Students Helping Students

By Jennifer Rossiter, FFA  |  2018-01-10

Cordova High FFA students pulled together to help other students during the holidays by contributing gifts to those currently less fortunate. Shown left to right- Tyler Jenkins, Jennifer Rossiter, Agnes Budge and Christopher Nelson. Photo courtesy Cordova FFA

Cordova FFA Students Step Up for Others

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) – This year our FFA Chapter hosted a very successful toy drive as we partnered with the Folsom Cordova Unified School District to donate toys for the holidays.

This holiday season Cordova High School FFA chapter and Agriculture Science Academy adopted a family from FCUSD Homeless Student Services. The students were more than excited to give back to other students that are currently experiencing homelessness. The officer team of the Cordova FFA chapter decided that they wanted to participate in this year’s holiday outreach program and requested that its 300 members join in the fun.

The students provided an overwhelming amount of support for this family. So much in fact that the Homeless Student Services office was able to share the donations with other students. In total the Cordova FFA Chapter supported 15 students this holiday season. The FFA Motto “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve “ is the embodiment of Cordova FFA. 

The growing Agriculture Education program at Cordova High School  is a four-year pathway starting at the 9th grade.  Using Agriculture as the learning vehicle, students build science skills and knowledge through exciting hands-on and interactive lessons.  The students are also members of the Cordova FFA Chapter where they maximize their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.  The FFA offers a variety of events and activities that allow students to travel and compete for awards and scholarships at the local, regional and state level.  The Agriculture Education program maintains and utilizes a school garden for a variety of lessons.  In addition, they have several community partners for outdoor education including Soil Born Farms and the American River Parkway Foundation. 

For more information about FFA contact Mr. Bret Harnden at 916-294-2450, ext. 810382.

Rancho Cordova's History

State Point Media (MPG) - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that California's adolescent birth rate continues to decline. In 2015, there were 17.6 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19: a 10 percent decline from the 2014 rate of 19.6 and a 62 percent decline from the 2000 rate of 46.7.

"By empowering young people with the knowledge, tools and resources to make healthy choices, California is succeeding in reducing births among adolescents," said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

The adolescent birth rate decreased across all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2015. During this time, the adolescent birth rate dropped among Hispanics from 77.3 to 27.0, among African-Americans from 59.1 to 19.7, among Whites from 22.3 to 6.9, and among Asians from 15.0 to 2.9.

Despite declining birth rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African-American and Hispanic adolescents were three to four times as likely to give birth as White females. Additionally, the adolescent birth rate varies considerably across counties, from a low of 6.7 in Marin County to a high of 43.1 in Del Norte County.

California has a number of programs aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy and improving pregnancy outcomes among young women. CDPH funds the Information and Education Program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program authorized through the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the Adolescent Family Life Program for expectant and parenting adolescents. Also, the state provides no-cost family planning services to eligible men and women, including adolescents, through the Family PACT Program.

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‘Individual Ownership’ Model Fuels Local Economy

Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - More than 110,000 consumers over the past year chose to become members of a local credit union headquartered in Sacramento County as of Sept. 30, 2017 (third quarter), according to the 3rd Quarter Credit Union Trends Report for Sacramento County.

Sacramento County now boasts 1.35 million individuals who are “member-owners” of 10 locally headquartered credit unions — a record high (the last historical peak was 1.05 million in 2009). Each person owns an equal share of his or her respective credit union, with all profits reinvested to benefit every member in the form of better interest rates and lower or no fees.

How these credit union members are spending their money on homes, remodeling projects, new and used automobiles, higher education, surviving life events, and other big-purchase items provides a key barometer into what’s happening across the local economy.

This news release reflects year-over-year trends in local loans and deposits and is published by the Ontario, CA-based California Credit Union League. Local consumers who are members of Sacramento County-based credit unions continue taking on first-mortgages to purchase or refinance homes. First-mortgages rose 11 percent, hitting a record $3.96 billion. (This may include fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, purchase, traditional refinance, and cash-out refinance mortgages). They are turning home equity into cash for remodeling or other large purchases. Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) and second-mortgages combined increased 5 percent, reaching $557 million — an amount not seen since 2015.

