Divine Love: the Answer to Universal Health

Submitted by Christopher Cheney  |  2017-06-21

José de Dios Mata, is originally from Spain, but has been living in the United States for a number of years.

International Speaker to Address Effective Health Care Through Prayer

Jose de Dios Mata, of Elsa Illinois, will give a free lecture to the public in Carmichael on Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. The talk is titled “Divine Love: The Answer to Universal Health” and is sponsored by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Carmichael, as a gift to the community and will be given in the church edifice at 4949 Kenneth Ave., Carmichael, During the talk free parking and child care are included.

This lecture is about the power of God as divine Love and the direct influence for good it can have on lives individually and collectively when spiritually understood. It explores the Biblical basis of God as divine Love whose law Christ Jesus taught and practiced in his healing and teaching ministry. It brings out the relevance of his command “to love your neighbor as yourself” and the worldwide healing impact this can have.

The ideas in this lecture make clear the importance of loving from the standpoint of God, Love, as our source and each of us as God’s tenderly cared for children. Praying from this standpoint heals disease, saves us from wrong thinking and acting, and awakens us to the reality that our lives are safe in the law of Love. How powerful divine Love is to answer every problem we might be facing. This lecture includes experiences of healing that resulted from prayer and a deeper understanding of God as divine Love based on the teachings of Christian Science.

The speaker, José de Dios Mata, is originally from Spain, but has been living in the United States for a number of years. As a teenager, he felt a special interest in music and decided to study guitar, with an emphasis on flamenco. This led him to form his own group and perform in various venues.

Later, he worked for the government for a decade, the last five years of which were spent as a special agent in the Intelligence Services. In his personal life, he faced an enormous challenge in early 1979. A relative’s sudden illness, for which the doctors could find no cure, as well as his own almost complete loss of hearing due to a congenital lesion, which he was told would require immediate surgery or result in total deafness - and he could not continue in his position at work until he had surgery - forced him to seek a solution to these difficulties. He chose not to have surgery. After trying a series of different alternatives, in December of that year José de Dios was introduced to Christian Science by a doctor, his guitar student, who knew of his reluctance towards conventional medicine and encouraged him to explore this system of spiritual healing. Both situations were quickly and completely healed solely through reading the textbook of this religion, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

He soon realized that the spiritual understanding he had just achieved enabled him to heal others. After several years of proving the practical effect of these teachings in the healing of illness and other inharmonious situations of day-to-day life, he gave up his career in 1986 and decided to move to the United States to enter the public practice of Christian Science as his only profession. His desire to teach others how to practice spiritual healing led him to take Christian Science Normal Class in 2009,in Boston, in order to become an authorized Christian Science teacher in Spain.


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Feral Cats Project Seeks Volunteers and Community Support to Curb the Feral Cat Population

By Linda Morgan, Director Sacramento Feral Resources  |  2017-06-21

Spaying/Neutering of stray, feral, and abandoned cats will prevent hundreds of litters of kittens, literally thousands of cats yearly.

Unwanted feral/stray cats are everywhere and the proverbial “kitten-season” is in full-swing. In an effort to help these newborn kittens, people often put them in a box and rush them to the local shelter. Too often the outcome for these kittens isn’t what the well-intentioned person expected. So how can you change this outcome? Spay/Neuter of stray, feral, and abandoned cats will prevent hundreds of litters of kittens, literally thousands of cats yearly, from being born in areas where they are not wanted and struggle to survive on their own.

Sacramento Feral Resources (SacFerals) recently introduced the Feral Cats Project.

The focus of the Project is to recruit volunteers and involve residents county-wide to help humanely curb the feral cat population in Sacramento County through a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. We are looking for the best ways to reach residents in communities throughout the County.

Feral cats are a neighborhood issue that can have good resolution when working together to TNR. In fact, Sacramento County supports TNR - not euthanasia, starvation, or relocation (which is illegal) of feral cats. The good news is that there are low-cost and free spay/neuter clinics available.

Residents who want to help improve the feral cat situation can learn more about the Project, feral cats, TNR, feral colony assistance, and other volunteer opportunities at monthly Free Feral Cats Workshops. Workshops open to the general public. Meetings are held at 5605 Marconi Ave in Carmichael. The Workshop Schedule, class descriptions, and sign-up information is available online: www.sacferals.com.

