Planting a Future

Source: Helen Brewer, Rancho Cordova Leadership Class  |  2016-05-26

Tree planters stand beside the last tree to be mulched. Seated on the truck bed: Horacio Oropeza (left), Leadership 10 Class, and Nick Sikich, Leadership VI Class. Standing: Charles Jenkins (left), Karin Heyden, Rodney Fernandes, Dana Grossi, Edwin Lee, Helen Brewer, Rebecca Sikich, Rachel Pittman, and Sarah Saetern. All are members of Leadership 10 Class except for Pittman and Saetern who are from the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Resting in front is Ireland, Jenkins’ Golden Retriever.

Leadership Class Plants 27 Trees at Hagan Park

On Saturday, May 14th, nine members of this year’s Leadership Rancho Cordova Class X planted four species of trees in the dog park at Hagan Community Park, located at 2197 Chase Drive. Also lending a hand were Sarah Saetern and Rachel Pittman from the Sacramento Tree Foundation (STF) and three friends and family of Leadership Class members.

Planting procedure for each of the trees included removing the tree from a 15-gallon container, loosening its roots and soil, placing the tree in the hole that was dug by park personnel using an auger, backfilling the soil in the hole, staking with two heavy-duty stakes and ties, and finally creating a berm and placing mulch around the tree base to conserve water and soil moisture.

“The 4-hour planting went without mishap except for when the auger hit a water main; but fortunately the machine operator is a park irrigation staff member and he was able to quickly take care of the problem,” said Horacio Oropeza, Park Services Supervisor and a member of this year’s Leadership Class.

The planted trees, all donated by STF, include 10 Red Oak, 10 Sawleaf Zelkova, two Willow Oak, and five Valley Oak. Saetern, STF Community Forester, selected the species of trees and where they should be planted. She gave “special thanks for the chance to work with Leadership Class members and the park district staff. There was great team work and we got a lot done with a small group of volunteers. These trees will provide many benefits to the community as well as make it an enjoyable place for dogs to mingle.”

The sizable planting was the start of Class X’s dog park revitalization that will also include adding play equipment for dog visitors and benches for their owners. The project will be completed during the coming months and will be officially opened at a ribbon cutting during Doggie Day in the Park on September 17th.

To complete the project, Leadership Class members have participated in several fund raising projects and are asking for donations from companies, businesses, and the public. For more information, contact Dana Grossi, a member of this year’s Leadership Class, at dgrossi@cityofranchocordova or at (916) 851-8897. All donations are tax deductible as Leadership Rancho Cordova is part of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit tax exempt organization. Donations can also be made at Leadership 10’s YouCaring website:

Leadership Rancho Cordova Class is sponsored by the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce to identify, develop, and inspire community leaders. Each year’s class undertakes a project that benefits the Rancho Cordova community. For additional information about Leadership Rancho Cordova, go to or contact Dawn Hall, Program Administrator, at (916) 273-5703 or at

Rancho Cordova Radio

Boy Scout Troop One to Celebrate 100 Years

Source: Boy Scout Troop One  |  2016-05-27

Sacramento’s Boy Scout Troop One will be holding its 100-year anniversary, known as the 100ofOne Celebration, this June. Popularly believed to be the oldest, continuously running Boy Scout troop west of the Mississippi River, Troop One is currently reaching out to alumni to attend its 100-year celebration.

Scouts, scouters, Eagle Scouts and anyone that has ever been associated with Troop One are invited to attend the celebration at The Center at Twenty-Three Hundred located at 2300 Sierra Blvd in Sacramento on Sat. June 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. Interested alumni are encouraged to join the troop’s mailing list to receive invitation information and updates on the event.

Throughout Midtown Sacramento’s many recent changes, Troop One is one of the few institutions that have endured. The troop held its first meeting in 1916 at the First United Methodist Church on the corner of 21st and J streets, where its meetings are still held today. In 1955, Troop One nearly folded as membership dipped to only nine scouts. However, by 1976, the troop was back to making history, as Eagle Scouts H.J. and Robert McCurry became the first pair of brothers in the nation to win the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Today, Troop One alumni make up some of Sacramento’s most successful business and community leaders. The troop typically rosters 70 registered Boy Scouts from all over Sacramento and the surrounding areas and its Alumni Club boasts 170 former Troop One scouts, comprised of members from as far back as the 1930s.