Credit union members have slid into the driver’s seat of a newer car or truck more often. New auto loans rose 31 percent, hitting a record $3.6 billion. Used auto loans rose 22 percent, hitting a record $3 billion.They remain true to the habit of paying for life through credit cards. Credit card lending increased 6 percent, hitting a record $628 million.

Members are also trying to save more money and increasingly using credit unions to transact purchases/bill-pay. Total deposits rose 9 percent, hitting a record $15.1 billion (including record individual amounts in checking, savings and money market accounts).

“These credit union trends will continue as long as the economy continues to perform well,” said Dwight Johnston, chief economist for the California Credit Union League.

He noted some areas of concern. Employers are having increasing difficulty finding workers in a tight labor market, which will limit economic growth “to some degree.” He also has concerns the economy may start running out of steam by late 2018. Consumer spending might be “good” by then, but its growth rate could still disappoint. If Wall Street reacts negatively to consumer spending numbers versus expectations, businesses could somewhat pull back on spending and hiring plans.

However, “There is nothing that suggests an economic slowdown is imminent, which makes the overall picture for credit unions bright,” Johnston said. “In fact, the business-skewed tax bill Congress recently passed should accelerate economic growth through at least the third quarter of this year.”

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Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., successfully supported the launch of a classified payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission, known as NROL-52, was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems included the RL10C-1 upper-stage engine, two solid rocket boosters (SRBs), six helium pressurization tanks, and 12 Centaur upper-stage Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in another successful mission in support of our nation’s warfighters,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “It’s an honor to know our propulsion systems are continually called upon in support of the brave men and women serving to protect the freedoms we hold so dear.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s role in the launch began during liftoff when two SRBs ignited to provide 750,000 pounds of total increased thrust to launch the Atlas V rocket. (Each 67-foot-long, 5-foot-wide composite motor case contains more than 90,000 pounds of propellant, providing more than 375,000 pounds of liftoff thrust.) All Atlas V launches requiring extra boost have flown Aerojet Rocketdyne SRBs.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10C-1 upper-stage engine ignited after separation of the first stage to place the payload into orbit, helped by the Centaur RCS thrusters and pressurization tanks. The RL10C-1 delivers 22,890 pounds of thrust to power the Atlas V upper stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.

The RL10C-1 was developed from the RL10 family of upper-stage engines, which has accumulated one of the most impressive track records of accomplishments in the history of space propulsion. More than 480 RL10 engines have supported launches over the last 50 years, playing a vital role in placing military, government and commercial satellites into orbit, and powering scientific space probes on every interplanetary mission in our solar system.

The 12 MR-106 RCS thrusters are assembled in four rocket engine modules and provide pitch, yaw and roll control for the Centaur upper stage as well as settling burns prior to firing the RL10C-1 engine.

ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, manufactures the pressure vessels on the first and second stages of the launch vehicle.

Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.

 

Source: Aerojet

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As travel demand decreases after a busy holiday travel season, prices at the pump should decrease as well

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Californians will kick off 2018 with the most expensive gas to begin a year since 2014, according to AAA, but prices are expected to fall in coming weeks as travel demand subsides after a busy holiday travel season.

At $3.10, California’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline today is 33 cents more than drivers paid in January, 2017. At nearly $3.23 per gallon, San Francisco residents are paying the highest prices for gas in Northern California -- 3 cents more than motorists in South Lake Tahoe, which normally tops the charts for the region.

“Last year was a historic travel season, with AAA forecasting record travel numbers for nearly every holiday, but prices historically will drop after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve,” said Michael Blasky, a spokesman for AAA Northern California. “Californians today are paying about 60 cents more than the national average, which AAA attributes to the state’s strong economy, higher taxes on gasoline and stricter environmental regulations."

The last time Californians started a year paying more than $3 for gas was in 2014, when the average price in January of that year was $3.62. Gas prices rose above $4 that summer.

Still, January prices don't always indicate how prices will move throughout a year. Motorists in California paid just $2.55 for regular unleaded gas to begin 2015, but by May were paying above $3.70 per gallon.

