Free Dental Work for Kids at Smile Kingdom

Source; Smile Kingdom Dental   |  2016-02-02
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Even though Smile Kingdom is doing this one free day of dentistry as a charity though Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), they offer so much more. Photo courtesy Smile Kingdom Dental

Smiles for Kids is a charity event for children who are underprivileged and on Saturday, Feb. 6th, Smile Kingdom Dental will be providing dentistry at no cost to those through that charity. Smile Kingdom invites you to join them on this special day.

Danielle Mendoza, practice manager, said, “This is something that we did right when we opened a year ago and something that we will plan to do every year that we are open. Dr. Juarez loves to be involved in the community and has a heart for kids in all situations.”

Smile Kingdom is also offering something to the community outside of this one day. They are offering free character themed spin brushes to all of our new patients! Also, if someone refers a patient, they will send a gift card for all those who refer. They also are offering free second opinions, and free infant exams for children under two.

Even though Smile Kingdom is doing this one free day of dentistry as a charity though Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), they offer so much more. And they love rewarding their patients, and invites the community to come into their office to experience the difference a private, kid friendly, office can offer.

Now at days, there are a lot of “corporate” type dental offices. It is high paced, with many faces, and it can be confusing to the kiddos. Doctor Jose Juarez (a.k.a. “Dr. J”) is the only doctor at Smile Kingdom Dental. Their mission is to build trusting relationships with patients, and treat them like royalty in their kingdom.

Abriter Foster Family

Lancers Win on Senior Night

By Mike Bush  |  2016-02-10

Cordova forward DeAnte Wilkins takes a shot inside the paint in last Thursday’s SVC home game against El Dorado. Photo by Rick Sloan

A second half charge paced the Cordova High School boys basketball team to a 55-51 win over El Dorado in a Sierra Valley Conference game on Feb. 4th.

Trailing 31-21 at halftime in its Senior Night home game, Cordova (7-2 in the SVC, 15-11 overall) came out in the second half with displaying defensive looks; from running a zone to man-to-man sets. The result had the Cougars outscoring the visiting Cougars by an 18-9 margin to cut El Dorado’s lead to 40-39.

“We got off to a slow start (in the first half),” said Cordova head coach Fletcher Johnson. “We mixed up between man and zone and just got after it.”

Then in the fourth quarter, Cordova guard Damion Baldwin and forward DeAnte Wilkins, each of whom scored in double digits in the game, led the offensive charge, as the Lancers had a 16-11 advantage and win. Baldwin was the Lancers’ leading scorer with 15 points and Wilkins followed with 13.

The backcourt had more contributions for the Lancers, as guard Jason Novik followed with seven points and Kyle Lorena five. Ben Danielyan was next with four points, William Moore and Najee Clark three each, Joseph Gomez and DeReginald Walker two each and Mike Brown one.

Lancers seniors who were honored with their families on Senior Night were Baldwin, Wilkins, John Pacholski, Lorena, Gomez, Danielyan, Moore, Devin Baldwin, Eric Shin and Walker.

Cordova 50, Union Mine 40

In an SVC road game at El Dorado on Feb. 2nd, the visiting Lancers and host Diamondbacks got off to a rocky start in the first half. Both teams’ defense and limited offensive shots led to Union Mine hanging onto a 17-13 lead.

But in the fourth quarter, with Union Mine still ahead 29-28, Cordova outscored the D’backs by a 22-15 margin that led to another conference win.

Damion Baldwin and Wilkins were the shooting stars again for the Lancers, as they scored 13 points each. Angel Garcia followed with six points, Danielyan five, Gomez and Novik four each, Slavik Demchyk and Walker two each and Brown one. Union Mine’s Albert Garcia led his team with 12 points and Andrew Vaughn eight.

Last night, Thursday, the Lancers closed out the SVC and regular season at Rosemont.

The Sac-Joaquin Section will release playoff brackets middle of next week. To see who Cordova plays in the first round, visit the section’s Website at www.cifsjs.org.