Why establish a Feral Cats Project? In 2013 SacFerals introduced a public website to offer resources and assistance to anyone with feral cat issues. Over time, traffic to the website as well as requests for help have substantially increased. During the past two years, SacFerals has received reports of more than 9,000 feral/stray cats. The need for assistance has out-paced the current volunteer staff.

With an estimated 98,000 – 220,000 feral cats in Sacramento County, as the saying goes, “It takes a village” to make a huge dent in reducing the number of litters born in the County every year and to ultimately control and reduce the community feral cat population in Sacramento County.


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Access to Farm Products Blooming in Rancho Cordova

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2017-06-15

Soil Born Farms Farmstand in Rancho Cordova. 
-- Photo by Jenny Arnez

Access to Farm Products Blooming in Rancho Cordova

The Goethe Loop Farmers’ Market, stationed at the Sacramento Area Sewer District in Sacramento County, opened on June 1st, making it the fourth farmers’ market in the area from which Rancho Cordova residents and business professionals can purchase local and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Goethe Loop Farmers’ Market offers freshly harvested produce, as well as cut flowers, dairy products, eggs, baked goods, meats and other specialty items from local farmers and vendors. The Goethe Loop Farmers’ Market occurs every Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between June and November. Visit the market at 10060 Goethe Road.

There are three other farmers markets in the Rancho Cordova area that provide similar offerings at Soil Born Farms, the Sunrise Light Rail Station parking lot and the Sacramento VA Medical Center.

Soil Born Farms operates its seasonal farmstand on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between mid-May through November. Farm apprentices and interns help manage the farmstand, and all sales support the Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture & Education Project. Visitors are encouraged to meet farmers who grow their food and the animal residents of American River Ranch. Residents may also subscribe to their weekly or biweekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) produce box program and pick up their boxes at the farmstand. Visit the farmstand at 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. The Soil Born Farms farmstand also accepts EBT benefits.

The Sunrise Station Farmers’ Market occurs year-round every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Sunrise Light Rail Station parking lot at the intersection of Sunrise and Folsom Boulevards. This market, which has been operating at this location since 2010, features about 35 farmers who sell only what they themselves have grown on their California farm.

The VA Mather Farmers’ Market occurs year-round every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, 10535 Hospital Way. It features up to 20 vendors and offers special deals for veterans. The VA Mather Farmers Market also accepts EBT and WIC benefits.

Increasing access to local and seasonal farm products in Rancho Cordova signifies the growing farm-to-fork trend that the Sacramento region has been known for – a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.


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A community meeting will be held in the City of Rancho Cordova to provide information about and gather feedback on the draft South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP).

The SSHCP will streamline permitting processes for future development and infrastructure projects in much of south Sacramento County, including the area of Rancho Cordova south of Highway 50, while protecting habitat, open space and agriculture lands. The draft SSHCP and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report and Aquatic Resources Program can be reviewed by visiting www.southsachcp.com/documents.html.

The community meeting will be held on Monday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, in the American River Room North. A 90-day comment period for the draft plan and accompanying documents runs until September 5, 2017.

“This process included a coordinated, systematic approach in identifying and preserving sensitive habitat and has provided a great opportunity to develop a strong partnership among local entities and state and federal agencies,” said Cyrus Abhar, Rancho Cordova City Manager.

The SSHCP plan area encompasses 317,656 acres that are bordered by Highway 50 on the north, San Joaquin County on the south, El Dorado County to the east and the Sacramento River to the west, and includes Galt and the area of Rancho Cordova south of Highway 50.

Within the SSHCP plan area, 36,282 acres would become part of an interconnected preserve system, including approximately 1,000 acres of vernal pool habitat. Twenty-eight plant and wildlife species, and their natural habitats, will be conserved under the plan.

The SSHCP is led by a multi-jurisdiction partnership that includes Sacramento County, the cities of Rancho Cordova and Galt, Sacramento County Water Agency, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, and Capital SouthEast Connector Joint Powers Authority. Learn more at www.southsachcp.com.


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The Face and Future of Area Rugby

Story and Photo by Shelly Lembke  |  2017-06-15

Nick Freitas collects forms from girls and boys from Williamson Elementary who are interested in signing up for the rugby program.

Nick Frietas is a coach, ambassador and all-round representative for area youth rugby. Freitas grew up near Auburn in Applegate. With a degree in fine arts, his wife, and fresh from the film industry, Freitas has returned to the area to spread his passion for rugby.

