Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-03-11

Robert and Michele by the carnival – photo by Sandy Thomas

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – There are two new murals in town located at Folsom Cordova Community Partnership, thanks to a grant written by FCCP Director of Programs Michele Cook funded by the city’s Community Enhancement Fund.

The first mural is “The Reading Tree” appropriately located behind the organization’s Free Little Library. The mural, designed and painted by Shannon Scott and Griffin, is, according to Cook, a gathering place for children and their parents to read.

“Our hope was that it would be something kids would look forward to seeing when they come in, to welcome them, and cause them to have their attention drawn to the Free Little Library where they could then sit and read a book with their parent.”

The second, and by far the largest of the two, is “Welcome to Rancho Cordova,” a 50 plus foot mural that begins just down the hall from “The Reading Tree” and opens with a big, whimsical sun shining bright and smiling a welcome and wraps around the corner and down the remainder of the wall. This mural was created by Sacramento-based artist Demetris Washington (BAMR).

Washington’s murals are located in Sacramento, Stockton, and Oakland, and tend to be what Cook referred to as edgier than what she was looking for – family-friendly and fun.

She asked Washington for a mural that would “represent the community so that everyone could see themselves in the mural or see something that they enjoy about Rancho Cordova in the mural, and we also wanted it to be another piece that drew the kids.”

The mural, she added, is a favorite photo stop opportunity for families who pose themselves and their children in front of the “Welcome to Rancho Cordova” sign. Children, she said, enjoy tracing the route along the river or the American River Bike Trail.

 It is brightly colored and filled with many landmarks including the library, City Hall, WIC, Regional Transit’s Light Rail, Hagan Park, Sacramento Aquatic Center, and the Sunrise foot bridge. Events like the California Capital Air Show at Mather, carnivals, and the REMAX hot air balloon are highlighted.

Bicycles roam the trail, a nod to the many cyclists who ride for fun and those who will participate in this year’s AMGEN Tour of California, which will begin Stage 2 in Rancho Cordova on May 13. The Golden Poppy, Eschscholtzia californica, California’s state flower, honored annually on April 6, blooms bright beneath the snow-covered Sierras at the mural’s close.

Palm trees, dogs, birds of paradise, people sunning, riding, walking, playing, and eyes greet each passerby. The eyes, Cook explained, are part of Washington’s style and the blocks that appear throughout the mural are what he calls creative blocks. The closer people look, the more they see, including how Washington integrated signage and hardware into the mural because they could not be moved, unlike the mural which moves with each person who walks down the hallway.

“It is an opportunity to engage families and kids who come here every day,” said FCCP Executive Director Robert Sanger, referring to the myriad programs and services the agency provides to families, parents, and children. 

The mural is being praised by everyone from children and families, who in addition to touching and photographing it, said that it is really fun to look at, to Rancho Cordova’s mayor.

“’A Day in Rancho Cordova’ mural does a remarkable job of showing the history of our City from Mather AFB to Hagan Park and more. We are proud to support local art in Rancho Cordova, and I’d like to thank everyone involved who made this piece of artwork truly come to life,” wrote Mayor McGarvey.

                For additional information, visit

Rancho Cordova's History

One Step at a Time

By Cady Nagy-Chow, CRPD  |  2019-03-21

CRPD wins ‘Excellence in Design’ Award for fitness course and launches new program at Lincoln Village Community Park. Photo courtesy CRPD

CRPD Receives Recognition for Dedication to Community Health

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Cordova Recreation & Park District (CRPD) recently accepted an Excellence in Design award from the California Park and Recreation Society (District 2) for the fitness course addition to Lincoln Village Community Park. Adding to the theme of physical health, CRPD is excited to start offering the Walk With Ease  program to the community at Lincoln Village Community Park beginning April 1, thanks to an instructor training grant from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They received the award on March 7, 2019.
While CRPD's programs have long been centers of health and wellness in the community, parks and facilities had yet to offer a free workout environment. After the Lincoln Village Community Park walking paths were upgraded last year, the Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center members expressed an interest in “gym-quality” equipment to supplement the District’s aerobic offerings. Inspired by neighboring parks and recreation agencies and their residents, CRPD launched the Outdoor Fitness Course Project a multi-agency, non-profit partnership between the Cordova Recreation and Park District, the City of Rancho Cordova, and the Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center Advisory Board. 

