Members of the Cordova varsity football team sport their Riddell Speed Flex helmets. The Lancers are the only football program in the Sac-Joaquin Section that uses the state-of-the-art helmets that are used for the varsity and lower level teams. --Photo by Rick Sloan

In November 2014, Measure H was passed by Rancho Cordova residents, allowing a half-cent tax local sales tax measure.

The generated money from the taxes is approximately $7.2 million annually in revenues that goes into the city’s general fund. Parts of the money are being used toward 48 approved projects submitted by a range of individuals, organizations, businesses and community partners.

One of those partners is the Cordova High School football program, which now has state-of-the-art helmets and shoulder pads.

The program was given $385,000 to be spread out over the next three years. One-third of the money, approximately $106,000 was used to purchase Riddell Speed Flex, high-tech helmets that have a head impact monitoring system for all of the Cordova varsity and junior varsity football players.

The technology from Riddell measures the head impact severity. When an impact exceeds a predetermined threshold, an alert is transmitted to the sideline staff, who can then examine the player for symptoms of a concussion. The helmet records threshold hits that are in the upper 1 percent of all hits from that position.

The trainer and his/her staff receive the alert, and notify the coaching staff. That player is pulled off the field to be examined. The helmets don’t diagnose concussions.

“It’s just one more tool that training staffs and coaching staffs can use to keep their players safe,” said Cordova varsity football coach Darrin Nill. “They are much better than what we just got rid of. Up until last year, we were using shoulder pads and helmets, although good quality, nothing like this. It’s just really fantastic … it’s the latest and greatest.”

Inside each helmet has a special plastic casing and the skull padding that is part of the head impact severity.

The National Football League (NFL) uses the Riddell Speed Flex helmets. Colleges across the United States are also using the helmets, along with the Cordova football program.

Nill said there are no complaints from his players on the varsity and JV levels.

“My kids love wearing those helmets,” Nill said. “They said it feels great. They think they look great. If it translates to them playing great, I’m all for it.”

In a press release from Maria Kniestedt, who works for the City of Rancho Cordova, “Head injury and concussions are a great concern among parents, leagues, and schools – especially at the youth and high school levels … both the JV and Varsity football teams at Cordova High School will be wearing helmet technology that keeps them safer.”

Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander added, “We believe the City of Rancho Cordova is the first city in the nation to fund this helmet technology to keeps its students safer.”

The Davis High School varsity football team has similar helmets, but only for its varsity football team, according to Nill.

Sander added, “The Community Enhancement Fund grants will ensure Rancho Cordova’s priorities happen that much faster. This year’s applicants showed creative and innovative ideas that will continue making us a vibrant community that values opportunity, partnerships, and fun.”

Society for the Blind Named Rehab Organization of the Year

Source: Kristin Thebeaud Communications  |  2016-08-19

Society for the Blind staff members accept the award for Rehabilitation Organization of the Year from the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Society for the Blind in Sacramento recently accepted the award for Rehabilitation Organization of the Year by the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. The award is given each year to an organization that has demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to the field, as well as leadership in working with students, families, colleagues and businesses.

"While there are so many strong organizations in this region, we find Society's expansion of services through the development of partnerships over the past few years to be an exemplary model of the standard all such organizations should follow," said Richard Rueda, president of the Northern California chapter of the association. “This organization is distinguished by its ability to dream big, allow partnerships to emerge, and sponsor and underwrite large portions of programming that ultimately benefit people with vision loss in Sacramento and throughout Northern California.”

Society for the Blind received the award for its expansion efforts, including its onsite Low Vision Clinic that now offers occupational therapy and services for young children, its peer and support group programming for parents of children with vision challenges, and its new partnerships with groups like UC Davis Eye Center and Junior Blind.

“This is an enormous honor, and we are grateful for this recognition as we continue to find new ways to empower people of all ages living with vision challenges,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind.

