Get Ready to Celebrate

MPG Staff  |  2017-06-22

Start Planning to Enjoy Your Fourth of July Celebration! -- Photos by Rick Sloan

Rancho Cordova neighbors are planning to rock and roll and rumble during the upcoming 4th of July activities. Plan to join in and celebrate the local community and honor our American Independence at the fabulous two-day festival. This is the City’s annual signature event, and it can’t be beat in the Sacramento region.

If you haven’t seen the fireworks shows before, you are in for a real treat. Share the excitement with your neighbors and watch one of the biggest and most amazing fireworks shows in Northern California!

Festivities begin on Monday, July 3rd from 4:00 pm to 11:00 p.m. with a carnival, beer garden, Kids Zone, BMX Freestyle Team Show, The Beatles tribute band MANIA will entertain on the music stage, followed by the “Summer of Love Fireworks Show.”

The celebration continues on Tuesday, July 4th from noon to 11:00 p.m. with the All-America City 5K Run, the spectacular Fourth of July Parade and Youth Band Competition, and the Rancho Cordova River City Concert Band. Tribute band Fleetwood Mask will light up the stage with rock and roll, and a second fireworks show, “Fireworks Spectacular!” will end the evening.

Children age 12 years old or younger can enter to win cash prizes for participating in the Youth Bike Parade. Dress up your bike in 4th of July gear, and ride with red, white, and blue pride! World Class BMX Superstars will put on unforgettable stunt shows during both the July 3rd and July 4th festivities. Children age 12 and younger can pick up a free bicycle helmet at the conclusion of each BMX show. The BMX performers will be available if children would like their helmet autographed.

The City of Rancho Cordova encourages residents to practice safe and sane fireworks use this Fourth of July season. Also, it is best to keep your pets safely indoors, or if you must take your dog with you to the Fourth of July celebration, keep them leashed and under your direct control at all times.

Free Bike Valet will be available at the Fourth of July festivities, making it easy for you to ride to Hagan Park and avoid all the traffic! Bike Valet keeps your bike securely parked while you enjoy yourself.

For more information on all the festivities visit

Rancho Cordova's History

The City of Rancho Cordova recently began work on its 2017 Street Rehabilitation Project, a $4.1 million publics works project to improve driver and pedestrian safety and comfort, as well as stormwater drainage, in the Cordova Meadows neighborhood.

The project is supported by the City’s Community Enhancement Fund and includes new asphalt overlay, sidewalk and ramp replacements, and minor stormwater upgrades.

The stormwater upgrades have been completed throughout the neighborhood.

Sidewalk and ramp replacements have begun and are anticipated to be completed by the end of June, weather permitting. There will be minimal sidewalk closures during this work. The City of Rancho Cordova will use signage to inform residents of any closures.

A gap in the road that was left from construction workers cutting out area around the ramps is temporary and will be filled once the ramp replacements have been completed.

The next step of the project will be paving the streets with a new asphalt overlay. The City anticipates this work to begin in July, weather permitting. Recently, an ultra-thin layer of asphalt was applied to the road to make the road a smoother surface during the construction project, however, additional improvements to the road are still being made.

Residents with questions or concerns may contact Zach Bosch at (916-851-8906 or

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Trio Looking to Make Impact in Cordova Football

By Mike Bush  |  2017-06-22

Kiran Pooni gets ready to catch the football during a workout at Lancers Stadium. The junior is one of two girls on the Cordova varsity football team, and three in the program. 
-- Photo by Mike Bush

On a warm afternoon earlier this month, the Cordova High School varsity and frosh/soph football teams descended onto the turf at Lancers Stadium.

After spending more than an hour pumping iron inside the school’s weight room, the players on both teams worked on drills in T-shirts and shorts participated in offensive drills that ranged from 7-on-7 to running plays. Among the players were three girls on both teams.

