Trunk or Treating is One of Childhood’s Most Vivid Moments

By Patrick Larenas    |  2019-11-07

A Halo soldier, a Skeletor, a clown and a dancer provided Halloween at Hagan Community with lively characters to surprise and spook everyone. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Hosted by the Cordova Recreation and Park District, residents got to participate in the fun of children Trunk or Treating at Hagan Community Park this past October 26.

Trunk or Treating at Hagan was a great setting for the community to engage in Halloween Festivities in a controlled and safe environment. Adult participants made a special effort to provide haunting scenes to spook and surprise everyone with sighs and laughter.

Being the main yearly event when children get to dress up, Halloween once again provided a vivid and interesting occasion for kids to use their imagination. Kids got to ‘act out’ a wide assortment of clowns, skeletons, dancers and other lively characters that make these childhood events such a fun part of early life. The candy, of course, would not stop dispensing as children employed the trademark “Trick or Treat” tactic.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The gross value of all agricultural products in Sacramento has topped all previous records, Agriculture Commissioner Chris Flores told the county Board of Supervisors on Sep. 24. The value increased by $24 million in 2018, pushing the gross production number past the half-billion-dollar mark.

The gross value was $520,613, 000, which translates to “the greatest amount of agricultural production in our county, ever,” Flores said.  

Wine grapes continue to be the county’s leading commodity. More than 30 varietals of wine grapes are grown on more than 36,000 acres in Sacramento County. Harvested wine grapes are sold to home winemakers, small boutique wineries and large production wineries across California.

Every year, the value of specific commodities rises or falls based on weather, supply and demand, and market forces. In 2018, wheat, rice and almonds (among other crops) experienced slight increases. Poultry, pears and tomatoes (among others) experienced slight downturns.

Top 10 Commodities Produced in Sacramento County in 2018: (1) Wine Grapes, (2) Milk, (3) Poultry, (4) Pears, (5) Nursery stock (6) Aquaculture (fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants), (7) Hay (alfalfa), (8) Cattle & Calves (9) Rice, (10) Field Corn

County agriculture puts the “farm” in the farm-to-fork movement, with more than 500 farmers, growers and agricultural producers making their home in Sacramento County. Most farms and dairies are family-owned.

The 2018 Crop and Livestock report can be found in Sacramento County libraries and on the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s website.


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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - In California, there are more than 62,000 youth living in foster care and more than 34,000 waiting for a permanent family. In Sacramento County alone, there are 1,690 children and youth in out-of-home care with about 350 of them needing a loving and affirming forever family. 

Each November during National Adoption Month, Sacramento County wants to remind the community that you can make a difference in the life of a child by becoming a resource parent/family. These resource parents, once known as foster parents, provide love, parental care, guidance and stability to children until they can either return to their parents or provide a permanent home through adoption or legal guardianship.

Whether you are married or single, gay or straight, a homeowner or a renter, an aunt, teacher or simply a loving person that wants to positively impact the life of a child, Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services hopes you will consider fostering a child. 

We have a particular need for new resource families that can help us move children from a group home setting to a family-based setting. The more families who can open their doors to our children and youth, the better. We are looking for resource families who are able to foster all ages, but particularly, teenagers, LGBTQ youth, African-American children, children with medical needs, emergency/last-minute placements and homes for sibling sets. 

Sacramento County supports, trains and offers guidance, support and assistance to resource families to make sure the journey is a positive transition. While reuniting children with their biological families is the primary goal, staff can help resource parents adopt or take legal guardianship when reunification is not possible.  There is now only one approval process, which creates a continuous care experience for children, as they will not have to switch homes at the point of adoption. 

On November 6, we pause our busy lives long enough to speak the names of thousands of California children who are waiting in foster care for the love and support of a permanent family. Sacramento County and several adoption agencies are hosting the 31st Annual Calling Out of Names at the State Capitol in Room 112 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  During the vigil, adoptive parents, child advocates, community leaders and elected officials will take turns reading the names and ages of every single child in California that is waiting for a permanent family. Sadly, some names have been read year after year.

