ROSEVILLE, CA (MPG) - Over 400 acres of wildlife habitat and fertile rice land in Lincoln are set to be conserved in perpetuity with the Placer County Board of Supervisors today approving $1,380,500 in Placer Legacy open space funds to buy an agricultural conservation easement on the land. 

The Lincoln property, owned by Kirk and Michelle Scilacci, represents a unique opportunity to preserve a piece of land that has multiple benefits for agricultural preservation, floodwater retention and habitat conservation. The property holds 350 acres of rice production and approximately 50 acres is used for dryland farming. While the land will remain in private ownership, Placer County would retain the rights through the easement to use the rice fields as floodwater storage from Nov. 15 to March 31 of each year. Storing floodwater on the property also provides migratory bird and salmon habitat. 

“Projects such as this are a perfect example of the benefits of private-public partnerships in land conservation,” said District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “This land offers benefits to the community, to agriculture and to the surrounding ecosystem. In their decision to partner with the Placer Legacy Program, the Scilaccis are permanently protecting a wildlife habitat, conserving the many natural resource benefits and safeguarding beautiful open space here in Placer County for generations to come.”

The board’s decision is contingent upon the receipt of $990,000 from the state's Department of Conservation Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program.

Contributing to the placement of an agricultural conservation easement over the property helps accomplish the Placer Legacy Program’s open space conservation goals and complements the Placer County Conservation Program.

The PCCP is a progressive and proactive strategy for identifying where development should occur in western Placer County while preserving important natural and agricultural resources. If approved, it would streamline the federal, state and local permitting process. The PCCP would also ensure up to 47,000 acres of permanent land conservation in Placer County, required as mitigation for that development.

More information about Placer Legacy is available by calling the Planning Services Division at 530-745-3000 or visiting the Placer Legacy website, here.

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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Members of the community are invited to give feedback on draft environmental impact report for the proposed Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan through Feb. 22, 2019, as Placer County moves forward with its vision for south Placer to create a vibrant new community and promote economic development and job growth in the region.

The Sunset Area is an 8,497-acre area in unincorporated Placer County between the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln. Placer Ranch is 2,213 acres of land, located entirely within the Sunset Area Plan.

The goal of the Sunset Area Plan is to re-envision and re-brand the Sunset Area to create a unique employment, entertainment and education center that would provide regional benefit and create high-wage jobs for residents of nearby cities and unincorporated areas.

Placer County’s role is to create a zoning ordinance for the Sunset Area Plan, which includes new use allowances and flexible development standards.

The proposed plan includes 300 acres of land to be dedicated to California State University, Sacramento for a possible satellite campus. At build-out, the school may support as many as 25,000 Sac State students. Sierra College plans to locate a transfer center on the site to serve an additional 5,000 students. Ultimately, it’s envisioned that students will be able to begin their studies at Sierra College and complete four-year degrees at the same Placer campus.

The Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan are intended to create a major job center, catalyzed by proximity to the university campus.

“This area of south Placer County has the potential to serve as a beacon of economic prosperity and higher education for the entire region,” said District 1 Supervisor Jack Duran.

The Sunset Area Plan is a county regulatory document that establishes new land use designations and zoning districts that provide a framework for future land development. It includes land use and zoning changes that would allow land use types including innovation center, general commercial, entertainment mixed-use, business park, eco-industrial and light industrial. Land use and zoning changes proposed in the Sunset Area Plan would also allow for workforce housing aimed at supporting the employment-generating uses.

The Placer Ranch Specific Plan is a development project that includes approximately 8.5 million square feet of commercial, employment and university-related, non-residential use; of which 4.5 million square feet would be located in a campus park district that would include office, research and development, light industrial and commercial uses.

It also proposes about 5,600 homes in a variety of density ranges; elementary and middle schools; approximately 330 acres of open space and parks; a town center with a vibrant, high-density residential and commercial, mixed-use area; and a bike and trail network that ties into existing trails and connects the university campus with the schools, parks and neighborhoods.

Draft environmental impact reports for the Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan will be available for review until Feb. 22. The draft environmental impact reports provide a program-level analysis of the Sunset Area Plan and a project-level analysis of the Placer Ranch Specific Plan.

The Placer County Planning Commission will conduct a public meeting on the draft EIR Feb. 14 at the Placer County Community Development Resources Agency, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, in Auburn. The planning commission agenda will be available online beginning Feb. 7 here.

