West Sac Kids Give Back

By Sabrina Demayo Lockhart  |  2017-12-10

Collecting Personal Care Items for Those in Need

West Sacramento, CA (MPG) - This holiday season, children from West Sacramento are learning that giving is just as important as receiving.  Families dropped off much needed personal care items on Sunday, December 10 from 9 am – noon at the Sail Inn Grotto, 1522 Jefferson Blvd., West Sacramento, CA.

Next weekend, December 17th, children will gather to create to create 1000 care packages for the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, My Sister’s House.  The event is designed to help children of all ages engage in community service in a safe and kid-friendly environment. Next Sunday’s care package filling event will be held from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the Collings Teen Center, at 1541 Merkley Ave, West Sacramento, CA 95691.

The event founder was West Sacramento City Council Member Quirina Orozco,

We hope that you’ll consider coming out this Sunday and next Sunday. Also we’d welcome the opportunity to have the event founder, West Sacramento City Council Member Quirina Orozco, interviewed by you in the coming week to talk about this popular community event.


Photos are from last year's event, courtesy Sabrina Demayo Lockhart

West Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The West Sacramento Fire Department, in conjunction with the West Sacramento Firefighters’ Association, is leading the annual Santa Run through West Sacramento. With the help of many off-duty firefighter “elves,” Santa will be riding through various neighborhoods on an elaborately decorated fire truck “sleigh” and handing out candy canes purchased and donated by the West Sacramento Firefighters’ Association.  Additionally, Santa will have a pickup truck following his “sleigh” with helpers collecting any canned food donations for the needy.

This year the Santa Run is scheduled for six nights beginning at 6:00 PM each night. If it rains on a scheduled night we will try to make it up the next week.

The West Sacramento Firefighters’ Association would like to extend its most sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who come out to make canned food donations, as well as to the Fire Chief and City Manager, for permitting the usage and decoration of the ladder truck for this annual tradition.

Please do not call 9-1-1; they have no information about this event.

Source: City of West Sacramento

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Woodland, CA (MPG)  - The Yolo County Office of Emergency Services is seeking community input on threats from hazards via a survey and a public meeting on December 15. 

Every five years, the county Hazard Mitigation Plan is updated and submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  The plan addresses threats from potential hazards and identifies possible strategies to reduce impacts.  Yolo County’s multi-jurisdictional plan is developed by the county, the cities of Davis, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Yolo County Housing. 

As part of the 2018 plan update, the public is encouraged to provide input by completing a survey to identify the community’s concerns about hazards.  The survey can be found on: www.yolocounty.org/OES and printed copies are available at all Yolo County library branches.

The public is also invited to attend the second of two public meetings where information about the plan, including the hazards identified, will be discussed.  Surveys will be collected during this meeting as well.  The meeting will be held:

Friday, December 15, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

City of Davis Community Chambers

City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard, Davis

For more information about the hazard mitigation planning process, contact the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services at (530) 406-4930 or email: oes@yolocounty.org.

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Area Museums Get Into the Holiday Spirit 

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2017-12-06

Sacramento Area Museums (SAM) are featuring a number of holiday-related events and activities. Photo courtesy of Sacramento History Museum

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) -  Imagine. Explore. Discover.  In addition to its fascinating Gold Rush past, the Sacramento area is rich with an amazing array of state-of-the-art museums and historic sites that offer visitors the chance to explore California’s fine art, history, science, and wildlife treasures all year long. In December, many of the nearly 30 members of Sacramento Area Museums (SAM) are featuring a number of holiday-related events and activities, a sampling of which includes the following:

Twinkling Tractors at the California Agriculture Museum – Now thru December 
The California Agriculture Museum in Woodland offers fun holiday sights and music to experience as they showcase tractors decked with holiday lights. Offered on Tuesdays through Fridays now through the month of December, guests can stroll through the Museum and enjoy holiday lights without concern of being rained out. For more, visit www.californiaagmuseum.org.