Another event to recognize National Adoption will be held later in the month, when Sacramento Superior Court judges and staff, Department of Child and Family Adult Services, Child Protective Services, Sheriff’s Department, Lilliput, Sierra Forever Families, Uplift, Koinonia, CASA and Soroptomist of Greater Sacramento come together to celebrate the adoptions of several children and their forever families. Along with the adoption proceedings, there will be refreshments and activities for children including hand painting, family photos, balloons and much more. 

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a resource family for local foster children or an adoptive parent, please attend the next Resource Family/Adoptive Parent Orientation or call (916) 875-5543 and visit the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services Resource Family web page.


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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) released the following statement after Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 113, a housing trailer bill into law. The newly-signed legislation addresses the state's plan to spend $331 million in national mortgage settlement funds. Senate Democrats passed SB 113 on a partisan vote.

The $331 million was created as part of the National Settlement Defense Fund in 2012 following the mortgage crisis. The funds were intended to help distressed homeowners who were victims of predatory lending. But Governor Jerry Brown used the funds to backfill the state budget. The National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) sued the state of California in 2012 for the return of the funds and was finally victorious in July 2019.

Both the previous and current Democratic governors, Brown and Newsom, appealed earlier court rulings against their actions until the California Supreme Court directed the state of California to assist homeowners as originally promised.

In September, Governor Newsom's administration testified that it plans to take a year or more to set up a nonprofit trust that would invest the funds in still-unknown ways, and that it would only spend investment profits, not the actual settlement funds. 

“Since 2015, Senate Republicans have been fighting to help struggling homeowners who suffered during the mortgage meltdown. Families should have had their victory at long last, but instead the Newsom administration has concocted a scheme to study the issue for another year and then channel the funds through a vague and possibly risky investment trust. 

“This decision will create a needless delay of potentially two more years before homeowners might see a dollar in assistance from unknown investment profits.  Also, if the investments lose money, there is no guarantee that the trust would have any profits to spend on homeowner assistance. 

“Families in California already face affordability issues in our state, and now this overdue assistance is delayed once again. This legislation should have simply directed the state to immediately spend the $331 million for its intended purpose of assisting homeowners, not create more delays and disappointments,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove represents California's 16th Senate District which encompasses large portions of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties and including the cities of Bakersfield, Barstow, California City, Exeter, Frazier Mountain, Joshua Tree, Mojave, Needles, Ridgecrest, Rosamond, Taft, Tehachapi, Twentynine Palms, Tulare, Visalia, Yucca Valley and portions of the Kern River Valley. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – More than 4 million mattresses have been recycled in California by the Bye Bye Mattress program since it began in 2016, according to the recently released 2018 Annual Report from the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC). “The continued growth of the Bye Bye Mattress program demonstrates California is still a global leader in waste reduction at a time when the recycling industry is facing significant challenges,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell.

Key to that success is MRC’s ongoing efforts to increase program accessibility for all Californians, no matter where they live in the state. In 2018 alone, MRC reported more than 1.4 million mattresses were recycled, an increase of 11 percent from the year before. In addition, more than 80 percent of mattresses discarded in California are now being diverted from landfills, where they would otherwise take up valuable and limited space.

“Easy access to the Bye Bye Mattress recycling network is vital to program participation,” said O’Donnell. “We accomplish this through innovative collaborations with mattress retailers, solid waste facilities and curbside collection programs. We also have non-profit partners, including the California Conservation Corps, Goodwill Industries and Habitat for Humanity.”

MRC increased the number of no-cost permanent collection sites from 163 to 190 across the state in 2018. Bulky item collection programs grew from nine to 40 and collection events increased from 74 to 97. Today, all of California’s 58 counties have access to mattress recycling services.

In addition, MRC’s digital mapping analysis shows that 93 percent of Californians live within 15 miles of the program’s collection network. Even in rural counties, access was measured at 79 percent. This accessibility is even greater when including mattress retailers that are required by law to offer to take back old mattresses during new product delivery.

