SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The largest wildfire burning in California has now claimed the lives of seven Redding residents, with a dozen or more missing. More than 38,000 Shasta County residents have been evacuated because of the Carr Fire.

Cal Fire estimates there are more than 300 fires burning across California as of Sunday morning. But the current CalFiremap shows 18 active fires burning and five contained.

"Since 2012, according to state emergency management officials, there has not been a month without awildfire burning — a stark contrast to previous decades, when fire officials saw the fall and winter as a time to plan and regroup," the New York Times reported about California's wildfires.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, and requested help from the federal government. President Trump and Federal Emergency Management Agency granted California's request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to provide extra support.

Many are asking why there are so many fires burning again in California.

I am a California native. In my five decades in this state, wildfire "season" was limited to summer into fall, and the raging, violent explosive infernos were rare.

What's the significance of 2012? It is interesting that the New York Times mentioned the 2012 date, but only attributed the wildfire increases to "the recent historic drought," and "rising temperatures," caused by... Climate Change. Nothing could be further from the truth.

California wildfires are historically either natural occurrences, accidental equipment or auto spark started, or arson. Many Californians have been asking why the increase in wildfires in the last five years. And as the NYT pointed out, there is no longer a "wildfire season;" rather the wildfire season never seems to end. Today's non-stop wildfires are government created.

Obama-Era Eco-Terrorism Enviro Regs

Under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, "The Obama administration finalized a rule governing the management of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands, establishing a new blueprint to guide everything from logging to recreation and renewable energy development," the Washington Post reported in 2012. "The rule will serve as the guiding document for individual forest plans, which spell out exactly how these lands can be used."

And that's exactly what happened. The Obama-era regulations introduced excessive layers of bureaucracy that blocked proper forest management and increased environmentalist litigation and costs. This is the result of far too many radical environmentalists, government bureaucrats, leftist politicians and judicial activists who would rather let forests burn, than let anyone thin out overgrown trees, or let professional loggers harvest usable timber left from beetle kills, or even selectively cut timber. Forests are the ultimate natural renewable resource.

But now California burns 12 months of the year. If you wanted to tear a state down economically, what better way than to burn it down?

In a 2016 Townhall column, Paul Driessen explains:

"Eco-purists want no cutting, no thinning – no using fire retardants in "sensitive" areas because the chemicals might get into streams that will be boiled away by conflagrations. They prevent homeowners from clearing brush around their homes, because it might provide cover or habitat for endangered species and other critters that will get incinerated or lose their forage, prey and habitats in the next blaze. They rarely alter their policies during drought years."

"The resulting fires are not the "forest-rejuvenating" blazes of environmentalist lore. They are cauldron-hot conflagrations that exterminate wildlife habitats, roast bald eagle and spotted owl fledglings alive in their nests, boil away trout and trout streams, leave surviving animals to starve, and incinerate every living organism in already thin soils ... that then get washed away during future downpours and snow melts. Areas incinerated by such fires don't recover their arboreal biodiversity for decades."

The left does not care that homes and businesses burn down, or that people die. They do not care that deer, bunnies, snakes, raptors, bears, squirrels, bluejays, coyotes, mountain lions or wolves are incinerated by wildfires. If they did care, proper forest management would be the priority.

Government Intervention

In the early 1990's the Clinton administration embraced the Forest Stewardship Council following the Rio Earth Summit. The FSC was created "to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests."

Yale 360 contributor Richard Conniff explained: FSC was to work with the timber industry "to set standards covering the conservation and restoration of forests, indigenous rights, and the economic and social well-being of workers, among other criteria. For industry, FSC certification promised not just a better way of doing business, but also higher prices for wood products carrying the FSC seal of environmental friendliness."

It was an epic fail. All industries using timber-related products were extorted into becoming "FSC Certified." Paper products, furniture, construction, cabinets, power poles, and hundreds of industries use timber. At the time I worked as the Human Resources Director for my husband's large commercial printing company. We bought a lot of paper – $10 million worth each year –  and found ourselves under pressure to achieve FSC Certification, which I knew was a scam. It was also very expensive, which made it clear that it was extortion. When my BS meter goes off, it's like a small atomic bomb.

"A quarter-century later, frustrated supporters of FSC say it hasn't worked out as planned, except maybe for the higher prices: FSC reports that tropical forest timber carrying its label brings 15 to 25 percent more at auction," Conniff reported. "But environmental critics and some academic researchers say FSC has had little or no effect on tropical deforestation."

