The Rogue Music Project with Pioneer Congregational Church

Press Release  |  2018-03-08

Rogue Music Project

Presents Kevin Doherty & Jennifer Reason in Concert Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rogue Music Project's Jennifer Reason and Kevin Doherty will present their concert, “Unfinished Business” Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m. at the historic Pioneer Congregational Church, 2700 L Street.

Kevin Doherty and Jennifer Reason will perform their concert, “Unfinished Business”, with piano music by C.P.E. Bach and Mozart; famous scenes from two of opera's greatest composers, Puccini and Britten; a transcendent movement from Philip Glass's METAMORPHOSES; and the song cycle SONGS OF TRAVEL by Vaughan Williams. Artists Liisa Davila and Sarah Fitch will also perform.

Baritone Doherty is the Morning Classical Host on Capital Public Radio. In concert, he has appeared as a baritone soloist with orchestras across the United States. Pianist Jennifer Reason is Music Director of the Rogue Music Project, (RMP) a collective that cultivates adventurous music and theater experiences. She is also the Artistic Director for the Reconciliation Singers Voices of Peace, a 16-voice a capella ensemble who donates 100% of their proceeds to underfunded charities nationwide. (

Tickets are available at the door for $20. This is the third concert of the historic Pioneer Congregational Church’s 2018 concert series. 

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Open Houses Provide First-Hand Look at Opportunities for Low Volt Technicians

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc., (WECA), a California-based trade association supporting the electrical and low voltage industries, is holding a Low Voltage Apprenticeship Training Open House on March 20, 2018, at their WECA headquarters in Rancho Cordova, and on March 21, 2018, at their San Diego Training Facility, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at each location. 
California needs skilled workers. Trades industry learning and networking events have never been more crucial than now, when jobs are going unfilled. With every five workers leaving the trades, only one replacement is supplied by Apprenticeship programs. The demand for low voltage technicians, in particular, is at an all-time high.
WECA is addressing this set of circumstances by offering a unique opportunity for prospective apprentices to learn about the industry first-hand, through two Open House events this month. Prospective apprentices can meet instructors, tour the learning labs, participate in hands-on demonstrations simulating scenarios found in the field, and ask questions in an open forum. The day will culminate with an application session when interested candidates may apply to the Apprenticeship program immediately. Qualified applicants may quickly find themselves placed with a sponsoring low voltage contractor, well on their way to a lucrative career as they enjoy paid on-the-job training.
WECA’s well-regarded, federal and state-approved Apprenticeship programs offer industry contractors vetted and educated apprentices who are adept in not only navigating the Code, but also experienced with real-industry scenarios, via WECA’s extensive hands-on labs.
Upon graduation, apprentices already have substantial experience in low voltage specialty fields like Voice Data Video and Fire Life Safety, and many stay on with the same companies who trained and developed them on the job, during their apprenticeship.
REGISTRATION. Pre-registration for this event is encouraged.
Northern California Open House
Southern California Open House


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Junior Tennis Fund Seeks a Match

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-07

JTFS members Joyce Williams (third from right) and Jolene Stinemetz (third from left) present the board members of Mission Oaks Recreation and Parks District with a donation.

“Bringing Tennis to Underserved Kids”

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Established at the end of 2014, the Junior Tennis Fund Sacramento has donated over $16,000 to the greater Sacramento Region over the years. Mainly donating to parks and recs, the goal of the organization is to bring tennis to kids who may not have ever had a chance to set foot on the court otherwise.

The JTFS is a collective giving organization that supports public youth tennis in the greater Sacramento area. They harness the power of collective giving to support community philanthropy and help create new tennis opportunities for all kids, especially the underserved, at public facilities, parks and schools.

Among the years of contributions, they have donated to the Carmichael Recreation and Park, South Gate Recreation and Park District, Rio Linda Recreation and Park District and the Mission Oaks Recreation and Parks District. Most recently they donated $1,800 to Woodland Park.

“We are a youth development program that helps with social skills and gets kids out of the house,” said Carol Rose, Founder and Director of JTFS. “Kids like tennis and enjoy getting out there and chasing the ball.” Rose explained the beauty of tennis entering these children’s lives. “Tennis is a sport that instills core values, teaches life skills and helps to develop productive citizens. It’s a sport that can be played for a lifetime.”

