In Harmony with Nature

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-03-07

Each year almost 3,000 students visit Soil Born Farms on field trips. Students tour the farm and explore the Youth Garden. Photo by Guy Galante, courtesy Soil Born Farms

Soil Born Farms Promotes Healthy Living

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG)  - Soil Born Farms started as a small one-acre urban farm in Sacramento in 2000. Almost 20 years later, the non-profit farm is producing local organic food along the American River Parkway on the historic 55-acre American River Ranch, located at 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. The mission of Soil Born Farms is to empower people to participate in the local food system while connecting to the environment and creating deeper roots in the community.

Terese Hollander Esperas, Soil Born Farms project manager, explained that the urban agriculture and education project strives to promote healthy living and engage the community to “get back to the roots” through a variety of programs, classes, workshops, and events.

Some of Soil Born Farms’ upcoming classes include Winter One-Pot Meals, The Wonders of Fungi and Mushrooms, Cooking with Citrus, Growing Medicinal and Culinary Herbs, Raising Backyard Chickens, and Intermediate Urban Backyard Beekeeping. They also offer Bird Walks and a Spring Gardening Clinic. You can even attend a free Composting Workshop and a free Make Your Own Solar Cooker class. (For the dates and prices of classes, visit www.SoilBorn.org.)

Starting last month, Pop-Up Farmstand events give visitors the opportunity to purchase produce while enjoying tastings, live music, kids’ activities, and beverages and baked goods available for purchase. The Farmstand also features Millie’s Mercantile & Greenhouse Garden Gift Shop. Upcoming Pop-Up Farmstands will be held on March 9 and March 23.

Starting on April 6, the farm will begin hosting Saturday at the Farm, a weekly event featuring the American River Ranch Farmstand, open Saturdays through December 14. Visitors can meet the farmers who grow the food and enjoy the beautiful rural setting of the American River Ranch while listening to live music and purchasing produce fresh from the field. Magpie Café offers fair-trade coffee and pastries, and other hand-crafted items are also available for purchase.

Soil Born Farms’ biggest event is the Day on the Farm, a festival held every May. More than a thousand people attend each year, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for local families to experience all the farm has to offer. “It’s a really fun day. Many community groups come to the farm and lots of organizations come together. It’s a really fun way to experience the farm,” said Hollander Esperas. The American River Ranch Farmstand is open during Day on the Farm, in addition to various vendors, booths, gardening classes, cooking demonstrations, workshops, tours, nature walks, and draft horse demonstrations. The festival also features live music, games, a raffle, an array of delicious foods, face painting, and lots of activities for the kids. Day on the Farm will be held on May 19 this year, and there is a $5 suggested donation for attendance.

“We utilize these events to promote our mission. And the farm is a wonderful oasis for people to learn and to experience nature,” said Hollander Esperas.

Members of the community can support the farm and enjoy the bountiful harvests through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSA members purchase farm shares twice a year to help cover the farm’s costs. In return, members get to pick up boxes of fresh produce each week during the growing season.

Hollander Esperas said that Wellness Wednesdays are a great way to experience the beauty of the farm at the American River Ranch. During March through September, visitors can start their Wednesday with a morning yoga class on the farm at 8:00 AM for a $10 suggested donation. Hollander Esperas said, “It’s a great way to be outside experiencing nature…It’s very peaceful.”

Soil Born Farms’ year-round garden team welcomes volunteers every Wednesday to assist farm staff. Volunteers get the opportunity to learn about medicinal herbs as well as native plants, flowers, and trees. Volunteers also help with the greenhouses, plant sales, caring for the orchard, and planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables. Hollander Esperas said it’s a wonderful opportunity to “get exercise, fresh air, and sunshine while talking to the farmers, getting knowledge, and building skills.”

There are many opportunities for kids to enjoy the farm. Each year almost 3,000 students visit Soil Born Farms on field trips. “There’s a bus at the farm almost every day,” said Hollander Esperas. Students get to take a tour of the farm and then participate in a variety of activities, such as working in the Youth Garden, playing an educational game, or creating a craft project inspired by nature. And no visit to the farm would be complete without tasting foods fresh from the gardens.

There is a lot for kids to explore at Soil Born Farms. And there are lots of animals to see, including cows, horses, chickens, and pigs. A play structure and a discovery area allow kids of all ages to learn and play. The farm also offers summer camps and afterschool programs.