For the first time since Darren Nill became the Cordova varsity football coach in 2015, the Lancers have two girls on the varsity team and another on the frosh/soph team. Kiran Pooni and AJ Williams are vying for playing time on the varsity team and Yancy Alfaro on the frosh/soph team.

Pooni is already a proven student-athlete at Cordova. Last winter, the incoming junior started at midfielder on the Cordova varsity girls soccer team. She also played on the school’s junior varsity girls basketball team.

“Kiran came up to me during the (last) school year and said, ‘Coach, I’m really interested in playing football,’” said Nill of his conversation with Pooni. “She said she wants to do it. I asked around campus, and have been told she’s one of the best female athletes on campus. I felt pretty sure she knew what she was doing. She can handle herself.”

Pooni added, “I’ve always had an interest in it. I wanted to show people that just because you’re a girl don’t mean you can’t do things that guys can do.”

Williams and Alfaro came out when the Lancers started their practices earlier this month.

“I saw AJ the first week of practice,” said Nill of Williams, who will be a senior when the 2017-18 school year starts in early August. “She showed up and said she wanted to play.”

Williams, who will be a senior when the 2017-18 school year starts in early August, added, “He’s helped me step-by-step… he’s been very helpful.”

Pooni and Williams, along with Alfaro, worked out at wide receiver and defensive back in practices. Those are the spots that the trio would be listed when the season starts toward the end of August.

The male football players on both teams have embraced all three players, Nill notes. The girls are treated the same way as the boys.

“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” Nill said.

Williams added, “They’ve treated me like one of the team. They don’t even care that I’m a female.”

When practices first started earlier this month, Nill felt that the girls felt intimated. But they stood their grounds in practices and weight room.

“AJ, what I like about her, is her grit,” said Nill of Williams. “She came out and had some problems; running, health. I don’t think she was probably hydrated when she first came out. And I thought for sure after that first practice we’d never see her again. And she kept coming back out, and I applaud her for that.”

Williams added, “Football has been very good.”

Pooni admitted that she had limited confidence when practices first started. But as each days and time in the weight room and football field passes, she’s continued to build her self-esteem to a higher level.

In fact, the coaches Pooni has been working on punting and kicking for the Lancers. After all, she did a lot of kicking on the girls soccer team last winter.

“It’s much more intense,” said Pooni of football. “You have to have a lot more focus.”

Pooni and Williams, along with Alfaro, and Cordova open the season on Friday, Aug. 25th against Rio Americano at Del Campo’s field.

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Speaker Highlights Rancho Cordova Economics in Megaregion

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-06-21

Barry Broome (center) President and Chief Executive Officer of Greater Sacramento Economic Council, enjoys a few laughs after his presentation with Councilman Bob McGarvey and his wife, Terri, Marianne Conarroe, District Director for Assemblyman Ken Cooley, City Councilmember Linda Budge and City Manager Cyrus Abhar. 
-- Staff photo

Barry Broome, President and Chief Executive Officer of Greater Sacramento Economic Council, was the guest speaker at this month’s Cordova Community Council Luncheon. Broome’s presentation to the group painted his vision of what he thinks Sacramento area economics can be: a data and evidence-driven “megaregional” hub extending far beyond Sacramento. Broome is developing an inclusive strategy playing to the strengths of northern California. It’s a methodology he has developed throughout his professional life.

An Ohio native, Broome was working in the inner city of Cleveland when the mayor of Toledo called, looking for a new economic development director. “He had been through seventeen,” said Broome of infamous Carty Finkbeiner. Toledo was in dire straits.

The city was teetering on bankruptcy, but it was worse, said Broome. “The river caught fire and the lake was dead,” he said. Once a burgeoning industrial city, Toledo had fallen on tough times. The Cuyahoga River was so polluted by dumped industrial waste that in 1969 it famously caught fire. The Cuyahoga is a tributary for Lake Erie, which around 1960, began garnering headlines for massive fish die-offs, algal blooms and yet more pollution. By the late 1980s, Toledo was situated in what would become known as “The Rust Belt,” as recession and automotive industry struggles deeply impacted the local economy.