State Capitol Holiday Music Program Now thru December 23, 2017
Amid a beautiful backdrop of vintage decorations in the Capitol Rotunda, a variety of diverse and amazing holiday musical performances will entertain State Capitol guests throughout the holidays. Depending on the day, visitors will enjoy FREE live musical entertainment from groups and performers such as High Voltage - El Dorado Theater Co., Camellia Flute Choir, Sacramento Opera Carolers, Salvation Army Brass Band, Girl Scouts of the Sierra, bell-ringers, harps, accordions, Broadway-style song and dance, baroque and brass ensembles, talented school choirs, and barbershop harmony. For more, call 916-324-0333 or visit www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov/images/pdf/holidaymusicprogram2017.pdf.
 
Home for the Holidays Exhibit at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – Now thru 1/4

Shopping, decorations, visitors, travel....the holiday season can be a stressful time for everyone and for our planet, too. Learn ways to take care of yourself and the earth as you prepare for this busy time. Stop by for some helpful hints on making your holidays more sustainable with the Home for the Holidays exhibit. Learn what lights are the most efficient to use when decorating, where to dispose of that tree when you're done with it and how to keep those pipes clear when you're cooking all day. Help make it a clean, green and happy holiday for everyone. For more, visit www.roseville.ca.us/explore.

Gingerbread Holiday at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – 12/1 thru 12/21
The community is invited to enter gingerbread creations at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum 12/1 or 12/2 and also encouraged to visit the museum to see dozens of sweet confections on display during the 30th Annual Gingerbread Holiday celebration. Always FREE, there will be houses, mansions, shacks and other gingerbread structures created by school children, families, bakery academy students and adults. Contest entries are divided into categories:  children, youth, adult, family, school or youth groups and high school culinary academies and guests can vote in the “Visitor’s Favorite” category. For more, visit http://oldsacschoolhouse.scoe.net/.

DDSO Holiday Pop-up at Verge Center for the Arts – 12/1, 12/9 & Ongoing thru December
Verge is teaming up again with DDSO (Developmental Disabilities Service Organization) for the holidays! The community is invited to shop for original artworks, pillows, clothes, jewelry and other one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones (or for yourself). DDSO is one of the most respected nonprofits in the Sacramento and San Joaquin regions, providing a diverse range of services for adults with developmental disabilities. This is a great opportunity to help support them and champion the creativity and potential within the hearts and minds of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Verge looks forward to welcoming the community this December on First Friday, Second Saturday (6 to 9 p.m.) or during normal gallery hours. For more, please visit http://www.vergeart.com/attend/ddso-holiday-pop-up/.

Gold Fever! Tours Offered by the Sacramento History Museum – Weekends thru 12/17
Perfect for families and friends, guests to Old Sacramento can experience what it was like to catch gold fever while getting actively involved in the intriguing Gold Fever! guided tours. Each tour guest has the unique opportunity to take on the persona of a character in history – or a “real-life rascal” – who scratched and clawed their way to make this area the center of the Gold Rush. Never the same tour twice, Gold Fever! tours depart at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. from the Sacramento Visitors Center in Old Sacramento. For more, visit www.sachistorymuseum.org.



Old Sacramento Underground Tours Offered by the Sacramento History Museum – Weekends & Daily 12/26 thru 12/31
To finish off the 2017 season in a festive and fun way, Old Sacramento Underground Tours continue on weekends in December and are offered daily between Christmas and the New Year. The Sacramento History Museum offers a unique and memorable underground tour experience for friends and families to enjoy together. Visitors can take the hour-long tour at either 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. each weekend and day during this holiday week. Note no tours are available 12/24 or 12/25.  For more, visit www.sachistorymuseum.org.



