RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova put on another first class party for our nation. From the down home style parade to all the festivities at the park, a great time was had by the thousands of attendees at the 4th of July two-day bash.
Every year organizations from Rancho Cordova come together, volunteering countless hours to deliver a fun-filled party. Every year they deserve a big “Thank You” for their support of the city they love. Many sponsors also come together to provide the services, events and entertainment that makes this a must see annual event.
Check out all the photos on our back page. Thanks Rick for catching the spirit of the day!
Donate Three, Non-Perishable Food Items and Get in for Free
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of its ongoing community giving efforts, SMUD is sponsoring Giving Mondays at the Fair, an effort to collect needed items for the Elk Grove Food Bank. SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will accept three non-perishable, non-expired items per person in exchange for a free ticket into the California State Fair before 3 p.m. The first 5,000 people in the gates will also receive a free drawstring backpack.
“This partnership is a great way to give back to those in our community who need it most,” said Rhonda Staley-Brooks, SMUD’s community development manager. “Last year, this effort collected 28,000 pounds of food, and this year we hope to surpass that. It’s these types of community efforts that help lift up our entire community and we’re glad to be a part of it.”
SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will be on Monday, July 15th and Monday, July 22nd. Visit the booth by the Blue Gate to drop off your food items and receive a free ticket to the Fair.
The Elk Grove Food Bank is in need of the following items: Canned Meat (Chicken or Tuna), Peanut Butter, Disposable Adult Briefs, Ensure, Baby Diapers, Socks – All Sizes, Canned Fruit, Canned Veggies, Soup, Beans, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, Packaged Rice, Top Ramen and Cereal.
As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit SMUD.org.
Food Festival Passes on High Demand, More on Order
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - California State fairgoers appear to be hungry for more excitement, as this year’s brand new Fair Food Festival Pass sold so fast, that more were ordered even before the Fair opened its gates. The California State Fair & Food Festival officially opened this morning at 10 a.m. with big crowds, eagerly awaiting to get in.
“We’re so thrilled Opening Day was such a great success; it’s fun seeing so many people and families out having a good time, and of course, eating at our 100 food booths.” said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to make this year’s State Fair the best yet – a fair for all Californians up and down the state. The food festival and the new Food Festival Pass are just part of what we have in store for the next two and a half weeks.”
The Food Festival Passes have been so popular that more have already been ordered for visitors to the fair in the weeks to come. People who purchase the Food Festival Pass can select four items from more than 30 different food vendors – including appetizers, entrees desserts, and more – all for only $28, (a $40 value). Nearly 30 food vendors created new food items for this year’s State Fair. A list of what you can get can be found here.
The Food Festival Pass can be purchased at the State Fair Box Office, Guest Services or at select State Fair Souvenir Shops. Food Festival Passes purchased online are picked up at the State Fair Box Office, prior to entering the Fair. It can be used by anyone, any day of the State Fair. The California State Fair & Food Festival runs through July 28th at Cal Expo.
Fairgoers are also encouraged to visit the website at CaStateFair.org or download the CA State Fair app where they can map out all of their eating adventures.
The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12-28, 2019.
Serving California's Veterans and their Families
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Can military sustenance become scrumptious? Can drab be transformed into delectable?
See for yourself at CalVet’s 7th Annual MRE Cooking Challenge, Thursday July 18 at the California State Fair, an event that promises to be tastefully done. The Challenge pairs military veterans and noted local chefs as they look to impress a panel of culinary experts by turning those Meal-Ready-To-Eat packages – often dreaded by folks in the Armed Forces – into gourmet dinners. Or at least into something close.
Considered to be the marquee event of the State Fair’s Military and Veteran Appreciation Day, the extravaganza begins at noon in Cal Expo’s Cooking Theater, California Building B.
Here’s the day’s menu for your viewing pleasure:
Classic Culinary Cooking Challenge
Noon: To whet your appetite for the upcoming challenge, several members of the California National Guard will take turns in introducing the veterans and celebrity chefs, provide a brief culinary history of the MRE, and host a trivia session. You will also be able to meet with the participants and sample bites from an MRE, getting a taste of what our military men and women dine on in the field.
