DMV Reminds Motorists of Many New 2017 Laws

Source: Department of Motor Vehicles  |  2017-01-06
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Just one of the new 2017 DMV laws will be (SB 838, Vehicle Registration Fee): This law increases the vehicle registration fee on every vehicle or trailer coach from $43 to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.

With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2017. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws taking effect.

  • Use of Electronic Wireless Devices (AB 1785, Quirk):  Driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communications device will be prohibited, unless the device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield or is mounted/affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road. The driver’s hand may only be used to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, but not while holding it. The law does not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in a vehicle.
  • Child Safety Seats (AB 53, Garcia):  This law requires a parent, legal guardian, or the driver of a motor vehicle to properly secure a child who is younger than 2 years of age in an appropriate rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches in height (3 feet, 3 inches).
  • Motorcycle Lane Splitting (AB 51, Quirk):  This law defines “lane splitting” as driving a two-wheeled motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The law authorizes the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of motorcyclists, drivers, and passengers. In developing these guidelines, the law requires the CHP to consult with specified agencies and organizations that have an interest in road safety and motorcyclist behavior.
  • Vehicle Registration Fee (SB 838, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review):  This law increases the vehicle registration fee on every vehicle or trailer coach from $43 to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.
  • Environmental License Plate (SB 839, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review):  This law increases the fee for the issuance of Environmental License Plates from $43 to $53, starting July 1, 2017. This law also increases the fee for the renewal, retention, transfer, or duplication of Environmental License Plates (personalized) from $38 to $43, starting January 1, 2017.
  • Accident Reporting (SB 491, Committee on Transportation and Housing):  This law increases the minimum financial threshold for property damage that is required to be reported to the DMV from $750 to $1,000 when a driver is involved in a motor vehicle collision.
  • Vehicle Safety Recalls (AB 287, Gordon):  This law enacts the Consumer Automotive Recall Safety (CARS) Act, and requires the DMV to include a general advisory regarding vehicle recalls and needed repairs on each vehicle registration renewal notice. This law prohibits a dealer or a rental car company from renting or loaning a vehicle with a manufacturer’s recall no later than 48 hours after receiving the notice—until the vehicle has been repaired. This law gives a limited exception for a licensed dealer or a rental car company with a fleet of 34 or fewer loaner or rental vehicles. The law authorizes the DMV to suspend or revoke a vehicle dealer’s license if they violate the CARS Act.
  • Year of Manufacture License Plates (SB 1429, Nielsen):  This law expands the Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program to include vehicles and license plates manufactured through 1980. This law benefits owners of vintage motor vehicles who obtain license plates from the year corresponding to the vehicle’s model-year, and wish to use those vintage plates in lieu of regular license plates. Such plates are commonly found from different sources, including relatives, garage sales, estate sales, etc. The program will include the blue and yellow license plates issued for use on California motor vehicles from 1970 until 1980.
  • Background Checks of Drivers of Transportation Network Companies (AB 1289, Cooper): A transportation network company (TNC) will be required to perform a comprehensive background check of all their drivers. This law also specifies penalties for a TNC that violates or fails to comply with this requirement. A TNC will be prohibited from contracting with, employing, or retaining a driver if they are registered on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender public website, has been convicted of specified felonies, or within the previous seven years, has been convicted of a misdemeanor assault or battery, domestic violence, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any TNC in violation of the specified requirements is subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each offense.
  • Installing Counterfeit or Nonfunctional Air Bags (AB 2387, Mullin):  This law prohibits knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, importing, installing, reinstalling, distributing, or selling any device intended to replace an air bag system in any motor vehicle if the device is a counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag system, or does not meet federal safety requirements. The law also prohibits selling, installing, or reinstalling any device that would cause a vehicle’s diagnostic system to fail to warn when the vehicle is equipped with a counterfeit, nonfunctional, or a case in which no air bag was installed. This violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or up to a one year in county jail.

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River Cats Invite Fans to Nominate Military Family

Source: River Cats Media  |  2017-01-20

The Sacramento River Cats are asking fans to submit photos of loved ones who have or who are currently serving in the military to be featured on Salute to Armed Forces jersey.

Selected photos will be featured on the specialty jerseys worn by River Cats players and will be auctioned off during the game. The annual Salute to Armed Forces Night will take place on Saturday, May 6th when they take on the Reno Aces at Raley Field.

If you or a loved one has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, or know someone who is currently serving, please submit your photo to the "Salute to Armed Forces Jersey Submission" page at rivercats.com or by email to promotions@rivercats.com.

That night's game will be preceded by the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team game, which will conclude a day dedicated to commemorating those who serve our country.

