Vettes & Vets: The American Muscle Car Show

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-05-24

The Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show is being held Monday, May 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento. 
-- Photo courtesy of the California Automobile Museum

Hit the road to the California Automobile Museum on Memorial Day for the 8th Annual Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show sponsored by Performance Chevrolet. The popular annual event celebrates America’s love for the automobile while honoring our country’s brave veterans and active duty military. All car owners and enthusiasts are encouraged to enter their vehicles – especially Corvettes, American “muscle cars” and military vehicles – in the show that takes place in a parking lot behind the Museum. At noon, the amazing cars on display will be judged in a variety of categories including a best-in-division award for each generation of Corvette.

In addition to the eye-catching automobiles, attendees will be treated to a DJ spinning some classic summer tunes, military color guard and national anthem along with a barbecue lunch available for purchase.

Car show guests are encouraged to visit the California Automobile Museum that has a world-class and ever-changing collection of vintage and classic vehicles on display. Plus, this is a great opportunity to catch the last weekend of the special “To the Rescue: Fire Trucks and People that Saved Our Cities” exhibit. Lastly, military veterans and active duty military (and their families) will receive FREE museum admission all day on Memorial Day in recognition of their service.

The car show is FREE for spectators. To register a vehicle, pre-registration cost is $30 (includes free admission to the museum for driver and one guest). Museum admission is $10 for Adults, $9 for Vintage (ages 65+), $5 Youth (ages 6-18), FREE for children 5 and under. On 5/29, Veterans and Active Duty Military and their families get in FREE.

The Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show is being held Monday, May 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. *Gates open at 8 a.m. for show vehicles at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento.

For More information: 916-442-6802 or www.calautomuseum.org


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Sacramento nonprofit Society for the Blind is one of 13 groups across the nation – and one of only three in California – that are competing in the United States Association of Blind Athletes’ and Anthem Blue Cross Foundation’s fifth annual National Fitness Challenge. Society for the Blind and its competitors will provide more than 300 blind and visually impaired youth and adults with an opportunity to increase their physical fitness levels and live healthier, more active lives. Other California participants are Junior Blind in Los Angeles and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the Bay Area.

“We are pleased to again partner with USABA to help break down barriers, and leverage technology to help those with vision impairments enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of exercise,” said Brian Ternan, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “Together, we want to ensure that those with visual impairments are not denied the opportunity to lead an active life and have the opportunity to avoid the health risks that come from a sedentary lifestyle.”

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 children and youth who are blind and visually impaired in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum.

When the National Fitness Challenge kicked off in Sacramento this spring, participants who signed up with Society for the Blind had a number of physically challenging activities to look forward to. In efforts to increase participants’ levels and step counts, staff at Society for the Blind will be working with dance instructors, personal trainers, judo instructors and more. In addition to raising their overall physical activity, participants will also become more aware of opportunities in their community.

“Society for the Blind is honored and excited to again be a part of the National Fitness Challenge,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director. “This partnership with USABA and Anthem raises awareness and, more importantly, participation of people with vision loss in health and fitness activities. We look forward to friendly challenges among our fellow participating agencies as we increase the physical fitness and overall health and wellness of our participants.”

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation: www.SocietyfortheBlind.org.

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind with a mission to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information: www.usaba.org, www.twitter.com/USABA or on Facebook as United States Association of Blind Athletes.

In addition to grant funding, Anthem Blue Cross Foundation will provide volunteers at events across the state during the nine-month program. Local employees will have the opportunity to meet participants and help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges.

®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. For more information: www.twitter.com/AskAnthem,  www.twitter.com/AnthemBC_News or www.facebook.com/AskAnthem.


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SACRT Offers Free Transfers for Connect Card Users

Source: Regional Transit Media  |  2017-05-17

With a unanimous vote, the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SACRT) Board of Directors approved a pilot program to provide a free 90-minute transfer option to passengers who use a Connect Card, the region’s new smart card fare payment system. The transfer option will be available to customers beginning on Thursday, June 15, 2017, marking the official launch date of the new Connect Card system.

RideSacRT, the agency’s mobile fare app, has included 90-minute transfers since its roll-out in January 2016. The new Connect Card is expected to be more widely used since the initial cards will be free, whereas the mobile app requires a smart phone. Transfers on the Connect Card will be good for unlimited boarding within a 90-minute period on both bus and light rail, just like the mobile fare app. The free transfers are expected to help generate additional ridership.

