Hawaiian Chieftain Returns to Sacramento

By Zachary Stocks  |  2018-10-31

The historic vessel to offer tours and sails at Old Sacramento, Nov 1 - Nov 24
Hawaiian Chieftain, photo by Rick Horn

The historic vessel to offer tours and sails at Old Sacramento, Nov 1 - Nov 24

Hawaiian Chieftain, photo by Rick Horn

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - History will come alive in Sacramento this October as
the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain makes her return trip to town. The tall ship, part of the Aberdeen-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, sails the waters of the Pacific each year along with its companion vessel Lady Washington, offering educational programs, free deck tours, and sailing trips.

From November 1st through the 24th, Hawaiian Chieftain will be docked at Old Sacramento, (1210 Front St.). On weekdays schools can reserve a trip aboard the tall ship for the Historical Seaport's one-of-a-kind maritime heritage field trip Voyage of Explorers. On weekday evenings and weekends the tall ship is open to the general public for stationary dockside Vessel Tours for a $5 suggested donation. Hawaiian Chieftain can also be Chartered for private events including weddings and workplace team builders.

The steel hulled Hawaiian Chieftain was launched in 1988 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Together with Lady Washington, the tall ships are among the most active educational boats in America, visiting approximately 40 ports each year. The tall ships offer a glimpse into our historic past, introducing people of all ages to the sights and sounds of 18th and 19th century maritime life.

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is an educational non-profit based in Aberdeen, Washington. In addition to school programs and public sailing, the tall ships are also active sail training vessels. Anyone over age 16 is eligible to join the crew through the Two Weeks Before the Mast volunteer sailing program. Those pursuing a career in the commercial maritime industry can also consider enrolling in the Historical Seaport's Sea School Northwest, a job training program to provide knowledge and mentorship for professional maritime fields.
 

If you're ready to run away to sea, or want to know more about the tall ships and their programs, please visit www.historicalseaport.org.

 

Sacramento Schedule: Public Tours (Weekly) Tuesday - Friday, 4:00 - 5:00 ($5 suggested donation) or Saturday, 10:00 - 1:00 ($5 suggested donation) VESSEL TOURS UNAVAILABLE: November 10 (Saturday) and November 17 (Saturday)

The vessel will be docked at Old Sacramento, 1210 Front Street, Sacramento CA 95814. For directions and schedule information, please call (800) 200-5239.

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SPCA Comes to the Rescue

By Sarah Varanini, SPCA  |  2018-10-31

The shelter transport arrived back at the Sacramento SPCA Friday evening. Photo courtesy SPCA

Welcomes displaced dogs affected by Hurricane Michael


SACRAMENTO Region, CA (MPG) – Hurricane Michael recently displaced more than just families. It also displaced many pets in need of immediate care. On Friday, October 19, the Sacramento SPCA received fifteen dogs transferred from shelters in Florida impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Employees from the Sacramento SPCA drove their new animal transfer vehicle, which was purchased through a grant from PetSmart Charities, to Kettleman City on Friday morning to meet staff from San Diego Humane Society.  In collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, the San Diego Humane Society arranged for a transfer of 93 dogs from three shelters located in Florida to create space for animals displaced by Hurricane Michael.

The shelter transport arrived back at the Sacramento SPCA Friday evening.  “After the dog’s arrival, our priority was getting them comfortable and settled into their new housing,” said Sacramento SPCA Animal Services Practice Manager, Karalyn Aronow.  “Medical assessments and close observation of the animals will continue over the next week to determine when they will be available for adoption”.

The dogs are medium to large-sized mixed breeds, primarily consisting of lab, pit bull, and hound mixes under five years of age.  Ten of the fifteen dogs are Heartworm positive and will undergo Heartworm treatment.

The incoming pets are not direct victims of Hurricane Michael. They are adoptable dogs who have been in animal shelters in the Florida Panhandle area. They were transported out of the area to create room for pets who have been lost, strayed or abandoned due to the hurricane.

“The category 4 storm that recently devastated the Florida Panhandle and the record-setting wildfire season in California are harsh reminders of how important disaster preparedness is for us and our pets,” said Sacramento SPCA CEO, Kenn Altine.  “I witnessed, first-hand, the devastation and displacement of families and pets impacted by natural disasters while helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005, and even closer to home this August, while assisting Haven Humane Society with relief efforts during the Carr Fire”

These reminders come just as the California Department of Water Resources encourages communities to participate in Flood Preparedness Week.  Local preparedness events and exercises are being held throughout the state to educate communities on what to do during extreme weather events.