CRPD Park Planner Cristina James, the project lead, spoke to the growing popularity with outdoor fitness courses and how the course will benefit the community. “Research shows that working out in nature and sunlight triggers chemicals in your brain that help you sleep better! After we’d heard from residents and read about mental and physical health benefits like that, we were convinced that providing a fitness course was exactly what the community needed,” Cristina said.

Beyond the health benefits, the District felt that outdoor fitness courses also provide a welcoming social environment, different than that of a traditional gym. “Having fitness equipment outside makes it feel like an adult playground in some ways. We were able to transition empty space into shared, endorphins-producing space that fosters social connection in both the older and younger generations,” Cristina said.

For this project to become a reality, CRPD relied on public outreach to shape the design of the accessible, state-of-the-art, 5-piece course, and funding from the City of Rancho Cordova’s Community Enhancement Fund. With a matching amount and in-kind labor provided by CRPD, the Lincoln Village Community Park fitness course came to life and is now able to provide an environment for thousands of residents to engage in an active lifestyle.

Beyond the course, CRPD’s new Walk with Ease (WWE) program, developed by the Arthritis Foundation, will contribute to increasing activity in community members daily routine. Studies by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging at the University of North Carolina have shown that WWE helps reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, offers benefits for people managing other chronic conditions, contributes to reduced pain, increased balance and strength, increased levels of physical activity, and improved overall health.

“Walking can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. It may also help prevent certain diseases and even prolong your life. This grant from NRPA and the CDC allows us to add a new way for community residents to fulfill daily recommended exercise, and all you need to start is a sturdy pair of walking shoes,” District Administrator Patrick Larkin said.

As one of only 40 park and recreation agencies across the country to be awarded the WWE instructor training grant, CRPD’s fitness instructors will receive grant-funded training so they may offer the best level of service to the community. “We are extremely grateful to be the recipient of the WWE grant because it allows us to continue to help our community keep fit in mind, body and spirit,” Heather Schelske, Recreation Supervisor at the Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center, said.

The Walk with Ease program will be offered three times per week for six weeks by certified and trained instructors. The classes are ideally suited for seniors 50+ who are interested in a low-impact exercise program in their local community, especially those looking to manage a chronic condition. The program is scheduled to begin Monday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit

About CRPD: Cordova Recreation & Park District is one of the largest independent special districts in Northern California serving over 120,000 residents and four school districts in the greater Sacramento area. CRPD provides over 40 parks and recreational facilities, as well as youth & adult sports, camps, enrichment classes, educational programs and special events for the community. 

California Park and Recreation Society is a membership organization with just over 4,000 members representing the 535 local parks and recreation agencies throughout the state. The mission of CPRS is to advance the profession and its members through education, networking, resources, and advocacy.  Learn more at

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 60,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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Meet Your New Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Supervisor

By Ashley Downton, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-03-21

Sergeant Chuck Pfau

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) is pleased to introduce you to our new Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Supervisor, Sergeant Chuck Pfau.

Sergeant Pfau became interested in joining a career in law enforcement through a close friend who was a deputy for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. He enrolled in and attended the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Academy in 1994.

Sergeant Pfau has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 24 years and worked in a variety of positions, including Patrol, Main Jail, Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, Special Enforcement Detail and North POP Team.

“When I joined the Sheriff’s Department, it was a natural fit for me due to the team atmosphere,” said Sergeant Pfau. “I spent the majority of my life playing team sports, and it felt like I was joining a particular type of team.”

In April 2018, he had an opportunity to come to RCPD. RCPD was always a place he felt highly motivated officers wanted to work due to the high morale and importance of service to our community.

Sergeant Pfau joined the team as a Patrol Supervisor supporting patrol officers in their role responding to 911 calls and traffic accidents. In this role, he observed that the majority of situations that officers responded to had an underlying issue or long-term problem.

“As the new POP Supervisor, I have an opportunity to be part of a team that partners with our community to solve these problems,” said Sergeant Pfau. “I look forward to creating relationships with residents and surrounding businesses to build a stronger and safer community.”