All Nations Native Craft Faire at the Maidu Museum & Historic Site – 12/2
Guests will enjoy an artisan crafts such as Native jewelry, basketry, handmade crafts and more. There will be more than 20 Native American artisans from California tribes and the Cherokee Nation.  Shoppers will also enjoy live entertainment including tribal drumming, traditional music and singing. For more, visit www.roseville.ca.us/cms/one.aspx?pageId=8918739.

All Aboard for Story Time with Mrs. Claus at the Railroad Museum – 12/4
 It’s All Aboard for Story Time! with Mrs.Claus as a celebrity guest reader at 11 a.m. at the California State Railroad Museum. To the delight of young children and train enthusiasts alike, Mrs. Claus will read the children’s books The Night Before Christmas and Thomas and the Christmas Tree (both are Thomas and Friends books). In addition to this special, holiday-style All Aboard for Story Time!, photos with Santa Claus will be available (for a fee) on Wednesdays through Sundays through December 21 from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the historic Eagle Theatre located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park. For more, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum

11th Annual California Hall of Fame Ceremony & Exhibit at the California Museum – 12/5 & 12/6
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown will soon induct the California Hall of Fame 11th Class at the California Museum. The new class of inductees includes Lucille Ball, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Mabel McKay, Mario J. Molina, Jim Plunkett, Gary Snyder, Steven Spielberg, Michael Tillson Thomas and Warren Winiarski. The California Hall of Fame celebrates Californians who embody the state’s spirit of innovation and have made their mark on history. Members of the public are invited to watch the ceremony live webcast on 12/5 at 7 p.m. at https://youtu.be/Cr2wqqCr9AU and visit the Museum’s all-new exhibition featuring artifacts on loan from inductees opening on 12/6. For more, please visit http://www.californiamuseum.org/california-hall-fame.

Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town – 12/9, 10, 16 & 17
Celebrate the holiday season in Whoville!  Fairytale Town will be trimmed with festive holiday décor and a dazzling display of lights, starting at dusk each evening. Guests will enjoy Dr. Seuss and Grinch-themed hands-on activities throughout the event. Visitors can listen to strolling Victorian carolers, shop for gifts from local vendors, step inside a giant snow globe and enjoy a flurry of snow falling nightly at 7 p.m. near the Mother Goose Stage.  For more, visit www.fairytaletown.org.

Holiday Magic at the Sacramento Zoo – 12/9
Why should only humans receive gifts during the holidays? It’s time for Holiday Magic when the community has the special opportunity to watch as the animals unwrap their holiday goodies!  Plus, Zoo visitors who bring a donation for Loaves & Fishes will receive $1 off admission. For more, visit www.saczoo.org.

Holiday Craft Bar at Verge Center for the Arts – 12/9
Stop by Verge and add that extra touch to your holiday gifts and decorations! Whether you want to make your own wrapping paper, holiday cards, present tags, bows, or other holiday touches, Verge will have the materials for you. This is a drop-in event running from 2 to 5 p.m. for one-day-only. Head to Second Saturday after making your items for a full art day. For more information, visit http://www.vergeart.com/classes/holiday-craft-bar/.

Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas at Sutter’s Fort – 12/9
In John Sutter’s day, people from around the world passed through the gates of Sutter’s Fort, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season. “A Simple Emigrant Christmas” offers several vignettes showing holiday scenes, including foods, music, decorations, and traditions from other cultures. During this special “Hands on History” event, Fort visitors can participate in a number of hands-on activities such as dipping and creating their own holiday candles, crafting their own “keepsake” holiday ornaments – that include snowflakes, cornhusk angels and bird nests – plus making holiday cards with nib (or “dip”) pens and colored ink, grinding raw wheat into “Christmas flour,” singing Christmas carols with Fort musicians and more. For more, visit www.suttersfort.org.

Pajama Party at the Sacramento Zoo – 12/24
Guests can celebrate Christmas Eve for FREE at the Sacramento Zoo without even changing out of their pajamas! Festive and fun, get there early as the Zoo will close early at 1:30 p.m. that day so the dedicated staff can enjoy time with their families. Plus, the community is encouraged to join the Loaves & Fishes Holiday Drive at the zoo by donating baby wipes, new gloves, news socks, or unused toiletries at the zoo entrance. For more, visit www.saczoo.org.