A Flood Preparedness Funfair will be held in Sacramento at the Miller Regional Park on Saturday, October 27 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.  In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), event attendees will learn how keep their family and pets safe during an emergency, fill sandbags, find evacuation routes, sign up for emergency alerts, and watch rescuers in action as they perform water rescues.


Founded in 1894, the Sacramento SPCA has been providing homeless animals with individual comfort, shelter, and love for more than 124 years.  They provide compassionate medical care to tens of thousands of animals annually and offer a variety of programs and services designed to keep people and pets together for life.

More Information: www.sspca.org

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SMUD and D.R. Horton Agree to Build All-electric Homes

SMUD Special Release  |  2018-10-31

Electric utility aims to reduce greenhouse gases through “electrification”

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD and top national homebuilder D.R. Horton are teaming up to build 104 all-electric homes in two new neighborhoods. These “all-electric communities” – “Juniper,” which is planned to include 66 homes, and “Independence," which is anticipated to include 38 homes, are both located in North Natomas and will be priced for first-time homebuyers. The homes are included in the SMUD Smart Home program and are part of a broader electrification effort by SMUD, the first of its kind in the USA.

Groundbreaking for the subdivisions began earlier this summer. The model homes are completed, and the communities are open for sale. Construction will continue through 2019. If built as planned, SMUD will provide $466,000 in incentives to D.R. Horton for including appliances and equipment to make the homes all-electric. These include heat pump heating and cooling, heat pump water heating, and induction stoves—appliances that are typically more energy efficient and can deliver lower overall energy bills.

Heat pump water heaters can reduce electricity use by up to 60 percent compared to electric resistance water heaters. Instead of using electricity to create heat, heat pump water heaters use a refrigerant cycle to transfer heat from surrounding ambient air into the hot water tank. They also cool the area where they are located, usually in the garage. Induction stoves may cook 50 percent faster than electric resistance stoves, and often as fast as gas. They also use less energy than traditional electric stoves and offer digital control of the temperature, and they have no open flame. The absence of combustion in all-electric homes may result in greater occupant safety.

These homes will help community-owned SMUD meet its aggressive commitment to reach 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and surpass the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals of 80 percent by 2050.

These D.R. Horton homes are part of the SMUD Smart Home program, which offers incentives to builders and developers of up to $5,000 for new single-family homes, and up to $1,750 for new multifamily units, built to be all-electric. The homes must have all-electric appliances and mechanical systems—no gas line in the home, and no gas service at the property—in order to meet the minimum program participation requirements.

SMUD customers who own existing homes in the SMUD service territory can also qualify for up to $13,750 for existing homes that convert from gas to electricity. For example, owners of existing homes may receive up to a $4,500 incentive to replace an existing gas furnace by installing an electric heat pump space heater. A homeowner may receive up to a $3,000 rebate to switch out an existing gas water heater for an electric heat pump water heater.

There are also rebates available from SMUD for traditional efficiency measures such as duct sealing, insulation, and windows.

More information about SMUD’s all-electric conversion incentives and other energy-saving information is available at SMUD.org.

Source: SMUD Media

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“Teacher Night” a First at Aerospace Museum

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-10-05

From preschool to high school, teachers inside and outside of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields came together to learn what the museum has to offer their students and discover new ways to integrate STEM learning in the classroom.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - After a full day of teaching school, instructors came from as far away as El Dorado Hills to attend the Aerospace Museum of California’s first Teacher Night on September 27. From preschool to high school, teachers inside and outside of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields came together to learn what the museum has to offer their students and discover new ways to integrate STEM learning in the classroom. Refreshments and a sneak peek at the museum’s new exhibit, “Our Solar System: an interactive journey,” including a teacher’s exhibit guide, were part of the evening’s curriculum.

The museum is located on McClellan Air Force base where it began in 1986 as McClellan Aviation Museum. Director Tom Jones, who has held the position since March, says that the museum is committed to STEM education for students of all ages and to becoming the best on the West Coast. As a Smithsonian Air and Space Museum affiliate, exhibits like the 2018 “Art of the Airport Tower” and 2017 “DaVinci Inventions” can be brought to Sacramento.