After the first six applicants turned down the job with Finkbeiner, Broome accepted and was instrumental in brokering a deal to keep Jeep manufacturing in Toledo, where it had been located since World War I. The new facility required hundreds of homes and business properties to be acquired and a river to be rerouted (undoing an old WPA project that had moved it from its original path), but was successful.

Broome then headed to Michigan. A 2003 Chicago Tribune article had this to say about Broome: ‘“He hits the ground and the place starts to shake,” says Don Parfet, a fourth-generation Upjohn heir. A sign taped to Broome’s door in the cramped offices of Southwest Michigan First, Kalamazoo’s non-profit economic development agency, reads, “Bull, China Shop.”‘

Since then, Broome served as CEO and president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, bringing in approximately 260 companies before being hired in late 2014 to come to Sacramento. He doesn’t seem to have lost any of his momentum and brings a “no guts, no glory” attitude. His experience, including Toledo, which he called “a do or die situation for that community,” has enabled him to collectively lure and retain hundreds of companies, thousands of jobs, and raise over a billion dollars of investment in economic development.

California is sorely lacking in a statewide economic plan, according to Broome, comparing California to states like New York and Texas, which have such plans and are consequently financially healthier than California. He is carefully cultivating a regional brand for northern California, working with Sacramento and other counties to identify and consolidate an identity. “It’s so impossible to work together without understanding how assets work and connect together,” said Broome.

Broome’s approach to economic development digs deep into community nuts and bolts, identifying each piece and showing it to its best advantage. Highlighting infrastructure, workforce development and learning to move beyond what Broome called “provincial thinking” are integral parts of Sacramento’s economic future.

Community services (infrastructure) such as transportation, schools, shopping, arts and entertainment, cost and quality of life and employment opportunities are all vital to recruiting and retaining a talented, educated workforce, which is then attractive to companies looking to hire or relocate, according to Broome.

While Sacramento has long been prone competing with, say San Francisco, Broome is an advocate for pooling area resources. Greater Sacramento has partnered with the Bay Area Council to promote the megaregion brand. The move is intended to make the area a key player in a global economy. California consistently ranks lowest among the 50 states for being “business friendly.” Broome wants to change that and be what he calls, “The California Option, where people invest when looking at California.”

Broome says Greater Sacramento receives dozens of inquiries every week from businesses and individuals looking at locating in or relocating to the Sacramento area, and the numbers are expected to grow. Concerns regarding things such as cost of living, taxes or litigation in the state are frequent and not without merit, but Broome has a track record and a plan to prove how desirable and obtainable life and business in Sacramento, and surrounding communities like Rancho Cordova, can be.

Easy access to public transportation, the highway system, farm fresh dining, world class universities, arts and culture, affordable commercial and residential real estate are all hallmarks of Sacramento area living, says Broome. Further enhancements such as making Sacramento part of a high-tech corridor, creating a university research park, expanding river front possibilities and developing a thriving corporate center are investments in the future.

“We need to have a different conversation,” Broome maintains. Creating a megaregion with its own brand, sharing analytics with the communities, removing politics from the equation and emphasizing northern California’s assets, will lead to tangible results and effective decision making. Replacing business as usual will allow California to compete on larger stages, regionally and internationally, and stop other states like Texas from poaching businesses and talent. According to Broome, “Texas is taking our jobs while we’re not looking.”

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Railroad Museum is Now a Smithsonian Affiliate

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-06-21

Union Pacific 4466 is an 0-6-0 type steam locomotive built in October 1920 for the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) to perform switching chores and transfer runs. The locomotive currently resides at the California Railroad Museum. 
-- Photo courtesy Neil916

California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to announce the California State Railroad Museum is now officially recognized as a Smithsonian Affiliate.

