Local residents ages 50 and up are needed by September to help kids read, as part of United Way California Capital Region’s partnership with AARP Foundation’s Experience Corps. Volunteers will be placed in Sacramento-area schools and will partner with small groups of students in kindergarten through third grade to help them improve their reading. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/experience-corps-literacy-program to sign up for an upcoming information session.
“We know that improving children’s early literacy has a direct impact on their success in higher education, and we know that higher education is the equalizer that breaks the cycle of poverty,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “As adults, we can give back by helping many more children grow up prepared for success.”
The program will take place in Center Joint Unified, Elk Grove Unified, Robla and Washington Unified school districts. Volunteers will spend two to three hours a day in the classroom two days a week helping students read at grade level and beyond, and providing consistent support to the same teacher and students over the course of the school year. Volunteers receive 25 hours of training in literacy and classroom management.
United Way California Capital Region is leading the program in the Sacramento region through a four-year grant from AARP Foundation, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). In August 2015, AARP Foundation received $3 million from SIF, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. The SIF fosters public and private collaborations to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions that work. In just five years, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than $876 million in compelling community solutions. As a result of $295 million in federal grants and more than $581 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has made grants to 39 institutions and 353 nonprofits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia. This subgrant award is the result of an open competition held by AARP Foundation to identify and select promising organizations in high need communities to implement and rigorously evaluate the Experience Corps model.
The local program is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way now believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college. To donate or volunteer, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.
The California Heritage Protection Act (AB 2249) was signed into law on September 21st by Governor Brown, Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has announced. AB 2249 ensures park concessionaires in California’s state parks cannot trademark historic place names simply due to their status as a concessionaire. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Cooley and Assemblymen Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) and Adam Gray (D-Merced) in response to the U.S. National Park Service’s controversial renaming of several landmarks at Yosemite National Park due to a dispute with their ex-concessionaire.
“This bill makes clear that trademarking of historic names in state parks by concessionaires without any independent basis for a claim is unacceptable and our state Department of Parks and Recreation cannot sign off on the type of trademarking conduct that produced the Yosemite dispute,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “With AB 2249’s signature, that kind of behavior will disqualify a concessionaire from receiving a concessions contract in California, which makes the bipartisan unanimity of the Legislature especially impressive.”
The Ahwahnee Hotel has been re-named the “Majestic Yosemite Hotel,” Curry Village is now “Half Dome Village,” the Wawona Hotel is “Big Trees Lodge” and Badger Pass Ski Area is now called “Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area.”
AB 2249 ensures nothing of the same kind occurs in a California state park. To keep concessionaires from co-opting state landmarks, this bill adds to state law a prohibition on concessionaires claiming ownership of a name associated with a California state park and disqualifies a bidder from future contracts if they attempt such trademark claims.
“Our state parks are not like football or baseball stadiums, trading sponsorship deals to the highest bidder,” said Assemblyman Gray. “The people of California protect and preserve these landmarks as a part of our history, and it is the people of California who own their storied names.”
“I have the privilege of representing Yosemite National Park and know first-hand how treasured these landmarks are by the people of our state,” said Assemblyman Bigelow. “I’m proud to co-author AB 2249 to protect historic sites up and down California.”
California’s Yosemite National Park is on the short list of America’s most magnificent parks and is filled with historic landmarks built decades ago—some date back to the 19th century. The Ahwahnee Hotel was built in the 1920s in a valley meadow with the sheer granite of Half Dome as its backdrop; its filing for the National Register of Historic Places explains its name comes from a local Native American word meaning “deep, grassy meadow.” Nearby Curry Village is named after the couple who established a summer camp there in 1899. The Wawona Hotel, in the southwest corner of Yosemite National Park, was originally constructed 140 years ago, in 1876. All three were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s.
Assembly Bill 2249 will take effect January 1, 2017.
