Bat Talk and Walk

By Yolo Basin Foundation  |  2018-05-17

Meet a live Mexican free-tailed bat and watch them fly. Photo by Joy Elson

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Enjoy the nightlife and meet live bats. Watch bats leave Highway 80 at the Yolo Causeway as they fly to eat crop pests and mosquitoes throughout the valley. Learn about these amazing mammals at one of the popular summer Bat Talk and Walk programs with Yolo Basin Foundation. 30 dates mid-June to mid-September from which to choose.

About 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats call the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area home. Each evening, in the summer, these beneficial animals each millions insects.

Following a 45-minute indoor presentation on bat natural history and meeting the live bats, the group will carpool out to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to watch the “fly-out” of the largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in California. The bats emerge in long ribbons as they head out to hunt for insects for the night. To get to the viewing site, the group will caravan through wetlands and rice fields to an area not open to the public.

Registration required www.yolobasin.org or (530) 757-3780.

Yolo Basin Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the appreciation and stewardship of wetlands and wildlife through education and innovative partnerships. The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

American Legion Has Its Day at the State Capitol

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-05-24

Photo courtesy Dana Nichol

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On April 25 more than 70 members of American Legion posts throughout the state of California, along with members of the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion, spent an informative and interactive day meeting their legislators and sharing their concerns for the future of the more than 1.7 million veterans living in the Golden State.

The American Legion is one of the largest veteran advocates in the United States. Sons of the American Legion (SAL) also exists to honor the services and sacrifices of those who served their country.

Veterans Legislative Advocate Seth Reeb welcomed attendees with an explanation of the day’s events and kept the program moving as Assembly members and Senators from El Dorado Hills, Napa, Merced, Thousand Oaks, Riverside, Fullerton, Dana Point (Orange County), and Oceanside, many of them veterans themselves, explained the legislation they are sponsoring.  

Dr. Vito Imbasciani M.D., secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and head of the CalVet Leadership Team, spoke of the tragic killing of three staffers by a former patient at the Yountville Veterans Home on March 10, 2018. The patient was in a special program for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.  SB1314 has been introduced to prevent this from happening again.

Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) each received the Department’s 2017 Leo P. Burke Legislator of the Year Award for their leadership, support and dedication to the veterans and service members of California.

Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) is working on Senate Bill SB 1375 that would reinstate the “VETERAN” license plate, which will be available only to veterans. Gaines spoke of his father who at 18 years joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving on a tail gunner on a bomber in Germany.

Assemblyman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs described AB 2325, which would protect an eligible veteran’s ability to access county mental or behavioral health services.

Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, explained his Bill, SB 1080, which would streamline the state’s driver licensing requirements for active duty military and their families so they can begin earning extra income from ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber without unnecessary fees and delays.

Other examples of bills included AB 2394, which exempts military retirement pay from California state income tax, AB 2801, which addresses the problem of veteran and law enforcement memorials being vandalized, and SB 1452, which would establish the War on Terror Memorial Committee to look into the feasibility of the construction of a memorial in or around the State Capitol Park.

Other proposed legislation addresses veteran housing, homelessness, issues with disabled veterans, and more funding for county veterans service officers from the current $5.6 million to $7 million.

Elizabeth Perez-Halperin, a U.S. Navy veteran, was recently named Deputy Secretary of Minority Veterans at the California Department of Veteran Affairs. She gave a presentation of her work with minority and unrepresented veterans including African American, Latino, Native American, LGBT, and the homeless. In a recent issue of CalVet Connect, she describes her work, “To help immigrant veterans become naturalized citizens.” Herself a member of the Native American community, she said, “I am committed to ensuring that we actively identify and address any challenges in serving ALL veterans.”

The American Legion (AL) and American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), both founded in 1919, exist to help veterans and their families. The AL is active in supporting the interests of veterans and representing on their behalf.  According to the ALA, they are the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. Working side-by-side with their American Legion posts, members volunteer tens of thousands of hours in their communities and raise millions of dollars to support its programs.

...Read More!  
  |  

Maestro Kendrick Shares His Final Bow

By Anthony Barcellos  |  2018-05-24

SCSO Conductor led the 250-voice Chorus and Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of Dan Forrest

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - When a distinguished professor retires into emeritus status, we expect him to be taking a bow at his retirement party. However, Don Kendrick of Sacramento State found a way to have his students take a bow with him. And he did it simply by including them in the public performance celebrating his retirement.

Kendrick is the founder of the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, which honored their creator with an event on May 12 at the Community Center Theater. The performers included 280 singers, 3 soloists, and an orchestra of 52 professional musicians. The huge force was assembled by combining the musicians of the SCSO with Sacramento State’s three choirs — the Women's Chorus, the Men's Chorus, and the University Chorus — and the Sacramento Children’s Chorus.

