Hot Climate, Cold Beer

By Lizzie Moore  |  2017-08-16

The group “350 Placer” will be holding its second “Hot Climate, Cold Beer” trivia night at the Moonraker Brewing Company. Photo courtesy 350 Placer

Local Food, Local Beer: 350 Placer Supports Local Business While Saving the Planet

Auburn, CA (MPG) -  On Thursday, August 31st from 6-7:30pm, the group “350 Placer” will be holding its second “Hot Climate, Cold Beer” trivia night at the Moonraker Brewing Company. With live music and prizes for the top three trivia winners, the night will be a great time for old and new friends to support a local business and have fun while learning about climate change. Admission is free and there is a suggested donation of $5 to participate in the trivia game. Funds raised will help with the group’s future efforts.

350 Placer is a group of residents who joined together to promote clean, sustainable living in Placer County. Since its formation in January, its focus has been on educating residents about climate change via trivia nights and Facebook. It also holds small gatherings at local venues to promote the consumption of food from local farmers. It has lead a field trip to Recology’s recycling center and participated in the Meadow Vista Pioneer Day parade. Most recently, it has embarked on the effort to contact all Placer county mayors to urge them to join the national Mayors Climate Agreement.

The group is inspired by the international group, a grassroots organization dedicated to reducing carbon levels to no more than 350 parts per million. The number 350 is the level of carbon believed to be safe and sustainable for life on our planet.

350 Placer believes that curbing our County’s carbon emissions could also improve our local economy. “A December 2016 report from the Brookings Institute says that California is one of 33 states that has grown its economy while reducing its carbon footprint since 2000. It’s completely realistic that we could, as a County, be a part of the climate solution and do really well economically. We just have to put our minds to it.” said Carlos Del Pozo of 350 Placer. “We’re hoping that there will be people who come to trivia night who want to help with ending climate change, but we also want those who just want more information to come. It will be a low-pressure evening.”

350 Placer can be found on Facebook and at Questions about the event or the group can be directed to Danielle at 916-320-7584. “Hot Climate, Cold Beer” will be held at the Moonraker Brewing Company located at 12970 Earhart Ave in Auburn.

Health-oriented Back to School Tips

By Edwin Garcia, Kaiser Permanente Media  |  2017-08-18

Kids who eat right can learn more. Photo courtesy Kaiser Permanente

Event Offered at Westfield Galleria at Roseville on Aug. 26

Placer County, CA (MPG) - As summer vacations wind down and children return to school, it’s a good time for parents to learn more about healthy lifestyles for their kids during a special event Aug. 26 at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville.

Kaiser Permanente, the leading healthcare provider in the Sacramento region, is inviting parents and children to participate in Learn to Thrive, a free resource fair focused on healthy living from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Center Court near JCPenney.

Health experts will speak and host demonstrations on several topics, including:

  • Re-think your drink and healthy snacks.
  • Concussion and head safety.
  • Sports medicine and injury prevention.
  • Bullying and social media.
  • Backpack safety tips.

Attendees can win prizes and meet with Kaiser Permanente physicians and healthcare professionals who will host back-to-school themed activity stations.

The activities will be most enjoyed by children of elementary and middle school age, and their parents. The activities are free and open to the general public.

Learn to Thrive is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Walk to Thrive walking club at the mall. For more information, visit:

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DOVIA: Leading the Leaders

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-08-16

(L-R) Mariann Eitzman, volunteer coordinator, Bayside Church, Roseville, Rachele Doty, volunteer coordinator for First Call Hospice and vice chair, DOVIA, Sacramento, and Meredith Holkeboer, Volunteer Services Assistant/Pet Therapy Coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Sacramento, at a recent workshop lead by Eitzman on giving presentations. Photo by Jacqueline Fox

DOVIA Sacramento Supports Non-Profit Volunteer Managers

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - With few exceptions, among the most important individuals behind any successful nonprofit organization, including its return on investment, are its volunteers. But how do you find them, keep them motivated and give them the tools to they need to effectively make an impact?

Enter DOVIA, or Directors of Volunteers in Agencies, which has chapters across the country, including Sacramento.  The Sacramento Chapter is currently celebrating 40 years of service, providing some 100 volunteer managers from a vast range of non-profit agencies, most of whom are members, with the support they need to successfully build and serve their core of volunteers.

DOVIA workshops and trainings offer ideas for learning how to motivate volunteers, as well as avenues for members to connect with other volunteer leadership professionals and collaborate and exchange ideas.