Oil prices were more stable in 2017, with prices for a barrel hovering around $50 much of the year. Prices rose late in the year and began 2018 over $60 a barrel, a 2-year high. 

“With global oil producers trying to scale back their production, supply could drop while demand for energy remains high,” Blasky said. “If they’re successful in cutting back oil production, gasoline prices will likely rise as well to meet the demand.”

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CDPH Offers Free Radon Test Kits

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - January is National Radon Action Month and the cold winter months are the best time to test for this odorless and colorless gas. CDPH is offering free test kits to households in California throughout the month of January, or until supplies run out.

Radon, a naturally occurring gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


“Testing for radon in your home is a simple process,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Taking steps for remediation, if needed, can be critical for indoor air quality, and improving the safety of your home.”

The kits are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s State Indoor Radon Grant fund, and are limited to one free test kit per household. The aggregated information from the test results will be used to update statewide Radon Potential Maps, which show the likelihood of radon in a specific region.

Test kits can be ordered through the CDPH Indoor Radon Program webpage or by calling the program toll-free at 1-800-745-7236. Options for remediation of radon in the home are available at the CDPH Indoor Radon Program.

Additional information about National Radon Action Month is available on the EPA National Radon Action Month website at www.epa.gov/radon/national-radon-action-month-information

Source: www.cdph.ca.gov

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A Passion for Progress

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2018-01-12

“We are growing at a relatively rapid pace,” says Curt Haven, director of economic development and neighborhood services.  Photo by Jacqueline Fox

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - By a count of years since its incorporation in 2003, the City of Rancho Cordova is barely a teenager.  But considering the caliber of economic and cultural growth taking place, it would not be too far off the mark to call this the city’s “Golden Age.” 

Rancho has a hefty portfolio of available land for retail and residential build out alike.  It currently serves as home to several of the state’s largest employers, including Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Franklin Templeton, Health Net and VSP.  Health insurance firm, Centene Corp. reportedly has signed what is considered to be the largest office lease in the region in 2016.

The city has an employment pool of roughly 70,000.  It’s easy access to Highway 50, the presence of five light rail stations and the fact that it is situated above the flood plain and considered seismically sound, are a huge draws for major developers.

At the same time, Rancho’s changing demographics are driving cultural shifts, resulting in the expansion of its food and entertainment sector.  More than half of its residents are under 35.  There is no shortage of support for the expanding foodie industry that is both retaining commuters after work hours and drawing out locals.  

“We are growing at a relatively rapid pace,” says Curt Haven, director of economic development and neighborhood services.  Haven’s job is to spearhead the mapping out of the city’s economic strategies, steer redevelopment processes and serve as the city’s formal liaison to neighborhood associations.  Haven carries the distinction of being the city’s first employee and is on track to see Rancho Cordova bust wide open.

“Highway 50 is my home,” says Haven, a formerly self-employed operator of an auto parts business who got involved with the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce prior to cityhood.  He became the chamber’s CEO and ultimately went on to chair Rancho’s incorporation committee and helped spearhead the push for the ballot measure for independence.

“Because I was the CEO of the chamber, I just had a love and desire to see Rancho become a greater city than it already was,” said Haven.  “I knew it could come back if it had the distinction of being its own city with its own governing capacity.”

Under his guidance, Rancho’s Development Services Team, comprised of representatives from various city departments, as well as partnering agencies, manage a lot of “moving parts”. Those involve the attraction of and service to new and existing businesses, whether that’s a Blue Shield bringing in some 600 jobs, a craft brewery or a mom and pop eatery.

The approach, says Haven, is small town.  He and or a member of his team will sit down with just about every prospective business owner interested in setting up shop in Rancho to help them navigate the process.  The city’s OpenCounter service and online tools help also provide a quick way for any prospective business owner to generate a list of the permitting and fee requirements expected in advance.

“There’s a whole bunch of moving pieces involved in our approach to serving the economic growth of our city, but we keep it that way so it’s nimble,” said Haven.  “Because we are a new city, we were able to set up processes for businesses that weren’t siloed or heavily bureaucratic.  We answer questions quickly.  Even if someone just has an idea, they can come in and sit around a table with us and discuss their plans.  Whether they are a large company or a small one, they all want certainty.”