The concert comprised three works: Ottorino Respighi’s Suite No. 2 of “Ancient Airs and Dances,” Antonín Dvorák’s “Te Deum,” and the West Coast premiere of Dan Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo.” The Respighi work is a purely orchestral composition, so the tiers of seats for the singers were empty as Kendrick launched the performance with a sense of anticipation. As SCSO president Jim McCormick noted in his pre-performance presentation, Respighi “gets the endorphins flowing!”

The singers filed in and filled the performance space to capacity for Dvorák’s “Te Deum,” an ancient hymn of praise in Latin. With a text derived from the Book of Psalms, the “Te Deum” was a joyous foreshadowing of the new work constituting the evening’s concluding work, which was also derived from the Psalms. Supertitles helpfully provided both Latin text and English translation.

After the intermission, Maestro Kendrick led the ensemble in Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo” (Be joyful in the Lord), a cosmopolitan composition comprising seven world languages in seven movements. The boisterous first segment in Latin cites passages from Psalm 100 and exhorts the entire world (“omnis terra”) to celebrate. The second movement is an ethereal exchange of statements and echoes in Hebrew and Arabic, a plaintive call for unity.

The third movement incorporated the Chinese two-stringed fiddle, played with bow by guest performer David An. The Mandarin text derived from Psalm 23’s invocation of the Good Shepherd, and the music was a tranquil meditation highlighted by a soprano soloist.

After being lulled into a sense of peaceful serenity by two movements, the audience was jolted into full wakefulness with the percussion-driven opening of the fourth movement, as the chorus sang out a Zulu text calling for enthusiastic celebration. The kinetic impact of the movement was felt throughout the theater, and the singers were swaying to the music’s dance impulse.

The fifth movement offers a lyrical respite, “Bendecid su nombre” (Bless his name), with Spanish-language text and a mood of contemplation. Strings are prominent, with both harp and guitar accompaniment.

The title of the sixth movement is “Song of the Earth,” but it is not evocative of Mahler. Rather, it is a wordless celebration of the entire world, until eventually the singing of the performers resolves into one word: Alleluia!

The finale encompasses all that went before in recapitulation and closes the circle of life with evocations of the opening bars, particularly the “jubilate” (celebrate) theme. The title is “Omnis Terra” (the whole world), and it builds to a dramatic climax full of excitement and drama. The audience, full of pent-up energy because of the frequent reminders to be quiet as the performance was being recorded, finally burst into explosive applause and shouts of approval. Kendrick took his bows, as did his students and all the other performers with him.

...Read More!  
  |  

“Steps to Success” Mental Health and Addiction Diversion Program Starts

Yolo County Release  |  2018-05-23

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that the “Steps to Success” (S2S) Officer Assisted Diversion program has started in Davis.  During the past week Davis Police officers received training on this new program.  The project is intended to reduce recidivism and advance the recovery of people involved in the criminal justice system who have a history of mental health and/or substance use disorders.

When individuals’ behaviors that led to their criminal offense is connected to mental illness and/or substance use disorders, officers will use this new procedure.  Instead of arresting the individuals, the officer engages them to determine whether they want help with their mental illness and/or substance use disorder.  The officer assesses whether they want to work on changing their circumstances and then quickly connects them with services.  The goal is to provide assistance to these individuals when they are ready for change.

For those interested in the program, the officer will refer them into the S2S program by fast tracking their court date four weeks out instead of the normal twelve weeks.  During this four week period team members will assess these individuals using evidenced based screening tools.  Individuals with higher needs receive supportive services that include intensive case management, substance use disorder treatment, mental health services, permanent housing assistance and civil-legal assistance.  An assigned case manager will work with participants to design an individual case plan designed to address their specific needs.  At their first appearance in court, participants will be placed into a collaborative supervision with a probation officer and case managers working together with the model successfully used in Mental Health Court that reduced recidivism and hospital stays while increasing outpatient treatment engagement.  

These individuals will also participate in a Neighborhood Court restorative justice conference to resolve their criminal charges.  Successful participants will reintegrate into the community after addressing their mental health issue or substance use disorders while also avoiding criminal convictions which can often be an impediment to future employment and housing stability.

“With Steps to Success we hope to address the root cause of criminal activity,” said Reisig.  “If we can help people get healthy, they will not be in and out of the criminal justice system and we will ultimately reduce recidivism.”

CommuniCare Health Centers conducts the clinical assessments and provides case management, Empower Yolo provides housing assistance, and civil-legal services are provided by Legal Services of Northern California.

Karen Larsen, Director of Yolo County’s Health and Human Services Agency, stated “Steps to Success is an exciting opportunity for our County partners to come together across systems and address some of the gaps that hinder the success of our residents struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.”