On the main floor, nestled between airplanes, an SR71 jet propulsion engine, and a history of space exploration, were activities for children of all ages, and the teachers took full advantage by seeing how parachutes function or engineering with marbles. Others learned why the moon turns blue and viewed photos of nebulae on one of the many monitors that will accompany the exhibit. Each visitor was treated to a docent led tour of the museum and its grounds.

Upstairs, at the far end, tucked in a hallway, teachers made their way to the Flyers Flight Zone to experience simulated flying on one of the six high-end gaming machines. Museum volunteers, led by Flyers Flight Zone Director Warren Searls, educated the educators and allowed each some hands-on flight time.

“There is a huge shortage of pilots worldwide,” Searls said, adding that the Flight Zone is a way to interest fifth through twelfth grade students in flight and perhaps becoming pilots. In 2017, 10,000 students visited the Flight Zone, and many from Title 1 schools received scholarships for the flight simulations. He wants teachers to encourage students to remain in school and consider taking those STEM classes.

Miss Naomi Endsley, from Orangevale’s Almondale Academy, was one of the first teachers to try the simulator.

“I didn’t crash,” she said, a sentiment echoed by other teachers who took turns at flying to New Zealand, Switzerland, and San Francisco.

Endlsey teaches second and third grades and said that she definitely picked up new ideas for her students. Like many others that evening, she had never been to the museum. She said that she’ll bring her students and let them have the chance to see a piece of history and what technology really is. She engaged in conversation with Karen Jones, the museum’s development director and Tom Jones, museum director, about what technology holds in store for the future.

Twin Rivers Unified School District teachers agreed that they would definitely bring their students, one of several school districts the museum currently facilitates STEM, history, and art learning opportunities with. San Juan Unified School District, UC Davis, Sacramento State University, American River College, University of the Pacific, and charter schools are others.

Director Jones said that the museum has a formal mentorship program with the UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  Sacramento State undergraduate history students are conducting research on the museum’s airplanes and will create videos that may be accessed with QR codes to enhance the static exhibits. At least one Sacramento State graduate student is working on his master’s thesis by building an upcoming exhibit about Bob Hoover who, among other things, was a revolutionary in aerobatic flying. Sacramento City College owns the Fed Ex jet parked in the outside exhibition area and uses it as its classroom.

Even the youngest students can benefit from STEM learning as Kimberly Dillon, preschool teacher at Discovery Learning Center in Fair Oaks, said. She has brought her students to the museum for several trips and said that they really enjoy climbing the planes. Her guest that evening was her son, Anthony.

“Very cool for kids,” was the phrase most often heard from teachers.

For additional information, visit www.aerospaceca.org. If you go: 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan, CA.

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Sacrificing the Parkway

SacCounty Release  |  2018-10-04

Since January 2018, Sacramento County rangers have issued 1,834 citations for unlawful camping under the County ordinance, and 224 citations for unlawful camping under the City of Sacramento ordinance. Photo courtesy SacCounty News

Appeals Case Impacts Illegal Camping Ordinance

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A federal court decision has ruled that illegal camping ordinances are unconstitutional and that local governments cannot cite or arrest anyone sleeping on public property.

On September 4, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case Robert Martin v. City of Boise, stating that enforcing anti-camping ordinances when adequate shelter beds are unavailable is unconstitutional.

Because of that ruling, the Sacramento County Department of Parks stopped enforcing the City of Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance and the County ordinance prohibiting camping without a permit.

Since January 2018, Sacramento County rangers have issued 1,834 citations for unlawful camping under the County ordinance, and 224 citations for unlawful camping under the City of Sacramento ordinance.

The County is currently evaluating enforcement options under existing laws and regulations and will provide information to the Board on next steps. 

Sacramento County Rangers will continue to enforce ordinances including but not limited to campfires, littering, dogs off leash, possession of a shopping cart and environmental degradation. 

“As soon as I found out about the ruling, I suggested our board meet to discuss its implications, especially for my constituents who rightfully demand a clean and safe Parkway,” said First District Supervisor Phil Serna, who represents the lower reach of the American River Parkway. 

