Cordova Football Preparing for SVC Opener

By Mike Bush  |  2017-10-04

Cordova running back Raymond Fite (12) finds room to run against Foothill during a non-conference game at Lancer Stadium on Sept. 22nd. This Friday, Rite and the Lancers open SVC action at Galt. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – For three days during its bye last week, the Cordova High School football team broke away from its weekly game preparation.

“We concentrated on heavy fundamentals instead of game prep,” said Cordova head coach Darren Nill, “and it’s always nice to refocus and put an emphasis on (the basics) in the middle of the season.”

Now with its pre-season in the rear view mirror, Cordova (3-2) opens Sierra Valley Conference play at Galt (3-2) on Oct. 6th. Last Friday, Franklin beat Galt 34-28 in overtime in a non-conference game on the Erv Hatzenbuhler Field at Warrior Stadium in Galt. The host Warriors and the Stockton school traded scores that led to a 28-28 tie after four quarters. The visiting Yellowjackets scored the winning touchdown on their first offensive possession in overtime after the Warriors had limited success to move the ball from Franklin’s 10-yard line. The football is placed on an opponent’s 10-yard line when a game is sent into overtime.

Cordova will be facing a Galt squad that still runs the I formation, but also spreads out the offense. The Warriors have used many players to score on both sides of the ball this season, and were just plays away from beating Franklin.

“We control our own destiny as we go out and do what we need to do,” Nill said. “It doesn’t matter what anybody else does.”

Cordova won a share of the SVC title with Liberty Ranch and El Dorado last season. But this season, the Lancers, plus Galt, Rosemont, El Dorado, Union Mine and Liberty Ranch are opening new chapters entering conference play on the same page. El Dorado is 3-2, while Rosemont and Union Mine are 2-3 and Liberty Ranch 1-4.

“I think anybody can beat anybody in the SVC,” Nill said. “We are all very competitive, evenly matched. We’re not taking any game lightly.”

In its first five non-conference games this season, Cordova’s offense has been led by junior quarterback Johnele Sanders, who has completed 74-of-206 passes for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also leads the team in rushing at 416 yards and six mores touchdowns. Running backs Raymond Fite and Alvin Banks, both juniors, have rushed for 143 and 122 yards respectively.

Banks have proven to be a multi-threat for the Lancers on offense. He leads the team in receiving with 33 receptions for 788 yards and 11 touchdowns. Fite has 125 yards and Jeremiah Bankett 107.

On defense, Lancer outside linebacker Ryan McMoore leads the team in tackles at 50, and another outside linebacker in Yusef Pugh follows at 48. Linebacker Elijah Jenkins is next at 45, and free safety Tyreke Tate has 42.

...Read More!  
  |  

Sacramento County Growers Smash Crop Output Records

By Bill Bird, SCFB  |  2017-10-04

The high prices for wine grapes and other commodities in Sacramento County masked troubling news that yields in several commodity areas dropped significantly last year. Stock photo

2016 Crop and Livestock Report Tops $500 Million for the First Time

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Led by a dramatic increase in the price for wine grapes, Sacramento County farmers and ranchers set a record for overall agricultural output last year. The 2016 Crop and Livestock Report released by the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's Office revealed that the gross value of all agricultural production in Sacramento County reached a record high of more than $507 million. The figure represents a 7.9 percent increase over last year's numbers, despite a record fifth year of drought that hurt many agricultural operations.

"Wine grapes continue to rule as King in Sacramento County as they have for the past eight years and milk continues to hold onto the number two slot," said Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner Juli Jensen during her presentation to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. "California is the third top producing state in pears, behind Washington and Oregon. Sacramento County is the top pear producing county in California."

The high prices for wine grapes and other commodities in Sacramento County masked troubling news that yields in several commodity areas dropped significantly last year. The numbers for field crops such as rice, wheat, silage corn, oats and irrigated pasture all suffered significant declines. Yields for other crops such as cherries and walnuts also dropped, as did cattle and calves and other livestock. The value of aquaculture also fell sharply in Sacramento County, led by a steep decline in the price for caviar.