“We are delighted to officially begin our Affiliate partnership with the California State Railroad Museum, an organization which has previously worked alongside the Smithsonian in scholarship and historic preservation,” said Myriam Springuel, Interim Director, Smithsonian Affiliations. “The story of railroading is very much the story of building the foundation of the United States and we are proud to partner with this museum which tells this national story from its beginnings in California. The collections, scholarship and expertise of the Smithsonian will be well matched by those at the California State Railroad Museum; we expect both organizations to benefit a great deal from this collaborative relationship.”

Located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the Railroad Museum joins a network of 216 organizations throughout the nation that are committed to serving the public through educational outreach, artifact loans, traveling exhibitions and collaborative research with the Smithsonian. Smithsonian Affiliations help to build a bridge between the local experiences available in individual communities with the national heritage preserved and displayed at the Smithsonian.

“We are proud that the Railroad Museum is now an official Smithsonian Affiliate,” said Ty Smith, Museum Director for the California State Railroad Museum. “Aligning the Railroad Museum with the Smithsonian Institution will help us further our mission of connecting people to California's railroad heritage. This partnership is both intellectual and material and will advance our ability to create a world-class experience to each and every guest who visits the California State Railroad Museums and Old Sacramento State Historic Park.”

Widely recognized as North America’s most prestigious rail museum, the California State Railroad Museum showcases more than 150 years of railroad history in 225,000 square feet of space. Each year, approximately 600,000 guests from all over the world visit the Railroad Museum, to see and experience the immaculately restored full-scale locomotives and railroad cars, impressive toy train collection, interactive and ever-changing exhibits, and much more.

“We look forward to networking and working collaboratively with other Smithsonian Affiliates to further our collective goals to educate, interpret and engage the public with the unique and memorable experiences we have to offer,” said Cheryl Marcell, President & CEO of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation.”

For more information about the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation, please call 916-323-9280 or visit

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The Center for Jobs and the Economy recently released its full analysis of the May employment data.

In the State Employment Growth Rankings, California dropped to 3rd place behind Florida and Texas Between May 2016 and May 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 250,000 (seasonally adjusted), or 13.4% of the total net employment gains in this period for the United States. California dropped to 3rd place behind Florida (which has a civilian working age population only 55% as large as California’s) at 409,600 and Texas (68% as large) at 254,800.

Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California dropped to 33rd highest. Adjusted for population, California dropped to 35th.

The report shows California’s Labor Force Participation Rate at its lowest level since 1976. California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in May declined to 62.0%, while the US rate dropped only 0.2 point to 62.7%. Improvement in the unemployment rate at both the California and national levels came from these contractions in the labor force numbers.

The seasonally adjusted California participation rate in May was at its lowest level since 1976. The unadjusted rate was at its second lowest level since 1976. In the recent May Budget Revision, the Governor again pointed to the increasing share of lower wage jobs as one of the prime causes of slowing state revenues growth.

“The level of wages has been revised downward, and cash receipts have been significantly below forecast.” - Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown continues to not take responsibility for the many lost high paying jobs leaving California for better business climates in other states. California ranks last in the United States for being pro-business. Over one-third of jobs growth over the past 12 months has been in the low wage industries.

For additional information and data about the California economy visit


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Cooley Honors Local Business at 2017 Salute to Small Business

Source: From the Office of Ken Cooley  |  2017-06-21

Assemblyman Cooley awards Kniesel’s for their contributions to the community. 
-- Photo courtesy Office of Ken Cooley

On Monday, June 5, Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) honored Kniesel’s Collision, Inc. as the 8th Assembly District’s 2017 Small Business of the Year.

Every year, members of the California State legislature take time to honor a small business from their district. The Salute to Small Business event provides an opportunity for small business owners to meet and share success stories with other small business owners from across the state. The California Small Business Association is a volunteer-driven, non-profit, non-partisan organization with the mission to provide small businesses with a meaningful voice in state and federal government.