The public meeting will include a presentation by county planning staff, who will provide the Planning Commission and community members with an overview of the plans and the draft EIR and an opportunity to offer input.

The draft EIR is available for public review during normal business hours at the Placer County Libraries in Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln; the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency offices at 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn; and at the Placer County Clerk’s Office at 2954 Richardson Drive, Auburn. It’s also available online at https://www.placer.ca.gov/departments/communitydevelopment/envcoordsvcs/eir/sunsetarea-placerranch

For comments and questions regarding the project, please contact principal planner Crystal Jacobsen at cjacobsen@placer.ca.gov or call 530-745-3000.

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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival on January 26, 2019 is a free community event bringing together storytellers from all over the state.  The all-day event is at General Gomez Art Center, 808 Lincoln Way, Auburn, California 95603.

children’s hour with stories and music for families starts off the day at 10:30 am. Ed Lewis and Joan McCammon keep the little ones entertained with songs, stories and maybe even a parade.

After a lunch break a free workshop titled “Story Play”  taught by Joan Stockbridge will share tips and techniques to improve or even just began your own storytelling journey.

Open Telling starts at 2:45. Anyone in the audience and tell a story. Rules are that the story must be no more than five minutes, must be family friendly, and told with no notes or props. Sign-up forms are available at the welcome desk.

Who is the biggest liar in the neighborhood? The Liar’s Contest starts at 4:30 pm and gives tall tale tellers a chance to lay it on thick. Again, rules are a five-minute limit, family friendly and told with no notes or props. Tellers are asked to sign-up earlier in the day.

At 6:30 pm six regional storytellers perform stories for a grown-up audience.  Here is where you will hear about the lovely heifer taken to be serviced by a big ugly Brahma bull, or the holiday pie lost off the top of Dad’s car, or flapjacks that saved a family’s fortune in gold dust or…what will this year’s stories be?

The entire day is FREE to the public made possible by sponsors that include the Auburn Arts Commission and the Arts Council of Placer County. This is the fourth Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival presented by the Foothill Storytelling Guild, an eclectic group of foothill people interested in keeping alive the art of telling stories aloud. AWSF is planned and executed by dozens of volunteers.

 For more information: www.auburnwinterstorytellingfestival.com or email info@auburnwinterstorytellingfestival.com

Check out several 2018 tellers at Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival You Tube

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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Placer Community Foundation invites local high school seniors and current college students to apply for scholarship awards for the 2019-2020 year. The Community Foundation is utilizing an online system, Smarter Select, for most of the applications. Eligibility criteria vary for each scholarship award and may include financial need, merit, geographic area or field of study. Students may read requirements and access application links here (http://placercf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2019-Master-Scholarship-Info.pdf). Deadlines are in March for all programs. Please note late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you are having trouble accessing the online application or you would like more information about the scholarships, please contact Eileen Speaker at program@placercf.org or 530.885.4920. There are seven opportunities this year:

Placer High School students only:

Ken and Janice Forbes Geil Scholarship

Larry D. Mitchell Memorial Scholarship

Al Saladana Scholarship

Carmen Wilson Scholarship

Placer High School, Del Oro High School, Foresthill High School and Colfax High School:

John G. & Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship

 

Lincoln High School students only:

Ben Parra Scholarship

Former Newcastle Elementary School students:

Richard and Doris Sayles Family Scholarship

 

About Placer Community Foundation

Placer Community Foundation (PCF) grows local giving to strengthen our community by connecting donors who care with causes that matter. Known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation continually monitors the region to better understand the nature of local needs, so that it can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, animals and the environment. To learn more about establishing charitable funds during your lifetime or through your estate plan, visit PLACERGIVES.ORG, contact Jessica Hubbard at jhubbard@placercf.org, or call (530) 885-4920.

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Sacramento Area Cadets Become CHP Officers

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-22

Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy CHP

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – When they woke on the morning of Friday, November 16, the 46 men and women who arrived for final inspection spent their last morning as California Highway Patrol cadets. The class of 43 men and 3 women received their stars in a ceremony filled with pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun.

Poor air quality had cancelled the cadets’ run to the state capitol earlier in the week, and the final inspection had to be moved from the quad into the dining hall, and the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) demonstration was also cancelled, but none of those things dampened the spirit and the joy shared by cadets and their family and friends upon finishing a grueling six months at the state’s only CHP Academy.