Sacramento County Farm Bureau Executive Director Bill Bird admitted that while drought may be to blame for the lower output for some commodities, other factors may also be playing a role.

"Our farmers and ranchers are forced to pay the highest labor costs in this country," said Bird. "The high minimum wage coupled with very expensive workers compensation insurance, liability insurance and health care benefits costs our growers millions of dollars. These are costs that growers in other states are not forced to shoulder."

The 2016 Crop and Livestock report also revealed that nursery stock climbed back into the top five agricultural products produced in Sacramento County, which is attributed to a recovering housing market and efforts by homeowners to replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping.

The dollar figures in the report do not reflect the cost of the production of these agricultural commodities. The figures also do not reflect grower costs such as processing, transportation and labor.

Sacramento County farmers put food on your fork.  Our agricultural operations and products are as diverse as the lands we carefully manage.  We are proud to provide healthy, fresh food for your family and ours.

...Read More!  
  |  

Washington, DC (MPG) - The Internal Revenue Service has an important reminder for taxpayers who filed for an extension and face an Oct. 16 filing deadline: The adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from their 2015 return may be needed to electronically file their 2016 tax return.

For those taxpayers who have a valid extension and are in or affected by a federally declared disaster area may be allowed more time to file. Currently, taxpayers impacted by Hurricanes HarveyIrma and Maria as well as people in parts of Michigan and West Virginia qualify for this relief. See the disaster relief page on IRS.gov for details.

As a reminder, taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax returns and supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Prior year tax returns are even more important as the IRS makes changes to protect taxpayers and authenticate their identity.

Extension filers should plan ahead if they are using a software product for the first time. They should have kept a copy of their 2015 tax return or if not, will need to order a tax transcript, a process that may take five to 10 calendar days. The AGI is clearly labeled on both the tax return and the transcript.

Taxpayers who prepare their own electronic tax returns are required to electronically sign and validate their return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. To authenticate their identities, taxpayers will also need to enter either of two items: their prior-year AGI or their prior-year self-select PIN and their date of birth. If married filing jointly, both taxpayers must authenticate their identities with this information.

Generally, tax-preparation software automatically generates the prior-year AGI and/or self-select PIN for returning customers. However, taxpayers who are new to a software product must enter the prior-year AGI or prior-year self-select PIN themselves.

How to Find AGI; Plan Ahead if a Mailed Transcript Needed

The adjusted gross income is gross income minus certain adjustments. On 2015 tax returns, the AGI is found on line 37 of Form 1040; line 21 on Form 1040A and line 4 on Form 1040EZ. Taxpayers who e-filed and did not keep a copy of their original 2015 tax return may be able to return to their prior-year software provider or tax preparer to obtain a copy.

Those who lack access to their prior-year tax returns also may go to irs.gov/transcript and use Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail. A transcript is a summary of the tax return or tax account. There are various types of transcripts, but the Tax Return Transcript works best. Look for the “Adjusted Gross Income” amount on the transcript.

Taxpayers must pass Secure Access authentication in order to access Get Transcript Online and immediately access their transcripts. Those who cannot pass Secure Access authentication should use Get Transcript by Mail or call 800-908-9946, and a transcript will be delivered to their home address within five to 10 calendar days.

...Read More!  
  |  

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Parkinson Association of Northern California (PANC) is holding its Annual Education and Information Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday, October 21st from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The event will provide information, education, and inspiration to people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) along with their carepartners and family members and interested members of the community. Featuring regionally recognized expert clinicians and therapists in the field of movement disorders, the conference will highlight the future of the disease along with inspiration and tools to help attain the highest possible quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Additional Information about the event and registration options can be found by visiting the PANC website at www.panctoday.org. The cost to attend the event which includes a full-day of presentations, exhibit fair, and lunch is $25 per registrant.

