Capital Christian Bounces Cordova Lancers from Playoffs

By James Darnell  |  2019-05-17

Coaches Guy Anderson and Doug Hughes meet to talk. Photo by Rick Sloan

Lancers Baseball Bounced from Playoffs

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Having won six of their final seven regular season games to earn a spot in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, the Cordova Lancers varsity baseball team had built up a ton of momentum.

But as the young No. 13 seed Lancers learned Tuesday at Capital Christian High School, momentum can only take you so far, as they lost 20-0 in their first round postseason matchup against the No. 4 seed Cougars.

Any momentum the team thought they had carried over was quickly dismissed, as Capital Christian ripped off eight runs in the bottom of the first inning. After surrendering five runs, starting pitcher Dylan Murphy was replaced by reliever Matthew Jernigan, who then allowed three more before the Lancers could even get a sip of Gatorade.

The Cougars (18-8 overall) would add 11 more runs in the bottom of the second inning, as well as a deep solo home run by outfielder Jamison Smith in the bottom of the fourth inning to cap off the scoring barrage, resulting in the game being called after the top of the fifth inning due to the CIF's 10-run mercy rule.

Even so, Lancers (9-13 overall) head coach Doug Hughes was proud of the way his team continued to compete despite the game being out of hand early on. "My kids don't quit," he said. "They absolutely don't quit. We started six freshmen in this game, and for them not to quit against a team that has 12 seniors, I couldn't ask any more of them."

That senior-laden Cougars team also had one distinct Cordova connection, as former longtime Lancers head coach Guy Anderson is on the Capital Christian staff as an assistant coach. Anderson, who spent 45 years at the helm of the baseball program at Cordova, was candid when discussing facing his former team for the first time since he was relieved of his duties as head coach in 2015.

"I was a little nervous coming in," Anderson said. "It was hard for me to see them (Cordova) get beat like that," he added.

Capital Christian was led by senior Kenyon Bower, who tallied six RBI on three hits offensively. From the mound, three pitchers allowed just one hit by Cordova.

Despite the lopsided defeat, Hughes feels it will present quite the learning experience for his young club going forward. As he put it, both he and the team are already chomping at the bit to bounce back.

"I think this game is going to be absolutely huge," he said regarding learning from their mistakes and improving in all areas of play. "They want next year to start right now."


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Lady Lancers Make Lasting Impression in Playoff Loss

By James Darnell  |  2019-05-17

Kalyssa Fortier of the Lady Lancers Varsity Softball makes a base hit. Photo by Rick Sloan

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Despite losing 2-0 at Del Campo on Monday in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, the Cordova Lady Lancers varsity softball team let it be known that they're capable of playing tough against anyone, and should be considered a threat in the seasons to come.

Whether it was a diving catch in the outfield, the outstanding pitching of freshman Diane Salinas, or simply the camaraderie displayed in the dugout throughout the game, the Lady Lancers played perhaps their best game of the season as a team, even in defeat. Just ask head coach Kim Little.
"I think they played outstanding," she said. "I think that's the best I've seen them play the entire season."

Cordova (12-5 overall) entered the contest as the No. 15 seed in Division III, facing No. 2 seed Del Campo (21-4 overall), in Monday's postseason tilt. But the young Lady Lancers played perhaps their strongest game of the season defensively, not allowing a run until the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI sac-fly from Lady Cougars sophomore Maddie Lazar. Del Campo would add a second run in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI sac-fly by senior Sammie Luckie, and those two runs proved to be the difference. Despite giving up the two runs, Salinas pitched well in her first playoff game at the varsity level as a freshman, giving up seven hits in six innings.

"As a freshman coming into this type of situation, she pitched amazing," Little said of Salinas.

The player with possibly the biggest impact on the game for Cordova was sophomore first baseman Erica Jackson, who recorded a solo double play in the bottom of the third inning as she caught a line drive up the first baseline from Del Campo senior Grace Gallagher, and was able to dive back to the bag at first before Lady Cougars junior Julia Perkins was able to return to base. That defensive gem by Jackson, along with a physical display offensively in the bottom of the fifth inning as she attempted to steal home after an infield error by Del Campo in which she attempted to bowl over the catcher at home plate, seemed to inspire her teammates and drew the praise of her coach.