To be added to the mailing list and for more information on the event, please visit

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Remembering All of Them

Commentary by Paul V. Scholl, Publisher  |  2016-05-27

We can all wonder why wars happen, but we can also stop long enough to honor the sacrifice given for what others believed in. They believed in us.

On one sacred day each year we stop and honor all those who have gone before us to secure our freedoms and our way of life. War is ugly. It is a tragedy. It is far too often unavoidable.

The common men and women who gave their lives for the good of our country became great to each of us through their sacrifice. There is no greater deed than to give your life for your fellow man.

In my own family I have three brothers who have served in the military. There are many uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces who have also served. Each of them is a part of a larger community that the rest of us will never really understand. But we can honor their service.

I remember the funeral I went to as a young school boy for my cousin Michael Borges. I remember seeing him in the casket, and that it didn’t look anything like him. He was killed in Vietnam when his Jeep ran over a land mine. It was the first time that I remember seeing anyone that I had known dead. Wasn’t it just a few short years ago I stood safely by him in the big family Christmas photograph?

My cousin’s name is engraved in the Vietnam Memorial at the Sacramento Capital.  When my son was a young boy I took him there to see the name, tell him the story and to talk about war. Hopefully it had an impact and someday he will return, and remember.

Another cousin, Leroy Kramer, was one of the greatest guys you would ever want to meet. He was always funny, loud, and enjoyed life to its fullest. He served in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine, and in later years suffered horribly from a neurological disease from the effects of agent orange. He passed away a few years ago, but over many of his last years while suffering from the disease he became a huge fundraiser for other veterans need. Lee was on a mission to help as many of his fellow veterans as he could.

On Memorial Day, I remember these two men especially. Both of their examples changed my life in way that is difficult to explain.  I think of all the families that have similar stories and how our nation is full of heroes lost. We must honor them all.

This Memorial Day enjoy the BBQ, the parties, the day to relax. But most of all remember why the sacred and historical day exists. We can all wonder why wars happen, but we can also stop long enough to honor the sacrifice given for what others believed in. They believed in us.

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Cooley Stresses “Doing Good”

Photos and Story by Margaret Snider  |  2016-05-26

Assemblyman Ken Cooley, right, stands with Rancho Cordova State Farm agent Doug Brewer at the Rancho Cordova May luncheon.

Although State Assemblyman Ken Cooley is in his first term at the Sacramento Capitol, he is not inexperienced. Cooley worked straight out of Berkeley for a senior member of the assembly. “He was Rules chairman, I was his top guy,” Cooley said.

Cooley later worked for a state senator drafting legislation, and this was while he was also on the Rancho Cordova City Council. Having worked with Cooley on the city council for years, council member and past mayor Robert McGarvey said, “He’s probably one of the most experienced elected officials there in the Capitol right now.” Therefore, when Ken Cooley began his term he was able to step right into the work.

When Cooley spoke at the May 20th Rancho Cordova Luncheon, rather than focusing on legislation he spoke about three concepts. Persistence in doing good was the first thing. “Good doers, that’s what the community needs, people who just see the need and step out to do good things,” Cooley said. Since Rancho Cordova is a military town, Cooley thought everyone would also relate to the second subject – deployment.  “So much of our life, I would say, is deployment of self,” Cooley said. “What am I going to do this day, this week, this month? What are the priorities? What is the place where I can make a difference?”

Third is tyranny of the urgent. You start the day, Cooley said, with an idea of what you need to accomplish, and it doesn’t take long for life to intervene. “There are fires to be put out,” Cooley said. “Somebody calls you up with an urgent personal need. And suddenly there goes the day.” With these three things as a base, Cooley talked about matters on which he has deployed himself during his term.

Cooley went on with a statement from John Stuart Mill who wrote a book on representative government in 1861. “The proper office of a representative assembly is to watch and control the government, to throw the light of publicity on its acts, to compel a full exposition and justification of all of them, which any one considers questionable,” Cooley quoted.

Oversight, Cooley feels, has been greatly diminished in the legislature over the past 20 years. He accepted the position of chair of the Rules committee even though it meant he could not chair a policy committee. “When it comes to oversight functions, take off your party hat . . . I point out to (those who have taken an oath of office) that oversight is a chance for us to start to learn as members to function together and not fight over partisan issues.” Cooley has now put together a guide on oversight. “In collaboration with staff, for the first time in probably 40 or 50 years, the California State Assembly has a Legislative Oversight Handbook,” Cooley said. “I feel like this is an example of being personally persistent in doing good.”