“Our annual conference is an upbeat event of community, learning and connection. We educate attendees about the latest in Parkinson’s disease research and therapies and connect individuals who share challenges and successes with PD. We’re excited to host this event for our Northern California constituents and look forward to an uplifting day,” says PANC president, Nancy Kretz.

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in more than 50,000 Americans each year. We are asking for the assistance of the media to help make this event a successful one and provide this information and event coverage to your audiences who may have PD, know someone with PD, or possibly be diagnosed in the future.

The Parkinson Association of Northern California has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s, their families, and carepartners since 1996. We facilitate over 30 regional Support Groups, host the Annual Conference, publish a quarterly newsletter (Parkinson Path), offer financial support for caregiver respite, support medical community collaboration across healthcare providers, and more. We live our motto, ”Until there is a cure…hope and healing every day.” For more information see www.panctoday.org

...Read More!  
  |  

A Respite Club for Caregivers

By Rebecca Graulich  |  2017-10-04

The Respite Club is packed with fun activities, music, dancing, games and exercise. Photo courtesy Respite Club

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - There’s a happening club in that caters to a select clientele: people with dementia.

The Respite Club is packed with fun activities, music, dancing, games and exercise. A mid-morning snack is provided as well as a full lunch. It is open approximately 10 days per month, five hours a day and is striving to increase its hours of operation.

“Our doors open at 9:30 a.m. and we are on the move until 2:30 p.m. when we end our day,” notes Activity Coordinator Terri Lyman. “We focus on mental, physical and social stimulation. It is a place where participants can fit in and be themselves, and usually they make friends quickly.”

While club goers enjoy themselves, family caregivers take advantage of the “respite” aspect of the program: time for themselves. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be overwhelming – emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. Caregivers need time to run errands, see friends or just be alone.

Bobby, a volunteer, observed, “The Club gives participants a sense of belonging and caregivers needed freedom.” He knows, his father attends the program.

“Our goal is to bring peace of mind and support to families touched by dementia,” says Program Coordinator Flora Maloney, who over the past 17 years has grown the program from three hours a month to 50. “When caregivers are rested, they are better able to face the challenges of caring for a person with a disease such as Alzheimer’s. When care recipients are happy and relaxed, it contributes to a better relationship between caregiver and care recipient.”

The Respite Club was recently recognized by the 100+ Women Who Care Sacramento chapter who selected them as the winner of a pitch competition among local nonprofits. The prize, approximately $10,000, will be put toward expanding the program.

This is good news for participants like Ann who noted, “The club is a great place to meet people and enjoy doing interesting things. We all enjoy the projects and the good meals.”

The Respite Club hosts an annual Caregiver Day event, which provides information on a variety of topics to help caregivers navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one. Several professionals, including a trust and estate attorney, a marriage and family counselor, a tax preparer/financial planner, a care manager and an end-of-life coach, as well as many others, donate their time and offer free 30-minute private consultations with caregivers. This year’s event also features panel discussions on home modifications to prolong living at home, and care for the caregiver, as well as a talk on caregiver resources.

Caregiver Day is Saturday, October 21, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Cordova Neighborhood Church, 10600 Coloma Road in Rancho Cordova. There is no charge to attend. Consultations are restricted to family caregivers but everyone is welcome to attend the presentations and visit the tables of the various professionals. For more information or to register for private consultations, call (916) 635-5147.

The Respite Club not only benefits the participants and their caregivers but all who come in contact with it. Glenda, the Respite Club bookkeeper, shared, “I came to the Respite Club 15 years ago when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I am so grateful for the love, compassion and care we found here. I decided I definitely wanted to be part of such a wonderful program. What a blessing for the caregivers, care recipients, volunteers and staff.”

Rebecca Graulich is the Assistant Program Coordinator at The Respite Club and the chair of the Sacramento County Adult & Aging Commission. She can be reached (916) 635-5147 or rebeccag@respiteclub.org.