Connect Cards can be loaded with transit passes and stored value online, SACRT’s Customer Service and Sales Center located at 1225 R Street, and at participating retail outlets. Customers who prefer to pay with cash will also be able to receive the benefits of the 90-minute transfer by simply loading cash onto their Connect Card at SACRT’s Customer Service and Sales Center, and at select retail outlets, including Raley’s/Bel Air markets in mid-June when the Connect Card officially launches.

The Board action comes on the heels of news that fare revenue has increased by 18% over the past nine months, despite a decline in ridership. The revenue increase is being attributed to SACRT’s fare enforcement efforts, which has successfully reduced SACRT’s fare evasion rate from more than 15% a year ago, to just 5% now. “SACRT staff has taken every measure to ensure that our trains and buses are cleaner and safer than ever before,” said Henry Li, General Manager/CEO. “Fare enforcement efforts have reduced the number of non-fare paying passengers and increased the security presence throughout our system. It’s a win for everyone.”

Bus agencies throughout the Sacramento region are also adopting the Connect Card in order to provide seamless travel for passengers transferring from one bus line to another. The free 90-minute transfer will be available for six months, while the agency conducts an equity analysis.

The Connect Card and the RideSacRT mobile fare app will make it more convenient to ride by providing online sales, speeding up boarding times and removing the worry of having exact cash to pay fare.

Other ridership initiatives that SACRT is working on include improving service reliability; optimizing bus routes to make them reflect 21st century commuting patterns.


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SMUD Launches “Shine” Community Sponsorship Program

Source: SMUD Media  |  2017-05-17

SMUD recently announced that it has launched Shine, a new community development program designed to improve and revitalize neighborhoods in the Sacramento region.

Shine awards will range from $5,000 to $100,000 and are very competitive. Any nonprofit organization —501(c)(3) or 501 (c)(6)— within SMUD’s service territory is eligible to apply.

Shine awards are available at three funding levels: Spark (up to $10,000), Amplifier (up to $50,000) and Transformer (up to $100,000). Applications will be accepted through June 26.

While SMUD will consider a broad variety of potential projects, it is primarily interested in proposals within the following areas: Neighborhood revitalization or clean up; STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); Environmental, energy-efficiency, energy conservation or greenhouse gas reduction; General beautification.

“As a not-for-profit, community-owned organization, we work hard every day to improve the lives of our customers,” said SMUD CEO & General Manager Arlen Orchard. “The Shine program is a perfect extension of that commitment. By taking a collaborative approach and working directly with local nonprofits, we’re helping make improvements that neighborhood leaders believe will have the biggest impacts on residents in their communities.”

SMUD awarded three pilot Shine sponsorships over the past six months to test the feasibility and administration of the program. Those grants include: Lighting up the Kay and St. Rose of Lima Park (Applicant: Downtown Sacramento Partnership); Creating the College and Sports Academy of Del Paso Heights (Applicant: Mutual Assistance Network of Del Paso Heights); Renovating the Wellspring Women’s Center kitchen (Applicant: Wellspring Women’s Center).

“SMUD’s Shine award will provide an important spotlight on the great people and exciting opportunities in Del Paso Heights,” said Richard Dana, executive director of Mutual Assistance Network. “We see it as the start of something tremendous.”

A Shine program information session will be held on Wednesday, June 7 at 12 p.m. at the SMUD Customer Service Center at 6301 S St. in Sacramento.

To RSVP for an information session, or for additional questions, please email rsvp@smud.org.

For more information about the SMUD Shine program and to apply today, visit www.smud.org/Shine.

To learn more about the commitment of SMUD to this community and SMUD’s efforts to keep Sacramento bright for more than 70 years, visit www.smud.org/Bright.


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Bill Giving Tax Relief to Homeowners and Renters Passes First Hurdle

Source: Office of Assemblyman Matthew Harper  |  2017-05-17

On May 16th, Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) and Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R- Diamond Bar) announced the passage of their “American Dream” bill which increases the existing homeowners’ exemption on their property tax from $7,000 to $25,000, giving relief to homeowners, renters and those aspiring to own a home.