Recently, the city and chamber co-created a marketing program as a way to both keep commuters in the city after working hours and bring out the locals at night.  The “Stay An Hour After Work” campaign touts Rancho’s 16 “happy hour” hot spots, nearly two dozen fitness “centers,” and its much-revered and expanding Barrel District, offering a full range of eateries and breweries delivering craft beers and specialty cocktails across a swath of Rancho’s industrial section of town.

The Barrel District is home to Gold River Distillery, the first distillery to come in line since Prohibition.  J.J. Pfister Distilling Company, Burning Barrel Brewing Company, as well as Strad Mead, which will serve wine distilled from honey, are also on their way into the district.  It will be the first meadery in the region.

Combined, these businesses are feeding the reinvention of Rancho.  It is not just a big place for corporations to spread out in or large developers to blueprint a new housing community.  While those are both critical components of Rancho’s growth and attraction, everyone knows when paychecks are spent in the same city where they are earned, economic prosperity and a destination status are solidified.

“About two years ago we had a discussion with the city council about Rancho’s amenities and we talked about how to keep employees who don’t live here in the city after 5 p.m.,” said Haven.  “We also talked about where our residents are going after work.  So we collaborated with the chamber on that program as a way to build up night life and we see it working very well.”

There are also existing businesses who are actually facing issues with aging, if you can believe that for a city on the cusp of 15.  To address some of those issues, Haven’s department launched the Commercial Façade Improvement Program in 2016, which makes mini-grants of up to $5,000 available to businesses to cover the costs for things such as new signage, exterior cleaning and painting, new awnings, lighting and landscaping.

Matching grants for up to $70,000 are also available through the program, funded by the city’s Community Enhancement Fund, supported through the half-cent sales tax measure approved by voters in 2014. The city also offers businesses support through its Revolving Loan and Business Incentive programs.

“Our job is also to retain businesses, so we want to do whatever we can to support small-scale infrastructure projects or beautification projects,” Haven said.  “It’s important that we do what we can to help ensure their longevity and success.”

New projects coming in line also include a 199-unit, upscale apartment project at Capital Village and the Sunridge Plaza project at Sunrise Boulevard and Douglas Road, which will feature, among others, 9Round Kickboxing, Bark Avenue, Chase Bank, Jimboy’s Tacos and Soho Sushi.

While he can’t share details, Haven confirmed San Gabriel-based Shun Fat is attempting to open an Asian supermarket inside the now vacant 114,431-square foot building on Sunrise Avenue, formerly home to Sam’s Club.

Several upscale, single-family housing communities also are on the radar, but perhaps the most widely discussed one is the planned Rio Del Oro project, which calls for 12,000 new homes, six elementary schools, one middle school and the first high school to open in the city in five decades.  It, too, will include several miles of commercial real estate opportunities.

Rancho took a disastrous hit economically with the closure of the aerospace sector in the1990s.  Its reputation as home to scrappy immigrant communities, low-income housing, shuttered buildings and growing blight was widespread.  But years of advocacy for cityhood lead by Haven and fellow members of the incorporation team, followed by a laser-focused plan for reinvigoration upon its hard-won vote for cityhood, have put Rancho Cordova firmly back on the map.

“I knew that I always wanted to work 

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Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - The City of Rancho Cordova is calling for applications for the Community Enhancement Fund (CEF) Citizen Oversight Board. With the passage of Measure H, a half-cent sales tax measure in 2014, the City Council had expressed great interest in establishing an oversight board comprised of Rancho Cordovans that would review the manner in which Community Enhancement Funds were spent. This citizen-run board would add an extra layer of transparency to the community and the use of taxpayers’ dollars, and will have the opportunity to provide feedback to further improve the usage of the fund and the development of the community.