Sergeant Pfau is currently a member of Leadership Rancho Cordova Class 13, a program that develops and engages leaders committed to making a difference in Rancho Cordova. He jumped at the opportunity to join the program to further create a connection with our community, gain more knowledge about the City, and grow as a leader.

Come meet Sergeant Pfau at the next Neighborhood Watch meeting on Tuesday, March 19 at 6 PM at 2897 Kilgore Road, Rancho Cordova.

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Riverview STEM Students Succeed In Robotics Competition

By Maria Chacon Kniestedt, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-03-21

The school’s Riverview Rockets robotics team competed in three robotics tournaments. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Robots haven’t taken over yet, but with the expertise and ingenuity of the students at Riverview STEM Academy in Rancho Cordova, an elementary school in Folsom Cordova Unified School District, they may be on their way.

The school’s Riverview Rockets robotics team competed in three robotics tournaments in Davis, California and came away winning two design awards and a sportsmanship award. And get this – the team was invited to the state championship at Sierra College and placed 7th in the competition out of 11 teams.

One of our Rancho Cordova students from Riverview STEM, who is on a middle school team called CyborgX with Riverview alumni, earned 1st place in the middle school category and is going on to the world championships!

 “This is meaningful to the students because when you teach coding to kids and have a robot responding to your code, it really helps them understand what coding is all about,” said Riverview STEM 5th grade teacher Valerie Lanich.

The City of Rancho Cordova’s Community Enhancement Fund has funded the school’s robotics program for the past three years.

 “It’s always very exciting for the City to see our students engaged in new technology that can better prepare them for the future. It’s even more exciting to see them continue to excel and achieve such high honors in academic competitions such as robotics,” said City of Rancho Cordova City Manager Cyrus Abhar.        

  “Congratulations to the students of Riverview STEM Academy and to the Folsom Cordova Unified School District for this achievement,” Abhar added.

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Rancho Cordova Welcomes New Deputy City Manager, Micah Runner

By Maria Chacon Kniestedt, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-03-11

Micah Runner. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

Served as Economic Development Director for City of Stockton

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (March 4, 2019) – The City of Rancho Cordova welcomes Micah Runner, who will serve as the Deputy City Manager overseeing Economic Development, Community Development, Facilities and the Community Enhancement Fund.

Mr. Runner has over eighteen years of experience in municipal government with a primary focus in economic development and management.  Mr. Runner previously served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stockton where he was responsible for economic development, housing and homeless, real property, venue management, and parking operations. He oversaw a team of 20 employees.

Prior to the City of Stockton, Mr. Runner was the Economic Development Manager for the City of Rancho Cordova, and a Senior Project Manager for the City of Sacramento.

“Micah brings a wealth of knowledge to the City that will build on the already solid reputation we have in the areas of economic and community development. I am pleased to have him return to the City of Rancho Cordova and rejoin us as a member of our leadership team,” said Cyrus Abhar, City Manager.

In 2012, Mr. Runner was recognized as one of the Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.” He has chaired the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Jobs and Business Growth team for Cap-to-Cap and served on the Board of Directors for the Florin Road Partnership, Power Inn Business and Transportation Association and Downtown Stockton Alliance, among others.

“I am looking forward to rejoining the City of Rancho Cordova in this new capacity.  Having worked in economic development for the City previously, I understand this community and admire the progress that has taken place in the 15 short years since incorporation. I look forward to contributing to the many innovative projects on the horizon,” said Mr. Runner.

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First Place for St. John Vianney’s Varsity Boys Basketball Program

By Coach David Sander  |  2019-03-11

The Winners! Photo courtesy St. John Vianney

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova’s very own St. John Vianney Boys Varsity Basketball Team won the season-ending Championship, claiming First Place in the Sacramento region’s Parochial Athletic League Tournament held at St. Charles Borromeo School in Sacramento.   

The road to the championship included wins over Holy Spirit School (Land Park, Sacramento), St. Mary’s School (East Sacramento) and St. Ignatius School (Arden). 