The Lady Cougars were led by senior pitcher Skylar Mitchell, who surrendered just two hits in seven innings, and tallied an impressive 17 strikeouts.

Even in defeat, however, the team made their mark on their coach, leaving her with no doubts about where her program is headed going forward. "I think it gave the team confidence in their abilities, the abilities that we (the coaches) knew they had, and we can't wait for them to take that over into next season."


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Sacramento SPCA Receives $25,000 to Help Cats

By Sarah Varanini, SSPCA  |  2019-05-16

Mark M. Glickman petting an adoptable cat named Valentina at the Sacramento SPCA. She was adopted a couple of days after this photo was taken by Karen Goff, Content Marketing Coordinator for the Sacramento SPCA.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento SPCA announced the receipt of $25,000 to help senior cats and cats needing extended medical care at the Sacramento SPCA through a single gift made to establish The Joe Willie Initiatives. But more important is the story behind this gift; a remarkable bond between a man and his special needs cat, Joe Willie, that inspired a movement.

Mark M. Glickman, a resident of Carmichael, was inspired by his cat, Joe Willie, who had significant medical needs when Mr. Glickman adopted him 29 years ago.

“In November 1990, I was on a noon-time walk in the San Francisco Financial District when I came upon a mobile adoption site”, shared Mr. Glickman. “One of the kitties was a small Tuxedo cat. He had neurological damage in his back-side, and did not walk well. I expected that he would require ongoing attention for his condition, but adopted him anyway and named him Joe Willie.”

Stiff legs were just the first of Joe Willie’s challenges. He had serious gastro-intestinal issues and eventually lost his ability to walk. Later, he suffered other significant medical conditions. Throughout all of this, Joe Willie remained the sweetest, most loving cat that Mr. Glickman had ever known.

Realizing that there were cats just like Joe Willie in need of care in Northern California shelters, in February, Mr. Glickman established The Joe Willie Initiatives, which will fund medical and placement assistance to encourage the adoption of senior cats and other cats with special needs.

“One out of every five animals that arrives at the Sacramento SPCA needs specialized veterinary care before they can be ready for placement in a new home. The percentage is even higher for senior cats,” stated Kenn Altine, Chief Executive Officer of Sacramento SPCA.

“Mark’s incredible support over the past year has helped us to spotlight and promote our senior cats, who many times are overlooked by potential adopters. Now, with this generous gift designated for medical care for cats, we will be able to save even more lives.”

Mr. Glickman’s donation is the largest donation the organization has ever received for senior kitties and those with special needs. In addition to the Sacramento SPCA, Mr. Glickman honors the memory of Joe Willie through his support of other animal welfare organizations, including Marin Humane and Field Haven Feline Center.

“All of my cats have inspired me,” said Mr. Glickman. “While I learned about cats from them, I learned about myself from Joe Willie. I want other people to adopt a cat and have that opportunity for an extraordinary connection.”

The Sacramento SPCA reports an overall increase in cat adoptions since partnering with Mr. Glickman with more than 60 adopted through the program. And the goodwill is spreading – other Sacramento SPCA supporters have also been inspired to sponsor adult and senior cat adoptions.
Mr. Glickman issued the following statement:

“Historically, cats have not been treated with the same level of respect, understanding or attention as other animals. That has not been true of the Sacramento SPCA. For the last three years the organization has been at the forefront of this issue, seeking to change those perceptions. I am hopeful that my gift will allow them to continue their work, in new and innovative ways.”

Founded in 1892, the Sacramento SPCA has been providing homeless animals with individual comfort, shelter, and love for more than 127 years. The 100% not-for-profit organization provides compassionate medical care to tens of thousands of animals annually and offers a variety of programs and services designed to keep people and pets together for life.


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Rancho Cheerleads AMGEN to the Sierras

By Patrick Larenas  |  2019-05-16

Captions: And the race begins! Amgen Stage 2 takes off from Rancho Cordova. Photo by Jose Lopez

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Monday May 13th AMGEN’s blue 2019 Tour of California portal opened an adventure of a lifetime for professional cyclists into our state’s renown scenic panoramas. At roughly 89 feet of elevation, Rancho Cordova became the perfect point of departure for AMGEN’s uphill race from the countryside all the way across the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Riding a bicycle a few blocks, for many of us, is seen as an act of valor and environmental consciousness. But those who competed for close to 150 miles uphill had the real valor and the full environmental experience―not to mention the strongest legs and lungs.                                                

Kristin Klein, President of the Amgen Tour of California said, “The 14th annual Amgen Tour of California will not disappoint. This year the riders will face the most climbing, the longest road days and arguably the most competitive field in the history of the race.”

