of our schools.

Meet Our School Resource Officers

School Resource Officer Lance Parker

Officer Lance Parker’s path to law enforcement began when he was working in the high tech industry. During that 17-year career, he went from being a computer programmer to a Vice President of Sales for multiple companies. He had moved to California from New York, remarried, and his family became like The Brady Bunch. Officer Parker was traveling all the time in his sales job, when he really wanted to be home with his family doing something he was passionate about.

Things changed for him on 9/11. Officer Parker worked closely with people at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and he remembers his wife asking him, “How many signs do you need?”

In 2002, at 40-years-old, Officer Parker applied to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Academy, was accepted, and graduated near the top of his class. Over the next 13 years, he worked at the Main Jail, serving the contract City of Citrus Heights, Courthouse, Patrol and Crime Scene Investigation.

In 2015, he joined RCPD as a patrol officer and field training officer. He wanted to serve the Rancho Cordova community in the variety of roles that are available at the department.

In March 2018, Officer Parker became a School Resource Officer with a passion for supporting youth. His mother was a teacher and guidance counselor for over 36 years and his wife left the high tech industry to become a teacher. Officer Parker also supported a Safe Schools Program in northern California early on in his career.

“This role gives me the chance to affect multiple kids a day, and their futures, in a positive way,” said Officer Parker. “I enjoy being able to partner with administrators, teachers and students, and feel comfortable in the school environment.”

School Resource Officer Steve LeCouve

Officer Steve LeCouve is third generation law enforcement. His grandfather was killed in the line of duty in Germany and his father is a retired police officer, which inspired him to follow their paths of service.

He joined a Law Enforcement Explorer program through Boy Scouts of America in 1983. At 18 years old, he became a reserve police officer in Modesto before joining and graduating from the Modesto Police Department Academy as the youngest recruit.

Officer LeCouve joined the Modesto Police Department and worked as a K9 Handler assigned to the SWAT team for five years, handling the police dog and assisting officers with in-progress crimes and locating suspects, evidence and missing persons. In 1996, Officer LeCouve joined the Sacramento Police Department as a pilot.

In 2002, Officer LeCouve joined the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Over the next 16 years, he worked in Motors, K9 Unit and air ops.

In February 2018, he joined RCPD as a School Resource Officer. He wanted to serve the Rancho Cordova community and thought it would be a new challenge with skills he could contribute from his 30-year career in law enforcement.

“I am passionate about working with younger kids because we can show them through positive interactions that officers are their partners,” said LeCouve. “Our job is to be there to support local kids in becoming successful students and individuals.”

Stay tuned to future editions of The Dispatch to learn more about the Youth Services Unit. Sign up by visiting

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CRPD Board Member Elected to Sacramento County Consolidated Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board

By Alyssa Rasmussen, CRPD  |  2018-06-22

CRPD Board Member Terri Leimbach was elected by County Independent Special Districts to be their representative on the oversight board. Photo courtesy CRPD

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Current Cordova Recreation and Park District’s (CRPD) Board Member Terri Leimbach has earned another hat. Nominated in March by the Board of Directors for the Sacramento County Consolidated Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board (RDAOB), Leimbach was elected by County Independent Special Districts to be their representative on the oversight board.

The selection process for the Independent Special Districts’ representative opened in late April. Leimbach ran against two candidates. With her election, Leimbach joins the RDAOB at an interesting historical moment. At the beginning of July, over 400 oversight boards across the state will be consolidated into one oversight board per county.

In the last 15 years alone, Leimbach has brought her dedication to smart money management and her passion for civic engagement to many venues. Leimbach has served as a treasurer for a local church, worked as Superintendent of Administration for the Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District, served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the California Association of Parks and Recreation Indemnity (CAPRI), volunteers as a tax preparer for AARP, serves as an elected member for the Cordova Recreation and Park District, and has been appointed to the District’s Budget and Finance Standing committee for several terms.  

Leimbach accepts this new responsibility with alacrity, stating, “I am thrilled to be elected to the RDAOB board. Special Districts around the State will now be represented as the process for the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agencies moves forward. All local agencies are entitled to a share of the tax dollars that are freed up by that process, and we, as special districts, need to be represented to make sure we get our fair share of those taxes.”

At Cordova Recreation and Park District, we champion Leimbach’s work and recognition.

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AAA: Uncle Sam Wants YOU to Outsmart Traffic This Fourth of July

By AAA  |  2018-06-21

Nearly 47 million Americans will travel this Independence Day, an all-time record

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - AAA projects a record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles to celebrate Independence Day this summer, the highest total since AAA began tracking holiday travel 18 years ago. That’s 5 percent more than the 44 million Americans who traveled for the patriotic celebration in 2017, which was the previous national record.