Soil Born Farms is open to the public Monday through Saturday, and visitors can explore the rural setting through self-guided tours. Hollander Esperas said, “The farm is special because it’s a peaceful, serene place where people can come to get away from the busy, technologically driven world and reconnect with the land and get back to basics. It’s an environment that makes people feel connected and like a part of the community.”

Prominent life-long Sacramentan, Gregg Lukenbill, first managing partner of the Sacramento Kings, builder of two Arco Arena’s and the Hyatt Regency Hotel alarmed at “reckless” City Staff proposal, calls on community to speak out

 

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - On Tuesday, March 26, the Sacramento City Council is poised to approve an environmental plan concerning the Del Rio Trail which, if adopted as currently proposed, would cause irrevocable permanent destruction of the historic Sacramento Southern Railway, the original “Delta Farm-To Sacramento Fork” Sacramento Delta agriculture pipeline responsible for much of the capital city’s unique global identity and rich agricultural heritage. Gregg Lukenbill, prominent life-long Sacramentan and historian, is calling on all Sacramentans and railroad enthusiasts alike to persuade the City Council to save the Sacramento Southern Railroad and preserve our cultural history.

 “The Del Rio Trail bike and walking path can peacefully co-exist alongside the Sacramento Southern Railway without destroying the historical tracks, berms and other crossings,” says Lukenbill. “Any destruction of the rail crossings is unnecessary and would conflict with California State Parks long planned and previously approved cultural education train ride from Meadowview to the California Delta town of Hood. Sacramento is so much better than this—we can progress into the future and support alternative transportation systems while honoring and maintaining our historic and irreplaceable railroad infrastructure.  Let’s not make the same mistake we made with the Alhambra Theater,” an historic landmark that was destroyed in favor of a supermarket.

The Sacramento City Planning department is recommending the destruction of 8 intersection rail crossings, a significant grade change, and trestle bridge in the Final Environmental Impact Report to be considered by the City Council on Tuesday at 5 pm with no recognition or mitigation that the train exists. This section of track must be left intact to complete the 50+ year documented vision celebrating the City of Sacramento’s historic role in creating the Sacramento Delta National Heritage Area and today’s farm to fork movement.

Railroad enthusiasts have already painstakingly restored nearly 4 miles of track, the last 3,000 feet in 2017-2018 headed southbound from Old Sacramento, by volunteering tens of thousands of hours and personal contributions of tens of millions of dollars in cash and rail vehicles in this half century-plus effort.  The section of the Railroad corridor that the City proposes to unnecessarily damage been planned for three decades to periodically transit empty equipment from the California Parks Railroad Museum Maintenance Shops in Old Sacramento for federally required maintenance for the Delta/Farm to Fork historical education train to Meadowview Road. No passenger train is proposed through South Land Park.  If the City Council approves the staff recommendation on Tuesday, the maintenance yard in Old Sacramento will be severed from the rest of the historic rail line planned by State Parks since the 1960’s into the Delta, undermining decades of planning and tens of millions of dollars of State Parks investment. The federal government has already evaluated and declared the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the 24.5 Sacramento Southern Railroad Branch Line to Hood/Walnut Grove, and the adjoining town of Locke as national historic resources.

Lukenbill forever altered the course of Sacramento history when in 1985, against the wishes of the City Council, he relocated the Kansas City Kings to ARCO Arena in Sacramento County, then mostly just open farmland and fields. No one can deny that Sacramento was forever changed as a result, and the sleepy governmental hub finally found its home on the world’s stage with its professional basketball franchise.  But Lukenbill knows that Sacramento deserved its place in the limelight well before Arco Arena.  He truly believes Sacramento, as the City that won the West through the Gold Rush, Railroads, Folsom Power House and Delta agriculture, and similar forgotten Sacramento history, must be preserved and shared for future generations. 

“We really are at a pivotal moment with this proposal,” says Lukenbill. This is purely a Sacramento quality of life decision.  All we are asking to share a right of way that was acquired for this train that the City staff is hijacking for the sole benefit of one Council District.”

“Are we going to rob future generations the opportunity to learn about our delta heritage on the Sacramento Southern Railway for a few residents who bought their homes knowing the railroad was there? Or are we going to be truly “World-Class” and do what other world-class cities do—embrace and celebrate our legacy, preserving it for everyone to enjoy?”