“We are raising awareness among Californians that mattresses are recyclable and that no-cost recycling options exist throughout the state,” said O’Donnell. “Recycling mattresses keeps them out of landfills and off of our streets, alleys and other public spaces that are often targets of illegal dumping.”

MRC helps combat illegal dumping by participating in local and state task forces as well as through the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. This program collects data on illegally dumped mattresses and uses these statistics to target affected communities. Each year, $1 million is budgeted to fund clean-up activities.

“We are proud of the success of the California mattress recycling program,” continued O’Donnell. “Through MRC, the mattress industry has demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship, fostering sustainability and a greener future.”  

The Mattress Recycling Council was formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs (known as Bye Bye Mattress) in states which have enacted mattress recycling laws – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since its inception in 2016, the program has recycled more than 4 million mattresses in California through a network of partnerships with local governments, solid waste facilities, non-profit organizations and small and minority-owned businesses throughout the state. For more information, go to

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Study Identifies 5 Patterns Of Gun Ownership By Motivation, Practices, Other Features

By Carole Gan, UC Davis Health  |  2019-11-14

The categories consisted of two groups of single-firearm owners and three groups of multiple-firearm owners, including a small but unique group who own high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons and carry a loaded handgun for protection against people. MPG file photo

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - A study of 429 firearm owners who answered the 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey has identified five distinct types of firearm owners – early work that may help assess risk and tailor injury prevention strategies to owners’ preferences and practices.

The categories consisted of two groups of single-firearm owners and three groups of multiple-firearm owners, including a small but unique group who own high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons and carry a loaded handgun for protection against people. Limited prior research has linked these characteristics with higher risk of injury and crime.

The UC Davis study is the first to identify nuanced patterns of gun ownership.

“We found striking differences between the groups, which suggests one-size-fits-all approaches to preventing firearm injuries and death may be less effective than those that consider these differences,” said Julia Schleimer, VPRP researcher and study lead author. “By identifying different patterns of ownership, we hope to inform the development of public health and safety efforts that are relevant to firearm owners’ varying motivations, choices and risk.”

Schleimer believes more research on the link between these patterns of ownership and firearm violence is critical. The study did not aim to draw such conclusions about the five types, although several of the defining characteristics of these groups – storing a firearm unlocked and/or loaded, carrying a handgun and owning an assault weapon – have been the target of laws and public health campaigns to reduce firearm injury and death.

The five types of firearm owners 

The researchers distinguished the five groups by identifying common combinations of survey responses to questions about the number and types of firearms owned, primary reason for having firearms, storage practices, whether owners carried a loaded handgun and whether they owned high-capacity magazines.

Single-firearm owners differed from each other in the type of firearm owned, primary reason for ownership and how the firearm was stored:

First group (26% of owners): Members were likely to own one long gun for a reason other than protection against people, such as hunting or sport shooting;

Second group (21% of owners): Members commonly owned one handgun primarily for protection against people and stored it in a moderately secure manner. This group was most common among women.

The authors found substantial variability among those who owned more than one firearm. In fact, owning multiple firearms was the only characteristic that these three groups had in common:

Third group (31% of owners): Members commonly owned five or more firearms, owned both handguns and long guns (but not assault-type weapons), owned primarily for a reason other than protection against people and stored all firearms in the most secure manner (locked and unloaded);

Fourth group (14% of owners): Members were likely to own two to four firearms, including handguns and long guns, primarily for protection against people. They also stored at least one firearm unlocked and loaded;

Fifth group (9% of owners): Members were uniquely likely to own high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons and to carry a loaded handgun for protection against people. Members of this group also commonly owned five or more firearms (14 on average), owned for protection against people and stored a firearm in the least secure manner (loaded and unlocked).

Co-authors of the study “Firearm Ownership in California: A Latent Class Analysis” include Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Rocco Pallin, Amanda Charbonneau, Shani Buggs and Garen Wintemute, all of UC Davis Health. (Injury Prevention DOI:

This research was supported by the University of Calfornia Firearm Violence Research Center with funds from the state of California, the California Wellness foundation (2014-255), Heising-Simons Foundation (2017-0447), Langeloth Foundation (award no. 1824).

The UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) is a multi-disciplinary program of research and policy development focused on the causes, consequences and prevention of violence. Studies assess firearm violence and the connections between violence, substance abuse and mental illness. VPRP is home to the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, which launched in 2017 with a $5 million appropriation from the state of California to fund and conduct leading-edge research on firearm violence and its prevention.

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Get a Creative Jump on your Holiday Shopping!

By Diann H. Rogers, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce  |  2019-11-14

Borderlands Bakery Food Network Cookies are absolutely charming promotional gifts. Courtesy Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce

Rancho Cordova Chamber Presents the 5th Holiday Craft Faire with a Special Guest

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Join us for the fifth annual Holiday Craft Faire!

This year we are proud to welcome a very special guest - Lisa He of Borderlands Bakery here in Rancho Cordova.

The Holiday Craft Faire will showcase Lisa and share her special cookie decorating talent with our guests.

Lisa first started baking in college for stress relief. She practiced for years and was eventually featured on Netflix's Sugar Rush and won a Food Network competition. Fast forward to today, Lisa recently left her stable biotech career to put all her efforts into Borderlands Bakery, where she'll continue to make beautiful (and delicious) cookie art and teach it to those who want to learn.

Borderlands Bakery takes very limited custom dessert orders throughout the year and has pop up shops around the Sacramento area. Lisa teaches cookie decorating locally and will soon have online offerings. She also sells a variety of cookie decorating tools via her website,

Check out Rancho Cordova’s local crafters, artists, and direct sales vendors at the fifth annual Holiday Craft Faire! Find one of a kind gifts for everyone on your list.

Admission is FREE. For $5.00, receive a raffle ticket, a glass of wine, and a small plate of hors-d'oeuvres.



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Playmakers Hosts Youth Basketball Game

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-11-07

Playmakers founder Coach Greg Roeszler.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local non-profit The Playmakers Organization is hosting a basketball game for special needs and at-risk kids at Oak Hills Church (1100 Blue Ravine Rd. in Folsom). Playmakers is partnering with the Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and UCP of Sacramento and Northern California (which provides programs and services for people with developmental disabilities).

Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler explained that at-risk kids have a 40% chance of living in a single-parent home, and the risk is increased for special needs kids. Playmakers is working to provide support networks for these parents to help their children thrive. “We’re really pleased with how we’re beginning to work together with other agencies toward the same goal,” said Roeszler.

Roeszler said, “We’re converting Oaks Hills Church into the Golden1 Center with a DJ, music, and a great deal of fun. Our desire is that this is the first of ongoing Playmakers events partnering with these agencies to create more fun activities and resources for kids and their families.”

The game will be held on Saturday, November 16, and it will kick off at 9:00 AM with a breakfast catered by the Burgess Brothers BBQ & Burgers, who will be serving their special ChurWaffles.

The game is scheduled from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and the participating kids will be assisted by the Folsom High School freshman football team. “It’s a very inclusive event,” said Roeszler.

Roeszler spent years coaching football, so Playmakers events usually focus on his favorite sport. But Roeszler is excited to be expanding into basketball because it is not dependent on the weather and can be played indoors year-round — so they can offer more frequent events for the kids.

Roeszler said Playmakers is grateful to be working with a group of “wonderful Corporate partners” for the event: Mortgage Consultant Group, FitGuard, Asher College, Republic Services, Palm Tile, Go Forth Coaching, and Serenity Spa — which will be offering massages at the game.

The public is invited to attend the game and there is no cost to attend. Roeszler said, “We’re hoping for wonderful attendance. Come and cheer and have fun, eat waffles, and meet our partners.”