3 p.m. – Deborah Hoffman of CalVet will be the colorful analyst during the second course. Chefs will vie for three randomly chosen MREs placed in the pantry, or whatever remains. Using their culinary skills and available ingredients, we should be treated to edible works of art … or not!
6 p.m. – And then, the greatly-anticipated main course will be served up by V101 radio personality Big Al Sams. The veterans and chefs, whom you met earlier, will team up to complete their mission: To turn MREs into appealing and tasty meals, using their skills and available ingredients. Judges will pick the winner based upon taste, presentation, skill, and showmanship.
7:15 p.m. – Dessert is Ceremony de awards.
This year’s field includes four veterans: Bryce Palmer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and chef at Mulvaney’s B&L; Michael Hedin, U.S. Marine Corps, member education unit manager at CalPERS; Rob Gomez, U.S. Army, a California Highway Patrol sergeant; and Shannon Terry, California National Guard and a program director for the non-profit Work for Warriors.
Showcasing Video Games and Art from the Capital Region
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento Developer Collective is proud to announce the first annual Capital Creative Showcase event, featuring ‘women in games’ coming to the West Sacramento Community Center on Saturday, September 7th, 2019.
The theme for our inaugural event is “Women in Games” and will include speeches and panels featuring Michelle Hill from 2K Games and Coraly Rosario from Scopely. There will also be panels on women in esports and the business of game development, featuring Aryn Rozell from NRG SF Shock and Donna Walters and Carrissa Darby from Sacramento State’s Stingers esports club, as well as Kelsey Coffman from Bay Area Women in Games, Ashley Silva-Howe from EA Capital Games, and Kara Greenfield from Midnite Lunch Studios. The keynote speech will be delivered by Laura Good, co-founder of Startup Sac.
The event will spotlight the 2019 cohort for our premiere Progressive Game Jam program including the games Evocus: The Summoner’s Game, Bike Route: Sacramento, The Lonely Zombie, Space Uber, Zexa Xeza Warrior Princess of the Cosmos, and Luminous Flux. Meet the teams behind these games and get an exclusive chance to play them before they release.
Our showcase will also feature the capital region’s indie video game developers, artists, and creative talents including Lucre Games, Tronix Productions, Just Ice Cold, Byte Me Games, Double Dog Games, Agilapathy, Midnite Lunch Studios, Andrew Davis Digital, Dawn Pedersen, Zach Winn, Olsisax Art, and many more.
General admission is $15 online, $20 at the door on the day of the event. Kids 12 and under are free. To purchase tickets, and for a complete and updated list of participants in this year’s event, check the event website at www.capitalcreativeshowcase.com.
Sacramento Developer Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed in 2018, and was founded in 2007 as a Meetup.com group for Sacramento video game developers. Our mission is to grow the video game developer industry in greater Sacramento, and to support the overall creative economy. We host many events including educational workshops, the Sacramento Global Game Jam, the Progressive Game Jam, and community gatherings. Our website is www.sacdevcollective.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Meetup.com, or LinkedIn.
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – The California State Fair held its inaugural Food Festival Competition on Saturday, July 13. With 30 food vendors participating in the competition, judges tasted more than 30 items and gave out awards in five categories: Side, Dessert, Fruity, Fried, and Entrée. There were two Best of Division winners, and one ultimate Best of Show winner.
The top prize went to Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls for their Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll.
Any of these food items can be purchased with the Food Festival Pass. For only $28, the buyer receives four tickets which can be turned in to any participating Food Festival stand for the Food Festival item.
For its first year, the Food Festival has been a success. The Food Festival Pass sold so well that it had to be reordered before the 2019 CA State Fair opened. Click here to purchase a Food Festival Pass. Below is the full list of winners.
