ECMC Group Celebrates $10 Million in Giving

By Alex Kuntz, ECMC Group  |  2019-09-12

An ECMC Group board member joined ECMC Group employees to help present checks to organizations they nominated to receive a grant. Single Mom Strong was nominated by two employees. ECMC Group

MATHER, CA (MPG) - On Sept. 4, ECMC Group in Mather hosted an event to celebrate meeting its $10 million milestone for corporate giving. During the event, 11 local nonprofit organizations received a total of $275,000 through ECMC Group’s GO! Program, which allows employees to nominate and vote for local nonprofits to receive grants through its affiliate ECMC Foundation.

The GO! Program is one of many efforts ECMC Group offers to involve employees in its mission to give back to the communities where employees live and work. The organization has a robust social responsibility effort that enables employees to give back to their communities, including through company-sponsored volunteer activities. In 2019 alone, the organization has offered over 30 volunteer events, and more than half of employees have participated with paid time off for a total of over 1,300 hours and more than $1 million in community outreach donations year-to-date.

The GO! Program reception allowed employees to meet the organizations they nominated for grants and to learn more about the good work they do in the communities they serve. Organizations honored include:

Children’s Choice for Hearing and Talking; Eagleforce Robotics; Growth Public Schools; Hooked on Fishing Not Violence; Loaves & Fishes; Sierra Forever Families; Single Mom Strong; Society for the Blind; The Taylor House; Team Sacramento Judo; VA Northern California Health Care System.

Now in its fifth year, the GO! Program has disseminated a total of $5.9 million through 288 grants nationally. In California, the program has distributed a total of $1.3 million through 56 grants. ECMC Group is a nonprofit corporation with a mission to help students succeed.

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to revise the Approved Budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The Approved Budget in June totaled $4.4 billion. With the completion of the County’s FY 2018-19 year-end financial closing activities and updated information, an increase of $138 million was proposed, bringing the Budget Recommended for Adoption to $4.5 billion in appropriations. Most of this increase involved re-budgeting funds for capital projects due to shifts in timing for those projects.

In June, to close a general shortfall of $55 million, Sacramento County made $43 million in reductions in General Fund Departments and reduced $12 million in General Fund reserves to bridge the gap.

General Fund departments identified a number of targeted program and position reductions. The reductions included the elimination of 181.3 FTE positions that were either vacant or, in a few cases, filled by employees who were shifted to other positions in the same class. No layoffs were necessary.

The June Approved Budget also included budget increases in a number of areas, including:

$21.7 million to make improvements to the County’s jails as part of continuing efforts to resolve conditions of confinement concerns identified in a recent lawsuit;

$2.3 million in state and federal revenue to add 25 FTE positions in Child Support Services;

$1.2 million in 2011 Realignment Local Innovation funds to add seven positions in Probation to establish a Pre-Trial Assessment and Monitoring Pilot Program;

$1 million set aside for costs related to the Hardesty/Schneider lawsuit against the County;

$3.5 million to add 29 FTE positions in Airports Department to handle the impact of increasing passenger and freight volume; and

$668,000 to cover the cost of postcards and postage for the March 2020 Primary Election, as required by state law.

The Board is scheduled to formally adopt the Budget Recommended for Adoption on Sep. 24.

For details, read the Budget Letter to the Board of Supervisors or view all budget documents on the Office of Budget and Debt Management website.

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Opportunity Expo Brings New Franchises, Business Success Exhibits and Speakers

Business Opportunity Expo Press Release  |  2019-09-11

Keynote Speaker Professor Alan Tratner of Green2Gold “Cash in on your Great Ideas!” Photo provided by The Opportunity Expo

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Business Opportunity Expo is scheduled for September 28 and 29, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel NE. It is the most comprehensive business event for the public in this region. The show features local and national exhibits including a variety of franchises and business opportunities, financing for small to medium businesses, state-of-the-art tools for success, and business education and training.