“The riders know when they come to the Amgen Tour of California they’ll get a bit of everything…mountains, ocean breezes, lush forests, farm fields and vineyards – it’s quite a way to sightsee this beautiful state, and we’re proud to call the Amgen Tour of California an international postcard for the state.”

The starting line in Rancho Cordova for Stage 2 was lined with hundreds of local cycling enthusiasts cheering on the big race. This was a big day for the city and its residents in hosting Amgen.

Bob Stapleton, Chairman of USA Cycling said “Kristin (Klein) calls this one of America’s greatest races. I call it one of the world’s greatest races.”

“Economically this really is a Grand Tour. If you look at where the money and interest and eyeballs that support cycling come from, American companies are the number two direct sponsor of teams, and if you look at the total support, all the money, goods and services that come into cycling, United States is number one.”

Rob DeMartini, the USA Cycling President and CEO mentioned “I was immediately impressed by the depth of talent that is here at the Amgen Tour of California. I look forward to spending time with all of the American riders here and am pleased we were able to field a National Team and give our up and coming riders an opportunity to race on home soil.”

Present at the race, Mark Cavendish, of Team Dimensional Data said that with this Tour of California, ““I’ve been here many times, not just for the bike race, but for holiday and for training camps, and I always feel welcome at The Amgen Tour of California, so it’s good to be back.”

“The race has gotten harder, and the race has stepped up. As Bob (Stapleton) said, it’s one of the most important races on the calendar now, and with that comes a bigger challenge to win, and it’s good that more people are watching.”

George Bennet, Team Jumbo-Visma – “[Winning the Yellow Jersey] is the main objective. I don’t know if it’s going to be easier, but it will be a lot different than last time, without the time trial and different riders here as well. It’s going to be a challenging week.”

“The winner on (Mount) Baldy is going to get the Lexus. Mount Hamilton is hard, but it’s not like two years ago when we could light it up and survive to the finish…it all comes down to Baldy and staying out of trouble the other days.”

Richie Porte, Trek-Segafredo noted how this race is evolving. He said “A lot of ways this [The Amgen Tour of California] is leading how cycling has got to go.”

Tejay van Garderen, EF Education First Pro Cycling offered his thoughts on racing at home. “It’s always a treat to be able to come home. Now being on a truly American team coming and racing on American soil provides a different feel and a different level of motivation.”

“This race is for sure a huge target, and it’s something that our team has been talking about all spring, that we need to be ready to do well at this race” said Evan Huffman, Rally UHC Cycling on the importance of getting a good start.

Alex Hoehn, USA Cycling offered his gratitude on being able to participate. “I’m grateful to USA Cycling for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent here at the Amgen Tour of California in front of the best teams in the world. It’s not often that a young rider like me gets to line up with some of the best in the pro peloton, and this will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life” He said.

Rancho Cordova can be proud as a Amgen Stage 2 host city.

Sources: Marissa Mavaega, Amgen 

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Pollinators, Radishes, and Soil Born at White Rock Elementary

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-05-16

Students from White Rock Elementary School holding fresh radish bundles.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Bees, bats, birds, butterflies, and beetles have one thing in common, and a group of students at White Rock Elementary learned the connection between these mammals, insects, and birds. Each is an important pollinator.

“We use these main groups to help students remember many of the pollinators and become familiar with their various needs and also their various skills,” wrote Shannon Hardwicke, Soil Born Farms Youth Education Manager.

Although there are other pollinators, including moths, she explained that this was a good start for students, especially in a limited time setting.

By the end of the lesson, students were able to identify the type of flower one pollinator might prefer over another. Some pollinators, like beetles, hide inside flowers. Others prefer purple flowers over red. Students sat in a circle on mats, listened, asked questions, and responded to a host of questions to help engage their critical thinking skills.

Students learned that butterflies need flowers with “large landing pads,” so narrow petals would not necessarily be the best. Hummingbirds love red, cylindrical flowers and might be found near gladiola. Bats, on the other hand, are drawn to white or light blue flowers. “What color are bees attracted to?”
Several responses were given, including red flowers.