The St. John Vianney Tigers continue a long proud tradition of youth sports achievement at St. John Vianney School (SJV).  Students at SJV can participate in a wide variety of team and individual sports from First Grade to Eighth Grade. Sports are recognized as an important part of youth development. This championships demonstrate SJV’s continuing success right here in Rancho Cordova.

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SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors approved a new bus network proposal, which comprehensively redesigns SacRT’s bus system. “We are excited to begin the process of rolling out our new bus network in a few months,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “To ensure the success of the new network, SacRT will conduct frequent monitoring of the new bus service to optimize and adjust service where it’s needed most.”

A draft plan was released for public review on December 10, 2018. Since then, major outreach efforts took place to let riders and stakeholders know about the proposed plan, called SacRT Forward.

Based on the comments received, and reviewing ridership and demographic data, staff spent the past two and half months making adjustments to the plan. A revised bus network proposal was released for public review on February 18, 2019, and approved by the SacRT Board of Directors on February 25, 2019. The new service is expected to start in summer 2019.

“We have been actively listening to our riders and the community for the past year and a half to make changes that will best fit their lifestyle and help improve mobility options for the Sacramento region,” said SacRT Board Chair and Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. “Travel patterns have changed, regional mobility options have been expanded and development has occurred on the periphery.”

The focus of the new network has been on building a solid network of core routes on major corridors that will lead to economic growth and reduce congestion. Adjustments have been made to almost every route, some minor and some much more substantial, which will provide improved schedules and better service reliability. The new network consists of: 27 regular routes; 14 peak hour only routes; All routes have 7-day service (with the exception of bus route 33); All routes have 45 minute or better service (with the exception of one rural route); Complements the new 15-minute weekend light rail service

In many areas that don’t have high demand for fixed-route bus service, or are not designed for large buses to navigate the neighborhood, SacRT will deploy SmaRT Ride microtransit service.

Annual bus ridership is forecasted to go up between 400,000 and 1,000,000 boardings a year with the new service improvements. For route by route details, visit

SacRT operates approximately 70 bus routes (fixed-route, dial-a-ride and microtransit) and 43 miles of light rail all within a 400-square mile service area throughout Sacramento County, which includes service in the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove. Sacramento buses and light rail trains operate 365 days a year. SacRT's entire bus and light rail system is accessible to the disabled community. ADA services are provided under contract with Paratransit, Inc.

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Local Resident Represents Shriners Hospital at PGA Golf Tour

By Russell Hartley, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-03-11

Rancho Cordova resident, Chloe Maples. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova resident, Chloe Maples, 13, is a pretty special young lady. She was chosen as one of 22 patient ambassadors throughout the country to represent Shriners Hospital at a PGA Golf Tour tournament, where she would be a standard bearer, carrying the scores of professional golfers as they compete in the tournament. It is a rare “inside the ropes” opportunity at a PGA Tour event, as well as the chance to share how Shriners Hospitals has helped transform Chloe’s life.

Born without a fibula in her left leg, Chloe’s foot was amputated when she was one year old.  She then spent three months in a body cast to help correct an undeveloped hip. A few weeks after her cast was removed, Chloe was fitted for her first prosthesis.  The prosthetic team at the Northern California Shriners Hospital has designed several new legs for Chloe over the years, each one thoughtfully crafted to suit Chloe’s active lifestyle — including her passion for dance. A junior high student from Rancho Cordova, during the school day Chloe is focused on her studies, which she hopes will lead one day to a college degree and a career as a Marine Biologist.  In her free time, she enjoys the company of friends and performing with a contemporary and jazz dance group.

Late last year, Chloe traveled to Las Vegas and was on the big stage walking with the pros at the PGA Golf Tour to represent Shriners Hospital for Children.

“I thought it was incredible because I was in Las Vegas to be in a golf tournament for free. It was an honor to walk among the other ambassadors and to get to know them and to get to know the golfers,” said Chloe.

After the final putt, Chloe stood in the winner’s circle with the tournament champion, Shriners leaders, and kids from other Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“Shriners let us know that the care will move forward when she’s in college. And it’s a huge blessing that they will still help her out,” said Chloe’s mother, Mary Maples. “We are incredibly grateful to Shriner. The care that they provided has been top notch. They are just incredible.”