New “Forces: Earth & Space” Exhibit Opens at the Powerhouse Science Center – 12/16

Powerhouse Science Center is offering a wonderful holiday destination for guests to enjoy when they open a new exhibit that showcases how the forces of the universe make stars shine, planets orbit, and galaxies hold together complex extraterrestrial systems. In addition, guests will learn how matter and energy work in synchronicity and incredible things happen in the vastness of space. Note the museum will be closed 12/4 thru 12/15 to prepare for the exciting new exhibit. For more, visit www.powerhousesc.org.

Free Admission Day at Fairytale Town – 12/24
As a special holiday treat, Fairytale Town is giving the gift of free admission to guests who visit on Christmas Eve between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with a day of free play for the whole family. What fun! For more, visit www.fairytaletown.org


“Twelve Days of Space Science” at the Powerhouse Science Center – 12/26 thru 1/7
The community is invited to celebrate “Twelve Days of Space Science” at the Powerhouse. From alien encounters to comet parts and fizzing liquids to ice moons, guests will check out a different hands-on space activity and space-themed story each day (excluding New Year’s Day when the science center is closed). For more, visit www.powerhousesc.org.

“The Sound of Music Holiday Event” at the Crocker Art Museum – 12/28
The Crocker’s screening of The Sound of Music returns for its sixth and final year with costume contests, door prizes, yodeling, singing, and lots of laughs. Starring Julie Andrews, with music by the famed Rodgers and Hammerstein, this multi-Academy-Award-winning film tickles the heart and warms the soul. Dress in costume, purchase a Movie Fun Pack to make things even more interesting, and sing your heart out to the film’s iconic and beloved soundtrack. Two screenings will be held in the Crocker’s plush auditorium at 1:30 and 6 p.m. Advance registration is encouraged as this event sells out each year. For tickets, please visit www.crockerart.org or call 916-808-1182 for more information.

Who Year Celebration & New Year’s Eve Party at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – 12/31
During the daytime, the Museum is proud to offer a fun Who Year New Year celebration! Every hour on the hour starting at 12 p.m., guests can enjoy bubble stomps to ring in the New Year around the world. They’ll also have noise-maker making in the Art Studio and more!  Then in the evening, guests can enjoy the 2nd Annual Who Year New Year’s Eve Party (a ticketed event). Festivities will go from 9 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. and will include dancing, continued noise maker-making and bubble stomps, games, light refreshments, and Museum play, culminating in a New Year's countdown to midnight. For more, visit www.sackids.org.

For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.
 

About the Sacramento Area Museums (SAM)
Comprised of nearly 30 greater Sacramento area museums working in partnership with Visit Sacramento, SAM’s mission is to raise awareness of local museums by giving the community the opportunity to discover California’s fine art, history, science and wildlife treasures. SAM achieves its mission through implementing cooperative promotions and developing strategic marketing alliances, by encouraging sharing of knowledge and resources among its partner institutions.  For more information, visit www.SacMuseums.org
 

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Save for Retirement Now, Get a Tax Credit Later

WASHINGTON, DC - The Internal Revenue Service reminds low- and moderate-income workers to plan now to earn a credit on their 2017 tax return. A special tax break can help people with modest incomes save for retirement. It’s called the Saver’s Credit and it could mean up to a 50 percent credit for the first $2,000 a taxpayer contributes to a retirement plan.

Also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, the Saver’s Credit helps offset part of the amount workers voluntarily contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA, a 401(k) or 403 (b) plan, and similar workplace retirement programs.