On September 26, 2016, at 2:54 a.m., Brandon Ray Fernandez, a 28-year-old male from Orangevale, was driving a 2015 silver Hyundai Elantra, eastbound on Madison Ave east of Lincoln Oaks Drive going the wrong way in the westbound #1 lane at an unknown speed. Mr. Fernandez was driving under the influence of alcohol. An unknown male was driving a Yamaha motorcycle westbound on Madison Ave east of Lincoln Oaks Drive in the #1 lane, at an unknown speed, approaching Fernandez’s location. The motorcyclist was carrying an unknown female passenger. The driver and passenger of the Yamaha were wearing motorcycle helmets. Both vehicles struck head-on causing both the driver and the passenger of the Yamaha to be ejected from the motorcycle. Both the driver and passenger of the Yamaha died at the scene.
After the collision the CHP responded to the scene and conducted an investigation. During the course of the investigation it was determined that Fernandez had been drinking alcohol. After a brief DUI investigation Fernandez was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for 2 counts of felony DUI and 1 count of felony manslaughter. He was transported and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail where he also submitted to a chemical test.
With fire season upon us and winter months approaching, there is no better time to prepare for a disaster - events that often occur with little to no warning – by registering with the mass notification system at any one of the following three URL’s: Sacramento-Alert.org, Yolo-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org.
Register now before a disaster hits, so public safety officials can call, text or email you in the event of a disaster.
Consider the state’s historic drought causing elevated wildfire danger, or winter storms and the many levees surrounding our urban core. Both events can occur rapidly, sometimes forcing evacuations, shelter in place orders and road closures. The regional mass notification system is a critical link for you to immediately learn of required actions.
Sign up for alerts at either Sacramento-Alert.org, Yolo-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org - it’s easy and your information is protected. Officials will only text during an emergency or public safety event, or if public help is needed to find a missing child or adult.
The unique feature of the system is the ability to handle more than one contact method for residents including cell phones, alternate numbers, text, email and even landlines. You choose the best notification method or chose them all. You can also register multiple locations, such as your work address, your parent’s address or your children’s school, in order to get alerts about the places that mean the most to you.
Sacramento hosted the Navy for the third time in eight years when Navy Week kicked off on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Sacramento Veterans Auditorium with a concert celebration, and concludes with the Capitol Air Show featuring the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels.
“Sacramento Navy Week is an opportunity for people to see America’s Navy up close, and to make sure that happens, the Navy brings in as much as possible and approximately 60 events have been planned,” said Mr. Gary Ross, lead planner for Sacramento Navy Week with the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO).
Navy Week Flag Host Rear Adm. Douglas “Woody” Beal, deputy commander, Navy Recruiting Command, will have the honor to participate in various ceremonies and meet with local business, civic and educational leaders during the week.
“It’s an honor to be a part of Sacramento Navy Week and it is important for the Navy to come here to share our capabilities and to renew bonds between Sacramento and the Navy,” said Rear Adm. Beal.
Several outreach events have been coordinated with corporate, civic, government, education, media, veterans, community service and diversity organizations in the city. The Blue Angels, Navy Band Southwest, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, USS Constitution Sailors and equipment, and Navy recruiting assets will be participating in the Sacramento Navy Week.
Navy Band Southwest music group “Destroyers” will also perform at Sacramento’s “Block Party” at 6:00 pm. Sept. 30, and at the California Capital Airshow on both Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2 in Rancho Cordova.
“The Destroyers is more than your average rock band,” said Chief Musician Justin Belka, from NBSW. “Spanning charts through the decades, from the 70’s to today, this dynamic group of professional musicians is sure to please any crowd and appeal to people of all ages. The Destroyers utilize the latest sound reinforcement technology and performance techniques, allowing them to accurately reproduce any music style or genre, from Bruno Mars to Johnny Cash.”
Sailors from USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, and a ship that actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855, will come dressed in uniforms from the 1800s to provide educational interactions about the ship’s history and current activities.
“The best part of serving on the Constitution is the sense of pride, history and heritage,” said Seaman Casey Kaczmarek.