Best of Show
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
Best of Division - SAVORY
Elote Fries - Sharky’s
Best of Division - DESSERT
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
Roasted Chicken Taquitos - Pepe's Pollo Vaquero
Elote Fries - Sharky’s
Italian “Alps” Nachos - Pignotti’s Gourmet Snacks
Loaded Tator Tots - Golden Bear Grill
Frik’n Vegan Nachos - Frik’n Vegan
Orange Chicken Fries - Pon's Chinese Food
Cookie Dough Sundae - Pizza
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
Chimney Cake Cone - Chimney Cake Cones
Cotton Candy Bunny - Sweet Art Cotton Candy
Oreo Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich - Monster Cookies
Oreo Sundae - Suck It Up
Spicy Chocolate Covered Bacon - The Bacon Habit
Unicorn Kettle Corn - German Kettle Popcorn
Mangonada Shaved Ice - Shaved Ice
Strawberry Pineapple Shortcake Sundae - California Ice Cream Company
Ice Cream in a Pineapple - Ice Cream in a Fruit
Green Monster Smoothie - Country Fair Cinnamon Roll
Passionate Pineapple Smoothie - Ice Cream in a Fruit
Pina Colada Smoothie - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
Deep Fried Caramel Apple Pie - J & L Sweeties
Deep Fried Chicken Skins - Eat at Joe’s
Milo’s Monster Corndog - Milo’s
Deep Fried Banana Hot Dog - Hot Doggin'
Deep Fried Fanta - Sweet Cheeks Fried Treats
Pizza Funnel Cake - Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes
Jalapeno Corndog - Rainbow’s End/Candytown
Burnt Tri Tip Ends Sandwich - Eat at Joe’s
Beef Taco Salad - The Original State Fair Soft Taco
Chicken or Carne Asada Taco Plate - Fiesta’s Mexican
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak - Frik’n Vegan
Grizzly Mac Attack Mac & Cheese - Montana Q BBQ
Hot Cheeto Chicken Burrito - Chili Peppers
Cap’n Crunch Chicken Sliders - Boss Burger
The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12 - 28, 2019.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Businessman Ken McGuire last year feared was the end of an era when the “final” Eppie’s Great race was announced.
Co-founder of Innovations Health Systems – a network of heath-centered services and facilities in the Bay Area – McGuire (52) never actually competed in the annual event.
“I felt it was too great a tradition to let die,” he explains. “People came here from all over the USA to compete. Eppie’s was a boost for our national profile. We Sacramentans talked about the great race in the same conversation as Kings Basketball games and the California International Marathon. It helped charities. For all sorts of good reasons, keeping Eppie’s alive seemed critical.”
Now, thanks to McGuire, the world’s oldest triathlon has not quite ended, after all. Steered by the Sacramento businessman, the contest that the late Eppie Johnston began in 1974 has new branding. From the starting gun July 20, and for future summers, it will be run as The Great American Triathlon. The endurance epic will again follow the American River Parkway in foot, bicycle and kayak stages. While benefitting charities, it will endure as one of our area’s great summer events.
Via many meetings and phone calls, McGuire persuaded major Eppie’s supporters to keep paddling. In January, Sacramento County gave approval for the new parkway event.
Capital City Road Management will continue to manage the race. Former volunteers have rallied, and more than 20 companies have agreed to co-sponsor. McGuire’s business partner, Carmichael resident Dan Niccum, is onboard for brand development.
The new race will continue restauranteur Eppie Johnston’s philanthropic drive that raised more than a million dollars for non-profits over 48 years. “Our fundraising for the American River Parkway Foundation and children’s health charities is important,” confirms McGuire. “We hope to write big checks for good causes. But above all, we want to maintain a community event that defines summer in Sacramento.”
The world’s oldest triathlon will set a cracking pace through the accustomed river stretches of Arcade, Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova. Starting line is at William Pond Park. Athletes will follow a six-mile route to the Guy West Bridge near CSUS, and then grab bikes to pedal 12 miles to the beach below Sunrise Boulevard (Fair Oaks). There is no swimming stage; contestants will board kayaks, brave the San Juan Rapids and follow the river downstream to Rancho Cordova. Thousands of supporters, onlookers and volunteers traditionally cheer athletes through all stages. Après-race celebrations will include live music, food trucks and a beer garden beside the River Bend Park finish line.
Entry in the Great American Triathlon costs $40 for athletes 18 and under; $150 for adult competitors; junior relay is $110; adult relay is $225. Tandem water craft admission is $300. Contestants may use rented kayaks. For information, go to www.greatamericantriathlon.com
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - If California Assembly Bill 5, currently making its way through the California Senate, is enacted without amendment, thousands of travel advisors in California and across the country will no longer have the option of rendering their services as independent business owners to the agencies that currently engage them, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA).