Expanding on that point, some kids pick up the sport and truly run with it, which led to the newest idea of JTFS. Beginning last year, the program, with the help of various coaches around the community, identify the kids that are working hard, taking the sport seriously and have the ability to take their skills to the next level. They award these kids scholarships for private lessons and then they automatically get signed up for an upcoming tournament through the Sacramento Area Tennis Association. SATA runs a series of tournaments throughout the year for all different age groups.

Upcoming for JTFS is one of the biggest fundraising days of the year, as they will once again be participating in the Big Day of Giving, the Sacramento Region’s annual 24-hour fundraising event and year-long capacity building program. The event takes place on Thursday, May 3 and this year JTFS will join powers with the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and The Wish List Project at The Patriot Restaurant located in the Milagro Centre in Carmichael.

These organizations are inviting friends and donors to stop by, say hello and enjoy some great food and drinks – all in the spirit of giving. Donors for any of the non-profits will be given a discount for dinner that evening at The Patriot. Last year the region raised nearly $7.2 million from tens of thousands of donors, according to the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

For more information on becoming a JTFS member or sponsor, visit, e-mail or call 916-359-3667.

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Jeff Sessions Addresses Illegal Immigration; Protests Take Place

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-07

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed immigration and California sanctuary laws downtown Sacramento on Wednesday morning, speaking at the annual meeting of the California Peace Officers Association held at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. 

Sessions informed those in attendance that the Justice Department sued the state of California because state laws are preventing federal immigration agents from doing their jobs and putting their lives at risk, but the state’s leaders believe otherwise and continue to deny any wrongdoing.

Last month, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff warned residents of a federal immigration agent raid, allowing more than 800 criminals to avoid arrest. This drew harsh criticism from both Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the White House.

“So here’s my message for Mayor Schaaf: How dare you. How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda,” Sessions said on Wednesday. He also questioned Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom for “bragging about the obstruction of law enforcement,” calling it an “embarrassment for the great state of California.”

Governor Jerry Brown thumbed out a tweet stating, “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

Dozens of protestors blocked traffic outside of the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel and the Golden 1 Center, holding signs and chanting in opposition of Sessions and the White House.

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Local Women Receive Grants from Loomis Soroptimist Club

By Soroptimist of Loomis Basin  |  2018-03-05

Teachers will use SI Loomis Grants for special classroom projects (L-R back row): Cynthia Buhler (wearing striped poncho), Tracey Curry, Katie Branzuela, Kelsie Dales, Hailey Crosta, Kathleen Bales, Carrie Marovich; (L-R front row): Jennifer Wood, Patty Sleizer, Claudia Diele, Susan Czapkay, Debra Brayfindley, Christy Aday. Photo courtesy Karen Fraser-Middleton

LOOMIS, CA (MPG) -The Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) recognized women and girls who are making a difference in the community through education and community service on February 28. The club provided nearly $10,000 in scholarships, teacher grants and support for the Senior L.I.F.E center.

Carol Braun, co-founder of the Cowpoke Fall Gathering in Loomis and Cowpoke Foundation was honored with the Ruby Award for Women Helping Women. The Soroptimist International award recognizes those who improve the lives of other women or girls through their professional or personal activities. Under Carol’s leadership, the Cowpoke Foundation preserves and promotes American cowboy heritage through poetry, music and storytelling; sponsors an educational program at local schools; and donates funds to organizations that benefit our community. For over 23 years, Carol has volunteered her time, given back to the community and been an inspiration to others.

Soroptimist International (SI) clubs have given the Live Your Dream Award and over $30 million to tens of thousands of women who have overcome poverty, divorce, domestic violence and other life challenges through education. The SI Loomis Basin club selected Ellen Robinson to receive this year’s $3000 award. Robinson has demonstrated great courage and determination to overcome many obstacles and pursue higher education to provide a better future for her family. She is currently enrolled at Sierra College pursuing an AS degree in Natural Sciences with plans to become a dental hygienist.

The Loomis Soroptimist Community Service Award recognized Katherine Hanson who has assumed several leadership roles in the Del Oro High School Women’s Athletic Club. She has been a powerful role model for younger girls, produced the club’s video that promotes women’s strength and unity, and organized the College Awareness for Rape Education program. Hansen indicated that she is excited to be contributing to girls’ success by getting them to believe in themselves.

SILB helped establish the Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis in 1978 and has continued to support this program that provides social and educational activities as well as nutritious lunches for seniors. Acsa and Fred Hitchen accepted the grant from SILB to continue to provide beneficial programs at the center.