“I have many questions, including why County Counsel advised that park rangers not enforce the illegal camping ordinance without notifying or coordinating with board members,” he continued.

Source: SacCounty News

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Creativity Gone Wild

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-10-04

Local Nonprofits Help Young Authors’ Dreams Come True

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - How many children do you know who have written illustrated, and published their own book?  In Citrus Heights, 125 students, 1st through 5th grade, at the Mariposa Avenue Elementary School have added “author” to their resume, which will follow them through high school and beyond.

This unique program called “Creativity Gone Wild” is taught by members of the Mariposa Literary Academy in Citrus Heights and is designed to inspire students to stretch their minds and use their imaginations in new ways.
               
The program was the brainchild of Karen Szakacs, a kindergarten teacher at Mariposa in 2014, and Marsha Robinson, a local author of children’s books.  Together with Cherelyn Martello, the three women launched the first academy in 2014.
               
The spark that ignited the idea for the student authored books came when a kindergarten boy at Mariposa heard Robinson read her book “Rescuing Humphrey” to the class and afterwards raised his hand. He asked her to write another book about Humphrey. She answered by suggesting he write it. He replied, “I don’t know how,” and the Mariposa Literary Academy was born.
              
Since January, 2014 the Academy has taught 11 after-school academies (two per year) with 125 young authors to-date proudly producing their own hard cover fiction books at the end of the 16-session academy.  A maximum of 12 students are chosen by their teacher to participate in each academy.
               
The entire book is the work of the student author. They come up with their own fictional story, with a beginning, middle and conclusion, along with illustrations. They begin with a normal life experience such as a camping trip in the woods with their family.  They are told to enhance it using their imagination, such as being transported to another planet by space aliens. The results have truly been mind-boggling.               
              
To help teach the authors how to illustrate their own books, Peter Blueberry, alias Lance Pyle - a children's book author and illustrator, volunteers his time explaining the art of illustration and helping students with their own work.
               
Shutterfly, an American internet-based publishing service, prints the books for about $15 each. Each student receives a hardcover book for themselves, a hardcover book to sign for the school library and the Academy receives a paper copy of each student’s book. They have become the most popular books checked out by students.
               
While instruction and the printed books are free to participants, actual cost per pupil averages $50. In addition to the cost of publishing, funds are used for items such as paper and art supplies, snacks, and photography.
              
Financially, the Literary Academy, Creativity Gone Wild, is managing to stay solvent with the help of two philanthropic organizations and other donations.

Through word of mouth the Rotary Club of Citrus Heights and Soroptimist International of Citrus Heights immediately stepped up and have continued to provide the largest portion of the over $6,000 needed to fund the program for the last five years. The Optimist Club of Citrus Heights and Mariposa Parent Faculty Organization have also provided funds. 
        
Robinson stated in an email, “I would like to show my thanks to the organizations that have supported this program, to the volunteers that help us run the program, and to the school itself for allowing us to use their campus.” 
               
She would also like to invite other schools to look at the “possibilities that an academy like this can provide students” in their schools. The Mariposa Literary Academy would love to share their experiences with local elementary school teachers.

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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Staffing Placer County’s polling sites each election takes more than 1,300 poll workers, and the county Elections Office is now accepting applications for all positions for the Nov. 6 general election. It’s a great chance to give back to the community and be a part of the excitement of our democratic process. This year’s volunteer stipend includes a pay increase of up to $40.

“Poll workers are essential to ensuring that elections are a success, while serving our community,” said Ryan Ronco, Placer County clerk-recorder-registrar of voters. “Poll workers get a unique front row seat to see our American electoral process in action.”

Poll workers must be at least 18 years old (unless participating in the student poll worker program), be registered to vote in California or a permanent legal resident of the United States, provide their own transportation and be able to work from 6 a.m. to around 9 p.m. on the day of the election.

Poll worker duties include opening and closing polling sites, verifying voter names on election rosters and issuing and collecting ballots. Pay ranges from $100 to $135. Volunteers earn an additional $25 for attending poll worker training, required for certain positions.

Volunteering can be a great fundraising opportunity for service clubs or community organizations. Staffing an entire precinct can earn a group up to $900.

For more information or to apply online, visit the Placer County elections website or call the Elections Office at 530-886-5650 or 1-800-824-8683.

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