“Homeowners and renters in California are paying some of the highest overall taxes in the nation,” Assemblyman Harper said. “It’s about time that the size of the homeowner’s property tax exemption kept up with the increases in cost of living. Also, I want to thank Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish for working with me to bring this bill forward.”

“High property taxes are making it impossible for too many Californians, who spent their lifetime living and working here, to stay”, said Assemblyman Phillip Chen. This bill would provide immediate relief for millions of homeowners with an emphasis on helping those whose taxes far exceed their ability to pay.”

The homeowner’s exemption hasn’t been increased in 40 years. Meanwhile, the cost of a median priced house has increased from $21,000 to over $450,000, and represents a home that only 30 percent of Californians can afford to purchase. California has a housing crisis and providing tax relief for homeowners and renters will unquestionably lead to enhanced economic stability,” said David Wolfe, Legislative Director with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

The “American Dream” bill will also adjust the renter’s credit by a corresponding amount.


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Senator Gaines Issues Statement on Governor’s Budget Revise

Source: Office of Senator Ted Gaines  |  2017-05-16

Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) issued the following statement regarding Governor Brown’s revised 2017-18 state budget proposal:

“I demand a full and complete explanation as to why Californians’ truck weight fees have been diverted from their true purpose over the past five years and why our sky high gas taxes have not been enough to pay for our roads. Instead, we’re now forced to pay $5 billion more per year for increased gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads.

“California's income tax collections were nearly $1 billion short of projections during the month of April. I know the legislature will be tempted to sink every last dollar into new and ongoing spending programs at a time when we should heed State Controller Betty Yee’s warning that we may be ‘inching towards an economic downturn’ and that we must ‘tailor our spending accordingly.’

“Brown continues to sound all the right notes about fiscal discipline and debt reduction, but has the largest ever state spending plan, out of whack spending priorities and little accountability. Overtaxed Californians need relief, not a continuation of the government’s never ending tax and spend cycle that makes California so unaffordable.”

To view the entire revised budget, visit www.ebudget.ca.gov.

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


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Fresh Off the Farm to Your Fork

Story and Photos by Aubrielle Hvolboll  |  2017-05-11

Farm workers tend to fresh, leafy greens still in the ground.

Soil Born Offers a Special Local Service

Rancho Cordova’s well known urban agriculture education project, Soil Born Farms, is gearing up for its Spring/Summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season, and it still has spots available for community members who would like to eat seasonal produce, support local agriculture and contribute to a number of education programs offered through the farm. Working in the field to harvest this week’s CSA, Elle Huftill-Balzer, a CSA manager, picks Deep Purple scallions while another group of Soil Born’s staff focuses on D'Avignon radishes and Jericho lettuce. Also among them are a volunteer and a first-year apprentice.

“We’re not just a production farm, we’re an educational farm. We run Harvest Sacramento [and] A Garden in Every School Symposium, working with school gardens. We have youth groups come out here and work in the Youth Garden; we do tours, field trips, nutritional outreach with adults and kids, as well as the adult apprenticeship program,” said Huftill-Balzer, who has been with Soil Born since 2010 and has run the CSA for the past two years.

When purchasing the Soil Born CSA, buyers get much more than just a box of vegetables: they are supporting a number of programs that cultivate community knowledge and futures in agriculture. This includes opportunities for CSA members themselves, who are invited to get to know the farm and the people who grow their food.

“People who come out to the farm to pick up their box, they’ll bring their kids and go for a walk around the farm. It brings them out of their normal life and see, ‘This is what agriculture looks like, this is where my food comes from,’” said Huftill-Balzer. CSA members are also invited to a number of the farm’s calendar events that range from Introduction to Urban Backyard Beekeeping on May 6th to Homegrown Herbalism on June 6th.

A Soil Born CSA box includes 8-10 of that week’s organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Purple cherry tomatoes, figs and peaches, white-striped eggplant, and other unique varieties can all be expected during the program’s 24-week run from May 24th through November 1st.

“We cover the broad categories, but then there are the fun varieties within that,” said Huftill-Balzer.

Community members may sign up to receive a box every week or every other week, with pickup on Wednesdays at any of three locations in Sacramento. The farm is open to the public M-F 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., closed Sundays. Office hours are M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their American River Rancho location is at 2140 Chase Dr., Rancho Cordova, CA. For more information on Soil Born and their CSA program, visit them online at soilborn.org or call 916-363-9685.


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