Taxpayers with an IRA have until April 17, 2018, (the due date of their 2017 tax return) to contribute to the plan and still have it qualify for 2017. However, contributions (elective deferrals) to an employer-sponsored plan must be made by the end of the year to qualify for the credit. Employees who are unable to set aside money for this year may want to schedule their 2018 contributions soon so their employer can begin withholding in January.

The Saver’s Credit can be claimed by:

  • Married couples filing jointly with incomes up to $62,000 in 2017 or $63,000 in 2018
  • Heads of Household with incomes up to $46,500 in 2017 or $47,250 for 2018
  • Singles and married individuals filing separately with incomes up to $31,000 in 2017 or $31,500 in 2018

To qualify for the credit, a person must be:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Not a full-time student
  • Not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return

Like other tax credits, the Saver’s Credit can increase a taxpayer’s refund or reduce the amount of tax owed. Though the maximum Saver’s Credit is $1,000 ($2,000 for married couples), the IRS cautioned that it is often much less and may be zero for some taxpayers.

The amount of the credit is based on filing status, income, overall tax liability and the amount contributed to a qualifying retirement plan. It may also be impacted by other credits and deductions or reduced by any recent distributions from a retirement plan.

To claim the Saver’s Credit, taxpayers must complete Form 8880 and attach it to their tax return. Form 8880 cannot be used with Form 1040EZ.

In tax year 2015, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, Saver’s Credits totaling nearly $1.4 billion were claimed on more than 8.1 million individual income tax returns.

The Saver’s Credit can also add to other tax benefits available to people who contribute to their retirement; for example, most workers can also deduct contributions to a traditional IRA.

Source: IRS Media

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in recognizing December 4-8, 2017, as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.

According to the AOTA, with increasing age come changes in physical, mental and sensory abilities that can challenge a person’s continued ability to drive safely.  Family and friends have a major role in identifying changes in driving behavior and beginning discussions about older driver safety.  It is important to start these conversations early and discuss any needed changes in driving habits before it becomes a problem, allowing older drivers to be actively involved in the planning. 

“Most drivers want to continue driving for as long as possible and maintain their independence,” CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said.  “Family and friends play an important, but often difficult role, in discussing how long it is safe to continue driving.”

Data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows drivers age 65 and older made up approximately 15 percent of the licensed drivers in California in 2016.  Last year, more than 5,100 fatal collisions were recorded in California.  Preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System indicates drivers age 65 and older were involved in 10.7 percent of the fatal collisions and 8.3 percent of the injury collisions in California in 2016. 

As part of our efforts to help California’s seniors drive safely for as long as they can, the CHP offers a free, two-hour Age Well, Drive Smart course.  Through this program, seniors can sharpen their driving skills, refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road, and learn how to adjust to normal age-related physical and mental changes.  The CHP North Sacramento Area office will hold a free class at the First Baptist Church of Fair Oaks located at 4401 San Juan Ave, Fair Oaks, CA. Class size is limited so it is encouraged that all who plan on attending RSVP.

Persons interested in signing up for the class will need to register for the class by emailing Officer Chad Hertzell at chertzell@chp.ca.gov or by sending a private message to our Facebook account at Facebook.com/chpnorthsac or calling him at 916-348-2317.

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Nearly 90 percent of older drivers do not make inexpensive adaptations to their vehicles that can improve safety and extend their time behind the wheel, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Common vehicle adaptations like pedal extensions, seat cushions and steering wheel covers can help to improve safety by reducing a senior driver’s crash risk. Seniors aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash.

“While many seniors are safe drivers, they are also the most vulnerable,” said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California. “We urge seniors to consider making the necessary adaptations to their vehicles in order to reduce crash risk and extend the time they can continue to drive. Simple, inexpensive features can greatly improve their safety and the safety of those they share the road with.”

The research brief, In-Vehicle Technologies, Vehicle Adaptations, and Older Drivers: Use, Learning, and Perceptions is the first phase in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s groundbreaking Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) project.