More than 5.43 million Californians are projected to travel over the Fourth of July holiday, representing an increase of 5.3 percent from last year, according to the travel source. That’s also a new state record, breaking California’s previous high of 5.16 million travelers set in 2017.

“Fourth of July is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, but this year is an all-time whopper,” said Michael Blasky, spokesperson for AAA Northern California. “Despite the highest gas prices in four years, more Californians will be taking to the road and the skies next month to celebrate America’s birthday than ever.”

The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 8.

By the Numbers: Independence Day California Travel Forecast

  • 5,434,994 Californians are expected to travel over the upcoming holiday weekend, almost 300,000 more than in 2017, which was the previous all-time high for the Golden State.

  • Higher fuel prices aren’t slowing Californians down. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is nearly 70 cents higher than in 2017, but 4.2 million Californians will drive to their destination -- nearly 80 percent of the state’s total travelers.

  • Travelers will pay less for airfare in 2018, but more for car rentals and hotels. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, travelers taking to the skies will pay an average $171 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. That is the lowest Independence Day airfare in five years, and 9 percent less than last year. 

“The current economic landscape including strong employment, rising incomes and consumer confidence is helping to boost the number of planned getaways over the second three-day weekend of the summer,” Blasky said. 

AAA expects to rescue more than 362,000 motorists across the country over Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. Before heading out of town, AAA recommends drivers take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility for a thorough inspection and perform needed maintenance.

AAA offers a variety of mobile travel resources including AAA Mobile, a free app for Smartphone users. The app uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby discounts, summon roadside assistance, find current gas prices and more. Travelers can learn more about this resource at

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

AAA Northern California is the best roadside assistance solution, offering the fastest response times and highest satisfaction rates in the industry. The club also provides discounts, financial services, driver training resources and is a leading advocate for the motoring and traveling public. Visit

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SacRT K-12 Summer Pass! Two Months for $30!

By Citrus Heights News  |  2018-06-21

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) happily announced their $20 Student Monthly Pass is now on sale as a K-12 Student Two-Month Summer Pass for just $30.00 – a 25% reduction over the already recently reduced student pass! Passes are valid for unlimited bus, light rail and SmaRT Ride service for both July and August. Passes on sale on SacRT mobile fare app ZipPass or the Connect Card. Visit for more information

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California State Parks Offers Tips to Recreate Safely This Fourth of July Holiday

By California Department of Parks and Recreation  |  2018-06-21

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Fourth of July is around the corner and for many outdoor enthusiasts, it is the perfect time for camping, hiking and swimming with family and friends. California State Parks wants our visitors to recreate safely and enjoy their time by keeping their loved ones safe.

Because the hot summer weather invites many people to head into the water, whether it be in lakes, rivers or the ocean, it is important to protect loved ones from accidental drownings. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. About 10 people die from unintentional drownings every day, but can easily be prevented by learning water safety and lifesaving techniques.

Below you will find 10 tips to stay safe during this Fourth of July holiday:

  1. Wear a Life Jacket: Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved and properly-fitted. Several public and private entities make life jackets available to the public on a loan basis.View Locations
  2. Protect Your Loved Ones: Know your limits. Swimming in a lake, ocean or river is different than swimming in a pool. If someone is in distress, seek help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1 if one is not available. Supervise children at all times by appointing a designated "water watcher," taking turns with other adults. Do not assume that someone is watching them.
  3. Do not enter the water if it is too cold: Waterways continue to rise as snow melts and can be dangerously cold and swift. Even the strongest swimmers can be stunned by cold water and become incapacitated.
  4. Ocean Rip Currents: If you get caught in one, stay calm and do not fight the current. Swim or float parallel to the shore until you are out of the current and then swim toward the shore.
  5. Avoid Alcohol: Operating your boat or an off-highway vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more is against the law. Impaired boaters will be stopped and can be arrested even with lower BAC if the conditions are not safe. Your boat can be impounded.
  6. Know the Rules/Laws: Take the time to visit the webpage of the park you plan on visiting and learn about the rules, such as parking, if dogs are allowed and closed areas. It is also important to learn the laws for recreating in boats and/or off-highway vehicles.  
  7. Prepare an Itinerary: No matter what type of recreation activity you will be participating in, leave an itinerary of your trip with a family member/friend with information such as name/age of all participants, travel destination and expected return date. This will ensure law enforcement personnel have a better understanding of your location in the event of a rescue.
  8. Natural Resources: Whether you are hiking, horseback riding or operating an off-highway vehicle, stay on designated trails. You are not only protecting natural resources, but you are also ensuring that you do not get lost.
  9. Use the buddy system: Hike or swim with a friend or family member. This is key especially if you are bit by a snake, encounter other wildlife or need medical attention. Buddies can seek help for you.
  10. Wildlife: View wildlife from a distance. Never feed or touch them. Be cautious of where you are stepping. If you see a snake, maintain a distance of 6 feet. Most bites occur when people get too close or try to touch them.