Fans wishing to submit a photo of a service member must visit rivercats.com and then email promotions@rivercats.com with a high-resolution (300dpi) photo of the service member in uniform (must be a picture of just them) and a 2-3 sentence description of said person.

If your photo is selected, you will be contacted with information on how you can preorder the jersey. The Salute to Armed Forces specialty jersey is presented by USAA. Net proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit Blue Star Families, who proudly support military members and their families.


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Youth Rugby Tourney Coming to Town

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-20

The Sacramento Valley Rugby Association will host this weekend

This weekend marks the beginning of the 2017 rugby season, with Rancho Cordova again hosting the 33rd Annual Kick Off Tournament (KOT).  The Cordova High School fields will be filled with over 100 youth teams from California and beyond who will travel all the way to Rancho Cordova to participate in the two-day event.

“This is the largest youth rugby tournament in the northern hemisphere,” said Jerry Ahlin, of the Sacramento Valley Rugby Foundation (SVRF) and the KOT Director. In addition to multiple games, the KOT Vendor Village will have food vendors, and multiple booths selling souvenir clothing and equipment.

Boys and girls teams consist of youth and high school-age players from under 8 to 18, according to Nick Freitas, Sacramento Valley Regional Development Officer for Rugby NorCal. There are 100 teams, 60 referees and 1500 people daily, with games going from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Rugby is touted as a game suitable for all ages. Freitas explains, “I can go one and on about this one but I'll give the simple answer. Everyone gets to touch the ball during a game, multiple times. It also helps develop a well-rounded person or athlete. In rugby you can pass the ball, kick the ball or simply run [the ball]. It is also an amazing aerobic experience as the game never stops. You truly have to work as a team in rugby, the sport develops individual who can communicate and operate as a cohesive unit better than any other sport I've been a part of.”

With all the concern of late about injuries to student-athletes, especially the risk of concussion in contact sports, prospective players and families may think rugby would be too rough on the body. Freitas addressed the issue head on, “Rugby is a full contact sport; however, it has the lowest injury rate for full contact sports, by almost half. There are more major injuries in soccer and cross country than rugby. This would shock most people but it's the truth. We teach players how to fall or ‘be tackled,’ keeping the head completely out of the tackle process. Rugby can also be played as a flag or touch game.”

Freitas and Ahlin have a vision for the future of rugby and see Rancho Cordova at the heart of it all. Freitas said, “I've work in some of the roughest areas of LA bringing rugby to the community. In my experience, I've seen not only kids pick up the game but the entire community gets behind the sport. This is my vision for the future of rugby in the area. We hope to have it be a part of the local schools PE curriculum. We also want rugby to be a sense of community pride through the creation of youth leagues as well as community days where the whole family from grandma to the 7-year-old kid can come and play. Rugby is a fun, easy game that can help an entire community grow strong bonds while staying in shape. “

“Rugby at its core is much more than a game. I know lots of other sports also claim this but in my experience, it is the only sport that truly embraces this. One prime example is after every rugby match no matter the level; the two teams come together and have a meal. This instills a true sense of community as well as respect for your opponent. The KOT helps strengthen the bonds between teams competing as well as showing the community how core values can be demonstrated through the sport.

Ahlin is self-effacing and down to earth, and does much of his work behind the scenes. He is a key player in the effort to bring world class rugby to Rancho Cordova. SVRA is moving another step forward soon he said, “We have been told that we will have approval to start moving dirt for our phase one rugby fields in February. Eventually we will have 12 fields for rugby, soccer, football and Lacrosse.”

For questions or comments visit www.svrf.org


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FCCP Business Clothing Drive

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-20

The First Annual “Professional Clothing Drive” is being hosted by the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership (FCCP) in Rancho Cordova. According to FCCP Executive Director Robert Sanger, the organization maintains a professional clothing closet at their Job Center.

“The community can access to clothing closet for professional attire to dress for success at job interviews and to start a new job where professional attire is required,” said Sanger. “Many of our customers at the Job Center need clothing support to get that desired job and to get them through the first few weeks until them have their first pay check and add to their professional wardrobe.”

FCCP Resource Development Manager Christopher Clark commented, “The Folsom Cordova Community Partnership is looking for gently used professional wear for our participants in our Job Center to help them feel more confident when going to a job interview.”

Donations can be dropped off at the FCCP headquarters in Rancho Cordova at 10665 Coloma Road, or Silverado Cleaners at 318 E Bidwell Street in Folsom. The FCCP “will happily accept,” said Clark, all sizes of gently used, new or clean apparel. “The Folsom Cordova Community Partnership has successfully helped people in the community find jobs and has helped individuals get back to work. The job training center serves those in need of job training and provides assistance to those that are looking for work.”