For this phase of the study, researchers investigated 12 vehicle adaptations and found that fewer than nine percent of senior drivers reported using any of the devices in their vehicles. Some of the inexpensive devices that can be purchased and put to use in new or existing vehicles are: Cushions and seat pads can improve line of sight and can help alleviate back or hip pain; Convex/ multifaceted mirrors can improve visibility and minimizes blind spots; Pedal extension can help drivers obtain a safe distance from the steering wheel/airbag and optimize visibility; Steering wheel covers can improve grip for drivers with arthritic hand joints; Hand controls can help the driver to perform all vehicle maneuvers and functions without the use of lower extremities.

Choosing the right features and working with a trained technician is imperative to safety behind the wheel. Of those drivers who have a device, almost 90 percent reported that they did not work with a trained professional to install the modification, a key recommendation by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). AAA urges drivers to consult with a trained technician to guide them in making adjustments to their vehicle.

Vehicle adaptions also benefit seniors’ mental health by extending their time on the road. Previous research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that seniors who have stopped driving are almost two times more likely to suffer from depression and nearly five times more likely to enter a long-term care facility than those who remain behind the wheel.

“Knowledge is power when it comes to extending time behind the wheel, and AAA is committed to providing seniors with the information they need to make sound decisions,” Blasky said.

AAA is promoting the report in partnership with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to support Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. AAA and AOTA worked in collaboration with the American Society on Aging and AARP to develop CarFit to help senior drivers better utilize the features and technologies in their vehicles. AAA also offers the Smart Features for Older Drivers tool, which can help senior drivers identify in-expensive devices and vehicle features that optimize their comfort and safety.

About LongROAD: Recognizing that lifestyle changes, along with innovative technologies and medical advancements will have a significant impact on the driving experiences of the baby boomer generation, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has launched a ground-breaking, multi-year research program to more fully understand the driving patterns and trends of older drivers in the United States. The LongROAD (Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers) study is the largest and most comprehensive senior driver database on senior drivers incorporating 2,990 participants. It will support in-depth studies of senior driving and mobility to better understand risks and develop effective countermeasures.

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago. Visit AAA.com.

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Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Two of the three leading credit agencies have raised their assessment of SMUD’s credit worthiness. Fitch and S&P upgraded SMUD’s credit ratings to AA, from AA-. Meanwhile, SMUD’s credit worthiness continues to be rated Aa3 by Moody’s. This is the strongest SMUD’s credit ratings have been in 33 years.

The agencies cited improved finances, sound operating fundamentals, competitive rates and a diverse energy portfolio among the many reasons they raised their assessment of SMUD’s credit worthiness.

Exceeding financial goals helps SMUD maintain solid credit ratings and provides for lower interest rates when SMUD borrows. The upgrades are expected to save three basis points (0.03%) on SMUD’s upcoming bond transaction, which is worth $350,000 net value over the term of the debt.  Additionally, SMUD will continue to pay lower interest rates every time the electric utility issues debt in the future.

According to Fitch: “The rating upgrade reflects the district's strong and sustainable financial performance, moderate leverage with manageable capital needs, and management's proactive plans to comply with environmental mandates and adapt to a rapidly evolving industry.”

S&P noted: “We have assigned SMUD a business profile score of '3' on a 10-point scale, with '1' being the highest, reflecting our view of SMUD's competitive electric rates, diverse and coal-free resource portfolio, strong financial management, and stable and diverse service territory.”

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for 70 years to Sacramento County (and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visitsmud.org.

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Home for the Holidays Celebrates the Season

Special SCSO Release  |  2017-12-01

The SCSO is once again proud to partner with Wells Fargo to help Sacramento area families celebrate the season in a meaningful way. Photo courtesy SCSO.

Grinch, Children, Puppets, Headliner, Orchestra and Chorus Star in SCSO’s December Celebration at Memorial Auditorium

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick and the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra are once again setting a joyful scene for their magical Wells Fargo Home for the Holidays celebration in downtown Sacramento. This premier Christmas celebration has become a standing-room only area tradition when families converge in Sacramento’s venerable landmark Memorial Auditorium (15th & J Street) to salute the season in fine style.