Lukenbill hopes that people with similar quality of life concerns will attend the Sacramento City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 26th at 5 pm and speak in favor of preserving the historic Southern Sacramento Railroad as a functioning railway so that all those who have already donated their time, energy, and money to saving it didn’t do so in vain.  There is adequate room for both the bike and walking path and the railroad, and the path can easily be aligned to ensure safe crossings of tracks where they intersect streets.  Furthermore, contrary to assertions of some neighbors, no tourist trains are proposed to run through South Land Park, just occasional rolling stock and maintenance equipment.

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SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors approved a new bus network proposal, which comprehensively redesigns SacRT’s bus system. “We are excited to begin the process of rolling out our new bus network in a few months,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “To ensure the success of the new network, SacRT will conduct frequent monitoring of the new bus service to optimize and adjust service where it’s needed most.”

A draft plan was released for public review on December 10, 2018. Since then, major outreach efforts took place to let riders and stakeholders know about the proposed plan, called SacRT Forward.

Based on the comments received, and reviewing ridership and demographic data, staff spent the past two and half months making adjustments to the plan. A revised bus network proposal was released for public review on February 18, 2019, and approved by the SacRT Board of Directors on February 25, 2019. The new service is expected to start in summer 2019.

“We have been actively listening to our riders and the community for the past year and a half to make changes that will best fit their lifestyle and help improve mobility options for the Sacramento region,” said SacRT Board Chair and Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. “Travel patterns have changed, regional mobility options have been expanded and development has occurred on the periphery.”

The focus of the new network has been on building a solid network of core routes on major corridors that will lead to economic growth and reduce congestion. Adjustments have been made to almost every route, some minor and some much more substantial, which will provide improved schedules and better service reliability. The new network consists of: 27 regular routes; 14 peak hour only routes; All routes have 7-day service (with the exception of bus route 33); All routes have 45 minute or better service (with the exception of one rural route); Complements the new 15-minute weekend light rail service

In many areas that don’t have high demand for fixed-route bus service, or are not designed for large buses to navigate the neighborhood, SacRT will deploy SmaRT Ride microtransit service.

Annual bus ridership is forecasted to go up between 400,000 and 1,000,000 boardings a year with the new service improvements. For route by route details, visit sacrt.com/sacrtforward.

SacRT operates approximately 70 bus routes (fixed-route, dial-a-ride and microtransit) and 43 miles of light rail all within a 400-square mile service area throughout Sacramento County, which includes service in the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove. Sacramento buses and light rail trains operate 365 days a year. SacRT's entire bus and light rail system is accessible to the disabled community. ADA services are provided under contract with Paratransit, Inc.

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Sacramento County Employees Show They Care

By Andrea Hansen, Sacramento County  |  2019-03-07

Troy Givans, left, and Supervisor Patrick Kennedy present the ceremonial 2018 Employee Giving Campaign check on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.  Photo courtesy Sacramento County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Every year, Sacramento County employees participate in an employee-organized fundraising campaign to support local and global nonprofit organizations. To report on the success of the 2018 Employee Giving Campaign, the Campaign’s Chair and Director for the Office of Economic Development, Troy Givans, presented the results on Jan. 29 to the Board of Supervisors.

The theme of this year’s campaign, “Sacramento County Cares,” highlights the generosity and concerns that employees show when they support the causes that improve the quality of life in their local communities and the world around them.

This year’s campaign included a new online donation system, Giving Matters 365, which expanded the County’s paperless initiative and streamlined donations through only payroll deductions, and credit/debit card contributions. 

Giving campaign events included the annual 5K race/walk held at Discovery Park and a successful golf tournament held at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course.

Donations were provided to six federations of charitable organizations, as well as 17 non-profit Sacramento County programs that serve our communities. 

The grand total of the 2018 donations came to $273,024.

2018 Chair, Co-Chairs and Loaned Executives:

Chair, Troy Givans, Office of Economic Development

  • Loaned Executive: Kim Lettini

Co-Chair, Chief Lee Seale, Sacramento Probation

  • Loaned Executive: Peggy Hower, Monika Lopez and Cindy Coy

Co-Chair, Doug Sloane, Waste Management

  • Loaned Executives: Eric Vanderbilt and Melissa Schultz

Sacramento County Departments with the highest donations:

  • 1-99 Employees – County Counsel; County Clerk/Recorder
  • 100-299 Employees – Public Defender; Assessor 
  • 300+ Employees – Sheriff; Human Assistance 

Source: Sacramento County Media

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SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton Named Businessman of the Year

By Carole Ferguson  |  2019-03-07

SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton the 2019 Businessman of the Year.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce has named SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton the 2019 Businessman of the Year.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award,” Dave Roughton said. “I love the Sacramento area, and I am proud to be able to contribute to Sacramento’s regional success by helping our members and small businesses gain financial wellness through products and services that put their needs first. I also believe it’s vitally important for local companies like SAFE to actively support Sacramento’s regional growth and prosperity through economic development and non-profit engagement.” 