“Our professional clothing closet is only available because of our generous community.  We operate it sorely on donations from residents,” said Sanger. The FCCP’s Clothing Closet is at their Job Center, located at 10826 Gadsten Way in Rancho Cordova. “It is a unique experience to see the confidence grow in someone when they slip that jacket on or have a dress that fits them.  They smile and feel like they are ready to walk into the interview room.”

List of Needed Items for both men and women:

  • Blouses
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Jackets
  • Suits
  • Dress shirts
  • Ties
  • Pants
  • Socks

For more information, contact the FCCP online at www.theFCCP.org or call 916 361 8684.


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An Eggstravaganza of Delicate Art

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-19

Sacramento’s 27th Annual Northern California Eggstravaganza is just around the corner. The yearly event features free admission in addition to shopping, a raffle and seminars taught by egg artists from around the globe. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Sacramento Shriners Hospital for Children.

“Egg artists from around the world will be teaching seminars, exhibiting and selling artwork created from real eggshells: ostrich, rhea, emu, goose – as small as finch eggs,” according to Show Director Diana Macias.

The seminars are February 23-26. Times and fees vary. Pre-registration is required. The exact schedule can be found online at the show website. The artists giving the seminars hail from the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

“Styles of artwork will include Fabergé, pysanka, etched, jeweled, beaded, painted, diorama, jewelry boxes and wearable art to name a few. Vendors will be selling supplies used to create artwork and miniatures,” said Macias.

Visit www.norcaleggart.com or email leggantdesigns@frontier.net for more information.

Photos courtesy of NorCal Egg Artists, artwork by Rosalie Juarez


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Unsung Heroines Soar in Uplifting ‘Hidden Figures’

By David Dickstein  |  2017-01-19

Set at NASA during America

The movie’s opening scene is a white cop harassing three black women on the side of a road with a broken-down car. Later, white colleagues of these ladies will refuse their using the same coffee pots, water fountains and toilets at work. Career advancement for these blacks and others working at NASA? Not with the policies set by their white superiors. The movie also throws in a couple of civil rights protests to stress the segregated and prejudiced South of the 1960s. And, yet, in the entire 2-hour-plus movie, not a single “N word” is heard or a drop of blood seen.

What is this, “Cool Runnings?”

While both movies address how unfairly and disgustingly bigotry oppresses black people’s dreams for greatness, a PG rating, mainstream marketing and sanitized storytelling do repress their potential to deliver indelible messages for civil rights, and in the case of “Hidden Figures,” equal rights as well. Picture “Schindler’s List” without Jews being killed or dialogue free of anti-Semitic slurs. But like the aforementioned 1993 comedy about the Jamaican bobsled team hoping to make the Olympics, “Hidden Figures” still inspires. Big time.

Set at NASA during America's space race with the Soviets, the Hollywoodized, yet effecting biopic follows three brilliant black female employees who, despite obstacles placed by mostly male and lily-white superiors at Langley Research Center, make significant contributions while shooting for the stars. Thanks to the movie and the book on which it’s based, by Margot Lee Shetterly, these amazing women are unsung heroines no more.

Each lady gets her day in the sun, but at center is NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson). Without her, John Glenn wouldn’t have been the first American in space, and man might not have landed on the moon as early as we did. Computer scientist Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) does the work of a supervisor at Langley, but the glass ceiling is lowered for blacks, especially those who are also women. Engineer hopeful Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) also is hampered by a system that will require miracles and, like NASA’s space program desperately trying to catch up with the Soviets, a series of firsts. The main actresses make the most of their roles, but only one, Henson, gets the stand-taking moment that both audiences and Oscar voters love.

The mostly white supporting cast includes Kevin Costner as a driven, compassionate NASA chief and Kirsten Dunst as Dorothy’s snippy quasi-racist boss. Both are fine, which can’t be said of a lackluster Jim Parsons as NASA’s chief engineer. Haven’t seen a key role performed so flatly since Wile E. Coyote got road-killed.

Flaws notwithstanding, and they really are just nits, “Hidden Figures” blends emotion, heart, drive and even humor to engaging effect. Its Disney-like approach, where hardly a discouraging word is heard or physical struggle shown, does allow for younger audiences. With STEM and equality so key to our country’s future, maybe a movie like this being PG isn’t so bad. 4 of 5 Stars


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Sacramento FBI Teen Academy Applications Available Online

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2017-01-19

Class Offers Information, Experiences, and More to High School Juniors

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento field office is accepting applications for the Spring 2017 FBI Teen Academy. This unique opportunity is open to all high school juniors attending any school—public, private, and home school—in the 34-counties the field office serves. The application package is available for download now.