For 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only rehabilitative teaching center for a 26-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation, visit

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IHOP Teams Up to Fight Childhood Hunger

Source: Wills Communications  |  2016-08-19

IHOP and No Kid Hungry will come together again in the fight against child hood hunger. IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer a short stack of their world-famous buttermilk pancakes for just $1 with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting No Kid Hungry. Please help IHOP, the pioneer of breakfast all day, every day, reach its goal of serving one million pancakes to make an impact in the lives of hungry children across America.

For close to six decades, IHOP has been the leader in bringing guests a freshly made breakfast served any time of day, every day ― but at least one in every five children across the U.S. struggles to get the food they need to grow and thrive. No Kid Hungry works to connect our future leaders with a healthy breakfast by delivering food to where kids live, learn and play.

You can participate on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at any IHOP in the United States.

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at

Please support your local IHOP on this fundraising event and tell them you read about it in your local newspaper. We support great local fundraising causes and hope you will too.

For more than 58 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service.

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Calling All Republican Women

By Kay Burton  |  2016-08-18

We are the Sacramento Republican Women Federated (SRWF) and we meet on the first Wednesday at 11:30 am at the North Ridge Country Club on Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks.

Do you enjoy talking to other like-minded women? Would you enjoy getting together with these ladies once a month for lunch, and new friendships? If so, please join us and check out our lunch bunch!

We are the Sacramento Republican Women Federated (SRWF). We are a great group of ladies, and some husbands, that meet on the first Wednesday, every month except July and August.

We meet on the first Wednesday at 11:30 am at the North Ridge Country Club on Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks. We mix and mingle until 12:00 when we sit down for a full service lunch. Lunch includes a delicious entrée, ice tea, coffee, and a yummy dessert, all for $25, and that includes tax and tip. We have a guest speaker every month that includes some of our legislators, political pundits and other local leaders that give us updates on local issues that concern everyone. We have a great time, delicious food, entertaining speakers, and an opportunity to make new friends.

For more information, check out our website at:, or call our Club President, Suzanne Jones at 916-947-9241. We look forward to seeing you in September!

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CAL FIRE Local 2881 represents the 6,500 firefighters of CAL FIRE. They answer more than 400,000 calls per year with professionalism and integrity. However, CAL FIRE firefighters are in crisis.

“Today (August 16th) I did the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do as a firefighter,” said CAL FIRE firefighter Steve Mueller. “While I look forward to protecting my neighbors and working hard with my colleagues, I didn’t enjoy talking publically about how our pay lags drastically behind other departments.”

California’s independent Human Resources Salary Report reveals that CAL FIRE firefighters make 30-90% less than firefighters from California’s top twenty-five fire departments. A fifteen-year veteran of CAL FIRE can make more money, and with less responsibilities, as an entry-level firefighter at a local department. Three months ago, CAL FIRE had a 50% no-show for the promotional Fire Captain test.

Entry-level firefighters make only minimum wage. In five years, due to compaction within the Department, they will make as much as mid-level firefighters. The compaction and overlapping of pay negatively impacts morale among firefighters and robs our men and women the incentive to promote.

“I love fighting fires and the camaraderie on the job but, it is important that our pay at least be competitive with other fire departments,” said Mueller.

Mueller mentioned that firefighters will be at the State Capitol at 11AM on Monday, August 22nd to protest the pay disparities.

The men and women of CAL FIRE will always answer the call and it is an honor to protect our neighbors. We hope to work cooperatively with the Administration to find a viable solution.

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Fox 40 Launches Studio40 Live

Source: Fox 40  |  2016-08-18

Host Gary Gelfand

FOX40 has announced the launch of Studio40 Live, a new lifestyle show for the Sacramento region. Studio40 Live will debut on September 6th, and will air live weekdays from 12 noon-12:30pm.

Hosted by Gary Gelfand and Lori Wallace, Studio40 Live is unlike anything previously seen in the market. This upbeat, fast-paced and high energy show is the perfect platform to showcase local businesses, events and causes in the Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto region.