...Read More!  
  |  

Berryhill Bill Helping Disabled Veterans Signed into Law

MPG Staff  |  2017-09-29

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Governor Jerry Brown on Monday, September 25, signed into law a bill by Sen. Tom Berryhill of Modesto that will help disabled veterans in California ease their disability-related burdens.

SB 330 - which was approved unanimously in both chambers of the Legislature last month - will ease construction costs for disabled veterans by allowing local governments to waive or reduce building permit fees for home improvements related to veterans’ service-connected disabilities.

“Everything we have is due to the bravery and sacrifices of these amazing men and women, who serve selflessly so that we may be safe,” Berryhill said on Monday. “This is really good policy and I’m very grateful for the support of Governor Brown and my colleagues in the Legislature.”

The measure is supported by the California Building Industry Association, the American G.I. Forum of California, the American Legion-Department of California, the AMVETS-Department of California, the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers, the California State Commanders Veterans Council, the Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters and the Vietnam Veterans of America-California State Council.

Senator Berryhill represents Rancho Cordova and the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and parts of Fresno, Madera, Sacramento and Tulare.

Source: The Office of Senator Berryhill

...Read More!  
  |  

SMUD exploring new ways to keep vehicles from hitting power poles

SMUD Media  |  2017-09-29

SMUD has installed some measures to mitigate damage to power poles and other electrical equipment by vehicles hitting them. The measures are part of a pilot program designed to increase visibility of and provide some protection to the power poles and to motorists. SMUD has seen an increase in “car-pole” accidents in recent years. The work is part of SMUD’s efforts to enhance public and worker safety and the SMUD grid’s reliability. The photo  shows a “Raptor” power pole barrier being installed in Wilton, CA. Photo courtesy SMUD

Sharp rise in incidents can jeopardize safety and power reliability

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD is evaluating several measures to reduce the number of incidents that involve vehicles crashing into the electric utility’s infrastructure, especially power poles. The five-year pilot program aims to increase public and worker safety, and reduce the number of associated power outages.

SMUD data shows an increasing trend of these incidents annually. In 2006 for example, there were 153 “car-pole” accidents. In 2016, there were 271. Increased traffic volume, distracted and unsafe driving, as well as other factors are to blame, but the end result is the same: increased potential for public and worker safety hazards and more power outages.

The pilot program will focus on power poles and electrical equipment that’s been crashed into multiple times over the years. Measures include removing and relocating power poles; redesigning them; installing higher-visibility reflective strips; and installing large, high-visibility protective barriers, known as “Raptor” technology, around the power poles.

The Raptor is big and yellow. It is easily installed at the base of the pole and is designed to absorb the impact of a vehicle crash, sparing the power pole and preventing a power outage for SMUD customers. The Raptor has been used by other utilities and SMUD wants to see if they are a possible solution to improve safety, while making power poles more visible to motorists and more resilient to being damaged if a vehicle collides with the pole.

The main goal of the pilot is enhancing public and worker safety. SMUD takes public safety very seriously Power reliability is also key. While car-pole accidents comprise about five percent of all types of SMUD outages annually, they account for about a quarter of the overall average duration of outages for SMUD’s customers. SMUD’s Board of Directors, elected by SMUD customers to set policy, has made reliability one of SMUD’s core values, so it’s a priority for SMUD staff to fulfill it.

In addition to compromised reliability and safety, power outages caused by car-pole accidents cause loss of revenue to SMUD and increased costs for labor and materials to repair and replace damaged electrical infrastructure. For example, a pole replacement can cost more than $11,000 for the pole, the five-man crew to replace it and other associated expenses for each incident. Beyond SMUD’s costs, pole replacements can take eight hours or more and cost the community’s businesses lost revenue from power outages and associated traffic jams due to lane closures to make the repairs.

SMUD is doing its part to increase public and worker safety and reduce the frequency and duration of outages due to these traffic accidents. SMUD also urges motorists to do their part by driving safely, obeying traffic laws and avoiding anything that may cause distractions. For more information about SMUD and its commitment to public and worker safety, visit SMUD.org.

...Read More!  
  |