Listen to top nationally known speakers like Professor Alan Tratner, who has been dubbed the “Minister of Ideas” and has appeared on Oprah, CNN, CNBC and has had features in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Business Week, Newsweek, and many others. Alan will teach you “How to Cash in your Great Ideas!” and can even help you get them financed. Craig Hettrich of California Growth Advisors will teach how to achieve success with “The Best Practices of Great Companies.” And Lynne Shelton, founder of Shelton Law & Associates, will show you how to choose and run a successful franchise, or how to turn your existing business into a successful franchise chain.

Visit dynamic new franchises being offered such as EnviroMerica and i9 Sports, or open a profitable candy kiosk in the mall or a successful hair salon. It’s all here at The Opportunity Expo. Admission and parking are free.

Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel NE, 5321 Date Ave, Sacramento, CA 95841

When: Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, 2019, 11 am – 5 pm

Admission: This event and parking are free to the public. Please see to attend or exhibit and see the list of speakers and times.


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SacRT Launches Newly Redesigned Bus Network

By Jessica Gonzalez, SacRT  |  2019-09-11

Adjustments have been made to almost every SacRT bus route. Photo courtesy of SacRT

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA – The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) is getting ready to roll out a newly redesigned bus network that offers seven-day-a-week service, more late night and weekend service and more frequent service. The new bus network launches on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

Customer Assistance Teams will be out across the region helping riders navigate the new bus network and offer trip planning assistance.

“We started from a blank slate and took a closer look at where people live, work and play in the Sacramento region to develop a new bus network that will improve mobility and move the region forward,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li.

“SacRT is moving forward with significant improvements that will help reduce congestion and lead to economic growth,” said Sacramento County Supervisor and SacRT Board Chair Patrick Kennedy. “The new bus network is just one of several historic improvements that SacRT has made over the last several years to make it easier for people to travel around the region.”

SacRT began the process of redesigning the bus network nearly three years ago, with the support of our planning partners, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). SACOG assisted SacRT with the selection of a consulting team, study funding, and other key elements of the process. “An efficient transit network that helps connect more of the region’s residents to work, education, and opportunity is key to sustainable, prosperous growth,” said SACOG Executive Director James Corless. “We are thrilled that SacRT is increasing frequency and service to where people are and where they want to go.”

Adjustments have been made to almost every bus route, some minor and some much more substantial. SacRT invested an additional $3 million to improve service on the new network.

The new bus network consists of: 27 regular fixed routes; 15 peak hour only routes; All routes have 7-day a week service; More 15 minute service routes and all routes have at least 45 minute or better service.

SacRT’s Customer Call Center is expanding hours to help answer rider questions about the new bus network. Starting Sunday, September 8, the new hours will be Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends. The expanded hours will be in effect for 90 days and extended if needed.

As part of the new bus network, new system maps and new bus stop signs have been put up across the region. This is the first time in 30 years that SacRT has redesigned the bus stop sign. The new sign is double sided, so riders can see the information from both directions and features the destination name so riders know which direction the bus is headed. SacRT is also giving riders the opportunity to take home a vintage bus stop sign by emailing to request a sign.

For more information on the new bus network, including a SacRT Forward trip planner to plan your next bus trip, visit


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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Join San Juan Education Foundation for the 13th annual An Evening with the STARS on Friday, Sept. 27, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at The Center at Twenty-Three Hundred, located at 2300 Sierra Blvd. in Sacramento. This event celebrates excellence in education, and this year’s theme is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Honorees for the STARS Hall of Fame are San Juan Unified alumni who have excelled in those areas. 

This year’s honorees are:        

Scott Pease
Visionary video game developer
Bella Vista High School

H. Michael Shepard, Ph.D.
Award-winning cancer biologist
Del Campo High School

Heidi Poppelreiter Parris
NASA, International Space Station flight controller
Casa Roble Fundamental High School

KVIE’s Rob Stewart of “Rob on the Road” will emcee the event. The evening will feature a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, a raffle, live music, a special collaboration with Aerospace Museum of California and the STARS Hall of Fame program.

The STARS Hall of Fame was established in 2009 by the STARS Foundation, with the support of the school district, to honor exceptional San Juan Unified School District graduates who embody an innovative spirit and have made their mark in their chosen profession. 