 


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Cordova Girls Hoops in Three-Way Tie for First Place

By Mike Bush  |  2016-02-10

Lady Lancer guards Annalise Tate, left, and teammate Nikki Jones, right, corral a Union Mine player in a recent home game. Tonight, Friday, Cordova takes on Rosemont in an SVC showdown. Cordova and Rosemont, along with El Dorado, are tied for first place with 7-2 records. Photo by Rick Sloan

Tonight, Friday, the Cordova High School girls basketball team will host a huge Sierra Valley Conference game.

The Lady Lancers entertain Rosemont in a battle for the SVC title. Cordova and Rosemont, along with El Dorado, are tied for first place at 7-2 each. El Dorado takes on rival Union Mine in their finale.

For the season, Cordova (13-12 overall) is 5-3 at home. Leading scorer for the Lancers is forward Kelsie Graf, who is averaging 12.1 points per game and guard Erika Wilson at 9.7 points per game.

Game time for the contest at Lancers Gym is 7 p.m.

El Dorado 65, Cordova 47

In their second and final conference meeting of the season in Placerville on February 5th, the Lancers and Cougars tangled offensively that ended the first half with El Dorado leading 36-25.

But in the third quarter, the host Lady Cougars slowed down the Lancers’ offense that generated only nine points. That allowed El Dorado to increase its lead to 51-34 going into the final quarter.

Leading scorers for Cordova were guard Leila Cooper with 10 points. Wilson and guard Nikki Jones followed with eight points each, Jullissa Reis seven, Aneka White five, Adrienne Hammond four, Graf three and Josephine Apole one.


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Bringing the Cultures of the World into the Classroom

Story by Margaret Snider  |  2016-02-09

Jocelyn Hernandez (left) and Jonathon Estrada (right). Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

The City of Rancho Cordova is one of the most diverse communities in the Sacramento region. Time magazine has recognized Sacramento as being America’s Most Diverse City. It is estimated that over eighty four languages are spoken at the local schools. Schools must be aware of this diverse population and work to develop an understanding of the perspectives of children who come from different backgrounds.

The Sacramento Children’s Museum in Rancho Cordova partners with local schools to educate students about cultures around the world. The museum has launched a new Cultural Connections On-The-Go (CCOTG) program. By providing a variety of direct experiences, through classroom hands-on activities, the Children’s Museum believes that a child can learn while having fun. Their new CCOTG Trunk Program features the countries of China and Mexico.

Teachers are encouraged to “rent” trunks for each country, free of charge. Each trunk contains five lessons, interactive activities, and all of the supplies that are required to teach students about different cultures. This is accomplished with hands-on activities which include information about the culture and its holidays.

Chinese New Year was celebrated in the second grade classroom at White Rock Elementary School. The activities included learning how the people of China approach the New Year. This is done by singing a song with a traditional Chinese New Year greeting and making a paper lantern.

Additional activities include discovering the history of silk and firecrackers and how these products are created. The students will take a look at the Chinese food culture, and learn about brewing tea. The proper way to hold and eat with chopsticks is shared. Part of CCOTG Trunk Program also includes hearing the legend of the first Chinese dragon, and joining in a dragon dance with a drum background.

A Mexico program is also available in a trunk format. This lesson plan includes exploring the geography of Mexico as well as their cuisine. The children will learn how tortillas are produced and the skills to make their own at home. The Aztec legend, the colors of the flag and what they mean, and the experience of bullfighting is presented. Why and how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, and the history of the piñata is shared. Students can create maracas and learn how to dance the Mexican Hat Dance. The Aztec Indians culture is discovered and sun art is created. The next trunk program will be about Egypt.

The Children’s Museum has embraced the City of Rancho Cordova’s diversity by launching its Cultural Connections program at the museum. The Museum saw a need to bring the program to children in the local schools. They received a grant for $10,000 from the City of Rancho Cordova’s Community Enhancement Fund. This funding enabled the museum to expand the program and provide the trunks to 12 Rancho Cordova elementary schools. The trunks were provided at no cost to the teachers or the school districts. The end result will be students who are knowledgeable about many cultures, and a community that can truly appreciate its diversity.