Rachele Doty, is the volunteer coordinator for First Call Hospice in Citrus Heights. She also serves on the board of directors as vice chair for DOVIA, Sacramento.  She views the organization as an indispensable resource, where, through workshops, trainings, networking and annual conferences, she can access an evolving and valuable exchange of information on relevant issues facing professional volunteer managers, no matter the size or scope of their agency’s mission.

“I have just on-boarded 20 new volunteers at First Call Hospice, so I have been utilizing every tool and workshop or training I have under my belt through my membership with and my role on the board of DOVIA,” said Doty. “The agency is absolutely critical for anyone who is working with volunteers. You get the support you need to promote your own growth but also the growth and development of your volunteers, whether you’re part of an executive team or some other administrative department.”

Dues for membership to DOVIA are $55 for one year for those who are signing up as an employee of a non-profit agency, and that fee allows for the bundling of two employees from the same agency.  For individual memberships, the annual fee is $30.00, all nominal fees for access to support for trainings that often non-profits themselves simply don’t have the resources to provide, despite their dependence on volunteers.

Lynne Moore is a member support specialist with the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California Council, one of 112 councils in the nation.  She and several colleagues from her agency recently attended a DOVIA workshop at Bayside Church in midtown, Sacramento focused on delivering effective presentations to volunteers. For her, the workshops and DOVIA membership provide unsurpassed support and education needed to oversee the some 300 volunteers that support her council. 

“I get so much from my membership,” said Moore. “I have a lot of moving parts in my job and a lot of changing faces, so it’s critical that I keep up with new trends in recruitment and retention of volunteers. We depend so much on our volunteers and they deserve the best leadership available to them.”

The biggest challenge many non-profit organizations face with respect to volunteers, says Doty, is finding them.

“That’s an ongoing battle for everyone in the capacity of recruitment,” Doty said. “One of the things we focus on with our workshops and trainings is how to utilize all of the available tools out there to reach potential, new volunteers. That includes social media apps, creating events to attract volunteers and how to effectively get the message out to volunteers in the community about your organization and its mission.”

Meredith Holkeboer is the Volunteer Services Assistant/Pet Therapy Coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Sacramento.  To say she’s landed her dream job would be an understatement.  She also finds her membership with DOVIA as invaluable. It has provided her with the tools to network with other volunteer coordinators and share ideas for how to keep volunteers engaged and impassioned about their work.

“The unpaid volunteers that support us are critical to our mission, so I am always on the search for new tips and ideas for how to work more effectively with our volunteers at Shriners,” Holkeboer said. “I get a lot out of my membership. I learn new things every time I attend a workshop or a conference and I am reminded that I’m a part of a unique group of leaders out there who are overseeing people who make a choice whether to keep showing up and helping out.”

DOVIA will cap its 40th year with participation at the upcoming annual conference on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Shriners Hospital. The AL!VE Hybrid Conference: Take the Leap | Embrace Change, will feature presentations for DOVIA members by four internationally renowned volunteer leaders with workshops centered on navigating organizational and professional changes.

DOVIA, Sacramento offers two, two-day trainings each year as a part of its membership focus, as well as monthly workshops, speaker events and other educational sessions.  These are open to both members and non-members.   Next year, the chapter will be taking a deep dive into the world of corporate giving, offering members in-depth trainings centered on how to make and maintain strong relationships with corporate giving managers who oversee employee volunteer pools in the community.

Presentations are planned by the heads of corporate giving departments from various companies who will provide DOVIA members with insights on how to recruit from their employee base and what their companies look for when determining which non-profits to support—something that can shift from year to year, depending on the nature of the economy and community needs.

“We are very excited about our plans for working with corporate giving representatives next year,” said Doty. “Corporate support is very important to every non-profit, regardless of the size or what their particular mission is, so that is one huge part of what we’ll be focusing on next year.”

Other areas of focus for upcoming workshops will include stress management, supporting volunteer managers with tips and tricks of the trade to keep their volunteers from overpowering or, in some cases, de-railing the mission. And, just as importantly, training support will provide members with ideas for keeping their sanity when volunteers drop off, a phenomenon that, unfortunately, “goes hand-in-hand with our profession,” Doty said.

To find out more see

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Placer County, CA (MPG) - In addition to approving the county’s new affordable and workforce housing work plan, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a number of small projects to benefit North Lake Tahoe communities and recognized a long-serving local public servant for her many contributions to the region.

To help relieve traffic congestion and improve tourism around North Lake Tahoe, at their meeting today in Auburn the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved two projects to install wayfinding signage and message boards near Northstar Resort. The board also approved a commendation for long-time Tahoe City Public Utility District employee Cindy Gustafson for her many years of service.