Among the graduates was Margarito Meza, the first graduate in the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program at Sacramento State which began in 2017 to prepare college students from all disciplines for careers as sworn law enforcement officers at the local and state level. Program director Shelby Moffatt and a large group of LECS students were on hand to support Meza. Four are currently in the CHP Academy and are expected to graduate in 2019.

Early arrivals toured the Academy’s museum and learned the history of the CHP and its role in popular culture. Timelines, motorcycles, including a rare 1941 model, and communications equipment spanning several decades are on display in the museum which is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and is free of charge.

Not free were the hours of intense physical and mental training that cadets endured during their six months away from family and friends. Cadets live on the West Sacramento campus for the duration of their training and education which includes a host of courses from basic Spanish to marksmanship to how to perform field sobriety tests. They must pass the EVOC driver training, attain certification in arrest techniques, and keep on top of their physical training. During the ceremony, a short film created by the graduating class provided family and friends a glimpse of life during the past six months at the Academy.

Prior to the ceremony in which cadets received their badges, they underwent their final inspection. Photos were snapped and hugs were given to cadets for a few minutes before the inspection began. Commissioner Warren Stanley, Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, Assistant Commissioners Amanda Ray and Nick Norton, and Captain James Mann greeted each cadet, moving through the ranks, shaking hands, and providing encouraging words to each.

In that group was Erik Rodriguez of West Sacramento whose family was joined by several of his military buddies who had flown in from Texas for his special day. The 34-year old veteran was honored with a plaque for being the class’s most inspirational cadet, and he was recognized for his work as one of the company commanders. He will report to the San Francisco Bay Area for his first assignment as an officer.

Graduates are required to report to their first assignments within ten days and are sent where the greatest need is so many were sent to the southern part of the state. Cadets select up to three possible choices and are never first stationed in Sacramento.

Perhaps the brightest smiles to be found were from Cortez Sanders of Sacramento, his parents, and his extended family. His proud father, Bennett, was also recognized during the ceremony as he is a CHP employee. Sanders’ mother, Adrienne, said that she is very proud of her son and all the work he put into becoming an officer. It was his father who held the honor of pinning the badge on his son, one of the traditions that did occur outside as is custom.

Cortez will report to Redwood City for his first assignment and will be joined there by fellow Sacramentan David Waggoner who was honored as outstanding athlete. Also headed to Redwood City are Trevor Gossett of Sacramento and David Tran of Elk Grove.

                For additional information, visit: https://www.chp.ca.gov/chp-careers/officer/life-in-the-academy. For additional information about the LECS program, visit: https://www.csus.edu/hhs/lecs/.

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Religious Freedom Conference

By Gary Zavoral  |  2018-12-22

From left, Associate Justice George Nicholson of the Third District Court of Appeals; Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker; Elder Paul Watkins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dr. John Jackson, president of William Jessup University in Rocklin.

Area Christians Counseled to Be Civil When Debating Religious Freedom

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - About 600 Christians who gathered Friday, Nov. 16, to learn how to help preserve religious freedom in America were told to boldly declare their beliefs, but to debate civilly.

“And why must we do it civilly? Because the alternative is civil war,” said Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker. “Not a shooting war, but a civil war of the soul, where we tear apart people … because we cannot compromise, because we cannot speak civilly, because we cannot just agree to disagree, but to boldly disagree.”

Reynolds, an expert on culture, society and philosophy, was the featured speaker in the first of three conferences bringing people of different faiths together to learn how to work side by side to preserve religious freedom. The series is presented by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Rocklin’s William Jessup University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This first conference was held at The Church of Jesus Christ’s Chapel on Temple Hill in Rancho Cordova.

To show how far the United States has come in its intolerance of religious views, Reynolds quoted former U.S. Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, who said at a national convention at the turn of the 20th century, “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.”

“Can you imagine what the Washington Post would do to the presidential candidate who would dare to say that today?” Reynolds asked.

Reynolds drew from history – especially the Bolshevik revolution in Russia – to show the result of what happens to a culture and even entire nations when a society blocks religious rights.

“A culture will die when religious freedom dies,” he said, “because religious freedom is the first freedom.”

He told about his great-great-grandfather leaving his family and farm to volunteer to fight for “Mr. Lincoln and liberty” in the Civil War.