Dave was nominated by longtime Sacramento public relations and advertising executive Jane Einhorn. Her nomination reads in part: “Dave has led SAFE through tremendous growth, solidifying it as the second largest credit union in the Sacramento area. … Dave has been an active leader in the credit union industry for many years, having served on the California Credit Union League Board, Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy Committees, CO-OP Board of Directors, and as chair of the WesCorp Supervisory Committee. He’s also an engaged member of the Sacramento business community, serving on the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce board.

Within SAFE, Dave has set a course for his company that led to the credit union recently being named the No. 1 Best Place to Work by the Sacramento Business Journal. Dave’s business philosophy reflects the lessons he learned working with many great leaders throughout his career: to have happy and loyal members, you must first have happy and loyal employees; inspire employees to provide exceptional experiences; walk the talk on promoting work-life balance; and show you believe in your employees by providing career growth opportunities and celebrating their successes.”

Prior to joining SAFE in 1999, Dave worked for Arthur Andersen LLP for more than seven years in its Business Consulting and Audit practices. Dave is a CPA; he earned an MBA from the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management and a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, Whittemore School of Business & Economics. In addition, Dave serves as the 2nd Vice Chair and Board Director for the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, serves as the Treasurer and Board Director for Align Capital Region and is a Board Director and Past Chairman of the Board for The First Tee of Greater Sacramento.

 SAFE is federally insured by the NCUA. Find out more at www.safecu.org

 Source: Marketing Department, SAFE Credit Union

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Created & Designed by Sac State Students

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to announce an all-new exhibit titled “Farm-to-Fork: A Public History” which is the creation of graduate students of the Capital Campus Public History Program at California State University, Sacramento. The team of dedicated history students conducted the bulk of the research, image search, and approved the design concepts under the direction of California State Railroad Museum Director and Professor, Dr. Ty O. Smith, and Interpretation & Education Manager, Kimberly Whitfield. The curriculum put into action the philosophy that the Museum’s highest calling is to be a laboratory of learning.

The focus of the new exhibit is to relate the multi-faceted story about the critical role the railroad played in transporting the Central Valley’s agricultural bounty to the surrounding region, state and nation. In short, the railroad helped to create the very foundation for the global success known today as farm-to-fork. This new exhibit provides Railroad Museum visitors with the opportunity to gain a more complete understanding about the production and delivery of goods, appreciate the deep history of the people and lives behind the foods we purchase, and learn how railroads played an integral role in that history.

As background, not long after California’s Gold Rush in the 1850s and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, many early Californians turned to farming the fertile Delta. The bounty of high-quality fruit and produce grown locally was loaded into ice-cooled railroad cars. Locomotives then pulled the refrigerated freight cars through the Sierra to eager buyers farther east and beyond. This agricultural success was made possible by opportunity, new technology and hard-working people coming together at the right place at the right time in history.

Available now for public viewing, the “Farm-to Fork: A Public History” exhibit is located in the Museum’s Roundhouse inside and surrounding the popular “reefer” car (also known as the refrigerator car) and will remain on display permanently. Viewing the exhibit is included in Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about the exhibit or the California State Railroad Museum or Foundation, please call 916-323-9280 or visit https://www.californiarailroad.museum/.

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.

The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Legendary Rock Band Donates Worldwide Hit Song to Shriners Hospitals for Children

MPG Staff  |  2019-03-06

Foreigner band members Kelly Hansen (Foreigner lead singer, left) and Mick Jones (Founding band member and song writer, right) pose with Alec Cabacungan, Shriners Hospitals for Children Patient Ambassador. Photo courtesy Shriners Hospital.

FOREIGNER, the classic British-American rock band is donating its hit song I Want to Know What Love Is to Shriners Hospitals for Children. FOREIGNER recently recorded a special version of the song with Kelly Hansen as lead vocalist and created a new music video featuring Shriners Hospitals for Children patients.

The new release of I Want to Know What Love Is now is available for download on Google Play and iTunes.  FOREIGNER is donating all sales proceeds to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The Mick Jones composition I Want to Know What Love Is hit the top of the charts all over the world when it was released in 1984, and is FOREIGNER’s biggest hit to date. It remains one of the band's best-known songs and is listed as one of Rolling Stone Magazine's greatest songs of all time.