In the first of three North Lake Tahoe items, the board approved the Northstar Directional Exit Sign Project, which will install an exit sign on state Route 267 between Kings Beach and Truckee at the bottom of Northstar Drive to assist with wayfinding for visitors leaving the resort. The total project cost is $20,000, funded by transient occupancy tax generated in North Lake Tahoe.

The second project will provide programmable message boards at Northstar to assist with wayfinding, traffic management and communication of county information. One message board will be a permanent fixture located at the roundabout on Northstar Drive at the Castle Peak parking lot entrance and Ridgeline Drive. The second message board is a portable system that could be moved and updated depending on the flow of traffic and type of information that visitors need at any given time. The total project cost is $102,923, of which $51,500 will be paid from transient occupancy tax revenues, with matching funds of $51,423 from Trimont Land Co. (DBA Northstar California). 

No county general funds will be allocated for either project.

A budget revision to increase the fiscal year 2017 - 2018 funding for the Speedboat Beach Improvements Project was also approved by the board, which appropriates $275,000 from TOT funds to assist with improvements at Speedboat Beach in Kings Beach. The funds will support design, permitting and construction of a permanent restroom building to replace existing portable toilets, replace the aging wooden access stairway with a more secure metal or concrete stairway improve traction on an access ramp and provide wayfinding and interpretive signage along the access route between Harbour Avenue and Speedboat Beach. The total project cost is $637,000, of which $362,000 will be paid from Placer County park dedication fees.

The board also approved a commendation for Cindy Gustafson for her 28 years of service as an employee of the Tahoe City Public Utility District. Gustafson was recognized for her outstanding dedication to the community and her involvement with many Tahoe City projects, including the Tahoe City Lakeside Trail, Commons Beach Lake Access Enhancement Project and the Homewood Bike Trail. Cindy was also instrumental in maintaining the Tahoe City Golf Course as a recreational space for the public. The full text of the commendation is available here. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery previously presented Gustafson with the commendation at a board reception in Tahoe City July 24.

Scott Sandow

Public Information Assistant II
Placer County Communications and Public Affairs Office

(530) 886-4515 | (530) 308-0858 cell |


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During peak times, new online reservation system coming in September
Auburn, CA (MPG) - Placer County’s Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn is a gem of a park. Unfortunately, parking can be hard to find, especially during weekends, holidays and times of mild weather, which is often.

To help avoid would-be park visitors from being turned away, the Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved a new parking fee during times of peak visitation.

Beginning in September, Hidden Falls visitors will be able to reserve a parking spot and pay the fee, when it’s required, using a new online reservation system. Reservations for all other county park facilities will also be managed through the system.

Hidden Falls parking fees will be $8 per vehicle per day for peak times (8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.), when visitors to the park are often unable to find parking and are forced to change plans and leave; the fee will be $4 for partial days, outside peak hours. No fee will be required during off-peak times when the parking lot does not normally fill up.

“It is our hope that the new reservation system will help increase the number of visitors enjoying the park and avoid the frustration of being turned away,” said Placer County Parks and Recreation Director Andy Fisher.

The proposed fee is comparable to the current $10 per day fee for use of the nearby Auburn State Recreation Area that is managed by California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The board’s approval also authorizes the county to enforce parking violation fines of $25 for first time infractions and $100 for repeat offenders.

The fees and fines, in combination with the parking restrictions implemented in the areas bordering the park, are also intended to reduce traffic impacts to surrounding neighborhoods.

County staff will return to the board at a later date to reevaluate the parking fee program and further explore the possibility of discounts for members of our military community.

Reservations for the following county facilities will also be handled exclusively through the new online reservation system.  

●       The Bear River Campground in Colfax’s 23 individual campsites,
●       The Loomis Basin Community Park North’s picnic area, which can accommodate 50 people, and
●       The batting cages at Ronald L. Feist Park in Granite Bay, which is reservable in tandem with nearby ball fields, but will remain open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis without cost when the ball fields are not reserved.

Source: Placer County Media

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Rocklin, CA (MPG) - The 4th Annual Grateful Dog Rescue Run/Walk will take place on Sunday, Aug. 27 at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin, serving as the kick-off event to the City of Rocklin's Woofstock Festival.  

The goal of this run, which is part of the Run Rocklin Series,  is to support the local Rocklin Residents Unite for Fido (RRUFF) program Healing Heroes.  The Healing Heroes provide scholarships for service dog training to disabled veterans who would benefit from having a canine companion.  