Constitution’s interpretive history presentations, which include hands-on artifacts, will be presented to numerous schools in the area.
The culmination of Sacramento Navy Week will be the California Capital Airshow featuring the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels, celebrating their 70th anniversary of flying excellence.
“The pilots want to be very approachable and connect with the American people by meeting, asking questions and seeing the pilot in action,” said Blue Angels Public Affairs Officer Lt. Joseph Hontz.
Sacramento’s warm welcome to the Navy promises for a week of events and activities that all should remember long after the Navy Week and the airshow have concluded.
Sacramento Navy Week is the 13th of 15 Navy Weeks in 2016 that focus a variety of assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America’s Navy closer to the people it protects.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit http://www.outreach.navy.mil.
$20 Million to be Paid in Largest Settlement of its Kind
As part of a settlement agreement, the State Water Resources Control Board has permanently banned 100 of Shell Oil Company’s underground storage tank (UST) claims, held by a subsidiary Equilon Enterprises LLC, from the UST Cleanup Fund for allegedly claiming reimbursement through false or misleading statements on claim forms.
Disqualifying these 100 claims could save the UST Cleanup Fund up to $150 million, significantly reducing Shell’s future reimbursements from the UST Cleanup Fund. In addition, the settlement agreement required Shell to pay $20 million to the parties to the settlement agreement. Specifically, Shell has paid the State Water Board more than $11 million to settle the State Water Board’s administrative claims and alleged False Claims Act violations.
Shell has paid an additional $8 million in settlement moneys to the state’s Office of the Attorney General and a whistleblower related to the alleged violations of the False Claims Act. The State Water Board’s portion of the settlement moneys will go to the UST Cleanup Fund and be used to reimburse other UST Cleanup Fund claims.
“The UST Cleanup Fund is a critical tool the State Water Board uses to protect public health and safety and the environment,” said Cris Carrigan, director of the State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement. “It is imperative that claimants not engage in bad faith or fraud when accessing these vitally important public-benefit funds by submitting false or misleading statements. If they do, the State Water Board has powerful administrative authority to disqualify and take deductions against claims.”
“The UST Cleanup Fund relies on accurate and truthful claimant self-reporting when issuing reimbursements,” said UST Cleanup Fund Manager Lisa Babcock. “We are pleased that Shell has now complied with the requirement and recognizes the critical need for full disclosure to the UST Cleanup Fund.”
State Water Board staff had challenged Shell’s UST Cleanup Fund claims since 2007, and developed an administrative case to disqualify certain claims from seeking reimbursement. The State Water Board and the Office of the Attorney General uncovered evidence that Shell failed to disclose reimbursements it received from insurance companies for the same sites where Shell was seeking UST Cleanup Fund reimbursement. Claimants are prohibited from receiving UST Cleanup Fund reimbursement for cleanup costs that have been, or will be, reimbursed from another source. Shell UST Cleanup Fund claims were placed on hold during the dispute between Shell and government agencies. As part of the settlement, the State Water Board will process reimbursement of up to $20 million in eligible claims subject to certain conditions set forth in the settlement.
Allegations and Settlement Agreement
On April 6, 2010, a whistleblower filed a complaint in Sacramento Superior Court against Shell alleging fraud under the California False Claims Act. The complaint alleged that when Shell submitted applications to the UST Cleanup Fund seeking reimbursement of costs at UST sites, it failed to disclose it previously had received reimbursement from a series of insurance claims, litigation, and settlements for the same sites on its Non-Recovery Certifications. This action resulted in a misrepresentation to the State Water Board as all types of monies received from other sources must be disclosed on its Non-Recovery Certifications. Double payments are not allowed under the UST Cleanup Fund.
The whistleblower complaint stated Shell’s failure to accurately report to the State Water Board the sources of other payments constituted a violation under the False Claims Act. The judicial action sought triple damages, penalties and attorney fees and costs against Shell. After the complaint was filed, the Office of the Attorney General coordinated its investigation with the State Water Board to determine how to best pursue and potentially resolve the claims asserted in the false claims lawsuit, as well as the State Water Board’s administrative claims.