“There is a spiritual undertone to I Want to Know What Love Is, and when you apply the lyrics to a cause like Shriners Hospitals for Children, it brings a whole new meaning to the song,” said FOREIGNER lead guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones.

“It’s hard to put a dollar amount on the value of this gift, but this is truly a monumental donation in our mind,” said John McCabe, executive vice president of Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Participating in the music video will be an invaluable experience for our patients. The fact that sales proceeds from the download of this song will go to Shriners Hospitals for Children is a wonderful bonus.”

“FOREIGNER has been involved with Shriners Hospitals for 10 years, and we’ve been looking for a way to make a more meaningful impact,” said lead singer Kelly Hansen. “The lyrics of this song really speak to the qualities we’ve observed in the children here at Shriners Hospitals. The kids show this amazing resilience and happiness that really makes one think how powerful love is.”

You may donate or download FOREIGNER music online.

Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children has provided pediatric specialty care to children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals has treated more than 1.3 million children from more than 180 countries over the last 95 years.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, and is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. All care is provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

FOREIGNER is responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including Juke Box Hero, Cold as Ice, Hot Blooded, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Feels Like The First Time, Urgent, and the worldwide No. 1 hit, I Want to Know What Love Is. More than 40 years into the game, FOREIGNER continues to rock the charts with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. FOREIGNER also features strongly in every category in Billboard’s Greatest of All Time listing. The band is consistently in the Top 20 on classic rock radio. As a result of the depth of the catalogue, the band gets more airplay at the format than Eric Clapton, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, U2, Bad Company and many of their peers. 

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On Jan. 15, the Board of Supervisors approved a collaborative partnership between Sacramento County and UC Davis Health to deliver primary care, behavioral health, and some specialty services to 5,000 Medi-Cal enrollees at the County-run Federally Qualified Health Center at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard.

“Sacramento County is thrilled for this relationship with UC Davis Health,” said Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. “Together we are committed to ensuring greater access to high-quality health care in our region. UC Davis Health already provides health care services at the Sacramento County Health Center and the expansion will allow for more access to primary care and high-quality health care to Medi-Cal patients.”

Starting Feb. 1, the partnership will bring together a hospital system and Sacramento County health care providers to give coordinated, high-quality care to patients. The unique structure of the agreement is based on that of an Accountable Care Organization, where UC Davis Health provides all care for primary care and behavioral health services for enrollees at the Paul F. Hom Primary Care Facility in the Sacramento County Health Center as well as at UC Davis facilities.

“Patients will be phased in over a period of six months to the​ Paul F. Hom Primary Care Facility in the Sacramento County Health Center,” said Peter Beilenson, Director of the Department of Health Services. “These enrollees will be provided with comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services, but will also have opportunities to connect with on-site social service organizations that provide housing assistance, job placement, legal se​rvices, Medi-Cal system navigation and eligibility, and care coordination.”

This collaborative initiative has great potential for all involved:

  • For patients and community members - primary and preventive care to Medi-Cal recipients who currently have limited access to care in the County will be increased and more coordinated
  • For the Sacramento County Health Center and Sacramento County - the Health Center will be fully utilized and serve the ultimate vision of a person-centered medical and social service home for an underserved community with increased reimbursement for services provided. 

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Sacramento Life Center Baby Basket Drive Raises $10K To Help New Moms

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2019-03-06

Ana Alvarado receives a baby basket from Sacramento Life Center, thanks to the group’s Baby Basket Drive held each December. Photo courtesy Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Life Center’s fifth annual Baby Basket Drive for new moms raised more than $10,000 from the community in December, which will buy more than 200 baskets for Sacramento Life Center patients throughout 2019. The drive is held each December to kickstart the 500 baby baskets needed so that every Sacramento Life Center patient who gives birth in the coming year can receive a basket of needed items, including formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more.

Donations will be accepted throughout 2019 and can be made online at www.saclife.org by writing Baby Basket Drive in the message box on the donation page. Gifts can be made in any increment, but a donation of $50 buys one basket.

“One of the most overwhelming feelings is learning that you’re pregnant and fearing you won’t have the resources to care for your vulnerable baby,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “Sometimes something as simple as a gift of diapers and newborn clothes can give expecting mothers the confidence that they have a support system to help raise their child. These baskets give expecting mothers proof that they will always have a family here at the Sacramento Life Center and supporters out in the community rooting for their family.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women experiencing reproductive grief. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org

 

Source: Thébaud Communications

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Creating a City, Building Community

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-03-05

Curt Haven was one of the individuals who spearheaded the incorporation of Rancho Cordova, and as he prepared for retirement from the public sector he looked back on nearly 25 years of serving this community. Photo provided by the City of Rancho Cordova.