“To honor Kniesel’s Collision as my Small Business of the Year brings me great pride,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “Kniesel’s commitment to customer service and to their employees truly exemplifies servant leadership.”

After emigrating from an Austrian refugee camp after World War II, Richard Kniesel founded Kniesel’s Collision in 1968. Richard has since handed the reins over to his two sons, Robert and Tom. Having grown up in the business, they remain strong in their commitment to the family’s founding core values: integrity, trust, and quality. Kniesel’s Collision also provides support to numerous charitable organizations including local food banks, high school athletic booster clubs, Boy Scout Troops, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and breast cancer research.

“It is truly an honor and I am humbled to be recognized as the Small Business of the Year for our area,” said Richard Kniesel. “When I landed at Ellis Island in the early 1950’s, I was bound for Chicago, Illinois, but by the grace of god, I came to Citrus Heights instead, and I am forever thankful.”

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County. For more information, please visit

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Divine Love: the Answer to Universal Health

Submitted by Christopher Cheney  |  2017-06-21

José de Dios Mata, is originally from Spain, but has been living in the United States for a number of years.

International Speaker to Address Effective Health Care Through Prayer

Jose de Dios Mata, of Elsa Illinois, will give a free lecture to the public in Carmichael on Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. The talk is titled “Divine Love: The Answer to Universal Health” and is sponsored by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Carmichael, as a gift to the community and will be given in the church edifice at 4949 Kenneth Ave., Carmichael, During the talk free parking and child care are included.

This lecture is about the power of God as divine Love and the direct influence for good it can have on lives individually and collectively when spiritually understood. It explores the Biblical basis of God as divine Love whose law Christ Jesus taught and practiced in his healing and teaching ministry. It brings out the relevance of his command “to love your neighbor as yourself” and the worldwide healing impact this can have.

The ideas in this lecture make clear the importance of loving from the standpoint of God, Love, as our source and each of us as God’s tenderly cared for children. Praying from this standpoint heals disease, saves us from wrong thinking and acting, and awakens us to the reality that our lives are safe in the law of Love. How powerful divine Love is to answer every problem we might be facing. This lecture includes experiences of healing that resulted from prayer and a deeper understanding of God as divine Love based on the teachings of Christian Science.

The speaker, José de Dios Mata, is originally from Spain, but has been living in the United States for a number of years. As a teenager, he felt a special interest in music and decided to study guitar, with an emphasis on flamenco. This led him to form his own group and perform in various venues.

Later, he worked for the government for a decade, the last five years of which were spent as a special agent in the Intelligence Services. In his personal life, he faced an enormous challenge in early 1979. A relative’s sudden illness, for which the doctors could find no cure, as well as his own almost complete loss of hearing due to a congenital lesion, which he was told would require immediate surgery or result in total deafness - and he could not continue in his position at work until he had surgery - forced him to seek a solution to these difficulties. He chose not to have surgery. After trying a series of different alternatives, in December of that year José de Dios was introduced to Christian Science by a doctor, his guitar student, who knew of his reluctance towards conventional medicine and encouraged him to explore this system of spiritual healing. Both situations were quickly and completely healed solely through reading the textbook of this religion, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

He soon realized that the spiritual understanding he had just achieved enabled him to heal others. After several years of proving the practical effect of these teachings in the healing of illness and other inharmonious situations of day-to-day life, he gave up his career in 1986 and decided to move to the United States to enter the public practice of Christian Science as his only profession. His desire to teach others how to practice spiritual healing led him to take Christian Science Normal Class in 2009,in Boston, in order to become an authorized Christian Science teacher in Spain.

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Feral Cats Project Seeks Volunteers and Community Support to Curb the Feral Cat Population

By Linda Morgan, Director Sacramento Feral Resources  |  2017-06-21

Spaying/Neutering of stray, feral, and abandoned cats will prevent hundreds of litters of kittens, literally thousands of cats yearly.