Although the State Water Board was not a party to the False Claims Act litigation, it joined in the settlement negotiations arguing that it had independent administrative and litigation claims it could pursue. Shell cooperated with the State Water Board and the Office of the Attorney General in the investigation. The State Water Board’s resolution of the matter was contingent upon the settlement containing both a disqualification of certain claims and a reimbursement of funds previously paid to Shell from the UST Cleanup Fund. The disqualification of certain claims sends a strong message to all UST Cleanup Fund claimants of the importance of fully disclosing all monies that have been, or will be, reimbursed from another source.
Under the terms of the False Claims Act component of the settlement agreement, Shell will pay more than $11.3 million to the State Water Board and almost $5 million to the Office of the Attorney General in damages. In addition, Shell will pay more than $3.4 million to the whistleblower, in addition to reimbursing the third-party plaintiff for attorney fees and costs.
Under the terms of the Barry Keene Act component of the settlement agreement, 100 UST Cleanup Fund claims where Shell was previously qualified to receive reimbursements will now be permanently barred from the UST Cleanup Fund. These claims are no longer eligible to receive any reimbursement for cleanup costs. The UST Cleanup Fund’s average reimbursement is about $500,000 per eligible claim, but many claims use the entire $1.5 million allotment, so the savings for the UST Cleanup Fund is between $50 million and $150 million.
A copy of the settlement agreement approved by the Sacramento County Superior Court can be found at the State Water Board webpage.
Folsom Cordova’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Debbie Andrus of Cordova High School, was among 16 standout teachers honored by the Sacramento County Office of Education during its annual awards banquet on Sept. 16.
Andrus, a 10th-grade Honors English teacher, yearbook advisor and department chair, joined the Folsom Cordova family in 2003, serving in a variety of positions and becoming a Mills Middle School teacher in 2007. She chose to try a new challenge and transferred to Cordova High School in 2014.
She is described by her colleagues as enthusiastic, exuberant, a Google queen, technology trainer, organizer, mentor, division leader, and department chair. She is also known as “the person who gets things done.”
In an essay describing her teaching philosophy, Andrus wrote: “My philosophy of teaching is simple: do the work,” she wrote. “Teachers who do the work embrace technology, differentiate lessons, facilitate discussions, lead by example and are forever giving of their time. They understand that the reward is not in a hefty paycheck, but positive change in the lives of real kids.
“By doing the work consistently now for 10 years, I feel I have shaped and transformed my students into better citizens of Rancho Cordova.”
The county awards program will be rebroadcast by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium on Oct 4, 6 and 8.
More than 1,100 Intel volunteers spent 34,000 hours in 26 Folsom Cordova schools last year, earning the District more than $289,000 from the global company’s Matching Grant Program.
FCUSD schools were the single highest recipient of grant program funds and volunteers in the Sacramento region in 2015. Volunteer activities included: PC Pals - an e-mentoring program where students are paired and exchange e-mails twice a week with Intel employees to augment classroom learning; Team coaching; Cyber safety presentations; STEM events for girls; Tutoring; Galileo trainings; Science fair judging.
Schools have used matching grant funds for updated and new computers, new state-of-the-art technology for classrooms, including projectors and student devices, as well as increased robotics programs for the classroom and an enhanced engineering curriculum.
The company held a celebration on Sept. 7 to honor more than 3,000 volunteers and the schools and nonprofits they served.
The Intel Involved Matching Grant program aims to recognize and motivate Intel employees globally to engage in outreach and volunteerism. After Intel employees volunteer a minimum of 20 hours at a qualified school or nonprofit, the Intel Foundation matches $10/hour with a maximum of $15,000 per school on an annual basis.
Aerojet Rocketdyne hosted its largest group of college interns this summer with 79 students. In the past three years, Aerojet Rocketdyne has hired 196 interns from more than 50 different universities across the nation.