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Looking for Teen Leaders to Volunteer

Story and photos by Steve Liddick  |  2016-02-09

Five teen volunteers taking advantage of a community service opportunity at the Sacramento Children’s Museum in Rancho Cordova. (left to right) Alexis Dunbar, Samantha Eckhoff, Lynzie Baca, Joey Perry, Collin Le, and Customer Service Advisor Dustin Perry. The teen volunteers will participate in a 40-hour program over a four month period to give very young children hands-on science and art experience and a chance to exercise their imaginations.

The Sacramento Children’s Museum in Rancho Cordova is recruiting 15 to 18-year-old high school students. The volunteers will take part in a leadership and teaching program aimed at young children up to the age of eight.

The stated goal of the museum is to “inspire, create, and explore” and the volunteers will facilitate the various education-based programs.

“Children will learn while they play,” Customer Service Advisor Dustin Perry said. “The volunteers will assist mostly weekends while school is in session, possibly some Friday evenings.”

The teens are asked to commit to 40 hours over a four month period to expose young children to science, art, and story times.

Five volunteers attended the kickoff orientation session to learn their duties. West Campus High School students Alexis Dunbar and Lynzie Baca, Walnut High School student Samantha Eckhoff, and Antelope High School students Joey Perry and Collin Le plan to take advantage of the community service opportunity. More teenagers are expected to step forward in the coming weeks. “We hope to have a total of ten teen volunteers by the end of this month,” Museum fundraiser Megan Toland said.

“Community service is an ever increasing requirement for high school students,” Sacramento Children’s Museum Executive Director Sharon Stone Smith said. “They can gain a deeper understanding of responsibility, creativity, and follow-through that will benefit them in their future professional life.”

Megan Toland says she envisions the facility as “a happy place” where kids can stretch their imaginations and learn how things work in a hands-on environment under the guidance of the teen volunteers.

The Rancho Cordova Children’s Museum is located at 2701 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova. Sophomore, junior, and senior high school students may get more information about the program at http://www.sackids.org/.


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On Saturday Feb. 13th, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Fishing in the City” program will host a free fishing instruction clinic from 8:30 am until noon at Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova. The pond will be stocked with 400 pounds of rainbow trout and there will be free loan of rods, bait and tackle.  Hagan Park is at the end of Chase Drive off Coloma Road in Rancho Cordova. Fishing clinics are fun for all ages and reservations are not required. For more information call (916) 358-2872.


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Phase 1 of Veterans Village Scheduled for Completion

Story and photos by Margaret Snider  |  2016-02-09

Construction on Mather Veterans Village Phase 1 is now slated for April completion rather than February, due primarily to the addition of a gray water recapture system.  The water will be used to irrigate onsite landscaping.

Mather Veterans Village, located on the former Mather Air Force Base, has been in the works for at least ten years, and Phase 1 is now approaching fruition. Anyone driving by the Veterans Village, located only a block from the VA Hospital in Mather, can clearly see the L-shaped building that houses Phase 1’s 50 permanent housing units.

“If you haven’t had a chance to drop by and see the progress that’s been made, please do so,” said city council member and former Mayor Robert McGarvey, speaking at the Rancho Cordova Library recently.  “It’s really going forward, and we’re looking forward to getting this done.”

First scheduled for February, Phase 1’s completion date has been moved to April. “The reason it has been delayed a little is that we have added a gray water recapture system,” said Reed Flory, reinvestment and housing opportunities manager for the City of Rancho Cordova. “The water will be used to irrigate on-site landscaping.”

Rick Sprague, a regional vice president with Mercy Housing California, expects new residents to begin moving in between April 1 and April 15 of this year. “Once the project receives its Certificate of Occupancy, anticipated end of March/very early April, occupancy by residents will begin immediately.”

As for how the qualifying veterans will be located, Sprague said, that process is being coordinated and organized by Veterans Resource Centers of America.  Interested veterans may contact VRC directly at their office at 7270 East Southgate Dr., Sacramento, or call (916) 393-8387.