Prior to FSC Certification, environmentalists and eco-crooks refused to acknowledge that for millennia, timber had been prized as a renewable, recyclable natural resource, and the timber industry prioritized proper care of forests.

Fast forward to the George W. Bush administration: "In June 2009, a federal judge sided with environmentalists and threw out the Bush planning rule that determines how 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands develop individual forest plans, governing activities from timber harvests to recreation and protecting endangered plants and animals. Clinton appointee, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Forest Service had failed to analyze the effects of removing requirements guaranteeing viable wildlife populations (Greenwire, July 1)."

By 2012, the Obama administration issued a major rewrite of all of the country's forest rules and guidelines.

In 2015, Washington D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee, rejected claims from a coalition of timber, livestock, and off-highway vehicle organizations that the Obama sustainability provisions in the 2012 Planning Rule would cause an economically harmful reduction in timber harvest and land use and an increase in forest fires. "Defendants Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Oregon Wild, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, as well as The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife, represented by Earthjustice, argued that existing federal law provided ample authority for the Forest Service to promulgate the Planning Rule provisions, which place emphasis on ecologically sustainable forest management," Earthjustice reported.

"'Hotter, drier, longer' forest fires we are witnessing today have nothing to do with 'dangerous manmade climate change,'" Driessen said. "They have a lot to do with idiotic forestmismanagement policies and practices."

As with the Clinton administration in the 1990's, the Obama administration worked against all drilling, mining, ranching, farming, property ownership, and made it happen through the 2012 eco-terrorism regulations.

So-called environmentalists have a very narrow view of nature, not recognizing that without management, which means an appreciable amount of logging, they are actually hurting wildlife and the long term health of the forest. And now California is on fire.

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Smoke-Related Health Statement

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, in consultation with Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, is issuing a Smoke-Related Health Statement. Residents are advised to continue to take precautions and minimize outdoor activities from Monday, August 6, through Friday, August 10, due to smoke being transported into Sacramento County from fires in Northern California. 

If you smell or see smoke, take the following actions:

•      Everyone should minimize outdoor activities if you can see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy  

•      Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure when air quality is poor  

•      Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible  

•      Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan  

•      Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke  

•      Those with heart disease should especially limit their exposure since particulate pollution from smoke can cause heart attacks  

“Smoke in the air from wildfires can aggravate pre-existing conditions for those with respiratory issues,” says Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “Older adults, people with chronic diseases and young children are most at risk and should avoid outside activities if they see or smell smoke.”

Check current conditions for the Sacramento region at www.SpareTheAir.com/wildfire.cfm. 

To know what you’re breathing, download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app or sign up for Air Alert emails at www.SpareTheAir.com.

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Partnerships that Really Work

Story by Trina L. Drotar; Photos by Trina Drotar and Sandy Thomas  |  2018-08-03

Agencies Share Resources at Monthly Networking Lunch

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Wednesday, July 25, more than two dozen Sacramento area non-profit community service providers descended upon the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership (FCCP) building for an afternoon of lunch and sharing at the monthly Connections Café networking event. Attendees enjoyed presentations from Molly Mix, Program Manager at Sacramento Children’s Museum, and Valarie Scruggs, Program Manager at One Community Health.

Dignity Health, Wellspace Health, Birth and Beyond, Omni Youth Programs and River City Medical Group staff joined FCCP staff for lunch of rice, beans, chicken, salad and churros. Chatter filled the room as co-workers and friends caught up, talked shop and laughed.

Laughter increased during the round of introductions that kicked off July’s event. Each attendee stated their name, agency, and answered the icebreaker question of where they would travel for vacation and why. Only one location could be given by participants, although some snuck in two. Iceland and Alaska were the day’s winners to escape July’s triple digit heat wave.

The icebreaker, said Leslie Adorno De Chacing, SMUD’s Customer Program Outreach Coordinator, is her favorite part. Although unable to attend Wednesday, she spoke by telephone about SMUD’s five year sponsorship.

“SMUD is community owned,” said Leslie, adding that SMUD, FCCP and the attending organizations often work with the same populations and SMUD supports resource sharing and exploring means to get resources to the community, including this type of networking.

