August 21 event will cause solar production to dip but with no SMUD grid impact

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The morning forecast for August 21 calls for darker skies in Northern California and across the country. That’s when a near-total solar eclipse will occur—from about 9 a.m.to about 11:30 a.m. for our region—during which time the sun will be obscured by up to 76 percent.

Given the growing penetration of solar energy in California, the electric utility industry and  other energy stakeholders have considered the potential impacts of  such a significant solar event.

SMUD has secured additional reserve power to ensure it’s able to meet the increased demand when the availability of solar reduces because of the eclipse. SMUD does not anticipate any problems meeting the Sacramento-area community’s demand for electricity.

SMUD, for its part, has almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power in its service territory. Approximately 140 MW is utility-connected solar generation and about 150 MW is “behind the meter”, customer-owned solar generation.

The timing of the eclipse is fortuitous for SMUD and for California in general as demand on the grid during those hours can be considerably lower than in the late afternoon hours.

Typically, solar production can be impacted by everyday weather events like cloud cover, which is why SMUD’s energy portfolio, including its renewable generation resources, is very diverse. By going the extra step and securing additional reserves, SMUD has the flexibility to manage the increased demand on the grid during the eclipse and the drop off in demand during the transition out of the eclipse.

For more information about SMUD and its award-winning renewable and energy efficiency programs, visit SMUD.org.

Source: SMUD Media

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Kavala Ranch Trail Project Recognized for Excellence

City of Rancho Cordova  |  2017-08-15

Residents using the Anatolia – Kavala Ranch Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova.

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - The American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Sacramento Chapter named the City of Rancho Cordova’s Anatolia – Kavala Ranch Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail a 2017 “Project of the Year.” The award was presented in the Parks & Trails category at the APWA 2017 Project of the Year Luncheon last Friday, August 4th in Sacramento.

“The Anatolia and Kavala Ranch Trail connects the two neighborhoods and provides a safe path to walk to school or enjoy the beautiful wetland preserve. The City is honored to receive a Project of the Year Award from the Sacramento Chapter of the American Public Works Association,” said Albert Stricker, Public Works Director for the City of Rancho Cordova.

The APWA recognized the City’s demonstration of excellent project management, design, sustainability, construction, and community relations, in addition to the strong alliance with the project consultant, engineer, and contractor who worked together to complete the project.

In September 2016, the City opened the half-mile trail to the community, which serves as a bike and walk route for families going to school or nearby parks, and for residents exploring the community or getting exercise. At the ribbon cutting for the project, many residents stated that they were able to meet neighbors on the other side of the preserve, now only a short distance away, for the first time.

The Anatolia and Kavala Ranch Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail emphasizes the beauty of the natural environment, encourages active modes of transportation, and will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come.

Source: City of Rancho Cordova

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One Family’s Journey Out of Homelessness

Sacramento County Media  |  2017-08-15

Jessica Hodges smiles in front of her place of employment. Photo courtesy Sacramento County Media

​​Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - The path to self-s​ufficiency was not an easy or quick road. B​​ut today, Jessica Hodges, her husband, and their three children (ages six, eight and 10) are living the life they dreamed of, thanks to the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, the Mustard Seed School and Mary House​.

Three years ago, their youngest child developed a cough that required two surgeries and resulted in scarred lungs.  Upon discovering that the cause was mold inside the walls, the family moved out of their apartment in a hurry.  This sudden move impacted their credit, which ultimately prevented them from finding permanent housing.  And, because the mold had contaminated all of their belongings—including clothes, photos and furniture—everything had to be abandoned.    

Around the same time, Jessica graduated from Kaplan College but was laid off from her job as a medical assistant for a local doctor.  

Jessica expressed her dismay at her living conditions and at the circular challenges—securing a job without a permanent address was an uphill battle, while finding a home without a job and with damaged credit was nearly impossible.

County Director of the Department of Human Assistance (DHA) Ann Edwards, confirmed the currently rental housing landscape is bleak for struggling families. Low vacancy rates and escalating rents - far above what many residents can afford, make finding housing difficult.

In November, County DHA Social Worker Samantha Sween partnered with Mustard Seed School Director Casey Knittel to stabilize the Hodges and to develop a plan. 

As the children attended the Mustard Seed School, County DHA staff and Mary House staff were assisting the family with services and supplies. 

The group effort paid off a few days before Christmas.  After three long years of sleeping on couches, in hotels and in their van, the Hodges—with only sleeping bags and pillows—finally moved into an apartment where they could start over. 

Much to their surprise, staff from the Mustard Seed School brought gifts for the children, ranging from clothes to iPads.  