Phase 2, Flory said, will be scheduled once Phase 1 is complete. It is possible, however, that work on Phase 2 and possibly even Phase 3 could begin by the end of this year. Phase 2 includes 48 transitional beds to be located on the second floor of the old officers’ quarters, and Phase 3 will be the construction of 50 more permanent housing units in another L-shaped building similar to the unit now approaching completion.

The City of Rancho Cordova, in a related subject, is searching for a location for all of the veteran organizations to come together, someplace stable where files can be kept, phone calls received, and meetings held. “We don’t really have a headquarters,” McGarvey said. “Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and all the rest of them, there is no place really for them to go.”

In addition, McGarvey said that many cities have a plaque, a wall, or a monument that lists names of local veterans. Rancho Cordova does not currently have anything of that sort. “That’s something I’m going to be working on this coming year and ahead,” McGarvey said.

Mather Veterans Village, McGarvey said, is a joint project of the Veterans Administration, Sacramento County, the City of Rancho Cordova, Mercy Housing, and “three or four other veteran organizations who have been helping us with this and are all part of this thing.”


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California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today advised that although there is no evidence of mosquitoes carrying Zika virus in California, people should always take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including removing standing water and wearing insect repellant when necessary. Californians should also be advised of international travel alerts for the countries where Zika virus is circulating. 

“Although no one has contracted Zika virus in California, mosquito bites can still be harmful and the public should take steps to protect themselves,” said Dr. Smith. “Help reduce the risk of mosquito bites by removing standing water from around your home and wearing mosquito repellant when appropriate.”  

As of Jan. 29, 2016, there are six confirmed cases of Zika virus in California, all of which were contracted when traveling in other countries with Zika virus outbreaks in 2013 (1), 2014 (3) and 2015 (2). CDPH will continue monitoring for any confirmed cases in California and will provide weekly updates every Friday. To protect patient confidentiality, specific locations of infected patients cannot be disclosed.   

Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that can transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes — which are not native to California — have been identified in 12 California counties, although there are no known cases where the mosquitoes were carrying the Zika virus in this state. The six confirmed cases of Zika virus in California were acquired in other countries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: American Samoa, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

People traveling to these and other countries with known Zika virus risk should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, including:

Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol for long lasting protection. If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding can and should choose an EPA-registered insect repellent and use it according to the product label

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net

Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets

The CDC and CDPH have also issued guidance for pregnant women recommending they avoid countries where Zika virus is circulating. Pregnant women who cannot avoid travel to these countries should talk to their health care provider and take steps to avoid mosquito bites. The CDC and CDPH have also provided guidance for physicians on the evaluation of pregnant women and infants who may have been exposed to Zika virus.

Most people infected with Zika virus will not develop symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they are usually mild and include fever, rash and eye redness. If you have returned from an affected country and have fever with joint pain, rash within two weeks, or any other symptoms following your return; please contact your medical provider and tell the doctor where you have traveled. While there is no specific treatment for Zika virus disease, the best recommendations are supportive care, rest, fluids and fever relief.

There is concern that Zika virus may be transferred from a pregnant woman to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. Preliminary reports suggest that Zika virus may cause microcephaly (abnormal fetal brain development). This possibility has not been confirmed and is being actively investigated. CDPH has requested that health care providers report suspected Zika virus disease or associated conditions of microcephaly to local health departments. Local health departments will report cases to CDPH, which is coordinating referral of any specimens to CDC for diagnostic testing.

For more information on Zika virus disease and other mosquito-borne illnesses, please visit the CDPH Zika virus information webpage.


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The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers, one of the most common “Dirty Dozen” tax scams seen during tax season.

The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. But there are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft, and other scams that hurt taxpayers. That’s why unscrupulous preparers who prey on unsuspecting taxpayers with outlandish promises of overly large refunds make the Dirty Dozen list every year.

“Choose your tax return preparer carefully because you entrust them with your private financial information that needs to be protected,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Most preparers provide high-quality service but we run across cases each year where unscrupulous preparers steal from their clients and misfile their taxes.”

Return preparers are a vital part of the U.S. tax system. About 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare their returns.

Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.