With many non-profit organizations in the greater Sacramento area, resources are sometimes duplicated or underused. The monthly event strives to “decrease duplication of services and increase knowledge of services provided in the Rancho Cordova, Folsom and greater Sacramento area,” said Akia Holland, FCCP’s Family Support Specialist.

Two tables held informational brochures from SMUD, Volunteers of America, National Safe Kids Campaign, Cal-Fresh, Sacramento Family Regional Justice Center, Sacramento Public Library, Covered California, My Sister’s House and other agencies, including the day’s presenters.

At 12:30 promptly, Molly Mix was introduced. Although not originally scheduled to speak, she made an impact on several representatives as she described two of the free programs offered by Sacramento Children’s Museum – ExplorABILITY and The Beary Special Play Date.

ExplorABILITY, held every first and third Sunday, provides an open, sensory friendly space for children from two to ten years old on the autism spectrum. A maximum of 25 children may attend.

“Children are not expected to participate in any certain way,” said Molly.

“In order for play to be meaningful, it has to be spontaneous, and it has to be fun.”

Beary Special Play Date, a free quarterly event, is open to all children with any special needs and their family and friends. The next event is Rhythm and Grooves on September 22. The winter holiday party with Santa will be held December 14. There is no attendance cap.

Molly answered questions and highlighted other museum events and programs.

One Community Health’s Valarie Scruggs was introduced to the eager group. The current name is eight months old, but the organization’s roots are nearly 30 years old. Beginning as CARES (Center for AIDS Research, Education, and Services) in 1989, the group changed to Cares Community Health three years ago and became a Federally Qualified Health Center able to serve more of the general community through its plethora of services at one of its three locations – midtown’s main campus, downtown and Arden-Arcade.

Forty-seven exam rooms and nine heated dental chairs are the tip of this deep iceberg. A teen clinic with a teen-specific doctor is also available as are women’s health care, pediatrics, podiatry, chronic pain management and acupuncture. Vision services will be available by the end of the year, and dental services for women and babies are expanding.

“And we are still a center of excellence for HIV,” Valarie said.

Valarie’s co-worker, Alondra Thompson, spoke about the integration of behavioral health services and the importance of having resources available in a single location.

“We know that the whole person includes the mental wellness,” she said, and that includes having case managers assist patients with housing or transportation.

The 4,000 square foot pharmacy fills over 900 prescriptions daily and, like the laboratory services, is available to anyone. Patient education, nutrition counseling and classes are also available in English and Spanish.

“We have eleven different languages that are represented on our staff,” Valarie said.

During National Health Center week, from August 12 through 18, One Community Health will hold various activities in the clinics. On August 13, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., an open house at the center’s Arden-Arcade location will be held with activities for children and a chance for adults to meet the providers.

Several questions were answered before the floor was open to others for event sharing and time to meet and collaborate. Omni Youth Services met with One Community Health as did the Sacramento Children’s Museum.

August’s Connections Café features speakers from Parenting Youth Program and Legal Services of Northern California.

FCCP Executive Director Robert Sanger highlighted some of the partnership’s offerings – family resource and job center, free Zumba classes, quarterly community baby showers, family fun nights and annual events like October’s Harvest Festival. Community support includes assistance with food, diapers, and utility shutoff prevention. “All Sacramento County residents can access services,” he said.

For additional information, visit www.sackids.org. If you go: Sacramento Children’s Museum, 2701 Prospect Park Drive, Suite 120, Rancho Cordova. Visit www.onecommunityhealth.com. Visit www.TheFCCP.org.   

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Cordova Recreation and Park District Recognized at State Level

By Alyssa Rasmussen, CRPD  |  2018-08-03

Cordova Recreation and Park District’s District Administrator Patrick Larkin. Courtesy photo

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Flipping through the pages of the current volume of the California Special Districts magazine, you’d come across a familiar name. Cordova Recreation and Park District’s District Administrator Patrick Larkin is featured in a question and answer piece covering Senator Kevin de León’s Proposition 68, which, according to de León, was crafted to address several issues including “park access, repairs to existing park resources, flood control, water quality and preserving our water resources.”

The Cordova Recreation and Park District’s appearance in the statewide publication demonstrates that the District’s mission of “leading the region in recreation and parks through excellence and transparency” is advancing. The District is being sought out to represent legislation that will impact recreation and parks across California.