“We didn’t have any furniture,” Jessica expressed with a smile, “But it was the most touching Christmas ever because I did not have anything to give them [until these gifts arrived]. They even brought a Christmas tree.” 

In March, bolstered by her degree, Jessica was hired by SMPP Rehab as a Medical Office Specialist. Her husband is attending school to develop new skills while caring for their children.  

Their three children miss their teachers and friends at Mustard Seed School, but are grateful they no longer need the assistance and for the first time in years, the family is doing great.​

Find out more about assistance programs available through the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance.

To apply for medical, food and cash assistance programs online please visit CalWIN.

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Student Exchange Seeks Host Families for School Year

By Sheryl Longsworth  |  2017-08-08

You can host an Exchange Student! Photo courtesy NorthWest Student Exchange

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Responsible parents looking for ways to supplement the educational and personal growth opportunities for their children should consider hosting a teenage exchange student for an academic semester or year.  Children and adults alike, by interacting on a daily basis with a new, international family member, broaden their perspective on the world and discover new facts and ideas.  

NorthWest Student Exchange places international high school students with families all over the country, including here in our community.  Exchange students add a dimension to the family dynamic that cannot be achieved in any other way.  The benefits to the exchange student are perhaps obvious:  honing their English language skills; learning about the educational system in this country; understanding U.S. social, political, and cultural values; establishing international friendships.  Benefits to the hosts are similar:  Not only can host families learn about another culture and its values; they can view the U.S. through another’s eyes, and thereby gain a broader understanding of our own country.

And families do not need to have children at home to host!  Many childless couples, empty nesters, and single-parent families have enjoyed exchange students. NWSE places students from dozens of countries who have varied interests. I will do my best to match a student to your family’s lifestyle and interests.

Those who cannot host can earn financial incentives for referring to us families who do host. While host families are not compensated for hosting, tax deductions may be available. Check with your tax preparer.

NWSE exchange students are closely screened for appropriate motivation, academic and language skills; our students have solid emotional and practical support from NWSE professional partners abroad, and from the students’ natural parents in their own countries.  Our students come with their own spending money and health and accident insurance.  NWSE local Academic Coordinators recruit, screen and orient local host families and provide close support throughout the program.

My family has personally hosted students from France and China and we keep in touch with every student even years later! While they stayed with us, they shared games they play with us and cooked their favorite meals for my family. We also have been invited to stay at their family’s homes when we go to their country. One of our French students even calls me his “American Mom.”

It’s easy to get more information about hosting. Potential hosts can call me, Sheryl Longsworth, Area Coordinator at 916-833-1218 or sheryl6663@yahoo.com; or by contacting NWSE at 877-850-3312 or info@nwse.com.  Or, you can visit the NWSE web page at https://www.nwse.com and click on Host an Exchange Student.  Student placements for the fall must be made before 8/31/17. Spring semester-only placements will be available towards the end of this year.

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Booming for Business

By Paul Scholl  |  2017-08-08

Attendance at the annual  Business Expo continues to grow each year. Photos courtesy RCCC.

Rancho Cordova Chamber Eyes Booming Attendance for Annual Expo

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) – Listen. Learn. Lunch. The Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce is planning their annual Business Expo, which includes a free lunch for all attendees. The 7th annual Rancho Cordova Business Expo brings together over 90 businesses with a wide variety of goods and services from throughout the region.  It’s not just for businesses, this is an opportunity for local residents to come by and learn about many of the businesses that serve our community.

The event has seen a growing attendance each year, with more and more neighbors visiting to find out more about the many opportunities for improved services for their many needs. The Business-to-Community Expo is the perfect opportunity for businesses and organizations to showcase products and services to residents and businesses of Rancho Cordova.

The Expo features interactive exhibits, along with local restaurants and caterers providing food samplings throughout the event. Admission is free and so is the parking!

“This is a fantastic event to showcase our Rancho Cordova business community. We invite everyone to drop by before, during and after their lunch hour to explore Rancho Cordova’s best in business and services” said Diann Rogers, President & CEO, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce.

If you are a business and would like to participate, the Expo provides exceptional value for your marketing dollars. You can take this opportunity to get in front of your customers who attend the Expo during their work day. Exhibitors also network excitedly with fellow exhibitors throughout the show.