This project is funded by a Proposition 47 grant of nearly $6 million, to be spent over a 38-month period, with the goal of expanding the County’s Neighborhood Court diversion program. The project is a collaborative effort between the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency, District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department, and the Public Defender’s Office.  The Officer Assisted Diversion component will expand to the other police agencies in the near future.

“The Yolo County Probation Department is proud to be a part of the multi-year collaborative effort,” said Probation Deputy Chief Zachary Grounds.  “This program will enhance our current continuum to provide early, efficient, and accurate treatment for those with mental illness or addiction and is another step that the Yolo criminal justice system has made toward closing service gaps and providing rehabilitation.”

The District Attorney’s Neighborhood Court program is seeking volunteers to participate in the restorative justice conferences.  Individuals with loved ones suffering form mental illness or substance use disorder are particularly encouraged to participate.  For additional information on this program, please visit www.yoloda.org/nc, email Nicole.Kirkaldy@yolocounty.org or call 530.666.8378.

...Read More!  
  |  

Bumgarner Expected to Make Rehab Start Saturday in Sacramento

By Sacramento River Cats  |  2018-05-23

Photo by Barry Sibert

San Francisco Giants’ Ace is Scheduled to Begin Rehabbing His Broken Left Pinky Finger

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Four-time All-Star, three-time World Champion, and 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner is expected join the Sacramento River Cats Saturday, May 26 as he begins his Major League rehab assignment. The Giants’ ace is scheduled to start Saturday night as the River Cats host the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Bumgarner is rehabbing a broken pinky finger on his left hand, an injury he sustained when he was struck by a comebacker in a Spring Training game on March 23. As part of his rehab, Bumgarner threw a batting practice session this weekend at AT&T Park in San Francisco and threw a simulated game to Giants hitters on Tuesday in Houston. The lefty is expected throw about 45 pitches on Saturday, and make at least two starts before rejoining the Giants’ rotation.

The 28-year-old was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (10th overall) of the MLB June Amateur Draft in 2007. He made his Major League debut on September 8, 2009 and was a key contributor in the Giants’ 2010 Postseason run. Bumgarner made history during the 2014 Postseason, throwing a record-setting 52.2 innings, including a historic five-inning save in Game 7 to clinch the Championship for San Francisco.

Bumgarner’s rehab assignment in Sacramento is scheduled to begin this Saturday, May 26 as the River Cats host the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes at Raley Field. First pitch is 7:07 p.m. and gates will open at 5:00 p.m. Tickets and ticket packages are still available at rivercats.com. For more information, please call 916.371.HITS (4487) or visit rivercats.com.

...Read More!  
  |  

SMUD, CDFW Stock Thousands of Trout in Reservoirs

By SMUD  |  2018-05-22

Some of the 10,000 pounds of trout being delivered to Union Valley Reservoir while a television news photographer shoots video. This is the fourth of 50 summers SMUD and CDFW will stock three Crystal Basin Recreation Area reservoirs with at least 25,000 pounds of fish. The fish stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its federal license to operate its Upper American River Project hydroelectric facilities. Photo courtesy SMUD

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting will run through August with 25,000 pounds of fish stocked into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. The amount of fish stocked can number as high as 50,000 pounds in a given year, depending on matched stocking by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is the fourth consecutive summer SMUD and CDFW have combined efforts to stock the reservoirs.

The trout planting is intended to enhance angling opportunities for the public. According to surveys, fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. On average, the stocked trout weigh one to two pounds each, with a handful of trophy fish included. This year SMUD is working with the owners of the Ice House Resort to install a board where anglers can post pictures of their catch from Crystal Basin reservoirs.  The “Crystal Basin Bragging Board” will offer anglers the opportunity to show off a photo of any catch they think is worthy. A scale will be made available as well if anglers wish to weigh their catch and claim biggest fish bragging rights. 

SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where many SMUD employees call home and work, and where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities.

In 2014, SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydro power, enough to provide about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

SMUD will coordinate six separate trout plantings from June through August. Union Valley, the largest of the three reservoirs, will get 10,000 pounds; Ice House, 8,750 pounds; and, Loon Lake, 6,250 pounds. The fish provided by SMUD will come from Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts the very popular Trout Derby.

Fishing licenses are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

For more information about UARP and associated projects as well as current reservoir and stream release conditions, please visit smud.org and the Community and Recreational Areas Web pages.

...Read More!  
  |  
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) -  Seven Sacramento area museums will participate in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families starting the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (May 26) and continuing through Labor Day (September 3), 2018. The seven local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, Powerhouse Science Center and the Sacramento History Museum.