Bees can’t see red, but students knew hummingbirds preferred red flowers.

With all that was covered, students performed well, said Hardwicke. They were enthusiastic, raising their hands to share what they had learned. Besides listening and responding, they were also actively engaged with a matching game. Each student received a card, either a pollinator or a flower, and sought a match, keeping in mind the preference and needs of each pollinator.

Students also dissected a plant and examined the flower. This project, Hardwicke said, was a condensed version due to time constraints and location. Instead of microscopes, students received a magnifying glass. This lesson provides a base on which to build.

In addition to the talk and activities, students also tended the garden which includes several crops – corn, zucchini, tomatoes, strawberries, snap peas, and dill. Flowers are planted in order to attract pollinators. Students eagerly pulled weeds in order to prepare the beds for a new planting of watermelon seeds. Others harvested radishes, which they also washed and shared with the class.

The main purpose of this class, which built upon the prior week’s class, was “connecting the unique pollinators to their functions with the flower,” said Hardwicke, who explained that the lesson built upon the prior week’s lesson about the critical role that pollinators play in the environment and to the food we consume.

The program at White Rock Elementary is growing and the current six classes will double to twelve next year, said Principal Peterson.

Soil Born Farms comes out to work at the school weekly throughout the academic year. It also works with other schools as part of the Our Growing Together School Garden Initiative begun in South Sacramento. Hardwicke’s team serves six school sites in two districts, three in Rancho Cordova.

“We work with all low income populations with the goal of improving connections to healthy food, science standards and environmental stewardship,” she said. Gardens, she added, are sometimes the place where a student can shine and lead others and can be a place of safety.

“They learn firsthand, not in a book,” said Mayor McGarvey about the Measure H funded program.
For home gardeners who want to attract pollinators, they might consider asking these students or provide a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the year. Hardwicke advises purchasing plants from Soil Born Farms, nurseries, or other locations that do not treat the plants with chemicals.

On May 19, Soil Born Farms will host its Day on the Farm event with classes, activities, plants, and much more.

“What I find really powerful is we’re giving kids healthy habits,” said Principal Peterson.

For additional information, visit:


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Sacramento Police and Sheriff's 17th Annual Remembrance Ceremony

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-05-16

Sheriff Scott Jones reads name of fallen Sacramento Sheriff’s Department officers

WOODLAKE, SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On Friday, May 2, officers from several agencies, including Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, descended upon the quiet Woodlake neighborhood for the 17th Annual Remembrance Ceremony, and to commemorate a new memorial plaque for Officer Mark Stasyuk who lost his life in the line of duty on September 17, 2018.

The ceremony included a procession of law enforcement officers from Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department led by the Sacramento Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

Officer Paul Brown, President of the Sacramento Police Sheriff’s Memorial Foundation welcomed officers, fallen officer families, dignitaries, fellow officers from outside agencies, and the general public.

“Today, let us remember our Sacramento fallen,” said the 20 year Sacramento Police Department veteran.

Pastor Anthony Sadler of Shiloh Baptist Church gave the invocation prior to guest speakers.

“It is in times like these that we realize how fragile we are and how quickly our loved ones can be taken away from us.” Each officer, he added, to be remembered had paid the ultimate price, as did the fallen officer’s family, in order to protect the citizens.

“Today we are saddened, and also honored, to add yet one more hero to the rank.” He then called for prayers for Deputy Mark Stasyuk and his family.

“We honor Deputy Stasyuk for his extraordinary bravery in the face of imminent danger,” he stated.

Throughout the invocation, the bells of Sacramento Regional Transit’s light sounded gently. The memorial, a living monument, is situated across the street from Woodlake Park and behind the light rail station on Arden Way. Land was donated by North Sacramento Land Company, wrote Rotary Club of North Sacramento President, Stephen Lemmon. His organization, along with Woodlake Improvement Club worked with the land company.

“Since we had a great working relationship with the Sacramento Police Department, the idea was hatched for a memorial,” Lemmon wrote, adding that Rotary Club member Dennis Tsuboi submitted the design and the club contributed $10,000.