The event will start at 7:45 a.m. with a Kids Fun Dash that is free! The 5K Run/Walk will start at 8 a.m. and leashed dogs are welcome to join their human companions. The cost for the 5K is $35 for adults and $20 for ages under 18.  All paid 5K participants who sign up before Aug. 15 will receive a free t-shirt.  

The event is capped at 350 participants so make sure to sign up today! If you can't make it but would like to support this incredible cause you can register as a "Virtual Runner" which will enable you to participate by supporting the cause.  The fee for this is only $20. 

Immediately following the Grateful Dog Run is the one and only Woofstock Festival!  The City of Rocklin has hosted this annual event for ten plus years now at Johnson-Springview Park where humans and their furry canine friends have a blast.  

This event is full of groovy activities for dogs and humans that include wiener dog races, art projects, a dog obstacle course and a costume parade.  Plus dog-themed vendors will be on-site, groovy live music to enjoy and food trucks so you can grab lunch.  

Admission is free! Woofstock starts at 9 a.m. and will wrap up around 1 p.m. so all you dog lovers mark your calendar, channel your inner Jerry Garcia, pull out your tie-dye clothing and get ready to groove.  We hope to see you there!  

For more information see

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Student Exchange Seeks Host Families for School Year

By Sheryl Longsworth  |  2017-08-08

You can host an Exchange Student! Photo courtesy NorthWest Student Exchange

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Responsible parents looking for ways to supplement the educational and personal growth opportunities for their children should consider hosting a teenage exchange student for an academic semester or year.  Children and adults alike, by interacting on a daily basis with a new, international family member, broaden their perspective on the world and discover new facts and ideas.  

NorthWest Student Exchange places international high school students with families all over the country, including here in our community.  Exchange students add a dimension to the family dynamic that cannot be achieved in any other way.  The benefits to the exchange student are perhaps obvious:  honing their English language skills; learning about the educational system in this country; understanding U.S. social, political, and cultural values; establishing international friendships.  Benefits to the hosts are similar:  Not only can host families learn about another culture and its values; they can view the U.S. through another’s eyes, and thereby gain a broader understanding of our own country.

And families do not need to have children at home to host!  Many childless couples, empty nesters, and single-parent families have enjoyed exchange students. NWSE places students from dozens of countries who have varied interests. I will do my best to match a student to your family’s lifestyle and interests.

Those who cannot host can earn financial incentives for referring to us families who do host. While host families are not compensated for hosting, tax deductions may be available. Check with your tax preparer.

NWSE exchange students are closely screened for appropriate motivation, academic and language skills; our students have solid emotional and practical support from NWSE professional partners abroad, and from the students’ natural parents in their own countries.  Our students come with their own spending money and health and accident insurance.  NWSE local Academic Coordinators recruit, screen and orient local host families and provide close support throughout the program.

My family has personally hosted students from France and China and we keep in touch with every student even years later! While they stayed with us, they shared games they play with us and cooked their favorite meals for my family. We also have been invited to stay at their family’s homes when we go to their country. One of our French students even calls me his “American Mom.”

It’s easy to get more information about hosting. Potential hosts can call me, Sheryl Longsworth, Area Coordinator at 916-833-1218 or; or by contacting NWSE at 877-850-3312 or  Or, you can visit the NWSE web page at and click on Host an Exchange Student.  Student placements for the fall must be made before 8/31/17. Spring semester-only placements will be available towards the end of this year.

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Robinson’s Announces National Champions

By Rick Reed  |  2017-08-08

Sacramento’s Black Belt Gold Medalist Phillip El Chemali on the mat in Detroit at the USAT Nationals.  Photo courtesy Robinson’s Taekwondo.

Five National Champions Bring Gold, Silver and Bronze to Sacramento TKD Glory

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - They are outstanding young students in school and their local Taekwondo training ‘dojang’ or gym. In mat competitions with Black Belts from across the USA Sacramento’s Phillip El Chemali was triumphant in winning the Gold Medal at the USAT Nationals in Detroit, MI this July. The win places him on the United States Association of Taekwondo National Team for a second consecutive year!

Elk Grove’s Cassie Berger also won Gold in the USAT Women’s Division, as this CA State Champion won another top honor in the Korean-based martial art. Women’s Bronze came home with Black Belt student Maria Lopez from the world’s largest TKD tournament held in Detroit, MI.  Less than one week later, at the Amateur Athletic Association TKD National competition in Broward Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Maria Lopez fought again, again winning the AAU Bronze Medal this July.  