Additional safety tips and information on laws can be found online at

With over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails, California State Parks contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural, and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the nation with 280 state parks. More than 67 million people annually visit California's state park system. Invent your adventure online at

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today issued the following statement regarding the Democrat majority-vote budget bill:

“I tip my hat to Governor Brown and his Democrat allies in the legislature; they can spend money faster and more irresponsibly than any group of people I’ve ever seen. This budget is – again – the biggest in Golden State history. We keep spending more and more but not getting better roads, better schools, or better anything besides wealthier public employee unions.”

“Brown had the nerve to point to a piggybank during his budget presentation, and to imply that he has saved the state some amazing amount of money since he’s been in office. That’s a farce! With just a bit of fiscal discipline we could have filled a dozen of those piggybanks. Brown taxed more and then Brown spent more. He was the most predictable big-spending Democrat to ever roam the Capitol halls.”

“The Governor himself has repeatedly warned that another recession is headed our way. Instead of heeding that warning, we are increasing spending by billions to pay for things like the absurd High Speed Rail project, a minimum wage increase and pushing a billion-dollar makeover for the state capitol.”

“We are so dependent on Silicon Valley’s economic miracle that it’s frightening. Their prosperity obscures huge problems in the rest of the state, and our highly-progressive tax system means that if Silicon Valley coughs, the state budget catches pneumonia. A slight downturn could send us into a fiscal crisis in Sacramento. Far from being recession proof, we would be recession toast.”

“This is a budget that guarantees higher taxes for families around the state. Is it any wonder that working-class people are fleeing California as fast as they can load their U-Hauls? How could they want to stay when their government treats them like ATMs? Democrats force them to pay the highest sales taxes, highest income taxes, some of the highest gas taxes and property taxes in the nation, and then celebrate when and brag about how much this year’s budget ‘invests.’ For once, I wish the Democrats would spend less and let the people invest in themselves.

“This is Governor Brown’s last budget and thankfully so. He’s spent 8 years talking about fiscal discipline and prudence while supporting new taxes, fees and spending at every turn. He’s leaving behind a legacy of poverty, massive homelessness, and fiscal recklessness.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

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Women’s Empowerment Receives $11,500 from American River Bank Foundation

By Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2018-06-21

Kymla Birchette of American River Bank Foundation poses with graduates of Women’s Empowerment’s paid property management training program. The foundation recently granted $11,500 to the organization.

Donation to Go Towards Paid Job Training for Homeless Women

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - American River Bank Foundation recently granted $11,500 to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment to provide paid job training for homeless women through the group’s Get A Job Kit small business. Funding also will support Women’s Empowerment’s new property management training program REstart in partnership with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Sacramento. 

“American River Bank Foundation’s funding has been absolutely vital as we’ve grown The Get A Job Kit small business over the past four years, ” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are so thankful to American River Bank Foundation and its continued investment in paid job training for women who are homeless. They stepped up to fund The Get A Job Kit, and now they’re making the same commitment by investing in our REstart program to train women in the field of property management.”

The Get A Job Kit was launched under Women’s Empowerment’s name in April 2014 after the business was donated by local entrepreneur Shirley Willey, who had created and run the business for nearly 25 years. The social enterprise trains graduates of Women’s Empowerment’s nine-week job-readiness program in the production, customer service, quality assurance, forklift operation, shipping and receiving industries. Over the course of five weeks, trainees are paid to assemble the Get A Job Kits, an all-in-one career organizer, to fill customer orders while receiving hands-on training, performance evaluations and relevant job experience. Since launching the small business, Women’s Empowerment has sold 15,000 Kits to high schools, veterans programs, nonprofits, vocational and technical colleges and anti-recidivism programs.

Women’s Empowerment’s recent partnership with IREM Sacramento provides Women’s Empowerment graduates with paid training in property management, a career that provides both stable employment and housing on the property being managed. 

“As homelessness increases in our community, and finding affordable housing becomes even more challenging, we developed a strategic partnership that provides both income and housing,” Culp said. “We are grateful to American River Bank Foundation for seeing the value of this new, innovative training program.”

The Get A Job Kit and REstart are two components of Women’s Empowerment’s programs that end homelessness for women and children in Sacramento. Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,503 homeless women and their 3,600 children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: For more information or to purchase The Get a Job Kit, visit

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications

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