In 1992, “a foundation was formed including both unions for Sac PD and Sac Sheriff, reps for the Chief and the Sheriff, the Rotary Club, Woodlake and the Council Member,” wrote Lemmon.

A list of major funders, board of directors, and past board members is etched in granite beside the dedication stone that reads, “For all those who served & sacrificed wearing the badge, we are eternally grateful.”

Sacramento Police Department Chief Daniel Hahn spoke first.

“Welcome to these sacred grounds,” he said. “We will never forget the sacrifice that you have made for our entire community.”

Chief Hahn spoke several minutes about current challenges for law enforcement, community, and how these men and women “know what it takes to protect our community, to protect our values and our way of life.”

“We pray that this will be the last year that we add a name to this very important memorial,” said Hahn.
Sheriff Scott R. Jones spoke next, thanking Supervisor Susan Peters, general public, and fellow officers.

“I love coming to this place. I come from time to time. It seems like things are a little quieter, things are a bit more contemplative. It seems like I’m able to be a little bit more reflective. I love the fact that the community takes care of this place. It is truly hollow ground,” he said, adding that he also hates that there needs to be a place like this and that another name needs to be added this year.

Mark Stasyuk’s name joined twenty other Sheriff’s department officers, District Attorney Investigator Grant Wilson, Galt Police Department Officer Kevin Tonn, and sixteen Sacramento Police Department officers.

“His life made a difference,” said District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

Chief Todd Sockman, Galt Police Department, spoke about the family of law enforcement and the family that includes the community.

“As a family, we can get through this,” he said.

Following the guest speakers, the name of each of the 39 fallen officers was called, with a moment of silence, and the placement of a yellow rose on each memorial plaque by members of each respective agency. Each officer was honored with a white-gloved salute by a member of his agency.

Sheriff Jones said of 4 ½ year veteran Mark Stasyuk, that he “exemplified what it meant to be a law enforcement officer.”

Yellow roses were presented to members of the Stasyuk family who carried the flowers and placed them on his memorial.

Following a moment of silence, the rider-less horse was led in and through the memorial, a bugler played “Taps,” followed by a 21-gun salute, and a flyover of helicopters in the missing flyer formation.

“If one member suffers, all suffer together,” said Sacramento Police Officer William J. Conner in the benediction. “We are all part of something greater than ourselves.”

For additional information, visit:


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Nan’s Comfort Critters Help Cops

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-16

Carmichael octogenarian Nan Fellers collects and repairs soft toys to comfort traumatized children in police care.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - All kids love soft toys. But a child whose life is in crisis really needs something to cuddle.

At accident or domestic crime scenes, terrified children often end up in police cars. Police officers – frequently parents themselves – know the value of a huggable teddy. “A soft toy gives traumatized children comfort,” says Carmichael grandmother Nancy Fellers. “It also makes a police officer less frightening.” From several Sheriff’s deputies in her own family, Nancy (86) learned that cops bought emergency toys with their own money. She decided a stitch in time was called for.

For the past 20 years, the retired school teacher and travel agent has collected, cleaned and repaired thousands of what she calls “stuffies.” Used or new, the comfort critters come her way from church friends, fellow Kiwanians and neighbors.

Nancy’s mission has turned her Carmichael home into a virtual Pooh Corner, but she has the support of her 88-year-old husband, retired ARC professor Bill. “When we get used stuffies, we always wash them,” explains Nancy. “Many need to be re-stuffed – you’d be surprised what some manufacturers fill them with. If a toy gets a hole in it, a child could ingest some really awful stuff.” After revitalizing each critter, she adds a new bow to each fluffy neck; she and husband Bill then deliver the individually-bagged stuffies to Sheriff’s headquarters in Rancho Cordova. Here, big burly cops select bunnies, bears and monkeys to store in patrol cars for emergencies. “The officers are always glad to see me,” says Nancy. “They know I come with gifts that make their job easier. To a frightened child, a cuddly critter helps children see officers as kind and caring. In these situations, a toy is a necessary part of police work. I don’t see why deputies should have to pay for them.”

Though she loves her vocation, the octogenarian hopes to eventually bag her last bunny and find a successor. “The work hardly costs anything and it takes little time,” she says. “All you need is a washing machine, some basic sewing skills and a kind heart.”

To donate new or gently-used toys or to learn about Nancy Fellers’ comfort-critter project, email


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