Artist and athlete, Freitas likes to stay creative and on the move. When it comes to unwinding, he still seems to stay in motion. “We love to go to the river, we like to hike, bike, swim, basically anything active. I also fancy myself and inventor and painter. Having a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) I like to experience as many art forms as I can. Athletes can be artists and artists can be athletes. Unfortunately, often our society forces kids to choose one or the other, which I feel is doing us all a disservice.”

Employed by Rugby NorCal, Freitas is Youth Development Officer for Sacramento Valley and his days are full. “I'm either chasing down leads for schools, sports clubs, churches, after school programs, etc. to help implement offering flag rugby in their program. I also help start leagues like the one about to start here in Rancho Cordova. My goal is to get as many kids as possible to play the game at least once. Sometimes I refer to myself as the Jonny Appleseed of Rugby.”

While Freitas wants to bring the sport to the whole area, Rancho Cordova is Ground Central for the group’s development of youth rugby. “Short term goals are to get flag leagues up and running through schools, parks and after school clubs such as Boys and Girls Club and YMCA,” said Freitas. “We are also offering for the first time in many years, youth rugby teams in Rancho Cordova. We are very excited about this. We will be offering a summer flag league and in the fall and winter we will have teams that will compete in the Rugby NorCal tackle league. We will have an under 10, under 12 and Middle School teams for both boys and girls.”

Keenly aware of Rancho Cordova’s sports legacy, he sees rugby as complementary to other established sports. “I want to build on that sports legacy. I have seen the caliber of athletes in this city and I believe we would become the next hot spot for professional rugby players. Fifteen of USA Rugby’s players are from Northern California. The national talent development already has their eyes out here, we just need to show them Rancho Cordova athletes. I also believe that Rancho Cordova can be a shining example of how rugby can help build positive community focused on working together.”

Freitas sees major possibilities (including college scholarships) for Rancho Cordova and the Sacramento area. “Ideally I want to see a school league and a competitive club. If we are talking 10-year plan I would like to see a professional rugby team in Rancho Cordova, which could be closer than you would think. Absolutely! The city of Glendale, CO [built] one of the nicest rugby stadiums in the country and because of this Glendale is called “Rugby Town USA.” I believe Rancho Cordova could show them what a “rugby town” really looks like.”

Acres of land at the former Mather Air Base have been leased from the county to build a world class rugby complex, spotlighting Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County as a sports destination. “Yes, the rugby complex will be an amazing addition to the City,” commented Freitas. “A huge benefit will be it bringing in the international rugby matches. USA Rugby is scouting for a new home and we could be a viable option for them, which would have a massive impact on the economy of the City. The complex will also offer a premier training facility for rugby players and teams from around the state.”

In the meantime, Freitas has more pressing concerns. While the reception from local cities, especially Rancho Cordova, has been warm, he appeals to teachers, students, parents and officials to get involved. A home field for kids is what he needs most. “Don’t worry we'll train you. But most of all right now we would love a little land. While the complex is being built, I’m trying to get a bit of land to set up an after-school rugby facility. This would be a place for kids of all ages to come after school, play, practice rugby, eat some healthy food and get assistance with homework. So. my call would go out to anyone who might have some land so we can build our little field of dreams for the kids.”

Fast paced, fun, and inclusive, rugby stresses safety, camaraderie, respect and teamwork, with studies showing far fewer injuries than “mainstream” sports, points out Freitas. For more information see www.rugbynorcal.org and www.lancerrugbyclub.org.


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Art and Leadership

By Margaret Snider  |  2017-06-14

Thanks to Leadership Rancho Cordova Class XI and artist Gina Rossi (in back), both children and adults can lock their bikes on artistic and imaginative bike racks in locations around Rancho Cordova. 
-- Photo by Mika

Sculptured Bike Racks Grace Rancho Cordova Locations

With a shower of sparks, metal sculpture artist Gina Rossi and Kinney High School welding student Charles Struble, 18, welded artistic and functional bike racks into place at Sacramento Children’s Museum. The welding and ribbon cutting on May 8 marked the completion of Leadership Rancho Cordova Class XI’s project, following nine months of leadership and business training, and lots of work to make the project happen. Kristin Goble was the project lead, providing organization and liaison between artist and team members.

Maria Kniestedt, a member of the class, said the group raised over $25,000 in funds for the project. “Our class decided that it wanted to build on the City’s current status as a bicycle friendly city,” Kniestedt said. “They also wanted to support residents who had a desire to bike through the city, and so that is how we came up with our project.”