The event is organized by the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. It will be held at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova, (Corner of White Rock just off Zinfandel and Prospect Park). The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 17th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The Chamber serves nearly 450 members and over 10,000 member employees throughout the Rancho Cordova region. Find out more at RanchoCordova.org

For more information about the Expo, please contact Ani Salakian at 916-273-5700 or ASalakian@RanchoCordova.org. You may also visit http://RanchoCordovaChamberEvents.com/

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Robinson’s Announces National Champions

By Rick Reed  |  2017-08-08

Sacramento’s Black Belt Gold Medalist Phillip El Chemali on the mat in Detroit at the USAT Nationals.  Photo courtesy Robinson’s Taekwondo.

Five National Champions Bring Gold, Silver and Bronze to Sacramento TKD Glory

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - They are outstanding young students in school and their local Taekwondo training ‘dojang’ or gym. In mat competitions with Black Belts from across the USA Sacramento’s Phillip El Chemali was triumphant in winning the Gold Medal at the USAT Nationals in Detroit, MI this July. The win places him on the United States Association of Taekwondo National Team for a second consecutive year!

Elk Grove’s Cassie Berger also won Gold in the USAT Women’s Division, as this CA State Champion won another top honor in the Korean-based martial art. Women’s Bronze came home with Black Belt student Maria Lopez from the world’s largest TKD tournament held in Detroit, MI.  Less than one week later, at the Amateur Athletic Association TKD National competition in Broward Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Maria Lopez fought again, again winning the AAU Bronze Medal this July.  

At this same Florida tournament event Robinson’s Taekwondo Black Belt student Lorenzo Ortega battled thru top national TKD fighters to win the AAU Gold Medal. The Women’s Silver Medal came back to Northern California as North Highland’s Natalie Velasquez stepped up to the podium as winner.

Rarely in history has one American city claimed so many top TKD medals and five US National Champions in its ranks.

Founded in 1975 in Sacramento, Robinson’s Taekwondo has locations throughout the region training athletes of all ages in the world’s most taught martial art – Taekwondo! To find out more visit www.robinsonstkd.com

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Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair created memories for the entire community this year. It reached record numbers as the one northern California event where everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the best of what California has to offer.

"The California State Fair is proud to be recognized as the largest showcase of the rich bounty and diversity of our Golden State," said Rick Pickering, CEO and General Manager of the California State Fair. We celebrated agriculture, livestock, horse racing, unique foods, events, rides, and exhibits...some of which people have never seen before.

Food sales grossed an estimated $8.5 million, and there was an estimated $4.2 million in carnival ride sales grossing over $12.7 million in sales revenue; not including hotel stays and other revenue sources for the Sacramento region.

With it being the Fair's 50th year at Cal Expo, there was a lot to celebrate. New this year was the dedication of "Best of CA: Celebrating Farm Workers' Rich Contributions to Food and Agriculture." There was the return of soccer, with the Sacramento Republic FC playing two games. Sponsored by the Tractor Supply Company, the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions raised $270,344 for youth, which was the highest amount in the past 10 years.

Despite being one of the hottest July's in 10 years, with 8 days of triple-digit weather during the weekends, 636,628 attendees enjoyed the Fair.

Out of the 17 concerts,7 completely sold out for the Gold Circle Reserved Seats. The top three attended concerts were Melissa Etheridge, Brian McKnight, and Trace Adkins.

More than 32,500 racing fans came to the Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand for horse racing and special events including the Best of CA Brewfest, Wienerschnitzel Wiener Dog Races, Steampunk at the Races featuring Ave Rose, and the California Cornhole Championships.

Other notable numbers were; 1,488 beers entered into the Commercial Beer Competition; 2,663 wines entered into the Commercial Wine Competition; 19,662 wine slushies were served in the Save Mart Wine Garden

Overall 19,931 competitive entries were at the State Fair and 6,412 total exhibits. 5,992 free rides from Butler Amusement in support of the CA State Fair’s Read to Ride program for local children who turned in 2,996 book reports;

There were 37 corn dogs were eaten by the winner of the Milo’s Corn Dog Eating Contest - Molly Schuyler from Plumas Lake, CA. She defeated competitors that came from as far as Philadelphia to compete.75,000 total corn dogs were consumed at the fair.

9,556 livestock animals were on display; 18,100 Turkey legs were sold; 35,100 Funnel cakes were sold; 11,325 pieces of the fruit were given out through the Save Mart Supermarkets Passport Program at the Kaiser Permanente CA State Fair Farm; 1,963 #50thFairHunt SMUD bags were given out; and 2,060 Dish fireworks were shot into the night sky

Central Valley Towing helped Fair guests with 7 jump starts, 10 unlock cars, 2 tire changes and assisted in shuttling 5,832 people to and from the parking lots to entrances.

Source CA State Fair Media

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