For further event details, ticket and raffle information, visit Proceeds support innovative learning opportunities for the K-12 students of all San Juan Unified schools.

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Annual Chicken Festival Something to Crow About

Submitted by Mary Cattolica  |  2019-09-11

Learn to cluck, crow and be a chicken with Rocky. Photo courtesy FORPD

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - At the Village of Fair Oaks, it’s time to start clucking, crowing and scratching the “Feed Court” floor for some grub at the 14th Annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival on Saturday, September 21st.

You can join some 12,000 other villagers by attending the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District presented festival and visiting an eclectic variety of craft vendors including painting, photography, glassworks, jewelry, woodcarvings, candles, lotions, clothing, and much more.

The main stage will be featuring live bands throughout the day (Jax Hammer, FBI, & Mullet Mechanix). The Fair Oaks Chicken Festival also features a kid’s park with kid friendly performances, games, and activities for the entire family!

The Fair Oaks Rotary Club will be providing Craft-Brew Tasting represented by local breweries in the Northern California Region. Over 10 different food vendors will be offering a wide range of food in our “Feed Court” sponsored by SactoMoFo.

The Fair Oaks Host Lions Club will host the 6th annual Cluck n’ Crow contest (chicken impersonating with a grand prize of $100!) and the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District is happy to once again host the GREAT Chicken contest (wooden chicken decorating).

Brand new this year is a Pop-Up Paint class that will take place in Plaza Park, where participants will learn to paint their very own chicken.  Pre-registration for the class is required. Also don’t forget our Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning, presented by the Fair Oaks/Orangevale Grange #354. 

Admission & Parking are free from 10 am to 5 pm at the Village of Fair Oaks, 7003 Park Drive, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

For more information visit

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Shawn Yadon, CEO of the California Trucking Association (CTA), issued the following statement regarding the convoy of more than 150 independent truckers that converged the Capitol as part of a protest, organized by the California Truckers Guild, to call attention to Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. CTA has been working with the author and legislators to offer a fix to AB 5 that would protect employees from misclassification without eliminating the independent owner-operator business model.

“This is much more than a story about traffic inconveniences in downtown Sacramento on a Thursday in early September. This is a story about businessmen and businesswomen, who made a decision, in many cases 10, 15, 20 years ago or more, to invest well over $100,000 of their money into a truck and start their own business as an independent owner-operator, not an employee driver.

“With driver jobs widely available, these individuals could have decided to become employee drivers at any point over the years. But independent owner-operators want exactly that, to operate their own business independently and continue working for themselves as they have done for decades. With AB 5 they are watching their livelihoods being destroyed right before their very eyes, they are rightfully upset, they want to be heard and I agree with them.

“These truckers are here because AB 5 would deny a significant segment of the trucking industry the ability to continue operating as independent owner-operators, forcing them to abandon investments they’ve made in their trucks while taking away their flexibility to set their own schedule and determine the destiny of their business.

“While we support clear definitions of who can and cannot be classified as an independent contractor in order to avoid abuses in the workplace, AB 5 does not take into account the more than 70,000 California truckers who have built their business around the independent owner-operator model, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their trucks and have made the decision to run their own businesses instead of being employee drivers.

“Independent truck drivers represent a vital and successful segment of the trucking industry and Sacramento should be encouraging this entrepreneurial spirit, not destroying their livelihood.” 

Since 1934, the California Trucking Association has been serving the commercial motor carrier industry in California and the companies that provide products and services to the trucking industry. A critical and vital component of California’s economy, nearly 80 percent of California communities depend solely on trucks to deliver their goods. Our carrier membership ranges from individual owner-operators, to small for-hire fleets, to the largest national and international carriers. Allied members of the California Trucking Association range from businesses involved with truck and trailer sales, parts and service, insurance, legal services and all other businesses that support the trucking industry.

The California Trucking Association promotes leadership in the California motor carrier industry, advocates sound transportation policies to all levels of government, and works to maintain a safe, environmentally responsible and efficient California transportation goods movement system.

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