The roles and responsibilities of the Community Enhancement Fund Oversight Board members will be as follows: Review the accomplishments achieved with Community Enhancement Fund dollars for each fiscal year to be highlighted in the annual Community Enhancement Fund Citizen Report and provide feedback to staff.; Confirm the amount of revenues received in the prior fiscal year in comparison to the budget; Review actual expenditures to ensure that they were in alignment with the Community Enhancement Fund grant awards and budget allocation approved by the City Council, Review each Community Enhancement Fund grantee’s compliance with the City’s reporting requirements and make recommendations to exclude non complying organizations from future award cycles to the City Council for consideration. Any amended or additional responsibilities as determined by a majority vote of the full City Council.

Board members will serve a two-year term on the Community Enhancement Fund Oversight Board, and must be at least 18 years of age or older, a full-time resident of Rancho Cordova, a registered voter of Rancho Cordova, and shall not be a direct recipient of Community Enhancement Fund monies.

Student at-large appointees will utilize a separate application process. In-person applications are due by Friday, January 12, and online applications are due by Monday, January 15. To learn more about this opportunity and how to apply, interested residents should visitwww.cityofranchocordova.org and click on “Community Enhancement Fund.”

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Cork & Fork Raises Money to Support Local Children and Families

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - Cork & Fork is an evening of wine tasting from wineries around the region along with gourmet food sampling from many of the area’s best-known restaurants and caterers. The event also features live music and a spectacular silent auction showcasing a variety of items ranging from fine art, exotic getaways, unique home décor and much more.

Cork & Fork is Rancho Cordova’s premier wine tasting event and a vital fundraiser for the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership.  They provide a wide range of programs targeted at reducing the risk of child abuse as well as help families to self-sufficiency.  Each year, the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership provides parent education and support, safe youth activities, employment services and safety-net services to over 5,000 children, youth and adults in our local community. They offer a wide range of services in one place to best serve families through a Family Resource Center and Job Center environment.

Cork & Fork will be held on Friday, March 2nd 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA.  Event tickets are available for $25.00 online at www.CorkFork.org or $40.00 at the door. The evening’s entertainment will be provided by acoustic guitarist Doug Brewer.

You can partner with Cork & Fork in supporting and empowering children and families in our local community by purchasing tickets at www.CorkFork.org and enjoying an evening of delightful food, wine and entertainment.

Event sponsorships are also available.  Please contact Chris Clark at CClark@theFCCP.org for sponsorship details.

Source: FCCP

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Average residential customer bill will be reduced by $1.20

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD has removed the state-mandated SB-1 solar surcharge from all customer bills. Part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s “Million Solar Roofs Initiative,” the surcharge—currently equal to $0.0016 per kilowatt-hour of electricity usage or about $1.20 on an average SMUD customer monthly bill—was initiated in 2008.

Funds from the surcharge were used to help develop residential and commercial solar capacity throughout SMUD’s territory. Overall, the funds will have helped build approximately 125 megawatts of solar generation over the last ten years. This includes incentives for residential and commercial customer solar installations, Smart Home developments, and SolarShares™ developments. A recent example of how these funds were used is the $1.4 million awarded to the Sacramento International Airport to support their installation of two new solar arrays totaling 6.8 megawatts in capacity. The arrays produce enough electricity to handle approximately one-third of the airport’s power needs, saving the airport approximately $850,000 in energy costs each year.

Per the state mandate, the SB-1 solar surcharge was in effect until SMUD had collected $130 million. SMUD reached that cap in late December and immediately removed the surcharge. SMUD has disbursed approximately $125 million of these funds to date and will disburse the remaining funds by the end of 2020.

Per earlier approval by SMUD’s Board of Directors of the Chief Executive Officer & General Manager’s Report & Recommendation on Rates and Services, a rate increase of 1.5 percent for all residential customers and 1 percent for all business customers took effect on January 1, 2018. With the removal of the SB-1 solar surcharge, the average residential customer using 750 kilowatt-hours per month of electricity will now see an average net increase of about $0.42 per month ($1.62 average increase due to the rate increase less an average $1.20 SB-1 solar surcharge). Removing the surcharge from business customer bills will, on average, offset the entire 1 percent rate increase.

For more information about SB-1, visit energy.ca.gov/sb1. For more information about SMUD’s rates, visit smud.org/RateInfo.

Source: SMUD Media

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