There is still space available for more game participants, and kids can be signed up at

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Love Packed in a Shoebox: Operation Christmas Child

By Mila Popov, Samaritan’s Purse International Relief  |  2019-11-07

Children around the world celebrate the holidays but many families live in bleak poverty. You can change that with Operation Christmas Child. Photo courtesy Operation Christmas Child

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s that time, when colorful leaves cover the ground, and the aroma of pumpkin pie and spices are everywhere. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are just around the corner. This is that joyful time of the year when we count our blessings around the Thanksgiving table, and enjoy the spirit of Christmas with family and friends as we unwrap beautiful carefully packed gifts.

Did you know that there are many children around the world, who have never received a gift in their life time? Did you know that there are children who are not able to go to school because they do not have their own pencil or notebook? Going to school means a lot more than getting an education. Often it means getting a meal at least once a day. The life of a child who had never experienced such blessings as having a new toy, their own drinking cup or even a toothbrush, is very difficult.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is one of many projects of the Samaritan’s Purse organization that delivers the Good News and Great Joy to children around the world. Simple shoebox gifts have life changing impact. Every child deserves to experience Christmas at least once in their lifetime.

In 2018 over 10.6 million shoeboxes were delivered to over 160 countries to the neediest children impacted by extreme poverty due to war, natural disasters and famine. These children live in homes with their family or in orphanages, from small villages to large cities.

By packing simple items such as toys, art and school supplies, and personal hygiene items, you can impact a child’s life and give hope to children in hopeless life conditions. Would you join us in packing one shoebox for a boy and/or one for a girl? 

Here is how you can pack a shoebox: (1) Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately. (2) Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, in the age category: 2–4 years, 5–9 years, or 10–14 years. (3) Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump, a doll or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and art and school supplies. Dollar stores, Walmart and Target have many inexpensive items.

If you wish, include a personal note with a family picture and words of encouragement. (4) Donate $9 online and receive a label to Follow Your Box and discover the country destination of your shoebox gift. (5) Take your shoebox gift(s) to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25, 2019. 

Drop off locations are: Fair Oaks Presbyterian; Bayside Life Rancho Cordova; Metro Calvary, Roseville; Bayside Church Folsom and Second Slavic Baptist, North Highlands.  For address and drop off times go to:  

For more information contact Mila 916-308-8360 or

Thank you for making a Big Impact on a child's life! Happy Holidays! 

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El Camino Center for The Arts Named Best In Real Estate 2019

San Juan Unified School District  |  2019-11-07

San Juan Unified Assistant Superintendent of Facilities, Maintenance & Transportation Frank Camarda speaks about the real estate value of the arts center. Courtesy SJUSD

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The El Camino Fundamental High School Center for the Arts was named by the Sacramento Business Journal as the top real estate development project (education category) in the Greater Sacramento region.

San Juan Unified was honored along with the project’s design-build contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and architect HGA Architects at an awards breakfast Sept. 20 at McClellan Conference Center.

The Center for the Arts – a 14,000-square-foot, 500-seat theater with a full stage, control center, lobby, and orchestra pit – stood out among other education projects in large part because it was the district’s first design-build project. With design-build, contractors, and architects bid for a construction project as an entity based on qualifications. The design-build method has not historically been utilized by K-12 school districts in California.

“San Juan Unified is a pioneer here, not only in Sacramento County but Northern California,” Frank Camarda, San Juan Unified Assistant Superintendent, told the Business-Journal. “Most other districts have not caught on.”
The design-build benefit for El Camino was that San Juan Unified was able to bring on a team of HGA and McCarthy, both of which have extensive experience designing performing arts spaces with a high emphasis on acoustics and lighting. 

“It had to have the highest acoustical sound rating you could get in a high school theater,” Camarda said.
Other real estate projects to be honored by the Sacramento Business Journal include The Bank restaurant (downtown Sacramento), Elk Grove Aquatics Center, Sutter Medical Foundation West Roseville Campus, The Hardin (downtown Sacramento), Bennett’s Kitchen-Bar Market and the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium restoration project among others. 
The Center of the Arts was funded by Measure N as El Camino’s high school signature project. Along with the Sacramento Business Journal award, it has also received an Honor Award from the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada and a Construction Management Association of America Design-Build Award.

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