The Loomis Soroptimist Teacher Grants are a signature program of the club developed to help instructors fund projects that will have lasting impact on students.

Tracey Curry, Ophir Elementary School first grade teacher, will use her grant for a hands-on educational system that fosters creativity and teaches problem solving skills through playing math, English and coding games.

Patty Sleizer and Jennifer Wood, both Kindergarten teachers at H. Clark Powers, received grants to purchase community helper dramatic play costumes and masks to learn social studies and language arts through play-based inquiry, role playing and storytelling.

Claudia Diele and Susan Czapkay, both 3rd grade teachers at H. Clark Powers, will purchase flexible seating to make it easier to instruct small groups of students.

Bria Johnson, H. Clark Powers first grade teacher, envisions using a multi-colored carpet with individual squares to make it easier to arrange students to sit in a specific order, enable student partners to work together and help students who struggle with staying within their own space.

Hailey Crosta, Transitional Kindergarten teacher at H. Clark Powers, will use the funds to supplement science materials, teaching the children about nutrition, magnets, seasons, weather, plants and the five senses using hands-on manipulatives.

Kelsie Dales, Placer Elementary, Transitional Kindergarten teacher, intends to use her grant to purchase headphones that can be used with iPads for daily math and language arts activities.

Christy Aday, Newcastle Elementary Charter, will use the grant to replace music stands that are over 30 years old for the band program that serves Kindergarten through 8th grade students.

Debra Brayfindley, Newcastle Elementary Resource Teacher, plans to use the funding to purchase a literacy intervention tool that will help struggling students learn to read.

Kathleen Bales, Newcastle Elementary Charter School 4th grade teacher, will use the grant to introduce robotics to fourth through six grade students by teaching them to program with Arduino and Scratch.

Carrie Marovich, Loomis Grammar School 8th grade teacher, will purchase headphones so students can listen to language arts reading selections on their Chromebooks, increasing comprehension and reading enjoyment.

Cynthia Buhler, 4th Grade teacher, Penryn Elementary School, will use her award to select flexible seating such as bean bags, standing tables and low tables with cushions that will give students more choice in what kind of learning space works best for them.

Katie Branzuela, K-8 music teacher for both Franklin and Loomis Basin Charter School, is seeking a grant for headphones for middle school students to create a mash up of songs that represent who they are in music appreciation. Additionally, band students can use them to record and submit play tests.

About Soroptimist International Loomis Basin

Soroptimist ( is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin is a 501(c)(3) organization.

To learn more about the club, join SI Loomis Basin for weekly club meetings at the Train Depot at Taylor Rd. and Horseshoe Bar Rd. in Loomis. Visitors are welcome to attend club meetings on the first and third Wednesday at 5:30 PM. Learn more at and find Soroptimist Loomis Basin on Facebook. Also plan to attend the Soroptimist Tostada Bingo on April 21; tickets available at the Loomis Chamber of Commerce.

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Craig Newton Will Share Local Expert Fishing Advice

By Rooster Tails Fishing Club  |  2018-03-02

Craig Newton with a large catch. Photo courtesy Rooster Tails

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge at 195 Pine Street in Auburn on March 16th.  This free event is open to club members, spouses, and non-member guests.  Doors to the Lodge open at 7:00 a.m. to share fresh brewed coffee.  A fantastic $15 wide-selection buffet breakfast is served at 8:00 am followed at 9:00 am with guest speaker, Craig Newton, expert fisherman and owner of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. Breakfast attendees are encouraged to arrive early for free coffee and to ‘talk-fishing’ with Fishing Club members

Craig is an accomplished civil engineer and expert fisherman with a life-long reservoir of fishing knowledge with advice on multiple fish species.  Craig has wide field of experience including expertise in ocean fishing for rock fish, springer river salmon, to his favorite… drift boat fishing for steelhead.  He has pursued fishing from Oregon to Baja.  What is unique about his presentation is that not only will he explain the latest effective techniques for pursuing this season’s abundant trout fishing opportunities, but also the newest tackle on the market and how to use it. 

Spring trout fishing is already in full swing despite the weather, with many northern California waters releasing winter-fed pen-raised trout.  This trout season will be exceptional offering many chances to land a wall-hanger fish.  Trout anglers that plan on participating in the various spring derbies and tournaments are encouraged to attend this special presentation.  What breakfast attendees will discover is that not alone is guest speaker Craig Newton an expert angler, he is a ‘fishing-everything local resource, since he owns his own tackle store.  Craig and his wife Kim purchased the only Auburn dedicated fishing store, Will Fish Tackle, in April of 2017.  Unlike big-box or chain retail tackle stores, Will Fish offers one-on-one advice and often first-hand experience on catching specific fish species.  In addition, Craig also is in regular contact with several and can recommend fishing guides. 