“Our internship and co-operative education programs are central to transferring knowledge within the company to the next-generation. We are also able to take advantage of their fresh perspective and incorporate new thoughts and ideas into the company,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.
Aerojet Rocketdyne offers internships to students pursuing many areas of study, including finance, economics and business; however, the majority of the opportunities are in the engineering field. The company matches its interns with a mentor who provides guidance and assigns them a project based on their abilities, college courses completed and area of study. Interns are also included in a program called “Launch” which was created to ease the transition of newly hired recent graduates from college to the work environment through mentoring, social networking and identifying potential leadership opportunities
“As an intern at Aerojet Rocketdyne I had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most experienced and talented engineers in the aerospace industry,” said Bryce Chanes about his experience this summer working as a Project Engineer Intern at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Los Angeles facility. “With their guidance and mentorship, I was able to hone my engineering skills and enhance my professional toolset in a way that no other experience can.”
Chanes worked on the important AR1 engine, which will end reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine, currently used to power the nation’s most reliable launch vehicle. AR1 is taking advantage of the latest manufacturing processes, materials and technology to be able to rapidly develop and certify an engine by 2019 that will be more capable than the RD-180.
“I am so impressed with our current class of Aerojet Rocketdyne summer interns and the exciting projects they were able to work on, like AR1. They are our future leaders in engineering, science and business,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “I cannot wait to see what they do next.”
“I believe every college student should have the opportunity to try out the career they think they want to pursue as early as possible to get a feeling about what it’s like to walk in those shoes. I am lucky in that I knew from an early age that this is what I wanted to do,” said Chanes about his experience.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s internship program currently has interns at eight of its 14 sites and plans to grow the internship program to meet the increased need for qualified employees with real world experience.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.
FLC head coach Matt Torrez won’t say so, but his inaugural-season women’s volleyball team is really pretty darned good. The Falcons won two Big 8 Conference matches last week, rolling Santa Rosa in straight sets on Wednesday night in Santa Rosa (25-20, 25-21, 25-16) and taking down Modesto at FLC on Friday, 3-1 (25-18, 25-16, 16-25, 25-18). Against Santa Rosa, the Falcons recorded 46 kills – 21 by Kylie Haverson – and 68 digs. Setter Samatha Hegseth added 36 assists in the win. In Friday’s victory over Modesto, the Falcons pounded 48 kills, with six players recording at least 5 each. Once again, it was Haverson leading the way with 16 kills and two service aces. Isabel Mason notched 46 assists from the setter position while libero Alexis Mauck had 33 digs. The victories improved the Falcons’ Big 8 record to 2-1 (good for 4th place currently) and 11-3 overall. This week they have a bye on Wednesday before taking on perennial contender Sierra on Friday in Rocklin.
In front of a packed Falcon Stadium on Friday night, FLC sophomore Karina Torres’ hat trick (3 goals) and a stifling team defense led the home team to 3-0 victory over cross-town rival American River. With fans of both teams filling the stadium, the atmosphere was electric as the two teams met for the first time ever. Torres’ first goal came 14 minutes in when she took a pass from freshman Keionna Claypoole and buried it in the net. In the 32nd minute, Torres sent a high shot over the Beavers’ keeper that struck the crossbar, then bounced off the keeper’s back into the net for a 2-0 lead. Meanwhile, Falcon defenders Mia Evans, Megan Trent, and Amber Hicks kept the Beavers away from their goal with tough defense. Torres’ third goal came at the 70-minute mark and effectively put the game away. Falcon goalkeeper Aubrey Hall earned the shutout as the Falcons outshot the Beavers, 25-9. With the win, the Falcons improved to 2-1-1 in Big 8 Conference play (tied for 2nd place with Modesto, just one point behind Diablo Valley) and 7-1-1 overall. The Falcons’ lone match this week will be on Wednesday when they host Delta College (7-1 overall, 2-1 Big 8) at 6:00 pm at Falcon Stadium.