Unwanted feral/stray cats are everywhere and the proverbial “kitten-season” is in full-swing. In an effort to help these newborn kittens, people often put them in a box and rush them to the local shelter. Too often the outcome for these kittens isn’t what the well-intentioned person expected. So how can you change this outcome? Spay/Neuter of stray, feral, and abandoned cats will prevent hundreds of litters of kittens, literally thousands of cats yearly, from being born in areas where they are not wanted and struggle to survive on their own.

Sacramento Feral Resources (SacFerals) recently introduced the Feral Cats Project.

The focus of the Project is to recruit volunteers and involve residents county-wide to help humanely curb the feral cat population in Sacramento County through a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. We are looking for the best ways to reach residents in communities throughout the County.

Feral cats are a neighborhood issue that can have good resolution when working together to TNR. In fact, Sacramento County supports TNR - not euthanasia, starvation, or relocation (which is illegal) of feral cats. The good news is that there are low-cost and free spay/neuter clinics available.

Residents who want to help improve the feral cat situation can learn more about the Project, feral cats, TNR, feral colony assistance, and other volunteer opportunities at monthly Free Feral Cats Workshops. Workshops open to the general public. Meetings are held at 5605 Marconi Ave in Carmichael. The Workshop Schedule, class descriptions, and sign-up information is available online:

Why establish a Feral Cats Project? In 2013 SacFerals introduced a public website to offer resources and assistance to anyone with feral cat issues. Over time, traffic to the website as well as requests for help have substantially increased. During the past two years, SacFerals has received reports of more than 9,000 feral/stray cats. The need for assistance has out-paced the current volunteer staff.

With an estimated 98,000 – 220,000 feral cats in Sacramento County, as the saying goes, “It takes a village” to make a huge dent in reducing the number of litters born in the County every year and to ultimately control and reduce the community feral cat population in Sacramento County.

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Access to Farm Products Blooming in Rancho Cordova

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2017-06-15

Soil Born Farms Farmstand in Rancho Cordova. 
-- Photo by Jenny Arnez

Access to Farm Products Blooming in Rancho Cordova

The Goethe Loop Farmers’ Market, stationed at the Sacramento Area Sewer District in Sacramento County, opened on June 1st, making it the fourth farmers’ market in the area from which Rancho Cordova residents and business professionals can purchase local and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Goethe Loop Farmers’ Market offers freshly harvested produce, as well as cut flowers, dairy products, eggs, baked goods, meats and other specialty items from local farmers and vendors. The Goethe Loop Farmers’ Market occurs every Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between June and November. Visit the market at 10060 Goethe Road.

There are three other farmers markets in the Rancho Cordova area that provide similar offerings at Soil Born Farms, the Sunrise Light Rail Station parking lot and the Sacramento VA Medical Center.

Soil Born Farms operates its seasonal farmstand on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between mid-May through November. Farm apprentices and interns help manage the farmstand, and all sales support the Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture & Education Project. Visitors are encouraged to meet farmers who grow their food and the animal residents of American River Ranch. Residents may also subscribe to their weekly or biweekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) produce box program and pick up their boxes at the farmstand. Visit the farmstand at 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. The Soil Born Farms farmstand also accepts EBT benefits.

The Sunrise Station Farmers’ Market occurs year-round every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Sunrise Light Rail Station parking lot at the intersection of Sunrise and Folsom Boulevards. This market, which has been operating at this location since 2010, features about 35 farmers who sell only what they themselves have grown on their California farm.

The VA Mather Farmers’ Market occurs year-round every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, 10535 Hospital Way. It features up to 20 vendors and offers special deals for veterans. The VA Mather Farmers Market also accepts EBT and WIC benefits.

Increasing access to local and seasonal farm products in Rancho Cordova signifies the growing farm-to-fork trend that the Sacramento region has been known for – a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

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