At this same Florida tournament event Robinson’s Taekwondo Black Belt student Lorenzo Ortega battled thru top national TKD fighters to win the AAU Gold Medal. The Women’s Silver Medal came back to Northern California as North Highland’s Natalie Velasquez stepped up to the podium as winner.

Rarely in history has one American city claimed so many top TKD medals and five US National Champions in its ranks.

Founded in 1975 in Sacramento, Robinson’s Taekwondo has locations throughout the region training athletes of all ages in the world’s most taught martial art – Taekwondo! To find out more visit

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Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair created memories for the entire community this year. It reached record numbers as the one northern California event where everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the best of what California has to offer.

"The California State Fair is proud to be recognized as the largest showcase of the rich bounty and diversity of our Golden State," said Rick Pickering, CEO and General Manager of the California State Fair. We celebrated agriculture, livestock, horse racing, unique foods, events, rides, and exhibits...some of which people have never seen before.

Food sales grossed an estimated $8.5 million, and there was an estimated $4.2 million in carnival ride sales grossing over $12.7 million in sales revenue; not including hotel stays and other revenue sources for the Sacramento region.

With it being the Fair's 50th year at Cal Expo, there was a lot to celebrate. New this year was the dedication of "Best of CA: Celebrating Farm Workers' Rich Contributions to Food and Agriculture." There was the return of soccer, with the Sacramento Republic FC playing two games. Sponsored by the Tractor Supply Company, the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions raised $270,344 for youth, which was the highest amount in the past 10 years.

Despite being one of the hottest July's in 10 years, with 8 days of triple-digit weather during the weekends, 636,628 attendees enjoyed the Fair.

Out of the 17 concerts,7 completely sold out for the Gold Circle Reserved Seats. The top three attended concerts were Melissa Etheridge, Brian McKnight, and Trace Adkins.

More than 32,500 racing fans came to the Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand for horse racing and special events including the Best of CA Brewfest, Wienerschnitzel Wiener Dog Races, Steampunk at the Races featuring Ave Rose, and the California Cornhole Championships.

Other notable numbers were; 1,488 beers entered into the Commercial Beer Competition; 2,663 wines entered into the Commercial Wine Competition; 19,662 wine slushies were served in the Save Mart Wine Garden

Overall 19,931 competitive entries were at the State Fair and 6,412 total exhibits. 5,992 free rides from Butler Amusement in support of the CA State Fair’s Read to Ride program for local children who turned in 2,996 book reports;

There were 37 corn dogs were eaten by the winner of the Milo’s Corn Dog Eating Contest - Molly Schuyler from Plumas Lake, CA. She defeated competitors that came from as far as Philadelphia to compete.75,000 total corn dogs were consumed at the fair.

9,556 livestock animals were on display; 18,100 Turkey legs were sold; 35,100 Funnel cakes were sold; 11,325 pieces of the fruit were given out through the Save Mart Supermarkets Passport Program at the Kaiser Permanente CA State Fair Farm; 1,963 #50thFairHunt SMUD bags were given out; and 2,060 Dish fireworks were shot into the night sky

Central Valley Towing helped Fair guests with 7 jump starts, 10 unlock cars, 2 tire changes and assisted in shuttling 5,832 people to and from the parking lots to entrances.

Source CA State Fair Media

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Fab 40’s 5K Walk Celebrates Their 10th Year

By Paul Scholl  |  2017-08-07

And they are off! Photo by Paul Scholl

Benefitting Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California 

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, July 29, East Lawn hosted its 10th Annual Fab 40’s 5k Run/Walk benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California. A total of $250,000 in proceeds has been raised over 10 Years.

The Fab 40’s 5K Run/Walk will officially started at 8:30 a.m. inside the 112-year-old historic East Lawn Cemetery. This is the official annual City of Sacramento 5k Championship certified course, The course runs through the Fabulous Forties neighborhood with neighbors lining the streets cheering on the runners and walkers before they reach the finish line back at East Lawn.

Over 1,400 excited participants signed up to enter the race. All ages and athletic abilities entered to help end Alzheimer’s disease, which is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th in California. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this event, all participants received a commemorative finisher’s medal.

The day included family oriented activities like kids bounce house, balloon animals, face painting, photo booth, music, food, awards ceremony, raffle drawings and much more.

The event was hosted by Alan Fisher, President of East Lawn and Michelle Johnson, Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association

A special “Thank You” goes out to Sal Arrigo, who started the event and was the catalyst in building the program that has raised all the funds for research. Sal served as the official race starter.

East Lawn Memorial Park is located at 4300 Folsom Boulevard in Sacramento. For more information about the Fab 40’s 5k Run/Walk visit:

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