Paul Andersen, a safety professional who came to the luncheon specifically to hear Cooley speak, said that we need people who are responsible and ethical themselves to be on the ethics committee. “I really appreciate that Ken is of the people, for the people, and regardless of his party, I will always support him and follow his lead.” Andersen said

Cooley is the chair of the subcommittee on foster care. He has introduced legislation dealing with the issues of human trafficking, child abuse generally, and child sexual abuse. Lots of kids end up in trafficking out of the foster care system, he said. “I feel part of my responsibility as a member,” Cooley said, “since I’m pretty experienced in legislative work and advocacy, is to be an advocate for people who don’t have an advocate.”

Also at the luncheon, Rancho Cordova State Farm agent Douglas Brewer came to know Cooley when he chaired the government relations committee with the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. “If you look at the history of Ken’s political career, you’ll see that he has always reached out to the other side of the aisle,” Brewer said. “Ken does a good job, I think, of being able to bridge those differences.”

In finishing, Cooley, who with his wife Sydney has lived in Rancho Cordova since 1977, thanked the residents of Rancho Cordova. “There’s a great deal of frustration and disappointment frequently at the end of the day, that the things that you meant to do didn’t get done. I just thank you for being persistent in living with that tension.”

For more information about Assemblyman Ken Cooley, see

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Two Vehicle Collision Results in Fatal Injuries

Source: CHP North Sacramento  |  2016-05-26

On May 18, 2016, at approximately 2:30 pm, Marcus Ashford (22), was driving a 1998 Dodge Neon southbound Walnut Ave., north of Cypress Ave., in the #1 lane.  Nikolaus Berzins (34), was driving a 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck northbound Walnut Ave., north of Cypress Ave., in the #1 lane. 

For an unknown reason, the Dodge Neon swerved into the two-way left turn lane toward the F-150 pickup truck.  Mr. Berzins was unable to avoid a collision with the Dodge Neon as the Dodge Neon entered the #1 northbound lane.  The Dodge Neon and the Ford F-150 collided head-on in the northbound lanes.  The right front passenger of the Dodge Neon, an unidentified adult female, was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.  Mr. Ashford was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital with moderate injuries. 

Mr. Berzins sustained minor injuries, but was not transported from the collision scene.

The collision is still under investigation.

Any additional information about this news release should be directed to Officer Berry who will be available at the CHP North Sacramento Area business phone number: (916) 348-2317, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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California State Fair Helps Non-Profits Raise Needed Funds

Source: California State Fair  |  2016-05-26

The California State Fair is making it easy to support non-profits again this year through its non-profit ticket sales program. Non-profit organizations can earn $1 back for each State Fair ticket their supporters purchase online at

This program enables the California State Fair to partner with community non-profits in a way that supports their fundraising efforts and promotes theCalifornia State Fair as a community gathering place that celebrates the best of the Golden State.

Non-profits do not have to handle any ticket stock or cash, because it is completely digital. Once the non-profit meets the criteria for participation, the organization simply sends out a special promo code to its supporters.

Non-profits interested in participating, simply apply as follows:

  • Complete a short application to be considered as a potential participant. The application is available at Send the completed application to for approval.

  • Upon meeting the requirements for participation in the program, the State Fair will provide a unique promotional code that the non-profit can send out to their supporters to use when they order tickets online at

  • After the State Fair concludes, the non-profit will receive a check that totals $1 for every discounted general admission or ride wristband sale that used their special code.

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Nearly 400 San Juan Unified Seniors Earn State Seal of Biliteracy

Source: San Juan Unified School District  |  2016-05-26

Nearly 400 San Juan Unified seniors will graduate this spring with special honors reflecting their dedication to linguistic excellence.

In a recent countywide ceremony, 397 San Juan Unified students earned the State Seal of Biliteracy Award for their fluency in 10 languages, including Spanish, French, Arabic and Mandarin. Of those students, 82 are former English learners who have shown proficiency in English and their native language. Honorees receive a medal to be worn during graduation, a certificate, a seal for their diploma and a special notation on their transcript.

Students earned the award by achieving a high level of speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. This year, over 1,400 students from 12 districts in Sacramento County received the seal, with the greatest number of honorees hailing from San Juan Unified.