This is an exciting time for the District. The organization just celebrated 60 years and recently secured funding for the much anticipated two-pool concept for Hagan Community Park. The District has already received a wealth of positive recognition this year – in awards, resolutions, and press – for its innovative and thoughtful park designs. Also, staff have been launching programs and projects that have been bolstered by newer and stronger partnerships.

Larkin became District Administrator at Cordova Recreation and Park District over a year ago – just long enough to help drive these needed and positive changes across the District, its programs and parks. Larkin is a supporter of proposition 68 and believes the bond will “help our neighborhoods in providing an enhanced quality of life by replacing amenities and updating parks that are in need to provide safe, fun places for our residents to gather and play. Our future is very bright, and we look forward to continuing to serve this established and growing community.”

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Cordova Recreation and Park District Celebrates 60 Years of Service

By Alyssa Rasmussen, CRPD  |  2018-08-03

Back Row (left to right): Laura Taylor, Park Planning & Development; Bob Thurbon, CRPD Legal Counsel; John Biundo, Construction Inspector; Alyssa Rasmussen, Marketing and Communication Specialist; Danielle Jones, Clerk of the Board/Executive Assistant; Matt Goodell, Finance Manager.

Front Row (left to right): Cristina James, Park Planner; Pam Wickens, Administrative Assistant; Andrea White, Human Resource Manager; Jill Nunes, Recreation Superintendent; Patrick Larkin, District Administrator. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Cordova Recreation and Park District residents of all ages celebrated the District’s 60th Anniversary at the Neil Orchard Senior Center and Lincoln Village Community Park on July 20, 2018. District Administrator, Patrick Larkin, said the occasion exemplified what the organization stands for:

“The 60th Anniversary community celebration was a great opportunity for our residents to see firsthand the benefits and value of recreation and parks. The smiles and fun the attendees were having; dancing, swimming, playing and just enjoying the band and park environment is what CRPD is all about. We create community and facilitate its positive growth. We strive to maintain and sustain a high quality of life for our residents through our parks and recreation services.”

The District’s Party in the Park highlighting the 60th Anniversary celebration was well attended. Hundreds of residents joined the District in playful reflection of its past, present, and future goals in the Cordova community; with July being National Parks and Recreation month it is the perfect time to celebrate the role of parks and recreation.

In recognition of this role, Larkin said, “We look forward to continuing to provide excellent service to the Cordova Recreation and Park District community to the best of our abilities and are honored that so many people joined us to help celebrate the past 60 years. Our future is very bright. We thank you for your support, partnerships and friendships.”

In attendance and presenting the Cordova Recreation and Park District Board with Resolutions were Congressman Ami Bera, Mayor Linda Budge, Assemblyman Ken Cooley, Senator Jim Nielson, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli and Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce President Diann Rogers. 

The Party in the Park and 60th Anniversary event was made possible by local sponsorships from KP International, California American Water and ‘Ol Republic Brewery. The incredible music was provided by the local City of Trees Brass Band.

Please join the Cordova Recreation and Park District at their next event, visit www.crpd.com to see the calendar.

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State Treasurer Visits K.P. International

By K.P. International  |  2018-08-03

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On July 20th, the Treasurer for the State of California, John Chiang, joined us at K.P. International Market to present us with a certificate of recognition.

The certificate appreciated KP's showcasing of California's multi-ethnic communities through our cuisine, food and music, as well as services in building our community of Rancho Cordova towards a more vibrant economic future.

K.P. International is located at 10971 Olson Dr. in Rancho Cordova.

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Goodwill for Fashion: Who knew?

By Andrew Rose  |  2018-08-03

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Goodwill Industries in the Sacramento area is busily preparing for Style with a Purpose, at the Alta Arden Goodwill location on Saturday, August 4.  Though this particular event has a Back to School theme, fun and fashion is in store for all who attend.  According to Goodwill representatives, the goal is to make fashion accessible to everyone, to break down the stigma attached with thrifting, to promote eco-fashion and to have on-hand style advice for shoppers free of charge.  Regional Manager for Goodwill Industries, Hope Pearson, extends her invitation to customers of all ages and expects them to be impressed.  “It’s not your average thrift store,” Pearson maintains.  “Our quality is much higher than most thrift stores.”