“When I am told that religious people should be quiet about their religious beliefs, I point out that my great-great-grandfather did not leave to fight for a secular state. But instead he marched to a song that said, ‘In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His figure that transfigures you and me, as He died to make men holy, let us’ – in the version I was taught – ‘die to make men free,  His truth is marching on.’ … His motivation was purely religious.”

Asked how we can effectively engage in a discussion about religious freedom among our neighbors in California, where there are so many voices wanting to squelch these freedoms and often are uncivil in their tone, he told of the four-fold lesson he learned from his mother, who loved to debate:

  1. If you lose your temper, you lose. He said to follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, no matter how unpleasant others may be.
  2. Some people aren’t going to like you, even if you’re nice. “You can’t be so nice that you won’t have enemies.” After all, he said, “They killed Jesus, and you can’t get nicer than Jesus. I’m not trying to be flippant, but if you state your views clearly and you’re totally nice, there are still people who won’t like you.”
  3. Love your enemies. “Our Savior believed that you had to love your enemies, which means that Christians must be capable of making enemies. And some people are so nice that they’re incapable of making enemies. That’s not called being nice, that’s called being spineless.”
  4. Sometimes shut up. “When somebody is really suffering or hurting on an issue,” he said, “they come to you and say, for example, ‘Look, this sexual identity is central to my life and you disagree with me,’ just sit and listen. You’re probably not going to change anyone’s mind.” Reynolds said when he has had such disagreements, even with some in his own family, he tells them, “Here’s what I think, and I’ll tell you when I change my mind. … Because there’s more to life than this and we’ve clearly expressed our views, and we should just move on.” The relationship with family and friends is more important than the issue, he reminded the audience.

In closing, Reynolds told how Daniel of the Old Testament endured 70 years in Babylon, thanks in part to three or four miracles, but mostly because he was smart and cagey, having learned how to live among the Babylonians without having to compromise his core values and beliefs.

Emphasizing the need for civility in our conversations and debates, Reynolds said, “Some of us are so obnoxious that we need the miracle ratio to be daily, not one every 20 years. But if you’re getting yourself thrown into a lion’s den every day, you’re doomed.”

The next conference in this “Preserving Religious Freedom” series is planned for March 2019. For more on the series, including videos from local leaders on the importance of religious freedom, go to http://jessup.edu/religious-freedoms-with-a-civil-voice/.

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Sacramento Self-Help Housing Presents First-Ever Drive

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, December 15, 2018, Sacramento Self-Help Housing (SSHH) will host its first-ever “Housewarming for the Homeless” winter donation drive at the Cal Expo main gate loop from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To make it as easy as possible for the community to participate, SSHH staff and dedicated volunteers will be on-hand to collect linens (such as blankets, single and double bed sheets and towels), small appliances (such as microwaves, toasters and coffee makers) and kitchenware to be distributed to hundreds of recently homeless individuals in Sacramento County.

Sacramento Self-Help Housing is a non-profit 501(c)3 agency dedicated to assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to find and retain stable and affordable housing. With significant support provided by Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, SSHH successfully opened 30+ transitional and permanent supportive houses for the most vulnerable in our community in 2018. Looking forward to 2019, SSHH expects to do the same. In response to this rapid growth and as a result of the ever-increasing number of homeless men, women and families in Sacramento County, SSHH is garnering donations to assist with the transition of their clients from the street and onto a path of sustainable independent permanent housing.

The “Housewarming for the Homeless” needs list includes the following: Linens: bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, single and twin bed sheets, blankets, bed pillows, dish towels; Appliances: microwaves, toasters, coffee pots; Kitchenware: dishes, pots, pans, silverware

Each donation, big or small, will go directly to furnishing a home for a recently homeless individual or family in our community. For more information about Sacramento Self-Help Housing, please call 916-341-0593 or visit www.sacselfhelp.org

Sacramento Self-Help Housing assists local homeless individuals and families worried about losing their housing to find and retain stable and affordable housing. The not-for-profit organization provides resources such as an updated housing database on the website along with shared housing options for those without sufficient income to rent a unit by themselves. In addition, Sacramento Self-Help Housing reaches out to local homeless men and women living in camps in local communities to assess their needs and, whenever possible, refer them to available mental health services, medical care, financial aid, and shelter and housing options. For more, visit www.sacselfhelp.org or call 916-341-0593.

Source: T-Rock Communications

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