Stranger Danger Education Class 

By Rick Reed  |  2018-04-10

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Parents are urged to help educate their children of the dangers they may face on the streets. Black Belt instructors at Robinson’s Taekwondo will help families learn stranger danger warning signs, how to avoid unsafe situations, raise awareness and how to call for help effectively.

This is a free community service safety event offered by Robinson’s Taekwondo. Since 1975 Robinson’s has taught thousands of students self-defense in the Sacramento region. Serving the needs of the community and making the world safer is part of the credo to be Black Belt martial artists.

The free class is on Friday, April 27 from 6pm-7:30pm at regional Robinson’s Taekwondo locations. Space is limited to parents are invited to register at www.robinsontkd.com. Click on event registration.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) -Today, a bill by Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (Bieber) to ensure the state has a plan for dealing with discarded electric vehicle batteries passed its first legislative hurdle. Currently, there are more than 450,000 electric vehicles on the road, yet there is no plan for dealing with these batteries when they eventually reach the end of their useful life. Assembly Bill 2832 received unanimous support from the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.

“This year, we will hear a bill that would make California go to 100 percent electric vehicles on our roads, yet we have no idea what to do with these cars when they no longer work,” said Dahle. “Eventually, the state will have millions of discarded batteries on its hands. We must have a plan in order to avoid an environmental catastrophe.”

All batteries are considered hazardous waste in California when discarded. Assembly Bill 2832 would require the Department of Toxic Substances and Control to work with stakeholders to identify a plan to reuse or recycle batteries from electric vehicles at the end of their useful life. The plan would need to be submitted to the Legislature by July 1, 2020.

The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for approval.

Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle serves the 1st district.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Today, Democrats on the Assembly Committee on Public Safety killed legislation that would have protected victims of domestic violence. Assembly Bill 2462 by Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) would have required a judge or magistrate to consider whether a victim of domestic violence had been strangled or suffocated before allowing their aggressor to post bail.

“It is vital that we give victims of domestic violence time to seek help and get away from their abusers,” Harper said. “I am disappointed that Capitol Democrats do not want to help them from being trapped in the agonizing cycle of domestic violence.”

Experts across the medical profession agree that manual or ligature strangulation is “lethal force” and is one of the best predictors of a future homicide in domestic violence cases. According to The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, the odds for homicide increase 750% for victims who have been previously strangled, compared to victims who have never been strangled.

“No woman should ever have to experience what I experienced. It is shameful that Democrats voted against the rights of victims today.” said Patricia Wellman, a domestic violence victim who brought this bill idea to Assemblyman Harper. “After my husband strangled me, he was released from jail in fewer than three hours. For the next five weeks, he stalked me. If he had gone in front of a judge, I would never have had to struggle with this life-threatening ordeal.”

Assemblyman Matthew Harper represents the 74th Assembly District; he is the former Mayor of the City of Huntington Beach. The 74th Assembly District includes the cities of Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods & Laguna Beach.

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If passed, Bill 825 will have punishing effect on women-owned companies, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA(MPG) - A committee of the State Senate will this week consider a dual-action bill that would simultaneously prohibit most construction companies from competing on Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation projects for 10 years and eliminate pre-apprenticeship curricula that has facilitated employment opportunities for thousands of men and women in California.

A hearing on Senate Bill 825 will be held by the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee in Room 2040 of the State Capitol, Wednesday, April 11, at 9:30 a.m. The hearing can be viewed live on the California Senate website.

Section 2 of Senate Bill 825 would erect a barrier against smaller construction companies, including those owned by women and minorities, by requiring CDCR to sign a 10-year community workforce agreement (Project Labor Agreement) for all construction of $500,000 or more. 

Community workforce agreements, or PLAs, are exclusive construction contracts between public agencies and labor unions for projects such as prisons, schools, hospitals, and police and fire stations.  While well-intended, the exclusive nature of these PLA/CWA contracts prevent local contractors and small-business owners from competing for projects.

Traditionally, PLAs require the use of union labor, even if the successful bidding company is non-union. So, when a non-union company is granted the contract, it must perform the work using union workers rather than their own skilled and trained employees. Therefore, a company may not hire its own employees for a particular job, including workers who were formerly incarcerated. 

Additionally, SB 825 would prohibit use of the National Center for Construction Education and Research’s (NCCER) CORE curriculum, a curriculum that 18,000 individuals have completed in the past 10 years at one of 108 locations throughout California. The California Department of Education, the state Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California State University system, and the state’s community college system have all partnered with NCCER. Instead, SB 825 would turn all pre-apprentice training over to labor organizations. 

“The community workforce agreement contained in Senate Bill 825 would discourage nearly 82 percent of California’s construction workforce from competing for and winning construction contracts,” said Michele Daugherty, President and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California. “Furthermore, limiting inmates to just union labor when 80 percent of construction jobs in California are provided by contractors not signed to a collective bargaining agreement, severely hampers their pursuit of a construction career. We should keep every possible door of opportunity open for those who served time and now seek a new chapter in their life.”