The happening will feature a number of fashion experts in the Sacramento area, and welcome men, women, and children to get their fashion groove on.  Stylists will pre-select clothing items for people of all sizes, and other items will also be showcased.  During the event, guests will be able to browse “style stations” where stylists will offer personalized fashion advice.  This is Goodwill’s second stylists event in the Sacramento area.  The first one, held on April 28, was a rousing success.  In the process, Goodwill attracts new shoppers to its organization by pointing out how people can, through a little hunting, acquire amazingly inexpensive ways to enhance their wardrobe. 

While Style with a Purpose is designed to be a fun event, it supports a serious cause.  Each purchase to Goodwill helps improve lives of people who use the organization’s services.  All purchases of merchandise from Goodwill’s stores benefit the nonprofit’s mission of helping people with disadvantages achieve self-sufficiency.  In 2018 alone Goodwill Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada provided more than $20 million worth of resources to those in need.  Some community organizations benefitted are Next Move Homeless Services, Francis House Center, Wind Youth Services, People of Progress, and Community Link Capital Region.  “Our business wouldn’t be possible without donations from our community,” Pearson asserts.  What’s more, Goodwill is instrumental in helping people in the community rebuild their lives with its job assistance programs.

Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Methodist minister Rev. Edgar H. Helms.  Helms enacted the progressive idea of collecting household items and clothing in upper class sections of the city.  These goods were resold or given to people in need.  Thus, the Goodwill credo of not charity, but a chance was put into place.  Helms’ simple vision is now a nonprofit organization with assets of more than $5.5 billion.  Helms described Goodwill Industries as an “industrial program as well as a social service enterprise… a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources are depleted.”    

Goodwill Industries gets results.  In 2017, more than 38.6 million people utilized in-person and technological services from the organization to build their professional lives.  Also last year, the organization’s Good Neighbor program, which provides emergency assistance on a referral basis to agency clients, directly served 72,937 people across 35 countries. 

More than a century after Goodwill’s founding, events such as Style with a Purpose help perpetuate the success of the organization by bringing in a new, often younger clientele.  Betsy Appleton, who puts together the blog goldwilldigger.com, reminds people that dressing snappy is affordable, thanks to Goodwill.  On the blog, Appleton describes herself as “a 20-something navigating the waters of adulthood with champagne taste on a beer budget.”  As a guest on NewsChannel 5’s Talk of the Town program in Nashville, Appleton provided frugal fashionistas with a few tricks of the trade.  When asked about her best tip for going through the racks, Appleton advised that it’s a different experience than walking to a rack in a department store.  In fact, she claimed, some elbow grease is required.  Appleton explained the digging in being a Goldwill digger.  “One is to be patient,” she asserted.  “Things aren’t going to jump out at you.  You have to spend time there, be patient, and be persistent.” 

Appleton added that the reduced monetary investment in clothing bought from Goodwill lends itself to experimentation.  A recreational fashion designer can feel free to take the scissors to alter a Goodwill garment, because it didn’t cost a lot of money.  “There’s no harm in doing a little DIY with Goodwill pieces.  You don’t have a lot invested in them to make them unique and fit you.”  Appleton was awarded Goodwill of Middle Tennessee’s 2016 Ambassador of the Year.

Heather Donaldson, creator of Style with a Purpose, received her inspiration for this event from a similar happening in Nashville, in which her sister Elisabeth participated.  A critical care nurse, Heather Donaldson started thrifting out of financial necessity, and now keeps doing it for fun and with a sense of social consciousness.  “When I was musician living in Los Angeles, I never had any money but needed clothing that would make me look like a star. Goodwill quickly became my best friend,” she reflects.  “I could find unique items made of rich fabrics that were often hardly worn. Now that my pocketbook is not as tight, I don’t thrift out of necessity, I thrift because I worry about this planet and the effects of fast fashion on the environment. I still find beautiful clothes for a fraction of retail prices and I use what I save to travel and enjoy life.” 

Donaldson will serve as a stylist for the event along with Caitlin Alfstad, Dev Anglin, Hagen, Keia Mae, Tuyen, Vince Vicari, and Xochitl. Each stylist in the event will be on hand to provide personalized fashion advice.  All attendees will be welcome to pick the brains of these local “bloggers, artists, and fashionistas,” as described by Donaldson. 

Style with a Purpose will take place on Saturday, August 4, at the Alta Arden Goodwill location, on 2040 Alta Arden Expressway, from 1-4 PM.  Light bites and beverages will be served.  For more information about Goodwill in this area, go to www.goodwillsacto.org.

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