The six locations for the bike racks consisted of Sacramento Children’s Museum, Hagan Community Park, Village Green Park, Folsom Lake College Rancho Cordova Center, Mather Veterans Village, and Rivergate Shopping Center. Each location had its own unique and imaginative design, fashioned by Rossi in collaboration with the class. Rossi started as a child making sculpture from hangers and socks. Always interested in metalwork, she later became a certified welder and started receiving commissions for bike racks. “That became my niche,” Rossi said. “It’s art, yet it’s functional and everybody wants them.” Rossi also teaches welding classes for all ages at her Sacramento studio, Rossi Sculptural Designs.

“She (Rossi) has such a passion for this, and so much creativity and vision,” said Kniestedt. “The fact that she wanted to layer in an educational component by including our students from Kinney High School, their welding program, made it truly an amazing partnership.”

Eight of the more advanced welding students at Kinney participated, three of whom were present at the Sacramento Children’s Museum on the 8th. Besides Struble, the others were Dacari Crawford, 16, and Nathan Douglas, 17. Struble is interested in welding as an occupation. “I think mostly everybody who’s taking the class is there because they want to become a welder.” Struble is currently working on his welding certification.

Douglas plans to continue welding classes. Though he said that sitting down working was relaxing to him, it was definitely hard work. “You’ve got to be willing to have patience for trial and error,” Douglas said, “because you’ve got to mess up to learn what you have to do.”

Kinney High School welding instructor Richard Smith was glad for the opportunity the work presented for the students. The kids have also worked on a piece of exercise equipment for the U.S. Army, and are looking forward to another collaborative project with a private school, fabricating benches.

Because the ongoing fund-raising and the various approvals needed took time to come through, the actual work by the students at Kinney started about nine days before school let out for the year. In spite of the short timeline, the project was completed on time.

“I had to work magic to get it done,” Rossi said. “...Everybody just pulled together toward the end, like that last hurdle in a race. We started to get energy, we just started getting it, making it happen.”

For more information about Leadership Rancho Cordova, contact Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. For information about Rossi Sculptural Designs, see www.rossisculpturaldesigns.com.


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Amid controversy and a packed room, the Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) this week held a public meeting regarding the fate of the Cordova Shooting Center. The range has been open with its current lease since 1979. Budgetary, environmental and social concerns have led the CRPD staff to recommend closure of the facility to its Board of Directors.

A May 17, 2017 report states, “Staff recommends that the Board of Directors authorize the District Administer to notify Marksmanship Consultants, Inc. that the District will not extend the term of the current Concessionaire Services Agreement beyond the term stated in the agreement of June, 2018.”

With a six-month deadline of notification looming, the CRPD Board voted Monday night to continue the issue at their July meeting.  Marksmanship Consultants, Inc., which operates the range, notified CRPD that funding would be needed to bring the current facility up to federal health and safety codes for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required.

In addition to accessibility upgrades, the Board is facing other hot button questions relating to lead abatement at the site and the financial requirements needed to keep the facility open. A 2014 estimate commissioned by the CRPD Board put forth a $2 million price tag for the necessary upgrades, which included adding a rangemaster building along with ADA-compliant restroom and parking facilities.

Marksmanship Consultants, Inc. has reported an annual average of approximately $183,000 in revenue income for the CRPD, yielding a ten-year window for recouping upgrading costs. The Board must weigh this with all its other projects to determine how it can best serve the community’s needs. The recent development along the area of South Sunrise Boulevard, where the Cordova Shooting Center has been since 1979, has called into question the viability of the range’s location.

Gun control and local policy are part of the puzzle the CRPD Board must wrestle with. Proponents, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), stated publicly that they would rather work with government agencies and the public on safety and education, than see the total loss and closure of the Center. In an area already having been subject of environmental clean-up efforts, the range originally essentially bordered Mather Air Force Base, arguably useful for military personnel. “This recreation activity is no longer financially feasible,” according to the CRPD’s May staff report.

The Center has expanded through the years to offer rifle and pistol, as well as trap and skeet shooting. It also provides some revenue via retail sales. The current agreement states that any major infrastructure repairs over $1,500 are the responsibility of the CRPD.

The May report also contends that the CRPD is in need of an overall plan for the park district’s future concerning all sites and facilities. Referring to other “high-priority” projects like the longstanding need for repairs to the Cordova Community Pool, the Cordova Shooting Center and the CRPD are looking at some very tough decisions in the upcoming weeks.


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