Students selected to participate will spend an entire day at FBI Sacramento field office headquarters in Roseville on Friday, April 7, 2017. Applying and attending the FBI Teen Academy program is free; however, families are responsible for travel to and from the class.

The FBI Teen Academy is a unique opportunity for any student—regardless of career interest—who is curious about the FBI, what the FBI investigates, and how it serves the community. FBI Teen Academy participants engage in activities and discussions about what the FBI does and current topics relative to FBI investigations. Activities may include discussions about cyber safety, terrorism, active shooter situations, and color of law and civil rights investigations; participation in simulated evidence response team and bomb techs scenarios; and frank conversations about online communication and staying safe in an always-connected world.

After completing the class, participants better understand the FBI’s role in their communities, grasp the complexity of FBI investigations, can make lifestyle choices to be safer in their day-to-day lives, and what FBI career paths are available. FBI Teen Academy students often remain connected with the field office to facilitate presentations, mentorship, and more.

Each spring and fall, the FBI Sacramento field office hosts the FBI Teen Academy for 20-36 students who spend a day in FBI facilities to learn about the agency, what it investigates, how it serves its community, how students can make wise lifestyle choices to be safer in their day-to-day lives, and what FBI career paths are available. The opportunity is available to any high school junior in the region the field office serves and can create a lasting connection between the students and the FBI. More than 250 students have attended the FBI Teen Academy in Sacramento to date.

To find the application see www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/sacramento/community-outreach-1


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Celebrate the New Year with Free Flowering Trees

Source: Arbor Day Foundation  |  2017-01-19

Residents in your state can ring in the New Year with 10 free flowering trees by joining the Arbor Day Foundation any time during January 2017.

By becoming a part of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation, new members will receive two Sargent crabapples, three American redbuds, two Washington hawthorns, and three white flowering dogwoods.

“These beautiful trees will beautify your home with lovely flowers of pink, yellow and white colors,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “These trees are perfect for large and small spaces, and they will provide food and habitat for songbirds.”

The free trees are part of the Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between February 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch tall trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

Members will also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care.

To become a member of the Foundation and to receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE FLOWERING TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by January 31, 2017.

Residents can also join online at www.arborday.org/january.


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Best of Fair Oaks Event to Announce Winners

MPG Staff  |  2017-01-13

The Best of Fair Oaks event will announce the local winners in many business categories chosen by the voting by Fair Oaks residents.

To be eligible to win a category for the Best of Fair Oaks businesses must be located in Fair Oaks. All votes were cast through the web site at www.BestofFairOaks.com.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, January 19th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at North Ridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks. To purchase tickets to the event, contact the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce at 916-967-2903.

The event is open to the public provided a ticket is purchased. You do not need to be a Chamber member to attend. If you are a local business owner and want to see how much fun the chamber events are before you join, plan to attend this event! The Best of Fair Oaks is an annual fundraising event sponsored by the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.

Voting was completed on December 31st and tabulated by MPG staff.


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City Open for Comprehensive Transit Plan Bids

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-13

Citrus Heights is ready to revisit its Comprehensive Transit Plan and will now be taking bids from interested companies. According to the city’s Transit Plan, qualified firms can register with the city online or through the General Services Department.

Per the city of Citrus Heights, “This project is federally funded and is subject to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy.” At this juncture, the city is searching for professional consulting services to “develop a Comprehensive Transit Plan and recommendations for the City.”

The General Services Department selection process begins with Requests for Proposals (RFP) and then evaluates the proposals and creates consultant teams to determine which companies to interview.

Part of the city’s requirements is ongoing collaboration with city staff and “significant outreach with Citrus Heights residents and community stakeholders” via surveys, open houses, focus groups and personal as well as group interviews.

According to the city, “Engagement shall be designed to obtain feedback on current services, and assess demand, preferences and community priorities for public transportations services.” The chosen consultant must, according to Citrus Heights, “ensure all public outreach events are publicly noticed to promote maximum attendance.” This will include website, media releases, public notices and surveys and more. Media and translation for Spanish-speaking residents is also required.

The ability work well with other local transit entities is also a stated necessity. According to the City’s current documentation, “The Project includes ongoing and regular coordination with RT (Regional Transit) as one of the Project partners. In addition, the Consultant shall coordinate as appropriate with other local agencies… potentially impacting Citrus Heights transit users, including Roseville Transit, Placer County Transit Authority, Folsom Transit services and the City of Rancho Cordova’s Transit Division.”

The selected consulting firm must show Scope of Work, Project Management, Personnel and Staffing, Qualifications, Experience and References, Federal/State Funded Project Experience and Quality and Responsiveness of the Proposal. Interested parties can contact the city at GSD-Mailbox@citrusheights.net or 916 727 4770. Proposals are due by 2 pm January 20, 2017.


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