Choosing Return Preparers Carefully

It is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return. Well-intentioned taxpayers can be misled by preparers who don’t understand taxes or who mislead people into taking credits or deductions they aren’t entitled to in order to increase their fee. Every year, these types of tax preparers face everything from penalties to even jail time for defrauding their clients.

Here are a few tips when choosing a tax preparer:

•Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid tax return preparers are required to register with the IRS, have a PTIN and include it on your tax return.

•Inquire whether the tax return preparer has a professional credential (enrolled agent, certified public accountant, or attorney), belongs to a professional organization or attends continuing education classes. A number of tax law changes, including the Affordable Care Act provisions, can be complex. A competent tax professional needs to be up-to-date in these matters. Tax return preparers aren’t required to have a professional credential, but make sure you understand the qualifications of the preparer you select. IRS.gov has more information regarding the national tax professional organizations.

•Check the preparer’s qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool can help you find a tax return preparer with the qualifications that you prefer. The Directory is a searchable and sortable listing of certain preparers registered with the IRS. It includes the name, city, state and zip code of: Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents , Enrolled Actuaries, Annual Filing Season Program participants.

•Check the preparer’s history. Ask the Better Business Bureau about the preparer. Check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For CPAs, check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, go to IRS.gov and search for “verify enrolled agent status” or check the Directory.

•Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client’s refund. Also avoid those who boast bigger refunds than their competition. Make sure that your refund goes directly to you—not into your preparer’s bank account.

•Ask to e-file your return.  Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically. The IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed tax returns. It’s the safest and most accurate way to file a return.

•Provide records and receipts. Good preparers will ask to see your records and receipts. They’ll ask questions to determine your total income, deductions, tax credits and other items. Do not rely on a preparer who is willing to e-file your return using your last pay stub instead of your Form W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules.

•Make sure the preparer is available. In the event questions come up about your tax return, you may need to contact your preparer after the return is filed. Avoid fly-by-night preparers.

•Understand who can represent you. Attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents can represent any client before the IRS in any situation. Non-credentialed tax return preparers who participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program, can represent clients in limited situations. However, other tax return preparers cannot represent clients before the IRS on any returns prepared and filed after Dec. 31st, 2015.

•Never sign a blank return. Don’t use a tax preparer that asks you to sign an incomplete or blank tax form.

•Review your return before signing. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions if something is not clear. Make sure you’re comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.

•Report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. You can report abusive tax return preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If you suspect a return preparer filed or changed the return without your consent, you should also file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. You can get these forms on IRS.gov.

To find other tips about choosing a preparer, better understand the differences in credentials and qualifications, research the IRS preparer directory, and learn how to submit a complaint regarding a tax return preparer, visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro.

Remember: Taxpayers are legally responsible for what is on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. Make sure the preparer you hire is up to the task.


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Recruiting 2016 Citizens Academy Class

Source: Sacramento County DA Office  |  2016-02-08

The Academy’s 2015 graduates. Photo courtesy Sacramento County DA’s Office

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department are proud to announce their 16th Annual Citizens Academy.

The academy was created to improve communication, foster a better understanding and develop relationships between members of the criminal justice system and citizens, including those from different ethnic, cultural, and faith-based communities. Since the start of the academy in 2002, there have been 15 graduating classes with more than 860 participants.

The program provides an overview of the criminal justice system (law enforcement roles, responsibilities and challenges) and engages citizens from all backgrounds in discussion, participation, and mutual learning about issues within the criminal justice system. New topics this year include a panel discussion on sensitive current events and “outside the box” approaches to the justice system.

Representatives from the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, law enforcement, the judiciary, and community organizations will present information, answer questions, and address community concerns.

There is no cost to participants. The 10-week course is held Tuesday evenings starting April 5th, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the new location: (APAPA) Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association’s Office - 4000 Truxel Road, suite 3, Sacramento 95834.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 11th, 2016. Application forms can be found here: http://www.sacda.org/communityrelations/citizens-academy/. Program Contact: Erica Sevigny at (916) 874.5251 or sevignyer@sacda.org.

 

 


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