The 30 year old, 200+ members Rooster Tails Fishing Club of Northern California, Inc. is a non-profit organization that meets the third Friday of each month to educate, entertain, and enhance fishing experience.  Unlike many bass and fly fishing clubs that concentrate on very specific types of fishing, the Rooster Tails Fishing Club provides a balanced mix of fishing techniques presented by fishing experts targeting a variety of fish species on multiple types of waters. For more information contact Jim, Club Chairman, 530-887-0479, or visit the club’s web site at

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A Final Tribute Honoring a Special Lady During Women’s History Month

By Sheila LaPolla  |  2018-03-02

Lt. Balmer holds a plaque recognizing her as the oldest living female member of the American Legion at 108 years old. Photo courtesy of Brenda Sheriff

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Women’s History Month celebrates the vital role of women in American history.  The vibrancy and legacy of women past and present unifies and nourishes our collective whole as we march onward towards fundamental human equality.

Lieutenant Lynn Balmer, born September 12, 1907, on the family homestead in Plumas, California, saw history unfold before her eyes and created a bit of history herself. On her 108th birthday, she was recognized by American Legion Post 709, Rancho Cordova, California, as the oldest living female member of the American Legion.

However, now this special lady has been called to Post Everlasting.  Lynn Balmer died peacefully at her home at Country Village in Chico, California, on December 9, 2017, at the vintage age of 110.  

She was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 709, Rancho Cordova, California, where her nephew, Sgt. Ken Hicks, U.S. Air force veteran, was Historian. He is currently an active member of Post 709. 

She was also a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637, Citrus Heights, California.

After WWII started, Lynn Balmer joined the military, “to free a man for active duty.”  She served in the U.S. Coast Guard and achieved the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) LTJG.  Lt. Balmer secured a top secret clearance and worked in Military Intelligence. Using her keen mathematical abilities, she read and interpreted weather maps and charts and used Morse code to help ships navigate through dangerous waters and adverse weather conditions between the United States and England.

Prior to her military service, Lt. Balmer was an elementary school teacher, teaching her first class in 1927.  She later taught mathematics to high school students.  In 1943, her passion for teaching and love for her students, (having no children, she treated each and every child as her own) gave way to her patriotism and love of country when she enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard.

Yes, Lt. Balmer entered two noble professions and gave of her immense talents whole heartedly.

Between the years of 1946 and 1967 she attended the University of Washington part time, taught mathematics to junior high school students, volunteered at a children’s orthopedic hospital, and was a professional skater to boot.  She retired and moved to Chico, California in the late 1990s with her husband, Charles.

Lynn Balmer’s passion for life lives on.  She told stories about living through World War 1, living through the nationwide flu epidemic in 1918 by wearing bags of asafetida around her neck to school, living through the Great Depression, and when there were shortages of grain and sugar, feeling very lucky that her father had bees so their family of nine children had honey.

Her nephew, Sgt. Hicks, and her extended family and friends continue to carry on Lt. Balmer’s storytelling to the delight of young and old alike.

The Women’s Suffrage movement was going strong in her childhood and when Lynn was 18 years old, she recalled that her mother got to vote for the first time in her life during the 1920 election.  When Lynn became of legal age, she, too, proudly exercised her right to vote and encouraged all women, young and old, to exercise their hard-earned right to vote.

Lt. Balmer died at 110 years old leaving a personal legacy of a life well lived.  She did not let life pass her by.  Her deep love of country and patriotism ignited her commitment to help protect our democracy and way of life. That love still flourishes in the lives she touched personally and by the sheer power of her being. 

She had richness of character, strength, gentleness, and a pioneer spirit exemplifying qualities of our American Legion veterans.

During Women’s History Month, it is only fitting we pay special tribute to Lt. Balmer and reflect upon and celebrate the lives of famous women pioneers and leaders in our history, as well as celebrate the unsung women heroes of our daily lives.    

ARTICLE written by:  Sheila LaPolla Historian, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 383, Fair Oaks, California and Historian, American Legion Riders Chapter 383, Fair Oaks, California

Membership #301190393

(916) 715-3046

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