Like numerous other industries, travel agencies have come to rely heavily on the services of independent contractors, and this arrangement provides substantial benefits to both independent advisors and the agencies engaging them. Specifically, agencies gain a measure of flexibility where traditional employment relationships are either impractical or uneconomical, while advisors have the freedom to set their own hours and schedules, establish their own rates, select the customers with whom they will work and market their own brands.
Unfortunately, however, recent developments have put this mutually advantageous system at great risk. Last year, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018), in which the Court adopted the so-called “ABC Test” to determine a worker’s status as either an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of wage order claims. In doing so, the Court overturned the common law “right of control” test established in the Borello decision upon which travel agencies and businesses in hundreds of other industries in California had relied upon for nearly three decades.
Recently, the American Society of Travel Advisors conducted an industry survey in order to assess the likely impact of this harmful legislation on the independent contractor community. The preliminary results paint a clear picture.
First, this is an established industry that is about to be thrown into upheaval by Assembly Bill 5. More than half of independent contractors (ICs) have been in their role for more than seven years.
The vast majority of respondents to our survey (85%) are very satisfied with their status as an IC and 93% of independent advisors reported that the freedom to set their own hours and work schedules was an important factor in choosing the IC business model.
If required by law to become agency employees, 41% of independent advisors responded that they would choose to leave the industry or leave the state for one that allows them the flexibility they currently have.
Now Assembly Bill 5, currently pending before the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, aims to codify the holding in the Dynamex decision, making the ABC Test applicable to nearly everyone in every industry in the state. Because in most cases traditional travel agencies engaging workers to sell travel will be unable to satisfy the ABC Test, passage the bill would mean that thousands of independent advisors will no longer have the option of rendering their services as independent business owners to the agencies that currently engage them.
As the bill has moved through the legislature, exemptions have already been added for insurance agents, physicians, dentists, direct salespersons, real estate agents, barbers, architects, and others.
While the Senate considers Assembly Bill 5, it is critical that it be amended to clearly state that workers engaged to sell travel in the travel agency industry will be evaluated under the standard in place in California for nearly 30 years prior to the Dynamex decision.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Opening this fall as Hard Rock’s first Vegas-style casino in California, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain recently announced its top-tier executives. “I’m very impressed with the caliber of experience of our executive team. They have over 200 years of combined gaming experience,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. “We attracted very capable individuals from around the country.”
“This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of in my entire career. They are all experts in their fields,” said Birtha. “We’re a beacon for the area. Wheatland might not have been on their radar, but now they are excited to build long-term interaction with the community.” The executives will all be relocating to the Greater Sacramento Region and will be working on site in Wheatland every day.
Christopher Balaban, vice president of finance, has an MBA and over 20 years of gaming experience in Las Vegas, Florida, and the Bahamas. In addition to prior VP of finance roles, he led hotel and food and beverage operations, giving him a diverse operational background.
Ryan Flieger, vice president of human resources, has worked with Hard Rock since 2012. He held leadership roles at hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas, and he worked on several Hard Rock expansions. Flieger has experience in talent acquisition and retention, training, and culture setting.
Anika Gaskins, vice president of marketing, has an MBA and was recently the VP of national marketing for MGM Resorts as they opened a new $1 billion casino property. Gaskins has worked in various marketing roles in casinos from Canada to Las Vegas, developing marketing initiatives and increasing revenue.
Paul Mollo, vice president of table games, has almost 40 years of gaming experience and has been working with Hard Rock for more than a decade. Mollo used his expertise to help HBO Productions create authentic scenes of casino gaming on “The Sopranos”.
Matthew Morgan, vice president of information technology, has more than 20 years of experience in gaming technology. He has an MBA, and he has worked in Las Vegas and in local casinos Red Hawk and Thunder Valley. Morgan focuses on bringing mobile products to the casino market.
Will Provance, vice president of slot operations, has more than 20 years of leadership experience in restaurants, entertainment, hotel operations, and casino gaming. He has an executive certificate in customer-driven marketing, an MBA in international hotel and tourism management, and a Master of Science in hotel administration with a concentration on gaming.