Gary Gelfand will expand his role at FOX40 and has been hand-picked to host Studio40 Live. Gary has 20 years of local media experience and is thrilled to be hosting the show.

Katie Parish, FOX40 Creative Director said, “Gary’s positivity and contagious energy are exactly the traits we were looking for in a host. We are fortunate that we could expand his role at the station to get him involved in Studio40 Live.” Gary will continue to be seen on FOX40 NEWS in the morning reporting on feature segments in the 8 and 9 AM hours.

Joining Gary as co-host is Sacramento native Lori Wallace. Local to Elk Grove, Lori has been on-air in this market for almost 10 years. Wallace, a mom to three boys, will bring a family perspective to the show.

Leigh White, VP/GM FOX40 said, “Sacramento is growing. Our vibrant community is on the verge of becoming something bigger. FOX40 is a fixture in Sacramento, and is engrained in this community. Therefore, Studio40 Live creates a wonderful opportunity to show off the businesses that are unique to our hometown, and helps define what we love about Sacramento.”

To get your business featured on Studio40 Live, go to KTXL, owned by Tribune Media. For more information, please visit:

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Deep-Space Habitation System Envisioned

Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne  |  2016-08-18

Under the 18-month architectural design study, Aerojet Rocketdyne and SNC will devise concepts that include standards, common interfaces and testing approaches for the habitation system.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Teams with Sierra Nevada Corporation to Conduct an Architectural Design Study

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), is working with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), a leader in aerospace and defense systems, to conduct an architectural design study for a habitation system that would enable NASA astronauts to live for long durations beyond low-Earth orbit. SNC is serving as the prime contractor under NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership-2 (NextSTEP-2), which seeks commercial development of deep-space exploration capabilities to support more extensive human spaceflight missions.

“We look forward to working with our industry partners on an architectural study for a habitat system that will allow humans to live in space farther from Earth and for longer durations than ever before,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “It’s an especially unique opportunity to help stimulate the commercial space industry while leveraging existing and emerging technologies, furthering our nation’s ability to explore the frontiers and expand our knowledge of space.”

As part of that study, Aerojet Rocketdyne has proposed to build a fully-functional prototype PowerTrain™ Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system designed to deliver power from the solar arrays to the thrusters on the spacecraft. The PowerTrain™ SEP system uses a peak-power tracking capability and is compatible with current and future advanced Hall-effect thruster propulsion systems. Last year, the company successfully built and tested a prototype system in a simulated mission environment to show that it could achieve improved system efficiency over current Power Management and Distribution approaches used on satellites. The prototype was tested at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Los Angeles facility, where most of the International Space Station power-system hardware was developed.

Under the 18-month architectural design study, Aerojet Rocketdyne and SNC will devise concepts that include standards, common interfaces and testing approaches for the habitation system. It will also include the development and integrated testing of the full-size ground prototypes by 2018. The project details will depend on final contract negotiations.

According to NASA, the prototypes will demonstrate critical aspects of the engineering processes involved in the development of the operational unit. The engineering test units will closely resemble final hardware and software products, and will be built and tested in order to establish confidence that the designs will function as expected in the harsh environments of space.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at and

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A Big Thank You to the Hundreds of Volunteers During the July 4th Celebration

Source: Ashley Stidham, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2016-08-18

Parade winners

No celebration signifies the spirit of the City of Rancho Cordova like the Fourth of July 2016 Celebration. The achievement is even more noteworthy in that it is accomplished through the power of hundreds of volunteers who logged thousands of hours accomplishing a variety of tasks. The Rancho Cordova City Council honored community members and City staff who volunteered during the July 3-4, 2016 celebration. It also honored the parade winners from the Fourth of July parade.

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All High School Students, Families Invited to FCUSD College Fair on Sept. 20

Source: Folsom Cordova Unified School District  |  2016-08-18

Don't miss this opportunity to plan for success in college!  Folsom Cordova is inviting all students in grades 9-12 and their families to a special college fair, where parents and children can learn more about opportunities after graduation.