This year’s participating Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, zoos, nature centers and children’s museums. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.  
 
Before planning a visit, please contact the individual museums for hours of operation and note some are normally closed on Mondays and in observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information or a complete list of participating Blue Star museums, please visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.
 
About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 2018 through Labor Day, September 3, 2018. The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as Active Duty and Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.
...Read More!  
  |  

Railroad Museum to Dazzle & Delight during a “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” on Father’s Day Weekend

By T-Rock Communications  |  2018-05-21

About the California State Railroad Museum Foundation
The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation have exciting plans to dazzle and delight visitors with a special “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” on Father’s Day weekend - Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17, 2018. 
 
This family-favorite small train extravaganza showcases a magical assortment of trains, hundreds of feet of track and an array of buildings and accessories. For the “BIG Weekend of Small Trains,” local organizations and devoted enthusiasts will set up shop in the Museum, filling the Roundhouse with delightful model and toy train layouts of every description while being surrounded by impressive full-scale locomotives. Visitors of all ages will marvel at the variety of locomotives that pull pretend passengers and scaled-down shipments through all kinds of scenery, whether modeled on real places or created in the imaginations of the collectors.
 
“BIG Weekend of Small Trains” visitors are also encouraged to explore the Museum that is home to 225,000 square feet of exhibits and beautifully restored railroad cars and locomotives that illustrate railroad history in California and the West.
 
All “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” activities are included with Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about this special event or the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280 or visit https://www.californiarailroad.museum/
 
Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at info@parks.ca.gov or via RSS feed.
 
California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.
...Read More!  
  |  

New Mental Health Program Targets Pre-teens

By Sac County News  |  2018-05-17

​​SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has awarded Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services more than $2 million dollars in grant funding as part of Senate Bill (SB) 82 Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act third round crisis triage grant funds. ​

Sacramento is one of 11 counties to receive this third round grant funding aimed at increasing mental health services in schools for youth ages 11-14 years. 

“As we continue to build out our services continuum, we are including more services targeted at youth,” says Uma Zykofsky, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director. 

This funding will allow Sacramento County to position three, two-person mental health service teams in three targeted middle school campuses within Sacramento County. Sacramento County’s Children and Youth Crisis Service Needs Assessment revealed gaps in the existing service continuum on school campuses for students, including a lack of awareness of mental health issues for children and crisis services. This program aims to​ close these identified gaps. 

The new program, Safe Zone Squad, will consist of a Youth Advocate Mental Health Worker and a Mental Health Counselor. Each team will have designated and consistent office hours to support walk-in crisis needs and to create a dependable presence. Each middle school campus will have a dedicated team so that students see the same team members throughout their days. The teams will work with students, faculty and parents to help demystify and destigmatize mental illness, provide education on managing escalating stress and learning how to identify and help someone who is distressed. 

"This grant is very important to Sacramento County. We are making great strides in creating a more complete responsive continuum of care for our community,” adds Zykofsky. “This grant helps bring education and behavioral health services together."

...Read More!  
  |  

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) -  All are welcome to attend the Friends of the Davis Public Library’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. when State Librarian, Greg Lucas will be the featured speaker. The event will be in the Blanchard Room of the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library, located at 315 E. 14th Street in Davis.  Light refreshments will be served following the meeting.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Greg Lucas California’s 25th State Librarian in May 2014. Previously, Greg was the bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle and covered politics and policy at the State Capitol for nearly 20 years.  Greg has a degree in communications from Stanford University, a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and recently completed his Masters in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University in January 2018.

The Yolo County Library has received grants from the State Library to fund programs such as the Book Bike and Books by Mail, which both improve access to library resources for individuals that are unable to visit the library.  The Yolo County Library recently received a grant from the State Library to provide all K-12 students with library cards and training on resources at the beginning of each school year.  The program will be piloted with the Esparto Unified School District in the 2018-19 school year.

In addition to Lucas speaking, the Friends of Davis Public Library will hold their annual meeting to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and to elect new officers for the coming year.  Non-members are welcome to attend the meeting and information on joining the Friends will be available for those interested.  Annually, the Davis Friends contribute around $100,000 to the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library and the South Davis Montgomery Branch to provide for monthly programs, the annual summer reading program and additional funds for the library’s book and resources collection.  The Davis Friends also run the Logos Book Store, located at 513 2nd Street in Davis.

No reservations are required and all programs are free to attend. The Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library is accessible for persons with disabilities.  For more information regarding this event, contact Scott Love at (530) 757-5595 or scott.love@yolocounty.org.  For more information about the Friends of the Davis Public Library, visit: www.davislibraryfriends.org.  For more information about Yolo County Library visit: www.yolocountylibrary.org or connect with the Library on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org.

...Read More!  
  |