As part of her participation in the tournament, Chloe’s story and photo appeared in the tournament program, and her information was shared with the Golf Channel, which televised the tournament nationally. The broadcast reached over 700 million homes across 240 countries worldwide.

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Sutter Health Opens Latest Walk-In Healthcare Clinic

By Liz Madison, Sutter Health  |  2019-03-07

The new center in Rancho Cordova offers same-day, convenient care for non-urgent issues. Photo courtesy Sutter Health.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Sutter Health has opened the newest Walk-In Care clinic today in Rancho Cordova, a service of the Sutter Medical Foundation, at 4040 Sunrise Blvd, in the Sunridge Plaza near the Anatolia Center.

Sutter’s Walk-In Care clinics offer a quick, convenient care option for everyday illnesses and health needs in a stand-alone storefront that is easily accessible. The Rancho Cordova clinic is Sutter Health’s sixth Valley area location. Other clinics are located in Citrus Heights, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove and Roseville (4010 Foothills Blvd. and 781 Pleasant Grove Blvd.).

“These locations offer easy access to treatment for a whole host of needs, whether it’s treating the flu or an ear infection or wellness services like sports or pre-employment physicals,” said Kelly Foss, Sutter Walk-In Care regional manager. “We hope that by providing more convenient access to care, in places where many people are already running their errands, patients won’t put off getting the care they need to stay healthy.”

Sutter is committed to creating numerous access points to care. For the past several years, Sutter has explored new ways to meet consumers where they are for their care needs. In addition to the Sutter Walk-in Care locations, other convenient options include Sutter urgent care centers or video visits, in addition to traditional office visits with a primary care doctor within Sutter’s network of care.

“We want to reserve emergency departments for complex and life-threatening illnesses, rather than having people with minor medical problems going there because they have no other option,” Foss said. “At the same time, allowing patients to receive non-urgent care and vaccinations quickly, near where they live or work, should help free up doctor-office visits for those with more serious issues.”

While Sutter Walk-In Care provides a wide variety of healthcare services, patients with serious problems or illnesses that require more immediate attention, such as severe cuts or broken bones, should visit an urgent care clinic, or their nearest hospital emergency department.

To learn more about Sutter Walk-In Care, please visit or call 1-800-972-5547.

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Sacramento County Employees Show They Care

By Andrea Hansen, Sacramento County  |  2019-03-07

Troy Givans, left, and Supervisor Patrick Kennedy present the ceremonial 2018 Employee Giving Campaign check on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.  Photo courtesy Sacramento County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Every year, Sacramento County employees participate in an employee-organized fundraising campaign to support local and global nonprofit organizations. To report on the success of the 2018 Employee Giving Campaign, the Campaign’s Chair and Director for the Office of Economic Development, Troy Givans, presented the results on Jan. 29 to the Board of Supervisors.

The theme of this year’s campaign, “Sacramento County Cares,” highlights the generosity and concerns that employees show when they support the causes that improve the quality of life in their local communities and the world around them.

This year’s campaign included a new online donation system, Giving Matters 365, which expanded the County’s paperless initiative and streamlined donations through only payroll deductions, and credit/debit card contributions. 

Giving campaign events included the annual 5K race/walk held at Discovery Park and a successful golf tournament held at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course.

Donations were provided to six federations of charitable organizations, as well as 17 non-profit Sacramento County programs that serve our communities. 

The grand total of the 2018 donations came to $273,024.

2018 Chair, Co-Chairs and Loaned Executives:

Chair, Troy Givans, Office of Economic Development

  • Loaned Executive: Kim Lettini

Co-Chair, Chief Lee Seale, Sacramento Probation

  • Loaned Executive: Peggy Hower, Monika Lopez and Cindy Coy

Co-Chair, Doug Sloane, Waste Management

  • Loaned Executives: Eric Vanderbilt and Melissa Schultz

Sacramento County Departments with the highest donations:

  • 1-99 Employees – County Counsel; County Clerk/Recorder
  • 100-299 Employees – Public Defender; Assessor 
  • 300+ Employees – Sheriff; Human Assistance 

Source: Sacramento County Media

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