Participants will have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with representatives from colleges and universities throughout California and out of state, and branches of the military will be available to discuss their admission process.

Additionally, families can learn more about financial aid, college admission requirements, and the District's college and career planning software, Naviance.  This event is coordinated in partnership with the Folsom Cordova Education Foundation.

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 20

Time: 6 - 8 p.m.

Location: Cordova High School, 2239 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova

More details: or contact your high school's College/Career Clerk

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Lancers Return Experience on Both Sides of the Ball

By Mike Bush  |  2016-08-18

Under the watchful eye of Cordova football head coach Darren Nill, a Lancer player breaks free to run a passing route while a teammate blocks down on a tackling dummy in one of the Lancers’ practices last week. On Saturday, Cordova will host Capital Christian in a controlled scrimmage, starting at 9 a.m. 
--Photo by Rick Sloan

For the past 10 days, members of the Cordova High School football team has been battling each other in various drills in practices.

But tomorrow, Saturday, the Lancers will see different faces.

Cordova will host Capital Christian in a controlled scrimmage at Lancer Stadium at 9 a.m. Cordova head coach Darren Nill and his assistant coaches will have an opportunity to evaluate their players on offense and defense.

Last season, Cordova went 4-6 overall and 1-4 in the Sierra Valley Conference. But this season, the Lancers are looking to earn a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth.

The Lancers’ spread offense will be directed by sophomore quarterback Xavier Johnson, taking over for three-year starter Unique Perez, who set many school passing records during his career as a Lancer. Perez graduated last spring. Johnson’s back-up will be senior Justin Martin, who will also see time as one of the Lancers’ wide receivers.

“I think the difference is Xavier can see the read game better than Justin,” said Nill of his two signal callers. “I still think both are going to get a lot of playing time. Just because we’re giving the reps to Xavier that Justin is done. His (Martin) main job is to push Xavier, who can’t let up now just because he’s getting the No. 1 reps going into the first scrimmage. I think Justin is constantly improving every day.”

The two quarterbacks will have many weapons to throw the ball. One of them is wide receiver Angel Garcia, who accounted for a good portion of the Lancers’ touchdowns last season. Another wide out is Alvin Banks, one of four sophomores on the squad. He made the all-tourney team for Cordova, which won the 7-on-7 Rosemont passing tournament two months ago.

More wide outs for the Lancers are senior Elijah Morgera and junior Tyreke Tate. And those are just to name a few wide receivers for Cordova.

“We’re just going to wear people out,” Nill said. “We can sub continuously at receiver. We’re going to break some people in the second half (of games.)”

On the ground, running back Deante McCullough is expected to carry the ball quite often for the Lancers.

“He has a fifth gear that burst and we haven’t seen at the school in years,” said Nill of McCullough, who rushed 16 times for 110 yards and one touchdown as a junior last year.

Other Lancer running backs are Terrell Johnson and Kenny Haney, both seniors. Nill refers to Haney more of a power back who could be opening holes for the running game.

“Kenny will run you over,” said Nill of Haney. “He’s not looking for a hole; he’s looking to put you on your back.”

Another running back for the Lancers is junior Kelechi Njoku.

On the offensive line, Cordova will use a tight end in Isaiah Wimberly, a senior who is an even 6-foot and 180 pounds.

“Fifteen percent of the time, we’ll be in a tight end position,” said Nill of using Wimberly in certain situations.

Guiding the line also include left tackle Zariahn Zimmer, who stands 6’2 and 290 pounds; left guard Fidel Romero; center in sophomore Austin McCoy; right guard Joseph Salcedo, a junior who started as a sophomore last year, but broke his leg in the Lancers’ first game last season; and right tackle Michael Gonzalez (6’1, 190), who, along with Zimmer, started last year.

A preview on the Lancers’ defense will be in next Friday’s issue.

After Saturday’s scrimmage, Cordova begin preparations for its home and season opener against Rio Americano one week from today, Friday, Aug. 26th.

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