Reflecting on the Distinguished Career of Curt Haven

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - “How many times do you get to create a city in your life?” Curt Haven was one of the individuals who spearheaded the incorporation of Rancho Cordova, and as he prepared for retirement from the public sector he looked back on nearly 25 years of serving this community. “Rancho Cordova means a lot to me,” he said.

Haven was hired as the executive director of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and started working on the incorporation effort in 1997, assisting Bob McGarvey (current mayor of Rancho Cordova) on the incorporation committee. Haven chaired the incorporation campaign committee from 2001 – 2002. “We were a committee of citizens,” he said. “It was a very grassroots effort…The community really got behind it, and the majority voted for cityhood.”

After the vote for incorporation passed in November 2002, Haven said, “I thought I was done.” But the city’s first mayor, Dave Roberts, and the members of the first City Council—Linda Budge, Bob McGarvey, David Sander, and Ken Cooley (now an Assemblymember representing California’s 8th district)—asked him to stay. The newly elected Council wouldn’t have any real power until cityhood officially went into effect in July 2003, and Haven acted as chair of the Council until that time.

Haven spoke wistfully of the early days of cityhood. The City had a small office—“We were just a desk, basically”—tucked away in a corner of the office of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. He joked that his wife’s credit card financed the start of the city, as he charged the cost of paper and pens and other necessities to keep their small office operating.

The first Council meetings had a certain electric excitement, and Haven remembers many meetings that went from 5:30 PM until 1:00 AM, discussing options for land use and planning new communities such as Anatolia and Kavala Ranch: “I’ll never forget that. It was really exciting.”

They spent a lot of time interviewing City managers and attorneys, creating the team of people who would shape the City. Haven said, “We just grew the department, and grew the City from there…That was 16 years ago, and it’s been a fabulous ride since then.”

Haven was the first official employee hired by the City of Rancho Cordova. He took on a leadership role as the director of economic development—overseeing redevelopment, housing, and neighborhood services. Haven explained that because they were creating a brand new City government, they could be creative: “When you’re new, you can be different…Financially the City is so strong because we do it differently and more efficiently.” 

Haven is proud of the city’s strong economy: “Rancho Cordova is the second-largest job center in the region. We’ve been able to maintain and grow that. We’ve brought in hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs. We’re really known as an economic powerhouse in the region.”

By cleaning up blight, eliminating hundreds of substandard housing units, and removing corrupt landlords, Haven was able to improve the standard of living for many people. “We strengthened the existing community in many ways,” he said, and those efforts brought thousands of new families to the city.

Haven said he feels comfortable retiring from public service now “because I’ve accomplished what I set out to do…I stood in front of this community as a resident, as a citizen…and I said ‘Cityhood will improve Rancho Cordova. Local control is the answer.’ And because I pushed for it, I wanted to ensure that promise was kept…And we’ve done it. So I can go do something else now.”

For more than 40 years, Haven has lived in Rancho Cordova, building the community and raising his family. And quality time with his family is at the top of Haven’s to-do list after retirement. He wants to spend more time with his wife Marjorie and their three grown children and four grandchildren. He also wants to spend more time with his parents. “I want to be there for all of them. But we’ve always been active in the Rancho Cordova community, and we always will be. It’s our home.”

Haven views his retirement as “a new beginning.” He said, “I’d like to do some consulting and work with non-profits and government agencies that strengthen communities. I want to give to the community and give to the region. It’s a big world out there. There is lots to do.”

On January 22, Mayor McGarvey presented Haven with a proclamation honoring his loyalty and commitment to Rancho Cordova. It was a bittersweet goodbye, with many in attendance moved to tears—including Haven himself, who said, “This is where my heart is.”

Councilmember Linda Budge said, “None of us have adequate words…We wouldn’t be where we are without you.” Vice Mayor David Sander echoed that sentiment: “This City would not exist without Curt Haven …And the tens of thousands of people who live in this City and have a better quality of life because of it have you to thank.”

At the annual Business Outlook and Economic Forecast on January 31, the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce honored Haven for his dedicated service to the community. Haven officially retired on February 1, concluding a distinguished public service career and embarking on the next chapter of his life.

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