You Spoke – The SCSO Listened
“Last year’s inaugural matinée concert played to a full house so we are definitely running a 2 PM matinée performance again this year on Saturday, December 9,” says SCSO Marketing Director Jeannie Brown. “That will be followed by a 7:30 PM evening performance to accommodate our loyal patrons.”

SCSO attendees also requested that the Grinch and the life-size Puppets return to regale children young and old at this year’s events. Christopher Cooke and the Green Valley Theater Company will once again create the puppet magic and baritone Matt Hanscom will once again make Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas jump off the page and into the hearts of the audience. (As an aside, it’s hard to believe that The Grinch is celebrating its 60th birthday this year.)

The SCSO is once again proud to partner with Wells Fargo to help Sacramento area families celebrate the season in a meaningful way. “It is our pleasure to collaborate with Wells Fargo to offer such an exciting choral orchestral program to so many people,” says Board President James McCormick. Wells Fargo and the SCSO are partnering to offer tickets for the underprivileged and for Veterans. “Sacramento’s venerable Memorial Auditorium was built in 1927 and it is celebrating it’s 90th birthday this year. The performance venue was dedicated to Veterans back in 1927, so our Veterans and their Families feel a special kinship for this Sacramento landmark” says SCSO Board Member Amanda Johnson.

The SCSO is enjoying a strong collaboration with KVIE for their December 9th performances and their PBS documentary is gaining lots of airtime leading up to the concerts. “We also have a close partnership with Make-A-Wish this year,” says Board Member Jeannie Brown. “We hope to grant not one but three wishes for our young stars at this year’s performances.

SCSO Artistic Director Donald Kendrick has added some extra special magic for children young and old at their December 9th performances. Says Kendrick, “People love to hear stories at Christmas and we intend to share a stunning arrangement of American composer Randol Alan Bass’ The Night Before Christmas featuring the orchestra and narrator Matt Hanscom.

“The warm atmosphere created by Memorial Auditorium’s u-shaped seating plan fosters a very strong sense of community at the concert itself. For most people attending, witnessing the power of such a large chorus and orchestra, and even singing along with the orchestra on the second half of the program leaves an indelible impression, one sparkling with hope and joy,” says SCSO Board Member Derek LaCrone.

SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick has once again drawn together another refreshing and sparkling program designed to capture the magic and spirit of the season, providing seasonal surprises and merriment for the whole family. “We are working hard to provide a festive and celebratory mood for our Wells Fargo Home for the Holidays concert as we plan to welcome families who come together to celebrate this joyful season,” says SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick. “It is a time to experience a wonderful sense of old-fashioned community and camaraderie brought about by the thrilling music of the season.”

Music, Mystery, Children, Guest Artist and Narrator, Audience Singalong

The concert’s special guests will once again be the Sacramento Children’s Chorus under their new director Alexander Grambow. The program begins with a sense of mystery in darkness with the entire large 180-voice combined SCSO/SCC Choruses surrounding the audience with candles in the first balcony, singing a cappella from memory. This sound around effect is stunning and moving for both the performers and audience members alike,” says SCSO patron Lynn Estabrook. “The candlelit procession to the stage during Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival will make for a magical opening to our performance.” Following the intermission, the large audience will rise to its feet and fill Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium with a joyful noise when they join Kendrick and the large SCSO Chorus and orchestra in an exciting audience singalong.  “The sound of such a large chorus and the looks of inspiration and joy on people’s faces during the sing along really add to the sense of community that great music brings to us all’, says SCSO Bass Zane Brown.