To earn the seal, established by California Assembly Bill 815 in 2012, students must receive good grades in all English classes required for graduation and proficiently score on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts. Additionally, students must show proficiency in one or more languages by passing a test — such as an Advanced Placement test — or by completing four years of a foreign language with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

“Having achieved this level of proficiency, these students are well-poised to continue in their language studies to attain even higher levels of proficiency, eventually including language unique to their lines of work or areas of expertise,” said Nicole Naditz, who teaches Advanced Placement French at Bella Vista High School.

The seal is a statement of linguistic and academic accomplishment that offers a variety of benefits after high school, including giving students a competitive edge in applying for jobs. Heather Berkness, a special programs counselor with the English Language and Multicultural Education Department, said the seal also adds value to college applications and allows students to connect with a worldwide community.

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Gov Brown Appointments Mark Owens of Carmichael

Source: Office of Governor Jerry Brown  |  2016-05-26

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently announced the appointment of Mark W. Owens, 56, of Carmichael, as chief counsel in the Office of Systems Integration at the California Health and Human Services Agency, where he has been senior legal counsel since 2014 and was an attorney from 2012 to 2014.

Owens served in several positions at the California Department of Social Services from 2001 to 2012, including attorney specialist and staff counsel. He was an attorney at the California Department of Business Oversight, Division of Corporations in 2001, business development counsel at 3Com Corporation from 2000 to 2001 and corporate and securities counsel at Gray, Cary, Ware and Freidenrich from 1999 to 2000.

Owens was an associate at Boutin, Dentino, Gibson, Di Giusto and Hodell from 1996 to 1999 and president at Industrial Friction Supply Company Inc. from 1984 to 1993. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,720. Owens is a Republican.

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Fire Camp Lets Kids Be Firefighters (For a Week)

Source: Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-05-26

Each day of camp, kids are given a chance to see and learn the varied disciplines of today’s fire service. 
--Photo courtesy of Sacramento Metro Fire Dept.

Metro Fire recently opened the application period for Fire Camp, a day camp that takes place from July 12-15, 2016.  Fire Camp provides local children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience today’s fire service, first hand.  The program is designed to instill self-confidence, teamwork, teach life safety skills and provide a basic understanding of the firefighting profession, in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Campers are grouped in “strike teams” of eight campers, and each strike team is mentored by two Metro Firefighters. Campers learn valuable life safety skills, while discovering what it means to be a firefighter.

To attend Fire Camp, applicants must be 11, 12 or 13 years of age, with preference given to those living within Metro Fire’s boundaries.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, so apply early for a better chance of securing a spot. Deadline to apply is June 6, 2016.

For applications and more information, visit our website:

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Sac Metro Begins Search for New Chief

Source: Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-05-26

Sacramento Metro Fire Chief Mark Wells

Due to the December retirement of Fire Chief Mark Wells, the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District is seeking a dynamic and visionary leader in the fire service to serve as the next Fire Chief.

Metro Fire is the largest fire agency in the Sacramento region and the 7th largest in California, serving roughly 728,000 people living and working in a 417 square mile area. Metro Fire provides all-hazard emergency services to the communities it serves and assists with emergencies outside our jurisdiction through mutual-aid agreements and deployments on local, state, and federal emergencies around the country.

Last year, Metro Fire's thirty-six fire engines, six fire trucks, and 22 medics responded to more than 93,000 calls for service. As an all-hazard fire district, in addition to Emergency Medical Response and Structure/Wildland Fire Suppression, Metro Firefighters specialize in Hazardous Materials Response (HAZMAT), Aircraft Firefighting, Technical Rescue, Aviation and Dozer Operations, Urban Search & Rescue (US&R), Swift Water Rescue, Tactical EMS (TEMS), Incident Management Teams, and Joint Terrorism Task Force/Homeland Security.

The ideal Fire Chief candidate will have a passion for public safety and be energized by Metro Fire’s fast pace and the diversity of service demands. A proven track record of leading through good, as well as challenging times, in a manner that adheres to the District’s core values of Integrity, Professionalism, Teamwork, and Service before Self will be expected.

Extensive information regarding Metro Fire, including the District’s Budget, can be found at closing date for this recruitment is midnight Monday, May 30, 2016. To be considered for this opportunity, follow the instructions on the “Apply Now” feature at

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