Testifying in opposition to SB 825 will be:

  • Christine Leone of San Jose, who started her own electrical contracting company, Leone Electric, 1993
  • Jay Hanicek, owner of American Plumbing Systems in Rancho Cordova, who started his business as a single dad
  • Robert Stewart, a superintendent for Oakland-based Helix Electric, who is a graduate of a prison training program.
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Bird and Breakfast Nature Walk Reveals

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-04-05

Among river stones, a Killdeer mom patiently incubates her clutch. Her granite-patterned eggs are camouflaged to near-invisibility on the flood plain.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Bird and Breakfast safaris recently introduced 170 nature lovers to feathered species in their busiest season. Two sold-out events continued a spring tradition at Carmichael’s Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Recent sunny weeks spurred early nest building in the 100-acre preserve. In glades where wild poppies and lupins are bursting into flower, onlookers saw baby hummingbirds take debut flights.

The nature Center’s Audubon-guided nature walks have been a hit for 31 years. Dozens of species were noted last weekend. Herons, egrets and wood ducks sought breakfast in American River shallows.  Killdeer moms were belly-down and incubating on the flood plain. In ancient oaks, red-shouldered hawks delivered lumber for a new nursery. Towhees enjoyed birdie baths in rain puddles.  Bushtits lined their pendulous abodes with plant down and two hummingbird nests - tiny miracles of lichen and cobweb - were viewed through magnifying scopes

American River Natural History Association volunteers cooked a gourmet breakfast for week-one. Carmichael Kiwanis Club members whisked up pancakes for the second, family-oriented safari. The program’s outreach included children for whom bird-watching is a rare opportunity. Carmichael Club volunteer Jackie DeLu noted enthusiastic observations. “These kids have great nature eyes,” she said. “The outing encourages them to take their time and observe.”

Learn about the Effie Yeaw Nature Center at www.sacnaturecenter.net

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Sacramento Life Center Receives Grant to Care for Low-Income Pregnant Women

By Kate Towson  |  2018-04-04

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - American River Bank Foundation has awarded a $14,000 grant to Sacramento Life Center for the nonprofit’s Mobile Medical Clinics that provide free medical services to low-income pregnant women, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling, education and resource referrals.

“This grant from the American River Bank Foundation will provide vital repairs for both of our Mobile Medical Clinics so they can stay on the road, ensuring pregnant women have access to the care they need,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are so grateful to the American River Bank Foundation for understanding the transportation barrier faced by many low-income women in our community. With this funding, even more women will receive medical care in their own neighborhoods.”

For a schedule for the Mobile Medical Clinics, visit www.svpclinic.com.

“The American River Bank Foundation is committed to supporting organizations that create opportunity, enhance self-esteem and provide physical and emotional well-being for the most vulnerable women and children and the Sacramento Life Center does all of these things,” said Erica Thompson-Dias, Vice-President of Community Engagement for American River Bank. “We’re honored to support this vital work which improves the overall health and wellness of our communities.”

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 seeking support after having an abortion. 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.

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Velvety and Breathless

By Orchestra Media  |  2018-04-04

American River College Orchestra presents Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony and Soloist Irina Samarina playing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Moving from velvety and smooth to turbulent and breathless, Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor is considered one of the great Romantic concertos and soloist Irina Samarina has the credentials to tackle the work. This concerto and Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony round out ARC Orchestra’s program on May 2nd at 7:30 pm at the ARC Theater.

The Romantic period is characterized by expanded orchestras and powerful expressions of emotions. The violin concerto is no exception.

“Sibelius’ concerto is full of images of Finland’s nature, cold as fire, dark emotional plains, dramatic melodies, and a lot of lyricism,” explained Samarina. “I love playing this concerto because it gives the soloist an opportunity to shine and gives the orchestra a strong role. The most challenging thing is to blend and balance all the emotions as an ensemble and a soloist.”

Samarina has been playing the violin since she was seven years old. She has a doctorate in musical arts and has traveled as a soloist in Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Israel, and the United States. She is currently playing in Stockton Symphony Orchestra, teaching, and is an active member of Music Teachers’ Association of California.

This will be the first time Samarina has collaborated with the ARC Orchestra.

“It is such wonderful experience,” she said. “I love how the orchestra brings melodies that the soloist is trying to stay on top of. It is great to share and put all thoughts into the music, music that brings a message of light and hope.”

The orchestra is also performing Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, one that reveals the composer’s virtuosity as well as the tragedy of his time. The first movement opens with the brooding bassoon echoed by dark notes coming from the strings before lightening up with a quicker theme from the winds. The second movement proceeds gracefully into the third which is the emotional highpoint of the work. The symphony is groundbreaking in its ending. Tchaikovsky chooses an adagio lamentoso, as slow and melancholy as the words suggest and then the entire work ends in a minor key.

“Some feel that the sixth symphony is Tchaikovsky’s suicide letter to the world,” said

Steven Thompson, ARC Orchestra director. “His death occurred nine days after the scores’ completion in what we now know was a coerced poisoning by a circle of Tchaikovsky’s former law school classmates. Their concern was that Tchaikovsky was about to be outed for being gay (in a severely homophobic Czarist Russia) which they felt would bring dishonor to their alma mater. They convinced him to take his own life through a dosing of arsenic...a horrible and painful death. The events leading up to his decision to end his life seem to have happened after the symphony’s completion date, but the story persists. At times melancholy and emotional and at other times triumphant and heroic, Tchaikovsky wrote that this symphony was the best of his works.”

For more information on the American River College Orchestra and these concerts, contact Dr. Steven Thompson at (916) 484-8433 or visit the ARCO website. General information can also be found at the ARCO Facebook page.

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