Kendrick has once again chosen a mixture of outstanding choral orchestral works celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, a mixture of traditional carols that people have come to love tinged with new arrangements by such well respected composers as British composer John Rutter and young American composer Barlow Bradford along with a stunning arrangement of Robert Wendel’s Holiday Greetings. Baritone Matt Hanscom will serve as the SCSO’s headliner, rounding out the evening with solos in arrangements by Randol Alan Bass, Matthew Naughtin and Robert Wendel.

Christmas CDs Available at the December 9th Performance

The SCSO’s December 9th performances will offer patrons an opportunity take the SCSO’s Christmas CDs  - great stocking stuffers - home with them. “Nothing compares to the joy that live music brings, especially at Christmas,” says SCSO Alto Tonia Hagaman. “Our large orchestra excels in these sparkling arrangements that Don serves up and the energy on stage is definitely contagious.

Come celebrate the true spirit of the Christmas season at the SCSO’s 2017 Wells Fargo Home for the Holidays performances at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. We guarantee merriment.

Wells Fargo Home for the Holidays 2017 At a Glance
Event:  Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra’s Wells Fargo Home for the Holidays at             

Memorial Auditorium, Donald Kendrick Conductor
Guests: The Sacramento Children’s Chorus, Alexander Grambow, Director
             Matt Hanscom, Guest Artist and Narrator
             Puppets by Green Valley Theater Company – Christopher Cook, Designer
             Lobby Entertainment – Vibrance Barbershop Quartet
Date/Times:  Saturday, December 9  - 2 PM matinee – 7:30 PM evening concert
Location:  Memorial Auditorium – 1515 J Street, Sacramento
Tickets:     $35 - $40 - $50  – Students with ID: 50% discount
                  Sacramento Community Center Box Office: 916-808-5181
Information: SCSO: (916) 536-9065 or sacramentochoral.com

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Program Provides Comfort, Companionship and Cheer to Sacramento Area Seniors

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - While many seniors enjoy being able to live independently, the holidays can be a difficult time for those who are unable to spend them with friends or loved ones. In fact, isolated seniors are at greater risk for loneliness, anxiety and depression.

This is why the local Home Instead Senior Care® offices serving Sacramento and surrounding counties are inviting the community to come together to bring some comfort and holiday cheer to area seniors through their Be a Santa to a Senior® program.

“Research suggests that feelings of loneliness can have a real effect on both mental and physical health. The holidays are a prime time for many people to feel lonely, and that may be especially true for seniors who cannot travel from their homes or have lost their support network,” said Buck Shaw of Home instead Senior Care in Sacramento. “With Be a Santa to a Senior, we are able to bring them some comfort through a thoughtful gift that they might not otherwise receive, but, more importantly, by delivering them with a warm friendly face and kind words reminding them that their community cares about them.”

Providing gifts and companionship at a time when seniors may need it most, the program is made possible through the generous support of Sacramento area businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The local Home Instead Senior Care offices are partnering with Meals on Wheels to help with gift collection and distribution.

Holiday shoppers are invited to support Be a Santa to a Senior by visiting a participating location where Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be on display from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15. Those trees will be decorated with paper ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and their desired gifts. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the store with the ornament attached. There’s no need to worry about wrapping — community volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts to local seniors in time for the holidays.

“We’re excited to get started and see the tree ornaments turn into meaningful gifts and interactions that can make a real impact on seniors’ quality of life this holiday season,” said Shaw. “We know there are a variety of gift initiatives out there, and are so grateful to have our partners and community come together to support this important cause that will bring some much-needed holiday spirit to many of our senior neighbors.”

More than 50 Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found this year, including the following locations, or by entering a zip code at www.BeaSantatoaSenior.com: Eskaton Lodge Gold River, 11390 Coloma Rd., Gold River; Meals on Wheels, 7375 Park City Dr., Sacramento; Sagebrook at Carmichael, 7125 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael;  Summerset Senior Living, 2341 Vehicle Dr., Rancho Cordova

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call (916) 920-2273 or (530) 885-3904.

Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises.

 

Source: Home Instead Senior Care 

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