Kaywan Samadani, vice president of hospitality, has worked at casinos in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Missouri, and Ohio. Samadani has extensive restaurant and casino hospitality experience — working as a chef, director of food and beverages, director of hospitality, and VP of casino services.
Birtha said they will be taking occupancy of the administrative offices, kitchens, security offices, and surveillance and storage areas in early July. Then they’ll start moving in the furniture, equipment, and gaming tables. “Everything is on schedule and on budget,” said Birtha. “Our company has had that vision to stay focused.”
Hard Rock also just launched a social gaming app: Hard Rock Social Casino. “It’s a way to engage loyal Hard Rock followers and allow them to interface with the casino before it opens,” said Birtha. The free “social casino” will give people a taste of the gaming experience on their smart phones, tablets, or computers. Payment is not required to play, and winners earn virtual credits. Players can select Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain as their casino for the chance to win real-world prizes and promotions to use when the casino opens this fall.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain advertising campaign is also launching soon, with large outdoor billboards, social and digital marketing, and TV and radio ads. Birtha said, “This will be our formal introduction to the region, from Tahoe to San Francisco.” Birtha was also proud to announce some of Hard Rock’s local partners: Toyota Amphitheatre, Sacramento River Cats, Sac Republic FC, and Golden 1 Center.
Birtha said that Hard Rock has a “philanthropy of social engagement” and is committed to hiring local people and building partnerships with local vendors to bring in produce, wine, and art. For information about upcoming hiring and vendor fairs, visit www.hardrockhotelsacramento.com.
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Breaking state contracting laws has once again caught-up with a Sacramento area offender who has a history of unlicensed contracting activity – he was caught for illegal contracting in a sting last year. The repeat offender was one of 13 cited in a sting last week in Gold River.
CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) coordinated the undercover operation in a single family home near Mather Airport on June 12-13. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and Rancho Cordova Police Department were partners in the sting.
CSLB investigators contacted alleged unlicensed contractors to bid on home improvement projects like painting the exterior of the home, masonry, electrical, and pouring concrete.
A total of 13 showed-up at the sting house to give estimates. They offered bids between $930 for electrical and $12,000 for pouring concrete – well over the legal threshold for contracting without a license.
In California, it’s illegal to bid over $500 on contracting jobs for both labor and materials combined (Business and Professions Code (BPC) §7028(a)). A first conviction penalty could result in fines of up to $5,000 and/or by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months.
One of those cited is a repeat offender. Jacob Daniel Cobb was caught in a Roseville sting March 2018. He pled no contest and was sentenced to three years of probation. If charged, second offences include a fine of $5,000, twenty percent of the contract price, or twenty percent of the aggregated payments (whichever is greater) and up to 90 days in county jail (BPC §7028(c)).
“Our goal is for any suspect who qualifies for a contractor’s license to get one,” said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. “When they get caught a second time, they’re showing they’d rather put homeowners at risk than follow the law. That’s why it’s critical for consumers to check for a contractor’s license before hiring anyone to work in or around their homes.”
Consumers can get license info by running an “Instant License Check” on CSLB’s website. They can also get a list of licensed contractors in their area by using the “Find My Licensed Contractor” feature to search for licensed contractors by city or ZIP code.
Twelve suspects may face a second misdemeanor charge for illegal advertising. Licensed contractors must display their license number in all advertisements and unlicensed contractors must state in all ads that they do not have a license (BPC § 7027.1). The penalty for violating the advertising rules for unlicensed contractors is a fine of $700 to $1,000.
One of the suspects did not carry workers' compensation insurance policies to cover those working for them (Labor Code § 3700.5). This case resulted in a "stop order" (a legal demand to cease all employee labor at a jobsite), as the unlicensed individual brought his hired help with him to the home.
Additionally, one suspect may also be charged with asking for an excessive down payment. (BPC §7159.5 (a)(3)(b)). The legal limit for a down payment is 10 percent of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less.
All suspects were ordered to appear on a future date at the Sacramento County Superior Court, 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
NOTE: All suspects are presumed innocent until their case is resolved.
For more information or a list of the offenders see www.cslb.ca.gov or www.CheckTheLicenseFirst.com